What is the root form of "μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς"?

miasam

Member
serbian - serbia
I know Pope Francis suggested that in the Lord's Prayer the phrase "do not lead us (into tmeptation)" was not as accurate a translation as "do not let us fall" according to the Greek original, so I looked it up and saw that it read "μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς" but I can't seem to find the root form of the verb in order to see for myself what it really meant. Can ypu help me?

edit: Would it be something like εισενεγκω?
 
  • ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    the phrase "do not lead us (into tmeptation)" was not as accurate a translation

    The translation "do not lead us (into temptation)" is the literal and accurate one, but as this might generate the internal question “Is it possible that the God Himself may lead us into temptation by His own will?” which may probably be embarrassing or even incomprehensible for the faithful, the Pope, following other earlier and also modern translations by theologians, suggested as well this softened translation implying that the people aware of their weakness for possibly committing a sin are begging the God not to let them fall into temptation.

    Note that the verb εἰσφέρω (literally εἰσ (in/into) and φέρω (bring/carry) means bring/carry (something/someone) in/into, as Perseas kindly referred you to the Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon. Unfortunately, we do not know what the original words of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic were, but the Greek Hellenistic text given by Evangelist Matthew is the one we refer to; and this is it. Note also the Latin (from the Greek) translation: “Et ne nos inducas in tentationem”.

    I hope this helped a bit explain some points.
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    ... Unfortunately, we do not know what the original words of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic were, but the Greek Hellenistic text given by Evangelist Matthew is the one we refer to; and this is it. Note also the Latin (from the Greek) translation: “Et ne nos inducas in tentationem”.

    Who said that the prayer was first written in Aramaic?
     

    miasam

    Member
    serbian - serbia
    sotos - because historians suggest Jesus must have spoken in Aramaic.
    ioanell, thank you for the detailed explanataion! I did a little etymological research on some translations of the prayer and I found that there is actually nothing wrong with the word temptation as it originally meant to try, test: From Latin temptare "to feel, try out, attempt to influence, test," a variant of tentare "handle, touch, try, test." which corresponds to the Slavonic word used: искушение /iskushéniye/ as it derives from the root кус /kus/ meaning to "try, test, taste" ("вкус" means taste in modern Slavic laguages, "изкусен" - skillful, trained). And we all know there are many cases in the Bible of God testing people's faith. Clearly, the original meaning that was put into this prayer was for God to not put his children to the test, precisely because of their awareness of their own weakness that you mention, which would surely make them fail it. Ergo, there shouldn't be any problem to use the word "lead" in a sense of "put through".
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Πειρασμός comes from the verb πειράζω, which is found several times in the gospels (e.g. Mat. 22, 18), with the sense "annoy, tease, harass etc".

    As for the language of Jesus, there are scholars who believe that Jesus (and some apostles) had some Greek education, as most ot the Jews of his time. Even in the temple there were inscriptions with instructions in Greek, for the Jews who didn't know other language (Josephus).
     

    miasam

    Member
    serbian - serbia
    Πειρασμός comes from the verb πειράζω, which is found several times in the gospels (e.g. Mat. 22, 18), with the sense "annoy, tease, harass etc".
    It must have come to mean that after some time just like the Latin and Slavonic words, but it seems that the original meaning was precisely "to test":
    Etymology: From πεῖρα (peîra, “trial, attempt”) +‎ -άζω (-ázō)
    πειραζω - to make proof or trial. - πειράζω - Wiktionary
    As to Jesus' language - I've heard of that theory too, but honestly I'm more interested in the language in which the available texts were written, so it wouldn't make much difference to me even if Jesus spoke Tamil ;)
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Who said that the prayer was first written in Aramaic?

    In my post #6 above you can see I did not say such thing, as no written Aramaic version of the Lord’s Prayer had been before, but the first version to be written was written directly in the Koine Greek by Apostle and Evangelist Matthew. I only spoke about the oral words of the Prayer of Jesus in Aramaic, His mother tongue, the language which, as the majority of the scholars (linguists, philologists, archaeologists and historians) believes, He most probably used both in His public ministry and when speaking to His disciples. The Aramaic version of the prayer, as all translations in other languages, is a later translation based on the original Greek text by Matthew.

    As for the language of Jesus, there are scholars who believe that Jesus (and some apostles) had some Greek education


    This is true as all these places of the Roman Empire had already known and been influenced by the Greek culture and Greek was the international language of the time. It is known that Jesus could speak Greek as He really did on occasion, but, even though “Jesus (and some apostles) had some Greek education”, it would be quite improbable that a Jewish Master teaching his disciples (some of whom with no or very poor educational background) how to pray would use another language (i.e. the international Greek) instead of their mother tongue.
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    it would be quite improbable that a Jewish Master teaching his disciples (some of whom with no or very poor educational background) how to pray would use another language (i.e. the international Greek) instead of their mother tongue.
    But nobody believes that Mathew himself wrote down the exact words of Jesus. Most experts believe that the gospel was written by a greek speaker in Antioch, probably for the greek-speaking christians of the Decapolis.
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Moderator's note: Please keep this discussion focused on the opening question and not the language Jesus spoke or the language in which the Lord's prayer was first uttered. These matters are beyond the scope of the Greek forum.
    Subsequent posts on the subject will be deleted.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings all.

    May I enter my tuppence-worth? I have two observations. First, to me, εἰσενέγκειν does not have quite the same range of meanings as Latin inducere. In the context, it is more like 'do not set us before temptation', 'do not expose us...' to it.



    Σ

    Moderator's note: Part dealing with suppositions concerning another language was deleted.
     
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    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Moderator's post.
    I do not want to close the thread. Please refrain from sleuthing. The question is the meaning/root form of the Greek word.
    It's possible meaning theologically and/or the possible Aramaic it may or may not have been a translation of do NOT have a place in the Greek forum.
     

    AmericanAbroad

    New Member
    english
    εἰσενέγκω: 1st person singular, subjunctive, aorist
    εἰσενέγκῃς: 2nd person singular, subjunctive, aorist

    The verb in the indicative form of present, 1st person, is εἰσφέρω.
    etymologically speaking, i do not see how you get from εισφερω to εισενεγκω. you may get there as a matter of usage, but the linguistic root of those two words differs. there isn't any phonetic evolution that possibly gets you from one to the other. linguistically speaking you make posit that, well, as a matter of usage, the two words mean the same thing. but philologically speaking, surely the differing roots for these two words introduces at least nuances of differing meaning, doesn't it? what surprises me is Pope Francis' focus on this word in his search for a more acceptable translation of the whole phrase. surely the key word is πειρασμον and not εισενεγκησ. Whether you are praying not to be led into or fall into or put in a position of having to face something, the troublesome aspect is not the fact that you are being led into anything by God, which is more or less routine, but rather precisely what is for some difficult to accept: the unpleasant nature of just what it is that God would be allowing or leading you into. would it be correct to say that πειρασμοσ would be an accurate word to describe, for example, the terrible things which God led Job to experience in the Book of Job? terrible trials, rather than "temptation"...?
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    χαίρετ᾽ ὦριστοι

    As a native English speaker, I believe I understand AmericanAbroad's perplexity in his most recent post, on two points.

    First, yes of course the aorist stem ένεγκ- is etymologically unrelated to the present φερ-. Quite a number of common classical and koiné verbs exhibit stems that vary so from tense to tense (another common example is ὁρᾶν 'to see', the aorist of which is based on the stem εἰδ- from the hypothetical present *(ϝ)εἰδ-, which is not found in the classical language). Comparable in English is the verb 'to go', which 'borrows' its preterite 'went' from the rare (though still usable) 'to wend'.

    Secondly, yes, πειρασμός can mean 'test' or 'trial'—as can the Vulgate's Latin tentationem—and the parallel with the 'trials and tribulations' to which Job is exposed is apt. And in that respect (as one modern translation of the Lord's Prayer has it), 'Do not bring us to the time of trial' is not a bad rendering. Actually it's better than 'Do not let us fall'.

    Σ
     
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    AmericanAbroad

    New Member
    english
    χαίρετ᾽ ὦριστοι

    As a native English speaker, I believe I understand AmericanAbroad's perplexity in his most recent post, on two points.

    First, yes of course the aorist stem ένεγκ- is etymologically unrelated to the present φερ-. Quite a number of common classical and koiné verbs exhibit stems that vary so from tense to tense (another common example is ὁρᾶν 'to see', the aorist of which is based on the stem εἰδ- from the hypothetical present *(ϝ)εἰδ-, which is not found in the classical language). Comparable in English is the verb 'to go', which 'borrows' its preterite 'went' from the rare (though still usable) 'to wend'.

    Secondly, yes, πειρασμός can mean 'test' or 'trial'—as can the Vulgate's Latin tentationem—and the parallel with the 'trials and tribulations' to which Job is exposed is apt. And in that respect (as one modern translation of the Lord's Prayer has it), 'Do not bring us to the time of trial' is not a bad rendering. Actually it's better than 'Do not let us fall'.

    Σ
    The interesting etymological question here, for me, is to what extent the different linguistic roots of εισφερω and εισενεγκω have a different nuance in their meaning. My own experience with classical Greek is that the further back you go, to the archaic period, the richer the meaning of words seems to be. (I have a master's degree in classical studies from Stanford University, so I'm not exactly a babe in the woods on the subject...) I haven't managed to access the full Liddell and Scott on line (supposedly you can do so at the University of Chicago but I keep ending up on a non functional page when I try to use it there), so I'm not able to go further myself with looking at what exactly are the roots of those two words and how they may differ in meaning. But for me the question of the meaning of εισενεγkησ here really isn't resolved until any differing nuances between εισφερω and εισενεγκω is resolved. Isn't that really part of the point of philology, to determine how the origins of a word contribute to its meaning? I just don't think it's enough to note, in a mechanical, oh, this was the usage of the time, particularly not when we are looking at a sacred text where the resonance of each word has more than the meaning of everyday usage... Would you care to look at the roots of the two different words and comment on any such difference in the core meaning of the original root? You may well be better equipped than I am to do so!
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Hi,
    the linguistic root of those two words differs. there isn't any phonetic evolution that possibly gets you from one to the other.
    You are right, this is true, but no one claimed that the linguistic root of these two words is etymologically the same or similar. The matter is, as Scholiast put it, that “…a number of common classical and koiné verbs exhibit stems that vary so from tense to tense…”. As it happens with other verbs too, due to inexplicable phonological reasons, the verb (εἰσ-) φέρω is elliptical; so, in order to form all tenses, it borrowed semantically cognate stems, either from another (*hypothetical / unattested in the present tense or in the infinitive) verb or a stem which doesn’t seem to form any tense, but seems to derive from an I.E. root. The resulting from different stems tenses don’t seem to have any differing meaning (or nuance of meaning) in AG literature and the same applies to their use in the Septuagint and the New Testament texts. As you may know, in our example εἰσ-φέρω is present indicative and εἰσ-ενέγκω [-ῃς, -ῃ] is aorist (=preterite) subjunctive, and as such it refers to a specific occasion in the future.
    Please be informed that the Liddell and Scott Lexicon, although most excellent and unsurpassed, does not contain etymological explanations. Such explanations can be found, among others, in Robert Beekes’ very good “Etymological Dictionary of Greek”.

    Would you care to look at the roots of the two different words and comment on any such difference in the core meaning of the original root?
    φέρ-ω [<IE *bher- 'bear, carry'] / ἐνέγκ- [< with Attic reduplication ἐν-εγκ- < εγκ- < ενκ- < ενεκ < IE *h,nek- 'bring' ]

    As can be seen, no difference in the core meaning of the two original roots can be ascertained.
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In reference with the theological interpretation of the phrase “μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν” (στην Καινή Διαθήκη, πειρασμός, ὁ (<πειράζω) = δοκιμασία, πειρασμός / N.B. both Latin versions “tentatio” and “temptatio” bear two meanings, that of “trial=δοκιμασία, difficulty, tribulation” and that of “temptation=πειρασμός, the desire for doing something, especially wrong or unwise”)

    πειρασμός can mean 'test' or 'trial'—as can the Vulgate's Latin tentationem—and the parallel with the 'trials and tribulations' to which Job is exposed is apt. And in that respect (as one modern translation of the Lord's Prayer has it), 'Do not bring us to the time of trial' is not a bad rendering. Actually it's better than 'Do not let us fall'.

    IMO, that could be a possible and apt interpretation, but one should take into account the immediately following final request of the Christian “ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.= but deliver / save us from the Evil”.
    Given that “the evil” comes from the Devil, what might be his most probable attempt, to throw us into just inexplicable difficulties and tribulations or to instill into us the desire for doing wrong and unwise actions ? Or the Christian is asking God’s protection from the Evil in order not to do foolish actions that might provoke God’s allowance for their trials? That’s a question whether to choose “trial” or “temptation”, the latter being the word that most translations have adopted through the ages worldwide . Theological matters which perhaps go beyond the scope of this thread.
     

    AmericanAbroad

    New Member
    english
    Hi,

    You are right, this is true, but no one claimed that the linguistic root of these two words is etymologically the same or similar. The matter is, as Scholiast put it, that “…a number of common classical and koiné verbs exhibit stems that vary so from tense to tense…”. As it happens with other verbs too, due to inexplicable phonological reasons, the verb (εἰσ-) φέρω is elliptical; so, in order to form all tenses, it borrowed semantically cognate stems, either from another (*hypothetical / unattested in the present tense or in the infinitive) verb or a stem which doesn’t seem to form any tense, but seems to derive from an I.E. root. The resulting from different stems tenses don’t seem to have any differing meaning (or nuance of meaning) in AG literature and the same applies to their use in the Septuagint and the New Testament texts. As you may know, in our example εἰσ-φέρω is present indicative and εἰσ-ενέγκω [-ῃς, -ῃ] is aorist (=preterite) subjunctive, and as such it refers to a specific occasion in the future.
    Please be informed that the Liddell and Scott Lexicon, although most excellent and unsurpassed, does not contain etymological explanations. Such explanations can be found, among others, in Robert Beekes’ very good “Etymological Dictionary of Greek”.


    φέρ-ω [<IE *bher- 'bear, carry'] / ἐνέγκ- [< with Attic reduplication ἐν-εγκ- < εγκ- < ενκ- < ενεκ < IE *h,nek- 'bring' ]

    As can be seen, no difference in the core meaning of the two original roots can be ascertained.
    I'm sorry, but you just contradicted yourself. You indicate that the words φέρ-ω and ἐνέγκ- mean two different things. The first means "to carry" the second means "to bring". Then you say, that no difference in the core meaning of the two original roots can be ascertained. "Carry" is NOT the same thing as "Bring". "Carry" means simply to be in the situation in which you possess something, you bear it. "Bring" means deliberately transport something to a specific destination. One is just a generalized verb, you can be carrying something and not "bringing" it to any place or anyone, you can be carrying something, in fact, involuntarily. But "bring" implies a specific intention and it implies volition. And you contend that there is "no difference" in those two meanings? Obviously there is a difference. I don't think you're exercising any kind of determined intellectual or philological inquiry at all here. I don't understand why you would refuse to think this through, but that's what you're doing. And when it comes to analyzing the meaning of sacred scripture, I don't think that's ok.
     

    Apollodorus

    Member
    English UK
    May I ask what link you guys are using for LSJ? When I search for “εἰσενέγκω” there is no results and it says “Ask at the forum [translatum.gr] if you have an Ancient or Modern Greek query!”

    From the dictionary explanation of εἰσφέρω (at perseus.tufts.edu), it looks like “do not lead us into temptation” is the correct meaning of the sentence.

    The way I see it, since God/Θεός in Christian tradition is omnipotent (παντοδύναμος) and ruler of everything (παντοκράτωρας) he could, in theory, lead us into temptation should he for whatever reason choose to do so. However, what I think is meant here is that we are really led into temptation by the Devil. And God, as the supreme authority and ruler over all things, is asked not to allow the Devil to tempt us but save us from Evil.

    I don’t think Pope Francis should be in the business of interpreting Scripture for us when there is no need for it. But that's just my opinion.
     

    AmericanAbroad

    New Member
    english
    May I ask what link you guys are using for LSJ? When I search for “εἰσενέγκω” there is no results and it says “Ask at the forum [translatum.gr] if you have an Ancient or Modern Greek query!”

    From the dictionary explanation of εἰσφέρω (at perseus.tufts.edu), it looks like “do not lead us into temptation” is the correct meaning of the sentence.

    The way I see it, since God/Θεός in Christian tradition is omnipotent (παντοδύναμος) and ruler of everything (παντοκράτωρας) he could, in theory, lead us into temptation should he for whatever reason choose to do so. However, what I think is meant here is that we are really led into temptation by the Devil. And God, as the supreme authority and ruler over all things, is asked not to allow the Devil to tempt us but save us from Evil.

    I don’t think Pope Francis should be in the business of interpreting Scripture for us when there is no need for it. But that's just my opinion.
    You're assuming something which somebody already disproved, which is that the root meaning of εἰσενέγκω and εἰσφέρω is the same thing. It isn't. One means "to bring" and the other just means "to carry". The extended mythology (or superstition) about the devil and temptation may be interesting from the point of view of theology (although it has been bandied about so much it is nothing new) but it is hard to see how it contributes to an understanding of what the very words mean here. I start from the assumption that, given the prolific ability for communication by Jesus Christ which is demonstrated throughout the four gospels, if Jesus had WANTED to tell his disciples to pray that God the Father would not lead them into being tempted by the Devil---well, he was perfect capable of SAYING SO. He didn't. It isn't a question of anyone's opinion. The question is, what did he actually say and what did those words mean. All the rest, all of it, is a distraction from the answer to that simple question. I suspect the key to truly understanding the passage lies in the original root meaning of ενέγκω, which means, "to bring", that is to deliberately, intentionally carry something with the goal of having it arrive in a specific place. If you bear that in mind, and how that would be different from just carrying something to someplace without necessarily intending to reach that particular place, then the prayer would, in effect, asking God the Father not to DELIBERATELY PUT US INTO TRIALS. That is a very specific prayer. It is not a prayer to just not have to live through any trials at all, nor it is a prayer to God the Father not to ALLOW any such trials to befall us. No, it would be a very focused prayer to 1. not DELIBERATELY put us into trials, and then 2, instead, do the opposite, DELIVER US from evil. If you focus closely on the actual words, and their core meanings, that's what you come up with. And, since you can and do arrive at this simple, powerful meaning by focusing on the words themselves, then you just apply Occam's razor to cut away any of the more elaborate riffs produced by two millenia of inferior minds and souls---because, honestly, any and all of those theologians who came afterwards would be the first to admit that their minds and souls were inferior to that of Jesus Christ---as unneeded complications.
     
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    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings all

    A clarification. 'Devil' > classical Greek/koiné διάβολος, meaning 'accuser'/'slanderer'. That is litigious terminology, as are πειρασμός and δοκιμασία, and Rabbinic literature is rich in juridical disputation. It would call for an Hebraist rather than a classical scholar to speculate on what Christ's precise (Aramaic) words to His disciples were, but no doubt this reconstruction has been attempted.

    Σ
     

    Apollodorus

    Member
    English UK
    No, it would be a very focused prayer to 1. not DELIBERATELY put us into trials, and then 2, instead, do the opposite, DELIVER US from evil.

    I'm prepared to accept that. It is certainly consonant with the belief in God as the supreme authority and as I said, God could do that to us should he choose to. But taking the verb "μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς" to mean "do not lead us" does not really change that, does it? What I'm saying is the original root doesn't really matter if that's how the verb was used in the 1st century, does it?
     

    Apollodorus

    Member
    English UK
    It would call for an Hebraist rather than a classical scholar to speculate on what Christ's precise (Aramaic) words to His disciples were, but no doubt this reconstruction has been attempted.

    Σ

    Unfortunately, no Aramaic version exists. I don't mean to incur the wrath of the moderators, but G. Scott Gleaves in "Did Jesus Speak Greek?" (2015), Chapter 4, deals extensively, and I believe convincingly, with this matter.

    At the end of the day, speculating on an "Aramaic original" in the total absence of material evidence, doesn't get us anywhere. We need to work with the (Greek) materials we have, not with what we would like to have.
     

    AmericanAbroad

    New Member
    english
    I'm prepared to accept that. It is certainly consonant with the belief in God as the supreme authority and as I said, God could do that to us should he choose to. But taking the verb "μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς" to mean "do not lead us" does not really change that, does it? What I'm saying is the original root doesn't really matter if that's how the verb was used in the 1st century, does it?
    Actually, if we hold to the meaning of the original root of εἰσενέγκῃς it would be "bring us not" rather than "lead us not". Is there a difference between those two meanings? Well, yes. To be led somewhere, you have to follow. But someone can bring you somewhere without your necessarily "following" them. So "bring us not into trials" would imply asking God not to deliberately get us into trials without our necessarily going along with what God is doing, whereas "lead us not into trials" could imply something like praying to God not to MISlead us, getting us to willingly follow his lead into situations we would not want to end up in. So, once again, hewing to the meaning of the original root of the word, BRING, helps to maintain a powerful simplicity and helps to avoid a lot of complicated thinking which would seem to be out of place in a simple prayer which Jesus is giving to his disciples as presumably the best prayer to say. The question you raise, does the original root of the word matter with respect to common usage---well, that is precisely the question. In this case, as I've just discussed, sticking to the original meaning of the root helps to keep the meaning of the phrase simple and coherent (and free of a lot of after the fact millenia of theological baggage)... But, I must admit, someone could reasonably argue that, no, in common usage people do not retain any trace of the original meaning of the word. But then, if you do that, then what is the point of philology at all, in the sense of studying the evolution of the meaning of words in historic context?
     

    Apollodorus

    Member
    English UK
    Actually, if we hold to the meaning of the original root of εἰσενέγκῃς it would be "bring us not" rather than "lead us not". Is there a difference between those two meanings? Well, yes. To be led somewhere, you have to follow.

    That's where I would disagree. We shouldn't read too much into "lead".

    I've no idea how God might "bring" us to temptation. Perhaps by carrying us or pushing us?

    In contrast, "lead" can have a variety of meanings or possible interpretations, at least theoretically.

    For example, how do we lead a horse to water? Surely, not by walking ahead and waiting for the horse to follow (although this is also possible). Assuming that we have dismounted, we take the horse by the bridle or rains and lead, take or bring it to water.

    An animal meant to be sacrificed would be "led" to the altar or place of sacrifice in the same way.

    In this case, "lead" would be virtually identical to "bring".

    If the Greek verb in 1st-century usage doesn't categorically exclude this interpretation, this would seem to solve the problem.
     

    AmericanAbroad

    New Member
    english
    That's where I would disagree. We shouldn't read too much into "lead".

    I've no idea how God might "bring" us to temptation. Perhaps by carrying us or pushing us?

    In contrast, "lead" can have a variety of meanings or possible interpretations, at least theoretically.

    For example, how do we lead a horse to water? Surely, not by walking ahead and waiting for the horse to follow (although this is also possible). Assuming that we have dismounted, we take the horse by the bridle or rains and lead, take or bring it to water.

    An animal meant to be sacrificed would be "led" to the altar or place of sacrifice in the same way.

    In this case, "lead" would be virtually identical to "bring".

    If the Greek verb in 1st-century usage doesn't categorically exclude this interpretation, this would seem to solve the problem.
    You're assuming that Πειρασμός means "temptation", but that begs the question. The question is whether it means temptation or trial. In order for "temptation" to be the right meaning, you're obliged to import all that later theologizing by lesser minds than Jesus' about the devil. And there's no justification, in the language itself, for doing so. How would God "bring" people to a trial, well, obviously, by setting up circumstances which have that result, by so ordering a chain of events that people end up enduring trials? That's very different from how you would "lead" someone to do something, which inevitably implies some degree of "following" or volition by the people being led. I don't know why you think that the root meanings of words are less relevant to their usage than analogies about animals---but there is nothing in this passage to suggest that Christ is making any analogy between people and horses. He could have done so; in other places he talks about his followers as sheep. But, once again, he didn't do so. Instead, he expressed himself in a way which led the writers of the gospels to use the word which originally meant "to bring" in this ideal prayer. To me, that's more etymologically deterlminative than uncalled for analogies to animals and how we relate to them...
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    "Carry" means simply to be in the situation in which you possess something, you bear it. "Bring" means deliberately transport something to a specific destination. One is just a generalized verb, you can be carrying something and not "bringing" it to any place or anyone, you can be carrying something, in fact, involuntarily. But "bring" implies a specific intention and it implies volition.
    In # 19 above we explained what the matter with the Ancient Greek elliptical verbs is and responding to your request we gladly offered to quote the relevant roots with their meanings. Contradicting my comment, you quoted in # 21 the meanings of the verbs “carry” and “bring”, which, of course, I am aware of; but these are just part of the total meanings given by the dictionaries. As I can see in the Oxford (Advanced) Learner’s Dictionary, the first meaning for “carry” is: to support the weight of somebody/something and take them or it from place to place; to take somebody/something (that is “bring them/it”, the parenthesis is mine) from one place to another, e.g. a train carrying commuters to work, a definition which in my opinion disproves your exclusive definition, as the train is not in a situation in which it possesses something. In another dictionary, the Lexico.com, I read the first definition for “carry” as Support and move (someone or something) from one place to another, and the example “medics were carrying a wounded man on a stretcher”. I guess you agree that the medics weren’t possessing (=bearing) the wounded man and with a specific intention were voluntarily “bringing” the wounded man to a specific destination, the hospital.

    But, even if we accept that I wrongfully rendered the root meanings in English, the matter is that in AG literature as well as in the Septuagint and the New Testament texts there is no difference in meaning between the two roots (there is also a third one for the future tense) of the verb φέρω, regardless of the tense and the mood in which it is used. So, if your point is to interpret theologically the "Lord's Prayer", I don't think the roots could offer you any specific help, given that the matter of their meaning is something resolved which the centuries have accepted so far. I respect your statement that you are not "a babe in the woods on the subject", as you said earlier in # 18; therefore, (apart from simply contradicting my comment above in # 19) if you have something specific to say and suggest in reference with εισφέρω and εισενέγκω, something which would really enlighten the forum, please do so instead of your saying that I am “not exercising any kind of determined intellectual or philological inquiry at all here”. And as long as you are exercising a determined intellectual and philological inquiry here, it would be helpful to me / us and we 'd be glad to hear / read your (not theological, but linguistic) suggestions on the matter.
     

    AmericanAbroad

    New Member
    english
    In # 19 above we explained what the matter with the Ancient Greek elliptical verbs is and responding to your request we gladly offered to quote the relevant roots with their meanings. Contradicting my comment, you quoted in # 21 the meanings of the verbs “carry” and “bring”, which, of course, I am aware of; but these are just part of the total meanings given by the dictionaries. As I can see in the Oxford (Advanced) Learner’s Dictionary, the first meaning for “carry” is: to support the weight of somebody/something and take them or it from place to place; to take somebody/something (that is “bring them/it”, the parenthesis is mine) from one place to another, e.g. a train carrying commuters to work, a definition which in my opinion disproves your exclusive definition, as the train is not in a situation in which it possesses something. In another dictionary, the Lexico.com, I read the first definition for “carry” as Support and move (someone or something) from one place to another, and the example “medics were carrying a wounded man on a stretcher”. I guess you agree that the medics weren’t possessing (=bearing) the wounded man and with a specific intention were voluntarily “bringing” the wounded man to a specific destination, the hospital.

    But, even if we accept that I wrongfully rendered the root meanings in English, the matter is that in AG literature as well as in the Septuagint and the New Testament texts there is no difference in meaning between the two roots (there is also a third one for the future tense) of the verb φέρω, regardless of the tense and the mood in which it is used. So, if your point is to interpret theologically the "Lord's Prayer", I don't think the roots could offer you any specific help, given that the matter of their meaning is something resolved which the centuries have accepted so far. I respect your statement that you are not "a babe in the woods on the subject", as you said earlier in # 18; therefore, (apart from simply contradicting my comment above in # 19) if you have something specific to say and suggest in reference with εισφέρω and εισενέγκω, something which would really enlighten the forum, please do so instead of your saying that I am “not exercising any kind of determined intellectual or philological inquiry at all here”. And as long as you are exercising a determined intellectual and philological inquiry here, it would be helpful to me / us and we 'd be glad to hear / read your (not theological, but linguistic) suggestions on the matter.
    Well, you're missing the point about intentionality. But let me make sure this discussion stays on the point of the initial question, and the best way to answer it. The initial question in this thread is what is the meaning of εἰσενέγκῃς, which is often translated in English as "lead". You pointed out that the root meaning of that word is "to bring". This is relevant to parsing the text, if the root meaning of the word is at all resonant in its usage in the 1st century a.d., because there is a big difference between "leading" someone and "bringing" someone. The difference is not in the intention of the person doing the leading or bringing, which is all your latest post focuses on. No, the critical difference is in the intention of the person being LED or BROUGHT to something. Ordinarily, we talk about people FOLLOWING a leader, i.e. the person being led in some way shares the intention of the leader. The leader somehow persuades the follower to go along. I do not think the same shared intention is there with respect to BRINGING. You can bring a dead object somewhere, and when you do it has in no way consented or shared the intention of being brought. You can not LEAD a dead object somewhere. So there is this difference of meaning between leading and bringing someone/something somewhere. Thus, the root meaning of the word εἰσενέγκῃς is highly relevant to the determination of whether it is correct to translate this passage as "lead" us not into something rather than "do not bring us" into something. Is it a prayer to almighty God not to lead us, with some willingness on our part as to follow him, into something? Or is it a prayer to almighty God not to bring us into a situation, not necessarily with any willingness or even awareness on our part? Given the fact that the root meaning of the word used here is "to bring", I would opt for the latter interpretation. You dismiss that suggestion because you don't think the root meaning of the word εἰσενέγκῃς left any resonance or trace in the choice and use of that word in sacred scripture. I think that is the choice which our opposing posts on this subject leaves to the person who originally asked the question: what does εἰσενέγκῃς mean here, do not lead us into something or do not bring us into something. I would just add that I have been thoroughly enjoying puttsing around here on this board having this kind of discussion. Takes me back to my days as a young classicist but it also resonantes with my love of the gospels as sacred scripture whose wisdom dwarfs that of the churchmen who have spent two millenia exercising inferior intellects upon it...
     

    Apollodorus

    Member
    English UK
    I don't know why you think that the root meanings of words are less relevant to their usage than analogies about animals---but there is nothing in this passage to suggest that Christ is making any analogy between people and horses. He could have done so; in other places he talks about his followers as sheep. But, once again, he didn't do so.

    The OED definition of English “lead” is “to bring or take (a person or animal) to a place” which is virtually identical in meaning to “bring”.

    Therefore, I believe that my illustration was legitimate and not conjured up out of thin air.

    The German translation (Martin Luther) also has “führen” (“führe uns nicht”) which has the same meaning as English “lead”.

    The Greek original may well have had a slightly different meaning, but the problem seems to arise from your insistence on interpreting English “lead” in a way that sets it at excessively great variance to “bring”.

    The solution I would suggest is to use the Lord’s Prayer in the original Greek (as I tend to do) and give it your preferred meaning in your thought, without worrying about the exact English translation. After all, prayer has to be experienced with the heart and soul.

    By saying it in Greek you kill two birds with one stone: you connect yourself with the original tradition and get rid of your linguistic doubt, particularly since you've already decided on the theological aspect of it.
     
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    Apollodorus

    Member
    English UK
    Concerning the Greek original “εισφέρω”/"bring", it may be noted that in addition to "carry", English "bring" may also be used in the sense of "cause to" and this seems to be borne out by the historical evidence.

    In Hebrew texts we find the following:

    “Bring me not into sin, or into iniquity or into temptation. And may the good inclination have sway over me” - Talmud, Berakot 605, Str-B 1:4

    This becomes even more clear in older texts:

    “Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works” - OT Psalm 141:4

    And if we look at the wider cultural context in the region, we find similar prayers in Egyptian texts in which the god or gods are implored not to cause something evil to befall the supplicant but to ensure his salvation:

    “Give thou me not over to the Slaughterer […] Let me live […] O Lord of the Gods!”

    - Papyrus of Nu, British Museum, No. 10477, Sheet 18

    In fact, supplications of this type occur very frequently in Egyptian texts which were placed in coffins to accompany the deceased and obviously belong to the common religious culture in the region. We also know that the Hebrews dwelt in Egypt and that even Jesus is said to have been to Egypt, presumably among the Jewish communities there.

    Given that the connotations “allow”, “arrange circumstances leading to” etc. do not seem to be borne out by the context in the examples given above, it seems reasonable to assume that “bring” in the Gospel text is meant in the sense of either (1) "carry" i.e. "take hold of and bring to" or (2) “cause to”, which is also one of the meanings of English “bring”: “do not cause me to sin”, “do not cause my heart to do evil”, and, even more directly and unambiguously as in the Egyptian example, “do not give me over to Death, but deliver me from Sin/Death”.

    I think it is essential to bear in mind in this context that Jesus was addressing not only Jews but also Pagans (Greeks, Egyptians, Arabs, etc.) for whom the prayer as interpreted above would have made perfect sense.

    In contrast, the MG version “μη μας αφήσεις να πέσουμε σε πειρασμο”, gives the text a “politically correct” twist that may be alright for 21st-century sensibilities but does not seem to accurately reflect the original. If anything, it illustrates what tends to happen when we try to “modernise” scripture under the influence of Western European “enlightenment”. And Pope Francis seems to follow in the same liberal-relativistic direction.
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    ήνεγκον, subjunctive ενέγκω, is simply the aorist of φέρω. The perfect, ενήνοχα, comes from the same root. The future is οίσω!
    As already pointed out, it is not unheard of for a Greek verb to form its various tenses from totally different roots. Ὁρῶ, to see, formed its future and one of its perfects from the root οπ- (όψομαι, όπωπα) and its aorist from the root Fιδ- (εῖδον). In modern Greek, the aorist of λέω, τρώω, βλέπω is έφαγα, είπα, είδα. And there is no semantic difference between the forms derived from one one root and those derived from the other.
    Now, however, there is of course a semantic difference between present and aorist forms, quite apart from the fact that the aorist indicative is a past tense: the present stem indicates an ongoing or regularly repeated process, or a state (imperfective aspect), while the aorist stem indicates a process that occurred and reached its (intended or unintended) end or a state that also came to an end. Εξεστι χοιρείου κρέατος εσθίειν means "it is permitted to eat pork" as a rule, one may eat pork whenever one wishes; έξεστι χοιρείου κρέατος φαγεῖν means "on this particular occasion, one may eat pork". The same distinction exists in modern Greek, perhaps even more markedly than in the ancient language. Now, "to bear" or "to carry" signifies a state = "to have something on one's body", while "to bring" means to take the carrying to its intended end, to cause something to be where we want it to be. In that sense, the present stem φέρω corresponds to its cognate "bear" and its synonym "carry", while the aorist ήνεγκον is closer to "bring". [Incidentally, in modern Greek φέρω has become φέρνω, with a regularized aorist έφερα, and means 'bring' rather than 'carry'.]
    This is, however, simply a consequence of the present being imperfective and the aorist perfective. There is little point in seeking to discern a difference in meaning between the stems φέρω, οίσω, and ήνεγκον.
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    On the other hand, it should be noted that in the Greek text of the Lord's prayer, all requests are expressed in the aorist imperative. The Christian seems to be asking, not that God's name always be hallowed (=that people constantly treat it as holy by their reverence and conduct), which would be ἁγιαζέσθω, but that it be sanctified once (ἁγιασθήτω), probably when his Kingdom comes (which will, of course, only happen once and for all); that God's will be done once (γενηθήτω), not constantly (which would be γινέσθω); etc. One explanation is that the prayer in fact calls for the Advent of the Kingdom of God, when his name will be hallowed once and for all, his will will definitely prevail, etc. -- and that in the end the Christian asks to be spared that time of trial and be preserved from the Evil One's designs, who will of course do what he can to fight God.
    That is definitely not the prevailing interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, but I don't see how else one can explain the systematic use of the aorist subjunctive in the requests.
     
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    Apollodorus

    Member
    English UK
    One explanation is that the prayer in fact calls for the Advent of the Kingdom of God, when his name will be hallowed once and for all, his will will definitely prevail, etc. -- and that in the end the Christian asks to be spared that time of trial and be preserved from the Evil One's designs, who will of course do what he can to fight God.
    That is definitely not the prevailing interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, but I don't see how else one can explain the systematic use of the aorist subjunctive in the trequaests.

    And this explanation seems to be consistent both with the aorist subjunctive and with the (older) Hebrew and Egyptian texts.

    Maybe we're on the right track there : )
     
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