1 Thessalonians 5:23
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

New Living Translation
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

English Standard Version
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Berean Study Bible
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Berean Literal Bible
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved, entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

International Standard Version
May the God of peace himself make you holy in every way. And may your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—remain blameless when our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, appears.

NET Bible
Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

New Heart 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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But The God of peace shall make all of you perfectly holy and shall keep your whole spirit, soul and body without fault for the arrival of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
May the God who gives peace make you holy in every way. May he keep your whole being-spirit, soul, and body-blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes.

New American Standard 1977
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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the very God of peace sanctify you completely, that your spirit, soul, and body be preserved whole without reprehension for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

King James 2000 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.

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

American Standard Version
And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And may the God of peace himself sanctify you in all things; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in 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.

English Revised Version
And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
And may God Himself who gives peace, make you entirely holy; and may your spirits, souls and bodies be preserved complete and be found 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;
Study Bible
Final Blessings
22Abstain from every form of evil. 23Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.…
Cross References
Luke 1:46
Then Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,

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

1 Corinthians 1:8
He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

1 Thessalonians 2:19
After all, who is our hope, our joy, our crown of boasting, if it is not you yourselves in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

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

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

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

James 1:4
Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

2 Peter 3:14
Therefore, beloved, as you anticipate these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him, without spot or blemish.
Treasury of Scripture

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

God.

Romans 15:5,13,33 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded …

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. …

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches …

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, …

Philippians 4:9 Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, …

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. …

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, …

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory …

sanctify.

1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before …

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should …

Leviticus 20:8,26 And you shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you…

Ezekiel 37:28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when …

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified …

Acts 20:32 And now, brothers, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, …

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and …

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified …

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of …

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification …

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them …

your.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any …

preserved.

1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before …

1 Corinthians 1:8,9 Who shall also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless …

Ephesians 5:26,27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…

Philippians 1:6,10 Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good …

Philippians 2:15,16 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without …

Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and …

Jude 1:24 Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present …

(23) And.--The logic of such an expression as, "Do this, and may you be happy," lies in the writer's own connection with both the command and the prayer: "I bid you abstain from every evil kind of thing, and I pray that God Himself may enable you to keep the commandment."

The very God of peace.--In more usual English, "the God of peace Himself:" the contrast is between the futile efforts after holiness of which they in themselves were capable, and the almighty power of sanctification exercised by God. This sanctification (which is the special work of the Third Person) is here ascribed to the First Person of the Holy Trinity, from whom the Holy Ghost proceeds. He is called (as in Hebrews 13:20) the "God of peace," not in reference to any dissensions between the Thessalonians (1Thessalonians 5:13), but because of the peace which His sanctification brings into the soul, so that it fears neither temptation's power nor persecution's rage. (Comp. the Second Collect for Evensong).

Sanctify you wholly.--Rather, sanctify you whole. The idea is rather that of leaving no part unsanctified, than that of doing the work completely so far as it goes: thus it serves to introduce the next sentence, which explains it.

And I pray God.--If there were need of any insertion, it should have been "We pray God:" Silas and Timothy are never forgotten throughout.

Spirit and soul and body.--This is St. Paul's fullest and most scientific psychology, not merely a rhetorical piling up of words without any particular meaning being assigned to them. Elsewhere, he merely divides man according to popular language, into two parts, visible and invisible, "body and spirit" (1Corinthians 6:20; 1Corinthians 7:34, et al.); the division into "body and soul" he never uses. (Comp. Note on 1Corinthians 2:14.) The "spirit" (pneuma) is the part by which we apprehend realities intuitively--i.e., without reasoning upon them; with it we touch, see, serve, worship God (John 4:23-24; Romans 1:9; 1Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 1:10, et al.); it is the very inmost consciousness of the man (see, e.g., 1Corinthians 2:11); it is the part of him which survives death (Hebrews 12:23; 1Peter 3:19; comp. Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59). The "soul." (psyche) includes the intellect, the affections, and the will: and it is of the very essence of the gospel to force sharply upon men the distinction between it and the spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Low-living men may have soul (i.e., intellect, affection, will) in abundance, but their spirit falls into complete abeyance (Jude 1:19); the soul belongs altogether to the lower nature, so that when St. Paul uses the two-fold division, "body and spirit," the soul is reckoned (not, probably, as Bishop Ellicott says on our present passage, as part of the spirit, but) as part of the body; and when St. Paul describes the "works of the flesh," he includes among them such distinctly soul-sins as "heresies" (Galatians 5:20). Sanctification preserves all these three divisions entire, and in their due relation to each other; without sanctification, the spirit might be overwhelmed by the other parts gaining the predominance, which would, of course, eventually be the ruin both of "soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28. N.B., that our Lord says nothing of the destruction of the "spirit" in hell: the question is whether He there definitely meant to exclude "spirit," or used "soul" popularly as including it). Where the New Testament writers acquired such a psychology cannot be determined, but it was probably derived from experimental knowledge of life, not from books, and all experience confirms its accuracy. Modern science tends more and more to show that "soul" is a function of "body."

Unto the coming.--A mistranslation for "at the coming," caused by the slight difficulty in understanding the true version. The idea is not so much that of their preservation from sin during the interval, but rather the writers hasten in eager anticipation to the Coming itself, and hope that the Thessalonians at the Coming will be found to have been preserved. "Blameless" should have been "blamelessly."

Verse 23. - And the very God of peace; the God who communicates peace; an expression frequently employed by Paul at the close of his Epistles (Romans 15:33; Romans 16:20; Philippians 4:9; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:16). Sanctify you wholly; that is, perfectly, without anything wanting, referring to the entireness of the sanctification, which is presently expressed in detail. And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body; the adjective "whole" applies to all the three substantives. The apostle here divides human nature into three parts - spirit, soul, and body; and this threefold division is not a mere rhetorical statement: "The apostle pouring forth from the fullness of his heart a prayer for his converts" (Jowett); but a distinct statement of the three component parts of human nature. The "spirit" is the highest part of man, that which assimilates him to God; renders him capable of religion, and susceptible of being acted upon by the Spirit of God. The "soul" is the inferior part of his mental nature, the seat of the passions and desires, of the natural propensities. The "body" is the corporeal frame. Such a threefold distinction of human nature was not unknown among the Stoics and Platonists. There are also traces of it in the Old Testament, the spirit, or breath of God, being distinguished from the soul. Be preserved blameless. "The spirit is preserved blameless at the advent when the voice of truth rules it, the soul when it strives against all the charms of the senses, and the body when it is not abused as the instrument of shameful actions" (Lunemann). Unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the very God of peace,.... Or "the God of peace himself". The apostle follows his exhortations with prayer to God, knowing the weakness and impotency of the saints to receive them, and act according to them, and his own insufficiency to impress their minds with them; and that unless the Lord opened their ears to discipline, and sealed instruction to them, they would be useless and in vain: wherefore he applies to the throne of grace, and addresses God as "the God of peace"; so called, because of the concern he has in peace and reconciliation made by the blood of Christ, and because he is the giver of peace of conscience, and the author of peace, concord, and unity among the saints, and of all happiness and prosperity, both in this world, and in that which is to come; See Gill on Romans 15:33. And the apostle might choose to address God under this character, partly to encourage boldness, freedom, and intrepidity at the throne of grace, and partly to raise hope, expectation, and faith of having his requests answered, since God is not an angry God, nor is fury in him, but the God of peace: and the petitions he puts up for the Thessalonians are as follow: and first, that God would

sanctify you wholly; or "all of you", as the Arabic version; or "all of you perfectly", as the Syriac version. These persons were sanctified by the Spirit of God, but not perfectly; the Gospel was come to them in power, and had wrought effectually in them, and they were turned from idols to serve the living God, and had true faith, hope, and love, implanted in them, and which they were enabled to exercise in a very comfortable and commendable manner; but yet this work of grace and sanctification begun in them was far from being perfect, nor is it in the best of saints. There is something lacking in the faith of the greatest believer, love often waxes cold, and hope is not lively at all times, and knowledge is but in part; sin dwells in all; the saints are poor and needy, their wants continually return upon them, and they need daily supplies; the most holy and knowing among them disclaim perfection in themselves, though desirous of it. Their sanctification in Christ is perfect, but not in themselves; there is indeed a perfection of parts in internal sanctification, every grace is implanted, there is not one wanting; the new creature, or new man, has all its parts, though these are not come to their full growth; there is not a perfection of degrees, and this is what the apostle prays for; for sanctification is a progressive, gradual work, it is like seed cast into the earth, which springs up, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear, and is as light, which shines more and more to the perfect day. Sanctified persons are first as newborn babes, and then they grow up to be young men, and at last become fathers in Christ; and this work being begun, is carried on, and will be performed, fulfilled, and made perfect: and it is God's work to do it; he begins, and he carries it on, and he will finish it; and therefore the apostle prays to him to do it; this is his first petition: the second follows,

and I pray God your whole spirit, soul and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. A like division of man is made by the Jews: says one of their writers (y).

"a man cannot know God, unless he knows , "his soul, his breath, or his spirit, and his body".''

Says (z) R. Isaac,

"worthy are the righteous in this world, and in 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''

See Gill on Hebrews 4:12. Some by "spirit" understand the graces and gifts of the Spirit in a regenerate man; and by "the soul", the soul as regenerated, and as it is the seat and subject of these graces; and by the body, the habitation of the soul, which is influenced by the grace that is last; and this is a sense not to be despised. Others by "the spirit" understand the rational and immortal soul of man, often called a spirit, as in Ecclesiastes 12:7 and by the soul, the animal and sensitive soul, which man has in common with brutes; see Ecclesiastes 3:21 and by the "body", the outward frame of flesh and blood, and bones; but rather "spirit" and "soul" design the same immaterial, immortal, and rational soul of man, considered in its different powers and faculties. The "spirit" may intend the understanding, Job 32:8 which is the principal, leading, and governing faculty of the soul; and which being enlightened by the Spirit of God, a man knows himself, Christ Jesus, and the things of the Spirit, the truths of the Gospel, and receives and values them. The "soul" may include the will and affections, which are influenced by the understanding; and in a regenerate man the will is brought to a resignation to the will of God, and the affections are set upon divine things, and the body is the instrument of performing religious and spiritual exercises: and these the apostle prays may be

preserved blameless; not that he thought they could be kept from sinning entirely in thought, word, or deed; but that they might be preserved in purity and chastity from the gross enormities of life, and be kept from a total and final falling away, the work of grace be at last completed on the soul and spirit, and the body be raised in incorruption, and glory; and both at the coming of Christ be presented faultless, and without blame, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, first to himself, and then to his Father.

(y) Aben Ezra in Exodus 31.18. (z) Zohar in Lev. fol. 29. 2.23. the very God—rather as the Greek, "the God of peace Himself"; who can do for you by His own power what I cannot do by all my monitions, nor you by all your efforts (Ro 16:20; Heb 13:20), namely, keep you from all evil, and give you all that is good.

sanctify you—for holiness is the necessary condition of "peace" (Php 4:6-9).

wholly—Greek, "(so that you should be) perfect in every respect" [Tittmann].

and—that is, "and so (omit 'I pray God'; not in the Greek) may your … spirit and soul and body be preserved," etc.

whole—A different Greek word from "wholly." Translate, "entire"; with none of the integral parts wanting [Tittmann]. It refers to man in his normal integrity, as originally designed; an ideal which shall be attained by the glorified believer. All three, spirit, soul, and body, each in its due place, constitute man "entire." The "spirit" links man with the higher intelligences of heaven, and is that highest part of man which is receptive of the quickening Holy Spirit (1Co 15:47). In the unspiritual, the spirit is so sunk under the lower animal soul (which it ought to keep under) that such are termed "animal" (English Version. "sensual," having merely the body of organized matter, and the soul the immaterial animating essence), having not the Spirit (compare 1Co 2:14; see on [2447]1Co 15:44; [2448]1Cor 15:46-48; Joh 3:6). The unbeliever shall rise with an animal (soul-animated) body, but not like the believer with a spiritual (spirit-endued) body like Christ's (Ro 8:11).

blameless unto—rather as Greek, "blamelessly (so as to be in a blameless state) at the coming of Christ." In Hebrew, "peace" and "wholly" (perfect in every respect) are kindred terms; so that the prayer shows what the title "God of peace" implies. Bengel takes "wholly" as collectively, all the Thessalonians without exception, so that no one should fail. And "whole (entire)," individually, each one of them entire, with "spirit, soul, and body." The mention of the preservation of the body accords with the subject (1Th 4:16). Trench better regards "wholly" as meaning, "having perfectly attained the moral end," namely, to be a full-grown man in Christ. "Whole," complete, with no grace which ought to be wanting in a Christian.5:23-28 The apostle prays that they might be sanctified more perfectly, for the best are sanctified but in part while in this world; therefore we should pray for, and press toward, complete holiness. And as we must fall, if God did not carry on his good work in the soul, we should pray to God to perfect his work, till we are presented faultless before the throne of his glory. We should pray for one another; and brethren should thus express brotherly love. This epistle was to be read to all the brethren. Not only are the common people allowed to read the Scriptures, but it is their duty, and what they should be persuaded to do. The word of God should not be kept in an unknown tongue, but transplanted, that as all men are concerned to know the Scriptures, so they all may be able to read them. The Scriptures should be read in all public congregations, for the benefit of the unlearned especially. We need no more to make us happy, than to know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is an ever-flowing and an over-flowing fountain of grace to supply all our wants.
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