The meaning of hAPLOTHS in Romans 12:8

From: Bret Hicks (
Date: Tue Aug 11 1998 - 13:41:03 EDT

I am new to the b-greek list and have enjoyed it. I am still a "little
greek" and I appreciate being able to glean from the knowledge of those
on the list.

While studying Romans 12:8 today I had a problem with the word
hAPLOTHS. The opinion on the meaning of the word is split. The term
seems to have been used outside the NT to mean something like
"singleness, simplicity, sincerity". This makes sense given the
derivation of the word from hAPLOUS. However, most trannslations have
"liberality" or "generosity" in Romans 12:8. This is also the
preference of BAGD, Louw-Nida and TDNT. They apparently do this because
this meaning is possible here, and seems to more easily fit the context
in 2 Corinthians 8:2, 9:11, and 9:13. However, NIDNTT does not even
mention "liberality" as a possible meaning for the term, and sees the
idea of singleness/wholeness of heart as being sufficient to cover all
uses of the word (BAGD mentions that some prefer to do this). This is
also the understanding of the KJV and the commentators I have consulted.

My question is whether there is any instance outside the NT where
hAPLOTHS is known to carry the meaning of "liberality" or "generosity".
Liddell Scott seem to imply there is not since they list this as a NT
meaning. Is this meaning only found in the NT, or are there examples of
it prior to the NT era? I would appreciate any help you might be able
to offer.


Bret Hicks

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