The Berean Expositor
Volume 44 - Page 20 of 247
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No.4.  Verbal links between Paul's Epistles
and the Epistle to the Hebrews (2).
pp. 90 - 96
Among the peculiarities of the Apostle Paul's style of writing and argument may be
mentioned a species of digression. It is a turning aside from the subject, upon the
occurrence of some particular word, which causes him to temporarily forsake the train of
thought then in hand, and enter upon a parenthetic sentence in which that word is the
prevailing term or idea. An example of this can be seen in Eph. 4: 8-11:
"Wherefore He saith, when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and give
gifts unto men, (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into
the lower part of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far
above all heavens, that He might fill all things). And He gave some Apostles, and some
prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers."
In verse 8, the thought and the importance of the Ascension causes Paul to digress
from the gift of Christ, and the digression is shown in the words contained in brackets. In
the eleventh verse he returns again to the gifts of the Ascended Christ, "And He gave
some apostles" etc. In chapter 3: we have yet another example. After the great climax
of revelation at the end of chapter 2:, where the Church changes from the figure of a
Body to a holy temple, designed as a permanent dwelling place for God, the Apostle is
constrained to pray. He started to do this in 3: 1, "for this cause I Paul"--he was going
to follow with the words `bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ', which
he does in verse 14, but after giving his title, "the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you
Gentiles", he deviates and devotes verses 2-13 to explain this title and its relationship to
the new revelation he had received from Christ, connected with a secret (mystery), hid in
God from the ages (verses 9; Col. 1: 26) about which he now aims to `enlighten all'.
We see the same characteristic in Eph. 5: 13-15: "But all things that are reproved are
made manifest by the light; (for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore He
saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light).
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise". The Apostle's immediate
context is reproving the works of darkness that are done in secret, walking as children of
light (verse 8), and walking circumspectly (verse 15), but he turns aside momentarily to
comment on the revealing power of light.  II Cor. 2: 14-17, is a further example,
verses 15 and 16 being parenthetical.
We find similar examples in the epistle to the Hebrews.  In chapter 12: 18-24 the
writer first states negatively:  "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be
touched" (i.e. Sinai), and then positively: "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto
the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem . . . . ."  The awe-inspiring
accompaniments of the giving of the law at Sinai, "the sound of trumpet, and the voice of
words" causes the author to digress, "which voice they that heard intreated that the word
should not be spoken to them any more. For they could not endure that which was