Friday, March 30, 2007

Share, Partake

Greek Word Pronunciations: koi-no-NAY-oh // me-TEK-oh
Strong’s Numbers: 2841 // 3348
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Numbers: 3125 // 3576
Key Verse: “since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself also partook of the same.” -- Hebrews 2:14

Two verbs in the New Testament are used interchangeably as “partake” or “share.” The first is koinoneo, which means “to have a share in common with someone else.” Our word “communion” comes from this same root word. It appears 8 times in the New Testament. It is translated as contributing, in Romans 12:13, and in 2 John 1:11, it is participates. The other verses all translate as share (Romans 15:27; Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:15; 1 Timothy 5:22; and 1 Peter 4:13).

The other word is metecho, which is a compound of meta (“to hold”) and echo (“with”) It also appears 8 times in the New Testament. In Hebrews 5:13, it is translated as belongs. In 1 Corinthians 9:10, 12; 10:17, 21, 30; and Hebrews 5:13, it is translated as share or partake.

In HEBREWS 2:14, “the children share (koinoneo) in flesh and blood …” The children are human beings, subjects of redemption in Christ. Individuals of the human race have flesh and blood in common with one another. [Note: A distinction should also be made in the tenses of the verbs in this verse. Here, the verb share is in perfect tense, indicating that human beings have always in the past and will always continue to share in flesh and blood with each other.]

“He Himself partook (metecho) of the same.” Christ took hold of human nature without its sin in the incarnation, and held it to Himself as an additional nature, thus associating Himself with the human race in its possession of flesh and blood. He took to Himself [once, as indicated by the aorist tense verb] something with which, by nature, He had nothing in common.

Koinoneo marks the characteristic sharing of the common fleshly nature as it pertains to the human race at large, whereas metecho speaks of the unique fact of the incarnation as a voluntary acceptance of humanity. The Son of God united with Himself something that was not natural to Him. He became incarnate that He might die, thus breaking the power of the one who had the dominion of death.

1 comment:

Jason Fitzpatrick said...

Hello, I in particular am interested in the word koinonia. I have no Greek education. Is there a connection somehow with koi to koine, koinonia, koite, koinos...

It seems that koi has a meaning followed by ne, nonia, te, nos...???

Thank you, Jason