Hendiadys revisited

Joe A. Friberg JoeFriberg at alumni.utexas.net
Thu Jul 22 15:50:38 EDT 1999

I have tracked the discussion on hendiadys [Dmitriy Reznik, Mike Sangrey,
Maurice O'Sullivan, Jay Adkins (cited numerous examples and classified by
form), (et al?)] With interest and have been working to systematize various
examples cited.  I offer the following comments as a provisional analysis of
hendiadys for consideration and comments.

The form of hendiadys is well-defined on an inclusive, but not exclusive,
basis.  Hendiadys is by definition a coordinate phrase containing two
elements joined by kai, though similar phenomena might be expected with
three or more coordinated elements.  In addition, the two elements
· frequently share a single definite article: usually there is no
intervening article between the two nouns (proposed exceptions: Mk 6.26, Lk
· may share a single preposition: no intervening prepositions (usually)
(possible exception: Mt 21.5)
· may share a single attributive genitive noun, etc.
These 3 points actually provide a formal clue to the presence of hendiadys,
but these characteristics are neither necessary nor sufficient for hendiadys
to occur.
Moreover, as with conjoined phrases in general, the conjoined elements
usually adhere to the following constraints: the elements are the
· same part of speech
· same case (if a noun)
· same number (usually) (exception: Lk 2.47)
· same gender (often)

Semantic/Pragmatic Considerations
The formal considerations listed above are pretty mundane, and leave open
many questions regarding potential candidates for hendiadys: any phrase
which meets the above criterion could simply be a list.  Furthermore, as
some of the postings have intimated, there actually appear to be several
different distinct classes of semantic phenomena loosely classified as

In general, coordinated structures may do several things:
1) the elements may list a series of distinct items that are grouped
together for pragmatic reasons within the discourse (listing);
2) elements may be essentially synonymous and thus redundant;
3) the elements taken together may form a whole which is greater than the
sum of the parts;
4) elements that are not synonymous may have the same referent;
5) one element may be subordinated to another element; or
6) one element may be related to another element by some logical
The first option a simple listing, while I have seemed hendiadys used to
refer (by various examples) to all of the other five functions.  The second
function is not very interesting, while the last two each might be expanded.

The following are suggested classifications of hendiadys based on both
English and Greek examples.  It is abundantly clear from this analysis that
the English and Greek phenomena correspond very little, which accounts for
the trouble we have in identifying and interpreting the Greek phrases.  I
have broken down the classes between those in which both coordinated
elements bear equal weight ('double headed'), those with prominence on the
first element ('left headed'), and those with prominence on the second
element ('right headed').

1) Double Headed

a) two poles ==> extent: two poles of a scale are conjoined, thus
referencing the entire extent of the spectrum:
	English examples: high and low; to and fro; back and forth; in and out;
this and that; here and there.  In English, these phrases may also indicate
oscillation.  Also, these are either adverbs, prepositions, or other
function words.  These phrases may be expanded with intervening material (as
in: "he searched high and he searched low"), except for the case of the
archaic 'fro'.
	Eph 3.18 what is the length and width and height and depth TI TO PLATOS KAI
MHKOS KAI hUYOS KAI BAQOS (4 elements in 1(?) phrase, for the fullness of
dimensions of God's love)

b) two complementary groups forming a larger whole
	English: kith and kin (idiomatic: the first element 'kith' is archaic and
otherwise completely out of use)
	the long and the short (of it) = the main point or conclusion.  This phrase
violates the general principle that an article generally does not intervene
within the coordination, and yet it is clearly a form of hendiadys since it
means that both the long and the short explanations are being bypassed to go
straight to the conclusion or main point.  (While this is not a larger
whole, it is more of an intersection of the two parts, and might constitute
a separate class by itself.)
	Law and Prophets = Jewish Scriptures hO NOMOS KAI hOI PROFHTAI Mt 7.12, hOI
	?the Law of Moses and the prophets and Psalms TWi NOMWi MWUSEWS KAI TOIS
PROFHTAIS KAI YALMOIS Lk 24.44  ?does this become a simple list by extending
it this far and including so many particulars?
	Rom 2.27 letter and circumcision = Jewish privileges (TON DIA) GRAMMATOS
	1 Tim 3.15 the pillar and foundation (= edifice?) of truth STULOS KAI
	2 Tim 4.1 the living in the dead ZWNTAS KAI NEKROUS

c) names/titles: alternative designations for same person
	God and Father Rom 15.6, Gal 1.4, etc.
	God and Savior Ti 2.13, 2 Pt 1.1
	Lord and Savior 2 Pt 1.11, 2.20, 3.2,3.18
	Lord and Father Jas 3.9
	God and Christ Jesus 2 Tim 4.1
	Christ and God Eph 5.5
Note: most frequently a primary designation is followed by descriptive
name/title. Should these be viewed as "headed"?

d) balanced: alternative substantival designations other than names
	Acts 3.14 the holy and righteous one TON hAGION KAI DIKAION (two attributes
of God) (As substantival adjectives a phrase may be considered hendiadys,
whereas, as attributive or predicate adjectives, it would not be viewed as
	Eph 4.11 some shepherds and teachers TOUS DE POIMENAS KAI DIDASKALOUS (two
tasks of the single office)
	Rv 5.10 a kingdom and priests to our God TWi QEWi hHMWN BASILEIAN KAI

e) synonymous (intensive/redundant)
	English: really and truly
	Rom 13.13 not carousings and drunkenness, not lusts and sensualities, not
	Eph 4.2 with all humility and gentleness META PASHS TAPEINOFROSYNHS KAI
	Eph 6.18 with all prayer and supplication DIA PASHS PROSEUXHS KAI DEHSEWS
	2 Pt 1.17 honor and glory TIMHN KAI DOCAN

f) frozen phrases (idiomatic)
	English: spick and span (alliteration; otherwise origin and meaning of the
first element is unknown;: such phrases are inseparable, and their
phonological contour reflects their lexical status)

g) two opposites ==> contrast: two opposite categories are conjoined,
bringing focus on the contrast or comparison between them:
	English: pros and cons
	Gen 2:17 of-the-knowing-of good and evil TOU GINWSKEIN KALON KAI PONHRON
Notes: these phrases are fully separable.  This is a relatively weak form of
hendiadys, if in fact it should be classified as such at all.

2) Left Headed

a) Head-Characteristic (esp. intrinsic quality): the second element brings
out a characteristic of the first element which is particularly salient to
the context.  Answers to "x characterized by y."
	Mt 3.11 with the Holy Spirit and fire EN PNEUMATI hAGIWi KAI PURI
	Mt 4.16 in the region and shadow of death EN XWRAi KAI SKIAi QANATOU
	Lk 1.17 in the spirit and power of Elijah EN PNEUMATI KAI DUNAMEI HLIOU.
Both spirit and power are modified by the single genitive 'of Elijah'.
	Lk 21.15 a mouth and wisdom STOMA KAI SOFIAN (here 'mouth' is an instance
of metonymy for 'words')
	Acts 14.13 oxen and garlands
they wanted to sacrifice TAUROUS KAI STEMMATA
	Rom 11.17 of the root and of the richness of the olive tree THS hRIZHS KAI
THS PIOTHTOS THS ELAIAS  [textual variant]
	1 Cor 11.7 image and glory of God EIKWN KAI DOCA QEOU.
	Col 2.8 through philosophy and vain deceit DIA THS FILOSOFIAS KAI KENHS
	2 Tim 1.10 life and immortality ZWHN KAI AFQARSIAN
	Jas 5.10 example
of suffering and patience hUPODEIGMA
THS MAKROQUMIAS TOUS PROFHTAS.  (At first glance, this may appear to be mere
listing (cf. especially the presence of the intervening article); but when
the context is considered with the emphasis on patience (v. 7-8), it does
appear that this is a case of head-characteristic hendiadys.  Moreover, it
can be argued that suffering by itself is not held up as an example in the
NT, but that it is the character quality of the individual who endures
suffering that is lauded.)
	2 Pt 1.3 the things concerning life and godliness TA PROS ZWHN KAI

b) Cause-Effect, and other implicit eventive relationships
	i) Head-Effect "x produces y."
		Mt 24.31 with a trumpet and a great voice META SALPIGGOS KAI FWNHS MEGALHS
[textual variant]
		Acts 14.17 food and gladness TROFHS KAI EUFROSUNHS
	ii) Head-Instrumental "x revealed (etc.) by y."  Note that x may also
produce y, but the focus is on the perceptual (or other) process.
		Mt 24.30 with power and great glory META DUNAMEWS KAI DOCHS POLLHS
(visible glory reveals power)
		Mk 6.26 on account of his oath and those sitting with him DIA TOUS hORKOUS
KAI TOUS ANAKEIMENOUS.  Here the oath is the primary cause, but it is lent
greater weight by the presence of witnesses; the guests witness to and
validate the oath.
		Lk 2.47 at his understanding and answers EPI THi SUNESEI KAI TAIS
APOKRISESIN AUTOU.  Here the understanding is the real source of
astonishment on the part of the auditors, though it was the answers that
exhibited the understanding.
		1 Cor 2.4 in demonstration of the spirit and power EN APODEICEI PNEUMATOS
KAI DUNAMEWS (the spirit is the source of the power, but it is the power
that is more directly seen)
		2 Pt 1.16 the power and appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ THN TOU KURIOU
hHMWN IHSOU XRISTOU DUNAMIN KAI PAROUSIAN (his appearance exhibited his

3) Right Headed

a) Adverbial (intensive) modifiers: in English formed by a narrow class of
adverbial-type nouns followed by a productive second element:
	nice and warm (nice and easy, nice and hot, nice and cozy, nice cool, nice
and comfortable: indicating sufficiency or a pleasing state)
	good and ready (meaning 'quite adequately

b) Generic-Identification: first element is a generic term, the referent of
which is more clearly defined or identified by the second element.  Answers
to "the x which is y."
	Acts 1.25 this ministry and apostleship THS DIAKONIAS KAI APOSTOLHS
	Acts 23.6 concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead PERI ELPIDOS KAI
	Rom 1.5 grace and apostleship XARIN KAI APOSTOLHN
	Col 2.18 humiliation and worship of angels TAPEINOFROSUNHi KAI QRHSKEIAi
	Mt 21.5 on a donkey and on a colt, the offspring of a beast of burden EPI
	Eph 6.18 with all devotion and supplication EN PASHi PROSKARTERHSEI KAI
	1 Pt 4.14 the-spirit of glory and the Spirit of God TO THS DOCHS KAI TO TOU
QEOU PNEUMA. In this example in appears that 'spirit of glory' might not be
identified with the Holy Spirit apart from the added specification 'the
spirit of God'.

c) Quality-Head: first element qualifies the second.  Answers to "the y w/
the quality of x."
	2 Tim 4.2 with all patience and instruction EN PASHi MAKROQUMIAi KAI
	2 Pt 1.3 by his own glory and excellence = by his own glorious goodness

The above observed classes of hendiadys are based on a number of widely
accepted examples, along with some more debatable instances thrown in.  The
following proposed examples do not seem to fit any of the above categories,
and it seems to me that they should be considered as simple lists.  It is
interesting that the theologically significant cases of hendiadys are the
ones that are most debatable.  In fact, it appears that the arguments for
hendiadys in (most of) these cases arise from theological motivations rather
than syntactic, semantic, or contextual.  The arguments against hendiadys in
these cases are based on the lack of correspondence between these cases and
the above categories.
	Jn 1.17 grace and truth hH XARIS hH ALHQEIA.  This appears to be a list of
two abstract nouns.  Although 'grace' only appears four times in the gospel
(1.14, 16, 17), and it might be forced into the 'generic' categorization
above under 3.b., it is difficult to see that the 'grace' spoken of is
precisely 'truth' as a more specific term.
	Jn 3.5 from water and spirit EC hYDATOS KAI PNEUMATOS.  This is the
conjunction of two very different substances (or agents).  Spirit is not an
intrinsic quality of water (class 2.a.).  Nor does water present a generic
category of which spirit is a particular instance (as in class 3.b.:
	Jn 4.23 in spirit and truth EN PNEUMATI KAI ALHQEIAi.  Here the spirit is
the person who enables and enlivens the worship, while truth delineate the
quality of the worship.  This is not "in the truthful/real spirit" (class
2.a.) or even "in spiritual truth" (class 3.b.: generic-identification).
	1 Thes 2.12 into his own kingdom and glory EIS THN hEAUTOU BASILEIAN KAI
DOCAN.  (might fall under 2.a.)  His 'kingdom' indicates his authority which
we obey, while his 'glory' use his honor which he shares with us as his
children: these are two distinct concepts which go hand in hand, but
probably are not coalesced into a single concept in the phrase.

I appreciate any comments!

Joe A. Friberg
M.A. Linguistics
M.A. Theology student
Arlington, TX
JoeFriberg at alumni.utexas.net

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