Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Pauline Idiom, "Work with your hands"

"whoso is stealing let him no more steal, but rather let him labour, working the thing that is good with the hands, that he may have to impart to him having need." (Ephesians 4:28 YLT)

Cambridge Greek Testament: ἐργαζόμενος ταῖς χερσὶν τὸ ἀγαθόν,, 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:11. ἐργ. τὸ ἀγαθόν is not to be confused with the phrase in Romans 2:10; Galatians 6:10. The best parallel is Titus 3:8; Titus 3:14 καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι. There were disreputable methods of making a living, the evil of which would not be purged by a charitable subscription, so the addition of τὸ ἀγαθὸν is not superfluous.

John Eadie writes: "Manual employment was the most common in these times. Acts 20:34; 1 Thessalonians 4:11. τὸ ἀγαθόν is something useful and profitable. His hands had done what was evil, and now these same were to be employed in what was good."

"And we toil as we labor with our hands. They dishonor us and we bless; they persecute us and we endure." (1 Corinthians 4:12 Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

"and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you," (1 Thessalonians 4:11 ESV)

Compare Acts 18:3; 20:17-38; 1 Thess. 4:12; 2 Thess. 3:8-11.

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