SPECIAL TOPIC: PEACE (eirēnē) [NT]

This Greek term originally meant "binding together that which was broken."  There are three ways the NT speaks of peace:

1. an objective aspect, our peace with God through Christ (cf. 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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