Original Research - Special Collection: Ignatius van Wyk Dedication

The Samaritan ‘brought him to an inn’: Revisiting πανδοχεῖον in Luke 10:34

Ernest van Eck, Robert J. van Niekerk
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 4 | a5195 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i4.5195 | © 2018 Ernest van Eck, Robert J van Niekerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 July 2018 | Published: 14 November 2018

About the author(s)

Ernest van Eck, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Robert J. van Niekerk, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This article traces the meaning of κατάλυμά and πανδοχεῖον in available Roman-Egypt papyri, the LXX, early-Jewish literature, and Greek writings to determine the meaning of πανδοχεῖον [inn] used in Luke 10:34. It is argued that a lexical study of κατάλυμά and πανδοχεῖον and available information on travel in the ancient world indicate that there is no evidence for the so-called non-commercial inns in the ancient world and that commercial inns and innkeepers, in principle, were all ‘bad’. In conclusion, the implications of this understanding of πανδοχεῖον and πανδοκεύς (Lk 10:34, 35) for the possible intended meaning of the parable are discussed, a conclusion that begs further research regarding the identity of the protagonist in the parable.

Keywords

inn; Samaritan; Roman-Egypt papyri; LXX; Greek writers; hospitality; travel in ancient world

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