The Authorized Version:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: 1 Timothy 6:10a (KJV)
A Modern Version:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. 1 Timothy 6:10a (ESV)
Is the love of money really the root of all evil or all kinds of evils? Aren’t there sins which can’t be traced back to the almighty dollar? That can’t be true, can it? Yes, it is, without exception, absolutely true.
The word translated in most versions as ‘many kinds‘ or ‘all kinds‘ is a VERY loose interpretation of the Greek word: pas. In nearly every other case (95%+) in the NT, it is simply translated as all/every (each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything). In truth, to the translators, it was too inclusive so they added their own viewpoint by adding the ideas of ‘kinds or sorts.’ I agree that it’s quite difficult to logic that verse out without digging deeper, but I prefer not to lower my interpretation for my my logic’s sake – but to try to raise my logic to the level of Scripture. It’s important to read the entire context and to know the intent of the author.
The key to this verse is really missed when we don’t uncover the root of the love of money. In the text, this is covetousness: a desire for some one, some thing, or some where that God has not granted (part b of the verse is the commentary to this evil craving). It is a lust / appetite for anything apart from satisfaction in God… usually power, possessions, and pleasures. (These aren’t wrong – unless we find them apart from God’s provision. When we do, it is idolatry.) This covetous craving IS the root of each and every evil. Note also that ‘evil’ isn’t just each and every sin. Evil and sin are not the same. Evil, as it is used here, is a specific kind of sin, one of injury to another (part c of the verse clearly says that the fruit of covetousness is pain and sorrow).
Look to the root of your pains and sorrows. Look deep beyond the problems and stresses. Do you not find fleshly lusts to satisfy yourself apart from God? Don’t you find that someone, somewhere, pushed too hard to get what God was not planning to give? Indeed it is true: the desire for more is the source of all of our pain (author’s translation).
*Special thanks to Chris Lewis for your provoking.
- Greed (logoschristiancenter.wordpress.com)
- Are We Building on Solid Foundation or Taking Shortcuts? (thoughtsonscripture.com)