It is always a struggle for me where to start when understanding a biblical concept.

Yes, I hear you say, “Well, duh Tim!  You start with the Bible!”

Yes, yes you do.  One of the first things I did was go to a website called BibleGateway and do a search.  It was a simple search, I did a keyword search for “Reconciliation.”  Basically, it shows every time that word is used in a particular version of Scripture.  I happened to search the NIV.  I then searched for “reconcil.”  You see, computers do exactly what you say.  In using a partial word, I picked up instances of “reconcile, reconciled, etc.”  In all, I recieved about fifteen hits of various forms.  It even picks up subtitles.

I’ve read through them, made notes about them, and found what I believe to be about three different ways that it is used in Scripture.  I then started to ask myself, “what are my assumptions about the word?”  Basically, how do I understand the definition, and how is that influencing my reading of the Scripture?

My next stop was to the Merriam-Webster website.  Here is what I found, in my digging:


Function:  noun


Middle English reconsiliacioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin reconciliation-, reconciliatio, from reconciliare

Date:  14th century

1 : the action of reconciling : the state of being reconciled

2 : the Roman Catholic sacrament of penance

— rec·on·cil·ia·to·ry

Well, that wasn’t very helpful.


Function:  verb

Inflected Form(s):

rec·on·ciled; rec·on·cil·ing


Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French reconciler, from Latin reconciliare, from re- + conciliare to conciliate

Date:  14th century

transitive verb

1 a: to restore to friendship or harmony <reconciled the factions>

b: settle, resolve <reconcile differences>

2: to make consistent or congruous <reconcile an ideal with reality>

3: to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant <was reconciled to hardship>

4 a: to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy

b: to account for

intransitive verb: to become reconciled

synonyms see adapt

Hmm…I wonder what that “conciliate” is?




Inflected Form(s):

con·cil·i·at·ed; con·cil·i·at·ing


Latin conciliatus, past participle of conciliare to assemble, unite, win over, from concilium assembly, council — more at council

Date:  1545

transitive verb

1 : to gain (as goodwill) by pleasing acts

2 : to make compatible : reconcile

3 : appease intransitive verb : to become friendly or agreeable

synonyms see pacify

Out of all that, I tend towards thinking of definition #1a of Reconcile:

1 a: to restore to friendship or harmony <reconciled the factions>

Where do you tend in your thinking?  It is always important to do a little reflection, lest some assumption, or subconscious ingrained belief skew our interpretation.

I see where my tendency is, do you?

Next up, to see how the Holy Spirit inspired the thinking of others on the topic.