This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote giving forth an Apologia for the faith.
You use two Scriptures and I have no problem with the first two and I find no problem with you using them. However, you cite Colossians 1:15-18 and you fall into classical errors simply because you are not discerning the use of English grammar, let alone Greek grammar, which is how the NT was originally penned.
Let’s address your first classical error: Scriptures were not written as a hodge-podge in which we are allowed to lift them out of context as we so desire in order to prove our doctrinal inclinations. I’m glad you are trying to exegete the Scriptures; however, you have need of a teacher yet. This then entails that we should go back to at least the beginning of the chapter to establish what is going on in this personal letter that Paul is writing to the church at Colosse.
V1 Paul establishes his apostleship that it is by the will of God and introduces Timothy as well.
V2 Paul names who this letter is to be addressed: saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colosse. He next blesses them with grace and peace, etc.
V3 Paul lets them know that he prays for them and thanks God…
V4 especially since they have faith in Christ Jesus and they love the saints.
V5 Paul reminds them of their hope which has been laid up for them, which had been proclaimed to them through the Gospel.
V6 The Gospel is bringing forth fruit and in them as well since they have known the grace of God in truth.
V7 Paul reminds them that they learned this through Epaphras their faithful minister of Christ.
V8 Paul tells them that Epaphras has told Paul and others of their love in the Spirit.
V9 Since the day that Paul heard the news, [What news? The news that the Gospel was bringing forth fruit in their lives], he has not ceased to pray for them and to desire that they might be filled with the knowledge of ‘his’ will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. So who does ‘his’ refer to exactly? Let’s go backwards to v4 and we find the subject of ‘his’ which is Christ Jesus. How do we know this? Because what is bringing forth fruit in these saints’ lives? The Gospel and who is the Gospel proclaiming…none other than Christ Jesus.
V10 [what will be the purpose of them being filled with the knowledge of ‘his’ (Christ Jesus’) will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding?]. That you might walk worthy of the Lord (Jesus), unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. [Because the Lord Jesus Christ came to announce the grace of God for reconciliation to God the Father by the shedding of his (Jesus’) blood.]
V11 Strengthened with all might [whose? Jesus’] according to ‘his’ [Jesus’] glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joy;
V12 Giving thanks unto the Father, who [God the Father] has made us meet to be full partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
V13 who [God the Father] has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated [moved] us into the kingdom of his [God the Father] dear Son:
V14 in whom [Jesus] we have redemption through his [Jesus] blood, the forgiveness of sins:
V15 who [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God….
So now let’s unpack verse 15….it is critical indeed for your understanding. So the verse tells us that Jesus is the IMAGE of the INVISIBLE GOD. Hmmm. Does God the Father have an IMAGE? The verse just tells us that HE is invisible and no one can see Him. So what does that tell us…except that GOD IS SPIRIT, even as John 4:24 tells us, and that God is seeking those who will one day be born again and be filled with His Spirit to worship Him perfectly. So now what does this tell us about Jesus Christ? If He is the IMAGE of God, it is saying that Jesus is SPIRIT too. If we think about the opening chapters of Genesis, what does God say about everything that He is making? It will REPRODUCE after ITS OWN KIND. Now, however, is this truly saying that Jesus was CREATED? NO! Why? Was God the Father created at some point in time? The Greek word for ‘first-born’ is πρωτότοκος and from this word, we get our English word ‘prototype,’ the first one in a series. So therefore, Jesus is the IMAGE OF GOD, and we are being made in Jesus’ image. How? We get born-again and we become SPIRITUAL BEINGS once again. This is what Adam and Eve were originally when God said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us MAKE man (their spirits) after ‘OUR IMAGE’ and then he FORMED their bodies and then He MADE their souls by blowing in the SPIRIT into their flesh and mankind became a living soul. So who was God talking to in Genesis? He states, ‘our’ (plural) image. Okay on to
V16 For by ‘him,’[who is ‘him’? It is the Lord Jesus and not God the Father. God in the Greek is in the genitive (possessive) case and not the nominative (subject)], were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him [Jesus] and for him [Jesus]:
V17 and he [Jesus] is before all things, and by him [Jesus] all things consist.
V18 and HE [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the prototype from the dead; that in all he [Jesus] might have the preeminence.
Verse 18 clearly states who the ‘HE’ the passage has been talking about and so HE was not CREATED as you are thinking of creation, but rather Jesus is the prototype, or the first in a series of spiritual sons and daughters that we should be like HIM and thus be able to worship the Holy Father in spirit and truth, especially since after Pentecost we are filled with the Holy Spirit so that we may do just that: worship the Most High God (the Father) and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
Since we have been looking closely at the various Scriptures that pertain to the laws of God and as we are finally going to wrap this series up, let us look at Galatians, which is a book that is consistently cited in that total grace-ites state that this book definitively declares that the laws of God have ended. Really? Did they? Let’s see. First of all, before we go into the book of Galatians, let’s establish our ground work first; of course, these articles have already covered these Scriptures, but we will list them again.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Now the diehard grace-ite will be the first to argue and say that this was written to Israel and not to the church. Really? Using that same logic, then Jesus Christ himself said that He had come to the lost sheep of Israel. Oh-Oh! Houston…we have a problem! That doesn’t include the Gentiles if one has to be fair at this point. Now what? Okay, one more Scripture so that we can all know that everyone can get a ticket and get on board the GodShip Gospel Line.
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Paul writes that the Gentiles have been grafted into the root stock of Israel. Why? So that we can receive all of the promises and requirements and that they are made available to us as well. This writer finds it very interesting that those who deny that we have to obey God’s commandments are more than willing to claim the goodness of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants as well as the new covenant written with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, but those same people want nothing to do with the laws of God. We offer our condolences to you at this point…simply because you cannot have your cake and eat it too, my friends. You either take the whole Word of God or please don’t take any of it; we are not allowed to pick and choose which Scriptures we would like to have and throw out the ones that make us squirm. But unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened. Many pastors and teachers have taught the populace that the Scriptures should be viewed as something akin to a Smorgasbord or items on an À la carte menu. All of the Scriptures make up a whole body of evidence and you simply cannot dissect the Word of God, no matter how badly you may wish to do so.
Let us now define some terms that often cause confusion. These terms were not clear to this writer either growing spiritually mature in the church; this writer simply didn’t know what they meant. If the question was asked of those who were supposed to be more learned, the answer generally given was doing the laws of God. Exactly, what does that mean? Who knew…probably no one understood it, nor could define it when asked to do so. This is why this writer walked around in a fog for most of the years waiting to grow up.
What are they and what do they mean?
There are two terms that are the same thing, but they use two different words and they are:
works of the law…and…deeds of the law
simply pertain to the sacrificial portion of the law. Every Israelite male was to continually offer up the Passover sacrifice; the Yom Kippur sacrifice; they were to make peace offerings, heave offerings, free-will offerings, etc. etc. By doing so they would attain to righteousness and have their sins, transgressions and iniquities covered up by the blood of the animal offered. But too many people have been taught that this pertains to the entire Law of God and not to just one portion, thereby ‘ending’ the Law of God because we are told that we cannot be justified by the ‘deeds or the works of the Law.” This is true if applied to the sacrificial portion of the Law. These works or deeds were Israel “working out their own salvation” if you will in an attempt to make themselves righteous, even though it was available to be made righteous through faith, but they couldn’t receive it and so they focused on the works and therefore they were never justified. Christians however, accept the “atoning works of the Lord Jesus Christ” and we accept by faith that His perfect blood has made us righteous through Him and therefore we are made justified.
This is going to shock a lot of people….but oh, well. But hold on, this writer will explain. The sacrificial portion of the law didn’t end either. WHAT? No, it did not. It TRANSFERRED from the tribe of Levi to the Tribe of Judah, and the Ha Mashiach, Yeshua Adonai (or Christ Jesus) on the appointed Passover, at the time of sacrifice, did not offer up an animal but offered up Himself, and His own perfect blood seeing that He also became our High Priest. He is also our eternal High Priest because the Scriptures plainly state Yeshua was after the priestly order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 3:1, 5:1, 5:6
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Now that that particular truth is established…here is one more for those that may not know these things: there were three parts of God’s laws. First, there was the Ten Commandments (or the moral laws); Second, there were the food laws, which were established to teach Israel on how to choose between the holy and the unholy, or the clean and the unclean, plus, it was also in place to keep Israel healthy in their physical bodies; and the Third, there was the sacrificial laws pertaining to the forgiveness of the sins of Israel. The Ten Commandments have never ended; the food laws have been modified, at least for the Gentiles coming into the church, but still having to keep some of them for the sake of their Jewish brothers and sisters, which we find in Acts 15. The third portion did not end but merely transferred to Yeshua Adonai who became the High Priest and the sacrifice that year. His office of High Priest has still not ended even to this day, for He acts on our behalf and when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, He goes before the Heavenly Father and presents His perfect blood on the altar so that we may obtain forgiveness.
There is still so much more to cover and we did not even get to the book of Galatians as hoped for and therefore this will have to be continued in Part 17. God Bless.
Is complementarianism truly biblical? As far as this writer’s personal studies have led, it is not. When a true student of the Word of God, or the Bible, reads such articles as that written by Owen Strachan, the President of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, who has laid out some of the pillars of his beliefs regarding complementarianism, and then lists supposed Scriptural accounts to back his assertions up, it simply does not bear out. In the first part of his article he covers the controversy regarding Gavin Peacock, a pastor located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who also believes in complementarianism and who also wrote his own article regarding this subject. However, what will be covered in this article are the points Strachan lists in his article concerning complementarian viewpoints.
In the Bible, God makes the cosmos in Genesis 1, and then he makes man and woman, husband and wife, in Genesis 2. He gives this relationship structure and form. Adam is the head of his wife; his wife is his helper. Eve is created from Adam. Her body depends on his for existence. This is a signal from the very start of Scripture: the position of marital headship given to men is one of responsibility and sacrifice, not ease and self-indulgence (Strachan).
Strachan quotes Genesis 1 and 2, so let us read these Scriptures to see if this is what they say. Verses 1-25 tell of God speaking creation into existence. It is in v26-27 that we first find the beginnings of mankind.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
The only thing in these two verses that Strachan is correct about is that God created man…male and female created He them. No sign of order…no headship…just a simple statement of fact. Plus, He unequivocally states, “Let THEM have dominion…” So, God is the Creator. Exactly what did God create? He created the male and female spirits. How do we know this? The Word that God spoke about His creation: He was going to make mankind in His image. What is God’s image? It is Spirit, as we find in John 4:24, “God is Spirit.” If the age-old argument is to be proffered that the word ‘male’ is first and then ‘female;’ well in the order of things…something has to be first and something must be last when dealing with a list of words. It still gives no authority of placement in these verses. To say so is eisegesis of the worst kind; and what exactly is ‘eisegesis’?
Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsəˈdʒiːsəs/; from the Greek preposition εἰς “into” and the ending from the English word exegesis, which in turn is derived from ἐξηγεῖσθαι “to lead out”) is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text. The act is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda (Wikipedia).
The next chapter of the Bible that Strachan refers to is Genesis 2 and the verses, though not listed, are these:
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
God first created their spirits, but then He put them in ONE body (a foreshadowing of the ONE body of Christ, His church), and then God looked at Adam (meaning, ‘red earth’), and said “I will make him an help meet (Hbw= ezer, a strong help)”; so God took woman’s spirit out of Adam and gave the female spirit her own fleshly body. Adam then said “…she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” As we read this biblical text in Genesis 2, there still isn’t any command of God for man to have ‘headship’ over his wife. It simply is just not there! In verse 24 we read:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
This verse sounds more like commentary from Moses who wrote the Pentateuch, especially since at this juncture there was no father or mother to leave. There would be in the future, but not at this scene in the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, Moses lived in the midst of a patriarchal society and so it would behoove one to believe that as the writer of Genesis, that this would have been the perfect time to have instituted patriarchalism or complementarianism if this truly was the will of God. But as we have just seen, Moses did not institute either biblical worldview when he wrote the very words of God.
So for those who hold the complementarian view and for them to say that the book of Genesis supports ‘headship’ and ‘wifely submission’ are errant in their views because the record of the creation of man by God shows no such thing. Furthermore, there isn’t any commands uttered by God to Adam (who was both male and female at the same time) to engage in any such practice. Neither did God command the now separated man and woman to engage in any such lifestyle.
The first we read about any such possibility is in Genesis 3:16 and yet God is not cursing the woman, but merely tells her that since sin has now entered into their existence, the resulting skewing of their equality will now be that the male Adam will begin to rule over the female Adam. We should now see that this ‘headship’ if you will and forced ‘submission’ leads into the patriarchal system, but it was only introduced after sin entered the Garden of Eden and not before when they were in God’s paradise. So how is this God’s perfect will?
This writer will continue in additional articles to cover this large topic. So stay tuned.
We were last reading in the book of Galatians, chapter 3 and it should now be established in your hearts that God’s Laws are not a curse. The curse was simply this: if you sinned….you died! This is the curse in a nutshell. However, this is the total grace from God, that He sent His Son to take that curse upon Himself; He stood in our place and was put to death for our sins, not His own. This is GRACE! Undeserved merit and favor from a Supreme God who should rightly have executed every single one of us for the transgressions we have committed against His holiness. Now does this put an end to the Laws of God? Absolutely not! Here is the deal: Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior allows God the Father to place within you His Holy Spirit and He looks upon you and sees the righteousness and holiness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. From this vantage point, we now have the ability to keep God’s Laws and to remain in obedience to the One True God. When our flesh does fail, we have an advocate with the Holy Father to restore us to righteousness.
So what serves the Laws of God? It was placed there because of transgressions.
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.
If I do not know that something offends a Holy God, how can I avoid doing it? I cannot. Therefore, God established His Holy Laws so that His people would know what to do and what not to do. It set up parameters for the people of God to be able to judge between:
HOLY and UNHOLY
RIGHTEOUS and UNRIGHTEOUS
CLEAN and UNCLEAN
GOOD and EVIL
BEST and GOOD
The book of Galatians goes on to explain that the promise of a mediator, the one and only Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ was coming. Furthermore, the law would not end the promise, but the promise would bring to fulfillment all the laws of God. Even in the Garden of Eden, there was at least one Law, which was, “Thou shalt obey me.”
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. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
The law is not against the promises of God because the promise was given to Abraham before the Law was put into place. Furthermore, as the Scripture so plainly states that if righteousness could have come by the Law, then God would have made it available. However, God wanted righteousness to be made available not through our works, but through faith in His Son’s accomplishments for us at the Cross of Calvary. That it would no longer be centered upon us, but on His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In this way, we would never be able to lose our righteousness ever again. As we can see from the Scriptures, righteousness was centered upon the works of Adam and Eve. They subsequently lost that righteousness because of their works also. This is why God wanted to establish our righteousness not in our works but in His Son who would never lose His righteousness ever. In this way, we would never be condemned to death ever again.
But before faith came we were kept under the law and the law was our schoolmaster or our tutor. It defined for us that which was Holy and Unholy, Clean and Unclean, etc. It taught us how to choose between these differences. NOW… We are no longer under that tutor, but as children of God, we have received the Holy Spirit…He has taken over that role and the law is no longer external, but internal in our born again spirits, filled with Holy Spirit that guides us and reproves us when we are starting to move towards sinful activity.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Now shall the Holy Spirit indeed negate the laws of God and tell you to do things that break those laws? Absolutely not! You will find that when the Holy Spirit commands you to do certain things that it establishes the Word of God in you.
We will continue in Part 15…so stay tuned.
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Since we have been studying in the book of Galatians, we have learned that the works of the Law should not be equated with the Ten Commandments; but rather the Mosaic Law, which was the outworking or the edicts that came down from the judgment seat of Moses, as he heard legal cases and then rendered his verdicts. So let us start in Galatians chapter 3:
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
The people of Galatia had come into Christianity believing that the Lord Jesus Christ had purchased their righteousness with His death and resurrection, but because of those Jews who were seeking to turn the new Christians into Jewish proselytes first, the Apostle Paul vehemently asks them, “who has bewitched you…?” Paul then wanted to know why these Galatians had obviously believed that they had received the Holy Spirit, but were now trying to make themselves righteous through the keeping of the Mosaic laws.
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
Paul was telling them that they were already in the family of God…through faithful Abraham who had received his righteousness because he chose to believe what God had told him regarding the promise of a son being born to him and Sarah even when they were too old to have any children. Yet he believed and so received righteousness.
The Galatians had believed what the Apostle Paul had taught them and so had believed that the Lord Jesus Christ had purchased their salvation through His holy blood, which He shed at the cross at Calvary, and they too like all other new converts to Christianity are given the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But they had been led astray to believe that they had to establish their own righteousness through the keeping of the Mosaic laws.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
This author has heard many interpretations of this next passage: blatant misinterpretations; deliberate eisegetical attempts and then there are those who have been taught that because of this passage, we are no longer under ANY laws (cough, cough). Okay…readers are you ready?
1) Being under God’s law is a curse!
2) The laws of God ARE a curse!
3) Jesus Christ redeemed us from that cursed law.
4) Jesus tried to keep them and He became cursed.
But are these last four views really true? No. The problem lies in the fact that a lot of people skim read and they do not reflect on that which they have just read, thereby making the text totally open to their own personal interpretation. Or, they try to pigeon-hole what they just read with other teachings that they have heard and then arrive at a totally new mixture.
Here is a brief correction to the four views listed above:
1) Being under God’s laws is a blessing
2) The laws of God are HOLY
3) Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, not the cursed law.
4) Jesus didn’t TRY to keep God’s laws; He KEPT all of them, yet still chose to bear our curse, thus becoming a cursed one for us by bearing our punishment and being put to death in our place.
In a nutshell, the curse of the Law was that if you broke these laws, you were worthy to be put to death; it was that serious. But God’s laws are Holy. So what is the problem? If you choose to reject God’s Holy One, the Lord Jesus Christ, you end up trying to establish your OWN righteousness rather than receiving the free gift which is ‘the righteousness of Christ.’ From this starting point, we are now able to keep God’s laws, His Ten Commandments, when and as we submit to the leading of His Holy Spirit.
Stay Tuned for Part 14!
The oft quoted line from Hamlet, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” In William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet is questioning the meaning of life. But what if the question is really to use ‘that’ or ‘a’ in order to have a more perfect exegetical argument? What if the exegete needs to use one or the other aforementioned words in order to point to a “Who?” Does the exegete decide, or does the Biblical text decide? This should be a truly easy question shouldn’t it?
So let us look at John 4:19
The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
The 1550 Stephens Text shows:
λεγει αυτω η γυνη κυριε θεωρω οτι προφητης ει συ
Th 1881 Westcott-Hort Text shows:
λεγει αυτω η γυνη κυριε θεωρω οτι προφητης ει συ
Both Greek texts have the identical wording and so the word in question is that little three letter word, οτι.
Follow the list items and the pictures to find out just how truly beautiful John 4:19 is, especially in the Greek, and if incorrectly translated into English it loses its unique flavor.
This is the Greek text of John 4:19 which shows the word in Greek “Hoti” which is pronounced “Hotty.”
The rough translation of this verse is such:
“The woman said to him, Lord I perceive that prophet you are”
In the Greek language, sometimes a word or words would be thrown to the front of a sentence or at the end for emphasis. Here it has been thrown to the end of the sentence and subsequently the translator can move them to their proper place in the English language. By putting them at the end of this sentence it has the same equivalent as the woman pointing her finger at Jesus and saying “YOU ARE!”
So a more correct rendering of this verse would be:
“The woman said to him, Lord I perceive YOU ARE THAT PROPHET!”
Why does the King James insert an indefinite article? Technically, in this writer’s opinion they should not have because simply there wasn’t any need.
In John 4:17 another usage of Hot-ti is found and here in this verse the KJV has omitted the Greek word due to the fact that it is being used with direct discourse.
Looking at the photo above one notices the entry marked (b.) “after verbs that denote mental or sense perception.” Thus Hot-ti should correctly be translated as ‘that.’ The KJV left it in the same order but positioned “you are” after ‘that’ instead of before ‘that’ which is why they necessitated the use of the indefinite article of ‘a’. But by placing ‘you are’ before ‘that’ it leads into the identification of which prophet the Lord Jesus truly was, is and will always be.
Here is the entry which indicates that Hot-ti was originally the neuter of Hos-tis, whereas we see that Hos-tis is translated as a ‘who’ or ‘what’, but Hot-ti being more neuter in nature merely points to “THAT.”
The Greek word Hot-ti was the neuter of Hos-tis which definitely points to a person or a thing as one can see from the photo which lists Whoever or whatever. This will also show why the Greek word Hot-ti points to Jesus Christ, thus pointing him out as ‘THAT’ prophet and not just ‘A’ prophet as the King James renders it. The Lord Jesus was not just ‘ANY’ prophet, but rather ‘THAT’ prophet.
I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
Here is the Pièce de résistance of this entire study. Why? Because the Samaritans were well aware that Messias was coming. They did not know when or who but they knew that one day He would come. What this writer sees happening in this passage is this: The Samaritan woman had just been told by the Lord Jesus that she had already had five husbands and she was living with the sixth man. She probably had never encountered someone like Jesus who could tell her everything that she had done. So without her own self quite realizing it, she prematurely uttered that HE was the ONE….THAT prophet… that had been prophesied in the book of Deuteronomy which she and her people would have been familiar with since the Samaritans had once been full-blooded Jews before the exile.
In v.25 the woman again utters her knowledge of Messias coming and finally in v.26 the Lord Jesus merely confirms for her that indeed He was THAT Messias and prophet.
Is that not just fantastic? This is why careful exegetical work must be done so that the true content of the Holy Scriptures are not lost. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Rev. Janice J. Robinson
If you would like to study more deeply the Gospel of John 3-4, I have written a book titled above that deals more on the subject of the Samaritans and their encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
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In the last “How-to-list” this author discussed ten ways that a person could use so that they could stay in spiritual darkness and would never be able to teach others also. It was a tongue-in-cheek whimsical look at some of the Bible Study “No-No’s” that every Bible student should stay away from even if they have to run away while screaming their lungs out. However, all too often bad exegetical habits are used on a regular basis in an attempt to make the Holy Bible say what that student wants it to say or to affirm what they have already been taught in the past.
In this list, this author will present some of the “Must-Haves” of a complete exegetical study. These steps can be followed no matter what text in the Bible that you are studying. Although it might be beneficial if my readers have a fuller picture of what “exegesis” means. According to Michael J. Gorman, it is
…defined as the careful historical, literary, and theological analysis of a text. Some would call it “scholarly reading” and describe it as reading in a way that “ascertains the sense of the text through the most complete, systematic recording possible of the phenomena of the text and grappling with the reasons that speak for or against a specific understanding of it (quoting from Wilhelm Egger, How to read the New Testament: An Introduction to Linguistic and Historical-Critical Methodology, 1996).
So let us get started.
Steps towards a correct exegetical adventure:
When we begin to study the Holy Scriptures, sometimes we need to get out our Exegetical magnifying glasses so that we can delve deep into the English Scriptures, which is just the first step.
We will be looking at the English word “righteousness.” We need to first ask ourselves if we understand the word in our native language. If not, get out a college level dictionary and look it up. Then we can look at the context in which it is sitting. In this case, did the Lord Jesus use it before in another verse? Does He use it afterwards?
Study aids such as the Greek Scriptures can help us find what the Greek word for “righteousness” is and then we can proceed to look up the Greek word in other study aids such as a simplified Greek lexicon.
The Greek word for “righteousness” is “di-kai-oh-soo-nay” and now that we have the Greek spelling (from the Greek Scriptures, we can confidently use the simplified Greek lexicon to begin our quest.
As we learn to use an advanced Greek lexicon, there is at the beginning of the entry a section that lists other biblical sources, such as the LXX (or Greek Old Testament) or even other sources such as profane literature, which is the non-biblical books, letters and other assorted ephemera from that time period.
As we are studying in the simplified Greek lexicon, we need to ascertain if the Greek word in question is already in its lexical format. In this case as we look at the left side of the page we see the same word that we saw in the Greek Scriptures.
To know if this word is in its lexical format we need to move our finger to the right side of the page entry and just a little bit lower: in this case, the very same word is entered on the right side of the entry. This tells us that the word is the lexical root.
Since the Greek word for “righteousness” is indeed in its lexical form, we need to turn the page back to start at the beginning. As shown in the photo, the lexical form is usually in bold face type. We can now begin to read the English entries as to what this word meant with its ancient meanings.
In the simplified Greek lexicon, there will usually be a relatively short entry with various other Scriptural references where this word has been used in other biblical books. It is always wise to scan quickly down to see if the verse we are studying has been directly mentioned. If it has, then we want to focus on its particular meaning. If it has not been directly quoted, then we can read all of the entries to see what various definitions have been defined.
This photo is from an advanced Greek lexicon and the first section of the entry lists various other places where this Greek word has been used; especially in profane literature, but also other biblical translations; and various Greek manuscripts.
There are multiple entries for the Greek word used for “righteousness” and finally, we come to an entry that directly lists our particular verse, Matthew 5:20. In this case, we want to focus solely on this entry since it will be more closely linked to the meaning that we are searching out.
Well, now you have the sequel to the last article….but this time, we are doing it EXEGETICALLY!
God Bless you richly in your studies of His Word.