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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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In the literature of the Apostolic Church the word ‘oracle’ has lost its technical pagan meaning. λόγιον occurs four times in the NT (Acts 7:38, Romans 3:2, Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 4:11). In the first three of these passages it means the Canonical Scriptures of the OT. That is probably also its meaning in 1 Peter: ‘If any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God,’ i.e. treating his words as seriously as if they were inspired Scripture. Clement of Rome uses the word three times (ad Cor. xix., liii., lxii.), always in the sense of authoritative Scripture, i.e. the OT. Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.) III. xxxix. 16) quotes Papias as saying that ‘Matthew composed the oracles (sc. of the Lord) in Hebrew, and each one interpreted them as he could.’ E. C. Selwyn holds that these were the Messianic prophecies of the OT which Matthew collected (The Oracles in the New Testament, London, 1912, p. 396 ff.). The adjective λόγιος (Revised Version ‘learned’) is applied to Apollos (Acts 18:24).

R. H. Malden.

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

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Sunday, December 15th, 2019
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