Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The noun βουλη (boule) means will, purpose or intention. It's the result of contemplative thought or deliberation and occurs in relation to a council or governing body (or God). It reflects the result of this thinking process: a plan or course of action.
The absence of such a plan is called αβουλος (aboulos), meaning inconsiderate or ill-advised, and the familiar word αβουλια (aboulia) means ill-advisedness or thoughtlessness. Neither of these words is used in the Bible (but "aboulia" made it into modern scientific jargon, which is cool too).
Our noun βουλη (boule) is used 12 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and derivations of this word that are used are:
- The verb βουλευω (bouleuo), meaning to counsel, consult or resolve. It occurs 8 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn come:
- The noun βουλευτης (bouleutes), meaning a councilman. In the New Testament this word is used only to describe a member of the Sanhedrin (Mark 15:43 and Luke 23:50 only).
- Together with the preposition παρα (para), meaning near or nearby, or in this case askew: the verb παραβουλευομαι (parabouleuomai), meaning to sidestep counsel. This verb occurs only in Philippians 2:30, where Paul describes Epaphroditus as going against the intuitions of his own spirit to complete the work of Christ, whatever that might mean.
- Together with the preposition συν (sun), meaning together or with: the verb συμβουλευω (sumbouleuo), meaning to counsel with or advise someone. This verb occurs 5 times; see full concordance.
- Together with the preposition επι (epi), meaning on or upon: the noun επιβουλη (epiboule), meaning a scheme or plot. This noun is used 4 times; see full concordance.
- Again together with the preposition συν (sun), meaning together or with: the noun συμβουλος (sumboulos), meaning counselor (Romans 11:34 only). From this word derives: