WIERWILLE'S CONTRADICTORY DEFINITIONS OF ALLOS & HETEROS
In the first printing of Power for Abundant Living, VP Wierwille tried to prove
that the criminals mentioned in Luke and John were different using his specific definitions of the Greek words allos and heteros. He emphasized that heteros had to be used because is showed that the criminals were the :same kind." This particular definition, he said, was "sharp accuracy."
But only a year or so later the "sharp accuracy" changed. From that time on Wierwille said that heteros had to be used because is meant that "only two categories are involved."
This contradiction shows that Wierwille changes his word definitions to fit his desires at any given time. It also shows that he would stick by his conclusions now matter what the words and facts say, because evidence isn't as important as his preconceived ideas.
Actually, neither definition of heteros and allos is accurate or according to Biblical usage.
Both EW Bullinger's and VW's narrow definitions of allos and heteros are contrived. If you take ten minutes with a Greek concordance looking at these words, it is obvious that they don't work in all the occurrences in the NT. Narrow definitions of words sometimes were true of Attic Greek, but the Koine Greek of the NT is common Greek, in which the meanings of many words are defused. To hang an interpretation of John 19:18 on two words that are (and must be) translated with several English words is foolish and not true to the Bible text. If you don't have access to a Greek concordance, I can send you a copy of the allos and heteros pages. Even a brief look at a Greek concordance destroys most of VW's unique word definitions (lambano, dechomai, etc, etc).
VW's definitions of allos and heteros were radically different in the first two printings of PFAL, 1971, pp. 167-168. (His took the definitions first from Bullinger, although he changed them in PFAL. He probably distorted them further because they contradicted the meaning he wanted them to have in 1 Cor. 12:8. The altered meaning first appears in RTHST in 1967.) In the first printing, VW insisted that heteros meant "other of the same kind," but months later in the second printing he insisted heteros meant "other when only two may be involved." In the first printing he asserted that allos meant "other of varying kinds," but in the second printing he said it meant "other when more than two may be involved." In both printings he left the claim, "Which Greek word had to be used to have the true Word?... This is the sharp accuracy of God's Word." If it was so accurate, why did VW change the meanings so radically-- but not the conclusion about four crucified? If those meanings were the accuracy of the Word, how could they change so radically in only a few month's time?
Actually, all of his meanings for these words are false. Although he said that "Allos is used when more than two may be involved," the Gospels also use allos to refer to turning the other cheek (Mat. 5:39), a cripple's other hand (Mat. 12:13) and the other disciple (John) who went into the tomb with Peter (John 20:8). Perhaps Jesus healed a three-cheeked, four-handed cripple? VW also wrote that "heteros is used because only two categories are involved." But the Gospels use heteros to refer to another psalm, place, king, man, servant, hearer, believer, wife, day, tribe, etc, etc. Are there only two categories of these things? (Many Wayers/ex-Wayers don't even seem to realize that allos and heteros are translated "another," almost as often as "other.)
It's true that heteros suggests a difference in type more often than allos. However, the words are usually interchangeable, and the choice of word depends more on who the writer is than on its use. John's Gospel and Revelation use allos about 50 times, but use heteros only once. Mark uses allos about 23 times, but uses heteros only once. Luke is just the opposite, using heteros about 50 times in Luke and Acts, but using allos only 16 times. Therefore, the careful student of language would be surprised if Luke didn't use heteros to describe a criminal, or if John didn't use allos.
At times Luke quotes the same words of Jesus which other Gospels do, but Luke uses heteros where the others use allos. For instance, in the parable of the sower, Matthew 13 and Mark 4 use only allos to refer to the seed, while Luke 8 (which uses mostly the same terms throughout) uses only heteros. When Matthew 19 and Mark 10 quote Jesus' censure of a man who divorces one woman and marries another, they use allos while Luke uses heteros. Matthew 21 and Mark 12 quote Jesus' parable about an owner who sends an allos servant, while Luke 20 states he sent an heteros servant. Paul interchanges the words also, using allos six times and heteros twice in his list of manifestations "other" believers use (see also Hebrews 11:35-36). The Gospel writers would not interchange allos and heteros if there were radically different, inflexible definitions as Wierwille claims.
In addition, TWI's Aramaic Interlinear again contradicts TWI's teaching on "other," because it uses the same Aramaic word for "other" in both John 19:18 and Luke 23:32.
See our article "Were Four Crucified with Christ?" for more details on the errors in Wierwille's teaching on the subject.
Endnote: In case you've never seen a first
printing of PFAL, here is how the cover looks:
This design is printed on the hardback
book cover itself, not just on a slip cover.
Dr. John Juedes, C. 2000
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