1 Geographical Objects and Features

A Universe, Creation (1.1-1.4)

1.1 κόσμοςa, ου m: the universe as an ordered structure - 'cosmos, universe.' ὁ θεὸς ὁ ποιήσας τὸν κόσμον καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐν αὐτῷ 'God who made the universe and everything in it' Acts 17:24. In many languages there is no specific term for the universe. The closest equivalent may simply be 'all that exists.' In other instances one may use a phrase such as 'the world and all that is above it' or 'the sky and the earth.' The concept of the totality of the universe may be expressed in some languages only as 'everything that is on the earth and in the sky.'

1.2 αἰών, ῶνος

1.2 αἰώνb, ῶνος m (always occurring in the plural): the universe, perhaps with some associated meaning of 'eon' or 'age' in the sense of the transitory nature of the universe (but this is doubtful in the contexts of Hebrews 1:2 and Hebrews 11:3) - 'universe.' δι ᾿ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας 'through whom (God) made the universe' Hebrews 1:2. In Hebrews 1:2 it may be essential in a number of languages to translate 'he is the one through whom God created everything,' though in some instances a more idiomatic and satisfactory way of rendering the meaning would involve a phrase such as '... created both the earth and the sky' or '... the heavens and the earth.'

1.3 ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ

1.3 ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ: (a more or less fixed phrase equivalent to a single lexical item) the totality of God's creation - 'heaven and earth, universe.' ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ παρελεύσονται, οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρελεύσονται 'heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away' Mark 13:31. There may be certain complications involved in rendering ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ as 'heaven and earth,' since 'heaven' might be interpreted in some languages as referring only to the dwelling place of God himself. The referents in this passage are 'the sky and the earth,' in other words, all of physical existence, but not the dwelling place of God, for the latter would not be included in what is destined to pass away.

1.4 κτίσις, εως

1.4 κτίσιςc, εως f: the universe as the product of God's activity in creation - 'universe, creation, what was made.' τῇ γὰρ ματαιότητι ἡ κτίσις ὑπετάγη 'for the creation was condemned to become worthless' Romans 8:20.

The meaning of κτίσιςc might very well be treated as a simple derivative of the verb κτίζω 'to create' (42.35), since the reference is to the result of God's creative act. However, in a number of contexts, the process of creation is no longer focal, and what is in focus is the total physical universe. In some languages the meaning may be best expressed as 'the world and all that is in it' or even 'everything that exists.'

B Regions Above the Earth (1.5-1.16)

1.5 οὐρανός, οῦ

B Regions Above the Earth For certain of the lexical items included in Subdomain B Regions Above the Earth, there is no specific spacial orientation which requires their being regarded as being 'up' or 'high.' This relates, for example, to the meanings of such lexical items as δόξαh (1.15) and κόλπος Ἀβραάμ (1.16), but since the referents of these terms are equated with other celestial regions, one is justified in combining them into this subdomain.
In biblical times the regions above the earth were often regarded as consisting of various strata, and these views seem to be reflected in a number of NT contexts. Paul, for example, speaks of τρίτος οὐρανός 'the third heaven' as being the παράδεισος τοῦ θεοῦ, that is 'God's paradise' (ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ ... ἡρπάγη εἰς τὸν παράδεισον 'this man was snatched up into the third heaven ... he was caught up into paradise' 2 Cor. 12:2-4). Another significant stratum in the heavens seems to be the area in which the stars, sun, and moon existed. A third region may be regarded as 'the air,' that is to say, the region where birds fly. It is, however, impossible to insist upon a rigid boundary between such areas, for such ancient beliefs were not based upon fixed classifications or distinctions.
(1.5-1.16)

1.5 οὐρανόςa, οῦ m (either singular or plural without distinction in meaning): space above the earth, including the vault arching high over the earth from one horizon to another, as well as the sun, moon, and stars - 'sky.' ἄνδρες εὐλαβεῖς ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔθνους τῶν ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν 'godly men from every nation under the sky' Acts 2:5; καθὼς τὰ ἄστρα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ τῷ πλήθει 'as numerous as the stars of the sky' Hebrews 11:12; ἐπισυνάξουσιν τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς αὐτοῦ ... ἀπ ᾿ ἄκρων οὐρανῶν ἕως τῶν ἄκρων αὐτῶν 'they will gather his chosen ones ... from one end of the earth to the other' (literally '... from the ends of sky unto their ends') Matthew 24:31.

In Acts 2:5 the expression 'under the sky' is better translated in a number of languages as 'on earth,' and in Hebrews 11:12 'the stars of the sky' is effectively rendered in many instances as 'the stars up above,' though in many languages 'up above' is not only redundant, but misleading, since it might suggest stars that would not be 'up above.' The area described by the phrase ἀπ ᾿ ἄκρων οὐρανῶν ἕως τῶν ἄκρων αὐτῶν in Matthew 24:31 refers to the limits of the horizon regarded as the limits of the sky, but in many languages the equivalent is an expression dealing with the limits of the earth.

In some contexts οὐρανόςa 'sky' designates areas which in other languages are referred to by terms specifying only a part of the area above the earth. For example, a literal translation of ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ 'look at the birds of the sky' (Matthew 6:26) would in some languages refer only to those birds which fly particularly high in the sky, for example, eagles, vultures, and falcons. The Greek expression τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ simply designates wild birds in contrast with domestic fowl, such as chickens. Therefore, in translating 'the birds of the sky,' one may wish to use a general designation for all wild birds. See also 4.41.

The sky (οὐρανόςa) is also represented in the Scriptures as a dwelling place of certain supernatural beings, for the various stars and constellations were associated with supernatural forces (see στρατιὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, literally 'the army of heaven,' in Acts 7:42: ὁ θεὸς ... παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς λατρεύειν τῇ στρατιᾷ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ 'God ... gave them over to worship the stars of the heaven'). In some languages, however, there is a problem with the rendering 'stars of heaven,' since such an expression might imply that there are types of stars which do not exist in the sky. Therefore, it is often more appropriate to translate στρατιὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ as simply 'the stars.' At the same time it is often advisable to introduce a marginal note to indicate that the stars were regarded as symbols of supernatural beings. One may also translate στρατιὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ as 'supernatural beings in the sky' or 'powers that dwell in the sky' (see 12.45).

The semantic equivalent of οὐρανόςa is in some instances merely an adverb meaning 'up' or 'above.' In other languages the various areas referred to by οὐρανόςa must be designated by more specific terms or phrases, for example, 'the region of the stars,' 'the place of the clouds,' or 'where the wind blows,' as a way of designating at least three different areas which may be significant in certain types of contexts.

In Acts 26:19 the adjective οὐράνιος could be interpreted as being related simply to the meaning of οὐρανόςa 'sky,' but it seems preferable to regard οὐράνιος in this context as meaning simply 'from heaven' or 'heavenly' (1.12).

1.6 ἀήρ, έρος

1.6 ἀήρa, έρος m: the space immediately above the earth's surface, and not including the dome arching over the earth - 'air.' ἔσεσθε γὰρ εἰς ἀέρα λαλοῦντες 'for you will be talking into the air' 1 Cor. 14:9. The expression εἰς ἀέρα λαλοῦντες, literally 'talking into the air,' may be regarded as a type of idiom meaning 'talking to no purpose' or 'talking without anyone understanding.' Accordingly, ἔσεσθε γὰρ εἰς ἀέρα λαλοῦντες may be rendered as 'you will be talking, but no one will understand' or 'you will be talking, but your words will not enter anyone.' In Acts 22:23, κονιορτὸν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸν ἀέρα 'throwing dust into the air,' it may be more appropriate in a number of languages to say 'throwing dust above themselves' or simply 'throwing dust up.' A literal rendering of 'throwing dust into the air' might suggest in some languages that the air was some kind of a container in which the dust remained.

The Greek term ἀήρ in Rev. 9:2 (ἐσκοτώθη ὁ ἥλιος καὶ ὁ ἀὴρ ἐκ τοῦ καπνοῦ τοῦ φρέατος 'the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit') may very well be translated as 'air,' but since it is a reference primarily to space rather than to substance, it is more natural in a number of languages to say 'the sky was darkened by the smoke from the pit.'

1.7 ἀήρ, έρος

1.7 ἀήρc, έρος m: the space above the earth inhabited by and under the control of certain supernatural powers - 'air, sky.' It would be possible to combine the meanings of ἀήρa (1.6) and ἀήρc (1.7) under a single generic definition of space above the earth. One could then leave it to the context to specify the particular area referred to. However, because of the relationship of ἀήρa to the meaning of οὐρανόςa (1.5) and the fact that in so many languages a distinct contrast in meaning is preserved for expressions designating the sky in contrast with the area immediately above the surface of the earth, it seems better to make a distinction at this point. κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος literally 'according to the ruler of the power of the air,' but more satisfactorily rendered as 'the ruler of powers in the sky' or '... in space' Ephes. 2:2. In the context of Ephes. 2:2 ἐξουσία is best understood as a collective and thus referring to the various supernatural powers regarded as inhabiting the area above the earth and thus controlling in many respects both the behavior and the fate of people. See also 12.44.

1.8 ἐπουράνιος, ον

1.8 ἐπουράνιοςa, ον: (derivative of οὐρανόςa 'sky,' 1.5) related to or located in the sky - 'in the sky, celestial.' σώματα ἐπουράνια, καὶ σώματα ἐπίγεια 'there are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies' 1 Cor. 15:40. For ἐπουράνιος as part of an idiom, see 1.26.

1.9 οὐρανόθεν

1.9 οὐρανόθεν: the sky as a source or as a location from which implied movement takes place - 'from the sky.' οὐρανόθεν ὑμῖν ὑετοὺς διδοὺς καὶ καιροὺς καρποφόρους 'he gives you rain from the sky and crops at the right time' Acts 14:17; οὐρανόθεν ὑπὲρ τὴν λαμπρότητα τοῦ ἡλίου περιλάμψαν με φῶς 'a light from the sky brighter than the sun shone around me' Acts 26:13.

οὐρανόθεν in Acts 14:17 and Acts 26:13 is somewhat ambiguous, for both events may be regarded as involving a semantic derivative of οὐρανόςb 'heaven' (1.11) rather than οὐρανόςa 'sky' (1.5). In Acts 14:17 one might very well translate 'he gives rain from heaven,' since obviously the agent is God. Similarly, in Acts 26:13 the light might come 'from heaven,' since the light is presumably regarded as a supernatural phenomenon.

1.10 μεσουράνημα, τος

1.10 μεσουράνημα, τος n: a point or region of the sky directly above the earth - 'high in the sky, midpoint in the sky, directly overhead, straight above in the sky.' εἶδον, καὶ ἤκουσα ἑνὸς ἀετοῦ πετομένου ἐν μεσουρανήματι 'I looked, and I heard an eagle that was flying overhead in the sky' Rev. 8:13.

1.11 οὐρανός, οῦ

1.11 οὐρανόςb, οῦ m (singular or plural; there seems to be no semantic distinction in NT literature between the singular and plural forms): the supernatural dwelling place of God and other heavenly beings (οὐρανόςb also contains a component denoting that which is 'above' or 'in the sky,' but the element of abode' is evidently more significant than location above the earth) - 'heaven.' οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς διὰ παντὸς βλέπουσι τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς 'their angels in heaven are always in the presence of my Father in heaven' Matthew 18:10; οἰκοδομὴν ἐκ θεοῦ ἔχομεν οἰκίαν ἀχειροποίητον αἰώνιον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς 'we will have a dwelling from God, a home in heaven, eternal and not made by hands' 2 Cor. 5:1; ὁ πατὴρ ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ 'the Father in heaven' Luke 11:13.

In a number of languages precisely the same term is used to designate both 'sky' and 'heaven' (as the abode of God). But in many instances a completely separate term must be employed in speaking of the dwelling place of God, for example, 'where God lives' or 'where God is' or 'from where God governs.' In some languages the term referring to 'heaven' is simply 'the home above,' and in one instance a designation of heaven refers primarily to a state, for example, 'the life above.'

The phrase τρίτος οὐρανός 'the third heaven' is a fixed phrase referring to the abode of God (ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ '(a man) who was caught up as far as the third heaven' 2 Cor. 12:2), but in a number of languages it is extremely difficult to speak of 'the third heaven,' especially if one uses a term for 'heaven' which is 'the abode of God.' Therefore, in many instances τρίτος οὐρανός is translated as 'heaven' or 'the abode of God,' and if necessary, a footnote may be added in order to indicate the literal meaning of the Greek expression. If a literal rendering is employed, it is usually equivalent to 'the third sky' or 'above two degrees of sky.'

1.12 οὐράνιος, ον; ἐπουράνιος, ον

1.12 οὐράνιος, ον; ἐπουράνιοςb, ον: (derivatives of οὐρανόςb 'heaven,' 1.11) related to or located in heaven - 'heavenly, in heaven, pertaining to heaven.' οὐράνιος: ὡς ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τέλειός ἐστιν 'as your Father in heaven is perfect' Matthew 5:48. ἐπουράνιοςb: προσεληλύθατε ... πόλει θεοῦ ζῶντος, Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἐπουρανίῳ 'you have come ... to the city of the living God, the Jerusalem in heaven' Hebrews 12:22; οὐκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν ἡ πάλη πρὸς αἷμα καὶ σάρκα, ἀλλὰ ... πρὸς τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις 'for we are not fighting against human beings, but ... against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly realms' Ephes. 6:12. It is possible that the adjectival derivative ἐπουράνιος Ephes. 6:12 should be interpreted as a designation for the area of the sky in which wicked spiritual forces were, the supernatural aspects of these wicked forces and the challenge which such forces were regarded as posing for God and his hosts may justify relating such forces to the 'heavenly world' rather than merely to the sky.

The derivatives οὐράνιος and ἐπουράνιοςb are essentially equivalent to semantic compounds in that they combine a semantic element of 'heaven' as a celestial abode with another semantic element specifying location or relationship. Frequently such terms are translated as 'in heaven' or 'from heaven' or 'belonging to heaven.'

1.13 ὕψος, ους; ὑψηλός, ή, όν; ὕψιστος, η, ον; ὕψωμα, τος

1.13 ὕψοςb, ους n; ὑψηλόςb, ή, όν; ὕψιστοςa, η, ον; ὕψωμαa, τος n: a location above the earth and associated with supernatural events or beings - 'high, world above, sky, heaven, on high.' ὕψοςb (there is no difference in meaning between the singular and plural forms): ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν 'when he ascended on high, he led a host of captives' Ephes. 4:8; ἕως οὗ ἐνδύσησθε ἐξ ὕψους δύναμιν 'until the power from on high comes down on you' Luke 24:49. In Luke 24:49 ὕψος refers to heaven as a type of substitute reference for God, and in many languages it is advisable to translate 'until the power from God comes down on you.' In Ephes. 4:8 the phrase ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος may be rendered literally as 'when he went up to the heights,' but it is preferable in a number of languages to translate 'when he went up to heaven,' for a literal rendering of 'heights' might imply only a high building or a mountain. ὑψηλόςb: ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς 'he sat down in heaven at the right side of God' Hebrews 1:3. ὕψιστοςa: ἐν οὐρανῷ εἰρήνη καὶ δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις 'let there be peace in heaven and glory in the world above' Luke 19:38. The parallelism in the phrases 'peace in heaven' and 'glory in the world above' indicates quite clearly the equivalence in reference, though not in meaning, between οὐρανόςb (1.11) and ὕψιστοςa.

In Matthew 21:9 the phrase ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις, literally 'hosanna in the highest,' has been interpreted as a plea for salvation or deliverance from God who is in heaven. However, it seems preferable to understand ὡσαννά as simply being a shout of exclamation or praise and therefore to interpret the phrase ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις as meaning 'praise to God.' In Luke 19:38 a parallel expression, καὶ δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις, literally 'and glory in the highest,' is usually understood as an acclamation of glory to God and therefore may be so rendered. See 33.357. ὕψωμαα: οὔτε ὕψωμα οὔτε βάθος 'neither the world above nor the world below' Romans 8:39. There are differences of scholarly opinion as to whether ὕψωμα in Romans 8:39 is to be understood as a dimension of space (and as such, related to certain Pythagorean or NeoPlatonic concepts of elemental forces) or as 'the world above' (as the location of alien demonic forces). For another interpretation of ὕψωμα in Romans 8:39, see 12.46.

In contexts in which these expressions refer clearly to 'heaven' or 'the sky,' it is better to use terms meaning 'heaven' or 'sky' rather than terms meaning 'height' or 'that which is high.'

1.14 παράδεισος, ου

1.14 παράδεισος, ου m: a dwelling place of the righteous dead in a state of blessedness (generally equated with οὐρανόςb 'heaven,' 1.11) - 'paradise.' σήμερον μετ ᾿ ἐμοῦ ἔσῃ ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ 'today you will be with me in paradise/heaven' Luke 23:43. In some languages 'paradise' has been translated by a borrowed term, but more often than not it is rendered by an expression which is roughly equivalent to 'that wonderful place' or even 'that wonderful place in heaven.'

In Rev. 2:7 ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ τοῦ θεοῦ 'in the paradise of God,' the reference may reflect somewhat more closely the historical background of this term, which is derived from an Old Persian word meaning 'enclosure,' and thus was applied to a 'garden' or 'park.' For that reason, a number of commentators have believed that in Rev. 2:7, it is appropriate to translate 'the garden of God,' especially since in the context the reference is to the fruit of the tree of life.

1.15 δόξα, ης

1.15 δόξαh, ης f: a place which is glorious and as such, a reference to heaven - 'glory, heaven.' ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ 'he was taken up to heaven' 1 Tim. 3:16. Some scholars, however, interpret δόξα in 1 Tim. 3:16 as an abstract and thus translate ἐν δόξῃ as 'in a glorious way' or 'in a wonderful way' or 'in a way that revealed his glory.'

1.16 κόλπος Ἀβραάμ

1.16 κόλπος Ἀβραάμ: (an idiom, literally 'Abraham's bosom') the heavenly abode, with the implication of close interpersonal relations - 'Abraham's bosom, heaven.' ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ 'he was borne by angels to Abraham's bosom' or '... heaven' Luke 16:22.

A literal rendering of κόλπος Ἀβραάμ as 'the bosom of Abraham' or 'the lap of Abraham' is often misleading. In some languages it may even suggest homosexuality, and in other cases it implies that Lazarus was either a baby or was changed into a baby in heaven. Since κόλπος Ἀβραάμ is generally interpreted as a reference to the eschatological heavenly feast, one may be justified in rendering Luke 16:22 as in TEV "the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the feast in heaven." In some languages κόλπος Ἀβραάμ in this context is translated as 'he was carried by the angels to Abraham's side' or '... to be with Abraham.'

C Regions Below the Surface of the Earth (1.17-1.25)

1.17 καταχθόνιος, ον

C Regions Below the Surface of the Earth (1.17-1.25)

1.17 καταχθόνιος, ον: pertaining to being below the surface of the earth - 'the world below, what is beneath the earth, under the earth.' ἵνα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων 'that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the earth' Phil. 2:10. In Phil. 2:10 καταχθονίων is probably a reference to the dead, generally regarded as inhabiting a dark region under the ground.

1.18 βάθος, ους

1.18 βάθοςd, ους n: a place or region which is low - 'the world below.' οὔτε ὕψωμα οὔτε βάθος 'neither the world above nor the world below' Romans 8:39. As in the case of ὕψωμαa (1.13), βάθος may be interpreted as a supernatural force (see 12.47).

The phrase κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς 'the lower parts of the earth' may likewise refer to 'the world below' as in εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς 'down into the lower parts of the earth' Ephes. 4:9 (see 83.54). Some scholars, however, understand this expression as being a reference to the earth which is low in contrast with heaven. On the basis of such an interpretation one may render Ephes. 4:9 as 'he came down to the earth itself.'

1.19 ᾅδης, ου

1.19 ᾅδηςa, ου m: a place or abode of the dead, including both the righteous and the unrighteous (in most contexts ᾅδηςa is equivalent to the Hebrew term Sheol) - 'the world of the dead, Hades.' οὔτε ἐγκατελείφθη εἰς ᾅδην 'he was not abandoned in the world of the dead' Acts 2:31. There are several problems involved in rendering ᾅδηςa as 'world of the dead,' since in some languages this may be interpreted as suggesting that there are two different earths, one for the living and another for the dead. In such cases, ᾅδηςa may be more satisfactorily rendered as 'where the dead are' or 'where the dead remain.'

In Luke 16:23 ᾅδηςa obviously involves torment and punishment. These aspects are important supplementary features of the word ᾅδηςa but are not integral elements of the meaning. In Luke 16:23, however, it may be appropriate to use a term which is equivalent to Greek γέεννα meaning 'hell' (see 1.21). It is indeed possible that in addressing a GrecoRoman audience Luke would have used ᾅδης in a context implying punishment and torment, since this was a typical Greco-Roman view of the next world. But since Luke also uses γέεννα, as in Luke 12:5, it is possible that the choice of ᾅδης in Luke 16:23 reflects Luke's intent to emphasize the fact that ᾅδηςa includes both the unrighteous and the righteous.

1.20 ἄβυσσος, ου

1.20 ἄβυσσος, ου f: (a figurative extension of meaning of ἄβυσσος 'pit,' not occurring in the NT) a location of the dead and a place where the Devil is kept (Rev. 20:3), the abode of the beast as the antichrist (Rev. 11:7), and of Abaddon, as the angel of the underworld (Rev. 9:11) - 'abyss, abode of evil spirits, very deep place.' τίς καταβήσεται εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον; τοῦτ ᾿ ἔστιν Χριστὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναγαγεῖν 'who can go down to the abyss? that is, to bring Christ up from the dead' Romans 10:7; καὶ ἔβαλεν αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον 'and he threw him into the abyss' Rev. 20:3.

ἄβυσσος is sometimes rendered as 'a very deep hole'; in other instances, 'a hole without a bottom' or 'the deepest hole in the earth.'

1.21 γέεννα, ης

1.21 γέεννα, ης f: a place of punishment for the dead - 'Gehenna, hell.' φοβήθητε τὸν μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι ἔχοντα ἐξουσίαν ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν 'fear rather him who has the authority to throw (you) into hell after killing you' Luke 12:5.

The Greek term γέεννα is derived from a Hebrew phrase meaning 'Valley of Hinnom,' a ravine running along the south side of Jerusalem and a place where the rubbish from the city was constantly being burned. According to late Jewish popular belief, the last judgment was to take place in this valley, and hence the figurative extension of meaning from 'Valley of Hinnom' to 'hell.' In most languages γέεννα is rendered as 'place of punishment' or 'place where the dead suffer' or 'place where the dead suffer because of their sins.'

1.22 λίμνη τοῦ πυρὸς (καὶ θείου

1.22 λίμνη τοῦ πυρὸς (καὶ θείου): (an idiom, literally 'lake of fire (and sulfur),' occurring in some slightly different forms six times in Revelation, three times with the addition of θεῖον 'sulfur') a place of eternal punishment and destruction - 'lake of fire, hell.' It is possible that λίμνη τοῦ πυρός 'lake of fire' does not belong in this class of regions below the earth, but since it is so closely associated with other places of destruction and punishment, it is probably better treated here rather than elsewhere. If the figurative language is derived from a knowledge of volcanic activity, this could lend support to the classification of λίμνη τοῦ πυρός at this point, since it would coincide very closely with related concepts of 'pit' and 'abyss.' καὶ ὁ διάβολος ὁ πλανῶν αὐτοὺς ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ θείου 'then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur' Rev. 20:10.

In a number of languages it is impossible to translate literally 'lake of fire,' since water and fire seem to be so contradictory that a lake of fire is not even imaginable. It may be possible in some instances to speak of 'a place that looks like a lake that is on fire,' but in other languages the closest equivalent may simply be 'a great expanse of fire.' In some parts of the world people are fully familiar with the type of boiling magma in the cone of volcanoes, and terms for such a place may be readily adapted in speaking of 'a lake of fire,' since volcanic activity would seem to be the basis for this particular biblical expression.

1.23 τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον

1.23 τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον: (an idiom, literally 'the outer darkness') a place or region which is both dark and removed (presumably from the abode of the righteous) and serving as the abode of evil spirits and devils - 'outer darkness, darkness outside.' ἐκβληθήσονται εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον 'they will be thrown into outer darkness' Matthew 8:12. In a number of languages this expression in Matthew 8:12 must be rendered as 'they will be thrown outside where it is dark.'

1.24 ὁ ζόφος τοῦ σκότους

1.24 ὁ ζόφος τοῦ σκότους: (an idiom, literally 'the gloom of darkness') the dark, gloomy nature of hell as a place of punishment - 'gloomy hell, black darkness.' ἀστέρες πλανῆται οἷς ὁ ζόφος τοῦ σκότους εἰς αἰῶνα τετήρηται 'wandering stars for whom the darkness of hell has been reserved forever' Jude 13.

1.25 ταρταρόω

1.25 ταρταρόω: (derivative of τάρταρος 'Tartarus, hell,' as a place of torture or torment, not occurring in the NT) to cast into or to cause to remain in Tartarus - 'to hold in Tartarus, to cast into hell.' ἀλλὰ σειραῖς ζόφου ταρταρώσας 'but held them in Tartarus by means of chains of darkness' or 'cast them into hell where they are kept chained in darkness' 2 Peter 2:4. In many cases it is confusing to add still another term for a designation of hell by transliterating the Greek τάρταρος, and so most translators have preferred to render ταρταρόω as either 'to cast into hell' or 'to keep in hell,' thus using for 'hell' the same term as is employed for a rendering of the Greek term γέεννα (1.21).

D Heavenly Bodies (1.26-1.33)

1.26 σῶμα ἐπουράνιον

D Heavenly Bodies (1.26-1.33)

1.26 σῶμα ἐπουράνιον: It is difficult to say whether the phrase σῶμα ἐπουράνιον should be treated as a fixed phrase with a shifted meaning for the head word σῶμα and thus a type of idiom, or whether it should be considered a semantically endocentric expression and thus not a so-called lexical unit. The treatment of σῶμα ἐπουράνιον as semantically endocentric can certainly be justified by the highly generic meaning of σῶμα as 'body, object,' but one may also argue that the restriction in reference to the sun, moon, planets, and stars provides a basis for regarding it as semantically exocentric. (an idiom, literally 'heavenly body,' occurring in the NT only in the plural) the luminous objects in the sky: sun, moon, and other planets and stars - 'heavenly body.' σώματα ἐπουράνια, καὶ σώματα ἐπίγειαยท ἀλλὰ ἑτέρα μὲν ἡ τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα, ἑτέρα δὲ ἡ τῶν ἐπιγείων 'there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; there is a beauty that belongs to heavenly bodies, and another kind of beauty that belongs to earthly bodies' 1 Cor. 15:40. See also 1.8.

The phrase σῶμα ἐπουράνιον is a highly generic expression which in the plural is sometimes translatable as 'lights in the sky,' but more often than not it may be necessary to identify the various heavenly bodies as 'sun, moon, and stars.' In certain contexts one may also wish to identify the planets, often spoken of as 'wandering stars' or 'moving stars' (reflecting the etymology of the English word planet, which is derived from a Greek word meaning 'wanderer'). These are, of course, not to be confused with shooting stars and comets in the sky.

1.27 φωστήρ, ῆρος

1.27 φωστήρa, ῆρος m: any light-producing object in the sky, such as the sun, moon, and other planets and stars - 'light, luminary, star.' ἐν οἷς φαίνεσθε ὡς φωστῆρες ἐν κόσμῳ 'you shine among them like stars in the sky' (literally '... universe') Phil. 2:15. Though φωστήρa may refer to any light-producing object, it is used especially of the heavenly bodies and more specifically of stars, as in Phil. 2:15, the one NT context in which φωστήρa occurs. A focal component of this meaning is the light-giving charactersitic.

1.28 ἥλιος, ου

1.28 ἥλιος, ου m - 'the sun.' ἡλίου δὲ ἀνατείλαντος ἐκαυματίσθη 'but when the sun rose, they were burned' Matthew 13:6; ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται 'the sun will become dark' Mark 13:24. Translators have relatively few difficulties in obtaining a satisfactory term for the sun, though there may be a tendency in some languages to add some kind of honorific title to the word, for example, 'our father the sun.' Translators' problems occur, however, with verbs describing the action or effect of the sun. For example, in Matthew 13:6, instead of speaking of 'the sun rising,' it may be more satisfactory to speak of 'the sun shining' or, in this particular context, possibly 'when the sun was overhead' or 'by the time the sun had reached the sky.' In Mark 13:24 one can perhaps best render the meaning as 'the sun will no longer shine' or '... will cease shining.'

1.29 σελήνη, ης

1.29 σελήνη, ης f - 'the moon.' ἔσονται σημεῖα ἐν ἡλίῳ καὶ σελήνῃ καὶ ἄστροις