The translation of the Greek pleroma, which can be either active or passive—either ‘that which fills’ or ‘that which is filled up’, which is a complication affecting the meaning of passages in the NT. It is used in Mark 6:43 of the broken pieces of bread which filled twelve baskets, but in John 1:16, ‘we have all received from his fullness’, is explained by 1:14, where the Word is filled by grace and truth.
The word pleroma is found in the LXX but in NT times the Gnostics [[➝ Gnosticism]] used it for the totality of all reality and this may be why it is used in Eph. 1:23 and 3:19. The fullness of God is in Christ; but these verses are unclear whether the meaning is also that the Church is filled by Christ. Perhaps the meaning is that Christ (head of the Church) and the Church (the Body of Christ) are a unity; both are filled by God, who fills all (is supreme).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • fullness — [fool′nis] n. 〚ME fulnesse〛 the quality or state of being full * * * See full1. * * * …   Universalium

  • fullness — index capacity (maximum), corpus, entirety, finality, mass (weight), maximum (amplitude) …   Law dictionary

  • fullness — early 14c., from FULL (Cf. full) (adj.) + NESS (Cf. ness). Apparently not a survival of O.E. fulnes …   Etymology dictionary

  • fullness — is spelt with two ls, but the form fulness occurs in 19c and earlier printed works …   Modern English usage

  • fullness — [n] abundance, breadth adequateness, ampleness, amplitude, broadness, completeness, completion, comprehensiveness, congestion, copiousness, curvaceousness, dilation, distension, enlargement, entirety, extensiveness, fill, glut, plenitude, plenty …   New thesaurus

  • fullness — [fool′nis] n. [ME fulnesse] the quality or state of being full …   English World dictionary

  • fullness — ful|lness [ˈfulnıs] n [U] 1.) in the fullness of time formal after a period of time, when a situation has developed = in due course ▪ I m sure he ll tell us what s bothering him in the fullness of time. 2.) the quality of being large and round in …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fullness — noun 1) the fullness of the information they provide Syn: comprehensiveness, completeness, thoroughness, exhaustiveness, all inclusiveness 2) the fullness of her body Syn: plumpness, roundedness, roundness, shapeliness, curvaceousness …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • fullness — also fulness BrE noun (U) 1 in the fullness of time when the right time comes; eventually: I m sure he ll tell us what s bothering him in the fullness of time. 2 satisfaction: the human search for fullness in life 3 the condition of being full …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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