November 29th – Patience – Keeping on Keeping On

Thanks to Father Linsky for leading the discussion Wednesday morning on “patience” as used in Luke 21:19, the November 29th Gospel reading of Jesus instructing and warning his followers of difficulties to come.

Patience: A Fruit of the Holy Spirit

NKJ Luke 21:19 “By your patience possess your souls. (Last verse in Gospel Reading for November 29th)

 NAB Galatians 5:22-23  In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

patience virtue

Understanding Sacred Scripture

One difficulty in understanding of Sacred Scripture is that meanings of words, even within a single language, change with time. That confounds efforts to understand what those ancient NT Greek words and OT Hebrew words really meant to the persons who wrote and read and heard them thousands of years ago.

There are three easy steps that can be taken to dig deeper without having any knowledge of those ancient languages and cultures.

  1. Look at several English translations to see what different words and expressions have been used by various translators. (Very easy to do online at the link on this blog. Just click on the little down arrow by the current version which is the New American Bible.)
  2. Look at several current definitions of the English words and consider not just the first but also second and third and possible obsolete definitions. You will see a current definition of “patience” under the little circular chart above.
  3. Consider the context and situation in which the words were written or spoken and see what definitions seem most appropriate.

I have some Bible software that lets me quickly compare translations of the Greek in 24 different English translations. The Greek word sometimes translated “patience” in Luke 21:19 is defined in Strong’s Concordance as “endurance, steadfastness, patient waiting for.” http://biblehub.com/greek/5281.htm

Checking all 24 translations, the score on word choice by translators was:

  • Patience 12
  • Endurance 6
  • Standing firm 3
  • Perseverance 2
  • Going through 1

That is not the only difference in translation of the verses. You can read them all at the end of this post.

It is interesting that a different Greek word is translated “patience” in the list of fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. That word is defined in Strong’s Concordance as “patience, forbearance, longsuffering.” The score on uses in English translations in this case is:

  • Patience 12
  • Long suffering 12

New Testament Context

So, it seems to me, considering context, that the emphasis of both words is on perseverance, endurance, standing firm, suffering, being patient, and trusting in the face of afflictions and challenges and difficulties. And that seems to imply existence of a goal, a responsibility, a target, a hope. Interestingly, one of the Greek words was used by St. Paul, one of those early Christians warned by Jesus. It is in Romans 5:3-5, and is translated in the NAB as endurance.

Romans 5:3-5  Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.

The score here on English word choices by my easily accessible versions is:

  • Endurance 7
  • Steadfastness 1
  • Patience 9
  • Power of Waiting 1
  • Perseverance 6

Conclusion

So, my conclusion from all this is that I want to keep on keeping on, steadfastly standing firm, enduring and going through whatever difficulties occur, persevering in faith and good works  (two sides of the same coin), trusting God patiently for the results. That seems consistent with those “theological virtues” in the inner ring in the chart above: Faith, Hope, and Charity

APPENDIX: (Read no further unless extremely curious.)

Here are the 24 translations of Luke 21:19, some very olde.

BGT Luke 21:19 evn th/| u`pomonh/| u`mw/n kth,sasqe ta.j yuca.j u`mw/nÅ

NRS Luke 21:19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.

NAB Luke 21:19 By your perseverance you will secure your lives.

ASV Luke 21:19 In your patience ye shall win your souls.

BBE Luke 21:19 By going through all these things, you will keep your lives.

DBY Luke 21:19 By your patient endurance gain your souls.

DRA Luke 21:19 In your patience you shall possess your souls.

ESV Luke 21:19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

GNV Luke 21:19 By your patience possesse your soules.

KJG Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

KJV Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

MRD Luke 21:19 And by your patience, will ye preserve your souls.

NAS Luke 21:19 “By your endurance you will gain your lives.

NAU Luke 21:19 “By your endurance you will gain your lives.

NIB Luke 21:19 By standing firm you will gain life.

NIV Luke 21:19 By standing firm you will gain life.

NJB Luke 21:19 Your perseverance will win you your lives.

NKJ Luke 21:19 “By your patience possess your souls.

NLT Luke 21:19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.

PNT Luke 21:19 Possesse ye your soule by patience.

RSV Luke 21:19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

RWB Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

TNT Luke 21:19 With youre pacience possesse youre soules.

WEB Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

YLT Luke 21:19 in your patience possess ye your souls.

And here are the 24 English translations of Galatiand 5:22.

BGT Galatians 5:22 o` de. karpo.j tou/ pneu,mato,j evstin avga,ph cara. eivrh,nh( makroqumi,a crhsto,thj avgaqwsu,nh( pi,stij

NRS Galatians 5:22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,

NAB Galatians 5:22 In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,

ASV Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

BBE Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, a quiet mind, kind acts, well-doing, faith,

DBY Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fidelity,

DRA Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity,

ESV Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

GNV Galatians 5:22 But the fruite of the Spirit is loue, ioye, peace, long suffering, gentlenes, goodnes, fayth,

KJG Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

KJV Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

MRD Galatians 5:22 But the fruits of the Spirit are, love, joy, peace, long suffering, suavity, kindness, fidelity, modesty, patience.

NAS Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

NAU Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

NIB Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

NIV Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

NJB Galatians 5:22 On the other hand the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness,

NKJ Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

NLT Galatians 5:22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

PNT Galatians 5:22 But the fruite of the spirite is, loue, ioye, peace, long sufferyng, gentlenesse, goodnesse, fayth,

RSV Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

RWB Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

TNT Galatians 5:22 But the frute of sprete is loue ioye peace longesufferinge gentlenes goodnes faythfulnes

WEB Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

YLT Galatians 5:22 And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,

Greek to Me

And below are the screen clips of information about the two Greek words from Strong’s Concordance as published on biblehub.com. http://biblehub.com/greek/5281.htm

patience

fruit patience

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