From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Feb 03 1997 - 15:22:34 EST

At 10:17 AM -0600 2/3/97, Eric Vaughan wrote:
> I'm not a professional "Greekist", but I am somewhat familiar with
>most of the basics of grammar, etc. My question comes from Eph. 5:19 and
>Col. 3:16...the word hEAUTOIS. I understand from what I've read that
>hEAUTOIS means "to one another" and is used for ALLHLWN, which similarly
>means "of one another, to one another, one another." My question
>is...Does this word in these verses mean that we're to sing AT THE SAME
>TIME? With just these definitions, you can't really say whether it means
>that one is singing "to another" or they are both (all) singing "to each
> I HAVE found one (1) source that gives in the definition of hEAUTOU,
>that the plural hEAUTOIS means "mutually, reciprocally", the same
>definition that Liddel-Scott gives for ALLHLWN, which is a synonym.
>Mutually, to me, implies "at the same time." Nothing can be done
>mutually if it's not done at the same time.
> I would appreciate the thoughts of more experienced grammarians on what
>exactly this word is saying.

I don't think that there is an iota of difference between the meaning and
usage of ALLHLOU (a compounded form of ALLOS ALLOU,KTL.--the distributive
of "one vis--vis another") in all its forms and the plural of hEAUTOU in
all its forms; they are variant ways of expressing reciprocity. I was going
to suggest that the forms of hEAUTOU are later--Hellenistic--equivalents
for ALLHLOU to express reciprocity of agents to each other, but I find that
Sophocles already in the 5th and Plato in the 4th are using forms of
hEAUTOU as equivalent to forms of ALLHLOU.

My own reading of Eph 5:19 is that it is antiphonal singing or chanting
that is being referred to rather than unison action.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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