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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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WASTE.—The idea of waste is presented in the Gospels in two figures. (1) The first of these appears in the word διασκορπίζω, which indicates the scattering of one’s possessions. It is the act of the man who, like the Prodigal, makes ‘ducks and drakes’ of his goods (Luke 15:13), or, like the Unfaithful Steward, squanders his master’s property (Luke 16:1).

(2) The second word is ἀπώλεια, which denotes the doing to death of that which should have remained to enrich and beautify life. Judas thought that the pouring forth of the ointment upon the head of Christ was ἀπώλεια (Matthew 26:8 ||). In his opinion it was waste, because the price of it might have been added to his bag, and might have remained to enrich himself (John 12:6). It was put to a use which did not commend itself to him, and this seemed to the man in whose heart the love of a once accepted Master had now been usurped by the money with which he had been entrusted, a loss of something like ‘three hundred pence’ (Mark 14:5). It is very significant that Christ used the word, which Judas had applied to Mary, of Judas himself. So far wrong was he that Mary had rendered an ever memorable act of devotion. The true ‘waste’ was in himself; he was the ‘son of waste’ (ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, John 17:12). See art. Judas Iscariot in vol. i. p. 909b.

W. W. Holdsworth.

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

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