What is "flesh"?


In the Bible, the word "flesh" generally translates the Greek word sarx or the Hebrew word basar. These words quite literally mean flesh, as in the substance of one's body (sometimes especially "skin"), and this is their most common meaning. However, basar is sometimes used metaphorically to refer to other things, such as men/mankind (e.g. Gen. 6:12), animals (e.g. Gen. 6:19), and relatives (e.g. Neh. 5:5). Sarx is also used metaphorically at times, such as in reference to mankind or created beings (e.g. Acts 2:17; 1 Cor. 15:50), the principle of sin or of the fallen world (e.g. Rom. 8:4,5,12,13; 1 Cor. 1:26), or to earthly relationships (Rom. 1:3; Col. 3:22).

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.