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Greek Words In The New Testament

There is strong evidence that over eighty percent of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. Yet, there are some words of unknown origin found in the New Testament. Words such as: agape, ark, charism, diabolos, diaplus and episkopos. These words were not originally Greek but had been translated into Greek (most translation experts agree on this). So where did they come from? This blog article delves deeper into the topic.

Greek Words In The New Testament

This page lists all the Greek words found in the New Testament. It is alphabetized by the Greek word, but you can also click on a letter to go to that section. For example, if you wanted to know what “Ihsou” means, you could click on Ihsou and get a list of all its occurrences.

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Greek Words In The New Testament


The five Greek words appearing in the New Testament scriptures revealed in this book are “hagios”, “hagiazo”, “hagiasmos”, “hagiosune” and “hosiotes”. Their meaning and significance to the gospel of salvation are also revealed according to the contexts in its appearance in each scripture.

Given the fact that most of the New Testament was written in Greek, it is not surprising that many important theological concepts were coined by the Apostle Paul through his use of certain Greek words. Here are a few examples of commonly used biblical words – and some less common ones – from the original Greek text.

List Of Bible Greek Words And Their Meaning pdf


Propitiation is the act of appeasing an angry god. In other words, it means that you appease God by sacrificing something to him. This can be an animal or even something else if you have nothing else to sacrifice. It is often used in reference to Jesus’ sacrifice of himself on the cross for our sins so that we may be forgiven and have eternal life.


Stealth is a type of deception. It’s used in military operations, espionage, hunting, sports, business and politics.

The word “stealth” comes from the Old English word stelan meaning to steal or rob. A stealthy person is one who moves quietly and takes what they want without being noticed by others.

Stealth has many uses including: stealing objects and escaping detection while doing so; getting into places where you aren’t supposed to be; moving secretly through enemy territory without being seen; avoiding detection by using camouflage or hiding places (like caves); sneaking up on people so they don’t know you’re coming until it’s too late for them to escape your attack


The word ekklesia is a Greek word meaning “assembly.” It is used to refer to the church in many instances throughout the New Testament. However, its usage in other literature reveals that it has a broader meaning than simply referring to an assembly of people. For example,

Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 uses this word to describe an assembly of mourners at a funeral or burial service. Obviously, there would be no reason for such an assembly if they were not already members of one another’s families and close friends; therefore, this passage implies that even before Jesus’ ministry on earth began, there was an established body of believers who would come together when needed for specific purposes like funerals and weddings (see also Acts 2:41).

Noutheteo (admonish, warn)

Noutheteo is a Greek word that means to warn or admonish. It is used in the New Testament in the following ways:

  • To warn someone of danger. In Acts 17, Paul and Silas are sent to Philippi by God, where they will “admonish” and “warn” their listeners about the coming judgment on their city (Acts 16:40). The context shows that Paul and Silas were not just speaking words without any meaning behind them; rather, they were trying to get the people at Philippi to think about what was happening around them at that time and how it could affect their lives. They wanted them to realize how unimportant worldly things were compared with eternity with Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 7:29).


  • “Sabachthani?”
  • This is the Aramaic translation of “My God, why have you forsaken me?” You may be wondering why Jesus didn’t just say this instead of the original Hebrew phrase, but that’s because the Hebrew word for God (Elohim) was not originally used to refer to Jesus’ father.

The Greek word for “God,” Theos, can also mean lord or master. In fact, it was common in ancient Greek and Latin literature to refer to gods with titles such as Zeus, Apollo and Neptune—just like we do today when we call our bosses by their first names instead of Mr./Ms./Dr. So it makes sense that when Jesus spoke on the cross he would use words that reflected his understanding of himself as both fully divine yet human at heart: “Father” became “Father.”

Paideia (discipline, chastisement)

Paideia is a Greek word that means “education.” It’s also used in the New Testament and the Old Testament, as well as in the Apocrypha. Paideia is certainly a word you’ve heard before; it comes up frequently enough to merit its own entry in most dictionaries.

However, paideia refers to more than just formal schooling: it refers to all aspects of learning and teaching, including the content taught within any educational setting (regardless of whether that setting is an institution or simply a family). The term paideia has been used since ancient times and remains relevant today.


  • Temptation is a trial. It is testing your resolve to make the right decision in the face of adversity. The Bible talks about temptation like this:
  • “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” (1 Corinthians 10:14)
  • “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world…” (Ephesians 6:12)
  • “…we can rejoice, too—not only because we share Christ’s sufferings but also because we will share his glory.” (Romans 8:17)

Psuche (soul)

As with any translation, the exact wording of the New Testament Greek is not always reflected in English. For example, the word soul (psuche) can be used to refer to either the seat of our emotions or as an entity that possesses both intellect and will. These two definitions are somewhat different from one another, though they both come from the same root meaning: breath. We see this same concept in Genesis 2:7 when God breathes into man’s nostrils and he becomes a living being (nephesh).

Primarily speaking however, psuche is used as the seat of our emotions and intellect which translates into things like love and compassion for others—a sense of responsibility for ourselves—and knowledge about events beyond our immediate surroundings.

Soma (body)

Soma is the Greek word that’s translated as body. It means the physical part of a person. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul writes: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” This verse shows us that we must take care of our bodies because they’re temples for God’s Holy Spirit to live in.

Praus (gentle, mild)

The Greek word praus (prah-uhs) means “gentle and mild.” It is used in the book of Revelation to describe Jesus, who uses this word to describe himself. The word is also used in Romans about the Holy Spirit.

Euphrosune (cheerfulness, gladness)

The Greek word euphrosune (cheerfulness, gladness) is used in the New Testament only in 1 Peter 4:8, where it is translated as “gladness.” The word is also found in the Old Testament only once, with a similar meaning: Psalm 4:6.

Heautou (own selves)

Heautou is a compound Greek word made up of the preposition “en” and the verb “heautou”, as in, “to himself”. It means “own selves” or “self-controlled”.

Paroxysm (a sudden outburst of emotion or action ) – 2 Cor. 9 :2 KJV. ‘…for your zeal hath provoked very many’. – Modern version takes account of the Greek word paroxysm and reads; “…but because of other men’s prouderies”. Good example of word play in translating !

Paroxysm is a sudden outburst of emotion or action. The word paroxysm is used in the New Testament in 2 Corinthians 9:2. “”For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” The Greek word for “became” here is έγεννήθη (egennethe), which means “became” in English. However, it also has an additional meaning: “to be born”. So what does this verse actually say? If you read it aloud and listen carefully to how it sounds when spoken at a normal pace and volume, you’ll discover that there are two possible interpretations of this passage; one based on sound and one based on sense.

The first interpretation says that Jesus became poor because he wanted us all to become rich through him! This seems like a strange idea because most people would assume that when someone becomes something then they must have been something else before hand (e.g., “He became a doctor”). But according to this reading we’re supposed to understand that Jesus became poor so that we could become rich through him!

beautiful greek words in the bible

My older brothers often use words in speech or writing that I have to look up…or pretend I understand until I can find the opportunity to look it up. Their vocabularies far exceed mine. I tell myself that is not because they are more erudite than I am, but because they are much, much older (and so have had many more years to learn all those fancy words)!

There is a benefit to their frequent pedantry, however. It often drives me to the dictionary (albeit sometimes in secret), where I learn new words and their meanings, which then quickly enrich my own conversations and writing.

Something like that has happened over the years in my prayer life. I am far from a scholar, but a handful of Greek words I picked up from studying the Bible have changed my prayers and paid rich dividends in my life:

1)  Agapé
“Love” is a many-splendored thing, the song says. But in English, the word “love” can be so broad in meaning that it becomes practically meaningless.

That is why I sometimes pray more specifically for myself and my loved ones to know and practice agapé, the Greek word the New Testament uses to refer to the self-sacrificing, all-encompassing love of God.

Agapé is the word Paul uses to describe “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19, NIV). So I don’t just pray for love in my life and the lives of those around me, I pray for agapé.

2)  Charis
Charis is a Greek word that means, “grace,” “favor,” “blessing” or “kindness.” It is the word that gives us the English word “charisma” and is the root of the word “eucharist.”

I sometimes use charis when I pray instead of those words (especially the word “bless,” which I have used so much that it has lost much of its meaning).

I ask God to shower charis on me and those I pray for. I ask for our lives to be “Eucharistic.” I ask for a life of “charisma,” of outflowing, grace-spreading influence to those all around.

3)  Dunamis
When Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus referring to God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19, NIV), he used a common Greek word, dunamis. It is the word from which sprang our English words, “dynamic” and “dynamite.”

So when I pray for God’s power to be shown in and through and around me, I sometimes pray for dunamis, because the “dunamis” of that word seems more “dynamic” than the oft-used English word, “power.” See what I mean?

4)  Poiema
One of my favorite Greek words was used by Paul when he told the Ephesian church that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

The word, “handiwork,” is a translation of the Greek word, poiema. It is a rich word. It can mean “work of art” or “masterpiece.” The English word “poem” comes from poiema.

So, when I give praise and thanks for God’s work in me or others, or pray for His continued craftsmanship in a life or a situation, I pray for poiema, for His masterful artwork to be shown.

5)  Teleios
Another word that expresses far more than any single English word is the Greek word, teleios. It means “complete,” “mature,” or “full grown.” It refers to something (or someone) that is a finished product or well-rounded outcome.

Paul used it (again in the letter to the Ephesians) when he referred to the goal of Christian discipleship, “that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature [teleios], attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13, NIV).

So I will sometimes pray to get closer to teleios in my life and for that “completeness” and conformity to the likeness of Christ to be shown in the lives of those around me.


My purpose has been to illustrate how the KJV translators were working with a limited vocabulary, thus had no choice but to use words that could be read in different ways. They could not have known the future development of the language, nor our modern understanding of Greek words. Therefore I hope you will agree that we need

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