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Ten Greek Words Every Catholic Should Know
Catholic Exchange ^ | June 17, 2013 | Stephen Beale

Posted on 06/19/2013 2:34:22 PM PDT by NYer

Greek

It’s hard to imagine Christianity without Greek. It’s the language of the New Testament and our earliest creeds and doctrines. The very terms we use to describe God—three persons, one in being—have their roots in ancient Greek words and concepts. Needless to say, the language of Homer and Plato has profoundly shaped our faith.

Not all of us have the time to learn ancient Greek. But there are at least ten Greek words every Christian should know:

logos: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So begins the Gospel of John. In the Greek, word is logos. What does it mean to call Jesus the Word in the first place? The context of the verse offers some clues. In an obvious allusion to the creation account in Genesis, John is suggesting that Christ is the creative word of God. But we must turn to the original language to really understand the full meaning. In ancient Greek, logos is a loaded term. The Liddell-Scott Greek Lexicon includes all of the following in the definition: explanation, statement of theory, argument, rule, law, reason, inward debate of the soul, scientific knowledge. Whenever you say any word today that ends in –ology, this is where it came from. The Holman Bible Dictionary explains further:

Among the Greek philosophers, especially the Stoics, logos came to mean the rational principle that gave order to the cosmos. It could therefore be equated with God. Human reason, in turn, derived from this universal logos.

Now we can appreciate what an extraordinary statement John was making: Jesus is the ‘rational principle’ behind the universe, the cause of all created things—the word of God Himself indeed.

agape: We have one word for love. The Greeks had at least four. One such word is eros, which corresponds with our word lust. (It’s also where we get the word erotic.) But when we read in 1 John 4:8, for example, that God is love it is a different Greek word that is being used: agape. In the context of Scripture, agape refers to a selfless, sacrificial love. For St. Paul, love “is a relationship of self-giving which results from God’s activity in Christ,” according to the Holman Bible Dictionary. But agape and eros may not be as opposed to each other as it might seem. In his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI offers an innovative take on the relationship between the two words, suggesting that when properly oriented towards God, eros has its place in the faith along with agape. Indeed, isn’t this the fundamental message of the Theology of the Body associated with his predecessor Pope John Paul II? The unity of eros and agape is biblical as well. Anyone who doesn’t think so should read Song of Songs.

ecclesia: Anyone who desires to study the Church becomes a student of ecclesiology, a word that looks like it has nothing to do with its subject matter. But it’s lifted right out of the Greek word the New Testament uses for Church: ecclesia. In ancient Greece, this was the term for the democratic assemblies that governed city-states. In the New Testament, ecclesia took on a different, far broader meaning, referring to the following: the whole body of Christians, a group of believers, and the faithful gathered together in a particular city, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary. The etymology of the word is also rich with implications. It is a combination of the prefix ek, meaning out, from, and to—and kaleo, to call. Hence, one way of defining the word is: the people called out from the world and to God, according to Strong’s Concordance. By the way, our word church also comes from another Greek word, kyriakos, meaning, belonging to the Lord.

evangelion: The gospel writers are sometimes called evangelists. We too are called to be evangelists, something Pope Benedict reminded us. But what exactly is an evangelist? In the Greek, evangelion, means good message, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary. You could also translate it as gospel or good tidings. The word is the product of the combination of eu-, a prefix meaning good, and angelion, message. That last word should look familiar: it’s also the source of our word angel. As evangelists, we are called to bring the good news of the Incarnation, of the Cross, and the Resurrection to others. As evangelists we are not so different than the angels: we too are ambassadors from heaven, sent on a mission from God Himself.

martyria: This is a word that should sound familiar. In Christianity, martyrs are those who were killed for their faith. But, in ancient Greek, martyria had a broader meaning, referring simply to testimony. Over time, the Church came to call those who died for their faith martyrs because they were such extraordinary witnesses to Christ. This is consistent with how the word is used in Scripture. For example, in Revelation 6:9, John has the following vision: “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.” Knowing the original meaning of this word helps us to see that we all are called to give testimony to those around us. And, even though it may not entail a physical death, it often does mean that we have to die to ourselves in some way—whether that means cutting ourselves off from the sins of the flesh, or radically serving others. In this way, martyria complements the word addressed above, evangelion. As evangelists, we witness with our words. As martyrs, we witness with our actions. We are, of course, called to be both.

christos: Jesus is ultimately a Hebrew name, but Christ is from the Greek word, christos, meaning anointed. In the Old Testament priests were set apart by being anointed, as was David and his successors. “Scripture refers to the king as the ‘anointed of Yahweh,’” writes Kenneth Baker, S.J., in his book, Fundamentals of Catholicism. “He was, therefore, a sacred person who, in a way, represented the kingship of Yahweh over his people. The people also believed that God worked through the king to protect them and to achieve his special plan.”

leitourgia: The liturgy—where we both hear the Word and receive the Word Made Flesh—is the heart of the faith. We know liturgy refers to the two parts of the Mass, but what does the word actually mean? Liturgy hails from the Greek, leitourgia, which the Catholic Encyclopedia explains is a combination of leitos, meaning public, and ergo, to do. In ancient Greece, it referred to “a public duty, a service to the state undertaken by a citizen.” This reminds us that the liturgy is never a private affair—it is a public act, even when we pray the Liturgy of the Hours alone.

eucharistia: We are taught that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life,’ so we would do well to understand where the word came from. Its origin is the New Testament Greek word, eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving. In this word, we recognize again the prefix, eu-, meaning good or well, combined with the verb, charizesthai, meaning to show favor—itself derived from charis, the Greek word for grace. This lends the Eucharist a double meaning, encompassing what it is as well as how we should respond to it. It goes without saying that in receiving the Eucharistic Lord, we receive grace as well. How else can we respond except in pure, heartfelt thanksgiving?

latreia and douleia: The words we use for worship can be confusing sometimes. Among contemporary Catholicism, it has been drilled into our minds that adoration is reserved for God alone, while veneration is due to Mary, the saints, and angels. Usually such clarification is followed by a disclaimer: ‘Catholics do not worship Mary.’ The problem is technically we do. Worship is the umbrella term that encompasses both adoration and veneration. Here’s the best way to avoid the confusion, especially if you’re reading anything that was writing before the 1960s, or even the 1990s: latria is the Latin term for adoration, or worship, of God. Dulia is the Latin term for veneration, or worship, of the saints. These terms, in turn, come directly from the Greek: latreia and douleia. Both Greek words have the basic meaning of service. To paraphrase Aquinas, latreia is the ‘service’ paid to God, while douleia is the ‘service’ we render to saints.

Notably, in the New Testament, the two words are used in dramatically different contexts. Latreia is always used to refer to worship of God. (For example, John 16:12 and Romans 12:1.) Douleia, on the other hand, also has secular contexts of servitude (for example, Romans 8:21). Such a disparity of contexts certainly reinforces the distance between the activities signified by each word: veneration of saints in no way competes with, or diminishes, the adoration of God.

hyperdulia: By the way, the Latin term hyperdulia, in no way implies Catholics are ‘hyper’ about Mary. Instead, hyper- is the Greek prefix meaning above. Hyperdulia refers to the honor given to Mary which is ‘above’ the honor given to the other saints.

 


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic

1 posted on 06/19/2013 2:34:22 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 06/19/2013 2:34:42 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

This should be good, bump


3 posted on 06/19/2013 2:49:53 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: NYer
I'll add my four, the purposes of human action:

mimesis: imitation, what is pleasure

didaxis: instruction, what is knowledge

zetesis: seeking, what is lost

sebesis: worship, what is perfect

The first two are given by Horace as the reason for literature (to please and instruct). The third, by Plato, and the fourth is most prominent in the Old and New Testament.

4 posted on 06/19/2013 2:54:00 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: NYer

i sorta prefer latin.


5 posted on 06/19/2013 3:04:28 PM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
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To: schm0e

It’s all Greek to me.


6 posted on 06/19/2013 3:05:07 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: NYer
Don't forget the most important one... Grace!
7 posted on 06/19/2013 3:08:32 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: NYer

bookmark


8 posted on 06/19/2013 3:13:42 PM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: schm0e
OK, four great purposes in Latin:

imitatio

didactica

quaestio

religio

9 posted on 06/19/2013 3:16:00 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: NYer

THRAXOS!


10 posted on 06/19/2013 3:18:46 PM PDT by Mashood
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To: NYer

Kyrie Eleison

Christe Eleison

Kyrie Eleison


11 posted on 06/19/2013 3:21:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

Our priest mentioned just last week the Greek for remmembering — as in “Do this in remembrance of me.”

If I remember correctly — and will the Greek lovers please correct me if I am mistaken.

aniamnesia or was it aniamnesis?

Notice that the last part of the word is amnesia — forgetting — so I think the beginning letters change it to remembering.


12 posted on 06/19/2013 3:24:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
anamnesis
13 posted on 06/19/2013 3:31:17 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: cornelis

so that’s how you do it? just leave off the last letter? ;)


14 posted on 06/19/2013 4:01:53 PM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
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To: NYer; All
Can anyone recommend any good resources (books, online courses, etc.) for learning "Biblical Greek" and/or "Biblical Hebrew"?
15 posted on 06/19/2013 4:53:16 PM PDT by Heart-Rest (Good reading ==> | ncregister.com | catholic.com | ewtn.com | newadvent.org |)
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To: NYer
Catholics do not worship Mary.’ The problem is technically we do. Worship is the umbrella term that encompasses both adoration and veneration. Here’s the best way to avoid the confusion, especially if you’re reading anything that was writing before the 1960s, or even the 1990s:

latria is the Latin term for adoration, or worship, of God. Dulia is the Latin term for veneration, or worship, of the saints. These terms, in turn, come directly from the Greek: latreia and douleia. Both Greek words have the basic meaning of service. To paraphrase Aquinas, latreia is the ‘service’ paid to God, while douleia is the ‘service’ we render to saints.

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Is bondage ever good???

Douleia, on the other hand, also has secular contexts of servitude (for example, Romans 8:21)

bondage

δουλεία
douleia
doo-li'-ah
From G1398; slavery (ceremonially or figuratively): - bondage.

You are a slave to your saints...And a hyper-slave to Mary...So what's God say about this slavery that you agree to???

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

We are not in bondage to Mary or any saints...We are not their slaves and they are not our Masters...

We have glorious Liberty from God... When bondage (douleia) is used in the scriptures, it is never in a good sense...Never is it applied to anything heavenly...

16 posted on 06/19/2013 4:58:54 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool

One poster’s opinion.


17 posted on 06/19/2013 5:39:32 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Heart-Rest

Same here, want to learn the Bible Hebrew and Greek.


18 posted on 06/19/2013 5:40:17 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

The last known Greek in the present day liturgy.


19 posted on 06/19/2013 5:41:34 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

Is there a Greek word for that word?


20 posted on 06/19/2013 5:42:53 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl
Grace
χαρις
21 posted on 06/19/2013 6:20:03 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

2 most significant Biblical Greek words are PISTIS and GRACIS, followed closely by CHARIS.


22 posted on 06/19/2013 6:58:25 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr

“2 most significant Biblical Greek words are...”

May I ask you, most significant based on what?


23 posted on 06/19/2013 7:15:50 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: Heart-Rest

For Greek I liked this as a beginner’s book (get the workbook too), comes with helpful CD: http://www.amazon.com/Basics-Biblical-Grammar-William-Mounce/dp/0310250870

Mounce’s workbook answers are here: http://doxa.teknia.com/bbg3_answers.pdf

Hebrew, same series, this time by Pratico and Van Pelt: http://www.amazon.com/Basics-Biblical-Hebrew-Grammar-Second/dp/0310270200/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371697001&sr=1-2

Workbook and some free online things available if you look hard enough. None of this is too expensive either.


24 posted on 06/19/2013 7:57:36 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: Biggirl

See post 24. Some good, well thought out starter stuff for learning Hebrew and NT Greek.


25 posted on 06/19/2013 7:58:37 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: Iscool

St. Paul calls himself a doulos.


26 posted on 06/19/2013 8:02:25 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: vladimir998

Thanks vladimir998 for those suggestions!


27 posted on 06/19/2013 8:27:35 PM PDT by Heart-Rest (Good reading ==> | ncregister.com | catholic.com | ewtn.com | newadvent.org |)
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To: cornelis

Lectio Divina (Latin)


28 posted on 06/19/2013 8:33:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: aMorePerfectUnion

Salvation.

It’s a phrase found in many a Biblical Greek seminary textbook.

I think I saw it first in Mounce.


30 posted on 06/19/2013 11:20:44 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: cornelis
And Bob Dylan said:
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

[^_^]


31 posted on 06/19/2013 11:34:02 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Cvengr

I realize it’s an opinion... but I would see it from God’s side. Without His grace, there is no payment for sins, no need for faith. It originates with Him, we are held to Him and are positioned in Him because of His grace.

Thanks.


32 posted on 06/20/2013 5:59:26 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: cornelis
St. Paul calls himself a doulos.

A servant, of God...Not Mary...Not another man...

33 posted on 06/20/2013 9:07:39 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: cornelis
anamnesis is a noun meaning "a calling to mind" or "recollection," from the verb anamimnesko, "to remind of," "to recall to memory," "to remember."

The ana- part means "again," and mimnesko by itself means "to remind" or "to call to memory." (The root is mna-.)

Alpha by itself at the beginning of a word is sometimes a negative (as in "atheist") but before a vowel an -n- is added so it sometimes looks similar to the ana- prefix.

34 posted on 06/20/2013 9:21:56 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Iscool
Doulos is a standard Greek word for "slave." St. Paul is calling himself a slave of Jesus Christ. The idea is not new--some Hebrew or other Semitic personal names mark the bearer as a slave of a deity--like Obediah (slave of Yahweh) or Abdullah (slave of Allah).
35 posted on 06/20/2013 9:24:35 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Excellent. Nice platonic word.


36 posted on 06/20/2013 9:29:06 AM PDT by cornelis
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To: cornelis
Yes: Liddell and Scott's Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon cites "Plat., etc." as using the word.
37 posted on 06/20/2013 10:52:56 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus
Doulos is a standard Greek word for "slave." St. Paul is calling himself a slave of Jesus Christ. The idea is not new--some Hebrew or other Semitic personal names mark the bearer as a slave of a deity--like Obediah (slave of Yahweh) or Abdullah (slave of Allah).

Certainly...But nowhere in scripture are we told to become a slave to any heavenly saints nor a hyper-slave to Mary...

So this Catholic dulia and hyper-dulia is completely out of the question...

They lead us to believe that these two types of worship are veneration; like highly favored, or highly praised, or something similar...

But now we actually see that those words mean to become 'enslaved' to these deities... NO thanks...

38 posted on 06/20/2013 2:39:06 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: NYer
You know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word "milo," which is mean "apple," so there you go. As many of you know, our name, Portokalos, is come from the Greek word "portokali," which mean "orange." So, okay? Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.
39 posted on 06/20/2013 2:55:38 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
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To: NYer

bumpus ad summum


40 posted on 06/20/2013 8:20:25 PM PDT by Dajjal (Justice Robert Jackson was wrong -- the Constitution IS a suicide pact.)
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