Saturday, December 1, 2007

The BAGD book of jokes?

Okay, maybe not quite; but I was reading in Luke 18, and saw BAGD's note on verse 5:
διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον τὴν χήραν ταύτην ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν, ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με.
Particularly, the entry on ὑπωπιάζω. To wit:
ὑπωπιάζω (on the v.l. ὑποπιάζειν s. W-S. §5, 19 note, end; Mlt-H. 75) (‘strike under the eye, give a black eye to’ Aristot., Rhet. 3, 11, 15, 1413a, 20; TestSol 2:4 D [ὑποπ.]; Plut., Mor. 921f; Diog. L. 6, 89)

1. to blacken an eye, give a black eye, strike in the face lit. τινά someone, of a woman who is driven to desperation and who the judge in the story thinks might in the end express herself physically ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με so that she might not finally come and blacken my eye Lk 18:5. Hyperbole is stock-in-trade of popular storytelling. Some prefer to understand ὑπ. in this pass. in sense

2. to bring someone to submission by constant annoyance, wear down, fig. ext. of 1 (s. L-S-J-M s.v. II, NRSV, REB, et al.). In this interp. ὑπ. in Lk 18:5 has its meaning determined by εἰς τέλος. But in such case the denouement lacks punch, for the judge has already been worn down and wants nothing added to the κόπος that he has already endured. A more appropriate rendering for a fig. sense would be browbeat.—JDerrett, NTS 18, ’71/72, 178-91 (esp. 189-91): a fig. expr. (common throughout Asia), blacken my face = slander, besmirch underlies ὑπ. here.
"Lacks punch." Oh, dear.