LOGOS & hRHMA (was Ancient grammarians)

Jonathan Robie (jwrobie@mindspring.com)
Fri, 08 Nov 1996 11:09:49 -0500

At 08:46 AM 11/8/96 -0500, Rod Decker wrote:

>"Plato, expressing himself in the person of Xenos in his 'Sophistes', had
>defined 'verb' (RHMA) as the part of speech 'denoting action' (EPI TAIS
>PRAXESIN ON DHLWMA)--while Aristotle, a little later in the same century,
>in his 'Poetics', wrote that 'the verb is a composite sound denoting time'

So hRHMA can mean verb...interesting. It also seems to be used as a general
term for 'word' in the NT. For instance, look at Matthew 4:4:

Matt 4:4 (GNT) o de apokriqeis eipen: gegraptai: ouk ep artw monw zhsetai o
anqrwpos, all epi panti rhmati ekporeuomenw dia stomatos qeou.
Matt 4:4 (NASU) But He answered and said, "It is written, `Man shall not
live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of
God.' "

I don't think this means that we should print up Bibles with just the verbs,
leaving out all the nouns, adjectives, etc. Maybe we could come up with a
new theory of biblical inspiration -- only the verbs are directly inspired
by God?

Is there *any* significant distinction between LOGOS and hRHMA in the GNT?
Louw & Nida say (33.98) "Any difference of meaning between LOGOS and hRHMA
would be only a matter of stylistic usage". I assume that this applies only
to the semantic domain identified by 33.98, and that other uses of LOGOS and
hRHMA may be distinct. For instance, the following verse uses both, but
LOGOS clearly means 'accounting', and hRHMA

Matt 12:36 (GNT) legw de umin oti pan rhma argon o lalhsousin oi anqrwpoi
apodwsousin peri autou logon en hmera krisews:

Matt 12:36 (NASU) "But I tell you that every careless word that people
speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

Note that RHMA is singular, and ANQRWPOI is plural - there has been some
of this kind of usage recently.

Incidentally, I went to perseus (www.perseus.tufts.edu) and looked up the
Greek words for various grammatical terms: predicate, particible, verb, etc.
I was amazed to see that just about everything I tried had a Greek
definition, and the definitions are hyperlinked, so it is fairly easy to
click on a definition and land in the original Greek text. In most cases,
the Greek I hit was pretty tough going, but there are also grammatical
parsings, definitions of each word, and English translations of the passages
only a hyperlink away.


Jonathan Robie
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