1 Thes 5:22 Interpretation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. evangelist6589

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    "Avoid every kind of evil" (NIV) "Abstain from every form of evil" (ESV)

    So how do we interpret this and would the interpretation vary on the conscience that God has placed in man and clear commandments in the Bible? For example years ago at Bob Jones University they thought that a male having a beard was associating with Harley Davidson bikers or some sort and students were not allowed to have a beard. Also they have associated pants with evil and students are not allowed to wear pants on campus, and women can only wear skirts and dresses to church. They also believed that mixed swimming to be having the appearance of sexual immorality and such activities are banned. These are just a few examples of many.

    The line is different for every Christian. For example if I were to take a job working in a beer shipping factory, I would do it because I need money, and the hours.. I am no alcoholic. Yet to other Christians I would be having an appearance of evil working in the beer factory, but in my case since alcohol has no temptation on me, and I have not been drunk in 7 years, I could use the opportunity to witness to the lost souls there if God opened the door. But if me working in the beer factory caused division in my church then I would be a stumbling block. I have found enough evidence in the Bible (Ps 104:14, Ecc 9:7) to indicate that the Bible does not totally forbid alcohol. It forbids the ABUSE of alcohol, just as it would any other food or drink.

    Or if I were to live ALONE with someone I was not married too, just not sleep with her, then I would be in sin as there would be no eye witnesses as to my purity or her's and I clearly would be in violation of the conscience. However showing affection for another may be a violation of the conscience for one person, but may not be for another.
     
    #1 evangelist6589, Apr 20, 2013
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  2. jbh28

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    Abstain from every form of evil

    Seems pretty clear to me. Some try to make it more than what it says
     
  3. RLBosley

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    Seems like another way of saying "be ye holy for I am holy."

    We should abstain from evil... The BJU crowd like you pointed out take the "appearance" in the KJV in the modern English usage and inadvertently (i hope anyway) twist the scripture.

    Be holy, avoid evil, yield yourself a servant of righteousness.... all ways of saying the same thing.
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    Can you get more specific?

    Is it wrong to own a TV? Mix swim? Play video games? Go to movie theaters? Surf the Internet alone? Have a beard?
     
  5. Winman

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    The NIV and ESV do not say abstain from all "appearance" of evil, you must be thinking of the King James Bible.

    According to the NIV and ESV, you could live with your fiancee, and as long as you do not have sex you are OK. But according to the KJB it would be sin as it gives the impression or appearance of evil.

    The modern versions do not teach the same thing as the King James.
     
  6. jbh28

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    More specific about what? The Bible says to abstain from every form/appearance of evil. If something is evil, then abstain from it.

    It doesn't teach that if something gives an impression or if someone could twist it to be "evil". Appearance(like what you look like) form, kind all refer to the same thing. (so yes, the KJV and the ESV and the NIV teach just alike)

    You made a list here. What does the Bible say? First, Jesus had a beard so I'm not sure how anyone could say that's a sin. But the Bible doesn't say any of these are sins. (that's not to say that one wouldn't abstain from doing one of these.

    It was mentioned about living with your girlfriend. Well, no, the ESV doesn't teach that it's ok to live with your fiance. Should you live with your fiance? Probably not. Well, it would be a great temptation to commit sin.

    The passage is very simple. Stay away or abstain from all evil not matter what kind or form or appearance the evil presents itself.

    The biggest mistake I've seen with this verse is making lists like the one you shared and using this verse as a reason to not do them. Going to the theatre is the one that' that I've personally seen the most. Someone sees you in a theatre and doesn't know if you are watching an "evil movie" or a good movie. What always got me on this one is the same people telling me not to go to a theatre would say to wait till it's out on DVD. Ok, so it's the "appearance of evil" to watch the movie in a PUBLIC place where anyone can see what I'm watching, but it's ok to watch it in my PRIVATE home. Yeah, logic thrown out the door. At least those that don't' have a TV are consistent.

    to put it simply, abstain for every form of evil. Don't put anything more there than what Paul did.
     
    #6 jbh28, Apr 21, 2013
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  7. Logos1560

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    At 1 Thessalonians 5:22, the word "appearance" was not in several of the earlier English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision. The 1557 Whittingham's New Testament or 1557 Geneva New Testament translated 1 Thessalonians 5:22 as follows: "Abstain from all kind of evil." Condit suggested that Whittingham’s rendering at this verse was superior to the KJV’s rendering (History, pp. 239-240). The Spanish Valera Bible as printed by the International Bible Association has the rendering "especie de mal" [species or kind of evil]. The 1543 Enzinas Spanish N. T. as reprinted by the Broken Arrow Baptist Church has the rendering "genero de mal" [kind or class of evil].


    In his commentary on Thessalonians, Gordon Clark noted that the Greek noun [eidos] in this verse in theology "almost always means kind or species" (p. 69). Spiros Zodhiates wrote that this Greek noun in this verse referred to "the form of evil" (Complete Word Study Dictionary, p. 507).

    Concerning 1 Thessalonians 5:22, A. T. Robertson pointed out that "the papyri give several examples of eidos in the sense of class or kind and that idea suits best here" (Word Pictures, IV, p. 38).

    In his commentary on Thessalonians, William Hendriksen indicated that this verse means: "From every form (or kind, not appearance here) of evil hold off" (p. 140). Concerning "appearance," Marvin Vincent wrote: "As commonly explained, abstain from everything that even looks like evil. But the word signifies form or kind. Compare Luke 3:22; John 5:37. . . . It never has the sense of semblance. Moreover, it is impossible to abstain from everything that looks like evil" (Word Studies, IV, p. 51).
     
  8. beameup

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    Abstain from all appearance of evil.
    eidos seems to indicate what others might see in you,
    so I would definitely go with the King James. :wavey:
     
  9. Winman

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    As you can see, Logos believes "appearance" is incorrect and not what the verse should say.


    Incorrect, the KJB and many of the MVs (because some do say appearance) do not agree in meaning whatsoever.

    To abstain from every form of evil simply means to abstain from every kind of evil. To abstain from the appearance of evil is altogether a different subject. Something can be ok, but give the appearance of evil, such as going in a house of prostitution. You could be going in there to preach the gospel, but people would believe you are going in there for other reasons.
     
  10. HeirofSalvation

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  11. evangelist6589

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    I am not living alone with her. We are living with her mother, brother, and son which does not make it sin. However according to the KJV types that she knows and at her church it is wrong. However its a matter of the conscience. There are those at her church that find it a sin to hold hands and show affection before marriage so go figure..

    Last night we were reading what David Jeremiah had to say about this and he does not agree with the IFB. God gave us a conscience and people interpret things differently. There are universal sins such as sexual immorality, adultery, drunkedness, and such, but we are not doing any of that. We do not sleep together, shower together, and we live in different rooms. The Bible does not forbid holding hands and showing affection before marriage. It forbids sexual immorality. The same could be said about alcohol. The Bible forbids drunkedness, it does not forbid having a 2.5% alcoholic Mikes Lemonade which drinking would be very difficult to get drunk on given the low amount of alcohol in the beverage. But since drinking one will cause her to stumble I will not do it. Well at least in the house. But I want to enjoy my freedoms in Christ and some beverages can be an enjoyment of them Ecc 9:7).
     
    #11 evangelist6589, Apr 22, 2013
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  12. Iconoclast

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    evangelist6589

    .
    So EV6589,

    If every other man in the church.....also held hands and "showed her affection" as you have,in the exact same way...perhaps kissing and hugging......would it also be okay????
     
  13. jbh28

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    You just repeated yourself. I already showed you that you were wrong here. It doesn't mean to abstain form something someone could misconstrue to be evil. Appearance/form/kind are all referring to the same thing. The word God put there means form or kind. You are to abstain from all evil, not matter what kind/form/appearance that evil is in.
     
  14. Winman

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    OK, do you believe that anyone who sees you go into her house holding hands and kissing, and staying all night believes you sleep in another bedroom?
     
  15. evangelist6589

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    I do not sit around worrying what others think. Frankly I do not care. Anyone can think what they wish but no one can prove anything.
     
  16. Oldtimer

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    Just using this quote rather than quoting your original post.

    May I ask a question or two?

    If you have a concern about anything that God considers (may consider) to be wrong, are you sure that concern isn't coming from the Holy Spirit?

    If a born again believer questions an act/action, isn't that an indicator to stay away from same?

    Isn't trying to find support and expecting others to give proof that you are doing no wrong an indicator that you are ignoring the proof right there in your own heart?

    If you do not care what others think, why are you asking questions here? Are you seeking the TRUTH, or someone to agree, to condone, to excuse, ignoring what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you?

    Only you can answer those questions, within yourself. As an evangelist, you should know that, IMO, far better than this layman who hasn't been subjected to a higher calling by our Saviour.
     
  17. 12strings

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    Actually neither translation addresses that particular situation...and one could easily imagine that in very poor countries, or in refugee situations, or in post-earthquake Haiti, it might be entirely appropriate and non-skandalous for 10-20 mixed gender, non-related people to live together.

    ALSO...the verse CANNOT mean "Never do anything that might appear to someone to be a sin," because THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE!

    Ie, I walk to The post office because they say they have a package for me...It's a small box wrapped in brown paper. I leave carrying the box, and there is an adult video store right next to the post office...a fellow church member drives by and sees me walking by the video store on my way home with a small video-shaped box...have I violated this verse?
     
  18. 12strings

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    I DO think that your primary concern in this situation should not be what others think of YOU...but what impression you are giving to others about the purity of your FIANCE... Ie, Is the situation you are in one in which it is LIKELY that people will make assumptions about your activitity...or is it simply one in which there are enough people in the house that it is OBVIOUSLY an arrangement based on NEED for housing (I can't tell you for sure whether it is or not...I don't know the details) But If you became convinced that the arrangement WAS causing people to think the worst about this person you are to be protecting and caring for...would you be willing to move out to protect her honor?

    If people start questioning the chastity and honor of your fiance, will your answer be simply..."You can't prove anything." I would hope your concern for her reputation would compel you further.
     
  19. Winman

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    Wow, what extremes a person will go to to justify themselves. If there is a adult video store next to your post office, then go with a witness who can verify that you went to the post office.

    The King James says to abstain from all appearance of evil. I remember a famous preacher who said that he had told all the women in his church if he sees them broken down by the side of the road, do not get upset if he drives by them. He would go and call help for them, but he would not pick them up so that another person would see him with another man's wife.

    It might be impossible to avoid ALL appearance of evil, but that does not mean a person should not try to obey this scripture and avoid all appearance of evil if possible.

    And what kind of evangelist would not worry what people think? You are telling people the Ten Commandments, telling them they are wicked sinners and should repent, and then they see you go into your fiancee's house and spend the entire night.

    And you think these people would listen to you? You will be like Lot, whose own family mocked him.

    Gen 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

    Because Lot compromised and lived like an unbeliever, his own family did not take him seriously. And if folks see you spending the night with your girlfriend, they will not take you seriously either, they will call you a hypocrite.
     
  20. jbh28

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    I would be very upset a guy I knew drove past my wife on the road and left her there. Why would any believer leave a woman in a dangerous place on the side of the rode just so he might not be seen with a woman? As my wife said, he would be a total jerk to do that. If people see you with a woman in the car that's not your wife and the first thought is there is an affair going on, there are some other serious issues.

    I think you may have gone too far with this.While the I Thessalonians passage doesn't teach to abstain from something that might look like evil but isn't actually evil, it's a good idea to be careful how your actions look to others. Remember, we are to share the gospel. You don't want to do something that might hinder that. You also don't want to be a stumbling block to other believers.

    I Corinthians 9:12 "...Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ."

    Well said.
     
    #20 jbh28, Apr 23, 2013
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