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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #2304 - θεῖος

Word Origin:
from (2316)
Parts of Speech:
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. a general name of deities or divinities as used by the Greeks
  2. spoken of the only and true God, trinity
    1. of Christ
    2. Holy Spirit
    3. the Father
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 410 ‑ אֵל (ale);   430 ‑ אֱלֹהִים (el‑o‑heem');   433 ‑ אֱלֹהַּ (el‑o'‑ah, el‑o'‑ah);  
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


(A), α, ον: late θέειος Procl. H. 2.16; θεήϊος Bion Fr. 15.9; late Aeol. θήϊος Epigr.Gr. 989.4 (Balbilla); Lacon. σεῖος (v. infr. 1.3): Comp. and Sup. θειότερος, -ότατος, freq. in Pl., Phdr. 279a, Mx. 244d, al.: (θεός):

1 of or from the gods, divine, γένος Il. 6.180; ὀμφή 2.41; Ὄνειρος ib. 22; ἐπιπνοίαις A. Supp. 577, cf. Pl. R. 499c; μάστιξ A. Pr. 682; μανία S. Aj. 611 (lyr.); νόσος ib. 185 (lyr.) (but θ. νόσος, of a dust-storm, Id. Ant. 421); κίνδυνοι And. 1.139; θ. τινὶ μοίρᾳ by divine intervention, X. HG 7.5.10; θ. τύχῃ γεγονώς Hdt. 1.126; θ. τύχῃ χρεώμενος Id. 3.139; θ. κἀπόνῳ τύχῃ, of an easy death, S. OC 1585; ἐκ θ. τύχης Id. Ph. 1326; ἔμαθε ὡς θ. εἴη τὸ πρῆγμα Hdt. 6.69; ὁ θ. νόμος Th. 3.82; φύσις θ. SIG 1125.8 (Eleusis), cf. 2 Peter 1:4; appointed of God, βασιλῆες Od. 4.691; σκῆπτρον given by God, S. Ph. 139 (lyr.); v. infr. 2.

2. belonging or sacred to a god, holy, ἀγών, χορός, Il. 7.298, Od. 8.264; under divine protection, πύργος, δόμος, Il. 21.526, Od. 4.43; of heralds and bards, Il. 4.192, Od. 4.17, al.; so perh., of kings, ib. 691.

3. morethan human, of heroes, Ὀδυσσεύς Il. 2.335, al., Cratin. 144.4 (lyr.); θ. ἀνήρ Pi. P. 6.38, A. Ag. 1548 (lyr.), Pl. R. 331e, Men. 99d (esp. at Sparta (Lacon. σεῖος), Arist. EN 1145a29; ὦ θεῖε (in the mouth of a Spartan) Pl. Lg. 626c); μετὰ σοῦ τῆς θείας κεφαλῆς Id. Phdr. 234d, cf. Them. Or. 9.128a, Lib. Or. 19.66. of things, excellent, θεῖον ποτόν Od. 2.341, 9.205; ἁλὸς θείοιο Il. 9.214; θ. πρήγματα marvellous things, Hdt. 2.66; ἐν τοῖσι θειότατον Id. 7.137.

4. = Lat. divinus (or sacer), Imperial, διατάξεις prob. in BGU 473.5 (200 A.D.), etc.; θησαυροί PLips. 62ii14 (iv A.D.); θ. ὅρκος oath by the Emperor, POxy. 83.6 (iv A.D.), etc.; θειότατος, of living Emperors, Inscr.Prien. 105.22 (9 B.C.), etc. = Lat. divus, of deified Emperors, θ. Σεβαστός Edict.Claud. ap. J. AJ 19.5.3, cf. Inscr.Perg. 283 (iii A.D.), Lyd. Mag. 2.3.


1. as Subst., θεῖον, τό, the Divinity, Hdt. 1.32, 3.108, al., A. Ch. 958 (lyr.); τοῦ θ. χάριν Th. 5.70; ἡμαρτηκότα εἰς τὸ θ. Pl. Phdr. 242c.

2. in an abstract sense, divinity, κεκοινώνηκε.. τοῦ θ. ib. 246d; ἢ μόνον μετέχει τοῦ θ..., ἢ μάλιστα [ἄνθρωπος ] Arist. PA 656a8, etc.; κατὰ θεῖον or κατά τι θ., Aen.Gaz. Thphr. p.37 B., p.4 B.

3. θεῖα, τά, the acts of the gods, course of providence, S. Ph. 452, etc.; τὰ θ. θνητοὺς ὄντας εὐπετῶς φέρειν S. Fr. 585; τὰ θ. μὴ φαύλως φέρειν Ar. Av. 961. matters of religion, ἔρρει τὰ θ. religion is no more, S. OT 910 (lyr.), cf. OC 1537, X. Cyr. 8.8.2, etc. inquiries concerning the divine, Pl. Sph. 232c; τὰ φανερὰ τῶν θείων, i.e. the heavenly bodies, Arist. Metaph. 1026a18, cf. GA 731b24, Ph. 196a33 (Sup.), EN 1141b1.


1. Adv. θείως by divine providence, θ. πως X. Cyr. 4.2.1, etc.; θειοτέρως by special providence, Hdt. 1.122; μᾶλλόν τι καὶ -ότερον ib. 174.

2. divinely, excellently, εὖ γε καὶ θ. Pl. Tht. 154d; θείως εἰρῆσθαι Arist. Metaph. 1074b9.

θεῖος (B), , one's father's or mother's brother, uncle, E. IT 930, Ar. Nu. 124, And. 1.18, 117, Pl. Chrm. 154b, Men. 5 D., etc.; ὁ πρὸς μητρὸς θ. Isaiah 5:10; πρὸς πατρός Ph. 2.172. (Cf. τήθη.)

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 θεῖος, θεία, θεῖον (Θεός) (from Homer down), divine: θεία δύναμις, 2 Peter 1:3; φύσις ( Diodorus 5,31), 2 Peter 1:4; neuter τό θεῖον, divinity, deity (Latin numen divinum), not only used by the Greeks to denote the divine nature, power, providence, in the general, without reference to any individual deity (as Herodotus 3,108; Thucydides 5,70; Xenophon, Cyril 4,2, 15; Hell. 7,5, 13; mem. 1,4,18; Plato, Phaedr., p. 242c.; Polybius 32,25, 7; Diodorus 1,6; 13,3; 12; 16,60; Lucian, de sacrif. 1; pro imagg. 13,17. 28), but also by Philo (as in mundi opff. § 61; de agric. 17; leg. ad Galatians 1), and by Josephus (Antiquities, 1,3, 4; 11,1; 2,12, 4; 5,2, 7; 11,5, 1; 12,6, 3; 7,3; 13,8, 2; 10,7; 14,9, 5; 17,2, 4; 20,11, 2; b. j. 3,8, 3; 4,3, 10), of the one, true God; hence, most appositely employed by Paul, out of regard for Gentile usage, in Acts 17:29.

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Vocabulary of the Greek NT

With θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως in 2 Peter 1:4 may be compared the remarkable inscription Syll 757 (not later than Augustus). It is in honour of Αἰών, and strongly suggests Mithraism, though Dittenberger dissents from the connexion. Vv..7-end must be quoted entire : Αἰὼν ὁ αὐτὸς ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς αἰεὶ φύσει θείαι μένων κόσμος τε εἷς κατὰ τὰ αὐτά, ὁποῖος ἔστι καὶ ἦν καὶ ἔσται, ἀρχὴν μεσότητα τέλος οὐκ ἔχων, μεταβολῆς ἀμέτοχος, θείας φύσεως ἐρνάτης αἰωνίου <κατὰ ?> πάντα. See also the decree of Stratonicea in honour of Zeus Panhemerios and of Hekate, cited by Deissmann (BS, p. 360 ff.) for its remarkable linguistic parallels to 2 Pet—καθίδρυται δὲ ἀγάλματα ἐν τῷ σεβαστῷ βουλευτηρίῳ τῶν προειρημένω [ν θεῶν ἐπιφαν ]εστάτας παρέχοντα τῆς θείας δυνάμεως ἀρετάς (C1G II. 2715 a, b).

The word is very common with an ";imperial"; connotation both in the papyri and the inscriptions. Thus in Priene 105.22 (c. B.C. 9) the birthday of Augustus is described as—τὴν τον θηοτάτου Καίσαρο [ς γ ]ενέθλιον, and the use of the superlative is continued down even into the 6th and 7th centuries, e.g. P Lond 1007(c).1 (A.D. 558) (= III. p. 264) βασιλεί ]ας τοῦ θειοτάτου ἡμῶν δεσπότου Φλαυΐου Ἰουστινι ̣α ̣νοῦ τοῦ αἰωνίου Αὐγούστου [καὶ αὐτοκρά ]τορος, and 1012.4 (A.D. 633) (= III. p. 266) βασιλείας τῶν θειοτάτων καὶ γαληνοτάτων καὶ θε ̣οστεφῶν ἡμῶν δεσποτῶν Φλαυίων Ἡρακλείου καὶ Ἡρακλείου Νέου Κωνσταντίνου τῶν αἰωνίων Αὐγούστων αὐτοκρατόρων καὶ μεγίστων εὐεργετῶν. This last citation is taken from a deed which is prefaced with the fall Christian trinitarian formula. Other exx. of the adj. imperially used in the papyri are BGU II. 473.15 (A.D. 200) τῶν θείων διατάξεω [ν, with reference to an immediately preceding rescript of the Emperor Septirnius Severus, P Ryl II. 117.27 (A.D. 269) κατὰ τὰς θείας διατάξεις, similar ordinances of the Emperor Claudius, and P Lips I. 62.14 (A.D. 385) (= Chrest. I. p. 220) ἀπ [ε ]στάλησαν εἰς τοὺς θείους θησαυρούς. An interesting instance of the adj. is BGU II. 655.6 (A.D. 215) Αὐρήλιος Ζώσιμος πρὸ μὲν τῆς θίας δωρεᾶς καλούμενος Ζώσιμος, where the ";imperial gift"; refers to the socalled Constitutio Antoniniana. of A.D. 212, by which Caracalla bestowed the rights of citizenship on all the inhabitants of the Roman Empire : in consequence many Egyptians thereafter prefixed Aurelius to their former name (see Erman and Krebs, p. 174 n..3). The phrase θεῖος ὅρκος is very common, as in P Oxy I. 83.6 (A.D. 327) ὁμολογῶ ὀμνὺς τὸν σεβάσμιον θεῖον ὅρκον τῶν δεσποτῶν ἡμῶν Αὐτοκράτορός τε καὶ Καισάρων : in ib. 125.20 (A.D. 560) we hear of an oath ";by Heaven and the Emperor,"; τ ]ὸν θεῖον καὶ σεβάσμιον ὅρκον, which is given in full in ib. 138.33 ff. (A.D. 610–11) ἐπωμουσάμην πρὸς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ παντοκράτορος, καὶ νίκης καὶ σωτηρίας καὶ διαμονῆς τῶν εὐσεβ (εστάτων) ήμῶν δεσποτῶν Φλαουίου Ἡρακλείου καὶ Αἰλίας Φλαβίας. In late papyri θεῖος ὅρκος was practically a solemn affidavit, in which perjury would have serious consequences, e.g. P Oxy VI. 893.4 (vi/vii A.D.) ζητῆσαι τοῦ θεου (l. θείου) ὅρκου διὰ Σοφίᾳ, ";to make inquiry by means of the divine oath through Sophia"; (Edd.). From the inscrr. we may cite Magn 113.9 ἀνὴ [ρ ] δεδοκιμασμένος τοῖς θείοις κριτηρίοις τῶν Σεβαστῶν, with reference to Claudius, and ib, 201.2 τ ]ὸν θειότατον καὶ μέ [γ ]ιστον καὶ φιλανθρωπότατον βασιλέα, with reference to Julian : see also Syll 418.95 (A.D. 238) τὰ θεῖά σου γράμματα, a good parallel to 2 Timothy 3:15. We are also able to illustrate the striking use of τὸ θεῖον in Acts 17:29 (cf. Menander Fragm. p. 215, No. 766 φοβούμενοι τὸ θεῖον ἐπὶ τοῦ σοῦ πάθους, Epict. ii. 20. 22 ἵν᾽ οἱ πολῖται ἡμῶν ἐπιστραφέντες τιμῶσι τὸ θεῖον), showing how Paul, in addressing an audience of heathen philosophers, adapts his language to them. Thus in P Leid Bii. 8 (B.C. 164) we have συντετηρημένως πρὸς τὸ θεῖον ἑκουσίως ποεῖ (l. ποιεῖ), which the editor renders ";divino numini obsecutus sponte gerit"; : cf. ib. Di. 13 (B.C. 162) δι᾽ ἧς (i.e τῆς βασιλίσσης) ἔχεις πρὸς τὸ θεῖον ὁσιότητα ib. i. 22 ἀνθ᾽ ὧν πρὸς τὸ θεῖον ὁσίως διάκ [ει ]σαι, P Lond 21.11 (B.C. 162) (= I. p. 13) σὺ δὲ ὢν πρὸς τὸ θεῖον ὁσίως διακείμενος, ib. 33.5 (B.C. 161) (= I. p. 19) δι᾽ ἣν ἔχεις εἰς τὸ θ [εῖον ] εὐσέβειαν, and ib. 41 verso.4 (B.C. 161) (= I. p. 29) πρὸς τὸ θῆον (l. θεῖον) εὐσέβειαν : see also the editor's intr. to P Meyer 26 (beginning of iii/A.D.). Similarly with two inscrr. in Chrest. I.—70.14 (B.C.57–6) δεόμεθα καθ᾽ ἣν ἔχεις πρὸς τὸ θεῖον εὐσέβειαν προστάξαι τὸ σημαινόμενον ἱερόν κτλ., 24 τοντον δὲ γενομένου ἔσται τὸ θεῖον μὴ παρατεθεωρημένον, ib. 116.2 (ii/iii A.D.)—Σανσνῶς γράφει ὁ υἱὸς Ψενο [σοράπιος ] Σέβον τὸ θεῖον. θύε πᾶσι τοῖς θεοῖς, and Magn 62.19 εὐσεβῶ ]ς διακείμενος πρὸς τὸ θεῖ [ον διατελεῖ.

This long note may conclude with a citation from the early Christian letter, P Heid 6.25 (iv/A.D.) (= Selections, p.127), where the writer ends with the prayer—ἐρρωμένον σε ἡ θία πρόνοια φυλάξα [ι ] ἐπὶ μέγιστον χρόνον ἐν κ ̄ω ̄ Χ ̄ω ̄, κύριε ἀγαπητ [ : cf. PSI I. 71.9 (vi/A.D.). MGr has both θεῖος and θεϊκός = ";godly.";


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
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