156. What does oikonomia mean? (Ephesians 3:2)

Writers in the New Testament (NT) employed a number of cognate terms formed from the verb oikonomeō which means to “manage, administer or plan” but more specifically to “manage a household.” Luke is the only NT writer to employ this verb … Continue reading

155. Paul’s Role as “Ambassador” (presbeuō (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Within Paul’s letters and Luke’s Gospel we encounter the verb presbeuō (2 Corinthians 5:20 and Ephesians 6:20; it also appears in a textual variant at Ephesians 3:1), the noun presbeia (Luke 14:32; 19:14), and the noun presbeutēs (Philemon 9). The verb and the nouns … Continue reading

130. The Scope of “Pastoral” work poimēn (Ephesians 4:11)

Despite our frequent use of the English word “pastor” to describe primary spiritual leaders within Evangelical churches, the only New Testament context where the Greek noun poimēn (shepherd) occurs and explicitly describes local church leaders is Ephesians 4:11. The cognate … Continue reading

127. phragmos (Mt. 21:33; Mk. 12:1; Luke 14:23; Eph. 2:14).

In Ephesians 2:14-22 Paul describes God’s great project for a new people, which required the cross, the resurrection and the ascension. Jesus Messiah’s sacrificial actions served to re-create the family of God, incorporating Jew and non-Jew equally, based upon his … Continue reading

123: The Virtue of Spiritual Simplicity (haplotēs) (Colossians 3:22; Ephesians 6:5)

On two occasions Paul gives specific instructions for Christians who are slaves (douloi). In both instances (Colossians 3:22; Ephesians 6:5) he urges them to engage their responsibilities “with sincerity of heart” (en haplotēti kardias), fearing (or reverencing) the Lord (Colossians), … Continue reading

121. “Redeeming the Cursed and Redeeming Time” (exagorazein) (Galatians 3:13; 4:5; Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5)

Four times in his letters Paul incorporates the compound verb exagorazō — twice in Galatians and once each in Ephesians and Colossians. In his letter to the Christians in Galatia Paul used the verb to describe what the impact of … Continue reading

118.”Reconciling (apokatallassein ) all things to himself” (Col. 1:20)

Paul is the New Testament author who explores the concept of reconciliation most fully, using the verb katallassō[1]and the cognate noun katallagē[2] to express this concept in his letters to the Roman and Corinthian churches. The meaning of the simple … Continue reading

115. God at work–Paul’s Concept of the Verb energein and Cognates (Philippians 2:12-13)

One of the more unusual notions that frequently occurs in Paul’s letters is that God is “working in” people and situations. The verb that expresses this most consistently is energein 1 (“put one’s capabilities into operation”) and its cognate nouns … Continue reading

112. Fathers, Anger, and Discipling Children (parorgizein Ephesians 6:4 and erethizein Colossians 3:21)

Embedded in the closing section of Ephesians and Colossians, a set of instructions to Christian fathers forms part of a so-called “household code” (Ephesians 5:21-6:9; Colossians 3:18-4:1). In the Ephesian segment Paul urges fathers to “bring them [children] up in … Continue reading

89. How Witty Should Christians Be? (eutrapelia Ephesians 5:4)

Wise use of humour can be extremely beneficial. It encourages, builds relationships, gently rebukes, and tactfully suggests a better way. Conversely, some become slaves to laughter, addicted to witty repartee to the point that they will do or say anything … Continue reading

82. Warnings About ‘Crafty Scheming’ (methodeia – Ephesians 4:14; 6:11)

The Greek term methodeia only occurs twice in the New Testament and both are found in Ephesians (4:14; 6:11). As well, no occurrences of this word are known in Greek literature prior to Paul’s use of it in this letter. … Continue reading