[B-Greek] Romans 16:1

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Wed Dec 22 09:15:12 EST 2010

Hi, Terry,

Have you studied any languages apart from Greek that still have gender/classes 
in their noun system?

It is helpful to distinguish between the grammatical class (unfortunately called 
"gender") of a noun and the gender of what it refers to, if it refers to 
something that has gender. Obviously a house has no gender, even though OIKOS is 
grammatically masculine.

QEOS is grammatically masculine - some prefer to call it common gender, but I 
consider that to be an unhelpful mixing of grammatical class with reference - 
while QEA is grammatically feminine. QEA would always refer to a goddess, 
whereas QEOS may refer to either a masculine god or a feminine goddess, and this 
is clarified by use of the article or by other words that agree in gender with 
the referent of the noun. It is not a difference between Classical and Koine 
Greek. You can find THS MEGALHS QEAS (of the great goddess) in Acts 19:27 and 
THN QEON hHMWN (our goddess) in Acts 19:37, even though some mss changed to 

Another such word would be ONOS (donkey). It may refer to a male donkey hO ONOS 
or a female donkey hH ONOS.

PARQENOS and DIAKONOS have already been mentioned. ANQRWPOS is more tricky, so I 
will leave that aside.

Iver Larsen

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Terry Cook" <cookie99 at fuse.net>
To: "cwconrad2" <cwconrad2 at mac.com>
Cc: "Biblical Greek Mailing List" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 22. december 2010 16:23
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Romans 16:1

> I've posted 10-11 times over the past five years and nearly every time Carl 
> has graciously responded in some way (thank you) but Carl makes me feel like a 
> grade schooler again watching out for Mr King who roamed the halls looking for 
> little boys misbehaving so he could paddle 'em! <smile> Maybe it's in part 
> because Carl always cuts my name and the "sDg" off before responding.
> OK, LSJ points out a few examples of a fem art with a masc noun. Was this 
> usage only prior to the Koine era? Are there any examples of this construction 
> in the NT or LXX? Was it "good" Greek or were writers being lazy or maybe even 
> "ungrammatical?"
> Terry Cook
> sDg
> From: cwconrad2
> Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:20 PM
> To: Terry Cook
> Cc: nikolaos kadamou ; Daniel Streett ; Biblical Greek Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Romans 16:1
> On Dec 21, 2010, at 04:38 PM, Terry Cook <cookie99 at fuse.net> wrote:
>  I've been waiting for further input but seeing none forthcoming let me prove
>  my lack of knowledge before the whole world- the example from LSJ, as far as
>  I can tell does not once use a fem article with a masc noun.
>  It is my understanding that the article tells us what the gender of its noun
>  is. So, the article and its noun are ALWAYS the same gender.
>  What don't I understand in this conversation?
> What you're missing is that in the sections of LSJ cited below:
> (a) that θήλεια θεός involves a feminine adjective applied to a noun θεός, 
> proving that θεός may be understood as referring to a goddess;
> (b) In τοῖς θεοῖς εὔχομαι πᾶσι καὶ πάσαις, that πάσαις is a modifier of τοῖς 
> θεοῖς, which must therefore be understood as having common gender;
> (c) ἁ Διὸς θεός: where ἁ is the feminine article, equivalent to Attic-Ionic ἡ
> (d) ἡ νέρτερα θεός = Persephone, "the nether goddess"
> The evidence cited in LSJ by Daniel Streett is altogether convincing that the 
> noun θεός
> was understood to have common gender and could be used of a goddess as well as 
> of
> a masculine god.
> Carl W. ConradDepartment of Classics, Washington University (ret)
>  --------------------------------------------------
>  From: "nikolaos kadamou" <ntgreekreader at gmail.com>
>  Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 9:05 PM
>  To: "Daniel Streett" <danstreett at gmail.com>
>  Cc: "Biblical Greek Mailing List" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
>  Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Fwd: Romans 16:1
>  > see
>  > μήτε θήλεια θεός
>  >
>  > On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 9:00 PM, Daniel Streett <danstreett at gmail.com>
>  > wrote:
>  >> Actually, LSJ gives numerous references where θεός (QEOS) is used with
>  >> the
>  >> fem. article, often to refer to Athena:
>  >>
>  >> θεός fem., goddess, μήτε θήλεια θεός, μήτε τις ἄρσην Il.8.7, cf.
>  >> Hdt.2.35,
>  >> al.; τοῖς θεοῖς εὔχομαι πᾶσι καὶ πάσαις D.18.1, cf. 141, Orac.ib.21.52;
>  >> esp.
>  >> at Athens, of Athena, Decr. ap. And.1.77, Pl.Ti.21a, etc.; ἁ Διὸς θεός,
>  >> Ζηνὸς ἡ θ., S.Aj.401 (lyr.), 952 (ἡ Διὸς θεά ib.450); of other goddesses,
>  >> ποντία θεός Pi.I. 8(7).36; ἡ νερτέρα θ.,= Περσεφόνη, S.OC1548, etc.; of
>  >> Thetis, Pl. Ap.28c; of Niobe, S.El.150 (lyr.), Ant.834 (anap.): in dual,
>  >> of
>  >> Demeter and Persephone, τὰ τοῖν θεοῖν ψηφίσματα Ar.V.378 (lyr.); οὐδ'
>  >> ἔδεισε
>  >> τὼ θεώ And.1.125; freq. in oaths, νὴ τὼ θεώ Ar.Lys.112; μὰ τὼ θεώ
>  >> Id.Ec.155,532.
>  >>
>  >> Daniel R. Streett
>  >> Asst. Prof. of Greek and NT
>  >> Criswell College, Dallas, TX
>  >>
>  >> On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 7:53 PM, nikolaos kadamou
>  >> <ntgreekreader at gmail.com>
>  >> wrote:
>  >>>
>  >>> Mark, Θεὸς/θεὰ
>  >>> in everything else you are right
>  >>>
>  >>> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 7:53 PM, Mark Lightman <lightmanmark at yahoo.com>
>  >>> wrote:
>  >>> > <Certain nouns in Greek are "epicene" (or "common") in that their form
>  >>> > is the same for both masculine and feminine but their gender depends
>  >>> > on whom the noun is referring to. DIAKONOS (aide) is one of them.
>  >>> > PARQENOS (virgin) is another.>
>  >>> >
>  >>> > θεος (QEOS) is another one. Even ανθρωπος (ANQRWPOS.)
>  > ---

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