Monthly Archives: January 2017

Do Matthew 17:15, Mark 9:17-18, and Luke 9:39 contradict?

DO MATTHEW 17:15, MARK 9:17-18, AND LUKE 9:39 CONTRADICT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Matthew 17:15 says: “Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.”

Mark 9:17-18 reports: “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.”

Luke 9:39 says: “And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.”

For brevity’s sake, we will neither quote nor look at the contexts. We will simply look at these few verses. Are they contradictory? We will take some time and consider it.

Matthew writes that this man is a “lunatick,” greatly troubled by illness. Lunacy here refers to insanity, a mental impairment. He is not thinking properly, and is thus unable to function as God intended. His mental condition causes him to often fall into the fire and into the water. (Even today, people who suffer from poor mental health can engage in self-injury.)

Mark reports that a “dumb” spirit, a devil, possesses this man and prevents him from speaking. This evil spirit also convulses him. Furthermore, the man foams at the mouth and he gnashes his teeth. His condition is growing worse.

Luke says that this man is troubled by an evil spirit that takes control of him, so that he cries out (like shouting or wailing), shakes violently, foams at the mouth, and harms him before barely leaving him.

If we look at the above points, and their correlative verses, we have every reason to believe they are supplementary, not contradictory, to one another. It is the same man (if you must know, please look at the surrounding verses of all three passages). We must look at Matthew, Mark, and Luke to get the full picture. An evil spirit has overtaken him. Consequently, he loses control of his body, is not thinking clearly, is unable to speak, harms himself, foams at the mouth, and gnashes his teeth. In short, the man has a very poor quality of life. He is the perfect picture of Israel who is bound in Satan’s chains and unable to function as God intended! You can read how the Lord Jesus Christ healed and delivered that man, a perfect picture of Israel liberated by God to serve Him without sin and Satan impairing her!

In conclusion, we must remember that the Four Gospels do not read word-for-word in every account. They all focus on the same earthly life of Jesus Christ, true, but we must also bear in mind that they are seen from four different vantage points. Just as four people looking at the same object from four different perspectives see various details; so Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John view unique details and comment on them. Even if they are commenting on the same event, there is room for variation of events or people. The Holy Spirit chose the emphases each of the Four Gospels bear, and the verses in question here are best understood in this manner. Matthew 17:15, Mark 9:17-18, and Luke 9:39 are describing the same man. They must be conflated (combined) if we are to see the entire scenario. They are supplementary, not contradictory.

Also see:
» Do Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, and Luke 9:28 contradict?
» Were there five crosses on Calvary?
» Do Matthew 10:10, Mark 6:8, and Luke 9:3 contradict?

Who is the “child” of Revelation 12:1-5?

WHO IS THE “CHILD” OF REVELATION 12:1-5?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The Bible says in Revelation chapter 12: “[1] And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: [2] And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. [3] And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. [4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. [5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”

Who is this “child” mentioned in verses 2, 4, and 5? The common teaching is that it is Jesus Christ. After all, He was a member of the nation Israel (Matthew 1:1), He is to rule all nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15), and He was caught up to God and His throne (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11). But, does that necessarily make Jesus the “child” of Revelation chapter 12? Could someone else be that child? We will scan the Bible text for clues.

John the Apostle penned an interesting set of verses, Revelation 2:24-27: “[24] But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. [25] But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. [26] And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: [27] And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

To those Jewish believers who overcome (the reign and deception of Antichrist), Jesus Christ promises them they will rule over the nations with a rod of iron (verses 26-27). So, not only does Jesus Christ rule over the nations with the rod of iron, He will also appoint believing Jews—or “the circumcision believers”—to rule over the nations under Him. These Jewish kingdom believers will share Christ’s authority over the nations. After all, Jesus Christ is called “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). He is King and He is Lord, but He has kings and lords serving under Him in His government. Just as His Father appointed Him, so He appoints them. Revelation 12:5—born of Israel and ruling all nations with a rod of iron—is not exclusive to Jesus Christ. It is also true of believing Jews in Israel’s program. But, there is more.

In order to “re-start” Israel’s program after our Dispensation of Grace ends, God will use 144,000 male Jewish preachers. We read about them in Revelation chapter 7: “[1] And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. [2] And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, [3] Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. [4] And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”

These 144,000—on earth in the aforementioned chapter 7—are suddenly caught up into heaven. Revelation chapter 14: “[1] And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. [2] And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: [3] And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. [4] These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. [5] And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

This is not the Rapture and it has nothing to do with us the Church the Body of Christ, please note! Revelation chapters 7 and 14 are talking about the 144,000 Jewish men (verse 4) who will preach during the first 3½ years (or so) of the seven-year Tribulation. This group is the “child” of Revelation chapter 12. That is, Israel will “give birth” to a group of preachers. Also, that group of preachers will rule over the nations in Christ’s earthly kingdom (following the Tribulation, in the Millennium, 1000-year reign). Furthermore, that group of preachers will be caught up into heaven roughly halfway through the seven-year Tribulation. Satan will unsuccessfully try to harm or kill them.

It would not make sense for the Apostle John, in Revelation chapter 12, to reach back into Israel’s history and suddenly start talking about Jesus’ birth (Matthew chapter 2), and His ascension (Acts chapter 1). No, the “child” in Revelation chapter 12 is future. It is Israel’s believing remnant, chiefly the 144,000 Jewish preachers. These 144,000 will come from the nation Israel (Revelation chapter 7), they will rule over the nations in the Millennium (Revelation chapter 2), and they will be caught up to God and His throne in heaven (Revelation chapter 14).

Also see:
» Why does Revelation chapter 7 not list all 12 tribes of Israel?
» Is the Rapture in Matthew 24 and Luke 17?
» Are we “doom and gloom” prophecy believers?

Who are “the princes of this world” of 1 Corinthians 2:6-8?

WHO ARE “THE PRINCES OF THIS WORLD” OF 1 CORINTHIANS 2:6-8?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The Holy Scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 2:6-8: “[6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” When coming to this passage, the question is often asked, “Who are these ‘princes of this world?’” Are they human rulers, or some other group?

Dear friends, whenever we have a question about the meaning of Bible terms, it is important to try to stick as close to the Bible text as possible. Sure, it can be difficult, but we should not be discouraged. We will spend all of eternity learning more and more from God’s Word. Learning is a very slow process, the Bible can be a very heavy book at times, and we are facing more opposition than ever not to believe verses. Instead, religion encourages us to believe people’s commentary on the verses. Commentary is all well and good, provided, of course, there are pertinent verses to support it! Let me show you how we can take the Bible expression highlighted in this study, look for cross-references (other verses), and stitch together a sound definition for it. Whether this term, or any other, it is better to let the Bible define its own terms rather than seek theologians’ fallible speculations.

Our first line of evidence is as follows…. While “princes of this world” appears in the Bible only in 1 Corinthians 2:6 and 8, a similar term appears elsewhere in its canon. The Lord Jesus employed that phrase (singular form) on three occasions. Firstly, in John 12:31: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” Next, John 14:30: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” Finally, John 16:11: “Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” This “the prince [singular] of this world” is the leader of “the princes [plural] of this world.”

Now we move to the second line of evidence…. Thrice did Israel’s religious leaders accuse the Lord Jesus of collusion with Satan. Those three verses will now speak for themselves. Matthew 9:34: “But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” Matthew 12:24: “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” Mark 3:22: “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.” Here we have the language of one prince—“the prince”—leading a group of devils (evil spirits). There is operating in Israel a chief evil spirit, commanding an army of many, although less powerful, evil spirit beings.

Finally, the last line of evidence…. Twice in the Book of Ephesians we find the term “prince” as having, once again, a negative connotation. In fact, they are again used to name evil spirits. Notice Ephesians 2:2, Satan the chief evil spirit appearing: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience….” Ephesians 6:12 makes it the plainest: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Please pay attention to that word “principalities” here—they are realms over which princes rule. These are many evil “princes,” fallen angels, ruling in the heavenly places, even today.

While it is true that sinful Roman officials (men) and wicked Jewish officials (men) conspired to kill Jesus (Psalm 2:1-3 cf. Acts 4:24-28), another group assembled long before men did. Satan and his evil spirit servants first devised the death of God’s Son. For many, many centuries, the Scriptures had promised the Messiah-King would come to Israel. If Satan could fully destroy that King, there would be no godly kingdom on Earth, and his evil kingdom would remain unchallenged. After all, Satan was created as Lucifer, “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). Lucifer was a genius, although after his fall it became evil ingenuity. Satan assumed he could outsmart God. The Devil’s angelic cohorts, much more intelligent than man but less intelligent than he, followed him. Of course, the omniscient Godhead foresaw that scheme, allowed the Son to die, and then used the shed blood to redeem two groups of people. Each group would be used of God to dispossess heaven and earth of Satan’s armies. We know these groups of saints as the Church the Body of Christ (heavenly) and the nation Israel (earthly).

By having Satan follow along with Calvary and the death of Jesus Christ, the Godhead allowed him and his minions to participate in their own defeat. Not only would God’s earthly kingdom be established, but also the heavenly kingdom (see Ephesians chapter 1 and Colossians chapter 1). Had Satan and his evil angelic allies known that Calvary would be their “death-blow” instead of God’s “death-blow,” they would have done everything to prevent Jesus Christ from going to that cross in the first place. Alas, God kept all of it secret, until long after it happened. By the time God revealed it to Paul, it was too late for Satan to undo! The “wise” Satan had been caught, outsmarted by the “God only wise” (Romans 16:27) who had hidden wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:7). Colossians 2:14-15 says in victory: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly [public embarrassment], triumphing over them in it.”

“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Also see:
» Should we use the word “demons?”
» What is “the foolishness of God” in 1 Corinthians 1:25?
» Why did Jesus select evil Judas Iscariot to be an apostle?

What is “the foolishness of God” in 1 Corinthians 1:25?

WHAT IS “THE FOOLISHNESS OF GOD” IN 1 CORINTHIANS 1:25?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Can God be foolish? First Corinthians 1:25 says, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Why does the Bible say “the foolishness of God?” In this Bible study, we hope to compare verses and shed light on this expression.

To get the thought-flow, we begin at verse 17: “[17] For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. [18] For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. [19] For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. [20] Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? [21] For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. [22] For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: [23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; [24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. [25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Jesus Christ, from heaven, post-resurrection, commissioned the Apostle Paul to preach the Gospel, a new set of Good News never known to man until now. This Gospel is called “the Gospel of the Grace of God” in Acts 20:24. Water baptism was not a part of this Gospel message as it had been with the Gospel of the Kingdom in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16 (cf. Acts 2:38). While the 12 Apostles were indeed sent by Jesus Christ to water baptize converts, Paul was not sent to water baptize. True, Paul water baptized during the Acts period, but that was only temporary, necessary to communicate to Israel the fact that Paul was replacing Peter and the 11. Paul eventually quit water baptizing. The emphasis of Paul’s Gospel was not religious ceremonies (namely, water baptism). Neither was it delivered by smooth, eloquent Greek oratory (rhetoric). Romans 16:17-18 talks about such false teachers who use “good [kind, appealing] words and fair [beautiful] speeches.” Employing elaborate vocabulary, they sound attractive enough to reel in supporters by the masses. Think of the rich chanting and singing in the Roman Catholic Mass, the multi-syllable vocabularies of many theologians and clergy members, and so on.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2,4: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God…. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Such “wisdom of words” would make the cross of Christ “of none effect,” or nullify it, for eloquence would make Paul the speaker the issue instead of Jesus Christ, the Saviour, the issue. The Apostle, although educated, thus refrained from using flattering, extravagant words to attract people. Remember, the wisdom to be declared in the Gospel was not Paul’s wisdom, but God’s wisdom. Man’s wisdom was not important concerning the Gospel; God’s wisdom was to have the preeminence, and it did in Paul’s ministry (this should also be of our ministry).

Since Paul did not resort to eloquent speeches and ostentatious phrases, his preaching was at variance with religious norms. He did not sound like “just another religious leader.” When compared to religious standards, he appeared and sounded silly. He was not sent to water baptize?! (Nearly every religion reveres some water ceremony!) He was traveling throughout the Roman Empire, preaching that the cross of Calvary—when a Jew had died—was “the power of God.” Calvary’s cross, even today, is ridiculed. “How can a dead Jew save me from hell?,” it is still asked. “What kind of God would see value in sending His Son to die in such a cruel, painful manner?,” it is still inquired. “How is victory accomplished when Jesus let the Romans kill Him?,” it is still asked. First Corinthians 1:18 could not be any plainer: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” The lost people of the world do not have spiritual eyes. All they have is human wisdom, and that is not enough to understand the things of God. Therefore, they scoff at and dismiss that which they do not know.

God in His wisdom actually fixed it to where mankind will never be able to figure out Him or His plan. It is for this reason that intellectuals laugh at Christians, invent anti-God arguments, and attack His Bible. Yes, they appear to sound smart, “untouchable,” clothed in their beautiful robes of scholarship and rationalism. “Me? Need God? Ha! I have degrees from prestigious institutions! My education causes me to live in reality! I do not believe in some ‘old man in the sky!’ I think for myself! Get away from me with that ‘book of superstition!’” All the while, they are totally oblivious to true wisdom. They have pompously ignored the fact that all the knowledge humanity has gained as a whole—which is much, much more than what they know individually—is just a fraction of the information in existence. In that realm of unknown wisdom, we find God’s wisdom, that which they will never grasp. Without this discernment to make sense of it, they simply dismiss it as quickly as possible using whatever convenient means.

As it is written in Isaiah 55:8-9: “[8] For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. [9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” First Corinthians chapter 1 continues: “[19] For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. [20] Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” This is a quote from Isaiah 29:14, which is God’s response to the Israelites exalting the opinions of men above His Word. He will let them have their way—spiritual ignorance!

In fact, let us turn to Isaiah chapter 29 to notice the parallel: “[9] Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. [10] For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. [11] And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: [12] And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. [13] Wherefore the LORD said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: [14] Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” By using His wisdom to outsmart man in his “wisdom,” God proved man’s wisdom was really foolishness! First Corinthians 1:20 again: “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”

With respect to 1 Corinthians chapter 1, we continue: “[21] For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. [22] For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: [23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; [24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. [25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Again, verse 21 says that God, in His wisdom, planned it to where man could use his wisdom and still be unable to reach the level of divine wisdom. Man would remain at the spiritual I.Q. of “0” and God would be ranked as “infinity.” In God’s wisdom, He did not choose to save from hell people who went to seminary for a decade. He did not choose to save from hell those who joined a church, gave a donation to a ministry, kept a list of rules and regulations, got water baptized, held on, held out, recited a book of prayers, helped the poor and homeless, promised to live their lives for Him, and so on. These are classic responses in religion, but Paul never preached them. Again, that is why Paul was such an “oddball,” and that is why we grace-preaching Christians are equally foolish to the world. We do not sound religious and we claim not to be “religious,” yet we believe in God and the Bible. They see us as the most mysterious paradox of all!

The Bible says what pleased God was to “save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). While the Gospel of Grace sounded foolish, what was on display was God’s wisdom and man’s natural inability to grasp it. Apart from the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, we Christians could not understand it either (see chapter 2, which we cannot discuss here for brevity’s sake). As we read, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom” (verse 22). The Jews were interested in miracles, the Greeks pursued wisdom, but the thrust of Paul’s Gospel was not miraculous demonstrations or human philosophy. “[23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; [24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. [25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Paul went and “preached Christ crucified” (verse 23). The Jews to which he preached during Acts saw no victory or power in a dead Jew on a cross. The Greeks to which he preached during Acts heard no flattering oratory or polished expressions. Thus, “unto the Jews a stumblingblock”—the unbelieving Jews who heard Paul preach saw Jesus crucified as nothing more than a scandal of weakness most unpleasant and worthy of being shunned. (See them reject it in Acts 13:45!) Furthermore, “unto the Greeks foolishness”—the unbelieving Gentiles who heard Paul preach saw Jesus crucified as nothing more than absurdity. (See them laugh at it in Acts 17:32!) However, the believing Jews and Greeks/Gentiles who saw value in the words of God that Paul was preaching, these saints saw with spiritual eyes Jesus Christ “the power of God” (Jews) and “the wisdom of God” (Greeks). They were willing to let the Holy Spirit teach them!

Now, we (finally!) get to verse 25: “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” On one hand, the “foolishness of God” is how the Greeks viewed the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins. On the other hand, the “weakness of God” is how the Jews saw that Gospel of Grace. That God would do for man what he could never do for himself? Outlandish! That God would become a Man and die for man’s sin by letting man put Him to death? Strange! That there could be life in such a death? Folly! That a dead Man, totally deceased, could return to life and never die again? No! That such information could be conveyed without fancy phraseology and scholarly wisdom? Ridiculous! That God would do away with religious works as means to approach Him? Heresy! (No wonder Paul’s audience was so rattled! Beloved, no wonder they give us such bizarre reactions today! Hahaha)

First Corinthians 1:25 does not mean God does foolish things or thinks foolish thoughts. Remember, “the thought of foolishness is sin” (Proverbs 24:9). God cannot sin; therefore, He cannot think foolishly or act foolishly. It is talking about what appears to be, or what seems to be, foolish. Again, man, because of his limitations, cannot fairly evaluate what God does or thinks. Man in and of himself does not have enough strength or knowledge to gauge spiritual matters. Therefore, God’s thoughts and actions are so foreign to him. Lest he appear foolish and/or weak, his only hope is to explain away God’s thoughts and actions as “foolish.” You can go on into chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians to see this, particularly verse 14: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

We end this by saying, “What a wise God we Christians serve!”

Also see:
» Why can I get nothing out of the Bible when I read it?
» What does the Bible mean, “rude in speech?”
» Why do people get angry when we share right division with them?

What is “gehenna?” Is that the same as hell?

WHAT IS “GEHENNA?” IS THAT THE SAME AS HELL?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Gehenna(Strong’s G1067: γέεννα) is the Greek name for the Valley of Hinnom. The Hebrew is “Ge-Hinnom.” This ravine or valley is just outside of Jerusalem to the southwest. Today it is known as Wadi er-Rababi. It first appears in the Bible in Joshua 18:16, as a boundary of the tribe of Benjamin. Later, it became a place of despicable acts.

“And they [the Jews in Jerusalem] have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart” (Jeremiah 7:31). “Tophet” meant “place of fire.” There was a gigantic bronze idol in the Valley of Hinnom. This is where the Jews sacrificed their infants and young children alive to the pagan fire god Molech. “Hinnom” means “lamentation” (as in the cries of the children being burned alive). Jeremiah 7:32 and Jeremiah 19:6 call it “Tophet,” “Valley of the Son of Hinnom,” and “Valley of Slaughter.” Jewish Kings Ahaz and Manasseh sacrificed their children here (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6). The Valley of Hinnom is called “Topheth” in 2 Kings 23:10—King Josiah ceremonially defiled it in order to abolish the child sacrifices there.

In New Testament times, it was a trash dump where Jerusalem’s garbage was deposited and burned. Even the bodies of dead animals and unburied criminals were brought here. One Bible dictionary states, because of the valley’s history, “After the OT period, Jewish apocalyptic writers began to call the Valley of Hinnom the entrance to hell, later hell itself.” The Greek word gehenna is found 12 times in our New Testament Scriptures—Jesus used the term 11 times, and James used it one time. It is translated “hell” every time. On three occasions, gehenna is paired with πῦρ (G4442, pyr, “fire”) to read “hell fire” (Matthew 5:22; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:47).

For now, just notice the term as used in the Bible:

  • Matthew 5:22: “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [gehenna] fire.”
  • Matthew 5:29: “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [gehenna].”
  • Matthew 5:30: “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [gehenna].”
  • Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [gehenna].”
  • Matthew 18:9: “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell [gehenna] fire.”
  • Matthew 23:15: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell [gehenna] than yourselves.”
  • Matthew 23:33: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell [gehenna]?”
  • Mark 9:43: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [gehenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched:”
  • Mark 9:45: “And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [gehenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched:”
  • Mark 9:47: “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [gehenna] fire:”
  • Luke 12:5: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell [gehenna]; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
  • James 3:6: “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell [gehenna].”

SOME WORDS ABOUT GEHENNA AND THE CULTS

Certain cults, particularly the “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” will go to great lengths to diminish the Bible teaching of eternal judgment. “Gehenna” is a term to which they often appeal in an effort to prove their denominational tenets. They will say that these instances of “hell” are not a place of everlasting torment, but just references to the trash dump outside of Jerusalem. That is, Jesus was making reference to the fires of the Valley of Hinnom rather than literal flames of everlasting hell. As I pointed out to a Jehovah’s Witness who came to my house just recently trying to promote her church’s teachings, the “hell” (gehenna) of the above verses goes far beyond the flames of Hinnom.

Take the following two verses for example:

  • Mark 9:43: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [gehenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched:”
  • Mark 9:45: “And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [gehenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched:”

The flames here “shall never be quenched.” Fires in the Valley of Hinnom have long since died out (which the Jehovah’s Witness is forced to admit). Surely, no thinking person could ever say that the gehenna of Mark 9:43 and Mark 9:45 are man’s temporary fires on Earth! This is especially accentuated by verses 44, 46, and 48: “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched….Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched…. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” By the way, verses 44 and 46 are omitted from the modern Greek text and modern English versions (including NIV, NASB, ESV, and of course, the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation!). This way, they diminish the explicit warnings.

Now, consider the following verses:

  • Luke 12:5: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell [gehenna]; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”
  • Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [gehenna].”

This is certainly not the Valley of Hinnom. Notice how only God has the power here to toss people into this gehenna. This gehenna involves not just the death of the physical body but also the soul. Such is hardly the language of any trash dump, no matter how intense its flames may be! If we study the way the Bible uses the term “gehenna,” provided we not want to form a denominational conclusion, we will discover that the Bible is speaking of something far more than just a trash dump.

CONCLUSION

Jesus took the term gehenna and taught doctrine of eternal importance. In a Jew’s mind, gehenna was the worst and most unclean place to imagine. It was there that their ancestors were burned in pagan human sacrifices! Also, it was where they would take garbage for disposal—including the corpses of dead animals and criminals! Our Lord Jesus warned of something far worse than this “trash dump.” God has a trash dump as well, and it is where He disposes the souls of those who refuse to trust His Word. He has no use for them in His program for creation, they are the vilest of all living creatures, and now they will burn for their transgressions for all of eternity! Indeed, that is the worst of all. But, the Bible says it, and the only way people go hell is because they wanted to go! God has offered His Son Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross as a fully-satisfying payment for our sins, that simple faith in Him alone could get us into heaven. But, if we want to suffer the flames of hell forever and ever and ever, never satisfying the wrath of God, He will give us the eternal abode of the damned!

Also see:
» Is Luke 16:19-31 nothing but a “parable?”
» How can a loving God send people to hell forever?
» Can Jews who believe in God, the Father, but who reject Jesus, be saved from eternal damnation?

Did little boy Jesus know He was going to die on Calvary?

DID LITTLE BOY JESUS KNOW HE WAS GOING TO DIE ON CALVARY?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Someone recently asked me if Jesus Christ—as a “preteen” and/or teenager—knew He was going to suffer and die so graphically on that awful Roman cross. Did our Lord live His entire earthly life with that macabre awareness? Or did such cognizance come near the end of His life? Beloved, there are various verses that shed light on this most tantalizing subject, and we would do well to consider them.

The Incarnation—the process of God becoming Man—is perhaps the most difficult Bible teaching. We will never fully understand it in this life because our minds are finite, limited. Even though we cannot explain that doctrine 100 percent, that does not mean we have license to be totally ignorant of it. The Bible affords us certain clues about the Incarnation: if we are diligent Bible students, we will look for and find them in the Scriptures. We need not sit in spiritual darkness when God’s Word can shed light! “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

In relationship to the question at hand, we know that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully Man. He was not 50 percent God and 50 percent Man. (One common misconception.) He was not 0 percent God and 100 percent Man. (Another common misconception.) He was not 100 percent God and 0 percent Man. (Yet another common misconception.) Friends, the Lord Jesus Christ was 100 percent God and 100 percent Man. He was not diminished Deity: He simply added humanity to that Deity. Jesus Christ has always been God, but He has only been a Man for about 2,000 years. From the Scriptural record, we learn that Jesus grew physically, spiritually, and mentally… no different from us. Just like us, He had to learn by experience. Leaving the virgin Mary’s womb as a small Baby, Jesus grew up little by little to become a 30-year-old Man (see Luke 3:23).

Look at Luke chapter 2, especially verses 40 and 52: “[40] And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. [41] Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. [42] And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. [43] And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. [44] But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. [45] And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. [46] And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. [47] And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. [48] And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. [49] And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? [50] And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. [51] And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. [52] And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

Again, read verses 40 and 52: “[40] And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him…. [52] And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” The Lord Jesus, up until the age of 30, is said to have “waxed [grown] strong in spirit,” “filled with wisdom,” “the grace of God being upon him,” “increasing in wisdom and stature,” and “increasing in favour with God and man.” His body grew taller and stronger physically. He grew mentally and spiritually as well. Like other little Jewish boys, He had school to attend. Also, we know He began to follow His foster father, Joseph, in carpentry. That is, He began to learn a trade of architecture and manual labor. For that reason, the common Jews were accustomed to referring to Jesus as “the carpenter, the son of Mary” (Mark 6:3).

Isaiah 50:4-6, circa 700 years before God became a Man, provides a small prophetic glimpse into Jesus’ life, especially His innermost feelings: “[4] The LORD God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. [5] The LORD God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. [6] I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

Father God “wakened” and taught Jesus Christ “morning by morning.” That is, every morning, the Lord Jesus reflected on the Scriptures and communed with His Heavenly Father. Remember, at that time, all Israel had access to was what we call the “Old Testament,” the Books of Genesis to Malachi. Still, whatever limited divine revelation there was, Jesus was willing to hear it and obey it. He wanted to be in perfect accordance with His Father’s will for His life. There was complete, unwavering loyalty. It was in that point that Jesus, though Man, was completely unlike us. He never failed; He was humanity as God had created Adam (before Adam’s fall into sin).

“The LORD God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” Friends, we could never say such a thing and mean it! However, the Lord Jesus could and did! The writer of Hebrews told Israel: “Jesus the Son of God…. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (4:15). Even when it came to His suffering, He was willing to obey His Father’s will, fully compliant to shed His blood (see Hebrews chapter 10 in its entirety). Isaiah quoted Jesus centuries in advance: “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

The Holy Spirit, in retrospect to Christ’s earthly ministry, commented through the Apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 2: “[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

According to the Prophet Isaiah, as we read earlier, Jesus read the Scriptures every chance He had, especially in the synagogues on the Sabbath. Just as we would read the Bible and better understand where we fit in it, Jesus would read the Bible and better understand where He fit in it. He became more and more aware of His mission to be Israel’s chief spiritual Teacher, and He was willing to teach Israel of her mission and His as well (see Luke 4:16-21—the beginning of His ministry). His Father was training Him, just as a son would serve his father as an apprentice in the family business. (In a similar incident, a divinely-ordained parallel no doubt, His foster father had trained him in his own trade.)

We saw earlier how Luke 2:46-47 says Jesus was sitting at the Temple, with the rabbinical (Jewish religious) scholars around Him, listening to them and asking them questions. The Bible says: “And it came to pass, that after three days they [Joseph and Mary] found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” Verse 42 claims Jesus was merely 12 years old here! These (probably aged) doctors of theology were amazed at how wise and articulate this little boy was. He surely put them to shame when it came to knowing and understanding Bible doctrine!

Luke 2:48-50 says: “And when they [Joseph and Mary] saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.”

Joseph and Mary were also surprised to find Jesus sitting amongst such “scholars” and engaging in dialog with them! When Mary rebuked Him for staying behind, saying He had giving His “father” and mother a hard time, He corrected her: “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” That is, “Do you not know that I must be concerned with My Father’s business?” Jesus objected to Mary calling Joseph his “father.” (Yet the modern English versions call “Joseph” just that—Jesus’ “father”—on one occasion in the passage [verse 33]. Furthermore, when our King James reads “Joseph and his mother” in verse 43, modern versions say “his parents!”)

Even at age 12, Jesus said, “I must be about my Father’s business.” Surely, He did not know everything in the Bible at this point in life. Still, He knew enough to communicate it to others and amaze them with those words of life. From here onward to age 30—another 18 years—the Lord Jesus came to better understand that His Father’s “business” involved three years of Him preaching, teaching, and performing miracles.

My own personal belief, which you can accept or reject, is Jesus gradually began to understand the concept of death like any other person. It did not come in His first few years of life, but it surely came by the time He reached adulthood. There came a day when young Jesus finally saw the cross in His future. As He studied the Scriptures and prayed to His Father in light of them, it became increasingly clear. Eventually, He began to see Himself in those Old Testament verses that talked about Him as Messiah suffering and dying (Psalm 22, Isaiah chapter 53, and so on). As a child, Jesus probably did not know about Calvary. No child can understand the horrors of such a graphic death. Father God may have shielded young Jesus from that as well. There is nothing in the Bible to cause us to assume Jesus spent His childhood fearful or depressed because of the cross. But, we do know that, toward the end of His life, He began to speak more and more to His disciples concerning His impending death. On the night of His arrest, and hours before His crucifixion, our Lord Jesus came to fully understand the immense suffering He would experience shortly—not just physical, but spiritual as well. Being a Man, He had great difficulty coming to terms with it.

We find the first hint of this in Matthew 26:37-39: “[37] And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. [38] Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. [39] And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” The Lord Jesus is deeply troubled, far beyond words. Mark 14:33-34 is the companion passage: “[33] And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; [34] And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.”

The Lord Jesus can only pray that His Father give Him strength to do His will rather than His own will. Luke 22:37 says: “For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.” Verses 40-44 are most difficult for us to read: “[40] And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. [41] And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, [42] Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. [43] And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. [44] And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” There is great distress here, fear and anguish. He realizes He is about to experience the undiluted wrath of His Father! His soul will be offered as a sacrifice for our sins! He sees it now as never before! He knows the Cross is just hours away!

In the above prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, we see Jesus, although equal with the Father, willfully submitting to the Father’s will. That is, the Incarnation was Jesus’ submission among His equals (Father God and God the Holy Ghost). For sake of brevity, we stop here and present a summary.

CONCLUSION

The Lord Jesus was 100 percent God and 100 percent Man. It is important that we not overlook either nature, as some have done and still do today. We do not fully grasp that but we believe it because the Bible makes it abundantly clear. Notice these sample verses: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1,14). “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Bible is not clear just how much spiritual understanding Jesus had as a child—as in pre-adolescent and early adulthood (late teens)—with respect to Calvary’s reality. Yet, there are things we DO know from the Bible. He, a human like us, grew every which way we do. There was physical maturity, spiritual maturity, and mental maturity in the life of Christ. He grew taller and stronger. Also, by careful study of the Scripture, and daily prayer, He increased in understanding Father God’s will for Him. Even at age 12, He definitely had a profound grasp of the Scriptures.

Jesus Christ lived the next 18 years of His earthly life studying and praying, preparing for His ministry. By age 30, He had matured enough to become a mighty spiritual leader. Surely, He grew exponentially during those final three years of life. Just moments before His arrest, and hours prior to His crucifixion, He had the clearest grasp of His Father’s will He had ever had. We can see that most clearly in His prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane. His Father’s will was that He die for Israel’s sins (and ultimately, for all of mankind’s sins), and He resolved to go through with it all the way.

My own personal idea is that Jesus did not have knowledge of Calvary until several years into life. I do not believe He spent His childhood despondent concerning His death. However, perhaps as early as in His teenage years, He realized He would have to die the most horrible way ever devised. Whenever He finally reached that point of maturity—where He could fully cooperate with His Heavenly Father in accomplishing everything He wanted—He entered the ministry. The more He studied and prayed, the more He saw His Father’s will for Him, and when He saw that that will would lead Him up to that Cross, He submitted Himself and did it! 🙂

Also see:
» “The Son of man hath not where to lay his head?”
» How does one know if he or she is maturing in the Word of God?
» What is the Lord’s will for my Christian life?

Is the King James word “borrow” a “mistranslation” in Exodus 3:22?

IS THE KING JAMES WORD “BORROW” A “MISTRANSLATION” IN EXODUS 3:22?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Notice the following three verses appearing in the King James Bible:

  • Exodus 3:22: “But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.”
  • Exodus 11:2: “Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver and jewels of gold.”
  • Exodus 12:35: “And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:”

In the three instances above, the Jews “borrowed” from the Egyptians. King James Bible critics—always looking for any reason to gripe—say “borrow” is a “poor translation” or “wrong word.” They say it should read “ask.” According to them, the word “borrow” implies a temporary loan, and this would be impossible because we all know the Jews left Egypt, never returning the Egyptians’ possessions. So, we are now faced with two important questions. Have the King James Bible critics finally found an error? Or, is “borrow” a correct verb? Let us study the Bible to find out!

Read the following words from one Bible teacher who shares a common anti-KJV attitude: “In the King James the word is ‘borrowed’ and that is unfortunate, because when you borrow, what are you supposed to do? Give it back, and God never intended that. So, the word ‘borrowed’ should be ‘asked,’ and is in many translations.” These “many translations” he touts here are actually the modern English versions. Those books are marketed as “superior” and “improvements” to the King James Bible. Before we deal with Exodus and those three references to borrowing, it would do us well to remind ourselves of English Bible translation history.

THE ENGLISH BIBLE SINCE 1881, IN BRIEF

Whether or not they realize it, all church members have been conditioned—or trained—to question and change the wording of the King James Bible to some extent. This is a result of Satan successfully introducing (corrupt) human reasoning into “Christian” educational systems. Friends, this is nothing new. The Devil has been attacking God’s Word relentlessly ever since Genesis chapter 3. Still, when it comes to the history of the English Bible, the battle has intensified in the last 135 years.

What makes 1881 such an important date is that it was when the Revised Version was first published in Great Britain. It was a “new translation” of a “new Greek text” based on the “oldest and best Bible manuscripts.” This New Testament (Old Testament was released in 1885) was actually an effort to challenge and eliminate the 1611 King James Bible from British Christianity. Roman Catholic Bible scholars, and their sympathizing Protestant colleagues, were tired of the 270-year-old “Protestant” Authorized Version (King James Bible). The 1881 Revised Version would hopefully replace it, allowing Roman Catholicism to regain its place in British churches and Bible schools. In order to boost the popularity of the Revised Version, the King James Bible was labeled “old,” “unscholarly,” and “riddled with errors.” (Sound familiar?!) What the general public did not know—and still does not know today—was that the Revised Version was a corruption of the King James Bible and not a correction of it! How so? The Revised Version was based on the manuscripts the Authorized Version translators had indeed known about nearly three centuries earlier but had rejected as being depraved and unreliable!!

What very few people know, even today, is that this—the late 19th century, not the 20th century—is actually where modern English versions began. Furthermore, very few people today are told what the Bible versions issue really involves. It is not about one set of Bible manuscripts being updated into modern English. It is all about an entirely different set of Bible manuscripts being brought into modern English. The King James Bible reads differently from the modern versions, not simply because of its older English, but because it and the modern versions are based on different manuscripts! Nearly every English Bible produced since 1881 has been influenced by these perverted “Alexandrian manuscripts and philosophies.” The King James Bible, on the other hand, was rendered from Antiochian manuscripts using correct translation methods (right text correctly translated). Another fact also withheld from the public is that the Alexandrian manuscripts are few in number and actually contradict each other. The King James manuscripts are in the thousands—the majority of existing manuscripts—and they are in very close agreement with each other.

For the last 135 years, vain human philosophy has increasingly dominated Christian thinking. With scholarship being infiltrated, Bible School materials and seminary curriculums reflect the Alexandrian textual ideas. Graduates of these schools—the so-called “higher” Christian thinking—are trained to believe three basic concepts: (1) there is no perfect Bible today, (2) the closest readings we have to the original manuscripts are in the Alexandrian Text not in the King James text, and (3) God will use their theological education to “refine” and “purify” the deficiencies of the Alexandrian Text. They are told that the King James Bible and its underlying manuscripts are “late,” “unscholarly,” and of no real authority. After being taught to argue with the King James Bible, cause people to doubt it, they graduate and proceed to lead our churches and write new “Christian” literature. The unsuspecting laymen will quote those anti-KJV commentaries, devotionals, books, and versions, deceived into thinking they are helping the Bible student when they are actually harming him or her by introducing unbelief and heresy!

The aforementioned Bible College and seminary graduates are eventually appointed to sit on translation committees of new Bible versions. While they may not agree on every point of doctrine, they share one idea—the King James Bible text is wrong, it needs to be improved, and thus the Alexandrian Text is to be preferred over the King James Majority Text. Now we understand why there is a constant push for other modern versions. They are operating under the assumption they are getting closer to the original Bible wording. In reality, they are deceived, and getting further from the truth!

During the last century, between 100 and 200 modern English versions—all based on that non-KJV, faulty 1881 Greek New Testament—have entered the Christian market and have been purchased by the well-intended, but ill-informed, public. This Greek New Testament and its resultant English translations gave more voice to the frequent anti-KJV remarks we read and hear even today (recall our remarks at the beginning of this study). When people offer “better” readings than what we find in the King James Bible, they are echoing the perverted teachings stretching back centuries, manuscript readings the Church the Body of Christ rejected as worthless, textual data the 1611 King James translators also refused to use. It is most serious!

Friend, here is what you need to know. Whenever you hear anyone talking about the King James Bible being wrong, you should outright dismiss him or her as knowing nothing about which he or she speaks. Such people are nothing more than Bible slanderers, repeating the nonsense they have heard others say. The King James Bible is right, and they can sulk and pout all they want. God’s Word is right and they are wrong. Period. They need to be quiet and go study their Bible before they start talking about it! They need to believe the Bible and stop discouraging others from believing it!

THE KING JAMES BIBLE; EXODUS 3:22, EXODUS 11:2, AND EXODUS 12:35; AND “BORROW”

According to Dictionary.com, the first definition of “borrow” is as follows: “to take or obtain with the promise to return the same or an equivalent.” A simple sentence is provided to demonstrate that sense: “Our neighbor borrowed my lawn mower.” This is the only sense of the word that the King James Bible critics evidently know. (Refer to the Bible teacher’s comments we started with—he claimed there was only one definition for “borrow.”) But, pay close attention here. Lexicographers—people who study languages and words professionally—agree “borrow” has a second meaning: “to use, appropriate, or introduce from another source or from a foreign source.” The dictionary provides two examples of this usage: “to borrow an idea from the opposition; to borrow a word from French.”

I would really like to know how the King James Bible critics would handle the phrase, “The English language is rich because it borrows many words from various other tongues.” Of course, they will see nothing with this word “borrows.” (Therefore, surely, they can be just a tad lenient on the King James translators for using the word in the same manner!) “Borrow” here, as well as in Exodus, is not the idea of temporary possession. The words the English language borrows from other languages are not returned to those languages—that is nonsense! No, “borrow” in that context means “take from another source.” Likewise, in Exodus, the goods were from the Egyptians and passed on to the Hebrews. Friends, there is nothing hard to understand here unless we are biased and want the King James Bible to be mistaken. It should be quite easy to grasp, unless we do not like the Bible and have an agenda to make it be wrong. The Bible believer will believe the Bible, no matter which “scholar” it contradicts.

Remember, friends, if we encounter a problem when reading the Authorized Version King James Bible, the problem is not with the King James Bible. God’s Word is perfect and thus has no problems. There is only one of two possibilities: (1) Our understanding of the English language is limited, and we had better get a dictionary; or, (2) we have a spiritual problem that we are allowing to interfere with our comprehension. We need to toss out the vain speculations of men and hold to the precious words of God! We will save ourselves much deception and headache!

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God…. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:4,5,13,14).

SUPPLEMENTAL: “LENT” AND EXODUS 12:36

Exodus 12:36 says: “And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” The word “lent” here should also be understood in light of our main Bible study. Yes, “lent” can mean, “granted use of on condition that it or its equivalent will be returned.” Howbeit, it can also carry the sense of “gave or contributed obligingly or helpfully.” An example is, “She lent help to her neighbor.” (Notice the primary definition of “lent”—as in to take and use temporarily—does not work here. You cannot return “help,” but help can be “lent!”) Yet another definition of “lent” is “to furnish or impart.” Considering the context of Exodus 12:36, this is the most descriptive meaning of the usage in that verse. These Egyptians were frantically furnishing the Israelites with goods in order to get them to leave!

Again, friends, there is nothing difficult here unless we have an agenda geared toward unfairly attacking the King James Bible. As a brother in Christ often says, “We should not get angry at our Bible for knowing more about our language than we do!”

Also see:
» Is “Easter” a mistranslation in the King James Bible in Acts 12:4?
» Should the King James read “Christ” or “Lord” in 2 Thessalonians 2:2?
» Is Matthew 27:9 a mistake?