World - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G2889, kosmos ]
primarily order, arrangement, ornament, adornment" (1 Peter 3:3, See ADORN, B), is used to denote
(a) the "earth," e.g., Matthew 13:35; John 21:25; Acts 17:24; Romans 1:20 (probably here the universe: it had this meaning among the Greeks, owing to the order observable in it); 1 Timothy 6:7; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 9:26;
(b) the "earth" in contrast with Heaven, 1 John 3:17 (perhaps also Romans 4:13);
(c) by metonymy, the "human race, mankind," e.g., Matthew 5:14; John 1:9 [here "that cometh (RV, 'coming') into the world" is said of Christ, not of "every man;" by His coming into the world He was the light for all men]; 1 John 3:10; 1 John 3:16-17 (thrice), 1 John 3:19; 1 John 4:42, and frequently in Rom. 1 Cor. and 1 John;
(d) "Gentiles" as distinguished from Jews, e.g., Romans 11:12,Romans 11:15, where the meaning is that all who will may be reconciled (cp. 2 Corinthians 5:19);
(e) the "present condition of human affairs," in alienation from and opposition to God, e.g., John 7:7; John 8:23; John 14:30; 1 Corinthians 2:12; Galatians 4:3; Galatians 6:14; Colossians 2:8; James 1:27; 1 John 4:5 (thrice); 1 John 5:19;
(f) the "sum of temporal possessions," Matthew 16:26; 1 Corinthians 7:31 (1st part);
(g) metaphorically, of the "tongue" as "a world (of iniquity)," James 3:6; expressive of magnitude and variety.

[ 2,,G165, aion ]
"an age, a period of time," marked in the NT usage by spiritual or moral characteristics, is sometimes translated "world;" the RV marg. always has "age." The following are details concerning the world in this respect; its cares, Matthew 13:22; its sons, Luke 16:8; Luke 20:34; its rulers, 1 Corinthians 2:6,1 Corinthians 2:8; its wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 3:18, its fashion, Romans 12:2; its character, Galatians 1:4; its god, 2 Corinthians 4:4. The phrase "the end of the world" should be rendered "the end of the age," in most places (See END, A, No. 2); in 1 Corinthians 10:11, AV, "the ends (tele) of the world," RV, "the ends of the ages," probably signifies the fulfillment of the Divine purposes concerning the ages in regard to the church [this would come under END, A, No. 1,
(c)]. In Hebrews 11:3 [lit., "the ages (have been prepared)"] the word indicates all that the successive periods contain; cp. Hebrews 1:2. Aion is always to be distinguished from kosmos, even where the two seem to express the same idea, e.g., 1 Corinthians 3:18, aion, 1 Corinthians 3:19, kosmos; the two are used together in Ephesians 2:2, lit., "the age of this world." For a list of phrases containing aion, with their respective meanings, See EVER, B.

[ 3,,G3625, oikoumene ]
"the inhabited earth" (See EARTH, No. 2), is used
(a) of the whole inhabited world, Matthew 24:14; Luke 4:5; Luke 21:26; Romans 10:18; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 16:14; by metonymy, of its inhabitants, Acts 17:31; Revelation 12:9;
(b) of the Roman Empire, the world as viewed by the writer or speaker, Luke 2:1; Acts 11:28; Acts 24:5; by metonymy, of its inhabitants, Acts 17:6; Acts 19:27;
(c) the inhabited world in a coming age, Hebrews 2:5.


(1) In Revelation 13:3, AV, ge, "the earth" (RV), is translated "world."

(2) For phrases containing aionios, e.g., Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2, See ETERNAL, No. 2.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words