Barry Hofstetter nebarry at
Tue Jan 14 08:22:46 EST 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pere Porta Roca" <pporta at>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at>
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 12:58 AM
Subject: [b-greek] RE: [b-Greek] EPHESIANS 1.4,5

> I'm seeking for the true difference, if any, between the term 'AMNOS', lamb,
> (John 1:29) and ARNION (Revelation in general, anywhere, for example 5:12,
> etc.).
> Is perhaps O AMNOS a different animal from TO ARNION?
> I've not looked at any biblical Dictionary nor know I whether such a
> Dictionary speaks about this. Perhaps if I look at such a work I'll get the
> answer which I'm seeking for?

The two terms are practically synonyms.  AMNOS appears strictly to be a lamb;
ARNION can mean either an adult sheep or a lamb, and though originally a
diminutive of ARHN, it seems to have lost the force of a diminutive by NT times.

> I'm asking myself: If John is the author of both the Evangile and the
> Revelation is it not a little striking he doesn't use in both books the same
> term to show or to point to the same animal?

This gets us into areas beyond the scope of b-greek, but I would say it's no
more striking than my saying "car" in one context, and "automobile" in another.
I happen to think the style of Revelation is deliberately affected, but it would
take a great deal of time and effort to prove that...

> Perhaps is an ARNION a horned and a more developped or grown AMNOS?
> Or, if you prefer, is perhaps an AMNOS the same thing (animal now) as an
> ARNION but one calls AMNOS the animal when it is in the first months of its
> life, that's to say: AMNOS = young/baby ARNION?

I think the point of the vocabulary group is to call attention to sacrificial

> May we say that in John 1:29 it is not John the evangelist who is speaking
> but John the Baptist is speaking so that who uses the word AMNOS is not John
> (the writer)?

Since John the B. almost certainly made his comment in Aramaic, I think we have
to say that it is still John the Evangelist who has chosen that Greek word for
that specific context.

> I'm from the South Europa area and I've seen that generally speaking the
> Bible translations to romanic languages --such as Spanish, Catalan, French,
> Italian and so on--  give of both terms the same translation word: sp.
> cordero; cat. anyell; fr. agneau, etc.

The same in the English translations.

> Is it done wrong, in the present case, to translate these two differents
> terms into the same word? So should AMNOS be translated into one word and
> ARNION should be translated into another word (if these two different and
> specific words exist in the target language, of course)?

Probably not -- one would require two different words with almost the
practically the identical range of meaning in the receptor language as in the
original, and that's tough to get.  Contextually, and considering the OT
background for the imagery, "lamb" seems to work just fine.

> (Please be not struck by my use of English prepositions: as I said I am not
> from the English or anglophone area)

Honestly, I hardly noticed...

N.E. Barry Hofstetter

Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te...
    -- Augustine, Confessions 1:1

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