Tricky Translation – Chief or First

Paul called himself the chief of sinners. We all know it. We all heard it. We all sing it. We all read it. If the apostle Paul can call himself the chief of sinners, then what about us? What are we? We are lower than low. We are just guilty sinners. This is what many Christians have heard and thought throughout the years in churches around the planet. Doctrines have been formulated around this idea. Great preachers have proclaimed powerful sermons around this idea of Paul being the chief of sinners. As a consequence of this, many Christians live defeated lives but are masquerading as pious and humble. What if Paul never said he was the chief of sinners? Well, maybe, instead of just accepting everything we hear, let’s take a deeper look. Read More

Is his name Jesus?

Have you ever heard anyone say, “Jesus’ real name is…”? It seems like everyone thinks they know Jesus’ ‘true’ or ‘real’ name these days. I have been hearing pastors, scholars and typical Christians using names like “Yeshua” or “Yahshua” or some other variation. Some will go as far as to say that “Jesus” is not the real name of the messiah, and to be saved we need to call upon the ‘real’ name of Christ. So, what is really going on here? Are they right? Or are they jumping to conclusions? Is “Jesus” really Christ’s name or not? Let’s clear this up. Read More

God’s Hidden Name

Have you ever come across “God” written as “G-d”? Or have you ever heard Jews reading Hebrew from the Tanakh (Old Testament in Hebrew) say “Hashem” or “Adonai” when you realize that the word they saw is actually “YHVH” instead? How about looking at the underlying Hebrew of the Old Testament and realizing that the translators have translated “Adonai YHVH” as “Lord God”, and you know that is not what the Hebrew text says? What is going on here? It’s obvious isn’t it? Jewish leaders and Hebrew translators are not saying/translating God’s name in the Old Testament. Why is this? Is this the right thing to do? Let’s check this out. Read More

Love or hate the sinner or the sin

If you do a search on the Internet for “Love the sinner, hate the sin“, you will most likely come up with two responses. The first response is a lot of articles from pastors, priests and Christian writers telling you not to ever say that. The second response is quotes and articles from famous Calvinist preachers saying that God doesn’t love the sinner, but rather hates the sinner, and the sin as well. Either response is telling Christians not to ever say that. Both responses are on opposite extremes on the reason why you should never say that. This seems very weird to me. When I read the scriptures and reflect on what I understand about God, I can’t help but think how neither of these responses can even be applicable. However, let’s have a look at this. Read More

God or Sovereign

Over the years of being in Church, I would hear preachers from time to time say something like, “God is sovereign”. When I was much younger it was not something that you heard often. In recent years, however, I am not only hearing this from preachers in the Brethren churches that I have attended, but I hear it over the radio, on the TV, on YouTube, and even from the mouths of ordinary every day Christian folk. I especially hear it whenever bad things happen to believers, and it comes as an exclamation or as a reason to not question God’s authority. It is often said in conjunction with statements like, “God is in control”. The interesting thing about declaring that God is sovereign is that this statement cannot be found in the Bible, or at least, in the King James Version bible that I grew up with. So, where did Christians get this from, and why do they keep saying it? Why is it important to declare God as sovereign? What does sovereign even mean? Isn’t it sufficient to just say God is God? Is being sovereign greater or better than being God? I will explore this idea and provide an answer to these questions. Read More

Investigating Hell (Part 1)

Growing up in church I have always believed in “Heaven” and “Hell” has it has been traditionally taught in most Christian denominations. So, for example, if we die in our sins without being saved, we will go to Hell and a lost eternity. However, in recent years as I have delved more into studying the Hebrew and Greek scriptures instead of just my typical English translations like KJV and NLT, etc, several things have stood out for me that have challenged my long held understanding of certain doctrines. The chief question I have is, “Why is the word ‘Hell’ in the Bible?” Or, more specifically, “How did the word ‘Hell’ get into the English Bible?” Read More

Servant or Slave – doulos in Romans 6

The word ‘slave’ is only found twice in the entire King James Version Bible (KJV), yet in many modern day translations, it is found from 100 to 300+ times in both Old and New testaments, and in some bibles it is found from 30 to over over 150 times in the New Testament alone. This is truly an astounding change and variation in the way bibles are translated, but more importantly it is greatly impacting the way in which the Bible is perceived and received. In this post, I want to explore the use of the Greek word δοῦλος (transliterated: doulos) in Romans 6, and discuss whether it should be translated ‘servant’ or ‘slave’ or something else. This won’t be an exhaustive study, but I hope it will open our eyes to how we look at the scriptures, and more importantly, what God is trying to show us through the apostle Paul in his teaching to the church about grace and its relation to sin in Romans chapter 6. Read More

So, where does ‘Easter’ come from?

Almost every Christian in the world today knows what the term “Easter” refers to? Usually it refers to the death, burial and (primarily) resurrection of Jesus Christ that occurred around 33 AD. However, Easter does not only seem to refer to celebrating/remembering this past event. With it also comes talk of the Easter bunny, Easter eggs, Easter egg hunt, and the numerous types of chocolate delicacies associated with these. There is also Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday, and let’s not forget the period of Lent leading up to all of this. With all of these traditional celebrations and events being recognized by almost every Christian, why do I question where it comes from? I mean, everyone knows, right? Well… maybe the origins of Easter may be different from what we all really thought. Read More

Original Greek Text

When studying the New Testament, it is important to understand the source of the text. I believe that the scriptures, as written by the apostles, prophets and scribes are inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. I do not subscribe to the idea that any translation is inspired, or without flaws. However, I certainly assert that regardless of any translation’s flaws, they do not take away from the inspired word of God presented through the scriptures. Some people would certainly disagree with me, as they see certain differences in various Bible translations to correspond to (deliberate) attempts to influence, change or alter established church doctrines. My view is that anyone who seriously studies the scriptures doesn’t really depend solely on a particular Bible translation to understand the teachings of scripture. When I study the scriptures, I use various search tools, lexicons, dictionaries, original Greek/Hebrew texts, and even various Bible translations. Read More

How to understand the Bible

I have been reading the Holy Bible ever since I could learn to read. I still read it now as an adult. I study it, and preach the Gospel from it. I also give Bible study classes from it. Yet, I often hear persons say that the Bible is so hard to understand. I also hear people claiming to quote from the Bible to prove how it contradicts itself or how what it says proves Christians wrong. There are many claims being made from various people about the scriptures that are partially or even completing inaccurate. So, how do you start to understand the Bible? I think that understanding the scriptures first start with your heart being in the right place, and your mind being open to understanding what the Holy Bible actually is, and what it is designed to accomplish. Read More