How do we recognize hendiadys?

Jay Adkins JAdkins264 at
Mon Jul 12 14:56:59 EDT 1999

Dear B-Greekers,

To my mind the question that was first asked by Dmitriy Reznik has yet to 
be completely answered.  How do we recognize hendiadys?  I had a feeble 
response on 6/22/99 that needs further work and have included it below.  
However, it does not completely answer the question.  Can someone please 
either fill me in or direct me to a better source than from which I quoted 

<<Date:Tue, 22 Jun 1999 7:48:54
Author:"Jay Adkins" <JAdkins264 at>
Subject:Re: How to recognize hendiadys?
Body:Dear Dmitriy Reznik; 

<<<<<<I am interested how to recognize hendiadys. For example, Ja 5:10: 
hUPODEIGMA ... THS KAKOPAQIAS KAI MAKROQUMIAS, "example... of suffering and 
patience". BDB grammer says it to be an example of hendiadys, and transates 
as: "perseverance in suffering". How can we know whether it is hendiadys, 
or just listing?>>>>>

I am the least qualified to respond to your question as I am the ‘Littlest
of Greeks', furthermore I had never even heard the term before you brought 
it up. Therefore this may not be of much help, but allow me to quote from 
‘Figures of Speech Used in the Bible', by E.W. Bullinger. Should you have 
already read it, it may at least help some other ‘Little Greek' like

Basic definition: (For others like me)
"Lit., one by means of two. Two words employed, but only one thing, or 
idea, intended......The figure is truly oriental, and exceedingly 
picturesque. It is found in Latin as well as in Hebrew and Greek, and is 
frequently used in both Old and New Testaments."

How can we know whether it is hendiadys, or just listing?
"The two words are of the same parts of speech : i.e., two nouns (or two 
verbs) always joined together by the conjunction "and." The two nouns are
always in the same case."

In addition to this he does make comments on 25 OT nouns, 34 NT nouns and 8 
NT verbs. The following are some brief summaries of those comments on NT 

He mentions several times we should notice there are no articles with the
nouns, yet, John 1:17 has an article prior to both nouns and Acts 1:25; 
3:14; Eph 5:5; Col 2:8; 1 Thes 2:12; Titus 2:13; Jam 3:9 all have an 
article with the first noun.

In John 4:23 He notes there is only 1 preposition for the two nouns. In 
checking all the verses he had listed I did not find an exception to this

In Rom 11:17 there are two articles and no "and". His only comments are, 
"the root, yes-and the fat or prolific root; or the rich blessings which 
comes from the root." With a footnote to an article "on ‘The Fig, the 
Olive, and the vine' in Things to Come for July, 1889."

I noticed that not only was the case the same, but with the exception of 
Rev. 5 10, so was the number.

Should anyone be interested the following is the list of hendiadys in the
NT using nouns that Bullinger used as examples:
Matt. 3:2; 4:16; 24:30,31; Luke 1:17; 21:15; John 1:17; 3:5; 4:23; Acts 
1:25; 3:14; 14:13; 23:6; Rom. 1:5; 2:27; 11:17; 1 Cor. 2:4; 11:7; Eph. 
5:5; 6:18; Col. 2:8, 18; 1 Thess. 2:12; 1 Tim. 3:15; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 2;
Tit. 2:13; Jas. 3:9; 2 Pet. 1:3, 16, 17; Rev. 5:10.

I know this does not completely answer your question and I hope someone 
else will fill us in.>>

Is this just another contextual problem with no hard set rules to follow?

Sola Gratia,

Jay Adkins

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