July 5, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Analepsis in Greek


Parts of Speech: Noun Feminine

Analepsis Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. a taking up


What does the biblical context reveal about the meaning of “Analambano” in Greek?

In the context of the Bible, the Greek word “Analambano” holds significant meaning that goes beyond its literal translation. The term, “Analambano”, is comprised of two Greek words – “ana” meaning “up” or “again,” and “lambano” meaning “to take” or “to receive.” When combined, “Analambano” conveys the idea of taking up or receiving something in a comprehensive sense. This word appears multiple times in the New Testament, shedding light on its deeper meanings as used in biblical texts.

One notable instance of “Analambano” in the Bible is found in the Gospel of Matthew 1:20. This verse describes how Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, “took up” or “received” Mary as his wife. Here, the word implies not just a physical act of taking in marriage but also a deeper acceptance and commitment to care for Mary and the child she carried, despite the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Jesus’ conception.

Another significant usage of “Analambano” can be seen in Acts 1:9. This passage recounts the moment of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, where it is said that a cloud “received” or “took up” Jesus out of the sight of his disciples. In this context, “Analambano” conveys the idea of being lifted up in a spiritual sense, symbolizing Jesus’ return to the divine realm after completing his earthly ministry.

Furthermore, in the Gospel of John 14:3, Jesus speaks of going to prepare a place for his followers, saying, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will ‘take you up’ to myself, that where I am you may be also.” Here, the use of “Analambano” hints at a future gathering of believers with Christ in a reunion that transcends earthly limitations.

How does the concept of Analepsis relate to biblical storytelling techniques?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Analepsis” originates from the Greek language and holds significant importance in understanding biblical storytelling techniques. Analepsis, also known as flashback or retrospective narrative, refers to a literary or cinematic device where the narrative shifts to an earlier point in time to provide context or background information to the audience. This technique is commonly used in the Bible to enrich the storytelling experience and deepen the understanding of the events and characters described.

The use of Analepsis in biblical narratives serves multiple purposes. It helps to illuminate the motives and actions of key biblical figures by delving into their past experiences or decisions. By presenting flashbacks, the Bible provides insights into the complexities of human nature and the consequences of choices made. For example, in the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis, the narrative employs Analepsis to reveal the jealousy and betrayal that led to Joseph’s enslavement by his brothers.

Furthermore, Analepsis in the Bible aids in connecting different parts of the narrative, creating a cohesive and nuanced storyline. By shifting back and forth in time, biblical accounts are intricately woven together, highlighting the continuity and significance of God’s plan throughout history. This technique reinforces the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and providence that are central to many biblical stories.

Moreover, Analepsis plays a crucial role in engaging the audience and maintaining their interest in the biblical text. By revealing key information gradually and in a non-linear fashion, the storytelling becomes more dynamic and compelling. The element of suspense created by Analepsis prompts readers to reflect on the events unfolding and anticipate their resolution, fostering a deeper connection to the narrative.

What examples of Analepsis can be found in key biblical narratives?

Analepsis, a term rooted in Greek origin, holds a significant role in understanding various narratives in the Bible. Derived from the Greek word “ἀνάληψις,” which means “recovery” or “recollection,” analepsis refers to a narrative technique where a story shifts back in time to provide additional context or background information. In the context of the Bible, analepsis is commonly used to shed light on past events that are crucial for understanding the present.

One notable example of analepsis in the Bible can be found in the Book of Genesis. The story of Joseph and his brothers showcases this narrative technique vividly. In Genesis 37, the narrative begins with Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. However, through analepsis, the text takes a retrospective turn in Genesis 45, revealing the initial events that led to Joseph’s betrayal by his brothers. This technique allows readers to grasp the full scope of the story and understand the complex dynamics within Joseph’s family.

Another significant example of analepsis can be seen in the Gospel of Luke. The Parable of the Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15, employs analepsis to provide a backstory to the main narrative. The parable starts with a son leaving his father and squandering his inheritance. However, through analepsis, the narrative shifts to explain the circumstances that led to the son’s departure, offering insight into the characters’ motivations and emotions.

Moreover, the Gospel of John also utilizes analepsis to deepen the understanding of certain events. In John 12, the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead incorporates analepsis by recounting past interactions between Jesus and Lazarus’ family. By delving into these past interactions, the narrative builds emotional depth and lays the foundation for the miraculous event of Lazarus’ resurrection.


In conclusion, the term “analepsis” in Greek, as used in the context of the Bible, carries a significant meaning of recalling or remembering past events to provide a deeper understanding of a narrative or a specific point. This term enriches the biblical texts with layers of history, cultural significance, and emotional depth, allowing readers to connect with the stories in a more profound way. Understanding the significance of “analepsis” sheds light on how biblical narratives are constructed and invites further exploration into the intricate meanings behind the scriptures. As we delve deeper into the origins and meanings of Greek biblical words and phrases, we uncover a treasure trove of wisdom and insight that continues to inspire and resonate with readers today.

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