I read an excellent article in Novum Testamentum yesterday that argues that the novel sense of διακρίνομαι ‘to hesitate,’ or as BDAG puts it: “to be uncertain, be at odds w. oneself, doubt, waver”, doesn’t actually exist. The author, Peter Spitaler, puts forward the argument that such a meaning is wholly unknown to Greek patristic interpreters of the text and that there is no solid evidence of this meaning outside of the New Testament. Rather, Spitaler argues, the meaning to “to hesitate/doubt/waver” came via Latin translation from Greek, which then influence. The article is particularly noteworthy in its analaysis of the distinction between the semantics of the active διακρίνω and the middle διακρίνομαι.
It’s an excellent article–very much in the spirit of John Lee’s A History of New Testament Lexicography and worth the time to read–and you can because JSTOR let’s you read articles online for free.
Spitaler, Peter. “Διακρίνεσθαι in Mt. 21:21, Mk. 11:23, Acts 10:20, Rom. 4:20, 14:23, Jas. 1:6, and Jude 22-the “semantic Shift” That Went Unnoticed by Patristic Authors”. Novum Testamentum 49.1 (2007): 1–39. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25442534