Re: MONOGENHS Etymology Question

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Fri Jan 03 1997 - 04:51:57 EST

Albert Collver wrote;
> Several people have written that the etymology of MONOGENHS is
>MONO and
>GENOS/OUS "kind" rather than MONO "one, single" and GIGNOMAI "becoming, be
>born." This was new to me.
> I am curious as to the source. LSJ gives the etymology as
>Gignomai. BAGD does
>not give an etymology. TDNT says it is from GENESIS which is still rooted in
>GIGNOMAI. Louw & Nida do not give an etymology but they prefer the translation
>"unique." This exhausts the lexicons I have in my library. Where can I find a
>source that lists GENOS as the root?

I checked again in the lexicons I have at home, the intermediate Liddell &
Scott, Thayer, & Cassell's Latin (relates unigenia to the Greek MONOGENHS).
I also checked the LSJ at Perseus which gives the following,

mono-genÉs, es, Ep. and Ion. mouno-, (_genos_) the only member of a kin or
kind: hence,
generally, only, single, pais Hes. WD 376, Hdt. 7.221, cf. Ev.Jo.1.14,
Ant.Lib.32.1; of Hecate,
Hes. Th. 426.

Considering its use across the Greek world, it seems to me the proper use
in the Greek NT is also "unique."

See also my previous post on Heb. 11. For the theological implications, I
thought Carl Conrad's post was very good, especially in the historical
development once the Christian gospel moved out into the Greek/Roman world.

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Fax (318) 442-4996
Phone (318) 487-7241

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