Corrupt, Verb and Adjective. Corruption, Corruptible, Incorruption, Incorruptible - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Corrupt, Verb and Adjective. Corruption, Corruptible, Incorruption, Incorruptible

[ A-1,Verb,G2585, kapeleuo ]
primarily signifies to be a retailer, to peddle, to hucksterize" (from kapelos, "an inn-keeper, a petty retailer, especially of wine, a huckster, peddler," in contrast to emporos, "a merchant"); hence, "to get base gain by dealing in anything," and so, more generally, "to do anything for sordid personal advantage." It is found in 2 Corinthians 2:17, with reference to the ministry of the Gospel. The significance can be best ascertained by comparison and contrast with the verb doloo in 2 Corinthians 4:2 (likewise there only in the NT), "to handle deceitfully." The meanings are not identical. While both involve the deceitful dealing of adulterating the word of truth, kapeleuo has the broader significance of doing so in order to make dishonest gain. Those to whom the Apostle refers in 2 Corinthians 2:17 are such as make merchandise of souls through covetousness (cp. Titus 1:11; 2 Peter 2:3, 2 Peter 2:14-15; Jude 1:11, Jude 1:16; Ezekiel 13:19); accordingly "hucksterizing" would be the most appropriate rendering in this passage, while "handling deceitfully" is the right meaning in 2 Corinthians 4:2. See Trench, Syn. lxii. In Isaiah 1:22, the Sept. has "thy wine-merchants" (kapeloi, "hucksterizers").

[ A-2,Verb,G5351, phtheiro ]
signifies "to destroy by means of corrupting," and so "bringing into a worse state;"
(a) with this significance it is used of the effect of evil company upon the manners of believers, and so of the effect of association with those who deny the truth and hold false doctrine, 1 Corinthians 15:33 (this was a saying of the pagan poet Menander, which became a well known proverb); in 2 Corinthians 7:2, of the effects of dishonorable dealing by bringing people to want (a charge made against the Apostle); in 2 Corinthians 11:3, of the effects upon the minds (or thoughts) of believers by "corrupting" them "from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ;" in Ephesians 4:22, intransitively, of the old nature in waxing "corrupt," "morally decaying, on the way to final ruin" (Moule), "after the lusts of deceit;" in Revelation 19:2, metaphorically, of the Babylonish harlot, in "corrupting" the inhabitants of the earth by her false religion.

(b) With the significance of destroying, it is used of marring a local church by leading it away from that condition of holiness of life and purity of doctrine in which it should abide, 1 Corinthians 3:17 (AV, "defile"), and of God's retributive destruction of the offender who is guilty of this sin (id.); of the effects of the work of false and abominable teachers upon themselves, 2 Peter 2:12 (some texts have kataphtheiro; AV, "shall utterly perish"), and Jude 1:10 (AV, "corrupt themselves." RV, marg., "are corrupted"). See DEFILE and DESTROY.

[ A-3,Verb,G1311, diaphtheiro ]
dia, "through," intensive, and No. 2, "to corrupt utterly, through and through," is said of men "corrupted in mind," whose wranglings result from the doctrines of false teachers, 1 Timothy 6:5 (the AV wrongly renders it as an adjective, "corrupt"). It is translated "destroyeth" instead of "corrupteth," in the RV of Luke 12:33, of the work of a moth; in Revelation 8:9, of the effect of Divine judgments hereafter upon navigation; in Revelation 11:18, of the Divine retribution of destruction upon those who have destroyed the earth; in 2 Corinthians 4:16 it is translated "is decaying," said of the human body. See DESTROY, PERISH.

[ A-4,Verb,G2704, kataphtheiro ]
kata, "down," intensive, and No. 2, is said of men who are reprobate concerning the faith, "corrupted in mind" (AV, "corrupt"), 2 Timothy 3:8. For 2 Peter 2:12, RV, "shall be destroyed," See No. 2.

[ A-5,Verb,G4595, sepo ]
signifies "to make corrupt, to destroy;" in the Passive Voice with Middle sense, "to become corrupt or rotten, to perish," said of riches, James 5:2, of the gold and silver of the luxurious rich who have ground down their laborers. The verb is derived from a root signifying "to rot off, drop to pieces."

[ A-6,Verb,G853, aphanizo ]
See CONSUME, No. 3.

[ B-1,Noun,G5356, phthora ]
connected with phtheiro, No. 2, above, signifies "a bringing or being brought into an inferior or worse condition, a destruction or corruption." It is used
(a) physically,

(1), of the condition of creation, as under bondage, Romans 8:21;

(2) of the effect of the withdrawal of life, and so of the condition of the human body in burial, 1 Corinthians 15:42;

(3) by metonymy, of anything which is liable to "corruption," 1 Corinthians 15:50;

(4) of the physical effects of merely gratifying the natural desires and ministering to one's own needs or lusts, Galatians 6:8, to the flesh in contrast to the Spirit, "corruption" being antithetic to "eternal life;"

(5) of that which is naturally short-lived and transient, Colossians 2:22, "perish;"
(b) of the death and decay of beasts, 2 Peter 2:12, RV, "destroyed" (first part of verse; lit., "unto ... destruction");
(c) ethically, with a moral significance,

(1) of the effect of lusts, 2 Peter 1:4;

(2) of the effect upon themselves of the work of false and immoral teachers, 2 Peter 2:12, RV, "destroying;" AV, "corruption," and 2 Peter 2:19. See DESTROY, PERISH.

Note: There is nothing in any of these words suggesting or involving annihilation.

[ B-2,Noun,G1312, diaphthora ]
an intensified form of No. 1, "utter or thorough corruption," referring in the NT to physical decomposition and decay, is used six times, five of which refer, negatively, to the body of God's "Holy One," after His death, which body, by reason of His absolute holiness, could not See "corruption," Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31; Acts 13:34-Acts 13:35, Acts 13:37; once it is used of a human body, that of David, which, by contrast, saw "corruption," Acts 13:36.

[ B-3,Noun,G861, aphtharsia ]
"incorruption," a, negative, with A, No. 2, is used
(a) of the resurrection body, 1 Corinthians 15:42, 1 Corinthians 15:50, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54;
(b) of a condition associated with glory and honor and life, including perhaps a moral significance, Romans 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:10; this is wrongly translated "immortality" in the AV;
(c) of love to Christ, that which is sincere and undiminishing, Ephesians 6:24 (translated "uncorruptness"). See IMMORTALITY, SINCERITY.

Note: For Titus 2:7 (where some texts have aphtharsia), See No. 4.

[ B-4,Noun,G5356, aphthoria ]
similar to No. 3, "uncorruptness, free from (moral) taint," is said of doctrine, Titus 2:7 (some texts have adiaphthoria, the negative form of No. 2, above).

[ C-1,Adjective,G5349, phthartos ]
"corruptible," akin to A, No. 2, is used
(a) of man as being mortal, liable to decay (in contrast to God), Romans 1:23;
(b) of man's body as death-doomed, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54;
(c) of a crown of reward at the Greek games, 1 Corinthians 9:25;
(d) of silver and gold, as specimens or "corruptible" things, 1 Peter 1:18;
(e) of natural seed, 1 Peter 1:23.

[ C-2,Adjective,G862, apthartos ]
"not liable to corruption or decay, incorruptible" (a, negative, and A, No. 2), is used of
(a) God, Romans 1:23; 1 Timothy 1:17 (AV, "immortal");
(b) the raised dead, 1 Corinthians 15:52;
(c) rewards given to the saints hereafter, metaphorically described as a "crown," 1 Corinthians 9:25;
(d) the eternal inheritance of the saints, 1 Peter 1:4;
(e) the Word of God, as incorruptible" seed, 1 Peter 1:23;
(f) a meek and quiet spirit, metaphorically spoken of as "incorruptible" apparel, 1 Peter 3:4. See IMMORAL.

[ C-3,Adjective,G4550, sapros ]
"corrupt," akin to sepo, A, No. 5; See BAD No. 3.


(1) Trench, Syn. lxviii, contrasts this with amarantos, and amarantinos, "unwithering, not fading away," 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 5:4. These are, however, distinct terms (See FADE) and are not strictly synonymous, though used in the same description of the heavenly inheritance.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words