The Loss of Joy

•05/23/2015 • Leave a Comment

Having grown up in an abusive home, in which fighting, antagonism, hatred, strife, and sometimes violence were typical companions, I feel like I have a particular insight into what an abusive church looks like.

In a family environment, abuse is not always noticeable. Many times the family takes on a dual personality: acting one way in public so no one suspects them of having dysfunctional issues while acting at home in a different, perhaps even completely opposite way, where the gloves can come off and the members of the family, especially the authority figures (i.e. the parents) can be themselves, bad and unfortunate as that may be.

Abuse in a church is often not noticeable, either (unless one knows to look for it, or rather, for symptoms indicative of abuse). Members in a local church, for the most part, have come together in love, for God and Christ, each other, and the community at large, and so, it can be almost impossible, from such a vantage point, to see abuse when it’s happening. There’s no perspective.

And yet, many are the saints who can tell a story of how, over time, they just began to feel like something at their local assembly was “off”. They couldn’t put their finger on it, there wasn’t a very good way of describing it; they just felt like something wasn’t right.

They couldn’t point to a particular sin in the camp. Sometimes, they assumed something must be wrong with them. Others just chalked it up to a slump or some other kind of seasonal, spiritual depression, a funk, if you will, that they thought they’d bounce out of, when God decided it was time. And some just left, for parts known or unknown, never to find out the true cause of why they wanted to leave in the first place.

Very few of these people ever called it like it was, back when that nagging feeling first started nipping at the back of their minds. But something interesting occurred. They began to feel like they couldn’t talk about it with anyone from their local church. They became afraid that speaking up and attempting to name the nameless specter would get them in trouble.

So they sat on it, held it in, maybe only talking with their spouse, or a brother or sister far removed and/or in a different assembly.

And over time, something began sapping them of a most important fruit of the Spirit, that is to say, something began sapping them of their joy.

Rejoicing and celebrating with the brethren became more of a chore and a duty, rather than a natural response to God’s grace and mercy.

Others in the assembly, oblivious to what was really going on, if they noticed a change in them, began making unfounded assumptions: they were struggling, they were battling temptation, they were falling away, they had an offense, they were backslidden I heart, et cetera and et cetera.

I want you to know, dear brother or sister, that if you’ve ever experienced what I’ve written above, but have yet to realize what’s really going on, that what you’re going through is the first symptom of spiritual abuse.

Before love, before peace, even before goodness, which is kindness, before any other fruit of the Spirit, the joy of the Lord quickly disappears in those sensitive souls who truly love and appreciate God and His salvation, if and when, abuse is present (even if under wraps or unnoticeable) in the local church—when they, themselves are being abused.

It’s tricky. In a family, if a person is being beaten, molested, taunted, or terrorized physically or emotionally, they know right away, or at least by the time they’re old enough to know such treatment is wrong, that they are, or have been, abused.

And abuse is always about the same thing: personal inadequacy on the part of the abuser resulting in an unrighteous desire to control others and make them pay for how they themselves were abused.

Hurt people hurt people, right?

So, what does spiritual abuse look like? In an abusive church, it may not be (and pray it isn’t so) that anyone is being physically hurt or violated. It may be that no one is being tormented emotionally. And so, it may seem impossible to discern abuse.

But remember what abuse it: unrighteous control of others.

God grants us all authority. Some may have more than others. However much authority God gives to one person or another, the moment a person oversteps their bounds, abuse occurs. Firstly, it’s an abuse of their authority, what we might call an abuse of power.

When one’s power in the Gospel is being abused, it never fails: God’s people are the ones who suffer.

If I was authorized to a certain extent in Christ, to reprove or rebuke (for example) and instead of holding that power in reserve for only severe, absolutely necessary occasions, and instead, just began reproving and rebuking anyone and everyone for what I perceived to be even the smallest slight, then I would be abusing my power/authority in the Gospel.

If I was authorized to expect financial remuneration from the Body of Christ for my ministry (See 1 Corinthians 9), but instead of simply being content with “food and raiment” (1 Timothy 6:8), I began to badger and bemoan the Bride of Christ, expecting Her to take care of many, most, or all of my financial needs, even my unnecessary whims (all the way up to my necessary house payment, car payment, student loans, and/or any other major expense), then I have, AS PAUL REFUSED TO DO, abused my authority in the Gospel (See 1 Corinthians 9:12-19[1]).

What is it then, brethren? The issue is abuse in the church, albeit, abuse of the spiritual variety, which almost never looks like abuse in the regular world. While abuse in the church often, and sometimes, almost exclusively comes from those who have been given a level of authority by God (just as in the secular world with parents, for example), the manner in which that authority is abused is significantly different.

It is expected of an authorized person in Christ to reprove and rebuke (See 2 Timothy 4:1-2). So when a line gets crossed, it’s hard to know.

It is expected of an authorized person in Christ to expect financial support for their ministry (See 1 Timothy 5:17). So when a line gets crossed, it’s hard to know.

BUT GOD KNOWS. And those who know God will begin to feel what He feels: discontent, even sorrow (that is, lack and loss of joy) at and for the abuse. God is an emotional being; He feels things. God can become distressed and upset at how things in His church are going, even at the local level. It’s true. That distress and sorrow can be, and often is, experienced by those who share true communion with Him. He expresses and emotes His feelings to those willing to listen, feel, and understand, as much as any husband is willing to express and emote how he feels to his wife (See and consider Ephesians 5:22-33). One person I know calls it “pillow talk”.

Here’s what it comes down to:

If a husband is being mistreated, even abused at his job, what’s the first thing that happens?

He loses his joy for the job and wants to quit.

If a wife is being mistreated, even abused in her marriage, what’s the first thing that happens?

She loses her joy for her husband and wants to leave.

If children are being mistreated, even abused at home, what’s the first thing that happens?

They lose their joy for their family and want to run away.

When a student is being mistreated, even abused at school, what’s the first thing that happens?

They lose their joy for learning and want to stop attending.

If a saint is being mistreated, even abused at their church, what’s the first thing that happens?

They lose their __________ for __________ and want to __________.

Can you fill in the blanks? If you’re suffering abuse at your church, I bet you can.

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[1] I recommend reading from a translation other than the King James Version since some of the words in the King James don’t make as much sense to our modern understanding, e.g. power and reward. Try instead the English Standard Version or even the New Living Translation to get the fullest sense of the passage (and how it applies here).

Link to ESV:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+cor+9%3A12-19&version=ESV

Link to NLT:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+cor+9%3A12-19&version=NLT

Why Some People Fall

•05/16/2015 • Leave a Comment

There are any number of reasons why a Christian might stumble and fall. From intellectual doubts and uncertainties, to unfaithfulness in spiritual disciplines, to carnal lusts and/or other wanton desires, to yielding themselves unto unrighteousness in any form, any believer, should he or she not take heed and love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and strength, can grow weak and weary and in a moment, drop from the face of the church world.

While it may be that there are warning signs, even as God is likely trying to signal the believer and others that the person in question is heading for a cliff, sometimes the fall seemingly comes out of nowhere.

But there is one reason some people in the faith of Christ fall, one that is seldom if ever talked about, let alone taught and addressed. I want to give time to this one, specific reason. If interested, please read on.

1 Timothy 4:1-2,

1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…

Most people I know make use of the King James Version of the Holy Bible as their Bible of choice for personal devotion to the Word of God, for sharing, for teaching and exhortation, and etc.

And not only people I know personally, but people all over the world make use of the KJV as their translation, sometimes to the exclusion of other versions.

With this being the case, as one reads here from 1 Timothy 4, it would be easy to see why some fall: they give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; eventually they turn to lying and hypocrisy. But there’s something wrong with this understanding, in a general way. What’s wrong, of course, is the translation, i.e. it’s misleading.

But before I explain how, please allow me to exegete this passage according to the KJV. If the translation was accurate, or if the general reader assumed it was accurate, they might come away with the following conclusion:

Because a believer, for whatever reason, has allowed his or her conscience to be “seared with a hot iron“, that is, burned beyond repair and so become scarred and unfeeling, they eventually depart from the Christian faith, even to the point of paying attention, not only to false teachers/doctrines, but also the evil spirits/demons who control the false teachers and gave birth to the false teachings. Once this occurs, the fallen believer now gives themselves over to habitual lying and, in an effort to cover his or her lies, becomes a hypocrite.

Interestingly enough, the conclusion given above is not entirely off. Much of it is correct. But to see where the mistake is made, please continue reading.

The Greek text of 1 Timothy 4:1-2 looks like this:

τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ῥητῶς λέγει ὅτι ἐν ὑστέροις καιροῖς ἀποστήσονταί τινες τῆς πίστεως προσέχοντες πνεύμασι πλάνοις καὶ διδασκαλίαις δαιμονίων, ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων, κεκαυστηριασμένων τὴν ἰδίαν συνείδησιν

Transliterated, it looks like this:

to de pneuma rhetos legei hoti en husterois kairois apostesontai tineses pisteos prosechontes pneumasin planois kai didaskaliais daimonion en hupokrisei pseudologon kekausteriasmenon ten idian suneidesin

Dr. Paul McReynolds, professor of Greek and New Testament at Pacific Christian College, Fullerton, California, and author of Word Study Greek English New Testament with Complete Concordance, on pages 756-757, very literally translates the above passage as follows:

The but spirit expressly says that in later seasons will stand off some of the trust holding to spirits deceivers and in teachings of demons, in hypocrisy false words having been seared by fire the own conscience…

My translation looks like this:

However, the Spirit patently indicates that in later days[1] some people of the faith will apostatize, adhering to deceptive individuals and demonic instructions through dissimulating, erroneous discourses, having been rendered senseless [in] their moral perceptions…[2]

Do you see the difference?

The King James translation makes it seem as though the people who fall away or depart (i.e. apostatize) from the Christian faith are the ones who give “heed” to the “seducing spirits” and “doctrines of devils“; verily, that they are the ones who end up speaking lies as hypocrites until their consciences are, quite literally, cauterized.[3]

But that isn’t so. The ones who end up falling away from the faith in this manner do so because other people, under false pretenses, deceive them with demonic teachings and inaccurate sermonizing.[4] These other people are the ones who have caused the scorching in the consciences’ of the apostates, i.e. they are the ones who have made the fallen brothers or sisters to no longer feel any sense of wrong doing in his or her behavior[5] (meaning he or she isn’t receptive to the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit) because…why???

Why would anyone allow themselves to come to such a place? Why would anyone dare do such things to a fellow believer in Christ Jesus?

The answers are innumerable. But it happens a lot. Many, many sincere and tender-hearted believers in Christ Jesus eventually fall, not by their own doings, but because they fell victim to predatory, so-called ministers of the Gospel.

Submission to authority is a Christian doctrine. It is Biblical. And many people, especially neophyte converts, under conviction from God, feel a natural tendency to submit to the pastoral presence in the church. It’s part of the impartation received when one is endued from on high by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, it’s the very mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8), who submitted Himself to every ordinance and command of the Father, i.e. His Authority.

And so, when a young, sincere, tender-hearted believer in Christ comes to saving faith, they naturally incline to submit to and believe everything their leaders in the faith say to them, almost unquestionably. Loyalty is a beautiful sentiment.

But beware to whom you grant your loyalty. They just might be the stumblingblock, i.e. the occasion to fall, i.e. the cause of your apostasy (See, e.g. Romans 14:13 and 1 Corinthians 8:9 and surrounding verses for context).

This is why headship is so important (See 1 Corinthians 11:3). If Christ remains a man’s only head, and if that man’s wife (if married) always and only follows her “head” i.e. her husband in Christ, none will be worse for wear, even if a hypocritical deceiver passing himself off as an authority figure in the church comes sniffing around to mislead a brother or sister into doctrinal error and indifference to the reproving promptings of the Holy Spirit.[6]

So, in conclusion, why do some people fall? Simply because, at some point in time, a false brother or sister comes along and pushes them.

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[1]Later days” is a translation of the Greek phrase husterois kairois. It means an occasion, as of something appointed for a certain future, i.e. set time, to come about sometime after the writing. Obviously for Paul, that future set time would be after the end of the Apostles’ ministry, especially his own. In Acts 20:29-31 Paul warns the elders of the church in Ephesus that “grievous wolves” would enter in to destroy them once he was gone. Interestingly, 1 Timothy is written to Paul’s “son in the Gospel” as a letter of instruction on how Timothy can attend to and resolve various problems that had developed in Ephesus in Paul’s absence, chiefly among them, the rise of presumptive teachers who didn’t know what they were talking about (See 1 Timothy 1:3-7). No wonder then, why Paul wrote what he did here in 1 Timothy 4:1-2. The Holy Spirit made it plain to Paul what was going to happen in Ephesus (and by extension, to the rest of the church world of the future). And it really did happen in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4), just as much as it has happened in the rest of the church world of the future, even to this very day.

[2] It is important to note that the people who fall away in this manner have been rendered senseless in their moral perceptions (i.e. their ability to discern between good and evil) on account of the influence of the dissimulating, erroneous discourses of the deceptive individuals operating under the sway of an evil spirit. If a brother or sister were being guided by a righteous saint and given a true doctrinal understanding of the Holy Scriptures, he or she would not, at least in this way, fall away from the faith.

[3] From the Greek word kauteriazo, an obviously Anglicized cognate. It means to “brand”, from a root (kaio) meaning to “set on fire”.

[4] Note how in the Greek text, the word is pseudologon, a compound of pseudo, meaning fake, false, deceptive and lego, the root of the word logos, meaning to lay forth, speak, or relate a topic in a systematic manner, hence a speech or discourse, which in a church setting, would mean a sermon.

[5] It happens like this: a prophet or teacher speaks under false pretenses (either by being false in heart, being inwardly double-minded, or by being intentionally deceptive toward his or her listeners) and so, spiritually, causes uncertainty and doubt in the congregation (if received in good faith by the Body). He or she may say one thing in private, but publicly declare the opposite. He or she may speak boldly about a certain topic but not actually embrace the topic as a righteous aspect of personal conduct before the Lord (See, e.g. Romans 2:21-23). He or she basically says one thing, but does another, or, says two different things depending on the company (i.e. he or she is fair-weather). This relative morality in the prophet or teacher causes relative morality in the ones heeding his or her speech. The Spirit may be trying to bring a certain conviction into the heart of a believer, but that conviction is constantly wrestled with because the pseudologon and constant dissimulation of the prophet or teacher interferes with the work of the Holy Spirit. If the believer gives himself or herself over to the relative morality of the prophet or teacher long enough, their conscience, i.e. where the objective morality of what is right and what is wrong according to the Lord is created, gets burned to the point of insensitivity, just like a nerve that’s been damaged beyond repair. And once that believer becomes incapable of receiving conviction by the Holy Spirit, it isn’t long before he or she falls. Note, however, that the believer may continue to act as though he or she is a righteous saint living for the Lord, but God says otherwise, having at that point given him or her over to a strong delusion (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

[6] See John 16:7-11.

The Leadership Deception: Part II

•04/13/2015 • Leave a Comment

Some time ago, I wrote a blog called The Leadership Deception, which can be read here.

This blog entry is a continuation of the themes and ideas presented there, but will be more specific in scope.

For this entry, I would like to zero in on one particular verse, shared in the previous post, namely Matthew 23:10.

But instead of posting the King James Version of the verse, which can be read here, I want to share it from the New American Standard Bible, which reads as follows:

Matthew 23:10,

10. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

You will notice right away a contrast between the King James Version and the New American Standard Bible in that the King James Version reads “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ”.

Indeed, other major English translations read differently than the New American Standard Bible. For example:

  • The English Standard Version reads, “Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ
  • The New Revised Standard Version reads, “Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah
  • The New International Version reads, “Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ”
  • The New King James Version reads, “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ
  • The New American Bible reads, “Do not be called ‘Master‘; you have but one Master, the Messiah
  • The New Living Translation reads, “And don’t let anyone call you ‘Master‘, for there is only one master, the Messiah

It would seem that there is a general consensus among the major English versions that the verse should be translated as anything other than leaders and Leader, respectively.[1] And when considering how the seven other versions given above translate the words, it makes one wonder what the translation team behind the New American Standard Bible was thinking.

And yet, since its publication, the New American Standard Bible has been unanimously respected as one of, if not the most literal, word for word English Bible translations in the world. In fact, it is so literal, by following as much as possible the syntax and grammar of the source languages for each testament (and not just the individual, denotative meanings for every word of Scripture), that some complain its readability greatly suffers.

And I would agree with that complaint, having read through various portions over the years. And I admit, I was just as puzzled as anyone when I read its translation of Matthew 23:10.

But it’s easily understood when looking at the Greek text behind all of the translations so far examined. It looks like this:

μηδε κληθητε καθηγηται εις γαρ υμων εστιν ο καθηγητης ο χριστος

Transliterated into English alphabets, it looks like this:

mede kaethete kathegetai eis gar humon estin ho kathegetes ho Christos

The pertinent words have been bolded. As you can see, they are merely different forms of the same root word, kathegetes. With this in mind, let’s break the word down and see if we can figure out why the New American Standard Bible translation team chose to translate Matthew 23:10 the way it did.

Kathegetes: (noun) a compound word, made up of two components, kata- and hegeomai. Kata- is a prefix and usually means down, under, or through, often indicating intensity (although it is translated many different ways in the New Testament, depending on context and grammatical structure). Hegeomai, as a verb, is the middle voice[2] of a strengthened form of the Greek word ago. Ago simply means to lead. Therefore, hegeomai also means to lead, but the idea behind the word is strengthened or more forceful than ago by itself. Basically, hegeomai means to command, as with official authority.

Therefore, we can construct an understanding of the compound word as such: a kathegetes is someone who not only leads, but leads with authority, issuing commands along the way. A kathegetes doesn’t merely show the way through exemplified leadership qualities, he or she actually (because of the intensity represented by kata-) orders the way others should go.

This is corroborated by several respected commentaries. See here[3]:

  • Vincent Word Studies reads, “Matthew 23:10, Masters (καθηγηταί), Lit., leaders”
  • Albert Barnes Notes on the New Testament reads, “Neither be ye called masters – That is, leaders, guides, for this is the literal meaning of the word. It refers to those who go before others; who claim, therefore, the right to direct and control others. This was also a title conferred on Jewish teachers…Neither of these commands forbids us to give proper titles of civil office[4] to men, or to render them the honor belonging to their station…They prohibit the disciples of Jesus from seeking or receiving mere empty titles, producing distinctions among themselves, implying authority to control the opinions and conduct of others, and claiming that others should acknowledge them to be superior to them.”
  • Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible reads, “Matthew 23:10 Neither be ye called masters – Καθηγηται, leaders. God is in all these respects jealous of his honor. To him alone it belongs to guide and lead his Church, as well as to govern and defend it… [these] are the three titles which… our blessed Lord condemns…”
  • John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible reads, “Matthew 23:10 Neither be ye called masters, Or guides and leaders…”

So now, instead of wondering why the team behind the New American Standard Bible translated Matthew 23:10 the way it did, we ought to be asking ourselves why any of the other teams behind their respective translations didn’t translate Matthew 23:10 the way the New American Standard Bible people did!

Furthermore, there are other Greek words that means instructor/teacher and master, respectively, namely didaskalos, (from the verb didasko, to teach) and kurios, commonly translated as “lord” in the King James Version and others, neither of which are present in Matthew 23:10, so all of the versions above appear to have chosen incorrect words for their respective translations.

Now, if we can admit that the New American Standard Version is correct in its translation of Matthew 23:10 and that the others are incorrect, we need to ask a simple question:

Why?

Mind you, we aren’t asking why the one version is correct and the others incorrect as it pertains to lexicographical meaning, but rather, why did the one version translate the verse properly versus the others which did not, as in, what was the motive?

To answer, I guess we have to decide how optimistic versus pessimistic we want to be. Optimism says it was an honest mistake made by honest translators, who, for whatever reason, were convinced the Greek word kathegetes ought to be translated as master, instructor, or teacher i.e. as someone who leads a classroom or takes the lead in the giving of instruction).

Pessimism says the translators knew what they were doing, knew they were not being honest or accurate, and because of any number of reasons, from personal bias to pressure from outside sources, gave into their flesh and purposefully misled their respective audiences.[5]

Whatever the reasons for the sundry translations, a startlingly fact remains: we are not, under orders from Jesus Himself, to call ourselves or allow ourselves to be called “leaders”.

And yet, as I wrote in Part One, being a leader and the idea of leadership in general is all we ever seem to hear about. It’s the number one marketed gimmick in the American church today.

I challenge you to go to any average assembly on any given day when a service is being held, and ask the average parishioner who the “leader” is or who the “leaders” are, and they will inevitably point you to the pastor and his leadership team, IN DIRECT DEFIANCE OF THE WORDS OF THE LORD JESUS as given to us by Matthew in 23:10.

But I hear someone argue and say, “But the apostles most certainly were leaders and issued commands on a regular basis”. To which I reply, the apostles most certainly were slaves and transmitted the orders of Messiah as they were given to them by Him through the Holy Spirit (See Acts 1:2). And even then, the various Greek words behind “command” and/or “commanded” (and etc.) as given in the New Testament in regards to the Apostles, more readily mean to urge, admonish, bid, exhort, or instruct than they mean to order about, issue commands, or control through speech, i.e. boss around and/or demand compliance/submission.[6]

In fact, the only times in the Greek that stronger or more forceful words are used (e.g. entellomai [to enjoin upon, i.e. to impress upon another a duty, that is, to command] and/or keleuo [to incite to action by speech]) they are ever only used, in a good sense, of the Lord Jesus in the Gospels regarding the commands He gave to His disciples.

In the bad sense, these words are used by the Pharisees and Sadducees in their early relations with the Apostles in the Book of Acts (See, for example, Acts 4:15 and Acts 5:34).

Now, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t yield ourselves to the urgings, admonishments, biddings, exhortations, and instructions of the Apostles of the 1st century or of others in our own century.

But it does mean that no one, apart from the Head Himself, has any authority whatsoever to command and/or order anyone in the church around to do anything. Why? Because there is only One Leader in the Church of the Living God, that is, Jesus Christ, and He hasn’t delegated that authority to anyone, ever.

So, I say: Thank you New American Standard Bible translation committee for being true to the Greek text and the real words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.[7]

Oh, how His words save us from our leadership deception!

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So what does all this mean, in real terms, in today’s church world?

The first thing it means is that the ramifications are far and wide-reaching. Almost every aspect of our church culture has to change. Why? Because right now, almost every assembly across the USA, and even the world, revolves around a leader or group of leaders who aren’t supposed to be what they claim they are. To be true to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ as contained in Matthew 23:10 means that an entire group of Christians, who often think of themselves as the collective “clergy”, all need to repent and change their way of thinking and how they perceive their status and role in the Body of Christ.

Second, another group of Christians, who are often thought of as the “laity” need to also repent and change their way of thinking and how they perceive their status and role in the Body of Christ.

Repentance for the first because of presumption, pride, and arrogance (and in many cases, ignorance—which is not an excuse!). Repentance for the second because of apathy, idolatry, and indifference (and in many cases, ignorance—which is not an excuse!).

It’s not enough that so-called, self-named leaders repent and allow Christ to finally be the Only Leader of the Church. The rest of the Body must likewise humble itself for abandoning its responsibility to God.

God has called each and every member of the Church to the New Testament Priesthood. Instead, thousands and even millions have called themselves to the pews while someone else does all the ministering in the Body.

Yes, there are translation issues which have, unfortunately, caused many people to not realize the true teachings of Christ. Shame on the translators who have misled a believing multitude of English speaking Christians.

But one verse of Scripture has been accurately translated in English by all of the major translations, namely 1 Corinthians 11:3.

King James Version:

3. But I would have you know, that the head[8] of every man is Christ…

New Revised Standard Version:

3. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man…

New International Version:

3. Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ…

New King James Version:

3. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ…

English Standard Version:

3. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ…

New American Bible:

3. But I want you to know Christ is the head of every man…

New Living Translation:

3. But there is one thing I want you to know: A man is responsible to Christ…

And finally, the New American Standard Bible:

3. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man…

Do you understand it yet, all you “leaders” and “followers”[9] of the Christian world? Do you finally see what Paul was so desperate for the Corinthians believers to realize?[10]

Your only leader is Christ Jesus. None else. You follow Him and Him alone. Anyone else who gets in your way is not from God, but is…well, just wait for Part Three.

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[1] Of all the English Bible translations I have checked, the only other major one that uses the words “leaders” and “Leader” is the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the version commonly used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are however, lesser known and lesser read versions that use the same language. Examples include: The Centenary Translation of the New Testament, God’s Word, Moffatt’s New Testament, and the Weymouth New Testament.

[2] Middle voice simply means that the person or thing both performs and is affected by the actions represented by the verb in question.

[3] Ellipses or words in brackets are my doing and are not part of the original text.

[4] Here Barnes lists three verses of Scripture which I have omitted from the quote. They are Matthew 22:21, Romans 13:7 and 1 Peter 2:17. Please note, as Barnes did, that these are civil, i.e. NOT sacred titles, given to people who hold positions in the secular world, e.g. Caesar, King, President, Governor, and etc.

[5] Please see Translator Bias and Eisogesis, which can be read here, for more information.

[6] Examples include diatasso, to set in order or appoint, and so, by implication, to give direction. This is in regards to official church policy, as in the taking up of an offering (See, e.g. 1 Corinthians 16:1). Also, paraggello, to pass on an announcement, that is to say, to charge someone at someone else’s command (i.e. the Lord’s a la 1 Corinthians 7:10). Finally, protasso, used famously in Acts 10:48 of Simon Peter and Cornelius’ household, meaning to arrange toward, i.e. to set up in the near future. Basically, Peter, in seeing their need to be immersed in the name of the Lord, spoke and shared with them their need and so, with their cooperation, arranged for them to be baptized. He wasn’t ordering them as demanding they obey him or else.

[7] As it reads in the Foreword of the New American Standard Bible, under the Fourfold Aim of the Lockman Foundation (i.e. the publishers): 1. These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. 2. They shall be grammatically correct. 3. They shall be understandable. 4. They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him…

[8] Note the word “head”, which, in Greek, is kephale. Of course it means the physical member of the human or even animal body. But as a metaphor, means the following: anything supreme, chief, [or] prominent (Thayer’s Greek Definitions). As Adam Clarke stated in his commentary, “The apostle is speaking particularly of Christianity and its ordinances: Christ is the Head or Author of this religion; and is the creator, preserver, and Lord of every man”.

[9] And before you throw 1 Corinthians 11:1, et al, at me, please note the Greek word behind “followers” as given in the King James Version, is mimetes, and it means to imitate, as in do the same as according to practice, not (metaphorically or otherwise) walk behind someone else barking out orders, constantly telling you what you can and cannot do, how you can and cannot live, and act, and etc., in your service to Christ in His Body.

[10] And not only the Corinthians, but also the Ephesians (See Ephesians 1:22, 4:15, and 5:23) and the Colossians (See Colossians 1:18 and 2:10). Paul’s teaching on the matter is conclusive, and thus universal. The entire church, for all time, and not just these three 1st century assemblies, are to embrace this understanding of Christ as Head as true doctrine.

Healing for a Broken Soul

•11/04/2014 • Leave a Comment

Not much to say for an introduction. I just hope that it will bless, uplift, and most of all, heal.

In Jesus’ Name

Sonship is Spirit Led

•10/20/2014 • Leave a Comment

Hello, Everyone

This is the second lesson/sermon/message/etc. I shared with my local assembly. It’s not really a continuation, as in a sequel to “The Love of God as A Father”, but it takes a theme expressed in that lesson and carries it forward.

I hope it blesses and instructs. Peace and God bless, Aaron

(PS. Again, if anyone disagrees or sees something I missed, please comment so we can discuss. Thanks)

 
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Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

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Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Theo-sophical Ruminations

A collage of theological and philosophical musings

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