Flesh - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G4561, sarx ]
has a wider range of meaning in the NT than in the OT. Its uses in the NT may be analyzed as follows:

(a) "the substance of the body," whether of beasts or of men, 1 Corinthians 15:39;
(b) "the human body," 2 Corinthians 10:3; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:22;
(c) by synecdoche, of "mankind," in the totality of all that is essential to manhood, i.e., spirit, soul, and body, Matthew 24:22; John 1:13; Romans 3:20;
(d) by synecdoche, of "the holy humanity" of the Lord Jesus, in the totality of all that is essential to manhood, i.e., spirit, soul, and body, John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; in Hebrews 5:7, "the days of His flesh," i.e., His past life on earth in distinction from His present life in resurrection;
(e) by synecdoche, for "the complete person," John 6:51-John 6:57; 2 Corinthians 7:5; James 5:3;
(f) "the weaker element in human nature," Matthew 26:41; Romans 6:19; Romans 8:3;
(g) "the unregenerate state of men," Romans 7:5; Romans 8:8-Romans 8:9;
(h) "the seat of sin in man" (but this is not the same thing as in the body), 2 Peter 2:18; 1 John 2:16;
(i) "the lower and temporary element in the Christian," Galatians 3:3; Galatians 6:8, and in religious ordinances, Hebrews 9:10;
(j) "the natural attainments of men," 1 Corinthians 1:26; 2 Corinthians 10:2-3;
(k) "circumstances," 1 Corinthians 7:28; the externals of life, 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 6:5; Hebrews 9:13;
(l) by metonymy, "the outward and seeming," as contrasted with the spirit, the inward and real, John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 5:16;
(m) "natural relationship, consanguine," 1 Corinthians 10:18; Galatians 4:23, or marital, Matthew 19:5." * [* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 111,112.]

In Matthew 26:41; Romans 8:4, Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 6:8 (not the Holy Spirit, here), "flesh" is contrasted with spirit; in Romans 2:28-Romans 2:29, with heart and spirit; in Romans 7:25, with the mind; cp. Colossians 2:1, Colossians 2:5. It is coupled with the mind in Ephesians 2:3, and with the spirit in 2 Corinthians 7:1.

Note: In Colossians 2:18 the noun sarx is used in the phrase "(by his) fleshly mind," lit., "by the mind of his flesh" [See
(h) above], whereas the mind ought to be dominated by the Spirit.

[ 2,,G2907, kreas ]
denotes "flesh" in the sense of meat. It is used in the plural in Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:13.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words