July 2, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of Akanthinos in Greek


Parts of Speech: Adjective

Akanthinos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 2

  1. thorny, woven out of twigs of a thorny plant

What is the significance of the term “Akanthinos” in Greek within the context of the Bible?

In the Bible, the term “Akanthinos” holds a special significance as it is used to describe a type of plant with thorns. The word “Akanthinos” originates from the Greek word “ακάνθινος” (pronounced akanthinos), which translates to “thorny” or “spiny” in English.

One notable mention of the term “Akanthinos” in the Bible can be found in the New Testament, specifically in the Gospel of Matthew 27:29, where it is associated with the crown of thorns placed on Jesus Christ’s head during his crucifixion. This symbolic act, meant to mock Jesus as the king of the Jews, signified both his suffering and his ultimate sacrifice for humanity.

The use of the term “Akanthinos” in this context serves as a powerful reminder of Jesus’s willingness to endure pain and humiliation for the redemption of mankind. The sharp thorns of the crown symbolize the burdens and trials faced by Jesus, reinforcing the idea of his sacrificial love and unwavering commitment to his divine mission.

Beyond its literal representation in the crown of thorns, the term “Akanthinos” in the Bible can also be interpreted metaphorically to symbolize challenges, obstacles, or hardships that individuals may encounter in their spiritual journeys. Just as Jesus bore the crown of thorns with grace and fortitude, believers are called to navigate their own thorny paths with faith, perseverance, and trust in God’s plan.

In essence, the term “Akanthinos” in Greek within the context of the Bible carries profound symbolic meaning, representing not only physical suffering but also spiritual strength, endurance, and the transformative power of redemption through Christ’s sacrifice.

How does the word “Akanthinos” relate to biblical symbolism and imagery?

In the context of the Bible, the Greek word “Akanthinos” holds significant symbolism and imagery that can enhance our understanding of certain biblical passages. The term “Akanthinos” is often translated to “thorny” or “full of thorns” in English, capturing its essence of being prickly or spiky.

The first mention of “Akanthinos” in the Bible can be found in the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew. In Matthew 13:7, Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower, where he describes seeds falling among thorns. The Greek word used to describe these thorns is “Akanthinos.” These thorns represent the distractions and worldly concerns that can choke out the Word of God in our lives, hindering spiritual growth and fruitfulness.

The use of the word “Akanthinos” in biblical contexts serves as a powerful visual reminder of the struggles and challenges believers may face in their walk of faith. It prompts reflection on the importance of guarding our hearts against the “thorns” of worldly temptations and distractions that can hinder our relationship with God.

What biblical passages mention the term “Akanthinos” and what is their significance in Greek?

In the Greek Bible, the term “Akanthinos” appears in several passages, most notably in the New Testament, primarily in the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, and the Book of Revelation. The word “Akanthinos” is often translated as “thorny” or “full of thorns” in English.

One of the prominent mentions of “Akanthinos” is in Matthew 7:16, where it is used in the context of bearing good fruit. In this passage, Jesus compares good and bad trees, stating that a good tree bears good fruit, while a bad tree bears bad fruit. The term “Akanthinos” is used metaphorically to represent the idea of producing undesirable or harmful outcomes.

Mark 15:16 also references “Akanthinos” in the account of Jesus’ crucifixion, where Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head as a form of mockery and humiliation. This act symbolizes the pain and suffering that Jesus endured on behalf of humanity, emphasizing the sacrificial nature of His crucifixion.

In Greek, “Akanthinos” derives from the word “akantha,” which means “thorn.” The symbolic significance of “Akanthinos” in the Bible conveys various themes, including affliction, suffering, temptation, and the consequences of sinful actions. The presence of thorns often represents trials and challenges that individuals face in their spiritual journey, reminding believers of the need for perseverance, faithfulness, and reliance on God’s strength.

Understanding the context in which “Akanthinos” is used in the biblical passages provides deeper insight into the symbolic and metaphorical meanings associated with this word in Greek. Its frequent appearance in narratives related to Jesus’ teachings, suffering, and eschatological imagery underscores its significance in conveying profound spiritual truths and lessons for believers to reflect upon.


In conclusion, the word “Akanthinos” holds significant meaning in the context of the Bible. Originating from the Greek language, this term is traditionally interpreted as relating to thorns or thistles, symbolizing obstacles or challenges in life. Through biblical passages such as Matthew 7:16, where Jesus mentions gathering grapes from thornbushes, we understand the metaphorical significance of “Akanthinos” in conveying the idea of discerning true intentions and actions. By delving into the roots of this word and considering its symbolic representation, we gain a deeper insight into the intricate tapestry of biblical teachings and the profound wisdom they offer to guide us in navigating life’s complexities.

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