The meaning of Affirm; Affirmatives in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
a-fur'-ma-tivs (diischurizomai). The verb "affirm" occurs in several passages of the New Testament in the sense of "assert" (Luke 22:59; Acts 12:15; Acts 25:19 pha-sko; Romans 3:8 phemi; 1Ti. 17; Titus 3:8 diabebaioomai. The Hebrew does not employ affirmative particles, but gives a positive reply by either repeating the word in question or by substituting the first person in the reply for the second person in the question, or by employing the formula: "Thou hast said" or "Thou hast rightly said." The Saviour used this idiom (su eipas) when answering Judas and Caiaphas (Matthew 26:25, Matthew 26:64). A peculiar elegance occasionally attaches to the interpretation of the Scriptures because of their use of an affirmative and a negative together, rendering the sense more emphatic; sometimes the negative occurs first, as in Psalms 118:17 : "I shall not die, but live"; sometimes the affirmative precedes, as in 88:1 : "Thou shalt die, and not bye" John 1:20 is made peculiarly emphatic because of the negative placed between two affirmatives: "And he confessed, and denied not; and he confessed, I am not the Christ."
Frank E. Hirsch
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