Daily Bible Lessons Part II from James to Revelation

Bible Lessons from James to Revelation

By Dr. Alice Stanback

 

New American Standard Bible

James  

Testing Your Faith
1:1James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,       To the twelve tribes who are dispersed (unto those dispersed among the Greeks; scattered abroad among the Gentiles. BKC: To persecuted Jewish believers scattered among pagan people.) abroad: Greetings (in a broader sense, to be well, to thrive, to rejoice, be glad).

2Consider (to consider, deem, account, think) it all joy (BKC: i.e. joy that is full or unmixed… James did not say that a believer should be joyous for the trials but in the trials.), my brethren, when you encounter various trials (adversity, affliction, trouble, sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s faith, holiness, character: plural; NASB: In vv. 2-3 the emphasis is on difficulties that come from outside; in vv. 13-15 it is on inner moral trials such as temptation to sin), 3knowing that the testing (the proving) of your faith produces endurance (in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings. BKC: True faith… develops, or more literally “works,” perseverance or staying power. [Faith works]). 4And let endurance have its perfect (brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness) result (used collectively of an aggregate of actions), so that you may be perfect and complete (“all that is included [apportioned] through divine lot.” /holóklēros [“divinely-allotted wholeness”] occurs twice in the NT, 1 Thes 5:23; Js 1:4; all that has fallen by lot, complete in all its parts, in no part lacking or unsound, complete, entire, whole), lacking (passive to be left behind [properly, by one’s rival in a race, hence], to lag, be inferior) in nothing.

5But if any of you lacks (to be destitute of, to lack) wisdom (the knowledge and practice of the requisites for godly and upright living. NASB: Wisdom enables one to face trials with “joy” [v 2]. Wisdom is not just acquired information but practical insight with spiritual implications [see Prov 1:2-4; 2:10-15; 4:5-9; 9:10-12].), let him ask of God, who gives to all generously (/haplṓs [“simply”], used only in Js 1:5, refers to God “generously” giving wisdom – which is better translated “giving undividedly, openly” [literally, “unfolded, holding nothing back”]; simply, openly, frankly, sincerely.) and without reproach (to upbraid, cast [favors received] in one’s teeth; to disgrace [insult], reproach; mock [curse]; insult, cast blame [create shame] – viewing someone [something] as culpably guilty and therefore deserving punishment; to defame, i.e. rail at, chide, taunt — cast in teeth, [suffer] revile, upbraid.), and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith (with the predominant idea of trust [or confidence] whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same; Js 1:5, 6: “5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously [ /haplṓs] and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must [continuously, in process] ask in faith [/pistis] without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind”.) without any doubting (to be at variance with oneself, hesitate), for the one who doubts is like the surf (a dashing or surging wave, a surge, a violent agitation of the sea) of the sea, driven (to agitate or drive by the wind; present passive participle [“ing”]) and tossed by the wind (it is used of a person whose mind wavers in uncertainty between hope and fear, between doing and not doing a thing). 7For that man ought not to expect (to suppose, think) that he will receive (to get back) anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded (“double-minded,” i.e. a person “split in half,” vacillating like a “spiritual schizophrenic.” This term may have been coined in the NT; wavering, uncertain, doubting) man, unstable (inconstant, restless) in all his ways (in all his purposes and actions).

9But the brother of humble (as to condition, lowly, of low degree) circumstances is to glory in his high position; 10and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation (low estate, humiliation) (NASB: Since James’s discussions of wisdom [vv. 5-8] and of the poor man and the rich man [vv. 9-11] appear between the two sections on trials [vv. 2-4 and v.12], vv. 5-11 may also have to do with trials. The Christian who suffers the trials of poverty is to take pride in his high position [v. 9] as a believer [see 2:5], and the wealthy Christian is to take pride [v. 10] in trials that bring him low, perhaps including the loss of his wealth.), because like flowering (a blossom — flower) grass he will pass away (perish). 11For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed (to be blotted out, to vanish away); so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits (a going i. e. purpose, pursuit, undertaking) will fade away.

12Blessed is a man who perseveres (to endure, bear bravely and calmly) under trial; for once he has been approved (in the N. T. one who is of tried faith and integrity) he will receive the crown (the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ) of life (life, both of physical [present] and of spiritual [particularly future] existence. NASB: Eternal life, as the future tense of the verb [“will receive”] indicates].) which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted (to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin; hence, according to the context equivalent to to solicit to sin, to tempt:), “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone (NASB: Tempted: In vv. 13-14 the verb refers to temptation that test one’s moral strength to resist sin. God cannot be tempted: Because God in His very nature is holy, there is nothing in Him for sin to appeal to.). 14But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust (desire, craving, longing, specifically, desire for what is forbidden, lust). 15Then when lust has conceived (of ‘lust,’ whose impulses a man indulges), it gives birth (to bear, bring forth) to sin; and when sin is accomplished (to perfect; complete; to bring quite to an end, having come to maturity), it brings forth death (the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name, i. e. “the misery of soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body. NASB: The three stages-desire, sin, death- are seen in the temptations of Eve [Gen 3:6-22 and David [2 Sam 11:12-17].). 16Do not be deceived (passive, to be led into error [led astray]), my beloved brethren. 17Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above (used of things which come from heaven, or from God as dwelling in heaven), coming down from the Father of lights (anything emitting light. NASB: God is the Creator of the heavenly bodies, which give light to the earth, but unlike them, He does not change.), with whom there is no variation (change) or shifting (a turning: of the heavenly bodies) shadow (shadow caused by revolution). 18In the exercise of His will (to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded [βουληθείς ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς of his own free will he brought us forth, with which will it ill accords to say, as some do, that they are tempted to sin by God]) He brought (NASB: Not a reference to creation but to regeneration [see John 3:3-8]) us forth by the word of truth (a word, speech, divine utterance; a word [as embodying an idea], a statement, a speech; [See John 17:17; Eph 1:13 [for the order of Salvation see Romans 8:29-30]; also see Gen 1:1ff. NASB: The proclamation of the gospel [see 1 Pet 1:23-25.]), so that we would be a kind of first fruits (of persons consecrated to God, leading the rest in time: with a reference to the moral creation effected by Christianity all the Christians of that age are called [a kind of first-fruits]. NASB: See Lev 23:9-14. Just as the first sheaf of the harvest was an indication that the whole harvest would eventually follow, so the early Christians were an indication that a great number of people would eventually be born again.) among His creatures.

19This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness (righteousness, justice) of God. 21Therefore, putting aside all filthiness ( dirtiness [morally] — turpitude) and all that remains (residue; the wickedness remaining over in the Christian from his state prior to conversion) of wickedness (malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure), in humility (gentleness) receive (to receive favorably, give ear to, embrace, make one’s own, approve, not to reject) the word (of God) implanted (bring into living union like with a successfully engrafted shoot; what is “planted” and hence “inborn, congenital, natural” , i.e. placed in [“established”] which enables something to develop [used only in Js 1:21].), which is able (to have power,) to save (to save and transport into etc. [also see 2 Timothy 4:18]; to save, i.e. deliver or protect — heal, preserve, do well, be [make] whole; deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions [safety].]) your souls (“the [human] soul in so far as it is so constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life”). 22But prove (gínomai – properly, to emerge, become, transitioning from one point [realm, condition] to another. [gínomai] fundamentally means “become” [becoming, became] so it is not an exact equivalent to the ordinary equative verb “to be” [is, was, will be]. [ginomai] means “to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place” [Vine, Unger, White, NT, 109]. M. Vincent, “[gínomai] means to come into being/manifestation implying motion, movement, or growth” (at 2 Pet 1:4). Thus it is used for God’s actions as emerging from eternity and becoming [showing themselves] in time [physical space].) yourselves doers (performer) of the word, and not merely hearers who delude (to deceive, delude, circumvent) themselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind (of what sort or quality, what manner of) of person he was. 25But one who looks intently (to look carefully into, inspect curiously, of one who would become acquainted with something) at the perfect law (brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness. NASB: The moral and ethical teaching of Christianity, which is based on the OT moral law, as embodied in the Ten Commandments [see Ps 19:7], but brought to completion [perfection] by Jesus Christ.), the law of liberty (freedom from the dominion of corrupt desires, so that we do by the free impulse of the soul what the will of God requires: i. e. the Christian religion, which furnishes that rule of right living by which the liberty just mentioned is attained. NASB: In contrast to the sinner, who is a slave to sin [John 8:34], obeying the moral law gives the Christians the joyous freedom to be what he was created for [see 2:12].), and abides (to remain beside, continue always near, and continues to do so, not departing till all stains are washed away) by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual (an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opposed to that which is less than work) doer, this man will be blessed in what he does (blessed, happy).

26If anyone thinks himself to be religious (fearing or worshipping God; religious, ‘to adhere to,’ ‘be a votary of’. NASB: Refers to the outward acts of religion: giving to the needy, fasting and public acts of praying and worshiping.), and yet does not bridle (to lead by a bridle, to guide to bridle, hold in check, restrain) his tongue but deceives (to cheat, beguile) his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless (devoid of force, truth, success, result [uniformly vain]). 27Pure (clean, genuine) and undefiled (without defect) religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained (free from vice, unsullied) by the world (NASB: Not the world of nature but the world of people in their rebellion against alienation from God [see 1 John 2:15]).

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Sin of Partiality

 

(Two things would be helpful to remember, (1) the Holy Spirit executes the “Power of God” in the believer’s life. (2) Faith is the instrument ordained by YHWH through which to save sinners (Eph 2:8a For by grace you have been saved through faith). Faith comes from God and goes back to Him; it is that which grabs hold of Yehoshua and returns back to God. See Rom 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.)

2:1My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious (the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellence of Christ:) Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. (respect of persons, partiality, the fault of one who when called on to requite or to give judgment has respect to the outward circumstances of men and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high-born, or powerful, to another who is destitute of such gifts: plural (which relates to the various occasions and instances in which this fault shows itself) 2For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” ([figuratively] “[hypopódion] is a footstool used by a conquering king, to place his foot on the neck of the conquered” – i.e. those under his total dominion.) 4have you not made distinctions (“over-judging” [going too far, vacillating]; make distinctions among yourselves) among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? (an opinion: judges with evil thoughts, i. e. who follow perverse opinions, reprehensible principles) 5Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6But you have dishonored (insult, treat with contumely,” whether in word, in deed, or in thought) the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress (to exercise power over) you and personally drag (James 2:6: a person forcibly and against his will [our drag, drag off]) (Note: John 6:44: induce [draw in], focusing on the attraction-power involved with the drawing; to draw by inward power, lead, impel: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”) you into court? 7Do they not blaspheme (to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate) the fair (honorable, conferring honor) name by which you have been called? (“the name of one is named upon some one, i. e. he is called by his name or declared to be dedicated to him”): [the name referred to is the people of God])

8If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law (NASB: The law of love [Lev 19:18] is called “royal” because it is the supreme law that is the source of all other laws governing human relationships. It is the summation of all such laws [Matt 22:36-40; Rom 13:8-10].) according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. 9But if you show partiality (to have respect of persons), you are committing sin and are convicted (generally with a suggestion of the shame of the person convicted) by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles (i. e. sin against, one law) in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11For He who said, “DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” also said, “DO NOT COMMIT MURDER.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty (freedom from the dominion of corrupt desires, so that we do by the free impulse of the soul what the will of God requires: i. e. the Christian religion, which furnishes that rule of right living by which the liberty just mentioned is attained.)

13For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs (mercy boasts itself superior to judgment, i. e. full of glad confidence has no fear of judgment) over judgment (in a forensic judgment sense, of God or of Jesus the Messiah).

Faith and Works

14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? (ἔργα is applied to the conduct of men, measured by the standard of religion and righteousness — whether bad or good, James 2:14.) Can that faith save him? (the religious belief of Christians; subjectively: where in the sense of a mere acknowledgment of divine things and of the claims of Christianity) 15If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead (universally, destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative: powerless and fruitless), being by itself (alone).

18But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (See 2 Thes 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power [KJV] To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power [NASB] [“To this end (glorification) – indeed each time we pray about (peri) you for the purpose (hin) of our God counting you worthy of the call – even that He may fulfill (His) every good-pleasure that comes from (His) goodness and work of faith, in (His) ability.”].) 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder (it denotes the mere acknowledgment of his existence). 20But are you willing (to desire, to wish) to recognize (to understand), you foolish (destitute of spiritual wealth, of one who boasts of his faith as a transcendent possession, yet is without the fruits of faith) fellow, that faith without (separately, separate from, apart from) works is useless? (lazy, shunning the labor which one ought to perform) 21Was not Abraham our father justified (to show to be righteous, declare righteous) by works (an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opposed to that which is less than work) when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22You see that faith was working (with one: ἡ πίστις συνήργει τοῖς ἔργοις, faith [was not inactive, but by coworking] caused Abraham to produce works) with his works (is applied to the conduct of men, measured by the standard of religion and righteousness — whether bad or good [in this verse good.]), and as a result of the works, faith was perfected (to complete [perfect], i. e. add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full: by works faith was perfected, made such as it ought to be); 23and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24You see that a man is justified (to show to be righteous, declare righteous) by works and not by faith alone [which is dead faith, cf. v. 26]. 25In the same way, was not Rahab the (a Canaanite in the linage of Yehoshua, cf. Matt 5-6 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.) harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

 

About Faith

4102 pístis (from 3982/peithô, “persuade, be persuaded”) – properly, persuasion (be persuaded, come to trust); faith.

Faith (4102/pistis) is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short, 4102/pistis (“faith”) for the believer is “God’s divine persuasion” – and therefore distinct from human belief (confidence), yet involving it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, i.e. the persuasion of His will (1 Jn 5:4).

[4102 (pistis) in secular antiquity referred to a guarantee (warranty). In Scripture, faith is God’s warranty, certifying that the revelation He inbirthed will come to pass (His way).

Faith (4102/pistis) is also used collectively – of all the times God has revealed (given the persuasion of) His will, which includes the full revelation of Scripture (Jude 3). Indeed, God the Lord guarantees that all of this revelation will come to pass! Compare Mt 5:18 with 2 Tim 3:16.]

The root of 4102/pistis (“faith”) is 3982/peithô (“to persuade, be persuaded”) which supplies the core-meaning of faith (“divine persuasion“). It is God’s warranty that guarantees the fulfillment of the revelation He births within the receptive believer (cf. 1 Jn 5:4 with Heb 11:1).

Faith (4102/pistis) is always received from God, and never generated by us.

Ro 12:3: “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (4102/pistis)” (NASU).

Eph 2:8, 9: ” For by grace you have been saved through faith (4102/pistis); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (NASU).

Gal 5:22,23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith (4102/pistis), gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

2 Thes 1:11: “To this end (glorification) – indeed each time we pray about (peri) you for the purpose (hin) of our God counting you worthy of the call – even that He may fulfill (His) every good-pleasure that comes from (His) goodness and work of faith, in (His) ability.”

Reflection: Faith is only (exclusively) given to the redeemed. It is not a virtue that can be worked up by human effort.

Faith (4102/pistis) enables the believer to know God’s preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin; see 2307/thelçma). Accordingly, faith (4102/pistis) and “God’s preferred-will (2307/thelçma)” are directly connected in Scripture.

Ro 12:2, 3: “And do not be conformed to this world, but betransformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will (2307/thelçma) of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (4102/pistis)” (NASU).

2 Cor 8:5, 7: ” And this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will (2307/thelçma) of God” (NASU).

“But just as you abound in everything, in faith (4102/pistis) and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also” (NASU).

Heb 10:36, 38: “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will (2307/thelçma) of God, you may receive what was promised” (NASU).

“BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH(4102/pistis); AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM” (NASU).

1 Jn 5:4: “For whatever is born of God conquers the world; and this is the conquest that has conquered the world – our faith (4102/pistis).”

In sum, faith (4102/pistis) is a persuasion from God that we receive as He grants impulse (“divine spark”; cf. the Heb hiphil form of believe, *mn, in a later discussion). Faith is always the work of God and involves hearing His voice – whereby the believer lays hold of His preferred-will (cf. J. Calvin).

Hab 2:1: ” I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak in (Heb b) me” (NASU).

Hab 2:4: “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live in his faith” (= 4102/pistis, “faith from the Lord”).

More on what faith is . . . and isn’t

  1. In Scripture, faith and belief are not exactly the same. Faith always comes from God and involves His revelation therefore faith is beyond belief!
  2. Faith is God’s work; faith is never the work of people. We cannot produce faith ourselves, nor can we “drum it up at will.” Rather, faith comes as Christ speaks His rhçma-word within (see Ro 10:17, Gk text).
  3. In all of Scripture, only the term faith is ever used in the following way: Ro 14:23: Whatever is not of faith (4102/pistis) is sin.” Heb 11:6: “And without faith (4102/pistis) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASU).

Reflection: Nothing quite like this two-fold witness appears elsewhere in the Bible. These sweeping statements sober the heart and inspire the soul! The Lord offers to inbirth faith in each scene of life – so that each matters equally in eternity . . . no matter how insignificant they seem (Lk 16:10 with Lk 17:6 and 2 Pet 1:2).

Key quotes

“Faith always pre-supposes revelation” (W. H. Griffith Thomas, Genesis, 55). “Faith is always a response to a divine revelation” (W. H. Griffith Thomas, Hebrews, 143).

“Faith . . . both in its initiation and every step of the way, is Spirit given . . . faith is God given” (W. Hendriksen, Galatians, 197).

“Faith precedes works, and is not something merely deduced by reason of existing” (D. Edmond Hiebert, Thessalonians, 2 Thes 1:11).

“Faith is always a gift of God” (L. Morris, John, p 520).

“The basis of faith is God’s revelation of Himself . . . Christianity came to be seen as a faith event” (O. Michel, Dictionary of New Testament Theology).

“Faith is the divine response, wrought in man, by God” (from Berkof’s Systematic Theology, representing the views of Barth and Brunner).

“Faith always has the element of assurance, certainty and confidence . . . and evidential value substantiating the thing we hope for . . . with faith, there is no strain or tension; rather, it has the element of assurance and confidence in it . . . if there is strain or tension . . . trying to persuade yourself to keep from doubting, you can be quite sure that it is not faith . . . faith is not the law of mathematical probability, . . . faith is not natural . . .faith is spiritual, the gift of God . . . you cannot command faith at will, faith is always something that is given-inwrought by God; . . . therefore, if you want to be a man of faith, it will always be the result of becoming a certain type of person” (M. Lloyd Jones, Romans, Ro 4:18-25).

“Faith is the divinely given conviction of things unseen” (Homer Kent Jr., Hebrews, 217, quoting Theological Dictionary of the NT vol 2, 476).

“Faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order” (F. F. Bruce, Hebrews, 279).

“Faith is knowing what is His will toward us; therefore, we hold faith to be the knowledge of God’s will toward us” (John Calvin, as quoted by R. McAfee Brown in Is Faith Obsolete?).

“Right faith is a thing wrought in us by the Holy Spirit” (Wm. Tyndale).

“We have made faith a condition of mind, when it is a divinely imparted grace of the heart . . . we can receive faith only as he gives it . . . you cannot manufacture faith, you can not work it up . . . you can believe a promise, and at the same time not have the faith to appropriate it . . . genuine, Scriptural faith is not our ability to ‘count it done,’ but is the deep consciousness divinely imparted to the heart of man that it is done, . . . it is the faith that only God can give . . . do not struggle in the power of the will . . . what a mistake to take our belief in God and call of faith . . . Christ, the living word, is our sufficiency . . . (Charles Price, The Real Faith, Logos/publications).

Note: On the distinction between believing (belief), and faith in the Scriptures see Js 2:19; Jn 10:38; Ac 8:13, 26:27, 28; Ro 14:2; 2 Thes 2:11; 1 Jn 4:1; also Jn 2:23, 7:31, 12:42 and 4102/pisteuô (“believe”).

As in the Gospels, a person’s believing (belief) is vital (cf. Heb 11:6). But a personal encounter with Christ (a true connection with Him and His Word) is always necessary for believing (“man’s responsibility”) to be transformed into faith (which is always and only God’s word). See also Mt 8:10, 13, 9:22, 28, 29, 15:28; Ac 20:21; Ro 9:32; Gal 3:9,22.

Summary

Belief and faith are not exactly equivalent terms. When Jesus told people, “Your faith has made you well,” faith was still His gift (Eph 2:8, 9). Any gift however, once received, becomes the “possession” of the recipient. Faith however is always from God and is purely His work (2 Thes 1:11).

Note: The Greek definite article is uniformly used in the expressions “your faith,” “their faith” (which occur over 30 times in the Greek NT). This genitive construction with the article refers to “the principle of faith (operating in) you” – not “your faith” in the sense that faith is ever generated by the recipient.

[The meaning of the definite article in this construction is “the principle of faith at work in you,” “the operating-principle of faith in them,” etc. For examples see: Mt 9:2, 22, 29; Lk 17:19; Phil 2:17; 2 Pet 1:5, etc.]

Faith (4102/pistis) involves belief but it goes beyond human believing because it involves the personal revelation (inworking) of God. Faith is always God’s work. Our believing has eternal meaning when it becomes “faith-believing” by the transforming grace of God.

Reflection: Demons believe (and shudder) . . . but they do not have (experience) faith!

Js 2:19: “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (NASU). Source: http://biblehub.com/greek/4102.htm “Up”

“Faith is positive willing.” “Faith makes the unseen real” (Dr. Robert, Bob, Saucy).

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Tongue Is a Fire      3:1Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur (to receive (what is given); to gain, get, obtain: of punishments) a stricter (great) judgment. 2For we all stumble (to err, to make a mistake; to sin) in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect (of mind and character, one who has reached the proper height of virtue and integrity) man, able to bridle (to lead by a bridle, to guide; to bridle, hold in check, restrain) the whole body as well (NASB: Since the tongue is so difficult to control, anyone who controls it perfectly gains control of himself in all other areas of life as well.). 3Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.       See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire (the tongue is called πῦρ, as though both itself on fire and setting other things on fire, partly by reason of the fiery spirit which governs it, partly by reason of the destructive power it exercises), the very world (the sum of all iniquities) of iniquity (a phrase having reference to sins of the tongue. NASB: Like the world in its falleness); the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles (to spot, stain) the entire body, and sets on fire (to operate destructively, have a most pernicious power) the course (a wheel [moving on a circular track]; a circuit [circular course], representing the “moral axis” on which our lives turn; a “way of life” that follows an appointed course. [“cycle”] is only used in Js 3:6.) of our life (existence, life: the wheel [cf. English machinery] of life) and is set on fire by hell (Gehenna, the name of a valley on the south and east of Jerusalem, which was so called from the cries of the little children who were thrown into the fiery arms of Moloch (which see), i. e. of an idol having the form of a bull. The Jews so abhorred the place after these horrible sacrifices had been abolished by king Josiah, that they cast into it not only all manner of refuse, but even the dead bodies of animals and of unburied criminals who had been executed. And since fires were always needed to consume the dead bodies, that the air might not become tainted by the putrefaction, it came to pass that the place was called γηννα τοῦ πυρός: Gehenna, and originally the name of a valley or cavity near Jerusalem, a place underneath the earth, a place of punishment for evil. Some suppose the genitive to refer not to purifying fires but to the fires of Moloch; others regard it as the natural symbol of penalty; and then this name was transferred to that place in Hades where the wicked after death will suffer punishment; symbolic name for the final place of punishment of the ungodly. NASB: A figurative way of saying that the source of the tongue’s evil is the devil [see John 8:44]). 7For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless (unstable, inconstant) evil (troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful: an evil, that which injures) and full of deadly (death-bringing) poison (the poison of asps is under their lips, spoken of men given to reviling and calumniating and thereby injuring others). 9With it we bless (to praise, celebrate with praises) our Lord and Father, and with it we curse (doom, imprecate evil on) men, who have been made in the likeness of God (likeness; particularly, the application of God’s likeness in all people by being created in His image [Gen 1:26, 27; Jn 1:4, 7, 9]. NASB: Since man has been made like God [Gen 1:26-27], to curse man is like cursing God [see Gen 9:6 Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.]); 10from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

Wisdom from Above       13Who among you is wise (wise in a practical sense, i. e. one who in action is governed by piety and integrity) and understanding? (epistḗmōn [an adjective] – thoroughly knowledgeable from gaining understanding over long-term, personal acquaintance [it is only used in Js 3:13]). It emphasizes understanding that results from building on previous knowledge, which supports the next stage of understanding; intelligent, experienced [especially one having the knowledge of an expert]) Let him show by his good (beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy; morally good, noble) behavior his deeds (is applied to the conduct of men, measured by the standard of religion and righteousness — whether bad, or good) in the gentleness of wisdom (the knowledge and practice of the requisites for godly and upright living). 14But if you have bitter (harsh, virulent) jealousy and selfish ambition (in the N. T. “a courting distinction, a desire to put oneself forward, a partisan and factious spirit which does not disdain low arts; partisanship, factiousness”:) in your heart, do not be arrogant (boast down, over-exalting one thing at the expense of another which results in wrong conclusions – i.e. that unjustifiably downgrade by boasting with a sense of false superiority [cf. Ro 11:18]; to glory against, to exult over, to boast oneself to the injury of [a person or a thing]) and so lie against the truth (what is true in any matter under consideration [opposed to what is feigned, fictitious, false]). 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above (Often [also in Greek writings] used of things which come from heaven, or from God as dwelling in heaven. NASB: From God [see 1:5, 17; 1 Cor 2:6-16]), but is earthly (the wisdom of man, liable to error and misleading,), natural (a wisdom in harmony with the corrupt desires and affections, and springing from them), demonic (resembling or proceeding from an evil spirit, demon-like). 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder (instability, a state of disorder, disturbance, confusion. NASB: “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” [1 Cor 14:33]) and every evil thing (what is doing or being accomplished). 17But the wisdom from above is first pure (pure from every fault, immaculate), then peaceable (pacific, loving peace), gentle (equitable, fair, mild), reasonable (ready to obey; good for persuasion, i.e. easy to be entreated.), full of mercy (“kindness or good will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them”, of men toward men [human beings]) and good (corresponds to the figurative expression good ground, and denotes a soul inclined to goodness, and accordingly eager to learn saving truth and ready to bear the fruits of a Christian life) fruits (used of men’s deeds as exponents of their hearts), unwavering, without hypocrisy (unfeigned, undisguised). 18And the seed (benefit arising from righteousness which consists in righteousness) whose fruit is righteousness is sown (that seed which produces) in peace by those who make peace (NASB: Contrast v. 16. Discord cannot produce righteousness.).

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Things to Avoid       4:1What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures (desires for pleasure. NASB: The Greek for this term is the source of our word “hedonism.”) that wage war (of passions that disquiet the soul) in your members? (any function of human personality, such as “sanctified imagination”; members of the human body) 2You lust (“to keep the θυμός [an outburst of passion, wrath] turned upon a thing, hence [cf. “our” to set one’s heart upon] to have a desire for, long for; absolutely, to desire) and do not have; so you commit murder (NASB: Figurative [hyperbole] for “hate.”). You are envious (to be heated or to boil [to be moved] with envy, hatred, anger) and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives (with bad intent), so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4You adulteresses (faithless to God, unclean, apostate. NASB: Those who are spiritually unfaithful, who love the world rather than God. For spiritual adultery see, e.g., Jer 31:32.), do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility (enmity) toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy (actively, hostile, hating and opposing another) of God. 5Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose (for nothing; hence, empty [without content]; lacking [deficient]; [figuratively] without sense; foolish because vain [ineffective], i.e. to no purpose because hollow [worthless], used only in Js 4:5.): “He jealously (doth the Spirit which took up its abode within us [i. e. the Holy Spirit] long enviously?) desires (to pursue with love, to tong after) the Spirit (NASB: Or “spirit.” Then the meaning would be that God “jealously desires” our faithfulness and love [see v. 4]. In this case the “Scripture” referred to may be Ex 20:5.) which He has made (to cause) to dwell in us”? 6But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED ([middle] to oppose oneself, resist) TO THE PROUD (appearing above others [conspicuous], i.e. [figuratively] haughty — proud.), BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE (lowly in spirit).” (NASB: vv. 7-10: These verses contain ten commandments, each of which is so stated in Greek that it calls for immediate action in rooting out the sinful attitude of pride.) 7Submit (imperative obey, be subject) therefore to God. Resist (to set against; to set oneself against, to withstand resist, oppose, imperative) the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw (to make near, refl. to come near) near to God and He will draw near to you (God draws near to one in the bestowment of his grace and help). Cleanse (to abstain in future from wrong-doing) your hands (NASB: Before the OT priests approached God at the tabernacle, they had to wash their hands and feet at the bronze basin as a symbol of spiritual cleansing (EX 30:17-21.), you sinners; and purify (morally) your hearts, you double-minded (divided in interest namely, between God and the world). 9Be miserable (intensely afflict, leaving someone in a wretched [miserable] condition – literally, showing callouses due to sustained affliction [used only at Js 4:9])) and mourn and weep (NASB: Repent); let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom (a downcast look expressive of sorrow; hence, shame, dejection, gloom ([heaviness”]). 10Humble (to confess and deplore one’s spiritual littleness and unworthiness) yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt (to raise the spirits by the blessings of salvation) you.

11Do not speak against (to speak against one, to criminate, traduce) one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law (law [through the idea of prescriptive usage], genitive case [regulation], specially, [of Moses (including the volume); also of the Gospel.], or figuratively [a principle] — law. NASB: The law of love [Lev 19:18] is called “royal” because it is the supreme law that is the source of all other laws governing human relationships. It is the summation of all such laws [Matt 22:36-40; Rom 13:8-10].); but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save (Since salvation begins in this life [in deliverance from error and corrupt notions, in moral purity, in pardon of sin, and in the blessed peace of a soul reconciled to God], but on the visible return of Christ from heaven will be perfected in the consummate blessings of ὁ αἰών ὁ μέλλων, we can understand why τό σῴζεσθαι is spoken of in some passages as a present possession, in others as a good yet future: — as a blessing beginning [or begun] on earth. Here in James — as a thing still future) and to destroy (to devote or give over to eternal misery); but who are you who judge your neighbor (near, nearby)?

13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor (mist) that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills (to be resolved or determined, to purpose), we will live and also do this or that.” 16But as it is, you boast (to glory [whether with reason or without]) in your arrogance (an impious and empty presumption which trusts in the stability of earthly things, [vaunting], where the plural has reference to the various occasions on which this presumption shows itself); all such boasting is evil (hurtful, i.e. evil; figuratively, calamitous; toilsome, bad; mischief, malice, or [plural] guilt). 17Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Misuse of Riches       5:1Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries (hardship, trouble, calamity) which are coming upon you (NASB: These [as also in 2:2, 6] are not Christians, for James warns them to repent and weep because of the coming misery. Verses 1-6 are similar to OT declarations of judgment against pagan nations, interspersed in books otherwise addressed to God’s people [Is 13-23; Jer 46-51; Ezek 25-32; Amos 1:3-2:16; Zeph 2:4-15].). 2Your riches (abundance of external possessions) have rotted (has perished) and your garments (NASB: one of the main forms of wealth in the ancient world [see Acts 20:33]) have become moth-eaten. 3Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust (NASB: The result of hoarding. It both testify against and judge the selfish rich.) will be a witness (it will serve as a proof of your wickedness) against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days (the last day [of all days], denotes that with which the present age which precedes the times of the Messiah or the glorious return of Christ from heaven will be closed; of the time nearest the return of Christ from heaven and the consummation of the divine kingdom) that you have stored up your treasure! 4Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5You have lived luxuriously (trypháō (from /tryphḗ, “breakdown of character from living in luxury”) – to live indulgently [luxuriously]. /trypháō [“indulging in dainty living”] is only used in Js 5:5. [“Dainty living” in NT times included going to the public baths [“wash houses”], typically decked out with ornate furnishings [e.g. decorated baths made of marble, etc. They eventually became huge recreation centers with an adjoining gymnasium and library.]) on the earth and led a life of wanton (to live luxuriously, lead a voluptuous life, [give oneself to pleasure]) pleasure; you have fattened (nourish) your hearts (denotes the seat and center of all physical and spiritual life; and the vigor and sense of physical life) in a day of slaughter (day of destruction. NASB: The day of judgment. The wicked rich are like cattle that continue to fatten themselves on the very day they are to be slaughtered, totally unaware of coming destruction.). 6You have condemned and put to death the righteous (universally, the meaning is, it was not consistent with his uprightness to expose his betrothed to public reproach [“Righteous” relates to conformity to God’s standard [justice]; [“righteous, just”] describes what is in conformity to God’s own being [His will, standard of rightness]; hence “upright.”) man; he does not resist (to oppose oneself) you.

 

Exhortation (NASB: V. 7: Therefore: Refers back to vv. 1-6. Since the believers are suffering at the hands of the wicked rich, they are to look for ward patiently to the Lord’s return.)

7Therefore be patient (to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles: absolutely), brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce (fruit of the tree) of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains ([In Israel] the latter or vernal rain, which falls chiefly in the months of March and April just before the harvest [see Deut 11:14; Jer 5:24; Hos 6:3; Joel 2:24]). 8You too be patient; strengthen (make firm; tropically to render constant, confirm, one’s mind [establish]) your hearts (of the cultivation of constancy and endurance), for the coming of the Lord is near. 9Do not complain (murmur. NASB: James calls for patience toward believers as well as unbelievers [vv. 7-8]), brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged (the act of condemning and decreeing [or inflicting] penalty on one); behold, the Judge (of God passing judgment on the character and deeds of men, and rewarding accordingly) is standing right at the door (he whose advent is just at hand. NASB: A reference to Christ’s second coming [see vv. 7-8] and the judgment associated with it. The NT insistence on imminence [e.g., in Rom 13:12; Heb 10:25; 1 Pet 4:7; Rev 22:20] arises from the teaching that the “last days” began with the incarnation. We have been living in the “last days” [v. 3] ever since. The next great event in redemptive history is Christ’s second coming. The NT does not say when it will take place, but its certainty is never questioned and believers are consistently admonished to watch for it. It was the in this light that James expected the imminent return of Christ.). 10As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11We count those blessed who endured (steadfastness, constancy; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings. NASB: Not “patience.” Job was not patient [Job 3; 12:1-3; 16:1-3; 21:4], but he persevered [Job 1:20-22; 2:9-10; 13:15]. This is the only place in the NT where Job is mentioned, though Job 5:13 is quoted in 1 Cor 3:19). You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion (“many-boweled,” referring to full affection [intense, visceral feeling], used only in Js 5:11; very tender-hearted, extremely full of pity) and is merciful (compassionate — merciful, of tender mercy).

12But above all, my brethren, do not swear (in swearing to call a person or thing as witness, to invoke, swear by), either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath (NASB: James’s words are very close to Christ’s [Matt 5:33-37]. James is not condemning the taking of solemn oaths, such as God’s before Abraham [Heb 6:13] or Jesus’ before Caiaphas [Matt 26:63-64] or Paul’s [Rom 1:9; 9:1] or a man’s before the Lord [Ex 22:11]. Rather, he condemning the flippant use of God’s name or a sacred object to guarantee the truth of what is spoken.); but your yes (indeed, certainly) is to be yes, and your no (not), no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

13Is anyone among you suffering? (to suffer [endure] evils [hardship, troubles]; to be afflicted) Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders (among Christians, those who presided over the assemblies [or churches]) of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil (NASB: One of the best-known ancient medicines… Some believe that James may be using the term medically in this passage, Others, however, regard its use here as an aid to faith, an outward sign of the healing to be brought about by God in response to “prayer offered in faith” [v. 15; see Mark 6:13].) in the name of the Lord (in the use of the name of Christ i. e. the power of his name being invoked for assistance); 15and the prayer offered in faith (that proceeds from faith) will restore (one [from injury or peril]; to save a suffering one [from perishing], e. g. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health [others understand this as including spiritual healing]) the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise (will cause him to recover) him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective (to display one’s activity, show oneself operative) prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature (suffering the like with another, of like feelings or affections) like ours, and he prayed earnestly (to pray fervently) that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

19My brethren, if any among you strays (especially through ignorance to be led aside from the path of virtue, to go astray, sin. NASB: The wanderer is either a professing Christian, whose faith is not genuine [cf. Heb 6:4-8; 2 Pet 2:20-21], or a sinning Christian, who needs to be restored. For the former, the death spoken of in v. 20 is the “second death” [Rev 21:8]; for the latter, it is physical death [cf. 1 Cor 11:30].) from the truth (to exemplify truth in the life, to express the form of truth in one’s habits of thought and modes of living) and one turns him back (that they may be in [to walk in] the wisdom of the righteous), 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death (equivalent to the cause of death) and will cover (to procure pardon of them from God) a multitude of sins (NASB: The sins of the wanderer will be forgiven by God.).

New American Standard Bible 1 Peter

A Living Hope, and a Sure Salvation       1:1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,       To those who reside as aliens (“one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives; hence, stranger; sojourning in a strange place, a foreigner”; in the N. T. metaphorically, in reference to heaven as the native country, one who sojourns on earth: so of Christians), scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (NASB: Jewish and Gentile Christians scattered through much of Asia Minor. People from this area were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost [see Acts 2:9-11]. Paul preached and taught in some of these provinces [see, e.g., Acts 16:6; 18:23; 19:10, 26]), who are chosen (chosen by God, and to obtain salvation through Christ (see ἐκλέγω); hence, Christians are called οἱ ἐκλεκτοί τοῦ Θεοῦ, the chosen or elect of God) 2according to the foreknowledge (forethought, prearrangement. [See second post for an in-depth definition of foreknowledge.]. NASB: All three persons of the trinity are involved in the redemption of the elect.) of God the Father, by the sanctifying work (sanctification wrought by the Holy Spirit. NASB: The order of the terms employed suggest that the sanctifying work of the Spirit referred to here is the influence of the Spirit that draws one from sin toward holiness. Peter says it is “to” [or “for”] obedience and sprinkling of Christ’s blood, i.e., the Spirit’s sanctifying leads to obedient saving faith and cleansing from sin.) of the Spirit, to obey ([hypakoḗ (from /akoúō, “to hear” and /hypó, “beneath”] – i.e. obedience – literally, “submission to what is heard“, i.e. obedience as the response to someone speaking. This refers both to an earthly voice and the Lord’s voice [see 2 Cor 10:5; 1 Pet 1:2]; obedience, compliance, submission. NASB: God’s choice or election is designed to bring this about.) Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood (a sprinkling [purification]: αἷμα ῤαντισμοῦ, blood of sprinkling, i. e. appointed for sprinkling [serving to purify], that they may be purified [or cleansed from the guilt of their sins] by the blood of Christ. NASB: The benefits of Christ’s redemption are applied to His people [See Ex 24:4-8; Is 52:15; Heb 9:11-14, 18-28]): May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy (especially the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ) has caused us to be born again (born-again or “born from on high”; /anagennáō [“born again, from above”] is used twice in the NT [1 Pet 1:3, 23] – both times referring to God regenerating a believer [giving a supernatural, new birth]. (anagennáō) “does not occur in classical or Septuagintal Greek. Any use elsewhere [i.e. outside the NT] is disputed [cf. Moulton-Milligan; Selwyn, First Epistle of St. Peter, 122]” [CBL]. This underlines the importance of its two occasions in the NT. to produce again, beget again, beget anew; thoroughly to change the mind of one, so that he lives a new life and one conformed to the will of God) to a living (having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul) hope (always in the N. T., in a good sense: expectation of good, hope; and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation. NASB: In the Bible, hope is not wishful thinking but a firm conviction, much like faith that is directed toward the future.) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (a standing up, i.e. a resurrection, a raising up, rising. NASB: [This] Secures for His people their new birth and the hope they will be resurrected just as He was.) from the dead, 4to obtain an inheritance (lifted to a loftier sense in the N. T., is used to denote a. “the eternal blessedness in the consummated kingdom of God which is to be expected after the visible return of Christ”. NASB: Believers are born again not only to a hope but also to the inheritance that is the substance of the hope. The inheritance is eternal-in its essence [it is not subject to decay] and in its preservation [it is divinely kept for us].) which is imperishable (undecaying) and undefiled (“not defiled, unsoiled; free from that by which the nature of a thing is deformed and debased, or its force and vigor impaired”: without defect) and will not fade away (perennial), reserved (a thing for one’s advantage) in heaven for you (or the salvation awaiting them is said to be laid up for them in heaven [see Col 1:5]), 5who are protected (to protect by guarding, to keep: i. e. in close connection with Christ, by watching and guarding to preserve one for the attainment of something [guarded unto etc.], passive) by the power of God (is used of the divine power considered as acting upon the minds of men) through faith (“the principle of faith at work in you,” “the operating-principle of faith in them,” etc.. NASB: There are two sides to the perseverance of the Christian. He is shielded (1) by God’s power and (2) by his own faith. Thus he is never kept contrary to his will nor apart from God’s activity.) for a salvation (future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God. NASB: The Bible speaks of salvation as (1) past-when a person first believes [see, e.g., Titus 3:5], (2) present-the continuing process of salvation, or the sanctification [see v. 9; 1 Cor 1:18], and (3) future-when Christ returns and salvation, or sanctification, is completed through glorification [here; see also Rom 8:23; 30; 13:11].) ready (prepared) to be revealed in the last time (the last period of the present age, the time just before the return of Christ from heaven). 6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary (that which is needful), you have been distressed (to make sorrowful; to affect with sadness, cause grief; to throw into sorrow) by various trials (adversity, affliction, trouble, sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s faith, holiness, character: plural), 7so that the proof (a testing) of your faith, being more precious (very valuable, of great price) than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire (to test, examine, prove, scrutinize [to see whether a thing be genuine or not], as metals), may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation (an uncovering) of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him (cf. John 20:29), you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy (gladness, delight) inexpressible (aneklálētos [from /A “not” and /eklaléō, “fully tell”] – properly, unable to fully describe or report; impossible to communicate [convey] adequately by words; hence, unutterable, inexpressible [used only in 1 Pet 1:8].) and full of glory (surpassing i. e. heavenly, joy), 9obtaining as the outcome (an end, a toll; that by which a thing is finished, its close, final lot, fate, as if a recompense.) of your faith the salvation (deliverance; future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God) of your souls (“the [human] soul in so far as it is so constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life”; from eternal death. NASB: Implies the whole person. Peter is not excluding the body from heaven.).

10As to this salvation, the prophets (“one who, moved by the Spirit of God and hence, his organ or spokesman, solemnly declares to men what he has received by inspiration, especially future events, and in particular such as relate to the cause and kingdom of God and to human salvation. The title is applied to the O. T. prophets” — and with allusion to their age, life, death, deeds, appeal is made to their utterances as having foretold the kingdom, deeds, death, of Jesus the Messiah. NASB: Inspiration [see 2 Peter 1:21] did not bestow omniscience. The prophets probably did not always understand the full significance of all the words they spoke.) who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ (NASB: The Holy Spirit is called this because Christ sent Him [see John 16:7] and ministered through Him [see Luke 4:14, 18].) within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow (NASB: Those who are united to Christ will also, after suffering, enter into glory. And they will benefit in the midst of their present suffering from His having already entered into glory [vv. 3, 8, 21; 3:21-22].). 12It was revealed (is used of God revealing to men things unknown, especially those relating to salvation: — whether by deeds, by intimacy with Christ, by his words and acts, — or by the Holy Spirit) to them that they were not serving (to minister a thing unto one, to serve one with or by supplying anything) themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven (NASB: [sent ]By Christ, on the day of Pentecost [see Acts 2:33], at which Peter was present. God the Father also sent the Spirit [see John 14:16, 26].)—things into which angels long (desire, lust after) to look (NASB: Their intense desire is highlighted by the Greek word rendered “to look into.” It means to stoop and look intently” [see John 20:5, 11].).

13Therefore, prepare (raise up a tunic [= “tighten the belt”], “girding oneself”; [figuratively] getting ready [prepared] to move quickly, i.e. where someone needs to go and arrive at without delay [used only in 1 Pet 1:13].) your minds for action (NASB: The first of a long series of exhortations [actually imperatives] that end at 5:11. This one is a graphic call for action. In the language of the first century it meant that the leader should literally gather up his long, flowing garments and be ready for physical action.), keep sober (to be sober; in the N. T. everywhere tropically, to be calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect) in spirit, fix your hope (to hope to receive something) completely on the grace to be brought to you (NASB: The final state of complete blessedness and deliverance from sin. Peter later indicates that a major purpose of this letter is to encourage and testify regarding the true grace of God [5:12]) at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed (to conform oneself [i. e. one’s mind and character] to another’s pattern [fashion oneself according to]) to the former lusts (desire for what is forbidden) which were yours in your ignorance (want of knowledge, ignorance, especially of divine things), 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy (in a moral sense, pure, sinless, upright, holy: of God pre-eminently) yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (NASB: To be holy is to be set-apart from sin and impurity, and set apart to God, The complete moral perfection of God, whose eyes are too pure to look on evil with favor [Hab 1:13], should move His people to strive for moral purity.)

17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear (reverence, respect [for authority, rank, dignity]) during the time of your stay on earth; 18knowing that you were not redeemed (to redeem, liberate by payment of ransom, generally expressed by the middle; universally, to liberate: passive. NASB: Jesus redeems believers from the “curse of the Law” [Gal 3:13] and “every lawless deed” [Titus 2:14]. The ransom price… [was] His death [Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45; Heb 9:15] or Christ Himself [Gal 3:13]. The result is the “forgiveness of sin” [Col 1:14] and “being justified” [Rom 3:24] ] ) with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile (useless, to no purpose, given to vain things and leading away from salvation) way of life (properly, ‘walk,’ i. e. manner of life, behavior, conduct) inherited (handed down from one’s fathers) from your forefathers, 19but with precious (held as of great price) blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless (NASB: The OT sacrifices were types [foreshadows] of Christ, depicting the ultimate and only effective sacrifice. Thus Christ is the Passover lamb [1 Cor 5:7], who takes the sin of the world [John 1:29].), the blood of Christ. 20For He was foreknown (whose character he clearly saw beforehand; to predestinate [cf. Rom 11]; namely, ὑπό τοῦ Θεοῦ [foreknown by God, although not yet ‘made manifest’ to men]. NASB: God knew before creation that it would be necessary for Christ to redeem man [cf. Rev 13:8], but He has revealed Christ in these last times. Or the Greek for “foreknown” may also be rendered “chosen.” Then the meaning would be that in eternity past God “chose” Christ as Redeemer.) before the foundation (/katabolḗ [“foundation-plan”] typically relates to Christ’s incarnation, i.e. coming to earth in the flesh to be our Redeemer. This divine plan was set and sealed [guaranteed] before creation [Heb 9:26; 1 Pet 1:20; Rev 13:8].) of the world (the world, i. e. the universe), but has appeared (to be made manifest, to show oneself) in these last times for the sake of you 21who through ([dia] across [to the other side], back-and-forth to go all the way through, “successfully across” [“thoroughly”]. (diá) is also commonly used as a prefix and lend the same idea [“thoroughly,” literally, “successfully” across to the other side]. (diá) is a root of the English term diameter [“across to the other side, through“]. on account of, because of) Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22Since you have in obedience (compliance, submission) to the truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christian) purified (morally) your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently (earnestly) love one another from the heart, 23for you have been born again (born-again or “born from on high.” /anagennáō [“born again, from above”] is used twice in the NT [1 Pet 1:3, 23] – both times referring to God regenerating a believer [giving a supernatural, new birth]. … This underlines the importance of its two occasions in the NT [1 Pet 1:3, 23].) not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living (having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul) and enduring (of things, not to perish, to last, stand) word of God (NASB: The new birth comes about through the direct action of the Holy Spirit [Titus 3:5], but the word of God plays an important role [see James 1:18], for it presents the gospel to the sinner and calls on him to repent and believe in Christ [see v. 25].).

24For,           “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,             AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.             THE GRASS WITHERS,             AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,

25BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” (NASB: The main point of the quotation here.)             And this is the word which was preached to you.

 

 

About Regeneration

Excerpts from the work of Dr. Robert Saucy

I heard a minister say yesterday that before God can regenerate a person, that person must first repent of his sins (see 2 Timothy 2:25; Jeremiah 31:18), believe the gospel (see John 3:3; John 8:47; Philippians 1:29; John 10:26; 2 Thessalonians 3:2), and accept Yehoshua into his heart (see John 14:17). He said that man’s fallen condition does not prevent him for doing this. The problem with this doctrine is that it is found nowhere in Scripture, i.e., there is no verse, passages, or teaching in Scripture that supports it. Please note: “In all of Scripture, only the term faith (pístis [from 3982/peithô, “persuade, be persuaded”] – properly, persuasion [be persuaded, come to trust]; faith) is ever used in the following way: Ro 14:23: Whatever is not of faith (/pistis) is sin.” Heb 11:6: “And without faith (/pistis) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASU). If these verses are true, and they are, then the following must be true as well: (1) to repent, believe the gospel, and accept Yehoshua into one’s heart without faith is sin (see Heb 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.). (2) One must have faith prior to believing the gospel because the one drawing neat to God must believe that (a.) God exist and (b.) that He is a rewarder of those who draw near to Him. (3) Believing in Yehoshua pleases God (John 6:29 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”). See Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe ( pisteúō [from /pístis, “faith,” derived from /peíthō, “persuade, be persuaded”] – believe [affirm, have confidence]; used of persuading oneself [= human believing] and with the sacred significance of being persuaded by the Lord [= faith-believing]. Only the context indicates whether /pisteúō [“believe”] is self-serving [without sacred meaning], or the believing that leads to/proceeds from God’s inbirthing of faith.) that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. The Greek: Without moreover faith [it is] impossible to please [him] to believe indeed it behoves the one drawing near to God that he exists and [that] to those seeking him a reward he becomes. (Alice: YHWH is the reward.) If one has (saving) faith, one must have received grace and faith from God. See Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Regeneration encompasses all of creation, not just man. Man is a part of God’s plan; when the “Eternal Order” is ushered in, all of creation will have been regenerated. See Rev 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Regeneration is the work of God alone; it is not based on anything that man does. YHVH is the Almighty God (Gen 17:1) who survived the fall. To (spiritually) see Yehoshua today, one must enter the spiritual kingdom of God on earth. How can one believe in what one cannot see or perceive”? John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Finally, John 9:31 “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. God responds positively to the godly (hears the God-fearing), but He does not hear (grant the requests of) those who sin (Job 27:8-9; 35:13; Ps. 34:15-16; 66:18; 145:19; Prov. 15:29; 28:9; Isa. 1:15). Please see the following verses, things that a sinner cannot do: Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalm 50:21; Job 11:7-8; John 3:3, 5; Jeremiah 17:9; Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12; Galatians 3:10; John 14:17; John 8:47; 1Corinthians 2:14; John 1:13; Romans 9:15-16; 2 Thessalonians 3:2; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Peter 1:1; John 6:44, 65; John 10:26; Romans 8:5, 8, 9; Acts 17:30; 1 Timothy 1:8; Romans 8:3; Romans 3:20; Romans 7:18; Psalm 88:8; Psalm 85:4; Jeremiah 31:18; Mark 9:24; Jonah 2:9.

 

 

The Doctrine of Regeneration

by

Dr. Robert, Bob, Saucy

 

The Concept of Regeneration

The various terms used to express this doctrine:

  1. Palingenesia – “regeneration” (from palin “again” and genesis “birth,” “origin”)
    1. Tit. 3:5 – Regeneration of person in salvation. This talks about the believer personally; it talks about the believer personally being renewed.
    2. Matt. 19:28 – Regeneration of the world in messianic age. The parallel in Luke 22:30 is “in my kingdom.” Büchsel points out that in Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30 the phrase, “in the coming age,” has the same meaning (TDNT, I, 688). This talks about a regeneration that is coming cosmically. In the regeneration is when the Lord comes to establish his kingdom on earth and the Day of the Lord takes over from the day of man, and things are done now righteously.
  2. Anagennao – “to beget again” (from ana “anew” and gennao “to beget,” or “to bear”). I Pet. 1:3, 23 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
  3. Apokueo – “to bring forth, give birth to” “the medical word for birth as the close of pregnancy” (Hort, Ja. 26f.). Ja. 1:18 – Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
  4. Gennao anothen – “to be born again,” or “to be born from above” (from gennao “to beget,” or “to bear” and anothen “again” or more likely “from above” (cf. the other uses of this term in John 3:31; 19:11, 23). Jn. 3:3,7 – “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
  5. Other terminology expressing regeneration.
    1. Spiritual resurrection
      1. Rom. 6:13 – Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
      2. Eph. 2:5 – Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
    2. New Creation
      1. Eph. 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
      2. Eph. 4:24 – And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
      3. 2 Cor. 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
      4. 2 Cor. 5:17 – new creation. Believers have a new creation.
  6. The definition of regeneration is the re-creating of one who is spiritually dead through the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Result of Regeneration

The result of regeneration is a new creature with a new relationship to God. Believers are new persons, but like immature infants designed to grow in the true characteristics of the new person—love, the fruit of the Spirit (may be outwardly (morally) good). Believers are created to grow.

  1. 2 Cor. 5:17 – new creation. Believers have a new creation.
  2. Jn. 1:12 – new relation, that is, believers are children of God.
  3. Ez. 36:26 – new heart and new spirit. Believers have a new heart. Heart is what the person really is. So that indicates a new person. Believers have a new spirit. Spirit is the enlivening power. Believers have a new kind of spirit that drives them.
  4. 2 Pet. 1:4 – partakers of the divine nature – means either partakers of the Spirit (e.g., Paul’s teaching in 2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1, cf. Bigg, ICC), or partakers of God’s moral character.

 

Regeneration and Salvation

 

It starts here with believers and expands out to a whole creation of a New Heaven and a New Earth.

 

New Heaven and New Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The real answer is in the “proof”. Have you experienced the following since you believed? I am not asking if your spiritual leader etc. told you this is what happened to you; I am asking you if you have literally experienced the following since you believed. Many people have never heard the term Soteriology, but the saved identify with this doctrine when they do because that is exactly what happened to them experientially.

 

A New Orientation of Life with New Prevailing Dispositions

Believers have a new heart, and the verse for them to continually remember is Proverbs 4:23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Ezek. 36:27 says the new heart and presence of the Spirit will cause the regenerate to behave according to God’s nature and will, “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Characteristics of this new life are:

  1. Love for God (Deut. 30:6; John 8:42; cf. Rom. 8:16, there is an inner witness of one’s relationship to God).
    1. Deut. 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
    2. Jn. 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. (Love in relationship to Yehoshua)
    3. Rom. 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
  2. Faith (and love) for Christ, the Son and revelation of God (1 Jn. 5:1).
  3. 1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
  4. Love for God’s people (sons and daughters in the family of God) (1 Jn. 3:14; 4:7).
    1. 1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
    2. 1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
  5. Love for righteousness (or God’s law) (1 Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 5:18).
    1. 1Jn. 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
    2. 1Jn. 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (These are both present tenses, so the best way to understand this is first, that no one who is born of God can habitually practice sin. A person cannot live in sin and have a new heart. It is impossible. Second, a believer cannot habitually practice sin.)
    3. 1Jn. 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (In a continual sense or habitual characteristic: no one who is born of God can habitually practice sin. People go to hell by habitually practicing sin, but the believe cannot habitually practice sin because there is a seed in him; he has changes.)
  6. Victory over the world (1 Jn. 5:4).
  7. 1Jn. 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh (present tense) the world: and this is the victory that overcometh (aorist tense, has overcome) the world, even our faith. (When believers came to Christ, they joined one who had overcome the world; therefore, they are overcomes. This does not mean that they will never be overcome by the world, but it means a habitual life. A believer cannot continually live worldly, after the pattern of the world.
  8. A living hope (1 Pet. 1:3).

1Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (Believers are born into a state, a realm, of hope.)

 

Conclusion

These characteristics of the regenerate person provide the evidence for one’s new birth. Note that the characteristics are both internal (examples: faith and love for God as well as the witness of the Spirit, and external in the behavior of life). There is a pattern in the Bible, that is, it all comes down to love. The Bible says that if a person loves God, he will obey and keep His commandments. He will obey His righteousness. Obedience to God and love should characterize a believer’s life.

Saucy expounds, believers need to realize that God is making everything a new. Christ is the first born of the new creation – and believers are the next thing to be made a part of that new creation. Presently believers have been made new only inwardly, their bodies are still a part of this old: 2 Cor. 5:1 “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

 

In the regeneration there will be a new heaven and a new earth finally. The recreating of one that is primarily dead through the life giving power of the Spirit of God. God does not annihilate believers, nor does He reform them, He recreates them. It is not an ex nihilo creation (fiat, creating something out of nothing). He does something so radically new it is called a new creation. He did not annihilate the believer’s old heart. The Bible says that He gave the believer a new heart. So what He did was create something in the believer’s heart. The word create, bara’, is only used with God because only God can do these things. Therefore it is actually a new creation.

2 Pet. 1:4 says “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Believers are partakers of the divine nature (cf. 3 under The Results of Regeneration above.). They are created after the image of God, and therefore they are created in the likeness of God in the sense that they are created now as loving people, righteous people, holy people, and all the things that God is. They obviously are finite in all of those compared to God, but it is true. Believers are brand new people with a brand new propensity. The Bible does not identify them any longer as sinners but as saints, although it acknowledges that they still sin and need to confess. This is significant because they tend to live according to what they believe they are (example, a sinner saved by grace). Believers need to know who they are in Christ and live accordingly.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

As Newborn Babes       2:1Therefore, putting aside all malice (malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure) and all deceit (bait, a lure, snare; hence, craft, deceit, guile) and hypocrisy (dissimulation) and envy and all slander (defamation, evil-speaking), 2like newborn babies, long for (NASB: The unrestrained hunger for a healthy baby provides an example of the kind of eager desire for spiritual food that ought to mark the believer [see 1:23, 25].) the pure milk (guileless; of things, unadulterated, pure: of milk. NASB: Milk is not to be understood here as in 1 Cor 3:2; Heb 5:12-14-in unfavorable contrast to solid food-but as an appropriate nourishment for babies.) of the word (The believer grasps “divine reasonableness” [ /logikós] by the Lord’s inbirthings [gift] of faith – hence the close connection between [logikós] and faith [ /písti]) in Ro 12:1-3 [cf. 1 Pet 1:21, 2:2]; rational; agreeable to reason, following reason, reasonable: the milk which nourishes the soul), so that by it you may grow (NASB: The Greek for this phrase is the standard term for the desirable growth of children. Passive to grow [Tense: Aorist: The aorist is said to be “simple occurrence” or “summary occurrence”, without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action. This tense is also often referred to as the ‘punctiliar’ tense. ‘Punctiliar’ in this sense means ‘viewed as a single, collective whole,’ a “one-point-in-time” action, although it may actually take place over a period of time. In the indicative mood the aorist tense denotes action that occurred in the past time, often translated like the English simple past tense. Mood: Subjunctive: The subjunctive mood indicates probability or objective possibility. The action of the verb will possibly happen, depending on certain objective factors or circumstances. It is oftentimes used in conditional statements (i.e. ‘If…then…’ clauses) or in purpose clauses. However if the subjunctive mood is used in a purpose or result clause, then the action should not be thought of as a possible result, but should be viewed as a definite outcome that will happen as a result of another stated action. Voice: Passive: Grammatical voice indicates whether the subject is the performer of the action of the verb (active voice), or the subject is the recipient of the action (passive voice). If the subject of the sentence is executing the action, then the verb is referred to as being in the active voice.], increase, become greater: to the attaining of salvation) in respect to salvation (unto [the attainment of]) salvation. BKC: … [lit “unto salvation”] recall the ultimate fulfillment of salvation spoken of in 1:5, 7, 9, 13. ), 3if you have tasted (to taste, i. e. perceive the flavor of, partake of, enjoy: equivalent to to feel, make trial of, experience) the kindness (gracious, kind, benevolent: of God) of the Lord.

As Living Stones       4And coming to Him as to a living stone (Living: having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul: Hebrew 10:20 (this phrase describing that characteristic of divine grace, in granting the pardon of sin and fellowship with God, which likens it to a way leading to the heavenly sanctuary). In the same manner the predicate ὁ ζῶν [live, alive] is applied to those things to which persons are compared who possess real life, in the expressions λίθοι ζῶντες [a stone; met: of Jesus as the chief stone in a building], 1 Peter 2:4. Stone: metaphorically of Christ. NASB: The stone is living in that it is personal. Furthermore He is a life-giving stone. Christ as the Son of God has life in Himself [John 1:4; 5:26]. See also “living water” [John 4:10-14; 7:38], “living bread” [John 6:51]) and “living way” [Heb 10:20.]) which has been rejected by men, but is choice (choice, select, i. e. the best of its kind or class, excellent, preeminent: of things) and precious (held in honor, prized; hence, precious) in the sight (with one i. e. in his judgment, he being judge; near; i.e. from beside, at [or in] the vicinity of, to the proximity with) of God, 5you also, as living stones (living stones, of which the temple of God is built. NASB: Believers are not literal pieces of rock, but are persons. In addition, they derive their life from Christ, who is the original living Stone to whom they have come [v. 4], the “life-giving spirit” [1 Cor 15:45].), are being built up as a spiritual (in reference to things; emanating from the Divine Spirit, or exhibiting its effects and so its character: θυσίαι, tropically, the acts of a life dedicated to God and approved by him, due to the influence of the Holy Spirit [tacitly opposed to the sacrifices of an external worship]) house (a body of Christians [a church], as pervaded by the Spirit and power of God) or a holy priesthood (so Christians are called, because they have access to God and offer not external but ‘spiritual’ sacrifices. NASB: The whole body of believers. As priests, believers are to (1) reflect the holiness of God and that of their high priest, (2) offer spiritual sacrifices, (3) intercede for man before God and (4) represent God before man.), to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable (well-received, accepted. NASB: Through the work of our Mediator, Jesus Christ [cf. John 14:6]. Believers are living stones that make up a spiritual temple in which, as a holy priesthood, they offer up spiritual sacrifices) to God through Jesus Christ.

6For this is contained in Scripture:           “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,             AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,            “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,             THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,

8and,            “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”;             for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed (τιθέναι τινα εἰς τί, to appoint one to [destine one to be] anything, passive.).

9But you are A CHOSEN RACE (chosen by God, and to obtain salvation through Christ (see ἐκλέγω); hence, Christians are called οἱ ἐκλεκτοί τοῦ Θεοῦ, the chosen or elect of God, (יְהוָה בְּחִירֵי, said of pious Israelites [Isaiah 65:9, 15, 23; Psalms 104:43]: γένος ἐκλεκτόν, 1 Peter 2:9 [from Isaiah 43:20]. ἐκλεκτοί, those who have become true partakers of the Christian salvation are contrasted with κλητοί, those who have been invited but who have not shown themselves fitted to obtain it [others regard the ‘called’ and the ‘chosen’ here as alike partakers of salvation, but the latter as the ‘choice ones’ (see 2 below), distinguished above the former. Finally, those are called ἐκλεκτοί who are destined for salvation but have not yet been brought to it, 2 Timothy 2:10.), A royal (kingly, regal) PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY (set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his: Just as the Israelites claimed for themselves the title οἱ ἅγιοι [set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred], because God selected them from the other nations to lead a life acceptable to him and rejoice in his favor and protection [Daniel 7:18, 22], so this appellation is very often in the N. T. transferred to Christians, as those whom God has selected, that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may be rendered, through holiness, partakers of salvation in the kingdom of God: 1 Peter 2:9) NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION (one’s own property), so that you may proclaim (to tell out or forth, to declare abroad, divulge, publish: to make known by praising or proclaiming, to celebrate [show forth]: 1 Peter 2:9) the excellencies (in the plural his excellences, perfections, ‘which shine forth in our gratuitous calling and in the whole work of our salvation’) of Him who has called you out of darkness (of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent misery) into His marvelous (wonderful, marvellous; i. e., a. worthy of pious admiration, admirable, excellent) light (By a figure frequently in the N. T., φῶς is used to denote truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity congruous with it); 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY (Specifically, of God granting even to the unworthy favor, benefits, opportunities, and particularly salvation by Christ, passive.).

11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain (to hold back, keep off, to be away, be distant) from fleshly (having the nature of flesh, i. e. under the control of the animal appetites, having its seat in the animal nature or roused by the animal nature) lusts which wage (to fight [war]: of passions that disquiet the soul) war against the soul. 12Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander (καταλάλω; to speak against one, to criminate, traduce: [wherein ye are spoken against]) you as evildoers (malefactor), they may because of your good deeds (NASB: Deeds that can be seen to be good [cf. Matt 5:16]. The Greek word translated “observe” refers to a careful watching, over a period of time. The pagans’ evaluation is not a “a snap judgment.”), as they observe them, glorify (on to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate) God in the day of visitation (in biblical Greek, after the Hebrew פְּקֻדָּה, that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds, character, of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad; inspection, investigation, visitation (Vulg. Usuallyvisitatio): so universally, when he shall search the souls of men, i. e. in the time of divine judgment; so perhaps [1 Peter 2:12]. NASB: Perhaps the day of judgment and ensuing punishment, or possibly the day when God visits a person with salvation. The believer’s good life may then influence the unbeliever to repent and believe.).

Honor Authority
(NASB: vv. 13-16: Peter urges that Christians submit to all legitimate authorities, whether or not the persons exercising authority are believers. The recognition of properly constituted authority is necessary for the greatest good of the largest number of people, and it is necessary to best fulfill the will of God in the world.)

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right (NASB: Authorities established among men depend on God for its existence [Rom 13:1-2]. Indirectly, when one disobeys a human ruler he disobeys God, who ordained the system of human government [cf. Rom 13:2]. [Alice: that is, unless it is in direct opposition to God’s Word [see Acts 5:29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.]). 15For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance (want of knowledge. NASB: Good citizenship counters false charges made against Christians and thus commends the gospel to unbelievers.) of foolish (without reason, senseless, foolish, stupid; without refection or intelligence, acting rashly.) men. 16Act as free men (in an ethical sense: free from the yoke of the Mosaic law. NASB: Act as free men: Does not authorize rebellion against constituted authority, but urges believers freely to submit to God and to earthly authorities [as long as such submission does not conflict with the law of God].), and do not use your freedom (liberty to do or to omit things having no relation to salvation; from the yoke of the Mosaic law) as a covering (a pretext, cloak) for evil, but use it as bondslaves (doúlos someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own. /doúlos [“bond-slave”] is used with the highest dignity in the NT – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ’s authority as His devoted followers.) of God. 17Honor (to have in honor, to revere, venerate) all people (NASB: Because every human being bears the image of God.), love the brotherhood (the abstract for the concrete, a band of brothers, i. e. of Christians, Christian brethren), fear (to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience, used of his devout worshippers) God, honor the king.

18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect (respect [for authority, rank, dignity]), not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable (unfair, surly, froward). 19For this finds favor (this wins for us (God’s) favor [is acceptable]), if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. (NASB: Servants: Household servants, whatever their particular training and functions. The context indicates that Peter is addressing Christian slaves. NT writers do not attack slavery as an institution, but the NT contains the principles that ultimately uprooted slavery. Peter’s basic teaching on the subject may apply to employer-employee relations today [see Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-25; 1 Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10].)

 

Christ Is Our Example       21For you have been called for this purpose (NASB: The patient endurance of injustice is part of God’s plan for the Christian. It was an important feature of the true grace of God experienced by the readers [5:12].), since Christ also suffered for you (NASB: Cf. Is 52:13-53:12. Christ is the supreme example of suffering evil for doing good. His experience as the suffering Servant-Savior transforms the suffering of His followers from misery into privilege.), leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT (craft, guile) FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23and while being reviled (to reproach, rail at, revile, heap abuse upon, passive), He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting (to commit, to commend his cause) Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed (tropically, to make whole i. e. to free from errors and sins, to bring about [one’s] salvation). 25For you were continually straying (to go astray, wander, roam about) like sheep, but now you have returned (to turn, to turn oneself: of Gentiles passing over to the religion of Christ) to the Shepherd (the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly: so of Christ the Head of the church. NASB: Sheep: A concept raised here in connection with the allusion to the wandering sheep of Is 53. The sheep had wandered from their Shepherd, and to their Shepherd [Christ] they have now returned.) and Guardian (in the N. T., guardian of souls, one who watches over their welfare. NASB: Guardian: Christ [cf. 5:2, 4; Acts 20:28]. Elders are to be both shepherds and guardians, i.e., they are to look out for the welfare of the flock. These are not two separate offices or function; the second term is a further explanation of the first.) of your souls.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Godly Living       3:1In the same way (NASB: As believers are to submit to government authorities [2:13-17], and as slaves are to submit to masters [2:18-25]), you wives, be submissive (to subject oneself, to obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice. NASB: The same Greek verb as is used in 2:13, 18, a term that calls for submission to recognized authority. Inferiority is not implied by this passage. The submission is one of role or function necessary for the orderly operation of the home.) to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word (NASB: The gospel message), they may be won (to gain one to faith in Christ [this is not guaranteeing salvation to an unbeliever, see 1 Cor 7: 12-16 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?]) without a word (NASB: Believing wives are not to rely on argumentation to win their unbelieving husbands, but on the quality of their lives. “Actions speak louder than words.”) by the behavior (‘walk,’ i. e. manner of life, conduct) of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste (pure from every fault, immaculate) and respectful (reverence, respect [for authority, rank, dignity]: behavior coupled with reverence for one’s husband) behavior (NASB: Their lives are to be marked by a moral purity that springs from reverence toward God.). 3Your adornment (ornament, decoration) must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden (the inner part of man, the soul) person (with a reference to the twofold nature of man, soul and body) of the heart (the center and seat of spiritual life, “the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors” [so in English heart, inner man, etc.]), with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious (excellent, of surpassing value [of great price]) in the sight (before one i. e. he looking on and judging, in one’s judgment) of God (NASB: Hair… jewelry: Extreme coiffure and gaudy exhibits of jewelry. Christian women should not rely on such extremes of adornment for beauty. Dresses: The Greek for this word simply means “garment,” but in this context expensive garments are meant). 5For in this way in former times the holy (worthies of the O. T. accepted by God for their piety. NASB: The standards stated by Peter are not limited to any particular time or culture.) women also, who hoped (in whom you have put your hope, and rely upon it) in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord (master), and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened (to fear, be afraid; to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm: of those who fear harm or injury) by any fear (to be afraid with terror, to be put in fear by any terror).

7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way (moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living, and in contact with others: wisely, as with someone weaker (in order to commend to husbands the obligations of kindness toward their wives [for the weaker the vessels, the greater must be the care lest they be broken]. NASB: Not a reference to moral stamina, strength of character or mental capacity, but most likely to sheer physical strength.), since she is a woman (female); and show her honor (a valuing) as a fellow heir of the grace of life (the grace of God evident in the life obtained. NASB: Women experience the saving grace of God on equal terms with men [see Gal 3:28]), so that your prayers will not be hindered (that ye be not hindered from praying [together. NASB: Spiritual fellowship, with God and with one another, may be hindered by disregarding God’s instruction concerning husband-wife relationships]).

 

(NASB: vv. 8-12: In 2:11-17 Peter addressed all his readers, and in 2:18-25 he spoke directly to slaves; in 3:1-6 he addressed wives, and in 3:7 husbands. Now he encourages all his readers to develop virtues appropriate in their relations with others [see “all of you” v. 8])

8To sum up, all of you be harmonious (/homóphrōn [“of the same perspective”] is used only in 1 Pet 3:8: “To sum up, all of you be harmonious [‘of one mind,’ /homóphrōn]), sympathetic (suffering or feeling the like with another), brotherly ([philádelphos (from /phílos, “affectionate friend” and /adelphós, “brother”] – “brotherly,” referring to the love between fellow family-members – i.e. [redeemed] people in God’s family [used only in 1 Pet 3:8]; of a Christian loving Christians [loving as brethren]), kindhearted (compassionate, tender-hearted), and humble (humble-minded) in spirit, 9not returning evil for evil or insult (abuse, railing, reviling) for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose (to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom) that you might inherit a blessing.

10For,            “THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS,             MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.

11“HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD;             HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.

12“FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS,             AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER,             BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”

13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? (NASB: As a general rule, people are not harmed for acts of kindness. This is especially true if one is an enthusiast [“eager”] for doing good) 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed (happy). AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION (fear, dread, terror; in a subjective sense), AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED (tropically, “to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity; to disquiet, make restless”, to be stirred up, irritated); to trouble: to strike one’s spirit with fear or dread, passive), 15but sanctify (to render or acknowledge to be venerable, to hallow) Christ as Lord in your hearts (NASB: An exhortation to the reader to make an inner commitment to Christ. Then they need not be speechless when called on to defend their faith. Instead, there will be a readiness to answer.), always being ready to make a defense (verbal defense, speech in defense: with a dative [the dative is the case of the indirect object, or may also indicate the means by which something is done etc.] of the person who is to hear the defense, to whom one labors to excuse or to make good his cause) to everyone who asks you to give an account (i. e. answer or explanation in reference to judgment) for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (respect); 16and keep a good conscience (free from guilt, consciousness of rectitude, of right conduct) so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame (to disgrace). 17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer (in a bad sense, of misfortunes, to suffer, to undergo evils, to be afflicted) for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18For Christ also died for sins (failure; hamartía [derived from /A “not” and /méros, “a part, share of”], no-share [“no part of”]; loss [forfeiture] because not hitting the target; sin [missing the mark]. /hamartía [“sin, forfeiture because missing the mark”] is the brand of sin that emphasizes its self-originated [self-empowered] nature – i.e. it is not originated or empowered by God [i.e. not of faith, His inworked persuasion, cf. Ro 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.]) once for all, the just (preeminently, of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in heart or life; in this sense Christ alone can be called δίκαιος, just; especially, just in the eyes of God) for the unjust, so that He might bring us (the chosen [elect]) to God, having been put to death in the flesh (sarki, “flesh”: body), but made alive in the spirit (BKC: “By the Spirit” translates one word, pneumatic, which could refer to the third Person of the Trinity as the agent of Christ’s resurrection. Or it may refer to Christ’s human spirit in contrast with His human body [cf. 1Peter 4:6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.]. [Note Alice: all three persons were involved in the resurrection of Yehoshua. Cf. Acts 2:32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. John 10:18 “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment [a charge, injunction] I received from My Father.”. NASB: Made alive in the spirit: Referring to Christ’s own spirit, through which “He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison” [v. 9]); 19in which also He went and made proclamation (specifically used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers) to the spirits now in prison (of the place where captives are kept, imprisonment, a guarding, guard, watch), 20who once were disobedient, when the patience (patience, forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs) of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. (NASB: Three main interpretations of this passage have been suggested: (1) some hold that in His preincarnate state Christ went and preached through Noah to the wicked generation of that time. (2) Others argue that between His death and resurrection Christ went to the prison where fallen angels are incarcerated and there preached to the angels who are said to have left their proper state and married human women during Noah’s time [cf. Gen 6:1-4; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6]. The “Sons of God” in Gen 6:2, 4 are said to have been angels, as they are in Job 1:6; 2:1. The message He preached to these evil angels was probably a declaration of victory. (3) Sill others say that between death and resurrection Christ went to the place of the dead and preached to the spirits of Noah’s wicked contemporaries. What He proclaimed may have been the gospel, or it may have been a declaration of victory for Christ and doom for His hearers. The weakness of the first view is that it does not relate the event to Christ’s death and resurrection, as the context seems to do. The main problem with the second view is that it assumes sexual relations between angels and women, and such physical relations may not be possible for angels since they are spirits. A major difficulty with the third view is that the term “spirit” is only used of human beings when qualifying terms are added. Otherwise the term seems restricted to supernatural beings.) 21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves (Since salvation begins in this life [in deliverance from error and corrupt notions, in moral purity, in pardon of sin, and in the blessed peace of a soul reconciled to God], but on the visible return of Christ from heaven will he perfected in the consummate blessings of ὁ αἰών ὁ μέλλων [an age, a cycle (of time), especially of the present age as contrasted with the future age, and of one of a series of ages stretching to infinity.], we can understand why τό σῴζεσθαι [save, heal, preserve, rescue] is spoken of in some passages as a present possession, in others as a good yet future: — as a blessing beginning [or begun on earth]) you—not the removal (putting away) of dirt (filth) from the flesh (flesh, body, human nature), but an appeal (As the terms of inquiry and demand often include the idea of desire, the word thus gets the signification of earnest seeking, i. e. a craving, an intense desire (so ἐπερωτᾶν εἰς τί, to long for something, 2 Samuel 11:7 — (but surely the phrase here (like לְ שָׁאַל) means simply to ask in reference to, ask about)). If this use of the word is conceded, it affords us the easiest and most congruous explanation of that vexed passage 1 Peter 3:21: “which (baptism) now saves us (you) not because in receiving it we (ye) have put away the filth of the flesh, but because we (ye) have earnestly sought a conscience reconciled to God” (συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς genitive of the object, as opposed to σαρκός ῤύπου). It is doubtful, indeed, whether εἰς Θεόν is to be joined with ἐπερώτημα, and signifies a craving directed unto God (Winer’s Grammar, 194 (182) — yet less fully and decidedly than in edition 5, p. 216f), or with συνείδησις, and denotes the attitude of the conscience toward (in relation to) God.) to God for a good conscience (a conscience reconciled to God)—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (see Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [Alice: Believers are chosen “in Christ”, see Eph 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love. When He died, we died. When He rose, we rose. The believer experiences this in time and space.]), 22who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected (passive, to arrange under, to subordinate; to subject, put in subjection) to Him.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Keep Fervent in Your Love       4:1Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm (take on the same mind) yourselves also with the same purpose (mind, understanding, will; manner of thinking and feeling), because he who has suffered in the flesh (the physical nature of man as subject to suffering) has ceased from sin (NASB: Such suffering enables one to straighten out his priorities. Sinful desires and practices that once seemed important now seem insignificant when one’s life is in jeopardy. Serious suffering for Christ advances the progress of sanctification. [Some see a parallel between this passage and Rom 6:1-14, but Peter is not referring to being dead to sin in Paul’s sense].), 2so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts (desire for what is forbidden, lust) of men (with the added notion of weakness, by which man is led into mistake or prompted to sin), but for the will (what one wishes or has determined shall be done [i. e. objectively, thing willed], of what God wishes to be done by us. NASB: Now that Christ’s attitude prevails, God’s will is the determining factor in life.) of God. 3For the time already past is sufficient (it is enough for the disciple i. e. NASB: The time before conversion.) let him be content etc.) for you to have carried out the desire (a pre-set, fully-resolved plan, only occurs three times; will, counsel, purpose [critical text, Ac 27:43; Ro 9:19; 1 Pet 4:3]) of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality ([equivalent to θέλγω [outrageous conduct, conduct shocking to public decency, a wanton violence, wantonness, lewdness.], not affecting pleasantly, exciting disgust], “unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence”: plural), lusts, drunkenness, carousing (a revel, carousal, i. e. in the Greek writings properly, a nocturnal and riotous procession of half-drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honor of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before the houses of their male and female friends; hence, used generally, of feasts and drinking-parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry; plural [revellings]), drinking parties and abominable (not acceptable based on the prevailing custom or ordinary practice [used only in Ac 10:28; 1 Pet 4:3]) idolatries (the worship of false gods: in plural, the vices springing from idolatry and peculiar to it). 4In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation ([incorrigibleness], an abandoned, dissolute, life; profligacy, prodigality [riot]), and they malign (to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate) you; 5but they will give account (see Acts 17:31; Rom 2:5, 16.) to Him who is ready to judge (NASB: In the NT both the Father and the Son are said to be judge on the great, final judgment day. The father is the ultimate source of judgment, but He will delegate judgment to the Son (cf. John 5:27and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man; Acts 17:31because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”) the living and the dead (NASB: Those alive and those dead when the final judgment day dawns). 6For the gospel has for this purpose (NASB: The reason referred to is expressed in the latter part of the verse [in the “that” clause], not in the preceding verse.) been preached even to those who are dead (NASB: That is, to those who are now dead: This preaching was a past event. The word “now” does not occur in the Greek, but it is necessary to make it clear that the preaching was done not after these people had died, but while they were still alive. [There will be no opportunity for people to be saved after death; see Heb 9:27.] ), that though they are judged (contextually, used specifically of the act of condemning and decreeing [or inflicting] penalty on one) in the flesh (body) as men (NASB: The first reason that the gospel was preached to those now dead. Some say that this judgment is that to which all people must submit, either in this life [see John 5:24] or in the life to come [see v. 5]. The gospel is preached to people in this life so that in Christ’s death they may receive judgment now and avoid judgment to come [see Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they [OT believers who died before Christ’s resurrection] without us should not be made perfect. See notes on Heb 11:40.]. Others hold that these people are judged according to human standards by the pagan world, which does not understand why God’s people no longer follow its sinful way of life [see vv. 2-4]. So also the world misunderstood Christ [see Acts 2:22-24, 36; 3:13-15; 5:30-32; 7:51-53].), they may live in the spirit (the rational spirit, the power by which a human being feels, thinks, wills, decides; the soul) according to the will of God (NASB: The second reason that the gospel was preached to those now dead: Some believe this means that all gospel preaching has as its goal that the hearers may live as God lives-eternally-and that this life is given by the Holy Spirit. Others maintain that it means that the ultimate reason for the preaching of the gospel is that God’s people, even though the wicked world may abuse them and put them to death, will have eternal life, which the Holy Spirit imparts.).

7The end (i. e. of the present order of things) of all things is near (NASB: Anticipating the end times, particularly Christ’s return, should influence believers’ attitudes, actions and relationships [see 2 Peter 3:11-14].); therefore, be of sound judgment (to curb one’s passions. NASB: Christians are to be characterized by reason; are to make wise, mature decisions; and are to have a clearly defined, decisive purpose in life.) and sober (in the N. T. everywhere tropically, to be calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect: unto [the offering of] prayer) spirit for the purpose of prayer. 8Above all, keep fervent (properly, stretched out; figuratively, intent, earnest, assiduous) in your love for one another, because love covers (tropically, to hide, veil, i. e. to hinder the knowledge of a thing: not to regard or impute them, i. e. to pardon them) a multitude of sins (NASB: Love forgives again and again [see Matt 18:21-22].). 9Be hospitable (generous to guests [given to hospitality]) to one another without complaint. 10As each one has received (to receive [what is given]; to gain, get, obtain) a special gift (a gift of grace; a favor which one receives without any merit of his own; in the N. T. [where (except 1 Peter 4:10) used only by Paul] the gift of divine grace [see Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:7-11]), employ (to minister a thing unto one, to serve one with or by supplying anything: to one another, for mutual use) it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold (of divers sorts) grace of God. 11Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified (to make renowned, render illustrious, i. e. to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged) through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion (– properly, dominion, exerted power [in the doxologies]) forever and ever. Amen.

Share the Sufferings of Christ       12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal (calamities or trials that test character) among you, which comes upon you for your testing (the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy, etc), as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ (the afflictions which Christians must undergo in behalf of the same cause for which Christ patiently endured), keep on rejoicing (be glad), so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation (rejoice exceedingly). 14If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God (BKC: [cf. Isa 11:2; Matt 3:16] refers to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence within all who are identified by “the name of Christ” and thus suffer persecution [cf. 1 Peter 4:16].) rests (rests upon you, to actuate you) on you. 15Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name (the cause or reason named: in this cause, i. e. on this account, namely, because he suffers as a Christian). 17For it is time for judgment (the execution of judgment as displayed in the infliction of punishment) to begin with the household of God (the family of God, of the Christian church. NASB: The persecutions that believers were undergoing were divinely sent judgment intended to purify God’s people.); and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY (hardly) THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED (to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save [i. e. rescue, passive), WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? (NASB: If God brings judgment on His own people, how much more serious will the judgment be that He will bring on unbelievers!) 19Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust (to commend one to another for protection, safety, etc, to God) their souls to a faithful (of God, abiding by his promises) Creator in doing what is right (well-doing; what is constitutionally [inherently] good, i.e. what originates from faith [/pístis, “God’s inworked persuasion“] and therefore is His work [used only in 1 Pet 4:19]; a course of right action).

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Serve God Willingly       5:1Therefore, I exhort (to encourage, encourage) the elders (among Christians, those who presided over the assemblies [or churches].) among you, as your fellow elder (NASB: Peter, who identified himself as an apostle at the beginning of his letter [1:1], chooses now to identify himself with the elders of the churches [cf. 2 John 1; 3 John 2]. This would be heartening to them in light of their great responsibilities and the difficult situation faced by the churches. The churches for which these elders were responsible were scattered across much of Asia Minor [see 1:1], so if Peter was a local church officer, he must have been officially related to one of them) and witness of the sufferings of Christ (NASB: Peter had been with Jesus from the early days of His ministry and was a witness of all its phases and aspects, including the climactic events of His suffering [cf. Matt 26:58; Mark 14:54; Luke 22:60-62; John 18:10-11, 15-16]. In this letter he bears notable witness to Christ’s suffering [see 2:21-24] and obeys His command in Acts 1:8), and a partaker also of the glory (that which belongs to God; and the kingly majesty which belongs to him as the supreme ruler; so in passages where it is joined with [especially in] doxologies.) that is to be revealed (NASB: Peter witnessed Christ’s glory in His ministry in general [see John 1:14; 2:11], and as one present at the transfiguration [see Matt 16:27; 17:8], he had already seen the glory of Christ’s coming kingdom. In God’s appointed time, just as Christ suffered and entered into glory, so all His people, after their suffering, will participate in His future glory.), 2shepherd (to tend as a shepherd of [figuratively, supervisor] — feed [cattle], rule; govern, of the overseers [pastors] of the church. NASB: Peter is fulfilling Christ’s command to feed His sheep as he writes this letter. What he writes to the elders is reminiscent of Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian elders [especially Acts 20:28]. The term “Shepherd” is an OT metaphor as well [see Ezek 34:1-10, where the Lord holds the leaders of Israel responsible for failing to care for the flock].) the flock of God among you, exercising oversight (to look upon, inspect, oversee, look after, care for: spoken of the care of the church which rested upon the presbyters. NASB: The same term is used in Acts 20:28; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7. It is clear from this passage, as well as from Acts 20:17, 28, that the three terms “elder,” “overseer,” and “shepherd” all apply to one office.) not under compulsion (by force or constraint), but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain(from eagerness for base gain [for filthy lucre]) , but with eagerness (willingly, with alacrity); 3nor yet as lording it over (to lord against, i.e. control, subjugate — exercise dominion over [lordship], be lord over, overcome. NASB: Although Peter has full apostolic authority [see v. 1], he does not lord it over his readers in this letter, but exemplifies the virtues he recommends.) those allotted to your charge (those whose care and oversight has been assigned to one [allotted charge], used of Christian churches, the administration of which falls to the lot of the presbyters), but proving to be examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd (NASB: Christ. When He returns, He will reward those who have served as shepherds under Him.) appears, you will receive the unfading crown (the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ) of glory (in the sacred writings always, good opinion concerning one, and as resulting from that, praise, honor, glory [see Col 3:3-4For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.]). 5You younger men, likewise, be subject to (to subject oneself, to obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice; to place or rank under, to subject, middle voice [The Greek middle voice shows the subject acting in his own interest or on his own behalf, or participating in the results of the verbal action. In overly simplistic terms, sometimes the middle form of the verb could be translated as “the performer of the action actually acting upon himself” (reflexive action).]. to obey. NASB: The theme that runs throughout 2:13-3:6. Here it applies to church leaders.) your elders; and all of you, clothe (to put on oneself [as a garment]; and to knot, tie, band by which two things are fastened together, to fasten or gird on oneself; the ἐγκομβωμα was the white scarf or apron of slaves, which was fastened to the girdle of the vest, and distinguished slaves from freemen) yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD (appearing above others [conspicuous], i.e. [figuratively] haughty), BUT GIVES GRACE (the aid or succor of divine grace) TO THE HUMBLE (lowly in spirit).

6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty (krataiós (from /krátos) – dominating [manifested] power, referring to God’s supreme mastery [unrivaled dominion]. [krataiós] is only used in 1 Pet 5:6.) hand of God, that He may exalt (to exalt, to raise to dignity, honor, and happiness: to raise the spirits by the blessings of salvation) you at the proper time (NASB: His help will come at just the right time.), 7casting (to cast upon, give up to, God) all your anxiety (care) on Him, because He cares (have regard for, a person or a thing) for you. 8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert (to watch i. e. give strict attention to, be cautious, active: — to take heed lest through remissness and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one). Your adversary (an adversavy, enemy; /antídikos [“an accuser, adversary”] brings formal charges, i.e. as they are binding to exact penalty. Satan acts as such an adversary, bringing the “[law]suit” of darkness against believers for their eternal damnation [cf. 1 Pet 5:8]. Offsetting this is the perfect sacrifice of Christ [Jn 19:30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.]!), the devil, prowls (to walk) around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9But resist (to to set oneself against, to withstand resist, oppose, imperative [a command or instruction given to the hearer, charging the hearer to carry out or perform a certain action]) him, firm (steadfast) in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished (to appoint to, impose upon, passive) by your brethren (NASB: They are not isolated; they belong to a fellowship of suffers.) who are in the world. 10After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called (metaphorically: to invite one, εἰς τί, to something i. e. to participate in it, enjoy it; used thus in the Epistles of Paul and Peter of God as inviting men by the preaching of the gospel) you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect (to strengthen, complete, make one what he ought to be; exactly fit [adjust] to be in good working order, i.e. adjusted exactly “down” to fully function.), confirm (to render constant, confirm, one’s mind [establish]), strengthen (to make strong, to strengthen: one’s soul) and establish (to make stable, establish [ground]: of the soul) you. 11To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true (grace which can be trusted) grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13She who is in Babylon, chosen ([syneklektós [from /sýn, “identity with” and /eklektós, “chosen”]) – properly, fellow-elect, i.e. believers who belong to each other because each belongs to the Lord [used only in 1 Pet 5:13]. /syneklektós [“chosen together”] refers to believers as divinely-chosen [selected] – a theme elaborated on earlier in the epistle [1 Pet 1:1, 2]. 1 Pet 5:13: “She who is in Babylon, chosen together [ /syneklektós] with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark”. 1 Pet 1:1,2: “To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure”. See [eklektos: chosen out, elect, choice, select, sometimes as subst: of those chosen out by God for the rendering of special service to Him (of the Hebrew race, particular Hebrews, the Messiah, and the Christians)]; eklektós ([selected (chosen) from, out of], especially as a deeply personal choice – literally “chosen, out of a personal preference [intention].”) together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love (a kiss as a sign among Christians of mutual affection; goodwill).       Peace be to you all who are in Christ.

New American Standard Bible 2 Peter

Growth in Christian Virtue       1:1Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,       To those who have received (to receive by divine allotment, obtain. NASB: God in His justice [“righteousness”] imparts to people the ability to believe) a faith (NASB: Not here a body of truth to be believed-the faith-but the act of believing, or the God-given capacity to trust in Christ for salvation.) of the same kind as ours (isótimos (from /ísos, “equivalent, equal” and /timḗ, “assigned price, value”) – properly, having the same [equal] value; “equally privileged, held in equal honor“; of consistent value [preciousness, make-up] and therefore deserving equal respect [recognition]. [isótimos] is only used in 2 Pet 1:1 of “like precious faith” [isotimos pistis], conveying that every faith-decision [action] has equal, eternal value; a like-precious faith with us.), by the righteousness (in a closer sense, justice, or the virtue which gives each one his due; it is said to belong to God and Christ, as bestowing ἰσότιμον πίστιν [equally privileged, equal in honor] upon all Christians impartially, 2 Peter 1:1) of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (NASB: Assumes that Jesus is both God and Savior): 2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge (of God, especially the knowledge of his holy will and of the blessings which he has bestowed and constantly bestows on men through Christ) of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3seeing that His divine power has granted (to present, bestow, Perfect: The basic thought of the perfect tense is that the progress of an action has been completed and the results of the action are continuing on, in full effect. In other words, the progress of the action has reached its culmination and the finished results are now in existence. Unlike the English perfect, which indicates a completed past action, the Greek perfect tense indicates the continuation and present state of a completed past action.) to us everything pertaining to life (life real and genuine, “a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions [among them a more perfect body], and to last forever” [the writers of the O. T. have anticipated the conception, in their way, by employing חַיִּים to denote a happy life and every kind of blessing]) and godliness (reverence, respect; in the Bible everywhere piety toward God, godliness. NASB: God has made available all that we need spiritually through our knowledge of Him. If indeed 2 Peter was written to combat an incipient Gnosticism, the apostle may be insisting that the knowledge possessed by those in apostolic circles was entirely adequate to meet their spiritual needs. No secret, esoteric knowledge is necessary for salvation.), through the true knowledge (same as above) of Him who called (the caller) us by His own glory (of the majesty of his saving grace) and excellence (Used of God, it denotes his power. NASB: The excellence of God: “Glory” expresses the excellence of His being-His attributes and essence; “excellence” depicts excellence expressed in deeds-virtue in action.). 4For by these (NASB: Through God’s excellence-internal and external–He has given us great promises. Their nature is suggested in the words that follow: participation in the divine nature and escape from worldly corruption.) He has granted (to present, bestow) to us His precious (held in honor, esteemed, especially dear) and magnificent (mégistos –the superlative [“-est form”] of [mégas] meaning [the] “very greatest” [ultimate]) promises, so that by them you may become partakers (sharer) of the divine nature (the sum of innate properties and powers by which one person differs from others, distinctive native peculiarities, natural characteristics: [in this verse] the holiness distinctive of the divine nature is specially referred to. NASB: Does not indicate that Christians become divine in any sense, but only that we are indwelt by God through His Holy Spirit [see John 14:16-17]. Our humanity and His deity, as well as the human personality and the divine, remain distinct and separate.), having escaped (to flee from) the corruption (moral decay) that is in the world by lust.

 

(NASB: vv. 5-9 The virtues that will produce a well-rounded, fruitful Christian life.)

5Now for this very reason also, applying (“bring deeply into,” i.e.from very close beside. /pareisphérō [“personally carry-through”] is only used in 2 Pet 1:5 referring to carrying through with real personal involvement [energy]. This strongly stresses the need of the believer’s deep, personal involvement in the faith-life.) all diligence (haste; earnestness), in your faith ()NASB: The root of the Christian life (see v. 1; cf. v. 3) supply moral excellence (a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action; virtue, moral goodness), and in your moral excellence, knowledge (moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living), 6and in your knowledge, self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites. NASB: According to many of the false teachers, knowledge made self-control unnecessary; according to Peter, Christian knowledge leads to self-control.), and in your self-control, perseverance (steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings), and in your perseverance, godliness (reverence, respect; in the Bible everywhere piety toward God, godliness. NASB: A genuine reverence toward God that governs one’s attitude toward every aspect of life.), 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness (love of the brethren), and in your brotherly kindness (NASB: Warmhearted affection toward all in the family of faith), love (In the NT, [agápē] typically refers to divine love [= what God prefers]; love, benevolence, good will, esteem; plur: love-feasts. NASB: The kind of outgoing, selfless attitude that leads one to sacrifice for the good of others.). 8For if these qualities are yours (NASB: Peter does not mean to imply that the believer is to cultivate each listed quality in turn, one after the other until all have been perfected. Instead, they are all to be cultivated simultaneously.) and are increasing (NASB: Peter has continuing spiritual growth in mind.), they render you neither useless (lazy, shunning the labor which one ought to perform) nor unfruitful (destitute of good deeds) in the true knowledge (NASB: The Christian’s knowledge should affect the way he lives. It does not set him free from moral restraints, as the heretics taught. Rather, it produces holiness and all such virtues.) of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For he who lacks these qualities is blind (mentally blind. NASB: Peter may have in mind a possible alternative meaning for “blind,” namely, “to shut the eyes.” Such a person is blind because he has closed his eyes to the truth.) or short-sighted (to see dimly, see only what is near), having forgotten his purification (wrought now by baptism) from his former sins. 10Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain (sure, trusty) about His (YHWH) calling (/kaléō, “to call, summon” – calling; used of God inviting all people to receive His gift of salvation – with all His blessings that go with it [Ro 11:29; Eph 4:4; 2 Pet 1:10]) and choosing (ἐκλογή, ἐκλογῆς, ἡ (ἐκλέγω), election, choice; the act of picking out, choosing: equivalent to ἐκλεκτόν, namely, τοῦ Θεοῦ, Acts 9:15; specifically used of that act of God’s free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons; — ἡ κατ’ ἐκλογήν προφεσις, the decree made from choice (the purpose according to election), Romans 9:11;— particularly that by which he determined to bless certain persons through Christ, Romans 11:28; κατ’ ἐκλογήν χάριτος, according to an election which is due to grace, or a gracious election, Romans 11:5; with the genitive of the person elected, 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Peter 1:10. NASB: By cultivating the qualities listed in vv. 5-7, they and others can be assured that God has chosen them and called them [cf. Matt 7:20]. The genuineness of their profession will be demonstrated as they express these virtues [cf. Gal 5:6; James 2:18]. When God elects and calls, it is to obedience and holiness [1 Peter 1:2; Eph 1:3-6], and these fruits confirm their divine source.) you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble (to fall into misery, become wretched: of the loss of salvation. NASB: Those who in this way give evidence of their faith will never cease to persevere); 11for in this way the entrance (an entrance, i. e. both the place or way leading into a place [as, a gate], and the act of entering; only in the latter sense in the N. T. With the genitive of place, τῶν ἁγίων, entrance into the holy place, i. e. reception into heaven) into the eternal (without end, never to cease, everlasting) kingdom (NASB: Eternal life [cf. Matt 25:46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”]) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied (furnished, provided. NASB: By producing the fruits Peter is commending to them (see vv. 5-10]) to you.

12Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established (to render constant, confirm, one’s mind) in the truth which is present with you. 13I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling (a tent; of life on earth; a pitched tent [“tabernacle,” Ac 7:46]; [figuratively] the physical body, serving as God’s vehicle [dwelling place] – i.e. as believers live as sojourner-travelers [“pilgrims”] with the Lord in this life, through faith [2 Pet 1:13,14].), to stir (to arouse the mind; stir up, render active) you up by way of reminder, 14knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent (swift, quick: of events soon to come or just impending), as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear (to give one to understand, to indicate, signify) to me. 15And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind (NASB: An aim was realized, whether intentionally or unintentionally, through the Gospel of Mark, which early tradition connected with Peter.).
Eyewitnesses       16For we did not follow (to follow one’s authority) cleverly devised (to invent, play the sophist; to devise cleverly or cunningly) tales (a fiction, a fable; universally, an invention, falsehood. NASB: Peter’s message was based on his eyewitness account of the supernatural events that marked the life of Jesus. It was not made up of myths and imaginative stories as was the message of the heretics of 2:3.) when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NASB: In Christ’s transfiguration the disciples received a foretaste of what of what His coming will be like when He returns to establish His eternal kingdom [Matt 16:28]), but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty (greatness, magnificence of the visible splendor of the divine majesty as it appeared in the transfiguration of Christ [see vv. 17-18; Matt 16:28-17:8].). 17For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic (megaloprepḗs (from /méthē, “great by comparison” and /prépō, “make becoming, appropriate”) – properly, fitting (“befitting“) what is magnificent and splendid [full of majesty]; “sublime”; “unusually attractive and beautiful – ‘very wonderful, sublime‘ “. /megaloprepḗs [“awesomely majestic”] only occurs in 2 Pet 1:17.) Glory (in the sacred writings always, good opinion concerning one, and as resulting from that, praise, honor, glory), “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy (reverend, worthy of veneration because Christ’s transfiguration occurred there) mountain.

 

(NASB: vv. 19-21: Peter’s message rests on two solid foundations: (1) the voice from God at the transfiguration [vv. 16-18] and (2) the still more significant testimony of Scripture [vv. 19-21]. An alternative, but less probable, view is that the apostles’ testimony to the transfiguration fulfills and thus confirms the Scripture that predicted such things.)

19So we have the prophetic (proceeding from a prophet; prophetic) word (the prophetic promise, collectively of the sum of the O. T. prophecies, particularly the Messianic) made more sure (NASB: Or, “very certain.”), to which you do well to pay attention (to turn the mind to) as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day (of the light of knowledge) dawns and the morning star (ρον (φῶς and φέρω), light-bringing, giving light: 2 Peter 1:19, on the meaning of this passage, see λύχνος: the prophecies of the O. T., inasmuch as they afforded at least some knowledge relative to the glorious return of Jesus from heaven down even to the time when by the Holy Spirit that same light, like the day and the daystar, shone upon the hearts of men, the light by which the prophets themselves had been enlightened and which was necessary to the full perception of the true meaning of their prophecies, 2 Peter 1:19.) arises in your hearts. 20But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own (an interpretation which one thinks out for himself, opposed to that which the Holy Spirit teaches) interpretation (/epílysis [“sound interpretation“] only occurs in 2 Pet 1:20 and refers to “untying interpretation knots” to discern the true meaning of future Bible prophecy. NASB: Two major views of this verse are: (1) No prophecy is to be privately or independently interpreted [cf. the false teachers in 3:16]. The Holy Spirit, Scripture itself and the church should be included in the interpretive process. (2) No prophecy originated through the prophet’s own interpretation. The preceding and following contexts indicate that this view is probably to be preferred. In vv. 16-19 the subject discussed is the origin of the apostolic message. Did it come from human imaginations, or was it from God? In v. 21 again the subject is origin. No prophecy of Scripture arose from a merely human interpretation of things. This understanding of v. 20 is further supported by the explanatory “for” with which v. 21 begins. Verse 21 explains v. 20 by restating its content and them affirming God as the origin of prophecy. [Note: Both views are presented.), 21for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit (NASB: In the production of Scripture both God and man were active participants. God was the source of the content of Scripture, so that what it says is what God has said. But the human author also actively spoke; he was more than a recorder. Yet what he said came from God. Although actively speaking, he was carried along by the Holy Spirit.) spoke from God.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Rise of False Prophets       2:1But false prophets also arose among the people (aós [the root of the English term, “laity“] – a people, particularly used of “the people of the Lord” [= Heb ʽam]. [laos] is the usual term for “the people of God” and thus typically used in the LXX (OT) and the Gospels, for believing Israel [Jews]. Example: Heb 4:9: “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people [/laós] of God“; a people, characteristically of God’s chosen people, first the Jews, then the Christians, (b) sometimes, but rarely, the people, the crowd.), just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive (destructive opinions) heresies (that which is chosen, a chosen course of thought and action; hence one’s chosen opinion, tenet; according to the context, an opinion varying from the true exposition of the Christian faith; haíresis [a feminine noun derived from /hairéomai, “personally select, choose”] – properly, a personal [decisive] choice. /haíresis [“a strong, distinctive opinion”] is used in the NT of individual “parties [sects]” that operated within Judaism. The term stresses the personal aspect of choice – and hence how being a Sadducee [Ac 5:17] was sharply distinguished from being a Pharisee [Ac 15:5; 26:5]. [As a feminine noun, (haíresis) highlights the subjective (individual) nature of a specific ([divisive) opinion.].), even denying the Master (Christ is so called, as one who has bought his servants) who bought (Christ is said to have purchased his disciples i. e. made them, as it were, his private property. NASB: Does not necessarily mean that the false teachers were believers. Christ’s death paid the penalty for their sin, but it would not become effective for their salvation unless they trusted in Christ as Savior. [However, see vv. 20-22, where it is obvious that the heretics had at least professed knowing the Lord].) them, bringing swift destruction (destructive opinions. NASB: Not immediate physical calamity, but sudden doom, whether at death or at the Lord’s second coming [cf. Matt 24:50-51; 2 Thess 1:9].) upon themselves.

 

(NASB: vv. 2-9: States the point made in vv. 4-8 – the wicked whose coming Peter predict will surely be punished.)

2Many will follow their sensuality (not affecting pleasantly, exciting disgust. NASB: The Christian faith is not only correct doctrine but also correct living.), “unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence”: plural, licentiousness, wantonness; iolent spite which rejects restraint and indulges in lawless insolence [wanton caprice]), and because of them the way of the truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians) will be maligned (to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at); 3and in their greed (greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice) they will exploit (to deal in; to use a thing or a person for gain [make merchandise of]) you with false (/plastós [“plastic, fabricated”], used only in 2 Pet 2:3, refers to “words molded at will to suit their vain imaginations.” That is, “fabricated words from [plássō], ‘to mould,’ as in clay or wax. The idea is, therefore, of words moulded at will to suit their vain imaginations.” These are spun by a “pretender” [i.e. someone not authentic]; feigned.) words; their judgment (condemnatory sentence, penal judgment, sentence) from long ago is not idle (to linger, delay. NASB: Long ago, OT times, their condemnation was declared [see vv. 4-9 for OT examples of the fact that judgment is coming on the wicked].), and their destruction (passively, a perishing, ruin, destruction) is not asleep (to linger, delay. NASB: Although delay makes it seem that they have escaped God’s judgment, destruction is a reality that is sure to come upon them.).

4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned (NASB: ….The sin referred to in this verse probably occurred before the fall of Adam and Eve.), but cast them into hell (to hold captive in Tartarus ; tartaróō – properly, send to Tartarus [“Tartaros“]. The NT uses [tartaróō] for the netherworld – the place of punishment fit only for demons. Later, Tartaros came to represent eternal punishment for wicked people. “[tartaróō] is a Greek name for the under-world, especially the abode of the damned – hence to cast into hell“; to send into the subterranean abyss reserved for demons and the dead. NASB: The Greek word for “hell” is “Tartarus,” the term used by the Greeks to designate the place where the most wicked spirits were sent to be punished. Why some evil angels are imprisoned and others are free to serve Satan as demons is not explained in Scripture.) and committed them to pits of darkness (blackness, used of the darkness of the nether world), reserved for judgment (Specifically, sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment. NASB: The final judgment, probably associated with the great white throne judgment of Rev 20:11-15.); 5and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly (to be ungodly, act impiously) lives thereafter; 7and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed (to tire down with toil, exhaust with labor; hence, to afflict or oppress with evils; to make trouble for; to treat roughly [sore distressed]: in passive. NASB: How lot could be so distressed, how he could be called a “righteous man,” and yet offer to turn his two daughters over to the wicked townsmen to be sexually abused is difficult to understand apart from a knowledge of the code of honor characteristic of that day.) by the sensual (of carnality, lasciviousness) conduct (manner of life, behavior) of unprincipled (lawless [wicked]; of one who breaks through the restraints of law and gratifies his lusts) men 8(for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented [to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment] day after day by their lawless deeds), 9then the Lord knows how to rescue (to draft, to oneself, to deliver) the godly from temptation (adversity, affliction, trouble), and to keep the unrighteous under punishment (to chastise, correct, punish: so in the N. T.; passive, to cause to be punished) for the day of judgment (the last judgment), 10and especially those who indulge (to seek [cf. English run after] anything) the flesh in its corrupt (the act of defiling, defilement, pollution: ἐπιθυμία μιασμοῦ, defiling lust) desires (for unclean contact) and despise (to contemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of) authority (mastery, i.e. [concretely and collectively] rulers — dominion, government). (NASB: Especially those: The heretics of Peter’s day are certain to come under judgment for two main reasons: (1) They follow the corrupt desires of the sinful nature, perhaps referring to homosexuality, the sin of the Sodomites [see Gen 19:5]. At least author has in mind a similar inordinate sexual practice. (2) They despised authority.)       Daring (a daring [audacious] man – presumptuous; tolmētḗs – literally, darers, very bold people who foolishly ignore what should make them afraid, i.e. as they blatantly [boldly] practice their vile, disrespectful acts.), self-willed (self-pleasing, self-willed, arrogant), they do not tremble when they revile (to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at) angelic majesties (in a wider sense, in which angels are called δόξαι as being spiritual beings of preeminent dignity. NASB: A specific example of despising authority. This could refer to the slander of earthly dignitaries such as church leaders, which might well be expected from such shameless peddlers of error. On the other hand, it could refer to the blaspheming of angels, as the NASB text indicates. This view seems more likely since the parallel passage in Jude 8-10 is speaking of angels.), 11whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. 12But these, like unreasoning (destitute of reason, brute: ζῷα, brute animals) animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed (corruption, destruction, perishing, to destroy. NASB: A scathing denunciation. They are like irrational animals, whose lives are guided by mere instinct and who are born merely to be slaughtered. Destruction is their final lot.), reviling where they have no knowledge (NASB: The heresy to which Peter refers may have been an early form of second-century Gnosticism that claimed to possess special, esoteric knowledge. If so, it is ironic that those who professed special knowledge acted out of abysmal ignorance, and the result was arrogant blasphemy.), will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed (passive, to be destroyed, to perish), 13suffering wrong (suffering wrong as the hire of wrong-doing) as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime (the reveling of a day, i. e. ephemeral, very brief. NASB: See 1 Thess 5:7. Even the pagan world carried on their corrupt practices under cover of darkness, but these heretics were utterly shameless.). They are stains (a spot: tropically, a fault, moral blemish, Ephesians 5:27; plural of base and gluttonous men, 2 Peter 2:13) and blemishes (insult: of men who are a disgrace to a society), reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse (to entertain together; passive, to feast sumptuously with one) with you (NASB: For “deceptions” Jude 12 without a doubt reads “love feast,” which may well have been the intended reading here. These false teachers seem to have been involved in the sacred feast of brotherly love that, in the early church, accompanied the Lord’s Supper. In fact, it appears that they injected their carousing into these holy observances and delighted in their shameless acts.), 14having eyes full of adultery (eyes always on the watch for an adulteress, or from which adulterous desire beams forth) that never cease from sin, enticing unstable (unsteadfast) souls, having a heart trained (exercised: a soul that covetousness or the love of gain has trained in its crafty ways) in greed, accursed (men worthy of execration) children; 15forsaking the right (the straight, the right way, is figuratively used of true religion as a rule of life leading to its goal, i. e. to salvation) way (according to the familiar figure of speech, especially frequent in Hebrew and not unknown to the Greeks, by which an action is spoken of as a proceeding, ὁδός denotes a course of conduct, a way [i. e. manner] of thinking, feeling, deciding), they have gone astray (to wander or fall away from the true faith, of heretics), having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet (NASB: See Num 22-24. Balaam was bent on cursing Israel, though God had forbidden it. He wanted the money Balak offered him. Similarly these false teachers apparently were guilty of attempting to extract money from naive listeners. For a donkey to rebuke the prophet’s madness reflects not only on the foolishness of Balaam but also on that of the false teachers of Peter’s day.).

17These are springs (a fountain) without water (waterless. NASB: A picture of cruel deception. The thirsty traveler comes to the spring expecting cool, refreshing water but finds it dry. So the false teachers promise satisfying truth but in reality have nothing to offer.) and mists (fog) driven by a storm (to drive or push [as wind, oars, or demoniacal power]. NASB: Gone before a drop of moisture falls.), for whom the black (deep gloom) darkness (the blackness of [i. e. the densest] darkness. NASB; Their destiny is hell.) has been reserved (to reserve: for rewarding or punishing one, passive). 18For speaking out arrogant (oversollen; metaphorically, immoderate, extravagant: [great swelling words]) words of vanity (what is devoid of truth and appropriateness. NASB: Words that sound impressive to the new convert but in reality have nothing to offer.) they entice (deleázō to bait a hook or set a trap with bait; [figuratively] entice a victim into a moral trap, luring them in through their own selfish impulses) by fleshly (the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin, plural) desires (desire for what is forbidden, lust), by sensuality (violent spite which rejects restraint and indulges in lawless insolence [wanton caprice]), those who barely escape (NASB: New converts who have just broken away from pagan friends. Thus the depraved false teachers prey on new converts, who have not yet had a chance to develop spiritual resistance.) from the ones who live in error (a wandering, a straying about, whereby one, led astray from the right way, roams hither and thither. In the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion:), 19promising them freedom (fancied liberty, i. e. license, the liberty to do as one pleases) while they themselves are slaves (one who gives himself up wholly to another’s will) of corruption (in the N. T. in an ethical sense, corruption i. e. moral decay [some take the word here actively (in their destroying)]); for by what a man is overcome (to be conquered by one, forced to yield to one), by this he is enslaved. 20For if, after they have escaped (apopheúgō (from [/apó, “away from” and /pheúgō, “flee”] – properly, flee from [escape]. [apopheúgō] underlines the previous [undesirable] connection – hence, also the need to move on [“escaping by flight”]. [apopheúgō] then emphasizes separation – a full breaking away from the previous situation) the defilements (vices the foulness of which contaminates one in his contact with the ungodly mass of mankind; míasma(from /miaínō) pollution [spiritual stain] that results from vice, i.e. spiritually contaminating a person [used only in 2 Pet 2:20]) of the world by the knowledge (used in the N. T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine: of Christ, i. e. the true knowledge of Christ’s nature, dignity, benefits) of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again (it denotes renewal or repetition of the action) entangled (to inweave; tropically, in passive, with the dative of thing, to entangle, involve in [Tense: Aorist, Mood: Participle, Voice: Passive: having been entangled. (Note: Active Voice Grammatical voice indicates whether the subject is the performer of the action of the verb [active voice], or the subject is the recipient of the action [passive voice]. If the subject of the sentence is executing the action, then the verb is referred to as being in the active voice. For example: “Jesus was baptizing the people” [paraphrase of John 3:22; 4:1, 2]. “Jesus” is the subject of the sentence and is the one that is performing the action of the verb; therefore the verb is said to be in the “Active Voice”. Passive Voice Grammatical voice indicates whether the subject is the performer of the action of the verb [active voice], or the subject is the recipient of the action [passive voice]. If the subject of the sentence is being acted upon, then the verb is referred to as being in the passive voice. For example: “Jesus … was baptized by John in the Jordan” (Mark 1:9). “Jesus” is the subject of the sentence, but in this case He is being acted upon (i.e. He is the recipient of the action), therefore the verb is said to be in the “Passive Voice”.)]) in them and are overcome (they are subdued: Tense: Perfect, Mood: Indicative [short definition: The indicative mood is the only mood conceived of as actual], Voice: Middle or Passive [Middle short definition: The Greek middle voice shows the subject acting in his own interest or on his own behalf, or participating in the results of the verbal action. In overly simplistic terms, sometimes the middle form of the verb could be translated as “the performer of the action actually acting upon himself” (reflexive action). For example: “I am washing myself.” “I” is the subject of the sentence (performing the action of the verb) and yet “I” am also receiving the action of the verb. This is said to be in the “Middle Voice”. Many instances in the Greek are not this obvious and cannot be translated this literally.]), the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21For it would be better for them not to have known (to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly; to know accurately, know well [see references under the word ἐπίγνωσις [knowledge of a particular point (directed towards a particular object); perception, discernment, recognition, intuition], at the beginning]) the way of righteousness (NASB: Knowledge of the way increases one’s responsibility and his hardness of heart if he then rejects it. In its early days, Christianity was known as “the Way” [Acts 9:2; 18:25; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22]), than having known it, to turn away (to turn back i. e. to return: of those who after embracing Christianity apostatize) from the holy commandment (NASB: The whole Christian message that people are commanded to receive) handed on to them. (BKC: vv. 20-21: Whether they in verse 20 refers to the teachers or their victims, both groups had available to them knowledge about Jesus Christ, which could produce liberty and life. But when that knowledge was rejected, their end was deeper corruption [again entangled in it and overcome] and presumably a more severe degree of punishment. Indeed, they would have been better off never to have known the gospel, the way of righteousness, and the sacred [holy] commandments [i.e., the apostolic message] than to have known the truth and have deliberately violated it.) 22It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” (Note: See the addition post for excerpts on vv. 20-22.)

 

Dr. Robert, Bob, Saucy’s Comments on 2 Peter 2:20-22

Excerpts from: Passages which refer to profession of faith but not true possession of eternal life. The possibility of individuals making a profession of faith in Christ which is not saving faith is clear in Scripture. Jesus spoke of some who would profess Him as their “Lord” and minister in His name even performing miracles. But they would not be genuine believers (Matt. 7:21-23). The parable of the wheat and tares likewise refers to those closely related to believers who nevertheless are “sons of the evil one” (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). One of the clearest examples in the early church is taught by John when he describes those who had gone out of the church. Although they had been in the church, John makes it plain that they were never genuine believers (1 Jn. 2:18-19). (cf. also, 2 Cor 13:5; 2 Tim. 18-19; 1 John 3:7-8).
2 Pet. 2:20-22

The reference is to false teachers who by their description are not saved.

  1. 1-3 — their actions will bring on them “swift destruction”; cf. also 10b-19, esp. v. 17.

 

  1. 4-10a — the examples of previous judgment on like people (the fallen angels; the unbelievers at the flood; and, Sodom and Gomorrah) indicate that Peter is not referring to saved people who lost salvation.

 

 

Verse 22 indicates that they had merely reformed themselves.

“washing” is aorist middle participle, lit. “washed itself.” They had made a “religious” profession or outward change. There is no language throughout the passage that indicates that they were genuinely born again or regenerated.

 

The illustration of the dog and sow are unclean animals whose nature is not changed. Not only were “dogs” and “pigs” unclean to Jews, but Jesus uses both in speaking of those that opposed God and his Word.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Purpose of This Letter       3:1This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring (to arouse the mind; stir up, render active) up your sincere (/eilikrinḗs [“sincere because transparent”] describes something proven because well-examined [totally scrutinized] – therefore, certified as sincere [inwardly pure]. [eilikrinḗs] naturally refers to something completely clear, free from hypocrisy [deceit, wickedness] which stands in the full light of God’s approval. This term is used twice in the NT [Phil 1:10; 2 Pet 3:1].) mind by way of reminder, 2that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets (appeal is made to their utterances as having foretold the kingdom, deeds, death, of Jesus the Messiah. NASB: OT personages.) and the commandment (collectively, of the whole body of the moral precepts of Christianity) of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles (NASB: Peter places the OT prophets and the NT apostles on an equal plane. Both are vehicles of God’s sacred truth. Peter, being one of the apostles, can speak with knowledge and authority as a representative of the apostolic group.).

 

The Coming Day of the Lord       3Know this first of all (NASB: This expression is used in 1:20 to call attention to a matter of great importance), that in the last days (in phrases, of the time immediately preceding Christ’s return from heaven and the consummation of the divine kingdom. NASB: An expression that refers to the whole period introduced by Christ’s first coming. These days are last in comparison to OT days, which were preliminary and preparatory. Also, the Christian era is the time of the beginnings of prophetic fulfillment.) mockers (a scoffer. NASB: Perhaps the same false teachers described in ch. 2 [e.g., they follow their own evil desires; cf. 2:10, 18-19]. In ch. 3, however, the emphasis is on Christ’s return. These people may have been early Gnostics who resisted the idea of a time of judgment and moral accountability.]) will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts (desire for what is forbidden), 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? (In the N. T. especially of the advent, i. e. the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God) For ever since the fathers (a father [literally or figuratively, near or more remote]; father; one who imparts life and is committed to it; a progenitor, bringing into being to pass on the potential for likeness. NASB: Either the first Christians to die after Christ’s death and resurrection [e.g., Stephen, James the brother of John, and other early Christian leaders who had died; cf. Heb 13:7] or OT patriarchs.) fell asleep (to die), all continues just as it was (NASB: Their argument against Christ’s return was: Since it has not occurred up to this time, it will never occur. That nature is not subject to divine intervention, they say, has been proved by observation (1) of the period since the fathers died-perhaps 30 years-and (2) of the period since creation.) from the beginning of creation.” 5For when they maintain (by implication, to wish, i.e. be inclined to [sometimes adverbially, gladly]; escapes them of their own will, i. e. they are purposely, wilfully, ignorant, 2 Peter 3:5 2, where others interpret as follows: this [viz. (Viz is defined as an abbreviation for videlicet which means namely.) what has been said previously] desiring [i. e. holding as their opinion], they are ignorant etc.) this, it escapes their notice (NASB: Ignoring the flood as a divine intervention was not an oversight; it was deliberate. They did not want to face up to the fallacy in their argument.) that by the word of God (a word [as embodying an idea], a statement, a speech; of the sayings of God; equivalent to decree, mandate, order. NASB: Of commands such as “Let there be light” [Gen. 1:3]) the heavens (the vaulted expanse of the Sky with all the things visible in it; generally: as opposed to the earth) existed long ago and the earth was formed (to put together [i. e. unite parts into one whole], to be composed of, consist) out of water (of water as a primary element, out of and through which the world that was before the deluge arose and was compacted) and by water (same as previous. NASB: See Gen 1:6-10, where the waters on earth were separated from the atmospheric waters of the heavens, and the mountains then appeared, causing the earthly waters to be gathered into oceans.), 6through which the world (the circle of the earth, the earth; order) at that time was destroyed (apóllymi fully destroy, cutting off entirely. /apóllymi [“violently/completely perish”] implies permanent [absolute] destruction, i.e. to cancel out [remove]; “to die, with the implication of ruin and destruction“; cause to be lost [utterly perish] by experiencing a miserable end; of persons), being flooded with water (NASB: Peter points out the fallacy of the scoffer’s argument. There has been a divine intervention since the time of creation, namely, the flood…. All the people except Noah and his family were overcome by the flood and perished. This does not necessarily mean that the flood was universal, It may simply have extended to all the inhabited areas of earth [see Gen 6:17 “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.]. ). 7But by His word (same as above. NASB: The Word of God brought the world into existence [v. 5] and that watery destruction on the wicked of Noah’s day will bring fiery destruction on the world that exist today and on its wicked people.) the present heavens and earth are being reserved (to to keep in store, store up) for fire, kept for the day of judgment (in the prophecies of the O. T. the day of Jehovah is spoken of, in which Jehovah will execute terrible judgment (in a forensic judgment sense, of God or of Jesus the Messiah: universally, of the last judgment upon his adversaries) and destruction (in particular, the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of God; a man doomed to eternal misery (a Hebraism) of ungodly (destitute of reverential awe toward God, contemning God, impious) men.

8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day (NASB: Cf. Ps 90:4. God does not view time as humans do. He stands above time, with the results that when time is seen in the light of eternity, an age appears no longer than one short day, and a day seems no shorter than a long age. Since time is purely relative with God, He waits patiently while human beings stew with impatience.). 9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count (to consider, deem, account, think) slowness, but is patient (“to be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be long-suffering, slow to anger, slow to punish” [to defer anger]: hence, spoken of God deferring the punishment of sin: toward one) toward you, not wishing (to will, i.e. [reflexively] be willing — be disposed, minded, intend, list, [be, of own] will [-ing]; to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded) for any to perish (tropically, to incur the loss of true or eternal life; to be delivered up to eternal misery: John 3:15; [it must be borne in mind, that according to John’s conception eternal life begins on earth, just as soon as one becomes united to Christ by faith]. Hence, οἱ σῳζόμενοι they to whom it belongs to partake of salvation, and οἱ ἀπολλύμενοι those to whom it belongs to perish or to be consigned to eternal misery, are contrasted by Paul: 1 Corinthians 1:18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.; 2 Corinthians 2:15For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 2 Corinthians 4:8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 2 Thessalonians 2:10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.) but for all to come (metaphorically, to betake oneself, turn oneself: εἰς μετνοιαν [], 2 Peter 3:9 [come]; xōréō – properly, make space [place, room]; [figuratively] to live with an open heart – i.e. with “available space” that embraces the “more important” . . . not just the “urgent”! BKC: Why should the Lord be so long in coming? Peter offered two answers. First, God counts time differently than does man…. The second reason the Lord’s return seems to be long in coming is that God wants as many people to be saved as possible [2 Peter 3:9] …. The words “not wanting” [mē boulomenos] “anyone to perish” do not express a decree, as if God has willed everyone to be saved. Universal salvation is not taught in the Bible. Instead those words describe God’s wishes or desires; He longs that all would be saved [cf. 1 Tim 2:4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.] but knows that many will reject Him.). NASB: God’s seeming delay in bringing about the consummation of all things is a result not of indifference but of patience in waiting for all who will come to repentance. Thus the scoffers are wrong on two points: (1) They fail to recognize that all things have not continued without divine intervention since creation [the flood was an intervention, vv. 4-6. (2) They misunderstood the reason for apparent divine delay [God is a long-suffering God].) to repentance (to come to the point of repenting, or be brought to repentance).

A New Heaven and Earth       10But the day (of the last day of the present age, the day in which Christ will return from heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom) of the Lord (to Jesus as the Messiah, since by his death he acquired a special ownership in mankind, and after his resurrection was exalted to a partnership in the divine administration) will come like a thief (unexpectedly), in which the heavens will pass away (perish) with a roar (‘with a loud noise’) and the elements (the elements from which all things have come, the material causes of the universe; something orderly in arrangement, i.e. [by implication] a serial [basal, fundamental, initial] constituent [literally], proposition [figuratively] — element, principle, rudiment.) will be destroyed (to loose what is compacted or built together, to break up, demolish, destroy: to dissolve something coherent into parts, to destroy: passive; to loosen — break (up), destroy, dissolve, (un-)loose, melt, put off.) with intense heat, and the earth and its works (any product whatever, anything accomplished by hand, art, industry, mind; the works of nature and of art) will be burned up (NASB: Either the earth and its contents will disappear and not be seen anymore, or the earth and all man’s works will appear before God’s judgment seat.).

11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct (‘walk,’ i. e. manner of life, behavior, conduct; plural, the ways in which holy living shows itself) and godliness, 12looking (denotes mental direction; to expect [whether in thought, in hope, or in fear]; to look for, wait for) for and hastening (to speed [study], i.e. urge on [diligently or earnestly]) the coming of the day (same as v. 10) of God (NASB: Apparently synonymous with “the day of the Lord” [v. 10] since it is characterized by the same kind of events. Cf. Rev 16:14.), because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat (See Is 34:4)! 13But according to His promise we are looking for new (new, which as recently made is superior to what it succeeds) heavens and a new (new, which as recently made is superior to what it succeeds) earth, in which righteousness dwells (to inhabit, to settle; divine powers, influences, etc., is said to dwell where righteousness prevails, is practiced).

14Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace (according to a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is”: is used of those who, assured of salvation, tranquilly await the return of Christ and the transformation of all things which will accompany that event), spotless (free from vice, unsullied) and blameless (without blame – literally, without mōmos [“blemish“], used only in 2 Pet 3:14; that cannot be censured), 15and regard (to consider, deem, account, think) the patience (patience, forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs) of our Lord as salvation (in an ethical sense, that which conduces to the soul’s safety or salvation); just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught (unlearned, ignorant) and unstable (unstable, unsteadfast) distort (/streblóō [‘to wrest, twist’] is applied to perverting [twisting] Scripture” [used only in 2 Pet 3:16]; [to twist, turn awry; to torture, put to the rack]; metaphorically, to pervert, of one who wrests or tortures language to a false sense), as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction (in particular, the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of God). 17You therefore, beloved (divinely-loved; beloved [“loved by God”], i.e. personally experiencing God’sagapē-love.”; as “divinely-loved-ones” [Jude 17].), knowing this beforehand (NASB: That false teachers are coming [cf. ch. 2]), be on your guard (to observe for oneself something to escape, i. e. to avoid, shun, flee from: to keep oneself from a thing) so that you are not carried away (to be carried away with: [with the dative of the thing, i. e. by a thing], so as to experience with others the force of that which carries away, to follow the impulse of a thing to what harmonizes with it) by the error (In the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion) of unprincipled (lawless [wicked]; of one who breaks through the restraints of law and gratifies his lusts) men and fall (to drop away, fig. to lose, become inefficient) from your own steadfastness, 18but grow (increase) in the grace (The apostles and N. T. writers at the beginning and end of their Epistles crave for their readers the favor [`grace’] of God or of Christ, to which all blessings, especially spiritual, are due.) and knowledge (of Christ as a saviour) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day (for all time, forever; age, + alway) of eternity. Amen.

 

 

New American Standard Bible 1 John

Introduction, The Incarnate Word       1:1What was from the beginning (beginning, origin: used absolutely, of the beginning of all things [i.e., before anything was created the Word existed as “I AM.”], NASB: He always existed), what we (NASB: John and the other apostles) have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands (NASB: The apostles had made a careful examination of the Word of Life. He testifies that the one who has existed from eternity “became flesh” [John 1:14]-i.e., a flesh-and-blood man. He was true God and true man. At the outset, John contradicts the heresy of the Gnostics.), concerning the Word (lógos [from /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”] – a word, being the expression of a thought; a saying. /lógos [“word”] is preeminently used of Christ [Jn 1:1], expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit; In several passages in the writings of John ὁ λόγος denotes the essential Word of God, i. e. the personal [hypostatic] wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in the creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world’s life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man’s salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah and shone forth conspicuously from his words and deeds.) of Life (the Logos having life in itself [Himself] and communicating it to others. NASB: The one who is life and reveals life [see v. 2]. “Word” here speaks of revelation [see John 1:1 [The] Greeks used this term not only of the spoken word but also of the unspoken word, the word still in the mind-the reason. When they applied it o the universe, they meant the rational principle that governs all things. Jews, on the other hand, used it as a way of referring to God. Thus John used a term that was meaningful to both Jews and Gentiles.].)— 2and the life was manifested (to show oneself, appear: the life embodied in Christ; the centre and source of life), and we have seen and testify and proclaim (to make known openly, declare) to you the eternal (without beginning or end, that which always has been and always will be) life (NASB: Christ. He is called “the life” because He is the living one who has life in Himself [see John 11:25; 14:6]. He is also the source of life and sovereign over life [5:11]. The letter begins and ends [5:20] with the theme of eternal life.), which was with the Father (YHVH) and was manifested to us— 3what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship (used of the intimate bond of fellowship which unites Christians) with us (NASB: Participation with us [vicariously] in our experience of hearing, seeing, and touching the incarnate Christ [v. 1]. Fellowship [Greek koinonia] is the spiritual union of the believer with Christ-as described in the figures of the vine branches [John 15:1-5] and the body and the head [1 Cor 12:12; Col 1:18]-as well as communion with the Father and with fellow believers); and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (Jesus; the Greek form of Joshua; IēsoúsJesus, the transliteration of the Hebrew term, /Lṓt [“Yehoshua”/Jehoshua, contracted to “Joshua”] which means “Yahweh saves” [or “Yahweh is salvation”]. “Jesus Christ” is properly “Jesus the Christ.” “Jesus” [/Iēsoús] is His human name, as the incarnate, eternal Son of God [Mt 1:21,25, see also Lk 1:31] – the Christ, the divine Messiah [the second Person of the holy Trinity]. [Christ [His title] means “the Anointed One” [the eternal pre-incarnate, Logos, Jn 1:1-18]). 4These things we write, so that our joy (gladness) may be made complete (to make complete in every particular; to render perfect. NASB: John’s joy in the Lord could not be complete unless his readers shared the true knowledge of Christ [see 2 John 12].). God Is Light       5This is the message we have heard from Him (NASB: From Christ) and announce to you, that God is Light (light [especially in terms of its results, what it manifests]; in the NT, the manifestation of God’s self-existent life; divine illumination to reveal and impart life, through Christ; the extremely delicate, subtile, pure, brilliant quality of light has led to the use of φῶς as an appellation of God, i. e. as by nature incorporeal, spotless, holy), and in Him there is no darkness (metaphorically, used of ignorance of divine things, and its associated wickedness, and the resultant misery. NASB: Light represents what is good, true and holy, while darkness represents what is evil and false [see John 3:19-21“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”].) at all.

 

(NASB: vv. 6-7: Walk in darkness… in Light: Two life-styles-one characterized by wickedness and error, the other by holiness and truth.)

6If we (NASB: John and his readers) say that we have fellowship with Him (NASB: We are in living, spiritual union with God.) and yet walk (to be subject to error and sin; to live, living) in the darkness (to be given up to the power of darkness), we lie (to show oneself deceitful, to play false; to lie, to speak deliberate falsehoods) and do not practice (do) the truth (to exemplify truth in the life, to express the form of truth in one’s habits of thought and modes of living. NASB: John uses this word, the Greek aletheia, 25b times and links it closely with Jesus, who is the truth [John 14:6].); 7but if we walk in the Light (in a state of supreme sanctity) as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood (by which believers are purified and are cleansed from the guilt of sin) of Jesus His Son cleanses (to free from the guilt of sin, to purify) us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin (to have sin as though it were one’s odious private property, or to have done something needing expiation, equivalent to to have committed sin), we are deceiving (metaphorically, to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive) ourselves and the truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians: ἡ ἀλήθεια τοῦ εὐαγγελίου the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents) is not in us. 9If we confess (to confess, i. e. to admit or declare oneself guilty of what one is accused of) our sins, He is faithful and righteous (In a narrower sense, rendering to each his due; and that in a judicial sense, passing just judgment on others, whether expressed in words or shown by the manner of dealing with them: [who executes the laws of his government, and therefore also the law concerning the pardon of sins]. NASB: Here the phrase is virtually a single concept [faithful-and-righteous]. It indicates that God’s response toward those who confess their sins will be in accordance with His nature and His gracious commitment to His people [see Ps 143:1; Zech 8:8]. Faithful: To His promise to forgive [see Jer 31:34; Mic 7:18-20; Heb 10:22-23]) to forgive us (to remit. NASB: To provide the forgiveness that restores the communion with God that has been interrupted by sin [as requested in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt 16:12].) our sins and to cleanse (to free from the guilt of sin, to purify) us from all unrighteousness (the guilt of unrighteousness). 10If we say that we have not sinned (NASB: Gnostics denied that their immoral actions were sinful.), we make Him a liar and His word (in an objective sense, what is communicated by instruction, doctrine: specifically, the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God) is not in us.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Christ Is Our Advocate       2:1My little children (in the N. T. used as a term of kindly address by teachers to their disciples (always in the plural little children), I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate (universally, one who pleads another’s cause with one, an intercessor: so of Christ, in his exaltation at God’s right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins, [in the same sense, of the divine Logos…]. NASB: The Greek word refers to someone who speaks in court in behalf of a defendant.) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (preeminently, of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in heart or life; in this sense Christ alone can be called δίκαιος, [righteous]. NASB: In God’s court the defender must be, and is, sinless.); 2and He Himself is the propitiation (hilasmós – properly, propitiation; an offering to appease [satisfy] an angry, offended party. [hilasmós] is only used twice [1 Jn 2:2, 4:10] – both times of Christ’s atoning blood that appeases God’s wrath, on all confessed sin. By the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus Christ provided the ultimate /hilasmós [“propitiation”]. NASB: Propitiation refers to turning away God’s wrath [see also 4:10]. God’s holiness demands punishment for man’s sin. God, therefore, out of love [4:10; John 3:16], sent His Son to make substitutionary atonement for the believer’s sin. In this way the Father’s wrath is propitiated [satisfied, appeased]; His wrath against the Christian’s sin has been turned away and directed toward Christ.) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world (in Greek writings from Homer down, an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order: ornament, decoration, adornment [Christ paid the “sin debt.”]. NASB: Forgiveness through Christ’s atoning sacrifice is not limited to one particular group only; it has worldwide application [See John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!]. It must, however, be received by faith [John 3:16]. Thus this verse does not teach universalism [that all people ultimately will be saved], but that God is an impartial God.).

3By this we know that we have come to know (the nature of God the Father, especially the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ) Him, if we keep His commandments (universally, of the commandments of God, especially as promulgated in the Christian religion. NASB: Does not mean that only those who never obey [1:8-9] know God, but simply refers to those whose lives are generally characterized by obedience.). 4The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians: and absolutely ἡ ἀλήθεια and ἀλήθεια [truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness].) is not in him; 5but whoever keeps His word (either of Christ or of God [the Father]: tēréō – properly, maintain [preserve]; [figuratively] spiritually guard [watch], keep intact.), in him the love of God has truly been perfected (to complete [perfect], i. e. add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full. NASB: Means either that God’s love for the believer is made complete when it moves the believer to acts of obedience [see 4:12], or that our love for God becomes complete when it exercises itself in acts of obedience [see 16-18].). By this we know that we are in Him (NASB: Spiritual union with God [see John 17:21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.]): 6the one who says he abides (Christians are said μένειν ἐν τῷ Θεῷ, to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him, 1 John 2:6, 24, 27; 1 John 3:6; hence, one is said μένειν in Christ or in God, and conversely Christ or God is said μένειν in one: John 6:56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 1 John 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 1 John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.) in Him ought himself to walk (to live: to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) in the same manner (same way) as He walked.

7Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment (an injunction, order, command. NASB: See John 13:34-35. NASB: The Biblical command to love was old [see Lev 19:18, also Matt 22:39-40]. But its newness is seen in: (1) the new and dramatic illustration of divine love on the cross; (2) Christ’s exposition of the OT law [see Matt 5], which seemed new to Christ’s hears; and (3) the daily experience of believers as they grow in love for each other.) to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning (as soon as instruction was imparted); the old commandment is the word (specifically, the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God) which you have heard. 8On the other hand (in turn), I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness (used of ignorance of divine things, and its associated wickedness, and the resultant misery) is passing away (to disappear) and the true Light (especially the saving truth embodied in Christ and by his love and effort imparted to mankind. NASB: Used in the NT only here and in John 1:9, this phrase refers to the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world [John 8:12], and to its saving effects in the lives of believers.) is already shining (shed light). 9The one who says he is in the Light (See above: to continue devoted to it, to persevere in keeping it) and yet hates (pursue with hatred, detest. NASB: Hates…loves: In the Bible hatred and love as moral qualities are not primarily emotions, but attitudes expressed in actions [see 3:15-16].) his brother (a fellow-believer, united to another by the bond of affection; so most frequently of Christians, constituting as it were but a single family: yet in the phraseology of John it has reference to the new life unto which men are begotten again by the efficiency of a common father, even God) is in the darkness (used of ignorance of divine things, and its associated wickedness, and the resultant misery) until now. 10The one who loves his brother abides (to be held, or kept, continually) in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling (of things: to put a stumbling-block in one’s way, i. e. to do that by which another is led to sin) in him. 11But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks (to live) in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded (to blunt the mental discernment, darken the mind) his eyes (hidden from thine eyes, i. e. concealed from thee).

 

(NASB: vv 12-14: By extended repetition in these verses, John assures his readers that, in spite of the rigorous tests contained in the letter, he is confident of their salvation. Little children… fathers… young men: As elsewhere in this letter, “little children” probably refers to all John’s readers, including fathers and young men. The term “fathers” and “young men” may, however, describe two different levels of spiritual maturity. Some hold that all three terms refer to levels of spiritual maturity.)

12I am writing to you, little children ([figuratively] someone deeply loved [endeared]; which see; (in the N. T. used as a term of kindly address by teachers to their disciples [always in the plural little children]), because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake (on account of professing my name). 13I am writing to you, fathers (one advanced in years, a senior), because you know (denotes to come to know, to know, his Messianic dignity; his divinity) Him who has been from the beginning (of the beginning of all things). I am writing to you, young men (a young man, youth), because you have overcome (is used of one who by Christian constancy and courage keeps himself unharmed and spotless from his adversary’s devices, solicitations, assaults: the devil) the evil one (s used pre-eminently of the devil). I have written to you, children (paidíon a child under training; the diminutive form of /país [“child”]. /paidíon [“a little child in training”] implies a younger child [perhaps seven years old or younger]. Some scholars apply [país] to a son or daughter up to 20 years old [the age of “complete adulthood” in Scripture].), because you know the Father. 14I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong (of one who has strength of soul to sustain the assaults of Satan), and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Do Not Love the World       15Do not love the world (“worldly affairs; the aggregate of things earthly; the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, etc., which, although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ”. NASB: Not the world of people [John 3:16] or the created world [John 17:24], but the world, or realm, of sin [v. 16; James 4:4], which is controlled by Satan and organized against God and righteousness.) nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of (NASB: for) the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust (desire for what is forbidden, lust) of the flesh (the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin) and the lust of the eyes (desire excited by seeing) and the boastful pride (display in one’s style of living, [vainglory]) of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away (to disappear), and also its lusts; but the one who does the will (choice) of God lives (hence, one is said μένειν [to stay, abide, remain] in Christ or in God, and conversely Christ or God is said μένειν [to stay, abide, remain] in one: cf. Rückert, Abendmahl, p. 268f μένει τί ἐν ἐμοί, something has established itself permanently within my soul, and always exerts its power in me: the Holy Spirit) forever.

18Children, it is the last hour (of the time nearest the return of Christ from heaven and the consummation of the divine kingdom. NASB: With other NT writers, John viewed the whole period beginning with Christ’s first coming as the last days. They understood this to be the “last” of the days because neither former prophecy nor new revelation concerning the history of salvation indicated the coming of another era before the return of Christ, The word “last” in “last days,” “last times” and “last hour” also expresses a sense of urgency and imminence. The Christian is to be on alert, waiting for the return of Christ [Matt 25:1-13].) and just as you heard that antichrist (opposing God, the adversary of the Messiah, a most pestilent being, to appear just before the Messiah’s advent, concerning whom the Jews had conceived diverse opinions, derived partly from Daniel 11:36ff; partly from Ezekiel 38; Ezekiel 39. For Paul teaches that Antichrist will be an individual man, of the very worst character (τόν ἄνθρωπον τῆς ἁμαρτίας (antichrist, either one who puts himself in the place of, or the enemy (opponent) of the Messiah. antíxristos (from /antí, “opposite to, in place of” and /Xristós, “Christ”) – properly, opposite to Christ; someone acting in place of (against) Christ; “Antichrist.”) [or, ἀνομίας (lawlessness, iniquity, disobedience, sin; anomía (from 1 /A “not” and /nómos, “law”) – properly, without law; lawlessness; the utter disregard for God’s law [His written and living Word]. /anomía [“lawlessness”] includes the end-impact of law breaking – i.e. its negative influence on a person’s soul [status before God].)]; see ἁμαρτία, 1), instigated by the devil to try to pawn himself off as God.) is coming, even now many antichrists (NASB: John assumed his readers knew that a great enemy of God and His people would arise before Christ’s return… But prior to him, there will be many antichrists… The antichrists referred to in John’s letter were the Gnostics.) have appeared (have arisen and now exist); from this we know that it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained (to stay, abide) with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown (to make visible, make clear) that they all are not of us. 20But you have an anointing (is used of the gift of the Holy Spirit, as the efficient aid in getting a knowledge of the truth) from the Holy One (NASB: Either Jesus Christ [Mark 1:24; John 6:69; Acts 2:27; 3:14; 22:14] or the Father [2 Kings 19:22; Job 6:10]), and you all know. 21I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie (whatever is not what it professes to be: so of perverse, impious, deceitful precepts) is of the truth. 22Who is the liar but the one who denies (contradict) that Jesus is the Christ (NASB: The man Jesus is the divine Christ [see the parallel confession in 5:5])? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses (homologéō [from /homoú, “together” and /légō, “speak to a conclusion”] – properly, to voice the same conclusion, i.e. agree [“confess“]; to profess [confess] because in full agreement; to align with [endorse]. [/homologéō (“confess”) means to speak the same thing, i.e. “assent, agree with, confess, declare, admit”]) the Son has the Father also. 24As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

The Promise Is Eternal Life       25This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

26These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach (used of those who enjoin [to direct or order (someone) to do something] upon others to observe some ordinance, to embrace some opinion, or to obey some precept: with especially reference to the addition which the teacher makes to the knowledge of the one he teaches, to impart instruction, instill doctrine into one. NASB: Since the Bible constantly advocates teaching [Matt 28:20; 1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11; Col 3:16; 1 Tim 4:11; 2 Tim 2:2, 24], John is not ruling out human teachers. At the time when he wrote, however, Gnostic teachers were insisting that the teaching of the apostles was to be supplemented with the “higher knowledge” that they [the Gnostics] claimed to possess. John’s response was that what the readers were taught under the Spirit’s ministry through the apostles not only was adequate but was the only reliable truth.) you; but as His anointing teaches you (NASB: The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit [what is commonly called illumination] does not involve revelation of new truth or the explanation of all difficult passages to our satisfaction. Rather, it is the development of the capacity to appreciate and appropriate God’s truth already revealed-making the Bible meaningful in thought and daily living.) about all things (NASB: All things necessary to know for salvation and Christian living.), and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

28Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence (free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance) and not shrink away from Him in shame (to be suffused with shame) at His coming. 29If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness (NASB: Members of God’s family are marked by holy living.) is born of Him (NASB: He… Him: God the Father.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Children of God Love One Another       3:1See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world (“the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ”) does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared (to make visible, make clear; become manifest”) as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him ([Christ] in nature and condition), because we will see Him (of the knowledge of God that may be looked for in his future kingdom) just as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope (expectation. NASB: Not a mere wish, but unshakable confidence concerning the future.) fixed on Him (Christ) purifies himself (morally. NASB: But turning from sin), just as He is pure (pure from every fault, immaculate).

4Everyone who practices (Tense: Present, Mood: Participle(ing), Voice: Active) (to commit) sin also practices lawlessness (contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness); and sin is lawlessness. 5You know that He appeared in order to take away (to cause our sins to cease, i. e., that we no longer sin, while we enter into fellowship with Christ, who is free from sin, and abide in that fellowship, cf. 1 John 3:6.) sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6No one who abides (Christians are said to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him, hence, one is said μένειν [to abide] in Christ or in God, and conversely Christ or God is said μένειν [abide] in one) in Him sins (NASB: John is not asserting sinless perfection [see 1:8-10; 2:1], but explaining that the believer’s life is characterized not by sin but by doing what is right.); no one who sins has seen Him or knows (to come to know, to know, his sinless holiness) Him. 7Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices (Tense: Present, Mood: Participle(ing), Voice: Active) (to perform, accomplish) righteousness (to do righteousness, to live uprightly) is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8the one who practices sin is of the devil (to be of the devil, properly, to derive their origin from the devil, tropically, to depend upon the devil in thought and action, to be prompted and governed by him); for the devil has sinned from the beginning (of the beginning of all things. NASB: [Here] i.e., from the time he first rebelled against God, before the fall of Adam and Eve [John 8:44]. He is the instigator of human sin, and those who continue to sin belong to him [vv. 8, 12] and are his children [v. 10]. He is in the world [4:3] and has “the whole world” of unbelievers under his control [5:19]. But he cannot lay hold of the believer to harm him [5:18]. On the contrary, the Christian will overcome him [2:13-14; 4:4], and Christ will destroy his work.). The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy (to overthrow, do away with) the works (any product whatever, anything accomplished by hand, art, industry, mind: sins and all the misery that springs from them) of the devil. 9No one who is born (beget [procreate a descendant], produce offspring; [passive] be born, “begotten.”) of God practices (Tense: Present, Mood: Indicative (is the only mood conceived of as actual), Voice: Active) sin, because His seed (the Holy Spirit, the divine energy operating within the soul by which we are regenerated or made the τέκνα τοῦ Θεοῦ [téknon – properly, a child; [figuratively] anyone living in full dependence on the heavenly Father, i.e. fully [willingly] relying upon the Lord in glad submission. This prompts God to transform them into His likeness. /téknon [“a child living in willing dependence“] illustrates how we must all live in utter dependence upon the Lord [moment-by-moment], drawing guidance [care, nurture] from our heavenly Father. [téknon] emphasizes the childlike [not childish] attitude of heart that willingly [gladly] submits to the Father’s plan. We profoundly learn this as we are receptive to Christ speaking His rhēma-word within to impart faith [cf. Ro 8:16, 17 with Ro 10:17, Gk text]. NASB: The picture is of human reproduction, in which the sperm [the Greek for “seed” is sperma] bears the life principle and transfers the paternal characteristics.); have been begotten of God) abides in him; and he cannot sin (NASB: Not a complete cessation of sin, but a life that is not characterized by sin.), because he is born of God. 10By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious (manifest i. e. to be plainly recognized or known): anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

11For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning (as soon as instruction was imparted), that we should love one another; 12not as Cain, who was of the evil one (is used pre-eminently of the devil) and slew (to put to death by violence) his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

13Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates (detest) you. 14We know that we have passed out (to be removed) of death (metaphorically, the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name, i. e. “the misery of soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body”: [Clement of Rome, 2 Cor. 1, 6 [ET] says of life before conversion to Christ]) into life (life real and genuine, vita quae sola vita nominanda, “a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions [among them a more perfect body], and to last forever” [the writers of the O. T. have anticipated the conception, in their way, by employing חַיִּים [life, alive] to denote a happy life and every kind of blessing]), because we love the brethren (NASB: Fellow believers). He who does not love abides in death (same as above). 15Everyone who hates (pursue with hatred, detest. NASB: Hates…loves: In the Bible hatred and love as moral qualities are not primarily emotions, but attitudes expressed in actions [see 3:15-16].) his brother is a murderer ([a manslayer] contextually, to be deemed equal to a murderer); and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16We know love by this, that He laid down (give up, one’s life) His life for us; and we ought to lay down (give up, one’s life) our lives for the brethren. 17But whoever has the world’s goods (that by which life is sustained, resources, wealth), and sees his brother in need and closes (to shut up compassion so that it is like a thing inaccessible to one, to be devoid of pity toward one) his heart ([thought of] by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, especially kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence, equivalent to our heart [tender mercies, affections, etc.] [Alice: intellect, emotion, and will are in the heart.]) against him, how does the love of God (NASB: God’s kind of love, which He pours out in the believer’s heart [Rom 5:5] and which in turn enables the Christian to love fellow believers. Or it may speak of the believer’s love for God.) abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue (the act of speaking, speech; a word [as embodying an idea], a statement, a speech), but in deed (an act, deed, thing done) and truth (in accordance with fact, i. e. [according to the context] justly, without partiality [vv. 17-18 see James 2:14-17]). 19We will know by this that we are of the truth (to be prompted and controlled by the truth,), and will assure (to tranquillize) our heart (kardíaheart; “the affective center of our being” and the capacity of moral preference [volitional desire, choice); “desire-producer that makes us tick”, i.e our “desire-decisions” that establish who we really are. [Heart [/kardía] is mentioned over 800 times in Scripture, but never referring to the literal physical pump that drives the blood. That is, “heart” is only used figuratively [both in the OT and NT.]; lit: the heart; mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center.) before Him 20in whatever our heart condemns (to accuse) us; for God is greater (contextually equivalent to strict in condemning, of God) than our heart and knows all things (NASB: An oversensitive conscience can be quieted by the knowledge that God Himself has declared active love to be an evidence of salvation. He knows the hearts of all-whether, in spite of shortcomings, they have been born of Him.). 21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn (to accuse) us, we have confidence (free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage) before God; 22and whatever we ask (request, petition) we receive (to receive [what is given]; to gain, get, obtain; substantially equivalent to to receive, get back [Note: John was writing to believers, and note the conditions for receiving whatever one requests]) from Him, because we keep (observe) His commandments and do the things that are pleasing (agreeable) in His sight (before one i. e. he looking on and judging, in one’s judgment).

23This is His commandment (universally, of the commandments of God, especially as promulgated in the Christian religion. NASB: This command has two parts: (1) Believe in Christ [see John 6:29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”], and (2) love each other [see John 13:34-35“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”]. The first part is developed in 4:1-6 and the second part in 4:7-12.), that we believe (to commit oneself trustfully to the name [see ὄνομα: used in the N. T. of all those things which, in hearing or recalling that name, we are bidden to recognize in Jesus and to profess; accordingly, of “his Messianic dignity, divine authority, memorable sufferings, in a word the peculiar services and blessings conferred by him on men,” so far forth as these are believed, confessed, commemorated.]) in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24The one who keeps (tēréō [from tēros, “a guard”] – properly, maintain [preserve]; [figuratively] spiritually guard [watch], keep intact; keep, guard, observe, watch over) His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Testing the Spirits       4:1Beloved, do not believe (to credit, have confidence, to believe one’s words) every spirit (“one in whom a spirit (πνεῦμα) is manifest or embodied; hence, equivalent to actuated by a spirit, whether divine or demoniacal; one who either is truly moved by God’s Spirit or falsely boasts that he is”. NASB: A person moved by a spirit, whether by the Holy Spirit or an evil one.), but test (by implication to approve. NASB: Test does not refer to such testing or judgment; it speaks of self-righteous moral judgment of others.) the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets (“one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies, a false prophet”. NASB: A true prophet speaks from God, being “moved by the Holy Spirit [2 Peter 1:21]. False prophets, such as the Gnostics of John’s day, speak under the influence of spirits alienated from God. Christ warned against false prophets [Matt 7:15; 24:11], as did Paul [1 Tim 4:1] and Peter [2 Pet 2:1].) have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses (to speak the same, to agree [with God]; to profess [to declare openly and voluntarily’] and [`to declare fully,’ implying the yielding or change of one’s conviction], i. e. to declare openly, speak out freely. NASB: Not only knows intellectually-for demons know, and shudder [James 2:19; cf. Mark 1:24]-but also confesses publically.) that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (/sárks [“flesh”] is not always evil in Scripture. Indeed, it is used positively in relation to sexual intercourse in marriage [Eph 5:31] – as well as for the sinless human body of Jesus [Jn 1:14; 1 Jn 4:2, 3]. Indeed, flesh [what is physical] is necessary for the body to live out the faith the Lord works in [Gal 2:20].]). Indeed, flesh [what is physical] is necessary for the body to live out the faith the Lord works in (Gal 2:20).]; universally, human nature, the soul included [human spirit and body = human soul]: ἐν σαρκί ἔρχεσθαι, to appear [on earth in space and time] clothed in human nature) is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess (to profess oneself the worshipper of one. NASB: The incarnate Jesus Christ of 1:2…) Jesus is not from God (NASB: An abbreviation form of the expression “born of God” [2:29; 3:9-10]); this is the spirit of the antichrist (one who opposes Christ), of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4You are from God, little children, and have overcome (by the force which resides in goodness, i. e. in kindness, to cause an enemy to repent of the wrong he has done one,) them (NASB: The false prophets [v. 1]), who were inspired by the spirit of the antichrist [v.3].); because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (NASB: The devil [John 12:31; 16:11]. In v. 3 “world” means the inhabited earth; in vv. 4-5 it means the community, or system, of those not born of God-including the antichrist.). 5They are from the world (“the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ”); therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth (the Spirit [of God] which is truth [1 John 5:6] and imbues men with the knowledge of the truth) and the spirit of error (in the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion). God Is Love       7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God (NASB: Only those who are to some degree like Him truly know Him.), for God is love (God is wholly love, his nature is summed up in love. NASB: In His essential nature and in all His actions, God is loving. John similarly affirms that God is spirit [John 4:24] and light [1:5], as well as holy, powerful, faithful, true and just. [K. Erik Thoennes says God’s attributes are interdependent, not one attribute functions independently of another, and they are always functioning concurrently. God does not diminish one attribute to express another, example, love and wrath. God is omnipotent; therefore he does not have to choose between love and wrath. Moreover, the attributes of love and wrath are not dichotomous, they are instead complementary, that is, they complete each other. To realize the unity of God is to realize that love necessitates wrath, and wrath necessitates love. They are not two ends of a spectrum, on the contrary, they are in close proximity. An example is that if a person loves children, he hates child abuse. He is wrathful towards it. It is irrational for a person to say that he loves children and is okay with child abuse. God’s attributes are impossible to understand without comprehending their interdependence. It is important for a believer to become a whole Bible Christian, that is, to be taking in the whole picture. A correct understanding of the unity of God facilitates this process. It also sheds light on the knowability of God. An example is that one understands the crucifixion of Christ better when one realizes that on the cross God’s attributes of love, justice, holiness, and wrath were exhibited openly.] [Alice: When one asks, if God is love, then why is He letting all this evil take place in the world? My reply is read the Bible, He is doing something about it. (Cf. Rev 19-22)]). 9By this the love of God was manifested (passive, to become manifest, be made known) in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live (emphatically, and in the Messianic sense, to enjoy real life, i. e. to have true life and worthy of the name — active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God, by the gift and power of Christ it is shared in by the faithful, who accordingly are said ζήσειν δἰ αὐτόν [záō – to live, experience God’s gift of life.]) through Him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (for our sins; hilasmós – properly, propitiation; an offering to appease [satisfy] an angry, offended party. [hilasmós] is only used twice [1 Jn 2:2, 4:10] – both times of Christ’s atoning blood that appeases God’s wrath, on all confessed sin. By the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus Christ provided the ultimate /hilasmós [“propitiation”].) for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (believers, brethren). 12No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides (to stay, abide, remain) in us, and His love is perfected (to complete [perfect], i. e. add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full: passive. NASB: Since our love has its source in God’s love, His love reaches full expression [is made complete] when we love fellow Christians. Thus the God whom “no one has seen” is seen in those who love, because God lives in them.) in us. 13By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit (Cf. Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. Gal 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.). 14We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world (kósmos [literally, “something ordered“] – properly, an “ordered system” [like the universe, creation]; the world. particularly the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race [this is not teaching universal salvation, universalism.])

15Whoever confesses (to speak the same, to agree [with God]) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence (free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance, before the judge) in the day of judgment (in a forensic judgment sense, of the of God or of Jesus the Messiah: universally of the last judgment: the day appointed for the judgment [Alice: In this judgment unbelievers will be judged by their own works; believers will also be judged by their works, but these are the works that James spoke of, the works produced by faith (James 2:18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.), and the ones spoken of in Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.]. These are the works the believer will have on the day of judgement. Cf. Rom 14:10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 1 Cor 3:10-15According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. NASB: All Christians will be judged, and the judgment will be based on works [see 2 Cor 5:10; cf. 1 Cor 3:10-15]. Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.); because as He is, so also are we (NASB: Like Christ. The fact that we are like Christ in love is a sign that God, who is love, lives in us; therefore we may have confidence on the day of judgment that we are saved.) in this world. 18There is no fear (fear, dread, terror; in a subjective sense) in love (NASB: There is no fear of God’s judgment because genuine love confirms salvation.); but perfect (brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness; perfect [see v 12]) love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment (kólasis [from kolaphos, “a buffeting, a blow”] – properly, punishment that “fits” [matches] the one punished; torment from living in the dread of upcoming judgment from shirking one’s duty; correction, punishment, penalty: brings with it or has connected with it the thought of punishment), and the one who fears is not perfected (to complete (perfect), i. e. add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full; [not] one has been made perfect in love, his love lacks nothing) in love. 19We love, because He first loved us. 20If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar (a person who falsifies, misrepresents [distorts, misleads].); for the one who does not love his brother (believer) whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment (see John 13:34) we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Overcoming the World       5:1Whoever believes (to have a faith directed unto, believing or in faith to give oneself up to, Jesus, etc. [pisteúō [from /pístis, “faith,” derived from /peíthō, “persuade, be persuaded” – believe (affirm, have confidence); used of persuading oneself (= human believing) and with the sacred significance of being persuaded by the Lord (= faith-believing). Only the context indicates whether /pisteúō (“believe”) is self-serving (without sacred meaning), or the believing that leads to/proceeds from God’s inbirthing of faith. (Alice: In this context the first meaning is applicable.)] Cf. Heb 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. [Faith produces hearing of the word of God, and it makes the unseen real: a conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it]. Cf. Gal 3: 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Gal 3:5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?) that Jesus is the Christ is born (peculiarly, in the Gospel and First Epistle of John, of God conferring upon men the nature and disposition of his sons, imparting to them spiritual life, i. e. by his own holy power prompting and persuading souls to put faith in Christ and live a new life consecrated to himself; absolutely) of God (NASB: Faith in Jesus as the Christ is a sign of being born again, just as love is [4:7].), and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him (NASB: John wrote at a time when members of a family were closely associated as a unit under the headship of the father. He could therefore use the family as an illustration to show that anyone who loves God the Father will naturally love God’s children.). 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe (to carry out, to execute) His commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments (Excerpts from Saucy: There are two basic practices involved in abiding in Christ which are (a) abide in Christ and (b) abide in His love. Abiding in His love involves obeying His commandments, but love does not simply mean obey the commandments. Obey the commandment is love because to obey the commandments allows the believer to walk close to Christ. To obey the commandment is to be inviting Christ and receiving the life of God through the Spirit (cf. Lk. 7:13; I Jn. 4:16). Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” To the extent that the believer does not obey the commandments, he and Christ are not walking together; they are walking in different directions, that is, the believer is walking in a different direction than Christ. So obeying the commandments is to be abiding in Christ and receiving the life of God through the Spirit. Therefore, the two basic practices of abiding in Christ are to (a) receive by faith all that Christ is for the believer. Abiding in Christ means a believer has to lay hold of Christ and become joined to Him, and (b) obey His commandments. Christ never commands the believer to bear fruit. He commands him to abide in Him and to abide in His love, and apparently obeying these two commandments will produce fruit.); and His commandments are not burdensome (properly, heavy [weighty]; [figuratively] what is grievous [burdensome], pressing down on a person with oppressive force. Such a grievous burden makes a person unable to function [enjoy free movement]. NASB: Not because the commands themselves are light or easy to obey but, as John explains in v. 4, because of the new birth. The one born of God by faith is enabled by the Holy Spirit to obey.). 4For whatever is born of God overcomes (is used of one who by Christian constancy and courage keeps himself unharmed and spotless from his adversary’s devices, solicitations, assaults: the devil) the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world (the incentives to sin proceeding from the world. NASB: Has overcome: To overcome the world is to gain victory over its sinful pattern of life, which is another way of describing obedience to God [v. 3]. Such obedience is not impossible for the believer because he has been born again and the Holy Spirit dwells within him and gives him strength. John speaks of two aspects of victory: (1) the initial victory of turning in faith from the world to God [“has overcome”]; (2) the continuing day-by-day victory of Christian living [“overcomes”].)—our faith.

5Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6This is the One who came by water (NASB: Water symbolizes Jesus’ baptism, and blood symbolizes His death. These are mentioned because Jesus’ ministry began at His baptism and ended at His death. John is reacting to the heretics of his day [Gnostics] who said that Jesus was born only a man and remained so until His baptism. At that time, they maintained, the Christ [the Son of God] descended on the human Jesus, but left him before his suffering on the cross-so that it was only the man Jesus who died. Throughout his letter John has been insisting that Jesus Christ is God as well as man [1:1-4; 4:2; 5:5]. He now asserts that it was this God-man Jesus Christ who came into our world, was baptized and died. Jesus was the Son of God not only at His baptism but also at his death [v. 6b]. This truth is extremely important, because, if Jesus died only as a man, His sacrificial atonement [2:2; 4:10] would not have been sufficient to take away the guilt [culpability] of man’s sin. BKC: John’s insistence that He did not come by water only, but by water and blood, suggests that he was refuting a false notion of the type held by Cerinthus. Cerinthus taught that the divine Christ descended on the man Jesus at His baptism and left Him before His crucifixion. Thus he denied that one Person, Jesus Christ, came by both water and blood. Cerinthus was doubtless not alone in such views, which John regarded as utterly false and contrary to the true testimony of the Holy Spirit [see Matt 3:13-17Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Mark 1:9-11In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” Luke 3:21-22Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”].) and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies (to prove or confirm by testimony), because the Spirit is the truth (the Spirit [of God] which is truth and imbues men with the knowledge of the truth). 7For there are three (NASB: The OT law required “two or three witnesses” [Deut 17:6; 19:15; see 1 Tim 5:19].) that testify: 8the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement (Cf. Deut. 19:15; Matt. 18:16; John 8:17-18. These witnesses are: the Holy “Spirit”, teaching through the apostles and prophets, the “water” of Jesus’ baptism, and the “blood” of His crucifixion. BKC: The Spirit’s witness may be thought of as coming through the prophet’s [including John the Baptist]. The Spirit’s witness, then, was augmented by the historic realities involved in “the water” and the “blood.” Both the baptism and the crucifixion of Jesus are strongly attested historical facts [cf. John 1:32-34John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” 19:33-37but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.” And again another Scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.”]. All three witnesses [“water” and “blood” are personified] “are in agreement” that a single divine Person, Jesus Christ, was involved in these events.). 9If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God (NASB: The Holy Spirit’s testimony, mentioned in vv. 6-8) is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony (evidence given [judicially or genitive case] — record, report, testimony, witness) in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal (perpetual [also used of past time, or past and future as well] — eternal, for ever, everlasting, world [began]; aiṓnios [an adjective, derived from /aiṓn [“an age, having a particular character and quality“] – properly, “age-like” [“like-an-age“], i.e. an “age-characteristic” [the quality describing a particular age]; [figuratively] the unique quality [reality] of God’s life at work in the believer, i.e. as the Lord manifests His self-existent life [as it is in His sinless abode of heaven]. “Eternal [ /aiṓnios] life operates simultaneously outside of time, inside of time, and beyond time – i.e. what gives time its everlasting meaning for the believer through faith, yet is also time-independent. [aiōn]. [aiṓnios] does not focus on the future per se, but rather on the quality of the age [ /aiṓn)] it relates to. Thus believers live in “eternal [ /aiṓnios] life” right now, experiencing this quality of God’s life now as a present possession. [Note the Gk present tense of having eternal life in Jn 3:36, 5:24, 6:47; cf. Ro 6:23.)]. [Eph 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love. [Please read: Eph 1:3-15Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.] [Alice: He that hath and ear (metaph. the faculty of perceiving with the mind, the faculty of understanding and knowing), let him hear.]) life (life real and genuine, vita quae sola vita nominanda, “a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions [among them a more perfect body], and to last forever” [the writers of the O. T. have anticipated the conception, in their way, by employing חַיִּים to denote a happy life and every kind of blessing]. NASB: As a present possession. NASB: An infinitely high quality of life in living fellowship with God-both now and forever.… not something the believer will only obtain later.), and this life is in His Son. 12He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

 

This Is Written That You May Know       13These things I have written to (Note) you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence (free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance) which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will (Note the condition; the first one was to keep His commandments, cf. 4:22), He hears (to listen to, have regard to, of God answering the prayers of men) us. 15And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

 

(NASB: vv. 16-17 illustrate the kind of petition we can be sure God will answer [see vv. 14-15].)

16If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death (metaphorically, the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name, i. e. “the misery of soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body”; properly, an adjective used as a noun) death — deadly, [be…] death; thánatos [derived from /thnḗskō, “to die”] – physical or spiritual death; [figuratively] separation from the life [salvation] of God forever by dying without first experiencing death to self to receive His gift of salvation.), he shall ask and God will for him give life (same as above) to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death (same as above. NASB: In the context of this letter directed against Gnostic teaching, which denied the incarnation and threw off all moral restraints, it is probable that the “sin leading to death” refers to Gnostics’ adamant and persistent denial of the truth and to their shameless immorality. This kind of unrepentant sin leads to spiritual death. Another view is that this is sin that results in physical death. It is held that, because a believer continues to sin, God in judgment takes his life [cf. 1 Cor 11:30]. In either case, “sin not leading to death” is of a less serious nature.); I do not say that he should make request for this. 17All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

18We know that no one who is born of God (Jesus, the Son of God) sins (positionally [forensically/Judicially] the believer’s sins are forgiven; practically see 1 John 1:9ff); but He (Jesus Christ) who was born of God keeps (himself such as he is, i. e. begotten of God) him, and the evil one does not touch (i. e. assail) him. 19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20And we know (NASB: The letter ends with three striking statements, affirming the truths that “we know” and summarizing some of the letter’s major themes.) that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding (diánoia [from /diá, “thoroughly, from side-to-side,” which intensifies /noiéō, “to use the mind,” from /noús, “mind”] – properly, movement from one side [of an issue] to the other to reach balanced-conclusions; full-orbed reasoning [= critical thinking], i.e. dialectical thinking that literally reaches “across to the other side” [of a matter]. /diánoia [“critical thinking”], literally “thorough reasoning,” incorporates both sides of a matter to reach a meaningful [personal] conclusion. Such “full-breadth reasoning” is essential to loving [ /agapáō] the Lord and our neighbor [see Mk 12:30]. It is also the instrument of self-destruction when exercised without God’s light and power [Lk 1:51; Eph 2:3, 4:18; Col 1:21]. [/diánoia (dianoia) is also used of “reasoning and speech between characters in ancient dramas”. But (diánoia) works to a person’s own undoing when it operates apart from the light of God’s word (Eph 4:18)]; understanding, intellect, mind, insight.) so that we may know (the one, true God, in contrast with the polytheism of the Gentiles) Him who is true (God the Father.); and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God (NASB: Could refer to either God the father or God the Son.) and eternal life.

21Little children, guard yourselves from idols (NASB: False gods, as opposed to the one true God [v. 20].).

 

 

 

New American Standard Bible 2 John

Walk According to His Commandments       1:1The elder to the chosen (choice, select, i. e. the best of its kind or class, excellent, preeminent: applied to certain individual Christians. NASB: Either an unknown Christian woman in the province of Asia or a figurative designation of a local church there. Her children: Children of that Christian lady or members of that local church.) lady and her children, whom I love in truth (subjectively. NASB: John uses this word, the Greek aletheia, 25 times and links it closely with Jesus, who is the truth [14:6]) “truth as a personal excellence; that candor of mind which is free from affectation, pretense, simulation, falsehood, deceit”: sincerely and truthfully); and not only I, but also all who know the truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians), 2for the sake of the truth which abides (not to depart, not to leave, to continue to be present) in us and will be with us forever: 3Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love (agápē – properly, love which centers in moral preference. So too in secular ancient Greek, [agápē] focuses on preference; likewise the verb form [ /agapáō] in antiquity meant “to prefer” [TDNT, 7]. In the NT, [agápē] typically refers to divine love [= what God prefers]; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast – [feast of] charity [-ably], dear, love.).

4I was very glad to find some of your children walking (Hebraistically, to live, i. e. α. to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. 5Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment (of the moral precepts of Christ and his apostles), but the one which we have had from the beginning (as soon as instruction was imparted), that we love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk (to live, i. e. α. to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

(NASB: vv. 7-11: This section deals with the basic Gnostic heresy attacked in 1 John, namely, that the Son of God did not become flesh [John 1:14], but that He temporarily came upon the man Jesus between his baptism and crucifixion.)

7For many deceivers (a corrupter) have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh (to appear clothed in human nature [see 1 John 4:2-3].). This is the deceiver and the antichrist (antichrist, either one who puts himself in the place of, or the enemy [opponent] of the Messiah; antíxristos [from /antí, “opposite to, in place of” and /Xristós, “Christ”] – properly, opposite to Christ; someone acting in place of [against] Christ; “Antichrist.” [See 1 John 2:18]). 8Watch yourselves, that you do not lose (to destroy) what we have accomplished (to work, labor), but that you may receive a full (i. e. complete; lacking nothing, perfect) reward (is used of those for whom a reward is reserved by God, whom a divine reward awaits. NASB: Work faithfully accomplished on earth brings future reward [see mark 9:41; 10:29-30; Luke 19:16-19; Heb 11:26].). 9Anyone who goes too far (to transgress the limits of true doctrine [cf. our colloquial, ‘advanced’ (views, etc.) in a disparaging sense]. NASB: A reference to the Gnostics, who believe that they had advance beyond the teaching of the apostles.) and does not abide (of him who cleaves, holds fast, to a thing) in the teaching of Christ (NASB: The similarity of the letter to 1 John, the nature of the heresy combated and the immediate context suggested that John is not referring to teaching given by Christ, but to true teaching about Christ as the incarnate God-man.), does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house (NASB: A reference to housing and feeding of traveling teachers. The instruction does not prohibit greeting or even inviting a person into one’s home for conversation. John was warning against providing food and shelter, since this would be an investment in “evil deeds” of false teachers and would give public approval [see v. 11].), and do not give him a greeting; 11for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

12Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy (gladness) may be made full (to make complete in every particular; to render perfect).

13The children of your chosen sister (NASB: May be taken literally to designate another Christian woman or figuratively to refer to another local church) greet you.

 

 

New American Standard Bible 3 John

 

You Walk in the Truth       1The elder (among Christians, those who presided over the assemblies [or churches]) to the beloved Gaius (NASB: A Christian in one of the churches of the province of Asia. Gaius was a common Roman name.), whom I love in truth.

2Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper (prosper, be successful) and be in good health, just as your soul (“the [human] soul in so far as it is so constituted that by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life) prospers. 3For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking (to live, i. e. α. to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) in truth. 4I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children (in the N. T., pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mould their characters. NASB: Perhaps John’s converts, or believers currently under his spiritual guidance.) walking in the truth.

5Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren (NASB: The early church provided hospitality and support for missionaries.), and especially when they are strangers (a foreigner); 6and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7For they went out for the sake of the Name (relying or resting on the name of Christ, rooted [so to speak] in his name, i. e. mindful of Chris, for defending, spreading, strengthening, the authority of Christ. NASB: Today Orthodox Jews often address God by the title Ha-Shem [“The Name”].), accepting nothing from the Gentiles (in the N. T. savoring of the nature of pagans, alien to the worship of the true God, heathenish; substantively, ὁ ἐθνικός, the pagan, the Gentile). 8Therefore we ought to support (to receive hospitably, welcome; to take or bear up, to receive, to assume) such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians).

9I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes (a Christian man, but proud and arrogant), who loves to be first (to aspire after pre-eminence. NASB: A church leader who was exercising dictatorial power in the church. He must have had considerable influence since he was able to exclude people from the church fellowship [v. 10].) among them, does not accept what we say. 10For this reason, if I come, I will call attention (bring to remembrance, recall to mind: with implied censure) to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church (an assembly, a (religious) congregation).

11Beloved, do not imitate what is evil (what is contrary to law, either divine or human, wrong, crime), but what is good (what is upright, honorable, and acceptable to God). The one who does good is of God (NASB: The continual practice of good, not merely doing occasional good deeds.); the one who does evil has not seen (horáō – properly, see, often with metaphorical meaning: “to see with the mind” [i.e. spiritually see], i.e. perceive [with inward spiritual perception; to know God’s will].) God. 12Demetrius (Demetrius, the name of a silversmith and of a Christian) has received a good testimony (to bear witness, testify) from everyone, and from the truth (truth [true to fact], reality.) itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.

13I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink;

14but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face.             15 Peace be to you (NASB: Not a prayer or wish but a benedictory pronouncement). The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

 

 

 

 

New American Standard Bible Jude

 

The Warnings of History to the Ungodly       1Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,       To those who are the called (“invited [by God in the proclamation of the gospel] to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God through Christ”; from John MacArthur’s Study notes in the “Study Bible” [hitherto SB] As always in the epistles, this refers not to a general invitation to salvation, but to God’s irresistible, elective call to salvation [cf. Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:23-24; 1 Thess 5:24; 2 Thess 2:13-14]. This call yields: (1) fellowship with Christ [1 Cor 1:9]; (2) peace [1 Cor 7:15]; (3) freedom [Gal 5:13]; (4) a worthy walk [Eph 4:1]; (5) hope [Eph 4:4]; (6) holiness [1 Pet 1:15; (7) blessing [1 Pet 3:9]; and (8) eternal glory [1 Pet 5:10]. Cf. “grace of our God” Jude 4.), beloved (to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of: and elsewhere; used often in the First Epistle of John of the love of Christians toward one another; of the benevolence which God, in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending his Son to them and giving him up to death. SB: Cf. John 13:1; 14:23; 16:27; 17:20; 23; Rom 5:8; 1 John 3:1, which expand on the idea of unconditional, thus unending, love from God to the believer in Christ. It is because of that love that believers are set apart from sin to God by the transformation of conversion.) in God the Father (SB: The plan of salvation and its fulfillment come from God, who is not only Father in the sense of creation and origin of all that exist, but is also “God, our Savior” [Jude 25; cf. 1 Tim 2:3; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4]… God not only initiates salvation but he also completes it through Christ, thus preserving or keeping the believer secure for eternal life [John 6:37-44; 10:28-30; 17:11; 15; Rom 8:31-19; 2 Tim 4:18; Heb 7:25; 9:24; 1 Pet 1:3-3].), and kept (to watch over, to guard.) for Jesus Christ (NASB: He who holds the whole universe together [see Col 1:17; Heb 1:3] will see that God’s children are kept in the faith and that they reach their eternal inheritance [see John 6:37-40; 17:11-12; 1 Pet 1:3-5].): 2May mercy and peace (NASB: The profound well-being of soul that flows from the experience of God’s grace.) and love be multiplied to you (SB: Only here in the NT do these three qualities appear so close together. Where law and works prevail, there is failure and death. Where grace prevails, there is mercy [Eph 2:4; Heb 4:16], peace [Rom 5:1], and love [Rom 5:5] in abundance.).

3Beloved (to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of: and elsewhere; used often in the First Epistle of John of the love of Christians toward one another; of the benevolence which God, in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending his Son to them and giving him up to death), while I was making every effort to write you about our common (/koinós [“defiled because treated as common“] is always used negatively, i.e. for what is profaned – except in Jude 1:3 where it refers to the gift of salvation shared [held in common] by all true believers.) salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend (epagōnízomai [from /epí, “focused on” and /agṓn, “a contest, competition”] – properly, to contend [literally, “struggle upon, appropriately“], i.e. with skill and commitment in opposing whatever is not of faith [God’s persuasion]. SB: While the salvation of those to whom he wrote was not in jeopardy, false teachers preaching and living out a counterfeit gospel were misleading those who needed to hear the true gospel. Jude wrote this urgent imperative for Christians to wage war against error in all forms and fight strenuously for the truth, like a soldier who has been entrusted with a sacred task of guarding a holy treasure [cf. 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 4:7].) earnestly for the faith (objectively, the substance of Christian faith or what is believed by Christians. SB: This is the whole body of revealed salvation truth contained in the Scriptures [cf. Gal 1:23; Eph 4:5; 13; Phil 1:27; 1 Tim 4:1]. Cf. Jude 20. Here is a call to know sound doctrine [Eph 4:14; Col 3:16; 1 Pet 2:2; 1 John 2:12-24], to be discerning in sorting out truth from error [1 Thess 5:20-22]], and to be willing to confront and attack error.]) which was once for all handed (SB: God’s revelation was delivered once as a unit, at the completion of the Scripture, and is not to be edited by either deletion or addition [cf. Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov 30:6; Rev 22:18-19]. Scripture is complete, sufficient, and finished; therefore it is fixed for all time. Nothing is to be added to the body of the inspired word because nothing else is needed. It is the responsibility of believers now to study the word [2 Tim 2:15], preach the word [2 Tim 4:2], and fight for its preservation.) down to the saints (hágios – properly, different [unlike], other [“otherness“], holy; for the believer, [hágios] means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”; set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his. Just as the Israelites claimed for themselves the title οἱ ἅγιοι [set apart by [or for] God, holy, sacred.], because God selected them from the other nations to lead a life acceptable to him and rejoice in his favor and protection [Daniel 7:18, 22], so this appellation is very often in the N. T. transferred to Christians, as those whom God has selected ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου [out of, from, by, away from; I pick out for myself, choose, elect, select; eklégomai [from /ek, “out of” and /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”] – properly, to select [choose] out of, by a highly deliberate choice [i.e. real heart-preference] with a definite outcome [as with the destination of divine selection for salvation].] [John 17:14, 16], that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may be rendered, through holiness, partakers of salvation in the kingdom of God. SB: Believers are identified as holy, since they are set apart from sin to God.).

 

(NASB: v. 3: Our common salvation: Jude’s original intention was to write a general treatment of the doctrine of salvation. The faith: Here used of the body of truth held by believers everywhere-the gospel and all its implications. This truth was under attack and had to be defended. Once for all handed down: The truth has finality and is not subject to change. For: Introduces the reason Jude felt impelled to change the subject of his letter.)

4For certain persons have crept (to enter secretly, slip in stealthily; to steal in) in unnoticed (SB: These were infiltrating, false teachers pretending to be true, who on the surface looked like the real thing, but whose intentions were to lead God’s people astray [cf. Matt 7:15; Acts 20:29; Gal 2:4-5; 1 Tim 4:1-2; 2 Pet 2:1; 20; 1 John 2:18-23]. These apostates were Satan’s counterfeits, most likely posing as itinerant teachers. [cf. 2 Cor 11:13-15; 2 Pet 2:1-2; 2 John 7-11]. Their stealth made them dangerous. They were characterized by three features: (1) they were ungodly; (2) they perverted grace; (3) they denied Christ.), those who were long beforehand marked (of old set forth or designated beforehand [in the Scriptures of the O. T. and the prophecies of Enoch] unto this condemnation. NASB: The reference may be to OT denunciations of ungodly men or to Enoch’s prophecy [vv. 14-15]. Or Jude may mean that judgment has long been about to fall on them because of their sin [see 2 Pet 2:3, which may be a clarification of this clause]). SB: Apostasy and apostates in general were written about and condemned many centuries before, such as illustrated in Jude 5-7 and spoken of as Enoch did in vv.14-16. Cf. Isa 8:19-21; 47:9-15; Hos 9:9; Zep 3:1-8. Their doom was “pre-written” in Scripture as a warning to all who would come later. Jesus had warned about them in Matt 7:15-20 [cf. Acts 20:29]. The most recent warning has been 2 Pet 2:3; 17; 3:7.]) out for this condemnation (denotes condemnatory sentence, penal judgment, sentence. SB: This refers to the judgment spoken of by others “long ago.” Jude’s present expośe of apostates placed them in the path of the very judgment of God, written previously.) , ungodly (destitute of reverential awe toward God, contemning God, impious. SB: Lit., “impious” or “without worship.” Their lack of reverence for God was demonstrated by the fact that they infiltrated the church of God to corrupt it and gain riches from the people. Cf. vv. 15-16; 18-19.) persons who turn the grace (the N. T. writers use χάρις pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestow: favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ) of our God into licentiousness (the conduct and character of one who is ἀσελγής [outrageous conduct, conduct shocking to public decency, a wanton violence. asélgeia (from aselgēs/“brutal”) – properly, violent spite which rejects restraint and indulges in lawless insolence (wanton caprice)], wantonness, lewdness.] [“unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence”: of gluttony and venery]. SB: Lit., “unrestrained vice” or “gross immorality,” which describes the shameless lifestyle of one who irreverently flaunts God’s grace by indulging in unchecked and open immorality [cf. Rom 6:15]) and deny (God and Christ, is used of those who by cherishing and disseminating pernicious opinions and immorality are adjudged to have apostatized from God and Christ.) our only Master (rules over his church) and Lord (this title is given to God, the ruler of the universe; Jesus Christ; kýrios – properly, a person exercising absolute ownership rights; lord [Lord]; SB: Two Greek words for Jesus are used here. The apostates disowned Christ as sovereign Lord [despotes] and disdained any recognition of Christ as honorable Lord [kurios] by their wicked behavior…. It is always true of apostates, false teachers, and false religions that they pervert what Scripture declares is true about the Lord Jesus Christ.).

 

(NASB: vv. 5-7 Three examples of divine judgment. SB vv. 5-7: Jude provides three well known acts of apostasy from the OT as brief reminders [v. 5] to illustrate their dimmable outcome as declared in v. 4.)

5Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things (páseach, every; each “part(s) of a totality”; /pás [“each, every”] means “all” in the sense of “each [every] part that applies.” The emphasis of the total picture then is on “one piece at a time.” [ananeóō] then focuses on the part(s) making up the whole – viewing the whole in terms of the individual parts.) once for all (used of what is so done as to be of perpetual validity and never need repetition), that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently (used adverbially in the second place, a second time) destroyed (to destroy i. e. to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to, ruin) those who did not believe (acknowledgment joined to appropriate trust, absolutely). (SB: God miraculously delivered the nation of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, only to have them respond in unbelief, doubting, and defecting from faith in God that he could bring them into the Promised Land, even to the extent of worshiping an idol of their own making, as well as, murmuring against God instead of adoring him. That apostate generation died during 38 years of wilderness wanderings.) 6And angels who did not keep (to keep: one in that state in which he is) their own domain (the first place, principality, rule, magistracy (cf. English ‘authorities’): office given in charge. NASB: God had assigned differing areas of responsibility and authority to each of the angles [see Daniel 10:20-21], where the various princes may be angels assigned to various nations… Angels apparently were assigned specific locations as well as responsibilities.), but abandoned (to desert, forsake: a place) their proper (harmonizing with, or suitable or assigned to, one’s nature, character, aims, acts; appropriate) abode (a dwelling-place, habitation), He has kept in eternal (everlasting) bonds under (to be done, effected) darkness (blackness: used of the darkness of the nether world) for the judgment (of the day of the final judgment. SB: This refers to the final judgment when all demons and Satan are forever consigned to the “lake of fire” prepared for them [Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10] and all the ungodly [Rev 20:15].) of the great day (SB: This apostasy of fallen angels is described in Gen 6:1-4 as possessing men who then cohabited with women. The transition to Sodom and Gomorrah in Jude 7 points to the similitude of the sin of homosexuality and what these angels did in Gen 6.), 7just as (NASB: Does not mean that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was the same as that of the angels or vice versa. This phrase is used to introduce the third illustration of the fact that God will see to it the unrighteous will be consigned to eternal punishment on judgment day. SB: This refers to both the heterosexual [Gen 19:8] and the homosexual lusts [Gen 19:4-5] of the residents [cf. Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10 for the absolute condemnation of homosexual activity.) Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as (same as) these indulged in gross immorality ([the prefix ἐκ seems to indicate a lust that gluts itself, satisfies itself completely]; the Sept. often for זָנָה; “to go a whoring, ‘give oneself over to fornication'”) and went after strange (another i. e. one not of the same nature, form, class, kind; different) flesh (to follow after the flesh, is used of those who are on the search for persons with whom they can gratify their lust), are exhibited (to be set before, i. e., a. to be placed before the eyes, to lie in sight; to stand forth: as an example) as an example in undergoing (to suffer punishment) the punishment (execution of the sentence) of eternal fire (of the fire of hell we find the following expressions — which are to be taken either tropically [f the extreme penal torments which the wicked are to undergo after their life on earth; so in the discourses of Jesus], or literally [so apparently in the Apocalypse]. SB: Sodom and Gomorrah illustrate God’s fire of earthly judgment [Rev 16:8-9; 20:9], which was only a preview of the fire that can never be quenched in eternal hell [Matt 3:12; 18:8; 25:41; Mark 9:43-44; 46; 48; Luke 3:17; Rev 19:20; 20:14-15; 21:8]).

8Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming (in connection with the wrong kind of dreaming. This hoping [desiring] opposes God’s kingdom – and then expects such personal aspirations to be granted by Him! This shows someone is completely out of touch with the principles of God’s kingdom [see also Mt 6:33].]. NASB: The reference to “dreaming” is either (1) because they claimed to receive revelations, or more likely, (2) because in their passion they were out of touch with truth and reality.), defile (to defile, pollute, sully, contaminate, soil: in a physical and a moral sense, σάρκα [of licentiousness]) the flesh (to follow after the flesh, is used of those who are on the search for persons with whom they can gratify their lust. NASB: Probably a reference to the homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah [see vv. 4, 7; 1 Cor 6:18]), and reject authority (dominion, power, lordship; in the N. T. one who possesses dominion), and revile (to speak reproachfully, rail at, calumniate) angelic majesties (that which belongs to God; and the kingly majesty which belongs to him as the supreme ruler; so in passages where it is joined with βασιλεία [Short definition: kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, kingdom Definition: kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, especially of God, both in the world, and in the hearts of men; hence: kingdom, in the concrete sense.]). 9But Michael the archangel (a Biblical and ecclesiastical word, archangel, i. e. chief of the angels (Hebrew שַׂר chief, prince, Daniel 10:20 Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. Daniel 12:1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.), or one of the princes and leaders of the angels), when he disputed (to separate oneself in a hostile spirit, to oppose, strive with, contend) with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing (universally, slander, detraction, speech injurious to another’s good name) judgment (judgment; i. e. opinion or decision given concerning anything, especially concerning justice and injustice, right and wrong), but said, “The Lord rebuke (to tax with fault, rate, chide, reprove, censure severely: absolutely, to rebuke — in order to curb one’s ferocity or violence [hence, many formerly gave the word the meaning to restrain]) you!” 10But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct (physikṓs [an adverb] – properly, naturally, i.e. acting by mere instinct [used only in Jude 1:10]; in a natural manner, by nature, under the guidance of nature: by the aid of the bodily senses), like unreasoning (/álogos [“unreasonable”] refers to irrational behavior [thinking] from God’s point of view, i.e. what is completely against divine reason. [álogos] means “acting like a brute beast“, i.e. utterly unreasonable [absurd]; destitute of reason, brute) animals, by these things they are destroyed (passive, to be destroyed, to perish).

 

(NASB: Three OT examples of the kind of persons Jude warns his readers bout.)

11Woe to them (NASB: a warning that judgment is coming [see Matt 23:13; 15-16, 23, 25, 27, 29])! For they have gone the way of Cain (NASB: The way of selfishness and greed and the way of hatred and murder [see 1 John 3:12].), and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error (In the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion) of Balaam (NASB: The error of consuming greed), and perished (to destroy i. e. to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to, ruin) in the rebellion of Korah (NASB: Korah rose up against God’s appointed leadership [see Num 16]. Jude may be suggesting that the false teachers of his day were rebelling against church leadership [cf. 3 John 9-10].). 12These are the men who are hidden reefs (a rock in the sea, ledge or reef; plural, tropically, of men who by their conduct damage others morally, wreck them as it were, equivalent to σκάνδαλα [a snare, stumbling-block, cause for error. skándalon – properly, the trigger of a trap [the mechanism closing a trap down on the unsuspecting victim]; [figuratively] an offense, putting a negative cause-and-effect relationship into motion.] [hidden rocks]) in your love feasts (plural, agapae, love-feasts, feasts expressing and fostering mutual love which used to be held by Christians before the celebration of the Lord’s supper, and at which the poorer Christians mingled with the wealthier and partook in common with the rest of food provided at the expense of the wealthy.) when they feast with you without fear (to entertain together; passive, to feast sumptuously with), caring for themselves; clouds without water (waterless clouds, which promise rain but yield none), carried along (to lead aside from the right course or path, to carry away) by winds; autumn trees (i. e. trees such as they are at the close of autumn, dry, leafless and without fruit, hence, used of unfruitful, worthless men) without fruit (barren), doubly dead (of trees which dry up), uprooted (to root out, pluck up by the roots); 13wild waves (fierce, untamed) of the sea, casting (to foam up; to cast out as foam, foam out) up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness (used of the darkness of the nether world) has been reserved (to keep: one in that state in which he is) forever.

14It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands (used simply, of innumerable hosts of angels) of His holy ones (ἁγιωτάτῃ πίστις, faith [quae creditur i. e. the object of faith] which came from God and is therefore to be heeded most sacredly), 15to execute judgment (SB: The sentence will be eternal hell [see Rev 20:11-15]. Cf. Matt 5:22; 7:19; 8:12; 10:28; 13:40-42; 25:41; 46.) upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way (NASB: This thunderous repetition and the awesome judgment scene that is depicted emphasizes the condemnation of the false teacher in v. 4.), and of all the harsh (to speak hard and bitter things against one) things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16These are grumblers, finding fault (mempsímoiros [derived from /mémphomai, “blame, find fault,” and moira, “an apportioned amount, allotment”] – properly, a complaint over the allotted portion [used only in Jude 16]; complaining of one’s lot, querulous, discontented), following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly (oversollen; metaphorically, immoderate, extravagant [great swelling words]), flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage (usefulness, profit: [yet in the sense of ‘booty’. NASB: The ungodly men first mentioned in v. 4 and subsequently referred to repeatedly as “these men” [vv. 10, 12, 14, 19; cf. v. 8]. They are the libertine false teachers who pervert the grace of God.).

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God       17But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles (apóstolos [from /apostéllō, “to commission, send forth”] – properly, someone sent [commissioned], focusing back on the authority [commissioning] of the sender.) of our Lord Jesus Christ (NASB: The coming of these godless men should not take believers by surprise, for it had been predicted by the apostles [Acts 20:29; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Tim 3:1-5].), 18that they were saying (NASB: The Greek for this phrase indicates that the apostles continually or repeatedly warned that such godless apostates would come.) to you, “In the last time there will be mockers (scoffer), following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19These are the ones who cause divisions (NASB: At the very least this phrase means that they were divisive, creating factions in the church-the usual practice of heretics. Or Jude may refer to the later Gnostic’s division of men into the spiritual [the Gnostics] and the sensual [those for whom there is no hope].), worldly-minded (“governed by the ψυχή i. e. the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion [as though made up of nothing but ψυχή] [‘Or natural, Or animal’]), devoid of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit [august, full of majesty, adorable, utterly opposed to all impurity]). 20But you, beloved, building (where the sense is, ‘resting on your most holy faith as a foundation, make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher.’) yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying (proseúxomai [from /prós, “towards, exchange” and /euxomai, “to wish, pray”] – properly, to exchange wishes; pray – literally, to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes [ideas] for His wishes as He imparts faith [“divine persuasion“]. Accordingly, praying [/proseuxomai] is closely inter-connected with /pístis [“faith”] in the NT. See: Ac 6:5, 6, 14:22, 23; Eph 6:16-18; Col 1:3, 4; 2 Thes 3:1, 2; Js 5:13-15; Jude 20.) in the Holy Spirit (NASB: According to the Spirit’s promptings and with the power of the Spirit [see Rom 8:26-27; Gal 4:6; Eph 6:18].), 21keep (SB: Cf. Acts 13:43. This imperative establishes the believer’s responsibility to be obedient and faithful by living out his salvation [Phil 2:12], while God works out his will [Phil 2:13]. It means to remain in the place of obedience where God’s love is poured out on his children, as opposed to being disobedient and incurring his chastening [cf. 1 Cor 11:27-31; Heb 12:5-11]. Thus it refers to the perseverance of the saint, the counterbalance of God’s sovereign preservation of believers in Christ [Jude 1].) yourselves in the love of God (NASB: God keeps believers in His love [see Rom 8:35-39], and enables them to keep themselves in His love.), waiting anxiously for the mercy (“mercy; kindness or good will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them”; pity, compassion) of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22And have mercy on some, who are doubting (to withdraw from one, desert him; of heretics withdrawing from the society of true Christians: Jude 1:22 according to the [preferable] reading… those who separate themselves from you, i. e. who apostatize…); 23save (to save in the technical biblical sense; — negatively, to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment, [Joel 2:32]; to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance) others, snatching (proverbial, to rescue from the danger of destruction) them out of the fire (to snatch from danger of destruction); and on some have mercy with fear (with anxious heed lest ye be defiled by the wickedness of those whom ye are rescuing), hating even the garment (a tunic, an undergarment, usually worn next the skin) polluted (to defile, spot) by the flesh (the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin). (SB: There are several textual variants here that could result in either two or three groups being indicated. They are: (1) sincere doubters who deserve compassion [v. 22]; (2) those who are deeper in unbelief and urgently need to be pulled from the fire [v. 23]; and (3) those declared disciples of apostasy who still deserve mercy, but are to be handled with much fear [v. 23], least the would-be rescuer also be spiritually sullied. Given the manuscripts evidence and Jude’s pattern of writing in triads, three groups is the more likely scenario.)

24Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy (Alice: This God’s revealed will for believers, therefore, we should ask God to do this to us.), 25to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 

 

New American Standard Bible Revelation

 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

FYI: My positions: I am a Futurist, a hold a premillennial view of the rapture, but if I am pressed, I will admit that all three arguments have validity, especially the midtribulation view. Some Jews teach that the deliverance of Israel in the OT is a foreshadower of the Church’s deliverance during the tribulation period in Revelation, and that because Israel experienced some of the plagues that God brought upon Pharaoh, the Church (ekklēsia) will experience some of the same plagues brought about during the tribulation period, but not the great tribulation. I will say like all levelheaded theologians, if the great tribulation begins and we are still here, I will change my view. LOL! I hold to a literal interpretation of Revelation, see Constable’s notes on Revelation, pages 3ff. I also hold the literal Millennial Kingdom view in which Yehoshua will reign for a 1,000 years, and that the Jews are still God’s chosen people and the Church has not replaced them. Israel is still God’s chosen nation, and at Yehoshua’s return, all the elect of Israel will be saved, see Romans 11. Lastly, in my opinion, if the gospel preached to the church in the OT (in types and shadows, e.g. the Passover) was literally fulfilled at Yehoshua’s first coming approximately 6,000 years later, it is just reasonable to hold to a literal fulfillment view of Revelations. Israel was chosen by YHWH. The people were in bondage in Egypt (Pharaoh a type of Satan) and needed a deliver (Moses a type of Christ). YHWH sent them a deliverer. They were saved by grace and not by works (just as we are, Eph 2:8-10). They were saved from death through the blood of a sacrificial lamb (Yehoshua is the Lamb of God) and a deliver (Deut 18:15; Acts 3:22; Yehoshua). They entered the promise land by faith (just as we did).   All of this points to a literal interpretation view of Revelation to me.       1:1The Revelation (tropically, in N. T. and ecclesiastical language (see end), a. a disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown — especially those relating to the Christian salvation — given to the soul by God himself, or by the ascended Christ, especially through the operation of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10), and so to be distinguished from other methods of instruction, here, revelation of future things relating to the consummation of the divine kingdom. SB: The Greek word for which the English word “apocalypse” comes lit. means “to uncover, or to reveal.” When it refers to a person, it means that person becomes clearly visible [cf. Luke 2:30-32; Rom 8:19; 1 Cor 1:7; 1 Pet 1:7].) of Jesus Christ, which God (the Father) gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated (to indicate – signify; to give a sign) it by His angel to His bond-servant (are those whose agency God employs in executing his purposes: used of apostles [also of Moses and prophets]) John, 2who testified (ὅς ἐμαρτύρησε … Χριστοῦ, who has borne witness of [viz., in this book, i. e. the Apocalypse] what God has spoken and Jesus Christ testified [namely, concerning future events]) to the word of God and to the testimony (ἡ μαρτυρία Ἰησοῦ, that testimony which he gave concerning future events relating to the consummation of the kingdom of God) of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3Blessed (NASB: The first of seven beatitudes in the book [see 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14]. “Blessed” means much more than “happy.” It describes the favorable circumstances God has put a person in [see Matt 5:3].) is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy (the spirit of prophecy, the divine mind, to which the prophetic faculty is due. NASB: Includes not only foretelling the future but also proclaiming any word from God-whether command, instruction, history or prediction.), and heed (to watch over, to guard) the things which are written in it; for the time is near (of Time; concerning things imminent and soon to come to pass).

Message to the Seven Churches       4John to the seven churches (a company of Christians, or of those who, hoping for eternal Salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake; those who anywhere, in city or village, constitute such a company and are united into one body. NASB: Apparently the entire book of Revelation [including the seven letters] was sent to each church [see v. 11].) that are in Asia (Asia proper, ἡ ἰδίως καλουμένῃ Ἀσία [Ptolemy, 5, 2], or proconsular Asia [often so called from the 16th century down; but correctly speaking it was apvoeinciaconsularis, although the ruler of it was vested with ‘proconsular power.’ The ‘Asia’ of the N. T. must not be confounded with the ‘Asia proconsularis’ of the 4th century], embracing Mysia, Lydia, Phrygia and Caria [cf. Cicero, pro Flac c. 27]. NASB: A Roman province lying in modern Western Turkey): Grace (The apostles and N. T. writers at the beginning and end of their Epistles crave for their readers the favor (`grace’) of God or of Christ, to which all blessings, especially spiritual, are due) to you and peace (in the salutations at the beginning and the close of the apostolic Epistles), from Him who is and who was and who is to come (NASB: A paraphrase of the divine name from Ex 3:14-15God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. Cf. Heb 13:8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.), and from the seven (heptáseven. The number seven in Scripture often has the figurative meaning, “God’s perfect, finished work.” Indeed, this symbolic sense is often key to interpreting texts that use the number seven, both in the OT and NT.) Spirits (which are said to be ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ Θεοῦ are not seven angels, but one and the same divine Spirit manifesting itself in seven energies or operations (which are rhetorically personified, Zechariah 3:9‘For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. Zechariah 4:6Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:10 “For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the LORD which range to and fro throughout the earth.” NASB: The sevenfold Spirit [see Zech 4:2 He said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it (Note from Zech 4:2… In any event, the bowl represents an abundant supply of oil, symbolizing the fullness of God’s power through His Spirit, and the “seven… seven” represents the abundant light shining from the lamps [seven being the number of fullness or completeness])]) who are before His throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead (who was the first that returned to life from among the dead), and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released (to release one bound by the chains of sin) us from our sins by His blood— 6and He has made us to be a kingdom (of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom), priests (metaphorically, of Christians, because, purified by the blood of Christ and brought into close contact with God, they devote their life to him alone [and to Christ]. SB: All who believe live in the sphere of God’s rule, a kingdom entered by faith in Jesus Christ. And as priests, believers have the right enter God’s presence.) to His God and Father—to Him be the glory (that which belongs to God; and the kingly majesty which belongs to him as the supreme ruler, so in passages where it is joined with βασιλεία [kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, especially of God, both in the world, and in the hearts of men; hence: kingdom, in the concrete sense], and the likes.) and the dominion (dominion, exerted power [in the doxologies]) forever and ever. Amen. 7BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS (the Sept. especially for עָנָן, but also for עָב and שַׁחַק; a cloud: (νεφέλη φωτεινή; of that cloud in which Jehovah is said [Exodus 13:21f, etc] to have gone before the Israelites on their march through the wilderness, and which Paul represents as spread over them (ὑπό τῇ νεφέλην ἦσαν. SB: This echoes the promise of Daniel: the Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven [Daniel 7:13]-not ordinary clouds but clouds of glory. In the OT, God often manifested himself in an energized, blazing light, called the Shekinah or glory cloud. No one could see it fully and live [Ex 33:20], so it had to be veiled. But when Christ returns, the glory will be completely visible. Cf. Matt 24:29-30; 25:31), and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes ( an offshoot, i.e. race or clan — kindred, tribe.) of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen (NASB: A double affirmation).

8“I am (I exist, I am; eimí [the basic Greek verb which expresses being, i.e. “to be“] – am, is. [eimí], and its counterparts, [properly] convey “straight-forward” being [existence, i.e. without explicit limits]) the Alpha (the first letter of the Greek alphabet which represents the Lord as the unoriginated originator of all life and all that is eternal.) and the Omega (the final letter of the Greek alphabet; [figuratively] God’s infinity [endlessness]; In the NT, [“Ōmega“] is always used of the glorified Christ [Rev 1:8, 21; 6, 22:13], referring to His absolute limitlessness to meet all the needs of finite [limited] people. NASB: God is the beginning and the end [see 21:6]. He sovereignty rules over all human history. In 22:13 Jesus applies the same title to Himself.),” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (he who holds sway over all things; the ruler of all; almighty: of God, YHVH).”

New American Standard Bible

Message to Ephesus

 

2:1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

2‘I know your deeds (works) and your toil and perseverance (in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings), and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test (in a good sense. NASB: The necessity of testing for correct doctrine and dependable advice was widely recognized in the early church [see 1 Cor 14:29; 1 Thes 5:21; 1 John 4:1].) those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3and you have perseverance and have endured (to bear) for My name’s sake (ónoma – name; (figuratively) the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character, i.e. as distinguishing them from all others. Thus “praying in the name of Christ” means to pray as directed (authorized) by Him, bringing revelation that flows out of being in His presence. “Praying in Jesus’ name” therefore is not a “religious formula” just to end prayers (or get what we want)! [“According to Hebrew notions, a name is inseparable from the person to whom it belongs, i.e. it is something of his essence. Therefore, in the case of the God, it is specially sacred”.]), and have not grown weary. 4‘But I have this against you, that you have left (to give up, keep no longer) your first love (Of the love of men to men; especially of that love of Christians toward Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or as expressed). 5‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen (from what a height of Christian knowledge and attainment thou hast declined), and repent (“think differently after,” “after a change of mind”; to repent [literally, “think differently afterwards”].) and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand (to move a church out of the place which it has hitherto held among the churches; to take it out of the number of churches, remove it altogether. NASB: Immediate judgement.) out of its place—unless you repent. 6‘Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans (a follower of Nicolaus, a Nicolaitan: plural, Revelation 2:6, 15 — a name which, it can scarcely be doubted, refers symbolically to the same persons who in Revelation 2:14 are charged with holding τήν διδαχήν Βαλαάμ, i. e. after the example of Balaam, casting a stumblingblock before the church of God [Numbers 24:1-3] by upholding the liberty of eating things sacrificed unto idols as well as of committing fornication; for the Greek name Νικόλαος (Nicolas = “victor of the people” was a proselyte of Antioch and one of the seven deacons of the church at Jerusalem.) coincides with the Hebrew בִּלְעָם (Balaam) according to the interpretation of the latter which regards it as signifying destruction of the people) which I also hate (to hate, pursue with hatred, detest; passive to be hated, detested). 7‘He who has an ear (metaphorically equivalent to: the faculty of perceiving with the mind, the faculty of understanding and knowing: whoever has the faculty of attending and understanding, let him use it), let him hear (to attend to [use the faculty of hearing], consider what is or has been said. So in exhortations) what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes (of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and their temptations and persecutions), I will grant to eat of the tree of life (the tree whose fruit gives and maintains eternal life) which is in the Paradise (an ancient Persian word meaning “enclosure, garden, park.” NASB: Originally a Persian word for a pleasure garden. In Revelation it symbolizes the eschatological state in which God and man are restored to perfect fellowship that existed before sin entered the world.) of God.’

 

Message to Smyrna

 

8“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

9‘I know your tribulation (properly, a pressing, pressing together, pressure; in Biblical and ecclesiastical writings, a Greek metaphor, oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits) and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy (a judgment pronounced in reproachful terms) by those who say they are Jews (See Rom 2:28-29) and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan (an assembly of men: τοῦ Σατανᾶ, whom Satan governs. NASB: Hebrew for “accuser” [see Zech 3:1; cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7].). 10‘Do not fear (to put to flight, to terrify, frighten) what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested (to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin; hence, according to the context equivalent to to solicit to sin, to tempt), and you will have tribulation (persecution, affliction, distress; thlípsis – properly, pressure [what constricts or rubs together], used of a narrow place that “hems someone in”; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, “without options”). /thlípsis [“compression, tribulation”] carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is “no way of escape” [“hemmed in”].) for ten days (déka – ten. The number “ten” commonly occurs in Scripture with symbolic [as well as literal] meaning – i.e. with double entendre [conveying both levels of meaning at once]; i.e. to last a short time). Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown (the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ) of life (without epithet, are used of the blessing of real life after the resurrection. zōḗ – life [physical and spiritual]. NASB: The crown that is eternal life. “Crown” does not refer to royal crown [12:3; 13:1; 19:2] but to the garland or wreath awarded to the winner in athletic contests [3:11; 4:4, 10; 6:2; 9:7; 12:1; 14:14]. BKC: is one of several crowns promised to Christians [cf. 1 Cor 9:25, 1 Thes 2:19; 2 Tim 4:6-8; 1 Pet 5:4; Rev 4:4]). 11‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death (the miserable state of the wicked dead in hell. NASB: The lake of fire [20:14; see 20:6; 21:8]).’

 

 

Message to Pergamum

 

12“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

The One who has the sharp two-edged sword (NASB: The sword symbolizes divine judgement [see Is 49:2; Heb 4:12]) says this:

13‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s (an adversary) throne (NASB: Satan “ruled” from Pergamum in that it was the official center of emperor worship in Asia.) is; and you hold fast (i. e. tropically, not to discard or let go; to keep carefully and faithfully) My name (to hold fast i. e. persevere in professing), and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas (NASB: First martyr of Asia. According to tradition he was slowly roasted to death in a bronze kettle during the reign of Domitian.), My witness, My faithful one (NASB; The Lord’s title in 1:5), who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam ([according to Jo. Simonis equivalent to עָם בֶּלַע a swallowing up of the people], Balaam [or Bileam], a native of Pethor a city of Mesopotamia, endued by Jehovah with prophetic power. He was hired by Balak [see Βαλάκ] to curse the Israelites; and influenced by the love of reward, he wished to gratify Balak; but he was compelled by Jehovah’s power to bless them [Numbers 22-24; Deuteronomy 23:5; Joshua 13:22; Joshua 24:9; Micah 6:5]. Hence, the later Jews saw in him a most abandoned deceiver), who kept teaching Balak (Βαλάκ, ὁ, indeclinable (בָּלַק empty, an active sense ‘one who makes empty,’ ‘a devastator,’ ‘spoiler’; Balak, king of the Moabites [Numbers 22:2f and elsewhere]: Revelation 2:14.) to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans (a follower of Nicolaus, a Nicolaitan: plural, Revelation 2:6, 15 — a name which, it can scarcely be doubted, refers symbolically to the same persons who in Revelation 2:14 are charged with holding τήν διδαχήν Βαλαάμ, i. e. after the example of Balaam, casting a stumblingblock before the church of God [Numbers 24:1-3] by upholding the liberty of eating things sacrificed unto idols as well as of committing fornication; for the Greek name Νικόλαος coincides with the Hebrew בִּלְעָם according to the interpretation of the latter which regards it as signifying destruction of the people.). 16‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war (to war, carry on war; to fight) against them with the sword of My mouth. 17‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna (that which in the symbolic language of Revelation 2:17 is spoken of as kept in the heavenly temple for the food of angels and the blessed. NASB: The heavenly food available to the believer who overcomes [cf. Ps 78:24], in contrast to the unclean food of the Balaamites.), and I will give him a white stone, and a new (of a new kind; unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. NASB: The name of the victor [see Is 62:2; 65:15]) name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

 

Message to Thyatira

 

18“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

19‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance (in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings), and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. 20‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate (permit it just now) the woman Jezebel (Jezebel [modern: Isabel], wife of Ahab (circa; 1 Kings 16:29), an impious and cruel queen, who protected idolatry and persecuted the prophets [1 Kings 16:31 — 2 Kings 9:30]; in Revelation 2:20 equivalent to a second Jezebel, the symbolic name of a woman who pretended to be a prophetess, and who, addicted to antinomianism [The word, antinomianism, comes from the Greek anti, against, and nomos, law. It is the unbiblical practice of living without regard to the righteousness of God, using God’s grace as a license to sin, and trusting grace to cleanse of sin. In other words, since grace is infinite and we are saved by grace, then we can sin all we want and still be saved. It is wrong because even though as Christians we are not under the Law (Rom. 6:14), we still fulfill the Law in the Law of love (Rom. 13:8, 10, Gal. 5:14, 6:2). We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27), and thereby avoid the offense of sin which cost God His only begotten Son. Paul speaks against the concept of antinomianism in Rom. 6:1-2: “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” We are not to use the grace of God as a means of sin. Instead, we are to be controlled by the love of God and in that way bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25).], claimed for Christians the liberty of eating things sacrificed to idols.) who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality (to give oneself to unlawful sexual intercourse; to commit fornication. [See v. 14]) and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness (NASB: Disease was often considered as appropriate punishment for sins [cf. 1 Cor 11:29-30].), and those who commit adultery (is used of those who at a woman’s solicitation are drawn away to idolatry, i. e. to the eating of things sacrificed to idols) with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23‘And I will kill her children (MASB: Jezebel is the spatial mother of all who pursue antinomian [libertine] doctrines) with pestilence (death), and all the churches will know that I am He who searches (examine into) the minds and hearts (NASB: Cf. Ps 7:9; Prov 24:12; Jer 11:20; 17:10. “Mind” [lit. “kidney”] probably refers here to the will and the affections; “heart” may designate the center of rational life.); and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds (NASB: Judgement based on work is taught by Jesus [Matt 16:27] and Paul [Rom 2:6] as well as John [Rev 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12 (see Eph 2:10)]). 24‘But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan (NASB: Later Gnosticism taught that in order to defeat Satan one had to enter his stronghold, i.e., experience evil deeply.), as they call them—I place no other burden (weight) on you. 25‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 26‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps (to watch over, to guard, the works that I command) My deeds (the works required and approved by God, John 6:28 [Jeremiah 31:10], in the same sense ἔργα μου i. e. of Christ) until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY (power to act) OVER THE NATIONS (a race, a nation, pl. the nations [as distinct from Israel]); 27AND HE SHALL RULE (NASB: Lit. “Shepherd” [a common metaphor for “rule.]) THEM WITH A ROD (to act as a shepherd) OF IRON (NASB: Symbolic of the strength of his rule [see 12:5; 19:15]), AS THE VESSELS (in the Bible made of clay, earthen) OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; 28and I will give him the morning star (I will give to him the morning star, that he may be irradiated with its splendor and outshine all others, i. e. I will cause his heavenly glory to excel that of others. See Dr. Constable’s notes, p 44). 29‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Message to Sardis

 

3:1“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive (thou art said to have life [i. e. vigorous spiritual life bringing forth good fruit] and [yet] thou art dead [ethically]), but you are dead ([spiritually dead, i. e.] “destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God, because given up to trespasses and sins; inactive as respects doing right”). 2‘Wake (to watch i. e. give strict attention to, be cautious, active: — to take heed lest through remissness and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one) up, and strengthen (to strengthen, make firm; tropically to render constant, confirm, one’s mind [establish]) the things that remain, which were about to die (of the spiritual torpor of those who have fallen from the fellowship of Christ, the fountain of true life. [See Ps 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.]); for I have not found your deeds completed (to make complete in every particular; to render perfect) in the sight of My God. 3‘So remember what you have received (how thou hast received by instruction in the gospel, i. e. hast learned) and heard; and keep (to watch over, to guard) it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief (to come unexpectedly. NASB: Not a reference to the second coming of Christ, because here His coming depends on the church’s refusal to repent. Elsewhere in the NT the clause refers to the second advent [16:15; Matt 24:42-44; 1 Thes 5:2; 2 Pet 3:10].), and you will not know at what hour I will come (to come upon one [unexpectedly]) to you. 4‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled (of those who have kept themselves pure from the defilement of sin) their garments; and they will walk (to make one’s way, make progress, in figurative discourse equivalent to to make a due use of opportunities) with Me in white (light, bright, brilliant: especially bright or brilliant from whiteness, [dazzling] white: spoken of the garments of angels, and of those exalted to the splendor of the heavenly state. NASB: Description of the redeemed [3:18; 6:11; 7:9, 13; cf. 4:4; 19:14]), for they are worthy (namely, to walk with me, clothed in white). 5‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase (to obliterate, erase, wipe out, blot out) his name from the book of life (the book in which the names of those are recorded to whom eternal life has been decreed. NASB: A divine ledger is first mentioned in Ex 32:32-33 “But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!” The LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” It was a register of all citizens in the kingdom community. To have one’s name erased from this book would indicate loss of citizenship [see 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. 17:8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.” 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 20:15 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. 21:27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Phil 4:3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.].), and I will confess (to declare the name [written in the book of life] to be the name of a follower of me) his name before My Father and before His angels. 6‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

 

Message to Philadelphia

 

7“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

He who is holy (in a moral sense, pure, sinless, upright, holy, distinctly Him), who is true (used without adjunct of Jesus as the true Messiah), who has the key of David (the power of David [who is a type of the Messiah, the second David], i. e. of receiving into the Messiah’s kingdom and of excluding from it), who opens (parabolically, to give access to the blessings of God’s kingdom) and no one will shut (to obstruct the entrance into the kingdom of heaven, so used that τήν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ [kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, especially of God, both in the world, and in the hearts of men; hence: kingdom, in the concrete sense; basileía (from /basileús, “king”) – properly, kingdom; the realm in which a king sovereignly rules. A kingdom (932 /basileía) always requires a king – as the kingdom (/basileía) of God does with King Jesus! (basileía) especially refers to the rule of Christ in believers’ hearts – which is a rule that “one day will be universal on the physical earth in the Millennium”. (The kingdom [/basileía] is constantly used in connection with the rule of Christ in the hearts of believers – which also extends in various stages.)]) must be understood), and who shuts (to obstruct the entrance into the kingdom of heaven) and no one opens (to give access to the blessings of God’s kingdom), says this:

8‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door (passive, of an opportunity offered. NASB: Either the door of opportunity or the door to the kingdom. The context favors the latter.) which no one can shut, because you have a little power (power and resources arising from numbers), and have kept My word, and have not denied (is used of followers of Jesus who, for fear of death or persecution, deny that Jesus is their master, and desert his cause [to disown] My name. 9‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue (an assembly of men) of Satan (NASB: A bold metaphor directed against unbelieving and hostile Jews. Cf. Jesus’ scathing rebuke in John 8:44; see also 2 Cor 11:14-15. The Jewish synagogue was a gathering place for worship, study and communal activities.), who say that they are Jews (Jewish as respects birth, race, religion; a Jew) and are not (see Rom 2:28-29), but lie (‘to deceive’, ‘cheat’; hence, properly, to show oneself deceitful, to play false; to lie, to speak deliberate falsehoods)—I will make them come and bow down at your feet (NASB: An appropriate act of worship in the Near East [see Is 45:14; 60:14; cf. Acts 10:25; Phil 2:10]), and make them know that I have loved you. 10‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance (steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings), I also will keep you from (NASB: The Greek for this phrase can mean either “keep you from undergoing” or “keep you through.”) the hour (any definite time, point of time, moment) of testing (adversity, affliction, trouble [cf. our trial], sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s faith, holiness, character. NASB: The period of testing that precedes the consummation of the kingdom [see 13:5-10; Matt 24:4-28; cf. Dan 12:1; Mark 13:19; 2 Thes 2:1-12]), that hour which is about to come upon the whole (complete) world (the inhabitants of the earth, men, all mankind), to test those who dwell on the earth. 11‘I am coming quickly (Cf. 1:1; 22:7, 12, 20); hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar (i. e. [dropping the figure] I will assign him a firm and abiding place in the everlasting kingdom of God) in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God (see 14:1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. 22:4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.), and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven (finally, the seer of the Apocalypse expects a new Jerusalem to come down out of heaven as the metropolis of the perfectly established Messianic kingdom) from My God, and My new name (NASB: Names revealed character. Christ’s new name symbolizes all that He is by virtue of His redemptive work for mankind. This awaits the second advent.). 13‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

 

Message to Laodicea

 

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

The Amen (NASB: Is 65:16 speaks of “the God of the Amen,” i.e., “the God of the truth.” As a personal designation it describes one who is perfectly trustworthy or faithful.), the faithful and true Witness (See 1:5; 19:11), the Beginning (NASB: The Greek word can mean first in point of time [“beginning”] or first in rank [“ruler”].) of the creation of God, says this:

15‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold (metaphorically, cold, i. e. sluggish, inert, in mind (ψυχρός τήν ὀυργην): of one destitute of warm Christian faith and the desire for holiness) nor hot (metaphorically, of fervor of mind and zeal. NASB: “Hot” may refer to the hot, medicinal waters of nearby Hierapolis. The church in Laodicea supplied neither healing for the spiritually sick nor refreshment for the spiritually weary.); I wish that you were cold or hot. 16‘So because you are lukewarm ([to become warm, liquefy, melt], tepid, lukewarm: metaphorically, of the condition of a soul wretchedly fluctuating between a torpor and a fervor of love), and neither hot nor cold, I will spit (to vomit, vomit forth, throw up: i. e. to reject with extreme disgust) you out of My mouth. 17‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched (enduring toils and troubles; afflicted, wretched”) and miserable (to be pitied) and poor (tropically, destitute of the Christian virtues and the eternal riches) and blind (mentally blind) and naked (unclad, without clothing [see Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued (to sink into [clothing], put on, clothe one’s self) with power from on high.]), 18I advise you to buy from Me gold refined (melted by fire and purged of dross) by fire so that you may become rich (absolutely, I became rich, i.e. obtained the eternal spiritual possessions), and white (used of white garments as the sign of innocence and purity of soul) garments so that you may clothe (middle to put on) yourself, and that the shame (nakedness to be ashamed of) of your nakedness (nakedness: of the body [see Gen 2:15-3:11]) will not be revealed (to make visible, make clear); and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see (to be possessed of sight, have the power of seeing) (NASB: This verse refers to three items in which Laodicea took great pride: financial wealth, an extensive textile industry and a famous eye salve.). 19‘Those whom I love, I reprove (by deed; to chasten, punish) and discipline (in Biblical and ecclesiastical use employed of God, to chasten by the infliction of evils and calamities); therefore be zealous (to have warmth of feeling for or against, to be zealous or jealous) and repent. 20‘Behold, I stand at the door (he whose advent is just at hand is said: of Christ seeking entrance into souls, and they who comply with his entreaty are said ἀνοίγειν τήν θύραν [a door]) and knock (to knock with a heavy blow, κρούειν [to knock with the knuckles]; without. NASB: Usually taken as a picture of Christ’s knocking on the door of the individual unbeliever’s heart. In context, however, the self-deluded members of the congregation are being addressed.); if anyone hears (to yield obedience to the voice) My voice and opens (to give entrance into the soul) the door, I will come in to (enter; to one, i. e. into his house, visit) him and will dine (I will make him to share in my most intimate and blissful contact) with him, and he with Me. 21‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne (see 20:4, 6; Matt 19:28; 2 Tim 2:12), as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (see 20:4, 6: 4Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 6Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.). 22‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Scene in Heaven

 

4:1After these things I looked, and behold, a door (power of entering, access into, God’s eternal kingdom) standing open in heaven (“the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of an order of things eternal and consummately perfect, where God dwells and the other heavenly beings”: this heaven Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:2, seems to designate by the name of ὁ τρίτος οὐρανός, but certainly not the third of the seven distinct heavens described by the author of the Test xii. Patr., Levi § 3, and by the rabbis …. Several distinct heavens are spoken of also in Ephesians 4:10 (ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν); cf. Hebrews 7:26, if it be not preferable here to understand the numerous regions or parts of the one and the same heaven where God dwells as referred to. The highest heaven is the dwelling-place of God: Matthew 5:34; Matthew 23:22; Acts 7:49; Revelation 4:1ff.), and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here (NASB: Similarly, Moses was called up on Mount Sini to receive divine directions [Ex 19:20, 24]. Cf. also the heavenly ascent of the two witnesses [11:12].), and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2Immediately I was in the Spirit (to come to be in the Spirit, under the power of the Spirit, i. e. in a state of inspiration or ecstasy. NASB: In a state of heightened spiritual awareness [see 17:3; 21:10]); and behold, a throne (assigned in the N. T. to kings, hence, by metonymy, for kingly power, royalty: metaphorically, to God, the governor of the world) was standing in heaven (NASB: The depiction of God ruling from His throne in heaven is a regular feature of the OT [e.g., Ps 47:8]), and One sitting on the throne. 3And He who was sitting was like a jasper (jasper; a precious stone of divers colors [for some are purple, others blue, others green, and others of the color of brass]) stone and a sardius (a precious stone, of which there are two kinds, the former of which is called carnelian (because flesh-colored, the latter sard.) in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald (emerald green, NASB: since God dwells in “unapproachable light” and is one “whom no man has seen or can see” [1 Tim 6:16], He is described in terms of the reflected brilliance of precious stones-an emerald rainbow around the throne [cf. Ez 1:26-28].) in appearance. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders (NASB: Representative of either the whole company of believers in heaven or an exalted angelic order worshiping and serving God there [see vv. 9-11; 5:5-14; 7:11-17; 11:16-18; 14:3; 19:4]. The number 24 is often understood to reflect the 12 Israelite tribes of the OT and the 12 apostles of the NT.) sitting, clothed in white (especially bright or brilliant from whiteness, (dazzling) white: spoken of the garments of angels, and of those exalted to the splendor of the heavenly state) garments, and golden crowns on their heads.

 

The Throne and Worship of the Creator

 

5Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps (a torch) of fire burning (NASB: Symbolic of the awesome majesty and power of God [cf. the manifestation of God at Sinai, Ex 19:16-19; cf. also the conventional OT depiction of God’s coming in mighty power to deliver His people, Ps 18:12-15; 77:18]. In Revelation, thunder and lightning always mark an important event connected with the heavily temple [8:5; 11:19; 16:18].) before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God (are not seven angels, but one and the same divine Spirit manifesting itself in seven energies or operations [which are rhetorically personified, Zechariah 3:9See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. Zechariah 4:6So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 10 Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstonea in the hand of Zerubbabel?”]. NASB: Seven symbolizes fullness, completeness or perfection.); 6and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass (hyálinos [an adjective, derived from /hýalos, “glass”] – made of glass [“glassy”]; “transparent as glass”. In Scripture, transparency is a greatly valued virtue, representing the Lord’s glory shining through [reflecting Himself!]. For example, “the glassy sea” surrounding the throne of God in heaven [Rev 4:6, 15:2] is apparently what reflects the Lord Himself, as manifested [reflected by] His saints. By God’s light, their sanctification-glorification has a spiritual transparency that reflects the image of Jesus Himself. This projects [reflects] the glory He invested in them as transformed [“transparent”] saints. In this way, the Lord gets all the glory – and believers have the incredible privilege of sharing [reflecting] it! NASB: See 15:2. The source of the imagery may be Ez 1:22 [cf. Ex 24:10], but it is also possible that is the basin in the heavenly temple [cf. 11:19; 14:15, 17; 15:5-6, 8; 16:17], whose counterpart in the earthly temple was referred to as the Sea [1 Kin 7:23-25; 2 Kin 16:17; 2 Chr 4:2, 4, 10, 15; Jer 27:19]. Other features of the temple in heaven are: the lamps [v. 5], the altar [6:9], the altar of incense [8:3], and the ark of the covenant [11:19].), like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures (an animal, brute, beast. NASB: An exalted order of angelic beings whose task is to guard the heavenly throne and lead in worship and adoration of God.) full of eyes (NASB: Nothing escapes their attention.) in front and behind. 7The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. (NASB: Ezekiel in a vision also saw four living creatures, each of which had four faces -human in front, lion on the right, ox on the left, and eagle behind [Ez 1:6, 10]. In Joh’s vision the creatures were in the form of a lion, an ox, and a flying eagle, and one had a face like a man.) 8And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,

“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.” (NASB: An expansion of the divine name in Ez 3:14-15. God’s power and holiness extend from eternity past to eternity yet to come [cf. Is 41:4].)

9And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns (NASB: Acknowledge that God alone is worthy of ultimate praise and worship.) before the throne, saying, 11“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things (see Gen 1), and because of Your will (what one wishes or has determined shall be done [i. e. objectively, thing willed]) they existed, and were created.”

 

 

New American Standard Bib

The Book with Seven Seals

 

5:1I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back (NASB: Like the stone tablets of the OT covenant law [Ex 32:15; see Ezek 2:9-10. The fibers of a papyrus scroll run horizontally on the inside, which makes writing easier than on the reverse side [where the fibers are vertical]), sealed up with seven seals (NASB: Indicating absolute inviolability). 2And I saw a strong angel (cf. 18:21) proclaiming (specifically. used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers: absolutely) with a loud voice, “Who is worthy (of one who has merited anything) to open the book and to break its seals?” 3And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth (NASB: A conventional phrase used to express the universality of the proclamation-no creature was worthy. It is not intended to teach a threefold division of the universe [cf. Ex 20:4; Phil 2:10].) was able to open the book or to look into it. 4Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion (a brave and mighty hero) that is from the tribe (in the N. T. all the persons descended from one of the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob) of Judah, the Root (after the use of the Hebrew שֹׁרֶשׁ, that which like a root springs from a root, a sprout, shoot; metaphorically, offspring, progeny) of David, has overcome (absolutely, to carry off the victory, come off victorious, hath so conquered that he now has the right and power to open etc.) so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

6And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb (NASB: Pictured as the sacrifice for sin [“slain”; cf. Is 53:7; John 1:29] and as the mighty conquer [17:14]. Revelation uses a special word for “lamb” [29 times in Revelations and only once elsewhere in the NT-John 21:15]. The idea of the lamb as a victorious military leader seems to come from the apocalyptic tradition…) standing, as if slain (NASB: Bearing the marks of its slaughter-He has come to power through His death.), having seven horns (NASB: The horn is an ancient Jewish symbol for power or strength [cf. Deut 33:17]. The four beast of Dan 7:7, 20 had ten horns [cf. Dan 8:3, 5]. Seven horns would symbolize full strength.) and seven eyes, which are the seven Spir17:14its of God (which are said to be ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ Θεοῦ [Revelation 1:4] are not seven angels, but one and the same divine Spirit manifesting itself in seven energies or operations [which are rhetorically personified, Zechariah 3:9; Zechariah 4:6, 10]), sent out into all the earth. 7And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp (NASB: An ancient stringed instrument [not the large modern harp] used especially to accompany songs [cf. Ps 33:2].) and golden bowls full of incense (NASB: The bowl was a flat, shallow cup. Incense was a normal feature of Hebrew ritual [see Dan 33:10; cf. Ps 11:2; Rev 8:3-4].), which are the prayers of the saints (prayer addressed to God. NASB: In later Jewish thought, angels often present the prayers of saints to God…). 9And they sang a new (of a new kind; unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of, given now for the first time. NASB: Cf. 14:3; Ps 33:3; 96:1; 144:9; Is 42:10. In the OT a new song celebrated a new act of divine deliverance or blessing. That is also its sense here; notice the theme of the song.) song, saying,

“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain (to slay, slaughter, butcher: properly, ἀρνίον, Revelation 5:6, 12; Revelation 13:8; τινα, to put to death by violence [often so in Greek…]), and purchased (figuratively: Christ is said to have purchased his disciples i. e. made them, as it were, his private property, 1 Corinthians 6:20 [this is commonly understood of God; but cf. John 17:9, 10]; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 2 Peter 2:1. He is also said to have bought them for God ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ, by shedding his blood) for God with Your blood (Frequent mention is made in the N. T. of the blood of Christ with which Christ purchased for himself the church, Acts 20:28, and gathered it for God) men (NASB: The sacrificial death of Christ is central to NT teaching [see Mark 10:45; 1 Cor 6:20].) from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

10“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests (metaphorically, of Christians, because, purified by the blood of Christ and brought into close contact with God, they devote their life to him alone [and to Christ].) to our God; and they will reign (to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign: universally, of the reign of Christians in the millennium) upon the earth” (see 2:26-27; 20:4, 6; 22:5).

 

Angels Exalt the Lamb

 

11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands (NASB: A rhetorical phrase for an indefinitely large number [see Dan 7:10; cf. Heb 12:22].), 12saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive (to receive [what is given]; to gain, get, obtain) power (the kingly power of the Messiah is his) and riches (universally, fullness, abundance, plenitude, πλοῦτος is attributed to Christ, exalted at the right hand of God) and wisdom (supreme intelligence, such as belongs to God: Revelation 7:12, also to Christ, exalted to God’s right hand, Revelation 5:12) and might (ability, force, strength) and honor (honor which belongs or is shown to one: veneration) and glory (opinion, estimate, in the sacred writings always, good opinion concerning one, and as resulting from that, praise, honor, glory) and blessing” (praise, laudation, panegyric: of God or Christ. NASB: See David’s farewell prayer in 1 Chr 29:10-19. The attributes increase from three in 4:11 to four in 5:13 to seven in 5:12; 7:12.).

13And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion (in the doxologies) forever and ever.”

14And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

 

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The First Seal—Rider on White Horse

 

(NASB: The first of three sevenfold numbered series of judgements [cf. the seven trumpets in chs. 8-9 and the seven bowls in ch. 16].)

6:1Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come” (As one who is about to do something in a place must necessarily come thither, in the popular narrative style the phrases). 2I looked, and behold, a white horse (NASB: The imagery of the four horsemen comes from Zech 1:8-17; 6:1-8, The colors in Revelation correspond to the character of the rider; white symbolizes conquest. Major interpretations of the rider on the white horse are: (1) Christ [cf. 19:11, (2) the antichrist and (3) the spirit of conquest. The latter establishes a more natural sequence with the other three riders [which symbolize bloodshed, famine, and death]), and he who sat on it had a bow (NASB: A battle weapon); and a crown (stéphanos – properly, a wreath [garland], awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games [like the Greek Olympics]; the crown of victory [versus /diádēma, “a royal crown”]; properly, as a mark of royal or (in general) exalted rank) was given to him, and he went out conquering (to carry off the victory, come off victorious: of Christ, victorious over all his foes) and to conquer (same as “conquering”). (BKC: Because Christ in His second coming is pictured [19:11] as riding a white horse, some have taken it that this rider in 6:2, also must refer to Christ, as the white horse is a symbol of victory. Roman generals after a victory in battle would ride a white horse in triumph with their captives following. The chronology, however, is wrong, as Christ returns to the earth as a conqueror not at the beginning of the Tribulation but at the end of the Tribulation. Also the riders on the other horses obviously relate to destruction and judgement which precede the second coming of Christ by some period of time. A better interpretation is that the conqueror mentioned her is the future Antichrist though revelation does not use this term. He is probably the same person as the ruler of the people mentioned in Daniel 9:26. This ruler has a bow without an arrow, indicating that the world government which he establishes is accomplished without warfare. The future world government begins with a time of peace but is soon followed by destruction [1 Thes 5:3]. In general, the seals, trumpets, and bowls of divine wrath signal the terrible judgements of God on the world at the end of the Age, climaxing in the second coming of Christ.)

The Second Seal—War

 

3When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” 4And another, a red horse (NASB: Symbolizes bloodshed and war [cf. Zech 1:8; 6:2].), went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace (a state of national tranquility; exemption from the rage and havoc of war) from the earth (cf. “the red dragon,” 12:3; the “scarlet beast,” 17:3), and that men would slay (slaughter) one another (NSB: If the white horse in conquest from without, the red horse may be internal revolution.); and a great sword (as a weapon for making or repelling an attack. BKC: In contrast with the first rider who has a bow without an arrow this second rider carries a large sword.) was given to him.

 

The Third Seal—Famine

 

5When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse (NASB: Symbolizes famine [cf. Zech 6:2, 6]. The sequence is thus conquest, bloodshed, famine.); and he who sat on it had a pair of scales (a balance. NASB: A balance beam with scales hung from either end. Weights were originally stones.) in his hand. 6And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius (a denarius, a silver coin, originally consisting of ten; about [3.898 grams, i. e. 8 1/2 pence or 16 2/3 cents), and three quarts of barley for a denarius (NASB: One quart of wheat would be enough for only one person. Three quarts of the less nutritious barley would be barely enough for a small family. Famine had inflated prices to at least ten times their normal level.); and do not damage the oil and the wine” (a vine. NASB: Sets limits on the destruction by the rider of the black horse. The toots of the olive and vine go deeper and would not be immediately affected by a limited drought.).

 

 

 

The Fourth Seal—Death

 

7When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” 8I looked, and behold, an ashen (pale green, pale) horse (NASB: Describes the ashen appearance of the dead; it symbolizes death.); and he who sat on it had the name Death (properly, the death of the body, i. e. that separation [whether natural or violent] of the soul from the body by which the life on earth is ended); and Hades (the nether world, the realm of the dead. NASB: Equivalent to Hebrew Sheol [see 1:18; 20:13-14]) was following with him. Authority (power over one, so as to be able to subdue, drive out, destroy) was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. (BKC: Here is the aftermath of war, famine, and death. With war and famine people fall prey to a plague and the wild beasts of the earth. The startling fact is revealed that a fourth of the earth, or approximately a billion people by today’s population figures [Alice: Today this number is probably larger], will be killed by these means. I t should be obvious that this is not a trivial judgment but a major factor in the Great Tribulation, thus supporting the conclusion that the Great Tribulation has begun. The first four seals may be considered as a unit and a general description of the Great Tribulation as an unprecedented time of trouble [cf. Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1; Matt 24:21-22].)

 

The Fifth Seal—Martyrs

 

9When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar (the altar of incense, which stood in the sanctuary or Holy place. NASB: In OT ritual the blood of the slaughtered animal was poured out at the base of the altar [Ex 29:12; Lev 4:7].) the souls (the soul freed from the body, a disembodied soul [If you have been following this post, this is why Dr. Saucy says the “I” is more related to the soul or human spirit than the body in death because the body goes back to the ground and the soul or spirit goes to heaven with Christ or is separated from him (remember Saucy is a dichotomist and he puts soul and spirit in the same category, “spirit,” regardless to whether one is a dichotomists or trichotomists.)]) of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained (to hold fast, keep); 10and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain (not) from judging and avenging (to demand in punishment the blood of one from another, i. e. to exact of the murderer the penalty of his crime [avenge one’s blood on or at the hand of]) our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (NASB: A regular designation in Revelation for mankind in its hostility to God [see 3:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12; 17:2, 8]) 11And there was given to each of them a white (especially bright or brilliant from whiteness, [dazzling] white: spoken of the garments of angels, and of those exalted to the splendor of the heavenly state) robe (an equipment in clothes, clothing; specifically, a loose outer garment for men which extended to the feet, worn by kings [Jonah 3:6], priests, and persons of rank. NASB: Symbol of blessedness and purity [see 3:5, 18; 4:4; 7:9, 13; 19:14]); and they were told that they should rest (to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation) for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (NASB: Jewish thought held that God rules the world according to a predetermined time schedule and that the end awaits the death of a certain number of the righteous. BKC: For under the altar see Ex 29:12; Lev 4:7. These are obviously martyrs, mentioned in more detail in Revelation 7. This make it clear that souls will be saved in the Great Tribulation, but many of them will be martyred.)

 

The Sixth Seal—Terror

 

12I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake (NASB: A regular feature of divine visitation [see EX 19:18; Is 2:19; Hag 2:6].); and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood (NASB: See Joel 2:31, quoted by Peter in his Pentecost sermon [Acts 2:20]); 13and the stars of the sky fell (NASB: One of the signs immediately preceding the coming of the Son of Man [Mark 13:25-26].) to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs (NASB: Green figs appearing in winter and easily blow from the tree, which at that season has no leaves.) when shaken by a great wind. 14The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up (fold together. See Is 34:4. BKC: The heavens appeared like a scroll being rolled up.), and every mountain and island were moved (NASB: Perhaps suggested by Jer 4:24 or Nah 1:5; see 16:20; 20:11.) out of their places. 15Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders (NASB: A commander was a Roman officer who commanded a cohort, i.e.,, about 1,000 men.) and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves (see Jer 4:29) and among the rocks of the mountains; 16and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (NASB: God’s wrath is a theme that permeates NT theology. It is both present [see Rom 1:18] and future [see 19:15]. It is prophesied in the OT [Zeph 1:14-18; Nah 1:6; Mal 3:2].); 17for the great day of their wrath (the day on which the wrath of God will be made manifest in the punishment of the wicked) has come, and who is able to stand?” (to escape in safety) (BKC: Here again in the sequence of events, the end had not been reached as there was still another seal. But this was the most dramatic judgement thus far in this time of great distress before the Second Coming… The practical effect of the judgement was fear in unbelievers from all walks of life. They called on the mountains and rocks to fall on them and to hide them from God’s wrath. Their fear was so great that they would rather be killed by a falling mountain than to face the wrath of the Lamb and Their wrath, referring to the anger of the Triune God. Again this is not a picture of ordinary trouble but the period of greatest distress in world history.) (Alice: To believers: 1 Thes 1:10and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.)

 

 

New American Standard Bible

An Interlude

 

(NASB: A parenthesis separating the final seal from the preceding six [the same feature is found in the trumpet sequence; see 10:1-13]. It contains two visions: (1) the sealing of the 144,000 [vv. 1-8] and (2) the innumerable multitude [vv. 9-17].)

7:1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners (the head of the corner, i. e. the cornerstone) of the earth, holding back the four winds (ánemos – properly, a gust of air [wind]; [figuratively] something with gusting, storm-like force, like someone bent in a particular direction [cf. Eph 4:14; Rev 7:1. NASB: Destructive agents of God [see Jer 49:36]; the four principal or cardinal winds [Jeremiah 25:15], Revelation 7:16, hence, the four quarters of the heavens [whence the cardinal winds blow].) of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. 2And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun (east, sun, light. From hele (a ray; perhaps akin to the alternate of haireomai); the sun; by implication, light — + east, sun.), having the seal (a signet-ring) of the living God (NASB: Ancient documents were folded and tied, and a lump of clay was pressed over the knot. The sender would then stamp the hardening clay with his signet ring or roll it with a cylinder seal, which authenticated and protected the contents. The sealing in ch. 7 results in the name of the Lord being stamped on the forehead of His followers [see 9:4; 14:1; cf. 22:4]. Its primary purpose is to protect the people of God in the coming judgments. For the background see Ezek 9:4, where the mark was the Hebrew letter Taw, made like X or +.); and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed (in order to mark a person or thing; hence, to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal, to stamp: angels are said σφραγίζειν τινας ἐπί τῶν μετώπων, i. e. with the seal of God (see σφραγίς, c.) to stamp his servants on their foreheads as destined for eternal salvation, and by this means to confirm their hopes, Revelation 7:3. BKC: The seal on their forehead symbolizes protection and ownership and God’s intention to protect the 12 tribes that are mentioned, much as He protected Noah from the Flood, Israel from the plagues of Egypt, and Rahab and her household in Jericho.) the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

 

The 144,000

 

4And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand (NASB: Some find here reference to members of actual Jewish tribes, the faithful Jewish remnant of the “great tribulation” [v 14]. Others take the passage as symbolic of all the faithful believers who live during period of tribulation [see Dr. Constable’s Notes for the four types of interpretation of the book of Revelation, p. 2ff].) sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel (Israel, a name given to the patriarch Jacob [and borne by him in addition to his former name from Genesis 32:28 on]: ὁ οἶκος Ἰσραήλ, the family or descendants of Israel, the race of Israel [the house of Israel]; Israḗl [transliterated from the OT term /Nazaréth, “Israel”] – Israel; the elect-nation of God in the OT “consummated by the inclusion of Gentile believers in the NT to form the body of Christ” [cf. 1 Cor 12:13 with Gal 6:16]. BKC: John heard the names of 12 tribes with 12,000 from each tribe… sealed and thus protected. The 12 tribes are not “lost” as some contend.)5from the tribe of Judah (NASB: Perhaps listed before Reuben, his older brother, because the Messiah belongs to the tribe of Judah.), twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, 6from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh (NASB: One of the two Joseph tribes [Ephraim and Manasseh], yet mentioned separately, probably to make up 12 tribes since Dan is omitted. This omission is due perhaps to Dan’s early connection with idolatry [Judg 18:30], or to a tradition that the antichrist was to come from that tribe.) twelve thousand, 7from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 8from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

 

A Multitude from the Tribulation

 

9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude (see v. 14) which no one could count, from every nation (éthnos [from ethō, “forming a custom, culture”] – properly, people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles (non-Jews).) and all tribes (a clan) and peoples and tongues (it serves to designate people of various languages), standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white (light, bright, brilliant: τά ἱμάτια … λευκά ὡς τό φῶς, Matthew 17:2; especially bright or brilliant from whiteness, [dazzling] white: spoken of the garments of angels, and of those exalted to the splendor of the heavenly state) robes (an equipment in clothes, clothing; specifically, a loose outer garment for men which extended to the feet, worn by kings [Jonah 3:6], priests, and persons of rank), and palm branches were in their hands (BKC: … apparently signifying righteous triumph. As this multitude ascribed salvation to God and to the Lamb… Though the chapters of Revelation are not all in chronological sequence, chapter 7 depicts a scene in heaven which precedes the second coming of Christ to the earth. Those seen in heaven were said to “come out of the Great Tribulation” [v. 4]. The chapter accordingly indicates how they will be marvelously blessed in heaven after their trials on earth. The 144,000 will appear again [14:1-5], and the multitude of martyrs who were killed for refusing to worship the beast appear again at the time of the resurrection in 20:4. That they are not millennial saints should be evident from the fact that they will be in heaven before God’s throne, and will have been resurrected.); 10and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God (NASB: See Gen 49:18 [“deliverance”]; Jon 2:9) who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying,

“Amen (amḗn (the counterpart of the Hebrew OT term, /apeítheia, “steadfast”) – properly, sure [certain]. [amḗn] is usually translated “amen,” and sometimes “verily,” “of a truth,” “most assuredly,” “so let it be.” /amḗn [“amen”], as an “emphasis marker,” introduces a statement of pivotal importance – i.e. that is essential in interpreting the over-all passage.), blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might (NASB: The sevenfold list of attributes expresses complete or perfect praise. See David’s farewell prayer in 1 Chr 29:10-19. The attributes increase from three in 4:11 to four in 5:13 to seven in 5:12; 7:12.), be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes (NASB: Symbol of blessedness and purity [see 3:5, 18; 4:4; 7:9, 13; 19:14]), who are they, and where have they come from?” 14I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation (persecution, affliction, distress; thlípsis – properly, pressure [what constricts or rubs together], used of a narrow place that “hems someone in”; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined [restricted, “without options”]. /thlípsis [“compression, tribulation”] carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is “no way of escape” [“hemmed in”]; properly, a pressing, pressing together, pressure; in Biblical and ecclesiastical writings, a Greek metaphor, oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits. (NASB: The period of final hostility prior to Christ’s return. Some hold that the beginning of this hostility was already being experienced by the church of John’s day (See Dr. Constable’s Notes on the preterist view p. 2ff).), and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple (NASB: All 16 references to the temple in Revelation use the word that designates the inner shrine rather than the larger precincts. It is the place where God’s presence dwells.); and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle (will spread his tabernacle over them, so that they may dwell in safety and security under its cover and protection. NASB: The imagery would evoke memories of the tabernacle in the wilderness [Lev 26:11-13].) over them. 16“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd (to supply the requisites for the soul’s needs. NASB: Ancient kings often referred to themselves as the shepherds of their people.), and will guide them to springs (fountain) of the water of life (cf. Ps 36:9; Rev 21:6); and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Seventh Seal—the Trumpets

 

8:1When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour (NASB: A dramatic pause before the next series of plagues-the final act of the drama is left undisclosed here, reserved to present later. In the OT times the trumpet served to announce important events and give signals in time of war. The seven trumpets of Rev 8-9; 11:15-19 announce a series of plagues more severe than the seals but not as completely devastating as the bowls [ch. 16]. BKC: The opening of the seventh seal is a most important event, confirmed by the fact that there was silence in heaven for about half an hour after it was opened. W Graham Scroggie states “The trumpets, therefore, do not double back over all or some of the seals, but lie under the sixth seal, and proceed from it” …. He also holds that the bowls of the wrath of God [chap. 16] “do not double back over the seal and trumpet judgements” … The fact that these are angles’ trumpets distinguishes them from the trumpet of God [1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thes 4:16] and from other New Testament trumpets [Heb 12:19; Rev 1:10; 4:1]). 2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

3Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer (frankincense, by ext. a censer. NASB: A firepan used to hold live charcoal for the burning of incense [cf. Ex 27:3; 1 Kin 7:5].); and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers (prayer addressed to God, in aid of. NASB: Most translations consider the incense to be mingled with “with” prayers. The Greek for this phrase also allows a translation that takes the incense “to be” the prayers [“incense… consisting of the prayers”].) of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand (NASB: Although the angle is involved in presenting the prayers of the saints to God, he does not make them acceptable. He Jewish apocalyptic concept of angels as mediators finds no place in the NT.). 5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. (BKC: This offering in heaven corresponds to the custom of offering incense on the altar of incense in both the tabernacle and the temple. The censer would hold the coals, and a separate vessel would carry the incense which was to be poured on the coals once the altar was reached. The resulting smoke was typical of prayer ascending before God.)

6And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.

7The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood (NASB: Cf. the imagery of the seventh plague on Egypt [Ex 9:13-25; cf. Ezek 38:22]), and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up (NASB: This fraction indicated that the punishment announced by the trumpets is not yet complete and final [the same fraction appears in each of the next three plagues: vv. 8-9, 10-11, 12]. A smaller fraction [a fourth] of devastation accompanied the opening of the fourth seal [6:8]), and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

8The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood (NASB: reminiscent of the plague on Egypt [Ex 7:20-21]. This is an eschatological judgement rather than natural pollution resulting from widespread volcanic upheaval.), 9and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. (BKC: It is best to interpret these events literally though the description of the sea being turned into blood may be the language of appearance as in the mention of blood after the first trumpet blast. Reference to blood as a divine judgment is found in the plagues of Egypt [cf. Ex 7:14-22].)

10The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. 11The name of the star is called Wormwood (Absinthe: is given as a proper name to the star which fell into the waters and made them bitter); and a third of the waters became wormwood (NASB: The reverse of the miracle at Marah, where bitter waters were made sweet [Ex 15:25].), and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter. (NASB: A plant with a strong, bitter taste. It is used here as a metaphor for calamity and sorrow [see Prov 5:3-4; Jer 9:15; Lam 3:19]. It is not poisonous, but its bitterness suggests death. BKC: The judgment following the third …trumpet was similar to that of the second. But here the mass falling from heaven to earth was a great star, blazing like a torch. This fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water; in other words, waters other than the oceans.)

12The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck (to strike, to smite: passive [of the heavenly bodies smitten by God that they may be deprived of light and shrouded in darkness]. NASB: In the ninth plague on Egypt, thick darkness covered the land for three days [Ex 10:21-23]. References to the Egypt plagues suggests that in Revelation we have the final exodus of God’s people from the bondage of a world controlled by hostile powers.), so that a third of them would be darkened (of the heavenly bodies, as deprived of light) and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way. (BKC: Without a third of the sun a third of the day was lacking normal light, and a third of the night was without light from the moon and the stars. Again the best interpretation is literal. Just as the first three trumpets dealt with a third of the earth, so the fourth trumpet dealt with a third of the havens.      13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe (an interjection of grief or of denunciation. NASB: These three woes correspond to the three final trumpet plagues [see 9:12; 11:14 (10:1-11:13 is a parenthesis); the seven bowl judgments of chs. 15-16 apparently constitute the third woe.] The woes fall on the unbelieving world [the phrase “those who dwell on the earth” refers to the wicked, not on the righteous [see 9:4]), woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!” (BKC: Warning was given that the next three trumpets would be more severe and devastating than those which preceded them. The triple woe announced by an eagle warns of coming judgement, Eagles are also mentioned in 4:7 and 12:14.)

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Fifth Trumpet—the Bottomless Pit

 

(The reader should have noticed by now that Bland holds the preterist view, and Constable holds the futurist view. See pages 2ff in Constable’s notes on Revelation.)

9:1Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven (BKC: Even in modern terminology it is customary to speak of an unusual athlete or performer as a star. This star, probably representing Satan cast out of heaven at the beginning of the Great Tribulation [Rev 12:9], was given the key to the shaft of the “Abyss” [abyssos] is the home of demons [cf. Luke 8:31; Rev 9:11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3; in Rom 10:7 it is translated “deep.”] Here the star [Satan] used his key to allow demons in the Abyss to come out and afflict the earth.) which had fallen (NASB: The star in 8:10 was part of a cosmic disturbance; here the star is a divine agent, probably an angel [cf. 20:1].) to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit (unbounded; the pit, the immeasurable depth, the abyss; of the dragon, both as the common receptacle of the dead, Romans 10:7, and especially as the abode of demons, Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:1; Revelation 9:11; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1, 3. Pit: the pit of the abyss [because the nether world is thought to increase in size the further it extends from the surface of the earth and so to resemble a cistern, the orifice of which is narrow], Revelation 9:1f. NASB: Conceived of as the subterranean abode of demonic hordes [see 20:1; Like 8:31]. The Greek word means “very deep” or “bottomless,” and is used in the Septuagint [the Greek translation of the OT] to translate the Hebrew word for primeval deep [see Gen 1:22The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 7:11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. Prov 8:28When He made firm the skies above. When the springs of the deep became fixed]. Seven of the nine NT occurrences of the Greek word for “bottomless pit” are in Revelation.) was given to him. 2He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. 3Then out of the smoke came locusts (a locust, particularly that species which especially infests oriental countries, stripping fields and trees. Numberless swarms of them almost every spring are carried by the wind from Arabia into Palestine, and having devastated that country migrate to regions farther north, until they perish by falling into the sea. The Orientals are accustomed to feed upon locusts, either raw or roasted and seasoned with salt [or prepared in other ways], and the Israelites also [according to Leviticus 11:22] were permitted to eat them: a marvelous and infernal kind of locusts is described in Revelation 9:3, 7, cf. Revelation 9:2, 5f, 8-12. NASB: For background see the plague of locusts in Ex 10:1-20. Joel 1:2-2:11 interprets the locust plague as a foreshadow of the devastations that accompany the day of the Lord. Locusts traveled in enormous swarms and could strip a land of all vegetation. In 1866, 200,000 people died in a famine in Algiers following a locust plague.) upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions (a scorpion, the name of a little animal, somewhat resembling a lobster, which in warm regions lurks especially in stone walls; it has a poisonous sting in its tail. NASB: Large spider-like organisms that injure or kill by means of a poisonous barb in the tail.) of the earth have power. 4They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal (the inscription or impression made by a seal. NASB: The first woe does not affect the “bond-servant of God” [see 7:3]. Cf. the Israelites, who were protected from the Egyptians plagues [Ex 8:22; 9:4, 26; 10:23; 11:7].) of God on their foreheads. 5And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment (passively, universally, to vex with grievous pains [of body or mind]) for five months (NASB: A limited period of time suggested by the life cycle of the locust or the dry season [spring through late summer, about five months], in which the danger of a locust invasion is always present.); and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 6And in those days men will seek death and will not find it (NASB: Cf. Hos 10:8 [quoted in Luke 23:30]. Cf. Paul’s attitude toward death in Phil 1:23-24.); they will long to die, and death flees from them.

 

(BKC: vv. 7-11: Obviously John was describing what he saw but did not interpret each characteristic. The picture is one of Satan’s awesome supernatural power and the demon world especially in relation to unbelievers. Unlike the previous judgments which apparently were short in time this judgement extended for five months [v. 10; cf. v. 5]. This is important as it refutes clearly the notion that all these judgements will occur in a brief span of time immediately before the second coming of Christ.)

7The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men (NASB: The locust appear to have the cunning of intelligent beings. They do not simply use brute force.). 8They had hair like the hair of women (NASB: Perhaps a reference to long antennae), and their teeth were like the teeth of lions (Cruel, inhumane). 9They had breastplates (consisting of two parts and protecting the body on both sides from the neck to the middle. NASB: The breastplate was a coat of nail that protected the front.) like breastplates of iron (NASB: Probably thin iron pieces riveted to leather base.); and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. 10They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. 11They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss (the bottomless pit, unbounded, the immeasurable depth, and especially as the abode of demons); his name in Hebrew is Abaddon (Destroyer [i.e. Destroying Angel] or place of destruction [personified]. NASB: A personification of destruction [cf. Prov 15:11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD,

How much more the hearts of men! ].), and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon (Apollýōn (from /apóllymi, “cause to perish, be ruined” – properly, “the destroyer” [from the Abyss], i.e. Satan [used only in Rev 9:11]).

12The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

 

The Sixth Trumpet—Army from the East

 

13Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar (NASB: See 8:3-5. The horns were projections at the four corners of the altar [Ex 27:2]. Those fleeing judgement could seek mercy by taking hold of the horns [1 Kin 1:50-51; 2:28].) which is before God, 14one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release (loose [unleash] let go; release [unbind] so something no longer holds together; [figuratively] release what has been held back (like Christ “releasing” the seven seals in the scroll in Revelation); to loose any person or thing] tied or fastened, bad angels) the four angels (NASB: Apparently in charge of the demonic horsemen [vv. 15-19].) who are bound (to bind, to fasten with chains, to throw into chains) at the great river Euphrates.” (Euphrates, a large and celebrated river, which rises in the mountains of Armenia Major, flows through Assyria, Syria, Mesopotamia and the city of Babylon, and empties into the Persian Gulf (Hebrew פְּרָת [i. e. (probably) ‘the great stream’ (Genesis 1:18)]. NASB: The longest river in western Asia [about 1,700 miles]. It marked the boundary between Israel and her historic enemies [Assyria and Babylon] to the east [cf. Is 8:5-8].) 15And the four angels (BKC: Not the same as the four angels of 7:1]), who had been prepared (to make ready, prepare: absolutely, to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready: prepared i. e. kept in readiness, εἰς τήν ὥραν καί ἡμέραν etc., for the hour and day namely, predetermined) for the hour and day and month and year (NASB: Apocalyptic thought views God as acting according to an exact timetable.), were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind (BKC: The fourth seal [Rev 6:7-8] resulted in a fourth of the earth’s people being killed. Here a third of the remainder were put to death. These two judgements alone, disregarding all intervening judgements, would account for the death of half the earth’s population. This fact is to be taken literally as it confirms the statement by Daniel [Dan 12:1] and the words of Christ [Matt 24:21] that the Great Tribulation will be without precedent and would end in the death pf all mankind if it were not stopped by His second coming [Matt 24:22].). 16The number of the armies of the horsemen (cavalry) was two hundred million (NASB: The reference is most likely general, intending an incalculable host rather than a specific number [cf. Ps 68:17; Dan 7:10; Rev 5:11]. BKC: Most interpreters do not take the number literally, though there is good evidence that all other numbers in Revelation are literal. Even if taken symbolically, this figure clearly represents an overwhelming military force. Years ago Red China claimed to have an army of 200 million [cf. Times, May 21, 1965, p. 35]. Some interpreters say these millions are demons, but demons are not normally marshalled as a military force. The fact that John heard the number, as obviously he could not visually count 200 million men, seems to lend credence to the concept that this is literal and predicts that an army will come from the East crossing the dried-up Euphrates River [16:12] … A large invasion from the East and North in the end times is predicted in Daniel 11:44.); I heard the number of them. 17And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire (fiery: θώρακες πυρίνους, i. e. shining like fire) and of hyacinth (of the color of hyacinth, i. e. of a red color bordering on black) and of brimstone (sulphurous); and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire (NASB: Cf. the two witnesses in 11:5) and smoke and brimstone (BKC: Some have taken this as a picture of modern warfare including the use of armed vehicles such as tanks. Whether symbolic or literal. The passage certainly implies terrible destruction and an awesome invading force. The results are twice stated and include the death of a third of mankind [vv. 15, 18].). 18A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues (a public calamity, heavy affliction [now tormenting now destroying the bodies of men, and sent by God as a punishment]), by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone (theíon – properly, sulfur [“brimstone,” i.e. smoky, burning rocks], i.e. sulphurous, named for the sulphur-smell left by lightning; [figuratively] the fire of heaven, bringing down God’s judgment to display His awesome, unstoppable power; equivalent to divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, and to ward off contagion) which proceeded out of their mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads (NASB: Emphasizes the demonic origin of the horses [cf. 12:9]), and with them they do harm.

20The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent (to change one’s mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins: expresses mental direction, the termini from which and to which may be specified: ἀπό τῆς κακίας, to withdraw or turn one’s soul from, etc. BKC: The trumpet judgments clearly grew in a crescendo, becoming worse and more devastating. In spite of the clear evidence of God’s power to judge the world, no evidence was given John that there would be any change of heart on the part of the great mass of humanity. Though the sixth judgment produced fear, it did not produce repentance. [Alice: The new birth is the birth that comes from above, from YHWH. Man cannot change himself because he is dead in trespasses and sin and he cannot rectify his situation. Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened (the new birth; made us spiritually alive) us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). Titus 3:5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration (the new birth) and renewing by the Holy Spirit. John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.]) of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons (NASB: Spiritual beings in league with Satan and exerting evil influence on human affairs [cf. Deut 4:28“There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. Ps 115:5-7They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. 1 Cor 10:20No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.]), and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21and they did not repent (NASB: See 16:9, 11. Even physical pain will not change the rebellious heart.) of their murders nor of their sorceries (b. poisoning: Revelation 9:21 [many interpretations refer the passage to the next entry]. c. sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it: Galatians 5:20 [for כְּשָׁפִים, Isaiah 47:9; for לָטִים, Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:18; for לְהָטִים, Exodus 7:11]; tropically, of the deceptions and seductions of idolatry, Revelation 18:23. NASB: Involved the mixing of various ingredients [the Greek fro this is pharmakon, from which comes the English “pharmacy”] for magical purposes. Believers at Ephesus publicly burned their books of magic, valued at 50,000 drachmas [Acts 19:19]. [A drachma was a silver coin worth about a day’s wages]) nor of their immorality (used properly, of illicit sexual intercourse in general) nor of their thefts.

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Angel and the Little Book

 

10:1I saw another strong (mighty; of living beings: strong either in body or in mind) angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow (NASB: Cf. Ezek 1:26-28. The rainbow became a sign of God’s pledge never to destroy the earth again by a flood [Gen 9:8-17].) was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire (flames rising like columns. NASB: Since the exodus supplies background for this central part of Revelation [References to the Egyptian plagues suggest that in Revelation we have the final exodus of God’s people from the bondage of a world controlled by hostile powers.], this feature may recall the pillars of fire and cloud that guided [Ex 13:21-22] and protected [Ex 14:19, 24] the Israelites during their wilderness journey.); 2and he had in his hand a little book (NASB: Not the same as the book of destiny in ch. 5, since that book was intended to reveal its content and this book was to be eaten. Furthermore, the term “little book” sets this particular book off from all others. BKC: In contrast with the seven-sealed scroll held by the Lamb [5:1], this angel held a small scroll. This scroll apparently contained the angel’s written order for the mission be was about to fulfill.) which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land (NASB: Indicates his tremendous size and symbolizes that his coming has to do with the destiny of all creation [cf. v. 6]); 3and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered (to utter a voice, emit a sound: of things inanimate. NASB: In 8:5; 11:19; 16:18 thunder is connected with divine punishment. Here, too, it anticipates the judgement to fall on those who refuse God’s love and grace.) their voices. 4When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up (Since things sealed up are concealed (as, the contents of a letter), (σφραγίζω means, tropically, to hide [Deuteronomy 32:34], keep in silence, keep secret. NASB: In Dan 8:26; 12:4, 9 the prophecies are sealed until the last times, when they will be opened. What the seven thunders said will not be revealed until their proper time. Cf. the angel’s instructions in 22:10 not to seal the prophecies of Revelation.) the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.” 5Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand (NASB: A part of oath taking [see Gen 14:22-23; Deut 32:40]) to heaven, 6and swore (in swearing to call a person or thing as witness, to invoke, swear by) by Him who lives forever and ever (NASB: Of special encouragement in a context of impending martyrdom [cf. 1:18; 4:9-10; 15:7].), WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer (NASB: The martyrs in 6:9-11 were told to rest for a while, but now the end has come [cf. Dan 12:1; Mark 13:19]. BKC: The clear reference to God as Creator [cf. 4:11; 14:7] answers evolutionary speculation as to the origin of the earth, and it also affirms the omnipresence of God in dealing with the world in judgement when the time is ripe.), 7but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery (a hidden purpose or counsel; secret will of God: μυστήρια Θεοῦ, the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly, In the N. T., God’s plan of providing salvation for men through Christ, which was once hidden but now is revealed: said of the consummation of this purpose, to be looked for when Christ returns. NASB: In apocalyptic thought mysteries were secrets preserved in heaven and revealed to the apocalyptist. Here the mystery is that God has won the victory over the forces of evil and will reign for ever and ever [cf. 11:15Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”]. BKC: This mystery had been previously announced to God’s prophets. The reference, therefore, is not to hidden truth but to the fulfillment of many Old Testament passages which refer to the glorious return of the Son of God and the establishment of His Kingdom of righteousness and peace on the earth. While God’s purposes are not necessarily revealed in current events where Satan is allowed power and manifestation, the time will come when Satan no longer will be in power and the predictions of the Old Testament prophets will be fulfilled. Then all will know the Lord and the truth about Him [Jer 31:34]. Here again is evidence that the seventh trumpet introduces the seven bowl judgements of God’s wrath described in Revelation 16.) of God is finished, as He preached (to bring good news, to announce glad tidings) to His servants the prophets.

8Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.” 9So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it (NASB: Grasp and digest fully the content of the scroll [cf. Ps 119:103].); it will make your stomach bitter (to produce a bitter taste in the stomach. NASB: The message of the little scroll [11:1-13] will involve suffering-the “bad news”), but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” (NASB: God’s eternal purposes will experience no further delay-the “good news.”) 10I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 11And they said to me, “You must prophesy again (with the idea of foretelling future events pertaining especially to the kingdom of God. NASB: The prophecies following the sounding of the seventh trumpet in 11:15. BKC: Though no interpretation was given John, it is evident that in partaking of the book he was appropriating what the book states [cf. Jer 15:16]. The scroll seems to symbolize the Word of God and divine revelation in general, for John was told to deliver the Word faithfully… Though the Word is sweet to believers, it will be bitter to unbelievers when it brings divine judgement on them.) concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Two Witnesses

 

11:1Then there was given me a measuring rod (NASB: A bamboo-like cane of that often reached a height of 20 feet and grew in abundance in the water along the banks of the Jordan. Straight and light, the reef was a convenient measuring rod [see Ezek 40:3; Zech 2:1-2].) like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2“Leave out the court (the uncovered court-yard of the house. In the O. T. particularly of the courts of the tabernacle and of the temple (NASB: The context of worship suggests that this is the great altar.) at Jerusalem; so in the N. T. BKC: … meaning he was to measure the holy place and the holy of holies. While others came into the outer court, only priests could enter into those two temple rooms. The explanation was given that this would be under the control of the Gentiles who would trample on the holy city for 42 months.) which is outside (NASB: The court of the Gentiles approximately 26 acres.) the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations (éthnos [from ethō, “forming a custom, culture”] – properly, people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles [non-Jews].); and they will tread under foot the holy city (Cf. Psalms 79:1; Is 63:18; Luke 21:24) for forty-two months (NASB: Three and a half years. Some find the background for this period in the time of Jewish suffering under the Syrian tyrant, Antiochus, Epiphanes [168-165 B.C.]. Others point out that, whereas the temple was desolated for three years under Antiochus, the figure used in Revelation is three and a half years, which no doubt looks back to the dividing of the 70th “seven” [Dan 9:27] into two equal parts. The same time period is also designated as 1,260 days [v. 3; 12:6] and as “a time and times and half a time” [12:14; cf. Dan 7:25; 12:7]. This period of time evidently became a conventional symbol for a limited period unrestrained wickedness. BKC: In a similar way the temple of Ezekiel 40 was measured and the New Jerusalem was measured [Rev. 21:15-17]. The temple here will be constructed so that orthodox Jews can offer sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law in the period in the first half of the seven-year period known as Daniel’s 70th week. At the beginning of the 42-month Great Tribulation, however, the sacrifices will stop and the temple will be desecrated and become a shrine for the world ruler of the Great Tribulation who will put an idol in it and proclaim himself to be God [cf. Dan 9:27“And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” Dan 12:11“From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 2 Thes 2:4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Rev 13:14-15And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.] The tendency of some is to spiritualize the 42-month length of the Great Tribulation, but this should be taken as a literal period, as confirmed by the 1,260 days in 11:3 which are 42 months of 30 days each. From this it is also clear that “the times of the Gentiles” [Luke 21:24] will not end until the second coming of Christ to the earth to set up His kingdom. Though Jews may possess Jerusalem temporarily, as they have in this century, they will lose possession in the Great Tribulation. Some believe that the 42 months refer to the first half of Daniel’s 70th week [Dan 9:27]. While it is not clear, the evidence surrounding this passage in Revelation seems to refer to the final three and one-half years. This also seems to be confirmed by the fact that in the first half of the last seven years the Jews will actually possess the city of Jerusalem and worship in their temple, whereas here the context indicates that this is the period when Gentiles will tread down the Holy City, implying ill treatment of the Jews and desecration of the temple.). 3“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses (the faithful interpreters of God’s counsels are called God’s witnesses. NASB: Modeled after Moses and Elijah. They symbolize testifying believers in the final period before Christ returns. Or they may be two actual individuals who will be martyred for the proclamation of the truth. BKC: …. While there is room for considerable discussion of these various views, the fact is that the passage does not identify the two witnesses, and they probably do not have historic identification… Like prophets of old the two witnesses will be able to do supernatural miracles, and fire will destroy those who will try to harm them [Rev 11:5]. Like Elijah they will have power to stop rain, and will have power like Moses to turn water into blood and to bring on plagues [v. 6]. In the midst of the unbelief, apostasy, and satanic power of the Great Tribulation these two witnesses will be a threat to the entire wicked world for a literal period of 1,260 days.), and they will prophesy for twelve hundred (5507 xílioi – properly, a thousand; the product of 10 x 10 x 10 [103, ten cubed]; [figuratively] emphatic, total inclusiveness, showing no one [nothing] is left out. See also “the Millennium” in the HELPS prophecy-guide. [“Ten” in Scripture can already express the symbolic meaning “completely” [inclusively] so [xílioi] as the cube of 10 [“a thousand”] powerfully stresses the meaning “full/inclusive” [totality]; twelve hundred. NASB: These are months of 30days [42 months x 30 days = 1,260 days].) and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (a coarse cloth, a dark coarse stuff made especially of the hair of animals: Revelation 6:12; a garment of the like material, and clinging to the person like a sack, which was usually worn [or drawn on over the tunic instead of the cloak or mantle] by mourners, penitents, suppliants, Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13, and also by those who, like the Hebrew prophets, led an austere life, Revelation 11:3 [cf. what is said of the dress of John the Baptist, Matthew 3:4; of Elijah, 2 Kings 1:8]. NASB: A coarse, dark cloth woven from the hair of goats or camels. It was worn as a sign of mourning and penitence [Joel 1:13; Jon 3:5-6; Matt 11:21].) 4These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands (the two eminent prophets who will precede Christ’s return from heaven in glory are likened to ‘candlesticks’) that stand before the Lord of the earth (NASB: The imagery emphasizes that the power of effective testimony is supplied by the Spirit of God.). 5And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours (NASB: Cf. Elijah’s encounters with the messengers of Ahaziah [2 Kin 1:10, 12].) their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6These have the power to shut (i. e. to cause the heavens to withhold rain) up the sky (NASB: Cf. the drought in the days of Elijah [1 Kin 17:1; see also Luke 4:25; James 5:17].), so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood (NASB: God used Moses to bring the same plague on the Egyptians [Ex 7:17-21].), and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

7When they have finished their testimony, the beast (in Revelation 11:7 and Revelation 13-20, under the figurative of a ‘beast’ is depicted Antichrist, both his person and his kingdom and power. NASB: First mention of the major opponent of God’s people in the final days [see chs. 13; 17]. That he comes up from the abyss indicates his demonic character.) that comes up out of the abyss (of the dragon), both as the common receptacle of the dead, Romans 10:7, and especially as the abode of demons, Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:1; Revelation 9:11; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:1, 3) will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them (NASB: They will suffer the same fate as their Lord [see v. 8].). 8And their dead bodies will lie in the street (NASB: In the Near East the denial of burial was a flagrant violation of decency.) of the great city (NASB: Possibly Jerusalem, though some say Rome, Babylon or some other city. It may be symbolic of the world opposed to God [see 16:19; 17:18; 10, 16, 18-19, 21].) which mystically (in a sense apprehended only by the aid of the Divine Spirit, i. e. in a hidden or mystical sense) is called Sodom (NASB: [see similarly Is 1:10] refers to its low level of morality [cf. Gen 19:4-11], and Egypt emphasizes oppression and slavery. Some say that Jesus could have been crucified in Rome in the sense that her power extended throughout the known world and was immediately responsible for Christ’s execution. BKC: After the witnesses were killed, their bodies were left unburied in Jerusalem, figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, because of the people’s apostasy and rejection of God.) and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9Those from the peoples and tribes (a clan or tribe) and tongues (it serves to designate people of various languages) and nations (a race, a nation, pl. the nations [as distinct from Isr.]) will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days (NASB: A short time when compared with the three and a half years of their ministry. BKC: This implies some worldwide display, now made possible by television. Their deaths were considered a great victory for the world ruler and Satan, and were celebrated by people sending each other gifts.), and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented (to vex with grievous pains [of body or mind]) those who dwell on the earth.

11But after the three and a half days, the breath (breath of the nostrils or mouth) of life (life, i. e. the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate, the vital spirit, the breath of [i. e. imparting] life.) from God came into them (NASB: A dramatic validation of the true faith [cf. Ezek 37:5, 10].), and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud (Cf. 1 Thess 4:17), and their enemies watched them (Cf. 1:7). 13And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven (NASB: Not an act of repentance but the terrified realization that Christ, no the antichrist, is the true Lord of all).

14The second woe (calamity [cf. 9:12]) is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

 

The Seventh Trumpet—Christ’s Reign Foreseen

15Then the seventh angel sounded (NASB: The series of trumpet blasts is now continued [see 9:13] and completed.); and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord (NASB: Cf. Ex 15:18“The LORD shall reign forever and ever.” Ps 10: 16The LORD is King forever and ever; Nations have perished from His land. Zech 14:9And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. BKC: Cf. predictions of the earthly kingdom of Christ in Ezek 21:26-27thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high. ‘A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.’ Dan 2:35“Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Dan 2:44“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Dan 4:3“How great are His signs And how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom And His dominion is from generation to generation. Dan 6:26“I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. Dan 7:14“And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. Dan7: 26-27‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. ‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’ Zech 14:9And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. The fact that this will be fulfilled at the Second Coming makes it clear that the period of the seventh trumpet chronologically reaches to Christ’s return.) and of His Christ (NASB: Cf. Ps 2:2The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying); and He will reign forever and ever.” 16And the twenty-four elders ([Note three different views:] the twenty-four members of the heavenly Sanhedrin or court, seated on thrones around the throne of God. NASB: Representative of either the whole company of believers in heaven or an exalted angelic order worshiping and serving God there [see vv. 9-11; 5:5-14; 7:11-7; 11:16-18; 14:3; 19:4]. The number 24 is often understood to reflect the 12 Israelite tribes of the OT and the 12 apostles of the NT. BKC: This is another reminder that the 24 elders, representing the church of the present Age, are distinguished from the Tribulation saints, described in verse 1 as “a great multitude.”), who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying,

“We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were (NASB: In 1:4, 8; 4:8 He is also the one “who is to come.” This is now omitted because His reign is here pictured as having begun.), because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign (BKC: Their song of praise indicates that the time has come for God to judge the nations, to judge the dead, and to reward God’s servants.). 18“And the nations were enraged (to provoke, arouse to anger; passive to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth. NASB: See Ps 48:4For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They passed by together.), and Your wrath (vessels into which wrath will be poured [at the last day], passes over into the notion of retribution and punishment. God’s wrath triumphs in 14:10-11; 16:15-21; 20:8-9.) came, and the time came for the dead to be judged (passive to be judged, i. e. summoned to trial that one’s case may be examined and judgment passed upon it. NASB: Anticipated in 6:10, carried out in 20:11-15.) and those who fear (to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience), and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets (NASB: See Dan 9:6 “Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land. Dan 9:10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. Amos 3:7 7Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. Zech 1:6 “But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, ‘As the LORD of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.’”’”) and the saints (hágios – properly, different [unlike], other [“otherness”], holy; for the believer, [hágios] means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”) Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy (to change for the worse, to corrupt) those who destroy the earth.”

19And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark (in the heavenly temple) of His covenant (the ark of the covenant or law, in which those tables were deposited. NASB: The OT ark was a chest of acacia wood [Deut 10:1-2.] It symbolized the throne or presence of God among His people. It was probably destroyed when Nebuzaradan destroyed the temple in Jerusalem [2 Kin 25:8-10]. In the NT it symbolizes God’s faithfulness in keeping covenant with His people.]) appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

 

Ps 50:21

“These things you have done and I kept silence;

You thought that I was just like you;

I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

 

Additional reading:

New American Standard Bible Ps 2

The Reign of the LORD’S Anointed.

1Why are the nations in an uproar

And the peoples devising a vain thing?

2The kings of the earth take their stand

And the rulers take counsel together

Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,

3“Let us tear their fetters apart

And cast away their cords from us!”

4He who sits in the heavens laughs,

The Lord scoffs at them.

5Then He will speak to them in His anger

And terrify them in His fury, saying,

6“But as for Me, I have installed My King

Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

7“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:

He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

8‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,

And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

9‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,

You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

10Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;

Take warning, O judges of the earth.

 

11Worship the LORD with reverence

And rejoice with trembling.

12Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,

For His wrath may soon be kindled.

How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Woman, Israel

 

12:1A great sign (of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen. NASB: An extraordinary spectacle or event that points beyond itself [cf. Luke 21:11, 25; Acts 2:19].) appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun (NASB: Probably symbolic reference to the believing Messianic community [see v. 5]), and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (NASB: Cf. the 12 tribes of Israel.); 2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain (NASB: Cf. the similar language describing the rebirth of Jerusalem in Is 66:7 [see Mic 4:10]. ) to give birth (BKC: The woman was said to be pregnant and about to give birth [12:2]. While in some sense this may be fulfilled in the birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary, the context seems to refer to the emerging nation of Israel in its suffering prior to the second coming of Christ. This is further supported by the verses which follow.).

 

The Red Dragon, Satan

 

3Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon (a dragon, a great serpent, a fabulous animal. From it, after Genesis 3:1ff, is derived the figurative description of the devil in Revelation 12:3-17; Revelation 13:2, 4, 11; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 20:2. NASB: Identified in v. 9 [cf. 20:2]. Dragons abound in the mythology of ancient people [Leviathan in Canaanite lore and Set-Typhon, the red crocodile, in Egypt.] In the OT they are normally used metaphorically to depict the enemies of God and of Israel [see Ps 74:14; Is 27:1; Ezek 29:3].) having seven heads (NASB: Symbolizing universal wisdom [cf. 13:1]) and ten horns (NASB: Symbolizing great power. BKC: From similar descriptions in Daniel 7:7-8, 24 and Revelation 13:1, this beast represented Satan’s control over world empires in the Great Tribulation. Revelation 12:9 identifies the dragon as Satan. The color red might indicate the bloodshed related to this period. The 10 horns presented symbolically the 10 kings [see Dan 7:24] who reigned simultaneously with the coming world ruler and who were mentioned both in Daniel 7:7 and Revelation 13:1.), and on his heads were seven diadems ([to bind round], a diadem, i. e. the blue band marked with white with which Persian kings used to bind on the turban or tiara; the kingly ornament for the head; /diádēma [“a royal crown”] is used three times in the NT – referring to: a) the pagan empires of ancient history which opposed God [Rev 12:3]; b) the end-times coalition led by Antichrist [Rev 13:1]; and c) the infinite majesty [kingship] of Christ [Rev 19:12].). 4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth (BKC: The casting down of a third of the stars out of the sky seemed to imply satanic power which extended to the heavens and the earth. Satan was seen here to extend his power over those who opposed him spiritually or politically. The dragon’s attempt to devour the newborn Child [12:4] seemed to point to Satan’s attempts to destroy the Infant Jesus. Satanic opposition to Israel and especially to the messianic line is clear in both Testaments.). And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour (properly, to consume by eating, to eat up, devour: of a dragon) her child.

 

The Male Child, Christ

 

5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up (used of divine power transferring a person marvelously and swiftly from one place to another, to snatch or catch away. NASB: The ascension of Christ.) to God and to His throne. 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness (a desert; solitary, desolate. NASB: Not a wasteland but a place of spiritual refuge [cf. Hos 2:14]. BKC: In her desert hideout Israel was cared for perhaps as miraculously as Israel was in her wilderness journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.) where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished (support; to feed) for one thousand two hundred and sixty days (NASB: The time of spiritual protection corresponds to the time of persecution).

 

The Angel, Michael

 

7And there was war in heaven (the abode of the angels), Michael ([מִיכָאֵל, i. e. ‘who like God?’], Michael, the name of an archangel, who was supposed to be the guardian angel of the Israelites [Daniel 12:1; Daniel 10:13, 21: Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7]. NASB: An archangel who defeats Satan in heavenly warfare. In Daniel 12:1 he is the protector of Israel who will deliver her from tribulation in the last days.) and his angels waging war with the dragon (BKC [with] demons; drákōn [from derkomai, “to see,” the root of the English term, “dragon”] – properly “seeing one,” used of mythical dragons [huge serpents] seeing their prey from far away; [figuratively] Satan (Rev 12:7,9) exercising his subtle [indirect] impact on heathen governments [powers] – i.e. accomplishing his hellish agenda from “behind the scenes). The dragon and his angels waged war, 8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil (prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely; a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer; viz.[ namely; in other words (used especially to introduce a gloss or explanation)], Satan, the prince of demons, the author of evil, persecuting good men [Job 1; Zechariah 3:1ff, cf. Revelation 12:10], estranging mankind from God and enticing them to sin, and afflicting them with diseases by means of demons who take possession of their bodies at his bidding; the malignant enemy of God and the Messiah) and Satan (the adversary), who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth (NASB: Not the original casting of Satan out of heaven, but his final exclusion-an explanation of his intense hostility against God’s people in the last days. [vv. 12-17]), and his angels were thrown down with him (BKC: Though Satan was defeated at the first coming of Christ [John 16:11], his execution was delayed and is in stages. Here [Rev 12:8-9 he will be cast out of heaven in the middle of the Tribulation. Later he will be bound for the duration of the millennial kingdom [20:1-3]. The devil will finally be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur [20:10] where the world ruler [Antichrist] and the false prophet will have been cast a thousand years earlier. Satan and his activities in heaven and earth opposed Christ as Priest in heaven, as King in Satan’s world rule in the Great Tribulation, and as the true Prophet by advancing the beast out of the earth [13:11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.], who identified as that ancient serpent, alias the devil or Satan, and was declared to be the one who led the whole world astray]. When he will be cast out of the earth, all the fallen angles or demons will be cast out with him.). 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“Now the salvation (future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God), and the power (the power of God), and the kingdom (royal power, kingship, dominion, rule: the royal power and dignity belonging to God, YHVH) of our God and the authority (power to act) of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown (absolutely and in the passive to be violently displaced from a position gained) down, he who accuses (of an extra-judicial accusation: absolutely, Revelation 12:10 solecistically [an impolite or improper way of behaving]) them before our God day and night. 11“And they overcame (νικαν τινα or τί is used of one who by Christian constancy and courage keeps himself unharmed and spotless from his adversary’s devices, solicitations, assaults: the devil) him because of the blood of the Lamb (Frequent mention is made in the N. T. of the blood of Christ.) and because of the word of their testimony (what one testifies, testimony: in a predominantly dogmatic sense respecting matters relating to the truth of Christianity: of the testimony establishing the Messiahship and the divinity of Jesus, given by — John the Baptist: John 1:7; John 5:32; John 1:19; Jesus himself, with a genitive of the subjunctive, John 5:31; John 8:13f; God, in the prophecies of Scripture concerning Jesus tile Messiah, in the endowments conferred upon him, in the works done by him, John 5:36; through the Holy Spirit, in the Christian’s blessed consciousness of eternal life and of reconciliation with God, obtained by baptism [not baptismal regeneration] and the expiatory death of Christ, …), and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them (BKC: Not only did Christ provide the victory, but also those who were martyred took part in that victory.). Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath (to be in a passion), knowing that he has only a short time.” (NASB: The period of final, intense hostility of Satan toward the people of God. BKC: The devil knew that his time was limited to 1,260 days, the period of the Great Tribulation. By no stretch of the imagination can these prophecies be spread to cover the whole Interadvent Age as some attempt to do.)

 

(NASB: vv. 13-16 Cf. the similarity to the exodus.)

13And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted (to pursue [in a hostile manner]) the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14But the two wings of the great eagle (BKC: … supernatural help symbolized by the two wings of a great eagle. The two wings probably do not refer to modern airplanes but rather to God’s delivering power, and are a figure of speech taken from such Old Testament passages as Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:11-12. The fight of Israel to a place of safety was also indicated in Matthew 24:16; Mark 13:14; and Luke 21:21.) were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness (NASB: One year plus two years plus half a year.) to her place (BKC: The hiding place was not clearly identified.), where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time (BKC: References to these specific time periods show that the Great Tribulation is not the entire present Age but the three and one-half years preceding the second coming of Christ.), from the presence of the serpent. 15And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood (carried away by a stream (i. e. whelmed, drowned in the waters. BKC: Probably the flood represents Satan’s effort to exterminate Israel. This is thwarted by the rough terrain which provides hiding places. In some was God assists the Israelites so that they are no completely destroyed, though Zechariah 13:8 [“It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.] indicates that “two-thirds will be struck down and perish.” Though only one-third of Israel in the land is thus preserved…, Satan the dragon continues to war against the rest.). 16But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth (NASB: In Num 16:30-33 the earth opened and swallowed Korah’s men.) and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17So the dragon was enraged (to provoke, arouse to anger; passive to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth) with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children (similarly, Christians are called, in Revelation 12:17, the σπέρμα [those who are called Abraham’s posterity on account of the faith by which they are akin to him] of the church [which is likened to a mother, Galatians 4:26]. NASB: Believers in general as contrasted with Christ, the male child of vv. 5, 13.), who keep the commandments of God and hold (keep) to the testimony of Jesus (NASB: The testimony that Jesus bore [cf. 1:2, 9; 19:10].).

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Beast from the Sea

 

(The Study Bible [SB] is John MacArthur’s new Bible with his personal notes.)

 

13:1And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.

Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea (SB: Satan takes a position in the midst of the nations of his world, represented by the sand of the sea. A beast: Lit., “a monster” [cf. 11:7], which describes a vicious killing animal. In this context, the term represents both a person (Antichrist) and his system (the world). The final satanic world empire will be inseparable from the demon-possessed man who leads it. Rising out of the sea: The sea represents the abyss or pit, the haunt of demons [cf. Rev 11:7; 17:8; 20:1; Luke 8:31]. The picture is of Satan summoning a powerful demon from the abyss, who then activates and controls the beast [Antichrist] and his empire.), having ten horns and seven heads (BKC: … depict the revived Roman Empire, which was also represented by the fourth beast of Daniel, which also had 10 horns [Dan 7:7-8; cf. Rev 13:3; 17:3, 7]. In Revelation 13 and 17 the beast is the world ruler, whereas in Daniel 7 the little horn on the beast was the world ruler. The fact that the beast comes out from the sea indicates that he is a Gentile, for the sea of humanity is involved as his source [cf. Rev 17:15] … Under the control of this central ruler in the Middle East during the Great Tribulation will be 10 nations [cf. Dan 7:24, “The 10 horns are 10 kings.”] [For discussion of various alternative views, see Walvoord, Revelation, pp. 198-99. In Revelation 13:2 the beat was seen to gather in the symbolism of the three preceding empires-Greece [a leopard, cf. Dan 7:6], Medo-Persia [a bear, cf. Dan 7:5], and Babylon [a lion, cf. Dan 7:4]. The power of the beast was derived from Satan himself… This accords with Paul [2 Thes 2:9] wo referred to “the lawless one” [i.e., the Antichrist, this first beast of Rev 13] as working “all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders… The important point is that the final world ruler comes into power obviously supported by a supernatural and miraculous deliverance by Satan himself. SB: This description is like that of Satan in Rev 12:3. The heads may represent successive world empires-Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the final kingdom of Antichrist. The final one is made up of all the kingdoms represented by the horns. Ten is a number that symbolizes the totality of human military and political power assisting the beast [Antichrist] as he controls the world. Horns always represent power, as in the animal kingdom-both offensive power [attack] and defensive power [protection]. Daniel shows that the human Antichrist will rise up from the 10 kings [Daniel 7:16-24]. John picks up the numerical imagery of Daniel 2:41-42, which refers to the 10 toes on the statue’s clay and iron feet. The apostle sees the beast as the final world government-the anti-Christ, anti-God coalition-headed by a revived Roman Empire, having the strengths of various world powers, yet mixed with weakness and ultimately crushed [cf. Dan 2:32-45; 7:7-8; 19-25.]), and on his horns were ten diadems (/diádēma [“a royal crown”] is used three times in the NT – referring to: a) the pagan empires of ancient history which opposed God [Rev 12:3]; b) the end-times coalition led by Antichrist [Rev 13:1]; and c) the infinite majesty [kingship] of Christ [Rev 19:12]; a diadem, i. e. the blue band marked with white with which Persian kings used to bind on the turban or tiara; the kingly ornament for the head), and on his heads were blasphemous (specifically, impious and reproachful speech injurious to the divine majesty) names. 2And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion (NASB: John’s beast combined characteristics of Daniel’s four beast [Dan 7:4-6]). And the dragon (the devil) gave him his power (i. e. of the devil; [miraculous] power, might, strength) and his throne and great authority (“physical and mental power; the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises”). 3I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain (mortally wounded), and his fatal (a deadly wound [death-stroke]) wound was healed (NASB: Emphasizes the tremendous recuperative power of the beast). And the whole earth was amazed (followed the beast in wonder) and followed after the beast; 4they worshiped (of homage rendered to God and the ascended Christ, to heavenly beings, and to demons) the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5There was given (NASB: Four times in the Greek text of vv. 5-7 the passive “was given” occurs, emphasizing the subordinate role of the beast [see vv. 2, 4].) to him a mouth speaking arrogant (great things: of things which overstep the province of a created being, proud [presumptuous] things, full of arrogance, derogatory to the majesty of God) words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months (NASB: Three and a half years. Some find the background for this period in the time of Jewish suffering under the Syrian tyrant, Antiochus, Epiphanes [168-165 B.C.]. Others point out that, whereas the temple was desolated for three years under Antiochus, the figure used in Revelation is three and a half years, which no doubt looks back to the dividing of the 70th “seven” [Dan 9:27] into two equal parts. The same time period is also designated as 1,260 days [v. 3; 12:6] and as “a time and times and half a time” [12:14; cf. Dan 7:25; 12:7].) was given to him. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme (blasphēméō [from blax, “sluggish, slow” and /phḗmē, “reputation, fame”] – properly, refusing to acknowledge good [worthy of respect, veneration]; hence, to blaspheme which reverses moral values; to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at: Specifically, of those who by contemptuous speech intentionally come short of the reverence due to God or to sacred things.) His name and His tabernacle (tent; the name is transferred to heaven, as the true dwelling-place of God and the prototype of the earthly ‘tabernacle’ or sanctuary), that is, those who dwell in heaven.

7It was also given to him to make war (See 12:17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. See also Dan 7:7 “After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.) with the saints (hágios – properly, different [unlike], other [“otherness”], holy; for the believer, [hágios] means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”) and to overcome (when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one’s cause: by force) them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8All who dwell on the earth will worship him (BKC: In addition to achieving political domination over the entire world, he also abolishes all other religions and demands that everyone worship him [cf. 2 Thes 2:4]), everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation (/katabolḗ [“foundation-plan”] typically relates to Christ’s incarnation, i.e. coming to earth in the flesh to be our Redeemer. This divine plan was set and sealed [guaranteed] before creation [Heb 9:26; 1 Pet 1:20; Rev 13:8]. In general, [katabolḗ] refers to the basis God has established, upon which all people can know Him. This was laid down before the first ray of sunshine or drop of water touched the earth [Alice: e.g. Romans 1]. BKC: … to relate to the time in eternity past when the names were written in the book of life… As Paul wrote, those who were saved were foreordained to salvation before Creation [cf. Eph 1:4]… Taken together, verses 7 and 8 indicate the universal extent of the beast’s political government as well as the final form of satanic religion in the Great Tribulation. Only those who come to Christ will be delivered from the condemnation that is involved. SB: According to God’s eternal, electing purpose before creation, the death of Christ seals the redemption of the elect forever [cf. Acts 2:23this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 4:27-28“For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.]. Antichrist can never take away the salvation of the elect. The eternal registry of the elect will never be altered, nor will the saved in the Antichrist’s day worship him… The Lord Jesus who died to purchase the salvation of those whom God had chosen was fulfilling an eternal plan.) of the world in the book (the list of those whom God has appointed to eternal salvation) of life (the book in which the names of those are recorded to whom eternal life has been decreed) of the Lamb (Yehoshua) who has been slain. 9If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance (steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings) and the faith (in reference to Christ, it denotes “a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God”) of the saints (BKC: Those who are willing to listen are reminded that their obedience to the Word of God may result in their captivity or martyrdom [Rev 13:10]).

 

The Beast from the Earth

 

11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth (NASB: According to some, he symbolizes religious power in the service of secular authorities. According to other, he is the personal false prophet [see 16:13; 19:20; 20:10]. BKC: … in the context as the word for “earth” is the general word referring to the entire world. Actually his nationality and geographic origin are not indicated, and he is apparently the one referred to as “the false prophet” in 19:20 and 20:10.); and he had two horns like a lamb (NASB: He attempts to appear gentle and harmless.) and he spoke as a dragon (NASB: See Jesus’ warning in Matt 7:15 about ravenous wolves who come in sheep’s clothing). 12He exercises all the authority of the first beast (NASB: The trinity of evil is now complete. The beast from the earth is under the authority of the beast from the sea. The latter is subject to the dragon. Satan, secular power and religious compromise [or Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet] join against the cause of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) in his presence (at the instance of anyone, by his power and authority). And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13He performs great signs (… time power διδόναι σημεῖα, by which men are deceived, is ascribed also to false teachers, false prophets, and to demons. NASB: See the warning in Deut 13:1-3 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods [whom you have not known] and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. See also Matt 24:24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 2 Thess 2:9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders. Cf. Rev 19:20And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.), so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven (See 1 Kin 18:24-39) to the earth in the presence of men (BKC: The false religious system, which was supported in this way imitated the divine Trinity. Satan seeks to take the place of God the Father; the first beast assumes the place of Jesus Christ, the Son, the King of Kings; and the second beast, the false prophet, has a role similar to the Holy Spirit who causes Christians to worship God. This is Satan’s final attempt to substitute a false religion for true faith in Christ.). 14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak (NASB: Belief in statues that could speak is widely attested in ancient literature. Ventriloquism and other forms of deception were common.) and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark (a stamp, an imprinted mark: of the mark stamped on the forehead or the right hand as the badge of the followers of Antichrist. NASB: Whatever its origin-possibly the branding of slaves or enemy soldiers, the sealing and stamping of official documents, or the sign of the cross on the forehead of a new Christian-he mark of the beast apparently symbolized allegiance to the demands of the imperial cult. In the final days of the antichrist it will be the ultimate test of loyalty [cf. v. 17; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4]. It imitates the sealing of the servants of God in ch. 7) on their right hand or on their forehead, 17and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell (NASB: Economic boycott against all faithful believers.), except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name (NASB: In ancient times the letters of the alphabet served for numbers. Riddles using numerical equivalents for names were popular.). 18Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (NASB: Various schemes for decoding these numbers result in such names as Euanthas, Lateinos, and Nero Cesar. Others take 666 as a symbol for the trinity of evil and imperfection-each digit falls short of the perfect number 7. BKC: The practice of gematria, the attempt to find hidden meaning in numbers in Scripture, was prominent in the ancient world… Literature from the early church fathers, however, reveals the same confusion and variety of meanings that exist today, so probably it is best to leave this puzzle unsolved. Probably the safest conclusion is that of Thomas F. Torrance, “This evil trinity 666 apes the Holy Trinity 777, but always falls short and fails” [The Apocalypse Today, 86].).

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion

 

14:1Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion (Since Jerusalem, because the temple stood there, was called the dwelling-place of God, the expression τό Σιών ὄρος [Zion] is transferred to heaven, as the true dwelling-place of God and heavenly beings, the antitype of the earthly Zion: Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1. NASB: In the OT it was first the fortress of the pre-Israelite city of Jerusalem [2 Sam 5:7], captured by David and established as his capital. Later it became a virtual synonym for Jerusalem, the eternal dwelling place of God and His people [cf. Gal 4:26]. It comes down to the new earth in 21:2-3.), and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand (NASB: Some find here reference to members of actual Jewish tribes, the faithful Jewish remnant of the “great tribulation” [v 14]. Others take the passage as symbolic of all the faithful believers who live during period of tribulation [see Bland and Constable’s notes]. BKC: It is reasonable to conclude that this is the same group mentioned in 7:4-8, except that here they are in a later period of the Tribulation. Chronologically the vision anticipates the triumph of the 144,000 still intact at the time of Jesus Christ’s return from heaven to earth… But they are not the only ones to survive, as many Gentiles and Jews will turn to Christ in the end time and somehow escape martyrdom and be honored to welcome Christ at His return.), having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads (literally, the space between the eyes). 2And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters (of the waves of the sea) and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. 3And they sang a new (of a new kind; unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of) song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders ([Note three different views:] the twenty-four members of the heavenly Sanhedrin or court, seated on thrones around the throne of God. NASB: Representative of either the whole company of believers in heaven or an exalted angelic order worshiping and serving God there [see vv. 9-11; 5:5-14; 7:11-7; 11:16-18; 14:3; 19:4]. The number 24 is often understood to reflect the 12 Israelite tribes of the OT and the 12 apostles of the NT. BKC: This is another reminder that the 24 elders, representing the church of the present Age, are distinguished from the Tribulation saints, described in verse 1 as “a great multitude.”); and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. 4These are the ones who have not been defiled (who have not soiled themselves by fornication and adultery) with women, for they have kept themselves chaste (parthénos – properly, a virgin; a woman who has never had sexual relations; a female (virgin), beyond puberty but not yet married; [figuratively] believers when they are pure (chaste), i.e. faithful to Christ their heavenly Bridegroom [2 Cor 11:2; Rev 14:4]; “a man who has abstained from all uncleanness and whoredom attendant on idolatry, and so has kept his chastity”. NASB: Probably a symbolic description of believers who kept themselves from defiling relationships with the pagan world system.). These are the ones who follow the Lamb (NASB: As His disciples [see Matt 8:34].) wherever He goes. These have been purchased (Christ is said to have purchased his disciples i. e. made them, as it were, his private property, they, too, are spoken of as purchased, so that they are withdrawn from the earth [and its miseries] and from [wicked] men.) from among men as first fruits (of persons superior in excellence to others of the same class: so in Revelation 14:4 of a certain class of Christians sacred and dear to God and Christ beyond all others. NASB: See Lev 23:9-14. The word is used figuratively in the NT for the first converts in an area [Rom 16:5] and the first to rise from the dead [1 Cor 15:20] In Revelation believers are considered as a choice offering to God and the Lamb. BKC: The word “firstfruits” suggest that these converted Israelites precede many others who at the Lord’s second coming will turn to Him [Zech 12:10; Rom 11:15, 26-27].) to God and to the Lamb. 5And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.

 

 

Vision of the Angel with the Gospel

 

6And I saw another angel flying in midheaven (the zenith), having an eternal (a gospel whose subject-matter is eternal, i. e., the saving purpose of God adopted from eternity. NASB: The content of this “good news” is perhaps found in v. 7. BKC: Because of the word “gospel,” some have felt that this was a message of salvation or the good news of the coming kingdom. The context, however, seems to indicate otherwise, for the message is one of judgment and condemnation… So the “eternal” message seems to be a message of God’s righteousness and judgment rather than a message of salvation.) gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment (of the last judgment, the day appointed for the judgment) has come; worship Him who made the heaven (See Ex 20:11; Ps 146:6) and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

8And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen (has been overthrown, destroyed), fallen is Babylon the great (Babylon, formerly a very celebrated and large city, the residence of the Babylonian kings, situated on both banks of the Euphrates. Cyrus had formerly captured it, but Darius Hystaspis threw down its gates and walls, and Xerxes destroyed (?) the temple of Belus. At length the city was reduced almost to a solitude, the population having been drawn off by the neighboring Seleucia, built on the Tigris by Seleucus Nicanor. The name is used in the N. T. allegorically, of Rome as the most corrupt seat of idolatry and the enemy of Christianity. NASB: Ancient Babylon in Mesopotamia was the political, commercial and religious center of a world empire. It was noted for its luxury and moral decadence. The title “Babylon the Great” is taken from Dan 4:30. According to some, it is used in Revelation [e.g., here and in 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21] for Rome as the center of opposition to God and His people. According to others, it represents the whole political and religious system of the world in general. According to still others, it is to be understood as literal Babylon-rebuilt and restored. Babylon’s fall is proclaimed in Is 21:9; Jer 51:8.), she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion (glow, ardor: the wine of passion, inflaming wine, German Glutwein [which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its deadly heat]) of her immorality.” (is used metaphorically of the worship of idols. NASB: Here Babylon [Rome?] is pictured as a prostitute whose illicit relations are achieved by intoxication.)

 

Doom for Worshipers of the Beast

 

9Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink of the wine of the wrath (/thymós [“expressed passion”] is used of people it indicates rage [personal venting of anger, worth]. This flaw is completely absent of the Lord expressing [inspiring] intense anger. Accordingly, 2372 [thymós] is used of God’s perfect, holy wrath in Revelation [Rev 14:10,19,15:1, etc.]. This anger is directed against sin with intense opposition and without sin; [which God gives the drinker, Revelation 14:10; with added (fierceness)]) of God, which is mixed in full strength (unmixed, pure) in the cup of His anger (attributed to God in the N. T. is that in God which stands opposed to man’s disobedience, obduracy [especially in resisting the gospel] and sin, and manifests itself in punishing the same. NASB: In the OT God’s wrath is commonly pictured as a cup of wine to be drunk [Ps 75:8; Is 51:17; Jer 25:15]. It is not the outworking of impersonal laws of retribution, but the response of a righteous God to those who refuse His love and grace.); and he will be tormented (universally, to vex with grievous pains [of body or mind]) with fire (of the fire of hell we find the following expressions — which are to be taken either tropically (of the extreme penal torments which the wicked are to undergo after their life on earth; so in the discourses of Jesus), or literally (so apparently in the Apocalypse) and brimstone (NASB: Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone [Gen 19:24]. Ps 11:6 speaks of a similar fate for the wicked. The figure occurs elsewhere in the OT and the Apocrypha [not to imply that the Apocrypha is canonical]. It is used several times in the final chapters of Revelation [19:20; 20:10; 21:8].) in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever (NASB: Revelation offers no support for the doctrine of the annihilation of the wicked [also compare 19:20 with 20:10]. BKC: The doctrine of eternal punishment, though unpopular with liberal scholars and difficult to accept, is nevertheless clearly taught in the Bible. Jesus and the Apostle John say more on this subject than does all the rest of the Bible.); they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12Here is the perseverance (steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings) of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. (Alice: Cf. 1 Pet 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time [KJV].)

13And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed (NASB: The second beatitude.) are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest (of the blessed rest of the dead [exempt from toils]. BKC: This passage is often quoted in regard to God’s general blessings on all Christians, but the context indicates that the blessing is especially for those who die in the Great Tribulation. For them it is a blessed release from persecution, torture, and trial and a deliverance into the glorious presence of the Lord.) from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

 

The Reapers

 

14Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man (NASB: This is the first reference to the Messiah as the Son of Man, a title that Jesus applied to Himself. He will be enthroned as ruler over the whole earth [previously misruled by the four kingdoms of men)], and His kingdom “will not be destroyed” [v. 14], whether on earth or in heaven.), having a golden crown (NASB: A victory wreath of gold.) on His head and a sharp sickle ([to pluck, pluck off], a sickle, a pruning-hook, a hooked vine-knife, such as reapers and vine-dressers use. NASB: The Israelite sickle used for cutting grain was normally a flint or iron blade attached to a curved shaft of wood or bone.) in His hand. 15And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap (As the crops are cut down with the sickle, is figuratively used for to destroy, cut off), for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth (NASB: Symbolizes in a general way the coming judgement [see Matt 13:30, 40-42]. Some interpreters think it refers to the ingathering of the righteous at the return of Christ.) is ripe.” 16Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. 18Then another angel, the one who has power (to preside, have control, over fire, to hold it subject to his will) over fire (NASB: The angle of 8:3-5. Fire is commonly associated with judgement [see Matt 18:8; Luke 9:54; 2 Thess 1:7].), came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle (NASB: The context suggests [in contrast to the sickle of v. 14] the smaller grape-knife with which the farmer cut the clusters of grapes from the vine.), saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” (to flourish, come to maturity) 19So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press (NASB: A rock-hewn trough about eight feet square with a channel leading to a lower and smaller trough. Grapes were thrown into the upper vat and trampled with bare feet. The juice was collected in the lower vat. At times mechanical pressure was added. The treading of grapes was a common OT figure for the execution of divine wrath [see Is 63:3; Lam 1:15; Joel 3:13].) of the wrath of God. 20And the wine press was trodden outside the city (NASB: Bloodshed would defile the city [see Joel 3:12-14; Zech 14:1-4; cf. Heb 13:12].), and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles (NASB: The approximate length of the Holy Land from north to south.). (BKC: Taken as a whole, Revelation 14 on the one hand refers to the preservation of the 144,000 through the Great Tribulation. And on the other hand it graphically declares some of the terrible judgments that will be inflicted on the world which rejects Christ and follows Satan’s substitute for the Lord.)

 

 

New American Standard Bible

A Scene of Heaven

 

(NASB: vv. 1-8: Introduces the last of the three sevenfold series of judgements-the bowls of wrath.)

15:1Then I saw another sign (of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen) in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues (a blow, wound), which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished (in the infliction of calamities, BKC: The final “sign” relates to the preceding great signs of the woman in 12:1 and the red dragon in 12:3. These seven angels should not be confused with the two groups of three angels in the preceding chapters [14:6-20] or with any other previous group of angels.).

2And I saw something like a sea of glass (hyálinos [an adjective, derived from /hýalos, “glass”] – made of glass [“glassy”]; “transparent as glass”. In Scripture, transparency is a greatly valued virtue, representing the Lord’s glory shining through [reflecting Himself!]. For example, “the glassy sea” surrounding the throne of God in heaven [Rev 4:6, 15:2] is apparently what reflects the Lord Himself, as manifested [reflected by] His saints. By God’s light, their sanctification-glorification has a spiritual transparency that reflects the image of Jesus Himself. This projects [reflects] the glory He invested in them as transformed [“transparent”] saints. In this way, the Lord gets all the glory – and believers have the incredible privilege of sharing [reflecting] it!) mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast (NASB: Cf. the saint’s victory over the devil in 12:11.) and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.

3And they sang the song of Moses (NASB: See Ex 15; Deut 32. Ex 15:1-8 was sung on Sabbath evenings in the synagogue to celebrate Israel’s great deliverance from Egypt.), the bond-servant (Slave; one who gives himself up wholly to another’s will) of God, and the song of the Lamb (NASB: The risen Lord triumphed over His enemies in securing spiritual deliverance for His followers [cf. Ps 22].), saying,

“Great and marvelous are Your works (See Ex 15:11; Ps 92:5; 111:2.),

O Lord God, the Almighty (he who holds sway over all things; the ruler of all. See Jer 10:10; cf. 1 Tim 1:17.);

Righteous and true (opposed to what is imperfect, defective, frail, uncertain) are Your ways,

King of the nations!

4“Who will not fear (to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience), O Lord, and glorify (to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate) Your name?

For You alone are holy;

For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU,

FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS (sentence of condemnation, punishment) HAVE BEEN REVEALED.” (NASB: Universal recognition of God is taught in both OT [Ps 86:9; Is 45:22-23; Mal 1:11] and the NT [Phil 2:9-11].) (BKC: This description of praise to God and prediction of universal worship is in keeping with many other Scriptures and relates, of course, to the second coming of Christ and worship of God by the entire world in the Millennial kingdom…The awful hour of wickedness and blasphemy against God, which will characterize the period leading up to the Second Coming, will be followed by a full vindication of God’s judgement and holiness in the next period.)

5After these things I looked, and the temple (in the visions of the Revelation used of the temple of the ‘New Jerusalem’) of the tabernacle (a tent; [at the end], the heavenly temple, in which was the tabernacle of the covenant, i. e. the inmost sanctuary oradytum. NASB: The dwelling place of God during the wilderness wandering of the Israelites [see Ex 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.]. It was so named because the ancient tent contained the two tablets of the Testimony brought down from Mount Sinai [Ex 32:15; 38:21; Deut 10:5].) of testimony (for a testimony unto them, that they may have testimony, i. e. evidence, in proof of this or that) in heaven was opened, 6and the seven angels who had the seven plagues (NASB: The last series of plagues [see v. 1]) came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean (physically) and bright (splendid, magnificent [gorgeous]), and girded around their chests with golden sashes (NASB: Symbolic of royal and priestly functions). 7Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God (NASB: Cf. 2 Thess 1:7-9 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power), who lives forever and ever. 8And the temple was filled with smoke (in the Sept. equivalent to יְהוָה כְּבוד, in the Targum and Talmud שְׁכִינָה, Shekinah or Shechinah, the glory of the Lord, and simply ἡ δόξα, a bright cloud by which God made manifest to men his presence and power on earth. NASB: Cf. Ex 40:34; 1 Kin 8:10-11; Ezek 44:4. Smoke symbolizes the power and glory of God.) from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. (BKC: Taken as a whole, Revelation 15:5-8 present a fearful picture of impending divine judgement on a wicked world. The judgements which are to be poured out [chap. 16] fully justify this ominous introduction.)

Is 46:8-10

8“Remember this, and be assured;

Recall it to mind, you transgressors.

9“Remember the former things long past,

For I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is no one like Me,

10Declaring the end from the beginning,

And from ancient times things which have not been done,

Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,

And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’

 

The Song of Moses

 

1“Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak;

And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

2“Let my teaching drop as the rain,

My speech distill as the dew,

As the droplets on the fresh grass

And as the showers on the herb.

3“For I proclaim the name of the LORD;

Ascribe greatness to our God!

4“The Rock! His work is perfect,

For all His ways are just;

A God of faithfulness and without injustice,

Righteous and upright is He.

5“They have acted corruptly toward Him,

They are not His children, because of their defect;

But are a perverse and crooked generation.

6“Do you thus repay the LORD,

O foolish and unwise people?

Is not He your Father who has bought you?

He has made you and established you.

7“Remember the days of old,

Consider the years of all generations.

Ask your father, and he will inform you,

Your elders, and they will tell you.

8“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,

When He separated the sons of man,

He set the boundaries of the peoples

According to the number of the sons of Israel.

9“For the LORD’S portion is His people;

Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.

 

10“He found him in a desert land,

And in the howling waste of a wilderness;

He encircled him, He cared for him,

He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.

11“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,

That hovers over its young,

He spread His wings and caught them,

He carried them on His pinions.

12“The LORD alone guided him,

And there was no foreign god with him.

13“He made him ride on the high places of the earth,

And he ate the produce of the field;

And He made him suck honey from the rock,

And oil from the flinty rock,

14Curds of cows, and milk of the flock,

With fat of lambs,

And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats,

With the finest of the wheat—

And of the blood of grapes you drank wine.

 

15“But Jeshurun (NASB: Means “the upright one,” i.e., Israel) grew fat and kicked—

You are grown fat, thick, and sleek—

Then he forsook God who made him,

And scorned the Rock of his salvation.

16“They made Him jealous with strange gods;

With abominations they provoked Him to anger.

17“They sacrificed to demons who were not God,

To gods whom they have not known,

New gods who came lately,

Whom your fathers did not dread.

18“You neglected the Rock who begot you,

And forgot the God who gave you birth.

19“The LORD saw this, and spurned them

Because of the provocation of His sons and daughters.

20“Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them,

I will see what their end shall be;

For they are a perverse generation,

Sons in whom is no faithfulness.

21‘They have made Me jealous with what is not God;

They have provoked Me to anger with their idols.

So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people;

I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation,

22For a fire is kindled in My anger,

And burns to the lowest part of Sheol,

And consumes the earth with its yield,

And sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

23‘I will heap misfortunes on them;

I will use My arrows on them.

24‘They will be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague

And bitter destruction;

And the teeth of beasts I will send upon them,

With the venom of crawling things of the dust.

25‘Outside the sword will bereave,

And inside terror—

Both young man and virgin,

The nursling with the man of gray hair.

26‘I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces,

I will remove the memory of them from men,”

27Had I not feared the provocation by the enemy,

That their adversaries would misjudge,

That they would say, “Our hand is triumphant,

And the LORD has not done all this.”’

28“For they are a nation lacking in counsel,

And there is no understanding in them.

29“Would that they were wise, that they understood this,

That they would discern their future!

30“How could one chase a thousand,

And two put ten thousand to flight,

Unless their Rock (NASB: Israel’s God, YHVH) had sold them,

And the LORD had given them up?

31“Indeed their rock (NASB: The god of Israel’s enemy) is not like our Rock,

Even our enemies themselves judge this.

32“For their vine is from the vine of Sodom,

And from the fields of Gomorrah;

Their grapes are grapes of poison,

Their clusters, bitter.

33“Their wine is the venom of serpents,

And the deadly poison of cobras.

34‘Is it not laid up in store with Me,

Sealed up in My treasuries? (NASB: The Lord’s plans for the future are fixed and certain. Sin will be punished in due time.)

35‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,

In due time their foot will slip;

For the day of their calamity is near,

And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

36“For the LORD will vindicate His people,

And will have compassion on His servants,

When He sees that their strength is gone,

And there is none remaining, bond or free.

37“And He will say, ‘Where are their gods,

The rock in which they sought refuge?

38‘Who ate the fat of their sacrifices,

And drank the wine of their drink offering?

Let them rise up and help you,

Let them be your hiding place!

39‘See now that I, I am He,

And there is no god besides Me;

It is I who put to death and give life.

I have wounded and it is I who heal,

And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

40‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven,

And say, as I live forever,

41If I sharpen My flashing sword,

And My hand takes hold on justice,

I will render vengeance on My adversaries,

And I will repay those who hate Me.

42‘I will make My arrows drunk with blood,

And My sword will devour flesh,

With the blood of the slain and the captives,

From the long-haired leaders of the enemy.’

43“Rejoice, O nations, with His people;

For He will avenge the blood of His servants,

And will render vengeance on His adversaries,

And will atone for His land and His people.”

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Six Bowls of Wrath

 

16:1Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”

2So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth (NASB: Compare the first four bowls [vv. 2-9] with the first four trumpets [vv. 8:7-12] .); and it became a loathsome (troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful: an evil, that which injures; with the suggestion of wildness and ferocity; substantially equivalent to bad, i. e. distressing, whether to mind or to body: a noisome and grievous sore) and malignant (bringing toils, annoyances, perils, causing pain and trouble [grievous]) sore (NASB: Cf. the boils and abscesses of the sixth Egyptian plague [Ex 9:9-11; see also Job 2:7-8, 13].) on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image. (BKC: The order is climactic and the judgements become more intensive and extensive as the time of the second coming of Christ approaches. All indications are that the bowl judgements fall with trip-hammer rapidity on a world that is reeling under previous judgements and a gigantic world war. Some bowl judgements are selective and extend only to the wicked [16:2, 8-11], and several affect parts of nature [sea, rivers, sun, etc.])

3The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.

4Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters (NASB: Cf. 8:10-11; see also Ps 78:44.); and they became blood (blood, literally [of men or animals]. BKC: For God’s work in turning the waters to blood is in response to the shedding of the blood of… saints and prophets [v. 6]. This is echoed by a word for the altar declaring the judgement just [v. 7; cf. 15:3]). 5And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were (Cf. Ex 3:14God said to Moses, “I AM [I exist] WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”), O Holy One, because You judged these things; 6for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink (NASB: Punishment is tailored to fit the crime [see Is 49:26“I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all flesh will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”]. BKC: Just as in the second trumpet, the blood here is analogous to the first plague in Egypt [Ex 7:20-25]. As most of the earth’s surface is covered by the seas, this is a worldwide, tremendous judgement.). They deserve it.” 7And I heard the altar (the altar of incense, which stood in the sanctuary or Holy place) saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”

8The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch (to burn with heat: to be tortured with intense heat) men with fire (NASB: Often connected with judgment in Scripture [see Deut 28:22“The LORD will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish. 1 Cor 3:13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 2 Pet 3:7But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.]). 9Men were scorched with fierce heat (BKC: It is clear from this and other prophecies that dramatic changes in climate will occur in the Great Tribulation.); and they blasphemed (specifically, of those who by contemptuous speech intentionally come short of the reverence due to God or to sacred things) the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent (expresses mental direction, the termini from which and to which may be specified: ἀπό τῆς κακίας, to withdraw or turn one’s soul from, etc. NASB: In 11:13 the nations were dazzled into homage by the great earthquake. Here they curse the name of God.) so as to give Him glory.

10Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne (equivalent to tribunal or bench: to Satan) of the beast (NASB: Cf. Satan in 2: ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. [message to the church in Pergamum, modern day Turkey] “Throne” occurs 42 times in Revelation. The other 40 references are to the throne of God.), and his kingdom became darkened (to obscure or blind — be full of darkness); and they gnawed (to chew) their tongues (NASB: CF. the scene in 6:15-17.) because of pain, 11and they blasphemed the God of heaven (NASB: Used in Dan 2:44 of the sovereign God, who destroys the kingdoms of the world and establishes His universal and eternal reign) because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent (expresses mental direction, the termini from which and to which may be specified: ἀπό τῆς κακίας, to withdraw or turn one’s soul from, etc. BKC: This is last reference in Revelation to a failure to repent [cf. 2:21; 9:21; 16:9; cf., however, 16:21].) of their deeds.

12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates (Euphrates, a large and celebrated river, which rises in the mountains of Armenia Major, flows through Assyria, Syria, Mesopotamia and the city of Babylon, and empties into the Persian Gulf.); and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east (NASB: Evidently Parthian rulers [17:15-18:24], to be distinguished from the “kings of the whole world” [v. 14], who wage the final war against Christ and the armies of heaven [19:11-12]. BKC: There has been endless speculation about “the kings from the East,” with many expositors trying to relate them to some contemporary leader or their generation. As survey of 100 commentaries of the Book of Revelation reveals at least 50 interpretations of the identity of the kings of the East. The simplest and best explanation, however, is that this refers to kings or rulers from the Orient or East who will participate in the final world war.

 

 

 

Armageddon

 

13And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon (is derived the figurative description of the devil in Revelation 12:3-17; Revelation 13:2, 4, 11; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 20:2; drákōn [from derkomai, “to see,” the root of the English term, “dragon”] – properly “seeing one,” used of mythical dragons [huge serpents] seeing their prey from far away; [figuratively] Satan [Rev 12:7,9] exercising his subtle [indirect] impact on heathen governments [powers] – i.e. accomplishing his hellish agenda from “behind the scenes.”) and out of the mouth of the beast (under the figurative of a ‘beast’ is depicted Antichrist, both his person and his kingdom and power) and out of the mouth of the false prophet (“one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies, a false prophet”), three unclean (demons, bad angels [in twenty-three passages of the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation: Matthew 10:1; Matthew 12:43; Mark 1:23, 26; Mark 3:11, etc.; Luke 4:33, 36; Luke 6:18, etc.; Acts 5:16; Acts 8:7; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 18:2 (πνεύματα πονηρά in Matthew 12:45; Luke 7:21; Luke 8:2; Luke 11:26; Acts 19:12f, 15f).]) spirits like frogs (NASB: Lev 11:10 classified the frog as an unclean animal. The imagery suggests the deceptive propaganda that will, in the last days, lead people to accept and support the cause of evil.); 14for they are spirits of demons, performing signs (cf. 13:13), which go out to the kings of the whole world (see 6:15), to gather them together (to gather together by convoking) for the war of the great day of God (NASB: See 19:11-21 for this battle.), the Almighty (pantokrátōr [from /pás, “all” and /kratéō, “prevail”] – properly, almighty; unrestricted power exercising absolute dominion. he who holds sway over all things; the ruler of all; almighty: of God, YHVH, God Most High [Gen 14:18-20, 22], Most High God [Heb 7:1]). 15(“Behold, I am coming like a thief [equivalent to to come unexpectedly]. Blessed (NASB: The third beatitude [notes from 1:3: The first of seven beatitudes in the book (see 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14). “Blessed” means much more than “happy.” It describes the favorable circumstances God has put a person in (see Matt 5:3)].) is the one who stays awake [to watch i. e. give strict attention to, be cautious, active: — to take heed lest through remissness and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one] and keeps [not to throw away] his clothes (BKC: Blessing is promised to the one who is prepared for the coming of the Lord by being attired in the righteousness or clothing which God Himself supplies.), so that he will not walk about naked [unclad] and men will not see his shame.” [unseemliness, an unseemly deed]) 16And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon (NASB: Or “Armageddon”; probably stands for “Har Mageddon,” the mountain of Megiddo. Many see no specific geographical reference in the designation and take it to be a symbol of the final overthrow of evil by God. BKC: Satan, knowing that the second coming of Christ is near, will gather all the military might of the world into the Holy Land to resist the coming of the Son of Man who will return to the Mount of Olives [Zech 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.]. Though the nations may be deceived in entering into the war in hopes of gaining world political power, the satanic purpose is to combat the armies from heaven [introduced in chap. 19] at the second coming of Christ. The war is said to continue right up to the day of the Second Coming and involves house-to-house fighting in Jerusalem itself on the day of the Lord’s return [Zech 14:1-3 1Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.]. … The war will be going on for some time, but the climax will come at Christ’s second coming. “Armageddon” comes from the Greek Harmagedōn, which transliterates the Hebrew words for Mount [har] of Megiddo. That mountain near the city of Megiddo and the plain of Esdraelon, the scene of many Old Testament battles.).

 

Seventh Bowl of Wrath

 

17Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19The great city (the city in which one lives) was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations (éthnos [from ethō, “forming a custom, culture”] – properly, people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles [non-Jews].) fell. Babylon (Babylṓn – Babylon, the wicked, godless city in ancient Mesopotamia, was the most powerful city in the world in OT times [especially from 605 bc to 539 bc]; hence allegorically of Rome, from the point of view of the Christian people; “gate of god(s),” Babylon, a large city situated astride the Euphrates river. Literal Babylon is referred to in Mt 1:11,12 and Ac 7:19. BKC: The great city which split into three parts refers to the destruction of Babylon. The most important event, however, is that the cities of the nations collapsed. The huge earthquake will reduce to rubble all the cities of the nations [Gentiles]. The stage is thus being set for the second coming of Christ. Obviously in the collapse of the world’s cities there will be tremendous loss of life and destruction of what is left of the world empire.) the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce (glow, ardor: the wine of passion, inflaming wine [which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its deadly heat; cf. Isaiah 51:17, 22; Jeremiah 32:1 [ff]: Revelation 14:8; Revelation 18:3; with τοῦ Θεοῦ added, which God gives the drinker, Revelation 14:10; with τῆς ὀργῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ added [fierceness], Revelation 16:19; Revelation 19:15) wrath (i. e. because disobedience is visited with punishment, Romans 13:5. The ὀργή [wrath] attributed to God in the N. T. is that in God which stands opposed to man’s disobedience, obduracy [especially in resisting the gospel] and sin, and manifests itself in punishing the same BKC: … “the great city” here is specifically Babylon, as indicated in 16:19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. God will give Babylon the cup filled with the wine of the fury of His wrath, that is, she will experience a terrible outpouring of His judgment.). 20And every island fled away (to flee altar equivalent to vanish), and the mountains were not found (BKC: … if taken literally, indicate topographical changes in the earth which eventually will also include great changes in the Holy Land in preparation for Christ’s millennial kingdom.). 21And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed (specifically, of those who by contemptuous speech intentionally come short of the reverence due to God or to sacred things. [Alice cf. Rom 1: the depths of the depravity of man. This is a good example of it.]) God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (BKC: The question is sometimes raised why eternal punishment is eternal. The answer is that people in the hardness of their hearts will not change; they deserve eternal punishment because they are eternally unrepentant. With the final destruction coming from the seventh bowl of the wrath of God, the stage will then be set for the dramatic and climactic second coming of Christ, revealed in chapter 19. Before this event, however, a future detailed description is given of Babylon in chapters 17-18.)

 

(Compare the first four bowls [vv. 2-9] with the first four trumpets [8:7-12]: Rev 8:7-12 The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed. The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters. The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter. The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.)

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Doom of Babylon

 

(There are at least two or more views recorded in this post, but primarily those of NASB and BKC. Hopefully this will be helpful. Also consult Bland and Constable’s notes on this chapter. Thanks.)

17:1Then one of the seven angels (Cf. 15:1;16) who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot (NASB: See v. 18 for the angel’s own identification of this symbol. In 17:5 the harlot is named “Babylon the Great.”) who sits on many waters (figuratively used of many peoples, Revelation 17:1, as the seer himself explains it in Revelation 17:15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. Cf. Nahum 2:8Though Nineveh was like a pool of water throughout her days, Now they are fleeing; “Stop, stop,” But no one turns back. NASB: Cf. Ps 137:1By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down and wept, When we remembered Zion. Jer 51:13“Your wealth and your treasures I will give for booty without cost, Even for all your sins And within all your borders. BKC: This evil woman symbolizes the religious system of Babylon… in other words, they [kings of the earth] had become a part of the religious system which she symbolized [cf. 14:8]) 2with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” (to permit oneself to be drawn away by another into idolatry) 3And he carried me away in the Spirit (NASB: In a state of spiritual ecstasy) into a wilderness (solitary, desolate, a desert); and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet (crimson) beast (NASB: The beast that rose out of the sea in ch. 13.), full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns (BKC: The beast is an obvious reference to the world government [13:1]. The 10 horns are later defined [17:12] as 10 kings who had “not yet received a kingdom.” The 7 heads seem to refer to prominent rulers of the yet-future Roman Empire.). 4The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations (in the O. T. often used of idols and things pertaining to idolatry, to be held in abomination by the Israelites; hence, in the N. T. in Revelation 17:4f of idol-worship and its impurities) and of the unclean (in a moral sense, unclean in thought and life) things of her immorality, 5and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery (Like רָזָא and סוד in rabbinic writers, it denotes the mystic or hidden sense: of a name), “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (BKC: This [the cup in the woman’s hand] confirms previous indications that her character and life are symbolic of false religion, confirmed by the [writing on her forehead]. The Bible is full of information about Babylon as the source of false religion, the record beginning with the building of the tower of Babel [Gen 10-11]. The name “Babel” suggests “confusion” [Gen 11:9]. Later the name was applied to the city of Babylon which itself has a long history dating back to as early as 3,000 years before Christ. One of its famous rulers was Hammurabi [1728-1686 B.C.]. After a period of decline Babylon again rose to great heights under Nebuchadnezzar about 600 years before Christ. Nebuchadnezzar’s reign [605-562 B.C.] and the subsequent history of Babylon is the background of the Book of Daniel. Babylon was important not only politically but also religiously. Nimrod, who founded Babylon [Gen 10:8-12], had a wife known as Semiramis who founded the secret religious rites of the Babylonian mysteries, according to accounts outside the Bible. Semiramis had a son with an alleged miraculous conception who was given the name Tammuz and in effect was a false fulfillment of the promise of the seed of the woman given to Eve [Gen 3:15]. Various religious practices were observed in connection with this false Babylonian religion, including recognition of the mother and child as God and of creating an order of virgins who became religious prostitutes. Tammuz, according to the tradition, was killed by a wild animal and then restored to life, a satanic anticipation and counterfeit of Christ’s resurrection. Scripture condemns this false religion repeatedly [Jer 7:18; 44:17-19, 25; Ezek 8:14.] The worship of Baal is related to the worship of Tammuz… When the teachers of the Babylonian mystery religions later moved from Pergamum to Rome, they were influential in paganizing Christianity and were the source of many so-called religious rites which have crept into ritualistic churches. Babylon then is the symbol of apostasy and blasphemous substitution of idol-worship for the worship of God in Christ. In this passage Babylon comes to its final judgement.) 6And I saw the woman drunk (of one who has shed blood profusely) with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses (See 6:9When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained) of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered (to marvel) greatly. 7And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

8“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about (of what is sure to happen) to come (NASB: An obvious imitation of the description of the Lamb [1:18“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 2:8“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this]. Cf. the description of God in [1:4John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne. Rev 1:8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 4:8And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”] Here the phrase seems to mean that the beast appeared once, is not presently evident, but will in the future again make his presence known, Evil is persistent.) up out of the abyss (of the dragon, both as the common receptacle of the dead, Romans 10:7, and especially as the abode of demons) and go to destruction (in particular, the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of God. NASB: Although evil is real and persistent, there is no uncertainty about its ultimate fate.). And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come (to be present, to have come). 9“Here is the mind (the intellective faculty, the understanding) which has wisdom (the intelligence evinced in discovering the meaning of some mysterious number or vision). The seven heads are seven mountains (NASB: It is perhaps significant that Rome began as a network of seven hill settlements on the left bank of the Tiber. Her designation as the city on seven hills is commonplace among Roman writers [e.g. Virgil, Martial, Cicero].) on which the woman sits, 10and they are seven kings (NASB: That seven heads symbolize both seven hills and seven kings illustrates the fluidity of apocalyptic symbolism, unless the hills are figurative for royal [or political] power.); five have fallen (equivalent to to be removed from power by death), one is, the other (another of the same kind; another of a similar type; another [of more than two], different. NASB: Taken (1) as seven actual Roman emperors, (2) as seven secular empires or (3) symbolically as the power of the Roman empire as a whole. BKC: A close study of the passage does not support the conclusion that this refers to the city of Rome. Seiss, for instance, offers extensive evidence that the reference is to rulers rather than to physical mountains [The Apocalypse, pp. 391-94]. This is supported by the text which explains, They are also seven kings [lit, “the seven heads are seven kings”]. If the mountains represent kings, then obviously they are not literal mountains and refer not to a literal Rome but to persons.) has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11“The beast which was and is not (NASB: Cf. 13:3I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast), is himself also an eighth (NASB: The antichrist, who plays the role of a king [“is one of the seven”] but is in reality part of the cosmic struggle between God and Satan.) and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction (/apṓleia (“perdition”) does not imply “annihilation” (see the meaning of the root-verb, 622 /apóllymi, “cut off”) but instead “loss of well-being” rather than being (Vine’s Expository Dictionary, 165; cf. Jn 11:50; Ac 5:37; 1 Cor 10:9-10; Jude 11); ruin, loss, perishing; eternal ruin). 12“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour (NASB: A short time). 13“These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.

 

Victory for the Lamb

 

14“These will wage war against the Lamb (Yehoshua), and the Lamb will overcome (of Christ the conqueror of his foes) them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings (NASB: Emphasizes the supreme sovereignty of the Lamb [cf. Deut 10:17“For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. Ps 136:2-3 Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Dan 2:47The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 1 Tim 6:15He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords]), and those who are with Him are the called (Adjective) (“invited (by God in the proclamation of the gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God through Christ”) and chosen (Adjective) (chosen by God, and to obtain salvation through Christ (see ἐκλέγω); hence, Christians are called οἱ ἐκλεκτοί τοῦ Θεοῦ, the chosen or elect of God; chosen out, elect, choice, select, sometimes as substantive/noun: of those chosen out by God for the rendering of special service to Him [of the Hebrew race, particular Hebrews, the Messiah, and the Christians (believers)]; eklektós [an adjective, derived from /eklégomai, “to select, choose,” also used as a substantive/noun] – properly, selected [chosen from, out of], especially as a deeply personal choice – literally “chosen, out of a personal preference [intention].”) and faithful.” (Adjective) (one who has become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and the author of salvation [a believer])

15And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues (BKC: Verse 1stated that the woman “sits on many waters.” These waters are now interpreted as peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. This indicates that there will be one ecumenical world religious system, embracing all nations and languages.). 16“And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot (metaphorically, an idolatress; so of ‘Babylon’ i. e. Rome, the chief seat of idolatry) and will make her desolate (to make desolate, lay waste; in the N. T. only in the passive, to despoil one, strip her of her treasures Revelation 17:16) and naked (unclad, without clothing), and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17“For God has put it in their hearts (to put into one’s mind the design of doing a thing) to execute (to carry out, to do) His purpose (decree) by having a common (one and the same) purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled (to accomplish; to bring to an end, complete). 18“The woman whom you saw is the great city (See notes on v. 1.), which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

 

 

 

New American Standard Bible

Babylon Is Fallen

 

18:1After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority (“physical and mental power; the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises”; power to act), and the earth was illumined (to enlighten, light up: shone with his glory) with his glory (CF. Ex 34:29-35; Ps 104:2; Ezek 43:1-5; 1 Tim 6:16). 2And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen (i. e. has been overthrown, destroyed) is Babylon (Cf. Is 21:9“Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.” And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; And all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground.” Jer 51:8Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; Wail over her! Bring balm for her pain; Perhaps she may be healed.) the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird (BKC: A comparison of chapters 17 and 18 reveals that these are different events. The woman in chapter 17 was associated with the political power but was not the political power itself, and her destruction apparently brought no mourning from the earth. By contrast the destruction of Babylon in chapter 18 brings loud lamentation from the earth’s political and economic powers. Instead of being destroyed and consumed by the 10 kings, here the destruction seems to come from an earthquake, and it is probable that this is an enlarged explanation of what was described in 16:19-21. What is pictured here is a large prosperous city, the center of political and economic life… The description in verses 12-13 indicates the great luxury and wealth of the city. This obviously refers to an economic and political situation rather than a religious one.). 3“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality (In accordance with a form of speech common in the O. T. and among the Jews which represents the close relationship existing between Jehovah and his people under the figure of a marriage, πορνεία is used metaphorically of the worship of idols.), and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality (to permit oneself to be drawn away by another into idolatry) with her, and the merchants (a passenger on shipboard) of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” (strḗnos [from strēnēs, “rough, grating”] – properly, excessive, strong desire that “longs to break forth” [J. Thayer], i.e. in self-indulgent luxury [used only in Rev 18:3]. BKC: This false religion is like a drug that drives men to madness. While it brought riches to merchants, it is now doomed for destruction.)

4I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her (NASB: A common prophetic warning [cf. Is 52:11; Jer 51:45; 2 Cor 6:17]), my people ([Hebrew יְהוָה עַם, הָאֱלֹהִים עַם], the people whom God has chosen for himself, selected as peculiarly his own: Hebrews 11:25; Matthew 2:6; Luke 1:68; Luke 7:16; without the article Jude 1:5; the name is transferred to the community of Christians, as that which by the blessing of Christ has come to take the place of the theocratic people of Israel, Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 18:4), so that you will not participate (to become a partaker together with others, or to have fellowship with a thing) in her sins (hamartía– properly, no-share [“no part of”]; loss [forfeiture] because not hitting the target; sin [missing the mark]. 266 /hamartía [“sin, forfeiture because missing the mark”] is the brand of sin that emphasizes its self-originated [self-empowered] nature – i.e. it is not originated or empowered by God [i.e. not of faith, His inworked persuasion, cf. Ro 14:23 23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.]; to have sin as though it were one’s odious private property, or to have done something needing expiation, equivalent to to have committed sin) and receive of her plagues; 5for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities (adíkēma [a neuter noun derived from /adikía, “unrighteousness”] – unrighteousness; a violation of God’s justice/judgments with emphasis on its results – i.e. wrongdoing as it brings certain divine retribution.). 6“Pay her back (to give up, give back, return, restore; to requite, recompense, in a good or a bad sense) even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed (to pour out for drinking [cf. 17:4]), mix twice as much for her. 7“To the degree that she glorified (praise, extol, magnify, celebrate) herself and lived sensuously (to be wanton, to live luxuriously), to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW (a city stripped of inhabitants and riches is represented under the figure of a widow. NASB: A claim that the men of Babylon have not died on the battlefield.), and will never see mourning.’ 8“For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence (properly, the death of the body, i. e. that separation [whether natural or violent] of the soul from the body by which the life on earth is ended; thánatos [derived from /thnḗskō, “to die”] – physical or spiritual death; [figuratively] separation from the life [salvation] of God forever by dying without first experiencing death to self to receive His gift of salvation.) and mourning and famine (scarcity of harvest), and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong (mighty).

 

 

Lament for Babylon

 

(NASB: Three groups lament: (1) kings [v. 9], (2) merchants [v. 11] and (3) seamen [v. 17]. The passage is modeled after Ezekiel’s lament over Tyre [Ezek 27]. Fifteen of the 29 commodities in vv. 12-13 are also listed in Ezek 27:12-22.)

9“And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament (to mourn or bewail one) over her (NASB: Probably because of their own great financial loss [see v. 11]) when they see the smoke of her burning, 10standing at a distance because of the fear (panic flight, fear, the causing of fear, terror; /phóbos [“fear”] means withdraw [separate from], i.e. flee [remove oneself] and hence to avoid because of dread [fright]) of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment (Specifically, sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment) has come.’

11“And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes (a ship’s freight) any more— 12cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple (NASB: An expensive dye since it must be extracted a drop at a time from the murex shellfish.) and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood (NASB: An expensive dark wood from north Arica-used for inlay work in costly furniture.) and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble (NASB: Used to decorate public buildings and the homes of the very rich.), 13and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense (NASB: Brought by the magi as gifts for the infant Jesus [Matt 2:11].) and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives (NASB: Slave trade). 14“The fruit (ripe fruit) you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15“The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’(to reduce to naught) And every shipmaster (steersman, helmsman, sailing-master. NASB: The pilot of the ship rather than the owner. Both are mentioned in Acts 27:11.) and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19“And they threw dust on their heads (NASB: An act of sorrow and dismay [see Ezek 27:30].) and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth (preciousness, costliness; an abundance of costly things; timiótēs [a feminine noun, derived from the feminine noun /timḗ, “perceived value, worth”] – that brand of wealth which has overwhelming value in the eyes of the beholder [incredibly, personally esteemed]. This emphatic term is used only in Rev 18:19.), for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ 20“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”

21Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone (NASB: Similar to the large millstone of Mark 9:42, which was actually a “donkey millstone” [one large enough to require a donkey to turn it.]) and threw it into the sea (BKC: The final and violent destruction of the city is compared to throwing a large millstone… into the sea.), saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. 22“And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived (to be led away into error and sin) by your sorcery (tropically, of the deceptions and seductions of idolatry). 24“And in her was found the blood of prophets (See 6:10; 17:6; 19:2; cf. Ezek 24:7.) and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.” (BKC: The question remains as to what city is in view here. A common view is that it refers to the city of Rome, because of the prominence of Rome as the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the capital of the ancient Roman Empire. Some find confirmation of this in the fact that the kings and sea merchants will be able to see the smoke of the burning of the city [18:9, 18]. Other evidence seems to point to the fact that it is Babylon itself, located on the Euphrates River, which in the end time will be converted into a ship-bearing river. When all the evidence is studied, the conclusion seems to point to Babylon being rebuilt as the capital of the world empire in the end time rather to Rome in Italy. Bible expositors, however, continue to be divided on this question…. The destruction of the city of Babylon is the final blow to the times of the Gentiles, which began when the Babylonian army attacked Jerusalem in 605 B.C. [cf. Luke 21:24]. With chapters 17 and 18 giving additional insight and information concerning the earth’s major religious and political movements during that final seven years, the stage is now set for the climax of the Book of Revelation-the second coming of Christ [chap. 19].)

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The Fourfold Hallelujah

 

19:1After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! (praise ye the Lord. NASB: Occurs four times in vv. 1-6 but nowhere else in the NT. It is derived from two Hebrew words meaning “Praise the Lord.”) Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting (the character of the inhabitants of the earth) the earth with her immorality (the worship of idols), and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” 3And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.” 4And the twenty-four elders ([Note three different views:] the twenty-four members of the heavenly Sanhedrin or court, seated on thrones around the throne of God. NASB: Representative of either the whole company of believers in heaven or an exalted angelic order worshiping and serving God there [see vv. 9-11; 5:5-14; 7:11-7; 11:16-18; 14:3; 19:4]. The number 24 is often understood to reflect the 12 Israelite tribes of the OT and the 12 apostles of the NT. BKC: This is another reminder that the 24 elders, representing the church of the present Age, are distinguished from the Tribulation saints, described in verse 1 as “a great multitude.”) and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God (Yehoshua) who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear (to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience) Him, the small and the great.” 6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns (I obtained royal power, became king, have come to reign).

 

Marriage of the Lamb

 

7“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb (NASB: The imagery of a wedding to express the intimate relationship between God and His people has its roots in the prophetic literature of the OT [e.g. Is 54:5-7; Hos 2:19]. Cf. the NT usage [Matt 22:2-14; Eph 5:32]. BKC: In the New Testament, marriage is also used to describe the relationship between Christ and the church, but the illustration contrasts with the Old Testament, for the church is regarded as a virgin bride waiting the coming of her heavenly bridegroom [2 Cor 11:2].) has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8It was given to her to clothe (to put on or clothe oneself) herself in fine linen (Rev 19:8: “It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen [/býssinos], bright and clean; for the fine linen [/býssinos] is the righteous acts of the saints”.), bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (/dikaíōma [“an act which is right according to the Lord”] is “an act of righteousness, a concrete expression of righteousness” which correlates to its profound [eternal] effect. For the believer, this particularly relates to their unique glorification awarded at Christ’s return. BKC: While some think this refers to that fact that the saints are justified by faith, the plural expression “the righteous acts” seems to refer to the righteous deeds wrought by the saints through the grace of God. Though all this has been made possible by the grace of God, the emphasis here seems to be on the works of the bride rather than on her standing as one who has been justified by faith. [Alice: See Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.]).

9Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed (NASB: The fourth beatitude) are those who are invited (to give some name to one, call his name: passive; to call) to the marriage supper (wedding dinner) of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true (lit., made of truth) words of God.” 10Then I fell at his feet to worship (to do reverence to) him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus (God, in the prophecies of Scripture concerning Jesus title Messiah, in the endowments conferred upon him, in the works done by him, John 5:36; through the Holy Spirit (NASB: Essence), in the Christian’s blessed consciousness of eternal life and of reconciliation with God, obtained by baptism [Alice: Not baptismal regeneration. See 1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us [not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.] and the expiatory death of Christ, with a subject. genitive) is the spirit of prophecy.” (the spirit of prophecy, the divine mind, to which the prophetic faculty is due. BKC: … the very nature or purpose of prophecy is to testify of Jesus Christ and to bring glory to Him.)

 

The Coming of Christ

 

11And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse (NASB: Probably not the white horse of 6:2. The context here indicates that the rider is Christ returning as Warrior-Messiah-King.), and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12His eyes are a flame of fire (BKC: His piercing judgement of sin is indicted in these words.), and on His head are many diadems (/diádēma [“a royal crown”] is used three times in the NT – referring to: a) the pagan empires of ancient history which opposed God [Rev 12:3]; b) the end-times coalition led by Antichrist (Rev 13:1); and c) the infinite majesty [kingship] of Christ [Rev 19:12]; a diadem, i. e. the blue band marked with white with which Persian kings used to bind on the turban or tiara; the kingly ornament for the head.); and He has a name written (NASB: A secret name whose meaning is veiled from all created beings. BKC: … suggesting that Christ is the ineffable, indescribable One.) on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood (NASB: Either the blood of the enemy shed in conflict [cf. 14:14-20; Is 63:1-3], or the blood of Christ shed to atone for sin. BKC: That He is coming to judge [19:13; cf. Isa 63:2-3; Rev 14:20]), and His name is called The Word (In several passages in the writings of John ὁ λόγος denotes the essential Word of God, i. e. the personal [hypostatic] wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in the creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world’s life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man’s salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah and shone forth conspicuously from his words and deeds; [with the article in John] the Divine Expression [i.e. Christ]) of God. 14And the armies which are in heaven (NASB: Angelic beings [cf. Deut 33:2; Ps 68:17]; possibly also believers [cf. 17:14]), clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron (NASB: Symbolic of the strength of his rule [see 12:5]); and He treads (to trample, crush with the feet) the wine press (NASB: A rock-hewn trough about eight feet square with a channel leading to a lower and smaller trough. Grapes were thrown into the upper vat and trampled with bare feet. The juice was collected in the lower vat. At times mechanical pressure was added. The treading of grapes was a common OT figure for the execution of divine wrath [see Is 63:3; Lam 1:15; Joel 3:13].) of the fierce wrath (attributed to God in the N. T. is that in God which stands opposed to man’s disobedience, obduracy [especially in resisting the gospel] and sin, and manifests itself in punishing the same) of God, the Almighty (BKC: This scene is a dramatic indication of the awfulness of the impending judgement. Matthew 24:30 indicates that those on earth will be witnesses of this impressive scene.). 16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS (basileús – a king [sovereign]; often referring to Christ who is “the King of kings” [Rev 19:16], i.e. the King over the Kingdom of the heavens [God]. As the King, Jesus Christ has unqualified jurisdiction over all creation – also being God the Creator. [cf. Jn 1:1-3,49].), AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Supreme Lord. NASB: Emphasizes the supreme sovereignty of the Lamb [cf. Deut 10:17; Ps 136:2-3; Dan 2:47; 1 Tim 6:15.])

 

(SB: vv. 19:17-21 These verses depict the frightening holocaust unparalleled in human history-the battle of Armageddon, the pinnacle of the day of the Lord. It is not so much a battle as an execution, as the remaining rebels are killed by the Lord Jesus Rev 19:21. This day of the Lord was seen by Isaiah [Is 66:15-16, Joel [Joel: 3:12-21], Ezekiel [Ezek 39:1-4; 17-20], Paul [2 Thess 1:6ff.; and our Lord [Matt 25:31-46]. BKC: The scene on earth is the final stage of the great world war that will be under way for many weeks. With armies battling up and down the Holy Land for victory, on the very day of the return of Christ there will be house-to-house fighting in Jerusalem itself [Zech 14:2]. Combatants will have been lured to the battle site by demons sent by Satan to assemble the armies of the world to fight the armies of heaven [cf. Rev 16:12-16].)

17Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God (NASB: A grim contrast to the “marriage supper of the Lamb” [v. 9; Ezek 39:17-20].), 18so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

19And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

 

Doom of the Beast and False Prophet

 

20And the beast (SB: In this instant, the world’s armies are without their leaders. The beast is Antichrist; the false prophet is his religious cohort) was seized (to take, capture), and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone (NASB: Punishment by fire is prominent in both Biblical and non-Biblical Jewish writing. Although the designation “gehenna” is not used here, this is what John referred to. Originally the site of a cultic shrine where human sacrifices were offered [2 King 16:3; 23:10; Jer 7:31], it came to be equated with the “hell” of final judgement in apocalyptic literature. SB: See … [Dan 7:11]- the first of countless millions of unregenerate men [20:15] and fallen angels [cf. Matt 25:41] to arrive in that dreadful place…]). 21And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh (SB: All remaining sinners in the world will have been executed, and the birds will gorge themselves on their corpse. BKC: The world rulers-the beast and the false prophet-will both be captured. Their former miraculous demonic power will no longer be sufficient to save them… The wicked who have died throughout the history of the world up to this point are in hades [Luke 16:23]. The fiery lake, a different place, was prepared for the devil and his angels [Matt 25:41], and will not be occupied by human beings until later [Rev 20:14-15] … The defeat of the earth’s wicked will then be complete, and will be finalized as later judgements search out the unsaved in other parts of the earth and also kill them [cf. Matt 25:31-45] … The Bible is clear that judgment awaits the wicked, and the second coming of Christ is the occasion for a worldwide judgement unparalleled in Scripture since the time of Noah’s flood.).

 

New American Standard Bible

Satan Bound

 

(NASB: vv. 20:1-22:21: These last three chapters reflect many of the subjects and themes of the first three chapters in Genesis.)

20:1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss (both as the common receptacle of the dead, Romans 10:7, and especially as the abode of demons) and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold of the dragon (a dragon, a great serpent, a fabulous animal. From it, after Genesis 3:1ff, is derived the figurative description of the devil in), the serpent (a snake; The serpent narrated to have deceived Eve was regarded by the later Jews as the devil.) of old, who is the devil (prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely; Satan, the prince of demons, the author of evil, persecuting good men (Job 1; Zechariah 3:1ff, cf. Revelation 12:10), estranging mankind from God and enticing them to sin, and afflicting them with diseases by means of demons who take possession of their bodies at his bidding; the malignant enemy of God and the Messiah.) and Satan (the adversary), and bound him for a thousand years; 3and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed (closed and then sealed) it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years. Cf. Constable’s Notes, p 214ff; he points out that although Satan was bound during the Millennium, unbeliever’s hearts still did not change, they did not repent, and they rebelled against God [p. 215]. (NASB: The millennium (from the Latin mille, “thousand,” and annus, “year”]. It is taken literally by some as 1,000 actual years, while others interpret it metaphorically as a long but undetermined period of time. There are three basic approaches to the subject of the millennium; 1. Amillennialism: The millennium describes the present reign of the souls of deceased believers with Christ in heaven. The present form of God’s kingdom will be followed by Christ’s return, the general resurrection, the final judgement and Christ’s continuing reign over the perfect kingdom on the new earth in the eternal state. 2. Premillennialism: The present form of God’s kingdom is moving toward a grand climax when Christ will return, the first resurrection will occur and His kingdom will find expression in a literal, visible reign of peace and righteousness on the earth in space-time history. After the final resurrection, the last judgement and the renewal of the heavens and the earth, this future, temporal kingdom will merge into the eternal kingdom, and the Lord will reign forever on the new earth. 3. Postmillennialism: The world will eventually be Christianized, resulting in a long period of peace and prosperity called the millennium. This future period will close with Christ’s second coming, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgement and the eternal state.) were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time (See vv. 7-10).

4Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them (BKC: The fact that John could see them implies that they had received intermediate bodies in heaven and were awaiting their resurrections [Constable holds that those sitting on the throne were raptures saints that had returned to earth with Christ, see pp. 125-126] … A distinction should be made between what John saw and what he received as revelation [a pretribulation view: the church (Jew, Gentile, and OT saints, cf. Heb 11:39-40) will have been raptured and changed before the Great Tribulation. (Constable holds that OT saints and Great Tribulation martyrs will be resurrected at the second coming of Christ, see p. 217. He also holds that saints that died during the Millennium will be resurrected at the final judgment, but their names are written in the Lambs Book of Life, see vv. 12-13, p. 218. Alice: I hold that the elect died and rose “in Christ;” when He died, they died; when He rose, they rose. Therefore, OT saints and NT saints are “in Christ,” cf. Heb 11:39-40. When NT saints receive their glorified bodies, OT saints will receive theirs as well. NT saints’ works will be judged, cf. 1 Cor 3:12-15. Saints that died during the Millennium will be raised at the final judgment and receive their glorified bodies; those that did not die during this period will receive theirs also because their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.).], and judgment (kríma [derived from /krínō, “to distinguish, judge”] – judgment, emphasizing its result. This is everlasting damnation [torment] for the unredeemed– or the eternal benefits that come from the Lord’s judgment in favor of the redeemed; the power and business of judging.) was given to them. And I saw the souls (Cf. Rev 6:9-10When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”) of those who had been beheaded (See 6:9-11) because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life (to be no longer dead, to recover life, be restored to life. NASB: The “first resurrection” [v. 5]) and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5The rest of the dead (NASB: Either the wicked or everyone [OT unbelievers and the wicked that died in the Great Tribulation] except the martyrs [see v. 4].) did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed (NASB: The fifth beatitude) and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death (Man is a “living soul” [cf. Gen 2:7], i.e., material and immaterial, i.e., body and spirt. All that unbelievers are will spend eternity in the lake of fire. NASB: Defined in v. 14 as the “’lake of fire” [cf. 21:8].) has no power (to destroy one), but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

 

Satan Freed, Doomed

 

7When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8and will come out to deceive the nations (BKC: Who are these who will follow Satan? Those who survive the Tribulation will enter the Millennium in their natural bodies, and they will bear children and repopulate the earth [Is 65:18-25]. Under ideal circumstances in which all know about Jesus Christ [cf. Jer 31:33-34], many will outwardly profess faith in Christ without actually placing faith in Him for salvation. The shallowness of their professions will become apparent when Satan is released. The multitude who follows Satan are evidently those who have never been born again in the millennial kingdom.) which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog (Gog, in Ezekiel a king of Magog, a land of the remote north; hence, in Revelation, of a people far remote from Palestine. ; indeclinable proper name, Gog, king of the land of Magog, who it is said in Ezekiel 38f will come from the remote north, with innumerable hosts of his own nation as well as of allies, and will attack the people of Israel, re-established after the exile; but by divine interposition he will be utterly destroyed. Hence, in Revelation 20:8f ὁ Γώγ and ὁ Μαγώγ are used collectively to designate the nations that at the close of the millennial reign, instigated by Satan, will break forth from the four quarters of the earth against the Messiah’s kingdom, but will be destroyed by fire from heaven. NASB: Symbolize the nations of the world as they band together for a final assault on God. The OT background is Ezek 38-39.) and Magog ([Hebrew], Magog, sometimes as name of a people, sometimes as name of a country in the Old Testament, probably the Scythians; hence: used in apocalyptic literature; Of Hebrew origin [Magowg]; Magog, a foreign nation, i.e. [figuratively] an Antichristian party — Magog.), to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city (Jerusalem is called, on account of the temple erected there, πόλις τοῦ μεγάλου βασιλέως, i. e. in which the great King of Israel, Jehovah, has his abode, Matthew 5:35; Psalm 47:2; the beloved of God,), and fire came down from heaven and devoured (to devour i. e. utterly consume, destroy) them. 10And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night (Cf. 14:10) forever and ever.

 

Judgment at the Throne of God

 

11Then I saw a great white (of the heavenly throne) throne and Him (Yehoshua) who sat upon it, from whose presence (to flee in terror from the face of one enraged) earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne (second resurrection. BKC: The purpose of establishing the great white throne is to judge the dead. From other Scriptures it seems that all the righteous dead have been raised, including Old Testament saints, the dead of the Great Tribulation, and the church saints, the body of Christ. Thus it may be assumed that verses 11-15 refer to judgement of the wicked dead, who according to verse 5 would not be resurrected until after the thousand years and will have no part in what is called “the first resurrection.” Alice: In this view I am assuming the author is implying that no one will die during the Millennium unless it is an unbeliever, [in context] particularly not a saint, and that no one born will be saved either.), and books were opened (recorded deeds of the unsaved); and another book was opened, which is the book of life (the book in which the names of those are recorded to whom eternal life has been decreed); and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds (NASB: The principle of judgment on the basis of works is taught in Ps 62:12; Jer 17:10; Rom 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17 and elsewhere). 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades (the unseen world; properly, the “unseen place,” referring to the [invisible] realm in which all the dead reside, i.e. the present dwelling place of all the departed [deceased]; the nether world, the realm of the dead; it denotes, therefore, in Biblical Greek Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark [Job 10:21] and dismal place in the very depths of the earth [Job 11:8; Isaiah 57:9; Amos 9:2, etc.], the common receptacle of disembodied spirits: Hades as a power is personified, Revelation 6:8; Revelation 20:13f.) gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Alice: First [spiritual] death: see Rom 5:12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 1 Co 15:22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive [BKC: All who are “in Adam”-i.e., his descendants-suffer death. All who are “in Christ”-i.e., who are related to Him by faith-will be made alive at the resurrection [cf. John 5:25; 1 Thess 4:16-17; Rev 20:6].), the lake of fire. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

 

 

Please review Constable’s chart of “Resurrections,” “Dr. Constable’s Notes,” page 219: http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm (There are other resources by Constable which can be accessed by doing a “search” on Dr. Constable’s Notes). Dr. Bland’s chapter 21 is the second post today.

 

New American Standard Bible

The New Heaven and Earth

 

(NASB: vv. 21:2-22:5: The “holy city” combines elements of Jerusalem, the temple and the Garden of Eden.)

21:1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away (of an evanescent state of things), and there is no longer any sea. 2And I saw the holy (on account of the temple there) city, new (new, which as recently made is superior to what it succeeds) Jerusalem (BKC: The New Jerusalem is called “the Holy City,” in contrast with the earthly Jerusalem [which spiritually was compared to Sodom in 11:8] … BKC: The New Jerusalem is described as it will be in the eternal state, and it is said to be “a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” Because the church is pictured in Scripture as a bride [2 Cor 11:2], some have tried to identify the New Jerusalem’s inhabitants as specifically the church saints, excluding saints of other dispensations. However, the use of marriage as an illustration is common in Scripture, not only to relate Christ to the church but also Yahweh to Israel. Though the city is compared to a beautifully dressed bride, it actually is a city, not a person or group of people.), coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle (tent; with a reference to this use of the word, it is declared that when the kingdom of God is perfectly established will be analogous to tent) of God (Cf. Lev 26:11-12; Ezek 37:27; 2 Cor 6:16.) is among men, and He will dwell (to have one’s tent) among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them (BKC: In eternity saints will enjoy a new intimacy with God which is impossible in a world where sin and death are sill present.), 4and He will wipe away every tear (Cf. 7:17; Is 25:8) from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things (the first order of things) have passed away.”

5And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful (of things, that can be relied on) and true” (lit: made of truth). 6Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts (figuratively, those are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened) from the spring (a fountain) of the water of life (water the use of which serves to maintain eternal life [Cf. Ps 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.]) without cost. 7“He who overcomes (of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and their temptations and persecutions. Dr. Essex at The Master’s Seminary: The one who overcomes is the one who trusts the word of God, exercises faith, and is willing to repent) will inherit (to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom) these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son (Dr. Robert Saucy: Adoption is the ultimate fruit and goal of redemption. The ultimate goal of God’s covenants with his people is that He may be their God and they His people [Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor. 6:16, 18; cf. Rev. 21:7— “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son”]. BKC: This expresses the intimate relationship between the saints and God in the eternal state.). 8“But for the cowardly (in Revelation 21:8 of Christians who through cowardice give way under persecutions and apostatize.) and unbelieving (without faith or trust, unfaithful, faithless) and abominable (to defile, pollute) and murderers and immoral persons (a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire, a male prostitute; universally, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator) and sorcerers (pertaining to magical arts [substantive]; cf. NASB: Acts 19:19. The magical tradition in ancient times called for the mixing of various herbs to ward off evil.) and idolaters (a worshipper of false gods, an idolater) and all liars (deceitful, false), their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Alice: The body of unbelievers will be resurrected, their material and immaterial will be reunited, and they [living souls] will spend eternity in the lake of fire with Satan, the Antichrist, the false prophet. The first death was a spiritual death [the physical death is a result of the spiritual death], “in Adam.” Cf. 1 Cor 15:22.)

9Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

 

The New Jerusalem

 

10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory (the glory of the Lord [שְׁכִינָה, Shekinah or Shechinah], a bright cloud by which God made manifest to men his presence and power on earth (Exodus 24:17; Exodus 40:28 [34ff], etc.) of God. Her brilliance (light, brightness) was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper (jasper; a precious stone of divers colors (for some are purple, others blue, others green, and others of the color of brass). 12It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates (NASB: See [Ezek 48:30-35 “These are the exits of the city: on the north side, 4,500 cubits by measurement, shall be the gates of the city, named for the tribes of Israel, three gates toward the north: the gate of Reuben, one; the gate of Judah, one; the gate of Levi, one. “On the east side, 4,500 cubits, shall be three gates: the gate of Joseph, one; the gate of Benjamin, one; the gate of Dan, one. “On the south side, 4,500 cubits by measurement, shall be three gates: the gate of Simeon, one; the gate of Issachar, one; the gate of Zebulun, one. “On the west side, 4,500 cubits, shall be three gates: the gate of Gad, one; the gate of Asher, one; the gate of Naphtali, one. “The city shall be 18,000 cubits round about; and the name of the city from that day shall be, ‘The LORD is there.’”] The number 12 probably emphasizes the continuity of the NT church and the OT people of God. See v. 14, where the 12 foundations bear the names of the 12 apostles.), and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city (NASB: Cf. Ezek 40-41, In Rev 11 the measuring was to ensure protection; here it serves to show the size and symmetry of the eternal dwelling place of the faithful.), and its gates and its wall. 16The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles (a stadium [a Gr. measure of length], by impl. a racecourse; a measure of length comprising 600 Greek feet, or 625 Roman feet, or 125 Roman paces, hence, one-eighth of a Roman mile [i. e. 606 3/4 English feet (about 15 miles less than one-fifth of a kilometer)]); its length and width and height are equal (NASB: Thus a perfect cube, as was the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle and the temple). 17And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards (the forearm, i.e. a cubit; a measure of length equal to the distance from the joint of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger) according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. 18The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst (NASB: The precise identification of some of these precious stones is uncertain.). 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple (takes the place of a temple in it). 23And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined (to enlighten, light up) it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory (magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace: i. e. their resources, wealth, the magnificence and greatness of their cities, their fertile lands, their thronging population) into it. 25In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27and nothing unclean (unhallowed, common), and no one who practices abomination (of idol-worship and its impurities) and lying (to act in accordance with the precepts and principles of idolatry), shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (the book in which the names of those are recorded to whom eternal life has been decreed).

 

 

New American Standard Bible

The River and the Tree of Life

 

22:1Then he showed me a river of the water of life (life, i. e. the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate; zōḗ – life [physical and spiritual]. All life [/zōḗ], throughout the universe, is derived – i.e. it always [only] comes from and is sustained by God’s self-existent life. The Lord intimately shares His gift of life with people, creating each in His image which gives all the capacity to know His eternal life. BKC: While this may be a literal river, its symbolism is clear. Out of the throne of God will flow pure water, symbolic of the holiness and purity of God and the city.), clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life (See Gen 2:9; 3:22; Ezek 47:12), bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing (BKC: The word “healing” [therapeian] can be understood as “health-giving.” The English “therapeutic” is derived from this Greek word. Even though there is no sickness in the eternal state, the tree’s fruit and leaves seem to contribute to the physical well-being of those in the eternal state.) of the nations. 3There will no longer be any curse (BKC: As the curse of Adam’s sin led to illness requiring healing and death, so in the eternal state there will be no curse; therefore no healing of illness is necessary.); and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it (BKC: … God and the Lamb are in the new city [21:22-23; 22:1]. The New Jerusalem will be the temple of God [21:22], and the throne of God, YHVH, will also be in it.), and His bond-servants will serve Him (BKC: The highest joy and privilege of the saint’s in eternity will be to serve their blessed Lord, even though it is true that they will also reign with Him [2 Tim 2:12; Rev 5:10; 20:4-6].); 4they will see His face (NASB: In ancient times criminals were banished from the presence of the king [Esth 7:8; cf. 2 Sam 14:24]. One blessing of eternity will be to see the Lord face to face [cf. 1 Cor 13:12].), and His name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine (to give light, to shine) them; and they will reign (to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign. NASB: See 5:10; 20:6; Dan 7:18, 27) forever and ever.

6And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true” (BKC: The purpose of these communications is not to bewilder and confuse but to reveal many of the things that must soon take place…. The Word of God was not given to be obscure. It was given to be understood by those taught by the Spirit…. Accordingly a special blessing is pronounced on those who believe and heed the prophecy of the book.); and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants (doúlos [a masculine noun of uncertain derivation] – properly, someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own. Ironically, /doúlos [“bond-slave”] is used with the highest dignity in the NT – namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ’s authority as His devoted followers; one who gives himself up wholly to another’s will, of all who obey God’s commands, his true worshippers [see v. 3].) the things which must soon take place (see 1:1, 19).

7“And behold, I am coming quickly (see vv. 12, 20; 2:16; 3:11). Blessed (The sixth beatitude) is he who heeds (tēréō [from tēros, “a guard”] – properly, maintain [preserve]; [figuratively] spiritually guard [watch], keep intact; the works that I command) the words of the prophecy of this book.”

8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed (tēréō [from tēros, “a guard”] – properly, maintain [preserve]; [figuratively] spiritually guard [watch], keep intact; the works that I command) the words of this book. Worship (to do reverence to; I go down on my knees to, do obeisance to; proskynéō [from /prós, “towards” and kyneo, “to kiss”] – properly, to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior; to worship, ready “to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one’s knees” [DNTT]; to “do obeisance”; “The basic meaning of [proskynéō], in the opinion of most scholars, is to kiss. . .. [Cf. Ps 2:12]) God.”

 

The Final Message

 

10And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words (NASB: Contrast Dan 12:4 “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”) of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11“Let the one who does wrong (to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin), still do wrong; and the one who is filthy (defiled with iniquity, base), still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous (upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God), still practice righteousness (to do righteousness, to live uprightly); and the one who is holy (properly, different [unlike], other [“otherness”], holy; for the believer, [hágios] means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”), still keep himself holy.” (BKC: The point here is not to condone what is evil, but to point out that if people do not heed this prophecy, they will continue in their wickedness. On the other hand those who do heed the prophecy will continue to do what is right. Relatively speaking, the time of the Lord’s return is near and no major changes in mankind’s conduct can be expected.)

12“Behold, I am coming quickly (see vv. 7, 20; 2:16; 3:11), and My reward (in both senses, rewards and punishments) is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done (his whole way of feeling and acting, his aims and endeavors). 13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (BKC: Christ is before all Creation and He will continue to exist after the present creation is destroyed. He is the Eternal One [cf. 1:4, 8, 17; 2:8; 21:6])

14Blessed (NASB: The last of the seven beatitudes. BKC: The other six beatitudes are in 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7.) are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right (permission to use the tree of life) to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city (the heavenly Jerusalem; in the visions of the Apocalypse it is used of the visible capital of the heavenly kingdom, to come down to earth after the renovation of the world). 15Outside are the dogs (a man of impure mind, an impudent man. NASB: A term applied to all types of ceremonially impure persons. In Deut 23:18 it designates a male prostitute.) and the sorcerers (pertaining to magical arts [substantive]; cf. NASB: Acts 19:19. The magical tradition in ancient times called for the mixing of various herbs to ward off evil.) and the immoral (a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire, a male prostitute; universally, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator) persons and the murderers (a murderer, committing unjustified, intentional homicide) and the idolaters (a worshipper of false gods), and everyone who loves and practices lying (to act in accordance with the precepts and principles of idolatry). (BKC: Though some saints have been guilty of these same practices, they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and are acceptable to God. But those who refuse to come to the Lord receive the just reward for their sins. Though the world is excessively wicked, God will bring every sin into judgement. And the time for Christ’s return may be drawing near, when this will be effected.)

16“I, Jesus, have sent My angel (Cf. 1:1) to testify to you these things for the churches (ekklēsía [from /ek, “out from and to” and /kaléō, “to call”] – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church [the mystical body of Christ] – i.e. the universal [total] body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom. [The English word “church” comes from the Greek word kyriakos, “belonging to the Lord” (kyrios). /ekklēsía (“church”) is the root of the terms “ecclesiology” and “ecclesiastical.”]). I am the root (offspring, progeny) and the descendant (offspring) of David, the bright morning star.” (See Num 24:17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth. BKC: Historically Christ comes from David [Matt 1:1; cf. Isa 11:11; Rev 5:5]. Prophetically His coming is like the morning star, the beginning of a bright new day… This will find its clearest revelation in the new heavens and new earth. For those who believe that Christ in His first coming provided salvation, there is the wonderful promise of His coming again to bring full and final deliverance… God’s people who understand and appreciate these wonderful promises can join with John in his prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus.”)

17The Spirit and the bride (a betrothed woman) say, “Come.” And let the one who hears (akoúō – properly, to hear [listen]; [figuratively] to hear God’s voice which prompts Him to birth faith within [cf. Ro 10:17 (Alice: faith produces hearing [in the human heart: the center and seat of spiritual life, “the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors” (so in English heart, inner man, etc. and the Holy Spirit brings it about. Cf. Heb 4:2)]) say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty (figuratively, those are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened) come; let the one who wishes (i.e. be inclined to) take the water of life without cost.

 

(NASB: vv. 18-19: Cf. the commands in Deut 4:2; 12:32. The warning here relates specifically to the book of Revelation.)

18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” (See vv. 7, 12; 2:16; 3:11) Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

 

 

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

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Dr. Stanback’s Bible Lessons: New Testament from I Corinthians to Hebrews

New American Standard Bible
1 Corinthians
Appeal to Unity

1 Cor 1:1 Paul, called as an apostle (Specially applied to the twelve disciples whom Christ selected, out of the multitude of his adherents, to be his constant companions and the heralds to proclaim to men the kingdom of God; With these apostles Paul claimed equality, because through a heavenly intervention he had been appointed by the ascended Christ himself to preach the gospel among the Gentiles, and owed his knowledge of the way of salvation not to man’s instruction but to direct revelation from Christ himself, and moreover had evinced his apostolic qualifications by many signal proofs.) of Jesus Christ by the will ([i. e. the abstract act of willing, the subjective] will, choice) of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 To the church of God (NASB: Used only by Paul and only in Acts 20:28, here and 2 Cor 1:1. Its OT counterpart is the expression “assembly [or community] of the LORD [YHVH]” [see Deut 23:1; see also Num 16:3; 20:4; 1 Chr 28:8].]) which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified (to purify internally by reformation of soul: John 17:17, 19 [through knowledge of the truth, cf. John 8:32]. NASB: Set apart for the Lord. It can also mean “made holy,” which is done by (1) being declared holy through faith in Christ’s atoning death on the cross [sometimes called positional sanctification], and (2) being made holy by the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians [sometimes called progressive sanctification]. In spite of the fact that Paul found much in the Corinthian Christian to criticize, he still called them “sanctified”-not because of their conduct, but because of their relationship to Christ [positional sanctification].); 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 1:2 [ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ in the fellowship of Christ, the Holy One]; Romans 15:16 [ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ imbued with the Holy Spirit, the divine source of holiness]) in Christ Jesus, saints (sacred, holy) by calling (“invited (by God in the proclamation of the gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God through Christ”; invited, i.e. appointed, or (specially), a saint — called.), with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: 3 Grace (The apostles and N. T. writers at the beginning and end of their Epistles crave for their readers the favor (`grace’) of God or of Christ, to which all blessings, especially spiritual, are due) to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5that in everything you were enriched (passive, to be richly furnished) in Him, in all speech (a kind [or style] of speaking, utterance) and all knowledge (the general knowledge of the Christian religion [both gifts of the Holy Spirit. See 12:8; also 2 Cor 8:7]), 6even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed (to make firm, establish, confirm, make sure. NASB: Paul’s preaching about Christ had been accepted by the Corinthians, and they had proved it to be true.) in you, 7so that you are not lacking in any gift (in the technical Pauline sense χαρίσματα, denote “extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit.” NASB: A spiritual gift is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit enabling one to minister to the needs of Christ’s body, the church [see 12:7-11; 14:3, 12, 17]. The Greek word used here stresses that it is a gift of grace.), awaiting eagerly the revelation (used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all, manifestation, appearance, of the glory clothed with which he will return from heaven) of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will also confirm (to make firm, establish, secure, make sure: of men made steadfast and constant in soul) you to the end (the end of all things [i. e. of the present order of things]), blameless (that cannot be called to account, unreprovable, unaccused) in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful (NASB: He may be trusted to do what He has promised [1 Thess 5:24], namely, to “confirm you to the end” [v. 8].), through whom you were called (to invite one, to something i. e. to participate in it, enjoy it; used thus in the Epistles of Paul and Peter of God as inviting men by the preaching of the gospel to the blessings of the heavenly kingdom) into fellowship (to obtain fellowship in the dignity and blessings of the Son of God) with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10Now I exhort (to admonish) you, brethren (NASB: In Christ believers have a unity similar to that of blood brothers and sisters. Paul is referring to both men and women [see 16:20, Rom 16:3; 6-7, 12-13, 15]), by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete (to strengthen, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be) in the same mind (a particular mode of thinking and judging: equivalent to thoughts, feelings, purposes) and in the same judgment (view, opinion). 11For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided (see 12:12-13)? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius (NASB: Paul is not minimizing baptism; rather, he asserting that his God-given task was primarily to preach, Jesus [John 4:2] and Peter [Acts 10:48] also had others baptize for them), 15so that no one would say you were baptized in my name (i. e. by one’s command and authority, acting on his behalf, promoting his cause). 16Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech (the wisdom which shows itself in speaking [wisdom of words.], the art of the rhetorician. NASB: Lit “wisdom of speech.” Paul’s mission was not to couch the gospel in the language of the trained orator, who had studied the techniques of influencing people by persuasive arguments.), so that the cross of Christ would not be made void (to make void i. e. deprive of force, render vain, useless, of no effect).

The Wisdom of God

18For the word of the cross (the doctrine concerning the saving power of the death on the cross endured by Christ) is foolishness to those who are perishing (they to whom it belongs to partake of salvation, and those to whom it belongs to perish or to be consigned to eternal misery, are contrasted by Paul), but to us who are being (notice the “ing” ending) saved (to save in the technical biblical sense; — negatively, to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment [Joel 2:32 And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.]; to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance; to save, i.e. deliver or protect — heal, preserve, do well, save (self), be [make] whole.) it is the power ((miraculous) power, might, strength, things or persons in which God’s saving power shows its efficacy are called δυνάμεις Θεοῦ: dýnamis [from /dýnamai, “able, having ability”] – properly, “ability to perform”; for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability” [/dýnamis] is needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven [glorification]. [dýnamis] is a very important term, used 120 times in the NT.) of God.
19For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe (in the Bible, a man learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, teacher)? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom (the ability to discourse eloquently of this wisdom; opposed to this wisdom is — the empty conceit of wisdom which men make a parade of, a knowledge more specious than real of lofty and hidden subjects: such as the theosophy of certain Jewish Christians; the philosophy of the Greeks) of the world (an “ordered system” (like the universe, creation); the world. [The English term “cosmetic” is derived from /kósmos, i.e. the order (“ensemble”) used of treating the face as a whole.])? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know (the nature and will of God, in contrast with the false wisdom of both Jews and Gentiles [see John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.]. NASB: God ‘s intention that worldly wisdom should not be the means of knowing Him.) God, God was well-pleased (to think well of, it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure; to think it good, choose, determine, decide) through the foolishness (folly; literally, dull [lacking sharpness], folly, absurdity) of the message preached to save (to make one a partaker of the salvation by Christ. Since salvation begins in this life [in deliverance from error and corrupt notions, in moral purity, in pardon of sin, and in the blessed peace of a soul reconciled to God], but on the visible return of Christ from heaven will he perfected in the consummate blessings of ὁ αἰών ὁ μέλλων [an age (era, “time-span”), characterized by a specific quality (type of existence)], we can understand why τό σῴζεσθαι [deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions [safety]. (sṓzō) is the root of: /sōtḗr (“Savior”), /sōtēría (“salvation”) and the adjectival form, /sōtḗrion (what is “saved/rescued from destruction and brought into divine safety”).]] is spoken of in some passages as a present possession, in others as a good yet future: — as a blessing beginning [or begun] on earth) those who believe (is used emphatically, of those who acknowledge Jesus as the saviour and devote themselves to him). 22For indeed Jews ask for signs (of miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God’s) and Greeks search for wisdom (clarity, skill; sophía is the root of the English terms, “sophistication” and “philosophy” – literally [respectively], “the art of using wisdom,” “affection for wisdom.”); 23but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block (“any person or thing by which one is [`entrapped’] drawn into error or sin”: a snare, stumbling-block, cause for error because his ignominious death on the cross roused the opposition of the Jews. NASB: They expected a triumphant, political Messiah [Acts 1:6], not a crucified one.) and to Gentiles foolishness (folly; literally, dull [lacking sharpness]. NASB: Greeks and Romans were sure that no reputable person would be crucified, so it was unthinkable that a crucified criminal could be the Savior.), 24but to those who are the called (notice the use of “the called”: the elect) (κλητοις kletos klay-tos invited, i.e. appointed, or [specially], a saint — called; “invited [by God in the proclamation of the gospel] to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God through Christ”), both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness (an act or appointment of God deemed foolish by men) of God is wiser (wise in a philosophic sense, forming the best plans and using the best means for their execution) than men, and the weakness (the act of God in which weakness seems to appear, viz. that the suffering of the cross should be borne by the Messiah,) of God is stronger (mighty) than men.
(NASB: vv. 1:26-31: The Corinthians themselves were living proof that salvation does not depend on anything in man, so that when someone is saved, he must boast in the Lord [v. 31].)
26For consider your calling (ἀξιουν τινα κλήσεως is used of one whom God declares worthy of the calling which he has commanded to be given him, and therefore fit to obtain the blessings promised in the call, 2 Thessalonians 1:11; with the genitive of the object, ὑμῶν, which ye have shared in, Ephesians 4:4; 2 Peter 1:10; what its characteristics have been in your case, as having no regard to learning, riches, station, etc. 1 Corinthians 1:26; used somewhat peculiarly, of the condition in which the calling finds one, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, slave or freeman, 1 Corinthians 7:20.), brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble (of noble race); 27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame (disappointed, to put to shame, to disgrace) the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong (of those who wield great influence among men by their rank, authority, riches, etc.), 28and the base (ignoble, low born, of no family, a man of base birth, a man of no name or reputation; often used by secular writers, also in the secondary sense ignoble, cowardly, mean, base. In the N. T. only in 1 Corinthians 1:28, τά ἀγενῆ τοῦ κόσμου i. e. those who among men are held of no account; on the use of a neuter adjective in reference to persons.) things of the world and the despised (to make of no account, to despise utterly; to despise, treat with contempt; contemptible, despise, least esteemed, set at nought.) God has chosen (Especially is God said ἐκλέξασθαι those whom he has judged fit to receive his favors and separated from the rest of mankind to be peculiarly his own and to be attended continually by his gracious oversight: thus of the Israelites, Acts 13:17 (Deuteronomy 14:2 (cf. Deuteronomy 4:37); of Christians, as those whom he has set apart from among the irreligious multitude as dear unto himself, and whom he has rendered, through faith in Christ, citizens in the Messianic kingdom: Mark 13:20; 1 Corinthians 1:27f; with two accusatives, one of the object, the other of the predicate, James 2:5; τινα ἐν Χριστῷ, so that the ground of the choice lies in Christ and his merits, followed by the accusative with an infinitive denoting the end, Ephesians 1:4. In Luke 9:35 (L marginal reading T Tr WH) Jesus is called a Son, as being dear to God beyond all others and exalted by him to the preeminent dignity of Messiah. eklégomai (from /ek, “out of” and /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – properly, to select (choose) out of, by a highly deliberate choice (i.e. real heart-preference) with a definite outcome (as with the destination of divine selection for salvation), the things that are not, so that He may nullify (to render idle, unemployed, inactive, inoperative: to deprive of its strength, make barren; to cause a person or a thing to have no further efficiency; to deprive of force, influence, power [bring to nought, make of none effect]) the things that are, 29so that no man may boast (ὑπέρ with the genitive of person, to one’s advantage, to the praise of one [on one’s behalf]: as though standing in his presence) before God. 30But by His (YHWH) doing you are in Christ Jesus (NASB: It is God who has called you to union and communion with Christ.), who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness (denotes “the state acceptable to God which becomes a sinner’s possession through that faith by which he embraces the grace of God offered him in the expiatory death of Jesus Christ.) and sanctification (the effect of consecration: sanctification of heart and life, [Christ is he to whom we are indebted for sanctification]), and redemption (everywhere in the N. T. deliverance effected through the death of Christ from the retributive wrath of a holy God and the merited penalty of sin: ἡμέρα ἀπολυτρώσεως, the last day, when consummate liberation is experienced from the sin still lingering even in the regenerate, and from all the ills and troubles of this life, Ephesians 4:30; in the same sense the word is apparently to be taken in 1 Corinthians 1:30 (where Christ himself is said to be redemption, i. e. the author of redemption, the one without whom we could have none), and is to be taken in the phrase ἀπολύτρωσιν τῆς περιποιήσεως: [release effected by payment of ransom; redemption, deliverance], Ephesians 1:14, the redemption which will come to his possession, or to the men who are God’s own through Christ [the act] ransom in full, i.e. [specially] Christian salvation — deliverance) [Note: and is to be taken in the phrase ἀπολύτρωσιν τῆς περιποιήσεως, Ephesians 1:14, the redemption which will come to his possession, or to the men who are God’s own through Christ. NASB: It is by faith in Christ that we are justified; see Rom 5:19.], 31so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

 
New American Standard Bible
Paul’s Reliance upon the Spirit

1 Cor 2:1And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
6Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature (absolutely, οἱ τέλειοι, the perfect, i. e. the more intelligent, ready to apprehend divine things, [R. V. marginal reading full-grown.) 7but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery (of God: μυστήρια Θεοῦ, the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly, God’s plan of providing salvation for men through Christ, which was once hidden but now is revealed), the hidden wisdom (In Paul’s Epistles: a knowledge of the divine plan, previously hidden, of providing salvation for men by the expiatory death of Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 2:6; Ephesians 1:8; hence, all the treasures of wisdom are said to be hidden in Christ, Colossians 2:3) which God predestined (προορίζω: 1 aorist προορισα; 1 aorist passive participle προορισθεντες; to predetermine, decide beforehand, (R. V. to foreordain): in the N. T. of God decreeing from eternity.) before the ages to our glory; 8the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellence of Christ; in which he excels by virtue of his nature; of which majesty he gave tokens in the miracles he performed).
9but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
10For to us God revealed (is used of God revealing to men things unknown) them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world (order, the world; he that is operative in the world [also of the devil]), but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14But a natural (“governed by the ψυχή i. e. the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion [as though made up of nothing but ψυχή]) man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15But he who is spiritual appraises (universally, to judge of, estimate, determine [the excellence or defects of any person or thing]) all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians by Dr. Essex at The Master’s Seminary, Lecture 20, approximately 22:25 min: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M-e7lr5wYs&index=20&list=PLONbXoi-gaxCghCfwqDjCBs3KRnxOa-vC

 
New American Standard Bible
Foundations for Living

1 Cor 3:1And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh (of the flesh; wholly given up to the flesh, rooted in the flesh as it were.), as to infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly (governed by mere human nature not by the Spirit of God.), and are you not walking like mere men? 4For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?
5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (Believers’ judgment at the “Judgment Seat of Christ”; judgment for believers only).
16Do you not know that you are a temple (metaphorically, of a company of Christians, a Christian church, as dwelt in by the Spirit of God:) of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; 20and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.” 21So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.
1 Corinthians by Dr. Essex at The Master’s Seminary, Lecture 20, approximately 22:25 min: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M-e7lr5wYs&index=20&list=PLONbXoi-gaxCghCfwqDjCBs3KRnxOa-vC

 
New American Standard Bible
Servants of Christ

1 Cor 4: 1Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy (trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties). 3But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined (universally, to judge of, estimate, determine [the excellence or defects of any person or thing]) by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 4For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 5Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives (counsel, purpose) of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
6Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed (beyond) what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant (to inflate, blow up, blow out, to cause to swell up; tropically, to puff up, make proud; passive, to be puffed up, to bear oneself loftily, be proud) in behalf of one against the other. 7For who regards you as superior? (used emphatically, to distinguish or separate a person or thing from the rest, in effect equivalent to to prefer, yield to him the preference or honor) What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8You are already filled (every wish is satisfied in the enjoyment of the consummate Messianic blessedness), you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. 9For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle ([figuratively] the public display of putting someone “on exhibit” to be mocked at as a spectacle) to the world, both to angels and to men. 10We are fools (equivalent to without learning or erudition; dull, stupid, foolish [irony]) for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent (intelligent, practically wise, sensible) in Christ; we are weak (without strength, weak [irony]), but you are strong (mighty); you are distinguished (illustrious, honorable, esteemed [irony]), but we are without honor (unhonored, dishonored). 11To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
14I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills (to be resolved or determined, to purpose, wish), and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power (moral power and excellence of soul; NAS δυναμιν [miraculous] power, might, strength; force; specially, miraculous power [usually by implication, a miracle itself]). 20For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power (universally, “inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth”). 21What do you desire (to will, wish)? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?

 

 

New American Standard Bible
Immorality Rebuked

1 Cor 5:1It is actually reported that there is immorality (fornication, used properly, of illicit sexual intercourse in general) among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles (foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans, Gentiles, and very often; in plain contradistinction to the Jews; a race, a nation, pl. the nations [as distinct from Israel]), that someone has his father’s wife. 2You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
3For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus (NASB The Corinthians are to pass judgment on the man by the authority of the Lord Jesus. Jesus’ power is present through His word and His Holy Spirit.), 5I have decided to deliver (Metaphorically, expressions: to deliver one into the power of Satan to be harassed and tormented with evils (the phrase seems to have originated from the Jewish formulas of excommunication because a person banished from the theocratic assembly was regarded as deprived of the protection of God and delivered up to the power of the devil.) such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6Your boasting (a glorying) is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? (is used variously, according to the various things to which it is applied, viz. a single sin corrupts a whole church) 7Clean out (to purge) the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened (devoid of the leaven of iniquity, free from faults). For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us celebrate the feast (symbolizes living the Christian life in holy dedication to God and not getting involved in such sins as malice and wickedness and incestuous relations [NASB]), not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity (purity, sincerity, ingenuousness) and truth ((subjectively) “truth as a personal excellence; that candor of mind which is free from affectation, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit”: sincerity of mind and integrity of character, or a mode of life in harmony with divine truth).
9I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother (passive to be named, i. e. bear the name of; NASB, immoral persons in the church who claimed to be Christian brothers) if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

 
New American Standard Bible
Lawsuits Discouraged

1 Cor 6:1Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous (of one who breaks God’s laws, unrighteous, sinful, the Gentiles) and not before the saints? (Just as the Israelites claimed for themselves the title οἱ ἅγιοι, because God selected them from the other nations to lead a life acceptable to him and rejoice in his favor and protection (Daniel 7:18, 22), so this appellation is very often in the N. T. transferred to Christians, as those whom God has selected ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου (John 17:14, 16), that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may be rendered, through holiness, partakers of salvation in the kingdom of God) 2Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? 4So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?
7Actually, then, it is already a defeat (loss, namely, as respects salvation, NASB, most likely by greed, retaliation and hatred, instead of practicing unselfishness, forgiveness, and love-even willingness to suffer lost.) for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? (to suffer oneself to be wronged, take wrong) Why not rather be defrauded? 8On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud (to allow oneself to be defrauded). You do this even to your brethren.
9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (metaphorically, and in a bad sense: effeminate, of a catamite [a boy kept by a pederast (a man who desires or engages in sexual activity with a boy)], a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness), nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous (greedy of gain, covetous), nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers (a robber, an extortioner), will inherit the kingdom of God. 11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

The Body Is the Lord’s

12All things are lawful (it is permitted) for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered (to be brought under the power of anyone) by anything. 13Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality (πορνεία, πορνείας, ἡ (πορνεύω), the Sept. for תַּזְנוּת, זְנוּת, זְנוּנִים, fornication (used a. properly, of illicit sexual intercourse in general (that this meaning must be adopted in these passages will surprise no one who has learned how leniently converts from among the heathen regarded this vice and how lightly they indulged in it; accordingly, all other interpretations of the term, such as of marriages within the prohibited degrees and the like, are to be rejected), but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14Now God has not only raised (to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life; from the company of the dead) the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” 17But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple (metaphorically, of a company of Christians, a Christian church, as dwelt in by the Spirit of God; for the same reason, of the bodies of Christians) of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

 
New American Standard Bible
Teaching on Marriage

1 Cor 7: 1Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 3The husband must fulfill his duty (specifically, of conjugal duty) to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5Stop depriving (to withhold themselves from one another, of those who mutually deny themselves cohabitation) one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (want of self-control, incontinence, intemperance). 6But this I say by way of concession (by way of concession or permission, not by way of command), not of command. 7Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift (used of the natural gift of continence (a holding back), due to the grace of God as creator) from God, one in this manner, and another in that.
8But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11(but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
12But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. 14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified (ἁγιάζεσθαι is used in a peculiar sense of those who, although not Christians themselves, are yet, by marriage with a Christian, withdrawn from the contamination of heathen impiety and brought under the saving influence of the Holy Spirit displaying itself among Christians) through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy (NASB, they at least have the advantage of being under the sanctifying influence of one Christian parent and so may be called holy). 15Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace (peace between individuals, i. e. harmony, concord). 16For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
17Only, as the Lord has assigned ([/merízō can be used positively meaning “distribute as properly needed”) to each one, as God has called each (metaphorically: used thus in the Epistles of Paul and Peter of God as inviting men by the preaching of the gospel (διά τοῦ εὐαγγελίου [2 Thessalonians 2:14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.] to the blessings of the heavenly kingdom, NASB: Each Christian is to live contentedly for the Lord in whatever economic, social and religious station in life God has placed him.), in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. 18Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. 20Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.
21Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. 22For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.
25Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened (NASB: Probably a reference to the pressures of the Christian life in an immoral and particularly hostile environment (cf. vv. 2, 28; 5:1; 2 Tim3:12). Paul’s recommendation here does not apply to all times and all situations.), so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
32But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate (of morals: to promote decorum) and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
36But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. 37But he who stands (who does not hesitate, does not waver) firm (of those who are fixed in purpose) in his heart, being under no constraint (I have [am compelled by] necessity), but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. 38So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.
39A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

 
New American Standard Bible
Take Care with Your Liberty

1 Cor 8:1Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge (the deeper, more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced, especially of things lawful and unlawful for Christians). Knowledge makes arrogant (to inflate, blow up, blow out, to cause to swell up; tropically, to puff up, make proud), but love edifies (to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness). 2If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
4Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
7However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience (“the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending the one, condemning the other; conscience”: with a genitive of the subjunctive) being weak is defiled (of a conscience reproached (defiled) by sin). 8But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak (to be doubtful about things lawful and unlawful to a Christian). 10For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding (metaphorically, i. e. to wound, disquiet) their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble (to entice to sin), I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

 

 

New American Standard Bible
Paul’s Use of Liberty

1 Cor 9:1Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal (that by which anything is confirmed, proved, authenticated, as by a seal [a token or proof]) of my apostleship in the Lord.
3My defense to those who examine me is this: 4Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? (Comments from NASB: v 4 Paul and Barnabas, as God’s workers, have a right to have their food and other physical need supplied at the church’s expense [cf. vv 6, 13-14]. V 5 Paul asserts his right to be married, if he wishes. This does not mean that he was married…. V 11 Paul sets for the principle that Christian workers should be paid for their labor. V 12 the point of Paul’s discussion in chapter 9 is as follows, he had numerous rights that he did not claim because of his love for the Corinthians. Thus chapter 9 is an extended personal illustration of the practice advocated in chapter 8. Because of love for others, believers should be ready to surrender their rights. V 13 the Corinthian believers would understand this illustration not only from their knowledge of the OT [cf. Lev 7:28-36; Num 18:8-20] but also from the practice in pagan temples in Greece and Rome.)
8I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. 11If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? 14So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
15But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast (that of which one glories or can glory, matter or ground of glorying) an empty (to make void i. e. cause a thing to be seen to be empty, hollow, false) one. 16For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion (necessity is laid upon me); for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. 17For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will (“willing, in voluntary accord”) – properly, unwilling, needing to be compelled ), I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. (Comments from NASB: v 16 the Lord laid on Paul the necessity of preaching the gospel [Acts 9:1-16; 26:16-18; see also Jer 20:9 and notes. V18 Paul’s reward in preaching is not material things but the boasting that he has preached to the Corinthians without charge and has not taken advantage of the rights he deserved: food, drink, shelter and pay [vv 3-12]))
19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save (to make one a partaker of the salvation by Christ; to save, i.e. deliver or protect) some. 23I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker (participant with others in [anything], joint partner. NASB: Of the blessings of realizing that he has been faithful to Christ in preaching, of hearing the Lord’s “well done” [Matt 25:21; Luke 19:17] and of seeing others come to Christ.) of it.
24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (not standing the test, rejected; unapproved, i.e. rejected; by implication, worthless [literally or morally]. NASB: Paul uses the figure of boxing to represent the Christian life. He does not aimlessly beat the air, but he severely disciplines his own body in serving Christ. Paul realizes that he must with rigor serve the Lord and battle against sin. If he fails in this, he may be excluded from the reward [see 3:10-15).

 
New American Standard Bible
Avoid Israel’s Mistakes

1 Cor 10: 1For I do not want you to be unaware (to be ignorant, not to know), brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3and all ate the same spiritual (θυσίαι, tropically, the acts of a life dedicated to God and approved by him, due to the influence of the Holy Spirit (tacitly opposed to the sacrifices of an external worship), 1 Peter 2:5; equivalent to produced by the sole power of God himself without natural instrumeutality, supernatural) food; 4and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased (to [not] be well pleased with, take pleasure in, a person or thing); for they were laid low (to strew over [the ground]; to prostrate, slay [cf. our to lay low] [A. V. overthrown]) in the wilderness. (NASB: V 1 Under God’s leadership and guidance. His guidance did not fail them-He successfully led them through the sea. V 2 As a people, they were under God’s redemptive program, and they submitted to Moses, God’s appointed leader. [Baptized] [is] a figure uses to depict their submission to Moses as their deliverer and leader, just as Christian baptism depicts the believer’s submission to Christ as Savior and Lord. VV 3-4 the manna and the water from the rock are used as figures representing the spiritual sustenance that God continually provided for His people [Ex 16:2-36; 17:1-7; Num 20:2-11; 21:16]. The rock, from which the water came, and the manna were symbolic of supernatural sustenance through Christ, the bread of life and the water of life [John 4:14; 6:30-35]. V 5 in spite of the remarkable privileges given to Israel [vv. 1-4] they failed to obey God, thus incurring His displeasure. Of the adults who came out of Egypt, only Caleb and Joshua were allowed to enter Canaan [Num 14:22-24, 28-35; Josh 1:1-2].)
6Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved (to lust after, covet, of those who seek things forbidden). 7Do not be idolaters ([i. e. a hireling, servant, slave], a worshipper of false gods, an idolater: anyone, even a Christian, participant in any way in the worship of heathen, especially one who attends their sacrificial feasts and eats of the remains of the offered victims), as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” 8Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9Nor let us try (a word wholly biblical (Deuteronomy 8:2 “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.); to prove, test, thoroughly (A. V. tempt): to put to proof God’s character and power. τόν Χριστόν, by irreligion and immorality to test the patience or the avenging power of Christ [exalted to God’s right hand]) the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10Nor grumble (of those who discontentedly complain), as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer (a ruiner, i.e. (specially), a venomous serpent — destroyer.). 11Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted (positive tests; of God; to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character and the steadfastness of his faith [cf. Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15; Gen 22:1; Rev 3:10; Deut 8:2) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape (ékbasis– properly, moving out from and to the outcome (new destination); departure; (figuratively) “the (successful) way out” which also goes on to what is new (desirable), i.e. the Lord’s outcome; an egress, way out: applied figuratively to the way of escape from temptation…) also, so that you will be able to endure (to bear by being under, bear up (a thing placed on one’s shoulders); tropically, to bear patiently, to endure) it. (Alice: For by grace are ye saved through faith… …The just shall live by faith. …From faith to faith [by hearing the Word of God]…. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound… Thank God! By grace through faith all the way.)
14Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to wise (intelligent; thoughtful, i.e. sagacious or discreet) men; you judge what I say. 16Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 18Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? 19What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?
23All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. 25Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; 26FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. 27If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. 28But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?
31Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense (metaphorically, not leading others into sin by one’s mode of life) either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; 33just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.

 
New American Standard Bible
Christian Order

1 Cor 11:1Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4Every man who has something on his head (physical) while praying or prophesying disgraces his head ( spiritual Head [Christ]) (NASB: In the culture of Paul’s day, men uncovered their heads in worship to signify their respect for and submission to deity. When a man prayed or prophesied (to break forth under sudden impulse in lofty discourse or in praise of the divine counsels— or, under the like prompting, to teach, refute, reprove, admonish, comfort others.) with his head covered, he failed to show the proper attitude toward Christ). 5But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces (to put to shame) her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved (NASB: For a woman, taking off her head covering in public and exposing her hair was a sign of loose morals and sexual promiscuity. Paul says she might as well have her hair cut or shaved off. The shaved head indicated that the woman either had been publicly disgraced because of some shameful act or was openly flaunting he independence and her refusal to be in submission to her husband: Paul’s message to her to her was: Show your respect for and submission to your husband by covering your head during public worship.). 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image (the image of one; one in whom the likeness of anyone is seen: is applied to man, on account of his power of command) and glory (whose function of government reflects the majesty of the divine ruler; opinion [always good in N.T.], hence praise, honor, glory) of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake (διά with the accusative of a person is often equivalent to for the benefit of [English for the sake of] Gen 2:18, 20 one who helps), but woman for the man’s sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority (a sign of the husband’s authority over his wife, i. e. the veil with which propriety required a woman to cover herself) on her head, because of the angels (NASB: Perhaps mentioned here because they are interested in all aspects of the Christian’s salvation and are sensitive to decorum in worship (cf. Eph 3:10; 1 Tim 5:21). 11However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent (separately, separate from) of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor (dishonor, ignominy, disgrace) to him, (NASB: Believers must be conscious of how their actions action appear in their culture, in light of what is considered to be honorable behavior.) 15but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory (εἶναι τίνι δόξα, to be a glory, ornament, to one) to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering (a veil). 16But if one is inclined to be contentious (fond of strife), we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
17But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19For there must also be factions (dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims; choice) among you, so that those who are approved (proved, tried: in the N. T. one who is of tried faith and integrity) may become evident (apparent, manifest evident, known) among you. 20Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

The Lord’s Supper

23For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim (to announce, declare, promulgate, make known; to proclaim publicly, publish: with the included idea of celebrating, commending, openly praising) the Lord’s death until He comes.
27Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty (guilty of a crime committed against the body and blood of the Lord. NASB: In the irreverent and self-centered manner that characterized some of the Corinthians at their unruly agape supper) of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28But a man must examine (to test, by impl. to approve) himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment (so to eat as to incur the judgment or punishment of God) to himself if he does not judge the body (the body [as a sound whole]) rightly. 30For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep (metaphorically, and euphemistically equivalent to to die). 31But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are disciplined (in Biblical and ecclesiastical use employed of God, to chasten by the infliction of evils and calamities) by the Lord so that we will not be condemned (simply, of God condemning one to eternal misery [passive]) along with the world.
33So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.

 
New American Standard Bible
The Use of Spiritual Gifts

1 Cor 12:1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2You know that when you were pagans (a race (as of the same habit), i.e. a tribe; specially, a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually, by implication, pagan) — Gentile, heathen, nation, people.), you were led astray to the mute (voiceless, dumb; without the faculty of speech; used of idols) idols, however you were led (urged on by blind impulse, — unless impelled by Satan’s influence be preferable, cf. 1 Corinthians 10:20; Ephesians 2:2). 3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord”, except by the Holy Spirit. (Accursed: to execrate one: to declare to be evil or detestable; to detest utterly). (NASB: rather, he (by the Holy Spirit) is the only one who from the heart can confess, “Jesus is Lord” [cf. John 20:28 also 1 John 4:2-3 John 20:28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 1 John 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist (the adversary of the Messiah), of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (Confess: to profess; to declare openly, speak out freely, followed by an infinitive, that of which he is convinced and which he holds to be true; e.g., to profess oneself the worshipper of one [Jesus], cf. 1 John 4:3.)
4Now there are varieties (in particular, a distinction arising from a different distribution to different persons, [A. V. diversity]) of gifts (in the technical Pauline sense χαρίσματα [A. V. gifts] denote “extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit”), but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries (of the ministration or service of all who, endowed by God with powers of mind and heart peculiarly adapted to this end, endeavor zealously and laboriously to promote the cause of Christ among men, as apostles, prophets, evangelists, elders, etc.), and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects (thing wrought; effect, operation: plural [R. V. workings.]), but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation (exhibition, i.e. [figuratively] expression, [by extension] a bestowment — manifestation.) of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given the word of wisdom (the ability to discourse eloquently of this wisdom) through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge (the deeper, more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced) according to the same Spirit; 9to another faith (faithfulness) by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing ( a healing) by the one Spirit, 10and to another the effecting of miracles (the power of performing miracles; (miraculous) power, might, strength), and to another prophecy (of the endowment and speech of the Christian teachers called προφῆται), and to another the distinguishing (a distinguishing, discerning, judging) of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues (words spoken in a tongue), and to another the interpretation (interpretation (of what has been spoken more or less obscurely by others) of tongues. 11But one and the same Spirit works (to effect) all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills (of the will electing or choosing between two or more things).
12For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized (to unite together into one body by baptism) into one body (a social, ethical, mystical body”; so in the N. T. of the church), whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink (NASB: God has given all His people the Holy Spirit to indwell them (6:19) so that their lives may overflow with the fruit of the Spirit [Gal 5:22-23; cf. John 7:37-39])of one Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. John 7:37-39 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)
14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired (to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to will, wish). 19If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20But now there are many members, but one body. 21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker (weaker and inferior) are necessary; 23and those members of the body which we deem less honorable (base, of less esteem), on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed (to make [or set] for oneself or for one’s use) in the church, first apostles (According to Paul, apostles surpassed as well the various other orders of Christian teachers, as also the rest of those on whom the special gifts of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed, by receiving a richer and more copious conferment of the Spirit), second prophets (The prophets that appeared in the apostolic age among the Christians, they are associated with apostles), third teachers (of those who in the religious assemblies of Christians undertake the work of teaching, with the special assistance of the Holy Spirit), then miracles (the power of performing miracles, plural), then gifts of healings, helps (In Biblical speech aid, help; plural, 1 Corinthians 12:28, the ministrations of the deacons, who have care of the poor and the), administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31But earnestly desire the greater gifts.
And I show you a still more excellent way.
New American Standard Bible
The Excellence of Love

1 Cor 13:1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love (affection, good-will, love, benevolence, brotherly love: Of the love of men [human beings] to men [human beings]; especially of that love of Christians toward Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or as expressed), I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears (to cover over with silence; to keep secret; to hide, conceal; is explained by some, love covereth, i. e. hides and excuses, the errors and faults of others; but it is more appropriately rendered [with other interpreters] beareth.) all things, believes (to trust, entrust; is used in an ethical sense, of confidence in the goodness of men; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust [especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ]) all things, hopes (to wait, to hope; to hope [in a religious sense, to wait for salvation with joy and full of confidence]) all things, endures (to endure, bear bravely and calmly: with an accusative of the thing) all things.
8Love never fails (to perish, i. e. to come to an end, disappear, cease: of virtues); but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part (in part, partially, i. e. imperfectly) and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect (the perfect state of all things, to be ushered in by the return of Christ from heaven) comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child (an infant, fig. a simple-minded or immature person), I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man (with a reference to age, and to distinguish an adult man from a boy, with the added notion also of intelligence and virtue), I did away (to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish) with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face (see God face to face, i. e. discern perfectly his nature, will, purposes) to face; now I know (absolutely, of the knowledge of divine things) in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 
New American Standard Bible
Prophecy a Superior Gift

1 Cor 14:1Pursue (to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavor to acquire) love, yet desire (to be jealous) earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification (in the N. T. metaphorically, “edifying, edification, i. e. the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, happiness”) and exhortation (exhortation, admonition, encouragement) and consolation (encouragement, exhortation, comfort). 4One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater (eminent, distinguished, or in excellence, worth, authority, etc. [gifts]) is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.
6But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation (to speak on the ground of (others, in the form of) a revelation, agreeably to a revelation received) or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 7Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air (‘to speak into the air’ i. e. without effect, used of those who speak what is not understood by the hearers). 10There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. 11If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. 12So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.
13Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind (the spirit intensely roused and completely absorbed with divine things, but destitute of clear ideas of them) is unfruitful (contributing nothing to the instruction, improvement, comfort, of others). 15What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also (NASB: May mean that Paul will sometimes pray or sing with his spirit in a tongue; at other times he will pray or sing with his mind in his own language.). 16Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted (“destitute of the ‘gift of tongues,”) say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 18I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Instruction for the Church

20Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature (the perfect, i. e. the more intelligent, ready to apprehend divine things). 21In the Law it is written, “BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME,” (NASB: The passage is from Is 28 indicates that the foreign language of the Assyrians was a sign to unbelieving Israel that judgment was coming on them. Paul deduced from this fact that tongues were intended to be a sign for unbelievers [v. 22] as, e.g., in Acts 2:4-12. Similarly, prophecy was for believers [v. 22] since it communicated revealed truth to those disposed to receive it [cf. Matt 13:11-16]) says the Lord.
Matt 13:11-16 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
22So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted (to convict, refute, confute, of crime, fault, or error; of sin) by all, he is called to account ( to scrutinize, i.e. [by implication] investigate, interrogate, determine — ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.) by all; 25the secrets of his heart are disclosed (visible, manifest); and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
26What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation (NASB: Elements that make up the worship service at Corinth.). Let all things be done for edification. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; 28but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 29Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment (to learn by discrimination, to try, decide). 30But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets (The prophets that appeared in the apostolic age among the Christians, and in the religious assemblies of the Christians, being suddenly seized by the Spirit [whose promptings, however, do not impair their self-government]); 33for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
34The women are to keep silent in the churches (an assembly of Christians gathered for worship. NASB: …. There were occasions, though –even in this culture-for women to speak in church. For example, in 11:5 Pail assumes that women pray and prophesy in public worship….. Paul does not altogether forbid women to speak in church [see 11:5]. What he is forbidding is the disorderly speaking indicated in these verses.); for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper (base, dishonorable) for a woman to speak in church. 36Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? (NASB: Paul asks these questions sarcastically, suggesting that the Corinthians were following their own practice in these matters rather than conforming to God’s word.)
37If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize (in the sense of acknowledge) that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. 38But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.
39Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.

 
New American Standard Bible
The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection

1 Cor 15:1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand (to persist, continue, persevere), 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (Saved: to make one a partaker of the salvation by Christ; Since salvation begins in this life [in deliverance from error and corrupt notions, in moral purity, in pardon of sin, and in the blessed peace of a soul reconciled to God], but on the visible return of Christ from heaven will he perfected in the consummate blessings of ὁ αἰών ὁ μέλλων, we can understand why τό σῴζεσθαι is spoken of in some passages as a present possession, in others as a good yet future: — as a blessing beginning [or begun] on earth) (Dr. Essex sets forth that warnings in the epistles are there because not all those in the local churches are “in Christ”, they are professing Christians only, yet believers hear these warnings and learn from them.)
3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also (where Paul likens himself to an ἔκτρωμα, and in explains in what sense: that he is as inferior to the rest of the apostles as an immature birth comes short of a mature one, and is no more worthy of the name of an apostle than an abortion is of the name of a child.). 9For I am the least (in rank and excellence: of persons) of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted (Hence, in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one) the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
12Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain (metaphorically, empty, vain; devoid of truth), your faith also is vain. 15Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless (useless, to no purpose); you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep (the dead) in Christ have perished (to incur the loss of true or eternal life; to be delivered up to eternal misery). 19If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

The Order of Resurrection

20But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits (as the first one recalled to life of them that have fallen asleep [here the phrase seems also to signify that by his case the future resurrection of Christians is guaranteed; because the first-fruits forerun and are, as it were, a pledge and promise of the rest of the harvest].) of those who are asleep. 21For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive (NASB: All who are “in Adam”-i.e., his descendents-suffer death. All who are “in Christ”–i.e., who are related to him by faith-will be made alive at the resurrection [cf. John 5:25“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 1 Thess 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Rev 20:6Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.]) . 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24then comes the end (denotes either the end of the eschatological events, or the end of the resurrection i. e. the last or third act of the resurrection. NASB: The second coming of Christ and all the events accompanying it. This includes His handing over the kingdom to the Father, following His destroying all dominion, authority and power of the persons and forces who oppose Him.), when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection (to arrange under, to subordinate; to subject, put in subjection),” it is evident that He (YHWH) is excepted (beyond, besides, except) who put all things in subjection to Him (Yehoshua). 28When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected (properly, “under God’s arrangement,” i.e. submitting to the Lord (His plan; to place or rank under, to subject, to obey) to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
29Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead (deceased, departed, one whose soul is in Hades. NASB: The present tense suggests that at Corinth people were currently being baptized for the dead. Paul does not give any more information about this practice. [Alice: There are three views on this passage of scripyure, but one suggest that living believers were being baptized for believers who died before they were baptized, so that they too , in a sense, would not miss out on baptism.])? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? 30Why are we also in danger (to be in jeopardy, to be in danger, to be pat in peril) every hour? 31I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily (I meet death daily, live daily in danger of death). 32If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE. 33Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34Become sober-minded (to return to soberness of mind. – properly, delivered out of drunkenness and to sobriety (seriousness), i.e. with the awareness outcome of being responsibly aware; (figuratively) aroused (awakened) out of the stupor of spiritual delusion (apathy); “to come to one’s senses”; sober-minded because “snapped out of” the intoxicating influence of sin (darkness) and brought into keen alertness of spiritual truth [conviction, faith, etc.].) as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (to arouse your shame).
35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; 37and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body (in a state of corruption or decomposition [of the body at burial]), it is raised an imperishable body (of the body of man exempt from decay after the resurrection.); 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam (Yehoshua) became a life-giving spirit. 46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. 48As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

The Mystery of Resurrection

50Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (that which is subject to corruption) inherit the imperishable (indestructibility, incorruptibility; hence: immortality.). 51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55“O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” (a sting, as that of bees [4 Macc. 14:19], scorpions, locusts, Revelation 9:10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. Since animals wound by their sting and even cause death, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:55 [after Hosea 13:14 , Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight. the Sept.] attributes to death, personified, a κέντρον, i. e. a deadly weapon, and that κέντρον is said to be ἡ ἁμαρτία (56), because sin is death’s cause and punishment (?) (Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— ). Dr. Saucy says there is some kind of “sting” associated with death.) 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast (in the N. T. metaphorically, of those who are fixed in purpose), immovable (firmly persistent (A. V. unmovable), always abounding (to be pre-eminent, to excel) in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

 
New American Standard Bible
Instructions and Greetings

1 Cor 16:1Now concerning the collection (a collection: of money gathered for the relief of the poor) for the saints (set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his: Just as the Israelites claimed for themselves the title οἱ ἅγιοι [Sacred, holy] because God selected them from the other nations to lead a life acceptable to him and rejoice in his favor and protection, so this appellation is very often in the N. T. transferred to Christians, as those whom God has selected ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου [John 17:14, 16 “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.], that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may be rendered, through holiness, partakers of salvation in the kingdom of God), as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper (whatever (business) has prospered), so that no collections be made when I come. 3When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; 4and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.
5But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; 6and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way (to send forward, bring on the way, accompany or escort. NASB: With supplies and equipment, and certainly with prayers and goodwill. However, Paul had indicated earlier in the letter [9:7-12] that he did not want to be a financial burden to them.) wherever I may go. 7For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits. 8But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; 9for a wide door for effective (is spoken of, ‘an opportunity for the working of the gospel) service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
10Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am. 11So let no one despise (to make of no account, to despise utterly) him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren.
12But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity.
13Be on the alert (Metaphorically, to watch i. e. give strict attention to, be cautious, or Active —lest one fall into sin), stand firm (to stand firm; tropically, to persist, persevere (A. V. stand fast): in one’s fellowship with the Lord) in the faith, act like men, be strong (i. e. show yourselves brave). 14Let all that you do be done in love.
15Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), 16that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors. 17I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part. 18For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
19The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 20All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21The greeting is in my own hand—Paul. 22If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed (a man accursed, devoted to the direst woes). Maranatha (i. e. our Lord cometh or will come). 23The grace (The apostles and N. T. writers at the beginning and end of their Epistles crave for their readers the favor (`grace’) of God or of Christ, to which all blessings, especially spiritual, are due.) of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 
New American Standard Bible
2 Corinthians
Introduction

2 Cor 1:1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia:
2Grace to you and peace (in the salutations at the beginning and the close of the apostolic Epistles) from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (the father of mercies i. e. most merciful) and God of all comfort (God the author and bestower of comfort), 4who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5For just as the sufferings (also the afflictions which Christians must undergo in behalf of the same cause for which Christ patiently endured, are called παθήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ [that which befalls one, i.e. a suffering, a passion]) of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective (to display one’s activity, show oneself operative) in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.
8For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9indeed, we had the sentence (an answer: where the meaning is, ‘On asking myself whether I should come out safe from mortal peril, I answered, I must die.) of death within ourselves ( i. e. in the soul, spirit, heart) so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope (in whom you have put your hope, and rely upon it). And He will yet deliver us, 11you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor (a gift of grace; a favor which one receives without any merit of his own; in the N. T. (where [except 1 Peter 4:10] used only by Paul) the gift of divine grace) bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

Paul’s Integrity

12For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness (sanctity, in a moral sense) and godly sincerity (purity, sincerity, ingenuousness, which God effects by the Holy Spirit), not in fleshly (equivalent to human: with the included idea of depravity) wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. 13For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end (the end of all things [i. e. of the present order of things]); 14just as you also partially (in part, i. e. somewhat) did understand us, that we are your reason to be proud as you also are ours, in the day (of the last day of the present age, the day in which Christ will return from heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom) of our Lord Jesus.
15In this confidence (trust, confidence (R. V.), reliance) I intended (to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded) at first to come to you, so that you might twice receive a blessing; 16that is, to pass your way into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and by you to be helped (to send forward, bring on the way, accompany or escort) on my journey to Judea. 17Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time? 18But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no. 19For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. 20For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen (i. e. had shown themselves most sure) to the glory (so as to honor God, to promote his glory [among men]) of God through us. 21Now He who establishes (causing us to be steadfast in our fellowship with Christ) us with you in Christ and anointed (enduing Christians with the gifts of the Holy Spirit) us is God, 22who also sealed (respecting God, who by the gift of the Holy Spirit indicates who are his, passive) us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge (to pledge; a word which seems to have passed from the Phoenicians to the Greeks, and thence into Latin. [the Holy Spirit is the believers’ down payment on eschatological salvation, cf. Eph 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.]), an earnest, i. e. money which in purchases is given as a pledge that the full amount will subsequently be paid; payment in advance for security) 23But I call God as witness to my soul (breath, i.e. [by implication] spirit, abstractly or concretely — heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you. ), that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth. 24Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

 
New American Standard Bible
Reaffirm Your Love

2 Cor 2:1But I determined this for my own sake, that I would not come to you in sorrow (of one who on coming both saddens and is made sad) again. 2For if I cause you sorrow, who then makes me glad but the one whom I made sorrowful? 3This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy would be the joy of you all. 4For out of much affliction (anxiety, burden of heart) and anguish (straits, distress) of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you. (NASB: This passage refers to a previous letter that had been sent to the Corinthians [1 Corinthians]).
5But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree—in order not to say too much—to all of you. 6Sufficient for such a one is this punishment (“to turn a situation in the right direction”) – the fitting (appropriate) response necessary to turn someone in the right direction) which was inflicted [many (high in number]; multitudinous, plenteous, “much”; “great” in amount [extent]) by the majority, 7so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (NASB: 2:5-11 speaks of a particular person who has been the cause of serious offense in Corinth and upon whom the church discipline has been imposed. Paul admonishes the Corinthians that because the offender has shown genuine sorrow and repentance for his sin the punishment should be discontinued and he should be lovingly restored to their fellowship.)
12Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13I had no rest for my spirit, not finding Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went on to Macedonia. (NASB: Paul had traveled up from Ephesus to Troas, a city on the Aegean coast opposite the Island of Tenedos, hoping to find Titus there and to receive news from him about the Corinthian church.)
14But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph (with the accusative of a person, to cause one to triumph, i. e. metaphorically, to grant one complete success) in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma (smell) of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15For we are a fragrance (our efficiency in which the power of Christ himself is at work is well-pleasing to God) of Christ to God among those who are being saved ( [it must be borne in mind, that according to John’s conception eternal life begins on earth, just as soon as one becomes united to Christ by faith]. Hence, οἱ σῳζόμενοι they to whom it belongs to partake of salvation, and οἱ ἀπολλύμενοι those to whom it belongs to perish or to be consigned to eternal misery, are contrasted by Paul.) and among those who are perishing; 16to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate (sufficient in ability, i. e. meet, fit [worthy, able, etc.], for something) for these things? 17For we are not like many (the many whom ye know), peddling (– properly, to act as an unscrupulous merchant, i.e. “a huckster” who profits by “peddling the Word of God” for personal gain. (“peddler”) is only used in 2 Cor 2:17 – of people “marketing the ministry” [the Word of God] for fast gain; equivalent to to trade in the word of God, i. e. to try to get base gain by teaching divine truth. But as pedlers were in the habit of adulterating their commodities for the sake of gain) the word of God, but as from sincerity (purity, sincerity, ingenuousness), but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight (he being witness) of God.

 
New American Standard Bible
Ministers of a New Covenant

2 Cor 3: 1Are we beginning to commend (to set one with another i. e. by way of presenting or introducing him, i. e. to commend) ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation (properly, what stands together, referring to a coherent endorsement, or letter of commendation [used only in 2 Cor 3:1]. NASB: Paul is sensitive to the fact that virtually everything he wrote or said was liable to be twisted and used in a hostile manner by the false teachers in Corinth.) to you or from you? 2You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit (the sacred writings Since the Jews so clave to the letter of the law that it not only became to them a mere letter but also a hindrance to true religion, Paul calls it γράμμα in a disparaging sense, and contrasts it with τό πνεῦμα i. e. the divine Spirit, whether operative in the Mosaic law, or in the gospel, by which Christians are governed); for the letter kills (to deprive of spiritual life and procure eternal misery), but the Spirit gives life (to cause to live, make alive, give life, by spiritual power to arouse and invigorate).
7But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 9For if the ministry of condemnation has glory (opinion [always good in N.T.], hence praise, honor, glory), much more does the ministry of righteousness abound (to be pre-eminent, to excel) in glory. 10For indeed what had glory (Law), in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.
12Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness (freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech) in our speech, 13and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 14But their minds were hardened (to grow hard or callous, become dull, lose the power of understanding); for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed (to render inoperative, abolish) in Christ. 15But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (from Jewish errors so blinding the mental vision that it does not discern the majesty of Christ). 18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror (the glory of Christ [which we behold in the gospel as in a mirror from which it is reflected]) the glory of the Lord, are being transformed (we are transformed into the same image [of consummate excellence that shines in Christ], reproduce the same image) into the same image (the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:49; Philippians 3:21), but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses: Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18.) from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

 
New American Standard Bible
Paul’s Apostolic Ministry

2 Cor 4: 1Therefore, since we have this ministry (For the believer, /diakonía (“ministry”) specifically refers to Spirit-empowered service guided by faith [/pístis, “the Lord’s inbirthed persuasion”]; of the office of the apostles and its administration), as we received mercy (to experience (A. V. obtain) mercy, specifically, of God granting even to the unworthy favor, benefits, opportunities, and particularly salvation by Christ.), we do not lose heart, 2but we have renounced (to give up) the things hidden (his secret thoughts, feelings, desires) because of shame (evil arts of which one ought to be ashamed), not walking in craftiness (cunning) or adulterating (to corrupt divine truth by mingling with it wrong notions) the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending (to set one with another i. e. by way of presenting or introducing him) ourselves to every man’s conscience (“the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending the one, condemning the other; conscience”) in the sight of God (NASB: Paul is referring to false teachers in Corinth. By contrast, he is able to appeal to the conscience of every one of them and also to his integrity in the sight of God, because his practice was always that of setting forth the truth plainly, i.e., without veiling it resorting to deception (cf. 1:12, 18-24.). 3And even if our gospel (of the author of the particular mode in which the subject-matter of the gospel is understood [conception of the gospel] and taught to others; thus Paul calls his exposition of the gospel [and that of the teachers who agree with him], in opposition to that of those teaching differently) is veiled (to hide, veil, i. e. to hinder the knowledge of a thing), it is veiled to those who are perishing (to destroy, destroy utterly; to die, with the implication of ruin and destruction”; cause to be lost [utterly perish] by experiencing a miserable end), 4in whose case the god of this world (the devil, who rules the thoughts and deeds of the men of this age) has blinded (to blunt the mental discernment, darken the mind) the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light ( that the brightness of the gospel might not shine forth (R. V. dawn [upon them]), i. e. (dropping the figure) that the enlightening truth of the gospel might not be manifest or be apprehended.) of the gospel (the good news [see not on the gospel below]) of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (Image: Image then exactly reflects its source [what it directly corresponds to]. For example, Christ is the very image [supreme expression] of the Godhead; to Christ, on account of his divine nature and absolute moral excellence, [see Col 1:15]). 5For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants (devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests: strenuously laboring for another’s salvation) for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” (cf. Gen 1:3) is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light (the act of enlightening, illumination: that by teaching we may bring to light etc.) of the knowledge (the knowledge of God, such as is offered in the gospel, especially in Paul’s exposition of it) of the glory of God in the face of Christ (to appear before the face of God, spoken of Christ, the eternal priest, who has entered into the heavenly sanctuary, Hebrews 9:24; in imitation of the Hebrew אֵל־פָּנִים פָּנִים [face] we have the phrase πρόσωπον πρός πρόσωπον, face [turned] to face: tropically, see God face to face, i. e. discern perfectly his nature, will, purposes; a person is said to be sent or to go, i. e. before one, to announce his coming and remove the obstacles from his way, that we may bring forth into the light the knowledge of the glory of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 4:6 [Paul really means, the majesty of God manifest in the person of Christ; but the signification of πρόσωπον is ‘face,’ and Paul is led to use the word by what he had said in of the brightness visible in the force of Moses].). (Note on pistis [faith] and diakonia [ministry] in v. 4:1: Observe the close connection of faith (4102 /pístis) and 1248 (diakonía) in Ac 6:1-7,21:19,20; Rom 12:3,7; 1 Cor 16:13,15; Eph 4:12,13; 1 Tim 1:12,14; 2 Tim 4:5,7.) (Note on the gospel v. 4:4: (the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus, the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom; After the death of Christ the term τό εὐαγγέλιον comprises also the preaching of [concerning] Jesus Christ as having suffered death on the cross to procure eternal salvation for men in the kingdom of God, but as restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, thence to return in majesty to consummate the kingdom of God; so that it may be more briefly defined as “the glad tidings of salvation through Christ; the proclamation of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Christ; the gospel”)
7But we have this treasure (something precious, used thus of the light of the gospel) in earthen (made of clay, earthen: with the added suggestion of frailty) vessels (is applied to human bodies, as frail), so that the surpassing greatness (superiority, excellence, preeminence (R. V. exceeding greatness) of the power (“inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth”: moral power and excellence of soul [see quote by Bruce below]. Saucy says the battle of Christ in the incarnation was a moral, “In the final analogy, it is a moral battle. It is a spiritual moral battle. It is not who has the most power. God could have obliterated Satan instantly, but that would not have won a moral battle. So it has to be fought on the moral plane, and it was on this plane that Yehoshua won.”) will be of God and not from ourselves; 8we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed (passive tropically, of one sorely ‘straitened’ in spirit); perplexed (to be at a loss with oneself, be in doubt; not to know how to decide or what to do), but not despairing (“to be utterly at a loss, be utterly destitute of measures or resources, to renounce all hope, be in despair”); 9persecuted, but not forsaken (to abandon, desert, in some place or condition), i. e. to leave in straits, leave helpless); struck down (to cast down: to throw to the ground, prostrate: passive [where the metaphor is taken from an athlete or combatant]), but not destroyed (tropically, to incur the loss of true or eternal life; to be delivered up to eternal misery); 10always carrying (to carry round: to bear about everywhere with one) about in the body the dying (equivalent to the being put to death, i. e. the (protracted) death (A. V. the dying) which Jesus underwent in God’s service; Paul so styles the marks of perpetual trials, misfortunes, hardships attended with peril of death, evident in his body) of Jesus, so that the life (a new mode of life, dedicated to God; of the life of Jesus after his resurrection, with the added notion of vigor) of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11For we who live are constantly being delivered over to (to councils [involving also the idea of conducting]) death (passive, to be given over to the peril of death) for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death works in us, but life in you. (Quote by Bruce v. 7: It (the victory of Christ over temptation) must not be the matter-of course result of the physical ground of His being, but the effect brought about by the operations of the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him in plenary measure, helping Him to exercise strong faith and to cherish lively hope, and inspiring Him with a love to His Father and to men, and with a consuming zeal for righteousness, which should be more than a match for all the temptations that might be directed against Him, by Satan and an evil world, acting on and through a pure but tremulously sensitive human nature. So regarded Christ’s strife with sin is a fair fight, and His conquest a moral achievement, and the physical divine ground is simply the guarantee that gracious influences shall be supplied to the adequate extent (A. B. Bruce, p. 270).)
13But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” (is used emphatically, of those who acknowledge Jesus as the saviour and devote themselves to him. NASB: Faith leads to testimony. Paul therefore tirelessly labored and journeyed to bring the gospel message to others.) we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14knowing that He (YHWH) who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed (new, to make new”; passive, new strength and vigor is given to me; /anakainóō [“to renew”] only occurs in 2 Cor 4:16 and Col 3:10, both times referring to God ever-transforming the believer – by renewing “the new man” (anthrōpos) in Christ.) day by day. 17For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

 

New American Standard Bible
The Temporal and Eternal

2 Cor: 5 1For we know that if the earthly tent (a tabernacle, a tent, used metaphorically, of the human body, in which the soul dwells as in a tent, and which is taken down at death) which is our house is torn down, we have a building (used of the heavenly body, the abode of the soul after death) from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked (– clothe oneself, emphasizing the personal choice (heart-desire) that strongly yearns to be aptly clothed. Both occasions of ependýomai [“appropriately clothed”] refer to the glorified body the Lord gives [puts on] each believer at Christ’s return (cf. 2 Cor 5:2,4 with 5:10). This unique glorification will “fit” [be appropriate], and is part of the eternal reward matching the individual’s desire to see Christ return (see J. I. Packer, Concise Theology, 249). ). 4For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed (to put off the body, the clothing of the soul (A. V. be unclothed) but to be clothed (to put on over [A. V. to be clothed upon]), so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life (without epithet, are used of the blessing of real life after the resurrection, at the end. NASB: By our participation in the resurrection life of Jesus (4:10) our mortal being is swallowed up by life, not by death. Paul reverses the age-old imagery of death and the grave being the great swallower [see Ps 69:15; Prov 1:12], as did Isaiah [see Is 25:8; see also 1 Cor 15:54]. ). 5Now He who prepared (to fashion, i. e. render one fit for a thing) us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge [an earnest [a part payment in advance for security]).
6Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9Therefore we also have as our ambition (to strive earnestly, make it one’s aim), whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat (a raised place mounted by steps; a platform, tribune: used of the official seat of a judge; of the judgment-seat of Christ, Romans 14:10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. [Believers’’ judgment for the works done in this life, to receive rewards or suffer lost. Also see Eph 2:10) of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (1 Cor 3: 10-15 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.)
11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade (to persuade, to have confidence) men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. 12We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves (to displace, to stand aside from), it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ controls (to urge, impel: tropically, the soul [A. V. constraineth]) us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, so that they who live (to live, of the manner of living and acting; of morals or character; to devote, consecrate, life to one; so to live that life results in benefit to someone or to his cause) might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh (man as he appears, such as he presents himself to view, man’s external appearance and condition); even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new (all things are new, previously non-existent, begin to be far different from what they were before) creature (is used of a man regenerated through Christ); the old things (the man’s previous moral condition) passed away; behold, new things have come. 18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled (to receive one into his favor (A. V. reconcile one to himself [where in the added participles two arguments are adduced which prove that God has done this: first, that he does not impute to men their trespasses; second, that he has deposited the doctrine of reconciliation in the souls of the preachers of the gospel]) us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal (to admonish, exhort, followed by direct discourse,) through us; we beg (δεομεθα to beg (as binding oneself), i.e. petition — beseech, pray (to), make request.) you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 
New American Standard Bible
Their Ministry Commended

2 Cor 6: 1And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace (is used of “the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues”) of God in vain— (to no purpose, empty. NASB: to live for oneself [see 5:15] is one way to do this)
2for He says,
“AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.”
Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”—
(NASB: This understanding dos not exclude from grace and salvation those who lived before Christ’s coming, for the believers of the OT period received the promises that in due course were fulfilled in Christ (1:20) and they saw and welcomed their fulfillment from a distance (see John 8:56; Heb 11:13)
3giving no cause for offense (to do something which causes others to stumble, i. e. leads them into error or sin,) in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited (to blame, find fault with, mock at), 4but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance (in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings), in afflictions (oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits), in hardships (calamity, distress, straits [plural]), in distresses (dire calamity, extreme affliction, (A. V. distress, anguish), 5in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults (disturbances, disorders of seditions), in labors (intense labor united with trouble, toil [plural] ), in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6in purity (uprightness of life), in knowledge (the deeper, more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced), in patience (forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs), in kindness (benignity ), in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7in the word of truth ( preaching), in the power (is used of the divine power considered as acting upon the minds of men) of God; by the weapons ([“instruments to make war”] underlines that God always gives all the resources we need to prevail in every form of spiritual warfare – as we live in faith [“His inbirthed persuasion”]) of righteousness (“integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling, and acting) for the right hand (for the purpose of defense, as the shield) and the left (defensive weapons), 8by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9as unknown yet well-known, as dying (I meet death daily, live daily in danger of death) yet behold, we live (in the sense of living and thriving); as punished yet not put to death, 10as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor (needy) yet making many rich (used of spiritual riches), as having nothing yet possessing all things.(NASB: True wealth does not consist in worldly possessions but in being “rich toward God” (Luke 12:15, 21). The believer, even if he has nothing of this world’s goods, nevertheless has everything in Him who is Lord of all [cf. 1Cor 1:4-5; 3:21-23; Eph 2:7; 3:8; Phil 4:19; Col 2:3])
11Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. 12You are not restrained (ample space is granted you in our souls, i. e. we enfold you with large affection) by us, but you are restrained (you do not grant a place in your heart for love toward me) in your own affections. 13Now in a like exchange (n a good sense, a concise expression for Be ye also enlarged i. e. enlarge your hearts, just as I have done, that so ye may recompense me) —I speak as to children—open wide (be ye also enlarged in heart, to receive me therein) to us also.
14Do not be bound together (to be unequally yoked; tropically, to have fellowship with one who is not an equal, where the apostle is forbidding Christians to have contact with idolaters) with unbelievers; for what partnership (a sharing, communion, fellowship; a close relation between partners, i.e. people sharing something held in common) have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light (used to denote truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity congruous with it, especially the saving truth embodied in Christ and by his love and effort imparted to mankind) with darkness (of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent misery)? 15Or what harmony (concord, agreement) has Christ with Belial (Belial, a name of Satan), or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
16Or what agreement has the temple of God (of a company of Christians, a Christian church, as dwelt in by the Spirit of God) with idols (a false god)? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
17“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
“AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you.
18“And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.

(Saucy: Adoption is the ultimate fruit and goal of redemption. The ultimate goal of God’s covenants with his people is that He may be their God and they His people [Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor. 6:16, 18; cf. Rev. 21:7—“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son”]. All true believers overcome in Christ because He overcame.)

 
New American Standard Bible
Paul Reveals His Heart

2 Cor 7:1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse (in a moral sense; to free from the defilement of sin and from faults; to purify from wickedness) ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting (to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete) holiness in the fear of God.
2Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted (to to bring to want or beggary) no one, we took advantage (to gain or take advantage of another, to overreach) of no one. 3I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. 4Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort (solace or cheer which comes from a happy lot or a prosperous state of things); I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.
5For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. 6But God, who comforts the depressed (brought low with grief, depressed), comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more. 8For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while— 9I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance (used merely of the improved spiritual state resulting from deep sorrow for sin); for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation (salvation as the present possession of all true Christians), but the sorrow of the world produces death (“the misery of soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body”). 11For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong (a revenging; vengeance, punishment)! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. 12So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God. 13For this reason we have been comforted.
And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus proved to be the truth. 15His affection abounds all the more toward you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you.

New American Standard Bible
Great Generosity

2 Cor 8: 1Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed (to redound unto, turn out abundantly for, a thing) in the wealth (fullness, abundance, plenitude) of their liberality (openness of heart manifesting itself by benefactions). 3For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will (a determination (properly, the thing), i.e. (actively) choice (specially, purpose, decree; abstractly, volition) or (passively) inclination — desire, pleasure, will.) of God. 6So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well. (NASB: The collection had been started in Corinth under the directions of Titus during the previous year (see v.10; 9:2), but, no doubt because of the troubles in the Corinthian church, had slowed down or come to a standstill. Paul is now sending Titus back to them, taking with him this present letter, for the purpose of completing this good work, which he describes as a “gracious work” [cf. the link between the grace of God and the selfless generosity of the Macedonian churches in vv. 1-5]).
7But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance (a word [as embodying an idea], a statement, a speech) and knowledge and in all earnestness ( diligence: universally, earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything) and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving ( to test; by implication, to approve — allow, discern, examine, like, (ap-)prove, try.) through the earnestness of others (NASB: The remarkable example of the Macedonian churches [vv. 1-5]) the sincerity of your love ( NASB: They can prove this by giving selflessly and spontaneously.) also. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich (he formerly abounded in the riches of a heavenly condition, by assuming human nature he entered into a state of [earthly] poverty, ), yet for your sake He became poor (properly, one who slinks and crouches), often involving the idea of roving about in wretchedness [“but it always had a bad sense till it was ennobled in the Gospels]; see Phil 2:3-8 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.), so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage (to bring together, to be profitable), who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness (inclination; readiness of mind) to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. 12For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality— 14at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; 15as it is written, “HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK.” (NASB: The reference is to the gathering by the Israelites of the manna in the wilderness. Though in the daily gathering the aged and weak might collect less than the prescribed amount and the young and vigorous might collect more, there was an equal distribution, so that the excess of some ministered to the deficiency of others.)
16But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness (diligence: earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything) on your behalf in the heart of Titus. 17For he not only accepted our appeal (exhortation, admonition, encouragement), but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord. 18We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches; 19and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness (properly, “before-passion” referring to someone who is already being willing, i.e. an eager disposition which is pre-inclined [already “ready and willing”]), 20taking precaution (to arrange, prepare, gather up, hence to restrain ) so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift (once in the N. T.: bountiful collection, great liberality, [R. V. bounty]); 21for we have regard for what is honorable ( better, fair, good(-ly), honest, meet, well, worthy), not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers (a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders) of the churches, a glory to Christ. 24Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.
New American Standard Bible
God Gives Most

2 Cor 9:1For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; 2for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared; 4otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to speak of you—will be put to shame by this confidence (firm trust, assurance). 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness a gift which betrays the giver’s covetousness [here R. V. text extortion]).
6Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (NASB: probably a well-known proverb – but not taken from the O.T. book of Proverbs). 7Each one must do just as he has purposed (to bring forth or forward, to prefer) in his heart, not grudgingly (of necessity, i. e. by compulsion) or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful (“won over, already inclined”, is only used in 2 Cor 9:7 where it describes spontaneously non-reluctant giving.) giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency (a perfect condition of life, in which no aid or support is needed; hence, a sufficiency of the necessaries of life) in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
9as it is written,
“HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”
10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving (the giving of thanks) to God. 12For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God (NASB: Displayed in this unselfish demonstration of their loving concern for fellow believers who are in desperate need) in you. 15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (His own Son [John 3:16])!

 
New American Standard Bible
Paul Describes Himself

2 Cor 10:1Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness (gentleness) and gentleness (mildness, gentleness, fairness ) of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold ( to exercise courage — be bold, boldly, have confidence, be confident) toward you when absent! 2I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war (to fight: tropically, of the conflicts of the apostolic office; to make war, hence to serve as a soldier) according to the flesh, 4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful (mighty, i. e. having power for something [YHWH]; God being judge) for the destruction of fortresses (oxýrōma– a fortified, military stronghold; a strong-walled fortress; [“a heavily-fortified containment”] is used figuratively of a false argument in which a person seeks “shelter” [“a safe place”] to escape reality). 5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete (to make complete in every particular; to render perfect; to cause all to obey).
7You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. 8For even if I boast somewhat further about our authority (the power of authority (influence) and of right: spoken of the authority of an apostle), which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame (to be suffused with shame, be made ashamed, be ashamed), 9for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. 10For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.” 11Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.
12For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding (where what is understood is evident from the preceding context. NASB: The false teachers in Corinth behave as though there is no standard of comparison higher than themselves, but Paul boasts only in the Lord [see vv. 13-18; cf. 1Cor 1:31]). 13But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere (“a definitely bounded or fixed space within the limits of which one’s power or influence is confined; the province assigned one; one’s sphere of activity”) which God apportioned (to bestow, impart) to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. (NASB: In intruding themselves into Corinth, the false apostles had crossed into Paul’s lane [as if running on an athletic track], which was the lane that God had marked out and that had brought him to the Corinthians as their genuine apostle. He has no intention of invading the territory marked out for others and claiming their work as his own, as these false teachers were doing.) 14For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you, for we were the first to come even as far as you in the gospel of Christ; 15not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged (of Paul, that his apostolic efficiency among the Corinthians may increase more and more and have more abundant results) even more by you, 16so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another. 17But HE WHO BOASTS IS TO BOAST IN THE LORD. 18For it is not he who commends (to set one with another i. e. by way of presenting or introducing him; establish, stand near, consist) himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.

 
New American Standard Bible
Paul Defends His Apostleship

2 Cor 11:1I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness (folly, senselessness) but indeed you are bearing with me. 2For I am jealous (zeal) for you with a godly jealousy (NASB: Paul cannot bear the thought that there might be any rival to Christ and His gospel.); for I betrothed you to one husband (NASB: As their spiritual father [cf. 6:13], Paul has promised the Corinthian believers to Christ, who is frequently depicted in the NT as the bridegroom, with the church portrayed as His bride [Matt 9:15; John 3:29; Rom 7:4; 1 Cor 6:15; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7-9; 21:2]), so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin (NASB: Pure virgin: undefiled by the doctrine of false teachers [see vv. 3-4]) 3But I am afraid that, as the serpent (with the ancients the serpent was an emblem of cunning and wisdom) deceived (to seduce wholly [see 1 John 2:16 lust (desire for what is forbidden, lust) of the flesh (the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin. See Gen 3:4-6 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.), eyes, and pride (display in one’s style of living, [R. V. vainglory]) of life]) Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity (sincerity of mind toward Christ, i. e. single-hearted faith in Christ, as opposed to false wisdom in matters pertaining to Christianity) and purity of devotion to Christ. 4For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached (NASB: They [false apostles] presented a Jesus cast in the mold of judaistic teaching (Paul’s opponents were Jews; see v.22.), or you receive a different spirit ( NASB: A spirit of bondage, fear and worldliness [cf. rom 8:15; 1 Cor 2:12; Gal 2:4; 4:24; Col 2:20-23] instead of a spirit of freedom, love, joy, peace and power [cf. 3:17; Rom 14:17; Gal 2:4; 5:1, 22; Eph 3:20; Col 1:11; 2 Tim 1:7]. They had been undiscerningly tolerant of these deceivers in their midst.) which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear [to hold up] to hold oneself erect and firm [against any person or thing], to sustain, to bear [with equanimity], to bear with, endure) this beautifully 5For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.
7Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? 8I robbed (NASB: Accepted freely given support from other established congregations) other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; 9and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so. 10As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel (messenger) of light (a heavenly light, such as surrounds angels when they appear on earth, and illumines the place where they appear. NASB: Though he is really the prince of darkness.). 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds (to recompense one).
16Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison.
But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen (stock, race), dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? (NASB: So closely did Pau identify himself with them that he felt the weakness of any member who was weak. If anyone was led into sin, he not only burned with indignation against the person responsible but also experienced the shame of the offense and longed for the restoration of the one who had stumbled.)
30If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness (to bear trials and troubles). 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus the ethnarch (the governor of Damascene Syria, ruling in the name of king Aretas) under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.

 
New American Standard Bible
Paul’s Vision

2 Cor 12:1Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— 4was caught up into Paradise (an upper region in the heavens) and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. 5On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. 6For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me. (NASB: If his adversaries falsely claimed to have received their teaching directly from God through visions and revelations, Paul could claim that this was truly so in his case. But he mentions this here to show that the supreme height to which he was raised through these ecstatic experiences was counterbalanced by the humbling depth of a particular affliction he was given to bear [See v. 7], so that he should continue to glory not in self but only in the “God of all grace” [1 Peter 5:10])

A Thorn in the Flesh

7Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn (properly, anything with a sharp point, a thorn; (figuratively) an instrument producing pain, discomfort acute irritation]; to pierce my flesh, appears to indicate some constant bodily ailment or infirmity, which, even when Paul had been caught up in a trance to the third heaven, sternly admonished him that he still dwelt in a frail and mortal body) in the flesh, a messenger (angle) of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient (my grace is sufficient for thee, namely, to enable thee to bear the evil manfully; there is, therefore, no reason why thou shouldst ask for its remova) for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (plural the mental states in which this weakness manifests itself) Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong (strong in soul: to bear calamities and trials with fortitude and patience).
11I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody. 12The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance (steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings), by signs (the tokens by which one is proved to be an apostle) and wonders (a miraculous wonder, done to elicit a reaction from onlookers; accordingly something so strange as to cause it to be ‘watehed’ or ‘observed’) and miracles (a mighty work ((miraculous) power, might, strength; force; specially, miraculous power; [Note: dýnamis– properly, “ability to perform” (for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability” is needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven (glorification)]). 13For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
14Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15I will most gladly spend and be expended (to spend oneself wholly: followed by ὑπέρ τίνος, of one who consumes strength and life in laboring for others’ salvation) for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit (NASB: Sarcastically echoes another of the slanders being made against Paul by the false apostles). 17Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I? 18I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?
19All this time you have been thinking that we are defending (by my defense I strive to convince that I am innocent or upright, to defend or justify myself in one’s eyes unto) ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding (with a genitive of the person whose growth is furthered), beloved. (NASB: Paul’s concern in speaking of himself is not for his own personal prestige and reputation before people (cf. 1 Cor 4:3-4). It is before God that he stands, and his standing before God is in Christ. Far from being self-centered, his concern is for the Corinthians, his dear friends – for their strengthening as they too stand before God in Christ. His entire ministry, with its suffering, is directed to this end [cf. 10:8]). 20For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; 21I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.

 
New American Standard Bible
Examine Yourselves

2 Cor 13:1This is the third time I am coming to you. EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. 2I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare (to keep back) anyone, 3since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed (of reference or relation; with respect to, in reference to; as regards) toward you (NASB: Paul is referring to his present apostolic authority, and to the fact that divine power will be displayed by the punishment of any who resist that authority.)
5Test (to make proof of, to attempt, test, tempt) yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! (NASB: Instead of demanding proof that Christ was speaking through him [v. 3], as the false apostles were inciting them to do, they should look into their own hearts.) Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test (not standing the test, rejected)? 6But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test. 7Now we pray to God that you do no wrong (to do, commit evil); not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. 8For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. 9For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete (– properly, a particular brand (type) of adjustment – overcoming “mental dislocations” brought on by arrogance (refusal to repent); a strengthening, perfecting, of the soul, [a training, disciplining, instructing]). 10For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity (sharply, severely [cf. our curtly]), in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.
11Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13All the saints greet you.
14The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love (Of the love of God toward men) of God, and the fellowship (the share which one has in anything, participation) of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

 
New American Standard Bible
Galatians
Introduction

Gal 1:1Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2and all the brethren (a fellow-believer, united to another by the bond of affection; so most frequently of Christians, constituting as it were but a single family) who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will (pleasure) of our God and Father, 5to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

Perversion of the Gospel

6I am amazed (to marvel that) that you are so quickly deserting (to transfer, change) Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different (to quality; another i. e. one not of the same nature, form, class, kind; different) gospel; 7which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort (to pervert, corrupt) the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary (contrary to that which, i. e. at variance with that which) to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed (devoted to the direst woes, anathema)! 9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
10For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Paul Defends His Ministry

11For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation (in N. T. and ecclesiastical language (see end), a. a disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown — especially those relating to the Christian salvation — given to the soul by God himself, or by the ascended Christ, especially through the operation of the Holy Spirit) of Jesus Christ.
13For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous (to defend and uphold a thing, vehemently contending for a thing) for my ancestral traditions (precepts received from the fathers, whether handed down in the O. T. books or orally, others restrict the word here to the extra-biblical traditions). 15But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called (to call (equivalent to to select) to assume some office, of God appointing or committing an office to one) me through His grace, was pleased (Grace: but the N. T. writers use χάρις pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestow: favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ. [Paul’s conversion: Acts 9:1-19 … vv. 3-6; 13-16 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” ….But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen [the act of picking out, choosing: specifically used of that act of God’s free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons; a (divine) selection] instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” It is retold in Acts 22:6-21 vv. 12-15 “A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing near said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very time I looked up at him. “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed (to put into the hand, to take into one’s hand, hence to determine) you to know His will (of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ,) and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. ‘For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. It is also retold in Acts 26:12-18 vv. 15- 18 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’]), 16to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
18Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20(Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) 21Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; 23but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24And they were glorifying God because of me.

 

 

New American Standard Bible
The Council at Jerusalem

Gal 2:1Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation (those highly esteemed, of repute, looked up to, influential. NASB: Paul recognized their authority, and is probably referring to James, Peter, and John [v. 9; cf. v. 6]), for fear that I might be running, or had run (by a metaphor taken from the runners in a race, to exert oneself, strive hard; to spend one’s strength in performing or attaining something), in vain (to no purpose). 3But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4But it was because of the false brethren (i. e. one who ostentatiously professes to be a Christian, but is destitute of Christian knowledge and piety) secretly (secretly or surreptitiously brought in; one who has stolen in) brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty (from the yoke of the Mosaic law) which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage (enslave). 5But we did not yield (give place) in subjection (obedience) to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality [Hebraistically, the appearance one presents by his wealth or poverty, his rank or low condition; outward circumstances, external condition; so used in expressions which denote to regard the person in one’s judgment and treatment of men])—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8(for He who effectually(intransitive, to be operative, be at work, put forth power; work [effectually in]; , to work for one, aid one, unto [the accomplishing of] something, unto the assumption [or discharge] of the apostolic office) worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars (used of persons to whose eminence and strength the stability and authority of any institution or organization are due), gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (the right hand as the sign and pledge of fellowship [in fulfilling the apostolic office]), so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.

Peter (Cephas) Opposed by Paul

11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed (to set oneself against, to withstand resist) him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof (to make a ὅρος or boundary); “to mark off from (ἀπό) others by boundaries, to limit, to separate” from others), fearing the party of the circumcision. 13The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy (to play a part with). 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
15“We are Jews by nature (birth, physical origin: we so far as our origin is considered, i. e. by birth, are Jews) and not sinners (heathen, called by the Jews sinners) from among the Gentiles; 16nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 17“But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners (pre-eminently sinful, especially wicked), is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18“For if I rebuild (to build upon a foundation laid by others, i. e. (without a figure) to carry on instruction begun by others) what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor (a lawbreaker). 19“For through the Law I died (to become wholly alienated from a thing, and freed from all connection with it, so that your relation to etc. has passed away) to the Law, so that I might live (to devote, consecrate, life to one; so to live that life results in benefit to someone or to his cause) to God. 20“I have been crucified (to crucify together with; by the death of Christ upon the cross I have become utterly estranged from (dead to) my former habit of feeling and action.) with Christ; and it is no longer (for it cannot now be said) I who live (that life which I live in an earthly body), but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith (in the N. T. of “the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of his soul”; thus it stands α. absolutely to trust in Jesus or in God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something; entrust; in reference to Christ, it denotes “a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God” [with the genitive of the object]. Note: 4100 pisteúō (from 4102 /pístis, “faith,” derived from 3982 /peíthō, “persuade, be persuaded”) – believe (affirm, have confidence); used of persuading oneself (= human believing) and with the sacred significance of being persuaded by the Lord (= faith-believing). Only the context indicates whether 4100 /pisteúō (“believe”) is self-serving (without sacred meaning), or the believing that leads to/proceeds from God’s inbirthing of faith.) in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (NASB: To mingle legalism with grace distorts grace and makes a mockery of the cross.)

 
New American Standard Bible
Faith Brings Righteousness

Gal 3:1You foolish (not understanding, unwise) Galatians, who has bewitched (to bring evil on one by feigned praise or an evil eye, to charm, bewitch one, hence, of those who lead away others into error by wicked arts; [figuratively] captivate [“be spellbinding”], appealing to someone’s vanity and selfishness; “to blight by the evil eye, bewitch”) you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing (properly, hearing; used of inner [spiritual] hearing that goes with receiving faith from God [Ro 10:17], i.e. spiritual hearing [discerning God’s voice]; instruction, namely oral; specifically, the preaching of the gospel, preaching on the necessity of faith) with faith (in reference to Christ, it denotes “a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God”, instruction concerning the necessity of faith). Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now (frequently it denotes a somewhat extended portion of present time as opposed to a former state of things) being perfected (to make an end for oneself, i. e. to leave off so as to give yourselves up to the flesh, stop with, rest in it (others take it passively here: are ye perfected in etc.) by the flesh (to make for oneself an end by devoting oneself to the flesh, i. e. by gradually losing the Holy Spirit and giving oneself up to the control of the flesh)? (NASB: Both salvation and sanctification are the work of the Holy Spirit. Flesh: A reference to human nature in its unregenerate weakness. Trying to achieve righteousness by works, including circumcision, was a part of life in the “flesh.”) 4Did you suffer ( properly, to feel heavy emotion, especially suffering; affected, experiencing feeling [literally “sensible” = “sensed-experience”]; “the feeling of the mind, emotion, passion”; to experience a sensation or impression [usually painful] — feel, passion, suffer, vex.) so many things in vain (in vain; without success or effect)—if indeed it was in vain? (NASB: Paul hopes those who have been mislead will return to the true gospel.) 5So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
6Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED (lay to one’s charge; “a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i. e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight”) TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS (faith is reckoned to one for righteousness, i. e. is so taken into account, that righteousness is ascribed to it or recognized in it). 7Therefore, be sure (understand) that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. (NASB: Abraham was the physical and spiritual father of the Jewish race [see John 8:33, 39, 53; Acts 7:2; Rom 4:12]. Here all believers [Jews and Gentiles] are called his spiritual children. They are also referred to as the “seed” or “descendents” of Abraham (v. 16; Heb 2:16) 8The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (Especially is it so used, in the technical phraseology of Paul, respecting God who judges and declares such men as put faith in Christ to be righteous and acceptable to him, and accordingly fit to receive the pardon of their sins and eternal life.) the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
10For as many as are of the works of the Law (NASB: The reference is to legalists – those who refuse God’s offer of grace and insist on pursuing righteousness through works.) are under a curse (to be under a curse, i. e. liable to the appointed penalty of being cursed); for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” 11Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (NASB: Live: Means here (and in v. 12) almost the same thing ‘will be justified.”) 12However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE (emphatically, and in the Messianic sense, to enjoy real life, i. e. to have true life and worthy of the name — active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God) BY THEM.” 13Christ redeemed (properly to redeem i. e. by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off ; metaphorically, of Christ freeing men from the dominion of the Mosaic law at the price of his vicarious death) us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse (to redeem one exposed to the threatened penalty of a curse) for us—for it is written, “CURSED (abstract for the concrete, one in whom the curse is exhibited, i. e. undergoing the appointed penalty of cursing) IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (NASB: The blessing of Abraham: see v.8. Promise of the Spirit: see Ez 36:26; 37:14; 39:29; John 14:16; cf. Eph 1:13)

Intent of the Law

15Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s (I speak as a man to whom analogies from human affairs present themselves, while I illustrate divine things by an example drawn from ordinary human life) covenant, yet when it has been ratified (to make valid; to confirm publicly or solemnly), no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed (By a rabbinical method of interpreting, opposed to the usage of the Hebrew זֶרַע , which signifies the offspring whether consisting of one person or many, Paul lays such stress on the singular number in Genesis 13:15; Genesis 17:8 as to make it denote but one of Abraham’s posterity, and that the Messiah). He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. (See Gen 22:17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed (Yehoshua) as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed (Yehoshua) shall possess the gate of their [lit, his] enemies. 18“In your seed (Yehoshua) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” [See Heb 11:8, 17]) 17What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify (to make void) the promise. 18For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.
19Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions (to create transgressions, i. e. that sins might take on the character of transgressions, and thereby the consciousness of sin be intensified and the desire for redemption be aroused), having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator (used of Moses, as one who brought the commands of God to the people of Israel and acted as mediator with God on behalf of the people), until the seed (Yehoshua) would come to whom the promise had been made. 20Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23But before faith came, we were kept in custody (under the control of the Mosaic law, that we might not escape from its power, with, kept in ward) under the law, being shut up (to shup up on all sides, shut up completely; so to deliver one up to the power of a person or thing that he is completely shut in, as it were, without means of escape) to the faith (in Christ v. 22) which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith (Tutor: The name carries with it an idea of severity (as of a stern censor and enforcer of morals) in Galatians 3:24f where the Mosaic law is likened to a tutor because it arouses the consciousness of sin, and is called paidagogos, i. e. preparing the soul for Christ, because those who have learned by experience with the law that they are not and cannot be commended to God by their works, welcome the more eagerly the hope of salvation offered them through the death and resurrection of Christ, the Son of God.). 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (NASB: vv. 25-26 By adoption, the justified believer is a full adult and heir in God’s family, with all the attendant rights and privileges (Gal 4:1-7; Rom 8:14-17) 27For all of you who were baptized (to bring by baptism into fellowship with Christ, into fellowship in his death, by which fellowship we have died to sin, Holy Spirit baptism) into Christ have clothed (to clothe or be clothed with [in the sense of sinking into a garment]; see 1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. [Cf. Rom 6:3-11]) yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

 
New American Standard Bible
Sonship in Christ

Gal 4:1Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things (the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens, or [as others think] because in them the elements of man’s life and destiny were supposed to reside. Elemental spirits.) of the world. 4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6Because you are sons (those who are governed by the Spirit of God, repose the same calm and joyful trust in God which children do in their parents, and hereafter in the blessedness and glory of the life eternal will openly wear this dignity of sons of God), God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts (the center and seat of spiritual life, “the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors” (so in English heart, inner man; [intellect, emotion, will] etc.), crying (of those who offer earnest, importunate, prayers to God, followed by direct discourse), “Abba! Father!” 7Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
8However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9But now that you have come to know God (to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of; passive to become known; to learn from one, with the accusative of person to recognize as worthy of intimacy and love, to own; so those whom God has judged worthy of the blessings of the gospel are said ὑπό τοῦ Θεοῦ γινώσκεσθαι: I am taking in knowledge, come to know, learn; ginṓskō – properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance). /ginṓskō [“experientially know”] is used for example in Lk 1:34, “And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, ‘How will this be since I do not know [/ginṓskō = sexual intimacy] a man?'”), or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak (used of the religious systems anterior to Christ, as having no power to promote piety and salvation) and worthless (helpless, powerless to accomplish an end; `bringing no rich endowment of spiritual treasure’ [Lightfoot]) elemental things, to which you desire (to be resolved or determined, to purpose) to be enslaved all over again? 10You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain (Labored: for one, for his benefit, in vain: without success or effect).
12I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are (to suffer oneself to be wronged, take wrong). You have done me no wrong; 13but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; 14and that which was a trial (proving; the trial made of you by my bodily condition, since this condition served to test the love of the Galatians toward Paul) to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17They (NASB: Judizers, see 2:4,12) eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them. 18But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you. 19My children, with whom I am again in labor (whose souls I am striving with intense effort and anguish to conform to the mind of Christ) until Christ is formed (literally, until a mind and life in complete harmony with the mind and life of Christ shall have been formed in you) in you— (NASB: The goal of Paul’s ministry, see Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Eph 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. Col 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.) 20but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed (I am perplexed about you, I know not how to deal with you, in what style to address you) about you.

Bond and Free

21Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman (specifically, of the maid-servant who had charge of the door: Hagar who was Sarah’s handmaid, an Egyptian, the mother if Ishmael) and one by the free woman (Abraham’s wife: Sarai changed to Sarah, the mother of Isaac). 23But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai (Law) bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem above (above, in a higher place) is free; she is our mother.
27For it is written,
“REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR;
BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR;
FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE
THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”
28And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted (hence, in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one) him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.
30But what does the Scripture say?
“CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON,
FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR (to inherit) WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN.”
31So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.
(*Excerpts from Classroom Biblical Theology I and III: Gal. 4:3 – elemental spirits of this world: “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world”, that is, elementary spirits that use the law to hold people in bondage. They use the fundamental moral law that everyone has to hold people in bondage. Rom. 2:14-15 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. Anyone that is under Law, Satan uses that to keep them in bondage. To say that Christ has fulfilled the law for believers puts everything in a different perspective. The devil uses the law to keep people in bondage, and the elemental spirits are behind it. There is a spiritual power at work, and believers are always dealing with it. There is probably nothing against God that does not have some relationship to some spiritual power. The atoning work of Christ takes power to free believers from bondage. *What is this force that keeps man in bondage? *Does disobedience itself have power in it? Answer: There is a living active force in the world that opposes God, and this is what man deals with: Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Christ has broken the hold of this power on believers and they do not have to obey it anymore: Heb. 2:14 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. 1Jn. 3:8 “He that committeth sin (continually) is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Rom. 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Rom. 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. Rom. 7:11 “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” If human beings are held in bondage, that takes some kind of force. *If human beings are fighting against a force, what is this force? *Does disobedience have force within it? Answer: There is a living force fighting against God. Living beings were probably holding believers in bondage (see Eph. 6:12 above). Now believers have the power and freedom to obey God in Christ.)

 
New American Standard Bible
Walk by the Spirit

Gal 5:1It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
2Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit (to help, profit, one in a thing) to you. 3And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4You have been severed (to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from, anyone; to terminate all contact with one [a pregnant construction]) from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen (to drop away; specially, be driven out of one’s course; figuratively, to lose, become inefficient — be cast, fail, fall [away, off], take none effect. NASB: Placed yourself outside the scope of divine favor, because gaining favor by observing the law and receiving it by grace are mutually exclusive [see 2 Peter 3:17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness]) from grace. 5For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness ([Eschatological salvation] A reference to God’s final verdict of ‘not guilty,” assured presently to the believer by faith and by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the few eschatological statements in Galatians) (Remember that in all the local churches there were professing Christians who were not really saved; the same way it is today). 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working (to be at work, to work, to do) through love (Of the love of men to men; especially of that love of Christians toward Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or as expressed. [The source of love in believers is YHWH, See Rom 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love [affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love] of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.)
7You were running well; who hindered (to cut into, to impede one’s course by cutting off his way) you from obeying the truth? 8This persuasion (used only of self-produced persuasion; treacherous or deceptive persuasion) did not come from Him who calls you. 9A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. 10I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt (to have understanding, to think) no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment (to bear the force of the condemnatory judgment in suffering punishment), whoever he is. 11But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished. 12I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate (I would that they [who urge the necessity of circumcision would not only circumcise themselves, but] would even mutilate themselves [or cut off their privy parts]) themselves.
13For you were called to freedom (liberty to do or to omit things having no relation to salvation, from the yoke of the Mosaic law), brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity (to take occasion, find an incentive. NASB: Liberty is not license but freedom to serve God and each other in love.) for the flesh, but through love serve one another 14For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 15But if you bite (to wound the soul, cut, lacerate, rend with reproaches) and devour (to ruin) one another, take care that you are not consumed (to consume, use up, destroy) by one another.
16But I say, walk (to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself, with a dative of the standard according to which one governs his life [the Holy Spirit]) by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh (to perform, execute, complete, fulfill (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command, etc.), i. e. α. with special reference to the subject-matter, to carry out the contents of a command” [from the flesh] [Remember that the flesh is physically alive. Man is a “living soul”: the material (body) and the sprit (heart [intellect, emotion, will], inner man), see gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (being)]). 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition (to oppose, be adverse to, withstand) to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led (to more, impel, of forces and influences affecting the mind) by the Spirit, you are not under the Law (remember that the “Everlasting Covenant” is to walk, conduct, your life with YHWH). 19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality (fornication used properly, of illicit sexual intercourse in general.), impurity (in a moral sense, the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living), sensuality (lasciviousness), 20idolatry (the worship of false gods, idolatry), sorcery (sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it), enmities (hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition — enmity, hatred), strife (literally quarrel, strife; properly, a readiness to quarrel (having a contentious spirit), affection for dispute; contention, strife, wrangling), jealousy (zeal), outbursts of anger (also impulses), disputes (rivalry, hence ambition), dissensions (division), factions (dissensions arising from diversity of opinions), 21envying, drunkenness, carousing (a revel, used generally, of feasts and drinking-parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry), and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (NASB: For other lists see 2 Cor 6:6; Eph 4:2; Col 3:12-15. Christian character is produced by the Holy Spirit, not by the mere moral discipline of trying to live by law. Paul makes it clear that justification by faith does not result in libertinism. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces Christian virtues in the believer’s life.). 22But the fruit (singular) of the Spirit is love (love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast — (feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love; properly, love which centers in moral preference. So too in secular ancient Greek, (agápē) focuses on preference; likewise the verb form (/agapáō) in antiquity meant “to prefer” (TDNT, 7). In the NT, (agápē) typically refers to divine love [= what God prefers].), joy (gladness), peace (peace between individuals, i. e. harmony, concord), patience (/makrothymía (“divinely-regulated patience”) is used of God Himself (see 1 Pet 3:20; 2 Pet 3:15). Indeed, only the Lord produces /makrothymía (“true patience, longsuffering”) in us and hence is a fruit of the Spirit; patience, forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs), kindness (/xrēstótēs (“useful kindness”) refers to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing (fashion). Hence (xrēstótēs) is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. With the believer, /xrēstótēs (“divine kindness”) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty). “We have no term that quite carries this notion of kind and good”; benignity.), goodness, faithfulness (fidelity, faithfulness, i. e. the character of one who can be relied on), 23gentleness (mildness), self-control (For the believer, /egkráteia (“self-control, Spirit-control”) can only be accomplished by the power of the Lord. Accordingly, /egkráteia (“true mastery from within”) is explicitly called a fruit of the Holy Spirit; the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites); against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified (to crucify the flesh, destroy its power utterly [the nature of the figure implying that the destruction is attended with intense pain (but note the aorist, indicative mood: In the indicative mood the aorist tense denotes action that occurred in the past time, often translated like the English simple past tense.)]) the flesh with its passions and desires.
25If we live (to be actuated by the Spirit) by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

 
New American Standard Bible
Bear One Another’s Burdens

Gal 6:1Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual (one who is filled with and governed by the Spirit of God), restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted (to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin; hence, according to the context equivalent to to solicit to sin, to tempt). 2Bear one another’s burdens (heaviness, weight, trouble), and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives (– properly, to act from a distorted perspective [warped sense of reality] which “redefines reality” [facts] – i.e. to fit one’s self-deception) himself. 4But each one must examine (to test, by impl. to approve) his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5For each one will bear (to be equal to understanding a matter and receiving it calmly) his own load (phortíon – properly, a burden which must be carried by the individual, i.e. as something personal and hence is not transferrable, i.e. it cannot “be shifted” to someone else.).
6The one who is taught the word is to share all good things (a good thing, convenience, advantage, and in particular outward and inward good things.) with the one who teaches him. 7Do not be deceived (to err), God is not mocked (properly, to turn up the nose or sneer at; to mock, deride: God does not suffer himself to be mocked); for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption (decay, i.e. ruin [spontaneous or inflicted, literally or figuratively] — corruption, destroy, perish. Bible Knowledge Commentary: If a person sows to please his sinful nature… he will reap a harvest that will fade into oblivion.) but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life (ἡ βίβλος and τό βιβλίον τῆς ζωῆς, the book in which the names of those are recorded to whom eternal life has been decreed). 9Let us not lose heart (disheartened) in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (to weaken, relax, exhaust). 10So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
11See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12Those who desire to make a good showing (to be of good countenance, i.e. to look well) in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted (to be maltreated, suffer persecution on account of something) for the cross of Christ. 13For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast (St. Paul uses ‘flesh’ of the whole man, body and soul, reason and all his faculties included, because all that is in him longs and strives after the flesh; note that ‘flesh’ signifies the entire nature of man, sense and reason, without the Holy Spirit”.). 14But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new (of a new kind; unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of) creation (is used of a man regenerated through Christ). 16And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God (Israḗl (transliterated from the OT term /Nazaréth, “Israel”) – Israel; the elect-nation of God in the OT “consummated by the inclusion of Gentile believers in the NT to form the body of Christ” [cf. 1 Cor 12:13 with Gal 6:16]; By metonymy, for the posterity of Israel i. e. the Israelites (a name of especially honor because it made reference to the promises of salvation through the Messiah, which were given to Jacob in preference to Esau, and to be fulfilled to his posterity, i.e., Christians.).
17From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

 
New American Standard Bible
Ephesians
The Blessings of Redemption

Eph 1:1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will ((thélēma) is nearly always used of God, referring to His preferred-will. Occasionally it is used of man (cf. Lk 23:25; Jn 1:13.]; choice) of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed (eulogéō [“confer what is beneficial”] is used of God blessing people) us with every spiritual (in reference to things; emanating from the Divine Spirit, or exhibiting its effects and so its character) blessing in the heavenly (the heavenly regions, i. e. heaven itself, the abode of God and angels) places in Christ, 4just as He chose (to select — make choice, choose (out), chosen; of Christians, as those whom he has set apart from among the irreligious multitude as dear unto himself, and whom he has rendered, through faith in Christ, citizens in the Messianic kingdom: so that the ground of the choice lies in Christ and his merits) us in Him before (i.e. in front of, prior) the foundation (from the foundation of the world) of the world (i. e. the universe; order; [literally, “something ordered”] – properly, an “ordered system” [like the universe, creation]; the world; orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally] — adorning), that we would be holy (for the believer, (hágios) means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”; sacred [physically, pure, morally blameless, saint; of sacrifices and offerings; prepared for God with solemn rite, pure, clean) and blameless (without blemish) before Him. In love (NASB: Divine election is a constant theme in Paul’s letters: Rom 8:29-33; 9:6-26; 11:5, 7, 28; 16:13; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 1:4; 2 Thess 2:13; Titus 1:1. Holy and blameless: Holiness is the result – not the basis – of God’s choosing. It refers both to the holiness imparted to the believer because of Christ and to the believer’s personal sanctification) 5He predestined (to predetermine, decide beforehand, [R.V to foreordain]: in the N. T. of God decreeing from eternity, followed by an accusative with the infinitive to foreordain, appoint beforehand) us to adoption (the nature and condition of the true disciples of Christ, who by receiving the Spirit of God into their souls become the sons of God) as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention (in particular, good-will, kindly intent, benevolence) of His will, 6to the praise (that a person or thing may be praised) of the glory (majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity; of the majesty of his saving grace; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literal or figurative, objective or subjective) — dignity, glory(-ious), honour, praise, worship) of His grace, which He freely ((xaritóō) is used twice in the NT [Lk 1:28 and Eph 1:6], both times of God extending Himself to freely bestow grace [favor]; to pursue with grace, compass with favor; to honor with blessings) bestowed on us in the Beloved (Everything pertaining to salvation is in [inside the spiritual sphere, of] Yehoshua; He is the “Chosen One”, and believers are “chosen in Him.” What He has, they have). 7In Him we have redemption (everywhere in the N. T. metaphorically, viz. deliverance effected through the death of Christ from the retributive wrath of a holy God and the merited penalty of sin) through His blood, the forgiveness (forgiveness, pardon, of sins [properly, the letting them go, as if they had not been committed, remission of their penalty) of our trespasses (a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness; a sin, misdeed), according to the riches (fullness, abundance, plenitude) of His grace (acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank[-s, -worthy]) 8which He lavished (to make a thing to abound unto one, to confer a thing abundantly upon one) on us. In all wisdom (In Paul’s Epistles: a knowledge of the divine plan, previously hidden, of providing salvation for men by the expiatory death of Christ; hence, all the treasures of wisdom are said to be hidden in Christ) and insight (understanding: (A. V. prudence; specifically, knowledcje [sic] and holy love of the will of God) 9He made known to us the mystery (a hidden purpose or counsel; secret will: the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly. In the N. T., God’s plan of providing salvation for men through Christ, which was once hidden but now is revealed; [with τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ added, boulḗ – properly, a resolved plan, used particularly of the immutable aspect of God’s plan – purposefully arranging all physical circumstances, which guarantees every scene of life works to His eternal purpose. This level of God’s plan (/boulḗ) demonstrates He is the Lord of history, i.e. always in charge! ( (boulḗ) is more than God’s immutable plan of physical circumstances. It always also includes the Lord’s purpose in them – and hence arranging all the physical scenes of history before creation (Ps 139:16; Jn 1:3).)] of His will, according to His kind intention (good-will, kindly intent, benevolence) which He purposed (to set before oneself, propose to oneself; to purpose, determine in himself [God the Father is the originator of the plan of salvation, it is done through Yehoshua, and executed by the Holy Spirit. This is how the Trinity functions, the “Economic Trinity.”]) in Him 10with a view (to or into (indicating the point reached or entered, of place, time, fig. purpose, result)) to an administration (administration, dispensation, which in a theocratic sense is ascribed to God himself as providing for man’s salvation: which good will he purposed to show with a view to (that) dispensation (of his) by which the times (namely, of infancy and immaturity cf. Galatians 4:1-4) were to be fulfilled) suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing (to sum up [again], to repeat summarily and so to condense into a summary) up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth (NASB: A contemporary way of putting it might be to say that in a world of confusion, where things do not “add up” or make sense, we look forward to the time when everything will be brought into meaningful relationship under the headship of Christ. In Him: Christ is the center of God’s plan. Whether the universe or the individual Christian is in view, it is only in relationship to Christ that there is a meaningful future destiny.). In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance (/klēróō (“assign by divine lot-cast”), is only used in Eph 1:11 where it is often translated “obtained an inheritance.” The Greek text literally reads, “In whom (Christ), indeed we were lot-cast (/klēróō), having already been pre-horizoned (/proorízō, aorist participle) according to (divine) purpose, of the one energizing all things according to the counsel (/boulḗ) arising from His will (/thélēma).” [The above rendering regards the Greek genitive as “subjective.”]; the heritage of God), having been predestined (proorízō (from /pró, “before” and /horízō, “establish boundaries, limits”) – properly, pre-horizon, pre-determine limits (boundaries) predestine. [(proorízō) occurs six times in the NT (eight in the writings of Paul). Since the root (/horízō) already means “establish boundaries,” the added prefix (pro, “before”) makes (proorízō) “to pre-establish boundaries,” i.e. before creation.]; 1 aorist passive participle, to predetermine, decide beforehand, Vulg. (except in Acts) praedestino (R. V. to foreordain): in the N. T. of God decreeing from eternity, one to obtain a thing.) according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first (NASB: Probably a reference to those Jews who, like Paul, had become believers before many Gentiles had. Essex says the Apostles and other Jews.) to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also (NASB: Probably refers to the majority of the Ephesians, who were Gentiles. Essex say the Ephesians believers and the Gentile believers), after listening to the message of truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians: in faith and truth, of which I became a partaker through faith), the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed (respecting God, who by the gift of the Holy Spirit indicates who are his, passive [Essex says that Paul is addressing Gentile believers specifically]) in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise (the promised Spirit), 14who is given as a pledge (to pledge; an earnest, i. e. money which in purchases is given as a pledge that the full amount will subsequently be paid, as is expressed in full in; i.e., the Holy Spirit is God’s down payment of His purchased possession, believers, which will be paid in full in the future.) of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
15For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom (In Paul’s Epistles: a knowledge of the divine plan, previously hidden, of providing salvation for men by the expiatory death of Christ) and of revelation (a spirit received from God disclosing what and how great are the benefits of salvation) in the knowledge (with the genitive of the person known; — of God, especially the knowledge of his holy will and of the blessings which he has bestowed and constantly bestows on men through Christ) of Him. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart (specifically, of the understanding, the faculty and seat of intelligence) may be enlightened (to give understanding to, as respects the eyes of your soul. NASB: Your mind or understanding or inner awareness), so that you will know what is the hope (the bringing in of a better hope) of His calling (in the N. T. everywhere in a technical sense, the divine invitation to embrace salvation in the kingdom of God, which is made especially through the preaching of the gospel: with the genitive of the author, τοῦ Θεοῦ [YHWH]), what are the riches (abundance, richness, (specially), valuable bestowment – riches, wealth) of the glory (of the majesty of his saving grace) of His inheritance (an inheritance, an heritage, regularly the gift of God to His chosen people, in the Old Testament: the Promised Land, in NT a possession viewed in one sense as present, in another as future; a share, participation. NASB: Hope: Has an objective quality of certainty (see Rom 8:25) It is the assurance of eternal life guaranteed by the present possession of the Holy Spirit [see v14]. The glory of His inheritance in the saints: Either the inheritance we have from God [see v. 14; Col 1:12] or the inheritance God receives, i.e., the saints themselves.) in the saints, 19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power (is used of the divine power considered as acting upon the minds of men. [If God is in the believer’s heart, and He is, then He in his intellect, emotion, and will, the inner, hidden, man.]. Essex says that Paul prays that believers may know and come to experience the power that is also theirs because of their position in Christ.) toward (for, for the benefit of, to the advantage of) us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength (power; the might of his strength) of His might (power [over external things] afforded by strength. NASB: In this verse Paul piles term upon term to emphasize that the extraordinary divine force by which Jesus Christ was raised (v. 20) is the same power at work in and through believers.) 20which He brought about (to be at work, to work, to do; nergéō – properly, energize, working in a situation which brings it from one stage (point) to the next, like an electrical current energizing a wire, bringing it to a shining light bulb) in Christ, when He raised (from the company of the dead) Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand (to confer the kingdom upon one. NASB: Right hand: The symbolic place of highest honor and authority) in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule (the first place, principality, rule, magistracy [cf. English ‘authorities’.] Hence, the term is transferred by Paul to angels and demons holding dominions entrusted to them in the order of things) and authority (the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates; used in the plural of a certain class of angels) and power (is used of the power of angels) and dominion (in the N. T. one who possesses dominion, so used of angels) and every name (equivalent to title, specifically, a title of honor and authority) that is named, not only in this age (a space of time, an age) but also in the one to come (the future age, i. e., the age after the return of Christ in majesty, the period of the consummate establishment of the divine kingdom and all its blessings. NASB: This age … the one to come: Like rabbinic teaches of his day, Paul distinguishes between the present age, which is evil, and the future age when the Messiah will consummate His kingdom and there will be a completely righteous society on earth.). 22And He put all things in subjection under His feet (a foot, both of men and of beasts. NASB: Under His feet: Ps 8:5-6 emphasizes the destiny of man. And Heb 2:6-9 shows that ultimately it is the Son of man who rules over everything (cf. Heb 10:13). Head: Christ is not only head of the church [ekklésia: called out assembly; the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth; collectively, all who worship and honor God and Christ in whatever place they may be], but also head over everything.), and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (NASB: fullness…fills: The church is the fullness of Christ probably in the sense that it is filled by Him who fills all things.

 
New American Standard Bible
Made Alive in Christ

Eph 2: 1And you were dead ([spiritually dead, i. e.] “destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God, because given up to trespasses and sins; inactive as respects doing right”) in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked (to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself, or the virtue or vice to which he is given) according (according to, agreeably to; in reference to agreement or conformity to a standard, in various ways; according to anything as a standard, agreeably to) to the course of this world (to breathe, blow, as to denote properly that which causes life, vital force), according to the prince (the ruler of the irreligious mass of mankind) of the power (used also of demons, collectively) of the air (signifies ‘the ruler of the powers [spirits, see ἐξουσία] in the air,’ i. e. the devil, the prince of the demons that according to Jewish opinion fill the realm of air), of the spirit ([a spirit that comes from the devil) that is now working (intransitive, to be operative, be at work, put forth power; ) in the sons (those whose character belongs to this age [is ‘worldly’]) of disobedience (in the N. T. particularly obstinate opposition to the divine will; those who are animated by this obstinacy, used of the Gentiles). 3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts (desire for what is forbidden) of our flesh (when either expressly or tacitly opposed to τό πνεῦμα (τοῦ Θεοῦ), has an ethical sense and denotes “mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God”; accordingly it includes whatever in the soul is weak, low, debased, tending to ungodliness and vice (“Thou must not understand ‘flesh’, therefore, as though that only were ‘flesh’ which is connected with unchastity, but St. Paul uses ‘flesh’ of the whole man, body and soul, reason and all his faculties included, because all that is in him longs and strives after the flesh; [Luther] note that ‘flesh’ signifies the entire nature of man, sense and reason, without the Holy Spirit”) indulging (to carry out, to execute) the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature (a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature: by [our depraved] nature we were exposed to the wrath of God [this meaning is evident from the preceding context, and stands in contrast with the change of heart and life wrought through Christ by the blessing of divine grace]. Josephus, Antiquities 13, 10, 6. [Others (see Meyer)] would lay more stress here upon the constitution in which this ‘habitual course of evil’ has its origin, whether that constitution be regarded [with some] as already developed at birth, or [better] as undeveloped) children of wrath (men exposed to divine punishment), even as the rest. 4But God, being rich in mercy (especially the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ), because of His great love ( agápē) (to give a proof of love) with which He loved (agapáō) us (The combination ἀγάπην ἀγαπᾶν τινα occurs, when a relative intervenes) 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive (to make one alive together with another, with Christ, Ephesians 2:5; σύν τῷ Χριστῷ, Colossians 2:13; in both of these passages new moral life is referred to. [Note, “belief nor “believe” are mentioned here; this verse is in reference to “regeneration”, “born from above”. God is the subject of the whole passage, vv. 4, 5.]) together with Christ by grace (Bible Knowledge Commentary: In the Septuagint “mercy” [eleos] translates the Hebrew “hesed”, “loyal love”. In the New Testament [eleos] means “undeserved kindness” toward sinners…. The noun for “love” [agapē] comes from the verb “agapaō” that means “to seek the highest good in the one loved”…. Since sinners are spiritually dead toward God, they have nothing to commend them to God…. The only way a spiritually dead person can communicate with God is to be made alive, and that must be done by the One who is Himself alive. This act of God in making the unregenerate alive is an act of grace. agapē: love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast — (feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love. Strong’s 26 agápē – properly, love which centers in moral preference. So too in secular ancient Greek, 26 (agápē) focuses on preference; likewise the verb form (25 /agapáō) in antiquity meant “to prefer” (TDNT, 7). In the NT, 26 (agápē) typically refers to divine love (= what God prefers).) you have been saved), 6and raised (to raise together, to cause to rise together; in the N. T. tropically, to raise up together from moral death to a new and blessed life devoted to God: ἡμᾶς τῷ Χριστῷ (risen from the dead, because the ground of the new Christian life lies in Christ’s resurrection [Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1; ἐν Χρσίτω, Colossians 2:12.]) us up with Him, and seated (transitive, to cause to sit down together, place together [This is NOT legal fiction. The believer experiences this translation in time and space.]) us with Him in the heavenly (the heavenly regions, i. e. heaven itself, the abode of God and angels) places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come (the future age) He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith (not belief); and that not of yourselves, it is the gift (a present) of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (to glory). 10For we are His workmanship (that which has been made; a work: of the works of God as creator; a product, i.e. fabric — thing that is made, workmanship), created in Christ Jesus for good (agathós – inherently (intrinsically) good; as to the believer, 18 (agathós) describes what originates from God and is empowered by Him in their life, through faith.) works, which God prepared beforehand (proetoimázō (from /pró, “beforehand” and /hétoimos, “ready because prepared”) – properly, made ready in advance; hence, “ready, already prepared” (used only in Ro 9:23; Eph 2:10). to prepare before, to make ready beforehand) so that we would walk (peripatéō (from /perí, “comprehensively around,” which intensifies /patéō, “walk”) – properly, walk around, i.e. in a complete circuit (going “full circle”). to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figuratively, to live, be occupied with, walk [about]) in them.
11Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth (spoken of the theocratic or divine commonwealth) of Israel, and strangers (without knowledge of, without a share in) to the covenants of promise (covenants to which was united the promise (of salvation through the Messiah)), having no hope (in the N. T. in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation) and without God (of one who neither knows nor worships the true God; so of the heathen) in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near (namely, to the blessings of the kingdom of God) by the blood (having expiatory efficacy, by which the Gentiles are brought to God and the blessings of his kingdom) of Christ. 14For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups (Jew and Gentle) into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15by abolishing in His flesh the enmity (hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition — enmity, hatred.), which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new (new, which as recently made is superior to what it succeeds:) man (with a reference to the twofold moral condition of man, ὁ παλαιός (the corrupt) and ὁ καινός (ὁ νέος) ἄνθρωπος (the truly Christian man, conformed to the nature of God): Romans 6:6; Ephesians 2:15; Ephesians 4:22, 24; Colossians 3:9f.), thus establishing peace, 16and might reconcile (to reconcile completely (ἀπό) (others, to reconcile back again, bring back to a former state of harmony) them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens (in the Scriptures a stranger, foreigner, one who lives in a place without the right of citizenship; (R. V. sojourner); the Sept. for גֵּר and תּושָׁב (without citizenship in God’s kingdom) but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone (For as the cornerstone holds together two walls, so Christ joins together as Christians, into one body dedicated to God, those who were formerly Jews and Gentiles), 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing (in reference to Christ so as to form a temple) into a holy temple (of a company of Christians, a Christian church, as dwelt in by the Spirit of God) in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (to come to be in the Spirit, under the power of the Spirit, i. e. in a state of inspiration or ecstasy, by the power and aid of the Spirit, the Spirit prompting).

 
New American Standard Bible
Paul’s Stewardship

Eph 3:1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2if indeed you have heard of the stewardship (that dispensation (or arrangement) by which the grace of God was granted me) of God’s grace (used of the power to undertake and administer the apostolic office) which was given to me for you; 3that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery (a mystery or secret doctrine, of God’s purpose to bless the Gentiles also with salvation through Christ), as I wrote before in brief. 4By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight (For the believer, this “connects the dots” through sanctified, inductive reasoning [done under God]. This positive use of /sýnesis [“synthesized understanding”]) into the mystery of Christ, 5which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed (is used of God revealing to men things unknown, especially those relating to salvation: — whether by deeds, [by intimacy with Christ, by his words and acts]; — or by the Holy Spirit,) to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power (is used of the divine power considered as acting upon the minds of men, dýnamis (from /dýnamai, “able, having ability”) – properly, “ability to perform” (L-N); for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability” ( /dýnamis) is needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven [glorification].). 8To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable (literally, “not able to trace the steps of” – properly, impossible to “track” [“trace the steps of”]; unable to follow or fully comprehend (“incomprehensible”); inscrutable, past finding out; that cannot be traced out, that cannot be comprehended; unsearchable) riches of Christ, 9and to bring to light (to bring to light, render evident) what is the administration (the dispensation by which he carried out his secret purpose) of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10so that the manifold (much varied) wisdom (from the great variety of ways and methods by which he devised and achieved salvation through Christ) of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers (the first place, principality, rule, magistracy; hence, the term is transferred by Paul to angels and demons holding dominions entrusted to them in the order of things. arxḗ (figuratively) what comes first and therefore is chief (foremost), i.e. has the priority because ahead of the rest [“preeminent”]) and the authorities (the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates; used in the plural of a certain class of angels) in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose (NASB: The effective headship of Christ over a united church is in preparation for His ultimate assumption of headship over the universe [1:10]) which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness (of the undoubting confidence of Christians relative to their fellowship with God) and confident access (– properly, persuasion; Spirit-produced persuasion (2 Cor 3:4; Eph 3:12. Eph 3:12: “In whom we have confidence (/parrhēsía) and interactive-access in persuasion (/pepoíthēsis) through the [principle] of faith that is given by Him.”) through faith in Him. 13Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family (i. e. every order of angels) in heaven and on earth derives (passive to be named, i. e. with the genitive of the one from whom the received name is derived [God the Father]) its name, 16that He would grant (to grant or permit one to etc) you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened (in passive several times for אָמֵץ; to strengthen, make strong) with power (moral power and excellence of soul; force; specially, miraculous power [usually by implication, a miracle itself]. dýnamis (from /dýnamai, “able, having ability”) – properly, “ability to perform” (L-N); for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability” (/dýnamis) is needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven (glorification). (dýnamis) is a very important term, used 120 times in the NT.) through His Spirit in the inner (within: the internal, inner man, i. e. the soul, conscience) man (with a reference to the twofold nature of man, soul and body), 17so that Christ may dwell (dwell:– properly, settle down as a permanent resident, i.e. in a fixed (permanent) dwelling place as one’s personal residence; (figuratively) “to be exactly at home.” To dwell in his soul, to pervade, prompt, govern it. To house permanently, i.e. reside — dwell(-er), inhabitant(-ter).) in ([within]; is used of the person of Christ, who by his holy power and Spirit lives in the souls of his followers, and so moulds their characters that they bear his likeness) your hearts (kardía – heart; “the affective center of our being” and the capacity of moral preference (volitional desire, choice; “desire-producer that makes us tick”, i.e our “desire-decisions” that establish who we really are.[Heart (/kardía) is mentioned over 800 times in Scripture, but never referring to the literal physical pump that drives the blood. the heart, i.e. (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings [mind]) through faith (in reference to Christ, it denotes “a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God”); and that you, being rooted (tropically, to render firm, to fix, establish, cause a person or a thing to be thoroughly grounded: passive) and grounded (to make stable, establish (A. V. ground): of the soul; passive) in love (agápē), 18may be able to comprehend (to lay hold of with the mind; to understand, perceive, learn, comprehend) with all the saints what is the breadth (width) and length and height (language used in shadowing forth the greatness, extent, and number of the blessings received from Christ; (figuratively) dignity — be exalted, height, (on) high.) and depth (profundity, i.e. (by implication) extent; (figuratively) mystery — deep(-ness, things), depth.), 19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God (NASB: Not unknowable, but so great that it cannot be completely known. Fullness: God, who is infinite in all His attributes, allows us to draw on His resources – in this case, His love.).
20Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works (to display one’s activity, show oneself operative. energéō (from /en, “engaged in,” which intensifies /érgon, “work”) – properly, energize, working in a situation which brings it from one stage (point) to the next, like an electrical current energizing a wire, bringing it to a shining light bulb.) within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

 
New American Standard Bible
Unity of the Spirit

Eph 4:1Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore (to admonish, exhort) you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance (to hold oneself erect and firm [against any person or thing], to sustain, to bear [with equanimity], to bear with, endure, with a genitive of the person, of his opinions, actions, etc.) for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve (anything as a mental deposit; – properly, maintain (preserve); (figuratively) spiritually guard (watch), keep intact.) the unity (oneness, i.e. unanimity) of the Spirit in the bond (that which binds together, a band) of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith (persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself — assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity; in reference to Christ, it denotes “a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God”), one baptism (of Christian baptism; this, according to the view of the apostles, is a rite of sacred immersion, commanded by Christ, by which men confessing their sins and professing their faith in Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit unto a new life, come into the fellowship of Christ and the church, and are made partakers of eternal salvation. NASB: Probably not the baptism of the Spirit [1 Cor 12:13], which was inward and therefore invisible, but water baptism. Since Paul apparently has in mind that which identifies all believers as belonging together, he would naturally refer to that church ordinance in which every new convert participated publically. At that time is was a more obvious common mark of identification of Christians than it is now, when it is celebrated in different ways and often only seen by those in the church.), 6one God and Father of all (Bible Knowledge Commentary: The forefold use of “all” refers to “all believers,” not “all mankind.” Certainly these characteristics are not common to all people.) who is over all and through all and in all.
7But to each one of us grace (capacity and ability due to the grace of God) was given according to the measure (determined extent, portion measured off, measure or limit) of Christ’s gift (according to the measure in which Christ gave it. Bible Knowledge Commentary: Gifts: As Christ appointed it… i.e., the gift He is pleased to give. Each believer is to function in Christ’s body by God’s enablement, proportionate to the gift [spiritual ability] bestowed on him, no more and no less…. Furthermore, since each believer receives “grace,” clergy and laity – to use a common present-day distinction – are on the same level in exercising their gifts.).
8Therefore it says,
“WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”
(NASB: (Ps 68:18 speaks of God’s triumphant ascension to His throne in the temple at Jerusalem (symbol of His heavenly throne). Paul applies this to Christ’s triumphant ascension into heaven….Probably Paul applies this to the spiritual enemies Christ defeated at the cross. There are sever views on this verse, i.e., HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES)
9(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? (NASB: Although Paul quoted from the psalm to introduce the idea of the “gifts to men,” he takes the opportunity to remind his readers of Christ’s coming to earth [His incarnation] and His subsequent resurrection and ascension. This passage probably does not teach, as some think and as some translations suggest that Christ descended into hell. I tend to take the NASB’s view in light of the nature of the incarnation and the attributes of YHWH) 10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill [i. e. to execute his counsels] all things [in an absolute sense, all things collectively, the totality of created things, the universe of things].) 11And He gave some as apostles (Specially applied to the twelve disciples whom Christ selected, out of the multitude of his adherents, to be his constant companions and the heralds to proclaim to men the kingdom of God: With these apostles Paul claimed equality, because through a heavenly intervention he had been appointed by the ascended Christ himself to preach the gospel among the Gentiles, and owed his knowledge of the way of salvation not to man’s instruction but to direct revelation from Christ himself, and moreover had evinced his apostolic qualifications by many signal proofs. According to Paul, apostles surpassed as well the various other orders of Christian teachers, as also the rest of those on whom the special gifts of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed, by receiving a richer and more copious conferment of the Spirit), and some as prophets (The prophets that appeared in the apostolic age among the Christians: they are associated with apostles. [They discerned and did what was best for the Christian cause, Acts 13:1f; foretold certain future events, Acts 11:27; Acts 21:10ff; and in the religious assemblies of the Christians, being suddenly seized by the Spirit (whose promptings, however, do not impair their self-government, 1 Corinthians 14:32), give utterance in glowing and exalted but intelligible language to those things which the Holy Spirit teaches them, and which have power to instruct, comfort, encourage, rebuke, convict, stimulate, their hearers, 1 Corinthians 14:3, 24.]), and some as evangelists (– properly, an “evangelist”; someone with a vocational calling from God to announce the good news of the Gospel. a bringer of good tidings, an evangelist; this name is given in the N. T. to those heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles), and some as pastors (– properly, a shepherd (“pastor” in Latin); (figuratively) someone who the Lord raises up to care for the total well-being of His flock [the people of the Lord]; of the overseers of the Christian assemblies) and teachers (of those who in the religious assemblies of Christians undertake the work of teaching, with the special assistance of the Holy Spirit), 12for the equipping (– properly, exact adjustment which describes how [enables] the individual parts to work together in correct order; complete furnishing (objectively) — perfecting) of the saints for the work of service (of the ministration or service of all who, endowed by God with powers of mind and heart peculiarly adapted to this end, endeavor zealously and laboriously to promote the cause of Christ among men, as apostles, prophets, evangelists, elders, etc.), to the building (in the N. T. metaphorically, “edifying, edification, i. e. the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, happiness”) up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge (of Christ, i. e. the true knowledge of Christ’s nature, dignity, benefits) of the Son of God, to a mature (until we rise to the same level of knowledge which we ascribe to a full-grown man, until we can be likened to a full-grown man) man, to the measure (the required measure, the due, fit, measure; the proper i. e. ripe, full age [of a man]) of the stature (metaphorically, of an attained state of mind fit for a thing: the age in which we are fitted to receive the fullness of Christ) which belongs to the fullness (In the N. T. the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ) of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children (childish, untaught, unskilled), tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine (teaching), by the trickery (associated with a “sleight of the hand,” implies the use of trickery and cheating; the deception [sleight] of men because dice-players sometimes cheated and defrauded their fellow-players [used only in Eph 4:14]) of men, by craftiness (cunning) in deceitful (In the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion) scheming (cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery); 15but speaking the truth (true doctrine; to deal truly) in love, we are to grow up (of inward Christian growth) in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
The Christian’s Walk

17So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk (to live, to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility (perverseness, depravation; vanity, emptiness, unreality, purposelessness, ineffectiveness, instability, frailty; false religion) of their mind, 18being darkened (to darken or blind the mind) in their understanding (/diánoia (“critical thinking”), literally “thorough reasoning,” incorporates both sides of a matter to reach a meaningful (personal) conclusion. Such “full-breadth reasoning” is essential to loving (/agapáō) the Lord and our neighbor (see Mk 12:30). It is also the instrument of self-destruction when exercised without God’s light and power (Lk 1:51; Eph 2:3, 4:18; Col 1:21)), excluded (to alienate, estrange; passive “to be rendered ἀλλότριος: belonging to another person, belonging to others, foreign, strange, to be shut out from one’s fellowship and intimacy) from the life of God because of the ignorance (want of knowledge, ignorance, especially of divine things, such as is inexcusable) that is in them, because of the hardness (properly, the covering with a callus; tropically, obtuseness of mental discernment, dulled perception: τῆς καρδίας [hardening of heart], of stubbornness, obduracy); 19and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality (of carnality, lasciviousness) for the practice (performing) of every kind of impurity (in a moral sense, the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living) with greediness (greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice). 20But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self (our old man, i. e. we, as we were before our mode of thought, feeling, action, had been changed), which is being corrupted (“perish, waste away” – properly, waste away, corrupt [deteriorate]; [figuratively] to cause or experience moral deterioration – i.e. decomposition [break-down], due to the corrupting influence of sin. [This root (pht-) literally means “waste away” [degenerate], “moving down from a higher level [quality, status] to a lower form]) in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23and that you be renewed (/ananeoō [“make new in relation to time”] is only used in Eph 4:23. Here believers are reminded of God’s continuous offer to bring new strides in their sanctification through “sanctified reasoning” – raising the meaning up to new levels of spiritual comprehension and reality.) (– properly, going up to a higher stage (level of sanctification) by God’s power; divinely renewed. /ananeoō [“make new in relation to time”] is only used in Eph 4:23. Here believers are reminded of God’s continuous offer to bring new strides in their sanctification through “sanctified reasoning” – raising the meaning up to new levels of spiritual comprehension and reality; to be renewed in mind, i. e. to be spiritually transformed, to take on a new mind) in the spirit of your mind (to be so changed that the spirit which governs the mind is renewed), 24and put on the new (new, which as recently made is superior to what it succeeds) self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (NASB: Since the new self is created, it cannot refer to the indwelling Christ, but rather to the kind of person He produces in the new believer. Nor is it some kind of new essential nature the believer has, because that would have been brought into existence at this new birth. In contrast, this is a new way of life that one not only “puts on” positionally at conversion but is also urged to “put on” experientially as a Christian.)
25Therefore, laying aside falsehood (a lie; conscious and intentional falsehood), SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR (NASB: probably means fellow Christian in this context.), for we are members of one another. 26BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not give the devil an opportunity (opportunity, power, occasion for acting, to his curative efforts in one’s case). 28He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30Do not grieve (to grieve, offend) the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

 
New American Standard Bible
Be Imitators of God

Eph 5:1Therefore (to show what ought now to be done by reason of what has been said; “By extension, here’s how the dots connect”) be imitators (is always used positively in the NT (seven times) – of followers of Christ emulating a God-approved example. The supreme model is God Himself (see Eph 5:1).) of God, as beloved (– properly, divinely-loved; beloved (“loved by God”), i.e. personally experiencing God’s “agapē-love.”) children (n the N. T., in Paul’s writings, all who are animated by the Spirit of God and thus are closely related to God; – properly, a child; (figuratively) anyone living in full dependence on the heavenly Father, i.e. fully (willingly) relying upon the Lord in glad submission. This prompts God to transform them into His likeness.); 2and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant (in the N. T. by a metaphor borrowed from sacrifices, a thing well-pleasing to God) aroma.
3But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4and there must be no filthiness (baseness, dishonor) and silly (foolish talking) talk, or coarse jesting (in a bad sense, scurrility, ribaldry, low jesting [in which there is some acuteness]), which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6Let no one deceive you with empty (vain; devoid of truth) words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons (those whose character belongs to this age (is ‘worldly’) of disobedience (in the N. T. particularly obstinate opposition to the divine will, those who are animated by this obstinacy, used of the Gentiles). 7Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8for you were formerly darkness (persons in whom darkness becomes visible and holds sway), but now you are Light (is used to denote truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity congruous with it; luminousness) in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9(for the fruit [work, act, deed; (figuratively) everything done in true partnership with Christ, i.e. a believer [a branch] lives in union with Christ [the Vine]. By definition, fruit (/karpós) results from two life-streams – the Lord living His life through ours – to yield what is eternal (cf. 1 Jn 4:17) By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. Cf. Jn 15:1, 2: “1I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit ( /karpós), He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit” (NASU).] of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth, NASB: Fruit of the Light: A mixed metaphor, but the meaning is clear. Light is productive (consider the effect of light on plant growth), and those who live in God’s light produce the fruit of moral and ethical character [cf. Gal 5:22-23], while those who live in darkness do not [see v. 11]), 10trying to learn (to test; by implication, to approve — allow, discern, examine, like, (ap-)prove, try) what is pleasing (well-pleasing, acceptable; – properly, well-pleasing (gratifying) because fully acceptable) to the Lord. 11Do not participate (to become a partaker together with others, or to have fellowship with a thing) in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose (by conviction to bring to light. – properly, to convince with solid, compelling evidence, especially to expose [prove wrong, connect].) them; 12for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13But all things become visible (to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way) when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
14For this reason it says,
“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time (where the meaning seems to be to make a wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well-doing are as it were the purchase-money by which we make the time our own), because the days are evil (bringing toils, annoyances, perils: of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; – properly, pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies (misery) that always go with evil). 17So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation (i. e. of an abandoned man, one that cannot be saved from unsavedness, i.e. wastefulness; [figuratively] prodigality, spiritual wastefulness due to excessive behavior and the dire consequences it brings; the character of an ἄσωτος, i. e. of an abandoned man, one that cannot be saved, from wantonness, profligacy, wastefulness; hence, properly, incorrigibleness, an abandoned, dissolute, life; profligacy, prodigality [R. V. riot]) but be filled (to fill, diffuse throughout one’s soul; ) with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms (a striking, twanging; specifically, a striking the chords of a musical instrument; hence, a pious song) and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart (the center and seat of spiritual life, “the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors” [so in English heart, inner man, etc.]) to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21and be subject (middle to subject oneself, to obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice, absolutely. NASB: Be subject to one another: Basic to the following paragraphs. Paul will show how, in each relationship, each partner can have a conciliatory attitude that will help that relationship. The grammar indicates that this mutual submission is associated with the filling of the Spirit in v. 18. The command “be filled” [v. 18] is followed by a series of participles [-ing endings] in the Greek: speaking [v. 19], singing, [v19], making melody [v19], giving thanks [v 20] and submitting [v 21]) to one another in the fear (reverence, respect [for authority, rank, dignity]) of Christ.

Marriage Like Christ and the Church

22Wives, be subject to your own husbands (ídios [a primitive word, NAS dictionary] – properly, uniquely one’s own, peculiar to the individual. /ídios [“uniquely one’s own”] is “stronger than the simple possessive pronoun (‘own’). This emphatic adjective means ‘private, personal’ “. What pertains to one’s property, family, dwelling, country, etc: a husband), as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head (Metaphorically, anything supreme, chief, prominent; of persons, master, lord: of a husband in relation to his wife) of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior (universally [`the savior’ i. e.] preserver of the body, i. e. of the church) of the body. 24But as the church is subject (middle to subject oneself, to obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice: absolutely) to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love (to love (in a social or moral sense) – [be-]love[-ed]; to love, to be full of good-will and exhibit the same: to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of. [Note: and elsewhere; used often in the First Epistle of John of the love of Christians toward one another; of the benevolence which God, in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending his Son to them and giving him up to death]) your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave (to give oneself up for, give oneself to death for, to undergo death for [the salvation of] one; – properly, to give (turn) over; “hand over from,” i.e. to deliver over with a sense of close (personal) involvement) Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify (to purify by expiation, free from the guilt of sin) her, having cleansed (to free from the guilt of sin, to purify, [instrumental dative]) her by the washing (a bath, i.e. [figuratively], baptism — washing) of water with the word (according to promise (properly, on the ground of his word of promise, viz. the promise of the pardon of sins [others take ῤήματι here as equivalent to ‘the gospel,’ cf. Ephesians 6:17, Romans 10:8]), 27that He might present (show) to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot (a spot: tropically, a fault, moral blemish; – properly, a stain [spot]; [figuratively] a moral (spiritual) fault or blemish. Moral and spiritual stains (spots) come from living outside God’s preferred-will [desire, /thélēma, compare Eph 5:15-17, 27] and are removed with heartfelt confession [1 Jn 1:9]) or wrinkle (– properly, bunched up, contracted; (figuratively) “a wrinkle, from aging”) or any such thing; but that she would be holy (of sacrifices and offerings; prepared for God with solemn rite, pure, clean; sacred [physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated] – [most] holy [one, thing], saint) and blameless ( unblemished — without blame (blemish, fault, spot), faultless, unblamable). 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated (to hate, pursue with hatred, detest; passive to be hated, detested) his own flesh, but nourishes (– properly, feed [nourish out], [i.e. to its needed outcome]. 1625 (ektréphō) suggests “effectively nourish, nurture”, – or “nourish out (up) to maturity” (J. Thayer), i.e. to rear, raise; to nourish up to maturity; then universally, to nourish; to rear up to maturity, i.e. to cherish or train — bring up, nourish) and cherishes (– properly, keep warm; (figuratively) “warm someone up” (= revive their health) by nourishing and nurturing; to cherish with tender love, to foster with tender care; to brood, i.e. (figuratively) to foster — cherish) it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body. 31FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED (to join oneself to closely, cleave to, stick to (Plato): with the dative of a person; – properly, “to glue in” (from extending towards), i.e. to cleave (join with) someone in a personal (“interfacing”) relationship. /proskolláō (literally, “glue to another”) suggests “a more permanent association, focusing upon reciprocal relations”) TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32This mystery (it denotes the mystic or hidden sense; a mystery or secret doctrine) is great (things to be esteemed highly for their importance; of great moment, of great weight, important:); but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects (to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience) her husband.

 
New American Standard Bible
Family Relationships

Eph 6: 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2HONOR (to revere, venerate) YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise [/epaggelia (“an appropriate promise”) is nearly always used of God’s promises in the NT – and hence guaranteed by His own eternal Law (Being).]), 3SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL (things may turn out well, with thee) WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH (NASB: In Deut 5:16 [Ex 201:1], where this commandment occurs, the “promise” (v. 2) was expressed in terms of the anticipated occupation of the “land”, i.e., Canaan. That specific application was, of course not appropriate to the Ephesians, so the more general application is made here.)
4Fathers, do not provoke (to rouse to wrath, exasperate, anger) your children to anger (NASB: Fathers must surrender any right they may feel they have to act unreasonably toward their children.), but bring them up in the discipline (the whole training and education of children [which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment]) and instruction (such as belongs to the Lord [Christ] or proceeds from him) of the Lord.
5Slaves (a bondman, man of servile condition, NASB: Bothe the Old Testament and the New Testament included regulations for societal situations such as slavery and divorce (see Deut 24:1-4), which were the results of the hardness of hearts (Matt 19:8). Such regulations did not encourage or condone such situations but were divinely-given, practical ways of dealing with the realities of the day.), be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear (unto [that ye may] fear) and trembling (used to describe the anxiety of one who distrusts his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfill his duty), in the sincerity (singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty) of your heart, as to Christ; 6not by way of eyeservice, (service performed [only] under the master’s eye; Theophylact, “for the master’s eye usually stimulates to greater diligence; his absence, on the other hand, renders sluggish.”): Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:22) as men-pleasers (studying to please men, courting the favor of men), but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7With good will (good-will, kindness) render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive (that which he has done, i. e. either the reward or the punishment of the deed) back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
9And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality (respect of persons, partiality, the fault of one who when called on to requite or to give judgment has respect to the outward circumstances of men and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high-born, or powerful, to another who is destitute of such gifts) with Him.

The Armor of God

10Finally, be strong (in union with the Lord) in the Lord and in the strength (power, might: the might of his strength) of His might (power [over external things] afforded by strength. NASB: Implies that human effort is inadequate but God’s power is invincible.). 11Put on the full armor (panoplía (from /pás, “every” and /hóplon, “weapon”) – properly, a complete set of defensive and offensive armor (weapons), i.e. everything needed to wage successful warfare; (figuratively) the full resources the Lord gives to the believer so they can successfully wage spiritual warfare. In this way they do not fight for victory – but from His victory! Full armor, complete armor where the spiritual helps needed for overcoming the temptations of the devil are so called.) of God, so that you will be able to stand firm (in a figure, of one who vanquishes his adversaries and holds the ground) against the schemes (to follow craftily, frame devices, deceive: cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery) of the devil (Satan, the prince of demons, the author of evil, persecuting good men, estranging mankind from God and enticing them to sin, and afflicting them with diseases by means of demons who take possession of their bodies at his bidding; the malignant enemy of God and the Messiah:). 12For our struggle (the struggle of Christians with the powers of evil) is not against flesh (a man, generally with a suggestion of weakness, frailty, mortality) and blood (denotes man’s living body compounded of flesh and blood, and so hints at the contrast between man and God [or even the more exalted creatures] as to suggest his feebleness, which is conspicuous as respects the knowledge of divine things. NASB: A caution against lashing out against human opponents as though they were the real enemy and also against assuming that he battle can be fought using merely human resources.), but against the rulers (angels and demons holding dominions entrusted to them in the order of things), against the powers (the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates; used in the plural of a certain class of angels, used also of demons: in the plural), against the world forces (– properly, world-ruler, referring to Satan [demons] influencing the lives of worldly people; the world-rulers of this darkness) of this darkness (of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent), against the spiritual forces (depravity, iniquity, wickedness [almost uniformly], malice) of wickedness (depravity, i.e. [specially], malice; plural [concretely] plots, sins — iniquity, wickedness.) in the heavenly (the lower heavens, or the heaven of the clouds [under the word]) places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist (– properly, take a complete stand against, i.e. a “180 degree, contrary position”; (figuratively) to establish one’s position publicly by conspicuously “holding one’s ground,” i.e. refusing to be moved (“pushed back”). /anthístēmi (“oppose fully”) means to forcefully declare one’s personal conviction (where they unswervingly stand); to keep one’s possession; ardently withstand, without giving up (letting go). (anthístēmi) was a military term in classical Greek (used by Thucydides, etc.) meaning “to strongly resist an opponent” [“take a firm stand against”]) in the evil (bringing toils, annoyances, perils: of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness) day (in the time of troubles and assaults with which demons try Christians), and having done everything, to stand firm (NASB: Resist and stand firm: In this context the imagery is not that of a massive invasion of the domain of evil, but of individual soldiers withstanding assault. ). 14Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED (with truth as a girdle, figuratively equivalent to to equip oneself with knowledge of the truth) YOUR LOINS (the hip where the zṓnē – a belt [waistband], pulled tightly to remove all the slack from a garment. /zṓnē [“a belt”] was tied around the mid-section – hence, called “a girdle” in the KJV. /zṓnē (“a belt”) was often hollow to be used as a money-belt – therefore also called a “purse” in the KJV.]) WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE (refers to “the breastplate of righteousness” and 1 Thes 5:8 to “the breastplate of faith.” This indicates righteousness results from obeying the faith God births in the heart [this is confirmed in texts like Js 2:14-26]. A breast-plate or corselet consisting of two parts and protecting the body on both sides from the neck to the middle) OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain to a state approved of God), 15and having shod (to bind under oneself, bind on, with readiness) YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION (the condition of a person or thing so far forth as prepared, preparedness, readiness: readiness of mind, with the promptitude and alacrity which the gospel produces) OF THE GOSPEL (After the death of Christ the term τό εὐαγγέλιον comprises also the preaching of [concerning] Jesus Christ as having suffered death on the cross to procure eternal salvation for men in the kingdom of God, but as restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, thence to return in majesty to consummate the kingdom of God; so that it may be more briefly defined as “the glad tidings of salvation through Christ; the proclamation of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Christ; the gospel”) OF PEACE (according to a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoerer sort that is”.); 16in addition to all, taking up the shield (– properly, a gate or door (or “door-shaped”); used of the large, oblong ancient Roman shield (which looked like a full door), large enough to provide full protection from attack (used only in Eph 6:16)) of faith (in reference to Christ, it denotes “a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God”) with which you will be able to extinguish (to extinguish — go out, quench) all the flaming (darts filled with inflammable substances and set on fire) arrows of the evil one (the devil). 17And take THE HELMET (the protection of soul which consists in [the hope of] salvation) OF SALVATION (– properly, of salvation [“applied salvation”], emphasizing the direct application of God’s salvation. Simply, equivalent to the hope of [future] salvation), and the sword (the sword with which the Spirit subdues the impulses to sin and proves its own power and efficacy (which sword is said to be ῤῆμα Θεοῦ: – properly, a slaughter-knife; a short sword or dagger mainly used for stabbing) of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit (to come to be in the Spirit, under the power of the Spirit, i. e. in a state of inspiration or ecstasy. Dative by the power and aid of the Spirit, the Spirit prompting. NASB: Reminders that he battle is spiritual and must be fought in God’s strength, depending on the word and on God through prayer.), and with this in view, be on the alert (to be sleepless, keep awake, watch [to be intent upon a thing]) with all perseverance (– strong perseverance which prevails by interacting with God) and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. 22I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.
23Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

 

 

New American Standard Bible
Philippians
Thanksgiving

Phil 1:1Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers (are those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men: used of apostles) and deacons (one who, by virtue of the office assigned him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use): 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5in view of your participation (used of the intimate bond of fellowship which unites Christians) in the gospel from the first day until now. 6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good (the saving work of God, i. e. substantially, the Christian life, due to divine efficiency) work in you will perfect (to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete. NASB: It is God who initiates salvation, who continues it and who will one day bring it to its consummation.) it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense (verbal defense, speech in defense) and confirmation (stabiliment [support, firm]) of the gospel, you all are partakers (joint partners) of grace (but the N. T. writers use χάρις pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestow: favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ; acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure) with me. 8For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And this I pray, that your love may abound (to abound, overflow, i. e. to be abundantly furnished with, to have in abundance) still more and more in real knowledge (precise and correct knowledge; used in the N. T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine. NASB: The way love grows [cf. Col 1:9]) and all discernment (– properly, the brand of sense-discernment which “cuts through” hazy ethical (moral) matters to really “size things up”; perception, not only by the senses but also by the intellect; cognition, discernment), 10so that you may approve (analyze, examine) the things that are excellent (“For the purpose of you continuously approving the things that differ (/diaphérō), so that you may be found brightly-pure [transparent] and unoffensive into [unto, /eis the day of Christ.”]; to test, prove, the things that differ, i. e. to distinguish between good and evil, lawful and unlawful), in order to be sincere (/eilikrinḗs [“sincere because transparent”] describes something proven because well-examined [totally scrutinized] – therefore, certified as sincere [inwardly pure]. naturally refers to something completely clear, free from hypocrisy [deceit, wickedness] which stands in the full light of God’s approval. This term is used twice in the NT [Phil 1:10; 2 Pet 3:1]; properly, sifted and cleansed by rapid movement or rolling to and fro), pure, unsullied, sincere; of the soul, an εἰλικρινής [originally: unmixed), pure, uncontaminated] man) and blameless (metaphorically, not led into sin) until the day of Christ; 11having been filled (to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally; liberally supplied, of spiritual possessions) with the fruit (work, act, deed) of righteousness (“integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling, and acting; equity [of character or act]) which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

The Gospel Is Preached

12Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard (the camp of praetorian soldiers established by Tiberius) and to everyone else, 14and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. 15Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy (ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite) — envy) and strife (a quarrel, i.e. [by implication] wrangling — contention, debate, variance), but some also from good will (prompted by good will; purpose — desire, good pleasure [will], seem good.); 16the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed (to be [by God’s intent] set, i. e. destined) for the defense of the gospel; 17the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress (to increase the misery of my imprisonment by causing me anxiety) in my imprisonment. 18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance (salvation as the present possession of all true Christians) through your prayers and the provision (a supplying, supply) of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (NASB: Either Paul’s release from prison (see v. 25; 2:24) or, in view of the immediately following verses, the deliverance brought to the believer by death [cf. Rom 8:28]. Verse 25, however, seems to point to the former interpretation. Spirit of Jesus Christ: The Holy Spirit is not only the Spirit of God the Father [Rom 8:9, 14; 1 Cor 2:10-11, 14] but also the Spirit of Christ, the second person of the Trinity [Acts 16:7, Rom 8:9; Gal 4:6]. He is sent by the Father [John 14:16-17, 26; Gal 4:6] and by the Son [John 15:26; 16:7], 20according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame (In the N. T. only passive; future; 1 aorist; to be suffused with shame, be made ashamed, be ashamed in anything), but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

To Live Is Christ

21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose (to take for oneself, to choose, prefer). 23But I am hard-pressed (I am hard pressed on both sides, my mind is impelled or disturbed from each side) from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better (NASB: While mysteries remain, this passage clearly teaches that when believers die they are with Christ, apart from the body); 24yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.
27Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28in no way alarmed (to frighten, affright) by your opponents (an adversary; to lie opposite, i.e. oppose, withstand)—which is a sign of destruction (in particular, the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of God. NASB: Persistent opposition to the church and the gospel is a sure sign of eventual destruction, since it involves rejection of the only way of salvation. By the same token, when Christians are persecuted for their faith, this is a sign of the genuineness of their salvation [see 2 Thes 1:5This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.]) for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. 29For to you it has been granted (to give graciously, give freely, bestow: τίνι τί, aorist, indicative, passive: NASB: Christian suffering, as well as faith, is a blessing (cf. Matt 5:11-12; Acts 5:41; James 1:2; 1 Peter 4:14). The Christian life is to be a “not only …. but also” proposition: not only believing but also suffering.) for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

 
New American Standard Bible
Be Like Christ

Phil 2:1Therefore if there is any encouragement (a calling to one’s aid, i.e. encouragement, comfort) in Christ, if there is any consolation (exhortation, encouragement) of love, if there is any fellowship (the share which one has in anything, participation) of the Spirit, if any affection (heart, tender mercies, affections) and compassion (mercy, pity, emotions, longings), 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness (in the N. T. “… a desire to put oneself forward, a partisan and factious spirit which does not disdain low arts; partisanship, factiousness”) or empty conceit (“a state of pride which is without basis or justification – ’empty pride, cheap pride, vain pride’ “; vain-glory, groundless self-esteem, empty pride), but with humility of mind (i.e. modesty — humbleness of mind; lowliness of mind) regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped (NASB: In the form of God: Affirming that Jesus is fully God. Form: Essential form, the sum of those qualities that make God specifically God. Equality with God: The status and privilege that inevitably follow from being in very nature of God.), 7but emptied Himself (NASB: Emptied Himself: He did this, not by giving up deity, but by laying aside His glory [see John 17:5] and submitting to the humiliation of becoming man [see 2 Cor 8:9]. Jesus is truly God and truly man.), taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (This is the “Kenosis”, please see the second post). 9For this reason also, God highly exalted (to exalt to the highest rank arid power, raise to supreme majesty) Him, and bestowed (to give graciously, give freely) on Him the name which is above every name (the name superior to every (other) name; Bible Knowledge Commentary: Christ’s exaltation and His receiving a name that is above every name was the answer to His high-priestly prayer [John 17:5] . The exaltation refers to His resurrection, ascension, and glorification at the Father’s right hand [Acts 2:33; Heb 1:3]. His name is not merely a title; it refers to His person and to His position of dignity and honor.), 10so that at the name (in devout recognition of the title conferred on him by God) of Jesus EVERY KNEE (in honor of one) WILL BOW (in devout recognition of the name [of κύριος, Lord] which Jesus received from God), of those who are in heaven (the heavenly beings, the inhabitants of heaven: of angels, in opposition etc) and on earth (men) and under the earth (subterranean; plural, of those who dwell in the world below, i. e. departed souls etc) 11and that every tongue will confess (to profess i. e. to acknowledge openly and joyfully; by implication, of assent) agree fully) that Jesus Christ is Lord (to Jesus as the Messiah, since by his death he acquired a special ownership in mankind, and after his resurrection was exalted to a partnership in the divine administration), to the glory of God the Father.
12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work (to do that from which something results; of man: make every effort to obtain salvation) out (deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation: the time in which the offer of salvation is made) your salvation with fear (unto [that ye may] fear) and trembling (a trembling, quaking with fear: with fear and trembling, used to describe the anxiety of one who distrusts his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfill his duty. NASB: Not because of doubt to anxiety; rather, the reference is to an active reverence and a singleness of purpose in response to God’s grace.); 13for it is God who is at work (to effect; properly, energize, working in a situation which brings it from one stage [point] to the next, like an electrical current energizing a wire, bringing it to a shining light bulb.) in you, both to will ( by implication, to wish, i.e. be inclined) and to work for His good pleasure (good-will, kindly intent, benevolence). (Comments by Dr. Robert Saucy: The issue involved in the doctrine of perseverance is, Can a truly saved person ever be lost? There are various answers to this question. Some denominations in Christendom hold that a believer can lose his salvation, such as Catholicism and Arminianism. The Reformed or Calvinism says that a truly saved person would persevere until the end, and therefore cannot be lost. The concepts of perseverance and eternal security ultimately say the same thing in the end, but the Reformed tend to use perseverance because it speaks of Christians persevering rather than just being secure, which some people feel give Christians the right to say no matter what believers do they are secure. Calvinism puts the emphasis on perseverance, the P in TULIP. The true biblical teaching is not that, it is God preserves you persevere. Bible Knowledge Commentary: …. This outworking was to be done “with fear and trembling,” with a complete trust in God and not in themselves. The only way this could be realized was through God who would enable them to do it [v. 13]. Paul told the Philippian saints that God worked in them so that they could do His good pleasure and accomplish His good purposes. Both divine enablement and human responsibility are involved in getting God’s work done. Believers are partners with God, laboring together with Him. The verb “works” [v. 13] means “energize” or “provide enablement.” God makes His own both wiling and desirous to do His work.) (Paul is addressing believers, and not unbelievers.)
14Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked (perverse, wicked) and perverse (corrupt, wicked) generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering (spéndō – properly, to make a libation (drink-offering). A libation (a liquid offering) is poured out to symbolize total surrender (even unto death). (spéndō) means “to pour out as a drink-offering, make a libation; figuratively, ‘I am poured out or offered as a libation’ (in the shedding of my life-blood), Phil 2:17″; that is, the ” ‘outpouring’ of one’s life blood in service and suffering”; is figuratively used of one whose blood is poured out in a violent death for the cause of God) upon the sacrifice (in the work of exciting, nourishing, increasing, your faith, as if in providing a sacrifice to be offered to God) and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

 

 

New American Standard Bible
The Goal of Life

Phil 3:1Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard (suited to confirm) for you.
2Beware of the dogs (a man of impure mind, an impudent man; a spiritual predator who feeds off others.), beware of the evil (of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting; base, wrong, wicked; inner malice flowing out of a morally-rotten character) workers (those who as teachers labor to propagate and promote Christianity among men), beware of the false circumcision (Keep your eye on that boasted circumcision, or to call it by its true name ‘concision’ or ‘mutilation.’); 3for we are the true circumcision (of Christians: separated from the unclean multitude and truly consecrated to God), who worship (with the spirit or soul, prompted by, filled with, the Spirit of God) in the Spirit of God and glory (to glory in God, i. e. the knowledge of God, intimacy with him, his favors, etc.) in Christ Jesus and put no confidence (to trust in, put confidence in a person or thing) in the flesh (in things pertaining to the flesh (body), such as circumcision, descent, etc. NASB: Although the term “flesh” in Paul’s letters often refer to sinful human nature, it speaks here of the frailty of human nature. It is not worthy of our confidence; it cannot save.), 4although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee (see definition at the end of the chapter); 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value (a substantive, the excellency, surpassing worth) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish (refuse, what is good-for-nothing except to be discarded; worthless and detestable) so that I may gain (to gain Christ’s favor and fellowship) Christ, 9and may be found in Him (NASB: In Paul’s teaching, this personal union is the basic reality of salvation. To be in Christ is to be saved. It is to be in intimate personal relationship with Christ the Savior. From this relationship flow all the particular benefits and fruits of salvation, like encouragement (see, e.g., 3:8-10; Rom 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.; 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. ; Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.), not having a righteousness of my own derived (that comes from God, i. e. is adjudged by him) from the Law ( law [through the idea of prescriptive usage), but that which is through (through, on account of, because of) faith in Christ, the righteousness (which comes from God, i. e. is adjudged, imputed) which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10that I may know Him (his blessings; to come to know, recognize, perceive) and the power (the power which the resurrection of Christ has, for instructing, reforming, elevating, tranquilizing, the soul; for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability” (/dýnamis) is needed in every scene of life to really grow in sanctification and prepare for heaven [glorification]) of His resurrection and the fellowship (the share which one has in anything, participation) of His sufferings (Under God, /páthēma [“strong feeling”] is redemptive, preparing us to know the Lord better now and forever in glory [cf. Ro 8:18; Phil 3:10; 1 Pet 5:1]. [páthēma] is not inherently negative; indeed, it is only negative when experienced outside of [apart from] faith.), being conformed to His death (properly, the death of the body, i. e. that separation [whether natural or violent] of the soul from the body by which the life on earth is ended; is used of the punishment of Christ); 11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (NASB: Not an indication of doubt or uncertainty, but of intense concern and involvement. Resurrection is the great personal anticipation of every believer (see Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Acts 24:15; 1 Cor 15:23; 1 Thess 4:16).
12Not that I have already obtained (i. e. to get possession of, obtain, a thing) it or have already become perfect (I am already made perfect), but I press (of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal; pursue with all haste (“chasing” after), earnestly desiring to overtake (apprehend).) on so that I may lay hold (to lay hold of so as to make one’s own, to obtain, attain to the prize of victory: NASB: Paul’s goal is Christ’s goal for him, and Christ supplies the resources for him to “press on toward the goal” [v. 14; cf. 2:12-13].) of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting (NASB: Not losing all memory of his sinful past [see vv. 4-6], but leaving it behind him as done with and settled) what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (NASB: The Christian receives an award of everlasting glory. Paul’s ultimate aspirations are found not in this life, but in heaven, because Christ is there [see Col 3:1-2 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.]). 15Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
17Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies (who given up to their evil passions evade the obligations imposed upon them by the death of Christ) of the cross (the saving power of his crucifixion) of Christ, 19whose end is destruction (in particular, the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of God. NASB: Destruction: The opposite of salvation. Appetite: A deep self-centeredness; their appetites and desires come first. Earthly things: They have set their minds on the things of this life; they are antinomians [libertines], the opposite of the legalists of v. 2.), whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame (which ought to arise from guilt), who set their minds on earthly things. 20For our citizenship (the commonwealth whose citizens we are) is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21who will transform (to change in fashion or appearance) the body of our humble state into conformity ( jointly formed, i.e. (figuratively) similar — conformed to, fashioned like unto) with the body of His glory (the body in which his glorious condition is manifested), by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
(Pharisee: The first and feeble beginnings of this sect seem to be traceable to the age immediately succeeding the return from exile. In addition to the books of the O. T. the Pharisees recognized in oral tradition a standard of belief and life [Josephus, Antiquities 13, 10, 6; Matthew 15:1; Mark 7:3]. They sought for distinction and praise by the observance of external rites and by the outward forms of piety, such as ablutions, fastings, prayers, and alms-giving; and, comparatively negligent of genuine piety, they prided themselves on their fancied good works. They held strenuously to a belief in the existence of good and evil angels, and to the expectation of a Messiah; and they cherished the hope that the dead, after a preliminary experience either of reward or of penalty in Hades, would be recalled to life by him and be requited each according to his individual deeds. In opposition to the usurped dominion of the Herods and the rule of the Romans, they stoutly upheld the theocracy and their country’s cause, and possessed great influence with the common people. According to Josephus [Antiquities 17, 2, 4] they numbered more than 6,000. They were bitter enemies of Jesus and his cause; and were in turn severely rebuked by him for their avarice, ambition, hollow reliance on outward works, and affectation of piety in order to gain notoriety: Matthew 3:7; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 7:29.)

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20For I have no one else of kindred spirit (equal in soul [like-minded]) who will genuinely be concerned ([merimnáō] is used of effectively distributing concern, in proper relation to the whole picture; providing for) for your welfare. 21For they all seek (aim at, strive after: to seek to further the profit or advantage of one) after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 22But you know of his proven worth (approvedness, tried character), that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. 23Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; 24and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly. 25But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; 26because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. 29Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient (your absence, owing to which something was lacking in the service conferred on me [by you]) in your service to me.

 
New American Standard Bible
Think of Excellence

Phil 4:1Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life (the book in which the names of those are recorded to whom eternal life has been decreed).
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5Let your gentle (equitable, fair, mild) spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near (of Christ’s return from heaven). 6Be anxious (to be troubled with cares; “a part, as opposed to the whole”) – properly, drawn in opposite directions; “divided into parts”; “to go to pieces” because pulled apart (in different directions), like the force exerted by sinful anxiety (worry).) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication (any pious address to God) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace (wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness) of God, which surpasses all comprehension (the intellective faculty, the understanding), will guard (to guard (keep watch) like a military sentinel; (figuratively) to actively display whatever defensive and offensive means are necessary to guard; to protect by guarding, to keep, i. e. in close connection with Christ) your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable (august, venerable, reverend; to be venerated for character), whatever is right (that which regard for duty demands), whatever is pure (pure from every fault, immaculate), whatever is lovely (worthy of personal affection; hence, dearly prized, i.e. worth the effort to have and embrace), whatever is of good repute (things spoken in a kindly spirit, with good-will to others), if there is any excellence (any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity) and if anything worthy of praise (approbation, commendation), dwell (by reckoning up all the reasons to gather or infer; i. e., to consider, take account, weigh, meditate on: a thing, with a view to obtaining it; compute, “take into account”; reckon [come to a “bottom-line”], i.e. reason to a logical conclusion [decision]) on these things. 9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
God’s Provisions

10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak from want, for I have learned (to learn by use and practice; to be in the habit of, accustomed to) to be content ([“sufficiency within”] occurs only in Phil 4:11 where it refers to positive self-sufficiency [inward adequacy] – i.e. that comes through the indwelling power of Christ; Subjectively, contented with one’s lot, with one’s means, though the slenderest) in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret (to every condition and to all the several circumstances of life have I become accustomed; I have been so disciplined by experience that whatsoever be my lot I can endure; shutting the eyes and mouth to experience mystery; (figuratively) initiated into the wonderful “mystery revelation” of learning to be content in Christ in every scene of life – no exceptions![Note: Reflection: Experiencing the revelation of the Holy Spirit enables the believer to learn God’s “open secrets.” By experiencing faith (“God’s inworked persuasions”), every decision (action) of life becomes equally, eternally meaningful) of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens (to make strong, endue with strength, strengthen; to impart ability [make able]; empowered) me. 14Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
15You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches (the fullness of all things in store for God’s uses; abundance, possessions of many kinds; riches) in glory (as accords with his divine perfection) in Christ Jesus. 20Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
21Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.
23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit (is the rational part of man, the power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things, and upon which the Spirit of God exerts its influence; (πνεῦμα, says Luther, “is the highest and noblest part of man, which qualifies him to lay hold of incomprehensible, invisible, eternal things; in short, it is the house where Faith and God’s word are at home”; [where instead of μία ψυχή Paul according to his mode of speaking elsewhere would have said more appropriately μία καρδία: the heart; mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center; “the affective center of our being” and the capacity of moral preference (volitional desire, choice); “desire-producer that makes us tick, i.e our “desire-decisions” that establish who we really are]).

 
New American Standard Bible
Colossians
Thankfulness for Spiritual Attainments

Col 1:1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven (or the salvation awaiting them is said to be laid up for them in heaven), of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard (what is taught you secret; to hear God’s voice which prompts Him to birth faith within [cf. Ro 10:17]) of it and understood (properly, apt, experiential knowing, through direct relationship; to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly; to know accurately, know well) the grace of God in truth; 7just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit (love which the Spirit begets).
9For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled (to make full, to fill, to fill up: of spiritual possessions) with the knowledge (in the N. T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine) of His will (of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ) in all spiritual (in reference to things; emanating from the Divine Spirit, or exhibiting its effects and so its character) wisdom (the wisdom or instruction with which John the Baptist and Jesus taught men the way to obtain salvation, [on these hence, all the treasures of wisdom are said to be hidden in Christ, πνευματικῇ: spiritual; relating to the realm of spirit, i.e. the invisible sphere in which the Holy Spirit imparts faith, reveals Christ, etc.) and understanding (For the believer, this “connects the dots” through sanctified, inductive reasoning [done under God]. The positive use of /sýnesis [“synthesized understanding”]), 10so that you will walk (Hebraistically, to live, i. e. α. to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit (to bear, bring forth, deeds: thus of men who show their knowledge of religion by their conduct) in every good work (or every good work springing from piety) and increasing in the knowledge of God (of God, especially the knowledge of his holy will and of the blessings which he has bestowed and constantly bestows on men through Christ); 11strengthened (to make strong, confirm) with all power (moral power and excellence of soul), according to His glorious (the might in which His majesty excels) might (the might of his strength), for the attaining of all steadfastness (steadfastness, constancy, endurance (in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings) and patience; joyously 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified (to make sufficient, render fit; with two accusatives, one of the objects [us], the other of the predicate [to share in the inheritance of the saints]: to equip one with adequate power to perform the duties of one) us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light (used of that heavenly state, consummate and free from every imperfection, to which the true disciples of Christ will be exalted, equivalent to the kingdom of light).

The Incomparable Christ

13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness (the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates), and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption (everywhere in the N. T. metaphorically, viz. deliverance effected through the death of Christ from the retributive wrath of a holy God and the merited penalty of sin), the forgiveness of sins.
15He is the image (/eikṓn) then exactly reflects its source (what it directly corresponds to). For example, Christ is the very image, supreme expression of the Godhead [see 2 Cor 4:4]; to Christ, on account of his divine nature and absolute moral excellence) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (NASB: Image: Christ is called the “Image of God” here and in 2 Cor 4:4. In Heb 1:3 He is described as the “radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” This figure of the image suggests two truths: (1) God is invisible (“No one has seen God at any time”, John 1:18; (2) Christ, who is the eternal Son of God and who became the God-man, reflects and reveals Him (see also John 1:18; 14:9). Firstborn of all creation: Just as the firstborn son had certain privileges and rights in the Biblical world, so also Christ has certain rights in relation to all creation – priority, preeminence and sovereignty (vv. 16-18). Bible Knowledge Commentary: eikōn means the very substance or essential embodiment of something or someone. Firstborn denotes two things of Christ: He precedes the whole Creation, and He is Sovereign over all Creation.) 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones (is used by metonymy, of one who holds dominion or exercises authority; thus in plural of angels) or dominions (in the N. T. one who possesses dominion) or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before (prior to all created things) all things, and in Him all things hold together (to cohere). 18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning (the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader), the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness (“sum total, fulness, even (super) abundance” [BAGD]) to dwell (divine powers, influences, etc., are said to dwell in his soul, to pervade, prompt, govern it) in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
21And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly (the body compacted of flesh) body through death, in order to present you before Him holy (of sacrifices and offerings; prepared for God with solemn rite, pure, clean) and blameless and beyond reproach(that cannot be called to account, unreprovable, unaccused, blameless) — 23if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established (to make stable, establish [ground]: of the soul) and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven (NASB: Hyperbole, to dramatize the rapid spread of the gospel into every quarter of the Roman empire within three decades of Pentecost), and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up (antanaplēroō) only occurs in Col 1:24 where it refers to believers “filling up” the remaining sufferings of Christ – i.e. when Christians experience wrath from unbelievers who are really still persecuting Christ. That is, venting their rejection of Christ on His followers because they can no longer directly “pull Christ’s beard or spit on His face.” So they do the “next best thing”: persecute the people in whom Christ lives [cf. 1 Jn 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.].) what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 25Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship (the office of administrator intrusted by God) from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27to whom God willed (to be resolved or determined, to purpose) to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY. 28We proclaim Him, admonishing (warn, exhort) every man and teaching every (any and every, of every kind [often all manner of]) man with all wisdom (skill and discretion in imparting Christian truth), so that we may present every man (NASB: … in Christ every believer is one of the complete) complete (the perfect, i. e. the more intelligent, ready to apprehend divine things [full-grown]) in Christ. 29For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

 
New American Standard Bible
You Are Built Up in Christ

Col 2:1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth ( fullness, abundance, plenitude: with a genitive of the excellence in which one abounds) that comes from the full assurance (entire confidence) of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge (in the N. T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine) of God’s mystery (the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly. In the N. T., God’s plan of providing salvation for men through Christ, which was once hidden but now is revealed: which God formed), that is, Christ Himself, 3in whom are hidden (stored up) all the treasures (something precious) of wisdom (In Paul’s Epistles: a knowledge of the divine plan, previously hidden, of providing salvation for men by the expiatory death of Christ, hence, all the treasures of wisdom are said to be hidden in Christ) and knowledge (what is known concerning divine things and human duties). 4I say this so that no one will delude (to deceive, circumvent) you with persuasive argument (specious discourse leading others into error). 5For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline (orderly condition) and the stability (strength [solidity], making one immoveable because solid) of your faith in Christ.
6Therefore as you have received (by the narration of others, by the instruction of teachers) Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7having been firmly rooted (in communion with Christ) and now being built (with the passive, in fellowship with Christ to grow in spiritual life) up in Him and established (to stabilitate, to confirm, secure; of men made steadfast and constant in soul) in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
8See to it that no one takes you captive (to carry off like a predator with its prey; to spoil) through philosophy (a friend [lover] of wisdom; in Col 2:8 refers to secular philosophy – elevating human wisdom over the wisdom of God. Such (philosophía) is loving one’s own thoughts [secular wisdom] at the expense of God’s Word [true wisdom]; Once in the N. T. of the theology, or rather theosophy, of certain Jewish-Christian ascetics, which busied itself with refined and speculative inquiries into the nature and classes of angels, into the ritual of the Mosaic law and the regulations of Jewish tradition respecting practical life.) and empty (vain; devoid of truth) deception, according to the tradition (used of the body of precepts, especially ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did, were to be obeyed with equal reverence: with added, as opposed to the divine teachings.) of men, according to the elementary principles (the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens, or (as others think) because in them the elements of man’s life and destiny were supposed to reside; so in the earlier ecclesiastical writings: Hence, some interpreters infelicitously understand Paul’s phrase τά στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου, Galatians 4:3, 9; Colossians 2:8, 20, of the heavenly bodies, because times and seasons, and so sacred seasons, were regulated by the course of the sun and moon; yet in unfolding the meaning of the passage on the basis of this sense they differ widely.) of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9For in Him all (in their whole compass and extent) the fullness (fullness, abundance) of Deity (theótēs (a derived from /theós, “God”) – the personal God revealed in the Bible who is triune and infinitely relational as demonstrated by the embodiment of the Godhead in the incarnated Christ [used only in Col 2:9]; deity i. e. the state of being God, Godhead) dwells (divine powers, influences, etc., are said to dwell in his [Christ] soul, to pervade, prompt, govern it) in bodily (bodily [used only in Col 2:9]. It refers to “Christ’s complete embodiment of the plērōma [‘fullness of God’) form, 10and in Him you have been made complete (to fill, diffuse throughout one’s soul: Christians are said simply, as those who are pervaded [i. e. richly furnished] with the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit: rooted as it were in Christ, i. e. by virtue of the intimate relationship entered into with him.), and He is the head over all rule (the first place, principality, rule, magistracy (cf. English ‘authorities’): Hence, the term is transferred by Paul to angels and demons holding dominions entrusted to them in the order of things) and authority (the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates; used in the plural of a certain class of angels); 11and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal (a putting off, laying aside) of the body of the flesh (a body given up to the control of the flesh, i. e. a body whose members our nature, estranged from God, used as its instruments) by the circumcision (the extinction of the passions and the removal of spiritual impurity) of Christ; 12having been buried (to bury together with; For all who in the rite of baptism are plunged under the water thereby declare that they put faith in the expiatory death of Christ for the pardon of their past sins; therefore Paul likens baptism to a burial by which the former sinfulness is buried, i. e. utterly taken away.) with Him in baptism (of Christian baptism [spiritual baptism]; this, according to the view of the apostles, is a rite of sacred immersion, commanded by Christ [He is the baptizer], by which men confessing their sins and professing their faith in Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit unto a new life, come into the fellowship of Christ and the church (1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit), and are made partakers of eternal salvation. NASB: By one body…all baptized into one body [1 Corinthians 12:13]: Spiritually baptized, regeneration by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3, 5) and united with Christ as part of His body. [Comment by Dr. Saucy: Saucy adds, it never says in the Bible believe and you will be regenerated. It says believe and you will be saved. Regeneration precedes faith: Jn. 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. One is not fully regenerated until he comes to be in Christ. One must face what the New Testament says, I have new life in Christ, and I come to be in Christ through faith. Man has no active role in the act of regeneration. So there is a sense in which faith is a little bit prior to actually being in Christ. It is the means to coming into union with Christ, into His life. A person would not want to say that regeneration is complete until he comes into Christ. The whole process of making someone over is the process from turning a person from not seeking God to actually coming into Christ; that would be regeneration, the re-creating of one who is spiritually dead through the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.] Circumcision… baptism: in the Israelite faith, circumcision was a sign that the individual stood in covenant relation with God. While this is the only reference where circumcision is associated with baptism, some see the passage as implying that, for the Christian, water baptism is the parallel sign of the conversion relationship. Bible Knowledge Commentary: The Gentile Christians in Colosse [sic] had no need to conform to Jewish rules and regulations, such as circumcision. For in Christ they had been circumcised. This spiritual “circumcision” was done by Christ, not by man. It was in fact a crucifixion or putting off of the body, a circumcision of the heart [cf. Rom 2:29; Eph 2:11]. Their sinful nature [lit… “the mind of the flesh,” Col 2:18] was decisively put off by Christ’s death and resurrection. What people were in Adam-sinful, fallen, and corrupt-was destroyed by Christ. Now “in Christ” a believer is a new creation [2 Cor 5:17]. And having a new Head a believer has a new authority for his life-not the Law of Moses but the life of Christ. This putting off of the old life occurs at the moment of salvation, when a believer is buried with Christ in baptism by the Spirit [cf. 1 Cor 12:13] and is raised with Him to a new life. This co-burial and co-resurrection is pictured in baptism. In water baptism, immersion portrays burial with Christ, and coming out of the water depicts the resurrection by the power of God to “live a new life” [Rom 6:4.]), in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13When you were dead ((spiritually dead, i. e.) “destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God, because given up to trespasses and sins; inactive as respects doing right”) in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him ([tense: aorist, mood: indicative, voice: active] to make one alive together with another: Christians, with Christ [Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13], in both of these passages new moral life is referred to), having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt (metaphorically, applied in Colossians 2:14 ((where R. V. bond)) to the Mosaic law, which shews [sic] men to be chargeable with offences for which they must pay the penalty.) consisting of decrees (of the rules and requirements of the law of Moses carrying a suggestion of severity, and of threatened punishment, the law containing precepts in the form of decrees [A. V. the law of commandments contained in ordinances], Ephesians 2:15; by the bond against us by its decrees, Colossians 2:14) against us, which was hostile (opposed to, contrary to) to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15When He had disarmed (wholly to strip off for oneself [for one’s own advantage], despoil, disarm) the rulers (angels and demons holding dominions entrusted to them in the order of things) and authorities (used also of demons: in the plural), He made a public (before the public, in view of all) display (to expose one to disgrace) of them, having triumphed over (to triumph, to celebrate a triumph over one: Colossians 2:15 [where it signifies the victory won by God over the demoniacal powers through Christ’s death].) them through Him (NASB: The picture is of conquered soldiers stripped of their clothes as well as their weapons to symbolize their total defeat. Having triumphed over them: lit. “leading them in a triumphal procession.” The metaphor recalls a Roman general leading his captives through the streets of his city for all the citizens to see as evidence of his complete victory (see 2 Cor 2:14). That Christ triumphed over the devil and his cohorts is seen in Matt 12:29; Luke 10:18; Rom 16:20.)
16Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ (NASB: Shadow… substance: The ceremonial laws of the OT are here referred to as shadows (cf. Heb 8:5; 10:1) because they symbolically depicted the coming of Christ; so any insistence on the observance of such ceremonies is a failure to recognize that their fulfillment has already taken place. This element of the Colossians heresy was combined with a rigid asceticism, as vv. 20-21 reveal.). 18Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize (properly, a judge (arbiter) making the wrong call, depriving someone of their rightful prize and reward [used only in Col 2:18]; “to decide as umpire against one, to declare him unworthy of the prize; to defraud of the prize of victory”: to deprive of salvation) by delighting in self-abasement (lowliness of mind, humility) and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind (when either expressly or tacitly opposed to τό πνεῦμα (τοῦ Θεοῦ), has an ethical sense and denotes “mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God”; accordingly it includes whatever in the soul is weak, low, debased, tending to ungodliness and vice (“Thou must not understand ‘flesh’, therefore, as though that only were ‘flesh’ which is connected with unchastity, but St. Paul uses ‘flesh’ of the whole man, body and soul, reason and all his faculties included, because all that is in him longs and strives after the flesh); note that ‘flesh’ signifies the entire nature of man, sense and reason, without the Holy Spirit”.) (NASB: Self-abasement: Humility in which one delights is of necessary mock humility. Paul may refer to a professed humility in view of the absolute God, who was believed to be so far above man that he could only be worshiped in the form of angles He had created. Second-century Gnosticism conceived of a list of spirit beings who had emanated from God and through whom God may be approached. He has seen: Probably refers to professed visions by the false teachers.), 19and not holding fast to the head (of the church [Christ]), from whom the entire body, being supplied (passive, ministered unto, assisted ) and held together (passive, of the parts of the body ‘knit together’ into one whole, compacted together) by the joints (bond, connection) and ligaments (that which binds together, a band, bond), grows with a growth which is from God. (Bible Knowledge Commentary: True spirituality does not come by compliance with laws [which are only a shadow] but by connection with the Life [who is the reality]. Without a vital connection to the Head, the body of Christ cannot grow.)
20If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21“Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

 
New American Standard Bible
Put On the New Self

Col 3: 1Therefore if you have been raised (in the N. T. tropically, to raise up together from moral death to a new and blessed life devoted to God: risen from the dead, because the ground of the new Christian life lies in Christ’s resurrection) up with Christ, keep seeking (seek for, aim at, strive after) the things above (heavenly things), where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (NASB: In summary, he [the believer] is called upon to become in daily experience what he is positionally in Christ (cf. Rom 6:1-13). 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3For you have died (as having put off all sensibility to worldly things that draw them away from God) and your life (the blessing of real life after the resurrection) is hidden (is kept laid up with God in heaven) with Christ in God [YHVH]. 4When Christ, who is our life (life real and genuine, vita quae sola vita nominanda, “a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions [among them a more perfect body], and to last forever”), is revealed (of Christ now hidden from sight in heaven but hereafter to return visibly), then you also will be revealed with Him in glory (“the glorious condition of blessedness into which it is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven”).
5Therefore consider the members (a member [part] belonging to the whole; [figuratively] any function of human personality, such as “sanctified imagination”) of your earthly body as dead (to view as a corpse, i.e. without life; to regard [but not “make”] as dead, inoperative; to mortify, deprive of life or energizing power; [figuratively] to cut off [sever] everything that energizes [especially sin in Col 3:5]; to deprive of power, destroy the strength of: τά μέλη, i. e. the evil desire lurking in the members [of the body]) to immorality (fornication, prostitution; properly, of illicit sexual intercourse in general), impurity (in a moral sense, the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living), passion (In the N. T. in a bad sense, depraved passion), evil ([morally, i. e.] of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting; base, wrong, wicked) desire (desire for what is forbidden, lust), and greed (greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice), which amounts to idolatry (the worship of false gods, idolatry: of avarice, as a worship of Mammon). 6For it is because of these things that the wrath (the wrath of God cometh upon one in the infliction of penalty. NASB: God is unalterably opposed to sin and will invariably make sure that it is justly punished.) of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you also, put them all aside: anger (wrath, indignation), wrath (passion, angry heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again, on the other hand, denotes indignation which has arisen gradually and become more settled), malice (malignity, ill-will, desire to injure), slander (detraction, speech injurious to another’s good name), and abusive speech (foul speaking, low and obscene speech, (R. V. shameful speaking) from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed (“to renew”, only occurs in 2 Cor 4:16 and Col 3:10, both times referring to God ever-transforming the believer – by renewing “the new man” in Christ; a word peculiar to the apostle Paul; properly, “to cause to grow up new, to make new”; passive, new strength and vigor is given to me, 2 Corinthians 4:16; to be changed into a new kind of life, opposed to the former corrupt state, Colossians 3:10) to a true knowledge (in the N. T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine) according to the image (“(eikṓn) assumes a prototype, of which it not merely resembles, but from which it is drawn”. (eikṓn) then is more than a “shadow”; rather it is a replication) of the One who created him— 11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all (NASB: Christ transcends all barriers and unifies people from all cultures, races, and nations.).
12So, as those who have been chosen (chosen by God, to obtain salvation through Christ; hence, Christians are called the chosen or elect of God. NASB: Israel was called this [Deut 4:37], and so is the Christian community [1 Pet 2:9]. Divine election is a constant theme in Paul’s letters, but the Bible never teaches that it dulls human responsibility. On the contrary, as this verse shows, it is precisely because the Christian has been elected to eternal salvation that he must put forth every effort to live the godly life. For Paul, divine sovereignty and human responsibility go hand in hand.) of God, holy (in a moral sense, pure, sinless, upright, holy[imputed righteousness]) and beloved (to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of; to love [in a social or moral sense]), put on a heart (the seat of the tenderer affections, especially kindness, benevolence, compassion, a heart in which mercy resides [heart of mercy]) of compassion (ἰκτιρμοῦ, ὁ (compassion, pity, mercy: bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion), kindness (benignity, kindness), humility ( humiliation of mind, i.e. modesty — humbleness of mind, humility [of mind, loneliness (of mind)]), gentleness ( gentleness, by implication, humility — meeknes) and patience (forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs); 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love (love which centers in moral preference; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast – [feast of] charity(-ably), dear, love), which is the perfect bond of unity (that in which all the virtues are so bound together that perfection is the result, and not one of them is lacking to that perfection). 15Let the peace (according to a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoerer sort that is”: which comes, from Christ) of Christ rule (/brabeúō [“decide as an umpire”] means to arbitrate, i.e. “making the call” in “a conflict between contending forces” (Souter), used only in Col 3:15) in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing (warn, exhort) one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name (relying or resting on the name of Christ, rooted [so to speak] in his name, i. e. mindful of Christ) of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Yahweh).

Family Relations

18Wives, be subject (middle to subject oneself, to obey; to submit to one’s control; to yield to one’s admonition or advice) to your husbands, as is fitting (namely, ever since ye were converted to Christ) in the Lord. 19Husbands, love (to love [in a social or moral sense] — (be-)love(-ed)) your wives and do not be embittered (tropically, to embitter, exasperate, i. e. render angry, indignant; passive, to be embittered, irritated) against (of mental direction, with words denoting desires and emotions of the mind, to, toward) them. 20Children, be obedient (to hearken to a command, i. e. to obey, be obedient unto, submit to) to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not exasperate (to stir up, excite, stimulate: to provoke) your children, so that they will not lose heart (to be spiritless, i.e. disheartened — be dismayed).
22Slaves, in all things obey (to hearken to a command, i. e. to obey, be obedient unto, submit to) those who are your masters on earth, not with external service (eye-service; “for the master’s eye usually stimulates to greater diligence; his absence, on the other hand, renders sluggish.”), as those who merely please men (studying to please men, courting the favor of men), but with sincerity of heart (singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty), fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you do, do your work heartily (from the heart), as for the Lord rather than for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive (to take again or back, to recover: and to receive by way of retribution) the reward (recompense) of the inheritance (what is given to one as a possession: in the N. T., is used to denote “the eternal blessedness in the consummated kingdom of God which is to be expected after the visible return of Christ”.). It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 25For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong (to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin) which he has done, and that without partiality (respect of persons). (NASB: Paul never condones slavery nor sanctions revolt against masters. Rather, he calls on both slaves and masters to attempt to change the institution from within.)
New American Standard Bible
Fellow Workers

Col 4:1Masters, grant (to exhibit or offer on one’s own part:) to your slaves justice (what is due to others) and fairness (equity, fairness, what is equitable, joined with, just; especially, just in the eyes of God; righteous), knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.
2Devote (to give constant attention to a thing) yourselves to prayer, keeping alert (to be watchful in, employ the most punctilious care in a thing) in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door (open to a teacher, i. e. the opportunity of teaching others) for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned (literally); 4that I may make it clear (to make known by teaching) in the way I ought to speak.
5Conduct yourselves with wisdom (a devout and proper prudence in contact with men not disciples of Christ) toward outsiders, making the most (where the meaning seems to be to make a wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well-doing are as it were the purchase-money by which we make the time our own.) of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace (properly, that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech), as though seasoned (full of wisdom and grace and hence, pleasant and wholesome) with salt (wisdom and grace exhibited in speech), so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
7As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. 8For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage (strengthen, comfort) your hearts; 9and with him Onesimus (Note NASB: The reason Paul writes more about slaves and masters than about wives, husbands, children, and fathers may be that the slave Onesimus is going along with Tychicus to deliver this Colossian letter and the letter to Philemon, Onesimus’s master, who also lived I Colossae.), our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number (transitive, to make known). They will inform you about the whole situation here.
10Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’s cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); 11and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision (the circumcised, they of the circumcision, used of Jews; of Christians gathered from among the Jews), and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. 12Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly (to endeavor with strenuous zeal, strife) for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect (as respects understanding and goodness) and fully assured (persuaded, fully convinced or assured) in all the will of God. 13For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas. 15Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house. 16When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. 17Say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
18I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.
Note: Onesimus was a Bishop (Pastor) of the church of Ephesus. Read a letter from Ignatius, amazing! http://www.ccel.org/ccel/richardson/fathers.vi.ii.iii.i.html

 
New American Standard Bible
1 Thessalonians
Thanksgiving for These Believers

1 Thes 1:1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith (wrought by faith, the course of conduct which springs from faith) and labor of love (the labor to which love prompts, and which voluntarily assumes and endures trouble and pains for the salvation of others) and steadfastness of hope (constancy, endurance, sufferance; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings) in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice (election, choice; the act of picking out, choosing: specifically used of that act of God’s free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons; the decree made from choice, the purpose according to election) of you; 5for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power (strength, ability, power; universally, “inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth”) and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction (fullness, abundance; full assurance, most certain confidence); just as you know what kind of men we proved (of blessings) to be among you for your sake. 6You also became imitators (is always used positively in the NT (seven times) – of followers of Christ emulating a God-approved example. The supreme model is God Himself) of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation (persecution, affliction, distress) with the joy of the Holy Spirit(wrought by the Holy Spirit), 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God (of mental direction, with words denoting desires and emotions of the mind) has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath ([“Orgē comes from the verb oragō meaning, ‘to teem, to swell’; and thus implies that it is not a sudden outburst, but rather [referring to God’s] fixed, controlled, passionate feeling against sin . . . a settled indignation; vessels into which wrath will be poured [at the last day) to come. (NASB: Three marks of a true conversion: (1) turning from idols, (2) serving God [YHVH], and (3) waiting for Christ to return.)

New American Standard Bible
Paul’s Ministry

1 Thes 2:1For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness (to grow confident, show assurance, assume a bold bearing: in reliance on one to take courage) in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition (any struggle with dangers, annoyances, obstacles, standing in the way of faith, holiness, and a desire to spread the gospel). 3For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; 4but just as we have been approved (to test) by God to be entrusted (passive, πιστεύομαι τί, to be intrusted with a thing) with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. 5For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext ([a pretext [alleged reason, pretended cause]: such as covetousness is accustomed to use [cloak of covetousness) the meaning being, that he had never misused his apostolic office in order to disguise or to hide avaricious designs]) for greed (greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice)—God is witness— 6nor did we seek glory (of God, to endeavor to promote the glory of God) from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. 7But we proved to be gentle (mild) among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. 8Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
9For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden (to be heavy upon, i.e. [pecuniarily] to be expensive to) to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly (divinely-sanctioned and therefore worthy of reverence [used only in 1 Thes 2:10]; piously, holily) and uprightly (uprightly, agreeably to the law of rectitude) and blamelessly (so that there is no cause for censure) we behaved toward you believers; 11just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring (to conjure, beseech as in God’s name, exhort solemnly) each one of you as a father would his own children, 12so that you would walk (to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
13For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received (to receive with the mind) the word of God which you heard (to hear [listen]; [figuratively] to hear God’s voice which prompts Him to birth faith within [cf. Ro 10:17].) from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work (to display one’s activity, show oneself operative, with the dative of person in whose mind a thing shows itself active) in you who believe. 14For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved (Since salvation begins in this life [in deliverance from error and corrupt notions, in moral purity, in pardon of sin, and in the blessed peace of a soul reconciled to God], but on the visible return of Christ from heaven will he perfected in the consummate blessings of ὁ αἰών ὁ μέλλων [age], we can understand why τό σῴζεσθαι [to save] is spoken of in some passages as a present possession, in others as a good yet future: — as a blessing beginning [or begun] on earth.); with the result that they always fill up (make full) the measure of their sins (to have sin as though it were one’s odious private property, or to have done something needing expiation, equivalent to to have committed sin, very often in the plural). But wrath has come upon them to the utmost (to the [procurement of their] end, i. e. to destruction). (NASB: Wrath has come: The eschatological wrath, the final outpouring of God’s anger upon sinful mankind [see 1:10]. It is spoken of as already present, either because it had been partially experienced by the Jews or because of its absolute certainty. Bible Knowledge Commentary: An unbeliever who is willing to live and let live with respect to personal convictions regarding God is less dangerous than one who not only disbelieves himself but also tries to keep others from hearing the gospel. The unbelieving Jews in Thessalonica were of the latter variety. Such people’s actions hurt themselves as well as others because they heap up additional sins for which God will judge them. God will only allow an individual or a group of individuals to accumulate so much sin, and then He will judge. He does not judge before this limit, which He alone knows, has been reached (cf. Gen 15:16). The Thessalonians’ persecutors were hasting God’s judgment on themselves by their actions…. Why did Paul get so excited about the fate of the Thessalonians’ persecutors’? It was not out of personal hatred for them [Rom 9:1-5]. Rather it was to emphasize the seriousness of hindering the preaching of the gospel. This message was transforming the Thessalonian believers, and they were heralding it to others far and wide. These verses illustrate how important it is that the gospel reach everybody [Matt 28:19-20.]. [Alice: Please do not understand this to mean that if Paul did not witness to a certain person of group of people that God was unable to save them. Paul was hindered from going several places in scripture, and he wished to visit several churches, but God hindered him from doing so. That was not God’s plan for his life, cf. Acts 16:6; Acts 18:20-21.)
17But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. 18For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us (Alice: this could not have happened without Yehoshua’s permissive will, cf. 1Cor 15:24; Eph 1:19-23). 19For who is our hope (at the end) or joy (of persons who are one’s ‘joy’) or crown (that which is an ornament and honor to one: so of persons) of exultation (a boasting)? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20For you are our glory (persons whose excellence is to redound to the glory of others are called their) and joy (delight).

 
New American Standard Bible
Encouragement of Timothy’s Visit

1 Thes 3: 1Therefore when we (NASB: We: An editorial, “we,” referring to Paul alone) could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, 2and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, 3so that no one would be disturbed (to agitate, trouble; to wag the tail) by these afflictions (NASB: Afflictions: The opposition and persecution suffered by the Thessalonian converts. Christians must expect troubles [see Mark 4:17; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12), but these are not disasters, for they advance God’s purposes [see Acts 11:19; Rom 5:3; 2 Cor 1:4; 14:17]); for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this (to be [by God’s intent] set, i. e. destined, appointed). 4For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. 5For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith (assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity), for fear that the tempter (to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin; hence, to solicit to sin, to tempt: of the temptations of the devil. NASB: Satan is spoken of in every major division of the NT. He is supreme among evil spirits [see John 16:11; Eph 2:2]. His activities can affect the physical [see 2 Cor 12:7] and the spiritual (see Matt 13:39; Mark 4:15; 2 Cor 4:4]. He tempted Jesus [Matt 4:1-11], and he continues to temp Jesus’ servants ([see Luke 22:3; 1 Cor 7:5]. He hinders missionary work [2:18]. But he has already been defeated [see Col 2:15], and Christians need not be overwhelmed by him [see Eph 6:16]. His final overthrow is certain [see Rev 20:10].) might have tempted you, and our labor (the labor to which love prompts, and which voluntarily assumes and endures trouble and pains for the salvation of others: of toil in teaching) would be in vain (to no purpose).
6But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, 7for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; 8for now we really live (in the sense of living and thriving), if you stand firm in the Lord. 9For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, 10as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith? (NASB: What is lacking: Some of the things lacking were of a practical nature, such as moral [4:1-12] and disciplinary matters [5:12-24]. Others were doctrinal, such as confusion over Christ’s return [4:13-5:11].)
11Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; 12and may the Lord (NASBL The Lord: In Paul’s writing this usually means Jesus rather than the Father]) cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 13so that He may establish (to strengthen, make firm; tropically to render constant, confirm, one’s mind) your hearts (of the will and character) without blame (deserving no censure; free from fault or defect) in holiness (moral purity. NASB: The basic idea is set apart [for God].) before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints (of persons whose services God employs; as for example, apostles, Ephesians 3:5; angels, 1 Thessalonians 3:13. NASB: Saints: Used of the saints [Christians] in many NT passages. Here it may mean the departed saints who will return with Jesus, or it may mean the angles or, probably, both.).

 

 

New American Standard Bible
Sanctification and Love

1 Thes 4:1Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel (to excel still more, to increase in excellence) still more. 2For you know what commandments (instructions; announcement, a proclaiming or giving a message to; hence, a charge, command: of particular directions relative to the same, 18) we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will (will, i. e., a. what one wishes or has determined shall be done: of what God wishes to be done by us, plural commands, precepts) of God, your sanctification (sanctification wrought by the Holy Spirit. It is opposed to lust in 1 Thessalonians 4:3f.); that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification (in sanctification and honor, i. e. to marry a wife) and honor (honorably), 5not in lustful [desire for what is forbidden] passion: In the N. T. in a bad sense, depraved passion: in the passion of lust), like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6and that no man transgress (to overstep the proper limits, i. e. to transgress, trespass, do wrong, sin, specifically, of one who defrauds another in business, overreaches) and defraud (to gain or take advantage of another, to overreach) his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger (exacting penalty from one; punisher) in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8So, he who rejects (refuse, slight) this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you (Bible Knowledge Commentary: Lest anyone feel that God is asking more than is reasonable of weak mortals, Paul concluded this exhortation with a reminder that God has also given believers His indwelling Spirit…. The indwelling Holy Spirit has power enough to enable any Christian to learn how to control his own body, even in a pagan, immoral climate. The exhortation is to avoid sexual immorality; the enablement comes from the Holy Spirit.)
9Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life (to lead a quiet life, said of those who are not running hither and thither, but stay at home and mind their business) and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, 12so that you will behave (to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) properly (n a seemly manner, decently) toward outsiders and not be in any need.

Those Who Died in Christ

13But we do not want you to be uninformed (to be ignorant, not to know), brethren, about those who are asleep (the dead), so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope ([of the heathen] having no hope [of salvation]). 14For if we believe (to trust in Christ [God]) that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede (we shall not get the start of those who have fallen asleep, i. e. we shall not attain to the fellowship of Christ sooner than the dead, nor have precedence in blessedness) those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven (this heaven is the abode to which Christ ascended after his resurrection, and from which he will hereafter return) with a shout (with a loud summons, a trumpet-call), with the voice (the awakening shout of the archangel, the leader of the angelic host, of the archangel (the awakening shout of the archangel, the leader of the angelic host) and with the trumpet of God (a trumpet which sounds at God’s command), and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 
New American Standard Bible
The Day of the Lord

1 Thes 5:1Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. (Bible Knowledge Commentary: Regarding 1 Thes 4:13-18: The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are among the best-attested facts of history. Since Christians know these events took place, they can be equally certain, Paul said, that the souls of believers who have died will return with Christ when He comes for His living saints. The prophecy of the Rapture is as sure to be fulfilled as the prophecies of Christ’s death and resurrection. Regarding 1 Thes 5:1: Times and dates refers to the ages [chronōn] and events [kairōn] preceding the day of the Lord. Paul did not need to expound fully on this subject as he had done with the Rapture, since he had already instructed them about the day of the Lord. NASB: Regarding 1 Thes 4:13-18: … those believers who will be alive when Christ returns…. Elsewhere he says that God will raise “us” at that time [1 Cor 6:14; 2 Cor 4:14]. Regarding 1 Thes 5:1: Times and the epochs: See Acts 1:6-7. There have always been some Christians who try to fix the date of our Lord’s return, but apparently the Thessalonians were not among them. Note: There is much disagreement among Evangelical Christians about the times and epochs of Jesus’ second coming.) 2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord (of the last day of the present age, the day in which Christ will return from heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom, the following expressions are used. NASB: See 1 Cor 5:5. The expression goes back to Amos 5:18. In the OT it is a time when God will come and intervene with judgment and/or blessings. In the NT the thought of judgment continues [see Rom 2:5; 2 Pet 2:9], but it is also the “day of redemption” [Eph 4:30]; the “day of the God” [2 Pet 3:12], or of Christ [1 Cor 1:8; Phil 1:6]; and the “last day” the [John 6:39], the “great Day” [Jude 6] or simply “that day” [2 Thes 1:10]. It is the consummation of all things. There will be some preliminary signs [e.g., 2 Thes 2:3], but the coming will be as unexpected as that of a thief in the night [cf. Matt 24:43-44; Luke 12:39-40; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:3; 16:15].) will come just like a thief in the night. 3While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” (after the Hebrew שָׁלום, security, safety, prosperity, felicity, [because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous]) then destruction (a prolonged form); ruin, i.e. death, punishment — destruction.) will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness (to be given up to the power of darkness), that the day would overtake (of the last day overtaking the wicked with destruction) you like a thief; 5for you are all sons of light (φῶς is used to denote truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity congruous with it; light, a source of light, radiance) and sons of day (the ‘day’ is regarded as the time for abstaining from indulgence, vice, crime, because acts of the sort are perpetrated at night and in darkness). We are not of night (the time when the weary and also the drunken give themselves up to slumber, put for torpor [a state of physical or mental inactivity; lethargy] and sluggishness) nor of darkness (to be given up to the power of darkness); 6so then let us not sleep (to yield to sloth and sin, and be indifferent to one’s salvation) as others do, but let us be alert (to watch i. e. give strict attention to, be cautious, active: —or lest one fall into sin) and sober (in the N. T. everywhere tropically, to be calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect). 7For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate (Eph 6:14 refers to “the breastplate of righteousness” [ton thōraka tēs dikaiosynēs] and 1 Thes 5:8 to “the breastplate [/thṓraks] of faith.” This indicates righteousness results from obeying the faith God births in the heart [this is confirmed in texts like Js 2:14-26]) of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope (always in the N. T., in a good sense: expectation of good, hope; and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; the bringing in of a better hope) of salvation (future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God). 9For God has not destined (to appoint with oneself or in one’s mind: to decree one to be subject to wrath) us for wrath (unto wrath, i. e. to undergo punishment in misery), but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake (to live, be alive on earth) or asleep (to die), we will live together with Him (at the same time). 11Therefore encourage one another and build up (to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness) one another, just as you also are doing.

Christian Conduct

12But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace (to cultivate or keep peace, i. e. harmony; to be at peace, live in peace) with one another. 14We urge you, brethren, admonish (warn, exhort) the unruly (deviating from the prescribed order or rule), encourage the fainthearted (properly, an undeveloped soul, lacking in personhood [without a healthy identity, developed individuality]), help the weak (lacking in decision about things lawful and unlawful), be patient (“to be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be long-suffering, slow to anger, slow to punish”) with everyone. 15See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good (what is upright, honorable, and acceptable to God) for one another and for all people. 16Rejoice always; 17pray without ceasing; 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will (will, i. e., a. what one wishes or has determined shall be done [i. e. objectively, thing willed] for you in Christ Jesus. 19Do not quench (i. e. to suppress, stifle) the Spirit; 20do not despise (to make of no account, to despise utterly) prophetic utterances (Used in the N. T. — of the utterances of the O. T. prophets: — of the endowment and speech of the Christian teachers called προφῆται [prophets]: plural the gifts and utterances of these prophets, 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:20). 21But examine (to test, by impl. to approve) everything carefully; hold fast (keep secure, keep from possession of) to that which is good (genuine, approved); 22abstain from every form (that which is seen) of evil (that which is wicked; margin: appearance of evil).
23Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify (to purify internally by reformation of soul) you entirely (properly, wholly [holistically], “fully-layered” [all levels present] – describing someone reaching the end-goal of “entire sanctification.” /holotelḗs [“entirely”] is only used in 1 Thes 5:23.– again expressing the idea of “full continuity [unbroken, complete]); and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved (tēréō (from tēros, “a guard”) – properly, maintain [preserve]; [figuratively] spiritually guard [watch], keep intact; to watch over, to guard) complete (holóklēros [from /hólos, “whole” and /klḗros, “a lot, cast to better discern God’s preferred-will”] – properly, “all that is included [apportioned] through divine lot.” /holóklēros [“divinely-allotted wholeness”] occurs twice in the NT. 1 Thes 5:23: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit (according to which τό πνεῦμα is the rational part of man, the power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things, and upon which the Spirit of God exerts its influence; [πνεῦμα, says Luther, “is the highest and noblest part of man, which qualifies him to lay bold of incomprehensible, invisible, eternal things; in short, it is the house where Faith and God’s word are at home”].) and soul (the breath of life; the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing; psyxḗ [from psyxō, “to breathe, blow” which is the root of the English words “psyche,” “psychology”] – soul [psyche]; a person’s distinct identity [unique personhood], i.e. individual personality. [psyxē] corresponds exactly to the OT /phágō [“soul”]. The soul is the direct aftermath of God breathing [blowing] His gift of life into a person, making them an ensouled being.) and body (the living body) be preserved complete [ /holóklēros], without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Js 1:4: “And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete (/holóklēros), lacking in nothing”), without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
25Brethren, pray for us.
26Greet all the brethren with a holy (in a moral sense, pure, sinless, upright, holy; such a kiss as is a sign of the purest love) kiss. 27I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

 
New American Standard Bible
2 Thessalonians
Thanksgiving for Faith and Perseverance

2 Thes 1:1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: (Note to whom the book is written.) 2Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged (to increase beyond measure; to grow exceedingly), and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater (abounding in number [quantity]); 4therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance (steadfastness, constancy; in the N. T. the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings) and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure (Bible Knowledge Commentary [hitherto BKC]: They were particularly enduring… persecutions from enemies of the gospel who were hostile toward them [cf. 1 Thes 3:3-4].) . 5This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6For after all it is only just (it is agreeable to justice) for God to repay (in a bad sense, of penalty and vengeance) with affliction (pressure — afflicted(-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble) those who afflict you (BKC: The trials they were undergoing were painful circumstances that came from both Jewish and Gentile acquaintances [cf. 1 Thes 1:6; 2:14; Acts 17:5-9]. Their persecutions and trials were numerous. Yet, in spite of them all, the Thessalonians kept on standing strong and stable in their faith.), 7and to give relief (rest, from persecutions) to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed (of the glory clothed with which he will return from heaven) from heaven with His mighty (ministering to his power) angels (a messenger) in flaming fire, 8dealing out retribution (to inflict punishment on [render vengeance to] one) to those who do not know God (NASB: Does not refer to those who have never heard of the true God but to those who refuse to recognize Him (cf. 2:10; 12; Rom 1:28) and to those who do not obey the gospel (NASB: The gospel invites acceptance, and rejection is disobedience to a royal invitation.) of our Lord Jesus. 9These will pay the penalty of eternal (without end, never to cease, everlasting) destruction (the loss of a life of blessedness after death, future misery), away from the presence (the refreshing which comes from the bright and smiling countenance of God to one seeking comfort) of the Lord and from the glory of His power (majesty which belongs to Christ; and α. the kingly majesty of the Messiah, to which belongs his kingly state, the splendor of His external appearance, the retinue of angels, and the like: the majesty of his Messianic power with which he will punish his adversaries), 10when He comes to be glorified in His saints (to glorify, adorn with glory”: that his glory may be seen in the saints, i. e. in the glory, blessedness, conferred on them. NASB: Not simply “among” but “in” them. His glory is seen in what they are.) on that day ([(even in the prophecies of the O. T.] the day of Jehovah is spoken of, in which Jehovah will execute terrible judgment upon his adversaries), and to be marveled (passive to be wondered at, to be had in admiration) at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 11To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy (to judge worthy, deem deserving) of your calling (is used of one whom God declares worthy of the calling which he has commanded to be given him, and therefore fit to obtain the blessings promised in the call), and fulfill (to make complete in every particular; to render perfect) every desire (God’s good pleasure [/eudokía] requires something is done through His work of inbirthing faith. 2 Thes 1:11: “for which [glorification, cf. 1:10], indeed each time we pray about [peri] you – for the purpose [hina] that our God may deem you worthy of the calling, and may fulfill every good-pleasure [/eudokía, of God] that comes from [His] goodness and [His] work of faith [ /pistis], in [His] ability.”) for goodness and the work of faith with power (powerfully), 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to (used of the cause; through, on account of, from, owing to [in accordance with i. e. in consequence of, by virtue of]) the grace (is used of “the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues”) of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 
New American Standard Bible
Man of Lawlessness

2 Thes 2:1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming (In the N. T. especially of the advent, i. e. the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God) of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together (a gathering together, an assembly. NASB: The only place in the NT where “rapture” [from the Latin Vulgate rendering] is clearly referred to. Some hold that this will be secret, but Paul seems to be describing something open and public, with loud voices and a trumpet blast.) to Him, 2that you not be quickly shaken (to shake down, overthrow, i. e. tropically, to cast down from one’s [to move or agitate the mind, to disturb one: so as to throw him out of his sober and natural mental state) from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit (“one in whom a spirit is manifest or embodied; hence, equivalent to actuated by a spirit, whether divine or demoniacal; one who either is truly moved by God’s Spirit or falsely boasts that he is”) or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day (of the last day of the present age, the day in which Christ will return from heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom) of the Lord has come ([properly, as it were to stand in sight, stand near] to be upon, impend, threaten). 3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy (a falling away, defection. NASB: At the last time there will be a falling away from the faith [see Matt 24:10-12; 1 Tim 4:1]. But here Paul is speaking of active rebellion, the supreme opposition of evil to the things of God.) comes first, and the man of lawlessness ( /anomía (“lawlessness”) includes the end-impact of law breaking – i.e. its negative influence on a person’s soul [status before God]. NASB: The leader of the forces of evil at the last time. Only here is he called by this name. John tells us of many “antichrist” [1 John 2:18], and this may be the worst of them-the antichrist of Rev 13- though Paul’s description of the man of lawlessness has some distinctive features. He is not Satan, because he is clearly distinguished from him in v. 9) is revealed (passages of persons, previously concealed, making their appearance in public: of Anti-christ, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 6, 8. in N. T., Lugd. Bat., 1849. φανερόω is thought to describe an external manifestation, to the senses and hence, open to all, but single or isolated; ἀποκαλύπτω an internal disclosure, to the believer, and abiding. The ἀποκάλυψις or unveiling precedes and produces the φανέρωσις or manifestation; the former looks toward the object revealed, the latter toward the persons to whom the revelation is made. Others, however, seem to question the possibility of discrimination; Cf. 1 Corinthians 3:13. NASB: ), the son of destruction (in particular, the destruction which consists in the loss of eternal life, eternal misery, perdition, the lot of those excluded from the kingdom of God: a man doomed to eternal misery [of Antichrist]. NASB: For all his proud claims, his final overthrow is certain. The same Greek expression is used of Judas Iscariot in John 17:12, where it is translated “son of predition.”), 4who opposes (be adverse to, withstand, an adversary) and exalts himself above every so-called god (deities or divinities) or object of worship (whatever is religiously honored, an object of worship. NASB: He is not merely a political or military man, but claims a place above every god and everything associated with worship. He even claims to be God [YHVH].), so that he takes his seat in the temple (the Sept. for הֵיכָל, used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice [or sanctuary] itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of holies) of God, displaying (to declare: to show, prove what kind of a person anyone is) himself as being God (a general appellation of deities or divinities). 5Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 6And you know what restrains (to restrain, hinder [the course or progress of]: absolutely, that which hinders, namely, Antichrist from making his appearance (see ἀντίχριστος: antichrist, either one who puts himself in the place of, or the enemy [opponent] of the Messiah. – properly, opposite to Christ; someone acting in place of [against] Christ; “Antichrist.”; the power of the Roman empire is meant; ὁ κατέχων, he that hinders, cheeks, namely, the advent of Antichrist, denotes the one in whom that power is lodged, the Roman emperor: 2 Thessalonians 2:6f. NASB: There have been many suggestions as to the identity of this restrainer: the Roman state with its emperor, Paul’s missionary work, the Jewish state, the principle of law and government embodied in the state, the Holy Spirit or the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit through the church, and others.) him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 7For the mystery (a hidden purpose or counsel; secret will: the mystery of lawlessness, the secret purpose formed by lawlessness, seems to be a tacit antithesis to God’s saving purpose) of lawlessness is already at work (to display one’s activity, show oneself operative); only he who now (at this time) restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way (to disappear). 8Then that lawless one will be revealed (passages of persons, previously concealed, making their appearance in public) whom the Lord will slay (kill) with the breath of His mouth (NASB: Despite the impressiveness (v. 4), the man of lawlessness will easily be destroyed by Christ [cf. Dan 11:45; Rev 19:20]) and bring to an end by the appearance (an appearing, appearance: In the N. T. the ‘advent’ of Christ — not only that which has already taken place and by which his presence and power appear in the saving light he has shed upon mankind, 2 Timothy 1:10; but also that illustrious return from heaven to earth hereafter to occur: 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13 [i. e. the breaking forth]) of His coming; 9that is, the one whose coming is in accord (used of the cause; through, on account of, from, owing to [in accordance with i. e. in consequence of, by virtue of]) with the activity of Satan, with all power (specifically, the power of performing miracles) and signs (but time power διδόναι σημεῖα, by which men are deceived, is ascribed also to false teachers, false prophets, and to demons) and false ([A. V. lying wonders] exhibited for the treacherous purpose of deceiving men) wonders (a wonder, marvel), 10and with all the deception (deceit, deceitfulness) of wickedness (deceit which unrighteousness uses) for those who perish (those to whom it belongs to perish or to be consigned to eternal misery), because they did not receive ([(“warmly receptive, welcoming”] means receive with “ready reception what is offered” [Vine, Unger, White, NT, 7], i.e. “welcome with appropriate reception” [Thayer]. [The personal element is emphasized with [déxomai] which accounts for it always being in the Greek middle voice. This stresses the high level of self-involvement [interest] involved with the “welcoming-receiving.” with the accusative of the thing offered in speaking, teaching, instructing; to receive favorably, give ear to, embrace, make one’s own, approve, not to reject: namely, commended to them. NASB: Their unbelief was willing and intentional.) the love (love which embraces the truth) of the truth (“the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians: and absolutely ἡ ἀλήθεια (truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness; truth [true to fact], reality.[In ancient Greek culture, synonymous for “reality” as the opposite of illusion, i.e. fact.]) so as to be saved (to make one a partaker of the salvation by Christ [Since salvation begins in this life (in deliverance from error and corrupt notions, in moral purity, in pardon of sin, and in the blessed peace of a soul reconciled to God), but on the visible return of Christ from heaven will he perfected in the consummate blessings of ὁ αἰών ὁ μέλλων[an age (era, “time-span”), characterized by a specific quality (type of existence).], we can understand why τό σῴζεσθαι is spoken of in some passages as a present possession, in others as a good yet future: — as a blessing beginning (or begun) on earth]). 11For this reason (NASB: because of their deliberate rejection of the truth [v. 10]) God will send upon them a deluding (In the N. T. metaphorically, mental straying, i. e. error, wrong opinion relative to morals or religion) influence (operative power) so that they will believe what is false, 12in order that they all may be judged (contextually, used specifically of the act of condemning and decreeing [or inflicting] penalty on one) who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
13But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen (to take for oneself, to choose, prefer. NASB: For the connection between God’s love and election see Col 3:12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 1 Thes 1:4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you; Eph 1:4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love) you from the beginning (of the beginning of all things, i.e., before creation, cf. Gen 1:1; John 1:1) for salvation (in the technical biblical sense, the Messianic salvation) through sanctification (sanctification wrought by the Holy Spirit) by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14It was for this He called (to invite one, to something i. e. to participate in it, enjoy it; used thus in the Epistles of Paul and Peter of God as inviting men by the preaching of the gospel, to the blessings of the heavenly kingdom) you through our gospel, that you may gain (the same in which Christ rejoices. “the glorious condition of blessedness into which it is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven”: which condition begins to be enjoyed even now through the devout contemplation of the divine majesty of Christ, and its influence upon those who contemplate it; and this condition will include not only the blessedness of the soul, but also the gain of a more excellent body, which God bestows, the same in which Christ rejoices, to render us partakers of δόξα), the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions (NASB: Until the NT was written, essential Christian teaching was passed on in the “traditions,” just as rabbinic law was; it could be either oral or written.) which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort (consolation, comfort, solace) and good hope (always in the N. T., in a good sense: expectation of good, hope; and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation) by grace (good-will, loving-kindness, favor: the N. T. writers use χάρις pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestow: favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ. Cf. Eph 2:8-10), 17comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word (NASB: The prayer is for inner strength that will produce results in both action and speech.).

 
New American Standard Bible
Exhortation

2 Thes 3:1Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified (to make renowned, render illustrious, i. e. to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged: Christ, the Son of God and God the Father), just as it did also with you; 2and that we will be rescued from perverse (unrighteous, unreasonable) and evil men; for not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful (of God, abiding by his promises), and He will strengthen (to strengthen, make firm; tropically to render constant, confirm, one’s mind [establish]) and protect (to guard a person that he may remain safe) you from the evil one (hurtful, i.e. evil; toilsome, bad). 4We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5May the Lord direct (to make straight, guide; go straight down by the most direct, efficient route; to go in a direct (straight) course – avoiding all unnecessary delays, without any undue loss of time or achievement) your hearts into the love (In the NT, typically refers to divine love (= what God prefers)) of God and into the steadfastness (a patient, steadfast waiting for the return of Christ from heaven) of Christ.
6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads (to regulate one’s life, to conduct oneself) an unruly (disorderly) life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; 9not because we do not have the right (power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; leave or permission) to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. 10For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies (work all-around, i.e. to meddle, going beyond proper boundaries [where a person doesn’t belong]; to fixate on what others are doing, instead of doing what the person himself is supposed to do). 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good (doing good that inspires others to rise up and also do what is noble [admirable], i.e provoking others to “act with holy affections.” [“doing good that inspires”] can only happen through faith [“God’s inworked persuasion”]).
14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy (actively, hostile, hating and opposing another), but admonish (warn, exhort) him as a brother.
16Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
17I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

 
New American Standard Bible
1 Timothy
Misleadings in Doctrine and Living

1 Tim 1:1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment (an injunction, mandate) of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,
2To Timothy, my true child (just as in Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, so in the N. T., pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mould their characters, in affectionate address) in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines (to teach other or different doctrine i. e. deviating from the truth), 4nor to pay attention to myths (the fictions of the Jewish theosophists and Gnostics, especially concerning the emanations and orders of the aeons, are called μυθοι fables) and endless genealogies (in plural of the orders of aeons, according to the doctrine of the Gnostics), which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration (which furnish matter for disputes rather than the [knowledge of the] dispensation of the things by which God has provided for and prepared salvation, which salvation must be embraced by faith) of God which is by faith. 5But the goal of our instruction (Christ speaks His rhēma-word into the believer – giving a command [ /paraggelía] that passes on His preferred-will [cf. Ro 10:17, Gk text and /thélēma]. Accordingly, [paraggelía] and faith [ /pístis, “God’s inworked persuasions”] are directly connected. 1 Tim 1:5: “But the goal of our instruction ( /paraggelía) is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (/pístis)” [NASU]. -announcement, a proclaiming or giving a message to; hence, a charge, command) is love from a pure (free from every admixture of what is false, sincere) heart (of things done from the heart i. e. cordially or sincerely, truly [without simulation or pretence]) and a good (a peaceful conscience, equivalent to consciousness of rectitude) conscience (free from guilt, consciousness of rectitude, of right conduc) and a sincere (unfeigned, undisguised) faith. 6For some men, straying (to deviate from, miss [the mark]) from these things, have turned aside (to turn away from one in order to follow another) to fruitless discussion, 7wanting to be teachers of the Law (/nomodidáskalos [“Scripture-lawyer”]. It suggests a highly accomplished teacher of God’s law, i.e. someone erudite in interpreting the Bible. -of those who among Christians also went about as champions and interpreters of the Mosaic law), even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
8But we know that the Law is good (good in its substance and nature, and fitted to beget good), if one uses it lawfully, 9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person (BKC: The Law is designed to show people their sinfulness. Thus the Law is not for one who had already recognized his sin and turned to Christ. That person is no longer under the Law but should now walk in the Spirit [Gal 5:13-26] The Law is intended for those who remain unconvinced of the sin.), but for those who are lawless (departing from the law, a violator of the law, lawless, wicked) and rebellious (that cannot be subjected to control, disobedient, unruly, refractory), for the ungodly (destitute of reverential awe toward God, contemning God, impious) and sinners (pre-eminently sinful, especially wicked;– properly, loss from falling short of what God approves, i.e. what is “wide of the mark”; a blatant sinner), for the unholy (unholy, impious, wicked; anósios – properly, utter disregard of what is sacred, i.e. willful [arrogant] disrespect of the things of God; “impious; wicked”) and profane (ungodly; bébēlos – properly, improper, unauthorized entry – literally, “crossing a threshold” which profanes because of improper entrance. /bébēlos [“profane because of improper entrance”] refers to people unfit to access [know] God, because they approach Him apart from faith.), for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10and immoral men (a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire, a male prostitute; universally, a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator) and homosexuals (a sodomite — abuser of [that defile] self with mankind) and kidnappers ([a slave] a man taken in war and sold into slavery, a slave-dealer, kidnapper, man-stealer, i. e. as well one who unjustly reduces free men to slavery, as one who steals the slaves of others and sells them) and liars (a person who falsifies, misrepresents [distorts, misleads]) and perjurers (a false swearer), and whatever else is contrary (to oppose, be adverse to, withstand) to sound (the sound i. e. true and incorrupt doctrine) teaching, 11according to the glorious (majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity: of the majesty of his saving grace) gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened (to make strong, endue with strength, strengthen; [from /en “in,” which intensifies /dynamóō, “sharing power-ability”] – properly, to impart ability [make able]; empowered.) me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service (For the believer, /diakonía [“ministry”] specifically refers to Spirit-empowered service guided by faith [/pístis, “the Lord’s inbirthed persuasion”]. [Observe the close connection of faith ([/pistis] and [diakonía] in Ac 6:1-7,21:19,20; Ro 12:3,7; 1 Cor 16:13,15; Eph 4:12,13; 1 Tim 1:12,14; 2 Tim 4:5,7.]), 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer (speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive; what is blasphemous [reverses spiritual and moral realities]) and a persecutor (one who pursues [“hunt down”]), and a violent aggressor (“an insolent man, ‘one who, uplifted with pride, either heaps insulting language upon others or does them some shameful act of wrong'”). Yet I was shown mercy (passive, specifically, of God granting even to the unworthy favor, benefits, opportunities, and particularly salvation by Christ) because I acted ignorantly (not to know) in unbelief (want of faith, unbelief: shown in withholding belief in the divine power: by opposition to the gospel); 14and the grace (in the N. T. writers use χάρις pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestow: favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ) of our Lord was more than abundant (/hyperpleonázō [“super-abounded beyond numbering”] is only used in 1 Tim 1:14. Here Paul testifies of the Lord’s grace, causing faith and love in his life to exceedingly increase [be very great in number]. As a strengthened form of /phrónēsis : knowledcje and holy love of the will of God [A. V. wisdom] [“more than”], /hyperpleonázō [“makes super-plentiful”] very emphatically expresses the continuous way God will inbirth faith, through divine love, in the yielded believer to a frequency that exceeds all description and expectation! [hyperpleonázō] means more than “make abundant,” but rather “super, exceedingly abundant” (Souter).]), with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost (first, chief), Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect (all, the whole) patience (forbearance, long-suffering, slowness in avenging wrongs) as an example for those who would (in general, of what is sure to happen: with an infinitive present) believe in Him for eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal (an age; by extension, perpetuity [also past]), immortal (undecaying, i.e. imperishable), invisible, the only God, be honor (honor which belongs or is shown to one: the honor of one who outranks others, pre-eminence) and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18This command I entrust (a thing to be religiously kept and taught to others) to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you (NASB: In the early church God revealed His will in various matters through prophets [see Acts 13:1-3, where prophets had an active role in the sending of Paul and Barnabas on their missions to the Gentiles]. In Timothy’s case this prophecy may have occurred at the time of or before his ordination. [4:14], perhaps about 12 years earlier on Paul’s second missionary journey [see Acts 16:3]. Prophecies about Timothy seem to have pointed to the significant leadership role he was to have in the church.), that by them you fight (to fight (A. V. war): tropically, of the conflicts of the apostolic office) the good (praiseworthy, noble) fight (an expedition, campaign; military service, warfare: Paul likens his contest with the difficulties that oppose him in the discharge of his apostolic duties to a warfare), 19keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected (to thrust away from oneself, to drive away from oneself, i. e. to repudiate, reject, refuse) and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over (to deliver one into the power of Satan to be harassed and tormented with evils) to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

 
New American Standard Bible
A Call to Prayer

1 Tim 2:1First of all, then, I urge that entreaties (in the N. T. requests addressed by men to God) and prayers, petitions (supplication) and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (in an ethical sense, gravity, honor, probity, purity). 3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires (to will, wish. BKC: God who is by nature a Savior, wants all men to be saved. Paul repeated the words “everyone” [1 Tim 2:1] and “all men” (vv. 3, 6)… God desires that no one perish [2 Peter 3:9], that the entire human race come to know the truth through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Truth (John 14:6). (Of course not all do come to salvation; Paul was not teaching universalism.) all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator (a medium of communication, arbitrator: Christ is called the mediator, since he interposed by his death and restored the harmony between God and man which human sin had broken) also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom (what is given in exchange for another as the price of his redemption; a full ransom, referring to Christ paying the complete purchase-price to secure our freedom [redemption] – i.e. Christ exchanging His eternal righteousness for our sin) for all, the testimony ([that which (to wit, that Christ gave himself as a ransom] would be [the substance of] the testimony equivalent to was to be testified [by the apostles and the preachers of the gospel] in the times fitted for it,) given at the proper (at a time suitable to the matter in hand; in due season) time. 7For this I was appointed (passive, to make) a preacher and an apostle (With these apostles Paul claimed equality, because through a heavenly intervention he had been appointed by the ascended Christ himself to preach the gospel among the Gentiles, and owed his knowledge of the way of salvation not to man’s instruction but to direct revelation from Christ himself, and moreover had evinced his apostolic qualifications by many signal proofs) (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath (anger, indignation) and dissension (a deliberating, questioning, about what is true, when in reference to what ought to be done, hesitation, doubting; intellectual rebellion against God; disputing).

Women Instructed

9Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper (well-arranged, seemly) clothing, modestly (bashfulness, i.e. [towards men], modesty or [towards God] awe — reverence, shamefacedness) and discreetly (soundness of mind, i.e. [literally] sanity or [figuratively] self-control — soberness, sobriety), not with braided (what is woven, plaited, or twisted together; a web, plait, braid) hair and gold or pearls or costly garments (NASB: Not a total ban on wearing of jewelry or braided hair. Rather, Paul was expressing caution in a society where such things were signs of extravagant luxury and proud personal display), 10but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness (God-fearing [veneration]; godly respect, reverence). 11A woman must quietly (silence) receive instruction (to increase one’s knowledge) with entire submissiveness (obedience, subjection). 12But I do not allow a woman to teach (to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, deliver didactic discourses) or exercise authority over (in later Greek writings one who does a thing himself the author”; one who acts on his own authority, autocratic, equivalent to αὐτοκράτωρ an absolute master. To govern one, exercise dominion over one: τινς, 1 Timothy 2:12. Note Dr. Essex points out that this letter is written to Paul regarding church governance, and how men and women should act when the local church is gathered. Women have various responsibilities in the church; they are not to govern a man while the congregation is gathered together. All believers received a gift from the Holy Spirit. See 1 Cor 12:4-7 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.) a man, but to remain quiet. 13For it was Adam who was first created (formed), and then Eve. 14And it was not Adam who was deceived (to cheat, beguile), but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression (the breach of a definite, promulgated, tariffed law: is wrong-doing which even a man ignorant of the law may be guilty of). 15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children (NASB: Three possible meanings of this verse are: (1) it speaks of the godly woman finding fulfillment in her role as a wife and mother in the home; (2) it refers to women being saved spiritually through the most significant birth of all; the incarnation of Christ; or (3) it refers to women being kept physically safe in childbirth. BKC adds a forth possible meaning: Kept from corruption of society by being at home raising children. Still a fifth definition: to save, i.e. deliver or protect — heal, preserve, save [self], do well, be [make] whole.) if they continue in faith and love and sanctity ( purification, i.e. [the state] purity; concretely (by Hebraism) a purifier — holiness, sanctification.) with self-restraint (self-control, sobriety).

 
New American Standard Bible
Overseers and Deacons

1 Tim 3:1It is a trustworthy statement (of things, that can be relied on): if any man aspires to the office of overseer (specifically, the office of a bishop [the overseer or presiding officer of a Christian church]), it is a fine (praiseworthy, noble) work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach (not apprehended, that cannot be laid hold of; hence, that cannot be