From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

The virtue of patience occupied a great place in the apostolic writings. We have two Greek words to consider, which are thus translated: (1) ὑπομονή (vb. ὑπομένω), (2) μακροθυμία (vb. μακροθυμέω).

1. ὑπομονή is the more important word. It is found only in later Greek, and answers to the classical καρτερία, καρτέρησις, with the meaning of holding out, enduring. The word, however, principally belongs to biblical and Patristic Greek, into which it was introduced by the LXX_, where it translates various Hebrew words signifying ‘hope,’ a virtue very closely connected with endurance, as being its basis or ground. Cremer says (Bibl.-Theol. Lex. of NT Greek3, Eng. tr._, 1880, p. 420) of ὑπομονή: ‘It denotes the peculiar psychological clearness and definiteness which hope attains in the economy of grape, by virtue, on the one hand, of its distinctive character excluding all wavering, doubt, and uncertainty; and, on the other, in conformity with its self-assertion amid the contradictions of this present world.’

The connection of patience (ὑπομονή) with hope is brought out in such passages as  Romans 8:25;  2 Peter 3:12,  Colossians 1:11-12. Its connection with the contradictions of life appears in  Romans 5:3-4,  James 1:3-4; cf. also  2 Thessalonians 1:4,  Hebrews 10:36;  Hebrews 12:1,  Revelation 2:2-3;  Revelation 2:19;  2 Peter 1:6.

The Book of Revelation in particular emphasizes the need of endurance, written as it is in view of the persecution of the Church by the Roman State (cf., further,  Revelation 1:9;  Revelation 13:10;  Revelation 14:12). Particular expressions which call for note are  2 Thessalonians 3:5, ὑπομονὴ Χριστοῦ, ‘the patience which waits for Christ,’ i.e. for the Messianic salvation;  Revelation 3:10, ὁ λόγος τῆς ὑπομονῆς μου, ‘the word which treats of patient waiting for me,’ i.e. the word of prophecy. Interesting also is  Romans 15:5, where God is called ‘the God of patience’ (ὁ θεὸς τῆς ὑπομονῆς), i.e. the God who inspires patience through the prophetic words of Scripture (cf. v. 4); see, further, for ὑπομονή,  2 Corinthians 1:6;  2 Corinthians 12:12,  1 Timothy 6:11,  Titus 2:2.

The similarity of atmosphere between the NT and the Apostolic Fathers makes it natural that we should find similar reference to patience (ὑπομονή) in them. 1 Clem. v. 5-7 is particularly interesting, where, after St. Peter and the other apostles, St. Paul is set forth as an example of patience: ‘By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the prize of patience. After that he had been seven times in bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, had preached in the East and in the West, he won the noble renown which was the reward of his faith, having taught righteousness unto the whole world and having reached the farthest bounds of the West; and when he had borne his testimony before the rulers, so he departed from the world and went into the holy place, having been found a notable pattern of patience.’ Cf. also 1 Clem. lxii. 2, lxiv.; Hermas, Mand. viii. 9; Ep. Barn. xxi. 5; finally Polyc. Philippians, viii. 1. 2, ‘Christ Jesus … patiently endured (ὑπέμεινεν) all things for our sakes, that we may live in Him. Wherefore let us become imitators of His patience (ὑπομονῆς)’; xi. 1, ‘I exhort you all therefore to obey the word of righteousness and to practise all patience, which you saw before your eyes not only in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, but also in others of you and in Paul himself and the rest of the Apostles.’

2. μακροθυμία also is a word rare in profane Greek. It appears in the apostolic writings as a synonym of ὑπομονή ( Colossians 1:11,  Hebrews 6:12;  Hebrews 10:36,  James 5:10,  2 Timothy 3:10). On the other hand, it has the special meaning of longsuffering (q.v._) and stands opposed to ὀργή, θυμός, and is synonymous with πραότης (cf.  Galatians 5:22,  Ephesians 4:2,  Colossians 3:12,  2 Timothy 4:2). In these passages the word is used of the patience of men one towards another. But it is also used of the patience or longsuffering of God, who delays the punishment of sinners in order to give them time to repent (cf.  Romans 2:4;  1 Peter 3:20,  2 Peter 3:15). In  Romans 9:22 the idea of giving time for repentance is absent, and the word refers simply to God’s delaying punishment.

In the sub-apostolic writings μακροθυμία stands side by side with ὑπομονή as in the NT; cf. 1 Clem. lxiv. A noteworthy passage dealing with this virtue is Hermas, Mand. v. 1, which is all in praise of patience (μακροθυμία): ‘In patience the Lord dwells, but in hot wrath the devil’ (v. 3).

In conclusion, reference may be made to the fine development, on the basis of the apostolic teaching, of the idea of Christian patience (ὑπομονή), which A. Ritschl has given in The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation, Eng. tr._ of vol. iii., 1900, p. 627 f.

Patience is that feeling which views the evils of life in the light of Divine providence. It is quite different from the Stoic idea of apathy, which aims at the suppression of the pain due to the evil from which we suffer. ‘Patience in suffering implies that the pain continues’ (p. 627).

This is true not only of ordinary patience, but of the Christian form of this virtue. ‘The elevation of the general human exercise of patience into its special Christian form depends on the fact that man’s feeling of self and of personal worth, by being combined with the thought of the supramundane God Who is our Father, and guarantees to us salvation through dominion over the world and participation in the Kingdom of God, is raised above all natural and particular motives, even when they are the occasion of troubles. This still admits of evils being felt with pain even by the Christian’ (p. 628). Ritschl refers in a note to Calvin, Inst. iii. 8. 8: ‘Neither is there required from us a cheerfulness, such as may take away all sense of bitterness and grief; there would be no patience of the saints in the cross, except also they were tormented with grief and pressed with trouble.’ The NT, indeed, speaks of rejoicing in suffering, of glorying in afflictions and persecutions for Christ’s sake. But we can quote against the idea that this joy is to exterminate the sense of pain not only the explicit confession in  Hebrews 12:11, but also the example of Jesus and St. Paul. The actual position of things is, in fact, as follows:

‘The consciousness of reconciliation with God places the assurance of personal worth firm above all the special motives which arise from the world; and therefore the pain which springs from their oppressive action can be subordinated to the joy which, in our feeling of self, denotes the incomparable worth of Divine sonship. But in the case in question, joy would not last; rather, it would veer round into indifference, unless underneath the joy the pain still continued. Moreover, the truth of the Fatherly care of God for His children suggests to us not only the inference that no evils arising from the world can overbalance the blessing of fellowship with God, but also this further application, that these evils, as tests of our fidelity to God, are elevated into relative blessings. And this comes about just through the exercise of patience as the peculiar and proper manifestation of Christian freedom’ (p. 629).

Literature.-H. Bushnell, The New Life, 1860; M. Creighton, The Mind of St. Peter, 1904, p. 22; H. Black, Christ’s Service of Love, 1907, p. 130; H. M. Gwatkin, The Eye for Spiritual Things, 1907, p. 61; H. E. Manning, Sermons on Ecclesiastical Subjects, i. [1870] 173; J. H. Jowett, The Transfigured Church, 1910, p. 149; W. H. Hutton, A Disciple’s Religion, 1911, p. 12; W. B. Ullathorne, Christian Patience, 1886; G. Hanson, A Chain of Graces, 1906, p. 57.

Robert S. Franks.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [2]

That calm and unruffled temper with which a good man bears the evils of life. "Patience, " says an eminent writer, "is apt to be ranked by many among the more humble and obscure virtues, belonging chiefly to those who grown on a sick bed, or who languish in a prison; but in every circumstance of life no virtue is more important both to duty and to happiness. It is not confined to a situation of continued adversity: it principally, indeed, regards the disagreeable circumstances which are apt to occur; but prosperity cannot be enjoyed, any more than adversity supported without it. It must enter into the temper, and form the habit of the soul, if we would pass through the world with tranquillity and honour." "Christian patience, " says Mason, "is essentially different from insensibility, whether natural, artificial, or acquired. This, indeed, sometimes passes for patience, though it be in reality quite another thing; for patience signifies suffering. Now if you inflict ever so much pain on the body of another, if he is not sensible of it, it is no pain to him; he suffers nothing; consequently calmness under it is no patience. This insensibility is sometimes natural. Some, in the native temperament of their mind and body are much less susceptible of pain than others are.

There are different degrees of insensibility in men, both in their animal and mental frame; so that the same event may be a great exercise of patience to one man, which is none at all to another, as the latter feels little or no pain from that wound inflicted on the body or mind which gives the most exquisite anguish to the former. Again; there is an artificial insensibility: such as is procured by opiates, which blunt the edge of pain; and there is an acquired insensibility; or that which is attained by the force of principles strongly inculcated, or by long custom. Such was the apathy of the Stoics, who obstinately maintained that pain was no evil, and therefore bore it with amazing firmness, which, however, was very different from the virtue of Christian patience, as appears from the principles from which they respectively proceeded; the one springing from pride, the other from humility." Christian patience, then, is something different from all these. "It is not a careless indolence, a stupid insensibility, mechanical bravery, constitutional fortitude, a daring stoutness of spirit, resulting from fatalism, philosophy, or pride:

it is derived from a divine agency, nourished by heavenly truth, and guided by Scriptural rules." "Patience, " says Mr. Jay, "must be displayed under provocations. Our opinions, reputation, connexions, offices, business, render us widely vulnerable. the characters of men are various: their pursuits and their interests perpetually clash: some try us by their ignorance; some by their folly; some by their perverseness; some by their malice. Here, then, is an opportunity for the triumph of patience.

We are very susceptive of irritation; anger is eloquent; revenge is sweet: but to stand calm and collected; to suspend the blow which passion was urgent to strike; to drive the reasons of clemency as far as they will go; to bring forward fairly in view the circumstances of mitigation: to distinguish between surprise and deliberation, infirmity and crime; or if infliction be deemed necessary, to leave God to be both the judge and the executioner; this a Christian should labour after: his peace requires it. People love to sing the passionate; they who are easily provoked, commit their repose to the keeping of their enemies; they lie down at their feet, and invite them to strike. the man of temper places himself beyond vexatious interruption. 'He that hath no rule over his own spirit, is like a city that is broken down, and without walls, ' into which enter over the ruins serpents, vagrants, thieves, enemies; while the man who in patience possesses his soul, has the command of himself, places a defense all around him, and forbids the entrance of such unwelcome company to offend or discompose. His wisdom requires it. '

He that is slow to anger is of great understanding; but he that is hasty of spirit, exalteth folly.' Wisdom gives us large, various, comprehensive views of things; the very exercise operates as a diversion, affords the mind time to cool, and furnishes numberless circumstances tending to soften severity. His dignity requires it. 'It is the glory of a man to pass by a transgression.' The man provoked to revenge is conquered, and loses the glory of the struggle; while he who forbears comes off victor, crowned with no common laurels. A flood assails a rock, and rolls off unable to make an impression; while straws and boughs are borne off in triumph, carried down the stream, driven and tossed. Examples require it. What provocations had Joseph received from his brethren? but he scarcely mentions the crime: so eager is he to announce the pardon. David says, 'They rewarded me evil for good; but as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth.' Stephen, dying under a shower of stones, prays for his enemies: 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.'

But a greater than Joseph, or David, or Stephen, is here. go to the foot of the cross, and behold Jesus suffering for us. Every thing conspired to render the provocation heinous; the nature of the offence, the meanness and obligation of the offenders, the righteousness of his cause, the grandeur of his person; and all these seemed to call for vengeance. The creatures were eager to punish. Peter drew his sword; the sun resolved to shine on such criminals no longer; the rocks asked to crush them; the earth trembles under the sinful load; the very dead cannot remain in their graves. He suffers them all to testify their sympathy, but forbids their revenge; and, lest the Judge of all should pour forth his fury, he cries, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!'

2. Patience is to be displayed in suffering affliction. This is another field in which patience gathers glory. Affliction comes to exercise our patience, and to distinguish it. 'The trial of your faith worketh patience, ' not only in consequence of the divine blessing, but by the natural operation of things; use makes perfect; the yoke is rendered easy by being worn, and those parts of the body which are most in action are the most strong and solid; and, therefore, we are not to excuse improper dispositions under affliction, by saying, 'It was so trying, who could help it?' This is to justify impatience by what God sends on purpose to make you patient.

3. Patience is to be exercised under delays. We as naturally pursue a desired good as we shun an apprehended evil: the want of such a good is as grievous as the pressure of such an evil; and an ability to bear the one is as needful a qualification as the fortitude by which we endure the other. It therefore, equally belongs to patience to wait, as to suffer. God does not always immediately indulge us with an answer to our prayers. He hears, indeed, as soon as we knock; but he does not open the door: to stand there resolved not to go without a blessing, requires patience; and patience cries, 'Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.' We have, however, the most powerful motives to excite us to the attainment of this grace.

1. God is a God of patience,  Romans 15:5 .

2. It is enjoined by the Gospel,  Romans 12:12 .  Luke 21:19 .

3. The present state of man renders the practice of it absolutely necessary,  Hebrews 10:36 .

4. The manifold inconvenience of impatience is a strong motive,  John 4:1-54 :   Psalms 106:1-48 :

5. Eminent examples of it,  Hebrews 12:2 .  Hebrews 6:12 .  Job 1:22 .

6. Reflect that all our trials will terminate in triumph,  James 5:7-8 .  Romans 2:7 . Barrow's works, vol. 3: ser. 10; Jay's Sermons, ser. 2. vol. 1:; Mason's christian Morals, vol. 1: ser. 3; Blair's Sermons, vol. 3: ser. 11; Bishop Horne's Discourses, vol. 2: ser. 10; Bishop Hopkin's Death Disarmed, p. 1: 120.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

Among the many qualities that the Spirit of God develops in the life of believers is that of patience ( Galatians 5:22). Some older English versions called it longsuffering, and at times forbearance. Patience is that quality of character that develops within believers as they learn to put up with people and things that test, try or annoy them ( Romans 5:3-4;  Ephesians 4:1-2;  James 1:3-4). The specific feature of Christian patience is that believers exercise it in a spirit of love, joy, humility and forgiveness ( 1 Corinthians 13:4;  1 Corinthians 13:7;  Colossians 1:11;  Colossians 3:12-13; cf.  Matthew 18:23-35).

Patience is a characteristic of God himself. He is patient with sinners, withholding his judgment and providing instead a way of salvation ( Psalms 103:8-9;  Jonah 4:2;  Romans 3:25-26;  1 Peter 3:20). Those who respond to his patience in faith and repentance receive his forgiveness; those who despise or ignore it fall under his punishment ( Exodus 34:6-7;  Romans 2:3-4;  Romans 9:22;  1 Timothy 1:16;  2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus was the perfect example of forbearance and longsuffering ( Matthew 26:50-53;  Luke 9:51-56;  1 Timothy 1:16;  1 Peter 2:21-23). His example assures Christians that patience is more than tolerance; it is endurance and steadfastness ( 2 Thessalonians 3:5;  Hebrews 12:3). God’s people must be prepared to endure insults, hardship, injustice, persecution, suffering and trials of every kind ( 1 Corinthians 4:12;  1 Corinthians 6:7;  2 Corinthians 1:6;  2 Thessalonians 1:3-4;  Hebrews 11:25-27;  James 1:12;  James 5:10-11). This sort of patience is especially necessary for those who serve God in the work of evangelism and church care ( 1 Thessalonians 5:14;  2 Timothy 2:10;  2 Timothy 2:24;  2 Timothy 3:10-11;  2 Timothy 4:2).

Patience also means perseverance, whether in particular matters such as prayer ( Romans 12:12;  Colossians 4:2) or in the overall matter of steadfast commitment to the end ( Matthew 24:13;  Colossians 2:23;  Hebrews 10:36). What Christians look for is the return of Christ. Although, in the meantime, they must bear patiently with the trials of life, their expectancy of Christ’s return gives purpose to their perseverance. It is their Christian hope ( Hebrews 6:11-12;  James 5:7-8; see Hope ; Perseverance ).

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

God is patient ( Romans 15:5 ). He is slow to anger in relation to the Hebrews ( Exodus 34:6;  Numbers 14:18 ,  Nehemiah 9:17;  Psalm 86:15;  Isaiah 48:9;  Hosea 11:8-9 ). The Hebrews were frequently rebellious, but God patiently dealt with them. Jesus' parable of the tenants depicted God's patience with His people ( Mark 12:1-11 ). God's patience with sinners allows time for them to repent ( Romans 2:4 ), especially in the apparent delay of the return of Christ ( 2 Peter 3:9-10 ).

God's people are to be patient. The psalmist learned to be patient when confronted with the prosperity of the wicked ( Psalm 37:1-3 ,Psalms 37:1-3, 37:9-13 ,Psalms 37:9-13, 37:34-38 ). Christians should face adversity patiently ( Romans 5:3-5 ). Patience is a fruit of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22 ). Christian love is patient (1Corinthians 13:4, 1 Corinthians 13:7 ). Ministers are to be patient ( 2 Corinthians 6:6 ).

Christians need patient endurance in the face of persecution. Hebrews stressed endurance as the alternative to shrinking back during adversity ( Hebrews 6:9-15;  Hebrews 10:32-29 ). Jesus is the great example of endurance ( Hebrews 12:1-3 ). Perseverance is part of maturity ( James 1:2-4 ). Job's perseverance is another example for suffering Christians ( James 5:11 ). John frequently highlighted the patient endurance of Christians ( Revelation 2:2 ,Revelation 2:2, 2:19;  Revelation 3:10;  Revelation 13:10;  Revelation 14:12 ). Christian patience is ultimately a gift from God ( Romans 15:5-6;  2 Thessalonians 3:5 ).

Warren McWilliams

King James Dictionary [5]

PATIENCE, n. pa'shens. L. patientia, from patior, to suffer.

1. The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from christian submission to the divine will. 2. A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent. 3. The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent.

Have patience with me,and I will pay thee all.  Matthew 18

4. Perseverance constancy in labor or exertion.

He learnt with patience, and with meekness taught.

5. The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.

His rage was kindled and his patience gone.

6. Sufferance permission. Not used. 7. A plant, a species of rumex of dock.

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): ( n.) Solitaire.

(2): ( n.) The act or power of calmly or contentedly waiting for something due or hoped for; forbearance.

(3): ( n.) Constancy in labor or application; perseverance.

(4): ( n.) Sufferance; permission.

(5): ( n.) A kind of dock (Rumex Patientia), less common in America than in Europe; monk's rhubarb.

(6): ( n.) The state or quality of being patient; the power of suffering with fortitude; uncomplaining endurance of evils or wrongs, as toil, pain, poverty, insult, oppression, calamity, etc.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

pā´shens ( ὑπομονή , hupomonḗ , μακροθυμία , makrothumı́a ): "Patience" implies suffering, enduring or waiting, as a determination of the will and not simply under necessity. As such it is an essential Christian virtue to the exercise of which there are many exhortations. We need to "wait patiently" for God, to endure uncomplainingly the various forms of sufferings, wrongs and evils that we meet with, and to bear patiently injustices which we cannot remedy and provocations we cannot remove.

The word "patience" does not occur in the Old Testament, but we have "patiently" in  Psalm 40:1 as the translation of ḳāwāh , "to wait," "to expect," which word frequently expresses the idea, especially that of waiting on God; in  Psalm 37:7 , "patiently" ("wait patiently") is the translation of ḥul , one of the meanings of which is "to wait" or "to hope for" or "to expect" (of  Job 35:14 ); "patient" occurs ( Ecclesiastes 7:8 ) as the translation of 'erekh rūaḥ , "long of spirit," and ( Job 6:11 ) "that I should be patient" ( ha'ărı̄kh nephesh ). Compare "impatient" ( Job 21:4 ).

"Patience" occurs frequently in the Apocrypha, especially in Ecclesiasticus, e.g. 2:14; 16:13; 17:24; 41:2 ( hupomonē ); 5:11 ( makrothumia ); 29:8 ( makrothuméō , the Revised Version (British and American) "long suffering"); in The Wisdom of   Song of Solomon 2:19 , the Greek word is anexikakı́a .

In the New Testament hupomonē carries in it the ideas of endurance, continuance (  Luke 8:15;  Luke 21:19;  Romans 5:3 ,  Romans 5:4 , the American Standard Revised Version "stedfastness";  Romans 8:25 , etc.).

In all places the American Revised Version margin has "stedfastness," except  James 5:11 , where it has "endurance"; makrothumia is translated "patience" ( Hebrews 6:12;  James 5:10 ); makrothumeō , "to bear long" ( Matthew 18:26 ,  Matthew 18:29;  James 5:7; See Longsuffering ); the same verb is translated "be patient" ( 1 Thessalonians 5:14 , the Revised Version (British and American) "longsuffering";  James 5:7 ,  James 5:8 , the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "patient"); makrothúmōs , "patiently" ( Acts 26:3 ); hupoménō ( 1 Peter 2:20 ); anexı́kakos is translated "patient" ( 2 Timothy 2:4 , the Revised Version (British and American), the King James Version margin, "forbearing"); epieikḗs , "gentle" ( 1 Timothy 3:3 , the Revised Version (British and American) "gentle"); hupomenō ( Romans 12:12 , "patient in tribulation"). For "the patient waiting for Christ" ( 2 Thessalonians 3:5 ), the Revised Version (British and American) has "the patience of Christ."

Patience is often hard to gain and to maintain, but, in  Romans 15:5 , God is called "the God of patience" (the American Revised Version margin "stedfastness") as being able to grant that grace to those who look to Him and depend on Him for it. It is in reliance on God and acceptance of His will, with trust in His goodness, wisdom and faithfulness, that we are enabled to endure and to hope stedfastly. See also God .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

is that calm and unruffled temper with which a good man bears the evils of life. We have set before us in the Scriptures the most powerful motives to excite us to the attainment of this grace:

(1) God is a God of patience ( Romans 15:5).

(2) It is enjoined by the Gospel ( Romans 12:12).

(3) The present state of man renders the practice of it absolutely necessary ( Hebrews 10:36).

(4) Eminent examples of it are presented for our encouragement ( Job 1:22;  Hebrews 12:2).

(5) Lastly, we are to remember that all our trials.borne with patience will terminate in, triumph ( Romans 2:7;  James 5:7-8).