Remembering what Deuteronomy means is easier to me than remembering how to spell it. It’s that tricky placement of the e and the u at the beginning that gets me every time.
The word Deuteronomy, interestingly enough, does not come from the original Hebrew “title” of the letter (which is basically the beginning of Deuteronomy 1:1 that says “These are the words…“). It actually has Latin (Deuteronomium) and Greek (Deuteronomion) origins. Each of these origins roughly translates to a meaning of “second law”.
Although it is a good literal translation, “second law” isn’t “necessarily” the best way to view the point of the word Deuteronomy, or the letter itself. It’s not a second law insomuch as it is a repeating of the law. A very good way to think about it is found in Deuteronomy 17:18 where you will find the Hebrew word “Mishneh” which means, in the context, “double, copy or repetition“. In other words, “Deuteronomy” is a repeating (Deuteros, or second) of the principals and points (Nomos, or law) that can elsewhere be found in was then the existing foundation of the Law.
In the Deuteronomy letter, Moses is very much concerned with the task of making sure the present generation understands what it is about to gain and why the previous generation did not possess it! He accomplishes this through quick history lessons and by placing an emphasis on the love and loyalty and obedience, as well as the warnings that are given about the lack of such, that God requires through the covenant he is making with them (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
The above points are still pertinent today. Especially when you consider how the Hebrew writer emphasized a “deuteronomy” of these things in Hebrews 3, 4 amongst several other passages too.
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;” (2 Peter 1:19)
The interesting Greek word (at least to me) that is translated as “morning star” in the NKJV, BBE, ESV and NET, and as “day-star” in the KJV and ASV is φωσφόρος, and in the New Testament it’s unique to 2 Peter 1:19.
Now, in case you can’t read Greek, spell the word out in English and it would be something along the lines of, “phōsphoros.”
And in case you don’t remember anything about phosphorus from your High School physical science classes, phosphorus does a couple of things very well; one of which is that it burns brightly! Such is the reason why the Greek word “phōsphoros” literally means, “light bearing or light bringing.”
The Greek word in 2 Peter 1:19 can also refer to the planet Venus due to the planet’s orbiting characteristic in relation to the Earth which causes Venus to appear brighter in the morning than in the evening.
Either way, the apostle Peter’s point is clear – Jesus (who is the topic of the context’s confirmed prophetic word) is the bright and morning star whose light will cause our hope to become a reality regardless of how dark it may be before the dawn. Perhaps this thought is why the song writer of “He’s the Lilly of the Valley” follows up that reference with the proclamation of Jesus being the fairest of 10,000 to our soul.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16)
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics that you will find:
- How to do a Topical Study (Dewayne Bryant)
- Words of Wisdom for Better Bible Study (Cody Westbrook)
- How to do a Word Study (Kevin Cauley)
- How to Study a Book of the Bible (Richard Rutledle)
- How to do a Character Study (Randy Robinson)
- How to Study Apocalyptic Literature (Sam Dilbeck)
- Terms and Tools (John Haffner)
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.
Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.
Ever been told to mellow out?
I found an interesting Greek word (of the Koine sorts) that describes the same sentiment. The word is…are you ready for it…melo.
It literally means to “care about” and can be found multiple times in the NT. For example, Matthew 22:16 says, “And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.”
So basically, getting rid of your melo meant you could get rid of what was bothering you.
Who knew that even in the days when Jesus walked the Earth that you could still tell someone to melo out?
Here’s a link to a short but very good article that makes an important point about the worship we offer to the one and living God of Heaven by describing the meaning of a Greek word that had its roots in what possibly would have been a well-known character to a Hellenistic culture…or any culture today that enjoys doing a word-study on Bible words.
Because of the content and size, the article would make a great fit in any bulletin.
If the title to this article got your attention, then it did exactly what it was supposed to do. In this article, we are going to examine the word honor and objectively determine from God’s word what it means to honor someone (2 Timothy 2:15). The word honor itself carries the idea of placing proper value or worth towards something or someone (Strong’s NT 5091). Everyone has a soul that will spend eternity in either heaven or hell (Matthew 26:31-46; Revelation 21:1-8). Because of this, we must understand the great value that every soul has!
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26). In light of this, it is no wonder that the Bible teaches in a limited sense that we are to
honor all (as in the case of Lady Gaga, etc.) because all humans have valuable souls (1 Peter 2:17). Furthermore, the Bible teaches that the Lord is to be honored (Revelation 4:11); wives are to be honored (1 Peter 3:7); kings/presidents are to be honored (1 Peter 2:17); scriptural marriages are to be honored (Hebrews 13:4); elders in the church are to be honored (1 Timothy 5:17); widows are to be honored (1 Timothy 5:3); parents are to be honored (even if they are drunkards, homosexuals, gossips, etc., Ephesians 6:2) – everyone is to be honored (1 Peter 2:17; Romans 12:10)! Having defined the word honor, how do we put this into practice and application?
Honoring someone does not mean that you must agree with, comply with, or have a close relationship with the person, his teachings, or his behavior. In fact, to truly honor someone sometimes means you have to do something they do not want you to do. Let me illustrate this by using several different biblical examples and principles. First, while the Bible commands us to honor the king, that does not mean that we follow the king in violation of God’s word (Acts 4:13-22).
We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29; at the same time, Paul understood the value of those in leadership positions: Acts 23:1-5). Second, just because we are to honor our parents/family does not mean that we never correct them or discipline them when they are wrong (such as in the case of protecting one’s family by keeping them away from the evil influences of one’s drunken parents, etc.; Matthew 10:34-39; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 5:11). Consider the Old Testament story of King Asa in 1 Kings 15:9-14. Asa removed and banished Maachah, his grandmother, from being queen because she had made an obscene image. Asa was not guilty of dishonoring his family; on the contrary, God’s word says that he was
loyal to the Lord all his days (1 Kings 15:14). Even when it comes to an erring brother in Christ, we must still honor him (Romans 12:10; which may include withdrawing from him if he does not repent, 1 Corinthians 5:11). Interestingly enough, the word dishonor carries the idea of “not giving proper value or worth to someone” (James 2:6; etc.). If we know someone is in sin and we choose to do nothing about it, in reality we are dishonoring him (Proverbs 27:5).
While we are to honor all, we must evaluate the situation accordingly. We can honor someone in multiple ways, remembering to provide what is necessary for each situation, whatever it may be (Acts 28:10)! The way we honor each individual will depend upon each situation. Someone in sin needs to be honored by being corrected, including family and close friends (Psalm 141:5; Hebrews 12:11; Revelation 3:19; etc.). Elders in the Lord’s church who rule well and preach the word are to be counted worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17). Most importantly, when we honor God, we are honored by God (John 5:23, 44, 12:26). Let us make sure that we properly understand what it means to honor someone so that we can place the proper value upon each situation, providing what is necessary in order to exercise true biblical honor!
Kevin Pendergrass – The Gospel of Christ Newsletter #13.25 – December 3, 2013
One of our men was teaching Acts 15 on Wednesday night. I noticed something that I wanted to share with you, to get your feedback.
“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, NKJV).
“But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, ESV).
“And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, KJV).
“And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, ASV).
“While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers[a]: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, NLT).
The word for “custom” in Acts 15:1 means “habit or law.”
Circumcision was more than custom under the Old Covenant (Genesis 17:7-14; Leviticus 12:3; Joshua 5:2-8; Romans 4:11). And we know that law is much stronger than custom.
To us, custom means something that became common over time like Sunday night worship or a family having pizza on Friday night. Law, however, is something commanded by God. In Acts 15:1, the Judaizing teachers were false teachers but they believed that circumcision was still law.
- Why do you think custom is used in this context?
- Do you see a difference between “law” and “custom.”
- If the word means “habit” or “law,” what clue would translators use to make the determination?