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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #5457 - φῶς

Word Origin:
from an obsolete phao (to shine or make manifest, especially by rays, cf (5316), (5346))
Parts of Speech:
Noun Neuter
Word Definition  [ Thayer | Strong | Mounce ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. light
    1. the light
      1. emitted by a lamp
      2. a heavenly light such as surrounds angels when they appear on earth
    2. anything emitting light
      1. a star
      2. fire because it is light and sheds light
      3. a lamp or torch
    3. light, i.e brightness
      1. of a lamp
  2. metaph.
    1. God is light because light has the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality
    2. of truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity associated with it
    3. that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly
    4. reason, mind
      1. the power of understanding esp. moral and spiritual truth
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 216 ‑ אוֹר (ore);   5043 ‑ נֶבְרְשָׁה (neb‑reh‑shaw');   5051 ‑ נֹגַהּ (no'‑gah);   5094 ‑ נְהִיר (neh‑heere', neh‑hee‑roo');   5216 ‑ נֵרָה (neer, neer, nare, nare, nay‑raw');  
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


contr. for φάος,

light (q.v.). φῴς, ἡ, pl. φῷδες, contr. from φωΐς (q.v.).

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 φῶς, φωτός, τό (contracted from φάος, from φάω to shine), from Homer (who (as well as Pindar) uses the form φάος) down, Hebrew אור, light (opposed to τό σκότος, σκοτία);

1. properly,

a. universally: Θεός εἰπών ἐκ σκότους φῶς λάμψαι, 2 Corinthians 4:6 ( Genesis 1:3); λευκά ὡς τό φῶς, Matthew 17:2; νεφέλη φωτός (Griesbach text) i. e. consisting of light, equivalent to φωτεινεη in R L T Tr WH, Matthew 17:5; τό φῶς τοῦ κόσμου, of the sun, John 11:9; τό φῶς οὐκ ἐστιν ἐν αὐτῷ, the light (i. e. illumining power) is not in him, consequently he does not see or distinguish the filings about him, John 11:10; the light emitted by a lamp, Luke 8:16; (Luke 11:33> L Tr text WH). a heavenly light, such as surrounds angels when they appear on earth: hence, ἄγγελος φωτός, 2 Corinthians 11:14, and illumines the place where they appear, Acts 12:7; a light of this kind shone around Paul when he was converted to Christ, Acts 22:6, (Acts 22:9>), Acts 22:11> ( Winer's Grammar, 371 (348)); with the addition of οὐρανόθεν, Acts 26:13; of ἀπό (or ἐκ) τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, Acts 9:3.

b. by metonymy, anything emitting light: a heavenly luminary (or star), plural James 1:17 (see πατήρ, 3a.); fire, because it is light and gives light: Luke 22:56; θερμαίνεσθαι πρός τό φῶς, Mark 14:54 ( 1 Maccabees 12:29; Xenophon, Hell. 6,2, 29; Cyril 7,5, 27); a lamp or torch: plural φῶτα, Acts 16:29 (φῶς ἔχειν, Xenophon, Hell. 5,1, 8; in plural often in Plutarch).

c. light i. e. brightness (Latin splendor) (see a. above), ἡλίου, Revelation 22:5; of a lamp, John 5:35 (where it symbolizes his rank, influence, worth, mighty deeds); with the addition of λύχνου, Revelation 18:23 ( Jeremiah 25:10); of the divine Shechinah (see δόξα, III:1), Revelation 21:24 ( Psalm 88:16 (Psalm 89:16>); Isaiah 60:1,19f).

2. φῶς is often used in poetic discourse, in metaphor, and in parable;

a. The extremely delicate, subtile, pure, brilliant quality of light has led to the use of φῶς as an appellation of God, i. e. as by nature incorporeal, spotless, holy (cf. Westcott, Epistles of St. John , p. 15ff): 1 John 1:5 ( Wisdom of Solomon 7:26 where cf. Grimm); he is said εἶναι ἐν τῷ φωτί, in a state of supreme sanctity, 1 John 1:7; φῶς οἴκων ἀπρόσιτον, a figure describing his nature as alike of consummate majesty and inaccessible to human comprehension, 1 Timothy 6:16 ( Psalm 103:2 (Psalm 104:2>)); used of that heavenly state, consummate and free from every imperfection, to which the true disciples of Christ will be exalted, equivalent to the kingdom of light, Colossians 1:12.

b. By a figure frequently in the N. T. (cf. in classic Greek τῆς ἀληθείας τό φῶς, Euripides, L T. 1046 etc.; see Liddell and Scott, under the word, II:2), φῶς is used to denote truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity congruous with it (opposed to τό σκότος b., σκοτία, which see): ζωή ἦν τό φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων, had the nature of light in men, i. e. became the source of human Wisdom of Solomon , John 1:4; especially the saving truth embodied in Christ and by his love and effort imparted to mankind, Matthew 4:16; John 1:5; John 3:19-21; Acts 26:18,23; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:13{a} (cf. below); τό φῶς τό ἀληθινόν, 1 John 2:8; τό θαυμαστόν τοῦ Θεοῦ φῶς, 1 Peter 2:9 ( Clement of Rome, 1 Corinthians 36,2 [ET] cf. 59,2 [ET]); τό φῶς ὑμῶν, the divine truth with which ye are imbued, Matthew 5:16; ἔχειν τό φῶς τῆς ζωῆς, the light by which the true life is gained, John 8:12; τά ὅπλα (Lachmann marginal reading ἔργα) τοῦ φωτός, Romans 13:12; καρπός τοῦ φωτός, Ephesians 5:9 G L T Tr WH; ἐν τῷ φωτί περιπατεῖν, to live agreeably to saving Wisdom of Solomon , 1 John 1:7; ἐν τῷ φωτί εἶναι, to be imbued with saving Wisdom of Solomon , μένειν, to continue devoted to it, to persevere in keeping it, 1 John 2:9f; οἱ υἱοί τοῦ φωτός (see υἱός, 2, p. 635{a}), Luke 16:8; John 12:36; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; τέκνα φωτός (see τέκνον, c. β., p. 618^a), Ephesians 5:8. by metonymy, φῶς; is used of one in whom wisdom and spiritual purity shine forth, and who imparts the same to others: φῶς τῶν ἐν σκότει, Romans 2:19; (φῶς ἐθνῶν, Acts 13:47); in a pre-eminent sense is Jesus the Messiah called φῶς and τό φῶς: Luke 2:32; John 1:7; John 12:35f, 46; τό φῶς τοῦ κόσμου, John 8:12; John 9:5 (τό φῶς τοῦ κόσμου τό δοθέν ἐν ὑμῖν εἰς φωτισμόν παντός ἀνθρώπου, Test xii. Patr. test. Levi § 14); τό φῶς τό ἀληθινόν, John 1:9; by the same name the disciples of Jesus are distinguished, Matthew 5:14; Christians are called φῶς ἐν κυρίῳ, having obtained saving wisdom in communion with Christ, Ephesians 5:8. πᾶν τό φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστιν, everything made manifest by the aid of Christian truth has taken on the nature of light, so that its true character and quality are no longer hidden, Ephesians 5:13{b} (others take φῶς here in an outward or physical sense, and regard the statement as a general truth confirmatory of the assertion made respecting spiritual 'φωτός just before (cf. above)).

c. By a figure borrowed from daylight φῶς is used of that which is exposed to the view of all: ἐν τῷ φωτί (opposed to ἐν τῇ σκοτία), openly, publicly (ἐν φαει, Pindar Nem. 4,63), Matthew 10:27; Luke 12:3.

d. reason, mind; the power of understanding especially moral and spiritual truth: τό φῶς τό ἐν σοι, Matthew 6:23; Luke 11:35. (Synonym: see φέγγος, at the end.)

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
All rights rserved. Used by permission.
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament


(Att.. contr. from φάος ; <φάω ), gen., φωτός , τό ,

[in LXX chiefly for H216;]

light (opp. to τὸ σκότος , ἡ σκοτία ): ; , , ; ἡλίου , ; of a lamp, ; , , ; of a supernatural heavenly light, ; ; ; ; ; ; hence, ἄγγελος φωτός , ; ὁ κλήρος τ . ἁγίων ἐν τ . φ ., ; of the divine glory, ; by meton., of that which gives light: of fire, , (cl.; ; cf. DCG, i, 595; pl., of a lamp or torch, ; of heavenly bodies, .


(a) of God: ; ; φῶς οἰκῶν ἀπρόσιτον , ;

(b) of spiritual truth and its effects on the lives of men: ; , ; , ; , , , , ; τ . φ . τ . ζωῆς , ; τ . ὅπλα τοῦ φ ., ; καρπὸς τοῦ φ ., ; έν τ . φ . περιπατεῖν (εἶναι , μένειν ), ; ; υἱοὶ (τέκνα ) τοῦ φ ., , , , ; by meton., of one from whom truth shines forth: (LXX), ; esp. of Christ, , ; ; ; τ . φ . τ . κόσμου , ; ;τ . φ . τ . ἀληθινόν , ; of Christians, , ;

(c) of the spiritual understanding: τ . φ . τὸ ἐν σοί , , ;

(d) adverbially, of that which is open to view (opp. to ἐν τ . σκοτίᾳ ): ἐν τ . φ ., , .

SYN.: see φέγγος G5338.





Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

";gold."; For the aurum corsnarium cf. Ostr 675.2 (ii/iii A.D.) ὑπ (ὲρ) στεφ (άνου) χ (ρυσοῦ) β ̄ (δραχμάς), and similarly ib. 683.4 al. and see Wilcken Ostr. i. p. 299 f.

The various epithets applied to χρυσός are seen in such passages as CPR I. 12.6 (A.D. 93) χρυσοῦ δοκιμίου, ";gold of full value,"; similarly ib. 24.5 (A.D. 136), P Oxy VI. 905.5 (A.D. 170) χρυσοῦ μὲν κοινοῦ, ";common gold,"; similarly ib. X. 1273.6, .17 (A.D. 260), and ib. VIII, 1121.19 (A.D. 295) χρυσῷ οὐκ ὀλίγῳ, ";a considerable amount of gold.";


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.
Frequency / Word / Parsing Lists  [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Verse Results
KJV (70)NAS (72)HCS (73)
2 Corinthians3
1 Thessalonians1
1 Timothy1
1 Peter1
1 John5
2 Corinthians3
1 Thessalonians1
1 Timothy1
1 Peter1
1 John5
2 Corinthians3
1 Thessalonians1
1 Timothy1
1 Peter1
1 John6
List of Word Forms
φως φῶς φωτα φώτα φῶτα φωτι φωτί φωτὶ φωτος φωτός φωτὸς φωτων φώτων phos phôs phōs phō̂s phota phôta phōta phō̂ta photi photí photì phōti phōtí phōtì photon phōtōn phṓton phṓtōn photos photós photòs phōtos phōtós phōtòs

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