Harry Whittaker
Word Studies



Allos is a simple word for “other”. Allosso is a verb derived from it, meaning “change”. Going a step further, parallage describes a shift from one position to another. As you move your head from one side to the other, two objects in line at different distances appear to change position in opposite directions — parallage describes this effect. A similar phenomenon is noticeable with reference to the heavenly bodies: the constellations all appear to have fixed positions relative to each other. But not so the moon which appears against a different background of stars every night. This is the moon’s parallage. In Jam 1:17 God the Creator is called “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (parallage), neither shadow cast by turning” (RV). Here the great glory of the character of God is cpd to the sun — He is unchangeable, in contrast with the moon which, as it turns in its orbit, changes in appearance because of the casting of a shadow across its face.


The NT has an interesting variety of words for this idea. Those “vexed with unclean spirits” (Luk 6:18; Acts 5:16) were “crowded” with them (ochleo). Mat 17:15, describing the epileptic boy healed by Jesus, says he was “sore vexed”, using the very word for the sufferings of Christ (pascho). Another word (kakoo) means ‘to work harm, to do evil’; “Herod stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the church” (Acts 12:1).

Two more highly expressive words describe Lot’s distress amidst the sodomy of Sodom: “He was vexed (kataponeo, worn down as with hard labour: s.w. Acts 7:24) at the filthy way of life of the wicked...he vexed (basanizo: tormented, tortured) his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (2Pe 2:7,8).

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