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sarx, (Hom.+; ‘flesh’). from BDAG


1. the material that covers the bones of a human or animal body, flesh lit. 1 Cor 15:39abcd; Hv 3, 10, 4; 3, 12, 1. The pl. (which denotes flesh in the mass [Lucian, Dial. Mort. 10, 5], whereas the sing. rather denotes the substance.—Herodas 4, 61; Gen 40:19; 1 Km 17:44; 4 Km 9:36; PsSol 4:19; TestJob 13:5; Philo; Jos., Ant. 12, 211; Just., A I, 26, 7; Mel., P. 52, 383; Ath. 34, 2) Lk 24:39 v.l.; Rv 19:18, 21 (4 [6] Esdr [POxy 1010, 16] cannibalism out of hunger, sim. Mel., P. 52, 383; Quint. Smyrn. 11, 245: the sa¿rkeß of the slain are food for the birds) B 10:4; metaph. Rv 17:16. It decays 1 Cl 25:3; cp. Ac 2:31 (cp. 2a below). Normally gives forth an evil odor when burned MPol 15:2. W. bones (s. ojste÷on) 1 Cl 6:3 (Gen 2:23); Lk 24:39; Eph 5:30 v.l. (metaph.). Paul speaks of his illness as a sko/loy thvØ sarki÷ (s. sko/loy) 2 Cor 12:7. hJ e˙n sarki« peritomh/ the physical circumcision (cp. Just., D. 10, 1 al.) Ro 2:28; cp. Eph 2:11b; Col 2:13 (aÓkrobusti÷a 2); Gal 6:13 (hJ sa¿rx=the flesh that is circumcised); B 9:4. Metaph.: the corrosion on the precious metals of the rich fa¿getai ta»ß sa¿rkaß uJmw◊n wJß puvr Js 5:3.—Ign. describes the elements of the Eucharist as sa»rx (or ai–ma) ∆Ihsouv Cristouv IRo 7:3; IPhld 4; ISm 7:1. Also J 6:51–56 urges that one must eat the flesh (and drink the blood) of the Human One or Son of Man (Just., A I, 66, 2; s. TPhilips, Die Verheissung der hl. Eucharistie nach Joh. 1922; Bultmann ad loc.; AWikenhauser ’48, 105f).—His anti-Docetic position also leads Ign. to use the concept ‘flesh (and blood) of {p. 915} Christ’ in other contexts as well ITr 8:1; IPhld 5:1.—For Mt 16:17; Gal 1:16; Eph 6:12; and 1 Cor 15:50 s. 3a.
2. the physical body as functioning entity, body, physical body
a. as substance and living entity (Aeschyl., Sept. 622: opp. nouvß; Ex 30:32; 4 Km 6:30; TestAbr A 20 p. 103, 6 [Stone p. 54] pa¿nta ta» me÷lh thvß sarko/ß mou; w. kardi÷a or yuch/ Alex. Aphr., An. p. 98, 7–10 Br.; Ps 37:8; 62:2; Eccl 2:3; Ezk 11:19; 44:7 a1.; Jos., Bell. 6, 47, Ant. 19, 325; Ar.15, 7) ou¡te hJ sa»rx aujtouv ei•den diafqora¿n Ac 2:31 (but s. 1). W. yuch/ 1 Cl 49:6 (Tat. 13:2 al.). W. kardi÷a Ac 2:26 (Ps 15:9).—Eph 5:29. e˚o/rakan to\ pro/swpo/n mou e˙n sarki÷ they have seen me face to face Col 2:1. eºwß a·n to\n cristo\n e˙n sarki« i¶dhØ before he had seen the Messiah in person GJs 24:4 (cp. Lk 2:26). Opp. pneuvma (Ath. 31:3; PGM 5, 460 e˙pikalouvmai÷ se to\n kti÷santa pa◊san sa¿rka k. pa◊n pneuvma) 1 Cor 5:5; 2 Cor 7:1; Col 2:5; 1 Pt 4:6; Hm 3:1; 10, 2, 6; cp. AcPl Ant 13:17 (=Aa, I 237, 2; s. oi•da); also in relation to Christ (though this is disputed) J 6:63; Hs 5, 6, 5–7; cp. 1 Ti 3:16.—aÓsqe÷neia thvß sarko/ß bodily ailment Gal 4:13; s. vs. 14. aÓsqenh\ß thvØ sarki÷ weak in the body Hs 9, 1, 2. oJ aÓlgw◊n sa¿rka the one who is ill in body B 8:6. pa¿scein sarki÷ 1 Pt 4:1b. Cp. 2 Cor 7:5. hJ thvß sarko\ß kaqaro/thß the purity of the body Hb 9:13 (opp. kaqari÷zein th\n sunei÷dhsin vs. 14). sarko\ß aÓpo/qesiß rJu/pou 1 Pt 3:21 (s. rJu/poß 1). The sa¿rx is raised fr. the dead (s. ParJer 6:9; Theoph. Ant. 1, 7 [74, 2]) 1 Cl 26:3; 2 Cl 9:1. aÓna¿stasiß sarko/ß AcPlCor 1:12; 2:24 (sarko\ß aÓna¿stasin Just., D. 80, 5); cp. aÓnasth/sesqe e¶conteß uJgihv th\n sa¿rka AcPlCor 2:32. Of the body of Christ during his earthly ministry Eph 2:14 (JHart, The Enmity in His Flesh: Exp. 6th ser., 3, 1901, 135–41); Hb 10:20; 1 Pt 3:18; 4:1a; 1J 4:2; 2J 7; B 5:1, 10f; 6:7, 9; 7:5; 12:10; IEph 7:2; Pol 7:1; AcPlCor 2:6b. Married couples form mi÷a sa¿rx (Gen 2:24; s. Ath. 33, 2 th\n sa¿rka pro\ß sa¿rka . . . koinwni÷an.—GAicher, Mann u. Weib ein Fleisch: BZ 5, 1907, 159–65) Mt 19:5f; Mk 10:8ab; 1 Cor 6:16; Eph 5:31 (on these passages, TBurkill, ZNW 62, ’71, 115–20). dikaiw¿mata sarko/ß behind ‘all sorts of ceremonial washings’ there are regulations that concern the physical body Hb 9:10.—On uJpota¿ghte tw◊ˆ e˙pisko/pwˆ wJß oJ Cristo\ß tw◊ˆ patri« kata» sa¿rka IMg 13:2 s. Hdb. ad loc. and MRackl, Die Christologie des hl. Ignatius v. Ant. 1914, 228.—pneuvma duna¿mewß . . . oJ qeo\ß . . . kate÷pemyen ei˙ß sa¿rka toute÷stin ei˙ß th\n Mari÷an God sent a powerful spirit (prob. a ref. to the kind of divine breath that brought the first human being to life [Gen 2:7]) into flesh, that is, into Mary AcPl Ha 8, 26=BMM recto 34; s. AcPlCor 1:14.
b. as someth. with physical limitations, life here on earth (ApcEsdr 4:4 p. 28, 3 Tdf. sa¿rka aÓnqrwpi÷nhn forw◊) qli√yin thvØ sarki« eºxousin 1 Cor 7:28. Cp. 2 Cor 4:11; Col 1:24. Of Christ to\ sw◊ma thvß sarko\ß aujtouv his body with its physical limitations Col 1:22; cp. 2:11 and s. ca below (cp. En 102:5 to\ sw◊ma thvß sarko\ß uJmw◊n; 1QpHab 9:2; Orig., C. Cels. 6, 29, 25).—Of human life: aÓpodhmei√n thvß sarko/ß MPol 2:2 (s. aÓpodhme÷w). e˙pime÷nein e˙n thvØ sarki÷ Phil 1:24. zhvn e˙n sarki÷ vs. 22; Gal 2:20. e˙n s. peripatei√n 2 Cor 10:3a. e˙n s. tugca¿nein Dg 5:8a. o¡ntoß e¶ti e˙n s. sou AcPlCor 1:6. to\n e˙pi÷loipon e˙n s. cro/non 1 Pt 4:2. hJ e˙pidhmi÷a thvß sarko\ß tau/thß our sojourn in life 2 Cl 5:5. e˙n thvØ sarki÷ in our earthly life 8:2.
c. as instrument of various actions or expressions.
a. In Paul’s thought esp., all parts of the body constitute a totality known as s. or flesh, which is dominated by sin to such a degree that wherever flesh is, all forms of sin are likew. present, and no good thing can live in the sa¿rx Ro 7:18 (cp. Philo, Gig. 29 ai¶tion de« thvß aÓnepisthmosu/nhß me÷giston hJ sa»rx kai« hJ pro\ß sa¿rka oi˙kei÷wsiß; Sextus 317 aÓgaqo\n e˙n sarki« mh\ e˙pizh/tei. The OT lays no stress on a necessary relationship betw. flesh as a substance, and sin. But for Epicurus the sa¿rx is the bearer of sinful feelings and desires as well as the means of sensual enjoyment: Ep. in Plut., Mor. 135c; 1087bf; 1089e; 1096c ai˚ thvß sarko\ß e˙piqumi÷ai. Also Diog. L. 10, 145. Likew. Plut. himself: Mor. 101b tai√ß thvß sarko\ß hJdonai√ß; 672e; 688d; 734a; Ps.-Plut., Mor. 107f sarki« kai« toi√ß pa¿qesi tau/thß; Maximus Tyr. 33, 7a. Cp. 4 Macc 7:18 ta» thvß sarko\ß pa¿qh; Philo, Deus Imm. 143 sarko\ß hJdonh/, Gig. 29; TestJud 19:4; TestZeb 9:7; ApcMos 25 [p. 14, 2 Tdf.] ei˙ß th\n aJmarti÷an thvß sarko/ß); Ro 6:19; 7:25 (opp. nouvß); 8:3a, 4–9 (cp. Persius 2, 63 scelerata pulpa, which contaminates devotion to deity), 12f; Gal 5:13, 24; Col 2:23; Jd 23; AcPlCor 2:11, 15; Dg 6:5 (opp. yuch/, as Plut., Mor. 101b). Opp. to\ pneuvma Ro 8:4, 5, 6, 9, 13; Gal 3:3; 5:16, 17ab; 6:8ab; J 3:6; B 10:9. to\ me«n pneuvma pro/qumon, hJ de« sa»rx aÓsqenh/ß (cp. Orig., C. Cels. 2, 25, 8) Mt 26:41; Mk 14:38; Pol 7:2. sa»rx aJmarti÷aß sinful flesh Ro 8:3b. e˙piqumi÷a (thvß) sarko/ß (cp. Maximus Tyr. 20, 9f sarkw◊n . . . e˙piqumi÷aß) Gal 5:16; 1J 2:16; B 10:9. Pl. Eph 2:3a, cp. b; 2 Pt 2:18; cp. Ro 13:14. ta» e¶rga thvß sarko/ß Gal 5:19 (s. Vögtle at pleonexi÷a). ta» qelh/mata thvß sarko/ß Eph 2:3b. oJ nouvß thvß sarko/ß Col 2:18. to\ sw◊ma thvß sarko/ß the body of (sinful) flesh 2:11; cp. 1:22 and s. b above (cp. Sir 23:17 sw◊ma sarko\ß aujtouv; En 102:5 tw◊ˆ sw¿mati thvß sarko\ß uJmw◊n). ta» thvß sarko/ß what pertains to (sinful) flesh Ro 8:5b. e˙n (thvØ) sarki« ei•nai be in an unregenerate (and sinful) state Ro 7:5; 8:8f. ta» e¶qnh e˙n sarki÷ Eph 2:11a. kata» sa¿rka ei•nai Ro 8:5a; zhvn vs. 12b; 13; Dg 5:8b; peripatei√n Ro 8:4; 2 Cor 10:2; bouleu/esqai 1:17; strateu/esqai 10:3b; cp. IRo 8:3 (opp. kata» gnw¿mhn qeouv).
b. source of the sexual urge. The sa¿rx is the source of the sexual urge, without any suggestion of sinfulness connected w. it e˙k qelh/matoß sarko\ß e˙gennh/qhsan J 1:13.
d. as someth. attractive 2 Pt 2:10 (a Hebraism, cp. Judg 2:12; 3 Km 11:10; Sir 46:10). S. also 3b.
3. one who is or becomes a physical being, living being with flesh
a. of humans person, human being: pa◊sa sa¿rx every person, everyone (LXX; TestAbr B 7 p. 112, 3 [Stone p. 72]; GrBar 4:10; ApcEsdr 7:7; ApcMos 13 [p. 7, 1 Tdf.]; Mel., P. 55, 400: for rDcD;b_lD;k; s. pa◊ß 1aa) Lk 3:6 (Is 40:5); J 17:2; Ac 2:17 (Jo 3:1); 1 Pt 1:24 (Is 40:6); 1 Cl 59:3; 64; 2 Cl 7:6; 17:5 (the last two Is 66:24); AcPlCor 2:6a. ouj pa◊sa sa¿rx no person, nobody (En 14:21 end.—W-S. §26, 10a; B-D-F §275, 4; 302, 1; Rob. 752) Mt 24:22; Mk 13:20; Ro 3:20 (cp. Ps 142:2 pa◊ß zw◊n); 1 Cor 1:29 (mh/); Gal 2:16.—Though s. in the foll. passages refers to body in its physical aspect, it cannot be divorced from its conjunction with ai–ma, and the unit sa»rx kai« ai–ma (cp. Sir 17:31; TestAbr B 13 p. 117, 26 [Stone p. 82]; Philo, Quis Div. Rer. Her. 57; Just., D. 135, 6) refers to a human being in contrast to God and other transcendent beings Mt 16:17; Gal 1:16; Eph 6:12 (here vice versa, ai–. kai« s.). ta» paidi÷a kekoinw¿nhken aiºmatoß kai« sarko/ß the children share mortal nature Hb 2:14, but with suggestion of its frailty, as indicated by the context with its ref. to death. Because they are the opposites of the divine nature sa»rx kai« ai–ma basilei÷an qeouv klhronomhvsai ouj du/natai 1 Cor 15:50 (JJeremias, NTS 2, ’56, 151–59). For Jd 7 s. b next. Cp. AcPl Ant 13, 17 (=Aa I 237, 2) sarki÷ personally (s. oi•da 2).
b. of transcendent entities oJ lo/goß sa»rx e˙ge÷neto J 1:14 (RSeeberg, Festgabe AvHarnack dargebracht 1921, 263–81.—Artem. 2, 35 p. 132, 27 e˙a»n sa¿rkinoi oi˚ qeoi« fai÷nwntai; Synes., Dio 6 p. 45b).—Of flesh other than human: ojpi÷sw sarko\ß e˚te÷raß after another kind of flesh (cp. Judg 2:12 ojpi÷sw qew◊n e˚te÷rwn) i.e. of divine messengers who take on s. when they appear to humans (so Windisch et al.; difft. Frame et al. of same-sex activity) Jd 7.
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4. human/ancestral connection, human/mortal nature, earthly descent (Did., Gen. 144, 25) ∆Abraa»m to\n propa¿tora hJmw◊n kata» sa¿rka Ro 4:1 (Just., D. 43, 7 al.). oi˚ suggenei√ß mou kata» sa¿rka 9:3. tou\ß thvß sarko\ß hJmw◊n pate÷raß Hb 12:9. to\n ∆Israh\l kata» sa¿rka the earthly Israel 1 Cor 10:18 (opp. to\n ∆Israh\l touv qeouv Gal 6:16). Of natural descent ta» te÷kna thvß sarko/ß children by natural descent Ro 9:8 (opp. ta» te÷kna thvß e˙paggeli÷aß).  oJ me«n e˙k thvß paidi÷skhß kata» sa¿rka gege÷nnhtai Gal 4:23; cp. vs. 29. mou th\n sa¿rka my compatriots Ro 11:14 (s. Gen 37:27).—Of Christ’s physical nature Ro 8:3c; Hb 5:7. Christ is descended fr. the patriarchs and fr. David (to\) kata» sa¿rka according to the human side of his nature, as far as his physical descent is concerned Ro 1:3 (JDunn, Jesus: Flesh and Spirit [Ro 1:3f], JTS 24, ’73, 40–68); 9:5; 1 Cl 32:2; IEph 20:2. The context of 2 Cor 11:18 includes ancestry as a reason for boasting, but s. in this pass. applies as well to other aspects of Paul’s career and therefore belongs more properly in 5.
5. the outward side of life as determined by normal perspectives or standards, a transf. sense of 1 and 2. Usually w. kata¿ indicating norm or standard sofoi« kata» sa¿rka wise (people) according to human standards 1 Cor 1:26. kauca◊sqai kata» (th\n) sa¿rka boast of one’s outward circumstances, i.e. descent, manner of life, etc. (cp. 11:22) 2 Cor 11:18. kata» sa¿rka Cristo/n Christ (the Messiah) from a human point of view or as far as externals are concerned 5:16b, cp. a (kata¿ B5bb and 7a; also VWeber, BZ 2, 1904, 178–88; HWindisch, exc. ad loc.; Rtzst., Mysterienrel.3, 374–76; FPorter, Does Paul Claim to Have Known the Historical Jesus [2 Cor 5:16]?: JBL 47, 1928, 257–75; RMoxon, CQR 108, 1929, 320–28). oi˚ kata» sa¿rka ku/rioi those who, according to human standards, are masters Eph 6:5; Col 3:22. uJmei√ß kata» th\n s. kri÷nete you judge by outward things, by externals J 8:15. Of the route taken in one’s earthly life hJ oJdo\ß hJ kata» sa¿rka IRo 9:3.—e˙n sarki« pepoiqe÷nai place one’s trust in earthly things or physical advantages Phil 3:3f. eujproswphvsai e˙n sarki÷ Gal 6:12. Onesimus is a beloved brother to Philemon kai« e˙n sarki« kai« e˙n kuri÷wˆ both as a human being (=personally, in the external relationship betw. master and slave) and as a Christian Phlm 16. uJmw◊n de« e˙n sarki« e˙pisko/pwˆ IEph 1:3 (cp. IMg 3:2).—HWindisch, Taufe u. Sünde 1908; EBurton, ICC Gal. 1920, 492–95; WSchauf, Sarx 1924; WBieder, Auferstehung des Fleisches od. des Leibes?: TZ 1, ’45, 105–20. W. special ref. to Paul: Ltzm., Hdb. exc. on Ro 7:14 and 8:11; Lohmeyer (aJmarti÷a 3a); EKäsemann, Leib u. Leib Christi ’33; RGrant, ATR 22, ’40, 199–203; RBultmann, Theologie des NTs ’48, 228–49 (Engl. tr. by KGrobel, ’51 I, 227–59); LMarshall, Challenge of NT Ethics ’47, 267–70; E Schweizer, Die hellenist. Komponente im NT sarx-Begriff: ZNW 48, ’57, 237–53; two in KStendahl, The Scrolls and the NT, ’57: KKuhn, 94–113 and WDavies, 157–82; JPryke, ‘Spirit’ and ‘Flesh’ in Qumran and NT: RevQ 5, ’65, 346–60; DLys, La chair dans l’AT ’67; ASand, D. Begriff ‘Fleisch’ ’67 (Paul); RJewett, Paul’s Anthropological Terms ’71, 49–166. On Ign.: CRichardson, The Christianity of Ign. of Ant. ’35, esp. 49 and 61. S. also the lit. s.v. pneuvma, end.—B. 202. DELG. M-M. EDNT. TW. Spicq. Sv.
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