Dr. Spiros Zodhiates (Greek: Σπύρος Ζωδιάτης; March 13, 1922-October 10, 2009) was a Greek-American Bible scholar, author, and ministry innovator. He was best known for his work in developing AMG (Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel) International, a Christian missions and relief agency with operations in over 40 countries, and for publishing The Hebrew-Greek KeyWord Study Bible which indexes key terms in the English Bible with the words they were translated from in the original languages.
Zodhiates was born of Greek parents on the island of Cyprus. After completing his Greek education, he attended the American University in Cairo, Egypt, received his Th.B. degree from the National Bible Institute (now Shelton College) in New York, and his M.A. from New York University. In 1978 he earned his Doctor of Theology degree from Luther Rice Seminary of Jacksonville, Florida. He was also the recipient of several honorary doctorates.
He came to the United States in 1946 at the invitation of the American Committee for the Evangelization of the Greeks (now AMG International), of which he became president in 1966. Under Zodhiates' leadership, AMG grew from a small ministry focusing on the land of Greece to a worldwide evangelistic and relief ministry. AMG, founded in 1943 in New York City and presently located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, provides a wide range of social services, including care for orphans and leprosy patients, and has an expanding evangelistic thrust of “Advertising the Message of the Gospel” through paid newspaper and magazine gospel messages in many lands and languages. From the earliest days of his ministry, it became clear to Zodhiates that Christian service should be patterned after the life of Jesus Christ. His mission was the regeneration of lost souls, but He did not ignore the physical needs of the people He met. Zodhiates discovered that by meeting the physical needs of people, he often opened the door to meet the spiritual ones as well.
In 1951, Zodhiates’ passion for radio was born when he realized the power of media to get the message of Christianity to the masses. Using his Greek background and knowledge of the Greek language as a springboard, Zodhiates took to the airwaves, teaching the New Testament in light of the original Greek meaning of the words used. Zodhiates’ program, New Testament Light, began on one station in rural Pennsylvania, and in its heyday was heard across the United States and Canada. As his career progressed, Zodhiates became a recognized authority on the Greek New Testament. His Bible teaching carried from radio into other media as well. In 1975, he launched Pulpit Helps Magazine, a monthly publication designed to provide pastors with insights from the original languages of the Bible, tips on sermon construction, illustrative stories to enhance Bible teaching, and news from Christian missions around the world. Pulpit Helps still serves thousands of readers in the United States and other English-speaking countries. New Testament Light was developed into a television show during the 1980s and was broadcast on numerous stations through the mid-1990s.
In addition to The Hebrew-Greek KeyWord Study Bible, Zodhiates published over 200 books and booklets in English, as well as 82 in Greek, many of which are in-depth word-by-word commentaries on the books of the New Testament. He started a book house, AMG Publishers, which has since grown into a significant producer of Christian books, to publish much of his material. He was also responsible for introducing the Modern Greek pronunciation of Classical and Koine Greek into U.S. colleges and universities through A Guide to Modern Greek Pronunciation and his tape recordings of the entire Koine New Testament (Nestle's text) in Modern Greek pronunciation. He recorded with Modern Greek pronunciation special courses on New Testament Greek for those who wish to learn it on their own or in classrooms, using texts such as J. Gresham Machen's New Testament Greek for Beginners, Summers', Davis', and Hadjiantoniou's grammars.
After suffering numerous health problems in the late 1990s, Zodhiates transitioned out of active work, though many of his commentary manuscripts are still being edited and published, and his radio and television recordings are being redistributed digitally. He died in Chattanooga on October 10, 2009.
- Zodhiates Bio from AMG International
- "Online Memorial and Obituary of Dr. Spiros Zodhiates". Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Obituaries". Chattanooga Times Free Press. 2009-10-11. p. B6. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
- AMG Publishers,Chattanoga,1998 ISBN 978-0-89957-757-9
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