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STUDY THREE

Moved by the Holy Ghost

A Study in Scriptural Integrity:

Concordances

WE HAVE SEEN in the first section of Scripture Integrity that in studying scripture, prayer is vital.


It is God who grants wisdom and understanding, and it is His word.

Therefore, we seek to find what it was that was meant by God when it was first written.

We have also seen that in spite of mistranslation and in spite of misconception wrought by tradition, one can judge the few "hard to understand" verses in light of the many clear ones.

Thus we found that Jesus Christ, and no other, is Head of the Church.

We have also seen that the letters to the Church help clarify and explain apparent contradictions in the Scriptures given to the Jews, a truth we will continue to expound upon in these studies.

Now in this third study we will consider that the Scriptures were written in other languages. Therefore to better understand the intended message, it may be prudent to look up a word in a "concordance" (a dictionary of Biblical texts) to find its Biblical and intended meaning.

We will begin with this verse in II Peter:

"Knowing this first, that no prophesy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

"For the prophesy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

II Peter 1:20&21

The main part of the message seems clear. The first thing to know seems to be that the scriptures are not really open to debate.

We may not know what the Scriptures mean, but we know that they mean what God meant them to mean. This seems to be the first thing to know. Why?

The Scriptures were not the result of men simply deciding to write them. Moses did not sit down one day and say, "Hmmm, think I'll write a Book of the Law." Jeremiah did not look around and think, " Wow, Israel's really blowing it. I better set them straight."

No. These men were moved by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost said, "Hmmm, Moses needs to write the Books of the Law," and He thought, "Wow, Israel's really blowing it. I better set them straight."

So we can see the gist of this message seems to be, "God wrote the book so don't guess at its meaning. Find out what it really said."

But while this cursory understanding is wonderful, we will not be satisfied with cursory understanding.

We want to see the meat and potatoes. We want to look at the glorious richness of that fabric of life called "The Word of God."

Knowing this first, it reads. Not second, not third, but first.

We will use Young's Analytical Concordance as our word finder, as our dictionary.

We will use Young's Analytical Concordance because it is a common concordance, geared for use with the King James Version, which is the primary text for these studies.

Why use a concordance like Young's? There are several reasons, regardless of what version Bible you are using, to use a Greek and Hebrew-based concordance to look up the textual words.

One reason is that translators may make mistakes based on their limited knowledge of Greek or Hebrew.

They may even err in favor of their denominational predisposition. While there are relatively few severely mistranslated verses that are based on this source of error, even one is too many for our purposes if we can find it and correct it.

And these errors are often compounded for the simple reason that almost all translations are collective efforts. One translator does one section, and another translator does another section. So each of these scholars might make different and contradictory errors.

Finally a team of editors then "homogenize" the body of work.

These editors do not always homogenize as well as one might hope. Let us look at examples.

One translator may translate a word from the texts one way, such as "homologia" in Titus 1:16, where it is "profess."

Then another translator may translate the same word "homologia" another way such as in Romans 10:9, where it is "confess."

Oh, and it doesn't end, friend.

You will find the word "exomologeo" that in Mark 1:5 is also translated "confess." And you will find the word "epaggellomai" that is "profess" in I Timothy 2:10.

And what does each really mean?

Hmmm.

Is it confusing? Yes. Such a confusing state helps explain the thousands of different denomination that are found in the United States alone.

But we will take our time, and using prayer and a concordance, we will get beyond at least some of the confusion.

Oh, one might say, "What difference does it make? They are all close in meaning, are they not?"

Perhaps they are.

Rich and wealthy are also often similar in meaning. But is that chocolate cake wealthy and milky, or is it rich and creamy?

See? It does matter, and even subtle nuiances may affect meaning.

"Homologeo" means "to speak the same thing." Literally it means "to agree with what really is."

And this Word of God was written by those moved by the Holy Ghost.

God did not have Paul use "exemologeo" in Romans 10:9&10 on purpose. We are to "homologeo," to "agree" that Jesus is Lord.

Is Jesus Lord? Yes. Do we agree? Yes. Since we agree with reality, we "homologeo."

Remember, knowing this first, that no prophesy is of any private interpretation.

What exactly is "private interpretation?"

We may know the connotations of the English phrase "private interpretation" very well. It may be said that it connotes "a comprehension based on a personal method of understanding."

But the Scriptures were not revealed in English.

Therefore we are ready to use our concordance, and we look up the word "private" as if our concordance were a dictionary.

(Which is another reason why in this study we use Young's which is alphabetical, rather than a more comprehensive text such as Strong's, which is ordered in a numerical system.)

This particular edition of Young's Analytical Concordance (published by Eerdman's, 22nd American Revised Edition, 1982) lists "private" on pg. 777.

We find the word used in II Peter 1:20 is "idios" in the Greek. It is defined on pg. 777 as "one's own."

"One's own," as in "personal."

Note that under "idios," a similar word is listed also, the "root" word of "idios" which is "idian." It is defined as meaning "by one's self," and we can use this root to get a better feel for the word. More on using roots later.

"Idios" is translated "private" only once, right in II Peter 1:20.

So we will now look in the Index-Lexicon of Greek words in the back of the concordance to see if "idios" is used elsewhere. There we find it has been translated many ways, including "due," "several," "his," and others.

But the great bulk of times "idios" is simply translated, "one's own," which is the definition given on page 777 of this Young's.

We do not stop here, although we have gleaned enough information to understand this particular usage of "one's own." We go another step and find the first usages of the word "idios."

"And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city."

Matthew 9:1

"But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: "

Matthew 22:5

"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

"And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey."

Matthew 25:14&15

In each use, the word "idios" refers to "one's own" and establishes possession, grammatically.

So to say it is not "one's own" is to establish non-possession. Meaning?

That the interpretation of scripture is NOT interpreted in II Peter by man's will, even as a result of external stimuli. Man did not "possess" the interpretation of scripture, it was not "of" him or nor did it belong "to" him.

This is the clarity provided by a word study when we know how to go about it according to the texts.

No prophesy is of any "one's own" interpretation.

We looked at "private."

Now we will look at "interpretation."

"Interpretation," found on page 519 in this edition of Young's, is "epilusis," and is defined as "letting loose." The prophesies are of no man's "letting loose."

"Epilusis" is used only here in II Peter this one time, and again you will find this out by looking in the lexicon-index.

Whenever a word is used only once in scripture it is usually of spectacular importance. You will find this the rule as you come to be aware of the key words you seek out in the future.

Special care should be used to understand such words correctly.

We cannot trace the use of a word used only once through Scripture. Thus, to attain further clarity, we will now look at root words.

"Epilusis" comes from the word "epiluo."

"Epiluo" itself is used only twice, in Acts 19:39 as "determined" and in Mark 4:34 as "expound."

"And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

"But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples."

Mark 4:33&34

"But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly."

Acts 19:39

Jesus expounded, he "let loose," all things pertaining to his parables. Like letting loose dogs, he let loose, he released the explanations.

And a "lawful assembly" determined, "let loose," a judgment regarding the doctrines of those Christians allegedly pestering the city of Ephesus. The judgment was of their volition.

So "epilusis," "letting loose," expresses both volition and a releasing.

We find that "interpretation" is a mistranslation of II Peter. "Interpretation" indicates the way we are to understand the Word.

But "epilusis" actually refers to the way we came to receive the Scriptures originally.

The letting loose of the prophesies were of no one's volition or release, for "the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

Yes, the men did the speaking, but what they spoke, or even that they were to speak, was of the volition and release of the Holy Ghost.

That is why men were moved to record the Scriptures.

That is why it is important to us not to stop at the first nice impression we get of what the scriptures mean, because we hold the Word of God in the highest regard.

After all, it is God's Word, and we hold God Himself in the highest regard.

We will not seek man's opinion as our standard of truth.

We will instead put our hand in the Father's through prayer so that His Spirit guides us to truth.

We will instead search daily as to what God Himself meant when, long ago, humans received truth through the hands of men who chose to respond to God, writing as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

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