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.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

[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.”]

ecardwells6@gmail.com
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

THE FOOLISHNESS OF MAN’S THINKING

Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?" Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? (Isaiah 29:15-16, NKJV).

These two verses from Isaiah certainly address the philosophy of many men today. It is amazing how much such a short passage can say. This is certainly not an attempt to exhaust the meaning but only to briefly give attention to a few significant points.

1.)  Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD…  It is absurd for man to think He can hide from or deceive the Lord, the omniscient, omnipotent One. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3, NKJV).

2.)  their works are in the dark… Men tend to dwell “in the dark” so as to attempt to accomplish their foolish aim of hiding their evil works from God. …the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19, NKJV).

3.)  They say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?"  As men walk in darkness in their futile attempt to hide from the One who knows all and sees all, they deceive themselves into believing they can actually accomplish such a thing. David recognized that there was no possible way to get away and hide from God. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Psalm 139:7, NKJV). The answer to David's question is obvious. The all-knowing, all-powerful, present everywhere God ...knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him (Daniel 2:22, NKJV).

4.)  Surely you have things turned around! If this does not describe the state of man's thinking today, I don’t know what does. Man seems to have just about everything turned around. “Man created God in his own image.”  “Truth is relative.”  “There are no absolutes.”  “Man evolved from lower life forms.”  “The universe is billions of years old.”  “It took millions of years for life to evolve.”  “All living things have a common ancestor.”  “There is no evidence of a global flood.”  “The appearance of design does not mean a design actually exists, so it does not mean there is a designer.”  “Man is getting better and better.”  “Man is basically good.”  “There is no such thing as sin.”  “There is no resurrection from the dead.”  “There is nothing beyond the grave.”
 
These are only a relative handful of the foolish statements based on wishful thinking made today by alleged “scientists” and other supposedly “educated” people. It is all summed up on one brief statement from Scripture:   because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things (Romans 1:21-23, NKJV).

5.)  Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay…?  Much of humanity today sees itself as the ultimate end, the “measure of all things,” as stated by Protagoras, a Greek philosopher who lived over 400 years before Christ. Even though his statement is very old, it is certainly adopted today by many who hold to a humanist philosophy of life. William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) wrote the poem “Invictus,” in which he states, in part,  “…I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul…It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” This is the same philosophy that elevates man to the status of equality with God and makes the true and living God powerless, and therefore, non-existent. No amount of flawed human reasoning can make God go away. He is real. He is there. He will not put up with nonsense. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision (Psalm 2:2-4, NKJV).

6.)  …shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Such an idea relative to a potter and his clay is, at best, absurd. However, it is no more absurd than the idea of weak little man, who views a fallen world through the sinful eyes of a fallen nature, saying, “There is no creator. Everything came into being by natural processes.”
 
Consider this – there are four faces of U.S. Presidents on Mount Rushmore. No one is his or her right mind would say, “Those four faces got there by the forces of nature – wind, rain, lightning, etc.” Such a thought is ridiculous. For even one such face to form by natural processes is clearly impossible and certainly would cast doubt on the intelligence and common sense of anyone propagating such a far-out idea. And what are the chances that the one face that formed by natural processes would be a U.S. President? But wait – there are four such faces, all representing presidents, which multiplies the impossible odds against such a thing happening. 
 
All people with any measure of common sense would readily admit that the faces on Mount Rushmore were designed and formed by intelligence. However, many of those who recognize that George Washington’s face could not appear by accident on Mount Rushmore would say that the actual man George Washington was a product of evolution through natural selection. This borders on the insane when one considers that a real person is literally billions of times more complex than any rock formation, which makes belief in evolution billions of times more absurd than believing in the clear impossibility of Mount Rushmore forming by natural processes.

7.)  …shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? Humanity thinks far too highly of itself. We all have far too much of that humanistic thing we call “self-esteem,” which very quickly degenerates into extreme arrogance. It is hard to imagine anything more arrogant than for men to say that God “has no understanding.” That is basically atheism, because if God has no understanding, He is not God, and if He is not God, then there is no God.  The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1, NKJV). This can also be translated, "NO, God!"  Either way, failure to believe in the obvious existence of God and/or rebellion against the sovereign rule of God over His creation identifies an individual as a fool.

Even though the book of Isaiah was written more than 700 years before Christ, this passage has great relevance for today. This illustrates the unchanging nature of Scripture. God, through the prophet Isaiah, has communicated a statement about the foolishness of man’s thinking. It all boils down to the arrogance of man as he pretends to know better than God about everything, when in reality, man does not know better than God about anything. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness (Proverbs 15:2, NKJV). The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness (Proverbs 15:14, NKJV).  …the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25, NKJV).
 

Monday, September 29, 2014

ANOTHER LOOK AT CHRISTIANITY’S MOST CHERISHED PASSAGES (II)


By Ed Cardwell


“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

To get a sense of the importance of studying the original languages of Scripture and to understand the great benefits derived from such, I refer the reader to the introductory paragraphs in my previous article ‘ANOTHER LOOK AT CHRISTIANITY’S MOST CHERISHED PASSAGES(I)’.

In this article we take a look at John 3:16 – probably THE most cherished passage of the New Testament. We will begin by first examining the second half of that verse. “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” In a subsequent article we intend to examine the first half.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

Whosoever/whoever vs Everyone Who

‘Whoever/Whosoever’ implies an unknown or unspecified person or persons. It refers to someone whose identity is not necessarily known. It is non-inclusive.

Everyone’ is inclusive; it refers to All the people in a group. It counts noses! 

To illustrate the specificity of God’s inclusiveness please note the words of Jesus:

"All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.  NAS John 6:37

"I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me.  NAS John 10:14

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”   NAS John 10:27-29

Both the KJV and the NAS use ‘whosoever’ and ‘whoever’ respectively here in both John 3:15 and 16. Checking a total of 21 translations, 13 out of those 21 use ‘whosoever’ or ‘whoever’.  But 8 out of those 21 translations use ‘everyone who’ or ‘every person who’. So which would be the better translation?  A closer look at the original text reveals that the majority translations are imprecise, or simply inaccurate. No surprise there. Again tradition apparently has won the day for John 3:15 and 16.

To illustrate, let’s take a look at the Greek text:

i[na pa/j o` pisteu,wn eivj auvto.n mh. avpo,lhtai avllV e;ch| zwh.n aivw,nionÅ

The phrase pa/j o` pisteu,wn is the phrase in question. pa/j  means ‘all’;  o  means ‘the one who’; and  pisteu,wn is a participle of the verb ‘to believe’ and means ‘believes’ or ‘believing’. This exact wording in Greek appears six times in the NT:  Jn. 3:15,16; 12:46; Acts 13:39; Rom. 10:11; and 1 Jn. 5:1. To show the inconsistency of the KJV, the NAS, the NAU, and the ESV we look at how each has translated that phrase in those verses.

Jn 3:15                
KJV          whosoever believeth
NAS         whoever believes
NAU         whoever believ
ESV          whoever believes

Jn 3:16 
KJV           whosoever believeth
NAS          whoever believes
NAU         whoever believes
ESV          whoever believes

Jn 12:46              
KJV           whosoever believeth
NAS          whoever believes
NAU          everyone who believes
ESV           whoever believes


Acts 13:39          
KJV            all that believe
NAS           everyone who believes
NAU          everyone who believes
ESV           everyone who believes


Rom 10:11         
KJV            Whosoever believeth
NAS            Whoever believes
NAU            whoever believes
ESV             Everyone who believes


1 Jn 5:1               
KJV            Whosoever believeth
NAS           Whoever believes
NAU           Whoever believes
ESV            Everyone who believes


[It should be noted that the NAU is a 1995 update version of the NAS of 1977.]


One might wonder whether it really matters – ‘whoever’ or ‘everyone/all who’. The inconsistencies beg the question. Yes, it does matter. ‘Whosoever’ implies that the identities are not specified, even unknown. And there are many Bible teachers, pastors included, who affirm that God doesn’t know who will be saved – that it is a universal struggle between God and Satan tugging at the souls of men to see who will win, and God is clueless as to the final outcome. This gives the erroneous impression that God is not omniscient, totally contrary to the revelation about His nature, and further it implies that He and Satan are equal in power and influence. And that leads to all kinds of heresies. The nebulous language of the translators may encourage this line of thinking. But a detailed study of the Word of God clearly shows such theology is a perversion of this precious truth:


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”   NAS Ephesians 1:3-


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Wishing to continue the illustration of inconsistencies of translations of this phrase we take a look at ALL the verses throughout the NT where pa/j o  is followed by any verb with the same form where it is translated as ‘whosoever’ or ‘everyone who’. For example,  pisteu,wn in John 3:15 and 16 is a present active nominative masculine singular verb participle and should be translated ‘believe’ or ‘believing’. That’s a mouthful, but serious students of Greek will understand this. There are 30 appearances in 28 verses in the NT of a verb with this exact condition. Notice how the KJV and the NAS translate them, especially the inconsistencies (the GNT, Greek New Testament, is included):

Matthew 5:28
KJV    whosoever looketh
NAS    everyone who looks
GNT   pa/j o` ble,pwn

Matthew 5:32
KJV    whosoever shall put
NAS    everyone who divorces
GNT   pa/j o` avpolu,wn

Matthew 7:21
KJV    every one that saith
NAS    everyone who says
GNT   pa/j o` le,gwn

Matthew 7:26
KJV    every one that heareth
NAS    everyone who hears
GNT   pa/j o` avkou,wn

Luke 14:11
KJV    whosoever exalteth
NAS    everyone who exalts
GNT   pa/j o` u`yw/n

Luke 16:18
KJV    Whosoever putteth away
NAS    Everyone who divorces
GNT   Pa/j o` avpolu,wn

Luke 18:14
KJV    every one that exalteth
NAS    everyone who exalts
GNT   pa/j o` u`yw/n

Luke 20:18
KJV    Whosoever shall fall
NAS    Everyone who falls
GNT   pa/j o` pesw.n

John 3:15
KJV    whosoever believeth
NAS    whoever believes
GNT   pa/j o` pisteu,wn

John 3:16
KJV    whosoever believeth
NAS    whoever believes
GNT   pa/j o` pisteu,wn

John 4:13
KJV    Whosoever drinketh
NAS    Everyone who drinks
GNT   Pa/j o` pi,nwn

John 6:40
KJV    every one which seeth
NAS    everyone who beholds
GNT   pa/j o` qewrw/n

John 8:34
KJV    Whosoever committeth
NAS    everyone who commits
GNT   pa/j o` poiw/n


John 11:26
KJV    whosoever liveth
NAS    everyone who lives
GNT   pa/j o` zw/n

John 12:46
KJV    whosoever believeth
NAS    everyone who believes
GNT   pa/j o` pisteu,wn

John 18:37
KJV    Every one that is
NAS    Everyone who is
GNT   pa/j o` w'n

Acts 13:39
KJV    all that believe
NAS    everyone who believes
GNT   pa/j o` pisteu,wn

Romans 2:1
KJV    whosoever thou art that judgest
NAS    every man of you who passes judgment
GNT   pa/j o` kri,nwn

Romans 10:11
KJV    Whosoever believeth
NAS    Whoever believes
GNT   Pa/j o` pisteu,wn

2 Timothy 2:19
KJV    every one that nameth
NAS    everyone who names
GNT   pa/j o` ovnoma,zwn

1 John 2:29
KJV    every one that doeth
NAS    everyone also who practices
GNT   pa/j o` poiw/n

1 John 3:3
KJV    every man that hath
NAS    everyone who has
GNT   pa/j o` e;cwn

1 John 3:4
KJV    Whosoever committeth
NAS    Everyone who practices
GNT   Pa/j o` poiw/n

1 John 3:6
KJV    Whosoever abideth; whosoever sinneth
NAS    No one who abides; no one who sins
GNT   pa/j o` me,nwn; pa/j o` a`marta,nwn  [The phrase ‘in him’ (evn auvtw/|) appears here between pa/j o` and me,nwn.]

1 John 3:15
KJV    Whosoever hateth
NAS    Everyone who hates
GNT   pa/j o` misw/n

1 John 4:7
KJV    every one that loveth
NAS    everyone who loves
GNT   pa/j o` avgapw/n

1 John 5:1
KJV    Whosoever believeth; every one that loveth
NAS    Whoever believes; whoever loves
GNT   Pa/j o` pisteu,wn; pa/j o` avgapw/n

2 John 1:9
KJV    Whosoever transgresseth
NAS    Anyone who goes too far
GNT   pa/j o` proa,gwn

One could easily conclude that the inconsistencies in the various translations are simply an arbitrary matter. But arbitrariness has no place when ‘dividing rightly’ the word of God. Suspicion arises, however, that here in one of Christianity’s favorite passages, namely John 3:15 and 16, one’s theology has had a great part in determining the choice of wording.

In our passage in John 3:16 no other translation than that everyone who believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal lifeseems justifiable.

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Notes:  1. There is a Greek phrase which is appropriate to translate ‘whosoever’ or ‘whoever’. It is oj a'n, and its variations  o]j eva.n and  o]j dV a'n appearing some 52 times in 49 verses. It is always* used with the main verb in the subjunctive mood. Students of grammar will recall that the subjunctive is the mood of possibility/uncertainty. That is not the condition nor tenor of the participial verbs in the phrases in question in John 3:15,16.

*The singular apparent exception is in Mark 8:35 where the indicative mood is used, but in closer inspection we find there is a textual variation among manuscripts where the Koine class of Greek manuscripts use the subjunctive.

2. It will be observed that the main verbs in the 2nd half of John 3:16 are in the subjunctive, but that is because the clause is introduced by the conjunction i[na, meaning ‘in order that’. i[na always introduces a purpose clause and requires the subjunctive (or the optative in a very few cases) for the main verb/s in that clause.]