Shame - Trench's New Testament Synonyms


aischyne (G152) Shame
aidos (G127) Shamefacedness
entrope (G1791) Reverence
At one time aidos included those meanings that later were divided between it and aischyne.Aidos had the same double meaning that is latent in the Latin pudor (shame) and in our own shame. Thus Homer, who did not know aischyne, sometimes used aidos where in later Greek aischyne would have been preferable. In a difficult passage in Cratylus where both words occur (1.84), some scholars believe that Thucydides used aischyne and aidos as synonyms. Similarly, in a passage in Sophocles where the two words are used, it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish their meanings. Generally, however, aischyne and aidos were not considered synonymous in Attic Greek. Ammonius formally distinguished them on philological grounds, while the Stoics distinguished them on ethical grounds. Almost every passage in which either word occurs indicates a real difference in meaning.

The distinction between aidos and aischyne has not always been clearly understood. Sometimes aidos has been understood as the "shame" or sense of honor that hinders one from doing an unworthy act and aischyne as the "disgrace"outward or inwardthat follows from the act itself (Luke 14:9). This distinction is partially but not completely accurate. It would be erroneous to assume that aischyne only retrospectively refers to the conscious result of unworthy actions. Rather, aischyne refers to the feeling that leads one to shun what is unworthy out of an anticipation of dishonor. Thus in the Definitionsascribed to Plato (G416), aischyne is defined as "fear of anticipated ill-repute." Aristotle included the future in his comprehensive definition: "Let there be shame [aischyne], a certain pain and discomfort concerning those evilswhether present, past, or futurethat appear to lead to ill-repute." In Ecclesiasticus 4:21, aischyne is used to mean "a fleeing from disgrace." Plato also uses the term. And according to Xenophon, "although they feared the road and were unwilling, nevertheless the majority followed on account of shame [aischynen] before one another and before Cyrus."
Aidos is the more noble word and implies an innate moral repugnance to the performance of dishonorable acts. Such repugnance, however, is not implied by aischyne, which refers only to the outward disgrace that makes one refrain from such acts. According to Aristotle, aischyne is only "imagination concerning ill-repute," or, as South said, it is "the grief a man conceives from his own imperfections considered with relation to the world taking notice of them; and in one word may be defined as grief upon the sense of disesteem. "Thus Jeremiah 2:26 says: "As the thief is ashamed [aischyne) when he is found out." Locke's definition of shamerises no higher. The root of shame, as Aristotle argued, is neither a person's moral sense nor his awareness of a right that has been or that would be violated by the act but only his fear that others might discover his violation. If the apprehension of discovery is removed, the aischyne ceases. Aidos, however, is self-motivated and implies reverence for the good as good, not merely as that to which honor and reputation are attached. Thus aidos often is connected with eulabeia to refer to a reverence before God's majesty and holiness that leads one to be careful not to offend God. In summary, aidos would always restrain a good man from an unworthy act; aischyne would sometimes restrain a bad one.
Entrope occurs only twice in the New Testament (1 Cor. 6:5; 15:34) but is used elsewhere with aischyne and aidos. Entrope also should be rendered "shame," though it connotes something not connoted by aidos or by aischyne.Entrope is related to entrepo, entrepomai (G1788) and hints at a change of conduct that results from wholesome shame. This is evident in phrases such as "learning through shame" (entropes,Job 20:3), and it is this shame that Paul wished to arouse in his Corinthian converts (cf. 2 Thess. 3:14; Titus 2:8).Pott traced the successive meanings of the words in this way:
Entrepo, to turn about, to turn back, to turn around; the transferred meaning: to cause one to turn within oneself, to bring a person to himself, to give one occasion for introspection... entrope, the act of turning about; 2. introspection, being made ashamed, a sense of shame, respect, deference, regard, as aidos.

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