Tuesday, November 01, 2016

THERE ARE NO WASTED WORDS IN THE BIBLE, Dan Mayfield

Commenting on 1 Peter 1:7 which speaks of our tested faith resulting in "praise, honor, and glory" when Jesus returns, Ellicott says, "St. Peter is fond of heaping up words of like signification. (See 1 Peter 1:4, and 1 Peter 5:10.)". What do I think about this analysis that Peter "heaps up words" of like meaning?
Signification means "the representation or conveying of meaning.
an exact meaning or sense." I'm not sure Ellicott meant to say this, but I'm certain Peter did not mean to heap up words with like meaning.

The tested faith in 1 Peter 1:7 results in praise, honor, and glory which each have their own significance that is distinct from the others.
Ellicott gives the example in 1:4 which says of the Christian's inheritance that it is incorruptible, undefiled, and that it does not fade away. This is not "heaping up words" because each tells something different of the unique quality of the heavenly reward Christ has prepared for those who are disciples.
Ellicott gave 1 Peter 5:10 that speaks of Christ who will "perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." Again, these words are not synonyms. They aren't examples of "heaping up words" with the same meaning. Instead they convey various aspects of Christ help to see Christians through to the end of the race.
perfect - something joined and fitted together.
confirm - to make stable, to stand fast, fix.
strengthen - to make strong, strengthen.
establish - to found, lay a foundation, Mt 7:25 house on a rock.
When we are tempted to gloss over the coupling of words by Peter or Paul, don't. Instead understand that there's a treasure trove of meaning in the different words. I don't think Ellicott meant to demean Peter's inspired words, but I wouldn't think "heaping up words of like signification" would be the best way of describing them in our day.
Another example of this "heaping up of words" which mustn't be overlooked is in 1 Timothy 2:1 when Paul tells Christians to be concerned for those who are rulers in authority. Paul says "supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men". These four words are not an example of pulling out a book of synonyms and stringing four together that have the same meaning. They each refer to a fuller idea of prayer. Each are different. And all four need to be done.
I respect the Bible as coming from the very mind of God. Peter didn't merely heap of synonyms because these words came from the mind of God. So instead of overlooking these and lumping them all together as being the same, dig a little deeper in your study and you will be blessed. Daniel Mayfield

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