A Very Efficient Greek Word

On Saturday evening I was reading my Sunday School lesson when I noticed something interesting. (Well, interesting to me, anyway.) I always read whatever the scripture is in my ESV, and then I also read it in my Greek NT. This interesting bit came from the Greek.

First, some vocabulary. The greek word ἔρχομαι (erchomai, with a Scottish ‘ch’) means “to come” or “to go.” There is a preposition ἐις (pronounced “ace”), which means “into” or “in” or “among.” When you combine those two together, you get ἐισέρχομαι (pronounced ace-erchomai), which means “to come in(to)” or “to go in(to)” or “to enter.” Now, there is another preposition σύν (pronounced soon), which means “with.” If you combine all three together, you get συνἐισερχομαι (pronounced sun-ace-erchomai) which means, as you might have guessed by now, “to enter with” someone.

I bring this up because in the text of John 18 – 19, specifically John 18:15, we find this

Ἠκολούθει δὲ τῷ Ἰησοῦ Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ ἄλλος μαθητής. ὁ δὲ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος ἦν γνωστὸς τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ, καὶ συνεισῆλθεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως,

Notice the highlighted word. That’s a third person singular aorist (past tense) indicative of συνεισἐρχομαι, which means “he/she/it went in with” or “he/she/it entered with” Jesus. As soon as I saw that word, which I had not seen before, I could tell instantly what it meant, just from looking at its parts. I like that. In some ways, Greek is a bit long-winded, and in others, like this word, it’s extremely efficient.

The full translation (mine) of that verse is

Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high priest, and he went in with Jesus to the court of the high priest,

I don’t have any big theological point to make about this. I just thought it was neat that this one word, formed from three other words, retained each word’s individual meaning and encapsulated an entire thought in a single word.

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