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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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EARNEST . In 2 Corinthians 1:22 ; 2 Corinthians 5:5 , Ephesians 1:14 St. Paul describes the Holy Spirit as the believer’s ‘earnest.’ The word means ‘part-payment,’ the deposit being the same in kind as what is to follow. Cf. Tindale’s (1533) use of ‘earnest-penny’: ‘that assured saving health and earnest-penny of everlasting life.’ Rabbi Greenstone ( JE [Note: Jewish Encyclopedia.] v. 26) quotes Kid . 3 a to the effect that the payment of a perutah , the smallest coin of Palestinian currency, on account of the purchase, was sufficient to bind the bargain. The Gr. word was probably introduced by the Phœnicians. Deissmann ( Bible Studies , p. 108 f.) shows that in 2 Corinthians 1:21 the verb ‘stablisheth’ connotes a legal idea and stands in ‘an essential relation’ to ‘earnest’ in 2 Corinthians 1:22 . St. Paul represents the relation of God to believers under the image of ‘a legally guaranteed security.’

J. G. Tasker.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Earnest'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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