Root Fallacy

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Joined: March 14th, 2018, 11:19 pm

Root Fallacy

Post by sethknorr »

One thing I hear from theologians that promote root fallacy, is that all nouns come from verbs. I assume they are referencing Strong's which often gives what he believed was the etymology of each word. I think Liddel-Scott does the same thing, but I generally use BDAG which doesn't.

I can't recall ever seeing this topic in a Greek grammar, but what do actual experts believe on this topic?

Just thinking off the top of my head I could think of nouns that are not derived from verbs, so I think that in general the statement is flawed at least a little. Such as numbers (δέκα), and names of places and people (per Strong's; Ἰουδαῖος from Ἰούδα which is of Hebrew origin or Γαλλίων of Latin origin, etc...)

But also per Strong's πονηρός (noun) from a derivative of πόνος (noun) from the base of πένης (ADJ) from a primary πένω.

But even the nouns that have an associated verb such as διδάσκαλος and διδάσκω, is there general consensus that διδάσκω was created first then διδάσκαλος was created from it, or is this more a scenario of what came first the chicken or the egg, and no one really knows?

Are there any books written on this topic by an expert? I'm guessing these would just be guesses or is there definitive evidence?
Seth Knorr
I always wondered what Greeks think when they see that commercial "λέγω μου Ἐγὼ"
Stephen Carlson
Posts: 3105
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Root Fallacy

Post by Stephen Carlson »

I feel like the root fallacy is more frequent within the smaller corpus of Biblical Hebrew than Greek, where there is much more information about contemporary usages.

I suppose the basic "go to" books to read about the root fallacy are James Barr, The Semantics of Biblical Language and D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia
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