Romans 12:17



The Greek word pronoeo appears only three times in the pages of the New Testament writings (II Cor. 8:21 and I Tim. 5:8 are the other two). It literally means "to apply one's self to, strive to exhibit, have regard for." When it appears in the Middle Voice with an Accusative Case (as it does in this passage) it means "to take thought for, care for" something (Thayer, p. 540).

The Greek word kalos signifies being "excellent in its nature and characteristics" (Thayer, p. 540). "The word is one of two words which the Greeks have of describing that which is good, agathos referring to intrinsic goodness, and kalos, our word here, to exterior goodness, or goodness that is seen on the exterior of a person, the outward expression of an inward goodness" (Wuest, p. 218). "The Authorized Version (KJV) inadequately translates the significant word in this exhortation by 'honest'" (Maclaren, p. 296).


I Timothy 3:7 with respect to the qualities an Elder is to possess. Proverbs 3:4 (in the LXX), "And do thou provide things honest in the sight of the Lord, and of men." Also -- I Peter 2:12.


"Christian people ought to seek for the good opinion of those around them ... and let their light shine that men seeing their good may be led to think more loftily of its source, and so to 'glorify their Father which is in heaven'" (Maclaren, p. 297).

"So-called Christianity can be presented in the hardest and the most unlovely way; but real Christianity is something which is fair for all to see" (Barclay, p. 183).

"Uprightness of character before men is not to be neglected: for whatever sin we commit, the ignorant employ it for the purpose of calumniating the gospel" (Calvin, p. 472).

".....a restriction of Christian conduct to exclude anything held to be disreputable, dishonorable, reprehensible, or detestable by human opinion in society as a whole, or as officially expressed through the regulations imposed by government. Things that are tainted in the popular view of society as a whole are not for Christians" (Coffman, p. 439-40).

"The Christian spirit is one that the world must approve, however little it is disposed to act on it" (Barnes, p. 287).

"Christians are not to provide their pagan neighbors with just cause for criticism" (Layman's, p. 1411).

"He is to be sensitively attentive to the world's observation where the world, acquainted with the word of the Lord and conscious of its truth and right, is watching, maliciously, or it may be wistfully, to see if it governs the practice of His professed followers" (Lipscomb, p. 230).

"Believers are constantly under the scrutiny of unsaved persons as well as of fellow Christians, and they must be careful that their conduct does not betray the high standards of the gospel (Col. 4:5). The verb 'be careful' (pronoeo) is literally 'to think beforehand,' which suggests that the conduct of believers ought not to be regulated by habit, but rather that each situation that holds prospect for a witness to the world be weighed so that the action taken will not bring unfavorable reflection on the gospel" (Expos. Comm., p. 134).

"By our conduct" we must "not injure the gospel in the sight of men" (Lenski, p. 777).

"The Christian is exhorted to take careful forethought that his manner of life, his outward expression, conforms to, and is honestly representative of, what he is as a child of God" (Wuest, p. 219).

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