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Boldness (parrhesia)

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  • Bob Schacht
    I noted the other day that Peter s speech in Acts 4 was characterized as bold (parrhesia). Interestingly, it is only in Acts 4 that this word is applied to
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2009
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      I noted the other day that Peter's speech in Acts 4 was characterized as
      bold (parrhesia). Interestingly, it is only in Acts 4 that this word is
      applied to Peter, and in that chapter it is used 3 times of him (vv. 13, 29
      & 31). So I would add this to Phase 1 of my hypothetical originating
      proclamation: it was preached with boldness. Furthermore, that subsequent
      phases were NOT characterized this way-- at least not by Peter.

      However, the word also came to be applied to Paul a number of times:
      NRS 2 Corinthians 7:4, as "boast":
      I often boast about you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with
      consolation; I am overjoyed in all our affliction.

      NRS Ephesians 3:12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence
      through faith in him.

      NRS Philippians 1:20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be
      put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ
      will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death.

      NRS 1 Timothy 3:13 for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing
      for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

      and it is found in Hebrews (translated here as "confidence")
      NRS Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter
      the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,

      and in the first letter attributed to John:
      NRS 1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have
      boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.

      Interestingly, the word is not used in any of the gospels. But it does
      appear in NRS Ecclesiastes 8:1 in the form of the Hebrew 'o(w)z, and
      translated "hardness" (KJV: boldness):
      Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
      Wisdom makes one's face shine, and the *hardness* of one's countenance is
      changed.


      Perhaps boldness was an "ideal" in proclaiming the gospel, with Peter and
      Paul marked by its favor at one time or another.

      Bob Schacht




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