Old - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ A-1,Adjective,G744, archaios ]
original, ancient" (from arche, "a beginning:" Eng., "archaic," "archaeology," etc.), is used
(a) of persons belonging to a former age, "(to) them of old time," Matthew 5:21, Matthew 5:33, RV; in some mss. Matthew 5:27; the RV rendering is right; not ancient teachers are in view; what was said to them of old time was "to be both recognized in its significance and estimated in its temporary limitations, Christ intending His words to be regarded not as an abrogation, but a deepening and fulfilling" (Cremer); of prophets, Luke 9:8, Luke 9:19;
(b) of time long gone by, Acts 15:21;
(c) of days gone by in a person's experience, Acts 15:7, "a good while ago," lit., "from old (days)," i.e., from the first days onward in the sense of originality, not age;
(d) of Mnason, "an early disciple," Acts 21:16, RV, not referring to age, but to his being one of the first who had accepted the Gospel from the beginning of its proclamation;
(e) of things which are "old" in relation to the new, earlier things in contrast to things present, 2 Corinthians 5:17, i.e., of what characterized and conditioned the time previous to conversion in a believer's experience, RV, "they are become new," i.e., they have taken on a new complexion and are viewed in an entirely different way;
(f) of the world (i.e., the inhabitants of the world) just previous to the Flood, 2 Peter 2:5;
(g) of the Devil, as "that old serpent," Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2, "old," not in age, but as characterized for a long period by the evils indicated.

Note: For the difference between this and No. 2, See below.

[ A-2,Adjective,G3820, palaios ]
akin to C, No. 1 (Eng., "paleontology," etc.), "of what is of long duration, old in years," etc., a garment, wine (in contrast to neos; See NEW), Matthew 9:16-Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:21-Mark 2:22 (twice); Luke 5:36-Luke 5:37, Luke 5:39 (twice); of the treasures of Divine truth, Matthew 13:52 (compared with kainos: See NEW); of what belongs to the past, e.g., the believer's former self before his conversion, his "old man," "old" because it has been superseded by that which is new, Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22 (in contrast to kainos); Colossians 3:9 (in contrast to neos); of the covenant in connection with the Law, 2 Corinthians 3:14; of leaven, metaphorical of moral evil, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (in contrast to neos); of that which was given long ago and remains in force, an "old" commandment, 1 John 2:7 (twice), that which was familiar and well known in contrast to that which is fresh (kainos).

Note: Palaios denotes "old," without the reference to beginning and origin contained in archaios" (Abbott-Smith), a distinction observed in the papyri (Moulton and Milligan). While sometimes any difference seems almost indistinguishable, yet "it is evident that wherever an emphasis is desired to be laid on the reaching back to a beginning, whatever that beginning may be, archaios will be preferred (e.g., of Satan, Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2, See No. 1). That which ... is old in the sense of more or less worn out ... is always palaios" (Trench).

[ A-3,Adjective,G4245, presbuteros ]
"olde, elder," is used in the plural, as a noun, in Acts 2:17, "old men." See ELDER.

[ B-1,Noun,G1088, geron ]
denotes "an old man" (from the same root comes Eng., "gray"), John 3:4.

[ B-2,Noun,G4246, presbutes ]
"an old man," Luke 1:18, is translated "aged" in Titus 2:2; Philemon 1:9 (for this, however, See the RV marg.). See AGED.

[ B-3,Noun,G1094, geras ]
"old age," occurs in Luke 1:36.

Note: Augustine (quoted by Trench, cvii, 2) speaks of the distinction observed among Greeks, that presbutes conveys the suggestion of gravity.

[ C-1,Adverb,G3819, palai ]
denotes "long ago, of old," Hebrews 1:1, RV, "of old time" (AV, "in time past"); in Jude 1:4, "of old;" it is used as an adjective in 2 Peter 1:9, "(his) old (sins)," lit., "his sins of old." See WHILE.

[ C-2,Adverb,G1597, ekpalai ]
"from of old, for a long time" (ek, "from," and No. 1), occurs in 2 Peter 2:3, RV, "from of old" (AV, "of a long time"); 2 Peter 3:5. See LONG, B, Note

Note: In 1 Peter 3:5, AV, the particle pote, "once, formerly, ever, sometime," is translated "in the old time" (RV, "aforetime"); in 2 Peter 1:21, "in old time" (RV, "ever"), AV marg., "at any time."

[ D-1,Verb,G3822, palaioo ]
akin to A, No. 2, denotes, in the Active Voice, "to make or declare old," Hebrews 8:13 (1st part); in the Passive Voice, "to become old," of things worn out by time and use, Luke 12:33; Hebrews 1:11, "shall wax old," lit., "shall be made old," i.e., worn out; in Hebrews 8:13 (2nd part), RV, "is becoming old" (AV "decayeth"); here and in the 1st part of the verse, the verb may have the meaning "to abrogate;" for the next verb in the verse, See No. 2.

[ D-2,Verb,G1095, gerasko ]
from geras, "old age" (akin to B, No. 1), "to grow old," is translated "thou shalt be old," in John 21:18; "waxeth aged," Hebrews 8:13, RV (AV, "waxeth old").


(1) In John 8:57, echo, "to have," is used with "fifty years" as the object, signifying, "Thou art (not yet fifty years) old," lit., "Thou hast not yet fifty years."

(2) In Mark 5:42, RV, the verb eimi, "to be," with the phrase "of twelve years" is translated "was ... old" (AV, "was of the age of").

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words