Life, Living, Lifetime, Life-giving - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Life, Living, Lifetime, Life-giving

[ A-1,Noun,G2222, zoe ]
(Eng., zoo," "zoology") is used in the NT "of life as a principle, life in the absolute sense, life as God has it, that which the Father has in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself, John 5:26, and which the Son manifested in the world, 1 John 1:2. From this life man has become alienated in consequence of the Fall, Ephesians 4:18, and of this life men become partakers through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, John 3:15, who becomes its Author to all such as trust in Him, Acts 3:15, and who is therefore said to be 'the life' of the believer, Colossians 3:4, for the life that He gives He maintains, John 6:35, John 6:63. Eternal life is the present actual possession of the believer because of his relationship with Christ, John 5:24; 1 John 3:14, and that it will one day extend its domain to the sphere of the body is assured by the Resurrection of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:4; 2 Timothy 1:10. This life is not merely a principle of power and mobility, however, for it has moral associations which are inseparable from it, as of holiness and righteousness. Death and sin, life and holiness, are frequently contrasted in the Scriptures.

"Zoe is also used of that which is the common possession of all animals and men by nature, Acts 17:25; 1 John 5:16, and of the present sojourn of man upon the earth with reference to its duration, Luke 16:25; 1 Corinthians 15:19; 1 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 3:10. 'This life' is a term equivalent to 'the gospel,' 'the faith,' 'Christianity,' Acts 5:20."* [* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine. pp. 324,325.]

Death came through sin, Romans 5:12, which is rebellion against God. Sin thus involved the forfeiting of the "life." "The life of the flesh is in the blood," Leviticus 17:11. Therefore the impartation of "life" to the sinner must be by a death caused by the shedding of that element which is the life of the flesh. "It is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life" (id., RV). The separation from God caused by the forfeiting of the "life" could be removed only by a sacrifice in which the victim and the offerer became identified. This which was appointed in the typical offerings in Israel received its full accomplishment in the voluntary sacrifice of Christ. The shedding of the blood in the language of Scripture involves the taking or the giving of the "life." Since Christ had no sins of his own to die for, His death was voluntary and vicarious, John 10:15 with Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:10, Isaiah 53:12; 2 Corinthians 5:21. In His sacrifice He endured the Divine judgment due to man's sin. By this means the believer becomes identified with Him in His deathless "life," through His resurrection, and enjoys conscious and eternal fellowship with God.

[ A-2,Noun,G979, bios ]
(cp. Eng. words beginning with bio-), is used in three respects
(a) of "the period or duration of life," e.g., in the AV of 1 Peter 4:3, "the time past of our life" (the RV follows the mss. which omit "of our life"); Luke 8:14; 2 Timothy 2:4;
(b) of "the manner of life, life in regard to its moral conduct," 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 John 2:16;
(c) of "the means of life, livelihood, maintenance, living," Mark 12:44; Luke 8:43; Luke 15:12, Luke 15:30; Luke 21:4; 1 John 3:17, "goods," RV (AV, "good"). See GOODS.

Note: "While zoe is "life' intensive ... bios is 'life' extensive. ... In bios, used as manner of 'life,' there is an ethical sense often inhering which, in classical Greek at least, zoe does not possess." In Scripture zoe is "the nobler word, expressing as it continually does, all of highest and best which the saints posses in God" (Trench, Syn. xxvii).

[ A-3,Noun,G5590, psuche ]
besides its meanings, "heart, mind, soul," denotes "life" in two chief respects,
(a) "breath of life, the natural life," e.g., Matthew 2:20; Matthew 6:25; Mark 10:45; Luke 12:22; Acts 20:10; Revelation 8:9; Revelation 12:11 (cp. Leviticus 17:11; Esther 8:11);
(b) "the seat of personality," e.g., Luke 9:24, explained in Luke 9:25 as "own self." See list under SOUL. See also HEART, MIND.


(1) "Speaking generally, psuche, is the individual life, the living being, whereas zoe, is the life of that being, cp. Psalms 66:9, 'God ... which holdeth our soul (psuche) in life (zoe),' and John 10:10, 'I came that they may have life (zoe),' with John 10:11, 'The Good Shepherd layeth down His life (psuche) for the sheep.'" * [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 325.]

(2) In Revelation 13:15, AV, pneuma, "breath," is translated "life" (RV, "breath").

(3) In 2 Corinthians 1:8, "we despaired even of life," the verb zao, "to live," is used in the infinitive mood, as a noun, and translated "life" (lit., "living"). In Hebrews 2:15 the infinitive mood of the same verb is translated "lifetime."

[ A-4,Noun,G981, biosis ]
from bioo, "to spend one's life, to live," denotes "a manner of life," Acts 26:4.

[ A-5,Noun,G72, agoge ]
"a manner of life," 2 Timothy 3:10; See CONDUCT.

[ A-6,Noun,G391, anastrophe ]
"behavior, conduct," is translated "manner of life" (AV "conversation") in the RV of Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 3:16; "living," in 1 Peter 1:15. See BEHAVIOR.

[ B-1,Adjective,G982, biotikos ]
"pertaining to life" (bios), is translated "of this life," in Luke 21:34, with reference to cares; in 1 Corinthians 6:3, "(things) that pertain to this life," and 1 Corinthians 6:4, "(things) pertaining to this life," i.e., matters of this world, concerning which Christians at Corinth were engaged in public lawsuits one with another; such matters were to be regarded as relatively unimportant in view of the great tribunals to come under the jurisdiction of saints hereafter. Moulton and Milligan (Vocab.) illustrate the word from phrases in the papyri, e.g., "business (documents);" "business concerning my livelihood;" "(stories) of ordinary life."

[ B-2,Adjective,G895, apsuchos ]
denotes "lifeless, inanimate" (a, negative, and psuche, See A, No. 3), "without life," 1 Corinthians 14:7.

[ C-1,Verb,G2227, zoopoieo ]
"to make alive, cause to live, quicken" (from zoe, "life," and poieo, "to make"), is used as follows: "
(a) of God as the bestower of every kind of life in the universe, 1 Timothy 6:13 (zoogoneo, to preserve alive, is the alternative reading adopted by most editors; See LIVE, No. 6), and, particularly, of resurrection life, John 5:21; Romans 4:17;
(b) of Christ, who also is the bestower of resurrection life, John 5:21 (2nd part); 1 Corinthians 15:45; cp. 1 Corinthians 15:22;
(c) of the resurrection of Christ in "the body of His glory," 1 Peter 3:18;
(d) of the power of reproduction inherent in seed, which presents a certain analogy with resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:36;
(e) of the 'changing,' or 'fashioning anew,' of the bodies of the living, which corresponds with, and takes place at the same time as, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, Romans 8:11;
(f) of the impartation of spiritual life, and the communication of spiritual sustenance generally, John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 3:21." * [* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 154,155.] See QUICKEN, and cp. sunzoopoieo, "to quicken together with," Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13.


(1) For the verb diago, "to lead a life," See LIVE, No. 7.

(2) For politeuo, in Philippians 1:27, RV, "let your manner of life be," See LIVE, No. 8.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words