NOUS, BOUS, and others (was, **skivvies**)

From: Ward Powers (
Date: Wed Apr 01 1998 - 19:42:21 EST

At 10:49 98/04/01 -0600, Carl Conrad wrote:

>At 10:14 AM -0600 4/1/98, Paul S. Dixon wrote:

>>On Wed, 1 Apr 1998 08:29:58 -0500 Jim Beale <> writes:
>>NOOS is the genitive of NOUS. BAG has: NOUS, NOOS, NOI, NOUN.
>>Consistent use in the NT bears this out.


>Paul is quite right here. NOUS is one word that has a distinctive
>declension in the NT--different from the classical Attic; in Attic the stem
>vowel and endings that are in hiatus after evanescence of the intervening
>digamma are always contracted: NOFOS --> NOOS --> NOUS; NOFOU --> NOOU -->
>NOU; NOFWI --> NOWI --> NWI; NOFON --> NOON --> NOUN; but the NT forms are
>governed by Ionic dialect patterns, Ionic often does not contract
>vowel/diphthong combinations in hiatus.

A few further comments about this paradigm, to add to what Carl has said
and to give the complete picture of NT words in this word group.

BOUS can be classified as Paradigm D3.3, viz, the third paradigm of D3, the
Third Declension. The paradigm of BOUS has derived from the original form
of the word with a digamma stem, but it becomes a vowel-stem noun with the
loss of the digamma. Wherever the digamma occurred before a consonant
suffix or in the form final position (the vocative), it has been replaced
by upsilon; and wherever it occurred before a vowel suffix it has simply
dropped out.

Paradigm D3.3 is followed in the New Testament by five words of rather
infrequent occurrence: BOUS, "ox" (8); NOUS, "mind" (24); PLOUS, "voyage"
(3); COUS, "dust" (2); and NAUS, "ship" (1) (but not other words in -OUS,
which are from other paradigms). NOUS, PLOUS, and COUS had been Second
Declension contracted nouns in Classical Greek, and NAUS had been variously
declined in the different Greek dialects, but in koine Greek they had all
come to conform to the pattern of BOUS.

The above info is quoted from my "Learn To Read the Greek New Testament",
page 267. Those who have this volume will also find on the same page the
complete paradigm for this word group as found in the NT, in company with
all the others of the twenty regular Third Declension paradigms and all
Third Declension irregulars which occur in the NT.

I mention this as there may be b-greek members following the thread who
would be interested in the information.

Carl continues:

>Another word that sometimes confuses people in NT is hUIOS/hUIEUS: these
>are respectively 2nd declension and 3rd declension forms of the same noun
>for "son." hUIOS is declined like any other -OS noun of the 2nd, but hUIEUS
>is declined like GRAFEUS or BASILEUS. I think we often find hUIOS in the
>gospels, but the apostle Paul in the letters tends to use hUIEUS not

Actually, Carl, you are right about this being confusing. I looked up my
copy of Clapp and Fribergs, and found hUIOS, no trouble, 377 NT
occurrences, in all sections of the NT; but no reference to the existence
of a hUIEUS at all. Is there a major error in this expensive and extensive
volume which Carl's research has uncovered? It looks like it. My problem,
though: I have been reading the GNT for quite a few years, and I have
absolutely no recollection of EVER encountering an instance of hUIEUS. Have
I been THAT careless in my reading all these years?

Great puzzlement and, yes, confusion, at this end.

Then I noticed the date on your post, Carl: April 1. Congratulations. Got
me, for one, drawn right in. I fell in as deep as it goes.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email:

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