Can you give me some insight you might have about some Greek words like Dikaiosune for “righteousness”, Zeteo for “seek” in mat. 6:33, Peinao for “hungry” & Dipsao for “thirsty” in mat. 5:6, & lastly, Hiplon for “instrument” in rom.6:13? just need some input from you as i compose a lesson. thank you!


This is a case where I would rather teach you how to fish than give you a fish. You are asking me to do research that I am sure you can do yourself. In fact, it will probably be more rewarding for you to do your own research anyway. So…. Here goes. Let me pick one word. I will pick dikaiosune. Here is my suggestion. In order to know the meaning in the context, there are three things you should do:

1. Find a number of translations and compare the different translations, in English, of the Greek word. A rule of thumb is that no single English word is an exact equivalent to a Greek word. Therefore, comparing a number of translations and seeing a number of English words, the “average” of the meaning of the English words used to translate the Greek gives a better sense of the meaning of the original Greek word. (I am here at work so cannot do this right now with dikaiosune in Matthew 5, although it is easy to get parallel translations from several different translations at many web sites).

2. Look up the consensus meaning or meanings of the Greek word. This can be done easily on line, but having a Greek lexicon is helpful. It is better to use a “Christian” source for definitions, as they are more likely to give a biblical definition of a word, rather than the more common Greek meaning of a word. I found this definition in less than a minute through google at a good resource. :


In a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God.  The doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God.  Integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting.   In a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due

3. Look at the context of the passage itself. What is being discussed? What is the point of the writer? What is the situation from which the passage is coming?

In this case, Jesus is telling people about the kind of life and behavior which is appropriate for those in the Kingdom of God, which will lead to joy in the Father. Therefore, in the context, he is not talking about the state of being righteous (ie. forgiven by God), but he is talking about the action of righteousness–about having righteous behavior in God’s eyes.

I will be happy to answer your question about the other words, but request you give it a shot first, and if you are stuck, come back again for help from me. I think the Romans 6:13 one may be the hardest to define, in context, of the list.

I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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