Differences between 'πολυτιμότερον' and 'πολὺ τιμιώτερον'

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
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schuhmam
Posts: 4
Joined: April 21st, 2017, 3:53 am

Differences between 'πολυτιμότερον' and 'πολὺ τιμιώτερον'

Post by schuhmam » April 28th, 2017, 3:34 am

As the title sais. I was trying to figure out if there is a different meaning in those two expressions (refereing to 1 Peter 1:7).

Maybe πολὺ τιμιώτερον is a bit stronger than πολυτιμότερον (because of πολὺ + comperative)?

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Differences between 'πολυτιμότερον' and 'πολὺ τιμιώτερον'

Post by Stephen Hughes » April 28th, 2017, 2:32 pm

Hi Schuhmam,
1 Peter 1:7 wrote:τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως πολὺ τιμιώτερον / πολυτιμότερον χρυσίου τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου, διὰ πυρὸς δὲ δοκιμαζομένου,
Let me "translate" and paraphrase that before looking at the words:
The recognition that your faith has passed the test (of fire) is a great deal more valuable / more valuable in many ways than (the recognition of the passing of the test of fire) of an object that was made of gold that was subjected to such an intense testing process by fire that it is no longer fit for service.
(ie If testing of an object made of gold by fire is intense enough, then it ends up becoming destructive testing, but no mater how long or how intense the testing of your faith is, your faith will always remain integral (ie keep its wholeness, structure and form), useful, recognisable, etc.)

(1) πολὺ τιμιώτερον - the πολύ here probably goes with the -τερον, in the sense of "a lot ... more than". πολὺ τιμιώτερον "a lot more valuable than (gold)".

(2) πολυτιμότερον - the comparative of πολύτιμος. "Πολύ-" can mean "very" and can mean "multi-" / "many". In πολύτιμος the πολυ- goes with the meaning of τιμ-, ie either "very valuable", or "valuable in many ways".
  • If the meaning of πολυ- is "very", then πολυτιμότερον means "more very-valuable than (gold)".
  • If the meaning of πολυ- is "multi", then πολυτιμότερον means "more valuable in many ways than (gold)".
Feel free to ask questions about this response, or your original question, which either myself or others might further respond to.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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