From: Lee R. Martin (
Date: Thu Feb 27 1997 - 13:04:39 EST

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 6:23 AM -0600 2/27/97, William Dicks wrote:
> >Hi all b-greekers,
> > I have been off this list now for several months and intend to get back
> >onto it again. We have all heard of the so-called preacher Greek. My
> >question is: what do you guys think of the popular usage of RHMA(trans?) as
> >opposed to LOGOS? The popular usage of preachers is that LOGOS refers to the
> >written word whereas RHMA refers to the spoken word.
> Do you mean "popular usage" of present-day preachers? Certainly in the NT
> LOGOS is used of spoken proclamation as well as in that distinctive
> theological sense in John's prologue; hRHMA often seems to be used of
> commandments or moral dicta. Certainly etymologically hRHMA is an
> object-noun of that verb-root for speaking, hRH-, but as we all know, the
> etymology is rarely a clear indication of what the word means or how it
> functions at a particular time period and in a particular context.

Most languages have two or more words that relate to speech acts. In
Hebrew the two main categories DBR (dabar) and 'MR (amar). The verb
AMAR introduces direct speech and DIBER does not, but DaBaR is a "word"
and 'oMaR is a "saying." In English, we use a variety of words: speak,
talk, converse, etc. There are many conventions of usage that I do not
understand, but as a native speaker (not "talker"), I know when to use
each verb and noun. For example, we "give a speech," we do not "speak
a speech." On the other hand, words like "speech" and "oration" overlap
significantly in meaning. I believe the two Greek words in question
have a significant overlap, and could be interchanged on most occasions,
but there my have been contexts in which one was preferred over the

Lee R. Martin
Adjunct Faculty in Old Testament and Hebrew
Church of God School of Theology
Cleveland, TN 37311
Pastor, Prospect Church of God

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:07 EDT