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Παῦλος δοῦλος (Paul: Slave)

I hate the idea of being bossed around by anyone or anything. I want to be FREE. So Paul’s first two words of Romans stopped me short. Paul: Slave. This hits harsher than the English translation, usually something like “Paul, a bond-servant…” “Slave” is not how I want to define myself and I’m not alone in the “land…

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Μεθʼ ἡμῶν ὁ θεός (WITH US, God)

Καὶ καλέσουσιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἐμμανουήλ, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Μεθʼ ἡμῶν ὁ θεός. And they shall call his name “Immanuel” Which is translated WITH US, God. (Matthew 1:23) One of the great things about Greek is that is is highly inflected (meaning the words change shape a lot to tell you their role in the…

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Φαντασία (phan-ta-sia) Acts 25:23

Sometimes, Greek words just make me laugh. I was reading this morning about when Paul was in prison in Caesarea, about to make his case before Agrippa and Bernice. Luke tells us that as Agrippa and Bernice gathered to hear Paul’s defense, they entered with πολλῆς φαντασίας (great pomp). Agrippa and Bernice were the scandal…

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Ἐξ Αἰγύπτου (Out of Egypt)

Ἐξ Αἰγύπτου ἐκάλεσα τὸν υἱόν μου. (Out of Egypt I called my son) Matthew 2:15 You can find these words in Hosea 11:1 or Amos 24:8 but it is a stretch to think that in their original context these verses were specifically about the Messiah. Rather, they are a description of God’s ongoing love affair with…

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Οὐρανός (Heaven)

The word οὐρανός (heaven) is very common in the New Testament, especially in the gospels. The goal of many believers is to “go to heaven” when they die. Often the teachings of Jesus are read with this goal in mind. “How do I go to heaven when I die?” This is our big question. We…

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Ὂφις ( Snake) or Ἴχθυς (Fish)?

If I ask for an ὂφις (snake), will God give me an ἲχθυς (fish)? I’m a worrier and since my life is in a period of transition right now I have plenty to worry about. The kids are headed off to college in faraway places. I have a new job. We will be selling our…

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