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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
This word has disappeared from the Revised Version (1 Corinthians 9:27), and its place has been taken by ‘rejected’ (ἀδόκιμος). The word is the negation of δόκιμος ‘acceptable,’ ‘accepted after trial,’ and means ‘unacceptable,’ ‘rejected after trial,’ as in the Septuagint Isaiah 1:22 there is found ‘your silver is rejected’ (τὸ ἀργύριον ὑμῶν ἀδόκιμον). St. Paul, however, somewhat extends the metaphor, for the context shows that the ancient games, or, as he is writing to Corinthians, the Isthmian games, are in his mind. He contemplates the possibility of rejection, after having been successful in the contest, for not having contended in accordance with the rules. It would he distressing in the extreme after all his exacting training and his arduous struggle to be found by the umpire disqualified for neglect of the conditions. To have preached to others, and vet, through lack of Christian watchfulness, to have allowed the flesh to re-assert the mastery and so to become a castaway, to be rejected in the final scrutiny, is a possibility which urges the Apostle himself to more arduous exertions and lends earnestness to his appeal to the Corinthians. For an apposite parallel see 2 Clement, vii. See also article Assurance.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Castaway'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/c/castaway.html. 1906-1918.