0000 PREACH (141) This is a study of the English word "preach," rather than a Greek word-study. It's purpose is to provide a more accurate understanding of passages using the word "preach" in God's First Century Message (FCM, NT).
This study of "preach" is necessary because of the large number of Greek words rendered "preach" in some translations. Strong's Concordance lists "preach" and its word-forms 141 times in the King James Version (KJV). It further lists "preach" as translating THIRTEEN DIFFERENT Greek words. NO English word correctly translates more than just a few Greek words!
COMPARISON OF THE DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF THE ENGLISH WORD "PREACH" TO ITS TYPICAL USAGE AMONG CHRISTIANS.
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Fifth Edition, 1936) states that "preach" originated with the Latin word "praedicare," to proclaim, and defines it as:
It also defines "proclaim" as
But "preaching" differs from Webster's definition in several ways:
The meaning of the word "preach" has changed little since its inception centuries ago in Roman Catholicism when believers were not permitted to read God's Message for themselves. They heard sermons "preached" in the manner that Webster's Dictionary defines "preach."
THE MEANING OF THE THIRTEEN GREEK FCM WORDS TRANSLATED "PREACH."
This is a list of seven Greek words translated "preach" for which Greek word-studies are provided at: http://www.NTwords.com.
Here are the other six Greek words translated "preach." Their meanings are sufficiently remote from "preach" that word-studies are not deemed necessary:
Additionally, "preach" is used gratuitously in 2Co.2.12 and 10.14. That is, there is no word in the Greek FCM text which corresponds to "preach."
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "PREACHING" AND "PROCLAIMING OR ANNOUNCING."
Jesus, the one whose example we are to follow, never "preached." But he did "proclaim" or "announce" much that was new to thousands. He taught wherever he went, as in Mt.4.23: "And he went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming (kerusso) the good news (euangelion)..."
Folks that needed healing or had problems, religious leaders, and even demons interrupted him to question him, dialogue or comment. And Jesus responded to them. Here are a few examples:
1. "...Jesus turning and seeing" the woman with an issue of blood who had touched the hem of his garment, said to her, "Be of good cheer daughter; your trust (4102 pistis) has healed you" (Mt.9.20-22).
2. Jesus taught, "...No slave can serve two masters; for he will either disregard the one and have affection for the other, or he will hold fast to one and reject the other. You+ cannot serve God and material things. Now the Pharisees, being money-lovers, heard all these things and scoffed at him. And he said to them, you+ are the [ones] who are showing yourselves to be upright before humans, but God knows your+ hearts; because that which is valued by humans [is] an abomination before God" (Lk 16.13-15).
3. "And there was a human in the synagogue having a spirit of an unclean demon, and he shouted with a loud voice, 'Ha! What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth. Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Pure One of God'" (Lk.4.33-34).
Conclusion: Wherever the word "preach" occurs in the FCM text, either "proclaim" or "announce" should be substituted for it, because these words do not exclude audience participation.
HOW BELIEVERS WERE TO LEARN THE MILK AND MEAT OF GOD'S MESSAGE.
Nowhere in the FCM was anyone directed to proclaim to an audience without allowing the hearers to respond. Neither were folks prohibited from discussing a subject whether written, proclaimed, announced or otherwise presented, provided all things were done "properly and orderly" (1Co.14.40).
Not long after the first Feast of Pentecost following Jesus' ascension to heaven, those who trusted in him began meeting in homes, going from "house to house" (Act.2.46). Believers met in houses and public places to build up (edify) one another, as in 1Th.5.11: "Therefore encourage one another and build up (3618 oikodomeo) one another, as indeed you+ do." Also 1Co.14.26: "...whenever you+ come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue [or] has an interpretation. Let all things be for building up (edifying, 3619 oikodome)."
"Preachers" were not needed for this, because believers had help among themselves to build up one another as stated in 2Th.5.12-13: "Now we ask you, brothers, to recognize those laboring among you+ and leading you+ in [the] Master, and esteem them most highly..." Their leaders come from among them and were unpaid. Evenso, a group of believers might deem an older man (elder) worthy of "double honor." This could be understood to mean providing financial help to an older man among them who possessed the love, wisdom and other necessary qualities to serve among them.
HOW DID THE SYSTEM OF PAID "PREACHERS" COME INTO EXISTENCE?
When Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians, the Jewish temple still existed along with its pure things and attendants. But several years later, in 70 A.D. when the Roman armies destroyed the temple, "not one stone was left upon another" just as Jesus foretold. The nation of Israel no longer existed. There no longer was a need for priests and Levites to be "attending on the altar." ALL of God's promises to Abraham had been fulfilled, including the promise, "In your seed will all nations of the earth be blessed."
So there no longer was a need for "tithes" to pay priests or attendants. Under Jesus' New Covenant, all believers are priests. Consequently there is no FCM instruction for believers to tithe.
Instead of priests and Levites to attend to God's people, Eph.4.11-12 shows that God's people were given other leaders and workers among them: "...he (Jesus) gave some [to be] delegates, some spokesmen, some good-newsers, some shepherds and teachers for the bringing to maturity of the purified ones, to the work of service, to building up of the body of the Anointed One..." Note: No word in this passage can correctly be translated "preacher."
WHOM MAY BELIEVERS SUPPORT IN "PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS?"
Jesus' commanded his eleven learners "...Go into all of human society and proclaim the good news to all creation" (Mk.16.15).
Teaching or announcing or proclaiming the "good news" to unbelievers is probably the most difficult task God has for his believers. Not everyone is suited for it or called by God to it. Just as Paul needed material support from others at times, so do those who "go into all the world" in our times. Paul wrote, "...in the beginning of the good news, when I came out from Macedonia... both once and again you+ sent to my necessity" (Php.4.15-16).
"Proclaim the good news" is the only "paid job" authorized by Jesus: "Don't you know that those working the pure (sacred) things of the temple eat from the temple, [and] those who are attending on the altar have their share with it? So also the Master directed that those who are openly announcing (katangello) the good news to live from the good news" (1Co.9.13-14). Jesus personally authorized this in Mt.10.1-15, saying in verses 7 and 10, "...and as you go proclaim, saying, 'The reign of the heavens has drawn near...for the workman is worthy of his food.'"
The KJV and most current translations of the NT use the word "preach" in 1Co.9.14, as in the New International Version (NIV): "In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel." But the New American Standard Bible (NASB), correctly use the word "proclaim: "So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel."
THE USE OF A BELIEVER'S FUNDS.
Since "proclaiming or announcing the good news" is the only authorized paid function among believers (except perhaps for certain older men), it becomes evident that the words "preach," "preacher" and "preaching" were substituted for "proclaim" and "announce" centuries ago in an attempt to legitimize the paying of proclaimers. This error has not been corrected.
Usually, more are needed than the just few who gather in one another's homes to adequately pay a "preacher." A minimum of fifty has been estimated. And most folks cannot accommodate an assembly of fifty or more in their homes, so then it also becomes necessary to provide funds for a meeting place.
Now if believers are to maintain a "preacher" and a building, how do they acquire the needed funds? FCM passages such as 1Co.16.1-3 have been twisted to achieve this. But please note that 1Co.16.1-3 is not about funds to support a "preacher," but rather, about funds to help needy believers in Jerusalem: "Now concerning the collection for the purified ones. As I directed the groups of called ones in Galatia, so also do you+. On the first day of every week let each of you store up by himself what he is prospered, lest collections occur when I come. And when I arrive, whomever you+ approve through these letters I will send to carry your gift of favor to Jerusalem."
How does this affect believers who have been taught that they must tithe or fund an organization, "preacher," or building? Is it wrong to use one's funds for such purposes? No FCM passage says so. And in Mt.23.3, Jesus said: "All things therefore, whatever they (the scribes and Pharisees) may tell you, do and keep, but do not according to their works for they say and do not."
But God did prescribe the use of believers resources to:
Whom will we obey, God or humans? (Act.5.29).
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