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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: διδωμι
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διδωμι

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

διδωμι

The verb διδωμι (didomi) means to give and is used largely on a par with the English verb "to give". It describes the willingly handing over of items (Matthew 4:9) or services (Matthew 10:8), giving in response to being asked for something (Matthew 7:7), bestowing on people certain powers (Matthew 10:1), wages (Matthew 20:4), legislation (John 7:19), conditions (John 10:28), answers (John 1:22), knowledge (Matthew 13:11), glory (Revelation 4:9), or breakthroughs of a socio-technological nature: a well (John 4:12), an open door (Revelation 3:8).

Our verb may be used in the sense of to offer sacrifices (Luke 2:24) or praise (Luke 18:43). It may describe a logical or procedural result or progression and as such appear where in English a verb other than "to give" is preferred: the moon gives light (Matthew 24:29), false prophets give signs (Matthew 24:24), heaven gives rain (James 5:18), the earth gives produce (Matthew 13:8).

Our verb may be used in the sense of giving up someone (Luke 7:15, John 10:29) or something (Luke 15:22, Matthew 7:6, Revelation 20:13), to commit oneself to something (2 Corinthians 8:5, Galatians 1:4), or to charge someone with certain tasks (John 5:36, Ephesians 1:22).

The verb διδωμι (didomi) is used 414 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it derives:

  • Together with the preposition ανα (ana), meaning on or upon: the verb αναδιδομι (anadidomi), meaning to present or deliver (Acts 23:33 only).
  • Together with the preposition απο (apo), mostly meaning from or out of: the verb αποδιδωμι (apodidomi), meaning to give out of; out of some specified motivation — to meet an obligation or expectation — or to give some item or sample out of a larger collection. This verb is used for the "doling out" or "duly-paying" of taxes (Matthew 22:21), which is both a giving out of some specific motivation (you gotta) and it's a giving of a portion of a larger collection (namely your capital). Our verb may mean to "accordingly give" (Acts 7:9, Hebrews 12:16), or to "sell for a fitting price" (Acts 5:8). Most spectacularly, this verb is used to describe God's given of a fitting reward to His people (Matthew 16:27, Romans 2:6, 2 Timothy 4:8), but also the apostles fittingly giving of their testimony of the resurrection of the Jesus (Acts 4:33). Our verb is used 48 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn derive:
    • Together with the preposition αντι (anti), meaning over or against: the verb ανταποδιδωμι (antapodidomi), meaning the opposite of giving to meet an obligation and that is to pay for it: to pay back, or recompense services rendered. This verb is used 7 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn derive:
      • The noun ανταποδομα (antapodoma), meaning recompense or retribution (Luke 14:12 and Romans 11:9 only). This noun is rare in classical Greek and occurs only in the Bible. It has been suggested that the difference with the next noun is that the latter stresses the action of the recompense (like the present continuous form of the verb). This would mean that ανταποδομα (antapodoma) stresses its more essential, or ethical and moral properties.
      • The noun ανταποδοσις (antapodosis), also meaning recompense or retribution in the sense of a logical or natural reaction (Colossians 3:24 only). This noun is much more common in classical Greek, and covers everything from a salary in return for work, to a returning current and the reaction of some reciprocating machine.
  • Together with the intensifying preposition δια (dia), meaning through: the verb διαδιδωμι (diadidomi), meaning to deliver through, to dispense or distribute. This verb occurs 4 times; see full concordance.
  • The noun δομα (doma), describes the act or result of the parent verb; not simply a gift but rather something that is yielded, produced or brought forth. When Jesus speaks of giving "gifts" to one's children (Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13), He's not talking about birthday presents but about all the things parents give to their children: care, love, food, shelter, attention, bliss, instructions, rewards, corrections, and so on. This noun occurs a mere 4 times in the New Testament; see full concordance, but the more regular words for gift (in the sense of a contribution or donation) are δωρον (doron) and δωρεα (dorea), which occur more often.
  • The noun δοσις (dosis, hence our English word "dose"), meaning a giving rather than just a gift. It emphases the act of giving and particularly a sharing or a giving with intended return effect. In the classics this word may also describe a license or permission, a payment or installment, a portion or sample (specifically of a medicine), and the destiny or fate of an individual. In the New Testament this word occurs only twice, namely in Philippians 4:15 and James 1:17, and in the latter case our word occurs juxtaposed with the noun δωρημα (dorema), which is a free gift. Our noun δοσις (dosis) emphasizes a two-way reciprocal sharing, whereas the noun δωρημα (dorema) describes a one-way gratuitous gift, which is of course a wholly separate thing.
  • The noun δοτης (dotes), meaning a giver (2 Corinthians 9:7 only).
  • The noun δωρεα (dorea), also meaning a gift but emphasizing the nature of giving. This word describes a specifically gratis item, something we would call a donation or largesse; something that is transacted without payment due or resulting debt. In the classics this word may also describe a bounty, legacy or privilege. In the New Testament this word typically describes the famous gratuitous "gift" of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:28). This word occurs 11 times, always in singular form, see full concordance, and from it comes:
  • The noun δωρον (doron), which describes the thing transacted, handed over, or transposed by means of the parent verb διδωμι (didomi). This word is not necessarily an equivalent of our English noun "gift" but rather of "contribution" with the undertone of "investment". It's the predominant New Testament word that describes periodic "offering" or "sacrificing". The temple of YHWH in Jerusalem was not so much a house of worship, like a modern church, but rather a central bank and (inter)national academy combined (read our article on ναος, naos, meaning temple). The "offerings" the Israelites were told to make were not mere religious exercises, but rather contributions to the larger templar effort (Exodus 35:5, 35:29). Our noun δωρον (doron) may denote templar or tax obligations (Matthew 8:4, Hebrews 8:4), or a "gift" that has the obvious purpose of returning clout for the giver (Luke 21:1). Likewise, the celebrated gifts of the wise magi were not expressions of mere veneration but rather a preliminary investment in Christ's preordained ministry. Note also the use of this word in Ephesians 2:8, where it describes salvation as the "gift" from God. But where the Holy Spirit is a δωρεα (dorea) or "gratis gift" for all mankind (Acts 2:17), man's salvation has a distinct purpose to God, is a gift with expected return, and is thus bestowed with a formidable conditional footnote (Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 7:21-23, Philippians 2:12). Our noun δωρον (doron) occurs 19 times; see full concordance
  • Together with the preposition εκ (ek), meaning out, from or of: the verb εκδιδωμι (ekdidomi), meaning to give out, to let out. In the classics this verb may also mean to publish (of a book or decree; compare the German ausgeben), but in the New Testament it's solely used in the sense of outsourcing a vineyard. This verb occurs 4 times, see full concordance, and from it derives:
    • The adjective εκδοτος (ekdotos). This adjective modifies the item that experiences the verb. In the classics it mostly means given up, delivered and especially betrayed, but it may also describe one's willing surrender to, say, a noble cause, and even having been given in marriage. This word occurs in the New Testament only in Acts 2:23, where it describes what happened to Jesus.
  • Together with the preposition επι (epi), meaning on or upon: the verb επιδιδωμι (epididomi), meaning to give or hand over, to give into someone else's keep or authority. In Acts 27:15 this verb is used to describe a ship being carried along by the wind. Our verb is used 11 times see full concordance.
  • Together with the preposition μετα (meta), meaning with or among and implying motion toward the inside: the verb μεταδιδωμι (metadidomi), meaning to share with someone, to impart or to give intimately. This verb is used 5 times, see full concordance, and from it comes:
    • Together with the prefix ευ (eu), meaning good: the adjective ευμεταδοτος (eumetadotos), meaning readily sharing, generous (1 Timothy 6:18 only).
  • Together with the preposition παρα (para) in this case denoting a movement away: the verb παραδιδωμι (paradidomi), meaning to give away or hand over. This verb is often used to describe a handing over to authorities (Matthew 5:25, Luke 20:20, 1 Timothy 1:20), but, strikingly also to describe the handing over of traditions from antiquity (Mark 7:3, Acts 6:14, 2 Peter 2:21). That suggests that people originally saw not the ancient instigator but the modern receivers of the tradition as higher authority while only later the idea of tradition assumed its modern meaning, its religious applications and inviolable immutability. This verb is used 121 times, see full concordance, and from it derive:
    • The noun παραδοσις (paradosis), meaning tradition, or something handed over from antiquity. The virtue of traditions was resolutely defended by the apostles (1 Corinthians 11:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, even Galatians 1:14). But since the most intimate nature of God's creation implies growth, something that doesn't grow or evolve, or at least respond to its environment, is both dead and deadly (see our article on idols and creeds). Hence Jesus could say to the Pharisees: "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" (Matthew 15:3) and accuse them of invalidating the Word of God by their "tradition" that they "handed over" (or perhaps rather "betrayed"; Mark 7:13). Our noun occurs 13 times; see full concordance, and also note the striking similarity with the noun παραδεισος (paradeisos), which is a Persian loanword meaning garden or enclosed park, and which became the proverbial title of the primordial garden of Eden.
    • Together with the noun πατηρ (pater), meaning father: the adjective πατροπαραδοτος (patroparadotos), meaning handed over by (the fore-)father(s). This word occurs in 1 Peter 1:18 only.
  • Together with the preposition προ (pro), meaning first or in front of: the verb προδιδωμι (prodidomi), meaning to give up, over or in prematurely, to give beforehand or even to pay in advance. The classics used this word most often in the sense of to surrender or betray (to give over before the fight). It's used in the New Testament only once, in Romans 11:35, but from it comes:
    • The noun προδοτης (prodetes), meaning someone who gives up, over or in prematurely, who gives before the decisive confrontation: a traitor or surrenderer (Luke 6:16, Acts 7:52 and 2 Timothy 3:4 only).
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