1 Thessalonians 4:3 KJV

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

Why the word "even"? What exactly does it denote in this context?

1 Answer 1


The Greek text of 1 Thes. 4:3 according to the Textus Receptus (which the KJV is partly based on) states:

τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ ἁγιασμὸς ὑμῶν ἀπέχεσθαι ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τῆς πορνείας

One would expect the Greek word καὶ between θεοῦ and ὁ, in order for it to be translated into English as "even." However, this isn't always necessary. Clearly θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ ("God's will") and ὁ ἁγιασμὸς ὑμῶν ("your sanctification") are in apposition.

In other words, "God's will" = "your sanctification," hence the word "even" inserted by the editors of the KJV serves to equate the two phrases in apposition. The editors of the KJV inserted "even" numerous other times throughout the Pauline epistles (as well as other books of the Bible).(1)

For example,

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Here, "whom he raised from the dead" is in apposition to "Jesus." The editors of the KJV indicated this by inserting the word "even," although the Greek text lacks the equivalent.


(1) Look for instances where "even" is in italics.

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