The condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; used especially for physical health. Neither Hebrew or Greek has a direct equivalent for our concept of health. Since a variety of terms are employed, English translations vary considerably in their use of the term health. The KJV has the most numerous references to health (17 times). Modern translations frequently replace health with other terms. The substitutions of the NRSV are typical. The most common substitution is healing for health (Proverbs 3:8;
Isaiah 58:8). Elsewhere the NRSV substituted well as a broader statement of well-being (Genesis 43:28;
2 Samuel 20:9) or help (Psalms 42:11;
Psalms 43:5) and saving power (Psalms 67:2) as more specific instances of God's assistance. The NRSV substituted recovery for health at
Jeremiah 33:6, though rendering the underlying Hebrew as health elsewhere (Jeremiah 8:22;
Jeremiah 30:17) as in KJV. At
Acts 27:34 the NRSV has “help you survive” in place of “for your health”.
The health wish of
3 John 1:2 is typical of Hellenistic letters (Compare
2 Maccabees 1:10;
3 Maccabees 3:12;
3 Maccabees 7:1). The basic Greek concept of health is what is balanced. Thus the Greeks frequently used the adjective “healthy” (hygies) to mean rational or intelligible. The adjective is frequently translated sound in the New Testament (1 Timothy 1:10;
1 Timothy 6:3;
2 Timothy 1:13;
2 Timothy 4:3;
Titus 2:1,Titus 2:8). See Diseases; Healing, Divine.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'HEALTH'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".