Did you know a regular English dictionary could radically change how you read the Bible?
In deed it can! Try looking up the words you found in the passage you just read.
Let’s walk through an example to whet your appetite.
Ephesians 1:7-10 NKJV
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”
Now, using http://www.Dictionary.com let’s look up the words redemption, forgiveness, abound, and prudence.
2. deliverance; rescue.
3. Theology . deliverance from sin; salvation.
4. atonement for guilt.
5. repurchase, as of something sold.
2.disposition or willingness to forgive.
verb (used without object)
1.to occur or exist in great quantities or numbers: a stream in which trout abound.
2.to be rich or well supplied (usually followed by in ): The region abounds in coal.
3.to be filled; teem (usually followed by with ): The ship abounds with rats.
1.the quality or fact of being prudent.
2.caution with regard to practical matters; discretion.
3.regard for one’s own interests.
4.provident care in the management of resources; economy; frugality.
With the definitions before us, let’s try reading verse 7 again and substituting one or more of the definitions in place of the word redemption.
The verse might now read something like this:
In Him we have “atonement for guilt” through His blood, the “state of being forgiven” of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He made to “well supplied” toward us in all wisdom and “discretion.”
Do you see how revisiting the definitions of words can help bring a fuller understanding to the words you read?