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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Fruit, Fruitful, Unfruitful

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A — 1: καρπός

(Strong's #2590 — Noun Masculine — karpos — kar-pos' )

"fruit," is used (I) of the fruit of trees, fields, the earth, that which is produced by the inherent energy of a living organism, e.g., Matthew 7:17; James 5:7,18; plural, e.g., in Luke 12:17 [for the next verse, see Note (1) below] and 2 Timothy 2:6; of the human body, Luke 1:42; Acts 2:30; (II) metaphorically, (a) of works or deeds, "fruit" being the visible expression of power working inwardly and invisibly, the character of the "fruit" being evidence of the character of the power producing it, Matthew 7:16 . As the visible expressions of hidden lusts are the works of the flesh, so the invisible power of the Holy Spirit in those who are brought into living union with Christ (John 15:2-8,16 ) produces "the fruit of the Spirit," Galatians 5:22 , the singular form suggesting the unity of the character of the Lord as reproduced in them, namely, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance," all in constrast with the confused and often mutually antagonistic "works of the flesh." So in Philippians 1:11 , marg., "fruit of righteousness." In Hebrews 12:11 , "the fruit of righteousness" is described as "peaceable fruit," the outward effect of Divine chastening; "the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace," James 3:18 , i.e., the seed contains the fruit; those who make peace, produce a harvest of righteousness; in Ephesians 5:9 , "the fruit of the light" (RV, and see context) is seen in "goodness and righteousness and truth," as the expression of the union of the Christian with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); for God is good, Mark 10:18 , the Son is "the righteous One," Acts 7:52 , the Spirit is "the Spirit of truth," John 16:13; (b) of advantage, profit, consisting (1) of converts as the result of evangelistic ministry, John 4:36; Romans 1:13; Philippians 1:22; (2) of sanctification, through deliverance from a life of sin and through service to God, Romans 6:22 , in contrast to (3) the absence of anything regarded as advantageous as the result of former sins, ver. Romans 6:21; (4) of the reward for ministration to servants of God, Philippians 4:17; (5) of the effect of making confession to God's Name by the sacrifice of praise, Hebrews 13:15 .

A — 2: γίνομαι

(Strong's #1096 — Verb — genema — ghin'-om-ahee )

from ginomai, "to come into being," denotes "fruit" (a) as the produce of the earth, e.g., the vine; in the following the best mss. have this noun, Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18; [12:18 in some mss.; see Note (1)]; (b) metaphorically, as "the fruits of ... righteousness" (i.e., of material ministrations to the needy), 2 Corinthians 9:10 .

Notes: (1) In Luke 12:18 some mss. have gennemata, a mistake for genemata; the best have sitos, "corn." (2) Genema is to be distinguished from gennema, "offspring" (from gennao, "to beget"), Matthew 3:7; 12:34; 23:33; Luke 3:7 .

A — 3: ὀπώρα

(Strong's #3703 — Noun Feminine — opora — op-o'-rah )

primarily denotes "late summer or early autumn," i.e., late July, all August and early September. Since that is the time of "fruit-bearing," the word was used, by metonymy, for the "fruits" themselves, Revelation 18:14 .

Note: Cp. phthinoporinos, "autumnal," in Jude 1:12 , "autumn trees," bearing no "fruit" when "fruit" should be expected.

B — 1: καρποφόρος

(Strong's #2593 — Adjective — karpophoros — kar-pof-or'-os )

denotes "fruitful" (A, No. 1, and phero, "to bear"), Acts 14:17 . Cp. C, below.

B — 2: ἄκαρπος

(Strong's #175 — Adjective — akarpos — ak'-ar-pos )

"unfruitful" (a, negative, and A, No. 1), is used figuratively (a) of "the word of the Kingdom," rendered "unfruitful" in the case of those influenced by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19; (b) of the understanding of one praying with a "tongue," which effected no profit to the church without an interpretation of it, 1 Corinthians 14:14; (c) of the works of darkness, Ephesians 5:11; (d) of believers who fail "to maintain good works," indicating the earning of one's living so as to do good works to others, Titus 3:14; of the effects of failing to supply in one's faith the qualities of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, love of the brethren, and love, 2 Peter 1:8 . In Jude 1:12 it is rendered "without fruit," of ungodly men, who oppose the Gospel while pretending to uphold it, depicted as "autumn trees" (see Note under A, No. 3). In the Sept., Jeremiah 2:6 .

C — 1: καρποφορέω

(Strong's #2592 — Verb — karpophoreo — kar-pof-or-eh'-o )

"to bear or bring forth fruit" (see B, No. 1), is used (a) in the natural sense, of the "fruit of the earth," Mark 4:28; (b) metaphorically, of conduct, or that which takes effect in conduct, Matthew 13:23; Mark 4:20; Luke 8:15; Romans 7:4,5 (the latter, of evil "fruit," borne "unto death," of activities resulting from a state of alienation from God); Colossians 1:6 in the Middle Voice; Colossians 1:10 .

Note: For "bring forth fruit to perfection," Luke 8:14 , see PERFECTION , B.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Fruit, Fruitful, Unfruitful'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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