sign

sign

A significant event, act, or other manifestation that betokens God’s presence or intention. Signs may be miraculous and spectacular, as in the case of those performed by Moses (Exod 4:1-9; Exod 4:17; Exod 4:30; Exod 7-11:30). On the other hand, a natural phenomenon such as a rainbow or a sunset may be called a sign (Gen 9:13; Ps 65:8), as may an identifying mark such as circumcision (Gen 17:11) or even a prophet and his children (Isa 8:18). In the NT, signs tend to be apocalyptic or miraculous, but the shepherds are told that the infant Jesus “wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12) will be a sign of God’s salvation. When Jesus is asked about a sign indicating the coming destruction of the Temple (Mark 13:4), he responds by referring to natural, if catastrophic, events (Mark 13:5-13) as well as to more supernatural ones (Mark 13:24-27). In the synoptic Gospels, Jesus refuses to work signs (Mark 8:11-12; Matt 12:38-39), but in the Gospel of John, he does perform signs that are intended to evoke faith in him (John 2:11; John 20:30-31). The Fourth Evangelist, however, also seems to be aware of the inadequacies of faith based on signs (John 4:48). Paul speaks of miraculous apostolic signs (2Cor 12:12), and Jesus is characterized in (Acts 2:22) as “a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you.”

Exod 4:1-9

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Exod 4:17

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Exod 4:30

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Exod 7-11:30

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Gen 9:13

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Ps 65:8

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Gen 17:11

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Isa 8:18

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Luke 2:12

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Mark 13:4

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Mark 13:5-13

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Mark 13:24-27

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Mark 8:11-12

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Matt 12:38-39

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John 2:11

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John 20:30-31

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John 4:48

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2Cor 12:12

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Acts 2:22

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