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1 Thessalonians 2:5

    1 Thessalonians 2:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For neither at any time used we flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For it is common knowledge among you that we never made use of smooth-sounding false words, and God is witness that at no time were we secretly desiring profit for ourselves,

    Webster's Revision

    For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness;

    World English Bible

    For neither were we at any time found using words of flattery, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness (God is witness),

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness, God is witness;

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 2:5

    Flattering words - Though we proclaimed the Gospel or glad tidings, yet we showed that without holiness none should see the Lord.

    Ye know - That while we preached the whole Gospel we never gave any countenance to sin.

    For a cloak of covetousness - We did not seek temporal emolument; nor did we preach the Gospel for a cloak to our covetousness: God is witness that we did not; we sought you, not yours. Hear this, ye that preach the Gospel! Can ye call God to witness that in preaching it ye have no end in view by your ministry but his glory in the salvation of souls? Or do ye enter into the priesthood for a morsel of bread, or for what is ominously and impiously called a living, a benefice? In better days your place and office were called a cure of souls; what care have you for the souls of them by whose labors you are in general more than sufficiently supported? Is it your study, your earnest labor, to bring sinners to God; to preach among your heathen parishioners the unsearchable riches of Christ?

    But I should speak to the thousands who have no parishes, but who have their chapels, their congregations, pew and seat rents, etc., etc. Is it for the sake of these that ye have entered or continue in the Gospel ministry? Is God witness that, in all these things, ye have no cloak of covetousness? Happy is the man who can say so, whether he has the provision which the law of the land allows him, or whether he lives on the free-will offerings of the people.

    The faithful laborer is worthy of his hire; for the ox that treads out the corn should not be muzzled; and they that preach the Gospel should live, not riot, by the Gospel. But wo to that man who enters into the labor for the sake of the hire! he knows not Christ; and how can he preach him?

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Thessalonians 2:5

    For neither at any time used we flattering words - see the Job 31:21-22 notes; and on 2 Corinthians 2:17 note. The word here rendered "flattering" - κολακείας kolakeias - occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The meaning is, that the apostle did not deal in the language of adulation; he did not praise them for their beauty, wealth, talent, or accomplishments, and conceal from them the painful truths about their guilt and danger. He stated simple truth - not refusing to commend people if truth would admit of it, and never hesitating to declare his honest convictions about their guilt and danger. One of the principal arts of the deceiver on all subjects is flattery; and Paul says, that when preaching to the Thessalonians he had carefully avoided it. He now appeals to that fact as a proof of his own integrity. They knew that he had been faithful to their souls.

    Nor a cloke of covetousness - The word rendered "cloke" here - πρόφασει prophasei - means, properly, "what is shown or appears before any one;" i. e., "show, pretence, pretext," put forth in order to cover one's real intent; Matthew 22:14; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47. The meaning here is, that he did not put on a pretence or appearance of piety for the sake of promoting the schemes of covetousness. The evidence of that was not only what they observed of the general spirit of the apostle, but also the fact that when with them he had actually labored with his own hands for a support; 1 Thessalonians 2:9. It is obvious that there were those there, as sometimes there are now, who, under the pretence of great zeal for religion, were really seeking wealth, and it is possible that it may have been alleged against Paul and his fellow-laborers that they were such persons.

    God is witness - This is a solemn appeal to God for the truth of what he had said. He refers not only to their own observation, but he calls God himself to witness his sincerity. God knew the truth in the case. There could have been no imposing on him; and the appeal, therefore, is to one who was intimately acquainted with the truth. Learn hence:

    (1) That it is right, on important occasions, to appeal to God for the truth of what we say.

    (2) we should always so live that we can properly make such an appeal to him.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Thessalonians 2:5

    2:5 Flattering words - This ye know. Nor a cloak of covetousness - Of this God is witness. He calls men to witness an open fact; God, the secret intentions of the heart. In a point of a mixed nature, 1Th 2:10, he appeals both to God and man.