Rom 12:2 part 4 - ANAKAINWSIS pauline neologism

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Mon Jan 4 11:04:32 EST 1999

At 10:13 AM +0100 1/4/99, Jürg Buchegger wrote:
>Here is my fourth question on Rom 12:2:

But I'm also responding to the fifth, about ANA in the verbal compound.

>4. What can be said about pauline neologisms? Are there any?
>I'm aware of the statistical problem and the question of the innovative
>force of Christianity. Again my interest here is in contributions from the
>perspective of the Greek language. My research so far showed, that
>ANAKAINOW/WSIS (V.2) seems definitly to be such a pauline neologism. What
>can one say about the appearing of new words in Greek (I have read some
>general remarks on the invention of new words especially in the time of
>Koine  through the encounter with other cultures and parts and countries of
>the world (broadening of the physical horizon brings broadening of the
>Wortschatz?) Are there other explanations? Literature about this? Is there a
>specialist in the history and development of the Greek language (or another
>comparable language) out there?

This is a very good question--quite obviously, I think. And I don't think
there's any ready-to-hand answer; if it hasn't already been done, it's meat
for someone's dissertation research (or life's scholarly project?).

At this point I thrown in what is no more than a gut-feeling. It wouldn't
surprise me to find that ANAKAINOW reflects a Latin verb RENOVARE and that
the ANA- prefix functions precisely as does the RE- prefix in the Latin

My other gut feeling about Pauline neologism or creative thinking: what
impresses me most about Pauline diction is the brilliant usage of metaphors
to convey notions about what transcends space and time in terms applicable
to space and time--as when in Phil he uses the metaphor of running the race
(as competitive and individualistic a Greek sport as any there ever was)
for a personal life's career on the DIAULON wherein he is in relationship
to no competitor but only in relation to the God in Christ who sets his
finish-line--or in 1 Cor 13:12 where he talks about the ultimate GNWSIS as
a TOTE BLEPEIN PROSWPON PROS PROSWPON--and then plays upon it with the verb
EPIGINWSKW in the opposition of middle (EPIGNWSOMAI) and passive
(EPEGNWSQHN)--and in this instance I have no doubt that EPEGNWSQHN is
passive--the antithesis of tense (future vs. aorist) as well as that of
voice (middle vs. passive) is a remarkable creative formulation.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at OR cconrad at

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