A more beautiful Gospel

Unwrathing the cross with Brad Jersak

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God:
Many of the tough questions that detract from the story of redemption and grace with a peace-loving God at the center (one who overcomes hate with love) are handled well in this series of messages. Brian Zahnd hits a lot of the big topics that have made the most skeptics in the world. Here

2 Timothy 3:16 translation

Frank Nelte (link here) says, “One point about 2 Timothy 3:16 that should immediately attract our attention is that THE GREEK TEXT OF THIS VERSE DOES NOT CONTAIN A SINGLE VERB!” He goes on to say, “The fact that the Greek text for this verse does not contain any verbs at all should immediately tell us that THE THOUGHT OF THIS SENTENCE CONTINUES IN THE NEXT VERSE. The translators really should have presented the texts of verses 16 and 17 as ONE VERSE. In fact, to my knowledge the Wycliffe New Testament is the only English language version that actually correctly presents these two verses as one verse.”

About his article he says, “It also reveals the story behind this very deliberate mistranslation, which was foisted upon an unsuspecting Christian world. It is a story that involves a Dutchman, a Frenchman, and an Englishman, a story that I believe has never before been adequately exposed to objective scrutiny. The deliberate mistranslation of this verse was essential for making a very specific claim that certain people wished to make.

The Greek adjective “theopneustos” should have been translated as the adjective “GOD-BREATHED” and NOT as the clause “IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD”.

He cites Adam Clarkes commentary who was a giant of a scholar in his day, even though he didn’t agree with Adam’s theological perspective and many of the interpretations he gave in his commentary. Still he credits him for his well read scholarship and quotes him, ”

Verse 16. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God”. This sentence is not well translated; the original “pasa graphe theopneustos ophilimos pros didaskalian, k. t. l.” should be rendered: “Every writing Divinely inspired is profitable for doctrine” etc. The particle “kai”, “and”, is omitted by almost all the versions and many of the fathers, and certainly does not agree well with the text.

The only words that precede “kai” in 2 Timothy 3:16 are one noun and two adjectives. That is why the literal English translation of the first four Greek words (i.e. “every God-breathed writing AND”) does not make any sense! A conjunction is totally inappropriate after the three Greek words “pasa graphe theopneustos”. NO WONDER ADAM CLARKE SAID THAT KAI CERTAINLY DOES NOT AGREE WELL WITH THE TEXT!

About the Greek translations that came largely from the Latin Vulgate, which was largely used to translate to English:

“Every single Greek text of the complete New Testament that is available today is to one degree or another a product of this eclectic method. There isn’t a single copy of a “pure” text available anywhere. This may be something some of us may not want to hear, but it is the truth nonetheless.” (eclectic method - an eclectic text is one that is based on selecting from amongst a number of variant readings found in different source documents for each specific verse or passage. It is typically, though not always, the majority opinion, selected from among variant readings for specific verses, that is then selected to become a part of the accepted “eclectic” Greek text that is produced)

Some of the translations that get closer:

-EVERY scripture inspired of God (is) also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. (2Ti 3:16 ASV, American Standard Version, 1901)

-for all divinely inspired writings are conducive to instruciton, to conviction, to reformation, and the practice of virtue (Mace New Testament translation-1729)

-EVERY scripture inspired of God (is) also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: (2Ti 3:16 ERV, English Revised Version of 1885)

It should be clear that unbiased scholars of Greek understand that in this verse “pasa graphe” without the article should be correctly translated as “EVERY scripture”. And that translation is then qualified by the attributive adjective “theopneustos”.

The inevitable consequence of this conclusion is that the Apostle Paul assuredly was not claiming that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God”! That is simply not what Paul was telling Timothy.


Another article here has a different take on things that broadens up the idea of what can be used to teach and instruct:

In all occurrences of graphe where the Holy Scriptures are meant, this word is preceded by the definite article: The Scriptures, but not in 2 Timothy 3:16. The only other exception happens in JOHN 19:37, where the definite article is replaced by the word another. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul has the word graphe precede by the word πασα, pasa, the feminine form of πας (pas), where also the familiar word pantos comes from. This root pas means all, with a clause of one-ness; the whole of something.

In 2 Timothy 3:15-16, Paul basically divides everything that has ever been written in two parts:

Holy Texts. These are those Texts that are able to make wise, even so wise that you will believe in Christ Jesus, which then leads to salvation.

The whole of all texts. These are any written word, from a Bible commentary to a Star Trek script to the TV guide.

Anything written can be used by anybody clever, creative or inspired enough to introduce the gospel or give an example of how things work or don’t. Language and specifically written language requires such an enormous degree of cooperation and convention that Paul rightly deems it θεοπνευστος (theopneustos) or “God-breathed”.

Familiar hymns of a vengeful Father

What Wondrous Love Is This

1 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?

2 When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

other verses are fine…


How Deep the Father’s Love For Us

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

Beauty will Save the World – Brian Zahnd

Russell Moore (Baptist theologian) says, ” Too often, and for too long, American ‘Christianity’ has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it.”

Brian talks about how messed up our vision of the purpose of the church became when we seized the tool of political pragmatism after Constantine established Christianity as the state religion. Political partisanship costs us our prophetic voice (a. Our mission is to be faithful as God’s alternative society…being the image of God and the expression of his love

Ezekiel 16 Jerusalem as a Prostitute

Although in prior chapters God appears to be demanding credit for the judgement and destruction that is coming on Jerusalem, laying the bones of their people around the destruction of their high places, Chapter 16 gives a peek at how far their wickedness had gone. God seemed to want to make it clear that he was responsible for what happened to his people, both blessing and punishment. Even though it wasn’t physically his hand but the hands of their enemies he wanted to make it clear that they knew he was behind it and he was their God. Is it possible God was “playing” a role he despised because of how pervasive and warped their evil had become…that he was stooping to use tactics of fear because it was the only emotion or influence they would respond to in their headlong pursuit of other gods (wanting desperately to be like other nations to the point of shocking even them with how exaggerated their behavior was). Rather than being an intended light to the nations displaying the glory of God they were an embarrassment to the nations displaying the most twisted and distorted forms of religion. In such brutal and tribal times was there another way for God to act?

Isn’t it perhaps a testament to the revolutionary influence of Christ over the ages that we can even sit here in our time perplexed by the violence of these old biblical accounts and even question whether scripture that describes the wrath of God is truly representing him…whether his prophets were truly speaking his very words rather than representing him the best they knew how. These are matters for deep reflection that perplex me. We truly need God’s Spirit to sift through the scriptures and to find the threads of the true spirit of Christ running through them.

Quote from Richard Beck blog

I take a cue here from the great William James. James once observed:
If this life is not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will. But it feels like a real fight.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:SE 13th Pl,Canby,United States

List of Biblical Paradoxes

excerpted from “the Gospel According to Moses” by Athol Dickson

Paradox of Fertility – God commands to be fruitful and multiply yet chooses barren women to birth his people…Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel. A nation born of barren wombs.

Paradox of Obedience – Abraham is commanded to sacrifice his son which contradicts God’s command not to commit murder. God condemns the act of building golden calf, a graven image (idol) yet commands them to melt down and fashion cherubim for the ark…also a bronze serpent to look upon. God commands Israelites not to seek revenge then orders them to destroy the Midianites in the name of vengeance. It seems to obey is to disobey at times.

Paradox of the Promise – God promises to “give” Canaan to Abraham but then he must pay dearly for a burial spot for Sarah and later Israelites must fight and die to take it. How could it be considered a gift when it must be bought with gold and lives?

Paradox of Blessing – God promises Abraham that “all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you and your offspring,” yet before entering the promised land he commands Abraham’s offspring to completely destroy the pagan people living there. That’s more of a curse for those people.

Paradox of Omnipresence – God is said to be omnipresent but the Torah is filled with descriptions of him coming and going on earth.

Paradox of the Red Heifer – throughout Mosaic law people must be ceremonially pure before they BRING sacrifices to the temple and priests must be purified before they can OFFER sacrifices at the temple. It’s clear sacrifices are to be made at the altar of the tabernacle only. BUT Numbers 19, the red heifer sacrifices reverses everything. It’s outside the camp, the priests must be purified after it and people are purified as a result of the offering.

Paradox of Justice and Mercy – Torah defines justice as “show no pity. Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth…” It is an unforgiving standard, yet elsewhere scripture tells us we should “act justly and love mercy”

New Testament paradoxes – p. 69 NT is full of Jesus’ paradoxical statements. Love God with all your heart…but them love your neighbor as you LOVE YOURSELF. They he commands them to HATE father, mother, wife and children, brothers, sisters, even his own life.

Warnings of Christ

John 5:24

24 ‘Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28 ‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Several questions to this mysterious text. Who are the dead who will hear and respond? What does “condemned” mean for those who have done evil? What does crossing over from death to life mean? is it a picture of eternal conclusion or present trajectories?

podcast on “the satan”

quote by Brad Jersak about conversation with his 9 year old son, out of the blue.
“Hey dad, demons aren’t fallen angels.”
“so who told you that.”
“well, Jesus did”
“so what are demons then”
“Jesus told me that demons are created by people out of the ashes of war, out of the things they desire that don’t belong to them, and out of the tears they make when they are afraid. So we create the demons out of those things, and then they take on a life of their own and turn on you and begin to torment you.”

the hairs on my neck stood up as it connected with so many things I’d been hearing from Michael Hardin, Wink and others. Things that make sense of our lives…on the one hand it is anthropological, but we’re also saying it is reality.