From: Mark B. O'Brien (
Date: Sat Nov 16 1996 - 12:16:07 EST

On 15 Nov 96 19:43:39 EST "KULIKOVSKY, Andrew" <>
>Fellow Greeks,
>In Ephesians 2:1 we read:
>...., you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which
>you used to live when you .....(NIV)
>Now the word for transgression is PARAPTWMASIN and the word
>for sin is hARMARTIAIS, which raises the question, what is
>the difference in meaning between these two words? I assume
>there is a difference otherwise there wouldn't be any point
>using both words (I guess they could both be used for emphasis
>but there doesn't seem to be any parallelism in the construct
>I checked Louw and Nida, BAGD, NIDNTT, TDNT and none made
>any distinction between these words. A friend suggested that
>PARAPTWMA was a willful sinful action and hAMARTIA was a
>"accidental" non-premeditated sin but I couldn't find
>data to support this - in fact to the contrary - NIDNTT
>suggested that the classical use of PARAPTWMA was for
>unintential wrong-doing.

Something I have noticed, particularly in some work I have been doing
recently in 1Co, is that Paul often appears to use similar words
synonymously in close proximity, not so much to draw a distinction
between the two words, but rather simply for good writing style (or so it
would seem). This is probably akin to the way we will often have a
certain word in mind when writing a paper, but knowing that we have
already used it in a previous sentence, or even earlier in the same
sentence, we reach for a synonym so as not to overuse a word. Perhaps,
in some ways, as exegetes, we are sometimes guilty of making every word a
technical term, if you know what I mean...

Since I am suffering this morning from some kind of "lurgy" (a.k.a.
"flu"), no examples come readily to mind... in fact, not too much is
coming readily to mind, so I think I'll go lie down again!


Mark O'Brien
"Short-timer", Student, Dallas Theological Seminary
Adjunct Prof., Dallas Christian College
"If it's not on the GRE, can it be real?" -- Ken Litwak

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