Good Courage (θαρρέω)

Often mistaken in translations for confidence, this is the verb form of the word for “courage”. Outside of Scripture it can also be used in a bad sense where a person has an excessive amount of courage; however, typically it is used to express a good courage, based on the reliance of the dependability of someone. Within Scripture this is its only use, in a positive sense.

In Acts 28:15 as Paul is being brought to Rome due to the persecution of the Jews, when he sees the brethren in the area, he thanked God and took courage. Paul was able to depend upon these saints.

“Good courage” is predominantly used in 2 Corinthians referring to Paul’s attitude towards the saints in Corinth. While he is absent from them, he has courage that they will do the right thing, 2 Corinthians 10:1. It is with this courage that he also has confidence in them (2 Corinthians 10:2).

In 2 Corinthians 10:2, many of our English translations imply that Paul was of good courage while with them; however, in the original Greek it is expressing his courage toward them while he is away because he reckoned to them as ones who are dependable – And I implore, while not being present to have good courage in confidence unto you, which I dared to reckon on the basis of some, the ones reckoning us as walking according to flesh. Paul reckoned to them that they were dependable and therefore would do what is right, even though some of them were stating Paul was not walking properly. We also see in this passage good courage being used with confidence, showing they are not conveying the same idea. Confidence is an expression […]