Archives For Biblical Languages

While tutoring Greek today, I came up with an idea for a pictorial help for learning common third-declension Greek nouns that I think could help students master these nouns better and faster. I simply put all the nouns of each gender within a separate circle and ordered them within the circles by other similarities.

Third Declension Nouns

By coding the circles with colors according to gender in the PDF of this chart, you should be able to remember better the genders of the nouns. Learning the genders of these nouns is a key to mastering them so I hope that many people will profit from this simple idea!

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

Many supporters of abortion say that unborn babies are not persons; some even say that they are not human beings. The Holy Spirit’s use of a specific Greek word in Luke 1 provides believers with revelation to address these views.

John the Baptist in the Womb

The Holy Spirit speaks of John the Baptist in the womb by twice using the Greek word βρέφος , which  is not used at all in the Septuagint:

Luk 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luk 1:41 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν ἡ Ἐλισάβετ τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας, ἐσκίρτησε τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς· καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλισάβετ,

Luk 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luk 1:44 ἰδοὺ γάρ, ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου, ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου.

These verses show that the Spirit uses this word to communicate that John was a person in the womb who expressed emotion upon the sound of Mary’s voice being heard by John’s mother Elizabeth.

Jesus as a Very Young Child

In the next chapter, the Spirit uses the same Greek word to speak of Jesus as a very young child after He had been born:

Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Luk 2:12 καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον· εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον, κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ.

Luk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luk 2:16 καὶ ἦλθον σπεύσαντες, καὶ ἀνεῦρον τήν τε Μαριὰμ καὶ τὸν Ἰωσήφ, καὶ τὸ βρέφος κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ.

Based on the Spirit’s use of the same word to designate John in the womb and Jesus as a very young child, Christians have revelation that supports their holding that God views unborn babies as persons who are human beings in the womb in the same way that He views them as persons after they have been born!

Additional New Testament Corroboration

All four of the other occurrences of βρέφος in the NT show that the Spirit teaches the same truth by using this word to refer to newborn babies, infants, and children, all of whom are persons and human beings, even as John was in the womb:

Act 7:19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.

Act 7:19 οὗτος κατασοφισάμενος τὸ γένος ἡμῶν, ἐκάκωσε τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν, τοῦ ποιεῖν ἔκθετα τὰ βρέφη αὐτῶν, εἰς τὸ μὴ ζωογονεῖσθαι.

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1Pe 2:2 ὡς ἀρτιγέννητα βρέφη, τὸ λογικὸν ἄδολον γάλα ἐπιποθήσατε, ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ αὐξηθῆτε,

Luk 18:15  And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

Luk 18:15  Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη, ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται· ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς.

2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 3:15 καὶ ὅτι ἀπὸ βρέφους τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα οἶδας, τὰ δυνάμενά σε σοφίσαι εἰς σωτηρίαν διὰ πίστεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.


The New Testament teaches Christians that unborn babies are persons who are human beings. Asserting that unborn babies are not persons and are not human beings is a false basis for supporting abortion.

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

I have been studying NT Greek for many years now. In the past several years, I have been learning Spanish so that I can preach and teach in Spanish churches.

I recently got the idea of using my understanding of NT Greek to help me learn more Spanish. This approach has proven to be helpful for understanding certain uses of Spanish words that I was not able to figure out using my Spanish dictionary or grammar books.

The Use of acaso in a question

By looking at the Greek for several passages that in my Spanish Bibles begin with acaso used with an indicative verb in a question, I was able to figure out that this use of acaso signifies a question that expects a negative answer.

For example, Matthew 7:16 reads as follows in the Reina Valera Revised 1960 (R60) and in Scribner’s 1894 Greek New Testament (SCR):

R60 Mat 7:16 Por sus frutos los conoceréis. ¿Acaso se recogen uvas de los espinos, o higos de los abrojos?

SCR Mat 7:16 ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς· μήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὴν, ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα;

In this verse, ¿Acaso se recogen . . .? is the Spanish rendering of μήτι συλλέγουσιν . . . ; In the Shorter Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, this verse is directly cited in the entry for μήτι:

μήτι interrogative particle in questions that expect a negative answer, often left untranslated, but cf. μήτι συλλέγουσιν surely they do not gather . . . do they? Mt. 7:16;

I think a literal translation of the R60 of Matthew 7:16 would be something along these lines: “By their fruits you will know them. (Surely) grapes are not gathered from hawthorns, are they? Or, figs from burs of a plant?” and the expected answer to both questions is “No.”

John 7:48 provides another example of this use of acaso in a question: 

R60 Joh 7:48 ¿Acaso ha creído en él alguno de los gobernantes, o de los fariseos? 

SCR Joh 7:48 μή τις ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων ἐπίστευσεν εἰς αὐτόν, ἢ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων;

Based on the Greek of this verse, I would translate the R60 as follows: “Not any from the rulers or the Pharisees have believed in Him, have they?” Again, the expected answer is “No.”

James 3:11 also features acaso in a question to signify that a negative answer is expected:

R60 Jam 3:11 ¿Acaso alguna fuente echa por una misma abertura agua dulce y amarga? 

SCR Jam 3:11 μήτι ἡ πηγὴ ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς ὀπῆς βρύει τὸ γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ πικρόν;

My translation of the Spanish of this verse: “(Surely) a fountain is not putting forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter water, is it? No.”

These three examples show how understanding NT Greek can help with learning Spanish!

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

Many believers think that Paul teaches that whether a believer esteems the Lord’s Day above other days is a matter of Christian liberty (Rom. 14:5-6). For several key reasons, this is a serious misapplication of Paul’s teaching in Romans 14:5-6.

Divine Consecration of One Day above the Others

In the beginning, the Lord created light and called it “Day” (Gen. 1:3-5a). He so created the universe that “the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5).

Having finished His work of creating all things in six literal 24-hour days, “God . . rested on the seventh day from all His work which God created and made” (Gen. 2:3). He then blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it” (Gen. 2:3). These statements show us that even though God was the one who made all the days, He set apart one day as special above the other days.

Adam, Eve, and all others who were among God’s people prior to the giving of the Mosaic Law would thus have had direct divine activity that would have unmistakably made clear to them that they were to esteem the seventh day above the other days of the week.

Divine Mandate to Esteem One Day above the Others

Through His giving the Decalogue to Moses, God revealed to His people His command that they were to esteem the seventh day above other days:

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

We should notice that God directly ties His commands concerning the Sabbath day to what He did at creation on and concerning the seventh day. God’s people from this point until the Resurrection of Christ and the birth of the Church on Pentecost had both divine consecration and divine mandate that would direct them unmistakably to esteem one day above the other days of the week.

Divine Possession of One Day above the Others

God raised His Son Jesus Christ from the dead on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1-8) and gave Him glory so that our faith and hope might be in God (1 Pet. 1:21). Apostolic use of Psalm 118:22 in Acts 4:10-11 shows us that the Psalmist’s statements in Psalm 118 about the day which the Lord hath made are not to be taken generically to apply to every day but specifically are prophetic prediction about the first day of the week when God would raise Christ from the dead and make Him the head stone of the corner! God’s people ever after are to rejoice and be glad on the day the Lord has made—the Lord’s Day!

Furthermore, on Pentecost, God birthed the Church on the first day of the week (Acts 2). In obedience to an apostolic command (1 Cor. 16:2a), His people thereafter assembled to worship Him on the first day of every week (cf. Acts 20:7), including giving offerings for helping meet the pressing needs of His saints (1 Cor. 16:1-4). All these facts show that the first day was a special day for His NT people in many respects.

In providing His climactic revelation to mankind, however, God revealed that the first day of the week was now special to Him in a singular way unlike any other day was—it was “the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10)! The Greek construction used here reveals a crucial truth:

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Rev 1:10 ἐγενόμην ἐν Πνεύματι ἐν τῇ Κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ· καὶ ἤκουσα ὀπίσω μου φωνὴν μεγάλην ὡς σάλπιγγος,

In the expression τῇ Κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ (‘the Lord’s Day’), the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle John to use the Greek adjective kuriakos (“belonging to the Lord,” [Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, 115]) to teach us that the Lord now has possessed this day in a unique way that was and is distinct from all other days.1 Yes, He created all the days of the week at Creation, but through His work of raising His Son from the dead on the first day and giving Him glory, the Lord took possession of that day in a glorious new way!

The Holy Spirit thus teaches all believers that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day that He distinctively possesses and that His people are to esteem that day above all the other days of the week. Romans 14:3-5 most definitely does not apply to how a Christian should esteem the Lord’s Day, and Christians must esteem the Lord’s Day above all other days!


1 I am indebted to my pastor Dr. Mark Minnick for his excellent teaching through which I first learned this glorious truth.

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

If you have ever studied New Testament Greek, I think that these ten previous posts would help confirm to you the truth that using Biblical Greek is very valuable for understanding the Bible and the things of God better!

A Good Example of the Value of Learning NT Greek

Paul’s Commission to Proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!

The Teaching of Nature (1 Cor. 11:14-15)

Haman, Head Coverings, and First Corinthians 11:1-16

Who Did John the Baptist Identify Jesus to Be

Understanding the Biblical Use of “Dunamai” More Accurately

God Made Jesus Both Lord and Christ

The King’s Words about Everlasting Fire

Interpreting the Word “Lord” in the NT

The “Sabbath” Psalms

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

I have read Acts 10:1-11:18 more than 50 times over the past 25 years. In spite of all those previous readings of this passage, I observed something a few days ago while reading an edition of the KJV that I have never noticed before in Acts 11:12.

What I observed still puzzles me because so far I have not been able to figure out any good reason for why this edition of the KJV (as well as some others) has a clear reference to the Holy Spirit printed the way that it does in Acts 11:12. To understand the issue with how this text reads in this edition, we first have to look at an earlier text in Acts 10 that directly ties to 11:12 in a very close way.

A Clear Reference to the Holy Spirit in Acts 10:19-20 That Is Capitalized

In Act 10, Luke relates at length how God worked in the lives of both Cornelius and Peter to bring Peter to Caesarea to evangelize Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:1-25). As part of God’s remarkable supernatural work to bring about this encounter, Peter testifies to direct divine revelation that was verbally given to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19).

In the Broadman and Holman Publishers 1988 Bilingual edition that has the Santa Biblia and the Holy Bible in parallel columns,1 Acts 10:19 reads this way:

Act 10:19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

 20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

The Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19) directed Peter to go with the three men who had come to him from Cornelius and even told him that He had personally sent them Himself (Acts 10:20)! Because to pneuma in this verse is indisputably a reference to the Holy Spirit and not Peter’s own human spirit, editions of the KJV that have the word spirit capitalized here have correctly rendered it so.

A Clear Reference to the Holy Spirit in Acts 11:12 That Is Not Capitalized

As part of his testimony that explained why he went in to uncircumcised people and ate with them (Acts 11:2-3), Peter testified that the Holy Spirit had directed him to go with the men that had come to him. In the B&H 1988 Bilingual edition, Acts 11:12 is printed as follows:

Act 11:12 And the spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

 13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;

Notice that verse 12 has “spirit” in it in a statement that is Luke’s recording Peter testifying about precisely the same event that Luke speaks of in Acts 10:19-20. Unquestionably, the word spirit in this verse is a reference to the Holy Spirit yet this edition of the KJV has “Spirit” in Acts 10:19 but “spirit” in Acts 11:12.

Why Is This Difference in Capitalization Present in Some Editions of the KJV?

This difference in capitalization does not (and could not) have anything to do with differences in manuscript readings, such as textual variants, etc. Why then is this puzzling difference present in some editions of the KJV?2

If you have any reasonable ideas for why some editions of the KJV do this, I would appreciate hearing from you.

1Copyright 1988 Holman Bible Publishers.

2Two other editions that I have that have this same difference in these readings are the Riverside Book & Bible House Holy Bible Old and New Testaments in the King James Version (Printed in England by Eyre and Spottiswoode Limited Her Majesty’s Printers, London) and The Gideons International 1977 Edition of The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with Psalms and Proverbs (Copyright 1968 by National Publishing Company Philadelphia, Pa.).

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

Whenever the NT uses the OT, we are given insight into how God wants us as NT believers to use the OT and profit from it. By the way it cites Psalm 22:22, Hebrews 2:12 provides a helpful insight concerning our understanding of biblical teaching about singing.

In Psalm 22, David writes,

“I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee” (22:22).

The Hebrew text for this verse reads:

  WTT אֲסַפְּרָ֣ה שִׁמְךָ֣ לְאֶחָ֑י בְּת֖וֹךְ קָהָ֣ל אֲהַלְלֶֽךָּ׃

The writer of Hebrews cites this text when he writes,

“Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (2:12)

Comparing these passages, we learn that the NT has “sing praise” where the OT has “praise.” The Holy Spirit thus reveals to us that Psalm 22:22 was actually a statement about singing and not just about praising God through ordinary speech.

This observation should teach us that we should not be dogmatic that other references in the Psalms, which are inspired song texts, to praising God necessarily mean just ordinary speaking praise to Him. As Hebrews 2:12 reveals, it is very possible that such statements also may mean singing praise to Him instead of just speaking it.

One text where this is especially likely is Psalm 35:18 because David uses in this verse the exact same form of the same verb that is rendered “praise” in Psalm 22:22 to speak again of God being praised among a congregation of people:

Psa 35:18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

  WTT א֭וֹדְךָ בְּקָהָ֣ל רָ֑ב בְּעַ֖ם עָצ֣וּם אֲהַֽלְלֶֽךָּ׃

If not in any other place, we can at least be confident that Psalm 35:18 is also a reference to singing praise to God and not just speaking praise to Him.

When, therefore, we seek to study comprehensively biblical teaching about singing, we must include Psalm 22:22 and very likely also Psalm 35:18 as biblical texts about singing.


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

This morning, I began researching all that Scripture teaches about evil spirits. As I worked on generating a list of every verse pertaining to this subject, I was struck anew by just how invaluable electronic Bible study has been for me over the years.

Previous Use of Electronic Bible Study Tools

I have used electronic Bible study tools over the years to study at great length what the Bible teaches about numerous subjects, such as health, evangelism, head coverings, judgment, prayer, the Holy Spirit, eschatology, and music. Without these tools, I would not have been able to study these subjects to the extent that I have and certainly would never have been able to study in-depth so many diverse subjects in the same amount of time.

I have also used these tools to do a vast amount of original language study of various subjects. In fact, my dissertation work would have been impossible to do without these tools because it involved very complex study of biblical Hebrew and Greek that I would not have been able to do just by using ordinary original language tools.

Current Research about the Biblical Teaching about Evil Spirits

This morning, I searched for every occurrence of words that start with the string of letters devil (to do this search in BibleWorks7 [BW7], you would search on devil*). Using the Verse List Manager, I then created a verse list from that search and examined all the verses.

I did these additional searches and made verse lists for each one:

evil spirit*; familiar; tempter; Satan; serpent*; ‘prince of; unclean spirit*; dragon*; principal*

I briefly examined all the verses that these searches produced and generated a master list of 232 verses from them. Scanning through this list makes clear that Scripture has much to say about this important subject and its profound ramifications for every believer.

The Blessing of These Invaluable Tools

In a matter of minutes, I was able to study a subject with a breadth that would have taken many hours to do without the use of BW7. I plan to study these verses much more in the weeks to come and hope to write several articles based on that research, especially in connection with my ongoing study of the role of fallen spirits in the Golden Calf incident.

I praise and thank God for blessing us with invaluable electronic Bible study tools such as BW7 and heartily recommend their use!

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

Learning NT Greek is a valuable tool that helps a believer understand better what God has said to him. John 4:14 provides a good example of that value:

Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Joh 4:14 ὃς δ᾽ ἂν πίῃ ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος οὗ ἐγὼ δώσω αὐτῷ, οὐ μὴ διψήσῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα· ἀλλὰ τὸ ὕδωρ ὃ δώσω αὐτῷ γενήσεται ἐν αὐτῷ πηγὴ ὕδατος ἁλλομένου εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

But whoever should drink from the water that I (emphatic) will give him will by no means thirst forever [or you could say, ever]; but the water that I will give him will be in him a well of water springing up to eternal life [my literal translation].

Whereas the English text has the promise that Jesus sets before the Samaritan woman as whoever drinks of the water that He will give him “shall never thirst,” the Greek text is stronger because it has both emphatic negation (οὐ μὴ διψήσῃ [“shall never thirst” or “will by no means thirst”]) and three words that the English does not translate: εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

These three words are a Greek idiom that means “forever.” Jesus’ promise to the woman of the water that He would give her was such that whoever would drink of it would by no means thirst forever! [1]

Also, the Greek text has an emphatic pronoun (ἐγὼ) that emphasizes Him as the Giver of this water. Jesus was thus using an emphatic pronoun, emphatic negation, and a Greek idiom to declare that a person who would drink the water that He gives would by no means ever thirst after he drinks of that water!


[1] Cf. the NET Bible note for this part of the verse: “NET Notes (Joh 4:14) 35 tn Grk “will never be thirsty forever.” The possibility of a later thirst is emphatically denied.”


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

I just finished reading and translating through Matthew in the Spanish RVR60. In this translation, Matthew 16:23 reads,

Pero él, volviéndose, dijo a Pedro: ¡Quítate de delante de mí, Satanás!; me eres tropiezo, porque no pones la mira en las cosas de Dios, sino en las de los hombres.

While translating this verse, I looked up poner in my Spanish dictionary to see if there might be some idiomatic expression used here that I did not know about. Not finding any such idiom, I then looked up mira and found the help that I was looking for:

“poner la mira en : to aim at, to aspire to”

Using this basic idea, I translated the latter part of the verse as follows: “because you are not aiming at or aspiring to the things of God, but the things of men.” Immediately, Colossians 3:2 came to my mind, so I checked the Spanish rendering of the verse to see if the Spanish might use the same idiom there:

R60 Col 3:2 Poned la mira en las cosas de arriba, no en las de la tierra.

To my great delight, I discovered that both verses used the same idiom! By reading Matthew 16 in Spanish, the Spirit thus quickened my mind to connect two passages that I do not remember ever connecting previously.

I had read the KJV of both passages numerous times before but not connected (as far as I can remember) the verses, perhaps because they use different expressions (in bold):

Matt. 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

The relevant parts of the Greek text of both passages, however, do read similarly, so I could have made the connection in the previous times that I have read the Greek NT:

SCR Mat 16:23 ὁ δὲ στραφεὶς εἶπε τῷ Πέτρῳ, Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ, σκάνδαλόν μου εἶ· ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

SCR Col 3:2 τὰ ἄνω φρονεῖτε, μὴ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.

At least on this occasion, the Spirit thus used my studying the Spanish RVR60 to illumine my mind to see parallel ideas that are in the Greek text and also are in the KJV through the use of conceptually similar wording (savour . . . the things vs. set your affection on things).

From my studying these passages in Spanish and English, God challenged me that I need to set my mind on the things of God, especially on the things that are above. I also learned that studying the Spanish Bible can help me see things that I have not previously seen in Scripture through my study of it in English and Greek!

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