Proper Noun indeclinable¶
An indeclinable proper noun is a proper noun that does not “decline” (change its spelling) to indicate how it is functioning in a sentence. An indeclinable proper noun will normally have the same spelling each time it occurs in the New Testament.
The term “decline” refers to the changes in form (spelling) that most Greek words undergo in order to show how they are functioning in a sentence. If a word is “declinable” it means that the word has different forms to indicate how it is being used in a sentence. Most Greek nouns have different forms to indicate gender, number, and case. Not all Greek words change forms to show how they are functioning in a sentence. Words that do not change forms to indicate their usage are called “indeclinable” words. An “indeclinable proper noun” is a proper noun that does not change forms to indicate how the author is using it in a sentence.
Note: Sometimes an indeclinable proper noun will be spelled differently due to having one or more variant spellings but these differences in spelling are not meant to communicate a difference of function. For example, the indeclinable proper noun Boaz is spelled as Βοὲς in Matthew 1:5 and is spelled as Βόος in Luke 3:32.
Indeclinable proper nouns, in the Greek New Testament, are proper nouns that do not change form. Most often indeclinable proper nouns are words that were borrowed from other languages, such as Hebrew, Latin, and Aramaic. The indeclinable proper noun Ἀβραάμ (Abraham) occurs 73 times in the Greek New Testament and always with the exact same spelling. It is borrowed from Hebrew. An example of an indeclinable proper noun that is the name of a location is Βηθσαϊδά (Bethsaida). An example of an indeclinable proper noun that is the name of a being is Βεελζεβούλ (“Beelzebul” which is a name for Satan).