Help besides its ordinary signification of assistance in general, has in two passages of the N.T. a technical application.
1. HELPS (βοήθειαι), nautical apparatus for securing a vessel, when leaking, by means of ropes, chains, etc., passed around in the process of "undergirding" (q.v.), in the emergency of a storm (Ac 27:17). SEE SHIP.
2. HELPS (άντιλήψεις; Vulg. opitulationes; 1Co 12:28). This Greek word, signifying aids or assistances, has also a meaning, among others, corresponding. to that in this passage, in the classical writers (e.g. Diod. Sic. 1, 87). In the Sept. it answers to עֶזרָה (Ps 22:19), to מָעוֹן (Ps 108:12), and to זָרוֹע (Ps 83:8). It is found in the same sense, Ecclus. 11:12; 2 Macc. 11:26; and in Josephus (War, 4, 5, 1). In the N.T. it occurs once, viz. in the enumeration of the several orders or classes of persons possessing miraculous gifts among the primitive Christians (ut supra), where it seems to be used by metonymy; the abstract for the concrete, and to mean helpers; like the words δυνάμεις, "miracles," i.e. workers of miracles; κυβερνήσεις, "governments," i.e. governors, etc., in the same enumeration. Many persons h1 this country, by a similar idiom, call their servants "help." Great difficulty attends the attempt to ascertain the nature of the office so designated among Christians. Theophylact explains ἀντιλήψεις, ἀντεχεσθαι τῶν ἀσθενῶν, helping or supporting the infirm. So also Gennadius, in AEcumenius. But this seems like an inference from the etymology (see the Greek of Ac 20:35). It has been assumed by some eminent modern writers that the several "orders" mentioned in ver. 28 correspond respectively to the several "gifts" of the Spirit enumerated in ver. 8, 9. In order, however, to make the two enumerations tally, it is necessary to make "divers kinds of tongues" and "interpretation of tongues" in the one answer to "diversities of tongues" in the other, which, in the present state of the received text, does not seem to be a complete correspondence. The
result of the collation is that ἀντιλήψεις answers to "prophecy;" whence it has been inferred that these persons were such as were qualified with the gift of "lower prophecy," to help the Christians in the public devotions (Barrington's Miscellanea Sacra, 1, 166; Macknight on 1Co 12:10-28). Another result is that "governments" answers to "dissenting of spirits." To both these Dr. Hales very reasonably objects as unlikely, and pronounces this tabular view to be "perplexed and embarrassing" (New Analysis, etc., Lond. 1830, 3:289). Bishop Horsley has adopted this classification of the gifts and office-bearers, and points out as "helps," i.e. persons gifted with "prophecies or prediction," such persons as Mark, Tychicus, Onesimus. Vitringa, from a comparison of ver. 28, 29, 30, infers that the ἀντιλήψεις denote those who had the gift of interpreting foreign languages (De Synag. Vet. 2, 505, Franque. 1696); which, though certainly possible, as an arbitrary use of a very significant word, stands in need of confirmation by actual instances. Dr. Lightfoot also, according to his biographer, adopted the same plan and arrived at the same conclusion (Strype's Life of Lightfoot, prefixed to his Works, p. 4, Lond. 1684). But Lightfoot himself explains the word "persons who accompanied the apostles, baptized those who were converted by them, and were sent to places to which they, being employed in other things, could not come, as Mark, Timothy, Titus." He observes (ii, 781) that the Talmudists sometimes call the Levites מסעדי לכהנים, "the helpers of the priests." Similar catalogues of miraculous gifts and officers occur Ro 12:6-8, and Eph 4:11-12; but they neither correspond in number nor in the order of enumeration. In the former, "prophecy" stands first, and in the latter second; and in the former many of the terms are of wide import, as "ministering," while minute distinctions are made between others, as between "teaching" and "exhortation," "giving" and "showing mercy." Other writers pursue different methods, and arrive at different conclusions. For instance, Hammond, arguing from the etymology of the word, and from passages in the early writers, which describe the office of relieving the poor as peculiarly connected with that of the apostles and bishops by the deacons, infers that ἀντιλ. "denotes a special part of the office of those men which are set down at the beginning of the verse." He also explains κυβερνήσεος as another part of their office (Hammond, Comment. ad loc.). Schletisner understands "deacons who had the care of the sick." Rosenmüller, "Diaconi qui pauperibus, peregrinis, aegrotis, mortuis, procurandis praserant." Bishop Pearce thinks that both these words may have been originally put in the margin to explain δυνάμεις, "miracles or powers," and urges that ἀντιλ is nowhere mentioned as a gift of the Spirit, and that it is not recapitulated in ver. 29, 30. Certainly the omission of these two words would nearly produce exactitude in the recapitulation. Bowyer adopts the same conjecture, but it is without support from MSS. or versions. He also observes that to the end of ver. 28 some copies of the Vulgate add "interpretationes sermonum," ἑρμηνει῎ας γλωσσῶν; as also the later Syriac, Hilary, and Ambrose. This addition would make the recapitulation perfect. Chrysostom and all the Greek interpreters consider the ἀντιλ and κυβερν. as importing the same thing, namely, functionaries so called with reference to the two different-parts of their office: the ἀντιλ superintending the care of the poor, sick, and strangers; the κυβερν the burial of the dead and the executorship of their effects including the care of their widows and orphans, rather managers than governors (Blomfield's Recensio Synopt.). After all, it must be confessed, with Doddridge, that "we can only guess at the meaning of the words in question, having no principles on which to proceed in fixing it absolutely" (Family Expositor, on 1Co 12:28). (See Alberti, Glossar. p. 123; Suicer, Thesaurus, in voc.; Salmasius, De Faenore Trapezitico. p. 409, — Wolfii Curae Philolog. Basil. 1741.) Stanley remarks (Commentae ad loc.) that the word "ἀντίληψις, as used in the Sept., is not (like διακονία) help ministered by an inferior to a superior, but be a superior to an inferior (comp. Ps 89:18; Ecclus. 11:12; 51:7), and, thus is inapplicable to the ministrations of the deacon to the presbyter." Probably it is a general term (hence the plur.) to include those occasional labors of evangelists and special laborers, such as Apollos in ancient times and eminent revivalists in modern days, who have from time to time been raised up as powerful but independent. promoters of the Gospel. SEE GIFTS, SPIRITUAL.