G4151 – pneuma – πνεῦμα a breath; fig. a breeze, spirit

Strong’s ID:
Greek Word:
Part of Speech:
noun neuter
from G4154
G5590, a gentle breath / light breeze, living creature, soul
H7307 and H7308 (combined with G417)
Usage Count:
Find “pneuma” in the Bible (New Testament)

Equip God’s People Greek Lexicon

1) a breath
2) figuratively: a breeze (i.e., the breath of God)
3) figuratively: a spiritual being (e.g., the Holy Spirit, angels, demons)
4) figuratively: the essence of a human being (i.e., your mind, will, emotions) that exists regardless of your earthly body yet your body cannot live without
5) figuratively: a way of thinking or operating (e.g., a spirit of fear vs a spirit of love) that may or may not be sourced by a spiritual being (i.e., like the fluttering of leaves stirred up by a breeze)

Word Picture:
Contrasting this with G5590, the two are not easily distinguishable and historically not considered independent concepts. While “psuche” is gentle (i.e., the frailty of earthly life), “pneuma” can be gentle at times (i.e., the tenderness of the Holy Spirit, but the spirit life is eternal and not frail). While the soul (“psuche”) is often attributed as “the mind, will, and emotions,” scripture often shows those stirring out of the spirit (“pneuma”) as well.

Contrasting this with G5590 and G4983, we are considered to be body, soul (“psuche”), and spirit (“pneuma”). While the body cannot live without the spirit (cf. James 2:26), Jesus also said not to fear those that can only kill the body and not the soul, but God who is able to destroy soul and body in Hell (cf. Matthew 10:28), which comes after their bodily resurrection (cf. Revelation 20:12–15).

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Strong’s Greek Lexicon

from G4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit:—ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

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) the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son
1a) sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his personality and character (the Holy Spirit)
1b) sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his work and power (the Spirit of Truth)
1c) never referred to as a depersonalised force
2) the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated
2a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels, thinks, decides
2b) the soul
3) a spirit, i.e. a simple essence, devoid of all or at least all grosser matter, and possessed of the power of knowing, desiring, deciding, and acting
3a) a life giving spirit
3b) a human soul that has left the body
3c) a spirit higher than man but lower than God, i.e. an angel
3c1) used of demons, or evil spirits, who were conceived as inhabiting the bodies of men
3c2) the spiritual nature of Christ, higher than the highest angels and equal to God, the divine nature of Christ
4) the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one
4a) the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.
5) a movement of air (a gentle blast)
5a) of the wind, hence the wind itself
5b) breath of nostrils or mouth

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.