To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Double Meaning in Scripture

Can the same word have two meanings in Scripture? In looking at commentaries the general conclusion is “no”. But why not?

God has chosen to give the original writings in certain languages, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. If a certain word in those languages has two meanings, and both meanings are legitimate in giving a coherent meaning to the text, then is there any reason why both meanings cannot be accepted?

I give an example here. In Philippians 2:16 the word epecho is used in the original Greek. I am an ignoramus in Greek, but those who know, say that the word can be rendered either “holding forth” or ” holding fast to”. Both meanings are legitimate in the text. We are called as believers to be holding fast to the word of life and holding forth the Word of Life. My persuasion would be that both meanings can be allowed to stand and thereby we get an enhanced understanding of what the LORD means in using that word.

The commentators on Philippians 2:16 seem to force themselves to decide in favour of one or the other meanings. But I am left wondering why do we have to choose? God has chosen Greek as one of the languages through which to bring his Word, that language has this word which has two meanings. Both meanings are appropriate in the context. And we are benefitted by understanding that both meanings are there in God’s Word.

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