July 8, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Anatrepo in Greek


Parts of Speech: Verb

Anatrepo Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 3

  1. to overthrow, overturn, destroy
  2. to subvert


What is the significance of Anatrepo in Greek in the New Testament?

Anatrepo is a Greek word that appears in the New Testament, specifically in the book of Luke. Understanding the meaning of Anatrepo sheds light on the cultural and historical context of the biblical text.

In Greek, Anatrepo (ἀνατρέπω) means to overturn, to overthrow, or to destroy completely. This word carries a sense of dramatic and decisive action. In the New Testament, Anatrepo is used in a metaphorical sense to describe the radical transformation that occurs when someone encounters the teachings of Jesus.

One notable instance of Anatrepo in the New Testament is found in Luke 10:30-37, in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this parable, a man is attacked by robbers and left for dead. Both a priest and a Levite pass by without offering help. However, a Samaritan, traditionally despised by the Jewish people, goes out of his way to aid the wounded man. In his actions, the Samaritan demonstrates the true meaning of compassion and overturns societal expectations of who is a neighbor.

The use of Anatrepo in this parable highlights the radical nature of Jesus’ teachings. It challenges the existing social norms and calls for a complete reevaluation of how one should live out their faith in practical ways. By choosing to help the stranger in need, the Samaritan disrupts the established order and exemplifies the transformative power of love and mercy.

In a broader sense, Anatrepo serves as a reminder that the message of the Gospel is meant to upend our current way of thinking and living. It demands a complete overhaul of our priorities, values, and actions. The concept of Anatrepo urges believers to actively engage with the world around them, to challenge injustice, and to strive for a more compassionate and inclusive society.

How is the term Anatrepo used in the context of repentance in the Bible?

In the Greek New Testament, the term “Anatrepo” is used in the context of repentance. The word “Anatrepo” comes from the root words “ana” meaning “again” or “back” and “trepo” meaning “to turn.” Therefore, the term “Anatrepo” carries the idea of turning back or turning again. This concept of turning back or turning again is closely related to the idea of repentance in the Bible.

Repentance in the Bible is often associated with turning away from sin and turning back to God. When we repent, we are acknowledging our wrongdoing, feeling sincere regret for our actions, and making a conscious decision to change our ways. The term “Anatrepo” captures this idea of turning back to God after straying away.

One significant example of the term “Anatrepo” used in the context of repentance is found in the Gospel of Luke 17:4, where Jesus instructs his disciples, saying, “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns (Anatrepo) to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” In this context, “Anatrepo” emphasizes the continuous action of turning back or repenting, highlighting the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Another instance of the term “Anatrepo” in the context of repentance can be seen in Acts 3:19, where Peter preaches to the people, urging them to “Repent, then, and turn (Anatrepo) to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Here, “Anatrepo” is used to convey the essential nature of turning back to God as part of the repentance process, leading to forgiveness and spiritual renewal.

In what ways does Anatrepo differ from other Greek terms for repentance in biblical texts?

Repentance is a central theme in the Bible, urging individuals to turn away from sin and toward God. In Greek Biblical texts, the concept of repentance is often conveyed through various terms, each with its unique nuances. One such term is ‘Anatrepo,’ which holds a distinct meaning compared to other Greek words for repentance.

In the context of the Bible, ‘Anatrepo’ signifies a deep and profound change of heart and mind, leading to a complete turnaround in one’s actions and attitudes. While other Greek terms like ‘Metanoia’ and ‘Epistrepho’ also carry the connotation of repentance, ‘Anatrepo’ emphasizes a more intense and deliberate transformation.

The term ‘Metanoia’ is often used to describe a change in one’s thinking or mindset, indicating a shift towards God’s perspective and away from sinful behavior. On the other hand, ‘Epistrepho’ focuses on the physical act of turning around or returning, implying a redirection of one’s path back to God.

In contrast, ‘Anatrepo’ goes beyond mere mental or physical actions; it encompasses a profound moral and spiritual conversion. It involves a sincere and profound regret for past wrongs, coupled with a genuine desire to change and walk in righteousness. ‘Anatrepo’ conveys a sense of true remorse and a heartfelt commitment to live a life pleasing to God.

Furthermore, ‘Anatrepo’ implies a continuous process of transformation and renewal, emphasizing the ongoing journey of repentance and growth in faith. It encourages believers to constantly reassess their thoughts and behaviors, seeking to align them with God’s will and purpose.


In conclusion, the Greek word “anatrepo” holds a significant meaning in the context of the Bible. As we have explored its origins and usage in various biblical passages, we see that it represents a turning away or a change of direction in one’s beliefs or actions. Understanding the deeper significance of this word can provide valuable insights into the themes of repentance, transformation, and renewal that are central to many biblical teachings. By delving into the original Greek meanings of biblical words like “anatrepo,” we can gain a richer understanding of the profound wisdom and guidance that the Scriptures offer to those seeking spiritual growth and enlightenment.

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