Re: Etymology of QEOS

From: LisaM/GeorgeB (
Date: Fri Oct 16 1998 - 12:14:07 EDT

Will Wagers wrote:
> Carl writes:
> >I have to say that this is the sort of etymologizing that obfuscates rather
> >than assists understanding of ordinary historical Greek texts, in my
> >opinion. It's fun, but it usually isn't very illuminating.
> Dear Carl,
> Assuming we are discussing valid etymologies, I believe that
> etymologies hold the keys to understanding many of the *mysteries*
> of the Bible and of other ancient sacred texts.

Carl and Will ~

I think we are looking at apples and oranges here ~ Ordinary-Historical
[Carl] vs Mythic-Sacred [Will] texts. The tricky part is that both can
be read either way, and my feeling is that the focus on b-greek is
pretty much narrowed to ordinary-historical. The reading of John, for
instance, from the etymology of the roots of the words it uses and their
underlying relationships, is WAY off topic here, yet this approach can
and does yield fruit, but not historical fruit...

Zodhiates lists QEOS as of uncertain affinity, so I dropped to QEW,
rooting into the QE as best I could, and got referred to 5087, which is
TIQHMI, and means to *place* in a horizontal or passive posture, which
is half-way between upright-active and utterly passive-reflexive. Do
these two words connect at their root QE ? The above makes me think so,
and connects to the image of the cross, where the horizontal and
vertical intersect. It also connects to the posture of the soul in
communion with God. Yet as a b-greek topic, this whole idea is out of
bounds, you see... We focus here on the language as it is historically
used, and not on its sacred and mythic import. There are other lists
that have that focus, I suppose, but here is not one of them.

And the etymologies do indeed form into a kind of wild squirrel chase
that can and do lead in all sorts of directions, and I think most of us
are addicted to the fun of that chase, much like the British nobility is
addicted to chasing the fox on horseback. It's great sport, fun, and
good exercise! [Mental, for us ~ Like taking a breather...] So the
result is just what Carl says ~ fun but not much really useful.
Certainly nothing provable. Hence the academic 'blindness and
prejudice' to which you refer below. It's a 'gottabe'!!

> I think much of the academic world is either blind to or prejudiced against
> etymologies, just as many academics refuse to connect mythology with
> the works of respected *scientific* and philosophical writers, e.g. Aristotle.

> As for etymologizing gaining a more respected status, despite its poor
> history, that awaits a seminal work which establishes a viable paradigm
> which leads to solutions not only to simple, grammatical translation, but
> to understanding what was meant, what was intended by the original
> thinkers. In the mean time, a great deal can be pieced together by the
> motivated individual.

That seminal work has been reported to be going on right now by a
non-carnate called PARAKLEITOS... :-) :-)

So just a few additional thoughts...


Lisa Messmer  George Blaisdell  

Dulcie~~~My Stolen Dalmatian Last Chance for Animals--Fight Pet Theft!

--- B-Greek home page: You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [] To unsubscribe, forward this message to To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:04 EDT