[b-greek] Re: OIKIAS/OIKOS

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 11 2001 - 06:39:09 EDT

At 2:15 AM -0400 10/11/01, Suedaleg@aol.com wrote:
>What is the difference between OIKIA and OIKOS (besides gender)?

The words do overlap in meaning, but BOTH words have broader senses than
with reference to a building alone. Here's L&N (omitting the Greek text of
passages cited):

7.3 OIKIA, AS f.: a building or place where one dwells - 'house, home,
dwelling, residence.' 'the sweet smell of perfume filled the whole house'
Jn 12:3.
        The size of an OIKIA or of an OIKOS (7.2) may differ greatly. For
example, the house referred to in Lk 7:10 would no doubt have been
relatively elaborate, and in Mt 11:8 OIKOS refers to the palace in which
Herod lived. In a number of languages it is important to distinguish
clearly between various types of dwellings depending upon their size and
presumed importance. Accordingly, in rendering OIKIA or OIKOS it is
necessary to use a number of different terms roughly equivalent to the
English series 'cottage,' 'house,' 'official residence,' 'palace,'
'temple,' etc.
        In a number of languages one must distinguish carefully between a
house and a home. A term meaning 'house' would be used in referring to any
dwelling as a construction, while a term meaning 'home' would be used in
referring to the more or less permanent dwelling of a particular person. In
Mk 2:1, for example, it is significant to indicate that Jesus was dwelling
in the house through the roof of which the paralyzed man was let down.

10.8 OIKOS, OU m.; OIKIA, AS f.: the family consisting of those related by
blood and marriage, as well as slaves and servants, living in the same
house or homestead - 'family, household.'
OIKOS: 'and I also baptized Stephanas and his family' 1Cor 1:16. In Ac
7:10 OIKOS can mean the household over which Joseph was placed, or it can
mean the property of Pharaoh (see 57.21).
OIKIA: 'there is no prophet without honor except in his own hometown, among
his own relatives, and among the members of his own family' Mk 6:4.
        In a number of languages the equivalent of OIKOS or OIKIA would be
'those who live together' or 'those who have the same fence' (this being a
reference to a group of huts surrounded by a fence and thus constituting a
single so-called 'family unit').

57.21 OIKIA, AS f; OIKOS, OU m.: (figurative extensions of meaning of
OIKIA and OIKOS 'house,' 7.3 and 7.2) possessions associated with a house
and household - 'property, possessions.'
OIKIAŚ 'they take away from widows all that they possess' Mk 12:40. It is
also possible in Mk 12:40 to understand TAS OIKIAS as meaning specifically
OIKOS: 'he made him governor over Egypt and over all his property' Ac 7:10.
The rendering 'property' seems to be far more justified by the context and
by general usage than the more common meaning of 'household' (see 10.8).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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