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Most version of the bible transalte I Thes 5:22 this way...

Abstain from every form of evil.

Out of all the major translations, only the KJV translates it as such...

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Based upon the context of the rest of the chapter, it is my view that the KJV folks got it wrong.

The 2nd part of the chapter in which this verse falls in is all about actions, not appearances.  

 

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Here is why, to me the difference in wording matters.

Committing adultery is a form of evil.  Having a meal with a member of the opposite gender that is not your spouse or family member can be said to give an appearance of evil, but is not a form of evil. 

Having a beer in your fridge can be said to give the appearance of evil, but is not a form of evil.  Being a drunkard is a form of evil.   

 

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10 hours ago, Running Gator said:

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Based upon the context of the rest of the chapter, it is my view that the KJV folks got it wrong.

I agree with your assessment of what that verse is actually trying to say, but I am not certain that the KJV folks got it wrong. Perhap the meaning of the word appearance, was a bit different 400 years ago, or perhaps we tend to limit the word appearance in modern time, and are just misinterpreting it.

For example, if I say I have an obligation to make a appearance at a meeting tomorrow, I am not saying that I want to make it look as though I am at the meeting, I am saying that I will actually be there. There is no presence, without my appearance, and the is no appearance, without my presence. The two are so connected, as to be nearly synonymous. 

So, I think in old English, or modern English, it is possible the  word presence or occurrence  would work just fine.

At the same time, the Bible does place some emphasis, on having a good reputation. People's reputations can be damaged by mere appearances. One time my wife and I were accused of drinking in public.

We were drinking in public. We were drinking a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider, and pouring it into plastic champagne glosses. It is not possible to avoid all appearance of evil, because appearance is in the eye of the beholder. I think old VW bugs are ugly, some think they are cute.

I took a woman to lunch once, after a church service. She was afraid of how it would look. She said what if someone sees us?"  I said: "Well, then they will see two friends having lunch! What if your  husband and (my best friend) were to go camping, someone might see us do that?" She said: "What is wrong with how that looks?" I said: "Someone might think we were sneaking off to have a homosexual affair!"

Wow, I just realized that I never posted this, lol, that was, I don't know 5 hours ago? Anyway, point is we may not always be able to avoid these issues, we can only try to be wise about them.

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Seeing a few beers in ones fridge should not appear to a reasonable person as evil. I grew up with 4 cases of beer on the floor in the kitchen ready for the fridge when the case in the fridge gets low.

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10 hours ago, Running Gator said:

Most version of the bible transalte I Thes 5:22 this way...

Abstain from every form of evil.

Out of all the major translations, only the KJV translates it as such...

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Based upon the context of the rest of the chapter, it is my view that the KJV folks got it wrong.

The 2nd part of the chapter in which this verse falls in is all about actions, not appearances.  

 

Only have 1.5 minutes ... so ... (until later)  .... I think you're right - I saw a rendition (explanation from language) of the phrase and it may OR probably means "avoid evil" ..... 

Remembering that Jesus NEVER did evil,   yet OTHERS said various accusations against Him for being with .... (look around ) ..... shhhhh.........    He was seen with ..... ...... ......  sinners .... ! ! !   He did not adjust His 'appearance' at all for them.  .......   perhaps more later ..... SHALOM IN JESUS !   Avoid idols .   Avoid sin.

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Question: "What does it mean not to give the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22)?"

Answer:
Many Christians assume that to "abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV) is to avoid any behavior anyone might perceive as being evil. Not only do we flee from that which is evil, we flee from that which appears to be evil. For instance, a pastor should not be seen frequenting a bar because someone may think he is getting drunk. However, the actual meaning of this verse is a matter of some debate within Christendom.

Depending on the Bible version you use, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 refers to the "appearance of evil" (KJV), "every kind of evil" (NIV and NLT), or "every form of evil" (NRSV, NKJV, and ESV). Each is a good translation. The Greek word translated "appearance," "form," or "kind" can mean any of these things. The same word is used in 2 Corinthians 5:7 and translated as "sight."

Obviously, the difference in translations can lead to a difference in application. Is it the appearance of evil we should be concerned with, or is it staying away from all forms of evil?

One problem with emphasizing the appearance of evil is that it can make us slaves to the perceptions of others. There will always be someone who thinks that something you are doing is wrong, or that it looks wrong to him. So, rather than spending our time getting to know God and serving Him, we worry about the possibility that someone, somewhere, might misconstrue our actions. In the same letter that he wrote about avoiding evil, Paul wrote, "Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts" (1 Thessalonians 2:4). Our goal is to live righteously before God, not to comply with others’ arbitrary standards of conduct.

At the same time, we are instructed not to allow our Christian freedom to become a stumbling block to others (1 Corinthians 8:9). We are also instructed to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Christians have been set apart (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Perhaps looking at the broader context of 1 Thessalonians 5:22 will prove instructive. The verses immediately preceding Paul's exhortation state, "We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:12-21). This is a quick rundown of how the Thessalonians should be living, "in a manner worthy of God" (1 Thessalonians 2:12).

So, what is our conclusion? To avoid the appearance of evil, or every form of evil, means to stay far away from evil. We need not become legalistic regarding what others may perceive to be evil. But we do need to remain cognizant of our witness to the world and of our duty to support fellow believers. We should also be aware of our own tendencies toward sin. Rather than flirting with what could lead us into sin, we avoid evil altogether. It is important not to judge others without first judging our own hearts and motives (Matthew 7:1-5). For instance, one pastor may be perfectly capable of drinking alcohol in moderation and therefore have no problem frequenting a bar. Another may be prone to alcoholism or drunkenness and should therefore avoid bars.

Avoiding the appearance of evil, or abstaining from every form of evil, means to live in God's light by the power of the Holy Spirit. We "take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them" (Ephesians 5:11). We worry not about the perceptions of others but about the integrity of our own walk with Christ. When we avoid every kind of evil, we “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14, ESV).

https://www.gotquestions.org/appearance-of-evil.html

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13 minutes ago, Omegaman 3.0 said:

I agree with your assessment of what that verse is actually trying to say, but I am not certain that the KJV folks got it wrong. Perhap the meaning of the word appearance, was a bit different 400 years ago, or perhaps we tend to limit the word appearance in modern time, and are just misinterpreting it.

For example, if I say I have an obligation to make a appearance at a meeting tomorrow, I am not saying that I want to make it look as though I am at the meeting, I am saying that I will actually be there. There is no presence, without my appearance, and the is no appearance, without my presence. The two are so connected, as to be nearly synonymous. 

So, I think in old English, or modern English, it is possible the  word presence or occurrence  would work just fine.

That does make sense.  Thanks for the perspective.   I was thinking about the way it is used today and the way this verse is used to beat people over the head into acting a certain way. 

Quote

 

At the same time, the Bible does place some emphasis, on having a good reputation. People's reputations can be damaged by mere appearances. One time my wife and I were accused of drinking in public.

We were drinking in public. We were drinking a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider, and pouring it into plastic champagne glosses. It is not possible to avoid all appearance of evil, because appearance is in the eye of the beholder. I think old VW bugs are ugly, some think they are cute.

 

My first thought when reading this is "so what if you were drinking in public".  Drinking, in public or in private is neither a sin nor evil.   Accusing you of drinking in public is no different than accusing you of eating in public.  

Quote

I took a woman to lunch once, after a church service. She was afraid of how it would look. She said what if someone sees us?"  I said: "Well, then they will see two friends having lunch! What if your  husband and (my best friend) were to go camping, someone might see us do that?" She said: "What is wrong with how that looks?" I said: "Someone might think we were sneaking off to have a homosexual affair!"

:D

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One problem with emphasizing the appearance of evil is that it can make us slaves to the perceptions of others. There will always be someone who thinks that something you are doing is wrong, or that it looks wrong to him. So, rather than spending our time getting to know God and serving Him, we worry about the possibility that someone, somewhere, might misconstrue our actions. In the same letter that he wrote about avoiding evil, Paul wrote, "Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts" (1 Thessalonians 2:4). Our goal is to live righteously before God, not to comply with others’ arbitrary standards of conduct.

The problem is that focus is a bit lopsided to one word, "appearance."  The the other word that has to be understood is "evil" and how the Bible is using that word.

If we translate it as, "every form of evil."  You are still left with being the slave of perception with regard to what others think "evil" is.   The word used for evil is, poneron in the Greek.   This word removes the notion that "evil" could be arbitary and defined differently according to each person so that what  appears evil to one person, doesn't to someone else.  

The word poneron is associated with what is criminal, corrupt, wicked, hurtful, and so on.  So the word "evil" used by Paul isn't a word that can be defined arbitrarily.  And if you look at the Greek synonyms it becomes more apparent.  All of the Greek synonyms relate to lawlessness, unrighteous, wickedness, bad character, and so on.  None of that is arbitary.  Poneron is a word that speaks to a character of evil that everyone would understand to be "evil." 

So the argument that it "appearance" would be too arbitrary really makes no sense when the word for "evil" is not arbitrary. 

"Appearance" is a better word because it holds a person to a higher standard.  It holds you to a standard that not only keeps from every form of evil, but there is not even the slightest prompting toward it, that you live in a manner that "poneron"  cannot be laid as a charge against you. 

It's also important to understand that many translations are not "word-for-word."  They are thought-for-thought, or "concept-for concept."  The NIV for example, is what they call a "dynamic equivalence"  which means it is translating ideas, not words, which is highly problematic because the "translation" is solely at the mercy of the translator and his personal theology.

I have heard preachers use multiple versions in one sermon because they had to find a translation that fit their agenda and that is no way to properly handle the Scriptures.

Just because a translation is "modern"  doesn't make it more accurate.  It really depends on the source manuscripts they are using and the competency of the translators.   And contrary to common consensus, modern archeological discoveries play no role in how the Bible gets translated.

 

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4 minutes ago, shiloh357 said:

The problem is that focus is a bit lopsided to one word, "appearance."  The the other word that has to be understood is "evil" and how the Bible is using that word.

If we translate it as, "every form of evil."  You are still left with being the slave of perception with regard to what others think "evil" is.   The word used for evil is, poneron in the Greek.   This word removes the notion that "evil" could be arbitary and defined differently according to each person so that what  appears evil to one person, doesn't to someone else.  

The word poneron is associated with what is criminal, corrupt, wicked, hurtful, and so on.  So the word "evil" used by Paul isn't a word that can be defined arbitrarily.  And if you look at the Greek synonyms it becomes more apparent.  All of the Greek synonyms relate to lawlessness, unrighteous, wickedness, bad character, and so on.  None of that is arbitary.  Poneron is a word that speaks to a character of evil that everyone would understand to be "evil." 

So the argument that it "appearance" would be too arbitrary really makes no sense when the word for "evil" is not arbitrary. 

 

But this is not how the verse is used by many today.  If this word relates to lawlessness, unrighteous, wickedness then having a meal with a woman other than your spouse or family member would and could never fall into that meaning. 

Riding in car with a woman other than your spouse or family member would and could never fall into that meaning. 

In the church today this verse is used to control any and all behavior that the leaders of the church find wrong, irrregardless of if it lawless, unrighteous, or wicked

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15 hours ago, Running Gator said:

Most version of the bible transalte I Thes 5:22 this way...

Abstain from every form of evil.

Out of all the major translations, only the KJV translates it as such...

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Based upon the context of the rest of the chapter, it is my view that the KJV folks got it wrong.

The 2nd part of the chapter in which this verse falls in is all about actions, not appearances.  

 

Same Greek word in the Critical Text and the Textus Receptus, so why this conversation?

Both have...

1491 eídos (a neuter noun derived from 1492/eídō, "to see, apprehend") – properly, the sight of something which is exposed (observable), especially its outward appearance or shape (J. Thayer).  1491 (eidos) generally conveys "what is physically seen" (BAGD) before it is mentally or spiritually apprehended.  See 1492 (eidō, oida).

Form may be the updated translation of 'appearance of evil. Languages do change.

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