Hannah’s Prayer, Part 1

I want to consider Hannah’s prayer in four English translations, two from the Hebrew of the Masoretic text[1] and two from the Greek of the Septuagint:

Masoretic Text

Septuagint
1 Samuel 2:1, 2 (Tanakh) 1 Samuel 2:1, 2 (NET) 1 Reigns 2:1, 2 (NETS)

1 Kings 1:28b2:2 (Elpenor English)

…and she [Anna] said,
And Hannah prayed, and said: my heart exulteth in HaShem, my horn is exalted in HaShem; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation. Hannah prayed, “My heart has rejoiced in the Lord; my horn has been raised high because of the Lord.  I have loudly denounced my enemies.  Indeed I rejoice in your deliverance. And she [Hanna] said, “My heart was made firm in the Lord; my horn was exalted in my god; my mouth was made wide against enemies, I was glad in your deliverance, My heart is established in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God; my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, I have rejoiced in thy salvation.
There is none holy as HaShem, for there is none beside Thee; neither is there any rock like our G-d. No one is holy like the Lord!  There is no one other than you!  There is no rock like our God! because there is none holy like the Lord, and there is none righteous like our God; there is none holy besides you. For there is none holy as the Lord, and there is none righteous as our God; there is none holy besides thee.

The difference in verse 2 is subtle but beginning to form a pattern:

Masoretic Text

Septuagint
1 Samuel 2:2 (Tanakh) 1 Samuel 2:2 (NET) 1 Reigns 2:2 (NETS)

1 Kings 2:2 (Elpenor English)

There is none holy as HaShem, No one is holy like the Lord! because there is none holy like the Lord, For there is none holy as the Lord,
for there is none beside Thee; There is no one other than you! there is none holy besides you. there is none holy besides thee.
neither is there any rock like our G-d. There is no rock like our God! and there is none righteous like our God; and there is none righteous as our God;

I altered the order of the clauses in the Septuagint for better comparison but could have altered the Masoretic text instead.  Where the translation from the Masoretic text reads for there is none beside Thee, the Septuagint reads there is none holy besides thee.  Likewise where the Masoretic text reads There is no rock like our God, the Septuagint reads and there is none righteous like our God.  Was holy added by the rabbis or removed by the Masoretes?  Was rock or righteous the original word?

An article titled “Salvation from What?” on Judaism 101 online reads:

Salvation from sin is unnecessary in Judaism, because Judaism does not believe that mankind is inherently evil or sinful or in need of Divine Intervention in order to escape eternal damnation.  In fact, Judaism does not even believe in eternal damnation.
Judaism recognizes that people have sinful impulses, but Judaism also recognizes that people have an inclination to do good and to be good, and that people are able to choose whether to follow the evil inclination or the good inclination.
It is within our ability to be righteous.

So how could Hannah pray there is none holy besides thee or there is none righteous like our God?  Admittedly, the latter might have been equivocated as comparison, God is more righteous than any human being’s “ability” to be righteous.  But once someone decided to alter the Scripture, it might as well be a clean sweep.  I sincerely doubt the rabbis who translated the Septuagint made this change.  I haven’t accounted for the possibility, however, that some[2] attempted to write Christian doctrines back into the Old Testament scriptures.

The translations of 1 Samuel 2:9 followed this same pattern: the wicked are made speechless in the darkness, for it is not by one’s own strength that one (e.g., the wicked one) prevails[3] in the Masoretic text, while in the Septuagint, he blesses the years of the righteous, for by strength cannot man (e.g., the righteous man) prevail.  Again, how could Hannah pray such a thing given that “It is within our ability to be righteous.”

It prompted me to reconsider There is no one righteous, not even one.[4]  This, according to a footnote (14) in the NET, was a quote from Psalm 14:1.

Masoretic Text

Septuagint
Psalm 14:1 (Tanakh) Psalm 14:1 (NET) Psalm 13:1 (NETS)

Psalm 13:1 (Elpenor English)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”  They sin and commit evil deeds; none of them does what is right. The fool said in his heart, “There is no God.”  They caused corruption and were abominable in their practices, there is no one practicing kindness; there is not even one. The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.  They have corrupted [themselves], and become abominable in their devices; there is none that does goodness, there is not even so much as one.

There is no one righteous, not even one is at best an allusion to, or conclusion based on, the Psalm.  The Hebrew word translated good (Tanakh) or what is right (NET) was טוב (ṭôb).  God saw all that he had made – and it was very good (ṭôb).[5]  In the Septuagint (Table6 below) טוב (ṭôb) was translated χρηστότητα (a form of χρηστότης).  Notice therefore the kindness (χρηστότητα, a form of χρηστότης) and harshness of God – harshness[6] toward those who have fallen, but God’s[7] kindness[8] (χρηστότης) toward you, provided you continue in his kindness (χρηστότητι, another form of χρηστότης); otherwise you also will be cut off.[9]  Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy,[10] kindness (χρηστότητα, a form χρηστότης), humility, gentleness, and patience,[11] bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else.  Just as the Lord[12] has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.[13]

While I have no quarrel with Paul if he translated טוב (ṭôb) or understood χρηστότητα as δίκαιος, it is difficult to think of it as a quotation.

Romans 3:10b (NET Parallel Greek)

Psalm 14:1b (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 13:1b (Septuagint Elpenor)

οὐκ ἔστιν δίκαιος οὐδὲ εἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ποιῶν χρηστότητα οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός οὐκ ἔστι ποιῶν χρηστότητα, οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός
Romans 3:10b (NET) Psalm 13:1b (NETS) Psalm 13:1b (English Elpenor)
There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one practicing kindness; there is not even one. there is none that does goodness, there is not even so much as one.

What is unavoidable when approached this way is that Paul applied to all what David clearly applied only to atheists: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Was Paul recalling and summarizing Hannah’s prayer (see Table4 below) from the Septuagint?

Romans 3:10b (NET Parallel Greek)

1 Samuel 2:2b (Septuagint BLB)

1 Kings 2:2b (Septuagint Elpenor)

οὐκ ἔστιν δίκαιος οὐδὲ εἷς καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν δίκαιος ὡς ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος πλὴν σοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος ὡς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν· οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος πλήν σου
Romans 3:10b (NET) 1 Reigns 2:2b (NETS) 1 Kings 2:2b (English Elpenor)
There is no one righteous, not even one, and there is none righteous like our God; there is none holy besides you. and there is none righteous as our God; there is none holy besides thee.

David’s psalm continued:

Masoretic Text

Septuagint
Psalm 14:2 (Tanakh) Psalm 14:2 (NET) Psalm 13:2 (NETS)

Psalm 13:2 (Elpenor English)

The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. The Lord looks down from heaven at the human race, to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God. The Lord peered down from the sky on the sons of men to see if there was any who had understanding or who sought after God. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there were any that understood, or sought after god.

Paul concluded, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.[14]

Romans 3:11 (NET Parallel Greek)

Psalm 14:2b (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 13:2b (Septuagint Elpenor)

οὐκ ἔστιν |ὁ| συνίων, οὐκ ἔστιν |ὁ| ἐκζητῶν τὸν θεόν εἰ ἔστιν συνίων ἢ ἐκζητῶν τὸν θεόν εἰ ἔστι συνιὼν ἢ ἐκζητῶν τὸν Θεόν

Romans 3:11 (NET)

Psalm 13:2b (NETS)

Psalm 13:2b (English Elpenor)

there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. if there was any who had understanding or who sought after God. if there were any that understood, or sought after god.

Paul’s conclusion was certainly in agreement with the next verse of David’s psalm:

Masoretic Text

Septuagint
Psalm 14:3 (Tanakh) Psalm 14:3 (NET) Psalm 13:3 (NETS)

Psalm 13:3 (Elpenor English)

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Everyone rejects God; they are all morally corrupt.  None of them does what is right, not even one! All turned away, as well they became useless; there is no one practicing kindness; there is not even one. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become good for nothing, there is none that does good, no not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.

Here is a comparison of the NET parallel Greek of Paul’s quotation with the Greek of the Septuagint along with English translations.

Romans 3:12-18 (NET Parallel Greek)

Psalm 14:3 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 13:2b (Septuagint Elpenor)

πάντες ἐξέκλιναν ἅμα ἠχρεώθησαν· οὐκ ἔστιν || ποιῶν χρηστότητα, [οὐκ ἔστιν] ἕως ἑνός τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν, ταῖς γλώσσαις αὐτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν, ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν ὧν τὸ στόμα ἀρᾶς καὶ πικρίας γέμει ὀξεῖς οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἐκχέαι αἷμα σύντριμμα καὶ ταλαιπωρία ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτῶν καὶ ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ ἔγνωσαν οὐκ ἔστιν φόβος θεοῦ ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν πάντες ἐξέκλιναν ἅμα ἠχρεώθησαν οὐκ ἔστιν ποιῶν χρηστότητα οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν ταῗς γλώσσαις αὐτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν ὧν τὸ στόμα ἀρᾶς καὶ πικρίας γέμει ὀξεῗς οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἐκχέαι αἷμα σύντριμμα καὶ ταλαιπωρία ἐν ταῗς ὁδοῗς αὐτῶν καὶ ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ ἔγνωσαν οὐκ ἔστιν φόβος θεοῦ ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν πάντες ἐξέκλιναν, ἅμα ἠχρειώθησαν, οὐκ ἔστι ποιῶν χρηστότητα, οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν, ταῖς γλώσσαις αὑτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν· ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν, ὧν τὸ στόμα ἀρᾶς καὶ πικρίας γέμει, ὀξεῖς οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἐκχέαι αἷμα, σύντριμμα καὶ ταλαιπωρία ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτῶν, καὶ ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ ἔγνωσαν· οὐκ ἔστι φόβος Θεοῦ ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν

Romans 3:12-18 (NET) Table

Psalm 13:3 (NETS)

Psalm 13:2b (English Elpenor)

All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.  Their throats are open graves, they deceive with their tongues, the poison of asps is under their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood, ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.  There is no fear of God before their eyes. All turned away, as well they became useless; there is no one practicing kindness; there is not even one. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become good for nothing, there is none that does good, no not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.

I’m coming up empty for any reason why the rabbis who translated the Septuagint would have added this to David’s psalm.  I have a clue why the Masoretes might have removed it.  Though the Elpenor version of the Septuagint included the extended text in the English translation, the parallel Greek was marked by an asterisk and removed to the bottom of the column.  If I skip from—They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one—directly to—Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD[15]—it is much easier to assume that all does not mean all.  Surely God’s people are exempt from all who have gone aside.  But then, who exactly are God’s people?

Are they those who seek to have a righteousness of their own derived from the law by striving to obey the law in their own strength, by their own ability (because if righteousness could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing[16])?  Or are they those who call on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:5-13), those who are born from above (John 3:1-7), those who are led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-17)?

Is the Bible a “book of rules” or a story which demonstrates, among other things, how God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh?[17]  For there is none holy as the Lord, and there is none righteous as our God; there is none holy besides thee, Hannah prayed according to the Septuagint.  Why do you call me good? Jesus asked the wealthy rulerNo one is good except God alone.[18]

Is the finding of God’s observation—that There is no one righteous, not even one—the hyperbole of a scold, an angry admonition for me to try harder to keep the law?  Or is it the factual basis for me to do something completely different?  Do not be amazed—Jesus said to the teacher of Israelthat I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’[19]

Tables comparing 1 Samuel 2:1; 2:2; Psalm 14:1; Genesis 1:31; Psalm 14:2; 14:3 and 14:4 in the Tanakh and NET, and tables comparing 1 Samuel (Kings, Reigns) 2:1; 2:2; Psalm 14:1 (13:1); Genesis 1:31; Psalm 14:2 (13:2); 14:3 (13:3) and 14:4 (13:4) in the Septuagint (BLB and Elpenor) follow.  Following those are tables comparing Romans 11:22 and Colossians 3:12, 13 in the NET and KJV.

1 Samuel 2:1 (Tanakh)

1 Samuel 2:1 (NET)

And Hannah prayed, and said: my heart exulteth in HaShem, my horn is exalted in HaShem; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation. Hannah prayed, “My heart has rejoiced in the Lord; my horn has been raised high because of the Lord.  I have loudly denounced my enemies.  Indeed I rejoice in your deliverance.

1 Samuel 2:1 (Septuagint BLB)

1 Kings 2:1 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ εἶπεν ἐστερεώθη ἡ καρδία μου ἐν κυρίῳ ὑψώθη κέρας μου ἐν θεῷ μου ἐπλατύνθη ἐπὶ ἐχθροὺς τὸ στόμα μου εὐφράνθην ἐν σωτηρίᾳ σου ΕΣΤΕΡΕΩΘΗ ἡ καρδία μου ἐν Κυρίῳ, ὑψώθη κέρας μου ἐν Θεῷ μου· ἐπλατύνθη ἐπ᾿ ἐχθρούς μου τὸ στόμα μου, εὐφράνθην ἐν σωτηρίᾳ σου
1 Reigns 2:1 (NETS) 1 Kings 2:1 (English Elpenor)
And she said, “My heart was made firm in the Lord; my horn was exalted in my god; my mouth was made wide against enemies, I was glad in your deliverance, My heart is established in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God; my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, I have rejoiced in thy salvation.

1 Samuel 2:2 (Tanakh)

1 Samuel 2:2 (NET)

There is none holy as HaShem, for there is none beside Thee; neither is there any rock like our G-d. No one is holy like the Lord!  There is no one other than you!  There is no rock like our God!

1 Samuel 2:2 (Septuagint BLB)

1 Kings 2:2 (Septuagint Elpenor)

ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος ὡς κύριος καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν δίκαιος ὡς ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος πλὴν σοῦ ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος ὡς Κύριος, καὶ οὐκ ἔστι δίκαιος ὡς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν· οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος πλήν σου

1 Reigns 2:2 (NETS)

1 Kings 2:2 (English Elpenor)

because there is none holy like the Lord, and there is none righteous like our God; there is none holy besides you. For there is none holy as the Lord, and there is none righteous as our God; there is none holy besides thee.

Psalm 14:1 (Tanakh)

Psalm 14:1 (NET)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”  They sin and commit evil deeds; none of them does what is right.

Psalm 14:1 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 13:1 (Septuagint Elpenor)

εἶπεν ἄφρων ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν θεός διέφθειραν καὶ ἐβδελύχθησαν ἐν ἐπιτηδεύμασιν οὐκ ἔστιν ποιῶν χρηστότητα οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός ΕΙΠΕΝ ἄφρων ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ· οὐκ ἔστι Θεός. διεφθάρησαν καὶ ἐβδελύχθησαν ἐν ἐπιτηδεύμασιν, οὐκ ἔστι ποιῶν χρηστότητα, οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός

Psalm 13:1 (NETS)

Psalm 13:1 (English Elpenor)

The fool said in his heart, “There is no God.”  They caused corruption and were abominable in their practices, there is no one practicing kindness; there is not even one. The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.  They have corrupted [themselves], and become abominable in their devices; there is none that does goodness, there is not even so much as one.

Genesis 1:31 (Tanakh)

Genesis 1:31 (NET)

And G-d saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. God saw all that he had made – and it was very good!  There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 1:31 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησεν καὶ ἰδοὺ καλὰ λίαν καὶ ἐγένετο ἑσπέρα καὶ ἐγένετο πρωί ἡμέρα ἕκτη καὶ εἶδεν ὁ Θεὸς τὰ πάντα, ὅσα ἐποίησε, καὶ ἰδοὺ καλὰ λίαν. καὶ ἐγένετο ἑσπέρα καὶ ἐγένετο πρωΐ, ἡμέρα ἕκτη

Genesis 1:31 (NETS)

Genesis 1:31 (English Elpenor)

And God saw all the things that he had made, and see, they were exceedingly good.  And it came to be evening, and it came to be morning, a sixth day. And God saw all the things that he had made, and, behold, they were very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Psalm 14:2 (Tanakh)

Psalm 14:2 (NET)

The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. The Lord looks down from heaven at the human race, to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.

Psalm 14:2 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 13:2 (Septuagint Elpenor)

κύριος ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ διέκυψεν ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων τοῦ ἰδεῗν εἰ ἔστιν συνίων ἢ ἐκζητῶν τὸν θεόν Κύριος ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ διέκυψεν ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῶν ἀνθρώπων τοῦ ἰδεῖν εἰ ἔστι συνιὼν ἢ ἐκζητῶν τὸν Θεόν

Psalm 13:2 (NETS)

Psalm 13:2 (English Elpenor)

The Lord peered down from the sky on the sons of men to see if there was any who had understanding or who sought after God. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there were any that understood, or sought after god.

Psalm 14:3 (Tanakh)

Psalm 14:3 (NET)

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Everyone rejects God; they are all morally corrupt.  None of them does what is right, not even one!

Psalm 14:3 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 13:3 (Septuagint Elpenor)

πάντες ἐξέκλιναν ἅμα ἠχρεώθησαν οὐκ ἔστιν ποιῶν χρηστότητα οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν ταῗς γλώσσαις αὐτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν ὧν τὸ στόμα ἀρᾶς καὶ πικρίας γέμει ὀξεῗς οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἐκχέαι αἷμα σύντριμμα καὶ ταλαιπωρία ἐν ταῗς ὁδοῗς αὐτῶν καὶ ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ ἔγνωσαν οὐκ ἔστιν φόβος θεοῦ ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν πάντες ἐξέκλιναν, ἅμα ἠχρειώθησαν, οὐκ ἔστι ποιῶν χρηστότητα, οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν, ταῖς γλώσσαις αὑτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν· ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν, ὧν τὸ στόμα ἀρᾶς καὶ πικρίας γέμει, ὀξεῖς οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἐκχέαι αἷμα, σύντριμμα καὶ ταλαιπωρία ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτῶν, καὶ ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ ἔγνωσαν· οὐκ ἔστι φόβος Θεοῦ ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν

Psalm 13:3 (NETS)

Psalm 13:3 (English Elpenor)

All turned away, as well they became useless; there is no one practicing kindness; there is not even one. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become good for nothing, there is none that does good, no not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.

Psalm 14:4 (Tanakh)

Psalm 14:4 (NET)

Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. All those who behave wickedly do not understand – those who devour my people as if they were eating bread, and do not call out to the Lord.

Psalm 14:4 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 13:4 (Septuagint Elpenor)

οὐχὶ γνώσονται πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὸν λαόν μου βρώσει ἄρτου τὸν κύριον οὐκ ἐπεκαλέσαντο οὐχὶ γνώσονται πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν; οἱ ἐσθίοντες τὸν λαόν μου βρώσει ἄρτου τὸν Κύριον οὐκ ἐπεκαλέσαντο

Psalm 13:4 (NETS)

Psalm 13:4 (English Elpenor)

Shall they never learn, all those who practice lawlessness?  Those who eat up my people like eating bread do not call upon the Lord. Will not all the workers of iniquity know, who eat up my people as they would eat bread? they have not called upon the Lord.

Romans 11:22 (NET)

Romans 11:22 (KJV)

Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ἴδε οὖν χρηστότητα καὶ ἀποτομίαν θεοῦ· ἐπὶ μὲν τοὺς πεσόντας ἀποτομία, ἐπὶ δὲ σὲ χρηστότης θεοῦ, ἐὰν ἐπιμένῃς τῇ χρηστότητι, ἐπεὶ καὶ σὺ ἐκκοπήσῃ ιδε ουν χρηστοτητα και αποτομιαν θεου επι μεν τους πεσοντας αποτομιαν επι δε σε χρηστοτητα εαν επιμεινης τη χρηστοτητι επει και συ εκκοπηση ιδε ουν χρηστοτητα και αποτομιαν θεου επι μεν τους πεσοντας αποτομιαν επι δε σε χρηστοτητα εαν επιμεινης τη χρηστοτητι επει και συ εκκοπηση

Colossians 3:12, 13 (NET)

Colossians 3:12, 13 (KJV)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

Ἐνδύσασθε οὖν, ὡς ἐκλεκτοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ ἅγιοι καὶ ἠγαπημένοι, σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ χρηστότητα ταπεινοφροσύνην πραΰτητα μακροθυμίαν ενδυσασθε ουν ως εκλεκτοι του θεου αγιοι και ηγαπημενοι σπλαγχνα οικτιρμων χρηστοτητα ταπεινοφροσυνην πραοτητα μακροθυμιαν ενδυσασθε ουν ως εκλεκτοι του θεου αγιοι και ηγαπημενοι σπλαγχνα οικτιρμου χρηστοτητα ταπεινοφροσυνην πραοτητα μακροθυμιαν
bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ἀνεχόμενοι ἀλλήλων καὶ χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς ἐάν τις πρός τινα ἔχῃ μομφήν· καθὼς καὶ ὁ κύριος ἐχαρίσατο ὑμῖν, οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ανεχομενοι αλληλων και χαριζομενοι εαυτοις εαν τις προς τινα εχη μομφην καθως και ο χριστος εχαρισατο υμιν ουτως και υμεις ανεχομενοι αλληλων και χαριζομενοι εαυτοις εαν τις προς τινα εχη μομφην καθως και ο χριστος εχαρισατο υμιν ουτως και υμεις

[1] Here are three opinions of the Masoretic text: 1) What is the Masoretic Text? 2) The Masoretic Text: The traditional–sometimes imperfect–Jewish version of the Torah text. 3) The Masoretic Text and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Should the original Hebrew Bible text be modified based on information obtained from the Dead Sea Scrolls?[2] Jim Searcy, for instance, asserted that “Origen wrote his Hexapla” as opposed to compiling it from extant manuscripts.

[3] 1 Samuel 2:9 (NET)

[4] Romans 3:10b (NET)

[5] Genesis 1:31a (NET) טוב

[6] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had ἀποτομία here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had αποτομιαν (KJV: severity).

[7] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had θεοῦ here.  The Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text did not.

[8] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had χρηστότης here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had χρηστοτητα (KJV: goodness).

[9] Romans 11:22 (NET)

[10] The Stephanus Textus Receptus had the plural οικτιρμων (KJV: mercies) here, where the NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text had the singular οἰκτιρμοῦ.

[11] In the NET parallel Greek text and NA28 patience was spelled πραΰτητα, and πραοτητα (KJV: longsuffering) in the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text.

[12] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had κύριος here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had χριστος (KJV: Christ).

[13] Colossians 3:12, 13 (NET)

[14] Romans 3:11 (NET)

[15] Psalm 14:4 (Tanakh)

[16] Galatians 2:21 (NET)

[17] Romans 8:3 (NET) Table

[18] Luke 18:19b (NET)

[19] John 3:7 (NET)

A Monotonous Cycle Revisited, Part 2

Moses wrote (Genesis 3:22-24 Tanakh):

And HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה) G-d (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) said: ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.’  Therefore HaShem (yehôvâh, יהוה) G-d (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life.

John wrote in the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must happen very soon.  He made it clear by sending his angel to his servant John, who then testified to everything that he saw[1] concerning the word of God and the testimony about Jesus Christ[2] (Revelation 22:1, 2 NET):

Then the angel showed me the river[3] of the water of life – water as clear as crystal – pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, flowing down the middle of the city’s main street.  On each side[4] of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding[5] its fruit every[6] month of the year.  Its leaves are for the healing of the nations.

Placing the cherubim and the flaming sword to keep (shâmar, לשמר; Septuagint: φυλάσσειν, a form of φυλάσσω) the way to the tree of life from Adam and Eve was never about withholding life from humanity.  Though Adam and Eve knew (yedaʽ, וידעו; Septuagint: ἔγνωσαν, a form of γινώσκω) that they were naked,[7] yehôvâh ʼĕlôhı̂ym knew what it meant when sin entered the world through one man.[8]  Consider Jesus’ teaching (John 8:31, 32 NET):

Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Jesus addressed those Judeans (KJV: Jews) who had believed him, arguably the best of the best.  Though they were hardened they were among the most spiritually cultivated (Romans 9-11) people to have walked the earth to that time, and they had begun to believe Jesus, and Jesus told them to continue to follow his teaching (μείνητε ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῷ ἐμῷ).  Now hear with faith how He described these most spiritually cultivated people who had believed Him (John 8:44 NET):

You people are from your father[9] the devil, and you want to do what your father desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not[10] uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him.  Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

Spiritually cultivated they were and they had begun to believe Jesus but they were not yet born from above, not yet led by the Spirit of God, not yet the sons of God: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.[11]  No one born of Adam, whether confessing some sin or not, wants to hear, you people are from your father the devil, or you want (θέλετε, a form of θέλω) to do what your father desires (ἐπιθυμίας, a form of ἐπιθυμία).  But I’ll consider the story of Abel, a keeper of sheep and his elder brother Cain, a tiller of the ground in this light (Genesis 4:2b-5 Tanakh).

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto HaShem.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.  And HaShem had respect unto Abel and to his offering; but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect.  And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

It seems that Cain got the bright idea to bring yehôvâh an offering.  His little brother Abel just tagged along.  Each brought the fruit of his labor.  Who does yehôvâh think he is, discriminating this way between them?  After all, it’s the thought that counts![12]  That, by the way, was not my thought.

Oh, I wrote it.  Yes, I heard the thought in my mind.  But by faith I no longer recognize such thoughts as me (Galatians 2:20, 21) or mine.  I recognize—again, by faith in the word of God—that there is something in me—call it what you will, sin in the flesh, the old man—something that hates yehôvâh, everything He says, everything He does.  He can do nothing right.  Paul described this phenomenon in his letter to believers in Rome (Romans 7:21-25 NET Table1 Table2).

So, I find the law that when I want to do good (καλόν, a form of καλός), evil (κακὸν, a form of κακός) is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God in my inner being (ἄνθρωπον, a form of ἄνθρωπος).  But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members.  Wretched man (ἄνθρωπος) that I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks[13] be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Then the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast?[14]  I’ve approached the next verse incidentally, tangentially, judgmentally and, curiously enough in retrospect, lawfully in other essays.  Here, I wanted to approach it directly.

Genesis 4:7 (Tanakh)

Genesis 4:7 (NET)

If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee is its desire, but thou mayest rule over it.’ 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.”

Another version of the Tanakh reads: Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you?  If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it.[15]  In another essay I wrote, “you must subdue it looks and sounds to me like a religious mind trying to turn a word into a law long before the law was given.”  That wasn’t quite fair.

Hebrew Tanakh (Jewish Virtual Library) Tanakh (Chabad.org)

NET

לפתח (pethach) at the door at the entrance at the door
חטאת (chaṭṭâʼâh) sin sin sin
רבץ (râbats) coucheth is lying is crouching
ואליך (ʼêl) and unto thee and to you to dominate you
תשוקתו (teshûqâh) is its desire is its longing It desires
ואתה (ʼattâh) but thou but you but you
תמשל (mâshal) mayest rule can rule must subdue
בו (bōw)[16] over it over it it

I was surprised that תמשל (mâshal)—translated mayest rule, can rule (Tanakh), must subdue (NET), BibleHub.com offers should rule—was so uncertain.  It makes sense to me that knowing good and evil makes each of us individually responsible for choosing good, but mayest rule and especially can rule imply the ability to do so as well.  Struggling with this I perused the commentariesAlexander MacLaren pointed out the similarity here to what yehôvâh had said to Eve after she had led Adam astray (Genesis 3:1-6): and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.[17]

Hebrew

Tanakh (Jewish Virtual Library) Tanakh (Chabad.org)

NET

ואל (ʼêl) and…to And to to control
אישך (ʼı̂ysh) thy husband your husband your husband
תשוקתך (teshûqâh) thy desire shall be will be your desire You will want
והוא (hûʼ) and he and he but he
ימשל (mâshal) shall rule will rule will dominate
בך (bāḵ)[18] over thee over you you

There was no equivocation here, no wiggle room in the translation of ימשל (mâshal).  Surely man’s experience ruling over a wife has been at least as perplexing as ruling over sin.  Of course, male Bible expositors present the latter part of yehôvâh’s word to Eve as a rule for women to obey.  I haven’t heard the latter part of his word to Cain abstracted that way.   The translations divide here along party lines: those who have accepted Jesus as the Christ hear responsibility (must subdue, should rule), those who have not hear a promise of ability (mayest rule, can rule).

I thought at first that the rabbis who translated the Septuagint eschewed any personification of sin lying, crouching, desiring or longing.

Genesis 4:7 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:7 (Septuagint Elpenor)

οὐκ ἐὰν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλῃς ἥμαρτες ἡσύχασον πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐὰν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς, ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλῃς, ἥμαρτες; ἡσύχασον· πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ αὐτοῦ, καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ.

Genesis 4:7 (NETS)

Genesis 4:7 (English Elpenor)

If you offer correctly but do not divide correctly, have you not sinned?  Be still; his recourse is to you, and you will rule over him.” Hast thou not sinned if thou hast brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it? be still, to thee shall be his submission, and thou shalt rule over him.

I had rejected the Septuagint here because it seemed to refer back to AbelCharles Ellicott offered a similar interpretation in his commentary:

“At present thou art vexed and envious because thy younger brother is rich and prosperous, while thy tillage yields thee but scanty returns.  Do well, and the Divine blessing will rest on thee, and thou wilt recover thy rights of primogeniture, and thy brother will look up to thee in loving obedience.”

I can’t assume that Abel was “rich and prosperous” while Cain’s “tillage yields…but scanty returns,” or that yehôvâh was concerned with Cain’s “rights of primogeniture” from what is written in the text.  I’ve assumed that HaShem had respect unto Abel and to his offering because yehôvâh foreknew that a Passover lamb would become important to his people rather than a Passover kumquat.  (No, I have no idea what kind of produce Cain offered Him.)  But if I consider now that the referent of his and him was sin rather than Abel, I get a different picture.

The rabbis understood רבץ (râbats) as an imperative ἡσύχασον (Be still) directed to Cain rather than as a description of sin lying or crouching.  Had Cain believed yehôvâh’s command to be still, he would have realized yehôvâh’s promise—you will rule (NETS), thou shalt rule (Elpenor) over sin—without equivocation.  I called this “yehôvâh at his most aloof,”[19] relative to the time and attention He lavishes on me.  (The philosophical bent of my mind still longs for a thousand page discourse where yehôvâh sits down with Cain and explains his understanding of sin, righteousness and redemption.)  Be still as yehôvâh’s command to Cain reminds me of Peter (Matthew 14:28 NET).

Peter said to [Jesus], “Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water.”

Here is an example of what I meant by the spiritual cultivation of Israel.  Peter wasn’t a priest, a scribe or a religious professional of any sort.  He was a fisherman.  But he believed that if Jesus the Christ ordered or commanded him to come to Him on the water it would be so.  But this is probably too facile an explanation.  Peter’s lack of religious sophistication may have enhanced his spiritual cultivation.  Of his more religiously sophisticated (Philippians 3:5-7) brethren, Paul wrote (Romans 10:2, 3; 9:31, 32 NET Table):

…I can testify that [my fellow Israelites] are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth (ἐπίγνωσιν, a form of ἐπίγνωσις).  For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not attain it.[20]  Why not?  Because they pursued it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works.[21]  They stumbled over the stumbling stone…

In my zeal for God,[22] Paul wrote of his own religious sophistication, I persecuted the church.[23]

I wondered if be still here had any relationship to, Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.[24]  But the Hebrew word translated Be still there was הרפו (râphâh), translated σχολάσατε (a form of σχολάζω) in the Septuagint.  As I contemplated the definition of σχολάζω in the Greek Lexicon online I was lifted out of the weeds, so to speak, fussing over the meaning of word strings in the Bible, and into that eternal life of knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ.  The definition of σχολάζω reads:

to devote oneself; to have leisure; to devote, have spare time, be at leisure, take a vacation; to take it easy; to have time to be busy with one’s interests apart from work; to take time to devote to study

This accurately describes the life I’ve received from Him, received in that same active sense that Jesus’ disciples accepted the words He gave them.  And, yes, σχολάσατε is an active form of σχολάζω.  This active stillness is how I pursue (ζητεῖτε, a form of ζητέω) his kingdom and righteousness: But above all, Jesus commanded, pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things [food, drink, clothing] will be given to you as well.[25]  The definition of ζητέω in the Greek Lexicon online reads:

to seek, search, look for; to inquire, investigate, examine, consider, deliberate; to try to obtain, desire to possess; to strive for, aim for, desire, wish; to ask for, request, demand (something); to claim (as entitlement); to appeal to someone for guidance

Back again in the weeds, the rabbis who translated the Septuagint offered no Greek counterpart for לפתח (pethach; translated at the door, at the entrance [Tanakh], at the door [NET]).  Why would they ignore לפתח (pethach) before Jesus was revealed to Israel?  Why would Masoretes add it afterward?  Frankly, I can’t imagine any plausible scenarios at the moment.  So as far as understanding what yehôvâh said to Cain, I’m more uncertain now than when I began this study.  I have, however, encountered many provocative ideas ripe for further study.  And what He said hardly mattered to the narrative.  Cain ignored it (Genesis 4:8 Tanakh).

And Cain spoke unto Abel his brother.  And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.[26]

Cain was from [his] father the devil, and wanted to do what [his] father desires.  As Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him…[the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth (ἀληθείᾳ), because there is no truth (ἀλήθεια) in him.  There was no ritual or intentionality required for Cain to be from his father the devil.  It is the natural condition of those born of the flesh of Adam and Eve.  “What is born of the flesh is flesh,” Jesus told Nicodemus, “and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’”[27] 

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God,[28] Paul wrote to believers in Rome (Romans 8:5-7 NET).

For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.  For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, Paul continued, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.  Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness.  Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.[29]

As a child trusting Jesus for a place in heaven I comforted myself and fell asleep many nights planning the perfect murders of my neighbor and his entire family.  My plan was never quite perfect.  I feared I would be caught.  Then people would misunderstand and call me names like “murderer” when I was the hapless victim balancing the scales of justice.  So I never murdered my neighbor or his entire family.

My fear—that I would be caught and my motives would be misunderstood—was not the righteousness of Godrevealed in the gospel.[30]  It was not the love that does no wrong to a neighbor, not the love that is the fulfillment of the law.[31]  It was not the love that is the fruit of his Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).  Not murdering my neighbor and his entire family was indisputably better than murdering them would have been.  And clearly, it was possible for me to avoid committing murder apart from the righteousness of God.  But imagine standing face to face with Jesus and offering Him the fact that I did not murder my neighbor and his entire family as a righteousness of my own derived from the law after having rejected the gift He offered, the gift of God Himself (Acts 2:36-41).

It is inevitable, I suppose, that a reader wonders what my neighbor did to me: It was nothing in particular.  He was a year younger than I and didn’t treat me with the deference I felt I deserved.  And he got away with it.  My god failed to punish him for his sin.  This was not a singularly low point in my childhood, certainly not a turning point.  My darkness deepened into my teens until atheism became my only “rational” choice.

This kind of self-awareness might crush the spirit in any other form of life.  In this eternal life of yehôvâh’s Holy Spirit it encouraged me to stay the course when I had begun to waver.  I had begun to judge some as undeserving of “my persistent prayer for justice.”  At least I had confessed in prayer that I was embarrassed to bring them before the Lord again.  But now in the light of his utmost patience and mercy toward the boy who consoled himself with murder, I pray with renewed vigor:

My persistent prayer for justice (Luke 18:1-8) is for the mercy on which everything depends, for it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on [You] who shows mercy.[32]  And You have consigned all people to disobedience so that [You] may show mercy to them all.[33]

The love of Christ that surpasses knowledge[34] is not some vague affection (1 Corinthians 13:4-13) He hoards for us but the omnipotent engine of righteousness He gives to us in the person of his own Holy Spirit.  No one is good except God alone.[35]

The tables I made to write this essay comparing Genesis 3:22-24; 4:2b-5; 4:6, 7; 3:16; Psalm 46:10 and Genesis 4:8 in the Tanakh and NET, and the tables comparing Genesis 3:22; 3:23; 3:24; 4:2b; 4:3; 4:4; 4:5; 4:6; 4:7; 3:16; Psalm 46:10 and Genesis 4:8 in the Septuagint (BLB and Elpenor) follow.  Following those are tables comparing Revelation 1:2; 22:1, 2; John 8:44; Romans 9:31; Philippians 3:6 and Romans 8:9 in the NET and KJV.

Genesis 3:22-24 (Tanakh)

Genesis 3:22-24 (NET)

And HaShem G-d said: ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.’ And the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
Therefore HaShem G-d sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים) expelled him from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken.
So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life. When he drove the man out, he placed on the eastern side of the orchard in Eden angelic sentries who used the flame of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:22 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 3:22 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός ἰδοὺ Αδαμ γέγονεν ὡς εἷς ἐξ ἡμῶν τοῦ γινώσκειν καλὸν καὶ πονηρόν καὶ νῦν μήποτε ἐκτείνῃ τὴν χεῗρα καὶ λάβῃ τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς καὶ φάγῃ καὶ ζήσεται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός· ἰδοὺ ᾿Αδὰμ γέγονεν ὡς εἷς ἐξ ἡμῶν, τοῦ γινώσκειν καλὸν καὶ πονηρόν· καὶ νῦν μή ποτε ἐκτείνῃ τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ καὶ λάβῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς καὶ φάγῃ καὶ ζήσεται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

Genesis 3:22 (NETS)

Genesis 3:22 (English Elpenor)

Then God said, “See, Adam has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, and now perhaps he might reach out his hand and take of the tree of life and eat, and he will live forever.” And God said, Behold, Adam is become as one of us, to know good and evil, and now lest at any time he stretch forth his hand, and take of the tree of life and eat, and [so] he shall live forever–

Genesis 3:23 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 3:23 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ ἐξαπέστειλεν αὐτὸν κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἐκ τοῦ παραδείσου τῆς τρυφῆς ἐργάζεσθαι τὴν γῆν ἐξ ἧς ἐλήμφθη καὶ ἐξαπέστειλεν αὐτὸν Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ τοῦ παραδείσου τῆς τρυφῆς ἐργάζεσθαι τὴν γῆν, ἐξ ἧς ἐλήφθη.

Genesis 3:23 (NETS)

Genesis 3:23 (English Elpenor)

And the Lord God sent him forth from the orchard of delight to till the earth from which he was taken. So the Lord God sent him forth out of the garden of Delight to cultivate the ground out of which he was taken.

Genesis 3:24 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 3:24 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ ἐξέβαλεν τὸν Αδαμ καὶ κατῴκισεν αὐτὸν ἀπέναντι τοῦ παραδείσου τῆς τρυφῆς καὶ ἔταξεν τὰ χερουβιμ καὶ τὴν φλογίνην ῥομφαίαν τὴν στρεφομένην φυλάσσειν τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς καὶ ἐξέβαλε τὸν ᾿Αδὰμ καὶ κατῴκισεν αὐτὸν ἀπέναντι τοῦ παραδείσου τῆς τρυφῆς καὶ ἔταξε τὰ Χερουβὶμ καὶ τὴν φλογίνην ρομφαίαν τὴν στρεφομένην φυλάσσειν τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς.

Genesis 3:24 (NETS)

Genesis 3:24 (English Elpenor)

And he drove Adam out and caused him to dwell opposite the orchard of delight, and he stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword that turns, to guard the way of the tree of life. And he cast out Adam and caused him to dwell over against the garden of Delight, and stationed the cherubs and the fiery sword that turns about to keep the way of the tree of life.
Genesis 4:2b-5 (Tanakh)

Genesis 4:2b-5 (NET)

And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. Abel took care of the flocks, while Cain cultivated the ground.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto HaShem. At the designated time Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering to the Lord (yehôvâh, ליהוה).
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.  And HaShem had respect unto Abel and to his offering; But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock – even the fattest of them.  And the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) was pleased with Abel and his offering,
but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect.  And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased.  So Cain became very angry, and his expression was downcast.

Genesis 4:2b (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:2b (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ ἐγένετο Αβελ ποιμὴν προβάτων Καιν δὲ ἦν ἐργαζόμενος τὴν γῆν καὶ ἐγένετο ῎Αβελ ποιμὴν προβάτων, Κάϊν δὲ ἦν ἐργαζόμενος τὴν γῆν.

Genesis 4:2b (NETS)

Genesis 4:2b (English Elpenor)

And Habel became a herder of sheep, but Kain was tilling the earth. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Genesis 4:3 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:3 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ ἐγένετο μεθ᾽ ἡμέρας ἤνεγκεν Καιν ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν τῆς γῆς θυσίαν τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ ἐγένετο μεθ᾿ ἡμέρας ἤνεγκε Κάϊν ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν τῆς γῆς θυσίαν τῷ Κυρίῳ,

Genesis 4:3 (NETS)

Genesis 4:3 (English Elpenor)

And it came about after some days that Kain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruits of the earth, And it was so after some time that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth a sacrifice to the Lord.

Genesis 4:4 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:4 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ Αβελ ἤνεγκεν καὶ αὐτὸς ἀπὸ τῶν πρωτοτόκων τῶν προβάτων αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν στεάτων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπεῗδεν ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ Αβελ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῗς δώροις αὐτοῦ καὶ Ἄβελ ἤνεγκε καὶ αὐτὸς ἀπὸ τῶν πρωτοτόκων τῶν προβάτων αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν στεάτων αὐτῶν. καὶ ἐπεῖδεν ὁ Θεὸς ἐπὶ ῎Αβελ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς δώροις αὐτοῦ,

Genesis 4:4 (NETS)

Genesis 4:4 (English Elpenor)

And Habel, he also brought of the firstlings of his sheep and of their fat portions.  And God looked upon Habel and upon his gifts, And Abel also brought of the first born of his sheep and of his fatlings, and God looked upon Abel and his gifts,

Genesis 4:5 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:5 (Septuagint Elpenor)

ἐπὶ δὲ Καιν καὶ ἐπὶ ταῗς θυσίαις αὐτοῦ οὐ προσέσχεν καὶ ἐλύπησεν τὸν Καιν λίαν καὶ συνέπεσεν τῷ προσώπῳ ἐπὶ δὲ Κάϊν καὶ ἐπὶ ταῖς θυσίαις αὐτοῦ οὐ προσέσχε. καὶ ἐλυπήθη Κάϊν λίαν, καὶ συνέπεσε τῷ προσώπῳ αὐτοῦ.

Genesis 4:5 (NETS)

Genesis 4:5 (English Elpenor)

but on Kain and on his offerings he was not intent.  And it distressed Kain exceedingly, and he collapsed in countenance. but Cain and his sacrifices he regarded not, and Cain was exceedingly sorrowful and his countenance fell.

Genesis 4:6, 7 (Tanakh)

Genesis 4:6, 7 (NET)

And HaShem said unto Cain: ‘Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? Then the Lord (yehôvâh, יהוה) said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast?
If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee is its desire, but thou mayest rule over it.’ 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.”

Genesis 4:6 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:6 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ εἶπεν κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῷ Καιν ἵνα τί περίλυπος ἐγένου καὶ ἵνα τί συνέπεσεν τὸ πρόσωπόν σου καὶ εἶπε Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς τῷ Κάϊν· ἵνα τί περίλυπος ἐγένου, καὶ ἵνα τί συνέπεσε τὸ πρόσωπόν σου;

Genesis 4:6 (NETS)

Genesis 4:6 (English Elpenor)

And the Lord God said to Kain, “Why have you become deeply grieved, and why has your countenance collapsed? And the Lord God said to Cain, Why art thou become very sorrowful and why is thy countenance fallen?

Genesis 4:7 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:7 (Septuagint Elpenor)

οὐκ ἐὰν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλῃς ἥμαρτες ἡσύχασον πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἐὰν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς, ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλῃς, ἥμαρτες; ἡσύχασον· πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ αὐτοῦ, καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ.

Genesis 4:7 (NETS)

Genesis 4:7 (English Elpenor)

If you offer correctly but do not divide correctly, have you not sinned?  Be still; his recourse is to you, and you will rule over him.” Hast thou not sinned if thou hast brought it rightly, but not rightly divided it? be still, to thee shall be his submission, and thou shalt rule over him.

Genesis 3:16 (Tanakh)

Genesis 3:16 (NET)

Unto the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’ To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children.  You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.”

Genesis 3:16 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 3:16 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ τῇ γυναικὶ εἶπεν πληθύνων πληθυνῶ τὰς λύπας σου καὶ τὸν στεναγμόν σου ἐν λύπαις τέξῃ τέκνα καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα σου ἡ ἀποστροφή σου καὶ αὐτός σου κυριεύσει καὶ τῇ γυναικὶ εἶπε· πληθύνων πληθυνῶ τὰς λύπας σου καὶ τὸν στεναγμόν σου· ἐν λύπαις τέξῃ τέκνα, καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα σου ἡ ἀποστροφή σου, καὶ αὐτός σου κυριεύσει.

Genesis 3:16 (NETS)

Genesis 3:16 (English Elpenor)

And to the woman he said, “I will increasingly increase your pains and your groaning; with pains you will bring forth children.  And your recourse will be to your husband, and he will dominate you.” And to the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pains and thy groanings; in pain thou shalt bring forth children, and thy submission shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Psalm 46:10 (Tanakh)

Psalm 46:10 (NET)

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. He says, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God (ʼĕlôhı̂ym, אלהים)!  I will be exalted over the nations!  I will be exalted over the earth!”

Psalm 46:10 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 45:11 (Septuagint Elpenor)

σχολάσατε καὶ γνῶτε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεός ὑψωθήσομαι ἐν τοῗς ἔθνεσιν ὑψωθήσομαι ἐν τῇ γῇ σχολάσατε καὶ γνῶτε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεός· ὑψωθήσομαι ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, ὑψωθήσομαι ἐν τῇ γῇ.

Psalm 45:11 (NETS)

Psalm 45:11 (English Elpenor)

“Relax, and know that I am God!  I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Genesis 4:8 (Tanakh)

Genesis 4:8 (NET)

And Cain spoke unto Abel his brother.  And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”  While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:8 (Septuagint BLB)

Genesis 4:8 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ εἶπεν Καιν πρὸς Αβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πεδίον καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ καὶ ἀνέστη Καιν ἐπὶ Αβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτόν καὶ εἶπε Κάϊν πρὸς ῎Αβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ· διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πεδίον. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ, ἀνέστη Κάϊν ἐπὶ ῎Αβελ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτόν.

Genesis 4:8 (NETS)

Genesis 4:8 (English Elpenor)

And Kain said to his brother Habel, “Let us go through into the plain.”  And it came about when they were in the plain, that then Kain rose up against his brother Habel and killed him. And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go out into the plain; and it came to pass that when they were in the plain Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Revelation 1:2 (NET)

Revelation 1:2 (KJV)

who then testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about Jesus Christ. Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ὃς ἐμαρτύρησεν τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ὅσα εἶδεν ος εμαρτυρησεν τον λογον του θεου και την μαρτυριαν ιησου χριστου οσα τε ειδεν ος εμαρτυρησεν τον λογον του θεου και την μαρτυριαν ιησου χριστου οσα ειδεν
Revelation 22:1, 2 (NET)

Revelation 22:1, 2 (KJV)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life – water as clear as crystal – pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

Καὶ ἔδειξεν μοι ποταμὸν ὕδατος ζωῆς λαμπρὸν ὡς κρύσταλλον, ἐκπορευόμενον ἐκ τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἀρνίου και εδειξεν μοι καθαρον ποταμον υδατος ζωης λαμπρον ως κρυσταλλον εκπορευομενον εκ του θρονου του θεου και του αρνιου και εδειξεν μοι ποταμον καθαρον υδατος ζωης λαμπρον ως κρυσταλλον εκπορευομενον εκ του θρονου του θεου και του αρνιου
flowing down the middle of the city’s main street.  On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year.  Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ἐν μέσῳ τῆς πλατείας αὐτῆς καὶ τοῦ ποταμοῦ ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ξύλον ζωῆς ποιοῦν καρποὺς δώδεκα, κατὰ μῆνα ἕκαστον ἀποδιδοῦν τὸν καρπὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ τὰ φύλλα τοῦ ξύλου εἰς θεραπείαν τῶν ἐθνῶν εν μεσω της πλατειας αυτης και του ποταμου εντευθεν και εντευθεν ξυλον ζωης ποιουν καρπους δωδεκα κατα μηνα ενα εκαστον αποδιδουν τον καρπον αυτου και τα φυλλα του ξυλου εις θεραπειαν των εθνων εν μεσω της πλατειας αυτης και του ποταμου εντευθεν και εντευθεν ξυλον ζωης ποιουν καρπους δωδεκα κατα μηνα εκαστον αποδιδους τον καρπον αυτου και τα φυλλα του ξυλου εις θεραπειαν των εθνων

John 8:44 (NET)

John 8:44 (KJV)

You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him.  Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστὲ καὶ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν θέλετε ποιεῖν. ἐκεῖνος ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἦν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ οὐκ ἔστηκεν, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλήθεια ἐν αὐτῷ. ὅταν λαλῇ τὸ ψεῦδος, ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων λαλεῖ, ὅτι ψεύστης ἐστὶν καὶ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ υμεις εκ πατρος του διαβολου εστε και τας επιθυμιας του πατρος υμων θελετε ποιειν εκεινος ανθρωποκτονος ην απ αρχης και εν τη αληθεια ουχ εστηκεν οτι ουκ εστιν αληθεια εν αυτω οταν λαλη το ψευδος εκ των ιδιων λαλει οτι ψευστης εστιν και ο πατηρ αυτου υμεις εκ του πατρος του διαβολου εστε και τας επιθυμιας του πατρος υμων θελετε ποιειν εκεινος ανθρωποκτονος ην απ αρχης και εν τη αληθεια ουχ εστηκεν οτι ουκ εστιν αληθεια εν αυτω οταν λαλη το ψευδος εκ των ιδιων λαλει οτι ψευστης εστιν και ο πατηρ αυτου

Romans 9:31 (NET)

Romans 9:31 (KJV)

but Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not attain it. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

Ἰσραὴλ δὲ διώκων νόμον δικαιοσύνης εἰς νόμον οὐκ ἔφθασεν ισραηλ δε διωκων νομον δικαιοσυνης εις νομον δικαιοσυνης ουκ εφθασεν ισραηλ δε διωκων νομον δικαιοσυνης εις νομον δικαιοσυνης ουκ εφθασεν

Philippians 3:6 (NET)

Philippians 3:6 (KJV)

In my zeal for God I persecuted the church.  According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless. Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

κατὰ ζῆλος διώκων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, κατὰ δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν νόμῳ γενόμενος ἄμεμπτος κατα ζηλον διωκων την εκκλησιαν κατα δικαιοσυνην την εν νομω γενομενος αμεμπτος κατα ζηλον διωκων την εκκλησιαν κατα δικαιοσυνην την εν νομω γενομενος αμεμπτος
Romans 8:9 (NET)

Romans 8:9 (KJV)

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.  Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σαρκὶ ἀλλὰ ἐν πνεύματι, εἴπερ πνεῦμα θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν. εἰ δέ τις πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ οὐκ ἔχει, οὗτος οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῦ υμεις δε ουκ εστε εν σαρκι αλλ εν πνευματι ειπερ πνευμα θεου οικει εν υμιν ει δε τις πνευμα χριστου ουκ εχει ουτος ουκ εστιν αυτου υμεις δε ουκ εστε εν σαρκι αλλ εν πνευματι ειπερ πνευμα θεου οικει εν υμιν ει δε τις πνευμα χριστου ουκ εχει ουτος ουκ εστιν αυτου

 

[1] The Stephanus Textus Receptus had τε (KJV: and) preceding he saw.  The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text did not.

[2] Revelation 1:1, 2 (NET)

[3] The Stephanus Textus Receptus had καθαρον (KJV: pure) preceding river.  The Byzantine Majority Text had καθαρον following river.  The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 did not.

[4] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐκεῖθεν here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had εντευθεν και εντευθεν (KJV: on either side).

[5] The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Stephanus Textus Receptus had ἀποδιδοῦν here, where the Byzantine Majority Text had αποδιδους.

[6] The Stephanus Textus Receptus had ενα preceding every.  The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text did not.

[7] Genesis 3:7b (Tanakh)

[8] Romans 5:12a (NET)

[9] The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text had the article τοῦ preceding father.  The Stephanus Textus Receptus did not.

[10] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had οὐκ here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had ουχ.

[11] Romans 8:14 (NET)

[12] “Even when people do things for you and give you things that you don’t actually want, you must always remember that it’s the thought that counts.” Cambridge Dictionary

[13] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had χάρις here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had ευχαριστω (KJV: I thank).

[14] Genesis 4:6 (NET)

[15] Genesis 4:7 (Tanakh)

[16] Genesis 4:7 Hebrew

[17] Genesis 3:16b (Tanakh)

[18] Genesis 3:16 Hebrew

[19] Condemnation or Judgment? – Part 11

[20] The Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had νομον δικαιοσυνης (KJV: the law of righteousness) here, where the NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had νόμον.

[21] The Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had νομου (KJV: of the law) following works.  The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 did not.

[22] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had ζῆλος here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had ζηλον (KJV: zeal).

[23] Philippians 3:6a (NET)

[24] Psalm 46:10 (Tanakh)

[25] Matthew 6:33 (NET) Table

[26] The NET had “Let’s go out to the field” here, as did the Septuagint [Table of Genesis 4:8 in this essay].

[27] John 3:6, 7 (NET)

[28] Romans 8:8 (NET)

[29] Romans 8:9-11 (NET) Table

[30] Romans 1:17a (NET)

[31] Romans 13:10 (NET)

[32] Romans 9:16 (NET) Table

[33] Romans 11:32 (NET)

[34] Ephesians 3:19b (NET)

[35] Luke 18:19b (NET)

My Reasons and My Reason, Part 8

Considering walking in the light led me back here to try to bring this series of essays to some sort of conclusion.  Much as I might like something more definitive, this—like the rest of my life—will be more in-process.  But it highlights the advantage of taking notes by writing essays.

While it was probably good for me to type out Scripture verses and passages (copy and paste came later) and salutary to suspend my own judgments until a sufficient quantity of God’s own thoughts had washed over and through me, the notes that resulted from this exercise were simply typed lists of Scripture passages bound together only by the Greek or Hebrew word they shared.  Though it shaped my understanding of the Greek or Hebrew word in question, once the meaning of the exercise dimmed in memory my notes didn’t help me recall it.  Writing essays forces me to translate the gestalt that forms from word studies into a linear pattern of words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs that I can return to again and again as new patterns emerge.

This essay begins for all practical purposes with my divorce from my second wife (third wife if you’re willing to count my high school girlfriend).  One of the reasons she divorced me was stated: “I don’t like your sexuality.  And when I do, I don’t like myself.”

I’m persuaded a decade or so later—knowing we get along just fine now that sex and living together are off the table—that it wasn’t female emotional-speak, when a man should hear the emotion conveyed by the words rather than their literal content.  She was a poet, speaking content and feeling in a few precise words.  When I heard them I became the submissive sadist who had goaded her into a discomforting situation.

I was under the most extreme emotional duress, rejected again by another wife after having been accepted (including my masochistic sexuality).  I had believed she was God’s gift to me, that He had given me the desire of my heart and He was about to take that gift away, albeit through my inability to please a wife.  I don’t expect that He will ever taunt Satan with words like, Have you considered my servant Dan?  There is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil.[1]  I was in no shape to say blessed be the name of the Lord.[2]  That was accomplished entirely by the Holy Spirit.  He flooded Paul’s definition of love back into my mind (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NET):

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious.  Love does not brag, it is not puffed up.  It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful.  It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.   

That’s not to say that it had ever left entirely.  To Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind[3] and to Love your neighbor as yourself,[4] it’s nice to know what love is.  But under extreme emotional duress Paul’s definition became my mantra.

The obvious advantage of this is that Paul’s definition of love coincides absolutely with the fruit of the Holy Spirit: the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control[5] He is ever-producing in the believer, like a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.[6]  Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.  Just as the scripture says, From within him will flow rivers of living water.’”[7]  And whatever the flow rate in ordinary times I’m convinced He increases it in times of duress, emotional or otherwise.

Though I was completely wrong the first time I was divorced to think that I could love like God and fulfill the law by turning Paul’s definition of love into rules I would obey in my own strength, the Holy Spirit was not wrong to make that definition my mantra.  It reminds me of another mantra from the movie The Patriot.

It comes at the turning point for widower and war veteran Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson).  He has avoided being dragged back into war until now.  He and his two younger sons Nathan (Trevor Morgan) and Samuel (Bryan Chafin) prepare an ambush for the Redcoats who have captured his eldest son Gabriel (Heath Ledger).  “What did I tell you fellas about shooting,” Benjamin asks his obviously frightened young sons.  “Aim small, miss small,” they respond in unison.  Benjamin prays, “Lord make me fast and accurate.”  Nathan repeats “aim small, miss small” as a mantra to steady his breathing.

When I consider sin as a missing of the mark,[8] “aim small, miss small” has a lot to do with how Paul’s definition of love worked as a mantra of righteousness.  A bit of impatience with God or my wife was a long way from atheism or murder.  Aiming at kindness kept the worst of my bitter diatribes at bay.  A little envy did not lead to adultery.  None of these small misses were quite as devastating as missing the absolutes of God’s law.  Paul’s definition of love may well be the God-ordained hedge about the law working in consonance with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Still, here I am with a desire for that combination of humiliation, pain and pleasure called masochism.  Now, admittedly, I have no desire for missionary-position sex with somebody’s grandmother.  Maybe this is the way sexual desire dies, most kinky last.  I don’t honestly know.  But it leads me aside here to another consideration.

Paul wrote believers in Rome (Romans 8:12-14 NET):

So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

The Greek word translated you put to death was θανατοῦτε (a form of θανατόω).  I’ve been frustrated at times not knowing how to behead, stab, shoot or poison the practices of the body (πράξεις τοῦ σώματος), as distinguished from the works of the flesh (ἔργα τῆς σαρκός).  In the past believers tried asceticism.  Today psychology is all the rage.  But I think that θανατοῦτε is a bit more passive than its English translation may seem.

Brother will hand over (Παραδώσει, a form of παραδίδωμι) brother to death, Jesus prophesied, and a father his child.  Children will rise against parents and have them put to death (θανατώσουσιν, another form of θανατόω).[9]  Here θανατώσουσιν was associated with Παραδώσει, “to give into the hands (of another).”  The brother, the father and the children would not kill directly but surrender their victims to another authority.  And I think that pattern holds.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were trying to find false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death (θανατώσωσιν, another form of θανατόω).[10]  When it was early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people plotted against Jesus to execute (θανατῶσαι, another form of θανατόω) him.[11]  But when it got right down to it the chief priests and elders handed him over (παρέδωκαν, another form of παραδίδωμι) to Pilate the governor.[12]  Even Pilate handed him over (παρέδωκεν, another form of παραδίδωμι) [to others] to be crucified.[13]  I am to put to death the [practices[14]] of the body by the Spirit (πνεύματι, a form of πνεῦμα, dative case).

If I leave the killing to God, suddenly his beyond intimate knowledge of me as an individual is comforting rather than a threat.  Let the Creator and Lover of my soul perform the spiritual equivalent of neurosurgery in his own time with his own steady hand.  My part is to hand the practices of the body over to Him.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

I do, however, recognize another desire of my heart, a desire to do word studies in the Bible to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent.[15]  When I spent countless hours typing Scripture passages, or even copying and pasting them, though I wanted and needed to do it, I felt guilty about all the time I “wasted.”  I should have been making money or music or doing something “good.”  What I’ve learned from all that I’ve suffered is that studying God’s word is doing something good.

Now I have more time off from work than I can actually afford.  Bible study is not only good for me and the thing I look most forward to being off work to do, it is the most economical way to spend idle time.  Also, it is time spent when every inclination of the thoughts of [my mind] is not only evil (raʽ, רע) all the time.[16]  Yes, I have learned a more circumspect view of who and what I am now, as well as my own capacity for doing good (apart from being led by the Holy Spirit).  Why do you call me good? Jesus asked the ἄρχωνNo one is good except God alone.[17]

Of course He chooses which of the desires (mishʼâlâh, משאלת; Septuagint: αἰτήματα, a form of αἴτημα) of my heart (lêb, לבך; Septuagint: καρδίας, a form of καρδία) to grant and which to kill.  The heart (lêb, הלב; Septuagint: καρδία) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD (yehôvâh, יהוה) search the heart (lêb, לב; Septuagint: καρδίας, a form of καρδία), I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.[18]

If I’m honest about it, almost the last thing I would desire now is a wife to disrupt my Bible study routine.  So, unless I plan to attempt a biblical justification for hiring a dominatrix, my masochism will just have to wither away.  Though I failed to find a definitive “masochism is sin”[19] in Scripture I think my life has demonstrated that for me at least masochism is not beneficial (συμφέρει, a form of συμφέρω).  And I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime coming even to that tentative conclusion.  I can certainly afford to be a little patient with the sexual obsessions of others.

I’ve written about Chad Allen before and won’t repeat it here.  The love and grace he demonstrated toward his accusers as producer and actor of Save Me deeply affected me and I loved him, though we had never met.  “The final thing the movie did for me was introduce me to the Gay Christian Network,” I wrote.

While not untrue it was perhaps misleading since the Gay Christian Network was nothing more than the Scriptural musings of Justin Lee to me.  I didn’t always agree with Mr. Lee’s conclusions but his process gave me confidence that the Holy Spirit would work in anyone pursuing God through his word that way.  Now that he has moved on to other endeavors the Gay Christian Network became the writings of Isaac Archuleta to me.  I admit to being somewhat less sanguine about his more psychological approach.

So, can I live in a world where my heart’s desire to do word studies in the Bible is granted while my heart’s desire to enjoy hot, kinky sex with a loving wife is strangled?  The simple answer is no—not on my own, not apart from the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  This brings me back to Habakkuk.  He didn’t describe the fruit of the spirit as a river or a fountain of living water but as the feet of a deer (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV):

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights (NASB: And makes me walk on my high places).

As a coda to this essay: My eighty-six-year-old mother fell again and broke her arm.  My ex-wife is staying with her until I can get there.

Back to Jedidiah, Part 2

Back to Fear – Deuteronomy, Part 11

[1] Job 1:8 (NET)

[2] Job 1:21b (KJV)

[3] Matthew 22:37 (NET)

[4] Matthew 22:39 (NET)

[5] Galatians 5:22, 23 (NET)

[6] John 4:14b (NET)

[7] John 7:37b, 38 (NET)

[8] Greek: ἁμαρτάνω; Hebrew: châṭâʼ (חָטָא)

[9] Matthew 10:21 (NET)

[10] Matthew 26:59 (NET)

[11] Matthew 27:1 (NET)

[12] Matthew 27:2b (NET)

[13] Matthew 27:26b (NET)

[14] πράξεις (a form of πρᾶξις) is from the verb πράσσω, “to ‘practise’, that is, perform repeatedly or habitually.”  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done (ἔπραξεν, a form of πράσσω) while in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10 NET).

[15] John 17:3b (NET)

[16] Genesis 6:5b (NET)

[17] Luke 18:19 (NET)

[18] Jeremiah 17:9, 10 (Tanakh)

[19] I might try again at another time with a word study of ἀσέλγεια.

My Reasons and My Reason, Part 6

There is another way I might view the wrath of Godrevealed from heaven against [my] ungodliness and unrighteousness,[1] a way more in keeping with my normal method of Bible study—superficially more in keeping with it.  I confess that, Although [I] claimed to be wise, [I] became [a fool] and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings[2]  I am one of them of which Paul wrote: Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves.[3]

The Greek word translated dishonor above is ἀτιμάζεσθαι (a form of ἀτιμάζω).  Jesus told a parable about a man who planted a vineyard and leased it out to tenant farmers (Mark 12:2-5 NET):

At harvest time he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his portion of the crop.  But those tenants seized his slave, beat (ἔδειραν, a form of δέρω) him, and sent him away empty-handed.  So he sent another slave to them again.  This one they struck on the head and treated outrageously (ἠτίμασαν, another form of ἀτιμάζω).  He sent another, and that one they killed.  This happened to many others, some of whom were beaten (δέροντες, another form of δέρω), others killed.

They beat (δείραντες, another form of δέρω) this one too, Luke’s Gospel narrative reads, treated him outrageously (ἀτιμάσαντες, another form of ἀτιμάζω), and sent him away empty-handed.[4]  So the word translated dishonor in Romans 1:24 was associated here with a beating.  This association is explicit in Acts.  The highest legal court in Jerusalem summoned the apostles and had them beaten (δείραντες, another form of δέρω).  Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them.  So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy to suffer dishonor (ἀτιμασθῆναι, another form of ἀτιμάζω) for the sake of the name.[5]

I’ve considered that my masochism is one of the potential meanings of the wrath of God revealed from heaven.  It is a desire of my heart.  It could be considered impurity.  It isn’t hard to find people online who propose that sexual desire, especially desire the author considers deviant, is demon inspired if not a symptom of demon possession.  But if I plug that interpretation into Paul’s statement—Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to masochism, to beat their bodies among themselves—I am not convinced or convicted of sin.  I am excited—sexually.  The implication then, if this interpretation were true and I so blindly given over to the desire of my heart, is that I remain under the wrath of God.

Such a conclusion, though disheartening, isn’t rationally problematic if I believe that my salvation is partially, if not largely, predicated upon my desire and effort.  I’ve followed this line of reasoning before, and it led inexorably to my taking charge again of my righteousness without altering my natural responses at all.  If I believe however that it does not depend on human desire or exertion, but on God who shows mercy,[6] this conclusion functions something like a reductio ad absurdum.  It gives me pause to examine the Scriptures in more detail.

Jesus had an interesting exchange with some in the temple courts (John 8:46-49 NET):

Who among you can prove me guilty of any sin?  If I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me?  The one who belongs to God listens and responds to God’s words.  You don’t listen and respond, because you don’t belong to God.”

The Judeans replied, “Aren’t we correct in saying that you are a Samaritan (Σαμαρίτης, a form of Σαμαρείτης) and are possessed by a demon?”  Jesus answered, “I am not possessed by a demon, but I honor my Father – and yet you dishonor (ἀτιμάζετε, another form of ἀτιμάζω) me.

Here dishonor (ἀτιμάζετε, another form of ἀτιμάζω) meant name-calling and an accusation that Jesus was possessed by a demon.  Jesus took issue most directly with the latter: I am not possessed by a demon, He said.  As it pertains to impurity then, I have an instance where people with religious minds accused Jesus—for being, doing and speaking the word of God—of being possessed by a demon because they disagreed with Him.  He didn’t comment about being called a “Samaritan” but I think even that is worth some consideration here.

Jesus asked a Samaritan (Σαμαρείας, a form of Σαμάρεια) woman for some water to drink, though that may be difficult to discern in translation: Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.”[7]  Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink (ASV, KJV).  Jesus says to her, Give me to drink (DNT).  Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water” (GWT, TEV).  Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink” (NKJV, NAB).  Jesus saith to her, ‘Give me to drink’ (YLT).  Where I hear this as a request is in the woman’s response.

So the Samaritan (Σαμαρῖτις, a form of Σαμαρεῖτις) woman said to him, “How can you – a Jew – ask (αἰτεῖς, a form of αἰτέω) me, a Samaritan (Σαμαρίτιδος, another form of Σαμαρεῖτις) woman, for water to drink?”[8]  The Greek word αἰτεῖς might have been translated beg.  Jesus’ actual tone didn’t convey the gruff and imperious command that many English translations of his request imply.  “Will you give me a drink?” (NIV) and “Would you please give me a drink of water?” (CEV) and “Would you give me a drink of water?” (TMSG) and “Please give me a drink,” (ISVNT) are truer to his tone in this particular case despite the fact that the statement was transmuted into a question or please was added to text.

Jesus asked her to give Him some water (MSNT) strayed even further from a word-for-word translation yet also carries the more accurate tone.  Give me to drink (δός μοι πεῖν) is the same basic construction in Greek as Give us today (δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον) in our plaintive cry for our daily ration of God, the bread of life[9]Give us today our daily bread[10]—a sinner’s only hope for righteousness.  I don’t think anyone who prays thus with even the slightest understanding thinks it a gruff and imperious command.

Jesus’ request surprised the Samaritan woman.  John, wanting his readers to understand her surprise, added: For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans;[11] or, For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.[12]  The note in the NET explains: “The background to the statement use nothing in common is the general assumption among Jews that the Samaritans were ritually impure or unclean.  Thus a Jew who used a drinking vessel after a Samaritan had touched it would become ceremonially unclean.”  This sounds as if the Jews were prejudiced against the Samaritans.  And, ultimately, I want to assert that they were.  But I need to take the long way around.

The common assumption, if I say that Jews were prejudiced against the Samaritans, is that they misjudged the Samaritans.  But they were fairly accurate in their judgment of Samaritans according to Scripture (2 Kings 17:6a, 24-29, 32, 33 NET).

In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel to Assyria…The king of Assyria brought foreigners from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the Israelites.  They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities.  When they first moved in, they did not worship the Lord.  So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them.  The king of Assyria was told, “The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them.  They are killing the people because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.”  So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you deported from there.  He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.”  So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel.  He taught them how to worship the Lord.

But each of these nations made its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria had made.  Each nation did this in the cities where they lived….At the same time they worshiped the Lord.  They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places.  They were worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water below, the Lord commanded Israel.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God[13]  The Jews’ judgment qualifies as prejudice, I think, because they misjudged themselves and the righteousness of God.  Jesus addressed their prejudice obliquely yet forcefully.

If you had known the gift of God, He said to a descendant of foreign idolaters, and who it is who said to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would have asked (ᾔτησας, another form of αἰτέω) him, and he would have given you living water.[14]  So, without reproach, while the Samaritan woman was ignorant of the gift of God and who Jesus is, the implication is fairly clear that this living water was hers for the asking.  And as we’ll discover momentarily the gift of God did not merely belong to God, the gift is God in the person of the Holy Spirit.

This is scandalous to a religious mind.  I feel like I’m back in the garden, but instead of a serpent offering a lying promise to be like God, Jesus offered God Himself—not to Eve the innocent or a pious Jewish woman—to a Samaritan—not as a reward for good behavior but as the only source of goodness:  Now as Jesus was starting out on his way, someone ran up to him, fell on his knees, and said, “Good (ἀγαθέ, a form of ἀγαθός) teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good (ἀγαθόν, another form of ἀγαθός)?  No one is good (ἀγαθὸς) except God alone.[15].

“Sir,” the woman said to him, “you have no bucket and the well is deep; where then do you get this living water?  Surely you’re not greater than our ancestor Jacob, are you?[16]  At first I thought she was either not particularly clever or deliberately obtuse, not unlike Jesus’ disciples when he told them to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.[17]

They had forgotten to bring bread on their journey.[18]  So they began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “It is because we brought no bread.”[19]  When Jesus overheard their discussion, He chided them humorously (Matthew 16:8-12 NET).

You who have such little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι, a form of ὀλιγόπιστος)!  Why are you arguing among yourselves about having no bread?  Do you still not understand?  Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?  Or the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many baskets you took up?  How could you not understand that I was not speaking to you about bread?  But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!”  Then they understood that he had not told them to be on guard against the yeast in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Why didn’t He say teaching in the first place?  I assume He wanted to reinforce his own teaching on the social construction of reality: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until all the dough had risen.”[20]  But Jesus didn’t chide the Samaritan woman.

So I began to consider that she was cagey with this Jew who shouldn’t be drinking from her bucket, probably shouldn’t be speaking with her at all, much less about a gift of God.  Besides, she was educated enough to know that they spoke together at Jacob’s well,[21] and indoctrinated enough to have adopted him as her ancestor (πατρὸς, literally father).  So Jesus continued by contrasting living water (ὕδωρ ζῶν) to the water from Jacob’s well.

Everyone who drinks some of this water will be thirsty again.  But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain (πηγὴ) of water springing up to eternal life.[22]  My people have committed a double wrong, the Lord spoke through Jeremiah, they have rejected me, the fountain of life-giving water (Septuagint: πηγὴν ὕδατος ζωῆς), and they have dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns which cannot even hold water.[23]  You are the one in whom Israel may find hope, Jeremiah prayed.  All who leave you will suffer shame.  Those who turn away from you will be consigned to the nether world.  For they have rejected you, the Lord (Hebrew: yehôvâh), the fountain of life (Septuagint: πηγὴν ζωῆς).[24]

Sir, give me this water, the Samaritan woman said, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.[25]  Surely this time, I thought, Jesus should have said something to her like, Do not work for the food that disappears, but for the food that remains to eternal life – the food which the Son of Man will give to you.[26]  But Jesus disagreed.  Go call your husband and come back here,[27] He said instead.

What?  Where did that come from?

I have no husband,[28] the woman said.  The Greek is actually ἀπεκρίθη ἡ γυνὴ καὶ εἶπεν, The woman answered and said (NKJV).  But even that translation isn’t quite sufficient.  As I stare at the Greek I begin to think that John or the Holy Spirit has tried to communicate something of the dynamic of this conversation between a man and a woman.

Reference NET Greek
John 4:7 Jesus said to her λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς
John 4:9 So the Samaritan woman said to him λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ ἡ γυνὴ ἡ Σαμαρῖτις
John 4:10 Jesus answered her ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ
John 4:11 the woman said to him λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ γυνή
John 4:13 Jesus replied ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ
John 4:15 The woman said to him λέγει πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ γυνή
John 4:16 He said to her λέγει αὐτῇ
John 4:17 The woman replied ἀπεκρίθη ἡ γυνὴ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ

I take λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς (Jesus said to her) as my point of departure for normal conversation.  The Samaritan woman (ἡ γυνὴ ἡ Σαμαρῖτις) responded in kind, λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ (literally, “said then to him”).  But Jesus opened up to her, ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ (literally, “answered Jesus and said to her”).  I say He “opened up” because εἶπεν (a form of ῥέω), though legitimately translated said, means to pour forth.  The woman however remained guarded, λέγει αὐτῷ ἡ γυνή.  Undeterred, Jesus remained open, ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ.  The woman began to open up, λέγει πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ γυνή.  Perhaps I’m reaching here, but πρὸς αὐτὸν rather than simply αὐτῷ seems to accentuate the fact that she spoke to him.  Abruptly, Jesus closed up again, λέγει αὐτῇ, back to normal conversation, and the woman opened up to Him, ἀπεκρίθη ἡ γυνὴ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, and said, I have no husband.

Then Jesus commended her.  Again, this may be difficult to hear in English translations: Thou saidst well, I have no husband (ASV); That’s right (CEV), Thou hast well said, I have not a husband (DNT); You’re right when you say that you don’t have a husband (GWT); You are quite right in saying, ‘I don’t have a husband’ (ISVNT); Thou hast well said, I have no husband (KJV); You rightly say that you have no husband (MSNT); You have well said, ‘I have no husband’ (NKJV); You are right when you say you don’t have a husband (TEV); That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband’ (TMSG); Well didst thou say—A husband I have not (YLT); You are right when you say you have no husband (NIV); You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband’ (NAB); Right you are when you said, ‘I have no husband.’[29]

The Greek is καλῶς εἶπας ὅτι ἄνδρα οὐκ ἔχω (literally, “beautifully you poured forth that husband you not have”).  Traditionally καλῶς is translated as the adverbial form (well) of ἀγαθός (good), even καλός (beautiful) is translated as if it were ἀγαθός (good).  Traditions have origins.  J.A. McGuckin[30] credits Maximos[31] with the insight: “The Beautiful is identical with The Good, for all things seek the beautiful and the good at every opportunity, and there is no being that does not participate in them.”  Maximos lived half a millennium after John and the Holy Spirit chose καλῶς.  I want to experiment with a pre-traditional reading of some Scriptures.

Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce beautiful (καλὸν, a form of καλός) fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.[32]  In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your beautiful (καλὰ, another form of καλός) deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.[33]  In the same way, every good (ἀγαθὸν, a form of ἀγαθός) tree bears beautiful (καλοὺς, another form of καλός) fruit, but the bad (σαπρὸν, a form of σαπρός) tree bears bad (πονηροὺς, a form of πονηρός) fruit.  A good (ἀγαθὸν, a form of ἀγαθός) tree is not able to bear bad (πονηροὺς, a form of πονηρός) fruit, nor a bad (σαπρὸν, a form of σαπρός) tree to bear beautiful (καλοὺς, another form of καλός) fruit.  Every tree that does not bear beautiful (καλὸν, a form of καλός) fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.[34]

Rather than a metaphor about bad fruit (καρποὺς πονηροὺς) what follows is a vivid contrast of Jesus’ beautiful good with the Pharisees’ pious good (Matthew 12:10-14 NET):

A man was there [in the Synagogue] who had a withered hand.  And they asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” so that they could accuse him.  He said to them, “Would not any one of you, if he had one sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a person than a sheep!  So it is lawful to do beautifully (καλῶς) on the Sabbath.”  Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  He stretched it out and it was restored, as healthy as the other.  But the Pharisees went out and plotted against him, as to how they could assassinate him.

Some explanation why I called—the Pharisees went out and plotted (or, counseled) against him, as to how they could assassinate (or, destroy) him—a pious good rather than evil is in order.  Jesus came to make atonement for sin but had not yet accomplished it in this period of transition.  There is nothing beautiful about plotting to kill or destroy a man as there is nothing beautiful about running a man and woman through with a javelin.[35]  But Phinehas was commended for the latter (Numbers 25:11-13 NET):

“Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites, when he manifested such zeal for my sake among them, so that I did not consume the Israelites in my zeal.  Therefore, announce: ‘I am going to give to him my covenant of peace.  So it will be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of a permanent priesthood, because he has been zealous for his God, and has made atonement for the Israelites.’”

The Pharisees had this Scriptural precedent when faced with Jesus’ willful and recalcitrant desecration of the Sabbath (as they perceived it).  I could go on and on about the beautiful good but will entertain only a few more examples here (Luke 6:26-31 NET):

“Woe to you when all people speak (εἴπωσιν, another form of ῥέω) beautifully (καλῶς) of you, for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.

“But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do beautifully (καλῶς) to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away.  Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.

I am the beautiful (καλός) shepherd, Jesus said.  The beautiful (καλός) shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.[36]  And Paul’s words make so much more sense if I recognize that he desired Jesus’ beautiful good rather than the Pharisees’ pious good,[37] of which he was already a master (Romans 7:15-21 NET):

For I don’t understand what I am doing.  For I do not do what I want – instead, I do what I hate.  But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is beautiful (καλός).  But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me.  For I know that nothing good (ἀγαθόν, a form of ἀγαθός) lives in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I want to do the beautiful (καλὸν, a form of καλός), but I cannot do it.  For I do not do the good (ἀγαθόν, a form of ἀγαθός) I want, but I do the very evil (κακὸν, a form of κακός) I do not want!  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.  So, I find the law that when I want to do the beautiful (καλὸν, a form of καλός), evil (κακὸν, a form of κακός) is present with me.

I’m not advocating for a new translation of καλός and καλῶς.  As words go beautiful is as slippery as good.  I’m not likely to heal a withered hand in a synagogue or church any Saturday or Sunday soon, something I would wholeheartedly consider a beautiful good.  And it is a fair question how beautiful I feel blessing those who curse me, praying for those who mistreat me, with both cheeks red and stinging, missing my coat and my shirt.  But when the One who commended Phinehas made atonement Himself and told us to live this way instead, I think it is important to see it as a beautiful good.

I had to go this roundabout way to get over my tendency to hear sarcasm and ridicule in Jesus’ voice.  Now I believe He took his roundabout course to find a reason to commend the Samaritan woman: This you said truthfully[38] (τοῦτο ἀληθὲς εἴρηκας).  And then He added that she in her beautiful truthfulness was exactly the kind of worshipper his Father is seeking: a time is coming – and now is here – when the true (ἀληθινοὶ, a form of ἀληθινός) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit (πνεύματι, a form of πνεῦμα) and truth (ἀληθείᾳ, a form of ἀλήθεια), for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers.  God is spirit (πνεῦμα), and the people who worship him must worship in spirit (πνεύματι, a form of πνεῦμα) and truth[39] (ἀληθείᾳ, a form of ἀλήθεια).

Now I can back up and hear Jesus’ other statements for what they are.  “Right you are when you said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the man you are living with now is not your husband.  This you said truthfully!”[40]  I would have no way of knowing this about the woman if Jesus hadn’t said it.  More to the point, He demonstrated something important for her.

“Sir, I see that you are a prophet,”[41] she said.  Taking Jesus at face value allows me to take this woman at face value as well.  Recognizing a prophet before her, she broached the single most pressing religious issue on her mind: Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you people say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.[42]  I have no idea how she was treated when she climbed the mountain in Samaria to worship God.  I can only imagine how she might have been treated if this Samaritan woman had dared to journey to Jerusalem to worship God.

The priest sent back to teach her ancestors was from the northern kingdom of divided Israel.  From its very beginning Jeroboam, the first king, had changed the Lord’s decrees (1 Kings 12:26-32 NET):

Jeroboam then thought to himself: “Now the Davidic dynasty could regain the kingdom.  If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, their loyalty could shift to their former master, King Rehoboam of Judah.  They might kill me and return to King Rehoboam of Judah.”  After the king had consulted with his advisers, he made two golden calves.  Then he said to the people, “It is too much trouble for you to go up to Jerusalem.  Look, Israel, here are your gods who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”  He put one in Bethel and the other in Dan.  This caused Israel to sin; the people went to Bethel and Dan to worship the calves.

He built temples on the high places and appointed as priests people who were not Levites.  Jeroboam inaugurated a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival celebrated in Judah.  On the altar in Bethel he offered sacrifices to the calves he had made.  In Bethel he also appointed priests for the high places he had made.

I could have pummeled this woman with chapter and verse after chapter and verse of Scripture proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jerusalem was the place where people must worship God.  Jesus did not.  All He said on the subject was: Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You people worship what () you do not know.  We worship what (ὃ) we know, because salvation is from the Jews.[43]

I don’t know why ὃ was translated what rather than who or whom.  I hope it’s a subtlety of the Greek language, for Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship[44] is very near the beginning of the translation of Scripture into English.  I would hate to think that the translators made a conscious decision to turn the eyes of the English-speaking world to doctrine and dogma at the very moment when Jesus turned his away.  You Samaritans don’t really know the one you worship.  But we Jews do know the God we worship… (CEV)  You worship One of whom you know nothing.  We worship One whom we know… (MSNT)  You Samaritans do not really know whom you worship; but we Jews know whom we worship… (TEV)

Crouching furtively in the Samaritan woman’s conundrum was a desire to worship God and a concern to do it as He desired.  Jesus heard that desire and concern, and responded to it: But a time is coming – and now is here – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers.  God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”[45]

I don’t get the impression that she understood Him.  Then, I’ve spent my adult life trying everything from obeying the law to faith alone.  I suppose my current understanding of worshipping the Father in spirit and truth is living honestly by the Holy Spirit.  The Samaritan woman did reveal a profound and faithful hope: “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ); “whenever he comes, he will tell us everything.”  Jesus said to her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.” [46]

Fresh from this knowledge of God I can look at the original Scriptures with fresh eyes.  In Jesus’ parable about the owner of the vineyard ἠτίμασαν and ἀτιμάσαντες (forms of ἀτιμάζω) associated with forms of δέρω described slaves who were beaten up.  I have been beaten up before.  I felt pain, anger and humiliation but no sexual excitement whatsoever.  I can’t dismiss the judicial beating associated with ἀτιμάζω in Acts 5:40 and 41 quite so easily.

I typed “judicial whipping fantasy” into Google and “Maragana Girl, Chapter 12 – The Punishment in the School Auditorium”[47] by caligula97236 came up (second, actually, scanning the titles quickly I mistook “Judicial Spanking in Taiwan” for actual rather than fantasy punishment).  It is a tale about twenty naked male criminals humiliated and switched by female medical students and police officers as an educational spectacle for teenage girls.  It is couched in terms of how wrong this was and in need of reform.

There is no denying that the judicial or punishment whipping fantasy is part of sado-masochistic lore.  It is part of the reason I attempted to distinguish sadism from masochism in the first essay of this series.  I recall my own state of mind whenever I was the dominant masochist, as I call it:

First, and not incidentally, was the sight of a beloved woman’s body laid out for my enjoyment.  I measured each stroke of the whip by the sound it made, the mark it left on her beautiful flesh, how she flinched, and the whimpers or gasps she vocalized as a result.  My goal was to whip her in tempo (both velocity and frequency) with her own growing euphoria, the same euphoria I had known at her hand as a submissive masochist.  But beyond any goal or thought of the future was the sheer pleasure of the moment, sharing that extreme intimacy with her.

I have no access to the mind of the judicial torturer who beat Jesus’ disciples.  I suspect that it was not what I have just described.  As I perceive it a judicial torturer is the business end of an institutional belief that certain actions, words or thoughts deserve, or may be modified for the good through, the application of physical pain and social humiliation (though I suppose the hope is that the fear of physical pain and social humiliation will achieve the latter end more often than not).

Fiery hell seems to be presented in terms of physical pain.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable…For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.[48]  The prospect, that so offended Ingmar Bergman, of the dead being raised and given new imperishable, immortal bodies only to suffer for an eternity in hell lends credence in my mind to the deservedness of physical pain.  Though I admit, I tend to abstract fiery hell as a metaphor for knowing, face to face beyond any doubt, that God is Love and then being cast out from his omnipresence forever.  In that sense I can see physical pain as salutary, a welcome distraction from the actual horror of the situation.

The application or the fear of the application of physical pain and social humiliation inspires many to a hypocritical compliance with many kinds of social norms.  It will never produce goodness: No one is good (ἀγαθὸς) except God alone.[49]  The Holy Spirit mocked a faith in physical pain and social humiliation when Jesus’ disciples were beaten to conform their behavior to Jewish social norms.  He filled them with his joy[50] (χαρά) instead so they walked away from their beatings rejoicing (χαίροντες, a form of χαίρω) because they had been considered worthy to suffer dishonor (ἀτιμασθῆναι, another form of ἀτιμάζω) for the sake of the name.[51]  Viewed this way, my concern that my masochism, dominant or submissive, is the wrath of God revealed from heaven seems as absurd as Jesus’ disciples fretting because they had brought no bread.[52]

[1] Romans 1:18 (NET)

[2] Romans 1:22, 23 (NET)

[3] Romans 1:24 (NET)

[4] Luke 20:11b (NET)

[5] Acts 5:40, 41 (NET)

[6] Romans 9:16 (NET)

[7] John 4:7b (NET)

[8] John 4:9a (NET)

[9] John 6:25-71 (NET)

[10] Matthew 6:11 (NET)

[11] John 4:9b (NET)

[12] John 4:9b (NET)

[13] Exodus 20:4, 5a (NET)

[14] John 4:10 (NET)

[15] Mark 10:17, 18 (NET) also Luke 18:18, 19 (NET)

[16] John 4:11, 12a (NET)

[17] Matthew 16:6 (NET)

[18] Matthew 16:5 (NET)

[19] Matthew 16:7 (NET)

[20] Matthew 13:33 (NET)

[21] John 4:6, 12b

[22] John 4:13, 14 (NET)

[23] Jeremiah 2:13 (NET)

[24] Jeremiah 17:13 (NET)

[25] John 4:15 (NET)

[26] John 6:27a (NET)

[27] John 4:16 (NET)

[28] John 4:17a (NET)

[29] John 4:17b (NET)

[30] http://www.spc.rs/eng/notion_beautiful_ancient_greek_thought_and_its_christian_patristic_transfiguration_ja_mcguckin

[31] http://ww1.antiochian.org/saint_maximos

[32] Matthew 3:10 (NET)

[33] Matthew 5:16 (NET)

[34] Matthew 7:17-20 (NET)

[35] Numbers 25:1-9 (NET)

[36] John 10:11 (NET)

[37] Philippians 3:1-11 (NET)

[38] John 4:18b (NET)

[39] John 4:23, 24 (NET)

[40] John 4:17b, 18 (NET)

[41] John 4:19 (NET)

[42] John 4:20 (NET)

[43] John 4:21, 22 (NET)

[44] John 4:22 (KJV)

[45] John 4:23, 24 (NET)

[46] John 4:25, 26 (NET)

[47] http://www.i.literotica.com/stories/showstory.php?id=464923

[48] 1 Corinthians 15:52, 53 (NET)

[49] Luke 18:19b (NET)

[50] Galatians 5:22 (NET)

[51] Acts 5:41 (NET)

[52] Matthew 16:7 (NET)

Prayer

Twice in the New Testament Jesus told us what to say when we pray: So pray this way[1] (οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς; literally, “in this manner then pray you”) and When you pray, say[2] (ὅταν προσεύχησθε λέγετε).  I compared them this morning thinking about the rationale for removing For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen[3] from Matthew 6:13 in the NET and other translations.

Matthew (NET) Greek Text Luke (NET) Greek Text
When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  So pray this way:

Matthew 6:7-9a (NET)

Προσευχόμενοι δὲ μὴ βατταλογήσητε ὥσπερ οἱ ἐθνικοί, δοκοῦσιν γὰρ ὅτι ἐν τῇ πολυλογίᾳ αὐτῶν εἰσακουσθήσονται.  μὴ οὖν ὁμοιωθῆτε αὐτοῖς· οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὧν χρείαν ἔχετε πρὸ τοῦ ὑμᾶς αἰτῆσαι αὐτόν.  οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς·

Matthew 6:7-9a

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”  So he said to them, “When you pray, say:

Luke 11:1, 2a (NET)

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν τόπῳ τινὶ προσευχόμενον, ὡς ἐπαύσατο, εἶπεν τις τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτόν· κύριε, δίδαξον ἡμᾶς προσεύχεσθαι, καθὼς καὶ Ἰωάννης ἐδίδαξεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ.  εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς· ὅταν προσεύχησθε λέγετε·

Luke 11:1, 2a

The wording here (especially in Greek) persuaded me that I was dealing with two different instances of instruction, not just one teaching recalled two different ways.  In the sermon on the mount recorded by Matthew Jesus, unbidden, taught his listeners how to pray in distinction to how Gentiles (ἐθνικοί, a form of ἐθνικός) prayed.  On another occasion recorded by Luke a disciple asked Jesus to teach them to pray just as (καθὼς) John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray.  And I assume that means John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray, not that Jesus’ disciple wanted to learn the words that John taught his disciples to pray from Jesus.

Matthew (NET) Greek Text Luke (NET) Greek Text
Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored, may your kingdom come,

Matthew 6:9b, 10a (NET)

Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομα σου·  ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου·

Matthew 6:9b, 10a

Father, may your name be honored; may your kingdom come.

Luke 11:2b (NET)

Πάτερ, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομα σου· ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου·

Luke 11:2b

May your name be honored;may your kingdom come (ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομα σου· ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου·)—is identical in both Gospel accounts in Greek.  The difference is Our Father in heaven (Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς) recorded by Matthew and Father (Πάτερ) recorded by Luke.  I don’t assume that Jesus told the larger congregation on the mount to pray to Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς and then turned around and informed the more intimate group of his disciples to pray each to his own biological Πάτερ.  Rather, I assume that Jesus expected the intimate group of his disciples to understand Πάτερ as Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

Matthew (NET) Greek Text Luke (NET) Greek Text
may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10b (NET)

γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημα σου,ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς·

Matthew 6:10b

Here Matthew recorded something—may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven—that Luke did not.  I don’t assume that Luke was so opposed to God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven that he discarded it from the text.  Nor do I assume that Matthew made it up.  Rather, I assume again that Jesus expected the intimate group of his disciples to understand the coming of the kingdom of God as God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew (NET) Greek Text Luke (NET) Greek Text
Give us today our daily bread,

Matthew 6:11 (NET)

τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον·

Matthew 6:11

Give us each day our daily bread,

Luke 11:3 (NET)

τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δίδου ἡμῖν τὸκαθ᾿ ἡμέραν·

Luke 11:3

Here, what is being given—τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον—is identical (“our bread sufficient for the coming” in classical Greek[4]).  I assume Jesus means the bread of life,[5] that portion of Christ who lives in me,[6] the fruit of the Spirit,[7] the credited righteousness of God,[8] sufficient as far as it depends on me to do the will of God on earth as it is done in heaven to bring forth the kingdom of God to honor his name.  And though I used myself as an example—“as far as it depends on me”—the prayer He taught us to pray is not for me alone, but for all who call or have called or will call on our Father in heaven.

The differences—δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον, and δίδου ἡμῖν τὸ καθ᾿ ἡμέραν—seem inconsequential.  The Greek words δὸς and δίδου are different forms of δίδωμι, to give.  The Greek σήμερον means today, this day; καθ᾿ (a form of κατά) is defined: “1) down from, through out 2) according to, toward, along,” and was translated each, while ἡμέραν (a form of ἡμέρα) means day.  If any difference is worth mentioning it is simply that Jesus counseled the intimate group of his disciples to expect this gift of righteousness each day, every day, all day.

Matthew (NET) Greek Text Luke (NET) Greek Text
and forgive us our debts,

Matthew 6:12a (NET)

καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν,

Matthew 6:12a

and forgive us our sins,

Luke 11:4a (NET)

καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν,

Luke 11:4a

In Matthew’s Gospel account Jesus spoke euphemistically of ὀφειλήματα (a form of ὀφείλημα, debts), but with the more intimate group of his disciples He said ἁμαρτίας (a form of ἁμαρτία, sins).  But after the prayer He taught in Matthew’s Gospel account, Jesus said, For if you forgive others their sins (παραπτώματα, a form of παράπτωμα), your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your sins (παραπτώματα).[9]  I’ve written elsewhere about the interchangeability of παράπτωμα with ἁμαρτία.  And I think this difference becomes clearer in the comparison of the next statement.

Matthew (NET) Greek Text Luke (NET) Greek Text
as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:12b (NET)

ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν·

Matthew 6:12b

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

Luke 11:4b (NET)

καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν·

Luke 11:4b

Here, in Mathew’s Gospel account Jesus continued with the euphemistic ὀφειλέταις (a form of ὀφειλέτης) ἡμῶν (our debtors).  Though the NET translators chose everyone who sins against us for παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν in Luke’s Gospel account, ὀφείλοντι is a form of ὀφείλω (to owe).  We don’t actually stand in relation to others like God with a law that they might sin against; “for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us” is probably a better translation.  And the more positive for we also forgive makes sense since Jesus did not go on to elaborate—For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your sins—when teaching the intimate group of his disciples.

Matthew (NET) Greek Text Luke (NET) Greek Text
And do not lead us into temptation,

Matthew 6:13a (NET)

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν,

Matthew 6:13a

And do not lead us into temptation.”

Luke 11:4c (NET)

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν.

Luke 11:4c

but deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:13b (NET)

ἀλλὰ ρῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.

Matthew 6:13b

Here, I don’t assume that Luke was partial to evil and rejected being delivered from it.  Neither do I assume that Mathew was so prone to evil he added it to Jesus’ teaching.  I assume again that Jesus expected the intimate group of his disciples to understand that the leading not into temptation (KJV) is deliverance from evil.  I’ve written elsewhere how I am not fond of limiting τοῦ πονηροῦ to the evil one.  In this case it is because I am so prone to evil that I long to be delivered from it in all its forms.

When I come to ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοῦς αἰῶνας ἀμήν (“because yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen”) what am I to assume?  The note in the NET reads:

Most mss (L W Θ 0233 Ë13 33 Ï sy sa Didache) read (though some with slight variation) ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν (“for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen”) here. The reading without this sentence, though, is attested by generally better witnesses (א B D Z 0170 Ë1 pc lat mae Or). The phrase was probably composed for the liturgy of the early church and most likely was based on 1 Chr 29:11-13; a scribe probably added the phrase at this point in the text for use in public scripture reading (see TCGNT 13-14). Both external and internal evidence argue for the shorter reading.

So, in other words some scribe got hyper-religious one day and decided to make Jesus’ words more holy by adding David’s words to them.  As scenarios go, it’s a possible scenario, probably worth a footnote.  But is it a good enough scenario to stand before God and say, “Oh, yeah, we threw those words right out of the Bible because of this scenario we imagined”?

Here is David’s prayer (1 Chronicles 29:10-19 NET):

David praised the Lord before the entire assembly:

“O Lord God of our father Israel, you deserve praise forevermore!  O Lord, you are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereign over all the sky and earth!  You have dominion and exalt yourself as the ruler of all.  You are the source of wealth and honor; you rule over all.  You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all.  Now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your majestic name!

“But who am I and who are my people, that we should be in a position to contribute this much?  Indeed, everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours.  For we are resident foreigners and nomads in your presence, like all our ancestors; our days are like a shadow on the earth, without security.  O Lord our God, all this wealth, which we have collected to build a temple for you to honor your holy name, comes from you; it all belongs to you.  I know, my God, that you examine thoughts and are pleased with integrity.  With pure motives I contribute all this; and now I look with joy as your people who have gathered here contribute to you.  O Lord God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, maintain the motives of your people and keep them devoted to you.  Make my son Solomon willing to obey your commands, rules, and regulations, and to complete building the palace for which I have made preparations.”

No doubt at all that David’s prayer was in the same Spirit as Jesus’ teaching on prayer:  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  It is consistent with other teachings:  Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.[10]  “Would any one of you say to your slave who comes in from the field after plowing or shepherding sheep, ‘Come at once and sit down for a meal’?  Won’t the master instead say to him, ‘Get my dinner ready, and make yourself ready to serve me while I eat and drink.  Then you may eat and drink’?  He won’t thank the slave because he did what he was told, will he?  So you too, when you have done everything you were commanded to do, should say, ‘We are slaves undeserving of special praise; we have only done what was our duty.’”[11]

The word translated undeserving of special praise is ἀχρεῖοι (a form of ἀχρεῖος).  The note in the NET reads: “Some translations describe the slaves as ‘worthless’ (NRSV) or ‘unworthy’ (NASB, NIV) but that is not Jesus’ point. These disciples have not done anything deserving special commendation or praise (L&N 33.361), but only what would normally be expected of a slave in such a situation (thus the translation ‘we have only done what was our duty’).”  But they did translate ἀχρεῖον (another form of ἀχρεῖος) worthless in “The Parable of the Talents.”

The worthless slave was given a talent, equivalent to 6,000 denarii according to a footnote.  In Matthew 20:2 day laborers agreed to work a day in the field for a denarius.  If I assume a six day work week there are 312 working days in a year, and so 6,000 divided by 312 equals 19.23 years, almost 19 years and three months of a day laborers pay.

The worthless slave did no business with his master’s money, nor did he invest it with others who might have done so.  I was afraid, he said, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.  See, you have what is yours.[12]  So he was fired, as any of us might fire a worthless employee.  But when we have done everything [we] were commanded to do, why should we still consider ourselves worthless slaves?

I think it is because everything we have done has been done in God,[13] for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God.[14]  As David prayed, who am I and who are my people, that we should be in a position to contribute this much?  Indeed, everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours.[15]  God has granted us our daily bread of life, because the kingdom and the power and the glory belong to Him forever.  Amen.

And I will do well to be reminded of that daily, as long as it is called today.[16]

 

[1] Matthew 6:9a (NET)

[2] Luke 11:2a (NET)

[3] Matthew 6:13b (NET)

[4] http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=epiousion&la=greek

[5] John 6:35, 48-51 (NET)

[6] Galatians 2:20 (NET)

[7] Galatians 5:16-18, 22, 23 (NET)

[8] Romans 4 (NET)

[9] Matthew 6:14, 15 (NET)

[10] Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19 (NET)

[11] Luke 17:7-10 (NET)

[12] Matthew 25:25 (NET)

[13] John 3:21 (NET)

[14] Philippians 2:13 (NET)

[15] 1 Chronicles 29:14 (NET)

[16] Hebrews 3:13 (NET)

Romans, Part 51

Love must be without hypocrisy.[1]  A note in the NET explained that must be “is understood in the Greek text”  Ἡ ἀγάπη ἀνυπόκριτος.  I am inclined to see it more as a subject heading: The love unfeigned,[2] as Robert Young[3] translated it.  I think Paul’s thinking shifted naturally from the gifts of the Spirit in Romans 12:3-8 to the fruit of the Spirit in Romans 12:9-21, this unfeignedwithout hypocrisygenuine[4]sincere[5] love.  I don’t know Greek so I thought it best to study the translation of the words ἀγάπη and ἀνυπόκριτος to see if the NET translators had a good reason for regarding Ἡ ἀγάπη ἀνυπόκριτος as a rule rather than a subject heading.

James used ἀνυπόκριτος in exactly this form, the wisdom from above is (ἐστιν, a form of εἰμί)[6] first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical (ἀνυπόκριτος).[7]  The verb of being ἐστιν (is) occurs in this sentence, while no verb occurs in Ἡ ἀγάπη ἀνυπόκριτος.  The mere presence of ἀνυπόκριτος, however, did not persuade the NET translators to supply must be here: the wisdom from above [must be] first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.  I found over sixty occurrences of ἀγάπη in the New Testament (listed at the end of this essay).  I’ll only comment on those where a verb was supplied by the translators.

There is no verb in, But the greatest of these is love,[8] μείζων δὲ τούτων ἡ ἀγάπη.  Is was supplied here and in Robert Young’s translation, and the greatest of these is love.[9]  Love [is] without hypocrisy would still be definitional rather than a rule if is had been supplied rather than must be.  In, My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus,[10] the preposition μετὰ[11] was translated be with, as in, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with (μετὰ) you all.[12]  Young supplied is in both instances, my love is with you all in Christ Jesus,[13] and, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, is with you all.[14]

The clause in English—so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love,[15] which seems more like a phrase in Greek, ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι—is interesting.  Consider, Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted (ἐρριζωμένοι, a form of ῥιζόω)[16] and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.[17]  Here ἐρριζωμένοι was translated simply rooted.  Young translated it being rooted: as, then, ye did receive Christ Jesus the Lord, in him walk ye, being rooted and built up in him, and confirmed in the faith[18]  At first glance I thought the NET translators described something that happened in the past while Young described ongoing action.  On closer inspection it seemed that the NET translators tried to accommodate the sense of ongoing action with the word continue.  They translated περιπατεῖτε (a form of περιπατέω)[19] continue to live, where Young translated it simply walk.

It is the same in, And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – if indeed you remain in the faith, established (τεθεμελιωμένοι, a form of θεμελιόω)[20] and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard.[21]  Here τεθεμελιωμένοι was translated simply established, while Young translated it being founded: if also ye remain in the faith, being founded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the good news[22]

So I wondered why ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι wasn’t translated “in love rooted and established” in the NET rather than, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:14-19 NET).

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on the earth is named.  I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, [in love rooted and established] so that…you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Young’s translation reads, that the Christ may dwell through the faith in your hearts, in love having been rooted and founded[23]  Obviously there is something more than the word ending that determines the tense of the verb, whether it indicates something that happened in the past or something ongoing.  This exercise however has made it much clearer to me how intricately faith and love are intertwined in God’s action and mine.  He strengthens me in the inner person with power through his Spirit that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith, or, that the Christ may dwell through the faith in my heart, in love having been rooted and founded, established, grounded.  I for my part continue to live my life in Him just as I received Christ Jesus as Lord; that is, by faith, being rooted and built up in him, and confirmed in the faith.  And so I remain in the faith, being founded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the good news.

This is why I want  Ἡ ἀγάπη ἀνυπόκριτος to be a subject heading—“This love without hypocrisy”—rather than a rule—Love must be without hypocrisy.  And I’m not deaf.  I hear how ridiculously pedantic that sounds.  But for me it is a matter of life and death.  I used to rush through Paul’s “jibber-jabber” to get to his rules, to honor my contract with God, as if the man who wrote of God’s law—For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin[24]—believed that adherence to his own rules could make anyone righteous.

In the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul described God’s love, the love that is the fruit of his Spirit, the love that is the fulfillment of the law.  I believe he described that same love here in Romans 12:9-21.  Abhor what is evil, he wrote, cling to what is good.[25]  In the past this “rule” only confirmed me in my folly.  It was up to me, I thought, to abhor sin and keep the law, or Paul’s definition of love as if it were a law.  But the word translated evil is πονηρόν, a form of πονηρός.[26]

Frankly, I can think of nothing more “1) full of labours, annoyances, hardships 1a) pressed and harassed by labours 1b) bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble 2) bad, of a bad nature or condition 2a) in a physical sense: diseased or blind 2b) in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad” than the belief that I should or could make myself righteous by obeying the law or Paul’s definition of love as if it were a law.

Whenever I attempted it I wasn’t living my life in Him just as I received Christ Jesus as Lord.  I wasn’t remaining in the faith, being founded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the good news.  I wasn’t even clinging to what is good (ἀγαθῷ, a form of ἀγαθός).[27]

No one is good (ἀγαθὸς) except God alone,[28] Jesus said.

 

Translation in NET

Greek Text

Verb

…the love of many will grow cold.

Matthew 24:12 (NET)

ψυγήσεται ἡ ἀγάπη τῶν πολλῶν ψυγήσεται (will grow cold)
…remain in my love.

John 15:9 (NET)

μείνατε ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τῇ ἐμῇ μείνατε (remain)
…you will remain in my love…

John 15:10 (NET)

μενεῖτε ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ μου μενεῖτε (you will remain)
…and remain in his love.

John 15:10 (NET)

καὶ μένω αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ μένω (remain)
…so that the love you have loved me with may be in them…

John 17:26 (NET)

ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ἣν ἠγάπησας με ἐν αὐτοῖς ἠγάπησας (you have loved)
…because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts…

Romans 5:5 (NET)

ὅτι ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐκκέχυται ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν ἐκκέχυται (has been poured out)
Love does no wrong to a neighbor.

Romans 13:10 (NET)

ἡ ἀγάπη τῷ πλησίον κακὸν οὐκ ἐργάζεται ἐργάζεται (does)
Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13:10 (NET)

πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη πλήρωμα (is the fulfillment)
Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline or with love and a spirit of gentleness?

1 Corinthians 4:21 (NET)

ἐν ράβδῳ ἔλθω πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἢ ἐν ἀγάπῃ πνεύματι τε πραΰτητος ἔλθω (Shall I come)
…but love builds up.

1 Corinthians 8:1 (NET)

ἡ δὲ ἀγάπη οἰκοδομεῖ οἰκοδομεῖ (builds up)
Love is patient…

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NET)

Ἡ ἀγάπη μακροθυμεῖ μακροθυμεῖ (is patient, i.e., perseveres)
…love is kind…

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NET)

χρηστεύεται ἡ ἀγάπη χρηστεύεται (is kind, i.e., full of service to others)
Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 13:8 (NET)

Ἡ ἀγάπη οὐδέποτε πίπτει πίπτει (ends)
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NET)

Νυνὶ δὲ μένει πίστις, ἐλπίς, ἀγάπη, τὰ τρία ταῦτα μένει (remain)
But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NET)

μείζων δὲ τούτων ἡ ἀγάπη None (is was supplied)
Everything you do should be done in love.

1 Corinthians 16:14 (NET)

πάντα ὑμῶν ἐν ἀγάπῃ γινέσθω γινέσθω (do should be done)
My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 16:24 (NET)

ἡ ἀγάπη μου μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ None (be was supplied)
For the love of Christ controls us…

2 Corinthians 5:14 (NET)

ἡ γὰρ ἀγάπη τοῦ Χριστοῦ συνέχει ἡμᾶς συνέχει (controls)
…by genuine love…

2 Corinthians 6:6 (NET)

ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἀνυποκρίτῳ None
…and in the love from us that is in you…

2 Corinthians 8:7 (NET)

καὶ τῇ ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐν ὑμῖν ἀγάπῃ None
…and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

2 Corinthians 13:13 (NET)

καὶ ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἡ κοινωνία τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν None (be was supplied)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love…

Galatians 5:22 (NET)

ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματος ἐστιν ἀγάπη ἐστιν (is)
…that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.

Ephesians 1:4 (NET)

εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ εἶναι (may be)
…so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love…

Ephesians 3:17 (NET)

ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι (rooted and grounded; so that [ἵνα v. 18], because you have been was supplied)  In Colossians 2:7 (NET) ἐρριζωμένοι is   translated rooted.  In Colossians 1:23 (NET) τεθεμελιωμένοι is translated simply established.
…bearing with one another in love…

Ephesians 4:2 (NET)

ἀνεχόμενοι ἀλλήλων ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἀνεχόμενοι (bearing, i.e., to hold up, to sustain, to endure)
But practicing the truth in love…

Ephesians 4:15 (NET)

ἀληθεύοντες δὲ ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἀληθεύοντες (practicing the truth, i.e., speaking, teaching, professing truth)
As each one does its part, the body grows in love.

Ephesians 4:16 (NET)

ἑνὸς ἑκάστου μέρους τὴν αὔξησιν τοῦ σώματος ποιεῖται εἰς οἰκοδομὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ (as each one its part grows the body does into building up himself in love)
…and live in love…

Ephesians 5:2 (NET)

καὶ περιπατεῖτε ἐν ἀγάπῃ περιπατεῖτε (live, lit. to walk)
…and love with faith…

Ephesians 6:23 (NET)

καὶ ἀγάπη μετὰ πίστεως None (nothing supplied)
…that your love may abound even more and more…

Philippians 1:9 (NET)

ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ὑμῶν ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ μᾶλλον περισσεύῃ περισσεύῃ (may abound)
…having been knit together in love…

Colossians 2:2 (NET)

συμβιβασθέντες ἐν ἀγάπῃ συμβιβασθέντες (having been knit together)
And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love…

1 Thessalonians 3:12

ὑμᾶς δὲ ὁ κύριος πλεονάσαι καὶ περισσεύσαι τῇ ἀγάπῃ πλεονάσαι καὶ περισσεύσαι (cause to increase and abound)
…and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 (NET)

καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι αὐτοὺς ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ διὰ τὸ ἔργον αὐτῶν ἡγεῖσθαι (to esteem)
…and the love of each one of you all for one another is ever greater.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NET)

καὶ πλεονάζει ἡ ἀγάπη ἑνὸς ἑκάστου πάντων ὑμῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους πλεονάζει (is ever greater)
But the aim of our instruction is love…

1 Timothy 1:5 (NET)

τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐστὶν (is)
…if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.

1 Timothy 2:15 (NET)

ἐὰν μείνωσιν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης μείνωσιν (she continues, literally, they continue)
…but set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity.

1 Timothy 4:12 (NET)

ἀλλὰ τύπος γίνου τῶν πιστῶν ἐν λόγῳ, ἐν ἀναστροφῇ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ἐν πίστει, ἐν ἁγνείᾳ γίνου (set, literally, to become – τύπος γίνου: become the mark or image)
Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:13 (NET)

῾Υποτύπωσιν ἔχε ὑγιαινόντων λόγων ὧν παρ᾿ ἐμοῦ ἤκουσας ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἔχε (hold, literally to have)
You, however, have followed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance…

2 Timothy 3:10 (NET)

Σὺ δὲ παρηκολούθησας μου τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ, τῇ ἀγωγῇ, τῇ προθέσει, τῇ πίστει, τῇ μακροθυμίᾳ, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ παρηκολούθησας (have followed)
Older men are to be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.

Titus 2:2 (NET)

Πρεσβύτας νηφαλίους εἶναι, σεμνούς, σώφρονας, ὑγιαίνοντας τῇ πίστει, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ εἶναι (are to be)
I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love…

Philemon 1:7 (NET)

χαρὰν γὰρ πολλὴν ἔσχον καὶ παράκλησιν ἐπὶ τῇ ἀγάπῃ σου ἔσχον (I have had)
…because love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8 (NET)

ὅτι ἀγάπη καλύπτει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶνSeptuagint: δὲ τοὺς μὴ   φιλονεικοῦντας καλύπτει φιλία (Proverbs 10:12) καλύπτει (covers)
…truly in this person the love of God has been perfected.

1 John 2:5 (NET)

ἀληθῶς ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ τετελείωται τετελείωται (has been perfected)
…the love of the Father is not in him…

1 John 2:15 (NET)

οὐκ ἔστιν ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ πατρὸς ἐν αὐτῷ ἔστιν (is)
…how can the love of God reside in such a person?

1 John 3:17 (NET)

πῶς ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἐν αὐτῷ μένει (can reside)
…because love is from God…

1 John 4:7 (NET)

ὅτι ἡ ἀγάπη ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν ἐστιν (is)
…because God is love.

1 John 4:8 (NET)

ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν ἐστιν (is)
By this the love of God is revealed in us…

1 John 4:9 (NET)

ἐν τούτῳ ἐφανερώθη ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν ἐφανερώθη (is revealed)
In this is love…

1 John 4:10 (NET)

ἐν τούτῳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγάπη ἐστιν (is)
…and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4:12 (NET)

καὶ ἡ ἀγάπη αὐτοῦ |ἐν ἡμῖν| τετελειωμένη ἐστίν τετελειωμένη ἐστίν (is perfected)
God is love…

1 John 4:16 (NET)

Ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν ἐστιν (is)
…and the one who resides in love resides in God…

1 John 4:16 (NET)

καὶ ὁ μένων ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ ἐν τῷ θεῷ μένει μένων (resides); μένει (resides)
By this love is perfected with us…

1 John 4:17 (NET)

Ἐν τούτῳ τετελείωται ἡ ἀγάπη μεθ᾿ ἡμῶν τετελείωται (is perfected)
There is no fear in love…

1 John 4:18 (NET)

φόβος οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ ἔστιν (is, literally, “fear is not in love”)
…but perfect love drives out fear…

1 John 4:18 (NET)

ἀλλ᾿ ἡ τελεία ἀγάπη ἔξω βάλλει τὸν φόβον βάλλει (drives; i.e., “to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls”)
The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18 (NET)

ὁ δὲ φοβούμενος οὐ τετελείωται ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τετελείωται (has been perfected); οὐ τετελείωται (has not been perfected)
For this is the love of God…

1 John 5:3 (NET)

αὕτη γάρ ἐστιν ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν (is)
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us … in truth and love.

2 John 1:3 (NET)

ἔσται μεθ᾿ ἡμῶν χάρις ἔλεος εἰρήνη … ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἀγάπῃ ἔσται (will be)
Now this is love…

2 John 1:6 (NET)

καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγάπη ἐστὶν (is)
They have testified to your love before the church.

3 John 1:6 (NET)

οἳ ἐμαρτύρησαν σου τῇ ἀγάπῃ ἐνώπιον ἐκκλησίας ἐμαρτύρησαν (They have testified)
May mercy, peace, and love be lavished on you!

Jude 1:2 (NET)

ἔλεος ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀγάπη πληθυνθείη πληθυνθείη (May be lavished)
…maintain yourselves in the love of God…

Jude 1:21 (NET)

ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ἀγάπῃ θεοῦ τηρήσατε τηρήσατε (maintain, i.e., “1) to attend to carefully, take care of 1a) to guard 1b) metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is 1c) to observe 1d) to reserve: to undergo”

Romans, Part 52

Back to Romans, Part 68

Back to Romans, Part 77


[1] Romans 12:9a (NET)

[7] James 3:17 (NET)

[8] 1 Corinthians 13:13b (NET)

[10] 1 Corinthians 16:24 (NET)

[12] 2 Corinthians 13:13b (NET)

[15] Ephesians 3:17b (NET)

[17] Colossians 2:6, 7 (NET)

[21] Colossians 1:21-23a (NET)

[24] Romans 3:20 (NET)

[25] Romans 12:9b (NET)

[28] Luke 18:19b (NET)