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Atlanta, 3 August 2016

Home in Marietta, we have been participating in the North River central leadership retreat, including prayer, hymns, fellowship meals, reports from the various ministries in the church, and lots of fruitful discussion. We're fortunate to be part of such a spiritual, collaborative, and respectful group.

Our series on Biblical Words continues with a word every Christian should know: Shalom.

Biblical Words Series:

                    N.T. Greek  O.T. Hebrew – O.T. Aramaic


Hello. Goodbye. Peace! Shalôm is Hebrew for peace, translated eirēnē in the Greek Bible. Shalôm is a state of wholeness, health, and integrity that flows from a right relationship with God. Yet the Hebrew and Greek words have different connotations. Eirene is the absence of conflict, while shalom is the presence of peace, entailing healthy thinking and relationships.

Cháris kaì eirēnē
In the east, people wished one another "peace." The Jews said shalom and the Arabs salaam. In the west, a standard opening for an epistle was the word "greetings" (Greek chairein), as in Acts 15:23). Paul, the apostle who preached the gospel to Jew and Gentile alike, combines the terms, beginning his letters cháris kaì eirēnē (as in Phil 1:2). Charis, the word for grace, is similar to chairein. Thus this very greeting is an emblem of Jew-Gentile unity. Unity in the church is the whole point of this special salutation.

For more on grace and peace, check out the article by Dan Demshar. For a study of the Greek words for all 24 vices and virtues in Gal 5:19-24, click here.

Next week we switch back to Aramaic. We'll unpack a key term which in Jesus' teaching (sadly) is unfamiliar to non-Christians -- especially those of the younger generation. It begins with the letter M. Do you know what it is?

When you travel -- anywhere in the world -- would you prefer to stay in the homes of fellow disciples of Christ? My friend Christian Ray (Austin, Texas) recently explained a brand new program to me, and I really like it. It's called Come & Stay. Here you'll find remarkable value and empowerment for travel. Why not take a look? You can share the short video (3 min) with fellow Christians.

Speaking of travel, thanks to all who have made my 2016 travel possible. You have invested not only in biblical teaching, but also in training -- more leverage! 2016 countries include Jamaica x2, Trinidad x2, St. Kitts & Nevis, Turkey, France, Belgium, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Israel, and Bolivia.

¡Adios! Auf Wiedersehen. Shalôm!

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