Sun-Judged

Sam Caldwell


Here’s a curious word-study. The word eilikrines appears twice in our New Testaments, and it is most often translated ‘sincere’ or ‘pure.’ But it is not the same as the other words for ‘sincere’ in the Greek (compare 1 Timothy 1:5, for example, where the word for ‘sincere’ literally means ‘un-hypocritical’).

The word eilikrines literally means “sun-judged” or “sunshine-scrutinized,” and it refers to the practice of holding a vessel up to the sun to see if there are any cracks in it.

Here are the two texts:

In the NAS, Philippians 1:10 reads: “…so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.”

And 1 Peter 3:1 reads: “This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder…”

But we may re-translate these verses like this:

Philippians 1:10: “…so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sun-judged and blameless until the day of Christ”

1 Peter 3:1: “This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sunshine-scrutinized mind by way of reminder.”

Let us pray that God would make all our actions ‘judged by the sun’! And let us hold up our entire vessel to the scrutinizing gaze of the Son of God!

Amen.

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