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It's Greek to Me

Many words have come into the English language through the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek. Test your "root" knowledge with these Greek/English words.

1. Paul wrote, "I am put [in prison] for the defense of the gospel" (Phil. 1:16). Which Greek word originally meant "to defend?"

A. krisis
B. diagnosis
C. apologia

2. "[Jesus] called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles" (Luke 6:13). The Greek word apostolo originally meant:

A. caretaker
B. ambassador
C. slave

3. "Deacons, likewise are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain" (1 Tim. 3:8). The Greek word diakonos described a person who:

A. counted money
B. cared for the sick
C. waited on tables

4. "As [Paul and Silas] traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey" (Acts 16:4). The Greek word translated here is:

A. dogma
B. diagnosis
C. kriterion

5. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). The Greek word baptizo meant:

A. to consecrate
B. to wash
C. to separate

6. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to" (Matt. 23:13). In Greek, hypokrites referred to:

A. a Roman official
B. an actor
C. a thief

Answers to Build Your Bible Power

1. C. apologia. In New Testament times, an apologia was a formal courtroom statement of defense. It's the origin of "apologetics," a branch of theology concerned with defending the Christian faith. Peter uses apologia in 1 Peter 3:15 when he tells Christians to be ready to give a reason for the hope they have.

2. B. ambassador. An apostolo was a person who was sent out on a mission to transmit a message or carry out the instructions of a higher authority. No longer his students, the Twelve were Jesus' personal delegates representing him.

3. C. waited on tables. Greek writers in New Testament times used diakonos to describe messengers and civil officials (see Rom. 13:4) as well as servants who waited on tables or ran errands. The church's first deacons were appointed to make sure widows were not overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

4. A. dogma. The Greek word dogma meant an opinion, judgment, doctrine, or decree. In Luke 2:1, it referred to the decrees of the Roman government; in Ephesians 2:15, to the requirements of the laws of Moses. "Dogma" today means church doctrine or the precepts of the Christian religion.

5. B. to wash.Baptizo can be translated, "immerse, bathe, wash, dip, submerge, or drench." The early church adopted the word to describe the rite Christ prescribed for believers. Its origins are in the Old Testament priestly baths (Lev. 16:24) and the purification washings (Lev. 14:8).

6. B. an actor. In Greek, hypokrites was a neutral word describing an actor who performed behind a mask. Jesus "unmasked" the Pharisees, revealing the conflict between their words and actions. Unlike the original Greek, "hypocrite" now has a negative connotation?deliberate pretense.

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