And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (NIV)
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (KJV)
We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (NASB)
1 Thessalonians 5:14Commentary
This verse seems to be addressed to the spiritual leaders of the congregation; it tells them how to deal with problem brothers:
1. Warn those who are unruly-those who won't keep in step but insist on disturbing the peace of the church by their irresponsible behavior. Here the unruly are those who refuse to work. They are the same as those described in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12, walking disorderly, not working, but being busybodies.
2. Comfort the fainthearted-those who need constant exhortation to rise above their difficulties and go on steadfastly for the Lord. Concerning the KJV rendering, Comfort the feeble-minded, Ockenga remarks: "If the word meant feeble-minded we would still comfort them. They seem to gather when the gospel is preached." And isn't this a tribute to the gospel and to the Christian church? At least there is one sphere where they find sympathy, love, and consideration.
3. Uphold the weak-that is, help those who are spiritually, morally, or physically weak. Spiritual and moral support of those who are weak in the faith is probably the main idea, though we should not rule out financial help as well.
4. Be patient with all-show the grace of longsuffering when others tend to irritate and provoke.
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (1 Th 5:14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
First Thessalonians is probably the oldest book in the New Testament, written about twenty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels, describing the life of Jesus, were written a decade or more later, to preserve the stories the disciples had told.
Miller, S. M., & Gross, P. (1998). How to get into the Bible. Includes index. (380). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
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