Hebrew And Greek Description Of Words.

Something very important to know is that:

The Greeks use Biblical words differently than the Hebrew people do.

Hebrew words are always based on and described as something tangible. Something you can understand through the five senses. For instance “In God’s bosom”. is used to express “In God’s loving care”

“The arm of the Lord” is used to represent power and authority to carry out His will. Arm is used to describe, strength, power, and handy work. The Hebrew word Ruach, is Wind, and Wind is used to describe God’s Spirit. Wind is a powerful force. and It can be felt.

When a Hebrew speaks, you can “see” the images, “hear” the sounds, “smell” the aroma, and “feel” the sensation of the words he is speaking. This is a great tool in understanding scripture.

2 Samuel 22:11

And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind (spirit)

In the following scripture the wind means, life, and breath

Psalm 78:39

For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

Whereas Greek words are based on intangible, vague, and abstract ideas. Many of the Hebrew words have been translated using abstract words to define Hebrew physical words/meanings, and understanding, consequently, the images and meanings are lost. This type of writing leaves interpretation wide open. By this I mean that you can get many interpretations.

In the Jewish Bible tangible words are always used. Here’s some examples

The tangible word “eat” is used for the word “understand”

To eat” or “To drink” means “to comprehend” or to “come to understand”  “To Partake of something. The word “Understand” is an abstract word that you can’t see, hear, smell, or feel.

Hard forehead is used for the word stubborn because you can see and feel  a hard forehead, but you can’t hear, smell, feel, or see stubborn.

A word that means anything to, or about God, has to evoke the five senses. When reading scripture you have to look at each individual word, and decide which of your five senses is being evoked.

The first part of the NT used the Hebrew expression of words, and Hebrew metaphors, idioms, and euphemisms. When we get into Luke’s and Paul’s writing, words no longer evoke the five senses. Words become, obscure, abstract, vague, and open to a wide range of interpretation.

The first part of the NT uses the Hebrew words that evokes the five senses. Words like door, paths, fire, drink, eat, blood, flesh, body, knock, cloud, cloven tongues, and many more.

The second half of the New Testament uses abstract words like justification, faith, grace,

Honestly, when you read these words, do you feel, hear, see, or smell anything? The answer is unequivocally, NO.

The Hebrew word kaphar was translated as “atonement”

In everyday English, atonement means reparation for a wrong or injury and in religious terms means, repairing or making amends or expiation for sin. But not in Hebrew. Kapar means “to cover over”

With this description we can see a cover.

If we offend someone they can pretend that what we did is covered or hidden.

It doesn’t repair the offense because if you offend them again they can uncover the offense. Atonement does not mean to pardon, erase or do away with.

When studying the Bible and you encounter an abstract word, you must find a tangible word to find the true meaning.

At first glance these two verses seem to contradict each other, but they don’t.

Genesis 32:30 “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
John 1:18  “No man hath seen God at any time”

The verse in Genesis 32:30  is where Jacob wrestles with an angel and doesn’t let go until he is blessed.

The word “seen” is an action verb  that appeals to the five  senses.  He perceived with his eyes, he discerned God visually. The word “seen”  to the Hebrew Jacob, was a tangible word meaning  that he became aware of something through observation.

Face to Face means that Jacob had personal access to God. Nowhere in that scripture does it mention anyone except the  angel being with Jacob.

Having access  to God is an abstract idea, and could have meant several things, so tangible words had to be used.

John 1:18 is literal and means what it says. “No man has seen God at anytime”.

Continue on to Hebrew Words and Meanings


Read about the Hebrew Idioms used In Scripture


This entry was posted in Bible. Bookmark the permalink.