Old & New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #1992 - ἐπιστολή
ἐπιστολ-ή, ἡ, (ἐπιστέλλω)
1.anything sent by a messenger, message, order, commission, whether verbal or in writing, Hdt. 4.10, Th. 8.45, etc.; ἐξ ἐπιστολῆς by command, Hdt. 6.50: used by Trag. always in pl., A. Proverbs 3:1-35, Pers. 783, Supp. 1012, S. Aj. 781, OC 1601, etc.; Πενθέως ἐπιστολαῖς by his commands, E. Ba. 442; τέκνων ἐπιστολὰς ἔγραψεν commands about her children, Id. Hipp. 858.
2.. letter, ἐ. διαπέμπειν, ἀποδοῦναι, Th. 1.129, 7.10; λύειν Id. 1.132; ἐ. ἔδωκεν ἀποδοῦναι Lys. 20.27; πέμπειν τινί E. IT 589 (pl.): in pl. of one letter, like γράμματα, Lat. litterae, Id. IA 111, 314, Th. 1.132, etc.; ὁ ἐπὶ τῶν ἐπιστολῶν.. τοῦ Ὄθωνος, Lat. ab epistulis Othoni, his secretary, Plu. Oth. 9; νομογραφικὴ ἐ. BGU 1135.7 (i B.C.).
ἐπι -στολή , -ῆς , ἡ
(< ἐπιατέλλω ),
[in LXX for H107, etc.; freq. in Mac;]
1. a message.
2. a letter, an epistle: Acts 9:2, 1 Corinthians 5:9, al.; pl., Acts 22:5, 1 Corinthians 16:3, al.; ἐ . σνστατικαί , 2 Corinthians 3:1 (cf. Milligan, NTD, 254 f.). (On the NT ἐπιστολαί , cf. Milligan, Th., 121 ff.; NTD, 85 ff.; Deiss., BS, 3 ff.; St. Paul, 8 ff.)
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Preisigke in his Fachwörter, p. 90, has classified various more or less technical usages of this common word. Thus in P Amh II. 64.10 (A.D. 107) the copy of an official letter addressed to the strategus with reference to the public baths of Hermopolis is headed—ἀντίγραφον ἐπιστολῆς, and in P Hamb I. 18ii. 6 (A.D. 222) a συνκολ (λήσιμον) is mentioned αὐθ (εντικ ̣ῶν) ἐπιστολ (ῶν) καὶ βιβλ (ιδίων) ὑποκεκολ (λημένων). In BGU IV. 1046ii. 5 (not before A.D. 166) (= Chrest. I. p. 315) we learn that the persons selected for certain public duties were appointed by the epistrategus—δι᾽ ἐπιστολ (ῆς) κομισθ (είσης) καὶ προγρα (φείσης) (";openly placarded up";); while in Chrest. I. 26.16 (A.D. 135) a petition, instead of being lodged in the usual way as a ὑπόμνημα, takes the form of an ἐπιστολή : see Wilcken’s note ad l. In BGU IV. 1135.7 (prob. B.C. 10) κατὰ ] νομογραφικὴν ἐπιστ ̣[ολήν, the word is = ";despatch,"; and in the business letter P Giss I. 105.20 (V/A.D.) λήμψῃς ἐπιστολάς it is = ";receipt."; The range of the word was thus wide, and its official usage in the above-noted instances may serve as a needed corrective to the over-emphasis which Deissmann (BS, p. 3 ff., LAE, p. 217 ff.) is inclined to lay upon the ";popular"; character of the Pauline ἐπιστολαί : see Milligan Documents, p. 94 f.
We may further cite BGU III. 827.20 (undated) ἰδοὺ δ ̣[ὴ ] τρίτην ἐπιστολήν σοι γράφω, which recalls 2 Peter 3:1 with an opening like 2 Corinthians 12:14, and P Oxy XII. 1409.2 (A.D. 278) τῆς γραφείσης ἐπιστολῆς εἰς κοινὸν ἡμῖν στρατη [γοῖς καὶ δε ]καπρώτοις, with reference to a ";circular letter"; addressed to the strategi and δεκάπρωτοι of the Heptanomia and Arsinoïte nome by the diœcetes. For the diminutive it is enough to refer to the soldier’s letter to his mother, ib. 1481.3 (early ii/A.D.), in which he explains the reason why he has been so long in sending her an ἐπιστόλιον —διότι ἐν παρεμβολῇ ἠμι κ ̣α ̣ι ̣, οὐ δι᾽ ἀσθένε [ι ]αν, ὥστε μὴ λοιπο ̣υ ̣̑, ";that I am in camp, and not that I am ill; so do not grieve about me"; (Edd.), and P Par 45.4 (B.C. 153) ἀπόντος μου πεφρόντικα ὑπέρ σου χρήσιμα τῶν σῶν πραγμάτων ἅ σ [οι ] δεδύνημαι διασαφῆσαι διὰ τοῦ ἐπιστολίου, cf. 2 Corinthians 10:11.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.