All Uses of “Rhema” in the New Testament

Below are all 70 verses, which contain 73 uses of the Greek word rhema in the New Testament (KJV). Look up these verses and see what the Lord reveals to you. I noticed that they never referred to written words, making them distinct from logos, which can include words written down. Rhema means “spoken word,” and on 3 occasions, a “supernatural event.” Rhema is simply spoken word regardless of who is doing the speaking. In the New Testament it is sometimes man speaking, sometimes God and sometimes the evil one.

G4487  ῥῆμα rhēma

Total KJV Occurrences: 72

words, 31

Luk_20:26, Luk_24:8, Luk_24:11, Joh_3:34, Joh_5:47, Joh_6:63, Joh_6:68, Joh_8:20, Joh_8:47, Joh_10:21, Joh_12:47-48 (2), Joh_14:10, Joh_17:7-8 (2), Act_2:14, Act_5:20, Act_6:11, Act_6:13, Act_10:22, Act_10:44, Act_11:14, Act_13:42, Act_16:38, Act_26:25, Rom_10:18, 2Co_12:4, Heb_12:19, 2Pe_3:2, Rev_17:17 (2)

word, 25

Mat_4:4, Mat_12:36, Mat_18:16, Mat_26:75, Mat_27:14, Mar_14:72, Luk_1:38, Luk_2:29, Luk_3:2, Luk_5:4-5 (2), Act_10:37, Act_11:16, Act_28:25, Rom_10:8 (2), Rom_10:17, 2Co_13:1, Eph_5:26, Eph_6:17, Heb_1:3, Heb_6:5, Heb_11:3, 1Pe_1:25 (2)

saying, 6

Mar_9:32, Luk_2:17, Luk_2:50, Luk_9:45 (2), Luk_18:34

sayings, 3

Luk_1:65, Luk_2:51, Luk_7:1

things, 2

Luk_2:19, Act_5:32

evil, 1

Mat_5:11

nothing, 1

Luk_1:37

thing, 1

Luk_2:15

Vine’s Expository Dictionary notes:

The significance of rhema (as distinct from logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take "the sword of the Spirit, which is the rhema of God," (Eph 6:17); here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite being the regular storing of the mind with Scripture.

Logos and rhema as defined in Kittle's Abridged Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

Please note how Kittle defines logos as the entire communication process, which involves collecting my thoughts, counting them up, reflecting on how I want to present them, writing them down, speaking them forth, someone hearing, comprehending and acting on them. Rhema, on the other hand, is a specific part of this communication process.

Lógos:

a. Like lég, lógos has first the sense of “collection.”

b. A second sense is “counting” with the nuances (i) calculation, (ii) account, (iii) consideration, or evaluation, and (iv) reflection, or, in philosophy, ground or reason.

c. Counting also gives the sense of “list” or “catalogue.”

d. We then find “narrative,” “word,” “speech.” In this sense, supplanting épos and mýthos, lógos acquires the most varied nuances, e.g., legend, proverb, command, promise, tradition, written account, conversation, sentence, prose, even thing.

Rhema

The root of rhma has durative significance. What is denoted is something definitely or expressly stated, i.e., “statement.” This may be an announcement or even a treaty. While distinguished as word from deed, rhma as an active word later comes to be used in grammar for the verb, and it lives on only in this sense.

66 uses of rhema in the Greek New Testament according to the NASB

  • It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every rhema that comes from the stoma of God’ (Mt 4:4).
  • I tell you that everyone will have to give logos [account] on the day of judgment for every empty rhema they have spoken (Mt 12:36).
  • But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that “every rhema may be established by the stoma of two or three witnesses”
  • (Mt 18:16).
  • Then Peter remembered the rhema Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly (Mt 26:75).
  • But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single rhema—to the great amazement of the governor (Mt 27:14).
  • He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant [this rhema] and were afraid to ask him about it (Mk 9:31–32).
  • Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the rhema Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept (Mk 14:72).
  • “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no rhema from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your rhema to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her (Lk 1:36–38).
  • All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about [this rhema] (Lk 1:65).
  • When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this rhema that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the rhema concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these rhema and pondered them in her kardia [heart] (Lk 2:15–19).
  • “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised [rhema], you may now dismiss your servant in peace” (Lk 2:29).
  • “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying [rhema] to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these rhema in her kardia [heart] (Lk 2:49–51).
  • During the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the rhema of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness (Lk 3:2).
  • Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so [of your rhema], I will let down the nets” (Lk 5:5).
  • When Jesus had finished saying all this [rhema, the beatitudes in this case] to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum (Lk 7:1).
  • “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand what this [rhema] meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about [this rhema] (Lk 9:44–45).
  • “He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” The disciples did not understand any of this [rhema]. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about (Lk 18:32–34).
  • They were unable to trap him in what he had said  [his rhema] there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent (Lk 20:26).
  • “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his rhema.
  • When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their rhema seemed to them like nonsense (Lk 24:6–11).
  • For the one whom God has sent speaks the rhema of God, for God gives the Pneuma without limit (Jn 3:34).
  • But since you do not believe what [John] wrote, how are you going to believe what I rhema? (Jn 5:47).
  • The Pneuma gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The rhema I have spoken to you—they are full of the Pneuma and life (Jn 6:63).
  • Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the rhema of eternal life” (Jn 6:68).
  • Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” He spoke these rhema while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come (Jn 8:19–20).
  • Whoever belongs to God hears what God says [rhema]. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God (Jn 8:47).
  • Others said, “These are not the rhema of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (Jn 10:21).
  • If anyone hears my rhema but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my rhema; the very logos I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. (Jn 12:47–48).
  • Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The rhema I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work (Jon 14:10).
  • If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (Jn 15:7).
  • For I gave them the rhema you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me (Jn 17:8).
  • Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say [my rhema]”
  • (Acts 2:14).
  • “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about [the rhema of] this new life” (Acts 5:20).
  • God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of [this rhema], and so is the Holy Pneuma, whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:31–32).
  • Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous rhema against Moses and against God” (Acts 6:11).
  • The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what [the rhema] you have to say” (Acts 10:22).
  • You know what has happened [the rhema] throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached
  • (Acts 10:37).
  • He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” While Peter was still speaking these rhema, the Holy Pneuma came on all who heard the logos
  • (Acts 10:42–44).
  • He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a rhema through which you and all your household will be saved.’ As I began to speak, the Holy Pneuma came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said [His rhema]: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Pneuma.’ (Acts 11:13–16).
  • As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things [this rhema] on the next Sabbath (Acts 13:42).
  • But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” The officers reported this [rhema] to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed (Acts 16:37–38).
  • “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying [my rhema] is true and reasonable” (Acts 26:25).
  • They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final rhema: “The Holy Pneuma spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving”’” (Acts 28:25–26).
  • But what does [the righteousness that is by faith—pistis] say? “The rhema is near you; it is in your stoma and in your kardia [heart],” that is, the rhema concerning faith [pistis] that we proclaim (Ro 10:8).
  • Consequently, faith [pistis] comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the rhema about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their rhema to the ends of the world” (Ro 10:17–18).
  • And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible rhema, rhema that no one is permitted to tell
  • (2 Co 12:3–4).
  • Every rhema must be established by the stoma of two or three witnesses (2 Co 13:1).
  • Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the rhema, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Eph 5:25–27).
  • In addition to all this, take up the shield of pistis, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Pneuma, which is the rhema of God. And pray in the Pneuma on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, logos may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel (Eph 6:16–19).
  • The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful rhema. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Heb 1:3).
  • It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Pneuma, who have tasted the goodness of the rhema of God and the dynamis of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace (Heb 6:4–6).
  • By pistis we understand that the universe was formed at God’s rhema, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (Heb 11:3).
  • You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking rhema that those who heard it begged that no further logos be spoken to them (Heb 12:18–19).
  • For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the rhema of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the rhema that was preached to you (1 Pe 1:24–25).
  • I want you to recall the rhema spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles (2 Pe 3:2).
  • But, dear friends, remember what [rhema] the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” (Jude 1:17–18).

In the NASB Rhema appears:

  • 3x with pistis (faith— G4102):
  • 4x with stoma (mouth—G4750): Mt 4:4, 18:16; Ro 10:8; 2 Co 13:1.
  • 4x with logos (G3056): Mt 12:36; Jn 12:48; Acts 10:44; Heb 12:19).
  • 7x with Pneuma (Spirit—G4151): Jn 3:34, 6:63; Acts 5:32, 10:44, 11:16, 28:25; Eph 6:17.

Additional Resources

  1. Logos vs. Rhema and Hearing God’s Voice
  2. Western Study vs. Biblical Meditation
  3. How to Meditate on Scripture & Receive Life-Transforming Revelation
  4. Hebrew and Greek Definitions of Meditation
  5. Biblical Meditation Involves Imagination!

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