[b-greek] Re: poikilos

From: David Beaulieu (beau_dave@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 15:55:00 EST

Dear Steve,
     I am the coordinator for the bible studies for women at our church, and
I also teach. This fall we are using a curriculum authored by Beth Moore.
Beth Moore is a very good teacher and attempts to bring in the Greek and
Hebrew original words often. Being a "word person" myselfI regularly bring
word studies into the class. This particular word, "poikilos," was linked
to "polka dot." The illustration was quite effective, but I could not
verify the actual derivation of the word--which led to my contacting the
pros!! I agree with you that word studies and illustrations can be quite
dangerous, and I try to research the words and their histories well before
using them. In this case, I would like to make the correction in the class,
so that the error will not be perpetuated. I do so with continued respect
for the efforts of Beth Moore, and with sincere humility, knowing that I may
have, at times, been similarly culpable.

[Karen W. Beaulieu -- new list-members please take note: BG list
protocol requires a full-name signature to be appended to all
messages sent to the list--i.e. no anonymous messages, even if
there's a name indicated in the "From" header. --cwc]

>From: Steven Lo Vullo <doulos@merr.com>
>Reply-To: Steven Lo Vullo <doulos@merr.com>
>To: Biblical Greek <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
>Subject: [b-greek] Re: poikilos
>Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 22:21:36 -0600
>On Monday, November 19, 2001, at 07:34 AM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>>At 3:22 PM -0500 11/18/01, David Beaulieu wrote:
>>>>--Dear b-greekers,
>>> I wonder if anyone could tell me anything about the etymology of
>>>"poikilos." I heard this week that our English "polka-dot" comes from
>>>word. When I consult the American Heritage Dictionary, 1st ed.,
>>>shows uncertain origin. Strong's also claims the word, "poikilo" has
>>>certain derivation.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Karen W. Beaulieu
>>I think this must have been meant for the list. Perhaps some others may
>>have some input into this. I'd only say that there is surely no
>>relationship between "polka-dot" and Greek POIKILOS or POIKILLW other
>>that the semantic content of "polka-dot" might be translated by the
>>adjective POIKILOS. I've never seen any etymology of *POIKIL-; I think I
>>may once have read a conjecture that it's a pre-Greek (Minoan or
>>Mediterranean) word as are (w)OINOS and hRODON, but I don't know if that
>>was anything more than pure guesswork.
>Karen, I'm curious as to the reason for your inquiry. Was there an
>attempt, perhaps in a sermon, to make some point about the Greek word on
>the basis of the supposed English derivation? The reason I ask is that I
>have heard these kinds of points made in sermons before. I'm sure many
>out there are familiar with the following illustrationt: "DUNAMIS is the
>Greek word from which we get our word 'dynamite.' Therefore, DUNAMIS
>denotes 'explosive' power." Although this kind of thing can make for a
>very entertaining sermon, it is an exegetical blunder of the highest
>degree to define Hellenistic Greek words on the basis of derivatives
>that came on the scene a long time afterwards.
>Steven Lo Vullo
>Madison, WI
>B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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