An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 190 of 277
times, but in no instance is it used as 'substance' over against 'shadow',
but of wealth, as an examination of the passages will show: Deuteronomy
33:11; Job 5:5; 15:29; 20:18; Jeremiah 15:13; 17:3; Obadiah 13; Micah 4:13.
Where the New Testament uses the word 'substance' in a philosophical sense,
it employs the Greek word hupostasis, not the word soma.  So far, Classical
Greek and Septuagint Greek are much alike, and the primitive idea of a body
of flesh and blood is uppermost.  We turn now to the New Testament to
consider its usage.  Not one reference in the four Gospels uses the word soma
except of the human body, and need not detain us here.  The only occurrence
in the Acts, is in 9:40 where it refers to the body of Tabitha.
It has, however, been suggested that where the Saviour took the bread
and said 'This is My body' (Matt. 26:26), He could not have referred to His
actual body, for He had not as then died; therefore, it is argued we must re-
translate the words 'This is My Substance'.  There appears to be some touch
of Nelson here, a 'blind eye' to the presence of certain words in the
context.  If we are obliged to substitute the word 'substance' because the
Lord had not then died, what substitute shall we adopt for the words: 'This
is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of
sins'?  For neither had His blood till then been shed.  We will not multiply
examples.  Enough, we trust has been said to show the extreme importance of
usage when attempting the translation of any word in any language, and
especially by reason of its solemn importance in the language of Scripture.
Whenever a word is before one, and the translation is being considered,
remember that:
Greek words were in common use long before they were employed as
a vehicle for the writing of Scripture.
Consequently, they are impregnated with pagan and mythological
teachings, which are antagonistic to, and subversive of, the
truth of Revelation.
Therefore, no doctrine should be built upon the etymology of a
Greek word, for the reason stated in (2) above.
Its usage, both in the New Testament and the LXX, establishes the
meaning intended by the inspired writers.
The basic language of all doctrine is the original Hebrew, and
New Testament words should be traced back via the LXX before
conclusions are arrived at.
Pagan or classical Greek favours the translation of katabole as
'foundation', but LXX and the Hebrew Scriptures have no room for such a
rendering, the consistent meaning there being 'overthrow'.  To all who bow to
the authority of Scripture, debate here ceases, and simple faith begins.
The Words used in the New Testament
Those of us who listened to various speakers over the radio or who read
the leading articles in the daily press at the conclusion of the Second World
War, know that the one word 'victory' was that which stimulated the worker,
the warrior, the writer and the speaker.  It is just as true in the spiritual
realm, for in that realm war has not yet ceased.  The Scripture, while it
does not veil from our eyes the solemnity and the greatness of the conflict
in which we are engaged, heartens the good soldier of Jesus Christ, by the
assurances that it gives of victory.