A recent question asked for references from Greek literary texts, and other Scriptural texts - explaining the definition of a particular word : Ephesians 4:30 - What does it mean to "Grieve the Holy Spirit"?.

Yes - I completely agree that this is "Searching for a Text" - but certainly not in the same sense as "Where does the Bible Say?"

This is a key part of Lexical Semantics - identifying occurrences of Glosses to truly understand what words meant, in certain contexts, cultures, and periods of time :

Gloss, from Wikipedia - (from Latin glossa; from Greek γλῶσσα (glóssa), meaning 'language') is a brief notation, especially a marginal one or an interlinear one, of the meaning of a word or wording in a text. It may be in the language of the text, or in the reader's language if that is different.

A very famous Gloss of the word "Faith" :

NASB, Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.

The objection resulting in "Searching for a Text" closure, was :

But asking for other "Scripture" is different altogether. "Scripture" is a religious belief that the texts are divinely inspired and part of an intentional single work.

Why is asking for Literary Greek glosses or Biblical Glosses off-topic? When it is the primary element of lexical semantics?

Asking how Scripture comments on itself - it seems - might be the very first place to start Scriptural hermeneutics.


Looking for the the gloss of a word is not a type that particularly requires expertise to handle. A lexicon would serve the purpose. The question as posted basically just asks for somebody else to do a lookup in a lexicon.

An appropriate question for this site would be something not answered by a basic lexicon, that required combining with other sources of information, or required expertise to know what tool to apply when. In fact for many questions some basic background research like doing a word search or looking up a lexicon entry would be expected as preliminary steps to even formulate a question. Only after having done some basic leg work would it even be apparent whether there was a question to be asked.

In the case of the example question you pointed to, it wasn't clear from the question what was even being asked further than regurgitating the results of a search query.

  • +1 - A.) I disagree that "Looking for the the gloss of a word [does not require] expertise to handle" - Thayer's and BDB are outdated, perseus.uchicago.edu takes expertise, and not everyone has Access to Kittle. B.) But - I agree that "An appropriate question for this site would be something not answered by a basic lexicon, that required combining with other sources of information, or required expertise to know what tool to apply when."; C.) Perhaps we can add a "Tag Synonym" for [definition] : Lexical-Semantics, or Linguistic-Gloss and help word questions properly? Apr 21 '17 at 18:26
  • And a correction : D.) A lexicon would serve the purpose [of Looking for the gloss of a word]. E.) This is not remotely true : The full Kittle Lexicon has nifty information like that, identifying glosses - but certainly not something like Thayer's or BDB; Even perseus.tufts.edu doesn't identify glosses like I think you are implying. F.) And combing through an exhaustive concordance - for glosses, certainly requires expertise. Apr 21 '17 at 18:35
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    @elikakohen - if you mouse over the question upvote button, you will see a popup stating "this question shows research effort; it is useful and clear. I think consulting a lexicon or concordance - even an outdated one - would answer questions of this type and should constitute a minimal research effort. Apr 21 '17 at 19:12

The verse is tacked on at the end, looking like you've only included it in order to satisfy the site rules, rather than something you're actually interested in.

Simply listing examples, whether from scripture or other texts, won't actually bring much clarity to what the phrase means. Firstly is the problem of the opinionated nature of it - examples will be selected not by any objective means, but by how relevant the answerers think they are. And the examples themselves likely won't clarify any ambiguities because you're just introducing multiple sentences which could be read in multiple ways. To be useful the answers would need to have examples and lots of explanation, ie, opinions, but you said in comments below that you're not after opinions.

Good dictionaries like BDAG or NIDNTTE will explain the secular, Jewish, and Christian contexts of these words. I'd recommend using resources like these. If you don't have access, I'm sure if you ask in chat someone will be able to give you a scan relatively quickly. I think going to NIDNTTE would be a better approach than some of these questions.

Here, I've scanned NIDNTTE's entry for λυπέω for you. Hope it helps!

  • A.) It is profoundly presumptuous and offensive to assume that I don't have an interest in understanding what the verse means - it is an incredibly important question, theologically. B.) "Why not just ask what the first half of Ephesians 4:30 means?" - you have got to be joking, right? C.) Maybe we should take out the "definition" tag altogether, and not bother with validating and verifying traditional definitions of significant theological precepts. D.) I just don't have the words ... Apr 20 '17 at 20:32
  • @Elika you're responsible for how you phrase your questions. I'm sorry if you feel offended, but your question structure makes it look tacked on.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 20:34
  • @elika No, I would say the same about any question that looks that way.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 20:37
  • There are lots of questions that ask "what does word X mean?", and then because we require questions to be based in texts, they pick a random verse with the word. That's what a tacked on verse looks like.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 20:39
  • If you don't want opinions then don't ask for illustrative examples, because what counts as illustrative is very opinion based.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 20:41
  • A.) There are lots of questions that ask "what does word X mean? B.) Although I understand exactly what you are talking about - this is absolutely absurd here - What other noteworthy reason is there to examine this particular word? Apr 20 '17 at 20:41
  • Sorry, I don't know what you think is absurd. And after your very rude comments to me, I'm not sure I want to continue discussing this with you. Hopefully someone else will write an answer to this meta question.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 20:43
  • couriousdannii - A.) I removed the word "illustrative". B.) Regardless - none of this, nor your answer, has anything to do with my actual question How is "How may passages from Greek literature illuminate this specific scriptural passage?" any more on topic than "How may other passages from Scripture illuminate this Scriptural passage?" ? Apr 20 '17 at 20:44
  • @elika I didn't address that because I don't think that was the problem in your question. Asking for examples from all sources is equally bad.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 20:45
  • A.) Then, I hope that you can see why this answer is incredibly rude, and offensive - especially since it has absolutely nothing to do with the question. B.) If you have an issue with /that referenced/ question, then it would have been constructive if you would have pointed it out - there, instead. Apr 20 '17 at 20:47
  • It didn't have absolutely nothing to do with your questions - I was trying to explain why asking for any examples is not a good question. And evidently three other people agreed.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 20:54
  • curiousdannii - A.) Yes, I understand your position, (which would be better explained in your answer, and suitable) - and then we can remove all of these other comments. B.) I think You are saying : asking for any examples from Scripture, to clarify a passage in Scripture - is not a good question, but asking for illustrative examples from Greek literature is fine. C.) My objection to this "Site Policy" is that - Internal consistency, within a corpus, is incredibly insightful. And, why it is widely held, that : "Scripture is a commentary unto itself". Apr 20 '17 at 21:04
  • @elika No, I think asking for examples from Greek literature is just as problematic as scripture
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Apr 20 '17 at 21:07
  • @curiousdanii - A.) No, I think asking for examples from Greek literature is just as problematic as scripture. - that comment, would be an excellent +1 answer. B.) But, I would hope you explain the issue. Again - my question is, what is fundamentally wrong with this? C.) It seems that you are knowledgeable about this, and have a good reason, so the basis for this would be very helpful. Apr 20 '17 at 21:10
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    @elikakohen Your communication would be a lot more effective if you would let your words speak for themselves. Cluttering them up with lettered break points and assorted text formatting styles makes it very difficult to follow your train of thought. Reading your writing when you format like this is like trying to listen to a sermon through a voice scrambler — the weird effects the device makes are so distracting that it's hard to focus on the actual message.
    – Caleb
    Apr 21 '17 at 17:45

I'm not entirely sure why you asked that question. The Biblehub link in your question not only gives the definition but also gives all occurrences of the word with Scripture verses, thus already satisfying your request for other examples.

It appears that perhaps your primary intent with the question was to get examples from non-Biblical sources ("especially literary Greek"). Either way you were searching for texts. Searching for Biblical texts is off topic, and in my opinion searching for non-Biblical texts is also off topic and is why I voted to close it.

  • +1 For representing the view that even searching for Greek Literary texts is off-topic; A.) Although Biblehub does point out occurrences, this is not the same thing as "searching for texts" that are actually lexical glosses that explain the meaning of the word; B.) Yes - I completely agree that this is "Searching for a Text" - but certainly not in the same sense as "Where does the Bible Say?" C.) I updated my question to help explain this. Apr 21 '17 at 18:12
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    @elikakohen - Phrasing it as "looking for lexical glosses" doesn't change the fact that you are searching for texts.
    – user6503
    Apr 21 '17 at 21:39
  • A.) You said : "Phrasing it as "looking for lexical glosses" doesn't change the fact that you are searching for texts." B.) Yes, I know - which is why I am suggesting that "Searching for Texts" - in this way, should be on topic. C.) I only added the linguistic jargon : "gloss", because what seems obviously appropriate to me, and other people, did not seem to be coming across correctly - for the more academic members of the community, (even though it is inseparable from proper hermeneutics). Apr 21 '17 at 21:42

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