Q & A:

 

Do you think the Lord knows who are his, and who isn't?

and

Is the Bible its own expositor, or do we need to study the original Greek & Hebrew texts?

 

By Craig Bluemel

 

----- Original Message -----

From: William 

To: Craig

Subject: Do you think God knows His own

 

I would ask you this question: Don’t you think the Lord knows who are his, and who isn't?  I prefer to let the bible itself be it's own expositor.  Appeals to the Greek or Hebrew aren't necessary. 

 

Sincerely,

 

William

 

Craig’s Reply & Answers

 

Hi William,

 

Thanks for writing, and your vote of confidence, and for humbling yourself to share and learn.  I pray that the eyes of your understanding (Ephesians 1:1-18) will be opened by God’s Spirit, giving light to the hope of Christ that is eternally available IF we continue abiding in Jesus the Christ by expressing our love for him thru obedience, as a result of true faith, we are daily working out our salvation, testing ourselves, and allowing God the Father (Yahweh) to do the same), as we seek His grace thru the Mediatorship of Yahweh’s son Jesus, the Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).

 

Concerning the need to examine the Greek & Hebrew

 

You wrote in your email: “I prefer to let the bible itself be it's own expositor.  Appeals to the Greek or Hebrew aren't necessary.” 

 

By definition, an, “expositor,” refers to someone or something that acts as an interpreter, or expounds, or explains words; an expositor can also be defined as a dictionary, or vocabulary which explains words.  The word ‘expositor’ derived from a root meaning, “explanatory; laying open,” is also synonymous with ‘exposition,” which means, “interpretation; a laying open the sense or meaning of an author or of any passage in a writing.”

 

Because our modern Bibles are translations from ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts, one has to scrutinize each versions rendering of words, as it is common knowledge that all Bible versions contain in their translation the influences of personal doctrinal bias of the translators or translating committees responsible for any given version.  For example, in Acts 14:10, the King James Version mistranslates the páscha (NT:3957), mistranslated "Easter" in Acts 12:4, which denotes the Passover (RV). The phrase "after the Passover" signifies after the whole festival was at an end.  The term "Easter" is not of Christian origin.  It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven.  The festival of Pasch held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast, but was not instituted by Christ, nor was it connected with Lent.  From this Pasch the pagan festival of "Easter" was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

So you see William, one must not put his faith in the reliability of Bible versions to be self-contained expositor, or it can and does lead to deception, and as stated above, mingles the paganism of the world with the purity of devotion to the Father, God, thru the true “Passover,” Lamb, Jesus the Christ, who takes away the sins of the world!

 

Some examples in the New Testament of the need for using ‘people’ to ‘expound’ illustrate the fact that God wants us, as His children, and also as disciples of His son Jesus Christ, to be and become, “living epistles,” (i.e. – living letters, from the Greek, ‘grapho,’ from whence comes our term, ‘graphics’).

 

2 Corinthians 3:1-6 Are we starting to commend ourselves again?  Or we do not, like some false teachers, need written credentials or letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we?  2 No, you yourselves are our letter of recommendation (our credentials), written in your hearts, to be known (perceived, recognized) and read by everybody.  3 You show and make obvious that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  4 Such is the reliance and confidence that we have through Christ toward and with reference to God.  5 Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.  6 It is He Who has qualified us making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient] as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant of salvation through Christ, not ministers of the letter, of legally written code, but of the Spirit; for the code of the Law kills, but the Spirit makes alive.  Amplified Bible

 

In the Corinthian church, we find examples from the onset of knowledgeable teachers, such as Priscilla (a woman) and Aquila (her husband), who were capable of expounding the Hebrew scriptures to Apollos, even though Apollos himself was a scholarly, well-read in scripture individual.

 

Acts 18:24-26 Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.  25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; 26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue.  But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition

 

Even though Apollos, an Alexandrian Jew by birth, had been previously instructed in the way of the Lord, and even though he was already speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, yet when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.  

 

Without further research on the subject that explores the Greek text, and the specific words used, how are we to fully comprehend the meaning of the phrase in Acts 18:26, “they (Priscilla & Aquila)… explained to him (Apollos) the way of God more accurately?”  We are left scratching our heads, wondering what further words were required to educate in Christ such a mighty man of scripture?

 

For example, the Greek word translated as, “the way,” in Acts 18:26 is, “hodón,” and hodón (NT: 3598) denotes, “a natural path, road, or way.”  How are we to know which “way” they explained to Apollos more accurately, unless we cross-reference the same Greek word hodón in other parallel passages?  Below, I have pasted for you some examples of the relevant manner in which the Greek word ‘hodón’ is used for the ‘way’ (highlighted in red in each version):

 

Matthew 3:3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!’”  New American Standard Bible

 

Matthew 7:12-14 “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.  Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way (hodón) is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”  New American Standard Bible

 

Luke 7:27 This is the one about whom it is written:  “’I will send my messenger ahead of you,  who will prepare your way (hodón) before you.’”  New International Version

 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way (hodón), and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”  New American Standard Bible

 

Acts 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way (hodón) of salvation.  King James Version

 

As you can see, a simple Englishman’s Greek Concordance match and query pulled up several vital uses of hodón, and authenticate its use in Acts 18:6 and elsewhere similar contextual material about Jesus Christ as the, “way,” or, “path,” to God are being discussed in Scripture.  Hopefully, you’ll broaden your paradigms, and use this simple exercise to dig deeper.

 

With regard to the Greek and Hebrew Scripture languages, whenever the serious student of scripture seeks truth, he or she cannot depend upon any one given translation of the Bible, which is why your ‘preference’ to allow any one of the many Bible versions that exist today to be its own, ‘expositor’ can and will at times lead to erroneous conclusions, inadequate or incomplete teaching, and bias for certain versions that lend credibility to one’s own pre-established doctrines or opinions.

 

Any and all Bible translations (also known as versions) are the work of fallible, biased humans; even the ones that people venerate, such as the King James Version, whose text may have been suitable centuries ago, but today’s applications find this version woefully inadequate.  This premise of yours, if applied carte blanche, is based in part on faulty, human translational errs, and since no autographs exist for any of the scripture, whether Old or New Testament, it behooves us to at least use the thousands and thousands of manuscripts that are continually being found by archaeologists, and added to data base programs for scholars to use in their textual criticism of scripture.  I do hope you’ll lay aside this dyed-in-the-wool stance, and allow the spirit of God to teach you thru the tools He has provided.

 

Sometimes a believer may find the situation appeals to the use of a given scripture verse or passage, without the need to pursue the ancient language word meanings.  On the flip side of the coin, so to speak, another circumstance may very much call for an answer from the Greek or Hebrew text.  The Christian man or woman that uses the ‘one size fits all’ type of biblical exegesis is more often than not limited buy the paradigms of his or her own belief. 

 

Do you think the Lord knows who are his, and who isn't?

 

The answer to this question is easy; below is listed the same passage in a few different varying translation, all of which convey the same idea:

 

1 Corinthians 8:1 –3 Knowledge, however, tends to make people conceited; it is love that builds us up.  2 If any one imagines that he already possesses any true knowledge, he has as yet attained to no knowledge of the kind to which he ought to have attained; 3 but if any one loves God, that man is known by God.  Weymouth New Testament Translation

 

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Knowledge, however, tends to make people conceited; it is love that builds us up.  2 If any one imagines that he already possesses any true knowledge, he has as yet attained to no knowledge of the kind to which he ought to have attained; 3 but if any one loves God, that man is known by God.  Weymouth New Testament Translation

 

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Knowledge, puffeth up, but, love, buildeth up; 2 If anyone thinketh that he knoweth anything, not yet knoweth he, as he must needs come to know, 3 but, if anyone loveth God, the same, is known of himRotherham’s Emphasized Bible

 

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 we know, that in all of us there is knowledge; and knowledge inflateth, but love edifieth.  2  And if any one thinketh that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet, as he ought to know it.  3  But if any one loveth God, that man is known of him.  1851 Murdoch New Testament

 

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 It is easy to think that we "know" over problems like this, but we should remember that while this “knowing” may make a man look big, it is only love that can make him grow to his full stature.  2 For if a man thinks he "knows" he may still be quite ignorant of what he ought to know.  3  But if he loves God he is the man who is known to God.  Phillip’s New Testament

 

A host of scripture passages affirms the tenet taught in 1 Corinthians 8:1-3; God “knows” those that are “His” provided he or she “loves” God. 

 

What does 1 Corinthians 8:3 mean to, “… but if any one loves God?” 

 

The Greek phrase for the English words, “but if any one loves God,”  in 1 Corinthians 8:3, read as follows:  Ei dé  tis agapá tón Theón

 

The Greek words for, “anyone loves,” in 8:3 is ‘tis agapá’; (NOTE: agapá’ is the Greek word cognate, or vocabulary cousin of the more familiar to Christians term called, ‘agape’ love).   in the text of 1 Corinthians 8:3 agapá’ is constructed in the present indicative active voice.  To simplify what this Greek grammatical construction means, when a person, “loves God,” he or she is, at that very moment is, “becoming known by or to God.”  The same point is clear either way.

 

The Greek word agapá (related to agape; NT:26) is defined as follows:

 

“Love” = agapá (NT:25) When used of love to a master, God or Christ, the agapá word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received.  Christian agapá love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments; See John 14:15,21,23; 15:10; 1 John 2:5; 5:3; 2 John 6.  Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.”  Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered.  Love seeks the welfare of all, Romans 15:2, and works no ill to any, 13:8,9,10; love seeks opportunity to do good to, “all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,” (Galatians 6:10; see also → 1 Corinthians 13 and Colossians 3:12-14).  From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 105. [1] 

 

In respect of agapá as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant "love" and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential agapá ‘love’ in them towards the Giver, and a practical agapá ‘love’ towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver.[2]

 

What does 1 Corinthians 8:3 mean to, “…the same, is known of him,”

 

The Greek reads for, “the same,” reads as, “hoútos,” which is a Greek demonstrative pronoun.  The Greek uses the demonstrative pronoun, “hoútos,’ which means, ‘this one, that one,’ so that being ‘known” by God applies to male or female, and is neuter. 

 

The other Greek words in 1 Corinthians 8:3 are defined as follows:

 

“Known by” = égnoostai (i.e. ginosko NT:1097), is defined as meaning the following:

 

1.      To learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of.

 

2.      To know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of.

 

The word égnoostai is constructed in perfect tense, indicative mood, & passive voice.  These Greek grammatical notations are vital because they disprove the speculation musings of those who claim God knows our future decisions before they happen!  This construction also decimates Calvinism’s form of predestination.

 

L     Indicative mood conveys special meaning and temporal significance of the perfect tense is at its height.

 

L     Perfect Tense describes an action, or more correctly, a process, that took place in the past, the results of which have continued to the present.  The Greek perfect tense has no exact equivalent in English; but is usually translated by using the auxiliary verbs, ‘has’ or, ‘have.’  Thus, the phrase is could be rendered, “the process involved when someone loves God in the past is that he or she becomes known by God.”  Also included in the meaning of 1 Corinthians 8:3 is that the person’s love for God carries with it each person’s cognizance of Divine authority, and conscious decision to remain under the Same.”

 

L     Passive voice represents the subject (God) as receiving the action (i.e. – God become familiarized with the person) of the verb.  In English, it usually takes a form of the verb "to be" to express the passive; it could therefore be rendered, : “The same will be known {under God’s authority}, or simply, known of God.”[3]

 

Using grammatical codes with the word definitions above, the application is as follows: 

 

1 Corinthians 8:3 The one who loves God with a love the began as an action, and then developed thru the process of obedience, the same one became known to and understood by Him.  The Appropriate Translation

 

Those who love God and who become known by Him thru the process of loving obedience.  The significance of the relationship whereby God, “comes to know,” each person is that it always contains an element whereby it is viewed as temporary.  By “temporary” we do not mean that God intends the relationship remain temporary; but rather, as in any reciprocal meaningful, loving relationship, there are necessary conditions.

 

In our relationship of love for God, we must never come to the point of finality, whereby loving Him here on earth no longer interests us.  For us to continually be recognized as God’s own, we must of needs be giving into our relationship with Him, the same fervency thru obedience as we expect to have God know our needs and desires, making them ‘known’ to Him.

 

CONCLUSION

 

I executed a query on my Bible software search engine, and I entered in the field box the two Greek words from the text of 1 Corinthians 8:3, tis agapá.  The only two other verses of scripture with this exactly spelling in the New Testament are as follows:

 

John 14:23-26 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves (tis agapá) Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.  24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.  New American Standard Bible

 

1 John 2:15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves (tis agapá) the world, love for the Father is not in him.  Amplified Bible

 

So now, we have some very clear, easy to understand conditions for being, “known of God,” and being, “recognized as His own.”  If we “keep the words” of Jesus, who is God’s son, then we are loving his Father, God (Yahweh); again, love = obedience, and those who love both Father (God, whose name is Yahweh) and son, the man Christ Jesus in this manner, will have them as his or her “abode” or dwelling place.  That is, God who is spirit, and Christ who is glorified man in the spirit (see 1 Corinthians 15:45ff), will make our human spirit their dwelling place.

 

The antithesis to have the Father God and His son Jesus as our dwelling, is to redirect our “love” toward the world (kósmos; the world & all that pertains to ungodliness in the world), most notably, the, “cares of life,” and things like these.  Should we decide to place our loving affections upon the world and its temporal gratifications, the love of the Father is not in us, and hence, we are not known (recognized) by Him, and concurrent with this thought, we are not known by Him as His own.  Sobering thoughts indeed.

In closing, I leave you with some other scripture passages for your consideration, that concur with all of the aforementioned exegesis.  May God bless you William, as you open your heart and mind to His truth.

 

Psalms 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.  3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.  4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.  5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.  New American Standard Bible

 

Psalms 37:17-19 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the LORD  sustains the righteous.  18 The LORD  knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever.  19 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance.  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition

 

2 Timothy 2:15-19 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.  16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.  19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, " The Lord knows those who are His," and, " Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness."  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition

 

2 Peter 2:9-10 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.  New American Standard Bible - Updated Edition

 

With Love in Jesus’ name,

 

Craigo

 

Craig Bluemel - The Bible Answer Stand Ministry

1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.   

 

 

 

 


 

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[1] Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.

[2] Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers

[3] The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament © 1992 by AMG International, Inc. Revised Edition, 1993