corner graphic   Hi,    
Facebook image
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Lexicons

Old / New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary

Entry for Strong's #1985 - ἐπίσκοπος

Word Origin
from (1909) and (4649) (in the sense of (1983))
Parts of Speech
Noun Masculine
Word Definition [ Thayer | Strong | Mounce ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. an overseer
    1. a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian or superintendent
    2. the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a Christian church
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 410 ‑ אֵל (ale);  5065 ‑ נָגַשׂ (naw‑gas');  6485 ‑ פָּקַד (paw‑kad');  
Frequency Lists  [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Verse Results
KJV (7) NAS (5) HCS (5)
Acts 1
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
2 Timothy 1
Titus 2
1 Peter 1
Acts 1
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
Titus 1
1 Peter 1
Acts 1
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
Titus 1
1 Peter 1

Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


(A), , (σκοπός 1)

1. one who watches over, overseer, guardian, ἦ γὰρ ὄλωλας ἐπίσκοπος, ὅς τέ μιν αὐτὴν ῥύσκευ (sc. τὴν πόλιν), of Hector, Il. 24.729, ... ὁδαίων Od. 8.163; ἐπίσκοποι ἁρμονιάων watchers over compacts, of the gods, Il. 22.255; νεκροῦ S. Ant. 217; σῆς ἕδρας Id. OC 112; ἐ. ὀϊστῶν, of an archer, v.l. in Theoc. 24.107; in education, tutor, Pl. Lg. 795d; ἐ. σωφροσύνης καὶ ὕβρεως ib. 849a: c.dat., ἀγυιαῖς ἔσσῃ καὶ λιμένεσσιν ἐ. Call. Dian. 39; esp. of tutelary gods (cf. ἐπισκοπέὠ, Παλλὰς ἐ. Song of Solomon 4:3; Δίκη Pl. Lg. 872e; Κλειὼ ἐ. χερνίβων Simon. 45; Χάριτες Μινυᾶν ἐ. Pi. O. 14.3; θεοὶ ἐ. ἀγορᾶς A. Th. 272; πατρῴων δωμάτων ἐ. Id. Ch. 126; τὸ δεινὸν.. φρενῶν ἐπίσκοπον guardian of the mind, Id. Eu. 518 (lyr.); νυχίων φθεγμάτων ἐ., of Bacchus, S. Ant. 1148 (lyr); Ἐρινύες IG 12(9).1179.33 (Euboea, ii A.D.); [ Χριστὸς] ἐ. τῶν ψυχῶν 1 Peter 2:25 : rarely c. dat., πᾶσι γὰρ ἐ. ἐτάχθη.. Νέμεσις Pl. Lg. 717d.

2.. scout, watch, c.dat., ἐ. Τρώεσσι, νήεσσιν ἡμετέρῃσιν, one set to watch them, Il. 10.38, 342.

3.. supervisor, inspector, sent by Athens to subject states, Ar. Av. 1023, IG 12.10,11; of municipal officials at Rhodes, ib.12(1).49.42 (ii/i B.C.): generally, PPetr. 3 P. 75 (iii B.C.), etc.

4.. ecclesiastical superintendent, ἐπίσκοποι καὶ διάκονοι Philippians 1:1, cf. Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:2, etc.


(B), ον, (σκοπός 11) hitting the mark, successful, βάλλειν ἐ. Them. Or. 11.143a (Sup.); τοξότης Him. Ecl. 14.3; ἠχή Opp. C. 1.42; reaching, touching, νίκης μὴ κακῆς ἐπίσκοπα A. Eu. 903; ἄτηστῆσδ' ἐ. μέλος having regard to the calamity, S. Aj. 976: neut. pl. ἐπίσκοπα, as Adv., successfully, with goodaim, .τοξεύειν Hdt. 3.35, Jul. Or. 1.11c: regul. Adv. -πως, ἀκοντίζειν ἢ τοξεύειν Alcid. Soph. 7, cf. Poll. 6.205: Comp. -ώτερα, βάλλειν Them. Or. 8.116b: Sup. -ώτατα Poll. 1.215. Cf. εὔστοχος, εὔσκοπος.

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 ἐπίσκοπος, ἐπισκόπου, (ἐπισκέπτομαι), an overseer, a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian, or superintendent; the Sept. for פָּקִיד, Judges 9:28; Nehemiah 11:9,14, 22; 2 Kings 11:15, etc.; 1 Maccabees 1:51. The word has the same comprehensive sense in Greek writings from Homer Odys. 8,163; Iliad 22,255 down; hence, in the N. T. ἐπίσκοπον τῶν ψυχῶν, guardian of souls, one who watches over their welfare: 1 Peter 2:25 ((τόν παντός πνεύματος κτίστην καί ἐπίσκοπον, Clement of Rome, 1 Corinthians 59,3 [ET]); ἀρχιερεύς καί προστάτης τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, ibid. 61,3 [ET]; (cf. Sirach 1:6)), cf. Hebrews 13:17. specifically, the superintendent, head or overseer of any Christian church; Vulg. episcopus: Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7; see πρεσβύτερος, 2b.; (and for the later use of the word, see Dict. of Chris. Antiq. under the word ).

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

ἐπί -σκοπος , -ον ,

(< σκοπός , a watcher),

[in LXX for H6485, its parts and derivatives, Numbers 4:16; Numbers 31:14, Judges 9:28, 2 Kings 11:15; 2 Kings 11:18, 2 Chronicles 34:12; 2 Chronicles 34:17, Nehemiah 11:9; Nehemiah 11:14; Nehemiah 11:22; H410, Job 20:29; H5065:, Isaiah 60:17; Wisdom of Solomon 1:6, 1 Maccabees 1:51 *;]

a superintendent, guardian, overseer (cl.; for exx. v. LS, s.v.): Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 2:25 (ICC, in l); as technical term for a religious office (Deiss., BS, 230 f.), in later Paul. epp. of the head of a church (Vg. episcopus), a bishop: Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:7 (v. reff. s.v. ἐπισκοπή ).†

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 use of this word as an official title in pre-Christian times has been fully illustrated by Deissmann (BS, p. 230 f.) from the inscrr. From his exx. it is enough to recall the application of the word to communal officials in Rhodes, as IMAe 49.43 ff. (ii/i B.C.) where we hear of a council of five ἐπίσκοποι, and, more significant still in view of its later usage, the mention of an ἐπίσκοπος amongst the officials of the temple of Apollo at Rhodes in ib. 731.8. To these instances we may add P Petr III. 36(a) verso.17 where in a petition to the epimeletes the words occur—ἐπ [ ] τῶν ἀποδεδειγμένων ἐπισκόπων, ";in the presence of the appointed supervisors"; (Edd.), and the curious religious letter, P Par 63ix. 47 ff. (B.C. 165) ἀπόκειται γὰρ παρὰ θ [εοῦ ] μῆνις τοῖς μὴ κατὰ τὸ βέλτιστον [προαι ]ρουμένοις ζῆν, καὶ τῶν ἀνθρόπων. . . ἐπίσκοπόν ἐστιν τὸ δαιμ [όν ]ιον καὶ νέμε [σις ] ἀπὸ Δι [ὸς ] τοῖς ὑπερηφάνοις (cf. James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5 from Proverbs 3:34). With this last may be compared the curse against any one who injures a sepulchral monument, Syll 891 (ii/A.D.), which concludes with the words ἐπισκόπους δὲ ἔχοι Ἐρεινύας, ";let him have the Erinyes as his guardians,"; while the prayer for the man who respects it is—ἐπισκοποίη δὲ Χάρις καὶ Ὑγεία, ";may Grace and Health attend him."; See also Boll Offenbarung, p. 143 where, with reference to the ";eyes"; of the four living creatures, the description of heaven with its thousands of star-eyes as ἐπίσκοπος is cited from Sextus Emp. ix. 54. In P Oxy VI. 903.15 (iv/A.D.), an accusation against a husband, the accused is said to have made a certain statement on oath ἐπὶ παρουσίᾳ τῶν ἐπισκόπων καὶ τῶν ἀδελφῶν, ";in the presence of the bishops and of his own brothers,"; with which the editors compare P Lips I. 43 (iv/A.D.) where a bishop acts as judge. See also P Lond 981.7 (iv/A.D.) (= III. p. 242), as restored by Wilcken Chrest. I. p. 157, where a deacon writes ";to his beloved and most reverend father";—καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν τῇ γραφῇ ὅτι Μακάριοί εἰσιν οἱ ἔχοντες σπέρμα ἐν Σιών, τὰ νῦν ἡμεῖς ἔσμεν, ὅτι ἔχομέν σε <ἐπί > σκοπον καὶ ἀγαθότατον πατέρ <α >.

ForË the distinctive NT use of ἐπίσκοπος it must be sufficient to refer to Hort’s Christian Ecclesia, where it is shown that the word is descriptive of function, not of office, thus Philippians 1:1 σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις, ";with them that have oversight, and them that do service [minister]"; (p. 212).


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
επίσκοποι επισκοποις επισκόποις ἐπισκόποις επισκοπον επίσκοπον ἐπίσκοπον επίσκοπος επισκόπου επισκοπους επισκόπους ἐπισκόπους επισκόπων επίσπαστρον episkopois episkópois episkopon epískopon episkopous episkópous

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
Search for…
Choose a letter to browse:
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology