What does revile mean in the Bible? It is chiefly used in a religious context, to convey the notion of reproach for something which is seen as morally wrong. In the context of Christianity, it is typically used as a rebuke from one person or group to another, as a form of verbal punishment or reprimand.
The word is frequently mentioned in the context of the Bible, often in relation to God’s judgement or admonishment of people. In the New Testament, for example, the Apostle Paul admonishes those who violate Church laws or those who act in a way which is displeasing to God and His followers. He speaks of being “filled with all unrighteousness and wickedness, [and] evil speaking, slander and reviling.”
In essence, biblical reviling is an expression of anger or disapproval towards someone or something in an angry, moralistic tone. In the Hebrew Bible, reviling is typically seen as part of divine judgement, and is often seen as a form of punishment for wrong-doings. For instance, in the book of Amos, we read about the “day of the LORD”, in which God’s judgement and wrath is expressed in terms of reviling and punishment: “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment…I will send a fire on Magog, and on those who dwell securely in the coasts: and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
In the New Testament, reviling also expresses God’s disapproval of sin and His judgement of those who act in unrighteous ways. In Matthew 5, for instance, Jesus speaks of God’s judgement and punishment of those who participate in certain sins such as anger and pride. Jesus speaks of “those [who] revile against you, and persecute [you], and say all manner of evil against [you] falsely, for my sake.”
The concept of reviling is linked with divine judgement and wrath in many other parts of the Bible as well. In Romans 12, for example, we see that reviling can be used as a way of expressing disapproval of sin and as a form of punishment; “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
The Nature of Reviling
Reviling is not always seen as a negative concept in the Bible. In Matthew 5, for instance, Jesus speaks of how reviling can be used in a positive way to confront unrighteousness and sin. He speaks of being reviled for His sake and “leaving room for the wrath of God”. Reviling can, therefore, be seen as a form of correction, enabling the individual to be brought back to a path of righteousness and Godliness. This does not mean, however, that reviling is to be seen as something that should be done casually or without thought.
Rather than using reviling as a way of expressing anger or hatred towards persons or groups, it is important to use it in a manner that is suitable, and which keeps in line with the teachings of Jesus. He is clear throughout the Bible that there is a need to show love and compassion to one another, even when reprimanding someone for their wrongdoings. In John 13, for instance, He states that “love one another even as I have loved you”.
It is also important to note that there is a difference between reviling and teasing. The former is typically seen as an expression of disapproval or anger towards someone, while the latter is often seen to be done in a more light-hearted manner. In other words, reviling should not be used as a way of “picking on” someone in a derogatory or derogatory way.
The Effects of Reviling
Reviling can have both positive and negative effects. If used correctly, it can be an effective way of expressing disapproval of a person or group while at the same time helping them to see the error of their ways. This is particularly the case when it is done with love and grace. On the other hand, it can be used in a way that is damaging to the individual in question, or makes them feel belittled or ashamed. It is therefore important to be mindful of how we use the concept of reviling in the context of our contemporary world.
In addressing this issue, it is important to look back to Jesus’ example. In Matthew 7, for instance, Jesus teaches us to treat others with love, patience and understanding. He speaks of being “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves”. He also speaks of judging with “righteous judgement”, something which is important to keep in mind when looking at how we use reviling in our contemporary context.
Ultimately, it is important to bear in mind that reviling carries with it a religious and moral significance which should not be taken lightly. We should strive to use it in a way which is relevant to our contemporary context, while still keeping in mind the message that Jesus is trying to convey – that of treating others with love, kindness and grace.
The Difference Between Reviling and Criticism
Although reviling and criticism may seem like the same thing, there is an important distinction between the two. Criticism, at its core, is a way to discuss differences of opinion and express disapproval of ideas or actions without necessarily attacking the individual in a derogatory manner. On the other hand, reviling is a much more personal and aggressive form of criticism, which is focused on attacking the individual rather than merely the idea. As such, it is important to bear this distinction in mind when using either form of criticism.
In addition, it is also important to note that criticism does not necessarily involve a negative judgement, and can be used in a constructive way. In other words, criticism can be used to point out flaws and suggest alternative solutions and approaches. On the other hand, reviling is generally used to express derision and disdain, something which is typically not helpful in a constructive dialogue.
In an ideal scenario, it is, therefore, best to use a combination of criticism and reviling in order to ensure that the message is effectively conveyed. This is the approach that Jesus took when dealing with those who disagreed with Him. While He was clearly not afraid to express His disapproval and use reviling in certain contexts (e.g., when dealing with the Pharisees and Sadducees in the New Testament), He was also willing to engage in reasoned discussions and to listen to alternative opinions.
In conclusion, it is clear that reviling is an important concept in the Bible, used both to express disapproval and as part of divine judgement. While it can be seen as a powerful tool in certain contexts, it is important to use it with caution and with respect for the individual in question. Moreover, it is important to bear in mind the differences between reviling and criticism, and to use both appropriately and for the most constructive outcomes. Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind the teaching of Jesus and to use reviling responsibly.