There are several connotations of specific words (especially Greek and Hebrew). As an example, the word “spirit” doesn’t always mean a spiritual being; it also means attitudes and perceptions, qualities, etc. This is true of many other words also. A single word often has several different meanings. Therefore it is imperative that we view each word in its context.
Not viewing words in their proper context often results in false beliefs and false doctrines. Consider what the King James Version of the Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Some preachers have latched onto that verse and claimed that fear is a demonic spirit and can be cast out. However, according to ‘An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words’ by W.E.Vine, the word “spirit” denotes the “wind,” and “to breathe, or “blow.” It is used in many different ways in the Bible, and may be analyzed approximately as follows: the wind; the breath; the immaterial, invisible part of man; the disembodied man; the sentiment element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires; purpose, aim; moral qualities and activities; the inward man; unclean spirits, demons; and the Holy Spirit.
And, according to that same Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E.Vine, The word “fear,” in this instance, denotes cowardice and timidity. In most recent translations the word “fear” is rendered “cowardice” or “timidity” or “fearfulness.” Thus, rather than having a demon of fear, Timothy had a feeling of timidity.
Some might be surprised to know that the word used for “soul,” also according to ‘An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words’ by W.E. Vine, has a meaning very similar to the word “spirit.” “Soul” denotes the breath, the breath of life, then the soul in its various meanings. It may be analyzed approximately as follows: the natural life of the body; the immaterial, invisible part of man; the disembodied man; the seat of personality; the sentiment element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires; the seat of will and purpose; the seat of appetite; persons, individuals; and self.
So, it is very important that we be careful to view biblical words in their proper context. Dear ones, we are in a time of history when many use Scriptures to prove a point, or to sound spiritual, rather than to learn of the mystery of Christ; and, in so doing, they deliberately take words out of context in order to use them in ways that produce the results they themselves want. We must be careful to be open minded and allow the Holy Spirit to lead when we are reading Scriptures.
Always weigh everything I say on the scales of the Holy Scriptures.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant
© 2021 Jon David Banks