The verb translated test and approve (δοκιμάζω, dokimazō) carries the sense of “test with a positive outcome,” “test so as to approve.”
Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes, Ro 12:2 (Biblical Studies Press, 2006; 2006).
1381 δοκιμάζω, δοκιμασία [dokimazo /dok·im·ad·zo/] v. From 1384; TDNT 2:255; TDNTA 181; GK 1507 and 1508; 23 occurrences; AV translates as “prove” 10 times, “try” four times, “approve” three times, “discern” twice, “allow” twice, “like” once, and “examine” once. 1 to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals. 2 to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy.
James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order., electronic ed., G1381 (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996).
1 John 4:1
Beloved (ἀγαπητοι [agapētoi]). Three times in this chapter (1, 7, 11) we have this tender address on love. Believe not every spirit (μη παντι πνευματι πιστευετε [mē panti pneumati pisteuete]). “Stop believing,” as some were clearly carried away by the spirits of error rampant among them, both Docetic and Cerinthian Gnostics. Credulity means gullibility and some believers fall easy victims to the latest fads in spiritualistic humbuggery. Prove the spirits (δοκιμαζετε τα πνευματα [dokimazete ta pneumata]). Put them to the acid test of truth as the metallurgist does his metals. If it stands the test like a coin, it is acceptable (δοκιμος [dokimos], II Cor. 10:18), otherwise it is rejected (ἀδοκιμος [adokimos], I Cor. 9:27; II Cor. 13:5–7).
A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol.V c1932, Vol.VI c1933 by Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention., 1 Jn 4:1 (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997).
1382 δοκιμή [dokime /dok·ee·may/] n f. From the same as 1384; TDNT 2:255; TDNTA 181; GK 1509; Seven occurrences; AV translates as “proof” three times, “experience” twice, “trial” once, and “experiment” once. 1 proving, trial. 2 approved, tried character. 3 a proof, a specimen of tried worth.
James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order., electronic ed., G1382 (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996).
accepted, particularly of coins and money.
accepted, pleasing, acceptable
In the ancient world there was no banking system as we know it today, and no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into moulds and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were comparatively soft and of course many people shaved them closely. In one century, more than eighty laws were passed in Athens, to stop the practice of shaving down the coins then incirculation. But some money changers were men of integrity, who would accept no counterfeit money. They were men of honour who put only genuine full weighted money into circulation. Such men were called "dokimos" or "approved".
Paul finally notes what an irony it would be if, after all his preaching to others, it should turn out to be the case that he himself should find, when all secrets are disclosed at the day of judgment (4:4–5), that he is not proven to stand the test (αὐτὸς ἀδόκιμος γένωμαι). Although BAGD and most VSS understand this to mean unqualified, as well as not standing the test, this ignores the fact that the semantic content of ἀδόκιμος depends on what it is that is tested (δοκιμάζω). Here Paul indicates the test of subordinating everything to the gospel.291 The meaning is confirmed by Grimm-
δοκιμαζω – Strongs No: 1381 – Transliterated: dokimazo; Pronounced: dok-
δοκιμαζω Strongs No: 1381
Transliterated: dokimazo; Pronounced: dok-
from 1384; TDNT 2:255; v
Trans. & freq. in the AV— prove 10 times, try 4 times, approve 3 times, discern 2 times, allow 2 times, like 1 time, examine 1 time; 23 occurrences of Greek word in AV
1. to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
2. to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy
Ephesians Four Group, Greek Dictionary, electronic ed., 2
1. dokimazo (δοκιμάζω, 1381), primarily, of metals (e.g., the Sept. of Prov. 8:10; 17:3), signifies “to prove,” e.g., 1 John 4:1, more frequently to prove with a view to approval, e.g., Rom. 1:28, kjv, “they did not like to retain God in their knowledge”; rv, “they refused”; marg., “did not approve,” the true meaning. Their refusal was not the outcome of ignorance; they had the power to make a deliberate choice; they willfully disapproved of having God in their knowledge.
In the next chapter, the apostle speaks of the Jew as “approving things that are excellent,” 2:18. The Jew knew God’s will, and mentally “approved” of the things in which God had instructed him out of the Law.
In Rom. 14:22, he is said to be happy who “judgeth not himself in that which he approveth”; that is to say, in that which he “approves” of after having put the matter to the test. The kjv “alloweth” has not now this meaning.
As to the gifts from the church at Corinth for poor saints in Judea, those who were “approved” by the church to travel with the offering would be men whose trustworthiness and stability had been proved, 1 Cor. 16:3 (the rv margin seems right, " ’whom so ever ye shall approve, them will I send with letters”); cf. 2 Cor. 8:22.
In Phil. 1:10 the apostle prays that the saints may “approve the things that are excellent” or “things that differ,” i.e., “approve” after distinguishing and discerning.
In 1 Thess. 2:4, the apostle and his fellow missionaries were “approved of God to be entrusted with the Gospel” (not “allowed,” kjv). Not permission to preach, but divine “approval” after divine testing is intended. See allow, discern, examine, like, prove, refuse, try.
Note: Cf. dokime, “proof, experience”; see also B.
2. sunistemi (συνιστάω, 4921), lit., “to set together” (sun, “with,” histemi, “to stand”), hence signifies “to set one person or thing with another by way of presenting and commending.” This meaning is confined to Romans and 2 Corinthians. The saints at Corinth had “approved themselves in everything to be pure,” in the matter referred to, 2 Cor. 7:11. The word often denotes “to commend,” so as to meet with approval, Rom. 3:5; 5:8; 16:1; 2 Cor. 4:2; 6:4 (rv); 10:18; 12:11, etc. See commend, compacted, consist (No. 2), stand.
3. apodeiknumi (ἀποδείκνυμι, 584), lit., “to point out, to exhibit” (apo, “forth,” deiknumi, “to show”), is used once in the sense of proving by demonstration, and so bringing about an “approval.” The Lord Jesus was “a Man approved of God by mighty works and wonders and signs,” Acts 2:22. See prove, set, No. 17, shew.
dokimos (δόκιμος, 1384), akin to dechomai, “to receive,” always signifies “approved”; so the rv everywhere, e.g., in Jas. 1:12 for kjv, “when he is tried.” The word is used of coins and metals in the Sept.; in Gen. 23:16, “four hundred didrachms of silver approved with merchants”; in Zech. 11:13, in regard to the 30 pieces of silver, “Cast them into a furnace and I will see if it is good (approved) metal.”
W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 2:35-
4 ἡ δὲ ὑπομονὴ δοκιμήν, “and patience [produces] character.” δοκιμή is an exclusively Pauline word within biblical Greek—here in the sense of “the quality of being approved,” hence “character,” “tested character” (njb; as also in 2 Cor 2:9; 9:13; and Phil 2:22; in 2 Cor 8:2, “test, ordeal”; in 2 Cor 13:3, “proof”—BGD). In view of its lack of attestation elsewhere prior to Paul, it may be that Paul was the first to coin the word. The metaphor on which he draws, however, would have been familiar enough—the idea of testing, particularly that of proving gold by testing it with fire (see BGD, particularly δοκιμάζω 2a; δοκίμιον 2; TDNT 2:256).
James D. G. Dunn, vol. 38A, Word Biblical Commentary : Romans 1-
And even as they refused (και καθως οὐκ ἐδοκιμασαν [kai kathōs ouk edokimasan]). “And even as they rejected” after trial just as δοκιμαζω [dokimazō] is used of testing coins. They tested God at first and turned aside from him.
A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol.V c1932, Vol.VI c1933 by Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention., Ro 1:28 (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997).
δοκιμάζω+ V 0-
JgsA 7,4; Jer 6,27(bis); 9,6; 11,20
to assay, to test, to prove [τι] Prv 8,10; id. [τινα] Sir 31,10; to put to a test, to make trial of [τινα] Ps 65(66),10; to verify [τι] Wis 2,19; to discern [τι] Jb 34,3; to approve [τι] 2 Mc 4,3
κάμινος δοκιμάζει στόμωμα ἐν βαφῇ the furnace tests the (quality of) iron by dipping Sir 31,26
*Jer 6,27 δεδοκιμασμένοις tried, tested-
Cf. Spicq 1982, 157-
Also [δοκιμάζω, dokimazo], “to test,” “examine,” “try” (1 Corinthians 11:28 the King James Version); and [πειράζω, peirazo], “scrutinize,” “discipline” (2 Corinthians 13:5 the King James Version). The noun [ἀνάκρισις, anakrisis], “examination,” “investigation,” occurs in Acts 25:26.
James Orr, M.A., D.D., The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia : 1915 Edition, ed. James Orr (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1999).
BDAG 255 s.v. δοκιμάζω 1 translates δοκιμάζοντες (dokimazontes) in Eph 5:10 as “try to learn.”
Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes, Eph 5:10 (Biblical Studies Press, 2006; 2006).