Re: FQONOS in Jas 4:5

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 16:22:27 EDT

on 05/24/00 11:27 AM, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:

> Dear Carl,
> A gentleman named Virgil Newkirk in the Bible Translation discussion
> group has been insisting that the word FQONOS, as a word in any context,
> must have negative connotations. It seems that I have read commentators say
> that as well, but others take the word positively at Jas 4:5. BAG's various
> definitions at Jas 4:5 suggest they might have seen the possibility for a
> positive or neutral sense for PROS FQONON, which they translate as
> "jealously," based on other literature. In LSJ there is the note that the
> word is often used of the jealousy of the gods. Was this always a bad kind
> of jealousy, do you know, or could it ever be a positive kind?
> If the word cannot have a positive or neutral sense, that fact would
> simplify the translation alternatives in Jas 4:5, because we could not
> think in terms of a positive divine jealousy. Do you have any thoughts on
> this? Again Jas 4:5 is:
> Thank you.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard


If you are looking for a word within this general semantic territory which
can have positive connotations in the NT and LXX, the word group is ZHLOS,
ZHLOW. FQONON is not found in the canonical portion of the LXX and where it
is found it is negative.

 LEH gives:

1 Mc 8:16; 3 Mc 6:7; Wis 2:24; 6:23
     envy 1 Mc 8:16; envious fool play Wis 2:24
Louw and Nida give only a single semantic domain which is negative:

88.160 FQONOS, a state of ill will toward someone because of some real or
presumed advantage experienced by such a person envy, jealousy.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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