PAIDA young man or boy?

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Fri Dec 8 13:06:14 EST 2000

At 5:55 PM -0600 12/8/00, Tony Costa wrote:
>Dear Friends,
>  I had a question regarding the word PAIDA. It is usually translated as
>child, boy,lad or sometimes "young man" as in the NIV at Acts 20:12.
>In this chapter of Acts 20, the same person is identified as both NEANIAS
>(young man) in 20:9 and PAIDA in 20:12. My question is, can PAIDA be used
>interchangeably with NEANIAS?
>  An intersting passage on the subject is found in the LXX in 2 Kings
>2:23-24 where it mentions the PAIDARIA MIKRA ("small children") that scoffed
>at the prophet Elisha. The Hebrew MT seems to support the idea that the word
>N'ARIM can be translated "young men" or "youths" as in other places in the
>Hebrew Bible. Any comments? Regards,

Not unless the NEANIAS is a slave. PAIS does mean "child," but it's also
used like French "garçon" and archaic English "boy" to mean "servant" or
"slave"--and there are passages in the GNT where PAIS is used for Heb
EBHED, as in the Servant poems of 2nd Isaiah. e.g. Matt 12:18.

I think it was Christopher Hutson who wrote a dissertation on the age-based
words in NT Greek? If he's on tap, as I suspect he is, He might step in
here and clear up exactly what the range is for a PAIS when the word
DOESN'T mean "servant" or "slave." My own sense is that it's for a
pre-adolescent boy.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
cwconrad at
cwconrad at

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