Ephesians 4:4-6 (MLVBL)
There is one ἓν body and one ἓν Spirit, just-as you were also called in one μιᾷ hope of your calling; one εἷς Lord, one μία faith, one ἓν immersion, one εἷς God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in us all.

  1. Why the various Greek words, ἓν/μιᾷ/εἷς, for "one"?

  2. How many religious faiths are right according to Ephesians 4:4-6?

  • 1
    The answer is that this is just one word. Just as in English "who, whom, whose" are various forms of one single word, so these are various forms of a single word. The forms change according to the function of the word in the sentence, but it is just one word. – MPW Nov 21 '18 at 14:36
  • @der Ubermensch will look at it. How do I do it please? – user26950 Dec 2 '18 at 14:25

Unlike English, Greek is a heavily (or highly) inflected language.1 In English, one could say, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” and the adjective “one” does not change spelling according to the noun it modifies.

In Greek, on the other hand, the typical adjective will decline2 according to:3

Greek Declension List

Since adjectives must agree with the nouns (or pronouns) they modify,4 then nouns also decline in the same manner (excluding degree).

The English adjective “one” is translated from the Greek word εἷς, which may be transliterated into English as heis.

This word εἷς is known as the λήμμα (lemma), or the dictionary/lexical form of the word. The lemma of an adjective is its form declined in the nominative case, singular number, masculine gender, and positive degree.

εἷς Declension Table

Since εἷς is an adjective, when you find its entry in a lexicon, the lexicon will give you its declension for the masculine, feminine, and neuter genders, all in nominative case, singular number.

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With respect to Eph. 4:4–6, the lemma εἷς modifies nouns of various genders, hence the different declensions. Nevertheless, all possess the same general meaning: “one.”


1 Chadwick, Ch. 4, p. 35
2 To decline is to inflect a noun, pronoun, or adjective; to conjugate is to inflect a verb.
3 Because εἷς is inherently singular—after all, it means “one”—it does not decline according to number, unlike other adjectives. Also, being a numeral, it does not decline according to degree (i.e., it is not used as a comparative or superlative).
4 Mounce, p. 102


Mounce, William D. Basics of Biblical Greek. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Thornill, A. Chadwick. Greek for Everyone: Introductory Greek for Bible Study and Application. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2016.


All the words for "one" are different declensions of the same word (εἷς, μία, ἕν in the lexicon). It is declined to match the noun it modifies.

ἓν - is nominative neuter singular

μιᾷ - is dative feminine sigular (in a prepositional phrase)

εἷς - is nominative masculine singular

μία - is nominative feminine sigular

There are sites like the following where you can get free classes in Biblical Greek:


As for the religious faiths Eph. 4:4-6 applies, it applies for all Christians.

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