I’m putting together a workshop (or series of lessons) on the subject of teaching in the New Testament. I hope to lead our church through this study sometime early next year, perhaps in January. I’m excited to discover new things about this topic, both from my own study and from the church as we guide each other through the Scriptures.
To begin the study, I thought I would put together a list of terms found in the New Testament related to teaching. I’m not saying that these terms are synonymous (although they sometimes seem to be used that way). However, I think that if we want to understand teaching from the New Testament perspective, we also need to understand these related terms.
While each of these terms is a translation/gloss of a Greek word, I do not plan to list the Greek terms. If you have any question about which Greek term I’m using, feel free to ask in the comments. However, I will list a few relevant passages in which the term is used.
The primary verb primarily denoting some type of instruction which includes both verbal and nonverbal communication. (Acts 20:20, Colossians 3:16, 1 John 2:27)
The person who is carrying out the instruction. (1 Corinthians 12:20, Hebrews 5:12, James 3:1)
The activity or process or content of teaching or instructing. (Acts 2:42, 1 Corinthians 14:6, 2 John 1:10) (There are two different Greek terms that have a similar range of meanings.)
A form of instruction that seems to be related to possible problems ahead. (Acts 20:31, Romans 15:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
A form of instruction related to pointing out existing problems. (2 Timothy 3:16, see also Psalm 38:12)
A form of instruction related to both pointing out and also changing problems. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Help (both verbal and nonverbal) to move in a certain direction (depending on the context, could be spiritually, emotionally, mentally, intellectually, etc.). (Colossians 2:1-2, Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 Peter 5:12)
The content or process of helping someone moving in a certain direction. (Acts 15:31, 1 Corinthians 14:3, Hebrews 12:5)
Edify/Build Up/Strengthen (verb)
To make someone stronger (depending on the context, could be spiritually, emotionally, mentally, intellectually, etc.). (Acts 9:31, 1 Corinthians 14:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
The content or process of making someone stronger. (Romans 15:2, 1 Corinthians 14:26, Ephesians 4:12)
To help someone be a follower. (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 14:21)
I’m also thinking about including the terms “proclaim/preach/announce” and “evangelize/preach/proclaim the good news.” Do you think there are other important terms to consider when studying teaching in the New Testament?