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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words


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1: ὀφειλέτης
(Strong's #3781 — Noun Masculine — opheiletes — of-i-let'-ace )

"one who owes anything to another," primarily in regard to money; in Matthew 18:24 , "who owed" (lit., "one was brought, a debtor to him of ten thousand talents"). The slave could own property, and so become a "debtor" to his master, who might seize him for payment.

It is used metaphorically, (a) of a person who is under an obligation, Romans 1:14 , of Paul, in the matter of preaching the Gospel; in Romans 8:12 , of believers, to mortify the deeds of the body; in Romans 15:27 , of gentile believers, to assist afflicted Jewish believers; in Galatians 5:3 , of those who would be justified by circumcision, to do the whole Law: (b) of those who have not yet made amends to those whom they have injured, Matthew 6:12 , "our debtors;" of some whose disaster was liable to be regarded as a due punishment, Luke 13:4 (RV, "offenders;" AV, sinners;" marg., "debtors").

2: χρεωφειλέτης
(Strong's #5533 — Noun Masculine — chreopheiletes — khreh-o-fi-let'-ace )

lit., "a debt-ower" (chreos, "a loan, a debt," and No. 1), is found in Luke 7:41 , of the two "debtors" mentioned in the Lord's parable addressed to Simon the Pharisee, and in Luke 16:5 , of the "debtors" in the parable of the unrighteous steward. This parable indicates a system of credit in the matter of agriculture. In the Sept., Job 31:37 , "having taken nothing from the debtor;" Proverbs 29:13 , "when the creditor and the debtor meet together." The word is more expressive than No. 1.

Note: In Matthew 23:16 opheilo, "to owe" (see DEBT), is translated "he is a debtor." The RV marg., keeping the verbal form, has "bound by his oath" (AV, marg., "bound"). In the 18th verse the AV, "he is guilty," means that he is under obligation to make amends for his misdeeds.

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

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Friday, September 18th, 2020
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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