From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

The word occurs in the Authorized Versionin  Acts 6:3 (χρεία),  Romans 12:11 (σπουδή, ‘diligence,’ Revised Version)  Romans 16:2 (πρᾶγμα, ‘matter,’ Revised Version), and  1 Thessalonians 4:11 (τὰ ἴδια). The last named passage, ‘Study to be quiet, and to do your own business,’ implies that every Christian is expected to have an occupation. Christianity introduced a new ideal in this respect. Greek ethics regarded only certain occupations as being fit for these leading the highest life, and from these commercial activity was excluded (Plat. Rep . 495 C). Jewish, teaching improved on this by requiring that every boy should learn a trade (Schürer, History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] ii. i. 318). But even under this rule some trades were condemned, e.g. those of tanner, butcher, miner, goldsmith, and even the physician’s calling (F. Delitzsch, Jewish Artisan Life in the Time of Christ , 1902, p. 56). Fishermen, on the other hand, were esteemed as being generally pious-an interesting fact in the light of our Lord’s choice of some of them to be His apostles. The notion that some trades were necessarily degraded was abolished by Christianity, and St. Peter did not hesitate to lodge in the house of a tanner ( Acts 9:43).

In the conduct of their business Christians are required to set an example to the world. They are to be honest ( 1 Thessalonians 4:12), to owe no man anything ( Romans 13:8), to avoid covetousness which leads to dishonesty ( Hebrews 13:5), and to refuse to go into partnership with extortioners ( 1 Corinthians 5:11). Business disputes between Christians are not to be carried before heathen tribunals ( 1 Corinthians 6:5-8). The actual giving up of rights may sometimes be demanded by faithfulness to the gospel. It is evident that, at any rate in Corinth, converts found it difficult at first in ordinary business dealings to rise to the new standard. Somewhat later arose another danger, which is still familiar, that men should use religion in order to improve their business prospects ( 1 Timothy 6:5). This inevitably led to a low commercial morality, such as that to which Hermas confesses ( Mand . iii.). Even as a Christian he had been for some years accustomed to regard lying in business transactions as quite permissible.

While the first Christians looked upon all honest occupations as honourable, they refused to see anything sacred in the vested interests of trades which only exist by wronging others. At Philippi St. Paul put an end to the exploitation of the girl with second sight ( Acts 16:16 ff.), and at Ephesus showed no tenderness for the profits of idolatrous silversmiths ( Acts 19:24-27). It is evident that persecution was often instigated by pagans whose business had been thus affected by the new faith. St. Paul experienced this in the two instances mentioned, and Pliny’s letter to Trajan testifies that there was much feeling against Christians amongst those who sold fodder for the victims used in heathen sacrifices.

Literature.-Besides Commentaries on the tea mentioned, see E. von Dobschütz, Christian Life in the Primitive Church , Eng. translation, London and N.Y., 1904, passim  ; W. M. Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire , London, 1893, p. 199f.

C. T. Dimont.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

A — 1: Χρεία (Strong'S #5532 — Noun Feminine — chreia — khri'-ah )

translated "business" in  Acts 6:3 , of the distribution of funds, signifies "a necessity, a need," and is used in this place concerning duty or business. See Lack , Necessity , Need , Use , Want.

A — 2: Ἐργασία (Strong'S #2039 — Noun Feminine — ergasia — er-gas-ee'-ah )

denotes "a business,"  Acts 19:24,25 , RV, AV, "gain" and "craft" (from ergon, "work"). See Diligence.

B — 1: Ἴδιος (Strong'S #2398 — Adjective — idios — id'-ee-os )

expresses "what is one's own" (hence, Eng. "idiot," in a changed sense, lit., "a person with his own opinions"); the neuter plural with the article (ta idia) signifies "one's own things." In  1—Thessalonians 4:11 , the noun is not expressed in the original but is supplied in the English versions by "business," "your own business." For the same phrase, otherwise expressed, see  John 1:11 , "His own (things);"  John 16:32;  19:27 , "his own (home);"  Acts 21:6 , "home." In  Luke 2:49 , the phrase "in My Father's house" (RV), "about My Father's business" (RJV), is, lit., "in the (things, the neuter plural of the article) of My Father." See Acquaintance , Company , No. 8, Due, Home, Own, Private, Proper, Several

 Romans 16:2MatterThingWork. Romans 12:11Diligence.

King James Dictionary [3]

BUSINESS, n. biz'ness. See Busy. Employment that which occupies the time, attention and labor of men, for the purpose of profit or improvement--a word of extensive use and indefinite signification. Business is a particular occupation, as agriculture, trade, mechanic art, or profession, and when used of a particular employment, the word admits of the plural number, businesses. Business is also any temporary employment.

1. Affairs concerns as, a man leaves his business in an unsettled state. 2. The subject of employment that which engages the care and attention.

You are so much the business of our souls.

3. Serious engagement important occupation,in distinction from trivial affairs.

It should be the main business of life to serve God, and obey his commands.

4. Concern right of action or interposing.

"What business has a man with the disputes of others?"

5. A point a matter of question something to be examined or considered.

Fitness to govern is a perplexed business.

6. Something to be done employment of importance to one's interest, opposed to amusement as, we have no business in town.

They were far from the Zidonians and had no business with any one.

7. Duty, or employment that duty enjoins. A lawyer's business is to do justice to his clients.

To do the business for a man, is to kill, destroy or ruin him.

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(1): (n.) That which busies one, or that which engages the time, attention, or labor of any one, as his principal concern or interest, whether for a longer or shorter time; constant employment; regular occupation; as, the business of life; business before pleasure.

(2): (n.) Any particular occupation or employment engaged in for livelihood or gain, as agriculture, trade, art, or a profession.

(3): (n.) The position, distribution, and order of persons and properties on the stage of a theater, as determined by the stage manager in rehearsal.

(4): (n.) Financial dealings; buying and selling; traffic in general; mercantile transactions.

(5): (n.) That which one has to do or should do; special service, duty, or mission.

(6): (n.) Affair; concern; matter; - used in an indefinite sense, and modified by the connected words.

(7): (n.) Care; anxiety; diligence.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [5]

 Ecclesiastes 5:3 (a) This is typical of active, ambitious enterprises which bring dreams of wealth and greatness.

 Luke 2:49 (a) The work of serving His heavenly Father and doing all the things His Father sent Him to do is thus described.

 Romans 12:11 (a) It may refer to one's secular occupation but more likely refers to the work of the Lord in all of its many phases.

 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (a) This refers to any work which is honest and honorable and through which remuneration is received for living expenses.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [6]

biz´nes  : Is the rendering of four Hebrew words: (1) מלאכה , melā'khāh , in  Genesis 39:11 (the American Standard Revised Version "work");   1 Chronicles 26:29 ,  1 Chronicles 26:30;  2 Chronicles 13:10 (the American Standard Revised Version "in their work");   2 Chronicles 17:13 (the American Standard Revised Version "many works");   Nehemiah 11:16 ,  Nehemiah 11:22;  Nehemiah 13:30 (the American Standard Revised Version "in his work");   Esther 3:9;  Psalm 107:23;  Proverbs 22:29;  Daniel 8:27 . (2) דּבר , dābhār , literally "a word," is so translated in  Deuteronomy 24:5;  Joshua 2:14 ,  Joshua 2:20;  Judges 18:7 (the American Standard Revised Version "dealings");   Judges 18:28 (the American Standard Revised Version "dealings");   1 Samuel 21:2 ,  1 Samuel 21:8 . (3) מעשׂה , ma‛ăseh , "an action" ( 1 Samuel 20:19 ). (4) ענין , ‛inyān , "employment" ( Ecclesiastes 5:3;  Ecclesiastes 8:16 ).

In the New Testament "business" in  Luke 2:49 is the rendering of the phrase ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου , en toı́s toú patrós mou , literally "in the things of my Father," which the American Standard Revised Version renders "in my Father's house," with "about my Father's business" as the marginal reading. "Business" is also used in the translation of χρεία , chreı́a , literally "need," of  Acts 6:3; as the translation of σπουδή , spoudḗ , literally "haste" of  Romans 12:11 (the American Standard Revised Version "diligence"); of πράγμα , prágma , literally "thing done," of  Romans 16:2 (the American Standard Revised Version "matter"); of πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια , prássein tá ı́dia , literally "tend to one's own business," of  1 Thessalonians 4:11 . In  Acts 19:24 ,  Acts 19:25 in Paul's account of the riot in Ephesus, ἐργασία , ergası́a , literally "working," "performing," is translated "little business" in  Acts 19:24 (the King James Version "small gain"), and "by this business" in   Acts 19:25 (the King James Version "by this craft").