Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Word Studies

You have probably heard often that a Greek word can have many different meanings. Let’s look at the Greek word yeudologoj. You will be profoundly amazed when you give it a detailed examination, leading to some fascinating insights. In extra-biblical literature there is a use of this word where it apparently refers to a garment worn when someone is in a pool, akin to “swimming trunks” today. However, it has some other extraordinary uses in other contexts that will help us get a fuller picture of the connotations of the word. For example, another text uses the word to refer to the main base of a tree, or what we would call a “tree trunk.” See, when the author was describing the man with “swimming trunks” on, he was comparing him to a tree trunk, which is usually covered with bark. Both the trunk of the tree and the trunk of a man should be covered. A third use will continue to elucidate the meaning of this word. Here, yeudologoj is used to refer to a large, sturdy box or chest for holding or transporting clothes. Now we see that this word also refers to the place where the man retrieved his clothing from. So there are nuances of “origination” within the use of the word. But beyond that, it also refers to the compartment, usually in the rear of chariots, where the “sturdy box or chest” would be stored during traveling. So, this man, who is compared to a tree in that a covering is an appropriate, natural way to be, received this “covering” from somewhere else, it not being inherent to him, and he was journeying or traveling when this covering was placed on him.

So, the meanings of yeudologoj look like this:
1) a garment worn when someone is in a pool; swimming trunks, bathing suit
2) the main base of a tree; tree trunk
3) a large, sturdy box or chest for holding or transporting clothes; luggage, suitcase, trunk
4) a compartment, usually in the rear of chariots, where a chest, suitcase, or trunk would be stored during traveling; car trunk

The semantic overlap of these meanings could be pictured like this:
Word studies can be so rewarding, eh? For an explanation of above, see http://tinyurl.com/pseudologos


1 comment:

dacroteau said...

I couldn't find a way to work "elephant trunk" into the paragraph. BTW, this post is supposed to be *sarcastic*, not serious. It's an example of the "illegitimate totality transfer fallacy."