Daily Bible Nugget #287, 2 Corinthians 2:17

The Nugget:

2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

My Comment:

The wicked corrupt the Scriptures (The New Topical Textbook, subheading under the main topic “The Scriptures,” page 240).

Paul spoke of there being many in his day which corrupt the word of God. In context, much of the second letter to the Corinthians was written to defend his apostleship against the claims of false teachers, namely Judaizers, who did not regard Paul very highly. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5 challenges the Corinthian Christians to think more deeply about what they were getting themselves into should they begin to believe these false teachers and turn from Paul’s teaching. Since the Corinthians were brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the instrumentality of the Apostle Paul, should they determine that he was a false teacher, then how is it they were truly saved?

In our day there are many who corrupt the Word of God. Some teach false doctrines but claim what they teach is the teaching of Scripture. Of course, it is obvious to most Bible readers that groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses corrupt the Word of God. They have created their own translation called The New World Translation which is anti-Trinitarian. You would never notice, for example, that the Holy Spirit is a person when reading that translation. Yet, in the original language, the Greek text, the fact that the Holy Spirit is a person is clearly there. Even in English one cannot get around Ephesians 4:30, which speaks of grieving the Holy Spirit. It is not possible to grieve a non-person. Therefore this fact alone is enough to establish that the Holy Spirit is a person.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that the “Trinity doctrine” was borrowed from paganism, for the word “trinity” is not to be found in the Bible. Granted the “word” is not there, but the “thing” that “word” names is most certainly there, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Trinity is a necessary inference rightly drawn from a careful study of the Bible text.

The Roman Catholic Church is guilty of corrupting the Word of God found in Scripture. First of all, the Roman Catholic Church adds to the written Word of God what they call Tradition, and hold that Tradition is authoritative in establishing Christian doctrine, and necessary, because the Bible does not contain all God requires us to know and do. Second of all, the Roman Catholic Church holds a view of the Lord’s Supper which is not at all in accordance with what the Bible teaches by (1) holding the belief in Transubstantiation, that the bread and wine are actually transmuted into the actual physical body and blood of Christ, a belief which is based on a misunderstanding or denial of the Figures of Speech in the Bible–as failing to see Metaphor and Metalepsis: when Jesus stood before His disciples and took the bread and said “Take, eat, this is my body”(Matthew 26:26), and when he took the cup and said “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20)–clearly both physical elements represent but are not the actual blood and body of Christ, as signaled by the word “is,” and (2) using only one element of the Lord’s Supper rather than both elements as commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ. Third, the Roman Catholic Church teaches salvation through participation in its sacraments, a doctrinal position not to be found in the New Testament, and a most serious error. Fourth, the “Mass” itself is not to be found or hinted at in the New Testament, and as a supposed and claimed repetition of the sacrifice of Christ is directly contrary to the express statement and teaching of Scripture (Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 7:27; 9:28; 10:10, 12) that the sacrifice of Christ was offered but once and never repeated. One would think that any intelligent reader of the New Testament in a plain text Bible would on a plain reading of that text notice that there is a world of difference between what the Roman Catholic Church teaches and does compared to what the New Testament itself presents as the truth of the Gospel.

A careful study of Scripture, particularly a study of the doctrine of the Atonement of Christ, will demonstrate that what is commonly taught today, the Penal Satisfaction Theory of the Atonement, is utterly unscriptural in the extreme. The Atonement Theory you believe in has far-reaching consequences. R. L. Lavender writes in his introduction to a commentary on the book of Romans by his father, Malcolm Lavender, “There isn’t an error in doctrine or practice that cannot be traced back to erroneous views concerning the Atoning death of Jesus Christ. The way man thinks about the Atonement has everything to do with his philosophy of life, his moral character, and his religious experience. It is, therefore, of the highest importance that our apprehension correspond as nearly as possible to the revelation found in Scripture” (page xv, Introduction to Expository Notes on Romans, Malcolm L. Lavender, 2009).

And again, “The Doctrine of the Atonement is vitally important because one’s view of what took place at Calvary has far reaching consequences. It will clarify or contaminate one’s basic theology concerning the nature of God, salvation, Christian practice, and consequently the nature of the account one will give to God in the final Judgment.”

Mr. R. L. Lavender discusses some central issues by asking: (1) Is salvation non-regenerative, i.e. legal, or regenerative? (2) What is the nature of Christian practice? Are Christians to continue in sin, or stop sinning and live the life of obedience? (3) How does an atonement theory affect one’s eternal destiny? Does God love us all? Even me? What must I do to be saved? Can God save me from my sin, from my carnal nature? Or is full salvation a future experience, after death? If I continue to sin can I still go to heaven? Or do I have to obey God in everything?

The Doctrine of the Atonement is vitally important because one’s Atonement theory determines (1) whether salvation is for the few (the elect) or all of Adam’s fallen race; (2) whether salvation is conditional or unconditional; (3) one’s view of the final Judgment (page xviii, xix). The Biblical view of the Atonement is aptly termed Priestly-Sacrificial Atonement.

We must ever be on our guard against mistaken theology by testing what we are taught, and what we believe, against what is taught in the Bible itself to avoid being among the many who corrupt the word of God.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1331 for 2 Corinthians 2:17.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1353 or in Logos 5 Bible software for 2 Corinthians 2:17.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

2 Corinthians 2:17. For we are not. 2 Cor 3:1. 1 Th 2:3, 5. **2 P 1:16n. as many. ver. 2 Cor 2:6. 2 Cor 11:13. Ac 20:29. which. 2 Cor 4:2. 11:13-15. Pr 13:17. Is 1:18. Je 5:31. 23:27-32. Mt 13:39. 22:16. 24:24. 1 Cor 3:12. 1 Th 2:3, 5. 1 Tim 1:19, 20. 4:1-3. 2 Tim 2:6-18. 4:3, 4. +*Titus 1:11. 2 P 2:1-3. 1 J 4:1. 2 J 1:7-11. Jude 1:4. Re 2:14, 15, 20. 12:9. 19:20. corrupt. or, deal deceitfully with. or, adulterate. or, make a trade. Gr. kapēleuō (S#2585g, only here). The word kapēlos, which occurs once in the Septuagint, meant a huckster, tavern-keeper, and then the verb came to mean “adulterate.” See Is 1:22, where the Septuagint reads, “thy wine-sellers mix the wine with water” (CB). T#1102. *2 Cor 4:2. 11:3. Is 1:22. Da 2:9. Mt 4:6. +*Mt 22:29. Mk 12:14. Lk 20:21. Ro 16:18. **Ga 1:7. **Ep 4:14. *Col 2:8. 2 Th 2:10. 1 Tim 5:13. **+1 Tim 6:5. 2 Tim 3:6. Titus 2:7. *2 P 2:3. **2 P 3:16. 2 J 1:9-11. Jude 1:3. the word of God. +*Is 8:20n. +Ro 9:6. **Ro 10:17. **He 4:12. but as. FS160B, +Ge 25:31. of sincerity. *2 Cor 1:12. **2 Cor 4:2. 1 K 22:14. Ac 20:20, 27. 1 Cor 4:2. +1 Cor 5:8. Phil 1:10, 16. He 11:27. as of. FS160B, +Ge 25:31. in the sight of. or, before. Gr. katenōpion (S#2714g). **2 Cor 5:11. 6:4. 7:12. 8:21. 12:19g. +Ro 1:9. +Ro 9:1. Ep 1:4g. Col 1:22g. 1 Th 1:3. Jude 1:24g. speak we. 2 Cor 12:19. 2 Ch 18:13. Jb 36:4. Je 17:16. +**Je 23:28n. 1 Cor 7:25. in. or, of.

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6 Responses to Daily Bible Nugget #287, 2 Corinthians 2:17

  1. Jerry says:

    Dear Daniel7,

    Thank you for taking the time to share an interesting (and perhaps provocative) link with the title, “Jesus is not Jehovah.”

    It may not be obvious to most casual Bible readers, but there is much in both the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures, as well as the New Testament, or Greek Scriptures, to affirm that Jesus is indeed Jehovah.

    It appears that the name Jehovah is applied in the Bible to God the Father, about which probably no one would disagree.

    There is possible evidence that the name Jehovah is also applied to Jesus Christ in His pre-incarnate appearances or Christophanies recorded in the Old Testament.

    One of the most interesting verses in the Bible to consider in this regard is Genesis 19:24, where quite clearly TWO Jehovah’s are on the scene at the same time.

    I have not yet visited the link you furnished, but will take the time as soon as possible.

    Thank you for contributing a comment here. You are welcome to do so again.

  2. Jerry says:

    Dear Daniel7,

    I just went to the link you furnished. I note with interest that at the end of the listing of Scripture, it is stated that all Scripture quotations are from the New World Translation.

    I found the following to be of great interest:

    Genesis 17:1

    . . . When Abram got to be ninety-nine years old, then Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him: ―I am God Almighty. . . .(Footnote―God Almighty.‖ Heb., ´El Shaddai´)

    Deuteronomy 10:17

    For Jehovah your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and theterrible, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.

    AS

    Jesus Christ Immanuel

    This identity of Jesus Christ as Immanuel did not mean he was the incarnation of God, ‗God in the flesh,‘ which proponents of the Trinity teaching claim is implied by the meaning of Immanuel, namely, ―With Us Is God.‖ It was a common practice among Jews to embody the word ―God,‖ even ―Jehovah,‖ in Hebrew names.

    It-1* [It is unclear from your website article what this abbreviation means] p. 1188

    Luke 1:31

    31 and, look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus.

    Jesus Christ

    The name Jesus (Gr., Iesous´) corresponds to the Hebrew name Jeshua (or, in fuller form, Jehoshua), meaning ―Jehovah Is Salvation.‖

    It-2* p. 52

    ___________________________

    John 1:3

    All things came into existence through* him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence…‖

    * Gr. Dia (Strongs coaded #1223) ―of the Means or Instruments by which

    anything is effected; because what is done by means of a person or thing seems to pass as it were through the same…in passages where a subject expressly mentioned is said to or to have done a thing by some person or by some thing: lk.1:70; Jn. 1:3: 1 Cor. 8:6; (where he is expressly distinguished from the first cause. 1Cor. 11:12‖) Thayer‘s G-E Lexicon(©.2000) p.133.

    Colossians 1:16

    …for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. — Revised Standard

    _______________________________

    Isaiah 9:6

    For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,. . .(Footnote Or, ―Mighty Divine One.‖ Heb., ´El Gibbohr´ (not ´El Shaddai´ as in Ge. 17:1, where see ftn); Sy, ―Mighty God of times indefinite‖; Lat., Deus fortis .)

    John 1:1

    - “a god was the Word” – W. E. Vine p. 490, An Expository Dictionary of the New Testament.

    John 1:1

    -

    ―the Word was divine‖ (Goodspeed‘s An American Translation, 1939)

    John 1:18

    No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God* who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained {Him.} New American Standard

    *―The only – begotten god,‖ P 75c; P66* BC*., ―only – begotten god‖; AC c
    ItVgSy c,h, ―the only – begotten Son.‖

    NOTE:

    I boldfaced the portion that purports to be a citation of Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, page 490, which actually reads:

    “GOD. THEOS (theos), (A) in the polytheism of the Greeks, denoted a god or deity, e.g., Acts 14:11; 19:26; 28:6; 1 Cor 8:5; Gal 4:8.”

    On the same page, Vine states: “To translate it [John 1:1] literally, ‘a god was the Word,’ is entirely misleading.”

    Your (or your source’s) citation of Vine, therefore, in support of anything the Watchtower has to say about John 1:1 is entirely misleading.

    I have found that the Watchtower in its publications frequently misrepresents the sources they are citing, as in this instance displayed on the page your link took me to.

    This suggests at least poor scholarship, and more likely, basic dishonesty in handling the Bible text to support falsehood, a regular practice of false religions, clearly warned about and warned against in 2 Peter 3:16, 17.

    I encountered this issue repeatedly when the Literature Servant of the local Kingdom Hall came to my apartment to teach me about the Bible for four years every Monday night. Each time, I went back to my bedroom bookcase and brought the source the Watchtower was supposedly quoting, and showed him in black and white that the Watchtower publication had totally misrepresented the source they were quoting. I think the Literature Servant was most surprised that I, as an English teacher, had such scholarly works about the Bible in my personal possession such that I could readily check with the source supposedly being quoted.

    Well, what else would you suppose an English teacher to be prepared to do? When my students wrote term papers, I needed to be in a position to verify their use of the sources employed in their research papers. The Watchtower gets a failing grade in my grade book!

  3. Daniel7 says:

    Thank you, Jerry for pointing out my misuse of the Vine’s Dictionary quote. I’ll be making the correction in an upcoming revision my paper. You found sections of my paper interesting, but you didn’t say why.

    You said, also “the Watchtower in its publications frequently misrepresents the sources they are citing,”, but you didn’t site any examples. I would like to see that.

    Your blog centers around those who corrupt The Word of God, but you never mention the most reprehensible corruption of all, the deletion of The Devine Name in Judaism and Christendom’s Bibles in violation of Deut. 4:2 and Rev. 22:18, 19. Also, you make great use of the KJV, what about 1 John 5:7, 8 just to mention one.

    As far as Gen.19:24 goes it seems to be a figure of speech that was used at the time, e. g. “I got it from the horses’ mouth.”.
    Trinitarians expect us to swallow this to explain what is supposed to be the most important teaching of The Bible while ignoring what Jesus said at John 20:17 “Jesus said to her: “Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.’” see also Rev. 3:12

  4. Jerry says:

    Dear Daniel7,

    I am delighted that you have responded to my comments about your link.

    You said:

    Thank you, Jerry for pointing out my misuse of the Vine’s Dictionary quote. I’ll be making the correction in an upcoming revision my paper. You found sections of my paper interesting, but you didn’t say why.

    I may at some point visit your page again so I can be more specific, though of course the issue that first caught my attention was the use of Vine. You’ll have to pardon my habits as a former, now retired, English teacher! It seems I am proofreading everything all the time!

    You next said:

    You said, also “the Watchtower in its publications frequently misrepresents the sources they are citing,”, but you didn’t site any examples. I would like to see that.

    My experience of this dates to the years before 1974. I vividly recall the experience, but now that is so long ago, I cannot recall the specifics. They were clear at the time. I do have the study materials the Literature Servant from the Springwells Kingdom Hall in Detroit brought for me. If I had the time (which, because I am working on a major new Bible reference book designed to provide even more cross references than ever before–I unfortunately do not have just now) I could perhaps find them again. I do not recall keeping notes at the time. But I have read of others who encountered the same issue, so it is not just me.

    You further comment:

    Your blog centers around those who corrupt The Word of God, but you never mention the most reprehensible corruption of all, the deletion of The Devine Name in Judaism and Christendom’s Bibles in violation of Deut. 4:2 and Rev. 22:18, 19. Also, you make great use of the KJV, what about 1 John 5:7, 8 just to mention one.

    I’m glad you have read perceptively enough to recognize one of my major themes. I attempt to teach the truth as contained in God’s Word, as directly from Scripture as I can. In so doing, I find all denominations, churches, and religious organizations, as well as what some call false cults, contain identifiable and verifiable errors in doctrine.

    On the issue of the Divine Name, that poses a very interesting question. Very often, if not the majority of the time, when the New Testament quotes the Old Testament, it quotes the Septuagint Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. There are cases when it does quote the Hebrew text. Some quotations may have been given from memory so they don’t exactly match either the Hebrew Old Testament or the LXX.

    The Greek Septuagint (LXX) does not contain the Divine Name Jehovah. The New Testament Greek text followed the lead of the LXX such that the name Jehovah does not occur in the text of the Greek New Testament, or the major manuscript tradition (as that underlying the Majority Text). Therefore, the supposed absence of the Divine Name posed no theological or doctrinal problem for Jesus or His Apostles or the writers of the New Testament. Therefore, in a sense, this is a non-issue.

    Nevertheless, the names of God in Scripture are an interesting and important study. There are English Bibles and English translations which are devoted to providing the information about the Divine Names wherever they occur. The first example that comes to mind is the Newberry Study Bible. Even the Scofield Reference Bible has a careful explanation of this matter, and a chart or table at the end of the Old Testament which shows that every King James Version indicates where the name Jehovah occurs by the kind of type face used for the title Lord. So, there really is not some sinister plot to hide the names of God. I’ve noticed that the Watchtower in its publications seems to believe that God has only one Divine Name. I believe this is incorrect, because several other names or what some think are actually titles are called names in the Bible itself, so it is clear He has more than one name.

    I make use of the KJV because it is about the only royalty-free public domain Bible translation in common use. It has many flaws, including some glitches in the Greek text it followed. I have studied textual criticism since about 1956 in great depth, and have a large library of rare volumes on the subject which fill two good-size book cases at least. I have more such materials in my Logos 5 software library. No one uses 1 John 5:7, 8 to support the doctrine of the Trinity. There are so many other evidences of the truth of the doctrine in the Bible that no one needs to use that questionable text in its support.

    If you read Genesis 19:24 carefully in context, it is most clear that there are indeed two Jehovah’s on the scene at exactly the same time: (1) one Jehovah is in heaven pouring down judgment by means of fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns; (2) the other Jehovah is on earth. When we read Genesis 19:27, we find that the Lord in person–that is, Jehovah–had accompanied Abraham.

    The clock has caught up to me, so I’ll stop at this point this evening.

  5. ken sagely says:

    2 co 2.17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of god: but as of
    sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ speak we in
    Christ.

    cross refs.
    2 co 4.2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in
    craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully: but by manifestation of
    the truth commending ourselves to every man’s consciene in the sight of God.

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