This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A "Babbler"?

QUESTION: A bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church insists that all the translators and lexicographers are mistaken when they represent that Paul was a "babbler" by the Athenians whom he met in the market place. He says they complimented Paul by calling him a spermologos, "a great conversationalist," full of seed-thoughts, and wise sayings, which he scattered broadcast in the agora to the delighted astonishment of the natives. Is this bishop correct?

ANSWER: The best scholars quote Homer, Plutarch, and Demosthenes in proof that σπερμολόγος (spermologos), seed-gatherer, is a term of contempt applied to loungers about the market-place picking up a subsistence by whatever may chance to fall from the loads of merchandise; hence a man beggarly and abject, living by flattery and buffoonery, an empty talker, an idle babbler.

— from Steele's Answers pp. 52, 53.