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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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This renders three Greek words in the NT:

1. ἀντίδικος, properly an adversary in a lawsuit, and used of an earthly adversary in Matthew 5:25, Luke 12:58; Luke 18:3 -all these with a legal reference. It is used of an enemy of God in 1 Samuel 2:10 (Septuagint ), and in 1 Peter 5:8 of ‘the enemy,’ Satan; in this last passage διάδολος is anarthrous, as a proper name, while ἀντίδικος has the article (see Devil and Satan).

2. ἀντικείμενος, used in Luke 13:17 of our Lord’s Jewish opponents, and in Luke 21:15 of all adversaries of the disciples, is employed by St. Paul to denote those who oppose the Christian religion, probably in all cases with the suggestion that the devil is working through them. Such are the ‘adversaries’ of 1 Corinthians 16:9, Philippians 1:28; in 1 Timothy 5:14 Chrysostom takes the ‘adversary’ to be Satan, the ‘reviler’ (cf. 1 Timothy 5:15), or he may be the human enemy as prompted by Satan. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 ‘he that opposeth’ (ὁ ἀντικείμενος) is Antichrist (q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ), whose parousia is according to the working of Satan (1 Timothy 5:9); and it is interesting to note that the letter of the Churches of Vienne and Lyons ( Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.)v. i. 5) uses this expression absolutely of Satan, or of Antichrist, working through the persecutors, and ‘giving us a foretaste of his unbridled activity at his future coming.’

3. ὑπεναντίος is used in Hebrews 10:27 of the adversaries of God, apostates from Christ, probably with reference to Isaiah 26:11, where the Septuagint has the same word. A similar phrase in Titus 2:8 is ‘he that is of the contrary part,’ an opponent, ὁ ἐξ ἐναντίας. In Colossians 2:14 the word ὑπεναντίος is used of an inanimate object: ‘the bond … which was contrary to us.’

A. J. Maclean.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Adversary'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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