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Morrish Bible Dictionary

14 Word Words

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Both ῥῆμα and λόγος are translated 'word ' and 'words.' ῥῆμα is the saying, the thing spoken (ἐρῶ, εἴρηκα, 'to speak'); it is more individual than λόγος, standing in relation to it rather as a part to the whole. λόγος includes the thoughts as well as the utterance. Compare the use of the French mot with parole .

The words have been thus distinguished: λόγος is the deeper, fuller word; it is the revelation of what is in God, in His nature and character — His love, His ways — in short, all that He communicates: ῥῆμα is the actual communication. λόγος (from λέγω, 'to speak') is that which is known in the mind, and known by expressing it. I cannot think without having a thought, and λόγος is used for that, and the expression of it: it is the matter and form of thought and expression, as well as the expression of it. It is a word so large in sense as to be very hard to express. ῥῆμα is the actual utterance.

If this distinction be borne in mind, the following passages will be the better apprehended. For λόγος, Matthew 13:19 ; Mark 14:39 , 'word' not 'words' (compared with Matthew 26:44 ); Mark 7:13 ; Mark 16:20 ; Luke 1:2 ; Acts 4:31 ; Acts 6:4 ; Romans 9:6 ; Hebrews 4:12 ; Hebrews 6:1 ; James 1:18 ; 1 Peter 1:23 . And it will be understood how characteristic λόγοςis of John's writings: John 1:1,14 ; John 5:24,38 ; John 8:31,37,43 ; and in John 8:51,52 , and 55 (where it is the same — 'word,' instead of 'saying' as in the A.V.); John 10:35 ; John 14:23,24 ('word' and 'words,' not 'words' and 'sayings' as the A.V.); John 15:3,20 ; John 17:6,14,17 ; 1 John 1:1 .

Yet the apostle also uses ῥῆμα: John 3:34 ; John 6:63,68 ; John 8:47 ; John 12:47,48 ; John 14:10 ; John 17:8 . Compare also Matthew 4:4 ; Ephesians 6:17 (not the book merely, but the text); Matthew 26:75 ; Luke 5:5 ; Romans 10:8,17 ; Hebrews 1:3 ; Hebrews 6:5 ; Hebrews 11:3 ; 1 Peter 1:25 . These will suffice to illustrate the use of the word, which has the force more of individual utterances, divine communications.

λαλία(from λαλέω, 'to talk, utter a sound') is, as a substantive, of much more limited use, as it is of meaning, being in fact only found in Matthew 26:73 = Mark 14:70 ; John 4:42 (comp. λόγος, John 4:41 ); and John 8:43 . But the constant use of the verb for the fact of uttering human language (Matthew 9:33 ; Mark 16:17 ; Acts 2:4 ; Acts 18:9 ), and in such expressions as "He spoke saying" (cf. Mark 6:50 ; Hebrews 2:2 ) sufficiently defines its force. John 8:43 brings λόγοςand λαλίαtogether in a way that illustrates their respective meanings: λόγοςis the matter of those discourses, the word itself; λαλίαthe outward form and utterance which His word assumes. They did not understand what He said (λαλία), because they did not take in His thought (λόγος); as it has been said, "In divine things one does not learn the definitions of words and then the things: one learns the things, and then the meaning of the words is evident." There could not be a more important principle.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for '14 Word Words '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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