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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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good´nes : This word in the Old Testament is the translation of ṭōbh ( Exodus 18:9 ; Psalm 16:2 , the Revised Version (British and American) "good"; Psalm 23:6 ), etc.; of ṭūbh (Exodus 33:19 ; Psalm 31:19 ; Jeremiah 31:14 ; Hosea 3:5 ), etc.; of ḥeṣedh (Exodus 34:6 ), "abundant in goodness," the English Revised Version "plenteous in mercy," the American Standard Revised Version "abundant in loving kindness"; "The goodness of God endureth continually," the Revised Version (British and American) "mercy," the American Standard Revised Version "loving kindness" (Psalm 52:1 ), etc.

In the New Testament it is the translation of cḥrēstótēs ("usefulness," benignity); "the riches of his goodness" ( Romans 2:4 ; Romans 11:22 , thrice); of cḥrēstós ("useful," "benign," "kind," in Luke 6:35 ); "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4 ); of agathōsúnē (found only in the New Testament and Septuagint and writings based thereon), "full of goodness." (Romans 15:14 ); "gentleness, goodness, faith" (Galatians 5:22 ); "in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Ephesians 5:9 ); "all the good pleasure of his goodness," the Revised Version (British and American) "every desire of goodness." (2 Thessalonians 1:11 ).

The thought of God as good and the prominence given to "good" and "goodness" are distinctive features of the Bible. In the passage quoted above from Galatians 5:22 , "goodness" is one of the fruits of the indwelling Spirit of God, and in that from Ephesians 5:9 it is described as being, along with righteousness and truth, "the fruit of the light" which Christians had been "made" in Christ. Here, as elsewhere, we are reminded that the Christian life in its truth is likeness to God, the source and perfection of all good. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 regards God Himself as expressing His goodness in and through us. See GOOD ; GOOD , CHIEF .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Goodness'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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