Friday, February 18, 2011

Confidence In the Faith of Christ Jesus

IF YE CONTINUE IN THE FAITH "You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister" (Colossians 1:21-23, KJV). Q: In Colossians 1:23, the word "if" is tripping me up. Any thoughts? A: The key to this is the Greek word that has been translated as "if" in this passage. The Concordant Literal New Testament translates it accurately and clearly as "since surely." "And you, being once estranged and enemies in comprehension, by wicked acts, yet now He reconciles by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight, since surely you are persisting in the faith, grounded and settled and are not being removed from the expectation of the evangel which you hear which is being heralded in the entire creation which is under heaven of which I, Paul, became the dispenser" (Colossians 1:23, Concordant Literal Translation). The rendering of the Greek word as "since" is in agreement with definitions provided by Thayer's Greek Lexicon "since," and Bullinger's Critical Lexicon "spoken of what is taken for granted." E.W. Bullinger also says in His Companion Bible, "Followed by the Indicative Mood, the hypothesis is assumed as an actual fact." Here is what a few other Bible students have written: "In the original language of the New Testament this construction could have the meaning of "if" or "since." … The best way to communicate Paul's meaning to us is to translate the word "since" instead of "if." – Theodore Epp, The All-Sufficient Christ: Studies in Colossians, Back to The Bible (1982), pages 57, 58 "It being a fact that ye continue in the faith." – W.R. Nicholson, Oneness with Christ: Expository Lectures on the Epistle to the Colossians (1903), Bible Institute Colportage Association, pages 119, 120 "The word here as it is used in many other places has the idea of `since'" – John Baker, Amazing Grace, Reconciled, March 2008 "The word `if'' is used in various ways in the New Testament. The force of the word is always determined by the mood of the verb with which it is used. Two Greek words are used of "if." One of them can be followed by a verb in the indicative mood. Here the word "if"… is followed by a verb in the indicative mood. In other words, there is no doubt about it. We can supply the ellipsis: `If ye continue in the faith (which you will assuredly do.)'… Paul uses the word `if'' in this way on several notable occasions. In his great passage on the resurrection of Christ he says, `Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead' (I Corinthians 15:12). There is no doubt at all that Christ was being preached. The apostles were turning the Roman Empire upside down with that very message. It was at the very heart of apostolic preaching." – John Phillips, Exploring Colossians, Kregel (2002), page 81 Another example of the usage of the word "if" can be seen in Colossians 3:1. "If you are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God." The idea being, "Since you have been raised with Christ, seek those things which are above." "If ye continue" is clearer and more accurately stated as "Since surely you are." We know that the believer will continue, because the believer is God's "workmanship" (KJV) or the "achievement" (CLT) of God (Ephesians 2:10), and Paul declared confidence in His work. "Being confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr. © Daily Email Goodies DAILY GOODIES – THE BOOK! 365 Daily Goodies have been put together in a book. This is a great resource for personal and family study, as well as a valuable reference volume covering many varied scriptural themes. --------------------------- DAILY EMAIL GOODIES Receive the Daily Email Goodies by signing up at: BOOKS BY CLYDE L. PILKINGTON, JR. 5 FREE BIBLE STUDY BOOKS No Strings Attached. Absolutely free – including postage and handling. (A $60 retail value). (1) At The End of the Ages (2) Hope Beyond Hell (3) Flawed By Design (4)Martin Zender Goes To Hell (5) Martin Zender's Guide to Intelligent Prayer. Send your name & address to: OUR WEEKLY PERIODICAL The Bible Student's Notebook, available in two formats: Electronic (e-mailed to you) and Printed (mailed to you). OUR ONLINE ARTICLES Bible Student's Notebook past arti

No comments: