SPECIAL TOPIC: RENEW (anakainōsis)

This Greek term in its various forms (anakainoō, anakainizō) has two basic meanings.

1. "to cause something to become new and different (i.e., better)" – Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:10

2. "to cause a change to a previous preferable state" – 2 Cor. 4:16; Heb. 6:4-6

(taken from Louw and Nida's Greek-English Lexicon, vol. 1, pp. 157, 594)

Moulton and Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, say that this term (i.e., anakkainōsis) cannot be found in Greek literature earlier than Paul.  Paul may have coined this term himself (p. 34).

Frank Stagg, New Testament Theology, has an interesting comment.

"Regeneration and renewal belong to God alone. Anakainōsis, the word for "renewal," is an action noun, and it is employed in the New Testament, along with verb forms, to describe a continuing renewal, as in Romans 12:2, 'Be ye transformed according to the renewing of your mind' and 2 Corinthians 4:16, 'Our inward man is being renewed day by day.' Colossians 3:10 describes the 'new man' as 'the one being renewed unto thorough knowledge according to the image of the one having created him.' Thus the 'new man,' the 'newness of life,' the 'regeneration,' or 'renewal,' however designated, is traced to an initial act and a continuing act of God as the giver and sustainer of eternal life" (p. 118).

 

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