Holiness (Rom 11:16)

“If part of the dough

Offered as first fruits

Is holy,

Then the whole batch

Is holy.

If the root

Is holy,

Then the branches

Are holy,”

εἰ δὲ ἡ ἀπαρχὴ ἁγία, καὶ τὸ φύραμα· καὶ εἰ ἡ ῥίζα ἁγία, καὶ οἱ κλάδοι.

Paul said that if part of the baked dough offered as first fruits (εἰ δὲ ἡ ἀπαρχὴ) is holy (ἁγία), then the whole batch (καὶ τὸ φύραμα) is holy.  If the root (καὶ εἰ ἡ ῥίζα) is holy (ἁγία), then the branches (καὶ οἱ κλάδοι) are holy.  Only the Pauline letters used this word φύραμα, that means mixed stuff, a mass or lump, like bread dough.  Paul explained what holiness was.  If the first fruits of the cooked bread dough were considered holy, so too was the whole batch of dough also holy.  Then Paul turned to the allegory of the tree.  If the root of the tree was holy, then the branches would be holy also.  In other words, there was a connection between things.  Holiness was in bread mix so that the holiness of the first fruits would be in the mix that came out of it.  The same was true about the tree.  If it had a holy root, then all the branches would be holy.  Do you like the cooking analogy or the agricultural analogy?

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