“Hold Yourselves Aloof”

The above quote is taken from Richard F. Weymouth’s translation of the New Testament which was called, “The New Testament in Modern Speech.”  “Aloof” is not used very often in our present vernacular.  Richard F. Weymouth translated this version and it was published in 1902.   

Aloof (in the 1500’s) was originally a nautical term meaning to keep the ship’s head to the wind to prevent being blown into the shore line or rocks or sand bars.  The captain was to keep the ship aloof of the danger posed by being blown by the wind into things that could damage or destroy the ship. 

In the modern vernacular aloof means to keep your distance, don’t get too close, to stand off, or to be standoffish, either physically or emotionally. 

The Greek word “apechomai” means, “to hold one’s self off, to abstain, refrain” (Thayer’s Greek/English Lexicon).  In this same verse, Thayer defines “eidos” (form or appearance) as “the external or outward appearance, form figure, shape, or kind.” 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:22, Weymouth’s translation reads, “Hold yourselves aloof from every form of evil.”  The KJV reads, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  The NKJV, “Abstain from every form of evil.” 

In the world today the teaching of abstinence (self-restraint) has gone out of favor and practice.  Those of the world will mock and ridicule the idea of holding yourself aloof from fornication.   

But the Bible still says, “Flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18, KJV).  “Fornication” in the Greek is “pornia.”  Thayer defines “pornia” in this way:  

1) illicit sexual intercourse; 1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.; 1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18; 1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mar 10:11-12;  2) metaphorically the worship of idols; 2a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols. 

“Pornia” is a broad word that includes any illicit sexual intercourse. 

Much of the world, modern education, songs, TV shows, commercials, and even Disney cartoons are teaching our youth that sex outside of marriage is okay and that abstinence is unrealistic and an outdated idea. Is it any wonder that the abortion rate is so high?  If married people would hold themselves aloof from adultery and the unmarried wold practice abstaining from illicit sexual activity, would not the abortion rate go down, way down? 

There is no “free sex” outside of marriage no matter how much people want it to be so.  1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (NKJV).   

Some authorities in children’s education seek to begin indoctrinating children in kindergarten and the 1st grade suggesting curriculums that include teaching that homosexuality is a perfectly acceptable (not sinful) way of life.   

Parents, do not remain silent; speak where the Bible speaks.  Don’t allow your children to be blown by the winds of modernism into danger.  Teach them, “Hold yourselves aloof from every form of evil.”  And parents, practice what you teach.  You might be amazed at how much influence you have upon those little darlings.