Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Favorite Greek Words

There's been too much hate in this political season lately. I'm glad to hear that things might be taking a turn for the better, now, but it irritates me that politics can get so mucky-muddy. I remember back to my high school debate days: We never argued "the other team is wrong because they got caught at a party with alcohol!!" Or "the judges should vote for us because my girlfriend cheated on me last week!" I remember learning all about those kinds of things in my college argumentation class... they're called fallacies.

In contrast to some of the hate-mongering and inciting going on, I've been thinking about love. One of the things I really appreciate about the Greek language (though I know almost nothing about it), is that it has so many distinct words for love. My favorite love-related words are probably hesed and agape.

I always think about hesed (loving kindness) as a way that we should treat each other in society. A way that we're called to treat each other and build strong interpersonal relationships. For an introvert like me, that can sometimes be hard.

I like agape because it is a love of giving or selfless serving. I think that's a great way of living to aspire toward. It comes in handy with my children, with friends, those I disagree with, and most importantly my marriage.

What's your favorite Greek word?


Stushie said...

kairos - God's timing

Becky Ardell Downs said...

the first greek word I learned was dikaiosune-- righteousness or justice-- which Paul uses in Romans. dikaios=rightous, just. I sort of like that word. My fave though might be Luo, the first verb everyone learns-- to loose!

Heather W. Reichgott said...

I think hesed is a Hebrew word. :)

Some Hebrew favorites of mine are
ruach (spirit, breath)
adam (human being, earth, or "earth creature" as I've read to Sunday school classes sometimes)
qum (get up--before anyone does anything major in Heb. narrative they first "get up" to be in a position of readiness for whatever it might be--and then right after that you get the real verb.)

Mark Baker-Wright said...

hesed is indeed Hebrew, not Greek. It's still a good word, but for those who aren't Biblical-language-trained, it's good to clear up the potential confusion.

Althea N. Agape said...

splagxna and the related splagxnixomai -- innards and feel sympathy. Just cause they're fun words.

paulboal said...

Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to gently correct my mistake.

My engineering education (in which I only learned enough of the Greek alphabet to cover standard variables in scientific equations) apparently wasn't enough. ;)