Custom (2)


kus'-tum (usage):

In the Old Testament, except, Genesis 31:35 where the Revised Version (British and American) renders, better, "manner" (derekh, "way"), the words translated "custom" are choq, chuqqah, "statute," and mishpaT, "judgment." Such passages as Judges 11:39; Jeremiah 32:11, and especially Ezra 3:4 (the King James Version "custom," the Revised Version (British and American) "ordinance"), illustrate the difficulty of deciding upon the proper translation, in cases where "custom" might become "statute," "usage" establish itself as "law." In Leviticus 18:30; Jeremiah 10:3 the reference is to heathen religious practices.

In the New Testament Luke 1:9; 2:42; Acts 6:14; 15:1 (the King James Version "manner"); Luke 16:21; 21:21 (ethos), and Luke 2:27 from the same Greek root, refer likewise to definitely established religious practices; in every case except Acts 16:21, those of the Jewish law. The Revised Version (British and American) makes the translation of ethos uniform, reading "custom" in Luke 22:39 (the King James Version "wont") and in John 19:40; Acts 25:16; Hebrews 10:25 (the King James Version "manner"). Greek eiothos, from the same root, is rendered "custom" in Luke 4:16 by English Versions of the Bible, and by the Revised Version (British and American) also in Acts 17:2, its only other occurrence in the New Testament. In John 18:39; 1 Corinthians 11:16 "custom" is the translation of Greek sunetheia, in the sense of "usage" rather than of "law."

F. K. Farr

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'CUSTOM (2)'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.