Question for any Greek Scholars about root of ἁγνεία

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jan 20 2013 6:53 AM

Background:
I was looking at 1Tim. 5:2 and wanted to investigate ἁγνεία and it's roots. In the course of that study I clicked the root and noticed that Logos considers the root of ἁγνεία to be αγιος (sic). Trying "search this resource" proved to cover too wide a field of meaning to be helpful, so I opened (among other things) the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament which has the following grouping (TDNT also groups ἁγνεία under ἁγνός not ἅγιος):

ἁγνός, 3   hagnos   pure, undefiled, chaste
ἁγνεία, ας, ἡ   hagneia   purity, chastity
ἁγνίζω   hagnizō   purify, sanctify
ἁγνισμός, ου, ὁ   hagnismos   purification, sanctification
ἁγνότης, ητος, ἡ   hagnotēs   purity, sincerity
ἁγνῶς   hagnōs   purely, sincerely

This made me wonder whether Logos has it right. Certainly ἅγιος and ἁγνεία have very similar spellings and meanings that seem to overlap, but is that enough to conclude that ἅγιος is the root of ἁγνεία?

Question:
How would one determine whether Logos has it right regarding the root ἁγνεία? Would it not be better to suggest ἁγνός as its root?

Shouldn't Logos be following the apparently accepted scholarship of both TDNT and EDNT here? If not, what can you tell me about accepted scholarship regarding the root of ἁγνεία?

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 7:10 AM

Looks to me you're pursueing a theology question, judging from the LXX usage, and then the apostolic fathers.

  Plus locked up Logos5 clicking on one of the roots.  Logos5's a minefield.


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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 7:20 AM

DMB:

Looks to me you're pursueing a theology question, judging from the LXX usage, and then the apostolic fathers.

? I thought I was asking a linguistic question, which will aid the study of interpreting/understanding a phrase in a verse (which understood properly probably has more to do with pastoral ethics than theology, but even that is not the question).

I didn't look at the AF, but did look briefly at the LXX regarding ἁγνεία (it was too tedious to look up all references to ἁγνός and its variants). I'm also asking if Logos got it wrong, or if not, how it got it right.

I'm not even asking about the related meanings of ἁγνός and αγιος. Just about the proper root for ἁγνεία (which seems to me to be ἁγνός).

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 7:21 AM

I guess we can safely assume you're not familiar with the argument there.


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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 7:30 AM

DMB:

I guess we can safely assume you're not familiar with the argument there.

That would be a safe assumption. I have no idea what you're talking about, nor how it relates to the question of the proper root of the Greek word ἁγνεία.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 8:15 AM

I think all of these words are ultimately related to ἁγίζω (if that makes any real difference since even related words go their own separate paths in developing meaning according to how they are used).  As Humpty Dumpty said "When I use a word, it means exactly what I mean it to mean."  That is to say, how is it used in context? 

Addendum: 

  1. Have you noticed that even professional writers will sometimes use a word that you know full well is not the proper word though it may be somewhat similar to what should have been written?  When I find such I cringe and mentally supply the word which should have been used.  Moral of the story—never use a word you don't really know simply because it sounds impressive.
  2. No one today who isn't interested in words would ever think of "keeper of the bread" when using the word "lady" though that is its origin.  Etymologies are interesting, but really contribute little to understanding the meaning of the word as used.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 8:27 AM

George Somsel:
I think all of these words are ultimately related to ἁγίζω

Do you have anything to point me to other than "I think?" Not that I don't care what you think, but I'm hoping for more than opining here. If you have more to point me to in this regard, I'd like to know about it.

George Somsel:
even related words go their own separate paths in developing meaning according to how they are used

That almost goes without saying. In the case of this verse, I was wondering about the nature and extent of the 'purity' (whether one should constrain it to 'sexual purity' or broaden it to a more general 'propriety (both perceived and actual).' Such a decision would be difficult to make in context, as both have merit. A study of related words (with the ἁγν- stem) and their usage might or might not make suggestions toward that end.

Root searching and studies (which I lobbied for) is sometimes helpful, but not always, and certainly not in every way. But it seems like a minimal request to get the root right - and that's what I'm asking about.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 8:45 AM

Just as I suspected.


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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 8:50 AM

DMB:

Just as I suspected.

If you have anything to offer, or any resource to point to, I'm interested.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 8:53 AM

Richard DeRuiter:

George Somsel:
I think all of these words are ultimately related to ἁγίζω

Do you have anything to point me to other than "I think?" Not that I don't care what you think, but I'm hoping for more than opining here. If you have more to point me to in this regard, I'd like to know about it.

George Somsel:
even related words go their own separate paths in developing meaning according to how they are used

That almost goes without saying. In the case of this verse, I was wondering about the nature and extent of the 'purity' (whether one should constrain it to 'sexual purity' or broaden it to a more general 'propriety (both perceived and actual).' Such a decision would be difficult to make in context, as both have merit. A study of related words (with the ἁγν- stem) and their usage might or might not make suggestions toward that end.

Root searching and studies (which I lobbied for) is sometimes helpful, but not always, and certainly not in every way. But it seems like a minimal request to get the root right - and that's what I'm asking about.

I just noted that I entered a typo.  I should have written ἁγνίζω rather than ἁγίζω–sorry about that.  This is important because one must account for the presence or absence of the 'ν' in the various words.  I tend to relate nouns to verbs.  In this case the 'ν' would drop out of ἁγνίζω when the adjective ἅγιος is formed.  The dropping of the consonant is most likely due to ease of pronunciation.  The introduction of the consonant would be more difficult to explain.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 9:04 AM

Richard DeRuiter:
I was wondering about the nature and extent of the 'purity' (whether one should constrain it to 'sexual purity' or broaden it to a more general 'propriety (both perceived and actual).' Such a decision would be difficult to make in context, as both have merit. A study of related words (with the ἁγν- stem) and their usage might or might not make suggestions toward that end.

I don't think a study of the word will be very helpful in that regard.  I think it all depends on how closely you wish to tie the admonition regarding elders and younger men with older women and maidens.  If the admonition to observe purity relates to both groups then I would doubt that it has a sexual element.  If it relates solely to the females then it might.  I tend to think it applies to both groups.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 3:57 PM

Richard DeRuiter:
How would one determine whether Logos has it right regarding the root ἁγνεία?

I can't answer re: Greek specifically but in general:

  • one looks at roots in Proto-IndoEuropean and it's Hellenic family to see if the phonetic changes would have produced the proposed root through the standard historical linguistic process.
  • one looks at the derivational rules for words within the Hellenic family and its Greek family to see if the proposed root would have produced the word through standard application of the rules
  • one looks for evidence of borrowing or of dialect that might explain very similar words with very different derivational history.

Edit: When I started my response there were only two posts in this thread. I think I need more PIE tools in Logos.Stick out tongue

After reading all the posts, I think I did pretty well answering the question without knowing Greek. Big Smile

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 5:01 PM

MJ. Smith:

I can't answer re: Greek specifically but in general:

  • one looks at roots in Proto-IndoEuropean and it's Hellenic family to see if the phonetic changes would have produced the proposed root through the standard historical linguistic process.
  • one looks at the derivational rules for words within the Hellenic family and its Greek family to see if the proposed root would have produced the word through standard application of the rules
  • one looks for evidence of borrowing or of dialect that might explain very similar words with very different derivational history.

Hmm. I'm not sure the word origin theory itself works (that would be an entirely different discussion, IMHO), or answers the question I was asking.

Without going into a lot of depth of study on the groups hagi- and hagn-, it has seemed to me in my cursory study, that words with the hagi- stem has a field of meaning distinct from those with the hagn- stem. The latter seems to emphasize a moral quality, the former a cultic (i.e., religious) quality (though I'm not sure I have explained the distinction quite right). Even with some overlap in the concepts of holiness and purity, there seems to be enough distinction (IMHO) to consider that these are distinct concepts reflecting distinct a root, rather than similar ones reflecting a common root.

Now, I've not done a thorough study, so I can't say anything without a great deal of humility, which is why I wanted to hear from a Greek scholar what would be the correct way to answer the question, should hagnos be considered a distinct root, or should the root of hagnos be hagios? Also, since both TDNT and EDNT do not group the hagn- stem words with the hagi- stem words, I wonder why Logos does.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 5:14 PM

Richard DeRuiter:
Without going into a lot of depth of study on the groups hagi- and hagn-, it has seemed to me in my cursory study, that words with the hagi- stem has a field of meaning distinct from those with the hagn- stem. The latter seems to emphasize a moral quality, the former a cultic (i.e., religious) quality (though I'm not sure I have explained the distinction quite right). Even with some overlap in the concepts of holiness and purity, there seems to be enough distinction (IMHO) to consider that these are distinct concepts reflecting distinct a root, rather than similar ones reflecting a common root.

I think the moral sense is an outgrowth of the cultic sense.  See

Smith, W. Robertson. Lectures on the Religion of the Semites: First Series, The Fundamental Institutions. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1894.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 5:39 PM

Richard DeRuiter:
. I'm not sure the word origin theory itself works

Ah, when I hear "root" I equate it with word origin. The question as to how far back to go is a matter of purpose. What is obvious is that hagi-/hagni- share a root. In this type of case you look at the rules of word derivation within the Greek of the time. If there is a generalized derivational rule that makes  hagi --> hagni a standard derivation then there is only 1 root; if there is not, they are 2 separate roots. That's simplified but that's the basic line of reasoning that Logos would have followed.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rick Brannan | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 8:35 PM

A general note: In the NT root data, we (Logos) are essentially saying that these words are all related, they share the same root. For the form of 'root' we display, well, it is problematic. Determining what the actual 'root' is gets very complicated very quickly, delving into theoretical forms of things and all sorts of messes.

For the NT data, we are, as I said, positively associating all of these words as sharing the same root. For the form of 'root' we display, however, we usually take the most common noun or verb. It is simply a label.

So in this case, we'd (I'd) say that αγιος and αγνεια share the same root. You could gather 10 Greek scholars in a room and ask them what the root is. You'd probably get four different opinions. Is it αγ·? αγν-?

The root associations themselves in Logos go back to Liddell & Scott's middle version. You'll note the ALLCAP entries, and the way headwords are broken up, that these are all meaningful (not so in the big Liddell; there the headword segmentation is all about decreasing page count). From there there is some relation with Trenchard's The Student’s Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament, and Greenlee's Morpheme Lexicon, which were also consulted in the creation of the NT root data.

Hope it helps.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 20 2013 10:36 PM

Rick Brannan:
and all sorts of messes.

I think you misspoke - you meant "all sorts of fun" didn't you?Big Smile

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 21 2013 12:35 AM

I was reading the Toronto Star today and in the New York Times Supplement to the Star came across the name:  Agnes!

Looked it up in Wikipedia and thought I'd share it since this thread probably has reached the point where OT posts are no longer detrimental to the text.  (Actually enjoyed this thread, Richard, and appreciated your challenging me to look up a few things.    Thank you!)

         Anyway, here's Agnes!               Peace to all!

Francisco de Zurbarán - Santa Inês.jpg

Agnes is a female given name, which derives from the Greek name Ἁγνὴ hagnē, meaning "pure" or "holy". The Latinized form of the Greek name is Hagnes, the feminine form of Αγνός Hagnos, meaning "chaste" or "sacred". The name passed to Italian as Agnese, to Portuguese as Inês, and to Spanish, as Inés.

It was the name of a popular Christian saint, Saint Agnes of Rome, a fact which encouraged the wide use of the name. Agnes was the third most popular name for women in the English speaking world for more than 400 years.[1] Its medieval pronunciation was "Annis," and its usage and many of its forms coincided with the equally popular English name Anne, a name related in medieval and Elizabethan times to 'Agnes', though Anne/Ann/Anna are derived from the Hebrew Hannah ('God favored me') rather than the Greek.[2] It remained a widely used name throughout the 1960s in the United States. It was last ranked among the top 1,000 names for American girls during that decade. The peak of its popularity was between 1900 and 1920, when it was among the top 50 names for American girls. The Swedish version of the name was the 16th most popular name for girls born in Sweden in 2007, having risen as high as third place in Sweden in 2006. It was also ranked among the top 100 names for girls in Hungary in 2005.[3] Neža, a Slovene short form, was ranked among the top 10 names for girls born in Slovenia in 2008. French forms Inès and Ines were both ranked among the top 10 names for girls born in Brussels, Belgium in 2008.

 

 

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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