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What's Your Favorite Greek Word? Mine Describes God's Love

Categories New Testament Old Testament

NIV Exhaustive Bible Concordance“Do you know how much God loves you?”

This is a question I loved posing when I preached, because I loved pointing people to some of the original Greek words that describe this love. One place is Luke 1:77–78, which tells of the Lord who came to give people salvation “through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God.”

I love the way the original Greek talks about this kind of love: dia splangchna eleou theou—literally through God’s merciful bowels.

Bowels? What?! Check out how The NIV Exhaustive Bible Concordance helps illumine this word:

G5073 σπλάγχνον splanchnon, n. [11] [ 2359, 4492, 4499, 5072]. inward parts of body: intestines; of emotion: heart, affection, tenderness, compassion:– affection (3), compassion (1 [+3880]), has no pity (1 [+3091, 3836]), heart (1), hearts (1), intestines (1), tender mercy (1 [+1799]), tenderness (1), very heart (1)

As many of you know, the ancients believed passionate emotions resided deep within us; they were in the very depth of our being. As I liked to say: “Imagine an ancient guy getting down on a knee and saying, ‘Honey, I love you with my whole large intestine! Will you marry me?’”

Deep within the depths of God’s being he loved us so much that he sent his Son to pay the price of our sins, in our place!

Splanchnon is one of my favorite Greek words, not only because it packs homiletical punch, but because the Greek paints such a vivid word picture of the depths of God’s love for us.  A resource like The NIV Exhaustive Bible Concordance can help deepen our peoples’ understanding of that love.

OK, now it’s your turn:

What’s your favorite Greek word? Leave a comment below and tell us why you like it so much.

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