(Read the broader discussion of the various Greek words translated as “world” in many Bible versions, in our free downloadable book, Rightly Divide The Truth.Download Rightly Divide The Word (3rd edition) Here
FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEOS
A new step has been taken in producing short video discussions on matters about how we read our Bible. The first two parts (14 and 12 minutes respectively) can now be viewed on YouTube.
The six part series, Rightly Divide The Truth, which was produced in 2008/9, has now been fully published on YouTube. They can be viewed here:
This series focuses on basic principles of Bible interpretation to help us understand the Bible within correct context. These guidelines help us to discern the original biblical authors' context from man-made religious philosophies. If we are to understand the truth we need to know the truth. This series is a sincere attempt to facilitate a true and accurate understanding of the Scriptures. Apart from discussing a number of basic, yet important principles to bear in mind when reading the Bible and pointing out many distortions that pagan philosophical practices have led to, typical errors flowing from subjectivity in translations of the Bible are also pointed out. (The series was produced in 2008/9 and broadcast on the then Solid Rock Television Channel. It followed research among various denominations that confirmed an urgent need for such teaching).
TIMELINE OF NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS
The New Testament books do not appear in our Bibles in the sequence that they were written. This is important especially with regard to Paul's letters. While understanding the proper sequence of all is important, not taking the correct sequence of Paul's letters into consideration, especially, could lead to incorrect interpretations.
You can download a one-page timeline chart here.
THE TABERNACLES OF MOSES AND DAVID
It seemed to be a simple, straightforward question. A friend asked for my opinion on why David erected a tabernacle (tent) for the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem, instead of returning it to the Tabernacle of Moses at Gibeon. My first step was to listen to a podcast on YouTube in this regard, in which the speaker stated the reason being the fact that David was Ruth’s great-grandson. As she was a Moabite, the speaker continued that David was prohibited in the Law of Moses from entering the Tabernacle. One article on the topic went even further, claiming it was because David was an illegitimate son (which, in terms of a popular contemporary interpretation, implied being conceived out of wedlock).
FOUR WOMEN IN THE GENEALOGY ACCORDING TO THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
The frequency with which genealogies are found in the Bible accentuates their importance. They established a person’s lineage – which included one’s Jewishness, tribal identity, one’s right to the priesthood and one’s right to kingship. It described who and what you were as illustrated by the event of David and Goliath. After David killed Goliath he was brought before Saul, who asked “Whose son are you, young man?” “The son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem,” David answered (1 Sam 17:58).
With exception of the Jesus lineage in Matthew 1, lineage clearly was always tracked through the males, being the carriers of the seed, throughout most of the Bible. The Talmud states that a mother’s family is not to be called family. Over the years, however, a viewpoint of maternal lineage developed in the Jewish environment, but this does not appear to be prominent at least through the days of Jesus. Various Israelite leaders married women of other nations/groups. Joseph, for example married an Egyptian, Moses a Midianite and a Kushite. Also, Matthew mentions only five women in the course of his recorded lineage: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba, with Mary, the mother of Jesus in the final place. This article will focus on the first four and for reasons that will become clear in the course of the discussion.
BACKGROUND OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CULTURE AND WORLD
The advanced information technology available today distributes information, irrespective of whether it is true or false, at a previously unknown speed. As a result, young people today have many more questions than ever before. Theologians presenting themselves as “Bible scientists” and who fill the world with destructive theories about the Bible simply being myths and religious folklore, or with all kinds of philosophised and untrue preaching, however sincere the intentions may be, do not help our young people to find the truth. Just think about it, a sermon on the well-known television networks is spread across the world in seconds – and that goes for truth as well as untruth! And let’s be honest, the impact and influence of charismatic preachers who draw and retain attention play a large role with their impressive preaching filled with biblical terminology, expressions and references. Many mistranslations and subjective prejudices that are spread in this way do not make Bible study easier. These realities form the whole motivation behind this essay.
Click here to read the full essay/article.
Ook in Afrikaans beskikbaar - kliek hier.
HOW ACCURATE AM I READING THE BIBLE?
The fact that the books in the Bible were written by some 40 writers over a period of approximately 1400 years many centuries ago and on three continents seems to have been lost completely along the way. Add to that the errors and consequently also differences found in Bible translations.
Lately, the fact that we so often even err in our reading of the translations, has been turning around and around in my mind. This short article is the result and I only hope that it will stimulate every reader to focus anew on what the written word is really stating – and I am not referring to obvious twisting of Scripture portions. Also, I will simply be pointing out discrepancies and not enter into deep theological discussions, as that is not the purpose of this little article. Click here to read the full article.
DEUTERONOMY 23:3-4 UNDERSTOOD WITHIN PROPER CONTEXT
The ‘born out of wedlock’ topic
When I studied Biblical Counselling some two decades ago, one of the topics we were taught described the “Biblical fact” that Deuteronomy 23:3 described someone who was born out of wedlock, the so-called illegitimate birth. The Amplified Bible uses the terminology “conceived out of wedlock,” while the Holman Christian Standard, among others, renders it “one of illegitimate birth.”
The teaching then underlined the need for the counsellor to pray a deliverance prayer over such a person in order to break this “generational curse.” Popular seminars (and let me underline, some are largely wonderful seminars) I attended and even went on to minister to others, often included this same teaching and actions. The preceding explanation to a counselee (or seminar attendee) in this regard would be based on the saving grace and atonement that came with Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross.
Sadly, many people have been hurt emotionally and spiritually by this erroneous teaching. Click here to read the full article.
THE YOUNG CHURCH OF THE BIBLE
According to Acts 2:42-47, the young church
- continued in the apostels' doctrine (and therefore received regular teaching);
- prayed together;
- broke bread from house to house (participated in the Lord's table or communion);
- cared for the needs of all among themselves; and
- faithfully attended the worship activities in the temple.
The first four functions above all seem to relate to what could be described as a function of caring in different ways for those who were members of the house churches. The house church was clearly a fully functional church and its activities went beyond what is practised generally in modern home cells.
It is important to remember that these house churches remained the observable church for many decades. There were no separate church buildings for the congregations to meet in until the year 150 AD. As all the New Testament books were completed by the year 90 AD (probably even earlier), all the epistles would then have been written to house churches (Comiskey; 2003).
Scripture does not mention different congregations in a single city and this implies that there was only one local congregation in a city, made up of a number of house churches.
(This is an extract from a study assignment written in 2003 on the topic of SHEPHERDING. Click here to read to full article)
HELL - A CENTURIES OLD FALSE TEACHING
I grew up with this terrifying concept of the hell, a place of eternal torment. You either believed in Jesus the Christ, or you would go to this fiery hell to burn forever. Preaching, whether formal in the church or informal in discussions between people, often took on the form of turn or burn statements. The visual media also confronted us increasingly with pictures of this awful place of ever burning lava. Whenever we encountered the word ‘hell’ in the Bible, this was the image we saw. Bible translations continued to lead us along this way. Continue reading.
FOUNDATIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLICAL RECORD (With improvements)
We believe that there is one true and living God, Elohim Yahwe (or Yahweh). He is the self-existent One, who has no beginning and no end. By Him was the heavens and the earth created and man was made in His image - a living soul.
God has revealed himself progressively in the scriptures we know as the Bible. It is a collection of 66 books, written by approximately 40 writers, over a period of approximately 1500 years, in three languages and on 3 continents, and yet it forms an amazing whole. We believe it is God’s communication with humanity in different ways. Continue reading.
Ook in Afrikaans: Bybelboodskap - Ons basiese verstaan daarvan (Met verbeteringe)
KNOWLEDGE- THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT
In the previous post we analysed the biblical concept of truth. One can say that truth is the way, knowledge the destination. This destination will depend on the way we choose.
There are even more different nuances in the Bible of the concept of knowledge than there are of truth. What I wish to underline, is that the verb ginosko is often used in the New Testament to refer to a relationship between the one who “knows” and that which is "known". It is used in this sense to refer to God's knowledge of a person:
This knowledge that God has of a person really carries the meaning that God approves him.
The fact that it has a relational foundation indicates an activity or action that is continually taking place. Continue reading...
TRUTH - THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT
Hebrew and Greek are very descriptive languages. They provide for subtle differences of meaning, which are not easily translated into English, for example, with single words or even simple sentences. Words like agape and phileo, which are simply translated into English as love although their true meanings differ, are good examples. The same can be said of the words truth and knowledge and it makes finding a simple definition of such a word difficult. Because these two terms are of specific importance, however, it is necessary to distinguish between certain subtle differences as well as we can, without becoming too technical in the process.
Truth is used in two broad senses in the Old Testament. Continue reading...
THE FRUIT OF THE CROSS
This post flowed forth from past notes in my journal:
11 April 2000
The congregation we were members of at the time, had been characterised by a spirit of division and confusion over the preceding few weeks. Our pastor had been given a video entitled The Hiss of the Serpent, which was radically and very expressively critical about prominent ministries in the USA. The pastor’s preaching changed direction so drastically from one Sunday to next, that there was an immediate drop of more than two thirds in service attendances. There was also an immediate decline in the children’s ministry and its effective closure followed soon. Continue reading...
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
We know there are many who will disagree, but based on a careful study of the evidence, we believe that Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians in AD49. It was his first Epistle and was written not only to one local group of people, but to believers in a large Roman province reaching from north to south (in the centre of what is modern Turkey). Only one New Testament book was written before Galatians, and that book is the Epistle of James (which was written in AD45). The letter to the Galatians is a strong address to those who were still trying to hold on to the Mosaic law. Then, it is the letter bringing the message of God’s grace. We can safely say that it addressed the transition from the Mosaic dispensation to the Messianic dispensation. Continue reading...
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