[B-Greek] BHMA in 2 Cor 5
iver_larsen at sil.org
Sun Jan 4 01:06:04 EST 2004
> I read with keen interest your last reply. It made
> alot of sense to me. What do you mean exactly by
> "secular" ? I think I know but I want to confirm this
> concept you have enlightened me to.
> --- waldo slusher <waldoslusher at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > --- Mitch Larramore wrote:
> > > In what sense is the default meaning of this word
> > > "judgment"? Would this word have a default meaning
> > > different in Corinth (with the Isthmus games close
> > > by) than in another city?
It may be helpful to remember that the meaning of a text is derived from a
combination of words in their immediate context.
Carl has already given a full explanation of the meaning of BHMA as normally
referring to a raised platform that some authority figure steps on to (and
probably sits down on) when making official statements, speeches or
In the context of 2 Cor 5:10 the intended meaning is clearly "judgment
seat". This is indicated partly by someone being brought before it:
EMPROSQEN TOU BHMATOS, and partly by the following clause about being repaid
(KOMIZW) for what one has done, whether good or evil. The only other place
where Paul uses the word is in Rom 14:10, where again the meaning from
context is clearly a judgment seat.
It may be of interest to compare it with QRONOS. This refers to a king's
seat of authority, and in certain contexts, like Mt 19:28 and Rev 20:12, the
king or ruler pronounces judgment sitting on his throne. In such contexts,
the word refers to something that functions as a judgment seat, but that
does not imply that the word in itself and without context means "judgment
seat". Based on usage, I would expect that the first idea one would get from
QRONOS is the seat of a king, and one needs to show him honour as king. One
would not immediately think of judgment, since that is not the most common
activity associated with the word. However, the first idea one might get
from BHMA may well be judgement, because that is the most common association
connected with the word as used in the GNT. The first idea may or may not be
correct, because it is the context that shapes and bends the individual
ideas into a cohesive whole.
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