Category Archives: BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS / CONFUSING VERSES SIMPLIFIED

Are Matthew 3:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 speaking of the same Spirit baptism?

ARE MATTHEW 3:11 AND 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13 SPEAKING OF THE SAME SPIRIT BAPTISM?

by Shawn Brasseaux

No. No. No. No! Regardless of what any “scholar” may tell you, they are not the same concept!

The Scriptures say in 1 Corinthians chapter 12: “[12] For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. [13] For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

Verse 13 reads as follows in the Greek Textus Receptus (the source of the King James New Testament): “Kai_gar [For] en* [by] eni [one] pneumati [Spirit] emeis [we] pantes [all] eis [into] en [one] soma [body] ebaptisthemen [are baptized], eite [whether] Ioudaioi [Jews] eite [or] Ellenes [Gentiles], eite [whether] douloi [bond] eite [or] eleutheroi [free] – kai [and] pantes [all] eis [into] en [one] pneuma [Spirit] epotisthemen [have been made to drink].”

Some theologians raise the issue that the Greek preposition “en” (“by”) at the beginning of the verse (noted by the asterisk* above) can also be rendered “with” or “in.” Whereas the King James says, “For by one Spirit…,” the alternate readings would thus be “For with one Spirit” and “For in one Spirit.” The “with” variant is particularly appealing to denominationalists because they cross-reference it to the “with” (see the asterisk* below) portion of John the Baptist’s warning in Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with* [en] the Holy Ghost, and with fire:….”

It is absolutely erroneous to make Jesus Christ baptizing people with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11) the same as the Holy Spirit baptizing people into the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Since the disparate prepositions in the English Bible cannot be used to support the idea that they are the same, theologians will then “run to the Greek” to retranslate what they assume the Bible writers meant in the original language. “By” in 1 Corinthians 12:13, they say, is wrong because it must agree with the “with” of Matthew 3:11.

One theologian has gone so far as to state that the Bible never once refers to the Holy Spirit as the Person doing the baptizing. In fact, he claimed that Matthew 3:11 says Jesus always baptizes. However, if 1 Corinthians 12:13 is left alone as it appears in the King James Bible, then the theologian is wrong, and the Holy Spirit is indeed the baptizer there!! Now we see why people are always trying to make (so-called) “helpful changes” to the Authorized Version. They are adjusting the Bible to fit their theology! Their system is the authority and the Scripture is quoted only when it supports the “pet” denominational tenet. They “correct” the Bible to agree with their preferred position. Any Bible contradictions can be written off as “mistakes” or “mistranslations.” What a shame!

Here, friends, is the tomfoolery—hiding under the guise of “scholarship” and “education”—that has led to such Bible perversions and corruptions for centuries upon centuries. These are the poor attitudes of most individuals leading our seminaries and teaching in our Bible colleges. You can find their students/graduates in myriads of pulpits and literature everywhere. They are the very people who sit on translation committees to publish the latest Bible version (and then their confusion is passed on the poor, unsuspecting readers). Even if they mean well—and hopefully they do mean well—they nevertheless are not using Divine insight when handling God’s Word. Such shoddy Bible interpretation belongs with lost people but not among Christian people!

If we ignore the dispensational distinctions in Scripture, then we cannot make sense of or fully appreciate the Bible. Its truths mean little to nothing to us if we go around “correcting” it. Whatever light it can give us is now obscured because we have thrown shadows and enigmas on it. The Spirit baptism in Matthew 3:11 and the Spirit baptism in 1 Corinthians 12:13 have nothing to do with each other. To combine them is to confuse the Church the Body of Christ with the Messianic Church found in Acts chapter 2. Our baptism by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ is forced to be the same as Israel’s baptism with the Holy Spirit in early Acts. The dispensations are mixed. Prophecy and mystery have been combined. Nothing but unanswerable confusion will result when we start attacking the Bible with “re-translations!”

Brethren, we should always be suspicious of the Bible commentator who plays the role of Bible translator. The preacher or teacher is to use the Bible as is. He can and should explain the text, but he oversteps his bounds when he adds to the Bible, subtracts from the Bible, or retranslates the Bible. The English King James Bible is correctwhether he believes it or not, whether he agrees with it or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we agree with it or not. We are known as “people of the Book” but is that title appropriate if we vilify and correct the very book we proclaim to be “the infallible, inerrant Word of God?” It does not make sense. (Of course, religious tradition never does!!)

Rather than approaching the Bible dispensationally and thus appreciating its layout, people have been trained to panic and “smooth over” any disparities in the Bible text. They are under the impression that there is only one audience in the Scripture. There can be no nation Israel and the Body of Christ. There can be no prophetic program and mystery program. There can be no Peter and Paul. There is only one group of believers of all ages. There is only one program in Scripture. Paul is an extension of Peter. God never changes His dealings with man. All the promises in the Bible belong to us. Here are the fundamental blunders, the outright lies, which have led to more Bible corruption, more denominations, and more confusion. We had better approach the Bible “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15), or we will not have a prayer in the world in comprehending it.

In closing, let us repeat ourselves. The idea that Matthew 3:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 have the same Spirit baptism is all predicated on the erroneous notion that there is only one “church” in the Book of Acts. The Messianic Church and the Church the Body of Christ are not to be confused. Matthew 3:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 have absolutely nothing to do with each other. They were not the same baptism, they are still not the same baptism, and they will never be the same baptism. It does not matter what any theologian says. Whether we agree with it or not, the King James Bible is still correct (“BY one Spirit” in 1 Corinthians 12:13). It was here long before we were born and it will be here long after we are gone. What we had better do is believe it as it is, and stop “correcting” (corrupting) it using our limited understanding.

Also see:
» Did the Church the Body of Christ begin in Acts chapter 2?
» Should “church” be changed to “called-out assembly” in Acts 7:38 in the King James Bible?
» Do we live in the “Church Age?”

Who was the father of the Prophet Zechariah?

WHO WAS THE FATHER OF THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Read the following four references:

  • Ezra 5:1: “Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them.”
  • Ezra 6:14: “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.”
  • Zechariah 1:1: “In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,….”
  • Zechariah 1:7: “Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,….”

In Ezra, he is known as “Zechariah the son of Iddo.” Zechariah twice refers to himself as “the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet.” Some consider this contradictory. Who exactly was Zechariah’s father? Iddo? Or Berechiah? Why does Berechiah not always appear in his appellation?

Until we can eliminate all possibilities of it being right, we should never claim the Bible to be wrong. If we take the position of faith, we will give Scripture the benefit of the doubt. It is correct—whether or not we agree with it, whether or not we understand it. We should take the time to study and see why it is has inconsistencies, contradictions, discrepancies, seeming “errors.” It is much more rewarding to research than to point a critical finger at it! (Unless we really do not have any interest in the truth, and we just want to ridicule the Bible whenever possible!)

We can account for the two variations of Zechariah’s title as follows:

  1. It seems that Iddo was more famous than Berechiah. While “prophet” is attached to Iddo, it is not applied to Berechiah.
  2. Berechiah may have died at an early age, having never attained the office of priest or prophet. His name would have been unknown, pointless to mention. In this case, Berechiah would have been Zechariah’s father, and Iddo would have been Zechariah’s grandfather.
  3. Zechariah alone mentions “Berechiah.” The name is not found outside the Book of Zechariah. Perhaps Zechariah preferred this styling of his name. Similarly, Matthew is called “Levi” and “Levi the son of Alphaeus” outside of his writings (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27) but he himself prefers to be called “Matthew” (Matthew 9:9).
  4. Berechiah may not have been an actual person. The Hebrew means “knee/blessing of Jehovah.” This would make Berechiah an honorific title of Zechariah. (Here, Iddo would be Zechariah’s father.) For example, we see how the Lord Jesus titled Apostles James and John as follows: “And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:…” (Mark 3:17). Surely no man was named “Thunder.” The father of James and John was Zebedee, but Jesus emphasized their ministry by titling them “sons of thunder.” They were pictures of God’s voice thundering the Gospel of the Kingdom to Israel.

Here are four possibilities (and there are others not listed) that lead us to conclude the Bible text is correct as concerning Zechariah’s lineage and/or background. The burden of proof lies with the critics, not the Bible believers. We offer our answers to them, now they need to show us where their position is more plausible than ours.

Also see:
» How could the conception of Christ be a sign to King Ahaz if Ahaz died centuries earlier?
» “I believed the Gospel, so why do they not believe?”
» “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not murder?”

Why do Daniel 1:1 and Jeremiah 25:1 conflict?

WHY DO DANIEL 1:1 AND JEREMIAH 25:1 CONFLICT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Why do these verses disagree?

  • Jeremiah 25:1: “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;….”
  • Daniel 1:1: “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.”

Jeremiah claims the “fourth year” whereas Daniel speaks of the “third year.” Is this a mistake? We can account for this discrepancy as follows: Daniel speaks of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar leaving Babylon to attack Jerusalem while Jeremiah marks the time Nebuchadnezzar actually invaded Jerusalem. That is, Nebuchadnezzar departed Babylon in Jehoiakim’s third year (Daniel’s perspective), and he fought against Jehoiakim in Jerusalem in Jehoiakim’s fourth year (Jeremiah perspective). What had Nebuchadnezzar been doing in the interim?

We turn to Jeremiah chapter 46 for the explanation: “[1] The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles; [2] Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.” Nebuchadnezzar (same as Nebuchadrezzar) attacked and defeated Pharaohnecho King of Egypt before moving on to conquer Jerusalem and vanquish Jehoiakim King of Judah.

The narrative now put forth in one succinct sentence: Nebuchadnezzar left Babylon in Jehoiakim’s third year, Nebuchadnezzar battled Pharaohnecho/Egypt at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s fourth year, and, later that year, Nebuchadnezzar fought with Jehoiakim. There is no contradiction or difficulty unless we are looking for mistakes.

By the way, it is highly significant that (Gentile) Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem because of JEHOVAH God’s guidance and empowerment. Jerusalem had been an idolatrous city for centuries. Most of her kings had been wicked, and Jehoiakim was no exception. (Please see 2 Chronicles 36:1-21 and Jeremiah 25:1-7.) God Himself therefore brought Nebuchadnezzar into Jerusalem to punish and deport evil Jerusalem and Judah, carrying them off to Babylonian exile (exactly as Moses warned in Leviticus 26:27-39 several hundred years earlier).

Daniel chapter 1 bears this out: “[1] In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. [2] And the LORD gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [that is, Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.”

Also, the LORD said in Jeremiah 22:25 years later: “And I will give thee [King Coniah/Jehoiachin the son of Jehoiakim] into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.”

Jeremiah 25:9 (the LORD speaking again): “Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.” (Your attention is drawn to see that Nebuchadnezzar is called God’s “servant.” He is exacting God’s will in punishing heathen Judah.)

Now, Jeremiah chapter 27: “[1] In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, [2] Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck, [3] And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; [4] And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; [5] I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. [6] And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.” (Nebuchadnezzar is again called God’s “servant.”)

Lastly, Jeremiah 32:28: “Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city [Jerusalem] into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:….”

Also see:
» Why does “overturn” appear thrice in Ezekiel 21:27?
» Was King Nebuchadnezzar a saved man?
» Is “divine right of kings” a Scriptural concept?

Is there a geographical error in 2 Kings 2:2?

IS THERE A GEOGRAPHICAL ERROR IN 2 KINGS 2:2?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Second Kings chapter 2 opens with: “[1] And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. [2] And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.”

Gilgal is situated in the (low-lying) Jordan River Valley, just north of the Dead Sea. Prophets Elijah and Elisha leave Gilgal and “went down to Bethel” (verse 2). However, as any Bible atlas shows, Bethel is in mountainous terrain—some 3,000 feet higher than Gilgal! Is there is a problem with the Bible text here? No.

There is a second Gilgal, also known as Jiljilia (or modern Jiljulieh). It is roughly halfway (4 miles or 6 kilometers, either way) between Bethel and Shiloh. (It is northwest of the Gilgal located in the Jordan floodplain.) Jiljilia is likely the Gilgal of 2 Kings 2:2 and 4:38. It was at a higher elevation than Bethel, so the Scriptures are correct in saying “went down to Bethel” from Gilgal. The Gilgal of the Jordan River is something else entirely, as leaving there would have required going up to Bethel.

Friends, it is always important that we keep the following in mind when critiquing the Bible’s geographic data. Locations today cannot always be identified with absolute precision—especially ancient places and names. Physical landscapes changing because of natural forces, names being revised due to cultural influences, and so on, are factors in complicating the pinpointing of exact locations. Even in Bible days, multiple locations shared one name (as in Gilgal), and one location had several names (specific, regional, colloquial, former, latter, et cetera). If we are going to be honest with the Bible, we should give it the benefit of the doubt. Rather than immediately dismissing a verse as wrong, we should research it. Without fail, we will see we are wrong because we had limited knowledge of the situation. The problem does not lie in the Scripture; the problem lies in us!

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! 🙂

Also see:
» Is the King James word “borrow” a mistranslation in Exodus 3:22?
» Is Israel “cast away,” or not? Has Israel “fallen,” or not?
» Does the Bible contain a contradiction about Solomon’s molten sea?

Did Jacob wrestle with a man—or an angel?

DID JACOB WRESTLE WITH A MAN—OR AN ANGEL?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Once, a teacher confidently asserted, “The Bible says that Jacob wrestled with a ‘man.’ It was not an ‘angel’ as some people assume and claim.” Is this so? Was it a man? Or an angel? Why are these two different positions taken? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

In Genesis chapter 32, we read: “[24] And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. [25] And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. [26] And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. [27] And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. [28] And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. [29] And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. [30] And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. [31] And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. [32] Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.”

After this brawl, the Bible says in verse 28 that Jacob is renamed “Israel,” Hebrew for “the prince that prevails with God.” Verse 24 indeed says Jacob wrestled with “a man.” The word “angel” indeed does not appear in the Scriptures here. However, look closely at verse 30—do not read it quickly. Jacob claims, “I have seen God face to face.” It was no ordinary man that Jacob fought. No mortal man would be called “God.” What is going on here?

The Bible abounds with a literary feature known as “subsequent narrative.” Scripture may withhold information about a particular idea for centuries. Moses, when writing Genesis, reported that Jacob wrestled with a “man.” However, when we go to the Book of Hosea, something the Holy Spirit wrote about 700 years after Genesis was written, we learn more about Jacob’s encounter here.

Hosea chapter 12: “[2] The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. [3] He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: [4] Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;….”

Verse 2 occurred in Genesis 25:20-26, some nine centuries prior to Hosea. Isaac’s wife Rebecca gave birth to twins—Esau followed by Jacob. Jacob grabbed Esau’s heel as Esau was being delivered. Jacob, not Esau, would give rise to the nation Israel started with Abraham and Isaac. The Jews to whom Hosea is preaching and writing are the very descendants of Jacob. Hosea 12:4 says Jacob “had power over the angel, and prevailed.” Genesis 32:28 again, “And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Jacob’s encounter with the angel here is their national history—when they gained the name of “Israel.” (This is why the Jews are also called “the children of Israel,” with “Israel” being the new name God gave Jacob.) But, why did Genesis say the “angel” was a “man?”

Through various other passages of Scripture, we understand that when God’s angels appeared to people, they assume the form of men (never women!). Remember the two men in Jesus’ tomb on resurrection morning? Luke 24:4 says, “And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:….” Two men appeared at His ascension in Acts 1:10: “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;….” These were angels. Gabriel the Angel appeared as a man to the prophet Daniel. Daniel 9:21 documents: “Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.”

Angels are repeatedly referred to as “he” in the Bible. Zechariah 5:5-11, for example: “[5] Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. [6] And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.… [8] And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. … [10] Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? [11] And he said unto me,….” Also, Revelation 19:10 speaks of an angel that the Apostle John desired to worship: “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

We say all that to show that the argument that Jacob fought with a man rather than an angel is trivial and actually specious. The Bible says an angel fought with Jacob and a man fought with Jacob. Using common sense, we conclude that an angel took on the form of a man there. The angel was God’s representative, and this being may have been the angel of the LORD. That “angel of the LORD” sometimes seems to be God Himself (Jesus Christ pre-incarnate), which explains why Jacob said he “saw God face to face” (and thus named the place “Peniel”—Genesis 32:30). Jacob encountered a man (in appearance) but it was not a normal man. It was an angel, a supernatural being of some kind. There is no need to get confused. We simply read the Bible, believe what we read in the Bible, and not worry about the opinions and baseless claims of preachers and teachers.

Also see:
» Did Pharaoh die in the Red Sea?
» Are angels women?
» Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated?

Can you shed light on Galatians 3:20?

CAN YOU SHED LIGHT ON GALATIANS 3:20?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The Bible says in Galatians 3:20: “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” What should we take from this?

It is better to read the context first to get the thought-flow of the passage: “[15] Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. [16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [17] And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. [18] For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

“[19] Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. [20] Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. [21] Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. [22] But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”

No mediator was necessary between the LORD God and Abram back in the opening verses of Genesis chapter 12: “[1] Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: [2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: [3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” God made promises to Abram, but Abram did not promise God anything. Abram was under no obligation because the Abrahamic Covenant was God’s grace (gift to Abraham). The promise was certain (unconditional) because God alone was the party who needed to perform to bring it to pass. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.”

In stark contrast, the Mosaic Covenant (the Law) was conditional. God would work and give Israel the blessing—but only if Israel kept all His commandments first! Both Israel and God were obligated to perform under this arrangement. The Jews had to obey God 100 percent to get His blessings (impossible for sinners, for sinners “transgress”—see Galatians 3:19 above). This two-party agreement meant that God had to give Israel the Law through a mediator—Moses. Again, no such mediator was present or required in Genesis chapter 12 with Abram (later renamed Abraham). “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.”

Exodus chapter 19 speaks of the Law being given to Israel through Moses: “[1] In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. [2] For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. [3] And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; [4] Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. [5] Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. [7] And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. [8] And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”

Also see:
» What are the “sins that are past” in Romans 3:25?
» Does God see us Christians as sinners?
» Was the Law of Moses given by the LORD or by angels?

Do Galatians 6:2 and Galatians 6:5 contradict each other?

DO GALATIANS 6:2 AND GALATIANS 6:5 CONTRADICT EACH OTHER?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Why does God’s Word tell us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) and then command in the same passage, “Every man shall bear his own burden” (Galatians 6:5)? Is this not a contradiction? Is this a mistake in the Bible? Friends, we just need a good English dictionary and a little common sense, and it will become quite simple!

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
“For every man shall bear his own burden” (Galatians 6:5).

Those who enjoy “running to the Greek,” point out that “burdens” in Galatians 6:2 is bare, while “burden” in verse 5 is phortion. One seminary-trained minister recently criticized the King James Bible because the distinction in Greek was “lost in English.” My wonderful readers, before we criticize our English Bible, perhaps we had better consult an English dictionary. (Nothing is “lost in English!” The “scholar” says this so we depend on him to learn the real Bible. It is a form of Romanism, “Come to the priest, who has been educated to function as the ‘true’ interpreter of the Bible!”) I have a good pastor friend who wisely says, “Do not get angry at your Bible when it knows more about the English language than you do!” What is a synonym for “burden?” How about “load?” Why not leave “burden” in both verses and just remember what they mean?

Consider this ridiculously simple illustration. Suppose we have two coworkers. Each is being paid to do his or her own job, correct? However, what if both are carrying a heavy load? The one with the lighter load can come behind the other and help lift the object. This is not difficult to understand. It is when we come to the Bible—spiritual matters—that the battle wages and confusion arises. A struggle between good and evil and the souls of men begins. People have no trouble comprehending real-world scenarios apart from the Bible. When concepts in the Bible parallel the real-world scenarios, that is when people oppose. What should be simple is needlessly complicated. They do not want the Bible to say what it says. They want to find fault with it. They want to change it.

God wants us to function fully on our own, and yet, when necessary, we can help each other out. This is especially true of trying to recover Christians from “the snare of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:26). “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Christian living is not about serving self. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Now Galatians 6:3: “For if a man think himself to be something, which he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” And finally, verses 4 and 5: “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” God expects every Christian to be mature enough to carry his or her own weight, not needing “crutches” or “aids” continually. How simple!

Also see:
» Do Hosea 11:12 and Hosea 12:2 contradict?
» Is Galatians 1:6-7 contradictory?
» Do John 5:31 and John 8:14 contradict?