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Apologetics - Defending our Faith

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Tsaphah, Jul 18, 2016.

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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Last Saturday, I had quite a surprise. I happened to look out my window, to see a large group of people gathering, about 16, with cloth bags. They were of all ages. I mentioned it to my wife, as one of the young men looked like the grandson of our neighbor. After a few minutes, my wife said, “No, they’re probably Jehovah’s Witnesses. They’re saying a prayer.”

    As I looked out again, two women started walking up to our door. My wife told me to not answer it. But . . . my “guard dogs” started barking loudly. (Schnauzers) So, I opened the door and stepped out onto the porch to greet them. They explained that they were spreading the word of GOD, and asked if I would like a book, titled “Bible Answers”.

    I realized they were not JW’s, but accepted the book. I informed them that I was well versed in the scriptures, and started conversing with them. I assumed they were likely Baptists. As we talked, I asked which church they were associated with. Before they could answer, I opened the book and saw, printed inside the cover: “Seventh-Day Adventist Church”. What???

    They just came from their service at their church. I told them that I was very surprised because the only groups that I knew of were JW’s, Mormons, and a few Baptists. I’ve known and worked with Adventists, and they never spoke of missionary or local reaching out, to seek new members.

    After they left, I started reading one of the books and it only took a few sentences to see their misinformation and false teachings. The worst was as described by Paul. ( 1 Tim 6:3-5 ), ( Co 1:20-25 )

    The following is from: The Creation of Jesus?
    Q. Based on Colossians 1:15, many say Christ was created or born. Does this mean He’s not deity?

    A. I believe Colossians 1:15, which reads, “[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature,” is a very clear reference about the awesome nature of Christ, which is a belief under attack even in many Christian churches. The Messianic prophecy in Psalm 89:27 also reads, “I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth,” showing that Christ was not the firstborn prior to the creation narrative in Genesis, but rather He was to be made firstborn after the Psalmist penned his words. “The firstborn of every creature” is explained in Colossians 1.18 as “the firstborn from the dead.”
    We can also use a modern-day example. In America, we call the president’s wife First Lady, but that doesn’t mean she was the first lady born. It merely designates her role in America. Colossians should be read in the same way.
    The word firstborn in Greek does not mean first one given birth to. Instead, it means the one who has priority—the one who has first position. A more accurate translation might say, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the first of every creature, or the highest of every creature.”
    Another thing we need to remember is all of the times Jesus called Himself infinite. You can’t ignore those Scriptures when understanding His nature! For instance, Christ said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). He also calls Himself the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8). Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting (Isaiah 63:16; Psalm 90:2). And one of the best Scriptures to explain that Christ is eternal is in the gospel of John. “All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (1.3). If Christ made everything that’s made, He couldn’t have made Himself. He’s always existed!
    Let’s look at another verse where we find a similar problem. Many take John 316, which says, “his only begotten son,” and say that Jesus was begotten. yet these people forget that when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, it was the first time that God was born as a man. Christ is the only one of the Godhead who became a man, and so that’s one way you can look at this.
    Also, when we translate from Greek the phrase “the first begotten” or “the only begotten” or “the firstborn,” that word can be translated as “the one who has preeminence of every creature.” It doesn’t necessarily mean He was born. Does it mean that the Father has a womb and gave birth to Jesus?
    Of course, this is an utterly ridiculous idea, but it helps illustrate the trouble in taking some passages of scripture too literally.
    Jesus has always been and will always be. He is divine and one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).

    From “The Amazing Facts Book of Bible Answers Volume 1” with Doug Batchelor, pg 11-12.
    Copyright © 2006 by Doug Batchelor
    ______________________________________________________
    Although the KJV interprets Matthew 1:25 as “firstborn son”, the word prototokos does not appear in the major manuscripts. It essentially says; “. . . she brought forth a son . . .”

    Talk about misleading information and another sneaky way of claiming Jesus to be GOD. Especially the leading sentence of the last paragraph. This way they can claim a difference from, and no association with the Catholic Church. It’s a similar way that the Baptists claim to never having been a part of the Catholic Church, and not Protestants.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you for the experience brother....

    You know what the sad part about it is, even if you had said anything in objection, they simply wouldn't listen, but either feel they need to fix you, or find you lost.

    Unfortunately such is the world we live in, everyone thinks they know everything already instead of being open to the possibility that they are wrong.

    In my opinion, it's time to shake up the bowl, GOD willing...
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    I think they will be back for the “return visit”. I’ll be kind, and not break their hearts with “that information is all lies”!! I’ll kindly tell them to continue studying God’s word. And, I’ll thank them for the books. I can use them for reference. Like Paul, it is necessary to learn about those corrupting the truth, and learn how to offer correct scriptural references.;)
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    I was talking with a friend yesterday about bible translations and, the fact that God’s name has essentially been eradicated/removed from the bible. I asked, How important is a name? “It is used to identify a person”, was the reply. I used another example; What does it mean when it is said, “Stop! In the name of the law! Is there a name for the law?” There could be several names involved, depending on which “law” is being enforced. It also could refer to a body of laws.

    The following is taken from “The Desire of Ages”, chapter 1 - “God With Us”.

    “His name shall be called Immanuel, . . . . God with us.” “The light of the knowledge of the glory of God” is seen “in the face of Jesus Christ.” From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father. He was “the image of God,” the image of His greatness and majesty, “the outshining of His glory.” It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God’s love,—to be “God with us.” Therefore it was prophesied of Him, “His name shall be called Immanuel.”

    “By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of
    God,—God’s thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, “I have declared unto them Thy name,”—”merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”— “that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given. Our little world is the lesson book of the universe.”
    (“The Desire of Ages”, chapter 1 - “God With Us” Original text by E. G. White.

    The question arises; “If his name was to be Immanuel, why was he named Jesus? My answer is: People or things can be known by several names. According to the dictionary, a “name” means, “a word or a combination of words by which a person, place, or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called, or known.” I could add all the other meanings, but I’ll urge you to look them up.

    In the case of Immanuel, Strong’s definition is: “God with us” or "with us is God", which is more correct.
    1. symbolic and prophetic name of the Messiah, the Christ, prophesying that He would be born of a virgin and would be ‘God with us’. ( Isa 7:14 ) Repeated in Matthew 1:23.

    Therefore, Jehovah himself will give you a sign: Look! The young woman* will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel.” ( Isa 7:14 NWT )

    Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” ( Isa 7:14 NASB )

    Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,” which means, when translated, “With Us Is God.” ( Mt 1:23 NWT )

    http://classic.studylight.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=isa&chapter=007 (Notes 1 through 5 cover controversial use of the word `almah = al-maw.

    Strong’s Definition:
    1. virgin, young woman
    a.of marriageable age
    maid or newly married ++++
    There is no instance where it can be proved that this word designates a young woman who is not a virgin.

    With all the controversy about the word “virgin”, where is the argument about God becoming a man? Doesn’t it say “God with us”??? Would that not be taken literally? According to many churches, they believe Jesus is God. And, if that is the case, how could Satan offer “all the kingdoms of the world”?
    And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” (Lu 4:6-7 KJV )

    Who “delivered” it to the devil? If God became a “man”=Jesus, what prevented him=Satan from taking all control at that time? Doesn’t the bible say that Satan the devil is “ruler of the world”?

    After all, what’s in “a name”??
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    That is a good point...

    When someone says to us, "We don't know how to pronounce Gods name.", we can say, "But you pronounce his sons name as 'Jesus'?"

    We use God's name in our own language with the best translation we have, because we want to teach his name, and speak to him personally. Jehovah knew before the Word was written how we would pronounce it, and most likely at the moment of the first sin...
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Hi Joshuastone,
    I like what you say. I’ve used several examples using different biblical names, but I find it to be more fun mispronouncing the name of the person I’m talking with. As like, instead of John, I say Ja-han. Sometimes I’ll deliberately not use their name when speaking to them to make my point. Or, I’ll use my best foreign language accent when speaking to them. Yes, they become angry. That's when I know I've got them. And I just smile.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Many people have questioned why there is evil, or sin, in the world. They usually say, “If God is Love, why does he allow evil to exist. If He created everything, then He must have also created evil”. How do we, as Christians, explain this subject in an understandable way?

    There are those who say that sin/evil is a “mystery”. It can’t be explained. “It is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for its existence.” (1)

    For me, it is not a mystery. Sin/Evil came about by free-will, jealousy, and desire. The Bible tells the story early on. ( Gen 3 ) Who was the serpent? “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” ( Rev 12:9 )

    This individual was also given a duty to watch over the creation on earth, especially over mankind. “You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God;” (Ezek 28:12b-13a ) “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.” (Ezek 28:14)

    The story is told in this chapter of Ezekiel, where the corruption of self indulgence and pride influenced this person we now know as Satan the Devil. From other scriptures the story shows that all that was created was for the Son of God who worked beside his Father, whom all was to be given. Satan became jealous of his brother and wanted it for himself. Rather that getting his way, he was chastised and disciplined for his sin/evil deeds. The name Satan is not a noun. It is a verb, in Hebrew it has the meaning to slander, to be or act as an adversary, resist, oppose.

    From this point on, Satan, knowing he would never get the creation as his own possession, decided to destroy it all. And, Adam, because he listened to his wife and sinned against God, was given a death sentence along with his wife, and future offspring. Now, that seems rather harsh. Well, it wasn’t because he didn’t know! “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’” ( Gen 2:16-17 NASB )

    The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

    It would be obvious that Adam told Eve what God had told him about the fruit of the trees. He identified the tree and fruit which was forbidden. Why would Satan approach Eve, instead of Adam? Eve was the younger of the two. She had less experience in life, therefor being more easily influenced.
    The other part of the story shows that she didn’t immediately eat the fruit. She was tricked by Satan. Notice how the serpent asked the question: “And the serpent was cunning above every animal of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Is it true that God has said, You shall not eat from any tree of the garden? ( Gen 3:1 LITV ) The word cunning has the meaning: skill employed in a shrewd or sly manner, as in deceiving; craftiness; guile. Satan misstated the command given to Adam and Eve. It was a ploy: a maneuver or stratagem, as in conversation, to gain the advantage.

    From this information it is also obvious where evil/sin came from. God did not create robots. He created individuals with free will, free choice. Unlike the other animals that were created, man had the ability to think and decide which to do. Animals were created with instincts. They were designed to perform certain functions, without thinking. Man was made in the “image” of God. The word “image” in Greek is eikon, the same as English, ikon/icon.
    We can also read many other scriptures that will explain who, what, when, where, and why evil/sin came into existence.

    (1) The Great Controversy - Past - Present - Future - How Will It End by E. G. White. 29 The Origin of Evil, pg 263


    I have noticed that there is more evil coming into the world of mankind, today. Some people are oblivious to it. All we have to do is read the newspapers, watch television news, movies, and pay attention to world governments. Another sneaky source is technology. (Facebook?) That is the one I am the most fearful of. It has been introduced into the minds through “apps”. They are sold to the slaves who are told they are a great convenience. They, (smart phone apps), will make your life more comfortable.

    How many would willingly throw their “smart phone” away? A recent study shows that some people check their “smart phone” every one and a half seconds, based on a twelve hour day. (500 times a day!)
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Greek philosophy has a heavy influence on false teachings that are believed among the majority of modern Christian sects. Most people are unaware of where these teachings come from. The following information is from the notes of the ‘2001 New Translation Bible’.

    Hades

    The Greek word Hades (they pronounced it hah-des) has been translated both as Hell (which is thought of as a place of torture) and as the Grave in other Bible versions (such as the King James). Since one word can’t mean two very different things, which translation is correct?

    Hades (like the English word Hell) actually means the place of the dead. However, as pagan Greek philosophy started to develop and creep into Christianity, the later-day Greek view of Hades (a place of torture) was applied to it. Was this a correct application?

    An insight into how the ancient Hebrews and the early Christians understood the word can be gained by looking at how it was applied in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Ancient Scriptures of Israel (the ‘Old Testament’ Bible of Jesus’ day). There, the Hebrew word Sheol is translated into Greek as Hades in every instance, yet in each case, these are obvious references to the grave (the place of the dead), not to a place of conscious torture (see Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10).

    Another revealing application of the word Hades is found at Revelation the 20:13. It says there, ‘The sea (gr. he thalassa) gave up its dead, death and the grave (gr. thanatos kai ho hades) gave up those dead in them, and they were all judged by the things they did.’

    Notice that those who die at sea are differentiated from those who are buried in graves (Hades) and in other places (thanatos). So Hades is better translated as grave.

    In the book of Job, another word that is used once in the Christian-era Scriptures and often translated as Hell, is found in two places. That Greek word is Tartarus, which refers to the place where evil gods or angels are sent.
    (2001 New Translation Bible Pg. 1417)

    Moses’ Question about the ‘Name’ of God

    An inaccurate translation of Exodus 3:13 leads to a faulty understanding of this verse. In numerous Bibles one can read the question: ‘What is his name?’ as in Judges 13:17, when Manoah wanted to know the name (that is, the pronunciation of the name) of the angel who came to meet him. On the other hand, the Israelites asked Moses: ‘How is his name?’ – that is, ‘what does His name mean?’ or ‘what does His fame mean?’

    One can verify that in Hebrew the interrogation ‘what is,’ or ‘how is,’ is ‘mâ,’ and ‘who is,’ is ‘mî.’ Thus, there’s a big difference between asking to know a name because one is in ignorance of it (as in Ezra 5:4) and asking the meaning of a name, which one already knows, as in Genesis 32:27 where the angel asks Jacob to remind him of the meaning (He will supplant) of his name, which meaning was already known to him (Genesis 27:36), in order to give him a new one (He will contend – Genesis 32:28).

    Thus, when Moses asked God: ‘How is his name?’ God gave the explanation ‘I shall [prove to] be who (or what) I shall [prove to] be’ (èhyèh ashèr èhyèh). Even here, regrettably, numerous translators are influenced by Greek philosophy on The Being as existing that was developed by Plato in some of his works, including ‘Parmenides.’ For example, the Septuagint translated this passage as ‘I am the Being (égô éimi o ôn in Greek), or, ‘I am He who is.’ Yet Aquila’s Translation (which is more faithful to Hebrew) translates this sentence as, I shall be: I shall be (ésomai ésomai in Greek).

    As you can see from a study on the translation of this sentence, the difficulty results from translators who want to explain this translation by means of their personal beliefs, which are very often influenced by Greek philosophy; otherwise there is no difficulty. For example, one finds the word èhyèh just before Exodus 3:12 and just after Exodus 4:12, 15, and here translators have no problem translating it as ‘I shall [prove to be] with you.’ Moreover, the Talmud retains this explanation for the meaning of the Name.

    A better translation of Exodus 3:13, 14 would then be: ‘Then Moses said to God, Look, I’ll go to the children of Israel and tell them the God of our ancestors has sent me to you, but they’re going to ask, How is his name? What should I tell them?’ And God told Moses, ‘I shall [prove to] be what I shall [prove to] be! Just tell the children of Israel that I shall [prove to] be has sent you.’
    (2001 New Translation Bible Pg. 1446)

    Nicolaitans

    The infiltration of this sect into two of the seven congregations that Jesus addressed in the Second and Third Chapters of Revelation has raised the question of what they were teaching that he found so offensive. This is important, since the description of these congregations seems to be mirrored among modern Christianity.

    An Early Christian elder, Iranaeus, identified the Nicolaitans in his treatise ‘Against Heresies,’ in the Second Century. He said of them that they are an ‘offshoot of the knowledge which is falsely so-called,’ and he explained that they ‘lead lives of unrestrained indulgence.’

    This description seems to mirror what Paul warned Timothy of at 1 Timothy 6:20, 21, when he wrote, ‘O Timothy, guard this hope and turn away from all the unclean and opposing empty talk that is falsely called knowledge, through which some who once showed promise in the faith were turned aside.’

    So, this corrupting influence seems to have taken root in congregations as early as the middle of the First Century, for Iranaeus seems to have been quoting Paul.

    What is this falsely called knowledge that was (and still is) a corrupting influence on Christians? Apparently, it is acceptance of a philosophy that people may be Christians and still do whatever they wish. However, others have looked at the name Nicolaitans, and suggested that its Greek meaning, (nicao) to conquer (laos) the people, refers to the earliest form of a priestly order or clergy.
    (2001 New Translation Bible Pg. 1448)
     
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    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Might Makes Right

    “Listen, then,” says the angry Sophist, “I proclaim that might is right, and justice is the interest of the stronger... The different forms of government make laws, democratic, aristocratic, or autocratic, with a view to their respective interests; and these laws, so made by them to serve their interests, they deliver to their subjects as ‘justice,’ and punish as ‘unjust’ anyone who transgresses them... I am speaking of injustice on a large scale; and my meaning will be most clearly seen in autocracy, which by fraud and force takes away the property of others, not retail but wholesale. Now when a man has taken away the money of the citizens and made slaves of them, then, instead of swindler and thief he is called happy and blessed by all. For injustice is censured because those who censure it are afraid of suffering, and not from any scruple they might have of doing injustice themselves” (338-44).

    Durant, Will (2014-02-06). The Story of Philosophy (p. 18).

    Why No Paradise?

    Plato asks: Why is it that such a simple paradise as he has described never comes?— why is it that these Utopias never arrive upon the map? He answers, because of greed and luxury. Men are not content with a simple life: they are acquisitive, ambitious, competitive, and jealous; they soon tire of what they have, and pine for what they have not; and they seldom desire anything unless it belongs to others. The result is the encroachment of one group upon the territory of another, the rivalry of groups for the resources of the soil, and then war. Trade and finance develop, and bring new class-divisions. “Any ordinary city is in fact two cities, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, each at war with the other; and in either division there are smaller ones— you would make a great mistake if you treated them as single states” [We call them neighborhoods]. A mercantile bourgeoisie arises, whose members seek social position through wealth and conspicuous consumption: “they will spend large sums of money on their wives”. These changes in the distribution of wealth produce political changes: as the wealth of the merchant over-reaches that of the land-owner, aristocracy gives way to a plutocratic oligarchy— wealthy traders and bankers rule the state. Then statesmanship, which is the coordination of social forces and the adjustment of policy to growth, is replaced by politics, which is the strategy of party and the lust for the spoils of office. [Plato 428-427BCE to 348-347BCE]

    Durant, Will (2014-02-06). The Story of Philosophy (pp. 19-20).

    What is this thing that [just] happened? The same thing will happen again! What is this thing being done? The same will be done in the future, for there’s nothing that’s new under the sun. Who can speak out and say,‘Look!Here is something that’s new!‘For the same thing has happened for ages,to those who have lived before us. The first things that were done are forgotten, and things being done will not be remembered, by those who are born in the end” (Ecc 1:9-11 2001 New Translation Bible)

    That which has come to be, that is what will come to be; and that which has been done, that is what will be done; and so there is nothing new under the sun. Does anything exist of which one may say: ‘See this; it is new’? It has already had existence for time indefinite; what has come into existence is from time prior to us. There is no remembrance of people of former times, nor will there be of those also who will come to be later. There will prove to be no remembrance even of them among those who will come to be still later on.” (Ecc 1:9-11 NWT)
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    I had a situation the other day, where I immediately said to myself, “Self! I hate people! I absolutely hate people!!!” A person in the car in front of me threw a plastic drink bottle out of the window as they drove down the street. It reminded me of all of the thousands of tons of plastic that is polluting our oceans. Some of it is being eaten by the aquatic animals who are dying because of it. People are PIGS!
    That’s why Jehovah forbid the Israelites to eat Pork! Ha Ha Ha!!

    Then, this scripture came to mind. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy; but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you, so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. Because He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust.” ( Mt 5:43-45 LITV )

    I thought that the statement was contradictory. I found that the scripture as quoted, was not written that way. How could Jesus actually misquote the original scripture!! The answer is: Because he was only quoting the last part of the scripture from Lev 19:18. The part about hating your enemy was not a part of that scripture. Read it more carefully, because he added the thought of hating your enemy from “what was an addition to God’s word added by the scribes and Pharisees. Thus, the people of Jesus’ day had fallen into the old and vicious habit of linking a sublime truth with a ridiculous error, thus ‘yoking the ox with the ass,’ to use an Old Testament figure of speech.” ( Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament )

    You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall certainly reprove your neighbor, and not allow sin on him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am Jehovah.” ( Lev 19:17-18 LITV )

    The Greek and Hebrew writings did not have punctuation marks such as comma’s, quotations, periods, etc. They also lacked capitalization of beginning sentences. So, . . Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said,” He did not say, “It is written”. Even though I can’t hate them, I don’t have to like their actions, or them! They don’t have to be my friend. Oh Yes, “Do not be led astray; bad companionships ruin good habits.” ( 1 Co 15:33 LITV ) :)
     
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