Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: αρτι

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/a/a-r-t-i.html


Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary


The adverb of time αρτι (arti) means just or exactly, and stems from the Proto-Indo-European root "her-" meaning to join, hence also our English words art, artificial, artesian and even order, ordinal, and the Greek verb αρω (aro), to join, hence words like arm, arthritis but also the -ard suffix of words like drunkard and wizard.

Here at Abarim Publications we strongly (and roguishly) suspect relations between our PIE root "her-" and the Semitic root ארה ('ara), meaning to gather (more specifically, we strongly, albeit roguishly, suspect that the PIE root is actually Semitic in origin). From this Hebrew verb come the nouns ארי ('ari), lion (masculine), and אריה ('urya), crib or manger (feminine). This not only explains the very Jewish MGM logo (with the slogan ars gratia artis and the seemingly unrelated lion), but it also solves Samson's riddle of the bees (דברה, deborah, feminine) in the lion (Judges 14:8) with the Christmas story of the Word (דבר, dabar, masculine) in the manger (and see Jeremiah 31:22 for the gender reversal).

Joining things into wholenesses that are greater than the sum of their parts is of course what all technological progress is based on. Another important PIE root that emphasizes technological joining is "tek(s)-", to weave, hence English words like architect, technology, textile and text, and Greek words like the verbs κτιζω (ktizo), to create, and τικτω (tikto), to beget, from which comes the noun τεκτων (tekton), assembler, which was the earthly profession of Jesus and Joseph (rather than carpenter).

An important Hebrew verb that means to join is לוה (lawa), from which comes the name Levi, which means that the Levites were not so much the stereotypical mystical holy men but rather technicians, engineers and roughnecks (also see our article on YHWH for more on the importance of information technology in the Biblical narrative). Both parents of John the Baptist were Levites (Luke 1:5), and since Elizabeth was a cousin of Mary (Luke 1:36), and Jesus' human genes came wholly from Mary, Jesus was genetically a Levite female and a Jewish male only by law (and there's that gender reversal thing again; but see our article on Stephen for more on this complicated theme).

Far from being some religious figure, Jesus embodies the Word of God, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3) of the way the observable universe works (Romans 1:20, Hebrews 1:3). When a society perfectly masters the laws that govern its language, this society produces freedom of speech: the kind of freedom that lets a speaker verbalize whatever is in her heart and be perfectly understood by a listener. Perfect mastery of natural law, likewise, produces ελευθερια (eleutheria), or freedom-by-law, which is the purpose of the gospel (Galatians 5:1). That means that the gospel of Jesus Christ (quite like the tabernacle first, Exodus 31:3-11, and the temple later, 1 Kings 7:14) is primarily a technological thing.

In our riveting article on πνευμα (pneuma), spirit, we argue that where one's "soul" is bodily and private, anything spiritual can only exist in two or more minds, and that includes words and thus The Word ("where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst," Matthew 18:20). That means that anything spiritual requires a joining, and any joining is spiritual. And that means that technology is spiritual (but unfortunately, the virtue of spirits is never guaranteed and all spirits must always be tried to the Spirit of God — love, obviously, is also a matter of joining and therefore a spiritual endeavor; see αγαπη, agape; 1 John 4:8).

In the New Testament our adverb αρτι (arti) is mostly used in reference to time, in which case it means "now". It frequently occurs combined with the preposition απο (apo), meaning from, to form an idiom that literally means from-exactly or from-now. This may imply a departure from a specified point or reference: "on the contrary" or "rather unlike", or it may imply a condition cemented now and perpetuated: "from now on", "henceforth". Our adverb occurs 37 times, see full concordance and from it derive:

  • Together with the adjective γεννητος (gennetos), meaning born or brought fort: the adjective αρτιγεννητος (artigennetos), meaning now-born or new-born (1 Peter 2:2 only).
  • The adjective αρτιος (artios), meaning exactly right, perfectly suited (2 Timothy 3:17 only). From this adjective derives the verb αρτιζω (artizo), meaning to get exactly right, to be perfectly suited. This verb is not used in the New Testament, but from it come:
    • Together with the preposition κατα (kata), meaning down from, down upon: the verb καταρτιζω (katartizo), meaning to complete or adjust toward perfection, or to restore to proper working order. This important verb demonstrates that completion, perfection and proper working order can be obtained and attained, albeit through the efforts of a mender or teacher. The "proper working order" of those in Christ is, of course, a state of ελευθερια (eleutheria), or freedom-by-law: a mastery of the "way things work" so that one has the freedom to pursue whatever and will ultimately attain it. Our verb is used 13 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn come:
      • The noun καταρτισις (katartisis), which describes an instance (possibly an ongoing instance) of restoration or adjustment onto proper working order (2 Corinthians 13:9 only).
      • The noun καταρτισμος (katartismos), which describes the long-term or situationally stable condition of having been restored or adjusted onto proper working order (Ephesians 4:12 only).
      • Together with the preposition προ (pro), meaning before: the verb προκαταρτιζω (prokatartizo), meaning to complete or perfect beforehand (2 Corinthians 9:5 only).
    • Together with the preposition εκ (ek), meaning out: the verb εξαρτιζω (exartizo), meaning to equip and dispatch, to fully complete and then put to work (Acts 21:5 and 2 Timothy 3:17 only).
  • The verb αρτυω (artuo) means to arrange or prepare, with the implication of this requiring skill and cunning: to fix just right, to arrange in perfect order. This verb was often used to describe the agreeableness of an excellently prepared meal. In the New Testament it occurs in Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34 and Colossians 4:6 only. The similarity between this verb and the noun αρτος (artos), meaning bread (see below) has prompted many to assume that the noun indeed derives from this verb, and that bread was known as the "perfectly arranged" thing. And although this assumption of etymological kinship has in modern times become somewhat challenged, the making of bread is of course a delicate matter and a highly appreciated skill — hence Pharaoh's need for a personal baker (Genesis 40:1) — and ever since its invention, bread has remained one of the most popular meals in the world.

The noun αρτος (artos) means bread. It's a common word, it occurs 98 times in the New Testament — see full concordance — and corresponds to the Hebrew word לחם (lehem); hence Beth-lehem or House of Bread. This Hebrew word for bread may also mean war (Bethlehem, therefore, also means House of War), which is striking because from the Latin continuation of our PIE root "her-" (see above) comes the word arma, meaning weaponry.

The origin of our noun αρτος (artos) is formally unknown — some commentators have proposed a pre-Greek origin; here at Abarim Publications, shamelessly biased, we feel charmed by the ubiquitous Hebrew noun ארץ ('eres), meaning earth, and point out that the potato is known in Dutch as aardappel or "earth-apple" — although everybody pretty much agrees that our noun αρτος (artos), for whatever reason, became firmly lodged in our present word group, and became known to the Greek mind as the item that was assembled precisely right.

Our noun's similarity to the adverb αρτι (arti), meaning exactly (exactly right or exactly now), suggests that bread was deemed a kind of old-world fast-food, or perhaps a wholly complete and conveniently portable meal. Its obvious proximity to the verb αρτυω (artuo), to fix precisely right (see above), suggests additionally the crucially important roll the invention of bread had on the evolution of man's society.

As we point out in our article on ζυμη (zume), yeast or leaven, bread was among the first artificially produced things (and leaven probably the first domesticated organism). Not unlike bricks (לבנה, lebenah), bread was baked, obviously initially on the same fires that centralized societies and kept wild animals at bay — see πυρ (pur), fire, and note the connection between the verb θερω (thero), to make warm, the noun θεραπων (therapon), comfort-provider (hence the word therapy), and the noun θηριον (therion), animal, not to mention the obvious links between fire and light and thus enlightenment and reason (see our article on the verb נהר, nahar, which both means to flow, what a river does, and to shine, what a lamp does).

The desire to perfect bread prompted the development of ovens, which in turn brought about the rise of metallurgy (see our article on χαλκος, chalkos, copper, and αρνεομαι, arneomai, to artificially select, to breed a domestic race).

In our article on nominal reasoning (i.e. thinking in words), we point out that mankind's celebrated sapience depends nearly entirely on man's giving names to things (Genesis 2:19-20), meaning that the acts of naming and creating are really not two but one and the same. The familiar saying of Jesus that "one shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4) suggests this same duality within the singular act of creating and naming. And it likewise also portraits bread as a marvel of skill and technology. Readers often misplace the emphases in this verse; it's: "... not on bread alone, but on every word ...".

Likewise, when Jesus says: "I am the Bread of Life" (John 6:35), he does not suggest he's a convenient snack, but rather that in him there is the beginning of a whole new kind of technological joining, one that leads to the baking of bread, the domestication of organisms, the concentration of energy and subsequent development of metallurgy, and ultimately information technology and finally the mastery of the laws of nature and thus the freedom to achieve whatever one sets one's mind to (and for the obvious link to the Tower of Babel story, see our article on φυραμα, phurama, mix).