Archive for June 30, 2009


June 30, 2009

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God (Romans 1:1 KJV).

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, a called apostle, severed for the evangel of God (Romans 1:1 CLT).

In the very first verse of Paul’s letter to the Roman saints he employs an amazingly rich word translated in the King James Version as “separated,” and in the Concordant Literal Translation as “severed.”

The actual word that Paul used was “aphorizo.” This is a Greek compound word made up of “apo” (off) and “horizo” (horizon). Paul is literally telling us that he had been horizoned-off by and for God.

The Greek word for “separated: in this passage contains the thought of “the horizon.” Paul’s whole horizon was dominated by Christ. All his boundaries in life were determined by Him. – John Phillips, Exploring Romans, Moody (1969), p. 13.

“Aphorizo” – this word is composed of “apo,” “away from” and “horizo,” “to define or set bounds.” The English reader will recognize the origin of the word “horizon.” – Charles H. Welch, The Berean Expositor, Volume 37, p. 91.

Noah Webster defines “horizon” as:

The line that terminates the view, when extended on the surface of the earth; or a great circle of the sphere, dividing the world into two parts or hemispheres; the upper hemisphere which is visible, and the lower which is hid … The visible horizon is a lesser circle of the sphere, which divides the visible part of the sphere from the invisible. It is eastern or western; the eastern is that wherein the sun and stars rise; the western, that wherein they set … – American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

Paul was cut-off from his earlier horizon, from his sphere of life – from his former hemisphere – from his earlier point of view. God separated him out from his old life and positioned him in the circumference of a new life – the celestial circumference of Almighty God and His concerns. He was horizoned-off to the Father’s abundant Good News!

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Commentary

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