Punctuation: Colon, part 2


This is the second post regarding a certain mark of punctuation, the colon. It appears as two periods, one stacked directly over the other (:). Colons indicate to the reader that more definition is next. For example, “When is the party?” The initial text reads “8 PM.” But I need more definition; “Can you be more exact?” The answer, using a colon, is more exact and defined: “8:15 PM.”

This punctuation mark is a valuable tool in reading, and more importantly, understanding, the Bible. The colon acts as a type of dictionary by adding definition. For example, we recall a post contrasting the word stablish with the word establish. In summary, stablish refers to strengthening, taking an existing creation and improving, building it; whereas establish refers to planting, beginning anew, founding, foundation. But, let’s use the Bible itself, with the colon, to define stablish:

"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love...even as we do toward you: [note the colon] To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable... "(1 Thes. 3: 12, 13).

Notice the words increase and abound. After the colon, these words are again reinforced and even defined. That is the purpose of the colon: what follows the colon adds more light to the words before the colon. Look closely and read it with punctuation in mind: “Lord make you to increase and abound — Colon— “he may stablish your hearts.” The word stablish confirms and even illuminates increase and abound.

This sentence (vs.12, 13) does NOT use the word established— we are already established (planted) in Christ at salvation. Rather, this sentence, including the punctuation, reveals His will that we grow, abound, increase — that we be stablished.

Therefore, if I were to rewrite the blog post about stablish, I’d surely include the synonyms increase and abound. And, I’d surely pay attention to colons, as they are defining and illuminating the text.


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