Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Root of Evil

"Love of money is the root of all evil," Paul warned in 1 Timothy 6:10.  In his commentary on this verse, Wesley concurred and further stated that love of money is "The parent of all manner of evils."

How surprising then to read Wesley's Notes on 2 Timothy 3:2, in which a love of self that is devoid of any love for neighbors is called the first root of evil while love of money is considered the second root.

Surprising, but not without precedent.  The fourth-century monk Evagrius also identified the love of self (τῆς φιλαυτίας) as the source from which the eight bad thoughts sprang. (The Greek word φίλαυτοι translated as "lovers of self" in 2 Tim. 3:2 is an adjective while the word used by Evagrius is a noun, hence the different endings.)

This is why my smartphone game has nine demons to exorcise rather than eight.  In order to be delivered from these temptations, the chief must be overcome first.

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