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Young's Literal Translation Acts 2:

4 and they were all filled [G4130] with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, according as the Spirit was giving them to declare.

Disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. It happened again in Acts 4:

31 And they having prayed, the place was shaken in which they were gathered together, and they were all filled [G4130] with the Holy Spirit, and were speaking the word of God with freedom,

Further, Paul commanded us in Ephesians 5:

18 and be not drunk with wine, in which is dissoluteness, but be filled [G4137] in the Spirit,

What is the difference between these two Greek words? What is the significance of this difference?

1 Answer 1

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The difference between πληρόω (eg, Eph 1:23, 3:19, 4:10, 5:18 etc) and πλήθω (eg, Matt 22;10, 27:48, Acts 2:4, 31, etc) is quite small. Thayer and BDAG list the lexical entry (root word) for πλήθω as πίμπλημι.

πίμπλημι/πλήθω (BDAG): to cause to be completely full, fill, fulfill

πληρόω (BDAG): to make full, fill (full)

Thus, the two words are almost direct synonyms. Indeed, Luke uses both in close proximity with almost indistinguishable difference in meaning in Acts 2:4, 3:18 (πλήθω) and Acts 2:2, 28 (πληρόω).

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