athentein

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athentein

Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:58 am

1 Tim 2:12

Baldwin begins his study by noting limitations attached to an investigation of the meaning based merely on New Testament and ancient Greek lexicons. Their listings of sources where authenteō can be found are very few in comparison to current data available, and there is no precise consensus among them on the meaning of the word.16 With respect to word studies in general, Baldwin stresses the necessity of analyzing the context of each use of a word,17 a principle given new importance as a result of modern linguistic study. Lexical studies, it should be remembered, do not prescribe what a word must mean nor do they proscribe what it cannot mean in a given context. Rather, they describe contemporaneous uses of words. Moreover, no lexical study “is a 100 percent guarantee that a word has a specific meaning in a given passage.” But when a semantic range is established, the burden of proof lies with those who argue for a meaning not normal or well attested. Finally, on the basis of lexical data available and through a process of trial and error one must seek to determine the possible meaning of a word in its specific context.18

3. Results of Analysis of the Data.

Limiting his analysis to the verb authenteō,19 Baldwin concludes that “the one unifying concept is that of authority” and he presents the following summary table:

1. To rule, to reign sovereignly
2. To control, to dominate20

1. to compel, to influence someone/thing

2. middle voice: to be in effect, to have legal standing
3. hyperbolically: to domineer/play the tyrant
4. to grant authorization

3. To act independently

1. to assume authority over
2. to exercise one’s own jurisdiction
3. to flout the authority of

4. To be primarily responsible for or to instigate something

5. To commit murder (10th Century AD Scholia on Aeschylus21)



Baldwin discusses in some detail the data from which each of these meanings is derived, making the final observation that “there appears among these data only limited historical development of the meaning of authenteō across fourteen centuries” [represented by the database].22

d. Baldwin’s Conclusions.

Baldwin concludes his study by providing the following summary with respect to the meaning of auvqente,w in 1 Timothy 2:12:

1. The root meaning involves the concept of authority.
2. The context of 1 Timothy 2 appears to make meaning 1, “to rule, to reign sovereignly,” impermissible.23
3. Meanings 2 or 2a, “to control, to dominate” or “to compel, to influence someone,” are entirely possible.24
4. Meaning 2c, “to play the tyrant,” could only correspond to Chrysostom’s unique usage if the context could be shown to intend the same clear use of hyperbole, and the context does not seem to do that.25
5. Noting that auvqente,w is transitive, a translation of “assume authority over” (i.e., meaning 3a) could be appropriate, while 3 or 3b, which are intransitive, would not. If a negative meaning were intended, meaning 3c, “to flout the authority of,” could be possible.
6. It is difficult to imagine how meaning 2d, “to grant authorization,” or meaning 4, “to instigate,” would make sense in 1 Timothy.
7. Meaning 5 appears to be impermissible on chronological grounds.26
8. Further syntactical/contextual studies of 1 Timothy are required to decide with certainty among the meanings 2, 2a, 3a, and 3c.
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Re: athentein

Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:58 am

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