Signs, Miracles and Wonders -- By: David E. Olander

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 10:29 (May 2006)
Article: Signs, Miracles and Wonders
Author: David E. Olander


Signs, Miracles and Wonders

David E. Olander

Professor of Biblical Languages, Tyndale Seminary

There are many challenging areas of doctrine for any student of the Word of God. One of these presents itself in the arena of signs, miracles, and wonders. This is without doubt one of the most controversial issues facing the Church. But it is also an issue where the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture clearly functions as a touchstone. There are many teachings concerning this matter in Scripture.

So, how does one even engage such a seemingly vast topic? The following comments will address some major issues concerning signs, miracle, and wonders, by answering these questions. What are they? Why were they given? Are they for today?

What Are They?

When posing the question, “What are signs, miracles, and wonders?,” it is imperative to form some fundamental definitions. One must inquire how these words defined and used biblically? There are actually five essential words used in Scripture (Greek New Testament, hereafter GNT), for signs, miracles, wonders, including works, and proofs (with more in the LXX). There are dramatic differences and nuances that the reader must take into consideration in the usage of these words.

Sign(s) — σημειόν... semeion.. 1. the sign or distinguishing mark by which something is known, token, indication ...2. a sign consisting of a wonder or miracle, an event that is contrary to the usual course of nature, a. miracle of divine origin, performed by God himself, by Christ, or by men of God.1

1. Miracle(s) — δύναμις ... (dunamis) 1. power, might, strength ...Power of the Holy Spirit 2. ability, capability 3. meaning ... of language 1 Cor 14:11; ...4. of the outward expressions of power: deed of power, miracle, wonder.2

2. Wonder(s) — τέρας ... (teras) prodigy, portent, omen, wonder ... terrifying portents caused by a divinity.3

3. Work(s) — έργον .. (ergon) deed, action—a. in contrast to rest ... mighty in word and deed b. manifestation, practical proof.4

4. Proof(s) — τ...

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