Monday, 6 February 2012

Reconciliation - A Study In Greek.

Apokatallasso is regarded by scholar as the strongest Greek word for 'reconciliation.'  The prefix, apo, means from, indicating the state to be left behind; and katallasso, to reconcile.  In this compound word, there is explicitly and clearly something to be left behind before a restored relationship can be created.  In other words, for reconciliation to be brought about, there must be a separation from what was before to what is now new.  A man cannot bring that which caused the estrangement in the first place with him into the new relationship.  It could be argued that the crime or sin committed must be placed on the table and then left behind decisively and deliberately before a renewed relationship can be established. 

Katallage refers to a change that is brought about by the death of Christ.  The blood of Christ satisfied God's justice, and , through faith, this death of Christ changes a man, making him a friend with whom God can now have fellowship without any compromise of God's justice or holiness.

Diallassonai is another Greek word that bears on the meaning of reconciliation.  Here, dia denotes transition and movement, and allassomai mean to change.  It is to change ones feelings towards something or someone; to reconcile oneself to an otherwise problematic situation, and/or become reconciled.  The term applies to a quarrel where the fault may be two-sided or one-sided. The context usually always shows which it is, and where the enmity lies.

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