• Acts 2:38
    • “baptize”: immerse, submerge for a religious purpose
  • Matthew 5:3
    • “blessed”: divine favor
    • Use a Greek dictionary to find out the original meaning of a word.
  • Ephesians 5:27
    • “church”
    • Bible study tools can show you were a Greek or Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament.

How to look up a Greek word

  • Galatians 5:20 – What does “jealousy” mean?
  • We can use a Greek interlinear to find the exact word that was used.
  • In 1890, Dr. Strong setup a numbering system for all Greek and Hebrew words in the Bible. Most Bible study tools today are keyed to these numbers.
  • In the 1970s, Zondervan updated this system with new numbers for words found in additional manuscripts that had been found since Dr. Strong created his system. This system uses numbers starting with “GK” and is also used in Bible study tools. However, Strong’s numbers are still more widely used.

Be careful – you are not a Greek expert!

  • In this case, the same Greek word can mean either zeal or jealousy.
  • There is more to the meaning of a word than just the definition. Context matters!
  • All words have a semantic range (more than one meaning).
  • WARNING: Don’t randomly plug in definitions for a word.
  • Be hesitant to think you know more than the translators!

Refuting bad arguments

  • Acts 2:38 – “for” the forgiveness of sins.
  • The Greek word is eis, which means “forward” or “into.”
  • Compare Matthew 26:28. The same word is used here.
  • The people needed forgiveness of their sins. They had not been forgiven yet.

Practical advice

  • Compare English translations.
  • From time to time, look up a Greek word.
  • Find other places the same Greek word is used.