Friday, March 25, 2016
Studying The Bible With What?
Last night our pastor started a new series called "Digging Deeper" to teach us how to study the Bible for ourselves. If you follow my blog, you know I do my own Bible studies using the common reference materials. I learned how to use them about 25 years ago and have gone through so many Bible studies (with groups, in church and on my own through books, DVD's and Bible study magazines) that I've learned how to do it on my own but it can be a little overwhelming when you first start. It was so exciting to see people pouring over a Bible study and seeing it for themselves. The light goes on in their eyes. I have enough teacher in me to get a thrill seeing others "get it" for themselves.
There are so many in this world who haven't read and studied the Christian's Holy Bible. In a developed country like America where we have a free education system, churches on every corner, Christian books and references available, Bibles of every translation (and translated into every human language)... is there any reason why we haven't read it? And how can we make comments as though we know what we are talking about when we haven't read it?
I've heard people say, "I don't believe the Bible is the word of God. It's just myths and stories. How can you believe in every word? It's just man's interpretation so it can't be word for word from God." Unless you have read it through and done some studies, then you really don't know what you are talking about. I understand why someone would say it if they haven't read it for themselves. But, nonetheless, those comments are empty if you haven't delved into it for yourself. I challenge everyone to pick up the Bible and read it. Start with Genesis 1:1 and go all the way through Revelation 22:21. It doesn't have to be the King James Version (KJV) because that was the first English translation from the original Greek and Hebrew. But that translation was in the English language of 1611. We don't still speak like that. But we have scholars who have formed committees and have studied original texts and then translated it into our modern English. This doesn't make it any less God's Word, it's just using words and speech patterns that we use today.
Let's look at the difference between translations.
Revelation 22:7-9 (KJV)
(7) Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
(8) And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
(9) Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
This is the way they spoke in 1611 and someone who read it, would have understood the flow of speech but it's hard for us to understand. Let's look at a couple of translations in modern English.
Rev 22:7-9 (Modern King James Version - MKJV)
(7) Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the Words of the prophecy of this Book.
(8) And I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel showing me these things.
(9) Then he said to me, Behold! See, do not do it! For I am your fellow-servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the Words of this Book. Do worship to God.
Rev 22:7-9 (Contemporary English Version - CEV)
(7) Remember, I am coming soon! God will bless everyone who pays attention to the message of this book.
(8) My name is John, and I am the one who heard and saw these things. Then after I had heard and seen all this, I knelt down and began to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown it to me.
(9) But the angel said, Don't do that! I am a servant, just like you. I am the same as a follower or a prophet or anyone else who obeys what is written in this book. God is the one you should worship.
Rev 22:7-9 (Amplified Version - AMP)
(7) “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is the one who heeds and takes to heart and remembers the words of the prophecy [that is, the predictions, consolations, and warnings] contained in this book (scroll).”
(8) I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
(9) But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets and with those who heed and remember [the truths contained in] the words of this book. Worship God.”
The meaning has not changed but it's easier to understand in modern English. Find a translation that you can understand.
We have the luxury of reference books.
Concordance - an alphabetical index of the principal words of a book, as of the Bible, with a reference to the passage in which each occurs. Let's say you want to look up the word "fellowservant". You turn to your concordance and look for that word. The concordance will give you a list of all the Bible verses that include the word, "fellowservant". Here is the list in the King James Version:
Mat 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the King James Version - This LARGE book has 3 sections: a concordance that lists every word in the King James Version of the Bible, a Greek dictionary and a Hebrew dictionary. To use Strong's you would begin by looking up the word "fellowservant" in the concordance but you would see some numbers to the side, like this:
Mat 18:29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. G4889
Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? G4889
Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; G4889
Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: G4489
Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. G4889
Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. G4889
Now flip to the Greek dictionary and locate the number, 4889, to see the definition of the word, "fellowservant".
From G4862 and G1401; a co-slave, that is, servitor or ministrant of the same master (human or divine): - fellowservant.
If the number is H387 then you turn to the Hebrew dictionary and locate the number, 387, to see the definition.
A primitive root; properly to make mouths at, that is, to scoff; hence (from the effort to pronounce a foreign language) to interpret, or (generally) intercede: - ambassador, have in derision, interpreter, make a mock, mocker, scorn (-er, -ful), teacher.
Lets look at another example. We studied this last night in our Digging Deeper class. We looked at this passage:
John 21:15-17 (KJV) So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
If we look in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance for all the occurrences of "lovest" and "love" in this passage this is what we find.
Verse 15 "lovest" G25
Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): - (be-) love (-ed).
Verse 15 "love" G5368
From G5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling; while G25 is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much as G2309 and G1014, or as G2372 and G3563 respectively; the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head); specifically to kiss (as a mark of tenderness): - kiss, love.
Verse 16 "lovest" G25
Verse 16 "love" G5368
Verse 17 "lovest" G5368
Verse 17 "lovest" G5368
Verse 17 "love" G5368
Now let's look at the passage with the original Greek words:
John 21:15-17 (KJV) So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, agapao thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I phileo thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, agapao thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I phileo thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, phileo thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Phileo thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I phileo thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Now let's unpack it. Our pastor reminded us that this exchange happened after Jesus was crucified and resurrected. If you remember, Peter was the only disciple who followed the crowd who had arrested Jesus. While Jesus was being tortured with beatings and being mocked, Peter was mingling with the crowd just outside. When some of the crowd accused him of being a friend or follower of the Jesus that had been arrested and who was being beaten by the soldiers, Peter denied being Jesus' disciple 3 times (see John 18). In Luke 22, before Jesus was arrested, Peter vowed to Jesus that he would follow Jesus even if it meant jail or death. But Jesus prophesied that Peter would deny him 3 times before the cock crowed (the sun rose).
Luke 22:31-34 (CEV) Jesus said, "Simon, listen to me! Satan has demanded the right to test each one of you, as a farmer does when he separates wheat from the husks. (32) But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to me, help the others." (33) Peter said, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you." (34) Jesus replied, "Peter, I tell you that before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don't know me."
When they first arrested Jesus, Peter did jump in and grab a sword and lopped off the ear of one of the soldiers. But Jesus stopped Peter and put the ear back on the soldier and healed him. But after that, the disciples scattered except for Peter who fearfully followed the crowd and mingled. As we said earlier, sure enough, Peter denied being a disciple of Jesus 3 times.
Luke 22:60-62 (CEV) Peter replied, "I don't know what you are talking about!" Right then, while Peter was still speaking, a rooster crowed. (61) The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered that the Lord had said, "Before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don't know me." (62) Then Peter went out and cried hard.
You can imagine how Peter felt at the moment Jesus looked at him. He realized he had denied being a friend and follower of the one he had vowed to follow to death just hours before. I'm sure he felt ashamed, humiliated, devastated. The Greek word for "looked at" (in the King James it's "looked upon") means to stare fixedly with a discerning eye.
Jesus is crucified and 3 days later rose from the dead. Peter is one of the first to go to the tomb and sees it's empty. Jesus meets with His disciples and He specifically talks to Peter and asks him this question 3 times.
Jesus is saying, "Peter do you love me with the totally committed, self sacrificing love of God?" and Peter replies, "You know I love you like a friend." Jesus repeats His question and Peter answers the same way. Then Jesus asks Peter, "Do you even love me as a friend?" Now, remember, Peter had denied being Jesus' follower and friend to the crowd! But Jesus is telling Peter, "I know you denied me. I know you betrayed me by denying me. But I forgive you and love you anyway. I died for you. I love you with the self sacrificing love of God, do you love Me?" How do you think Peter responded? It made me think of this scripture:
Romans 5:6-8 (English Standard Version - ESV) For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— (8) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus knew Peter would deny him before he even did it. Jesus caught Peter's eye right after his 3rd denial. Peter knew Jesus knew. But Jesus still loved Peter enough to die for him. Jesus still loved Peter enough to forgive him. Jesus still loved Peter enough to seek him out and speak to him in love! This overwhelming love and forgiveness creates in Peter's heart a response of love and devotion. Jesus reached out to Peter and Peter took His Hand in response. Peter never wavered again. He had been so scared when Jesus was arrested. He denied knowing Jesus. What was he scared of? He was scared of being arrested with Jesus and being tortured and executed with Him. After Jesus' crucifixion, the disciples, including Peter, hid. He even tried going back to his old occupation of fishing. He was afraid, devastated, ashamed, confused. But Jesus sought out Peter (and the other disciples) and He showed Peter His love and forgiveness. The disciples became apostles after Jesus ascended to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit down to them. Do you know how the Apostle Peter died? He was arrested and executed. Church tradition says he was crucified. He supposedly told his executioners that he was not worthy to die the same death as Jesus so they crucified him upside down. He was afraid before, later he was no longer afraid. The difference? Jesus' willingness to die to save Peter. Jesus' willingness to forgive Peter, Jesus' love and voluntary self sacrifice for Peter (for all of us too). Also, the Holy Spirit came into their hearts and empowered them to act boldly in the service of God.
Now let's apply this to our lives. Jesus knew me and knew I would be born in 1959 and I would be born a sinner (because of the original sin of Adam and Eve). Jesus knew I would act on my sinful nature by sinning. He knew I could not save myself. My sinful nature and my sins would send me to hell for eternity. He still loved me enough to die for me and save me from my sins. "God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
People tend to think, "I've got to get my life right before I start going to church." WRONG! No matter what sins you have committed, Jesus loves you and died to save you. You cannot save yourself. You cannot "get your life right". There is no sin bad enough that Jesus cannot forgive. I don't care if you are the worst person in the world, Jesus can forgive you and set you free. Even if no human being can forgive you, Jesus can. If you think you are too sinful then you are saying Jesus didn't do enough on the cross. But He died for ALL sin. His death defeated ALL sin. All we have to do is accept it.
Once I realize how sinful I am and that I cannot save myself. And once I realize Jesus died for me anyway and accomplished salvation for me despite my sinful self,,, the love rises up in me in response to Jesus' love! He initiates the love and I respond. This is what happened to Peter. Jesus initiates an encounter with Peter and offers him love and forgiveness. Peter responds with a deeper love than he could ever muster on his own. Jesus was telling Peter he was still commissioned to serve God. Peter was still loved, still in a relationship with God and could still be used by God to do a mighty work. He had not lost all. Jesus gave him all!
Meditating on those verses gives me a deeper insight. Do you see how using the Bible and a reference book, like Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, can help you see it more deeply?
What other study aids are there?
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words - much like Strong's but even more. It takes the important words (not every single word like Strong's) and defines them. It is only the New Testament, but you can look up the word from the King James in Vine's and see the definition. Our pastor said that while Strong's may give you a short meaning, Vine's gives you a paragraph. Let's look at an example.
If we look up the word "love" in Vine's this is what you will see (much more detail than Strong's):
A — 1: ἀγαπάω
(Strong's G25 — Verb — agapao — ag-ap-ah'-o )
and the corresponding noun agape (B, No. 1 below) present "the characteristic word of Christianity, and since the Spirit of revelation has used it to express ideas previously unknown, inquiry into its use, whether in Greek literature or in the Septuagint, throws but little light upon its distinctive meaning in the NT. Cp., however, Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5 .
"Agape and agapao are used in the NT (a) to describe the attitude of God toward His Son, John 17:26; the human race, generally, John 3:16; Romans 5:8; and to such as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, particularly, John 14:21; (b) to convey His will to His children concerning their attitude one toward another, John 13:34 , and toward all men, 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 16:14; 2 Peter 1:7; (c) to express the essential nature of God, 1 John 4:8 .
"Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God's love is seen in the gift of His Son, 1 John 4:9,10 . But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Romans 5:8 . It was an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, Cp. Deuteronomy 7:7,8 .
"Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:4; 3:19; 5:2; Christian love is the fruit of His Spirit in the Christian, Galatians 5:22 .
"Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, John 14:15,21,23; 15:10; 1 John 2:5; 5:3; 2 John 1:6 . Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.
"Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, Romans 15:2 , and works no ill to any, 13:8-10; love seeks opportunity to do good to 'all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,' Galatians 6:10 . See further 1 Corinthians 13 and Colossians 3:12-14 ." * [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 105.]
In respect of agapao as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant "love" and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential "love" in them towards the Giver, and a practical "love" towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. See BELOVED.
A — 2: φιλέω
(Strong's G5368 — Verb — phileo — fil-eh'-o )
is to be distinguished from agapao in this, that phileo more nearly represents "tender affection." The two words are used for the "love" of the Father for the Son, John 3:35 (No. 1); 5:20 (No. 2); for the believer, John 14:21 (No. 1); 16:27 (No. 2); both, of Christ's "love" for a certain disciple, John 13:23 (No. 1); 20:2 (No. 2). Yet the distinction between the two verbs remains, and they are never used indiscriminately in the same passage; if each is used with reference to the same objects, as just mentioned, each word retains its distinctive and essential character.
Phileo is never used in a command to men to "love" God; it is, however, used as a warning in 1 Corinthians 16;22; agapao is used instead, e.g., Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 John 4:21 . The distinction between the two verbs finds a conspicuous instance in the narrative of John 21:15-17 . The context itself indicates that agapao in the first two questions suggests the "love" that values and esteems (cp. Revelation 12:11 ). It is an unselfish "love," ready to serve. The use of phileo in Peter's answers and the Lord's third question, conveys the thought of cherishing the object above all else, of manifesting an affection characterized by constancy, from the motive of the highest veneration. See also Trench, Syn., xii.
Again, to "love" (phileo) life, from an undue desire to preserve it, forgetful of the real object of living, meets with the Lord's reproof, John 12:25 . On the contrary, to "love" life (agapao) as used in 1 Peter 3:10 , is to consult the true interests of living. Here the word phileo would be quite inappropriate.
Note: In Mark 12:38 , AV, thelo, "to wish," is translated "love" (RV, "desire").
You can see it goes into much more detail. Just studying one word can be so interesting and uplifting!!!
Nave's Topical Bible - is a topical concordance of the Bible, and contains Biblical references to over 20,000 topics. If we pick the topic of "love" then Nave's shows us where that word is used and in what context. Here is Nave's on "love":
Of children for parents
See Children Of God
See God, Love of
Of man for God
Exo_20:6; Deu_5:10; Deu_6:5; Deu_7:9; Deu_10:12; Deu_11:1; Deu_13:3; Deu_30:6; Deu_30:16; Deu_30:20; Jos_22:5; Deu_11:13; Deu_11:22; Jos_23:11; Psa_18:1; Psa_31:23; Psa_37:4; Psa_45:10-11; Psa_63:5-6; Psa_69:35-36; Psa_73:25-26; Psa_91:14; Psa_97:10; Psa_116:1; Psa_145:20; Pro_8:17; Pro_23:26; Isa_56:6-7; Jer_2:2-3; Mar_12:29-30; Mar_12:32-33; Mat_22:37-38; Luk_11:42; Joh_5:42; Rom_5:5; Rom_8:28; 1Co_8:3; Phi_1:9; 2Th_3:5; 2Ti_1:7; 1Jo_2:5; 1Jo_2:15; 1Jo_3:17-18; 1Jo_4:12; 1Jo_4:16-21; 1Jo_5:1-3; 2Jo_1:6; Jud_1:21
Of man for Jesus
Mat_10:37-38; Mat_25:34-40; Mat_27:55-61; Mar_9:41; Luk_2:29-30; Luk_7:47; Joh_8:42; Joh_14:15; Joh_14:21; Joh_14:23; Joh_14:28; Joh_15:9; Joh_16:27; Joh_17:26; Joh_21:17; Act_21:13; 1Co_16:22; 2Co_5:8; 2Co_5:6; 2Co_5:14-15; Gal_5:6; Gal_5:22; Gal_6:14; Eph_3:17-19; Eph_4:15; Eph_6:24; Phi_1:9; Phi_1:23; Phi_1:20-21; Phi_3:7-8; Col_1:8; 2Th_3:5; 2Ti_1:13; 2Ti_4:8; Phm_1:5; Heb_6:10; Jam_1:12; Jam_2:5; 1Pe_1:8; 1Pe_2:7; Rev_2:4
Instances of love for Jesus:
Mat_26:6-13; Joh_12:3-8; Luk_10:39
Mat_17:4; Joh_13:37; Joh_18:10; Joh_20:3-6; Joh_21:7
Mar_16:10; Luke 24:17-41; Joh_20:20
Mary Magdalene and other disciples
Mat_27:55-56; Mat_27:61; Mat_28:1-9; Luk_8:2-3; Luk_23:27; Luk_23:55-56; Luk_24:1-10; Joh_20:1-2; Joh_20:11-18
A man of Gadara out of whom Jesus cast an evil spirit
Mar_5:18 Joseph of Ari
Women of Jerusalem
Of man for man
Lev_19:18; Lev_19:34; Deu_10:19; Psa_133:1-3; Pro_10:12; Pro_15:17; Pro_17:9; Pro_17:17; Son_8:6-7; Mat_5:41-47; Mat_10:41-42; Mat_19:19; Gal_5:14; Mat_25:34-40; Mar_9:41; Mar_12:30-33; Luk_6:31-35; Mat_7:12; Luk_10:30-37; Joh_13:14-15; Joh_13:34-35; Joh_15:12-13; Joh_15:17; Rom_12:9-10; Rom_13:8-10; 1Co_8:1; 1Co_13:1-13; 1Co_14:1; 1Co_16:14; 2Co_8:7-8; Gal_5:13; Gal_5:22; Gal_5:26; Eph_5:2; Phi_1:9; Phi_2:2; Col_2:2; Col_3:12-14; 1Th_1:3; 1Th_3:12; 1Th_4:9; 1Ti_1:5; 1Ti_1:14; 1Ti_2:15; 1Ti_4:12; 1Ti_6:2; 1Ti_6:11; 2Ti_2:22; Tit_3:15; Phm_1:12; Phm_1:16; Heb_10:24; Jam_2:8; 1Pe_1:22; 1Pe_2:17; 1Pe_3:8-9; 1Pe_4:8; 2Pe_1:7; 1Jo_2:9-11; 1Jo_3:11; 1Jo_3:14; 1Jo_3:16-19; 1Jo_3:23; 1Jo_4:7; 1Jo_4:11-12; 1Jo_4:20-21; 1Jo_5:1-2; 2Jo_1:5
Exemplification of the love of man for man
Exo_32:31-32; Psa_133:1-3; Pro_24:17-18; Mat_5:41-42; Mat_10:41-42; Mat_25:34-40; Mar_9:41; Luk_10:25-37; Act_20:26-27; Act_20:31; Act_26:29; Rom_1:12; Rom_5:7; Rom_9:1-3; Rom_12:15-16; Rom_14:19; Rom_14:21; Rom_15:1-2; Rom_15:5; Rom_15:7; Rom_15:14-15; Rom_15:24; Rom_15:32; Rom 16:1-16; Rom_16:19; Col_4:7; 1Co_1:4; 1Co_4:14-16; 1Co_8:13; 1Co_10:24; 2Co_1:3-6; 2Co_1:14; 2Co_1:23-24; 2 Cor 2:1-17; 2Co_3:2; 2Co_4:5; 2Co_6:4-6; 2Co_6:11-13; 2Co_7:1-4; 2Co_7:7; 2Co_7:12; 2Co_11:2; 2Co_12:14-16; 2Co_12:19-21; 2Co_13:9; Gal_4:11-20; Gal_6:1-2; Gal_6:10; Eph_3:13; Eph_4:2; Eph_4:32; Eph_6:22; Eph_6:24; Phi_1:3-5; Phi_1:7-8; Phi_1:23-26; Phi_2:19; Phi_3:18; Phi_4:1; Col_1:3-4; Col_1:24; Col_1:28-29; Col_2:1; Col_2:5; 1Th_1:3-4; 1Th_2:7-8; 1Th_2:11-12; 1Th_2:17-20; 1Th_3:5; 1Th_3:7-10; 1Th_3:12; 1Th_5:8; 1Th_5:11; 1Th_5:14; 2Th_1:4; 1Ti_1:5; 1Ti_5:9-10; 1Ti_6:2; 1Ti_6:11; 2Ti_1:3-4; 2Ti_3:8; 2Ti_2:10; Phm_1:8-9; Phm_1:12; Phm_1:16-21; Heb_5:2; Heb_6:9-10; Heb_13:1-3; Heb_13:22; Jam_1:27
Abraham for Lot
Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz
Obadiah for the prophets
Jehoshabeath for Joash
Nehemiah for Israelites
Mordecai for Esther
Centurion for his servant
Roman Christians for Paul
The root of evil
Of parents for children
See Parents; Brother; Fraternity; Friendship
Easton's Bible Dictionary - is a reference work on topics related to the Christian Bible compiled by Matthew George Easton. Many of the entries in Easton's are encyclopedic in nature, though there are also short dictionary-like entries. Let's look at Easton's definition of "love":
This word seems to require explanation only in the case of its use by our Lord in his interview with “Simon, the son of Jonas,” after his resurrection (John 21:16, John 21:17). When our Lord says, “Lovest thou me?” he uses the Greek word agapas; and when Simon answers, he uses the Greek word philo, i.e., “I love.” This is the usage in the first and second questions put by our Lord; but in the third our Lord uses Simon's word. The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitfully described by Trench: “Agapan has more of judgment and deliberate choice; philein has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the 'Lovest thou' (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger 'I love' (Gr. philo) in its room. A second time he does the same. And now he has conquered; for when the Lord demands a third time whether he loves him, he does it in the word which alone will satisfy Peter ('Lovest thou,' Gr. phileis), which alone claims from him that personal attachment and affection with which indeed he knows that his heart is full.”
In 1 Cor 13:1-13 the apostle sets forth the excellency of love, as the word “charity” there is rendered in the Revised Version.
Commentaries - Written by well-known and popular theologians, Bible commentaries aid in the study of Scripture by providing explanation and interpretation of Biblical text with background information on authorship, history, setting, and themes. There are quite a few to choose from: Matthew Henry's (MH and MHCC which is Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, a shorter condensed version), Adam Clarke's (Clarke), David Guzick's (Guzick), Jamieson, Fausett and Brown's (JFB), Kiel and Delitzsch's (KandD).
Here is what David Guzick's Commentary says about our verses:
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
a. Do you love Me . . . Lord, You know all things: This time, Jesus asks if Peter does in fact have a friendly devotion (phileo) to Jesus. Peter leaves the question with Jesus’ omniscience.
b. Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time: What really grieved Peter was the three-time repetition, because it was a plain reminder of his previous three-time denial.
i. Jesus restores us by causing us to face squarely our point of failure, then challenging us to set our eyes on the work ahead.
ii. Jesus doesn’t ask “are you sorry?” nor “will you promise never to do that again?” “Jesus Christ asks each one of us, not for obedience primarily, not for repentance, not for vows, not for conduct, but for a heart; and that being given, all the rest will follow.” (Maclaren)
c. Jesus allowed Peter a three-fold public affirmation of love to replace a three-fold denial, and gave him a three-fold challenge to feed My sheep.
This is what Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary says about these verses:
Our Lord addressed Peter by his original name, as if he had forfeited that of Peter through his denying him. He now answered, Thou knowest that I love thee; but without professing to love Jesus more than others. We must not be surprised to have our sincerity called into question, when we ourselves have done that which makes it doubtful. Every remembrance of past sins, even pardoned sins, renews the sorrow of a true penitent. Conscious of integrity, Peter solemnly appealed to Christ, as knowing all things, even the secrets of his heart. It is well when our falls and mistakes make us more humble and watchful. The sincerity of our love to God must be brought to the test; and it behoves us to inquire with earnest, preserving prayer to the heart-searching God, to examine and prove us, whether we are able to stand this test. No one can be qualified to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ, who does not love the good Shepherd more than any earthly advantage or object. It is the great concern of every good man, whatever death he dies, to glorify God in it; for what is our chief end but this, to die to the Lord, at the word of the Lord?
All these reference materials were done by scholars who diligently searched the Bible and studied it in it's original languages and have offered their work and study to us in the form of their reference books. Back in the old days, before mass paper production, printing presses and free education, most people didn't have the option to study these books. Only the rich could afford the education to be able to read and study. Only the rich could afford books. It's how the Catholic church had so much power. The priests were the only ones in the local villages who had education and access to the Bible so they interpreted the Bible to the congregation when they preached. So the only way the regular people could learn about God was through their local church and the priest. This gave the Catholic church too much power and it had problems with corruption. The people believed everything their priests told them and believed their salvation rested on what the priest said. For instance, if a priest had told them they would lose their salvation and suffer eternal damnation if they didn't paint their house blue, then the people would paint their house blue. And, of course, human beings being what they are, some used that power in an evil way. Eventually, the protestant movement broke away from the Catholic church but protestant denominations often fall into the same type of corruption if they aren't careful.
But my point is, for the first time in human history, America has every advantage. There is no reason for us to remain in ignorance of the Word of God! We have a free education system so that all who apply themselves can learn to read. We have easy access to paper, pens and pencils. We have indepth reference materials at our fingertips. We have access to books, magazines, Christian television, DVD's, Christian radio stations. We have churches on every corner with educated ministers who are trained in Bible study and communicating and teaching it. We have Bibles in every language and in easy to read translations and paraphrases. And we have the Internet. If you can't afford these reference books and Bibles, guess what!?! They are free on the Internet! Yep, all the Bible translations and study aids are available on your computer for free. Try BibleGateway.com and see what's available.
You can also download Bibles and study aids to your tablet and smart phones. I have a favorite Bible study program for my laptop. It is E-sword. Esword is a free program with all the study aids for free. You download the kernel program to your laptop and install the program. Then you start Esword and begin to select the Bible translations and study aids you want and download them. In this program, you not only can see the verses in different translations and study it using the study aids, but you can take notes in the program. I use this for all my at-home Bible studies. And it's all FREE!
If someone asks me, "Do you really believe every word in the Bible is true?", I can say, "YES!" I've read it for myself! I've studied it! I know what I'm talking about. I've sat under some wonderful teachings. I've taken advantage of what's available to me. I've parked my behind, focused, studied, listened and meditated on the words. I've taken notes and journaled. I've prayed and worshipped at His Feet. God has poured into me and caused what I've learned to grow in me so that it lives out in my life. I make myself available in an environment of study and learning and God causes it to be etched in my heart and causes me to grow in grace. Sort of like preparing the soil. I prepare the soil and wait expectantly. God plants the seed and causes it to sprout and causes it to grow and mature into a fruitful plant.
Hebrews 8:8-12 (International Standard Version - ISV) but God found something wrong with his people when he said, "Look! The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. (9) It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors at the time when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. Because they did not remain loyal to my covenant, I ignored them, declares the Lord. (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (11) Never again will everyone teach his neighbor or his brother by saying, 'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me, from the least important to the most important. (12) For I will be merciful regarding their wrong deeds, and I will never again remember their sins."
2 Peter 3:17-18 (Easy To Read Version - ERV) Dear friends, you already know about this. So be careful. Don't let these evil people lead you away by the wrong they do. Be careful that you do not fall from your strong faith. (18) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to him, now and forever! Amen.
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