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What Is "Filthy Lucre"?
The English word "lucre" originated from a French word, lucre, which itself originated from a Latin word, lucrum, which meant to gain, or to profit (the English word "lucrative" is merely an adjective form of the noun "lucre").
To profit from honest work is not wrong. The Fourth Commandment is based upon work ("Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work"), so that there is something to rest from on the Sabbath Day (the only true Christian Sabbath Day, which was created by Christ Himself - see Christ The Creator, 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament').
"20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8-11 KJV)
Jesus Christ used honestly profiting in business as an analogy of living a righteous life according to His teachings - the one who does not increase is a "worthless servant."
"25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his LORD money.
What Is "Filthy Lucre"?
Four different Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures are translated in the King James Version as "lucre." The first, the Hebrew word pronounced bay-tsaw, means to profit by plunder. Notice here that, along with their turning aside, from God's Law, after "lucre," Samuel's corrupt sons "took bribes, and perverted judgment."
"8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel [see The Prophets: Samuel] was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
The Greek word pronounced af-il-ar-goo-ros means without covetousness i.e. "filthy lucre" is a violation of the Tenth Commandment ("20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's" Exodus 20:17 KJV). It is translated here as "not greedy of filthy lucre."
"3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 3:5 For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." (1 Timothy 3:8-10 KJV)
The Greek word pronounced ahee-skhrok-er-dace means greedy. It is translated all three times that it was written as "filthy lucre" or "greedy of filthy lucre."
"3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless." (1 Timothy 3:8-10 KJV)
The Greek word pronounced ker-dos means ill gain by persuasion, translated here as "teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
"1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake." (Titus 1:10-11 KJV)
Fact Finder: Do economic circumstances determine "righteousness" - or does behavior?