The word 'concoursis' was used by a Sunday school teacher to describe the process by which Scripture was revealed by the Spirit to the Apostles and then written down. However, I can't find the word used anywhere.

Is the word 'concoursis' used by any theologian to name that process, or is any other word used specifically as a name for the process?

To be clear, I'm asking for the name/word. While there are a variety of ideas about the specific manner in which the ministry of the Spirit moved men to effect the writing of Holy Scriptures. The word seemed to be used as an umbrella term for any process by which the ministry of the Spirit resulted in written Scripture.

Suppose the word is concoursis, to use it in a sentence. One might say "letter for letter, general dictation, and the divinely informed free hand are each held by different groups to be the means of concoursis."

  • I think the preacher mangled a Latin term to the point that we won't be able to figure out what it originally was. Unless perhaps the term he used was "amanuensis" which refers to someone who takes dictation. That only holds if you believe in a dictational theory of inspiration. Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 4:30
  • I took two years of Latin 20 years ago in high school, but don't remember ever hearing a word largely similar to concoursis.
    – nickalh
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 5:57
  • If it was recent, perhaps you can just ask him next time you see him.
    – user3961
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 8:01
  • 1
    How about theopneustos? It's not even in the same ballpark as concoursis, but it is the Greek word for inspiration (or more correctly, God-breathed). Don Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


Concursus is a Latin word which can be translated encounter or meeting. The late 19th–early 20th century Presbyterian theologian Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield used the word to describe his belief that

the whole of Scripture is the product of the divine activities which enter it, not by superseding the activities of the human authors, but by working confluently with them, so that the Scriptures are the joint product of divine and human activities, both of which penetrate them at every point, working harmoniously together to the production of a writing which is not divine here and human there, but at once divine and human in every part, every word and every particular.

(source: B. B. Warfield, "The Divine and Human in the Bible," in Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield (ed. John E . Meeter; Presbyterian and Reformed, 1970), page 57. Cited on a web page at The Biologos Forum. Here is a copy of the original essay, discussing concursus and its meaning.)

Thus, concursus doesn't describe "the process by which the Scriptures were written down" generally, but rather one theologian's view of the interaction between God and the humans who wrote down the Scriptures.

  • Thanks for curing that headache! +1 for putting this mind to rest, about that one thing at least.
    – Andrew
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 2:47

You may be looking for the word diatheke, which is a Greek word which translates to "testament" or "witnessing."

  • I've never ever heard that word used in regards to the scriptures being written. Who do you think uses it that way?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 9:31
  • I fired off an email to my Lutheran friend who happens to be a Greek/Latin teacher at a university, and he recommended this word. I did a quick dictionary search, but I can't find anything helpful.
    – Adam
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 9:40

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