Covenant Breaker - Trench's New Testament Synonyms

Covenant Breaker

asynthetos (G802) Covenant Breaker
aspondos (G786) Irreconcilable
Asynthetos occurs only once in the New Testament (Rom. 1:31) and several times in the Septuagint (Jer. 3:8-11). Aspondos, which is not used in the Septuagint, occurs only in 2 Timothy 3:3 in the New Testament. The best critical editions omit it from Romans 1:31, where it appears in some manuscripts.
The distinction between the scriptural uses of asynthetos and aspondos is not difficult to explain, but it is questionable whether asynthetos has exactly this meaning anywhere else. In its extrascriptural uses, asynthetos is frequently united with haplous (G573) or with akratos, and has the passive sense of "not put together" or "not made up of several parts." Paul used asynthetoi in an active sense to refer to those who are in covenant and treaty with others but who refuse to abide by these covenants and treaties.

Worse than the dysdialytoi, who are only "hard to be reconciled," the aspondoi are the absolutely irreconcilablethose who will not be atoned, or set at one. They are at war and refuse to lay aside their enmity or to listen to terms of accommodation. Plutarch opposed dysdialytoi and eudiallaktos.The phrase implacable [aspondoi] and unannounced war is proverbial in Greek.Thus "an unannounced war" does not refer to a war that is not duly announced by the authorities but to a war where the "the communications of war" (Virgil) are wholly suspendedno herald or flag of truce is allowed to pass between the parties, no terms of reconciliation are heard. The word also appears in this sense in the phrases implacable [aspondos] battle and irreconcilable strife, unappeasable grudge, implacable [aspondos] enmity, and an implacable [aspondos] god.
Asynthetos presumes the existence of a state of peace that such people unrighteously interrupt, and aspondos presumes a state of war that the aspondoi refuse to bring to an equitable close. Calvin missed the force of each word and translated aspondoi as foedifragi (treaty breakers) and asynthetoi as insociabiles (incompatible). Theodoret made a similar mistake when he wrote: "Asynthetoi are those who welcome an unsociable and evil life; aspondoi are those who transgress fearlessly what has been agreed." The proper equivalents may be found by reversing the meanings ascribed to these words by Calvin and Theodoret.
Additional agreement and confirmation of the meanings of these words may be found in the distinction that Ammonius drew between syntheke and sponde. Syntheke assumes peace because it is a further agreement, perhaps a treaty of alliance between those already on generally amicable terms. Thus there was a syntheke between the several states that recognized the leadership of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War; at the end of the war, each state was to have the same territory with which it began the war. But sponde (truce)more often in the pluralrefers to a war of which sponde is the cessation, though it may only be a temporary armistice. It is true that a syntheke (treaty) may be attached to a sponde (truce) as terms of alliance consequent on terms of peace. In this sense sponde and syntheke are used together in Thucydides (4.18), but they are different things. There sponde refers to a cessation of war, to a state of peace, to a truce; syntheke adds to this the idea of a further agreement or alliance. Eusynthetos could be the exact opposite of asynthetos, but it is not found with that meaning in our lexicons or in any Greek author. However, eusynthesia is found in Greek literature, asynthesia in the Septuagint (Jer. 3:7), and athesia often in Polybius (2.32).

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