[B-Greek] Does blasphemeo always carry the meaning of speaking?
hholmyard at ont.com
Sun Mar 4 17:55:18 EST 2007
Dear Carl U. and Carl C.,
I should also say that the parallels to Luke 12:10 seem to clarify it,
because instead of using BLASFHMEW for the action against the Holy
Spirit, as Lk 12:10 does, Matthew 12:32 uses EIPHi ("say, speak"):
Matt. 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be
forgiven, but anyone who speaks [EIPHi] against the Holy Spirit will not
be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Mt 12:32 KAI hOS EIPHi LOGON KATA TOU hUIOU TOU ANQRWPOU, AFEQHSETAI
AUTWi. hOS D'AN EIPHi KATA TOU PNEUMATOS TOU hAGIOU, OUK AFEQHSETAI
AUTWi OUTE EV TOUTWi TWi AIWNI OUTE EN TWi MELLONTI.
Mark clarifies the situation because instead of Luke's "speak a word" in
the first clause and "blaspheme" in the second clause, it has the idea
of blasphemy in both elements of the comparison:
Mark 3:28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will
be forgiven them.
Mark 3:29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be
forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."
The idea in Mark may be that people can say and do all sorts of wrongs
where forgiveness is possible, but when they speak against the work of
God that brings people to salvation, they have no hope because humankind
needs to respond positively to the work of the Spirit to find salvation.
The trigger for Jesus' words was vocal speech, but I would not exclude
the idea of non-vocal speech. Speech is speech, even if one speaks to
oneself. Jesus may concentrate on the idea of speech because of the
vocal trigger to which he was responding.
> On Mar 3, 2007, at 11:20 PM, Carl Unger wrote:
>> Thank you Mr. Holymard.
>> Many people think the the verses regarding blasphemy against the
>> Holy Spirit
>> is a wilful rejection of the Holy Spirit all the way until death.
>> I was thinking "speak a word against" could also mean to say "no"
>> to, like
>> saying "no" to the Holy Spirit, that's without looking at the Greek of
>> Anyway, you have told me in the case of Luke 12:10 with BLASFHMEW
>> that it
>> refers to speech, I'm going to assume there is no doubt in this.
> On the other hand, I would question this conclusion.
> Text: Luke 12:10 KAI PAS hOS EREI LOGON EIS TON hUON TOU ANQRWPOU,
> AFEQHSETAI AUTWi; TWi DE EIS TO hAGION PNEUMA BLASFHMHSANTI OUK
> While opposition to the Son of Man here is clearly verbal statement,
> I'm not so sure that "blaspheming" against he Spirit must be. My own
> interpretation of this passage has been, rightly or wrongly, that the
> reason why this is unforgivable is precisely because it is closing
> one's heart and mind to any invitation by the Spirit: one condemns
> oneself by refusal to open one's heart and mind. Of course, one may
> say that BLASFHMEIN must necessarily involve a public action, but I
> don't see why that must be the case.
HH: Luke 12:10 seems to be a reflection of the larger scene reported in
Matt 12:22-32 and Mark 3:20-30. Luke reports the same incident in Lk
11:14-23 but does not report the remark about the Holy Spirit until Lk
12:10. In Matthew and Mark Jesus is criticizing a sin of speech. It is
true that the heart was involved, but these people would never have
faced criticism if they did not speak. What they were saying was a word
against the Son of Man because they were accusing him of casting out
demons by Beelzebub, or Satan. Yet it was also a word against the Holy
Spirit. Jesus clarified that he was doing his miracle by the Holy Spirit:
Matt. 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the
kingdom of God is come unto you.
People might be mistaken about who Jesus was. But the work of the Spirit
was a known entity in Israel. God did his miracles by the Spirit, as
Scripture teaches. God does great and wonderful things, and Israel knew
that. To speak evil of a God-given miracle accomplished by the Holy
Spirit closes the door to all change of life. Casting out demons is
obviously a positive thing that brings blessing to human life. Jesus
himself refuted the idea that Satan cast out demons. Satan would be
divided against himself if he did that. Jesus did such miracles as signs
to show who he was. They were God's means of drawing people to His Son.
It is by the power of the Spirit that people are brought to God, so to
speak evil of that power is to shut the door to salvation. That is
exactly what these people were doing.
I granted that the Greek verb might conceivably refer to a non-verbal
action, but BLASFHMEW is generally a verbal word. Check LSJ and the
meanings given for BLASFHMEW:
speak profanely of sacred things
utter imprecations against
speak ill or to the prejudice of one
speak impiously or irreverently of God
Every meaning given by the lexicon involves a verbal act, and that is
what this case in the New Testament involves, where people were speaking
evil of the work of the Holy Spirit, calling it a work of Satan. You may
say, "They did not mention the Spirit," but nonetheless, that is what
they were doing.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit includes saying no the Spirit in one's
heart, but that does not seem to be what Jesus is talking about in this
incident. Carl might be right that such blasphemy would not have to be
vocal. One might speak evil of the Spirit within one's thoughts. I don't
want to eliminate that possibility. But the incident that sparked this
comment in the Gospels involved spoken words pertaining to the Spirit.
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