July 3, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of Allophulos in Greek


Parts of Speech: Adjective

Allophulos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. foreign

What is the origin of the term “Allophulos” in Greek in the context of the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Allophulos” has a significant meaning rooted in its Greek origins. To understand the depth of this term, it is essential to explore its linguistic background and its implications within biblical texts.

The word “Allophulos” originates from the Greek language. In Greek, “Allo” means other or different, while “phulos” can be translated as race or tribe. When these two parts are combined, “Allophulos” refers to someone from another race or tribe, specifically denoting a non-Jew or a Gentile.

In the New Testament, the term “Allophulos” appears in various passages, most notably in Ephesians 2:14-15, where it is used to describe the unity brought by Christ between Jews and Gentiles. This usage reflects the cultural and religious distinctions prevalent during biblical times, emphasizing the inclusive nature of the message of Christ that transcends societal divisions.

Understanding the origin and meaning of “Allophulos” in Greek sheds light on its nuanced significance in the context of the Bible. It serves as a reminder of the inclusive nature of the Gospel message and the transformative power of faith in breaking down barriers between different races and tribes, creating a unified community of believers in Christ.

How is the term “Allophulos” used in Greek within biblical narratives or texts?

In the Greek New Testament, the term “Allophulos” appears in the book of Acts, specifically in Acts 17:19-21. The term “Allophulos” is a compound word made up of “allos,” meaning “other,” and “phulon,” meaning “race” or “tribe.” When combined, “Allophulos” refers to individuals of another race or ethnicity. It is a term used to describe foreigners or non-Israelites.

In Acts 17:19-21, the Apostle Paul finds himself in Athens, where he engages with the intellectuals of the city. The Athenians, known for their love of knowledge and philosophy, were eager to hear Paul’s teachings. However, when they heard him speak of Jesus and the resurrection, some dismissed him, saying, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,” using the term “Allophulos” to denote that Paul was preaching about foreign gods.

This use of “Allophulos” in the context of Acts highlights the cultural and religious differences that existed between the people of Athens and the teachings of Christianity. It distinguishes Paul as an outsider bringing new and unfamiliar beliefs to the Athenians, which was met with skepticism and curiosity.

In the broader scope of the Bible, the term “Allophulos” is also used to emphasize the inclusivity of God’s plan of salvation. Throughout the biblical narrative, there are instances where individuals from different races and backgrounds are welcomed into the community of believers. The term serves as a reminder that God’s love and grace extend to all people, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality.

Understanding the meaning of “Allophulos” in Greek within biblical texts provides a deeper insight into the cultural dynamics at play during the early spread of Christianity. It sheds light on the challenges faced by the apostles as they shared the message of Christ with diverse audiences and underscores the universal nature of the gospel message.

What cultural significance does the term “Allophulos” hold in Greek biblical references?

The term “Allophulos” holds a specific cultural significance in Greek biblical references, shedding light on the diversity and inclusivity present in biblical teachings. In Greek, “Allophulos” is derived from the word “ἀλλόφυλος,” which translates to “foreigner” or “stranger.” When examined within the context of the Bible, the term takes on a broader and more nuanced connotation.

In biblical texts, the term “Allophulos” is often used to refer to individuals who are not part of the Israelite community. This designation goes beyond mere geographical or ethnic differences; it signifies those who are considered outsiders or foreigners in the context of the Jewish faith. The concept of “Allophulos” thus carries implications of otherness and separation, highlighting the distinction between the Israelites and non-Israelites.

However, a deeper exploration of the term reveals a significant aspect of cultural and spiritual inclusivity in the biblical narrative. While “Allophulos” initially denotes foreignness or estrangement, the Bible also emphasizes the importance of welcoming and caring for the stranger. This theme of hospitality towards outsiders resonates throughout various passages, emphasizing the universal love and compassion promoted in biblical teachings.

One notable example is found in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, where the injunction to “love the alien as yourself” underscores the value of extending kindness and empathy to those outside one’s own community. This directive transcends boundaries of nationality or ethnicity, highlighting the intrinsic worth and dignity of every individual, regardless of their background.

In the New Testament, the term “Allophulos” is further illuminated through the teachings of Jesus Christ. His ministry is characterized by a radical inclusivity that challenges societal norms and prejudices, inviting all people, regardless of their status as insiders or outsiders, to partake in the message of salvation and grace.

Through the lens of “Allophulos,” the Greek biblical references offer a profound reminder of the transformative power of love and acceptance across cultural and religious divides. The term transcends its initial connotations of foreignness to embody a vision of unity and solidarity among all humanity, reflecting the universal reach of God’s redemptive plan.


In conclusion, the Greek word “allophulos” holds significant meaning within the context of the Bible. As we have explored, this term refers to foreigners or strangers, emphasizing the importance of hospitality and kindness towards those who may be perceived as different. Through understanding the origins and usage of “allophulos” in biblical texts, we gain insight into the values of inclusion, compassion, and unity that are central to the teachings of the Bible. By embracing the concept of “allophulos” in our lives, we can strive to foster a spirit of acceptance and love towards all individuals, regardless of background or nationality.

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