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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Affirm; Affirmatives

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a -fûr´ma -tivs ( διΐσχυρίζομαι , diischurı́zomai ). The verb "affirm" occurs in several passages of the New Testament in the sense of "assert" (Luke 22:59 ; Acts 12:15 ; Acts 25:19 φάσκω , phá -skō ; Romans 3:8 φημί , phēmı́ ; 1 Tim 17; Titus 3:8 διαβεβαιόομαι , diabebaióomai ̌ . The Hebrew does not employ affirmative particles, but gives a positive reply by either repeating the word in question or by substituting the first person in the reply for the second person in the question, or by employing the formula: "Thou hast said" or "Thou hast rightly said." The Saviour used this idiom (σὺ εῖπας , sù eı́̄pas ) when answering Judas and Caiaphas (Matthew 26:25 , Matthew 26:64 ). A peculiar elegance occasionally attaches to the interpretation of the Scriptures because of their use of an affirmative and a negative together, rendering the sense more emphatic; sometimes the negative occurs first, as in Psalm 118:17 : "I shall not die, but live"; sometimes the affirmative precedes, as in Isa Psalm 88:1 : "Thou shalt die, and not bye" John 1:20 is made peculiarly emphatic because of the negative placed between two affirmatives: "And he confessed, and denied not; and he confessed, I am not the Christ."

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Affirm; Affirmatives'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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