Indulgence - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G425, anesis ]
a loosening, relaxation of strain" (akin to aniemi, "to relax, loosen"), is translated "indulgence" in Acts 24:23, RV (AV, "liberty"), in the command of Felix to the centurion, to moderate restrictions upon Paul. The papyri and inscriptions illustrate the use of the word as denoting relief (Moulton and Milligan, Vocab.) In the NT it always carries the thought of relief from tribulation or persecution; so 2 Thessalonians 1:7, "rest;" in 2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:5 it is rendered "relief," RV (AV, "rest"); in 2 Corinthians 8:13, "eased." Josephus speaks of the rest or relief (anesis) from plowing and tillage, given to the land in the Year of Jubilee. See EASE, LIBERTY, RELIEF, REST.

[ 2,,G4140, plesmone ]
"a filling up, satiety" (akin to pimplemi, "to fill"), is translated "indulgence (of the flesh)" in Colossians 2:23, RV (AV, "satisfying"). Lightfoot translates the passage "yet not really of any value to remedy indulgence of the flesh." A possible meaning is, "of no value in attempts at asceticism." Some regard it as indicating that the ascetic treatment of the body is not of any honor to the satisfaction of the flesh (the reasonable demands of the body): this interpretation is unlikely. The following paraphrase well presents the contrast between the asceticism which "practically treats the body as an enemy, and the Pauline view which treats it as a potential instrument of a righteous life:" ordinances, "which in fact have a specious look of wisdom (where there is no true wisdom), by the employment of self-chosen acts of religion and humility (and) by treating the body with brutality instead of treating it with due respect, with a view to meeting and providing against over-indulgence of the flesh" (Parry, in the Camb. Greek Test.).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words