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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Appear, Appearing

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A — 1: φαίνω

(Strong's #5316 — Verb — phaino — fah'ee-no )

signifies, in the Active Voice, "to shine;" in the Passive, "to be brought forth into light, to become evident, to appear." In Romans 7:13 , concerning sin, the RV has "might be shewn to be," for AV, "appear."

It is used of the "appearance" of Christ to the disciples, Mark 16:9; of His future "appearing" in glory as the Son of Man, spoken of as a sign to the world, Matthew 24:30; there the genitive is subjective, the sign being the "appearing" of Christ Himself; of Christ as the light, John 1:5; of John the Baptist, 5:35; of the "appearing" of an angel of the Lord, either visibly, Matthew 1:20 , or in a dream, Matthew 2:13; of a star, Matthew 2:7; of men who make an outward show, Matthew 6:5; 6:18 (see the RV); Matthew 23:27-28; 2 Corinthians 13:7; of tares, Matthew 13:26; of a vapor, James 4:14; of things physical in general, Hebrews 11:3; used impersonally in Matthew 9:33 , "it was never so seen;" also of what appears to the mind, and so in the sense of to think, Mark 14:64 , or to seem, Luke 24:11 (RV, "appeared"). See SEE , SEEM , SHINE , THINK.

A — 2: ἐπιφαίνω

(Strong's #2014 — Verb — epiphaino — ep-ee-fah'ee-no )

a strengthened form of No. 1 but differing in meaning, epi signifying "upon," is used in the Active Voice with the meaning "to give light," Luke 1:79; in the Passive Voice, "to appear, become visible." It is said of heavenly bodies, e.g., the stars, Acts 27:20 (RV, "shone"); metaphorically, of things spiritual, the grace of God, Titus 2:11; the kindness and the love of God, Titus 3:4 . See LIGHT. Cp. epiphaneia, B, No. 2.

A — 3: ἀναφαίνω

(Strong's #398 — Verb — anaphaino — an-af-ah'ee-no )

ana, "forth, or up," perhaps originally a nautical term, "to come up into view," hence, in general, "to appear suddenly," is used in the Passive Voice, in Luke 19:11 , of the Kingdom of God; Active Voice, in Acts 21:3 , "to come in sight of," RV; "having sighted" would be a suitable rendering (AV, "having discovered").

A — 4: φανερόω

(Strong's #5319 — Verb — phaneroo — fan-er-o'-o )

akin to No. 1, signifies, in the Active Voice, "to manifest;" in the Passive Voice, "to be manifested;" so, regularly, in the RV, instead of "to appear." See 2 Corinthians 7:12; Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 9:26; 1 Peter 5:4; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Revelation 3:18 . To be manifested, in the Scriptural sense of the word, is more than to "appear." A person may "appear" in a false guise or without a disclosure of what he truly is; to be manifested is to be revealed in one's true character; this is especially the meaning of phaneroo, see, e.g., John 3:21; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10,11; Ephesians 5:13 .

A — 5: ἐμφανίζω

(Strong's #1718 — Verb — emphanizo — em-fan-id'-zo )

from en, "in," intensive, and phaino, "to shine," is used, either of "physical manifestation," Matthew 27:53; Hebrews 9:24; cp. John 14:22 , or, metaphorically, of "the manifestation of Christ" by the Holy Spirit in the spiritual experience of believers who abide in His love, John 14:21 . It has another, secondary meaning, "to make known, signify, inform." This is confined to the Acts, where it is used five times, Acts 23:15,22; 24:1; 25:2,15 . There is perhaps a combination of the two meanings in Hebrews 11:14 , i.e., to declare by oral testimony and to "manifest" by the witness of the life. See INFORM , MANIFEST , SHEW , SIGNIFY.

A — 6: ὀπτάνομαι

(Strong's #3700 — Verb — optomai — op-tan'-om-ahee, op'-tom-ahee )

"to see" (from ops, "the eye;" cp. Eng. "optical," etc.), in the Passive sense, "to be seen, to appear," is used (a) objectively, with reference to the person or thing seen, e.g., 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 , RV "appeared," for AV, "was seen;" (b) subjectively, with reference to an inward impression or a spiritual experience, John 3:36 , or a mental occupation, Acts 18:15 , "look to it;" cp. Matthew 27:4,24 , "see (thou) to it," "see (ye) to it," throwing responsibility on others. Optomai is to be found in dictionaries under the word horao, "to see;" it supplies some forms that are lacking in that verb.

These last three words, emphanizo, phaneroo and optomai are used with reference to the "appearances" of Christ in the closing verses of Hebrews 9; emphanizo in Hebrews 9:24 , of His presence before the face of God for us; phaneroo in Hebrews 9:26 , of His past manifestation for "the sacrifice of Himself;" optomai in Hebrews 9:28 , of His future "appearance" for His saints.

A — 7: ὀπτάνομαι

(Strong's #3700 — Verb — optano — op-tan'-om-ahee, op'-tom-ahee )

in the Middle Voice signifies "to allow oneself to be seen." It is rendered "appearing" in Acts 1:3 , RV, for AV, "being seen," of the Lord's "appearances" after His resurrection; the Middle Voice expresses the personal interest the Lord took in this.

Note: In Acts 22:30 sunerchomai (in its aorist form), "to come together," is translated "appear," AV; RV, "come together."

B — 1: ἀποκάλυψις

(Strong's #602 — Noun Feminine — apokalupsis — ap-ok-al'-oop-sis )

lit., "an uncovering, unveiling" (apo, "from," kalupto, "to hide, cover"), denotes "a revelation, or appearing" (Eng., apocalypse). It is translated "the appearing" in 1 Peter 1:7 , AV (RV, "revelation"). See COMING , MANIFESTATION , REVELATION.

B — 2: ἐπιφάνεια

(Strong's #2015 — Noun Feminine — epiphaneia — ep-if-an'-i-ah )

"epiphany," lit., "a shining forth," was used of the "appearance" of a god to men, and of an enemy to an army in the field, etc. In the NT it occurs of (a) the advent of the Savior when the Word became flesh, 2 Timothy 1:10; (b) the coming of the Lord Jesus into the air to the meeting with His saints, 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; (c) the shining forth of the glory of the Lord Jesus "as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west," Matthew 24:27 , immediately consequent on the unveiling, apokalupsis, of His Parousia in the air with His saints, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Titus 2:13 .* [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 263.]

Notes: (1) Phanerosis, akin to A, No. 4, "a manifestation," is used in 1 Corinthians 12:7 and 2 Corinthians 4:2 .

(2) For phaneros, wrongly translated "may appear," in 1 Timothy 4:15 , AV (RV, "may be manifest," not mere appearance), see MANIFEST.

(3) Emphanes, akin to A, No. 5, "manifest," is used in Acts 10:40 and Romans 10:20 . See MANIFEST , OPENLY.

(4) For adelos, "which appear not," Luke 11:44 , see UNCERTAIN.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Appear, Appearing'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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