A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The New Testament Word/Phrase of the Week

The New Testament bible scholar, Dr. Tom Wright, has produced a glossary of New Testament words/phrases that is really helpful for the study of scripture. What I like most about his definition of New Testament words is that he helps us to know what a Jewish person from the 1st century would have understood these words/phrases to mean. Too often, we allow our 21st century world view to get in the way of the original meaning.

Here is the New Testament word/phrase of the week: Miracles

Like some of the old prophets, notably Elijah and Elisha, Jesus performed many deeds of remarkable power, particularly healings. The gospels refer to these as "deeds of power," "signs," "marvels" or "paradoxes." Our word, "miracle," tends to imply that God, normally "outside" the closed system of the world, sometimes "intervenes;" miracles have then frequently been denied as a matter of principle. However, in the Bible God is always present, however strangely, and "deeds of power" are seen as special acts of a present God rather than as intrusive acts of an absent one. Jesus' own "mighty works" are seen particularly, following prophecy, as evidence of his messiahship (e.g. Matthew 11:2-6.)


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