Harry Whittaker
Word Studies


Instruct, Chastise

Pais (Gen: paidos) means a boy or lad, and paidion means a little child. So, fairly obviously, paideuo is the word for “teach, instruct”. Thus: “Moses was learned, instructed, in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). And Saul the Pharisee was “taught according to the perfect manner of the fathers (the rabbis)” (Acts 22:3).

But since in every generation except this sloppy 20th-century thorough education has necessarily had to be accompanied or enforced by discipline — paideuo also has as a distinct meaning: “chastise”. In this sense it is used a good deal in the NT, especially in Hebrews: “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” (12:6,7,10). “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten” (Rev 3:19).

But what foolishness it would be to carry this meaning through to 2Ti 2:25: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves”. Not by any stretch of imagination could ‘chastising’ be substituted here.

Another intriguing, and horrifying, example is Pilate’s repeated: “I will therefore chastise him (Jesus), and let him go” (Luk 23:16,22). Evidently the governor meant: ‘Just to teach him a lesson that he is to keep out of trouble, I will set him free after he has had a beating.’ And what a beating, with the dreaded Roman flagellum tearing his back to shreds!

Instruments, Weapons, Armour

Hopla is Greek for a piece of equipment. In the Bible it is used only in the plural for war-equipment, ie weapons or armour. Complete equipment is indicated in Eph 6:11,13 and Luk 11:22 for all weapons and defensive armour (pan-oplia): “the whole armour of God”.

In most places hopla is used in a sense easy to understand. Peter has an eloquent variant of it. Using the verb, he exhorts: “Arm yourselves with the same mind (as Christ was equipped with in his sufferings)” (1Pe 4:1), but it is a mental armour: “the same mind”. Similarly, Paul urges: “Neither yield ye your members as weapons to fight an unrighteous war for that evil cap-tain Sin, but yield your members as weapons of righteousness under God’s own leadership” (Rom 6:13).

In every occurrence the NT use of this figure is both easy to perceive and vivid. (See also on Warfare.)

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