ROMANS 1:28-32
A Greek Word Study

by Al Maxey

It is a fearful thing to reject the influence of God in one's life! By refusing to allow God's Holy Spirit to create within you a new and clean heart or nature, you continue the downward spiral of human depravity. One can actually reach a point when God will "give them over to" or "abandon them to" (paradidomi) their own degenerate, depraved natures so that they might reap the consequences of their improper, unseemly deeds (vs. 24, 26, 28).

These men are also not ignorant of the teachings and principles of God. They realize full well that such behavior can only merit death (vs. 32a). However, not only do they continue in their deadly behavior and attitudes, but they actually show the depth of their depravity by giving hearty approval to others who follow in their footsteps (vs. 32b).

"To take pleasure in seeing another commit a sin implies even greater depravity than to commit it personally. The viciousness is less impulsive, and more cold-blooded and Satanic" (William G.T. Shedd, A Critical & Doctrinal Commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, p. 34).

In vs. 29-31 Paul lists 21 sins which are characteristic of those who have rejected the influence of God in their lives. (NOTE: In some MSS -- manuscripts -- two additional sins are given. The KJV, following those MSS, has incorporated those additional sins into its text, thus making its list total 23. In this word study we will notice all 23 sins, even though there is little textual evidence for two of them.)

"The sins now to be specified are intellectual and not sensual. Their seat is in the mind, and not in the body" (Shedd, p. 30). "It is instructive to note that almost every term springs from a selfish life which exploits others for personal advantage. These are sins which make community impossible, and drive men to isolated existence apart from genuine love and fellowship" (R.A. Batey, The Living Word Commentary: The Letter of Paul to the Romans, p. 31). "It is a haphazard catalogue of sins of personality, and sins of personal relationships" (The New Layman's Bible Commentary, p. 1391).

"Here God's anger works out in personal relationships that have gone all wrong" (Ernest Best, The Cambridge Bible Commentary: The Letter of Paul to the Romans, p. 22). "No heart can be at the same time the abode of these crimes and of the Truth" (Moses E. Lard, Commentary on Romans, p. 63). This list of sins is somewhat similar to the list found in II Timothy 3:2-4. "Such behavior is abhorrent to every dictate of sound reason and is inconsistent with all human duties" (David Lipscomb, A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles, Vol. 1: Romans, p. 42).

Notice carefully the following list of sins against God, others, and self. Our relationship with God and one another, indeed our very salvation, depends on their avoidance!

#1 --- adikia

"Unrighteousness" (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ASV, NWT) ....... "Wickedness" (RSV, NAB, NIV, TEV, LB, Phillips) ....... "Wrong" (SEB) ....... "Iniquity" (George Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta) ....... "Injustice" (NEB).

This word means "injustice, unrighteousness, wickedness, wrongdoing" ....... "It is the comprehensive term for wrongdoing" (W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words). It includes "every vice contrary to justice and righteousness" (Adam Clarke, Clarke's Commentary, Vol. 6, p. 44). "This expression is generic, and comprehends the whole volume of human crimes" (Lard, p. 63). "The antithesis of righteousness, denoting the absence of what is just" (The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 10, p. 26).

This word appears 25 times in the New Testament writings, and is used 12 times by the Apostle Paul (7 of which are in Romans). It covers a wide range of offenses, none of which are acceptable. "ALL unrighteousness is sin" (I John 5:17a).

#2 --- porneia

Most of the best MSS omit this word from the list, however it is included in the KJV ("fornication") and the NKJV ("sexual immorality"). It refers to all sexual contact outside the boundary of lawful marriage. This word appears 26 times in the pages of the New Testament writings, 11 of which are in the epistles of the apostle Paul.

#3 --- poneria

"Wickedness" (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ASV, NWT) ....... "Evil" (RSV, SEB, TEV, NIV) ....... "Rottenness" (Phillips) ....... "Maliciousness" (NAB) ....... "Mischief" (NEB). The word means -- "baseness, maliciousness, evil-mindedness" (Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, p. 690). "An evil disposition of mind" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 336).

This word, like #1 above, is a general term, and denotes "the unrestrained indulgence in the commission of vice, or that state of mind which strives to produce injury to others. It is oppressive to its possessor and to its victims" (David Lipscomb, p. 42). It appears 7 times in the New Testament writings -- Matthew 22:18; Mark 7:22; Luke 11:39; Acts 3:26; Romans 1:29; I Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 6:12. (See also -- Proverbs 26:24-26 and Ecclesiasticus (The Book of Sirach) chapter 12.)

#4 --- pleonexia

"Greed" (NASB, NAB, NIV, SEB, TEV, LB, Phillips) ....... "Covetousness" (KJV, NKJV, ASV, RSV, NWT) ....... "Rapacity" (NEB) ....... "Extortion" (Lamsa). It means -- "Greediness, avarice, covetousness, insatiableness." It comes from two Greek words which literally mean "I will have more." "It is the intense love or lust of gain; the determination to be rich; the principle of a dissatisfied and discontented soul" (Adam Clarke, p. 44-45). It is the desire to have more at any cost, even extortion and fraud.

"It is dangerous because it is almost sure to lead to the use of unjust means to accomplish its ends" (Lard, p. 63-64). Colossians 3:5 equates greed with idolatry; "Mammon" has become your god (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). This word is used 10 times in the New Testament writings, 6 of which are by the apostle Paul (Mark 7:22; Luke 12:15; Romans 1:29; II Corinthians 9:5; Ephesians 4:19; 5:3; Colossians 3:5; I Thessalonians 2:5; II Peter 2:3, 14). "Incline my heart to Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness" (Psalm 119:36).

#5 --- kakia

"Malice" (RSV, NEB, Lamsa, Phillips) ....... "Maliciousness" (KJV, NKJV, ASV) ....... "Evil" (NASB) ....... "Badness" (NWT) ....... "Depravity" (NIV, SEB) ....... "Ill Will" (NAB) ....... "Vice" (TEV) ....... "Hate" (LB).

This word means -- "Malice, ill-will, maltreatment, maliciousness." "The vicious character generally" (Lightfoot). It is a depraved, vicious, villainous disposition. It is an inner leaven (I Corinthians 5:8) which can affect our entire being. "It is a chronic state of ill-will and misanthropy" (J.W. McGarvey, The Standard Bible Commentary, p. 306). "This is the deep-seated hatred which takes pleasure in doing personal injury to others .... it is radically and essentially vicious" (David Lipscomb, p. 42). Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) defined it as a disposition to put the worst possible interpretation upon everything. It is a vicious nature that views everything and everyone in a negative light, and which further seeks to do harm to these "inferiors" for not measuring up to one's own expectations.

This word appears 11 times in the pages of the New Testament writings --- Matthew 6:34; Acts 8:22; Romans 1:29; I Corinthians 5:8; 14:20; Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8; Titus 3:3; James 1:21; I Peter 2:1, 16.

#6 --- phthonos

"Envy" (NASB, KJV, NKJV, RSV, NWT, NAB, NIV, NEB, ASV, LB, Lamsa, Phillips) ....... "Jealousy" (TEV, SEB). This word means to begrudge anyone anything positive in their lives. "The pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence of happiness in another" (Adam Clarke, p. 45). "Selfish ill-will toward another because of his excellence, endowments, possessions, or superior success; ill-natured grudging in view of what another has or enjoys. The envious man sickens at the sight of enjoyment; he is only easy at the sight of misery in others. Envy is the vilest affection, and the most depraved" (David Lipscomb, p. 42).

"The feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words). It appears 9 times in the pages of the New Testament writings --- Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10; Romans 1:29; Galatians 5:21; Philippians 1:15; I Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:3; James 4:5; I Peter 2:1. Etymologically the word means --- "to look against; to eye with evil intent." "Envy is that uncomfortable feeling that one experiences over the advances, advantages, or good fortunes of another. An envious person feels that any honor done for another is a galling dishonor to himself" (Wendell Winkler).

#7 --- phonos

"Murder" (In all translations). "The unlawful killing of a human being with malice and aforethought; the willful and malicious taking of human life" (David Lipscomb, p. 43). This word appears 10 times in the New Testament writings, but is used only twice by the apostle Paul (Romans 1:29; Galatians 5:21). Scripture tells us that one may also be a murderer in the sight of God without having actually killed another! "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (I John 3:15). See also: Jesus' statement concerning this principle in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:21-22).

#8 --- eris

"Strife" (NASB, ASV, NKJV, NIV, RSV, NWT, Lamsa) ....... "Debate" (KJV) ....... "Fighting" (LB, TEV, SEB) ....... "Rivalry" (NEB) ....... "Bickering" (NAB) ....... "Quarrelsomeness" (Phillips). This word means --- "strife, discord, contention, quarrels." "A contentious disposition" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 166). "The expression of enmity" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words).

"The disposition to be contentious and quarrelsome. It is the standing violation of the law of peace. It is not strife for the sake of Truth and Right. Such strife is lawful. But it is strife simply for its own sake --- a morbid feeling, which seeks to irritate everybody and thereby disquiet them" (Moses Lard, p. 64). "Strife is angry contention, hostile struggling, fighting, conflict, the disposition to be quarrelsome and contentious, the feeling which seeks to irritate" (David Lipscomb, p. 43). "Of this vile passion the Greeks made a goddess" (Adam Clarke, p. 45). This word is used 9 times in the writings of the New Testament, and only by the apostle Paul --- Romans 1:29; 13:13; I Corinthians 1:11; 3:3; II Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:20; Philippians 1:15; I Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:9.

#9 --- dolos

"Deceit" (NASB, KJV, NKJV, NWT, RSV, NAB, TEV, NIV, ASV, Lamsa) ....... "Deceitfulness" (Phillips) ....... "Tricks" (SEB) ....... "Treachery" (NEB) ....... "Lying" (LB). This word originally meant: To ensnare with bait (such as: bait used to catch a fish, or bait used in a trap to catch game or fowl). It came later to signify the deceit designed to entrap another. It can be translated: "Deceit, fraud, guile, wicked cunning, treachery." This word appears 12 times in the New Testament writings: Matthew 26:4; Mark 7:22; 14:1; John 1:47; Acts 13:10; Romans 1:29; II Corinthians 12:16; I Thessalonians 2:3; I Peter 2:1, 22; 3:10; Revelation 14:5.

"As a disposition of mind it is the inclination and will to practice every species of fraud to effect an end. It is the very opposite of an honest purpose" (Moses Lard, p. 64). "An attempt or a disposition to deceive or lead into error; any declaration, artifice, or practice which misleads another, or causes him to believe what is false. Where it prevails, justice in dealing is unknown" (David Lipscomb, p. 43).

#10 --- kakoetheia

"Malice" (NASB, NIV, TEV, SEB) ....... "Malignity" (KJV, ASV, RSV) ....... "Bitterness" (LB) ....... "Spite" (Phillips) ....... "Malevolence" (NEB) ....... "Evil Thoughts" (Lamsa) ....... "Craftiness" (NAB) ....... "Evil-mindedness" (NKJV) ....... "Malicious Disposition" (NWT). This word appears only here in the entire New Testament. It means: "A disposition for mischief" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 209). "Malice, maliciousness, craftiness, spitefulness" (Arndt & Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, p. 397). "Bad character, depravity of heart and life; malignant subtlety, malicious craftiness" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 320). "An evil disposition that tends to put the worst construction on everything" (W.E. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).

"It is generally interpreted: 'a malignity of mind,' which leads its possessor to put the worst construction on every action; ascribing to the best deeds the worst motives" (Adam Clarke, Vol. 6, p. 45). This word denotes "a mind-set that attributes evil motives to others without provocation" (Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 10, p. 26).

#11 --- psithuristes

"Gossips" (NASB, NIV, RSV, LB, TEV, NAB, SEB) ....... "Whisperers" (ASV, KJV, NKJV, NEB, NWT) ....... "Slanderers" (Lamsa) ....... "Whisperers-behind-doors" (Phillips). This word appears only here in the entire New Testament, although a form of this word appears in II Corinthians 12:20 (notice the seven companion sins of this word in Paul's statement to the church at Corinth).

It originally carried the idea: "to hiss at," and means to hiss into one's ear. Such a one is a "whisperer, gossip, and talebearer" (Arndt & Gingrich, p. 892-893). "A secret slanderer, detractor" (Thayer, p. 676-677). W.E. Vine points out that the distinction between this word and #12 below (the two words are synonyms in Greek) is that this word denotes one who "clandestinely," or secretly, seeks to injure another by his/her words or accusations, whereas #12 refers to one who slanders openly and for all to hear. (See: Proverbs 11:9-13; Leviticus 19:16). "Do not associate with a gossip" (Proverbs 20:19). "A worthless man digs up evil (i.e.: he searches out the faults of others), while his words are as a scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends" (Proverbs 16:27-28). "Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him will I destroy" (Psalm 101:5).

"Those who secretly and in a sly manner, by hints and innuendoes, blacken the name and character of others, or excite suspicion concerning them" (David Lipscomb, p. 43). "Those who slander covertly, chiefly by insinuation" (J.W. McGarvey, p. 306). "Those who, under pretended secrecy, carry about accusations against their neighbors, whether true or false; blasting their reputation by clandestine tittle-tattle" (Adam Clarke, p. 45). "Persons who slip slyly about and blacken names and characters by whispering their vile tale in willing ears. They always affect great innocence themselves, and tell their hurtful story regretfully. When done, they are sure to enjoin on you not to mention the matter to others lest it might do harm. The world contains few things more despicable" (Moses Lard, p. 64-65).

#12 --- katalalos

"Slanderers" (NASB, NIV, RSV, NAB, SEB) ....... "Backbiters" (KJV, NKJV, ASV, NWT, LB, Lamsa) ....... "Scandal-mongers" (NEB) ....... "Speak evil of one another" (TEV) ....... "Stabbers-in-the-back" (Phillips). This word appears, in this form, only here in the entire New Testament. It does, however, appear in two other forms in seven additional places: II Corinthians 12:20; James 4:11; I Peter 2:1, 12; 3:16. It refers to one who defames, slanders, or speaks evil against another.

"Abandoned persons who circumvented and ruined others by a system of malignant espionage and false information" (J.W. McGarvey quoting Alford, p. 306). Moses Lard refers to them as "public blabs" and "open tattlers," who think they know everything and hesitate not to tell everything, "always appealing to someone in the crowd to verify their lies" (p. 65).

#13 --- theostuges

This word appears only here in the entire Bible. It can be translated either as an active (those who hate God), or as a passive (those who are hated by God). Scholars are divided as to which it should be, although most favor the active sense. The following translations render it as an active ("haters of God" or "God haters") -- NASB, NWT, LB, Lamsa, RSV, KJV, NKJV, NIV, NAB, SEB, Phillips. Those translations which render it as a passive ("hateful to God" or "hated by God") are -- ASV, NEB, TEV. W.E. Vine favors the passive meaning, whereas Arndt & Gingrich (p. 358) say "the active meaning seems preferable." The active certainly seems more consistent with the nature of the other words in this passage.

"Many contend that this should read 'haters of God,' since Paul is enumerating the vices of men, and not God's attitude toward them. Others, preferring the reading 'hateful to God,' see in these words what Meyer calls 'a resting-point in the disgraceful catalogue' --- a place where Paul pauses to reveal God's moral indignation toward the crimes particularized" (J.W. McGarvey, p. 306).

#14 --- hubristes

"Insolent" (NASB, NWT, LB, ASV, NEB, NIV, TEV, NAB, RSV, Phillips) ....... "Despiteful" (KJV) ....... "Violent" (NKJV) ....... "Insults" (SEB) ....... "Revilers" (Lamsa). This word refers to "an overbearing person" who is filled with rage and violent actions (Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 412). It is any person who, out of spite, seeks to do injury to another. "One who either heaps insulting language upon others, or does them some shameful act of wrong" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p. 633-634). This word appears only one other time in the New Testament writings: I Timothy 1:13 where Paul describes himself, prior to coming to Christ, as a "violent aggressor" against the church. One should be very careful around such persons, for they are violent by nature and will readily seek your harm if you incur their displeasure. Cross them in any way, and it will cost you dearly! "Do not let a man's insolence bring you to your feet (in anger or retaliation); for he will only lie in wait to trap you with your own words" (Ecclesiasticus 8:11).

"Stormy, boisterous; abusing both the characters and the persons of those over whom they can have any power" (Adam Clarke, p. 45). "The insolent are contemptuously offensive and grossly disrespectful, and do what they like, without considering whether they trample under their feet the rights, the property, or the lives of others" (David Lipscomb, p. 43). "They look down upon others with contempt, and so treat them and speak to them as to mortify them and wound their feelings. It is an ignoble trait, found only in base minds" (Moses Lard, p. 65).

#15 --- huperephanos

"Proud" (KJV, NKJV, LB, TEV, SEB, Lamsa, Phillips) ....... "Haughty" (ASV, NAB, RSV, NWT) ....... "Arrogant" (NASB, NIV, NEB). This word appears 5 times in the New Testament writings: Luke 1:51; Romans 1:30; II Timothy 3:2; James 4:6; I Peter 5:5. This word means: "to assume yourself to be above others; superior to or better than others;" it is an arrogant, disdainful attitude. "The sin of a superiority complex!" It is an attitude that will always manifest itself in acts of affliction upon those whom one disdains. This was one of the sins for which Sodom was destroyed (Ezekiel 16:49). Numbers 15:30 equates it with blasphemy against God, and Deuteronomy 17:12-13 points out that it is punishable by death!

"The haughty have an inordinate self-esteem, an unreasonable conceit of the superiority of their own talents, beauty, wealth, and accomplishments. Being thus raised to such an eminence, they look down with contempt upon all beneath them and cannot regard any as on a level with themselves" (Lipscomb, p. 43). "It leads us to be vain, and to look upon others as inferiors" (Lard, p. 65). "They who are continually exalting themselves and depressing others; magnifying themselves at the expense of their neighbors; and wishing all men to receive their sayings (ideas, opinions) as oracles (of God)" (Adam Clarke, p. 45).

#16 --- alazon

"Boastful" -- "Boasters" (NASB, ASV, NEB, NIV, TEV, NAB, SEB, RSV, KJV, NKJV, Lamsa, Phillips) ....... "Self-assuming" (NWT) ....... "Braggarts" (LB). This word appears twice in the pages of the New Testament writings: Romans 1:30 and II Timothy 3:2. It comes from a root word which refers to a "vagrant, vagabond; one who wanders about the countryside as an impostor and living off of the kindness, and gullibility, of others." In time, the word came to mean: "An empty pretender or braggart; a boaster."

"The boastful are such as speak of themselves, their acts and property in an ostentatious and over-colored style. The vice is closely akin to lying, and is the very opposite of modesty" (Moses Lard, p. 65). "The boastful are vainglorious about themselves or that which they possess, and they are not slow about proclaiming their own merits to those around them. They make a lying show of greatness" (David Lipscomb, p. 44).

#17 --- epheuretas kakon

"Inventors of evil" (NASB, ASV, RSV, KJV, NKJV, Lamsa) ....... "Inventors of injurious things" (NWT) ....... "Invent ways of doing evil" (NIV, SEB) ....... "They invent new kinds of mischief" (NEB) ....... "Always thinking of new ways of sinning" (LB) ....... "Ingenious in their wrongdoing" (NAB) ....... "Their minds teemed with diabolical invention" (Phillips). This phrase appears only here in the entire Bible.

The first word means: "an inventor, devisor, contriver." The second word means: "that which is bad, evil, wicked, harmful, afflictive, injurious, mischievous." The phrase means: "One who invents or devises all manner of wicked, mischievous, injurious things." This includes "every species of villainy which can injure either ourselves or others" (Lard, p. 65). J.W. McGarvey describes them as "schemers who discover new ways by which to unjustly" do harm to others, while at the same time benefiting themselves (p. 306). Adam Clarke also sees here a condemnation of those who devise religious ceremonies and rituals and traditions to the exclusion of the practice of simple spirituality (Vol. 6, p. 45).

#18 --- goneusin apeitheis

"Disobedient to parents" (LB, NASB, NWT, ASV, KJV, NKJV, RSV, NIV, TEV, SEB, Lamsa) ....... "Rebellious toward their parents" (NAB) ....... "They show no loyalty to parents" (NEB) ....... "They scoffed at duty to parents" (Phillips). The first word in this phrase means: "parents." The second word means: "disobedient to; uncompliant; to refuse to be conformed to; to refuse to be persuaded by." This phrase appears one other time in the New Testament writings: II Timothy 3:2. "That this sin should be mentioned in this black list shows the light in which Jehovah regards it. This sin is growing rapidly among the people of this country (NOTE -- these words were written a century ago!!), and this refusal to yield to this primal, natural authority tends to a reckless resistance to all rightful government, whether human or divine" (David Lipscomb, p. 44). See also: Ephesians 6:1-3.

#19 --- asunetos

"Without understanding" (NASB, KJV, ASV, NWT) ....... "Undiscerning" (NKJV) ....... "Men without conscience" (NEB, NAB) ....... "Senseless" (NIV) ....... "Foolish" (RSV) ....... "Stupid" (SEB) ....... "They mocked at learning" (Phillips). This word appears 5 times in the pages of the New Testament writings: Matthew 15:16; Mark 7:18; Romans 1:21, 31; 10:19.

It means: "Unintelligent, dull, unenlightened" (Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 57). "Without understanding or discernment" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words). "Without understanding, stupid; one who has no mind for the things which make for salvation" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p. 82). "Destitute of capacity for spiritual things" (Adam Clarke, p. 45). "It means dullness in the perception of spiritual things. But how, the reader will ask, can its import be set down as a sin, and a person be held responsible for it? Were it natural, it could not be. But it is induced by unwillingness to retain in mind those divine truths which keep it bright and sharp" (Moses Lard, p. 66). "Those who have so long seared their consciences as to be unable to determine between right and wrong even in plain cases. The loss of moral understanding is very apparent among habitual liars, whose minds have become so accustomed to falsehood that they are no longer able to discern the truth so as to accurately state it" (J.W. McGarvey, p. 306). See: I Corinthians 2:14.

#20 --- asunthetos

"Untrustworthy" (NASB, NKJV) ....... "Faithless" (NIV, RSV) ....... "False to agreements" (NWT) ....... "No respect for a covenant" (Lamsa) ....... "Covenant-breakers" (KJV, ASV) ....... "Without loyalty" (NAB) ....... "They recognize no obligations of honor" (Phillips) ....... "No fidelity to their plighted word" (NEB) ....... "They break/do not keep their promises" (LB, TEV, SEB). This word appears only here in the New Testament, and means: "to break, or act in disregard of a covenant; to be unfaithful to a covenant; refusing to abide by covenants made."

"Those who fail to keep their promises and agreements" (J.W. McGarvey, p. 306). "A readiness to break a covenant when made" (Shedd, p. 32). Adam Clarke refers to such ones as persons who cannot be bound by any oath or promise because of their refusal to abide by such pledges should they become inconvenient to them. "Persons who, without scruples, violate the most solemn obligations imposed by covenants and contracts" (David Lipscomb, p. 44-45).

#21 --- astorgos

"Without natural affection" (KJV, ASV, NEB, NAB, NWT, Phillips) ....... "Unloving" (NASB, NKJV) ....... "Know not love" (Lamsa) ....... "Heartless" (NIV, RSV, SEB, LB). This word appears only twice in the entire Bible: Romans 1:31 and II Timothy 3:3. It means: "Devoid of natural or instinctive affection; without affection to kindred" (Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 57). "Without love of kindred, especially of parents for children, and children for parents" (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words). "It refers to love of parents for children, children for parents, husband for wife and wife for husband" (Kenneth Wuest, Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Vol. 1, Part 2, p. 38).

"It refers to the lack of tender feelings in the family circle" (Lipscomb, p. 45). "It means to be heartless towards those who should be dear to us from the ties of blood" (Moses Lard, p. 66). FOOD FOR THOUGHT --- Could this perhaps also have application to being heartless toward those who should be dear to us from the ties of Christ's blood?! ..... our kindred in Christ? "Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?!" (Acts 7:26).

#22 --- aspondos

Most of the best MSS omit this word from the list, however it is included in the texts of the KJV ("implacable") and the NKJV ("unforgiving"). It is somewhat similar to #20 above in that it has reference to covenants. However, this word refers not to those who break covenants, but rather to those who refuse to enter into covenants. "Unwilling to make a treaty; hence: implacable, irreconcilable" (Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 56). "One who cannot be persuaded to enter into a covenant or treaty; implacable" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, p. 81). W.E. Vine, quoting from Trench, points out that #20 above "presumes a state of peace which is interrupted by the unrighteous," whereas this word (#22) presumes "a state of war (hostilities), which the implacable refuse to terminate equitably."

"The word here shows a deadly enmity; the highest pitch of an unforgiving spirit; in a word, persons who would not make reconciliation either to God or man" (Adam Clarke, p. 46). The only other occurrence of this word is: II Timothy 3:3.

#23 --- aneleemon

"Unmerciful" (NASB, KJV, NKJV, ASV) ....... "Merciless" (NWT) ....... "There is no mercy in them" (Lamsa) ....... "Had no use for mercy" (Phillips) ....... "Ruthless" (NIV, RSV) ....... "Without pity" (NAB, NEB, LB) ....... "They show no pity to others" (TEV, SEB). This is the only time this word appears in the pages of the New Testament writings. It means: "Without mercy; without compassion or pity; cruel and merciless." "The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm" (Proverbs 11:17). "For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy" (James 2:13).

"The word signifies to be merciless or unforgiving to those who err. The pitiless man shows no leniency to those who are out of the way, but cruelly exacts the last farthing. When we remember how prone we all are to do wrong, we must regard this trait as a most diabolical one. Nothing can be more opposite to God than it is, or be looked upon by Him with deeper displeasure" (Moses Lard, p. 66). See: Ecclesiasticus 13:11-13.

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