Four Representational Perspectives on Divine Intervention in Greek Paganism and the Gospels of the New Testament

  Lipka, Michael. 2023. “Four Representational Perspectives on Divine Intervention in Greek Paganism and the Gospels of the New Testament.” In “Γέρα: Studies in honor of Professor Menelaos Christopoulos,” ed. Athina Papachrysostomou, Andreas P. Antonopoulos, Alexandros-Fotios Mitsis, Fay Papadimitriou, and Panagiota Taktikou, special issue, Classics@ 25.

To Menelaus

1. Problem

The semantic aspect of “divine intervention” in Greek antiquity, i.e. the quest for a specific divine message behind a “divine intervention,” is very important indeed. Every Classics student is aware of the disastrous consequences which indifference to divine messages brings down upon historical or mythical protagonists in Greek thinking. Nevertheless, most classicists —or experts in ancient Greek religion, for that matter— tend to overlook the fact that “message” is only one —albeit the most spectacular— among other perspectives taken by the ancients on what passed as “divine intervention.” In fact, with very few exceptions, “non-semantic” forms of divine intervention have been largely overlooked or deliberately ignored by modern scholars. The most important exception to such omission is Herodotean “miracles” (θώματα) that have been a constant scholarly concern for decades now, although even in this case scholars normally fail to notice that Herodotean “miracles” (θώματα) do not at all refer to the “sign”-character of an event, but to its “miraculous” impact on the observer or reporter (which in most cases is Herodotus himself). [1] Of course, a Herodotean “miracle” may also be represented as a “divine” sign (under a different term), but very often it is not. At any rate, since the Halicarnassean is uniquely sensitive to divine intervention and at the same time our first author explicitly claiming to reflect the human lifeworld, he is a perfect starting point for our short contribution.

2. Approach

The notion of divine intervention is notoriously “multiperspective” (to borrow this felicitous term from Versnel), [2] i.e. it depends for its very existence on the question of the vantage point from which you look at it. In what follows, I will select four such perspectives that are well attested in Greek antiquity. I label these perspectives according to the Greek words under which they occur, namely the thaumatic, the semantic, the teratic and the aretalogical/dynamic perspectives. Here, the thaumatic perspective highlights the incompatibility of an event with the lifeworld experience of an observer (= θαῦμα), the semantic perspective stresses its message (= σημεῖον/σῆμα), the teratic perspective illuminates the anxiety of the observer (= τέρας), while the aretalogical/dynamic perspective emphasizes the aspect of divine power underlying the event (= ἀρετή, δύναμις). My working assumption is that these four perspectives can be applied to any perceivable event of the human lifeworld, provided the observer is willing to interpret this event as “divinely ordained” or “caused.” That is not to say that these four perspectives are always explicitly mentioned in the relevant passages, nor that they cannot occur under different Greek terms, nor that there may not be yet more perspectives. But my claim stands that so far no scholar has dealt with non-semantic / “message-less” forms of divine intervention in a proper or systematic manner.
Herodotus offers a fine example of how the same event can be described in a single paragraph from all four perspectives: In book Nine of his Histories, the guard of Artayctes, the Persian general and ruler of Sestos caught by the Athenians, is cooking some fish, when suddenly the fish jumps into life. For the other guards, who look on the event from a distance, this event is “strange,” and hence Herodotus employs the verb ἐθώμαζον (thaumatic perspective) while the guard, to whom it happens, is terrified until he is addressed by Artayctes: “do not be afraid of this ‘frightening sign’ (μηδὲν φοβέο τὸ τέρας τοῦτο) ….” (teratic perspective). Artayctes goes on to argue from a semantic and aretalogical/dynamic perspective when he says: “…. it is not to you but to me that Protesilaus of Elaeus [a local hero] sends the ‘message’ (σημαίνει = semantic perspective) that even though he is dead and dried (like a fish), he is still empowered by the gods (δύναμιν πρὸς θεῶν έχει = aretalogical/dynamic perspective) to punish those who act unjustly.” In other words, while the other guards merely observe something strange (ἐθώμαζον), the concerned eyewitness finds the scene frightening (τέρας) and apparently relates it to his own vicissitudes. To calm him down, Artayctes reveals the message (σημαίνει), [3] which is a testimony to the “power” (δύναμις) of the local hero called Protesilaus.

3. Thaumatic perspective

A “miracle”/θαῦμα is any event that violates the author’s lifeworld experience. In Herodotus, it may suggest divine intervention or doubt about the credibility of Herodotus’ source. In the latter case “thaumatic” is tantamount to “fantastic, unreal” and of no interest to this investigation. [4]
Herodotus comments on the grove of Demeter during the battle of Plataea in 479 BCE: “To me it is a wonder (θῶμα) that among those who fought at the grove of Demeter not one of the Persians seems to have entered the precinct nor to have died there; most of them fell close to the temple on profane ground. And I guess, if it is allowed to guess about divine matters, that the goddess herself did not admit them, because earlier they had burned the mystery shrine in Eleusis.” [5] According to another passage, in 480 BCE, the Persians incinerate the Athenian Acropolis, along with Athena’s famous olive tree on the Acropolis. Two days later, however, as we learn from Herodotus, the Athenians, whom Xerxes sends to sacrifice on the Acropolis, find a shoot of the olive tree already one cubit long. [6]
Let us briefly look at the anatomy of these two events, which are represented from the thaumatic perspective and thus transformed into “divine intervention.” Three properties turn these events into θαύματα, namely conceptual, temporal, and local coincidence. Let us begin with the Persian dead at Plataea: in Herodotus’ mind, only divine intervention can explain the fact that during a battle on open ground a certain area was not covered by corpses.
The fact that both the Eleusinium and the Plataean grove are dedicated to Demeter is a conceptual coincidence (“similarity”), the fact that the Eleusinium had been burned slightly earlier by the Persians is a temporal coincidence, while the fact that no corpses were found in Demeter’s precinct at Plataea is a spatial coincidence.
To turn to the olive-tree θαῦμα, in Herodotus’ mind, divine intervention made the shoot of an olive tree grow one cubit in two days. The conceptual coincidence is the fact that the olive tree is the tree of Athena and hence a symbol of Athens, the temporal coincidence that the event is preceded by Xerxes’ occupation of Athens two days earlier, and the local coincidence that the olive tree is actually sprouting on the Athenian Acropolis and not, say, in Troezen.

4. Semantic perspective

The semantic perspective need not always be explicitly expressed, in order to be dominant or present. A mere interpretation by the author of the divine “message” of the event will do. In the passage just quoted, concerning the Persian dead at Plataea, Herodotus describes the distribution of Persian corpses not only as a miracle (θῶμα), but also as a divine message (σῆμα) in the sense that, in his view, Demeter took revenge on the Persians for their destruction of the Eleusinium. Also in the olive-tree passage, the author suggests (implicitly) a “message,” namely that Athens would miraculously rise from the ashes just like the shoot of the olive tree.
Of course, divine semantics are a matter of hermeneutic taste, never shared by everyone alike. For instance, in order to justify the abandonment of his campaign against Argos, Cleomenes defends his action in front of the ephors: he reports that after an ambiguous oracular pronouncement, he had offered a sacrifice to Hera in the Argive Heraion and that suddenly a flame glimmered from the breast of the cult statue. On Cleomenes’ reading, this flame demonstrates that his abandonment of the campaign was in line with the will of the goddess: for only if the flame had appeared on the head of the statue, would he have taken the city “headlong.” [7] For what it is worth, Herodotus remains unconvinced, but the ephors agree.
The semantic perspective forms the basis of virtually all Herodotean oracular tales that culminate in decoding the hidden meaning of a riddled oracular text: Sabacus connects a dream with an old oracle, and thus avoids disaster for himself and the Egyptian priests whom the gods ask him to kill; [8] the Spartan nobleman Liches observes a Tegean blacksmith at work, and recognizes the details of an old oracle that indicate the exact resting place of the bones of Orestes. [9] One may also compare the interpretation of one of the elders of Lampsacus, according to whom Croesus’ threat “I will raze you from the earth like a pine tree” forebodes the annihilation of the city, because “the pine is the only tree that sends forth no shoots after it is cut down, but perishes utterly.” [10]

5. Teratic perspective

Τέρα(τ)α designate events causing anxiety, fear, and awe to the observer and, as a rule of thumb, preannounce momentous developments, normally to the disadvantage of the persons concerned (=portents), but sometimes also to their advantage. In other words, this label focuses on the psychological impact on the observer of an event. Unsurprisingly, the word is absent from, say, Thucydides (who himself is little impressed by religious sentiments), and occurs only once in Xenophon. [11]
According to Herodotus, the birth of the later tyrant Peisistratus is preannounced by a τέρας. [12] Before Croesus is caught by Cyrus, snakes enter Croesus’ capital, Sardis, preventing the horses from leaving the city, a τέρας for Croesus in Herodotus’ own words. When Croesus sends messengers to learn about the “meaning” of this divine intervention, the Telmessians offer their interpretation, i.e. they reveal the semantic perspective, namely the imminent defeat of Croesus, which is also duly documented by Herodotus thereafter. [13]
The teratic and the thaumatic perspectives are often merged, as when Herodotus remarks that the Scythians wonder (θωμάζεσθαι) at thunderstorms in winter as at a τέρας, [14] and the various forms of intervention by the gods of Delphi, when the Persians draw near to the oracle, are alternatively called θώματα (from the perspective of Herodotus / an external observer) and τέρατα (from the viewpoint of the Persians, who are struck by fear and pushed back). Many Herodotean τέρατα are represented as encoded divine messages (σημεῖα/σήματα), while others are not: for instance, an Egyptian woman having sex with a he-goat is mentioned as a τέρας, without any “message” being offered or easily construed by a reader. [15]
The sentiment of the observer’s “fear” may be misguided, and in these cases, a τέρας may still be a favourable sign, or it may be no sign at all. Thus, for instance, when, in Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica, Argus, following Phineus’ suggestion, proposes the return route via the Ister, the “goddess” (=Hera) sends a “good” portent (αἴσιον τέρας), i.e. a trail of heavenly light, and guides the heroes through the Black Sea to the mouth of the river. We have two interpretative alternatives here. Either τέρας refers to the frightening psychological impact of the event, without any reference to its (positive) meaning, or else this is an oxymoron (a “good” portent): in that case, Apollonius juxtaposes two incompatible notions in a playful Hellenistic manner. [16] However, another τέρας mentioned in the same poem cannot be explained as an oxymoron: when the Libyan nymphs address Jason in a riddled revelation, and he and his comrades are at a loss as to the right course of action, a miraculous horse, the most impressive of all portents (τὸ μήκιστον τῶν τεράων), leaps out of the sea, and Jason immediately understands the divine origin and meaning, thus saving the Argonauts. [17]

6. Aretalogical/dynamic perspective

Divine interventions may be represented as laudable properties (ἀρεταί) to honour or define a deity, or more specifically as physical powers (δυνάμεις). The aretalogical/dynamic perspective becomes the typical feature of autonomous encomiastic texts that are generically close to hymns and appear in the modern editions as “aretalogies.” Chaniotis considers the Epidaurian iamata from the fourth century BCE as the first extant specimen of such aretalogies, here of Asclepius, although the word is not mentioned in the texts in this sense. [18] Epigraphically, the first reference to divine interventions under the name of ἀρετή seems to be a hymn of the Epidaurian poet Isyllos, which most likely belongs to the later third century BCE, although the exact dating is contentious. [19] Nevertheless, under different names the aretalogical perspective is attested already in the classical period, namely, under the term δύναμις or its derivatives. For instance, Asclepius’ δύναμις is already explicitly acknowledged in Aristophanes Plutus 748; we may also recall the Herodotean Artayctes passage, discussed above, which explicitly stresses the δύναμις of the local hero Protesilaus. From early on, Dionysus’ actions are prone to be represented from the aretalogical perspective, although in this case, the preferred label is θαύματα, as for instance in the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus (7), [20] and also in Euripides’ Bacchae, where the messenger, after describing Dionysus’ miraculous release from his bonds, summarizes the events: “full of θαύματα has this man arrived in Thebes.” [21]
The gods to whom aretalogies are directed are virtually all divine newcomers to existing panthea, namely, Asclepius, Dionysus, Isis, Sarapis and, mutatis mutandis, Jesus. The “laudable properties” (ἀρεταί) thereby serve to compensate for mythical credentials possessed by other, more traditional deities, and thus to assert the full-fledged divine status of the new deity. By contrast, the aretalogical/dynamic perspective is not normally employed to represent the actions of gods, whose δύναμις is self-evident, such as the traditional great Olympians, or the Jewish or Christian Gods for that matter.
Most notable are various Isis-aretalogies, that appear from the first century BCE at various places in the Greek world, and whose common “Greek” origin is disputed. [22] Greek or not, the aretalogical/dynamic perspective of all these and similar aretalogies is ubiquitous and is simply expressed in the following words by Isidorus in his Isis-hymn, among the earliest extant specimens: “Mistress, I will not stop singing of your great δύναμις/‘power’.” The same dynamic perspective also appears in Isidorus’ other Isis-hymns. [23] Versnel has highlighted the henotheistic tendency in such pagan aretalogies of the accumulation of divine properties in the form of ἀρεταί, which prepares the ground for Jesus’ δυνάμεις according to the synoptic gospels. [24]

7. Gospels

7.1 Dynamic and semantic perspectives in the Synoptics

Dynamic Perspective: The synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke) represent Jesus’ actions, and most prominently his healings, as “powers” (δυνάμεις). This idiosyncratic employment of the word δυνάμεις directly continues the aretalogical/dynamic perspective of similar near contemporary pagan texts, such as the aforementioned Isis-aretalogies. It is exploited with different emphasis by the synoptics, who may even employ this word to designate the result of such “powers” (δυνάμεις), namely, the divine intervention itself. [25] The concept of divine δύναμις is then theologically developed by Paul (most notably the Christological application, i.e. Christ as the δύναμις of God). [26] It is taken up and instrumentalized further by Ignatius of Antioch, who extends it to the institution of the bishop in particular: accepting the δύναμις of the bishop is tantamount to accepting the δύναμις of god. [27]
The particular usage of δύναμις in the synoptics as the power of God delegated to Jesus throws a spotlight on the essential character of the accounts in question. Mark, Matthew, and Luke write as aretalogists, who record the biography (or at any rate part of it) of Jesus, the “new god,” most notably his super-human powers (δυνάμεις) in a biographical manner.
Semantic Perspective: In the synoptics or their sources, Jesus’ healing miracles are never called “signs” (σημεῖα), because they do not carry a message, at least not in the eyes of the synoptics. Where “signs” (σημεῖα) occur in the synoptics, they stand for apocalyptic forebodings. For instance, when the Jews taunt Jesus by asking for a “‘sign’ (σημεῖον) from heaven,” he replies either (according to Mark) that “no ‘sign’ (σημεῖον) will be given to this generation” [28] or (according to Matthew and Luke) that only one single sign will be given, namely the mysterious “sign of Jonah.” [29] And while Herod expects a “sign” (σημεῖον) from Jesus, the latter does not respond. [30] However, especially in Matthew and Luke, Jesus is very explicit about the apocalyptic signs to be expected on the Day of Judgement. [31]

7.2 The Gospel of John

In its representation of the semantic perspective, the gospel of John, chronologically the latest, stands miles apart from the three synoptic gospels. The semantic perspective is here prominent to such an extent that in 1941 Bultmann famously postulated an underlying σημεῖα source, on which John allegedly drew for most or all of his σημεῖα accounts. [32] Bultmann thus triggered a long-lasting and still ongoing discussion. For our purpose, the question of the existence or the exact nature of this source is irrelevant, although the very discussion is proof that most modern interpreters feel that the representational perspective in John is fundamentally different from that of the other three Gospels. John transforms Jesus actions from material emanations of power (δυνάμεις) to “messages” or “signs” (σημεῖα) of the Logos. John’s Jesus is no human, but “god speaking” (λόγος), whose message is signified by his deeds. Essentially, Jesus’ interventions, primarily his healings, are thus meaningful signs of his divinity and his sonship of God. [33]
It is extremely noteworthy, and rarely stressed in the bulky bibliography, that the semantic perspective is manifest only in the first part of John’s gospel, which comprises Jesus’ actions and vicissitudes among humans. [34] Jesus’ final suffering, crucifixion and resurrection are never explicitly called σημεῖα. [35] We must conclude that for John, suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection are no σημεῖα, i.e. they carry no “message” in the same way as the interventions earlier in Jesus’ life. In a word, “signs” in John are not those events that affect Jesus, but those actions that are performed by him, and only him. Characteristically, no one apart from Jesus performs “signs” in John, not even Jesus’ precursor John the Baptist. [36]
The synoptics, especially Matthew and Mark, motivate Jesus’ actions through his proverbial compassion (ἐλεέω, σπλαγχνίζομαι). [37] In fact, many healing miracles (δυνάμεις) seem to serve the illustration of this —in their eyes— major virtue. It is important that relevant Greek words (and notions) are absent from John. [38] Given their frequency in the synoptics, this distribution cannot be a matter of chance. It rather confirms our earlier findings: the synoptic gospels are conceived as aretalogies of the divine newcomer to Jewish monotheism. Hence, they record Jesus’ deeds and his (human) motivations in good descriptive, biographical fashion, while John —in a reflective, philosophical vein— is primarily concerned with the theological “meaning,” of how this new god intervenes in this lifeworld and thus chooses the semantic perspective throughout.


All the texts discussed in this short paper, from Herodotus to the four gospels of the New Testament, represent perspectives of divine intervention in the human lifeworld. Such events may be represented from thaumatic, semantic, teratic and aretalogical/dynamic perspectives. Three out of four of these perspectives are not concerned with any specific divine “message.” While the earliest, i.e. the synoptic, gospels of the New Testament represent Jesus’ interventions as “message-less,” but “powerful,” divine interventions and thus follow the terminology of aretalogies of pagan newcomers to preexisting panthea, John turns Jesus’ interventions in the human lifeworld before his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane into an integral part of Jesus’ “message.” By doing so, John reveals himself as being not an aretalogist anymore, but a “theologian.” Jesus’ subsequent suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection though do not form part of this “theology” yet.


Blass, F., and A. Debrunner. 1961. A Greek Grammar of the New Testament. Chicago.
Bultmann, R. 1941. Das Evangelium des Johannes. Göttingen.
Chaniotis, A. 1988. Historie und Historiker in den griechischen Inschriften. Epigraphische Beiträge zur griechischen Historiographie. Stuttgart.
Edwards, M. 2017. “The Power of God in Some Early Christian Texts.” In Marmadoro and Viltanioti 2017:163176.
Furley, W. D., and J. M. Bremer, eds. 2001. Greek Hymns. Selected Cult Songs from the Archaic to the Hellenistic Period. 2 vols. Tübingen.
Harrison, T. 2000. Divinity and History. The Religion of Herodotus. Oxford.
Hill, J. 2017. “The Self-giving Power of God: Dunamis in Early Christianity.” In Marmadoro and Viltanioti 2017:140162.
Hollmann, A. 2011. The Master of Signs. Signs and the Interpretation of Signs in Herodotus’ Histories. Hellenic Studies 48. Washington, DC.
Hornblower, S., and C. Pelling, eds. 2017. Herodotus. Histories Book VI. Oxford.
Kolde, A. 2003. Politique et religion chez Isyllos d’Épidaure. Basel.
Marmadoro, A., and I.-F. Viltanioti, eds. 2017. Divine Powers in Late Antiquity. Oxford.
Vanderlip, V. F. 1972. The Four Greek Hymns of Isidorus and the Cult of Isis. Toronto.
Versnel, H. S. 1990. Ter Unus. Isis, Dionysos, Hermes. Three Studies in Henotheism. Leiden.
———. 2011. Coping with the Gods. Wayward Readings in Greek Theology. Leiden.


[ back ] 1. Hollmann 2011; Harrison 2000:64101.
[ back ] 2. E.g. Versnel 2011.
[ back ] 3. Herodotus 9.120 with Hollmann 2011:237239; Harrison 2000:68 with important discussions, but without any attention to the representational perspectives.
[ back ] 4. For instance, Herodotus rejects the story that the Alcmeonids aided the Persians by raising a shield at the right moment, because it is implausible, or in his words, which he repeats, “it is a wonder to me.” There are other “thaumatic” events that Herodotus discards as incredible; Herodotus 6.121, 123; cf. Harrison 2000:66, 76.
[ back ] 5. Herodotus 9.65.
[ back ] 6. Herodotus 8.55.
[ back ] 7. Herodotus 6.82.
[ back ] 8. Herodotus 2.139.
[ back ] 9. Herodotus 1.6768.
[ back ] 10. Herodotus 6.37 with Hornblower and Pelling 2017:131.
[ back ] 11. Xenophon Memorabilia 1.4.15.
[ back ] 12. Herodotus 1.59.
[ back ] 13. Herodotus 1.78 (twice).
[ back ] 14. Herodotus 4.28.
[ back ] 15. Herodotus 2.46.
[ back ] 16. Apollonius Rhodius 4.257302.
[ back ] 17. Apollonius Rhodius 4.13641379.
[ back ] 18. Chaniotis 1988:22.
[ back ] 19. Kolde 2003:257264; Furley and Bremer 2001, vol. 2:233236.
[ back ] 20. The Homeric Hymn to Dionysus (7) begins from a thaumatic perspective (v. 34 θαυματὰ ἔργα) by offering a long list of intrinsically improbable events. For the longest part of the hymn, it is actually not stated that it is Dionysus who makes the wine splash over the ship or makes the vine stock grow, etc. Only towards the end does the hymn turn to the semantic perspective, when it reveals that it is Dionysus who sends these events as “messages” to demonstrate to unbelievers his spiteful omnipotence (v.46 σήματα φαίνων).
[ back ] 21. Euripides Bacchae 449450, cf. 1063.
[ back ] 22. For the relevant discussion, see e.g. Versnel 2011:283–284; Versnel 1990:39–52; Vanderlip 1972:85–96.
[ back ] 23. Hymn I 25; cf. also III 17, IV 39 (I quote according to Vanderlip 1972).
[ back ] 24. Versnel 2011:283–289.
[ back ] 25. Hill 2017:147–150.
[ back ] 26. Hill 2017:141–147, cf. Edwards 2017:163–165 for the word in the synoptics and Plautus.
[ back ] 27. Hill 2017:150–152.
[ back ] 28. Gospel of Mark 8.12 with Hebraizing εἰ, cf. Blass and Debrunner 1961: § 454.5; cf. Gospel of Mark 13.4.
[ back ] 29. Gospel of Matthew 12.38f, 16.1–4; Gospel of Luke 11.16, 11.29–32.
[ back ] 30. Gospel of Luke 23.8.
[ back ] 31. Gospel of Matthew 24.1–31; cf. also Gospel of Luke 21.7, 11, 25; Revelation 12.1, 3; 15.1. Besides this, σημεῖον is the ‘token of recognition’, unconnected to any miracles, so Gospel of Luke 2.12. An exceptional passage is found in Luke, where Jesus as a person (without reference to a specific intervention) is called a σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον perhaps rather in the sense of “a point of quarrel,” Gospel of Luke 2.34. While Jesus’ interventions in the synoptics are not represented from a semantic perspective and thus as σημεῖα, Jesus accuses his competitors (pseudo-Christs and pseudo-prophets) of exactly this, namely of the production of σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα, which —given the semantics of σημεῖα elsewhere in the synoptics— can hardly be more than “apocalyptic signs”; Gospel of Mark 13.21–23; Gospel of Matthew 24.24; cf. Gospel of Luke 17.23–24, 37.
[ back ] 32. Bultmann 1941.
[ back ] 33. Gospel of John 1.1–5. Nevertheless, John is familiar with the material side of Jesus’ healings, although he is little concerned with this aspect and avoids the term δύναμις, cf. Gospel of John 9.6–7.
[ back ] 34. Gospel of John 1.1–12.50. Gospel of John 3.2 speaks of “these signs” which Jesus has performed, although stricto sensu the only sign that precedes is the transformation of water into wine at the Wedding at Cana (Gospel of John 2.1–11). Possibly, John’s source(s) knew of more signs. After all, John does not say anything about Jesus’ birth or youth.
[ back ] 35. Gospel of John 13.1–20.25. At Gospel of John 20.30, following the crucifixion and resurrection, we read: “Therefore, many other signs Jesus performed (σημεῖα ἐποίησεν) in the presence of the disciples.” The context strongly suggests that these “signs” are again healing miracles in general.
[ back ] 36. Gospel of John 10.41.
[ back ] 37. 1.) σπλαγχνίζομαι e.g. Gospel of Mark 1.41, 8.2, cf. 6.34, 9.22; Gospel of Matthew 9.36, 14.14, 15.32; Gospel of Luke 7.13; 2.) ἐλεέω, e.g. Gospel of Mark 5.19, 10.47–48; Gospel of Matthew 5.7, 6.2–4, 9.27, 18.33; Gospel of Luke 11.41, 12.33.
[ back ] 38. Remarkably, at Gospel of John 11.33–38 where Jesus appears as being personally moved and even crying, the text uses the obscure verb ἐμβριμάομαι.