The Importance of The Word.



"The beginning is the power of the Word".
Tatian, Address to the Greeks, 165 A.D.



"In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God."
John 1:1
"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we saw his glory,
the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14




Elucidation:

1. The Word is a person, the person of Jesus Christ. John 1:1,14

2. Truth is a person, the person of Jesus Christ. John 14:6

3. Therefore, a word spoken by Jesus Christ is the truth.

4. "
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?
The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority;
but the Father who dwells in me does his works
." John 14:10

5. The power of the word, "Arise, take up thy bed and walk." John 5:8, Acts 3:6

6. The power of the word, "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive,
they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." John 20:22-23

7. The Word of GOD came to us in truth in all its beauty.
8. But look what mere human beings are trying to do to it.



Since we are all called "the salt of the earth (Matt 5:13)", and salt is used as a preservative,
it is our duty to preserve the Word of GOD in all of its purity.

Wording problems arise when translating from one language to another:

Not often enough do words in one language have the same exact meaning as a complimentary word in a second language. Saint Jerome recognized this problem when he translated Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts into Latin and produced the first Christian Bible, the Latin Vulgate. Hebrew is a comparatively simple language with few words. But the words can have different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. Koine Greek (Greek used at the time of Christ) however, is a complex language where several words could have a similar meaning. Now when Greek is translated into English, we run into several problems. Here are two examples:

1. "all have sinned" (Rom 3:23). The Greek word 'pas' used here could mean all, or a great many, or any. The translators chose the English word 'all', when clearly that verse does not mean every single person, as there are exceptions as shown in the link 'all'.
2. "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the
brother of James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon?" (Mark 6:3). In Greek, in which the Gospel of Mark was written, the word 'brother' used here is 'adelphos', meaning a blood brother, or belonging to the same people, or a countryman, or a fellow believer. Even today, the word is used in a larger meaning, so that friends, allies, fellow believers, and fellow citizens can be included in the same brotherhood. It was no different in the time of Christ.

In both of these examples, if we assume that the Bible was originally written in English, as many people seem to believe, then the meanings are taken at face value. However when we go to the original Greek, the English translation falls apart.

An even worse translation problem arose when we read a verse that was translated from its original Aramaic, to Greek, and finally to English. Go here for the details.



Here is an example of accurate wording, versus an inaccurate nuance:

It cannot be stressed enough that His undefiled word must be preserved in all of its purity. A slight change in one word can change the true meaning of a Scripture verse or even an entire passage.
For example:
2Thess 2:15 reads,
"So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter."

Since 2Thess was originally written in Greek we can go to the Greek and find which word was used by St. Paul for the word 'traditions':
That Greek word is 'paradosis', and it means, "that which is handed down,
tradition, giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing."
Some Bibles have substituted the word 'teachings' for traditions. Now by doing this can you see the subtle change in the meaning of that verse?
1. 'Tradition', something which is handed down from generation to generation, clearly brings time into the equation.
2. 'Teachings' could bring to mind contemporary teaching and with no sense of time.
3. The leaders of the
reformation, in separating themselves from the Catholic Church, knew that they could not claim Apostolic Tradition, so some of their leaders simply lumped together all tradition, Apostolic Tradition, and man-made tradition, and denied both.
4. Consequently, by that one word change of some Bible translations, Apostolic Tradition whether by word or by letter was denied by some non-Catholic sects.



When in dialogue with others:

At the beginning of every discussion is the understanding of the meaning of the word.

Prov 16:23, A wise person's heart controls his speech, and what he says helps others learn.



When writing:

No matter how hard you try, the simple fact of the matter is,
"It is not possible to put together any selection of words in which some ingenious person may find a meaning not meant by the writer of the verse." A quote from Frank Sheed.

Job 18:2, "How long will you hunt for words? Consider, and then we will speak."

Prov 16:20, "He who gives heed to the word will prosper, and happy is he who trusts in the LORD."
Prov 16:21, "The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and he that is sweet in words, shall attain to greater things."



When reading Holy Scripture:

Thou shalt interpret Holy Scripture according to the meaning of the words in the languages that they were written, and not necessarily the English translation of them today. Meanings of some words change over time.
One recent example of the meaning of a word changing is the word 'gay'.

You must take into account the
senses of Scripture. Many verses and passages have more than one sense.

It is
context context context. So many verses are taken out of context, and one word or phrase is used to try to 'prove' a case that is simply not there. One example is "Call no man your father" in Matt 23:9.
The whole Bible is harmonious and a verse of interest to you must be compared with other verses to get the proper meaning. For instance in John 14:28, Jesus said, "
The Father is Greater than I". Yet in John 10:30, Jesus said, "I and the Father are one". There is an apparent conflict here for the uninformed. Jehovah's witnesses accept John 14:28, but reject John 10:30, thereby downgrading Jesus to being a lesser GOD than the Father. However, the informed can see no problem here simply because Jesus is a divine person with two natures. He could speak in His divine nature as GOD in John 10:30, and in His human nature as man in John 14:28. Consequently, there is no conflict between these two verses when the harmony of the Bible is taken into the context.

Then there is the danger of using Eisegesis (eye-si JEE-sis), an interpretation of Scripture, that expresses the interpreters own
opinions, bias, etc., rather than the true meaning of what the author had intended.
One prime example of those using Eisegesis is that "Jesus did not know He was divine until he was older". Where is that in the Bible?

Another tool of Scripture word study is Exegesis, which is the investigation and study of Sacred Scripture through Tradition,
history, archaeology, and criticism, to find the true meaning. The antonym for exegesis is eisegesis which means reading into a text something that simply is not there.

"And they read in the book of the law of God distinctly and plainly to be understood: and they understood when it was read."
Neh 8:8 




When teaching Holy Scripture
:

Be careful because you are dealing with GOD's Holy Word. Make sure that you have an accurate Bible translation.
Conform your teaching to Holy Scripture and do not try to
twist Holy Scripture to conform to your personal opinion.
View this
prime example of twisting Holy Scripture to conform to false teaching.

We Learn:
Only 10% of what we read.
20% of what we hear.
30% of what we see.
50% of what we both see and hear.
70% of what is discussed with others.
80% of what we experience personally.
95% of what we teach to someone else.
(figures by William Glaser)

You learn best by teaching because when you have to teach someone, you have to make sure that your wording is true and correct. You are teaching others who may in turn teach yet many more. Teaching others is a great responsibility. Teachers can easily lead many astray with false teaching. You must not teach something that is simply not true. Remember that the truth can always be proven but the lie cannot.
According to an old saying, "What is gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied." In other words, statements made without proof can be denied without proof." Also you will want to avoid the embarrassing situation of being corrected by a well informed student.

"Add not any thing to his words, lest thou be reproved and found a liar." Proverbs 30:6




Be aware of the pitfalls and traps of trying to use modern dictionaries to define Biblical words
:

Here is a prime example of using a modern dictionary to 'interpret' a Biblical word:
The word "Blessed" means a favor dispensed by GOD on a person, place, or object. Notice the GOD intone.
A modern dictionary lists: "Blessed" as:
1. Holy
2. Held in veneration
3. Revered
4. Happiness.
Jehovah's Witnesses obviously took advantage of a modern dictionary in order to deliberately downgrade the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In their bible called the '
New World Translation' (NWT), they translated Luke 1:48 which in other Bibles have, "all generations will (or shall) call me blessed", to "all generations will pronounce me happy". Notice that they chose the fourth contemporary meaning, and ignored the more important first three meanings. Where in this verse is the GOD intone in the NWT? Their translation even sounds strange and makes little or no sense.



Are you simply hearing, or are you listening
?

When a person is speaking, are you hearing or listening to him or to her? Did you know there is a difference?
Hearing is sensing any sound, a noise, a voice, etc.. If the sound happens to be words from another person, you may not be attentive to the text being presented. Hearing is easy. We cannot help but hear. Why did GOD give us eyelids so we could block out sight, but He neglected to give us built in earplugs or a switch to block out sound? Consequently, we will hear every sound that is presented to our ears.

Listening however, involves being more aware of the words and their meaning that are presented to us by a speaker.
In contrast to hearing, listening is more involved. It requires the brain to work harder. Consequently if we are merely hearing someone speak, we may or may not comprehend what they are really saying. By listening, we have a much better chance of understanding their message.




Or are some deliberately prone to ignore verses which do not agree with their false teaching
?

One glaring example is Gal 1:8-9, a warning from GOD that is so important that it is repeated twice, a rarity in Holy Scripture:
Gal 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." Gal 1:9 "As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema."

Elucidation
:

1. 'Let him be anathema' means let him be accursed or excommunicated.
2.
Mormonism claims an angel from heaven, Moroni, supposedly brought another gospel, The Book of Mormon (BOM), to Joseph Smith.
3. Neither did St. Paul nor any other Apostle preach the BOM to anyone.
4. Ask a Mormon to explain Gal 1:8-9 to you.
5. The words of GOD in these two verses are clearly written and are repeated for emphasis, and yet are still ignored by some who would rather follow the false prophet.




Our built in filtering system
:

GOD gave us two ears but only one mouth so we would listen to Him twice more than what we say to Him.
What we hear enters the ear, and what we read enters the eye, and both are filtered by the brain and stored. Since each person is a unique human being, these filtering systems can vary from person to person. What one interprets after it is filtered can be different from what another interprets, thus a difference of
opinion results.

Job 34:2, "Hear my words, you wise men, and give ear to me, you who know;"
Job 34:3, "for the ear tests words as the palate tastes food."

Eze 3:10, "Moreover he said to me, "Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears.""



GOD's relationship with those who follow His Word to the letter
:

Prov 23:16, "My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right."

Psa 119:57, "The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep thy words."

Luk 24:8, "And they remembered his words,"

1Cor 2:13, "And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit."

Rev 1:3, "Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near."

Deut 29:9, "Therefore be careful to do the words of this covenant, that you may prosper in all that you do."

2Tim 1:13, "Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus;"
2Tim 1:14, "guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us."

Job 26:4, "With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has come forth from you?"

Rev 22:6, "And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.""
Rev 22:7, "And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Rev 22:9, "but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.""

John 15:7, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you."

Mat 12:37, "for by your words you will be justified,"



What does Scripture say about those who refuse to follow the Word of GOD to the letter?:

Prov 14:7, "Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge."

Psa 119:139, "My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget thy words."

Jer 7:8, "Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail."

Jer 23:36, "But 'the burden of the LORD' you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man's own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God."

Jer 23:16, "Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes; they speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.""

Jer 25:8, "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words,"
Jer 25:9, "behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, says the LORD, and for Nebuchadrez'zar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these nations round about; I will utterly destroy them, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting reproach."

Jer 22:5, "But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation."

John 8:47, "He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."

Eze 35:13, "And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it."

Eph 5:6, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience."

Prov 19:7, "The brethren of the poor man hate him: moreover also his friends have departed far from him. He that followeth after words only, shall have nothing."

Deut 28:58, "If you are not careful to do all the words of this law which are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awful name, the LORD your God,"

2Pet 2:3, "And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep."

Deut 28:15, "But if thou wilt not hear the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep and to do all his commandments and ceremonies, which I command thee this day, all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee."

Prov 29:20, "Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."

Prov 19:27, "Cease, my son, to hear instruction only to stray from the words of knowledge."

Josh 1:18, "Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage."

Eze 2:6, "And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit upon scorpions; be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house."
Eze 2:7, "And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear; for they are a rebellious house."

1Tim 6:3, "If any one teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness,"
1Tim 6:4, "he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions,"
1Tim 6:5, "and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain."

John 14:24, "He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me."

Mat 12:37, "by your words you will be condemned."

Tit 3:9-11, "But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned."



Some additional notes regarding the importance of using the correct wording:

Fine words are no substitute for fine deeds.

What cannot be understood, never can edify.

The hardest thing to open is a closed mind.
But a spark or word at the right time can open a closed mind.

The Word, (the Son) does not exist without a speaker (the Father), and one cannot be a speaker without a breath (the Holy Spirit).



What does Holy Scripture teach us regarding correct wording?:

Job 13:17, "Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears."

Deut 12:28, "Be careful to heed all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you for ever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God."

Jer 1:7 "And the Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak."

Jer 1:9, "Then the LORD put forth his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.""

Acts 2:22, "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know."

Job 6:25, "How forceful are honest words!"

Job 23:12, "I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth."

Deut 27:8, "And you shall write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly."

Rev 21:5, "And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Deut 4:10, "how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, 'Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so."

Rev 2:8, "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life."

Deut 6:6, "And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart;"

Deut 18:18, "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him."
Deut 18:19, "And whoever will not give heed to my words which he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him."

Rev 3:7, "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 'The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.'"

Prov 4:5, "Do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Get wisdom; get insight."

Prov 7:1, My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;

Deut 17:19, "and it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them;"

Job 22:22, "Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart."

Rev 19:9, "And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God."

Jer 35:13, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will you not receive instruction and listen to my words? says the LORD."

John 17:8, "
for I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me."

Acts 2:14, "But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.""

Prov 7:24, "And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth."

Prov 8:8, "All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them."

Jer 19:15, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their neck, refusing to hear my words."

Jer 36:8, "And Baruch the son of Neri'ah did all that Jeremiah the prophet ordered him about reading from the scroll the words of the LORD in the LORD's house."

Eze 12:28, "Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word which I speak will be performed, says the Lord GOD."

Deut 12:28, "Be careful to heed all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you for ever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God."

Eze 3:4, "And he said to me, Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them."

Prov 22:17, "Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge."

Prov 23:12, "Apply your mind to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge."

John 6:68, "Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;""

Deut 31:12, "Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law,"

Deut 32:46, "he said to them, "Lay to heart all the words which I enjoin upon you this day, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law."

Isa 59:21, "And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD: my spirit which is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your children, or out of the mouth of your children's children, says the LORD, from this time forth and for evermore."



Holy Scripture warns us not to add to, nor detract from the Word of GOD:

Deut 4:2, "You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it: keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

Deut 12:32, "What I command thee, that only do thou to the Lord: neither add any thing, nor diminish."

Job 38:2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"

Psa 12:6, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
Psa 12:7, "Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever."

Psa 33:4, "For the word of the Lord is right, and all his works are done with faithfulness."

Psa 50:16, "But to the sinner God hath said: Why dost thou declare my justices, and take my covenant in thy mouth? Psa 50:17 Seeing thou hast hated discipline: and hast cast my words behind thee."

Psa 119:57, "Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words."

Psa 119:139, "My zeal hath made me pine away: because my enemies forgot thy words."
Psa 119:140, "Thy word is exceedingly refined: and thy servant hath loved it."

Prov 5:7, "Now, therefore, my son, hear me, and depart not from the words of my mouth."

Prov 30:5, "Every word of God is fire tried: he is a buckler to them that hope in him."
Prov 30:6, "Add not any thing to his words, lest thou be reproved and found a liar:"

Ecc 3:14, "I have learned that all the works which God hath made, continue for ever: we cannot add any thing, nor take away from those things which God hath made that he may be feared."

Jer 23:36, "And the burden of the Lord shall be mentioned no more, for every man's word shall be his burden: for you have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God."

Gal 1:8, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." Gal 1:9, "As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema."

1Pet 1:24, "For all flesh is as grass and all the glory thereof as the flower of grass. The grass is withered and the flower thereof is fallen away."
1Pet 1:25, "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you."

2Pet 3:15, "And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation: as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you:"

2Pet 3:16, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction."

Rev 22:18, "For I testify to every one that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book."
Rev 22:19, "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from these things that are written in this book."
Rev 22:20, "He that giveth testimony of these things, saith: Surely, I come quickly: Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."



"Add not any thing to his words, lest thou be reproved and found a liar."
Proverbs 30:6

"By your words you will be condemned."
Matthew 12:37




Written by Bob Stanley, January 25, 2007
Updated February 26, 2007 


"Have I then become your enemy, because I told you the
truth?"
Galatians 4:16




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