[B-Greek] <heis> <mia> <hen>

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Mon Jul 11 07:02:20 EDT 2005

On Jul 11, 2005, at 1:04 AM, robert thompson wrote:

> Greetings
> I have noticed with the words <heis> <mia> and <hen> that they all  
> appear to
> mean the same thing "oneness" or "one". I have noticed in cases  
> where plural
> number of things exist in a verse, that the words <heis> or <mia>  
> may deepen
> to mean "a system of oneness" or "compound unity", meaning the  
> "one" is part
> of a "system".

hEIS, MIA, and hEN are respectively the masculine, feminine and  
neuter nominative forms of the same word which is equivalent to  
English "one." You really should consult a good Greek lexicon; for NT  
Greek the best is BDAG (A Greek - English Lexicon of the New  
Testament and other Early Christian Literature— THIRD EDITION —), to  
get a clear sense of the different ways in which hEIS, MIA, hEN is  
commonly used.

> Example 1
> Joh 1:40 One <heis> of <ek> the two <duo> which <ho> heard <akouo>  
> <para>
> John <Ioannes> speak, and <kai> followed <akoloutheo> him <autos>,  
> was <en>
> Andrew <Andreas>, Simon <Simon> Peter's <Petros> brother  
> <adelphos>. (KJV)
>  40 hn andreaV o adeljoV simwnoV petrou eiV ek twn duo twn  
> akousantwn para
> iwannou kai akolouqhsantwn autw (TR)
> For example : John 1:40 lists two people, one <heis> was a "the one  
> person
> was a system of brothers"....
> Am I correct in making this hypothesis with all occurences of  
> <heis> or
> <mia> like this ?

As I said above, you really should look at a good NT Greek lexicon;  
it looks to me like you're attempting to extrapolate the meaning of  
hEIS from an interlinear translation or from Strong's numbers. Do you  
actually know any Greek apart from what you're surmising from these  
words? The text in question reads: HN ANDREAS hO ADELFOS SIMWNOS  
AUTWi. Here the snese of hEIS EK TWN DUO is completed by the  
participial complements TWN AKOUSANTWN PARA IWANNOU KAI  
AKOLOUQHSANTWN AUTWi and so means "one of the two who had heard from  
John and had followed him." There's nothing in this phrase to  
indicate that "the two who had heard" were brothers, but only that  
there were two that had heard and that Andrew was one of them. The  
information that Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter simply helps  
to identify Andrew; it doesn't indicate that Simon Peter was the  
other who had heard--it may be true that he was the other who heard,  
but this Greek text does not say that.

> Example 2
> Joh 17:11 ¶ And <kai> now <ouketi> I am <eimi> no more <ouketi> in  
> <en> the
> world <kosmos>, but <kai> these <houtos> are <eisi> in <en> the world
> <kosmos>, and <kai> I <ego> come <erchomai> to <pros> thee <se>. Holy
> <hagios> Father <pater>, keep <tereo> through <en> thine own <sou>  
> name
> <onoma> those <autos> whom <hos> thou hast given <didomi> me <moi>,  
> that
> <hina> they may be <o> one <heis>, as <kathos> we <hemeis> are. (KJV)
>  11 kai ouk eti eimi en tw kosmw kai outoi en tw kosmw eisin kai  
> egw proV se
> ercomai pater agie thrhson autouV en tw onomati sou ouV dedwkaV moi  
> ina wsin
> en kaqwV hmeiV (TR)
> In this example two beings are described (Father and Jesus) , thus  
> the use
> of <heis> suggests that Jesus is oneness with the Father, in a GOD  
> "like
> system of deities" ?  Again is the use of plurality of nouns with  
> <heis> a
> correct understanding in verses like these ?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at ioa.com or cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

More information about the B-Greek mailing list