Re: mass/count nouns and SARX

From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Wed Sep 10 1997 - 03:24:27 EDT

Dear list,
(a supplement to Michael`s post yesterday)

When we discuss classes of nouns, count nouns/ non-count nouns is a better
distinction than count nouns/mass nouns, because the group non-count nouns
may include qualities, processes and substances (mass). (A good discussion
is found in Collins Cobuild "English Grammar",1993, Harper-Collins

Non-count nouns usually don`t have plural forms, but this is not always
true. To make a particular effect they may be used in the plural. The
Hebrew word dam ("blood") is found in the plural 73 times in the OT. In
most cases is the meaning "bloodguilt" (= one`s guilt is so high that s/he
deserevs to die) apparent. A good example is 2 Sam 2:28 where Hebrew naqi
and Greek AQWiOS (both meaning "free from guilt") is used in relation to a
plural form of "blood".

hAIMA is used 49 times in the plural in the LXX and one time in the NT
(John 1:13). Another non-count noun is AGAPH. It is used one time in the
plural in the NT (Jude 1:12) signifying particular meals being expressions
of love. The opposition count noun/non-count noun is good to keep in mind
in one`s Bible study, but the exceptional plural forms may be interesting
to study.


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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