Monday, April 7, 2008

What Is Preaching?

What Is Preaching?

Many Apostolic Preachers are ridiculed for their vibrant methods of preaching or proclaiming the Word of God. It has been said that they engage in fruitless unnecessary methods when they preach vibrantly or with passion. Many in the Charismatic and Christian Center circles have almost proclaimed that preaching with passion is useless and downright simple and needless but just what is preaching and is it the same thing as teaching? Only the Bible can ascertain what Biblical Preaching and teaching truly is.

Firstly in the book of Nehemiah one can see that preaching behind a pulpit was used.

Neh 8:4-5 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

It is very clear that Era the scribed preached from behind a pulpit. It is evident that the people stood to read the Word of God but what was the manner in which he preached? This can only be ascertained by investigating the terms used for those words that referred to preaching. The word that is used in scripture that defines what preaching is can be seen in Nehemiah chapter 6 verse 7. It is the word "Qara" (kaw-raw). This Hebrew word literally can be defined as:

1. To call out to (that is, properly address by name.

2. To Bewray (expose or to reveal something).

3. To bid, call (for, forth, self, upon)

4. To preach, (make) proclaim (-ation), pronounce, publish, read, renowned, say.

The English term for preach is simply to do the following: proclaim or make known by sermon (the gospel, good tidings, etc.). deliver (a sermon). advocate or inculcate (religious or moral truth, right conduct, etc.) in speech or writing.
–verb (used without object) deliver a sermon. give earnest advice, as on religious or moral subjects or the like. do this in an obtrusive or tedious way.
"preach." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 07 Apr. 2008.>.

This term originally meant to proclaim in public. It is not the fact that proclaiming is a problem because all who engage in preaching agree that preaching is proclaiming the problem is that many can only accept their method of preaching while ridiculing others. As to the method of proclaiming let us again look to the scripture.

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

The term used here is a word that is connected to "Preach good tidings". The word use is the again the Hebrew word "bâśar" which can be defined as:

1. To be fresh, that is, full (rosy, figuratively cheerful)

2. To announce (glad news).

3. To be a messenger

4. Preach, publish, shew forth, (bear, bring, carry, preach, good, tell good) tidings.

According to TWOT (Theological Wordbook of The Old Testament) the term Basar when referring to proclaiming, focused on specifically annunciation or the announcing of news that was specifically pertaining to war. This news could have been good as it usually was but it was not always good. This root is a common term in Semitic language as well as being found in Akkadian, Arabic as well as the Ugaritic and Ethiopic. The root meaning is "To announce or bring news" Normally the news was good news. The concept according to the TWOT was that the messenger coming from the field of battle would announce victory over one's enemies. I do not know of many people who were in a heated battle where people were dying and lives were being lost that were contained and subdued when they finally got a report that the battle was won and perhaps the war was over. The concept reveals that proclamation of preaching (Basar) was an enthusiastic report. We will continue in the word to ascertain again what scripture reveals concerning the meaning of preaching.

The term that can be found concerning preaching is to be found in the book of Matthew chapter 4 verse 17. It is here that the writer of the first Gospel records the following:

Matt. 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The word used here for the word "Preach" is the word "kērusso". It is a Koine Greek term that literally means:

1. To herald (as a public crier).especially divine truth (the gospel)

2. Preach (-er), proclaim, publish.

Thayer' Greek Lexicon defines the term Kerusso as:

1. To be a herald, to officiate as a herald.

2. To proclaim after the manner of a herald.

3. To always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed.

4. To publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done.

5. Used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers.

In the case of Jonah which can be seen in Jonah Chapter 3 verse 2 the term for preaching is the word "qerîy'âh" (ker-ee-aw') which means the Proclamation of a specific message that is to elicit a specific response. As such Qeriyah is to cause one to make a choice or to move from one condition to another or to persuade. The New Testament example of Jonah's preaching can be found in the book of Matthew 12:41. The term for preaching used is the term "kērugma." This term also means proclamation according to Stong's Exhaustive Concordance. Thayers indicates that it is associated with the public herald who cries in the street as well as one who is a messenger or herald of God or Christ. In either case the methodology appears to be one of firstly delivering a message that causes people to move from one mindset and activity to another. It is to announce with energy the good news of victory in war as well proclaiming to others publicly that which has been done.

Written By Bishop Derrick A. Reeves
̄Copyright © 2008 All rights reserved. Duplication expressly forbidden.

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