Greek Synonyms.

J. A. Trench.
from 'Truth for Believers' Vol. 3. — Miscellany.

To Love; have affection for.
Forgiveness — Remission.
To Desire, Will, Purpose.
To Worship, Serve.
Word — Words.
Peculiar (People), Purchased Possession.
To Ask, Request.
Patience.  Long-suffering.  Forbearance.
To Know, Perceive, Understand.


For both agapao and phileo the A.V. translators have only one word — "love"; and, though it might be hard to find another rendering, a very real distinction of Scripture is sometimes thus lost. agapao is the word of ordinary use, phileo being found but seldom. It is not the strength or intensity of the love that makes the difference, but rather the character and scope of it.

The usual meaning of agapao in classical Greek in regard to persons is "to welcome"; it is the broad generic term for loving, capable of many applications. It is used of the love of God towards the world (John 3:16), as well as toward His people (1 John 4:10-11); also of the love of man toward God (Matt. 22:37; Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 2:9; 1 Cor. 8:3). It is the word for Christ's love to His own (John 13:1), to the individual as well as to the Church. (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:25.) It is used by the Spirit of God in Scripture to express the sovereignty of God's love. God loves because He is love, and apart from any consideration of the worthiness of the object.

phileo (from philos, "friend, dear"), on the other hand, is of narrower bearing; it describes the intimacy of love, and is more instinctive and emotional, the love of feeling and endearment, of personal affection; hence this last is never the subject of command, as agapao often is. The two verbs are found together in Proverbs 8:17 [LXX]. Wisdom says "I love (ag) them that love (phi) me." And, once the distinction is grasped, it may be traced through the use of them, even where apparently they are interchangeable. It is used for the expression of love, and may sometimes mean (as kataphileo) "to kiss."

In John 3:35 we learn that "the Father loves (ag) the Son, and has given all things into his hand." The English is alike in John 5:20; but here, in presence of the surging enmity of those of Jerusalem, the Lord Jesus retreats into His known place in the most intimate love of the Father; "the Father loves (phi) the Son," and we have the Father's resulting resolve that all men shall honour Him, and the measures taken to secure it. In John 11:5 we have the formal statement of the place the little circle at Bethany had for the heart of the Lord Jesus: "Jesus loved (ag) Martha, etc. But the sister's appeal (ver. 3) goes upon the ground of what they had the best right to know, namely, the personal affection of the Lord for their brother, "he whom thou lovest (phi) is sick," and it is this that comes home to the Jews when they see Him weep. "Behold how he loved (phi) him" (ver. 36.) In John 14, as all through these wonderful chapters of intercourse with His own, the general word for love, agapao, is used, except at John 16:27, which makes the change the more marked; indicating the very special character, personal and intimate, of the Father's love for those who have found a common object of love in His beloved Son, "the Father himself loves (phi) you because ye have loved (phi) me," etc.

But perhaps our greatest loss has been in missing, through the one translation "love," the delicate and subtle forces of grace that appear in the ways of the Lord with Peter in John 21 by the use of the two words. Peter, though in a way restored after his failure, had need to be restored to communion with the Lord. Not a word had passed as to it during the meal; but now, probably in allusion to Peter's boastful confidence in himself, that had been the root of his fall, "Jesus saith, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (ag) thou me more than do these?" using the ordinary word. Peter can only cast himself upon the Lord and answer, "Thou knowest that I am attached (phi) to thee," using the word of endearing affection. Again the Lord puts the question, using still the general word "lovest (ag) thou me?" Peter replying by phileo. He saith unto him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonas" — but now in grace adopts Peter's word as appropriate — "art thou attached (phi) to me?" "And he saith unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I am attached (phi) to thee."

The force thus given to the word phileo may be further seen in its being used of father and mother in Matthew 10:37 and one's own life in John 12:25. Paul uses it only twice: 1 Cor. 16:22 in full keeping with what we have found to be the rule in other passages, and in Titus 3:15.

There is one other rendering of phileo in the three Synoptic Gospels in the awful case of Judas' "kiss," the outward sign of endearment, made possible by the terms of familiar intimacy to which he had been admitted with the Lord: "Mine own familiar friend … has lifted up his heel against me."

It may be noted that the substantive agape, "love from the same root as agapao, first appears as a current term in the LXX of the Song of Solomon (in eleven places and also in Jer. 2:2), from which it passes into its full place in the N.T. for "God is love." Divine love was necessarily an unknown thought outside of revelation. It is rendered "charity" in 1 Cor. 13 and some other places in the A.V. as well as "love" generally, which ought always to be its translation.


There are two words, aphesis and paresis, thus rendered, the former being of very constant use, and the latter occurring but once.

aphesis (from aphiemi, to "let go" hence, "to let go free from a charge") was to be characteristic of John the Baptist's testimony, "to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins." (Luke 1:77.) Hence we find him preaching "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3.) To let go free of charge by God is necessarily in righteousness, hence we read in Hebrews 9:22 that "without shedding of blood" there could be "no remission." We also find that the cup at the institution of the Lord's Supper (Matt. 26:28) was the symbol of "the blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." aphesis is identified with redemption in two passages. (Eph. 1:7 and Col. 1:14.) In Luke 24:47, the ground having been laid in Christ's death, the testimony of it is sent forth by the risen Christ: "repentance and remission of sins" was henceforth to be "preached in his Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Hence in Acts 2:38, to those who were reached in conscience by the testimony of Peter, remission of sins was presented as the first characteristic blessing which became theirs by taking upon them Christ's Name. For "Him has God exalted by his right hand," he further witnesses in Acts 5:31 to be "a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins"; in Acts 10:43, opening the door of the Kingdom still wider to the Gentile audience gathered with Cornelius, he is able to bring forward the testimony of all the prophets "That through his Name whosoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins."

From Acts 26:18 we know it was part of Paul's commission, even as he first preached it in the Gentile city of Antioch. (Acts 13:38-39.) One more passage (Heb. 10:18) identifies it with the remembrance of sins no more, now enjoyed by the Christian, and to be made good to Israel under the New Covenant, verses 16, 17. It is aphesis in all these passages, which are all its occurrences save Luke 4:18, where it occurs twice as "deliverance" and "liberty," and Mark 3:29, where it is "forgiveness."

aphesis is better translated by "remission"; to forgive, as a gracious act towards another, is charizomai, as in Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:13; 3:13; etc.

paresis (from pariemi, "to let pass, relax") occurs only in Romans 3:25, where the A.V. renders it "remission," not observing the distinction that the passage makes between God's ways as to the sins of those before the Cross, and after it, now that propitiation has been made through faith in His blood. The more the place of "remission" is seen, as in the texts quoted above, the more the importance of the change or word will be felt here where we must read "for the passing over [see margin] of sins done aforetime, through the forbearance of God." The Cross declared God's righteousness in so passing over the sins of past ages, while at the same time it laid the ground for Him now to be "Just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus."

It was not that under the law there was not provision by which a sinner of Israel might have the forgiveness of sins, but every fresh sin had to be met with fresh sacrifice and fresh forgiveness. And even on the great day of atonement there was a "remembrance again" made of sins every year. Moreover; the prophets, as David, in Ps 32; Ps. 85:2; Ps. 103, etc.; Isaiah in many, passages; Jeremiah in connection with the New Covenant (Jer. 31) — all of them, as Peter can say, had borne testimony to the forgiveness of God. But it was not the revealed ground upon which they of old stood; that could not have been before the Cross declared God's righteousness in sin's judgment; it would have taken out from Judaism before the time, as Hebrews 10:2 shows. Hence the change of word by the Apostle in Romans 3:25. Theirs was not the aphesis of accomplished redemption, not the "no more conscience of sins" — that is characteristic of the Christian position.


Both boulomai and thelo, which latter word is of much more frequent use, are translated "to will" and the latter "to desire," with other variations of both in the A.V.

The distinction of the two words seems to be justly designated (at least as to their N.T. use) thus: thelo expresses in general "to exercise the will" — the will which proceeds from inclination or desire. boulomai is the will which follows upon deliberation, and involves a carefully weighed purpose.

They occur together in Matthew 1:19; Joseph not desiring (the) to expose Mary publicly, purposed (bo) to have put her away secretly. In 1 Timothy 5:11 as to the younger widows not being put in the list, they will (the), their desire is, to marry; in verse 14 Paul's deliberate judgment and will is that they should: "I will (bo) therefore."

In Philemon 13 the Apostle "would have" (bo) was desirous of keeping Onesimus with him, but without Philemon's mind "willed (the) to do nothing." Also in 1 Tim. 2:4, as to "God our Saviour, who desires that all men should be saved," it is thelo; see Ezekiel 18:23 (LXX lit.). "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? (with which may be compared 1 Cor. 12:18, As it has pleased [the] him," and 1 Cor. 15:38); in 1 Tim. 2:8 it is boulomai, as in 1 Tim. 5:14, "I will therefore," the active wish being implied.

For thelo see more fully John 6:67, "Will ye also go away?" not simply the act, but the will to do it; "is it your will or disposition?" "Are ye also disposed to go away?" Luke 15:28, "he was angry, and 'would' not go in"; Mark 6:19, "would have killed him." 1 Cor. 10:27, "and ye be 'disposed' to go." Matthew 17:12, "whatsoever they listed." Compare the use of thelo for "I would" and "would not" in Romans 7:15-16, 18, 19, 20, 21, in opposition to "I hate," "I do." Also 1 Cor. 7:7, "I would that all men were even as myself." Romans 9:16, "it is not of him that wills." Mark 9:35; 12:38, may be added where it is "desire" and "love."

For boulomai see Matthew 11:27, "He to whomsoever the Son will (or 'wills to') reveal him." Hebrews 6:17, "wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise, the immutability of his counsel." (The word "counsel" is the substantive boule: it occurs ten times so rendered in the A.V.) So, 1 Cor. 12:11 of the "Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will." James 1:18, "of his own will" — "having so purposed or willed"; it was the fruit of His own mind, and so a free gift, verse 17. 2 Peter 3:9, "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," thus becomes clear as the expression of His purpose. Verse 5 may be referred to for the force of thelo; "this they are willingly ignorant of," or "this is hidden from them through their own wilfulness."

With the above may be compared the judicial "will" or "would" (boulomai) of Acts 18:15; Acts 22:30 Acts 23:28; Acts 25:22; Acts 28:18; and Pilate's use of it, in putting the momentous decision to the Jews. (John 18:39.) In 1 Tim. 6:9 it will be seen that "will be rich" (So) includes the idea of purpose; as also James 4:4, with regard to the friendship of the world.

Ephesians 1:11 brings together the substantives formed from the two words; "after the counsel (boule) of his own will (thelema)." The latter is used in Eph. 2:3, "the 'desires' of the flesh and of the mind"; and the consistent distinction of the former is maintained in 1 Cor. 4:5, "and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts."

boulema only occurs in Acts 27:43, translated "purpose," and Romans 9:19, "will."

prothesis is another word connected with "purpose" which is its fitting translation; it is, according to the verb protithemi, what I set before myself, and so propose and determine. See for the verb Romans 1:13 and Ephesians 1:9. The substantive, prothesis, is found in connection with the "showbread" in its physical force of setting forth, or placing a thing in view (Heb. 9:2) — the O.T. expression for the rite of the "setting forth of the loaves"; but, following the verb, it is "purpose of heart" in Acts 11:23 (cp. 2 Tim. 3:10), and in five other passages applied to the purposes of God's heart: Rom. 8:28; Rom. 9:11; Ephesians 1:11 (where it is closely associated with boule and thelema); Eph. 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9.


The word of most frequent use for worship is proskuneo, from pros and kuneo, "to fawn or crouch," and "to kiss." Its first use in Scripture is in Genesis 18:2 [LXX] when Abraham prostrates himself on the ground. (See also Gen. 19:1). Job 31:27 may have reference to an act of worship. It takes in (as worship once did in English, see 1 Chr. 29:20) all acts of outward honour, such as kneeling, prostration, which were paid to kings and other superiors, as well as to a divine person, or one regarded as such. (Cp. Matt. 18:26; Acts 7:43; 10:25; Rev. 3:9; John 4:22-23; Rev. 13:12, 15; Rev. 16:2; Rev. 19:10, etc.) So that the word in itself does not determine whether the homage is rendered as to God (which is its most constant use) or not. It might in most passages be translated "do homage."

latreuo is another word three times translated "worship," of which, however, the usual rendering is "to serve." Connected as the word is with latron, "hire," its original force is "serving for hire," not of compulsion like a slave. But Biblical Greek has raised the word, with its substantive latreia, "service," to higher use, so as never to express any other service but that of God, or of false gods. Thus it most fully answers to the present sense of "worship," and all true service partakes of this character. The Lord meets Satan's proffer of the kingdoms of the world — "If thou wilt fall down and worship (prosk) me" — with "It is written, thou shalt worship (prosk) the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (latreuo)," thus using both words. (Matt. 4:9-10.)

Compare as to the force of latreuo: Luke 1:74; Acts 7:7; Acts 24:14 (worship); Heb. 9:14; Heb. 12:28; Rev. 7:15; Rev. 22:3; for the worship of idols: Acts 7:42; Rom. 1:25. It is applied also to the services connected with the first Covenant: Luke 2:37; Acts 26:7; Rom. 9:4, and Heb. 9:1, 6 (latreia), with the omission in the original of "divine" and "of God" (as if no longer to be recognised as such) obtruded in each case in the A.V. See also Heb. 8:5; Heb. 10:2 ("worshippers"); Heb. 13:10. Other passages are Phil. 3:3; Acts 27:23; Rom. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:3; Rom. 12:1, and, in total contrast, John 16:2 (latreia). These are almost all the occurrences.

"Worship" is also given as the rendering of two words used in Acts 17. In verse 23 it is for eusebeo, with which may be compared the adjective euseben, "devout" (Acts 10:2, 7 and Acts 22:12) and the substantive eusebeia, so often found as "godliness," or perhaps better "piety" in the Pastoral epistles and 2 Peter. It embraces not only the reverence well (eu) and rightly directed to God, but similarly to parents and others, though the first is the general use of the forms of the word in Scripture. It may be rendered in Acts 17:23 "Whom therefore ye reverence, not knowing (him)."

therapeuo (from therapon, "an attendant") in Acts 17:25 is "to serve," "render service to" (A.V. "worship"), constantly used for curing and healing in the Gospels; it is nowhere else translated "worship."

One more word, used in this address of Paul in its substantival form, sebasma, "devotion," Acts 17:23; and 2 Thess. 2:4, "that is worshipped," leads us to the only passage where the verb occurs, sebazomai, "worship," Rom. 1:25, which is from sebas, "reverence" or "awe." The substantive expresses the object of veneration, altar, image, or shrine, in heathenism, and not "devotions," which has ceased to have this meaning in modern English.


Both rhema and logos are translated "word" and "words." rhema is the saying, the thing spoken (ero, eireka, "to speak"); it is more individual than logos, standing in relation to it rather as a part to a whole. logos includes the thoughts as well as the utterance. Compare the use of the French mot with parole.

The words have been thus distinguished; logos is the deeper, fuller word; it is the revelation of what is in God, in His nature and character — His love, His ways — in short, all that He communicates; rhema is the actual communication. logos (from lego, "to speak") is that which is known in the mind, and known by expressing it. I cannot think without having a thought, and logos is used for that, and the expression of it: it is the matter and form of thought and expression, as well as the expression of it. It is a word so large in sense as to be very hard to express; rhema is the actual utterance.

If this distinction be borne in mind, the following passages will be the better apprehended. For logos, Matt. 13:19; Mark 14:39, "word" not words (compared with Matt. 26:44); Mark 7:13; Mark 16:20 Luke 1:2; Acts 4:31; 6:4. Rom. 9:6 Heb. 4:12; Heb. 6:1; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23. And it will be understood how characteristic logos is of John's writings: John 1:1, 14; John 5:24, 38; John 8:31, 37, 43; and in verses 51, 52, and 55 (where it is the same "word" instead of "saying," as in the A.V.); John 10:35; John 14:23-24 ("word" and "words," not "words" and "sayings," as the A.V.); John 15:3, 20; John 17:6, 14, 17; 1 John 1:1.

Yet the Apostle also uses rhema; John 3:34; John 6:63, 68; John 8:47; John 12:47-48; John 14:10 John 17:8. Compare also Matt. 4:4; Eph. 6:17 (not the book merely, but the text); Matt. 26:75; Luke 5:5; Rom. 10:8, 17; Heb. 1:3; Heb. 6:5; Heb. 11:3; 1 Peter 1:25. These will suffice to illustrate the use of the word, which has the force more of individual utterances, divine communications.

lalia (from laleo, "to talk, utter a sound") is, as a substantive, of much more limited use, as it is of meaning, being in fact only found in Matt. 26:73= Mark 14:70; John 4:42 (cp. logos, ver. 41); and 8:43. But the constant use of the verb for the fact of uttering human language (Matt. 9:33; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4; Acts 18:9), and in such expression as "He spoke saying" (cf. Mark 6:50; Heb. 2:2) sufficiently defines its force. John 8:43 brings logos and lalia together in a way that illustrates their respective meanings; logos is the matter of those discourses, the word itself; lalia the outward form and utterance which His word assumes. They did not understand what He said (lalia), because they did not take in His thought (logos); as it has been said, "In divine things one does not learn the definitions of words and then the things; one learns the things, and then the meaning of the words is evident." There could not be a more important principle.


The word "peculiar" in the phrase "a peculiar people" occurs twice in the New Testament: Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9, as the rendering of two Greek words, periousios (from peri and ousia, "being beyond, abundant"), which only occurs in Titus, peripoiesis (from peripoieo, "to acquire, gain"), of more general application in 1 Peter. There is an intimate link between these two texts in that they are but different renderings, as adopted by the LXX, for the same Hebrew word, periousios, being in fact unknown outside Biblical Greek. We must turn then to the Old Testament to enter into its force here. It is to be found in Ex. 19:5; Ex. 23:22; Deut. 7:6; Deut. 14:2; Deut. 26:18; and what is but another form of the word (periousiasmos) is employed for the same Hebrew in Psalm 135 (Ps. 134) 4 and Ecc. 2:8, which last passage is the only one without reference to the chosen people of Israel. These are apparently the only places in the LXX where periousiosasmos occurs. But for the same Hebrew word they have used peripoiesis (at least the verb of it) in 1 Chr. 29:3 (in the A.V., "of mine own proper good"), and in Malachi 3:17, where we may more accurately translate "They shall be unto me for a peculiar treasure, saith the Lord of hosts, in the day that I prepare." Peter's use of the word may be compared with the rendering of the LXX in Isaiah 43:21, which may have been in his mind, where for "formed" they have the verb of peripoiesis, that is, "acquired" or "possessed," "to tell forth my praises."

The Hebrew word signifies "to surround on all sides," hence "to gather together, set apart, reserve, appropriate." Applied to property, it would be the private treasure acquired or possessed by the person himself, as distinguished from what is shared with others: with kings (cf. the passages in Ecclesiastes and 1 Chr.) it would be the private purse as distinct from the public treasury. Now the word "peculiar" came from the Latin peculium, which has very much this force, being used of the private purse which a member of a household was allowed to accumulate and possess for himself, distinct from what must be applied to the good of the family generally. The Greek periousios also has the meaning of "existing, or possessed over and above," with the same exception from the common laws of distribution. The Latin word has been used in these passages by more than one translation of the O.T., and hence passed in an English form into our version in all but Deut. 7:6, where "special" is put for "peculiar"; and in Malachi "jewels" (with "special treasure" in the margin). Thus the force of these interesting passages in Titus and 1 Peter will be clear — a people for His own possession.

peripoiesis occurs elsewhere. In Ephesians 1:14 it is rendered "purchased possession," referring to verses 10, 11: the inheritance of all things in heaven and earth which are to be headed up in Christ, and of which in Christ, we have been made heirs (not as in R.V., "made a heritage," confounding the Church with the place of Israel). Till that day of glory the Holy Spirit is given us as the earnest of the inheritance; then redemption will be applied in power to the acquired possession, and Christ and the heavenly saints will formally take the inheritance according to God's purpose (cp. Dan. 7:13-14 and 18): hence the expression in Eph. 1:18, "The riches of the glory of his [that is, God's] inheritance in the saints." In three other passages the word is found much more in its primary meaning of what remains over, is saved, reserved for oneself, and acquired and preserved. We have it thus applied to salvation in 1 Thess. 5:9, and glory in 2 Thess. 2:14; and in Heb. 10:39 to the contrast between those who are "of faith to the saving of the soul" and "the drawers back to perdition."


Both aiteo and erotao are translated "to ask," and in many passages rightly; but some lose much of their force by the translation not preserving a very real distinction between them. aiteo is supplicatory, as of an inferior to a superior — of a beggar asking alms, Acts 3:2 (ver. 3, where erotao is used, would perhaps indicate a change in tone from the accustomed begging to the more peremptory demand); of a child asking from his parents (Matt. 7:9), and the disciples from God and the Father (1 John 3:22; James 1:5-6). John uses the word aiteo for "prayer," and never the ordinary word proseuchomai, nor proseuche, "prayer," save in Rev. 5:8; Rev. 8:3-4.

erotao, on the other hand, carries with it a certain equality or familiarity between those of whom it is used, as of king with king (Luke 14:32). The Lord uses this word of His own asking of the Father (John 14:16; John 16:26; John 17:9, 15, 20) — never aiteo. Martha reveals her unconsciousness of the dignity of His Person in applying this last to Him (John 11:22), which He never uses Himself.

The passage that has suffered most from the obliteration in the A.V. of the distinction between the words is John 16:23, which seems to substitute prayer to the Father in the name of Christ, for prayer to Christ directly. Whereas the "ask" (erotao) of the first part of the verse refers to verse 19, "Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask (erotao) him." Here the word is used in its ordinary classical sense of "question," not as "prayer" at all. The Lord is leading on their hearts, from the hour of travail that was before them in His death, to the dawn of a new and endless day in His resurrection, when they would have no more questions, all difficulties would be solved. There had, in fact, been two difficulties before them in what the Lord had said in verse 17. Verses 18 to the first clause of verse 23 complete the Lord's instruction as to the first difficulty. In the latter clause of verse 23 He takes up their second difficulty, "Because I go to the Father," and unfolds this first of the consequences of His so going, that now they would be able to "ask" (aiteo) the Father in His Name — to come before the Father in the value of His name as they never had done hitherto, as left to represent Him in the place of His rejection.

Help also may be found as to another passage, where there is confessedly more difficulty in preserving the distinction of the Holy Spirit's use of the two words, namely, 1 John 5:16. In the beginning of the verse aiteo is used as in the verses receding (14, 15) for prayer. To see a brother sin should lead those who know God's holiness to pray that he might not be cut off as to this life under His government. (See 1 Cor. 11:30-32.) But there are cases where the heart of the intercessor is checked, and the Apostle would not have the sense of the gravity of sin weakened in such a case. "There is a sin unto death"; this may be the reason of the check. [Peter could not have prayed for the life of Ananias and Sapphira.] But he adds: "I do not say that he shall pray for it." (A.V.) "Pray" is here erotao with the same difference from aiteo that we have seen, namely, "question concerning it." If there was no question, the Apostle would have none raised: "All unrighteousness is sin; and there is a sin not unto death."


It is important to distinguish between hupomone and makrothumia, -eo. Both are rendered "patience" and "long-suffering"; the latter once "bear long" and once "suffer long." They are found together in Colossians 1:11, and in 2 Cor. 6:4, 6, where hupomone is given as the first mark of what commends the "servants of God," as it is the first sign of apostolic power in 2 Cor. 12:12. They are together, in reverse order (2 Tim. 3:10) in the Apostle's manner of life. James 5:11 speaks of the "patience" (hup) of Job, and in verse 10 of the prophets as an example of "long-suffering" (ma), "patience" (A.V.).

hupomone (from hupomeno, "to sustain") is once rendered "enduring" (2 Cor. 1:6); "patient continuance" (Rom. 2:7); and this fully enters into the thought of the word; it is a "patient endurance," that does not succumb under trial and suffering. See Luke 8:15; Luke 21:19 (cp. Ps. 39:7, where "what wait I for" is hupomone in the LXX, Ps. 38:8); Rev. 13:10; Rev. 14:12, and in the expression, "he that endures to the end," Matt. 10:22 and Matt. 24:13 (the verb); see also Rom. 5:3-4; James 1:3-4; Heb. 10:36; Heb. 12:1. In Rom. 15:5 it is traced to its divine source for us; and, though never applied to God directly, because there could be no such testing or pressure in regard to Him, the Lord Jesus in the place He has taken as Man is our perfect example in it, Heb. 12:2-3, (the verb), who "endured" the cross, and the contradiction of sinners against Himself; with which may be compared 2 Thess. 3:5 and Rev. 3:10.

makrothumia is from makrothumos, "long-suffering." What has been observed as to God in connection with hupomone just serves to bring out the distinction between this word and makrothmia, which, if a trait of grace in the saint, is most fully an attribute of God. The distinction has been put thus by Archbishop Trench: "makrothumia will be found to express patience in respect of persons, hupomone in respect of things"; and scriptural usage, it is believed, confirm this. From Exodus 34:6 makrothumos, is constantly used of God, in the LXX; for makrothumia, in the N.T. in the same way, see Rom. 2:4; Rom. 9:22; 1 Tim. 1:16; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:15 it is the verb makrothumeo in verse 9 "is long-suffering," and Luke 18:7, "bear long." We may see much of the force of makrothumos in Prov. 15:18; Prov. 16:32, where in the LXX it answers to our "slow to anger," though the patient restraint of spirit expressed in the word is not confined to anger. For makrothumeo see Matt. 18:26, 29; James 5:7, 7, 8, 10 ("be patient" and "have patience" in A.V.), and more generally 1 Cor. 13:4; 1 Thess. 5:14 ("be patient," A.V.). For makrothumia, similarly, see 2 Tim. 4:2; Hebrews 6:12 ("patience"). In Eph. 4:2 and Col. 3:12-13, it is followed by anehcomai, "forbearing one another," which would be its manifestation. Expressing then "a long holding out of the mind before it gives room to action or passion," it is applied to God, in His forbearance towards those who provoke Him.

anoche, "forbearance," the substantive, is only found in Rom. 2:4; 3:25; but the verb anechomai, as we have seen, occurs in Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:13, and in some other places, generally rendered "suffer" in the sense of "bearing with." (It is a compound of this word with kakos that is used in 2 Tim. 2:24 only — "patient of ills and wrongs.") But as a substantive it has a little more defined sense, being according to classic usage an armistice or suspension of hostilities, and hence of a temporary character. Its fitness will then be seen in Romans 3:25-26, to express the difference between "passing over" of sins in the forbearance (anoche) of God before the Cross, and the "justification" of the believer as the result of its finished work. (See paresis and aphesis.)

epieikes (from epi and eiko, to yield) is another word translated, "patient" in A.V. in 1 Tim. 3:3 — associated there with amachos, "not a brawler" or "not addicted to contention," as in Titus 3:2, where it is "gentle," also James 3:17 and 1 Peter 2:18. In Phil. 4:5 (in a substantive form) it is "moderation." (See also 2 Cor. 10:1 for the noun, "gentleness," and Acts 24:4, "clemency.") Difficult to represent by any one word in English, it is "equity" in contrast to the strict letter of the law, hence readiness to waive all rigour and severity even as to just legal redress (as Bishop Ellicott expresses it); it is the opposite of standing upon one's rights, "mild," "gentle." As compared with praotes, in the expression "meekness (pr) and gentleness (ep) of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:1), the first would be more the state of the inner mind, the second must necessarily express itself in relation to others. epieikes is used by the LXX. in Psalm 86 (Ps. 85) 5 of the Lord for what answers to our "ready to forgive."


By these and other renderings in the A.V. several words in the original are expressed, with no attempt to distinguish them. This may not be always possible in an English version, yet the differences are not unimportant. ginosko (with its substantive gnosis), epiginosko (with its substantive epignosis), oida, and epistamai are the ordinary Greek words. The first two are found together in 1 Cor. 13: in verse 8 there is a knowledge (gnosis) that shall vanish away, for it is explained (ver. 9), "we know (gin) in part," so different is this knowledge, in its present fragmentary character, from what will be "when that which is perfect is come" (ver. 10); which leads to the contrast of verse 12, "now I know (gin) in part, but then shall I fully know (epigin) even as also I am fully known (epigin)." The difference between the two words is the intensive character given to gnosis, "knowledge" (or its verb), by the preposition epi which is added to it, making it "a deeper and more intimate knowledge and acquaintance." Yet only in one passage in the A.V. is this recognized (2 Cor. 6:9), where epiginosko is rendered "well known." But the following passages in which the compound epignosis or epiginosko is found will confirm the distinctive force of it: Rom. 3:20; Rom. 10:2; Eph. 1:17; Eph. 4:13; Phil. 1:9; Col. 1:6, 9, 10; Col. 2:2 ("acknowledgement," A.V.); Col. 3:10; 1 Tim. 2:4; Titus 1:1; 2 Peter 1:2-3, 8 (cp. Matt. 11:27).

In some passages the compound word, specially in the verb, gives the meaning of "certain personal knowledge, and the consequent recognition of the truth of a thing," "recognizing because we know." See Matt. 7:16, 20; Matt. 14:35 ("had knowledge of him," A.V.); Mark 5:30; Mark 6:33, 54; Luke 1:4, 22 ("perceived," A.V., so Luke 5:22; Mark 2:8); Luke 24:16, 31; Acts 4:13 ("took knowledge of," A.V., so Acts 24:8); Rom. 1:32; 1 Cor. 14:37 ("acknowledge," A.V., so 1 Cor. 16:18; 2 Cor. 1:13); 2 Cor. 13:5. This may help as to the use of epignosis in such passages as Rom. 1:28 (cp. the simple form of the word gnostos in ver. 19 as to how the certain knowledge was to be had); 2 Tim. 2:25; 3:7; Heb. 10:26.

ginosko and oida are found together (John 3:10-11; John 8:55; John 21:17; Heb. 8:11; 1 John 2:29; 1 John 5:19-20), with the same rendering of the different words used. ginosko is "to come to know," and is used of knowledge acquired and communicated objectively, a true apprehension of external impressions; as compared with oida, which (from idein, to "see with the mind's eye") is inward consciousness, knowledge of in one's own mind (hence a derivative of it signifies "conscience"); it is the more inclusive term. We read Hebrews 8:11, that there will be no need to say "know (gin) the Lord, for all shall know (oida) me" — of consciousness in oneself, internal knowledge. So, 1 John 2:29, "if ye know (oida)" — knowledge realized inwardly — "that he is righteous, ye know (gin)" — have the knowledge from without by witness borne — "that everyone that does righteousness is born of him." In 1 John 5:20, "we know" is the inwardly realized (oida) as in verses 18, 19, while the second "know" is the knowledge we have come to by the Son of God having come. In John 3:10, it was such acquired knowledge (gin) as a teacher of Israel ought to have had, while verse 11 is that of the Lord Jesus, and those He associated with Him, "we speak that we do know (oida)"; with the same difference at John 8:55 — between the Jews who had no objective knowledge (gin) of God, and the knowledge of the Lord (oida three times repeated in the verse). 1 Cor. 8:1, "we know" — conscious knowledge (oida) that all have knowledge (gin) — objective; similarly (gn) of that which "puffs up." In verse 2, "think that he knows" of the ordinary text is oida, but egnokenai (from gin) is better attested, as twice in the last clause — "he knows nothing," namely, objectively, "as he ought to know (gin)" — so verse 3; in verse 4 "we know" is inward conscious knowledge (oida); verse 10, what a man has learned, acquired (gn).

For oida see Matthew 12:25 (ver. 15 is gnous, "having known it"); Mark 1:34; demons had the inward conscious knowledge of who He was. 1 Cor. 2:11 shows its force clearly (note that in the second clause the reading ginosko, of knowing the things of God, seems best attested). Heb. 13:2, know inwardly in my mind (oida), stronger than if gin had been used; 2 Cor. 12 all through. In Ephesians 5:5 the true reading iste (from oida) ginoskontes brings both words interestingly together — the objectively acquired knowledge had passed into internal conscious knowledge — what they were well aware of, knowing — a process that as to the use of the words could not be reversed. In 2 Timothy 1:15, the Apostle had no need to inform Timothy because of conscious knowledge, oida. Compare 2 Tim. 3:1, where in "this know (gin) also" he communicates what could not have been otherwise known. 2 Tim. 1:12 was his own inward realization (oida), as 2 Tim. 3:14 was Timothy's (oida).

epistamai is primarily "to know with such a knowledge as is gained by proximity to the thing known, being also used for fixing the mind or thoughts on something; it is thus the knowledge gained by experience — as that of an expert (epistemon, an adjective formed from it, found only in James 3:13, is rendered "endued with knowledge"). The verb is found in Mark 14:68 ("understand," A.V.), where it is associated with oida in Peter's denial of the Lord. It occurs often in the Acts, Acts 18:25; Acts 19:25; Acts 20:18; Acts 26:26; also in Jude 10, there is what they know not (had no conscious knowledge of oida), and know naturally epist. In Acts 19:15 it is found with ginosko, "Jesus I know, and Paul I am acquainted with (epist)." See for the same word 1 Tim. 6:4; Heb. 11:8; Abraham had no knowledge as of experience of where he was going, nor we of what shall be on the morrow. (James 4:14.)

suniemi is another word found for "understand," being indeed always so rendered in the A.V. save Mark 6:52, "considered," and 2 Cor. 10:12, "be wise" (though ginosko and oida are also occasionally translated "understand"). suniemi (from sun and iemi) is "to bring or set together" (even originally in a hostile sense), it becomes metaphorically the expression of the soul's innate capacity to do so, connecting the outward object with the inward sense; it is to weigh, consider attentively, and so comprehend the meaning of a thing. See Matt. 13:13-14 and parallel passages, also verses 19, 23, 51; Mark 7:14; Mark 8:17, 21; Luke 24:45; Acts 7:25. Outside the Gospels and Acts it is only found in Rom. 3:11; Rom. 15:21; Eph. 5:17, and 2 Cor. 10:12; in the last text "are not intelligent" would better preserve the sense. The corresponding substantive sunesis, "intelligence," or "understanding," occurs in Eph. 3:4, "my knowledge in the mystery"; Col. 1:9, "spiritual understanding"; also Col. 2:2; 2 Tim. 2:7 and elsewhere, "understanding."