G5878 - Strong's Greek Lexicon Number


Synonyms for Holy, Sacred, Pure.
See Definition for ieros { [G2411]}
See Definition for osios { [G3741]}
See Definition for agios { [G40]}
See Definition for agnos { [G53]}
See Definition for semnos { [G4586]}

None of these words in classical Greek has necessarily any moral
significance. Those which now have such a meaning have developed it in
Biblical Greek.

ieros means sacred, implying some special relation to God, so
that it may not be violated. It refers, however, to formal relation
rather than to character. It designates an external relation, which
ordinarily is not an internal relation as well. It is used to describe
persons or things. This is the commonest word for holy in
classical Greek, and expresses their usual conception of holiness, but
it is rare in the N.T. because it fails to express the fullness of the
N.T. conception.

osios, used of persons or things, describes that which is in
harmony with the divine constitution of the moral universe. Hence, it
is that which is in accordance with the general and instinctively felt
idea of right, "what is consecrated and sanctioned by universal law
and consent" (Passow), rather than what is in accordance with any
system of revealed truth. As contrary to osios, i.e., as
anosia, the Greeks regarded, e.g., a marriage between brother
and sister such as was common in Egypt, or the omission of the rites
of sepulture in connection with a relative. agios has probably as
its fundamental meaning separation, i.e., from the world to God's
service. If not the original meaning, this at any rate is a meaning
early in use. This separation, however, is not chiefly external, it is
rather a separation from evil and defilement. The moral signification
of the word is therefore the prominent one. This word, rare and of
neutral meaning in classical Greek, has been developed in meaning, so
that it expresses the full N.T. conception of holiness as no other

agnos is probably related to agios. It means specifically
pure. But this may be only in a ceremonial sense, or it may have
a moral signification. It sometimes describes freedom from
impurities of the flesh.