Tim Martin, in a special Christmas message for Christmas 2012, gave us something to think about and act on, when it comes to the traditional celebration of Christmas. 'Is Christmas actually killing us', he asks?! Listen to this eye-opening message to see why he asks this question, and what the answer is.

Click here to read a related and thought-provoking article. 

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:14
 ( NIV )
 

The Greek term translated 'Earth' here should more accurately be translated 'land'.

( for a further and lengthier explanation, see below ) 

 

 1.   Peace on Earth? - 12-23-12                      mp3_over.jpg

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 Here is a sample of my case. Evaluate it as you wish.

"Ge " in Greek. Used in the NT predominantly if not totally in relation to the "Land of Promise." "Ge" in the book of Revelation refers to the land of Israel under covenant judgment. "Ge" in the LXX refers generally to a land with borders, the promised land when the context is Israel.

The previous context of Luke 2:14 is peace to Israel, the peace of reconciliation to God, through whom salvation would come to the nations. See Mary's Magnificat ( Luke 1:79 ). That is where "peace" is first mentioned. The angels appearing before the shepherds are extending the themes Mary introduced in Luke's gospel.

Notice also in Luke 2:1 an entirely different word for "world " (oikoumenes) was used to denote the "inhabited world" or Roman Empire. The angels used a different word because they weren't talking about God's peace being extended to a pagan world system or the Roman Empire as a whole. The common Christmas conception of peace to "Planet Earth," universally, is entirely fabricated from traditional conceptions that have no support in the biblical text. This error feeds liberal and secularistic beliefs that are common in the modern world. Traditional Christmas conceptions on this point are antithetical to biblical Christianity that comes to us in a covenant context.

I could make a few other arguments as well... The bottom line is that Luke 2:14 does not reference a left-wing political utopian delusion. It references the salvation of Israel (Peace to the Land of Promise - Israel of God) through the coming of the long-promised Messiah. It is also called the "gospel of peace" by Paul later in the New Testament. And Jesus said the peacemakers (those who spread the gospel) would be called "Sons of God." That places the context of "peace," broadly speaking, throughout the NT, in a context related to redemption, not global politics and international wars (or absence thereof).

Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on THE LAND peace to those on whom his favor rests
.”

Bad translations lead to bad theology.

Timothy Paul Martin

 

 

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