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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Begin, Beginning, Beginner

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A — 1: ἄρχομαι
(Strong's #756 — Verb — archomai — ar'-khom-ahee )

denotes "to begin." In Luke 3:23 the present participle is used in a condensed expression, lit., "And Jesus Himself was beginning about thirty years." Some verb is to be supplied in English. The RV has "when He began to teach, was about thirty years of age." The meaning seems to be that He was about thirty years when He "began" His public career (cp. Acts 1:1 ). The AV has "began to be about thirty years of age." In Acts 11:4 the RV suitably has "began, and expounded," instead of "from the beginning." See B, No. 1, below, and REIGN, RULE.

A — 2: ἐνάρχομαι
(Strong's #1728 — Verb — enarchomai — en-ar'-khom-ahee )

lit., "to begin in" (en, "in," with No. 1), is used in Galatians 3:3 ("having begun in the Spirit"), to refer to the time of conversion; similarly in Philippians 1:6 , "He which began a good work in you." The en may be taken in its literal sense in these places.

A — 3: προενάρχομαι
(Strong's #4278 — Verb — proenarchomai — pro'-en-ar'-khom-ahee )

lit., "to begin in before" (pro, with No. 2), is used in 2 Corinthians 8:6 , "he had made a beginning before;" and in 2 Corinthians 8:10 , "were the first to make a beginning" (RV).

A — 4: μέλλω
(Strong's #3195 — Verb — mello — mel'-lo )

"to be about to," is rendered "begin" in the AV of Revelation 10:7 ; RV suitably, "when he is about to sound." See COME , INTEND , MEAN , MIND , READY , SHALL , SHOULD , TARRY , WILL , WOULD.

Note: For "began to wax" in 1 Timothy 5:11 , see WANTON , No. 2.

B — 1: ἀρχή
(Strong's #746 — Noun Feminine — arche — ar-khay' )

means "a beginning." The root arch primarily indicated what was of worth. Hence the verb archo meant "to be first," and archon denoted "a ruler." So also arose the idea of "a beginning," the origin, the active cause, whether a person or thing, e.g., Colossians 1:18 . In Hebrews 2:3 the phrase "having at the first been spoken" is, lit., "having received a beginning to be spoken." In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ("God chose you from the beginning"), there is a well supported alternative reading, "chose you as first-fruits" (i.e., aparchen, instead of ap' arches). In Hebrews 6:1 , where the word is rendered "first principles," the original has "let us leave the word of the beginning of Christ," i.e., the doctrine of the elementary principles relating to Christ.

In John 8:25 , Christ's reply to the question "Who art Thou?," "Even that which I have spoken unto you from the beginning," does not mean that He had told them before; He declares that He is consistently the unchanging expression of His own teaching and testimony from the first, the immutable embodiment of His doctrine. See CORNER , FIRST , MAGISTRATE , POWER , PRINCIPALITY , RULE.

Note: In the following passages the AV faulty translations, "since the world began," etc. are rightly rendered in the RV by "before times eternal" and similar phrases, Romans 16:25 ; Ephesians 3:9 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 ; Titus 1:2 . The alteration has not been made, however, in Luke 1:70 ; John 9:32 ; Acts 3:21 ; 15:18 .

C — 1: πρῶτον
(Strong's #4412 — Adverb — proton — pro'-ton )

the neuter of protos (the superlative degree of proteros), "first, at the first," is rendered "at the beginning" in John 2:10 , AV, RV, "setteth on first." See BEFORE.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Begin, Beginning, Beginner'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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