Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Carry, Bear

Greek Word Pronunciation: FE-ro
Strong’s Number: 5342
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5770
Key Verse: “… no prophecy was made ... but man carried along by the Holy Spirit” -- 2 Peter 1:21

The most basic meaning of phero is “to bring, lead, to drive” of men, animals, and things. In the Septuagint, it was to bring all kinds of persons, things, but especially gifts brought as offerings or sacrifices to the temple, priests, or altar. In Genesis 4:3, it referred to the offerings of Cain and Abel. In Numbers 11:14, 17, and Deuteronomy 1:9, 12, Moses said, “I am not able to bear all this people alone,” giving the idea of responsibility of the government or guidance of Israel.

This word appears 66 times In the New Testament, and the special aspect of this word is in the persons and objects to which it refers. “To bring” is the most frequent meaning. It is used several times in Mark in regard to the sick and demon-possessed who are constantly brought in great numbers to Jesus. In Mark 4:8, it refers to yielding a crop; in John 20:27, to Thomas reaching forth his hand to Jesus; and in Acts 12:10, to the gate as leading to a city.

The most powerful use carries the idea of motion, as used in Hebrews 1:3, “He upholds all things by the word of His power.” It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement. It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development.

This same idea of movement is found in Acts 2:2 of the rushing of a mighty wind. In Acts 27:15 and 17, it is used of a ship being borne in a storm-tossed ship. Peter used this word 6 times in his epistles, twice in 2 PETER 1:21: “no prophecy was made [borne] ... but man moved [being borne along] by the Holy Spirit.” This is perhaps the strongest statement in the New Testament regarding divine origin and authority of Old Testament scripture.


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