July 2, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of ‘Akoloutheo’ in Greek


Parts of Speech: Verb

Akoloutheo Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 89

  1. to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him
  2. to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple
    1. side with his party

What is the significance of the Greek word Akoloutheo in the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the Greek word “Akoloutheo” holds significant importance, as it appears numerous times throughout the New Testament, primarily in the Gospels. Understanding the meaning of Akoloutheo enriches our comprehension of the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ and his disciples.

Akoloutheo, when translated to English, means “to follow” or “to accompany.” This word goes beyond just physical following; it encompasses a deeper sense of commitment, obedience, and discipleship. When individuals were called to “follow” Jesus in the Bible, it meant more than simply walking behind Him—it represented a dedication to learning from Him, obeying His teachings, and imitating His actions.

The significance of Akoloutheo can be seen in various instances in the New Testament. For example, in Matthew 4:19, Jesus calls his first disciples, Simon Peter and Andrew, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Here, Akoloutheo implies not just a physical following but a transformation of their lives and purpose as they become his followers and spread the message of the Kingdom.

The concept of Akoloutheo is not limited to Jesus’ earthly ministry but extends to the believers’ ongoing journey of faith. In John 10:27, Jesus describes the intimate relationship between Him and his followers, stating, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” This verse emphasizes the continuous nature of following Christ, where believers actively listen to His teachings, seek His guidance, and walk in His ways.

How is Akoloutheo used in different contexts within the Bible?

In the Greek New Testament, the word “Akoloutheo” holds special significance and is used in various contexts to convey specific meanings. Derived from the root word “kéleuthos,” which means “road” or “way,” Akoloutheo is often translated as “to follow” or “to accompany.” Understanding the nuances of how Akoloutheo is employed in different passages provides deeper insight into the biblical text.

  • Following Jesus: One of the central themes in the Gospels is the idea of following Jesus. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus calls Peter and Andrew, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The word used for “follow me” here is Akoloutheo, indicating not just physical proximity but a deeper spiritual commitment to walk in the ways of Jesus.


  • Discipleship: Akoloutheo is also used to emphasize the concept of discipleship and obedience to the teachings of Jesus. In John 8:12, Jesus declares, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Here, following Jesus represents not just a physical act but a lifestyle of walking in God’s truth and righteousness.


  • Suffering and Perseverance: The idea of following Jesus is closely linked to suffering and perseverance in the New Testament. In Matthew 16:24, Jesus instructs his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” This verse highlights the sacrificial nature of following Christ, even in the face of trials and tribulations.


  • Moral and Ethical Conduct: Akoloutheo is not just about physical following but also about adhering to moral and ethical standards. In Romans 12:9, Paul urges believers to “abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” The word for “hold fast” is derived from Akoloutheo, emphasizing the idea of staying steadfast in God’s ways amidst a corrupt world.


  • Unity in Christ: The concept of following Jesus is also linked to unity within the body of believers. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” The word for “imitators” stems from the root of Akoloutheo, highlighting the need for Christians to follow Christ’s example in unity and love.

What are the implications of understanding Akoloutheo in its original Greek context for biblical interpretation?

When delving into biblical texts, it is crucial to consider the original languages in which these ancient writings were composed. The Greek language, in particular, plays a significant role in understanding the nuances and depths of biblical teachings. One such key word that holds profound meaning in the New Testament is “Akoloutheo.”

“Akoloutheo” is a Greek word commonly used in the New Testament and is found in various contexts, carrying rich implications for biblical interpretation. The significance of understanding “Akoloutheo” in its original Greek context lies in the depth of its meaning and the nuances it brings to the interpretation of biblical passages.

In Greek, “Akoloutheo” translates to “follow” or “accompany.” However, its meaning goes beyond mere physical following; it encompasses a sense of devotion, obedience, and discipleship. When individuals are called to “Akoloutheo” in the Bible, they are not just asked to walk alongside someone but to commit wholeheartedly to a cause or a person.

In the Gospels, Jesus frequently uses the term “Akoloutheo” when calling his disciples to follow him. This call to follow Jesus is not merely about walking the same path; it signifies a radical decision to leave behind one’s previous life and commit to a new way of living based on faith and obedience.

Understanding the depth of “Akoloutheo” in its original Greek context sheds light on the relational aspect of discipleship in the Bible. It emphasizes the intimate connection between the follower and the one they are following, highlighting the importance of trust, loyalty, and submission in the spiritual journey.


In conclusion, the Greek word “akoloutheo” carries a profound significance in the context of the Bible. Its meaning goes beyond simple physical following to embody a deeper spiritual concept of discipleship and obedience to God’s will. Through studying the origins and usage of this word in biblical texts, we gain a deeper understanding of the expectations placed upon believers to walk in the ways of Christ and to be faithful followers of His teachings. The concept of “akoloutheo” challenges us to examine our own lives and evaluate whether we are truly walking in alignment with God’s purpose and plan for our lives. As we continue to delve into the rich meanings of Greek words in the Bible, may we continue to grow in our faith and knowledge of the Word of God.

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