Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God


θεός means “God, god.”

“ ‘Emmanuel’ is translated ‘θεός is with us’ ” (Matt 1:23).

“I found also an altar on which was inscribed, ‘To an unknown θεός’ ” (Acts 17:23).

Mounce's Expository Dictionary (abridged): 

Noun: θεός (theos), GK G2536 (S G2316), 1317x. As a general term, θεός means “god.” It is used for any being, real or imagined, whom people acknowledge as a “god” (Acts 17:23; 19:26). But the vast majority of times in which θεός occurs in the NT, it refers to the Lord God  who is one, he is only, and he is unique (Mt. 23:9; Rom. 3:20; 1 Cor. 8:4, 6; Gal. 3:20). God is “holy” (Lev. 19:1–2; 1 Pet. 1:16; Rev. 4:8), “perfect” (Mt. 5:48), “faithful” (Rom. 3:3; 1 Cor. 1:9), the ultimate “promise keeper” (Rom. 9:6–8), a constant “teller of the truth” (Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18), “wise” (Rom. 16:27), “invisible” (Col. 1:15–16), “immortal” (1 Tim. 1:17), “blessed” (6:15–16), “totally righteous” (2 Cor. 5:21), and “love” (1 Jn. 4:8). But while God maintains his transcendence (sovereign sway and ultimate control) over all the creation, he is also immanent (in our midst), intimately involved with his creation. Jesus describes θεός as personal, compassionate, and tender, with a love that extends far beyond the abilities of the most loving human father (Mt. 7:7–12).