Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The noun παρρησια (parresia) means free speech or freedom of speech in all the hip and constitutional meaning of the word. It consists of the familiar adjective πας (pas), meaning all or whole and the otherwise unused noun ρησις (resis), speech in the sense of a lecture or statement, but also an act of speaking as opposed to an act of reading.
Our noun παρρησια (parresia) is a laden and definitive word, intimately associated with the democratic freedoms developed in Athens. It describes the freedom that free property-owning citizens (i.e. not slaves, women, children or foreigners) had to present in a carefully composed public speech whatever one, in one's informed opinion, deemed warranting the consideration and collective review of equally informed peers (Acts 2:29), without having to fear the reprisal of opponents or folks who thought that such matters should not be discussed (Mark 8:32).
Although often used as vehicle (John 7:26), this noun should be carefully distinguished from the verbs λαλεω (laleo), to talk or blabber, επω (epo), to say or tell, and λεγω (lego), to speak or verbally convey, in that our noun παρρησια (parresia) describes the freedom to introduce and to respond to any topic of social relevance in a formal or even senatorial or divine (Hebrews 4:16, 1 John 3:21) setting, and with the specific purpose of creating clarity, solving problems and making society operate more smoothly (Colossians 2:15, 1 Timothy 3:13). It does not describe the freedom to flatulate whatever rises from the swamps of one's discontent, or anything with the specific purpose to vandalize society, break hearts or pick a fight just for the weekly fun of it.
Our noun is used 31 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it derives:
- The verb παρρησιαζομαι (parresiazomai), meaning to produce or present a speech or such item of free speech. This verb is used 9 times; see full concordance.