This post is a continuation of my series examining the Greek words associated with the “Whatever is” statements in Phil 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Today I examine the Greek word for right which is δίκαιος (díkaios).
Díkaios comes from díkē which means “right” or “just”. Díkaios specifically means “doing what is right” or “doing what is just.” Another way of saying this is being “conformable to righteousness.” (Zodhiates, 2000). This word appears 79 times in the New Testament, notably 17 times in Matthew, where it is used to describe both individuals and groups of people who live righteous. The Septuagint translation is צַדִּיק which means blameless, upright and righteous. It describes Noah, Abraham, David, Job and God. It also describes groups of people as well.
There continues a theme from the first two posts, the words “True,” “Honorable” both include an idea of upright living, a moral standard of being ‘above reproach.’ The word for “Right” continues this theme for living upright (Newman, 1993). As Christians we are called to be “innocent, holy, just and righteous” (Strong, 2009). This is not an easy calling. It is a calling to be in accordance with God’s standards (Swanson, 1997).
The How-to live δίκαιος out is worth a lot of time and further study. There are a lot of great resources about righteousness and righteous living. To get a full understanding of application of this word, much more study should be done on it. Case studies on the righteous men of the Old and New Testament is great place to start this study. Think about justice. Dwell on justice. Reflect on it. More so, live it out. When someone is in need, help them. When someone does something wrong, seek God’s wisdom in finding the proper just action that may need to be taken.
Newman, B. M., Jr. (1993). A Concise Greek-English dictionary of the New Testament. (46). Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; United Bible Societies.
Strong, J. (2009). Vol. 1: A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (23). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament)
(electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.