Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The verb αλλλομαι (allomai) looks like it is an active form of the familiar adjective αλλος (allos), meaning other (of the same kind), and it means precisely that: to produce a stream of more of the same. It's used only three times in the New Testament; twice descriptive of a lame man who suddenly jumps to his feet and begins to dance around (Acts 3:8 and 14:10) and once to describe how a stream of living water bursts forth from someone's inside (John 4:14).
In our article on the noun δουλος (doulos) we explain that the destruction of a society's centers of wisdom causes a kind of social lymphedema: limbs swell up with what seems flesh and bones, but which in practice is just a lot of retained water. When the nodes of a society's lymphatic system are restored, the nation's urinal system gets busy and begins to divert all excess fluids.
From our verb derive a few words, but the most striking one is:
The otherwise unused adverb αγαν (agan), meaning very much, combined with our verb αλλλομαι (allomai), meaning to leap or burst forth, gives the verb αγαλλιαω (agalliao), meaning to greatly leap or to hugely burst forth. Like the noun αγαπη (agape), which is often thought to describe a feeling, our verb αγαλλιαω (agalliao) describes not a feeling but a condition, namely the condition that occurs when an internal pressure results in an exuberant motion outward.
In our article on αγαπη (agape) we explain the difference between electromagnetic energy and gravity. Absorbing electromagnetic energy gives a particle (or a mind) an individual momentum, or an excitation of the individual identity. In the material realm this causes heat and in the mental realm this causes anger. Our verb αγαλλιαω (agalliao), on the other hand is the opposite of anger and results from a gradual release of private energy, the gathering of a collective into a common center of gravity and ultimately the joining of atomic nuclei because of fusion.
The energy that is released from nuclear fusion is far greater than that from chemical conversion or from simply cooling off. In the material world this event coincides with the shining of a star. In the mental world this event coincides with a mind experiencing a sensation that exceeds every other feeling that has a name. For lack of a better word we call this mental condition "joy", but in reality it takes the mind beyond the reach of words or even reason at large.
The Greek poet Homer used our verb to describe how the Greek armies filled the plains of Scamander to stand against the Trojans, like water fowl with "joyous" (?) wings (Il.2.462). Elsewhere he uses our verb to describe how Odysseus hid beneath the cover provided by olive leaves, which neither wind could make "joyful" (?) nor the sun's rays could pierce (Od.5.10).
Here at Abarim Publications we're pretty sure this verb does not simply mean to make happy, but rather speaks of photonic inflation (and see our rather lengthy article on the noun φως, phos, meaning light). A star forms because clouds of hydrogen atoms contract. When nuclear fusion commences, the star is kept from collapsing further because of the counter-pressure that is caused by the energy released in the star's core. When all this energy finally reaches the surface of the star and bursts out in the form of light, it tears off protons and electrons from the surface and blows these into space. This forms so-called solar wind, and spaceships equipped with a special sail can use this solar wind just like a sailing ship uses atmospheric wind. Since 1990 a special probe zips around our sun and studies solar wind. For rather vague reasons, this little craft was named Ulysses (which is Latin for Odysseus).
The effect that is commonly referred to as "joy" is similar to photonic inflation. It can be provoked by energy that is released within the mind itself (Acts 2:26), but it can also be caused by catching solar wind from an external source (John 5:35).
Joy and reason
Joy is greater than reason because reason asks for joy but joy never asks for reason — the question "why is this happening to me?" is never asked by someone who's having a great time. Any question whose answer does not affect one's state of mind is joyful (how much is two times five? Why is the sky blue?). Questions like "what's the meaning of life" or "what's the purpose of existence" are not questions but the declaration of want, and that want is for joy. But joy comes not from an answer, which is why these questions have no answers. And that means that they're not questions, but statements masquerading as questions. To anyone with any sense, these statements look like questions the way dolphins look like fish.
Joy is a stable mental condition, which means that it doesn't grow into something next. Reason has momentum, which is the product of intelligence and excitement (in an admitted J. Evans Pritchard sort of way). Reason occurs on a trajectory and is path dependent, that means that its nature and quality depend on where it's going. Joy is not path dependent because it's not going anywhere (or slightly more technical: its momentum equals reason's asymptote).
Joy does not exist without reason but reason without joy is malfunctioning. Joy is the action of reason, like the running of an engine — the engine won't run if it's not complete, but its running isn't an element but the joint operation of its elements. Joy lies not on the trajectory of reason and is not an element of reason. Joy does not depend on the size of the set of elements, which is why babies can have joy long before they have nominal reason (that is: entertaining formal abstractions, or "thinking in nouns"). Joy occurs when all formal elements (no matter how many there are, as long as they cover everything) are accounted for, are properly assembled and are held together by a force that transcends the nature of the elements (Jude 1:24). Joy is the life or reason, which is why reason may range between the size of a seed and that of a tree; its value sits in its life and not in its size (Matthew 13:31-32). An incomplete reason is as useful as half a seed or half a tree.
The greater the set that reason entertains, the more difficult it becomes to retain joy (Ecclesiastes 1:18). Any practitioner of reason should be very diligent to preserve his joy, and guard his joy with primary interest (Matthew 6:33). In other words: the study and mastery of joy should be where all science begins. The study of joy is the study of completeness, which begins with the study of the oneness of all things (compare Romans 1:20 to Deuteronomy 6:4). This is why theology is the foundation of all science (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10), and why any scientist who is unable to relate his scientific findings to the whole of everything else, is ultimately irrelevant (Matthew 7:23).
This amazing verb occurs 11 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and has one derivative, namely:
- The noun αγαλλιασις (agalliasis), meaning a great bursting forth, or, by lack of better words: a great joy. This noun occurs 5 times; see full concordance.
Our verb αλλλομαι (allomai), meaning to burst forth has two more derivatives, namely: