Christ - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G5547, christos ]
anointed," translates, in the Sept., the word "Messiah," a term applied to the priests who were anointed with the holy oil, particularly the high priest, e.g., Leviticus 4:3, Leviticus 4:5, Leviticus 4:16. The prophets are called hoi christoi Theou, "the anointed of God," Psalms 105:15. A king of Israel was described upon occassion as christos tou Kuriou, "the anointed of the Lord," 1 Samuel 2:10, 1 Samuel 2:35; 2 Samuel 1:14; Psalms 2:2; Psalms 18:50; Habakkuk 3:13; the term is used even of Cyrus, Isaiah 45:1.

The title ho Christos, "the Christ," is not used of Christ in the Sept. version of the inspired books of the OT. In the NT the word is frequently used with the article, of the Lord Jesus, as an appellative rather than a title, e.g., Matthew 2:4; Acts 2:31; without the article, Luke 2:11; Luke 23:2; John 1:41. Three times the title was expressly accepted by the Lord Himself, Matthew 16:17; Mark 14:61-Mark 14:62; John 4:26.

It is added as an appellative to the proper name "Jesus," e.g., John 17:3, the only time when the Lord so spoke of Himself; Acts 9:34; 1 Corinthians 3:11; 1 John 5:6. It is distinctly a proper name in many passages, whether with the article, e.g., Matthew 1:17; Matthew 11:2; Romans 7:4; Romans 9:5; Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 1:6, or without the article, Mark 9:41; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:9, Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 1:12; Galatians 2:16. The single title Christos is sometimes used without the article to signify the One who by His Holy Spirit and power indwells believers and molds their character in conformity to His likeness, Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 3:17. As to the use or absence of the article, the title with the article specifies the Lord Jesus as "the Christ;" the title without the article stresses His character and His relationship with believers. Again, speaking generally, when the title is the subject of a sentence it has the article; when it forms part of the predicate the article is absent. See also JESUS.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words