That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.
In the palmy days of Roman prosperity, when her merchants lived in their marble palaces on the banks of the Tiber, there was a sort of emulation in the grandeur and artistic adornment of their dwellings. Good sculptors were eagerly sought after and employed. But tricks were sometimes practised, then as now; thus, if the sculptor came upon a flaw in the marble, or chipped a piece out by accident, he had a carefully prepared wax, with which he filled in the chink, and so carefully fixed it as to be imperceptible. In process of time, however, heat or damp would affect the wax, and reveal its presence. The consequence was, that when new contracts were made for commissioned works of art, a clause was added to the effect that they were to be sine cera, or without cement. Hence we have a word picture of great significance.
Parallel VersesKJV: That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;