July 1, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Significance of Agoraios in Greek


Parts of Speech: Adjective

Agoraios Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 2

  1. in, of or belonging to the market place
  2. frequenting the market place
    1. hucksters, petty traffickers, retail dealers
    2. idlers, loungers, the common sort, low, mean vulgar
  3. generally, proper to the assembly, suited to forensic speaking, business-like transactions

What is the biblical significance of the term Agoraios in Greek?

In the context of the Bible, the term ‘Agoraios’ holds significant meaning. In Greek, ‘Agoraios’ refers to someone who frequents the marketplace or public square. This term is mentioned in the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew, specifically in Matthew 20:3. In this passage, Jesus tells a parable about workers in a vineyard who were hired at different times of the day. The term ‘Agoraios’ is used to describe those who were hired at the third, sixth, ninth, and eleventh hours.

The significance of ‘Agoraios’ in this parable lies in its representation of the marketplace as a symbol of opportunity and divine calling. The marketplace was a central hub of activity in ancient times, where people from all walks of life gathered to buy, sell, and exchange goods. By using the term ‘Agoraios’ in this context, Jesus is conveying a powerful message about the inclusive nature of God’s grace and salvation.

How is the term Agoraios used in the Bible in relation to marketplace activities?

In the Bible, the term ‘Agoraios’ holds significance in the context of marketplace activities, shedding light on the social and economic interactions prevalent in biblical times. The word ‘Agoraios’ originates from the Greek language and is commonly used in the New Testament to refer to individuals associated with the marketplace.

The term ‘Agoraios’ primarily signifies a person who frequents or has dealings in the agora, which was the central marketplace in ancient Greek cities. In biblical contexts, the agora was not merely a place for buying and selling goods but also served as a hub for social gatherings, discussions, and even public events. Therefore, an Agoraios in the Bible could refer to someone involved in various facets of market activities, extending beyond commerce to encompass a broader societal role.

One notable mention of the term ‘Agoraios’ can be found in Acts 17:5, where it is used in reference to certain individuals in Thessalonica. The verse describes how some Jews were envious of the success of Paul and Silas in spreading the teachings of Jesus, prompting them to gather a mob and stir up trouble in the city. These agitators are identified as ‘Agoraioi,’ highlighting their involvement in the marketplace and their potential influence on public opinion and affairs.

Furthermore, the Gospel of John also makes use of the term ‘Agoraios’ in describing the Pharisees and chief priests’ reluctance to arrest Jesus openly during the Feast of Tabernacles. They express concern about the reaction of the crowds, particularly the Agoraios, implying that these market-goers held a certain sway or prestige within the community that could impact political decisions.

Understanding the meaning of ‘Agoraios’ in Greek provides valuable insights into the dynamics of biblical society and the interconnectedness of economic, social, and religious aspects within the marketplace setting. By delving into the nuances of this term, we gain a deeper appreciation for the multifaceted nature of interactions and relationships portrayed in the Bible, enriching our comprehension of the cultural backdrop against which these narratives unfold.

In what context does Agoraios appear in Greek translations of the New Testament scriptures?

In the Greek translations of the New Testament scriptures, the word “Agoraios” appears in several instances with a significant meaning. The term “Agoraios” originates from the Greek word “agora,” which refers to a marketplace or a public square where people gather to buy and sell goods, exchange ideas, and engage in social interactions.

One prominent usage of the word “Agoraios” is found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 20, verse 3, where it is used to describe laborers hired by a landowner to work in his vineyard. The context of this passage illustrates the idea of individuals being called to perform specific tasks or duties in exchange for compensation, much like transactions that take place in a marketplace.

Furthermore, in the Gospel of John, chapter 7, verse 16, Jesus is referred to as “ho Agoraios,” which can be translated as “the Teacher from the marketplace.” This designation emphasizes Jesus’ role as a teacher who imparts wisdom and knowledge in a public setting, much like the marketplace where people gather to learn and exchange ideas.

In the context of the Bible, the term “Agoraios” carries connotations of engagement with the community, sharing of knowledge and goods, and fulfilling one’s role or calling within the larger societal framework. It underscores the importance of interpersonal relationships, economic transactions, and the dissemination of spiritual teachings in a communal setting.


In conclusion, the word “Agoraios” in Greek, as mentioned in the Bible, holds significant cultural and historical context. Its primary meaning of “one who stays in the marketplace” sheds light on the importance of engaging with the world and being present in the community, even in a spiritual sense. The usage of this term in the Bible underscores the value of being actively involved in the public square and carrying out one’s faith in the midst of everyday life. Understanding the original Greek meaning of “Agoraios” enhances our comprehension of the biblical text and enriches our interpretation of the messages conveyed through it.

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