Vincent Word Studies - Colossians 2:21 - 2:21

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Vincent Word Studies - Colossians 2:21 - 2:21

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Touch - taste - handle (ἅψῃ - γεύσῃ - θίγῃς)

Ἅπτομαι, A.V., touch, is properly to fasten one's self to or cling to. So Joh 20:17 (note). Frequently rendered touch in the New Testament, and used in most cases of Christ's touching or being touched by the diseased. To get hands on so as to injure, 1Jo 5:18. To have intercourse with, 1Co 7:1; 2Co 6:17. Thus, in every case, the contact described exerts a modifying influence, and a more permanent contact or effect of contact is often implied than is expressed by touch. “The idea of a voluntary or conscious effort is often involved.” No single English word will express all these phases of meaning. Handle comes, perhaps, as near as any other, especially in its sense of treatment, as when we say that a speaker or writer handles a subject; or that a man is roughly handled by his enemies. This wider and stronger sense does not attach to θιγγάνειν A.V., handle, though the two words are sometimes used interchangeably, as Exo 19:12, and though θιγγάνειν also implies a modifying contact, unlike ψηλαφάω, which signifies to touch with a view of ascertaining the quality of the object; to feel after, to grope. See Luk 24:39; Act 17:27. Thus ψηλαφίνδα is blind-man's-bluff. The contact implied by θιγγάνειν is more superficial and transitory. It lies between ἅπτομαι and ψηλαφάω. Thus we have here a climax which is lost in the A.V. Handle not, taste not, do not even touch. Rev., handle not, nor taste, nor touch.