Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Word of the Day To Return (I Hope)

I am going to try to start up Word of the Day again (not that it really started last time...). I figure since this site is named for this feature, the feature ought to be there...And in honor of this hopeful return:

Word of the Day: ἐλπίς (elpis - hope, expectation)

BDAG gives it the definition "the looking forward to something with some reason for confidence respecting fulfillment." It seems to me as a casual English user that hope and expectation have different meanings in English. Hope (μὲν) is more of a wish or desire that has no reasonable chance or at least a very small one of actually being fulfilled. Expectation (δὲ) has a decent chance of being fulfilled.

Thus, if you really wanted a nice new Lego set for Christmas but your parents have made no mention of it and have in fact hinted at socks and underwear, you might hope for Legos but expect socks. Now, if you wandered into their room while they were gone and find a way to look on the top shelf (obviously for pure reasons) and just so happen to see a Lego set, you would no longer hope for Legos, you would expect Legos. There is now a basis for your desire.

The Greek word, at least when used by Christian authors, has the same connotations as the English 'expectation.' Our hopes in Christ are not unfounded, but have a basis in his death and resurrection, and the faithfulness with which God has interacted with his covenant people throughout history. Particularly, we have a basis that Christ will certainly return, judge the living and the dead, and consummate the marriage with the Church even though it has been 2000 years since he left.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts here.
P.s. Like your creative blog name!