July 1, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Athetesis in Greek



Parts of Speech: Noun Feminine

Athetesis Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 2

  1. abolition, disannulling, put away, rejection

What is the significance of the term “Athetesis” in Greek as used in the Bible?

In the Greek text of the Bible, the term “Athetesis” holds a significant and profound meaning. The word “Athetesis” is derived from the Greek verb “atheteo,” which means to set aside, nullify, or reject. In the context of the Bible, this term is used to convey the idea of something being rejected or declared invalid.

The concept of “Athetesis” is found in various passages of the New Testament, where it is used to signify the setting aside or rejection of something that was once considered important or valuable. In theological terms, it can represent the idea of God nullifying or invalidating a previous covenant or law to establish a new covenant or truth.

One prominent example of the term “Athetesis” in the Bible can be found in Hebrews 7:18-19, which states, “For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside (Athetesis) because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect)…”

This passage highlights the notion of the old covenant being set aside or nullified because of its limitations and imperfections. It emphasizes the need for a new and better covenant, which is fulfilled in Christ.

Furthermore, the term “Athetesis” is also used in Galatians 3:15 to demonstrate the unchangeable nature of a covenant once ratified, emphasizing the importance of God’s promises being irrevocable and enduring.

How does the concept of “Athetesis” relate to biblical interpretation and understanding?

Athetesis is a Greek term that holds significant importance in the context of biblical interpretation. The term “Athetesis” is derived from the Greek word “ἀθέτησις,” which means rejection or disavowal. In biblical studies, Athetesis refers to the rejection or questioning of certain text passages, particularly in relation to ancient manuscripts and their variants.

When it comes to understanding the Bible, it is crucial to consider the concept of Athetesis. Biblical scholars and historians often engage in textual criticism to analyze different versions of biblical texts and manuscripts. Through this process, they may come across discrepancies or inconsistencies in the text. Athetesis comes into play when these scholars determine that a particular passage or verse may not have been part of the original text or may have been added later.

By applying the concept of Athetesis, biblical scholars aim to uncover the most authentic and reliable version of the biblical texts. This process involves evaluating the linguistic, historical, and cultural context in which the texts were written. Through the identification of potential interpolations or deletions, scholars can gain deeper insights into the original meaning and intent of the biblical authors.

Athetesis also helps in understanding the transmission and preservation of the biblical texts over centuries. By pinpointing textual variations and discrepancies, scholars can trace the evolution of the biblical manuscripts and discern the reasons behind certain additions or omissions. This critical approach enhances our understanding of how the biblical texts were passed down through generations and helps in reconstructing the most accurate versions of the scriptures.

What are the historical and cultural implications of the term “Athetesis” in Greek within the context of the Bible?

The Greek term “Athetesis” holds significant historical and cultural implications within the context of the Bible. To understand the meaning of “Athetesis” in Greek in the Bible, we delve into its origins and applications in biblical texts.

The term “Athetesis” originates from the Greek verb “Athetéo,” meaning “to set aside” or “to reject.” In biblical scholarship, “Athetesis” is often used to refer to the concept of the rejection or setting aside of something previously established. This term is primarily found in the context of the New Testament, particularly in discussions about God’s covenants and promises to His people.

In the Bible, the concept of “Athetesis” is closely tied to the idea of God’s faithfulness and the fulfillment of His promises. It signifies a temporary suspension or setting aside of a covenant or a promise, with the understanding that it will be reinstated or fulfilled in the future. This notion is pivotal in understanding the overarching narrative of redemption and restoration presented in the scriptures.

One prominent example of “Athetesis” in the Bible is found in the book of Romans, where the apostle Paul discusses the temporary setting aside of the Jewish people in God’s plan of salvation in order to extend His grace to the Gentiles. This temporary rejection, or “Athetesis,” of Israel is depicted as part of God’s overarching plan to bring about reconciliation and salvation for all humanity.

Furthermore, the concept of “Athetesis” underscores the intricate relationship between God’s sovereignty and human free will. It demonstrates that while God’s purposes are certain and His promises are unfailing, the fulfillment of these promises may involve moments of apparent rejection or setting aside to accomplish His greater purposes.


In conclusion, understanding the Greek term “athetesis” in the context of the Bible sheds light on the concept of rejection or denial of something as true or authoritative. This word appears in the New Testament, particularly in Hebrews 9:26, emphasizing the setting aside or removal of sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. By delving into the Greek origins and connotations of “athetesis,” we gain a deeper appreciation of the theological significance and implications within biblical teachings. It highlights the profound message of redemption and forgiveness that lies at the heart of Christian faith.

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