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Our Hermeneutics

The Scripture cannot be broken. (John 10:35)

I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)

You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it. (Deuteronomy 4:2; see also 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19)

On occasion we are asked, "What is your hermeneutical approach to Scripture?" That is, what is our "method or principle of interpretation,"1 our "methodological principles"2 when interpreting the Bible? It is the same approach as Christ's, Paul's, and Moses'. It is a literal approach ("Scripture cannot be broken") with the whole counsel of God considered (i.e. all of the Bible), and it is a limited approach, neither adding to nor taking away from the text of Scripture.

I. Literal

A. Scripture Cannot Be Broken.

When Christ is confronted by the Jews "for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God"3 in John 10:33, Jesus' response is quite profound.

Is it not written in your law, "I said, 'You are gods'"? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"? (John 10:34-36)

What is Jesus' point when He says to them "and the Scripture cannot be broken"? What is He stressing? He is emphasizing that Scripture means what it says. In other words, when the Scripture "called them gods" it means what it says, "You are gods," just as it says. This is a very literal approach to Scripture.

You can see what Jesus meant regarding "the Scripture cannot be broken" via His argument. He was combating their claim of blasphemy, that is, that He was claiming to be God, and He argues, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods'?" So, Jesus' point in responding to the Jews is basically, "Your law calls men gods," as He continued, "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came . . . ."

So then, Jesus begins to take the air out of their ballooned blasphemy argument by pointing to the fact that Scripture calls men gods. He doesn't bother explaining this concept, or arguing that they aren't Gods as the one and only true God is God (Isaiah 31:3; 44:6-8).4 No, instead, He emphasizes the statement and dictates, when it says men are gods, it means they are gods,5 "the Scripture cannot be broken."

This is the only honest approach to Scripture. It does not break (John 10:35) or destroy6 the text. Christ's "Scripture cannot be broken" statement, especially in the context in which He says it, reveals Christ's view of God's word. It is acutely7 literal, and this is the only perspective that saves.8

B. True Faith

Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

How does one receive the word? By believing it. True faith in the Bible (the word, John 1:1) mandates a literal approach to Scripture. It must be taken for exactly what it says. It must be received. There is no other way to heed God's word. If one is to be found among the believing and not cast to the lake of fire with the "unbelieving" (Revelation 21:8), one must "obey the truth" (Romans 2:8). We must heed exactly what He says. There is no freedom to interpret His truth in any other way. As it is written,

no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1:20)9

It is not for tradition to interpret the word for us (Colossians 2:8). It is not for the "wise" to tell us what it means (1 Corinthians 3:19-20). It is not for us to make it mean what we please (Isaiah 65:2). The text itself holds the authority of interpretation, and the interpretation must be what it actually says. In other words, the Bible means what it says, and says what it means, as Jesus well pointed out (John 10:34-36); and we are doomed to eternal torment if we consistently take it any other way (Matthew 7:24-27; Hebrews 4:12-13; Revelation 21:8; 22:14-15). God's word must be heeded (Proverbs 13:13).

Nevertheless, this is impossible with men (Mark 10:27), but not with God (Luke 18:27). True faith, and thus true honest literal interpretation, is unattainable with men left to themselves (Jeremiah 13:23).

The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

True faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:1-9), and the only way anyone can understand and therefore interpret the Word properly (literally) is via the anointing of God. With this anointing, although there is time and place for a teacher (James 3:1), there is no need for one. As it is written to those who believe (1 John 5:13),

These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (1 John 2:26-27; see also John 7:38-39; 14:26)

II. Whole Counsel

I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)

True faith is "believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets" (Acts 24:14). True faith is believing "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). One definition of Webster for "literal" is "according with the letter of the Scriptures".10 Psalm 36:9 says,

In Your light we see light.

Since the authority of interpretation is in the text itself (in God Himself), then the text, the entire Bible, is its own interpreter. In other words, Scripture interprets Scripture. The light of one passage sheds light on another, with both standing true and meaning what they say, as Jesus said, "the Scripture cannot be broken". Obliterating ("breaking") one verse, in an attempt to hold to another verse, is destroying the text. In other words, when the truth of one passage is denied via the "truth" of another, the Scripture is thus broken (as in Matthew 5:19) and not rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15).

A classic example of this is found within false Christianity when Romans 4 is pitted against James 2, and the truth of James 2 is denied (broken). For example, in his commentary on James 2:21-24 John MacArthur writes,

That seeming contradiction, which has frustrated and confused believers throughout the history of the church, is clarified by understanding that justification by faith pertains to a person's standing before God, whereas the justification by works that James speaks of in this verse pertains to a person's standing before other men.

Some have further imagined a contradiction between James's (sic) declaration that Abraham was justified by works and Paul's unequivocal teaching that he was justified solely by grace through faith (Rom. 4:1-25; Gal. 3:6-9). . . . James is teaching, then, that Abraham's willingness to offer Isaac vindicates his faith before men - . . . (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, James, p, 137, copyright 1998, Moody Press, Chicago, bold in original, ellipsis added)

When MacArthur writes "the justification by works that James speaks of in this verse pertains to a person's standing before other men," and "James is teaching, then, that Abraham's willingness to offer Isaac vindicates his faith before men," he breaks James 2 in a perverted favor towards Romans 4. Note the verses of which MacArthur speaks.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:21-24)

Please read the passage to which James refers, Genesis 22. The only one watching is God. Even Abraham's men are left behind (Genesis 22:5). The entire passage is about "God tested Abraham" (Genesis 22:1) and God seeing, "now I know that you fear God" (Genesis 22:12).

James says, "faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect" (James 2:22) in the very event of Genesis 22, not later as men contemplate the passage, but right then and there, "faith was working together with his works." And note, "the Scripture was fulfilled." What Scripture? The earlier Scripture of Genesis 15:6 (Romans 4:3). In other words, James puts them both together (Genesis 15 & 22) showing "that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" and thus "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). In other words, saving faith has works. If there are no works, there is no saving faith, and thus no righteousness and no salvation.

Some stumble over this "justified by works, and not by faith only," but it is a major theme in Scripture, as the Day of Judgment well testifies:

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37)

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28-29)

. . . who will render to each one according to his deeds, eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness - indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good (Romans 2:6-10).

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7-8; see also Psalm 15; 24:3-6; 50:22-23; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Revelation 22:14-15; etc.)

No true righteousness (right living) exists apart from faith in God's word (Romans 14:23), and no true faith in Christ (God's word) exists apart from true godly living (works, 1 John 2:4). Thus, on the Day of Judgment those who truly believe will be those who are justified by how they lived, and those who did not believe, though they may have claimed to, will be condemned by how they lived (e.g. Matthew 7:21-23). This is well illustrated in the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46. Both groups are judged entirely on how they lived. The sheep inherit the kingdom, and the goats eternal torment [For more on this, see our reports on justification and not by works].

Now, if James 2 truly means exactly what it says, "that a man is justified by works" (James 2:24), then what is Romans 4 talking about?

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. (Romans 4:2)

What's the implication and meaning of the surrounding context? Abraham was not justified by works. Abraham was one who did "not work" (Romans 4:5) and was found righteous "apart from works" (Romans 4:6). What's the difference between James 2 and Romans 4? The difference is in the works. The works of James 2 are works of faith, which obviously please God (e.g. Genesis 22). But the works of Romans 4 are works of the flesh.

In Romans, both before and after Romans 4, Paul explicitly speaks of this distinction between works of faith and works of the flesh. At the beginning of Romans, Paul writes of the gospel in which,

the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17)

Here are works of faith mentioned, as it says, "The just [i.e. the righteous] shall live by faith." In other words, godly people live, act, do, work, etc., all that they do by faith. These are those who are considered "just" before God.

In Romans Paul speaks of circumcision of the heart (faith) and circumcision in the flesh, in the Spirit (faith) and in the letter (flesh), inward (faith) and outward (flesh, Romans 2:25-29). He writes of "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (faith) and "the law of sin and death" (flesh, Romans 8:2). He writes of the spiritual mind (faith) and the fleshly mind (Romans 8:5-7). Paul's distinction is between works of faith and works of flesh, as Romans chapter 4 begins with,

What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? (Romans 4:1)11

Romans 8:8 says,

those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Works of the flesh are at enmity with God (Romans 8:7) and can never please Him (Hebrews 11:6). It doesn't matter what the work or deed is, if it is not of faith it is of the flesh and is sin (Romans 14:23; Proverbs 21:4). This is why "our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), because they are not of faith. And, this is why "by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified" (Romans 3:20), because performing the requirements of the law without faith will not please God (Hebrews 11:6).

On the contrary, works of faith are works of the Spirit. They are the "work of God" (John 6:29; Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 5:22-23), and works of faith do please God (e.g. Hebrews 11:5). This is why Paul said he wanted to,

be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith (Philippians 3:9).

Our own righteousness is righteousness of the flesh, and produces nothing but death (Romans 8:6), because we cannot produce true godly righteousness (right living) on our own (Jeremiah 13:23). This is why we are saved "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5). Any and all who are saved are saved "by grace through faith" and that faith is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, in contrast to our own righteousness (our own good doing), which is righteousness of the flesh, God gives His righteousness to the believer, as it is written,

even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe (Romans 3:22).

So, it comes down to how one is found righteous before God. Or, in other words, how one is justified before God. There is no righteousness and no justification in man's own efforts. There is righteousness and there is justification in God given faith, as Paul wrote, consistent with James,

For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified (Romans 2:13).

Who are these doers of the law who will be justified? They are people of faith, as it is written,

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4)

The law was weak through the flesh, because even if a man were to obey the commands in the law, if he didn't do it in faith, it would be absolutely worthless (Isaiah 64:6). Thus, fleshly obedience to the law was weak and did not produce the righteousness God requires. This was the Jews problem. They thought "to establish their own righteousness" (Romans 10:3) by keeping the law, but it was not by faith, but instead, by their own efforts in the flesh (Romans 9:30-32).12 Saul, likewise, was under this same folly (Philippians 3:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:13).

But now, those who are of faith actually do fulfill "the righteous requirement of the law" as Romans 8 says. They truly do live a godly, holy, righteous life, because Christ lives in them (Galatians 2:20) and Christ (love) fulfills the law (Galatians 5:14).

Although "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), believers are,

being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

They do "not work" (Romans 4:5), as Abraham didn't work, to be found righteous before God. They rest and cease from such efforts (Hebrews 4:10). Instead, they set their "hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to" them "at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13). Although they indeed are still in this sinful flesh (Romans 7:13-25; 1 John 1:8-10) and are not above stumbling (Psalm 37:24; Proverbs 24:16; James 3:2), they know "to those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Hebrews 9:28).

Therefore, it can be seen that both James 2 and Romans 4 stand literally true as written, and when the whole counsel of God is considered, it is evident one speaks of works of faith, the other works of flesh. The one justifies, the other condemns (Romans 2:6-10).

III. No Additions

As Paul writes, "not to think beyond what is written" (1 Corinthians 4:6), Moses, Agur the son of Jakeh, and the apostle John, all agree that God's word is not to be added to. Moses speaks of it in Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, Agur in Proverbs 30:5-6, and John in Revelation 22:18-19. The latter two passages reveal adding to God's word brings with it a serious curse.

This is why we do not follow what is typically understood as the "grammatical-historical" approach. It is not the "grammatical" part that is a problem. Obviously, proper grammar is important to any text and the original language indeed authoritative (for more on that, see our report on the KJV controversy). But, when extra-biblical history is brought to bear upon the passage, the history is simply the traditions of men. It is not a reliable source of information (Ecclesiastes 1:11). Men have been known to lie (Psalm 53:1-3).

Charles Strong of bibleone.net gives us an example of this perverted "historical" approach to the Word.

Before the Bible student can effectively understand the contextual interpretation of several passages in the Gospel of John, Colossians, Acts, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, 1 & 2 & 3 John; he must understand something of the heresy of Gnosticism (nos´ti-siz-em) against which was partially the purpose for the writing of these epistles. (www.bibleone.net/print_tbs61.html)

So, according to Charles, you can't understand "several passages" without this extra-biblical information. Not only is this antichrist (see below), but it is entirely the creation and addition of man to the text of Scripture. None of those books teach anything about "Gnosticism" or that being "the purpose for the writing of these epistles." 1 John 2:26 indeed states,

These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. (1 John 2:26)

But, those who were trying to deceive them are never specifically identified. This claim to know who they are is an addition to the Word, which is exactly what Scripture warns against.

Charles continues,

The books of Colossians and 1 John are particularly strong in their refutation of the errors of the Gnostic heresy. A couple of illustrations of the need to understand this heresy to interpret scripture will be dealt with later in this study.

This will not be an exhaustive handling of the subject, but it will cover the salient provisions of the aberrant theology of Gnosticism so that the Bible student may arrive at the intended meaning of various scriptural passages within the above listed books of the Bible.

Although Scripture says nothing of gnosticism, Charles adds this "needed" information for interpreting the text. He says he gleaned this info from,

Wycliffe Bible Dictionary
Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald
Thru the Bible by J. Vernon McGee
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
Clark's Commentary by Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A.
NIV Bible Commentary
The King James Study Bible
Ryrie Study Bible
Thompson Chain Reference Bible
The New Scofield Reference Bible
Life Application Bible

So how is this information so valuable? Here is one of his two examples. Charles quotes 1 John 4:1-3 and writes,

Why is John in this epistle stressing that the admission that Christ has come in the flesh is evident that a spirit (and in this case one may interpret spirit as a person's spirit) is either of (representing) or not of God? It is because of the Gnostics and their incessant teaching that God could not have come in the flesh, which is a key element of Christian doctrine.

Really? "It is because of the Gnostics and their incessant teaching"? That conclusion certainly does not come from the Word. It's an addition.

What comes from the Word? What is not an addition? What is found when the whole counsel of God is considered? Is it because any deceit against Scripture is a denial of Jesus Christ come in the flesh? Left to let Scripture interpret Scripture, 1 John 4 addresses the same thing Paul addresses in Colossians 2:8-10.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, well covers any deceit that would come our way. So, why does Paul warn us not to be cheated with these things? Because, "in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9). Or, in other words, "Jesus Christ [God] has come in the flesh" (1 John 4:2). Believers "are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10). In other words, the Word in the flesh (John 1:14) is all we need. Philosophy, tradition of men, and empty deceit deny this.

2 Peter, the book that warns for a whole chapter about false teachers, begins the book declaring,

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3).

Colossians and 2 Peter confirm we need no addition to the Bible (see also 2 Timothy 3:16-17).13 "The knowledge of Him" gives us "all things that pertain to life and godliness." Is this the significance of "Jesus Christ [God] has come in the flesh" (1 John 4:2)? Indeed it is, as 1 John 4 continues,

They ["every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh"] are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. (1 John 4:5)

They speak as of the world. In other words, they speak "philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world." Such is a denial of "Jesus Christ coming in the flesh" (2 John 7), and such is antichrist (1 John 4:3), anti-word (John 1:1), anti-scripture (Psalm 119:21, 118), anti-God (Proverbs 1:24-29).14

So, in Charles' Gnostic addition to the Word he diverts people away from the message of Scripture off onto a man-made insertion of Gnosticism into the text.

IV. No Subtractions

As nothing is to be added, nothing is to be taken away (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, Revelation 22:18-19). Nevertheless, as ungodly people seek only rebellion (Proverbs 17:11), they rebel against this as well.

The debate between Calvinism and Arminianism is a good example of both sides subtracting from the Word (and adding). Calvinists subtract from the atonement (limited atonement) and from the Biblical teaching of lost grace (e.g. Galatians 5:4). Arminians take away from the Biblical teaching of election, which takes away from the sovereignty of God and the true perseverance of the saints, and they add free will. Both sides are blind to the whole counsel of God, and so they add and take away truth from the truth of the Bible to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).

One main problem is men think too highly of their own thoughts and overtly disobey Proverbs 3:5 which says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

There are many things in the Word which seem contradictory to the human mind (e.g. see our report on eternal security), but the human mind is not the standard. The Word is the standard, no matter what it says (Hebrews 4:12-13). One passage cannot subtract from another. It all stands true. Someone may argue, "But that doesn't make sense." It doesn't have to make sense (Proverbs 3:5-6). It has to be Biblical. "His ways are past finding out" (Romans 11:33). Do you think, perhaps, there may be some things that are past understanding and don't make sense? "His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5). Ours is finite and vastly unlike His.

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Since His thoughts and ways are infinitely beyond our own, what folly it is to demand that something needs to make sense to our puny minds. In fact, later in Isaiah the Lord condemns those,

who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts (Isaiah 65:2).

Some may argue logic is a rule of interpretation. The problem with this is, whose logic? "Persuasive words of human wisdom" (1 Corinthians 2:4), man's wisdom, man's logic, God calls foolishness (1 Corinthians 3:19-20). God indeed says, "let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18), but whose reason are we going to follow? This very same passage of "let us reason" continues with,

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 1:18-20)

In this reasoning, God calls people to repent and submit to His word. That is the only true logic in existence, for God, who alone is wise (Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; Jude 25), is the only source of truth, understanding, wisdom, and knowledge. There is no good, no understanding, no true good logic apart from Him. If the logic contradicts His truth, if it takes away from His truth, it is against Logos (λογος John 1:1);15 and it is to be rejected.

Some people may appeal to "common sense." This also is an unbiblical standard (Matthew 7:1-2). For what is common is non-sense (Ecclesiastes 9:3; 1 Corinthians 1:20), and what is sense is not common (Matthew 7:13-14).

So, the standard is the Word Himself (the Scriptures) and how a passage is to be understood comes from the Bible itself, no additions and no subtractions. Whether it is to be understood as a parable or symbolic, the text itself dictates the interpretation, because there is no other authority than God on His Word. If Scripture itself dictates neither a proverb,16 parable,17 riddle,18 sarcastic,19 symbolic, spiritual (e.g. Revelation 11:8), antitype,20 or allegorical (e.g. Galatians 4:24) 21 understanding, then it should not be understood in those ways, but taken as is. In fact, this is the proper literal approach. The text holds all the authority of interpretation. This is the only honest approach to Scripture. Anything else comes from the mind of man, and he is fallen, "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9).

Endnotes:

1. www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hermeneutic

2. ibid.

3. NKJV does not do well at translating John 10:33. NKJV reads, "The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." The Jews were obviously dead set against Christ's claim to be God. There is no way they meant it the way the NKJV has it, with capitalization for "You" (twice), "Man" and "Yourself". This capitalization dictates deity, and the Jews were in no way acknowledging Christ as God.

4. See also Genesis 30:2; Deuteronomy 4:39; 1 Kings 8:60; 2 Kings 19:15 (Isaiah 37:16); Job 9:8 (Isaiah 44:24); Psalm 83:18; 86:8-10; 136:4; 148:13; Isaiah 45:5-6, 14, 18, 21-22; 46:9; Ezekiel 28:2; 1 Timothy 6:16; Revelation 15:4.

5. Scripture calls men gods in Psalm 82, and it calls angels gods in Psalm 8:5 ("angels" in the Hebrew is אֱלהִים ['elohiym], "gods." Compare w/Hebrews 2:7). Note also Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 97:7; 138:1. See also in the Hebrew text Exodus 21:6; 22:7-8 (English vs. 8-9) in which אֱלהִים ('elohiym) is typically translated "judges." See also Psalm 29:1 and 89:7 where "mighty ones" and "sons of the mighty" are more literally, "sons of Gods," בְּנֵי אֵלִים (benêy 'êliym).

Also, Job 41:25 (H41:17) is more literally, "From his raising gods fear. From crashings, they purify themselves." מִשֵּׂתוֹ יָגוּרוּ אֵלִים מִשְּׁבָרִים יִתְחַטָּאוּ (missêto yâguru 'êliym mishshvâriym yitchattâ'u). The word for "gods" here is אֵלִים ('êliym).

6. The Greek word for "broken" in John 10:35, λυθηναι (luthênai), can also be translated "loosed" (e.g. λυθηναι, Luke 13:16; Revelation 20:3) or "destroyed" (e.g. John 2:19, λυσατε [lusate]). It is translated "break" elsewhere as well (e.g. Matthew 5:19, λυση [lusê]).

7. acutely - "marked by keen discernment or intellectual perception" (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acutely)

8. Jesus was a man of faith (Hebrews 12:2), and even He was saved. He didn't have any sin of His own to be saved from (Hebrews 4:15), but became sin itself (2 Corinthians 5:21). Even though "it was not possible that He should be held by" the pains of death (Acts 2:23), and He had the power to take back His life (John 10:18), He nonetheless was saved from death. As it is written of Him,

who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear (Hebrews 5:7).

9. 2 Peter 1:20 more literally reads, "knowing this first, that all prophecy of Scripture is not of one's own interpretation." τουτο πρωτον γινωσκοντες, οτι πασα προφητεια γραφης ιδιας επιλυσεως ου γινεται.

10. www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/literal

11. This is how Romans 4:1 reads in the Received and Majority Texts. The New American Standard Verson translates the Critical Text of Romans 4:1 with,

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? (NAS)

The Critical Text more literally reads,

What then shall we say to have found Abraham our forefather according to flesh? (Τι ουν ερουμεν ευρηκεναι Αβρααμ τον προπατορα ημων κατα σαρκα;)

The Majority and Received Texts more literally read,

What then shall we say Abraham our father to have found according to flesh? (Τι ουν ερουμεν Αβρααμ τον πατερα ημων ευρηκεναι κατα σαρκα;)

12. Romans 9:32 more literally reads,

Because of what? For not out of faith, but as out of works of law (δια τι? οτι ουκ εκ πιστεως, αλλ' ως εξ εργων νομου).

13. See also Psalm 19:7-11; 119:1-3, 9, 11, 50, 93, 98-100, 104-105, 130, 144, 165.

14. This same theme continues in 1 John 4:6 and likewise in the book of 2 John.

15. Λογος (logos) is translated "reason" in the NKJV in Matthew 5:32; Acts 10:29; 18:14; 1 Peter 3:15.

16. The Greek word for proverb, παροιμια (paroimia), is found in the NT in John 10:6 (NKJV "illustration"; KJV "parable"); 16:25 (NKJV "figurative language"; KJV "proverbs"), 29 (NKJV "figure of speech"; KJV "proverb"); 2 Peter 2:22 ("proverb").

17. The Greek word for parable is παραβολη (parabolê), e.g. Matthew 13:3, 10, 13 (etc.); Hebrews 9:9 ("symbolic" NKJV; "figure" KJV); 11:19 ("figurative sense" NKJV; "figure" KJV). In the OT what is translated "parable" is the same word for "proverb" (מָשָׁל [mâshâl]). It is translated "parable" in Numbers 23:7, 18; 24:3, 15, 20-21, 23; Psalm 49:4 (KJV); 78:2 (KJV, NKJV); Proverbs 26:7, 9 (KJV); Ezekiel 17:2 (KJV, NKJV); 20:49 (KJV, NKJV; i.e. a parable, it applies to something else); 24:3 (KJV; NKJV); Micah 2:4; Habakkuk 2:6 (KJV).

18. The Hebrew noun for riddle, חִידָה (chiydâh), is found only in Numbers 12:8 ("dark sayings"); Judges 14:12-19; 1 Kings 10:1 ("with hard questions"; בְּחִידוֹת, more literally, "in riddles"); 2 Chronicles 9:1; Psalm 49:4 ("dark saying"); 78:2 ("dark sayings"); Proverbs 1:6; Ezekiel 17:2; Daniel 8:23 ("sinister schemes"; עַז־פָּנִים וּמֵבִין חִידוֹת, more literally, "strong of face and understanding riddles"); Habakkuk 2:6. The verb to tell a riddle, חוּד (chud), is found only in Judges 14:12-13, 16; Ezekiel 17:2.

19. Sarcasm can be found e.g. in Job 12:2; 38:21; Matthew 11:7-8 (Luke 7:24-25); John 9:27; 1 Corinthians 4:8, 10.

20. There are two antitypes explicitly mentioned in the NT, Hebrews 9:24 (αντιτυπα [antitupa], "copies" NKJV; "figures" KJV) and 1 Peter 3:21 (αντιτυπον [antitupon] "antitype" NKJV; "like figure" KJV). Аντιτυπος (antitupos) "antitype" is a compound word. Аντι (anti) means "in stead of" (e.g. Matthew 2:22; Luke 11:11; James 4:15) or "for" (e.g. Matthew 5:38 [2x]; 17:27; 20:28; Mark 10:45) or "because" (e.g. Luke 1:20; 19:44; Acts 12:23), and τυπος (tupos) means "print" (e.g. John 20:25 [2x]); "image" (e.g. Acts 7:43); "pattern" (Acts 7:44; Philippians 3:17; Titus 2:7; Hebrews 8:5); "type" (e.g. Romans 5:14); "form" (e.g. Romans 6:17; Acts 23:25 more literally, "containing this form" - περιεχουσαν τον τυπον τουτον); "examples" (1 Corinthians 10:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Peter 5:3); "example" (2 Thessalonians 3:9; 1 Timothy 4:12).

21. Allegory is mentioned in Galatians 4:24 using the Greek participle αλληγορουμενα (allêgoroumena) for "allegory" (KJV).

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