The Meaning of Hope: A Biblical Exposition with Concordance

The Meaning of Hope: A Biblical Exposition with Concordance

The Meaning of Hope: A Biblical Exposition with Concordance

The Meaning of Hope: A Biblical Exposition with Concordance

Excerpt

Can we rescue a word, and discover a universe?" once asked Sir Edwyn Hoskyns, the famous Cambridge New Testament scholar. "Can we study a language, and awake to the Truth? Can we bury ourselves in a lexicon, and arise in the presence of God?"

Strange as this idea sounds nowadays to many of us who were not bred on the study of the classics or have no firsthand knowledge of the biblical languages, this linguistic method--word study--is precisely the form that much modern investigation of the Bible takes. William Barclay, who furthered this sort of analysis in his popular page for teachers and preachers in The British Weekly, has described in the preface to his little book, More New Testament Words, how a word is like a person--it has a past, an ancestry, and derives much of its reputation from the company it keeps. To take a more formidable example, the great Theologisches Wörterbuch edited by Gerhard Kittel--seven massive volumes now being translated into English--proceeds very much along such lines in its treatment of New Testament words: it explores their ancestry (etymology), past usage (in the Greek and Jewish worlds), and present association (in the early Christian writings). And while Professor James Barr of Edinburgh and Princeton has raised real questions about the word study method and pointed to abuses made of it, such investigation is nonetheless at the base of any real understanding of the biblical message; Professor Barr himself has written a . . .

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