Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gym?

One of the Greek words that I often hear in Bible studies is "to exercise or train" and that it comes from the word γυμνάζω (gymnazō), where we get our word "gymnasium" (However the meaning of 'gymnasium' now is very different from how it was used then). One particular place you can see this word in action is in Herodotus, in The Histories 7.208:

While they debated in this way, Xerxes sent a mounted scout to see how many there were and what they were doing. While he was still in Thessaly, he had heard that a small army was gathered there and that its leaders were Lacedaemonians, including Leonidas, who was of the Heracleid clan. Riding up to the camp, the horseman watched and spied out the place. He could, however, not see the whole camp, for it was impossible to see those posted inside the wall which they had rebuilt and were guarding. He did take note of those outside, whose arms lay in front of the wall, and it chanced that at that time the Lacedaemonians were posted there. He saw some of the men exercising naked (γυμναζομένους) and others combing their hair. He marvelled at the sight and took note of their numbers. When he had observed it all carefully, he rode back in leisure, since no one pursued him or paid him any attention at all. So he returned and told Xerxes all that he had seen.

Anyway, I was reading through my Greek NT plan and today's reading was 2 Peter 2 and saw something interesting in v.14:

They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained (γεγυμνασμένην) in greed. Accursed children!

Both verbs are basically the same, granted it's in the perfect/passive form in 2 Peter. I don't own any 2 Peter commentaries, so I can't say exactly, but it's very interesting to me that the 'heart' can be trained (in a very thorough sense! if I understand this perfect tense aright) in greed as the body could be trained for warfare. I recently had a talk with a friend about how 'money' has taken a preeminent position in the lives of many believers, I'm wondering if that could potentially be one 'training in greed' in light of 2 Peter 2:14. I should be more careful how I train.

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