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 In the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, first published in 1611, Deuteronomy 14:2 reads:

For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

The first time I heard this passage, I was put off. I didn’t like it. I knew this to be scripture, so who was I to criticize, but “peculiar”? Doesn't that just mean "weird"? This is how God wants his people to be described?

The phrase “a peculiar people” appears fourteen additional times in six different translations of the Bible. Derived from the Latin word “peculium,” the word peculiar was originally defined as; a property that a father or master allowed his child to hold as his own.  In modern English the word “peculiar” translates; uncommon, and distinctive in nature or character from others, belonging characteristically to another. The Greek-Hebrew dictionary defines the term “peculiar” (referring to the Deuteronomy passage) as; God’s own purchased, special people, a precious possession of great value to be treasured.

I’ve come to appreciate the complex significance of the phrase “peculiar people”. God declares his people chosen (hand-selected by God), holy (dedicated for a sacred purpose), ordained (unique member of the royal family), redeemed (bought by God), set apart (made for more than this world), a precious treasure (priceless possession). In Exodus 19 God says, Now therefore, if you will obey my voice in truth and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all people. (AMP).

Peculiar is an endearing term given by God to his people. A title that should inspire believers to live differently; with purpose, passionate in service, filled with hope, love and grace; to be characterized by the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. This is my hope for the students that attend East Linn; that they would be invited and compelled to candidly pursue their God given calling, which by those who have not yet experienced the redeeming grace of God would be seen as uncommon, and unique – peculiar.

 Serving the Master Teacher,

 Janelle Detweiler 

 

Preparing students to utilize knowledge, understanding and wisdom to serve Christ with passion!