We’ve probably all said “It’s Greek to me”. Language is important and translating words properly is important. Unfortunately some Greek word translations have lost meaning both to disciples of Jesus and those who don’t follow Him yet. Examples are “the Gospel”, sin, Christ, Lord, and more.
Here are some common Greek words, how they have historically been translated and my suggestions, based on the Greek. This is all supported by the major Greek lexicons.
- Blessed — μακάριος makariŏs, mak-ar´-ee-osh — Meaning: pertaining to being happy with the implication of enjoying favorable circumstances. Translation: Happy or fortunate.
- Christ — Χριστός Christos — Meaning: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. Translation: The Messiah
- Church — ἐκκλησία ekklésia — Meaning: an assembly, congregation, church; the Church, the whole body of believers. Properly, people called out from the world and to God. Translation: called out assembly of disciples.
- Glory — δόξα doxa — Meaning: glory, honor, renown; an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor, stunning, beauty, brilliance, amazing. Translation: stunning brilliance and beauty.
- Gospel — εὐαγγέλιον euaggelion — Meaning: the good news of the coming of the Messiah, sometimes the human transmitter (an apostle). Translation: Good News
- Grace — χάρις, charis — it means “grace, undeserved favor, graciousness, goodwill, kindness”. It is the gracious or merciful behavior of a more powerful person toward another. It implies acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, gracious, joy, liberality, pleasure, and thanks. Translation: Kind gift
- Lord — κύριος kuriŏs — Meaning: lord, master, owner; the Lord. Translation: Master
- Repent — μετανοέω mĕtanŏĕō — Meaning: I repent, change my thinking, change the inner man and change my behavior. Translation: radically change my thinking and behavior.
- Servant — δοῦλος dŏulŏs — Meaning: someone who belongs to another; a slave, without any ownership rights of their own. Translation: slave
- Servant — διάκονος diakŏnŏs — Meaning: a waiter, servant; then of any one who performs any service. Translation: servant
- Sin — ἁμαρτάνω hamartanó — Meaning: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin. Translation: miss God’s goal