July 1, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Athlesis in Greek



Parts of Speech: Noun Feminine

Athlesis Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. to contest, to combat, to strive, struggle, hard trial


What is the significance of the term “Athlesis” in Greek when mentioned in the New Testament?

In the New Testament, the term “Athlesis” holds significant meaning when examined in its Greek context. This term is derived from the root word “athleo,” which translates to “to contend for a prize” or “to struggle.” When used in the Bible, “Athlesis” is often associated with striving, competing, or contending in a challenging and disciplined manner.

One of the notable instances of “Athlesis” in the New Testament can be found in 1 Timothy 6:12, where it is written, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” In this verse, “Athlesis” is employed to convey the idea of engaging in a spiritual battle, holding fast to one’s faith, and persevering through trials and tribulations.

Furthermore, the concept of “Athlesis” is not merely physical or outward striving but also encompasses the spiritual aspect of enduring challenges and conflicts with steadfast faith and determination. This term emphasizes the idea of running the race of faith with endurance, discipline, and perseverance, striving towards the ultimate goal of eternal life.

How does the concept of “Athlesis” in Greek relate to spiritual battles in the Bible?

The Greek word “Athlesis” holds significant meaning when examining spiritual battles within the Bible. The term “Athlesis” originates from the root word “athlon,” which translates to “contest” or “competition.” In the context of the Bible, “Athlesis” refers to the intense spiritual struggle or conflict that believers face in their journey of faith.

One of the most well-known passages in the Bible that references this concept is found in the book of Ephesians, where Paul exhorts believers to put on the whole armor of God to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. This metaphorical armor includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This imagery of spiritual warfare conveys the idea of being actively engaged in a battle against spiritual forces of evil.

The concept of “Athlesis” in Greek also aligns with the notion of perseverance and endurance in the face of trials and tribulations. In the book of Hebrews, believers are encouraged to run with endurance the race that is set before them, keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of faith. This race symbolizes the ongoing struggle and effort required to overcome obstacles and remain faithful to God amidst adversity.

Furthermore, the term “Athlesis” emphasizes the need for spiritual discipline and training in order to be fully equipped to face spiritual battles. Just as athletes undergo rigorous training to compete in athletic contests, believers are called to train themselves in godliness and spiritual warfare through prayer, studying the Word, and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.

In what ways is “Athlesis” used in the context of spiritual warfare in the Greek translation of the Bible? What does Athlesis mean in Greek in Context of the Bible

In the Greek translation of the Bible, the term “Athlesis” is used in the context of spiritual warfare to depict various aspects of the struggles faced by believers in their faith journey. Derived from the Greek word “athleƍ,” which means to engage in a fierce struggle or conflict, the concept of Athlesis conveys the idea of intense spiritual battles that believers endure in their walk with God.

Athlesis is used in the Bible to illustrate the perseverance, endurance, and fighting spirit required of believers in the face of spiritual opposition and challenges. It emphasizes the notion of engaging in a spiritual battle against unseen forces of darkness that seek to hinder one’s faith and relationship with God. The term highlights the need for believers to be strong, resolute, and unwavering in their faith, standing firm in the face of adversity.

One significant biblical passage where the term Athlesis is utilized in the context of spiritual warfare is found in Ephesians 6:12, which states, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Here, the term Athlesis underscores the spiritual warfare believers face and the need to arm themselves with the full armor of God to stand firm against the schemes of the enemy.

Additionally, Athlesis is also employed in other parts of the Bible to emphasize the importance of being vigilant, prayerful, and steadfast in one’s faith amidst trials and tribulations. It underscores the idea of being actively engaged in the spiritual battle, relying on the strength and power of God to overcome the challenges that come one’s way.


In conclusion, the word “athlesis” in Greek, as used in the context of the Bible, carries a powerful message of endurance, striving, and victory in the face of adversity. It conveys the idea of running a race with perseverance and courage, even in the face of obstacles. Understanding the full depth of the word “athlesis” enriches our appreciation of the challenges and triumphs faced by the biblical figures and encourages us to similarly persevere in our own faith journeys. By exploring the origins and meaning of this Greek word, we gain a deeper understanding of the biblical text and the timeless truths it conveys.

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