joyful and happy survey


  1. Mike Tisdell
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    This was a difficult vote because neither answers entirely captures the issue. Within modern English speaking Christian communities, there are differences in how these words are used, but these differences almost completely disappear within secular English speaking communities.

    In the biblical languages the usages are similar to the usage in secular English communities.

    In a modern English translation, I think that it would be important to differentiate these ideas in a way that corresponds with the modern Christian understanding while recognizing that this differentiation has more to do with theological and cultural tradition and contextual usage than it does with the specific vocabulary being translated. I think good arguments can be made for making this distinction based on the usage of these words in particular contexts, but arguments about inherent differences in the meaning of the words themselves are not very strong.

  2. Posted January 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Mike, the difficulty you refer to is why I worded the poll starting with “When I normally use the words …” I would hope that people would respond with how they normally speak within their family, at school, etc.

  3. Dave Brunn
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Theologically, I know they’re supposed to be different — because plenty of preachers and authors have told me so. But to be totally honest, I had to admit that in MY normal use of these words, they “basically have the same meaning.”

  4. M.A. Moreno
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Even in everyday speech, I use these two terms quite distinctly. In fact, I become quite frustrated when people use vague terminology such as “happy” in conversation, since it conveys only the most basic of meanings. “Joyful” is a word with far more vigor, specificity, and impact, and it tends to deliver that energy to the listener in a way that “happy” never could. “Happy” is a quadrilateral; “joyful” is a square.

  5. Mike Sangrey
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Happiness is pettin’ fish in the slime line.
    Joy is eatin’ smoked salmon in a hotdog bun.

    <Really big grin aimed at Wayne>

    Just watched a segment of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” :-)

  6. Christian C
    Posted March 26, 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    I am more interested in the difference between ‘joy’ and ‘gladness’.

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