Re: DIAKONOS - etyomology

From: Phillip J. Long (
Date: Thu Aug 06 1998 - 09:05:09 EDT

On Wed, 05 Aug 1998 11:09:17 -0600, you wrote:

>In a work I am reviewing I ran across the following statement; RIt is
>interesting to note that the word DIAKONIA, etymologically, means
>Tthrough the dust.US

dia = through
konia = dust, sand, ashes, soil. (in L&S)

Frankly, I would consider this an etymological fallacy, what D. A.
Carson calls a "root" fallacy. Just because a word is made up of two
other words it does not always follow that it means "literally" the
two root words.

In this case, I can not find any lexicon entry that shows that the
meaning of "through the dust" was ever present in diakonia.
Therefore, it seems to me that this is a wrong inference.

I am sure everyone has heard a preacher state that the Greek word for
church means "called-out assembly" based on ek + kalew. It probably
just means assembly since it is applied to a mob in Acts 18:32 that is
not really "called" in the same sense that the preacher is thinking.

Phillip J. Long
Asst. Prof. Bible & Greek
Grace Bible College

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