July 1, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of Agrammatos in Greek


Parts of Speech: Adjective

Agrammatos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. illiterate, unlearned

What is the etymology of the term “Agrammatos” in Greek, and how is it used in the Bible?

The term “agrammatos” is of Greek origin and is made up of two root words, “a” which means “without” or “not,” and “grammatos,” which translates to “writing” or “letter.” Together, “agrammatos” signifies someone who is illiterate or uneducated. In the context of the Bible, this term is used to describe a specific group of individuals.

In the New Testament, particularly in Acts 4:13, the word “agrammatos” is used to refer to Peter and John by the religious leaders. The religious leaders marveled at the wisdom and boldness displayed by Peter and John, recognizing them as uneducated and common men. The use of “agrammatos” in this verse is significant as it highlights the fact that Peter and John, despite their lack of formal education, were empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak and act with authority.

Additionally, in the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament, the term “agrammatos” is also used in Isaiah 29:12 to describe individuals who are unable to read or understand the words of the book that has been sealed. This reference emphasizes the importance of literacy and understanding of God’s word.

How does the concept of “Agrammatos” relate to language and literacy in Biblical contexts?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Agrammatos” holds significant importance when examining language and literacy. Derived from the Greek word “ἀγράμματος,” Agrammatos is a term that appears only once in the New Testament, specifically in John 7:15. To understand the concept of Agrammatos in the Bible, it is crucial to explore its linguistic roots and implications within ancient texts.

In Greek, “Agrammatos” is a combination of two words: “a,” meaning “without,” and “grammatos,” relating to “letters” or “learning.” Therefore, Agrammatos can be interpreted as “unlearned” or “unschooled.” In Biblical contexts, this term is often used to describe someone who lacks formal education or training in religious teachings, particularly in a Jewish setting where literacy and knowledge of scriptures were highly valued.

The significance of Agrammatos becomes apparent when considering the societal norms and expectations surrounding education in antiquity. In a world where literacy was limited to a privileged few, individuals who were considered Agrammatos were often marginalized or underestimated in matters of religious understanding and interpretation.

When Jesus is referred to as Agrammatos in John 7:15, it sparks a debate among the people regarding his authority and knowledge of the Scriptures. The designation challenges conventional notions of who can be deemed knowledgeable or qualified to teach within religious circles. By embracing the term Agrammatos, Jesus disrupts traditional hierarchies and emphasizes the importance of spiritual insight over mere academic credentials.

In the broader context of the Bible, Agrammatos serves as a reminder that God’s wisdom is not limited to the learned or scholarly. It invites individuals to seek understanding beyond conventional measures of education and expertise, emphasizing the transformative power of divine revelation and spiritual enlightenment.

In what ways does understanding “Agrammatos” deepen our interpretation of Biblical texts and narratives?

“Agrammatos” is a Greek term found in the Bible that holds significant weight in understanding various passages and narratives within the sacred text. In Greek, “agrammatos” translates to “illiterate” or “unlearned.” This term appears in the New Testament, particularly in the book of Acts, where it is used to describe Peter and John as being perceived as “uneducated and ordinary” men, yet boldly speaking about Jesus and His teachings.

By grasping the meaning of “agrammatos,” we gain insight into the context in which the term is used in the Bible and its implications for the characters involved. In the case of Peter and John, being labeled as “agrammatos” highlights the contrast between their lack of formal education or training in religious matters and the profound wisdom and authority with which they speak. This challenges conventional expectations of who can be vessels for divine messages and underscores the empowering nature of faith and spiritual conviction.

Furthermore, understanding the concept of “agrammatos” illuminates the theme of humility and reliance on divine guidance present in many Biblical narratives. Characters like Peter and John, despite lacking prestigious academic credentials, are chosen instruments to spread the Gospel and demonstrate God’s power working through ordinary individuals. This challenges societal norms that place value on worldly knowledge and status, emphasizing instead the importance of genuine faith and obedience to God’s calling.

Moreover, the term “agrammatos” prompts readers to reflect on the broader message of inclusivity and accessibility in the teachings of Jesus. By using unlettered and unassuming individuals to proclaim His message, Jesus shows that His truth is meant for all, regardless of educational background or social standing. This challenges the notion of exclusivity and elitism in religious circles, inviting all to partake in the grace and salvation offered through Him.


In conclusion, the word “agrammatos” in Greek, when viewed in the context of the Bible, holds significant meaning. It points to the importance of being unlettered or uneducated in certain worldly knowledge to have a pure heart and genuine faith in God. Understanding the origins and implications of this term enriches our comprehension of the biblical teachings and encourages us to seek spiritual growth beyond mere intellectual pursuits. Delving into the nuances and depths of Greek biblical words like “agrammatos” sheds light on the profound wisdom conveyed in the ancient texts, inviting us to reflect on our own beliefs and values in today’s context.

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