The Cause Of Christ’s Death -- By: G. L. Young
BSac 89:353 (Jan 1932) p. 96
The Cause Of Christ’s Death
In the article under the above heading in the Bibliotheca Sacra for October, 1931, the writer employed these words: “The words commonly used to describe the death of others are not used of Christ when the actual record of His death is given” (p. 477).
A critical examination of these words will further illuminate this subject, which has aroused so much interest. The terms employed to describe our Lord’s death are, in whole or in part, terms frequently employed in mentioning the death of others.
Take, e. g., apheken to pneuma, Mat. 27.50. This verb is used of Rachel in the Sept. of Gen. 35:18. Yet her death was hardly a “volitional exitus.” She certainly did not volitionally and “forcibly” expel her own soul. Again, both Robinson and Meyer refer to Herod, iv, 190. Here we read that the nomads bury their dead “in a sitting posture, watching when one is about to expire.’’ This expiring refers to their ordinary ways of dying, whatsoever such happened to be.
As to exepneusen. Mk. 15:37, this signifies: “He breathed out.” i.e., He died. It is often used in this meaning absolutely in the Greek writers” (Meyer).
Still a third example, paratithemai to pneuma mou, Lu. 23:46, a like expression is used in Ps. 31:5 (in Sept.). words undoubtedly taken over by our Lord from that place. The same verb is used in 1 Pet. 4:19: “Let them commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator” (R. V.). So, too, writers who have looked into the matter tell us that “the recorded instances of Christians who have used these words in dying are numerous, from St. Polycarp and Basil onwards” (Canon Cook). We add the case of Huss. When it was said to him: “And thus we deliver thy soul unto Satan,” he replied:
BSac 89:353 (Jan 1932) p. 97
“And I commit into Thy hands. Lord Jesus Christ, the soul Thou hast redeemed.” At the place of execution he said repeatedly: “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”
As to the fourth example, paredoken to pneuma, Jn. 19:30, we can, perhaps, do no better than to quote Bloom-field’s note on the passage: “This and the apheke to pneuma of Matthew suggest the idea of a placid, peaceful and resigned dissolution, and were therefore used among the Hebrews to denote that the soul is rendered back unto God, its original author, t...
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