Archives For Biblical Greek

Scripture records the misdeeds of numerous wicked people and uses various terms to describe them as evildoers. Haman is unique among all the evil people spoken of in Scripture because he is the only one for whom the Greek word διάβολος is used:

Esther 7:4 ἐπράθημεν γὰρ ἐγώ τε καὶ ὁ λαός μου εἰς ἀπώλειαν καὶ διαρπαγὴν καὶ δουλείαν ἡμεῖς καὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν εἰς παῖδας καὶ παιδίσκας καὶ παρήκουσα οὐ γὰρ ἄξιος ὁ διάβολος τῆς αὐλῆς τοῦ βασιλέως

LXE Esther 7:4 For both I and my people are sold for destruction, and pillage, and slavery; both we and our children for bondmen and bondwomen: and I consented not to it, for the slanderer is not worthy of the king’s palace.

Esther 8:1 καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἀρταξέρξης ἐδωρήσατο Εσθηρ ὅσα ὑπῆρχεν Αμαν τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ Μαρδοχαῖος προσεκλήθη ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως ὑπέδειξεν γὰρ Εσθηρ ὅτι ἐνοικείωται αὐτῇ

LXE Esther 8:1 And in that day king Artaxerxes gave to Esther all that belonged to Aman the slanderer: and Mardochaeus was called by the king; for Esther had shewn that he was related to her.

His use of slander to try to bring about the extermination of the Jews likely explains the use of this word for him (Est. 3:8-9) because he is thus like the devil himself, who “was a murderer from the beginning,” “is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44), and seeks the destruction of the Jews (cf. Rev. 12:13-17).

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

All four Gospels record the ministry of John the Baptist’s testifying to Jesus (Matt. 3; Mark 1; Luke 3; John 1). Through his ministry, who did John identify Jesus to be?

John 1 informs us that John identified Jesus to be the following: the Light (1:7); the One who was before him (1:15, 30); the LORD (1:23); the Lamb of God (1:29); the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (1:33); and the Son of God (1:34). Although most believers have understood that John identified Jesus in these ways, there is at least one more way that he seems to have identified Him that many may not have seen.

This likely additional identification pertains to John’s testimony that he “saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it abode upon Him” (1:32). He added, “I knew Him not, but He that sent me to baptize with water, the Same said unto me, ‘Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the Same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.’ And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God” (1:34).

These statements show that John testified about Jesus as the Son of God who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. They also, however, speak of the Spirit’s abiding on Him by using the verb μένω (I am abiding) twice:

BGT John 1:32 Καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν Ἰωάννης λέγων ὅτι τεθέαμαι τὸ πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον ὡς περιστερὰν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν. 33 κἀγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν, ἀλλ᾽ ὁ πέμψας με βαπτίζειν ἐν ὕδατι ἐκεῖνός μοι εἶπεν• ἐφ᾽ ὃν ἂν ἴδῃς τὸ πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον καὶ μένον ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.

SCR John 1:32 καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν Ἰωάννης, λέγων ὅτι Τεθέαμαι τὸ Πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον ὡσεὶ περιστερὰν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν. 33 κἀγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν• ἀλλ᾽ ὁ πέμψας με βαπτίζειν ἐν ὕδατι, ἐκεῖνός μοι εἶπεν, Ἐφ᾽ ὃν ἂν ἴδῃς τὸ Πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον καὶ μένον ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν Πνεύματι Ἁγίῳ.

NAU John 1:32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’

KJV John 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

The second occurrence emphasizes that abiding by using a present participle (μένον) to express the continuing nature of that abiding.

A comparison of the teaching of a key OT passage about the Messiah with these statements reveals an important conceptual parallel:

LXE Isaiah 11:2 and the Spirit of God shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and godliness shall fill him;

BGT Isaiah 11:2 καὶ ἀναπαύσεται ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ συνέσεως πνεῦμα βουλῆς καὶ ἰσχύος πνεῦμα γνώσεως καὶ εὐσεβείας

NAU Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

KJV Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Although Isaiah 11:2 in the LXX uses the verb ἀναπαύω instead of μένω, it appears that they are communicating the same concept in these statements. John the Baptist thus identified Jesus to be the Rod and Branch of Isaiah 11!

Support for this interpretation comes from the strong conceptual parallel between the further teaching of Isaiah 11 and John’s testimony to Jesus recorded in Luke 3:

“And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: 4 But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked” (Isa. 11:3-4).

“Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:17).

These passages show both the Rod and Branch who had the Spirit resting upon Him (Isa. 11) and the Christ upon whom the Spirit remained (John 1; Luke 3) rendering judgment on both the righteous (“the poor”; “the meek of the earth”; “the wheat”) and the wicked (“the wicked”; “the chaff”).

This analysis thus shows that John the Baptist testified to Jesus as the Spirit-Anointed Rod and Branch who is God’s judicial Agent!

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

The apostle Paul teaches the vital importance of the gifted men whom Christ gave as gifts to the Church:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love (Eph. 4:11-16).

This teaching shows that the Church will only be all that it should be when it receives aright the ministry of all these men.

Paul lists evangelists among the gifted men whom Christ gave to His Church. Because Scripture names only Philip specifically as an evangelist, information about him in that regard has unique significance for the perfection of God’s people. Moreover, because only Acts 8 gives us specific information about his gospel ministry, it has unique significance for us in our understanding of gospel ministry.

A thorough assessment of Acts 8 makes clear that verse 12 gives us vital information because it reveals what Philip preached as the gospel:

BGT Acts 8:12 ὅτε δὲ ἐπίστευσαν τῷ Φιλίππῳ εὐαγγελιζομένῳ περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ὀνόματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἐβαπτίζοντο ἄνδρες τε καὶ γυναῖκες.

SCR Acts 8:12 ὅτε δὲ ἐπίστευσαν τῷ Φιλίππῳ εὐαγγελιζομένῳ τὰ περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἐβαπτίζοντο ἄνδρες τε καὶ γυναῖκες.

NAU Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.

KJV Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Philip preached the gospel (euaggelizomai) about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. For the Church of Jesus Christ today to be all that God would have it to be, it must profit fully from this revelation about the gospel according to Philip, the evangelist.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

The verb δύναμαι occurs more than 400 times in the Bible in Greek. Of those believers who have heard teaching about this important and widely used verb, many probably have the notion that it signifies an inability to do something in the sense that a person is not capable of doing something.

Although the verb does express that idea in numerous passages, it does not always do so. The following passages show that the verb is used at times to express inability due not to a lack of capability but rather to a lack of authority to do something:

LXE Deuteronomy 16:5 thou shalt not have power to sacrifice the passover in any of the cities, which the Lord thy God gives thee.

BGT Deuteronomy 16:5 οὐ δυνήσῃ θῦσαι τὸ πασχα ἐν οὐδεμιᾷ τῶν πόλεών σου ὧν κύριος ὁ θεός σου δίδωσίν σοι

KJV Deuteronomy 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:

LXE Deuteronomy 17:15 thou shalt surely set over thee the ruler whom the Lord God shall choose: of thy brethren thou shalt set over thee a ruler; thou shalt not have power to set over thee a stranger, because he is not thy brother.

BGT Deuteronomy 17:15 καθιστῶν καταστήσεις ἐπὶ σεαυτὸν ἄρχοντα ὃν ἂν ἐκλέξηται κύριος ὁ θεός σου αὐτόν ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν σου καταστήσεις ἐπὶ σεαυτὸν ἄρχοντα οὐ δυνήσῃ καταστῆσαι ἐπὶ σεαυτὸν ἄνθρωπον ἀλλότριον ὅτι οὐκ ἀδελφός σού ἐστιν

KJV Deuteronomy 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

In both passages, the verb signifies inability due to divine prohibition and not to an intrinsic lack of capacity to do the actions in view: The Israelites were physically capable of offering the Passover anywhere, but God did not permit them to do so except in the place that He assigned (16:5). Similarly, they could have set a stranger over them as king, but God did not authorize them to do so (17:15).

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In my dissertation, I presented a close comparison in English and Greek between several verses in the Septuagint and Acts 2:36. Here is a somewhat expanded version of that comparison (highlighting used to help make the comparison clearer): 

Gen 27:29 And let nations serve thee, and princes bow down to thee, and be thou lord of thy brother, and the sons of thy father shall do thee reverence; accursed is he that curses thee, and blessed is he that blesses thee.

Gen 27:29 καὶ δουλευσάτωσάν σοι ἔθνη καὶ προσκυνήσουσίν σοι ἄρχοντες καὶ γίνου κύριος τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου καὶ προσκυνήσουσίν σοι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ πατρός σου ὁ καταρώμενός σε ἐπικατάρατος ὁ δὲ εὐλογῶν σε εὐλογημένος 

Gen 27:37 And Isaac answered and said to Esau, If I have made him thy lord, and have made all his brethren his servants, and have strengthened him with corn and wine, what then shall I do for thee, son?

Gen 27:37 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Ισαακ εἶπεν τῷ Ησαυ εἰ κύριον αὐτὸν ἐποίησά σου καὶ πάντας τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐποίησα αὐτοῦ οἰκέτας σίτῳ καὶ οἴνῳ ἐστήρισα αὐτόν σοὶ δὲ τί ποιήσω τέκνον 

Gen 45:8 Now then ye did not send me hither, but God; and he hath made me as a father of Pharao, and lord of all his house, and ruler of all the land of Egypt.

Gen 45:8 νῦν οὖν οὐχ ὑμεῖς με ἀπεστάλκατε ὧδε ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ὁ θεός καὶ ἐποίησέν με ὡς πατέρα Φαραω καὶ κύριον παντὸς τοῦ οἴκου αὐτοῦ καὶ ἄρχοντα πάσης γῆς Αἰγύπτου 

Gen 45:9 Hasten, therefore, and go up to my father, and say to him, These things saith thy son Joseph; God has made me lord of all the land of Egypt; come down therefore to me, and tarry not.

Gen 45:9 σπεύσαντες οὖν ἀνάβητε πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ εἴπατε αὐτῷ τάδε λέγει ὁ υἱός σου Ιωσηφ ἐποίησέν με ὁ θεὸς κύριον πάσης γῆς Αἰγύπτου κατάβηθι οὖν πρός με καὶ μὴ μείνῃς 

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Act 2:36 ἀσφαλῶς οὖν γινωσκέτω πᾶς οἶκος Ἰσραὴλ ὅτι καὶ κύριον αὐτὸν καὶ χριστὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός, τοῦτον τὸν Ἰησοῦν ὃν ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε. 

Notice that Genesis 27:37, 45:8, and 45:9 all contain the same verb (ποιέω; “made”) as Acts 2:36 and the same word for Lord (κύριος). In particular, Genesis 45:8-9 compared with Acts 2:36 allows the Bible to interpret itself and helps us understand what Peter said: As God had exalted Joseph to a position of authority that he never had before, God has exalted Jesus to a position of authority as Lord and Christ that He as the God-man never had before. 

This comparison shows that Peter’s statement does not primarily signify that God has announced to people that Jesus is the Lord and the Christ, that is, Jesus is both God and Messiah. Rather, Peter climaxed his gospel message at Pentecost by emphasizing that all the house of Israel must know that the Father has glorified Jesus to a position of supreme authority as Lord and Christ. We, therefore, should urge lost people to believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead and acknowledge that God has exalted Him as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10; cf. 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 21).

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

One day, Jesus will return in glory as the Son of Man (Matt. 25:31-46). He will be the King (25:34, 40) who will judge all nations. He will separate them into the sheep and the goats (25:32-33). His dealings with both groups provide us with significant information concerning the Bible’s teaching about the everlasting fire in which unrepentant sinners will ultimately suffer.

The King will command the sheep on His right hand to enter into glory: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (25:34). This statement by the Judge is striking in what it teaches.

First, it says that the Father is the ultimate agent (perfect passive participle [εὐλογημένοι] with a genitive noun for the ultimate agent [τοῦ πατρός]) who has blessed the sheep so that they will inherit the kingdom (τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ, Δεῦτε, οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ πατρός μου, κληρονομήσατε τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου). The King thus is the judicial agent of the Father who will authoritatively call the sheep and direct them to enter into the kingdom.

Second, the King will specify that the kingdom has been prepared for the sheep (dative of advantage) from the foundation of the world. Saying this, the King will testify to the eternal benevolent purpose of God for them.

The record of the King’s statements to the goats, however, differs, from His address to the sheep in important ways. To the goats, the Judge says, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (25:41). Unlike His earlier statement concerning the sheep, the Judge does not say that the goats are cursed of the Father. Although the Father through His King will ultimately consign the goats to their terrible place of punishment, the King does not say that they were cursed by the Father.

The King also does not say who has prepared the everlasting fire. Of course, it is clear that God is the One who has prepared the fire, but the Judge chooses not to say so in this statement.

Moreover, instead of specifying that the fire was prepared for the goats, the Judge specifies that the fire was prepared for the devil and his angels. This facet of His end-time judicial pronouncements is worth pondering deeply. Why does the Judge not specify to the goats that the fire was prepared for them? Why does He make known, instead, that it was prepared for the evil spirit beings that rebelled against God?

These differences in the King’s dealings with the sheep and the goats suggest that even at that decisive moment when their eternal fates are finally made known, God will reveal something about His heart for mankind. His not saying that He cursed the goats and prepared the fire for them from the foundation of the world may be implicit final testimony to all who are present at that solemn occasion (as well to all who read or hear this teaching but may not be present at that occasion) of His essential eternal benevolence toward mankind.

Whether this interpretation of His final saying to the wicked is correct or not, for us who are alive now, the King desires that we repent toward the Father and believe that He has raised His Christ, the Lord Jesus, from the dead. Confessing that Christ as the Lord and calling upon Him now while there is yet time, we one day will be with Him in eternal glory in His Father’s kingdom!

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In the Greek version of the 39 books of the OT, 37* of them use the Greek word for Lord (kurios) to express the judicial actions or authority of God:

  • Gen. 6:5ff.; Exod. 9:3; Lev. 10:2; Num. 33:4; Deut. 32:36 
  • Jos. 24:20; Judg. 11:27; Ruth 1:17 
  • 1 Sam. 2:10; 2 Sam. 3:39; 1 Ki. 2:32; 2 Ki. 15:5; 1 Chr. 2:3; 2 Chr. 7:21 
  • Ezr. 9:15; Neh. 1:8; Est.  4:17* [the Hebrew does not have a word for Lord here or anywhere else in Esther] 
  • Ps. 7:7; Prov. 3:32-33; Job 42:7 
  • Isa. 1:24; Jer. 1:14; Lam. 1:5; Ezek. 5:8; Dan. 1:2 
  • Hos. 1:4; Joel 1:15; Amos 1:2; Obad. 1:1-2; Jon. 1:14 
  • Mic. 1:3; Nah. 1:2-3; Hab. 1:12; Zeph. 1:2-3; Hag. 1:9; Zech. 1:12; Mal. 1:4

Only Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon do not have the word in them. 

This Greek word for Lord is used profusely in the Greek Old Testament to communicate truth about God as the Judge. For example, the word is used more than 40 times just in Genesis alone in that way. Genesis also explicitly identifies the Lord (18:22-33) as the Judge of all the earth (18:25). Although I have not yet compiled the exact number of times kurios is used concerning the Lord in this sense, it is very likely well over 2500 times in the OT (In my dissertation research, I compiled more than 3700 verses in the OT concerning God as the Judge, and a high percentage of them use the word Lord for God.) 

Based on this data, we should understand that any one who was familiar with the Old Testament in Greek would have had the profound sense that this word with great frequency communicates truth about God as the Judge. Almost every book they would read in their Bibles would testify to them about the Lord as the Judge. When such a person would hear apostolic evangelistic proclamation about Jesus that declared Him to be the One that God has made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36), what truth about Jesus would he very likely have understood the term to communicate (cf. the subsequent flow of thought in Acts 2:37ff.)? 

Along that line, of the 27 books in the Greek NT, 21 of them use the word to express the judicial actions or authority of God or Jesus in some manner: 

  • Matt. 7:22-23; Mk. 12:9 (human master; clear implicit significance for Christ); Lk. 13:25-28; John 8:11 
  • Acts 2:20; Rom. 9:28; 1 Co. 4:4-5; 2 Co. 5:10-11 
  • Eph. 6:9; Phil. 2:11 (those under the earth will not bow to Him willingly, but they will be forced to do so; cf. Rom 14:11); Col. 3:24 
  • 1 Thess. 4:6; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:16 
  • Heb. 10:30; Jas. 5:7-8; 1 Pet. 3:12; 2 Pet. 2:9; Jude 1:5; Rev. 15:4 

Galatians and Philemon do have the word, but they do not have any clear uses of it to convey someone who renders judgment. Four books (Titus and the Johannine Epistles) do not have any occurrences of the word. 

The Greek word for Lord communicates truth about God as the Judge in 58 of the 66 books of the Bible in Greek. When key statements in the New Testament speak of Jesus as Lord, we must interpret them in light of this data.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

After many years of reading on and off, I finally finished reading through the OT in Greek last year. This year, my goal is to read through the entire Bible in Greek. After 40 days, I have made it through all of Genesis, Exodus 1-13, 1 Samuel 1-13, Job 1-37, Psalms 1-33 and 75, Proverbs 1-16, and Daniel 1-8: 171 chapters done; 1018 to go!

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.