What does Remember, Remembrance mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words - Remember, Remembrance, Reminded
A — 1: μιμνῄσκομαι (Strong's #3403 — Verb — mimnesko — mim-nace'-ko ) from the older form mnaomai, in the Active Voice signifies "to remind;" in the Middle Voice, "to remind oneself of," hence, "to remember, to be mindful of;" the later form is found only in the present tense, in Hebrews 2:6 , "are mindful of," and Hebrews 13:3 , "remember;" the perfect tense in 1 Corinthians 11:2 ; 2 Timothy 1:4 (RV, "remembering," AV, "being mindful of"), is used with a present meaning. RV variations from the AV are, in Luke 1:54 , RV, "that He might remember" (AV, "in remembrance of"); 2 Peter 3:2 , "remember" (AV, "be mindful of"); Revelation 16:19 (Passive Voice), "was remembered" (AV, "came in rememberance"). The Passive Voice is used also in Acts 10:31 , AV and RV, "are had in remembrance." See MINDFUL OF (to be).
A — 2: μνημονεύω (Strong's #3421 — Verb — mnemoneuo — mnay-mon-yoo'-o ) signifies "to call to mind, remember;" it is used absolutely in Mark 8:18 ; everywhere else it has an object, (a) persons, Luke 17:32 ; Galatians 2:10 ; 2 Timothy 2:8 , where the RV rightly has "remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead;" Paul was not reminding Timothy (nor did he need to) that Christ was raised from the dead (AV), what was needful for him was to "remember" (to keep in mind) the One who rose, the Source and Supplier of all his requirements; (b) things, e.g., Matthew 16:9 ; John 15:20 ; 16:21 ; Acts 20:35 ; Colossians 4:18 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:3 ; 2:9 ; Hebrews 11:15 , "had been mindful of;" Hebrews 13:7 ; Revelation 18:5 ; (c) a clause, representing a circumstance, etc., John 16:4 ; Acts 20:31 ; Ephesians 2:11 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:5 ; Revelation 2:5 ; 3:3 ; in Hebrews 11:22 it signifies "to make mention of." See MENTION.
A — 3: ἀναμιμνῄσκω (Strong's #363 — Verb — anamimnesko — an-am-im-nace'-ko ) ana, "back," and No. 1, signifies in the Active Voice "to remind, call to one's mind," 1 Corinthians 4:17 , "put (AV, bring) ... into remembrance;" so 2 Timothy 1:6 ; in the Passive Voice, "to remember, call to (one's own) mind," Mark 11:21 , "calling to remembrance;" Mark 14:72 , "called to mind;" 2 Corinthians 7:15 , "remembereth;" Hebrews 10:32 , "call to remembrance."
A — 4: ὑπομιμνῄσκω (Strong's #5279 — Verb — hupomimnesko — hoop-om-im-nace'-ko ) signifies "to cause one to remember, put one in mind of" (hupo, "under," often implying suggestion, and No. 1), John 14:26 , "shall ... bring ... to (your) remembrance;" 2 Timothy 2:14 , "put ... in remembrance;" Titus 3:1 , "put ... in mind;" 3 John 1:10 , RV, "I will bring to remembrance" (AV, "I will remember"); Jude 1:5 , "to put ... in remembrance." In Luke 22:61 it is used in the Passive Voice, "(Peter) remembered," lit., "was put in mind."
A — 5: ἐπαναμιμνῄσκω (Strong's #1878 — Verb — epanamimnesko — ep-an-ah-mim-nace'-ko ) "to remind again" (epi, "upon," and No. 3), is used in Romans 15:15 , RV, "putting (you) again in remembrance," AV, "putting (you) in mind." See MIND.
Note: In 1 Timothy 4:6 , AV, hupotithemi, "to lay under, to suggest," is translated "put ... in remembrance" (RV, "put ... in mind"). See MIND.
B — 1: ἀνάμνησις (Strong's #364 — Noun Feminine — anamnesis — an-am'-nay-sis ) "a remembrance" (ana, "up," or "again," and A, No. 1), is used (a) in Christ's command in the institution of the Lord's Supper, Luke 22:19 ; 1 Corinthians 11:24,25 , not "in memory of" but in an affectionate calling of the Person Himself to mind; (b) of the "remembrance" of sins, Hebrews 10:3 , RV, "a remembrance" (AV, "a remembrance again;" but the prefix ana does not here signify "again"); what is indicated, in regard to the sacrifices under the Law; is not simply an external bringing to "remembrance," but an awakening of mind. In the Sept., Leviticus 24:7 ; Numbers 10:10 ; Psalm 38:1 ; 70:1 , Titles.
B — 2: ὑπόμνησις (Strong's #5280 — Noun Feminine — hupomnesis — hoop-om'-nay-sis ) denotes "a reminding, a reminder;" in 2 Timothy 1:5 it is used with lambano, "to receive," lit., "having received a reminder," RV, "having been reminded" (AV, "when I call to remembrance"); in 2 Peter 1:13 ; 3:1 , "remembrance."
Note: A distinction has been drawn between Nos. 1 and 2, in that anamnesis indicates an unassisted recalling, hupomnesis, a "remembrance" prompted by another.
B — 3: μνεία (Strong's #3417 — Noun Feminine — mneia — mni'-ah ) denotes "a rembrance," or "a mention." See MENTION.
B — 4: μνήμη (Strong's #3420 — Noun Feminine — mneme — mnay'-may ) denotes "a memory" (akin to mnaomai, A, No. 1), "remembrance, mention," 2 Peter 1:15 , "remembrance;" here, however, it is used with poieo, "to make" (Middle Voice), and some suggest that the meaning is "to make mention."
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Remember, Remembrance
To remember is a normal part of the activity of the human mind. When, however, God is the One who is remembered in prayer and ritual, or, when it is believed by the faithful that God himself is actually remembering his own relation to his people, then "to remember" with its appropriate nouns becomes a special verb in the religious vocabulary of Israel and the church of God.
The Old Testament . Yahweh is bound to his elect people, Israel, by his covenant and thus there is a unique relation between the two covenant partners. Not only does Israel remember Yahweh, but Yahweh actually remembers his relation to his people. The primary verb is zakar [1].
God remembers . On at least ten occasions, Yahweh is said to remember his covenantal relation with Israel (Leviticus 26:45 ; Psalm 105:8 ; 106:45 ; 111:5 ). He also remembers his covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:15 ). God also rememers the actual occasion of the making of his covenant(s) (Exodus 32:13 ; Deuteronomy 9:27 ; 2 Chronicles 6:42 ). "I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Abraham" (Leviticus 26:42 ). The call for God to remember his unique relation to Israel does not mean that God always remembers to bless, for in his justice he will also punish (Jeremiah 14:10 ; Hosea 7:2 ; 8:13 ; 9:9 ). For God not to remember human sin is for God to forgive (Psalm 25:7 ; Jeremiah 31:34 ).
Israel remembers . The Book of Deuteronomy is rich in its call to remember the words and deeds of God. The exodus or deliverance of Israel by Yahweh from Egypt is central to this remembering (see 5:15; 15:15; 16:3,12; 24:18,22; and cf. 7:18; 8:2,18; 9:7). The prophet Ezekiel also speaks of God's deeds in the past in order to bring right thinking and behavior into the present life of Judah (6:9; 16:22,43, 60-63; 20:43; 36:31). Further, Isaiah recalls and portrays God remembering how he delivered his people in earlier times, in the days of old, of Moses his servant (63:11-14). Within the Psalter the call to remember is a central motif. Yet Israel, when they were in Egypt, did not consider God's wonderful works or remember the abundance of is steadfast love (106:7). Finally, there is the actual remembering of God as God, that is God according to his character (Psalm 42:6-7 ; 119:55 ; Isaiah 46:8 ; Jeremiah 20:9 ).
Memory . The noun zekher [ Psalm 30:4-5 ; 97:12 ; 111:4 ; 145:7 ).
Memorial . The noun zikkaron [ Exodus 12:1-20 ; 13:9 ; Numbers 17:3,5 ). For example, after the crossing of the Jordan twelve stones were set up by Joshua in obedience to God as a memorial (Joshua 4:3,7 ). The festival on the first day of the seventh month is a memorial, proclaimed with trumpets (Leviticus 23:24 ; cf. Numbers 10:9 ). And the breastplate of the high priest likewise is a memorial (Exodus 28:12,29 ; 39:7 ).
The question arises, When believers remember the deeds of God and when God remembers his relation to Israel what kind of remembering is in view? Is it merely recollection of information about the past? Or is it remembering the past in such a way that the facts remembered have some impact on the present? As a minimum, this remembering within the Old Covenant would seem to imply that the God who performed the past mighty deeds, which are remembered, is the God who is present with his people as he or they remember those deeds. And he is present as the same, living God, bound to them in election and covenant as he was to their ancestors in days past, for he is Yahweh, "I am who I am."
The New Testament . The verb "to remember" (mnemoneuo [ Matthew 16:9 ; Mark 8:18 ). And Peter remembered Jesus' prediction and was suitably ashamed of himself (Matthew 26:75 ). Further, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham says to the rich man "Remember that in your lifetime you received your good things" (Luke 16:25 ). The thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him unto salvation (Luke 23:42 ). Paul urged the Gentile churches to remember the poor Christians in Jerusalem by making an appropriate collection for them (Galatians 2:10 ).
The act of remembering persons from the history of Israel has a positive use in strengthening faith or issuing a timely warning (Luke 17:32 ). Remembering the courage and blamelessness of the apostles (Acts 20:31 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:9 ) or the good works within a congregation (1 Thessalonians 1:3 ) also functions as encouragement in the Christian life. In contrast, remembering in terms of keeping someone in mind to pray and to care for them is also present (e.g., Galatians 2:10 ; Colossians 4:18 ).
Old Testament themes are obvious in Mary's Magnificat and Zechariah's Benedictus. Mary said, " [2] has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful" (Luke 1:54 ); and Zechariah blessed God and recalled how God would perform the mercy promised to our fathers, remembering his holy covenant (Luke 1:72 ). Such themes are also prominent in the exhortation to remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord (2 Peter 3:2 ; 1:12-15 ).
In fact, the theological meaning of remembrance that builds on the Old Testament is clear in about one-third of the occurrences in the New Testament. For example, there is a remembering in prayer before God. This can be in the form of effectual intercession (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 ) or as a specific, effective memorial (Acts 10:4 ). The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, assists in recalling the message of Jesus (John 14:26 ; 15:20,26 ; 16:4 ).
The most discussed, and possibly the most important use of the theme of memory, is related to the Last Supper. Both in the account of Luke (22:19) and of Paul (1 Corinthians 11:24 ) we read, "Do this in remembrance of me " The Greek noun is anamnesis [3]. Luke connects the command with the word over the bread and Paul with both the word over the bread and the word over the cup. What is intended by this word? Obviously any explanation must be sensitive to the meaning of zkr in the Old Testament and in Judaism, which points to making present the past, so that it can be effective in the present.
Not a few modern liturgists insist that the eucharistic memorial or remembrance is an objective act in and by which the person and event commemorated is made present or brought into the here and the now. So for the early Fathers it is the recalling before the Father of the one and once for all, as well as utterly complete, sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, in order that its power and efficacy will be known and operative within the Eucharist and thus received by those present.
In contrast to this it has been argued that the meaning is "that God may remember me"—Jesus asks the disciples to petition the Father to remember Jesus and come to his rescue. Also, it has been suggested that to remember is to proclaim and so in the celebration of the Supper the church proclaims Jesus who died for us. The further suggestion that the remembering is merely to meditate on the past death and future coming of Jesus, the Lord, seems to be inadequate because it does not emphasize that he who is remembered is very much present at the memorial/remembrance.
The word anamnesis [3] also occurs in Hebrews 10:3 , "those sacrifices [5] are an annual reminder of sin." that is, the sacrifices of the law do not produce a full purification from sin but only serve to be a reminder of the reality of sin.
The word mnemosunon [ Mark 14:3-9 ). Of her Jesus said, "Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her" (v. 9). We know that the dead body of Jesus was never anointed. Thus this anointing with expensive ointment some two days before his death points forward not only to his death but also to his resurrection. The woman anointed not his feet but his head and in so doing did what the high priest should have done when Jesus was before him on trialanoint him as the King!
Peter Toon
See also Lord's Supper, the
Bibliography . B. S. Childs, Memory and Tradition in Israel ; J. Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus .

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