|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) The quality or state of being perfect or complete, so that nothing requisite is wanting; entire development; consummate culture, skill, or moral excellence; the highest attainable state or degree of excellence; maturity; as, perfection in an art, in a science, or in a system; perfection in form or degree; fruits in perfection.
2. (n.) A quality, endowment, or acquirement completely excellent; an ideal faultlessness; especially, the divine attribute of complete excellence.
3. (v. t.) To perfect.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
pur'-fekt, per-fek'-shun (shalem, tamim; teleios, teleiotes):
1. In the Old Testament:
"Perfect" in the Old Testament is the translation of shalem, "finished," "whole," "complete," used (except in Deuteronomy 25:15, "perfect weight") of persons, e.g. a "perfect heart," i.e. wholly or completely devoted to Yahweh (1 Kings 8:61, etc.; 1 Chronicles 12:38 Isaiah 38:3, etc.); tamim, "complete," "perfect," "sound or unblemished," is also used of persons and of God, His way, and law ("Noah was a just man and perfect," the Revised Version margin "blameless" (Genesis 6:9); "As for God, his way is perfect" (Psalm 18:30); "The law of Yahweh is perfect" (Psalm 19:7), etc.); tam, with the same, meaning, occurs only in Job, except twice in Psalms (Job 1:1, 8; Job 2:3, etc.; Psalm 37:37; Psalm 64:4); kalil, "complete," and various other words are translated "perfect."
Perfection is the translation of various words so translated once only: kalil (Lamentations 2:15); mikhlal, "completeness" (Psalm 50:2); minleh, "possession" (Job 15:29, the King James Version "neither shall the prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth," the American Standard Revised Version "neither shall their possessions be extended on the earth," margin "their produce bend to the earth"; the English Revised Version reverses this text and margin); tikhlah, "completeness," or "perfection (Psalm 119:96); takhlith (twice), "end," "completeness" (Job 11:7, "Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?" 28:3, "searcheth out all the Revised Version (British and American) the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "to the furthest bound"; compare Job 26:10, "unto the confines of light and darkness"); tom, "perfect," "completeness" (Isaiah 47:9, the King James Version "They shall come upon thee in their perfection," the Revised Version (British and American) "in their full measure"). the Revised Version margin gives the meaning of "the Urim and the Thummim" (Exodus 28:30 etc.) as "the Lights and the Perfections."
2. In the New Testament:
In the New Testament "perfect" is usually the tr of teleios, primarily, "having reached the end," "term," "limit," hence, "complete," "full," "perfect" (Matthew 5:48, "Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"; Matthew 19:21, "if thou wouldst be perfect; Ephesians 4:13, the King James Version "till we all come.... unto a perfect man," the Revised Version (British and American) "full-grown"; Philippians 3:15, "as many as are perfect," the American Revised Version margin "full-grown"; 1 Corinthians 2:6 Colossians 1:28, "perfect in Christ"; 4:12; James 3:2 margin, etc.).
Other words are teleioo. "to perfect," "to end," "complete" (Luke 13:32, "The third day I am perfected," the Revised Version margin "end my course"; John 17:23, "perfected into one"; 2 Corinthians 12:9 Philippians 3:12, the Revised Version (British and American) "made perfect"; Hebrews 2:10, etc.); also epiteleo, "to bring through to an end" (2 Corinthians 7:1, "perfecting holiness in the fear of God"; Galatians 3:3, "Are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "perfected in the flesh," margin "Do ye now make an end in the flesh?"); katartizo "to make quite ready," "to make complete," is translated "perfect," "to perfect" (Matthew 21:16, "perfected praise"; Luke 6:40, "Every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher"; 1 Corinthians 1:10 2 Corinthians 13:11, "be perfected"; 1 Thessalonians 3:10 1 Peter 5:10, the Revised Version margin "restore"); akribos, "accurately," "diligently," is translated "perfect" (Luke 1:3, "having had perfect understanding," the Revised Version (British and American) "having traced.... accurately"; Acts 18:26 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "more accurately"). We have also artios, "fitted," "perfected" (2 Timothy 3:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "complete"); pleroo, "to fill," "to make full" (Revelation 3:2, the American Standard Revised Version "perfected," the English Revised Version "fulfilled"); katartismos, "complete adjustment," "perfecting" (Ephesians 4:12, "for the perfecting of the saints").
Perfection is the translation of katartisis "thorough adjustment," "fitness" (2 Corinthians 13:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "perfecting"); of teleiosis (Hebrews 7:11); of teleiotess (Hebrews 6:1, the Revised Version margin "full growth"); it is translated "perfectness" (Colossians 3:14); "perfection" in Luke 8:14 is the translation of telesphoreo, "to bear on to completion or perfection." In Apocrypha "perfect," "perfection," etc., are for the most part the translation of words from telos, "the end," e.g. The Wisdom of Solomon 4:13; Ecclesiasticus 34:8; 44:17:00; 45:8, suntelia "full end"; 24:28:00; 50:11:00.
The Revised Version (British and American) has "perfect" for "upright" (2 Samuel 22:24, 26 twice); for "sound" (Psalm 119:80); for "perform" (Philippians 1:16); for "undefiled" (Psalm 119:1, margin "upright in way"); for "perfect peace, and at such a time" (Ezra 7:12), "perfect and so forth"; for "He maketh my way perfect" (2 Samuel 22:33), "He guideth the perfect in his way," margin "or, `setteth free.' According to another reading, `guideth my way in perfectness' "; "shall himself perfect," margin "restore," for, "make you perfect" (1 Peter 5:10); "perfecter" for "finisher" (Hebrews 12:2); "perfectly" is omitted in the Revised Version (British and American) (Matthew 14:36); "set your hope perfectly on" for the King James Version "hope to the end for" (1 Peter 1:13).
3. The Christian Ideal:
Perfection is the Christian ideal and aim, but inasmuch as that which God has set before us is infinite-"Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48)-absolute perfection must be forever beyond, not only any human, but any finite, being; it is a divine ideal forever shining before us, calling us upward, and making endless progression possible. As noted above, the perfect man, in the Old Testament phrase, was the man whose heart was truly or wholly devoted to God. Christian perfection must also have its seat in such a heart, but it implies the whole conduct and the whole man, conformed thereto as knowledge grows and opportunity arises, or might be found. There may be, of course, a relative perfection, e.g. of the child as a child compared with that of the man. The Christian ought to be continually moving onward toward perfection, looking to Him who is able to "make you perfect in every good thing (or work) to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:21).
W. L. Walker
Perfection (30 Occurrences)
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. (KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS)
2 Corinthians 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection. (KJV WBS YLT NIV)
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, be joyful, secure perfection of character, take courage, be of one mind, live in peace. And then God who gives love and peace will be with you. (WEY NIV)
Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now going to reach perfection through what is external? (WEY)
Philippians 3:12 I do not say that I have already won the race or have already reached perfection. But I am pressing on, striving to lay hold of the prize for which also Christ has laid hold of me. (WEY)
Colossians 3:14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection. (WEB YLT)
1 Thessalonians 3:10 while night and day, with intense earnestness, we pray that we may see your faces, and may bring to perfection whatever may be still lacking in your faith? (WEY)
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the teaching of the first principles of Christ, let us press on to perfection-not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God, (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT)
Hebrews 7:11 Now if there was perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people have received the law), what further need was there for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 John 2:5 But whoever obeys His Message, in him love for God has in very deed reached perfection. By this we can know that we are in Him. (WEY)
1 John 4:12 No one has ever yet seen God. If we love one another, God continues in union with us, and His love in all its perfection is in our hearts. (WEY)
1 John 4:17 Our love will be manifested in all its perfection by our having complete confidence on the day of the Judgement; because just what He is, we also are in the world. (WEY)
Revelation 14:18 and another messenger did come forth out from the altar, having authority over the fire, and he called with a great cry to him having the sharp sickle, saying, 'Send forth thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, because come to perfection have her grapes;' (YLT)
Joshua 24:14 And now, fear ye Jehovah, and serve Him, in perfection and in truth, and turn aside the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve ye Jehovah; (YLT)
Judges 20:40 and the volume hath begun to go up from the city -- a pillar of smoke -- and Benjamin turneth behind, and lo, gone up hath the perfection of the city toward the heavens. (YLT)
1 Samuel 14:41 And Saul saith unto Jehovah, God of Israel, 'Give perfection;' and Jonathan and Saul are captured, and the people went out. (YLT)
2 Chronicles 4:21 and the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold -- it 'is' the perfection of gold; (YLT)
Job 4:6 Hath not thy piety been thy confidence, and the perfection of thy ways thy hope? (DBY YLT)
Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Job 15:29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. (KJV WBS)
Job 28:3 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death. (KJV WBS YLT)
Psalms 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Psalms 119:96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 47:9 But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. (KJV WBS YLT)
Lamentations 2:15 All that pass by clap their hands at you. They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 23:12 On sons of Asshur she hath doted, Governors and prefects, Neighbouring ones -- clothed in perfection, Horsemen, riding on horses, Desirable young men all of them. (YLT)
Ezekiel 27:4 In the heart of the seas 'are' thy borders, Thy builders have perfected thy beauty. (See NIV)
Ezekiel 27:11 The sons of Arvad, and thy force, 'Are' on thy walls round about, And short swordsmen in thy towers have been, Their shields they have hung up on thy walls round about, They -- they have perfected thy beauty. (See NIV)
Ezekiel 28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou, who sealest up the measure of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, (DBY NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 38:4 And I have turned thee back, And I have put hooks in thy jaws, And have brought thee out, and all thy force, Horses and horsemen, Clothed in perfection all of them, A numerous assembly, 'with' buckler and shield, Handling swords -- all of them. (YLT)