What do you think of when you hear the word blaspheme? After getting saved, I imagined it to mean speaking evil or lies against God. While it does mean that, there are some other meanings behind the original words in scripture. That’s why I want to look at what does the word blaspheme means in Hebrew and Greek.
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Blaspheme’ Mean In Hebrew?
barak- to bless God (as an act of adoration) or to curse.
Barak means “blessed; to blessed; curse; to kneel.” The first occurrence of this word is found in Genesis 1:22. God blessed Adam and Eve telling them to be fruitful and multiply.
God blesses many nations through Abraham and his seed. He does this either through His representatives or directly. He’s the subject of this verb over 100 times.
It’s also used to speak of God’s blessing on men.
However, six times this verb is used to mention profanity.
na’ats- to scorn.
What Does The Word ‘Blaspheme’ Mean In Greek?
blasphemeo- to speak impiously (wickedly; without reverence to God or contempt for His authority).
This word means to use speech to tear down another person’s honor, value, due-respect, and to injure another’s reputation.
Blasphemeo as a verb means to blaspheme or revile. It’s used of those who expressed reproach at Christ and of those who speak hatefully of sacred things or of God. It can be translated to speak evil of, blasphemers, or slanderously reported.
“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
– Matthew 27:39-40
“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”
– Titus 3:1-2
While barak in Hebrew can mean to both bless and curse, blasphemeo in Greek is strictly talking about those who speak wickedly about God and others. I always thought blaspheming can only be done to the Lord, but that’s not true. If you speak evil of others, you’re blaspheming. That’s what the word blaspheme means in Hebrew and Greek!
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