Re: Phil 4:12

From: George Athas (
Date: Wed Mar 25 1998 - 18:16:42 EST

Hi Jim!

The fact that Paul seems to be using a specific 'religious' term does
necessarily mean that he was referring to the Mystery religions. We
still use
religious terminology in everyday language, such as the term "baptism of
and we often take deliberate religious terms and couch them in 'profane'

circumstances. For example, any person's last meal is a "Last Supper".
We often
call a long, extended speech a "liturgy". A sweet child is a "cherub".
When we
call someone a "Judas" we don't mean they betrayed Christ. We
"sacrifice" our
time. A policeman's cap and baton are the "sacraments" of his job. We
could go
on and on till "kingdom come"!

Essentially, it is a question of context. Paul has been initiated into
the "Want
Club" and the "Plenty Club", so he's seen the extremes. That is his
point. Any
reference to Mystery religions does seem most mystifying! <<boom boom>>

Best regards as always!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
(Visit the Tel Dan Inscription Website at)

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