An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 23 of 277
eminently a witness.  It may be well, before proceeding, to note that the
verb martureo is translated 'bear witness', 'bear record', 'give testimony'
and 'testify'.  Martus is translated 'martyr', 'record'
and 'witness', and as these varied translations appear sometimes in the same
verse, or in the near context, the force of this word is sometimes sacrificed
to euphony or style:
'There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  The same came for
a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might
believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that
Light' (John 1:6 -8).
John, we read was sent 'from' God.  Nicodemus recognized that the Saviour was
a teacher 'come from God' where the preposition 'from' is apo (John 3:2).
The baptism of John was it 'from' heaven? (Matt. 21:25).  Here the word
'from' is ek.  The word translated 'from' in John 1:6 is the preposition
para.  The primitive meaning of para is 'beside' as is seen in the English
word parallel.  In this Gospel, John uses para a number of times of the Lord
Himself, thus:
'Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He
which is Of (para) God'
'But I know Him: for I am From Him, and He hath
sent Me' (7:29).
'I speak to the world those things which I have
heard Of Him' (8:26).
'I speak that which I have seen With My Father:
and ye do that which ye
have seen With your father' (8:38),
and so John 10:18; 15:26; 16:27,28; 17:5 -8.  There is an intimacy, a
fellowship implied in the word para here.  John the Baptist was thus sent.
What a witness!  But further 'The same came For a witness'.  Here we have the
Greek word eis, into, unto, in order to.  There can be no doubt about the
object and goal intended by eis.  Again, John came 'to bear witness Of the
light' and here the Greek word is peri 'concerning'.  Peri enters into the
composition of a number of English words, such as perimeter, period,
periscope, where the idea of circumlocution, or encircling is evident.  John,
true witness as he was, placed Christ in the centre of his testimony, and a
Christo -centric testimony is one that is vital and blessed indeed.  Yet
again, John's testimony had an object, 'that all men Through Him might
believe' where the word is dia, for John was but a channel, or as he himself
said 'I am a voice', for Christ Himself is 'the Word'.  The testimony
concerning the character of John's witness does not finish until the negative
aspect, so essential, is also presented.  'He was not that light', even as he
three times denied that he was either 'The Christ', 'Elijah' or 'That
Prophet' (John 1:20,21).  He was not 'The Light' but was a bright and shining
Lamp (ho luchnos) (John 5:35).
If Christ be the Word, John would be a voice (John 1:23).  If Christ be
the Light, John would be a lamp (John 5:35).  Here we have some of the
essential characteristics of Scriptural witness.  Let it be recorded and held
in great regard, that even though the word 'witness' did not necessarily
involve 'martyrdom', John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, who are called
witnesses in the Scriptures, did each of them lay down their lives for the
faith.  John in his first epistle left his 'record' or witness:
'And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and
this life is in His Son' (1 John 5:11).