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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Affliction (2)

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AFFLICTION.—In AV of the Gospels ‘affliction’ occurs only twice (Mark 4:17; Mark 13:19), corresponding both times to θλῖψις in the original. RV gives ‘tribulation’—its invariable rendering of θλῖψις except in John 16:21, where, like AV, it has ‘anguish.’ In Matthew 24:9 AV translates εἰς θλῖψιν ‘to be afflicted’ (RV ‘unto tribulation’). In all remaining cases it renders θλῖψις by ‘tribulation’ (Matthew 13:21; Matthew 24:21; Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24, John 16:33). The Greek θλῖψις (WH θλίψις) signifies literally ‘pressing together,’ ‘pressure’ (cf. ὁδὸς τεθλιμμένη in Matthew 7:14 of the ‘straitened way’; ἵνα μὴ θλίβωσιν αὐτόν, ‘lest they should throng him,’ in Mark 3:9). In classical Greek it is found infrequently, and with its literal meaning only. In Biblical Greek, where the metaphorical significance prevails, it is of much commoner occurrence, always possessing a passive sense, and usually suggesting ‘sufferings inflicted from without’ (Lightfoot).

In the sayings of Christ the word bears three references. It denotes the persecution to which His followers will be subjected, and by which their loyalty will be tested (Mark 4:17 = Matthew 13:21; Matthew 24:9, John 16:33). It describes the privations and sufferings (not, as above, necessarily induced by His service) attendant upon a great national or universal crisis (Mark 13:19; Mark 13:24 = Matthew 24:21; Matthew 24:29). And, finally, it is employed in one of His illustrations to indicate a woman’s pangs in childbirth (John 16:21, Authorized Version and Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘anguish’). See, further, artt. Persecution, Suffering, Tribulation.

H. Bisseker.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Affliction (2)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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