Hey, Jude, Are You Even A Book In the Bible?

October 23, 2007

Why do these guys always look down?Jude. Jude. I had to think just to remember where that was? Oh, yeah, one of the obscure ones just before Revelation.

Someone had inquired of me about the word ‘rebuke’ in Jude verse 9. (Yes, it is such a short book/letter of the Bible that they decided against even using chapters!)

In Jude 9 it is written: “Yet, Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he distputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord Rebuke thee.” (KJV.)

So, I checked the Strong’s reference for ‘rebuke.’ Now, there are plenty of other Greek words that have been translated into “rebuke”. I will just stick to this one real quick.

Because the word was ‘Epitimao’, I assumed that it had something to do with being removed from the center (‘epi’ being the Greek preposition often used with regards to the center.)

Well, being wrong has never bothered me before, and being wrong here was more enlightening than anything.

The two root words, epi + timao, carry something a little different here. It is as if to say, “I will let the Lord affix your value”, or “Let the Lord decide on your value (with a negative assumption to imply that He will find your value as very little and cast you off)”.

Now, I know that the latter is quite a leap, but when you look at the two words they really carry this sort of meaning. (That is, without an exhaustive study on the tone of the actual Greek.)

I found it quite interesting that the word would be translated as ‘rebuke’ in this one instance. Why would it not be translated “The Lord judge you” or “Let the Lord judge your worth”? I will leave the intense study to the scholars.

For now I will take from this brief study the knowledge that it is the Lord who should estimate one’s value. Even the archangel felt that it was not his place. We can leave the same critique of those around us to God, and seek Him for the value of others around us.

After all, who would want to judge the value of another, only to be “rebuked” by the Lord?!

Advertisements

Agnostic God

September 21, 2007

I have often pondered the One we in America continue to call ‘God.’
Is this accurate nomenclature for the Creator of all?

In the Greek books of the Bible, He is referred to as ‘theos.’ This theos is deity among other deities, among other theous (Gk – theos as a direct object). All other names are capitalized as proper nouns, as is Jesus and Christ (when referring to Jesus or the Anointed.) I have yet to find theos (in reference to the God of Christianity) capitalized.

And this is really where we get our American name for God.

The word is our root for ‘theory’ (from the Gk. theoria – to perceive, to contemplate or observe.) It is more obviously our root for ‘theology’ (the words, or study of, god. Gk – theos + logos.)

The only time that god is referred to as a proper noun is when Paul is speaking in the Aeropagus and talks about the Unknown god. I have written it like this because the author of Acts uses this particular formula.

The word for unknown (agnosto – Gk for unknown or forgotten) is the one that is capitalized. The word for god is lowercase (theow – the different ending is such because it is the dative, or indirect object, of the sentence.)

I find it fascinating that the only time Paul finds it fit to use a proper name for God is when he is referring to Him as Unknown. It truly seems the only fitting, accurate name for God.

He is ever unknown. He is ever forgotten.

We hear from Him. We see His effects and affects in the earth (Gk – kosmos.) We glorify Him and reach for Him. We labor to serve Him, and press as hard where we may, yet there is some aspect of Him which remains unknown, or forgotten, to us.

We know in part, but can we know all about Him, the agnostic God?

I say agnostic, and some may retaliate quite vigorously to this, but this is what Paul calls God. If you look at the root of agnostic (see Bibliography below), you will find that it simply means one who does not believe it possible to gain ultimate knowledge.

Historically, it wasn’t one who discounted God, heaven or the spiritual. It was one who simply believed that we cannot have complete knowledge of Him. And can we honestly ever be bold enough to state that we believe we can know God fully in this life?

I know that my life is an ever unfolding revealing of Who He is. I pray that someday I understand my theos more, and know Him by Name.

————-~~~~ Bibliography ~~~~——————–

American Psychological Association (APA):
agnostic. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 21, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
agnostic. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic (accessed: September 21, 2007). 

Modern Language Association (MLA):
“agnostic.” Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 21 Sep. 2007. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic>.