The Analysis of Scripture, No. 4

Greek Nouns, Pronouns, and Prepositions - PH02-02

We are studying the analysis of Scripture, and this is the third segment in that series. We are studying the book of Philippians, and we are laying some groundwork in order to understand what is involved in interpreting the Scriptures. We are not trying to give you a course in the Greek language, but we are trying in a simple way to try to inform you so that you will understand what is behind interpreting Scripture in terms of the use of the original language in which the Bible was written. Unless it is done from this basis rather than from an English translation, much of what the Word of God says will be missed, and a considerable portion of it will be misinterpreted because the translation is always misleading, or it cannot convey what the Greek language is saying. The Greek language is the most marvelous instrument of communication that ever existed.

Greek Nouns

Now we're going to pick up another major feature of the Greek language, and that's the Greek noun. The Greek nouns, as in English, name persons, places, or things. However, the Greek noun has certain endings to indicate various grammatical relationships. These relationships are vital features of interpretation. We don't have endings (inflections) on words in English to indicate these grammatical relationships as we do in the Greek.

Now one of the elements that it has is case. In the Greek, there are eight cases. We won't go further into detail on this except to show that this indicates how a noun is related to the rest of the sentence: whether it's the subject; whether it's the object; whether it's possessive; whether it's indirect; and, so on. These endings will indicate the relationship of the noun to the verb, and it guides the reader in the intended meaning of the writer. So it may be a subject; it may qualify the subject; or, it can function in different ways. There are eight cases with endings to differentiate the cases. Some of the endings are the same, but the context indicates the specific case that is in mind.

Then we also have gender; that is, a noun is either masculine, feminine, or neuter. Again there are endings to identify the gender. Where no facts of sex are present to indicate the gender as masculine or feminine, you simply have to learn that for each noun. This is particularly evident in other languages. For example, in German, you learn a noun in German with the article, and the article indicates the gender. There is often just no relationship. You just have to learn it. You'll hold up a pen and say, "Die Feder." That's feminine. Now why should a pen be feminine? I don't know. You hold up a pencil and say, "Der Bleistift." That's masculine. Why should a pencil be masculine? I don't know. A book is "Das Buch." That's neuter. Well, that makes some sense--why a book should be neuter. But it might be a girly book, and then it should be feminine. So it might not have any rhyme or reason to it there either. You just have to learn this stuff. But in the Greek, this is indicated by these endings so that you know what you're dealing with.

Then it also has number, which we understand from English also. It has singular or plural, and these again have endings which indicate this.

Greek Pronouns

We also have pronouns which substitute for nouns in Greek. There are various kinds, and they have the same structure as nouns: they have gender; they have number; and, they have case with endings that indicate this. There is one important thing I want to mention now. When you do have a pronoun it must agree with its antecedent; that is, with the noun that it's referring to or that it is substituting for. It must agree in gender and in number with its antecedent. We're going to notice that in a minute.

So here are some examples of the use of nouns in the interpretation of the Greek New Testament. In Matthew 1:16, we have the expression relating to Jesus Christ, "Of whom was born." Matthew 1:16: "And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ." The liberal likes to say that Jesus was a natural child of Mary and Joseph. The question is, what does the Word of God tell us concerning the origin of the physical body of Jesus Christ? Well there is a rule of Greek syntax that we just mentioned that says that a pronoun agrees with its antecedent (with the noun it refers to) in gender and number.

So the question in this verse is, what does "of whom" refer to? "Of whom" in the Greek is feminine singular. Consequently, it can't be Mary and Joseph together because that would be plural. It cannot be Joseph alone because that's masculine. It can only be Mary who is feminine singular. That is to whom the "whom" refers. "Of whom" can only refer to Mary since it is grammatically compatible. It's the only antecedent that fits. So the grammar here clearly confirms for us the fact of the virgin birth of Christ. He had no father, and the way God the Holy Spirit wrote this from the grammar confirms to us this fact. He was virgin born because the grammar can only refer to Mary, and Mary alone. It cannot refer to Mary and somebody else. It cannot refer to Mary and Joseph.

In Matthew 3:11, we have another example. Matthew 3:11 says, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Here we have the expressions "baptize with water," and "baptize with the Holy Spirit." The question arises, what does this mean? Is it saying that as John applied water to the believer in baptism, so Jesus Christ applies the Holy Spirit in Spirit baptism after salvation to a believer? These disciples were believers. They were baptized. Water was applied to them. These believers are born again. Jesus Christ says, "I'm going to apply the Holy Spirit to you." Is He saying that He is going to give them the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation?

Well, the word "with" is the Greek preposition "en," and it is in the locative case. The locative case defines the position of the subject. We have various kinds of locatives. We have a locative of place. In John 21:8, you have: "The disciples came in the little boat." Here, the word "en" limits the spatial area in which the disciples came. It limits it to the inside of that boat. You cannot apply locative of place to God the Holy Spirit because He is not a thing. So we have another use of locative (or location), and that is the locative of sphere. In Matthew 5:8, we have, "Blessed are the pure in heart." This means, "Those in the sphere of the heart who are pure." This is not a spatial limitation. It is a logical limitation. It's limiting to the sphere of the heart. So this expression, "He shall baptize you" means that "He shall baptize you in the sphere of the Holy Spirit." It does not mean that the Holy Spirit is applied to the believer by Spirit baptism as water is applied in ritual baptism. It does not mean that the Holy Spirit is placed into the believer through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13 clarifies for us what is meant by "in the sphere of the Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:13 tells us that Spirit baptism establishes union with Christ. It places us into Christ, and it relates us eternally to Him in His body. The Holy Spirit is not placed into the believer by Spirit baptism for spiritual power. The Holy Spirit enters the believer at the point of salvation as Romans 8:9 tells us. You cannot be saved if He does not enter you. But in the sphere of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit places us into Christ. So again, the Greek case of the noun, and the use of this particular locative of sphere, gives us an interpretation that is compatible with the rest of Scripture.

Here's another one. In Jude 7, here's this debate of whether Jude, in referring to the angels here in Jude 6, is telling us that certain evil angels came down to earth in the days preceding the flood, and cohabited with human women, and produced a hybrid race of supermen. Some people resist this very strongly. They resist it simply on the basis that it doesn't make sense to them. You can ask them, "Why don't you believe that these angels took human wives and reproduced offspring?" They'll say, "Well, I don't think that's how it is." And that's how most interpretation of the Scripture is handled, especially when people are told, "Go home and read your Bible and then you will learn what God has to say to you. Take this little book that you can buy at this bookstore, and look up the verses, and fill in the blank spaces." You'll get a certain amount of knowledge of the Word of God, but along with it you'll pick up a lot of misconceptions. You have to determine these things, again, on the basis of what the language said. That's why God the Spirit prepared this language.

Here's a good example of how important the gender and number of the noun are in determining what antecedent the pronoun is referring to. The punctuation in your Authorized Version is misleading. Verse 7 says, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah," and there is a comma after the word Gomorrah. Scratch it out. That's a mistake. The comma should not be there. If you have a newer translation, it probably won't be there. "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah (and then there is a comma), and the cities about them in like manner." The impression that you have here is that the cities committed fornication even as Sodom and Gomorrah had. The impression you get here is that the cities are being compared in their fornication to Sodom and Gomorrah and their fornication. That's not what this verse is doing it all. This is not what the Greek is doing. This is what the English leads you to believe.

In other words, you have the impression that verse 7 is saying this: "Sodom and Gomorrah, who gave themselves over to fornication, and went after strange flesh, and the cities about them in like manner to Sodom and Gomorrah, who did the same, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." And that's wrong. That is not what the Greek is saying. You have the impression here, because "like manner" is grammatically joined to the cities about them. In English, it looks like that, but that is not the way it is in Greek. The Greek syntax does not present a comparison between the cities and Sodom and Gomorrah, but it presents a comparison between Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities on the one side, and the angels of verse 6 on the other side.

This is very clear from the Greek. It is a wonder that there should even be any debate about the fact that these were evil angels cohabiting with human women. There is no possible way to refer to the expression "in like manner" in verse 7 to anything else except the angels of verse 6.

Let me show you something. The word cities ("polis") is in the nominative case. The words "in like manner" are in the accusative case. "In like manner" we call, in the Greek, an adverbial accusative. Adverbial accusatives are not related to the nominative case, which is cities, but to the verbs. They are adverbs, so they modify the verbs of the sentence. Adverbial accusatives always relate to the verbs of the sentence, and the verbs of this sentence are "giving themselves over" and "going after." So we have to read the verse, "In like manner giving themselves over and going after." That's what "in like manner" is connected with. It is not connected with the cities as if it was comparing what the cities were doing with what Sodom and Gomorrah were doing. It is "In like manner giving themselves over and going after." In other words, all of these cities together, Sodom and Gomorrah and the three main cities of the plain were doing something in like manner to someone else. Our question is, who is the someone else in this context, and what was the someone else doing that these cities and the inhabitants of these cities were doing?

The translation should read, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, (that's where the comma should come)." Now, there is in the Greek language a word which is left out in your English translation. There is the word "to these." It's "toutois." "Toutois" is a masculine plural pronoun. It isn't even in the English translation in your King James Version, and it is translated "to these." We pointed out that in the Greek, a pronoun has to agree to the word that is referring back to in its gender and in its number. "To these" is masculine plural. Where in the context of verses 6 and 7 can we refer "to these?" It cannot refer to the cities because they are feminine plural. It cannot refer to Sodom and Gomorrah because they are neuter plural. The only place that we find a masculine plural to which we may refer "to these" is back up in verse 6, the word "angels," for the word "angels" of verse 6 is masculine plural. "To these" refers back to those angels. It is the only place it could refer. There is nothing else in this text that it could refer to. Because we understand Greek grammar, we know what "to these" is referring to.

So the translation demands this: "Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, in like manner to these (that is, angels in verse 6) having given themselves over to fornication and having gone after strange flesh." For this reason, we know that "to these," because it is masculine plural, cannot refer to feminine plural "cities" nor to neuter plural "Sodom and Gomorrah," can only refer to masculine plural "angels," its antecedents. Therefore, we know that Sodom and Gomorrah are lumped together as the subject, and they are being compared to something that someone else did--these angels in verse 6. That's why we know that Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them (their inhabitants) were doing exactly what these angels were doing.

And what is it that they were doing? It says, "In like manner giving themselves over." Remember that 'in like manner, an adverbial accusative, has to go with the verbs. It says, "Giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh." We won't go into the details of "strange flesh." You know it's the word which means a different kind from their own, and they were violating the principle that human beings can only have sex relationship with human beings; animals with animals; and, angels apparently were able to interrelate sexually with angels at one time, though they are not now. And God forbad crossing categories of sex relationships. So the angels went after strange flesh; that is, different from their own kind.

And what was the strange flesh that Sodom and Gomorrah were going after? Well, they had homosexuality and lesbianism, but that was not "strange flesh," though it was a violent grievous sin. But the strange that they were going after was of animals. It was bestiality--sex with animals. So these cities were guilty of exactly the same thing that the angels were guilty of. That's why we know that the angels of verse 6 are described in Genesis 6 in telling what brought about the kind of population that God had to execute in the worldwide flood. When a people become degenerate, it no longer desires normal sex, but it deviates toward perversions. So Jude stresses the bestiality perversion (going after strange flesh) in Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities because of the analogy that he's making to the angels of verse 6 who also crossed over to a different category.

Alright, I think that will give you an idea of the importance of the Greek noun and the information it gives us.

If Clauses

Now here's another feature of the Greek language that we have touched upon before. The question came up, how do you know this? And that is that in the Greek language, we have the conditional clause; that is, an "if" statement. We have a statement of a supposition. It's an "if" clause. Then we have a statement of the result from the fulfillment of this supposition. That's called the conclusion. So in Greek, we have these conditional sentences--these "if" sentences: If / conclusion. For example, in Galatians 5:18, the if clause is, "But if you be led by the spirit." That's an if statement. The conclusion is, "You are not under the law."

Now the Greek language has a way of identifying these clauses into very significant expressions of meaning. It's another one of those things that God prepared that enable us to know definitively what a writer is stating. There are four clauses, and this answers the question, how do you know them? One person after we mentioned this once before said, "Can you look in the Greek Bible and see this? Can you tell us?" Yes. You don't just guess at this, because it is grammatically structured. Here's how it goes.

  1. First Class Condition

    There's a first class condition. This is the condition of reality. This means that the speaker assumes what he is going to say is true. Now it may be true or it may not be true, but he's going to assume that it is true. If he is speaking under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit in making this declaration, then it is true, but sometimes he himself may say something that is not true. The first class condition is expressing the idea, "If, and it is true." In the Greek, the if clause has this little particle "ei,' and then it will use any tense of the indicative: present; perfect; future; and, so on. The conclusion will have any mood or any tense.

    So, for example, we have this condition in Matthew 4:6 where Satan says to the Lord Jesus, "If you are the son of God (if clause), cast yourself down (conclusion)." This is very interesting because what it is telling us is that when Satan said to Jesus, "If you are the son of God," Satan was saying, "and you are." It was a statement of fact. You may translate it as, "Since you are the son of God, throw yourself off."

  2. Second Class Condition

    The second class condition is unreality. Here we assume that the thing is false. "If, and it is not true." This is contrary to fact. Here the if clause uses the particle "ei" again, but it uses it with the imperfect, the aorist, or the pluperfect tenses. In the conclusion, it uses the particle "an" with these same three tenses. Consequently, you can identify it: "ei" on the "if" side; and, "an" on the conclusion side with these particular three tenses. If it's in the present time, as we have it in Luke 7:39, we have, "If this man were a prophet (the if clause), He would know who and what sort of woman this is (conclusion)."

    Or if it is in past time, as it is in John 11:32, you have Mary saying to Jesus, "If you had been here (the if clause), my brother would not have died (conclusion)." "If you had been here, Jesus, and you were not." That is the idea. "If this man were a prophet," and the implication is that in the minds of these attackers of Jesus, He was not a prophet. "If He were a prophet," and you know that they were saying, "You're not a prophet. You're a liar." Now you know the attitude of the crowd speaking to Jesus from the fact that it is cast in a second class condition.

  3. Third Class Condition

    Third class and fourth class are classes of uncertainty. The third class condition is uncertainty. It always refers to the future. It's a probable condition. Maybe it is true, and maybe it is not true. It is more probable future condition. The if clause uses a different word now to identify it. That's the word "ean," but it uses the subjunctive mood. Now we have learned that subjunctive means uncertain. So very naturally, when we come to an uncertain class, maybe it's true maybe it's not true, we would naturally use the subjunctive. So in the if clause, "ean" with the subjunctive in the conclusion, any mood, but always referring to the future.

    So we have our famous verse 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This is the third class condition. "If we confess our sins." What does that tell you immediately? It means that maybe you will, and maybe you won't confess your sins. Maybe you will name your sins to the Father when you're out of fellowship, and maybe you won't. But if you do, the conclusion is that you will be forgiven, and all the barrier will be removed hindering your fellowship.

  4. Fourth Class Condition

    The fourth class condition is great uncertainty about the future. This is just possibility. In this statement, the person is saying, "I wish it were true, but it is not true." The if clause uses "ei" and then with the optative mood (that most uncertain of the moods), and it uses in the conclusion "an" with the optative. The optative is used only in this fourth class condition. It is the signal that makes it a little easy to identify by this mood alone.

    1 Peter 3:14 says, "But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you are happy." What is he telling us? He's saying to these people, "I wish you were suffering because you're such good Christians, but that isn't why you're suffering. I wish it were true, but it isn't. But if that were true, you would be happy." So we know a great deal about these people that he was talking to. The New Testament doesn't have any full fourth class condition anywhere. It has only partial fourth class conditions. This was very rarely used.

You can see how much fantastic information is to be found by knowing the condition. But when you read your Bible, you get one little English word: "if." Somebody has to tell you which condition it is. You should get in mind, if you hear the speaker say, "Here's the word 'if' in this verse. It's first class condition." Right away you know, "Ah, that's true." Or if he says, "Second class condition," immediately in your mind, you say, "Oh, it's not true. If, and it is not true." If he says, "This is a third class condition, you should immediately say, "Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't." If he says, "This is fourth class condition," immediately you should be able to say, "The speaker wishes it were true, but it's not."

Greek Prepositions

Alright, let's look at something else. Another very important feature of the Greek language is the preposition. The Greek prepositions help define the meanings of these eight Greek cases. They are placed before nouns, and so they are called "pre-positions." That's where the word "preposition" comes from. They are in a position before the noun (pre-positions), and so we call them prepositions. Each preposition is used with a particular case. Some are used with more than one case. The prepositions are used to clarify the relationship of verbs to nouns in the sentence. "You heard from the beginning." The preposition "from" localizing the time of your hearing. "He went into the temple." The preposition "into" limits the place of going. The Greek prepositions will have a root meaning; it'll have a result meaning; it will have a remote meaning; and, sometimes it will have a special meaning in combination with other words. So you have to check the significance of each Greek preposition. Scholars, again, on the basis of writings from the New Testament times, have analyzed the use of the Greek prepositions in their various relationships, and you can read the listing. You can make an analysis of the listing.

For example, you may have the preposition "en" here. That means just to be "in something" (locality). Or you may have the preposition "eis" which means "into." That is going into something. Or you may have the preposition "ek." That's going out of something. Or "dia" which is going right through something. "Epi" means to be on top of something. "Huper" means to be above. "Ana" means to be going up. "Peri" means to go around. "Pros" means to be going to, and facing. "Apo" means to be going away or departing. "Kata" in the genitive case means to go down. "Kata" in accusative means to go along or according to. "Amphi" means to surround it.

So these prepositions have a variety of meanings, but specific meanings that give us great information about the structure by which we determine the interpretation of the language. Sometimes these prepositions will stand alone. For example, in 1 Corinthians 7:7, we have, "The gift of God," and it uses "ek." That is the gift from within God himself. Sometimes prepositions are prefixed to words, and then they add to the basic meaning of the word. In Galatians 4:30, we have the expression, "Cast out the bondwoman." It uses the word "ek" which means out. It uses the word "ballo" which means "to cast." When you put them together, it amplifies the basic meaning. It adds to it, and it means "ek ballo," to cast out.

We have another example here in the word to eat "esthio." That means to eat. But you can put this word "kata" with the genitive meaning "down." You and I in English would say that we're going to eat something up. "Eat it up." The Greek says, "Eat it down." Plain "esthio" means eat. But if you add "kata" ("kata esthio") that means I'm going to eat everything in sight. It intensifies the meaning of the word. How do you know that? English is just going to say "eat." You don't know how voraciously this fellow eats. You don't know if this guy is going to eat with the gentility of Dennis Williams or with the veracity of Charlie Boozer. You either "esthio," or you "kata esthio." You have to look at the specific word in the original language to know. You can't tell that from the English.

Hebrews 12:2 is another significant example of this adding. Hebrew 12:2 says, "Looking unto Jesus, and it uses the word "apo" (away from) added to the word "looking"--it's prefixed to the word "looking." So this stresses not only that you and I run the Christian life with our eyes on the Lord, but we live our Christian life with our eyes off the crowd in the stadium. He's comparing this to the race. He says, "Looking unto Jesus." Not only am I fixed upon the Lord, but I don't go looking over here in the grandstand, nor do I look about the other runners around me. This is very illuminating when it comes to applying this to our relationship as Christians.

How do you live your life? Well, if you're going to live your life looking unto Jesus, it's going to be "apo". That's going to be looking away from everybody and everything else, and looking unto the Lord alone. You are oblivious of the onlookers. You are oblivious of the people who are cheering you in your Christian life. You're oblivious to the people who are booing you. You are "looking away off to Jesus." You are not looking away to gain some person's praise. You are not looking to measure yourself by some other Christian so that you feel pretty good because your unrighteousness is not as bad as his unrighteousness. You're not making that comparison. You're not looking at the spiritual condition of other people. You're not governed by the opinions of other people.

Do you see what this means? "Looking unto Jesus," means that He is the author and finisher of our faith. If you are going to live your life as unto the Lord, you look away from everybody and everything else, and to the Lord alone. You don't have a care about what anybody else thinks about your walk and your priesthood with the Lord. You give a concern only to what He cares and what He knows about you. But does anybody else know about you? How does anybody else know how to enter into your motivations and into your intentions? How does anybody else know how to look upon you outwardly and analyze you? Nobody does. You can get yourself all balled up with little Christians who, instead of keeping their eyes on the Lord, have got their eyes on other people that they think they are called to keep straight.

Philippians 3:13 is another one. It says, "Forgetting those things which are behind," and it uses the word "epi." "Epi" means "upon," and it is a word that intensifies. So here it intensifies forgetting. The idea is forgetting completely those things which are behind. If you are grieving with some guilt complex over some past sins that God has already forgiven, you're out of line. This verse says that we should be "forgetting completely the things that are behind, and pressing on toward the mark of your high calling in Christ Jesus.

Some of these prepositions may change the meaning of a verb and blend with it. In Matthew 24:15, for example, we have, "Whoever reads." This is the word "ginosko" which means to know. But then "ana" which means again, and up. To combine these ("anaginsko") changes the word completely from "to know" to meaning "to read." Prepositions will do that to a word.

Here are a few examples just to tie this up. Hebrews 12:2 says, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. This seems to be saying that Jesus Christ endured the terrible ordeal of the cross because of the certain joy which was to come to Him. In other words, the Lord was doing this on the cross for us because of the joy that was going to accrue to Him. This is not so. Philippians 2:5-8 indicates to us that Jesus Christ was not moved to the cross by the hope of any personal gain. It says, "He emptied himself." Christ going to the cross was not associated with any thought of joy that might accrue to Him because of His sufferings. How do we know this? Well we know this because when it says in Hebrews 12:2, "For the joy that was set before him," it uses the word "anti." The Greek preposition "anti" means "instead of."

Luke 11:11 uses this where it says, "Will a father give his son instead of a fish a serpent?" In place of a fish, will he give him a serpent? The English word "for" will not tell you exactly what is meant here in Hebrews 12:2 because "for" can mean "in return." For example, "I will work for my supper." Or it will mean I will work for you, in your place. An example would be, "I will take your tour of duty."

The Greek says, "Who instead of the lying before Him joy." That's what the Greek word means. Jesus Christ, who, instead of the lying before Him joy, elected to go to the cross. What that means is the joy that was before Christ when He was in the presence of the Father in heaven. This is the joy which was His before He ever came to this earth in the incarnation. It is referring to that joyous relationship in the Godhead that Jesus Christ enjoyed, and that He was willing to leave that joy to come down to have the sins of the world poured out upon Him, and for Him to die spiritually in our behalf. He wasn't doing this because He was going to receive joy. It is saying that He put the joy that He had already aside, and took this position of suffering and grief. So Hebrews 12:2 is telling us something very magnificent that you cannot get simply from the English language.

Hebrews 5:7: "Who in the days of His flesh when He offered up prayers and supplication with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared." Now we know that this gives us the impression that Jesus Christ prayed to be saved from physical death on the cross, and that he was heard. That's not true. John 10:17-18 indicates that Christ planned to die physically. So why would he pray otherwise in Gethsemane? What he prayed for in Gethsemane was the alternate to drinking the cup of having the sin of the world poured out upon Him, and of being abandoned by the Father on the cross so that He would die spiritually. If Christ was going to avoid physical death, His prayer was not answered. However, Hebrews 5:7 says that His prayer concerning this death was answered. So what did he pray?

Well, Hebrews 5:7 uses this word "ek." "Ek" means out from within. Jesus Christ was praying that God would save him from physical death. That is, He was asking for resurrection. That's what Hebrews is telling us was granted to Him. Hebrews 5:7 tells us that Christ prayed that He'd be resurrected, and His prayer was granted. It does not tell us that He was praying that He would not die. If Jesus was going to ask that he should not die, He would have used the word "apo" because "apo" means "from the edge of;" that is, that He would not go into death at all. He prayed that He'd be resurrected. How would you know that? Never in the world, from the English--only from the Greek language itself. Yet again, it illuminates what the writer wrote. Psalm 22:19-21 makes that same thing of Hebrews 5:7 clear.

Let's look at Philippians 1:5 very briefly here. It says, "Fellowship in the gospel." The word "fellowship" means joint participation of two or more people in a common activity. It is the Greek word "koinonia." Here, "Fellowship in the gospel," for which Paul is thanking the Philippians, uses the word "eis." He does not use the preposition "en" which also means "in." Again, "en" means "repose" (in something). "Eis" means going into something. Paul is thanking the Philippians for the fact that they were moving with him in the Christian missionary enterprise in which he was engaged. He was not thanking them for the good times they had in social fellowship when he was with them in Philippi. He is not thanking them for the fellowship "en" (in) the local church when they were studying the Word. He is thanking them for the movement that they have with him in the missionary enterprise. There are a missionary-minded church, and through their prayers and through their financing, they are going with him into (moving into) the work of missionary service.

In Acts 22:3, Paul says that he studied "At the feet of Gamaliel." The word for "at" that he uses is "para." He could have used "en," "pros," or "epi," all of which mean that. However, "para" means "beside." It is alongside of. Paul used that particular preposition because he was declaring thereby that he had a particular warmth and intimacy (a camaraderie) with his teacher Gamaliel. He wasn't just sitting there in his presence. He was alongside (beside) this man as a companion and friend. Matthew 2:13 uses this same preposition when Joseph is told to take the young child and His mother and flee into Egypt. This meant to take Him to your side and under your care.

Romans 5:20 is a very fascinating one. It says that "Grace did much more abound. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound, but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. The word "abound" in the Greek is "huperperisseuo." "Huperperisseuo" means to be over and above a certain measure; to be at hand in abundance; and, to be an affluence. This word means that the grace of God is in super abundance wherever sin and our need is to be found. It is more than we will ever need. This word is amplified by the addition of this preposition "huper." "Huper" is prefixed to this word "perisseuo." "Perisseuo" already means "abundance." However, "huperperisseuo" means "super abundance." God has a super abundance of grace.

The Christian is in the same relationships to the grace of God that this world is to the sun. There is the sun with all the super abundance of light and heat. We enter only into a fraction of it. However, it's all out there for our blessing and benefit. So with the Christian, God has a super grace life that He provides. This little Greek preposition clues us in to the fact that God not only provides enough grace for our needs, but He gives us grace beyond and above. However, you have to have capacity to appreciate that. There are some Christians who will never get to appreciation of the super grace of God because they have never developed enough maturity to have the capacity to enter into that. When the pentagon of your spiritual maturity structure is fully developed, you'll go on into your greatest days with the Lord. How do we know that? From this beautiful little Greek preposition added to this word. How are you going to get that from the English language? Never in a million years.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1973

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