Gray-Haired Perspective

Greek Prepositions and Revelation 3:10


Revelation 3:10 promises, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

If "keep from" doesn't mean "keep from" then what does? In the book we pointed out that the combination of words conveys the meaning. The preposition "from" has different meanings when used with different verbs.

Some on both sides of this debate have suggested that if a different meaning were intended, then a different preposition would have been used. The chart below lists alternate prepositions. These prepositions, like most words in any language, can carry different meanings depending on the surrounding words.

I'm not a Greek scholar, but on the surface it appears to me that John in Revelation 3:10 used the most common preposition which conveyed the correct idea.


Greek Word
(with # in New Englishman's Greek Concordance)

New Testament Usage
(listed in order of frequency)


en (in, with, among, through, by)

Used about 2661 times
About 447 times by John

Used with teereo (keep) 4 times, 3 by John.

ek (from, of, out of)
(occasionally in, through)

Used about 899 times
About 302 times by John

Used in Revelation 3:10. Used with teereo (keep) also in John 17:15, where it does not mean emergence from within, but rather a staying outside.

apo (from, of, out of)
(occasionally in, by)

Used about 645 times
About 62 times by John

Used with teereo (keep) 1 time, James 1:27.

dia (through, by, because of)

Used about 611 times
About 74 times by John


exo (out, out of, without, forth)

Used 65 times
17 times by John 


koris (without, beside)

Used 39 times
3 times by John


exothen (without, outward, outside)

Used 11 times
Once by John


ektos (outside, unless, out of)

Used 9 times
None by John


aneu (without)

Used 3 times
None by John