Talk:hypostasis

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How are Anthony Burgess and Karen Armstrong considered valid sources for the theological definition of "hypostasis" rather than St. Thomas Aquinas or St. John Damascene, especially as the cited quotes are argumentative rather than definitive? —This unsigned comment was added by 72.147.183.107 (talk).

  • Three things: 1. The citations are not ‘sources’ for the definition, but examples of the word being used. 2. Words receive their definition from the way in which they are actually used by real people. 3. Aquinas wrote in Latin and John of Damascus in Greek, so neither of them used the English word hypostasis. Ƿidsiþ 07:21, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
    • 1. If that's the case, then okay, but if they don't help understanding then I don't see the point. 2. "Real people" as opposed to fictional characters like Thomas Aquinas, you mean? 3. The word is of Greek origin, as are lots of words, so a translation could be used, couldn't it?

I wasn't really looking for argument. I thought since Wikipedia usually includes lots of detail, then so would Wiktionary. If Wiktionary only puts random examples of sentences using theological terms then I just won't use Wiktionary as a source in the future, so you can cite Yogi Berra if you want to.

  • I'll try again. The point of citations is to show users how the word in question is used in the real world. Citations from a translation of Aquinas et al. are very welcome (though most translators translate this word to something else), but so are novelists, columnists, and even Yogi Berra if indeed he has had any occasion to invoke hypostasis in speech. As it happens, in this case, I think the Armstrong quote is rather helpful. Very often you will find that the definition intended by those who coin or promote a word is not always the same as the practical ‘value’ of that word in discourse. I'm not saying that's the case here, I'm just saying that it's important that citations cover a range of sources. This page could certainly use some more, but there's nothing wrong with the ones we have. Wiktionary is a work in progress; most pages don't have any citations yet. Ƿidsiþ 20:44, 6 December 2009 (UTC)