Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jesus recites GOP stump speeches

Sunday, January 31, 2016


"I'd leave you a tip but..."

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bosom of the Father (John 1:18)


Someone asked what that phrase means. My response:

"in the bosom of the Father" is an intimate image where an honored guest reclines at supper: Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.


I just stumbled upon this interesting online “Bible” that allows you to leave comments on individual verses:

Quench the Spirit?


Another question on the internet:


does it mean “to quench” in 1 Thessalonians 5:19?

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In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 we read:

Quench not the Spirit. (KJV)

According to Strong's, "Quench" is the word 4570 σβέννυμι, which means "I extinguish, quench, I suppress, thwart."

The dictionary definition is:

  1. to slake, satisfy, or allay (thirst, desires, passion, etc.).
  2. to put out or extinguish (fire, flames, etc.).
  3. to cool suddenly by plunging into a liquid, as in tempering steel by immersion in water.
  4. to subdue or destroy; overcome; to quench an uprising.

With all those definitions, I can have a clue of what Paul wants to communicate there. But looking at this word σβέννυμι in another passages, it seems to me that it have the meaning of "to resist" and I get confused.

So, after all:

  • Is there an objective unique meaning of σβέννυμι in this passage?
  • What did Paul intend to convey by the phrase "quench the Spirit"?


To which I replied:


The basic idea is to "extinguish" or "put out" a fire such as "the fiery darts of the wicked one" which are "quenched" on the "shield of faith":

σβέννυμι fut. σβέσω; 1 aor. ἔσβεσα, inf. σβέσαι. Pass.: 1 fut. σβεσθήσομαι; 1 aor. ἐσβέσθην LXX; pf. ptc pl. ἐσβεσμένοι 3 Macc. 6:34 (Hom. et al.; Sb 7033, 46; 67; LXX; TestJob 43:5; TestLevi 4:1; Ar. 5, 3; Just., D. 93, 1; Mel., P. 82, 614; Ath., R. 20 p. 73, 11) to cause an action, state, or faculty to cease to function or exist, quench, put out ⓐ lit. extinguish, put out τὶ someth., fire (Jos., Bell. 7, 405) Hb 11:34. In imagery, fiery arrows Eph 6:16; a smoldering wick Mt 12:20 (Is 42:3). Pass. be extinguished, be put out, go out (Artem. 2, 9; Pr 13:9; Philo, Leg. All. 1, 46; TestLevi 4:1) of lamps (s. TestJob 43:5 λύχνος … σβεσθείς; PGM 7, 364 σβέσας τὸν λύχνον; Musaeus, Hero and Leander 338) Mt 25:8. Cp. D 16:1. Of a pyre μετʼ ὀλίγον σβεννύμενον MPol 11:2. Of the fire of hell, that οὐ σβέννυται (Is 66:24) Mk 9:44, 46, 48; 2 Cl 7:6; 17:5; μηδέποτε σβεννύμενον πῦρ MPol 2:3. ⓑ fig. ext. of a, quench, stifle, suppress (Il. 9, 678 χόλον; epigram in praise of Apollonius of Tyana: New Docs 3, no. 15, 2 [III/IV A.D.] ἀμπλακίας ‘faults’; Pla., Leg. 8, 835d ὕβριν; 10, 888a τὸν θυμόν; Herm. Wr. 12, 6; SSol 8:7 τὴν ἀγάπην; 4 Macc 16:4 τὰ πάθη; Jos., Bell. 6, 31 τ. χαράν, Ant. 11, 40; Just., D. 93, 1 τὰς φυσικὰς ἐννοίας) τὸ πνεῦμα μὴ σβέννυτε 1 Th 5:19 (Plut., Mor. 402b τοῦ πνεύματος ἀπεσβεσμένου; Ps.-Plut., Hom. 127 τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ κατασβεννύμενον).—DELG. M-M. TW. Spicq.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 917). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

The English homonym of "quench" as in "thirst" is irrelevant.

Paul uses the word in parallel with "undervaluing predictions":

Darby Bible Translation do not lightly esteem prophecies;

So "quenching the breath (aka "spirit")" is another way of looking at not "despising" prophecies. That is, don't frustrate the source of prophecies by discounting the messages from the source.

Paul makes clear, though that he is not saying that every breath/speaker that claims to be speaking from God should be accepted and prized uncritically but rather he places the burden on the listener (not denomination headquarters) to evaluate the message and embrace it if the breath of God within them confirms the message:

ISV 1Th 5:21 Instead, test everything. Hold on to what is good.

1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 1Co 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 1Co 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 1Co 14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 1Co 14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 1Co 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

This practice of the saints being expected to assemble and bring insights from God operating within themselves has been "quenched" and abandoned and replaced today by corporate control. Denominations/sects (pronounced "sex") have implemented strict control mechanisms such as ordination papers that effectively extinguished and eliminated all such plebian functions and replaced them with "sermons" by "pastors" in line with "creeds" and the like.

The motivation for quenching the fire of prophesy seems to be "not invented here syndrome" which is to say, "envy":

Act 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy ["not invented here syndrome"], and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Notice that it was the seeing of the big crowds that got their goat, not errors, and motivated their "countering". Their "blaspheming" appears to be that of making stuff up about the apostles rather than "blaspheming" God.

So the meaning of the word in the context is "extinguish" and the meaning of the saying in the context is to prize and embrace messages given by one another in the assemblies (if they are legit). And the reality is that the fire was successfully extinguished, or largely so. One could argue that the Internet is resuscitating the fire.


The rest of the disucssion is here:

Chalcedon issue


This question was posted on a forum:

Philippians 2:6-8 (ESV)

6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[a] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

ΠΡΟΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΗΣΙΟΥΣ 2:6-81881 Westcott-Hort New Testament (WHNU)

6 ος εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω

7 αλλα εαυτον εκενωσεν μορφην δουλου λαβων εν ομοιωματι ανθρωπων γενομενος και σχηματι ευρεθεις ως ανθρωπος

8 εταπεινωσεν εαυτον γενομενος υπηκοος μεχρι θανατου θανατου δε σταυρου

I interpret Philippians 2:6 as Christ already existing in the form of God and Philippians 2:7 as Christ taking the form of a slave which means that he was in God's form prior taking a slave's form. As one who accepts the Chalcedon Creed, I interpret Philippians 2:7-8 to mean that Christ merely added the form of a slave to his preexisting divine form. In other words, Jesus Christ has dual form - God and slave - when he was on earth.Is there in the text to support this?

Is Christ still in the form of God in Philippians 2:7-8?


To which I replied:

There is nothing in the text that supports Jesus being simultaneously in the form of a god and in the form of a slave and much to argue against it:

  • the participle υπαρχων derives its temporal situation from the aorist verb ηγησατο and the context indicates that this is in the past with reference to Paul;

  • the verb εκενωσεν ("emptied") indicates that he not only took on the form of a servant (and I argue elsewhere on this site that "form" relates to "status") but first dispensed with his status as a god;

To my mind, the Creed of Chalcedony amounts to a "word salad" with practically nothing to recommend it from the scriptures. I reproduce it here to show that it consists of assertions and appeals only to an alleged conformity to unnamed "holy Fathers" and never to any specific scripture:

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

It might be a good exercise to try to match up specific assertions in the text with scriptures that assert the same. Perhaps that's what you are already doing.

Note that Phil 2 tells the saints to duplicate the example of Jesus by emptying oneself of any high status and becoming a servant instead. If that example were one of maintaining one's status then it would be inconsistent with Paul's restatement here:

2Co 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah. Although he was rich, for your sakes he became poor, so that you, through his poverty, might become rich.

It should be noted that the authors of the Creed of Chalcedony were religious royalty themselves and dispensed their religious dogmas from great heights of pomp and dignity, and were perhaps already enjoying gifts of Roman wealth.

So the proper understanding of the Phil 2 passage cannot be correctly understood from the teaching or example of the skirts in Chalcedony but can be learned from the example of Jesus:

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Or perhaps better yet:

Luk 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Religion is normally a dichotomy rather than a blend; death and resurrection rather than an "add on".


You can see the rest of the discussion here:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

On the road again

I respond to this question from the Internet below:
Did Simeon actually hold the infant (8 day old) Yahushua in his hands in the temple in Jerusalem as stated in Luke 2:28? How would this be possible if Joseph had heeded the angel's warning and fled with his family to Egypt to avoid Herod's edict to slaughter all males under 2 years of age (Matthew 2:13)?
My answer:
Easy! A lightweight person on a fast camel can do about 70 miles per day:
How fast can a camel go?
During Bible times, people could travel on foot up to 15 miles a day. Caravans led by donkeys could travel about 20 miles a day. Camel caravans, fully loaded, could cover 18 to 20 miles in a day. But, a person riding a fast camel could travel an astonishing 70 miles a day!
Since it is about 400 miles as the crow flies from the nearest point in Egypt to Jerusalem: would have only taken about 400/70=5.71428571429 days travel if she didn't have any curves in the road, "the little lord Jesus no crying did make" and Miriam's uterus didn't fall out.

There are other comments in the discussion but the bottom line is that Matthew and Luke disagree on the birth account irreconcilably: