[B-Greek] Translation/Defintion of Porneia

Edward Andrews edandrews at adelphia.net
Sat Nov 18 13:57:11 EST 2006


(John 4:16-17). . . He said to her: "Go, call your husband and come to this 
place." 17 In answer the woman said: "I do not have a husband." Jesus said 
to her: "You said well, 'A husband I do not have.'

A married man is denoted by the Greek term a·ner´ (male person). However, it 
can also mean "man" or "male person." It is the context of the surrounding 
words as you pointed out that helps one to decide which meaning a·ner´ may 

With Greek we are not unlocking an unknown language.  Most words that 
survive long enough acquire many specific meanings and additional implied 
ones. The meaning of some words can have a dramatic change within a couple 
hundred years (e.g. ha´des in 400 BCE as opposed to the first century CE). 
In 1611 the English word "let" meant to "stop" or "restrain."

To discover the specified meaning of ancient words, most scholars follow 
three methods.  The first method is the study of how a word was used in the 
Septuagint, apostolic fathers, every day writings and so on.  The second 
method is the study of synonyms (phi·le´o and a·ga·pa´o). The third method 
is the historical roots of the word (less frequently today though).

I think it might be best if you chose a real example from the Greek text and 
elaborate on what you are trying to get across.

Edward Andrews

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harry Jones" <hjbluebird2002 at yahoo.com>
To: "BGREEK" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, November 18, 2006 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Translation/Defintion of Porneia

Hi Edward,

  Well in the context of Jim is xxx, xxx could mean "bad" or "good" or 
"well" or "sick" if you see my point. In this context the meaning of this 
particular sentence is determined by the meaning od "xxx". Right? I think 
most often the meaning of a sentence is determined by the definitions of the 
words in the sentence. Now since the definitions of the words for Greek 
sentences come from a lexicon we must ask ourselves how did they get their 
definitions. Don't you agree Edward? Or have I missed something?

  Best Regards,

  Harry Jones

Edward Andrews <edandrews at adelphia.net> wrote:

Harry, no word's definition lives outside of context. What if I was to say
"Jim is green"? "Green" could mean that 1) Jim is lacking experience, 2) he
is envious, or 3) Jim is looking sick." In many cases, a word could have
multiple meanings, with context helping us to understand which the writer
intended. In translation, I think it is best to stick with the broadest
definition, allowing the reader to determine what is meant. Lexicons compile
their definitions from the vast storehouse of Greek literature that is
available at any given time to the body of researchers. As you have
noticed, we are constantly updating dictionaries and lexicons because of new
discoveries of Greek literature, or a more in-depth look into what we
already have.

Fornication (Greek por·nei´a ) applies to illicit sexual relations outside
Scriptural marriage. It includes adultery, prostitution, and sex relations
between unmarried individuals as well as oral and anal sex and sexual
manipulation of the genitals of an individual to whom one is not married.
New Testament (revised by F. W. Gingrich and F. Danker, 1979, p. 693)
defines por·nei´a as "prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind
of unlawful sexual intercourse." Porneia is understood to involve the
grossly immoral use of the genital organ(s) of at least one human; also
there must have been two or more parties (including another consenting human
or a beast), whether of the same sex or the opposite sex.

Rev 2:20: The woman Jezebel who claims to be a prophetess in Thyatira is
obviously a sham. It is likely, she is a woman or group of women acting as a
shameless corrupting influence in the congregation. Some associated women
may have been involving congregation members in immorality, while brazenly
justifying their self-willed course by misapplying scriptures. False
prophesying indeed! They would influence others to fall into their own ways
of "fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and
covetousness, which is idolatry." (Colossians 3:5) They would have those in
the congregation indulge in an immoral, self-seeking life-style.

Edward Andrews

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harry Jones"
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Translation/Defintion of Porneia

> Hello Ted,
> Well I do wonder where the lexicons get their definitions from? Is it
> just guess work? How reliable are they on accuracy?
> Someone who posted not too long ago, came close to bring that subject up.
> Best Regards,
> Harry Jones
> "shoes6 at juno.com" wrote:
> Harry, George, and others:
> I'm taking a dangerous step, disagreeing with my betters, but here
> goes. George Somsel quoted a passage (Revelation 2:20, it seems) which
> he uses as evidence that PORNEIA can refer to idolatry. While I agree
> that the concepts of immorality and idolatry are *linked* throughout
> the Bible, I do not find this passage to offer grammatical (or other)
> proof that PORNEIA can *mean* idolatry. Could we not, just as easily,
> translate the passage as:
> " . . . to commit sexual sin, and [also] to eat idolatrous offerings."
> Thus the two acts are mentioned together, but not necessarily
> identified as the same thing. I realize this is a point of
> interpretation. I'm not saying that my interp is right; only that
> George hasn't proved his case yet.
> Ted Shoemaker
> What blind spot? I don't see any blind spot!
> George Somsel wrote:
>> I don't know, Harry. Is the Apocalypse NT times enough?
>> Apparently the eating of food which had been used in the pagan
>> sacrifices was considered by the apocalyptist to be a metaphorical
>> commiting of sexual impropriety.
>> george
>> gfsomsel
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