Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The noun χρονος (chronos) means time in the sense of a period (not clock-time) — hence English words such as chronology (the order of events) and to synchronize (events happening together). Einstein once quipped that time is that which prevents everything from happening at once, which also illustrates what a complicated concept time is.
Here at Abarim Publications we surmise that time equals the difference between two instances of a data set, when this difference is so significant that it leads to a third data set (namely the set that contains both variations plus their difference). This is of course wonderfully complicated, but it would mean that time is only possible when data is retained, which is only possible when there are particles to store data in or among, which is only possible below a certain level of energy density. And that in turn means that time began at a point in the universe, rather than that the universe began at a point in time.
Here at Abarim Publications we surmise that time is a function of the universe, and that neither time-as-we-know-it nor space-as-we-know-it existed prior to the event called matter-radiation decoupling. After that event, things began to be and events began to happen. Prior to that event, no things existed and no events occurred. Between the Big Bang and the Birth of Time, we guess, existed a "period" of proto-space and proto-time, in which no things existed and no events took place. It was the larval stadium of mature spacetime, if you will; comparable to the life of a chicken before it comes out of the egg and starts its life as a chicken.
In Greek theology, the father of Zeus — a.k.a. the νεφεληγερετα (nephelegereta), or Cloud-Gatherer; see our article on the noun νεφελη (nephele), cloud — was named Κρονος (Kronos), or Cronos, which looks like a synthetic hybrid of our noun χρονος (chronos), time, and the adjective κορωνος (koronos), curved (unused in the New Testament, but hence our word corona, or crown; see στεφανος, stephanos), and thus quite literally means Spacetime, in all the relativity sense of the word (and for more on relativity, see our article on the Hebrew verb נהר, nahar).
Apart from all this complicatedness, our word χρονος (chronos) is used in the New Testament predominantly with the meaning of period, and particularly a lengthy period, rather than a pin-pointed time-o'-clock — there were no clocks yet, and defined "hours" of the day were indicated with the word ωρα (ora).
Our noun χρονος (chronos) occurs 53 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it derive:
- Together with the adjective μακρος (makros), meaning long or distant: the adjective μακροχρονιος (makrochronios), meaning long-lived (Ephesians 6:3 only).
- The verb χρονιζω (chronizo), meaning to be or do a period, to spend a long time. In the Greek classics this verb is broadly applied and can often be translated with to last, continue, persevere, linger, prolong or delay. In philosophy, this verb was even used to describe being endowed with boundaries in time: to be made temporal. It's used 5 times; see full concordance
- Together with the otherwise unused verb τριβω (tribo), meaning to thresh, pound or wear out: the verb χρονοτριβεω (chronotribeo), meaning to waste lengthy periods, to loiter or protract (Acts 20:16 only).