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Kairos

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Kairos

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:07 pm

• kairos •


Pronunciation: kai-ros • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: The perfect time, an opportune or propitious moment for decisive action, the moment of truth.

Notes: This extremely rare word is, perhaps, not even an English word, yet. It appears in only three dictionaries, but one of them is the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary. All the examples I could find deal with the definition of the word. It is surely a lexical orphan, but I will try to imagine examples of its use in the next section.

In Play: There is a Roman Catholic retreat program named Kairos, reflecting the sense that Jesus appeared on Earth at just the right time: "The appearance of Jesus came at a kairos, when the Roman Empire had reached and conquered Judea." However, this word is used today in various contexts, primarily philosophical, but not exclusively: "This is the kairos for undertaking a massive reconstruction of the infrastructure."

Word History: I could find little etymology of today's Good Word. It was very popular in ancient Greece, though, appearing 16,650 times in the surviving ancient Greek manuscripts. This word was not a lexical orphan in ancient Greek; it had an adjective, kairikos "timely, in a timely fashion". It also participated in many compound words, like kairophilos "lover or observer of propitious times", i.e. an astrologer. It seems to have originated in the language of weaving, for kairosseon meant "tightly knit", and even kairos had an alternative sense of a row of thrums, the hooks to which the warp is attached in weaving. The relation between the two definitions remains a mystery and no evidence of its ancestor appears in any other Indo-European language. (Now is the kairos to thank Curtis Simple who, several months ago, suggested today's mysterious and unusual Good Word.)
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Re: Kairos

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:49 pm

Now is the kairos for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country. Ye olde typewriter exercise. In the case of this fake old English writing, ye is pronounced thē? It isn’t a y but is someone’s idea of the old English letter thorn, þ. Weird wot?
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Re: Kairos

Postby Pattie » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:39 am

Kairos ( καιρός) is also the modern Greek word for weather, time and season; whether the weather, the time or season is perfect, opportune or propitious for something, the word does not convey.
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Re: Kairos

Postby MTC » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:14 am

"Kairos" appears 81 times in the Bible according to one Christian website.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons ... airos.html

This site has the pronunciation as kahee-ros'.

A ministry which intervenes in the lives of prison inmates styles itself Kairos, I gather because there is no better time to repent and reform.

(This Christian service message brought to you by an agnostic.)


There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
Omitted, all the voyage of their life.
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

- William Shakespeare, Brutus from Julius Caesar -
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Re: Kairos

Postby Pepshort » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:30 am

In his important book 'First Things First', Stephen Covey makes a distinction between 'chronos' and 'kairos' time; chronos time is the type of time dealt with by time management -- sequential and linear, with the clock dictating the rhythm of our lives. A kairos paradigm focuses on time as something to be experienced, with the essence being the quality of what we get out of the time we spent.
"Luke, there is no try, there is either do or not do" -- Yoda
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Re: Kairos

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:22 am

MTC: The words of Brutus certainly depict kairous.
Here is one of my favorite poem by a lesser known poet that is both a lament and a consolation for kairous wasted.

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
--- James Henry Leigh Hunt

For further kairous reading see:
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,"
by Robert Herrick

Can someone help me here? There is a kairous missed poem that begins something like, "Why did you come so late into my life." it is about a May-December friendship or romance. Search engines are great but they need a little help from the searcher. I cannot find this poem and "Old Time is still a-flying."
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Kairos

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:34 am

Probably not, but try this:
http://www.postpoems.org/authors/bern/poem/909489

Kairos/chronos is a common distinction among biblicalscholars, as pepshort indicates. Chronos is chronological time. Kairos is "filled" time, as in Ecclesiastes 3 (a Hebrew work, but expounds the idea). The supreme Kairos is the point at which "the word became flesh" or God becoming incarnate. Oscar Cullman wrote a classic work called "Christ and Time," while Paul Tillich spoke of the Kairos as the "Christ-event." Theological jargon, but we use the idea in many ways: football season, Christmastime, 9/11.
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Re: Kairos

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:57 am

In the perfect time when it made sense for God to
become Man, and rise from the dead. Not one moment
before. The concept was in the teaching of the Pharisees
but they did not buy it. The Saducees disputed it, but
Christ did it. And even the Apostles were skeptical, but
not Magdalen. We can imagine her running to the hiding
place of the Apostles and saying " Peter, John, James:
I have seen the Lord !".
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: Kairos

Postby Slava » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:09 pm

The phrase gather ye rosebuds while ye may might well be interpreted in Latin as carpe diem.

By the way, are both ye's you's, or is the first a the? Could the second then be a thee?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Kairos

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:37 pm

It is not the poem I am looking for Perry. The poem you offered is a little creepy to my mind. Thank you for trying.
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Re: Kairos

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:34 pm

Thot it a bit maudlin, meself, but all kindsa stuff sticks in my head.
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Re: Kairos

Postby MTC » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:53 pm

Returning to Philip's question, "I cannot find this poem and 'Old Time is still a-flying,'" the latter expression is the second line of Gather ye Rosebuds. I am unfamiliar with the May/December poem, but approve the idea. It seems there is no end of willowy 20 year old Chinese girls, May enough to warm December.
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Re: Kairos

Postby gwray » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:26 pm

I wonder if the link between propitious times and weaving are the three fates spinning, weaving, and cutting the thread of life.
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Re: Kairos

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:36 am

gwray: You bring up an interesting possibility of linking propitious with the weaving of fate. I don't see any definite link, but thinking outside the box like you have can sometimes prove fruitful.
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