July 29, 2011
God is Omnipotent
God is omnipotent. He is universal in His power and authority.
Establishing God’s authority is the pinnacle on which all else balances. We must establish that God truly is the highest authority and that no other authority can be established but by Him and through Him. In Romans 13:1 it reads:
By establishing within ourselves that God is the sovereign authority then we have a firm foundation within ourselves to build upon. Then if He is the supreme authority then His word must also be the supreme authority as well.
We must settle within ourselves that the word of God is true and that no other teaching or written document can contradict or eradicate it. In other words, what the bible says is absolute.
Where conflict often arises is that man seems to have determined that there can be many interpretations to the bible and that any or all can be correct. But this is not true. The bible is exact and must be read and studied in context.
Any document can be misunderstood if you take one sentence from it and attempt to apply it to another scenario other than the one for with it was intended.
Many times there is a gap in language and culture. To fully understand the bible you must understand that the culture of the times, whether the earliest during Genesis or the latest during the writing of the Epistles, the culture is vastly different from what we know today.
The language is also very different. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The Jewish nation was Hebrew and spoke Hebrew even until this day. The New Testament was translated into Greek or Aramaic. The Jews of that time still spoke Hebrew, but could also speak Aramaic because they were under Roman rule.
You could compare it to our multi-cultural society here in America where it is not uncommon for people of a specific nationality to speak their native tongue but to be able to function in the American society they must also speak the English language.
It is important to understand this because the Hebrew and Greek languages are very different and even more so is our current English language. Many times when translating from one language to another the closest word is used even if it is not exact.
For instance one that we can commonly compare this to is the word love. In the English language that one word is commonly and broadly used to refer to many things. But in the Greek, there are several different words for what he consider, love. So you can see where the challenge comes in to provide an accurate interpretation of the gospel.
Through the years the scholars who have translated the bible have done a very good job in keeping with the original Hebrew and Greek. I believe this is the case because I believe that God closely guards His word and provides a strong warning that nothing be tampered with so that it conveys a different message other than the one He intended.
Even with the best of translations to fully grasp the depth of the meaning it is necessary to dig deeper into the original language. Many times it is necessary not just understand, but to see beyond mere human understanding.
Let’s compare for a moment a simple example of terms. In Revelation 22:13 Jesus appears to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos where he had been exiled. Since Revelation is in the New Testament it was translated into Greek.
Therefore Revelation 22:13 reads:
Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
The first letter of the Greek alphabet is Alpha. The last letter of the Greek alphabet is Omega. The scripture further explains that He is the First and the Last and the Beginning and the End.
Jesus was not just arbitrarily making a statement. He was referring explicitly to Isaiah 41:4, 44:6 and 48:12 where Jehovah God was stating that He was the beginning and the end. Jesus intention was to state that His deity here was the same as God or that He was God.
Jesus was a Jew and to believe that He spoke Hebrew to His fellow Jews is certain. It isn’t a stretch to believe that a Jew would speak their native tongue to another Jew.
So what Jesus would have been saying to John would have been more accurately:
I am the Aleph and the Tav, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Aleph being the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Tav being the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Why is this important to tie this translation together?
First of all because it is important to show how different languages are translated. It is imperative that you know the true meaning of the scriptures as they were originally meant to be. We cannot all be Hebrew and Greek scholars, but it is important to take study deeper from time to time to verify that you are interpreting it correctly.
If you ever feel that what you are reading is contradictory to the context or to other scriptures, then it would be good to stop at that point and see what the reading is in the original text. It is good to also read commentaries from Greek and Hebrew bible scholars, but keep in mind that you should take the knowledge in but let the Holy Spirit within you make the final interpretation.
Second of all it is important because every letter and word in the bible is intentional and on purpose. Many times in the original Hebrew Old Testament the letters Aleph Tav are inserted seemingly random in a sentence and are left un-translated. This is literally the signature of Jesus in the Old Testament.
All Hebrew letters are also depicted in picture form. When you ask a Hebrew scholar, who does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, what these two letters mean when they are shown together in the scriptures they will tell you it is a picture of an open window that points to something. When they are asked what it is pointing to, they do not know what.
Let’s look at
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
In the Hebrew the letters Aleph Tav are inserted and left un-translated like this. In the beginning God (Aleph Tav) created the heavens and the earth.
In tying all this together we can confirm the deity of Jesus as God and the true Messiah. But we can also see the importance of genuine study and accurate interpretation of the scriptures.