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I received the following question:

Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

In this passage you say that “heaven” is plural.

How did you know that this is a plural word?

Greek is en ouranois. Read the rest of this entry »


I received the following question:

I know you are working on Colossians, so you may have a ready answer to this question. I think (Otis Q. Sellers) was the one who came up with the translation “rights of God” to replace “the right hand of God.” However, I have always thought it awkward in English. Rights in its plural form quite often is preceded by a defining word, like human or inalienable. None of the synonyms seem to work either.

I think (Mr. Sellers) intended it in the sense of “rights and privileges,” that is, that He has the very privileges and authorities of God. He is partially getting that idea from the fact that, at least in some cases, the word is actually plural, and no word for “hand” appears. That probably suggested to him the translation of “rights.” However, since the phrase “on my rights and on my lefts” (Matthew 20:23) does occur, the fact that the word is sometimes plural does not in itself justify the translation of “rights.” Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Can you elaborate more on II Cor. 5:8 and Phil. 3:20
A. Absent from the body (did read Sellers’ definition) but not sure.
B. Citizenship ( Greek meaning )

II Corinthians 5 is a complicated subject. It usually takes me at least 20 minutes to explain it, and it would probably take a full article to set forth what I think it is talking about. First things first, though. Have you read Mr. Sellers’ article on “Absent From the Body”? This article sets forth more or less what I would say about the issue. It is posted here:

I believe this article was also sent out with the latest Bulletin from the Word of Truth Ministry, if you are on their mailing list. Read the rest of this entry »

I Timothy 3 Part 3

New King James Version 8. Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

The Resultant Version 8. The servants in the same way must be dignified, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not a lover of money,

God has apparently completed His instructions regarding the choosing of over-watchers, and so He now goes on to describe qualifications for deacons. This word, though we probably recognize it from its frequent use in English, is really a transliteration of a Greek word diakonos. It is therefore not really an English word, and has never been translated. It seems to come from an ancient root that had to do with running errands. The word speaks of a servant, and so a “deacon” is one who serves. Read the rest of this entry »

chess02I Timothy 3

New King James Version 1. This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

The Resultant Version 1.  This is a faithful saying: If any man desires the over-watch, he desires a good work.

Now we come upon the second of these “faithful sayings” that Paul gives us in his personal letters. The first we came on in I Timothy 1:15. Now, we come upon the second. It has to do, as the New King James Version has it, with a man desiring the position of a bishop. Yet we might wonder, what does this mean? And what exactly is a “bishop” in the Bible? Read the rest of this entry »

poor02I received the following question:

I greatly enjoy your studies.
Thank you for the time you spend writing them.
Had a question.
I’m very intrigued by the emphasis the Bible and NT specifically puts on being poor.
Jesus mentions the poor often.
You read things like “hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith” in Hebrews
I plan to study this topic myself.
Have you ever looked into this?
Why would you be special because you have little money?
Or does “poor” really carry a different meaning than just having little wealth?
Thanks for any thoughts you might have

Glad you are enjoying the studies. You are very welcome for the time spent writing them.

You have hit on something with the idea that the “poor” carries a deeper meaning than just those with little money. Read the rest of this entry »

angelart02I received the following question:

Hi Nathan, clear this up for me from the last Bible study you said Satan at one time was guarding Gods throne and he was a Cherubim. In Isa. 6:1-7 it has the Seraphim hovering over God’s throne and they have six wings the highest order. That would make the Cherubim the 2nd order of Angels. Talk to you soon.

Thanks for the good question!

I would agree that the cherubim are guarding the throne of God, as we see in Ezekiel 10, which reveals that the living creatures surrounding the throne of chapter 1 are the cherubim. Read the rest of this entry »

water02I received the following question:

Nathan, will you please explain to me your views on water baptism? Thanks.

Thanks for the question regarding water baptism. I will try to answer as briefly as I can, and as clearly as I can. Yet this is a complicated issue, and the answer is not simple.

The fact is that the word “baptism” is basically a Greek word that has not been translated when bringing it into English. Whatever our English ideas about baptism might be, the real question is what the idea of baptism was to one who spoke Greek? To answer this, we would need to consider the use of the Greek word baptisma, and its related verb baptizo. Read the rest of this entry »

definesin02I received the following question:

I have a question for you.  We have recently been studying/discussing the meaning and definition of “sin.”  Does the definition change between the Old Testament, the Gospel Period, the Acts period, and now in the Dispensation of Grace?

The definition I’ve been given is “missing the mark.”  Appropriate, but kind of vague.

My main question has to do with Christ Jesus.  It focuses on sin, particularly referring to II Corinthians 5:20 & 21  –  (20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)

Since Jesus “knew no sin”, it has been suggested that his only sin was the fact that he died.  Can the unavoidable reality of death be a sin?  I have a hard time accepting this concept.  I lean towards the belief that death is the consequence of the original sin, not a sin itself.

Good to hear from you! Very good question. I will answer as best I can. Read the rest of this entry »

soulmaybe02I received the following question:

Well I know I haven’t written to you in a while with questions but lately I’ve been having discussions with others that are getting me thinking but stuck.  What’s the difference between spirit and soul?

A complete study of the word “spirit” should be undertaken to get the exact use of the word that the Spirit of God makes of it in the Scriptures. I will not take the time to do that here, but I think a quick concordance of the first 10 occurrences of the word for “spirit” in the Old Testament Scriptures, which is the Hebrew word “ruach,” should demonstrate for us its basic uses.

The first occurrence of the word “spirit” is in the very second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2. Read the rest of this entry »