[B-Greek] Etymological fallacy?

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Wed Nov 19 02:32:47 EST 2008

Dear Steve,

I would recommend the following articles:

Rodney Decker's site:

How Do We Use the Biblical

Dr. Decker's abstract is
 Some Reflections on Synchronic and Diachronic Methodology in Semantics,
Grammar, and Exegesis with an Excursus on Ἐκκλησία [EKKLHSIA]. (This article is
much broader than the "Notes on Semantics" also listed on this page.)

"Some Notes on Semantics, Illustrated with EKKLHSIA"

Dr. Decker's abstract is:
Some Notes on Semantics, Illustrated with Ἐκκλησία [EKKLHSIA]. This study
addresses issues related to methodology in semantics (diachronic vs. synchronic,
etc.), particularly the efforts to define the meaning of ἐκκλησία on the basis
of its etymology and/or cognates. (250K .pdf file)

NIDNTT, Colin Brown, editor, Volume 1, pp. 291-307, "Church" by Lothar Coenen.

En Xristwi,

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen Baldwin" <stbaldwi at hotmail.com>
To: "Carl Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>; "B- Greek"
<b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 6:43 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Etymological fallacy?

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>
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