Thinking Biblically: Definitions
When I think about what it means to “think biblically,” I usually think, “How do I look at situations with the Bible as my guide?” And that’s fine! Most of the content on this website takes that approach: “How do we think biblically about entertainment? About dating? About current events?”
But sometimes we also have to think biblically about something much more basic, like the definition of words. This might seem too simple, but you would be surprised by how many contentions spring from people not even agreeing on how words are defined.
“Come on, Mr. Sandor,” you might think, “we know what dictionaries are. They give the same words and definitions to all of us.” Well, you have a point—to a degree. While dictionaries give us the opportunity to uniformly define words, it’s still not uncommon for people to just ignore dictionaries and use whatever definitions they have in their heads.
But there’s a bigger problem: Dictionaries don’t use the Bible to define words. The Bible provides definitions for sin (1 John 3:4), righteousness, (Psalm 119:172), faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6), and a host of other words—and these definitions are different from what you’ll find when you google a word (or dig out a hardcopy dictionary).
For this post, let’s briefly consider the word love. How should we define that? Well, if you’re still reading, you’re about to get some answers.Read more