“In the original Greek” is a tragic church cliche, and too many instances it comes earlier than quite a lot of actually dangerous second-hand misinformation. Happily, though Im utilizing it immediately, Im not providing something besides a pair dictionary definitions.
In Biblical Greek, there are two distinct phrases, each translated as “new,” however with radically totally different connotations. Neos means “new” as we usually consider it: a brand new automobile, a brand new e book, a brand new day. In different phrases, neos means one thing that was lately created.
However neos will not be the phrase the writer of Revelation makes use of right here. What we’ve got right here is kainos, which additionally interprets as new however in a really totally different approach. One thing that’s kainos is new as to kind or substance. Not like neos, which simply means one thing lately made, kainos signifies one thing not like something earlier than, of a kind or substance beforehand unknown, or one thing that’s higher than the one which got here earlier than it a lot that it fulfills and even surpasses the unique mannequin.
Within the context of this verse from Revelation, we would higher consider it as “renewed,” which is one other approach of studying the phrase. We sometimes do the identical factor in English. For instance, Im going to repair up this outdated home so its good as new – or to make it kainos. The home isn’t a “new” home, however it has been restored and re-newed. It’s “new in substance” and high quality, in step with the mannequin of the final one however radically reworked into one thing much more contemporary and exquisite against this.
The brand new covenant in Christ was each intricately interwoven with the story of Israel, and but it was completely unprecedented and surprising, like a brand new chapter within the e book or (extra precisely) an entire new e book within the collection. Jesus new commandment to like each other as he has cherished us (John 13:34) wasnt actually newthe commandment had existed earlier than; however he says it’s kainos as a result of the introduction and mannequin of his personal love for humanity completely shifts our perspective on this historical commandment. Our love for each other has a completely new that means, basis, motivation, and context, as a result of it’s rooted within the one who cherished us a lot he was embodied in human flesh, leaping into the muck and mire of this damaged world, stuffed with a love so deep that it overcame sin and dying eternally.
Right here, on the very finish of our Bibles, John tells us about seeing a brand new heaven and a brand new earth. I used to be all the time taught that meant one factor: God was going to wipe all of this out and return to the drafting board, beginning it once more at floor zero, like a cosmic model of Noahs flood. And I all the time questioned, So what precisely was the purpose of all of this, then? Then I realized some Greek and realized that right here, among the many final phrases that Jesus speaks in the entire canon, he says, I’m making all issues kainos.
The Jesus of Revelation 21 will not be a Jesus coming to blow this universe to smithereens and begin over with a “new” one – though we frequently get that sense from sure Christian books and teachings. No. The Jesus of Revelation 21 is “making all things new,” that’s, re-newing all issues to their authentic intent in a approach which far surpasses that which has come earlier than. He’s making all issues kainos. In the identical approach that Christ brings Israel’s storyline to achievement, he’s bringing the story of the universe to its final purpose and goal: union with God.
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It’s no coincidence, then, that Revelation 22 echoes again to the backyard of Eden, the place the tree of life is current within the “new” metropolis. Eden has been restored, however it has additionally been surpassed and exceeded. In the identical approach a home each is and isn’t a “new” home (relying on which definition you employ) and the resurrected Jesus each was and wasn’t a “new” man, the universe of Revelation 21-22 each will and received’t be a “new” universe. Jesusisn’t providing a divine reset button. He’s promising that each one the brokenness of this Creation shall be reconnected with God’s authentic imaginative and prescient for it, and that we are going to as soon as once more be “good as new.”
With such an optimistic outlook for the following chapter within the story of the universe (discover that I didn’t say finish of the universe), its simple to go away judgment out of the image, notably as a result of its not a really optimistic subject. However I do know that if this had been a lecture, there could be loads of palms raised with this actual query, so Sick attempt to tackle it briefly right here.
I believe it’s important to acknowledge two factors (which frequently get neglected) when discussing judgment. First, Gods main purpose in judgment is renewal. Renewal requires some degree of judgment, similar to renovating the outdated home requires some degree of demolition.
Second, individuals aren’t known as evil. As an alternative, evil is an exterior pressure that individuals select to cooperate with or are caught up into. That is why rebel and sin is first described because the information of evil. Evil is nothing roughly than a direct assault on Gods good and exquisite intentions for the universe; its like asbestos or black mould or dry rot inside the home, and it must be handled as a part of the renewal course of.
Theres quite a lot of discuss judgment and punishment within the Bible, however it’s all the time a results of a free option to cooperate with evil. The excellent news will not be an invite to flee punishment, however an invite to interrupt the cosmic alliance with evil and restore Gods goal for humanity.
If youre troubled and disturbed by discuss of judgment and punishment, that’s okay. The hoarder is disturbed when the crew is available in to filter all the rubbish and destroy the mould. The aged woman is disturbed once they smash down and take away the rotting porch on which she had so many barbecues and household reunions. Neither of them can see the brand new and improved model but. In the long run, we simply should belief that the designer is aware of what they’re doing, and their intentions are just for the most effective; and within the story of God, God’s greatest is all the time for the entire world.
This text initially appeared onCorey Farrs weblog.