July 2, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of Akrasia in Greek


Parts of Speech: Noun Feminine

Akrasia Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 2

  1. want of self-control, incontinence, intemperance

What is the origin of the term “Akrasia” in Greek and how is it translated into English in the Bible context?

In understanding the term “Akrasia” in the context of the Bible, it is essential to look back at its origin in the Greek language. The term “Akrasia” (ἀκρασία) is derived from ancient Greek and is commonly translated as “lack of self-control” or “incontinence.” It represents a state where one acts against their better judgment or fails to do what they know is right, often succumbing to desires or impulses.

This concept of “Akrasia” can be seen in various biblical contexts, especially concerning the struggle between the flesh and the spirit. In the New Testament, the term is often connected to the idea of succumbing to sin or temptation despite knowing the right course of action. This internal conflict is highlighted in passages that address the battle between the desires of the flesh and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

One notable example where the concept of “Akrasia” can be observed in the Bible is in Romans 7:15-20, where the apostle Paul expresses the inner turmoil he faces: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” This passage reflects the struggle and internal conflict that individuals may experience when their actions do not align with their beliefs or values.

In essence, “Akrasia” in the context of the Bible signifies more than just a lack of self-control; it embodies the internal struggle and the call to remain steadfast in faith despite the challenges and temptations that may arise. It reminds believers of their continual need for God’s guidance and empowerment to resist the allure of sin and walk in alignment with His word.

How is Akrasia Described in the Bible and What are its Implications for Human Behavior?

In the context of the Bible, the concept of “Akrasia” can be associated with the Greek word “ἀκρασία” (akrasía), which refers to a lack of self-control or weakness of will. This notion is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, but its underlying principles can be observed in various passages that address human behavior and moral choices.

One prominent example that reflects the idea of Akrasia in the Bible is found in Romans 7:15-20, where the apostle Paul expresses his struggle with doing what is right despite knowing what is wrong. He speaks of a conflict within himself, acknowledging the tendency to do the very things he hates, illustrating the internal battle between the desires of the flesh and the will to do good.

The implications of Akrasia for human behavior as depicted in the Bible are profound. It highlights the inherent struggle faced by individuals in choosing between what is morally right and what is self-indulgent or sinful. This concept underscores the complexity of human nature and the constant need for self-discipline and spiritual fortitude to resist temptations and align one’s actions with righteous living.

Moreover, the theme of Akrasia emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, introspection, and reliance on divine guidance to overcome weaknesses and make virtuous choices. It serves as a reminder of the frailty of human nature and the necessity of cultivating virtues such as self-control, patience, and perseverance in the journey of faith.

By understanding the concept of Akrasia in the context of the Bible, individuals can reflect on their own struggles with temptation and moral dilemmas, seeking wisdom and strength from God to lead a life of integrity, righteousness, and spiritual fulfillment. The acknowledgment of human weakness and the pursuit of spiritual growth and transformation are integral aspects of navigating the complexities of human behavior in light of biblical teachings.

How does the concept of Akrasia align with the teachings of biblical figures and stories?

In the context of the Bible, the Greek word “Akrasia” holds significant meaning that resonates with many biblical figures and stories. Akrasia, derived from the Greek “ἀκρασία,” refers to a lack of self-control or the state of acting against one’s better judgment. This concept is deeply intertwined with various narratives found in the Bible, shedding light on the struggles of human nature and the importance of discipline and faith.

One prominent biblical figure whose story reflects the idea of Akrasia is King Solomon. Known for his wisdom and wealth, Solomon’s reign was marked by prosperity and success. However, despite his divine gifted discernment, Solomon’s downfall stemmed from his inability to resist temptations that led to his moral deterioration. His actions serve as a cautionary tale of the consequences of yielding to Akrasia and straying from the path of righteousness.

Similarly, the story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis exemplifies the consequences of succumbing to Akrasia. When tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit, Eve’s lack of self-control and Adam’s subsequent disobedience resulted in their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This narrative emphasizes the detrimental effects of giving in to desires and impulses, highlighting the need for steadfastness in upholding one’s convictions.

Moreover, the teachings of Jesus Christ also address the concept of Akrasia. Through parables and sermons, Jesus emphasized the importance of self-discipline, resisting worldly temptations, and remaining faithful to God’s commandments. His teachings underscored the internal struggles faced by individuals in navigating moral dilemmas and the significance of aligning one’s actions with divine principles.


In conclusion, exploring the concept of ‘Akrasia’ in the context of the Bible reveals the significance of self-control and the struggle against temptation. When we encounter this term in Greek Biblical texts, we are reminded of the importance of staying steadfast in our faith and resisting the lure of worldly desires. By understanding the root of ‘Akrasia’ and its implications in the Scriptures, we gain a deeper insight into the timeless message of discipline and spiritual strength conveyed in the Word of God. May we strive to embody the virtues of self-mastery and steadfastness as we walk the path of righteousness, guided by the wisdom and teachings found within the pages of the Holy Scriptures.

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