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69 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2008 :  16:40:39  


Well then, how do you translate this: In the New Testament, Nestle Aland 26th Edition, St. Paul, in Acts 17.26 says εξ ενος παν εθνος which is translated "From one every Nation". The definition of Nation is of "common descent". If Nation means of "common descent" why are they translating that into "nation", if ethnos doesn't mean that?

In the Septuagint, Genesis 25.23, "And the Lord said to her, There are two nations (ethni) in thy womb and two peoples shall be seperated from thy belly, and one people shall excell the other and the elder shall serve the younger".

In this verse, both have the same mother---but are called "ethni".

So what word should be used. Can you please parse this out. Did the translators of the both the Nestle Aland and the Septuagint, which are a hundred years apart mistranslate 'ethnos' as 'nation'? What other word should be used?

The Oxford English Dictionary has this definition of Nation: nation
noun a large body of people united by ****common descent****, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory: leading industrialized nations.

I'm confused.

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55 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2008 :  00:36:59  


First of all let me repeat that the translators rightly use the word nation to translate the Greek ethnos. Ethnos in English is nation, not race. Now, please think again on the excerpt you quote : "And the Lord said to her, There are two nations (ethni) in thy womb and two peoples shall be seperated from thy belly, and one people shall excell the other and the elder shall serve the younger". If descent was the essential characteristic of a nation, how comes and *two nations are in the same womb, i.e., have the same descent?

This way you can understand also the first passage you quote. That every nation comes from one, means that our current cultural differences, which distinguish us as nations, in some distant past did not exist, i.e. we had the same character and will.

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69 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2008 :  16:19:49  


There is this text in Plato's Laws:
"Had not the combined resolution of Athens and Lacedaemon repelled the menace of enslavement, there would long ago have been a complete confustion of Hellenic stocks with one another, of barbarian with Hellenic and Hellenic with barbarian, like the wretched sporadic condition of the present dispersed and confused subjects of the Persian despotism". (692e-693a {The Collected Dialogues of Plato, edited by Edith Hamilton, Bollingen Series LXXI, pg 1287})

Now, Plato is here pointing out the disastrous effects of Xerxes invasion if successful. I think Plato points out that it is NOT a good even for the two main Hellenic stocks to be mixed. The German Classicist Karl Otfried Mueller, in his book "The History and Antiquities of the Doric Race" of 1834 points out the stark differences between the Ionians and the Dorians. And I think Plato was also very aware of that. Even though the Ionians and the Dorians were Hellenic---they were very different from each other culturally. The Dorians on Crete had the same institutions as those at Laconia. The character of the race formed their peculiar cultures. Culture is the product of race.

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615 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  01:58:23  


You will find great help to avoid such obvious mistakes, if you are more slow in your decisions and examine carefully what you say. Because, if culture were indeed a racial product, you wouldn't know how to explain the fact that different races can have the same culture (e.g. the culture of the numerous European nations as opposed to Far Eastern cultures) or that the same race develops different cultures in the course of time.

I wouldn't say that your 'theory' goes back to nazi and similar racist 'theories', because in a discussion a view must be examined as such and not exorcised. But I would say that from wrong 'theories' such as yours and of the nazi, horrible crimes may be born. Even if not in the form of slaughtering people, at least in the form of underestimating the very concept of a culture. You seem to believe in Christianity, but if a culture is a product of a race, then Christianity can not be ecumenical, it should belong to a race - and to what race? If Christianity is the product of Jews, how comes and Jews are the first to have denied it, and how comes that so many different races are Christian?

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69 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2008 :  06:54:05  


Before I take a stab at your questions George, let me throw this out.

Georges Dumézil articulated that the Proto-IndoEuropean peoples exhibit what he called "Trifunctionality". His Trifunctional concept states that Indo-European religion has societies and religions divided into three similar roles: warriors, priests, and farmers.

Dumézil believed that this tripartite division resulted in the arrangement of

Brahmin, Kshatriya and commoner castes in India
Priests, Kings and peasants in Europe
Medieval feudal society (an historic example not noted by Dumézil) was divided into:

Oratores (those who pray), Bellatores (those who fight), and Laboratores (workers) . (from Wikipedia)

Now, as recently as 1985, Prof Michael Mendle, University of Alabama Press, used Georges Dumezil to show that Anglo-Saxon society followed the Trifunctional pattern in Dangerous Positions; Mixed Government, the Estates of the Realm, and the Making of the "Answer to the xix propositions". "Georges Dumézil argued that the "tripartition" of the functions of prayer and judgement, war, and toil is an element common on one level or another to all Indo-European societies but to them alone;...Dumézill has pursued trifunctionality only as a stylization or ideology that can be recovered through the residues preserved by the discrete Indo-European peoples." Caesar observed this same trifunctionality among the Celts. It is also observed in the Indian Aryans of the brahmins (priests), kshatriyas (warriors), vaisyas (merchants and craftsmen). Dangerous Positions, Mendle, pp 21-29.

Now, Georges Dumezil and many other people are unaware that the Doric Greeks also strongly exhibited this characteristic.

Trifunctionality, evinced by the Doric Greeks, was especially strong. They always migrated in groups of three; Hylleans/Dymanes/Pamphylians. 76 The Dorians were so peculiar in this trait that in classical texts they were called the "Thrice-divided" Dorians. 77 Wherever they migrated, the new land was divided into three parts. 78 In Lacedæmonia, the Dorians not only divided themselves from the aboriginal peoples into a triad of Dorians/ Perioci/Helots, they also divided Doric society into three parts, royalty/aristocracy/equals (or similars). Furthermore, the tripod figured prominently in their religion of Apollo. 79 It was natural then that their culture imprinted a tripartite form of monarchy/aristocracy/democracy on their government. Studying the mixed constitution of Sparta, Dicaearchus of Messana was to label his treatise; the Tripoliticus.

As you can see the Tripartite form exhibited in their form of government came from their racial makeup. What is the most central doctrine of Christianity? The Trinity. This Indo-European concept of Trifunctionality gave the impetus for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

(The above quote on the Doric Greeks and their trifunctional characteristics, come from this article:
http://www.wikinfo.org/index.php/Classical_definition_of_republic )

This Trifunctionality is inherent in Indo-Europeans.

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