1 Thessalonians 2:10
You are witnesses, and God also, how piously and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
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(10) Ye are witnesses.—Abruptly, without conjunction, the writers add a summary description of their conduct at Thessalonica; before, they had dwelt on details, now, on the broad characteristics. As in 1Thessalonians 2:5, God is appealed to, because the readers could only judge of the outward propriety of their teachers’ conduct; and it is a moral law that (as Aristotle says) “the righteous man is not he that does acts which in themselves are righteous, but he that does those acts in such a mind as befits righteous men.”

Holily, of the inner, “justly,” of the outer life.

Among you that believe—where (if anywhere) we might have been tempted to be lax or exorbitant.

2:7-12 Mildness and tenderness greatly recommend religion, and are most conformable to God's gracious dealing with sinners, in and by the gospel. This is the way to win people. We should not only be faithful to our calling as Christians, but in our particular callings and relations. Our great gospel privilege is, that God has called us to his kingdom and glory. The great gospel duty is, that we walk worthy of God. We should live as becomes those called with such a high and holy calling. Our great business is to honour, serve, and please God, and to seek to be worthy of him.Ye are witnesses - They had a full opportunity of knowing his manner of life.

And God also - See the notes on ver 5.

How holily - Piously - observing all the duties of religion.

And justly - In our contact with people. I did them no wrong.

And unblameably - This seems to refer to his duties both to God and man. In reference to all those duties no one could bring a charge against him. Every duty was faithfully performed. This is not a claim to absolute perfection, but it is a claim to consistency of character, and to faithfulness in duty, which every Christian should be enabled to make. Every man professing religion should so live as to be able to appeal to all who have had an opportunity of knowing him, as witnesses that he was consistent and faithful, and that there was nothing which could be laid to his charge.

10. Ye are witnesses—as to our outward conduct.

God—as to our inner motives.

holily—towards God.

justly—towards men.

unblamably—in relation to ourselves.

behaved ourselves—Greek, "were made to be," namely, by God.

among you that believe—rather, "before (that is, in the eyes of) you that believe"; whatever we may have seemed in the eyes of the unbelieving. As 1Th 2:9 refers to their outward occupation in the world; so 1Th 2:10, to their character among believers.

The former verses gave account of their carriage in the ministry, this here of their Christian conversation; holily, with respect to God; justly, with respect to duties commanded towards men; and unblamably, in denying themselves in lawful liberty to avoid all occasion of blame from any of them. And for the truth of this he appeals to themselves; yea, to God himself. There is the witness of men, and the witness of conscience greater than of men, and the witness of God greatest of all, 1Jo 3:20. He appeals to them as witnesses about their external actions, and to God about the integrity of their hearts; and he doth this not in a way of boasting, but to be an example to them, and as a further reason of the great success of his ministry. The conversation of ministers hath great influence upon the success of their labours. Ye are witnesses, and God also,.... Not so much to what goes before as to what follows after, relating to their holy walk and conversation among them, the more open part of which they were witness of; and for the more secret part God is appealed to, who is acquainted with the springs of actions, as well as with actions themselves:

how holily, and justly, and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe. The Syriac version joins the last clause of the preceding verse with this, and reads the whole thus, "ye are witnesses, and God also, how purely and justly we preached unto you the Gospel of God, and how unblamable we were among all that believed"; referring the former part to the purity and integrity in which they preached the Gospel, and the latter to their unblemished conduct among the saints; but the whole of it refers to their conversation, which was holy, externally holy, arising from internal principles of holiness in their hearts, and free from that impurity and filthiness with which the false teachers were polluted; and confirms what is before said, that their exhortation was not of uncleanness: and it was likewise "just", they were righteous in the sight of God through the justifying righteousness of Christ, and in consequence of this lived righteously before men, and were injurious to no man's person nor property: and their conversation was also "unblamable"; not that they were, without sin, and so without blame in themselves, or without the commission of sin by them, or that they passed without censure in the world, for they went through honour and dishonour, through good report and bad report, and had all manner of evil spoken of them falsely for Christ's name's sake; but by the grace of God, they had their conversation among them that believed so, that there was nothing material to be alleged against them, or any just cause of blame to be laid either on their persons or their ministry; and which is mentioned for imitation.

{8} Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

(8) To excel others in the example of a godly life.

1 Thessalonians 2:10. This verse is designed to represent in a summary manner the conduct of the apostle among the Thessalonians, which was hitherto only represented by special features; but as thereby not merely what was patent to external observation, that is, the visible action on which man can pronounce a judgment, but likewise the internal disposition, which is the source of that action, was to be emphasized; so Paul naturally appeals for the truth of his assertion not only to his readers, but to God. The apostle, however, proceeds without a particle of transition, on account of the warmth of emotion with which he speaks.

ὡς] how very.

ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως] (comp. Ephesians 4:24; Luke 1:75; Wis 9:3, ὁσιότης and δικαιοσύνη) is put entirely in accordance with classical usage; the first denotes dutiful conduct toward God, and the latter toward our neighbour. Comp. Plat. Gorg. p. 507: καὶ μὴν περὶ μὲν ἀνθρώπους τὰ προσήκοντα πράττων δίκαιʼ ἂν πράττοι, περὶ δὲ θεοὺς ὅσια; Polyb. xxxiii. 10. 8; Schol. ad Eurip. Hec. 788.

ἀμέμπτως] unblameably. Turretin, Bengel, Moldenhauer interpret this of dutiful conduct toward oneself, evidently from the desire of a logical division of love, in order to obtain a sharply marked threefold division of the idea. Flacius refers it to the reliqui mores besides justitia, that is, to castitas, sobrietas, and moderatio in omnibus; but this is without any reason. It is the general negative designation, comprehending the two preceding more special and positive expressions, thus to be understood of a dutiful conduct toward God and man. Too narrowly Olshausen: that it is the negative expression of the positive δικαίως.

ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν] belongs not only to ἀμέμπτως, but to the whole sentence: ὡς ὁσίως καὶ δικ. καὶ ἀμ. ἐγενήθ. It is not dat. commodi: “to your, the believers’, behoof;” so that it would be identical with διʼ ὑμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας. Nor does it mean toward you believers (de Wette: “This, his conduct, had believers for its object with whom he came into contact;” Hofmann, Auberlen), for (1) ὁσίως does not suit this meaning; (2) as ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν is not without emphasis, the unsuitable contrast would arise, that in reference to others the apostle did not esteem the upright conduct necessary. For, with Hammond, to apply ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν, in contrast to the time when those addressed had not yet been brought to the faith, is grammatically impossible, as then the participle of the aorist without the article must be used; (3) ἐγενήθημεν does not obtain its due force, as the passive form cannot denote pure self-activity. ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν is, as already Oecumenius and Theophylact (and recently Alford) explain it, the dative of opinion or judgment (see Winer, p. 190 [E. T. 265]; Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 83): for you, believers, so that this was the character, the light in which we appeared to you. Thus an appropriate limitation arises by this addition. For the hostility raised against the apostle, and his expulsion from Thessalonica, clearly showed how far from being general was the recognition that God had enabled the apostle to behave ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως καὶ ἀμέμπτως. Moreover, ὡς ὁσίως κ.τ.λ. ἐγεν. is not equivalent to ὡς ὅσιοι κ.τ.λ. ἐγεν. (Schott). The adverbs bring prominently forward the mode and manner, the condition of γενηθῆναι. See Winer, p. 413 [E. T. 582]; Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 337 ff.1 Thessalonians 2:10. “We made ourselves yours” (cf. 8), the dative going closely (as Romans 7:3) with the verb, which is qualified (as in 1 Corinthians 16:10) by the adverbs; so Born., Findlay.—ὑμῖν κ.τ.λ. (dative of possession). Paul had met other people at Thessalonica, but only the Christians could properly judge his real character and conduct.10. Ye are witnesses, and God also] In 1 Thessalonians 2:5 the witness of man and of God (to the outward and inward respectively) were distinguished; here they are combined: You are witnesses, and so is God.

how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe] R. V. more correctly, toward you: also righteously instead of justly. Concerning “you that believe,” as a designation of Christians, see note to ch. 1 Thessalonians 1:7.

For holily we might substitute religiously. The Greek adverb does not represent the ordinary N.T. word for “holy” (hagios, i.e. saint), but another adjective (hosios), which is frequent in the O.T. and in common Greek. The former denotes Holiness as a relationship to God; the latter, as a condition or disposition of the man: they differ as consecrated from religious or pious. For the combination of Holiness (in this latter sense) with Righteousness, see Ephesians 4:24; Titus 1:8; also Luke 1:75; in the O.T., Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 145:17 (applied to God), &c. The terms are not mutually exclusive, but may apply to the same acts and persons. The “holy” man has regard to the sanctities, the “righteous” man to the duties of life; but duty is sacred, and piety is duty. They cover the whole field of conduct, regarded in turn from the religious and moral standpoint, while “unblameably” affixes the seal of approval both by God and man.

Unblameably reappears in the “blameless” of ch. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 and 1 Thessalonians 5:23.1 Thessalonians 2:10.[7] Ὡς ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως καὶ ἀμέμπτως, how holily and justly and unblameably) Those who seek no glory from men attain to this character, that they conduct themselves holily in divine things, justly towards men, unblameably in respect of themselves.—τοῖς πιστεύουσιν, among [in the eyes of, towards] you that believe) although we might not appear to others to be so.

[7] Ὑμεις μάρτυρες καὶ ὁ Θεὸς) ye are witnesses, and what is of much more consequence, God is witness. The language is not inconsistent with propriety, as the Jews falsely represent it to be. See Joshua 22:22; 1 Samuel 12:5, as showing whence it is derived.—V. g.Verse 10. - Ye are witnesses, and God also; ye of the outward conduct, and God of the motives which actuated us. How holily and justly and unblamably; "holily" denoting the apostle's conduct to God, "justly" his conduct to man, and "unblamably" the negative side of both particulars. We behaved ourselves among you that believe. The apostle here refers to his own personal demeanor and to that of Silas and Timothy among them, in order that the Thessalonians might realize the purity of their conduct, and so might continue steadfast in their attachment to the gospel which they taught, He men-lions specially "them that believe," not that He acted otherwise among those that did not believe, but because believers were cognizant of his conduct. Holily - justly - unblameably (ὁσίως - δικαίως - ἀμέμπτως)

For δικαίως holily, see on Luke 1:75; for δικαίως justly or righteously, see on Romans 1:17; see on Romans 5:7. Ἁμέμπτως unblameably, only in these Epistles. See 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23. For the distinction between ὅσιος and δίκαιος see Plato, Gorg. 507.

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