Monday, May 05, 2008

What the heck is an "intriguer"?

Yesterday's second reading, from the first letter of St. Peter, had this line:
"But let no one among you be made to suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer."
O.K., I'm good with the first three, but what is an "intriguer"?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Rather than the 1998 Lectionary For Mass use of the term, "intriguer", The 1970 New American Bible translation uses "destroyer of another's rights".  The 1946 Revised Standard Version uses "mischief maker".  Why the discrepancy?

William Barclay's commentary on the passage explains it:

"A Christian, Peter says, is not to suffer as an allotriepiskopos.  The trouble is that there is no other instance of this word in Greek, and Peter may well have invented it.  It can have three possible meanings, all of which would be relevant.  It comes from two words, allotrios, 'belonging to another' and episkopos, 'looking upon' or 'looking into'.  Therefore, it literally means 'looking upon, or into, that which belongs to another.'
  1. To look upon that which is someone else's might well be to cast covetous eyes upon it.  That is how both the Latin Bible and Calvin take this word - to mean that the Christian must not be covetous.
  2. To look upon that which belongs to another might well mean to be too interested in other people's affairs and to be a meddling busybody.  That is by far the most probable meaning.  There are Christians who do an infinite deal of harm with misguided interference and criticism.  This would mean that the Christian must never be an interfering busybody.
  3. There is a third possibility.  Allotrios means 'that which belong to someone else'; that is to say, 'that which is foreign to oneself.'  Along that line 'allotriepiskopos' will mean 'looking upon that which is foreign to oneself.'  That would mean, of a Christian, entering upon undertakings which would not befit the Christian life.  This would mean that a Christian must never interest himself in things which are alien to the life that a Christian should lead.
While all three meanings are possible, we think that the third is the right one."

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

An intriguer is someone who plots stuff -- eviiiil stuff.... sneaky, backhanded, and I think you could probably include "pot stirrer" (my favorite past-time)

When Tony (Soprano) and I get together we become intriguers.