Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Narrow Gate

#biblestudy #newtestamentgreek #whatjesussaid

Matthew Chapter 7 Verses 13 -14

you have undoubtedly noticed some people obsess on scriptural inerrancy and other people on textual criticism.

Here's the literal translation for study purposes

in-enter (compound verb where English uses a prep) thru the narrow gate
hoti as a causal particle so translated for rather than that
wide the gate and easy/broad the road the one away-leading into the destruction
and many they are those who income / enter thru it.

verse 14 starts with TI  in some greek texts and oti in others!

this doesnt change the meaning in any major way so if you see people invalidating the bible because there is textual variants  well avoid extremism ... read scripture sensibly ...

if the verse starts ti  then it reads WHAT or HOW or

maybe this way

 how narrow the gate and difficult the road that leads into or towards the life
 and few they are the ones who are finding it.

if the verse starts oti then

for narrow the gate and ...

see don't get hung up on scriptural inerrancy or textual variants

most of the differences are minor

in this case some scribe probably dropped an o!

The meaning is simple

enter through the narrow difficult gate to life

Having said that though bear in mind the road widens beyond the gate and if you're on the wrong road its possible to detour and cut cross country onto the right one!

Next wednesday back to Heracles!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Heracles and the Amazons

#Heracles #amazons #queenhippolyte

oh @##@#$$% herc he didnt behave very well on this adventure

official version is Heracles sailed all the way to the black sea to get a jewelled belt for his cousin's daughter

unofficial version

hey thinks Eurystheneus Maybe the amazons will kill him for me

Lets just enjoy some pictures of Hippolyte ! Here's two versions one of her as a regal queen and the next as a warrior queen.

Actually no one knows whether she was blonde brunette or whatever.

They seem to be a folk memory of some kind of matrilineal culture in Asia Minor that had female temple guardians. One Hellenistic historian mentions female temple guards called Amazons and claims there were colonies of Amazons in Asia Minor. 

The Amazon stories may be an attempt to explain small pockets of surviving matrilineal cultures or why some Eurasian Steppes cultures had women warriors and others didnt? 

Not one of his finest hours a dock fight escalating into a city wide riot !

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Ask and you will be given

#gospelmatthew #biblestudy #Greek #newtestamentgreek

The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 7 Verses 7 - 12

Another mostly simple section with no unusual words but note the contrast to imperatives to future passive and the syntax in verses 9 and 10 and the parallelism too! Also note how Matthew uses accusative where other writers might use dative !

Verse 7 note the parallelism
a kind of rhyme prose influenced by Hebrew literature

Ask and to you will be given
Seek and you will find
Knock and it will be opened

verse 8

all for the person who aks he receives
and the seeker finds
and to for the knocker (on a door)  it will be opened

verse 9
or who is of you a man  /  or is there any man of you or even amongst you
whom asks the son of him (for implied by accusative) bread arton
not he a stone gives to him = he does not give him a stone
do not be confused by mee the negative being at the beginning

Parallelism again ! Altered syntax for Rhetorical effect!
You can do this in Greek and still be "grammatical" !

verse 10
or and / also a fish  accusative as object he will ask (for)
not a snake he will give to him ?

rhetorical question and next some irony ?

also note here how asking is linked to giving giving to others
 not just asking for your self?

(by the way folks I'm breaking up the sentences
for the benefit of anyone reading on a small screen
less scrolling across)

verse 11

if therefore you wretched beings know gifts good to give to the children of you
how much more the father of you in the heavens will give good (things) to those who ask him

But this isnt just an invitation to ask for miracles for ourselves or trust in god

the section ends with a reminder we should take action ourselves!

verse 12

all therefore so what/ when / ever you wish
that they would do to you the people
so and you (should) this is a contract verb so this may not be a conditional subjunctive ? or if conditional a condition to be fulfilled)  should do to them

this for is the law and the prophets

do good things for others of you want good things for yourself

Ask and Give !

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Mares of Diomedes

Labors of Heracles - Mares of Diomedes

Drat I couldn't find a good piece of ancient art for this one!

Heracles was next ordered by Eurystheus to bring the Mares of Diomedes the Thracian ruler of the Bistones to him. Now these horses were said to be man eaters or at least wild and dangerous.

This myth goes on to explain or rather claim that a man called Abderos was killed by the horses and that Heracles founded a city named after him.

There was certainly an Ionian colony there much later.

As for whether or not the mares were monsters horses wild or not can turn on humans and bite and kick.

I imagine these horses would indeed react violently if they were only used for breeding never ridden and suddenly lead away by strangers from their stables?

One version of the story mentions Heracles cutting a canal to form a lake to stop Diomedes pursuing him.

There is a lake nearby with a narrow entrance to the sea.

This is an explanation of myths used to explain origins.

The Greeks often used claims of settlements in the Mycenaean era to justify building colonies later though perhaps there could have been some kind of trading post before the Greek city was built?

a note for a reader

+Shaun Thomas-Arnold the browser is being unco-operative !

possibly it willnt let me post a reply cos the original post was last year ?

If you're following the blog thrinax is masculine!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

REVISION TIME The Beatitudes so far

As we are now 2/3 thru the #beatitudes also known as the #SermonontheMount I thought it might be time for some summarizing and revision and feedback.

What have I hopefully demonstrated to you about the importance of knowing some Greek?

Have I shown you why the aorist subjunctive is important in Greek?

Have my notes helped?

Sections I suggest you reread ... well reread the Beatitudes regularly anyway but

Chapter 5 summary 1 to 11  the blessings

21 to 26 anger rage violence avoiding hypocrisy

A general theme thru - out the chapter of avoiding violence and vengeance

Chapter 6

while 5:14 says good works can be seen if that adds to the glory of god we are warned to avoid false piety and what used to be called vainglory.

Chapter 6 is about piety prayer and worship up to 25 and then there's the section on avoiding anxiety

Don't forget to reread and revise as you study the Beatitudes and use a good commentary !

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Heracles and the Cretan Bull

#Heracles and the #CretanBull


The Labours of Heracles 7

You've heard of Theseus and the Minotaur but Theseus wasn't the only Greek hero into bullfighting or ritual acrobatics or men wearing bull marks or whatever  possible historical events or Minoan rituals underlie the story about the Minotaur.

Minos ruler of Crete had a sacred bull allegedly fire breathing which had escaped and was ravaging farms and orchards tearing down fences damaging crops and reaking havoc.

Heracles managed to capture this bull and ship it to the mainland where it was turned loose.

I choose this particular vase painting cos the artists has given some thought to how one would actually catch a wild bull and take it alive without the modern benefits of tranquillizer darts or trained cattle dogs or horses trained to work with you while lassoing an animal. 

The end of the story suggests the mainlanders had better cattle herding skills.

The bull was driven across Greece and ended up in Attica probably siring calves on various herds of cows on the way.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Narrow Gate Matthew 7: 13 - 14

#gospel gospelofmatthew #biblestudy

Matthew Chapter 7 Verses 113 -14

First a literal translation.

Verse 13

into + enter compound verb thru the narrow gate for wide the gate and open the way away+leading compound verb into destruction and many are those who intogo thru it.

Note how Greek uses compound verbs where we might use prepositions in English. I have used OPEN to translate eurukhoora rather than easy because the word means wide open and I choose to stress the contrast between narrow and wide .

Leads the word used  in most English translations omits the sense of diversion of being diverted from the right path of the Greek verb apo+ago.

Verse 14

for narrow the gate and "pressing" the road leading into life
and few they are those who find it.

Greek uses a Perfect Passive participle tethlimmenee from the verb thliboo.

This isnt just press as if you are ironing or opening a door. Its oppressive distressing pressure!

There is legend that this is a reference to a gate at Jerusalem so narrow only one person at a time could use it so there's  humor and irony in this verse as well as a message.

Don't look for the easy path. Don't get diverted onto the wrong way.