In everyday usage, the word ‘mystery’ suggests ‘something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain’ (COD).
Unfortunately, this usage is too readily imported into discussions about what the word means in its biblical context.
So let’s take a look.
In the OT, the word ‘mystery’ only occurs in the Aramaic part of the book of Daniel (Dan 2:18–19, 27–30, 47; 4:9), where the word rāz is rendered mystērion in the LXX. In that context, the word refers to God’s hidden plan which revelation and the unfolding of events are in the process of making known.…