The Redundancy of Words

When certain words are repeated, do you know what that means? Do you know the value of that repetition? Frequently, Jesus repeated words, especially at the beginning of a sentence.

It is very important to observe the law of redundancy. The mere fact that certain words are stated more than once is in itself a message.

Jesus said, “Verily, verily.” Was he just trying to stall for a thought until it would come to his mind so that what was needed, he would be able to organize his statements? The answer is no. In the Bible when those words are said and especially repeated as Jesus did, that was his way of saying, “Hey, listen. I want to draw your attention to what I’m going to say. What I’m going to say is important.” This is applied in John 2:18 when Jesus said, “I say unto you… “

Jesus often used the word Woe. This was his way of saying, “What I’m going to say is bad news. I am directing this to specific people or groups of people. What I am saying is something bad and is going to happen. Pay attention and know that there is danger ahead.”

In the English translation of the Bible is the word if. To us that means something speculative. However, it might be important to check with the Greek text in this matter because the word if in Greek could also be the word since. In Matthew 4:6 Satan says, “if thou be the son of God.” Notice the implication could also be, “since thou art the son of God.” After that follows a rebuke from Jesus for the temptations that were put to him by Satan. There is a redundancy in the recognition of exactly who Jesus was.

When the word now appears in the beginning of the sentence, that indicates a change of pace or change of time or a new emphasis on what is being said. Again, in Matthew 4:11 the devil left him and angels minister to Jesus. Verse twelve begins with the word now. This is a shift in the experience that Jesus was having. It was a hinge in the process of time. Here is redundancy in the process of time so that the reader would know there was a new step to take in understanding. The word now is the planting of a fence post. It says right here. In Romans 8:1 Paul said, “there is therefore now no condemnation.” If you were to read the verse without the word now, it would have less impact and be vague as to when that verse is valid.

The word neither is like the listing of specific points the writer would want to make. It is similar to someone saying, “A, then B, then C.” This appears in 1 Corinthians 10:7- 10. In that list is mentioned idolaters, fornicators, tempters, and those who would murmur.

If the word behold is repeated more than once in a group of scriptures, that means to stand still and watch. It means pay attention because before you are some things quite significant. In Revelation 22:7, 12 appears the word behold. How impressive it is that we pay attention that Jesus is coming quickly with a reward for us!

To pay closer attention to how the Scripture is organized in a text will help us to appreciate the deeper meaning. The knowledge of how words are presented is a shining gem. This will also help us to apply the text more readily in our minds and behavior.

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