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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Promise

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A — 1: ἐπαγγελία

(Strong's #1860 — Noun Feminine — epangelia — ep-ang-el-ee'-ah )

primarily a law term, denoting "a summons" (epi, "upon," angello, "to proclaim, announce"), also meant "an undertaking to do or give something, a promise." Except in Acts 23:21 it is used only of the "promises" of God. It frequently stands for the thing "promised," and so signifies a gift graciously bestowed, not a pledge secured by negotiation; thus, in Galatians 3:14 , "the promise of the Spirit" denotes "the promised Spirit:" cp. Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33; Ephesians 1:13; so in Hebrews 9:15 , "the promise of the eternal inheritance" is "the promised eternal inheritance." On the other hand, in Acts 1:4 , "the promise of the Father," is the "promise" made by the Father.

In Galatians 3:16 , the plural "promises" is used because the one "promise" to Abraham was variously repeated (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:18; 17:1-14; 22:15-18 ), and because it contained the germ of all subsequent "promises;" cp. Romans 9:4; Hebrews 6:12; 7:6; 8:6; 11:17 . Galatians 3 is occupied with showing that the "promise" was conditional upon faith and not upon the fulfillment of the Law. The Law was later than, and inferior to, the "promise," and did not annul it, Galatians 3:21; cp. Galatians 4:23,28 . Again, in Ephesians 2:12 , "the covenants of the promise" does not indicate different covenants, but a covenant often renewed, all centering in Christ as the "promised" Messiah-Redeemer, and comprising the blessings to be bestowed through Him.

In 2 Corinthians 1:20 the plural is used of every "promise" made by God: cp. Hebrews 11:33; in Hebrews 7:6 , of special "promises" mentioned. For other applications of the word, see e.g., Ephesians 6:2; 1 Timothy 4:8; 2 Timothy 1:1; Hebrews 4:1; 2 Peter 3:4,9; in 1 John 1:5 some mss. have this word, instead of angelia, "message."

The occurrences of the word in relation to Christ and what centers in Him, may be arranged under the headings (1) the contents of the "promise," e.g., Acts 26:6; Romans 4:20; 1 John 2:25; (2) the heirs, e.g., Romans 9:8; 15:8; Galatians 3:29; Hebrews 11:9; (3) the conditions, e.g., Romans 4:13,14; Galatians 3:14-22; Hebrews 10:36 .

A — 2: ἐπάγγελμα

(Strong's #1862 — Noun Neuter — epangelma — ep-ang'-el-mah )

denotes "a promise made," 2 Peter 1:4; 3:13 .

B — 1: ἐπαγγέλλομαι

(Strong's #1861 — Verb — epangello — ep-ang-el'-lo )

"to announce, proclaim," has in the NT the two meanings "to profess" and "to promise," each used in the Middle Voice; "to promise" (a) of "promises" of God, Acts 7:5; Romans 4:21; in Galatians 3:19 , Passive Voice; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:13; 10:23; 11:11; 12:26; James 1:12; 2:5; 1 John 2:25; (b) made by men, Mark 14:11; 2 Peter 2:19 . See PROFESS.

B — 2: προεπαγγέλλω

(Strong's #4279 — Verb — proepangello — pro-ep-ang-ghel'-lom-ahee )

in the Middle Voice, "to promise before" pro, and No. 1), occurs in Romans 1:2; 2 Corinthians 9:5 . See AFOREPROMISED.

B — 3: ὁμολογέω

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

"to agree, confess," signifies "to promise" in Matthew 14:7 . See CONFESS.

Note: For exomologeo in Luke 22:6 , see CONSENT , No. 1.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Promise'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/p/promise.html. 1940.

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