Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Why two different words for Jerusalem II?

My earlier article did not answer the question why Luke uses four instances of the Greek word Ἱεροσόλυμα, a form which Rodney Decker says represents the “Hellenized” form of Jerusalem. Likewise, my earlier article did not discuss the occurrence of this form in the Acts of the Apostles. My research has not provided a convincing answer.

I write today to suggest that Luke used the Book of Tobit, the Greek II version, as a source for his usage of the two forms of Jerusalem. I have earlier noted that “Long prayers appear in Ezra-Nehemiah, the books of Daniel, Judith, and Tobit, as well as pseudepigraphical works like Jubilees and Pseudo-Philo.” I have also noted that in the Septuagint, the form of righteousness that will provide a ransom for sins is almsgiving, the financial outpouring of compassion on the poor. The same association of a form of righteousness with almsgiving also appears in the Greek translation of Proverbs 15:27a and 20:28. Tobit and Sirach also make this association. The Greek translation of Daniel, Proverbs, Tobit and Sirach explicitly claim that almsgiving has the power to purge sin, to atone for and redeem iniquities. Thus it seems natural to investigate the Book of Tobit a source of the two forms of Jerusalem in one book.

In the first chapter of the Book of Tobit, Ἱεροσόλυμα alternates with Ἱερούσαλημ. Tobit seems to use the two words to contrast place where the rulers and priests function with the place where the people live.

For instance we read “But I alone went often to Jerusalem Ιεροσόλυμα at the feasts” in Tobit 1:6 while in verse 7 we read “The first tenth part of all increase I gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem ῾Ιερουσαλήμ.”

In Tobit 14:4, we read “and Jerusalem ῾Ιεροσόλυμα shall be desolate, and the house of God in it shall be burned, and shall be desolate for a time.”

I suspect the Book of Tobit may explain one of the four usage of Ἱεροσόλυμα in the Gospel of Luke but I am still thinking.

This is a work in progress.

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