Different kinds of Peace?

Q. Is the peace mentioned in the following verses the same peace: Lk 2:14; 12:49-53; Rom 1:7?

A. First, let’s look at the passages:
Lk 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
• Lk 12:49-53 I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
• Rom 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

In all 3 the word “peace” translates the Greek noun “eirene“, which occurs 92 times in the NT and carries a range of meanings. Quoting from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words, eirene could mean:
1. Harmonious relationships between men;
2. Between nations;
3. Friendliness;
4. Freedom from molestation;
5. Order in the State;
6. The harmonized relationships between God and man, accomplished through the gospel;
7. The sense of rest & contentment.

Which shade of meaning is meant depends on the verse’s context. My sense of the meaning in the 3 verses is as follows:
• Lk 2:14 – (6) as this is peace among men with whom God is pleased, because of the arrival of the Savior announced in Lk 2:11;
• Lk 12:51 – (1); peace between individuals i.e. harmony, concord, as the context speaks of division with family members against each other;
• Rom 1:7 – (6); the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, & so fearing nothing from God & content with its earthly lot.
Hope this helps.

Firstborn of the Dead


Q. In Rev 1:5 what does it mean Jesus is the firstborn of the dead?

A. The phrase “firstborn of the dead” translates the Greek prototokos ton nekros. A similar expression prototokos ek nekros appears in Col 1:18, translated firstborn from the dead in the NAS:
Col 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
• Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—

Prototokos comes from protos “first” and tikto “to begat”. It speaks of His priority to, & preeminence over, creation, having first place in everything. Nekros means dead. So both verses refer to His resurrection.

Since there are people raised from the dead in the OT e.g. the Shunammite’s son (2 Kings 4:32-37), & Jesus Himself raised a number from the dead e.g.
• Jairus’ daughter (Mk 4:35-42),
• the widow’s son at Nain (Lk 7:14-15),
• Lazarus (Jn 11:43-44),
in what sense is Jesus the firstborn from or of the dead?

All the others were resuscitated temporarily to live for a time, only to die again later. However, Jesus was the first to be raised to eternal life, the guarantee of a better covenant. He was not prevented by death from continuing His priesthood, which He holds permanently (Heb 7:22-24).
7:25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Thus “Firstborn of the dead” speaks of both who He is, the preeminent One, and what He did, saving, offering sacrifice as priest, & interceding. It tells us His Person & His work. It is a very rich title.