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

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/b/b-i-b-r-om-s-k-om.html

βιβρωσκω

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

βιβρωσκω

The verb βιβρωσκω (bibrosko) means to eat or consume, and stems from the same Proto-Indo-European root "gwerh-", meaning to eat or devour, that gave Latin the verb voro and hence English words like devour and voracious and the "-vorous" extension of words like carnivorous. Our verb is actually quite rare, as it's used in the New Testament in John 6:13 only.

The more common verb for to eat is φαγω (phago), but there doesn't seem to be a significant difference between these two verbs, except perhaps that our verb βιβρωσκω (bibrosko) emphasizes the entire process of consumption and digestion, down to the defecation of the wastes (Mark 7:19). The in the New Testament unused noun βρωμος (bromos) describes a noisome smell or stink, obviously related to either fecal matter or a rotting pile of organic matter being consumed by bacteria and such.

Note that the conspicuous use of our verb in John 6:13 (where the disciples gather the remaining pieces of bread into twelve baskets), deliberately suggests that the disciples might have been gathering, well, chunks of digested bread rather than uneaten ones, which is of course hilarious (also because honey is produced from nectar in the bee's complex digestive track; see our article on the name Deborah for the significance of this). For more deliberate hilarity in the gospel of John, and the reason why John is hilarious, see our riveting article on χξς (ch-x-s), meaning six hundred and sixty six.

From this verb come:

  • The noun βρωμα (broma), meaning consumption or digestive: that which is eaten (rather than drank; 1 Corinthians 3:2). It's used 17 times; see full concordance.
  • The noun βρωσις (brosis), which either describes the act of consuming (an eating, a dinner), or else that which is consumed (equivalent to the previous). This noun is used 11 times; see full concordance. Note that the similarity with αμβροσια (ambrosia) is accidental, as the latter comes from a particle of negation plus the word βροτος (brotos), meaning mortal. From our noun βρωσις (brosis) in turn comes:
    • The adjective βρωσιμος (brosimos), meaning a consumption or "something to eat" (Luke 24:41 only).
  • Together with σης (ses), moth: the adjective σητοβρωτος (setobrotos), meaning moth-consumed (James 5:2 only).
  • Together with σκωληξ (skolex), worm: the adjective σκωληκοβρωτος (skolekobrotos), meaning worm-consumed (Acts 12:23 only).