The New Testament Vocabulary -- By: Lemuel S. Potwin

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 037:147 (Jul 1880)
Article: The New Testament Vocabulary
Author: Lemuel S. Potwin


The New Testament Vocabulary

Prof. Lemuel S. Potwin

III.—Native Words Not Found In Classical Authors1

Every large telescope has its “finder,” — a spy-glass attached to the great cylinder, by which the observer can easily discover the object upon which he would turn the full power of the larger instrument. The aim of this series of Articles is to be a “finder” for the larger instrument, the

lexicon. In the present Article I have tried to gather together all the unborrowed words of the New Testament which belong to it as being later Greek. It would have been more interesting to some readers, and much easier for the writer, to have merely selected for discussion some of the more important words of this class; but, at the expense of considerable drudgery, and at the risk of being credited with mere mechanical scholarship, I have endeavored to present all of these words. If that is done, the reader can judge for himself of their importance, and draw his own conclusions from their number.

In drawing the line between classical and post-classical I have included Aristotle with the former, though his diction is on the boundary between the Attic and Common dialects. For those who prefer to exclude him there will be given in the Appendix a list of the New Testament words found not earlier than Aristotle.

Words used by the poets (down to the time of the New Comedy) I have not considered peculiar to the New Testament, even if not found in prose of the classical period; my object being simply to set before the student of the New Testament those words which he has never seen in the Greek classics, be he ever so thorough a student of them, because the words are not there. But the Iliad and Odyssey, the Prometheus and Alcestis are as familiar to the student of Greek as the Memorabilia and Phaedo. However, to give opportunity for a separate examination of this class, the Appendix will contain a list of the words found only in the poetry of the classics.

No attempt has been made to designate the poetical words used by prose writers, as Xenophon, and especially Plato. Hence, such words as εὐφροσύνη, πέτρος, αἴνιγμα, ἆνος, even θανατηφόρος, etc., are passed without notice. The occurrence of such words, even for once only, in prose is considered sufficient to give them good standing there.

The limits here set to the classical period exclude, of course, Theocritus, though a familiar author, and include

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