Peripateo and pareuomai
between them cover a tremendous number of passages. The first of these
is always “walk” (from patos, a trodden way).
Poreuomai has more the idea of a journey on foot, but this meaning
cannot be insisted on. Both words are frequently employed, especially
peripateo, in the Hebrew idiomatic sense of religious observance
— “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord
blameless”. In this sense it is one of the main words of Paul’s
In one place only, Paul’s quotation from
Lev 26:12, LXX, uses the more elaborate emperipateo: “I will
dwell in them, and walk in them (ie among them)”, the promise now being
appropriated to the New Israel (2Co 6:16). This is the word that is used to
describe Job’s Satan “walking up and down” in the earth (1:7;
2:2). Since the other LXX usages of emperipateo also refer to God
(Deu 23:14; 2Sa 7:6) — making four out of six places — it seems
fairly likely that these two in Job have a similar reference; in other words,
Job’s Satan was an angel of the Lord!
The solitary occurrence of orthopodeo
(Gal 2:14, home-made by Paul?) is of somewhat unusual interest:
“When I perceived that they (Peter and the others) walked not
uprightly according to the truth of the gospel...” Literally, this
is: “they did not straight-foot it.” The expression is the
exact equivalent of the description of the cherubim: “their feet were
straight feet” (Eze 1:7). The connection is this: Just as the chariot of
the cherubim was regarded as the bearer of the word and power of Almighty God
(cp. Psa 147:15), so also in the NT the preachers of the gospel are the
Lord’s cherubim-chariot (cp. 2Th. 3:1, RV). In this duty they must be
“straight-footed”, ie there must be no deviousness about the methods
employed in their proclaiming of the message of Christ.
Like peripateo, another word to
describe the practical observing of God’s law is stoicheo.
But here the emphasis is specially on first principles, the basic
fundamentals, the spiritual ABC of the religious life.
Thus, the brethren in Jerusalem were anxious that
Paul should show himself as “walking orderly”, keeping the Law (Acts
21:24). And Paul himself emphasized to his Jewish readers how necessary it is
also to “walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Rom
4:12). The phrase suggests a child gradually learning to walk with the stride of
his so-much-more-mature father.
There is a distinct hint of reproach about
Paul’s use of this word in his exhortation to backsliding Galatians:
“If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit also let us walk” (5:25)
— as who should say: ‘Provided you are moving in the right direction
I shall be content, even though you make slow progress from immaturity’
(cp. also 6:16).
Similarly, in Phi 3:15,16, the apostle makes
pointed contrast between those who are “perfect” (ie spiritually
grown-up) and others who “walk (stoicheo) by the same
rule” of “pressing towards the Mar for the prize of the high calling
of God in Christ Jesus” (v 14).
The figure of a dedicated man fighting in
God’s war of righteousness originated in the OT, where in half a dozen
places the service of God in His sanctuary is called “warring the
warfare”. See Num 8:24,25; 4:23; Exo 38:8; Isa 40:2 (see LXX); and
probably Psa 148:2; and Dan 8:10-13.
Paul certainly had the same idea in mind when he
exhorted Timothy to “war a good warfare” according to the prophecies
concerning him (1Ti 1:18).
A perfectly straightforward word; yet its usage
is rather striking and decidedly symbolic. The Pharisees washed their hands (Mat
15:2), but those in Christ wash hands and eyes and face and feet (Mat 6:17; Joh
9:7; 13:5), and indeed the whole body: “he that is bathed needeth
not save to wash his feet” (John 13:10) — whereupon Peter,
recognizing that his Lord was enacting the consecration of a priesthood,
demanded: “Not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (13:9;
Is 1 Timothy 5:10 an allusion to the Last
Whole, Perfect Soundness
Two occurrences of this word in the LXX serve to
fill out the picture it presents.
The command in Deu 27:6 that the altar shall be
built of “whole stones”, ie not chiselled to size or shape
(Exo 20:25), not of cracked or friable (i.e., soft sandstone) material. Such
would soon disintegrate from the heat of the altar.
Isaiah’s ghastly picture of the spiritual
ill-health of his nation laments that “there is no soundness in it,
but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores” (1:6).
Over against this is Peter’s description of
the lame man healed at the temple gate: “God hath given him this
perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts
There is now a fuller meaning discernible in
Paul’s concluding blessing on his Thessalonians: “I pray God your
whole (perfectly sound) spirit (the new man in Christ) and soul (natural
health) and body be preserved blameless (pleonasm here, surely) unto the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Th. 5:23).
In a similar passage James is even more
pleonastic: “that ye may be perfect and entire (completely sound),
wanting nothing” (1:4) — three expressions covering the same
The Greek word literally means
“wood”. It is also used of anything made of wood, hence the phrase:
“swords and staves (pieces of wood)”.
However, the OT uses the word for
“tree” in this more general sense, and this meaning also carries
over into the NT, as in: “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a
tree” (Gal 3:13). And also Peter (three times: Acts 5:30; 10:39; 1Pe 2:24)
and Paul (once: Acts 13:29) use the word about our Lord’s crucifixion:
“whom ye slew, and hanged on a tree”; yet Jesus was certainly not
crucified on a living tree.
Two possible explanations offer themselves: (a)
It was with allusion to Gen 22:3,6, LXX s.w., the offering of Isaac; (b) It was
because the apostles saw the cross of Christ not as a tree of death (like the
tree of knowledge of good and evil) but as a Tree of Life reversing the curse of
In Rev 22:2 a certain element of phony exegesis
has crept into the read-ing of the words: “On either side of the river was
there the tree (hardly ‘wood’!) of life, which bare twelve manner of
fruits...and the leaves of the tree (wood) were for the healing of the
nations.” The temptation to read here “wood” as meaning
“a miniature forest” must be resisted, even though “on either
side” requires the collective sense for “tree”. Here is
straight quotation from Psalm 1:3. This also provides the interpretation of the
There are two main words in the NT with this
1. oikoumene (where people dwell
in houses), and
2. kosmos, the ordered
It will be convenient to deal with these
separately, and to note that the same essential feature (much neglected in the
books) belongs to both in Bible usage.
In its general idea, oikoumene
describes the entire world where men dwell (eg Acts 17:31). Yet in
practice it came to be much restricted to the Roman empire, as being the only
important part of the inhabited earth (Acts 19:27; 24:5; Rev 3:10;
This became also Jewish usage, only with
reference to their (Jewish) world, as in the following: “That all
the world should be taxed” (Luk 2:1: the Syrian province actually).
“A dearth throughout all the world” (Acts 11:28). “These that
have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6).
“When he bringeth the first begotten into the world...” (Heb 1:6).
There are doubtless several other instances besides these.
Kosmos shows clear signs of being
subject to the same double usage.
In some places it undoubtedly means the civilised
world (Luk 12:30). This is the meaning that the ordinary Bible reader mostly, or
even always, associates with the world.
Yet, in many a place, restriction to the
Jewish world is clearly intended and is necessary:
“Shew thyself unto the world” (John
7:4), jibed the brothers of Jesus, meaning: ‘Go and advertise yourself in
“I speak to the world those things which I
have heard of my Father” (John 8:26).
After the triumphal entry, “Behold, the
world is gone after him” (John 12:19).
“If the world hate you, ye know that it
hated me...” (John 15:18).
“I spake openly unto the world” (John
“...that he (Abraham) should be the heir of
the world” (Rom 4:13).
“The rudiments of the world...touch not,
taste not, handle not...” (Col 2:20).
The foregoing are just samples. There are, almost
certainly, a good many more in the same category.
The NT distinguishes carefully between the
uncontrollable explosion of anger (thumos) and the anger which is
deliberate, reasoned, and sustained, the anger which a man nurses in his bosom
Thumos describes the intense wrath
of Pharaoh when he heard about Moses’ attempt to free his people (Heb
11:27). Another example is the sudden explosion of anger in the synagogue at
Nazareth when Jesus preached there: “they were filled with wrath”
(Luk 4:28). And when “Herod was highly displeased with them of
Tyre and Sidon” (Acts 12:20), he was “fighting mad”
Some of the examples of orge are
very instructive, and even striking. “Is God unrighteous who taketh
vengeance (orge)?” asks Paul. The Lord Jesus describes the
AD 70 judgment on Jerusalem as “wrath (orge) upon this
people” (Luk 21:23). On the occasion of the healing of the man with a
withered hand (Mar 3:5), Jesus — aware of the Pharisees’ criticism
— “looked round about on them with anger
(orge)”. Nor is this the only anger of the Son
of God, for Rev 6:16,17 repeats its emphasis on “the wrath (orge)
of the Lamb”.
But what is righteousness in Christ may be wrong
in his disciple. “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of
God” (Jam 1:19,20). This establishes that Eph 4:26, AV — “Be
ye angry, and sin not” —needs to be amended to read as a
rhetorical question implying: ‘No, hardly ever!’
Another illuminating use of orge
comes in the parable of the prodigal. The older brother “was
angry, and would not go in” (Luk 15:28). This was no sudden burst
of wrath, but an expression of a cherished hostility to his younger