SusanJeffers wrote: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
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.
I would be hesitant to go beyond etymological pointers in LSJ and BDAG; there are some etymological lexica for ancient Greek (I know of Boisacq (French) and Hofmann (German). Much of this etymological research is fanciful and speculative. Of course it's fun -- a game to play -- but not something to take very seriously, as John Michael Wine seems to do in the extreme. What the good (unabridged lexica) offer in terms of judgments about usage within particular contexts -- often far-removed from etymological origins -- is far more valuable. A useful and trustworthy etymological resource is Calvert Watkins' The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, Third Edition [Paperback].