Thursday, August 20, 2015

Paul's use of tongues

1 Corinthians 14:18 (NASB). I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all...

The Apostle Paul was a man with a mission (the play on words is intended). He was a busy man, and how he used his time was important to him.

He considered travel important, so he did it. He considered teaching important, so he did it. He considered writing important, so he did it. He considered making friends important, so he did it.

He wrote that praying in the Spirit is important because it built up his spirit (1 Cor 14:4). Paul considered that important, so he did it. And, in fact, he considered so important that he prayed in tongues more than any of the Christians at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 14:18 Amplified Bible. 18 I thank God that I speak in [strange] tongues (languages) more than any of you or all of you put together;

1 Corinthians 14:18 Expanded Bible. 18 I thank God that I speak ·in different kinds of languages [or with ecstatic utterance; L in tongues] more than all of you.

1 Corinthians 14:4a (NASB). 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself....

Labels: ,

"Various Kinds of Tongues"

1 Corinthians 12:28New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.

(See also 1 Cor 12:10; these are the only two places in the Bible that says, "kinds of tongues.")

"Various kinds of tongues." What does this mean?

First, the words "various" and "of" do not exist in the Greek. The Greek is "genos glossa." Or, "And God has appointed... genos glossa."

From the word studies below, we know that Paul did not mean the tongues of various people-groups. Instead, he used a word that means born or produced. The word "appointed" can also mean to place or make.

Therefore, the passage could be paraphrased as, "God has made or placed in the church... families, kindreds, or a diversity of tongues." Or, even more so, "God has made for the church produced tongues."

So, while "kinds" is an acceptable translation, it fails to capture the idea in the word, genos, of, well, genesis. Therefore, one possible interpretation of the passage is that tongues were created (born or produced) for the Church.

Word studies: 
Mounce: Genos - offspring, progeny; family, kindred, lineage; race, nation, people; kind, sort, species [Mt. 13:47 - "various kinds of fish"].

[Various] kinds, "genos" in Greek, means "kin (abstractly or concretely, literally or figuratively, individually or collectively);" and from that, "born, country (-man), diversity, generation, kind (-red), nation, offspring, stock." Can also mean "species." It is from another word meaning "to come into being, to happen, to become."

Genos means born or produced by, and birth. From the word genos we derive such words  Genesis, gene, genetics, generate, genus, genius, hydrogen, and carcinogen.

KJV (1611) says, "diversities of tongues."

1 Corinthians 12:2 (NASB)
2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.

The word "pagans" is a translation of the word, "ethnos." It can also be translated as "nation, people, Gentiles." We derive the word "ethnic" from it, as well as other words.

For 12:28, Paul could have chosen ethnos instead of genos. If he had done so, it would have been clear that he was referring to the languages of various nations (or "people-groups"). Instead, he used ethnos in 12:2 and genos in 12:28 and thus distinguished the two.

Appointed is a Greek word, tithemi, which means to set, put, place, lay down, or make.

Regarding "of:" there is also no "of" before "healings," either. In fact, the English word "of" does not have a Greek counterpart and except for "part of" and "member of" all of the uses of "of" are merely added there for the convenience of readers of English to help us figure out what is going on.

"In" is the usual translation of the Greek word "en." However, "en" can also mean "by, with, on, at;" and "denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state)."

"The," or "ho" in Greek, usually equivalent to our word, "the," but often translated as "those."

Churches is a translation of the Greek word, "ekklesia," literally meaning "a calling out."

New Testament Greek Literal Translation Bible Search W&H Greek New Testament (Literal English, 2009)
And to-which indeed it-had-placed, the-one a-Deity, in unto-the-one unto-a-calling-out-unto to-most-before to-setees-off, to-second to-declarers-before, to-third to-teaching-speakers, upon-if-to-the-ones to-abilities, upon-if-to-the-ones to-grantings-to of-curings-to, to-ever-a-one-takings, to-helmings, to-kindreds of-tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:28New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Prophetic Consolation

1 Corinthians 14:1,3 (NASB)
1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.
The Greek word for consolation, "paramythia," has in it two ideas, one of which is entirely lost in the English. One concept is "being near." The other one is "a true narrative." Put the ideas together, coming near to speak a true narrative, and we get consolation. A true story that consoles.

Thought about in that way, the Bible is full of those kinds of stories. One great paramythia is Psalm 23; "The Lord is my shepherd..." How many funerals have we been to where that consolation is proclaimed? The story of Moses and the setting free of God's people from their slavery in Egypt is a paramythia. A third great story is that of Jesus on the cross. It is the paramythia that we are now, finally and forever, free from our sins.

And all of us are given the privilege of proclaiming, of prophesying, the paramythia of God alive and at work in our lives.

Word Studies: 
The Greek word which is translated as consolation is "paramythia." Literally, it means "any address, whether made for the purpose of persuading, or of arousing and stimulating, or of calming and consoling, also, consolation, comfort."

"Para" means "from, of at, by, besides, near."

"Mythos" means "a speech, story, i.e. a fable," or "a true narrative."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Knowledge and Love

1 Corinthians 8:1 (NASB)
1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.
1 Corinthians 8:1 (Amplified Bible)
1 Now about food offered to idols: of course we know that all of us possess knowledge [concerning these matters. Yet mere] knowledge causes people to be puffed up (to bear themselves loftily and be proud), but love (affection and goodwill and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature].
I am a person who, through a long life, has focused on knowledge rather than love. Knowledge, for me, is easy. I accumulate it quickly, and can think through the implications of what I learn with relative ease.

And I get dismayed that people, even intelligent people, do not think about what they know and believe. They do not understand the sources and implications of their knowledge and beliefs.

I know from my knowledge that about half of that ability is environmental (good parents, socioeconomic status, good schools and colleges) and half is hard-wired genetically (basic intelligence, perseverance, and some other personality traits). And I am grateful for both.

Even science, my chosen profession, is from a Latin word meaning knowledge.

The theory of evolution by natural selection, the basic organizing principle of biology, is like the tower of Babel in the book of Genesis. However, instead of building a tower to heaven, to be like God, biologists (and geologists and cosmologists) use their knowledge, fact by fact, to build a tower. And from the top of the tower, they can see all the way back to the beginning of life. They see the creation but not the Creator. And the pride of that can make arrogant.

Love, both agape and philos, have been a lot harder.

Agape, of course, comes from God. It is both a gift to us and fruit of the Holy Spirit. We were designed by God ("made in His image") to know and live in agape. However, since the Fall, humans have learned to live without it to the point of forgetting our need for it. And, like Paul implies here, we substitute knowledge which we can be proud about for agape which is a gift which we cannot be.

There is a hole in our lives left by our lack of agape. Filling ourselves up with knowledge is part of the "foolish... wisdom of the world" (1 Cor 1:20).

Background study:
1 Timothy 6:20 New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly [and] empty chatter [and] the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”—

1 Timothy 6:20 Original King James Bible (AV 1611)
— O Timothie, keepe that which is committed to thy trust, auoyding prophane [and] vaine bablings, and oppositions of science, fasly so called:

Greek Dictionary (Lexicon-Concordance) for "gnosis" usually translated as knowledge.

1) knowledge - signifies in general intelligence, understanding
    1a) the general knowledge of Christian religion


Divinity of Jesus

1 Corinthians 8:6 (NASB)
6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
Baal, also rendered Baʿal..., is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor....
In the passage, it sounds as if Paul is saying that God the Father is the only God, and that Jesus is merely, "Lord." However, he also states two things that identify Jesus as God, also.

1) He calls Jesus, "Lord," which is the direct translation of a word used for a number of gods that were worshipped in Old Testament times by the peoples that surrounded ancient Israel.

2) He says of Jesus, "by whom are all things," a clear reference to the Creation. But Genesis 1 clearly identifies God as the Creator. If Jesus is the Creator, He is also God.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Article: The Unknown Newton
Only in the last few years have many of Newton’s writings become accessible to the general public. The scholars and staff of The Newton Project — a nonprofit organization at the University of Sussex dedicated to publishing all of Newton’s writings, online, for free — have been working since 1998 to transcribe (and sometimes translate) many shelves’ worth of Newton’s forbidding writings.  
The Newton Project... has thus far published over six million of Newton’s words, equivalent to about eight King James Bibles. This mammoth undertaking presents many of Newton’s writings to the public for the very first time and gives scholars around the world better access to what the Irish poet Henry Jones called Newton’s “all capacious Mind.” 
The mind disclosed by these writings proves that the common image of Newton as a scientific hero is woefully incomplete. We can begin now to see the unknown Newton: a staunch but untraditional Christian, a Church historian who wrote thousands of pages of biblical interpretation, a thinker more in tune with Renaissance tradition than Enlightenment skepticism, and a scientific genius who strove with equal vigor to unlock both the principles of physical motion and the arcane secrets of alchemy.
Five authors tackle different aspects of the "Unknown Newton."

Hat tip to Instapundit. 

Cross posted at Loch Lomond Farms.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Light of the World

Matthew 5:14 (NASB) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden..."

Matthew 5:14a (Phillips) “You are the world’s light..."

Matthew 5:14 (word studies)
“You [Jesus's disciples and the crowd of the Sermon on the Mount, anxious to hear Jesus's word] are the light [radiance, blaze of light] of the world ["kosmos." Variously: universe, the human race, the earth, the established order, everything apart from God]. A city ["of one's birth and residence"] set [laid out or situated] on a hill [or mountain] cannot be hidden [no power can hide]..."

Matthew 5:14 (my expanded)
You who desire to hear my word are a blazing radiance to the universe. You are a city is set on a high hill, and no power can hide it.

Hat tips:
1) Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament

2) Lexicon-Concordance Online Bible