From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Sep 26 1997 - 17:44:38 EDT

At 3:04 PM -0500 9/26/97, wrote:
>The name HERMOGENES is in II Timothy 1:15. Alexander Cruden says the name
>means "begotten of Mercury."
>1) Does that mean "-GENES" means "begotten" in HERMOGENES?


>2) Was it common for pagan parents to name their children after pagan gods?

Yes. It would perhaps be more accurate to say that people quite generally
named their children for gods and that this is as true of the Hebrews:
those names that get transliterated with an initial Jehu-, Jeho-, Jo-, for
instance: Jonathan is "Yahweh gave" (as I'm sure Jonathan knows very well);
Jehosaphat will mean "Yahweh has judged." Names associated with "give" are
especially common in Greek, DIONUSODWROS "gift of Dionysus", DIODOTOS
"given by Zeus", ISIDWROS "gift of Isis." DIOGENHS means "born of Zeus"--
Although we generally associaate this name with Diogenes of Sinope, the
renowned Cynic of whom such wondrous tales are told (as that he roamed the
streets of Athens in broad daylight with a lantern in hand, claiming he was
looking for an honest man), this was a common epithet for kings in early
Greek days, either because the kings claimed descent from Zeus, or else, as
some wag put it, because they traced their lineage back as far as they
could and then said, "God only knows who that one's father was." Such names
are so common in antiquity that they are called "theophoric"--bearing the
divine name.

>3) Are their other New Testament names that contain the name of a pagan god?

Well, there are names like TIMOQEOS ("honored by God") and QEOFILOS
("friend of God"); the peculiar thing about whom is that we can't really be
sure which QEOS their parents had in mind, a pagan one or the Jewish one.

>4) Are their other words besides "MONOGENES" in Koine, Attic, or Ionic Greek
>that containe the particle "-GENES?"

Above, in response to (2).

>William the Barbarian
>Bible Class Teacher
>Palm Beach Lakes Church of Christ

No relation, I take it, to our once and future(?) colleague on the list,
Bearded Bill of Asheville? or to "the Conqueror"?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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