From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

A — 1: Μάρτυς (Strong'S #3144 — Noun Masculine — martus | martur — mar'-toos )

(whence Eng., "martyr," one who bears "witness" by his death) denotes "one who can or does aver what he has seen or heard or knows;" it is used (a) of God,  Romans 1:9;  2—Corinthians 1:23;  Philippians 1:8;  1—Thessalonians 2:5,10 (2nd part); (b) of Christ,   Revelation 1:5;  3:14; (c) of those who "witness" for Christ by their death,  Acts 22:20;  Revelation 2:13;  Revelation 17:6; (d) of the interpreters of God's counsels, yet to "witness" in Jerusalem in the times of the Antichrist,  Revelation 11:3; (e) in a forensic sense,  Matthew 18:16;  26:65;  Mark 14:63;  Acts 6:13;  7:58;  2—Corinthians 13:1;  1—Timothy 5:19;  Hebrews 10:28; (f) in a historical sense,  Luke 11:48;  24:48;  Acts 1:8,22;  2:32;  3:15;  5:32;  10:39,41;  13:31;  22:15;  26:16;  1—Thessalonians 2:10 (1st part);   1—Timothy 6:12;  2—Timothy 2:2;  Hebrews 12:1 , "(a cloud) of witnesses," here of those mentioned in ch. 11, those whose lives and actions testified to the worth and effect of faith, and whose faith received "witness" in Scripture;  1—Peter 5:1 .

A — 2: Μαρτυρία (Strong'S #3141 — Noun Feminine — marturia — mar-too-ree'-ah )

"testimony, a bearing witness," is translated "witness" in  Mark 14:55,56,59;  Luke 22:71;  John 1:7,19 (RV); 3:11,32,33 (RV); 5:31,32,34 (Rv),36; Rv in 8:13,14,17; 19:35; 21:24; AV in   Titus 1:13; AV and RV in  1—John 5:9 (thrice), 10 (1st part); RV in   1—John 5:10 (2nd part),11;   3—John 12 : see Testimony , No. 2.

A — 3: Μαρτύριον (Strong'S #3142 — Noun Neuter — marturion — mar-too'-ree-on )

"testimony or witness as borne, a declaration of facts," is translated "witness" in  Matthew 24:14 , AV;  Acts 4:33;  7:44 (AV);   James 5:3 (AV): see Testimony , No. 1.

A — 4: Ψευδόμαρτυς (Strong'S #5575 — Noun Masculine — pseudomartus[-tur] — psyoo-dom-ar'-toor )

denotes "a false witness,"  Matthew 26:60;  1—Corinthians 15:15 .

A — 5: Ψευδομαρτυρία (Strong'S #5577 — Noun Feminine — pseudomarturia — psyoo-dom-ar-too-ree'-ah )

"false witness," occurs in  Matthew 15:19;  26:59 .

B — 1: Μαρτυρέω (Strong'S #3140 — Verb — martureo — mar-too-reh'-o )

denotes (I) "to be a martus" (see A, No. 1), or "to bear witness to," sometimes rendered "to testify" (see Testify , No. 1); it is used of the "witness" (a) of God the Father to Christ,  John 5:32,37;  8:18 (2nd part);   1—John 5:9,10; to others,  Acts 13:22;  15:8;  Hebrews 11:2,4 (twice),5,39; (b) of Christ,   John 3:11,32;  4:44;  5:31;  7:7;  8:13,14,18 (1st part); 13:21; 18:37;   Acts 14:3;  1—Timothy 6:13;  Revelation 22:18,20; of the Holy Spirit, to Christ,  John 15:26;  Hebrews 10:15;  1—John 5:7,8 , RV, which rightly omits the latter part of ver. 7 (it was a marginal gloss which crept into the original text: see THREE); it finds no support in Scripture; (c) of the Scriptures, to Christ,  John 5:39;  Hebrews 7:8,17; (d) of the works of Christ, to Himself, and of the circumstances connected with His Death,  John 5:36;  10:25;  1—John 5:8; (e) of prophets and apostles, to the righteousness of God,  Romans 3:21; to Christ,  John 1:7,8,15,32,34;  3:26;  5:33 , RV; 15:27; 19:35; 21:24;  Acts 10:43;  23:11;  1—Corinthians 15:15;  1—John 1:2;  4:14;  Revelation 1:2; to doctrine,  Acts 26:22 (in some texts, so AV; see No. 2); to the Word of God,   Revelation 1:2; (f) of others, concerning Christ,  Luke 4:22;  John 4:39;  12:17; (g) of believers to one another,  John 3:28;  2—Corinthians 8:3;  Galatians 4:15;  Colossians 4:13;  1—Thessalonians 2:11 (in some texts: see No. 2);   3—John 1:3,6,12 (2nd part); (h) of the Apostle Paul concerning Israel,   Romans 10:2; (i) of an angel, to the churches,  Revelation 22:16; (j) of unbelievers concerning themselves,  Matthew 23:31; concerning Christ,  John 18:23; concerning others,  John 2:25;  Acts 22:5;  26:5; (II) "to give a good report, to approve of,"  Acts 6:3;  10:22;  16:2;  22:12;  1—Timothy 5:10;  3—John 1:12 (1st part); some would put   Luke 4:22 here.

B — 2: Μαρτύρομαι (Strong'S #3143 — Verb — marturomai — mar-too'-rom-ahee )

strictly meaning "to summon as a witness," signifies "to affirm solemnly, adjure," and is used in the Middle Voice only, rendered "to testify" in  Acts 20:26 , RV (Av, "I take ... to record"); 26:22, RV, in the best texts [see No. 1 (e)];  Galatians 5:3;  Ephesians 4:17;  1—Thessalonians 2:11 , in the best texts [see No. 1 (g)].

B — 3: Συμμαρτυρέω (Strong'S #4828 — Verb — summartureo — soom-mar-too-reh'-o )

denotes "to bear witness with" (sun),  Romans 2:15;  8:16;  9:1 .

B — 4: Συνεπιμαρτυρέω (Strong'S #4901 — Verb — sunepimartureo — soon-ep-ee-mar-too-reh'-o )

denotes "to join in bearing witness with others,"  Hebrews 2:4 .

B — 5: Καταμαρτυρέω (Strong'S #2649 — Verb — katamartureo — kat-am-ar-too-reh'-o )

denotes "to witness against" (kata),  Matthew 26:62;  27:13;  Mark 14:60 (in some mss.,   Mark 15:4 , for kategoreo, "to accuse," RV).

B — 6: Ψευδομαρτυρέω (Strong'S #5576 — Verb — pseudomartureo — psyoo-dom-ar-too-reh'-o )

"to bear false witness" (pseudes, "false"), occurs in  Matthew 19:18;  Mark 10:19;  14:56,57;  Luke 18:20; in some texts,  Romans 13:9 .

C — 1: Ἀμάρτυρος (Strong'S #267 — Adjective — amarturos — am-ar'-too-ros )

denotes "without witness" (a, negative, and martus),  Acts 14:17 .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

In confirmation of the gospel message the NT appeals to two kinds of witness, in themselves distinct, but serving the same end.

1. The human witness to Christ.-The primary business of the Apostles was to testify as eyewitnesses to the facts of the earthly life of Christ and above all to His resurrection. The ability to do this was the qualification demanded in the successor to Judas ( Acts 1:22), and the ground on which the Apostles justified their claim to preach Jesus ( Acts 2:32;  Acts 3:15;  Acts 5:32;  Acts 10:39) and to speak with authority in the Church ( 1 Peter 5:1). This witness could be borne only by those who had been specially chosen to do so, and had been trained by personal communion with the risen Christ ( Acts 10:41,  1 John 1:2;  1 John 4:14). It is noticeable that St. Paul is careful to show that he had experienced this, though not in the same way as that in which it had been granted to the older apostles ( Acts 22:15,  1 Corinthians 9:1). It soon became clear that this witness must be given at the risk of liberty and life, and, though in the NT μάρτυς does not pass absolutely into the sense of ‘martyr’ (see Martyr), yet in Rev. the μαρτυρία Ἰησοῦ, in nearly every case, is connected with suffering (e.g.  Revelation 1:9;  Revelation 6:9;  Revelation 20:4). In  1 Timothy 6:13 a like connexion of ideas is applied to our Lord Himself, who is said to have ‘witnessed the good confession’ before Pontius Pilate. A similar sense may attach to μαρτύρων in  Hebrews 12:1 if we regard the ‘cloud of witnesses’ as consisting of those who have already sealed their faith by suffering. But the word may here mean no more than interested onlookers watching those engaged in the warfare which they themselves have already accomplished.

2. The Divine Witness.-Throughout the apostolic writings runs the conviction that God is constantly witnessing in various ways to the truth of the gospel. In  Acts 14:3;  Acts 15:8 miracles are taken to be the means by which the preaching of Christ among the Gentiles is so attested (cf.  Galatians 3:5). But it is chiefly through the work of the Holy Spirit that this witness is borne. This work is seen in the individual and in the Church. The hope that Christ has made us sons of God is converted into a certainty by the voice of the Divine Spirit speaking within us ( Romans 8:16). In  1 John 5:6-11 the meaning of this witness is drawn out in fuller detail. Christ’s coming was by water (baptism) and blood (the Cross). But these historic facts must be brought into personal relation with every life, or they have no reality for that life. It is the Holy Ghost who does this. He teaches every man to know that new life has come to him because Christ accepted His mission and died upon Calvary. ‘There are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood’ (v. 8). This witness is Divine (v. 9); every one can test it in his own heart (v. 10); and it consists of the possession of eternal life through the Son (v. 11). But the witness of the Holy Spirit to Christ is not confined to this inward conviction. It appears also in the bestowal of charismatic gifts on the faithful ( Hebrews 2:4), especially that of preaching, which exists only to testify to Jesus ( Revelation 19:10), and in the fulfilment by Christ of Scriptures in which the Spirit has spoken of Him ( Hebrews 10:15; Hebrews 10 : 1 Peter 1:11).

The consistency with which the NT writers dwell upon this varied testimony of the Holy Spirit to Christ is remarkable. Modern preaching has not yet fully recovered this note, but there is an increasing sense of the need of it, and the results of evangelistic work, especially in the foreign mission field, are daily illustrating its meaning in the life of the Church.

Literature.-H. B. Swete, The Holy Spirit in the NT, London, 1909; D. W. Forrest, The Authority of Christ, Edinburgh, 1906, ch. vii.

C. T. Dimont.


The word οὐαί occurs freely in the LXX , in the Book of Enoch (esp. xciv., c.), and in the Gospels, but is found only twice in the Epistles ( 1 Corinthians 9:16 -‘Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel,’ and  Judges 1:11, where a reference is made to the false teachers in the Church-‘Woe unto them! for they went in the way of Cain,’ i.e. as men in the wrong, entertaining a murderous hostility towards the lovers of truth. The idiom here is the familiar one of prophetic denunciation-‘Woe be to.’ The sense in  1 Corinthians 9:16 is ‘Woe is mine,’ i.e. ‘Divine penalty awaits me’).

In the Apocalypse, the word is used followed by the accusative in  Revelation 8:13. The solitary eagle flying across the sky cries with a great voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe, for them that dwell on the earth’ (the three-fold woe possibly corresponding to the three plagues yet to fall upon the earth). The idea here is hardly that of denunciation, but of ominous announcement. Similarly in  Revelation 12:12 (where the accusative instead of the dative is again used)-‘Alas for the earth and for the sea.’ οὐαί introduces each section of the three-fold dirge of lamentation uttered by the mourners of fallen Babylon ( Revelation 18:10;  Revelation 18:16;  Revelation 18:19) and is followed by the nominative-the broken construction suggesting the emotion of the mourners.

οὐαί is used in  Revelation 9:12;  Revelation 11:14 as a feminine substantive (‘woe,’ ‘calamity’) indicating the disasters following the blowing of the last three of the seven trumpets. The first woe is the plague of tormenting locusts; the second is the slaughter wrought by the fiery horses and their angel riders; the last is apparently the final overthrow of Satan and the completed destruction of the wicked in the drama of 12-20.

H. Bulcock.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

The word ‘witness’ had many usages and meanings in the Bible. It was commonly used to refer to people who saw, knew or experienced something ( Deuteronomy 17:6;  Acts 5:30-32), or to their open declaration of what they saw, knew or experienced. Their witness was their testimony ( Exodus 20:16;  John 3:11).

‘Witness’ was also used to denote a person who guaranteed, or swore to, the truth of something ( Ruth 4:9;  1 Samuel 12:5;  2 Corinthians 1:23); or it may have denoted that person’s oath or guarantee of the truth ( Acts 10:43;  Romans 3:21). Even a lifeless object could be a witness, in the sense of being a guarantee or confirmation of something, such as a verbal agreement ( Genesis 31:44-50;  Joshua 24:27). Actions likewise could be a witness, in the sense of being evidence ( John 5:36).

The law of Israel

When God established his covenant with Israel at Mt Sinai, he gave the Ten Commandments as the basis of the covenant requirements laid upon his people. The two tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments were a witness, or testimony, to God’s demands and to Israel’s acceptance of them ( Exodus 24:3;  Exodus 24:12). They were therefore called the testimony ( Exodus 25:21), the ark of the covenant in which they were placed was called the ark of the testimony ( Exodus 25:16), and the tabernacle (or tent) in which the ark was kept was called the tabernacle of the testimony ( Exodus 38:21).

Other uses of ‘witness’ in relation to Israel’s laws were concerned with evidence in lawsuits. The main requirement was that there be at least two witnesses if the judges were to accept or act upon any accusation ( Deuteronomy 19:15; cf.  Matthew 18:15-16). To discourage people from making accusations secretly or lightly, the law required them, in certain cases, to participate publicly in the punishment if the accused was found guilty ( Deuteronomy 17:6-7).

It was wrong, however, for a witness to remain silent when he had evidence to present ( Leviticus 5:1). If the judges found that a witness had given false evidence, they inflicted upon him the punishment that he had tried to bring upon the accused ( Deuteronomy 19:16-21; cf.  Mark 14:55-56).

The witness of Jesus

‘Witness’ had a specific meaning in relation to the life of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was a witness to Jesus in the sense that he pointed people to Jesus as the Saviour who had come from God. John was a witness to the truth ( John 1:7;  John 1:15;  John 5:33). The works Jesus did were also a witness, for they showed clearly that he was the Messiah who had come from God. The Old Testament Scriptures were another witness ( John 5:36-39).

With all these witnesses, the Pharisees had no basis for their objection that Jesus had no witnesses to support his claim to be the God-sent Saviour ( John 8:12-13). Jesus came from God as the one who revealed God to the world, and therefore he was a witness to the truth of God ( John 3:11;  John 18:37). His witness was supported by the witness of the Father, and therefore the Pharisees should have accepted it ( John 8:14-18).

Those who lived with Jesus were witnesses to the truth that he was God in human form, the Saviour of the world ( 1 John 1:1-3;  1 John 4:14). Other believers, whether in the first century or the present day, bear the same witness to him, because of the Spirit who bears witness within them ( John 15:26;  1 John 5:7;  1 John 5:10-11).

Witness in the early church

After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the disciples boldly bore witness to him as Lord and Messiah. They emphasized the facts of his life, death, and particularly his resurrection, for they were personal eye-witnesses of those events ( Acts 2:22-24;  Acts 2:32-33;  Acts 5:30-32;  Acts 10:36-43;  Acts 13:27-31).

These personal eye-witnesses were the first to spread the gospel ( Luke 24:46-49;  Acts 1:8), but other believers also bore witness to Jesus when they preached the gospel ( Acts 20:24;  Acts 23:11). The gospel was sometimes called the witness, or testimony, of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 1:6;  1 Corinthians 2:1;  2 Thessalonians 1:10).

Often Christians, as well as the gospel they preached, came under attack. In these circumstances they had to bear the same testimony to the truth as Jesus had borne ( Acts 22:20;  1 Timothy 6:13-14;  Revelation 1:9). Some were killed because of their witness to Jesus ( Revelation 2:13;  Revelation 11:7;  Revelation 12:11). In fact, bearing witness to Jesus became so closely associated with being killed for Jesus’ sake that the word for ‘witness’ (Greek: martyria) produced the word ‘martyr’ ( Revelation 6:9;  Revelation 17:6;  Revelation 20:4).

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

The testimony or evidence adduced or given in confirmation of an assertion, and so often used judicially. The term also sometimes speaks simply of an expression of mind or feeling. Until God intervenes in power to establish His own purpose in regard to this world, He maintains a testimony to that which He will assuredly accomplish.

The words μαρτυρέω, μαρτυρια, and μαρτύριονare translated both 'testimony' and 'witness.' The idea runs all through the scriptures in respect both to God Himself and to His people. Paul declared before the heathen at Lystra that God 'had not left himself without witness' as to His existence and His goodness, in giving rain and fruitful seasons, filling their 'hearts with food and gladness,'  Acts 14:17 . The invisible things of God are testified of, "being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, or divinity."  Romans 1:19,20 .

God having for fifteen hundred years manifested His patience towards the guilty antediluvian world, He, after warning the people by the preaching of Noah, bore witness to His righteousness and His power by the deluge, and at the same time manifested His grace in saving Noah and his family in the ark.

The witness which God vouchsafed of Himself to Abraham was that He was 'The Almighty God'; to Moses it was 'I AM That I Am'; and to Israel, 'JEHOVAH.' The ark was often called the "Ark of the testimony," and the tabernacle was the "Tent of witness," the witness of good things to come. To Nebuchadnezzar God was witnessed to as the 'God Of Heaven' To the Christian He is 'God And Father'

Israel were of old God's witnesses, and will also be in the future.

When Christ was on earth He bore witness to God as LOVE and Light The Lord Jesus is declared to be "the faithful and true witness,"  Revelation 3:14; and His works and His words were witnesses that He had come from God. The Father also bore witness to Him as His beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased. The Lord Jesus confessed before the Jewish council that He was the Son of God, and before Pilate that He was the King of the Jews.  Matthew 26:63,64;  Matthew 27:11 .

Peter and John were witnesses of the truth before the council, so that they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.  Acts 4:13 . Stephen also was a true witness, and his testimony led to his becoming a martyr (μάρτυς). In  Hebrews 11 is given a 'great cloud' of witnesses to the principle of faith in Old Testament saints, some of whom were also martyrs. God will to the last have a testimony on earthas seen in His 'two witnesses' of   Revelation 11 .

In Christianity there are said to be three witnesses — "the Spirit and the water and the blood: and these three agree in one" — they affirm that God has given to the believer "eternal life, and this life is in his Son." "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself."  1 John 5:8-11 .

The Church, in the absence of the Lord Jesus, is the vessel of the testimony of Christ, hence Christians should be in their whole life and deportment true witnesses to the rejected Christ. The testimony of the church is characterised by — separation from the world; devotedness to the interests of the Lord Jesus on earth; faithfulness to the truth; unblamable moral conduct; and indeed, as the pillar and ground of the truth, by everything that becometh godliness.

Under the law of Moses it was enacted that in all charges of guilt two or three witnesses were necessary.  Deuteronomy 17:6 . In the church the same order is maintained, "in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word [or matter] be established."  Matthew 18:16;  2 Corinthians 13:1;  1 Timothy 5:19 .

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [5]

A. Noun.

‛Êd ( עֵד , Strong'S #5707), “witness.” The 69 ouurrences of this word are scattered throughout the various biblical literary genres and periods although it does not appear in historical literature outside the Pentateuch.

This word has to do with the legal or judicial sphere. First, in the area of civil affairs the word can mean someone who is present at a legal transaction and can confirm it if necessary. Such people worked as notaries, e.g., for an oral transfer of property: “Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirrn all things.… And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi” (Ruth 4:7, 9). At a later time the “witnesses” not only acted to attest the transaction and to confirm it orally, but they signed a document or deed of purchase. Thus “witness” takes on the new nuance of those able and willing to affirm the truth of a transaction by affixing their signatures: “And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah … in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase …” (Jer. 32:12). An object or animal(s) can signify the truthfulness of an act or agreement. Its very existence or the acceptance of it by both parties (in the case of the animals given to Abimelech in Gen. 21:30) bears witness: “Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee [let it attest to our mutual relationship]” (Gen. 31:44—the first biblical occurrence of the word). Jacob then set up a stone pillar or heap as a further “witness” (Gen. 31:48) calling upon God to effect judgment if the covenant were broken.

In Mosaic criminal law the accused has the right to be faced by his/her accuser and to give evidence of his/her innocence. In the case of a newly married woman charged by her own husband, his testimony is sufficient to prove her guilty of adultery unless her parents have clear evidence proving her virginity before her marriage (Deut. 22:14ff.). Usually the accused is faced with someone who either saw or heard of his guilt: “And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it …” (Lev. 5:1). Heavy penalties fell on anyone who lied to a court. The ninth commandment may well have immediate reference to such a concrete court situation (Exod. 20:16). If so, it serves to sanction proper judicial procedure, to safeguard individuals from secret accusation and condemnation and giving them the right and privilege of selfdefense. In the exchange between Jacob and Laban mentioned above, Jacob also cites God as a “witness” (Gen. 31:50) between them, the one who will see violations; God, however, is also the Judge. Although human courts are (as a rule) to keep judge and “witness” separate, the “witnesses” do participate in executing the penalty upon the guilty party (Deut. 17:7), even as God does.

B. Verb.

‛Ûd ( עוּד , Strong'S #5749), “to take as witness, bear witness, repeat, admonish, warn, assure protection, relieve.” This verb, which occurs 42 times in biblical Hebrew, has cognates in Ugaritic (perhaps), Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, Phoenician, and Ethiopic.

In 1 Kings 21:10 ‛Ûd means “to bear witness”: “And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him.…” The word means “to warn” in Jer. 6:10: “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear?”

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Witness. Among people with whom writing is not common, the evidence of a transaction is given by some tangible memorial or significant ceremony: Abraham gave seven ewe-lambs to Abimelech as an evidence of his property in the well of Beersheba. Jacob raised a heap of stones, "the heap of witness," as a boundary-mark between himself and Laban.  Genesis 21:30;  Genesis 31:47;  Genesis 31:52.

The tribes of Reuben and Gad raised an "altar" as a witness to the covenant between themselves and the rest of the nation. Joshua set up a stone as an evidence of the allegiance promised by Israel to God.  Joshua 22:10;  Joshua 22:26;  Joshua 22:34;  Joshua 24:26-27. But written evidence was by no means unknown to the Jews. Divorce was to be proved by a written document.  Deuteronomy 24:1;  Deuteronomy 24:3.

In civil contracts, at least in later times, documentary evidence was required and carefully preserved.  Isaiah 8:16;  Jeremiah 32:10-16. On the whole, the law was very careful to provide and enforce evidence for all its infractions and all transactions bearing on them. Among special provisions with respect to evidence are the following:

1. Two witnesses, at least, are required to establish any charge.  Numbers 35:30;  Deuteronomy 17:6;  John 8:17;  2 Corinthians 13:1. Compare  1 Timothy 5:19.

2. In the case of the suspected wife, evidence besides the husband's was desired.  Numbers 5:13.

3. The witness who withheld the truth was censured.  Leviticus 5:1.

4. False witness was punished with the penalty due to the offence which it sought to establish.

5. Slanderous reports and officious witness are discouraged.  Exodus 20:16;  Exodus 23:1;  Leviticus 18:16;  Leviticus 18:18; etc.

6. The witnesses were the first executioners.  Deuteronomy 15:9;  Deuteronomy 17:7;  Acts 7:58.

7. In case of an animal left in charge and torn by wild beasts, the keeper was to bring the carcass in proof of the fact and disproof of his own criminality.  Exodus 22:13.

8. According to Josephus, women and slaves were not admitted to bear testimony.

In the New Testament, the original notion of a witness is exhibited in the special form of one who attests his belief in the gospel by personal suffering. Hence, it is that the use of the ecclesiastical term, " martyr ," the Greek word for "witness," has arisen.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

WITNESS . This is the rendering of Heb. ‘çd and ‘çdah and of the Gr. martys, martyria , and martyreô , and compounds of this root. The primitive idea of the Heb. root is to repeat, re-assert, and we find the word used in the following connexions: (1) Witness meaning evidence , testimony , sign (of things): a heap of stones (  Genesis 31:44 ), the Song of Moses (  Deuteronomy 31:26 ), Job’s disease (  Job 16:8 ), the stone set up by Joshua at Shechem (  Joshua 24:27 ). So in the NT the dust on the feet of the disciples was to be a witness against the Jews (  Mark 6:11 ). (2) Witness signifying the person who witnesses or can testify or vouch for the parties in debate; e.g . God is witness between Jacob and Laban (  Genesis 31:50 ); so Job says, ‘My witness is in heaven’ (  Job 16:19 , cf. also   1 Samuel 12:5 ff.,   Jeremiah 29:23;   Jeremiah 42:5 ). In the NT God is called on by St. Paul to witness to his truth and the purity of his motives (  Romans 1:9 ,   2 Corinthians 1:23 etc.). Akin to this meaning we have (3) Witness in a legal sense . Thus we find witnesses to an act of conveyancing (  Jeremiah 32:10 ), to a betrothal (  Ruth 4:9 ), while in all civil and criminal cases there were witnesses to give evidence, and references to false witnesses are frequent (cf.   Proverbs 12:17;   Proverbs 19:5-9;   Proverbs 21:28;   Proverbs 25:18 etc.). See also Justice (II.), 2  ; Oaths. In the NT the Apostles frequently appear as witnesses ( martyres ) of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (  Luke 24:48 ,   Acts 1:8;   Acts 2:32;   Acts 3:15 etc.). The heroes of the faith are called the ‘cloud of witnesses’ (  Hebrews 12:1 ), and Jesus Himself is ‘the faithful witness ( martyr )’ in   Revelation 1:6;   Revelation 3:14 (cf.   1 Timothy 6:13 ). Cf. also artt. Ark, § 1  ; Tabernacle, § 7 ( a ).

W. F. Boyd.

King James Dictionary [8]


1. Testimony attestation of a fact or event.

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.  John 5 .

2. That which furnishes evidence or proof.

Laban said, this heap is a witness between me and thee this day.  Genesis 31 .

3. A person who knows or sees any thing one personally present as, he was witness he was an eye-witness.  1 Peter 5 . 4. One who sees the execution of an instrument, and subscribes it for the purpose of confirming its authenticity b his testimony. 5. One who gives testimony as, the witnesses in court agreed in all essential facts.

With a witness, effectually to a great degree with great force, so as to leave some mark as a testimony behind. He struck with a witness. Not elegant.


1. To see or know by personal presence. I witnessed the ceremonies in New York, with which the ratification of the constitution was celebrated, in 1788. 2. To attest to give testimony to to testify to something.

Behold, how many things they witness against thee.  Mark 15 .

3. To see the execution of an instrument, and subscribe it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity as, to witness a bond or a deed.


1. To bear testimony.

The men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth.  1 Kings 21 .

2. To give evidence.

The shew of their countenance doth witness against them.  Isaiah 3 .

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(1): ( v. i.) To bear testimony; to give evidence; to testify.

(2): ( v. i.) That which furnishes evidence or proof.

(3): ( v. i.) Attestation of a fact or an event; testimony.

(4): ( v. i.) One who testifies in a cause, or gives evidence before a judicial tribunal; as, the witness in court agreed in all essential facts.

(5): ( v. i.) One who is cognizant; a person who beholds, or otherwise has personal knowledge of, anything; as, an eyewitness; an earwitness.

(6): ( v. t.) To see or know by personal presence; to have direct cognizance of.

(7): ( v. t.) To give testimony to; to testify to; to attest.

(8): ( v. t.) To see the execution of, as an instrument, and subscribe it for the purpose of establishing its authenticity; as, to witness a bond or a deed.

(9): ( v. i.) One who sees the execution of an instrument, and subscribes it for the purpose of confirming its authenticity by his testimony; one who witnesses a will, a deed, a marriage, or the like.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [10]

The Holy Ghost is said by the Lord Jesus to be his witness, and to testify of him,  John 15:26. And the apostle Paul saith, ( Romans 8:26) that this Almighty person, in his office-character, witnesseth to the Lord's family that they are the child of God. And it is most blessed to every child of God at one time or the other to receive this testimony of the Holy Ghost, witnessing to their adoption character. He it is that convinceth the heart of sin, and proves in the conscience the absolute necessity of Christ. He it is that causeth the glory, the beauty, the suitableness, and all-sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ, to appear to the soul what Jesus is, and at the same time persuades the soul into the love of him. And he it is that both gives a conviction to the heart of the firmness and security of all the promises of God in Christ Jesus, add witnesseth to the safety of every believer's gracious estate in Christ Jesus, in testifying that all the promises of God in him are Yea, and in him Amen. Blessed Spirit of all truth, do thou witness to my personal safety in Christ Jesus, as being the earnest of the promised inheritance!

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [11]

One who testifies to any fact from his own personal knowledge. Under the Mosaic law, two witnesses under oath were necessary to convict a person charged with a capital crime,  Numbers 35:30; and if the criminal was stoned, the witnesses were bound to cast the first stones,  Deuteronomy 17:6-7   Acts 7:58 . The Greek word for witness is Martyr , which see.

The apostles were witnesses, in proclaiming to the world the facts of the gospel,  Acts 1:8,22   2:32   2 Peter 1:12,16-18; and Christ is a "faithful witness," in testifying to men of heavenly things,  John 3:12   Revelation 1:5 . The heroes of the ancient church are "witnesses" to the power of true faith,  Hebrews 12:1 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [12]

 Deuteronomy 17:6 19:15 Deuteronomy 13:9 17:7 1 Kings 21:13 Matthew 27:1 Acts 7:57,58 Deuteronomy 19:16-21 Leviticus 5:1

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [13]

See Testimony

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

( עֵד , fern. עֵדָה ; Sept. and New Test Μάρτυς ; Vulg. Testis) is used in the English Bible botb of persons and things.

I. Leading Significations . This frequent term occurs,

1. In the sense of A Person who deposes to the occurrence of any fact, a witness of any event. The Hebrew word is from עוּד , To Repeat. The Greek word is usually derived from Μείρω ), to "divide," "decide," etc., because a witness decides controversies ( Hebrews 6:16); but Damm (Lex. Bom. col. 1495) deduces it from the old word Μάρη , "the hand," because witnesses anciently held up their hands in giving evidence. This custom, among the ancient Hebrews, is referred to in  Genesis 14:22; among the heathens, by Homer (Iliad, 10:321), and by Virgil (Aeneid, 12:196). God himself is represented as swearing in this manner ( Deuteronomy 32:40;  Ezekiel 20:5-6;  Ezekiel 20:15; comp.  Numbers 14:30). So also the heathen gods (Pindar, Olymp. 7:119, 120). These Hebrew and Greek words, with their various derivations, pervade the entire subject. They are applied to a judicial witness in  Exodus 23:1;  Leviticus 5:1;  Numbers 5:13;  Numbers 35:30 (comp.  Deuteronomy 17:6;  Deuteronomy 19:15;  Matthew 18:16;  2 Corinthians 13:1);  Proverbs 14:5;  Proverbs 24:28;  Matthew 26:65;  Acts 6:13;  1 Timothy 5:19;  Hebrews 10:28. They are applied, Generally, to a person who certifies, or is able to certify, to any fact which has come under his cognizance ( Joshua 24:22;  Isaiah 8:2;  Luke 24:48;  Acts 1:8;  Acts 1:22;  1 Thessalonians 2:10;  1 Timothy 6:12;  2 Timothy 2:2;  1 Peter 1:5). So in allusion to those who witness the public games ( Hebrews 12:1). They are also applied to any one who testifies to the world what God reveals through him ( Revelation 11:3). In the latter sense the Greek word is applied to our Lord ( Revelation 1:5;  Revelation 3:14). Both the Hebrew and Greek words are also applied to God ( Genesis 31:50;  1 Samuel 12:5;  Jeremiah 42:5;.  Romans 1:9;  Philippians 1:8;  1 Thessalonians 2:5); To Inanimate Things ( Genesis 31:52;  Psalms 89:37). The supernatural means whereby the deficiency of witnesses was compensated under the theocracy, have been already considered under the articles (See Trial Of Adultery); (See Urim And Thummim).

For the punishment of false witness and the suppression of evidence, (See Punishment). For the forms of adjuration ( 2 Chronicles 18:15), (See Adjuration). Opinions differ as to what is meant by "the faithful witness in heaven" ( Psalms 89:37). Some suppose it to mean the moon (comp.  Psalms 72:5;  Psalms 72:7;  Jeremiah 31:35-36;  Jeremiah 33:20-21;  Sirach 43:6); others, the rainbow ( Genesis 9:12-17).

2. The witness or Testimony Itself borne to any fact is expressed by עֵד ; Μαρτυρία (Testimonium ) . . . They are used of Judicial testimony ( Proverbs 25:18;  Mark 14:56;  Mark 14:59). In  Mark 14:55, Schleusner takes the word Μαρτυρία For Μάρτυρ , the abstract for the concrete ( Luke 22:71;  John 8:17; Josephus, Ant. 4:8, 15). It denotes the testimony to the truth of anything generally ( John 1:7;  John 1:19;  John 19:35); that of a poet ( Titus 1:13). It occurs in Josephus (Cont. Apion, 1:21). In  John 3:11;  John 3:32, Schleusner understands the doctrine, the thing professed; in 5:32, 36, the proofs given by God of our Saviour's mission; comp. 5:9. In 8:13, 14, both he and Bretschneider assign to the word the sense of praise In  Acts 22:18, the former translates it Teaching or Instruction. In  Revelation 1:9, it denotes The Constant Profession of Christianity, or testimony to the truth of the gospel (comp. 1:2; 6:9). In  1 Timothy 3:7, Μαρτυρία Καλή means a Good Character (comp.  3 John 1:12; Ecclus. 31:34; Josephus, Ant. 6:10, 1). In  Psalms 19:7, "The testimony of the Lord is sure" probably signifies the ordinances, institutions, etc. (comp.  Psalms 119:22;  Psalms 119:24, etc.). Those ambiguous words, "He that believeth in the Son of God hath the witness in himself" ( 1 John 5:10), which have given rise to a variety of fanatical meanings, are easily understood, by explaining the word Ἔχει , "receives," "retains," etc., i.e. the foregoing testimony which God hath given of his Son, whereas the unbeliever rejects it.

The whole passage is obscured in the English translation by neglecting the uniformity of the Greek, and introducing the word "record," contrary to the profession of our translators in their Preface to the Reader (ad finem). The Hebrew word, with Μαρτύριον , occurs in the sense of Monument, Evidence, etc. ( Genesis 21:30;  Genesis 31:44;  Deuteronomy 4:45;  Deuteronomy 31:26;  Joshua 22:27;  Ruth 4:7;  Matthew 8:4;  Mark 6:11;  Luke 21:13;  James 5:3). In  2 Corinthians 1:12, Schleusner explains Μαρτύριον , commendation. In Provo 29:14, and  Amos 1:11, לעד is pointed to mean Perpetually, Forever, but the Septuagint gives Εἰς Μαρτύριον ; Aquila, Εἰς Ἔτι ; Symmachus, Εἰς Ἀεί ; Vulg. In Ceternum. In  Acts 7:44, and  Revelation 15:5, we find Σκηνὴ Τοῦ Μαρτυρίου , and this is the Sept. rendering for אהל מועד (which really means "the tabernacle of the congregation") in  Exodus 29:42;  Exodus 29:44;  Exodus 40:22;  Exodus 40:24 deriving מועד from עוד , "'to testify," instead of from יוד , "to assemble." On  1 Timothy 2:6, see Bowyer, Conjectures. In  Hebrews 3:5, Schleusner interprets Εἰς Μαρτύριον Τῶν Λαληθησομένων , "the Promulgation of those things about to be delivered to the Jews."

3. To Be or Become A Witness, by testifying the truth of what one knows. Thus the Sept. translates העיד ( Genesis 43:3), Μαρτυρέω , to bear witness, and  Amos 3:13 : see also  1 Kings 21:10;  1 Kings 21:13. In  John 1:7;  John 15:26;  John 18:23, Schleusner gives as its meaning, to teach or explain; in  John 4:44;  John 7:7;  1 Timothy 6:13, To Declare; in  Acts 10:43;  Romans 3:21, To Declare Prophetically. With a dative case following, the word sometimes means To Approve ( Luke 4:22). So Schleusner understands  Luke 11:48, "Ye Approve the deeds of your fathers," and he gives this sense also to  Romans 10:2. In like manner the passive , Μαρτυρέομαι , "to be approved," "beloved," "have a good character," etc. ( Acts 6:3;  1 Timothy 5:10; comp.  3 John 1:6;  3 John 1:12). "The witness of the Spirit," alluded to by St. Paul ( Romans 8:16), is explained by Macknight and all the best commentators, as the extraordinary operation of the Holy Spirit concurring with the filial disposition of converted Gentiles, to prove that they are "the children of God," as well as the Jews. (See below.)

4. "To call or take to witness," "to invoke as witness," Μαρτύρομαι T ( Acts 20:26;  Galatians 5:3; Josephus, War, 3:8, 3). A still stronger word is Διαμαρτύρομαι , which corresponds to העיד ( Deuteronomy 4:26). It means "to admonish solemnly," "to charge earnestly," "to urge upon" ( Psalms 81:8;  Nehemiah 9:26;  Luke 16:28;  Acts 2:40). In other passages the same words mean to "Teach earnestly." In  Job 29:11, a beautiful phrase occurs, "When the eye saw me it gave witness to me." The admiring expression of the eye upon beholding a man of eminent virtue and benevolence, is here admirably illustrated. The description of the mischief occasioned by a false-witness, in  Proverbs 25:18, deserves notice: "A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor, is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow." Few words afford more exercise to discrimination, in consequence of the various shades of meaning in which the context requires they should be understood.

II. Hebrew Usages .

1. Among people with whom writing is not common, the evidence of a transaction is given by some tangible memorial or significant ceremony. Abraham gave seven ewe-lambs to Abimelech as an evidence of his property in the well of Beersheba. Jacob raised a heap of stones, "the heap of witness," as a boundary-mark between himself and Laban ( Genesis 21:30;  Genesis 31:47;  Genesis 31:52). The tribes of Reuben and Gad raised an "altar," designed expressly not for sacrifice, but as a witness to the covenant between themselves and the rest of the nation; Joshua set up a stone as an evidence of the allegiance promised by Israel to God; "for," he said, "it hath heard all the words of the Lord" ( Joshua 22:10;  Joshua 22:26;  Joshua 22:34;  Joshua 24:26-27). So also a pillar is mentioned by Isaiah as "a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt" ( Isaiah 19:19-20). Thus also the sacred ark and its contents are called "the testimony" ( Exodus 16:33-34;  Exodus 25:16;  Exodus 38:21;  Numbers 1:50;  Numbers 1:53;  Numbers 9:15;  Numbers 10:11;  Numbers 17:7-8;  Numbers 18:2;  Hebrews 9:4).

Thus also symbolical usages, in ratification of contracts or completed arrangements, as the ceremony of shoe-loosing ( Deuteronomy 25:9-10;  Ruth 4:7-8), the ordeal prescribed in the case of a suspected wife ( Numbers 5:17-31), with which may be compared the ordeal of the Styx (Class. Mus. 6:386). The Bedawin Arabs practice a fiery ordeal in certain cases by way of compurgation. (Burckhardt, Notes, 1:121; Layard, Nin. And Bab. page 305). 'The ceremony also appointed at the oblation of first-fruits (q.v.) may be mentioned as partaking of the same character ( Deuteronomy 26:4)

But written evidence was by no means unknown to the Jews. Divorce was to be proved by a written document ( Deuteronomy 24:1;  Deuteronomy 24:3), whereas among Bedawin and. Mussulmans in general a spoken sentence is sufficient (Burckhardt, Notes, 1:110; Sale, Koran, c. 33, page 348;. Lane, Mod. Egypt, 1:136, 236). In civil contracts, at least in later times, documentary evidence was required and carefully preserved ( Isaiah 8:16;  Jeremiah 32:10-16).

On the whole Moses was very careful to provide and enforce evidence for all infractions of law and all transactions bearing on it: e.g. the memorial stones of Jordan and of Ebal ( Deuteronomy 27:2-4;  Joshua 4:9;  Joshua 8:30); the fringes on-garments ( Numbers 15:39-40); the boundary- stones of property ( Deuteronomy 19:14;  Deuteronomy 27:17;  Proverbs 22:28); the "broad plates" made from the censers of the Korahites ( Numbers 16:38); above all, the ark of testimony itself-all these are instances of the care taken by the legislator to perpetuate evidence of the facts on which the legislation was founded, and by which it was supported ( Deuteronomy 6:20-25). Appeal to the same principle is also repeatedly made in the case of prophecies as a test of their authenticity ( Deuteronomy 18:22;  Jeremiah 28:9;  Jeremiah 28:16-17;  John 3:11;  John 5:36;  John 10:38;  John 14:11;  Luke 24:48;  Acts 1:3;  Acts 2:32;  Acts 3:15, etc.)..

2. Among special provisions of the law with respect to evidence are the following:

(1) Two witnesses at least are required to establish, any charge ( Numbers 35:30;  Deuteronomy 17:6;  Deuteronomy 19:15;.  1 Kings 21:13;  John 8:17;  2 Corinthians 13:1;  Hebrews 10:28); and a like principle is laid down by Paul as a rule of procedure in certain cases in the Christian Church ( 1 Timothy 5:19).

(2) In the case of the suspected wife, evidence besides the husband's was desired, though not demanded. ( Numbers 5:13).

(3) The witness who withheld the truth was censured ( Leviticus 5:1).

(4) False witness was punished with the punishment due to the offence which it sought to establish. (See Oath).

(5) Slanderous reports and officious witness are discouraged ( Exodus 20:16;  Exodus 23:1;  Leviticus 19:16;  Leviticus 19:18;:  Deuteronomy 19:16-21;  Proverbs 24:28).

(6) The witnesses were the first executioners ( Deuteronomy 13:9;  Deuteronomy 16:7;  Acts 7:58).

(7) In case of an animal left in charge and torn by wild beasts, the keeper was to bring the carcass in proof of the fact and disproof of his own criminality ( Exodus 22:13).

(8) According to Josephus, women and slaves were mot admitted to bear testimony (Ant. 4:8, 15). To these exceptions the Mishna adds idiots, deaf, blind, and dumb persons, persons of infamous character, and some others, ten in all (Selden, De Synedr. 2:13, 11; Otho, Lex. Rabb. page 653). The high-priest was not bound to give evidence in any case except one affecting the king (ibid.). Various refinements on the quality of evidence and the manner of taking it are given in the Mishna (Sanhedr. 4:5; 5:2, 3; Maccoth, 1:1, 9; Sheb. 3:10; 4:1; 5:1). In criminal cases evidence was required to be oral; in pecuniary, written evidence was allowed (Otho, Lex. Rabb. page 653).

3. In the New Test. the original notion of a witness is exhibited in the special form of one who attests his belief in the gospel by personal suffering. So Stephen is styled by Paul ( Acts 22:20), and the "faithful Antipas " ( Revelation 2:13). John also speaks of himself and of others as witnesses in this sense ( Revelation 1:9;  Revelation 6:9;  Revelation 11:3;  Revelation 20:4). See also Hebrews 11 and  Hebrews 12:1, in which passage a number of persons are mentioned, belonging both to Old Test. and New Test., who bore witness to the truth by personal endurance; and to this passage may be added, as bearing on the same view of the term "witness,"  Daniel 3:21;  Daniel 6:16;  1 Maccabees 1:60;  1 Maccabees 1:63;  2 Maccabees 6:18-19. Hence it is that the use of the ecclesiastical term "martyr" has arisen, of which copious illustration may be seen in Suicer, Thes. 2:310, etc. (See Martyr).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

wit´nes (nouns עד , ‛ēdh , and עדה , ‛ēdhah , and verb ענה , ‛ānāh  ; μάρτυς , mártus , with all derivative words and their compounds): The word "witness" is used of inanimate things, e.g. the heap of stones testifying to the covenant between Jacob and Laban (  Genesis 31:44-54 ), and the Song of Moses. ( Deuteronomy 31:19 ,  Deuteronomy 31:21 ). The main use of the word is forensic, and from this use all other applications are naturally derived. Important legal agreements required the attestation of witnesses, as in the case of the purchase of property, or a betrothal (Rth 4:1-11, where we are told that the ancient form of attestation was by a man drawing off his shoe and giving it to his neighbor).

The Mosaic Law insisted on the absolute necessity of witnesses in all cases which came before a judge, especially in criminal cases. Not only in criminal cases, but in all cases, it was necessary to have at least two witnesses to make good an accusation against a person ( Deuteronomy 17:6;  Deuteronomy 19:15; compare  Numbers 35:30;  Matthew 18:16;  John 8:17;  2 Corinthians 13:1;  1 Timothy 5:19 ). According to the Talmud ( Peṣāḥı̄m 113b), if in a case of immorality only one witness came forward to accuse anyone, it was regarded as sinful on the part of that witness.

On the other hand, anyone who, being present at the adjuration ( Leviticus 5:1 the Revised Version (British and American)), refused to come forward as a witness when he had testimony to bear, was considered to have sinned (  Proverbs 29:24 ). Among those not qualified to be witnesses were the near relations of the accuser or the accused, friends and enemies, gamesters, usurers, tax-gatherers, heathen, slaves, women and those not of age ( Ṣanhedhrı̄n 3 3, 4; Rō'sh Ha - shānāh 1 7; Bābhā' Ḳammā' 88a; compare Ant. , IV, viii, 15). No one could be a witness who had been paid to render this service ( Bekhōrōth 4 6). In cases of capital punishment there was an elaborate system of warning and cautioning witnesses. Each witness had to be heard separately ( Ṣanhedhrı̄n 5; compare 3 5). If they contradicted one another on important points their witness was invalidated ( Ṣanhedhrı̄n 5).

No oath was required from witnesses. The meaning of  Leviticus 5:1 was not that witnesses had to take an oath, as some think; it describes the solemn adjuration of the judge to all those with knowledge of the case to come forward as witnesses (see Oath ). When a criminal was to be put to death, the witnesses against him were to take the foremost share in bringing about his death ( Deuteronomy 17:7; compare  Acts 7:58 ), in order to prove their own belief in their testimony. In the case of a person condemned to be stoned, all the witnesses had to lay their hands on the head of the condemned ( Leviticus 24:14 ). "False witnessing" was prohibited in the Decalogue ( Exodus 20:16 ); against it the lex talionis was enforced, i.e. it was done to the witness as he meant to do to the accused (  Deuteronomy 19:16-21 ). The Sadducees held that only when the falsely accused had been executed, the false witnesses should be put to death; the Pharisees, that false witnesses were liable to be executed the moment the death sentence had been passed on the falsely accused ( Maḳḳōth 17). In spite of prohibitions, false witnessing was a very common crime among the people ( Psalm 27:12;  Psalm 35:11;  Proverbs 6:19;  Proverbs 12:17;  Proverbs 14:5;  Proverbs 19:5;  Proverbs 24:28;  Matthew 26:60;  Acts 6:13 ).

In  Acts 22:20;  Revelation 2:13;  Revelation 17:6 the word martus , "witness", seems to be beginning to acquire the meaning of "martyr," as in the King James Version, although the Revised Version (British and American) translates "witness" in the first two passages, retaining "martyr" only in the third with "witness" in the m. For "Tabernacle of Witness" see Tabernacle .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [16]

It occurs, first, in the sense of a person who deposes to the occurrence of any fact, a witness of any event. It means a judicial witness in ; ; ; (comp. ; ; ; ); ; ; ; ; ; . It is applied, generally, to a person who certifies, or is able to certify, to any fact which has come under his cognizance (; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ). So in allusion to those who witness the public games (). It is also applied to anyone who testifies to the world what God reveals through him (). In the latter sense the Greek word is applied to our Lord (; ). It is further used in the ecclesiastical sense of martyr.