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

HTS Theological Studies 74 (4):1-11 (2018)
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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 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.

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