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Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

This brief text expresses a simple truth. Souls die. Against the speculations of some that there is something within a man, a “soul,” which remains alive after death, lingering as a disembodied spirit, the scriptures affirm to the contrary. Death is what it seems to be — death.

When a dog dies, what happens to the dog? It stops breathing, its body decays and returns to the elements. Thought and consciousness immediately terminate. There is no more dog. It does not go to some place prepared for old dogs, to chew bones in bliss, for there simply is no more dog. It is dead, it is gone, it is no more.

Death is the same for human beings. Death is the cessation of life. Psalm 146:4 describes what happens when a man dies.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

“That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other … they have all one breath … all go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20).

The Resurrection

However, unlike the animals, man has the hope of a resurrection from the dead. Animals were made to live for a limited period of time, procreate, age, and pass away as part of the cycle of nature. But man, the height of God’s physical creation, was created with the capacity to live forever. They appreciate life, plan for the future, and cherish the hope for continued life. Accordingly, the prospect of living forever was offered to Adam in the Garden of Eden, by God who created him.

This offer was contingent upon obedience, a test which Adam and Eve failed. But even after being expelled from the Garden, so robust was the human frame that Adam lived 930 years before death claimed his life (Genesis 5:5). Almost 4000 years after Adam sinned, Jesus died as a ransom for father Adam (1 Timothy 2:6), which allows Adam and his posterity a release from the death penalty — in other words, a resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22). For the world, this will come during the Millennium so near at hand.

In the meantime, where are all the dead of past ages? They are simply dead. They silently await the resurrection, when they will be reconstituted as the persons they were before they died, to learn the lessons God has for them during the Kingdom on earth.

What is a Soul?

From our opening text, it is apparent that souls do die. The expression immortal soul,sometimes used among Christians, is not found in the Bible.

A soul is a living being, whether animal or human, and neither animals nor humans are immortal.

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, word number 5315 in Strong’s Concordance, which gives this definition: “A breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense.”

Genesis 2:7 uses the word “soul” for Adam.

“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Here the word nephesh, or soul, is defined as a living being, a body combined with the breathe of life. Thus we learn, that man does not possess a soul, but that he IS a soul, which means simply that man, when alive, is a living being.” Adam subsequently died, and he with all the others silently awaits the resurrection.

Animals as Souls

The “breath of life” which animates the human organism is no different than the breath of life given to the lower animals. In reference to the “beasts and every creeping thing” which perished in the Flood, we read,

“All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:21,22).

Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 informs us that both man and beast

“have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.”

As Strong’s Concordance notes, animals are also souls — living beings. However, in the common English version this is hidden by the translation, which confuses the subject to many readers. When the word nephesh, soul, refers to an animal, the translators rendered it with some other word, such as creature or beast.

For example, Genesis 1:20 says

“let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature [nephesh, soul]…”

Verse 21, God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth…”

Verse 24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh, soul] after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”

Here are other texts of the same sort: Genesis 1:30, 2:14, 9:3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 18. And Isaiah 19:10,

“… all that make sluices and ponds for fish [nephesh, souls].

This method of translating hides the fact that animals are souls. Were this fact more open and apparent, it would assist people to recognize that souls are not immortal, for no one supposes that animals are in any sense immortal.

Only once in the Old Testament did the translators render the word nephesh “soul” when it applied to animals, namely Numbers 31:28, where the word applies at one time both to people and animals: “one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep.”

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

The difference between the soul of a human and an animal is in the construction of the organism, particularly in the formation of the brain. Although some organisms of some of the lower animals may seem to be superior to man’s (such as a dog’s keen sense of smell and hearing and an eagle’s eyesight), God in his great wisdom created man in his own image, thus giving man the ability to reason, and to have a moral sense of right and wrong — possessing a conscience (1 John 3:20-22). Man has the ability to love and obey Jehovah-God as well as to love (agape) his enemies or those who do or wish him wrong through, striving to see all things through the eyes of their Bridegroom — Christ Jesus. He died as a “ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6) because of his great love of the Heavenly Father — stemming from a love for righteousness which comes from a knowledge, understanding and experience of the results of obeying the Heavenly Father, which permits the highest and purest form of joy to be felt, that joy that is felt through the eyes of faith, that joy that our Lord Jesus had in bringing the Heavenly Father joy, as reflected in his words:

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34, ESV).

Other Hidden References

There are other important places where the translators also obscured the use of nephesh.

“There were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body [nephesh, soul] …” (Numbers 9:6, 7, 10).

If the translation use “soul” in these places, it would be apparent to the reader that souls simply die. When Samson toppled the house of Dagon, he prayed to God:

“Let me [my nephesh, soul] die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30).

Expanded Use

The texts above give us the proper meaning of the word soul, namely any living being. However, Strong’s Concordance shows that nephesh is sometimes used figuratively for one’s life, being, or vitality. Here are two examples of this.

(1) When Rachel was dying at the birth of Benjamin, Genesis 35:18 says

“As her soul was in departing (for she died) … she called his name Benomi: but his father called him Benjamin.”

(2) 1 Kings 17:21, speaking of the raisin of a young boy by Elijah, says he cried to God

“let this child’s soul come into him again.”

In both of these cases the word “life” or “being” is the meaning intended.

Sometimes the word is used of one’s deepest thoughts or feelings, distinguished from the mere body. Thus 2 Kings 4:27 says of a troubled woman,

“her soul is vexed in her.”

Language is flexible, and the word nephesh is used flexibly. But none of these cases are any predicate for believing some conscious force called “soul” mysteriously lingers after death. Death is death. It is the cessation of life.

Soul in the New Testament

The New Testament Greek word for soul is psuche. Whenever the word “soul” appears in the common English version of the New Testament, it is from this word (Strong’s number 5590).

1 Corinthians 15:45 uses psuche as the counterpart of the Hebrew nephesh, which serves to equate the two words.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul [psuche].”

This expression clearly draws from Genesis 2:7, where nephesh is used. This word is frequently rendered life.

“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Mark 8:35).

“I lay down my life (John 10:17).

“They seek my life (Romans 11:3),

and many other examples. In these cases “life” refers to the being, the person. The same meaning attaches when the word is rendered “soul,” as in Acts 2:43,

“fear came upon every soul” — every person, or being.

Revelation 8:9 and 16:3 apply the word to sea creatures. Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 use the term metaphorically of the spent life of the saints, awaiting the resurrection. John 12:27 says of Jesus

“now is my soul troubled.”

Thus there is a breadth in this Greek word that matches the breadth of its Hebrew counterpart.

In the Old Testament the condition of death is expressed by the Hebrew sheol, and its Greek counterpart in the New Testament is hades. This was the condition into which Jesus’ “soul,” psuche, passed for three days until his resurrection, for a soul, psuche, dies and is later raised from the dead.

The Soul Is Not Immortal

If the soul were truly immortal, the soul would be indestructible, yet it is not, because each human born under the curse of Adamic condemnation, dies until the curse shall be lifted up from humanity once Christ’s ransom price has been applied to all mankind. By then the Bride of Christ will have completed their share in the sin offering — and the antityical “atonement day” sin offering thus completed. The High Priest in Leviticus 16 made atonement for  himself, his sons, and then, finally, for the sins of the people (the world of mankind). God warned Adam that if he disobeyed God’s rule, then as a living soul Adam would cease to exist. We read about this in Genesis 2:17,

“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In Ezekiel 18:4 God said,

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

This means that the person who sins shall die, and since all are born in sin, the entire human race has been dying for nearly 6000 years. Here are two examples of Scriptures about death being the consequence of sin:

“So death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, NASV).

Every soul [person] sins and, as a consequence, every soul dies (Romans 6:16,23).

But God in his great love provided redemption from death for all sinful souls, or persons, through the gift of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, who died as a corresponding ransom price to free mankind from the prison house of death. All of Adam’s progeny lost life through Adamic transgression and thus have inherited sin and imperfection. The Apostle Paul wrote that

“in Adam all die,”

adding to this,

“even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

And again,

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22).

The Prophet Isaiah wrote that Christ’s “soul” was made an offering for sin, and also that he

“poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:10,12).

John 3:16 says,

“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.”

Adam and all past generations of his children have fallen asleep in death, but they have not “perished,” because through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and by the exercise of divine power, they are to be awakened in the resurrection and given an opportunity to believe. Then, upon the basis of their belief and obedience, they may live forever.

Those called to discipleship in the present life are given an opportunity to inherit eternal life by accepting Jesus as their personal Redeemer and responding to the invitation to take up their cross and follow him, gladly lay down their lives with him, and be planted together in the likeness of his death (Roman 6:3-6). These are referred to in Revelation 20:4 as the “souls” which are

“beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God.”

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (1 Corinthians 15:17,18).

Thus, Paul speaks of Christians who die as merely being “asleep,” and not in any sense perishing in death.

Genesis 12:11-13 (NASB) says Abraham was afraid that his soul would not live, and thus, that he would die.

“It came about when he [Abram] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I (“my soul,” nephesh) may live on account of you.” If the Hebrew word nephesh meant an indestructible immortal soul, Abram’s soul could not have died (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

Jesus emphasized this same important truth in an admonition to his disciples to meet courageously any and all opposition against them and any persecuted unto death, saying,

“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna]” (Matthew 10:28).

Jesus here refers to the possibility of permanent cessation of life by God for the incorrigible, which the Bible terms as “second death.”

“This does not imply that the soul can live apart from the body, for actually the body is the organism of the soul. Rather, Jesus is speaking from the standpoint of the divine plan to awaken the dead in the resurrection. It was from this standpoint that Paul could say that Christians who fell asleep in death had not ‘perished.’ If an enemy puts a Christian to death, he has not perished as a soul. The body dies, but the person, the soul, merely ‘sleeps’ until the resurrection. But if a Christian becomes a willful sinner and is not worthy of a resurrection, then death means extinction of that person, or soul, forever.

“Jesus explained this from another standpoint, as recorded in Luke 20:37,38

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.’

Jesus did not say that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had gone to heaven to live with God. He simply explained that because there is to be a resurrection of the dead, and these faithful servants will be restored to life, God does not consider them as having gone out of existence — they ‘live unto him,’ or, to him they are alive.

“So it is with all God’s faithful servants of the past. They may have been ‘sawn asunder’ by their enemies; they may have been thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or burned at the stake, but to God they still live, they have not ‘perished,’ for he has the power and will use that power to awaken them from the sleep of death.

“The ‘souls’ which are ‘beheaded,’ as mentioned in Revelation 20:4, are brought forth in the ‘first resurrection’ to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The ‘souls’ that died serving God during the ages preceding Jesus’ first advent will come forth to a ‘better resurrection,’ to serve as ‘princes in all the earth’ Hebrews 11:35; Psalm 45:16” (The Dawn – and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, January 1959 issue).

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

In John 11:11 Jesus said “Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was dead for four days (John 11:39). Surely Jesus would not have retrieved Lazarus from the bliss of heaven. For those four days Lazarus did not go anywhere, nor did he see anyone, nor did he speak, eat, feel, or think. He was simply dead. When he was raised to life he began again to do all those things. In this respect the whole world sleeps in death, waiting for the resurrection — unaware of what is transpiring in the meantime, because the dead do not sense, feel or think anything.

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

“There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

In John 5:28,29 Jesus said that the hour is coming when all in their graves will come forth. If their souls were already in heaven, then there would be no need for Jesus to say that he would bring them forth from the grave? If physical bodies were needed in heaven, how have these presumably immortal souls survived without them? Scripture also tells us that

“flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Seeking After Immortality

The Bible never equates immortality with the soul of common man, only with the saints, and then only as a gift for faithfulness (Romans 2:7, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). The sleeping, unconscious dead will one day be awakened from their graves (John 5:28,29; Job 14:11-15; Psalm 17:15; Acts 24:15,16). At that time,

‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9).

‘Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths’ (Micah 4:2).

In God’s kingdom on earth, mankind will be raised from the dead and have their first real opportunity to learn God’s ways of righteousness because Satan will be bound and will no longer be able to deceive the world (Revelation 20:3) (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

“Possibly the spirit that returns to God contains the unique ‘data’ of each individual can be compared to computer information on a removable disk. The resurrection of an individual could be a recreation after the pattern of Adam. The original body had passed to dust so a new one, either spiritual or fleshly, would be created. The individual again comes to life when the (unique?) spirit is returned to the body and he becomes a living soul again. Whatever the exact process is, we know the resurrected fleshly body will be in its intended perfected state. Job intimates that the flesh will be fresher than a child’s and will have the beauty and vitality of youth (Job 33:25)” (Robert Davis, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom article.)

Spirit

The word “spirit” in the Old Testament is usually from the Hebrew ruach, and in the New Testament it is usually from the Greek pneuma. Both terms refer to breath, inhalation, or the movement of air, whether gentle or forceful. But as these are invisible forces, the words are applied by extension to the “spirit” of a person which is the invisible mental force, personality, influence, or disposition of a person.

Thus the Old Testament uses ruach when speaking of the “spirit” of Jacob, Elijah, Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Joshua, God, and others. The New Testament uses pneuma when speaking of the “spirit” of Paul, Christ, and God.

These words are also used to describe the influence of various non-personal but good “spirits” — the spirit of Truth, Holiness, Life, Faith, Wisdom, Grace and Glory and of an opposite spirit of Jealousy, Judgment, Burning, Heaviness, Infirmity, Divination, Bondage, Slumber, Fear and Error.

Ruach also refers to the “spirit of life” which we receive from God, which figuratively “returns” to him when we die.

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

This does not imply a transport of persons. It applies to the motivating force of life, of both good and bad people alike.

Both words sometimes refer to the essence of a person, that is, their identity, character, personality. In this sense Jesus commended his “spirit” to God when he died, which was restored on the third day when God raised Jesus from the dead (Luke 23:46, Psalms 31:5).

In this sense also Paul speaks of the “spirits of just men,” the faithful Ancient Worthies of the Old Testament, who were matured by the things they suffered, and await their resurrection reward in the Kingdom (Hebrews 12:23, 11:40).

None of these cases teach that any conscious entity persists after the death of a person, except metaphorically, in the memory of God. Not until the resurrection does a person who has died live again as a conscious, sentient being. The great hope for the world lies in such a Resurrection from the Dead.

“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15).

“The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28,29).

This assurance was secured for us at great cost, both by God who gave His dearest treasure, his son Jesus, and by Jesus who labored in his ministry for 3 ½ years, suffered accusation from the religious leaders of his day, and died for our sins on the cross.

“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust … [to] bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “By man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21).

For the saints of the Gospel Age, this resurrection occurs during the present “Harvest” period. For the remainder of the world, the resurrection will occur during the coming Millennium.

Do Angels Have a Soul?

As with human being, angels are souls, for they are the union of the spirit of life, together with a body, in this case a spiritual body.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

It would be the same with the angelic hosts, but on a higher scale.

“There are also celestial bodies … but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (1 Corinthians 15:40).

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Acknowledgment & References

We are thankful for the permission of sharing content from a study titled “Soul and Spirit,” drawn from a study by Br. Gilbert Rice, featured in the “Faithbuilders Fellowship” Journal.
http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2006/01_jan_06.pdf

“Immortality and the Human Soul,” The Bible versus Tradition—Article IV, April 1959 in The Dawn – A Herald of Christ’s Presence (Monthly Magazine) Rutherford, NJ, USA.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1959/5904tbs1.htm

“Immortality of the Soul” by Br. Peter Karavas. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, May-June 2011.
http://www.heraldmag.org/2011/11mj_3.htm

“The Resurrection of the Dead” by Br. Robert Davis. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom.
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_14.htm

Suggested Further Reading

Volume 5 of “Studies in the Scriptures” — “The Atonement Between God and Man” by Br. Charles Taze Russell, pages 383-404, Study 13, “Hopes For Life Everlasting and Immortality Secured by the Atonement.”

“What Is the Soul?” by Br. Robert Seklemian
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/seklemians%20discourses.htm

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part A: What Is Jesus All About?https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part B: Will Mankind Resurrect With the Same Mind?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/05/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-b-will-mankind-resurrect-with-the-same-mind/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part C: The Order of the Resurrection Process
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

This post’s URL:
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/07/14/ezekiel-184-what-the-bible-teaches-about-soul-and-spirit/

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Preceding articles

Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

 

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Additional reading

  1. Concerning Man
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  3. Creation of the earth and man #9 Formation of man #1 Cure of souls
  4. Creation of the earth and man #10 Formation of man #2 Mortal bodies and Tartarian habitation
  5. Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man
  6. Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh
  7. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  8. Bereshith 3 Fall of man
  9. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  10. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  11. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  12. What is life?
  13. Death
  14. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  15. Today’s thought “Death by being taken captive” (May 15)
  16. Is there an Immortal soul
  17. The Soul not a ghost
  18. The Soul confronted with Death
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  21. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  22. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  23. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  24. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  25. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  26. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  27. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  28. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  29. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. A Ransom for all 1 Eternal tormentAll Souls’ DayI Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Is it true that all Non-Christians today will go to hell

Related

  1. What is the human soul?
  2. On Plotinus and immortality
  3. The dreams of the Manichees and of Servetus, as to the origin of the soul, refuted
  4. It were vain to seek a definition of the soul from philosophers, not one of whom, with the exception of Plato, distinctly maintained its immortality
  5. Duty of Preparing for the Future World: Immortality and Separate State of the Soul: Book Eight- Chapter 1
  6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints
  7. This light is such as effectually influences the inclination, and changes the nature of the soul
  8. Is the human soul mortal or immortal?
  9. Immortal Soul
  10. River myths and the soul
  11. Secret Principles of Immortality, Edition 25
  12. All Soul’s Day, All Saint’s Day, and Day of the Dead
  13. Are there degrees of punishment in hell?
  14. J. W. Hanson on Gehenna
  15. There Is No Hell, Look It Up
  16. Are Near Death Experiences or Out of Body Experiences Biblical?
  17. Fantastic Article Proving that Hell = Complete Annihilation, Not Eternal Torment

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:31-32 – Blasphemy against the Pneuma

|| Luke 12:10

MT12:31 “Because of this I tell you: Every human sin[1] and blasphemy[2] will be canceled,[3] but blasphemy against the Pneuma[4] will not be canceled. MT12:32 And so whoever speaks a word against the Son[5] of Humankind – it will be canceled. However, anyone who speaks against the Holy Pneuma,[6] it will not be canceled – not in this Age,[7] nor in the New Age.[8]

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[1] Every human sin: This is the first case of the word “sin” from Jesus’ mouth. The word occurs only 3 times in Matthew (See Matthew 18:15, 21).

In cartoons and comics, profanity is often depicted by substituting symbols for words (“grawlixes” in the lexicon of cartoonist Mort Walker)

[2] Blasphemy: The Greek is BLASPHEMIA and is also rendered: RHM: profane speaking; TCNT: slander; GDSP: abusive speech; WEY: impious word.

[3] Canceled: The Greek is APHETHESETAI. See the notes on Matthew 6:12. Often translated “forgive.” In the case of judgment it means: Not Guilty; or, Guilty. Strong’s’ No. 863; aphiemi {af-ee’-ay-mee} Word Origin: from 575 and hiemi (to send, an intens. form of eimi, to go); Word Usage in KJV: leave, 52; forgive, 47; suffer, 14; let, 8; forsake, 6 let alone, 6; misc, 13.

[4] Blasphemy against the Pneuma: Note, the Nazarene says nothing about ‘blasphemy against God.’ How could one sin against Jesus (if he were The God) and not against the holy spirit? Jesus uses Pneuma as the unseen power of God. It is the same as sinning against God Himself. It is abusive speech against God’s way of doing things and those upon whom He has placed His Pneuma. Note the words of the Pharisees: they accuse of Jesus’ work as that of the Devil! Many have pained themselves out of dread they have sin against the spirit. If some so condemn themselves, it is likely they have not sinned so. Those who have blasphemed God have no repentance (Hebrews 6:4ff).

[5] Speaks a word against the Son: Note what comes later about how a person’s words either justify or condemn. Even abusive speech against the Son may be forgiven. Many have used “Jesus Christ” as a profane curse or “swear word.” Jews throughout the age have spoken against Jesus and cursed his name. Even this is forgiven.

[6] Speaks against the Holy Pneuma: Note what the Pharisees have done: they have called someone anointed with the spirit as demonized – under the influence of Satan. The speech is not against the Pneuma directly but that agent of God’s unseen spiritual pressure that accomplishes His will. This is very similar to Matthew 5:22 – addressing a genuine servant of God as an “apostate.” See notes on Matthew 5:22.

[7] Age: The Greek is AIONI. The closest English word is eon, aeon. So the closest would be, “this eon or that to come.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines it as, 1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity; 2) the worlds, universe; 3) period of time, age. The word occurs many times with a wide range of meaning. Other renderings are: KJV: this world; TCNT: present age; NWT: system of things. There are two ages from Jesus’ standpoint: this one, and the next.

[8] New Age: Inferred. Or, KJV: world to come; TCNT: the age to come.

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

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Additional reading

  1. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”
  2. Icons and crucifixes
  3. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

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Related

  1. You Have Just Learned the Secret of All of Life, and Seen into Infinity
  2. On Purpose
  3. Jesus is the one!
  4. New Age Quackery?
  5. Wednesday 5/2 ~ People are asking, “Who is the Higher Power?”.
  6. The Search for Truth
  7. Have You Committed the Unpardonable Sin?
  8. Matthew 12, Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath,blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the sign of Jonah, Jesus’ brothers and sisters.
  9. Blasphemy
  10. On blasphemy
  11. The root of blasphemy
  12. The Status Quo as Blasphemy of the Spirit
  13. Jesus and Beelzebub
  14. Wednesday 3/28 ~ The Holy Spirit is what?
  15. Blasphemy is an offence in a part of the UK!

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Charge of Demonism

|| Mark 3:23-30; Luke 11:14-23

MT12:22 Then they approached Jesus with a demonized person[1] – blind and mute – and he cured him, so the speechless man spoke[2] and began seeing. MT12:23 And the crowds were beside themselves[3] and were saying, “Is this person not the Son of David?”[4] MT12:24 But when the Pharisees heard this,[5] they said, “This fellow does not exorcise demons save by Beelzebul,[6] the ruler of the demons.” MT12:25 Realizing their thoughts, Jesus told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself will be devastated.[7] Every town or house divided against itself will not remain standing. MT12:26 And so if Satan[8] exorcised Satan he was divided against himself. So, how would his kingdom[9] remain standing? MT12:27 And, if I am exorcising demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons[10] exorcise?[11] Therefore, they will be your judges.[12] MT12:28 But, if I exorcise demons by God’s Pneuma,[13] really the Realm of the God has passed you by.[14] MT12:29 Or, how is anyone able to enter a powerful person’s[15] home and grab his [valuable] cups[16] without first binding the powerful person? And only then can his home be pillaged.[17] MT12:30 The person not with me is against me,[18] and the person not assembling with me scatters.[19]

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File:Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib - Jesus Heals a Demon-possessed Boy - Walters W59248B - Full Page.jpg

Jesus Heals a Demon-possessed Boy – 1684 – folio from Walters manuscript W.592,

[1] Demonized person: Or, KJV: possessed with a devil; WEY: demoniac. Compare Matthew 9:32.

[2] Speechless man spoke: We wonder at his first words.

[3] Beside themselves: Or, KJV: the people were amazed; WMS: dumbfounded; PME: wild with excitement.

[4] The Son of David: One of the earliest designations given Jesus (Matthew 1:1). Note, Joseph is also so-called (Matthew 1:20). See footnotes on Matthew 9:27.

[5] Pharisees heard this: The whole incident must drive them wild with hatred: they see the miracle and note the crowd’s reaction. The focus is on the Nazarene and this arouses their jealousy.

[6] Beelzebul: See footnotes on Matthew 10:25. Jesus makes it clear this is a cryptic name for Satan.

[7] Devastated: Or, KJV: brought to desolation; WEY: in which civil war rages; GDSP: destruction; PME: bound to collapse.

[8] Satan: The Jewish clergy have really called Jesus Satan. This is about the worst accusation that can be made against a godly person. It is even beyond “apostate.” See the notes on Matthew 4:10 and 5:22.

[9] His kingdom: Satan has his own kingdom and there are those within the realm of that kingdom. These are those he rules over and who have becomes “sons of the wicked one.” The major characteristic which differentiates the two kingdoms is hatred and love (Matthew 13:38; John 8:44; 1 John 3:10).

[10] Your sons: The rabbis were called “father” and thus their own disciples were their children or sons. Or, NJB: your experts; WEY: your disciples. Compare 1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3.

[11] Exorcise: Josephus records a case of casting out demons (Antiquities 8. 2. 5). He also reports the Jewish rabbis used a herb or drug Macherus (Wars of the Jews 7. 6. 3). In the Jewish apocryphal book Tobit there is an example of the exorcism of a maiden with whom a wicked demon was in love (Tobit 6:16; 8:1-4).

[12] They will be your judges: It is possible the “they” are the rabbis own “sons” who will critique their master’s words and actions in this accusation. Or, RIEU: you stand condemned by them; NEB: if this is your argument, they themselves will refute you.

[13] By God’s Pneuma: In Luke 11:19, 20 this is God’s “finger.” Thus, the Pneuma or Spirit is likened to God’s finger, a very small part of all that God is.

[14] Passed you by: Or, KJV: comes unto you; RHM: has come upon you unawares; MOF: reached you already; GDSP: overtaken you; PME: swept over you unawares. As matters develop the Pharisees are in a highly dangerous situation with relation to God and the unforgivable sin: they have called Jesus an apostate and demonized (Matthew 5:22). It is possible, therefore, that their opportunity to become part of the realm of Nazarene profession (the Christian Church) is dim indeed. They may have missed their opportunity (Matthew 23:13, 15, 33).

[15] Powerful person’s: Or, strong man’s. Compare Isaiah 49:24-26.

[16] Grab his [valuable] cups: Or, KJV: spoil his goods; RHM: seize his goods; TCNT: carry of his goods.

[17] Home be pillaged: Or, KJV: spoil his house; MON: rob his house; WMS: make a clean sweep of his house; WEY: ransack his house.

[18] Not with me is against me: Compare Luke 9:50.

[19] Not assembling with me scatters: Or, GDSP: anyone who does not join me in gathering, scatters; BAS: he who does not take part with me in getting people together, is driving them away. The Greek is SYNAGON related to “synagogue.” How does one gather or assemble with Christ?

 

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

+++

Related

  1. casting out demons and the battle of the wills
  2. March 30, 2018: “Possession”
  3. SGW, 2-16-18, Luke 11:14-28
  4. Fourth Monday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:9-21 – Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

|| Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11

MT12:9 Leaving there Jesus went into their synagogue. MT12:10 And, look! a human with a dried-up hand![1] So, they asked Jesus, “Is it permissible to cure on the Sabbath?”[2] (They asked so they might accuse him.) MT12:11 Jesus told them, “Which human among you who has a single sheep[3] – fallen into a pit on the Sabbath – and will not grab it and pull it out? MT12:12 So, how much more different[4] is a human from a sheep. Thus, it is permissible to do good[5] on Sabbaths.” MT12:13 Then Jesus spoke to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”[6] And as he did his hand was restored, as sound as the other. MT12:14 But the Pharisees[7] had turned out and they conferred against him how they might destroy Jesus. MT12:15 However, realizing this, Jesus withdrew[8] from there. And many followed him and he cured them all. MT12:16 Jesus cautioned them[9] not to make him manifest MT12:17 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah[10] might be fulfilled,[11] MT12:18 “Look! My[12] servant-boy[13] whom I chose, My beloved[14] in whom My soul delights! Upon him I will place My Pneuma.[15] He will announce justice[16] to the nations. MT12:19 He will not quarrel,[17] nor yell,[18] nor will any hear his [raised] voice in public streets.[19] MT12:20 He will not crush a bruised reed,[20] nor smother a flickering [candle] wick[21] – until he sends forth victorious justice.[22] MT12:21 And in his name nations will hope.”[23] [Isaiah 42:1-4]

*

withered_hand_1

Jesus healing the withered hand

[1] Dried-up hand: KJV: withered; WEY: shriveled; TAY: deformed.

[2] Is it permissible to cure on the Sabbath: Or, allowable, lawful. This issue becomes a point of contention with the Pharisees. At the root of it is law versus human kindness and charity. There are those religious persons who would pile rules upon rules but are not characterized by kindness and charity.

[3] Sheep: Sheep are Jesus’ favorite animal. They occur 35 times in the Gospels mainly in Matthew (11) and John (20). Most of the great men of the Bible were somehow associated with sheep in one way or another. Abel possibly sacrificed one. Noah saved their whole kind. Abraham herded them and one replaced his son. Moses went searching for a lost sheep and found Yehowah. Jesus saves all the sheep to everlasting life.

[4] How much more different: Jesus has used a similar comparison before – between sparrows and his disciples (Matthew 10:31).

[5] Permissible to do good: We can only imagine the tone in his voice, the look in his eyes, the warm slight smile, as he said this to those in the synagogue. It is always lawful to do good. Paul is to echo the same idea at Galatians 5:22, 23.

[6] Stretch out your hand: This alone is an act of faith and we see on the man’s face expectant confidence. There is a similar story in the apocryphal book Gospel to the Hebrews. There the man explains himself: “I was a stone mason, seeking my living with my hands. I pray you, Jesus, to give me back my health, so that I shall not need to beg for food in shame.”

[7] The Pharisees: The evil plot begins which is to be fulfilled a year later. “Destroy” is also rendered: GDSP: to put him to death; PME: get rid of him altogether. See notes on Matthew 3:7.

[8] Jesus withdrew: The Nazarene follows his own counsel to his apostles (Matthew 10:16, 23).

[9] Jesus cautioned them: This is something Jesus does often usually with the result that the news spreads even more.

[10] Isaiah: The quotation is from Isaiah 42:1-4. The work by Archer and Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament: a Complete Survey, observes: “This is a classic case of the independence of the LXX on Matthew’s part.” (pages 112-3)

[11] So that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: The quotation explains Jesus’ caution not to tell others.

[12] My: Yehowah.

[13] Servant-boy: See notes on Matthew 8:6. Yehowah refers to His Son as His “boy” or servant. Compare Acts 4:27 (PAIDA) and Acts 4:29 (DOULOIS = slaves).

[14] My beloved: The original context deals with the Persia king Cyrus, the instrument of Yehowah in delivering the Jews from Babylon. He is a Messiah-type for Jesus as Matthew’s inspired application shows.

[15] Upon him I will place My Pneuma: It is Yehowah who “places” or puts His spirit upon His servant-boy. On Pneuma see Matthew 1:18. PNEUMA means breath or wind in Greek – an invisible pressure. Paul compares pneuma to the “mind of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:16; Isaiah 40:13)

[16] Announce justice: Or, TCNT: announce a time of judgment; MOF: proclaim religion to the Non-Jews; LAM: preach justice to the people.

[17] He will not quarrel: Or, KJV: not strive; MOF: not wrangle.

[18] Nor yell: Or, MOF: shout; ASV: cry aloud. The Messiah quietly goes about his work and let this be the means of conviction – not emotional Hitlerian oratory. William Barclay puts it: “In Jesus there is the quiet, strong serenity of one who seeks to conquer by love, and not by strife of words.” (page 24, Volume 2, The Gospel of Matthew)

[19] Voice in public streets: The screaming street-corner evangelist was not the Nazarene’s method, nor that of any of his disciples.

[20] Crush a bruised reed: Or, WEY: crush reed; GDSP: bent reed. Compare notes on Matthew 11:7. The Messiah is gentle and will do nothing to further injure a faith so weak. It is possible the “bruised reed” was the man in the synagogue with the withered hand. A hardened reed could be used as a measuring rod or a whipping stick.

[21] Smother a flickering [candle] wick: Or, KJV: smoking flax shall not quench; NEB: nor snuff out the smouldering wick; MON: the dimly burning wick. Rather, the Lord holds his palms around the meager light to protect it from wind.

[22] Until he sends forth victorious justice: Or, KJV: send forth judgment unto victory; RHM: urge on Justice to victory; TCNT: brought the judgment to a victorious issue; WEY: led on justice to victory; BAS: made righteousness overcome all; KNX: until the time he crowns his judgment with victory. Old Testament Quotations suggests: “Conceivably the establishment of God’s perfect justice on earth is to be understood as involving a conquest or subduing of mankind in order to render them obedient to the Lord’s judgment.” (page 115)

[23] In his name nations will hope: This idea would have been thought a miracle – that one day the nations or Non-Jews would hope in Jesus’ name. If Pilate had been told that in three centuries the official religion of Rome would be Christianity and that Caesar would be a Christian himself – it would have been laughable. As we approach the year 2,000 every nation on earth – every land, every island, every language among mankind – has believers and disciples who hope in the name Jesus. The truth of this prophecy is realized first with Cornelius (Acts chapter 10).

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Preceding

Matthew 11:7-15 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 3 John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Paul’s warning about false stories and his call to quit touching the unclean thing

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Related

  1. Did You Know?
  2. Matthew 12丨John Calvin
  3. ‘to do good’ ….. mentioned in the Holy Bible (KJV)
  4. “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” (Minor Myers Jr.)

Matthew 10:16-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Forth as Sheep among Wolves

Matthew 10:16-23 – Sent Forth as Sheep among Wolves

|| Luke 10:3

MT10:16 “Look! I am sending you forth[1] as sheep[2] among wolves,[3] so be cautious as serpents[4] and innocent as doves.[5] MT10:17 Be alert among humans[6] for they will hand you over[7] to courts and in their synagogues[8] they will scourge[9] you. MT10:18 You will be brought before governors and kings as a testimony to them[10] as well as the Non-Jews. MT10:19 But, when they hand you over do not be overly concerned how or what you will say, for what you should speak[11] will be given to you in that hour. MT10:20 Because it is not you who speaks but your Father’s Pneuma[12] speaking in you. MT10:21 Even brother will betray brother[13] – and a father his child – to death. Children will take their stand against parents causing their deaths. MT10:22 You will be hated by everyone because of my name.[14] But, the one who endures completely[15] will be saved.[16] MT10:23 When they persecute you in this town, flee to another.[17] I tell you this truth: You will never complete the cities of Israel[18] before the Ascension[19] of the Son of Humankind.

[1] Sending you forth: The Greek is APOSTELLO, a form of “apostle.” An apostle is a representative.

[2] Sheep: The Greek is PROBATA and occurs over 216 times in the whole Bible. Usually used as a metaphor for believers the word occurs: Matthew, 11; Mark, 2; Luke, 2; John, 20; and only five times in the rest of the Christian Bible. Sheep are not adversarial predators and are very gregarious as a flock. They are among the earliest animals named in the Bible (Genesis 24:35; 26:14). They are helpless without a shepherd and easy prey for enemies (Numbers 27:16, 17; Jeremiah 23:4; Ezekiel 34:5, 6, 8; Micah 5:8). It is a metaphor for those defenseless and innocent (2Samuel 24:17; Psalm 44:11, 22; 95:7; 119:176; Matthew 10:6, 16; John 21:16, 17; Romans 8:36). Note Luke 10:3 uses “lambs.”

[3] Wolves: The word group wolf/wolves occurs in Moses and the Prophets, all as pictured by Jesus. See Matthew 7:15 and John 10:2. (Genesis 49:27; Jeremiah 5:6; Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 1:8; Zephaniah 3:3) Under the Messianic rule the wolf changes its disposition (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25) Paul predicts wolves will work their way into the Christian flock (Acts 20:29).

[4] Cautious as serpents: The idea finds its roots right at the beginning of human creation (Genesis 3:1).The serpent (snake) occurs over 70 times in the Bible. The phrase “cautious as serpents” is also rendered: KJV: wise as serpents; NASB: shrewd as. Though the Friend of the Nazarene is guileless in Christian character, Jesus counsels PHRONIMOI a wise caution when among the enemy.

[5] Innocent as doves: The gentle bird occurs 35 times in the Bible. The bird Noah sent forth from the Ark (Genesis 8:8-12). It is sometimes associated with being blameless or without flaw (Canticles 5:2, 12; 6:9). Hosea 7:11 associates the dove with a simple-minded heart without a motive. The bird occurs nine times in the Gospels (Matthew 3:16; 10:16; 21:12; Mark 1:10; 11:15; Luke 3:22; John 1:32; 2:14, 16). The word “innocent” is also rendered: KJV: harmless; MOF: guileless. The name of the prophet Jonah means “Dove.” (See also pidgin or turtledove). Compare Psalm 55:6; Isaiah 60:8.

[6] Be alert among humans: Others render this phrase: KJV: beware of men; TCNT: be on your guard; KNX: do not put your trust in men; RIEU: mankind. Giving this counsel, we must think that our Lord followed his own advice. Compare Philippians 3:2.

[7] Hand you over: Or, KJV: they will deliver you up; TCNT: betray you.

[8] Synagogues: Jesus is talking to Jewish disciples. What he says is not meant as specific directives for all future Friends of the Nazarene. Compare Jesus’ prediction at Mark 13:9 (Compare Matthew 23:34). Note the fulfillment at Acts 5:40.

[9] Scourge: Or, BECK: whip; WEY: flog (Acts 5:40ff).

[10] A testimony to them: See the Acts of the Apostles chapter 4, 5, 7 and others for the actual fulfillment.

[11] What you should speak: This is spoken to the apostles and may not necessarily be applied to all Christians. Note the cases of Peter (Acts 5), Stephen (Acts 7), and Paul (Acts 17), inspired speeches preserved in the Christian Bible.

[12] Your Father’s Pneuma: Or, the spirit of your Father. The Greek is PNEUMA which may also mean breath or wind. The Pneuma is God’s Mind exerting mental pressure to accomplish his will. So we find Peter, for example, speaking by the Pneuma (Acts 5:3, 4).

[13] Brother will betray brother: Compare Matthew 24:10.

[14] Hated by everyone because of my name: The name “Christian” in history becomes a terrible stigma leading to an enormous number of deaths. Note Jesus does not say His Father’s Name, Jehovah, but his own, “Jesus Christ.” WEY: objects of universal hatred; WMS: because you bear my name; NEB: for your allegiance to me.

[15] The one who endures completely: The Greek TELOS is without the article and thus “an end” with regard to each individual’s endurance, often in martyrdom. Compare Matthew 24:13. The word group “endurance” occurs over 30 times in the Christian Bible. Compare (Matthew 5:10-12; 10:16-22; 24:9, 10, 39; Mark 13:9, 12, 13; Luke 21:19; Romans 2:7; 2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 12:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Timothy 3:10-12; Hebrews 10:36; James 5:10, 11; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 13:10; Revelation 14:12) The English word “endurance” is drawn from the root dru that is the oak tree and those “druids” as well as “trust.”

[16] Saved: There are two states in the procession of salvation: a) the initial by escape from the judgment on the world; and, b) the final by endurance unto death. See a concordance on the word group “save(d)” and “salvation.” It may be compared to being saved by a lifeguard which does not ensure a future drowning. Compare Matthew 19:25; 24:13, 22; Luke 8:2; John 3:17; 5:34; 10:9; Acts 2:40, 47; 4:12; 11:14; 15:11; 16:30, 31; Romans 5:9, 10; 8:24; 10:9.

[17] Flee to another: The Nazarene’s disciples are not to remain and battle with opposers but move into a more fruitful territory. This advice is seen in the Book of Acts (Acts 8:1, 2).

[18] Never complete the cities of Israel: Jesus has sent out his 12 apostles, and later the 70 disciples, and he tells them they will never preach to all the land of Israel before the fulfillment of Daniel 7:13.

[19] Before the Ascension: This rendering will receive considerable judgment. The Greek is ELTHE a word taken from Daniel 7:13 where the same phrase occurs in the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX). Judging from the context and reading of Daniel 7:13 the prophet sees the ascension of a human being to the very Throne-room of the Most High. The Greek word ELTHE and the related word ERCHOMENOM is generally rendered “coming.” However, the word also means “to go” or “leave.” The English word “ascend” means “to go up.” It has been generally misunderstood that this word infers a “coming” in the direction of those disciples on earth, when, in fact, it means the arrival in heaven to become King. Daniel 7:13 and Psalm 110:1 are often combined by Jesus in a conflate or paraphrase. Compare Matthew 22:44; 26:64; Mark 14:62; 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33, 34; 5:31; 7:55-57; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Hebrews 10:12, 13. It is possible that Jesus actually used the Hebrew/Aramaic word athah which means to arrive and be present at a certain location.

 

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

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Ezekiel 34.31 - Our Shepherd and God

Related

God’s People are His Flock

One Shepherd

Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:18-25 – The Genesis of Jesus Christ

MT1:18 But thus was the genesis[1] of Jesus Christ.[2] His mother Mary had been promised in marriage[3] to Joseph. Before they came together[4] she was found to be pregnant[5] from the holy Pneuma.[6] MT1:19 But, Joseph her man[7] was righteous[8] and he was unwilling to make a public spectacle[9] of Mary so he intended to release her secretly.[10] MT1:20 But, thinking about these matters, look! an angel[11] of YHWH[12] appeared to Joseph in a dream,[13] saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to receive to yourself[14] Mary your woman, for the thing generated[15] by Pneuma in her is holy. MT1:21 She will give birth to a son and you[16] [Joseph] will call his name ‘Jesus’ for he will save[17] his people[18] from their sins.”[19] MT1:22 The whole of this happened so that the things might be fulfilled as spoken through the prophet [Isaiah],[20] saying, MT1:23 “Look! The virgin[21] will be pregnant and will give birth to a son and they[22] will call his name ‘Immanuel’[23] which is translated to mean, ‘With Us The God.’” [Isaiah 7:14] MT1:24 When Joseph awakened from sleep he did as directed by the angel of YHWH and he took along his woman [to his home]; MT1:25 and Joseph did not know[24] Mary until after she gave birth to a son.[25] Joseph called his name ‘Jesus.’

 

[1] Genesis: The Greek is GENESIS and may be rendered “birth.”

[2] Jesus Christ: The first occurrence of this form: the title or designation combined with the name of our Lord. This form occurs 150 times in the Christian Bible, the most often in the Letter to the Romans. The phrase means “Jesus the christened one; or Jesus the Messiah; Jesus the Anointed.”

[3] Promised in marriage: Or, KJV: espoused; TCNT: engaged.

[4] Came together: Inferring sexual intercourse. TCNT: while she was still a virgin; WEY: before they were united in marriage.

[5] Pregnant: The Greek GASTRI and means literally “found in belly” as it is in many languages. Or, KJV: with child; GDSP: about to become a mother.

[6] Holy Pneuma: Or, holy spirit. This is the first occurrence of the phrase referring to the Mental or Intellectual Power of the Absolute God. That is, the invisible force or pressure by which the Creator accomplishes his will and purpose. We will use pneuma throughout as the word “spirit” in English has taken on something of the meaning of “ghost” or a spirit being. The complete phrase “holy pneuma” occurs 100 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Psalm 51:11. It only occurs three times in the Hebrew Bible. It is most often used in the Acts of the Apostles. For details on this subject see the publication De Trinitatis Erroribus. The word “spirit” occurs 820 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Genesis 1:2. “Spirit” is used most often in the Book of Acts. The Hebrew is ruach and is variously rendered breath and wind.

[7] Man: The Greek is ANER and may mean “husband.”

[8] Righteous: Or, “just.” He had a well-known reputation so that his character was such.

[9] Public spectacle: Or, KJV: public example; ABUV: not willing to expose.

[10] Release her secretly: Or, GDSP: break off the engagement privately; BECK: divorce her secretly. The Jewish engagement was considered a virtual marriage and thus required some formal divorce or release. It is likely their marriage was arranged by both families upon which the “engagement” began. Since this was a formal matter between families in public then a formal release was binding. Engaged couples could have sexual intercourse without this being viewed as prostitution (or, fornication). However, once doing so the man had to marry the woman, forgo divorce, and give her father a payment for damages to his virgin daughter.

[11] Angel: The first angel mentioned in the Christian Bible. The word “angel(s)” occurs 370 times in the Bible, the first at Genesis 16:7. “Angel” occurs most often in the Book of Acts. This angel is identified by Luke as Gabriel, the angel of the Book of Daniel.

[12] YHWH: The Greek is AGGELOS KYRIOU [without the article] and would surely be a Hebraism in Matthew’s Gospel. Though it should read “angel of (the) Lord” there is a reasonable possibility that the Tetragram YHWH might occur here. There is no question YHWH occurred in the Hebrew Bible and there is a possibility YHWH occurs in some portions of the Christian Bible. Hereafter we will add YHWH in brackets when the “Lord” under consideration is clearly Yahweh or Jehovah.

[13] Dream: The first occurrence of the word in the Christian Bible. The word group occurs 125 times with the first at Genesis 20:3 and most often in the Book of Genesis. There is an interesting statement at Job 7:14; 33:15.

[14] Receive to yourself: Or, NEB: to take Mary home. Note John 14:3 and the same Greek word.

[15] Generated: The Greek is GENNETHEN and is rendered: KJV: conceived; NOR: expect Child within.

[16] You: The Greek is singular referring specifically to Joseph.

[17] He will save: The meaning of “Jesus” is “Yahweh Saves.”

[18] His people: Note it is “his people” indicating some previous relationship with Israel as the “angel of Yahweh.” (Compare Daniel 12:1; Exodus 23:23)

[19] Sins: The key purpose of Messiah’s birth is as a Sin-Bearer (Consider Isaiah chapter 53). Nothing in the name Jesus emphasis any other reason than he will be the main instrument in the forgiveness of the sins of the Jews. Nothing here points to mankind in general. The interpretation of “his people” (TON LAON) could refer to those in the New Israel, the Community of the Saints.

[20] Spoken through the prophet [Isaiah]: That is Isaiah 7:14. NOTE: All true quotes are in BLUE. Hebraisms, paraphrases, allusions or conflates are in GREEN. The words of Jesus are in RED.

[21] Virgin: The Greek is PARTHENOS and reminds one of the Parthenon in Athens. The Greek word PARTHENOS is that one chosen by the Jewish scribes in the third century BC when translating the Hebrew of Isaiah 7:14.

[22] They: Indicating both Joseph and Mary.

[23] Immanuel: See Isaiah 8:8. Possibly one of the sons of Isaiah whose name was fulfilled in the context of Isaiah 8:10 where the Hebrew has the name in the phrase. The Jewish Greek Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), “Yehowah God is with us.”

[24] Did not know: Or, PME: had no intercourse with her. Compare Genesis 4:1 and compare the Greek language with 1 Corinthians 7:1. Mary remained a “virgin” until after the birth of Jesus when she bore four more sons and an unknown number of daughters (Matthew 12:46; 13:55).

[25] Son: KJV: “firstborn son.” (Compare Luke 2:7)

This text of the Gospel of Matthew is a new version, the 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM], as an additional part of Nazarene Commentary 2000©. This rendering by Mark Heber Miller may be considered a literal version with limited paraphrase.

*

BS notes:

Iesou => Jesus = “Hail Zeus”, the name given to the Nazarene Jew at the Council of Nicaea in 325 to come to terms with the three-headed greek-roman gods. Up until about 360, theological debates mainly dealt with the divinity of the son, which had to be the seame one as the son-god of the Romans and the Greeks. The worshipping of that son and the use of the statues in the community should be allowed for all the sorts of worshippers, so that the market vendors could sell their statues at liberty to any worshipper. Jeshua, Joshua (/ˈɒʃə/) or Jehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yĕhôshúa or Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ Yĕshúa; Aramaic: ܝܫܘܥIsho; Greek: Ἰησοῦς, Arabic: يوشع بن نونYūshaʿ ibn Nūn, Turkish: Yuşa) Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַyēšūă‘ in Hebrew) which means “Jehovah saves/Jehovah is salvation” or “the Help(ipa) from Jehovah” or “From Jehovah comes salvation”, for the politicians had to become the second person of their tri-une godhead.  The main god Zeus (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς) had to be the “Father of Gods and men” (πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, patḕr andrōn te theōn te) and as such should be the god of Greeks, Romans and Christians because Jupiter (Latin: Iuppiter; /ˈjʊpɪtɛr/; genitive case: Iovis; /ˈjɔːvɪs/) or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder in myth.

By the time of the 4° Century CE lots of false teachers had managed to introduce the Roman teachings of their gods back into the teachings of their followers. Lots of people found it easier to adapt to the new religion because it had adapted itself to their faith. for them it was than much easier to accept Jesus to be the King of kings, to be the god of light, the god of thunder, the god of miracles, the god of enlightenment, etc.

+

Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  11. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  12. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  13. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming articles:

  1. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  2. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  3. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  4. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents

 

English: Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus...

Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ, Oil/canvas, 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

++

Find also to read:

  1. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  3. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  6. The wrong hero
  7. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  8. A season of gifts
  9. God’s Special Gift
  10. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  11. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  12. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  13. Around pre-existence of Christ
  14. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  15. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  16. Jesus and his God

+++

  • The Theodotus Inscription (larryhurtado.wordpress.com)
    there were Greek-speaking Jews in Jerusalem in the time in view.  Note also the reference to the “synagogue of the freedmen” in Acts 6:9, who are portrayed as tackling Stephen, likely Jews manumitted from slavery in Diaspora locations who had relocated in Jerusalem.
  • Interpreting the story (poemsinseason.wordpress.com)
    Gospel writers Matthew and Luke
    are the approved suppliers
    of the raw materials
    from which we cobble together our Christmas stories;
    faith being the thread that seeks,
    gathers and ties the meaning.
  • Blessed And Holy Christmas To All (mylordmyfriend.com)
    The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is the most wonderful and vital fact to the truth of the Good News, which brings newness of life to all who accept.
  • Most Americans believe in the Virgin Birth – and that torture is cool (patheos.com)
    According to a new Pew Survey of over 1,500 U.S. adults, 73 percent say they believe Jesus was born to a virgin, and 74 percent say they believe Jesus’s birth was announced to the shepherds by an angel (among Protestant respondents, that rate is 91 percent and 90 percent, respectively). 78 percent of women say they believe in the virgin birth, 65 percent of the respondents said they believe all elements of the Christmas story are factually true.
  • Did the early church invent the divinity of Jesus over a long period of time? (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    How early is the doctrine ofthe divinity of Jesus?When I answer this question, I only want to use the earliest, most reliable sources – so I can defend them on historical grounds using the standard rules of historiography.
  • Basic Living in Christ (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    In chapters 1-2, Paul has maintained that Christ is “all-sufficient” in matters of salvation and overcoming sin… Colossians 2:10
  • Family Night Out rocks – Church social signals start of Christmas season (jamaica-gleaner.com)
    In making reference to the book of Acts in the Bible, pastor of the church, Dwight Fletcher, told The Sunday Gleaner that fellowship is a God-given mandate. He pointed out that it is imperative the people of God build on the traditions of the early church, and added that he anticipates great things going forward.
  • Pastor J. D. Greear Takes on the Holy Spirit In “Jesus Continued…” (blackchristiannews.com)
    Pastor J.D.Greearmay be one of the most influential pastors you’ve never heard of. He’s not preaching prosperity on television or advising the President. He’s never made the “TIME 100″ or The New York Times bestsellers list. ButGreear has built a massive, multi-campusmegachurch amid the modest city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and he is quietly amassing influence among conservative evangelicals.The subtitle of his most recent book, “Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside of You is Better Than the Jesus Beside You,” caught my attention, and I decided to invite him to discuss the idea at “On Faith and Culture.” Here we discuss how he thinks some of his fellow Christians have misunderstood the Holy Spirit and how he hopes they’ll change.
  • Stormy Seas (alighttomyway.wordpress.com)
    My only hope is to stay in the boat, holding on to my Savior, riding out the storm together. In this account in the book of Acts, God didn’t calm the storm. But the people on board made it safely to shore. This tells me that my circumstances might not change. The cancer diagnosis might not be a mistake. A broken relationship might not heal. Whatever the cause of my anxiety, depression, fear, might not magically disappear.
  • Can God Get to You? (vincefrese.com)

Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized

The Beginning of the Evangel, by Mark

Chapter One:

Preparations for the Appointed time

Continuation of Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized

Matthew 3:13-17[1]

MK1:9It was at this moment that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. MK1:10And instantly on rising up out of the water he saw the sky parting, and the Pneuma descending like a dove upon him. MK1:11Then a Voice came from the sky, saying: “You are My beloved Son whom I approve.”

 

[1] Matthew 3:13-17: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

+

God looks down from heaven and approves not Himself but His son, the man Jeshua, Jesus Christ from Nazareth, son of Joseph and Mary (Miriam/Myriam/Maria). Those who were at the place where Jesus was baptised could clearly hear the Most High speaking about that man, of flesh and blood, whom they could see.

 +

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

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