Things Paul Wrote On: Peace

Paul used the term peace (eirḗnē) about forty-five times throughout the Letters he penned to the churches. (I used MOUNCE Reverse Interlinear.) As I studied eirḗnē and its meaning, it is clear that the concept of eirḗnē is entwined in the Father’s purpose and Jesus’ work on the cross.

Eirḗnē is a Greek/Roman concept that differs from the Hebrew/Christian idea of peace. Eirḗnē is the Greek goddess of peace. The Roman version is Pax. Paul was a Hebrew who had his writings penned in Greek. The idea of peace for Paul was shalom. In the Roman mind, peace occurred when the societies they conquered stopped resisting and accepted Rome. In Christian thought, peace is being whole or one with the Father. Yes, many times Christians use peace to be a mellow feeling or time span when no conflict is present. (See Jews For Jesus.) 

So, instead of being mellow or in a tension-free period, we need to be with the Father, at one with Him. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had oneness with God. He walked with them. I even see Him sitting with them by the River under the trees. Eve and then Adam replaced their relationship with knowledge. The Father wants you to be one with Him again. But the choice is in our hands, not His. The Father sent Jesus to restore the Way to Him and our fellowship. We need to go back and continue in the relationship.

Paul knew peace is accomplished by bringing things together. Ephesians 2:14 -17 and Colossians 1:20 deal with peace being achieved by The Blood of Jesus. If you replace peace with “one or whole” you will understand what I mean. The reason I used Mounce is I wanted eirḗnē to be my focus. Sometimes newer translations use peace as rest. Peaceable in Titus 3:2 is not eirḗnē. (Give translators some slack, our responsibility is to study and show ourselves approved.) Another variation is 1 Thessalonians 5:3 when Paul uses the Roman idea of peace with security. 

My study started when I read the words of Jesus in John 14:27 and 20:21. (I never knew peace meant wholeness or one.) When Jesus said “My peace I leave with you,” I wondered if peace could be more than a feeling. Now, I understand Jesus (my peace) will be one with me and not leave me. 

Shalom became part of my early studies. All the references showed shalom and being whole or together are part of peace. I confess shalom is such a big word I am unprepared to wrap my mind around all the ways God used it in the Old Testament. The word is used for safe, welfare, happiness, health, prosperity, and more.

It took a while, but I sorted the occasions when Paul wrote about peace (eirḗnē). I used seven groupings. They are: 

  1. peace used with apo or from- Romans 1:7 and the other greetings
  2. ho or ____of peace-2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace 
  3. pas-when peace is used with all or everything-Romans 12:18 
  4. peace and the word pros or with- Romans 5:1 we have peace with God
  5. combined with other traits or gifts-2 Timothy 2:22 pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace,
  6. other uses- Ephesians 6:15 feet covered with the gospel of peace 
  7. blood connections- Colossians 1:20 peace through His blood

My exercise may have been done differently, but these groupings served me well in my study.

Other Things I Saw:

  • Paul opened and closed Ephesians and 2 Thessalonians, with an offer of peace from God.
  • He added mercy in 1 and 2 Timothy, to the greeting of grace and peace from God. 
  • Romans 16:20-The God of peace will soon crush Satan. I thought that was funny, but we will be one (whole) when Satan is crushed.
  • 1 John is the only Letter with no mention of peace.

Paul wrote about peace because he understood the Father wants His children to be one with Him again. The Father sent Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice, so our sin is no longer a hindrance to our fellowship. We are one with Jesus because of His blood. We will be one bride for Jesus when he returns.

See: Things Paul Wrote On-Hope

I used Bible Gateway for this study and

https://www.preceptaustin.org/peace_eirene

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

https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/issues-v01-n10/what-is-shalom-the-true-meaning

https://biblehub.com/greek/1515.htm

Tychicus – The Dear Brother

Who Is Tychicus?  He is a friend/disciple of Paul the Apostle.  His name means fortunate (#5190 Strong’s).  In the NIV his name is mentioned five times – Acts 20:4, Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:12, and Titus 3:12.  He was from the province of Asia (Turkey).

What We Know He Did

  1. In Acts, he is accompanying Paul to Troas/to Jerusalem.  Gene Edwards has the men in this group as trainees being readied for ministry as Paul spends twenty-seven months in Ephesus.  
  2. In the Books of Ephesians and Colossians, he is a messenger for Paul.  He is praised by Paul as being a dear brother, a faithful servant/minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord.
  3. In the Books of Ephesians and Colossians, he is also serving Paul by informing the Churches with accurate information about Paul’s ministry.
  4. 2 Timothy has Tychicus again going to Ephesus because Paul sent him there for some reason.  I am guessing that this verse is why the book we identify as going to the Ephesus got that name. (My NIV has a footnote that says early copies of that letter did not have a destination point in verse one.)
  5. Paul in his letter to Titus names Tychicus as a possible replacement for Titus on the Isle of Crete. 

Some Good Guesses About Tychicus

In Acts 19 Paul arrives in Ephesus and stays twenty-seven months.  Since Tychicus is part of the group that leaves with Paul as he heads to Jerusalem, it would be safe to say that he was with Paul during some extraordinary times.  He may have even been part of the twelve men who were baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Tychicus would have seen Eutychus raise from the dead.  He may have gotten the Ephesian elders to go to the beach for Paul’s farewell.  And he would have heard the prophecies about Paul being mistreated in Jerusalem.  If I may continue, he may have helped with Paul’s needs while he was imprisoned in Caesarea.

Tychicus did not accompany Paul to Rome in Acts 27.  It is possible that the “Book of Ephesians” was sent at this time so Tychicus may have been on a journey of his own.  I do think he eventually was with Paul in Rome and worked for/with him there.

Why Question the Book of Ephesians?

It was the question of who Ephesians was written too that started this study of Tychicus.  Ephesians 1:15 makes little sense because Paul started the church there.  This verse sounds like Colossians 1:9 and Paul says he never met the Church at Colosse.  Ephesians 3:2 is another verse that makes little sense because the Church at Ephesus would have known this mystery that was given to Paul. 

At the end of the day, it really does not matter who it was written too.  I like the Book of Ephesians!  But throw in what happened to Paul’s letter to the Laodiceans (Colossians 4:16) and the mystery that covers Hebrews, it makes for some good “think time”.  

Reflection – Tychicus is an example of “the seed” hitting “good ground” and producing a crop of which we have benefited from.  He may have gone on to pastor several churches in Asia, but we really do not know.  He was a help to Paul and the Church of his time.

Things Paul Wrote About – One

One 

Poetically we know one as the “loneliest number”.  It is a concept we learn very early in life when we discover “me”. One can be a number or type of pronoun. Calculating with “one” is a major part of math that is done in science class.  In the New Testament “one” stands in contrast to “many” the example here is “one Lord”.  In Greek it is used with other words to be “everyone” or “one another”.  Greek has three different words that are used for one – heis, mia, hen; these are male, female, and neutral forms of the word.

When Many are One

Ephesians 5:31 uses marriage to stress the point of “many can be one”.  This verse on marriage was first stated in Genesis 2:24. Paul, however, expands this idea to cover the Body of Christ in numerous places: Romans 9:25, 1 Corinthians 10:17; 12:12,13,14-27; Galatians 3:28; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 2:14.  To show the importance of one Paul uses the concept of marriage again but he does this with a negative – why not to visit a prostitute – 1 Corinthians 6: 15 – 17.

This whole line of thought may seem to contradict my earlier statement about one not being many!  It is just the opposite, it shows us how we are to act within the Body of Christ. Jesus is coming for “A” bride.  One bride! 

Now, we are made of many parts but that does not mean we should not be one.  Jesus being (your) Lord is more important than slight variations in personal or church doctrine.  

Things That are One

Yes, Paul does talk of many things that are “one” but if you really look at what he says it will beat up many of the things Christians chose to fight about. In Acts and his letters Paul spends time addressing divisions in the Body.  He condemns false teachings and teachers and corrects Peter and Barnabas about separating themselves from other believers.  (Using Bible Gateway can make a hunt for these very easy.)  Here are some of the things that Paul declares and teaches are one (not many): God, Father, Spirit, Lord, gospel, faith, baptism. Many of those “ones” are in Ephesians 4. In Ephesians 6:16 Paul reduces warfare and who we are to be fighting very nicely to the “evil one”.

One Another

This phrase is complicated!  My Strong’s concordance puts the words “one” and “another” into the dreaded appendix section, while the Goodrick and Kohlenberger concordance (Zondervan NIV Concordance) does list them individually for better referencing.  It also has a reference tool so you can find the words meaning in the Strong’s.  This helped, but that shows there are three main words for “another”:  Allelon which comes from allosand heteros.  Allos and allelon should/could be understood as “another of the same sort” while heterosis “another of a different sort”.

I will use 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11 (NIV) as an example.  I am adding the bold and alternate words.

Now to each one  the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

To one (hos) there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom,

to another (same sort)a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,

 to another (different sort) faith by the same Spirit, 

to another (same sort)gifts of healing by that one (heis) Spirit, 

10 to another (same sort)miraculous powers, 

to another (same sort)prophecy, 

to another (same sort)distinguishing between spirits, 

to another (different sort)speaking in different kinds of tongues,

and to still another (same sort)the interpretation of tongues.

11 All these are the work of one(heis) and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Hos is a “female” word for who, etc.  The “one” in vs.7 and the second “one” in vs. 11 are added for better reading in the NIV. 

Reflection: Doing this is challenging some thoughts on the Gifts of the Spirit.

Things Paul Wrote On: Hope

Paul writes often about “the hope” that is part of the Gospel message.  His best-known reference is in 1 Corinthians 13 (Faith, Hope, Love) but Romans and 2 Corinthians certainly have many references to this Hope.  This theme is not new with Paul or the New Testament so for further study see Hope and LORD God and the links at the bottom of the page.

Hope is not used in OT until Judges/Ruth (so there is no “hope” in the Law) and is not used in Revelations (Hope is being fulfilled). The word hope is used the most in Psalms and Romans.  1679/1680 (elpizo/elpis) is used sparingly in the Gospels (mostly by Luke) and most of these refer to the future or the past, from their perspective.  The KJV translates 1679 as trust, which is also used sparingly in the Gospels. (Since you could see Jesus you did not need hope.)

The use of the word is easily separated into two categories:  the “hope” of the Gospel and non-gospel “hopes”.  Below are several of the Gospel “hopes”.

*Romans 8:23-25  23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

*Romans 12:12 be joyful in hope

*Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with joy

*Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called (all scripture are from the NIV)

*Colossians 1:5, 23, 27

*1 Thessalonians 1:3; 5:8

*1 Timothy 1:1; 4:10

*Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7

Does hope have a measure?   Faith and love can be given “quantities” like: “great faith”, or as a “mustard seed”, or “greater” love hath no man.  Hope does have descriptors and is used as a descriptor of Jesus: 2 Thessalonians 2:16 – good hope;1 Timothy 1:1 Jesus Christ our hope; Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7 hope of eternal life, blessed hope; 1 Peter 1:3 living hope.  If you have not quit you have some measure of hope, however little.  Maybe, that is why Paul will use terms like patience and endurance with the concept of hope.

(You will need your Bible for this!).

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 3:7 through the end of chapter 4, uses hope to bring together several concepts.  In verse 3:12 he talks about hope making him bold.  This refers to 3:7-11 and the “ministry that brings righteous” and how glorious this should be in comparison to the old covenant.  In 4:1 he again refers to this ministry and how he does not “lose heart”. (He repeats this term in 4:16.)  4:8-10 is showing what has happened to him and basically, he did not lose “hope” because of these problems.  He did not let them overwhelm him because he wanted Jesus.  That list includes many indicators of someone who is losing/lost hope. Because Paul worked through them he developed endurance.  Finally, in verse 4:18 he brings up the “unseen” part of hope by not losing heart (verse 16). May I suggest using Bible Gateway and use the search terms “lose hope” and “grow weary” to add to this study.

Thoughts: If you have a vision of what you are to be doing in the kingdom you have hope.

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/hope

https://bible.org/article/hope

Things Paul Wrote About – 1 Corinthians 12

Chapter 12 starts a three-chapter discussion of gifts.  The “Love Chapter” is sandwiched between gifts and offices and an explanation of prophecy and tongues.  Verses 1-3 have puzzled me in this study, it is amazing how you can read something and not think about it.  Paul clearly states why he is writing this section, “so we are not ignorant of spiritual gifts”.  He then discusses idols and what the Spirit will and won’t do.  I realized verse 2 and 3 are there because people claiming to have gifts from the Spirit were trying to make much of idols and cursing Jesus while claiming they have a spiritual gift.  They could have also been giving credit to an idol while claiming it was from God.  The test of Spiritual things is very simple – can/will/do the people proclaim Jesus as Lord! Some will not be able to say the words, others will not live the words.

Verses 4 – 6 seem to be an outline for what is coming and gives you a clear look at what the Spirit, Jesus, and Father God do for the Church.  The repeating of the word “same” might alert us to what those people in 2 +3 were doing and saying.

We like to make list and when we make those lists it seems that the reason for making the list is the first thing on it.  If we take time to edit our list how does the order change?  Do we go most important to least important or the other way around?  It always seems to me that Christians tend to take the first thing in Paul’s list as the most important and then diminish everything after that as less important. (See Things Paul Wrote About).  Since I have done that also I can’t/won’t “throw rocks”.  But, verses 12 – 26, the part done by the Lord Jesus should give us a different perspective.  One part of the body is not more important than another, all are parts of the Body.  (We should honor those who labor among us and verse 28 does show an order when God choose workers.  But does that make them more important?)  So, when verse 29 + 30 ask “are all” it is possible in response to “people choosing” what they “wanted to be” so they could be more important. Those offices will show themselves from “doing” the work, not from self-proclamation.

Why Did I?

  1. The reason I put Jesus with the Body part (v.12-26) which is labeled “service” is our service is to the Body.
  2. I called chapters 12 -14 a unit of thought because of chapter 12 starting with “Now”. Even though there are other “now’s” before chapter 15, at fifteen the thought changes and Paul reminds them of the Gospel he preached to them.

For other references to gifts see (Passover to Pentecost – Gifts from the Spirit) and Isaiah 11:1.