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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #235 - ἀλλά

Word Origin:
neuter plural of (243)
Parts of Speech:
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. but
    1. nevertheless, notwithstanding
    2. an objection
    3. an exception
    4. a restriction
    5. nay, rather, yea, moreover
    6. forms a transition to the cardinal matter
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


Conj., orig. neut. pl. of ἄλλος, otheruise: used adversatively to limit or oppose words, sentences, or clauses, stronger than δέ:

I in simple oppositions, but,

1. after neg. clauses, οὐ κακός, ἀλλ' ἀγαθός Thgn. 212; οὐδὲ μὲν Ἕκτωρ μίμνεν, ἀλλ'.. ἐφορμᾶται Il. 15.690, etc. after a simple neg., ἦ παραφρονεῖς; οὔκ, ἀλλ' ὕπνος μ' ἔχει Ar. V. 9, etc. freq. after οὐ μόνον, μὴ μόνον, with or without καί, οὐ μόνον ἅπαξ, ἀ. πολλάκις Pl. Phdr. 228a, cf. Th. 3.59, X. Mem. 1.4.13, etc.; without μόνον, οὐχ ἑσπέρας, ἀλλὰ καὶ μεσημβρίας E. Fr. 1006: also after οὐχ (or μὴ (ὅτι, οὐχ (or μὴ) ὅπως, either, not only.. but.., μὴ ὅτι ἰδιώτην τινά, ἀλλὰ τὸν μέγαν βασιλέα Pl. Ap. 40d; μὴ ὅτι κατὰ τὸ σῶμα, ἀλλὰ καὶ κατὰ τὴν ψυχήν Id. Smp. 207e; or, not only not.. but.., οὐχ ὅπως κωλυταὶ.. γενήσεσθε, ἀλλὰ καὶ.. περιόψεσθε Th. 1.35; οὐχ ὅτι ὠργίζοντο, ἀλλ' ἐζήλουν D. 19.265; the neg. form is ἀλλ' οὐδέ, μὴ ὅτι ὑπὲρ ἄλλου, ἀλλ' οὐδὲ ὑπὲρ ἐμαυτοῦ δίκην εἴρηκα Isaiah 10:1, etc.

2. in the apodosis of hypothetical sentences, still, at least, εἴπερ γάρ τε.. ἀλλά τε Il. 1.82, etc.: in Prose, esp. ἀλλ' οὖν.. γε or ἀλλά.. γε, εἰ καὶ σμικρά, ἀ. οὖν ἴση γε ἡ χάρις Hdt. 3.140; εἰ μή (sc. ὁρῶ), ἀλλ' ἀκούω γε, Pl. Grg. 470d, cf. Isoc. 3.15,al.; εἰ μηδέν ἐστι τελευτήσαντι, ἀλλ' οὖν τοῦτόν γε τὸν χρόνον ἧττον ἀηδὴς ἔσομαι Pl. Phd. 91b (in later Gk. ἀλλά γε may be in juxtaposition, εἰ ἄλλοις οὐκ εἰμὶ ἀπόστολος, ἀλλά γε ὑμῖν εἰμί 1 Corinthians 9:2, and ἀ. γε δή is found with vv. Il. in Pl. Phdr. 262a); εἰ καὶ μετέχουσι.. ἀλλ' οὐ.. Arist. Pol. 1282a11: less freq. after Conjunctions of Time, as ἐπεὶ δή Od. 14.151; ἐπεί S. OC 241. after Hom., . is used elliptically, esp. with Advbs. of Time, ὦ θεοὶ πατρῷοι, συγγένεσθέ γ' ἀ. νῦν (sc. εἰ μὴ πρότερον, ἀ. νῦν γε) S. El. 411, cf. Ant. 552, E. Heracl. 565; ἀ. τῷ χρόνῳ Id. Med. 912; ἐὰν οὖν ἀ. νῦν γ' ἔτι, i.e. ἐὰν οὖν [μὴἄλλοτε], ἀ. νῦν γε.. if then now at least ye still.., D. 3.33, cf. Lys. 10.15: without an Adv. of Time, at least, ἡ δ' ἀ. πρός σε μικρὸν εἰπάτω μόνον Ar. Pax 660, cf. S. OC 1276, E. HF 331.

3. sts.= ἀλλ' ἤ (q.v.), except, but, οὔτι μοι αἴτιος ἄλλος, ἀ... τοκῆε no one else, but.., Od. 8.312; οὐδέ τις ἄλλη φαίνετο γαιάων, ἀ. οὐρανὸς ἠδὲ θάλασσα 12.404; ἔπαισεν οὔτις ἀ. ἐγώ S. OT 1331; ἡδέα.. οὐκ ἔστιν ἀ. τούτοις Arist. EN 1176a22, cf. 1152b30: cf. reverse process in our word but=be out, except: sts. with force of after comparatives, τάφον, οὐκ ἐν ᾧ κεῖνται μᾶλλον, ἀ.ἐν ᾧ ἡ δόξα κτλ. not that in which they are lying, but far more.., Th. 2.43; οὐχ ὅπλων τὸ πλέον, ἀ. δαπάνης Id. 1.83.

4. with neg. after an affirmative word or clause, to be rendered simply by not, ἀγαθῶν, ἀ. οὐχὶ κακῶν αἴτιον Lys. 14.16; τῶν σπουδαίων, ἀ. μὴ τῶν φαύλων Isoc. 1.2; ἐκεῖθεν, ἀ. οὐκ ἐνθένδε ἡρπάσθη Pl. Phdr. 229d: after a question, τί δεῖ ἐμβαλεῖν λόγον περὶ τούτου, ἀ. οὐχὶ προειπεῖν; X. Cyr. 2.2.19, cf. Isoc. 15.229, etc. without neg., μικρὸς μὲν ἔην δέμας, ἀ. μαχητής Il. 5.801.

II to oppose whole sentences, but, yet:

1. freq. in transitions, as Il. 1.135, 140, etc.; ἀ. καὶ ὥς.. 1.116; ἀ. οὐδ' ὥς.. Od. 1.6: after Hom. in answers and objections, nay but.., well but.., freq. with negs., esp. in making and answering objections, Ar. Ach. 402, 407; also in affirmative answers, Pl. Prt. 330b, Grg. 449a, etc.: repeated in a succession of questions or objections, πότερον ᾔτουν σέ τι.. ; ἀ. ἀπῄτουν; ἀ. περὶ παιδικῶν μαχόμενος; ἀ. μεθύων ἐπαρῴνησα; X. An. 5.8.4, cf. Pl. Thg. 123e, Isoc. 17.47; ἀ. μήν.., answered by .., Arist. Pol. 1287a23: in vehement answers Pl. often uses νὴ τοὺς θεοὺς ἀ..., μὰ Δἴ ἀ.., Grg. 481c, Phlb. 36a, cf. Alc. 1.110b, c: at beginning of speech, to introduce a general objection, Od. 4.472, cf. X. Smp. 1, Men. Georg. 22.

2. with imper. or subj., to remonstrate, encourage, persuade, etc., freq. in Hom., ἀ. ἄγε, ἴθι, Il. 1.210, 11.611; ἀ. ἴομεν 6.526; ἀ. πίθεσθε 1.259; after voc., ὦ Φίντις, ἀ. ζεῦξον Pi. O. 6.22, cf. Tyrt. 10.15, etc.; answered by a second ., ἀ. περιμένετε. ἀ. περιμενοῦμεν Pl. R. 327b; ἀλλ' ἕρπεθ' ὡς τάχιστα S. OC 1643, cf. Ant. 1029, etc.

3. to break off a subject abruptly, ἀ. τά γε Ζεὺς οἶδεν Od. 15.523; ἀ. ταῦτα μὲν τί δεῖλέγειν; S. Ph. 11, cf. Tr. 467, etc.

4. in resuming an address after parenthesis, Pi. O. 2.12, 4.7.

5. in elliptical phrases, οὐ μὴν ἀ., οὐ μέντοι ἀ... it is not [so], but.., ὁ ἵππος πίπτει καὶ μικροῦ αὐτὸν ἐξετραχήλισεν· οὐ μὴν [ἐξετ ραχήλισεν] ἀ. ἐπέμεινεν ὁ Κῦρος it did not however [throw him], but.., X. Cyr. 1.4.8; οὐ μέντοι ἀ. Pl. Smp. 173b; οὐ γὰρ ἀ. Ar. Ra. 58, 498: after δέ, ὑμεῖς δέ μ' ἀ. παιδὶ συμφονεύσατε E. Hec. 391.

III when joined with other Particles, each retains proper force, as,

1. ἀλλ' ἄρα, used by Hom. in transitions, Il. 6.418, 12.320, etc.; later, to introduce an objection, Pl. Ap. 25a; in questions, ἀλλ' ἆρα..; Id. R. 381b.

2. ἀλλ' οὖν, concessive, at all events, Ar. Ra. 1298; τοὺς πρώτους χρόνους ἀ. οὖνπροσεποιοῦνθ' ὑμῖν εἶναι φίλοι Aeschin. 3.86; well then, Pl. Prt. 310a; but then, however, with γε following, Hdt. 3.140, S. Ant. 84, E. Cyc. 652, Isoc. 3.18, etc.; ἀλλ' οὖν γε in apodosi, v. supr. 1.2.

3. ἀλλὰ γάρ, freq. with words between, but really, certainly, as ἀλλὰ γὰρ Κρέοντα λεύσσω.., παύσω γόους, but this is irreg. for ἀλλά, Κρέοντα γὰρ λεύσσω, παύσω γόους, E. Ph. 1308, cf. S. Ant. 148; for the reg. order cf. S. Ph. 81, E. Heracl. 480, Med. 1067; freq. elliptical, the Verb being understood, Hdt. 8.8, A. Pr. 941, S. Ant. 155: in Hom. only with negs., ἀλλ' οὐ γάρ Il. 7.242, Od. 14.355, al., cf. S. OT 1409; ἀ. γὰρ δή, ἀ. γάρ τοι, S. Aj. 167, Ph. 81.

4. ἀ. εἰ.. quid si.. ? Il. 16.559.

5. ἀ. ἦ in questions, chiefly of surprise or remonstrance, A. Ch. 220, S. El. 879, Ar. Ach. 1111; ἀλλ' ἦ, τὸ λεγόμενον, κατόπιν ἑορτῆς ἥκομεν; Pl. Grg. 447a, cf. Prt. 309c.

6. ἀ. followed by strengthening Particle, ἀλλ' ἤτοι μὲν ταῦτα θεῶν ἐν γούνασι κεῖται Il. 17.514; esp. c. imper., 1.211, al.; ἀλλά τοι Od. 15.518, A. Pers. 795, etc.; ἀ. μέντοι, with or without γε, Pl. Smp. 214e, Hp.Ma. 287d, al.; ἀ. μήν, v. μήν; ἀ. δή, mostly with words between, S. Aj. 1271, OC 586, Isoc. 4.109, etc.; without intervening words, Pl. Ap. 37c, al.; ἀ. δῆτα Id. Hp.Ma. 285c; ἀ. μὲν δὴ καὶ αὐτός Id. Tht. 143b, cf. S. El. 103. = et quidem, Olymp. in Mete. 1.13, al.

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 ἀλλά, an adversative particle, derived from ἀλλά, neuter of the adjective ἄλλος, which was originally pronounced ἄλλος (cf. Klotz ad Devar. ii., p. 1 f), hence properly, other things namely, than those just mentioned. It differs from δέ, as the Latin at and sed from autem, (cf. Winer's Grammar, 441 f (411)).

I. But. So related to the preceding words that it serves to introduce

1. an opposition to concessions; nevertheless, notwithstanding: Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:20; Mark 14:28; John 16:7,20; Acts 4:17; Acts 7:48; Romans 5:14; Romans 10:16; 1 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 7:6; Philippians 2:27 (ἀλλ' Θεός etc.), etc.

2. an objection: John 7:27; Romans 10:18; 1 Corinthians 15:35; James 2:18.

3. an exception: Luke 22:53; Romans 4:2; 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Corinthians 10:23.

4. a restriction: John 11:42; Galatians 4:8; Mark 14:36.

5. an ascensive transition or gradation, nay rather, yea moreover: John 16:2; 2 Corinthians 1:9; especially with καί added, Luke 12:7; Luke 16:21; Luke 24:22. ἀλλ' οὐδέ, but ... not even (German ja nicht einmal): Luke 23:15; Acts 19:2; 1 Corinthians 3:2 ( Rec. οὔτε); cf. Fritzsche on Mark , p. 157.

6. or forms a transition to the cardinal matter, especially before imperatives: Matthew 9:18.; Mark 9:22; Mark 16:7; Luke 7:7; John 8:26; John 16:4; Acts 9:6 (not Rec.); Acts 10:20; 26:16>.

7. it is put elliptically: ἀλλ' ἵνα, i. e. ἀλλά τοῦτο γέγονεν, Mark 14:49; John 13:18; John 15:25; 1 John 2:19.

8. after a conditional or concessive protasis it signifies, at the beginning of the apodosis, yet (cf. Winer's Grammar, 442 (411)): after καί εἰ, 2 Corinthians 13:4 ( R G); Mark 14:29 R G L ( 2 Maccabees 8:15); after εἰ καί, Mark 14:29 ( T Tr WH); 2 Corinthians 4:16; 2 Corinthians 5:16; 2 Corinthians 11:6; Colossians 2:5 ( 2 Maccabees 6:26); after εἰ, 1 Corinthians 9:2; Romans 6:5 ( 1 Maccabees 2:20); after ἐάν, 1 Corinthians 4:15; after εἴπερ, 1 Corinthians 8:6 ( L Tr marginal reading WH brackets ἀλλ'; cf. Klotz ad Devar. ii., p. 93 f; Kühner, ii., p. 827, § 535 Anm. 6.

9. after a preceding μέν: Mark 9:13 ( T omits; Tr brackets μέν; Acts 4:16; Romans 14:20; 1 Corinthians 14:17.

10. it is joined to other particles; ἀλλά γέ (Griesbach ἀλλάγε) (twice in the N. T.): yet at least, 1 Corinthians 9:2; yet surely ( aber freilich), Luke 24:21 ( L T Tr WH add καί yea and etc.), cf. Bornemann at the passage. In the more elegant Greek writers these particles are not combined without the interposition of the most emphatic word between them; cf. Bornemann, the passage cited; Klotz ad Devar. ii., pp. 15f, 24 f; Ast, Lex. Plato, i., p. 101; ( Winer's Grammar, 444 (413)). ἀλλ' (arising from the blending of the two statements οὐδέν ἄλλο and οὐδέν ἄλλο, ἀλλά) save only, except: 1 Corinthians 3:5 (where ἀλλ' omitted by G L T Tr WH is spurious); Luke 12:51 ( Sirach 37:12 Sirach 44:10); and after ἀλλά itself, 2 Corinthians 1:13 (here Lachmann brackets ἀλλ' before ); cf. Klotz as above ii., 31ff; Kühner, ii., p. 824 f § 535,6; Winer s Grammar, 442 (412); (Buttmann, 374 (320)). ἀλλ' οὐ but not, yet not: Hebrews 3:16 (if punctuated παρεπίκραναν; ἀλλ' οὐ) for 'But why do I ask? Did not all,' etc.; cf. Bleek at the passage ( Winer's Grammar, 442 (411)). ἀλλ' οὐχί will he not rather? Luke 17:8.

II. preceded by a negation: but (Latin sed, German sondern);

1. οὐκ (μή) ... ἀλλά: Matthew 19:11; Mark 5:39; John 7:16; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 7:10,19 (οὐδέν); 2 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Timothy 5:23 (μηκέτι), etc. By a rhetorical construction οὐκ ... ἀλλά sometimes is logically equivalent to not so much ... as: Mark 9:37 (οὐκ ἐμέ δέχεται, ἀλλά τόν ἀποστείλαντά με); Matthew 10:20; John 12:44; Acts 5:4; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; by this form of speech the emphasis is laid on the second member; cf. Fritzsche on Mark , p. 773ff; Winer s Grammar, § 55,8b.; (Buttmann, 356 (306)). οὐ μόνος ... ἀλλά καί not only ... but also: John 5:18; John 11:52 (ἀλλ' ἵνα καί, Romans 1:32, and very often. When καί is omitted (as in the Latin non solum ... sed), the gradation is strengthened: Acts 19:26 (Lachmann adds καί); 1 John 5:6; ἀλλά πολλῷ μᾶλλον, Philippians 2:12; cf. Fritzsche, the passage cited, p. 786ff; Winer s Grammar, 498 (464); (Buttmann, 369f (317)).

2. The negation to which ἀλλά pertains is suppressed, but can easily be supplied upon reflection ( Winer's Grammar, 442 (412)): Matthew 11:7-9; Luke 7:24-26 (in each passage, before ἀλλά supply 'you will say you did not go out into the wilderness for this purpose'); Acts 19:2 (we have not received the Holy Spirit, but ...); Galatians 2:3 (they said not one word in opposition to me, but ...); 2 Corinthians 7:11 (where before ἀλλά, repeated six times by anaphora, supply οὐ μόνον with the accusative of the preceding word). It is used in answers to questions having the force of a negation ( Winer's Grammar, 442 (412)): John 7:49; Acts 15:11; 1 Corinthians 10:20. ἀλλά ἵνα (or ἀλλ' ἵνα, cf. Winer s Grammar, 40; Buttmann, 10) elliptical after a negation ( Winer's Grammar, 316f (297); 620 (576); Fritzsche on Matthew , p. 840f): John 1:8 (supply ἀλλά ἦλθεν, ἵνα); John 9:3> (ἀλλά τυφλός ἐγένετο (or ἐγεννήθη), ἵνα); Mark 4:22 (ἀλλά τοιοῦτο ἐγένετο, ἵνα). ( The best manuscripts seem to elide the final a before nouns, but not before verbs Scrivener, Plain Introduction, etc., p. 14; but see Dr. Gregory's full exhibition of the facts in Tdf Proleg., p. 93f, from which it appears that "elision is commonly or almost always omitted before (alpha) , almost always before (upsilon) u, often before (epsilon) e and (eta) ee, rarely before (omikron) o and (omega) oo, never before (iota) i; and it should be noticed that this coincides with the fact that the familiar words ἐν, ἵνα, ὅτι, οὐ, ὡς, prefer the form ἀλλ'; see also WH s Appendix, p. 146. Cf. Winer s Grammar, § 5,1a.; Buttmann, p. 10.)

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

The closeness of ἀλλά to πλήν appears in more uses than one. Armitage Robinson, Ephesians, p. 205, has a note on a quasi-resumptive use of ἀλλά in Ephesians 5:24 which is closely paralleled by that of πλήν in ver. 33. Then there are instances of ἀλλά = ";except."; This is clear where we have ἀλλ᾽ ἤ (as in 2 Corinthians 1:13) : thus P Petr II. 9 (3)9 (B.C. 241–39) ὥστε μηθένα εἶναι ἐνταῦθα ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ἡμᾶς , ";There is no one left here except ourselves"; (Ed.), ib. 46 (a)5 (B.C. 200) καὶ μὴ ὑποκεῖσθαι πρὸς ἄλλο μηδὲν ἀλλ᾽ ἢ τὴν προγεγραμ [μέν ]ην ἐγγύην , ";has not been pledged for any other purpose than the aforesaid security"; (id.), P Lond 89713 (A.D. 84) ( = III. p. 207) ὃ μέντοιγε οὐ θέλωι ἀλλὰ ἢ ἀνάγκηι . In P Tebt I. 10419 (B.C. 92) μὴ ἐξέστω Φιλίσκωι γυναῖκα ἄλλην ἐπ [α ].γ [α ̣].γε ̣σ ̣θ ̣α ̣ι ̣ α ̣̓λ ̣λὰ Ἀπολλωνίαν , ";any other wife but A."; (Edd.), shows the same use for ἀλλά alone. See Proleg.3 p. 241 (with some additional remarks in the German ed., p. 269). G. C. Richards (JTS x. p. 288) observes on the note in Proleg., ";In Mark 4:22 ἐὰν μή and ἀλλά are parallel, a usage which Aramaic explains but Greek does not."; (Cf. the variants in Mark 9:8.) Without doubting that an Aramaic background makes the usage all the easier, we can assert that Hellenistic Greek does admit this use of ἀλλά . For ἀλλὰ μήν (not in NT) cf. P Oxy III. 47237 (c. A.D. 130) . μὴ ̣ν ̣ υτ ̣ω ̣ν πίστεως περὶ τούτων οὔσης , P Flor I. 8912 (iii/A.D.) . μ . καὶ πρὸς τὴν παρακομι [δὴν τ ]ο ̣ύτων [π ]λοῖον παρασχεῖν σπούδασον . It is hardly necessary to illustrate the conjunction further.




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