Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed May 17, 2017 3:25 pm

John2 wrote:Ben wrote:
In Acts 28.18 it is the showing that is in public; in Galatians 3.1 it is the προγράφειν that is before their eyes. That is the difference, and it demonstrates that προγράφειν has to mean something like "show" or "publicly display" rather than something like "write beforehand" — barring time travel. "It was publicly displayed before your eyes" makes sense. "It was written beforehand before your eyes" does not.
I guess I'm having a hard time picturing Paul acting out the crucifixion before the eyes of the Galatians rather than convincing them with the OT that Jesus was crucified.
Why do you think it has to be either/or?
This is just my initial impression of Gal. 3:1. I've never thought about it before and I'm still getting acquainted with commentaries about it. Stegall seems to put it the way I'm seeing it:
In Galatians 3:1, the phrase "was publically portrayed" is one word in Greek, prographo. This verb is in the aorist tense and indicative mood, indicating a past tense portrayal of Christ as One who stands crucified. Paul is referring to the message he preached to these Galatians in the past while they were unbelievers. This was the same message referred to in Galatians 1:8-9. What message had they now taken their eyes off of? Grace? Justification through faith alone? No, not merely these things, but the work of Christ on the cross from which God's grace and justification flows. This is why the entire section in Galatians 3:1-14 that deals so heavily with justification begins with a riveting rebuke to get their focus back on the cross that Paul initially preached to them (3:1).

https://books.google.com/books?id=uj9H4 ... ED&f=false
You were translating it as "was written before", were you not? Stegall is apparently taking the other option, the one I am pushing, "was publically portrayed". He is then applying this word, not to the penning of the prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures (hundreds of years earlier), but rather to Paul's preaching itself (just recently, before the Galatians' very eyes). This is how I think most exegetes interpret the word: they basically make it a metaphor for preaching, which is fine. (You are agreeing with Stegall's interpretation, but you originally disagreed with his translation.)

What I am wondering out loud in this thread is whether perhaps the word is not as metaphorical as it sounds.
But I suppose there is room here for Paul having acted out the crucifixion in the manner that Longenecker puts it:
Paul vividly described and/or dramatically enacted the crucifixion of Jesus when he presented his gospel, capturing the imagination of his audience by depicting the crucifixion of Jesus in graphic detail ... He must, at the very least, have held out his arms to dramatize a crucified body for his audience.

https://books.google.com/books?id=DVoiC ... ED&f=false
Good find. :)
I'm getting a better appreciation for your inquiry though. No one seems to be saying that Paul didn't talk about the crucifixion in Gal. 3:1....
Nor am I saying that. I think it is self-evident that Paul spoke about the crucifixion.
...but did he do more than that, and I don't understand Greek enough (or at all) to say. As a novice though, it seems "odd" to think that the word "prographo" doesn't have something to do with writing, but I guess it is related to the word "graphic" so I suppose I can appreciate the sense of a visual depiction.
Words move away from their roots all the time.
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John2
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by John2 » Wed May 17, 2017 4:06 pm

Thanks for all that. I'm coming around to the idea now, and I guess it doesn't have to be either/or. I suppose my "hard time" is with thinking that Paul's preaching about the crucifixion to the Galatians in the past wasn't somehow related to the OT when that seems to be the foundation of his gospel and (as far as I can tell thus far) the other occurrences of prographo and other "graph" words in the NT appear to refer to writings, as does the example you gave from 1 Mac. 10:36: ("Let Jews be enrolled [προγραφήτωσαν, "openly written up"]).

http://biblehub.com/greek/1125.htm (grapho)

http://biblehub.com/greek/1124.htm (graphe)

http://biblehub.com/greek/1123.htm (graptos)

To me it boils down to Rom. 15:4: "For everything that was written in the past [prographe] was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures [graphon] and the encouragement they provide we might have hope."
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by John2 » Wed May 17, 2017 6:38 pm

I lost whatever I wrote before this after I copied and pasted it so I will wing it.

[It looks like the pagan writings you linked, at least ones I can see in translation, refer to] writings as well, e.g., "do not fail to read the decrees of dismissal we have posted" and "the Presidents put up written notice of the business to be dealt with".

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... rogra%2Ffw

Which brings me back to what you said earlier:
In Acts 28.18 it is the showing that is in public; in Galatians 3.1 it is the προγράφειν that is before their eyes. That is the difference, and it demonstrates that προγράφειν has to mean something like "show" or "publicly display" rather than something like "write beforehand" — barring time travel. "It was publicly displayed before your eyes" makes sense. "It was written beforehand before your eyes" does not.
So it's more about how the sentence is structured then. Can you break it down again for me again? The literal translation on the biblehub says:

Ὦ ἀνόητοι Γαλάται τίς ὑμᾶς ἐβάσκανεν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι οἷς κατ’ ὀφθαλμοὺς Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς προεγράφη ἐσταυρωμένος

O foolish Galatians who you has bewitched the truth not obeying whose before eyes Jesus Christ was publically portrayed [as] having been crucified

http://biblehub.com/text/galatians/3-1.htm

It still seems like it could mean that Paul had previously shown the Galatians "before their eyes" that Jesus was "written (about) in the past" (i.e., in the OT) as having been crucified, like the way προεγράφη is translated in Rom. 15:4:

ὅσα γὰρ προεγράφη ...

Whatever indeed was written in the past ...

http://biblehub.com/interlinear/romans/15-4.htm

And I was wondering if there might be some variants for Gal. 3:1 and I came across some books online that seemed to suggest that there aren't any (just a quick search), but the biblehub link above seems to have some. For example, there are 17 words in the interlinear, but some versions shown below that (e.g., "Nestle GNT 1904") appear to have only 13 and others 19. Do these (apparent) variants make any difference?
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed May 17, 2017 7:05 pm

John2 wrote:I lost whatever I wrote before this after I copied and pasted it so I will wing it.

[It looks like the pagan writings you linked, at least ones I can see in translation, refer to] writings as well, e.g., "do not fail to read the decrees of dismissal we have posted" and "the Presidents put up written notice of the business to be dealt with".
Some do, but we also get passages like these:

Plutarch, Life of Camillus 39.3: However, he tried to ward off the threatening evils. Having learned the day on which the tribunes intended to propose their law, he issued proclamation [προέγραψε] making it a day of general muster, and summoned the people from the forum into the Campus Martius, with threats of heavy fines upon the disobedient.

Demosthenes, Against Conon 3: Two years ago I went out to Panactum, where we had been ordered [προγραφείσης] to do garrison duty.

Which brings me back to what you said earlier:
In Acts 28.18 it is the showing that is in public; in Galatians 3.1 it is the προγράφειν that is before their eyes. That is the difference, and it demonstrates that προγράφειν has to mean something like "show" or "publicly display" rather than something like "write beforehand" — barring time travel. "It was publicly displayed before your eyes" makes sense. "It was written beforehand before your eyes" does not.
So it's more about how the sentence is structured then. Can you break it down again for me again? The literal translation on the biblehub says:

Ὦ ἀνόητοι Γαλάται τίς ὑμᾶς ἐβάσκανεν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι οἷς κατ’ ὀφθαλμοὺς Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς προεγράφη ἐσταυρωμένος

O foolish Galatians who you has bewitched the truth not obeying whose before eyes Jesus Christ was publically portrayed [as] having been crucified

http://biblehub.com/text/galatians/3-1.htm

It still seems like it could mean that Paul had previously shown the Galatians "before their eyes" that Jesus was "written (about) in the past" (i.e., in the OT) as having been crucified, like the way προεγράφη is translated in Rom. 15:4....
I have highlighted the problematic word above. There is a difference between saying before someone's eyes that something has been forewritten and actually forewriting before someone's eyes. The verse literally says, "before whose eyes Jesus Christ was __ as crucified." If you want to put your definition of that word in the blank, then there is really no escaping it: Paul would be saying that those things had been forewritten before their eyes. There is no "that" — so he would not be saying that he had told them that Jesus Christ had been forewritten.
And I was wondering if there might be some variants for Gal. 3:1 and I came across some books online that seemed to suggest that there aren't any (just a quick search), but the biblehub link above seems to have some. For example, there are 17 words in the interlinear, but some versions shown below that (e.g., "Nestle GNT 1904") appear to have only 13 and others 19. Do these (apparent) variants make any difference?
Well, the Byzantine and my old favorite Boernerianus both add ἐν ὑμῖν: "before whose eyes Jesus Christ was proclaimed among you as crucified." The Byzantine also adds τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι: "who has bewitched you not to believe the truth?" I am not seeing much else.
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robert j
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by robert j » Thu May 18, 2017 6:38 am

Paul used the term proegraphe (προεγράφη) twice, the meaning of the term in Romans 15:4 as referring to the scriptures is entirely clear and a natural translation of the term ---

For whatever was written in the past (προεγράφη) was all written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Why bible translators and Christian tradition have chosen a different connotation of the term in the other occurrence in Galatians 3:1, one can only speculate. No one knows what was in Paul’s mind here --- nor what his intention was. But our very best evidence is how Paul used the exact same form of the term elsewhere, and how he used the same root verb elsewhere.

For Galatians, then, we have a perfectly reasonable use of the term that is entirely consistent with his only other use of the very same form of the term in Romans [parenthetical comment mine] ---

Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was written in the past (προεγράφη) [in the scriptures] having been crucified” (Gal 3:1)

This interpretation is supported by Paul’s use of the same root verb as somewhat of a technical term referring to the scriptures. Paul used γέγραπται about 30 times --- it is written/has been written (the verb in the perfect, indicative, middle or passive, 3rd person, singular) --- every time referring to the scriptures.

The Christian tradition of applying a different connotation to the verb in Galatians as opposed to Romans is well established --- but that doesn’t make it correct, and, IMO, this established Church tradition doesn’t overcome the only other example we have of Paul’s intended connotation of the very same form of the verb in Romans.

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 18, 2017 6:55 am

robert j wrote:Paul used the term proegraphe (προεγράφη) twice, the meaning of the term in Romans 15:4 as referring to the scriptures is entirely clear and a natural translation of the term ---

For whatever was written in the past (προεγράφη) was all written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Why bible translators and Christian tradition have chosen a different connotation of the term in the other occurrence in Galatians 3:1, one can only speculate.
There is no need to speculate. The meaning as we find it in Romans 15.4 is virtually impossible in Galatians 3.1. Paul cannot be saying that the Galatians saw Jesus being forewritten in scripture with their own eyes. They can have seen that Jesus had been forewritten, but this is not how the sentence is structured. The Galatians can, however, have seen Jesus portrayed before them with their own eyes (whether literally or metaphorically), and this happens to be one of the other principal meanings of the Greek verb.

Paul uses this verb only twice (!) in those epistles most commonly considered to be genuine, not nearly enough to establish an absolute authorial pattern. The truth is that the meaning as we find it in Galatians 3.1 is virtually impossible in Romans 15.4, and the meaning as we find it in Romans 15.4 is virtually impossible in Galatians 3.1. Paul used two different definitions for the same word. We all do this.
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by robert j » Thu May 18, 2017 7:19 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:The Galatians can, however, have seen Jesus portrayed before them with their own eyes (whether literally or metaphorically) ...
Exactly, the Galatians saw Jesus portrayed before their own eyes in the scriptures.

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 18, 2017 7:23 am

robert j wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote:The Galatians can, however, have seen Jesus portrayed before them with their own eyes (whether literally or metaphorically) ...
Exactly, the Galatians saw Jesus portrayed before their own eyes in the scriptures.
This entails the verb meaning "portrayed", not "forewritten".
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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by robert j » Thu May 18, 2017 7:34 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
robert j wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote:The Galatians can, however, have seen Jesus portrayed before them with their own eyes (whether literally or metaphorically) ...
Exactly, the Galatians saw Jesus portrayed before their own eyes in the scriptures.
This entails the verb meaning "portrayed", not "forewritten".
Not necessarily, one can imply "portrayed" based on the Galatians having seen what was written in the past in the scriptures.

ETA: I don't think "portrayed" is wrong as a translation, just imprecise.

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Re: Trees, crosses, and outstretched hands.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu May 18, 2017 8:34 am

robert j wrote:Not necessarily, one can imply "portrayed" based on the Galatians having seen what was written in the past in the scriptures.
I have highlighted yet another word that you have to introduce in order to make the verse say what you want it to say (for reasons unclear to me). What was before the Galatians' very eyes in this verse is not "what was written in the past" — rather, it is Jesus having been portrayed in some way. The only way "forewritten" makes sense in the context is by introducing a conjunction ("that") or a relative pronoun ("what") so as to make the statement less direct than it really is.

It may be fine to think of what Paul is referring to in Galatians 3.1 as some kind of preaching to the effect that Jesus can be found forewritten in the scriptures; this is, of course, what Romans 15.4 says, so it is not unreasonable to think that maybe he is referring to this sort of thing in Galatians 3.1 as the content of his portrayal. But my point is that this is not what he is actually saying in the verse. The verb in Galatians and the verb in Romans do not mean the same thing in their respective contexts.
ETA: I don't think "portrayed" is wrong as a translation, just imprecise.
I, on the other hand, think that "forewritten" is absolutely wrong as a translation of the verb in Galatians 3.1 (though it is absolutely correct for Romans 15.4). Translating it as "forewritten" makes a nonsense of Galatians 3.1, even if we think that this is what Paul is actually talking about (he can refer to his preaching without specifying the content of that preaching).
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