Another - Trench's New Testament Synonyms


allos (G243) Another
heteros (G2087) Other
Allos indicates that which is numerically distinct. Thus Christ spoke "another" parable and still "another," each succeeding parable having the same character as the previous one. In each case, allen is used. Heteros, however, adds the notion of a qualitative difference. Allos is "divers," heteros is "diverse." There are many passages in the New Testament whose correct interpretation, or at least their full understanding, depends on accurately understanding this distinction. Thus Christ promised his disciples that he would send allon (not heteron)Parakleton, "another" Comforter similar to himself. The dogmatic force of this use of allon has been debated in the controversy with the various sects of pneumatomachoi (contenders for the Spirit). Thus Petavius argued:
The epithet Paraclete has reference to the same thing, especially since Christ calls him another [allon] Paracletethat is, equal [par] and comparable to himself. In fact the word allos designates that he will be truly the same and comparable in dignity and in substance, as Gregory of Nazianzus and Ambrosius advise.

If allos negates identity, this is even truer of heteros, which up to a certain point negates resemblance. Heteros affirms not only distinctness but difference. A few examples will illustrate this. Paul said: "I see another law," a law quite different from the law of the spirit of life, even a law of sin and death, "working in my members" (Rom. 7:23). After Joseph's death, "another king arose" in Egypt, one (it is generally supposed) of quite another dynasty. In any case he was of quite another spirit from the one who had invited the children of Israel into Egypt and hospitably entertained them. The hodos(G3598) hetera and kardia (G2588) hetera that God promises to give his people are a new way and a new heart. It was not "another spirit" but a different one (heteron pneuma [G4151]) that was in Caleb, as distinguished from the other spies (Num. 14:24). In the parable of the pounds, the slothful servant is heteros (Luke 19:18). When Iphigenia was about to die and exclaimed, "a different [heteron], a different [heteron] destiny and fate we shall live," she looked forward to a different life with quite different surroundings. The spirit that had wandered through dry places seeking in vain for rest took "seven other spirits" (hetera pneumata) worse than himself (of a deeper malignity) to help repossess the house he had left for a while (Matt. 12:45). Those crucified with Jesus are called heteroi duo, kakourgoi (G2557),"two others, criminals," as it should be punctuated. It would be inconceivable and revolting to confuse Jesus and the criminals by calling them alloi duo. Clearly Jude spoke of "other [hetera] flesh" (v. 7) when he denounced what the wicked followed after (Gen. 19:5). Christ appeared to his disciples "in a different [hetera] form" (Mark 16:12). Here the word indicates the great change that happened at his resurrection and that was anticipated in his transfiguration (Luke 9:29). God speaks to his people in the new covenant with cheilesin (G5491)heterois, altogether different lips (1 Cor. 14:21), just as the tongues of Pentecost are heterai glossai (G1100; Acts 2:4), languages quite different from those of the disciples. It would be easy to multiply the passages where heteros could not be substituted for allos or where it could be substituted only by diluting allos's meaning (Matt. 11:3; 1 Cor. 15:40; Gal. 1:6). There are other passages where initially altos seems quite as appropriate (or more so) but where heteros retains its proper force. In Luke 22:65 the hetera polla are many abuses of various kinds, different blasphemous speeches. The Roman soldiers taunted Jesus from their own viewpoint as a pretender to Caesar's throne and from the Jewish viewpoint as one who claimed to be the Son of God. Certainly a qualitative difference is not intended in every case where heteros is used. In Hebrews 11:36, for example, it would be difficult to trace anything of the kind.

What is true of heteros also is true of its compounds, three of which occur in the New Testament. Heteroglossos is used by the apostle to bring out the nonintelligibility of the tongues to many in the church. Heterodidaskalein means to teach other things, things that are alien to the faith. Heterozygein means to yoke with partners as unsuitable as the ox and the ass (Deut. 22:10). In ecclesiastical Greek, heterodoxia is used to refer not merely to another opinion but to one that because it is another is a worse one, is a departure from the faith. Heterodoxia reappears in our own "heterogeneous," something that is not merely of another kind but of a worse one. This point deserves attention and is illustrated by several of the previous examples. Heteros is not just "other and different" but has the additional implication that whatever the difference is, it is for the worse. Thus Socrates was accused of introducing into Athens hetera kaina daimonia (G1140, different new demons). Daimon (G1142) heteros is an evil or hostile deity. Heterai thysiai are ill-omened sacrifices that result in a curse, not a blessing, on their offerer. Demagogoi heteroi are popular leaders not only of a different kind than Pericles but of a worse stamp and spirit. In the Septuagint, gods other than the true God are invariably heteroi theoi. Aristophanes noted: "They are others [heteroi] to whom I pray as gods." A barbarous tongue is hetera glossa (Isa. 28: II).
There is only one way to reproduce in English the fine distinction Paul drew between heteron and allo in Galatians 1:6-7. "I marvel," said the apostle, "that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different [heteron] gospel, which is not another [allo]. "For the first "other" in the authorized Version, Dean Alford substituted "different." That indeed is what Paul intended to expresshis wonder that the Galatians so quickly accepted a gospel different in character and kind from the one they already had received. Such a message had no right to be called another gospel, since in fact it was not a gospel at all. There could not be two gospels that varied from one another.
First Corinthians 12:8-10; 2 Corinthians 11:4; and Acts 4:12 are the other New Testament passages that should be investigated to determine why one of these words is used instead of the other or why the words alternate.

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