[b-greek] Re: Comparing ALLOS and hETEROS

From: Jeff Smelser (jeffsmelser@ntgreek.net)
Date: Tue Jun 26 2001 - 20:31:03 EDT

Hi Brandon,

Jeff Smelser here. I don't regularly post, mostly just lurk. But I happen to
have responded to this same question to someone else who wrote me privately
and therefore I have a canned response prepared.

Without at all suggesting anything about the conclusion one might come to
regarding the nature of the Holy Spirit, I don't think ALLOS in Jn. 14:16 is

Consider 1 Cor. 15:39 where ALLOS is used 4 times - "Other of men, other
flesh of beasts, other flesh of birds, other of fish." These are different,
and someone who wanted to stress the difference could have used hETEROS. But
Paul is speaking of them as varieties of a common class, namely "flesh". So
also with Jn. 14:16, ALLOS is used because the point is that there is
something in common between the two comforters, namely that they are both
comforters (the first, implied to be Jesus, and the second, the Holy Spirit)
regardless of what differences exist in other aspects. Just as birds and
fish have many differences though they share one aspect, namely flesh, it
would have to be granted that as far as the requirements of ALLOS are
concerned, the word could be used in Jn. 14:16 merely because Jesus and the
Spirit have in common the role of comforter which is the point being made,
even if they were arguably fundamentally different in other aspects.

Jeff Smelser

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brandon C Wason" <brandonwason@calvarychapel.com>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 7:06 PM
Subject: [b-greek] Comparing ALLOS and hETEROS

> I've heard arguments for certain doctrines based on the usage of ALLOS and
> hETEROS. ALLOS can mean, supposedly, "another of the same kind," while
> hETEROS can mean "another of a different kind." LSJ seems to support the
> latter definition, while I couldn't really find support for the first
> definition (In addition to LSJ I also used BDAG). Basically, can ALLOS
> "another of the same kind" anywhere, and was this still being used in the
> first century? Secondly, was hETEROS still being used (at least partly) as
> "another of the different kind" in the first century? Thirdly, is there a
> *basis* for drawing a doctrinal conclusion from these types of word
> The verse I had in mind was John 14:16. Here it says that Father will give
> another (ALLOS) Counselor- thus (so the argument goes) the Spirit is of
> same kind (nature?) as the Son. I'm not trying to start a theological
> discussion...it's obviously not the right place for that. I am looking for
> word usage and the *principle* of drawing theological conclusions from the
> word usage. I don't want your interpretations of the verse. Thanks for
> thoughts.
> Sincerely...
> _______________________
> Brandon C. Wason
> PO Box 646
> Yorba Linda, CA 92885
> brandonwason@calvarychapel.com

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