Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 4 Study # 11
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
1901 ASV Translation:
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
There is one textual variation between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26. It is that the Textus Receptus has the word "fornication" and the Nestle/Aland 26 does not.
September 14, 2004
- I. The Particulars of the Text.
- A. The "Being filled with..." is a perfect passive participle and should be read, "Having been filled with...".
- 1. adikia -- unrighteousness [noun]. Luke 13:27 says that Jesus will say, "Depart from Me...ye workers of 'adikia'". Luke 16:8 classes the wiley steward who had squandered his master's funds as an "unjust/adikia" steward. Luke 16:9 calls money the "mammon of unrighteousness/adikia". Luke 18:6 calls a judge who fears not God, nor regards man, an "unjust" judge as he acts only to suit his own wishes. John 7:18 has Jesus linking "unrighteousness/adika" to those who seek their own glory. Acts 1:18 classifies Judas Iscariot as "buying a field with the reward of iniquity/adikia'". Acts 8:23 ties Simon the magician's "adikia" to a bondage arising from his lust for status. James 3:6 also ties "a world of iniquity/adikia" to the tongue as it is used to exalt oneself. Unrighteousness/adikia is, fundamentally, a contradiction of what is "just" (legally fair); but it is consistently used in respect to the "driver" of "status lust". Men use money and the power it gives them to exalt themselves at the expense of others.
- 2. porneia -- sexual misconduct [noun]. Not considered a genuine part of Paul's text.
- 3. ponhria -- exercise of a vicious disposition [noun]. Matthew 22:18 calls deceptive entrapment "poneria"; they were attempting to trip Jesus up so they could accuse Him in a legal trial. Ephesians 6:18 calls our "wrestling" a struggle against spiritual "poneria" in "high places".
- 4. pleonexia -- covetousness [noun]. An "attitude" of greediness that Paul categorizes as "idolatry" in another place.
- 5. kakia -- a malignant disposition [noun]. Acts 8:22 uses this term in Peter's confrontation of Simon the Magician who was in the "gall of pikria" and the "bondage of adikia". The "wickedness" was the desire to be able to purchase the ability to impart the Holy Spirit to others (and, thus, not only to be able to determine who gets Him, but to profit reputationally by being able to give Him). Peter calls "the thought of thy heart -- that the gift of God could be purchased with money -- 'kakia'." In other words, kakia is at the thought level and it has to do with the knee-jerk notion (habit of mind) that all men will do anything for money and that God will also cooperate with the idea that money should be able to be used to accomplish whatever is desired. To attempt to "purchase" a "gift" is a clear example of Paul's concept of the "reprobate mind", and Peter says it is "wickedness". The conclusion we draw is that "kakia" is the state of mind in which black is white.
- B. mestouv -- full of
- 1. fyonou -- envy [noun, gen.] The New Testament uses "envy" as a description of the attitude one has when he wishes he was as "highly blessed" as the one he "envies".
- 2. fonou -- murder [noun, gen.]. The unjust killing of another person. Envy and murder are put side by side both in Romans and in Galatians 5:21. This is an overt "action" word.
- 3. eridov -- contention [noun, gen.]. Envy (dzelos) and strife are put together multiple times by Paul. This is an "action" word.
- 4. dolou -- guile [noun, gen.]. This term contains the idea of keeping salient facts hidden so that a thing appears one way while being altogether another. In use, this term has close affinity to "ponhria" above as the result has to the cause [guile springs from the exercise of a vicious disposition].
- 5. kakohyeiav -- subtle viciousness [noun, gen.]. This word springs from a compound of "evil" and "custom"...an entrenched practice that is devoid of any good quality. This is the only time it is used in the New Testament. Trench says that it means 'to always interpret all things in their worst possible sense' (Synonyms of the New Testament, p. 39). This suggests that the fact of human depravity is used to calumniate the motives of men no matter what they do.
- II. Observations regarding "structure"...
- A. The perfect passive participle "having been filled up" implies that the following "full of" is the result of the action of the verb..."having been filled up, they are now full...".
- B. The textual question (is the Textus Receptus' record of the presence of "fornication" accurate, or is the Nestle/Aland 26's omission of that characteristic the accurate record?) raises these issues in the analysis of the text...
- 1. If the Textus Receptus is accurate, Paul put two sets of five in place ("...having been filled with... they are now full of...). Obviously, if the Nestle/Aland 26 is accurate this five-fold parallelism is non-existent.
- 2. In the first set of characteristics, Paul begins with a most general term (unrighteousness) that indicates any assault on justice, and ends with another general term (maliciousness) that indicates what Trench (p. 38) calls "the evil habit of mind" and means by that a state of mind that invariably turns everything on its head so that it is a knee-jerk assumption that black is white and white is black.
- 3. Then, if the Textus Receptus is correct, he moves from the "assaults on justice" to "fornication" (the twisting of the body into an instrument against nature), and then to "wickedness" (what Trench calls "the positive activity of evil" [p. 316]), and then to "covetousness" (the twisting of the means of life from relationships to possessions), and then to "maliciousness" (the active pursuit of the reprobation of mind).
- 4. But, if the Nestle/Aland 26 is correct, he has four major categories of man's "fulness". They consist of a deep antagonism toward Justice [the Lion], a deep antagonism toward Service [the Bull], a deep antagonism toward Relationships [the Man], and a deep antagonism toward Life's method of going through the graveyard to get to life [the Eagle].
- 5. The second set, ("...full of...") is indisputably made up of five characteristics...
- a. Envy: the desire to take the place of another in "blessedness".
- b. Murder: the action of eliminating a perceived block to "blessedness".
- c. Debate: the action of competing with a seeker of the "blessedness" as if there is not enough to go around.
- d. Deceit: the deliberate cloaking of motivation so that the "opponent" will think the opposite of reality.
- e. Malignity: the accusation of the "opponent" of having false motives. ...and these are arranged in a form where the focused desire is stated first (envy) and four methods of achievement are laid out in an order that begins with great violence and moves in stages to more subtle methods. There is no apparent correlation between these five and the first five/four except that the "having been filled" with the first five/four has resulted in the "fulness" of the second five.
- C. This leads to a "structural" conclusion: the Nestle/Aland 26 is the correct text because Paul, in the first four characterizations, is saying that men "have been filled with" opposition to the four pillars of Life. They oppose Justice (with injustice), Service (with active efforts to displace), Harmony (with covetousness), and Sacrifice (with a total rejection of divine methodology). Then, Paul lays out the resultant [having been filled with opposition] problem [a fulness of envy] and four human methods of pursuit (a fulness of murder, contention, deceit, and defamation).