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Vine on Godliness

02.10.2

Godliness

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End Notes

The edition that I will be using is the 1940, non-copyrighted version in PDF format.  All page references will refer to the PDF page number as displayed on Adobe Acrobat Reader.  The PDF text itself has no page numbers.  Pages 1-467 in the PDF is OT Hebrew.  Pages 468-1602 is the NT Greek.

 

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Vine, W. E.  (1940;  PDF p. 916).

 

GODLINESS, GODLY

A. Nouns.

1. eusebeia (εὐσέβεια, 2150), from eu, 'well', and sebomai, 'to be devout', denotes that piety which, characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to Him.  This and the corresponding verb and adverb (see below) are frequent in the Pastoral Epistles, but do not occur in previous epistles of Paul.  The apostle Peter has the noun four times in his 2nd Epistle, 1:3, 6, 7;  3:11.  Elsewhere it occurs in Acts 3:12;  1 Tim. 2:2;  3:16;  4:7, 8;  6:3, 5, 6, 11;  2 Tim. 3:5;  Titus 1:1.  In 1 Tim. 6:3 'the doctrine which is according to godliness' signifies that which is consistent with 'godliness,' in contrast to false teachings;  in Titus 1:1, 'the truth which is according to godliness' is that which is productive of 'godliness';  in 1 Tim. 3:16, 'the mystery of godliness' is 'godliness' as embodied in, and communicated through, the truths of the faith concerning Christ;  'in 2 Pet. 3:11, the word is in the plural, signifying acts of 'godliness.'

 

2. theosebeia (θεοσέβεια, 2317) denotes 'the fear or reverence of God,' from theos, 'god,' and sebomai (see No. 1), 1 Tim. 2:10.  Cf. the adjective theosebes, 'God-fearing,' John 9:31.  In the Sept., Gen. 20:11 and Job 28:28.

 

Note: For eulabeia, 'godly fear,' Heb. 5:7;  12:28 see FEAR, A, No. 3;  for eulabeomai, 'to reverence,' Heb. 11:7 ('for His godly fear') see FEAR, D, No. 2;  for the verb eusebeo, 'to show piety,' 1 Tim. 5:4;  'to worship,' Acts 17:23, see PIETY and WORSHIP.

 

B. Adjective.

eusebes (εὐσεβής), 2152), akin to A, No. 1, denotes 'pious, devout, godly,' indicating reverence manifested in actions;  it is rendered 'godly' in 2 Pet. 2:9.  See DEVOUT.

 

C. Adverb.

eusebos (εὐσεβω̑ς, 2153) denotes 'piously, godly';  it is used with the verb 'to live' (of manner of life) in 2 Tim. 3:12;  Titus 2:12.

 

Notes: (1) In the following the word 'godly' translates the genitive case of the noun theos, lit., 'of God,' 2 Cor. 1:12, KJV, 'godly (sincerity),' RV, '(sincerity) of God';  2 Cor. 11:2, 'a godly jealousy,' lit., 'a jealousy of God' (RV, marg.);  1 Tim. 1:4, RV, 'a dispensation of God' (oikonomia, in the best mss.), KJV, 'godly edifying' (oikodome lit., 'an edifying of, i.e., by, God').  (2) In 2 Cor. 7:10, 'godly (sorrow),' and in vv. 9 and 11, 'after a godly sort,' are in all three place, lit., 'according to God.'  (3) In 3 John 6, where the KJV translates the adverb axios, with the noun theos, 'after a godly sort,' the RV rightly substitutes 'worthily of God.

 

 

Vine, W. E.  (1940;  PDF p. 743).

 

DEVOUT

1. eulabes (εὐλαβής, 2126), lit., 'taking hold well' (ευ, well,’to take hold'), primarily, 'cautious,' signifies in the NT, 'careful as to the realization of the presence and claims of God, reverencing God, pious, devout', in Luke 2:25 it is said of Simeon, in Acts 2:5, of certain Jews;  in 8:2, of those who bore Stephen’s body to burial;  of Ananias, 22:12 (see No. 2).  'In that mingled fear and love which, combined, constitute the piety of man toward God, the Old Testament placed its emphasis on the fear, the New places it on the love (though there was love in the fear of God’s saints then, as there must be fear in their love now),' Trench, Syn., Sec. xlviii.

 

Note:  Cf. the noun eulabeia, 'reverence,' and the verb eulabeomai, 'to reverence.'

 

2. eusebes (εὐσεβής, 2152), from eu, 'well', sebomai, 'to reverence', the root seb- signifying 'sacred awe', describes 'reverence' exhibited especially in actions, reverence or awe well directed.  Among the Greeks it was used, e.g., of practical piety towards parents.  In the N.T. it is used of a pious attitude towards God.  Acts 10:2, 7; (in some mss. in 22:12);  'godly,' in 2 Pet. 2:9.  See GODLY.  In the Sept., Prov. 12:12;  Isa. 24:16;  26:7;  32:8;  Mic. 7:2.

 

Notes:   (1)  While eulabes especially suggests the piety which characterizes the inner being, the soul, in its attitude towards God, eusebes directs us rather to the energy which, directed by holy awe of God, finds expression in devoted activity.

(2) Cf. theosebeia, and theosebes, which, by their very formation (theos, 'God,' and sebomai), express 'reverence' towards God.  See Trench (Sec. xlviii).

 

3. sebomai (σέβομαι, 4576), 'to feel awe,' whether before God or man, 'to worship,' is translated 'devout,' in Acts 13:43, RV (KJV, 'religious');  13:50;  17:4, 17.  See WORSHIP.

 

 

Vine, W. E.  (1940;  PDF p. 1583-1584).

 

WORSHIP

A. Verbs

1. proskuneo (προσκυνέω, 4352), 'to make obeisance, do reverence to' (from pros, 'towards,' and kuneo, 'to kiss'), is the most frequent word rendered 'to worship.'  It is used of an act of homage or reverence (a) to God, e.g., Matt. 4:10;  John 4:21-24;  1 Cor. 14:25;  Rev. 4:10;  5:14;  7:11;  11:16;  19:10 (2nd part) and 22:9;  (b) to Christ, e.g., Matt. 2:2, 8, 11;  8:2;  9:18;  14:33;  15:25;  20:20;  28:9, 17;  John 9:38;  Heb. 1:6, in a quotation from the Sept. of Deut. 32:43, referring to Christ’s second advent;  (c) to a man, Matt. 18:26;  (d) to the Dragon, by men, Rev. 13:4;  (e) to the Beast, his human instrument, Rev. 13:4, 8, 12;  14:9, 11;  (f) the image of the Beast, 13:15;  14:11;  16:2;  (g) to demons, Rev. 9:20;  (h) to idols, Acts 7:43.

 

Note: As to Matt. 18:26, this is mentioned as follows, in the 'List of readings and renderings preferred by the American Committee' (see RV ) Classes of Passages, IV): 'At the word ‘worship’ in Matt. 2:2, etc., add the marginal note 'The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to man (see chap. 18:26) or to God (see chap. 4:10).''  The Note to John 9:38 in the American Standard Version in this connection is most unsound;  it implies that Christ was a creature.  J. N. Darby renders the verb 'do homage' [see the Revised Preface to the Second Edition (1871), of his New Translation].

 

2. sebomai (σέβομαι, 4576), 'to revere', stressing the feeling of awe or devotion, is used of 'worship'  (a) to God Matt. 15:9;  Mark 7:7;  Acts 16:14;  18:7, 13;  (b) to a goddess, Acts 19:27.  See DEVOUT, No. 3.

 

3. sebazomai (σεβάζομαι, 4573), akin to No. 2, 'to honor religiously,' is used in Rom. 1:25.

 

4. latreuo (λατρεύω, 3000), 'to serve, to render religious service or homage,' is translated 'to worship' in Phil. 3:3, '(who) worship (by the Spirit of God),' RV, KJV, '(which) worship (God in the spirit)';  the RV renders it 'to serve' (for KJV, 'to worship') in Acts 7:42;  24:14;   KJV and RV,  '(the) worshipers' in Heb. 10:2, present participle, lit., '(the ones) worshiping.'  See SERVE.

 

5. eusebeo (εὐσεβέω, 2151), 'to act piously towards,' is translated 'ye worship' in Acts 17:23.  See PIETY (TO SHOW).

 

Notes:  (1) The worship of God is nowhere defined in Scripture.  A consideration of the above verbs shows that it is not confined to praise;  broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment.  (2) In Acts 17:25 therapeuo, 'to serve, do service to' (so RV), is rendered 'is worshiped.'  See CURE, HEAL.

 

B. Nouns.

1. sebasma (σέβασμα, 4574) denotes 'an object of worship' (akin to A, No. 3);  Acts 17:23 (see DEVOTION);  in 2 Thess. 2:4, 'that is worshiped';  every object of 'worship,' whether the true God or pagan idols, will come under the ban of the Man of Sin.

 

2. ethelothreskeia (or -ia) (ἐθελοθρησκεία, 1479), 'will-worship' (ethelo, 'to will,' threskria, 'worship'), occurs in Col. 2:23, voluntarily adopted 'worship,' whether unbidden or forbidden, not that which is imposed by others, but which one affects.

 

3. threskeia (θρησκεία, 2356), for which see RELIGION, is translated 'worshiping' in Col. 2:18.

 

Note:  In Luke 14:10, KJV, doxa 'glory' (RV), is translated 'worship.'

 

My response to Vine

 

Vine paints two somewhat different pictures of Godliness/EUSEBEIA/εὐσέβεια.

 

He describes eulabēs as "the piety which characterizes the inner being, the soul, in its attitude towards God."  By doing this he clearly delineates the inner, affective component of religious awe and reverence.  (Vine, W. E.  1940;  PDF p. 743)

 

At the same time, he also describes the outward, behavioral component of awe 'well-directed', 'practical piety', and 'devoted activity.'  He describes eusebēs as "the energy which, directed by holy awe of God, finds expression in devoted activity."  (ibid)

 

Obviously, the inner should motivate the outer.  The inner without the outer is ineffective, and the outer without the inner is hypocrisy.  James condemns the former (Jas. 2:14-26) and Jesus condemns the latter (Matt. 23).

 

"The worship of God is nowhere defined in Scripture.  A consideration of the above verbs shows that it is not confined to praise;  broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such   acknowledgment."  (Vine, W. E.  1940;  PDF p. 1584)

 

As such, the piety that εὐσέβεια describes is a 'reverence exhibited especially in actions'  This is piety that does that which pleases one's Lord.  This will likely include a 'practical piety towards parents', but will also include a willingness to show piety towards any to whom dutiful regard is due.

 

This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023