Ask Your Preacher

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Best Tent Ever

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Could you please explain what Exodus 40 is talking about?

Out Of Egypt

Dear Out Of Egypt,

Exodus 40 is discussing the completion of the tabernacle.  The tabernacle was a structure that God designed and told the Israelites to build (Ex 25:9).  It was a large tent structure that could be put together and broken down whenever necessary, so the Israelites could take it with them as they traveled in the wilderness.  The tabernacle was where the priests made the sacrifices, burned the incense, and asked for forgiveness of sins for the people.  Exodus 40 explains that after all the individual pieces were created, Moses had the Israelites put the tabernacle together for the first time.  God was pleased with them because they had followed the pattern He had given them.  He showed His approval by filling the tabernacle (Ex 40:34).

All My Children Pt. 3

Monday, October 16, 2017

(This question is a follow-up to “All My Children Pt. 2”)

Thanks for the explanation about Bible versions.  I still have another follow-up regarding the sons of God topic.  There are some people who believe that these sons of God are fallen angels, not men.  Then comes Matthew 22:30, stating angels don't marry, but some argue that Matthew was referring only to angels in heaven, like it says in the verse, not fallen angels, so this does not apply to fallen angels.  Two questions: How would you counter this argument about sons of God being angels, and what does Matthew 22:30 really say about angels whether in heaven or fallen?

Text Perplexed

Dear Text Perplexed,

The viewpoint that the “sons of God” in Gen 6:2 are fallen angels is best argued by reminding them that if you are going to say that there are people on this planet that are genetically part angelic being… you’d better be able to back it up!  The responsibility is theirs to prove they are right – not ours to disprove it.  Gen 6:2 is only one verse that can be taken either way (as we mentioned in the previous post “All My Children”).  If angels really did intermarry with humans, there would have to be other, clearer verses that specifically state that humans are related to angels.  The fact is there are verses that talk about angels and people… Heb 2:9-18 clearly states that humans and angels aren’t made the same, and they aren’t related to one another.

Which also answers your second question – Matt 22:30 simply says that angels don’t marry – simple as that.

Starting At The Beginning

Friday, October 13, 2017
I was never raised in a family who lived by the Bible; they said they were christians, but they only lived by the Bible when they wanted to.  Now that I have started a family, I want to live the right way.  I have started to read the Bible from the beginning, and I found it a little hard to understand, so I went and bought myself a child’s Bible.  That may sound silly, but it has helped me, so I can go back and understand the Holy Bible.  My question is: I know God created the world. Jesus Christ is His Son that gave His life for our sins. The thing that I want to know is: is Jesus a separate person, or is it God who lived in Jesus?  And also, who is the Holy Ghost?

Putting The Pieces Together

Dear Putting The Pieces Together,

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three separate and distinct Beings.  The easiest way to see this is to look at the baptism of Jesus.  At Jesus’ baptism, Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and the Father spoke from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).  All three of Them are God.  Jesus is described as deity in Jhn 1:1.  The Holy Spirit is described as deity in 1 Cor 2:11 and Gen 1:2.  And last, but not least, the Father is described as deity in Gen 1:1 and numerous other locations.  They are each distinct entities, but They are one in purpose.  We will try and summarize Their responsibilities:

The Father – The Father has total authority to plan and oversee the salvation of mankind.  The Father was the one that sent Jesus at the proper time to die on the cross (Gal 4:4).  The Father answers our prayers (Lk 11:2).  The Father provides for the needs of mankind (Lk 12:30).  He is the great master builder and planner of our salvation.

The Son – Jesus made the Father’s plan happen.  Jesus emptied Himself and became a human (Php 2:4-8).  Jesus is God’s son because He was miraculously born (Matt 1:18).  His blood cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7).  He is the head of the church and its Savior (Eph 1:22, Col 1:18).  If the Father was the architect of our salvation, Jesus is the carpenter… which is ironic, since He actually was one! (Matt 13:55)

The Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood of all the Godhead.  We have answered many questions on His role.  If you want an in-depth look at the Holy Spirit, read “What The Holy Spirit Does”.  For the sake of brevity, we will simply say that the Holy Spirit’s primary job was to create the Bible and keep it preserved throughout all time.  It is the Holy Spirit that guided the minds of the apostles as they wrote down the words of the Bible (Jhn 14:26, 1 Cor 2:13).  If the Father was the architect, and Jesus was the carpenter, then the Holy Spirit is the realtor.  He made sure that everyone would know what Jesus did and how to be saved through Christ’s blood.

Hopefully, that helps give you a basic idea of how the Godhead works.

All My Children Pt. 2

Monday, October 09, 2017

(This post is a follow-up to “All My Children”)

Thanks. A follow-up: so these "sons of God" are humans, but some assume them to be angels because in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible it reads “More and more people were born, until finally they spread all over the earth. Some of their daughters were so beautiful that supernatural beings came down and married the ones they wanted."  Why then does this version say "supernatural beings", if they were only men?

Text Perplexed

Dear Text Perplexed,

There are two things to consider when choosing a Bible translation:

  1. 1. Accuracy
  2. 2. Readability

As you have noticed with the Contemporary English Version, the easier a translation is to read, the less accurate it becomes – and the more accurate a translation is, the more difficulty you will have in reading it.  The key is to find the right balance between readability and accuracy.  There are three types of translations: word-for-word translations, thought-for-thought translations, and paraphrase translations.

Paraphrase translations don’t even attempt to be accurate; all they want to do is make the Bible easy to read.  We never recommend a paraphrase translation.  In our opinion, the Contemporary English Version is a paraphrase.  It is geared toward simplifying the Bible to a level that is easy for grade schoolers, English as a second language readers, and the translators describe it as being designed for “uncompromising simplicity”.  That is why you are having so many translation problems with it.

Thought-for-thought translations try and take the original language and translate it using what the translators think is the same idea or concept that the Greek and Hebrew languages were trying to convey.  The NRSV, NIRV, and TNIV are all though-for-thought translations.  The NIV (currently the most popular version) is a mix between a word-for-word and a thought-for-thought – we have a lengthy article on the NIV translation that will give you more insight into that particular translation (click here to go to that post).  Thought-for-thought translations are better than paraphrasing, but they still remove the exact words of Jesus and His apostles and replace them with someone’s best guess at what they might have said if they had spoken in English.

Last, but not least, we have word-for-word translations.  Word-for-word translations are exactly what they sound like – they do their best to directly translate every word from the Greek and Hebrew into English.  There are currently four major word-for-word translations available: King James Version (KJV), New King James Version (NKJV), American Standard Version (ASV), and New American Standard Version (NASB).  God tells us that every word was directly conveyed from God to the original Bible writers (1 Cor 2:13).  Since God made a point of divinely inspiring every word of the Bible, we here at AYP only feel comfortable using a translation that keeps those words intact.  Personally, we find the NASB and NKJV to be very readable and highly accurate.  Having read the New Testament in both the Greek and English (a couple of our AYP writers can read Koine Greek), we have found those two versions to be very sound.

To sum up, if you really want to make sure you are reading what God authored, make sure to ask for a word-for-word translation.

All My Children

Thursday, October 05, 2017
In Genesis 6:2, the "sons of God" in this verse are angels?  If not, then who are they?

Halo Hunter

Dear Halo Hunter,

The sons of God referred to in Gen 6:2 are mortal men.  This language seems confusing at first, but it is perfectly scriptural to refer to mankind as ‘sons and daughters of God’.  In fact, Jesus mentions that we are all sons of God (Jhn 10:34-36).  Gal 3:26 refers to christians as children of God.  Humans are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), and that makes Him our Father (Eph 4:6).  Gen 6:2 is simply stating that men married women, had children, and populated the earth.  If you would like a more in-depth look at the subject, we taught a class on this subject.  You can listen to it here.

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