After publishing this article I decided to change the name because many people misunderstand Eternal Life when it comes to Eternal Security; some think they are antithetical to each other. They think that eternal security is a heresy, wherein the opposite is true.
But before addressing the article and the text at hand, please allow me to lay down the foundation in order to better deal with eternal life and those doctrines in which it is a part of, which include statements regarding faith, salvation, Strong’s Concordance & Dictionary in regards to New Testament Greek, and 2 Peter 1:10.
Regarding eternal life, Jesus stated concerning Himself in the famous verse John 3:15:
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
First – Understanding the Difference between the Words “Faith” and “Believe”
We understand that the English word “faith” is not utilized in the book of John where the translators use the English word “believe” (In the late 1500’s, the English words “believe” and “faith” used to be synonyms, though not today when the words are used correctly, “believe” is now cognitive only – a mere mental thought.).
Our current understanding of the word “believe” is understood to be a cognitive process, something that is merely done in the brain which is absent of any action.
In understanding John 3:15, we first need to understand why the translators utilize the English word “believeth,” rather than the word “faith” in their English translation.
The Greek verb and noun that is translated into the English word “faith” in most of the New Testament is this same root word translated into the English “believe” only in the book of John.
Regarding the difference between the English words “believe” and “faith,” I’m sure you remember the example of the chair. Where a person could walk around a chair and visually examine the joints and the structure and come to the conclusion that they believe that it would hold their weight.
However, if they do not sit in the chair they never exercise faith, which mandates an action – yet they can believe wholeheartedly in the chair’s ability to hold them – but do not exercise faith until they take the action of reliance in sitting in the chair.
The main definition of the word faith is: “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” (Google). Though over time many are changing the meaning of the word faith to associated with a religious belief and are starting to change the meaning to where eventually I have no doubt it will be synonymous with believe (the devil loves to use evil men to change the meaning of words so as to invalidate their intention in regards to the word of God).
Applied to salvation, this belief will not save a man, only faith, which mandates actions and a change in behavior, as witnessed in one of the below Scriptures (Peter 1:4-5, which speaks about faith, and the diligence that is necessary to exercise faith), can save a man’s soul.
If we look up the English word “believe” in the dictionary we find that it only regards a mental process, a cognitive function which does not necessitate action.
Whereas belief is the first thing that occurs in salvation, but it must lead to faith, it must go beyond a thought process onto a conviction which is so deep that it affects the worldview of the person and therefore changes their action – you must sit in the chair.
Hence, what appears to be the many requirements that Christ and his disciples place upon us concerning our behavior, understanding that when a person exercises faith they will perform those behaviors based upon the leading of the Holy Spirit, not the power of the flesh; or self-control as it is sometimes referred.
What we think it is What it really is
The Christian Walk
Some people start to show the behaviors immediately, some show a few behaviors then seem to be stunted, some are like the prodigal son which Jesus spoke about, which backslide and then started to grow by living in faith. It is the backside of the desert that was the final design of God to make Moses the individual that would live in faith and follow his instructions.
Sometimes it is the backslidden condition of the believer that the Holy Spirit uses to transform them into a person that lives in faith. God does not waste anything in the life of the believer, even their sin.
Examples: Abraham leaving the promised land twice and also identifying his wife as his sister out of fear; Isaac following after the same examples as his father; Jacob tricking his brother out of the inheritance that God had intended for him; Joseph’s pride concerning his dream, knowing he was his father’s favorite, and him holding it over his brothers, understanding that he would be their deliverer, but God choosing years in prison to cultivate his personality; Elijah running from Jezebel; Peter denying the Lord, then Pentecost. You will find that almost every hero of faith had back-sidled before they became those heroes of faith.
It is sticking your hand in the fire that teaches you to respect the fire. It is sin that teaches you the value of obedience.
Back to our study. We find this same understanding Of the word “believe” where James speaks about the devils believing and even fear, but are not saved because of their belief.
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)
Why Then Use the Word Belief instead of the Word Faith in the Book of John
Why then does a book of John not use the word faith when that is the subject matter as opposed to only a mental process?
First, we must understand that the English word “faith” is a noun, and that there is no verb form of the word faith in the English.
Whereas, the English word “believe” is a verb, and that in John’s Gospel the original Koine Greek uses a verb form of the word faith, which we do not have in the English, therefore the translators in translating the Greek text into the English use the verb form of believe, which at the time was somewhat synonymous with the word faith, the two words were more closely aligned then there are currently.
Remembering that the difference in a noun and a verb; that a noun can be a person, place, or thing; yet a verb is always an action (In the Greek they have a verbal noun, which are diverse than are English verbal nouns, wherein some cases a noun can be a series of repetitive actions which are treated the same as a verb. The English verbal nouns did not function the same as they do today, prior to the translation of the English Bible in the 1500’s; therefore the translators use the verb form of the English word “believe,” as opposed to the verb form of faith [“Faithe,” or “faitheth”], which fell out of usage just prior to the creation of the Textus Receptus Greek translation, utilized for the King James Bible).
This information is documented under the subject of “faith” in the “Holman Bible Dictionary,” page 469.
To reiterate, prior to the creation of the King James Bible, in the late 15th century there was a verb form of the word “faith” which fell out of usage prior to the English translation of the Bible, wherein to express the verb form of faith as found in the book of John, the word “believe“ (which was different than it is now), in that it mandated only the cognitive exercise, in the place of the same root word that is normally translated faith in the English.
I know that this is repetitious, but understanding this fact underscores the fact that belief is the starting process of faith, but if it only stays mental, and never grows to the place where it is combined with conviction (Some people use the word confidence, understanding that confidence is stronger than mere “mental assent” or “belief”) that God’s word is true, then it never becomes faith.
Conviction is a much stronger word than belief, wherein when conviction is added to belief creates the mindset that what is believed is so strong that it changes a person’s attitude and therefore changes their actions and their behaviors, which is the very definition of faith.
This conviction, which is the source of faith is found in God’s word as stated in Romans 10:17, which states:
“so then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God“
The Difference between As Seed and a Plant
Why do you think that there are so many that receive the good news of the gospel, the seed of the word of God (Remember the parable of the sewer, as found in Matthew 13:18; And Christ teaching on the vine as found in John 15:1), yet never have it grow into a plant because they do not read God’s word, which is where faith turns from mere belief to a conviction based upon God’s track record as found in His word.
We believe not because of blind faith, as we are accused. We believe because our eyes have been opened by the Holy Spirit, and as we read the word of God we see God’s ability, and His character, that are trustworthy wherein we can live our lives based on this foundation, the rock of our salvation, wherein we are saved.
Many people look like Christians but follow away because they only have the seed, and they never grow into a plant.
Christ is the vine, and we are the branches, unbelievers can receive the seed, yet never grow (To become a plant) beyond mere belief into faith, which is salvation.
Also, the noun of faith can refer to the institution of Christianity when the particular article is utilized (“the”), such as referring to “the faith” in reference to Christianity as an institution.
And the noun form of faith can also refer to the Christian principles and doctrine when coupled with the particular article, such as referring to a person keeping “the faith.”
There is no way to separate the word faith, in the koiné Greek from the concept of action or movement.
It’s like the word “repentance.” Many people fall short of understanding this word thinking it is only a change in belief or thought process. The word “repentance” goes beyond just a mental process, wherein the mental process is so strong (Conviction, confidence) that it changes the behavior. You cannot repent without changing behavior, though it starts with the belief process.
This is the same as the word faith. It starts with a mental belief, then grows when it is combined with conviction (confidence) because of having observed a track record that what is stated is true, wherein a change in behavior occurs. Both the word repentance and faith function in this manner and fall short of simply and only mental assent, such as belief.
To Reiterate one last time:
Belief will never save anybody if it stops there. Belief must transcend to the point that it becomes faith wherein actions are changed, because belief system and worldview are changed.
Now to the point in addressing John 3: 15. We never hear salvation referred to as simply “life,” but always “Eternal life” (See Endnote #1)
It shouldn’t be necessary to go back over the Greek word translated into the English word “eternal,” understanding that it means forever, without ending.
Once someone receives eternal life, they can never ever, ever, ever lose it; so how can someone lose salvation if they cannot lose eternal life, they can’t.
The real issue is who is really saved. Examine what Jesus said as recorded in John 10:28, which states:
“I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish“
In parsing the Greek, meaning to break it down you find Exactly what this passage means.
“And I give [verb: Present Tense] unto them [case: Dative] eternal life [case: Accusative] and they shall never perish [Greek: oudepote], neither shall [Greek: harpazo] any [man] pluck [Greek: harpazo] them out of my hand.“
Present Tense: is a continuous action (current).
Dative Case: means: a noun in the dative shows the means of a accomplishing some action. “I give,” it comes from God, not because of man’s choice.
Accusative Case: an extent of time or space: The accusative indicates the extent of time or space required by something. The accusative is also used with the oaths. In this case eternity
“never“ (Greek: oudepote) “no”, “not”, neither…at any time” (John 4:14). There is no way to wiggle out of this one, you can never ever ever lose what God has given you, concerning this word.
“shall“ (Greek: harpazo) verb: “to seize”, “carry off by force”, “to claim for one’s self eagerly”, “to snatch out or away” ~ The same word for Rapture (Which is Latin and only found in the Latin Vulgate translation of the New Testament, the English rendering is “to snatch away with power.“), translated: “caught up“ in KJV. (1 Thess. 4:13-17). It sounds strange having this word translated into the English word “shall“, this displays how short the English comes in translating from God’s chosen language of Koine Greek in communicating the man. This is why we must dig deep into God’s word, and study the language that God chose to convey Himself to mankind.
“any man“ (Greek: Tis) pronoun: “An enclitic [describes a word that depends on the preceding word] indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object, any (man, thing, thing at all), (every) man.
“pluck“ (Greek: harpazo) verb: to seize, carry off by force, to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly, to snatch out or away. The grammatical breakdown is different though the spelling is similar which is why it is translated “shall” in the English earlier, and now “pluck.” Translated: “caught up“ in KJV, as stated above.
I refuse to be judged as a Calvinist as I adamantly disagree with man’s philosophy which is what Calvinism is. We should never refer to ourselves as following man’s movement or interpretation, but only what God’s word says. Man will always fall short in his ability to explain God and what God wishes to convey. Yet, we have more than enough to gain salvation, a hundredfold. How can the finite fully understand or explain the infinite, we can’t.
God has conveyed in His word those things that He desires for us to understand, which build a track record of trusting Him to the extent that there are certain things that we cannot conceptualize, and must trust Him concerning; The Holy Spirit (His ability to be everywhere at once, and almost everything else about Him), the Incarnation, the Trinity, eternity, and many other subjects which we must simply accept in faith without fully understanding.
There are things within Calvinism I do not believe, so do not set up a straw man argument against eternal security by claiming I’m a Calvinist, I am not, and neither should any denomination follow man’s precepts, it dishonors God and His word.
Have the courage and humility to admit your limitations in comprehending and explaining that certain things you believe in faith without fully understanding.
There are things that I agree within Arminianism, wherein a combination of the two still doesn’t bring a true understanding. Both of these teachings hold some truth, but not all truth, so let’s quit using man-made hypothesis concerning the word of God and its teaching.
Christian Looking Actions vs. Salvation
I believe the real issue concerning eternal security comes down to who is really saved. As Jesus said there will be those on judgment day that claim to do all these behaviors that Christians do (“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” ~ Matthew 7:22), yet are not saved – as if doing certain behaviors guarantees what’s on the inside of a man.
In the preceding verse, Jesus said “wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Notice that Jesus did not put a time frame on this, such as by their first-fruits, by their latter fruits; no He stating that at some point in their lives their fruits will be behaviors of faith, which prove that they are saved. It took Abraham many decades to show his fruits of faith. It started when he was 75, and he was probably around 130 when he displayed his greatest act of faith in his willingness to sacrifice his son. Who are we to demand that a new believer immediately produce what we see is fruits. Give them as much grace as God gave you. Pray for them, don’t condemn them.).
Have we forgotten the Pharisees who on the outside followed the law, not just the 10, but the 613 laid out in Leviticus?
Have we forgotten that Jesus said that the outside of the cup was clean, but the inside was filthy? Have we forgotten what Pharaoh’s priest did when they copied Moses and did true miracles concerning the snakes? They were not fake, they were real. Yet, the real issue was not who had power, for Satan has power, but who has absolute power, this is only God.
So any behaviors or even miracles, such as the Antichrist’s miracles which are lying miracles (They are not fake, they are real miracles; they are lying in that they are used to deceive people into thinking because of the miracles that he can be trusted, the miracles according to the grammar), no matter how legitimate they appear, cannot be trusted unless they exactly line up with God’s word. Our faith is in God, not in what our eyes see, no matter how miraculous the evil one presents himself (An Angel of light).
Seeing is Believing
I believe this propensity to be driven by our perception of others is also to blame for the fact that many that oppose the doctrine of eternal security use as their reference points concerning individuals that they assume are saved, and point out their carnal lives or how they have abandoned the faith.
Yet, I find that many of their examples were like the seeds in the parable of Jesus that took no root because of either persecution or the temporal happiness of the world, wherein the seed did not grow to become mature and blossom to grow into the plant.
These individuals were never believers in the first place, we forget that the process of salvation many times occurs over years, and may culminate in one singular event. But it was the Holy Spirit positioning many dominoes, sometimes over many years wherein we only see the last domino fall.
How often we confuse a seed with the plant itself. I believe in God’s righteousness that all men are given the seed, yet it is a paradox how God has chosen those that become a plant, yet it is their response in faith that is part of the process.
Predestination vs. Free Will
The major problem with predestination versus free will is that it is a paradox that cannot be explained any more than explaining the incarnation, the Trinity, or God Himself; we aren’t to reason it out according to our human logic, but are to accept it as God words declare that man has a free will and is accountable to God, and God chooses those who responds unto Him within the sovereignty of His own Will – explain it, I can’t; believe it, I will.
When Are We Really Saved
Ephesians 1:4-6, states:
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
I have heard many of those that attempt to discount eternal security addresses Scripture with contortions that sound reasonable based on humanism.
(One of the tenants of Humanism is that it teaches that good things should happen to good people, and bad things should happen to bad people. And that you should get what you deserve. One of the strongest arguments that these individuals have is that it is unjust that a carnal believer is treated the same as a committed believer by receiving salvation, ignorant of the fact that we all get into heaven based upon the same payment of Jesus blood. Though there will be many that are ashamed and receive no reward because they sowed to the flesh, wherein those that live committed lives will reap many rewards in heaven based upon their faithfulness – do we forget about the parable of the talents concerning rewards? ~ Matthew 25:14)
The Complexity of Koine Greek Language and Grammar
You might think that I often utilize what appears (Appearance is not the same as fact, many things appear to be one way, yet are not) to be contortions in addressing the grammar of the Greek because of its sophistication – it is complicated and must be explained because it is very different than the English.
Yet, what appears to be contortions of explaining the grammar are simply attempting to make that which is complicated understandable to those who do not know the subject matter. And when it comes to Greek grammar, we whose natural language is English have a hard time.
Regarding Ephesians 1:4-6, which claims that believers are actually chosen of God before the foundations of the earth:
1) I have heard people say that “us” is not referring to particular individuals – “a person,” though the grammar does not allow for that. The writer was referring to those he was writing, as well as himself, which is what the Greek mandates.
2) Some have tried to say that the word “chosen” simply means to give an opportunity, as opposed to those that are picked individually, which again is what this word means. It could only mean individuals as again seen by the word “us” when combined with the word “chosen.”
3) Some have attempted to say that God has chosen Christians to be saved as a group, which is ridiculous and an insult upon God understanding that Christians who are saved are axiomatically saved, not because they’re Christians, but because of God’s choosing. How many Christians sin in churches that really aren’t saved and will go to hell, these are the ones that those that oppose eternal security point out as examples of the error of eternal security.
4) The most widely accepted response to this passage interprets that the subject matter concerns that those who have accepted Christ were chosen to be “holy and without blame“ and has to do with the behavior of behaviors, as opposed to salvation.
Yet, again the grammar which addresses “hath chosen us in him” is the foundational subject of this passage, building on that, stating that this was done “before the foundation of the world,” and that within this choosing we are to be holy and without blame “before him.” Let me ask you this question, who is before Him – God the Father, who stands to be the intercessor between man and God as stated in the Hebrews 7:25-26, which states:
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens“
It is Jesus that stands holy and without blame before God as our intercessor. This passage is not referring to the behavior of men but the standing of the believer before God in the righteousness which Jesus alone provided to pay for the sins of the chosen.
None of us can be holy and without blame before him based upon our behaviors. We are accepted as holy and without blame because of the blood of Jesus, not because of anything that we do. To attempt to say that we can be holy and without blame in our behavior , and that God has chosen us to do something which is impossible for us to do, is ridiculous, we are all sinners and fall short (“If we say that we have [Which is in the perfect tense – Which means it is a continuous action, that never stops] no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” ~ 1 John 1:8).
The righteousness that is spoken of in these terms is the righteousness of Jesus. It is the Breastplate of Righteousness as spoken of in Ephesians 6:17 refers to Jesus righteousness not our own, as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”). If you stand in your own righteousness you are a fool and are condemned to hell.
The Question gets down to, who is Really Saved and Why
One thing we must pay attention to is why has God has chosen certain individuals to be saved, what should we focus on.
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (1 Peter 1:6)
Many believe that we were created simply for fellowship with God, which is only partially true, we were created to glorify God as stated in Isaiah 43:7, which states:
“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Now to the Main Passage – 2 Peter 1:10
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall”
The scholar Warren Wiersbe the states concerning this text:
“If you walk around with your eyes closed, you will stumble! But the growing Christian walks with confidence because he knows he is secure in Christ. It is not our profession of faith that guarantees that we are saved; it is our progression in the faith that gives us that assurance. The person who claims to be a child of God but whose character and conduct give no evidence of spiritual growth is deceiving himself and heading for judgment.”
[Those who teach eternal security, also teach there must be spiritual growth as seen in character and content, they never teach that you can live like an unbeliever, never growing spiritually, and still be saved. As Warren points out individuals that never grow spiritually are only fooling themselves as Jesus pointed out concerning those that stated that they did miracles, casting out demons, and other acts that supposedly only Christians can do – Concerning Christian behaviors – do not forget about the Pharaoh’s priest who did the same behaviors [miracles] that Moses did, yet not in the power of God, lacking God’s power which is unmatched]
“Peter pointed out that “calling” and “election” go together. The same God who elects His people also ordains the means to call them. The two must go together, as Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation. . . . Whereunto He called you by our Gospel” (2 Thess. 2:13-14). We do not preach election to unsaved people; we preach the Gospel. But God uses that Gospel to call sinners to repentance, and then those sinners discover that they were chosen by God!“
The Greek word “fall,” are made up of two Greek words, which are:
G4218: ποτέ, pote, pot-eh’ From the base of G4225 and G5037; indefinite adverb, at some time, ever: – afore- (any, some-) time (-s), at length (the last), (+ n-) ever, in the old time, in time past, once, when. And
G4417: πταίω ptaíō; fut. ptaísō. To stumble, fall (Sept.: 1Sa_4:2; 2Sa_18:7). In the NT, used figuratively, meaning to fall into sin. (I) To err, offend, fail in duty, with en (G1722), followed by a dat. (Jas_2:10; Jas_3:2). Used in an absolute sense (Rom_11:11; Jas_3:2; Sept.: Deu_7:25). (II) To fail, of success and happiness (2 Peter 1:10). Deriv.: áptaistos (G679), without stumbling. Syn.: husteréō (G5302), to fall short; parabaínō (G3845), to transgress; skandalízō (G4624), to offend; hamartánō (G264), to sin; proskóptō (G4350), to stumble against. Ant.: orthopodéō (G3716), to walk in a straight line, to act uprightly; stoichéō (G4748), to walk orderly.
It is the Holy Spirit (Greek: parakletos) that comes along and aids us in our walk, raising us up from a fall, and enabling us to complete the race
Strong’s Concordance – A Root Dictionary ONLY!
And yes, I am aware of Strong’s rendering of this word which states: G4417, “a form of G4098; to trip, that is, (figuratively) to err, sin, fail (of salvation): – fall, offend, stumble.”
But one thing that many new believers and inexperience believers do concerning the handling of Greek is use Strong’s Concordance’s Dictionary to translate Greek words – This is not only a fundamental error, but it will lead to devastating conclusions because this dictionary is not specific to any passage, it is generic based only upon Greek roots, and cannot be used in word studies or any study of Greek words found in the Greek New Testament.
It is understanding that in the Greek many words are combined which are attempted to be parsed into the English, per translation purposes wherein the same Greek word may be spelled different ways, as well as being combined with other words which slightly change its meaning.
The deviations are slight, but the ramifications can be an enormous.
Because of the diversity of combining words and the slightly different spellings wherein there may be over a half a dozen different Greek words (Such as “judge”) are translated into only one English word, will only create error in attempting to understand the original text.
Strong’s contribution (aided by dozens of others), is in the meticulous work of indexing words to create a concordance, so that words can be located in the English. The dictionary is not a scholarly work and was NOT meant to be used for translation work, as in Greek word studies.
Though James Strong was a professor, he was NOT a professor in Greek or Hebrew, was not fluent in these languages, he received nothing but a summary education in these languages. And his credentials as a doctor within theology are only honorary; even though he became a professor Biblical Literature and Exegetical Theology at Troy University and Drew theological seminary in New York.
It appears that is highest earned degree was a Masters (Not in biblical languages, but generic in theology), wherein he was the valedictorian of his graduating class. He was given (Not earned) three honors doctorates (Dr. of Divinity, Dr. of sacred theology, and Dr. of laws) degrees (not based upon academia, studies; meaning they were NOT earned), because of his reputation as a professor and his writings; none concerning biblical language.
(There are a lot of ministers that place Dr. before their name when they have been given Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) degrees. In England, this is an earned degree which is an advanced doctorate degree rarely given. In America, this is an honorary degree given usually by a religious organization or institution, but is not an earned degree. Individuals who put Dr. in front of their name are committing a fraud in that people will believe that they earned a doctorate degree, when they have not.
When a church organization makes a minister a Bishop they will commonly give them a Doctorate of Divinity in recognition of their position, but never earned. This is common within black churches, but also committed by many other mainline denominations. I FEEL THAT If a denomination gives a D.D. to an individual it is an attempted fraud, unless they explain that it is an honorary degree and not earned. This is a disservice to all the hard-working students that actually earned a doctorate degree.
How we love titles. I FEEL THAT this is what is referred to as an implied sin, unless each time he is referred to as a doctor, or uses the term within written text, he also clarifies that it was an honorary degree not earned. To do otherwise is to prey upon the misunderstanding of the public and is dishonest.)
No record can be found that he majored in biblical languages (See Endnote #2).
The Strong’s dictionary is a root dictionary, only meant to give a general meaning, never the exact meaning of the word, which can sometimes change the understanding of the word completely.
I made this mistake for many years, and could not understand why I was coming to contradictory conclusions concerning the meaning of certain Greek words, using strong’s Greek (Root), dictionary was a reason why.
Strong’s Preface to the Dictionary
“This work, although prepared as a companion to the exhaustive concordance, to which it is specifically adapted, is here paged and printed so that it can be bound separately, in the belief that a brief and simple dictionary of the biblical Hebrew and Chaldee will be useful to students and others, who do not care at all times to consult a more precise and elaborate lexicon; and it will be particularly serviceable to many who are unable to turn conveniently and rapidly, amid the perplexities and details of foreign characters with which the pages of Genesis and Fϋrst bristol, to the fundamental and essential points of information that they are seeking. Even scholars will find here, not only all of a strictly verbal character which they most frequently want in ordinary consultation of a lexicon, but numerous original suggestions, relations, and distinction, commonly made and clearly put, which are not unworthy of their attention, especially in the affinities of roots and the classification of meanings… The design of the volume, being purely lexical, does not include grammatical, archaeological, or exegetical details, which would have swelled its size and encumbered its plan.
“This work is entirely similar an origin, method, and design, to the authors Hebrew dictionary, and may be employed separately, for a corresponding purpose and with a like result, namely, to be serviceable to many who have not the wish or the ability to use a more capricious lexicon of the Greek New Testament. In this case also even scholars will find many suggestions and explanations not unworthy of their attention”
Wikipedia states concerning James strong, theologian:
“Although the Greek words in Strong’s Concordance are numbered 1–5624 editions of Strong’s, the numbers 2717 and 3203–3302 are unassigned due to “changes in the enumeration while in progress”. Not every distinct word is assigned a number, but only the root words. For example, αγαπησεις is assigned the same number as αγαπατε – both are listed as Greek word #25 in Strong’s “αγαπαω”.
Strong’s Concordance is not a translation of the Bible nor is it intended as a translation tool. The use of Strong’s numbers is not a substitute for professional translation of the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English by those with formal training in ancient languages and the literature of the cultures in which the Bible was written.
Since Strong’s Concordance identifies the original words in Hebrew and Greek, Strong’s numbers are sometimes misinterpreted by those without adequate training to change the Bible from its accurate meaning simply by taking the words out of cultural context. The use of Strong’s numbers does not consider figures of speech, metaphors, idioms, common phrases, cultural references, references to historical events, or alternate meanings used by those of the time period to express their thoughts in their own language at the time. As such, professionals and amateurs alike must consult a number of contextual tools to reconstruct these cultural backgrounds. Many scholarly Greek and Hebrew Lexicons (e.g., Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Dictionary, and Vine’s Bible Dictionary) also use Strong’s numbers for cross-referencing, encouraging hermeneutical approaches to study.”
The following was taken from the: “Textus Receptus wiki” website regarding strong’s concordance:
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, generally known as Strong’s Concordance, is a concordance of the King James Bible (KJV) that was constructed under the direction of Dr. James Strong (1822–1894) and first published in 1890. Dr. Strong was Professor of exegetical theology at Drew Theological Seminary at the time. It is an exhaustive cross-reference of every word in the KJV back to the word in the original text.
Unlike other Biblical reference books, the purpose of Strong’s Concordance is not to provide content or commentary about the Bible, but to provide an index to the Bible. This allows the reader to find words where they appear in the Bible. This index allows a student of the Bible to re-find a phrase or passage previously studied or to compare how the same topic is discussed in different parts of the Bible.
Strong’s Concordance includes:
The 8674 Hebrew root words used in the Old Testament. (Example: 582)
The 5624 Greek root words used in the New Testament. (Example: 3056)
James Strong did not construct Strong’s Concordance by himself; it was constructed with the effort of more than a hundred colleagues. It has become the most widely used concordance for the King James Bible.
Each original-language word is given an entry number in the dictionary of those original language words listed in the back of the concordance. These have become known as the “Strong’s numbers”. The main concordance lists each word that appears in the KJV Bible in alphabetical order with each verse in which it appears listed in order of its appearance in the Bible, with a snippet of the surrounding text (including the word in italics). Appearing to the right of scripture reference is the Strong’s number. This allows the user of the concordance to look up the meaning of the original language word in the associated dictionary in the back, thereby showing how the original language word was translated into the English word in the KJV Bible.
New editions of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible are still in print (in 2007). Additionally, other authors have used Strong’s numbers in concordances of other Bible translations, such as the New International Version and American Standard Version. These are often also referred to as Strong’s Concordances.
Although the Greek words in Strong’s Concordance are numbered 1–5624, the numbers 2717 and 3203–3302 are unassigned due to “changes in the enumeration while in progress”. Not every distinct word is assigned a number, but only the root words. For example, αγαπησεις is assigned the same number as αγαπατε — both are listed as 25 “αγαπαω”.
Strong’s Concordance is not a translation of the Bible nor is it intended as a translation tool. The use of Strong’s numbers is not a substitute for professional translation of the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English by those with formal training in ancient languages and the literature of the cultures in which the Bible was written.
Since Strong’s Concordance identifies the original words in Hebrew and Greek, Strong’s Numbers are sometimes misinterpreted by those without adequate training to change the Bible from its accurate meaning simply by taking the words out of cultural context.
The use of Strong’s numbers does not consider figures of speech, metaphors, idioms, common phrases, cultural references, references to historical events, or alternate meanings used by those of the time period to express their thoughts in their own language at the time.
As such, professionals and amateurs alike must consult a number of contextual tools to reconstruct these cultural backgrounds.
Many scholarly Greek and Hebrew Lexicons (e.g., Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Dictionary, and Vine’s Bible Dictionary) also use Strong’s numbers for cross-referencing, encouraging hermeneutical approaches to study.
Why use Zodhiates
That’s why when you notice the above translation work done by Spiros Zodhiates TH. D; which is an earned doctorate degree achieved in University after many years of study in the Greek language, which he was fluent in writing and speaking in Classical and Koine Greek, himself an individual who spoke Greek all his life as a native of Greece.
you see that he translates words based upon the specific Scripture, where there differences of how a word is translated based upon the grammar of the verbs in that particular usage in the context wherein each usage of the word can be completely diverse from another.
This can be verified by a Greek New Testament Bible (I reference only the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament – See Endnote #3).
This is why the diligent student of Greek never utilizes Strong’s Concordance’s Dictionary for translation work because it only utilizes generic – root words without their specific meaning as found only in the text is used.
Strong’s was never meant to be an exhaustive Greek Dictionary, it was designed to give a general reference to the meaning of words utilized within his concordance, whose main purpose is to locate words in the Bible using a identification system which is common in most Greek translation work.
As clearly seen the word “fall,” it is understood to have the same meaning as the English word stumble. And keeping this text within the context of the things that Peter is referring to as seen in 2 Peter 1:4-5, which states:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge”
It is evident that this Scripture is pointing out the fact that the things that Peter is speaking about unto salvation are based upon faith. Faith by its very nature faith demands diligence, wherein faith produces virtue, and virtue produces knowledge.
You cannot separate the fact that salvation is through grace, yet always by faith.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)
For those that refused to receive the doctrine that eternal salvation is eternal, sometimes referred to as eternal security, how can you dispute this passage. I have heard some say that though nothing shall separate us from Christ’s love, this does not say that we cannot be separated from Christ by a lack of our love. We are not saved by our love, we are saved by his grace. It is He who keeps us. And even when we are faithless, He is faithful.
Some say that this passage speaks about Christ’s love for us, not our ability to leave him. Yet in the Greek the term “nor any other creature”, includes any human being at any time. There is no idea within this passage of Scripture that those that are Christ’s, saved by His grace in response to faith, whom the Son love, can ever be separated from Him or His love.
Those that would say this is referring to individuals that can burn in hell in eternity, and still be loved by Jesus are contradicted by all of Scripture concerning the sons of perdition, those who have never believed unto faith and salvation, those that have NOT the love of the Father or the Son.
There is no greater security in all of existence than being a child of God because of God’s grace, even when our actions work against it, and we are sinful creatures. It is Him that keeps us, not us that holds onto Him – if this were NOT the case we would all be doomed to hell. And the arrogance and self-righteousness this claim that you can hold on to God, and that that is the point of adhesion for your salvation will have an eternity in hell to declare your righteousness before Him.
Sanctification is done by the Holy Spirit, not by man (“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” ~ 1 Peter 1:2), though the word is used in regards to man separating himself from certain things as far as an action, the use of the word in these passages is not the same as the process of sanctification which is only done by the Holy Spirit – there is a difference between a singular act and a complete process.
Believers that are carnal will lose many rewards and pay a mighty price for their selfishness on earth as compared to those who obediently lived out a life were Jesus comes first. If you are a true believer you will not live in the sin all of your life. If you backslide, and you are true believer, you will come back; otherwise it is not called backsliding, but damnation.
Many times we see through a glass darkly, when we examine how somebody is living their life today, not understanding that our limited perception does not allow us to see the future, they may get their act together and grow in spiritual maturity.
All of us have backslidden at some point in our lives, I would venture to say even many times in our lives. The individuals that I deal with on this subject who refuse to allow God to be God, and overestimate their own ability display self-righteousness that makes me fearful concerning their eternal security
1. “Eternal Life”
Mat_19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat_25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Mar_10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mar_10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Luk_10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luk_18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Joh_3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh_4:36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
Joh_5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Joh_6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh_6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Joh_10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh_12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Joh_17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh_17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Act_13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Rom_2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Rom_5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom_6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Ti_6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1Ti_6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Tit_1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Tit_3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
1Jn_1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
1Jn_2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
1Jn_3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
1Jn_5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn_5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
1Jn_5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Jud_1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
2. James Strong
As has been stated in his defense, he never contributed original research our work concerning his concordance, but utilized others who may or may not have been scholars wherein he put together his book based upon the indexing of words used in the English Bible.
This is a fantastic tool. But must be used as it was meant, as a concordance, not a Greek word study
3. Textus Receptus
I only use the Textus Receptus for Greek word meanings, there are too many deviations in the newer translations which do harm to the original meaning. The Textus Receptus, utilized for the King James Bible, has known errors that are understood, corrected, and do no fundamental damage with any doctrine, unlike the newer translations. And know that the New King James is not based upon the Textus Receptus.
Read the introduction to the new King James Bible, it is written in the spirit of the King James Bible (Textus Receptus), it is based upon Alexandrian codices, which many translators including myself feel are corrupted, when it is compared with the Textus Receptus; yet this does not change the fact that this conspiracy is propagated for over 200 years. If anyone wants to know more about this subject, please email me.
Textual Criticism is a complicated subject, where there are individuals which abuse and go so far as to state that the King James is the only Bible, rather than even allowing for the Major Text to hold any validation as well. Never allow the kooks to pollute the message and bring discredit to a truth, Satan always sends kooks in to discredit the truths of God’s word.
Textual Criticism, in the form of Higher Criticism is taught by almost all Christian schools of higher education, to their own shame.
Yet, I also understand and ponder how many things I believe, which are not true. I have changed my view on almost every doctrine in the Bible over the last 40 years, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring me to the truth, even though many times He had to wrap my knuckles very hard in order for me to let go of that which I held onto. The true student of God’s word should hold on loosely to those things until such time as the Holy Spirit, not our desire to be right, convinces us based upon the overwhelming amount of Scriptures and the true meaning of words and their grammar, yet always willing to let go of those things we hold as doctrine.
Many years ago I learned from a wise individual that you must attempt to destroy what you believe, fighting as hard against that which you believe as you fight for it in order to find out is the truth. Very few individuals ever do this. I believe it is this choice to allow God to prove me wrong that has benefited me the most in my teaching ministry. I am a proud man by nature, but choosing to be humble myself enough to allow God this freedom, has uncovered many fantastic insights I have not learned from others. I praise Him and glorify Him alone as a thankful vessel, a messed up person, yet seeking His truth.
“The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’
is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”
This is a great article. I see so much hate on eternal life and God’s grace. People get so heated and hate it. They sling all the verses that appear to talk about loss of salvation. The Matt 7:21 verse is always thrown at me. I respond with those who called Him Lord presented all their works NOT what Christ did. The verse doesnt say Lord Lord have we not trusted in your salvation and sacrifice to make us clean in your sight? And it says NEVER knew you, not I knew you and you slipped from my hands. I am saddled by so many “Christians” condemning the grace and rightouness of Christ. I am shocked so many are offended. Thanks again for the thorough investigation of eternal life. Refreshing.
I received a reminder about my late response, sorry I have not responded before now. The reply you sent has the code all mixed up, this is my email acct. issue. I have looked for that email, with negative results, could you please resend it and I will reply very soon. Thanks, bb
Oh no worries I re sent email.
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve raised a thorny problem. It involves controversial theological subjects like “eternal security” and the doctrine of
Thank you for your labour of love to the body of christ.I would love to know how to get Spiros Zodhiates’s translation…I am from Nigeria west Africa.