[B-Greek] Etymological fallacy?

Murray Hogg muzhogg at netspace.net.au
Wed Nov 19 16:27:05 EST 2008

Hi Steve, 

For more on the question of etymologies and the potential pitfalls of same, I'd suggest chapter 6 of James Barr, The Semantics of Biblical Language, (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1961).

Barr includes a few examples of what not to do - amongst which a ten page treatment of EKKLHSIA in particular!

There's also a nice overview of the place of etymology in lexicography in chapter 1 of Moises Silva, Biblical Words and Their Meaning, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994).

Hope it helps,
Murray Hogg
Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology

Stephen Baldwin wrote:
> 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!
> Rgds
> Steve
> Steve Baldwin
> stbaldwi at hotmail.com

More information about the B-Greek mailing list