December 13, 2021 – Monday
2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV REVISTED
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV REVISTED
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV REVISTED
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
On Friday when I commented on this verse I wrote: Looking at the verse directly Ellicott’s Commentary gives us a bit of a surprise along with a great deal of clarity. He writes, For we walk by faith, not by sight—Better, and not by what we see (or, by appearance). It seems almost sad to alter the wording of a familiar and favourite text, but it must be admitted that the word translated “sight” never means the faculty of seeing, but always the form and fashion of the thing seen. I really like this, as we do in fact see what is all around us, but we do not accept what we see as of real or lasting value. The appearances are deceiving! In walking (living) in faith we do not choose the values of the world, but those God has provided to us through Jesus and His word.
A reader, Phil Tice, who is a friend of mine and a brother in Christ replied concerning Elicott’s Commentary above. He is a student of language (he used to teach French) and knows a great deal about Hebrew and Greek, so here I want to share his thoughts and insights. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
I was somewhat mystified by Ellicot’s statement that the word “sight” never refers to the “faculty of seeing”. So I was compelled to check out the Greek text and compare it to others. The noun that Paul uses is “eidos” often translated “Appearance.” In Luke 9:29, it was the physical appearance of Jesus that was transformed, In Luke 3, it says the Spirit descended on Jesus in the “eidos” of a dove. The verb form is “eido,” that tricky verb often translated “know.” It’s what we mean when we say, “I see what you’re saying.” Which, unless we are reading lips, has very little to do with physical sight.
“1492 /eídō (“seeing that becomes knowing”) then is a gateway to grasp spiritual truth (reality) from a physical plane. 1492 (eídō) then is physical seeing (sight) which should be the constant bridge to mental and spiritual seeing (comprehension).”
You might say that Paul uses “eidos” to describe knowledge (perception) based on physical sense data. Ellicot is correct in the sense that ‘sight’ here refers to MORE than mere seeing. In Luke 18, Jesus heals a blind man, saying “receive thy sight”. Dr. Luke uses the Greek verb “anablepo” (308) which means “to look again” i.e., to recover sight. This verb has a root word, “blemma” which means a “look” and is only used once, by Peter, in 2 Peter 2: 8, referring to Noah: “distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)” ( NIV)
Literally the verse says, “by seeing and by hearing, that righteous man, dwelling among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by (their) lawless deeds.” So, his soul was “vexed” by the sight and sound of their immoral conduct. This same verb is used in John 9:25, when the formerly blind man gives his testimony: “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
There is a third verb in Greek, “horao” (3708), is usually rendered “behold”. And used by Matthew nine times in Matthew 2 describing the birth of Messiah. It often has a metaphorical meaning: – “properly, see, often with metaphorical meaning: “to see with the mind” (i.e., spiritually see), i.e., perceive (with inward spiritual perception).”
NOTE: The reference numbers are not from Strong’s but from the NASB Key Word Study Bible and its Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You that as brothers and sisters we share and learn from each other. What a very real blessing. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek