Author Topic: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced  (Read 136337 times)

Weedon

  • Guest
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #900 on: February 20, 2021, 08:35:20 PM »
IF the key to a word’s meaning is its etymological history and use in the prior centuries, THEN Kittel was ingenious and gold. It fell out of favor with many scholars when the light dawned that a word means what it means not in its history, but in its current use. Synchronic, not diachronic. And that kind of took the wind out of the Kittel sails, fwiw. Dr. Nagel captured this with the saying: “We do not do theology by way of etymology.”

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 44470
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #901 on: February 21, 2021, 11:56:33 AM »
IF the key to a word’s meaning is its etymological history and use in the prior centuries, THEN Kittel was ingenious and gold. It fell out of favor with many scholars when the light dawned that a word means what it means not in its history, but in its current use. Synchronic, not diachronic. And that kind of took the wind out of the Kittel sails, fwiw. Dr. Nagel captured this with the saying: “We do not do theology by way of etymology.”


The meaning of a word "in its current use" is limited by the meanings it has had in the past. An example I use is the word "bar." Its meaning requires context. E.g., A member of the bar went into a bar and sat at the bar. The pianist was playing bars of music. "He's the best pianist I've heard, bar none," said the bartender. Just then another man rushed in, "There's a grizzly bar outside, bar the door with that heavy bar."


Even with all those different meanings, "bar," will not mean, "blue" or "bicycle".


The history/origin of a word can also help with different nuances between different words. ἀγαπάω/ἀγάπη, φιλέω/φιλία/φίλος/φίλη, ἐράω/ἔρως can all be translated, "love" (both verbs and nouns), but there can be differences in nuances based on the context; or they could be synonymous. The use of ἀγαπάω and φιλέω in John 21:15-17 are probably synonymous. However, ἀγαπάω is the only word used in the commands for us to love one another, never φιλέω.


The image is two or three overlapping circles. One circle contains the definitions of ἀγαπάω, another the definitions of φιλέω and a third could be the definitions of ἐράω. Some of the definitions overlap. Some do not. (The same image is used of translating a word, e.g., ἀγαπάω and love. Some of our definitions of love overlap the definitions of ἀγαπάω, but there are also uses of these words that are not common to each other; that our outside of the overlapped areas.


One element where Kittel (or detailed word studies can help) is that the use of some Greek words for the Hebrew in the LXX added nuances to the word that weren't present in Classical Greek. The use of κύριος for יהוה added a nuance that wasn't part of the word before. Similarly, the use of εἰρἠνη for שָׁלוֹם added definitions beyond "absence of war."
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13345
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #902 on: February 21, 2021, 12:30:54 PM »
"In its current use" is the point of dialog when it comes to word meaning/etymology, no?  The "current use" as evidenced in an ancient Hebrew poem might have taken place 3000 years ago.  "Current use" for New Testament vocabulary is 2000 years back in time.  Plus the issue of the current use back in time in Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic as opposed to the way the word was/is used in English through the last five centuries.  To be sure, a word or phrase's origin may be different from, even radically different from, what it became over a thousand year period; ergo, the word/phrase as used in the New Testament may be linked only very weakly to its origin.  But extrapolating forward in time, something similar could be said about the word/phrase in the several thousand years since.  And there are words and phrases that show great stability through time. 

All of that tells me it's good to keep studying, to keep searching the Scriptures in our case.  It's possible this is one of those things that certain Missouri Synod groups got caught up with in the "plastic text" dialog/diatribe.  I don't know.  But common sense dictates the course of study that includes the etymology and use of words and phrases through time.

Dave Benke

The Yak

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #903 on: February 21, 2021, 06:23:06 PM »
Going back to the discussion of Zoom backgrounds, for those who want to look as pretentious as possible with as little actual investment as possible, there is always Books by the Foot.
Rev. Dr. Scott Yak imow
Professor of Theology
Concordia University - Ann Arbor