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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #2570 - καλός

Word Origin:
of uncertain affinity
Parts of Speech:
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable
    1. beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent
    2. good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends
      1. genuine, approved
      2. precious
      3. joined to names of men designated by their office, competent, able, such as one ought to be
      4. praiseworthy, noble
    3. beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy
      1. morally good, noble
    4. honourable, conferring honour
    5. affecting the mind agreeably, comforting and confirming
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 2531 ‑ חֶמֶד (kheh'‑med);   2895 ‑ טוֹב (tobe);   2896 ‑ טוֹב (tobe);   3190 ‑ יָטַב (yaw‑tab');   3302 ‑ יָפָה (yaw‑faw');   3303 ‑ יָפֶה (yaw‑feh');   3303 ‑ יָפֶה (yaw‑feh');   3477 ‑ יָשָׁר (yaw‑shawr');   3519 ‑ כָּבֹד (kaw‑bode', kaw‑bode');   4209 ‑ מְזִמָּה (mez‑im‑maw');   5116 ‑ נָוָה (naw‑veh', naw‑vaw');   5273 ‑ נָעִים (naw‑eem');   5276 ‑ נָעֵם (naw‑ame');   8034 ‑ שֵׁם (shame);  
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

κάλος, ὁ, v. κάλως.


[], , gen. κάλω, acc. κάλων: and Ion. κάλος, ου, ὁ, Od. 5.260, Hdt. 2.36, also Aen.Tact. 11.6; Att. Inscrr. have nom. dual κάλω IG 12.330.19, nom. (and acc.?) pl. κάλως ib.22.1610.13, 1611.57, 1612.68: as ib.1673.18; late nom. pl. κάλωες A.R. 2.725; acc. κάλωας Orph. A. 255, Opp. H. 2.223; dat. κάλωσι Orph. A. 239:

I reefing rope, reef, Od. l.c.; τῶν ἱστίων τοὺς κάλους Hdt. 2.36, cf. Aen.Tact.l.c.; κάλως ἐξῑέναι let out the reefs, i.e. set sail, ὅταν στράτευμ' Αργεῖον ἐξιῇ κάλως E. Tr. 94; ἐχθροὶ γὰρ ἐξιᾶσι πάντα δὴ κάλων are letting out every reef, i.e. using every effort, Id. Med. 278, cf. Ar. Eq. 756 (and Sch. adloc.); τοὺς κάλως ἔκλυε καὶ Χάλα πόδα Epicr. 10.5; πάνγας ἔσεισε κάλους AP 9.545 (Crin.); φόνιον ἐξίει κάλων let murder loose, E. HF 837; πάντα κάλων ἐκτείναντα Pl. Prt. 338a; ἐφέντες Id. SIsa 389c; κινεῖν Luc. Scyth. 11; γαστρὶ πάντας ἐπιτρωπῶσι κάλωας Opp. H. 2.223; κάλων τείνας οὔριον εὐφροσυνᾶν IG 14.793.8 (Naples).

II generally, rope, line, κάλον (v.l. -ων) κατεῖναι let down a sounding-line, Hdt. 2.28; ἀπὸ κάλω παραπλεῖν to be towed along shore, Th. 4.25; cable, Hdt. 2.96; πρυμνήτης κ. E. Med. 770; οἱ ἐπὶ τῶν κ. βαίνοντες tight- rope walkers, Luc. Rh. Proverbs 9:1-18.

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 καλός, καλή, καλόν (probably primarily 'sound,' 'hale,' 'whole;' cf. Vanicek, p. 140f; Curtius, § 31), the Sept. for יָפֶה beautiful, but much more often for טוב good; beautiful, applied by the Greeks to everything so distinguished in form, excellence, goodness, usefulness, as to be pleasing; hence (according to the context) equivalent to "beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable";

a. beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent: λίθοις καλοῖς κεκόσμηται ( A. V. goodly), Luke 21:5.

b. good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends: joined to the names of material objects, universally, 1 Timothy 4:4 (equivalent to pure); especially of things so constituted as to answer the purpose for which that class of things was created; good of its kind: τά καλά, of fish, opposed to such as are thrown away (τά σαπρά), Matthew 13:48; σπέρμα, Matthew 13:24,21, 37f; καρπός, Matthew 3:10; Matthew 7:17-19; Matthew 12:33; Luke 3:9 ( L WH brackets καλόν); Luke 6:43>; δένδρον, opposed to σαπρόν, Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:43; γῆ, Matthew 13:8,23; Mark 4:8,20; Luke 8:15; καλόν τό ἅλας (is an excellent thing), Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34; so too νόμος, good in its substance and nature, and fitted to beget good, Romans 7:16; 1 Timothy 1:8; διδασκαλία, true and approved teaching, 1 Timothy 4:6; καρδία καλή καί ἀγαθή, Luke 8:15; παραθήκη (which see) (containing (rather, consisting of) καλά), 2 Timothy 1:14; μέτρον, ample measure (rabbinical, טובה מדה; English good measure), Luke 6:38; βαθμός (firm (but see βαθμός)), 1 Timothy 3:13; also θεμέλιος, 1 Timothy 6:19; equivalent to genuine, approved, πάντα δοκιμάζετε, τό καλόν κατέχετε, 1 Thessalonians 5:21; equivalent to precious ( A. V. goodly), μαργαρῖται, Matthew 13:45; equivalent to superior to other kinds, οἶνος, John 2:10; joined to names of men designated by their office, competent, able, such as one ought to be: ποιμήν, John 10:11,14; διάκονος, 1 Timothy 4:6; οἰκονόμος, 1 Peter 4:10; στρατιώτης, 2 Timothy 2:3; joined to nouns denoting an effect estimated by the power it involves, or by its constancy, or by the end aimed at by its author, equivalent to praiseworthy, noble: στρατεία, 1 Timothy 1:18; ἀγών, 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7; ὁμολογία, 1 Timothy 6:12 f; ἔργον, Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6; John 10:33; 1 Timothy 3:1; plural John 10:32. καλόν ἐστιν, it is expedient, profitable, wholesome: followed by an infinitive as subject, 1 Corinthians 7:1; with τίνι added (so in 1 Corinthians , the passage cited also), Matthew 18:8f (cf. Winer s Grammar, 241 (226); Buttmann, § 149,7); Mark 9:43,45, 47, R G (also L Tr marginal reading in 47); 1 Corinthians 7:26; 1 Corinthians 9:15; καλόν ἐστιν followed by the accusative and infinitive, Mark 9:43,45, 47, L (but see above) T Tr (but not marginal reading, see above) WH; Hebrews 13:9; followed by εἰ (cf. Buttmann, 217 (187f); Winer's Grammar, 282 (265)), Matthew 26:24; Mark 9:42; Mark 14:21; followed by ἐάν ( Buttmann and Winer's Grammar, as above), 1 Corinthians 7:8; it is pleasant, delightful, followed by an accusative with an infinitive: Matthew 17:4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33.

c. beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy; morally good, noble, (Latin honestus; (cf. Aristotle, τό καθ' αὐτό καλόν)): διάκρισις καλοῦ τέ καί κακοῦ, Hebrews 5:14; ἔργα, Matthew 5:16; 1 Timothy 5:10,25; 1 Timothy 6:18; Titus 2:7,14; Titus 3:8,14; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 2:12, and Lachmann in 2 Peter 1:10; ἀναστροφή, James 3:13; 1 Peter 2:12; καλή συνείδησις, consciousness of good deeds ( A. V. a good conscience), Hebrews 13:18; καλά, καλόν ἐνώπιον τίνος, in one's judgment, Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Timothy 2:3 and Rec. in 1 Timothy 5:4; ζηλοῦσθαι ἐν καλῷ, Galatians 4:18; τό καλόν κατεργάζεσθαι, Romans 7:18; ποιεῖν, Romans 7:21; 2 Corinthians 13:7; Galatians 6:9; James 4:17; καλόν ἐστιν, it is right, proper, becoming, followed by an infinitive: Matthew 15:26 ( L T ἔξεστιν); ( Mark 7:27); Galatians 4:18 (here Tr marginal reading imperative); Romans 14:21.

d. honorable, conferring honor: μαρτυρία, 1 Timothy 3:7; ὄνομα, James 2:7; οὐ καλόν τό καύχημα ὑμῶν, 1 Corinthians 5:6.

e. affecting the mind agreeably, comforting and confirming: Θεοῦ ῤῆμα (the Sept. for טוב דָּבָר, which is spoken of the divine promises, Joshua 21:45; Zechariah 1:13), the gospel and its promises full of consolation, Hebrews 6:5. Compar. καλλίων, κάλλιον, better: neut, adverbially, σύ κάλλιον ἐπιγινώσκεις, i. e. better than by thy question thou seemest to know, Acts 25:10 ( Winer s Grammar, 242 (227)). The word is not found in the Apocalypse. (Cf. Trench, § cvi. at the end; Zezschwitz, Profangräcität as above with, p. 60f (cf. ἀγαθός, at the end); Westcott on John 10:11.)

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

Hort in his note on 1 Peter 2:12 has pointed out that while ἀγαθός ";denotes what is good in virtue of its results,"; καλός ";denotes that kind of goodness which is at once seen to be good."; It may not be possible always to press the distinction, but what we may call this self-evidencing power of καλός, a goodness as it appears to, and is realized by, others comes out generally speaking in the citations that follow. Thus in its application to persons the adj. is united with πιστός in the well-known early Christian letter of Psenosiris, where Psenosiris writes regarding Politike—τ ]αύτην παραδέδωκα τοῖς καλοῖς καὶ πιστοῖς ἐξ αὐτῶν τῶν νεκροτάφων (";grave-diggers";) εἰς τήρησιν (P Grenf II. 73.12 (late iii/A.D.) (= Selections, p. 118)). And so in the Silco inscr., OGIS 201.9 (vi/A.D.), the King announces—ἐπίστευσα τὸν ὅρκον αὐτῶν, ὡς καλοί εἰσιν ἄνθρωποι, ";quia honesti homines sunt"; (Lepsius). With Hebrews 13:18 we may compare P Rein 52.5 (iii/iv A.D.) οὐ καλῷ συνειδότι χρώμενοι. Similarly with reference to animals we read of μόσχους καλούς in PSI IV. 409.31 (iii/B.C.), and in P Tebt II. 409.12 (A.D. 5) of certain he-asses (?) as—καλοὺς. . καὶ τελήους καὶ εὐνοικούς, ";fine animals without blemish and good-tempered"; (Edd.). The varied usage with reference to things is seen in such passages as : P Lond 356.4 (i/A.D.) (= II. p. 252, Selections, p. 59) καλῶς ποιήσεις ἰδίωι κινδύνῳ τὸ καλὸν πωλήσας ἐξ ὧν ἐάν σοι εἴπῃ φαρμάκων ἔχειν χρείαν Σώτας ὁ φίλος μου, ";be so good as to sell at your own risk good quality of those drugs of which my friend Sotas says that he has need,"; where καλόν is contrasted with σαπρόν a few lines further on, just as in Matthew 12:33; Matthew 13:48 : P Oxy I. 116.19 f (ii/A.D.) (as amended II. p. 319) κ [ ]στην σταφυλῆς λείαν κ ̣α ̣λῆ ̣ς καὶ σφυρίδα φοίνικος καλοῦ, ";a box of very good grapes, and a basket of good dates"; : P Fay 133.8 (iv/A.D.) ]περθοῦ δὲ ἡμερῶν δ [ύο ] καὶ τριῶν ἵνα. . . ὁ οἶνος. . καλὸς γένηται, ";wait for two or three days in order that the wine may become good"; : and with reference to clothing, P Tebt II. 278.34 (early i/ A.D.) κάλλιστον ἱμάτιν, ib. 423.34 (early iii/A.D.) καλὸν χιτῶνα, P Oxy VII. 1069.26 (iii/A.D.) σπούδασον γὰρ τὸ κειθώνειν μου γενέστε (l. γενέσθαι) πρὸ λόγον, καὶ κ [α ]λὰ μέτρα αὐτῷ βαλέτωσαν, ";be careful to have my tunic made properly, and let them put good measure into it"; (Ed.). An unusual compar. form is seen in P Oxy XIV. 1672.6 ff. (A.D. 37–41) αἱ πράσεις ἡμῶν καλλιότεραι γεγ [ ]νασι λείαν, καὶ ἐλπίζομεν ὅτι καλλιότεραι τούτων γενήσονται, ";our sales have become much more favourable and we hope that they will become more favourable than this"; (Edd.). The word is used more generally in P Petr II. 13(19).6 (B.C. 255–50), where, writing to his father, Philonides expresses the hope καὶ ἐάν τι τῶν κατ᾽ ἀνθρώπινον γίνηται, τυχεῖν σε πάντων τῶν καλῶν, ";and should any mortal chance befall you, that you should receive all attention"; (Ed.), and P Tebt II. 418.7 (iii/A.D.) εὐχόμενός σοι τὰ ἐν βίῳ κάλλιστα ὑπαρχθήσεσθαι, ";praying that you may have life’s greatest blessings"; (Edd.), and P Oxy XIV. 1679.4 (iii/A.D.) πολλά σε ἀσπάζομαι, κυρία, εὐχομένη σοι τὰ κάλλιστα, ";I send you many salutations, my lady, and best wishes"; (Edd.). For time we may cite P Goodsp Cairo 3.20 (iii/B.C.) (as completed in Witkowski.2, p. 48) ἐπιχέου, ὃν τρόπον κἀγὼ ἡμέραν καλὴν ἤγαγον, while the phrase καλῇ ὥρᾳ = ";à la bonne heure"; is found in a Paris papyrus (see P Par p. 422). With this last cf. P Tebt II. 418.14 (iii/A.D.) καλῇ πίστει, ";in good faith."; To the instances of the superlative given above we may add P Oxy II. 237viii. 8 (A.D. 186) a proclamation beginning—παραδείγματι τῷ καλλίστῳ χρώμενος, ";following a most illustrious precedent"; (Edd.), and P Flor II.201.10 (A.D. 259) ἰχθὺν κάλλιστον, ";a sufficient quantity of fish."; MGr πάαινε στὸ καλό, or simply στὸ καλό, ";farewell.";


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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List of Word Forms
καλα καλά καλὰ καλαί καλάς καλη καλή καλῇ καλην καλήν καλὴν καλης καλής καλῆς καλλίονα κάλλιστα κάλλιστον κάλλιστος καλοι καλοί καλοὶ καλοις καλοίς καλοῖς καλον καλόν καλὸν καλος καλός καλὸς καλου καλού καλοῦ καλους καλούς καλοὺς καλω καλώ καλῷ καλων καλών καλῶν kala kalà kale kalē kalêi kalē̂i kalen kalēn kalḗn kalḕn kales kalês kalēs kalē̂s kalo kalō kaloi kaloì kalôi kalō̂i kalois kaloîs kalon kalón kalòn kalôn kalōn kalō̂n kalos kalós kalòs kalou kaloû kalous kaloùs
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