Loving Babies

Exodus 21:22-25: “
 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life,  eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,  burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” (ESV)

The world is split. Are babies in the womb human? Is it ok to kill them if they are unwanted by the mother? These are the two questions that are being asked. There are plenty of arguments that we hear from the “pro-choice” side: 1. it’s a blob of tissue, 2. the mother wouldn’t be able to support the child, 3. a woman can kill the baby in cases of rape and incest, 4. if the child had down syndrome, the child can be killed. These are the main arguments for killing a baby. The opposite side of the coin is the pro-life side. Their main arguments are: 1. it is a human being, 2. human beings have a right to life, 3. there is no good reason to take the life of an innocent human being. These both have very compelling emotional arguments for either side. The Christian needs to ask what does the Bible say? The Bible does not mention the word abortion but it does lay the foundation for the answer.

  1. Human beings are created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27).
  2. Humans are considered humans in the womb before they are born (Psalm 139:13-16).
  3. Humans have the right not to be murdered. (Genesis 9:5-6; Exodus 20:13).

Those three foundations are found in the Bible. They are the same arguments for the pro-life side. Remarkably there is a law given to Israel by God concerning the unborn given in Exodus 21:22-25. This is the passage mentioned at the beginning of the article. It is not about abortion but it is an accidental death of an infant that results from men fighting and a pregnant woman being present. While this is not about abortion there is some groundwork laid for the pro-life case.

  1. The child/children are considered human. They are not blobs of tissue. They are called children.
  2. The children age given the same rights as adults. The tooth for tooth clause is instituted here. Judgements were not to be more severe than the offence itself. Judges and the father determined the price that must be payed.
  3. The death of the child was considered to be murder (hence the life for life clause).

Some things to consider about this verse is that it is given in the Old Testament. It was given to the ancient Israelites for their government. Christians are not allowed to enforce the law. The governments are to enforce just laws. Christians are to be submissive to the government and do no harm to abortionists, abortion doctors, or pro-choice leaders. That does not mean we cannot warn them of the wrath of God pointed at them and they will have to face a holy righteous God on judgement day. They have murdered the innocent and will be eternally punished for it in the life to come unless they repent of their sin and trust in Jesus as their savior. They must be warned of the wrath to come. As Christians we can take the principle behind this case law and tell abortionists that what they are advocating for and doing is murder and they will face a holy God on judgement day. We need to love the abortionists by warning them and we need to love babies.

I hope this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no profanity or pornography. Please also feel free to look at the resource section for my book series on how to study the Bible. Lord bless you.

Praying For Our Leaders

Ocasio-Cortez mural

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 2 Peter 2:16-17 ESV.

The person represented in the above picture has been the butt of many jokes since her election into the house of representatives. Conservatives have been bashing her for her wrong views, contradictory statements, and lousy politics. It is almost as bad as the media and the liberals verbally attacking our president Donald Trump for his harsh rhetoric and controversial past. Christians from both sides are attacking these people and making jokes of our leaders. We as Christians are responsible for many of the harsh statements toward these leaders. We fall far short of living up to the standard of the above passage. These two verses lists five imperatives that Peter is commanding the persecuted church.

  1. “Live as people who are free…” Christians have been set free from the power of sin. We do not have to slander others, deceive others, gossip about others, or bash others with bad jokes. The context of the verse shows us that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”(2 Peter 2:9). We need to live as we were made to be, not as we were. We need to share the gospel with our fallen leaders and those who persecute us so that they might be saved. To do that we must “live as servants of God” (2 Peter 2:16).
  2. “Honor everyone.” The first way we live as servants of God is to honor everyone. That does not mean that we give in to every demand that everyone gives. We first honor the commands of God. When the Sanhedrin told the apostles to stop preaching the name of Jesus Christ, the apostles followed the Lord over the Sanhedrin (Acts 4). That eventually led them to being beaten for the name of Christ. We show people respect. We show the police the respect their authority requires. We follow man made laws that do not contradict scripture. We show kindness to our rude coworker. That is showing honor.
  3. “Love the brotherhood.” The best way to use our freedom is to love our Christian brothers and sisters. You will not win the world over by sinning against your brothers. You will also mock the gospel when you mistreat your brother by gossiping, cheating, and lying about them. Ultimately you mistreat Jesus when you do that.
  4. “Fear God.” One big way to abuse our freedom in Christ is to not fear God by deliberately breaking a direct command of God. It is also horrible when we mindlessly use the Lord’s name in vain. You mock God and your salvation when you do that. You also show non-believers that you are no different from them and they don’t need to believe in your God because you don’t either.
  5. “Honor the Emperor.” This is the same emperor that eventually killed Peter’s wife, Paul, and Peter himself. He was a deranged lunatic but he still showed him respect, prayed for him, and shared the gospel with him. He obviously disagreed with Nero about his politics and religion but he still treated him like an emperor.

The main difference between Peter’s audience and the American audience is we are not anywhere near to the level of persecution they were. They were losing their families, jobs, wealth, freedom, and their lives. Peter still gave them these five commands in the mist of their persecution. We should not be gossiping, making fun of, or insulting our political leaders. Instead, let us pray for, and share the gospel with Alexandria Cortez and Donald Trump. We can comment on their facebook/twitter pages the gospel, write them a letter, or if we can do it in person. When we do this let us do this with gentleness and respect.

I hope this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no profanity or pornography. Please also feel free to look at the resource section for my book series on how to study the Bible. Lord bless you.

How Do We Interpret Genesis 1?

person holding turn-on iPhone

Since Darwin’s Origin of the Species in the mid-eighteen hundreds, Christians have been trying to decide how to interpret the Bible in light of such a “scientific” discovery. Evolution and millions of years are now supposed to be crammed into the Bible if we are supposed to take it seriously, or so we think. In order to take the Bible seriously in light of such a “scientific” discovery, the Christian church as a whole takes Genesis as either poetry or allegory. But we must always ask if we are going to do a proper interpretation of the text what does it say, what is the genre, and what is the historical and scriptural context. Here is a list to determine how to determine it.

  1. What is the genre? The grammar of the text shows a sequence of events using a Hebrew grammatical construct called the waw consecutive. The text also uses a marker for the direct object that is not typically found in Hebrew poetry. There is also a protagonist and scenes of actions God creating. This internal evidence shows that this is a historical narrative and is meant to be taken as history. Poetry in Hebrew has meaningful repetitious statements, chiasm, metaphors, and simile. These elements of poetry are lacking in the passage.
  2. What is a day? In Hebrew the word “yom” can mean day, time, or lifetime depending on the context. However, when “yom” is pared with morning and evening and a number, it means a literal 24 hr. day. So there is no room for interpreting the word day as millions of years. When one tries to interpret 2 Peter 3:8 ” With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”(NIV), they are imposing a meaning that is not there in the text or surrounding context of the passage.
  3. What is the historical context? Moses is the author of the passage. He is writing to the nation of Israel who has just gotten out of the bondage of Egyptian slavery. he is telling them their origins as revealed by God. The Origin of the World, man, the nations, and specifically Israel and how they arrived in Egypt in the first place.
  4. How does the rest of the Bible interpret it? The context of scripture shows the the Nation of Israel and Jesus interpreted these events as real history. Jesus goes to the Pharisees and says that marriage was created by God in the beginning. That is why divorce is wrong. Jesus’ death makes no sense if he has to literally die for the sins of a figurative Adam. Moses uses the creation account to show why the Israelites rested on the seventh day.

With all of this in mind, how do we interpret Genesis 1? Genesis 1 is real history. It must be believed that God created the heavens and the earth in 6 literal 24 hr. days. God creates space, light, darkness, water, and land. Then He creates trees for the land, all the host of heaven to be sources for the light, birds to fill the sky, fish to fill the water, animals to walk the land, and man to rule them all under God. Then God rests. God is our creator and sustainer. We need to trust in Him and his Word that he created the world with. We do not need to listen to the myths of evolution and millions of years. They are unobservable, disproven fairy tails. We need to trust the creator. Great resources on biblical authority and disproving evolution can be found at answersingenesis.org and creation.com

I hope this has blessed you. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no profanity or pornography. Please also feel free to look at the resource section for my book series on how to study the Bible. Lord bless you.

How Jesus Interpreted the Bible

The following is an exert from my book, Romans Roadblocks Chapter 1.

Matthew 22:29 “But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.'”

The Scripture verse at the beginning of this chapter comes from an interaction between Jesus and a group of Sadducees. The Sadducees were “sad you see” because they did not believe in the resurrection. In fact, they didn’t believe in angels, miracles, the spirit, the Messiah, or the resurrection from the dead. The only books of the Bible that they accepted were the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). While they were a very powerful party of the Jews because they held the priesthood, the Sadducees also enjoyed the power and influence of Rome. They were the theological liberals of their day, enjoying their faulty hermeneutic because it gave them worldly power and influence.

Yet they had seen Jesus work miracle after miracle. They had seen Him raise the dead, give sight to the blind, cast out demons (which are fallen angels), and many other miraculous things, but they still refused to believe in Him. This group of Sadducees tried to catch Jesus in a theological trap by using the Old Testament law about a brother marrying his brother’s widow to raise up children for his brother. They proposed a hypothetical scenario where seven brothers had this one woman as a wife, had no children, and died. They then asked to whom she would be married after the resurrection.  They were implying that, since this scenario didn’t make sense, the resurrection couldn’t be true. The Sadducees must have thought this was an ingenious theological trap.

Jesus pointed out their faulty worldview, however, by saying, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29 ESV). Jesus continued to give helpful insight into what the resurrection will look like when he said “they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). Also, He pointed out where they were interpreting the Scriptures incorrectly by quoting the Scriptures they did accept: “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:32). We can see that Jesus interpreted the Bible by the literal, grammatical-historical method because He interpreted that God is the God of the living simply by pointing to the tense of the verb “am.” This is a great example of how literally Jesus interpreted the text of Scripture.

To see the rest of the chapter you can buy the book on amazon.com. Go to the resource page. Please feel free to comment. Please no cursing or pornography.

What is this?

Image may contain: 1 person

Interpretation is as simple as reading a grocery list or as difficult as reading a textbook. Biblical interpretation seems to be the most complicated for some people. The biggest question people have is “how do we interpret this?” When people ask this question, they are missing the first step. They need to ask, “What is this?”, before they can ask how to interpret it. Let’s take a look at the above photo.

What is this? Is it:

  1. A bunch of gibberish in really bad handwriting?
  2. A child learning how to write.
  3. A really complicated recipe.
  4. A grocery list.

If you chose 1&2, I’m really offended that is my wife’s handwriting. If you chose 3, that would be really weird because there is a bathing suite in the list. The correct answer is 4. Why do we know that the correct answer is a grocery list? That is because it fits the genre of a grocery list. All of those words and phrases in the text are products that can be bought at the store.

A grocery list fits into a specific type of genre. A genre is a type of literature. Each genre has a specific set of rules that are meant for each work. Different types of genre are poetry, fiction, non-fiction, historical narrative, prophecy, gibberish, and grocery lists. We interpret a grocery list differently than we do a sonnet. The rules of a grocery list are 1. we write down what we need from the store, 2. we take the list with a pen to the store, 3. when we pick up what we need we cross that item off of the list.

We know the different rules associated in each genre; however, we still interpret it literally within its historical and grammatical contexts, and as the author intended. I don’t go to the store when my wife buys bathing suite on the list and come back home with a flat screen tv and cross bathing suit off of the list. That would get me a week on the couch. Misinterpretation has consequences. We have grave consequences when we misinterpret God’s Word. When we take the historical accounts as poetry, the prophesy sections as current events, and wisdom literature as promises, we get all kinds of messed up in our interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. We need to start asking what is it when we read the passage.

I hope this has blessed you. Please feel free to look at the resource page to get resources on how to study the Bible. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no pornography or cursing. Lord bless you.

An Interpretive Factory Fiction

Free Female Architect Royalty Free Stock Photos - 13677618

We all use hermeneutics (the science and art of interpreting literature). Many times we just do not realize it. To illustrate that lets look at Sally. Sally is a factory worker who works at Johnson’s chocolate factory. One day at the end of the week she clocks into work, and goes to her work station. She pulls up her computer to check her work email. Then she sees an email from her boss, John. The email says,

Sally, we need you and the rest of maintenance to replace and clean the belts in Whooples processing. John.

Sally then gathers the maintenance crew, and proceeds to replace the conveyer belts that take the Whooples candy to the packaging area. Sally just performed the art and science of hermeneutics.

  1. Observation: She had to determine the author of the email, her boss. She had to determine the genre of the literature, email. She had to know the context of the email, like what belts he was referring to, how to replace and clean them, and where Whooples processing was. All of this would have been in her training and history she had with doing this action. Just think if they tried to replace and clean their utility belts.
  2. Determining the audience: She had to know that she and her maintenance crew were the main audience to perform this action.
  3. Draw out principles: She had to determine what her boss wanted, clean and replace the belts.
  4. Determining if the principles applied to her: In this case they did because the email was addressed to her.
  5. Apply the passage: She applied the email by doing what her boss told her to do.

This story shows the principles of interpreting literature applied to factory life. We do it everyday. If we do this with the Bible, it will deepen our Christian faith, help us know the will of God, and glorify God with our lives. Lets start applying these principles today. Lord bless you.

If you are interested in seeing these principles displayed in interpreting the Bible, check out the Using Hermeneutics Series in the Resource page.

Exploding 7 Bible Myths

Free Explosion Nuclear Bomb Royalty Free Stock Photo - 53361875

There are many reasons why people don’t study the Bible: 1. they’re not saved, 2. they can’t read, 3. they believe the lies that Satan had come up with about the Bible. I am going to focus in the third reason as to why people do not read the Bible. I’m going to explode 7 Bible myths that Satan has come up with. Here we go.

  1. The Bible was written by King James. Actually the Bible was written by over 40 different authors over 1,500 years on three Continents. There are 5,800 manuscripts of the New Testament and 24,000 ancient copies and translations of the Whole Bible. The earliest copy is p52 (a papyri fragment of John) and it was dated to be recorded 20 years (Around 120 AD) after the original manuscript was written. King James came around 1611 AD. Needless to say King James didn’t write it.
  2. We don’t know that the Bible originally said. Actually we know what it said. Through textual criticism, we have discovered that the copers of the New Testament were very careful in writing their copies down. Out of all the copyist errors between the translations, less than 1% make any meaningful variations. None of those variations change any teaching in the NT. (For more on this check out what James White Has to say in New Testament Reliability available on wretched.org).
  3. The Bible is not historically accurate. Actually the Bible is extremely accurate. The Bible records ancient Middle Eastern history so accurately that archeologists use it to find lost civilizations (ex. the Hittites). We have found the city of Jericho, Ur, Babylon, Assyria, and ect. The kings and governors recorded in the Bible were real people and what happened to the in recorded history matches what has been said in the Bible(ex. Nebuchadnezzar, Pontius Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea, Herod). For evidence of the Exodus see the Patterns of Evidence: Exodus movie.
  4. There are so many translations on the Bible that it can’t be true. Actually a translation makes no difference in the truth claims of the Bible. A translation is taking Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic and transforming the truth in it into English or some other modern day language. Translations that are accurate make the Bible easier to understand for the average person who has not studied Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic. This myth is a category error. It’s like saying 2+2=Delaware, Washington.
  5. There are so many interpretations of the Bible you can’t know what it means. Actually you can know what it means if you interpret it literally in its literal historical, grammatical context. It is so simple that a child can understand it. I started reading it at the age of 7. If you interpret the Bible according to your feelings or reason, then you wont be able to understand it. If you come to it humbly like a child to be mastered by it, you will be able to understand it.
  6. The Bible means whatever you want it to mean. Actually the Bible means whatever the authors want it to mean. You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you. If you are in danger and you cry out , “help!”, you don’t want people to interpret that to mean Beyoncé should be the next president of Honolulu. Its easy to tell what the author means when you look at the literal grammatical historical context.
  7. The Bible isn’t relevant to today’s culture. Actually this would only be true if the Bible wasn’t true. Jesus Christ is still Lord. People still are guilty for their sins. They still have to face judgement day. If they face judgement day without Christ, they will go to Hell. Jesus Christ died on a cross, paying the penalty for sin and rose from the dead. People must repent of their sin and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. These truths are still true and will be till Christ returns to judge the living and the dead.

We just exploded 7 Bible myths. I hope this has blessed you. Please feel free to look at the resource page to get resources on how to study the Bible. Please feel free to comment in the comment section. Please no pornography or cursing. Lord bless you.