XARA [χαρά] is normally glossed as "joy." BDAG remarks that one
sense of XARA is "the experience of gladness." This
word is employed metonymically for "a state of
joyfulness" (whether its referent is divine or human)
and XARA may refer to a person, thing or event that
Additionally, Moulton-Milligan offer evidence from the
Greek papyri to demonstrate that XARA not only denoted
"joy" in antiquity but also functioned as a proper
name at times. Lastly, MM points out: "In MGr the word
is used for a 'festival,' 'wedding'" (page 683).
XARA occurs once in Galatians (according to my Gk.
concordance) and five times in Phillipians, where
rejoicing is a prominent theme.
Jesus is also said to have endured a STAUROS because
of THS PROKEIMENHS AUTWi XARAS (Heb 12:2).
Significantly, Luke (Acts 13:52) records that the early
Christians "continued to be filled with joy and holy
spirit" (hOI TE MAQHTAI EPLHROUNTO XARAS KAI PNEUMATOS
hAGIOU) implying that joy is a product of God's
It seems that Paul proclaims there is one KARPOS
PNEUMATOS, strictly speaking, and that the other
so-called qualities mentioned in Gal 5:22-23 are
in reality expressions of the one fruit, which is AGAPH.
The apostle indicates that XARA is an expression of
AGAPH in 1 Cor 13:6, writing:
OU XAIREI EPI THi ADIKIA SUNXAIREI De THi ALHQEIAi.
There are various ways that Paul's letter to the
Corinthians implies XARA and the other qualities listed
in Gal 5:22-23 are possibly manifestations of AGAPH, but godly XARA
is "not a selfish emotion, but a sun whose rays warm and gladden
all within the sphere of its influence" (Cambridge Bible).