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Friday, November 13, 2009

What does it mean to be a "Witness for Jehovah"?

"The original-language words translated "witness" provide insight into what it means to be a witness for Jehovah. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the noun rendered "witness" (`edh) is derived from a verb (`udh) meaning "return" or "repeat, do again." Regarding the noun (`edh), the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says: "A witness is one, who by reiteration, emphatically affirms his testimony. The word [`edh] is at home in the language of the court." A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English adds: "The orig[inal] meaning [of the verb `udh] prob[ably] was `he said repeatedly and forcefully.'"

"In the Christian Scriptures, the Greek words rendered "witness" (marìtys) and "bear witness" (mar·ty·reìo) also had a legal connotation, although in time they took on a broader meaning. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, "the concept of witness [is used] both in the sense of witness to ascertainable facts and also in that of witness to truths, i.e., the making known and confessing of convictions." So a witness relates facts from direct personal knowledge, or he proclaims views or truths of which he is convinced." - Proclaimers; p. 12 &13

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