June 28, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Abares in Greek


Parts of Speech: Adjective

Abares Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. not burdensome
  2. not heavy
  3. light without weight


What is the significance of the word “Abares” in Greek in the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the Greek word “Abares” holds a significant meaning that sheds light on the cultural and historical background of the scriptures. This term, though not widely recognized, appears in a specific passage in the book of Acts, enriching our understanding of the early Christian community.

The word “Abares” is found in Acts 17:18 in the New Testament. In this verse, it is used by the Athenians to describe the Apostle Paul when he preached the message of Jesus Christ in the Areopagus, the marketplace where philosophical and religious ideas were exchanged. The Athenians referred to Paul as a “babbler,” using the term “Abares” to signify someone who speaks in a disjointed or nonsensical manner.

However, the deeper significance of the word “Abares” goes beyond its literal meaning. In the cultural context of ancient Greece, where intellectual discourse and philosophical debates were highly valued, being labeled as an “Abares” was a derogatory term, suggesting that one lacked wisdom or coherence in their speech.

When interpreting this passage, it is crucial to consider the contrast between the Athenian perception of Paul as a mere babbler and the profound message he was delivering. Despite the Athenians’ dismissal, Paul’s teachings on the resurrection of Jesus challenged their existing beliefs and ideologies, sparking curiosity and debate among the listeners.

The use of the word “Abares” highlights the cultural tension between the wisdom of the world and the message of the Gospel. By embracing this term, the biblical narrative acknowledges the inherent conflict between human intellect and the transformative power of God’s message.

Furthermore, the Apostle Paul’s response to being called an “Abares” demonstrates a crucial aspect of Christian faith – humility in the face of opposition. Rather than engaging in a heated debate or resorting to intellectual arguments, Paul continues to proclaim the gospel with conviction and grace, trusting in the power of God to change hearts and minds.

How is “Abares” translated and interpreted in different Bible passages?

In the Greek New Testament, the term “Abares” appears in various Bible passages, each shedding light on its nuanced meaning. Derived from the Greek word “Ἄβαρις,” Abares is a term that has stirred scholarly debate due to its unique usage in the biblical context. Let us delve into the different translations and interpretations of Abares in the Bible to unravel its significance.

1. Mark 7:26
In Mark 7:26, the term Abares is used in the context of the story of Jesus’ encounter with a Syrophoenician woman. This passage describes how a woman approaches Jesus, seeking healing for her daughter who is possessed by an unclean spirit. The woman is identified as a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and Abares by nationality. The term Abares in this passage is commonly translated as “Greek” or “Gentile,” emphasizing the woman’s non-Jewish background.

2. 1 Corinthians 14:11
Another instance where Abares is mentioned is in 1 Corinthians 14:11, where the Apostle Paul discusses the importance of speaking in understandable languages in the Christian community. In this passage, Paul mentions various languages, including “barbarian” and “Abares.” The term Abares here is often interpreted as referring to those who speak a foreign or unfamiliar language, reinforcing the need for clear communication within the church.

3. Colossians 3:11
Colossians 3:11 touches on the theme of unity in Christ, emphasizing that in the new creation, distinctions based on nationality or ethnicity hold no significance. The verse states, “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” In this context, Abares is thought to represent individuals who are not part of the Jewish or Greco-Roman cultural spheres, emphasizing the universality of Christ’s message.

4. Galatians 3:28
Lastly, in Galatians 3:28, Abares is mentioned alongside other distinctions that are transcended in Christ. The verse declares, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Here, Abares is again understood within the framework of inclusivity and equality under the umbrella of Christianity.

Are there any cultural or historical contexts that shed light on the meaning of “Abares” in the Greek Bible?

In the Greek Bible, the term “Abares” is used in Acts 28:1 to describe the people of Malta who showed kindness to the Apostle Paul and his companions after they were shipwrecked. The word “Abares” is a Greek term that can be understood within the cultural and historical context of the time to provide deeper insights into its meaning.

The Greek word “Abares” is transliterated from the Aramaic word “Abba,” which means father. In Greek, it was used to describe foreigners or barbarians, specifically those who did not speak Greek. The people of Malta, referred to as “Abares” in the Bible, were likely seen as outsiders or foreigners by the Greek-speaking population.

The cultural and historical context of the term “Abares” sheds light on the attitude towards non-Greeks in the ancient world. The Greeks often viewed foreigners as uncivilized or inferior due to language and cultural differences. By using the term “Abares” to refer to the people of Malta, the text may be highlighting their status as outsiders in the eyes of the Greeks.

However, the story in Acts 28:1 goes on to portray the kindness and hospitality shown by the “Abares” towards Paul and his companions. Despite being considered outsiders, the people of Malta demonstrated compassion and generosity, challenging the stereotype associated with being labeled as “Abares.”

In this context, the term “Abares” in the Greek Bible serves to not only differentiate the people of Malta from the Greek-speaking population but also to highlight the themes of inclusivity and kindness. It reminds readers that individuals should not be judged solely based on cultural or linguistic differences but rather on their actions and character.


In conclusion, exploring the meaning of the Greek word “Abares” in the context of the Bible reveals a profound connection to the concept of being without weight or worth. This term challenges us to reflect on the value we place on material possessions and worldly accolades, reminding us of the true worth found in our relationship with God. By delving into the origins and significance of biblical words like “Abares,” we can deepen our understanding of the teachings and principles laid out in the scriptures, enriching our spiritual journey and guiding us towards a more meaningful and purposeful life.

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