“Lexophile” clearly comes from the Greek and is a word used to describe those that have a “love for words,” such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish” or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.” Each year a competition to see who can come up with the best “lexophiles” provides creativity if not comic results. Here is a selection of submissions:
- When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
- A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
- When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
- The batteries were given out free of charge.
- A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
- A will is a dead giveaway.
- With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
- When you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.
- Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
- Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
- A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
- When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
- The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
- He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
- When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.
- Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.
- Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.
Words can be fun, and they are often flexible. But when we are dealing with theology, words are not usually amusing; they must be accurate. They must not entertain at the expense of being exact. In writing biblical and theological studies, we must be precise and accurate. This is also true in our theory of textual transmission and translation, which allows the Word to retain the power for transformation.
Interpretation in biblical matters is focused upon discovering and determining meaning. Many look for the meaning of the Bible in what they feel or how they respond to the words of scripture. For others, meaning is in the document itself. But full meaning can only be detected as we seek the authorial intent of the Bible expressed in the text. Hence, we are looking for the meaning in the coded message (the text) from the encoder of the message (the author) as we read the author’s words and apply the laws of language and the laws of structure to the genre utilized to communicate. Hence, we focus on the container of transmission which communicates the content of the text.
It seems that many churches have forgotten “Hermeneutics 101.” Many sermons and many books have allowed the desire to be relevant to replace the need to be accurate. We must be both culturally relevant and biblically accurate. However, many, in their use of narrative theology, replace exegetical theology as the basis of biblical theology. And when biblical theology is supplemented with historical theology, it produces a fully orbed systematic theology.
At Grace Theology Press (GTP), we strive to produce books and products that provide words, based on and built upon The Word. Whether it is in our biblical commentary literature or our theological studies or in our thematic and topical books, each and every book is to be in submission to the infallible and inspired word of God. And it is His Words that cause us to be Lexophiles!
Serving Him with you until He comes for us,
Fred Chay, PhD
Managing Editor, Grace Theology Press