July 10, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Anthropoktonos in Greek


Parts of Speech: Adjective

Anthropoktonos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 3

  1. a manslayer, murderer


What is the etymology of the word Anthropoktonos in Greek?

The Greek word “Anthropoktonos” is a compound word derived from two Greek words: “anthropos” meaning “man” or “human” and “kteinō” meaning “to kill” or “to murder.” When combined, “Anthropoktonos” literally translates to “man-killer” or “murderer of men.”

In the context of the Bible, the word “Anthropoktonos” is used in 1 John 3:15, which states, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” In this verse, the term “Anthropoktonos” is used to emphasize the gravity of harboring hatred towards one’s fellow human being. It goes beyond the physical act of murder to include the intent and attitude of the heart.

This strong language highlights the biblical principle that hatred and violence towards others are as serious as physical murder in the eyes of God. It underscores the importance of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation in the Christian faith.

Understanding the etymology and meaning of “Anthropoktonos” in Greek provides a deeper insight into the biblical teachings on interpersonal relationships, love, and the value of human life. It challenges believers to examine their hearts and actions towards others, reminding them of the call to love one another as Christ has loved them.

How is the term “Anthropoktonos” used in the Bible?

In the Greek language of the New Testament, the term “Anthropoktonos” holds significant weight and provides insight into the biblical text. This word is a combination of two Greek words: “anthropos” meaning “man” and “ktonos” meaning “killer” or “murderer.” Therefore, “Anthropoktonos” can be translated to mean “man-slayer” or “murderer of men.”

The term “Anthropoktonos” appears in 1 John 3:15, where it states, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” In this verse, the author is emphasizing that harboring hatred towards another person is as serious as committing murder in the eyes of God. By using the term “Anthropoktonos,” the author conveys the gravity of holding animosity towards one’s fellow human being.

Furthermore, the use of “Anthropoktonos” helps to illustrate the broader message of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation that is prevalent throughout the Bible. The term serves as a reminder of the importance of treating others with kindness and respect, attributing great significance to the value of human life.

Understanding the meaning of “Anthropoktonos” in its Greek context within the Bible enhances our comprehension of the teachings and principles conveyed in the scriptures. It prompts us to reflect on our actions and attitudes towards others, urging us to strive for unity, compassion, and goodwill in our interactions with our fellow human beings.

What is the significance of “Anthropoktonos” in the context of Biblical narratives?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Anthropoktonos” holds a significant and impactful meaning. Derived from Greek origins, “Anthropoktonos” is a compound word consisting of “anthropos,” meaning human or man, and “ktonos,” meaning murderer or killer. Therefore, the word “Anthropoktonos” can be understood as “murderer of humans” or “man-slayer.” This term is used in the New Testament in reference to a specific individual mentioned in the Book of Acts.

The significance of “Anthropoktonos” becomes evident in its association with the character of Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, known for committing the first murder in human history by killing his brother Abel out of jealousy. In 1 John 3:12, Cain is referred to as “Anthropoktonos” when it says, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother.” This label serves to emphasize the severity of Cain’s actions and the consequences of his sinful deed.

By using the term “Anthropoktonos,” the biblical narrative underscores the gravity of murder and the destructive nature of sin. It serves as a cautionary tale, warning against giving in to jealousy, hatred, and the temptation to harm others. The story of Cain and Abel, linked to the term “Anthropoktonos,” serves as a reminder of the importance of righteousness, reconciliation, and the value of human life.

Furthermore, the mention of “Anthropoktonos” in the Bible serves to highlight the contrast between righteousness and wickedness, between love and hatred. It prompts readers to reflect on their own actions and attitudes towards their fellow human beings. The term challenges individuals to choose the path of peace, forgiveness, and compassion, rather than succumbing to the destructive tendencies embodied by “Anthropoktonos.”


In conclusion, understanding the term “Anthropoktonos” in its Greek context sheds light on the significance of humanity in the Bible. This word, meaning “a murderer of man,” points to the biblical narrative of Cain and Abel and the inherent sinfulness of humanity. By delving into the etymology and connotations of this term, we gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of human nature and the need for redemption and forgiveness as central themes in the Christian faith. As we continue to study the Greek origins of biblical words and phrases, we uncover layers of meaning that enrich our understanding of the sacred text and its timeless teachings.

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