In last week’s Vision, I gave definitions for five key New Testament words. Here are five more:
Euangelion: This word means gospel or “good news.” It is made up of two words. The prefix -eu means “good,” so a “utopia” is a good place, a “euphemism” is a good alternative way to say something, and “euthanasia” supposedly means a good death. The second part of the word is angelion, which means message or news. It is close to the Greek word angelos which means angel or messenger. The gospel is the good news of what God has done in Jesus Christ. By his death on the cross and his resurrection we have the hope of eternal life when we repent of our sin and believe in Jesus. In Romans 1:16 Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” This word is the root of English words like evangelism (preaching the gospel) and evangelist (one who proclaims the gospel).
Koinonia: This word means fellowship or partnership. This does not merely refer to sharing potluck meals together and having friendly conversations. It does refer to the close bond that believers share with one another but also to their mutual covenant to be engaged in supporting and encouraging gospel ministry. In Acts 2:42 Luke lists fellowship as one of four things the first believers continued in steadfastly (the others being: the apostles’ doctrine, the breaking of bread, and prayers). In Philippians 1:5 Paul expresses thanks to God for the believers in Philippi, “for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.”
Martus: This word means witness. A witness is one who gives evidence or testimony to the truth. In Acts 1:8 Jesus told his disciples, “and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” This term is also the root of the English word martyr. A martyr is one who gives witness to faith in Christ by the sacrifice of his life. Stephen was the first Christian martyr (see Acts 7).
Parousia: This word means “coming.” In secular Greek it would refer to the arrival or visit of a royal figure or an important political dignitary. It also had the simple common meaning of an arrival or visit of a special guest (see it used in this way to refer to the “coming” of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus to Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:7 and the “coming” of Titus to Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:6). For the first Christians this word became a technical term for the second advent of Jesus in glory at the end of history to judge the world. In 1 Corinthians 15:23 Paul says that all will be made alive at Christ’s “coming.” In 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Paul speaks of those who are alive “at the coming of Lord” not preceding in the resurrection those who have already fallen asleep (died) as believers. Christ second advent is “the blessed hope” of Christians (Titus 2;13).
Theopneustos: This word literally means “God breathed.” In the KJV it is translated as “inspired by God.” The word is made of two parts. The first comes from theos, the Greek word for God and the root for words like theology (the study of God). The second pneustos refers to the process of breathing. Paul uses this term in 2 Timothy 3:16 to describe the special nature of Scripture when he says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” It literally reads, “All scripture is theopneustos.” In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul commended the Thessalonians, because they received the word of God “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.”
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
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