The Greek word “barus”

Found six times in the New Testament (Mt. 23:4, 23; Acts 20:29; 25:7; 2 Cor. 10:10; 1 Jn. 5:3), the Greek adjective “barus” meant “important,” “burdensome, “grievous,” “heavy.”

Scribes and Pharisees wanted to impose “heavy” burdens on people (Mt. 23:4) and were guilty of failing to consider the “weightier” (more important) matters of the law (Mt. 23:23), such as justice, mercy and faith. In Acts 20:29 this adjective refers to “grievous” (fierce or savage) false teachers (Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1:261). Some “weighty” (serious) charges were made against Paul (Acts 25:7). Some of the Corinthians sneered at Paul’s “weighty” letters (2 Cor. 10:10). God’s commandments are not “burdensome” (difficult to carry out), 1 Jn. 5:3.