Aphedron

Aphedron
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1/20/2010
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The Greek noun aphedron is a term for latrine. The word occurs twice in the New Testament (Matthew 15:17, Mark 7:19) and was unknown in classical texts. The Vulgate rendered the term secessus, latrine. Wycliffe avoided the reference to a privy with "and beneath it goeth out," while Martin Luther translated the word as natürliche Gang ("natural course"), though Tyndale's "and goeth out into the draught" is more clear. Perhaps due in part to Luther's "natural course," various 18th and 19th Century scholars assumed it was a euphemism for the human bowel. However the discovery and publication of an inscription at Pergamon confirmed that the word does, as per Latin secessus, in fact mean latrine. Further the Mark 7:19 verse says "out into the afedron, cleaning all meats" which makes no sense if the meat is still lodged in the lower intestine.
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