In a recent post, March 4th, (https://blogthechurch.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/the-bible-didnt-say-or-the-bible-says-that/) I mentioned that I had used a word picture to describe the two Greek terms in the New Testament that mean “new.” The two words are neos and kainos. Unless you know Greek, that probably doesn’t mean to much to you. But they relate different aspects of what new means.
The term neos means brand new like a new baby that has just been born.
The term kainos means new like renewed. Like an antique that has been restored.
I mentioned in that post an illustration that I had given that confused an older gentleman in my church. Here it is. It helps me understand the difference between the two words.
A few years ago, at a used car lot in LaPlata, Missouri, I saw a gold 1967 Buick Riviera. The car was in pretty good shape. It ran good, the body was in good shape with just a small crease in one fender. The paint had oxidized and the vinyl interior had some wear and tear but overall the car was in usable shape.
In 1967 when the car came off the assembly line it was brand new. Every piece of metal, fabric, rubber or any other material used to
make the car was brand new. The Greek term neos describes that condition: New it existence.
I wanted to buy the car and restore it. To fix the crease in the fender and any other dents or dings I hadn’t noticed. A new paint job, a rebuild of the motor and transmission. Refurbish the interior, new stereo. New parts as necessary, as well as new tires, lights, etc. If I rebuilt the car, it would be like new, that second Greek word, kainos. It is new in restoration, or renewed.
Watch the Barrett-Jackson car auctions on Speed channel and see what kainos looks like with restored cars.
Unfortunately, it confused my 73-year-old guy, but it pictured for me what the two different words meant.
The word regenerate is found in the New Testament twice. In Matthew 19:28 and Titus 3:5. There are other terms that relate and mean the same thing, but these two times are the only two where this word regenerate is used, and the term kainos is a part of that word. It is to make like new, but actually, better than new. That’s pretty cool.