Seduction in 1 Tim 2:14 v.l.?

The simple verb ἀπατάω only occurs three times in the New Testament (Eph 5:6, 1 Tim. 2:14, James 1:26), though ἐξαπατάω is more common (6 times, all in the corpus Paulinum: Rom. 7:11; 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor 11:3; 2 Thess 2:3; 1 Tim 2:14). In 1 Tim 2:14, both forms occur, with no appreciable difference: Adam was not deceived (ἠπατήθη), but Eve was deceived (ἐξαπατηθεῖσα). One can note the unsurprising variant, ἀπατηθεῖσα here (א2 D2 byz). Is this simply the substitution of a synonym? It’s possible, maybe even likely, that this is the case. It is also, however, worth noting that the variant may reflect an understanding of ἀπατάω as sexual seduction (cf. Eratosth. 22, 10; T.Jud. 12.3; Ps.Sol. 16.8). ἀπάτη, the nominal form, does have the connotation ‘pleasure’, as the Greek author Moeris had noted: ἀπάτη ἡ πλάνη παρ᾽ Ἀττικοῖς, ἀπάτη ἡ τέρψις παρ᾽ Ἕλλησιν. F. Zorrell and C. Spicq made the case that ἀπάτη sometimes bears the sense of ‘pleasure’ in the NT, above all drawing attention to the parallel between Matt 13:22=Mark 4:19 (ἀπάτη) and Luke 8:14 (ἡδονή). Might it then be the case that some later copyists, familiar with the traditions about Eve being sexually seduced by the serpent (4 Macc 18.7-8; b. Yeb. 103b; b. ‘Abod. Zar. 22b; b. Sabb. 146a; 2 Enoch 31:5-6; Vit. Ad. 10.4), chose the form that best accorded with this understanding? This is speculation, of course, and one would want to hold against it the fact that in 2 Cor 11:1-3, Paul uses the compound form ἐξαπατάω that is also used in the Genesis account to speak of Eve’s deception. But it is at least an intriguing, if unverifiable, possibility.


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