Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye and eat, this is My Body which shall be delivered for you; this do for the commemoration of Me. In like manner also the chalice...

1 Cointhians 11:23-25

Friday, March 17, 2006

Greek-English dictionary [Catholic Answers]

Post from Catholic Answers Forums:

Originally Posted by ThomasMore1535
Orthodox Biblical scholars have explained the apparent discrepancy, by pointing out that Hebrew and Aramaic words for “many,” familiar to the Apostles, had a common meaning of “the all who are many” or an “undefined multitude.”
The only justification I have seen for this claim that the Hebrew and Aramaic words for “many” mean the “the all who are many” is the citation of a few verses from St. Paul's letters and Isaiah 53. However, this works just as well to "prove" that many means all in English. It is the context that gives many the connotation of all, along with the fact that all people would indeed be many, even if "many people" does not mean all.

Originally Posted by ThomasMore1535
The original Hebrew or Aramaic words came into the Greek New Testament simply as polloi, which in turn was perhaps somewhat simplistically translated into the Latin “multis” rather than “omnibus.”
If you go to and type in polloi under Greek-English dictionary, then press the Find button, the online dictionary there will tell you that polloi means "many" (not "all"). "Simplistic"? No, the translators were accurate when they translated polloi as multis. You can also test out the English-Greek dictionary on the same page, and observe that many translates to πολλοί and all translates to όλοι. Many and all are different words in English and in Latin and in Greek and in Aramaic.

I tried looking up the quotes from Whitehead and Kilmartin you supplied, but did not see anything more than what you wrote, nothing more than bare assertions that many means everyone.

I was surprised to see you bring forth an argument that started by saying "for all" is scripturally inaccurate. Such a statement undercuts the claim that "for all" is as good a translation of what our Lord said as the traditional "for many".

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