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Possess (2932 ) (ktaomai) means to get, procure, obtain or acquire something for oneself by purchase for a price (Acts 1:18; 8:20; 22:28) or otherwise. To gain possession of. In the present context Paul uses the idiomatic phrase possess your vessel giving the idea of having control of one's vessel or mastery over one's vessel. If this is indeed the meaning of ktaomai in the present verse, it would make little sense if the vessel was a wife - "each one of you know how to gain mastery over your wife." Is she a tool? Is she an instrument or an implement? Many hold this view and try to justify this interpretation by making a parallel with skeuos in 1Peter 3:7 where Peter writes that "the woman is the weaker vessel". However if the woman is the weaker skeuos, the man therefore by comparative is a weak skeuos and thus both of them are vessels in that passage. The Bible does not see the man as the power and the woman as his tool as he might use for his own gratification. She is not the vessel of the man, but instead they are both the vessels of God. Also, note that the context is not about marriage and wife but is about sexual immorality. Hiebert explains that... In classical Greek the verb rendered "control" (ktaomai) in the present tense meant "to procure for oneself, to acquire," and only in the perfect tense did it have the meaning "to possess." But the verb used here is present tense. Both ancient and modern commentators have believed this fact to be a major difficulty in accepting the meaning of "body" for the noun skeuos, literally "vessel." Since it would be quite pointless to ask the readers to "acquire" their own bodies, it is held that Paul must be referring to acquiring or procuring a wife, getting married. But the use of the verb in the papyri indicates that in the popular language of the day the meaning "to gain control over" was not confined to the perfect tense; the present tense also took this meaning. This relieves the major difficulty to the view that the body is meant. In view of its papyrus usage, Moulton and Milligan suggest that in our passage the verb very probably has the meaning "gradually obtain the complete mastery of the body." This is in harmony with the fact that attainment to the Christian moral standard involves a struggle that must be won by persistent effort. (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996) In a secular use ktaomai means to bring upon oneself ("I pray that they may not bring it (my message) upon themselves as a witness {against them}") but there are no NT uses with this nuance. Here are the 7 uses in the NT... Matthew 10:9 "Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, Luke 18:12 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' Luke 21:19 "By your endurance you will gain your lives. (Comment: Sinful men cannot acquire salvation by any merit of their own, but those who patiently endure for Christ rather than renouncing Him will prove the reality of their faith and in that sense "will acquire" their salvation.) Acts 1:18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. (Ktaomai here means to acquire or purchase for a price. Cp the two other passages in Acts.) Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain (secure) the gift of God with money! Acts 22:28 And the commander answered, "I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money." And Paul said, "But I was actually born a citizen." 1 Thessalonians 4:4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, There are 76 uses of ktaomai in the Septuagint (LXX) (Ge 4:1; 12:5; 25.10" class="scriptRef">25:10; 33:19; 36:6; 39:1; 46:6; 47:19, 20, 22, 23; 30" class="scriptRef">49:30; 50.13" class="scriptRef">50:13; 15.16" class="scriptRef">Ex 15:16; 21.2" class="scriptRef">21:2; Lev. 22:11; 14-Lev.25.15" class="scriptRef">25:14, 15, 28, 30, 44f, 50; 27:22, 24" class="scriptRef">24; Deut. 28:68; 32:6; Jos. 24:32; Ruth 4:4, 5, 8, 9, 10; 2Sa 12:3; 24:21, 24; 1Ki. 16:24; 2Ki. 12:12; 22:6; Neh. 5:8, 16; Ps. 74:2; 78:54; 139:13; Pr. 1:5, 14; 3:31; 16:22; 17:16, 21; 18:15; 19:8; 22:9; 31:29; Eccl. 2:7; Is 1:3; 26:13; 43:24; 57:13; Jer. 13:1, 2; 16:19; 19:1; 32:7, 8, 9, 15, 25, 43, 44; Ezek. 5:1; 7:12, 13; 8:3; Am 8:6; Zech 11:5) Here are some representative uses in the Septuagint (LXX)... Genesis 4:1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have gotten (Lxx = ktaomai) a manchild with the help of the LORD." Ruth 4:5 Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire (Lxx = ktaomai) Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance." "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

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