The Word Dispensation

There are three words in the Greek New Testament that represent some concept associated with dispensation. There is the noun that represents the person who has the responsibility for the management of something. It is translated as steward, chamberlain and governor in the KJV. The noun that represents the responsibility is translated dispensation and stewardship. The verb that indicates the act of carrying out the responsibility is only used once and is translated with the word steward. I am grateful for the work done by Daniel J. Fabricatore on this subject. It is titled “A Lexical and Exegetical Examination of oikonomia.” It confirmed my own thoughts on this. He may not agree with some of the conclusions I have come to. The word family of oikonom/ia/os/ew does not tell us what the responsibility is. Only the context can tell us that. The conclusion I have reached is this word family, in and of itself, has nothing to do with dispensationalism or the theology associated with it. Again, it is the context that will tell us. I look forward to comments on this.

Published in: on February 12, 2021 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fulfil the Word of God

Colossians 1:25-26

Whereof I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you to fulfil the Word of God, even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations but now is made manifest to his saints

What does Paul mean in the statement “to fulfil the Word of God?” Notice the next word in italics. “Even” is added for clarity. The translators understood the grammatical concept of apposition. This indicates another word or phrase used to further define or restate a previous statement. Verse 26 says “even the mystery.” The Word of God in this passage is equivalent to the mystery. The word “word” is used very broadly. In Colossians 1:5 Paul uses it to refer to the message of the truth, the gospel. In the context of Colossians 1:25, Paul is not referring to the whole Bible nor to the New Testament. He is referring to the message he received from God, the mystery.

So what does Paul mean by fulfilling the message? The word translated “fulfill” is used to indicate something completed or accomplished. For example, it is used to indicate the fulfillment of prophecy. Christ was born of a virgin. That event filled up or accomplished what was spoken through the prophet(Matthew 1:22-23). The translators of the King James Version, on occasion, added footnotes. They had been instructed not to add notes unless they were needed to clarify the Hebrew or Greek. In the Colossians passage, they added a reference to Romans 15:19. In that verse the word for “fulfill” is translated “fully preached.” I believe that is the emphasis in Colossians 1:25. Paul had a responsibility given to him for the benefit of the saints to fully proclaim that message he had received from God. That message was the mystery.

Published in: on January 28, 2021 at 6:43 am  Leave a Comment