Ceslas Spicq on Luke 6:34

In the last few chapters of my dissertation I am planning on using Ceslas Spicq, a Catholic scholar of the 20th century, as somewhat of a whipping boy. No doubt he was much smarter than I and much more widely read (in both senses!), but there are some significant problems with the methodology in his Theological Lexicon of the New Testament. And I’m not the only one to say so (you must have a subscription to read the link).

But no one is perfectly wrong in every respect (or perfectly right except, praise God, Jesus of Nazareth). Methodological and theological problems aside, I thought this was a helpful comment on Luke 6:34—”If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.”—from Spicq’s massive Agape in the New Testament.

Those who object that ‘lending’ then becomes the same thing as ‘giving’ miss the nuance. Sometimes a person perfectly willing to borrow would blush to receive an outright gift. So one lends to him, glad to get repayment if it is offered, but ready to give up everything if there is need. p.87

But wait a minute. Just after writing this post, I realized that Spicq was quoting M.J. Lagrange. Ah, well.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

Leave a Reply