Avoid the dissenters! (Rom 16:17)

“I urge you!

My brothers!

Keep an eye

On those who cause


And obstacles,

In opposition

To the teaching

That you have learned.

Avoid them!”

Παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, σκοπεῖν τοὺς τὰς διχοστασίας καὶ τὰ σκάνδαλα παρὰ τὴν διδαχὴν ἣν ὑμεῖς ἐμάθετε ποιοῦντας, καὶ ἐκκλίνετε ἀπ’ αὐτῶν·

Paul said that I urge you (Παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς)!  My brothers (ἀδελφοί)!  Keep an eye (σκοπεῖν) on those who cause dissensions (τοὺς τὰς διχοστασίας) and offenses or disturbances (καὶ τὰ σκάνδαλα), in opposition to the teaching (παρὰ τὴν διδαχὴν) that you have learned (ἣν ὑμεῖς ἐμάθετε ποιοῦντας).  Avoid them (καὶ ἐκκλίνετε ἀπ’ αὐτῶν)!  Only the Pauline letters used this word διχοστασίας, that means to stand apart, dissent, or divide.  Once again, Paul had an admonition for the Christians in Rome.  He told them to avoid anyone who was causing dissention or an obstacle to the Christian teachings that they had learned.  Obviously, Paul was always involved with various disputes himself with the Jewish people and sometimes among his own Christian groups.  However, here his warning was clear.  Stay away for the people who were putting obstacles and causing division by opposing the Christian teachings.  Do you have dissenters in your Christian community?

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