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The Purpose of Signs and Wonders in the New Testament: What Terms for Miraculous Power Denote and Their Relationship to the Gospel, Part 1, by Gary S. Greig

29 BAGD, pp. 747-748 “sēmeion” (1).

30 Ibid., p. 748, “sēmeion”(2)

31 Carson in Horton, ed., Power Religion, p. 101.

32 Lyons, Semantics, vol. I, pp. 250ff. (§8.4); id., Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. 429ff.; Robins, General Linguistics, chp. 2; Cotterell and Turner, Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation, p. 127, n. 41.

33 See the similar remarks of Powell, The Biblical Concept of Power, pp. 139, 143; and E. E. Ellis, Prophecy and Hermeneutic in Early Christianity: New Testament Essays (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, vol. 18. Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1978), p. 130, n. 4.

34 Lampe, in Moule, ed., Miracles. Cambridge Studies, pp. 175-176.

35 See notes 27-28 above and also see Jn. 4:48, 54 (healing a fever is a “sign”); 6:2 (healing of the sick is called “signs”); 9:6-7, 16 (healing blindness is one of “such signs”); 12:17-18 (raising the dead is a “sign”); Acts 4:16, 22 (healing a lame man is an “obvious sign”); 5:12-16 (healing the sick and demonized is called “signs and wonders”); 8:5-7, 13 (healing the sick and demonized is called “signs and miracles”).

36 BAGD, p. 208; Gatzweiler, “Der Paulinische Wunderbegriff,” p. 401; Trench, Synonyms, p. 343; id., Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord, p. 5.

37 Laying on of hands to bestow the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts: Acts 8:17; 19:15f.; I Tim. 4:14; 5:22; II Tim. 1:6. Related to this, laying on of hands to commission for a task: Acts 6:6; 13:3; to bestow blessing: Mat. 19:13-15; Mk. 10:16.

38 See E. Lohse, “cheir,” TDNT, vol 9, pp. 431-432.

39 Carson in Horton, ed., Power Religion, p. 102.

40 Nor does a passage like II Cor. 12:12 suggest that because signs, wonders and miracles were among “the things that mark an apostle,” no one else worked them and they were not to be imitated (see discussion in Wayne Grudem’s chapter in this book, question no. 7); Powell, The Biblical Concept of Power, p. 143: “Apostolic power is seen most vividly in Stephen, called by the Church, not to apostolic office at all… Yet in him the Spirit’s power was plainly shown.” Ellis, Prophecy and Hermeneutic in Early Christianity: New Testament Essays, p. 130, n. 4: “Acts … like Paul (2 Cor. 12, 12; cf. Rom. 15, 19), associates signs and miracles with the ‘apostle,’ but not exclusively so (Acts 6, 8; 8, 6f., 13; I Cor. 12, 28f.; 14, 22).” Rather, the passage affirms no more than that anyone who claims to be an apostle would be clearly marked by all the signs of an apostle—not simply signs, wonders, and miracles but primarily Christ-like ministry, selfless lifestyle, endurance of hardship, etc. (see Wayne Grudem’s chapter in this book, objection no. 7).

 

Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NIV®.

This chapter is from Gary S. Greig and Kevin N. Springer, eds., The Kingdom and the Power: Are Healing and the Spiritual Gifts Used by Jesus and the Early Church Meant for the Church Today? A Biblical Look at How to Bring the Gospel to the World with Power (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1993). Used with permission.

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Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 2007

About the Author: Gary S. Greig, Ph.D. (University of Chicago), is Vice President for Content, Bible and Theology for Gospel Light Publications and Regal Books and an adjunct faculty mentor of United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio) and of Dr. Randy Clark’s Global Awakening Ministries. He was an associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Regent University, School of Divinity from 1995–1998, and before that an adjunct professor of Hebrew for Fuller Theological Seminary. He was co-editor with Kevin Springer of The Kingdom and the Power of the Cross: Are the Healing and Spiritual Gifts Used by Jesus and the Early Church Meant for the Church Today? A Biblical Look at How to Bring the Gospel to the World with Power (Regal, 1993), a compendium to lay out the biblical foundations of power evangelism and power ministry. LinkedIn

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