July 1, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Agnostos in Greek



Parts of Speech: Adjective

Agnostos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. unknown, forgotten Epimenides, a certain Cretan, came to Athens to stop a plague. Heoffered a sheep on alters the born no name of no god but to the”unknown god”. At least one of the alters survived to Paul’s day.


What is the significance of the term Agnostos in Greek within the context of the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Agnostos” holds significant meaning. The word “Agnostos” comes from the Greek language and is used in the New Testament. Understanding the original Greek word can provide deeper insights into the biblical text.

The Greek word “Agnostos” can be translated to mean “unknown” or “unrecognized.” In the Bible, this term is often used to refer to things or beings that are not known or understood by humanity. It conveys a sense of mystery, secrecy, or hiddenness. The concept of the unknown plays a crucial role in biblical narratives, emphasizing the limitations of human knowledge and the overarching mystery of God’s divine plan.

One notable instance where the term “Agnostos” appears in the Bible is in 1 Corinthians 14:2, where it is used in the context of speaking in tongues: “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” Here, the idea of speaking in tongues involves communicating with God in a way that is beyond human understanding, emphasizing the unknowable nature of divine communication.

Additionally, in Romans 11:33, the apostle Paul reflects on the depth of God’s wisdom and knowledge, stating, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” This passage underscores the incomprehensibility of God’s ways and emphasizes the unknowable aspects of His divine nature.

How is the term Agnostos used in relation to biblical texts and teachings?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Agnostos” originates from Greek and holds significant meaning. Translated as “unknown” or “unseen,” Agnostos is used in biblical texts to convey the idea of something not yet revealed or understood by humans. This term appears in several passages in the New Testament, shedding light on various aspects of faith and the divine.

One of the key verses where Agnostos is mentioned is found in Acts 17:23, where Paul addresses the Athenians at the Areopagus. In this speech, Paul refers to an altar with the inscription “To an unknown god” (Agnostos theos). Paul seizes this opportunity to introduce the concept that this unknown god is the one whom he proclaims as the true God, the creator of the heavens and the earth.

Additionally, in 1 Corinthians 14:2, the term Agnostos is used in the context of speaking in tongues. The apostle Paul explains that when someone speaks in tongues, they are speaking mysteries in the spirit, things that are unknown (Agnostos) to the understanding of others but known to God. This emphasizes the mystical and transcendent nature of spiritual communication.

Moreover, in 1 Peter 3:7, Agnostos is used to describe the hidden or unseen beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. This highlights the notion that some things may not be readily apparent or visible to the naked eye but hold great value in the eyes of the divine.

The term Agnostos in the biblical context serves as a reminder of the limits of human knowledge and the vastness of God’s wisdom and understanding. It prompts believers to acknowledge that there are aspects of faith and the divine that may remain unknown or unseen to them, calling for humility, trust, and reliance on God’s revelation.

What role does the concept of Agnostos play in understanding Greek translations of the Bible?

Many Greek words and phrases used in the Bible carry deep meaning that can shed light on the nuances of the text. One such word is “Agnostos,” which holds particular significance in understanding the context of certain biblical passages.

In Greek, “Agnostos” is translated to mean “unknown” or “unrecognized.” This word appears several times in the New Testament, and its usage provides important insights into the biblical narratives. When applied to individuals, “Agnostos” can refer to someone who is not known or acknowledged by others, perhaps an outsider or a stranger.

In the context of the Bible, the concept of “Agnostos” is often used to highlight themes of mystery, revelation, and divine intervention. For example, in Acts 17:23, the Apostle Paul speaks to the Athenians about an altar dedicated “to the unknown god” (Agnostos theos). This reference underscores the idea of a higher power that transcends human understanding, emphasizing the unknown aspects of the divine.

Additionally, in 1 Corinthians 14:2, the term “Agnostos” is used in the context of speaking in tongues—a spiritual practice that may be unknown or unintelligible to those who are not familiar with it. This usage suggests a sense of awe and reverence for the mysteries of faith that go beyond human comprehension.


In conclusion, the term “Agnostos” in Greek holds a significant meaning in the context of the Bible. It refers to the unknown or the unknowable, emphasizing the limitations of human understanding when it comes to comprehending the divine. Understanding the nuances of this word can deepen our appreciation for the mysteries of faith and the vastness of God’s wisdom. By delving into the original Greek meanings of biblical terms like “Agnostos,” we gain a richer understanding of the scriptures and the profound truths they convey.

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