Sunday, December 10, 2023

The ten most common words in the New Testament

In some ways, although knowing these words is essential for understanding, they are less helpful than one might think.  The 10 most common words in the NT include 

the article:

ὁ, ἡ, τό

several pronoun sets:

αὐτός, αὐτή, αὐτό

σύ, ὑμεῖς

ἐγώ, ἡμεῖς

two conjunctions or particles:



two prepositions:



two verbs:

εἰμί - 'I am'

λέγω - 'I say'

and no 'regular' nouns.

Many of these ten have numerous forms, of course: the article by itself (with approximately 20,000 occurrences) has 17 different spellings, parsed in 24 possible ways.  

Why the difference?  Because - for example - τό can be either the neuter singular nominative or neuter singular accusative, τῶν can be genitive plural in any gender, and so on.  All the possible spellings of the article are used in the NT.

Not to mention the plethora of irregular verb forms seen with εἰμί and λέγω.  

The next ten words in frequency include two nouns, one of them proper.  We'll look at those ten next time.



No comments:

Post a Comment