How to kick a bad habit

The Nugget:

1 Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

My Comment:

I heard on the radio this morning a snatch of the news saying something about today being national kick the habit day. I think the reference may have been to kicking the smoking habit.

It is not easy to “kick” a bad habit. But there are ways to succeed in doing so.

One way is by the exercise of sheer will power. You can simply choose to stop in a manner sometimes called “cold turkey.” As a part of successfully doing this you must not make any further provision to practice that habit. If smoking is the habit, don’t buy or accept any tobacco products. You are fooling only yourself if you say you want to kick the habit but keep on buying them! Another part of successfully kicking a bad habit is to not have close relations with others who are enjoying the habit, or at least succumbing to the habit you wish to avoid. Sometimes this way of keeping clear of the bad habit you wish to stop practicing is hard to do. But you can make room in your life for a different or even new set of friends to get closer to, friends who do not participate in practicing the habit you wish to drop.

Another way to successfully drop a bad habit is to experience the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ by reading the New Testament daily for yourself. Read the New Testament until you literally “get converted” to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. This is not religion. This is not a denomination or church. This is experiencing the power of Jesus Christ in your life as a result of the transformation He will bring to your life as you faithfully and daily carefully read and believe His word in the New Testament.

I know from first-hand experience as a public school teacher at the high school level for many years, nearly four decades, that when I have counseled students who came to me with unbearable problems to seek the one remedy that actually works by reading the New Testament for themselves, that they experienced the transformation in their life that changed everything for the better for them.

I know from first-hand experience as a team member with Teen Challenge many years ago sharing the gospel of Christ along Second Avenue in downtown Detroit that the gospel of Christ radically changes and transforms the lives of those I witnessed to, delivering them from drugs and unwise and unproductive lifestyles.

I know from my direct experience speaking to groups of men at the Detroit City Rescue Mission and the Howard Street Mission that men were delivered from long-term alcoholic addiction and brought to a lasting new life in Christ.

I think I still have in my possession compositions, senior pictures with notes to me on their reverse side, and letters from some of the individuals I have met and shared the message of Christ with who subsequently followed my advice to make a serious daily habit of reading and studying the New Testament who testify to how their lives were transformed as a result.

Reading a bit more of the context of what Paul writes in a modern English translation which brutally spells out the names of the sins Christian converts were delivered from should be highly instructive:

1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals,
1Co 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

There are some modern-day groups among us who are horrified at the thought that someone who was misled into their sinful lifestyle could be delivered from it through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have read that in some places there are laws against attempting to deliver individuals who want to escape such lifestyles. Well, such laws, in my opinion, belong under the category I have tagged here as “Nonsense in the News.” I agree with the Apostle Paul that:

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Without question, if you avail yourself of the power of God available to you through the gospel of Christ by daily reading and believing the New Testament, you will be supernaturally delivered from the stresses, anxieties, and endless pressures that impact your life. You will receive the strength you need to “kick the habit”!

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #550, Proverbs 19:5

The Nugget:

Pro 19:5  A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. (KJV)

Pro 19:5 A false witness is not acquitted, Whoso breatheth out lies is not delivered. (Young’s Literal Translation)

Pro 19:5 A false witness shall not be held innocent, and he that uttereth lies shall not escape. (Darby)

Pro 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape. (ESV)

Pro 19:5 Dishonest witnesses and liars won’t escape punishment. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

This verse (Proverbs 19:5) was posted on Facebook recently by one of my Facebook friends without comment.

I think this verse deserves comment! What is currently happening on the political scene is certainly a clear example of disobedience to what is taught in the Bible by this verse. No one can get away with dishonest testimony against another innocent person. But this is what is going on just now.

We need to be wise so that we can tell the difference between fact and opinion, between the truth and agenda-driven political propaganda. Once again, you can judge the validity of news reports quite easily. A constant stream of negative reports against a person or a group without sharing the counter-views of the opposing side is clearly “fake news,” not legitimate journalism. It is propaganda. More than that, it is engaging in the publishing of false reports as if those reports represent the truth. Don’t be fooled.

God makes it very plain in His Word, the Bible, that those who use such tactics will be punished in the long run, whether in the “here and now” or in eternity.

When I went to look up cross references for Proverbs 19:5, I discovered that I needed to upgrade the cross references available for this passage. I share my new and expanded cross references for Proverbs 19:5 below.

Proverbs 19:5

  1. A false witness.  ver. *Pr 19:9.  +*Pr 6:19.  *Pr 21:28.  24:28.  *Ex 23:1.  *Dt 19:16-21.  Jg 11:13.  1 S 22:9.  1 K 21:13.  Ps 120:3, 4.  *Da 6:24.  Mt 26:60.  shall not be unpunished.  Heb.  held innocent. or, not be guiltless = shall be guilty (the figure meiosis).  +Pr 16:5 mg.  Dt 5:11.  **Dt 19:19.  1 K 2:9.  speaketh lies.  ver. +*Pr 19:9.  **Pr 12:17.  14:5, 25.  Ge 39:17.  +**Ex 20:16.  +*Dt 5:20.  +*Re 21:8.  shall not escape. By the figure meiosis again, shall be punished (Moses Stuart).  Pr 11:23, 31.  12:31.  13:21.  15:6.  17:13.  **Pr 22:8.  26:27.  *Pr 28:10, 18.  29:6, 23.  +**Nu 32:23.  1 K 2:44.  1 Ch 10:13.  2 Ch 15:2.  25:14, 20.  33:1, 2, 3.  Ps 18:26.  52:5.  59:13, 14.  %Ec 8:14.  Ec 10:12.  Ezk 17:15.  %Da 11:32.  Ho 4:9.  10:12, 13.  12:3, 15.  %Lk 13:2, 3.  %Jn 9:2, 3.
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Daily Bible Nugget #549, 1 Peter 1:23

The Nugget:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (KJV)

1Pe 1:23 Because you have had a new birth, not from the seed of man, but from eternal seed, through the word of a living and unchanging God. (BBE, Bible in Basic English)

1Pe 1:23 being regenerated, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and remaining forever. (LITV, Literal translation of the Holy Bible)

1Pe 1:23 Having been regenerated – Not out of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through means of the word of a Living and Abiding God; (EB, Emphasized Bible)

My Comment:

It was 66 years ago today, on Saturday, November 7, 1953, that I personally experienced the truth expressed in 1 Peter 1:23. I had been reading the New Testament avidly since the preceding August. I had read the New Testament through two times and was as far as 2 Corinthians on my third reading. On this date in 1953 I received Christ as my personal Savior (John 1:11, 12, 13) by finally understanding and believing what I read in the New Testament. That was the best decision I have made in my whole life.

At the time this happened I was out delivering papers for my Detroit Shopping News paper route, no church in sight. I simply stopped under a small oak tree in the middle of the block on Lumpkin Street and prayed while folding the next paper for delivery.

I know from reading the Bible that, contrary to the official teaching of some churches, it is possible to know in this life that you now have eternal life (John 5:24; 1 John 5:13).

So my message of encouragement to you is, get your own copy of the New Testament, and read it repeatedly as I did, until the Holy Spirit enables you to understand its message of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Then you may have the same assurance of salvation that I have had for 66 years now.

Posted in Daily Bible Nuggets, Practical Application Bible Studies | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bible–true fact or historical fiction?

Is the Bible true fact or historical fiction?

Facebook comment:

“And that why scriptures are the dumbest thing man has ever created.”

My response:

“Perhaps you have not taken the time to get to know the Scriptures by carefully reading and studying them for yourself.”

Commenter:

“trust me yes i have ive read it cover to cover 4 times the subtuigent also torah the dead sea scrolls for 15 yrs the apocrypha and hebrew translations ive did this for my self and took my utmost time in studying it old and new”

My response:

“I’m glad to read that you have spent time reading the Bible. What happened to bring you to your present opinion?”

Commenter:

“comparative study to outside influences, the time period, the geographical loctaions, comparative study of the culture and surronding cultures, and simply physics , and last common sense”

“ i actully was trying to prove the bible right and found the opposite”

My Response:

“That is a good start. I have studied the same and come to the opposite conclusion! I would suggest the possibility that you may not have read one of the classic works written in defense of the Bible and its divine inspiration. I first learned about these when I bought and read Irwin H. Linton’s book, A Lawyer Examines the Bible. I wish this book were still in print.

He suggests such titles as Simon Greenleaf, The Testimony of the Evangelists.

David Nelson, The Cause and Cure of Infidelity.

George Lyttleton, The Conversion of Saint Paul.

Gilbert West, The Resurrection of Christ.

Archibald Alexander, Evidences of the Christian Religion.

Mark Hopkins, Evidences of Christianity.

Arthur T. Pierson, Many Infallible Proofs.

All, or most of the above, are available to download free at Google Books.

Have you read any of these works?

I have found that each of these books most certainly and unanswerably prove the Bible right. I hope you will consider them, as I have.

I have discussed these matters at my little blog at Real Bible Study which I invite you to visit and leave comments or questions for further discussion if you wish.”

Commenter:

“ill take you up on that offer but to contrary thise books sound more of bible aplogist coming from a believers point of view which would skew rational thinking i recommend researching history towards the culture and people that hebrews were around because thise cultures gave way for the bible to exist also compare the content of the bible to eygpt babylonian and sumerian mythos and culture you will find that the bible is compiled of all 3 of these cultures also some peagan rome symbolgy added later i will surly look into those books and your blog”

My response:

“I have read very much on the topic you mention, the cultural background of the Bible and its contemporaneous cultures. I have a huge personal print library of my own here. I have many more books (15,578 I think I now have) in my Logos Bible software library. I was a history and English teacher in Detroit at the high school level for many years, from 1962 until 2001. So I have had a long time interest in these things. I taught at Cass Technical High School where I was asked to sponsor the Comparative Religions Club. I was also asked by the school administration to sponsor the Bible Discussion Club. I also sponsored the Astronomy Club. Now, I still don’t know much about astronomy (but my students sure did!). But I have made a life-long careful study of comparative religions as well as the Bible. But I am still learning, and always look forward to learning something new.

I also taught history at Southeastern High School. It was discovered that because of the way I was teaching my students world and American history, my students greatly improved their reading comprehension. The Principal, Isaac Wordlaw, called me into his office and showed me that Southeastern High School was the most improved in reading comprehension of Detroit’s 22 high schools according to information printed in the then current issue of his “Principal’s Notes.” The improvement was traced to the students in my classes. As a result, I was made a Reading Specialist and served in that capacity for a number of years until I was shot in the head and was off teaching for nearly five years.

I returned to teach at Denby High School where I taught English. I was made a writing specialist, and served with several other teachers across the whole State of Michigan each year to set the writing standards on the MEAP Test.

I have read a number of books by Hendrik Kraemer on comparative religions and cultures:

World Cultures and World Religions

The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World

Why Christianity of All Religions?”

Commenter:

“oh wow i see im dealing with a real scholar so if i may ask what is your opinion on proffessor bart erhmans research , books and papers also have you read any of dr yosef ben yacanaan ‘s work”

My response:

“I am most familiar with Dr. Bart Erhman’s work. I have answered his positions in the past in some of my Internet postings. They may also be preserved on my own website that I mentioned. I have studied the matters pertaining to the authenticity of the text of the New Testament for much longer than he has. I began a scholarly study of this subject in 1954 or 1955 and have a whole walll of works on the ancient texts of the NT, critical texts, and textual criticism here in my library room. I studied with my scholar friend Mr. G. E. Hoyer for over 30 years.

More than that, I have a whole library in my Logos Bible Software, including a work of some 17,000 pages which gives every textual reading from all the major manuscripts in the world pertaining to the New Testament text.

I would kindly say to Professor Bart Ehrleman that he has not done his homework. I have.”

Commenter:

“i must go and check out work but now im at work but i will be checking your work out belive me”

My response:

“Thank you for your kind responses.

You mentioned above,

“ill take you up on that offer but to contrary thise books sound more of bible aplogist coming from a believers point of view which would skew rational thinking”

Two of the authors of classic defenses of the truth of the Bible and Christianity that I included in the list I shared with you above were not Christians. They set out to disprove the Bible and Christianity. As a result of their researches they were solidly converted to belief in Christ and the Bible. The two authors I refer to are Gilbert West and George Lyttleton. Their arguments are unanswerable. I must confess, though, that you have to make a real effort to read these older works. They sometimes write in long sentences and long paragraphs. But I stuck it out and was able to understand them just fine.

I was motivated to begin such studies for myself when I collected a whole shelf full or more of books by atheists. These are long book shelves made of four-foot stair tread lumber. One of the sets I first read was by Robert Ingersoll. I found that a writer named Bishop Watson answered his arguments very convincingly.

Richard Watson, Watson’s Apology for Christianity.

The word “Apology” means to set forth arguments in defense of Christianity by answering arguments against it by presenting evidence for it by using logic, evidence, and reason.”

Commenter:

“ logic evidence and reason are all in my argument as to why the bible is historical fiction and also illogical fallacies i mean evidence as in the racial part of the bible who those people where and what they look like determines alot and where they got those ideas an example of this would be moses and his marriage to an ethiopian woman his growing up eygpt for the most part of his life would bring the question of where moses got his ideas from was he influenced by eygptian thought it would seem so being he was raised in pharohs house like a grandson or son so he would have to know maat and eygptian principals thats just inevitable when one studies the eygptian role in the biblical narrative it couldnt have been a hebrew isrealite nation without egypt so i would conclude that his ten commandments his torah or old testament was influenced by african thought being that eygpt is the daughter of ethiopia sudan and cush just in his exploits alone you can see that his story is borrowed from african folklore and mythos also with the surrounding cities and cultures ie Babylon and sumeria”

“Christianity is simply a belief not historical fact or meant to be taken literal”

My response:

I believe that the Bible account is quite clear that Moses did not get his ideas from the Egyptian culture. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. God miraculously delivered the Israelites out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses at the appointed and predicted time by the power of God.

An important author, Robert Dick Wilson, wrote on the reliability of the Hebrew Bible. Irwin Linton, author of A Lawyer Examines the Bible, lists them as follows:

Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?

A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament

Anyone who manages to read, even study, these works by Robert Dick Wilson will come to a profound and fully convinced faith in the accuracy and reliability of the Old Testament.

And as for Christianity simply being a belief not historical fact or meant to be taken literally, I must say that the researches of Sir William Ramsey among many other scholars have totally demolished any such claim.

Commenter:

“did moses not grow up in eygpt in pharohs house for 40 yrs yes or no”

Opening poster commented:

“you going have to fall back from these guys. Nobody REALLY debate with them because their lack of knowledge. They only go by naysayers. You good brother, same your time for someone more challenging”

My response to commenter:

That is the historical record. But don’t miss the further consideration given in the Bible at Hebrews 11:23-29,

Heb 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Heb 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Heb 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

See also Acts 7:22,

Act_7:22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

Moses clearly retained his Hebraic faith and did not succumb to the pagan influences of Egypt’s culture.

My response to Opening Poster:

I am thankful you are reading with understanding what I have posted here. I hope others will do the same.

God tells us in His Word the Bible that every person is supremely valuable in God’s sight. Just like Jesus said, a person is worth more than the whole world.

Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). If just one person is convinced to believe the Bible and so come to true faith in Christ, that soul that has been saved as a result is worth more than the whole world.

Opening poster responded:

yes brother I understand your point well. Even within Reading and doing my research you are most definitely on point. I myself could have challenge them, but it’s pointless on many levels.

My response to opening poster:

We will find out in eternity how God looks upon those who have been given the chance to learn the truth but have either accepted it to His glory, or rejected it, to their everlasting loss.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Apologetics--Christian, Bible Historicity and Validity | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Interpretation Rule 3 another example

I think I learn more when I encounter a viewpoint I have not heard before. I hope you do too. This post is more controversial, but I think I can marshal enough evidence to both make and prove my point.

Rule 3 of Bible Interpretation has to do with understanding and applying the impact figures of speech have on understanding what the Bible means and emphasizes.

Here is what I consider to be a fascinating application of heeding figures of speech to get the right meaning of what the Bible says:

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

For those who know their Bible well, this statement by our Lord Jesus Christ contradicts what is clearly taught elsewhere in the Bible, unless you understand the figure of speech here. The Bible elsewhere declares that “the earth abideth forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4).

Now some who are well acquainted with the Bible might object to using a verse from Ecclesiastes to prove a Bible doctrine. In answer to that objection, I would simply state that comparing the cross references given at Ecclesiastes 1:4 will demolish that objection, for the same truth is declared elsewhere in the Bible.

Ecc 1:4  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Some cross-references given at Ecclesiastes 1:4,

Psalms 78:69
69  And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.
King James Version

Psalms 104:5
5  Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
King James Version

Psalms 72:5
5  They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
King James Version

Psalms 148:6
6  He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
King James Version

Isaiah 9:6
6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
King James Version

Isaiah 9:7
7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
King James Version

1 Chronicles 16:30
30  Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
King James Version

These seven passages out of many more I could cite from the cross references given in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge  or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible should demonstrate that the Bible affirms that the earth shall abide forever.

So much for the current “climate change” hysteria being foisted on school children and the general public that will cause this earth to be uninhabitable within eleven years, which absurd claim I just heard on the radio right before beginning this post today. Climate change is a bogey man to scare school children and uninformed adults who are not well taught in either actual science or the Bible.

Matthew 24:35 employs the figure of speech called Meiosis, also known as Litotes involving a Balanced Sentence where the first statement is contrary to fact or reality, and is used in a contrast to most strongly emphasize what is affirmed in the last statement.

In this form of statement the last statement is frequently introduced by the word but, which helps  to mark this figure (see Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 54:10; Luke 11:4).

Scholars can wrangle with my assertion all they please (and some time ago I found where they did just that when I did a Google search!). Their contrary opinion only demonstrates they have not studied the Scriptures carefully enough. I have. But they are welcome to come to this site and leave a comment below for further discussion. I am always willing to change my mind if I am presented enough clear evidence that would prove me wrong. Let’s see if they can make that claim.

Jesus does not, and absolutely could not, affirm that heaven and earth will pass away. Surely Jesus knew that He is to reign forever upon this earth on the Throne of David (Luke 1:32, 33). That prophecy alone would require that the earth must “abide forever” in order for the eternal reign of Christ upon this earth to take place (Revelation 11:15).

The expressions used in Matthew 24:35 are frequently reflected elsewhere in Scripture (as seen in the seven Parallel Passages I cited above).

Surely our Lord Jesus Christ and His Jewish hearers, intimately acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures, were aware of the context, for example, of Psalm 102:26 as seen in Psalm 102:28, something apparently missed by some modern scholars, such as those I saw mentioned on Facebook earlier today who are called “full preterists.” “Full preterists” believe that all the prophecies in the New Testament were fulfilled before or by 70 AD. They do not believe in a literal millennium or thousand year reign of Christ here on this earth. They do not believe that we are to inherit this earth (Matthew 5:5), not the third heaven, for our ultimate eternal abode.

Psa 102:25  Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

Psalms 102:26
26  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
King James Version

Psalms 102:28
28  The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.
King James Version

God’s Covenant Promises are absolutely guaranteed as being more sure than the promise that the earth abides forever and shall never perish, so sure are the “sure mercies of David,” mercies above and greater than the heavens (Psalm 108:4).

Psalms 108:4
4  For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
King James Version

Note carefully in the context of Psalm 102:26 the statement of Psalm 102:28 that the generations “of thy servants shall continue” (see also Psalm 72:5) and be “established before thee”–surely the Bible writers who cite or allude to Psalm 102:26 were most aware of its context and the assurance of Psalm 102:28, so when Jesus states “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” His words are the guaranteed words of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants, which are more sure than the heavens and will certainly come to pass.

God Himself appeals to the promised eternal constancy of the universe (Jeremiah 31:35, 36, 37) to affirm the absolute certainty of the “Sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3).

Isaiah 55:3
3  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
King James Version

To suggest the heavens or the earth shall literally pass away would violate the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant (See Genesis 12:2 note in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury) and the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:10 note), which would contradict the very character of God Himself (Malachi 3:6), which is utterly impossible (Genesis 18:25).

If our Lord Jesus Christ is to rule eternally here upon this earth in Jerusalem on the throne of David forever over the whole earth (Isaiah 24:23; Daniel 7:13, 14; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 5:5;  Luke 1:32, 33;  Revelation 11:15), then the earth as we know it will stand forever (1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalm 148:5, 6).

Posted in Bible Prophecy, Doctrinal Discussions, How to Interpret the Bible Correctly, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible Interpretation Rule 3

3. When you come across figurative expressions in the Bible, look for the literal truth they are intended to convey or emphasize. There are many different figures of speech in the Bible. I have indexed nearly 200 different figures of speech found in the Bible in my Bible study reference work, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and with even more additions and corrections, in my newest Bible study reference work, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.

The easiest way to identify a figure of speech in the Bible is to make use of the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge alphabetical index to the figures of speech. When reading anywhere in the Bible, if a figure of speech is present, it is identified in the information given for that verse.

I developed my figure of speech notes for my Bible reference books from information given in E. W. Bullinger’s work, Figures of Speech in the Bible, The Companion Bible margin notes, other writings of E. W. Bullinger, Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, and other sources.

I believe that the New Treasury and The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury contain the most complete listing of figures of speech in the Bible ever compiled in English. Depending on how you “count” the figures, there are well over 200 different figures of speech identified in these two resources.

Figures of speech are used for emphasis, and are important to accurate understanding and interpretation of the Bible.

(1) There are degrees of emphasis in the figures of speech:

a. Simile; or, Resemblance. FS160A. Psalm 1:3. A declaration that one thing resembles another. “He shall be like a tree.” Psalm 1:4, “The ungodly … are like the chaff.”

b. Metaphor; or, representation. FS119. A declaration that one thing is (or represents) another. Genesis 49:9, “Judah is a lion’s whelp.” Psalm 84:11, “The Lord God is a sun and shield.” Mark 14:22 note, “this is (or represents) my body.” John 10:9, “I am the door.” Allegory is continued or extended metaphor, FS7, Genesis 4:24.

c. Hypocatastasis; or, Implication. FS103. Genesis 3:13. Serpent. John 2:19, Temple. Luke 13:22, “that fox.” Note that this figure as used in John 2:19 is important to the defense of the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Christ. I am sure that most readers here have never heard of “hypocatastasis” before.

(2) A figure of speech may be a powerful aid to defending a doctrine.

a. Hendiadys; or, Two for One. Two words used, but one thing meant, involving nouns. FS93A. Genesis 1:26. “image and likeness” means “in the likeness of our image.” John 3:5, “born of water and of the spirit.” Meaning: born of water, even the Spirit. May also mean “born of spiritual water,” where spiritual water by the figure Metonymy is put for the Holy Spirit himself (see John 7:38, 39). Titus 2:13 note, “the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” or “our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The reference is to one person, not two. See also 1 Peter 1:1 for the same construction. “God and our Savior Jesus Christ” or “our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

b. Hendiadys; or, Two for One. FS93B. Involving verbs. Isaiah 66:11, “may suck…and be satisfied” means “suck to satiety.” Matthew 13:23, “heareth…and understandeth” means “hears with understanding.” Two words but one act.

c. Hendiatris; or, Three for One. FS94. Jeremiah 4:2, “The Lord liveth in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness” means “lives truly, justly, and righteously.” Matthew 6:13, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory” means “powerful, glorious, kingdom.” John 14:6, “the way, the truth, and the life” means “the true and living way.”

(3) A figure of speech may be a powerful aid to understanding the meaning of the author correctly.

(a) Litotes, or Meiosis; a belittling. A belittling of one thing to magnify another. FS111, Genesis 18:27. Luke 11:4 note. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Jesus is not affirming that God will lead us into temptation unless we pray to ask him to do otherwise; the emphasis is upon prayer for deliverance from evil, or the evil one. Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Paul is not accusing the Ephesians of having a drinking problem, but emphasizing by contrast, the importance of being filled with the Spirit. Much more could be said to expand these points, but I’ll stop here.

As I typed this up just now, it is Halloween. Halloween really should not be observed by Bible believing Christians. It has been and has come to be even more a high holiday for the occult. The Bible is very clear:

Jeremiah 10:2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

Learn more by studying the cross references for the key words “Learn not” given below:

Learn not. *Lev 18:3; *Lev 18:27 <rp. Lev 19:26; *Lev 20:23 <rp. *+*Exo 23:2; *+*Exo 23:13; *+*Exo 23:24, **Deut 12:30; **Deut 12:31; Deut 18:14; +Deut 20:18; Deut 22:5, Jdg 6:10, 1Sa 8:5; 1Sa 8:19, 20, 2Ki 5:18; 2Ki 16:10; *2Ki 17:8; *2Ki 17:15, *Psa 16:4; Psa 106:35, Isa 2:6, Pro 22:25, *Isa 2:6, Eze 11:12; *Eze 20:32, Jon 2:8, Mat 6:7, 8; Mat 23:2, 3, %1Co 11:1, %*Php 4:8.

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Bible Interpretation Rule 2

2. Interpret literally unless the resulting interpretation is an absurdity, or in the case of the Bible, an interpretation out of harmony with and contradictory to the teaching found elsewhere in the Bible. But be very careful what you identify as an absurdity. It may be that what seems to be an absurdity is actually the truth as taught by the Bible, and that it is your own opinion, or what you have been taught by others, that is the absurdity in the light of the full teaching of the Bible.

Isaiah 55:12 uses figurative language, which if taken literally, does result in absurdity:

Isaiah 55:12
12  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
King James Version

Quite clearly, the Bible is not teaching that trees have actual hands or that mountains and hills have voices!

But there are doctrines or teachings taught in the Bible that may seem foolish at first reading to the ordinary person who reads or hears them:

1 Corinthians 2:14
14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
King James Version

By “natural man,” Paul means any person who is not born again, not saved, and so not transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit in his or her life:

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

How does any person take the steps to become “a new creature” that Paul speaks of here?

First, this is a matter of a supernatural change of heart:

Deuteronomy 30:6
6  And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
King James Version

Second, this change of heart results from our true repentance:

Psalms 51:10
10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
King James Version

2 Corinthians 7:10
10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
King James Version

Third, this is a matter of a changed heart, not the result of submitting to any sacrament or other religious ritual:

Galatians 6:15
15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
King James Version

Ephesians 2:10
10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
King James Version

Fourth, we are not saved by good works, but the saved life is transformed by the Holy Spirit to produce good works in and through us:

Titus 3:5
5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
King James Version

Ephesians 4:24
24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
King James Version

Colossians 3:10
10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
King James Version

Fifth, we are not saved by keeping the Law, but by faith in what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us:

Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Sixth, as new creatures in Christ, the Holy Spirit transforms and empowers us to walk in newness of life:

Galatians 5:16
16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
King James Version

Galatians 5:25
25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
King James Version

Colossians 3:2
2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
King James Version

Ephesians 4:23
23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
King James Version

Seventh, our spiritual life in Christ must be fed by our regular, daily, reading and study of God’s Word, the Bible:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

1Pe 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

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Bible Interpretation Rule 1

1. Interpret literally in all cases unless the text or context clearly demonstrates that other than a literal interpretation is required and intended by the author.

This rule of interpretation holds true for just about everything you read or hear.

Many years ago I read a book titled Biblical Hermeneutics by Milton S. Terry. That is one book that has gotten me into trouble and gotten me out of trouble more than once!

The book got me into trouble because it influenced some of the answers I gave on tests in my Bible Doctrines course at Bob Jones University. I answered a question about the inspiration of the Bible using terms I learned not from the course but from my reading and study of Milton S. Terry’s book. I was summoned to the Dean’s Office and asked to explain myself. Well, another of my professors happened to see me being grilled by Dean Edwards and he came to my defense, alerting Dean Edwards to the fact that I was not a “preacher boy” but a Secondary Education major.

Another time was in a seminar at Wayne State University I was asked to participate in on the subject of futurism. The professor did not like it at all when I stated that there are rules for interpreting poetry and any other literature and that I carefully taught those rules to my students. She was horrified, and said that hermeneutics was a subject for theology and seminary classes about religion or the Bible but certainly not a proper matter for teaching how to read poetry. I thoroughly but politely disagreed with her.

After I retired from teaching I began reading some of the books I have here that I wish I would have had the time to read while teaching. One of the books I read was Practical Criticism, by I. A. Richards. I believe my practice of teaching poetry mirrored his, though at the time I was teaching poetry at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, I had not read this book.

Now when it comes to Bible interpretation, I am sure that there are many “modern” scholars and theologians that would disagree with me about my first rule of interpretation, “Interpret literally in all cases unless the text or context clearly demonstrates that other than a literal interpretation is required and intended by the author.”

This rule is of supreme importance because that is how we humans normally use our language. It is almost always how the Bible uses language. When something is meant otherwise, the context or surrounding material, what  comes before and what comes after, will make the matter plain when a figurative sense is meant by the original author.

I think that some Bible teachers and theologians don’t like my rule because it does not allow them to foist meanings on statements in the Bible that they disagree with:

Rom 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (KJV)

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (ESV)

The English Standard Version is the better translation here. Israel was called out of all other nations to be particularly “His people” (Deuteronomy 32:43),

Deuteronomy 32:43  Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

What has this got to do with literal interpretation?

Many today do not believe that the promises to Israel given in the Bible have anything to do with Israel’s right to the Land of Israel today.

Well, the Bible emphasizes the land promise given to Abraham and extended to the nation of Israel.

Paul told us in Romans 11:29 that God’s promises to Israel are irrevocable.

Therefore, the promise still stands, as God Himself proclaims in Malachi 3:6,

Mal 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Kind of hard to get around this one. Those today who do not agree with me on this point are surely breaking the first rule of Bible interpretation by failing to interpret the Bible literally.

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Daily Bible Nugget #548, Luke 8:13

The Nugget:

Luke 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

My Comment:

I saw a long and lively discussion on Facebook just now on the subject of “Once saved, always saved.” I posted the following response:

Monique Shatae, this has been a long and lively discussion. In the main, you are correct. The “once saved, always saved” position is false doctrine. The Bible clearly teaches the absolute eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever.
 
It is possible for a person to stop believing. Jesus said so:
 
Luk 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 
 
Any one who has “believed for a while” most certainly (1) did believe, and (2) stopped believing.
 
Promises of salvation on the basis of believing (like John 3:16) are expressed in the present tense in the underlying Greek text, therefore a single one-time supposed “act of faith” is not what is being spoken of, but a consistent and continuing belief.
 
Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
 
In the KJV, the “eth” suffix on the root word believe, “believeth,” conveys the meaning of the original text, Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible translates “is believing.” The KJV did not do this because the “ing” suffix was not in use at that time to express the present progressive tense in English.
 
The presence of “IF” clauses in the New Testament definitely shows that some Bible promises are conditional. In the Greek text, there are actually four different classes of “if”! See 2 Peter 1:10 and Colossians 1:23.
 
Doctrines of seducing spirits and doctrines of demons are warned against in 1 Timothy 4:1, and directly speaks of those who shall depart from the faith (which, in effect, means to stop believing!).
 
1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 
 
One cannot logically be said to depart, fall away, or apostatize from a faith which one never held in the first place. Paul is addressing these warnings to believers, not unbelievers.
 
Someone above asked for a Bible text that specifically warns believers not to fall away. Here is a warning text which most certainly is addressed to believers:
 
2Pe 3:17  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 
 
Peter is addressing believers by the term “beloved.”
 
The presence of the subjunctive mood in the underlying Greek text (almost always untranslated or incorrectly translated in our English translations, except for Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible and the Lavender ( Lavender’s New Testament ) New Testament. The subjunctive mood in Greek is properly represented in English translation by the word “may” not “shall” or “will.” The subjunctive mood indicates the presence of a stated contingency or requirement in the context, such that to receive the benefit of a promise, for example, the stated requirement must be met. This grammatical feature is present in John 3:16 and most notably in John 10:28.
 
John 10:28 should be translated “And I give to them eternal life, and they MAY never, never perish forever.”
 
Why the MAY? The contingency or requirement is stated in John 10:27, “My sheep always heed My voice, and I know them, and they always follow Me.” (Lavender Translation)
 
 
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Daily Bible Nugget #547, John 6:47

The Nugget:

John 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (KJV)

Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (ESV)

Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. (NET)

Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him to me; then I myself will raise him to life on the last day. (Williams NT)

Joh 6:44 No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me makes them want to come. But if they do come, I will raise them to life on the last day. (CEV)

Joh 6:44 No man is able to come to me if the Father who sent me does not give him the desire to come: and I will take him up from the dead on the last day. (BBE, Bible in Basic English)

Joh 6:44 no one is able to come unto me, if the Father who sent me may not draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day; (YLT, Young’s Literal Translation)

My Comment:

I cited seven English translations for John 6:44. I saved the best for last. Only Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible properly preserves the subjunctive mood present in the Greek text.

You cannot correctly understand the doctrine of the Bible if you ignore or gloss over the grammar of the original language used in the Bible.

I heard a  portion of a Bible message on Christian radio this past weekend. The speaker emphasized John 6:44 to support a rather narrow and mistaken view of predestination. The speaker interpreted John 6:44 in the absolute sense to suggest no person can come to Christ for salvation unless God from eternity past predestined that specific person to be among the elect who can be saved. This is a very mistaken view improperly derived from John 6:44 and similar verses in the Bible.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, unless the Father who sent me, shall draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (Murdock)

Notice that the Murdock translation goes a step further in the wrong grammatical direction by translating John 6:44 to read “shall draw him.” Only the Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible renders John 6:44 correctly by “may draw him.”

I know of only one modern English translation which correctly translates John 6:44, Lavender’s New Testament:

John 6:44 No one is able to come to Me unless the Father–the One having sent Me–may draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (LNT)

May in English is a subjunctive mood verb. The subjunctive mood verb in the underlying Greek text of John 6:44 conveys a very important distinction. The distinction conveyed is that the promise or benefit stated is conditioned upon meeting a specified contingency or requirement. The conditional benefit can only be received by meeting the contingency expressed in the context.

That contingency is expressed in John 6:37 and John 6:40. The emphasis is upon “coming” and “believing.” These requirements are given in the present tense, so the person that God may draw is marked by the obedience to the command to keep coming and keep believing. As long as a person continues to believe and continues to obey Christ’s command to believe on Him, that person continues to have everlasting life.

John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

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