Daily Bible Nugget #644, John 5:39

The Nugget:

John 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

My Comment:

Many modern English translations get John 5:39 wrong. Greek grammar requires that this verse states a command in the imperative mood. Modern English translations translate this verse in the indicative mood to read “Ye search the scriptures.” As a matter of fact, the Pharisees and Sadducees as well as the scribes did not search the Scriptures  carefully as I discussed in my immediately prior post.

Some Greek scholars also get this verse wrong for they insist that the word “think” as used by John in his writings always means wrongly think. Sorry about that. This instance is surely a prime example of this word having the meaning rightly think.

Many of these mistakes in understanding could be avoided if theologians and grammarians learned how to search the Scriptures carefully themselves, I believe.

It really doesn’t hurt to search the Scriptures. Searching the Scriptures will do you much good.

We should search the Scriptures to:

(1) avoid sticking foot in mouth (John 7:52);

(2) become better informed about Bible prophecy (Revelation 3:10);

(3) equip ourselves to more adequately defend the truth (Jude 1:3);

(4) become more accurately informed about Bible doctrine (Ephesians 4:14);

(5) receive guidance for daily living (Psalm 32:8);

(6) discern the times (1 Chronicles 12:32);

(7) equip ourselves to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4);

(8) know where to turn in Scripture to find the comfort it offers (Romans 15:4);

(9) be able to share the comfort of the Scriptures with others (Romans 15:4);

(10) know the promises of God and how to both find and apply or claim them (1 Corinthians 10:13),

(11) be equipped to ground others in the faith (Colossians 1:23);

(12) train others to teach others (1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:2);

(13) protect ourselves from falling into false doctrine (Colossians 2:7).

Some years ago here I shared an important endorsement of cross-reference Bible study written long ago by Bishop Horsley. What he said reinforces the importance of using cross reference Bible study to protect ourselves from falling into false doctrine.

Here is the link to that post:

Cross Reference Bible Study–a Most Important Bible Study Method


My elderly friend “Uncle Frank” frequently mentioned to me and others that whenever you  encounter a false doctrine that seems to be supported by Scripture you will always find that upon further search of Scripture that it will “not fit.” In your own study, when that happens, you know you need to dig deeper.

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