8 Great Greek Word Concepts For the Soul

1. Faith or Pistis

This word is about faith; a belief of firm persuasion. It’s about a firm conviction. It’s a word linked with trust, being true and genuine, and truth (Greek: aletheia). This is the basis of commitment. Commitment or loyalty is such a necessary concept for the soul in life.

2. Courage or Tharseo

This is such a great word to engender empowerment. In the midst of trouble, it means to be of good courage, and to be cheerful despite the impending dire circumstances. It’s about confidence and boldness in the face of fear. Closely linked to the Greek: tharreo, (to be confident and courageous), it gives us the ability to believe in our capability and capacity to achieve.

3. Overcome of Nikao

This precedes the next and alludes to it. The Greek root nik is enshrined in ‘victory.’ To overcome and subdue the enemy (whoever that might be) and come off superior is not the objective unless we’re fighting the good fight i.e. upholding the principles of righteousness, justice, and fairness.

4. Patience or Hupomone

Strong’s #5281 is used for endurance, perseverance and patience. It is actually two words combined to make a special meaning. It is Huper, as in super, over, beyond, and above,’ together with Monos, which means alone, or without accompaniment, singly existent, and only. The full word, hupomone, traditionally means to bear under, or put up with, something ‘over me.’

It also therefore seems to me that this word, hupomone, stands for “overcoming oneself.” (Over/beyond + me/alone) It is self-mastery. Is that not patient endurance? It is a faithfulness to not give in to the powers of the situations over ourselves. It is bearing with the total pressure over us.

5. Royal or Basileion / Basilikos

This word is about royalty. It’s about being above the gossip of the world whilst being intrinsically part of the mesh and grind of it. The word it leads to is Sophia i.e. wisdom. Royals are supposed to be the pillars of wisdom in society. That is to be prudent, learned, philosophical, and enlightened.

If we therefore wish to be wiser, we should try to be more regal in our behaviour. This is not so much about being toffee-nosed; it’s more to do with the poise and charisma that comes from a quiet confidence and a “noble reserve of bearing that cannot be mistaken.”[1]

6. Living Sacrifice or Zosan Thusian

This, according to Paul, is the way to please God. Think of it as the daily process of dying to one self’s often rampant desires and giving that energy to others and to our general existence. It is being consistently altruistic, philanthropic, and humanitarian. This one’s linked heavily with faith i.e. commitment.

7. Slow down or Bradus Kato

This word Bradus can mean slow to understand, as well as slow, not hasty. I’m referring to the latter. Kato simply means ‘down.’ We all tend to try and keep pace with this busy world and that can have the inevitable health impacts.

Slowing down to smell the flowers regularly is a good life choice. We see a lot more when we choose to walk than we do when we drive a car.  When we slow down we reduce the pressure we self-impose. Decisions are better and our relationships benefit.

8. Thanks or Eucharistia

Oft-quoted is the Cicero, “A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues” contribution. It’s the ‘grand-daddy’ virtue over all others. It’s gratitude and cheerfulness. When we’re thankful, our lives and all of those around us get better. We don’t take things for granted. Grace would be the seal on everything we’d do.

G.K. Chesterton’s signature quote was, “Nothing taken for granted, everything received with gratitude, everything passed on with grace.” If only we could achieve this. To get close we must set out after it.

Over all these soulful words and concepts we place love, the greatest thing of all.

[All transliteration and interpretation assisted by The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, Wesley J. Perschbacher, Editor, (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1990).]

Copyright © 2008, S. J. Wickham.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Source of quote: A.W. Tozer from Lyle Dorsett, A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Publishers, 2008), p. 184.

Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us.

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