Weekend Papyrus 6/11/2021

Gryllus Maior

Active member
P.Oxy 3.531, a letter from a father to his son. Structurally the letter reminds me more of 2 and 3 John than anything else, but see what you think.

1 Κορνήλιος Ἱέρακι τῷ γλυκυτάτωι υἱῷ
2 χαίρειν.
3 ἡδέως σε ἀσπαζόμεθα πάντες οἱ ἐν οἴκωι καὶ
4 τοὺς μετʼ ἐσοῦ πάντας. περὶ οὗ μοι παλλάκεις
5 γράφεις ἀνθρώπου μηδὲν προσποιηθῇς
6 ἕως ἐπʼ ἀγαθῷ πρὸς σὲ παραγένομαι σὺν Οὐ-
7 ηστείνῳ μετὰ καὶ τῶν ὄνων. ἐὰν γὰρ θεοὶ θέλω-
8 σι τάχιον πρὸς σὲ ἥξω μετὰ τὸν Μεχεὶρ μῆνα
9 ἐπεὶ ἐν χερσὶν ἔχω ἐπείξιμα ἔργα. ὅρα μηδε-
10 νὶ ἀνθρώπων ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ προσκρο[ύ]σῃς, ἀλλὰ τοῖς
11 βιβλίοις σου αὐτὸ μόνον πρόσεχ[ε] φιλολογῶν
12 καὶ ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ὄνησιν ἕξεις. κόμ[ι]σαι διὰ Ὀν-
13 νωφρᾶ τὰ ἱμάτια τὰ λευκὰ τὰ δυ[ν]άμενα
14 μετὰ τῶν πορφυρῶν φορεῖσθαι φαινολίων,
15 τὰ ἄλλα μετὰ τῶν μουρσίνων φορέσεις.
16 διὰ Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι καὶ ἀργύριον καὶ
17 ἐπιμήνια καὶ τὸ ἄλλο ζεῦγος τῶν ὑσγείνων.
18 τοῖς ὀψαρίοις ἐξήλλαξας ἡμᾶς, τούτων καὶ τὴν
19 τιμὴν δἰ Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι, μέντοιγε
20 ἕως πρὸς σὲ ἔλθῃ Ἀνουβᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ σοῦ χαλκοῦ τὸ
21 ὀψώνιόν σου καὶ τῶν σῶν ἐξοδίασον
22 ἕως πέμψω. ἔστι δὲ τοῦ Τῦβι μηνὸς
23 σοὶ ὃ θέλεις, Φρονίμῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιϛ, τοῖς περὶ Ἀβάσκ(αντον)
24 καὶ Μύρωνι (δραχμαὶ) θ, Σεκούνδῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιβ. πέμ-
25 ψον Φρόνιμον πρὸς Ἀσκληπιάδην ἐμῶι
26 ὀνόματι καὶ λαβέτω παρʼ αὐτοῦ ἀντιφώνη-
27 σιν ἧς ἔγραψα αὐτῷ ἐπιστολῆς καὶ πέμψον.
28 περὶ ὧν θέλεις δήλωσόν μοι. ἔρρωσο, τέκνον.
 
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John Milton

Well-known member
P.Oxy 3.531, a letter from a father to his son. Structurally the letter reminds me more of 2 and 3 John than anything else, but see what you think.

1 Κορνήλιος Ἱέρακι τῷ γλυκυτάτωι υἱῷ
2 χαίρειν.
3 ἡδέως σε ἀσπαζόμεθα πάντες οἱ ἐν οἴκωι καὶ
4 τοὺς μετʼ ἐσοῦ πάντας. περὶ οὗ μοι παλλάκεις
5 γράφεις ἀνθρώπου μηδὲν προσποιηθῇς
6 ἕως ἐπʼ ἀγαθῷ πρὸς σὲ παραγένομαι σὺν Οὐ-
7 ηστείνῳ μετὰ καὶ τῶν ὄνων. ἐὰν γὰρ θεοὶ θέλω-
8 σι τάχιον πρὸς σὲ ἥξω μετὰ τὸν Μεχεὶρ μῆνα
9 ἐπεὶ ἐν χερσὶν ἔχω ἐπείξιμα ἔργα. ὅρα μηδε-
10 νὶ ἀνθρώπων ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ προσκρο[ύ]σῃς, ἀλλὰ τοῖς
11 βιβλίοις σου αὐτὸ μόνον πρόσεχ[ε] φιλολογῶν
12 καὶ ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ὄνησιν ἕξεις. κόμ[ι]σαι διὰ Ὀν-
13 νωφρᾶ τὰ ἱμάτια τὰ λευκὰ τὰ δυ[ν]άμενα
14 μετὰ τῶν πορφυρῶν φορεῖσθαι φαινολίων,
15 τὰ ἄλλα μετὰ τῶν μουρσίνων φορέσεις.
16 διὰ Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι καὶ ἀργύριον καὶ
17 ἐπιμήνια καὶ τὸ ἄλλο ζεῦγος τῶν ὑσγείνων.
18 τοῖς ὀψαρίοις ἐξήλλαξας ἡμᾶς, τούτων καὶ τὴν
19 τιμὴν δἰ Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι, μέντοιγε
20 ἕως πρὸς σὲ ἔλθῃ Ἀνουβᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ σοῦ χαλκοῦ τὸ
21 ὀψώνιόν σου καὶ τῶν σῶν ἐξοδίασον
22 ἕως πέμψω. ἔστι δὲ τοῦ Τῦβι μηνὸς
23 σοὶ ὃ θέλεις, Φρονίμῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιϛ, τοῖς περὶ Ἀβάσκ(αντον)
24 καὶ Μύρωνι (δραχμαὶ) θ, Σεκούνδῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιβ. πέμ-
25 ψον Φρόνιμον πρὸς Ἀσκληπιάδην ἐμῶι
26 ὀνόματι καὶ λαβέτω παρʼ αὐτοῦ ἀντιφώνη-
27 σιν ἧς ἔγραψα αὐτῷ ἐπιστολῆς καὶ πέμψον.
28 περὶ ὧν θέλεις δήλωσόν μοι. ἔρρωσο, τέκνον.
I'll tackle this by the end of the day.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
1 Κορνήλιος Ἱέρακι τῷ γλυκυτάτωι υἱῷ
Cornelius to Ierakos my sweetest son

2 χαίρειν.
greetings

3 ἡδέως σε ἀσπαζόμεθα πάντες οἱ ἐν οἴκωι καὶ
All of our household greets you pleasantly* and (*I've placed this here for the sole purpose of keeping it in the original line.)

4 τοὺς μετʼ ἐσοῦ πάντας. περὶ οὗ μοι παλλάκεις
all the ones with you. Concerning which to me often

5 γράφεις ἀνθρώπου μηδὲν προσποιηθῇς
you wrote man* you should do nothing (*About the man you have written to me often)

6 ἕως ἐπʼ ἀγαθῷ* πρὸς σὲ παραγένομαι σὺν Οὐ-
until I come to good* for you in the company of Ou- (*I'm not sure of the intent of this.)

7 ηστείνῳ μετὰ καὶ τῶν ὄνων. ἐὰν γὰρ θεοὶ θέλω-
steinos and also with the donkeys. For if [the] gods are will-

8 σι τάχιον πρὸς σὲ ἥξω μετὰ τὸν Μεχεὶρ μῆνα
ing I will bring [them] to you quickly after the month of Mecheir

9 ἐπεὶ ἐν χερσὶν ἔχω ἐπείξιμα ἔργα. ὅρα μηδε-
since I have pressing matters on my hands. See to it [that] to no-

10 νὶ ἀνθρώπων ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ προσκρο[ύ]σῃς, ἀλλὰ τοῖς
ne of [the] men in the house you give offense, but to

11 βιβλίοις σου αὐτὸ μόνον πρόσεχ[ε] φιλολογῶν
your books only give singular attention pursuing your studies

12 καὶ ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ὄνησιν ἕξεις. κόμ[ι]σαι διὰ* Ὀν-
and from these [endeavors] you will benefit. Take care through On-

(*Throughout this passage διὰ seems like it's governing an accusative, but the sense seems to be that of the genitive. I have assumed that these are actually names indeclinable names in the genitive.)

13 νωφρᾶ τὰ ἱμάτια τὰ λευκὰ τὰ δυ[ν]άμενα
nofra of the white clothes which are able

14 μετὰ τῶν πορφυρῶν φορεῖσθαι* φαινολίων*,
to be worn with the purple cloaks [?] (*I'm not certain of the forms of these words, nor the sense of the sentence overall)

15 τὰ ἄλλα μετὰ τῶν μουρσίνων φορέσεις*.
the others you will wear with the mulberry-colored [cloaks]. (*same as note immediately above.)

16 διὰ* Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι καὶ ἀργύριον καὶ
Through Anuba I will send to you both silver and

17 ἐπιμήνια καὶ τὸ ἄλλο ζεῦγος τῶν ὑσγείνων.
monthly provisions and the other wagon of scarlet dye.

18 τοῖς ὀψαρίοις ἐξήλλαξας* ἡμᾶς, τούτων καὶ τὴν
having (won us over/amused us???) with fish, of these also the

19 τιμὴν δἰ* Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι, μέντοιγε
price through Anuba I will send to you, most certainly

20 ἕως πρὸς σὲ ἔλθῃ Ἀνουβᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ σοῦ χαλκοῦ τὸ
until Anoubas comes to you from your money

21 ὀψώνιόν σου καὶ τῶν σῶν ἐξοδίασον
pay the way for you and your own household*
(*I rendered this phrase idiomatically, but I understand the literal sense. I almost mistook ὀψώνιόν for ὀψαρίοις.)

22 ἕως πέμψω. ἔστι δὲ τοῦ Τῦβι μηνὸς
until I will send [to you]. There is for the Tubi month

23 σοὶ ὃ θέλεις*, Φρονίμῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιϛ, τοῖς περὶ Ἀβάσκ(αντον)
to you what you want, to Phronimos 16 drachma, to the ones concerning Abaskanton (*Not completely confident about the sentence to this point.)

24 καὶ Μύρωνι (δραχμαὶ) θ, Σεκούνδῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιβ. πέμ-
and Muron 9 drachma, to Sekundos 12 drachma. Se-

25 ψον Φρόνιμον πρὸς Ἀσκληπιάδην ἐμῶι
nd Phronimon to Asklepiade in my

26 ὀνόματι καὶ λαβέτω παρʼ αὐτοῦ ἀντιφώνη-
name and let him take from him an answer

27 σιν ἧς ἔγραψα αὐτῷ ἐπιστολῆς καὶ πέμψον.
by letter to the letter I wrote to him and send [it].

28 περὶ ὧν θέλεις δήλωσόν μοι. ἔρρωσο, τέκνον.
Concerning the things you want, reveal [them] to me. Goodbye, Son.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
P.Oxy 3.531, a letter from a father to his son. Structurally the letter reminds me more of 2 and 3 John than anything else, but see what you think.
I think that you are a boss if you read this as easily as I do 2 and 3 John. The syntax wasn't too bad, but I found bits of the vocabulary challenging. For this reason, I'm not confident of the meaning of some of the parts. The sense of the letter was clear, though. My guess is that the family was well-off.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
ἐὰν γὰρ θεοὶ θέλωσι.....

These pagans did not just give lip service to their "gods" but seriously imagined them to be in full control of their whole destinies. And their gods were vicious, demanding human sacrifices, see here, to which some of these lost souls gladly obliged in order to boast their allegiance , in order to appease and to honor these demons. It's utterly disgusting and abominable and such humanity completely removed from the knowledge of the true God, itself needs to be exterminated.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
These pagans did not just give lip service to their "gods" but seriously imagined them to be in full control of their whole destinies. And their gods were vicious, demanding human sacrifices, see here, to which some of these lost souls gladly obliged in order to boast their allegiance , in order to appease and to honor these demons. It's utterly disgusting and abominable and such humanity completely removed from the knowledge of the true God, itself needs to be exterminated.
Seriously, you pose a clip from The Vikings as proof of human sacrifice? At no time during the historical period in ancient times was human sacrifice a thing. In fact, the Romans found it as abhorrent as we do. At any rate, it was through the proclamation of the Gospel that ancient paganism passed away, and those who preached to them often had thorough knowledge of their beliefs (look at Paul in Acts 17). It's not through displaying hatred of their religion, but in showing the love of Christ that the thing is won.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
I think that you are a boss if you read this as easily as I do 2 and 3 John. The syntax wasn't too bad, but I found bits of the vocabulary challenging. For this reason, I'm not confident of the meaning of some of the parts. The sense of the letter was clear, though. My guess is that the family was well-off.
Vocabulary is always a challenge in such texts, and often somewhat unusual uses of vocabulary that might be familiar to us from other contexts. But I was referring to the overall structure, not the fiddly bits.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
1 Κορνήλιος Ἱέρακι τῷ γλυκυτάτωι υἱῷ
Cornelius to Ierakos my sweetest son

2 χαίρειν.
greetings

3 ἡδέως σε ἀσπαζόμεθα πάντες οἱ ἐν οἴκωι καὶ
All of our household greets you pleasantly* and (*I've placed this here for the sole purpose of keeping it in the original line.)

4 τοὺς μετʼ ἐσοῦ πάντας. περὶ οὗ μοι παλλάκεις
all the ones with you. Concerning which to me often

5 γράφεις ἀνθρώπου μηδὲν προσποιηθῇς
you wrote man* you should do nothing (*About the man you have written to me often)

6 ἕως ἐπʼ ἀγαθῷ* πρὸς σὲ παραγένομαι σὺν Οὐ-
until I come to good* for you in the company of Ou- (*I'm not sure of the intent of this.)

7 ηστείνῳ μετὰ καὶ τῶν ὄνων. ἐὰν γὰρ θεοὶ θέλω-
steinos and also with the donkeys. For if [the] gods are will-

8 σι τάχιον πρὸς σὲ ἥξω μετὰ τὸν Μεχεὶρ μῆνα
ing I will bring [them] to you quickly after the month of Mecheir

9 ἐπεὶ ἐν χερσὶν ἔχω ἐπείξιμα ἔργα. ὅρα μηδε-
since I have pressing matters on my hands. See to it [that] to no-

10 νὶ ἀνθρώπων ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ προσκρο[ύ]σῃς, ἀλλὰ τοῖς
ne of [the] men in the house you give offense, but to

11 βιβλίοις σου αὐτὸ μόνον πρόσεχ[ε] φιλολογῶν
your books only give singular attention pursuing your studies

12 καὶ ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ὄνησιν ἕξεις. κόμ[ι]σαι διὰ* Ὀν-
and from these [endeavors] you will benefit. Take care through On-

(*Throughout this passage διὰ seems like it's governing an accusative, but the sense seems to be that of the genitive. I have assumed that these are actually names indeclinable names in the genitive.)

13 νωφρᾶ τὰ ἱμάτια τὰ λευκὰ τὰ δυ[ν]άμενα
nofra of the white clothes which are able

14 μετὰ τῶν πορφυρῶν φορεῖσθαι* φαινολίων*,
to be worn with the purple cloaks [?] (*I'm not certain of the forms of these words, nor the sense of the sentence overall)

15 τὰ ἄλλα μετὰ τῶν μουρσίνων φορέσεις*.
the others you will wear with the mulberry-colored [cloaks]. (*same as note immediately above.)

16 διὰ* Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι καὶ ἀργύριον καὶ
Through Anuba I will send to you both silver and

17 ἐπιμήνια καὶ τὸ ἄλλο ζεῦγος τῶν ὑσγείνων.
monthly provisions and the other wagon of scarlet dye.

18 τοῖς ὀψαρίοις ἐξήλλαξας* ἡμᾶς, τούτων καὶ τὴν
having (won us over/amused us???) with fish, of these also the

19 τιμὴν δἰ* Ἀνουβᾶ πέμψω σοι, μέντοιγε
price through Anuba I will send to you, most certainly

20 ἕως πρὸς σὲ ἔλθῃ Ἀνουβᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ σοῦ χαλκοῦ τὸ
until Anoubas comes to you from your money

21 ὀψώνιόν σου καὶ τῶν σῶν ἐξοδίασον
pay the way for you and your own household*
(*I rendered this phrase idiomatically, but I understand the literal sense. I almost mistook ὀψώνιόν for ὀψαρίοις.)

22 ἕως πέμψω. ἔστι δὲ τοῦ Τῦβι μηνὸς
until I will send [to you]. There is for the Tubi month

23 σοὶ ὃ θέλεις*, Φρονίμῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιϛ, τοῖς περὶ Ἀβάσκ(αντον)
to you what you want, to Phronimos 16 drachma, to the ones concerning Abaskanton (*Not completely confident about the sentence to this point.)

24 καὶ Μύρωνι (δραχμαὶ) θ, Σεκούνδῳ (δραχμαὶ) ιβ. πέμ-
and Muron 9 drachma, to Sekundos 12 drachma. Se-

25 ψον Φρόνιμον πρὸς Ἀσκληπιάδην ἐμῶι
nd Phronimon to Asklepiade in my

26 ὀνόματι καὶ λαβέτω παρʼ αὐτοῦ ἀντιφώνη-
name and let him take from him an answer

27 σιν ἧς ἔγραψα αὐτῷ ἐπιστολῆς καὶ πέμψον.
by letter to the letter I wrote to him and send [it].

28 περὶ ὧν θέλεις δήλωσόν μοι. ἔρρωσο, τέκνον.
Concerning the things you want, reveal [them] to me. Goodbye, Son.
4 ἐσοῦ did you note the unusual form for the emphatic, following by analogy ἐμοῦ? Normally the emphatic form of the second person is only done through accent. I don't think I've seen that elsewhere.
6 ἐπʼ ἀγαθῷ I think = [ἐν] τῷ καιρῷ, "at a favorable time..."
9-10 "See to that you give no offense..." προσκρούσῃς is second singular.
12 κόμισαι = "obtain." Yes, genitives can be tricky with non-Greek and Latin names!
17 τὸ ἄλλο ζεῦγος τῶν ὑσγείνων more likely "the other pair of scarlet cloaks..."
13-15 I think you captured the sense of these as well as anybody can. Grenfell and Hunt comment on "μουρσίνων: μυρσίνων seems to be intended, but μόρινον (‘mulberry-coloured’) occurs as an epithet of a σουβρικοπάλλιον in C. P. R. I. 27. 8, and may be the word meant here."
18 ὀψάριον, ου, τό dim. of ὄψον (Hom. et al.; Tob 2:2 BA; 7:8 BA)=‘cooked food’ eaten w. bread. ὀψάριον also has this mng. (PRyl 229, 21; s. below). As food eaten w. bread ὀψάριον can mean ‘tidbit’ in general... [BDAG]. I rendered "tidbits" or "dainties." He apparently sent a care package with the equivalent of cookies... :) This word shows up in the Colloquia as well in a similar sense.
23 τοῖς περὶ Ἀβάσκ(αντον... "to those with Abaskontos..." Not an unusual expression. It includes Abaskantos as well. Cornelius is giving him the budget for taking care of those in his household!

With a few oddities, the Greek is rather standard and I personally liked the overall tone of the letter, and particularly the admonition for the son to concentrate on his studies.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Seriously, you pose a clip from The Vikings as proof of human sacrifice?

Seriously. Because they relished it as much (perhaps even more so) than the Carthaginians . If I'm not mistaken, they continued performing human sacrifices late into the 12th century AD, even after the Viking age (793–1066 AD), for which there is ample evidence of this custom.

At no time during the historical period in ancient times was human sacrifice a thing. In fact, the Romans found it as abhorrent as we do.
That's rather naive. Here is some food for thought:

The Roman abhorrence of human sacrifice presented by ancient literary sources stands in contrast to the frequency of rites requiring the death of a human being performed by the Romans during the Republic (509-44 BCE). After examining the ways our sources talk about ritual murder, especially as it was practiced by foreign peoples and subversive or tyrannical elements within Roman society, this discussion turns to the issue of the forms of ritual murder performed by the Romans. Of these various rites, the only one clearly identified by them as human sacrifice, that is, as an offering to the gods of a human life, is the live interment of Gauls and Greeks. Other forms of ritual murder-the burial of unchaste Vestal Virgins and the drowning of hermaphroditic children-were not, in Roman opinion, sacrifice. This distinction made the disposal of Vestal Virgins and hermaphrodites acceptable.

But for me the irrefutable proof that human sacrifice was performed by the ancient peoples comes from the bible itself. Human sacrifice was so pervasive that even the Israelites started following suit, to their shame:

καὶ ᾠκοδόμησαν τοὺς βωμοὺς τῇ Βααλ τοὺς ἐν φάραγγι υἱοῦ Εννομ τοῦ ἀναφέρειν τοὺς υἱοὺς αὐτῶν καὶ τὰς θυγατέρας αὐτῶν τῷ Μολοχ βασιλεῗ ἃ οὐ συνέταξα αὐτοῗς καὶ οὐκ ἀνέβη ἐπὶ καρδίαν μου τοῦ ποιῆσαι τὸ βδέλυγμα τοῦτο πρὸς τὸ ἐφαμαρτεῗν τὸν Ιουδαν

Jeremiah 32:35, etc.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
Vocabulary is always a challenge in such texts, and often somewhat unusual uses of vocabulary that might be familiar to us from other contexts. But I was referring to the overall structure, not the fiddly bits.
I see. To me it felt a bit like one of the Peters. One in particular, but I can never remember which I mean.
 

John Milton

Well-known member
4 ἐσοῦ did you note the unusual form for the emphatic, following by analogy ἐμοῦ? Normally the emphatic form of the second person is only done through accent. I don't think I've seen that elsewhere.
6 ἐπʼ ἀγαθῷ I think = [ἐν] τῷ καιρῷ, "at a favorable time..."
9-10 "See to that you give no offense..." προσκρούσῃς is second singular.
12 κόμισαι = "obtain." Yes, genitives can be tricky with non-Greek and Latin names!
17 τὸ ἄλλο ζεῦγος τῶν ὑσγείνων more likely "the other pair of scarlet cloaks..."
13-15 I think you captured the sense of these as well as anybody can. Grenfell and Hunt comment on "μουρσίνων: μυρσίνων seems to be intended, but μόρινον (‘mulberry-coloured’) occurs as an epithet of a σουβρικοπάλλιον in C. P. R. I. 27. 8, and may be the word meant here."
18 ὀψάριον, ου, τό dim. of ὄψον (Hom. et al.; Tob 2:2 BA; 7:8 BA)=‘cooked food’ eaten w. bread. ὀψάριον also has this mng. (PRyl 229, 21; s. below). As food eaten w. bread ὀψάριον can mean ‘tidbit’ in general... [BDAG]. I rendered "tidbits" or "dainties." He apparently sent a care package with the equivalent of cookies... :) This word shows up in the Colloquia as well in a similar sense.
23 τοῖς περὶ Ἀβάσκ(αντον... "to those with Abaskontos..." Not an unusual expression. It includes Abaskantos as well. Cornelius is giving him the budget for taking care of those in his household!

With a few oddities, the Greek is rather standard and I personally liked the overall tone of the letter, and particularly the admonition for the son to concentrate on his studies.
I enjoy these exercises, Gryllus. Thank you for doing this and for taking the time to address the "fiddly bits" (I liked the way you put it) that I had trouble with.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Absolutely! And they show, I think,
Oh, oh!

that the New Testament authors weren't quite as illiterate/uneducated as some would have us believe.

Mr. Barrels, has it occurred to you that the NT writers may have had help ? Perhaps from friends (possibly even native Greeks ones) who may have corrected their grammatical errors, and/or that their letters and gospels might have been smoothed over of errors by ancient (and not so ancient) scribes in the process of transcription, and/or that some of them might even have hired the services of professionals , such as an amanuensis ? They may have been illiterate, but they were not dumb.
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
Oh, oh!



Mr. Barrels, has it occurred to you that the NT writers may have had help ? Perhaps from friends (possibly even native Greeks ones) who may have corrected their grammatical errors, and/or that their letters and gospels might have been smoothed over of errors by ancient (and not so ancient) scribes in the process of transcription, and/or that some of them might even have hired the services of professionals , such as an amanuensis ? They may have been illiterate, but they were not dumb.
And very highly unlikely that they were illiterate. ἀγράμματοι in Acts 4:13 does not mean "illiterate" but rather "uneducated," i.e., lacking the training that the Scribes and Pharisees had in Torah. Peter and his relatives were from areas of ancient Palestine where Greek was widespread, and they likely used it on a daily basis. So it's conceivable that their Greek might have been better than earlier scholars, who incorrectly believed in Aramaic supremacy in the region, might let on.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
And very highly unlikely that they were illiterate. ἀγράμματοι in Acts 4:13 does not mean "illiterate" but rather "uneducated," i.e., lacking the training that the Scribes and Pharisees had in Torah. Peter and his relatives were from areas of ancient Palestine where Greek was widespread, and they likely used it on a daily basis. So it's conceivable that their Greek might have been better than earlier scholars, who incorrectly believed in Aramaic supremacy in the region, might let on.

Ofcourse I meant “illiterate” as in “uneducated.” Let’s just say that the GNT writers for the most part spoke Koine as a second at best.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
There's a lot of evidence in recent scholarship that mitigates your confident assertion.
Are you really denying that the GNT writers for the most part (excluding apostle Paul) spoke Koine as a second at best ?

Apostles Peter and Luke apparently write well because they used professionals. Certainly apostles John, Matthew and Luke did not have native level fluency nor even fluency .
 

Gryllus Maior

Active member
Are you really denying that the GNT writers for the most part (excluding apostle Paul) spoke Koine as a second at best ?

Apostles Peter and Luke apparently write well because they used professionals. Certainly apostles John, Matthew and Luke did not have native level fluency nor even fluency .
All I'm saying is that there is good evidence these days that all the writers of the NT may have been much more competent in the daily use of the language than previously supposed. You do get that "Luke" is a Greek name, right, and that he likely group up with the language?
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
All I'm saying is that there is good evidence these days that all the writers of the NT may have been much more competent in the daily use of the language than previously supposed. You do get that "Luke" is a Greek name, right, and that he likely group up with the language?
Ok maybe not “Luke” ( and I use the word “apostle” to refer to him not in the sense that he was one of the twelve) , but certainly I cannot imagine apostle Peter writing the way he did without help. He was averse to all things gentile even after the resurrection of Jesus.
 
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