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Christ the Truth - John 14:6

Is the ESV (English Standard Version) a Good Bible Translation? Pt.2

The new bible versions have many parts that were translated from a different manuscript called Minority Text , which comes from Alexandria Egypt (a mecca for philosophers & gnostics at the time), these parchments are mainly composed of two different textual families that disagree with each other: Codex Vaticanus & Codex Sinaiticus. British scholar Herman Hoskier did a revision of the 2 manuscripts and counted the following disagreements with the Majority Text (Textus Receptus or Traditional Text) on the 4 books of the gospels alone:

Matthew 656

Mark 567

Luke 791

John 1022

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TOTAL = 3036 disagreements

The Codex Vaticanus was found on a shelf in a Vatican’s library in 1481, where it had been forgotten for centuries, its origin is unknown, & Codex Sinaiticus was found with many corrections all over the original in a wastebasket of a Catholic monastery in 1844. If it was considered trash before, why are we using it as part of our bibles today? Greek Bible scholar Frederik Scrivener said that Sinaiticus has thousands of changes that were made in the 6th and 7th centuries.

An example of Sinaiticus’ many corrections.

For thousands of years prior to this discovery of the Sinaiticus, Christian used the Majority Text or Textus Receptus bibles, but after this,  two Cambridge professors Wescott & Hort  decided to use the Alexandrian manuscripts in 1881 to make their Greek Interlinear, and now most if not all new modern translation use this Wescott & Hort interlinear (or use its copy , the 1898 Nestle-Aland/United Bible Society (NA/UBS) Greek text, with 27 revisions), to translate their own versions.

The ESV 2001, in the Preface says: ‘ The ESV is based…on the Greek text in the 1993 editions of the Greek New Testament (4th corrected edition), published by the United Bible Societies (UBS) and Novum Testamentum Graece (27th edition), edited by Nestle and Aland.”

It is important to note that in 1965 the United Bible Society & the Roman Catholic Church agreed to prepare a ‘common (vulgate) text’ of the bible & adopted the ‘Westcott & Hort’ Greek interlinear. The UBS which distributes 80% of the bibles in the world, from its very beginnings has been cooperating with the Vatican, but  today even more. Please also check: The United Bible Societies & Rome.

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Is the ESV (English Standard Version) a Good Bible Translation? Pt.1

The English Standard Version or ESV has become a very popular bible. It’s being heavily promoted by pastors, organizations, some scholars and bible teachers from different denominations including Catholics around the world, and Calvinist, but it’s gaining acceptance in other denominations as well. According to Calvinist teacher John MacArthur the ESV is the best translation which he compares with the Authorized King James, he now sells ESV study bibles with his signatures & notes. But is the ESV a good bible translation? Aren’t all bibles the same? Where does it comes from?

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Who or What is the Olive Tree in Romans 11 ?, Pt.3

There is one final chapter that should be examined, the second “go to” portion of scripture usually used to defend the viewpoint of Israel being the olive tree: Ephesians 2.

Ephesians 2

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called the “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” in the flesh by human hands, were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were formerly far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. vv.11 – 13

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Who or What is the Olive Tree in Romans 11 ?, Pt.2

“Grafting”

Written & illustrated by Brian R. Franco, used with permission

Jeremiah 11

Kindled Tree
The Lord called your name, “A green olive tree, fair in fruit and form.” With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire upon it, and its branches are broken. v16

Jeremiah 11:16 is the verse that is probably most known as a reference to Israel being an olive tree. I would completely agree, especially considering the context:

The Lord said to me: A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words. And they have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers. Therefore thus says the Lord, Surely, I will bring calamity upon them which they will not be able to escape. And though they cry to Me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they offer incense. But they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah. And according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense to Baal. Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them. For I will not hear them in the time that they cry to Me because of their trouble.

What right has My beloved in My house, seeing that she has done many lewd deeds? Can the sacrificial meat take away from you your disaster, so that you can rejoice while doing evil?

The Lord called your name, “A green olive tree, fair in fruit and form.” With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire upon it, and its branches are broken. vv. 9 – 16

Over and over again we see Judah and Jerusalem, Israel being mentioned, leading up to the olive tree picture. However, this tree shows a very different image to the one in Romans:

With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire upon it, and its branches are broken. For the Lord of Hosts, who planted you, has pronounced disaster against you, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal. vv.16b – 17

Although similar in that, once again, Israel has rebelled against God and is being broken off, this tree has disaster pronounced against it and has been kindled by fire. I can’t imagine God bringing His Son into the world along with the gift of salvation, only to graft Gentiles into a doomed burning/burnt tree. You can’t simply take the “tree is Israel” part without also taking the “kindle with fire and doomed” part as well. However, this does seem to conflict with verse 16, so how can these facts be reconciled?

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Who or What is the Olive Tree in Romans 11?, Pt.1

‘Replacement Theology” teaches God has no more plans for Israel & the church has  ‘replaced’ them, but this is a doctrine that’s proved wrong by many bible passages one of them found in Romans 11 which tells us that God is not yet done with Israel, even they had rejected Him.

But on the opposite side of the coin we have another kind of ‘Replacement Theology’ were some teach that in order to be saved the ‘church’ needs to be part of Israel, (in other words the church is replaced by Israel). As one of their main points they use Romans 11, which they interpret that gentile believers are grafted into ‘Israel’, and for that reason have to become like them. But this is also wrong, to see it more clearly I’m sharing this next article that contains some nice illustrations:

 

“Grafting”

Written & illustrated by Brian R. Franco, used with permission

 

Preface
In Romans 11, Paul begins speaking to the Gentiles about their salvation, using the imagery of an olive tree and branches to explain the new life they are able to receive (and lose) with their belief (or lack thereof). The question, however, arises of “who or what is this olive tree the Gentiles are grafted into?” I’m going to present and attempt to defend the idea that Christ is the olive tree/root Gentiles are really grafted into. I’m going to do this by analyzing certain chapters, across the whole of Scripture, while explaining my understanding (with a fair amount of illustration to help visualize the ideas) of everything and how it ties together to form the basis for what I believe and why.

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God will come soon & will not keep silent

Brothers & sisters could  you please prayerfully read &  meditate upon this Psalm  today? These are the words of  Almighty God to us that have a covenant with Him!

Psalm 50  is talking about God coming to judge His people. Judgment begins at the House of God before He judges the world.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?1 Peter 4:17.

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A Call for Spiritual Discernment

Many say we have no right to make a judgment of another person, we all make mistakes, and I agree in great part on that, but when God says something is right or wrong,  that is not us judging & we better pay good attention. God’s Word is our final authority. We are not judging (condemning) people when we discern behavior or beliefs that are clearly unbiblical.

Unfortunately many Christians go to both extremes and some  think they should not judge at all, they think Christianity means getting along with everybody. This fear of using proper judgment may come from a simple lack of understanding of God’s will, so they start embracing ecumenism & mixing with wrong doctrines, getting little by little out of tract to finally fall into apostasy. Some others go to the other extreme and judge the wrong way, looking to condemn instead of looking to restore, or look to destroy others for their  own gain. But we shouldn’t judge according to our own perceptions,  rather we should always judge according to the Word of God.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24  (see Greek interlinear)

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Hebrew Roots, Pt. 6, Extra-biblical Sources of Judaism

Hebrew Roots & some other groups are copying many doctrines from Judaism because they think it is the root of Christianity. However they don’t seem to realize that Judaism of today is not the religion of the Israelites of the Old Testament, but a modified religion full of tradition of men & extra-biblical sources. We love Jewish people & pray for them in anticipation of that glorious day on which the Lord Jesus Christ will reveal Himself to the remnant of Israel , but we shouldn’t look into Judaism to learn how to become  better Christians, we just need to look at the inspired Word of God and not men doctrines or their traditions.

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Hebrew Roots, Pt.5 – Two House or Ephraimite Doctrine

The ‘Two House’ interpretation is a very popular doctrine in the Hebrew Root Movement (HR) that believes in the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, but like several of their doctrines it was made popular in America by the founder of ‘Worldwide Church of God‘ (WCG) Herbert Armstrong who vigorously promoted it.  He believed this teaching was the key to interpret bible prophecy correctly & was the ‘central plank’ of his theology. Check some of WCG doctrines.

Whosoever transgresseth (G3845 = depart) and abideth (G3306 = remain, stay, continue) not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”  2 John 1:9-11

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Hebrew Roots, Pt. 4, Sabbath & Sacred Name

HRM completely twist Colossians 2:16 in order to proof their doctrine. If we are confused about a text or Bible verse, we should read 20 verses before and 20 verses after in order to read in context (20/20). If we are still confused, then we read the chapter before and the chapter after. In a video of a popular HRM ministry interpreting Col. 2:16 they jump back to verse 8 alone to explain vs.16, skipping the real context, unfortunately some people will accept it without checking. But there is not any proof that Gnostics were pressing Christians not to keep the Mosaic law, as HRM teaches.

Gnostics mainly attacked the Divinity of Jesus Christ & they still do today. Many founders of gnostic schools were identified as Jewish Christians by early Church Fathers. Gnostics of today that are involved in Judaism & Kabbalah still keep the Sabbath & the dietary laws, feast, etc, this is not against their teachings & it never was. Some scholars, including some Jewish scholars have postulated that there was originally a Jewish gnosticism, which influenced the early origins of gnosticism & that it was known by ‘Talmudic’ Rabbis. Also the Jewish Encyclopedia states: “There is no doubt that a Jewish gnosticism existed before a Christian or a Judeo-Christian gnosticism

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