Relevant Greek Words About God The Judge


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The New Testament also expresses how closely related are God’s righteousness and His perfect judgements. Verses which show this are John 5:30, 7:24, 16:8, Acts 17:31, Romans 2:5, 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Timothy 4:8, 1 Peter 2:23, Revelation 16:5, 16:7, 19:2 and 19:11. In the original Greek, each of these verses, except Romans 2:5, link forms of the adjective “dikaios”, the noun “dikaiosune” or the adverb “dikaios” to forms of one of the words “krino” or “krisis” or “krites”.

The adjective “dikaios” means in relation to people “upright, just, righteous” or in relation to God “just, righteous with reference to his judgement of men and nations”. [1] “Dikaiosune” means “righteousness, uprightness”. [2] The adverb “diakaios” means in various contexts “1. justly, in a just manner (a) judge (b) uprightly 2. justly, in (all) justice”. [3]

Bauer says that when “krino” is used in the New Testament as a legal technical term, it means “judge, decide, hale before a court, condemn, hand over for judicial punishment”. [4] The word “hale” means “drag”. Bauer also says that when used in relation to God or Christ's Judgement-Seat or Court of Justice, “krino” means to “administer justice, judge, condemn, punish”. [5] Louw and Nida say “krino” means “to decide a question of legal right or wrong, and thus determine the innocence or guilt of the accused and assign appropriate punishment or retribution” [6] or “judge a person to be guilty and liable to punishment” [7] or in Luke 22:30 to mean “to rule over people”. [8]

“Krisis” denotes  “the administration of justice” [9] or “judging, judgement…of the activity of God or the Messiah as judge, especially on the Last Day…judgement that goes against a person, condemnation and the punishment that follows…right in the sense of justice”.[10] The word “krisis” is the usual Septuagint translation of the Old Testament Hebrew word “mishpat”.

The word “krites” means “a judge” [11] or “one who presides over a court session and pronounces judgement”. [12] The Greek word “katakrino” means “to judge someone as definitely guilty and thus subject to punishment”. [13] “Katakrino” is used in 1 Corinthians 11:32, Romans 5:16 and 2 Corinthians 3:9.

The close relationship between God’s righteousness and His perfect judgements is also seen in Romans 2:5 in which the Greek words for “righteous” and “judgement” are combined to form the word “dikaiokrisia”: “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God.” This word “dikaiokrisia” means “a right or just verdict or judgement”. [14] Note Romans 2:5 refers to the righteous anger which God will express on the Great Judgement Day when He judges with perfect justice hard-hearted unbelievers who refuse to repent of their sins.

The Greek word “krima” is also used in the New Testament in relation to God’s judgements. In the context of Acts 24:25 when Paul told the Roman Governor Felix about God’s judgement, “krima” means “to decide a question of legal right or wrong, and thus determine the innocence or guilt of the accused and assign appropriate punishment or retribution”. [15] “Krima” is found in Romans 5:16, 1 Timothy 3:6, 2 Peter 2:3 and Jude 4 in relation to a pronounced judgement of eternal condemnation. “Krima” is used in Hebrews 6:2 in relation to God’s eternal judgements in general and in 1 Corinthians 11:34 and Revelation 17:1 in relation to punishments here in this life.

Revelation 19:2 demonstrates God’s perfectly just judgements can sometimes express themselves in punishments on unbelievers even while they are alive here on earth: “For true and righteous are His judgements, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” John 16:8 shows the Holy Spirit is constantly aiming to convict unbelievers of God’s judgement.

The very close association between the Old and New Testament words for God’s righteousness and judgements shows why the Chapter        “God the Perfect Judge” needs to be studied in relation to Chapter             “God’s Perfect Righteousness”.


[1] Bauer, page 195.

[2] Ibid, page 196.

[3] Ibid, page 198.

[4] Ibid, page 451.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Louw and Nida, page 555.

[7] Ibid, page 556.

[8] Ibid, page 478.

[9] Ibid, page 555.

[10] Bauer, pages 452-453.

[11] Vine, page 336.

[12] Louw and Nida, page 556.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid, page 555.

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