Matthew 19:17; Greek New Testament;

17 ο δε ειπεν αυτω τι με λεγεις αγαθον ουδεις αγαθος ει μη εις ο θεος ει δε θελεις εισελθειν εις την ζωην τηρησον τας εντολας

Matthew 19:17; KJV;

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

1 John 2:1; Greek New Testament;

2 τεκνια μου ταυτα γραφω υμιν ινα μη αμαρτητε και εαν τις αμαρτη παρακλητον εχομεν προς τον πατερα ιησουν χριστον δικαιον

1 John 2:1; KJV;

2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

1 John 2:1; DRB;

2 My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just:

Could αγαθος in Matthew 19:17 be explained with δικαιον in 1 John 2:1?

  • I am not sure I even understand your question. Good and righteous are separate qualities which are related but still quite distinct.
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 22:06
  • @Dottard you fully understood my question: are good=righteous?
    – salah
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 22:24
  • As any lexicon will show, "good" does not equate to "righteousness". "Good" can apply to food or clothing but such can never be described as "righteous". They are quite distinct.
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 22:47
  • @Dottard could you, please write your views in an answer post?
    – salah
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 23:05
  • I have also been wondering about the word good. See hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/55906/…
    – Jeschu
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


Good (αγαθος) and righteous (δίκαιος) are quite separate qualities. For example, we have a number of things that are good but not righteous. In the eyes of some, those that are righteous are not necessarily good but often despised.

To be more specific, the following are described as "good" but are not righteous and cannot be:

  • Matt 7:11 - good gifts
  • Matt 7:17 - good tree
  • Matt 12:35 - good treasure

Similarly, being righteous requires much more than being good. I might do a good deed for my neighbor but that does not make me righteous.

It must be admitted, that occasionally, "good" is used a very loose synonym for something that might be construed as "righteous" such as Matt 22:10, 5:45, but this is a stretch.

The fundamental problem here is the meaning of αγαθος (good) is merely something that meets a high standard or something that deserves merit (BDAG). That a "good" thing is merely a useful thing. That is very different from something that is righteous.

  • are two greek words in Matthew 19:17 and 1John 2:1 like the two Hebrew words: צדק and טוב?
    – salah
    Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 23:52
  • @salah - that should be the subject of another question
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 0:16

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