Re: 1 Cor 12:1-11

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Nov 04 1998 - 08:37:48 EST

<x-flowed>At 12:38 PM -0600 11/4/98, Ben Crick wrote:
>On Tue 3 Nov 98 (18:25:23), wrote:
>> ...ALLWi ...hETERWi ....ALLWi ....ALLWi ....ALLWi ....ALLWi
>> ...hETERWi ....ALLWi
>> Anyone out there brave enough to speculate on this and it significance?
>> What would the purpose be in using the different synonyms, if not for
>> style?

Ben Crick has cited several older scholarly sources that assert that there
is a real difference between the meanings of hETEROS and ALLOS. I will only
say that there is certainly a distinction in older classical Attic usage
between ALLOS which may refer to "another" or a "different" one of any
number of items and hETEROS which may properly refer only to one of a pair
of items, yet that distinction seems altogether lost by the NT period. I
cite Louw and Nida:

"Some persons have assumed that the distinction between ALLOS and hETEROS
is simply a difference between what is another in a series and that which
is significantly different in kind, but such a distinction cannot be
confirmed from existing contexts, though there may be this type of
distinction implied in Ga 1:6-7 in which 'another kind of gospel' is
rejected on the basis that there is 'no other gospel.' Note, however, that
both ALLOS and hETEROS also occur in the meaning of 'another, which is not
the same' (see 58.37)."

I would add that, if it makes one comfortable to do so, one might translate
ALLWi in the 1 Cor 12 passage above as "to one/to another (person)" and
hETERWi as "to a different one/person," but one would do well not to
imagine that there's any real difference in sense conveyed by the choice of
a synonymous English word to translate a different synonymous Greek word.
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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