The use of language, whether it’s Greek or English, spoken or written, is a true art form—perhaps the only one we practice every day. Instead of choosing colors from a palette or notes from a scale, we choose from a list of vocabulary, grammar, and linguistic devices in order to create meaning. The possibilities are endless.
This variety gives our speech and our writing vibrancy, but it can also cause confusion. How often do we stop and ask, “What did you mean by that?” Even though we practice the art of language every day, our messages are not always received as they’re intended.
When reading the New Testament we need this clarity more than ever. When we come across a confusing passage, we can’t exactly pick up the phone and ask an apostle, “What did you mean by that?” However, we can analyze the linguistic devices they used, and this can help us understand the New Testament authors’ true intentions.