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Words and Their Importance

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I am reading through the Pastoral Epistles this year, a chapter each day. I pay particular attention to key words and the importance the meaning each brings to the overall message. Words and their relationship give meaning to language.

The languages of the Scripture, Masoretic Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine' Greek are 'dead languages'. This means that the meaning does not change as is true in a 'living' language such as English. When a credible lexical source is consulted we discover with a high degree of accuracy authorial intent. We know with a high degree of precision what the author intended to communicate with their use of those words.

The first word for our consideration is found in 1 Tim. 1:3 and 1 Tim. 6:3 - - different doctrine. The transliteration of this word is heterodidaskaleiv. 1 Tim. 6:3 makes clear that sound doctrine is healthy. The converse is true of a different doctrine. It is unhealthy. It produces division and strife in the body of Christ (1Tim. 6:1-10).

The proliferation of different doctrine today is nothing short of astonishing. When studying the Scripture people used to ask - - "What does that passage mean?" Now the questions is "What does that passage mean to me?" That is a very different question. It implies that the meaning of the text is assigned eisogetically, read into the text rather than exegetically, drawn out from the text.

God's word is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). The meaning never changes.

Are you teaching a different doctrine?

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