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Thread: a "lie of the Devil?"

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    a "lie of the Devil?"

    A brother on this Forum has repeatedly accused me of enabling a "lie of the Devil" by claiming that the Gospel authors sometimes quoted Jesus in a "paraphrase" or in an "abbreviated" way. This explains, for me, some of the discrepancies in the different versions, and does not sacrifice divine inspiration. Such paraphrases properly express what Jesus said in an accurate depiction of the substance of what he said, rather than a perfect recitation of what he said in full, and in perfect arrangement.

    I am being regularly trashed as one who "makes stuff up" and "changes the meaning of words." So I'm asking for some feedback on this, and perhaps a reconciliation with this brother, so that we can continue in meaningful discussions, without the accusation. He is a good debater, and has a lot of facts. But this time I think he's a bit out in left field. But I leave it up to you and your good will to settle this?

    Here are a few quotes a snipped off the of Web to prove my point...


    http://christianworldviewpress.com/d...isquote-jesus/
    As we have seen, many critics point to the variation in recording Jesus’ words and deeds. What many of them do not realize is that the Greco-Roman biographer/historian had greater literary freedom to paraphrase and even slightly alter the words of a person for stylistic reasons. The writers of the Gospels were simply doing what biographers and historians did in their day. No one would have accused them of doing anything bad. “The early Christians [along with non-Christians] didn’t see these variations as a problem because that’s what they were accustomed to in their biographical and historical writings.”

    https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/b...ons-explained/
    So how do we account for the apparent discrepancies in the Gospel accounts? A lot of the problem stems from our expectations. If we expect a level of historical precision that the Gospels didn’t intend to provide, we’re going to run into problems. The truth is that it’s completely normal for ancient (and modern) historical accounts to summarize, paraphrase, omit details, and explain events in a way that highlights their specific points and perspectives.

    https://www.christiancourier.com/art...from-jesus-the
    First, it has long been recognized that in referring to another’s audible use of language, or his written words, it is not necessary to quote verbatim in order to accurately represent his thoughts. This principle has been recognized from the very earliest times of human communication, in connection with both the spoken word and the written message.
    ...The citations from the Old Testament, as employed by the writers of the New Testament, constitute another example of variety in language presentation without the sacrifice of truth. A conservative estimate suggests there are some 295 references from the Old Testament in the New Testament. If one adds allusions as well, the estimates escalate from slightly over 600 to somewhat over 4,000 (depending upon the scholar)! About 10% of the New Testament, in some form, is taken from the Old Testament (Roger, 137-138).
    But the quotations vary considerably in form; some are from the Hebrew Old Testament, while others (the majority) are from the Greek translation (the Septuagint). Some are fairly complete; others are abbreviated. Some represent a whole text; others only a phrase or so. In some passages a single writer is quoted, in other texts multiple citations from different sources are blended together. In some of the quotations the verbiage is fairly precise; in others the wording has been paraphrased or deliberately changed. These facts are indisputable...
    Minor alterations do not sacrifice substance. A paraphrase or the emendation of an original author or speaker does not impair the sense of the primary source if the citation is accurately conveyed. In fact, as one relatively modern journalistic authority expressed it, “A careful paraphrase that does complete justice to the source is preferable to a long quotation” (Campbell, 15).

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    I don't know this member you are speaking of and don't tell me.

    I would just say that perhaps the word, "paraphrase" is the problem. But I also don't believe that word is a lie from the devil nor or you telling a lie.

    Of course, we can obviously see that the four authors of the gospels have different words for things that Jesus said. Such as:
    • "Blessed are the poor in spirit" - Matthew's quote of Jesus. vs. "Blessed are the poor" - Luke's citation of what Jesus said.


    I don't believe these men are paraphrasing - so to speak. They might be in some select verses, but I think there are other contributing factors.
    • Different perspective or difference purpose in content.
    • Luke, as a physician and even Matthew, as a former accountant, would have been meticulous.
    • Luke came from a Gentile background and the others, not so. And Luke's home language may have been different then the others.
    • Matthew and John would have heard Jesus directly as Mark would have received information from Peter and Luke from his "research" as he calls it in Luke 1


    The important thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit inspired each man what to say. And any differences that LOOK like discrepancies are not so.

    One must seek to find out the purpose of each man's statement in light of what I listed above.

    I don't know this member you are speaking of and don't tell me.

    I would just say that perhaps the word, "paraphrase" is the problem. But I also don't believe that word is a lie from the devil nor or you telling a lie.

    Of course, we can obviously see that the four authors of the gospels have different words for things that Jesus said. Such as:
    • "Blessed are the poor in spirit" - Matthew's quote of Jesus. vs. "Blessed are the poor" - Luke's citation of what Jesus said.


    I don't believe these men are paraphrasing - so to speak. They might be in some select verses, but I think there are other contributing factors.
    • Different perspective or difference purpose in content.
    • Luke, as a physician and even Matthew, as a former accountant, would have been meticulous.
    • Luke came from a Gentile background and the others, not so. And Luke's home language may have been different then the others.
    • Matthew and John would have heard Jesus directly as Mark would have received information from Peter and Luke from his "research" as he calls it in Luke 1


    The important thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit inspired each man what to say. And any differences that LOOK like discrepancies are not so.

    One must seek to find out the purpose of each man's statement in light of what I listed above.
    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    GGGRRRRRRRR!! Double Post! I forgot to "Go Advanced"!

    GGGRRRRRRRR!! Double Post! I forgot to "Go Advanced"!
    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by jayne View Post
    GGGRRRRRRRR!! Double Post! I forgot to "Go Advanced"!

    GGGRRRRRRRR!! Double Post! I forgot to "Go Advanced"!
    ~le sigh~ ……………………..
    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    I didn't know going advanced stopped double post. Good to know.

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    I didn't know going advanced stopped double post. Good to know.
    Yes, don't hit "quick reply".
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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by jayne View Post
    GGGRRRRRRRR!! Double Post! I forgot to "Go Advanced"!

    GGGRRRRRRRR!! Double Post! I forgot to "Go Advanced"!
    I finally figured that one out too--nobody told me, ie to use "Advanced". But thank you for the calm, reasoned response. I know it's kind of like walking into a fight. But it is a pretty important subject, and worth talking about a little bit, if the temperature can be kept down low. Good points. And yes, much of it hinges on how "paraphrase" is used.

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    I don't know all the details. I did go and scan through a few post in the thread though. I'll just give my 2 cents. I noticed you described the gospels as synoptic. Depending on how one uses that word and to what degree I may disagree. The originals are inspired AND different and we should assume there might be a reason for that. For example, the two phrases kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God, and that Jesus was teaching kingdom mysteries and explicitly defined some of the terms. Changing "heaven" to "God" is changing the inspired original, whether you do it in a translation or your theology.

    Jayne mentioned 'blessed are the poor/poor in spirit' as an example of it being ok, but I completely disagree because the two are from these two phrases (koh/koG) and the sermons are two different sermons given at two different times. I can explain in detail if you want, but I don't want to derail your thread.

    I don't know of anything in the olivet discourse that is similar, or that we would find with enough difference to establish doctrine as we can in the kingdom mysteries. From what little I read in the thread, it seems the other member just didn't like the way you worded one particular thing.

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    I don't know all the details. I did go and scan through a few post in the thread though. I'll just give my 2 cents. I noticed you described the gospels as synoptic. Depending on how one uses that word and to what degree I may disagree. The originals are inspired AND different and we should assume there might be a reason for that. For example, the two phrases kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God, and that Jesus was teaching kingdom mysteries and explicitly defined some of the terms. Changing "heaven" to "God" is changing the inspired original, whether you do it in a translation or your theology.

    Jayne mentioned 'blessed are the poor/poor in spirit' as an example of it being ok, but I completely disagree because the two are from these two phrases (koh/koG) and the sermons are two different sermons given at two different times. I can explain in detail if you want, but I don't want to derail your thread.

    I don't know of anything in the olivet discourse that is similar, or that we would find with enough difference to establish doctrine as we can in the kingdom mysteries. From what little I read in the thread, it seems the other member just didn't like the way you worded one particular thing.
    You make a solid point here that sometimes differences in wording indicate different speeches. For example, Jesus could've conceivably given the Sermon of the Mount twice--one on the Mount and another time somewhere else, saying the same things.

    If we are to determine whether paraphrases are used, comparing different passages, we have to make sure both passages are the same actual speech, and not a repeat of the same information somewhere else.

    On the other hand, I do think there are solid examples of different versions of the same speech in which different wording is used, or less wording, or a different arrangement of the wording. I don't think there was an emphasis on exact replication of the actual speech in its full content and in an exact order. Summations of a speech can be as true as an actual speech.

    For example, I might write, "and Jesus said 'yes.' "

    That might be the same thing as saying, "and Jesus nodded in agreement, and fully accepted the invitation, saying 'I will do as you ask.' "

    The former is clearly a paraphrase, and may be true. An affirmation is an affirmation, no matter what words were used. It may not have been important to the author to give anything more than an affirmation as if the actual word used was "yes."

    We do this all the time. I go to the Doctor to ask if I need an Xray. I come back and tell my wife, "He said 'yes.' " Am I lying to say the Doctor actually used the word "yes," when he actually just indicated I need an Xray, and never said "yes" at all?

    So is it a lie to say Jesus said "yes," when the word "yes" really indicates a simple affirmation, and not the actual word? This is the question.

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    Jayne mentioned 'blessed are the poor/poor in spirit' as an example of it being ok, but I completely disagree because the two are from these two phrases (koh/koG) and the sermons are two different sermons given at two different times. I can explain in detail if you want, but I don't want to derail your thread.

    Yes, that is another possibility as to why sometimes the words are different.
    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    You make a solid point here that sometimes differences in wording indicate different speeches. For example, Jesus could've conceivably given the Sermon of the Mount twice--one on the Mount and another time somewhere else, saying the same things.

    If we are to determine whether paraphrases are used, comparing different passages, we have to make sure both passages are the same actual speech, and not a repeat of the same information somewhere else.

    On the other hand, I do think there are solid examples of different versions of the same speech in which different wording is used, or less wording, or a different arrangement of the wording. I don't think there was an emphasis on exact replication of the actual speech in its full content and in an exact order. Summations of a speech can be as true as an actual speech.

    For example, I might write, "and Jesus said 'yes.' "

    That might be the same thing as saying, "and Jesus nodded in agreement, and fully accepted the invitation, saying 'I will do as you ask.' "

    The former is clearly a paraphrase, and may be true. An affirmation is an affirmation, no matter what words were used. It may not have been important to the author to give anything more than an affirmation as if the actual word used was "yes."

    We do this all the time. I go to the Doctor to ask if I need an Xray. I come back and tell my wife, "He said 'yes.' " Am I lying to say the Doctor actually used the word "yes," when he actually just indicated I need an Xray, and never said "yes" at all?

    So is it a lie to say Jesus said "yes," when the word "yes" really indicates a simple affirmation, and not the actual word? This is the question.
    Jesus' ministry lasted years. I wouldn't be surprised if he gave the two sermons repeatedly.

    "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

    No, it is not a lie to say Jesus said "yes," when the word "yes" really indicates a simple affirmation.

  12. #12

    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Hey! Brother... : )

    The authors you're referring to were inspired by the Holy Spirit, who made the NT not only for us now, but also for all of eternity too. The Spirit uses the word to put the Lord's commandments into our hearts and minds which fulfills the promise of the New Covenant and which transforms us into the image of Jesus as our consciences are purified to perceive sin as the Lord does more and more. This is what gives those under the New Covenant the ability to obey where those who were under the letter of the law, could not.

    By choosing what is paraphrased and what isn't, you're using your mind to judge what the Lord's intent was for him.
    Is 28:0, 10 "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little."
    Where would we be if everyone decided for themselves what the Lord meant, when he must of meant something other than what was actually written? Yiikes...

    Jesus traveled around from city to city. He told the same stories and parables over and over, each time a little different, tailored for that audience, for that time as the Spirit led according to their need. The apostles who authored the gospels read each other's writings without any outrage ever being recorded.

    Ps 138:2 "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness, and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
    PTL!

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Noeb View Post
    Jesus' ministry lasted years. I wouldn't be surprised if he gave the two sermons repeatedly.

    "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

    No, it is not a lie to say Jesus said "yes," when the word "yes" really indicates a simple affirmation.
    I'm glad you said that. I have a book that compares the sayings of Jesus in the 4 gospels. The words, in identical situations, are very similar, and yet different, with different arrangements of words, synonyms used, and omissions. I call these "paraphrases," but they are an attempt to accurately reflect what Jesus said over a period of several years.

    It's remarkable how accurate the memory is from one author to another. Or perhaps they relied upon another common manuscript--one that is now lost?

    It doesn't matter. Each version communicates the same truths, even if the wording and the words used are slightly different. They convey *synonymous meanings.*

    And that is the point. The authors were not concerned to give exact representations of what Jesus said, as though recorded. Rather, they were concerned to accurately portray what Jesus said, finding different arrangements of words perfectly acceptable in translating the same exact truths.

    In other words, the "exact truth" is not the exact words used and the exact order in which they were translated. Rather, the "exact truth" is a common synonymous meaning, expressed in the same general way. God did not make men recorders who, led by the Spirit, gave perfect uniformity in their descriptions. Rather, He made men capable, in their imperfections, of communicating, accurately, the same truth.

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by glfglf View Post
    Hey! Brother... : )

    The authors you're referring to were inspired by the Holy Spirit, who made the NT not only for us now, but also for all of eternity too. The Spirit uses the word to put the Lord's commandments into our hearts and minds which fulfills the promise of the New Covenant and which transforms us into the image of Jesus as our consciences are purified to perceive sin as the Lord does more and more. This is what gives those under the New Covenant the ability to obey where those who were under the letter of the law, could not.
    Uh no, that's not right. God gave Israel the Law precisely so that they *could* obey! I do know where you get the language you're applying here, but this may takes us far afield of this particular subject. Let me just agree with you that under the Law all the obedience in the world, which was truly there, could not achieve eternal salvation. That had to be won by Christ, with the help of our faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by glfglf
    By choosing what is paraphrased and what isn't, you're using your mind to judge what the Lord's intent was for him.
    Is 28:0, 10 "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little."
    Where would we be if everyone decided for themselves what the Lord meant, when he must of meant something other than what was actually written? Yiikes…
    Where would we be if you used John Q. Dunce's mind to decide what the Scriptures say? You *must* use your own mind, or you will be reading tea leaves and crystal balls! I don't mean to be cute, but I hear this all the time. "We can't use our minds."

    I was a member of a cult for a short time who told me to "pray read." "Just read the Scriptures," and shut off your mind, and let the words of Scripture be sort of "ingested."

    What does that mean? We don't "study to understand the Scriptures?" Of course we must study to understand documents as old as the Scriptures! We must "study to show ourselves approved of God." That means we must *use our own minds!*

    And using our own minds does not mean we don't rely on divine revelation as well. Our minds work together with the Holy Spirit so that we perceive God's truth from the Holy Spirit. But we have to *use our own minds* to do so!

    So perhaps we're misunderstanding each other? But you seem to assume that because I notice one author says one thing, and another author says a similar but different thing, that somehow I'm using "my own mind," and ignoring the Holy Spirit? That's on the "judgmental" side, brother.

    My desire is to *hear from God,* and I use my own mind to do this. Let's not get into the judgmental mode, okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by glfglf
    Jesus traveled around from city to city. He told the same stories and parables over and over, each time a little different, tailored for that audience, for that time as the Spirit led according to their need. The apostles who authored the gospels read each other's writings without any outrage ever being recorded.

    Ps 138:2 "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness, and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
    PTL!
    You need to read the Scriptures better, brother, because there are numerous occasions in which 2 or 3 of the synoptic authors present the same story *in the same place,* and use different wording, whether different words or different word arrangements, or involve omissions, etc. They communicate the *same truths,* but use slightly different wording.

    This is not a "lie of the Devil," but rather, the truth about human beings. They don't do anything perfect, but they can present accurate truths.

    Fallible human beings, even regenerate ones, would have trouble remembering perfectly what Jesus said, word for word. But as human beings God gave them grace to accurately present the same general truths, using words that accurately reflected what Jesus said. And I call that "divinely inspired," as well as *true.*

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    Re: a "lie of the Devil?"

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    A brother on this Forum has repeatedly accused me of enabling a "lie of the Devil" by claiming that the Gospel authors sometimes quoted Jesus in a "paraphrase" or in an "abbreviated" way. This explains, for me, some of the discrepancies in the different versions, and does not sacrifice divine inspiration. Such paraphrases properly express what Jesus said in an accurate depiction of the substance of what he said, rather than a perfect recitation of what he said in full, and in perfect arrangement.
    Here is the heart of the problem in two parts:
    1) A paraphrase is a way of REPHRASING something said. The intention (we hope) is to give the SAME meaning. However ANYONE who studies the Bible does NOT turn to a PARAPHRASE of the Bible in order to study it, but turns to the actual phrase. The PARAPHRASE may give a previously unseen take on the meaning of a phrase and can be useful for stimulating thought etc, but cannot be the source of certainty, as it is may be a meaning, and a paraphrase gives that specific meaning and misses out other potential meanings.

    2) An abbreviation or shortening is not quite in the same area as it speaks of the omission of certain things. An example is found in the story of the resurrection:
    Mat 28:1* Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.*
    Mat 28:2* And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.*
    Mat 28:3* His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.*
    Mat 28:4* And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.*
    Mat 28:5* But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
    Mat 28:6* He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.*
    Mat 28:7* Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”
    Notice only one angel mentioned.

    Mar 16:5* And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.*
    Mar 16:6* And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.*
    Mar 16:7* But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

    Again one angel mentioned, further in Mark the angel says more to the women specifically about Peter.

    So we can say in this example that Matthew has an abbreviation or better an omission compared to Mark. There are also MINOR differences in what is noted as having been said.
    So Matthew has "do not be afraid" while Mark has "Do not be alarmed". Two different words in the Greek.
    This is the SAME event and therefore we can argue that perhaps Matthew got his words from one woman and Mark from another. The meaning however is NOT in anyway changed and the scene and situation is not changed and the thing we learn from it has not changed.

    Luk 24:4* While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.*
    Luk 24:5* And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?*
    Luk 24:6* He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,*
    Luk 24:7* that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”*
    Luk 24:8* And they remembered his words,*

    Now when we add in Luke we note there was a second angel. This shows that there was an omission by Matthew and Mark, not only of an angel but also the words "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" Further Luke has an omission by not noting the command to go quickly and tell the disciples.

    Is Luke paraphrasing anything? No he is not paraphrasing. He is not taking the story of the women and writing it in his own words. He is reporting what he has been told, and they told him the words they recalled etc.
    Again this could be because of a different woman relaying the facts to Luke, to those who relayed them to Matthew or Mark. None of these three (or any of the disciples were at this scene, so all had to hear from an eyewitness.)

    Now by having ALL 3 versions we gain additional knowledge, but we don't find anything is at odds or telling another story, nor is anyone paraphrasing.

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