To make the first movement toward a given end (chalal; archomai). Those who interpret it in many passages pleonastically mean by this, that in such passages as "began to teach" or "began to speak," nothing more is intended than to express vividly and graphically the thought of the dependent infinitive. Matthew 4:17; Luke 3:23; Acts 1:1 are so understood. For contrary opinion, see Thayer's Lexicon and Winer's Grammar of New Testament Greek.
The noun, arche, "beginning," in the writings of John, is used sometimes in an abstract sense, to designate a previous stage (John 1:1,2; 8:25; 1 John 1:1; 3:8) and, sometimes, the Source or First Cause (Revelation 3:14; 21:6; 22:13). Often used also, not for the absolute beginning, but, relatively, for the starting-point of some important movement (1 John 2:7,24; Acts 11:15; Philippians 4:15).
H. E. Jacobs
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