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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #766 - ἀσέλγεια

Word Origin:
from a compound of (1) (as a negative particle) and a presumed selges (of uncertain derivation, but apparently meaning continent)
Parts of Speech:
Noun Feminine
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

ἀσέλγ-εια, ἡ,

I licentiousness, wanton violence, Pl. R. 424e, Isaiah 3:13, etc., οἷ προελήλυθ' ἀσελγείας ἅνθρωπος D. 4.9: joined with ὕβρις, Id. 21.1; insolence, opp. κολακεία, Phld. Lib. p.42 O.; τῶν δημαγωγῶν Arist. Pol. 1304b22: Astrol., epith. of certain ζῴδια, Vett. Val. 335.34.

II licentiousness, περὶ τὰς σωματικὰς ἐπιθυμίας Plb. 36.15.4, etc.

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 ἀσέλγεια, ἀσελγειας, , the conduct and character of one who is ἀσελγής (a word which some suppose to be compounded of the alpha privative and Σελγη, the name of a city in Pisidia whose citizens excelled in strictness of morals (so Etym. Magn. 152,38; per contra cf. Suidas 603d.): others of intens. and σαλάγειν, to disturb, raise a din; others, and now the majority, of alpha privative and σέλγω equivalent to θέλγω, not affecting pleasantly, exciting disgust), "unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence": Mark 7:22 (where it is uncertain what particular vice is spoken of); of gluttony and venery, Jude 1:4; plural, 1 Peter 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2 (for Rec. ἀπωλείαις), 18; of carnality, lasciviousness: 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:19; 2 Peter 2:7; plural "wanton (acts or) manners, as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females, etc." (Fritzsche), Romans 13:13. (In Biblical Greek besides only in Wisdom of Solomon 14:26,3Macc. 2:26. Among Greek writings used by Plato, Isocrates and following; at length by Plutarch (Lucull. 38) and Lucian (dial. meretr. 6) of the wantonness of women ( Lob. ad Phryn., p. 184n.).) Cf. Tittmann i., p. 151 f; (especially Trench, § xvi.).

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Vocabulary of the Greek NT

ἀσέλγεια appeared in p Magd 24.5 according to the original reading, but has been corrected in the new edition. The adj. appears among a number of technical epithets of ζῴδια in Vettius Valens p. 335.34ἢ χερσαῖα ἢ ἀσελγῆ ἢ λατρευτικὰ καὶ τὰ λοιπά . An obscure and badly-spelt document of iv/v A.D., BGU IV. 1024 v. 17, seems to contain this noun in the form ἀθελγία ἀλλὰ ̔̓ναντία καὶ ταύτης ὑπὸ σοῦ γενόμενον ἀθελγία ἐλενλέχ [ο ]υσα τὰ πεπραγμένα , which the editor understands as = ἀλλ᾽ ἐναντία ταύτῃ ἡ ὑπὸ σοῦ γενομένη ἀθελγία ἐλέγχουσα κτλ . But we mention this passage only to note how early the popular etymology was current connecting it with θέλγω . It is dubious at best, and the history of the word is really unknown; but cf. Havers in Indogerm. Forschungen xxviii (1911) p. 194 ff., who, adopting the foregoing etymology, understands ἀσελγής as = ";geschlagen,"; then ";wahnsinnig,"; and then ";liebestoll, wollüstig."; He has not convinced Prof. Thumb. For the idea of sensuality associated with the word in late Greek, see Lightfoot on Galatians 5:19.

A cognate noun appears in P Oxy VI. 903.21 (iv/A.D.) πολλὰ ἀσελγήματα λέγων εἰς πρόσωπόν μου καὶ διὰ τῆς ῥινὸς αὐτο [ ], ";using many terms of abuse to my face, and through his nose"; (Edd.). The complainant is a Christian.



The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
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List of Word Forms
ασελγεια ασελγεία ασέλγεια ἀσελγείᾳ ἀσέλγεια ασελγειαις ασελγείαις ἀσελγείαις ασελγειαν ασέλγειαν ἀσέλγειαν aselgeia asélgeia aselgeíāi aselgeiais aselgeíais aselgeian asélgeian
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