As you many of you may know I have been writing & speaking about boldness and power for awhile now. Today I discovered something new in the word boldness in the book of Acts that can mean “freedom of speech”. I love word studies, they are so illuminating and help reveal Scriptures deep inner meaning! I believe this is very timely and what the Lord desires for all His followers. Ironically, I have been praying some new ‘dangerous’ prayers; ‘Lord make me like an original apostle, help me to understand You like they understood and knew You…’ I pray this passage below encourages and empowers you today!
“So now, Lord, listen to their threats to harm us. Empower us, as your servants, to speak the word of God freely and courageously. Stretch out your hand of power through us to heal, and to move in signs and wonders by the name of your holy Son, Jesus!” As they prayed the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble. Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with unrestrained boldness.” Acts 4:29-31 TPT
Brian Simmons writes in the footnote for the word boldness – t 4:31b “The Greek word is parresia. This involves more than confidence; it was a free-flowing, unrestrained boldness. It can also mean “freedom of speech.” Parresia carries nuances that are not easily brought over into English. The person who speaks with parresia will say everything that is on his mind with no restraint, flowing out of his heart with confidence. It involves being frank and honest, hiding nothing and speaking directly to the heart. Most often it is a word used for public speaking. It refers to speech that is not tailored to make everyone happy but to speak the truth, in spite of what that may cost. It is the courage to speak truth into the ears of others. This was reserved for only the highest rank of Greek citizens, not people of other lands or slaves. The right to speak freely was an essential aspect of Athenian democracy. Although it is sometimes associated with negative speech, in this context parresia refers to an unrestrained boldness. There was a Greek idiom that said essentially, “If you tell me the truth no matter what that truth turns out to be, I will not punish you.” This was known as the Parresiastic Contract. See M. Foucault, “Discourse and Truth: The Problematization of Parresia,” six lectures given at the University of California at Berkeley, 1983, ed. by Joseph Pearson in 1985. Parresia is found also in Mark 8:32; John 7:4, 13, 26; 10:24; 11:14, 54; 2 Cor. 3:12; 7:4; Eph. 3:12; 6:19; Phil. 1:20; and numerous other places.”