In December of 2016, John MacArthur fielded questions in the chapel service at The Master’s Seminary. I find these Q&A sessions helpful to learn and discern regarding ministry and discipleship.

Is a “Churchless Christian” an Oxymoron? — “As Christians become members of the church, they are obeying God’s Word, submitting to her leaders, and serving one another in love. They testify to their allegiance to Christ and demonstrate their solidarity with one other.”

Forgiven people forgive — This is essential to the Christian life.

Hymn: “Amazing Grace” by John Newton — A good sermon by Alistair Begg.

$5 Friday — Some good books for just $5.

Wayne Grudem Responds to Critics — “Even some complimentarians questioned Grudem’s view. Others called it heresy.”

The Mischievous Protestant’s Guide to Catholic Rome — If you’re planning a trip to Rome, check out Tim’s advice following a recent trip.

Theology Word of the Week:  Forgiveness

ἀφίημι (Hom.+) pres. act. ind. 2 sg. ἀφεῖς (Rob. 315; W-S. §14, 16; M-M.) and ἀφίεις (ApcSed 12:4 p. 135, 14 Ja.), 3 sg. ἀφίησιν (TestSim 3:2) and ἀφίει (TestJud 18:3); 1 pl. ἀφίομεν (ἀφίεμεν v.l.; B-D-F §94, 3) Lk 11:4; 3 pl. ἀφίουσιν Rv 11:9. Impf. 2 sg. ἠφίεις Sus 53 LXX, 3 sg. ἤφιε (B-D-F §69, 1); ptc. ἀφίοντες Hs 8, 6, 5. Fut. ἀφήσω. 1 aor. ἀφῆκα, 2 sg. ἀφῆκες Rv 2:4 (W-H.; B-D-F §83, 2); impv. ἄφησον ApcEsdr 1:3 p. 24, 8 Tdf.; 2 aor. impv. ἄφες (as אֲפֶס in rabb.), ἄφετε; subj. ἀφῶ, 2 pl. ἀφῆτε; inf. ἀφεῖναι Mt 23:23 v.l.; Lk 5:21; ptc. ἀφείς. Mid. aor. impv. 2 sg. ἄφησαι (TestAbr A 20 p. 102, 29 [Stone p. 52]). Pass.: pres. ἀφίεμαι, 3 pl. ἀφίονται Mt 9:2 D; fut. ἀφεθήσομαι; 1 aor. ἀφέθην, 3 sg. ἀφείθη Just. D. 141, 3; pf. 3 pl. ἀφέωνται Mt 9:2 v.l.; Mk 2:5 v.l.; Lk 5:20, 23; 7:48; J 20:23; 1J 2:12 (B-D-F §97, 3); impv. 3 sg. ἀφείσθω Ath. 2:4. Gener., to cause someone or someth. to undergo separation.

to dismiss or release someone or someth. from a place or one’s presence

w. personal obj. let go, send away (X., Cyr. 1, 2, 8; Polyb. 33, 1, 6; Tob 10:5; Sir 27:19; Jos., Ant. 16, 135 τ. ἐκκλησίαν) crowds Mt 13:36; Mk 4:36; 8:13 (mng. 3a is also prob.).

w. impers. obj. give up, emit obj. τὸ πνεῦμα give up one’s spirit Mt 27:50 (cp. ἀ. τ. ψυχήν Hdt. 4, 190 and oft. in Gk. lit.; Gen 35:18; 1 Esdr 4:21; Jos., Ant. 1, 218; 14, 369 al.). φωνὴν μεγάλην utter a loud cry Mk 15:37 (φων. ἀ. Hdt. et al.; Appian, Bell. Civ. 3, 68 §279; Epict. 2, 22, 12 al.; Gen 45:2; Philo, Sacr. Abel. 34; Jos., Bell. 4, 170, Ant. 8, 325, Vi. 158).

in a legal sense divorce γυναῖκα (Hdt. 5, 39) 1 Cor 7:11ff.—Lit.—LEpstein, Marriage Law in the Bible and the Talmud ’42; MHumbert, Le remariage à Rome ’72; CPréaux, in La Femme I, ’79, 161–65 [Hellen. period]; JMurphy-O’Connor, JBL 100, ’81, ’601–6; JMoiser, JSNT 18, ’83, 103–22.

to release from legal or moral obligation or consequence, cancel, remit, pardon τὸ δάνειον the loan Mt 18:27 (OGI 90, 12; PGrenf I, 26, 9; Dt 15:2). ὀφειλήν a debt vs. 32 (cp. 1 Macc 15:8 πᾶν ὀφείλημα βασιλικὸν ἀ.). Also of remission of the guilt (debt) of sin (Hdt. 6, 30 ἀπῆκέ τʼ ἂν αὐτῷ τὴν αἰτίην; 8, 140, 2; Lysias 20, 34 ἀφιέντας τ. τῶν πατέρων ἁμαρτίας; Herodas 5, 26 ἄφες μοι τὴν ἁμαρτίην ταύτην; 38, 72f; 1 Macc 13:39.—In another construction Diod S 9, 31, 4 Κῦρος αὐτὸν ἀφίησι τῶν ἁμαρτημάτων=absolves him of his misdeeds), in OT and NT predom. in sense of divine forgiveness. W. dat. of pers. and acc. of thing: ὀφειλήματα remit, forgive debts (Appian, Ital. 9 §1 ἠφίει τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ χρήσταις τὰ ὀφλήματα) Mt 6:12a; cp. b (s. Sir 28:2 and ὡς 3aβ; FFensham, The Legal Background of Mt 6:12: NovT 4, ’60, 1f [Deut 15:2 LXX]; on the text FBurkitt, ‘As we have forgiven’ Mt 6:12: JTS 33, ’32, 253–55); forgive ἁμαρτίας (Ex 32:32; Num 14:19; Job 42:10 al.; Jos., Ant. 6, 92) Lk 11:4; 1J 1:9. παραπτώματα Mt 6:14f; Mk 11:25; vs. 26 v.l. Pass. (Lev 4:20; 19:22; Is 22:14; 33:24 al.) ἁμαρτίαι Lk 5:20, 23; 7:47b; 1J 2:12; 1 Cl 50:5; Hv 2, 2, 4; Hs 7:4; PtK 3 p. 15, 12; ἁμαρτήματα Mk 3:28 (s. GDalman, Jesus-Jeshua [Eng. tr. PLevertoff 1929], 195–97; JWilliams, NTS 12, ’65, 75–77); PtK 3 p. 15, 27; cp. Mt 12:31f. W. dat. of pers. only Mt 18:21, 35; Lk 17:3f; 23:34 (ELohse, Märtyrer u. Gottesknecht, Exkurs: Lk 23:34, ’55). Pass. (Lev 4:26, 31, 35; Num 15:25f al.) Lk 12:10; Js 5:15.—J 20:23b (s. JMantey, JBL 58, ’39, 243–49 and HCadbury ibid. 251–54). W. impers. obj. only Mt 9:6; Mk 2:7, 10; Lk 5:21, 24; 7:49; J 20:23. Pass. Mt 9:2, 5; Mk 2:5, 9 (s. HBranscomb, JBL 53, ’34, 53–60; B-D-F §320); Lk 7:47f. ἀνομίαι Ro 4:7; 1 Cl 50:6 (both Ps 31:1). Abs. ἀφίετε 1 Cl 13:2.

to move away, w. implication of causing a separation, leave, depart from

lit. of pers. or physical things as obj. (PGrenf I, 1, 16; BGU 814, 16; 18) Mt 4:11; 8:15; 26:44; Mk 1:20, 31; 12:12; Lk 4:39. The spirit left the possessed man 9:42 D; abandon (Soph., Phil. 486; Hyperid. 5, 32; X., Hell. 6, 4, 5) Mt 26:56; Mk 14:50.—W. impers. obj. (PFay 112, 13; Jer 12:7; Eccl 10:4; 1 Esdr 4:50): J 10:12; house Mk 13:34; cp. Mt 23:38; Lk 13:35 (Diod S 17, 41, 7: Apollo appears and explains that he would leave Tyre, which is doomed to destruction); Judaea J 4:3 (Jos., Ant. 2, 335 τ. Αἴγυπτον); the way Hv 3, 7, 1; everything Mt 19:27, 29; 10:28f; Lk 5:11; 18:28f.

fig. of impers. obj. give up, abandon (Aeschyl., Prom. 317 ὀργάς; Arrian, Anab. 1, 10, 6; Jos., Ant. 9, 264 ἀ. τ. ἄρτι βίον) τὴν πρώτην ἀγάπην Rv 2:4; τ. φυσικὴν χρῆσιν Ro 1:27; leave (behind) to go on to someth. else (in orators; Plut., Mor. 793a; Epict. 4, 1, 15 al.) τὸν τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ Χρ. λόγον Hb 6:1; neglect (Diod S 1, 39, 11; POxy 1067, 5) also omit (Diod S 8, 12, 11) τὰ βαρύτερα τοῦ νόμου what is more important in the law Mt 23:23; τὴν ἐντολήν Mk 7:8 (Hyperid. 5, 22 νόμον).

to have someth. continue or remain in a place. Leave standing/lying (without concerning oneself further about it as, in a way, Diod S 5, 35, 3 a fire without putting it out) αὐτόν Mt 22:22; τὰ δίκτυα 4:20; Mk 1:18; ἐκεῖ τὸ δῶρον Mt 5:24; cp. 18:12; J 4:28; ἡμιθανῆ half dead Lk 10:30 (cp. Jdth 6:13).—Leave (behind) w. pers. obj. (2 Km 15:16; 3 Km 19:3; Tob 11:2) as orphans J 14:18 (Epict. 3, 24, 14; Jos., Ant. 12, 387). τινὰ μόνον 8:29; 16:32.—τινί τι ἀ. let someone have someth. (cp. Jos., Ant. 7, 274 τ. υἱὸν ἄφες μοι) Mt 5:40. W. acc. only τέκνον, σπέρμα Mk 12:19ff; vs. 21 v.l. τινί τι leave, give (Eccl 2:18; Ps 16:14); Mt 22:25; εἰρήνην ἀφίημι ὑμῖν I leave you peace (cp. Diod S 25, 16 τὸν πόλεμον ἀφίημι=I leave [you] war) J 14:27; leave (over, remaining) (Da 4:15) Hb 2:8.—Pass. be left, remain (Da 4:26) οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον not a stone will be left on another Mt 24:2; Mk 13:2; cp. Lk 21:6 (on the hyperbole cp. Reader, Polemo p. 338).

to convey a sense of distancing through an allowable margin of freedom, leave it to someone to do something, let, let go, allow, tolerate

w. acc. (Arrian, Anab. 1, 25, 2; Himerius, Or. [Ecl.] 4, 1; 4 Km 4:27; PsSol 17:9) Mt 15:14; Mk 5:19; 11:6; 14:6; Lk 13:8; Ac 5:38. ἀφεῖς τ. γυναῖκα Ἰεζάβελ you tolerate the woman Jezebel Rv 2:20. ἐὰν ἀφῶμεν αὐτὸν οὕτως if we let him go on like this (i.e. doing miracles) J 11:48.—Related types of usage allow, let, permit, leave w. double acc. οὐκ ἀμάρτυρον αὐτὸν ἀφῆκεν God has not left himself without a witness Ac 14:17 (cp. Soph., Oed. Col. 1279 ἀ. τινὰ ἄτιμον; PFay 112, 13; POxy 494, 5f ἐλεύθερα ἀφίημι δοῦλά μου σώματα; 1 Macc 1:48). W. acc. and inf. (BGU 23, 7; POxy 121, 15; Ex 12:23; Num 22:13; PsSol 17:27) Mt 8:22; 13:30; 19:14; 23:13; Mk 1:34; 7:12, 27; 10:14; Lk 8:51; 9:60; 12:39; 18:16; J 11:44; 18:8; Rv 11:9; Hv 1, 3, 1; 3, 1, 8; Hs 9, 11, 6. W. ἵνα foll. Mk 11:16.

The imperatives ἄφες, ἄφετε are used w. the subjunctive esp. in the first pers. (this is the source of Mod. Gk. ἄς; B-D-F §364, 1 and 2; Rob. 931f) ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος let me take out the speck Mt 7:4; Lk 6:42 (cp. Epict. 4, 1, 132 ἄφες σκέψωμαι; POxy 413, 184 [II 1d] ἄφες ἐγὼ αὐτὸν θρηνήσω). ἄφες (ἄφετε)  ἴδωμεν let us see Mt 27:49; Mk 15:36 (cp. Epict. 3, 12, 15 ἄφες ἴδω). It is also used w. the third pers. (Epict. 1, 15, 7 ἄφες ἀνθήσῃ). And w. ἵνα in a colloquially expressed sentence ἄφες αὐτήν, ἵνα τηρήσῃ αὐτό let her be, so that she can keep it for the day of my burial J 12:7. (The usage Epict. 4, 13, 19 ἄφες οὖν, ἵνα κἀγὼ ταὐτὰ ὑπολάβω is not strictly parallel, for the impv. is not followed by a pronoun. The rendering let her keep it [s. Mlt. 175f] treats ἄφες as an auxiliary. NRSV’s addition, ‘She bought it’, is unnecessary.) The second pers. is rare ἄφες ἴδῃς Hs 8, 1, 4 acc. to PMich. Abs. let it be so, let it go (Chariton 4, 3, 6) Mt 3:15; GEb 18, 40 (w. ὅτι foll.=‘for’).—B. 768; 839; 1174. DELG s.v. ἵημι. M-M. TW. Sv.


  1. William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 156–157.
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