Does Revelation 22:18 Dispute the Deuterocanonical Books?

The bible versions used by Protestants only have 66 books while the Catholics church has 73 books. According to Protestants, the deuterocanonical books used by Catholics were just invented and added by the Catholic Church to support their doctrines.The bible versions used by Protestants only have 66 books while the Catholics church has 73 books.

According to Protestants, the deuterocanonical books used by Catholics were just invented and added by the Catholic Church to support their doctrines.
No knowledgeable bible scholars (Catholics and Protestants) particularly those who studied the original texts say the Catholic Church invented those books.

Sirach, Tobit and 1 and 2 Maccabees are all Jewish compositions which PRE-DATE the Jewish/Christian split. RABBINIC Judaism did not include them in the Hebrew Bible, but the Jews who followed Jesus did.

One of the best New Testament scholars who gave value to this statement is Dr. Bruce Metzger. 

Let us read his commentary in his book, Breaking the Code – Understanding the Book of Revelation, in page 106:

“When books were copied by hand, scribes would occasionally add comments of their own or leave out words they thought were unsuitable. John therefore includes at the end of his book a solemn warning (similar to that found in Deut. 4:2; 12:32) declaring that nothing should be added or deleted, for the very good reason that it is a revelation from God (22:18-19).”

In John 1:18, there are bible versions with the translation, “The Only Begotten Son (ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός)”.

Here is what Dr. Daniel B. Wallace said in Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament, page 74:“The alternate argument is that μονογενὴς θεὸς was original and that a scribe changed it to ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός because it fits well with Johannine style.”

Another one is in Hebrews 2:9. 

According to page 697 (New Testament Text and Translation Commentary) of Philip W. Comfort:It is possible that the variant arose due to a transcriptional error. Some scribe may have mistaken χαριτι (“by grace”) for χωρις  (“apart from”), or some scribe may have been mistakenly corrected the text of 2:9 in light of a marginal gloss in 2.8 explaining that “God” was excluded (χωρις) from everything that had been subjected to Jesus (see Bruce 1992, 28).

The Protestants like the King James Version with additional text written in 1 John 5:7-8 which is not in the ancient Greek manuscripts.

Do Protestant Bible Scholars agree with the interpretation of some Protestants and Pastors about Revelation 22:18 for the deuterocanonical books? 

According to a respected and New Testament scholar, Dr. Darell Bock, “This is just about adding to the book of Revelation.”

Here is what another New Testament scholar Dr. David deSilva, author of An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation said, ”I read those verses as pertaining to John’s intense desire for the textual integrity of Revelation, not the whole canon (whether the Protestant or Catholic canon). One can well understand, moreover, why John would be concerned.”

In another Exegetical Commentary of the Book of Revelation written by New Testament scholar Grant R. Osborne, we can read this:“The formula here is probably based on Deut. 4:2 (“Do not add to what I command you, and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you”) and perhaps 12:32 (“See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it”). There the formula indicated that the Torah came directly from Yahweh and must not be “supplemented or reduced” (Craigie 1976: 130). In other words, it must be accepted and obeyed in its entirety. This is the key to the meaning of ἐπιθῇ /ἀϕέλῃ (epithē/aphelē, adds/takes away) here. As in Deuteronomy, Christ is warning against false teachers who distort the meaning of the prophecies by adding their own teaching to it or removing the meaning that God intended.” (Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Grant R. Osborne)

We will notice in this commentary, “Christ is warning against false teachers who distort the meaning of the prophecies by adding their own teaching to it or removing the meaning that God intended.”

Many religions in the Philippines misinterpret the meaning of prophecies written in the Bible like Isaiah 46:11 which most scholars say refer to King Cyrus. Yet, there are false teachers claiming it means another person.

Is it true the Vedas of Hinduism is older than the Bible?

 

 

If we evaluate thoroughly the Chronology section of this information from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas

The earliest Vedic material appears to date to around 1700 BCE, but nothing written survives because they passed the Vedas down through oral tradition. The earliest written Sumerian material dates to around 3400 BCE, and the earliest Akkadian literature dates to around 2250 BCE. The Akkadians had a sophisticated written tradition with systems of law, science, religion, etc. by the time of the Code of Hammurabi (1792 BCE), and that written system found its way into the Bible (laws, creation story, etc.), which began it written history around the eighth and seventh centuries BCE in Jerusalem.

We will notice in the Code of Hammurabi that it is one of the Archaeological Evidences to the Old Testament.

archaeological-evidences

The table above shows the book written by an expert in the ancient languages and bible scholar, Gleason Archer in his book, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, in Page 148.

 

A Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy 5:8 and Exodus 20:4

Many Christians use Deuteronomy 5:8 and Exodus 20:4 to conclude that all images are idols.

Personally, I am not in favor of treating images as god since this is idolatry. Yet, we will find out that not all images can be called idols if we study the Bible well.

Here is one of the oldest manuscripts of Deuteronomy and if we study closely verse 7.

4QDeuteronomy-withcredit

The Hebrew word “Elohim Acherim” refers to other gods.

Normal word order in Hebrew is for adjective to follow verb, like often in Greek, the opposite of English. Thus, “other gods” is the proper English way to translate Elohim Acherim.

The Hebrew word “Pesel” is in Verse 8 and refers to idols.

These are the verses used by our brothers about “IDOLS” so we can read the Hebrew Word Pesel.

pesel-verses

In Deuteronomy 5: 9, there is the Hebrew word, “Tishtachave” and here is the meaning of the related word in Hebrew word which is Tishtachave.

He will bow down to worship – yishtachave
I will bow down to worship – ‘eshtachave
You will bow down to worship – tishtachavoo
They will bow down to worship – yishtachavoo
Bow Down to Worship (command, singular) – hishtachavi
Bow Down to Worship (command, plural) – hishtachavoo

She (3f sing.) will bow down to worship ” tishtachave” is the same form as You (2m sing.) will bow down to worship. Also, the context is the ten commandments: you/thou shall not.

We will discover not all images are idols.

Let us find out what can be seen inside Solomon’s temple.

King Solomon built the temple in the Bible in 960 BC. To understand its purpose, we must know that God made the world and created the rules. It was destroyed by Babylonians in 586 BC.

The temple was located on the eastern hill. It is north of the City of David where we can find the Dome of the Rock today. The temple mount was significantly smaller. Solomon made it bigger. Herod also added to the present size of the platform. It is known as Haram esh-Sharif. This is “the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite”. (2 Samuel 24:18), “Mouth Moriah” (2 Chronicles 3:1), and possibly the “Zion of the Psalms. The term belonged to the city of David.

The Temple was envisioned as the tabernacle rectangular, with a porch or vestibule facing east, a nave an inner sanctuary or Holy of Holies.

Here is the image of Solomon’s temple. We can see the images clearly.

DSCF5521

The holiest place housed the Ark of the Covenant and two winged figures (cherubim). These were made from olive wood coated with gold stretching from wall to wall. Similar doors separated the nave from the covered entrance. Only priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place every day.

The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) was God’s throne room which is the meeting place. This was between the two cherubim on the mercy seat above the Ark of the Covenant. The high priest sprinkled blood on the mercy seat on the day of atonement for the sins of the people.

We can also see the illustration in the Bible clearly.

“for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord.All this, in writing at the Lord’s direction, he made clear to me—the plan of all the works.”(1 Chronicles 28:18-19, NRSV)

We can read The Ark of the Covenant in Exodus 25:18-20.

“You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other; of one piece with the mercy seat you shall make the cherubim at its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings. They shall face one to another; the faces of the cherubim shall be turned toward the mercy seat.”(Exodus 25:18-20, NRSV)

The Ark of the Covenant was the place where God talked to Moses Exodus 25:22. It was made from acacia wood and covered with gold.

ark

The tabernacle (the “tent of meeting”) housed the Ark. The ark was the first furniture built after God ordered Moses to build the tabernacle Exodus 25:10-22.

The ark was to be the main focus of the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle as well as the temple Exodus 40:1-21.

The Ark was placed in the most holy place and separated by a thick veil Exodus 26:31-33.

According to scholars, when the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem (586 BC) and plundered the temple, the ark could have been taken by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed, or hidden by Levites.

The tabernacle was a transferable “tent of meeting” that God commanded Moses to build Exodus 25:1-2, 25:8-9. God wanted to live with the Israelites. He had fellowship with them and communicated with them.

tabernacle

The tabernacle was the place that God dwelt with his people for 4000 years. This was from the exodus until the time of King Solomon when the temple was constructed.

The tabernacle was at the heart of the Israelite camp. The 12 tribes of Israel encamped around it. The figures in the boxes refer to the number of males (20 years and above) in each tribe numbers 1-3.

Scholars pointed at the illustration of Herod’s temple.

image013

Here is the illustration of Herod’s temple and other details when Jesus was still on Earth.

herodstemple

It is different from Solomon’s Temple.

It started in 20 BC. Herod’s new structure was 15 stories high and followed floor dimensions of the former temples in the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.

According to the Book written by Bruce Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, The Oxford Guide to People and Places of the Bible in page 308.

Within this holy place, there were increasingly sacred areas; the court of the women at the east, the court of the priest, then the temple (naos). This area was separated from the women’s court, being 15 steps higher, and could be entered through the nicanor gate. Only the priests could enter the temple, and only the high priest could enter the holy of holies, and that only on the day of atonement.

The whole structure was destroyed by the Romans in Ad 70.

Are there images in Herod’s temple like what we see in Solomon’s Temple?

According to the Babylonian Talmud.

“There were no cherubim in the temple of Herod, but the walls were painted with figures of them (Babylonian Talmud Yoma 54a).”

For our information, the Talmud is the anthology of the historic rabbis “discussing” or “debating” what the Torah means. The Talmud’s two elements are Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, c. 200 CE), which is a written account of Rabbinic Judaism’s Oral Torah (Talmud means “instruction” in Hebrew)

Are There Images in the Synagogue?

Synagogue comes from the Greek term that means “house of assembly.” In Hebrew, the word used is “beit k’nesset.” It means house of assembly. English-speaking people do not translate it or use the Hebrew. They use an anglicized Greek word, synagogue.
According to a respected and famous Jewish scholar, Professor Lawrence Schiffman (leading scholar of ancient Judaism):

“Some synagogues have two lions above the ark and one of the interpretations of this imagery is that it represents the cherubim. There are certainly no sculpted images in synagogues.”

We can see inside the synagogue two images of lions in the upper part.

F131231FFMH13-e1394827964694

Professor Schiffman also said:

“This is similar and look at the section above the ark curtain, where two lions face each other with a crown symbolizing the Torah between them.”

If Deuteronomy 5:8 and Exodus 20:4 really forbid keeping images, even the Jews failed to obey this since they put images of lions inside their synagogue. Yet, they know the meaning of the Hebrew words: Elohim Acherim, Pesel and Tishtachave which we can read in Deuteronomy 5:7-9 and Exodus 20:3-5.

As a Christian, is my analysis correct that not all images are idols?

In our studies, it is very clear that some non-Catholic pastors and their followers who were not able to study the Scriptures very well say all images are idols.

If we study closely, 2 noted scholars proved that not all images are idols.

1. Gleason Archer

Who is Gleason Archer?

Gleason Leonard Archer Jr. (May 22, 1916 – April 27, 2004) was a biblical scholar, theologian, educator and author. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleason_Archer_Jr.)

He is not a Catholic.

Gleason Archer wrote this in his book.

bdbyarchercover

This is what Gleason Archer said in his book.

bdbyarcher

2. Norman Geisler

Who is Norman Geisler?

Norman L. Geisler is an evangelical scholar, Christian apologist, and the author/coauthor of over fifty Christian books defending the Christian faith by means of logic, evidence, and philosophy. He has also authored many scholarly articles on a wide range of theological and philosophical topics (https://www.theopedia.com/norman-geisler)

Norman Geisler is not a Catholic.

bdbynormangeislercover

This is what Norman Geisler said in his book.

bdbynormangeisler

 


1.) New Revised Standard Version
2.) The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible By Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan
3.) Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines
4.) New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties By Gleason Archer
5.) The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation By Norman L. Geisler and Thomas – Howe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Critical Study of the Translation of “Theos” in John 1:1c

The 3rd clause in John 1:1, “Kai Theos en ho logos” or “and the word was God” is confused by some people since there is no article in “Theos”. It does function as adjective so it must be translated to “divine” and not “God”. Others say it is not the true God because there is no definite article. These opinions lack strong proof and simply opinions supported by wrong doctrines

Is it true that if “theos” has no Article, it functions as an adjective and translated to “divine” and not “God”?

If a definite predicative noun precedes the finite verb “to be” it never has an article.

If we see John 8:54 in Greek, we will read, “Apekrithei Yeisous, Ean ego doxazo emauton, ‘ei dox mou oden estin. estin ‘o pateir mou ‘o doxazon me, ‘on ‘umeis legete ‘oti theos ‘eimon estin.”

In English, we can read the following:

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God (john 8:54)”

And, we will read “Theos heimon estin“ without any article before the Greek word, “Theos”.

By the way, here are the definite articles:definite-articles
 

 

 

If we notice “theos” in John 8:54 comes before the verb and lacks the article. The Greek word “Estin” is the verb.

Is it correct to translate the Greek word, “THEOS” into “Divine” since it has no definite article?

According to a New Testament scholar in his book, “The Gospel According to John” in page 117:

“A long string of writers has argued that because theos, ‘God’, here has no article, John is not referring to God as a specific being, but to mere qualities of ‘God-ness’. The Word, they say, able word in Greek for ‘divine’ (namely theios). “

According to an expert in Biblical Greek, this is what is written in his book:

“On the one hand, Carson’s critique is correct in that “divine” is too weak.”(The Greek Article (A functional Grammar of o-items in the Greek New Testament with Special Emphasis on the Greek Article, Page 239).

In Greek, God means “Theos” while Divine is “Theios”.

“EI” in Theios is a diphthong: note the circumflex accent over “I”. The “I” is with the vowel “E” as a unit, both part of the first syllable. “OS” is the ending, the second syllable.

What about the logic that “the word was God” should be “the logos was divine” like: “the time is gold” wherein time is not really gold but simply being compared to gold as time is precious?

This argument is not acceptable: Gold here is not an adjective. It is a noun used metaphorically.

According to a New Testament scholar F.F. Bruce in his book, The Gospel of John in page 31:

“The structure of the third clause in verse 1, theos en ho logos, demands the translation ‘The Word was God’. Since logos has the article preceding it, it is marked out as the subject. The fact that theos is the first word after the conjunction kai (‘and’) shows that the main emphasis of the clause lies on it.”

Let us ask Dr. Daniel Wallace about the word “Theos” translated as divine.

We can read this in his grammar textbook.

“In this second translation, “divine” is acceptable only if it is a term that can be applied only to true deity.”(Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, Page 269)

We can read in John 1:6 the Greek word, “theou” which has no article but it was not translated to “divine”. We can read in John 20:17 “theon mou” which has no article. Yet, we will see it was not translated to “divine”. If we follow the logic of others that it has no “article”, God the Father in this verse is not a “true God”. And because of this logic, it only proves Jesus is God since in John 20:28, there is a definite article: “ho theos mou”.

How about Genesis 23:6 where the Hebrew word, “NSI ELOHIM” functions as adjective if translated to English?

In the Hebrew bible (Genesis 23:6), we can read “NSI ELOHIM” and translated into the English bible like New King James Version and it became “Mighty Prince”.

“Hear us, my lord: You are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.”(Genesis 23:6, New King James Version)

This is our answer.

John 1:1 is Greek, while Genesis 23:6 is Hebrew; so the rules of syntax are somewhat different. Greek syntax works different than Hebrew syntax.

1. Greek and Hebrew are in two different families of languages and their grammars do not match.
2. Hebrew has no tenses, just “aspects.” Greek does.
3. Hebrew has no neuter gender. Greek does.
4. Hebrew has construct chains. Greek does not but uses more elaborate case system.

The anti-Trinitarians are trying to confuse the issue by appealing to Hebrew syntax as a way to refute a point of Greek syntax.

That would be like suggesting a point in Spanish syntax could illumine an issue in French syntax—mixing apples and oranges.

The question about the syntax in John 1:1 is Greek, so the only kind of syntactical parallels that will count must be in Greek.

If the issue for you is John 1:1, you will need to find a parallel example in Greek to help you.

If we look at the English translation of Septuagint, it is different from the translation of NKJV.

“but hear us; thou art in the midst of us a king from God; bury thy dead in our choice sepulchres, for not one of us will by any means withhold his sepulchre from thee, so that thou shouldest not bury thy dead there.” (Genesis 23:6, English Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible)

We can see the difference because of the word “God” and the Septuagint is written in Greek like the original text of the New Testament.

How about the statement of Robert Strachan in his book, The Fourth Gospel, Its Significance and Environment?

“The closing words of v.1 should be translated, ‘the Logos was divine’. Here the word theos has no article, thus giving it the significance of an adjective.”(The Fourth Gospel, Its Significance and Environment, Page 99).

In the book of scholar Murray J. Harris (The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus), this is what is written:

“Strachan is not, of course, suggesting that an author’s choice not to use the article with a noun virtually converts that noun into an adjective. But it remains doubtful whether even an adjectival significance may attach to an anarthrous substantive. Especially where there exists and adjective corresponding to the substantive, the anarthrous noun should not be deemed adjectival. “(The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus by Murray J. Harris, Page 63-64)

Does Strachan believe Christ is God?

We can read this in one edition of his book in page 232.

“My Lord and My God. This expression of the Divinity of Jesus is the fruit of experience, and not a mere expression of intellectual assent. What is it here that so deepens Thomas’s experience and produces such faith?” (The Fourth Gospel: Its Significance and Environment, Page 232)

So, even Strachan believes Christ is God. Other people just misquote his book to support wrong teachings.

What if we study Aramaic Peshitta in John 1:1? Will it function as adjective like the word, “alaha” without an article?

The peshitta word for God is “Alaha”.

If “Alaha” has no article, can we translate this to Divine?

If we read from the right going to the left, this is how it is:

“breesheeth eethawhy hwa miltha, whoo miltha, eethawhy hwa lwath alaha, walaha eethawhy hwa hoo miltha”

We can read from here the word, “Walaha” which means “and God”(The conjunction we- means and.)

Is this an adjective as what other ministers preach?

Alaha is a noun.

To translate it as an adjective is motivated by theological concerns.

What if there is no definite article in “Alaha” of Aramaic peshitta? Will this be a noun?

Alaha is a noun, whether used in the absolute state or in the determined state.

What about the basis of some ministers that the translation of the 3rd clause should not be God but Divine?

The Aramaic word for divine is “Alahaya”.

How about the translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, “and the word was a god”? Is it correct to put an “a” and transform this into a small letter, “g” in the word, God?

Remember there is no indefinite article in Greek so this cannot be, “and the word was a god”.

Here is what we can read in the Biblical Exegesis of New Testament Greek: James by Craig Price, in page 1:

“Greek has no indefinite article.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses insists the small letter “g” was used in “god” since there is small “theos” and big “Theos”.

Is there a difference?

Capital vs. small letter is an ignorant (i.e., they don’t know [Greek]) argument There is nothing correct about that argument. There are, however, Greek uncials (capitals) and minuscules (lower case), but any manuscript would be written totally in uncials (in the early centuries) or totally in minuscules (after about the ninth century), but never mixed. So the argument is ignorant.

There is no indefinite article in Greek, but nor were “God” and “god” distinguished by use/non-use of a capital letter. The only way to distinguish in Greek between “the Word was God” and “God was the Word” was to write God without an article if the meaning were “the Word was God.”

Julius Mantey, a noted New Testament scholar wrote to the Jehovah’s Witnesses since they quoted his book, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament to justify their translation of John 1:1.Julis-mantey

Does John 1:1b Prove Christ is not God since “Ton Theon” refers to God The Father?

According to anti-Trinitarians, John 1:1 proves logos do not mean God because the verse mentions “TON THEON”.

It means the Father and there could not be two Gods.

However, this analysis is wrong since anti-Trinitarians do not understand the Greek syntax.

According to the Greek Grammar Text Book of Dana and Mantey in Page 140:

“Pros ton theon points to Christ’s fellowship with the person of the Father; Theos hen ho logos emphasizes Christ’s participation in the essence of the divine nature.” (A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey, Page 140)

The analysis of others about “Theon” is it is the true God in John 1:1 and not “Theos”.

The difference in the ending is simply a matter of grammar: theon is accusative because of the preposition; theos is nominative because of the verb “to be.” Theos means the same thing in both cases.

God here (theon) is not a direct object, but God here is the object of a preposition.
The greek, ton theon-the God, with the definite article implying that John has a specific person in mind.

John’s uses of the preposition pros ‘with’ is significant. It implies that the Father and the Son had an intimate as well as eternal relationship.

This is the analysis of a noted New Testament scholar, F.F. Bruce:
“Moreover, the Word shares the very nature of God, for ‘the Word was God’”(F.F. Bruce, The Gospel of John, Page 31)

According to Philip Comfort, another NT scholar:

“This is explicitly asserted in several passages, many of which are found in John’s writings it is john who tells us that “the Word was God.” Not only was the Word with God from eternity, he was himself God from eternity.”(Encountering the Manuscripts, Page 226)