Disciple seems to be a word only religious folk use. We use it to talk about the great apostles who followed Jesus Christ. However, the word disciple doesn’t only apply to Jesus. It’s just a word. But, it’s an important word. That’s why I wanted to look at what does the word disciple mean in Greek.

First, let’s look at the definition of the word disciple from the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary:

“A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another. Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples; and hence all Christians are called his disciples, as they profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts.”

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

– Matthew 28:19-20

What Does The Word ‘Disciple’ Mean In Greek?

matheteuo- to become a student.

“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.”

– Matthew 27:57

mathetes- a pupil, student, a learner.

Mathetes, meaning “one who follows one’s teaching” is used not only to describe a student but of one who is spoken of as imitators of their teacher.

“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.”

– John 19:22

mathetria- a female pupil, student.

“At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.”

– Acts 9:36


Simply, the word disciple means to be a learner of someone else and to imitate their behavior. That’s what the bible tells us to do in regard to the life of Jesus Christ.

That’s what the word disciple means in Greek. I pray this article was helpful to you. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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