44 letters, 3 words, 1 revolutionary idea. This idea is one that is riddled throughout the Hebrew Bible and in the New testament scriptures as well.
This idea is provocative, scandalous, ancient, and will shake you right down to your very core once you see it. It may get you called a heretic, excluded from religious groups and branded as being non biblical…
But it is completely biblical and is extremely offensive and scares the shit out of most religious institutions.
These 3 words we will focus on can be found in your Bibles and the theme they espouse is riddled EVERYWHERE.
IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME
If you’re like me, it just rolls off the tongue, right? OK not so easy to say AND what does it mean?
“God made known to us the mystery of God’s will, according to God’s purpose, which God set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to anakephalaiosasthai all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
This word means to gather everything together under one head or to sum up everything into one or simply TO UNIFY.
So these 2 verses, in the Bible, say that it was God’s plan and will all along to eventually unify everything; every atom, molecule, creature, EVERYTHING, into God’s own self. And it was done through a fragile human, that could bleed just like the rest of us. Got it? OK moving on.
Whew, a little easier to say. This is a word actually attributed to something Jesus said. So whether you follow the words of Paul or Jesus, you have no excuse to edit these out of your theology. (That was a Theology joke, probably not even that funny). Anyways what does this mean?
“Jesus said to them, “I assure you who have followed me that in the Palliggenesia, when the Human One sits on his magnificent throne, you also will sit on twelve thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel.”
OK, weird right? Sometimes this ancient language of thrones and tribes and kingdoms just seems outdated or out of a JRR Tolkien novel but remember it is just metaphor for a reality these tribal people related to. Just as our tribes speak a certain way and understand certain terms. Anyways, we see that paliggenesia is referring to a time and/or place.
This word actually means regeneration, rebirth, renovation to all the earth. The Jewish people at this time looked to paliggenesia as the time the messiah would return and make all things right.
So what we see in this verse is that it is talking about a complete regeneration of the earth coming into effect. A new birth, not of destruction but of renovation.
This is my favorite of all 3 to say. It’s fun. This is also one that some of the early patristic fathers pointed to as their hope for the future. According to the writer of Acts, this one is attributed to being said by Peter.
“Jesus must remain in heaven until the apokatastasis of all things, about which God spoke long ago through his holy prophets.”
Here we go with the all things again. It can’t literally mean all things, I mean what about justice and stuff. (more sarcasm) What is the all things that God has been speaking of through his prophets?
The word here means restoration. What?!
“So you’re telling me Peter is taking about the restoration of ALL THINGS?”
Yes, it seems that way.
“All of those who believe?”
Well that wouldn’t be all things would it. Peter seems to be referring to the restoration of everything. Humans, the earth, animals, pollution, even Washington DC.
So thats the idea, that is entirely biblical, totally provocative, scandalous, ancient and should shake our indoctrinated religious minds and very being to its core.
Spoken of by Peter, Paul, Jesus and the prophets. The idea is BIG! Its telling us that the universe is going somewhere and it’s not for destruction or hell in a handbasket. It’s telling us we can participate in this move with the Divine! We are included. We get to be a part of it! It’s good news! For Everyone!
The idea all along has been the anakephalaiosasthai, paliggenesia and apokatastasis of all things.