Thoughts on Bias and the Bible

I have been attending church meetings since the first Sunday right after I was born. I have heard hundreds of sermons in church, on the radio, television and more recently on Youtube. I have given sermons at church, taught bible classes, and have been reading and studying the bible personally for many years. Interestingly, it has only been recently that I have noticed differences between what I hear about the bible and the actual words in the bible itself. Even more interesting is that I am also noticing differences with what English bibles state compared with what the original Greek New Testament or Hebrew Masoretic Text state. None of these observations are even touching the field of textual criticism between differing Greek text, but I digress. In this post, I want to share some of my thoughts on a few common things Christians say versus what the bible says or doesn’t say. Read More

Thorn in the flesh

For several years now, and more recently on Facebook, I have been hearing Christians say that Paul had a thorn in the flesh given to him by God that was some sort of agonizingly painful sickness or infirmity, and so we can’t always expect healing from God if the apostle experienced this. Every time I hear this it really disturbs me. I feel as though Christians are saying that God gives sickness to his children, and to me I feel like God is being falsely represented, and blamed, and that the faith of believers are being weakened and tainted. However, many similar comments have been made by very prominent preachers and pastors over the years from my observation. It is no wonder to me that many believers don’t believe that they can be healed in a real way and many give up very easily when they get sick. I want to look at this, and really get to the heart of the matter. Read More

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