Gal. 4:18 KALWi

Diana N. Shaw DINOSAUR2LIST at prodigy.net
Fri Oct 5 16:22:02 EDT 2001


Thanks to  Dennis Hukel  for putting me onto KALOS/AGATHOS differences!
Checked Thayer first and found active in this question, not so much
the meaning difference, but the following differences in
application:

1. KALOS seems to be applied in NT occasionally to people, but only
ex officio:  the good shepherd, the good servant, etc;  whereas
AGATHOS is (occasionally) used of persons as such.  (BAG's
treatment confirms, though less explicit.)  But see #2.

2.  AGATHOS itself seems rarely applied to people, a fact which
seems to derive from #3.

3.  A LXX usage is noted at the end of Thayer's entry.  Note says,
quoting a scholar named Zezschwitz, "It is to be regarded as a
peculiarity in the usage of the Sept. that TOV "good" is
predominantly rendered by KALOS....The ANHR AGATHOS is peculiar
only to the Prov...solitary instance in 1 Kings ii.32.  Thus even
in the usage of the O.T. we are reminded of Christ's words, Mk. x.
18, 'OUDEIS AGATHOS EI MH hEIS hO QEOS.'"


Now I have two well supported answers:

I. #1 above shows the NT & early Christian word usage, not my
grammatical concerns, would forbid KALWi's application to Paul or
another human agent.

II. #2 and #3, on the other hand, in a way confirm my wild guess
that (English) translators would assume that our background of
Judaeo-Christian puritanism would prevent Paul's calling himself
"good"; but they confirm it "with a (highly informative)
vengeance," showing this attitude dates all the way back at least
to LXX translators!

So, thank you, Dennis Hukel, for putting me onto the word usage
here!  I had checked dictionaries, but only for EN's grammatical
usages, totally ignoring the adjective itself.  Very stupid!


Diana N. Shaw
dinosaur2 at prodigy.net
http://pages.prodigy.net/dinosaur2
http://pages.prodigy.net/dinosaur2/private/itiswrit.htm





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