Etymological New Testament

Etymological New Testament

Postby cwconrad » November 12th, 2011, 5:15 pm

Would you have guessed that θεός "literally" means "Placer" (from the root of τίθημι)? Well, neither would I. And what do you say to
this version of John 3:16?

"For Placer (ὁ θεὸς) so loved the system (τὸν κόσμον), that he gave his uniquely-becoming (μονογενῆ) son that whosoever is trusting into the same, should not be from-whole-loosed (ἀπόληται), but have life of unconditional-being (αἰώνιον)."

I encountered this oddity this morning on the BLT blog (entry: "Weird Bibles 2: Etymological New Testament"
http://bltnotjustasandwich.com/2011/11/ ... testament/

It's not a joke either; it's been published:
http://www.amazon.com/Etymological-New- ... 074&sr=8-1

You can't make this stuff up!
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby jeffreyrequadt » November 12th, 2011, 8:26 pm

cwconrad wrote:
You can't make this stuff up!


And yet... John Michael Wine appear to have done exactly that! I suppose I could buy it and add to my list of "NT Greek Urban Legends," but I'm afraid too many of the "ultra literalisms" would not be classified as such since they are original with him.
Jeffrey T. Requadt
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby jeffreyrequadt » November 12th, 2011, 8:28 pm

Hmmm. I wonder how Etymological New Testament would deal with the author's own last name, Wine? Should he have listed the author as "John Michael Fermented Vine Product" instead?

Just kidding, John Michael Wine, if you're on this list.
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby MAubrey » November 12th, 2011, 9:23 pm

I, personally, love the review by the author's "unbiased wife."
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby David Lim » November 13th, 2011, 4:36 am

cwconrad wrote:And what do you say to this version of John 3:16?

"For Placer (ὁ θεὸς) so loved the system (τὸν κόσμον), that he gave his uniquely-becoming (μονογενῆ) son that whosoever is trusting into the same, should not be from-whole-loosed (ἀπόληται), but have life of unconditional-being (αἰώνιον)."


This verse is barely bearable except for "uniquely-becoming"! ENT says that Abraham became Isaac! And can anyone break "απολυω" into 3 parts (as ENT claims) for me, especially the middle part? Also how did "αιωνιον" become "unconditional-being"?
δαυιδ λιμ
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby Barry Hofstetter » November 14th, 2011, 8:41 am

Not only do we have a work based on a major fallacy, but we have one which itself uses very doubtful etymologies, from what I've read on this thread so far. What bothers me is that there are less than well educated, even if well intentioned, individuals who will think that this is a valid resource. All we can do, I guess, is educate them one person at a time... :!:
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby SusanJeffers » November 19th, 2011, 8:13 am

Thanks so much for bringing this book to my attention -- I just ordered a copy for my husband, who is an absolute fanatic about Indo-European roots.

This is obviously not the place to defend such an approach, which for him is more of a spiritual matter than academic anyway. My interest is in getting him to learn some Greek, so when we're in our little Bible Study group he'll look up the Indo-European root of the Greek word in addition to whichever English word (translation) seems to predominate in our discussion. He has a Greek interlinear which he uses a bit; maybe the prospect of Indo-European roots of the Greek words will help him learn more Greek. :-)

Apparently he's not the only one interested in these roots; the American Heritage Dictionary quit including their Indo-European Roots appendix for awhile in the 1980's or early 90s. I bought a new AHD in shrink wrap in about 1993 and was unpleasantly surprised not to find my/our most-used section. So I wrote to the publishers (this was pre-internet, pre-email) and heard back that they were shocked at the level of consternation from their customers who protested their having deleted the appendix. They sent me an addendum that they'd put together (pamphlet-thickness) with what would have been the Indo-European Roots appendix to the new dictionary I had bought. A few years ago I picked up a current American Heritage Dictionary and they had restored not only an updated Indo-European Roots appendix but also added a Semitic Roots appendix.

Anyway, when I first met my husband, I mistakenly thought that he thought that English words "really mean" their Indo-European root. I was well aware that mentioning etymology in academic biblical studies circle was a dangerous matter. However, what in fact he believes/experiences is a thread of meaning that extends from the root to its various descendants, analogous to human ancestry. And I'm hoping to help him pick up the thread not only of the English but the Greek, as we study Scripture in small groups with folks who know no Greek and who don't carry around a big fat dictionary.

Thanks!!

Susan Jeffers

PS I wish I could be at SBL for the "nerd-fest" as someone called it elsewhere :-) Maybe next year in Chicago...
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby Louis L Sorenson » November 19th, 2011, 10:31 am

This is similar in concept to the Singular Meaning Lexicon and Handbook of the Greek New Testament http://www.amazon.com/Singular-Meaning-Lexicon-Handbook-Testament/dp/1552128962/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321712806&sr=8-1, which has also been published.

From the author....
METHOD Lexicons, generally, give a variety of meanings for one word. The student chooses the meaning of his liking -- The word meanings in this lexicon have been narrowed to a singular meaning. This narrowing is done by testing various meanings in all of the NT contexts where the word occurs. A meaning is ultimately found that fits in every context. The opinion of the analyzer takes a beating. Subjectivism is overruled, as the meaning is discovered as determined by usage in God's book. It is a fundamental proposition that the one mind of God is thus consistent when he communicates. The lexicon is complete, numbering nearly the same as the approximate 5,010 in Strong's Concordance. Strong includes c.614 proper names, with his total being 5,624.
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby S Walch » December 25th, 2011, 10:51 pm

cwconrad wrote:Would you have guessed that θεός "literally" means "Placer" (from the root of τίθημι)? Well, neither would I.


I was in the midst of reading Greek Apologists of the Second Century by Robert M. Grant, and as he mentioned something about this, it reminded me of this thread.

I had never heard that the idea of θεος being from τιθημι and therefore meaning "Placer" (Or the one who sets down?) is from the Greek historian Herodotus, from Book 2 of The Histories, 52:

Now the Pelasgians formerly were wont to make all their sacrifices calling upon the gods in prayer, as I know from that which I heard at Dodona, but they gave no title or name to any of them, for they had not yet heard any, but they called them gods ({theous}) from some such notion as this, that they had set ({thentes}) in order all things and so had the distribution of everything. (link)

And this is quite probably one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard/read.
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Re: Etymological New Testament

Postby SusanJeffers » December 26th, 2011, 10:07 am

Thanks for providing the Herodotus quote. I appreciate it.

sooo.... if one were to want to investigate the etymology of θεος where might one look?

I bought John Michael Wine's book, both out of curiosity to see what he's up to and also because I'm interested in etymology; having looked it over, it seems to me that he has built a house of cards, using questionable etymologies in combination with some other methods that folks here have criticized.

But my question remains: where can one find more reliable etymologies for Greek words in the NT? Or is etymology just so completely out of style that there is no reliable source where a lay person can look up etymologies of biblical Greek words?

I looked up "theology" in the Online Etymology Dictionary
http://www.etymonline.com
which, for the theo- part, pointed me to the Proto-Indo-European "*dhes-, root of words applied to various religious concepts, e.g. L. feriae "holidays," festus "festive," fanum "temple.""

I don't know how reliable etymonline.com is... but it's what comes up when I google "etymology x" where x is an English language word.

Thanks!
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