Philippians 3:20

[bible passage=”Philippians 3:20″]

A friend of mine writes:

“I have summarily rejected the lexical definitions of apekdechomai, taking,
instead, the meaning of the verb dechomai, and adding the meanings of the added
prefixes.  This is just for your consideration.  It gives the verse a very
different meaning.

Phil. 3:20

“For you see, our citizenship (result of living in a free city; or: commonwealth
– realm of a free city; political realm) continues inherently existing (or:
continues humbly ruling; continuously subsists; repeatedly has its
under-beginning) resident within the midst of [the] atmospheres (or: heavens),
from out of where (or: which place) we also continuously receive and take away
in our hands from out of a Deliverer (a Savior; One restoring us to the health
and wholeness of our original state and condition): [the] Lord (or: a Master),
Jesus Christ,”

The hi-lited clause renders the Greek verb “apo-ek-dechometha.”  Dechometha is
the 1st per. pl. present tense of “dechomai,” with two prepositions prefixed to
it.  Dechomai means: to take into one’s hands (first meaning); to receive
(second meaning); to accept (third meaning).  Do you see any “waiting” in this

apo means: away; away from; off.  ek means: from out of; out of the midst of.
Add these two modifiers to the above verb, and you get my translation.

As you know, traditions die hard.  Liddell and Scott list apek as a preposition:
away/from out of.

In a separate entry, a group of verbs are listed under apek-
apek-lanthanomai : to forget entirely (apek as an intensifier); to escape away
from out of (one’s) knowledge
apek-baino : to turn away and out
apek-ballo : to cast out and away
apek-bioo : to cease living (to be out and away from life)
apek-duomai : to strip off oneself
apek-luo : to relax, weaken
apek-ripto : to throw off and away
apek-teino : to draw off and away
apek-tasis : a spreading out and away

Now note that in all these cases the addition of this preposition to a verb
either works as an intensifier of the verb, or adds the meaning of the
preposition to the verb.  So why not with apek-dechomai?”
I see that only two of his examples are deponent as is APEKDEXOMAI and their
stems are active.

APEKDEXOMAI has a deponent for it’s stem. Since it has a middle/passive form to
begin with might this may affect the meaning of the preposition/s APEK.

I’ve also pointed out that the Latin text translates APEKDEXOMAI with
“exspecto” at Phil. 3:20 as well as the other seven places noted in BDAG.

What factors influence how this word is understood?

T. Scott Lawson

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