New Testament Notes -- By: Henry Hayman
BSac 44:176 (Oct 1887) p. 725
New Testament Notes
I. St. Matt. 6:11, τὸνἄρτον… τὸν ἐπιούσιον, and so St. Luke 11:3. For the explanation of the difficult word ἐπιούσιον here, comp. Plato, Crito, § 2, οὐ τοίνυν τῆς ἐπιούσης ἡμέρας οἶμαι αὐτὸ (sc. τὸ πλοῖον) ἥξειν ἀλλὰ τῆς ἑτέρας. In this, since ἑτέρας must mean “next” or “other of two,” the only possible sense of ἐπιούσης is “the present (day).” And this is confirmed by the context just above § 1. For, when Crito comes to Socrates at the prison, the time is noted as being “peep of day” (ὄρθρος βαθύς). They fall into conversation and Crito says, “The vessel is not come in, but I think she will arrive to-day (τήμερον).” Socrates (§ 2) replies, “If the gods will, so be it; but I don’t think she will come to-day (τήμερον);” and proceeds with the sentence first quoted, using the phrase τῆς ἐπιούσης ἡμέρας. It is quite plain, then, that Socrates denies or doubts what Crito conjectures, and that τῆς ἐπ. ἡμ. must be=τήμερον just as τῆς ἑτέρας is—αὔριον. Thus τὸν ἐπιούσ., applied to ἄρτον, adjectivally, is=ἄρτον τῆς ἐπιούσης ἡμέρας. This leaves open the question, what the true etymology of ἐπιούσιος may be, save that it plainly points to the partic. ἐπιοῦσα (whether ἐπ᾿ἰοῦσα or ἐπὶ οὖσα) as furnishing the clue. I incline to ἐπ-ἰὼν= “passing over,” taking ἐ π᾿ in a static sense. This sense of ἐπιούσης, in Plato is different from that which prevails in the use of that participle as applied to time in Greek classic writers. Thus ἡ ᾿πιοῦσα λαμπὰς … θεοῦ., Med., 35...
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