I’ve been WORKing hard on the meanings and workings of the word work, trying to work up a post on it for “Wordsday”… Maybe I’ll finally have it all worked out by next week? Working my way through the dictionary entries and Bible concordances and lexicons, I’ve just about worked my fingers to the nub and my brain to numb, and my major conclusion is: This is hard work!
And now, I just tried to work in some typographical emphasis by having my word editor place all occurrences of the word in bold face, but it didn’t work!
Do you see the problem?
Every above use of that 4-letter configuration has a different definition and use!
My unabridged English dictionary gives 54 definitions for this word in its four-letter state alone, and that’s not counting all the info on synonyms! Then, in addition to all that, one and a half of this dictionary’s big pages are occupied with definitions of related words and phrases, in the same family (like working, works, worker, etc.)
So when you read the word “work” in the Bible, what are you to take it to mean?
Well, looking in concordances and lexicons, I find the New Testament Greek is a little more helpful. It provides at least three different words for our English “work,” and that helps differentiate meanings, somewhat.
But we don’t read the Bible in Greek, most of us anyway. What to do? Methinks a little employment (i.e., use, putting to work) of said concordances and lexicons can be an indispensible help when the meaning of what we see as the English word work isn’t clear and obvious from its context.
However, I have a long way to go in this part of the work.
So, hopefully, next week we’ll be able to better work out the conundrums in verses like Philippians 2:12-13.