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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Treasure Treasurer Treasury

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Three times in the literature of the apostolic period (2 Corinthians 4:7, Colossians 2:3, Hebrews 11:26) we find θησαυρός in the sense of ‘treasure.’ The word is from τίθημι with the paragogic termination -αυρος and means primarily ‘the receptacle for valuables’ (cf. Matthew 2:11). But in the sense of ‘treasury’ we do not find it in the NT outside of Matthew 12:35; Matthew 13:52 and Luke 6:45. Elsewhere it is used of the things in the receptacle, the valuables, the treasure. In Hebrews 11:26 the word is applied to ‘the treasures of Egypt’ which Moses gave up for the reproach of Christ, which he considered greater riches. Here the term wavers between the literal and the metaphorical. But in the other two examples the metaphorical alone appears. In 2 Corinthians 4:7 it is the ministry of the gospel of Christ, and in Colossians 2:3 it is the riches of wisdom in Christ, far in excess of human wisdom or the wisdom offered in the so-called ‘mystery-religions’ of the time. In Acts 8:27 γάζα is a Persian word current in the κοινή (see 2 Esdras 5:17; 2 Esdras 7:20; Polyb., Diod., Plut., etc.). The Persians used it for both ‘treasury’ and ‘treasure,’ as the Greeks did θησαυρός (see above); cf. Curt. III. xiii. 5.

‘Treasurer’ occurs only in Romans 16:23 : ‘Erastus the treasurer of the city.’ Here the word is οἰκονόμος (οἶκος ‘house,’ and νέμω, ‘manage’), ‘manager of a house,’ ‘steward,’ ‘superintendent.’ So ὁ οἰκονόμος τῆς πόλεως means ‘superintendent of the city’s business,’ ‘treasurer’ (Vulg. [Note: Vulgate.] arcarius civitatis); cf. Esther 8:9, 1 Esdras 4:49, Jos. Ant. XII. iv. 7. The term is applied to apostles and ministers as God’s stewards (1 Corinthians 4:1, Titus 1:7). As a matter of fact the Eunuch of Ethiopia was queen Candace’s treasurer ‘over all her treasure’ (Acts 8:27).

A. T. Robertson.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Treasure Treasurer Treasury'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/t/treasure-treasurer-treasury.html. 1906-1918.

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