G2309 – thelo, ethelo, theleo, etheleo – θέλω, εθέλω, θελέω, εθελέω to want, desire

Strong’s ID:
Greek Word:
θέλω, εθέλω, θελέω, εθελέω
thelo, ethelo, theleo, etheleo
thel’-o, eth-el’-o, thel-eh’-o, eth-el-eh’-o
Part of Speech:
apparently strengthened from the alternate form of G138
G138, to take for oneself; fig. to prefer, choose
G2307, a will, determination
H14, to desire, wish for
Usage Count:
Find “thelo, ethelo, theleo, etheleo” in the Bible (New Testament)

Equip God’s People Greek Lexicon

to want, desire

Word Picture:

In ancient Greek literature, “thelo” was used to express a range of desires, from simple wishes to strong intentions. It’s not just about wanting something; it’s about the will behind the want—the decision behind the desire. In this sense, “thelo” is less about the object of desire and more about the subject who is doing the desiring, revealing the complexities behind making choices.

Think about when you're faced with a difficult decision, like choosing a career path. You might “want” to pursue a higher-paying job, but you also “desire” to do something meaningful. "Thelo” is not just about what you want on the surface, but also about the deeper desires and decisions that shape your choices.

Equip God’s People Greek Lexicon © 2013–2024. All rights reserved.

Strong’s Greek Lexicon

or εθέλω ethelo eth-el’-o; in certain tenses θελέω theleo thel-eh’-o; and εθελέω etheleo eth-el-eh’-o; which are otherwise obsolete; apparently strengthened from the alternate form of G138; to determine (as an active option from subjective impulse; whereas G1014 properly denotes rather a passive acquiescence in objective considerations), i.e. choose or prefer (literally or figuratively); by implication, to wish, i.e. be inclined to (sometimes adverbially, gladly); impersonally for the future tense, to be about to; by Hebraism, to delight in:—desire, be disposed (forward), intend, list, love, mean, please, have rather, (be) will (have, -ling, -ling[-ly]).

Owing to changes in the enumeration while in progress, there were no words left for numbers 2717 and 3203–3302, which were therefore silently dropped out of the vocabulary and references as redundant.

Thayer’s Greek Definitions

1) to will, have in mind, intend
1a) to be resolved or determined, to purpose
1b) to desire, to wish
1c) to love
1c1) to like to do a thing, be fond of doing
1d) to take delight in, have pleasure

Thayer’s Definitions are as edited by the Online Bible of Winterbourne, Ontario. They removed the etymology, cross-references, and Greek phrases and changed some of Thayer’s Unitarian doctrinal positions concerning the work and person of Christ.