1 Thessalonians 5:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

King James Bible
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
Now the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly: and your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

World English Bible
May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
and the God of the peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved unblameably in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ;

1 Thessalonians 5:23 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And the very God of peace - The God who gives peace or happiness; compare notes, Romans 1:7.

Sanctify you - See the notes at John 17:17.

Wholly - ὁλοτελεῖς holoteleis. In every part; completely. It is always proper to pray that God would make his people entirely holy. A prayer for perfect sanctification, however, should not be adduced as a proof that it is in fact attained in the present life.

Your whole spirit and soul and body - There is an allusion here, doubtless, to the popular opinion in regard to what constitutes man. We have a body; we have animal life and instincts in common with the inferior creation; and we have also a rational and immortal soul. This distinction is one that appears to the mass of people to be true, and the apostle speaks of it in the language commonly employed by mankind. At the same time, no one can demonstrate that it is not founded in truth. The body we see, and there can be no difference of opinion in regard to its existence. The "soul" (ἡ ψυκὴ hē psuchē - psyche), the vital principle, the animal life, or the seat of the senses, desires, affections, appetites, we have in common with other animals. It pertains to the nature of the animal creation, though more perfect in some animals than in others, but is in all distinct from the soul as the seat of conscience, and as capable of moral agency.

See the use of the word in Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; Luke 12:20; Acts 20:10; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 8:9, et al. In the Pythagorean and Platonic philosophy this was distinguished from the higher rational nature ὁ νοῦς, τὸ πνεῦμα ho nous, to pneuma as this last belonged to man alone. This "psyche" (ψυχὴ psuchē) "soul." or life, it is commonly supposed, becomes extinct at death. It is so connected with the bodily organization, that when the tissues of the animal frame cease their functions, this ceases also. This was not, however, the opinion of the ancient Greeks. Homer uses the term to denote that which leaves the body with the breath, as escaping from the ἕρκος ὀδοντων herkos odontōn - "the fence or sept of thy teeth" - and as also passing out through a wound. - This ψυχή psuchē - "psyche" - continued to exist in Hades, and was supposed to have a definite form there, but could not be seized by the hands.

Ody. 2:207. See "Passow," 2; compare Prof. Bush, Anasta. pp. 72, 73. Though this word, however, denotes the vital principle or the animal life, in man it may be connected with morals - just as the body may be - for it is a part of himself in his present organization, and whatever may be true in regard to the inferior creation, it is his duty to bring his whole nature under law, or so to control it that it may not be an occasion of sin. Hence the apostle prays that the "whole body and soul" - or animal nature - may be made holy. This distinction between the animal life and the mind of man (the "anima" and "animus," the ψυχὴ psuchē and the πνεῦμα pneuma), was often made by the ancient philosophers. See Plato, Timae. p. 1048, A. Nemesius, de Nat. Hom. 1 Cited Glyca, p. 70; Lucretius, 3:94; 116, 131; Juvenal, 15:146; Cicero, de Divinat. 129, as quoted by Wetstein in loc. A similar view prevailed also among the Jews. rabbi Isaac (Zohar in Lev. fol. 29, 2), says, "Worthy are the righteous in this world and the world to come, for lo, they are all holy; their body is holy, their soul is holy, their spirit and their breath is holy." Whether the apostle meant to sanction this view, or merely to speak in common and popular language, may indeed be questioned, but there seems to be a foundation for the language in the nature of man. The word here rendered "spirit" (πνεῦμα pneuma), refers to the intellectual or higher nature of man; that which is the seat of reason, of conscience, and of responsibility. This is immortal. It has no necessary connection with the body, as animal life or the psyche (ψυχὴ psuchē) has, and consequently will be unaffected by death. It is this which distinguishes man from the brute creation; this which allies him with higher intelligences around the throne of God.

Be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ - The apostle does not intimate here that either the body or the vital principle will be admitted to heaven, or will be found in a future state of being, whatever may be the truth on that subject. The prayer is, that they might be entirely holy, and be kept from transgression, until the Lord Jesus should come; that is, until he should come either to remove them by death, or to wind up the affairs of this lower world; see the notes on 1 Thessalonians 1:10. By his praying that the "body and the soul" - meaning here the animal nature, the seat of the affections and passions - might be kept holy, there is reference to the fact that, connected as they are with a rational and accountable soul, they may be the occasion of sin. The same natural propensities; the same excitability of passion; the same affections which in a brute would involve no responsibility, and have nothing moral in their character, may be a very different thing in man, who is placed under a moral law, and who is bound to restrain and govern all his passions by a reference to that law, and to his higher nature. For a cur to snarl and growl; for a lion to roar and rage; for a hyena to be fierce and untameable; for a serpent to hiss and bite, and for the ostrich to leave her eggs without concern Job 39:14, involves no blame, no guilt for them, for they are not accountable; but for man to evince the same temper, and the same want of affection, does involve guilt, for he has a higher nature, and all these things should be subject to the law which God has imposed on him as a moral and accountable being. As these things may, therefore, in man be the occasion of sin, and ought to be subdued, there was a fitness in praying that they might be "preserved blameless" to the coming of the Saviour; compare the notes on 1 Corinthians 9:27.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Awake! Awake!
"Tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep." Sleep God hath selected as the very figure for the repose of the blessed. "They that sleep in Jesus," saith the Scripture. David puts it amongst the peculiar gift's of grace: "So he giveth his beloved sleep." But alas! sin could not let even this alone. Sin did over-ride even this celestial metaphor; and though God himself had employed sleep to express the excellence of the state of the blessed, yet sin must have even this profaned, ere itself can be
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

Thirty-First Lesson. Pray Without Ceasing;'
Pray without ceasing;' Or, A Life of Prayer. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.--I Thess. v. 16, 17, 18. OUR Lord spake the parable of the widow and the unjust judge to teach us that men ought to pray always and not faint. As the widow persevered in seeking one definite thing, the parable appears to have reference to persevering prayer for some one blessing, when God delays or appears to refuse. The words in the Epistles, which speak of continuing instant in
Andrew Murray—With Christ in the School of Prayer

Be Ye Therefore Perfect, Even as Your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect. Matthew 5:48.
In the 43rd verse, the Savior says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward
Charles G. Finney—Lectures to Professing Christians

Concerning Peaceableness
Blessed are the peacemakers. Matthew 5:9 This is the seventh step of the golden ladder which leads to blessedness. The name of peace is sweet, and the work of peace is a blessed work. Blessed are the peacemakers'. Observe the connection. The Scripture links these two together, pureness of heart and peaceableness of spirit. The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable' (James 3:17). Follow peace and holiness' (Hebrews 12:14). And here Christ joins them together pure in heart, and peacemakers',
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Cross References
Luke 1:46
And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord,

Romans 15:33
Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

1 Corinthians 1:8
who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:30
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

1 Thessalonians 2:19
For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

1 Thessalonians 3:11
Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;

1 Thessalonians 5:22
abstain from every form of evil.

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