Friday, May 18, 2012

Peace Be With You

Forgive me for departing from my study of Luke for awhile. I will return to it someday, but for now, I need to share what is on my heart today.  The subject is Peace.  This entry, is a starting place for me.  I want more peace in my life.  I want to experience the peace that Jesus left us.  I want to learn more about what the Bible says about this precious and timely gift.  To that end, I'm starting a study on peace, where it occurs in the Bible, and what are the original words and their meanings.  I believe that this will be an enriching study for me and if you'd care to join me, you might get something out of it too.

peace /pēs/
Noun. Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
Exclamation. Used as a greeting
Synonyms: quiet. calm. tranquility. stillness.

I went to BibleGateway to search for peace.  It appears in the Bible 294 times.  I did not know that it was mentioned so many times in the Bible.  If it appears that many times, it must be important.  What do we know about peace?

When I think about peace, the first thing that comes to mind is war.  War and Peace, like that gigantic book by Leo Tolstoy.  War is when people are fighting over something.  Peace is the opposite of War right?  There are times of war and times of peace.  If that's all peace is, why would it be mentioned in the Bible so many times?  As I think more about peace and its appearances in the Bible, a thought comes to mind: the Bible was not originally written in English.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew.  So, what are the Hebrew words that are translated as peace?  The New Testament is written in Aramaic and Greek.  What Aramaic and Greek words do we translate as peace? Are there other powerful, descriptive, or more rich translations of these words?

Maybe you think there is only one possible meaning for peace, but take a look at the English definition of peace.  It alone has several meanings and contexts for peace.  So, why wouldn't the Hebrew and Greek words for peace have other meanings?  They do.

"And thou shalt go to thy fathers in
peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age."
- Gen 15:15
In this verse, the Hebrew word is
 שָׁלוֹם.  If you're not up on your Hebrew, the transliteration is "shalom." It has the following meanings and contexts:
  1. completeness (in number)
  2. safety, soundness (in body)
  3. welfare, health, prosperity
  4. peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment
  5. peace, friendship
    1. of human relationships
    2. with God especially in covenant relationship
  6. peace (from war)
  7. peace (as an adjective)

"...And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- 1 Thes 5:23

The Greek word is εἰρήνη. If you're not up on your Greek, the transliteration eirēnē  (pronounced ā-rā'-nā).
It has the following meanings and contexts:
  1. a state of national tranquility
    1. exemption from the rage and havoc of war
  2. peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
  3. security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
  4. of the Messiah's peace
    1. the way that leads to peace (salvation)
  5. of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
  6. the blessed state of devout and upright men after death
Do you see how many different things peace can mean?
Do you see how good each of these different meanings is?

For your relationships. For your life. For your body. For your soul. For everything that you are going through. For what you are facing today. For what you will face tomorrow. For your finances. For your children.  For their children. For you.

Tranquility. Harmony. Blessed Assurance. Safety. Completeness.

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."
- 1 Thes. 5:23-24 -

No comments:

Post a Comment