The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Friday, September 04, 2015

Prophet as Planos

In the 630s AD, one Abraham an elderly Jew had encountered followers of the Arab prophet in Palestine. He denied his signs of prophecy, instead calling him a "planos". So this was written in the Doctrina Jacobi (also called Didascalia). In Greek this literally meant an aimless wanderer.

Elsewhere in Byzantine-Christian scripture πλανος had appeared in Job 19:4 and Jeremiah 23:32; Job refers to one who has wandered away. In the New Testament, as Sean Anthony has noted, it had a more apocalyptic force. 2 John 1:7 used it in the formula ουτος εστιν ο πλανος και ο αντιχριστος. The πλάνος here swaps out 1 John 2:22's ψεύστης.

Admittedly we are dealing with the "LXX" here, books divergent from the Hebrew... but Job 19:4's parallel here is משׁוּגּה. This seems close to the original sense of πλανος.

A Christian audience - like Sean Anthony! - would naturally think of the Johannine epistle. But a Greek-speaking Jew would not. One can almost hear the old coot telling all who'd hear him - "a prophet, with sword and chariot! feh! meshuggah!"


posted by Zimri on 11:35 | link | 0 comments

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