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About the Greek words used in this study

These definitions are based on "Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament." In some instances, in which there are multiple definitions, some of the definitions may have not been used in the New Testament. (The definitions include the ways other Greek writers used the words.)



Note about this word: Since this word is normally translated "sober" or "temperate," our immediate inclination may be to interpret is as restricting the use of wine, etc. However, the metaphoric use of the word (sober-minded) is probably intended, for in each place this word occurs, different words that specifically focus on the "wine issue" can be found - both in the immediate and nearby contexts.

The following list shows: 1) the verse in which the word "sober" (nephalios) occurs, and 2) verses where in the nearby context which specifically address the "wine issue":

  1. 1 Timothy 3:2 & 1 Timothy 3:11 - In v. 3, the overseer (who is told to be "temperate" in v. 2) is told to not be "given over" (addicted) to wine. In v. 8, deacons are told to not "focus their attention" on wine. In contrast with these two verses, Timothy is encouraged to use some wine, in 5:23 (of course, NOT in a manner that contradicts the previous verses!).

  2. Titus 2:2 - In v. 3, older women are told that they should not be "enslaved" by wine. Verse 1:7 reminds overseers that they are not to be "given over" (addicted) to wine.

STRENGTH, CONTROL (especially over one's desires)

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Dennis Hinks © 1996
Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is public domain.