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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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1. The word ‘guide.’—In Authorized Version of Gospels the noun ‘guide’ is found only in Matthew 23:16; Matthew 23:24, where it represents ὀδηγός (lit. ‘a leader of the way’). ὁδηγός occurs also, however, in Matthew 15:14, where Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 has consistently substituted ‘blind guides’ for ‘blind leaders’ of Authorized Version (cf. Acts 1:16, Romans 2:19). As a verb, ‘guide’ in Authorized Version of Gospels represents two different words in the original. (a) ὁδηγέω (from ὀδηγός) in John 16:13. ὁδηγέω is found also in Matthew 15:14, Luke 6:39 (cf. Acts 8:31, Revelation 7:17), but is there rendered ‘lead’ in Authorized Version, which Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 again properly changes to ‘guide.’ (b) κατευθύνω (lit. ‘to make straight’), which occurs only once in Gospels (Luke 1:79; but cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:5). An interesting contrast might be drawn between the false ὀδηγοί, the ‘blind leaders of the blind’ (Matthew 15:14; Matthew 23:16, Luke 6:39), and the true ὁδηγός (who is also Himself ἡ ὁδός, John 14:6), who came into the world to ‘set our feet straight’ into the way of peace (Luke 1:79), who promised before His departure that He would send the Spirit of truth to guide His people into all the truth (John 16:13), and who will Himself hereafter ‘guide them to life-giving springs of water’ (Revelation 7:17). With Christ as ὀδηγός of His people cf. the ἁρχηγός of Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31, Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 12:2.

2. Christ as our Guide.—To communities and to individuals, otherwise walking in darkness, Christ is their Guide, the Shepherd leading His sheep, the Light preceding His people. There can be only one Guide,—a man cannot follow the lode-star and also make for every flickering will-o’-the-wisp that allures and entices him. Christ has deliberately and finally claimed the guidance of mankind. He bade sincere aspirants after life follow, not the Law as such, nor even God as unincarnate, but Himself, the Law-in-character and the God-in-man (Luke 18:22, Matthew 16:24, John 12:26). His guidance is to be universal in its scope (John 1:4; John 1:9), and will be sufficient in its nature (John 21:22). Without Him the mass of men are as sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). He alone reveals God to man (Matthew 11:27), and so displays the goal of man’s being. He taught, therefore, as one having unique authority (Matthew 7:29), and rightly draws all men to Himself (John 12:32). He Himself, and no other conceivably or possibly, is the Way as well as the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Hence the warning: ‘Take heed that no man lead you astray’ (Mark 13:5). And so, on the other hand, the impossibility of the Christian’s seeking any other guidance, expressed in St. Peter’s exclamation: ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?’ (John 6:68). Of this sole claim and unique authority the three chosen disciples heard the ratification in the bewildering glory of the Transfiguration: ‘This is my beloved Son: hear ye him’ (Mark 9:7). This guidance Christ gives to His follower by His Holy Spirit, guiding into all the truth (John 16:13); and very especially through the Holy Scriptures, which tell of Him (John 5:39), and whose meaning He can make plain (Luke 24:27; Luke 24:45). Christ Himself ratified the guidance afforded by Scripture at crises of His life, in which example and precept were wedded together in indissoluble union, as in the Temptation, the Cleansing of the Temple, and on the Cross (Luke 4:1-44; Luke 19:46; Luke 23:46).

To put it in another way, the Father’s will was Christ’s will, even to the uttermost: ‘Not what I will, but what thou wilt’ (Mark 14:36). So Christ guides us to union with God, our true destiny; through Him we come to the Father (John 14:6). Hence His guidance is into peace (Luke 1:79), as the aged Zacharias felt and declared. It is the steady, unvarying guidance of the heart towards its Divine home, the love of God, as the name Immanuel suggests (Matthew 1:23). It is an absolute guidance, or no guidance (Luke 9:57-62).

W. B. Frankland.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Guide'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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