Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 4 Study # 15
October 12, 2004
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
1901 ASV Translation
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful:
As noted in a prior study, there is an additional descriptor in the Textus Receptus (fornication) that is not in the Nestle/Aland 26 in 1:29. In 1:31 there is also an additional characterization (implacable) that is not in the Nestle/Aland 26.
- I. At "whisperers" Paul switches his linguistic form from "full of" plus a noun in the genitive to 12 noun/adjective forms in the accusative.
- A. The first six of these are single word descriptors in the Greek.
- 1. Whisperers: This term indicates secretive attempts to harm through words. Liddell-Scott's exhaustive dictionary of the Greek language says the word means "to speak in a whisper what one dares not say out loud" and defines the term as "slanderer" (by whispering).
- a. One issue here is the desire to put information out without having to be clearly known as the originator.
- b. The second issue is the intent to do harm.
- 2. Back-biters: Kata plus Laleo...to speak against. Liddell-Scott also defines this as "slanderer" in reference to our Romans text, but the other definitions tend toward the idea of "loud speech" that intends to shut other information out...much like shouting down an opponent.
- a. Here the issue is not "not being clearly known as the originator"; rather, it is being adamant that any contradictory information be dismissed.
- b. And, again, there is an implication of the desire to injure.
- c. The movement in thought seems to be that men are being accused by Paul of being aggressively involved in doing injury by means of words...some do it by spreading slander as whisperers and others do it by dominating the content of what people hear.
- 3. God-haters: This term puts a verb that means to actively express strong antagonism toward with the typical word for "God". They actively and antagonistically oppose The Executor of Power.
- 4. Insolent: This term indicates an insolent arrogance that seeks injury to another.
- 5. Haughty: This term indicates a strong sense of personal superiority.
- 6. Boastful: This word means to make claims of superior abilities which one does not really have.
- B. Then there are two that consist of two-word phrases.
- 1. Inventors of evil
- 2. Disobedient to parents
- C. Then there are four (if we accept the Nestle/Aland 26 textual tradition) that consist of "negated" positive characteristics, each of which are adjectives with the negative particle "a" attached as a prefix.
- 1. Without understanding
- 2. Without integrity (covenant-breakers)
- 3. Without affection
- 4. Without mercy
- II. In the Set of Six in (A) Above, There Seems to be a Pattern of Couplets: 1-2; 3-4; 5-6.
- A. The first couplet uses the mouth to spread damage to others.
- B. The second couplet reveals the heart's heavy antagonism toward anyone who might have a position of authority over the "hater".
- C. The third couplet addresses the attitude of superiority and its expression.
- III. This Set of Six Has a Central Core: the Driving Desire to be the Center of the Universe.
- A. The first couplet addresses a method for pursuing that position.
- B. The second couplet addresses the core hatred.
- C. The third couplet addresses a second method for pursuit of the position.