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.
This handy-dandy list will help to keep you in total spiritual darkness. It is a guaranteed way to disable your ability to understand Biblical passages and it will totally ensure that you will never be able to teach others.
TEN STEPS TO COMMIT EXEGETICAL FALLACY
•When reading the Bible, only read the verse you want to study
•Make sure you never broaden your horizons by reading the context
•Absolutely never use a concordance to do word studies
•Do your word studies based only on your own understanding
•Don’t forget to proof-text
•Always lift your particular Bible verse completely out of context
•If any questions pose themselves to you….quickly block them out
•Read only those books that you already agree with: in this way you always remain in your comfort zone
•Limit any spiritual maturation to the bare minimum
•Absolutely NEVER ask the Holy Spirit to teach you what the biblical passage means
In order to heighten the proper steps you should take there are three step-by-step photos that will possibly help you to understand at a deeper level.
Step One- Only study the verse you are reading. Never study the context because you might actually learn something. Therefore, read…read…and re-read the verse if you must. This is also the best way to engage in proof-texting as well.
2. Step two: Absolutely never even begin a Biblical word study, because once again….even as noted in Step one, you might actually learn something and this is a big NO-NO in “How to commit the perfect exegetical fallacy.” So never look up any Koine Greek words in a Greek lexicon.
3. Step three: Never ever even buy a Bible concordance let alone use one if you already have it in your library. There is simply just too much information in them and it might cause an uncomfortable feeling in your brain as it is stretching whenever learning occurs. PUT IT DOWN NOW!