I call this deception the Trojan Horse because it is the one that is usually used to trap people into the “Greek is better” lie. As you will remember the Greeks when they could not breech the walls of Troy decamped and left a large wooden horse which had men hiding inside. When the Trojans brought the horse inside the city walls one warned I don’t trust the Greeks even when they come bearing gifts. That night the Greeks came out of the horse and opened the gates for their buddies and destroyed the city. Even so many have had their faith in the Bible destroyed by this Greek trick, including men who claim to be King James only.
This is the trick. It is to claim that you can’t fully understand the text because unfortunately the English uses one word for love while the Greek uses two (in this text. The third Greek word porneo is not in the New Testament). Of course when the King James Bible uses the word charity they say it is unfortunate that they didn’t use the word love. You just can’t please some people.
So they take you to the Gospel of John 21:15-17. The lesson will be the difference between agape and phileo. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Three times Peter answers that he loves Him. The first two times Jesus uses the word agape and the third time phileo. Peter answers all three times phileo. So we loose something in the translation! Well did we lose something in the translation when John translated it from Hebrew or Aramaic into Greek? Well we are told that agape is pure exalted love but phileo is just a fondness. Really? Look at John 3:19. Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. The love here is agape love. So the lesson goes that Jesus is asking for agape love but can never get it out of Peter. How do we know that it is not the other way around? Maybe Jesus wanted phileo love all along and just wanted Peter to admit it. We know that neither of these is correct because of the context. In verse 17 it says Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, lovest thou me? The thing that grieved Peter was being asked the THIRD time, not phileo instead of agape. By going to the Greek you miss the obvious that Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him because Peter had denied Him thrice. But this kind of teaching will put you in the mode of thinking that you must go to a Greek scholar for knowledge of the Bible. When William Tyndale did the first translation work of putting the Bible into English (after Wycliffe) he said he would make it so a plough boy would know more Bible than the priests. His vision was accomplished. He knew his work needed to be polished, and this was finished with the Authorized Version of 1611. I pray that this has been a help to you. I’m
Recently I have been reading about the anti-lockdown protests and the government response to them. In I Kings 12:1-20 the children of Israel come to meet their king with a reasonable request. The King spurns the good advice of the old men and takes the advice of the young and it ends in disaster. Some politicians applaud these protests and others condemn them. What can we learn? Now in context we are given the first amendment right to peacefully assemble and address the government for grievances. Some were in horror because these citizens were armed, and had no masks. Yet there was no violence not outbreak of sickness. Let us go back a few years and look at another protest with masks and no firearms. In Charlotte NC and several other cities citizens (who had firearms) made various protests only to be met by Antifa and other violent groups. There were no shots fired yet many (including a journalist) were injured by shields, boards, fists, and plastic bottles filled with cement. Who is the Nazi and who is the law abiding patriots? Remember that if freedom of speech is denied to any it is denied to all. If a governor or mayor is frightened by opposition then perhaps they should consider the fact that they have over reached their authority. To be clear I am against violence, but sometimes a message needs to be sent to those in office.
Recently my wife had a discussion with a relative in which he said he refused to argue about Bible translations. And while I understand that one may not wish to argue you most certainly should consider the evidence. For they do not all ” say the same thing just in a different way” as I was taught as a child. Now he had a unique argument for his position. It was that no matter which version he used it would defeat the Devil. Now I have never sat down with the Devil and quoted different versions to him but I would like to venture two thoughts on this.
First if I would use the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God Ephesians 6:17, or Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee, Psalms 119:11, that word must be there! If I want to stay out of jail I would plead the Fifth but if I want to stay out of Hell I must plead the blood of Jesus Christ. What if the blood is missing from Colossians 1:14 and other places? Or whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved Romans 10:13? What if your version leaves out the word Lord in Luke 23:42 when the repentant thief calls for salvation? What if I want to proclaim the deity of Christ and your version leaves out the word begotten in John 3:16 or completely leaves out I John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. There are many words and even whole verses left out in modern translations, like the last seven verses of Mark 16. You can not fight with something that is not there. Go to Bible Hub and you can easily check out these differences.
Secondly the Devil also knows the Bible better than you. He quoted Psalms to Jesus, who replied with Deuteronomy. But when he came to Eve he said Yea hath God said. Then proceeded to misquote the Almighty. Eve used his version and left out the word “freely”. Then the Devil told her that God would not be so severe “Ye shall not surely die” then goes on to disparage God’s character. We all know the miserable end to that first attack upon the word of God. This is just food for thought. I will leave some more in the future, God willing. I leave you with Jeremiah 26:2 Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, ALL the words that I command thee to speak unto them;DIMINISH NOT A WORD: (emphasis mine) I pray that this is a blessing to you
John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. Verse 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. It is a sad thing to see so many empty churches when we have such wonderful news “He is not here, but is risen.”!. The message is the same, and still proves that Jesus is the way, the only way, it still delivers souls from hell, lives from misery, and mankind from sin. So why are churches declining and empty and shuttered? Why do people stay home for fear of the government in a supposedly free country. Why do brethren condemn the brethren who are brave enough to defy tyranny and obey God? Remember Thomas. He missed the blessing of seeing the risen Christ at the first meeting and would have missed the second time if he was not there. But on that second time he makes the strongest statement on the deity of Christ in the Bible “My Lord and my God.” If you can’t meet in public meet in secret. Do like Paul and invoke your rights as an American citizen. And above all get back to preaching the Bible. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. Where of he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Amen and Alleluia.
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the day approaching. I am reminded of the great hymn We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing. How about some of our great patriots? We have nothing to fear but fear itself. We must all hang together or we will all surely hang separately. Is life so sweet or peace so dear to be purchased at the cost of chains and bondage? My spiritual ancestors were publicly whipped for preaching on the streets. Sheriffs road horses into the meeting house and shoved a whip down the pastor’s throat while he was praying. Men met secretly in caves and were smoked out and brutally tortured and killed. In our wonderful country whole congregations joined the fight for liberty so that you and I could peacefully assemble and worship God Almighty without government interference. Now if a church has many elderly and infirmed and chooses to suspend meeting for a short period that is between them and God and is no one else’s business. If a church chooses to continue meeting it is also no one else’s business, especially not the government’s! The Communists in China require the churches to be registered and are even telling them to change the Bible. They told the home churches they could meet online (how sweet to have their permission) and then used it and the COVID-19 ruse to round them up. Are we to follow the communist policy on religion? Are we going to register our church and ask the government for permission to meet during a non-event? Control is the issue not safety. And of all times during a disaster the head of state should be asking for a day of prayer. I served in the Navy during the Cold War. I remember reading about a veteran putting up the hammer and sickle when Obama shoved his unaffordable health bill down our throats. I see a full blown socialist running for office and praising Russian and Chinese dictatorships. I do believe that if you love the Bible and love freedom you are, like me often lifting up your eyes to Heaven and praying with John even so come Lord Jesus. Who will be the head of your church, the state or the Lord?
I have seen many changes in my lifetime, this being one of the fastest paced time changes in history. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. I see many things going on that remind me of my youth. Back in the’70s they had an oil and sugar etc shortage, caused mostly by government bungling. Someone made a joke on late night T.V. about the next shortage being a paper shortage and the run for toilet paper was on! I remember the Hong Kong flu scare in the’60s. I remember that humanity was supposed to be wiped out by AIDS. Back then though quarantine was a dirty and hateful word. SARS and Ebola and swine flu were all supposed to wipe us out. Oh and don’t forget global warming. It appears that all these people so concerned about the environment will gladly chop down our forests to have paper in the bathroom! How about the animal rights people? One speculation is that Corona came from bats because they can carry that. Do you people in Austin have a program to protect your bats?
Ok, I have had a little bit of fun. I love to laugh and enjoy life. I hope that I have put a smile on your face. But remember with all these events the government that wants to appear as your hero and defender is steadily eroding our rights and freedoms. The only safe place to put your trust is in Almighty God. The only safe investment is in the Bank of Heaven and the only sure future is in salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope this has been a blessing to you.