ekklesia/Kalvesmaki, Sangrey

Numberup at worldnet.att.net Numberup at worldnet.att.net
Thu Jul 29 08:56:03 EDT 1999

I agree that etymology is useful in casting the parameters of a word's meaning.  Even
with changes in meaning over time, something of the origin idea usually remains, and
can be beneficial in understanding the bedrock of definition.  I had recently to
discourse on DIAKONOS as it applied to Phoebe in Romans 16:1.  In the context of
Paul's time, was she a "servant," "minister,"  "helper," or "deaconess?"  It was an
interesting discussion.

"Joe A. Friberg" wrote:

> <snipped>
> The meaning of a word in context contains very distinct components of
> *denotation* and *connotation*.  Denotation is specifically the referential
> aspect of meaning, what the word points to.  Connotation comprises the
> nuances of meaning that are associated with the denoted subject under
> discussion, and can be further subdivided into *intrinsic*--aspects of
> meaning that a word carries with it, and *attributed*--meanings applied to
> the word by the context of the discourse.
> . The attributed connotations of EKKLHSIA I propose are:
> -the aspect of unity (note it must be *taught* in many passages)
> -the universal connotation found in certain passages.
> -the 'body of Christ'
> -other descriptions/metaphors
> Now, in translation, a word/phrase must accurately *denote* the appropriate
> referent according to the context of the passage.  (In some passages, this
> is all that is really important to the translation.)  The translation
> should, as best as possible, approximate the appropriate intrinsic
> connoations.  Finally, it should *avoid* making merely attributed
> connotations intrinsic.
> Satisfying all three of these aspects may be difficult or impossible.  If
> impossible, we end up having to use a descriptive phrase, or using the
> closest word available and making it into a technical term which is then
> filled with meaning by contexts and teaching; but that is a poor substitute
> for actual translation!
> So far, it seems 'assembly' or 'congregation' best meet this criteria; at
> this point, I lean towards 'congregation' based on the religious
> connotations of that word in my dialect/subculture.  However, as Kalvesmaki
> has pointed out, the actual choice may vary according to target audience!
> Joe Friberg
> M.A. Linguistics
> M.A. Theology student
> Arlington, TX
> JoeFriberg at alumni.utexas.net

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