I’m thrilled to have Kelsey Remmelts with us discussing theology for this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday!
Webster’s dictionary defines theology as “The science of God or of religion; the science which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice. . . the science of Christian faith and life.” (1)
It comes from the word theos which is Greek for “God,” and -ology which is from the Greek word logos meaning “word.” Simply put the word theology means “words about God” or “the study of God.” (2)
Unpacking God’s Word
The word theology is not mentioned in the Bible and there are various subcategories of theology for individuals to study. To study theology is to unpack God’s Word and look for how He reveals Himself. The more personal my relationship becomes with God, the more I learn how to glorify Him through my love and obedience.
The Apostle Paul wrote many letters to the churches and some individuals in an effort to point the masses to read and understand the Word of God. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul wanted to provide encouragement to Timothy in his Christian walk during trying times both morally and spiritually.
Paul reminds him in 2 Timothy 3:15-17, “and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (3) Paul spoke from a wealth of experience.
Bridging the Gap from Jew to Christian
Paul was born as Saul in Tarsus (modern day Turkey). He was of Benjamite lineage and Hebrew ancestry. His parents were Pharisees-fervent Jewish nationalists who adhered strictly to the Law of Moses and sought to protect their children from “contamination” from the Gentiles. Saul’s family were Roman citizens but they viewed Jerusalem as a truly sacred and holy city. When Paul was thirteen, he studied under a rabbi named Gamaliel and he learned to dissect the Scripture. He became a lawyer and was thought to be assigned as a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court, because of his ability to debate the finer points of Jewish law. Saul was extremely zealous in his faith and believed he was doing the will of the Lord by persecuting those who spoke of Christ’ love for all people, including the Gentiles. (4)
He continued to seek out Christians to arrest and send to prison, and on his way to Damascus, he had an encounter with Jesus which changed his life. He accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior and changed his name to Paul. He then began the missionary work of Jesus, was arrested, and wrote letters to the people and churches of the region from his prison cell. (4)
Saul/Paul is an example of understanding “the study of God” from both sides of the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is what was available at his time and the close following to the letter of the law is what moved people from God’s intent to man’s belief in the definition of the Word. Paul was able to bridge the meanings of the Old Testament with the newly founded beliefs about Jesus who came to save us all. The contribution of his letters to the churches in the New Testament continued to point to the Law of Moses and support the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice as Christians.
(1) Webster Dictionary- http://www.webster-dictionary.net/definition/theology
(3) The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
Bio: Kelsey Townsend Remmelts
My journey involves grief, faith, hope, love, and continues to grow and mature. I am awestruck at how God uses my pain to define, develop, and deepen my character.
I am a widow, wife, mother of three beautiful children, and grandmother of two who make me smile daily. I volunteer for an awesome non-profit called Ragan’s Hope who supports families with critically ill or injured children. In my spare time I love to read, write, and be a little crafty!