[B-Greek] hAGIWSUNH and hAGIOTHTOS
iver_larsen at sil.org
Sun Mar 21 03:24:30 EDT 2010
I have not been able to find a clear description in any grammar. Maybe others
can find it somewhere.
There does not seem to be many nouns derived from the same adjective both by the
use of -(O)SUNH and -(O)THS.
One other pair I found was:
It seems more common to have either one derivation or the other, but not both.
E.g we have the famous
δικαιοσύνη DIKAIOSYNH, but I don't think a DIKAIOTHS word exists.
Similarly we have νεότης NEOTHS (youth, young person), but no NEOSUNH
IF there is a distinction in meaning between the two derivations, I think it is
likely that the -(O)SUNH ending indicates an abstract idea not attached to or
focused on any particular person, whereas the -OTHS is more specific or
A NEOTHS is a particular young person and DESPOTHS is a particular despot, not
despotism in general. CRHSTOTHS may be the kindness of a particular person, more
than kindness as an abstract philosophical idea.
In Rom 7:6 we read about the KAINOTHS of the ministry of the Spirit as opposed
to the PALAIOTHS of the ministry of the letter. Again, it is not newness and
oldness in a general sense, but the specific new ministry contrasted to the old
We find μεγαλειότης MEGALEIOTHS in Luk 9:43 (greatness of God) Act 19:27
(greatness of Artemis), 2Pe 1:16 (greatness of Christ).
We find μεγαλωσύνη MEGALWSUNH in Heb 1:3, 8:1 and Jude 1:25, but it appears to
be a Jewish euphemism for God. Maybe the idea is that God is the epitome of
greatness as a general concept.
The -OTHS words are commonly constructed with a genitive that indicates who is
described by the underlying adjective.
The -OSUNH words are rarely constructed with a genitive and when they are,
the -OSUNH rarely indicates a description of the noun in the genitive. This
could go into a discussion of δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ KIKAIOSUNH QEOU which I am quite
convinced does not normally describe the righteousness of God, but rather a
righteousness that comes from God or is acceptable to God, the kind of
righteousness that God wants to see us have. (Mat 6:33, Act 10:35, Rom 1:17,
3:21,22, 4:13, 10:3, 2Co 5:21, James 1:20, 1Jn 3:10). However, that is a rather
complex and controversial issue and it would require a lot of space to go into
So, I would suggest that ἁγιωσύνη hAGIWSUNH may refer to the general concept of
holiness (Rom 1:4; 2 Cor 7:1, 1Th 3:13), whereas ἁγιότης αὐτοῦ hAGIOTHS AUTOU
(Heb 12:10) is the particular and personal holiness of God.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Timothy Lawson" <tslawson1 at yahoo.com>
To: <B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: 20. marts 2010 20:59
Subject: [B-Greek] hAGIWSYNH and hAGIOTHTOS
What is the difference between the above words? Is hAGIWSYNH the condition of
holiness and hAGIOTHTOS the quality of holiness?
Compare 1Thessalonians 3:13 and Hebrews 12:10.
1Thessalonians indicates that their hearts may be in a holy condition/state.
Hebrews indicates they may share/partake/receive holy nature/quality.
I hope the Greek font stays Greek.
More information about the B-Greek