Godliness, Godly - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Godliness, Godly

[ A-1,Noun,G2150, eusebeia ]
from eu, well," and sebomai, "to be devout," denotes that piety which, characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to Him. This and the corresponding verb and adverb (See below) are frequent in the Pastoral Epistles, but do not occur in previous Epistles of Paul. The Apostle Peter has the noun four times in his 2nd Epistle, 2 Peter 1:3,6,7; 2 Peter 3:11. Elsewhere it occurs in Acts 3:12; 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:7,8; 1 Timothy 6:3,5,6,11; 2 Timothy 3:5; Titus 1:1. In 1 Timothy 6:3 "the doctrine which is according to godliness" signifies that which is consistent with "godliness," in contrast to false teachings; in Titus 1:1, "the truth which is according to godliness" is that which is productive of "godliness" in 1 Timothy 3:16, "the mystery of godliness" is "godliness" as embodied in, and communicated through, the truths of the faith concerning Christ; in 2 Peter 3:11, the word is in the plural, signifying acts of "godliness."

[ A-2,Noun,G2317, theosebeia ]
denotes "the fear or reverence of God," from theos, "god," and sebomai (See No. 1), 1 Timothy 2:10. Cp. the adjective theosebes, "God-fearing," John 9:31. In the Sept. Genesis 20:11; Job 28:28.

Note: For eulabeia, "godly fear," Hebrews 5:7; Hebrews 12:28 See FEAR, A, No. 3; for eulabeomai, "to reverence," Hebrews 11:7 ("for His godly fear") See FEAR, D, No. 2; for the verb eusebeo, "to show piety," 1 Timothy 5:4; "to worship," Acts 17:23, See PIETY and WORSHIP.

[ B-1,Adjective,G2152, eusebes ]
akin to A, No. 1, denotes "pious, devout, godly," indicating reverence manifested in actions; it is rendered "godly" in 2 Peter 2:9. See DEVOUT.

[ C-1,Adverb,G2153, eusebos ]
denotes "piously, godly;" it is used with the verb "to live" (of manner of life) in 2 Timothy 3:12; Titus 2:12.


(1) In the following the word "godly" translates the genitive case of the noun theos, lit., "of God," 2 Corinthians 1:12, AV, "godly (sincerity)," RV, "(sincerity) of God;" 2 Corinthians 11:2, "a godly jealousy," lit., "a jealousy of God" (RV, marg.); 1 Timothy 1:4, RV, "a dispensation of God" (oikonomia, in the best mss.), AV, "godly edifying" (oikodome lit., "an edifying of, i.e., by, God").

(2) In 2 Corinthians 7:10, "godly (sorrow)," and in 2 Corinthians 7:9, 2 Corinthians 7:11, "after a godly sort," are in all three place, lit., "according to God."

(3) In 3 John 1:6, where the AV translates the adverb axios, with the noun theos, "after a godly sort," the RV rightly substitutes "worthily of God."

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words