Interesting fact I discovered while thinking through an essay on whether courtesy is an Ideological State Apparatus (re: Louis Althusser): “nice” as a word is not Biblical; that is, it does not occur in either the NIV or ESV translations.
Meanwhile, “courtesy” only appears once in the ESV translation, in Titus 3:2, and does not appear in the NIV at all.
Here is a comparison of Titus 3:2 across different translations, to show what courtesy might mean:
to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
The Message (3:1-2)
Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous.
The conclusion? Being courteous and showing courtesy means having an attitude of humility towards others, and being considerate. It is an active reflection on your actions towards others, and when in doubt, to be generous. Some initial thoughts.