I’ve always known that I was a little bit of an odd duck, sometimes even a whole lot. But when it shows up in my Bible study, I usually write an article about it. I’ve been preparing the notebook for our upcoming Wednesday night advanced class on Paul’s Prison Epistles. Some of the time I find myself asking questions that no one else seems to wonder about. Most of those times my question amounts to nothing important. However, every once in a while, a keeper fish nibbles and bites and BINGO! This recent question ended up being one of those times.
Not all the time, but some of the time I do a word frequency count in books of the Bible I am studying. I did so for Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians and found something interesting, even significant to me.
A word frequency test counts all of the words in whatever document you paste into the website and then in the blink of an eye is it counts how many times every word is used and gives you all the totals. It is downright amazing. When I pasted Ephesians into the website I was using, it popped out that Christ, God, Lord and Jesus were the most often used significant words; totaling 121 times. I then added the 11 references to the Holy Spirit for a total of 132 references to the Godhead in those 6 chapters: 20 times per chapter.
I then did the same for Philippians and discovered 100 Godhead references in those 4 chapters. Then I did the same for Colossians: 62 references to the Godhead in 4 chapters. That’s a total of 294 Godhead references in those 14 chapters; 21 times per chapter. WOW! I was stunned and so impressed with God in those epistles.
But then that odd duck part of me asked: “What about the pronouns?” Pronouns? Yes, the Godhead pronouns of He, His and Him. After a close look, Ephesians = 84; Philippians = 17; Colossians = 41. That’s a total of 142. Add those to the 294 other Godhead references and you have a whopping total of 436 Godhead references in 14 chapters: averaging 31 times per chapter. WOW!
So what are the Prison Epistles all about? They have a lot of meaningful teachings on a whole bunch of important issues. But here is the bottom line: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GODHEAD. Any study of those New Testament books that doesn’t overwhelm each believer with God’s greatness and inspire AWE in His presence, falls short of the goal line.
I know that this article is awfully nerdy, but I believe it is important too. Think about that, 436 references to the Godhead in just those 3 books. I pray that your life is ALL ABOUT THE GODHEAD. I pray that my life is MORE AND MORE ABOUT THE GODHEAD! If your life and mine grow more and more about the Godhead, heaven will smile.
So take a few moments (about 47 mins), open your Bible and read Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. It won’t take you a long time; the average audio Bible lists Ephesians 20 mins, Philippians 14 mins and Colossians 13 mins. And God will bless every second. God bless.
Mike Sublett is a pastor at Hi-Land Christian Church, 1615 N. Banks St., Pampa, Texas 79065. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.