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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #1967 - ἐπιούσιος

perhaps from the same as (G1966)
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  1. word found in the phrase
    1. the bread of our necessity
    2. the bread that suffices for each day
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Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

ἐπιούσιος, ον,

either, sufficient for the coming (and so current) day, (ἐπιοῦσα (sc. ἡμέρα)), or, for the day (ἐπὶ τὴν οὖσαν (sc. ἡμέραν)), ἄρτος Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:3; τὰ ἐ. dub. sens. (cf. Phil.Woch. 47.889) in Sammelb. 5224.20. (Very rare word in Origen's day, De Orat. 27.7.)

Thayer's Expanded Definition

ἐπιούσιος, ἐπιούσιον, a word found only in Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3, in the phrase ἄρτος ἐπιούσιος ([Peshitta] Syriac oNQNSd 4MXL [] the bread of our necessity, i. e. necessary for us (but the Curetonian (earlier) Syriac reads )NYM) [] continual; cf. Lightfoot as below, I. 3, p. 214ff; Taylor, Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, p. 139f); Itala (Old Latin)panis quotidianus). Origen testifies (de orat. 27) that the word was not in use in ordinary speech, and accordingly seems to have been coined by the Evangelists themselves. Many commentators, as Beza, Kuinoel, Tholuck, Ewald, Bleek, Keim, Cremer, following Origen, Jerome (who in Matt. only translates by the barbarous phrasepanis supersubstantialis), Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, explain the word by bread for sustenance, which serves to sustain life, deriving the word from οὐσία, after the analogy of ἐξουσιος, ἐνουσιος. But οὐσία very rarely, and only in philosophic language, is equivalent to ὕπαρξις, as in Plato, Theact., p. 185 c. (app. to τό μή εἶναι), Aristotle, de part. anim. i. 1 ( γάρ γένεσις ἕνεκα τῆς οὐσίας ἐστιν, ἀλλ' οὐχ οὐσία ἕνεκα τῆς γενέσεως; for other examples see Bonitz's Index to Aristotle, p. 544), and generally denotes either essence, real nature, or substance, property, resources. On this account Leo Meyer (in Kuhn, Zeitschr. f. vergleich. Sprachkunde, vii., pp. 401-430), Kamphausen (Gebet des Herrn, pp. 86-102), with whom Keim (ii. 278f. (English translation, iii. 340)), Weiss (Matthew, the passage cited), Delitzsch (Zeitschr. f. d. luth. Theol. 1876, p. 402), agree, prefer to derive the word from ἐπειναι (and in particular from the participle ἐπων, ἐπουσιος for ἐποντιος, see below) to be present, and to understand it bread which is ready at hand or suffices, so that Christ is conjectured to have said in Chaldean דְּחֻקָּנָא לַחְמָא (cf. חֻקִּי לֶחֶם my allowance of bread, Proverbs 30:8) or something of the sort. But this opinion, like the preceding, encounters the great objection (to mention no other) that, although the iota in ἐπί is retained before a vowel in certain words (as ἐπίορκος, ἐπιορκέω, ἐπιόσσομαι, etc. (cf. Lightfoot, as below, I. § 1)), yet in ἐπειναι and words derived from it, ἐπουσια, ἐπουσιωδης, it is always elided. Therefore much more correctly do Grotius, Scaliger, Wetstein, Fischer (De vitiis lexamples etc., p. 306ff), Valckenaer, Fritzsche (on Matthew, p. 267ff), Winer (97 (92)), Bretschneider, Wahl, Meyer (Lightfoot (Revision etc., Appendix)) and others, comparing the words ἑκούσιος, ἐθελούσιος, γερούσιος (from ἑκών, ἐθελων, γέρων, for ἑκοντιος, ἐθελοντιος, γεροντιος, cf. Kühner, 1: § 63, 3 and § 334, 1 Anm. 2), conjecture that the adjective ἐπιούσιος is formed from ἐπιών, ἐπιοῦσα, with reference to the familiar expression ἐπιοῦσα (see ἄπειμι), and ἄρτος ἐπιούσιος is equivalent to ἄρτος τῆς ἐπιουσης ἡμέρας, food for the morrow, i. e. necessary or sufficient food. Thus, ἐπιούσιον, and σήμερον, admirably answer to each other, and that state of mind is portrayed which, piously contented with food sufficing from one day to the next, in praying to God for sustenance does not go beyond the absolute necessity of the nearest future. This explanation is also recommended by the fact that in the Gospel according to the Hebrews, as Jerome testifies, the word ἐπιούσιος was represented by the Aramaic מְחַר, quod dicitur crastinus; hence, it would seem that Christ himself used the Chaldaic expression לִמְחַר דִי לַחְמָא. Nor is the prayer, so understood, at variance with the mind of Christ as expressed in Matthew 6:34, but on the contrary harmonizes with it finely; for his hearers are bidden to ask of God, in order that they may themselves be relieved of anxiety for the morrow. (See Lightfoot, as above, pp. 195-234; McClellan, The New Testament, etc., pp. 632-647; Tholuck, Bergpredigt, Matthew, the passage cited, for earlier references.)

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
All rights rserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

*† ἐπιούσιος , -ον

(cf. περιούσιος , [in LXX for H5459, etc.]),

found only in the phrase ἄρτος ἐ ., EV, daily; R, mg., for the coming day: Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:3. (Several derivations find support, each pointing to a different meaning.

1. < ἐπιοῦσα (sc. ἡμέρα ) (or, < ἐπὶ τὴν ἰοῦσαν (sc. ήμέραν ), Zorell, s.v.), hence, for the morrow or for the coming day (R, mg.).

2. (a) < ἐπί + οὐσία , hence, for subsistence, needful (Am. R, mg.);

(b) < ἐπί + εἶναι in fern. ptcp. form, hence, pertaining to (the day). For renderings of versions and views of various writers, v. reff. in DB, ext., 36 f.; DCG, ii, 58 f., 62a; ICC on Lk, l.c. The EV, daily, is based on the Vg. (Lk; OL, Mt, Lk, quotidianus). "It is difficult not to think that τὸν ἐ . rests upon misunderstanding of an original Aramaic phrase, or upon a Greek corruption" (ICC on Mt, l.c.; cf. also Cremer, 239).†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

The papyri have as yet shed no clear light upon this difficult word (Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:3), which was in all probability a new coinage by the author of the Greek Q to render his Aramaic original. The unlikely derivation from ἐπί and οὐσία is not supported by the papyri where οὐσία generally means ";property,"; ";estate,"; the abstract sense being confined to certain magical documents (see s.v.); and it is much more probable that ἐπιούσιος should be connected with ἡ ἐπιοῦσα [ἡμέρα ], ";the immediately following day,"; in accordance with the sense of ἐπιέναι ";to come close after,"; instare (cf. Acts 16:11 and P Petr III. 56 (b).12 αὐθήμερον ἢ τῆι ἐ ̣π ̣ι ̣[ού ]σηι, cited s.v. ἔπειμι). That ἡ ἐπιοῦσα is not always equivalent to ἡ αὔριον is clearly shown by the opening scene of Plato’s Crito (44 A), where τῆς ἐπιούσης ἡμέρας refers to the same day as τήμερον (43 D). The desire to emphasize immediacy made the translator dissatisfied with τὸν τῆς αὔριον or the like as a rendering of the Aramaic before him : he followed a right instinct in coining a new adjective from the common term for ";the coming day."; Lightfoot supports this derivation in his well-known discussion (On a Fresh Revision.3, p. 217 ff.), and it is adopted as certain by Schmiedel (Winer-Schmiedel Gr. i. p. 136 ff.), Deissmann (NTliche Studien Heinrici dargebracht, 1914, p. 115 ff.), and Robertson Gr. p. 159.

On the other hand Debrunner (Glotta iv. (1913) p. 249 ff. : cf. Blass-Debrunner p. 75) prefers to regard ἐπιούσιος as a substantivizing of ἐπὶ τὴν οὖσαν [ἡμέραν ], ";for the current day,"; comparing ἐπιμήνιος (Polybius), ";for the current month,"; ἐφημέριος, etc.; and in spite of the valid objection that ἡ οὖσα, unlike ἡ ἐπιοῦσα, has not been found with ἡμέρα understood, he has obtained the weighty support of Thumb (Brugmann-Thumb, p. 675). Moulton, from whose Grammar (II. § 120 b) the above brief account has been epitomized, gives his vote for ἡ ἐπιοῦσα as being on the whole the most probable etymology. See also Klostermann ad Matthew 6:11 (in HZNT), and cf. ZNTW i. p. 250 ff., vii. p. 266 ff.

[Supplemental from 1930 edition]

Add JBL xliv. (1925), p. 215.


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
επιουσιον επιούσιον ἐπιούσιον επιπέμπει επίπεμπτον epiousion epioúsion
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