Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

4.3 The word for "hidden" here is "kalypt-oo" as in the opposite of "apocalyse." The hiddenness of the message has always fascinated me; the word hidden is also used in Exodus when Moses goes up Mt. Sinai and the cloud hids the mountain. In this case, the hiddenness seems to protect the people.

4.3 The word here for "perishing" is in the present passive. The word (apollu-mi) means to perish, lose or destroy (if you want to lose your life...Herod sought to destroy the child...) Not only is the word intense, but it is in the present, suggesting that there are people who currently are undergoing this action...consistently. Paul will elsewhere (1 Cor 1:18) suggest this idea, that death and destruction are active forces grinding down people.

4.4 Take a quick look at 2 Cor 3:14 when you read this verse; there Paul takes about the Law covering people's minds. Interesting that the gods of this age then have the same affect as the god of the Old Covenant: They cover the Gospel.

4.6 Not the deepest, but perhaps a sermon nugget none the less: The word for "made to shine" is "lamp-oo."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mark 1:40-45

1.40 The word for encourage here: "parakale-oo" also means encourage or summon. An interesting idea that he encourages Jesus to do the healing!

The word for "clean" is katharize; as in cleanse us from our sins.

1.41 The word for compassion in Greek refers to intestines; Jesus gets tight in the stomach at the sight of the man. Here the verb for touch is hapt-oo, which means to touch (as opposed to earlier siezing).

1.42 This verb here for admononish can have a very strong meaning, but it is not necessarily without compassion. For example, Jesus is said to have undergone this (embrimo-mai) before he weeps in John's Gospel.

1.44 The first witness of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, then, is this lepor; the word for testimony is martyrion!

1.45 Not only is the leper the first witness, but he is also a proclaimer, ie, functioning as a herald (kehryss-oo).

1 Cor 9.24-27

1 Cor 9.24 Corinth was home to a famous set of games (not quite as big as the Olympic games, but quite significant); Paul writes using very familiar imagery when he refers to athletic competitions.

9.25 The word here for "strive" or "fight" is "agonizo-mai" (in English -- agony!) This is used in 1 Tim 6:12 "Fight the good fight."

9.25 The word here for self-control is the verb "eg-krato-mai." krato is from last week (control; govern; power); eg from ego; the mai is just a deponent/reflexive ending. Thus, you might even say that Paul is advocating self-governance here ;-) He also uses this verb in encouraging people who cannot control themselves to marry in chapter 7. The noun form of this verb occurs a few times in the Bible, including Acts 24, when Paul is talking to Felix; Galatians when Paul discusses Christian fruits of the Spirit (5:23) and 2nd Peter, in terms of how we should grow in Christian maturity.

9.25 The word for perishable, "phthartos" (trying saying that one outloud), is also the key word of 1 Cor 15 -- the perishable will put on the inperishable.

9.27 The word here for "beat" is "hypopiaz-oo" which refers to the part of the body underneath the eyes that gets black and blue. In short, the Greek here does not soften what Paul means! This word is also though used in Luke 18:5 in reference to the unjust judge and the widow who "wears" him out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mark 1:29-39

1.31 The word here for hold is "krate-oo" which is not hold hand in a sentimental way. This is the word for power, as in democracy. This is the word for sieze. This is what Herod will do to John the Baptist (arrest) and what the CPriests want to do to Jesus. Jesus in Mark 1 is wrestling the demons, not smiling for the home video cameras.

The word here for serve (in the imperfect) is diehkone-oo, which means to serve, literally, to wait on tables. It comes into English (and the ELCA) as Deaconness, Diaconal ministers and deacons.

1.33 This passage begins with Jesus leaving the synagogue. Now the people are gathering around him (syn-ago-ing!) Where is church? Where Jesus is...duh...anyone 2nd grader who has read AC VII knows that.

The word for door here is also gate, as in Jesus is the gate (thura); as in, there was a stone at the gate of the tomb.

1.34 The word for healing is therapeu-oo. In short, Jesus' therapy session is on.

1.35-1.39 A word that appears quite often here is exball-oo, which means to cast out. Jesus had been cast out into the wilderness (herehmos), where he now can pray. There is a bit of a reversal going on here already.

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

9.16 The word here for "obligation" is anagkeh. It can also mean distress (The translators of Job use this word all the time in the LXX); even force or complusion! A reminder to all of us that preaching is both an obligation but also a source of stress. I wonder if this is true for those of us that love preaching just as much as those of us who like it less...

9.17 This is one of those grammatically ambiguous Greek sentences. Which "if" is hypothetical? Is Paul earning a wage or not?? It is not clear. One thing the translators hide is the word "oikonomia," often translated "stewardship." So Paul here is saying that if he does this against his will, than he has been entrusted with stewardship. This is an interesting thought on stewardship, where it would derive out of lack of will rather than our will!

9.21 The phrase "under the law of Christ" is rather interesting in Greek in that it is one word -- "ennomos" literally "in the law." It is an adjective in Greek, so it could just as easily be translated here "but I am legally Christ's!). In short, Paul does not make some distinction here between the law of God and the law of Christ. He just points out that he is legally bound to Christ.

9.23 The NRSV and NIV translate the word "synkoinoonos" as one who shares in the blessings. The NET does a more literal translation here as partaker. The point is that yes Paul is partaking, but I think the NRSV and NIV are fair in their efforts to capture the sense that sharing the Gospel does come with benefits. (Ie, the sharing implied by koinonia is real and not just touchy-feely). In this case though, Paul does not seem interested in his own blessing, but rather being a blessing to others.