The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 11 of 210
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pp. 121 -126
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man ..." (Eph. 4: 22).
Some of our readers may not have seen the series of articles by Stuart Allen entitled
"Archaic and Obsolete Words of the Authorized Version" which appeared in The Berean
Expositor about ten years ago. In Volume XLVIII, page 197, there is a paragraph headed
"conversation", in which he points out that in 1611 conversation always referred to
conduct or manner of life, and not merely to talking.
The Greek word anastrophe occurs thirteen times in the New Testament, of which six
are in I Peter, two in II Peter, and five in other epistles. Both Dr. Robert Young and
Dr. E. W. Bullinger agree that this word should be translated behavior, or manner of life,
or conduct. In fact, it has been translated "conversation".
Another word anastrepho occurs eleven times, and in two passages it is translated
"have one's conversation". An examples may be seen in II Cor. 1: 12.
As I Peter contains most of the occurrences of "conversation" we will look at those
first. To appreciate the context, we observe that I Pet. 1: 7 speaks of the "trial of your
faith", though it be "tried with fire", and in I Pet. 4: 12 "think it not strange concerning
the fiery trial". There are frequent references to suffering, and in I Pet. 4: 13 Peter
writes of being partakers of Christ's sufferings.
When Peter addressed the people in Solomon's porch of the temple, after the lame
man had been healed, he called on them to repent, and promised that their repentance
would be followed by the return of Jesus Christ. Peter therefore expected that the day of
the Lord would come soon. There would be judgment and a time of testing or trial. This
should be kept in mind when reading all the epistles written during the "Acts period".
Let us now review the six passages in I Peter:
"But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
conversation (conduct); because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1: 15, 16).
The verses leading up to this quotation exhort that "having girded up the loins of your
minds", the readers should be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to come at
the revelation of Jesus Christ. In their conduct they should be obedient, and discourage
those desires that they used to have through ignorance.
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver
and gold, from your vain conversation (conduct) received by tradition from your fathers;
but with the precious blood of Christ" (1: 18, 19).
These verses speak for themselves. The Jews were educated to respect their traditions
handed down from generation to generation, but now their salvation depended on the