Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Greek verb ακουω (akouo) means to hear

The verb ακουω (akouo) means to hear (hence our English word "acoustic"). It probably comes from a combination of the prefix α (a), which in this case means "together with," and a word that probably stemmed from a hugely old Proto-Indo-European root kous-, from whence also our English verb "to hear" comes.

In the New Testament this verb is used pretty much in parallel with our English verb. It may denote the mere perception of sound (Matthew 2:18, 11:15) or the physical ability to do so (Matthew 11:5). But more often describes the receiving of certain news (Matthew 2:3, Mark 2:1) or handed down traditions (Matthew 5:21). It may describe attending a verbal presentation (Matthew 12:42), or the mental capacity to understand what was said (Romans 11:8).

Our verb may imply compliance (Luke 10:16), cooperation (Matthew 10:14), or examination (a hearing; Acts 25:22), but most often it describes the understanding and comprehension of information, which is where faith begins. Or as Paul says, "Faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17, also see Galatians 3:2-5).

Our verb occurs a total of 436 times, see full concordance.

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