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Hebrews 13:5

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member

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    (KJV) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

    (ESV) Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    Look at a Bible dictionary and you will see that covetousness means more than just the "love of money." I do not know why the ESV/NIV translate this verse this way and as I am lacking in Greek Exegesis skills I can only rely on commentaries and of the ones I have (which were not KJV based) they seemed to think the MV's translate the verse correctly. I know the KJV/NKJV do use different manuscripts than the modern versions which are alexandrian based if I remember correctly. So what say you?
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    So what you first want to do is called a word study.

    Since covetousness is not a commonly used word, look it up in an English dictionary.

    covet /ˈkʌvɪt/ verb (covets, coveting, coveted)
    yearn to possess (something belonging to someone else).
    —DERIVATIVES covetable adjective
    —ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French cuveitier, based on Latin cupiditas (see CUPIDITY).

    cupidity /kjuːˈpɪdɪti/ noun
    greed for money or possessions.
    —ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French cupidite or Latin cupiditas, from cupidus ‘desirous’, from cupere ‘to desire’.
    Soanes, C., & Stevenson, A. (2004). Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Next, look up the word in a interlinear translation, the search your translation for other ways the translators used the same word.

    Strong's #866 ἀφιλάργυρος [aphilarguros /af•il•ar•goo•ros/] adj. From 1 (as a negative particle) and 5366; Two occurrences; AV translates as “not covetous” once, and “without covetousness” once. 1 not loving money, not avaricious.
    Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon.

    1 Timothy 3:3 (AV 1873) not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

    Hebrews 13:5 (AV 1873) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


    A little Greek helps a bit here. The word used in Greek is a compound word.

    Break the Greek word down:

    1) φιλά (phila) a common enough word, simple word for "love", used in the city name Philadelphia (city of brotherly love).

    2) ἄργυρος [arguros /ar•goo•ros/] Strong #696 n m. From argos (shining); GK 738; Five occurrences; AV translates as “silver” five times. 1 silver. 1A 1 Cor. 3:12 refers to the silver with which the columns of noble buildings were covered and the rafters adorned. 1B things made of silver. 1B1 vessels. 1B2 images of gods.
    Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon.

    Rob
     
  3. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member

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    Covetousness can mean more than loving money but the phrase "be content with the things you have" indicates material things, things which are bought with money, so I agree with the NIV and ESV [and NASB and HCSB] here.
     
  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member

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    Great thread, really uplifting!

    The KJV translates more than one Greek word as "covetous" and more than one Greek word as "covetousness." And as shown above, the KJV translates the same Greek word as both covetous and covetousness.

    However, modern versions translate the Greek word found at Hebrews 13:5 and 1 Timothy 3:3 as love of money or words to that effect. Also, as shown above, silver-love can easily be seen as a love of silver or coin or money.

    Now the KJV translates "pleonexia" as covetousness at Colossians 3:5, and this Greek word means "greedy desire for more." Now this vice could be manifested as a love of money or for example a desire for intimate relations with another man's wife.

    Bottom line, it takes quite a bit of study to come to an understanding of the text when differing Greek words are translated into the same English word, and differing English words are translated from the same Greek word. Basically the KJV obscures both the vice of love of money and the vice of being greedy for more.

    While modern translations often do a better job of translation, they all translate the same Greek word as different English Words and the same English word as a translation of different Greek Words.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Then buy a good lexicon, please. Go online at www.biblestudytools.com or www.studylight.org so you can see that the Greek pleonexia, which acctually means "covetousness" is nowhere to be found in that verse. The Greek literally translates as "free from the love of money," and the KJV has it wrong in rendering it "covetousness."
     
  6. clark thompson

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    The love of money moves so many people.
     
  7. Aaron

    Aaron Member

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    The love of money is covetousness.
     
  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member

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    All poodles are dogs, but not all dogs are poodles. If scripture said Moses was walking a poodle, the KJV would translate it Moses was walking a dog. Not how it reads. The modern translations are superior.
     
  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member

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    All poodles are dogs, but not all dogs are poodles. If scripture said Moses was walking a poodle, the KJV would translate it Moses was walking a dog. Not how it reads. The modern translations are superior.

    Lets look at a few more verses. 1 Timothy 6:10. How does the KJV translate "silver love" here, covetous, covetousness or love of money. :)

    How about 2 Timothy 3:2. Does the KJV translate "silver love" as love of money, covetousness, or covetous. On and on it goes, folks, dogs where poodles should be.
     
  10. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    It is one form of covetousness. It does not encompass all that covetousness is.
     
  11. Aaron

    Aaron Member

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    It's qualified by the following phrase, so the point is moot.
     
  12. Don

    Don Well-Known Member

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    Just a minor note: The KJV is *not* wrong in interpreting it as "covetous" or "covetousness."

    As Deacon pointed out, "covetous" finds its origins, especially in Middle English, from Old French coveitous, based on Latin cupiditas; which in turn means, "greed for money or possessions."

    As language evolves over centuries, words tend to take on new/different meanings (see "gay"). Thus, the KJV is correct; it's just that our current understanding of "covetous" is different than what it was when the KJV was written.
     
  13. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Forgive me, Don, for correction your correction ... :laugh:

    The word pleonexia isn't found in Hebrews 13:5. That is the word that is translated "covetousness" in the New Testament. The Greek phrase is aphilarguros ho tropos and translates literally as "not [having] avariciousness for money as a matter (or manner) of character," (Note: I misspoke earlier in the thread) which is clearly a type of covetousness, but does not embody the entirety of the nature of covetousness. For example, the command in Exodus 20:17 is to not covet one's neighbor's house, wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey or anything else that belong to him/her. While those have value, they are not directly related to, nor do they represent a Jewish vision of, money.
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron Member

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    Which of the Top Ten commands us not to love money?
     
  15. Van

    Van Well-Known Member

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    Lets make a translation that reads Covetousness is the root of all kinds of evil. And everywhere "silver love" appears lets use covetous or covetousness. After all, just because the inspired texts draw a distinction, we should obliterate it, because our translation is never off the mark.
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron Member

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    The Tenth one.
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member

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    beleive the word trnslated in the KJV refers actually towards ones manner of lifestyle, ones walk, one behaviour, so the lord instructs us to live in a matter that trust in him, and not to be trusing in getring rich, and making money your God!
     
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