Revelation 21:8 New International Version

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

to [the] cowardly
δειλοῖς (deilois)
Adjective - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1169: Cowardly, timid, fearful. From deos; timid, i.e. faithless.

International Standard Version

Mark 4:39 Then he got up, rebuked the wind, and told the sea, “Calm down! Be still!” Then the wind stopped blowing, and there was a great calm. 40 He asked them, "Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith yet?"

Only three versions use the word cowards in https://biblehub.com/mark/4-40.htm. Most use words like afraid, fearful, etc.

Mark 4:40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

Were they cowards?

  • 1
    Yes, to that behaviour of the disciples on the boat, perfectly befitted the term 'coward'; in other instances also the disciples did not distinguish themselves with much courage either, for example, being afraid of following Jesus to Lazarus' village near Jerusalem (John 11:8), or to go to His tomb (John 20:19); and Peter out of fear thrice denied Him. So, what's problem in Jesus calling them cowards? Should He called them Rambos, or what? Jan 10, 2021 at 17:35
  • Funny :) I agree with you.
    – Tony Chan
    Jan 10, 2021 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


The operative word here is δειλός (deilos) which BDAG defines as:

cowardly, timid, eg, Rev 21:8, Matt 8:26, Mark 4:40

Thus, BDAG would be happy to translate Mark 4:40 as "cowards"; thus describing the disciples as cowards. Matthew uses the same word. (In Luke 8:25, he only describes the disciples as "fearful".)

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