From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

The words ‘wicked,’ ‘wickedness’ occur 24 times in the AV of the English Bible. The passages are  Matthew 12:45;  Matthew 13:49;  Matthew 16:4;  Matthew 18:32;  Matthew 22:18;  Matthew 25:26,  Mark 7:22,  Luke 11:26;  Luke 11:39;  Luke 19:22,  Acts 2:23;  Acts 8:22;  Acts 18:14;  Acts 25:5,  Romans 1:29,  1 Corinthians 5:8;  1 Corinthians 5:13,  Ephesians 6:12;  Ephesians 6:16,  Colossians 1:21,  2 Thessalonians 2:6;  2 Thessalonians 3:2;  2 Peter 2:7;  2 Peter 3:17,  1 John 5:19. In eight of these RV has substituted some other reading: ‘evil’ in  Matthew 12:45,  Luke 11:26,  Ephesians 6:16,  Colossians 1:21,  1 John 5:19, ‘lawless’ in  Acts 2:23 (on the basis of a different reading: διὰ χειρὸς ἀνόμων instead of TR διὰ χειρῶν ἀνόμων),  2 Thessalonians 2:8, ‘amiss’ in  Acts 25:5. In four of these instances the change from ‘wicked’ to ‘evil’ is due to the fact that evil spirits are referred to; in  Acts 2:23, where, with the changed text, ἄνομος ceases to be an attribute of hands and becomes a characterization of persons, it naturally resumes its literal meaning of ‘lawless’; in  2 Thessalonians 2:8 ‘the lawless one’ is preferable, because ἄνομος probably rests on pre-Pauline Jewish tradition which represented the Antichrist as an enemy to the Law, so that ‘wicked’ would be too vague a translation; in  Acts 25:5 ‘amiss’ reproduces ἄτοπον more closely than ‘wicked.’ The change in  Colossians 1:21 from ‘wicked works’ to ‘evil works’ has nothing in the context to recommend it.

The prevailing Greek equivalent for ‘wicked,’ ‘wickedness’ is πονηρός, πονηρία. κακἰα occurs only once ( Acts 8:22), ἄθεσμος twice ( 2 Peter 2:7;  2 Peter 3:17). The ἄθεσμος is one who transgresses fundamental Divine ordinances for moral conduct (from ἀ + τιθέναι). In regard to the specific force of πονηρός and its difference from κακός the following should be noted: πονηρός is derived from πόνος and usually explained as ‘qui πόνους facit,’ ‘who causes trouble.’ But according to others (Schmidt, Cremer) the connexion between it and πόνος would be of a different nature, the poor being called πονηροί because their life is laborious, full of πόνοι, and then, by a not unusual transition, through what Trench calls ‘the aristocratic tendencies of the language,’ the word for ‘poor’ becoming also the word for ‘wicked.’ But, whether etymologically correct or not, the former explanation strikingly illustrates the specific meaning of πονηρός and its difference from κακός. While κακός describes a thing or person as inherently lacking that which is required by its idea, nature, or purpose, either in a physical or in a moral sense, πονηρός expresses the positive tendency to do harm in things and the conscious pursuit of the injury of others in persons. The opposite of κακός is ἀγαθός (see art. Goodness); of πονηρός it is χρηστός (see art. Kindness). This difference between the two words can best be felt in passages where both are combined ( 1 Corinthians 5:8,  Revelation 16:2,  Matthew 15:19; cf. with  Mark 7:21). In  Matthew 7:18 ‘evil fruits’ = ‘unwholesome, injurious fruits’;  Acts 28:21, ‘evil words’ are ‘harmful words’;  1 Corinthians 5:13, ‘the wicked’ fornicator is so called because his uncleanness infects the whole Church ( 1 Corinthians 5:6). ‘Evil times’ are dangerous times ( Galatians 1:4,  Ephesians 5:16;  Ephesians 6:13). Sometimes the word is used in a less serious sense of the harmfulness of inefficiency ( Matthew 25:26, ‘wicked and slothful servant’; cf. the κακὸς δοῦλος of  Matthew 24:48, who is lacking in fidelity and diligence). Especially of Satan and other evil spirits the word πονηρός is appropriately used, because they are intent upon doing evil and working harm ( Ephesians 6:16), but for the same reason it applies to men who seek to injure others ( Acts 17:5;  Acts 18:14;  Acts 25:18). In  Colossians 1:21 the works of paganism are called ἔργα πονηρά because they establish enmity between God and men: the rendering ‘wicked works’ of AV expresses this better than ‘evil works’ of RV . Cf., further,  2 Thessalonians 3:2 of the maliciously persecuting Jews,  2 Timothy 3:13,  3 John 1:10.

From the connotation of evil intent it is to be explained that τὸ πονηρόν‚ τὰ πονηρά are never used of the physical evil of Divine retribution. κακόν and κακά are the words for this, because, even when God finds it necessary to punish, no evil intent can be predicated of Him. This applies to both the LXX and the NT. It is no exception when occasionally the adjective is used with such things as ἕλκος, νόσος in the sense of ‘malignant,’ for here the evil intent is metaphorically attributed to the disease ( Deuteronomy 6:22).

In  Matthew 6:13,  John 17:15,  2 Thessalonians 3:3,  1 John 5:19, expositors differ on the question whether the inflected forms are from the masculine ὁ πονηρός or the neuter τὸ πονηρόν. Only in regard to the last-mentioned passage is the personal reference to Satan placed beyond doubt by  1 John 5:18; hence the rendering of RV , ‘in the evil one,’ is to be preferred to the ‘in wickedness’ of AV . In the other cases where the two versions differ in the same manner no certain contextual indications to decide the question are present.

Literature.-J. A. H. Tittmann, De Synonymis in NT, London, 1829-32, p. 19; R. C. Trench, NT Synonyms8, do., 1876, pp. 303-306; G. Heine, Synonymik des neutest. Griechisch, Leipzig, 1898, pp. 100, 106; H. Cremer, Biblisch-theologisches Wörterbuch aer neutest. Gräcität9, Gotha, 1902, pp. 500-584, 850-853; J. H. H. Schmidt, Synonymik der griechischen Sprache, Leipzig, 1876-86.

Geerhardus Vos.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [2]

A. Nouns.

Râshâ‛ ( רָשָׁע , Strong'S #7563), “wicked; ungodly; guilty.” Râshâ‛ occurs only in Hebrew and late Aramaic. The word occurs about 260 times as a noun or an adjective and especially in the poetic literature of the Old Testament. It is rare in the Pentateuch and in the historical books. Its frequency increases in the prophetical books.

The narrow meaning of râshâ‛ lies in the concept of “wrongdoing” or “being in the wrong.” It is a legal term. The person who has sinned against the law is guilty: “They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them” (Prov. 28:4). When in Israel’s history justice did not prevail, the “guilty” were acquitted: “… When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Prov. 29:2; cf. 2 Chron. 6:23).

Râshâ‛ also denotes the category of people who have done wrong, are still living in sin, and are intent on continuing with wrongdoing. This is the more general meaning of the word. The first psalm exhorts the godly not to imitate the deeds and behavior of the ungodly, wicked people. The “wicked” does not seek God (Ps. 10:4); he challenges God (Ps. 10:13). In his way of life the “wicked” loves violence (Ps. 11:5), oppresses the righteous (Ps. 17:9), does not repay his debts (Ps. 37:21), and lays a snare to trap the righteous (Ps. 119:110). Ps. 37 gives a vivid description of the acts of the “wicked” and also of God’s judgment upon them. Facing the terrible force of the “wicked,” the righteous prayed for God’s deliverance and for His judgment upon them. This theme of judgment has already been anticipated in Ps. 1:6: “For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” The expectation of the righteous includes God’s judgment on the “wicked” in this life that they might be ashamed (Ps. 31:17), be overcome by sorrows (Ps. 32:10), fall by their devices (Ps. 141:10), and die a premature death (Prov. 10:27), and that their remembrance will be no more (Prov. 10:7). It is expected that at the time of their death there will be great shouting: “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: when the wicked perish, there is shouting” (Prov. 11:10).

The judgment upon the “wicked” is particularly strong in Proverbs, where the authors contrast the advantages of wisdom and righteousness and the disadvantages of the “wicked” (cf. 2:22: “But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it”). In Job another theme finds expression: why are the “wicked” not cut off? “Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?” (21:7). There is no clear answer to this question in the Old Testament. Malachi predicts a new age in which the distinction of the righteous and the “wicked” will be clear and where the righteous will triumph: “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that seNeth him not” (Mal. 3:18).

The Septuagint has three translations of râshâ‛: asebes —(“godless; impious”); hamartolos —(“sinner; sinful”), and anomos —(“lawless”).

Two other related nouns occur in the Old Testament. Râshâ‛ , which is found about 30 times, usually means “wickedness”: “Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubborness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin” (Deut. 9:27). Rish’ah , which appears about 15 times, refers to “wickedness” or “guilt”: “For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee” (Deut. 9:4).

B. Adjective.

Râshâ‛ ( רָשָׁע , Strong'S #7563), “wicked; guilty.” This word may also be used as an adjective. In some cases a person is so guilty that he deserves death: “… If the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face … by a certain number” (Deut. 25:2). The characteristics of a “wicked” person qualify him as a godless, impious man: “How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?” (2 Sam. 4:11; cf. Ezek. 3:18-19).

C. Verb.

Râsha‛ ( רָשַׁע , Strong'S #7561), “to be wicked, act wickedly.” This verb is derived from the noun rasa’. —There is a similar root in Ethiopic and Arabic, with the respective meanings “to forget” and “to be loose.” This verb appears in 2 Chron. 6:37: “Yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly.”

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

1: Πονηρός (Strong'S #4190 — Adjective — poneros — pon-ay-ros' )

for which see Bad , No. 2, Evil, A and B, No. 2, is translated "wicked" in the AV and RV in  Matthew 13:49;  18:32;  25:26;  Luke 19:22;  Acts 18:14;  1—Corinthians 5:13; in the following the RV substitutes "evil" for AV, "wicked:"  Matthew 12:45 (twice); 13:19; 16:4;   Luke 11:26;  Colossians 1:21;  2—Thessalonians 3:2; and in the following, where Satan is mentioned as "the (or that) evil one:"  Matthew 13:38;  Ephesians 6:16;  1—John 2:13,14;  3:12 (1st part); 5:18; in   John 5:19 for AV, "wickedness;" he is so called also in AV and RV in   John 17:15;  2—Thessalonians 3:3; AV only in  Luke 11:4; in  3—John 1:10 , AV, the word is translated "malicious," RV, "wicked."

2: Ἄθεσμος (Strong'S #113 — Adjective — athesmos — ath'-es-mos )

"lawless" (a, negative, thesmos, "law, custom"), "wicked," occurs in  2—Peter 2:7;  3:17 . An instance of the use of the word is found in the papyri, where a father breaks off his daughter's engagement because he learnt that her fiance was giving himself over to lawless deeds (Moulton and Milligan, Vocab.).

 Matthew 21:41Bad Acts 2:23 2—Thessalonians 2:8

King James Dictionary [4]

Wicked a. The primary sense is to wind and turn, or to depart, to fall away.

1. Evil in principle or practice deviating from the divine law addicted to vice sinful immoral. This is a word of comprehensive signification, extending to every thing that is contrary to the moral law, and both to persons and actions. We say, a wicked man, a wicked deed, wicked ways, wicked lives, a wicked heart, wicked designs, wicked works.

No man was ever wicked without secret discontent.

2. A word of slight blame as the wicked urchin. 3. Cursed baneful pernicious as wicked words, words pernicious in their efforts.

This last signification may throw some light on the word witch.

The wicked, in Scripture, persons who live in sin transgressors of the divine law all who are unreconciled to God, unsanctified or impenitent.

Webster's Dictionary [5]

(1): ( a.) Ludicrously or sportively mischievous; disposed to mischief; roguish.

(2): ( a.) Cursed; baneful; hurtful; bad; pernicious; dangerous.

(3): ( a.) Evil in principle or practice; deviating from morality; contrary to the moral or divine law; addicted to vice or sin; sinful; immoral; profligate; - said of persons and things; as, a wicked king; a wicked woman; a wicked deed; wicked designs.

(4): ( a.) Having a wick; - used chiefly in composition; as, a two-wicked lamp.