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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

fool'-nes: The translation of pleroma, which is generally, but not invariably, rendered "fullness" in the New Testament. Etymologically, pleroma-which itself is derived from the verb pleroo, "I fill"-signifies "that which is or has been filled"; it also means "that which fills or with which a thing is filled"; then it signifies "fullness," "a fulfilling."

1. "Fullness" in the Gospels:

In the Gospels it occurs as follows: Matthew 9:16 and Mark 2:21: in both of these passages it means "the fullness," that by which a gap or rent is filled up, when an old garment is repaired by a patch; Mark 6:43, `They took up fragments, the fullness of twelve baskets'; 8:20, `The fullness of how many baskets of fragments did ye take up?' John 1:16, `out of his fullness we all received.'

2. Its Use in the Pauline Epistles:

Elsewhere in the New Testament "fullness" is used by Paul alone, who employs it 12 t, in addition to the frequent use he makes of the verb "to fill." Of these 12, no fewer than 6 are in Ephesians and Colossians. The references are these: Romans 11:12, "If. their loss (is) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?" The "fullness" of Israel here refers to their being, as a nation, received by God to a participation in all the benefits of Christ's salvation. Romans 11:25, "A hardening. hath befallen Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Romans 13:10, "Love. is the fulfillment (the fulfilling) of the law"; that is, love is not a partial fulfillment, by obedience to this or that commandment, but a complete filling up of what the law enjoins. Romans 15:29, "I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:26, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." Galatians 4:4, "when the fullness of the time came." The fullness of the time is that portion of time by which the longer antecedent period is completed. Ephesians 1:10, "unto a dispensation of the fullness of the times." Ephesians 1:23, "the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." The church is the fullness of Christ; the body of believers is filled with the presence, power, agency and riches of Christ. Ephesians 3:19, "that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God"-that ye may be wholly filled with God and with His presence and power and grace. Ephesians 4:13, "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Colossians 1:19, "In him should all the fullness dwell." Colossians 2:9, "In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (compare Luke 2:40, 52; Luke 4:1).

3. "Fullness" in Ephesians and Colossians:

"Fullness" in Ephesians and Colossians is used to present some of the most prominent thoughts in these epistles, sometimes referring to Christ, sometimes to the church and the individual Christian. Christ is Himself to "fulfill" all things in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 4:10 King James Version margin). We cannot separate "the fullness of Christ" in this passage (Ephesians 4:13) from the statement in Ephesians 1:23, that the Christ is being fulfilled, and finds His fullness in the church. When all the saints have come to the unity which is their destined goal, or in other words, to the full-grown man, the Christ will have been fulfilled. Thus they will have together reached "the full measure of the maturity of the fullness of the Christ" (J. Armitage Robinson, Commentary on Ephesians, 183). The church and individual believers, have, by faith, the full possession of all that Christ has to impart-the grace and comfort and strength of Christ received by them now. Compare John 1:16; `In him ye are complete, are made full' (Colossians 2:10); that is, the fullness of moral, intellectual and spiritual perfection is communicated by Christ to all who are united to Him. "When as the result of the Holy Spirit's inward strengthening, Christ dwells in the heart, and His knowledge-surpassing love is known, the only limit to spiritual excellence is `to be filled unto all the fullness of God'!" (HDB, 735).

4. Its Use by the False Teachers at Colosse:

In the passages from Col, "the fullness" in Christ is contrasted with the mediating eons or angel-powers or spiritual manifestations supposed to be intermediate between God and the world. The false teachers at Colosse seem to have used "fullness," as a technical or semi-technical term, for the purpose of their philosophical or theosophical teaching, employing it to signify the entire series of angels or eons, which filled the space or interval between a holy God and a world of matter, which was conceived of as essentially and necessarily evil. Teaching of this sort was entirely derogatory to the person and work of Christ. In opposition, therefore, to the Colossian false teaching in regard to "the fullness," Paul shows what the facts really are, that in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

5. The Fullness in Christ:

The fullness of the Godhead is the totality of the Divine powers and attributes, all the wealth of the being and of the nature of God-eternal, infinite, unchangeable in existence, in knowledge, in wisdom, in power, in holiness, in goodness, in truth, in love. This is the fullness of the nature of God-life, light, love; and this has its permanent, its settled abode in Christ. All that is His own by right is His by His Father's good pleasure also. It was the Father's good pleasure that in Christ should all the fullness dwell.

Any limitation, therefore, of the meaning of "fullness," which would make the indwelling of the fullness of the Godhead in Christ a matter either of the future, or of the past only, is inconsistent with what is said of "the fullness" in Him, in Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9. The reference in both passages is to the timeless and eternal communication of the fullness of the Godhead from the Father to the Son.

It was in a sense developed along the lines of the Colossian teaching regarding "the fullness," that the Gnostics afterward used the term.


John Rutherfurd

4138. pleroma -- fullness, a filling up
... fullness, a filling up. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: pleroma Phonetic
Spelling: (play'-ro-mah) Short Definition: fullness, fulfillment ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4138.htm - 7k

4148. ploutizo -- to make rich
... Cognate: 4148 (apparently from 4183 , "much in ") -- to (passive, "be enriched");
bring fullness (abundance, richness). See 4145 (). ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4148.htm - 7k

5545. chrisma -- an anointing, unction
... Cognate: 5545 (from 5548 , "anoint with oil") -- , referring to the ministry of
the , guiding the receptive believer into fullness of God's preferred-will (see ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5545.htm - 7k

5013. tapeinoo -- to make low, fig. to humble
... and . This as our all-in-all and prompts the gift of His fullness in us.
Word Origin from tapeinos Definition to make low, fig. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5013.htm - 7k

899. bathos -- depth
... Transliteration: bathos Phonetic Spelling: (bath'-os) Short Definition: depth, a
depth, a deep Definition: depth; deep water; met: fullness, immensity; an ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/899.htm - 6k

2320. theotes -- deity
... only in Col 2:9). 2320 ("fullness of deity") expresses God's " () , as
belonging to " (, 906). 2320 () focuses on Christ through ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2320.htm - 7k

4985. somatikos -- bodily
... 4985 (an adverb, derived from 4984 which is an adjective derived from 4983 , "body") --
(used only in Col 2:9). It refers to "Christ's of the ('fullness of God ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4985.htm - 7k

4103. pistos -- faithful, reliable
... Cognate: 4103 (an adjective, derived from 3982 , "persuaded") -- properly, faithful
(loyalty to faith; literally, fullness of faith); typically, of believing ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4103.htm - 8k

Strong's Hebrew
4393. melo -- fullness, that which fills
... 4392, 4393. melo or melo or melo. 4394 . fullness, that which fills.
Transliteration: melo or melo or melo Phonetic Spelling: (mel-o') Short Definition: ...
/hebrew/4393.htm - 6k

4395. meleah -- fullness, full produce
... meleah. 4396 . fullness, full produce. Transliteration: meleah Phonetic Spelling:
(mel-ay-aw') Short Definition: produce. ... first of ripe fruit, fullness. ...
/hebrew/4395.htm - 6k

7653. sibah -- fullness
... sibah. 7654 . fullness. Transliteration: sibah Phonetic Spelling: (sib-aw') Short
Definition: fulness. ... fullness Feminine of saba'; satiety -- fulness. ...
/hebrew/7653.htm - 5k

7648. soba -- satiety, abundance
... Word Origin from saba Definition satiety, abundance NASB Word Usage abundance (1),
fill (1), full (2), fullness (1), fully satisfied (1), satisfied (1 ...
/hebrew/7648.htm - 6k

4390. male -- to be full, to fill
... ended (1), endowed (1), expired (1), fill (38), filled (78), filling (5), fills
(1), finished (1), fulfill (6), fulfilled (10), full (37), fullness (1), fully ...
/hebrew/4390.htm - 7k

4392. male -- full
... well (1), what is full (1), who were full (1). fullness, fully. From male';
full (literally or figuratively) or filling (literally ...
/hebrew/4392.htm - 6k


"The Fullness of the Time"
... The DESIRE of AGES Chapter 3 "The Fullness of the Time". "When the fullness of the
time was come, God sent forth His Son, . . ... The fullness of the time had come. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/white/the desire of ages/chapter 3 the fullness of.htm

Of the Perfect Man, that Is, Christ; and of his Body, that Is, the ...
... Book XXII. Chapter 18."Of the Perfect Man, that Is, Christ; And of His Body,
that Is, The Church, Which is His Fullness. To understand ...
/...//christianbookshelf.org/augustine/city of god/chapter 18 of the perfect man.htm

But Now, if this is not Thought that Fullness of Regard that is ...
... Address 73: But now, if this is not thought that fullness of regard that
is due to� But now, if this is not thought that fullness ...
/.../address 73 0 0 but now if.htm

Whence Cyprian Himself Again Admonishes us with the Greatest ...
... Book V. Chapter 18. " 24. Whence Cyprian himself again admonishes us
with the greatest fullness� "24. Whence Cyprian himself ...
/.../writings in connection with the donatist controversy /chapter 18 24 whence.htm

May one Know that He is Filled?
... know, that if you have, up to your light, fulfilled the conditions necessary to
the filling of the Holy Ghost, on praying and asking for the Fullness, it is ...
/.../macneil/the spirit-filled life/chapter xvi may one know.htm

The Holy Spirit Forming Christ Within Us.
... what is the breadth and length, and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ
which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God ...
/.../torrey/the person and work of the holy spirit/chapter xii the holy spirit.htm

The Crucifixion
... as if to hide those bleeding limbs from the foul eyes of men; and yet the noblest
sight, for in that death upon the cross shone out the utter fullness of all ...
/.../kingsley/twenty-five village sermons/sermon xvi the crucifixion.htm

... The desire is of Him that it may lead to Him, the fullness and fulfillment
of that desire. That fullness is found in Jesus the Christ ...
//christianbookshelf.org/white/the desire of ages/preface.htm

Spiritual Hunger Shall be Satisfied
... The fullness in God is an infinite fullness. ... Though God lets virtue go out of him,
yet he has never the less. The fullness of the creature is limited. ...
/.../the beatitudes an exposition of matthew 51-12/14 spiritual hunger shall be.htm

Colossians ii. 6, 7
... Ver.9, 10. "For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily: and in Him
ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power.". ...
/.../homily vi colossians ii 6.htm

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) The state of being full, or of abounding; abundance; completeness.
Fullness (31 Occurrences)
... Standard Bible Encyclopedia. FULLNESS. fool'-nes: The translation of pleroma, which
is generally, but not invariably, rendered "fullness" in the New Testament. ...
/f/fullness.htm - 22k

Contains (17 Occurrences)
... (WBS). 1 Chronicles 16:32 Let the sea roar, and its fullness! ... The earth is Yahweh's,
with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein. (See NAS). ...
/c/contains.htm - 10k

Fills (20 Occurrences)
... (WEB DBY NAS). Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all
in all. ... 1 Chronicles 16:32 Let the sea roar, and its fullness! ...
/f/fills.htm - 11k

Unchangeableness (1 Occurrence)
... attribute which expresses the truth that in His nature and perfections, in His
knowledge, will and purpose, He always remains the same in the fullness of His ...
/u/unchangeableness.htm - 27k

Unchangeable (4 Occurrences)
... attribute which expresses the truth that in His nature and perfections, in His
knowledge, will and purpose, He always remains the same in the fullness of His ...
/u/unchangeable.htm - 28k

Roar (53 Occurrences)
... 1 Chronicles 16:32 Let the sea roar, and its fullness! Let the field exult,
and all that is therein! ... Let the sea roar, and its fullness! ...
/r/roar.htm - 23k

Godhead (5 Occurrences)
... It is theotes which occurs in Colossians 2:9. Here Paul declares that "all the fullness
of the Godhead" dwells in Christ "bodily." The phrase "fullness of the ...
/g/godhead.htm - 22k

Satiety (12 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) The state of being satiated or glutted; fullness
of gratification, either of the appetite or of any sensual desire; fullness...
/s/satiety.htm - 10k

Blessing (357 Occurrences)
... the blessing of the Spirit in introducing the believer into "the heavenly places
in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3); a term expressing the fullness of blessing in ...
/b/blessing.htm - 38k

Round (664 Occurrences)
... 40. (vt) To surround; to encircle; to encompass. 41. (vt) To bring to fullness or
completeness; to complete; hence, to bring to a fit conclusion. 42. ...
/r/round.htm - 40k

Bible Concordance
Fullness (31 Occurrences)

John 1:16 From his fullness we all received grace upon grace.

Romans 11:12 Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?

Romans 11:25 For I don't desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,

Romans 15:29 I know that, when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the Good News of Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:26 for "the earth is the Lord's, and its fullness."

1 Corinthians 10:28 But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," don't eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for the sake of conscience. For "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law,

Ephesians 1:10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him;

Ephesians 1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 3:19 and to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Colossians 1:19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him;

Colossians 1:25 of which I -- I did become a ministrant according to the dispensation of God, that was given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God,
(See NIV)

Colossians 2:9 For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily,

Hebrews 6:11 We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end,

Hebrews 10:22 let's draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and having our body washed with pure water,

Numbers 18:27 Your wave offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.

Deuteronomy 33:16 for the precious things of the earth and its fullness, the good will of him who lived in the bush. Let the blessing come on the head of Joseph, On the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.

1 Chronicles 16:32 Let the sea roar, and its fullness! Let the field exult, and all that is therein!

Job 20:22 In the fullness of his sufficiency, distress shall overtake him. The hand of everyone who is in misery shall come on him.

Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. In your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Psalms 24:1 A Psalm by David. The earth is Yahweh's, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein.

Psalms 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.

Psalms 73:10 Therefore his people return hither: And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
(See JPS)

Psalms 89:11 The heavens are yours. The earth also is yours; the world and its fullness. You have founded them.

Psalms 96:11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. Let the sea roar, and its fullness!

Psalms 98:7 Let the sea roar with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein.

Jeremiah 8:16 From Dan hath been heard the snorting of his horses, From the voice of the neighings of his mighty ones, Trembled hath all the land, And they come in and consume the land and its fulness, The city and the inhabitants in it.
(See NAS)

Ezekiel 12:19 and thou hast said unto the people of the land, Thus said the Lord Jehovah concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem, concerning the land of Israel: Their bread with fear they do eat, and their water with astonishment drink, because its land is desolate, because of its fulness, because of the violence of all who are dwelling in it.
(See NAS)

Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

Ezekiel 19:7 He knew their palaces, and laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and its fullness, because of the noise of his roaring.



Related Terms

Contains (17 Occurrences)

Fills (20 Occurrences)

Unchangeableness (1 Occurrence)

Unchangeable (4 Occurrences)

Roar (53 Occurrences)

Godhead (5 Occurrences)

Satiety (12 Occurrences)

Blessing (357 Occurrences)

Round (664 Occurrences)

Holy (1097 Occurrences)

Spirit (706 Occurrences)

Testament (13 Occurrences)

Person (807 Occurrences)

Joy (422 Occurrences)

Measure (269 Occurrences)

Prayers (99 Occurrences)

Adam (29 Occurrences)



Between (2624 Occurrences)

Preaching (116 Occurrences)


Colossians (1 Occurrence)


World (2829 Occurrences)

Life (6001 Occurrences)



Volume (4 Occurrences)

Genealogy (29 Occurrences)



Unity (9 Occurrences)

Unite (10 Occurrences)

Uninformed (4 Occurrences)

Unconcerned (2 Occurrences)

Overfed (1 Occurrence)

Omnipotence (2 Occurrences)

Juice (8 Occurrences)

Jubilant (13 Occurrences)

Lively (5 Occurrences)

Lean (22 Occurrences)

Liberty (32 Occurrences)

Gods (310 Occurrences)

Grown (77 Occurrences)

Graft (1 Occurrence)

Winepress (19 Occurrences)

Washed (113 Occurrences)

Inclusion (1 Occurrence)

Imla (2 Occurrences)

Idols (186 Occurrences)


Informed (39 Occurrences)

Ignorant (32 Occurrences)

Imlah (4 Occurrences)

Fatness (17 Occurrences)

Failure (5 Occurrences)

Forevermore (27 Occurrences)

Full-grown (4 Occurrences)

Fulfil (60 Occurrences)



Transgression (70 Occurrences)

Ravaged (11 Occurrences)

Roundness (1 Occurrence)

Resound (8 Occurrences)

Realizing (7 Occurrences)

Replenish (3 Occurrences)

Realize (29 Occurrences)

Evermore (44 Occurrences)

Experienced (23 Occurrences)

Exult (50 Occurrences)

Distinguished (14 Occurrences)

Devastated (20 Occurrences)

Deity (3 Occurrences)

Dwells (64 Occurrences)

Points (18 Occurrences)

Pride (277 Occurrences)

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