the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
This term is employed by Authorized Version with considerable frequency to render the group of words καυχᾶσθαι, καύχησις, καύχημα. They are found about 40 times in Septuagint , and about 60 times in the NT (exclusively in St. Paul’s Epistles, except Hebrews 3:6, James 1:9; James 4:16). The forms ἐγκαυχᾶσθαι (2 Thessalonians 1:4) and κατακαυξᾶσθαι (Romans 11:18, James 3:14) are also found. The group belongs to what Lightfoot (Com. on Philippians 3:5) calls ‘the tumultuous eagerness of the Apostle’s earlier style’; the words appear most frequently in 2 Cor., where personal feeling is deeply stirred. Whereas in Authorized Version they are rendered by ‘boasting’ and ‘glorying’ in about equal proportions, in Revised Version ‘boasting’ has almost completely disappeared, and ‘glorying’ is found instead. The only place where ‘boast’ is now found is in James 3:5 -‘the tongue also is a little member and boasteth great things’; but here the verb is not καυχᾶται but αὐχεῖ, and the idea ‘is properly to stretch the neck and hold up the head in pride, and hence to speak with proud confidence’ (Hort, ad loc.). ‘Boastful’ still appears twice in Revised Version (Romans 1:30, 2 Timothy 3:2, taking the place of Authorized Version ‘boasters,’ and is the equivalent of ἀλαζών, the abstract noun ἀλαζονεία being rendered in James 4:16 ‘vaunting’ and in 1 John 2:16 ‘vainglory,’ the only two places where it occurs. The ἀλαζών (‘boastful’) has evil associations in both passages-in Romans 1:30 with those who have been given over to a reprobate mind, and in 2 Timothy 3:2 with the ‘proud,’ blasphemers, and such like. Similarly ἀλαζονεία is found in Patristic literature in lists of vices and corrupt practices-in Didache (v. 1) along with ‘self-will,’ ‘covetousness,’ and others; in 1 Clem. xxxv. 5 bracketed with ὑπερηφανία, ‘pride,’ in such a list; and in Ep. to Diognetus (iv. 6) in conjunction with πολυπραγμοσύνη, ‘meddlesomeness.’ Aristotle saw in the ἀλαζών, ‘not merely one making unseemly display of things which he actually possesses, but vaunting himself in those which he does not possess’ (quoted in Trench, Synonyms of NT8, Lond. 1876, p. 96). In no such category could St. Paul be placed when he speaks of himself, using καυχᾶσθαι or its cognates, as ‘boasting’ (2 Corinthians 7:14; 2 Corinthians 8:24; 2 Corinthians 9:4), The Revised Version , however, has replaced the word by ‘glorying,’ except in some cases where it uses ‘rejoicing’ (Romans 5:2; Romans 5:11, but in James 4:16 ‘rejoice’ of Authorized Version has also given place to ‘glory’). ‘Glorying’ (or ‘boasting’) ‘in the law,’ or ‘in works’ as a ground of acceptance with God, or ‘in men’ as watchwords of sects or parties, is condemned by St Paul (Romans 3:27, Ephesians 2:9, 1 Corinthians 3:21). But the word expresses well the high level at which he lived, exulting in Christ Jesus. He gloried in the Cress (Galatians 6:14), in free grace (Romans 5:11), in an approving conscience (2 Corinthians 1:12), in his independence as an apostle (2 Corinthians 11:10), in his convert (2 Thessalonians 1:4), and above all in Christ Jesus (Romans 15:17) and in God (1 Corinthians 1:31), in the spirit of the Psalmist (Psalms 44:8), and of the Prophet (Jeremiah 9:23) who said in the name of God, ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom … but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth, and knoweth me, that I am the Lord.’
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Boasting'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdn/​b/boasting.html. 1906-1918.