Key Greek Vocabulary Words: Ginomai
Important Greek Vocabulary Words
The Greek word = γίνομαι
Here we have a Greek verb that is often translated as “be.” This verb, however, does not, and I repeat again, does NOT mean “be” but rather it means “become.”
The word means “to enter a new condition” or “to become what one has never been before.”
It carries this meaning in the well-known passage of John 1:12 KJV which says:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
New International Version - NIV
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Both versions do appropriately translate γίνομαι as “become.”
Now the verse is saying that: those who believe – enter a new condition; they become what they have never been before, “the sons of God” or “children of God.”
Note: the NIV provides a more accurate translation than does the KJV of the Greek word “Tekna” or τέκνα which is Strong’s #5403 root word “Technon” = τέκνον = meaning offspring, or children. It can be son or sons or daughter or daughters or children when applied to both sexes in the plural. The original Greek word is plural and in neuter gender meaning that the word should really be translated as “children of God” which reflects the neutral gender of the word. This is one of hundreds of examples showing that the KJV is not – repeat – not an absolutely perfect translation of the original text. Now back to our primary word – Ginomai.
In John 1:14 we see that this same verb “ginomai” = γίνομαι is used in saying,
“The Word became flesh.”
What does this mean? It means that Jesus became something He had never been before, namely – the God-man. When Jesus was born, He took on a body and therefore assumed an additional nature to that of the Divine.
In Ephesians 4:32 and again in 5:1 we have the commands translated as “be kind to one another” and be “imitators of God.” In each case, the verb “be” is γίνομαι and should be translated as “become” They are to become increasingly kind and increasingly imitators of God. They are to enter into a condition that they had not experienced before.
Hebrews 9:11 says of Jesus: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of good things to come…” we need to understand that the word “come is the word γίνομαι and is a tense of definite action. Note that while “to come” implies something to be anticipated in the future, this is not what the author of Hebrews is saying. He is speaking of those things that have “come to be” as He enters His priestly throne.
The stress on the new condition found in the word is so strong that it even may be translated as ‘born’ as in Romans 1:3 where we are told of God’s Son “who was born” or the word – γίνομαι – is used. You’ll find this concept again in Galatians 4:4 where Jesus is spoken of as “born” or – γίνομαι – of a woman, born – γίνομαι – under the Law.
So in summary conclusion, we need to understand that the Greek word
It is a Greek verb – of a new beginning and marks the start of a new condition.