n my studying of Hebrews 10:25, I am coming away from this study wondering why the writer of Hebrews uses the Greek term *’ἐπισυναγωγή’ when speaking of the church. This term is used only twice in the NT, once here and also in 2 Thes 2:1:
2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2*That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3*Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 2 Th 2.
Most would agree that this passage has a direct relationship to the second coming of Christ and the ‘snatching’ away of the church, hence, the use of the term *above-church’ or episynago.
If the passage in Hebrews 10 is directed at the present day church and it’s responsibility in gathering locally, why did the writer use this terminology when he could have used str# 4864 *’συναγωγή’ as exampled in James 2;2:
2*For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
In regard to the Hebrews verse: *2. The usage of the LXX is decisive in shaping the NT concept, for it is here that ἐπισυναγωγή acquires the eschatological note proper to it in the NT. The noun itself occurs only once; it denotes the eschatological gathering and restoration of Israel from dispersion ἄγνωστος
Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 842
In regard to the James verse: *In profane Gk. the word occurs from Thuc., II, 18, 3 (Attic ξυναγωγή). As a verbal noun it is mostly used trans. and act. like συνάγω and unlike several other derivates of the simple ἄγω. The basic sense is “to lead, bring together,” “to gather,” “gathering,” “union.
Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, eds., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 799.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Jas 2:2.
It seems to me that the understanding here has specifically to do with a Christians ‘confession’ in relationship to the return of Christ and how the Lord will ‘snatch’ the church away when He returns and not how most typically appreciate it, i.e. having to do with the gathering locally.
In summary, Heb 10:25 read is: ‘let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not neglecting (or discounting) the doctrine of the ‘snatching away’ of God’s elect, as some have done, but exhorting one another in the time being, and so much more as you see the day (the Day of the Lord) approaching as we will be caught up with the Lord when He returns’. Let’s not waver as we have a confession and ‘full assurance’.
*after additional research:
The root word, Strongs 1996 is used in Matt 24:29 by Christ:
ἐπισυνάγω [ᾰ], collect and bring to a place, Plb.1.75.2 (Pass.), of contributions of money, SEG31.122 (Attica, ii A.D.), 5.97.3, Wilcken Chr.11 A 5 (ii B.C.); gather together, LXX Ge.6.16, al., Ev.Matt.23.37, etc.:—Pass., OGI90.23 (Rosetta, ii S.C.), Placit.3.4.1, Ph.1.338; οἱ -συνηγμένοι ἐν Ξόει βοιωτοί Supp.Epigr.2.871 (Egypt, ii B.C.); to be combined, τὰ ἐκ τῶν πληθυντικῶν εἰς τὰ ἑνικὰ -όμενα Longin.24.1; ἐπισυναχθέντες τόκοι accumulated interest, PGrenf.2.72.8 (iii/iv A.D.). cf. PFlor.1.46 (ii A.D.); ἐπισυναγόμενος ἀριθμός counted up, Ptol.Tetr.43.
Henry George Liddell et al., A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 662.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Mt 24:31.
ἐπισυνάγω episynagō gather, assemble
Of the gathering of the “children of Jerusalem” (Matt 23:37a), which is compared to the gathering of the brood of a hen (v. 37b par. Luke 13:34); of the summoning together of the elect from the four winds (Mark 13:27 par. Matt 24:31); pass. of the assembling of a great crowd (Mark 1:33; Luke 12:1); of birds of prey (Luke 17:37).
Horst Robert Balz and Gerhard Schneider, Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–), 41.
Weirdly enough, while surfing the web, I came across this: http://www.wordofhisgrace.org/hebrews1025.htm
This treatment is exactly what I have understood as I read through Hebrews Ch 10. This gentleman, ‘Peter Hitzel’ comes out of Armstrongism and is now a Sovereign Grace believer.
I cannot say too much more for the man other than I appreciate which he wrote here on the subject as it is if I wrote the paper, myself.
More here: http://truthmakesfree.tripod.com/NotForsaking.html
*For some reason, the last link doesn’t seem to want to insert properly-you will have to copy and paste it into your browser to get it. 🙂