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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

World

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1: κόσμος
(Strong's #2889 — Noun Masculine — kosmos — kos'-mos )

primarily "order, arrangement, ornament, adornment" (1 Peter 3:3 , see ADORN , B), is used to denote (a) the "earth," e.g., Matthew 13;35 ; John 21:25 ; Acts 17:24 ; Romans 1:20 (probably here the universe: it had this meaning among the Greeks, owing to the order observable in it); 1 Timothy 6:7 ; Hebrews 4:3 ; 9:26 ; (b) the "earth" in contrast with Heaven, 1 John 3:17 (perhaps also Romans 4:13 ); (c) by metonymy, the "human race, mankind," e.g., Matthew 5:14 ; John 1:9 [here "that cometh (RV, 'coming') into the world" is said of Christ, not of "every man;" by His coming into the world He was the light for all men]; 1 John 3:10 ; 3:16,17 (thrice),19; 4:42, and frequently in Rom. 1Cor. and 1John; (d) "Gentiles" as distinguished from Jews, e.g., Romans 11:12,15 , where the meaning is that all who will may be reconciled (cp. 2 Corinthians 5:19 ); (e) the "present condition of human affairs," in alienation from and opposition to God, e.g., John 7:7 ; 8:23 ; 14:30 ; 1 Corinthians 2:12 ; Galatians 4:3 ; 6:14 ; Colossians 2:8 ; James 1:27 ; 1 John 4:5 (thrice); 5:19; (f) the "sum of temporal possessions," Matthew 16:26 ; 1 Corinthians 7:31 (1st part); (g) metaphorically, of the "tongue" as "a world (of iniquity)," James 3:6 ; expressive of magnitude and variety.

2: αἰών
(Strong's #165 — Noun Masculine — aion — ahee-ohn' )

"an age, a period of time," marked in the NT usage by spiritual or moral characteristics, is sometimes translated "world;" the RV marg. always has "age." The following are details concerning the world in this respect; its cares, Matthew 13:22 ; its sons, Luke 16:8 ; 20:34 ; its rulers, 1 Corinthians 2:6,8 ; its wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1:20 ; 2:6 ; 3:18 , its fashion, Romans 12:2 ; its character, Galatians 1:4 ; its god, 2 Corinthians 4:4 . The phrase "the end of the world" should be rendered "the end of the age," in most places (see END , A, No. 2); in 1 Corinthians 10:11 , AV, "the ends (tele) of the world," RV, "the ends of the ages," probably signifies the fulfillment of the Divine purposes concerning the ages in regard to the church [this would come under END, A, No. 1, (c)]. In Hebrews 11:3 [lit., "the ages (have been prepared)"] the word indicates all that the successive periods contain; cp. Hebrews 1:2 . Aion is always to be distinguished from kosmos, even where the two seem to express the same idea, e.g., 1 Corinthians 3:18 , aion, 1 Corinthians 3:19 , kosmos; the two are used together in Ephesians 2:2 , lit., "the age of this world." For a list of phrases containing aion, with their respective meanings, see EVER , B.

3: οἰκουμένη
(Strong's #3625 — Noun Feminine — oikoumene — oy-kou-men'-ay )

"the inhabited earth" (see EARTH , No. 2), is used (a) of the whole inhabited world, Matthew 24:14 ; Luke 4:5 ; 21:26 ; Romans 10:18 ; Hebrews 1:6 ; Revelation 3:10 ; 16:14 ; by metonymy, of its inhabitants, Acts 17:31 ; Revelation 12:9 ; (b) of the Roman Empire, the world as viewed by the writer or speaker, Luke 2:1 ; Acts 11:28 ; 24:5 ; by metonymy, of its inhabitants, Acts 17:6 ; 19:27 ; (c) the inhabited world in a coming age, Hebrews 2:5 .

Notes: (1) In Revelation 13:3 , AV, ge, "the earth" (RV), is translated "world." (2) For phrases containing aionios, e.g., Romans 16:25 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 ; Titus 1:2 , see ETERNAL , No. 2.


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

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