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P. Whats The Difference Between Wicked & Evil

What's The Difference Between Wicked & Evil?

It may seem that wicked and evil means the same; however, after an investigation of the biblical sense of both "wicked" and "evil", I found there is a connection between the two; but there are some significant differences between the two.

Using the Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible (KJV) and the Online Interlinear Bible (KJV) I confirmed the following:

  • The Hebrew (OT) has two definitions for "wicked" and the Greek (NT) has three definitions.
  • The Hebrew (OT) has only one definition for "evil" and the Greek (NT) has four definitions. Below are some examples of these findings.

Wicked

Hebrew (Old Testament)

Genesis 13:13 - But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

The Hebrew word: [r               Transliterated word: Ra`

Pronounced: rah

Definition: adjective

  1. bad, evil
    1. bad, disagreeable, malignant
    2. bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery)
    3. evil, displeasing
    4. bad (of its kind - land, water, etc)
    5. bad (of value)
    6. worse than, worst (comparison)
    7. sad, unhappy
    8. evil (hurtful)
    9. bad, unkind (vicious in disposition)
    10. bad, evil, wicked (ethically)
      1. in general, of persons, of thoughts
      2. deeds, actions
  2. evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity
    1. evil, distress, adversity
    2. evil, injury, wrong
    3. evil (ethical)
  3. evil, misery, distress, injury
    1. evil, misery, distress
    2. evil, injury, wrong
    3. evil (ethical)

Isaiah 3:11 -     Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

The Hebrew word: [Xr    Transliterated Word:  Rasha`

Pronounced: raw-shaw'

Definition: adjective

  1. wicked, criminal
    1. guilty one, one guilty of crime (subst)
    2. wicked (hostile to God)
    3. wicked, guilty of sin (against God or man)

Luke 11:26 - Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Greek (New Testament)

The Greek word: ponhrovteroß    Transliterated Word: Poneroteros

Pronounced: pon-ay-rot'-er-os

Definition: adjective

More evil

Acts 18:14 - And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, if it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:

:

The Greek word: ponhrovß   Transliterated Word: Poneros

Pronounced: pon-ay-ros'         

Definition: adjective

  1. full of labours, annoyances, hardships
    1. pressed and harassed by labours
    2. bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble
  2. bad, of a bad nature or condition
    1. in a physical sense: diseased or blind
    2. in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

The word is used in the nominative case in Mt. 6:13. This usually denotes a title in the Greek. Hence Christ is saying, deliver us from "The Evil", and is probably referring to Satan.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 -  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

The Greek word: a[nomoß   Transliterated Word: Anomos

Pronounced: an'-om-os         

Definition: adjective

  1. destitute of (the Mosaic) law
    1. of the Gentiles
  2. departing from the law, a violator of the law, lawless, wicked

 2 Peter 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

The Greek word: a[qesmoß  Transliterated Word: Athesmos

Pronounced: ath'-es-mos

Definition: Adjective

One who breaks through the restraint of law and gratifies his lusts

Evil

Hebrew (Old Testament)

Every passage that contains the word for evil in every book of the Old Testament has only one word and one definition.

The Hebrew word: [r               Transliterated word: Ra`

Pronounced: rah

Definition: adjective

  1. bad, evil
    1. bad, disagreeable, malignant
    2. bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery)
    3. evil, displeasing
    4. bad (of its kind - land, water, etc)
    5. bad (of value)
    6. worse than, worst (comparison)
    7. sad, unhappy
    8. evil (hurtful)
    9. bad, unkind (vicious in disposition)
    10. bad, evil, wicked (ethically)
  • i. in general, of persons, of thoughts
  • ii. deeds, actions
  1. evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity
    1. evil, distress, adversity
    2. evil, injury, wrong
    3. evil (ethical)
  2. evil, misery, distress, injury
    1. evil, misery, distress
    2. evil, injury, wrong
    3. evil (ethical)

Greek (New Testament

Matthew 5:11 - Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

The Greek word: rJh'ma Transliterated Word: Rhema

Pronounced: hray'-mah

Definition: Noun Neuter

  1. that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word
    1. any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning
    2. speech, discourse
      1. what one has said
    3. a series of words joined together into a sentence (a declaration of one's mind made in words)
      1. an utterance
      2. a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative 1c
    4. concerning some occurrence
  2. subject matter of speech, thing spoken of
    1. so far forth as it is a matter of narration
    2. so far as it is a matter of command
    3. a matter of dispute, case at law

Matthew 5:37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

The Greek word: ponhrovß   Transliterated Word: Poneros

Pronounced: pon-ay-ros'         

Definition: adjective

  1. full of labours, annoyances, hardships
    1. pressed and harassed by labours
    2. bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble
  2. bad, of a bad nature or condition
    1. in a physical sense: diseased or blind
    2. in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

Mark 15:14 -   Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, crucify him.

The Greek word: kakovß      Transliterated Word: Kakos

Pronounced: kak-os'         

Definition: adjective

  1. of a bad nature
    1. not such as it ought to be
  2. of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting

    1. base, wrong, wicked
  1. troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful

Luke 6:9 - Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?

The Greek word: kakopoievw            Transliterated Word: Kakopoieo

Pronounced: kak-op-oy-eh'-o         

Definition: Verb

  1. to do harm
  2. to do evil, do wrong

Conclusion

The word wicked mainly refers to lawlessness, mischief, disobedience to God, ethics, morals, and the general condition of a bad attitude. There are many people (including Christians), who fall into this category. Wickedness is the result of an unforgiving heart, bitterness, hurt, pain, guilt, shame, bad treatment, betrayal, grief, rejection, abandonment, trials, hardship, difficulties, illness, and unrepentant sins. In many cases, this condition improves with time, salvation, prayer, repentance, deliverance, healing, forgiveness (given and received), and most importantly, the love of Jesus.

The word evil mainly deals with, malice, hatred, systematic and habitual (over and over) practices of causing harm, calamity, affliction, and destruction without remorse. Further, evil encompasses witchcraft, character assignation, slander, murder, lewdness, perversion, uncleanness, and wickedness. Evilness is the result of Godlessness, refusal to repent, not seeking salvation, lack of prayer, and never asking for forgiveness. In most cases this condition gets worse as time goes on and individuals become capable of the most heinous crimes and schemes.

The major take away from all of this is: The common thread here is sin. People who are wicked are not always evil. The main reason for saying this is, if there is any presence of the Spirit of God in a person, evil cannot abide. However, people who are evil are always wicked. It seems that wickedness is a precursor to evil. Wickedness (sin) that goes unchecked and unrepentant will most likely become evil. Satan thrives on individuals who refuse to seek God and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Moreover, it is his greatest desire and pleasure to deceive Christians who are prideful and disobedient to God, who are not allowing the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and reveal to them the tactics of the devil.

Remember, Satan is "evil"! His mission is to steal our faith, kill our joy and hope, and ultimately destroy us. Conversely, God is "good"! So good in fact, that He provided redemption and reconciliation unto himself, through Jesus Christ. If we allow His love to overtake us, He will deliver us from the evil one, increase our faith, and restore our joy and hope.