Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The adjective ετοιμος (etoimos) means ready. It describes the conclusive end of a period of preparation, at which the readied item is presented, engaged or deployed for its intended purpose. Our word is used in much the same way as the word "ready" is in English, but it may also describe a future certainty (something is ready, or sure to come, or easy to be done) or a past certainty (something has been realized). When it describes persons, these persons are at the ready: zealous and set to jump into action, and likewise a ready mind is a resolved mind, a readied mind that's poised to react. In the New Testament this adjective is used 17 times, see full concordance, and from it derive:
- The verb ετοιμαζω (etoimazo), meaning to make ready. Traditional commentators often translate this verb with to prepare, but the verb to prepare emphasizes the process that results in the readiness, whereas our verb ετοιμαζω (etoimazo) describes the arrival at the readiness, rather than the getting there. The difference is, of course, that a making ready always results in readiness, while a preparation can be aborted or disturbed, and does not necessarily result in readiness. Hence Matthew 3:3 quotes Isaiah by saying: "Make ready the way of the Lord", rather than "prepare the way of the Lord". Our verb is used 40 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn derives:
- Together with the preposition προ (pro), meaning first, before or in front of: the verb προετοιμαζω (proetoimazo), meaning to make ready on forehand. This seemingly difficult verb is used in Romans 9:23 and Ephesians 2:10 only, where it serves not to explain predestination but rather a being readied prior to being needed (like, the dip that you have ready long before the party actually starts). The traditional Christian doctrine of predestination detaches from the Biblical rails when it insists that salvation is an individual thing that somehow follows a bitter blend of superior genes and personal virtue, which in turn depends heavily on any obvious advantages incurred by one's upbringing, wealth and intellectual abilities. The Bible, on the other hand, deems salvation a typically collective thing, obtained by a group of folks — a broadly diverse group of folks who nevertheless found a way to cooperate and live as one. The Biblical take on salvation recognizes one's economic advantage only as a useful asset when one invests it into one's broad community, and with that we mean anybody (anybody at all, at any time and at any place) who has somehow partaken in bringing about that ultimately saved collective. This in turn means that while salvation is a collective thing, damnation is a private one, which can be achieved by people of all shapes and sizes and all backgrounds and abilities, and depends wholly on one's personal lack of usefulness to the final collective identity that humanity will inevitably assume.
- The noun ετοιμασια (etoimasia), meaning readiness. This noun occurs in the New Testament in Ephesians 6:15 only, and refers to someone's conscious understanding and ability to deploy the full array of working principles of the gospel of peace. This person will have considered and answered such basic questions as: Where does the gospel come from? How does the gospel relate to observable reality? Which measurable physical principles underpin the gospel? How might a poorly informed, intellectually challenged, superstitious or biased person confuse the gospel with any mythology or religion, and how can it be shown that the gospel has nothing to do with all that? (Also compare John 14:12-14 with Matthew 11:5).
- The adverb ετοιμως (etoimos), meaning readied or while being ready, in a ready way (Acts 21:13, 2 Corinthians 12:14 and 1 Peter 4:5 only).