Bible Info – BT1
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The bible resources and information used in this website.
The bible verse references from the Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) are from the English Standard Version (ESV), which is well recognized for its word-for-word accuracy, but I’ve added key italicized words, often in (parenthesis) from the original Hebrew and Greek texts – if from the OT, then (Hebrew Masoretic text, Greek Septuagint LXX text), but if the NT, then (Greek UBS/Nestles critical text) from http://classic.net.bible.org. In the OT, I’ve combined the Greek and Hebrew definitions. I’ve often inserted the definitions into the text like the Amplified Bible (AMP), Expanded Bible (EXB), and The Passion Translation (TPT) often do, especially to fit the contextual meaning, which is always the final step for selecting a word’s meaning. All of these things can make my writing more difficult to read, so I apologize for the choppiness, but there’s no other way short of writing excessive commentary to convey the original meaning.
Many NT Greek words are contextually used completely different from their OT Septuagint use. For example, logos communication that emphasizes message content in the OT is almost exclusively the sacred gramma letters collected into graphe scriptures, but in the NT logos is only used that way about 1% of the time. The other 99% of the time it is used for the person of Jesus Christ, called “The logos Word/Message of God” or it refers to His “Great News” logos gospel message of The Truth about Himself (b), and His New (a) Covenant plan of salvation. <Notes> a) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior, b) John 1:14, 17, 14:6; 1 John 5:20; Ephesians 4:21.
The NT writers purposely use terms Jews are familiar with, but they use them in a completely different-in-kind way, and they justify this because many verses say that the OT is but “a copy and/coupled shadow of the heavenly things, of the things to come, but the reality belongs to Christ” (a). It’s entirely ignorant to hold the OT bible up and say “This IS the Word of God” when the NT makes it really clear that the OT “WAS once the logos Word of God.” And that’s not entirely correct either because logos is best translated “message” since it focuses on “rational understanding of the content” of God’s communication through Jesus Christ, the Living Logos! The directly-spoken/heard “Word of God” has always been the prophetic rhema words throughout the OT and NT. All the promises of actual fellowship, sunesis connect-the-dots understanding, sophia wisdom, genuine-experential-relational-epignosis knowledge, zoe genuine-life, and Spirit-power are related to revealed rhema words, never to studied logos of the OT, and promised only for the logos of the NT when it refers to Jesus Christ, “the Living Logos of God,” and the Spirit’s logos gospel message of/belonging to The Truth, which according to the NT is the “gospel of our salvation” (b). Therefore, “rightly-handling the logos message of The Truth” (c) has absolutely nothing to do with studying/using OT scripture or even NT writings that aren’t about Jesus and His gospel message! It’s not even about study gnosis info-knowledge at all! Words are defined by the consistent contextual use of their writers, not dictionaries, and certainly not by definitions used 100s or 1000s of years earlier under a completely different-in-kind OT covenant agreement between God and His people – see New Covenant Ways! <Notes> a) Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5, 9:23, 10:1; 1 Peter 3:21, b) Ephesians 1:13; Acts 8:25, 13:26, 15:7; Colossians 1:5, c) 2 Timothy 2:15.
There are also many unique Greek and Hebrew idioms that can easily be lost in English translations. For example, “in the name of Jesus” actually means “in the person and authority of Jesus,” like when a policeman says “stop in the name of the law” – what they really are saying is “I’ve been given delegated authority and thus represent the full authority of the police department, so you better listen to me!” Proseuchomai conversational-praying “in the name of Jesus” is using your delegated authority to boldly come before the throne of God as His child washed clean by the blood of Christ – see Salvation. Another example, is when Paul says: “a righteousness that is by faith to faith, just as it is written: ‘the righteous shall live by trusting-relying-faith’” (c). The common Greek idiom “faith to faith” means from “the first step to the last step” on the “walking-all-about journey of life,” especially since Paul often talks about “keeping in step with the Spirit” (a) as you “walk-all-about by the Spirit” (b). This is similar to “glory to glory” in 2 Corinthians 3:18, which means “one level of glory to another level of glory metamorphic-transformation” that we will experience if we “gaze-with-wide-open-eyes, as with a mirror, at the glory of the Lord . . . for this comes from the Lord [Jesus Christ] who is the Spirit.” I will endeavor to translate idioms correctly as some bibles do. <Notes> a) Galatians 5:25, b) 2 Corinthians 12:18; Galatians 5:16, c) Romans 1:17.
I’ve also added important grammatical information that is sadly lost in many English translations. Greek is especially much more specific with words than English is! For example, the Greek verb’s present tense isn’t just “present” but also “ongoing,” and the present participle adds the idea of “a routine, habitual, lifestyle action.” Whereas the aorist tense would convey the idea of “definitive action, the action viewed as a whole,” not just “an already-past action,” and the perfect tense adds “ongoing results or effects” to an “already-past action.” Furthermore, to convey the future indicative, I translate “shall” or “shall actually” or “shall actually, in the future” for even more clarity. English can be very limiting! For example, the Greek verb esti in the present tense takes more than just the word “is” to convey its meaning: most bibles just say “God IS unconditional-love” from 1 John 4:8, 16 but it really should be translated “God IS actually, ongoingly defined/exists as unconditional-love.” Yes, that’s a mouthful, but much more accurate!
There are even problems with simple prepositions! If the Greek preposition en is followed by a word in the dative case, scholars will argue that the context rightly determines if it means “in the location or sphere of,” or “by the means/instrument of,” or “with the company of.” But God told me when it comes to the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit that all three are true, even though 1 scholar argues that en pneumati always is limited to “by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit.” I will often leave any “in/by/with God” references as is, but if it’s clear by the context that “by the means/instrument of” is intended, that’s what I will do – see my “Fortress of Rock” vision in “About Us.”
Some Greek prepositions convey far more meaning than English words do, like dia, where we get ‘diagnoses’ or ‘diameter.’ It means far more than simply “through” or “by.” It means more than “motion towards/reaching a destination” like pros does, and certainly not “motion into or penetrating toward a destination” like eis does. Instead dia means “across to the other side, to cross all the way over thru a channel, conduit, avenue, or way successfully or thoroughly (back and forth) to realize a destination, especially when used as a prefix.” For example, dia + krino means “to judge thru-the-realizing-channel-of thoroughly, thus to investigate or discriminate thoroughly either rightly by close-reasoning or wrongly by going too far or vacillating back and forth, as determined by the context.” An example is our word ‘diagnoses’ that comes from dia + gnosis that means “to informationally-know by thoroughly travelling across or through the subject as if travelling along a channel of investigation.”
An example of dia used by Peter is: “Water-baptism now saves you also (a) – not the removal of dirt from the body – but [how you ask? – ] the answer/pledge of a good/clear conscience toward/reaching God [how you ask? – ] thru-the-realizing-channel-of the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (b). Our surrendering “good confession of The-trusting-relying-Faith in the presence of many witnesses” (c) doesn’t save us, either more than an ark sitting on dry ground would! And the water we “actually bury ourselves under, as if dead, that actually joins us to Christ in His burial” (h), doesn’t actually wash sin off us, anymore than the flood waters did for Noah’s family – it actually washed the sin of the entire world, but as a judgment! Why any aspect of water-baptism works for salvation as “deliverance from sin,” is ‘because’ the resurrection of Christ is the “realizing-channel” – just as Paul says: “If the Spirit of Him (Father-God) who raised Jesus (Son-God) from the dead is living in you, He (Spirit) who raised Christ from the dead will also give zoe genuine [eternal] life to your mortal bodies thru-the-realizing-channel-of (g) His (Father-God) Spirit that lives in you” (d). The Spirit is the “enabling-power of God” (e), so “by His enabling-power God [the Father] raised the Lord [Jesus, His Son] from the dead, and so He (Father-God) will raise us also [by that same enabling-power]” (f). See how much is lost in English translations! <Notes> a) like Noah’s family was delivered/saved by the means of the ark but thru-the-realizing-channel-of the flood waters to dry ground, b) 1 Peter 3:21, c) 1 Timothy 6:12, d) Romans 8:11, e) Luke 1:35; Romans 15:13, 19; 2 Timothy 1:7, f) 1 Corinthians 6:14, g) the genitive is preferred over the accusative ‘because’, h) Romans 6:4.
Here is another important Greek preposition: kata, which is also used as a prefix. It doesn’t just mean “according to or in the same manner as” that English bibles often translate. It properly means “down from a higher to lower plane with special reference to the end-point,” and as a prefix it often means “to bring down exactly or completely.” For example, Paul says: “For they who routinely are down-from/according-to the flesh (c) actually, ongoingly have a mindset/paradigm/worldview (b) on the things of the flesh, but those down-from/according-to the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (a). In context, people are either getting their commands/dictates down-from “the flesh” or “the Spirit,” each having dominion over the person’s identity. And you can tell ‘whose who’ by looking at where there “mindset-paradigm” concerning this world is! <Notes> a) 8:5, 12-13, b) phroneo, c) see Might and Power.
There are even problems with simple conjunctions! For example, the Greek conjunction kai often translated “and” is misleading because de is used when simply adding items to a list, like “this, that, and (de) the other thing,” whereas kai most often means “and coupled or related to,” so I translate it as “and/coupled.” However, sometimes kai has a cumulative force as “and thus, even, moreover, indeed,” which I will translate variously as best fits the context.
There are other grammatical nuances invisible to English. For example, I also insert [singular] or [plural] into the text when the “number” of the noun is significant to the meaning. Oftentimes a [singular] number of a noun has the force of the definite article “the,” like pnuema (a) or aletheia (b). Number is also helpful in personal pronouns like “you” [singular] or “you-all” [plural]. I insert “actually” for the indicative case, since it really happens, whereas I insert “may” or “might” for the subjunctive case of “possibility.” I insert “I strongly urge you” for the imperitive case. <Notes> a) The Holy Spirit, b) The Truth, Jesus Christ or His logos gospel message of The Truth.
Furthermore, there are many other very specific Greek words that it takes many English words to describe! For example, “faith” and “believe” in English are 2 different words with different English meanings, albeit with some overlap as “a mental agreement,” but in Greek they are respectively a noun pistis and verb pisteuo of the same Greek word that means the same thing, which has little to do with mere “mental agreement” but instead means “relational conviction of trusting reliance” – you can’t have biblical “trusting-relying-faith” in a thing, only a person, and it’s a ‘conviction’ to the degree we have fellowship with that person we have trusting-relying-faith in!
Another example, is the Hebrew chayil or Greek dunamis which means “strength, ability, or power to perform or achieve,” where we get the word ‘dynamic’ or ‘dynamite.’ It’s often used to describe the supernatural enabling-power of the Holy Spirit. This is often contrasted to the Hebrew koach or Greek ishus describing man’s “internal capacity of firmness, vigor, strength, might, ability, efficiency, force, and power or control over external things including immediate resistance,” which is exactly the “power” of Zechariah 4:6’s “might and power” that God is replacing with “by My Spirit” in the New Covenant.
Another example is the English words “joy” and “grace,” that appear to be unrelated. But in Greek respectively, chari is the awareness, acknowledgment, or experiential, relational ginosko knowledge of charis, “the unearned, unmerited, unconditional-favor of God.” Also, Torah/Nomos Law of conditional-favor and charis unconditional-favor-of-grace are exactly opposite in their very nature (a), the former resulting in the “earned, merited, conditional-favor” of God, thus a “wage obligated/due for our work/doing” (c) for God. However, the latter is the opposite: “the unearned, unmerited, unconditional-favor” of God, thus a “free grace-gift of God based solely on His unconditional-love, so that no one can boast” (b). Therefore, I’ve inserted into the text these key meanings whenever possible. <Notes> a) John 1:17; Romans 6:14-15; Galatians 2:21, 5:4, b) Ephesians 2:8-9, c) Romans 4:4.
Also, I’ve kept some information in (parenthesis) because it’s for important clarification, especially important verse references, but also key Greek and Hebrew words and their special meanings like rabbi (Hebrew for teacher), but I often will simply footnote this at the bottom of the paragraph (a) to make it easier for you to read. Also, I’ve kept some words in [brackets] to show they are added in from the word-meaning or context to help the sentence flow, as when Paul calls for the prophets or Spirit-kind-of [persons] to experientially recognize Paul’s teaching is from the Lord (b) – it didn’t say “test my prophecy against scripture” as so many in churches scream! Here he uses an adjective as a noun – Paul loves to leave words out! The definite article “the” doesn’t always need to be specified for the noun to be definite: “Worshiping by [singular] Spirit and/coupled [singular] Truth” (c) that Jesus calls all Christians to, is NOT human spirit or any other spirits and NOT general truth or even sincerity as some translators force it to be! Everywhere in the NT where you see these [singular] words, in context they refer to The Holy Spirit and/coupled The Son, especially since Jesus said He was “The Truth” (d), as I said earlier. <Notes> a) Hebrew rabbi in Greek is didaskalos: teacher, b) 1 Corinthians 14:37, c) John 4:23, d) John 1:14, 17, 14:6; 1 John 5:20; Ephesians 4:21.
Other good literal translations are: New American Standard Bible, Disciples’ Literal New Testament, Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament, Green’s Literal Translation, and Young’s Literal Translation. Although I agree with the approach of dynamic-equivalent “thought-for-thought” bibles, I have found that many of these have interjected a lot of theological bias and modern words that actually convey different ideas than what was originally intended, especially: New International Version, New Living Translation, and New Revised Standard Version. I like the Good News Bible (Today’s English Version) for the illustrations and ease of reading. Lastly, most ‘Free’ translations have too many translational errors in them, like: Message Bible and the Living Bible. The J.B. Phillips New Testament is scholastically sharp! The New Century Versions and The Voice give you a good perspective while making it easy to read, but don’t build doctrine off them!
Good online resources are: biblegateway.com for comparing multiple translations to alert you to apparent discrepancies; classic.net.bible.org is the online NET bible for original languages, emphasizes word order, grammar, and has good definitions; biblehub.com is excellent for definitions and Septuagint text confirmation; wikipedia.org is great for Church history and subject research, wiktionary.org is great for definitions, and earlychristianwritings.com is vital for early church documents.
Good reference books are: Strong’s Lexicon and Exhaustive Concordance, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (a), Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (b) , Commentary on the Old Testament (c), Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (d), Sparkling Gems from the Greek (f), and New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (e). I used to have 100s of great books but the computer is much faster! <Notes> a) Danker, b) Kittel, c) Keil & Delitzsch, d) Harris & Waltke, e) Silva, f) Renner.
Good Church history resources are: Right Here, Right Now – Living the Anointed Life with Jesus and Each Other by www.HeavenReigns.com, Pagan Christianity – Exploring the Roots of Church Practices by Frank Viola and George Barna, Re-imagining Church – Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity by Frank Viola, and Christian Mythology – Revelations of Pagan Origins and Christianity – the Origins of a Pagan Religion by Philippe Walter. Other books are mentioned through the website.
Exegetical theology was my schooling, meaning theology derived from the text, not theology read into the text. Do you have any resources or advise for those that really want to go to all this trouble to exegetically determine what the bible really says?