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Mounce Archive 20 - Incomplete Definitions

Categories Mondays with Mounce

Everyone needs a break once in a while, and Bill Mounce is taking one from his weekly column on biblical Greek until September. Meanwhile, we’ve hand-picked some classic, popular posts from the “Mondays with Mounce” archive for your summer reading and Greek-studying pleasure.

First-year Greek students memorize the gloss for εὐθύς as "immediately." If we use that translation, according to the book of Mark, Jesus seems to be running around like crazy. Mounce reminds us to look back at a lexicon and realize words often have a wider semantic range than we use.

Consider the excerpt below or read the original post here.

One of the strange literary characteristics of the gospel of Mark is the apparently inordinate use of εὐθύς. It is an adverb I memorized as meaning “immediately.”

It occurs 59 times in the NT, 41 being in Mark, 11 of them in chapter 1. The explanation I have always heard is that Mark was written for the Roman church, and part of the Roman psyche is an admiration for being a person of action. So Jesus does this, and then immediately rushes off to do that. It is exhausting just reading Mark 1.

(Continue reading the entire post here.)


William D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language, exegesis, and related topics at Koinonia. He is the author of numerous works including the recent Basics of Biblical Greek Video Lectures and the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek. He is the general editor of Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV.

Learn more about Bill’s Greek resources at and visit his blog on spiritual growth at

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