* 1,260 Days * 1 John 5:7, 8 * 2 Chronicles 36:21 * 2 Thessalonians 1:9 * 390 Days/Years

* Accepting a Repentant Sinner * Adoption as God’s Sons * Advocate, Helper, Comforter, or Savior? * Age, Eternal, Perpetual, Everlasting, Immortal, or Forever? * Age-long Fire * Amen * Animal Sacrifices * Anoint the ‘Most Holy’ or the ‘Holiest of the Holy?’ * Anointed * Anointing * Antichrists * Apostasy and Apostates * Ark or Chest? * ArtaXerxes * Astin

* BaAl, BeEl, Bel, and El * Babylon (the Great) * Bible Measurements * Bless or Praise? * Blest or Happy? * Bodily Divinity * Book of Enoch * Book of Judges * Bread on Water * Breath * Brothers and Sisters of Jesus

* Caesarea Philippi * Cain’s Wife * Called and Chosen * Camel or Rope? * Capitals in Bible Names * Captives and Gifts * Captives of Solomon * Cherubs * Chest of Proofs * ChoBar River * Christian * Cosmos, Arrangement, or World? * Cross or Pole? * Crowns, Turbans, and Diadems

* David Dancing Naked * Day * Day and Hour * Day of the Lord * Dedicated to Destruction * Demonized Man * Demons * Did Aaron Personally Make the Gold Calf? * Did an Angel Want to Kill Moses? * Did God Create Evil? * Dip or Sop of the Last Supper * Disgusting Destroyer * Dogs * Downpour * Dragon * Dragon’s Messengers

* Earning a Living from Religion * Eating Jesus’ Flesh and Drinking His Blood * Eating Meat * Eating with Unwashed Hands * Edem (or Eden) * Egyptian Law of Eminent Domain * Elder or Overseer * Empowering the Priests * Eroticism of the Bible * Esther * Eue, Euan, or Eve? * Eunuchs

* Faith * False Brothers * Fear or Respect? * Fool, Foolish, or Uncaring? * Footstool * Foreign Wives and Children * Foreskin * Fornication or Sexual Immorality? * Fountains or Springs? * Friends of the World * Funeral

* Gadflies or Stable Flies? * Galilee or Judea? * Garbage Dump * Gays and Men Who Have Sex with Men * Genesis 4:7 * gentiles, Nations, or Ethnics * Gnats or Fleas? * Gods * God’s Chosen People * Gog the Grasshopper King * Gospel Message * Gospel of Matthew

* Hades * HaMan * Hate, Dislike, or Care Less for? * Heavens or Sky, Earth or Land? * Hebrew Songs and Poetry * Hebrews, IsraElites, Jews, and Semites * Holidays * Homosexual Relationship Between JoNathan and David? * Homosexuality and Bestiality * Honest Judge * Hope of All Creation * Horeb * House to House? * House, Temple, or Palace? * How David Pictured Jesus * How Large Was Nineveh? * Hypocrite

* Image of DaniEl Chapter Two * Immediate Resurrection to Heaven? * ’In’ * Incest * In the Name Of * Is Jesus God? * Isaiah 14:12 * IsraEl’s Sin Over Meat

* James (Half-brother of Jesus) * JeremiAh 31:37 * JeremiAh 37:5 * Jesus’ Last Words as a Mortal * Jesus’ Fleshly Brothers and Sisters * Jew * Job * John * Judging the Angels * Judging the Twelve Tribes of IsraEl * Judging Your Brothers * Judgment Day

* Kainan * Kill or Murder? * Kingdom

* Lachish * Lake of Fire * Lamp Stands of Revelation * Land of RaMesses or Gesem (Goshen)? * Large Crowd * Last Days * Last Lamb * Laying the Temple Foundation * Leprosy * Lesson in Humility * Living Creatures or Animals? * Lottery or Lot * Lord’s (Our Father) Prayer * Love and Brotherly Love * Luke

* Making Fun * Man of Lawlessness * Mandrake Apples * Manna * Mark * Mark 7:19 * Marriage in the Resurrection? * Mary from Magdala * Matthew 25:1 * Matthew 27:9 * Matthew 27:52, 53 * Meaning of Psalm 45 * Meeting of the Lord In the Air * Men Who Have Sex With Men * Messengers * MichaEl * Milk of God’s Word * Missing Ancestor of Jesus * Mistreatment of Women * MordecAi * Morning Star * Moses’ Sin at the Rock * Moses’ Wife * Mystery

Nahum; the Prophet to the Kurds? * Naos * Never Die? * New JeruSalem * Nicolaitans * Noble Bereans

* One-Woman Man

* Paradise * Parvaim or Pharaoh Aim? * Paul’s Letters * People or Men? * Period of the Judges * Perfect Lamb * Perfect Priests * Peter * Phantom * Pharisees * Poor in Spirit * Poor Widow * Potter’s Field * Prayer * Pronunciation of C and CH in Greek Words * Proof of Virginity * Propitiatory * Purim

* Ransom * Religious Titles * Reptiles and Birds * Resurrection * Resurrection of the Righteous * Revelation 20:5 * Revelation and Truth * Rhinoceros * Rich Man and Lazarus * Rulers of Persia and Greece

* Salt * Salvation * Satan, Devil, Lucifer, BeElZebub * Science and Inspiration * Scroll or Book of Life * Scroll or Sickle? * Seating in the Heavens * Seed * Seismos * Servants * Seven Congregations * Seven Stars * Seventy Weeks * Sexual Immorality * Should Christians Agree on Everything? * Signal of Release * Sin of Aaron’s Sons * Sixty-Five Years? * Soldier in a War * Sons of God * Sor or Tyre? * Soul * Space, Expanse, or Firmament? * Spanking * Spiritism * Spirits in Prison * Spiritual Jews * Star of Raiphan * Stumble or Trap? * Subjection * Swearing * Synagogue

* Tar Pits or Slime Pits? * Tarshish; Spain or Carthage? * Ten ‘Lost’ Tribes of IsraEl * Tent * Tent of Proofs * Terah’s Age When Abram Was Born * The Dead * The Word * Thirty Years * This was the Scroll #1 * This was the Scroll #2 * Thousand Years or Thousands of Years? * Three Kings * Time of Difficulty * TO the East or FROM the East? * Tree of Life * Two Witnesses

* Undeserved Kindness or Caring? * Unforgivable Sin?

* Vision of DaniEl Chapter Eight

* Was Moses Alone on the Mountain With God? * Whale or Large Fish? * When Men are In Charge of the Earth * Who are ‘the Other Sheep?’ * Who Was Ochozath? * Who Wrote Hebrews? * Who Wrote the Book of Judges? * Why Were IsraEl’s Leaders Afraid of Dying? * Wild Animals of DaniEl Seven * Wild Animals of Revelation * Woman and Her Seed * Women Not Allowed to Speak? * Won’t Love Their Families * Words of Judgment * Worshiping God in Spirit and Truth

* Zeal



1,260 Days

In the Revelation, you’ll read of three periods that each represents 3-1/2 years according to the Hebrew calendar. They are:

1.   Revelation 11:1, 2:
‘Now, go measure God’s Holy Place, its Altar, and those who are bowing low there. Pay no attention to the courtyard outside the Holy Place… don’t measure it, because it has been given to the nations and they’re going to trample the Holy City under their feet for forty-two months.’

2.   Revelation 11:3:
‘Then I’m going to have my two witnesses prophesy for one thousand, two hundred and sixty days wearing sackcloth.’

3.   Revelation 12:6:
‘And the woman escaped into the desert… to a place that God had prepared for her, where she was to be fed for a thousand two hundred and sixty days.’

4.   Revelation 12:14:
‘However, the woman was given the two wings of a huge eagle so she could fly to her place in the desert where she will be fed for a time, times, and half a time, and where the snake couldn’t reach her.’

We find the same prophetic periods mentioned in the book of Daniel (7:25), for there we read:
‘He will then speak grandiose words
And mislead the Holy Ones of the Most High.
He’ll be allowed to change laws and times
For a time, [two] times, and a half.’ (1+2+1/2=3-1/2)

What does all of this signify? We don’t wish to enter such fields of speculation as others have done in the past. However, note the following:

3-1/2 days (or ‘times’) is exactly half of a week; so, the prophetic period seems to indicate half of a period that is started but then completed later… the second half of a week.

Take for example, the ministry of Jesus. It lasted for exactly three-and-a-half years; and thereafter, it appears as though there were three-and-a-half years between his death and the conversion of the first gentiles. So in this case, the periods seem to be speaking of the time during which the kingdom was offered to the Jews exclusively, and then how long it would be thereafter before the opportunity would be offered to others (the nations, ethnics, or gentiles).

Also note that this ‘week’ of two 3-1/2 year periods seems to correspond to the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy to Peter about his having been given ‘the keys to the Kingdom,’ since he was the person who explained the outpouring of God’s Spirit on the Jews at Pentecost of 33 CE and later about the outpouring of God’s Spirit on the gentiles (with the conversion of Cornelius and his family).

Of course, the three-and-a-half years of Jesus’ ministry were also his last appeals to the people of JeruSalem before they were to be totally rejected. And then, almost 40 years elapsed between the start of his ministry and the time when JeruSalem was actually destroyed.

But you can see that there’s another possible three-and-a-half-year period that led up to the fulfillment of that rejection, which started in 66-CE when the Roman armies first attacked JeruSalem. For history tells us that the Romans mysteriously withdrew to fight another battle (allowing Christians to flee the city per the instructions of Jesus), and they thereafter returned to destroy the city, its priesthood, and its Temple (its entire way of worship) about 3-1/2 years later, in 70-CE.

Also note that there may be another half of a week between the fall of Jerusalem and the final conquest of Masada (70 to 74-CE).

So, it appears as though these 3-1/2 year periods made up just half of a whole number. And if so, where we can identify a 3-1/2 year beginning period in a prophecy, we might also find a later 3-1/2 year ending period.

1 John 5:7, 8

In several other Bibles, 1 John 5:7, 8 reads:
‘There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.’
However, Bible manuscripts that were written prior to the Eleventh Century CE (AD) read quite differently. Therefore, it appears as though someone who wanted to provide scriptural backing for the ‘Trinity Doctrine’ changed this verse about 1,000 years after John penned his Gospel.

As you can see from the context of John the Fifth Chapter, the three witness-bearers of Jesus are the water (baptism), the Holy Spirit (gr. PneumaBreath), and his shed blood. So, changing the water, the Spirit, and the blood to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost would make the rest of what John wrote illogical.

For more information, see how these words are translated in other Bibles.

2 Chronicles 36:21 (Contributed)

At 2 Chronicles 36:21, the Septuagint speaks of the land fulfilling its ‘Sabbaths.’ However, the Hebrew word that is used there is shavta, which really means, ‘rest.’ So, the Masoretic (Hebrew) text of 2 Chronicles 36:21 reads:
‘To fulfill Jehovah’s Word by JeremiAh until the ground pays off all its days of desolation, the ground will rest (heb. shavta) until seventy years are fulfilled.’

There is a special expression in the Hebrew, which means to observe or keep the Sabbath; it is ‘lishmor shabat,’ and this is not found in the Hebrew text here.

Why is this small detail important? It appears as though some have tried to twist the words in order to create some compromise between what the Bible says and secular chronology, which chronology is far from being 100% accurate. They are trying to convince us that the land was actually desolated for 49/50 years and not for 70 years. Yet this contradicts the Bible, because Daniel 9:2 reads:
‘I DaniEl came to understand the number of the years from the words that Jehovah had given to the Prophet JeremiAh, for there He prophesied that JeruSalem would lie desolate for seventy years.

Notice that the word ‘desolate’ here, is translated from the Hebrew word horvot (plural), which means, ‘in ruins.’ So, JeruSalem was in a total state of ruin for seventy years.

2 Thessalonians 1:9

The precise wording and meaning of 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is a bit difficult to determine, and we have chosen to deviate from the thoughts expressed in other Bibles for the following reason: In Greek the verse reads:
‘oitenes diken tisousin holethron aionion apo prosopou tou kyriou kai apo tes doxes tes iskous autou,’
‘which/ones justice will/pay ruin age-long from face of/the Lord and from the glory of/the strength of/him.’

In the New American Standard Bible (for example), this verse is rendered as:
‘These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.’
And this, as you can see, is an obvious mistranslation; for not only does the word aionion not mean eternal, but being eternally destroyed is inconsistent with the thought of being sent away from the face of the Lord and from his glory and strength. In other words, the sentence as it is rendered in that Bible just doesn’t make any sense.

What Paul appears to have meant is that those who are persecuting faithful Christians will suffer the ruin of being sent away from the face of the Lord and his glory and strength for ages of time, not that they would be eternally destroyed. So, we have rendered this verse as reading:
‘[His] justice will repay them with age-long ruin away from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his strength.’
And notice that ‘age-long’ is a much more accurate translation of the Greek word aionion.

Also notice how at 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8, the proper translation of the Greek word ourano (sky, not heaven) better indicates when this justice will happen. For there we read:
‘And it is a righteous thing for God to repay those who are persecuting you by crushing them, while providing relief to you who are suffering this persecution (and to us also) when the Lord Jesus is revealed in the sky with his powerful messengers in a flaming fire. Then he’ll bring vengeance upon all those who don’t know God and those who aren’t obeying the good news about our Lord Jesus.’

As you can see, this ‘crushing’ doesn’t happen immediately (they are not sent to ‘Hell’), but rather, it will happen after the sign of Jesus is seen in the skies, or when he arrives during the ‘last days’ of this wicked world.

390 Days/Years

In EzekiEl the Fourth Chapter, the Prophet was told to lie on his left side for 390 days to show the number of years (a day per year) it would be from the time that the 10-tribe nation of IsraEl had started in rebellion against God until it was to be destroyed, and he was to lie on his right side for 40 more days to signify how long it would be until JeruSalem would be destroyed by the Babylonians for its rejection of the true God.

The mistake that most people make here is in assuming that the 40 years is added to the 390 years, for a total of 430 years. However, our Bible-based calculations show that in fact, the 40 years is the last part of the 390-year period.

Then, what did the final 40 years of this 390-year prophecy signify? It is thought that this final portion of this period (before JeruSalem’s destruction) started with the finding of the scroll of God’s Law during the time of righteous King JosiAh, in the eighteenth year of his reign; for this appears to have been God’s final warning to Judah.

Notice the chronology and the linked scriptures:

Kings of IsraEl:
JeroBoam 22-yrs (1 Kings 14:20)
Nadab 2-yrs (1 Kings 15:25)
BaAsha 24-yrs (1 Kings 15:33)
ElAh 2-yrs (1 Kings 16:8)
Zimri 7 days (1 Kings 16:15)
Tibni (brief period)
Omri 12-yrs (1 Kings 16:23)
Ahab 22-yrs (1 Kings 16:29)
AhaziAh 2-yrs (1 Kings 22:52)
JehoRam 12-yrs (2 Kings 3:1)
Jehu 28-yrs (2 Kings 10:36)
JehoAhaz 17-yrs (2 Kings 13:1)
JehoAsh 16-yrs (2 Kings 13:10)
JeroBoam 41-yrs (2 Kings 14:23)
ZechariAh .5-yrs (2 Kings 15:8)
ShalLum 1 month (2 Kings 15:13)
Menahem 10-yrs (2 Kings 15:17)
PekahJah 2-yrs (2 Kings 15:23)
Pekah 20-yrs (2 Kings 15:27)
HosheA 9-yrs (2 Kings 17:1)
= 242-yrs.

Kings of Judah:
Hoshea starts his reign in Ahaz’s 12th year (2 Kings 17:1) and ruled for 9 years before IsraEl was destroyed in the 6th year of King HezekiAh’s 29-yr reign, which lasts 23 more years (2 Kings 18:1-12)
ManasSeh 55-yrs (2 Kings 21:1)
Amon 2-yrs (2 Kings 21:19)
JosiAh 31-yrs (2 Kings 22:1)
JehoAhaz 3 months (2 Kings 23:31)
JehoiAkim 11-yrs (2 Kings 23:36)
JehoiAchin 3 months (2 Kings 24:12)
ZedekiAh 11-yrs (2 Kings 24:18)
23+55+2+31+11+1+11= 134-yrs
242+134=376 years total

As you can see, this doesn’t add up to 390 years (14 years short). However, understand that the numbers shown above include whole years, yet the kings actually died somewhere in the middle of those years. Also, if you compare the times given for the reigns of IsraEl’s kings to those of the kings of Judah, you will find some errors. For when we work the dates back using just the length of reigns that are given for the kings of Judah, they add up to about 400 years from the same starting point (10 years more than 390 years). So, it seems as though the only reliable reference is the prophecy that God gave, which says 390 years (and we suspect that He really knew the answer).

Accepting a Repentant Sinner

In Second Corinthians Chapter Two, we read of how the first recorded case of the official congregational discipline of a member who was guilty of serious wrongdoing worked out. This had to do with a man in the congregation at Corinth, Greece, who had taken his father’s wife as his own. As the result, Paul (at 1 Corinthians 5:11) told the congregation to judge the matter and to remove the sinner.

Then in Second Corinthians, we read a follow-up letter that was likely written just a few months later, which indicates the positive results from following Paul’s recommended action, because Paul wrote (at Second Corinthians 2:6, 7):
‘For, the discipline that the majority of you gave this man was sufficient. Therefore, kindly forgive him and comfort him now, so that he won’t somehow be swallowed up by his deep sadness… yes, I’m telling you to let him know that you love him!’

Notice that:

1.   The punishment (gr. epitimia – on/value) that was given (and which was approved by Paul) lasted just a few months

2.   This action apparently wasn’t supported by the whole congregation – ’the majority (gr. pleionon – more ones) of you reached’ – but no action was recommended against those who didn’t agree with the measures

3.   Paul was especially concerned about the individual and wanted him to be forgiven, comforted, and shown love.

The fact is, imperfect men tend to be harsh and unloving when dealing with others whom they consider to have ‘broken the rules.’ However, Paul really believed in the type of love that he wrote about at 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (in his previous letter), so he didn’t recommend any further actions or restrictions, nor did he warn against any expressions of joy when the man was welcomed back into the congregation, despite the fact that the offense appears to have been particularly grievous and notorious.

Also notice that Paul made no further mention of this matter thereafter. He simply concludes by saying (at 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11):
‘And when I forgive someone through you before the Anointed One (if I ever have anything to forgive), it’s so that none are lost to the Opposer, because we know how he operates.’

So, Paul’s primary concern in this second letter was not about how to continue the correction and discipline, but with consoling the offender, so he would remain steadfast in the congregation and he wouldn’t be lost to the Opposer.

Adoption as God’s Sons

Throughout the Christian Era Scriptures (NT) we read of the hope that some had of being adopted as sons of God and ruling with Jesus. When does this ‘adopting’ actually happen, what are its results, and how can we know if we’ve been adopted by God? Well, notice Paul’s words at Romans 8:15:
‘And you didn’t receive a spirit of bondage to fear again; you received a spirit of adoption, by which we can call out, Papa! Father!

From this we can see that such individuals first received God’s Spirit or Breath, and then it ‘adopted’ them as God’s sons.

What we know as a fact is that in the days of the Apostles, whenever Christians received God’s Holy Breath, it was manifested in ways that others could actually see. Therefore, this adoption appears to have imparted the value of a spiritual life to the individual. For notice that Paul also referred to such ones as being a ‘new creation’ at Galatians 6:15:
‘Circumcision isn’t anything, nor is uncircumcision. Rather, [what matters is becoming] a new creation (gr. kaine ktesis)!’

Then, once a person received this adoption, he or she was said to have become a fellow ‘heir’ with Jesus. As Romans 8:17 says:
‘And if we’re [His] children, we’re also [His] heirs… yes, heirs of God and heirs with the Anointed One!’

Heirs of what? You will find this discussed in the linked document, God’s Promise of an Inheritance.

Are there any special requirements for receiving spiritual adoption? Notice that Paul added at Romans 8:17:
However, we have to suffer together so we can also be glorified together.

History tells us that suffering a violent death or being greatly persecuted for their faith was true of all the Apostles, and many (if not all) of the rest of the adopted sons from the First Century down to this day. So we might ask: Is such violent physical suffering required for all who have this hope?

Well, consider what Revelation 6:11 says:
‘Then they were each given a white robe and they were told to take it easy just a little while longer until the full number of their fellow slaves and brothers was filled (who were going to be killed, as they were).’

Yet, nobody can say for sure that all who are adopted as His sons must suffer greatly, for this is in the hands of God.

When does this ‘choosing’ happen? It appears as though it doesn’t necessarily happen at the time of baptism. For example, in the case of the first gentile converts to Christianity (Cornelius and his family), such selection (if we can assume that receiving God’s Breath or Spirit was an indication of their being chosen) happened even before they were baptized! On the other hand, on Pentecost of 33-CE, many individuals received God’s Breath long after they had been baptized.

Notice that Galatians 3:26, 27, says:
‘The fact is, you’re all sons of God because of your faith in the Anointed Jesus.’

Therefore, it appears as though ‘becoming one’ with or ‘being in’ Jesus and becoming ‘sons of God’ occurs whenever God selects them. However, it is possible that their actual adoption comes upon the death of their fleshly bodies. Paul seems to indicate this when he wrote at Romans 8:23, 24:
‘Those of us who have received the first fruitage of [God’s] Breath groan within ourselves as we await the adoption and [payment of] the ransom to free our bodies. Yes, this is the hope that’s saving us!’

Advocate, Helper, Comforter, or Savior?

The Greek word ParaCletos (pronounced: para-kleh-tose), as found at John 16:7, has been translated many ways in other Bibles, and we aren’t implying that these other translations are wrong. However, the two words that make up this single combined word are para (next to) and cletos (caller); so, this combination of words appears to refer to an entity that stands next to us and calls out to God on our behalf.

An online search for other meanings of ParaCletos turned up the word Lawyer, which implies someone who represents us legally, but we have chosen to use the friendlier term Advocate wherever it is found (such as at 1 John 2:1, 2).

Notice how translating the word ParaCletos as Advocate seems to be supported by Paul’s words at Romans 8:26, 27, where he wrote:
‘The [Holy] Spirit also helps us with our weaknesses, because we don’t always know what to pray for. However, the Spirit is there, groaning the words [that we] haven’t spoken. And the One who searches hearts knows the thoughts of the Spirit; because, like a god, he’s an advocate for the holy ones.

Another view of the meaning of ParaCletos comes from an Aramaic translator who says that the word is of Aramaic origin, and means Savior, or, Another Savior. And we will allow that this quite different translation could be correct; because, we know that Jesus likely spoke Aramaic to his Jewish disciples.

One argument that we found online presented Jesus as being the ParaCletos, because he was called the paraclete at 1 John 2:1, 2. However, the words of Jesus himself at John 16:7 seem to dispel that theory, for he said:
‘If I didn’t go away, the Advocate wouldn’t come to you. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.’
In Greek this reads literally:
If/ever for not I/should/go/off the ParaCletos not not would/come toward you. If/ever but I/should/go I/shall/send him toward you.’

However, if Jesus was the ParaCletos, he would simply have said, ‘I will come to you.’ Therefore, we must assume that the reference to Jesus being the ParaCletos in First John was not implying that Jesus was the Holy Spirit, but that this is a simple reference to the fact that Jesus is also our advocate before God.

Of course, much has been made of Jesus’ use of the personal pronoun, he and him, when speaking of the ParaCletos or the Holy Spirit. This is because some, in an attempt to tie him (or it) into a triune relationship with God and Jesus, like to speak of the ParaCletos as a third personality within The God. This is why the use of the word him in these cases is a hotly-debated topic between Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians.

Then, what is the ParaCletos? Well, the answer is simply unclear (not enough information in the Scriptures), so we choose not to reach a conclusion (we like to leave jumping to conclusions to others).

Could the ParaCletos be a person? That is strongly indicated by what Jesus said as recorded at John 16:13-16. For there we read:
‘However, when that one (the Spirit of Truth) arrives, he will lead you to all truth. He won’t be speaking from himself; he’ll just tell you what he hears, and he will announce the things that are coming. That one will glorify me, because he will receive things from me and announce them to you.

So, yes! It does sound like this particular Holy Spirit could be a person. However, there are places in the Bible where good qualities (such as Wisdom) are also personified. Therefore, it is difficult to reach a firm conclusion on whether Jesus was saying that this Spirit was another powerful individual. For there are other indications that it is the power (or Spirit) of Jesus. Notice for example, Paul’s words at Romans 8:9, 10, where he wrote:
‘However, if God’s Breath lives in us, we aren’t fleshly but spiritual… and whoever doesn’t have the Spirit of the Anointed One doesn’t belong to him. So if the Anointed One is in you, your body is indeed dead through sin, but the spirit is alive through righteousness.’

It or Him? It’s important to recognize that the Holy Spirit that was poured out upon Christians on Pentecost 33-CE was something quite different from the Holy Spirit that the Apostles already had. Remember that the scriptures tell us that Jesus had previously given them Holy Spirit when he sent them out to preach sometime before his death. Also remember that the Apostles were able to heal and to cast out demons by the Spirit! So, the ParaCletos is clearly not the same as the Holy Spirit that they had received earlier and which allowed them to perform great works prior to Pentecost!

Therefore, since Jesus’ Apostles already had God’s Spirit or Breath (as did many ancient Prophets and leaders), we might assume that this Advocate (ParaCletos), which arrived on Pentecost of 33-CE, was the Spirit of Jesus, and that it performed in even more powerful ways on behalf of early Christians, literally calling out to God on their behalf and making them one with Jesus. However, at Acts 1:4, this Spirit or Breath was said to have come from the Father, which leaves such a conclusion unclear.

Notice that Jesus gave a further description of this special Spirit at John 14:16, where he called it the Spirit of Truth. And at Acts 1:5, Jesus said that his disciples would be baptized in it. So, similar to the visible outpouring of God’s Spirit (or Breath) on Jesus at his baptism (which appears to be the point of his anointing and receiving special powers); the outpouring of Holy Spirit on Pentecost appears to be the time when the disciples were anointed, given special powers, and it is when they were born from above (John 3:3).

Age, Eternal, Perpetual, Everlasting, Immortal, or Forever?

According to the King James Bible, Psalm 37:29 says:
‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.’
And the Jubilee Bible 2000 says:
‘The righteous shall inherit the earth and live upon it for ever.’
Is this what King David actually wrote in his Psalm (sacred hymn)? No, it isn’t.

There are really only two words that imply infinite states (such as ‘forever’) in the Bible; one is the Greek word athanasia (undying), which is only found in two places, 1 Corinthians 15:53, where it mentions resurrected ones as clothing themselves with immortality, and at 1 Timothy 6:16, where Paul speaks of Jesus alone as having it.

The other Greek word is aidios, which is used at Romans 1:20 to describe God’s Power and Might as eternal, and at Jude 6, when speaking of the perpetual state of gloomy darkness to which rebellious angels have been confined.

However, the Greek word aionos, which is used throughout the Bible in various conjugated forms and is often translated as eternal and forever, is where we get the English word eon. It means an indefinite period, and there is no exact English word to translate it. The best equivalents are age or era.

Where the singular form (aionos) is used, this appears to mean a period such as a lifetime, generation, or era. And where the plural form of the word (aiōnōn) is used, it refers to a longer time… at least multiple generations. Also, where the term ages of the ages is used (such as at Ephesians 3:21), which is usually said in reference to The God, we would assume that this truly means forever. And where the term, ‘ton aiona tou aionos’ (the age of the age) is used (extensively in the Psalms), it may refer to a coming better age for mankind.

It is easy to see why it is so important to translate these words correctly, for in the many prophecies of the ancient prophets about cities, peoples, and lands, we often find that these were to be destroyed for a portion of time, not forever, as other Bible say. So when others translate these words wrong and these places are later rebuilt and/or re-inhabited, the mistranslations make the Bible appear to be in error.

It is noteworthy that aionos is the also word that is used in the Greek Septuagint to translate several Hebrew words that are commonly rendered in modern Bibles as forever. However, this one word (aionos) and the several Hebrew words have also been translated into English as everlasting, eternal, system of things, time indefinite, [end of] the world, long ago, from of old, etc., in other Bibles. Obviously, something is very wrong here, because these words can’t mean a period having a definite end in one place and infinity in another.

Take for example, the unique way that aionos is used in the question that Jesus’ Apostles are said to have asked him at Matthew 24:3 (NLT):
‘Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?’

Notice that aionos is translated as world here in many Bibles. However, another Bible (NW) translates it as system of things. But if the Apostles had meant either of these when they asked him the question, they would have used the proper Greek word cosmos (world, system of things, or arrangement), not aionos.

Another good example of the common mistranslation of ‘aionos’ can be found at Acts 3:21, where other translators have rendered it as, ‘long ago,’ ‘ancient times,’ ‘from the beginning,’ ‘since the world began,’ ‘since beginning of the world,’ and ‘since time began.’ If you look at this application (click on the links above), you will clearly see that aionos cannot be translated as ‘eternal,’ ‘everlasting,’ or ‘forever’ here. Therefore, we have correctly translated it as ‘age’ in this instance, as in, ‘the age of the Prophets.’

And this is also true of the Apostles’ use of the word aionos at Matthew 24:3 (if they really said this at all). They weren’t asking when forever, everlasting, or eternal would come to a conclusion, nor were they asking when the world or system of things would end. Rather, they would have been asking when that particular age, or period in which they were living, or the age of God’s dealing only with the Jews was about to end… which happened shortly thereafter with the destruction of JeruSalem and the Temple.

Yet, there are instances when some forms of the word could imply forever, such as when we find it in the form (aiōnōn). This is an adjective in the singular case, which, when combined with the Greek word zoe (in its various forms) is usually translated in other Bibles as, everlasting life. But notice that this isn’t a totally-accurate description.

In the past we had tried to reconcile the words zoe aiōniōn as meaning, life in the age. However, the word age in this instance would not be an adjective; so we have recently chosen (in most cases where we find this word combination) to translate them more accurately as age-long life, which we will agree could mean everlasting life.

However, notice that the various ways that this word (aionos) has been mistranslated into English well illustrates the reason why this Bible was created. As it can clearly be seen in this case; most Bibles have been translated in ways that would promote existing religious doctrines, not in ways that would accurately reflect the true meanings of the words in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. And when this happens, it creates a ‘Catch 22’ situation for the religions that use, sponsor, and promote the use of such Bibles. For the practice of verifying false doctrines through dishonest translating tends to permeate false doctrines!

And while we will admit that our translating of aionos as age doesn’t really create a great change in how we understand God’s purposes for righteous mankind; it does well illustrate how other words have been twisted by Bible translators to imply things that the ancient Bible texts never implied.

For more information, see the linked Scriptural Commentary, ‘Does the Bible Promise Everlasting Life?’ and the commentary, ‘Aion and Olam.’

Age-long Fire

In Jude verse seven, we read of how the people of Sodom, GomorRah, and their surrounding cities were condemned to age-long fire (gr. pyros aioniou). This term is usually translated in other Bibles as eternal fire, and it has long been understood to be speaking of Hell Fire. Is eternal burning in the fires of Hell the fate of such bad people?

The problem with the common teaching that people’s souls don’t die but are tortured eternally for their sins, is that such ones must first have something that is ‘immortal’ and doesn’t die. However, the Greek word for immortality (athanasia or undying) only appears in the Bible three times. If you read these scriptures, you will find that 1 Timothy 6:16, for example, speaks of Jesus as being immortal, and 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54 tells us that God offers immortality as a reward to the faithful.

So, there is no place where the Bible ever speaks of sinners as being immortal or of having ‘immortal souls.’

Then, what is the fate of unrepentant sinners? For the answer to this question, we must return to the words of God when He warned the first human (Adam) of what would happen should he choose to disobey. At Genesis 2:17 He said:
‘You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Bad. Because, on whatever day you eat from it, your life will end and you will die.’

Therefore, notice that no ‘immortal soul’ or ‘Hell Fire’ was implied there.

However, did God later create a Hell Fire and give men immortal souls so He could thereafter torture them eternally for their sins? Notice God’s warning at Romans 6:23, where we read:
For the wage of sin is death; but God’s gift is age-long life through the Anointed Jesus, our Lord.’

As you can see, God’s gift to the righteous is age-long life (gr. zoe aionos). But the wage of unrepented sins is simply death (gr. thanatos).

Then, what did Jude mean when he spoke of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah as being condemned to ‘age-long fire?’ The answer to this is found at Revelation 20:14, where we read:
‘The lake of fire symbolizes the second death.’

So, it appears as though death without the hope of a resurrection may have been the fate of those gross sinners who were killed by God when He rained fire down on them from the sky.

Yet, notice that the actual wording could mean that they will be gone for just a very long time. This is indicated by what Jesus told his Apostles as recorded at Matthew 10:14, 15:
‘Wherever people don’t take you in or listen to your words; on leaving that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. I tell you the truth; On the Judgment Day, it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom and GomorRah than for that city.’

So, he seems to have been saying that those people may actually be resurrected during the Judgment Day.

For more information, see the linked document, ‘Is There a Burning Hell?


‘Amen’ is a Hebrew word that was never really translated into English, it was just Anglicized. In Greek it is pronounced, ah-main. The reason why it was never translated is that through the centuries, scholars have been afraid to change this supposed ‘magical’ word that ensures God will listen to our prayers. And although there is no record in the Bible of anyone ending prayers with amen, it was likely said. For, the fact that others who heard a congregational prayer said amen at the end to show that they agreed, is indicated by Paul’s words at 1 Corinthians 14:16.

However, notice that all other instances of the use of the word amen in the Bible (especially by Paul) were to affirm that what he was writing was true. And that’s the literal meaning and best translation of the word, amen… ‘May it be so.’

Then, should Christians end their prayers with the word amen, or with the phrase, may it be so? It really makes no difference. In fact, neither really has to be said for God to hear the prayer or for Him to understand that it is being concluded (God is smarter than that). However, an audible ‘amen’ (or, ‘may it be so’) at the conclusion of a public prayer indicates that the prayer has ended and that we agree with the words that were spoken.

You will notice several places in this Bible where we have left the word amen unchanged; for example, at Revelation 3:14, where Jesus was referred to symbolically as ‘the Amen,’ or as the ‘the one who causes things to be.’

Animal Sacrifices

Many religious teachers have tried to draw a line between Jehovah, ‘the vengeful, warring God of the Old Testament,’ and the ‘God of the New Testament,’ as represented by the loving, kind actions and words of Jesus. However, if you pay close attention to the details, you’ll find the same kind, loving God in both portions of the Bible. And this can be seen in His requirement for animal sacrifices.

The first mention in the Bible of an animal being sacrificed to God, is the one that was offered by Adam’s second son Abel. And though both he and his brother Cain offered sacrifices, Abel’s was the one that God found to be satisfactory. Why? Well, it has been argued that Abel’s sacrifice was more pleasing to God because he offered a living thing, which better represented the sacrifice that God Himself would make when He offered His son’s life on behalf of mankind. And this may be true. However, we are told at Hebrews 11:4:
It was because of his faith that Abel offered a greater sacrifice to God than did Cain.’
So, this seems to be saying that God preferred Cain’s faith in making the offering rather than his having a miraculous foreknowledge of future events.

Of interest though, are God’s instructions about how such sacrifices were thereafter to be presented. For example, to show that they were being offered to God, some sort of Altar had to be constructed. What kind? Notice that when laying out the Old Law, God said (at Exodus 20:24):
‘You must make an Altar to Me from the dirt
So, nothing fancy or expensive was required. Then sometime later, He said (at Exodus 20:25):
‘Now, if you build a stone Altar to Me, don’t use cut stones.’
And at Exodus 20:26 we read:
Nor should you build any steps to My Altar.
So, the Altar wasn’t to be too high, and simple rock (or dirt) construction was fine.

Of course, shortly thereafter, God told Moses to build the Sacred Tent, and it was also to have an Altar. And while the Tent must have been beautiful in all its gold and silver ornamentation and utensils, the Altar was to be short, quite small, and made of wood and brass… because it was to be portable. So, the fires were to be kept small, and only animal fat and small organs (plus bread, wine, and tiny amounts of animal blood) were to be offered there.

Then, only ‘clean’ or ‘perfect’ animals were to be brought there, and the edible flesh was to be roasted or boiled nearby. ‘Clean,’ of course, meant that it was to be the type of animal that men had considered to be clean up until that time, such as a calf, sheep, pigeon, or dove (see Genesis 7:2). And what was to happen to the meat? It was to be eaten by those who offered it, and by the priests. In other words, this was just a community barbecue with one’s neighbors and with God.

And what portion was to be offered Altar as God’s? The fat, the liver, the kidneys, etc., which was sent as a form of incense or pleasing odor to Him. No angry and vengeful (or hungry) God here.

Also notice that offering animal sacrifices to Him doesn’t seem to have been God’s idea; rather, it appears as though He allowed this simply because men thought it was the right thing to do. For we read at Psalm 40:6:
Sacrifices and offerings, You didn’t want,
Nor did You seek whole burnt offerings
Or sacrifices for [the covering of] sins;
Yet, You prepared a body for me.’

You can see God’s negative opinion about animal sacrifices at Jeremiah 7:21-23, where He seems to indicate that offering sacrifices was something He allowed just because that’s what the people thought they should be doing… it was their idea of how they should show honor to Him, when all He really wanted for them was to pay attention to His words and to do as He said. Yes, He did set out the requirements for sacrifices in the Old Law, but when all the words are considered, it appears as though this was meant to show the people how it was to be done if this is the way they chose to honor Him.

Anoint the ‘Most Holy’ or the ‘Holiest of the Holy?’

Understand that the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 is clearly talking about the period between when the Temple in JeruSalem would be rebuilt and when the Messiah (Jesus) would be anointed by God (after which the city would be destroyed). Notice how we have rendered verse 24:

‘Seventy periods of seven
Have been set for you and your people
And upon the Holy City on Zion,
To bring an end to its sins,
To set a seal on its sins,
To wipe away all their lawless deeds,
And to atone for their errors;
To restore righteous ways through the ages,
To put a seal on the prophecies and visions,
And to anoint the holiest of the holy.’

In Greek, the portion of the above verse that we’ve highlighted in bold reads, ‘kai tou krisai agion agiOn,’ or, ‘and the anointing holy holiest.’ And if you’ll check to see how the verse is rendered in other Bibles, you’ll see that because the term ‘the holy of the holiest,’ or ‘the Most Holy’ usually refers to the sacred place in God’s Temple that represented His presence, these words are translated as ‘Holy of Holies’ there. However, while we are not being dogmatic on this, it appears as though this verse is referring to Jesus as being that ‘holiest of the holy.’ For you can see from the next verse (25) that the prophecy is talking about his arrival. Notice:

‘So know this and now understand:
From the delivery of the word and response
For JeruSalem to be rebuilt,
Until the Anointed (gr. krisai) Leader arrives,
Will be seven periods of seven,
Plus sixty-two periods of seven.’

We have drawn the supposition that this verse is referring to the anointing of Jesus from our understanding of the meaning of the root word for anointed, ‘christos’ or Christ (krisai in the above verse). This refers to the pouring of oil (representing God’s Spirit) over one’s head to indicate that a person has been chosen to an office by God. And though it is true that the ancient ‘Temple’ along with its ‘Most Holy’ had to be regularly ‘cleansed’ by the Priests by being sprinkled with water and blood, the concept of ‘anointing’ the Most Holy compartment makes no sense at all.

However, Jesus was in fact anointed (making him ‘the Christ’) when he came out of the water after being baptized by John, for that’s when the Breath (Spirit) of God descended upon him in the form of a dove and God proclaimed him His Beloved Son. So, from the context, we have concluded that verse 24 was foretelling this anointing of Jesus, making him ‘the holiest of the holy,’ because his ‘arrival’ was signaled when he was anointed by God


Notice that in this Bible translation, 2 Corinthians 1:21 (for example) says:
‘And indeed, the One who confirmed us among you into the Anointed One, and the One who anointed us, is God.’
Yet, notice that in the Authorized King James Version this verse reads:
‘Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God.’

So, why didn’t we just go ahead and render the word (Anointed) as Christ, as countless other translators have done? For two reasons:

1.   Because the term ‘Christ’ has almost totally lost its meaning to many Bible readers today, since most have come to believe that this was Jesus’ last name. It wasn’t.

2.   Because ‘Christ’ is a word that was made up by early Bible translators (it’s an Anglicization of the Greek word christos) and it is only used in that form when the translators assumed that the Bible was speaking of Jesus. In other places it is correctly translated into the English word, anointed.

If you look at the above verse (2 Corinthians 1:21) as it appears in Greek, you’ll see that it reads:
‘Ho de bebaion hemas syn hymin eis christon kai chrisas hemas Theos,’
‘The of stabilizing us with you into anointed and anointing us God.’

Notice that christon (anointed) and chrisas (anointing) are both just conjugations of the same word, which by the way, is Greek for olive oil. Why olive oil? Because that substance was traditionally poured over the heads of kings and priests of IsraEl to indicate that God had chosen them for their office. And in other places we can see that this anointing pictured the pouring of God’s Spirit upon them. Therefore, David and Solomon were both anointed (olive oil was poured over their heads) to show that God had selected them and poured His Spirit upon them to be kings over His people.

So, understand that the word christos means, anointed. But if you prefer the word Christ; then Saul, David, and Solomon were Christs, for you can’t have it both ways. As an example; look at the words that David spoke about Saul, as found at 1 Samuel 24:6 (LXX):
‘Kai eipin David pros tous andras autou: Medamos moi para kiriou ei poieso to hrema touto to kyrio mou to christo kyriou epenegkai cheira mou ep auton hoti christos kyriou estin autos,
‘Said David to the men of/his: By/no/means of/me from the/Lord if I/should/do this thing to my/Lord to/the Christ (Anointed) of/the/Lord to/raise my/hand against him; for, the/Christ (Anointed) of/the/Lord this is.

As you can see; if Christos should be translated as Christ, then unrighteous King Saul was also a Christ. Yet, notice that almost all Bibles translate christos as anointed in this case (and this is just one of many such instances where christos is translated that way in the OT).

Also notice that Jesus was the only person who was referred to as the christon or Christ in the Gospels. Why? Well, until Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on his disciples, he was the only one who had been ‘anointed’ by God’s Holy Breath, which happened to him after his baptism. Therefore, the rest were only anointed (or became christs) when they received the Holy Breath (or Spirit) some fifty days after Jesus’ death. Yet, even then, they didn’t call themselves ‘the anointed.’

That Jesus didn’t really become the Christon (Christ, Anointed, or Chosen One) until he was anointed with Holy Breath (when the ‘dove’ came down on him) can be proven by what Peter said concerning him at Acts 10:38:
For thereafter, God anointed Jesus from Nazareth with Holy Breath and power, and he traveled throughout the land doing good things and healing all those who were oppressed by the Slanderer.’

And if you understand what this scripture is saying, you will understand why the word Christ (Anointed) was applied to Jesus; it means that he was the one that God chose to be His king over His people.

Then you can also see why Paul was telling the Christians in Corinth that they too would be anointed (or become ‘christs’) at 2 Corinthians 1:21. For, when they received God’s Holy Breath, it showed that they too had been selected to be ‘kings on the earth’ (see Revelation 5:10).

Notice how our rendering of the Greek words christos and christon consistently as ‘anointed’ rather than ‘Christ’ provides you with a better understanding of other scriptures. For example, at Matthew 24:24, you can see that though most other Bibles say that Jesus foretold the coming of false Christs and false prophets in the last days, what he actually said was that false anointed and false prophets (gr. pseudo christon kai pseudo prophetai) will arise. So, Jesus wasn’t necessarily saying that people would come claiming to be him (although many have), but rather, that people would come falsely claiming to be God’s anointed and His prophets… though they truly aren’t. For more information, see the linked document, False Anointed and False Prophets.

Another example of the poor use of the title Christ (implying Jesus) by Bible translators can be found at 1 Peter 1:10, 11, which reads in this Bible:
‘When it comes to salvation, the Prophets looked and searched for this loving-care that’s being shown to you. They tried, through the spirit of anointing that was in them to determine the exact time and circumstances of the sufferings of the Anointed One and of his being glorified, which they knew about even back then.’

Of course, other Bibles say it was the Spirit of Christ that was in the ancient Prophets. But remember that (as we pointed out above) Jesus didn’t really become the Christ or the Anointed until after his baptism. So what Peter was really saying is that, it was through the spirit of their anointing that all the ancient faithful Prophets, Priests, and kings to wish to understand when their prophecies concerning the suffering and death of Jesus were to be fulfilled.  For if you check the wording of that verse in Greek, you’ll see that there is no ‘the’ preceding the first christou (anointed), which would be required if Peter was saying that the Spirit of the Christ (or the Anointed One) was in them.


At Exodus 29:29, we find that Aaron and his sons were to be ‘anointed’ as Priests to God, and that this action would make them ‘holy’ or clean. This anointing by having holy oil poured over their heads was a sign to all onlookers that they had been chosen to this office by God. And in Leviticus, when we read of the ‘anointed’ Priest, the reference seems to indicate just one of the Priests who had been chosen for the special office of what later became known as the High Priest.

The Greek word that we have translated as anointed here is chriseis, which can also properly be translated as Christ (it’s just a conjugation of Christos), since christ and anointed both come from the same root… which is Greek for olive oil, because olive oil is was what was use to anoint them. So, Jesus wasn’t the first or the only person to be correctly referred to as a christ.

As an example; olive oil was poured over the heads of all those whom God chose to be kings over His people. Fragrant herbs were usually (but not always) added to the oil to make it special and to give it a pleasing odor. The exact formula for the anointing oil is found at Exodus 30:34, where it tells us that it was to be made from ‘sixteen pounds of choice myrrh flowers, eight pounds of sweet-smelling cinnamon, eight pounds of sweet-smelling calamus, sixteen pounds of cassia, and a gallon of olive oil.’

This physical anointing with oil also appears to have pictured their receiving God’s Holy Breath, which made them ‘holy.’ And this was also what happened to Jesus when he was anointed with God’s Holy Breath after his baptism, for this symbolized his being chosen to become God’s High Priest and the king of His Kingdom. So, the ‘anointing’ of the ancient priests and kings really pictured what would happen to Jesus.


Who are the Antichrists? As John said (at 1 John 2:22):
‘Yes, this is the Antichrist: They are those who deny both the Father and the Son!’

Why did John write this? Well, by the end of the First Century CE, there were some people in the Christian congregations (probably traditionalist Jews) who were apparently denying that Jesus was the Son of God. And John went on to say (at 1 John 2:23):
Whoever denies the Son [also denies] the Father.’
So, it was these people whom John was calling the ‘Antichrists.’

Why did he use that term? Well, for a ‘Christian’ to deny Jesus amounted to an unforgivable sin against God’s Holy Breath, because it was God’s Holy Breath that had testified to who Jesus was. So, this was a very serious matter. In fact, it was so serious that John wrote to Christians and told them not to even talk to such people – to treat them as though they were dead – because what they were saying condemned them.

Although popular modern tradition has it that the Antichrist is a single person, group, or entity that will only show up in the last days; notice that this idea is proven false by the words of 1 John 2:18, 19, which read:
‘Young children; It’s the last hour. And as you’ve heard, the Antichrist is coming, for there are already many Antichrists… and that’s how we know it’s the last hour. They left us because they weren’t like us; for if they’d been like us, they would still be with us, and this is what proves that they aren’t like us.’

Notice that John again identified such ones in the same way at 2 John 1:7, where he wrote:
‘Many have strayed [back] into the world and won’t admit that Jesus the Anointed One came in the flesh. And these who have strayed are the Antichrists.

So, popular beliefs about the coming of some future evil Antichrist reflect a lack of Bible reading and are best relegated to the realm of science-fiction movies.

Apostasy and Apostates

The Greek word apostasis (in its various conjugated forms) is used several times in the Ancient Scriptures of IsraEl (OT). We find it used at 2 Chronicles 28:19, for example, where we’ve rendered it as ‘turned away,’ because that’s what the term really means, since it refers to a turning away from a righteous God-fearing way of life. For the Greek word (which we pronounce as apostasy in English) literally means, ‘turn away from (apo)’ a ‘standing or state (stasis).’ So, it doesn’t refer to a disagreement over doctrine, as the word is misapplied by some modern religious groups.

Almost all Bible references to apostasy are speaking of a turning away from the way of IsraElite life that is outlined in the Old Law. Notice that there are only two places where this term (apostasy) is used to indicate someone’s unfaithfulness in the Christian Era Scriptures (NT)… at Acts 21:21 and at 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

At Acts 21:21, we read (concerning the Apostle Paul):
‘They have heard the rumor that you’ve been teaching Judeans who live among the nations an apostasy from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or to follow the traditions.’

Notice that what was being called an apostasy by the Christian brothers in JeruSalem was his teaching both Jews and gentiles that they didn’t have to follow the traditional Jewish way of life, as outlined by Moses in the Old Law… which was true! Yet Paul submitted to the wishes of these Jewish elders and underwent a needless ceremonial cleansing at the Temple, which led to his arrest and eventual death as a martyr in Rome.

As you can see; he wasn’t accused of being an apostate for teaching something contrary to what some Jewish Christians believed. Rather, they had accused him of teaching a ‘turning from’ or an ‘apostasy’ from the Law of Moses. Therefore, notice that his teachings weren’t termed ‘apostate.’ Rather, it was the act of ‘turning from’ the Law of Moses that they were calling ‘an apostasy.’ So, a modern proper use of the term ‘apostasy’ would be where a Christian turns from a Christian way of living, not to some disagreement on doctrine.

Actually, the proper word to use when speaking of a person who is teaching something that deviates from established doctrine is heresy. And notice that this is the charge that the Catholic Church used extensively when they were accusing Protestants and others during their ‘Inquisition’ of the 1400s and 1500s. They didn’t accuse anyone of apostasy – turning from a Christian way of life – but of heresy – disagreeing with their established doctrines. So, at least they understood the proper English differences in the meanings of the words.

Yet, there was at least one instance where Paul himself seemed to accuse and impose sanctions on certain Christians for heresy. We find this account at 2 Timothy 2:17, 18, where he wrote:
‘That was the problem with Hymenaeus and Philetus; they got away from the truth and started teaching that the resurrection has already happened, which misdirected the faith of some.’

So, deviating from teaching the truth of the Bible was in fact a serious matter among First-Century Christians. However, in view of what Jesus said at Matthew 5:22 and what was said about Jesus at Jude 9; calling anyone an ‘apostate’ or ‘heretic’ (especially when there might be some question as to who is right) would be a very serious sin in the eyes of God.

The only other places in the Christian-Era Scriptures (NT) where the Greek word for apostasy is found, is where a ‘certificate of dismissal’ (divorce certificate) is mentioned (see Mark 10:4, for example). The Greek words that are used there are biblion apostasiu, which literally mean, ‘scroll of apostasy (sending away or rejection).’

Ark or Chest?

What is an ark? Why, everyone has heard of Noah’s ark, haven’t they? But what is an ark? Ark is an ancient English word, the meaning of which has mostly been lost in history. However, it is often used in other Bibles to translate the Greek word kiboton (kee/boat/on). And because most people don’t understand the meaning of the English word, they usually don’t understand what it’s talking about. As the result, any concept that they might have of what an ark looked like usually comes from pictures in children’s storybooks, which show a large boat with all sorts of animals looking out the windows.

An ark is simply a box or chest. If you carefully examine the description of the measurements that God gave to Noah, you’ll see that He told Noah to build a three-story wooden box that was about ‘five-hundred feet long, eighty feet wide, and fifty feet tall.’ It was rectangular (not boat shaped), it had a roof, at least one window, and a door. It didn’t have to be a ‘boat’ that could navigate, because all it had to do was float. Nor did the animals look out the window(s); it didn’t have a lot of windows or an open top deck, and the animals were kept in stalls.

We also find the word kiboton used to describe the sacred box known as ‘the Ark of the Covenant’ (gr. kiboton marturion or, Chest of Testimony), but which we have more accurately translated as ‘Chest of Proofs,’ since that sacred Chest originally held the proofs of God’s miracles, such as the manna, the flowering rod of Aaron, and the tablets of the Ten Commandments.


The name that is given for the king that is mentioned in the Septuagint version of the book of Esther is ArtaXerxes, who was probably ArtaXerxes I, king of Persia. However, notice that this isn’t the same name that the Septuagint accounts of Ezra and Nehemiah gave for the person who is thought to be the same king, for though the Masoretic texts of those books identify him as ArtaXerxes, he was called ArthaSastha in the Greek texts. So, why is there a difference in the spelling if all three books are speaking of the same person? Well, if all three accounts are in fact speaking of the same ArtaXerxes I (and we suspect that they are), this may simply have been caused by the fact that one or two among the seventy translators of the Septuagint used a local Jewish spelling of the name, and another who translated Esther preferred the Greek spelling.


In Persian, the name of this rebellious queen is VashTi, but the Greek pronunciation is Astin (see the Wikipedia reference, ‘Vashti‘). Although some sources claim that she was the daughter of the defeated Babylonian King BelShazzar, the hundred and forty years or more since his death makes that relationship unlikely. However, she could have been a descendant (a granddaughter) of BelShazzar.

BaAl, BeEl, Bel, and El

Throughout the Ancient Scriptures of IsraEl (OT) you will read of Gods, people, and places with names that start with BaAl, BeEl, and Bel. These terms mean the Lord, the Master, or the Owner, and they refer to various gods of nations, not necessarily to a particular god. Rather, this word was just a title for a God, and the God’s name (or the place that he/it represented) follows the title, such as BeEl Phegor (as found at Numbers 25:3). And where people just called their god BaAl (or BeEl), they were referring to the particular lord or god of a particular city or land. Also, where a person’s name includes one of these terms (such as, BelShazzar), it usually means that the person was named after a local god (in this case, Shazzar).

Of course, having the title BaAl or BeEl in a name doesn’t necessarily imply that a person is a worshiper of a pagan god, for several faithful worshipers of Jehovah also had that title as part of their names. For example, the faithful Judge Gideon came to be known as JeroBaAl (meaning ‘May BaAl Defend Himself’), because of his action in cutting down an altar to BaAl. Also, one of King Saul’s grandsons (through faithful JoNathan) was named MeriBaAl (meaning ‘Opposer of BaAl’), one of King David’s faithful warriors was named BaAlJah (meaning ‘Lord Jehovah’), and David named one of his sons BaAlJada (meaning ‘Lord Knows’).

By the way, BaAl is pronounced Bah-ahl and BeEl is pronounced Beh-el, not Bayel or Beel. So, you will usually find them spelled as BaAl or BeEl herein to remind you of the proper pronunciation. The reason why it is in two syllables is that it is a combination of two words, ‘The Lord.’ Also notice that the difference in the vowels is probably due to variations in the local pronunciation, or it could have been a spelling choice of later Hebrew translators, since there were no vowels specified in the original writings.

In places where we find the letters ‘El’ at the beginning of a name or place; this is usually just a shortened version of the Hebrew word Elohim, meaning God. So, whereas many Bibles translate the Greek word ‘Baithelbereth’ (as found at Judges 9:46) as ‘Bethel Bereth,’ we have translated it as ‘the House of God Bereth.’ For ‘Beth (or Baith)’ means ‘the house (or temple) of,’ ‘El’ means ‘God,’ and ‘Bereth’ is that God’s name.

Babylon (the Great)

The ‘whore’ that is identified in Revelation the Eighteenth Chapter (the Great Babylon) has been identified by some as a composite of all religions that have shared in having a ‘throne over the kings of the earth.’ And this could be true, for what other group has wielded such an influence over the governments through the ages as this one is identified as doing in the Revelation?

However, although we once felt quite sure that the above conclusion was true; in the process of translating the words of the Hebrew Prophets and in reading the things that ancient Babylon did to apostate Judah and JeruSalem, we have come across enough questionable details to cause us to be less sure of this conclusion.

What are these ‘questionable details?’ Well, the Bible shows us that God sent the Kingdom of Babylon against the Jews because they had been unfaithful. So, ‘the Great Babylon’ (as it was referred to by the king of Babylon at Daniel 4:30) was a worldly army that was sent against something that had become unfaithful to ‘The God.’ And we have wondered whether unfaithful JeruSalem and Judah don’t in fact represent what we thought The Great Babylon represented (unfaithful Judaism and Christianity). Understand that this is just an open question.

Also note that at Jeremiah 51:45 we find almost the same words as are found in the Revelation. For there we read:
‘So, get out of her midst, O my people…
Let each man save his own life
From the anger and rage of Jehovah.’

And if you read the context, you will see that this was a warning to the Jews get out of Babylon after its empire was destroyed. So, this seems to be speaking of a political, not a religious organization.

However, notice that the ‘whore’ of Revelation was guilty of doing what James mentioned as being wrong for Christians at James 4:4, where he wrote:
Adulteresses, don’t you know that if you’re a friend of the world, you’re an enemy of God? So, whoever wants to be a friend of the world is putting himself down as God’s enemy.

Therefore, we will allow that the Great Babylon could still represent apostate Christianity, or it could include Judaism and Islam, or perhaps even all religions. For notice that the description by James labels ‘Christians’ as immoral adulteresses when they get too bound up in secular affairs and politics, putting such things over the love of brothers, neighbors, and God. And this lines up with the description of ‘the Great Babylon’ in Revelation.

Of course, the people of ancient JeruSalem (which was destroyed by the Great Babylon) were also described as doing such things. For if you read Ezekiel, Chapter twenty-three, you will see how God likened JeruSalem to a woman that had been promised to Him, but became a whore through her unfaithfulness… which is what much of modern Christendom appears to have done today.

Also, when Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate, the Jewish religious leaders sealed their position as such when they proclaimed:
‘We have no king but Caesar.’

One final point: We know that in the past, some have identified The Great Babylon as being the Catholic Church (see the book, ‘The Two Babylons,’ by Alexander Hyslop). And though there is no single religion that we can point to as standing alone in its involvement in corruption and political entanglements (since almost all are guilty of this today), notice that at Revelation 17:9, the ‘whore’ is described as sitting atop seven mountains or hills, and this does closely resemble the fabled terrain of Rome.

Bible Measurements

The most common unit for measuring length, height, and depth in the Bible is a cubit, which is the length of a man’s forearm. And of course, the lengths of forearms vary depending on the size of the person. So, a cubit may be anywhere between eighteen and twenty-two inches.

However, to give you a better idea of the size and proportions of things in the Bible, we have converted the units of measure to more familiar terms, such as feet and inches. And because they aren’t exact measurements, we have roughly averaged the sizes or lengths. Also, some units of measure such as a cor (about 32 bushels), hin, or bath (about 6 gallons), have been roughly estimated.

In addition, we have dropped the obscure names of coins, since most readers have no idea of their modern value (which continues to grow), and we have simply inserted the types of coins that they are (whether gold, silver, or copper), and sometimes the size of the coin, to provide you some frame of reference.

Bless or Praise?

This is a tough one, and we won’t say that our position on the translation of this word can’t be changed. The Greek word that we are struggling with is eulogetos, which is usually translated as ‘blessed’ or ‘blessing.’ Notice that the first part of the word eu, is Greek for good. And the last part of the word, logetos means words (or expressions). So, a literal translation of eulogetos is good words. And our question is: Is this all that a blessing amounts to?

So, you might wonder; Why are we questioning the traditional translating of eulogetos as bless, blest, and blessing as it appears in other Bibles? Because we have found too many errors in commonly-accepted renderings of many Greek words. And here, for example, if eulogetos should be properly translated as blessing each time (which carries the nuance, ‘causing good things to happen’), then how can humans ‘bless God?’ So, since all that we can do is praise God, we have concluded that ‘praise’ is a better translation of eulogetos in many instances.

Also notice that eulogetos is where we derive the English word eulogy (the kind words that are said of the deceased at a funeral). In this case, we couldn’t say that a eulogy is said as a blessing, because it’s a bit late for that. So really, all we can do is speak in praise of the deceased individual. Yet, despite all of these arguments, there are definitely places in the Bible where eulogetos is best translated as bless or blessing because it best fits the context.

Notice that this isn’t the same Greek word that we have rendered as blest in other portions of this translation (for an example, see Matthew 5:5). The word in question there is makarios, which is rendered as blessed and as happy in other Bibles. However, if you read the following Note, you will see why we have chosen the word blest as the better translation of that Greek word.

Blest or Happy?

There is quite a debate as to whether the word makarios, which is found throughout the Greek text of the Bible, should be translated as blessed or happy.

Notice that we have chosen to translate it as blest in every case here, which is an older spelling of the word blessed, to get rid the affected pronunciation that was likely introduced by early preachers (bles-sed).

Also, according to Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary, the word should never be translated as happy, as is done in some other Bibles, because happy is derived from the words happen, happening, or happenstance (luck). The reasoning there (with which we agree) is that whenever someone suffers for the sake of righteous principles (as was spoken of at Matthew 5:10), his/her reward isn’t just happiness that can come from any source of good luck or fortune; but rather, it is a joy that comes from gaining a better relationship with God (a blessing).

However, wasn’t Jesus really speaking of things that would cause all people to be happier in his beatitudes, as recorded in Matthew Chapters 5 through 7? No, we don’t think so. For more information see the linked Note, ‘Poor in Spirit.’

Bodily Divinity

It is very difficult to translate Colossians 2:9, 10 into English, and many different conclusions have been reached about what Paul was writing here. In Greek it reads:
‘οτι εν αυτω κατοικει παν το πληρωμα της θεοτητος σωματικως και εστε εν αυτω πεπληρωμενοι ος εστιν η κεφαλη πασης αρχης και εξουσιας,’
‘because, in him is/dwelling/down all the fullness of/the divinity bodily and you/are in him having/filled who is the head of/all government and authority.’

The King James Bible renders these verses as:
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.’

GOD’S WORD Translation says:
All of God lives in Christ’s body, and God has made you complete in Christ. Christ is in charge of every ruler and authority.’

The International Standard Version says:
‘because, all the essence of deity inhabits him in bodily form. And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.’

The New World Translation reads:
‘because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily. And so you are possessed of a fullness by means of him, who is the head of all government and authority.’

We have rendered these verses as:
For in him lives all the fullness of the divine body… and you’re also part of the fullness of this one who is the head over all governments and powers … ’

As you can see, the wording of different Bible translations is quite varied, and their choice of words appears to depend on whether the translators believe in the concept of a Holy Trinity. And as the result, the translating is usually slanted to support a religious belief, rather than what was actually written by Paul.

What did Paul actually mean? Although we have concluded through independent research that the Trinity concept is poorly supported (see the linked document, ‘Who Was Jesus?‘), we have no one’s doctrines to promote. So hopefully, we can be a bit more objective.

As you can see; whatever the fullness of the divine body may be, it is something that is shared in by the Christian congregation. So, the wording of Colossians 2:9, 10 doesn’t appear to support the Trinitarian Godhead concept (no Holy Spirit), or the idea that God lives in Jesus’ body, since many share in the fullness of that body, as the Greek text clearly shows. Rather, the wording seems to closely reflect the words of John as found at John 14:20, which reads:
‘εν εκεινη τη ημερα υμεις γνωσεσθε οτι εγω εν τω πατρι μου και υ μεις εν εμοι καγω εν υμιν,’
‘In that the day you will/know that I in (εν) the Father of/me, and you in (εν) me, and I in (εν) you.’

Here (as recorded by John), Jesus was speaking of a special relationship between God, himself, and the congregation, and he used the Greek word εν (English: in) to reflect their closeness or unity. So for that reason, we have chosen to render εν as in at Colossians 2:10… as we have in several other places throughout the Christian-Era Scriptures. And from this description that was given by Jesus himself, we must conclude that this sharing of the divine body refers to a oneness or unity between Jesus, God, and the congregation… which will lead to all in the Congregation having a headship over governments and powers.

Notice how this conclusion is supported by the words of Colossians 3:1-4, which read:
‘So, if you’ve been raised with the Anointed One, search for the things that are above… at the right hand of God where the Anointed One is sitting. Also, think about the things that are above (not on the earth), because you died and your life has been hidden away in the Anointed One and in God. And then, when the Anointed One (who is our life) shows himself, you will also be seen with him in glory.’

Book of Enoch

At Jude 1:14, 15, Jesus’ half-brother wrote this:
The seventh man from Adam, Enoch, prophesied about them when he said, [Look!] Jehovah came with His holy tens of millions to condemn them all and to give all the godless what they deserve for the godless things they’re doing in their worldly ways, and for all the shocking things that these godless sinners have said against Him.’

This verse has amazed many Christians, for it mentions a writing that is not considered to be part of the Bible canon, the Book of Enoch, which is generally viewed as being an uninspired secular work. Yet if such a book was truly written by Enoch (an early man of faith who was so loved that he was ‘transferred’ by God); why would we consider it uninspired? And if it were a fake; why would Jude have quoted from it?

If you read the Book of Enoch all the way through (a copy can be found at, you’ll see that Jude’s unique description of the condition of the fallen messengers of God (as described in Jude 6) is based on the information found in this book. So, can we say that this ‘Book of Enoch’ is inspired and should therefore be included as scripture in the Bible?

According to some historians, the ancient copies of the Book of Enoch (which Jude was quoting from) were actually lost (remember that ancient documents such as this were hand-written copies). However, more modern copies have been found in Ethiopia and in some Slavic countries, which have been translated into English (for more information, see the link, ‘Book of Enoch’). And after reading one copy of these texts, we were surprised to find how much of this supposedly pre-Christian document is in harmony with the words of Jesus and the Bible book of Revelation.

However, if it ever really was an inspired work, it clearly has numerous errors today, which would indicate that through the centuries, it has been mistranslated and words have been added (which is also true of many Bible books such as Matthew, by the way). In fact, the wording of the entire book heavily reflects the religious doctrines, views, and words that were prominent during the ‘dark’ Middle Ages.

So, if the current available copies of the book of Enoch were ever inspired, they are totally corrupted today. And if it was actually in existence in the time of the Scribe Ezra (c. 537-BCE), who is credited with compiling the thirty-nine books of the Ancient Scriptures of IsraEl (OT), and if it is not a later non-inspired writing as many claim, it was likely so corrupted by the time of the Jew’s return from captivity in Babylon that Ezra didn’t include it among the sacred writings.

For example, one of the corruptions that can be found in the Book of Enoch in Chapter Ten, is a graphic description of a Hell Fire that reflects the teachings of the Catholic Church during the middle ages, but which cannot be found in an in-depth study of the original Bible texts.

But on the other hand, by removing just a few words, you will see that the descriptions read much like Revelation Chapter Twenty. So, it could be that the problem is more one of twisted translating or copying to reflect the popular religious views of the Middle Ages, than a text that was originally incorrect.

Yet, some scholars point to these quotations from the book of Enoch to prove that the book of Jude is itself a spurious addition to the Bible (Jude was one of the last books to be included in the Bible canon of the Christian Era Scriptures). For, his quotations from what many believe to be an ancient spurious writing certainly brings the authenticity of the book of Jude itself into question. And this hinges on whether the Book of Enoch was a truly inspired work during the First Century CE.

Notice that the City of Sodom is also mentioned in the modern Book of Enoch. And this is interesting, because Enoch lived before the Downpour of Noah’s time, and Sodom was a city that existed during the time of AbraHam (many hundreds of years later). However, it has been suggested by an advisor that Sodom could have been the name of a far more ancient city that existed prior to the Downpour, and which may have been a center of wickedness in the lifetime of Enoch also (but we doubt this).

So, if the mention of this city didn’t come from a later corruption of the text, it could be the final proof that the whole book of Enoch is uninspired, and this may also cast a shadow over the authenticity of the Bible book of Jude. But then, who knows?

However, it has also been suggested that Jude wasn’t really quoting from the modern book of Enoch (which certainly bears the tracks of more recent writers and thinking). But rather, he was quoting from more ancient texts that no longer exist, and that the modern Book of Enoch just included parts of these texts. Either way, we urge you to be extremely cautious when reading the Book of Enoch.

But if the Book of Enoch was once truly inspired (and the Book of Jude may give credence to this), it does provide some interesting descriptions of significant events, names, and dates that aren’t found in more accepted Bible texts, which would be extremely important if they are true.

Book of Judges

There are some interesting idiosyncrasies in the book of Judges that lead us to question who actually wrote it. We receive one clue from the words found at Judges 1:21, where we read:
‘Nor did the children of BenJamin take JeruSalem from the Jebusites as their inheritance; so the Jebusites still live among the children of BenJamin in JeruSalem to this day.’

Then we read at Judges 18:1:
There was no king over IsraEl back then.’

Therefore, whoever did the writing must have lived during the time when a king ruled IsraEl, but before the time of David, who conquered the city and started the first rule from JeruSalem. This indicates that the Book of Judges was written during the reign of Saul. And if so, the Prophet SamuEl is most-likely the person who wrote it.

However, notice the apparent contradiction found at Judges 18:30, where we read:
‘And JoNathan (the son of Gerson and grandson of Manasseh) and his sons became the Priests of the tribe of Dan until the time when the nation was captured and carried away [into captivity].’

These words would then indicate that the book was written sometime after IsraEl’s conquest by the Assyrians and JeruSalem’s conquest by the Babylonians, or in the late 4th Century BCE. Therefore, the likely writer then would be the Scribe Ezra. So, how do we resolve the differences?

Well, we can see from the context that the book of Judges was written close to the time of the Judges (perhaps by SamuEl), then it appears as though a later copyist (perhaps Ezra) added the comment at Judges 18:30. And since this comment is found both in the Hebrew and Greek texts, we know that these words were likely added sometime in the late 4th Century BCE.

Bread on Water

Much has been written about the meaning of Solomon’s words, where he wrote (at Ecclesiastes 11:1):
‘aposteilon ton arton epi prosopon tou hydatos oti en plethei ton hemeron heureseis auton,’
‘Send the bread yours on face the waters and in many the days find it.’
And we have often been repulsed by the thought of receiving cold, soggy bread. But what was King Solomon actually talking about?

While the Greek word arton is usually translated as bread, loaf, or loaf of bread; in ancient times, it also referred to just grains of wheat. This was the case where Jesse gave ‘bread’ to his youngest son David to carry to his brothers in battle, which consisted of both roasted grain and loaves (see 1 Samuel 17:17).

So, the apparent meaning of Solomon’s words are as we have rendered them:
‘Scatter your [seeds] on the water,
And after some time you will find them.’

And while the meaning may still not be apparent to many, realize that birds usually eat seeds that are scattered over dry ground; so, the practice at the time was to do planting before or after a hard rain or after irrigation. And the seeds were scattered ‘on the water’ to cause them to germinate and quickly root.

Of course, Solomon wasn’t really giving advice on planting. His words were in the form of a parable or illustration, and they implied that giving much to others will result in our receiving much from others.


The Greek word pneuma (as in pneumonia, a breathing disease) means breath or wind – the movement of air. In other Bible translations, this word is often translated as spirit or ghost, as in Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. However, spirit is just a shortened form of the Latin word spiritu, which once again just means breath in Latin. And ghost conveys another meaning altogether.

In the Bible, the most common use of the word pneuma is to convey the idea of a force that can’t be seen, such as breath or wind. And the problem with translating it as spirit or ghost, as is done in other Bibles, is that those words have been given religious meanings that aren’t really implied by the Greek texts.

Therefore, to prevent confusion, the Greek word pneuma is frequently translated herein as breath and occasionally as wind. However, there are many exceptions, as in instances where the Bible refers to demons as ‘spirits.’ Translating pneuma as breath in these cases, although correct, might just be confusing. So, there are several places where we have left pneuma translated as spirit, since that English word has taken on a meaning of its own.

For example; there are instances where the word pneuma is speaking of a person’s motivation (the spirit of why we do something). Therefore, we have translated pneuma as spirit in such locations, as we have also done in several places that speak of God’s Holy Spirit, where readers will better understand the meaning in Modern English.

Nevertheless, rendering it as [God’s] Holy Breath (which we have done in other places) is really more accurate and a clarification. For an example, see the Note, ‘Worshiping God In Spirit and Truth.’

Another important use of the word pneuma is in the phrase, ‘Breath of Life.’ This term appears to mean more than just breathing, for it seems to refer to the entire mechanics of life itself. It’s the unseen force of life within all living creatures and it’s what makes each cell alive.

However, nowhere does the Bible describe the ‘pneuma’ as immortal, nor is it the same as the soul (a breathing thing); so, it can (figuratively) return to the God who gave it when someone dies, because all hope of future life depends on God and His promise of a resurrection.

Note in particular how the term pneuma is found in the Greek Septuagint text at Job 27:3, where Job was speaking of God’s Breath or Spirit. For there he asked:
‘Does the Breath of the Divine One remain in my nose?’

As you can see from his application of this word, pneuma obviously referred to God’s Breath, not Holy Spirit, for he was clearly talking about that which comes from God and which caused him (Job) to breathe… the Breath of Life.

It is interesting that at Genesis 6:3, God said concerning the wicked people on earth before the Downpour:
‘I won’t allow My Breath to stay with these men through the age, for they are fleshly.’

In Greek, that reads:
‘Ou me katameine to pneuma mou en tois anthropois toutoiseis ton aiona, dia ai einai autous sarka,’
‘Not not should stay the Breath Mine with these men the age through, their being flesh.’

Notice that most other Bibles translate the word pneuma as Spirit here. Yet, while the words Breath Mine (pneuma mou) could possibly refer to God’s Holy Breath, it seems more likely that He was really referring to the breath of life that He gave to Adam, since the wicked people of that age didn’t demonstrate that they had the Breath or Spirit of God. And from this, it appears as though what God was saying is that the breath of life of the people of that age would be removed prematurely, or that they would die.

However, since God referred to it as ‘My Breath;’ note that there may be a link implied between God’s Holy Breath and the breath of life. For more information, see the linked document, ‘The Powers of God’s Holy Spirit.’

You can see how rendering the word pneuma as breath can clarify the meaning of a Bible verse in the instance found at John 19:30. For it says there concerning the death of Jesus (in Greek):
‘kai klinas ten kephalen paredoken to pneuma,’
‘and inclined his head giving/up the breath.’

So, rather than saying that Jesus gave up his spirit (which is how it is rendered in other Bibles), implying that Jesus then went to God (which he didn’t, because the Bible tells us that he didn’t go there until forty days later), the obvious reference here is to his giving up ‘the breath of life,’ or the force that maintained Jesus’ life as a human.

Brothers and Sisters of Jesus

There are many places in the Scriptures that speak of Jesus’ brothers and sisters, and Acts 1:14 is one of those places. Were these Jesus’ fleshly brothers, or was the writer (Luke) referring to his ‘spiritual’ brothers?

The context provides the answer. The fact that Jesus’ brothers are mentioned here in addition to his Apostles, disciples, and his mother (Mary), indicates that these were fleshly brothers (other children of Mary).

Caesarea Philippi

While some critics have claimed the Bible’s Gospel accounts weren’t written for more than a century after Jesus’ death; internal proofs, such as Matthew’s use of the city name Caesarea Philippi, show that this book had to be written prior to the middle of the First Century CE. For that city (which is near the border of Lebanon) was only called Caesarea Philippi during the brief reign of the Herods. Rather, the common name both before and after the Herods was ‘Panas,’ after the Roman God Pan, whose idol was located there.

So, since this fact would have been lost to history just a few years after the Herods, it proves that the Book of Matthew had to be written shortly after Jesus’ execution and before 50-CE.

This city is also mentioned three times in the Gospel of Mark, which, though it was written later, is clearly based on the writings of Matthew, thus the same use of the name.

Cain’s Wife

One of the most commonly asked Bible questions is: Where did Cain get his wife? Yet, the answer is quite simple; he married one of his sisters (see Genesis 5:4). Understand that the Bible only lists the births of principal characters, such as Cain, Abel, and Seth (from whom we descended). But Adam and Eve obviously had many children, both sons and daughters.

Does marrying a sister sound immoral or illogical? Well, it was a common practice in Bible times. Take for example the righteous man Abram (AbraHam). He married his half-sister Sarah, for their common father was Terah (see Genesis 20:12). Then AbraHam sent his servant to his closest relatives to take a wife for his son IsaAc, who thereafter married his first cousin, Rebecca… who was also a granddaughter of Terah. This pattern of taking close relatives as wives was then followed by both of IsaAc’s sons, Jacob and Esau, who also married first cousins that were descended from Terah.

So, what we call incest today wasn’t illegal or immoral in early Bible times. For more information, see the subheading, ‘Incest’ in the linked document, Christian Morality.

Called and Chosen

There seems to be quite a bit of difference between the Bible’s use of the words called, and chosen, and their implications for the people involved. For notice what Jesus said as recorded at Matthew 22:14:
‘However, many are called but few are chosen (gr. polloi eisin gar cletoi, oligoi de eclectoi).’
And this verse could be possibly even be translated as:
‘Many are nominated, but few are elected.’

These words of Jesus seem to put an end to the notion that everyone who is called by God was foreordained to a favored position before his/her birth (as some teach). For what he said here seems to indicate is that there would be people who would be chosen from among a larger number of those who are ‘called.’ And not all who are called will be chosen. This is elaborated on at Revelation 17:14, where it says that those who are ‘called, elected, and faithful’ will be fellow conquerors with Jesus. So ‘the called’ also have to prove faithful and then be ‘elected’ or ‘chosen’ in order to be with Jesus when he conquers.

This seems to have been the point of Jesus’ parable of those who were invited to a banquet by a king, as found at Matthew 22:1-14, which (as Jesus said) was an illustration concerning ‘the Kingdom of Heaven (or of God).’ Because, in that parable, many were ‘called’ to that banquet but they didn’t want to come. And the obvious reference here is to the Jews who were the first to be invited, but who for the most part, rejected the invitation. So, the story goes on to tell us that king then ordered his slaves to go out into the streets and ‘call’ anyone who wished to come to the banquet… which obviously referred to the calling of people of the nations or the gentiles (gr. tas ethne – the ethnics).

But, is this parable talking about being called to heaven to rule there with Jesus… for isn’t the wedding banquet for God’s son to be held in heaven, and aren’t those who are invited to God’s banquet the same as the bride that will be with Jesus in heaven? We have always thought so, but notice that the guests in this parable aren’t referred to as virgins (as was the case of those mentioned in Revelation 14:1-4). Rather, Jesus spoke of them as, ‘both the wicked and the good,’ which is a strange way to refer to the ‘Saints.’

Also notice that at Isaiah 65:23, we read that God’s elected are spoken of as fathering children. For we read there:
My elected won’t labor for nothing,
Nor will they produce children for a curse;

For their seed and all their descendants,
Will then be blessings from God.’

So, if this reference to the elected in Isaiah has reference to the same elected of whom Jesus was speaking (and we suspect that it does), then these ‘chosen’ or ‘elected’ may have the hope of living on the earth, where they will father (or give birth to) children.

But then, as the parable in Matthew continues, Jesus said that the king saw a guest who wasn’t properly dressed for a wedding feast (he apparently didn’t have the required qualities). So this guest was then bound and thrown outside of the banquet hall (but not killed)… therefore, although he was called, he wasn’t chosen.

Thus, from the foregoing; if we were to assume that this banquet of which Jesus spoke was to be held in heaven, we would then have to ask, Was this person being kicked out of heaven? And if so, Why was he taken there to begin with? And the conclusion that we must reach is that Jesus’ parable of those who were invited to the banquet doesn’t refer to being called to heaven, but rather, to being called as Christians. And the ‘electing’ seems to refer to being found faithful and worthy of a resurrection.

However, there does seem to be another type of calling to which those faithful might strive. Notice what Paul said about himself at Philippians 3:10-12:
‘Therefore, I’ve been willing to share in his sufferings and resign myself to a death like [that of Jesus] so that I can somehow be found worthy of an out-resurrection from the dead. [I’m not saying] that I’ve made it yet or that I’m already perfect, just that I’m chasing after it  I’m trying to grab hold of that for which the Anointed Jesus grabbed hold of me!’

Then he continued with the words (at Philippians 3:14):
‘I’m running toward the goal, the prize of the higher (gr. ano – upward or higher) calling from God, through the Anointed Jesus.’

So, it appears as though the Bible does in fact speak of more than one type of calling… a general calling of those who (if elected) will bring forth children on the earth, and a ‘higher’ or ‘upward’ calling. For notice that in this text in Philippians, Paul spoke of a different type of resurrection, the ‘out resurrection’ (gr. ek anastasin), which seems to refer to being called to heaven, because Paul referred to it as ‘the higher calling from God.’ And there appear to be special requirements for one to be so chosen.

What did Paul say would be the requirement for achieving the higher calling? He said that he would have to ‘share in [Jesus’] sufferings and resign [himself] to a death like [that of Jesus] so [he could] somehow be found worthy.’ Therefore, it appears as though the requirement to receive such a calling is that a person must first endure incredible suffering for his/her beliefs (as did Jesus and Paul); for notice what Paul wrote at Romans 8:17:
We have to suffer together so we can also be glorified together.’

Camel or Rope?

It has been argued that Jesus’ use of the word camel at Matthew 19:24 was really a humorous play on words. For if he was speaking Aramaic (which many claim that he was), the word he used was gmla, which can be translated as either camel and rope. Why were camels called ropes? Because the ancients used descriptive words for animals. So, horses were called hypos (translated as mounts) and camels were called ropes, which referred to the way they were led.

On the other hand; if Jesus spoke Greek (which we doubt), he would have called the animal a camelon. And though camelon likely came from the same root as the more ancient Aramaic word, it only meant camel in Greek (not rope).

As you can see; if Jesus said gmla (in Aramaic), he was really saying that it would be easier to ‘thread a rope through the eye of a needle,’ which in the context makes more sense than camel. And this amusing play on words (camel/rope) would have helped his listeners to remember the idea of his parable.

Capitals in Bible Names

You have likely noticed that we are putting multiple capital letters in many of the Bible names. For example, we’ve started spelling such names as Jonathan as JoNathan, Isaiah as IsaiAh, and Eliezer as EliEzer. Why? Well, partly to help with the correct pronunciations of the names, and partly to show some translating consistency.

Of course, the common English pronunciation of Jonathan (for example) is Jon-uh-thun. But the first part of that name (Io in Greek, Ieho in Hebrew) refers to the name of God, commonly pronounced as Jehovah in English, but possibly pronounce in Hebrew as Yeh-ho-wah). And the second part of the Name (Nathan) means Gift. So in Hebrew, the name of Saul’s son was originally pronounced closer to Yeh-ho-Nuh-thahn.

The same is true in the case of names that end with an iah, as in Isaiah; the last part of the name often includes the name of God. Isaiah, for example, means Salvation [of] JehovAH, and it was originally pronounced Ee-sa-Yah. Yes, we know that the Brits pronounce it Ai-sai-ah; but, understand the letter ‘i’ was likely pronounced as a long ‘e’ by the ancients. Also, by the time the NT was written, the name took on the pronunciation ‘Hsai-ah,’ due to the Greek influence.

Then, notice that in this name (as in many other Bible names) the IE has actually been changed to a J in English Bibles, due to the way the letters were transposed in older Spanish writings. Unfortunately, though, this process wasn’t followed consistently by ancient Bible translators. So, while some names are spelled with a J in most English Bibles, many others are still spelled with an Ie or Iah.

Another important Hebrew word that is found in Bible names is ‘El’ (from the Hebrew Elohe, or God). So the name EliEzer, for example, (which people commonly pronounce ee-lai-ee-zer) means God [has] Helped and it should be pronounced Elee-ezzer.

There are other Hebrew words that are found in the prefixes and suffixes of Bible names that you’ll see we have also capitalized. For example, you’ll find the word Ai, which is the Hebrew word for city. So AiLam (for example) probably meant the City of Lam. And where you find the prefixes Bel (as in BelShazzar), or BaAl, or BeEl, they refer to ‘the Lord.’ Also, the prefixes ‘Ben’ and ‘Bar’ mean ‘the son of,’ ‘Beth’ means ‘the house of,’ ‘Beer’ refers to a ‘well,’ ‘Is’ or ‘Ish’ means ‘Man,’ etc.

Does this mean that we have put all the capitals in the right places? No, for we make no claim to Hebrew scholarship (all our translating here has been from Greek). But what we are trying to do is to provide you with a better understanding to how these names were pronounced by First-Century Christians.

Captives and Gifts

We have translated Paul’s words found at Ephesians 4:8 (which he was quoting from Psalm 68:18) as reading:
‘To the highest places, he has stepped up,
And he’s taken captivity as his captive;
Then, he gave gifts to the people.’

This has been a very difficult verse for anyone to translate in Ephesians and the Psalms, because what the verses say in the OT and NT texts don’t really agree in their meanings, and neither text appears to make any sense in the original language as we have it today. Note:

·      The literal (word-for-word) translation of Ephesians 4:8 from the available Greek text reads:
‘Through/which he/is/saying Having/stepped/up into height he/led/captive captivity and gave gifts to/the people.’

·      The literal translation of Psalm 68:18 from the Greek text of the Septuagint reads:
‘You/ascended into the/height, you/captured captivity, you/received gifts in people.’

·      The literal translation of Psalm 68:18 from the available Hebrew (Masoretic) text reads:
‘you/have/ascended high, have/led captives, have/received gifts people.’

As you can see, the meanings differ widely; for the NT text says that [Jesus] GAVE gifts to the people, while both OT texts say that the gifts were RECEIVED (by Jesus). So, it is obvious that there are errors in at least one of the texts and perhaps in all three. Which of these is the correct rendering?

Since we know that Paul had God’s Holy Breath (Spirit), and we know that he was using older OT texts than we have today, we are going to trust that he came the closest to quoting what the Psalm originally said. And to be sure; when attempting to arrive at the proper translation of a scripture, it helps to take a look at what the preceding and following verses have to say, to see if the words (as they were translated) harmonize with the context.

Notice that the words that immediately precede Ephesians 4:8 say:
‘Now, the amount of caring that was shown to each of us depends on how much of the gift the Anointed One measured out to us.’

So from the context, we can see that Paul was quoting Psalm 68:18 to show that the Gifts were being measured out to the people in the congregation.

However, verse eleven is often used to contradict this conclusion. For it says (in Greek):
kai autos edoken tous men apostolous tous de prophetas,’
and to/them he/gave those indeed apostles, those but prophets.’
And from these few words, many self-righteous males have made the claim that THEY are the gifts that Jesus measured out to the congregation.

Notice that such Bibles as New Living Translation render this verse as reading:
‘Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.’
However, the Greek text doesn’t actually say that they were the gifts or that these gifts were selected from among just the males in the congregations.

Note that the Greek word that is used in verse 8 is anthropon (people)… not aner (males). Yet, most other Bibles incorrectly translate anthropon as men, which gives the false impression that the gifts were given to just the males (not also to females, whom the Bible tells us also received the gifts of the Spirit). The same is true of the Hebrew word that used at Psalm 68:18. For that word is usually translated as men, when (as in the case of the Greek word) it actually means people.

However, most Bible commentators agree that the gifts being mentioned here were those of apostleship, prophesying, etc., rather than the male individuals who served as Apostles, Prophets, etc. In other words; the gifts that he gave were the gifts of the Spirit, which were poured out upon all in the congregation and which created the Apostles, Prophets, etc. Therefore, we have rendered verse eleven as reading:
‘Then he gave some to be Apostles, some to be Prophets, some to be messengers of the Good News, and some to be shepherds and teachers.’

Note: The following comment was provided by Tim Mitchell, the editor of Peshitta Inc:
‘The Psalm version that Paul is quoting seems to be reflected in the OT Peshitta Psalms. He is either quoting from the Peshitta Psalms directly or he is quoting from the text that the Peshitta Psalms was translated from. Here is the text of the Psalm from the OT Peshitta (First Century Aramaic Bible): You have ascended on high and you have captured captivity and you have given gifts to the children of men and rebels will not dwell before God. Also, Ephesians 4:8 from the Peshitta NT is an exact match for the Peshitta OT in this place (Original Aramaic New Testament). He ascended to the heights and took captivity prisoner and he has given gifts to the children of men.’

Captives of Solomon

It has long been assumed that the mention of the ‘captives of Solomon’ at Amos 1:6, 9 is a Septuagint mistake. For the Masoretic (Hebrew) text doesn’t specify a particular race or people in these texts. It just tells us that whole populations were carried away to Edom.

However, the fact that both Solomon and David had captured and used people from the surrounding gentile nations as soldiers and as high officials in their realms is often overlooked. For example: We know that the Cherethites and Pelethites who served and fought for King David were gentiles, and that many Edomites (descendants of Esau), though still slaves, were also given supervisory positions in his realm (see 2 Samuel 8:13-18).

Therefore, it could well be that the Septuagint rendering of Amos 1:6, 9 is in fact the superior text, since it seems to refer to these subject peoples as the ones who had been carried off as captives.


At Revelation 4:6-8 were read of four animals (gr. zoa) that were covered with eyes, each of which had a different type of face, and they stood at the four corners of God’s throne. Yet, notice that this is the same descriptions of the animals that are called ‘cherubs’ in the book of Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 10:20-24). And this is why we have rendered them as cherubs (rather than zoa or animals) in Revelation… so as to prompt you to look up this reference and understand the true meaning of what you are reading.

Note however, that there is a difference between the descriptions of the cherubs in the Bible books. For in Ezekiel, each of the cherubs are described as having four different faces. But in the Revelation, the cherubs each have a single (but a different) face. Which is correct? We don’t know. But we are sure that the same description should be found in both texts.

Chest of Proofs

We are sorry to use such an unfamiliar term, but the common term Ark of the Covenant may not accurately describe the sacred box that originally held the tablets of the Ten Commandments, the writings of Moses, the manna, and the walking stick of Aaron. For the meaning of the ancient English word ‘ark’ has been lost in history, and the second word, ‘covenant’ (meaning, sacred agreement) isn’t always used as part of the name in the Greek text.

Note that in some places in the Septuagint text, it is called the kiboton marturion, which literally means, Box [of] Testimony. And the reason why it could be properly called that, is because the box was built to hold the Proofs of the things that God did for IsraEl. And this is why, wherever the words kiboton marturion appear in the text, we have called it the Chest of Proofs.

However, it was in fact called the Chest of the Sacred Agreement (or, Ark of the Covenant) at Exodus 27:21 and in other places. But after the IsraElites settled in the Promised Land, it was always referred to as the kiboton marturion, or Chest of Proofs in the Septuagint text.

Something that most people don’t realize though, is that during the time of the Prophet SamuEl and the High-Priest Eli, the Philistines captured the Chest, emptied its contents, and returned it to IsraEl empty. According to the Bible account there, they returned it because it brought a plague on their people (see 1 Samuel 5:12).

However, later, the sacred tablets containing the Ten Commandments are once again mentioned as being in the Chest during the time of King Solomon (but nothing else… see 1 Kings 8:9); so we must assume that these less-perishable items had been found and returned.

ChoBar River

Just where was the Prophet EzekiEl when he received his many visions and words from God? He says that he was along the ChoBar (or CheBar) River in Babylon… and many assume that he was living in the city of Babylon along its Grand Canal (which could still be true). However, note that living in the land of Babylon isn’t necessarily the same as living in the City of Babylon; for the land of Babylon covered a vast empire.

Understand that when the kings of Babylon deported and resettled whole nations, there was obviously not enough room to keep them in just a single city. So, it is likely that only the top officials or royalty were taken to their capital city, since the city itself was too small to handle the influx of millions of deported foreigners.

Therefore, although DaniEl and others of noble birth were in fact taken to the city of Babylon, it seems as though the majority of the commoners were deported to some other location in that land, which would explain why EzekiEl speaks in awe of faithful DaniEl, but he doesn’t mention speaking to or dealing with him directly, which you would expect if they lived nearby.

However, even DaniEl didn’t live in Babylon after it was invaded. Rather, we read that he lived in Persian city of Susa, where he had been taken by King Darius shortly before his death. For what is thought to be Daniel’s Tomb is still found there (see the link Susa).

A likely location for the Jewish resettlement (and that of EzekiEl) is actually quite a distance west of the city of Babylon and directly north of Palestine, on the eastern side of the land of Syria. For there we find a river with a name that has a very similar name to ChoBar, the Khabour. So, many Bible scholars now accept this as the site of that relocation and as the place where EzekiEl did his writing.

This location, which is much closer to JeruSalem, seems more likely, since EzekiEl’s prophecies were primarily against Judah and JeruSalem, and his messages were to be carried back there. This would of course have been difficult if EzekiEl did his prophesying and writing in the far-away city of Babylon (a three-month journey away).


Some have commented on the fact that although this Bible translates the Greek word Christon (Christ) as Anointed One, we have left the words Christian and Antichrist unchanged. Why is this?

Under the Note, ‘Who are God’s Anointed?,’ we pointed out that Christon means Anointed or Chosen One, and using the Anglicized corruption of the Greek word Christon doesn’t really convey the proper meaning to most Bible readers today. This is why, rather than speaking of Jesus as the Christ, we have chosen to speak of him as the Anointed One, which is what the word ‘Christ’ really meant to First-Century Christians.

However, this isn’t the case with the word Christian (which literally means Follower of the Anointed One), because nothing is commonly misunderstood about that term. Rendering it as ‘Anointed One-ians,’ or anything similar would simply be confusing, since the word ‘Christian’ has been the name that is universally applied to Jesus’ followers since the time of the Apostles, and it doesn’t lead to a misunderstanding, as does the word Christ. This is also the reason why we have left the word Antichrist unchanged.

Please note that the purpose here is not to use obscure terms for consistency, but rather, to help readers understand the true meanings of the words that are used in the Bible.

For more information, see the linked document, ‘Christians, Jews, and Moslems.’

Cosmos, Kosmos, Arrangement, or World?

In Jesus’ discussion about the sheep and goats, as found at Matthew 25:34, he said:
‘Then the king will tell those on his right, Come, you who’ve been praised by my Father; inherit the Kingdom that’s been prepared for you from the founding of the world.’

In Greek, the words we have translated as founding of the world are katabole kosmou. You may recognize that the English word cosmos is a derivative of kosmou, as are also the words, cosmetics and cosmetology, and cosmos is the word that modern peoples usually use when referring to the universe. So, notice that we could have also (correctly) translated it as, ‘founding of the arrangement,’ since arrangement is the closest English translation of the Greek word kosmos.

For example, when Paul urged Christian women to dress modestly, he used the word kosmos to describe well-arranged clothing. However, in other Bibles, kosmos is almost always translated as world, which is a bit misleading, because most English-speaking people often think that world means the same thing as the earth.

In the Hebrew texts of the Ancient Scriptures of IsraEl (OT), we don’t find a word that is similar to ‘kosmos.’ Rather, we find the Hebrew word teᶥl used. And although that word is also translated into English as world; in the Greek Septuagint it was translated as oikoumene in every case, which refers to the habitation or home of mankind. So, where oikoumene is used (as it is many times in the Christian Era Scriptures), the meaning is more similar to the earth.

Notice that although the Greek words kosmos and oikoumene don’t mean the same things, both words are commonly translated as world in other Bibles… which can be very misleading. For where kosmos is always translated as world (as in the world of Noah, the light of the world, the field is the world, etc.), the result is often a misunderstanding of what was truly meant, because there are some fifteen definitions given to the word world in English dictionaries, and most don’t carry the same meaning as the Greek word kosmos. So, in many (but not all) places, world is a poor choice for translating it.

As an example: kosmos is often used in the Greek text to describe the arrangement or situation of human society in general, and at other times it is used to describe just the IsraElite or Jewish arrangement (not the whole world). So, the terms system of things or arrangement are frequently the better and more accurate word choices when translating kosmos.

Notice how the word kosmos was used by Paul at Romans 5:12:
Sin entered the arrangement (kosmos) through one man, and this sin resulted in death. So by this [one] sin, death was passed on to all men and they have all sinned.’

Here you can see that the arrangement Paul was talking about was the one that began with Adam. However, the Scriptures indicate that there was another arrangement or system of things, which began after the Downpour of Noah’s day and which Noah inherited. For notice what we are told at Hebrews 11:7:
‘It was because of [his] faith in a Divine Warning about things which were not yet seen that Noah was moved by fear to build a chest for the saving of his [family]. And through this righteous faith he condemned that arrangement and became its heir.’

Also notice what was said at 2 Peter 2:4, 5:
‘God didn’t spare the messengers who sinned, but threw them into the dark pits of Tartarus where they are awaiting His justice. And He didn’t spare that first arrangement, but He guarded Noah (who was a preacher of righteousness) along with seven others, when He brought a downpour upon a world of godless people.’

So apparently, there have been other arrangements:
1. The one that started before the Downpour with Adam, which Noah inherited
2. The new arrangement that started after the Downpour
3. Possibly a third arrangement that God created for His worship in JeruSalem through Moses
4. Possibly the (Christian) arrangement that began with the death of Jesus.

Therefore (from the above), we may conclude that what Jesus said about the Kingdom having been prepared for the sheep since the founding of the world could mean that the Kingdom was God’s plan for the righteous since at least the time of Adam’s sin in Paradise, or possibly since the time of the Downpour, or since the time that He established a system for His true worship in JeruSalem, or even since the coming and death of Jesus. For at Revelation 13:8 Jesus is referred to as:
‘the one who had been slaughtered from the founding of the arrangement
(gr. esphagmenou apo kataboles kosmou, or, who/was/slaughtered from foundation – or down-throw – kosmos).
Therefore, we could be living in an entirely new world, arrangement, or system of things since the time of his death.

Cross or Pole?

The Greek word stauros simply means pole. So, regardless of popular tradition and doctrine, there is no mention of a pole with a cross piece (cross) in the original Bible text. Also, we have translated the Greek word staurotheto (which other Bibles render as crucified) as impaled (put on a pole or stake) here, because that’s what it actually means.

Then, are we saying that Jesus didn’t die on a cross? Not necessarily, for there is quite a bit of historical evidence to indicate that he did (see the link, ‘Instrument of Jesus’ crucifixion’). Yet, whether the Romans used an upright pole or one with a cross beam as a means of torture and execution is really unimportant. For it’s only when people view such objects as something to which they would pray (and many do) that the act is condemned in the Bible as being idolatry. Rather, what should be held as sacred to Christians is the person who gave his life on our behalf, not the disgusting object of his execution.

Crowns, Garlands, Turbans, and Diadems

In the Bible we read of two different types of royal headgear that was worn by Kings… crowns (gr. stephanos) and turbans (gr. diademas). Which did the kings of IsraEl, such as David and Solomon, wear?

A study of history shows that most kings wore some sort of hat on official occasions, which varied by time and by country. However, in ancient IsraEl and in other middle-eastern countries, the common headgear for kings was a turban that was set with gold and jewels. And this remained the custom throughout the history of the Jews, because, crowns with points were generally thought of by the faithful as representing the rays of the sun (an idol), since gold crowns with points were worn as ‘haloes’ by pagan kings to indicate their sign of appointment by (the Sun) God.

The first Bible reference to a gold crown being worn by a king is found at 2 Samuel 12:30, where David took one from the head of the Ammonite king of RabBath, named Malchom. And although the account tells us that he then placed it on his own head, it doesn’t appear as though wearing such a thing was the custom of kings of IsraEl thereafter, for the placing of Malchom’s crown on his head seems to represent David’s victory, not his envy of the pagan king’s headgear.

Notice that at Revelation 12:3, the Dragon is depicted as having seven heads and ten horns, and on each of its heads was what is often rendered in other Bibles as diadems, and which most religious pictures portray as gold crowns. However, these should actually be depicted as turbans, because, the Greek word used there is dia-dema (through wraps or turbans), not stephanos (crowns).

Also notice that the Greek word ‘stephanos’ doesn’t always mean a gold crown. For if you look up the dictionary meaning for stephanos, you’ll see that it could also describe a victory wreath… and this is how we have rendered the word in most cases. For the Bible uses the word ‘stephanos’ more often as a sign of victory than of kingship. And if you understand that, it gives us a better understanding of the true meanings of these verses:

·      1 Corinthians 9:25:
‘And every fighter has to maintain full control just to win a garland that rots away.’

·      Philippians 4:1:
‘So, my brothers who are loved and longed for (my joy and my victory garland); keep standing just as you are in the Lord, O loved ones!’

·      1Peter 5:4:
‘Then, when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you’ll walk away with the enduring garland of glory!

David Dancing Naked

The account at 2 Samuel 6:14 well illustrates the reason why we have come to trust the Greek text over the Hebrew text. For in the Septuagint, King David is described as wearing a fine robe (στολην εξαλλον) while he danced in the parade leading God’s Sacred Chest into JeruSalem for the first time, whereas the Hebrew text says he was wearing just a linen ephod (vest). So, when his wife Michal accused him of exposing himself while he danced, the conclusion that the Hebrew text implies is that he celebrated bringing Jehovah’s Chest to JeruSalem by dancing naked from the waist down, which doesn’t sound appropriate or likely. Rather, the Greek text shows that he was fully covered in fine clothes, and Michal’s accusation was probably the hyperbole of a disgusted wife who didn’t think that her husband was behaving as her father Saul would have done.

Therefore, did David actually expose his sexual parts? Well, apparently the ancient IsraElites wore no underpants beneath their robes, so lively dancing could theoretically have exposed his under parts. But the rest of Michal’s and David’s words seem to indicate that she was more concerned about his dancing wildly and joyfully than with the idea that he had truly exposed himself.


How long are God’s ‘days?’ Some say that they consist of 24 earth hours, or one rotation of our planet (see Genesis 1:31 for example), while others say they are 1,000 years long (from the words of Peter at 2 Peter 3:8), and yet others claim that they are 7,000 years long. Is any of this true?

Twenty-four Hours? Religious Christians who call themselves ‘Fundamentalists’ say that God created the heavens and the earth in seven earth days (168 hours). For they claim that the Bible was being literal when describing each of the ‘days’ of creation in the First Chapter of Genesis. However, when they read at Genesis 2:4 that God created the heavens and the earth in a day rather than six individual days, it is usually assumed that the word ‘day’ was used figuratively, meaning a period of time. Therefore, while we will agree that the dating methods used by modern archeologists aren’t always trustworthy, it does seem as though the arguments of such fundamentalists are at best a bit inconsistent and out of line with common sense.

One Thousand Years Long?
In Greek, 2 Peter 3:8 reads literally word-for word as translated from the Greek text):
‘the moreover thing not let/be/hidden/from you beloved, that one day with/the Lord/is LIKE (gr. hos) a/thousand years and a/thousand years/is LIKE (gr. hos) day one.’

From this, you can see that Peter wasn’t saying that God’s days are 1,000 years long. He was just pointing out that time isn’t relevant to God, since He lives in a realm where time doesn’t exist.

The fact that we can see the light of stars that are millions of light-years away, proves that our universe has been around much longer than just a few thousand years. For the light coming from them (when traveling at 186,000 miles per second) would not be visible to us here on the earth yet, if those distant stars were just a few-thousand years old.

Seven Thousand Years Long?
Back in the late 1800s, some ‘Adventist’ theologians decided that each of the creative ‘days’ of Genesis Chapter One had to be 7,000 years long. So because of this, they taught (and some still teach) that we are still in God’s sixth creative day.

According to those assumptions and calculations, it has been about 36,000 years since God started forming the earth for human and animal population. For they teach that we are just 6,000 years into the sixth creative ‘day,’ which is about to end, and that Jesus’ 1000-year reign (as mentioned in the Revelation) is going to start when the seventh period (or ‘day’) within that 7,000 years begins.

However, we are now well past that time (for more information, see the subheading, ‘Theory 1 – Six Thousand Years’ in the linked document, ‘Armageddon – When?’) and nothing really happened. So, what was wrong with their theory?

Well, the problem is that their calculations were based on errors in the Masoretic (Hebrew) Bible text, as well as on other wrong assumptions that have since been disproven by good sense and scientific discoveries.

So from this, we must assume that the ‘days’ mentioned in the Genesis creation account were not days as we would count them by the rotation of our earth as it goes around the sun, but rather, the reference to ‘days’ in the Genesis account refers to periods of creation, the length of which are known only to God, during which He did specific things.

Understand that the words found at Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 were originally written poetically, likely as the words of an ancient song that Moses recorded at the start of his writing of the Book of Genesis. You will notice this if you pay attention to the opening words of each phrase, such as, ‘Then The God spoke,’ and observe the length of the sentences and the cadence of the words that follow.

Then are we saying that the Genesis creation account is just a nursery-rhyme song or fable? No, for few would disagree with the accuracy of the order of the events that are described in these Chapters. And from this, we would have to conclude that someone who was there when these things happened must have had a hand in the description and in the inspiration of the song, since the chance of ancient humans getting everything in the right order is very unlikely.

So, our conclusion is that it truly is God-inspired. Yet, it was written in simplistic poetry, possibly in a song that could easily be remembered and understood by ancient peoples who had no understanding of the vastness of time or space.

Day and Hour

Many people have said that it is futile to try to determine when ‘the Day of the Lord’ will arrive because of what Jesus said as recorded at Matthew 24:36:
‘No one knows the day and hour – no, not the messengers of heaven or the Son, but only the Father.’
Yet, notice what Paul wrote at 1 Thessalonians 5:3, 4:
‘And whenever they are saying, ‘Peace and security;’ destruction will come upon them instantly like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they won’t escape. Therefore brothers; since you aren’t in the dark, don’t let that Day [sneak up] on you like a thief.’

So from Paul’s words, we can conclude that though the ‘day and hour’ wasn’t known when Jesus was on the earth, world conditions and specifically a world-wide cry of ‘peace and security’ will give true Christians clear indications of an impending end to this age, so that those who are awake won’t be surprised at its coming.

Day of the Lord

Throughout the Bible we find references to ‘the Day of Jehovah,’ and ‘the Day of the Lord’ (Jesus). Are both of these references speaking of the same period?

There appears to be no conflict; in fact, it could be that the wording in each case should always read, ‘Day of the Lord,’ since we question whether the Divine Name was originally ever used when speaking prophetically of this event. However, even if both God and ‘the Lord’ are spoken of in connection with this day, there is still no conflict. For notice what we are told in the Revelation, when it is speaking of the beginning of that Day (at Revelation 12:10):
‘Now has come the salvation and the power,
As well as the Kingdom of our God;
For His Anointed has now been empowered,
And the accuser of our brothers has been cast down,
Who blames them before God day and night!’

As you can see, the purposes of that Day are tied together. For the establishment of God’s Kingdom (with the battle in heaven and the ouster of the Opposer and his messengers) and the empowering of Jesus (the Lord) to begin his rule, appear to be simultaneous.

So, will the things spoken of in the Revelation happen before ‘the Lord’s Day’ begins? No, for notice that the book starts out with the words (at Revelation 1:10), ‘Through the Breath [of God] I found myself in the Lord’s Day.’ Therefore, we must assume that all the things mentioned in the Revelation will happen DURING the Lord’s Day.

Then, what are some of the things to look for that will lead up to that Day? Well, one of the first signs mentioned is the ouster of the Opposer and his messengers from heaven (see Revelation 12). This is followed by the destruction of ‘The Great Babylon’ (See Revelation 17, 18). Then in rapid succession comes the wedding reception of the Lamb, the Battle of Armageddon, and the resurrections (see Revelation 19, 20).

And at the end of the Lord’s Day, we read that the Opposer will be released from the abyss for a short time, which leads to the battle against Gog of Magog … and this is followed by the descent of ‘New JeruSalem’ to the earth and the making of the ‘new land and new sky’ (see Revelation 21).

Dedicated to Destruction

Notice that at Leviticus 27:28, 29, God gave these instructions to Moses: ‘Anything a man has that he chooses to curse before Jehovah, whether it’s a man, an animal, or a field that he owns; it may never be sold or taken back. Everything that is cursed for destruction becomes very holy to Jehovah. And whoever is cursed from among mankind must not be ransomed, but must surely be put to death.’

Notice that this law is talking about the cursing of vile people or nations, and God was saying that when such a vow is made, the person who makes the vow must surely complete it by destroying the things and/or or the people whom the/she cursed.

An example of the outworking of such an oath can be found at Numbers 21:2, 3, where the IsraElites swore an oath to God to dedicate a particular group of CanaAnites and all of their cities to Him, if He would just give them the victory. The account says:
‘That was when IsraEl swore a vow to Jehovah, saying, If you will hand them over to us, we will dedicate them and their cities to You. So Jehovah listened to the voices of [the people of] IsraEl and gave the Canaanites into their hands; then they [totally destroyed] them and their cities. And they started calling that place The Cursed.’

Understand that vowing to curse someone or something is an extremely serious matter in the eyes of God, for when such a vow is made, the person doing the cursing becomes obligated to God to carry out the curse.

And we find the results of making such a curse too quickly in the heat of a fight or argument discussed in Leviticus 24:11-25, where one man swore a curse in God’s name against another, and he was thereafter stoned to death for his foolish vow, for it was a vow of murder.

At Acts 23:12 we find another case of a foolishly-made vow to God, where a group of Jews swore not to eat until they had murdered Paul (the Apostle). But then they were unable to complete the unrighteous vow, bringing God’s condemnation upon themselves. And the thing that we learn from the law and from the results of such cursing (when we ask God to damn someone), is that the damnation may come upon ourselves.

Demonized Man

In the account found at Luke 8:26-39, Jesus encountered a man who was possessed by many demons, which he cast out of him and sent into a nearby herd of pigs. Then as Jesus was leaving, the man asked Jesus if he could come with him (become one of Jesus’ disciples). However, Jesus told him no, and to just return to his town and tell the people there what had happened.

These actions of Jesus may seem strange to some, because he had never declined an offer for someone to become a disciple, nor did he want people spreading the news about his miracles. So, why did he react so differently in this case?

Well, notice that the land where he did this was outside of the borders of IsraEl, in a Greek settlement called the DecaPolis (Ten Cities), near one city that may have been called Geras (since it was called the land of the Gerasenes). Therefore, the man was likely a gentile who lived in a gentile land (notice that they were herders of pigs, which were unclean animals to the Jews). And since Jesus’ commission from God was just to go to the Jews and the related Samaritans, this gentile would have been an inappropriate disciple in the land of IsraEl.


One of the strange results of the common belief that our ‘souls’ or ‘spirits’ leave our bodies when we die, is that it leads people to believe that we are surrounded by spirits of dead people who can haunt and harm us. In fact, there are many TV programs that tell of unnatural occurrences, which they attribute to the spirits of those who have died. Yet, any study of ancient religions shows that such beliefs come from pagan traditions, not from the Bible. For throughout the Bible we read instead of ‘demons’ being the true source of such unearthly things, and these aren’t the spirits of dead humans.

What are demons? Well, although many people believe in the existence of ‘extra-terrestrials’ (creatures that come from other planets), they don’t choose to believe what the Bible says about the existence of evil ‘spirit’ (breath-like) beings that have lived since the dawn of creation… other ‘sons of God’ who have chosen a rebellious course of existence, and are called ‘demons.’

Are there really demons? Yes, for the Bible tells us (at Deuteronomy 32:16, 17):
‘With strange gods, they enraged Me,
And with loathsome things, made Me angry.
For, to unknown demons, they offered sacrifices,
And not to the God [of all] gods.’

Psalm 96:55:
‘For the gods of the nations are demons,
But Jehovah created the skies.’

Psalm 106:35-38:
‘They mixed with the nations and learned of their ways,
And served their idols to offend Him.
They offered their sons and daughters to demons…
They poured out innocent blood…
The blood of their own sons and daughters.
To CanaAn’s carvings they sacrificed them,
And polluted the land with murder and blood.’

Isaiah 65:3:
‘Before Me they stand and [do evil things]…
For they sacrifice in their gardens
And burn incense on bricks before demons!

Matthew 12:24:
‘But on hearing that, the Pharisees said, He’s throwing out demons by [the power of] BeElZebub, the ruler of the demons!

Luke 5:41:
‘Demons also came out of many of them, shouting, You’re the Son of God!

Luke 8:30:
‘So Jesus asked him: What is your name?
And he replied, Legion (because many demons had entered him).’

1 Corinthians 10:20:
‘I’m telling you that the things the nations offer as sacrifices are being offered to the demons, not to God…  and I don’t want you to become sharers with the demons!’

1 Timothy 4:1:
‘However, the Spirit definitely says that some will leave the faith in the future and pay attention to wicked spirits and the teachings of demons.’

So yes, demons are real. But where did they come from?

Genesis 6:1, 2:
‘Now, as the population of men grew on the earth and they fathered daughters, the sons of God noticed that the daughters of men were beautiful… so they took all whom they chose as their women. (Notice that these were ‘sons of God,’ but the women were ‘daughters of men.’)

2 Peter 2:4, 5:
‘God didn’t spare the messengers (angels) who sinned, but threw them into the dark pits of Tartarus, where they are awaiting His justice… and He didn’t spare the first arrangement. Yet, He guarded Noah (who was a preacher of righteousness) along with seven others, when He brought a downpour upon a world of godless people.’

So, according to the Bible, demons are in fact ‘extraterrestrial life forms’ that were created by God (making them His sons) who have chosen a rebellious course of life and have been locked away here on the earth, where they desire to continue to do bad things and to be worshiped.

Therefore, it appears as though these ‘sons of God’ came to earth and assumed human bodies in Noah’s day. However, because they couldn’t be destroyed by the downpour (flood) and they had forsaken heaven, they were apparently put into a prison-like state here on the earth, where they are no longer able to roam.

Understand that demon is a Greek word that seems to be derived from dia-meno, which means fixed in one place. From other Bible accounts about demons, it appears as though this ‘fixing in one place’ means that they must be associated with either living or non-living things, which is referred to as ‘possession.’ These are likely the same ones that are referred to in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and in the Revelation, as ‘chained demons.’

However, there also appear to be other demons that are not chained or fixed in one place. These, as well as the ‘chained demons,’ are mentioned at Isaiah 34:12-14.

It is interesting that at Acts 17:18, it is recorded that the Epicureans and Stoic Philosophers of Greece referred to Paul’s teachings as coming from ‘a foreign demon.’ Although most translations render these words as ‘foreign god,’ they actually said ‘demon’ (gr. daimonion). And notice Paul’s reply as found at Acts 17:22:
‘Men of Athens; I see that you have a greater fear of the demons than do others.’

The reason why this term was used is obvious: The many pagan idols and Gods of Athens, although made of metal and stone, actually had the backing of demons, and the people recognized the power that was given to these lifeless objects through ‘possession’ by their gods.

So, understand that there are no such things as the spirits of dead humans that haunt the earth. The Bible tells us at Ecclesiastes 9:5:
‘For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have a reward, since the memory of them is forgotten.’

Did Aaron Personally Make the Gold Calf?

Although the Bible text that talks about the making of the gold calf in the desert seems to indicate that this was the personal handiwork of Aaron, the next verse implies that he had likely authorized someone else (skilled craftsmen) to do the actual work, because he didn’t build an Altar to it until after he saw the idol. So, the reason why he was spoken of as ‘making’ the calf, was because he was responsible for building it, and that’s why we have rendered these texts as we have… to clarify that point. He likely didn’t have the necessary craftsmanship skills to do the work.

Also notice that the calf was supposed to represent Jehovah; so, the people didn’t really think of themselves as worshiping another god. They just wanted something that they could SEE to worship, like the gods they could see in Egypt… ‘memory aids.’ And since a calf was often the first (and most valuable) sacrifice that they offered to God, this might have been the reason for the idol being carved into that shape.

However, remember that God had already forbidden their making or using idols, and that’s why He was so displeased. They shouldn’t have needed anything to see as proof that He was there, because of all the miracles that they had been witnessing, such as His Bringing them through the Red Sea, or the column of clouds that led them during the day or the column of fire that was with them during the nights!

Then, why wasn’t Aaron held more to blame for his part in building the idol? Apparently, God still saw some good in Aaron.

Remember that the previous few Chapters in the Exodus told of what God was saying to Moses while he was on the mountain… and though He knew what was going on down below, God still spoke of the honor that was to be shown to Aaron and his sons.

This situation may be very difficult for many to understand because of the knowledge that we have accumulated about God down to this day. However, what most people don’t realize is how rudimentary the knowledge and ideas about God must have been at the time… even for Aaron. For until they had been delivered from Egypt, there had been little contact with the true God for four-hundred years! So the proper ways of serving Him had likely been forgotten. And as the result, God had to start from scratch in building and shaping a nation of worshipers… and they had to be taught some very hard lessons along the way, which often resulted in their deaths, because people had to understand that this was a life-and-death matter.

Notice too that when Moses asked, ‘Who is on Jehovah’s side?,’ and he assembled a small army to slaughter the unfaithful; ‘the Sons of Levi’ (which likely included Aaron and his family) came to Moses and took their stand for Jehovah.

Did an Angel Want to Kill Moses?

The words of Exodus 4:24 have long been a source of concern to most Bible students, because what is said in both the Hebrew and Greek texts is that an angel wanted to kill ‘him’ at an inn. And since the person mentioned in the preceding verse was Moses, we could logically conclude that he was the person that the angel was planning to kill.

Of course, this scenario is illogical, because God had just commissioned Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand that His people be set free. So, why would a messenger from God try to thwart God’s plans?

The fact that a specific person isn’t mentioned in this text allows that the ‘him’ spoken of in the verse wasn’t Moses. Frequently, the Bible uses personal pronouns such as ‘him’ without disclosing which person is meant. And that’s why you will often find names in brackets [ ] in this Bible… to clarify the name of the individual who is being spoken of by the use of a personal pronoun.

Note in this case, that the person who was spoken of in the following paragraph (in connection with this event) is Moses’ son. For there we read that his mother apparently saved his life by circumcising him on the spot. Why was this important? Because God’s instructions to AbraHam were that every Hebrew male was to be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. And since this obviously hadn’t been done to Moses’ son, he by law, was to be put to death (see Genesis 17:14).

So, the ‘him’ that was in danger of being killed by God’s messenger was Moses’ son, since God’s Law had been violated by his not being circumcised.

Why hadn’t Moses circumcised his son? We don’t know, but the fact that his mother circumcised him likely indicates that she was the one to blame… and she knew it. Remember that her father is described as being ‘the priest of Midian.’ Thus, he could have been a priest to a pagan god. And if so, this may have been the reason why she opposed the circumcision of her son.

Did God Create Evil?

According to the Authorized King James Bible, Isaiah 45:7 should be translated as saying:
‘I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil.’
And this particular translation of God’s words is where some people get the idea that men have no choice in their destiny. For if evil comes from God, then He predestines the outcome for everyone, and we are what we are because it’s His Will.

But was God really saying that He is responsible for all that is evil? You don’t get that impression if you understand ancient Hebrew Poetry, which is what this is. For in classical Hebrew poetry, one statement is made, which is thereafter mirrored in the statement that follows. And in this case, note that the second statement as it is translated it in English doesn’t seem to follow the first. For the first part of the statement makes the contrast between the opposites of light and darkness, while the second seems to speak of two things that are not thought of as direct opposites, peace and evil. So, something seems to have been lost either in the copying or in the translating of this section of the verse.

What word is the antonym peace (gr. eirenen)? Most would say it is war. But is war the only thing that takes away peace? No, we’re sure you would agree that anything that is bad and/or unsettling removes peace from our lives. And this is what we believe is the point of this verse. For the Greek word that is translated as evil (gr. kaka) here doesn’t necessarily mean something that is done for bad reasons. Rather, we (and other translators) have consistently translated it as bad.

But, does this really make a difference, for isn’t God still saying that He’s responsible for all that is bad (or evil)? No, what He’s saying is that whenever He creates something, this also brings the opposite into existences… it’s the natural law of action and reaction.

Take for example the first part of the verse, ‘I prepared light and I made the darkness.’ Understand that there was no darkness (absence of light) before God created light. Nor was there cold (the absence of heat) before He created heat, and there was no silence before He created sound. So, when He created peace, He also created the absence of peace, for one can’t exist without the other, since there would be no frame of reference by which we could measure the absence of something before it actually exists. And the point God is making is that EVERYTHING came into existence through him, for even when he creates good things, the possibility of the opposite comes into existence.

Dip or Sop of the Last Supper

The Bible tells us that Jesus and his Apostles ate fermentation-free bread during his Last Supper, and that they dipped the bread into something that was in a bowl (or bowels) that ancient Bibles referred to as a sop. Exactly what was this sop… was it a gravy?

Actually, it was likely a mixture of olive oil, herbs, and salt, which has been a favorite dipping sauce for bread through countless generations (try it sometime, if you are unfamiliar with it). We know that it likely wasn’t gravy or meat sauce, because the lamb was to be sacrificed and then eaten on the following night (see the link, ‘The Passover and the Lord’s Evening Meal’), and meat wasn’t normally eaten with every meal in ancient times. However, the Bible does tell us that part of the Passover celebration involved the eating of bitter herbs and bread, and surely salt and olive oil were used to add flavor and to soften the bread.

Disgusting Destroyer

History shows us that ‘the disgusting destroyer’ (gr. bdelugma tes eremoseos) of which Jesus spoke at Matthew 24:15 and which was prophesied earlier in the book of Daniel, proved to be the armies of Rome (with their pagan standards or flags) when they camped around JeruSalem’s walls in the year 66-CE. For according to EuSebius, Christians in the city recognized this series of events to be the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy found at Luke 21:21 that foretold JeruSalem’s destruction, and they heeded the warning to flee from the city when they saw these things happening. Then about 3-1/2 years later, in the year 70-CE, ‘all these things’ ended when the Romans returned and totally destroyed JeruSalem, its Temple, and its priesthood.


The first mention of dogs as human companions in the Bible is found at Exodus 11:7, where Moses was promised that in Egypt ‘not even a dog will snarl at a man or an animal.’ So, we must conclude that dogs were kept as companions among them, since they were likely used to herd their cattle.

The next mention of dogs in the Bible is when God was giving the IsraElites commandments about what they could and couldn’t eat. We find this at Exodus 22:31, which says:
‘And you must be holy [people] to Me, so you must not eat the flesh of wild animals. Rather, you should throw it to the dogs.’

So, we know from this account that dogs also traveled with the Hebrews into the desert during their forty-year trek to the Promised Land.

According to historians, people who lived in Canaan (such as the IsraElites) were possibly the first to domesticate wolves as dogs and keep them as pets or working animals; for the Latin name for dogs, canis, appears to have come from the term Canaan (referring to the land, not necessarily to the race).


The Greek word that is used throughout the Bible to describe the great flood of Noah’s Day is cataclysmos (it’s where we get the English word cataclysm). However, cataclysmos doesn’t mean flood. Cata means down and clysmos means pour. So, the word is correctly translated as Downpour herein.


The word dragon is found several times throughout the Greek texts of the Bible, and it is actually a Greek word (drakonta) that has basically been Anglicized. Note that dragons are thought of as animals with the bodies of snakes (gr. orphis), but they also have feet and legs. However, the many ways that the Greek term dragon and its apparent Hebrew counterparts (leviathan or behemoth) are used in the Bible seem to indicate some sort of fearsome wild beast.

What was the original dragon? It’s an interesting fact that the answer to this question would still be open to debate were it not for the explanation that we find at Revelation 12:9, which tells us:
‘So, the huge dragon was thrown out. He is the first snake, the one who is called the Slanderer and Opposer, who is misleading the whole earth.’

As you can see, this last book in the Bible clarifies the mystery of who the original ‘snake’ or ‘dragon’ that seduced Eve in the ‘Paradise of Delights’ (see Genesis 3:2) really was.

That the dragon is viewed as a snake with legs in religious legends throughout the world, testifies to the fact that people everywhere once believed in the Bible account in Genesis, and they also believed that when God cursed the snake to ‘travel on its chest and belly,’ it lost its legs.

The fact that the Bible speaks about what is translated as dragons several times raises some interesting questions, for the dragon, although supposedly a mythical animal, is one of the world’s most widely recognized creatures. It is highly regarded in the Buddhist religion and it can be seen in ancient religious carvings from around the world. This testifies to the fact that people have believed in the existence of dragons for as far back as human records go.

It is interesting that dragons are also part of the folklore of Europe, for who hasn’t heard the story of St. George and the Dragon? Yet, if you are familiar with that story, you’ll see that it is actually an allegory about man’s fight against sin and the Slanderer. So, in that case, it also refers to the original dragon, who was the first creature of terror.

Notice that faithful Job once asked the question (at Job 7:12):
‘Am I the sea or the dragon that guards it?’

This view that a dragon guarded the edges of the seas was common throughout Europe until after the Fifteenth Century, for dragons were usually drawn at the edges of maps of seas during that time.

Also notice that there is an entire Chapter in Job (Chapter 41) that is obviously a description of the dragon, who is clearly identified there as the evil one. However, the meanings of the words have been misunderstood by copyists, translators, and commentators alike due to the fact that the Hebrew text uses different words (since it is a different language). For Hebrew-based Bibles speak of a leviathan or a behemoth in the Book of Job. And it is also calls it, the crooked serpent.

And while it’s a fact that nowhere in the Septuagint text of Job 41 do we actually find the word ‘dragon;’ you can see that verses 18-21 are obviously talking about such a creature. For it says there:

‘His sneezing brings about brightness
And his eyes are like morning stars.
From out of his mouth comes burning lamps,
Like the scattered coals of a fire.
From his nostrils comes the smoke of a furnace,
Burning with the fire of live coals.
For his soul is much like live coals,
And flames shoot out of his mouth.’

Then notice the further description in verses 31, 32:

‘He breaks from the abyss as though a brass pot;
He thinks of the seas as his own ointment jar,
And the abyss of
Tartarus as his captive;
For to him, the abyss is just a promenade.
There’s nothing on earth that’s quite like him;
For he was made to be mocked by My angels.’

So, what is God talking about here? Well, some Bible critics dismiss the account of Job altogether, claiming that it is Bible mythology, while others say that God was just describing a wild ox. However, if you’ll examine these verses carefully, you’ll see that God was using cryptic text to explain to Job just who was to blame for the problems he had been experiencing.

Notice that the use of the word Tartarus in the Greek text (the place where evil gods are sent) in these verses provides us a clue to who is being spoken of, since the term isn’t found again in the Bible until the reference at 2 Peter 2:4; and the only mention of his coming out of his prison (pit or abyss) is found at Revelation 20:7. But of course, since Tartarus is a Greek word, the Hebrew text of these verses refers that place as ‘the white-haired deep.’

Nevertheless, you’ll find that this second-to-the-last Chapter in Job (as in any good writing), is really bringing back all the characters that the book started out with in the first chapter, God, the Evil One, and Job.

Then, why did Jewish scribes and translators have so much trouble understanding the meaning of the words here that there are some obvious deletions in the texts? There are four likely reasons:

1.   They didn’t believe in fire-breathing dragons

2.   They didn’t know that the Slanderer was the dragon

3.   They didn’t know of the Slanderer’s position in Tartarus or the pit (or ‘the deep’)

4.   The correct understanding would have linked the Book of Job to the NT Scriptures that were written later by Christians.

It is interesting that we also find mention of a dragon in the Greek text of Isaiah 27:1. For there we read:
‘In that day, He will bring His great holy sword
Against the dragon (the crooked fleeing snake),
And He will destroy that beast of the sea.’

Notice that this is an obvious reference to the destruction of the same dragon mentioned at Revelation 12:9. However, this link generally goes unnoticed, because the Hebrew-based texts use the word leviathan. And we only come to realize that dragon is the Greek word for leviathan if we compare the Greek Septuagint text to the Masoretic text, which most modern scholars refuse to do.

What is particularly interesting about this scripture is that it speaks of the dragon from the sea in the same words as are found at Ezekiel 32:2, where the reference is obviously to the land of Egypt and to its destruction.

And you will also find references to the land of Egypt in the song that precedes Isaiah Chapter 27. So, there does seem to be a cryptic connection the dragon, the sea, and the land of Egypt.

Notice that this song (as found at Isaiah 26:19-21), which precedes the discussion of the dragon, seems to speak of some future time when God’s people will be released from a symbolic Egypt after an Armageddon-like battle; for notice the rest of the words of the prophecy, which say:

‘We will not fall, though others will fall,
But the dead will be raised from their tombs.
Then, all on the earth will be joyful,
For as dew, You’ll send them a cure,
While the lands of the godless will fall.

‘So, proceed, O my people, to enter your bedrooms…
Go inside and lock all your doors,
Then hide in there for a while!
Because, this will happen, then that;
And the rage of Jehovah will pass.

‘{Look!} From His Holy Place, Jehovah sends rage
Upon those who live in the lands.
Then the ground won’t cover all of the blood,
Nor [the bodies] of those He destroys.’

So, Egypt seems to be used here as a symbol of the godless nations that are destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), and the dragon that represents them appears to be the Opposer (Devil or Satan).

Dragon’s Messengers

At Revelation 12:9 we read:
‘He (the dragon) was thrown down to the earth along with his messengers.

In Greek, the word that we’ve translated as messengers is aggeloi (angels). So, as God and Jesus have their ‘messengers,’ it appears as though the ‘Dragon’ also has his. How many? Revelation 12:4 says that ‘he drags a third of the stars of heaven.’ Thus, it appears as though the dragon has great (but limited) success in drawing followers from among the ‘angels’ in the heavens.

Are these messengers or angels also ‘demons?’ No, for demon (gr. diameno) appears to mean fixed in one place, which describes the ‘sons of God’ who apparently came to earth and assumed human bodies in Noah’s day (see the Note above, Demons). And because they had forsaken heaven, these ‘demons’ were put into a prison-like state here on the earth during and after the (Great) Downpour. And from other Bible accounts about demons, it appears as though this ‘fixing in one place’ means that they must be associated with either living or non-living things, which is referred to as ‘possession.’ These appear to be the same ones that are referred to in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and in the Revelation, as ‘chained demons.’

Yet, there also appear to be other followers of the Evil One that are not chained or fixed in one place. These, as well as the ‘chained demons,’ are mentioned at Isaiah 34:12-14.

Notice that the Dragon’s ‘messengers,’ which John saw and described in the Revelation, appear to still have access to the heavens until they eventually lose the battle there in ‘the Lord’s Day.’ But after that, they will be thrown down to the earth… though there is no indication that they become fixed to objects or people. So, this may be the reason why the Revelation refers to some of these followers as ‘messengers’ or ‘angels,’ not as demons.

But, why would ‘a third’ of God’s heavenly messengers choose to follow the dragon in rebellion? Well, while the Bible deals with the extent of the earthly rebellion against God, one can only imagine the full extent of the rebellion that is raging throughout our universe. However, a glimpse into the type of offer that the Slanderer might have made to seduce them into following him can be seen by the offer that he made to Jesus after his 40-day stay in the desert after his baptism. Luke 4:6 tells us:
‘Then the Slanderer said: I’ll give you power over all of these and the glory of them, because they have been given to me and I can give them to whomever I wish.’

So from this, we can see that the Slanderer now has power over all the governments of the world (also see Revelation 13:7). And apparently, he has offered heavenly messengers their own worldly governments, empires, and religions (worshipers) if they will follow him.

Earning a Living from Religion

At 2 Corinthians 2:17, Paul wrote:
‘We aren’t like others who are peddlers of the word of God (gr. kapeleuontes ton logon tou Theou). Rather, we speak sincerely through the Anointed One.’

Obviously, Paul is making the assertion here that he didn’t believe in making a comfortable living by preaching God’s Word. In fact, Paul boasted of his working as a tent maker so he could provide God’s Word without cost to the congregations. And as he says here, he often did without, simply because he refused to ask for help.

However, it must be admitted that on other occasions Paul spoke of his ‘authority’ to be supported in his preaching…  proving that receiving such material support isn’t necessarily wrong.

But let us examine why Paul chose not to depend on others to support him in his service to God. Notice his reasoning:
‘Rather, we speak sincerely through the Anointed One.’

And the obvious problem with trying to teach those who pay us to do so, is this matter of sincerity. For if one’s livelihood depends on the goodwill of his/her listeners, there may be a reluctance to say what needs to be said.

Eating Jesus’ Flesh and Drinking His Blood

At Jesus’ ‘Last Supper,’ which fell on the first day of the Jewish celebration of the Passover, he instituted a ritual that he told his Apostles to continue to do in memory of him and of his death. For at Luke 22:19, 20, we read:
‘Then he took a loaf [of bread], gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body, which is being handed over for you. Keep on doing this in memory of me. And he did the same thing with the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Sacred Agreement of my blood, which is being poured out for you.’

So, following Jesus’ instructions, partaking of Jesus’ ‘flesh and blood’ symbolizes that those who do so are expressing their desire to become part of him, or as the scriptures literally read, to be ‘in’ (gr. en) him. And now that science has given us a better understanding of what DNA does, perhaps we can more fully appreciate the meaning of what taking in a perfect DNA can mean for our lives.

You might also consider the meaning of the particular day that Jesus chose to memorialize his death, the first day of the seven-day Passover festival. For not only did he die on that same day (the Jewish days start at sunset and end at sunset), but the purpose for observing the Passover was to remember that God spared the lives of all the IsraElite firstborn from the angel that passed through the land of Egypt to destroy the firstborn in that land. And this was to be remembered by sacrificing a lamb on the first day, then eating it that evening (on the second day of Passover) every year thereafter.

Also, since this one act of salvation was the beginning of IsraEl’s relationship with God, those who partook of the sacrifices were indicating that they were agreeing to be His people and to be party to His Sacred Agreement with them. And in the same way, when we partake of the bread and wine that pictures Jesus’ flesh and blood, this means that we are also beginning a relationship with God and Jesus under the New Sacred Agreement that they have provided for our salvation.

When he was speaking ahead of time concerning this coming event, Jesus said to a large crowd of followers (at John 6:53-56):
‘I tell you the truth; if you don’t eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you won’t have life in yourselves. For those who chew my flesh and drink my blood will have age-long life, because I will resurrect them on the Last Day. Since my flesh is truly food and my blood is truly drink, those who chew on my flesh and drink my blood will remain in me, and I in them.’
(For more information on this, see the linked document, ‘The Passover and the Lord’s Evening Meal’).

Of course, as you can see, the modern religious custom of remembering Jesus’ death by putting palm ashes on the foreheads of Christians on ‘Good Friday,’ and celebrating his resurrection on ‘Easter Sunday’ (named after the ancient pagan Goddess Ishtar) doesn’t come close to the symbolic times or methods that Jesus chose for remembering his death as a human.

And why is all of this so important? As Jesus told us; We must ‘eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood’ if we wish to be resurrected on the Last Day (for more information, see the linked document, ‘The New Covenant’).

Eating Meat

Understand that the following words are not written to discourage the eating of meat, this is just a discussion of the words as they are found in the Bible texts.

It would be foolish to attempt to draw conclusions as to whether animals killed and ate meat before the time of Adam. If they did, apparently that wasn’t God’s purpose thereafter, for notice what He said, as recorded at Genesis 1:30: ‘[I have given] greenish-yellow plants as food to all the earth’s wild animals, all the winged creatures of the sky, and all the slithering animals that crawl on the ground and have life’s breath.’

Thereafter, with the commission that was given to Adam (at Genesis 1:28), we can see that the situation was to change for all the animals on the earth, because he was told that they were to thereafter obey him. For notice that God told Adam that he was to, ‘Rule over the fish of the seas, the winged creatures of the skies, all the herding animals of the ground, all the slithering animals that crawl on the ground, and the whole earth.’

So, it appears as though it was God’s purpose for humans to make the entire earth a peaceful place where none would ‘harm or destroy.’ However, this perfect purpose appears to have ended (at least for the time being) with Adam’s rebellion in the Paradise.

Also notice that from the start, God’s instructions to Adam appear to have been that both he and the animals were to only eat vegetation. For at Genesis 1:29, it is recorded that God said:
‘Look, I have given you all the seed-bearing plants for planting that are on the entire earth, as well as all the seed-bearing trees for planting, as your food.’

Then, after the rebellion, notice that He told Adam (at Genesis 3:18):
‘Briars and thistles will grow for you, and your food will be the grasses in the fields.’

So, the texts appear to indicate that both men and the animals were to be vegetarians.

Thereafter, we don’t know for sure what men people really ate, but they likely did eat animals after they were expelled from the paradise, for the fact that Abel (the one that God found to be righteous) was a herder of animals, would suggest this… remember that Cain was the gardener while Abel was the herdsman. Therefore, we must assume that the practice of eating animals was not condemned by God.

Then after the Downpour, God’s instructions to men had clearly changed from what He said in His instructions to Adam in the Garden, likely in recognition of what men were actually doing. For from that point on, He said that men could eat any sort of animal.

However, notice that prior to the Downpour (Flood), people must have already drawn some sort of line for themselves as to which animals were considered clean enough to eat and which were unclean (inedible), since God’s instructions to Noah about the types of animals that were to be brought into the Chest mentioned both types, the ‘clean’ (such as cattle) and the ‘unclean,’ which was probably based on each animal’s diet and habits. And thereafter, only the IsraElites were given the dietary restrictions to eat just ‘clean’ animals in their Law that came some 1700 years later.

However, the fact that this arrangement of eating animals didn’t really please God, appears to be indicated by the tone of the words in His instructions to Noah when He was telling him that they could eat the animals. Notice what He said at Genesis 9:3:
‘All living and slithering animals may serve as meat for you. I’ve given them all to you as though they were green vegetation.’

There was just one restriction that God gave them when it came to eating meat (something that is commonly disregarded by many people today): They were told that they were not to eat the blood, which God indicated is the source of the animal’s life. Pouring the animal’s lifeblood out (as a symbolic sacrifice) seems to indicate that the permission for men to eat animals was something that was temporary, and pouring out the blood is the way for us to acknowledge the sacredness of all life.

But if God considered the lives of the animals to be so important, then, why did He create laws that required the IsraElites to offer animal sacrifices to Him on a daily basis?

Well, it appears as though sacrificing animals wasn’t His idea. For notice what God Himself said concerning this at Jeremiah 7:21-23:

Gather up all your burnt-offerings,
As well as your other sacrifices,
Then go on and just eat all the meats!

‘For on the day that I led them from Egypt,
I didn’t ask your fathers to offer such things
I didn’t really tell them to bring Me
Whole burnt offerings or other sacrifices.

So, although the Old Law did require the sacrifices of living animals; in view of what God said as quoted above, we would have to assume that such instructions were given to the IsraElites as a concession to their views as to how they chose to worship God.

Eating with Unwashed Hands

At Matthew 15:2, we read of how Jesus’ Apostles (and likely Jesus himself) hadn’t washed their hands before eating (as was the custom in JeruSalem), and the Pharisees were objecting to this. However, what were they really objecting to?

It has often been preached that the Pharisees were complaining that Jesus and his Apostles hadn’t performed a ‘ritual washing’ (to the elbows). Yet, the words in the parallel account at Mark 7:2 clearly show that this isn’t what the Pharisees saying. Notice how this verse reads:
Kai idontes tinas ton matheton autou hoti koinais chersin taut estin aniptois esthiousin tous artous,’
and having/seen some of disciples of/him as/great with/unclean hands this being unwashed eating the bread.’

Note that their hands were described as being ‘koinais’ (meaning ‘unclean‘ or ‘dirty’) and ‘aniptois’ (unwashed). So according to the text, the Pharisees considered the hands of Jesus and his Apostles to be dirty, simply because they hadn’t washed them before eating. As you can see, there is no indication that they required some sort of ‘ritual washing.’

Understand that the Pharisees were teaching the people who lived in JeruSalem and the Province of Judea that they had to wash their hands vigorously (scrubbing them) before eating a meal. And yes, it was partly a religious thing, which was based on the rabbinic teaching that they should be a clean people. But, that wasn’t the end of the matter.

You might notice that (at Mark 7:4, 5) the Pharisees were also teaching the people (as part of the ‘ritual’) to ‘rinse’ the vegetables that they bought in the markets and to ‘soak’ (or ‘wash’) their dishes… which sounds like just a good idea. However, apparently such customs weren’t as strictly followed by Galileans back then (Jesus and eleven of his Apostles were from Galilee). And the point that we want to get from this is that Jesus wasn’t against washing his hands before eating, or washing vegetables before eating them, or against washing dishes. Rather, he was saying that God doesn’t require that we do such things. So, notice what Jesus went on to say about the matter, as found at Matthew 15:20:
‘Eating with unwashed hands doesn’t dirty a man.’

Of course, Jesus wasn’t really telling us that we should eat without washing our hands. For as the Son of God, he knew that disease and infection could be spread by allowing us to get too dirty. But as the text goes on to indicate; what he was concerned with here is something that was far more important! For what the Pharisees were doing was taking what they considered to be righteous principles and turning them into laws that they required others to observe as ‘tradition,’ but which went beyond what God required in His Laws. So, they were promoting their own personal opinions as laws, and some of these even allowed for people to show disregard for their parents.

His point? Christians shouldn’t be making up their own rules for others to follow! As Paul wrote:
‘Don’t go beyond the things that are written.’
For more information, see the linked document God’s Laws and Principles.

Edem (or Eden)

Was there really a Garden of Eden; and if so, where was it located?

Actually, the Septuagint says this at Genesis 2:8:
‘God planted a Paradise on the east side of Edem, where He put the man whom he had formed.’
Then in verses 10-14 we read:
‘A river flowed from Edem to water the Paradise, and from there [came the] head [waters] of four [rivers]. The name of the [first river] is Phison. It circles the entire land of Evilat, where there is gold (and the gold from that land is good), as well as coal and ornamental stone. The name of the second river is Geon. It runs around the land of Kush. The third river is the Tigris. It flows over toward the Assyrians. The fourth river is the EuPhrates.’

As you can see; according to the Septuagint, the Garden wasn’t named Eden, it was just called ‘the Paradise’ or ‘the Walled Garden’ (from the word’s old Iranian roots), and it was also called ‘the Paradise of Delights,’ at Genesis 2:15.

So, where did Eden come in? Notice that the Septuagint account tells us that the Garden was located along the east side of ‘the land of Edem.’ Therefore, the garden wasn’t named Eden (or Edem). Rather, it was located next to a land of that name.

But, which spelling is correct, Eden or Edem? We don’t know. However, we frequently find the letters M and N interchanged in Bible names in the ancient texts. However, don’t confuse this name (Ed-em) with Edom (Ed-om), although they both have similar meanings and may have once been pronounced the same, for Edom is the name of the land that belonged to the family line of IsaAc’s son Esau, and Edem or Eden is the name of a land east of that, which was next to the garden that we commonly call Eden today. And where was that?

It’s important to notice that when Moses wrote this first portion of Genesis, he used the names of places and countries that existed in his day to describe where they had once been. For at Genesis 2:14 he tells us that the Tigris river ‘flows over toward the Assyrians.’ And since there was no nation of Assyria before the Downpour, we must assume that he was describing the place where it was located in his day, which was somewhere north of the ancient land of Assyria… for the Tigris River was described as flowing from Edem into Assyria.

So then, was there really a land of Edem that existed north of Assyria in the time of Moses? Yes, for there was a people called the Sons of Edem that are mentioned in other scriptures. Notice, for example, that at 2 Kings 19:12 (4 Kings 19:12 Sept.), we read that when the Assyrians were taunting the people of JeruSalem by bragging about the cities they had already conquered, they spoke of their conquest of the Sons of Edem at ‘ThaEsthen’ (‘Tel Assar’ in the Hebrew text), which almost all modern references cite as being ‘a country annexed to Assyria.’

Therefore, the land of Edem (or Eden) was likely north of where most people think of it as being today (in southern Iraq), for that’s where you’ll find the headwaters of the Tigris, EuPhrates, and two other rivers, the Geon (probably the Gihon or the Gaihun-Aras) and the Phison (likely the Pishon, which is now known as the Sefid-Rud, or Long Red River), since they have similar names today. So, as several modern researchers have concluded, the Garden was probably located to the southwest of Mt. Ararat near the modern city of Tabriz in Azerbaijan.

It’s also important to note that the Bible account tells us that the headwaters of these rivers all started in the area of the land of Edem (not in the Garden). Yet, if the garden had been (as most sources say) near Babylon, a geographical map shows that the headwaters of these rivers have never started that far south in what is now a desert. For as with many rivers, the source is often found in the mountainous regions, such as near Mt. Ararat. And notice that this area is still called Eden today by the local tribes.

Then, was there a man named Edem from whom the land at the foot of Mt. Ararat derives its name? That is likely, but since Edem appears to mean red earth, the term the sons of Edem could also mean the sons of the red earth after the bright red ochre soil that is found near Tabriz. Also, since the name Adam also seems to mean Red Earth, it could be that the red soil from that area (SW of Ararat) was the dust of the ground from which Adam was made.

Another thing to note is that according to Genesis 10:7, one of the descendants of Noah’s son Kush (a dark-skinned race of people) was named Evilat, which is the name of the land around which the Phison flowed (see Genesis 2:11)… yes, it’s where the account says that gold and other valuable minerals could be found.

Also, the Hebrew (Masoretic) text says that the Geon River ran around ‘the entire land of Kush’ (it was originally spelled with a K not a C). So according to the Genesis account, the dark-skinned Kushites once lived in this area north of Assyria. For the Bible tells us that Kush’s son Nimrod founded many cities in Iran and Iraq… but is there any historical proof that this is so?

Notice that the book ‘A History of All Nations from Earliest Times’ by John Henry Wright speaks of a dark-skinned race that once lived along the Black Sea coast in Northern Assyria, whom the Greeks called ‘Ethiopians’ – Black People. This is found in the second paragraph under the heading, ‘Medes and Persians.’ And there we read that these people were thereafter relocated southeast and became the Indians (modern Brahui). That this is likely true can be seen from the newest maps of migrations as proven by genetics. For if you follow the ‘L’ (Indian) genetic branch backward, you’ll see that it returns to the area of modern Persia, as the Bible account in Genesis indicates.

Then, why don’t they still live in that land today? Because, as was common among all the races that were conquered by the Assyrians, they were displaced to other areas within the vast Assyrian empire (as were the ‘lost’ ten tribes of IsraEl, by the way). And notice that the people who live in the country that we call Ethiopia today still refer to themselves as ‘the Kingdom of Kush.’ So, they are apparently close relatives to the black or dark-skinned people that once inhabited the area around ancient Edem or Eden.

Egyptian Law of Eminent Domain

The account found at Genesis Chapter 47, where JoSeph purchased all of the Egyptian people’s land for Pharaoh with grain, provides us an interesting insight into the history of governmental power to tax its residents and to own the land (eminent domain).

From this unique historical source (the Bible), we can see that governmental power and taxation wasn’t necessarily common in early Egypt, which was in fact the first great world power, and which became the source of information about how governments were to be subsidized to all future generations.

Apparently prior to that time, governmental taxation of an entire population was unknown, so kings may have derived their funds by coercing merchants or rich landowners… or by war. However, under JoSeph’s inspired direction (and God’s permitting the famine), this first major government of history could legally claim the right to own the land and to tax the people. And while most archeologists and scholars deny the existence of JoSeph (as well as a long line of other major Bible people and events), no one can deny the effect of what he did on world history.

Then can we say that God is responsible for governmental taxation? Yes, for notice what Romans 13:6, 7 tells us:
‘This is why you pay taxes; because as public servants, they are serving God’s purposes. So, pay everyone what they are owed; to the tax assessor, the property tax; to the toll collector, the toll; give the police fear, and honor those [who require] honor.’

It is also interesting that this early decision affected the religious clerics of the time in that they paid no taxes on the property they owned, which is again similar to modern laws.

So, the conclusion we reach is that governmental power and taxation are things that God created for our benefit, and that He also considered it necessary to remove religion from the influence of and taxation by governments.

The parallels to these ancient laws of God can still be seen in modern governments, where they claim the right to confiscate, purchase, or own all land within their domain (eminent domain), where national taxation is about the same as it was in Egypt under JoSeph, twenty percent, and where religious organizations and their clerics aren’t taxed on income from religious duties.

Elder or Overseer

The term overseer implies a misleading nuance in American English… but it’s still the best word to use. The Greek word that overseer is translated from is epi-scopos, which literally means on-looker (not as a person who is ‘over’ anyone). So the term doesn’t imply a higher position, but that of a caretaker. That Christian overseers should not view themselves as being ‘over’ or ‘higher than’ the congregation is specifically warned against by Jesus, who said (as recorded at Matthew 23:10, 11):
‘Nor should you be called leaders, for you have but one Leader, the Anointed One. However, the greatest among you must be your servant.’

We can clearly see that the position of overseer was never meant to be one of domination over the called ones or the congregation from the words of Peter. For he wrote (at 1 Peter 5:3):
‘Don’t [set yourselves up as] rulers over those who have been entrusted to your care, but become examples to the flock.’

A synonym that is used almost interchangeably in the Bible for ‘overseer’ is ‘elder’ (presbyterios – older man). And from this we learn that Christian elders may have always been males, and their job was to shepherd and teach the congregation. Another more modern English word for overseer is bishop, which is a corruption of the Greek word episcopos.

Each of the early Christian congregations may have had many older men who took the lead, taught, and watched over the flock. But the Scriptures show that to be given such a designation, they had to meet high standards of conduct and reputation. Also, although Paul doesn’t mention this specifically in his list of qualifications, we know that elders had to be people who could make wise decisions and showed signs of having God’s Breath, since this was the first qualification of all Servants in the Christian Congregation. We can see this from the words at Acts 6:3 (where the first ‘servants’ were appointed), which says:
‘So brothers, find seven qualified men among you who are filled with wisdom and the Breath [of God].’

But, shouldn’t a person who may not be known as wise eventually be appointed an overseer just because of his years of faithful service? If you read the Proverbs, you’ll repeatedly see the need to appoint just those who have proven themselves to be wise judges and councilors. For Solomon wrote (at Proverbs 22:29):
‘An observant man who is sharp in his ways
Will also stand beside kings…
He won’t stand beside the dull witted.’

Notice the list of qualifications that Paul gave Timothy to look for in a man before appointing him to serve as an elder in the Christian Congregation, as recorded at 1 Timothy 3:2-7. He said that the candidate must be someone who…

·      Has not been charged [with misconduct] (gr. anepilepton)

·      Is a one-woman man (gr. mias one gynaikos woman aner man)

·      Is moderate in his habits

·      Is sensible (wise)

·      Is friendly to strangers (hospitable)

·      Is a (qualified) teacher

·      Is not a drunk

·      Isn’t headstrong

·      Isn’t quarrelsome

·      Isn’t a greedy person

·      Is someone who takes the lead in his family

·      Has children who obey him seriously

·      Isn’t a newly converted man

·      Is someone who is spoken of well by those outside the congregation.

And thereafter, such a person should follow the course that was set out by Peter, who wrote at 1 Peter 5:1-4:
‘I encourage the elders among you (my fellow elders and witnesses of the sufferings of the Anointed One who will share in the glory that’s soon to be revealed) to shepherd the flock of God that has been entrusted to you. Don’t do this because you have to, but because you want to! Don’t do it to make a lot of money, but because you want to help! And don’t [set yourselves up as] rulers over those who have been entrusted to your care, but become examples to the flock. Then when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will walk away with the enduring garland of glory!’

For more information, see the linked document, ‘Arrangement of the First Christian Churches.’

Empowering the Priests

At Exodus 28:41 (in the Septuagint), we read the following instructions of God when He was talking to Moses about the special garments that were to be worn by those who served as the Holy Priests of IsraEl:
‘You must put them upon your brother Aaron and his sons, then anoint them and empower their hands. Make them Holy, so that they can officiate as Priests before Me.’

In Greek, the highlighted words are, kai empleseis auton tas cheiras, or, and fill of them the hands. So, we have concluded that the verses are saying that Aaron and his sons were to undergo some sort of empowerment ceremony following their anointing.

Eroticism of the Bible

Although self-righteous people often make up their own rules when it comes to proper sexual thoughts and conduct between men and women, the Song of Solomon is filled with words that openly describe sexual desires that seem to imply acts that many today would consider to be lewd and ‘unchristian.’
For more information, see the linked document, ‘Christian Morality.’


Esther is the Hellenized (Greek) pronunciation of the (possibly Median) name HadasShah. She was the wife of ArtaXerxes I, likely known as Damasphia.

Eue, Euan, or Eve?

There seems to be a contradiction between the Hebrew and Greek texts over the name of the first woman. In fact, there is even an apparent contradiction between the Greek texts, because she is referred to as Life (Greek: Zoe – pronounced zoe-ay) at Genesis 3:20, but as Eue or Euan (pronounced Eu-weh or Eu-wan) at Genesis 4:25. However, there is no contradiction, just a difference in languages. The Greek word found at Genesis 3:21 (Zoe) means Life, and the Hebrew word found at Genesis 4:1, חַוָּ֣ה, or, H’Hawah (pronounced ‘Eve’ in English) also means Life. So, the reason for the difference in the Septuagint is that it gives both the Greek and Hebrew pronunciation of the name.

We understand that it may be difficult for some to understand how H’hawah came to be pronounced as Eve in English, but this is likely a later corruption of the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name (Eue), because the Greek letter u looks like a v (ευαν). So, her English name should be Life, but Eve has become the common mispronunciation.


When we hear the word eunuch, we usually think of a man who has been castrated, because that’s what the term has come to mean through the years. However, when someone is described as a eunuch in the Bible, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he was sexually mutilated. In fact, during the reigns of faithful kings of IsraEl, such mutilation would have been considered repulsive; for a sexually-mutilated person, by Law, couldn’t serve as a Priest or worship at the Temple of Jehovah.

Does this mean that God dislikes men whose testicles have been forcibly or accidentally removed? No, surely the reason why God created this law was because He knew that some men, in their desire to better serve Him, may have considered castrating themselves in order to remove any carnal desires… and He clearly didn’t want that to happen. So, God gave them a law that disallowed religious participation by any who were castrated.

But notice that the Greek word eunuch doesn’t really carry the meaning of castration. Rather, it means bed keeper. Nevertheless, most bed keepers (or harem watchers) for kings were in fact castrated to keep them from temptation.

Yet, eunuchs are frequently mentioned in the Bible as holding other offices (take the Ethiopian Eunuch as an example) that didn’t necessarily require castration. So, why were men who didn’t watch over harems later referred to as bed keepers? Because the term had come under common use to apply to all of the most-trusted servants of kings.

You might notice, for example, that Potiphar (the Egyptian man to whom JoSeph was sold) was referred to as a eunuch (gr. Eunouchos) of Pharaoh at Genesis 39:1, though the account tells us that he was a married man.

But was DaniEl (who served under the chief Babylonian eunuch) in fact a eunuch? His position as a special servant to the king would indicate that he held such a title. But is it possible that he had been castrated? Well, since he was an early captive from JeruSalem, he was likely a member of its nobility or royalty; and notice what the prophecy that God gave to King HezekiAh (at Isaiah 39:7) says about this: ‘They will take your children – those whom you have fathered – and make them eunuchs in the houses of the Babylonians.’

In the above case, the Greek word that we have translated as eunuchs is castrati (one who has been sexually mutilated). And the fact that there is no mention of DaniEl having a wife or children, and that none of his descendants are listed among those who returned to JeruSalem, makes this a likely conclusion.


The account at Acts 16:30-32 tells the story of a jailer who had just witnessed a miracle. And after that, he asked Paul and Silas:
‘Lords; What must I do to get saved?’

Their reply was:
‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you and your household will be saved.’

And then, according to some Greek texts, the account goes on to say:
‘They spoke to him and all those in his house about the Word of God’ (or as some Greek texts say, ‘the word of the Lord‘)

So from these words, many have concluded that faith in Jesus is all that a person requires to be ‘saved.’ But those who reason this way seem to overlook the rest of the Bible’s instructions. For example; shouldn’t an accurate understanding of God’s ways and laws also be required? If this weren’t true, then Paul and Silas wouldn’t have bothered to go on and teach this man and his household about ‘the word of God’ or ‘of the Lord’.

Jesus’ half-brother James also wrote about this matter, and he showed that more than faith is required to be pleasing to God. For notice what he wrote at James 2:14:
‘What good does it do, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but isn’t moved to do anything about it? Can such faith save him?’
He then answers this question at James 2:17:
‘So, faith without [good] deeds is dead.’

And what type of faithful action was James saying was necessary to make ours a living faith? He spoke of the need to be willing to help our brothers when they lack the necessities of life, to be fair, to be forgiving, and to live clean, honest lives. Then he concluded (at James 2:24):
‘So, just as a body that isn’t breathing is dead, faith without [good] deeds is dead.’

False Brothers

At Galatians 2:4, Paul wrote about problems that he had with ‘false brothers’ (gr. pseudo adelphoi) whom he had to deal with on his second visit to JeruSalem. These may have been the same ones that he mentioned at 2 Corinthians 11:26 when he was talking about the many dangers that he had faced as an Apostle… and this was apparently one of the most treacherous.

That such men were likely considered to be in good standing by others in the congregation in JeruSalem is substantiated by the fact that they met with Paul in the presence of what appeared to be the leading ones of the congregation there, specifically James, Peter, and John. And the fact that there were many Jewish Christians who looked down on and opposed Paul, is discussed under the Wikipedia topic, Ebionites.

What was so treacherous about these men that Paul listed his encounter with them along with his being stoned, beaten, and left for dead? He wrote that they ‘looked down on the freedom we have in the Anointed Jesus, and they wanted to make us their slaves.’

In other words, they were making accusations against Paul and trying to override the commission that he had received directly from Jesus in a vision. So, they were in fact resisting and opposing God’s Holy Breath.

Clearly, some of those in the First Century congregation in JeruSalem didn’t like Paul or the work that he was doing, and they were giving him orders about how he should conduct himself, to whom he should preach, how he should preach, and what he should say; for they would have loved to bring an end to Paul’s commission to preach to the gentiles.

So, their obvious lack of love for Paul and their high regard for their own opinions (which were pro-Judaism) led to disqualifying them as Paul’s ‘brothers’… though it’s interesting that there is no mention of their being corrected by anyone at the time. In fact, it was due to his trying to please such ‘false brothers’ (as James suggested that he should do by observing needless Jewish cleansing rituals) that Paul ended up being mobbed, beaten, arrested, and later sent to Rome to stand trial before Emperor Nero.

Note that these ‘brothers’ had actually accused Paul of teaching an ‘apostasy’ (see Acts 21:21)… which is interesting, because this is the only Bible record of a Christian ever being accused of such a thing in those exact words.

Fear or Respect?

The Greek word for respect (or value) is temer, while the Greek word for fear is phobou (as in phobia). Yet, at Ephesians 5:33 (for example), phobou is often incorrectly translated as respect in some Bibles, where the text is talking about the feelings that Christian wives should have for their husbands. This is likely an effort on the part of some to make the Bible more ‘politically correct;’ because the same word, when speaking to slaves in the text that follows, is usually translated as fear.

What type of fear does the Bible mean? Well, the same word (phobou) is used in other places to describe our relationships with God and Jesus, and we are to love them. So, phobou must imply a fear of creating displeasure, much in the same way that husbands, wives, or slaves should fear (but love) God and Jesus. So for clarification; in several places throughout this Bible where the word phobou is found, you will see that we have translated it as ‘[Godly] fear.’

Fool, Foolish, or Uncaring?

The Greek word μωροὶ (pronounced, moe-roi) is often translated as foolish or fool in other Bibles. However, μωροὶ is what the English word moron is derived from. The term moron, as used by Jesus and his Apostles, didn’t imply someone who is mentally challenged, as the medical term moron does today. Rather, it meant someone who knows the right thing to do from the wrong to do, but doesn’t care to do what is right. For example; the ten virgins of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25 weren’t just ‘foolish’ girls, they were morons… they knew what they should do, but they didn’t care enough to do it.


Paul wrote (at Hebrews 1:13):
‘And to which one of his messengers did He ever say, Sit here at My right until I set your enemies as a stool at your feet?’

Understand that throughout the entire First Chapter of Hebrews, Paul was quoting scriptures that described Jesus and that spoke of his earlier position as a messenger (or ‘angel’) of God in the heavens. There you will find that he was emphasizing Jesus’ superiority over the other messengers (or ‘angels’), because, as we read at Hebrews 1:6: Jesus was God’s ‘firstborn son.’

And among this list of quotations concerning him, Paul then cited David’s words from Psalm 110:1 (Psalm 109:1 LXX), where King David said:
‘Jehovah said this to my lord:
Sit here at My right hand,
Til I set your enemies as a stool for your feet

So, what did God mean when He said that, and when would this prophecy be fulfilled?

Well, notice the similarity of the events that are described in the book of Revelation, which (as Revelation 1:10 says) is telling us of the things that would happen in ‘the Lord’s Day.’ For at Revelation 12: 7-9 we read this:
‘Next, a war broke out in heaven. MichaEl and his messengers battled with the Dragon, and the Dragon and his messengers fought back. However, [the Dragon] lost and he could no longer stay in the heavens. So the huge Dragon (the original snake who is called the Slanderer and Opposer) that is misleading the whole habitation [of mankind] was thrown down… he was thrown down to the earth along with [all of] his messengers.’

Therefore, since this war in the heavens is to happen in a future ‘Day of the Lord,’ we must assume that until then, the Slanderer continues to have access to God’s presence the same as he had back in the time of Job (see Job 1:6-13). But, during ‘the Day of the Lord,’ a heavenly war will be fought and the Evil One and his friends will be thrown out of heaven and down to the earth. That this probably hasn’t happened yet, is indicated by the words found at Revelation 12:12, where we read:
‘So, rejoice you heavens and all those who live there,
But woe to the earth and the sea;
For the Slanderer has come down to you in great rage,
Knowing that he has little time.’

For, notice that the period that follows the heavenly war will be marked by a special time of ‘woe’ for the earth… likely a time of great world wars, famines, plagues, and natural disasters, the same as Jesus foretold would happen in Matthew 24.

And since this war results in Jesus’ enemies being thrown down to the earth; this is obviously what the scriptures at Psalm 110:1 and Hebrews 1:13 are talking about. For Isaiah 66:1 tells us that God said:
‘The heavens are My throne and the earth is My footstool.’
So, we must assume that when ‘the Lord’s Day’ arrives, and after this great battle will be fought in the heavens, Jesus’ enemies will be thrown down to ‘the footstool’ (the earth). And we know that this didn’t happen during the First Century CE, because John spoke of it as being a future thing in the Revelation, which he wrote almost 65 years after Jesus’ resurrection.

Then notice what the account at Revelation 12:10 says will happen after that:
Now the salvation, the power,
And the Kingdom of God has arrived;
For His Anointed has now been empowered,
And the accuser of our brothers has been cast down,
Who blames them before God day and night!

So, it appears as though when Jesus’ enemies are placed as a stool for his feet, Jesus begins his rule as king of God’s Kingdom, which hasn’t happened yet.

Foreign Wives and Children

While Ezra’s commandment (at Ezra 10:11) for the people of IsraEl to send away their foreign wives and children may seem harsh and unreasonable, we want to understand that these wives likely weren’t worshipers of IsraEl’s God Jehovah, but of foreign gods; and that was the reason why Ezra was so concerned. For, through the ages, anyone who chose to join with IsraEl and to start worshiping Jehovah was accepted as part of that nation… Rahab and Ruth are examples of this.

However, what was apparently happening after the Jews returned to their homeland from Babylon, was that the men were making marriage alliances with the pagan peoples of the land… something that God forbade, and which was remembered as the sin of Solomon. So, to break up these alliances with the nearby foreign peoples, Ezra told them that they must send those pagan women back to the homes of their parents.

Also notice that kindness was shown to these wives and children, because sufficient time was allowed to keep them from being put out in the cold. And though the account doesn’t tell us this, many could well have been given some measure of the family inheritance when they left.


It appears as though God has provided a secret sign that is known only to God and a person’s mate, to indicate a person’s desire to be righteous… the foreskin of the genitalia. On males this is the extra fold of skin around the top of the penis, and on females it is the small piece of skin called the hymen. So, whether this skin remains unbroken or is removed is something that is quite secret and unseen by others, but known by God and one’s mate.

It seems unusual that both of these small pieces of skin appear to have been made to be broken or cut off without creating any long-term injury; and in the case of the hymen, is exclusive to human females. So, it appears as though mankind was deliberately created with these extra pieces of skin, in order that those who wish to remain faithful before God and to their mates can choose to indicate this in a very private way.

We first learned of the meaning of and the need for males to be circumcised, when God told Abram (later, AbraHam) that he, his entire household, and all his descendants should have their foreskin removed. Note what He said, as found at Genesis 17:10-12:
‘This is the Sacred Agreement between you and your seed through all its generations, and Me: All of your males must be circumcised. The foreskin of your flesh must be circumcised. This will be the sign of the Sacred Agreement between you and Me. You must circumcise all of your male children when they are eight-days old, throughout all your generations. [This includes all the] servants who are born in your house, those who are bought with money, and the sons of aliens who are not your seed.’

It is particularly interesting that new-born males were to be circumcised on the eighth day after their birth, because that is precisely the best time to perform this delicate operation, since this is when the least bleeding will occur. Who would have known this other than God?

It was later on, after the death of Jesus and when many gentile converts were coming into the Christian Congregation that a question about the need for circumcision arose concerning them. For circumcised Jewish Christians were demanding that uncircumcised gentile converts also be circumcised. And when the matter was brought before ‘the Holy Ones’ in JeruSalem, their decision was that physical circumcision was just a sign that God required of the descendants of AbraHam. So, they decreed (as found at Acts 15:28, 29):
‘It’s apparent to the Holy Breath [of God] and to us that we shouldn’t put any burdens on you other than these necessary things: Stay away from things that are sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things that are strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you stay away from these things, you will do well. Good health to you!’

In other words, physical circumcision was no longer required of Christians.

However, notice what Moses wrote (as recorded at Deuteronomy 10:16, 17):
‘So, circumcise the hardness from your hearts and don’t be [rebellious], for Jehovah your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords.’

As you can see, there is both a physical circumcision and a spiritual circumcision, and both amount to a removing of the sign of impurity (for males).

Females of course, were not to be circumcised, because their foreskin is a sign of their virginity. And though modern people may call the cruel practice of surgically removing the clitoris (as is practiced by many peoples on the African continent today) ‘female circumcision;’ that is just mutilation, not a removal of the foreskin.

What is the purpose of establishing virginity among women? God’s view is that a man has the right to choose a woman of high moral character who is clean and untouched. And for this, God provided the sign of the foreskin, which bleeds when first broken in sexual relations.

So in ancient IsraEl (and among other descendants of AbraHam), the custom was to provide the blanket or rug on which the marriage had been consummated to the parents of the bride as proof that their daughter was indeed a virgin. For we read at Deuteronomy 32:13-15:
‘If any man should take a wife whom he comes to dislike after he has lived with her, then he starts saying bad things about her and calling her bad names, saying, When I took this woman and had sex with her, she didn’t prove to be a virgin; her father and mother must bring the girl’s proof of virginity (the blanket or rug) to the elders at the city gate.’

And in the same way that a person can choose to be circumcised in the heart, people can also choose to be spiritual virgins. For at Revelation 14:4, we find this said about some individuals:
‘These didn’t dirty themselves with women. In fact, they are virgins who keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. They were bought from mankind [and offered] as the first fruitage to God and to the Lamb.’

What type of virginity is being spoken of there? This scripture clearly isn’t talking about living the life of a monk or a nun, but of someone who has kept him/herself pure in his or her worship of God. The opposite of this would be those whom the Disciple James spoke of at James 4:4, where he said:
Adulteresses, don’t you know that if you’re a friend of the world, you’re an enemy of God? So, whoever wants to be a friend of the world is putting himself down as God’s enemy.’

For a graphic view of what God views as being a spiritual whore; read His description of the unfaithfulness of Judah and IsraEl, where He used the pseudonyms ‘Her Tent’ (Aholah) and ‘Her Tent is Within her’ (AholiBah) to describe these unfaithful people in the Twenty-Third Chapter of EzekiEl.

On the other hand; in the account of the Bride of the Lamb who is spoken of at Revelation 19:7, 8, we read:
‘Let’s rejoice, shout in joy, and glorify Him, because it’s time for the Lamb’s wedding! His bride has prepared herself and she was found worthy to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen. This fine linen represents the righteous actions of the Holy Ones.’

Of course, according to the Law of God, this bride of Jesus (the Lamb) had to be a virgin, because of his heavenly position as the High Priest before God. For notice what God required of the brides of the entire Priesthood class of IsraEl (Leviticus 21:13-15):
He may only take a wife who is a virgin and from his own tribe… not a widow, a divorcee, someone who has been violated, or a prostitute. He may only take a virgin from his own people as a wife; for he must not profane his seed among his people. I am Jehovah who makes him holy.’

Fornication or Sexual Immorality?

The Greek word porneia means more than just copulation between individuals who aren’t married to each other. The term literally means that which is sold (by prostitutes). Therefore, it includes all types of sexual acts that might be sold by prostitutes and it applies to such actions between those (whether male or female) who are not married to each other, even when there may be no exchange of money. Because, wherever we find the word porneia in the Bible, the Hebrew Law shows that it involves any intimate relations between unmarried persons. So, since the English word fornication implies just copulation between unmarried persons, we have used the broader term sexual immorality in this Bible to indicate the full range of the meaning of porneia.

For more information, see the linked document, Christian Morality.

Fountains or Springs?

You will notice that in this Bible, we have rendered the Greek word pege (pronounced pay-gay) as springs, not as fountains or mists, as other translators have done. Yes, it could be argued that the Hebrew word (as used in Genesis 2, for example) could imply a mist. However, in the various places where we find the Greek word pege in the Septuagint, the consistent application seems to be to springs of water.

Pege appears to be a variation of the word pegnumi, which means to gush (and yes, we can see how that could be construed as fountain). However, natural fountains of water are rare and self-destructive, while gushing springs are quite common. And though stylized Bible pictures of fountains shooting from the ground are quite idyllic, this isn’t the view that we get consistently from the word’s other uses in the Bible.

Friends of the World

Jesus’ half-brother James wrote (at James 4:4, 5):
‘Adulteresses, don’t you know that if you’re a friend of the world you’re an enemy of God? So, whoever wants to be a friend of the world is putting himself down as God’s enemy.’

Why did James call such ones ‘adulteresses? Well, notice what Paul wrote about this to Christians in Corinth, Greece (at 2 Corinthians 11:2, 3):
‘I’m jealous over you with a Godly zeal, because I personally promised you in marriage as chaste virgins to a husband… yes, to stand beside the Anointed One. However, I’m afraid that somehow, in the same way that the snake cunningly seduced Eve, your minds might be corrupted away from the sincerity and the chastity that is owed to the Anointed One.’

Then, what must a Christian do to remain a ‘chaste virgin’ and not become an ‘adulteress?’ As James pointed out; we must stay free from the wicked ways of the world. Notice how those who are found worthy to reign in God’s Kingdom were described at Revelation 14:4, 5:
‘These are the ones who didn’t make themselves unclean with women. In fact, they are virgins. They’re the ones who keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. They were bought from among mankind as first fruits to God and to the Lamb, no lies are found in their mouths, and they don’t have any defects.’

Therefore, spiritual ‘virginity’ is required to be counted among this special group. How is this virginity obtained? Well, notice what was also said of these ‘spiritual virgins’ at Revelation 20:4:
‘And I saw thrones… and those who sat down on them were the ones who had been executed with axes for testifying about Jesus and for telling about God, and who hadn’t worshiped the wild animal or its image, nor had they received its mark on their foreheads or on their hands. They were appointed to be judges, and they came to life and ruled as kings with the Anointed One for a thousand years.’

So, what must a person do to avoid worshiping ‘the wild animal and its image’ and having its ‘mark?’ Clearly, those who wish to be found as virgins that are promised in marriage to ‘the Lamb’ (Jesus) will not be found supporting ‘the wild animal or its image.’ And since the ‘wild animal’ appears to be something political and worldly, the point seems to be that true Christians should put their allegiance and hopes in God’s Kingdom, not in nationalistic or political schemes. For notice that according to Revelation 16:13, 14, 16, these very governments (kings) will soon go to war against God and His people at the battle that is described in the Revelation as ‘Har-Mageddon.’ It says there:

And then I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs come out of the mouths of the Dragon, the wild animal, and the false prophet. These were the unseen powers of demons, and they were to serve as signs. They were sent to all the kings of the habitation of mankind in order to assemble them for the battle of the Great Day of the Almighty God.

 ‘They then assembled [all the earth’s kings] at the place that is called in Hebrew, Har-Mageddon.

So, the question arises: How can Christians who are promised in marriage to Jesus and who owe their allegiance to God’s Kingdom still show active support for and put their trust in this world’s nationalistic political schemes and its wars, and still remain ‘chaste virgins’ who are worthy of becoming ‘one’ with Jesus? As James concluded: ‘Whoever wants to be a friend of the world is putting himself down as God’s enemy.’


At Ecclesiastes 7:2, we rendered the Greek words ‘Agathon poreuthenai eis oikon penthous,’ as, ‘It’s better to attend a funeral.’ Yet, a word-for-word translation says ‘Is/good to/go into a/house of/mourning.’ Why have we made this change? Because in modern terms, we would refer to this as attending a funeral.

Gadflies or Stable Flies?

The fourth plague that God sent to Egypt prior to the IsraElite exodus was a countrywide infestation of biting flies. The Greek word for them is kunomuian, which implies (and is often translated as) dog flies. And in other Bibles, they are called gadflies.

Unfortunately, both of those terms (dog fly and gadfly) are unfamiliar to most readers in the Americas. However, when researching the term dog fly, we found that this is just another name for the common stable fly, which bites like a horsefly but is about the size of a housefly. That is why we have settled on this term.

Galilee or Judea?

At Luke 4:44, we have written that Jesus preached in the synagogues of Galilee. However, many other Bibles say that Jesus preached in the synagogues of Judea. Which is correct?

It depends on which Greek text you use as a reference. The Wescott/Hort text, which we have used for much of this Bible, says he preached in Judea, while several other texts (such as the Tischendorf Greek text) say that he preached in Galilee. We have chosen to go with the later rendering, because at the time he was in fact preaching in Galilee.

Actually, Jesus did little preaching in Judea until the last days of his life on earth, because the Judeans were always looking to kill him (see John 11:8).

Garbage Dump

The Greek word GeHenna is often translated as Hell Fire in other Bibles. However, the word simply means the Valley (heb. ge) of Hinnom.

Understand that the Valley of Hinnom (also referred to as ‘the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom‘) was an actual place in ancient JeruSalem. It wasn’t some symbolic Hell fire; rather, it was a valley that was used as the city’s garbage dump, which was located along the southeastern corner of its outer wall.

Before JeruSalem’s conquest by Babylon, The Valley of Hinnom had once been a beautiful park. However, because unfaithful Jews started offering their children as sacrifices on an altar to the God Moloch there (see 2 Chronicles 28:3); after their repatriation to JeruSalem, the people started using it as a place to dump their garbage and refuse.

Of course, since it was a garbage dump, it was necessary to keep the garbage burning in order to reduce the stench and to limit the number of flies and rats. So, sulfur and sulfurous rocks know as ‘brimstone’ were regularly thrown into the dump to keep the fires burning hot. And this is why Jesus, when using the term, spoke of the fire as not being put out. Also, because worms (maggots) bred along the edges of the dump, he could say that the worms would always be there.

The only cases where humans were actually thrown into GeHenna provides an insight into what Jesus was talking about when he referred to people as going there. For there were cases where the dead bodies of particularly vile criminals were thrown into GeHenna’s fires, because people felt that they were undeserving of a decent burial. And as you read the Scriptures, you will notice the importance that Hebrews placed on being ‘laid to rest with their ancestors.’

So, when Jesus spoke of people being thrown into GeHenna, he was the name of a familiar place to make the point that those whom God views as being unrepentant sinners would be thrown into the ‘garbage dump,’ for they were unworthy of a resurrection by Him. Notice that this outcome was well illustrated by what happened to wicked Queen JezeBel, for her body was eaten by dogs.

Such an outcome for the willfully wicked was also referred to by Jesus (in Matthew’s account) as the fire of the age. Why did he use that term? Because fire destroys, and this destruction is for the ages. For more information, see the linked document, ‘Is there a Burning Hell?

Gays and Men Who Have Sex with Men

At 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, Paul profiles the types of people who ‘won’t inherit God’s Kingdom.’ And listed among the offenders are (as we have translated it herein) ‘gays and men who have sex with men.’ Why have we used these terms?

Notice that in the words of this verse, Paul makes some fine distinctions that cover the full range of male homosexual behavior. The Greek word that he used was malakoi, which we’ve rendered as ‘gays’ herein, because malakoi translates as ‘softies,’ or ‘soft men,’ and it implies those who enjoy having other men obtain sexual gratification from them.

Then the other term, arsenokoitai, translates as ‘male/bed-ers’ and is rendered as ‘men who have sex with men’ herein. This refers to amoral men who don’t necessarily consider themselves ‘gay,’ but are willing to take sexual advantage of other men, as was the case of the men in Sodom.

Recognize that the ‘gay’ lifestyle is usually (but not always) sexually promiscuous; so, the acts involved in it usually constitute porneia, as the term is used in the Bible And as with all other sexually-immoral acts; those who do such things are counted among the ‘unrighteous’ whose names are not written in the Scroll of Life.

However, when the Bible says that the sexually immoral ‘won’t inherit the Kingdom,’ does this mean that they are ‘eternally damned,’ as some religions teach?

Not necessarily, for Paul referred to them as just ‘unrighteous,’ and he just said that they won’t ‘inherit the Kingdom,’ not that they wouldn’t be resurrected. For Paul also said (as recorded at Acts 24:15) that there will be a resurrection for both ‘the righteous and the unrighteous.’ And the promise at Revelation 21:7 is that all who are resurrected and eventually ‘conquer’ can still receive an inheritance in God’s Kingdom.

Yes, we know that speaking ill of homosexuality is currently considered ‘politically incorrect,’ but what we are doing is just quoting what Bible says.

Recognize that throughout the Bible, all immorality (whether homosexual or heterosexual) is condemned as unrighteous. For more information, see the linked documents, ‘God’s Promise of an Inheritance,’ ‘Christian Morality,’ and the Note, ‘Homosexuality and Bestiality.’

Genesis 4:7

The Masoretic text of Genesis 4:7 reads (according to the Net Bible):
‘Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it.’

It is the opinion of some readers that the Septuagint rendering of this verse omits an important Bible principle. As it was explained to us:
‘The Genesis 4:7 text God is warning Cain, who became angry, that sin (Satan) was waiting to get him if he was moved to something evil. This passage has been one of the most important texts explaining this idea of authority and the dominion of Satan in the beginning. The whole idea of God telling a man that he had to master sin sets up the coming of Christ to do just that.’

Gentiles, Nations, or Ethnics

When the Bible speaks of ‘the people of the nations’ or ‘the gentiles’ (gr. tas ethne – or literally, the ethnics), we think of all those who aren’t referred to as ‘IsraElites’ or ‘Jews.’ However, in Genesis, we find another definition of the term. Notice that we have rendered Genesis 10:2-5 as saying (with added notes):
JaPheth’s sons were Gamer, Magog, Madoi [the Medes], Jovan, Elisa, Thobel [of Tubal], Mosoch [of possibly Russia], and Thiras [Islands of the Aegean Sea]. Gamer’s sons were Aschanaz [Germans], Riphath [of Northwestern Asia Minor], and Thorgama [the Armenians]. Jovan’s sons were EliShah [of Tyre], Tarshish [of Spain], Cetians [of Phoenicia], Rhodians [of Rhodes]. [They settled the] islands, which lands were divided by tribe and nation among the gentiles, each according to his own language.’

So from this account, we can see that the term, ‘the people of the nations’ or ‘gentiles,’ originally referred to just the descendants of JaPheth (white races) who lived separate from the sons of both Shem and Ham (who lived in the Middle East and Africa).

Also notice that in the battle that AbraHam fought so as to save his Nephew Lot who had been captured (see Genesis 14:1), one of the kings that he fought against was ‘Thargal, the king of gentiles.’

So, notice again that this King Thargal seems to be differentiated from the other non-IsraElite kings, which could mean that he came from among the descendants of Noah’s son Japheth.

Therefore, this raises the question of whether the Bible’s references to the gentiles originally indicated only those who lived in Europe and the Mediterranean islands, and if the term was thereafter extended to include all nations other than just the Tribes of IsraEl.

It is also important to note that the words ethnics, gentiles, and nations, which are all derived from the Greek word ethnos, may in several instances carry a highly symbolic meaning, especially in prophecies. For these words refer to peoples who are not (or were not) in a covenant relationship with God.

Take for example, the reference at Revelation 7:9:
‘And after all that, I saw {Look!} a crowd so large that no one could count them. They came from all countries, nationalities, ethnic groups, and languages; and they were standing within sight of the throne and within sight of the Lamb.’

Since ‘the twelve tribes of IsraEl’ had been mentioned previously (in verses 4-8), these ‘ethnics’ stand out as a different group, and the term may refer to those who were previously non-Christians (those not claiming to be in a Covenant relationship with God). And later, references to the nations or ethnics in the Revelation appear to be speaking about those who had yet to make peace with Him.

Gnats or Fleas?

The third plague that God sent to Egypt during the time prior to the IsraElite exodus was a countrywide infestation of small, biting insects. The Greek word for them is skniphes, which has been translated as gnats, fleas, mosquitoes, etc. We have decided that they were likely some sort of flea, because gnats aren’t thought of as biting insects, and the text indicates that they lived on the ground, which would rule out mosquitoes.


At Psalm 82:1 we read:
‘God stands in the gathering of gods,
And among them, He is passing judgment.
So, how long will You judge their injustice
And put up with the presence of sinners?’

This verse – in fact, all of Psalm 82 – is usually not (or is only vaguely) properly understood. Who are the ‘gods’ that God meets with and examines? Psalm 82:6 tells us:
I said to them, You are gods…
You are sons of the Most High!
But, like men, you will perish also,
And like their rulers, you’ll fall.

So, from the context, we can see that these words were being spoken to individuals who were created directly by God… God’s sons (not ‘sons of men’). Therefore, it seems clear that God was speaking to spirit creatures (His messengers or ‘angels’), some of whom are now referred to as ‘the demons’ (spirits who have received God’s adverse judgment).

Notice that Jesus quoted this scripture at John 10:34-36, when he said:
‘Isn’t it written in your Law, I say that you are gods? So, if He called those who were spoken against in God’s Word, gods (and you can’t void the Scriptures), how can you tell me (one who was made holy and sent into the world by the Father) that I am blaspheming because I say that I’m God’s Son?’

And from these words of Jesus, many have assumed that Psalm 82:6 was really speaking of humans and referring to them gods, not God’s spirit sons. But notice that Jesus wasn’t calling his listeners gods; rather, he was saying that those with whom God had met and whom He had examined (as mentioned in the Psalms) were the ones that were called gods. Also notice that they live in ‘darkness’ (Tartarus), since we read at Psalm 82:5:
‘For, they don’t know, nor do they perceive,
Because they travel in darkness,
That the foundations of the earth will be shaken.’

Is there any record in the Bible that tells of God meeting with a ‘gathering of gods’ (his spirit sons) in the heavens? Yes, we read of one such meeting at which even the evil one was present. For at Job 1:6 we were told this:
‘Then one day, {Look!} the messengers of God went to stand before Jehovah, and the Opposer came along with them. So, Jehovah asked the Opposer: From what place have you come?

So it seems clear, after considering the context, that this psalm of Asaph is referring to God’s spirit sons as gods (those who are more powerful than humans), and he was telling the evil ones among them that because they had been dealing with mankind unjustly, they (like humans and their corrupt rulers) would also pass away when the ‘the foundations of the earth’ are ‘shaken.’

Notice that this in no way diminishes the meaning of what Jesus was saying to the people about whether he had the right to say that he was God’s son. For if even the wicked and rebellious spirit sons of God could be called ‘gods,’ then he wasn’t blaspheming or being presumptuous when he told them that he was God’s son.

God’s Chosen People

The idea that the Jews are still God’s chosen people and that they will eventually rule over the earth from the City of JeruSalem is becoming popular among many fundamentalist religions today. However, such a teaching isn’t in line with what we read in the Bible.

For instance, notice what Jesus said to the people of JeruSalem just before he was put to death there, as it is recorded at Matthew 23:37, 38:
‘O JeruSalem, JeruSalem… you killer of Prophets and stoner of those who were sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you didn’t want it. Look! Your house has been taken from you!

So, their ‘house’ (their position of special favor with God) was about to be taken away from them, due to their repeated rejection of God’s ways, because they wouldn’t listen to (and they even murdered) His Prophets, and because they were getting ready to murder His Son.

Notice how Jesus pictured this rejection of the Jews as God’s chosen people in his parable of the man who hired laborers to cultivate his vineyard as he was traveling abroad (as found at Matthew 21:33-41). For in this story; when he sent his servants to collect some of the fruit, they beat and even killed some of them. And as was about to happen to him, the story ends with the cultivators killing the man’s beloved son.

So, how did Jesus’ parable end? Verse 41 tells us this:
Then he will hire others to cultivate the vineyard who will give him the fruit when it’s due.’ And then he went on to tell those elders and chief priests, ‘This is why I tell you; The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that produces its fruit.’

Also notice that in Matthew 22:1-10, we read a similar parable that Jesus gave, which told about a king who invited guests to a grand banquet. However, none of those whom he invited (the Jews) showed up. In fact, first they abused his messengers, and then they killed them. So, the king sent an army to destroy those whom he had invited, and then he burned down their city (JeruSalem), after which, he sent his attendants out to invite others to the feast.

Then, who are these ‘others?’ Well, out of respect for His Sacred Agreement with AbraHam, God continued to offer the opportunity to be ‘kings and Priests’ in His Kingdom exclusively to the Jews and to the Samaritans (who lived nearby) for the 3-1/2 years following Jesus’ death. But after that, the opportunity to become ‘Spiritual Jews’ was offered to the first of many future ‘gentile’ converts, Cornelius and his family. And from that point on, the Bible speaks of growing numbers of gentile converts, as Paul and others were appointed as Apostles (or ‘Sent Ones’) to the nations or gentiles.

Also notice Jesus’ words as found at Matthew 8:12, where he foretold:
‘The Sons of the Kingdom will be thrown into the darkness outside, where they will cry and grind their teeth.’

So, since the Jews were in fact ‘the sons of the kingdom’ or the sons of the AbraHamic promise, the indication here is that they as a nation (but not as individuals) were being rejected.

Then in the letters of Paul, we read that these gentile converts were thereafter included in the promise that God made to AbraHam, so they too could become his ‘sons,’ and they too would become part of a ‘New JeruSalem.’  Notice what Paul wrote about this at Romans 2:28:
So, a Jew isn’t what you are on the outside, nor is circumcision something that’s outside on the flesh.’

In other words, the faithful gentiles had become ‘spiritual Jews,’ or the symbolic ‘twelve tribes of IsraEl.’

Thereafter, it was to this ‘new nation’ that all the promises and New Sacred Agreements now applied… they no longer applied to the earthly city of JeruSalem, for JeruSalem had been rejected. Why? Well, notice what the people in that city replied to Pilate’s question when they were calling for the murder of God’s Son (at Matthew 27: 25):
‘At that, all the people said, May we and our children be responsible for his blood.’

We also read that they said (at John 19:15):
‘We have no king but Caesar.’

So, the Jews were not only rejected by God, but they verbally rejected God and asked for the blood of Jesus to be on them and on their children (all future generations). This is why the prophecies regarding JeruSalem no longer have anything to do with a literal city that is located in Palestine today.

Notice that Paul wrote (at Romans 9:6-8):
‘Now, the word of God didn’t fail, because not all who came from IsraEl are really IsraEl, nor are all of AbraHam’s seed his children. For [it’s written]: That which will be called your seed will come through IsaAc. However, [IsaAc’s] fleshly children aren’t the children of God. The children of the promise are that seed.’

Then he added at Romans 9:27:
‘Isaiah shouted this about IsraEl: Although the sons of IsraEl may become as many as the sands of the sea, only a few will be saved.’

And he wrote at Romans 9:30-33:
So, we can say that people of the nations (although they weren’t trying to become righteous) became righteous with the [type of] righteousness that comes from faith, while IsraEl (which was following a righteous Law) just didn’t make it! And why was that so? Because [IsraEl] didn’t look for it in faith but in the things that they were doing… they tripped over the stumbling stone! As it is written:
{Look!} I’m putting a stumbling stone and a rock to trip over in Zion. But those who have faith in him will never be shamed.

Also, notice what was said – apparently by Jesus himself – hundreds of years before he came to earth as a human, about the Old Sacred Agreement that God had made with IsraEl, as found in the words recorded at Zechariah 11:10-12, 14:

‘Then I’ll take my stick (the one [I called] Beauty),
And I will throw it away,
To erase [God’s] Sacred Agreement with them.

‘It will be erased in that day,
And those in CanaAn who have guarded my sheep
Will know that I am The Word of Jehovah.

‘And then, I’ll tell them to do
Whatever they find to be good…
Yes, pay my wage or forbid it!

‘So, they established my wage…
It was thirty pieces of silver.

‘That’s when my second stick will be thrown
(The one that I called Measured Land),
For I’ll wipe IsraEl and Judah away
From [the land] that they’ve [always] owned

As you can see; the Jews (those who practice Judaism) can never be considered righteous as long as they continue to trip over the ‘stumbling stone,’ their promised Messiah, Jesus (for more information, see the linked document, ‘JeruSalem and the IsraEl of God’).

Gog the Grasshopper King

At Amos 7:1 in the Septuagint, we read about Gog the Grasshopper King, which is mentioned apparently in reference to the king of Assyria (who would thereafter attack the northern 10-tribe kingdom of IsraEl), or possibly in reference to the unseen force behind that great world power. For it says there: ‘Then the Lord [came and] showed me {Look!} a breed of locusts that were coming early in the morning, led by Gog the grasshopper king.’

In Greek he is described as, βρουχος εις γωγ ο βασιλευς or, grasshoppers they/are of Gog the king.

Note that this term isn’t found in the modern Hebrew text, which says:
‘This is what the Almighty LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts when the second crop was being harvested. It was the harvest that followed the harvest for the king’ (GW).

Which is correct? We simply don’t know.

Gospel Message

What is the message of the Gospel or ‘Good News’ that Jesus said was to be preached throughout the entire inhabited earth before ‘the end’ comes? According to the account at Matthew 24:14, it is to be ‘the good news of the Kingdom.’ And because most modern religions base their beliefs on what is written just in the book of Matthew (ignoring the Gospels of Mark and Luke), they teach that preaching the message of ‘the Kingdom’ should be the foremost. However, note that in his Gospel, Luke quoted Jesus as saying something quite different just before he was taken to heaven. For it reads there (Luke 24:47):
‘Then in his name, [the message of] repentance for forgiveness of sins is to be preached in all the nations, starting from JeruSalem.’

Which is correct?

Yes, it could be true that Jesus said both things; but it is still interesting that Luke (whom the majority of Bible scholars agree wrote most accurately) records Jesus as giving us a different message on that occasion. So, could Matthew’s account of what Jesus said be wrong?

Possibly, because (as we have pointed out several times in our Notes in the book of Matthew) it appears as though the book of Matthew is one of the most corrupted of the Gospel texts.

The likely reason for this corruption (if in fact, Matthew’s account is in error in this instance) is that the current Greek version of Matthew’s writing was probably translated from the original Hebrew or Aramaic sometime early in the Second Century CE, after the great ‘turning away’ that Paul foretold (at 2 Thessalonians 2:3) had occurred. And it is clear that many changes were made to the Gospel of Matthew both at that time and through the ages since. For there are several places in Matthew’s account that differ quite markedly from the other Gospels, even when those Gospel writers are clearly quoting from Matthew’s account (yes, Mark and Luke did quote from Matthew)!

And when considering the message that Jesus gave Christians to teach, you might also consider the message that John the Baptist (who was sent to ‘prepare the way’ for the coming of Jesus) was told to preach. At Matthew 3:11 we read:
‘Indeed, I baptize you in water [to show your] repentance. But the one who is coming after me is greater than I am. He will turn many sons of IsraEl back to Jehovah, their God.’

And again at Luke 1:16, 17:
‘He will travel before him in the power and spirit of EliJah, and he will prepare a people for the Lord by turning the hearts of fathers back to their children, and the [hearts] of those who don’t obey to righteous good sense.’

In other words, John’s message was to be one of repentance and the need to return to righteous ways (which we so badly need today).

So, are we saying that the ‘Good News of the Kingdom’ is not the message that should be preached? Obviously not, for Jesus did in fact also preach about the Kingdom… and it is a good message of hope. However, using the questionable words of Matthew 24:14 to overshadow Jesus’ instructions to preach ‘repentance for forgiveness of sins’ before his return seems an inappropriate choice in an age where faithlessness, immorality, dishonesty, and lack of love have become so rampant (for more information, see the linked document, ‘Christian Forgiveness and Repentance’).

But, hasn’t John’s message already been preached? No, just look around. Does the world appear to have repented so that it is now ready for Jesus’ second coming? Judge for yourselves.

Gospel of Matthew

Matthew (who was also known as Levi – pronounced Leh-vee, as in Levine) was one of the first disciples of Jesus, and he was later appointed by him to be an Apostle or Sent One. According to ancient Christian writers such as Origen (who wrote during the early 3rd Century), Matthew’s account was the first recorded Gospel. Origen wrote:
‘The first book was written by Matthew. This Gospel was composed in Hebrew near Jerusalem for Hebrew Christians and translated into Greek, but the Greek copy was lost.’

So, while it’s true that we strongly disagree with many of Origin’s personal religious views, which reflect the pagan influences that started entering Christianity during the early 2nd Century; our research of the book of Matthew indicates that Origen was probably right about his book being the first written Gospel (regardless of what modern critics have said), and that it likely was written in either Hebrew or Aramaic, then later translated into Greek.

We also think that the first Greek copies of the Gospel of Matthew were in fact lost; for the many errors and additions as mentioned in these Notes indicate that the existing Greek text was in fact translated again and corrupted sometime in the 2nd Century by the same person or group that translated other First Century NT books into Greek. We have partly drawn this conclusion from the use of certain unusual Greek words (such as parousias) that are found only in later Greek translations of the writings of Matthew, Paul, James, Peter, and John (which were likely originally penned in Aramaic). For more information, see the linked document, ‘Coming, Presence, or Nearness?


The Greek word Hades (the Greeks pronounced it hah-dess) has been translated both as Hell (which many today think of as a place of torture) and as the Grave in other Bible versions (such as the King James). Since one word can’t mean two very different things, which translation is correct?

Hades was originally the name of the Greek god of the underworld, but the term eventually came to mean the place of his realm, ‘the place of the dead.’ And especially among Christians and Moslems, it started to be thought of as a place of torture of wicked souls.

However, an insight into what the ancient early Christians understood the word to mean can be gained from looking at how it was applied in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Ancient Scriptures of IsraEl (which appears to have been the ‘Old Testament’ Bible that Jesus and his Apostles quoted). There the Hebrew word Sheol is translated into Greek as Hades in every instance. And if you take the time to look each instance up, you’ll see that these are obvious references to the grave or the place of the dead, not to a place of conscious torture (see Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10 as an example).

But, was this the same thing that Jesus and his Apostles were talking about when they spoke of Hades?

You might notice, for example, what Jesus’ Apostle John wrote about what will happen to those in Hades as he described it at Revelation 20:13. In the NIV Bible translation (as well as in several other Bibles), the verse is rendered this way:
‘The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.’

So, notice that in this reference to Hades, people were spoken of as coming out of that place (being resurrected), and after that, they were judged. As you can see, they hadn’t even been judged and condemned yet! Therefore, Hades is probably better translated as grave in this instance, or even better as the place of the dead in that scripture.

And something you might notice is that Hades isn’t the only Greek word that is translated as Hell in the Bible. For if you would like to see a complete list of these words and the descriptions of their true meanings, please see the linked document, ‘Is There a Burning Hell?


Why was HaMan so hated by MordecAi (in the Bible book of Ether)? Well, we learn from the account that he was an AgAgite, which indicates that he probably was a descendant of AgAg, an ancient king of the Amalekites, which was a race that had been cursed by God and were almost totally wiped out by King David.

Also, according to the Midrash, Haman had an idolatrous image embroidered on his garments. And so, those who bowed to him also had to bow to the image.

Therefore, if these reasons are true, they explain why MordecAi refused to bow before him.

In addition; the Midrash also says that Haman was an astrologer (God’s Law forbids astrology), and this seems to be confirmed by the method he chose to fix the time for the genocide of the Jews… by casting lots to determine the best day to destroy the Jews.

However, if HaMan was in fact an Amalekite, then why was HaMan also referred to as a Macedonian at Esther 9:24? You can find reasons for this offered in the Wikipedia description of him (see the reference Haman). But it seems logical to us that after King David wiped out most of his race, any who remained would likely have left the land and assumed other nationality identifications.

Hate, Dislike, or Care Less for?

The Greek word meso means middle (as in the English term, meso soprano). However, it is often translated as middle, midst, among, and HATE in other Bibles. Obviously, hate (an extreme emotion in English) isn’t conveyed by the word middle, which simply means less. For that reason, the word is translated as dislike (or the equivalent) herein, whenever it refers to the emotion (for more information, see the Strong’s Concordance link to the word Miseo).

Heavens or Sky, Earth or Land?

In both the Ancient Scriptures of IsraEl (OT) and the Christian Era Scriptures (NT) we find the entire realm of creation divided into just three descriptions, the heavens (or sky), the earth (the land or ground), and the seas (or the waters) and rivers.

In contemporary English, we understand that there is a difference between the heavens and the sky, and the earth and the land (or ground). However, in both the Hebrew and Greek Bible texts, these fine distinctions that we accept because of our modern technology can’t be found. So, Genesis 1:1 can be literally and very accurately translated as saying:
‘In the beginning, The God created the sky and the land.’
For, this is what the words found there really mean, since it was the first man’s view of creation from the place where he was standing. There was just the land beneath him and the sky above him.

At the time, men had no understanding of the earth as a planet or of a cosmos of stars, because they had never seen the earth as a globe floating in space, as most of us have done today. So, they had just one word to describe the earth, land, or ground, and just one word to describe the skies or the heavens (the realm of God).

Therefore, to clarify what is actually meant in each instance where these single words are found, translators have used many English words to translate them. And as you will see, something as simple as selecting the wrong synonym can give us quite a different view of the meanings of some common Bible verses.

The Greek word ourano (for example) can be correctly translated as heaven, heavens, sky, and skies, depending on the context and tense. But if the translator chooses the wrong English word to translate it in a particular instance, most people will reach a wrong conclusion because of the nuance that the English word implies.

You might notice, for example, the account of where the Prophet EliJah was snatched away in a celestial chariot (at 2 Kings 2:11). If you ask most people where they think he was taken, they’ll say (as their Bibles put it), ‘into heaven, where he went to live with God.’ However, this isn’t true, because the Bible tells us that King JehoRam later received a letter from Elijah (see 2 Chronicles 21:12).

Therefore, we must assume that God had used the celestial chariot to take him into ‘the sky’ (the proper translation here), where he was then sent to another place here on the earth. For more information as to why he couldn’t have gone into the presence of God, see the linked document, ‘The Hereafter.’

So, where is heaven? If you understand that the Bible word that is translated as ‘heaven’ (ourano) means any place that is above the ground of planet earth, you’ll realize that in any given instance, it can be speaking of the atmosphere around us, or of open space, or of another planet or galaxy, or possibly even of someplace outside of the space-time continuum as we understand it. You’ll also come to realize that we really have no idea of where God meets with His spirit sons (as mentioned in Job) or what it really looks like… and that we have no concept of what ‘being taken to heaven’ really means!

Likewise, the Greek words ge, ges, and gen can be translated as earth, earths, ground, grounds, land, or lands, depending on the context and tense. So, notice how a wrong choice of English words affects how we view what Jesus said at Matthew 5:5. This verse reads in Greek:
‘Makarioi oi praeis hoti outoi kleronomesousin ten gen,’
‘Blest the meek, for they will/inherit the (earth, ground, or land).’

Some Bibles translate Jesus as saying, ‘The meek will inherit the earth.’ However, other Bibles quote him as saying, ‘The meek will inherit the land.’ So, do you see the difference that the nuances (‘earth’ or ‘land’) make here? Yet, understand that both word choices are equally correct here, since they are both translated from the same Greek word, and your understanding of the meaning depends on what you prefer to believe.

For a good example of the problems that are created by the wrong use of the words ge, ges, and gen, see the linked document, ‘Isaiah 24 – Is It Speaking of Armageddon?

You might also consider the symbolic words found at 2 Peter 3:5, 6, which we have translated as saying:
‘The thing that they don’t want to understand is this: That the ancient sky and land were out of the water, but (in obedience to God’s instructions) they stood together between the waters.’

Shouldn’t this verse read ‘heavens and earth,’ as the words are translated in other Bibles?

No, for notice that Peter was talking about the things that had happened to the earth in the time of Noah, and he was explaining where all the water came from. He was saying that the earth’s ancient atmosphere and the surface of the land below it was once located ‘between the waters’… that is, there was water under the ground that arose at that time, and there was also water high in the sky that fell to the earth. So, he was saying that the water came from both above and below.

Obviously, he wasn’t saying that the water came from the heavenly presence of God; he was saying that it came from somewhere in or above earth’s atmosphere, and from under the ground!

Also, what did John see that he described at Revelation 21:1? Did he see ‘a new heavens and new earth,’ or a ‘new sky and new land,’ as we have quoted him as saying?

Well, he actually saw something disappear, and then, something new came into existence.

So, do you think that he saw the realm of God (or the entire universe) and the globe of the earth (of which he had no concept) go away and then something new coming to take their place? Not likely! Rather, it just makes good sense that what he saw was the land beneath him and the sky above him disappear. And then they were replaced by a new land and a new sky. So, ‘land and sky’ is the better translation in this case.

Hebrew Songs and Poetry

While we as translators claim no in-depth knowledge of the Hebrew language (the OT portion of this Bible is taken from the Greek Septuagint text), we do find the prophecies, blessings, and songs both interesting and beautiful, because they were written, spoken, and sung poetically.

In both Ancient Hebrew and Greek, you’ll find that rather than putting the words together in a rhyme in their poetry, as we commonly do in English today where ending words must sound alike, the sentences fit together so that the thoughts follow each other in an orderly progression, which makes them easy to remember and to sing. For by this method, as long as a person understands the thought, the poetry can be correctly repeated even when slightly different words are used.

You’ll notice that many Hebrew songs were broken into four lines per verse, the thoughts of which followed in a logical order (the first sentence is followed by the same thought in the second sentence). A classic illustration of this style of Hebrew poetry can be found at Psalm 18:4, 5, where we read:
‘By the pangs of death, I once was surrounded…
I was being attacked by floods of the lawless.
Of the place of the dead, I was in fear…
And I was expecting death’s snares.’

Unfortunately, however, we don’t always find such symmetry throughout the texts, and we don’t know if this is because it was originally written that way, or because of our misunderstanding of the Ancient Hebrew methods or words, or due to the fact that much has been lost in transcribing or translating over time.

Yet, you will notice that in this Bible, entire books (such as Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc.) and most of the words that God or His messenger spoke in the prophetic works (such as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.) were written as poetry. And even Jesus (in many of his parables) spoke that way… the beatitudes in Matthew 5 are a good example of this.

We know that these texts were originally written as poetry or songs, because in the translating process, we could recognize the cadence from the order and progression of the words. In fact, although we didn’t write it that way, the entire First Chapter of Genesis was clearly written as a poem or song… just look at the order and the starting words of each paragraph.

Why did the ancients speak that way? It was probably done so that the words could be remembered and sung… for songs were the ancient method of mass communication before the printed page.

Notice that wherever we found the natural poetic rhythm in our translating, we have tried to restore the cadence for your benefit. This requires some rearranging and the addition or removal of extraneous words, but we have zealously worked to maintain the true meanings of the texts.

Why did we do this? Well, not only does it provide a more pleasant reading, but also in places where the lyrics can’t be resolved, it is easy to see where something may have been lost through the years due to poor translation or deliberate forgery. Note Proverbs 25 and 26 for example; for the lack of natural cadence and harmony there makes us wonder whether something has been lost in copying or translating.

Also note two verses of the song that the IsraElite women were singing when Saul and David returned from a battle, as found at 1 Samuel 18:7:

‘Saul has cut down his thousands,
And David his tens of thousands.’

Although these were just two lines of a much longer victory song, the particular words offended King Saul, for he felt that David was being considered more important by the people than he was. Yet, if you understand Hebrew poetry, you can see that the words were just part of a natural poetic progression and they weren’t necessarily chosen to offend Saul. Rather, he was being a bit over-sensitive.

Hebrews, IsraElites, Jews, and Semites

We often hear people using the words Hebrews, IsraElites, Jews, and Semites interchangeably, as though they refer to the same people, and they don’t necessarily. AbraHam and all his descendants were Hebrews, for they all descended from Abram’s (or AbraHam’s) great, great, great grandfather Heber. However, many other lines of descent also came from that man, so many other races could likely be called Hebrews.

The first mention of the word Hebrew is found at Genesis 14:13, where AbraHam was referred to as being one. And thereafter, IsaAc, IshMaEl, and AbraHam’s other sons were also called Hebrews, as were Jacob, Esau, and all their descendants.

The first IsraElites (who were also Hebrews) were the twelve sons of Jacob, whom God renamed IsraEl. Thereafter, their families were often referred to as both the ‘Sons of IsraEl’ and as ‘Hebrews.’ Then during the time of King David, a split developed between the tribe of Judah (the Jews) and the rest of the tribes who called themselves ‘IsraEl.’ For during the first portion of David’s reign, he ruled over just Judah; and then later, both he and Solomon ruled over all the tribes… a reunited IsraEl.

However, the split between the tribes arose once again after the rule of Solomon, when the northern ten tribes rebelled and created their own kingdom, which they called IsraEl, as they removed themselves from the kingship of the southern two tribes (Judah and BenJamin), who were thereafter referred to in English as the Jews.

There were also many people who came to be called both Jews and IsraElites that weren’t really from the lines of either Judah or IsraEl, because God’s Law allowed foreigners to become a part of their nation. In fact RaHab, the prostitute of JeriCho (who was a CanaAnite, not a Semite, Hebrew, or IsraElite) became the ancestress of Kings David, Solomon, and eventually Jesus… as was also true of the Moabite, Ruth.

The Anglicized term ‘Jew’ is an English corruption of the word ‘Judean.’ And though Jesus and many of his disciples were in fact Judeans, they were often referred to by people who lived in the Roman province of Judea as Galileans, because they came from an area outside of Judea near the Sea of Galilee, which was separated from Judea by settlements of Samaritans. Therefore, when Jesus and his disciples spoke of ‘the Jews,’ they often meant the people who lived in and around the city of JeruSalem.

The term ‘Semite’ even predates the term ‘Hebrew,’ because it refers to descendants of Noah’s son Shem… which likely covers at least a third of the peoples on the earth. So, whenever anyone accuses another of being ‘anti-Semitic,’ he or she is actually accusing the person of being biased against a broad range of peoples, including many so-called Arab nations. For, many peoples of the Middle East are also Hebrews, and some are direct descendants of AbraHam, and some are even descendants of IsraEl (Jacob).

Holidays (Contributed)

When Paul wrote at Romans 14:5, ‘One considers a day as more important than other days, while another considers each day as all the rest,’ it is clear that the problem he was addressing had to do with Jewish Christians trying to convince the gentile Christians that it was necessary for them to observe the special days, festivals, and Sabbaths as they are prescribed in the Law of Moses. And here, Paul was simply pointing out that they didn’t have to observe those days any longer. So, when he went on to write (in verse 6), ‘Those who observe a certain day [as holy] should observe it to the Lord,’ you can see that he wasn’t encouraging Christians to celebrate pagan holidays if they so wished; but rather, he was saying that gentile Christians were under no obligation to celebrate Old-Law holidays or to follow Old-Law dietary restrictions.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, you can see that he was partly writing to address problems that had arisen between the Jews and gentiles in the congregation there in Rome… in fact, it’s the same problem that he had to address in many of his writings to other congregations also. For example; in this case, there were apparently jealousies and feelings of superiority on the part of both Jewish and gentile Christians (see Romans 3:1, 9).

So, Paul’s purpose was to try to settle the differences and to bring both races toward complete unity as one man in Jesus (Romans 3:22; 12:5). For as you can see throughout the rest of Chapter 14, Paul went on to say that those who don’t feel comfortable eating food that is forbidden under the Jewish Law shouldn’t be judged, and that those who do eat such food shouldn’t be judged either. And this was the point he was also making about Jewish holidays in verses 4 and 5… Christians shouldn’t be judging each other over such trivial matters.

Homosexual Relationship Between JoNathan and David?

These words are found at 1 SamuEl 18:1:
‘As Saul was speaking, [the heart of his son] JoNathan became bound to David… he loved him as much as his own life.’

This verse is often quoted to prove that King David had a male lover in JoNathan. However, the Greek word (in the Septuagint) that is used for ‘love’ here, agape, seems to disprove that idea; for if this were a physical, sexual love, the word that would have been used is eros, which implies a sexual attraction. On the other hand, agape (the kind of love that JoNathan had for David) refers to something that is principled or pure… the love of a dear friend.

Homosexuality and Bestiality

If you search the Internet for references to Leviticus 18:22, you will find hundreds of citations and opinions. Some of these argue that God forbids homosexuality, and many others argue against that thought. So, let’s consider what the Greek Bible text actually says. The words found there are:
‘Kai meta arsenos ou koimethese koiten bdelugma gar estin,’
‘And with males not bed as/bed women, disgusting for is.’

As you can see from the wording, it is clear that the Old Law was forbidding male/male intercourse here, calling the acts disgusting (gr. bdelugma). And then notice that the words that follow seems to draw a parallel to human/animal intercourse. For in the next verse (Leviticus 18:23) we read:
‘Nor may you lie down and have sex with any animal, for that would pollute you. Nor should any woman offer herself before any animal to have sex with it, because that would be disgusting.’

However, remember that this Law was given to and just applied to those who lived among the people of IsraEl (not to all mankind). And as Paul pointed out; this old Law was superseded by the New Sacred Agreement and its Law of love.

So, may we conclude that God no longer has a law against such things? Yes, that is so… but that doesn’t mean He condones it. For at 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, Paul listed ‘gays (gr. malakoi) and men who have sex with men (gr. arsenokoitai)’ with adulterers and other sexually immoral people; and he said that such ones wouldn’t ‘inherit God’s Kingdom.’

Also, Paul wrote (at Romans 1:26-28):
‘And this is why God abandoned them to their dishonorable passions; for their females have changed the natural use of themselves into something that’s unnatural, and the same is true of their males! They’ve left the natural use of females and started burning in their lust toward each other –  males with males –  doing what is indecent and receiving the type of reward they deserve for such wrongdoing. And because they don’t approve of coming to an accurate knowledge of The God, He has given them depraved minds, which make them do these wrong things.’

But does this mean that people who do such things are ‘eternally damned’ as many believe? No, it just means that God does not view them as righteous. Therefore, they apparently still have a hope of a resurrection. For more information, see the linked documents, ‘The Hereafter,’ ‘The Resurrection,’ and ‘Christian Morality.’

Honest Judge

As you read the Bible, you will notice that one of the things God views as most disgusting is when people are treated –  or when they treat others –  unjustly, especially when it comes to legal or religious trials. For God’s disgust with those who make unrighteous judgments is repeatedly given as the primary reason why He brought destruction upon Judah and IsraEl.

However, despite God’s strong views on this, people often fail to understand the serious of the situation they put themselves in whenever they are asked to pass judgment on others, and to do so honestly. For, notice what Jesus said, as recorded at Matthew 7:1:
‘Do not judge others, so you won’t be judged.
For the [rules] by which you judge others
Are the rules they will use to judge you,
And the standards you are setting for them
Are the standards that they’ll set for you.’

So, does this mean that Christians should never allow themselves to be put in a position where they must make decisions about the actions of other people, especially their brothers? No, for notice what Paul wrote at 1 Corinthians 6:5, 6:

‘Isn’t there at least one wise man among you who can [serve as] judge between his brothers? Or must a brother take a brother to court to be judged by unbelievers?’

As you can see; there are times when Christian elders must judge the wrong (and especially the notorious) actions of other Christians, where the holiness of the congregation is impugned.

However, anyone who is put in such a situation of judging must realize the seriousness of the decisions that they make… they may not be influenced by the coercion of others or by their own personal feelings. For, making a wrong judgment is the worst thing a Christian judge may do in the eyes of God! And a wrong decision (either too lenient or too harsh) may disqualify that person from serving as a judge ever after.

So, the point is: Christian judges (or jurors) must realize that whenever they are put in a position where they must judge other people, God is also judging them. And while passing a wrong judgment on others may have a temporary effect on that person; taking the matter too lightly and making a decision based on a lack of thought or for wrong reasons may bring the wrath of God upon that judge… for He will judge the judge with the same lack of compassion that he or she has used in their judgment of others.

Then does this mean that responsible Christians must overlook and even ‘forgive’ the actions of their unrepentant brothers so that they aren’t judged negatively by God? No, it means that they must be fair in their judgments. Notice especially Paul’s charge to Timothy found at 1 Timothy 5:21:
‘Don’t jump to any conclusions before you hear the evidence, and never make a decision because you are biased one way or the other.’

Good advice for all.

Hope of All Creation

At Romans 8:19-21 we read:
‘Indeed, [all] creation is awaiting and earnestly expecting the revealing of the sons of God. For, His creations were never willingly subjected to futility. Rather, they were subjected to it by the will of the One who gave us the hope that all creation will soon be set free from bondage to decay and then enter the glorious freedom of the children of God!’

What is Paul really saying here? One religious authority wrote:
‘Do beasts and plants hope to attain the glorious freedom of the children of God? No! All creation, then, can refer only to mankind.’

Is this conclusion correct? If so, then Paul just didn’t use the right words! For, why would he have said creation (gr. ktisis), when he really meant mankind (gr. anthropois)?

Let’s assume for a moment that Paul actually meant the words that he wrote… that all creation will be set free, and see if this promise can really come true for any others than just humankind.

First, what is this glorious freedom of the children of God?’ From the promise found at Revelation 21:1, we can conclude that this freedom will result from the arrival of the ‘new skies and new lands’… the coming rulership of our earth by Jesus and those whom he selects to rule as kings with him. And will such a righteous rule be a blessing to more than mankind… could even the animals benefit from the rule of God’s Kingdom? Note that at Genesis 1:28, we read that God gave men the following commission:
Reproduce, multiply, fill the earth and control it. Rule over the fish of the seas, the winged creatures of the skies, all the herding animals of the ground, all the slithering animals that crawl on the ground, and the whole earth.’

However, it appears as though the first humans (Adam and Eve) relinquished this privilege of rulership over the earth and its animals, when they sinned and submitted to the Slanderer, effectively handing their commission over to him. And the net effect of this over the past seven thousand or more years, is that humans have lost their right to rule over the earth and its creatures in the way that God originally intended. This is why Paul wrote (at Hebrews 2:8): 
‘So when [God] puts everything under [his feet], He doesn’t leave anything over which [men] aren’t in charge. However, we don’t see everything obeying us yet.’

No, as Paul said, ‘We don’t see everything obeying us yet.’ Nor do we see this world in general responding to Jesus’ righteous rule. However, Paul wrote that this situation will all change under the rulership of the children of God. For when the commission that God gave humans over this earth and its creatures is fully restored, we can scarcely imagine what powers will be returned to mankind. With no opposition and each person endowed with a full measure of the power of God’s Breath, the blessings to this earth, its creatures, and ALL CREATION can be virtually limitless (for more information, see the linked contributed poem, ‘Animals Our Wards’).


On which mountain did Moses meet with God… Mt. Sinai or Mt. Horeb? Actually, both names seem to be mentioned interchangeably in most Bibles. For at Exodus 34:2, Moses was told: ‘So be ready to climb Mount Sinai in the morning, then stand there [and wait] for Me on top of the Mountain.’ But at Exodus 33:6, we find that the IsraElites were gathered at Mount Horeb. Why were both names used?

Well, Horeb may not have actually been a name, but a description that whas been mistranslated as a name… something that has happened with several other words in the Bible. Ho’reb is a Hebrew word for dry, which aptly describes this land in the Sin (pronounced Seen and/or Sheen) Desert, near the southern tip of Arabia. For it is close to where Moses, by the power of God, struck the rock to bring out water for the people to drink, since there was no other source of water there.

Sinai, on the other hand, may have gotten its name from its prominent place toward the end of the Sin Desert. However, Hebrew scholars say that Sinai means bush, referring to the burning bush where God spoke to Moses.

House to House?

Most Bible translations render Paul’s words at Acts 20:20 as saying that he had taught ‘publicly and from house to house.’ Yet, that isn’t exactly what he said; for the Greek words were actually, ‘demosia kai kat oikous,’ or, ‘in/public and according/to house.’

So, notice that there is no mention in the original Greek text of moving between houses.

Therefore, The New Living Translation rendered Paul’s words as, ‘publicly or in your homes,’ and The Bible in Basic English renders them as ‘publicly and privately.’ So, what was Paul actually saying?

Well, to better understand the actual meaning of the words, it is important to look at the context. Notice the entire setting, as it is laid out in verses seventeen through twenty-one:

‘However, [while he was] in Miletus, he (Paul) sent word to Ephesus to call the elders of the congregation to him. And when they arrived, he told them: You know very well that from the first day I stepped into Asia, I was with you all along, humbly slaving for the Lord. And [you know] of all the tears and trials I endured because of the plots of the Jews. Yet, I didn’t fail to remind you and teach you both in public and in [your] homes; for I gave a thorough witness to both Jews and Greeks about [the need to] repent before God and [to have] faith in our Lord Jesus.

As you can see, Paul wasn’t saying that he went from house to house preaching to strangers. Rather, he was speaking to Christian elders and reminding them of how he had preached to them both publicly and in the privacy of their homes.

Then, does this mean that Paul didn’t preach from house to house? No, we’re not saying that. For it’s hard to explain which means early Christians used to preach the Word of Christianity so successfully that it eventually reached throughout the whole earth. The only record that we have (the Bible Book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul) tell us that they spoke in public places such as in synagogues, in auditoriums, and in the local markets.

Yet, we do know that when Jesus sent his Apostles out to do preaching, they went to nearby cities and spoke to strangers, and they usually stayed overnight in the homes of those who welcomed their message. For notice what Jesus told them at Luke 10:5-7:
‘Then, as you enter each house you should say, May this house have peace. And if a son of peace lives there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. So, stay in that house and eat and drink the things they provide, because a worker deserves his wages…  don’t keep moving from one house to another.’

House, Temple, or Palace?

Throughout the Bible, the Greek word that is used in most places to describe the Temple of Jehovah is Oikos (pronounced Oy-koss), or House. That is also true when it comes to describing the building where the king lived (it just says ‘house’). However, for clarification, we have usually chosen to translate oikos as Temple when it is speaking of the place of worship of Jehovah, and as palace when speaking of the king’s house. We have done this because neither of these buildings were just regular houses, and the words Temple and palace better describe their appearance and use in contemporary American English.

There is a Greek word that actually means Temple, which is also used many times in the Bible; it is hiero. And another Greek word that is frequently (incorrectly) translated as Temple, is naos (pronounced nah-oss), but this refers the Temple’s Most Holy or inner sanctuary.

How David Pictured Jesus

You can see proof of the Bible’s inspiration by God and of some of its prophetic significances in the songs of King David as found in the book of Psalms. For there are numerous verses in the Psalms that exactly mirror the words and actions of Jesus, as well as many of the things that happened to him. Note for example, what David wrote at Psalm 22:16-18:

‘Many dogs have me surrounded
And the wicked are gathering around me.
They’re cutting into my hands and my feet;
They count all my bones as they watch me and think.
They’ve divided my garments among them,
And thrown dice for the clothes that I wear.’

As you can see, the words of this Psalm foretold things that actually happened to Jesus at the time of his death. So, as you read the Psalms, look for the many parallels and prophecies that foretell the words and earthly life of Jesus.

Psalm 110 in particular appears to have been written under inspiration with Jesus in mind, for Jesus applied this scripture to himself at Matthew 22:43-45, Peter applied it to him at Acts 2:35, and so did Paul at 1 Corinthians 15:25 and in the book of Hebrews. So, there is no question that this Psalm specifically referred to the coming of Jesus.

In addition; have you noticed that David often referred to himself as the Christ? You may not have, because the Greek word christon (christ) and its Hebrew equivalent meshiac (messiah) are usually translated as anointed wherever they are found in Old Testament texts of most Bibles. Yet, David could truly refer to himself as the christ (or, the messiah), because he (like Jesus) had been anointed to be the king over all IsraEl by God.

How Large Was Nineveh?

It has long been argued that the Bible is wrong (once again) when it speaks of the size of the city of Nineveh at Jonah 3:3. For in the Masoretic (Hebrew) text this verse reads (according to GOD’S WORD Translation):
‘Jonah immediately went to Nineveh as the LORD told him. Nineveh was a very large city. It took three days to walk through it.’
Yet, archaeological evidence proves that the city simply wasn’t that large. So, was Jonah’s account wrong?

Notice, for example, these comments as excerpted from the online page, The Skeptical Review:
‘Realistically, we could expect Nineveh to have a walled circumference of approximately three miles, assuming that the population figures are accurate. Interestingly, archeologists have found walls that likely were Nineveh, and they were about three miles around. So, Nineveh was not a three-day journey in breadth, unless Jonah was a really slow walker.’

Actually, the error doesn’t appear to be an inaccuracy in Jonah’s account. Rather, it looks like the error is in the wording of the Hebrew text. For notice that the Septuagint (Greek) text says (Jonah 3:3, 4):
‘So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh, just as Jehovah had told him, which took him three days (for God considered Nineveh a great city). Then when Jonah entered the city, he spent the day traveling through it proclaiming, In just three days, Nineveh will be wiped away!’

So according to the Septuagint, it only took Jonah a day to walk through the city proclaiming his message; but it appears as though it took him three days to get to the city from wherever he was at the time! For more information on the accuracies of both the Masoretic and Septuagint texts, see the document, ‘Why the Greek Septuagint?


Hypocrite is a Greek word that is just spelled a little differently than it is in English (hypokritai). However, we give the English word a nuance that isn’t implied in Greek. The first part of the Greek word, hypo, means under, and the second part, kritai, means judge (it’s where we get the English words critical and criticize). So in the Bible, a hypocrite is a ‘lesser judge,’ or one who is very judgmental of the actions or conduct of others. This differs from the meaning in English: Someone who doesn’t follow his own advice.

The Scribes and Pharisees were referred to as Hypocrites by Jesus, because, they commonly condemned the actions of others to make themselves look superior. And like anyone who tends to be critical of others, they likely failed in the same ways as those whom they condemned… and that would also make them fit the English definition. However, the Bible meaning is basically, ‘judgmental.’

Being too judgmental is a very serious flaw, which is common to those who think of themselves as being very righteous. It is reported that the Pharisees especially thought themselves to be more righteous than others, and it was their opinion that they would be the only ones to be found righteous by God. But notice what Jesus said would happen to those who are too judgmental (Matthew 7:1):

‘Do not judge [others], so you won’t be judged.
For the [rules] by which you judge others
Are the rules they will use to judge you;
And the standards you are setting for them
Are the standards that they’ll set for you.’

Image of DaniEl Chapter Two

In Daniel Chapter Two, we read of how King NebuChadnezzar of Babylon saw a huge image in a dream that had a head of gold, hands chest and shoulders of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and baked clay (pottery). Then DaniEl explained that King NebuChadnezzar (or the world empire of Babylon that he founded) was the head of gold, and that his kingdom (or empire) would be followed by a lesser king (the one of silver), which turned out to be the empire of Persia, along with their ally and close neighbor, the Medes.

DaniEl described the next empire (the one of brass) as one that would ‘dominate the whole earth,’ which aptly describes the empire of Greece under Alexander the Great. And the next ‘king’ or empire (the legs of iron) was described by him as being ‘as strong as iron. For as iron crushes and tames all things, it will tame and crush everything.’ This of course described Rome during and after the time of Julius Caesar. But which empire (king) is represented by the feet of iron and baked clay? We know that it has to be a last empire, since the account says that it will be replaced (crushed) by God’s Kingdom.

There have been several world empires in the millennia since the time of Roman domination. However, the Bible only speaks of one empire after Rome. So, which would that be?

The first clue comes from the Greek words used in verse 41, where we read (in part):
‘kai apo tes rizes tes sideras estai en on,’
‘and from the roots of/the iron is in it.’

So, we must conclude that this ‘king’ is rooted in the Roman Empire, and this could refer to Spain, France, or England, for they all had deep Roman roots… but which one?

The next clue comes from the words found in verses 42 and 43, which say:
‘And because the toes of the feet are part iron and part baked clay; part of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be broken. For as you saw the iron mixed with the baked clay, [this kingdom] will be mixed with the seed of men… they won’t stick to each other, as iron won’t stick to baked clay.’

As you can see, this kingdom is to be ‘mixed with the seed of mankind.’ Does that mean it was to be made up of many races? If so, that well describes the vast British Empire and its many former colonies, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. And since each of these former British colonies has claimed their independence, they haven’t stuck together and they don’t always agree.

The final clue is the fact that these governments are the last. So if the prophecy in Daniel pictures them, we would assume from the prophecy that God’s Kingdom will soon ‘hit the image on its feet of iron and baked clay and completely shatter them,’ bringing in the long-awaited ‘Kingdom of God.’

Immediate Resurrection to Heaven?

The teaching that people will receive an immediate resurrection into heaven after their deaths is one of the most common doctrines of modern ‘Christian’ religions. However, Jesus (in the Revelation) spoke of the resurrection as happening in ‘the last day,’ and nowhere did he (or the Bible) say that people have ‘immortal souls’ that immediately speed off to ‘the light’ at their deaths. Yet, most of these religions now teach that souls don’t have to wait until the last day for the resurrection.

Note that Paul spoke of a similar conclusion that some in the First Century congregations were teaching at 2 Timothy 2:17, 18, where he wrote:
‘That was the problem with Hymenaeus and Philetus. They got away from the truth and started teaching that the resurrection has already happened, which misdirected the faith of some.’

For more information, see the document, the Resurrection.

‘In’ and ‘One’

The Greek word εν (en) simply means in. However, it has been translated as in, on, among, one, and in union with. It’s important to understand how this small word should be properly translated, especially when it’s being used in the Bible to describe the relationship between God, Jesus, and Jesus’ faithful disciples.

Also notice that adding an apostrophe (or an ‘h’) to the word (‘εν – hen), slightly changes its meaning. We find an example of its use at John 10:30, which basically says, ‘The father and I are one.’ And though ‘hen’ is about the same word as ‘en’ (just a slight change in tense), you’ll find that it has been translated (in the New American Standard Bible, for example) as one (282 times), agreement (1), alike (1), alone (3), common (1), detail (1), first (9), individual (2), individually (1), lone (1), man (1), nothing (1), one another (1), one man (2), one thing (5), one (2), person (1), single (1), smallest (1), someone (2), unity (1).

Yes, such a wide variety of translating is strange, but not uncommon. For you’ll find translators doing the same thing to many other Bible words, usually in an attempt to slant the meanings toward their own religious conclusions.

However, at John 10:30, was Jesus really saying that he was one of three personalities of God, as many teach? Well, notice how Jesus later used the same word (εν) when describing his relationship with his disciples (at John 14:20):
‘εγω εν τω πατρι μου και υμεις εν εμοι καγω εν υμιν,’
‘In that the day you will know that I in (εν) the Father of me, and you in (εν) me, and I in (εν) you.’

So, if what Jesus said at John 10:30 meant that he is the same person as (or is another personality that is part of) his Father, then what he said as recorded at John 14:20 would mean that all of Jesus’ followers will become the same person as him and his Father… thus we would all become Jesus and God! However, a more logical conclusion would be that, as Jesus and his Father are at one in mind and purpose, the righteous will join them in this perfect union (for more information, see the linked document, ‘Who Was Jesus?’).


The first law that God gave forbidding incest is found in Leviticus Chapter Eighteen. Notice there, that His concern wasn’t just the physical defects that can result from inbreeding. Rather, He was concerned about the matter of propriety and showing respect for your close relatives; for at Leviticus 18:6-8, we read:
‘No man may approach a close relative and uncover his/her nakedness, for I am Jehovah. Don’t uncover your father’s naked [body] or your mother’s naked [body]…
she’s your mother, so don’t [undress] her! Nor should you uncover the naked [body] of your stepmother, because [that is the same as uncovering] your father’s naked [body].’

However, back in the most ancient times when there were few humans on the earth, having a sexual relationship with anyone other than a close relative (particularly a brother, sister, or cousin) wasn’t even an option, for there were only close relatives. And in the case of AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob, for example, marriage to anyone other than a close relative was considered unwise due to the corrupt practices of the nations that lived around them. Therefore, AbraHam married his half sister, and both IsaAc and Jacob married their first cousins (for more information, see subheading ‘Incest’ in the linked document, ‘Christian Morality’).

In the Name Of

The words found at Matthew 28:19 in other Bibles, ‘in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,’ are not found in the ancient Shem Tov (Hebrew) manuscript of Matthew, and our conclusion is that these words are spurious (something that was added to the Bible). For notice how differently the Disciple Luke described these same parting words of Jesus at Luke 24:47:
‘Then in (my) name, [the message of] repentance for forgiveness of sins is to be preached in all the nations, starting from JeruSalem.’

So, notice that there was no mention of baptism, or of ‘the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’

And at Acts 1:8, Luke wrote that Jesus also said this at his departure:
‘However, you will receive power when the Holy Breath comes over you, and you’ll be witnesses of me in JeruSalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.’

So, as you can see; Luke quoted Jesus as saying something quite different than what is written in Matthew, before he ascended to heaven, and he didn’t even mention what has become known as the Trinity formula.

Therefore, we have to ask: Why would Luke have missed such a critical detail if Jesus had in fact said those words, since they are now considered the most important words in the baptism ceremony?

Understand that the reason why these words are called the Trinity Formula is because this is one of just two places in such Bibles as the King James Version that tie the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (or Ghost) together… and the only other mention of them together (at 1 John 5:7, 8) is recognized by most honest Bible translators as being a later spurious addition to the original Bible text (see the Note 1 John 5:7, 8).

Unfortunately, there are no complete manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew that date back to before the 4th Century, and all the existing manuscripts that we have today (other than the Shem Tov) contain this phrase. However, there is very strong evidence that those words are a 4th Century corruption of the original text; for in his earliest writings, the ancient Church ‘Bishop’ EuSebius quoted this verse as saying something quite different. Some eighteen times between the years 300 and 336-CE, he cited Matthew 28:19, 20 as saying:
‘Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you.’

So, notice that according to these quotations of Eusebius, there was no mention of being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit… in fact, there was no mention of baptism at all! Therefore, this gives us even more reason to believe that the ‘Trinity Formula’ found at Matthew 28:19 is spurious.

Then, if so, how could this change have entered the Bible text? Well, it’s interesting that the traditional Trinitarian reading of Matthew 28:19 only appears in EuSebius’ writings after the Council of Nicaea, where the Trinity began to be held as official Church doctrine. So, the evidence strongly indicates that the words were inserted later (by him or by others) in the same way and for the same reason that 1 John 5:7-8 was changed… to provide support to the teaching of the Trinity doctrine.

Who was EuSebius? He was one of the most important instigators of change in the early ‘Christian’ religion, since he was the person who had the ear of and who supported the then pagan Roman Emperor Constantine; for he helped Constantine to see the political advantages of ending the persecution of Christians and in establishing Christianity as the official state religion of Rome. He was also involved in creating ‘the Council of Nicaea,’ in which the Trinity was established as official Church doctrine. So, it is ironic that we only have EuSebius’ earlier quotations of Matthew 28:19, 20 to prove the current popular rendering spurious.

However, realize that this conclusion may cut both ways for some, because, while it breaks apart the only mention of the Trinity trio in the Bible, it does seem to prove what some Trinitarians have said all along… that baptisms should only be done in the name of Jesus.

So, since there is no place in the Bible that says baptizing should be done in the Name of the Father or the Holy Spirit, the only other instructions in the Bible on how to baptize people say this:

·      Acts 2:38:
‘Repent and each of you get baptized in the name of Jesus the Anointed One, so your sins can be forgiven. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Breath.’

·      Acts 8:15, 16:
‘They went [to the Samaritans] and prayed for them to receive the Holy Breath, because it hadn’t come to any of them yet, although they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.’

·      Acts 10:48:
‘So he commanded that they should be baptized in the name of Jesus the Anointed One.’

·      Acts 19:5:
‘When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.’

·      Romans 6:3:
‘Don’t you realize that all who were baptized into the Anointed Jesus were also baptized into his death?’

·      Galatians 3:27:
‘All who were baptized into the Anointed One have put on the Anointed One.’

Is Jesus God?

The simple answer is: Yes, Jesus is a god… that is, if you understand what the word god means.

This wording may be a bit difficult to grasp for those of us who were raised in a monotheistic society where God refers to just One. However, remember that the Greeks (whose language we are translating) were a polytheistic society (they worshiped many gods), and to them, the word theos (god) was used to describe many others in their pantheon (all gods), who were viewed as being simply more powerful than mere mortals.

So, understand that to them, theos just meant a powerful one, not the Creator (which is what the Hebrew name Jehovah implies – The One who causes to be).

To prove that translating the word theos as powerful (as we have done at John 1:1) is correct; notice how the Bible speaks of the unfaithful messengers of God as gods at Psalm 82:6, which is the scripture that Jesus quoted at John 10:34-36), where it says:
‘I said to them, You are gods
Of the Most High, you are sons!

Also, notice that at Exodus 7:1, God told Moses:
‘Look! I’ve made you a god to Pharaoh and your brother Aaron is your Prophet.’

So, the terms god and gods just refer to the powerful. And even men can be gods… that is, in the truest sense of the word’s meaning (powerful ones). Thus, a word-for-word literal translation of John 1:1 can read:
‘In the beginning was the Word. The Word was toward the Powerful One, and powerful was the Word.’

Then, why did we use the term God rather than Powerful One at John 1:1 to describe The God? We’ve left the first term (God) in place, because that’s what people call the Divine One today.

So, is Jesus (the Logos) The God or just god (powerful)? From the context of John 1:1, it appears as though he is theos – powerful – but not The God (gr. ton Theon). For notice that Jesus described himself as simply God’s son (gr. Uios tou Theou eimison of/the God I/am) at John 10:36.

Also notice that in the Greek text of John 1:1, the words Logos (λογος) and Theon (θεον) are both preceded by the word The (ο λογος and τον θεον), except in the case where the Logos is referred to simply as theos (θεος). So, when you read it in Greek, you can clearly see that John was differentiating Jesus from The God. For John 1:1, 2, says in Greek:
‘Eν αρχη ην ο λογος, και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον, και θεος ην ο λογος. Oυτος ην εν αρχη προς τον θεον.’
‘In ancient/time was the Word and the Word was with The God and god was the Word. He/was in ancient/time with (or toward) The God.’

Through the years, we’ve heard many anti-Trinitarians argue that the reason why John 1:1 reads as it does, implying to some that there is a Trinity (though only two are described here), is because there are no indefinite articles in Greek (which is true). Therefore, they say that ‘the Word’ should be described as ‘a God’ in English to distinguish him from The God.

Yet, you can see that the definite article ‘the’ actually appears several times in the Greek writing of this sentence, though it’s not included in the English rendering by other Bible translators. It appears three times before Logos and twice before God, who is described there (and in most other places throughout the Greek texts of the Bible) as ‘The God.’ Yet the word ‘the’ is always omitted by other Bible translators when they translate the two words, ‘τον θεον,’ or, ‘The God.’

So, notice that if John was writing that the Word was the same as The God, he would have written, ‘and the Word was The God.’ Yet, he didn’t, because, although the word ‘God’ is used as a noun twice in this sentence to describe The God; where the word ‘god’ was used in reference to ‘the Word,’ it is used as an adjective to describe ‘the Word’ as being god-like in his power.

That the early Christians didn’t view Jesus as The God is supported by the fact that some of the Apostles (and many other Christians) still worshiped at the Temple of Jehovah in JeruSalem until it was destroyed in 70-CE (see Acts 3:1-3). And the reason why they continued to do this, is because Christian Jews didn’t consider Christianity to be a new religion that had a new god (Jesus). But rather, they considered it to be the natural outgrowth of the old religion, where Jesus was the promised ‘Messiah’ or ‘Anointed One of God’ who was to assume ‘the throne of David his father.’

As you can see; though Jesus (who is referred to as ‘the Word’ at John 1:1, 2) was called ‘powerful’ (or godlike), the following verses clearly go on to explain that he wasn’t ‘The God.’ But rather (like Moses), he was a god or powerful one (for more information, see the document, ‘Who Was Jesus?’).

To see how Jesus was described at John 1:1 in the most ancient Coptic texts (where he is described as being ‘a God’), see the link, ‘Coptic John.’

Isaiah 14:12 (contributed)

At Isaiah 14:12 we find a word that is often translated as bright (or shining) one. But the words in Hebrew and Aramaic texts are heh-lehl eill, which is a form of the Hebrew stem yah-lahl ill. And the meaning of ill is howl! So, why has it been translated as bright or shining in almost all modern texts?

It has been suggested that the translators of the Septuagint could have overlooked the smallest of the Hebrew letters or used a copy in which it had been inadvertently omitted. And if the form of the word eill (as it occurs in this particular text) was shortened to ell, its meaning would be corrupted, which appears to be what happened. For Kittel’s Hebrew Text reads ah-lahl, or HOWL.

And notice that the Hebrew verb eill in Isaiah 14:12 is identical to the word found at Zechariah 11:2, where the trees are shown to be howling (not bright ones). For it says there:
‘And howl, O you oaks of BaShan;
For the groves that you’ve planted have all been cut down.’

So, a correct translation of Isaiah 14:12 will read:
‘O how you have fallen from the sky; Shriek, O one that arises at dawn, for you who [once conquered] all nations, have now been broken to the ground.’

Notice that this rendering fits the context perfectly; for the King of Babylon likely shrieked or howled, as he was broken to the ground.

IsraEl’s Sin Over Meat

If you were to ask most people what the IsraElites had to eat during the forty years that they trekked in the desert, most would answer ‘manna.’ And as the result, many have tended to sympathize with the IsraElites who complained that they wanted more things to eat, because the impression such a conclusion gives is that the only food God provided for His people at the time was just a prison ration of bread (manna) and water… NOT TRUE!

Notice their actual complaint. At Numbers 11:4-8 we read:
‘Who is going to give us meat to eat? We remember all the fish that we used to eat in Egypt, as well as the cucumbers, melons, leeks, garlic, and onions. But now our lives have become [empty], because, all we can see is this manna.’

Was that the true situation? Well, remember that the main occupation of these people (and the main source of their wealth) was their huge flocks and herds of cattle (see Genesis 46:32 and Exodus 12:38). So, they really had plenty of meat to eat if they chose. In fact, most of the meat of the holy sacrifices they were to offer on sacred occasions was returned to them for their own consumption.

Then, what were they complaining about? Well, notice who really started the complaining. Verse four says:
‘It was the [gentiles] who were mixed among them that started [complaining].’

So, the instigators were probably Egyptians and others who weren’t used to a shepherd’s diet. Rather, what they missed was the markets of Egypt, where a person could go every day and purchase meats of all sorts and a wide variety of vegetables (cucumbers, melons, leeks, garlic, and onions). However, they did have beef, lamb, and all the miraculous manna that they cared to eat, which was in fact their primary staple (as bread had always been to the ancients), and it could be prepared in different ways.

Of course, the ‘meat’ that the gentiles among them seemed to be missing was the large variety of animals that they used to consume in Egypt prior to the restrictions that came with God’s Laws. So, the complaint doesn’t really seem to be that they didn’t have meat, but rather, that they probably didn’t like the restrictions that God’s Laws made as to what types of meat they could eat (as well as about their lack of fresh fish, vegetables, and fruit in the desert).

How did God solve this problem? By sending them the ‘meat’ that they asked for in such an abundance that they virtually became sick of eating it. Yet, notice that the wild game that He provided (quail) was still allowed under His Law.

Another common misunderstanding about this matter is why God thereafter send a plague on the people for eating the quail. We have heard many answers to this in past years, such as, ‘They ate without giving thanks,’ or, ‘They didn’t take time to drain the blood.’ However, the Bible just doesn’t give us an answer. All we know is that ‘greed’ was involved, since that place was thereafter referred to in the Bible as ‘The Graveyard of the Greedy.’

You might notice, for example, the quantity of meat that was slaughtered and consumed; for the account indicates that the slaughter of the birds was needless and wanton.

James (Half-brother of Jesus)

There are actually three people spoken of in the Bible as being named James:

·      James, the son of AlphaEus (known as, ‘James the Less‘)

·      James, the half-brother of Jesus (known as, ‘James the Just‘)

·      James, the son of Zebedee.

However, those are just the English pronunciations. Their actual names were Iakobos (Ya-koh-bose), or Jacob, for the name James is just the Greek pronunciation of Jacob.

We know little about James the son of AlphaEus other than that he was listed (at Mark 3:18) among the Apostles.

James the son of Zebedee was one of the earliest followers of Jesus and the brother of John (Jesus called the brothers, ‘the sons of thunder’). He was martyred about 44-CE.

James (‘the Just’) was a prominent elder in the JeruSalem congregation and the writer of the Bible book of James. According to Jude (at Jude 1:1), James was his brother and the two are likely the half-brothers of Jesus through Mary and JoSeph. Notice that their names (James and Jude) are mentioned among Jesus’ other family members at Matthew 13:55, where we read that the people in the synagogue at Nazareth were saying this about Jesus:
‘Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, JoSeph, Simon, and Judas?’

We know that this James (who likely became a disciple after Jesus’ death) came to hold a prominent position in the JeruSalem congregation, because he is mentioned as taking the lead in the declaration that the gentiles would not be required to be circumcised (see Acts 15:13-21).

James was also the person who took the lead in the meeting with Paul during his last visit to JeruSalem, and who suggested to Paul that he should go to the Temple and undergo ritual purification in order to pacify local Christians who were irritated by the fact that he was teaching gentile Christians that they didn’t have to be circumcised (see Acts 21:21-24). Of course, when Paul did this, it led to his being beaten by a mob, then arrested, and later being taken to Rome to stand before Caesar.

So, it is clear that at least some in the JeruSalem congregation still didn’t fully understand that the terms of the Old Law had been fulfilled with the death of Jesus, and that circumcision of the flesh was no longer a requirement for Christians under the New Sacred Agreement.

However, this isn’t the only occasion where this James is mentioned in reference to arguments about circumcision and the Law. For at Galatians 2:11-13, he was referred to as the person who sent men from JeruSalem to AntiOch in order to encourage the Christian Jews there to separate themselves from the Christian gentiles and to return to following Jewish religious customs.

Also, according to history, there appears to have been a sect that emerged among many of the Jewish Christians around that time, which rejected Paul and his teachings, and which claimed to follow the teachings of James. This group, known as the Ebionites, are said to have held strictly to the Law of Moses.

So, regardless of the earlier stance of James that seemed to support Paul’s work with the gentiles, it appears as though he was a staunch Jewish traditionalist who didn’t always agree with Paul.

Therefore, though we consider the Bible book of James to be inspired, we really know very little about this man’s faith in his later years.

According to the Jewish historian JoSephus (in his work, ‘The Antiquities of the Jews’), James was martyred by the Procurator Porcius Festus about 62-CE. However, later (around 248-CE), the Church ‘Father’ Origen related an account of the death of James, which implies that he actually died during the Roman siege of Jerusalem. And if this is true, then James was not numbered among those Christians who followed Jesus’ instructions to flee JeruSalem when they found it surrounded by armies.

JeremiAh 31:37

In the Septuagint (Greek text), JeremiAh 31:37 reads:
‘Tade legei kurion:’
‘Thus says the/Lord:’
Ean upsothe ho ourano eisto meteoron,’
If should/be/raised/up the sky in height,
Kai eantapeinothe to epeinothe tes ges kato,’
And/if lowered the floor of/the land below,
Kai ego ouk apodokimo to genos IsraEl, legei Kyrios,’
And I will/not reject the/race of/IsraEl, says the/Lord,’
Peri panton on epoieson,’
For all/the/things that they’ve/done.

However, the Hebrew text (as translated) reads this way:

‘Thus says the Lord: If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of IsraEl for all that they have done, declares the Lord.’

As you can see, there is a significant difference between the meanings of the two different text sources. For the Septuagint says that IsraEl will not be rejected, but the Hebrew text says that they will be cast off. Which of the two is right?

Well, verse 36 in the Greek text provides the answer to the question, for it says there:
‘If these Laws before Me should cease to be,
Then the race of IsraEl will no longer stand
As a nation before Me
Throughout the rest of their days

So, God is clearly saying that IsraEl could be rejected. And as the result, we have deferred to the conclusion of the Hebrew text and must assume that an early Septuagint translator simply couldn’t believe that IsraEl might be rejected. And because of this, he added the negative word not (ouk) to the sentence.

Then, doesn’t this error prove the Septuagint to be the inferior text? No, not necessarily, because we continually find obvious errors in both (Hebrew and Greek) sources. And far too often, the Septuagint follows logical reasoning better and it offers details that are not found in modern Hebrew texts. So, we tend to trust the Greek text, while keeping an eye out for errors.

Jeremiah 37:5

Note that Bibles based on the Masoretic Hebrew text tell us that when the King NebuChadNezzar heard that the king of Egypt had sent an army to assist Judah, he lifted the siege against them temporarily. However, the Septuagint text of the same verse indicates that he didn’t lift the siege, but that he thereafter attacked. Which rendering is correct?

A reader sent us this note in support of the Hebrew text that says:
‘So, there was a short interruption of this siege when the Babylonians (Chaldeans) withdrew in order to drive back the Egyptians to whom King Zedekiah had appealed for help. But after having taken care of this Egyptian threat, the Babylonians returned and resumed the siege, just as the prophet Jeremiah forewarned that they would do.’

In other words, they did attack, but it was after a brief withdrawal. So, according to this person, both texts are correct.

Jesus’ Last Words as a Mortal

Note that a reader submitted the following to us, where he objected to our rendering of Jesus’ last words before his death (as found at Matthew 27:46). He points out that the Greek words, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani’ (that is, ‘My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?’), are incorrect. For an early Christian (Origen) wrote that Matthew didn’t pen his Gospel in Greek, because he was writing to people whose native tongue was Aramaic. And thereafter, the person (or persons) who eventually translated Matthew from Aramaic into Greek in the early 2nd Century mixed Hebrew words with Aramaic words when doing the translating. For he says that these words of Jesus appear to be a quotation from the prophecy of David found at Psalm 22:1, and the Hebrew word that is used there, sjebaqtani (or, spared), is not the same as the word sabachthani (or, abandoned), which is found in Matthew’s account.

He went on to point out that if Jesus had said abandoned, he would have said, ‘Eli, Eli, lema azab-thani?’ So, his opinion is that Jesus’ words should really be translated as, ‘My God, my God, why have You spared me?’… the point being, that Jesus was willing to suffer even more, or even as, ‘My God, my God, for this I was kept,’ or, ‘this was my destiny,’ or, ‘for this I was born.’

Psalm 22:1 in the Septuagint (which is the text that Jesus was likely quoting, since many of his quotations seem to be from the Septuagint) reads in Greek, ‘Inati egkatelimes me,’ or, ‘why did/You/abandon me?’ This is why we have allowed Jesus’ words to remain as they are rendered in most Bibles, for we feel that the Hebrew text is more likely the one that is corrupted here. However, we have included this Note to show you that our choice of wording has been questioned.

Jesus’ Fleshly Brothers and Sisters

Did Jesus have fleshly brothers and sisters? Yes, he did, for the words found at Matthew 12:46-50 make this very clear. There we read that as he was indoors speaking, his mother (Mary) and his brothers (James, JoSeph, Simon, and Judas) had been standing outside waiting to talk to him. And at Acts 1:14, we once again read of Jesus’ mother and brothers being present (along with his Apostles) shortly after he ascended to heaven.

So, were these in fact Jesus’ fleshly brothers, or could the writers have been referring to ‘spiritual’ brothers? The context in each case provides the answer. Since Jesus’ brothers are mentioned as being there along with his Apostles, his disciples, and his mother (Mary) in the account in Acts, these had to be his fleshly (half) brothers (other children of Mary).


Understand that the word ‘Jew’ is a unique English pronunciation of ‘Judean.’ And when Mark and John spoke of the Judeans, they were usually referring to people who lived in the Roman Province of Judea. But because Jesus and eleven of his Apostles (although likely all of the Tribe of Judah) lived in the northern Province of Galilee, the Judeans called them Galileans (see Mark 14:70), while the Galileans referred to the people in and around JeruSalem as Judeans (or Jews).

With the above said, it becomes easier to understand what the scriptures mean when they speak of the water jars at wedding reception at Cana being there for the ‘Judeans’ to wash in, and that the ‘Judeans’ were looking to kill Jesus, and that the ‘Judeans’ rejected Jesus. In these cases, the texts aren’t referring to the nation as a whole, but to the people who lived in Judea and/or in JeruSalem.

Understand that Jesus was widely recognized as a Prophet and as God’s anointed in Galilee. However, it was in and around JeruSalem (which was then the center of Jewish worship and where the leaders of the various Jewish sects were located) that Jesus was finally rejected and turned over to the Roman governor for execution.


While many Bible commentators claim that Job was a contemporary of Moses (because Moses is credited with writing the book), the ancient language used there appears to date the actual words to sometime before IsraEl’s stay in Egypt… possibly between the time of AbraHam and Jacob.

It is interesting, however, that one ancient (non-inspired) writing says that the man’s full name was Jobab (although he was called Job) and that he was a grandson of AbraHam through IsaAc’s son Esau (see 1 Chronicles 1:44). This seems logical, because he was obviously a worshiper of AbraHam’s God Jehovah. And because he lived to be two-hundred and forty years old, he could well have lived to the lifetime of JoSeph.

Job has often been described as an oriental, giving us the impression that he was Chinese. And the reason for this is that he was said to have been ‘born to a prosperous family from the sunrise in the east.’ However, saying that he came from the east doesn’t necessarily mean that he came from thousands of miles to the east. For it appears as though his family had likely settled somewhere just east of the Promised Land, which other Bible texts indicate was where the descendants of Esau (Edom) settled. For we read at Lamentations 4:21:
‘So rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom…
The one who in Uz, has resided!’

However, notice that the Septuagint says that Job was from the land of the Ausitidi, which differs from the Hebrew text, where we read that he was from the land of Uz. Why the difference? Well, Ausitidi may have been what the place was called in the Third Century BCE when the Septuagint was translated. But it is noteworthy that some Greek texts render the word Uz as Aus; so Ausitidi could simply refer to the people from the land of Aus or Uz.

Where did the name originate? Uz could well refer to the land of AbraHam’s nephew Uz, who is mentioned at Genesis 22:21. However, there was also a man named Uz who was a great-grandson of Noah through his son Shem. But either way, the early settlers of that land were probably close relatives of AbraHam.

Further proof of where Job was from comes from the lands where his three ‘comforters’ (who seem to have been related to AbraHam) lived. Each of their countries or lands is located in the SW part of modern Iraq (east of the Promised Land). Also notice that the reference to the Jordan River at Job 40:18 indicates the close proximity of their lands to the Jordan, because it says there:
‘And when it rains, he pays no attention;
For when it runs to the Jordan, he’ll drink it.’

From the poetry of the verses, you can see that the book of Job was originally a song. So, some have questioned whether it is a true story or just an ancient fable. However, realize that telling a story in a song is how the ancients in the Middle East have always communicated their news or history, for this allows the story to be told accurately and beautifully from memory. As the result, we have concluded that although Moses may have written the book of Job, it was likely an inspired story that was sung and handed down through people of the Middle East for centuries before Moses recorded it in writing in the Sixteenth Century BCE.

From the context of the verses in Job, you can see certain subtleties that indicate even the motivations of the speakers, which proves the authenticity of the story. Take for example, the words of EliPhaz the Temanite. Notice how (as recorded at Job 4:17, 18) it tells us that this man had once been spoken to by a demon that said:
‘Why should a man be pure before God?
For He trusts none of His servants,
And He thinks of His angels as crooked.’

But then, look at how these words of a demon had actually influenced this man’s thinking about God; for the next time he spoke (at Job 15:15) he said:
‘Yet, He doesn’t trust even the holy…
Before Him, the heavens aren’t pure.’

Such a subtle continuity of arguments where seven or more people spoke at different times, indicates that the story is very likely an accurate account of what was actually said.


John (who wrote the Bible books of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation) was apparently one of Jesus’ earliest followers. And though many Bible critics and commentators have said that John may not have written all the books attributed to him (because of language and style differences), remember that when he did his writing he was almost 100 years old. So, like Paul, he likely used others as secretaries to do the actual writing, and this would explain the variations in writing styles.

John and his brother James, whom Jesus had appointed to be his Apostles (or Sent Ones), were Galileans (considered ‘country bumpkins’ by people in Judea) who worked as fishermen for their father in a business that seems to have been co-owned by Peter (Simon).

Some Bible critics have described John as a laid-back dreamer. However, notice that Jesus referred to him and his brother as ‘the Sons of Thunder’ (at Mark 3:17). So, this common view of John’s passive personality doesn’t seem to be well founded.

It is interesting that John appears to have been known and liked by the Jewish Chief Priest, CaiAphas. For notice what the account at John 18:15, 16 tells us:
‘Now, Simon Peter (and another disciple) followed Jesus. The Chief Priest was familiar with that disciple, so he went into the High Priest’s courtyard along with Jesus, while Peter stood outside at the door. Then the disciple who knew the High Priest went outside and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in.’

Therefore, many of the things that happened and were said inside the Chief Priest’s house (as well as in the palaces of Pilate and Herod after Jesus’ arrest) may have come to us as the result of John being there and serving as an eyewitness. So, Peter wasn’t the only disciple who stayed with Jesus after his arrest.

It’s a fact that whenever Peter and John were together, as when they stood before the Jewish High Court, Peter did most of the talking. However, this doesn’t appear to mean that Peter outranked John, or because John was tongue-tied or shy. Rather, it seems as though John deferred to Peter because he was older and a friend and business partner of his father.

As Jesus prophesied, John appears to have lived the longest of all the Apostles, dying at around the age of 100, either by execution or as the result of old age or poor health (from his long stay in an ancient prison). And it’s thought that it was shortly before his death that he did all his writing. So, the book of John is quite different in its format from the Gospels of Mark and Luke, which seem to be more based on and influenced by the book of Matthew. For this reason, the Gospel of John provides us a far greater insight into who Jesus actually was, and of the things that he thought and did.

John was obviously very impressed with the privilege he had of being ‘the loved Apostle’ of the most important individual who ever walked this earth. So, the opening words of the book of John reflect that awe, as he poetically tried to impress us with the full meaning of who Jesus had been in his pre-human life as ‘the one-and-only’ son of The God.

John’s three epistles or letters (1 John, 2 John, and 3 John) were written to nearby congregations while he was in prison in Asia Minor, to warn them of the dangers that they were facing from within their own ranks, since ‘the great turning away’ that Paul had foretold was already in progress. In fact, some may even have started to deny that Jesus was the ‘Anointed One,’ or perhaps that there ever was a Jesus. For John labeled such ones as the ‘Anti/christs,’ and he told Christians not to have anything to do with them.

In John’s Revelation, he recorded a vision of ‘the Lord’s Day,’ which he received from God through Jesus. And though some critics have concluded that this was some sort of hallucination; the Revelation provides a fitting climax to the entire Bible by bringing together the four mysterious characters mentioned in the first Bible prophecy (Genesis 3:16) about the snake, its seed, the woman, and her seed. There it fills in all the gray areas as to whom each of these individuals would prove to be, and it shows the full meaning of the roles they would play in God’s purposes.
So, far from being a hallucination; the Revelation explains in detail what is really happening to us today, what will soon happen, and what hope there is for all obedient mankind. For more information, see the linked document, ‘The Seed – God’s Kingdom.’

We have noted that some ‘Bible scholars’ have concluded that John’s Bible books were really written by three different people… one who wrote the book of John, one who wrote the epistles, and a third one who wrote the Revelation. Part of the reason for this conclusion is that John didn’t identify himself by name in the books bearing his name, but he mentioned his name frequently in the Revelation. However, the common words that are used in each of the writings clearly identify John as their author, and they show that each of the works were written at about the same time.

For example; the unique description of Jesus as the Word at John 1:1 and Revelation 19:13 (a word that the other Gospel writers didn’t use to describe Jesus), ties both of those writings to the same John. Also, there are a number of similar words and phrases found in the book of John and his epistles that show they were written by the same person. So, it is clear to these translators that John was responsible for the writing of all five of the books attributed to him.

Judging the Angels

The scripture found at 1 Corinthians 6:3 (‘Don’t you know that we are going to judge angels?’) is often used to prove that those who are chosen for heavenly life as God’s sons will be elevated above all of God’s messengers (his other heavenly sons, or angels), except Jesus. Is this a correct understanding? Perhaps not. Consider these facts:

1.   At Luke 20:36 we read:
‘Though the sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, those who have been found worthy of that age and the resurrection from the dead won’t marry or be given in marriage, nor can they die anymore; for they’ll have the power of the angels, since, as sons of the resurrection, they [will also be] sons of God.’

2.   Revelation 5:10 says:
‘Then you made them rulers and Priests to our God, and they will rule as kings on (gr. epi) the earth.’

So, if they are just to have the power of God’s messengers and their rulership is to be just on the earth, then why are they described as judging God’s messengers (or angels) at 1 Corinthians 6:3?

Well, the Greek word crinoumen can also mean condemn. And since the heavens are to be cleansed of wicked messengers (see Revelation 12:7-9), we must conclude that the messengers they are to judge or condemn are the same ones that will be thrown out of heaven and temporarily confined to the earth before they are locked in the abyss and thereafter destroyed (see Revelation 12:9).

Judging the Twelve Tribes of IsraEl

At Matthew 19:27, Peter said to Jesus:
‘We have left everything and followed you. So, what will we really get?’

And in verse 28, Jesus replied:
‘I tell you the truth; in the rebirth, when the Son of Man sits down on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of IsraEl.’

What was Jesus talking about here?

Well, another written Bible commentary on this scripture tells us that Jesus was promising his Apostles the same thing that Paul spoke of at 1 Corinthians 6:2 where he wrote, ‘Don’t you know that the Holy Ones will judge the world?’ But this doesn’t really make much sense, because the term ‘IsraEl’ usually refers to those in a covenant relationship with God, while the Greek word ‘kosmos’ (which is translated as ‘world’ here) is usually used to describe those who are not in such a relationship.

So, it is clear that these two judgments don’t mean the same thing.

But then, couldn’t Jesus have meant that his Apostles were going to judge the literal nation of IsraEl?

Well, that isn’t likely either, because only a small portion of that nation can still be identified today, since the original tribes have for the most part been scattered and interbred among all the nations of the earth. Therefore, there really are no pure ‘twelve tribes of IsraEl’ anymore since a large portion of the population of the earth can claim some roots in IsraEl.

However, note what Paul told us at Romans 9:6:
‘Not all who came from IsraEl are really IsraEl, nor are all of AbraHam’s seed his children.’
Then he went on to describe faithful Christians (whether Jews or gentiles) as the true IsraEl.

So, perhaps judging the twelve tribes of IsraEl means that they are to judge all who claim to be Christians.

Judging Your Brothers

At Romans 2:1, Paul wrote:
‘So, you are defenseless, O man, if you’re someone who judges others; because when you judge others you’re condemning yourselves, since you’re doing the very same things that you judge [to be wrong in them].’

Then he wrote at Romans 14:10-12:
‘So, why do you judge your brother, or why do you look down on him? We will all stand before the judgment seat of God, for it’s written: ‘As I live, says Jehovah; every knee will bend before Me and every tongue will confess before God. So, since each of us must answer for ourselves before God, let’s stop judging each other.’

As you can see, being too judgmental is a very serious flaw, which is common among those who think of themselves as righteous. And notice what Jesus said would happen to those who are judgmental (Matthew 7:1):
‘Do not judge others, so you won’t be judged.
For the [rules] by which you judge others,
Are the rules they will use to judge you,
And the standards you’re setting for them,
Are the standards that they’ll set for you.

We find the same type of warning at James 2:13, which says:
‘The merciless will be judged without mercy, since mercy is an important part of justice.’

But on the other hand, the Bible also shows that it is necessary for Christians to judge their brothers who are guilty of flagrant, open sins, as was the case of a brother in the First-Century Christian Congregation in Corinth, Greece. For Paul wrote at 1 Corinthians 5:1:
‘I’ve actually heard that there is sexual immorality among you, and it’s a type of immorality that isn’t even [heard of] among the nations… that someone has taken his father’s woman!’

Now, we don’t know exactly what this sin entailed (whether it was incest or a relationship with a woman who wasn’t his natural mother), but we do know that it was something scandalous. So, Paul told the elders in the congregation there that they should pass judgment on the man’s actions. Notice his reasoning, as found at 1 Corinthians 5:12:
‘Why should I judge those on the outside? Don’t you judge those on the inside while God judges those on the outside? Remove the wicked man from among yourselves!’

So, the conclusion we reach from the Scriptures is that judging the openly-wrong actions of others is the responsibility of Christian elders, so as to protect the good name of the Congregation. However, it is wrong to judge the motives of others, because we can’t look into their hearts.

Therefore, if we ever find ourselves looking down on our brothers and thinking ourselves to be better Christians than they are; then the high standards that we set for them may become the standards that will be set for us in our own judgment before God. And if we aren’t merciful in our judgments of others, God won’t be merciful in His judgment of us.

Judgment Day

Throughout the Bible we read that a ‘Judgment Day’ will eventually arrive when God will judge every person. And this raises the question: Does this refer to random times in the future when we each will meet our own judgment (as at our deaths), or is it saying that there will be one specific ‘day’ (or period) when everyone will be judged?

Well, notice what Jesus told his Apostles as recorded at Matthew 10:14, 15:
‘Wherever people don’t take you in or listen to your words; on leaving that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. I tell you the truth; On the Judgment Day, it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom and GomorRah than for that city.’

So, it seems clear that God will judge all mankind at some specific time in the future when all the dead will be resurrected, which He calls ‘the Judgment Day.’ We read of this ‘day’ at Revelation 20:13, where we are told:
‘Then the sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up the dead in them, and all [the dead] were judged by the things they had done.’


Note that we have added the name Kainan (Cainan) in brackets to the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1:24, as well as words indicating whose son he was, because his name is found in the same genealogies at Genesis 11:12, 13 in the Septuagint and at Luke 3:36 in all Bibles. However, his name is not found in Genesis in the Masoretic (Hebrew) text or in First Chronicles in either the Septuagint or the Masoretic text, which we feel is likely a deliberate omission by the Masoretic scribes who appear to have made several changes to the genealogies that are found in Genesis the 5th and 11th Chapters. So, there is either an error in the Hebrew text at Genesis 11:12, 13 that is corrected in the Septuagint and reiterated by Luke (which is what our research indicates), or the Septuagint adds an extra name there that Luke also mistakenly included because he was using the Septuagint text as a reference.

It is our conclusion that the name should be in both the Genesis and the First Chronicles accounts, because we trust the research and inspiration of Luke, and because we have found several other errors in the Masoretic texts of Genesis Chapters 5 and 11.

Of course, there was another man named Kainan who is listed in the line between Adam and Noah (at Genesis 5:12, 13), and this is probably why the Masoretic scribes deleted the same name in Genesis 11. For they likely they thought that there was a mistake in the original text, since both men are said to have fathered sons when they were one-hundred and thirty years old. Yet, note that the life spans of each of these Kainans are different, so we have concluded that there were two men in the line that led to AbraHam who had the same name and who happened to father sons at the same age (both obviously fathered many sons during their lifetimes).

Another thing to notice is that the Septuagint text of First Chronicles Chapter One is clearly incomplete, with verses eighteen through twenty-three simply missing, and the descriptions of the relationships of the line from Shem to AbraHam is also missing, which we again added in brackets. So here is one case where we recognize that a portion of the Septuagint text has been corrupted, and we therefore deferred to its genealogy as found in Genesis and Luke.

For more information, see the document, ‘Why the Greek Septuagint?’ under the subheading, ‘Better Rendering of Dates.’

Kill or Murder?

In recent years, many Christians have started arguing against putting willful murderers to death, and they often quote the words of God as found at Exodus 20:13, which (according to the King James Bible) say, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ However, that is a wrong translation of what God actually said. For the Greek word phoneuseis that is used there should actually be translated as murder.

Also notice what God’s ancient Law says should be done to murderers, as recorded at Exodus 21:12. In Greek it says, ‘Thananato thanatoustho,’ or, ‘to/death let/him/be/put/to/death!’

So, God’s Law actually says very emphatically that murderers should be put to death.


The word Kingdom is translated from the Greek word basileia, which refers to the realm of a king (gr. basil).

A common belief that many Christians have about the Kingdom of God is that it’s just a state of mind and heart. They draw this conclusion from what Jesus said, as found at Luke 17:21. For according to the Greek text, he said: he basileia tou Theou entos hymon estin (the Kingdom of the God in you is). So, was Jesus saying that God’s Kingdom will never be a real government, but rather, it’s just something that we hold within ourselves?

Well, the conclusions that others have reached is that what Jesus was saying to the people there was that he (the king of that Kingdom) was there in their midst… which is also what he likely meant. Yet, recognize that those who wish to be found as true Christians must start living under the rules of Jesus (their king) and of God’s Kingdom in their hearts. And if we accept this statement as true of us, then it can also be said that the Kingdom of God is within us!

However, it doesn’t appear as though Jesus was saying (as some religions have concluded) that the Kingdom will always be just a state of mind. Rather, notice for example, Jesus’ own words as found at Luke 22:16, where he told his disciples at his last supper, ‘I won’t eat it again until it’s fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.’

So, he was clearly saying that the Kingdom of God was to be a future thing and not just a frame of mind.

Then, is this Kingdom something that will exist just in the heavens?

This is what many have concluded from what Jesus said at Matthew 8:11, where he is quoted as saying:

‘Many from the sunrise and sunset will come and recline with AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven.’

So, on the basis of this scripture, they have concluded that AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob are now in heaven, and that’s where God’s Kingdom must be located. But notice that these patriarchs weren’t really in heaven at the time when Jesus spoke those words… they couldn’t have been, for Jesus himself said at John 3:13:

No one has gone to heaven other than the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man.’

So, why did Jesus say that those men were in heaven?

Well, it appears as though those weren’t his exact words. Please consider the following:

According to the Christian writer Origen (who wrote during the early 3rd Century C.E.), Matthew’s Gospel account was originally written in Hebrew and then it was translated into Greek. However, the Greek copy was thereafter lost. So, it was translated into Greek a second time around the beginning of the 2nd Century. Therefore, according to this ancient Christian writer (Origen), the text that we have of Matthew today comes from the later Greek translation. And the reason why we are pointing this out is that the book of Matthew shows signs of significant textual corruption that likely came about during this later translating!

Notice, for example, that the words ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ are not found at all in the Gospels of Mark and Luke (which appear to have originally been written in Greek). And you will find that where these Gospels were quoting the very same words of Jesus that are found in the Gospel of Matthew, these writers wrote that he actually said, ‘Kingdom of God,’ not ‘Kingdom of heaven.’ So, since we know that our modern text of Matthew’s Gospel was just a later translation of what Jesus actually said, we have chosen to put more trust in what the other Gospel writers wrote in their Greek texts wherever we find contradictions (and we have found several).

However, does the mistranslation of that one word (‘heaven’ instead of ‘God’) really make much difference? Yes, because the words ‘Kingdom of God’ don’t necessarily imply that the Kingdom is something that is just in heaven!

Rather, notice where Jesus’ followers really expected the Kingdom to be established just before his death. At Luke 19:11 we read: ‘While they were listening to these things, [Jesus] told them another illustration, because he was getting close to JeruSalem, and they all thought that the Kingdom of God was about to happen instantly.’

So, from these words, it is clear Jesus’ Apostles believed that the Kingdom was going to be established then and there in ancient earthly JeruSalem. For notice what they asked Jesus just before he ascended into heaven (as recorded at Acts 1:6): ‘Lord, are you going to restore the Kingdom to IsraEl now?’

As you can see, back in the First Century, Jesus’ Disciples weren’t looking for a ‘Kingdom of Heaven,’ or a Kingdom that was just in their hearts. Rather, they were expecting the Kingdom of IsraEl to be re-established here on the earth with Jesus ruling as king from the literal City of JeruSalem.

However, by the end of the 1st Century, as pagan religious doctrines started to creep into Christianity after the deaths of the Apostles, it seems as though many Christians had started to believe that the Kingdom was for a fact going to be something in heaven, since it hadn’t come on the earth. And because this concept of the Kingdom being the place where people go after they die; it is easy to see why those later Christians who translated the book of Matthew from Hebrew into Greek changed the words ‘Kingdom of God’ to read ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’ For this is what ‘Christians’ had started to believe was their hope by beginning of the Second Century CE.

But if the Kingdom of God is really something that’s going to rule the earth, you might wonder why it hasn’t happened already, since it has been almost two-thousand years since he said that we should expect its arrival.

Notice that Jesus explained this. For in the parable that he gave at Luke 19:12-27, he spoke about a man who would be going on a long trip to a distant land to receive his appointment as king. And clearly, the point of this parable was that he (Jesus) was to be going on a long journey to receive his kingship, and that this would take a long time. Then he said that upon his return as king, he would reward his faithful slaves who stayed awake and kept watching for him.

When would this happen? Well, he didn’t tell us in his parable. But notice what Revelation 12:10 says will happen when he arrives:

‘At that I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
Now has arrived the salvation and power,
As well as the Kingdom of our God;
For His Anointed has now been empowered,
And the accuser of our brothers has been cast down,
Who blames them before God day and night!’

So, we can see that the place where Jesus went to receive his authority to be king is in the heavens. And there he had to await the time when he would fight a war against the evil one and his followers, and thereafter exile them to this earth. And this is when God’s Kingdom will in fact be established in the heavens… when no one is there to oppose him anymore.

Then, according to the Revelation, Jesus will return to establish his Kingdom here on the earth by locking the Slanderer and his demons away in ‘the abyss,’ and by destroying all those who don’t want him to be their king… which hasn’t happened yet, because we clearly have not yet entered ‘the Day of the Lord’ (the return). For this is what the entire book of Revelation was foretelling (see Revelation 1:10).

So, what is the Kingdom? Well, though it is true that Christians may now actually live under the rulership of Jesus in their hearts, the Scriptures show that there is to be a future period of eternal righteous rule that will encompass ‘the lands and the skies’ (the universe) after the evil one is no longer allowed access to the presence of God (see Job 1:6) and after all opposition to Jesus’ rule has been removed from the earth (for more information, see the linked document, ‘The Seed - God’s Kingdom).’


While many like to scoff at the Bible record and claim that its stories are myths and fairy tales, much of what is written there has already been proven remarkably accurate and historical by modern archeology. For example, consider the events that are recorded to have happened in JeruSalem during the reign of King HezekiAh. At 2 Chronicles 32:9, we read of how the Assyrian King Sennacherib marched on the Judean city of Lachish before attacking JeruSalem. And today, letters about this attack from the general who was defending Lachish have been discovered and are on display in the British Museum.

Also, the mention of HezekiAh’s rerouting of the spring of Gihon at 2 Chronicles 32:30 can be proven, since the underground diversion project has been uncovered by archeologists and is a famed tourist attraction in JeruSalem today (see the reference, ‘Hezekiah’s Tunnel‘).

However, did God’s messenger wipe out the Assyrian army in a single night, as the Bible account says? While there’s no record of this outside of the Bible (the Assyrians surely would have been too embarrassed to record such an amazing defeat), the fact that Babylon thereafter became the dominant world power with little resistance from the Assyrians, gives mute testimony to the fact that something very important happened then.

Lake of Fire

The Lake of fire, which is spoken of in the Revelation, is taught by many religions to be the same as Hell Fire. However, notice that what many Bibles call ‘Hell’ will actually be thrown into this lake (so they obviously can’t be the same thing) and notice the definition of what the lake of fire is according to the King James Bible’s reading at Revelation 20:14:

‘And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.’

So, what is the Lake of Fire? As the scripture says, it is ‘the second death.’ And what does that mean? Death is the end of life, and fire destroys. Therefore, things that are thrown there will be burned up and gone forever.

But if that is so, then why are those who go there spoken of as being tortured through the ages (as we read at Revelation 20:10)?

To understand why these terms were used, you must first understand what the word we’ve translated as torture (βασανίζω) really meant to ancient peoples.

In Bible times, jailers were called torturers, not necessarily because they performed physical acts of torture (though they often did), but because being locked away in jails (or dungeons) is itself a form of torture. And this is what the Bible means when it says that someone or something is thrown into the ‘lake of fire.’ Since symbolic things such as governments, religions, the Slanderer, and even death and the grave are thrown there, the ‘torture’ doesn’t imply experiencing literal pain, but that they will be locked away (gone) forever.

Lampstands of Revelation

Notice what was represented by the lampstands in the Revelation. Revelation 1:20 says:

‘The seven lampstands signify the seven congregations.’

So, these lampstands must picture callings or groups of Christians. And where a lampstand is spoken of as being ‘removed’ (as at Revelation 2:5), this appears to indicate that the group or gathering will be removed from its position of favor.

Land of Ramesses or Gesem (Goshen)?

At Genesis 46:28, the Greek Septuagint text says that when the Patriarch Jacob traveled to Egypt during the great famine that raged ‘throughout the earth’ during his time, he arranged to meet with his son JoSeph near the City of HroOn (modern Mit El-Harun) in the land of Ramesse. However, note that the Hebrew (Masoretic) text says they met in the land of Goshen. Then at Genesis 47:1, the Septuagint text refers to the land where the IsraElites thereafter settled as ‘Gesem,’ which the Hebrew text once again calls ‘Goshen.’

Also, at Exodus 1:5 in the Septuagint, we see that this land (Gesem, Goshen, or Ramesse) seems to have been considered as being separate from Egypt, for it speaks of Joseph as living apart from his family ‘in Egypt.’ And at Genesis 45:10, Gesem is referred as being located in Arabia. Therefore, from these renderings, we must assume that the names Gesem, Goshen, and the land of Ramesse all refer to the same area, which is found in the eastern portion of the Nile Delta. And though that location is considered part of Egypt today, it was viewed as being part of Arabia in the time of Jacob and JoSeph (remember that there was no Suez Canal back then).

Of course, there has been much discussion through the years over the fact that the Bible speaks of the land where IsraEl settled in Egypt as ‘the land of RaMesse’ (Ra’s Chosen), and that one of the cities that the king of Egypt built before Moses was born was also called Ramesse (see Exodus 1:11). For, since this name appears to refer to Ramesses The Great who lived almost three-hundred years after IsraEl left Egypt; it has been assumed that either the Bible accounts are wrong, or that the events mentioned in the Exodus happened at a much later date.

However, understand that the likely reason why the land and the city are referred to in the Bible as Ramesse, is that later copyists used by the more modern names so that contemporary readers would understand which land and city it was speaking of during their time. And because we find the Septuagint using the term Ramesse first at Genesis 46:28, it looks like the change in name came about around the time that the Septuagint was translated (3rd Century BCE). You can see that Moses did the same thing in Genesis 2:8-13, when he used the landmarks of his time to describe the location of the original garden (‘Eden’) where Adam and Eue (Eve) first lived.

Large Crowd

Who are the people that are described at Revelation 7:9 as being, ‘a crowd so large that nobody could count them’ who come from ‘all countries, nationalities, ethnic groups, and languages,’ and are found ‘standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb?’

Notice that they aren’t the same as the 144,000 ‘slaves of our God’ (as described in verses 3-8), nor do they seem to comprise the IsraEl from whom this group is chosen (as mentioned in those same verses); for the large crowd is seen by John after he saw the first two groups in the Revelation vision.

Then Revelation 7:14-17 goes on to tell us concerning this larger group:

‘They’re the ones who have come out of the great time of difficulty and who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. This is why they’re under the gaze of the throne of The God, serving Him day and night in His Most Holy Place. And the One who is sitting on the throne will spread His tent over them so they won’t be hungry or thirsty anymore, nor will the sun beat down on them with blistering heat; for the Lamb who is in the middle of the throne will shepherd them and guide them to the springs of the waters of life, and The God will wipe all the tears from their eyes.’

So, since this huge group has ‘washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,’ the scripture seems to imply that they will have cleaned up their lives and gotten baptized. Also notice that they will have lived through the great time of difficulty, which (in the order of the Revelation) precedes the destruction of The Great Babylon and the Battle of Armageddon.

However, the fact that they are spoken of as coming from among the ‘nations, ‘gentiles,’ or ‘ethnics,’ appears to indicate that they have not been chosen from among the IsraEl of God (those in a covenant relationship with Him… possibly those from Judaic and Christian religions). Therefore, this could describe non-religious peoples or those with pagan religious backgrounds.

Then Revelation Chapter Seven says they are shouting, ‘We owe our salvation to our God who is sitting on the throne and to the Lamb.’ And because they are seen standing ‘under the gaze of the throne‘ (not in the presence of God and Jesus), they will have likely continued to live here on the earth. For, being ‘guided to the fountains of waters of life’ seems to indicate that their names have not yet been written in the Scroll of Life.

And while we have not necessarily concluded that they are part of the same group that Jesus described at Matthew 25:31-46 as ‘sheep’ (since we question whether that account has been badly corrupted), there do seem to be some similarities… if that account can truly be trusted. For, notice what Jesus said concerning the sheep in verses 32-34:

‘All the nations (gr. ethnics) will be led before him, then he’ll separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He’ll put the sheep on his right, but the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right: Come, you who’ve been praised by my Father; inherit the Kingdom that’s been prepared for you since the founding of the world.

Last Days

Throughout the Christian Era Scriptures (New Testament), we read of a time that is referred to as ‘the last days’ (gr. tas hemera eschata). So, notice how Peter used these words as they are found in the prophecy of Joel, when he was explaining all the miraculous things that were happening after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (or Breath) on the day of Pentecost in 33-CE (at found at Acts 2:17-21):

In the last days, says The God;
I will pour out My Breath on all flesh,
And your sons and daughters will then prophesy;
Your young men will also have visions,
And the old among you will [see things in] dreams.

‘Yes, even upon My male servants
And on those who are My handmaidens,
I will pour out My Breath in those days,
And all will then prophesy.

‘From the skies above, I’ll send omens and signs
With blood, fire, and smoke to the earth down below,
Before the great, shining day of the Lord.

‘For the sun will be changed into darkness
And the moon will be changed into blood.
Then, all of those will be saved
Who have called on the name of the Lord.’

So, from Peter’s application of these words, we can clearly see that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled (at least initially) at the time that Peter was saying this… during and after Pentecost 33-CE. However, it is possible that Joel’s prophecy concerning the last days may not have only applied to the last days of ancient JeruSalem before its destruction by Roman armies in 70-CE. For, where these same words (last days) are found in other Bible verses, most Christian religions teach that the fulfillment will come during a future ‘Day of the Lord.’

For example, notice the words found at 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

Recognize that the last days will bring fierce times. For people will just love themselves and money. They’ll be braggarts, arrogant blasphemers, disobedient to their parents, unthankful, and disloyal. They won’t have any natural (family) love, and they they’ll be disagreeable. They’ll be slanderers who don’t have any self-control, and they’ll be wild people who won’t love anything that’s good. They’ll also be betrayers who are headstrong and proud, and who care more for pleasures than for God. So, though they may practice some form of religion, they’ll deny its power.

So, though prophecy of Joel about the last days does in fact apply to what was happening among Christians during the period between Pentecost of 33-CE and 70-CE (since Peter applied it that way, and it did lead up to the destruction of JeruSalem), his prophecy could also refer to some future last days that are yet to come upon the whole earth.

That a future ‘last days’ will come, seems to be indicated by Jesus’ words at John 6:39, 40, where it’s recorded that he said:

‘And this is what His Will is: That I shouldn’t lose any of those whom He has given to me, but that I should resurrect them on the Last Day. Yes, it is the Will of my Father that everyone who pays close attention to the Son and believes in him should have age-long life. For I will resurrect him… [yes] me, on the Last Day!

So, since there is no record of many faithful Christians being resurrected on or after Pentecost in the 1st Century, we must assume that the ‘last days’ that were spoken of by Jesus haven’t arrived yet.

Also note that some sixty or more years after that time, John wrote in the Revelation that the resurrections wouldn’t start until after ‘the battle of Armageddon’ (mentioned at Revelation 16) is fought. And from this, it appears as though there have been and will be at least two last days:
1. The last days of ancient JeruSalem
2. Some future last days that will lead up to or follow the second coming of Jesus.

Therefore, if there are yet to be some future ‘last days’ that will arrive for this earth, and the prophecy of Joel will in fact see a much greater fulfillment; this must also include an outpouring of God’s Holy Breath and a manifestation of its gifts, much the same as were seen on Pentecost of 33-CE… for this would also be required to fulfill the prophecy.

Of course, we realize that some religions are teaching that we are already in the last days, and some are claiming that their members already have these gifts. However, there are problems with these claims.

Notice that these ‘gifts’ that people claim to have seem to be manifested through healing, snake handling, and speaking in tongues… yet, none of these things were mentioned in Joel’s prophecy. Rather, it says there that God’s servants will be having prophetic visions, dreams, and that they would be speaking prophecies (we have heard of no great prophecies coming from them).

Also notice that Paul, when speaking of such gifts at 1 Corinthians Chapters 12, 13, 14, actually discouraged speaking in tongues. Rather, he said that they should cultivate the gift of prophesying and that they should develop Christian love.

Yes, it is a fact that Peter and Paul actually did perform divine healing back then, and it appears as though both even performed resurrections! Yet, notice that these gifts were unusual, and they weren’t mentioned at all in Joel’s prophecy.

So, if there is to be some modern fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, we would expect it to involve miraculous prophesying (which is something more than just sharing our personal interpretations of Bible doctrines) and an unusual outpouring of brotherly love upon all those who are truly trying to live as Christians (for more information, see also the linked documents, ‘The Last Days,’ and ‘The Powers of God’s Holy Spirit’).

Last Lamb

The Twenty-Ninth Chapter of Exodus talks about a calf and two lambs that had to be sacrificed as a rite of empowerment of Aaron and his sons in order for them to become the Anointed Priests. And we have referred to the sacrificing of the last lamb as just that… ‘the last lamb.’ However, other Bibles refer to this sacrifice as ‘the Sacrifice of Consecration,’ or ‘the Ram of Installation.’ So, why have we deviated in our rendering of this term?

In Greek, the words kriou teleioseos simply mean lamb final. And this particular lamb was for a fact the last to be offered during that seven-day event. So, we feel that the term ‘last lamb’ more accurately reflects the words as they are found in the Greek Septuagint.

Laying the Temple Foundation

We find a very important Septuagint deviation from what the Hebrew text says at 1 Kings 6:1. For there the Greek text reads: ‘It was in the four hundred and fortieth year after the sons IsraEl left Egypt (in the fourth year and second month of Solomon’s reign over IsraEl) that the foundation of the Temple of Jehovah was laid.’

In Greek, the highlighted portion of this text reads, ‘και εγενηθη εν τω τεσσαρακοστω και τετρακοσιοστω ετει της εξοδου υιων ισραηλ εξ αιγυπτου,’ or, ‘and began in the fortieth and four-hundredth year of/the exodus sons of IsraEl from Egypt.

What is wrong with this? In the Hebrew text, we find that the foundation of the Temple was laid four hundred and EIGHTY years after the exodus from Egypt. So, which is the correct rendering?

Well, our study of the period from IsraEl’s entry into the promised land – from the period of the judges to the start of the reign of King Saul (as shown in the books of Judges and 1 Samuel) – seems to have been about 400 years. Then if we add the 40 years of Saul’s rule and the 40 years of David’s rule, you can see that there had to be at least 480-years between the time of the exodus and the laying of the Temple foundation.

So, our conclusion is that the Greek text is probably wrong in this instance and the Hebrew (Masoretic) text is most likely correct. It also appears as though this 480-year period may not have actually started with the Exodus, but with IsraEl’s entry into the Promised Land! For more information on why we are saying this, see the subheading ‘Possible Chronology’ in the linked document, ‘The Pharaoh of the Exodus.’


It is interesting that the disease we call leprosy today doesn’t seem to be the same as what was called leprosy in the Bible. While modern leprosy may appear to be the same, since the skin turns white and it is extremely debilitating, there are some major differences. For example, ancient leprosy seemed to have been extremely contagious, so people who had it weren’t allowed to approach those who were healthy, while modern leprosy is listed as only ‘mildly contagious.’

Another difference is that the white skin coloration for modern leprosy comes from external skin scaling, while the Bible’s description of leprosy was of a whiteness (or redness) that was internal or deep into the skin, and it caused hollow spots under the skin. Also notice that once a person’s skin had turned completely white, God’s Law no longer considered the disease to be contagious (see Leviticus 13:12-17).

Medical descriptions of modern leprosy say that it comes as the result of a bacterial infection. And while this may also have been true of ancient leprosy (in fact, it could have come from a bacteria that people have become largely immune to today), the fact that it could be found in clothing and leather goods, and that it was so hard to kill by washing, suggests that Bible leprosy may have been caused by a mold or fungus.

It would seem unlikely in the dry climate of Palestine that clothing in particular would develop bacterial infections, unless they were extremely dirty, which is doubtful, knowing the IsraElite view of cleanliness. However, mold can grow almost anywhere, and it is extremely hard to destroy. The fact that ancient leprosy grew on walls in Bible times seems to indicate that it was a type of mold.

Of interest are the descriptions about where and how leprosy developed in Bible times. Notice that it often started in wounds, sores, or in the hairline. And the fact that it was found on clothing (which was usually damp due to sweating in the arid climate) indicates that the disease was spread by close and prolonged contact with skin or through abrasions. However, modern Bedouins no longer seem to be plagued by this malady.

The fact that the bacteria, mold, or fungus was carried and transmitted from clothing and hair seems to be quietly affirmed by the fact that there is no mention of the disease attacking the genitals, which would normally be expected today, due the common use of tight-fitting underwear. Why not? Well, the ancient IsraElites apparently didn’t wear underpants. The fact that such things had to be specifically made for those who served in Jehovah’s Temple, indicates that they weren’t customary.

Another interesting fact about the leprosy of Bible times, is that people who suffered from it could eventually (or even spontaneously) get over it without a need for modern antibiotics or treatments. The fact that Leviticus Chapter Fourteen gives extensive rules for the cleansing and repatriating of those who became well, indicates that this may have been a fairly common occurrence.

Lesson in Humility

We learn an interesting lesson about humility from the words and actions of MichaEl (God’s ArchAngel or Highest Messenger), as found at Jude 9. For there it says (when speaking of the battle he waged with the Slanderer over Moses’ [dead] body): ‘he didn’t dare to bring a judgment of blasphemy against him (gr. ouk etolmeson krisin epenegkein blasphemias, or, not dare to/judgment to/bring/against/him blasphemous).’

Certainly, if anyone could be called an ‘apostate,’ it was this one whom other Bible translations call the Devil and Satan, because he turned from his righteous position in the heavens (which is what apostasy means… turning away from a state or condition). However, MichaEl never used any such disrespectful term. He just said, ‘May Jehovah give you what you deserve.’

This lesson should serve as a warning to all Christians against using such abusive and condemning words against others, no matter what the circumstances. For if the term ‘Christian’ means being like or following Jesus; his true followers should never blaspheme others by using disrespectful words.

Living Creatures or Animals?

In the Revelation (or Apocalypse), we read of four heavenly creatures that apparently picture the major qualities of God… wisdom, justice, love, and power. And the Greek word that is used to describe these creatures here is zōo (pronounced zō-oh), as in the place where people go to see animals today (zoo). This word simply means animals, but it is translated in most Bibles as living creatures. However, John just wrote that he saw four animals.

These ‘animals’ that John saw in the Revelation seem to be exactly the same as what EzekiEl saw in his vision, as recorded in Ezekiel the First Chapter. However, EzekiEl later found out that these four animal-like creatures were really cherubs (see Ezekiel 10:20). So, it’s with this understanding that we used the term ‘cherubs’ to better describe what John saw in the Revelation.

Lottery or Lot

To many, the thought of choosing by lot (possibly by rolling dice or using some other form of chance) sounds immoral and quite like gambling. However, the Bible shows that this was the correct way to indicate a selection or choice by God. In fact, the word for inherit, kleronomesousi, as found in the words, ‘inherit the earth,’  really means to receive by lot, or, in a lottery.

The reason why this method (casting lots) was used by faithful ancients, was because they wished to allow God’s hand in their decisions rather than trusting in the viewpoints or opinions of men. And there are good reasons to believe that this method of choosing did in fact result in the manifestation of God’s hand.

For example, consider how John the Baptist’s father (ZechariAh) was chosen by lot to serve in the Holy Place at the exact time for him to be told by a messenger of God about the upcoming birth of his son and of his son’s responsibilities concerning the Messiah (Luke 1:8, 9). Also consider the fact that Matthias was chosen by lottery to replace unfaithful Judas as one of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

The good sense of letting things be decided by apparent chance can be found in the wise words of Solomon at Proverbs 18:18, where he said, ‘Choosing by lottery ends a dispute and it defines the boundaries of rulers.’

Lord’s (Our Father) Prayer

You will note that we have made several changes to the Lord’s (Our Father) Prayer. Here are the reasons why we did so:

1.   Understand that in the original Hebrew and Greek languages, there was no special word for heaven. Rather, the word that appears in all the texts simply means sky. So, wherever the Greek word ouranou is found in the singular case, we have usually translated it as sky. However, where the word is found in the plural case, ouranon (indicating something greater than just the sky), we have usually translated it as heavens.

2.   Since the words, ‘for thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen’ aren’t found in the oldest available texts of Matthew, we have omitted them. For they appear to have been some person’s later attempt at completing Jesus’ words to his Apostles about what subjects they should mention in their prayers. Also notice that these words aren’t found in the same prayer as it is recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

Love and Brotherly Love

The Greek word that is translated as brotherly love at 2 Peter 1:7 is philadelphian. The first part of that word, philea, refers to the type of love that a person might have for a close friend. In fact, the related Greek word phileo means friend. And though the word philea is often looked down on as a lesser form of love (rendered as affection in other Bible translations), people are often very impressed by the fact that AbraHam was referred to as God’s friend (phileo).

The second part of the word, adelphos, means brothers; so philadelphian refers to a brotherly love or friendship. And as you can see by the way that Peter used this word at 2 Peter 1:7, it appears as though learning to love your spiritual brothers is just one step away from achieving pure love (taken from the Greek word agape).

However, we have found that the special meaning that is often applied to the word ag