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Compare the word translated as touch in the two examples below:

Mark 5:30 (KJV)

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

John 20:17(KJV)

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Is the same Greek word used for both instances rendered "touch"?

In light of how many bibles render John 20:17 as saying "do not cling to me" or "do not hold on to me" how are we to understand the use of "touch" in Mark 5:30?

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Yes, it's the same word.

The respective texts in greek are: «τίς μου ἥψατο;» and «μή μου ἅπτου».

The former is simply the past tense of the latter.

Strongs 680 which you reference in the related question, shows examples of both tenses: http://biblehub.com/greek/680.htm


EDIT from comments as requested: The question implies that this verb can have two meanings: one of "to touch" and one of "cling to / to hold on to". This is in reference to the linked question here, which attempts to distinguish "which of the two meanings" is to be understood in that particular biblical passage.

I dispute the meaning of "cling to / hold on to", and note that when people say that it has been cited to have that meaning in some translations, when read in context it seems to mean "cling" in the sense that two hinges 'cling' (i.e. come into touch) and thus "hold on to" each other and fasten together. As opposed to the modern interpretation of "clinging", e.g. of a person to another person, or "holding on to" in the sense of not letting go of from one's grasp or possesion.

Instead, I would argue the two passages are not in fact different in verb meaning, only in context. As we've said in the other thread, I don't interpret the latter passage like that. As a simple Greek person reading it in Greek, I simply read "mi mou aptou" as "do not touch" (or more literally translated as "do not touch of me"); in context, one may perceive that to have meant:

"Don't be so shocked. Don't touch me so inquisitively as if I'm a ghost. It's true. I'm still here.".

But yes, it's true that, outside of that context, the phrase "mi mou aptou" could equally have been used by one to mean

"Don't touch me. I don't like to be touched".

So, while one can make reasonable assumptions behind the true meaning of that utterance based on the context of a shocked Mary and a reassuring Jesus, in actual fact it is so tersely written that we cannot really know for sure what John meant to convey by that account.

So we can only go by what is written, which is "Do not touch (of) me". It is what it is.

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    ἥψατο … ἅπτου (with spiritus asper) – fdb Nov 1 '17 at 23:51
  • You've confirmed it is the same word can you elaborate on how different the two verses are in that one makes sense that it means the slightest contact while the other makes sense meaning hanging onto Jesus as if he will never be seen again? – Kris Nov 2 '17 at 3:10
  • @Kris they're not different in verb meaning, only in context. As we've said in the other thread, I don't interpret the latter like that. As a simple Greek person reading it in Greek, I simply read "mi mou aptou" as "do not touch"; in context, one may perceive that to have meant "Don't be so shocked. Don't touch me so inquisitively as if I'm a ghost. It's true. I'm still here.". But yes, it's true that, outside of that context, the phrase "mi mou aptou" could be used by one to mean "Don't touch me. I don't like to be touched". So I don't know what John meant to convey by that. It is what it is. – Tasos Papastylianou Nov 2 '17 at 10:28
  • @TasosPapastylianou understood. Your answer would be more complete with what you have written in your comment edited into it. Your comment will eventually disappear. – Kris Nov 2 '17 at 12:12
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ἥψατο and ἅπτου have the same root, the verb ἅπτω, i.e., they are two inflectional forms of the verb ἅπτω. This root can be obtained by parsing (describe a word grammatically).

  • ἥψατο can be parsed as a form of ἅπτω:
    • aorist middle indicative, 3rd person singular
  • ἅπτου can be parsed as a form of ἅπτω:
    • imperfect middle-passive indicative, 2nd person singular
    • present middle-passive imperative, 2nd person singular

Depending on the context, this word can be translated in different ways. The Greek Dictionary of Bill Mounce says:

Gloss:
to touch, hold, handle; (act.) to start a fire; to touch a woman means to get married
Definition:
pr. to bring in contact, fit, fasten; to light, kindle, Mk. 4:21; Lk. 8:16; to touch, Mt. 8:3; to meddle, venture to partake, Col. 2:21; to have intercourse with, to know carnally, 1 Cor. 7:1; by impl. to harm, 1 Jn. 5:18

However, since both verbs are middle voice form, then the possible meanings (from BDAG) that can be applied are:

to make close contact, mid. w. gen. […]
   gener. touch, take hold of, hold τινός someone or someth. Lk 7:39; […]
   cling to μή μου ἅπτου stop clinging to me! […] J 20:17 […]

  • Just correcting that the verb is ἅπτομαι, not ἅπτω. The latter means something different. Interestingly, the latter is still used with the same meaning in the Cypriot dialect, which has preserved much of the ancient greek language. It means to 'light up', or to 'spark', or 'activate / turn on'. – Tasos Papastylianou Nov 2 '17 at 1:24
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    @TasosPapastylianou “Some verbs have a different lexical meaning in active and middle voice. It is possible that these are actually homonyms, two different words that are spelled the same. They came to be viewed as a single word since by convention one was used only in the active voice, the other only in middle. Most Greek lexicons list them as a single entry.” §17.16, Reading Koine Greek: An Introduction and Integrated Workbook (2014) by Rodney J. Decker. – Paul Vargas Nov 2 '17 at 2:59
  • I must confess that I do find very interesting the notion that, perhaps, the verb 'to touch' was perceived by Greeks to be a transitive verb, in the sense that, by touching something, one causes oneself to experience the stimulus of touch, i.e. one is being 'activated / lit up', one causes their touch receptors in the skin to 'light up' / 'fire their signal'. This would make particular sense for haptomai in the context of 'feeling with one's hands / coming into contact', and even more so in 'carnal' contexts. But, obviously, I don't know, it's just a conjecture, albeit an interesting one. – Tasos Papastylianou Nov 2 '17 at 10:09

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