Re: Piper

Matt:

One problem I have with Piper’s apparent complaint, in your terms, is that it assumes it knows the “basic” meaning of the text. But Piper is not a 1C koine Greek speaker. He learned what he learned from people who study lots of Greek literature and create lexicons, etc. based on on how those words are used in a wide variety of literature. Even if he were a 1C koine Greek speaker, he would have learned the meaning of Greek words apart from Scripture (or at least, partly apart from it).

To consistently follow Piper’s apparent complaint, we’d have to construct our lexicons exclusively out of the canon. But I hope it is obvious this is ridiculous. The Greek language predates the LXX and the Greek NT, as well as Jesus and the Apostles. The words used to create these writings had meanings assigned to them apart from their use in Scripture.

This is not to say that Scripture could never modify the meaning of a word (for example, Christos), but it does make it ridiculous to ignore the established meanings of words outside of their canonical usage.

(None of this is directed at you; your post simply raised the issue more clearly for me).