The Berean Expositor
Volume 31 - Page 108 of 181
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The Mystery Manifested.
Musterion: a secret that necessitates manifestation.
pp. 65 - 67
The burden of our ministry for the past thirty years has been an echo, however faint,
of the words of the Lord's prisoner: "to make all men see what is the dispensation of the
mystery" (Eph. 3: 9, R.V.). The very fullness of the subject itself demands repeated
examination and restatement, while the passage of time and the addition of new readers,
make it imperative that this central feature of our testimony shall be kept to the fore.
Knowing the joy of meeting afresh "things old" and being sure that patient and prayerful
study will always result in the discovery of "things new" in this rich mine of truth, those
of our readers who are acquainted with the teaching of the Scriptures concerning the
dispensation of the mystery will be among the first to welcome such a series.
Our first enquiry will be into the meaning and relation of the two words "mystery" and
"Mystery" is the Anglicized form of the Greek musterion, and consequently is rather a
transliteration than a translation. It has been in our language so long that in the course of
centuries it has developed meanings and connections of its own. If therefore we would
understand the scriptural usage and meaning of the word we must go behind all these
derived meanings. For example, musterion is derived from muo, to close, to shut, e.g.,
the lips, the eyes, and so preserve a secret. In the days of the Apostles and for long
before the Christian era, the mysteries, ta musteria, referred to secret politics and
religious doctrines, with their "initiations", and spoke of those who had advanced in
knowledge and those who were "perfect"; they were accompanied by obscene rites and
are among the things that it is not meet should be named among us. These were Satanic
travesties, for as surely as there is in the Word "the mystery of godliness" so surely do we
learn that there is also "the mystery of iniquity". It is not for us to probe the depths of
Satan, but to confine our investigations to higher and purer lines of enquiry.
We will first turn our attention to the occurrences of the word musterion in biblical
Greek, i.e., Greek translation of the O.T. and Greek apocryphal writings before Christ.
It is only in the book of Daniel that the LXX uses the word. There it occurs several
times, being translated in the A.V. by "secret". Other translators of the O.T. into Greek,
namely, Theodotion and Symmachus, use the word but four times.
"Hast thou known the secret of God" (Job 15: 8).
"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him" (Psalm. 25: 14).
"A talebearer revealeth secrets" (Prov. 20: 19).
"My leanness" Margin. "Heb. "My secret" (Isa. 24: 16).