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2 Thessalonians 3:11

ESV For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
NIV We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
NASB For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
CSB For we hear that there are some among you who are idle. They are not busy but busybodies.
NLT Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business.
KJV For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

What does 2 Thessalonians 3:11 mean?

Paul explains in this verse why he told the Thessalonians not to provide for lazy loafers. He had heard that some Thessalonians had made idleness their way of life. Instead of being busy at work, they had become busybodies. By this, Paul means they had too much time on their hands, and so filled their days with destructive activities. The Greek word used here is periergazomenous, which is also translated as "meddler," such as in 1 Peter 4:15. This is the kind of person who inserts themselves into other peoples' business, directly or indirectly.

In 1 Timothy 5 Paul addressed the subject of who was eligible for the church's financial and/or material assistance. Timothy's list of those who were eligible excluded young widows, because they "learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not" (1 Timothy 5:13). Probably, some idlers in the Thessalonian church had stopped working and were simply sitting around waiting for Christ to return.
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