New American Standard Bible
For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed-- God is witness--
King James Bible
For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
Darby Bible Translation
For we have not at any time been among you with flattering discourse, even as ye know, nor with a pretext for 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),
Young's Literal Translation
for at no time did we come with speech of flattery, (as ye have known,) nor in a pretext for covetousness, (God is witness!)
1 Thessalonians 2:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
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.
LibraryLaboring under Difficulties
While Paul was careful to set before his converts the plain teaching of Scripture regarding the proper support of the work of God, and while he claimed for himself as a minister of the gospel the "power to forbear working" (1 Corinthians 9:6) at secular employment as a means of self-support, yet at various times during his ministry in the great centers of civilization he wrought at a handicraft for his own maintenance. Among the Jews physical toil was not thought strange or degrading. Through Moses …
Ellen Gould White—The Acts of the Apostles
"Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, And my advocate is on high.
"I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes.
For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,
1 Thessalonians 2:10
You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
2 Peter 2:3
and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
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