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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Confess, Confession

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A — 1: ὁμολογέω

(Strong's #3670 — Verb — homologeo — hom-ol-og-eh'-o )

lit., "to speak the same thing" (homos, "same," lego, "to speak"), "to assent, accord, agree with," denotes, (a) "to confess, declare, admit," John 1:20; e.g., Acts 24:14; Hebrews 11:13; (b) "to confess by way of admitting oneself guilty of what one is accused of, the result of inward conviction," 1 John 1:9; (c) "to declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts," Matthew 7:23; 10:32 (twice) and Luke 12:8 (see next par.); John 9:22; 12:42; Acts 23:8; Romans 10:9,10 ("confession is made"); 1 Timothy 6:12 (RV); Titus 1:16; 1 John 2:23; 4:2,15; 2 John 1:7 (in John's Epistle it is the necessary antithesis to Gnostic doceticism); Revelation 3:5 , in the best mss. (some have No. 2 here); (d) "to confess by way of celebrating with praise," Hebrews 13:15; (e) "to promise," Matthew 14:7 .

In Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8 the construction of this verb with en, "in," followed by the dative case of the personal pronoun, has a special significance, namely, to "confess" in a person's name, the nature of the "confession" being determined by the context, the suggestion being to make a public "confession." Thus the statement, "every one ... who shall confess Me (lit., "in Me," i.e., in My case) before men, him (lit., "in him," i.e., in his case) will I also confess before My Father ...," conveys the thought of "confessing" allegiance to Christ as one's Master and Lord, and, on the other hand, of acknowledgment, on His part, of the faithful one as being His worshipper and servant, His loyal follower; this is appropriate to the original idea in homologeo of being identified in thought or language. See PROFESS , PROMISE , THANK.

A — 2: ἐξομολογέω

(Strong's #1843 — Verb — exomologeo — ex-om-ol-og-eh'-o )

ek, "out," intensive, and No. 1, and accordingly stronger than No. 1, "to confess forth," i.e., "freely, openly," is used (a) "of a public acknowledgment or confession of sins," Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:5; Acts 19:18; James 5:16; (b) "to profess or acknowledge openly," Matthew 11:25 (translated "thank," but indicating the fuller idea); Philippians 2:11 (some mss. have it in Revelation 3:5 : see No. 1); (c) "to confess by way of celebrating, giving praise," Romans 14:11; 15:9 . In Luke 10:21 , it is translated "I thank," the true meaning being "I gladly acknowledge." In Luke 22:6 it signifies to consent (RV), for AV, "promised." See CONSENT , PROMISE , THANK.

B — 1: ὁμολογία

(Strong's #3671 — Noun Feminine — homologia — hom-ol-og-ee'-ah )

akin to A, No. 1, denotes "confession, by acknowledgment of the truth," 2 Corinthians 9:13; 1 Timothy 6:12,13; Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 10:23 (AV, incorrectly, "profession," except in 1 Timothy 6:13 ).

Note: For the adverb homologoumenos, confessedly, see CONTROVERSY.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Confess, Confession'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/c/confess-confession.html. 1940.

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