Etymology of AGAQOS

clayton stirling bartholomew c.s.bartholomew at
Thu Nov 25 14:22:35 EST 1999

>From: Steven Craig Miller <scmiller at>

> Are etymological studies out of fashion today?

This depends on who you ask. In some circles etymology has become about
as respectable as tarot card reading. In  Biblical Hebrew studies
etymology is still used occasionally for hapaxlegomona but there were a
lot of excesses committed a few decades ago which have made scholars
more than a little wary of arguments based on etymology.

I have been using M. Dahood's works on the Psalms (AB, 1960's) and have
noted his tendency to solve every problem by finding a supposed parallel
in Ugaritic. This sort of thing was all the rage decades ago in OT
studies before James Barr came along and applied his blow torch style
criticism to their methodology. A number of scholars got singed.

In Biblical Greek we have such a massive amount of lexical data I cannot
see why we should ever have to restort to etymology to solve problems.
It is a method of last resort.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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