Harry Whittaker
Word Studies


Take, Receive

The normal Greek word for “take” (lambano) is strengthened by a prefix — paralambano — to convey the idea of one person taking another along with him. This is the meaning in lots of passages, as when Jesus took three apostles into the mount with him.

In describing the call of the saints, “one taken and the other left” (Luk 17:34), there is plain implication of being taken by someone (an angel: Mat 24:31). Examples like these are so common as to create the problem: Why isn’t the word always translated that way? The exceptions seem to have to do with instances where persons are not involved; eg 1Co 15:1,3: “The gospel which I also received (I took it to myself when given it by Christ)...The gospel which also ye received (they took it to themselves from Paul)”.

The meaning is intensified yet further by the acquisition of another prefix, making sumparalambano. This imparts the yet warmer idea of close fellowship, as when Paul and Barnabas “took with them John Mark”. This becomes all the more poignant when a bitter quarrel broke out over John Mark’s later defection, so that Paul “thought it not good to take him with them, who went not with them to the work” — sumparalambano again; fellowship marred (but not broken) by differing principles about the preaching to Gentiles.


Naos means the inner sanctuary of a temple. It was there where Judas threw down the thirty pieces of silver.

“Ye are the temple of God” (1Co 3:16) makes a distinction from the outer court, which is Jewry (Rev 11:2).

What is “the temple of the tabernacle of God”? The inner shrine of the Tabernacle was the Holy of Holies.

In the age to come, there is no such Holy of Holies. Instead, the Lamb (Rev 21:22).

Think, Suppose, Reckon

Nomizo is only one of many words in the think-tank. A complete study of them all would fill a book. With this particular word, the essential idea is that equivalent to the American use of “I figure that it would be best to...” — as when Paul was stoned at Iconium, the disciples came round him, “supposing that he had been dead” (Acts 14:19).

But because of the close relationship to nomos, the Law, in several passages there are overtones. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets” (Mat 5:17).

Jesus “being as was supposed (ie legally reckoned) the son of Joseph...” (Luk 3:23).

Torment, Sorrow

The first of these is the more accurate meaning, as in: “I am tormented in this flame” (the rich man in “hell”: Luk 16:24,25).

The word describes the affliction of Israel under Egyptian bondage (Exo 3:7, LXX), the nights of misery suffered by Job (7:3), and the birth-pangs of Rachel giving birth to “the son of my anguish” (Gen 35:18), pains curable only by the blessed unconsciousness of death.

And this was the only word to describe the wretchedness of saying a final farewell to the apostle Paul (Acts 20:38), and of Mary and Joseph as they “sought their boy sorrowing” (Luk 2:48). It describes the aching misery of Paul grieving over the stony-hearted unbelief of his people (Rom 9:2), an unbudgeable prejudice against Jesus which torments the New Israel not at all. Instead, they are too busy “piercing themselves through with many sorrows” (1Ti 6:10) that are of no profit at all.

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