Every Word of God

Every word of God is pure.
Proverbs 30:5

 

Should We Earnestly Contend for Every Word and the Precise Grammar of Holy Scripture?

It is our practice to teach the Holy Scriptures with meticulous and dogmatic attention to each word, its meaning, and its grammatical relationship to the words around it. We do this with our preserved English version, for all the examples to follow are found clearly in this version.

We believe our English version to be Scripture as much as the copies and/or translations studied by the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:32,35), the Bereans (Acts 17:11), and Timothy (II Tim 3:15-17). So we believe we should study every word and grammatical construction with great care, for we understand by faith we are reading and studying the very words God intended for us to have.

We take this precise approach to Bible study from our Lord's instruction. Jesus testified that every jot and tittle (the smallest parts of written language) in Scripture were important, would be fulfilled, and should be obeyed (Matt 5:17-19). He also declared His words – all His words – would be fulfilled with absolute certainty (Matt 24:34-35). And He taught that Scripture cannot be broken, while considering a single word (John 10:35).

We believe the method of the priests in Ezra's day is superior to any modern method of teaching the Scriptures (Neh 8:8). They "read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading." We are to read exactly what God has written and give the Scriptural sense of that reading. This method will result in understanding.

Distinct reading and giving of the proper sense requires faithfulness to the words and grammar of Scripture. Compromising the sense of Scripture for its mere sound is an evil exchange, for it promotes a false hermeneutic, which will inevitably lead to heresy.

We must earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). If we do not contend for Scripture's words and grammar, why should we contend for its sentences? We might as well write a novel about the Bible like The Cottonpatch Version or The Living Bible.

Since God has magnified His Word above all His name (Ps 138:2), we intend to treat it accordingly by magnifying every single word and point of grammar. How can we do less?

We reject striving with men about words to no profit, for our brother Paul instructed Timothy to avoid such vain babblings, as they will lead to more ungodliness (II Tim 2:14-18). Instead, we are to study for God's approval and doctrinal integrity by rightly dividing the Holy Scriptures.

Our intent in the paragraphs following is not to develop the doctrinal arguments to anyone's final satisfaction, but rather to show the great importance placed on individual words in Scripture.

Enjoy the following examples and learn to contend for every word of God. We hope that any ministers of Christ reading this might be provoked to stir up their gift and be ready scribes in the Word of God in these perilous times of the last days (II Tim 1:6; Ezra 7:6; II Tim 3:1-17).

Should we earnestly contend for every word and the precise grammar of Holy Scripture?

How about a Single Letter?

Paul argued from a single letter in Galatians 3:16. He made a doctrinal argument from the difference between SEED and SEEDS. And it was important doctrine to save the Galatians from the Judaizers denying justification by grace and stealing their liberty in Jesus Christ.

If the promises were to Abraham and his SEEDS (plural noun intending his various natural descendants), then salvation and spiritual blessings are by race and law rather than grace. But since the promises were made to Abraham and his SEED (singular noun intending Jesus Christ), then salvation and spiritual blessings are by grace rather than race and law.

Paul denies God's promises to the natural descendants of Abraham and gives them instead to Christ. He makes the promises to Abraham spiritual in nature and fulfilled in Jesus Christ, not in Abraham's natural descendants, the children of Israel.

And Abraham also understood the promises this way (Acts7:2-5; Hebrews 11:8-16).

In his condemnation of the false teachers, who mixed the law of Moses with grace, Paul argues that the true descendants of Abraham and heirs of the promises are through Jesus Christ rather than racial descent (Gal 3:29). So that faith and baptism become our identifiers with Christ and prove us heirs according to the promises made to Abraham (Gal 3:26-27).

The promises to Abraham and his SEED are found in Genesis 12:7; 13:15-16; 15:5,13,18; 17:8-10,19; 21:12; 22:17-18; 24:7. Note carefully that the promises are to Abraham and his SEED.

This doctrinal distinction is of great importance, and Paul argues it from a single letter. Do you fully grasp the significance of this inspired example of studying and applying the Scriptures? Let this precise apostolic pattern be the guide and standard for our study and teaching methods.

It is damning that many modern versions of the Bible destroy Paul's doctrinal argument by making the Old Testament promises to Abraham and his DESCENDANTS (plural noun) or OFFSPRING (a collective noun with uncertain number). For an example of the uncertain OFFSPRING, read Genesis 15:5 in the New International Version. For an example of the plural DESCENDANTS, read Genesis 15:5 in the New American Standard Version.

Are these translators guilty of gross ignorance or profane wickedness? Can a Bible be Scripture in any sense, if it flatly reads contrary to what Paul demands for the Old Testament reading?

But that is another issue, which we will happily deal with in another place. Our question here is, should we earnestly contend for every word and the precise grammar of Holy Scripture?

How about a Single Word?

Jesus argued from the single word "lord" in Matthew 22:41-46. In this wonderful place, our glorious Saviour defends His Deity and Lordship against the Pharisees by appeal to the single word "Lord" in Psalm 110:1. "If David then call him Lord, how is He his Son?" He reasons, if Christ is merely David's Son, then why did David address Him as Lord? And this method of arguing from a single word in their Scriptures left them speechless and afraid to ever ask Him another question. Amen!

Jesus argued from the single word "gods" in John 10:33-36. Here our Lord Christ defends Himself against the charge of blasphemy by showing from their own Scriptures the single word "gods" applied to men (Ps 82:6). It was Scriptural to call rulers "gods," in order to magnify their God-given office over the people (Ex 22:28; Ps 82:1; 138:1). Jesus appeals to this fact to justify His right to use the expression "Son of God," for God had separated Him for an office far greater than any mere magistrate. And His appeal is to a single word, which He also affirms cannot be altered and still maintain the integrity of Scripture. Amen!

Paul argued from the single word "new" in Hebrews 8:13. When showing converted Hebrews that God had replaced their covenant with another covenant, he appeals to the single word "new" to prove that their covenant had been replaced and was passing away forever. Our brother Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, draws two implications from the single word "new." Their ancient covenant was no longer in force; and due to it having been replaced, it was showing its age and would soon be thrown away. And it was formally and finally thrown away in 70 A.D., when the Lord Jesus Christ swept Mount Zion clean of city, temple, altar, priests, and people by His Roman servant Titus. Amen!

How about a Few Words?

Paul argued from three words in Hebrews 12:26-27. While proving the replacement of the Old Covenant with the New, Paul argues from the three words "yet once more" to show that the Old Covenant had fallen away and the New Covenant would remain forever. Haggai had prophesied a great religious and spiritual change of things at the time of the Messiah, and his prophecy showed it to be the final change based on the words "yet once more" (Hag 2:6-9). Though the earth had shook at the institution of the Old Covenant, this was the last shaking and would leave the permanent worship of God. For this final shaking would get rid of everything temporary in the worship of God and would leave remaining those solid things that would endure. And therefore, the kingdom of God introduced by John and promoted by the gospel was here to stay (Heb 12:28-29), which Paul proves by three words from Haggai. Amen!

How about the Voice of a Verb?

Paul argued the voice of a verb in Galatians 4:9. Our beloved brother Paul, while writing the Galatians makes a precious point using the active and passive voice of the verb to know. He writes that being known of God is more important than knowing God, which is a glorious and comforting point. Their relationship with God, as our relationship with God, turns upon His knowledge and acceptance of us, rather than our knowledge and acceptance of Him (II Tim 2:19; Eph 1:6). If the false teachers today enticing thousands of fleshly and worthless decisions for Christ had read this argument, they might instead preach the sovereignty of God's knowledge of us. For the initiating act of God's redemptive plan of salvation is His knowledge of us, rather than our knowledge of Him (Rom 8:29-30). And in the great day of judgment, it will be our Lord's knowledge of us that will determine our eternal destiny (Matt 7:23), rather than our knowledge of Him. Amen!

How about the Tense of a Verb?

Jesus argued from the tense of a verb in Matthew 22:31-33. When confronted by the liberal Sadducees about the doctrine of the resurrection, our glorious Lord argued that there must be a human spirit and resurrection, for Moses had written that God was still the God of Abraham long after Abraham's death. And He made this wonderful argument from the verb to be, for Moses had written, "I am the God of Abraham." If, as the Sadducees so aggressively believed, there was no spirit or resurrection (Acts 23:8), then how was God still the God of Abraham long after he died. Let the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses today humble themselves before this wonderful argument from the tense of a verb. Amen!

Jesus argued from the tense of a verb in John 8:58. When our Lord Jesus was attacked by the unbelieving Jews for saying that Abraham had seen Him and rejoiced in knowing Him, He declares His Deity in no uncertain terms by claiming the greatest name of God, I AM. Rather than saying, "Before Abraham was, I was," which would also have been true; our Divine Saviour claims the eternally existing name of Jehovah Himself, I AM THAT I AM. Let the Christ-denying Russellites confess their profane blasphemy before this argument from a verb tense, before they find themselves under His awful judgment. Amen!

Conclusion

Give God the glory! We have preserved for us in 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,102 verses the very words of the living God. Though neither our Saviour nor Paul ever got close to any "originals" of the Old Testament, they knew they had the Scripture from which to make their case for the truth of the gospel. And they made their invincible case sometimes from a single letter, single word, or point of grammar. So that we may by faith proceed in our reading, studying, and preaching with the same confidence. Amen!

If you do not believe you have a word-perfect Bible, then you do not have much; for Scripture is word-perfect. If it were not, then neither our Lord nor Paul would have argued from single words in mere copies and/or translations. For Scripture cannot be broken with the wrong word (John 10:35). As has been shown, modern translations condemn themselves as not being Scripture by defrauding Paul of his important argument in Galatians 3:16 from the word SEED. They have replaced this essential word in the Old Testament text with OFFSPRING or DESCENDANTS to reveal their corruption.

We live in the perilous times of the last days (II Tim 3:1-7; 4:1-5). Our age is marked by a form of religion without authority, a love of pleasure more than a love of God, a geometric increase in learning with little truth, and churchgoers who would rather have their itching ears tickled than hear sound doctrine. Such people would have no use for the methods of our Lord Jesus and Paul. They were not entertaining enough for contemporary worship in carnal churches. These people want to hear only the sound of Scripture, and then only a little squeezed in between stage acts: they do not want to be bothered with its precise sense. They desire pleasure rather than the demands of a holy God detailed by words and grammar in the Bible.

If ever caught with a preacher like Jesus or Paul, they would be bored witless and resent the "nitpicking arrogance" of the speaker boldly proclaiming the precise sense of God's Holy Word.

Where are those who tremble at the Word of God (Isaiah 66:5)?

Where are men who esteem the words of His mouth more than their necessary food (Job 23:12)?

Let every man of God called by Jesus Christ to the work of the ministry take his sixty-six inch blade out of its scabbard and polish it. Let every New Testament bishop get his .66 magnum out and clean it. What does the enemy have? Their dreams? What is the chaff to the wheat? Saith the Lord. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? They have nothing. We have the words of the living God (Jer 23:28-32).

Let the examples in this study bolster your courage and refine your methods, ye soldiers of the cross. Our mandate is simple: preach the word (II Tim 4:2). Out of ten classes of expository preaching or hermeneutics taught in modern seminaries, how many train men for the battle with these examples of our Lord Christ and brother Paul? Let us follow their lead and aggressively exalt every word of God for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Amen!