Do, Done - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Do, Done

* In English the verb to do" serves the purpose of a large number of verbs, and has a large variety of meanings. It therefore translates a considerable number of Greek verbs. These, with their specific meanings, are as follows:

[ 1,,G4160, poieo ]
(a) "to make,"
(b) "to do," i.e., to adopt a way of expressing by act the thoughts and feelings. It stands for a number of such acts, chiefly "to make, produce, create, cause," e.g., Matthew 17:4. See ABIDE, APPOINT, BEAR, BRING, CAUSE, COMMIT, CONTINUE, DEAL, EXECUTE, EXERCISE, FULFILL, GAIN, GIVE, HOLD, KEEP, MAKE, MEAN, OBSERVE, ORDAIN, PERFORM, PROVIDE, PURPOSE, PUT, SHOW, SHOOT FORTH, SPEND, TAKE, TARRY, WORK, YIELD.

[ 2,,G4238, prasso ]
signifies "to practice," though this is not always to be pressed. The Apostle John, in his Epistles, uses the continuous tenses of poieo, to indicate a practice, the habit of doing something, e.g., 1 John 3:4 (the AV, "committeth" and "commit" in 1 John 3:8-9, e.g., is wrong; "doeth," RV, in the sense of "practicing", is the meaning). He uses prasso twice in the Gospel, John 3:20; John 5:29. The Apostle Paul uses prasso in the sense of practicing, and the RV so renders the word in Romans 1:32; Romans 2:2, instead of AV, "commit," though, strangely enough, the RV translates it "committed," instead of "practiced," in 2 Corinthians 12:21.

Generally speaking, in Paul's Epistles poieo denotes "an action complete in itself," while prasso denotes "a habit." The difference is seen in Romans 1:32, RV. Again, poieo stresses the accomplishment, e.g., "perform," in Romans 4:21; prasso stresses the process leading to the accomplishment, e.g., "doer," in Romans 2:25. In Romans 2:3 he who does, poieo, the things mentioned, is warned against judging those who practice them, prasso.

The distinction in John 3:20-John 3:21 is noticeable: "Every one that doeth (prasso, practiceth) ill ... he that doeth (poieo) the truth." While we cannot draw the regular distinction, that prasso speaks of doing evil things, and poieo of doing good things, yet very often "where the words assume an ethical tinge, there is a tendency to use the verbs with this distinction" (Trench, Syn., xcvi). See COMMIT, EXACT, KEEP, REQUIRE, USE.

[ 3,,G1096, ginomai ]
"to become," is sometimes translated "do" or "done," e.g., Luke 4:23, "done (at Capernaum)," followed by poieo in the next clause. In Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:11, this verb is translated, in the AV, "(the Lord's) doing;" RV, "this was from the Lord." See BECOME.

[ 4,,G2038, ergazomai ]
denotes "to work" (ergon, "work"). In Galatians 6:10 the RV renders it "let us work," for AV, "let us do;" in 3 John 5, "thou doest." See COMMIT, LABOR, MINISTER, TRADE, WORK.

[ 5,,G2716, katergazomai ]
kata (intensive), is a more emphatic verb than No. 4. In Romans 2:9 the RV has "worketh" for AV, "doeth." In Romans 7:15, Romans 7:17, both translate it "I do" (RV marg., "work"); so in Romans 7:20, "I that do." In 1 Corinthians 5:3 the RV has "wrought," for AV, "done." In Ephesians 6:13 both render it "having done (all); more suitably, "having wrought" (all); the AV marg. "having overcome" does not give the correct meaning. See CAUSE, B, Note

[ 6,,G2480, ischuo ]
signifies "to be strong, to prevail." It is translated "I can do," in Philippians 4:13. See ABLE, etc.

[ 7,,G3930, parecho ]
lit. means "to hold near" (para, "beside," and echo, "to have"), i.e., "to present, offer, supply." It is translated "do for" in Luke 7:4. See BRING, No. 21.


(1) In Philippians 2:13 energeo, "to work," is translated "to do," AV; RV, "to work."

(2) In Luke 13:32 apoteleo, "to complete, perform," is translated "I ... do," AV; RV, "I perform" (some mss. have epiteleo here).

(3) In Acts 15:36, echo, "to have, to hold," sometimes used to express the condition in which a person is, how he is faring, is translated "(how) they do," AV; RV, "how they fare." It is often used of a physical condition, e.g., Matthew 4:24 (See SICK).

(4) In Acts 25:9 katatithemi, "to deposit, or lay up, for future use, to lay up favor for oneself with a person," is translated "to do (the Jews a pleasure)," AV: RV, "to gain (favor with the Jews),"

(5) In John 16:2 prosphero, "to bring near, offer, present," is translated "doeth (service)," AV; RV, "offereth (service)."

(6) In Hebrews 4:13 the phrase hemin ho logos, rendered "(with whom) we have to do," is, lit., "(with whom is) the account to us."

(7) In 1 Corinthians 13:10, katargeo, "to render inactive, abolish," so is translated "shall be done away;" 2 Corinthians 3:7, AV, "was to be done away," RV, "was passing away;" 2 Corinthians 3:11. See ABOLISH, DESTROY.

(8) For "done aforetime," Romans 3:25, RV, See PAST. For "did," 2 Timothy 4:14, AV, See SHOW, No. 3. For "do good" See GOOD.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words