Question:

So now I am having trouble with Hebrews 13:16. He says, "But to do good and to communicate forget not". The words "to communicate" are that word Koinonia (fellowship). So he is saying "But to do good and to fellowship forget not".

So what does he mean by telling them to fellowship? Other translation have "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have". But Koinonia doesn't mean "share what you have", does it?


Answer:

"But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:16).

This is a case where the grammar of one language (Greek) doesn't fit well with another language (English). In English, "do good" and "share" are action verbs, but in Greek they are nouns. The verb in this statement is "not forget." Perhaps a better way to translate this is: But do not forget about good works and fellowship, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. The point is not to forget fellowship.

Obviously when we are sharing what we have with others we are demonstrating fellowship, but unfortunately the translations leave much out. If I told you not to neglect friendship, you would know that I'm encouraging you to bolster your friendships. It could be through kind deeds, or just sitting down and talking with someone. I think this is what the Hebrews writer is after as well. Fellowship with another person doesn't just happen and effort has to be expended to keep the state of fellowship going. Just because we have it, we should not neglect the relationship.