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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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Obedience to God’s law and submission to His will are essential for progressive spiritual life. Human nature being what it is, there is need for constant admonition (2 Peter 1:10-21). In the NT reference is made to this subject in its family, professional, and Divine aspects.

1. νουθετέω and νουθεσία (a later form for νουθέτησις) are not found in the NT outside the Pauline Epp., except in St. Paul’s speech, Acts 20:31. For the former see Romans 15:14, 1 Corinthians 4:14, Colossians 1:28; Colossians 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 2 Thessalonians 3:15; for the latter 1 Corinthians 10:11, Ephesians 6:4, Titus 3:10; cf. Isaiah 8:16; Isaiah 30:8 ff., Habakkuk 2:2 f., Deuteronomy 31:19 ff. The terms are used in classical Greek (e.g. Aristoph. Ranœ, 1009), but are more common in later Greek (Philo, Josepbus). The root idea is ‘to put in mind’ (ἐν τῷ νῷ τιθέναι), to train by word, always with the added suggestion of sternness, reproof, remonstrance, blame (cf. aesch, Prom. 264; Aristoph. Vesp. 254; Plato, Gorg. 479A). The implication is ‘a monitory appeal to the νοῦς rather than a direct rebuke or censure’ (Ellicott). To admonish is the duty of a father or parent (Ephesians 6:4; cf. Wisdom of Solomon 11:10, Pss.-Sol. 13:8), or brother (2 Thessalonians 3:15). The object and reason of such admonition must be realized if it is to be a means of moral discipline. The admonition and teaching of Colossians 1:28 correspond to the ‘repent and believe’ of the gospel message.

2. παραινέω signifies ‘recommend,’ ‘exhort,’ ‘admonish’ (Acts 27:9; Acts 27:22; cf. 2 Maccabees 7:25-26, 3 Maccabees 5:17; 3 Maccabees 7:12 A). This word is common in classical Greek, and is also found in the Apocrypha. St. Luke would be familiar with it as a term used for the advice of a physician. Its presence in a ‘We’ section is suggestive. St. Paul as a person of position and an experienced traveller gives advice in an emergency, as a skilled doctor would admonish a patient in a serious illness (see Hawkins, Horœ synopticœ, 1899, p. 153).

3. χρηματίζω in the active signifies ‘transact business’ (χρῆμα), ‘give a Divine response to one consulting an oracle,’ ‘give Divine admonition’ (cf. Jeremiah 25:30; Jeremiah 31:2, Job 40:8). The passive is used of the admonition given (Luke 2:26; cf. χρηματισμός, Romans 11:4, 2 Maccabees 2:4), and of the person thus admonished (Matthew 2:12; Matthew 2:22, Acts 10:22; cf. Acts 11:26 and Romans 7:3 where ‘called’ is the translation; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 11:7; cf. Hebrews 12:25). This meaning of ‘Divine oracle’ is found chiefly in the NT, with the underlying idea that the mind and heart must be suitably prepared for its reception. For private and public exhortation by preachers, teachers, and communities, see Galatians 2:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:2, 1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 4:2. See also Chastisement and Discipline.

H. Cariss J. Sidnell.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Admonition'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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