Greek Word: θεος

Today – theos.

In the Greek: θεος

Pronunciation (Erasmian): thay – ohs

Definition/approximate English equivalent: This one is quite straight-forward and it means god or God. Commonly this is the capitalized version referring to the one and only God; however, using the term in the plural, for example, can easily have a context of speaking about gods in general

Example of its use:

  • John 1:18 (Ιωαννην 1:18)
    • θεον ουδεις εωρακεν πωποτε: ο μονογενης υιος ο ων εις τον κολπον του πατρος, εκεινος εξηγησατο.

Note: accents have been left out in the above example. Also, the ending is different because of its place/use in the sentence. As you study Greek, you find nouns have to match with parts of the surrounding context of terms in gender, case, and plurality – among other things – and that’s what’s going on here.

Greek Word Tuesday

Welcome to the first Greek Word Tuesday!

Each Tuesday will bring another Koine Greek term found in the Greek New Testament. This is a great opportunity to brush up on Greek and/or to supplement learning.

Today we will get things started with logos.

In the Greek: λογος

Pronunciation (Erasmian): log – ahs

Definition/approximate English equivalent: Many have seen this translated to mean “word” but that’s not the only term in English it can be equivalent to. Others: statement, message, or Logos. As with anything in language translation, context is key!

Example of its use:

  • John 1:1 (Ιωαννην 1:1)
    • Εν αρχη ην ο λογος, και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον, και θεος ην ο λογος.

Note: accents have been left out in the above example.

Heresy

Dictionary.com

noun, plural her·e·sies.

  1. opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system.
  2. the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine. Roman Catholic Church.
  3. the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.
  4. any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.

Etymonline.con

“doctrine or opinion at variance with established standards” (or, as Johnson defines it, “an opinion of private men different from that of the catholick and orthodox church”), c. 1200, from Old French heresie, eresie “heresy,” and by extension “sodomy, immorality” (12c.), from Latin hæresis, “school of thought, philosophical sect.” The Latin word is from Greek hairesis “a taking or choosing for oneself, a choice, a means of taking; a deliberate plan, purpose; philosophical sect, school,” from haireisthai “take, seize,” middle voice of hairein “to choose,” a word of unknown origin, perhaps cognate with Hittite šaru “booty,” Welsh herw “booty;” but Beekes offers “no etymology.”

The Greek word was used by Church writers in reference to various sects, schools, etc. in the New Testament: the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and even the Christians, as sects of Judaism. Hence the meaning “unorthodox religious sect or doctrine” in the Latin word as used by Christian writers in Late Latin. But in English bibles it usually is translated sect. Transferred (non-religious) use in English is from late 14c.

Discussion/Explanation

This term’s use can often get foggy when speaking historically and is often confused with or treated equivalent to apostasy. Whether used to mean “sect” or simply any who are at odds with the official doctrine, the fact remains the same that those considered in heresy are outside the accepted doctrine.

Many Protestants would consider Roman Catholics as heretical though the same could just as easily be said in reverse. There are significant differences between the two despite their similarities such that you cannot truly consider them the same faith without ignoring significant differences.

Various other heresies would include (but not limited to): Deism, Docetism, the various Gnostic heresies, Arianism, prosperity gospel, LDS church (Mormon), and many more. Many of these and more would also be described as apostate at the same time.

See the apostasy link above for further discussion, compare/contrast, and other articles on this topic.

Apostasy

What is apostasy?

Dictionary.com

  • a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.

Etymonline.com

  • late 14c., “renunciation, abandonment or neglect of established religion,” from Late Latin apostasia, from later Greek apostasia for earlier apostasis “revolt, defection,” literally “a standing off,” from apostanai “to stand away” (see apostate (n.)). General (non-religious) sense “abandonment of what one has professed” is attested from 1570s.

Discussion/Explanation

This word brings up others like heresy which is considered by some to be synonymous. It is incorrect to do so.

I would disagree with dictionary.com’s use of the word “total” as apostates (those in apostasy) often reject only portions of the faith though there are those who step away entirely. However, heresy is often included as they will turn around and add or alter things that were previously not there. It is possible to be just apostate as it is possible to be just a heretic (though often heretics are also apostate).

To be clear, terms like apostasy and heresy are used towards those who previously espoused the faith. These are not terms applied to those who never were part of the faith. Also, just because someone can be described as being in apostasy, it doesn’t mean they’ll always be so. There are various early church figures that others have described as apostate based upon a certain period in that individual’s life but in later life could easily be described as orthodox.

It is natural to be bitter towards those who have misrepresented the faith, but we must be willing to genuinely accept them as fellow believers when it is clear they have turned from their wrong.

For further reading on this term & its relation to others:

Greek Verbal Formulas

The following chart gives a convenient one-stop place to compare and contrast the various verbal formulas. Use the following along with the Four-Quad chart to understand verbal formations.

See the verbal endings here.

aug.stemconnectorverbal ending
Aorist Activestem+ σα +B
Aorist Middlestem+ σα + D
Aorist Passivestem,
may
change
+ θη + B
Future Active+ σ + c.v. +A
Future Middle+ σ + c.v. +C
Future Passivesame as
Aorist
passive
stem
+ θησ + c.v. +C
Imperfect Active+ c.v. + B
Imperfect Middle+ c.v. + D
Perfect Activestem,
may
change
+ κα + A
Perfect Middlestem,
may
change
+C
Present Active+ c.v. + A
Present Middle+ c.v. + C
Second Aorist
Active
aor.
stem
+ c.v. + B
Second Aorist
Middle
aor.
stem
+ c.v. + D

c.v. = connecting vowel, aug. = augment

Inclinations of the Heart

Perhaps a better title for this article would be “doing battle with inclinations of the heart”.

I do want to be clear here that I’m not talking about love or passion but I am talking about those knee-jerk reactions we all have to various situations and people. These flow out of the various experiences we each have had and include what we dislike or even hate. Getting burned or mistreated by someone in specific ways can often cause us to become untrusting of others.

These things are natural for us to do as we each naturally default to wanting to defend ourselves. Nevertheless, allowing the inclinations that have been built up in us to rule us can also lead to us doing harm or “injury” to others. I’m speaking primarily to the social repercussions but such things can easily even cross over into the physical.

As Christians, we are called to be like Christ (Philippians 2:1-11). This includes then that we are to reach out to the lost even when our very faculties war against us in doing so. A practical approach to quieting such warring, such battles with potentially harmful inclinations is to deliberately face them. Don’t flee. If you notice you are having difficulty working with say poor people because of a tendency or inclination to want to stay away from what you may think or feel is dirty, then that is exactly what you need to do.

This isn’t that different from facing a fear. You face your fears in order to keep them from dominating you. The same goes for inclinations that keep you from being genuine to others or serving others. You have to deliberately put yourself in situations that you will have to confront yourself, confront your negative knee-jerk reactions and in time the difficult battles will become easier and easier to handle to the point you are able to deal with them in stride without hesitation.

Christ was tested in every way that we have been (). He had to deal with the very inclinations we do. This includes fears and the temptation to treat others in negative ways. But Jesus Christ’s mind was filled with glorifying God in His actions. He wanted to glorify God above all else, even unto death! So what did he do? He was very versed in the Scriptures to the point that He was a rabbi (this was through much study, hint hint!), and he sought out the lost in order to bring them to God including those that much of Jewish society at the time would actively look down on, mistreat, &/or treat as filth.

Don’t let your knee-jerk reactions define or dictate you.

If you have a natural urge to want to turn away from the poor and the dirty, deliberately make it your practice to reach out to them in one way or another.

Need some ideas? Volunteer at homeless shelters. Take it upon yourself to hand out water to beggars. Continually educate yourself in the Scriptures so that you can deal appropriately with difficult or quarrelsome people. Always fight to remember that every person is an image bearer of God just as much as you, whether or not that person is truly reflecting Him or not. Treat others as you want to be treated. And, above all else, treat everyone in Godly love.

You must face the darkness within you. Always remember that you are not alone. If you have Christ, then you have His Holy Spirit within you. You are not alone and He will provide the strength. Always remember to pray and ask for His guidance and strength.

 

Greek Verb Endings Four-Quad Chart

Τhis first chart lays out the 4 sections of the quad chart. Each section is labeled with a referring letter (Α, Β, C, & D). These are commonly used to reference the endings used for the various verb forms (you can see these forms listed next to their respective letter below). As an example, the Present Active verbs would use the endings found in the A quarter of all the charts below.

APresent Active
Future Active
Perfect Active
BAorist Active
Aorist Passive
Imperfect Active
CPresent Middle
Future Middle
Future Passive
Perfect Middle
DAorist Middle
Imperfect Middle

The following chart gives the verbal endings with the combining vowel included.

A
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ω
εις
ει
ομεν
ετε
ονσι(ν)
B
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ον
ες
ε(ν)
ομεν
ετε
ον
C
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ομαι

εται
ομεθα
εσθε
ονται
D
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ομην
ου
ετο
ομεθα
εσθε
οντο

The following chart gives the verbal endings without the combining vowel included.

A
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p


ς
ι
μεν
τε
νσι(ν)
B
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ν
ς
(ν)
μεν
τε
ν
C
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

μαι
σαι
ται
μεθα
σθε
νται
D
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

μην
σο
το
μεθα
σθε
ντο

This chart provides an example of the verbal endings in use.

Α
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

λύω
λύεις
λύει
λύομεν
λύετε
λύουσι(ν)
Β
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ἒλυον
ἒλυες
ἒλυε(ν)
ἐλύομεν
ἐλύετε
ἐλύον
C
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

λύομαι
λύῃ
λύεται
λύομεθα
λύεσθε
λύοντα
D
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ἐλυόμην
ἐλύου
ἐλύετο
ἐλυόμεθα
ἐλύεσθε
ἐλύοντο

Note: there are plenty of charts out there that combine all of the above into 1 single chart but this creates a clutter for someone such as myself that can be distracting – particularly if I’m trying to study just one part of the chart. This is why you see the information split up the way you do.

Square of Stops

Another key chart to learn and memorize when studying New Testament Greek is the square of stops. This becomes important as you deal with word endings that change.

Use the following for memorization practice. 

+ σ+ θ
Labialsπβφψφθ
Velarsκγχξχθ
Dentalsτδθσσ

Just scroll back and forth between these two tables to challenge yourself. I do this by making the part I don’t want to look at, at that moment, be not visible to my eyes by simply scrolling that table off the screen.

+ σ+ θ
Labials
Velars
Dentals

If you’re unfamiliar with the square of stops, it is a tool to help you keep track of the Greek characters that transform when in the presence of certain characters that follow. The + sigma (σ) and the + theta (θ) columns indicate what happens when they are added to any of the characters to the left.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Such a simple sentence but with so much meaning bound up in it.

“In the beginning…” – this is at the start of it all. The beginning of the created universe and with it comes the concept of time.

“God created…” – this speaks volumes about God. He didn’t just build something as you or I did, but created something out of nothing, ex nihilo. This is true creation, being able to make something that had never been. To illustrate this, I think back to an example a friend used on me once. In it he had me try to create an all new color. The trouble was that no matter how hard I tried, all I could think about were colors made from other colors. I simply could not invent something that wasn’t made from something else. This is the nature of human creation. We “create” out of something but God creates out of nothing.

“God created the heavens and the earth.” – this is profound – especially in light of all that we know today of the universe we are in. The heavens here include every heaven you could imagine, especially those of the stars and planets in the night sky. These are seemingly an endless array of stars, space dust, planets, moons, asteroids, nebula, etc.

There is also a contrast here as God also created Earth. Earth is just another planet among the heavens but it is specifically mentioned here as a specified work of God. The heavens reference is effectively general but also immense and then we have Earth which is singular and just one planet out of many. Earth is here because God put it here by his sovereign choice and in that choice, we see a being with deliberate action and the ability to carry out that which He sets to do. There are no hindrances. He does it and it is as he chooses. We see no whim here.

The contrast here between the heavens and Earth also serves to emphasize that Earth is important. Out of all the billions of stars and planets out there, the earth is specifically brought up. Not Mars, not Venus, nor any other planet we’ve come to know exists. Just this rock we call Earth.