[B-Greek] Etymological fallacy?

Stephen Baldwin stbaldwi at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 18 21:43:56 EST 2008

Good evening Dr.Conrad, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Dr.C's post below had me reaching for my Carson [Exegetical Fallacies].
I'd like to understand this problem more, and understand [perhaps by way of a good example?] when the etymlogy of a word does indeed provide a good basis for understanding the meaning of a word, and how it is divined that the etymology legitimately provides this.
Is the point of the fallacy in EKKLHSIA that nowhere in any earlier [than Koine] greek does the word imply a "calling out"? (I have in mind something like Ruth where the elders met at the gates of the city [Ruth 4:11] in conference); or is it that the "calling out" gets loaded with unwarranted theological ideas (the calling out per old-testament call out of "the world" to separateness/holiness)? Is it both? or is it neither?
Any clues gratefully received!
Steve Baldwin
stbaldwi at hotmail.com
> From: cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org> Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 19:28:16 -0500> Subject: [B-Greek] Etymological fallacy?> > The etymological fallacy appears to be alive and well at the Koinonia > blog in yesterday's "Word study on ekklesia ("church") — Monday with > Mounce 15 " entry:> http://zondervan.typepad.com/koinonia/2008/11/monday-with-mounce.html> = http://tinyurl.com/5n9t54> > It's the old chestnut about EKKLHSIA being derived from EKKALEW and > the word meaning that believers have been "called out of the world" to > belong to King Jesus. It's worth consulting BDAG on this; the word is > actually the standard ancient Greek political word for assembly of > citizens. In the LXX EKKLHSIA was used to convey the Hebrew Qahal, > "congregation" -- and it is pretty evident the word was carried over > into early Christian usage for the congregation of believers.> > Warnings against the etymological fallacy don't seem to do much good.> > Carl W. Conrad> Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)> > ---> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek> B-Greek mailing list> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
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