Category Archives: lewd

Lewd Fellows…


This is a long passage of scripture I know.

And maybe as you contemplate your visit to the golf club, you must rush-off to the supermarket, the kids need bathed for tomorrow, you must finish that piece of DIY, the boss wants you to put in some extra hours…. Whatever the reason, the challenge – is to read it to the end, all eleven verses.

Acts 17 King James Version (KJV)

17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

8 And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

9 And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

I prefer to get past the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ of the King James Version of the bible and use the NKJV. (New King James Version).

But I have to admit to liking some of the KJV’s language.

Surely it must stir our curiosity when we read lines like this:

 ‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,”

– wow! – is this a biker gang? Is this the name of a punk band? How about a bunch of ‘hooligans’, if the term ‘hooligan’ is still relevant today?

There is no shortage, I guess, of terms that describe groups of human beings who basically are rebels in society.

Descriptive perhaps of those with a tendency to violence, fuelled by ‘whatever’ – substance intake.

Paul and Silas, previously beaten and cast into prison as the result of mob violence and mob opinion, are out, and have moved on.

Paul starts again to fulfil his commission from God, by engaging with religious types, and preaching from the scriptures.

Some believed the word he shared. Others didn’t. Nothing new under the sun, – for so it is today.

But certain Jews moved with envy. Envy? Why were they envious?

Well, you tell me?

But the result of that envy leads us to this great descriptive six word categorisation of those who ‘set all the city on an uproar…’

‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,”

For those of us who like language for it’s own sake, not always looking initially for deep meaningful communication, but those who like the ‘one liners’ and the sound of words for their own sake – well – this rolls off my tongue and gets my attention, before I even get to the spiritual understanding of the passage.

‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,”


Sticking with the novelty of this descriptive phrase, we get the picture by relating what other translations of the Bible have given us for this one-liner. Here are just a few –

Vile fellows of the rabble, – some thugs from [the lowlifes in] the market place, – some wicked men (ruffians and rascals), – some vicious men from the riffraff.

Need I say more, we get the picture.

Yet listen to this description of the very man who was beaten and thrown into prison (the one these men also wanted to attack) where (if you want to check it out a chapter or so back) he engages in a private worship service in chains, with his friend Silas:


Paul speaking:-

1 Timothy 1:12-14 (NKJV)

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,

13 although I was FORMERLY A BLASPHEMER, A PERSECUTOR, AND AN INSOLENT MAN; (violently arrogant) but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Paul – pre-Christian conversion – was convinced he was serving God, as he went about – in a violently arrogant manner, dare I say it? – just like:

A ‘lewd fellow of the baser sort…”

The difference was he (Paul the apostle, formerly Saul of Tarsus) reached a point in his life where what he did ignorantly IN UNBELIEF he forsook and humbled to the ground on a road to Damascus – he called out to Christ and became a follower of the One who can and did set a woman free from the devil. (Acts 16)

The devil servers in rebellion came against the converted Paul because he was instrumental in setting the girl free and here in another situation envious religious types procured the help of ‘lewd fellows of the baser sort,’ to carry out an attack against the Christians.

What difference is there in all of us sinners across the globe, whether we happen to persecute Christians or cause riots, or not?

The difference is whether a change of heart and mind in turning to Christ the Saviour takes place or not. As Bob Dylan addressing the Saviour wrote ‘I owe you some kind of an apology”.


Dictionary re: Lewd – Old English lǣwede, of unknown origin. The original sense was ‘belonging to the laity’; in Middle English, ‘belonging to the common people, vulgar’, and later ‘worthless, vile, evil’, leading to the current sense.