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 Genesis 3:6 meaning of κατανοῆσαι
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crisoft

Romania
40 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2008 :  04:23:02  


This is Genesis 3:6: καὶ εἶδεν ἡ γυνὴ ὅτι καλὸν τὸ ξύλον εἰς βρῶσιν καὶ ὅτι ἀρεστὸν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἰδεῖν καὶ ὡραῖόν ἐστιν τοῦ κατανοῆσαι καὶ λαβοῦσα τοῦ καρποῦ αὐτοῦ ἔφαγεν καὶ ἔδωκεν καὶ τῷ ἀνδρὶ αὐτῆς μετ᾽ αὐτῆς καὶ ἔφαγον

Some translators have translated ὡραῖόν ἐστιν τοῦ κατανοῆσαι by "it is beautiful to watch", others by "...desirable to know", others by "...desirable to make one wise" or others by "beautiful in the appearance". It seems to me that "beautiful in appearance" is very different from "desirable to make one wise", so I was wondering what the correct sense is...

Thank you


 

George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2008 :  09:08:35  

 

Thanks for bringing this verse to our attention. All those epithets together tend to describe an almost sexual relationship with the tree, involving the senses (vision, taste) and reaching knowledge - with knowing meaning also "to make love". This series is destroyed by those who translate katanoesai as if it was synonym of see, thus just repeating the previous part (areston idein). It seems to me obvious that some kind of reference to knowing is necessary here. "Desirable to know" comes close even to the sexual nuance. "Beautiful to know it thoroughly" would be a literal (I don't say 'best') translation.

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crisoft

Romania
40 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2008 :  10:33:25  

 

Thank you for your fast reply. So what does κατανοέω mean, actually? In my dictionaries I have "to observe, to perceive with the mind or with the senses". To me it seems close to "to contemplate", but I'm not sure if that's right.

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crisoft

Romania
40 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2008 :  10:44:16  

 

Also, what is the difference between ἀρεστὸν and ὡραῖόν ? In the romanian translations, they are almost identical ("beautiful, pleasant"). I understand ὡραῖόν actually means "proper, appropriate" instead?

Thank you for your help so far!

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George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2008 :  05:18:45  

 

Κατανοῶ means, understand thoroughly, completely, perfectly.

Ἀρεστὸν is something we like, ὡραῖον is the beautiful. To realize the difference: something may be areston but not oraion, or something may be both areston and oraion, or oraion but not areston.

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