SPECIAL TOPIC: PEACE (eirēnē) [NT]
This Greek term referred to the absence of conflict, but in the LXX, it came to denote an inner peace with God and with one's fellow man (i.e., Luke 2:14; 10:6). The NT, like the OT, uses it as a greeting, "Peace to you" (i.e., Luke 10:5; John 20:19,21,26; Rom. 1:7; Gal. 1:3) or "farewell, go in peace" (cf. Mark 5:34; Luke 2:29; 7:50; 8:48; James 2:16).
This Greek term is used for "binding together relationships that were broken" (i.e., Rom. 5:10-11). There are three theological ways the NT speaks of peace:
1. an objective aspect, our peace with God through Christ (cf. Rom. 5:1; Col. 1:20)
2. a subjective aspect, our being right with God (cf. John 14:27; 16:33; Phil. 4:7)
3. that God has united into one new body, through Christ, both believing Jew and Gentile (cf. Eph. 2:14-17; Col. 3:15). Once we have peace with God, it must issue in peace with others! The vertical must become the horizontal.
Newman and Nida, A Translator's Handbook on Paul's Letter to the Romans, p. 92, has a good comment about "peace."
"Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament the term peace has a wide range of meaning. Basically it describes the total well-being of a person's life; it was even adopted among the Jews as a formula of greeting (shalom). This term had such a profound meaning that it could also be used by the Jews as a description of the Messianic salvation. Because of this fact, there are times when it is used almost synonymously with the term rendered 'to be in a right relation with God.' Here the term appears to be used as a description of the harmonious relation established between man and God on the basis of God's having put man right with himself" (p. 92).
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