21 January 2017
On Modernity, Divinity and Sexuality
I have had many discussions over the years with others regarding the Bible. Some try to twist the Bible or assert a "modern translation" to justify culturally-embraced things such as homosexuality or even try to deny the Bible's authority and state that there are many ways to God. I know there are modern "translations" of the Bible out there that are not capturing the true message of the Bible. They have been twisted to tickle the ears of those who create them. I decided to take a look for myself. The Holy Bible Modern Living Translation (http://www.modernliteralversion.org/) is reportedly "The World's Most Accurate English Bible Translation." I went to it as I have heard the argument that modern "translations" justify homosexuality or even question Jesus being God or the one way to God. In my review of the Modern Living Translation, so far, I have found it to be reputable and mirroring what I read in other versions and translations (NASB, NIV). So, I will proceed with what this very recent modern translation says abuut Jesus' divinity and about sexuality and all verses here will be from the Modern Living Translation, updated this very month of this writing: Holy Bible, Modern Living Translation, Old Testament - 2017 Alpha Version (9-27-16) and The Holy Bible, Modern Living Translation, New Testament, 2017 Update (November 13, 2016).
Before I proceed, however, I want to point out that there is warning in Scripture about not adding or taking from the Bible, something that the ear-tickling modern "translations" should seriously consider. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, "You will not add to the word which I command you, neither will you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you." Now, some of the naysayers will say, "That is the Old Testament." However, there is a warning in the New Testament as well. Revelation 22:18-9 says, "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone should add to them, God might add to him the wounds which have been written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God takes away his part from the Tree of Life and out of the holy city, which have been written in this book."
Jesus is God and He is the Only Way to God.
John 1:1-3, 14-17: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things became through him, and without him nothing became that has become into being. … And the Word became flesh and resided among us (and we saw his glory, glory like that of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him and has cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He who is coming after me, has become before me, because he was first, then me. And we all received out of his fullness and grace in exchange-for grace. Because the law was given through Moses; the grace and the truth became through Jesus Christ."
John 8:58: "Jesus said to them, assuredly, assuredly, I am saying to you, before Abraham was born, I am." (My note: This not only shows that Jesus is divine and exists outside of time, but it also echoes when God reveals His Name to Moses in Exodus 3:14, which says the following: "And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. And he said, Thus will you say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." Note that "I AM" is represented by LORD in all capital letters in Scripture, the Hebrew being YHWH "Yahweh" from which we get Jehovah.)
John 10:30: "I and the Father are one." (My note: These are words of Jesus.)
John 12:41: "Isaiah said these things, when he saw his glory, and he spoke concerning him." (My note: him being Jesus.) Now, let's look at Isaiah saw in Isaiah 6:1-3, which says the following: "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings, with two he covered his face and with two he covered his feet and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory." (My note: Jehovah comes from Yahweh, which is tetragrammon YHWH in Hebrew, meaning I AM. The Hebrew for Lord with lower-case is Adonai and the Hebrew for LORD with all caps is Yahweh – I AM, which is what God calls Himself in Exodus 3:14 as mentioned above.) And in considering Isaiah, consider the verses we read at Christmas regarding the Christ child in Isaiah 9:6-7: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from hereafter even forever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this" (emphasis mine).
John 14:6-7: "Jesus says to him, I am the way and the truth and the life; no one is coming to the Father, except through me. If you had known me, you would have also known my Father; from now on you know him and have seen him."
Acts 4:10-12: "Let it be known to you, to all here and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised up from the dead; in him, this one who is standing in your sight is healthy. He is, ‘The stone scorned by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’ And there is salvation in none other; for neither is there any other name, that has been given among men, in which it is essential for us to be saved" (emphasis mine).
Philippians 2:5-9: "For let this mindset be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, did not deem it a seizure to be equal with God, but emptied himself, having taken the form of a bondservant, having become in the likeness of men; and having been found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, having become obedient as far as death, even the death of the cross. Hence, God also highly exalted him, and granted to him the name which is above every name"
Colossians 1:13-20: "He rescued us out of the authority of darkness and transplanted us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because all things were created by him, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, the visible and invisible. Whether thrones or lordships or principalities or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him.
And he is before all things and all things are standing in him. And he is the head of the body, the congregation; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that he might become foremost in all things. Because all the fullness was delighted to dwell in him; and through him to reconcile all things to himself, whether things upon the earth or things upon the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him."
1 Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, one intermediary of God and of men, the man, Christ Jesus"
The following verses show what this translation (and other reputable translations) of the Bible says about sexuality, that marriage is for one man and one woman and that homosexuality is ungodly.
Genesis 2:23-24: "And the man said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother and will cling to his wife and the two will be one flesh." (My note: Notice that the word used is "wife," thus depicting the proper context for sex being within a monogamous heterosexual marriage as instituted by God).
Genesis 19:4-7: "But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, encompassed themselves around the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. And they called to Lot and said to him, Where are the men who came to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may know them. And Lot went out to them to the doorway and shut the door after him. And he said, I beseech you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly." (My note: "know" means to have sex with and notice that it is deemed "wicked." Also, remember God destroyed Sodom).
Leviticus 18:22: "You will not lie with mankind, as with womankind. It is abomination."
Leviticus 20:13: "And if a man lies with a man, as with a woman, both of them have committed abomination. They will surely be put to death; their blood will be upon them."
Judges 19:22-23: "As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain base fellows, beset the house all around, beating at the door. And they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man who came into your house, that we may know him. And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, No, my brothers, I beseech you, do not so wickedly, seeing that this man has come into my house. Do not this senselessness." (My note: Again, "know" means to have sex with and notice that it is deemed "senseless.").
And the New Testament has plenty to say as well:
Matthew 19:4-5: "But he answered and said to them, Have you not read, He who made them, made them male and female from the beginning. And said, Because of this, a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will be jointed into one flesh." (My note: These are the words of Jesus echoing Genesis 2:24 with a nod to Genesis 1:27 and 5:2. Marriage is between one man and one woman is supported by Jesus Himself.)
Romans 1:26-27: "Because of this, God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for their females exchanged the natural use into what is beyond anything natural; and the males also likewise, leaving the natural use of the female, burned in their lust toward one another, males with males working indecent deeds and receiving in themselves the recompense which was essential from their error."
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor pedophiles, nor homosexuals, nor the greedy, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. And some of you were these, but you were bathed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God" (My note: There is hope for even those in the statement "some of you were these, but you were bathed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God.").
1 Corinthians 7:1-2: "Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman sexually. But, because of fornications, let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband." (My note: supportive of one man and one woman marriages.)
Ephesians 5:22-25, 31-32: "The wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is also the head of the congregation, he is the savior of the body. But just-like the congregation is subject to the Christ, so let the wives also be subject to their own husbands in all things. The husbands, love your wives, just-as the Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up on her behalf; … Because of this, a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is great, but I am speaking in regard to Christ and in regard to the congregation." (My note: marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. There are not two Christs together without a Church just as there are not two Church entities without Christ. It is Christ and the Church as represented by one man and one woman).
Revelation 19:7: "We should rejoice and should be glad and should give the glory to him, because the marriage of the Lamb has come and his wife has prepared herself" (My note: Lamb ... his ... wife ... herself. One male, one female representing Christ and the church).
Revelation 21:9: "And one out of the seven messengers who had the seven bowls full of the last seven wounds came and spoke with me, saying, Come-here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
And there are other verses! I just picked some from my head. Some minor differences as compared to versions (i.e., translations) I have read. "Messenger" is used instead of "angel" (the Greek aggelon from which we get angel means messenger). Also, "congregation" is used instead of "church" (the Greek word being ekklesian from where we get the word ecclesiastic) and "subject" instead of "submit" (the Greek word hypotassomenoi, meaning "being submissive"), but there is no change in the message. So, here is a very recent modern translation supporting that Jesus is God, is the only Way to God, that marriage is for one man and one woman and that homosexuality is ungodly. I haven't reviewed the MLT translation enough to know how reputable it is overall as compared to other versions. However, in view of the above verses, this translation appears right on with core teachings of the faith and matches what I read in other versions such as older NIV, modern NIV and NASB.
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