Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Biblical View of Ferguson

Many individuals have written on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. I want to call your attention to two of them. Both of these men are in a much better position to write on this subject than I am. One is a preacher, and the other is a professional football player. Regardless of their two very different professions, they both have nailed it down to the basic truth that we have a sin problem in this nation (and this world) and the answer to that problem is the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of the African Christian University Seminary and the Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas addressed the issue here.
 
Benjamin Watson, Tight End for the New Orleans Saints, comes at the situation from a slightly different angle but arrives at the same conclusion here.

These articles are worth taking the time to read.
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Little Leaven

“Error is like leaven, of which we read, ‘A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.’ Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.”  (Exposing Error:  Is it Worthwhile? by Dr. Harry Ironside)
 

Friday, October 24, 2014

ENGAGEMENT RING FROM HEAVEN

Genesis 38
by Ed Cardwell

One might wonder why such a story as found in Genesis 38 should even appear in the Bible. After all, a man engaging the services of a prostitute seems hardly appropriate for a book of such piety and reverence. Such a narrative appears all too shameful and indecent to be included in the same book as the great Patriarchs and early heroes of faith. Yet, there it is.

Respectable Bible teachers would not normally venture into a discussion of such an embarrassing dialogue between bargaining participants of this shameful enterprise. The script itself would mortify the average untrained leader. Of course, in our modern liberated world we entertain far worse with an air of pride and sophistication. But to see such conversation spread through an entire chapter of the Book of Genesis makes us more than abashed and uncomfortable. Yet, again, there it is.

Let us examine this story and see if we can discover some nuggets of truth as to why it may have been included.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

This story itself pivots around a law of Moses found in Deuteronomy 25:5-10:

“When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. 6 "And it shall be that the first-born whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel. 7 "But if the man does not desire to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.' 8 "Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, 'I do not desire to take her,' 9 then his brother's wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare, 'Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.' 10 "And in Israel his name shall be called, 'The house of him whose sandal is removed.'” NAS

The law raises many ‘what if’ questions, but our focus will be on the case of the sons of Judah who apparently fit this qualification.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

The story in Genesis 38 centers around Judah, Tamar, and Judah’s sons and can be summarized as follows:

Judah had taken the role of matchmaker for his first born son, Er, and chose as a wife for him a woman from the Canaanites, Tamar. Er was a wicked man, so God took his life. Apparently he had committed the ‘sin unto death’ (1John 5:16). Judah then volunteered his second son, Onan, to perform his lawful duties as Er’s brother and take Tamar for wife to raise up offspring, the first of which, according to law, would be considered to belong to Er, Tamar’s late first husband. This no doubt would have had special significance where matters of birthright are concerned. Perhaps thinking that he had found a loophole in the law, Onan went into Tamar, but stopped short of implanting her with seed. This act aroused the wrath of God and his life was taken also.

Judah, having already lost two sons, was reticent to assign his third son, Shelah, to a similar fate. Instead he told Tamar to return to her father’s house, and, presumably wanting to buy time, told her that she should wait until Shelah ‘grows up’.

While Tamar waited at her father’s house for Judah to fulfill his promise, time passed – and more time passed. ‘After a considerable time’, according to Genesis 38:12, Judah’s wife died. This would have required a lengthy time for mourning, possibly as much as 12 months, and Tamar’s impatience was growing.

She undoubtedly followed her father-in-law’s movements closely as her suspicion grew that he was going to renege on his promise, as Shelah had already grown up. So when she heard that Judah has gone to visit his sheepshearers near Timnah, and as the period of mourning has passed, she relied on her feminine instincts and devised a very shrewd plan that, if successful, would entrap Judah and exact revenge upon his deceitfulness.

Dressing up as a harlot and seating herself near a Canaanite temple by the road at Enaim, her strategy began to pay off. Judah, having been celibate as normally required during the period of mourning for his wife, succumbed to the temptation that this supposed harlot is offering, clueless that she was actually his daughter-in-law.

When Judah turned aside to her, the bartering began (in verse 16): 

Judah:  Here now, let me come in to you.”

Tamar:  “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”

Judah:  “I will send you a kid from the flock.”

Tamar:  “Will you give a pledge until you send it?”

Judah:  “What pledge shall I give you?”

Tamar:  “Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand.”

And finally:  “So he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him.” NAS

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

We might say that Tamar caught Judah at a very weak moment because, by modern standards, she was essentially asking for his driver’s license, Visa card, and the keys to his car. The items she requested were the essentials for financial security, royal identification and registration, his status and authority, and also his weapon.

The narrative continues in verse 19 and 20:

“Then she arose and departed, and removed her veil and put on her widow's garments. When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to receive the pledge from the woman's hand, he did not find her.” NAS

Judah also learned that there was no known prostitute at the Canaanite temple. Satisfied that he had kept his promise, but fearing that he would become a ‘laughingstock’ for being so stupid, he decided to let the matter rest.

Three months later, Judah is informed that Tamar is with child by playing a harlot. His righteous indignation is aroused and he demands that she be brought out, exposed, and burned to death.

This is the moment that Tamar has been waiting for:  to humiliate Judah and to exact revenge for his treachery. She produces the items taken from Judah from the early encounter at the Canaanite temple and addresses her audience:

“I am with child by the man to whom these things belong… Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?” GEN 38:25 NAS

Judah’s shame is immediately exposed as he recognizes his belongings. He is forced to reverse her condemnation and express his own contriteness of heart:

“She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.”

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

The story does not end here. From this encounter with Judah by the road to Enaim Tamar became pregnant and in the fullness of her time gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah.

Zerah was the great grandfather of Achan, who brought a curse upon Israel when during the battle of Jericho he violated God’s command regarding the ban, whereby all the spoil of that city was to go into the treasury of the Lord.  He was discovered and, as a result, all of his household were stoned to death, and they and all of his possessions were burned with fire.

Interestingly, the other twin, Perez, is the great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather of David, and thus in the direct lineage to Jesus the Messiah.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

But the story doesn’t end there either. There is another story - within the story.

Let’s examine the word for ‘pledge’, underlined in the quoted text above.

The Hebrew word here is !Abr'[e (arabon). This word appears in this form only three times in all of the Old Testament, and all three appearances are here within the context of the encounter between Judah and Tamar.  This is likewise true of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Only here in Genesis 38 do we find this word in the Septuagint, BUT the word is NOT translated into Greek! 

The Hebrew word is merely transliterated. Why? Are there no Greek words for this Hebrew word? Yes, there are. Why, then, was the Hebrew word used instead of the Greek? It must be remembered that Hebrew is the language of religion, the heart and soul of the Hebrew people, unlike the Greek, the language of precision. The most probable answer is that this story is so significant and deeply ingrained in the Hebrew psyche that whenever !Abr'[e (arabon) is used, the listener is immediately drawn to the cardinal theme of this exchange between Judah and Tamar. Judah, himself a grand Patriarch in the direct line to the Messiah, makes a promise, and with that promise, a down payment, or earnest payment, which is in itself the tangible guarantee that the promise is literal, genuine, and sincere, and will ultimately be fulfilled to the letter.

The word is so significant that the word is used in the New Testament – also untranslated!  The true Author of the Book of Ephesians has transported the idea of a genuine, tangible guarantee to a spiritual level. Notice how the Apostle Paul uses this word in the context of spiritual transformation in Ephesians 1:13-14:

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.” NAS

We should be able to infer confidently that the ‘pledge’ in Genesis 38 is nothing less than a prophetic type which looks forward to the down payment, or earnest payment, in the believer’s life of the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This gift, the presence of God’s life in us, is Heaven’s guarantee, THE PROMISE OF GOD, THAT OUR FULL REDEMPTION IS SURE. At the same time it is God’s act of sealing each believer and branding us as BELONGING TO HIM – FOREVER!

This story is one of the most vivid examples that God’s grace and mercy is able to penetrate through even the grossest of man’s sin, to prevail over his weaknesses and frailty, to transform the consequences of his misdeeds, in order to accomplish His eternal plan and purpose, even to the end of days.

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” Romans 11:33 NAS

And finally, it should be added, that the word  avrrabw.n (arabon) is still used even today in Modern Greek. It translates into our English ‘ENGAGEMENT RING’!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Absurd and Dishonest Political Advertising, Part 2

I recently received a piece of mail that is an insult to the intelligence and common sense of anyone who might read it. Some politicians must think all voters are stupid. The content of the document is an appeal to vote “no” on Amendment 67, which reads as follows:  Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution protecting pregnant women and unborn children by defining ‘person’ and ‘child’ in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings?"
 
Clearly, the amendment is a necessary first step in protecting unborn children from abortion by defining them as human beings, which of course, they are. It is a sad commentary on our culture that such a question is even open to debate. In reality, there is no legitimate abortion debate. It is not a political issue. Rather, it is a moral issue, and human beings cannot by a vote overrule God. Truth and morality are not determined by popular opinion or majority vote.
 
The tactics of those who oppose the amendment are extremely deceptive and absurd, but it seems that “truth in advertising” does not apply to politics.
 
The piece of propaganda I received makes several statements, as follows:

1.)  “Amendment 67 goes too far and would have dangerous consequences.”
 
2.)  “‘Unborn human being’ is a red flag for giving legal and constitutional rights to a woman’s fertilized egg, banning all abortions, including in the cases of rape, incest, or when something goes terribly wrong with a pregnancy.”
 
Notice that list of circumstances never does mention “elective abortion for the purpose of birth control,” which is most certainly the majority of abortions. I am old enough to remember when the big push to legalize abortion made the claim that it was necessary because of rape, incest, birth defects, or the health of the mother was at risk. It is interesting how those things put together make up only a very small percentage of all abortions. People were sold a bill of goods back in the 60’s. Anyone who said the "slippery slope" would lead to abortion becoming a popular form of birth control was labelled "an alarmist," but they were, in the end, proven right. The website gotquestions.org/ states the following:  “Over 95 percent of the abortions performed today involve women who simply do not want to have a baby. Less than 5 percent of abortions are for the reasons of rape, incest, or the mother's health at risk.”
 
3.)  “Amendment 67 could cause doctors and midwives to be charged and jailed for crimes as extreme as manslaughter and even homicide … Amendment 67 turns women and doctors into criminals.” Beneath that statement are pictures of four women in a police line-up, each holding a sign.
 
The first woman’s sign says, “Had an abortion after I was raped.” Obviously, many people accept this as a justification for abortion. However, even though abortions performed because of rape are very few, it is difficult to understand how the killing of an unborn child is justifiable. Two wrongs never make a right. I am reminded of the statement by the main character in the movie “Rob Roy” after he found out his wife was pregnant as a result of rape:  It's not the child that needs killing.” Even though this came from Hollywood, which is not exactly a center for the pro-life position, his point is well-taken. Punish the criminal, not the victim. Even if one accepts the validity of the first woman’s sign, which I don’t, the others defy all levels of common sense.
 
The second woman’s sign says, “Suffered a miscarriage.” Do they really expect us to believe that a woman who has a miscarriage will be put in jail if this amendment is passed? Does that make any sense? Of course not! Such an idea is absurd, at best. Yet we are subjected to such idiotic political propaganda, and those who put it out really expect us to accept their ridiculous reasoning.
 
The third woman, obviously a doctor, is holding a sign that says, “Treated my patient for a pregnancy that went terribly wrong.” This implies that the amendment will criminalize any doctor who loses a patient. The last time I checked, doctors are not God, regardless of what some of them may think. There is a big difference between a doctor who performs elective abortions and a doctor who treats a pregnant woman in an attempt to save her unborn child, even though the child ends up dying. This is another example of an absurd implication that no one should take seriously.
 
The final woman’s sign says, “Delivered a stillborn child.” (What? A stillborn “child?” They kind of tripped over their own words by calling it a “child.” I thought it was a “fetus” or a “tissue mass.”) This is just more of the same nonsense as the first three signs. It takes quite a case of dishonesty to put out such material, and it takes quite a case of foolishness to believe it.
 
Even if I believed other than the obvious fact that abortion is murder, I would laugh at this piece of nonsensical propaganda. Those who favor abortion need to make a well-thought-out argument for their position and state it clearly instead of relying on scare tactics and half-truths. I do not believe such a clear-cut argument can exist, since no matter what that argument would be, the end result is the killing of helpless, innocent human beings.
 
There is a great deal of talk today, especially as we approach the elections, about the alleged "war on women." The only real war on women is the war on unborn women. This war extends to unborn men, too.
 
An unborn human is a “pre-born human,” and the killing of another human being, with a few very real and biblical exceptions (accident, war, self-defense, and capital punishment) is murder, plain and simple. No amount of human reasoning or rationalization can change God’s standard relative to human life and abortion. I understand that abortion is legal, but it should not be. Abortion is a classic illustration of the truth that “just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.”
 
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:13-16, NKJV).
 
Part one is found here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Absurd and Dishonest Political Advertising

So why is it now supposedly true that not voting for government funding of something is equivalent to making it illegal? I am very weary of political ads that accuse opponents of wanting to make such things as birth control illegal, when the truth is simply that the opponent does not want the government to pay for it.

We all remember such statements as "Bush will outlaw abortion" and "Hobby Lobby is denying birth control to its employees." Such statements were and continue to be patently absurd and extremely deceptive. It would be morally right if the murder of unborn human beings were outlawed, but no single individual, not even a president, has dictatorial authority to make it happen. Hobby Lobby's conviction that it could not and would not p
ay for certain types of birth control does not mean those things were being denied or made illegal. People need to understand that if they want something, their is really nothing wrong with paying for it themselves.

I am fully aware that the government is not going to pay for my food, my gasoline, my utilities, my ammunition, or a variety of other things that I either need or want. This does not mean these things are illegal. The government is not responsible to pay for my stuff, nor should it be.

Anyone who would fall for such absurd and dishonest political advertising ought to do a little bit of thinking before they throw their vote away based on an emotional appeal.

Part 2 is found here.
 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

ANOTHER LOOK AT CHRISTIANITY’S MOST CHERISHED PASSAGES (III):


“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

NAS JOHN 3:16
 
Once again, to get a sense of the importance of studying the original languages of Scripture and to look at the great benefits derived from such, I refer to the introductory paragraphs in my original article ‘ANOTHER LOOK AT CHRISTIANITY’S MOST CHERISHED PASSAGES (I)’.
 
I will quote from that article, however, for those who may not have access to that first article:
 
“Greek is the language of specificity.  Greek words are intended to convey a mental picture from the speaker to the hearer.  All language should have this innate ability, but as we can see, English is an agglomeration of languages with words whose meanings have been so obfuscated and diversified that clear communication is almost impossible.  The answer for the serious Bible student is to go to the numerous works available that elucidate the original words and their contextual meanings throughout Scripture.  There is even a better way – study and master the original languages.”
 
“Of course one might be accused of heresy if he were to alter revered translations.  Some might even consider it desecration of the highest order.  But I suggest that looking beyond the musty curtain of the ‘Authorized’ version(s) sometimes allows us to penetrate the limitations that these versions have proscribed to reconsider the intent of the author.”
 
“How much deeper our understanding of the Gospel might be if only we would lay aside the tradition of men (and the bias of the translators) and discover the intent of the true author of Scripture.  How much richer would be our appreciation for the heart and mind of the living God.”
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
The first half of John 3:16 [For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son ] – probably THE most cherished portion of the New Testament – is the subject of this article.   The last half of John 3:16 [that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life] was addressed in the previous article (II).
 
To grasp the immediate context it is necessary to include verses 14 and 15:
 
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;
 
15that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.
 
16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  NAS
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
To help in our study John 3:16 is given below in an interlinear style with the Greek text and the identical KJV and NAS translations:
 
Ou[twj      ga.r        hvga,phsen     o` qeo.j        to.n ko,smon(
 So           for          loved          God          the world
 
w[ste          to.n       ui`o.n        to.n       monogenh/              e;dwken(
that         the       son        the     only begotten       he gave
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
In pursuit of a deeper understanding, a few Greek words need special attention:
 
Ou[twj
 
It is generally agreed that the most important words in a Greek statement tend to appear toward the beginning of a sentence.  Not that the other words in the sentence are unimportant, but the words that are for special emphasis will normally move toward the front.  That could be said of our word Ou[twj, translated here as ‘so’.
 
When we hear the Bible teacher use the word ‘so’ in the context of John 3:16, we normally understand him to mean ‘so much’, implying a strong degree, as is the clear intent of the NIV translation.  But that is not its meaning.  It is an adverb describing the ‘how’ of an action verb.  Its meaning is: ‘in this way’, ‘thus’, ‘likewise’, ‘in the same way’, or ‘like this’.  It appears at least 199 times in the NT, depending on the Greek manuscript group.  When it is translated ‘so’ or ‘even so’, the actual meaning is ‘thus’ or ‘in this way’.   Interestingly in John 3:14, the first verse in the context cited above, the Greek word translated ‘even so’ is this same word Ou[twj.
 
A few other examples will suffice.
 
Matthew 19:8
 
KJV He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
 
NAS Matthew 19:8 He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.
 
GNT Matthew 19:8 le,gei auvtoi/j o[ti Mwu?sh/j pro.j th.n sklhrokardi,an u`mw/n evpe,treyen u`mi/n avpolu/sai ta.j gunai/kaj u`mw/n( avpV avrch/j de. ouv ge,gonen ou[twjÅ
 
Matthew 24:33
 
KJV So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
 
NAS Matthew 24:33 even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
GNT Matthew 24:33 ou[twj kai. u`mei/j( o[tan i;dhte pa,nta tau/ta ginw,skete o[ti evggu,j evstin evpi. qu,raijÅ
 
Matthew 19:12
 
KJV For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb:
 
NAS Matthew 19:12 "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb;
 
GNT Matthew 19:12 eivsi.n ga.r euvnou/coi oi[tinej evk koili,aj mhtro.j evgennh,qhsan ou[twj(
 
If the translators had been consistent, the ou[twj in John 3:16 would have been translated the same as it was in verse 14, and at least the common misunderstanding mentioned above could have been partially avoided.  Even better, in both instances the word could have been translated with its basic meaning ‘thus’, or ‘in this way’, as it has been correctly done in some other less popular English translations, and the meaning would have been even clearer with further misinterpretations and misapplications reduced to a minimum.
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
ga.r
 
ga.r is used 1067 times in the NT, and over 96 percent of the time it is translated ‘for’.  It is also translated ‘because’ in John 3:19; 10:26; Romans 3:2; 4:15; and 3 John 1:7.  ga.r is a conjunction, a very common word that connects sentences, clauses, phrases and words. It is used to express:  ground or reason; an explanation; a confirmation or assurance. 
 
The context of the great statement in the first half of John 3:16 can be seen to be connected to verse 15 as the reason, or the explanatory cause of the statement in verse 15.  I believe it can be demonstrated that verse 16 is an explanation as much as a reason for the statement in verse 15.  The final translation offered in the ‘conclusion’ hopefully makes this clearer.
 
*                    *                 *                    *                    *
 
hvga,phsen
 
hvga,phsen is from the verb avgapa,w, meaning ‘ to love’, or ‘show love’.  It is important to note that the tense here is aorist tense, not present tense.  Present tense would indicate an ongoing or continuous action, but the aorist tense gives the sense of action as punctilar – a point.  Such action may be regarded as a single whole, that is, in its entirety, or as a simple act taken place in history.
 
Of course God’s love is eternal and is the very essence of His nature, as John writes in 1 John 4:8 and 16, “God is love” KJV, but the aorist tense here in John 3:16 has a different focus – the demonstration of His love at a point in time.  So, this would be in perfect harmony with the statement in Revelation 13:8: “… the Lamb slain from the foundation of the worldKJV, where we understand that this demonstration of God’s love was eternally in the mind of God before time began and was a fait accompli before the creation of the world.  It is also in harmony with the statement in 1 Corinthians 15:3:  “…that Christ died for our sins according to the ScripturesKJV, where we understand this to be a focus on the historical crucifixion taken place at a point in history some 20 centuries ago.  It is possible that the writer would have us dwell on both aspects:  the eternal and the temporal.
 
It should be emphasized that the emotion of love is not the focal point in John 3:16.  The main focus is the fact of history in which God sent His Only Begotten to Calvary, and that fact is to be the hallmark demonstration, the singular grand declaration to all the world of his infinite love, goodness, and justice. 
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
w[ste
 
w[ste is a conjunction showing purpose or results and appears 83 times in the NT.  It is translated variously as: ‘so that’, ‘wherefore’, ‘insomuch that’, ‘therefore’, ‘that’, ‘so then’, ‘to’, ‘as’, and ‘insomuch as’.
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
monogenh
 
This word is from monogenh,j, meaning ‘unique’, ‘only one of its kind’.  It appears 9 times in the NT (Lk. 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; Jn. 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; Heb. 11:17; 1 Jn. 4:9).    Inasmuch as Jesus alone completely reproduces the nature and character of God, the apostle John uses this word in reference only to Jesus.  
 
[Notice how the NAS, using more reliable texts than many earlier translations, translates John 1:18:
 
“No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” NAS
 
qeo.n ouvdei.j e`w,raken pw,pote\ monogenh.j qeo.j o` w'n eivj to.n ko,lpon tou/ patro.j evkei/noj evxhgh,satoÅ GNT]
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
e;dwken
 
e;dwken is from the verb di,dwmi, meaning ‘to give’.  The verb is in aorist tense and has the same force of fact of history as the verb hvga,phsen above.  The translation is simply ‘he gave’.
 
*                    *                    *                    *                    *
 
Conclusion

First it would be good to see John 3:16 in its immediate context:

14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up

15that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.

16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  NAS

And now we can look at an improved translation using colors matching the English words with the Greek words that we have briefly studied:

14"And (just) as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, Likewise(in the same way) the Son of Man must be lifted up;

15 in order that everyone believing in Him may have eternal life.

16 "Because God likewise(in the same way) loved(showed His love for, acted in love for) the world, insomuch that He gave His only begotten Son, in order that everyone believing in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

14 “ kai. kaqw.j Mwu?sh/j u[ywsen to.n o;fin evn th/| evrh,mw|( ou[twj u`ywqh/nai dei/ to.n ui`o.n tou/ avnqrw,pou(

15  i[na pa/j o` pisteu,wn evn auvtw/| e;ch| zwh.n aivw,nionÅ

16  Ou[twj ga.r hvga,phsen o` qeo.j to.n ko,smon( w[ste to.n ui`o.n to.n monogenh/ e;dwken( i[na pa/j o` pisteu,wn eivj auvto.n mh. avpo,lhtai avllV e;ch| zwh.n aivw,nionÅ GNT

It seems clear that in verse 16 John has given us an explanation, or reason for why the Son of God is to be offered up.   In the divine plan, God’s eternal answer for man’s great need of redemption could only be that God Himself would bear the full brunt of the penalty for sin – His own death – that He might righteously offer His forgiveness to all those who would only look in faith to that wonderful Savior.  And the context here is introduced by the Old Testament type whereby Moses lifted up the serpent for salvation for all those who would look upon it.

Had the many translations been more accurate and consistent in attending to detail, the miscommunications that have arisen over the years could have been minimized, or even eliminated.

Praise Him for His marvelous works!  Amen.

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[Note:  A similar translation of John 3:16 comes from Dr. Kenneth Wuest, a noted Greek scholar who was a professor of New Testament Greek at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago during the mid-20th century and one of the translators of original New American Standard Bible (NASB).  This translation comes from his ‘New Testament Expanded Translation’:

“For in such a manner did God love the world, insomuch that His Son, the uniquely-begotten One, He gave, in order that everyone who places his trust in Him may not perish but may be having life eternal.”]

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