Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Greek Pronunciation: TE-ras
Strong’s Number: 5059
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5469
Key Verse: “So Jesus said to him, 'Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.’” -- John 4:48

[SEE: Miracles overview]

The Greek word teras literally means “wonder.” It is always in the plural, and refers to something that evokes astonishment or amazement in the beholder. Such miracles “make us catch our breath or drop our jaws.” This looks at the event from the standpoint of effect produced and considers the effect the miracle had on those who observed it. It is usually understood as something that’s likely to be observed and kept in the memory because of its extraordinary character and depicts a miracle as something startling, imposing, and amazing.

This word is used 46 times in the Septuagint, with examples in Exodus 15:11 (“awesome in praises, working wonders”), and Isaiah 28:29 (“make His counsel wonderful”).

Teras is used 16 times in the New Testament. Thirteen times, wonders are manifested as divine operations, with 9 of those times in Acts (2:19, 22, 43; 4:30; 5:12; 6:8; 7:36; 14:3; 15:12), and 3 times they are ascribed to the work of Satan through human agents (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). Acts 2:22 is one instance where powers (miracles), wonders, and signs are all used together in one sentence. Wonders is often found together with the word sign. For example, in Hebrews 2:4 of the message of salvation preached by the apostles, and by Paul in Romans 15:19 and 2 Corinthians 12:12, regarding miracles performed by God and the Holy Spirit through the apostles. The words are found together because the miracles in question are often so incredible that they (1) cause astonishment (wonder), and (2) cause one to recognize that the person performing the astonishing miracle must be a spokesman for God (sign).

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