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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

The subject of chastisement and chastening is frequently mentioned in the OT and the NT. The NT terms are παιδεύω and παιδεία, which correspond to יָסַר and מוּסָר of the OT. In classical usage these words refer to the whole of the education of the παῖς, including the training of the body. Sometimes they are used of the results of the whole process. They do not contain, however, the idea of chastisement. In the OT, Apocrypha, and NT this idea of correction, discipline, chastening, is added to that of the general cultivation of mind and morals: the education is ‘per molestias’ (Augustine, Enarr. in Pss. , 119:66); see  Luke 23:16,  Hebrews 12:5;  Hebrews 12:7-8,  Revelation 3:19; cf.  Leviticus 26:18,  Psalms 6:1,  Isaiah 53:5,  Sirach 4:17;  Sirach 22:6,  2 Maccabees 6:12 (see Westcott on  Hebrews 12:7; Trench, NT Syn .8, 1876, p. 23; Milligan, Greek Papyri , 1910, p. 94). In  Acts 7:22 there is found the only NT instance of the verb in its general Greek sense. In  2 Timothy 3:16 the noun is used for disciplinary instruction, the correction of mistakes and curbing of passions, that virtue may be increased. Pilate uses the verb in speaking of the terrible scourging of Jesus ( Luke 23:16;  Luke 23:22; cf.  Deuteronomy 22:18), but it is a very mild term for the fearful flagellatio .

Chastisement, as part of the moral discipline of character, is the positive duty of a father ( Ephesians 6:4). In this passage, ‘chastening’ is substituted by Revised Versionfor Authorized Version‘nurture,’ which is too weak a word, but ‘discipline’ might be better still. The same idea of parental correction of the faults of children is found in  Hebrews 12:9, where the fathers are described as παιδευταί (cf. Plato, Dialogues , translationJowett, 1892, index, s.v. ‘education’). In this fatherly fashion God Himself chastens His children for their ultimate good ( Hebrews 12:4-11; cf.  Proverbs 3:11 f.,  Revelation 3:19). The evils with which God visits men are rods of chastisement ( 1 Corinthians 11:32,  2 Corinthians 6:9; cf.  Proverbs 19:18;  Proverbs 29:17,  Wisdom of Solomon 3:4 ff;  Wisdom of Solomon 11:10 ff.,  2 Maccabees 6:16;  2 Maccabees 10:4). Such treatment is not a sign of antipathy or rejection, but an evidence of true love. God does not leave His wayward children to their fate, but strives to bring them to becoming reverence and reformation. Sometimes the chastisement is of such a terrible character that the one who suffers is said to be ‘delivered unto Satan’ ( 1 Corinthians 5:5,  1 Timothy 1:20; cf.  Job 2:6,  Psalms 109:6 m,  Acts 26:18). But even in these cases the ultimate object is the recovery of the sinner, ‘that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus’ and ‘that they might be taught not to blaspheme.’ The ‘thorn in the flesh’ afflicted St. Paul so grievously that he called it ‘a messenger of Satan’ ( 2 Corinthians 12:7 ff.; cf.  Luke 13:16, Jub . x. 2), But it saved him from being ‘exalted overmuch’ and became a means of such abundant grace that he was led positively to glory in his weakness. This same grace of God, which brings salvation to all who receive it, does not always appear in gentle instruction, but sometimes takes the form of stern chastisement; in a word, whatever means is necessary for the perfect redemption of the soul, that means will grace employ (see  Titus 2:11 ff.). To those who submit to this process of chastening, the rewards are immense and enduring. Compared with them the ‘affliction’ is ‘light,’ and the pain of the present moment is transformed into ‘an eternal weight of glory’ ( 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

As to the relation between παιδεία and νουθεσία, ‘chastening and admonition’ of  Ephesians 6:4, T. K. Abbott ( Eph. and Col . [ International Critical Commentary , 1897] 178) maintains that παιδεία is, as in classical writers, the more general, νουθεσία the more specific term, for instruction and admonition. On the other hand, Grotius, followed by Ellicott, Alford, and many others, declares: ‘παιδεία hic significare videtur institutionem per poenas; νουθεσία autem est ea institutio quae fit verbis.’ The Vulgatetranslates ‘in disciplina et correptione.’ The probability is that the former word refers to training by ‘act and discipline,’ the latter to training by ‘word.’ See also Admonition and Discipline.

Literature.-H. A. A. Kennedy. Sources of NT Greek , 1895, p. 101; R. C. Trench, NT Synonyms 8, 1876, p. 107f.; H. B. Swete, The Apocalypse of St. John 2, 1907, p. 63; the Commentaries on Ephesians, esp. J. Armitage Robinson, 1903; Expository Times xiv. [1902-03] 272; see also articles ‘Chastening’ and ‘Nurture’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) .

H. Cariss J. Sidnell.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [2]

Parents have a responsibility to discipline their children when they do wrong, but any punishment involved must arise out of love. The punishment is therefore better called chastisement. Parents who love their children will not ignore their children’s wrongdoing, but will deal with it ( Hebrews 12:6-9; cf.  2 Samuel 7:14-15;  Psalms 89:26-33).

Chastisement should be both a penalty for wrongdoing and a form of training. It should teach children to avoid what is wrong and do what is right, and so develop lives that are useful to themselves and to others ( Proverbs 13:24;  Proverbs 22:15;  Proverbs 23:14;  Proverbs 29:15). Parents, when chastising their children, therefore should act with proper understanding and without bad temper ( Ephesians 6:4).

As parents correct and train their children, so God disciplines his children. Such discipline is proof to believers that they are God’s children and that he loves them ( Deuteronomy 8:5;  Proverbs 3:11;  Hebrews 12:5-11;  Revelation 3:19). God’s purpose in disciplining his children is to correct their faults, teach them obedience, and make them more into the sorts of people that he, in his superior wisdom, wants them to be ( Psalms 94:12;  1 Corinthians 11:32).

In carrying out this purpose, God may send his people various trials, such as suffering, defeat and loss. Sometimes these trials may be punishments for specific sins, but at other times they may not have any direct relation to wrongdoing ( Psalms 38:1-4;  Psalms 118:18;  John 9:1-3;  2 Corinthians 1:3-7;  2 Corinthians 12:7-10). They are simply the means God uses to remove imperfections from his people and bring them closer to the fulness of growth he desires for them. Because he loves them, he will be satisfied with nothing less than their perfection ( Ephesians 5:25-27; cf.  Hebrews 5:8-9; see also Suffering ; Testing ).

King James Dictionary [3]

CHASTISEMENT, n. Correction punishment pain inflicted for punishment and correction, either by stripes or otherwise.

Shall I so much dishonour my fair stars, On equal terms to give him chastisement.

I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more.  Job 34 .

The chastisement of our peace, in Scripture, was the pain which Christ suffered to purchase our peace and reconciliation to God.  Isaiah 53 .

Webster's Dictionary [4]

(n.) The act of chastising; pain inflicted for punishment and correction; discipline; punishment.