Eirene (peace) seems to be derived from the verb eiro, which means to join or to speak or to converse with someone. So, in its basic meaning, peace describes a state in which people are joined together rather than being alienated from each other; they are on friendly, speaking terms with each other. Eirene is a most common word in the New Testament. It appears in every book except 1 John. Moreover, it has a variety of usages. It may refer to: (1) safety and security (freedom from danger—In Luke 19:42, Jesus speaks concerning Jerusalem and the peace which it had in that day, but warns that it will end); (2) harmony between nations, or the lack of war (Rev. 6:4, the rider of the red horse was given power to take peace from the earth); (3) harmony between individuals (Matt. 10:34 contrasts peace with the strife that will come because of the gospel); and (4) order, which is the opposite of confusion, either in the state (Acts 24:2) or in the church (1 Cor. 14:33).
(5) In addition, Eirene is commonly used as a greeting which corresponds to the Hebrew word shalom (peace be unto you), also as a blessing such as: “go in peace” (1 Cor. 16:11). (6) However, the greatest use of the word is to represent the rest and contentment one has as a result of a harmonious relationship with God, which is the result of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36, Rom. 5:1). In the Hebrew mind, peace is sometimes equated with salvation. The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) translates the phrase for “peace offering” (Lev. 3:1) as “salvation-offering.” One of the titles for God in the New Testament is the “God of peace” (Rom. 15:33, Phil. 4:9), which means that our God is One who brings salvation, order, harmony, and security to our lives.
In Philippians 1:3-4, two words are used to describe different types of prayer: eucharisteo (I give thanks) and deesis (prayer, request). Deesis, which is used twice in verse 4, usually refers to requests made by men to God (James 5:16, Acts 1:14), although it also may be directed to men. More specifically, it is an entreaty or a supplication to God for some matter of personal need; it is a prayer for particular benefits (Phil. 1:19, Luke 1:13). Therefore, in Ephesians 6:18, where deesis is used, we are encouraged to pray for specific needs: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication [deesis] in the Spirit.”
Eucharisteo, on the other hand, means: (1) to feel grateful or thankful (Rom. 16:4); (2) to give thanks for something (1 Thess. 2:13), or (3) to consecrate a thing by giving thanks for it (Justin Apology 1 65-66). Its most frequent use is to denote a prayer of thanksgiving to God (Phil. 4:6), and as such it is essentially a word of praise, for we praise God by the “grateful acknowledgement of past mercies.” It will exist in Heaven (Rev. 4:9, 7:12) in a fuller manner, “for only there will the redeemed know how much they owe to their Lord; and this it will do, while all other forms of prayer, in the very nature of things, will have ceased in the entire possession and present fruition of the things prayed for” (Trench).
Two additional words for prayer are used in conjunction with the two already mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:1. Paul exhorts Timothy not only to give thanks, but he includes prayer (proseuche) and petition (enteuxis) for all men as well. Proseuche denotes prayer in general and is a word that is “restricted to sacred uses; it is always prayer to God” (Trench).
Exteuxis, on the other hand, is a much more specific word, although in its only other appearance in the New Testament it is also translated by the same general word that proseuche is: “prayer” (1 Tim. 4:5). It does not mean intercession in relation to others in the present sense of the word. A different picture is at the heart of it. The verb form (eutugchanein) originally represented the idea of meeting a person and getting close to him in order to converse and even to have intimate fellowship with that person. This idea is bound up in enteuxis.
Barclay cites the story of Thaues and Taous, who served at the Temple of Serapis in Memphis, Egypt. When Ptolemy Philometer and Cleopatra visited the Temple, they seized the opportunity to present the king a petition (enteuxis) for justice. It is the word for a petition to the king. Its fundamental idea includes freedom of access to present such a petition. The Christian believer has the privilege of access to present his petitions to the King of kings. Let us not forget that “prayer is nothing less than entering into the presence of the Almighty and receiving the resources of the eternal” (Barclay).
[styled_title]Leave and Cleave [/styled_title]
In answer to the question of the Pharisees concerning divorce, Jesus replied, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and the two shall be one flesh” (Matt. 19:5). The two key words describing a man’s action in getting married are the verbs “leave” (kataleipo) and “cleave” (kollao).
In relation to his parents, he is to “leave.” This particular word for leave is formed by the combination of leipo (leave) and kata (down) and means to “leave behind.” With the preposition added, leipo is more emphatic in meaning. In Greek literature it often referred to leaving someone behind, especially in reference to “persons dying or going to a far country” (Liddell and Scott). Sometimes it has the even more intense meaning of “to forsake or abandon,” such as the case of having to leave someone behind on the battlefield (Homer, Iliad 12.226).
The other pivotal word in this quotation is kollao (cleave). Generally, the term means “to unite,” or “join fast together.” More specifically, in Greek literature it meant to glue or cement the things together (Plato, Timaeus 75D, 82D). In reference to metal it meant to join one metal to another, or weld them together (Liddell and Scott).
In the New Testament, kollao is used in several different contexts. It refers to: (1) the dust that sticks to one’s feet as one travels through a place (Luke 10:11); (2) an illicit sexual union with a harlot (1 Cor. 6:16-17); (3) giving one’s self steadfastly to that which is good (Rom. 12:9); and (4) the Prodigal attaching himself to a master or patron (Luke 15:15). However, (5) kollao is most often used to describe a close relationship, to keep company with a person and be on his side.
Peter uses kollao when he speaks to Cornelius, “You know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation” (Acts 10:28; see also Acts 5:13,36; 8:29; 9:26; and 17:34).
To “leave father and mother” does not mean to abandon them totally and never return, but it does imply forsaking that relationship as one’s primary earthly relationship and cleaving to one’s wife. It signifies a clear-cut break with the past. To “cleave” means to be inseparably joined or welded together into one.
The marriage relationship now becomes the most vital earthly relationship. In addition, it implies that the two will now “keep company” together permanently and be on each other’s side in whatever conflicts they may face.
[styled_title]The Bishop [/styled_title]
The episcopos (bishop or overseer) in the Greek Old Testament is almost always an official who was in charge of work being done, such as repairs on the Temple (2 Kings 11:18) or the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh. 11:9). Occasionally it refers to an officer in the army (Judges 9:28).
Among the Greeks, episcopos was an official title. It could signify a commissioner appointed to regulate a new colony or an inspector who reported to the king. Antiochus Epiphanes, in an attempt to stop the worship of Jehovah God, appointed commissioners (overseers) to see that his orders were obeyed (1 Maccabees 1:51). The fundamental idea of the word is inspection, and “its usage suggests two subsidiary notions also: (1) Responsibility to a superior power; (2) The introduction of a new order of things” (J. B. Lightfoot).
In the New Testament “it is almost universally admitted to be synonymous with presbuteros” or elder (H. A. A. Kennedy). Examples of the interchanging of these terms is found in Titus 1:5-7; 1 Timothy 3:2-5 and 5:17-19; and Acts 20:17,28. In the final passage mentioned, Acts 20:28, Luke addresses the elders of the church at Ephesus and calls them “overseers” (bishops) of the flock. In addition, he tells these “elderbishops” that they are to “pastor” the church of God, thus indicating that the terms pastor, elder, and bishop all signify the same office.
In conclusion, the episcopos is a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done correctly. Spiritually, he is a guardian of souls—one who watches over their welfare (1 Pet. 2:25).