Passion - Trench's New Testament Synonyms


pathos (G3806) Passion
epithymia (G1939) Lust
horme (G3730) Impulse
orexis (G3715) Desire
Pathos is used three times in the New Testament, once in coordination with epithymia and once in subordination to it. In Romans 1:26, the pathe-atimias (G819, vile passions) are lusts that dishonor those who indulge in them. Pathos belongs to the terminology of the Greek schools. Thus Cicero wrote: "What the Greeks call pathe we prefer to term passionsmore than maladies" After Cicero adopted Zeno's definition of pathos as "an emotion of the mind, turned from correct reason contrary to nature," he called it "a disturbed impulse of the mind." According to Diogenes Laërtius, Zeno said: "Pathos itself is the irrational movement of the soul contrary to nature or an excessive impulse [horme]." Clement of Alexandria had this definition in mind when he distinguished horme from pathos:
Horme is a thrust of the intellect toward something or from something; pathos is an excessive impulse [horme] which goes beyond the limits of reason, or an impulse [horme] carried beyond bounds and unpersuaded by reason.
In the New Testament, pathos does not have as broad a sense as it did in the Greek schools. In the Greek schools, pathos's meaning was so much broader than epithymia's that the latter was only regarded as one of the several pathe of our nature and was used with orge (G3709), phobos (G5401), and the rest. In Scripture, however, epithymia is the more inclusive term and refers to the whole world of active lusts and desiresto all that the sarx (G4561) as the seat of desire and the natural appetites impels. Pathos is the morosa delectatio (capricious delight). It is not so much a disease of the soul in its more active operations as the diseased condition from which these operations arise. Bengel correctly called pathos the morbus libidinis (the disease of passion), rather than the libido(lustfulness, as distinguished from lust). According to Theophylact, "pathos is the frenzy of the body, like a fever or a wound or some disease." Godet wrote: "The term pathe (passions) has something more ignoble than the word epithymiai (lusts) in verse 24, for it includes a concept more marked by rebuke and shameful bondage."
Aristotle defined epithymia as "a longing [orexis] for pleasure," and the Stoics explained it as "an irrational longing [orexis]." Cicero called it "an immoderate desire for the greatest good without being tempered by reason."The Authorized Version usually translates epithymia as "lust" (Mark 4:19; and often), though sometimes as "concupiscence" (Rom. 7:8; Col. 3:5) or "desire" (Luke 22:15; Phil. 1:23). Occasionally, epithymia has a good sense in the New Testament, though usually it means "depraved concupiscence," not merely "concupiscence." According to Origen, this was its only sense in the Greek schools. Thus we have epithymia kake (G2556), "evil desires" (Col. 3:5); epithymiai sarkikai (G4559), "fleshly lusts" (1 Pet. 2:11); neoterikai (G3512), "youthful lusts" (2 Tim. 2:22); anoetoi (G453) kai blaberai (G983), "foolish and harmful lusts" (1 Tim. 6:9); kosmikai (G2886),"worldly lusts" (Titus 2:12); phthoras (G5356),"corruption... through lust" (2 Pet. 1:4); miasmou (G3394), "in the lust of uncleanness" (2 Pet. 2:10); anthropon (G444), "the lusts of men" (1 Pet. 4:2); tou somatos (G4983),"the lusts of the body" (Rom. 6:12); tou diabolou (G1228),"the desires of the devil" (John 8:44); tes apates (G539), "the deceitful lusts" (Eph. 4:22); tes sarkos (G4561), "the lust of the flesh" (1 John 2:16); and ton ophthalmon (G3788),"the lust of the eyes" (1 John 2:16). Epithymia also is used without a qualifying term. Vitringa's definition of epithymia is correct: "That corrupt disposition of the will which leads to striving after what is acquired illegally or which strives in an irregular manner after what it acquires illegally." This evil sense of epithymia also appears in other definitions, such as that of Clement of Alexandria: "An irrational pretext and longing [orexis] for what is gratifying." Clement also noted: "Those who are skillful at these matters distinguish between orexin and epithymias; the latter they assign to areas of pleasure and wantonness as not directed by reason, and the former as an emotion guided by reason in areas which by nature are necessary." Primarily, Clement pointed to Aristotle as one who is skillful. Formerly, the English word lust, whose history is similar to that of epithymia, was harmless enough. We have already traced the relation of epithymia to pathos.
Horme occurs twice in the New Testament (Acts 14:5; James 3:4), and orexis occurs once (Rom. 1:27). Elsewhere, these words often are found together, as in Plutarch and Eusebius. On one occasion, Cicero translated horme as appetitio (desire) and as appetitus animi (desire of the soul) on another. The Stoics said: "He horme is a person's reason compelling him to act" and further explained it as an "impulse of the mind" or "impulse of the soul toward something." Horme is orexis if it is toward a thing and ekklisis if it is from a thing. When the Authorized translators translated horme as "assault" (Acts 14:5), they ascribed more to it than it implies. Certainly there was no actual "assault" on the house where Paul and Barnabas stayed, for in this case it would have been unnecessary for Luke to tell us that they "became aware" (v. 6) of it. Rather there was only a purpose and intention of assault.In James 3:4, the horme of the pilot is not the "assault of the arms" but the "eager attempt of the will."

Although horme frequently refers to a hostile motion toward an object for the purpose of propelling and repelling it further from itself, orexis always refers to reaching toward an object for the purpose of drawing the object to itself and making it its own. Orexis is commonly used to refer to the appetite for food, as is the Latin orexis (appetite), which was used during Latin's "silver age." In the Platonic Definitions (414b), philosophy is described as a "desire for the knowledge of the eternal entities." The context of the one passage in the New Testament where orexis occurs (Rom. 1:27) reveals Paul's view of the nature of the vile pleasures that the heathens reach out for and seek.

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