Fighting Words

This post about fighting words is a spinning-off of the post War and Rumors. This is not a complete study of fighting words. These Greek words have different English words they are translated into like strife, quarrel, boxing, and others. I used the NIV, Mounce Reverse-Interlinear, Strong’s Concordance, and the KJV to do this study.

Logomachia-G3055-1 Timothy 6:3-5. Fighting about words. It is used only once in the Bible.

Agōnizomai-G75-John 18:36 and 1Timothy 6:12 (the first word). This refers to a person fighting in public.

Agōn-G73-1Timothy 6:12 (Second word), 2 Timothy 4:7. This refers to where the fight is occurring, like a stadium.

Machomai-G3164-James 4:2. To fight, quarrel, contend or dispute. It is used in Acts 7:26 and other verses.

Polemeō-G4170-James 4:2 and Revelation 2:16. To quarrel, fight, battle, or make war.

Pykteuō-G4438-1 Corinthians 9:26. To box, fight, or beat with your fist. The object of this is beating (derō) the air.

Strateia-G4752-2 Corinthians 10:4. Military service or campaign. This word is also in 1 Timothy 1:18. In most translations, it has two “war or fight” words, but in the Mounce Interlinear, it only has one. It could be read-look at the prophecies about you and have a good campaign. I do not envy translators.

Theomachos-G2314-Acts 5:39. Fighting or opposing God. Theomachos is used only once in the Bible.

James 4:1 also has words that describe fighting/quarreling and disputes. It is polemos-G4171. Again, different translations will give you different words. This word is also used for battle or war.

Linguistics (study of words) is not a simple academic field. Combine that with dogma and you have a difficult task, to say the least. Latin, Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew may still be in use in one form or another, but I feel we do not understand how the original people used these words and phrases. My case-in-point is all of the musical terms and not-understood lines in the Hebrew text. If you really want to feel bad, wade into the tenses and break down of the ancient Greek text. Yes, these may be necessary but they are not for everyone.

I believe there is a good understanding and many faithful renderings of Scripture. It is distressing to see a modern Logomachia over Scripture. My prayer is that we do not extend this into a Theomachos over His plan and purpose for His Church. (They may have been used once in the New Testament but letters today would repeat them many times.)

As I pondered all of this, a strange comparison came into view. The original language that the New Testament was written in was Greek, not Latin. But it did not take long to convert Scripture and most religious writings into Latin. Greek was more for the common people and Latin was for knowledgeable people. Latin was favored by the learned- science, theology, and other subjects taught in universities. For what it is worth, the greatest thing the Reformers did was to translate the Bible out of a dying language to one that the people could understand.

The comparison and contrast I saw were the two trees in the Garden-one was for Knowledge and the other was for Life. Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom, with miracles confirming His words, were new treasures given to bring life to hurting people. This is why the Pharisees and Sadducees opposed Him, Jesus’ teachings clarified and used Scripture in a way that went against their knowledge. (Of course, claiming to be the Son of Man also got under their knowledge-skin and dogma.)

The modern fighting over words is now with liberal, woke, post-modernist who are changing the God-given uses of words into something different, something anti-God.  

Holy Spirit

For Pentecost 2022, I was looking at the term (logos) Holy Spirit and found this interesting fact. Out of the New Testament writers, Doctor Luke uses Holy Spirit the most. (These are approximate numbers because translations are different.) Holy Spirit is used 100 times in the New Testament, 55 of those are used by Luke. The Greek doctor, who traveled with Paul and spent time with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and John, mentioned the Holy Spirit more than all the other writers combined. In his Gospel, it appears 13 times, with the rest (42 or 43) being in Acts. Luke wrote these letters to Theophilus (friend of God).

Other Tidbits

  • Ruach HaKodesh or HaKo’desh is Hebrew for Holy Spirit. Ruach is breath, wind, or spirit.
  • Hagios Pneuma is Greek for Holy Spirit. Pneuma is breath, wind, or spirit.
  • If you look in the KJV, use the term Holy Ghost instead of Holy Spirit.

The Sermons on the Mounts-War and Rumors

In Matthew 24 Jesus has finished His sermons on the Temple Mount, for the leaders and the crowds, and is going to the Mount of Olives. The disciples comment about the stones of the Second Temple, built by Herod, and Jesus predicts they are coming down. (Rome accomplished this in 70 A.D.) Back on the Mount of Olives, the disciples ask when the end will come, this is the start of several lessons about the end times and the kingdom of God. Jesus, in Matthew 24:6, uses the phrase, “wars and rumors of war”. Mark 13:7 and Luke 21:9 also are references, Luke has the term revolutions.

War or Battle

We do not tend to think of these as the same thing, but in the Greek (Strong’s 4171) they are the same word or from the same root word-polemos. There are a few times polemos is translated as the word fight. The occurrence of this word/idea is rare in the Gospels but not in the Epistles. (Mounce Reverse Interlinear NT) The above verses account for most times it is translated as war with Luke 14:31 being the other time, it talks about a king planning a war.

I find it interesting that Paul and the other Epistle writers talk about war, battles, and fighting more than Jesus did.

Rumor

Akoe (Strong’s G 189) is the Greek word for a rumor. This is a root for many words that deal with hearing or reports.

In studying the idea of rumors, I found two Old Testament verses that cover rumors very well. These are from the NIV.

Jeremiah 51:46 tells us to not lose heart because a new rumor shows up every year.

Ezekiel 7:26-Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor.

The major difference between then and now is these reports can appear in minutes instead of months.

Fight

To introduce the difference between fight and battle and not talk a little about it now, did not seem right. In the New Testament, several words (5 to 8) are translated as the word fight. They indicate levels of conflict and possible places. One is strictly about fighting over words.

On the Mounts

 For those that want to think Jesus just walked about saying love, love; I will point to these sermons before His death. These interactions should be classified as fighting and the whole morning in the Temple as battle after battle, or a war.

The types and shadows of these days started with Abraham leading Isaac to the mount to be sacrificed, Joshua’s journey into the Promised Land, David’s return after the death of Absalom, and Elisha’s trip to Mt Carmel.

Jesus cleansed the Temple and ended the curse of fig leaf acts started by Adam and Eve. He silenced the religious leaders and prophesied the end of the Second Temple. Jesus’ sorties from the east bank included raising a dead man, healing blind eyes, and bringing a sinner back to the Father. He cried over Jerusalem and announced His death, then still did a victory ride into the city to fulfill the words of Zechariah 9:9.

Yes, there have been wars and reports of wars, how could we expect anything else. Come, Lord Jesus!

Many or Polys

Greek Interlinear Bibles can be the start of grand studies, like this one about many or polys. This study started in John 15:5 with us bearing much fruit and then went to Matthew 24 or Holy Tuesday when Jesus was teaching on the Mount of Olives. (Now, if you are a Greek scholar, please bear with me, I am not.) Polys and its various forms can be translated-many, much, great, loud, and various other words that speak to these ideas. Poly in science class was always many of something, so I am stuck on that. In John, I like the sound of many fruits, not just one type or a lot of just one thing. The Strong’s number is G4118 and several others. Matthew 2:18 is another verse that could be affected. Ramah’s voice weeping with many mourning (people) and a lot of it is probably what happened.

Matthew 21—25 is currently catching my attention because of the Sermons on the Two Mounts. Seven polys in Chapter 24 are a lot, and it led to a verse in John that I found interesting. His disciples asked Jesus about His second coming, so this is one of the several pure-teachings (non-parables) He gave that day. The references below are KJV, I added the Bold effect. I used Bible Gateway.

Matthew 24

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

(If these verses and that teaching upset you, may I suggest you learn about Jesus and the work He did on the cross. Fear and doubt are not from Jesus. Producing much fruit will help also.)

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

All of this led to John 6:66-From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. The back story of that verse is important. Jesus had fed the 5,000 and the people liked the free meal ticket. In verses 57 and 58, Jesus said He was the heavenly mana, and that people needed to be eating His flesh and living forever. Cannibalism is not okay and I am sure the crowd went with that thought first. Another level of stumbling occurred because Jesus implied that His work was greater than what Moses had done. One more level is that Jesus claimed to be from heaven and that He could supply life everlasting.

Personally, I loved the 666 of the reference and how it perfectly matched with the end-time message in Matthew 24. God has a sense of humor!

Many thoughts or few, I found polys an exciting study. 

Logos-Seek

A look into the word “seek” is well worth the time. As with many words, seek changes in the number of times it is used and how it is rendered, depending on the translation you use. KJV has it almost 300 times, while the NIV has it about 150 times. Part of this study is to look at the word seek in the Greek-zeteo and its variation-epizeteo. I will reference Luke 12:30-31; Matthew 6:32-33 is the favored verse because it has “and His righteousness” in it. The biggest reason for using Luke is that it has the word seek in both verses. (Free thought-righteousness in Matthew is almost redundant because the only way to seek His kingdom includes looking for His righteousness. It is not a separate thing that stands out by itself or something separate.) Luke 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)

The first seek, associated with the world and pagans, is epizeteo. The prefix “epi” adds a lot to the meaning of zeteo. Epizeteo occurs thirteen times in the New Testament according to Mounce and is Strong’s # G1934. (PLEASE, do not look at just one reference source or dictionary for a meaning of a word.) A very general idea is that by adding “epi” it becomes intensified and is at an extreme level of seeking or wanting something. Matthew uses epizeteo two more times-12:39 and 16:4. Both refer to a wicked and adulterous generation that wants miraculous signs and all they will get is the sign of Jonah. (May I suggest you look at all the times epizeteo is used in the Gospels and the Epistles.) First, “the sign of Jonah” may not have been understood by those listening. We get it because the story has been narrowed down to the part where he was in the whale and “dead”. Second, the need for miracles on demand is and was a problem. Jesus used miracles to show that He had the power/authority of God working in Him so that they would seek God and His kingdom, not just the miracle. The Jews, by the first century, had developed a list of things the Messiah would have to do to be the Messiah. John in his Gospel speaks about the miracles. We have stressed seven, but there are more written in that book than just seven. We may need to see miracles, but God loves righteousness and wants us to enter His kingdom with a changed heart and life.

The second verse tells us to seek the kingdom of God, that seek is zeteo, it is Strong’s # G2212. So, why not switch the two words? The writer used epizeteo in Hebrews 11:14 and 13:14 when it talks about looking for the land and city of our own. I feel the important word in the second verse is “first” (proton) and not just the seek This word “first” is in Matthew 6:33. If we will first seek God because He wants a relationship with us and has given us Jesus on the cross, His blood that covers us, and grace for everything (pas) else; we may not care about going crazy for what the world has to run after.

In the First Covenant (Old Testament) God starts in Deuteronomy and goes to Malachi telling us to seek Him, that He loves it when we do, that we will be found by Him. One verse, however, stood out-Malachi 2:15. This speaks about what God seeks after-Godly offspring. That explains the attacks of the woke and ungodly against children in the womb and at such early ages of four and five years old.

https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/epizeteo

https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/zeteo