ܐܒܣܬܓ bstg Avesta
Allotrope: ܐܒܣܬܓܐ ʾbstgʾ (BB 18, 18). Reborrowings: ܐܒܣܬܟ ʾbstk (Hofmann 1880, 64 n. 558); ܐܒܣܬܐ ʾbstʾ
ʾbstg ← MP abestāg [ʾp(y)stʾk'] Avesta (CPD 3; cf. Nyberg 24, s.v. apastāk); see also ManMP ʾbystʾg /*abestāg/ "teacher (?)" (Boyce 1977, 7; Durkin-Meisterernst 2004, 17 also quotes other interpretations, such as "renegade" and "apostate" and refers to Sundermann 2003, 232); ʾbstk ← Early MP abastāk; ʾbstʾ ← NP abistā id. (Steingass 8) ● Cat Bod 420, 21; MP 26n = am 2, 576, 12; am 2, 579, 19; 2, 589, 15 ◆ LS 3a; Lagarde GA 7, 4; PS Suppl. 2 and 7
Many etyma of the Iranian word have been proposed: see Belardi 1979. This scholar reviews the preceding etymological attempts (253 ff.) and proposes a derivation from OIr. *upa-stā-ka- "knowledge, religious knowledge". Among the previously proposed etyma and meanings, the more successful have been: OIr. *upa-stāwaka- praise (Bartholomae 1906, 107 f.; this etymon still seems convincing to Kellens 1987, 35); OIr. *upa-stā-ka- fundamental text (Andreas, GrIrPh II, 2); Abestāg the injunction (of Zoroaster), meaning proposed by Henning on the basis of comparison with Sogd. əpštāwan order, recommendation (Henning 1946, 725). In favour of Henning's thesis cf. Morano 1987, 973-975, and Sundermann 2001. Sundermann accepts Henning's comparison between MP abestāg and Sogd. əpštāwan (comparison rejected by Belardi 1979, 264-266 on formal and semantic grounds: the strongest objection is that MP abestāg does not come from a transitive-causative verbal form, whereas Sogd. əpštāwan does, being a derivative of ʾpšty- to order) and believes that the use of the Sogd. word in the Christian sense of "New Testament" in a Christian-Sogdian fragment dating back to the tenth century AD supports Henning's etymology of abestāg. However, Sundermann's objections against the reasons adduced by Belardi against Henning's etymological proposal are untenable, being based on a misunderstanding of Belardi's linguistic argumentation.