Saintly Ones

1 November 2020

Matthew 5:1–16; Revelation 7:1–17

※ Q: What is a Saint? ※

You would think that this question is easy. However, the meaning of saint depends on the context and even timeframe.

Chasid (חָסִיד) and Kaddish (קַדִּישׁ) are the Hebrew words that are most often translated as saint (not always, though). Chasid (חָסִיד) means or devout ones (with the implication being toward the covenant).  Kaddish (קַדִּישׁ) means holy ones or people of the holy ones (yes, we could, but perhaps shouldn’t, infer the there).

Hagioi (ἅγιος) is first seen in Matthew 27:52 and used to talk about those who rose from the dead upon . It is most used by to refer to the (what became) Christians in his letters. It became generally used that way by the other New Testament writers and the . In Revelation, the becomes expressly tied to those who died as martyrs.

※ Q: What does it mean to be a saint? ※

If you’ve been in the church any length of time, saint can be applied to a person of significant patience. It is also applied to many that have been in the for a long time and have gray or white hair (the hair color, of course, is important 😉). However, that is probably a bad way of thinking about it.

If we were to tie both the Hebrew and the Greek together, we would probably get an approximation of people whose relationship is with God through faith in Jesus Christ and for whom this is their primary identity.

※ Q: Are you a saint? ※


Holy Spirit, guide into a relational identity with the , through the . Amen.

Image courtesy of James Lee