Vocabulary word: ἡ βίβλος

A Workbook of New Testament Greek


The feminine noun βίβλος is the first word of the New Testament:

Βίβλος γενέσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

(The) book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ  (Matthew 1:1)

It is usually translated into English as ‘book’, and the word certainly looks like ‘book’, but in the verse above we occasionally find ‘record’ as an alternative.

Note that βίβλος is a second declension feminine.  It is found about ten times in the New Testament, all but once in the singular, and the majority of those times it in the dative singular.  Why?  Because the word is often found in a particular prepositional phrase, ἐν βίβλῳ.  E.g., in Luke 20:42

αὐτός γάρ Δαυείδ λέγει ἐν βίβλῳ ψαλμῶν

for David himself says in the Book of Psalms

‘The’ is always added in translation.  Although ‘a’ book of psalms is grammatically possible in English, presumably this is not considered to fit the sense.  The article is…

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