Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Luke 5:10

"A fisherman you are, [and] a fisherman you will remain, but henceforth you
  • will capture [men alive]
  • restore life to men [(rendras la vie à des hommes)]."
     François Deltombe's rendition of the supposedly double sense of Lk 5:10 (ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν ἀνθρώπους ἔσῃ ζωγρῶν), in François Deltombe, O.P., "Désormais tu rendras la vie à des homes:  Luc, V, 10," Revue biblique 89, no. 4 (1982):  497 (492-497).
     Undoubtedly the commentaries (among the other tools I haven't bothered to check) cover and perhaps dispute this in detail, but BDAG (published in 2000) suggests not Deltombe's "third sense", but only "capture alive".  What is more, the Greek word index to Louw-Nida, the lexicon "based on semantic domains", covers only the occurrence in 2 Tim 2:26, and under the heading "Control, Restrain" ("'having been controlled by him to do his will'").  Unlike Kittel (TDNT) and Brown (NIDNTT), Spicq, in vol. 2 of his TLNT, includes an entry on ζωγρέω that gives for Lk 5:10 "keep a captive alive, be gracious and merciful to him, even restore him to life" (163), but of course antedates (or, rather, is roughly contemporary with) Deltombe.
     Deltombe is, for his part, quick to acknowledge that a few others before him had noted this potential "third sense", too, just e.g. Loisy, Hilgert, Wuellner, and Derett (497).
     Lk 5:10 as interpreted here in the light of the potential semantic range of ζωγρέω is meant to highlight a supposedly distinctively Lukan response to the concern raised by L. Grollenberg, who had observed that "A fisherman necessarily kills the fishes he catches.  Therefore, Jesus' symbolic description of the apostolic activities ('I will make you fishers of men' Mt., iv, 19 - Mc, I, 17), addressed to Simon and Andrew, could raise difficulties in a more logically thinking mind" (Tijd. Theol., V, 1965, pp. 330 s., as quoted on p. 493).

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