Word Studies

The Examination of Biblical Words in Their Context

by James T. Bartsch

"For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner." Luke 14:24

Occurrences of geuomai (1089) "taste" in the N.T.

Does geuomai (1089), "taste",  mean "to sample" food or some other entity without fully partaking, or does it mean "to partake fully"? The reason for the question arises from the attempt of some to deal with the theological  complexities of Hebrews 6:4, 5.  Those of a Calvinistic persuasion believe that a genuine believer in Christ cannot lose his salvation. The Scriptures support that view. Hebrews 6:4, 5, however, presents a potential obstacle to that view if the people envisioned participated fully in the heavenly gift and partook fully of the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. Nonetheless, an objective assessment of geuomai leads one to the conclusion that the instances of mere sampling are relatively few in number. It is impossible, for example, to "taste death" and not partake fully of it. Either one has died or he has not. Whatever the theological complexities of Hebrews 6:4-6 may be, it seems best to understand the "tasting" in that passage as meaning "fullly partaking", particularly in view of the same writer's use of "taste" in Hebrews 2:9.

To sample without fully partaking To partake fully
Matt. 16:28 "taste death"
Matt. 27:34 "tasted  it" (i.e. wine)
Mark 9:1 "taste death"
Luke 9:27 "taste death"
Luke 14:24 "taste of my dinner"
John 2:9 "tasted the water"
John 8:52 "taste of death"
Acts 10:10 "desiring to eat"
Acts 20:11 "broken the bread and eaten"
Acts 23:14 "to taste nothing"
Col. 2:21 "Do not taste"
Heb. 2:9 "taste death"
Heb. 6:4 "tasted of the heavenly gift"
Heb. 6:5 "tasted the good word of God  and the powers of the age to come"
1 Pet. 2:3 "tasted the kindness of the Lord"

(Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.)

Published May 23, 2013

Updated March 25, 2014

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