Hope! (Rom 15:4)

“Whatever was written

In former days

Was written

For our instruction.

Thus,

By steadfastness

And by the encouragement

Of the scriptures

We might have hope.”

ὅσα γὰρ προεγράφη, εἰς τὴν ἡμετέραν διδασκαλίαν ἐγράφη, ἵνα διὰ τῆς ὑπομονῆς καὶ διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως τῶν γραφῶν τὴν ἐλπίδα ἔχωμεν.

Paul said that whatever was written in earlier days (ὅσα γὰρ προεγράφη εἰς τὴν ἡμετέραν) was written (ἐγράφη) for our instruction (διδασκαλίαν).  Thus, by steadfastness (ἵνα διὰ τῆς ὑπομονῆς) and by the encouragement (καὶ διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως) of the scriptures (τῶν γραφῶν), we might have hope (τὴν ἐλπίδα ἔχωμεν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word προεγράφη, that means to write before, write previously, or designate beforehand.  Paul explained to his Roman Christians that what was written previously was written for their instruction.  This is an obvious reference to the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures that the Jewish Christians would be familiar with, but not so much the gentile Christians.  These sacred written documents gave them persistence and support in their hope.  Thus, these older written documents had a real instructional value.  Hope could be found in these holy Hebrew words of the Jewish people.  Do you see the bible as a book of hope?

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