Wednesday, October 7, 2015

John 15:26, 27 comments: when the Comforter is sent

26 ¶  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

The Comforter is the Holy Ghost, as already stated in 14:26. The Holy Ghost has not been sent yet to indwell the believer, but Christ promises to send Him from the Father. The word even links the Comforter as identical with the Spirit of truth. The Comforter proceeds from the Father. Jesus notes that the Holy Ghost will testify of Jesus, as will His disciples.

The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, is one of the three parts of God.

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

2Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

The Bible uses two words in the New Testament translated from one word pneuma for Spirit and Ghost. Holy Ghost refers to the name, the identity, of the part of God being talked about while Holy Spirit or Spirit of God or Spirit of Christ for the function. As a result the Holy Ghost is referred to as a he while the Spirit is referred to as an it. Only those Bible scholars afflicted by the modern era that began with the so-called Enlightenment where man began to worship his reasoning ability as his god are unable to discern a difference in usage. They will just throw their hands up because they aren’t willing to investigate and consider and say impatiently, “they’re both the same,” much as they do mistakenly with the kingdom of heaven in Matthew and the kingdom of God in Matthew and elsewhere. There is a difference. Different words, different applications, and slightly different meanings.

Luke 4:1  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

John 7:39  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his…16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:…26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

1Corinthians 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

You will not find the Holy Ghost mentioned as such in the Old Testament. He is coming on the disciples soon.  As the Holy Ghost teaches the disciples about Christ, Jesus’ followers are to bear witness, to bear record, to speak of Him, and to be a witness for Him in the world.

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

In fact, the calling is very specific as to the result Christ wanted. He wants His followers to teach the world about Him.

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

We are to do that as the Holy Ghost teaches us, confirming in our spirit with His Spirit by the words of God in His Bible.

John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

I think it is clear that you cannot understand the Bible or the Gospel of Jesus Christ without the work of the Holy Ghost. The Bible is not understood by logic or argument but, the grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men…

Titus 2:11 ¶  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

and we are taught what God’s will is for our lives as we are to teach it to others.

11 ¶  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

The Bible is fundamental in this command and useful for everything God wants.

2Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We see written in the Scriptures God in His three parts in heaven and God working through His Spirit on earth through the blood of Jesus Christ whose triumph in the believer is signified by the water of baptism as an expression of faith.

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

This Bible, called the King James Bible, King James Version, KJV, or KJB in modern marketing parlance, used to be called the common version in early America and was the standard in Bible translation for nearly three hundred years in the Protestant world.(23) The common English-speaking Protestant thought of this Bible as God’s very word in print, or, as the head of the American translating committee for the American version of the English Revised Version, the American Standard Version, said in his book entitled A Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version that part of the objection to the new translations and translating methods was that, “…to the great mass of English readers King James’ Version is virtually the inspired Word of God.” (24) It took a lot of marketing and a push by preachers in conservative pulpits who had been trained in seminaries corrupted by Enlightenment thinking and theology to change that.

When a return to the Bible whose veneration Philip Schaff lamented began in earnest in 1964 with Peter Ruckman’s book Bible Babel a significant minority of Baptists began to see things the old way.  Even though they might not understand or know what the Enlightenment was, what German theology or Higher Criticism entailed, or even had even heard of the Catholic Counter-Reformation they began to rely on the old Book. Unfortunately, even today in some of those churches you’ll have people sitting in the pews criticizing a translated word or verse in the King James Bible simply because a favorite preacher said it must be wrong, that maybe it should have been oil lamp instead of candlestick or Holy Spirit where it said Holy Ghost. These criticisms are made even though translating words from Greek or Hebrew is a very subjective process and much results from the opinion of the translator.*(25)  In addition, there is even today a great deal of uncertainty with regard to translating from the Greek. **(26)  And so it goes.

(23) James Beller, America in Crimson Red: The Baptist History of America (Arnold, MO: Prairie Fire Press, 2004) 336.

(24) Philip Schaff, A Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1883), 413.

(25) Tom Griffith in the translator’s introduction to Plato: ‘The Republic,G.R.F. Ferrai, editor & Tom Griffith, translator (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000), vii.

*The translation process and disagreements with his editor was “a laborious task which involved reading the whole text against the Greek, flagging the hundreds (literally) of passages where he did not agree with what I had written, explaining in precise detail why he disagreed (bless him), suggesting an alternative in each and every instance.”

(26)  Bernard A. Taylor, John A. L. Lee, Peter R. Burton &Richard E. Whitaker, Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Danker (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 2004), Kindle Edition.

**“The fact is that opinions will very often differ over the precise wording of lexical definitions even - or perhaps, especially - after careful consideration of a proposed definition.”

“…there is the fact that even the latest lexicons derive their material from their predecessors, and a great deal of it has been passed on uncritically over the course of centuries.”

“…we cannot know for certain that what we find in front of us when we look up a word is sound.”

“…all the existing lexical entries in all our dictionaries are now obsolete and await reassessment in the light of the full evidence,or at least checking to see if there is further evidence to be added.”

“Lexicons are regarded by their users as authoritative, and they put their trust in them. Lexicons are reference books presenting a compressed, seemingly final statement of fact, with an almost legal weight. The mere fact that something is printed in a book gives it authority, as far as most people are concerned. And understandably: if one does not know the meaning of a word, one is predisposed to trust the only means of rescue from ignorance. Yet this trust is misplaced.”

Note: So, don’t play the Greek and Hebrew game with me when insisting that my faith in God’s preservation of His word through the KJV is in error. I’m not buying what you’re selling. You, like an evolutionist who believes that life occurred by random chance, can prove nothing but that, as everyone has a nose, you have an opinion. Your opinion is proof of nothing but that you have one.

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