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New Defender's Study Bible Notes

4:6 speech. “Speech” here is the Greek logos, often translated “word.” In addition to being “gracious” and tasteful (i.e., “seasoned with salt”), the speech of the Christian should be “sound” (Titus 2:8), “edifying” (Ephesians 4:29), meaningful (Matthew 12:36), “quiet” (I Thessalonians 4:11), trustworthy (Colossians 3:9) and clean (Colossians 3:8).

4:6 with grace. If we have “grace in [our] hearts” (Colossians 3:16), we can exhibit grace in our speech.

4:6 answer. The word “answer” is the Greek apokrinomai. In its 250 occurrences in the New Testament, this is the only place where it is not used as a simple narrative statement (e.g., “he answered and said”). In other words, we can (and should) know just how to reply to every statement or question in any conversation, and to do so graciously and tastefully. It is different from the word “answer” in I Peter 3:15 (“be ready always to give an answer…”); there the word is apologia, meaning “systematic defense.” When the Christian faith is attacked, we need to be able to give an “apologetic” in defense thereof. In ordinary conversation, on the other hand, we need to have a gracious and helpful reply to whatever is being said or asked.

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