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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Gentle, Gentleness, Gently

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A — 1: ἐπιεικής
(Strong's #1933 — Adjective — epieikes — ep-ee-i-kace' )

from epi, "unto," and eikos, "likely," denotes "seemly, fitting;" hence, "equitable, fair, moderate, forbearing, not insisting on the letter of the law;" it expresses that considerateness that looks "humanely and reasonably at the facts of a case;" it is rendered "gentle" in 1 Timothy 3:3 , RV (AV, "patient"), in contrast to contentiousness; in Titus 3:2 , "gentle," in association with meekness; in James 3:17 , as a quality of the wisdom from above; in 1 Peter 2:18 , in association with the good; for the RV rendering "forbearance" in Philippians 4:5 , RV, see FORBEARANCE. Cp. B. See PATIENT. In the Sept., Esther 8:13 ; Psalm 86:5 .

A — 2: ἤπιος
(Strong's #2261 — Adjective — epios — ay'-pee-os )

"mild, gentle," was frequently used by Greek writers as characterizing a nurse with trying children or a teacher with refractory scholars, or of parents toward their children. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7 , the Apostle uses it of the conduct of himself and his fellow missionaries towards the converts at Thessalonica (cp. 2 Corinthians 11:13,20 ); in 2 Timothy 2:24 , of the conduct requisite for a servant of the Lord.

B — 1: ἐπιείκεια
(Strong's #1932 — Noun Feminine — epieikeia — ep-ee-i'-ki-ah )

or epieikia, denotes "fairness, moderation, gentleness," "sweet reasonableness" (Matthew Arnold); it is said of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:1 , where it is coupled with prautes, "meekness;" for its meaning in Acts 24:4 , see CLEMENCY. Trench (Syn. xlviii) considers that the ideas of equity and justice, which are essential to the meaning, do not adequately express it in English. In contrast with prautes ("meekness"), which is more especially a temperament or habit of mind, epieikeia expresses an active dealing with others.

Notes: (1) For chrestotes, "kindness, goodness of heart," rendered "gentleness" in Galatians 5:22 , AV, see KINDNESS. The corresponding adjective chrestos is translated "good," "kind," "easy," "gracious."

(2) For metriopatheo, to bear gently with, Hebrews 5:2 , see BEAR , No. 13.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Gentle, Gentleness, Gently'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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