Ebook Review.. Kinda… and maybe a little Blasphemy… You Decide.

Came across this new short 30 page ebook yesterday Click Here, and i read it through last night. Its well worth a read, not just because its free and short …. although those are two things are always worth a few brownie points. I wanted to talk a little about my response to this, because I spend a lot of time in scripture and find depth of reading very important.

Chapter 6 in this Ebook, covers a section of John, where Jesus is talking to his disciple. I’d like to address my response from this chapter. Let’s first do a little housekeeping…

The version of scripture you use drastically changes the verbiage of a verse. I believe the ebook is using NASB, I can generally tell that with how it deals with Greek to English pronouns. Now I’m a KJV user exclusively… but I’m not a KJV purists for reasons I’ll explain in a bit, but just know that there is radical differences between translations.

Let’s start with the ebook, it lists this verse as 15:12, and unless its not NASB and its using a different Verse to chapter system, I’m going to assume its a typo and its suppose to be 14:12 of the same chapter. No biggie, you should read my stuff… typo central, I promise ya lol.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

NASB- “….He who believes in me”

KJV “…. He that believeth on me”

Several others versions say “whosoever” witch changes the reading completely!!!!!!

My basic assertion with scripture, is that it not a history book, and we should not use it as such. Don’t get caught up on words like the Pharisees did with the law and miss the truth that is Christ. It’s a tool for the most high God to communicate with his children. Jesus was and still is the word (John is amazing), and so via the scripture we find truth. This truth comes through in all versions because his Word is translated to us by the holy spirt …. if we listen.

So yes, Jesus is talking to his disciple, yes the message is for them. I want to say that its foreshadowing them receiving the spirt after his resurrection. Does it mean we will be able to do greater things then Jesus as a church…. and this is my point…. it simply doesn’t matter, to think it does is pride. The only part of that verse that means anything to the Christian church is the last few words “.. Because I am going to the father”.

Blasphemy right? Well not really, the verse itself has lots of meaning in our day to day life. Jesus is the focus of this scripture, as he is the focus of every scripture from Genesis to the last chapter of revelations.

Because Jesus went to the father… I can share his message

Because Jesus went to the father…. I can comfort the sick

Because Jesus went to the father… I can help the poor

Ect…

He did these things well in his life, and we should do them in ours. Can we make the blind to see? No, only the father can, if we are part of it then to him is the glory. Can we make someone get out of a wheel chair? No, only the father can, if we are part of that then to him is the glory.

So the question is this, how does this verse work in ones life? From this verse one might take the following question.

“Because Jesus went to the father, how can I best serve him today to further his work”

This is what I see today where I’m at, with the question I have in my life. If I read this ten years from now it might be different. The Holy Ghost might have another meaning in your life right now. Read, research, pray and see what the message is for you. Not for the disciple 2000 years ago, Jesus is the word and his word is here to talk directly to you where your at, at this very moment.

After that stop, don’t attempt to put limits on almighty God. If he wants to use you to heal a blind man, he will. He could command you to walk into a retirement home and command everyone in wheelchairs to walk. Or he might just have you share the message of Christ to somebody on a park bench. It’s not our will that matters …. its his.

Thanks for writing the book, I recommend it to those who are interested in depth of scripture and are looking for a fast, free and interesting read.

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4 thoughts on “Ebook Review.. Kinda… and maybe a little Blasphemy… You Decide.”

  1. Hi Jerry. Thanks for your review and recommendation of my book. I appreciate your critique of this chapter as well, and I thank you for pointing the error in my verse reference. I’ve since put up another link to my book with the correction. With regards to translation usage, I’ve heard different sides of the issue and I’m humble enough to just simply say I don’t enough to definitively conclude one version is more right than the other.

    Having said that, while I understand why one would think “whosoever” would seem to change the meaning, I think there’s enough within the chapter that’s directly tied to the apostles who were around Jesus at the timing of these statements, I’d still lean towards it referring to the apostles even with that translation.

    Your point about me reading it this way turns scripture into a history book is interesting. I once had another person I was in discussion with about reading in context make that same claim as well. I don’t know you’re making the same assertion as she did that she concluded I think all scripture only applies to people 2000 years ago, but if you are, I would humbly correct you in saying I believe certain parts speak to Christians as a whole, and other parts speak to a specific people of a specific time for a specific purpose. That doesn’t mean that information can’t still be useful to us, as it does give us history as you note for one, but also it gives us insight into the connection between man and God. Though I caution in my book to find patterns of that and make sure those patterns tie with or don’t contradict direct instructions of Christians in scripture.

    Your point with reference to the pharisees doesn’t seem to tie with what scripture seems to express of what the Pharisees were being criticized of. The Pharisees were being criticized for being hypocritical. In living by the instructions of their faith, but not exhibiting the greater character qualities of their faith towards others. Matthew 23:23 states, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”

    One of my chapters in my book shows a list of verses that emphasizes the importance to God of understanding his word accurately and according to what it states, so I see doing my best to do that as honoring God. Did you think in the verses I pointed out in that chapter that it showed a pattern of emphasis to understand scripture closely to the way it’s stated?

    Thanks again for the review of the chapter. Peace in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “””Hi Jerry. Thanks for your review and recommendation of my book. I appreciate your critique of this chapter as well, and I thank you for pointing the error in my verse reference.”””

      Can you provide a new link I’d love to update my post so people can find the new version

      “””With regards to translation usage, I’ve heard different sides of the issue and I’m humble enough to just simply say I don’t enough to definitively conclude one version is more right than the other.”””

      Agreed, I find value in all translations. I use KJV but use comparisons to help me understand the different usages that people take from Greek. There are some amazing things I’ve found in translation from Greek. Servant and slave are very close to each other…. all slaves are servants but not all servants need be slaves. I recommend people use whatever they are comfortable with.

      “””Having said that, while I understand why one would think “whosoever” would seem to change the meaning, I think there’s enough within the chapter that’s directly tied to the apostles who were around Jesus at the timing of these statements, I’d still lean towards it referring to the apostles even with that translation.”””

      Based on the setting of the story, I can see where that could be said. I did a background search on the Greek word used in that and needles to say its just as muddy. I don’t disagree that the statement was made toward the apostles and not to the church as a whole. I do think we can find personal truth from it, otherwise it would not have been included in the cannon as inspired by God. If that makes any sense

      “””Your point about me reading it this way turns scripture into a history book is interesting. I once had another person I was in discussion with about reading in context make that same claim as well. I don’t know you’re making the same assertion as she did that she concluded I think all scripture only applies to people 2000 years ago, but if you are, I would humbly correct you in saying I believe certain parts speak to Christians as a whole, and other parts speak to a specific people of a specific time for a specific purpose. That doesn’t mean that information can’t still be useful to us, as it does give us history as you note for one, but also it gives us insight into the connection between man and God. Though I caution in my book to find patterns of that and make sure those patterns tie with or don’t contradict direct instructions of Christians in scripture.”””

      Agreed, on all parts. I don’t believe you are making a case that its only applicable to those it was said too. It would be interesting if you ever do a 2nd version of your book to see a chapter on how to apply biblical verses to your life that are directed at specific peoples. Like Pauls letters to the church’s, directed at specific people but with a wealth of knowledge for modern day at their heart.

      “””Your point with reference to the pharisees doesn’t seem to tie with what scripture seems to express of what the Pharisees were being criticized of. The Pharisees were being criticized for being hypocritical. In living by the instructions of their faith, but not exhibiting the greater character qualities of their faith towards others. Matthew 23:23 states, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”””

      Was a general statement not directed at you and not specific to that verse. Jesus pointed out several times that not only where they hypocritical but that they used the Law as a hammer regardless of truth. As an example when he corrected them that the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. I think we are saying the same thing here tho, and are agreeing to a common philosophy stated two different ways…… You be Paul and I’ll be Barnabas lol.

      “””Did you think in the verses I pointed out in that chapter that it showed a pattern of emphasis to understand scripture closely to the way it’s stated?”””

      Absolutely you did a great job showing the pattern, matter of fact I felt that was one of the best chapters in the book. I have always read around a verse but that reinforced my desire to pay special attention to who it was directed. That has actually helped me figure out a few things that I’ve been poking out in my writing. It does not change how I read scripture, but it helps me find the meaning inside of it to me.

      Thanks again for book, I look forward to reading more if you write more. As well as perhaps chatting back and forth on the blogs.

      Blessing to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. https://factbasedtruth.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/the-best-guide-to-interpreting-scripture1.pdf

        Yes, agreed on people using whatever they’re comfortable with, though I’m personally not a fan of NLT’s methodology of translation.

        What do you mean when you say “personal truth”?

        With regards to the epistles, I would suggest there’s a distinction in that in these writings were instructions that were directed to people who were in Christ. There are of course still things in those letters that were specific things written about that specific church that was written to at the time, such as in Philippians when Paul thanks them for their gifts. But also we have evidence these letters were circulated to different groups (Col 4:16), which would seem to me a suggestion that not all of the contents in the letter are necessarily just specifically directed to the specific church. 1 Corinthians 7:17 Apostle Paul even explicitly states something as being directed to all churches. So there are basically a lot of instructions that were written to people in Christ, that people in Christ can and should obey, and then there are specific things that are being referenced about the specific church being written to that’s just related to what was happening at the time. Which I think are usually clear to notice when Paul talks about specific people by name in the chapter or other things specific to that present time. Does that make sense?

        Ah, okay. Glad we’re in agreement on that.

        My question about personal truth will probably answer this question as well, but what do you mean by “meaning inside of it to you”?

        You’re welcome. Happy to continue the discussion.

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      2. My personal experience with scripture is very hard to put into words. I know that it makes some of the things I say hard to decipher. Here is what I mean tho, as best as I can say it.

        I have two ways to read scripture.

        I read it as a book designed to help me understand the history of the church and to bring me closer to God’s understanding of his walk with man. That is when i dive into what the Greek words there, and compare and contrast different view points. I research the stories behind not just what it says… but who wrote it… why they wrote it… what was their over all purpose of writing it… who where they talking to.. why did they chose those specific words… where did that verbiage come from?

        Mark is a perfect example, most of the gospel of mark could be called… “Christ life according to Peter as written down by Mark”.. although I do believe he was an eyewitness to Christ…. well to the the arrest in the garden anyway…. That is how I read and view Mark. I consider Pauls words, and who he is talking to and why… ect.. ect.. ect…

        Then there is how I read it when I’m coming before the father and asking him to show me his will. Then every verse I read leads me down a path to what I need to see. I find that no matter who is speaking to who, or about what. I find it in the punctuation between words, and in the gaps between chapters. I find it in my minds eye as I read scripture, looking at what is being said not as the people speaking but as a person standing off to one side listening to it being said, and breaking it down to my soul. In that place there is no pronouns, or history there is only me and God, and his word. His word is Jesus, and Jesus is his word and it was not written for anyone but me, and for those who’s name is written in the book, and every word and sentence is etched on my very soul. Its extremely personal too me, every dot and every period has eternal meaning.

        I can tell somebody what the history is to a verse, or what the customs where when it was written. I can argue about what the church is supposed to do, and what we are commanded to do. I can tell them the laws, and then have them watch me break the laws and the commandments event tho i dont want too.

        I cant show them my God tho, I cant take them with me and walk through the garden and sit at the feet of Christ as he asks my father to take his cup. I cant show them his cup is filled to the top with my sins. I cant take them to the foot of the cross and watch the God incarnate die nailed to a tree because I am weak, and sinful. I cant show them how I find my purpose in every divinely inspired and written word. I can show them “the” bible, but not “my bible”. I can tell them what each verse means to me, and what I take from it, I cant share with them the sweet joy of being a sinner shown mercy through his word. I cant show them how Gods word Is Christ, and how it was there before the very foundations of the earth, and the word walked with us and died on Calvary.

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