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He Did Not Leave Himself Without Witness

“Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

—Barnabus and Paul to the Lycaonians (Acts 14:15-17, ESV)

Father Tradition

It is always fascinating to me how different words and phrases in scripture will catch my attention when I read a passage in a different language. I don’t know how many times I’ve read I Peter in English before, but today as I read it for the first time in Greek, a word in chapter 1, verse 18 stuck out to me. The verse reads thus:

“…οὐ φθαρτοῖς, ἀργυρίῳ ἢ χρυσίῳ, ἐλυτρώθητε ἐκ τῆς ματαίας ὑμῶν ἀναστροφῆς πατροπαραδότου…”

The English Standard Version says “you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold.”

As you may be aware, words carry connotations that are unique to every person. This does not usually hinder understanding of scripture, and in English I can understand the verse just fine. But in Greek, when I read the word πατροπαραδότου, I thought about the word that it is derived from: παράδοσις, or “tradition.” My mind wandered to παραδοσιακές τυρόπιτες, traditional Greek cheese pitas (not so relevant), but then I thought of the traditional culture and religion of the Greeks.
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