The Practical Use of the Greek New Testament Part I: The Greek New Testament and Expository Preaching -- By: Kenneth S. Wuest

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 117:465 (Jan 1960)
Article: The Practical Use of the Greek New Testament Part I: The Greek New Testament and Expository Preaching
Author: Kenneth S. Wuest


The Practical Use of the Greek New Testament
Part I:
The Greek New Testament and Expository Preaching

Kenneth S. Wuest

[Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a series on the general subject, “The Practical Use of the Greek New Testament.”]

[Kenneth S. Wuest is the author of many books on studies in the Greek New Testament for the English reader, and was formerly a member of the faculty of Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois.]

The expositor who expects to do work of the highest caliber for the Lord Jesus must use the tools of Greek scholarship. There is a vast amount of rich, untranslatable truth left behind in the Greek text by the standard versions which he should know. Again, the application of the rules of Greek grammar and syntax provide rich truth never dreamed of by the expositor who is confined to the translations. A. T. Robertson, that peer among Greek scholars, said that he never spent five minutes in the Greek New Testament without finding some fresh truth. He said that a man cannot be original in his doctrine but he should be original in the presentation of the truth. And for that we would say that he must go back to origins, the Greek text.

The preacher is working, for instance, in Romans 12:1–8, and he comes to the exhortation, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed.” At once he seizes upon the two words, “conformed” and “transformed.” He checks them in his lexicons and makes a study both in Lightfoot and Vincent on Philippians 2:1–8. “Conformed” is sunschēmatizō and “transformed” is metamorphoomai. He finds that sunschēmatizō means “to assume an outward expression which does not come from one’s inner being and is not representative of it but is put on from the outside.” The prefixed preposition speaks of the act of patterning after something else. He checks the tense and mode of the verb and finds that it is a present imperative preceded by the negative mē, which construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on. He then translates, “Stop assuming an outward expression which does not come from within you and is not representative of you but is put on from without and is patterned after this age.” At this juncture a wealth of ideas crowds into his

thinking—masquerading saints, patterning after this age, putting on themselves an opaque covering which hides the indwelling Lord Jesus and prevents the Holy Spirit from manif...

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