Further On τοῦ πονηροῦ In The Lord’s Prayer -- By: Lemuel S. Potwin

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 048:192 (Oct 1891)
Article: Further On τοῦ πονηροῦ In The Lord’s Prayer
Author: Lemuel S. Potwin

Further On τοῦ πονηροῦ In The Lord’s Prayer

Professor Lemuel S. Potwin

A new edition of the book “On a Fresh Revision of the English New Testament,” issued by the Trustees of the Lightfoot Fund, renews the sense of loss to New Testament scholarship sustained in the death of Bishop Light-foot—a man great not only in learning and mental force, but great in candor and spiritual power. This third edition (1891) contains an additional Appendix “On the last petition of the Lord’s Prayer,” occupying fifty-five pages (269–323)—a reprint from the Guardian of Sept. 7th, 14th, and 21st, 1881. The author intended to revise these articles, but unrevised they probably come as near being an authoritative statement of the reasons of the Revisers for the rendering “Deliver us from the evil one” as will ever be given to the public. They furnish the occasion for adding a little to the discussion found on pages 332–339 of this volume of the Bibliotheca Sacra. For the sake of brevity I will number the points without trying to adjust them to each other. What is quoted from Bishop Lightfoot’s Appendix will be marked “L,” with the page following.

1. “ Ὁ πονηρός, the Evil One, is a common expression in the New Testament, and occurs three or four times as often as τὸ πονηρόν, the evil thing “(L. 280). Taking the author’s own examples, we find that this generalization, converted into its particulars, is this: The masculine is used seven times, and the neuter twice, and possibly four times more, for there are four examples doubtful (pp. 274, 275). I have given some reasons1 for transferring two of the seven,—which would make the numbering stand five to four,—but, letting all remain, what can we infer about the meaning of τοῖ πονηροῖ? Nothing; especially in view of the fact that the neuter κακόν is used constantly without important difference from πονηρόν . E. g. Rom. 12. has τὸ πονηρόν in the ninth verse, and τὸ κακόν in the twenty-first, both in opposition to τὸ ἀγαθόν. For some reason the masculine κακός is seldom used in the New Testament. Now, over against this completely indecisive counting of masculine and neuter, place the evidence that ὁ πονηρός was not, in the speech of the time,

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