Mt 3:2, 4:17

Ben Crick ben.crick at
Mon Nov 29 20:08:17 EST 1999

On Mon 29 Nov 1999 (15:16:37), scmiller at wrote:
> [snippage]       ...   ...   I wonder if what 
> you meant was to refer to the avoidance of using the divine name
> through a  reverential circumlocution? But I don't think that BASILEIA
> TWN OURANWN can  strictly speaking be called a circumlocution, since
> Matthew was not trying to avoid using the Greek term QEOS. After all,
> Matthew uses the term QEOS some 51 times. In fact, Matthew even uses the
> phrase BASILEIA TOU QEOU (at  12:28; 19:24; 21:34,43). Rather, what I think
> we have here (with BASILEIA TWN OURANWN) is simply a translation of a
> semitic circumlocution, which simply functions as a synonym to BASILEIA
> TOU QEOU. What do you think?

 Dear Steven,

 I agree with you entirely. Sorry I didn't use more accurate terminology,
 writing off the top of my head. Thanks for tidying me up.

 I don't think 'Matthew' had a hang-up over using QEOS, as you point out.
 IMHO John Baptist used this circumlocution in 3:2, and Jesus echoed it
 in 4:17. A sort of Synechdoche: the container (heaven) for the contents

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

More information about the B-Greek mailing list