From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Tue Mar 05 1996 - 15:02:02 EST

Carlton L. Winbery wrote:

>QEMELIOS/ON is really an adjective of the 2nd declension. When it is used
>as a substantive in the acc sing. without the article or in the dative,
>there is no way to be sure if it is masculine or neuter. It is used both
>ways for the foundation of a building.

This raises one of the interesting problems of lexicography, namely at what
point to substantival adjectives stopped being percieved by speakers as
adjectives with an article on the front of them and are only percieved as
nouns. The masc form goes back to Thucydides (5thBC) and the neuter form
back to Aristotle (4thBC). BAGD's treatment seems to indicate that they
believe that by the time of Koine speakers no longer thought of these as
substantival adjectives, but as simple nouns. Moreover, BAGD seems
unimpressed by the suggestion of BDF (#49.3) and Robertson (Gr., p. 263f.)
that the neuter plural forms are a result of the fluctuation of gender; they
seem to think we are simply dealing with two different nouns. I'm leaning
towards the idea that Lukan usage is all neuter (cf., Acts 16:26), while
everyone else uses the masc (cf., Paul - 2Tim 2:19; John - Rev 21:19; and
Barnabas [my preference] - Heb 11:10; though some will obviously disagree on
certain authorship selections...but that is really not the point here).

Dale M. Wheeler, Th.D.
Chair, Biblical Languages Dept Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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