Word Study Wednesday
God bless you in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, a teacher come from God (John 3:2).
The root word for the word family we have been working the last three weeks is stratos. It describes a layer in a command structure, and specifically the layer at the bottom, upon which everything is built. It is a common word for army, or any organized host. It’s the source of English words like to stratify, stratum, sternum, strategy, and the few “strato-” words in English (like stratosphere). Although it doesn’t appear in the New Testament several other words derived from it do. These include:
Antistrateuomai (497) to make war against; used once.
Strateia (4752) a campaign, expedition, warfare; used twice.
Strateuma (4753) an expedition or company of soldiers; used 8 times.
Strateuō or strateuomai (4754) to make war or to serve as a soldier; used 7 times
Stratēgos (4755) governor, general or leader of an army; used 10 times
Stratia (4756) an army or host of angels; used twice.
Stratiotēs (4757) a soldier; used 26 times
Stratologeō (4758) to enlist soldiers or collect an army; used once.
Stratopedarchēs (4759) captain of the guard; used once.
Stratopedon (4760) a military camp; used once.
Sustratiotes (4961) fellow soldier; used twice.
As you can see from the list above many members of this word family are grouped with strong numbers from 4752-4760. To find related words to the one you are studying you may simply the check the strong numbers above and below your target word.
As you can see from the list #497 is # 4754 with anti in front, and # 4961 is #4757 with sun added in front. You may find other words in the word family by seeing if any prepositions may have been added to your target word. These would include:
Resources for identifying word families:
The Word Study Concordance by George Wigram has a Word Family Index on pages xix-xxxv. It is available online at: https://archive.org/details/
A Cognate Lexicon of New Testament by Merle A. Steely
Unlike a regular lexicon (Greek-English Dictionary), a cognate lexicon is arranged alphabetically, not by individual Greek words, but by the “roots” of the Koine Greek word families. It lists together all the words that are related and derived from that root — specifically modified by adding prefixes, suffixes or terminations enabling them to convey a special emphasis or application of that root word’s meaning in different biblical contexts.
Abarim Publications website with Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries are helpful in finding word families. Available online at: https://www.abarim-
The New Testament identifies two men as being fellowsoldiers, sustratiotes, with Paul. Philippians 2:25 identifies Epaphroditus as one and Philemon 1:2 identifies Archippus as another. Paul calls Epaphroditus, who was a Philippian, his brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier. These are words that denote a strong bond of togetherness. The three terms build in the intensity of the camaraderie. They were brothers, equals in the family of God. They were companions in labor [sunergos], that is fellowlaborers in the work of the ministry. They were fellowsoldiers [sustratiotes] associates not just in labor, but in conflicts for the cause of Christ.
“Brothers” meant they were equals in the family together. Sunergos and sustratiotes both have the prefix sun attached. Sun is a primary preposition denoting union, accompaniment, or togetherness. They were united and together in their labor and in their soldiering for the gospel. Paul acknowledges that Epaphroditus was one of them, but he proudly claims Epaphroditus as his own brother, fellowlaborer and fellowsoldier. You can see the intensity build as each word is used. They were united in their family life, their work on all levels, and their spiritual warfare. Paul was proud to acknowledge a man who was so wonderful and valuable to him, God, and the furtherance of the gospel.
The climax that builds through the first three terms reaches its peak in the fourth. “Your messenger” or apostle and he who ministers to my need. Epaphroditus was an apostle sent on a mission from the Philippians. He was sent with the love offering to help Paul and the furtherance of the gospel. Epaphroditus’ assignment was to deliver the gift which Paul calls in 4:18 “the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”
After delivering the gift he remained with Paul to assist in the furtherance of the gospel. As we have seen before Paul was not free to move about. He was restricted, but he taught Timothy, Epaphroditus, and others who assisted him in Rome and travelled on his behalf delivering epistles and communicating Paul’s heart and care for the believers.
Studying the lives of these two men would add much depth to our understanding of strateuomai. Doing a complete word study, including all words in the word family can be very valuable as would, remembering to pay particular attention to any passage of scripture where they cluster.