By Leonard Lauriault
Religion columnist 

Homonyms can be a fun tool in biblical learning


October 14, 2020

Homonyms, also called homophones and homographs, are words that sound the same but have different meanings and usually different spellings (for example, bear, as in carry; bear, as in Smokey; and bare, as in naked).

I was recently reminded that homonyms can be fun when one of my devotional writers used the words “hole” and “whole” in an article, although, they made no connection about them being homonyms.

So I thought I’d write an article about biblical use of “hole” and “whole” and their homonymic variations, although I can’t even begin to cover the whole subject here.

Holes are associated with darkness and separation from God (Revelation 9:1-3; 20:1-3, 10-15; Jude 1:6, 13). Some consider the period Satan was locked in the Abyss to be the 1,000-year Dark and Middle Ages (500-1500 AD) because the Bible wasn’t available to commoners during that time.

Although sin existed, Satan was largely kept from having an evil influence because the Bible includes the commands that lead to temptation and sin (Romans 7:7-12). Maybe the original sin is why snakes often live in holes and other dark places and why God said they’d generally be hated by humankind (Genesis 3:1-15; Isaiah 11:8).

Jesus said foxes also live in holes, and we know foxes to be sly, or crafty, with an evil, deceitful bent, like King Herod and others who prefer to operate under the veil of darkness (Luke 9:58; 13:31-33; Mark 14:1; John 3:19-21). Have you noticed when someone is deceitful, their story is holey, omitting the part of the whole truth that doesn’t support their agenda (Mark 14:53-59; Matthew 26:59-60; Acts 20:26-30)?

Even today, although God’s word is complete (whole), many continue to teach only part of his will, and both they and those misled by them, which is a choice they make, will fall into their hole (the Abyss of burning sulfur) when God tells them to go there (Matthew 15:7-14; 25:31-46; Psalm 7:15; 35:7-8; Isaiah 5:20-24; 2 Corinthians 4:1-4; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Romans 1:18-32). Anyone wanting to avoid being misled should compare what they’re taught with what God says (Acts 17:11; Luke 8:11-15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Knowing and doing the whole will of God is critical to being wholly saved. There’s no such thing as partial salvation because Jesus wants our whole body, inside and out (Matthew 6:22-24; 7:21-23; 23:25-28; Luke 11:34-36; John 13:10; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21; Mark 12:28-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). When we give ourselves wholly to Jesus, God places his Spirit within us to help us be holy, as he is holy (Acts 2:38-39; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 Peter 1:13-15; 2:9-10). Then, with correct teaching, personal Bible study and Christian living, we can grow up into the whole measure of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Peter 1:5-11).

Have you given yourself wholly to Christ so you can receive the whole cadre of spiritual blessings by participating in his divine nature (Ephesians 3:12-14; 1:3-14; Galatians 3:26-4:7; John 1:16-17)? Allow God to make you wholly holy today (Hebrews 10:19-23)!

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]


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