Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God


γῆ means “earth, land; region; humanity.”

“You are the salt of the γῆ” (Matt 5:13).

“When they crossed over, they came to the γῆ of Gennesaret” (Matt 14:34).

“I have not come to bring peace to γῆ, but a sword” (Matt 10:34).

Mounce's Expository Dictionary (abridged): 

Noun: γῆ (gē), GK G1178 (S G1093), 250x. γῆ is the standard word for “earth, land” in the NT. γῆ is not nearly as theologically important in the NT as it is in the OT. This is due to the theological shift from an ethnic, land-based people (Israel) to a sojourning remnant consisting of people from all nations (the church). As a result, the vast majority of the occurrences of γῆ in the NT refer simply to geographic space — the land, earth, or soil — on which people travel or in which they live (Mt. 9:26; Mk. 4:1; Lk. 5:3; Jn. 12:24). There are other times, however, when γῆ is used in a theologically charged way. Taking their cue from the OT and intertestamental literature, NT authors sometimes combine γῆ with heaven to emphasize a contrast or comparison between God’s ways and human ways.