Bible ConcordancePreacher (27 Occurrences)
Acts 10:37 That word you yourselves have knowledge of, which was made public through all Judaea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism of which John was the preacher, (BBE)
Acts 17:18 And some of those who were supporters of the theories of the Epicureans and the Stoics, had a meeting with him. And some said, What is this talker of foolish words saying? And others, He seems to be a preacher of strange gods: because he was preaching of Jesus and his coming back from the dead. (BBE RSV)
Acts 21:8 And on the day after, we went away and came to Caesarea, where we were guests in the house of Philip, the preacher, who was one of the seven. (BBE)
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, an Apostle by the selection of God, given authority as a preacher of the good news, (BBE)
Romans 2:16 In the day when God will be a judge of the secrets of men, as it says in the good news of which I am a preacher, through Jesus Christ. (BBE)
Romans 10:14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher? (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE WBS NAS RSV)
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me, not to give baptism, but to be a preacher of the good news: not with wise words, for fear that the cross of Christ might be made of no value. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I am a preacher of the good news, I have no cause for pride in this; because I am forced to do so, for a curse is on me if I do not. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 9:18 What are my wages then? The very fact that the Good News which I preach will cost my hearers nothing, so that I cannot be charged with abuse of my privileges as a Christian preacher. (WEY BBE)
1 Corinthians 15:11 If then it is I who am the preacher, or they, this is our word, and to this you have given your faith. (BBE)
Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, were to be a preacher to you of good news other than that which we have given you, let there be a curse on him. (BBE)
Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so say I now again, If any man is a preacher to you of any good news other than that which has been given to you, let there be a curse on him. (BBE)
Galatians 1:11 Because I say to you, my brothers, that the good news of which I was the preacher is not man's. (BBE)
Galatians 5:11 As for me, brethren, if I am still a preacher of circumcision, how is it that I am still suffering persecution? In that case the Cross has ceased to be a stumbling-block! (WEY)
Ephesians 3:7 Of which I was made a preacher, through that grace of God which was given to me in the measure of the working of his power. (BBE)
1 Timothy 2:7 to which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth in Christ, not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Timothy 1:11 For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Titus 1:3 Who, in his time, made clear his word in the good news, of which, by the order of God our Saviour, I became a preacher; (BBE)
2 Peter 2:5 and didn't spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Ecclesiastes 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem: (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ecclesiastes 1:2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ecclesiastes 1:12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ecclesiastes 7:27 Behold, this have I found, says the Preacher, one to another, to find out the scheme; (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ecclesiastes 12:8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher. All is vanity! (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ecclesiastes 12:9 Further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he pondered, sought out, and set in order many proverbs. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ecclesiastes 12:10 The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written blamelessly, words of truth. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Micah 2:11 If a man walking in a spirit of falsehood do lie,'saying , I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people. (See JPS RSV)
ThesaurusPreacher (27 Occurrences)...
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. ECCLESIASTES, THE PREACHER
Ecclesiastes, New York, 1904. Willis J. Beecher. PREACHER
; PREACHING. .../p/preacher.htm - 48k
Koheleth (7 Occurrences)
... Ecclesiastes 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
(See JPS). ... Ecclesiastes 1:12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. ...
/k/koheleth.htm - 8k
Evangelist (2 Occurrences)
... A "publisher of glad tidings;" a missionary preacher of the gospel (Ephesians
4:11). ... (n.) A missionary preacher; a bringer of the good news. ...
/e/evangelist.htm - 23k
Ecclesiastes (1 Occurrence)
... The Greek rendering of the Hebrew Koheleth, which means "Preacher." The old and
traditional view of the authorship of this book attributes it to Solomon. ...
/e/ecclesiastes.htm - 27k
Preaching (116 Occurrences)
... earnest advice. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. PREACHER; PREACHING.
prech'-er, prech'-ing (qoheleth, "preacher" (Ecclesiastes 1 ...
/p/preaching.htm - 50k
Vanities (14 Occurrences)
... Ecclesiastes 1:2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities,
all is vanity." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV). ...
/v/vanities.htm - 12k
Whereunto (36 Occurrences)
... 1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth
in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. ...
/w/whereunto.htm - 17k
Itinerant (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (a.) Wandering; not settled; as, an itinerant
preacher; an itinerant peddler. 2. (a.) One who travels ...
/i/itinerant.htm - 7k
Circuit (27 Occurrences)
... limits. 5. (n.) A regular or appointed journeying from place to place in the
exercise of one's calling, as of a judge, or a preacher. 6 ...
/c/circuit.htm - 16k
Stephen (13 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary One of the seven deacons, who became a preacher
of the gospel. He was the first Christian martyr. His ...
/s/stephen.htm - 33k
Greek2783. kerux -- a herald ...
a herald. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: kerux Phonetic Spelling:
(kay'-roox) Short Definition: a herald, preacher
Definition: a herald ... /greek/2783.htm - 7k
2784. kerusso -- to be a herald, proclaim
... Word Origin of uncertain origin Definition to be a herald, proclaim NASB Word Usage
made proclamation (1), preach (16), preached (10), preacher (1), preaches (2 ...
/greek/2784.htm - 9k
3623. oikonomos -- the manager of a household
... a house-distributor (ie Manager), or overseer, ie An employee in that capacity;
by extension, a fiscal agent (treasurer); figuratively, a preacher (of the ...
/greek/3623.htm - 7k
2604. kataggeleus -- a proclaimer
... Word Origin from kataggello Definition a proclaimer NASB Word Usage proclaimer
(1). a proclaimer, preacher. From kataggello; a proclaimer -- setter forth. ...
/greek/2604.htm - 6k
4243. presbeuo -- to be the elder, to take precedence
... be an ambassador. From the base of presbuteros; to be a senior, ie (by implication)
act as a representative (figuratively, preacher) -- be an ambassador. ...
/greek/4243.htm - 7k
2099. euaggelistes -- an evangelist, a bringer of good news
... evangelist. From euaggelizo; a preacher of the gospel -- evangelist. see GREEK
euaggelizo. (euangelistas) -- 1 Occurrence. (euangelistou) -- 2 Occurrences. ...
/greek/2099.htm - 7k
Topical Bible VersesJames 3:1
My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.Topicalbible.org—AKJV
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaECCLESIASTES, THE PREACHER
e-kle-zi-as'-tez, or (qoheleth; Ekklesiastes, perhaps "member of assembly"; see below):
1. Structure of the Book
2. The Contents
3. Composite Authorship?
5. "King in Jerusalem"
6. Date and Authorship
7. Linguistic Peculiarities
8. Certain Inconclusive Arguments
1. Structure of the Book:
Reading this book one soon becomes aware that it is a discussion of certain difficult problems of human life. It begins with a title Ec (1:1), followed by a preface (1:2-11). It has a formal conclusion (12:8-13). Between the preface and the conclusion the body of the book is made up of materials of two kinds-first a series of "I" sections, sections uttered in the 1st person singular, a record of a personal experience; and second, an alternating series of gnomic sections, sections made up of proverbs (say 4:5, 6, 9-12; 5:1-12; 7:1-14, 16-22; 8:1-8; 9:7-10; 10:1-4; 10:8-12:7). These may be called the "thou" sections, as most of them have the pronoun of the 2nd person singular. The idea of the vanity of all things characterizes the record of experience, but it also appears in the "thou" sections (eg. 9:9). On the other hand the proverb element is not wholly lacking in the "I" sections (eg. 4:1-3).
2. The Contents:
In the preface the speaker lays down the proposition that all things are unreal, and that the results of human effort are illusive Ec (1:2, 3). Human generations, day and night, the wind, the streams, are alike the repetition of an unending round (1:4-7). The same holds in regard to all human study and thinking (1:8-11). The speaker shows familiarity with the phenomena which we think of as those of natural law, of the persistence of force, but he thinks of them in the main as monotonously limiting human experience. Nothing is new. All effort of Nature or of man is the doing again of something which has already been done.
After the preface the speaker introduces himself, and recounts his experiences. At the outset he had a noble ambition for wisdom and discipline, but all he attained to was unreality and perplexity of mind (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18). This is equally the meaning of the text, whether we translate "vanity and vexation of spirit" or "vanity and a striving after wind," ("emptiness, and struggling for breath"), though the first of these two translations is the better grounded.
Finding no adequate satisfaction in the pursuits of the scholar and thinker, taken by themselves, he seeks to combine these with the pursuit of agreeable sensations-alike those which come from luxury and those which come from activity and enterprise and achievement Ec (2:1-12). No one could be in better shape than he for making this experiment, but again he only attains to unreality and perplexity of spirit. He says to himself that at least it is in itself profitable to be a wise man rather than a fool, but his comfort is impaired by the fact that both alike are mortal (2:13-17). He finds little reassurance in the idea of laboring for the benefit of posterity; posterity is often not worthy (2:18-21). One may toil unremittingly, but what is the use (2:22, 23)?
He does not find himself helped by bringing God into the problem. `It is no good for a man that he should eat and drink and make his soul see good in his toil' Ec (2:24-26, as most naturally translated), even if he thinks of it as the gift of God; for how can one be sure that the gift of God is anything but luck? He sees, however, that it is not just to dismiss thus lightly the idea of God as a factor in the problem. It is true that there is a time for everything, and that everything is "beautiful in its time." It is also true that ideas of infinity are in men's minds, ideas which they can neither get rid of nor fully comprehend (3:1-18). Here are tokens of God, who has established an infinite order. If we understood His ways better, that might unravel our perplexities. And if God is, immortality may be, and the solution of our problems may lie in that direction. For a moment it looks as if the speaker were coming out into the light, but doubt resumes its hold upon him. He asks himself, "Who knoweth?" and he settles back into the darkness. He has previously decided that for a man to "eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good" is not worth while; and now he reaches the conclusion that, unsatisfactory as this is, there is nothing better (3:19-22).
And so the record of experiences continues, hopeful passages alternating with pessimistic passages. After a while the agnosticism and pessimism recede somewhat, and the hopeful passages become more positive. Even though "the poor man's wisdom is despised," the speaker says, "the words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him that ruleth among fools" Ec (9:17). He says "Surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God" (8:12), no matter how strongly appearances may indicate the contrary.
The gnomic sections are mostly free from agnosticism and pessimism. The book as a whole sums itself up in the conclusion, "Fear God, and keep his commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Of course the agnostic and pessimistic utterances in Ec are to be regarded as the presentation of one side of an argument. Disconnect them and they are no part of the moral and religious teaching of the book, except in an indirect way. At no point should we be justified in thinking of the author as really doubting in regard to God or moral obligation. He delineates for us a soul in the toils of mental and spiritual conflict. It is a delineation which may serve for warning, and which is in other ways wholesomely instructive; and in the outcome of it, it is full of encouragement.
In some passages the speaker in Ecclesiastes has in mind the solution of the problems of life which we are accustomed to call Epicurean (eg. 5:18-20; 7:16, 17; 8:15; but not 2:24)-the solution which consists in avoiding extremes, and in getting from life as many agreeable sensations as possible; but it is not correct to say that he advocates this philosophy. He rather presents it as an alternative.
His conclusion is the important part of his reasoning. All things are vanity. Everything passes away. Yet (he says) it is better to read and use good words than bad words. Therefore because the Great Teacher is wise, he ever teaches the people knowledge, and in so doing he ever seeks good words, acceptable words, upright words, words of truth. "The words of the wise are as goads; and as nails well fastened" ("clinched at the back") (12:11). Such are the words of all the great masters. So (he ends) my son, be warned! There are many books in this world. Choose good ones. And his conclusion is: Reverence the Mighty Spirit. Keep to good principles. That is the whole duty of man. For everything at last becomes clear; and "good" stands out clearly from "evil."
3. Composite Authorship?:
We have noticed that our book has "I" sections and "thou" sections. Certainly these are structural marks, but as such they are capable of being interpreted in various ways. Partitional hypotheses can easily be formed, and perhaps there is no great objection to them; but there are no phenomena which cannot be accounted for by the hypothesis that we have here just the work of one author, who sometimes quotes proverbial utterances, either his own or those of other men. As proving the integrity of the book three points present themselves. First, in some cases (eg. Ecclesiastes 7:14 b-16) the experience matter and the gnomic matter are closely combined in sense and in grammatical construction. Second, it is possible to interpret all the gnomic sections as a part of the continuous argument. Third, if we so interpret them the book is a unit, the argument moving forward continuously out of the speculative into the practical, and out of the darkness into the light.
The speaker in Ecclesiastes calls himself Qoheleth (1:1, 2, 12 and other places), rendered "the Preacher" in the English Versions. The word does not occur elsewhere, although it is from a stem that is in common use. Apparently it has been coined for a purpose by the author of Ecclesiastes. In form it is a feminine participle, though it denotes a man. This is best explained as a case of the using of an abstract expression for a concrete, as when in English we say "Your Honor," "Your Majesty." The other words of the stem are used of people gathering in assemblies, and the current explanation is to the effect that Qoheleth is a person who draws an audience whom he may address. To this there are two objections: First, the participle is intransitive; its natural implication is that of a person who participates in an assembly, not of one who causes the participants to assemble. Second, the assembly distinctively indicated by the words of this stem is the official assembly for the transaction of public business. Worked out on this basis Qoheleth seems to mean citizenship, or concretely, a citizen-a citizen of such respectability that he is entitled to participate in public assemblies. It is in the character of citizen-king that the speaker in Ecclesiastes relates his experiences and presents his ideas.
This word for "assembly" and its cognates are in the Greek often translated by ekklesia and its cognates (eg. Deuteronomy 4:10; Deuteronomy 9:10 Judges 20:2; Judges 21:5, 8). So we are not surprised to find Qoheleth rendered by the Greek Ekklesiastes, and this Latinized into Ecclesiastes.
5. "King in Jerusalem":
The speaker in Ec speaks not only in the character of Qoheleth, but in that of "the son of David, king in Jerus" (1:1). So far as this clause is concerned the king in question might be either Solomon or any other king of the dynasty, or might be a composite or an ideal king. He is represented (1:12-2:11) as "king over Israel," and as distinguished for wisdom, for his luxuries, for his great enterprises in building and in business. These marks fit Solomon better than any other king of the dynasty, unless possibly Uzziah. Possibly it is not absurd to apply to Solomon even the phrase "all that were before me over Jerusalem," or "in Jerus" (1:16; 2:7, 9; compare 1 Chronicles 29:25 1 Kings 3:12; 2 Chronicles 1:12). It is safer, however, to use an alternative statement. The speaker in Ec is either Solomon or some other actual or composite or ideal king of the dynasty of David.
6. Date and Authorship:
If it were agreed that Solomon is the citizen king who, in Ecclesiastes, is represented as speaking, that would not be the same thing as agreeing that Solomon is the author of the book. No one thinks that Sir Galahad is the author of Tennyson's poem of that name. Qoheleth the king is the character into whose mouth the author of Ecclesiastes puts the utterances which he wishes to present, but it does not follow that the author is himself Qoheleth.
The statement is often made that Jewish tradition attributes the writing of Ecclesiastes to Solomon; but can anyone cite any relatively early tradition to this effect? Is this alleged tradition anything else than the confusing of the author with the character whom he has sketched? The well-known classic tradition in Babha' Bathra' attributes Ec to "Hezekiah and his company," not to Solomon. And the tradition which is represented by the order in which the books occur in the Hebrew Bibles seems to place it still later. Concerning this tradition two facts are to be noted: First, it classes Ecclesiastes with the 5 miscellaneous books (Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther) known as the five meghilloth, the five Rolls. Second, in the count of books which makes the number 22 or 24 it classes Ecclesiastes as one of the last 5 books (Ecclesiastes, Esther, Dan, Ezra-Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles). That the men who made this arrangement regarded the books of this group as the latest in the Bible is a natural inference.
7. Linguistic Peculiarities:
This agrees with the internal marks which constitute the principal evidence we have on this point. The grammatical character and the vocabulary of Ecclesiastes are exceptionally peculiar, and they strongly indicate that the book was written in the same literary period with these other latest books of the Old Testament. The true date is not much earlier or later than 400 B.C. (see CHRONICLES), though many place it a century or a century and a half later. Details concerning these phenomena may be found in Driver's Introduction or other Introductions, or in commentaries. Only a few of the points will be given here, with barely enough illustrative instances to render the points intelligible.
In Ecclesiastes the syntax of the verb is peculiar. The imperfect with waw consecutive, the ordinary Hebrew narrative tense, occurs-for example, "And I applied my heart" (1:17)-but it is rare. The narrator habitually uses the perfect with waw (eg. 1:13; 2:11, 12, 14, 15 bis. 17). In any English book we should find it very noticeable if the author were in the habit of using the progressive form of the verb instead of the ordinary form-if instead of saying "And I applied my heart" he should say "And I was applying my heart," "And I was looking on all the works," "And I was turning" (1:13; 2:11, 12), and so on. Another marked peculiarity is the frequent repeating of the pronoun along with the verb: `I said in my heart, even I'; `And I was hating, even I, all my labor' (2:1, 18 and continually). The use of the pronoun as copula is abnormally common in Ecclesiastes as compared with other parts of the Hebrew Bible (eg. 4:2). The abbreviated form of the relative pronoun is much used instead of the full form, and in both forms the pronoun is used disproportionately often as a conjunction. In these and many similar phenomena the Hebrew language of Ecclesiastes is affiliated with that of the later times.
The vocabulary presents phenomena that have the same bearing. Words of the stem taqan appear in Ecclesiastes (1:15; 7:13; 12:9) and in the Aramaic of Daniel (4:36), and not elsewhere in the Bible; they are frequent in the Talmud Words of the stem zaman (3 1) are used only in Ecclesiastes, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Esther. Words of the stem shalaT, the stem whence comes our word "sultan," are frequent in Ecclesiastes-words which are used elsewhere only in the avowedly post-exilian books and in Genesis 42:6, though a different word of this stem appears in the history of the time of David. Only in Ecclesiastes and Esther are found the verb kasher, "to be correct" (whence the modern Jewish kosher) and its derivative kishron. The Persian word pardec, "park" (Ecclesiastes 2:5), occurs elsewhere only in Nehemiah and Canticles, and the Persian word pithgam, "official decision" or "record" (Ecclesiastes 8:11), only in Esther 1:20, and in the Aramaic parts of Ezra and Daniel. Ecclesiastes also abounds in late words formed from earlier stems-for example, cekhel and cikheluth, "folly" (Ecclesiastes 10:6; Ecclesiastes 2:3 et al.); or medhinah, "province" (Ecclesiastes 5:8), frequent in the latest books, but elsewhere found only in one passage in 1 Kings (20:14, 15, 17, 19). Especially common are new derivatives that end in "-n," for example, yithron, "profit"; `inyan, "travail"; checron, "that which is missing"; ra`yon, "vexation" (Ecclesiastes 1:3, 13, 15, 17 and often). To these add instances of old words used in new meanings, and the various other groups of phenomena that are usual in such cases. No parts of the book are free from them.
The arguments for a later date than that which has been assigned are inconclusive. The Hebrew language of Ecclesiastes is more like the language of the Talmuds than is that of the Chronicler or Daniel or even Esther; but if one infers that Ecclesiastes is therefore later than the others the inference will prove to be in various ways embarrassing. The differences are better accounted for by the fact that Ecclesiastes belongs to a different type of literature from the others.
8. Certain Inconclusive Arguments:
Various passages have local color in Ec (eg. 11:1), or make the impression of being allusions to specific events (eg. 4:13-16; 6:2, 3; 9:13-18), but the difficulty lies in locating the events. Dr. Kleinert argues plausibly for the writing of the book in Egypt in the time of the Ptolemies, but other equally probable hypotheses might be devised.
It is alleged that Ecclesiastes copies from Ecclesiasticus, but it is more probable that the latter copied from the former. It is alleged that the Wisdom disputes Ecclesiastes; if it does, that does not prove that the two are contemporary. It is alleged that the writer is familiar with the philosophy of Epicurus, and therefore must have lived later than Epicurus, who died 270 B.C., or even later than Lucretius of the 1st century B.C. If there were proof that this was a case of borrowing, Epicurus or Lucretius might have been the borrowers; but there is no such proof; the selfishness which constitutes the nucleus of Epicureanism has exhibited itself in human literature from the beginning. The strong resemblances between Ecclesiastes and Omar Khayyam have no weight to prove that the Hebrew author was later than the Persian Ecclesiastes presents a perfectly distinct doctrine of immortality, whether it affirms the doctrine or not; but that proves a relatively early date for the doctrine, rather than a late date for Ecclesiastes. At every point the marks of Ecclesiastes are those of the Persian period, not of the Greek.
In the early Christian centuries, as in all the centuries since, there have been disputes concerning the canonicity of Ecclesiastes. It was not questioned that Ecclesiastes belonged to the canon as traditionally handed down. No question of admitting it to the canon was raised. But it was challenged because of the agnostic quality of some of its contents, and, every time, on close examination, the challenge was decided in its favor.
There are volumes on Ecclesiastes in all the great commentaries, and treatments of it in the volumes on Introduction. A few of the many separate commentaries are those of Moses Stuart, Andover, 1864; H. Gratz, Leipzig, 1871; G. Wildeboer, Tubingen, 1898; E. H. Plumptre, Cambridge, 1881. Other works are those of J. F. Genung, Ecclesiastes, and Omar Khayyam, 1901, Words of Koheleth, 1904, and The Hebrew Literature of Wisdom in the Light of Today, 1906; C. H. H. Wright, Book of Koheleth, 1883; S. Schiffer, Das Buch Coheleth nach Talmud und Midrasch, 1885; A. H. McNeile. Introduction to Ecclesiastes, New York, 1904.
Willis J. Beecher
prech'-er, prech'-ing (qoheleth, "preacher" (Ecclesiastes 1:1), basar, "to bring or tell good tidings" (Psalm 40:9 Isaiah 61:1), qara', "to call," "proclaim" (Nehemiah 6:7 Jonah 3:2), qeri'ah, "cry," "preaching" (Jonah 3:2); kerux, "crier," "herald" (1 Timothy 2:7), kerusso, "to cry or proclaim as a herald" (Matthew 3:1 Romans 10:14), euaggellizo, "to announce good news" (Matthew 11:5)):
2. The Preacher's Limitations
3. A Man with a Message
4. Preaching a Necessary Agency
5. Biblical Terms and Their Meanings
6. The Hebrew Prophets
7. Christ as a Preacher
8. The Apostles as Preachers
9. Fundamental Postulates
(1) Preach the Word
(2) "We Are Ambassadors"
In the New Testament sense a preacher is a man who has the inner call from the Holy Spirit and the external call from the church the witnessing body of Christ on earth, and has been duly set apart as an accredited and qualified teacher of the Christian religion. His vocation is that of addressing the popular mind and heart on religious truth, as that truth is set forth in the sacred Scripture, for the spiritual profit of the hearer as its end. The preacher, recognized as such by the church, speaks as a personal witness of God's saving truth, explaining it and applying it as the circumstances of the people and the time may require. The gravity and importance of this vocation, as set forth in the sacred Scriptures and amply illustrated in the history of the church, surpass those of any other calling among men. Luther said, "The Devil does not mind the written word but he is put to flight whenever it is preached aloud."
2. The Preacher's Limitations:
The preacher, in the sense indicated above, is with all other Christians a sharer in the freedom that is in Christ. But as a recognized teacher and leader of the church, he is not an unattached and entire unrestricted teacher. He is not to speak as his own, but as the mouthpiece of the church whose apprehension of the gospel he has voluntarily confessed. The faith of the church is, by his own assent, his faith, and her doctrine is his doctrine. He is not expected to give his own, as distinct from or opposed to the faith of the church in whose name he has been set apart to proclaim the gospel. Both the personal and the representative or official are united in him and his preaching.
3. A Man with a Message:
His work is always to be related to the Old Testament and New Testament. His sermon is under the creed of his church as the creed is under the word. The preacher is a man with a message, and the preacher who has no message of the particular kind indicated above is in no true sense a preacher. It has been well expressed in one of the valuable Yale series of lectures on the subject, "Every living preacher must receive his communication direct from God, and the constant purpose of his life must be to receive it uncorrupted and to deliver it without addition or subtraction." When he presents the message of his divinely-appointed ambassadorship in its integrity, he speaks with that peculiar kind of "authority" which has been pronounced "the first and indispensable requisite" in giving a message from God. He manifests thereby a "high celestial dogmatism," and "human weakness becomes immortal strength." The true preacher preaches from a divine impulsion. He says with Paul, "Necessity is laid upon me; for woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:16; compare Jeremiah 20:9). He says with Peter, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to hearken unto you rather than unto God, judge ye: for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard" (Acts 4:19, 20). The message of the preacher is greater than the man, because it is from God. It largely makes the man who preaches it in its fullness and power. Whatever be his own gifts or whatever the alleged gift conferred in the laying on of hands, without the sense of the message he is not chosen of God to proclaim His word. Destitute of that, he does not have the sustaining impulse of his vocation to enlist his entire personality in his work and give him mastery over the minds and hearts of men.
4. Preaching a Necessary Agency:
No agency of religion is older than preaching. It is as old as the Bible itself (2 Peter 2:5). It is a necessary adjunct of a religion that is communicated to man by means of an objective and authoritative revelation, such as we have in the sacred Scriptures. It is an entirely natural agency of the forms of religion revealed in the Old Testament and New Testament. It is strictly in harmony with those ideas that obtain in both testaments regarding the method of propagating the faith, set forth through the agency of holy men who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. That faith is disseminated by means of teaching through argument, explanation, motive and exhortation. The agency for the spread of a religion of persuasion must be preaching.
5. Biblical Terms and Their Meanings:
In the Biblical usage of the terms which have reference to the subject, preaching means the proclamation of religious truth. It is that continuous and public testimony which the church is always giving, through discourses by men set apart for such work, to her own living faith as that faith is rooted in and sustained by the written word of God. In this sense "to call," "proclaim," "cry aloud" are used frequently of the prophetic message under the various aspects of denunciation, as in Jonah 1:2; of the relation of the divine, as in Jeremiah 11:6, and of Messianic promise, as in Isaiah 61:1. The term for "preaching" is also used to designate a political propagandism set forth by the prophet (Nehemiah 6:7). In two passages (Psalm 68:11, "publish"; Isaiah 61:1) another word for preaching means "to declare good news." In the case of Jonah's preaching at Nineveh, the word used to designate what it was means strictly "proclamation" and corresponds to the New Testament word used to define our Lord's "proclamation" as a herald of the advent of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17), which in its initial stages particularly was closely associated with the preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1, 2).
6. The Hebrew Prophets:
Thus, while preaching belongs especially to Christianity, it has well-defined antecedents in the Old Testament. Under both the old and the new dispensations the subject takes the church for granted and utters the testimony, not simply of a solitary believer, but of a divinely-founded society, whether it be of Jews or Christians. The older books in the Canon have in them the beginnings and some of the features of the preacher's office and of the high function of preaching. In them we find a special class of men set apart and separated unto that particular work, as we find in the Christian church, from its beginnings, the same divinely instituted office. The Hebrew prophet had a message direct from God, which frequently came with supernatural knowledge in the power of prediction. The mission of the prophet, however, was simply or chiefly to forecast the future, but to declare a present message from the Lord to the people. The prophet of the Old Testament was the forerunner in office and the prototype of the ambassador of Christ. With the development of the synagogue as the center of Hebrew worship, application as well as interpretation of the Law became essential.
Moses, the most commanding figure in Hebrew history, was a prophet, and no messages in the Old Testament are more imbued with power, sublimity and pathos than those uttered by the great lawgiver. He became the guide Israel, not so much by his rod as by the word he delivered to the people. There are numerous indications that after Moses there was a continuous class of religious teachers whose work it was to instruct men and inspire the people, as is indicated in the cases of Joshua, in the history of Deborah and Barak, and in the days of solemn assembly which are inconceivable without men who spoke and other men who listened. In the time of Samuel there was a distinct advance made in the work of the prophets, and the prophetic office had become a fixed institution. There were schools of the prophets at Bethel, Jericho and Gilgal, the very seats of heathen idolatry. Under the Old Testament dispensation the whole course of progress was toward presenting divine truth in its simplicity and power, by bringing it to bear upon the popular mind and heart. One of the marks of the new era beginning with John the Baptist was a revival of prophetic preaching (Matthew 11:9), which again resumed its old character and meaning.
7. Christ as a Preacher:
The words meaning "to proclaim as a herald" and "preaching," are frequent in the New Testament. The mission of our Lord was essentially one of proclaiming good tidings concerning the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17). He at once, on His entrance upon His ministry, gave to preaching a spiritual depth and practical range which it never had before. At that time preaching had manifestly become a fixed part of the synagogue worship, and was made one of the chief instruments in the spread of the gospel. our Lord constantly taught in the synagogue (Matthew 4:23 Mark 1:21 John 6:59). He thus read and interpreted and applied the Law and the Prophets (Mark 1:39 Luke 4:16). Christ's testimony about Himself was that He came "to bear witness to the truth." The spoken word became His great power in His life and ministry. Throughout His life Jesus was above all things a preacher of the truths of His kingdom. Telling men what He was in Himself, what in His relation to man and his salvation and what to God the Father, formed a large part of His public work.
8. The Apostles as Preachers:
The preaching of the apostles was essentially prophetic in character, and bore testimony concerning the resurrection of Jesus and His early return to judgment (Acts 2:24, 32, 36 1 Corinthians 15:15). The sermons of the apostles which are reported with much fullness are those of Peter on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), his address in the house of Cornelius at Caesarea (Acts 10), and the counsels of James to the brethren at Jerusalem, as to what ordinances should be imposed on Gentile Christians. In the early church preachers were first of all witnesses to what Jesus had said and done, and to the significance to be attached to the great facts of the redemptive history. With the spread of the gospel and the passing of time, this office was taken up by others, especially such as were endued with "the word of wisdom" and "of knowledge" (1 Corinthians 12:8).
9. Fundamental Postulates:
Upon the basis of what is taught in the word of God there are two fundamentally important postulates concerning preaching and the preacher.
(1) Preach the Word.
The first note of preaching is that it be the word of God (2 Timothy 4:2). Out of the Bible must the life of every generation of Christians be fed. To Holy Scripture, therefore, ought the pulpit to abide faithful, for out of its treasures the preacher fulfils his double office of edifying believers and subjugating the world to Christ. There must always be an organic connection between the word in the text and the sermon.
(2) "We Are Ambassadors."
The work of preaching is the fulfillment of a divinely instituted ambassadorship (2 Corinthians 5:20). The gospel is put into the hands of men for a distinct purpose, and is to be administered in accordance with the plan of its author. The preacher is in a very distinct sense a trustee. "But even as we have been approved of God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts" (1 Thessalonians 2:4). Those who have accepted the responsibility imposed upon them by this divine commission are enjoined to exercise their office so as to warrant the approbation of Him who has appointed them to a specific work. The homiletic practice of taking theme of every sermon from a passage of Holy Writ has been an almost invariable rule in the history of the church. It is the business of the preacher to present the truth embodied in the text in its integrity. In the exercise of his divinely-appointed ambassadorship he is to administer God's word revealed to Christian faith, not human opinions or speculations.
David H. Bauslin
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) One who preaches; one who discourses publicly on religious subjects.
2. (n.) One who inculcates anything with earnestness.
Strong's Hebrew6953. Qoheleth -- "a collector (of sentences)," "a preacher," a ......
"a collector (of sentences)," "a preacher
," a son of David. Transliteration: Qoheleth
Phonetic Spelling: (ko-heh'-leth) Short Definition: Preacher
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