New Testament

Semantic Domains

‘Semantics’ is a term that refers to how meaning is assigned in language. And a ‘domain’ is essentially a specific place or territory. In lexicography a ‘semantic domain’ is defined as ”an area of meaning and the words used to talk about it ... For instance English has a domain ‘Rain’, which includes words such as rain, drizzle, downpour, raindrop, puddle.” The idea is that the words in a ‘semantic domain’ are very much related but are not identical in meaning, e.g.: ‘rain’ is definitely related to ‘puddle’, but those two words are not interchangeable.

In particular, there are groups of ‘theologically significant’ words in the [Greek] Text wherein all the Greek words in a semantic domain are rendered by a single English word. For example, AGAPĒ/ἀγάπη and PhILIA/φιλία are both generally rendered as ‘love’, yet they have significantly different meanings. This causes no end of confusion.

  

Ask

Devil/Satan

Evil

Good

Hell

Life

Lord

Love

Man/Woman/Humanity

Money, Units of

Slave/Servant

Word