[B-Greek] Trench on MAKROQUMIA, hUPOMONH and ANOCH

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Wed Feb 19 12:11:48 EST 2003

Following up on the value of Trench's book on synonyms and BDAG, I found
Trench's definition of the difference between these three closely related
words interesting.

First, BAGD gives the following possible glosses for the words:

MAKROQUMIA - patience, steadfastness, endurance, forbearance
hUPOMONH   - patience, steadfastness, endurance, fortitude, perseverance
ANOCH      - holding back, delay, pause; forbearance, clemency

Trench suggests that the main difference is that:

MAKROQUMIA will be found to express patience in respect of *persons*,
hUPOMONH in respect of *things* and
ANOCH is forbearance, but of a temporary nature, like a truce or delay in

As the first word is primarily forbearance and patience with people, it is
an attribute of God and can describe Christians or people in general.
The second word is primarily endurance and perseverance through difficult
circumstances, trials and persecutions, so hUPOMONH is very appropriate for
Job's sufferings (Js 5:11). hUPOMONH is not an attribute of God, because no
thing or event can tempt God to give up, but it can describe an attitude of
Christians and people in general. When 2 Th 3:5 talks about EIS THN AGAPHN
TOU QEOU KAI EIS THN hUPOMONHN TOU CRISTOU these genitives are neither
subjective nor objective, but describe the source of love and endurance as
well as the example set by Christ in both virtues.

The distinctions that Trench suggests seem reasonable to me, and they fit
with the uses of these words in context. There may be one or two cases where
the distinction may not be adhered to by a particular author (e.g., the
author of Hebrews), but in most cases the distinction fits well.

For this kind of discussion of nuances, I find Trench much more helpful that
BAGD and L&N, so it is a valuable resource to study and add to your shelf.

Iver Larsen

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