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TruthVid's 100 Proofs that the Israelites were White, Part 22
In our last presentation, which was Proof 43 in this list of 100 proofs, we discussed particular passages in the Old Testament where certain terms are mistranslated or misunderstood, which also adversely affect the interpretation of the Scriptures throughout the entire Bible. Doing that, we did not discuss every possible error of interpretation in the Old Testament, but rather we only sought to address the passages which would change one’s view of Scripture, and potentially one’s entire worldview, once they are understood correctly within the context of the entire Scripture. With these interpretations which we uphold to be correct, all of the seeming conflicts and inconsistencies within Scripture vanish, God is no longer the hypocrite which the denominational churches make Him out to be, and we can know that God is true. So now, here beginning with Proof 44, we will endeavor to do this same thing in the New Testament.
44) Specific NT Verse misteachings, mistranslations or corruptions
The first verses we should probably discuss are John 1:11-13, although we will surely return to Matthew, Mark and Luke a little later on. The denominational Christians twist the meaning of these verses in John to prove at once the chosen people myth of the Jews, and then the idea that anyone who professes to believe somehow becomes a child of God, an idea which itself conflicts with the chosen people myth of the Jews. The truth is, that these verses are not necessarily saying what they have been translated to say. What we are going to say about these verses here is mostly based on a 2006 essay I had written titled Translating John 1:11-13, which were actually based on the translation notes I made when I translated John. So I elaborated on them once again in Part 3 of my commentary of the Gospel of John, which was titled The Sons of God. Here I will attempt to condense those explanations, if it is possible.
In the King James Version, John 1:11-13 read as follows: “11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
There are problems with that translation, and the popular conception of what it means, in each of these three verses. So we will begin by discussing John 1:11 and the clause εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον, which we would translate to say: “He came into His own land, and the men of the country received Him not.”
The Greek word ἴδιος
Here there are two phrases which contain forms of the same Greek word ἴδιος (Strong’s #2398). By itself, according to the Liddell & Scott Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, ἴδιος is basically “one’s own, pertaining to oneself ... private, personal ...” While ἴδιος is primarily an adjective, both occurrences of the word in this passage are accompanied by a definite article, where each phrase is actually a Substantive, a word or group of words functioning as a noun.
But only the second occurrence can refer to people. The first must occurrence must designate something material. While its rendering is poetic, the King James Version misses this important distinction entirely, and both instances of the word seem to be referring to the same thing. Here in this passage the first occurrence of ἴδιος is a neuter plural form, while the second is the masculine plural form. So the first occurrence has nothing to do with people, as the denominational Christians like to interpret the words “His own” as they appear in the King James Version. It is neuter, so it cannot refer to the people of Judaea.
The large 9th Edition of Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon τὰ ἴδια “one’s own property”, citing examples from secular Greek writings. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament has “one’s native land” for this phrase. Christ, being a man of Judah, Judaea was His native land. Christ, being the legitimate heir to the throne of Judah, Judaea was also His land in that respect, although the descendants of David had not possessed it in many centuries.
For the second phrase derived from ἴδιος here, which is the masculine plural οἱ ἴδιοι, the 9th edition of Liddell & Scott has “members of one’s family, relatives”, yet the 1996 Revised Supplement to this edition of the lexicon adds for the singular τὸν ἴδιον “fellow townsman” in addition to “relatives”. Thayer says of οἱ ἴδιοι: “one’s fellow-countrymen, associates, Jn. i. 11 ...”, citing this very passage. But here it shall be stated that οἱ ἴδιοι may just as well be referencing τὰ ἴδια, those people belonging to the land, and not to Christ Himself.
But first, in order to understand this it must be realized that not all of the inhabitants of Judaea at the time of Christ’s coming were of His people Israel, as He Himself tells us at John 8:30-47 and 10:26 and elsewhere. While we cannot explain all of the relevant passages, for now it should suffice to cite His words in John 10:26: “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” It is apparent that His enemies did not believe Him because they were not His people in the first place. So if they were not His people in the first place, they may have been the men of the land, but they were not His.
Therefore, we cannot force an interpretation of the clause here in John 1:11 which causes John to contradict the record of John chapter 10 or any of the other places which cause conflict. But if we understand the phrase οἱ ἴδιοι to be a reference back to what John had described in the first part of the verse, which is the land of Judaea, then there is no contradiction with any of the later statements where Christ had disavowed these people because they were not His people in the first place, and that is true.
While Judaea at that time did have many Israelites, it was also populated and controlled by a great number of Edomites, and that is what Christ is telling His adversaries in John chapter 8, that they may have been Abraham’s seed, as Esau was, but they were not true children of Abraham because Esau’s descendants were bastards, and Paul of Tarsus also explains these same things in Romans chapter 9 and Hebrews chapter 12. That is how and why Christ said to them “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”.
Application of the Greek verb γενέσθαι
So this in turn takes us to verse 12, which says in the King James Version: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Our contention with this translation is focused on the Greek clause ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι which is translated as “to them gave he power to become the sons of God”. This also causes conflict with many other passages of Scripture. For example, in Matthew chapter 15 Christ had said that “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” By describing sheep which were already lost, He implies that those sheep had a prior relationship with God. Then in John chapter 11 we read that Christ would die “52… not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” So the children of God were already scattered abroad, and these are the already-lost sheep for whom He had come. So they were already children of God, before they ever heard the gospel, and therefore they were not going to have a choice as to whether or not to become children of God upon hearing the gospel, or even if they never heard. Likewise, Paul professed that he was bringing the gospel to far-off nations for the promise of the twelve tribes made to the fathers, in Acts chapter 26.
So we would contend that if this clause in John 1:12 can be read in a manner which does not conflict with these other passages, then it must be read in that manner, as once again, John cannot be honestly interpreted in any manner which would force his writings to contradict themselves.
First, in this clause the word τέκνα (τέκνον, #5043) in this plural form children is ambiguous since the form is the same for both the nominative and accusative cases, and therefore it is debatable whether the word is the subject or the object of the verb γενέσθαι, an aorist infinitive form of γίγνομαι (#1096), which in its most basic interpretation is “to come into being” (Liddell & Scott). Here, for reasons that shall become evident below, I must treat τέκνα as the subject of the verb, reading it in the Nominative case, and not as the object of the verb as it is treated in the King James Version.
So here, rather than translating this clause as “to them gave he power to become the sons of God”, we translate it to read “He gave to them the authority which children of God are to attain”.
The form of the verb γενέσθαι is in the middle voice, but it certainly may be interpreted in the active sense, here “to attain”, as it is in 2 Maccabees 13:13, where in the King James Version of the Apocrypha the phrase καὶ γενέσθαι τῆς πόλεως ἐγκρατεῖς simply “and get the city”. This phrase I would render more literally, and more properly word for word, “and to attain control of the city”. Similarly, in my own translation of Acts 27:16, the phrase περικρατεῖς γενέσθαι τῆς σκάφης is rendered “to attain full control of the skiff”. The King James renders that phrase rather strangely: “to come by the boat”, which in modern English would mean “to get the boat”. These examples clearly support a similar interpretation of the same verb as I have translated it in this context here at John 1:12.
The children of Israel cannot “become” children of Yahweh. Being children of Adam, they already are children of Yahweh, as Adam was a son of God (Luke 3:38), and are told as much explicitly in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. Here are just a few examples from each:
Deuteronomy 14:1: “Ye are the children of the LORD your God...”
Isaiah 45:11: “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”
Romans 8:16: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
Hebrews 2:13: “And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil...”
So once again it should become clear that the children are already children, whether they heard the gospel or not. So if they were children before they heard the gospel, then we cannot accept the claim that they somehow must hear the gospel and believe it in order to become children. In Romans chapter 9 Paul was concerned only for the true Israelites, his “3… kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”
Adoption, or υἱοθεσία
That word adoption is υἱοθεσία, and it literally means the placing of a son. Contrary even to Liddell & Scott, it does not literally mean adoption as we know it. When the Greeks and Romans adopted a son who was not a son in the first place, the term they used to describe the actual act of adoption is εἰσποιήσις, which is a making into of something. In fact, the term υἱοθεσία is a compound word from υἱός, or son, and θέσις, a setting or placing. In the same passage in Romans there is another such word, νομοθεσία, which is from νόμος, or law, and θέσις, which the King James Version translated as “giving of the law”. Only the children of Israel were ever given the law, so Paul wrote to the Galatians in chapter 4 of his epistle that Christ had come: “5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” There, “we” can only mean those who were formerly under the law, the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” So in any event, in this passage from Romans Paul had informed his readers that the adoption or υἱοθεσία is for Israel, for those who were true Israelites, his “kinsmen according to the flesh”, and nowhere does it state that it is merely for those who believe.
Now returning to the subject of the sons of God, Abraham was never told that gentiles, or any alien nations, would somehow become his offspring. Rather, Abraham was told that his offspring would become many nations (i.e. Genesis 17:4-9; 35:10-11), which the children of Israel did become, which can be evidenced in history, and which Paul explained fully in Romans chapter 4. Paul was addressing those same “children of God that were scattered abroad” mentioned in John 11:52.
The scope of authority, or ἐξουσία to which John was referring
So without violating any of the rules of Greek grammar, it certainly is more proper to render John 1:12: “But as many who received Him, He gave to them the authority which children of God are to attain, to those believing in His name.” Yet the scope of John’s statement here in John 1:12 is that as many of the people of the land had believed Christ, to them He gave the power which the sons of God are to attain. That means that those who believed Christ were given the powers granted through the Holy Spirit for example at the first Christian Pentecost, which we see in Acts chapter 2. That is the context of this clause.
Yet certain of the apostles were blessed with the ability to do wonderful things even during the course of the ministry of Christ. Therefore, to see what John was more immediately referring to, we will cite gospel passages from Matthew chapters 16 and 18 and Luke chapter 10 as examples. Doing this, we shall see that our translation of John 1:12 is consistent with all scripture, while that of the King James Version produces serious conflicts which cannot be readily resolved.
Matthew 16:18-19: “18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 18:18-19: “18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
Luke 10:1-20: “1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come…. 8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: 9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, 11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you…. 16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.” Then after their mission was completed, while we do not know how long they had been gone, we read: “17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
So it is fully apparent that these things were exactly what John was referring to 60 years later when he recorded these words in reflection upon the things that had transpired during the ministry of Christ. This passage does not give us license today to take squat-monsters out of the jungles of the netherworld and attempt to somehow make them into “children of God” by exhorting them to believe! Rather, upon the restoration of the children of Israel, they, the children of God, will have that same power that the apostles were given. That is the same as what had been granted in the deposit of the Spirit later spoken of by Paul, that is a Christian promise, and it is that to which John had referred.
Blood, or bloods? The Plural form of αἷμα
Now this brings us to the final clause of our three verse passage, and this final clause is a conclusion of that second clause. So speaking of those same sons of God we read, as John 1:13 is translated in the King James Version: “13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” This passage also substantiates our interpretation of verse 12, but not the interpretation found in the King James Version, because it attests that the aforementioned children are born. So we see that not all so-called people are born of God, but at least some are born by the will, or desires,of man or of the flesh.
The verb translated as born is actually at the very end of the Greek text of the verse, οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν. While it is fine to put it at the beginning as it is in the King James Version, I preferred to keep the original word order and translate the passage to read: “13 not those from of mixed origin, nor those from of the desire of the flesh, nor from of the will of man, but they who have been born from God.”
The Greek noun θέλημα is will or desire, so we decided to render it alternately where it appears twice here. Therefore it may be readily apparent that our only real dispute with the King James Version is in the first clause, in the words οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων, where it reads “not of blood” but we have “not … from of mixed origin”. We do not accept the King James rendering of ἐξ αἱμάτων as “of blood”, because the form αἱμάτων is a genitive plural of the word αἷμα, which is blood. If John wanted to say blood, why would he use a plural form of the word? And if it says bloods, which it does, why would the King James translators ignore the plural form? And if all men were of one blood, as the King James Version translators wrongly read Acts 17:26, since there is no word for blood in that passage, then how could there be more than one blood in relation to men, as John professes here? So here we may perceive some of the many conflicts which these translations in the King James Version can cause.
According to a search of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece using Bibleworks software, there are 97 occurrences of the word αἷμα in the New Testament. Using A Concordance To The Greek Testament by W.F. Moulton and A.S. Geden, the Fifth Edition revised by H.K. Moulton as a guide, out of as many as 99 occurrences of the word αἷμα (#129), or blood in the New Testament, this is the only time that the word appears in the plural, and surely for that reason alone the phrase merits investigation. I shall begin by turning to the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint (LXX), where I will only concern myself with the plural form of this word, as the singular has only one meaning, which is blood.
According to A Concordance to the Septuagint and the Other Greek Versions of the Old Testament (Including the Apocryphal Books) by Edwin Hatch and Henry A. Redpath, Second Edition, the word αἷμα appears in the plural in the Septuagint manuscripts on as many as 53 occasions, counting all listed variations among the Septuagint manuscripts as they were supplied by Hatch & Redpath. Examining the Septuagint, one must consider also the Hebrew from which the word was translated. The Hebrew Dictionary in Strong’s Concordance says of the meaning of the Hebrew word for blood, dam (#1818): “figuratively (especially in the plural) bloodshed”, and this is the obvious meaning in the context in 50 of 53 occasions where αἷμα is found in the plural in the Septuagint. [These 50 occurrences are found at Judges 9:24; 2 Kings 3:28; 16:7, 8 (bis); 21:1; 3 Kings 2:5, 33; 4 Kings 9:7 (bis), 26 (bis); 1 Chronicles 22:8; 28:3; 2 Chronicles 30:16; Esther 8:13; Psalms 5:6; 9:12; 15:4; 25:9; 50:14; 54:23; 58:2; 105:39; 138:19; Proverbs 29:10; Jeremiah 2:34; 19:4; Ezekiel 16:36; 22:2, 3 (bis), 13; 23:45; 24:6, 7, 9, 14; Micah 3:10; 7:2; Nahum 3:1; Habakkuk 2:8, 12, 17; Sirach 22:24; 31 (34):21; 1 Maccabees 7:17 and 2 Maccabees 8:3; 14:18 and 45.]
In all of these places it is apparent, and significantly important to notice, that the translators maintained the Hebraism, writing αἷμα in the plural where bloodshed is implicated, wherever the Hebrew word for blood had apparently been in the plural in the original. On two occasions Brenton’s translation recognizes this idiom, where he rendered the word “blood-guiltiness” at Psalm 50:14, and “bloodshed” at Ezekiel 24:14. However if one reads all of these passages, it will be apparent that they all may have been, and should have been, rendered in this same manner.
So that leaves three other occasions where αἷμα is plural in the Septuagint manuscripts. One is in Amos 2:4 where only the Codex Alexandrinus has αἷματα, “bloods”, in place of μάταια, “vanities”, which appears in all other manuscripts and which is an obvious gloss, examining the context. The final two occurrences of αἷμα in the plural are found at Hosea 4:2, where the word appears twice, and the Greek clause καὶ μοιχειά κέχυται ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, καὶ αἷματα ἐφ̉’ αἷμασι μίγουσι is rendered by Brenton: “and adultery abound in the land, and they mingle blood with blood”, even though “blood” here is plural on both occasions. This statement by Hosea is an obvious reference to race-mixing. Although the King James Version is somewhat different, Brenton’s translation is faithful to the Greek of the Septuagint text, which obviously differs from the Masoretic Text here.
Now returning to the New Testament, apart from the passage at John 1:13, αἷμα appears on 98 other occasions, including some spurious interpolations found in Luke 22:43-44, and where the word is found in some manuscripts at Acts 17:26, and where at the end of Matthew 27:49 some manuscripts contain a line which is similar to the text of John 19:34 but which is not found in the King James. Of all these 98 other occurrences, αἷμα appears in the plural twice, and only in a couple of manuscripts. The first is at Revelation 16:6, in the Codex Sinaiticus, where it appears in that manuscript to be a gloss for the Hebraism since the context is bloodshed. All other codices and papyri have αἷμα in the singular at Revelation 16:6. The second is at Revelation 18:24, where the text upon which the King James Version is based, the Majority Text which is actually a large collection of late Medieval manuscripts, has αἷμα in the plural, as do a couple of 10th century manuscripts designated 046 and 051 in the Nestle-Aland editions. All of the older manuscripts, some which date from the 4th and 5th centuries, have αἷμα in the singular here also. Therefore it is relatively safe to say that αἷμα appears in the plural in the New Testament only in this one passage, John 1:13, which all of the extant manuscripts of John attest, and that even the Hebraistic use of the word, where it is rendered in the plural where bloodshed is meant, did not carry over into the New Testament scriptures.
If the Hebrew idiom whereby blood in plural means bloodshed had carried over into the Greek of the New Testament writers, then perhaps blood would be in the plural at Hebrews 12:4, where bloodshed is the context, but the word there is singular. But rather, wherever bloodshed is referred to, such as in Matthew 23:35, Luke 11:50, Romans 3:15 and Hebrews 9:22, precise Greek words and phrases describing bloodshed are employed. So we cannot imagine that by using the word for blood in the plural here, that John means to refer to bloodshed.
In his Greek-English Lexicon, Joseph Thayer defines αἷμα, in part: “Since the first germs of animal life are thought to be in the blood ... the word serves to denote generation and origin (in the classics also): Jn. i. 13”, where he cited this very passage. So Thayer admits that where John wrote “bloods” here, he meant “origins”. In their Intermediate lexicon, Liddell & Scott have at αἷμα, in part: “blood ... III. like Latin sanguis, blood-relationship, kin ... ὁ πρὸς αἷματος one of the blood or race ...”. Likewise the larger 9th edition of Liddell & Scott has: “blood ... III. blood-relationship, kin ... blood or origin ...”
So here in John 1:13 where αἷμα appears in the plural, Thayer and the other lexicographers admitting that it refers to origin, and Thayer connecting that to this very passage, being plural it must denote multiple origins, i.e. mixed blood, the state of being of bloods, as Thayer himself nearly suggests, but where he does not himself address the plural form but rather he ignored it, and we also see this as the usage of the plural at Hosea 4:2 as the Septuagint suggests, where it is speaking of adultery in the context of adulterous race-mixing.
Since the Hebraism concerning bloodshed certainly does not fit the context for the plural of αἷμα, at John 1:13, and that Hebraism appears nowhere else in the Gospels, even though bloodshed is often discussed (i.e. Luke 11:47-51), this explanation that the word denotes mixed origins here is the only valid alternative. Otherwise, why else should the word appear in the plural here only, of all places? And why does the word appear here at all, when in so many places in the New Testament γενεά (1074) and γένος (1085) are used of race and birth, rather than αἷμα? The plural of αἷμα here was used to convey a specific meaning, which other words and phrases could not do in so simple and eloquent a manner, especially in conjunction with the phrases which follow, concerning carnal desires and the will of man which is in opposition to the law and the will of Yahweh. For it is unchecked carnal desire which got Adamic man into trouble from the beginning, which is evident in Genesis chapter 3.
Adam was not merely the first man, but the first White man, as attested to by the Biblical and historical records, the anthropological and archaeological records, and the very meaning of the word adam in Hebrew. That reading mixed origins for the plural of αἷμα makes sense in the Biblical context here in John 1:13, as we have just explained, is fully realized once it is understood that the Judaean nation consisted of both Edomites and Israelites, and Esau, father of the Edomites, took his wives of the Canaanite races (Gen. 36), who themselves were mixed with the Kenites (descendants of Cain) and other non-Adamic races (Genesis 15:19-20) such as the Kenizzites, Kadmonites and Perizzites who did not descend from Adam (cf. Genesis 10) and were aboriginal, non-Adamic peoples of unrecorded origin, along with the Rephaim descendants of the fallen angels.
So with all of this, I would read John 1:11-13 in this manner, which is fully within the constructs and meanings of the Koine Greek as these words are defined in the Lexicons and also used in the Septuagint: “11 He came into His own land, and the men of the country received Him not. 12 But as many who received Him, He gave to them the authority which children of God are to attain, to those believing in His name: 13 not those from of mixed origin, nor those from of the desire of the flesh, nor from of the will of man, but they who have been born from God”.
Even today, the phrase “mixed blood” is commonly used of people with multi-racial backgrounds. Had the King James Version rendered αἱμάτων at John 1:13 literally, “of bloods” rather than “of blood”, surely many people might have recognized the true meaning of such language, and they might have always understood that the Word of God forbids race-mixing. But this brings us to our next mistranslation, which is found in John chapter 3.
Born from above
Those born from Yahweh can only be those descendants of Adam endowed with the Spirit of Yahweh (Genesis 2:7), who are born in accordance with His law of “kind after kind” (i.e. Genesis 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25; Leviticus 19:19 et al.), rather than in fornication which is the pursuit of strange (ἕτερος, #2087, other or different) flesh (Jude 7). Adam and Eve were of the same flesh, which made Eve a suitable helpmate, as it is described in Genesis chapter 2 where we read “23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” They could only be one flesh if they started out that way.
So upon Christ’s having been accosted by Nicodemus in John chapter 3, we read: “3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” But the word translated as “born again” does not mean that. Rather, it means “born from above”, that unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.
This phrase, “from above”, is from the Greek word ἄνωθεν and is more popularly translated as “again” in the King James and other Bible versions. It is “from above” later in this same chapter, in John 3:31. I have found no place in Scripture where it must be interpreted to mean again. It is an adverb describing the direction from which something comes, or its source or origin. It is the opposite of another adverb, κάτωθεν, which means “from below”. The preposition ἀνά basically means up, and its opposite is κατά, basically means down.
According to Liddell & Scott, ἄνωθεν is an “adverb of place from above, from on high,” and was also used like the word “ἄνω, above, on high,” or in certain contexts, “of Time, from the beginning… by descent,” and finally, they say, “over again, anew,” and I would protest that, since they cited only the New Testament, customarily providing the translations which are found in the Authorized King James Version. In the Intermediate version of their lexicon they offered no other citations in the secular writings where the word was ever used to mean anew or again.
The larger 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott lexicon does cite a passage from Flavius Josephus, however the citation is not convincing. William Whiston translated a line where Josephus wrote of Abimilech in reference to Isaac and said that he “renewed his friendship with him”. However we would write the same phrase to state that he “turned to the friendship he made with him from the beginning”, as the word ἄνωθεν is an adverb, and not a verb as Whiston translated it [τραπέντος φιλίαν ἄνωθεν ποιεῖται πρὸς αὐτὸν]. Whiston took three words, two verbs and an adverb, and translated them as one word in English, “renewed”. Rather, in the context of the account, τραπέντος should be he turned, ποιεῖται he made, and ἄνωθεν from the beginning, since Josephus was describing the “former friendship” which the two men had, and how it may have been ruined. With that, we see that there is no valid reason why ἄνωθεν should be interpreted as anew or again in this passage [Antiquities 1:263].
This understanding is of the utmost importance, because a significant doctrine taught by many denominational churches has been built on this one word, which if it is not understood properly, has caused generations of millions of people to believe a lie.
For a proper example of the use of the word ἄνωθεν from the Septuagint, we see in Ezekiel 41:7, in the famous description of the temple, we read: “7 And the breadth of the upper side was made according to the projection out of the wall, against the upper one round about the house, that it might be enlarged above [ἄνωθεν], and that men might go up to the upper chambers from those below [κάτωθεν], and from the ground-sills to the third story.” The Greek words ἄνωθεν and κάτωθεν are correctly translated as above and below in this passage. Likewise, a phrase which appears several times in the Greek Septuagint, in both Genesis and in the prophets, is ὁ οὐρανὸς ἄνωθεν, which is literally the heaven above. The word ἄνωθεν appears 23 times in the Greek of the Septuagint, and on every occasion it means from above, above or atop.
However on one occasion, where once again we shall dispute the translation, Brenton in his version of the Septuagint rendered the phrase πάλιν ἄνωθεν as “again anew”, where he was only following the King James Version Apocrypha in chapter 19, verse 6, of the Wisdom of Solomon. This is interesting, as we shall see, because this very verse gives us insight into just what Yahshua Christ referred to in His statement here in John Chapter 3. The word πάλιν literally means again, and if ἄνωθεν is also understood to mean again, or anew, then the phrase is utterly redundant. But in that passage the phrase πάλιν ἄνωθεν is used as part of an allegory to describe the Exodus event and the giving of the law to Israel as being a creation of God, with language which places the event in a comparison with the creation account of Genesis. Therefore, since it describes an act of creation as being from God, the word ἄνωθεν must be interpreted as “from above”, where Solomon wrote, and where we shall correct Brenton’s version: “For the whole creature [creation] in his proper kind was fashioned again [πάλιν] from above [ἄνωθεν, meaning, fashioned by God], serving the peculiar commandments that were given unto them, that thy children might be kept without hurt….”
Why would Solomon say that the “whole creature in his proper kind was fashioned again from above” in relation to the Exodus and the giving of the law? Because he was making an allegory comparing the foundation of Israel as a nation to the original creation of the Adamic race which is described in Genesis. In Luke chapter 3 we see that Adam was the son of God. In Acts chapter 17 Paul addresses the Athenians, who are Ionian Greeks, which are the descendants of Javan who is mentioned in Genesis chapter 10, and he tells them that God made the nations – those nations which are listed in that same chapter of Genesis, “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him…” and Paul goes on to explain to them that they too are the offspring of God, since they also descended from Adam.
The phrase “whole creature” refers to the establishment of the race of Adam over the creation of God in Genesis chapter 1. So the first time the Creation was established was in Adam, and the second time it was established “again, from above” was at Mount Sinai, which is what Solomon explained. As for that word creature, or creation, we shall want to discuss that further where we discuss its use in a spurious portion of the gospel of Mark.