I'm doing a word study on "exalt." It dawned on me today during the worship part of church while I was singing "I exalt thee," that other than "to lift up" I didn't know what it meant to exalt. I mostly get "to life up," but it's not quite concrete enough for me. So, I decided that, if I was going to spend my life exalting God and not exalting myself, then I'd better understand what exalt means.
what do you think the bible means when it says "to the pure, everything is pure..."? thanks!
I’m really glad you asked this, because knowing how to find out a Bible verse’s meaning is an important skill.
(Warning: I’m about to geek out on you.)
The best place to start is by looking at the book the passage comes from. The verse you’re asking about is Titus 1:15, so we’ll look at Titus. There are several questions to ask here:
- Who’s the author?
- Who’s the audience?
- What’s the author’s reason for writing?
For Titus the answers are:
- Paul is the Author - He was once a religious superstar of Judaism who violently persecuted Christ’s followers. But after meeting Jesus, Paul became a Christian himself and took the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews).
- Titus and his churches are the audience - After traveling with Paul, Titus stayed on the island of Crete to guide the new Gentile Christian churches there.
- False teachers are Paul’s reason for writing - The churches on Crete were infiltrated by impostors teaching the false idea that Christians needed to observe Jewish religious regulations (usually about being kosher) if they were to be “pure” and in God’s favor.
So far, we can assume that Titus 1:15 is about religious/Jewish purity vs. true/Christian purity.
Next you can look at where the verse itself sits on the page. What’s written before it? What’s written after it? And how does it make sense in that context?
After greeting Titus, Paul gives him the qualifications for a leader in the church (false teachers won’t measure up.) Then he tells Titus to correct the false teachings that have been spread: “Pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth.”
Then comes Titus 1:15: “To the pure, all things are pure.”
Next come the words “But to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Paul then explains how to be humble, respectful and loving (as opposed to pious, legalistic and judgmental). And wraps up by saying, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people … to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
So the purity that Paul is teaching is a purity based, not on our own efforts to keep ourselves pure, but on God’s grace to make us pure through Jesus.
So now we’ve got the general context. But that line, “To the pure all things are pure” is still a little cryptic. So you might want to dig even deeper and do a word study. A great place to do this is biblios.com:
Type in the verse you want to study and press enter. A chart will show up giving you the original greek words Paul wrote when he put pen to parchment:
The word “pure” is translated from the Greek word “kathara.”
If you click the Strong’s reference number (2513), you’ll be taken to a definition of the word.
In this case, kathara means “clean, pure, unstained, either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright.”
Or if you click kathara itself, you’ll be taken to a list of all the other Biblical passages that use that word:
Read those other passages and get an idea for how this word is used, because that’s probably how Paul is using it as well.
Matthew 27:59 uses Kathara to mean “physically clean”, and Romans 14:20 uses it to mean “ceremonially clean”. But Luke 11:41, 1 Timothy 3:9 and 2 Timothy 1:3 use it to mean “innocent” or “spiritually clean.”
Given the context and this word study, I think we can paraphrase Paul’s meaning:
“Those who have been made spiritually innocent through Jesus’ grace don’t need to worry about physical/ceremonial cleanliness anymore.”
The last step is the most important: Make sure your interpretation agrees with the gospel.
In this case, the idea that outward, ceremonial cleanliness no longer applies to those in Christ agrees with what Jesus said in Matthew 15:11: “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them.”
And the idea that our purity comes through Jesus by grace agrees with what John wrote in 1 John 1:7: “The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
So I think we’re good here. As Christians, everything we are come through Jesus - never from ourselves.
So to answer your question, I think Titus 1:15 is saying: Those who have been made spiritually innocent through Jesus’ grace don’t need to worry about physical/ceremonial cleanliness anymore.
But I didn’t want to just tell you that without showing you how I got there - and how you can get there on your own next time.
I’m sorry this was so long, but I hope it was helpful to you.
Peace, love and Jesus,
Word Study Background
I felt that this article was helpful to get a background on Word Study.
So, on my checklist of word study stuff:
- I know the purpose of it.
- I know how to assess students.
What I don’t have:
Word Study Musings
I’d love to incorporate meaningful word study into my classroom curriculum. I have an idea of how to do it too: some fun practice with white boards paired with some type of ditto activity.
Here are some of the questions dancing around in my head:
- How can I assess what my students need to study for word study?
- How can I see which types of words my students are having trouble with?
- Once I see the type of word my student has trouble with, what are other words like that word?
- How can I identify which part of the word is the problem?
- What type of activities could help those students?
Just your typical word study lesson about the prefix mono
- Me: But no one mentioned my favorite word that has mono as a prefix!!!!
- Class: ....
- Student A: What is it?
- Me: Monorail!!!!!
- Class: ............
- Student B: What's a monorail?
- Me: Are you kidding me??!!!!? The monorail at Disney World that takes you to the Magic Kingdom!!!! It's a train that runs on one track!!!!!
- Class: ......
- Student B: You are like a child...
- Me: I KNOW! It's great isn't it?!!? Disney does that to me...
I added a new station to guided reading: word study! I’ve been using the white boards donated by an awesome Tumblrite from my wish list, and the kids LOVE it! They come in so focused and excited to write on them. It just reminds me that it’s good to switch things up from time to time and show something new. Pictures coming soon…
Word Study: Currently
You should only use this word in very rare cases.
Here is an example of an unnecessary usage of the word:
“I am currently watching television.”
“I am” indicates present tense, so “currently” is unnecessary and redundant. I assume that if you are doing something in the present tense, you are doing it currently.
If someone asks you if you are watching television, you can answer appropriately by stating “currently,” although you might sound snobbish.
A good example of another misuse of this word comes from an obituary I edited when I worked at the Times-Gazette. The obit stated something along the lines of “Mr. Davis was currently working in auto repair at the time of his death” (Severe paraphrase).
First of all, Mr. Davis is deceased, so he was not “currently” working anywhere. But also, “was currently” is inappropriate in most uses because “was” is past tense, and “currently” means, well, currently. As in now. Presently.
And now we learn…
Word study on sanctification/sanctify
Definition: Sanctification is one of several possible English translations of qdš, hagios and their cognates. See *Holiness for usage. Context alone determines whether the translation should be holy, holiness, holy one, saints, consecrate, consecration, sanctify or sanctification. Even in individual passages translators do not always agree. Its broad meaning is the process by which an entity is brought into relationship with or attains the likeness of the holy. Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. (1996). New Bible dictionary (3rd ed.) (1057–1058). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
Interesting word study activities that can be adapted for many different prefixes and suffixes?
Edit: just to give you an idea of what i am already going to do…as an intro activity, I am going to play a version of scattergories where they have a minute to come up with as many words as they can that start with “mono” The student who comes up with the most original words, wins! And I can do this with all the prefixes and suffixes we will be studying. It also gives me an idea of what they know already, and chances are if they know that word then we can jump into what that prefix means and divide and conquer more words.
Source of healing Pt 1
I did a study 1 on the Hebrew and Greek words for health, healing etc. It was interesting to see the different views from the Hebrews to Greeks based on the way they used the words and how they referred to God. I’ll show a little of what I mean:Hebrew:
shalom: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
Genesis 43:26-28 (vv. 27 & 28) - “He asked them about his father’s welfare. ‘is he well?’”
Numbers 6:26 - “…give the peace.”
Psalm 35:27 - “…delights in the welfare of his servant.”
- Psalm 38:3 - “… there is no health in my bones…” ESV - “… there is no rest in my bones…” KJV
- Ezekiel 37:26 - “… I will make a covenant of peace with them…”
marpe: Health, healing cure 1. Proverbs 14:30 - “a tranquil/healing heart gives life to the flesh”
Proverbs 15:4 - “ A gentle/healing tongue is a tree of life…
”Jeremiah 33:6 - “Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.”
rapha: to heal, make healthful 1. Exodus 15:26 : “…saying, ‘If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.’”
Hosea 6:1 - “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.”
Jeremiah 17:14 - “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.”
hugianio, hugies: to be sound, to be well, to be in good health; 2) metaph. of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error b) of one who keeps the graces and is strong 1. 3 John 2 - “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
Luke 15:27 - “ Luke 5:31 - “‘And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well/whole have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’”
Mark 3:5 - “And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored (whole).”
therapeuo - 1) to serve, do service; to heal, cure, restore to health 1. Matthew 4:23-24 - “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.”
- Matthew 14:14 - “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
Mark 6:5 - “And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.”
Luke 9:1 - “And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (iaomai).”
iaomai - to cure, heal; to make whole, to free from errors and sins, to bring about (one’s) salvation. 1. Matthew 13:15 - “For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’”
Matthew 15:28 - “Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed (was made whole) instantly.”
Luke 9:2 - “and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.”
1 Peter 2:24 - “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. hBy his wounds you have been healed (atoned sins).”
sozo - to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to save in the technical biblical sense 1. Matthew 9:21-22 - “‘If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.’ Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.”
Mark 15:29-31 - “And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘Aha! oYou who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!’ So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself.”
Luke 17:19 - “ “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well (or has saved you).”
Titus 3:5 - “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”
James 5:15 - “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
Since doing this (last week), I’ve been thinking about the question, “What does it mean for my life if I regard the Lord as the Source of my healing and health?”
Constructing a Biblical Framework for Health Care: Part II: Defining Biblical Health and Healing by The Summer Medical Institute: http://www.thesmi.org/ ↩