Verb Conjugation ComparisonsA key to learning NT Greek well is to carefully compare the various verb conjugations for the different tenses. This Verb Conjugation Comparisons chart shows how closely related the imperfect, 1st aorist, and 2nd aorist forms are in the active and middle voices.

Greek Prep Pie ChartIf you’ve ever studied elementary NT Greek, you probably found it at least somewhat challenging to learn and memorize what the basic Greek prepositions mean when they take their objects in different cases. My new Basic Greek Prepositions Pie Chart helps make that task easier by pictorially separating the prepositions according to their meanings with the three different cases, accusative, genitive, and dative, in which they take their objects!

Three biblical accounts point to the correct answer to the important question of whether Christians should seek to influence secular governmental official to do right and to make righteous policies.

First, Haman, a wicked high official in a secular government, plotted to kill all the Jews in the empire by influencing king Ahasuerus to write into law provisions that would authorize exterminating the Jews. Under the evil influence of Haman, the king enacted a law authorizing the killing of all Jews and the plundering of their possessions (Esther 4:13-14).

Mordecai and Esther, righteous Jews, sought to influence the king to change the law that he had put into place because it was an unrighteous edict (Esther 8:3). They did not merely submit themselves to that law and allow themselves and all the other Jews to be martyred because Haman and Ahasuerus were high-level governmental leaders over them in the providence of God.

Through their actions, Esther and Mordecai were able to influence the king to authorize additional laws that turned the tables on those who sought to kill the Jews and the Jews experienced a great deliverance (Esther 8-10).

Second, King Nebuchadnezzar was the supreme authority over the greatest empire in human history. In God’s providence, Daniel was a top official in that secular government. Daniel sought to have the king change his evil actions and policies that were oppressing the poor (Daniel 4:27). Daniel advised the king that his doing so would put him in a position to receive mercy from God, should God see fit to grant it. Just because Nebuchadnezzar was a secular ruler over a secular empire did not mean that it was right for him to go against God’s laws concerning oppressing the poor.

Third, Herod was an evil king who was put into his position by the Roman government. Even though Herod was in authority by the actions of a secular government, John the Baptist confronted him about his flouting the laws of God concerning marriage. John rebuked Herod by charging him that it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife (Matt. 14:4). Just because Herod was in power in a secular government did not mean that he was free to violate God’s laws concerning marriage.

These biblical accounts show that it is right for God’s people to challenge secular authorities about the laws that they enact and about their practices when those laws and practices are unrighteous according to God’s standards.

While tutoring Greek today, I came up with an idea for a pictorial help for learning common third-declension Greek nouns that I think could help students master these nouns better and faster. I simply put all the nouns of each gender within a separate circle and ordered them within the circles by other similarities.

Third Declension Nouns

By coding the circles with colors according to gender in the PDF of this chart, you should be able to remember better the genders of the nouns. Learning the genders of these nouns is a key to mastering them so I hope that many people will profit from this simple idea!

Many supporters of abortion say that unborn babies are not persons; some even say that they are not human beings. The Holy Spirit’s use of a specific Greek word in Luke 1 provides believers with revelation to address these views.

John the Baptist in the Womb

The Holy Spirit speaks of John the Baptist in the womb by twice using the Greek word βρέφος , which  is not used at all in the Septuagint:

Luk 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luk 1:41 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν ἡ Ἐλισάβετ τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας, ἐσκίρτησε τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς· καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλισάβετ,

Luk 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luk 1:44 ἰδοὺ γάρ, ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου, ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου.

These verses show that the Spirit uses this word to communicate that John was a person in the womb who expressed emotion upon the sound of Mary’s voice being heard by John’s mother Elizabeth.

Jesus as a Very Young Child

In the next chapter, the Spirit uses the same Greek word to speak of Jesus as a very young child after He had been born:

Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Luk 2:12 καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον· εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον, κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ.

Luk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luk 2:16 καὶ ἦλθον σπεύσαντες, καὶ ἀνεῦρον τήν τε Μαριὰμ καὶ τὸν Ἰωσήφ, καὶ τὸ βρέφος κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ.

Based on the Spirit’s use of the same word to designate John in the womb and Jesus as a very young child, Christians have revelation that supports their holding that God views unborn babies as persons who are human beings in the womb in the same way that He views them as persons after they have been born!

Additional New Testament Corroboration

All four of the other occurrences of βρέφος in the NT show that the Spirit teaches the same truth by using this word to refer to newborn babies, infants, and children, all of whom are persons and human beings, even as John was in the womb:

Act 7:19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.

Act 7:19 οὗτος κατασοφισάμενος τὸ γένος ἡμῶν, ἐκάκωσε τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν, τοῦ ποιεῖν ἔκθετα τὰ βρέφη αὐτῶν, εἰς τὸ μὴ ζωογονεῖσθαι.

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1Pe 2:2 ὡς ἀρτιγέννητα βρέφη, τὸ λογικὸν ἄδολον γάλα ἐπιποθήσατε, ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ αὐξηθῆτε,

Luk 18:15  And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

Luk 18:15  Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη, ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται· ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς.

2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 3:15 καὶ ὅτι ἀπὸ βρέφους τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα οἶδας, τὰ δυνάμενά σε σοφίσαι εἰς σωτηρίαν διὰ πίστεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

Conclusion

The New Testament teaches Christians that unborn babies are persons who are human beings. Asserting that unborn babies are not persons and are not human beings is a false basis for supporting abortion.

Some skeptics assert that the Bible says many things about abortion that support the practice of abortion. Through the responses that I provide below to their assertions, this post presents what the Bible does not say about abortion.

The quotes below are from http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/abortion.html

I have added numbers to the points to make them easier to follow. My responses (in italics) follow each point quoted from the article.

“What the Bible says about Abortion”

[1.] “Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. –Exodus 21:22-23”

How this verse supports this point is a mystery to me. This point needs no rebuttal because it is patently false. The text is plain that if any harm follows, the guilty party must be punished. The passage does not specify that the harm was only to the mother; if she is harmed or the prematurely born baby is harmed or both of them are harmed, the person(s) causing the harm must be punished.

[2.] “The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. — Leviticus 27:6”

This verse is part of a passage about the valuation that is to be made when persons of certain ages were consecrated by a vow to the Lord (Lev. 27:1). Lack of mention of vowing infants less than one month old does not prove that the Bible places no value on them; this omission of infants being vowed can be explained as God’s not allowing children younger than a month to be vowed.

[3.] “Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.

Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16”

This numbering was specifically only of males. If the reasoning used here were valid, all women would also not be considered persons because they were not numbered.

Furthermore, points 2 and 3 are also rebutted by passages that state that all Israelite males were to be circumcised when they were eight days old as a sign of God’s entering into a covenant with them (Gen.17:10-12; Lev. 12:3; Acts 7:8), which proves that God viewed them as persons in the same way that he did all the rest of the males who were older with whom He also entered into a covenant through their being circumcised.

Moreover, Genesis 25:21 relates that Isaac prayed for Rebekah and the Lord answered him and she conceived. Genesis 25:22 then says,

And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.

The unborn babies in Rebekah’s womb are not called fetuses; the Hebrew text uses the standard word for “children,” which shows that these unborn twins were persons in the womb.

In addition, John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit in the womb; the Bible never speaks of anything other than people being filled with the Spirit. His leaping for joy in the womb when Mary came while bearing Jesus in her womb shows that John was a person in the womb who expressed joy when he encountered the yet-unborn Jesus!

[4.] “God sometimes approves of killing fetuses.

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. — Numbers 31:15-17

(Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.)

Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. — Hosea 9:14

Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. — Hosea 9:16

Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. — Hosea 13:16”

God’s punishing sinful people, including women who may have been or were pregnant does not provide any justification for abortion. God’s judgment resulted in the deaths of both the women and their babies, which is not what abortions do.

[5.] “God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents.

Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. — 2 Samuel 12:14”

God is the sovereign Judge over the lives of all human beings. His judging these sinful parents through the death of their baby does not justify sinful humans aborting babies at their own discretion.

[6.] “God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.

The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. …

And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. — Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28”

This is a false representation of what the passage is about. The passage gives no evidence that the woman was pregnant.

[7.] “God’s law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women.

Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. — Genesis 38:24”

This passage reports what Judah said should be done. It does not say that God authorized him to do so. God’s laws through Moses were not given to the Israelites until many years after this incident took place. There is no evidence that Judah was following God’s law when he said that she should be burned.

 

Blest Be the Tie That Binds“Blest Be the Tie That Binds” is a short song that has a very simple rhythm. This PDF provides the melody, guitar chords, and first stanza for playing the song in the key of F.

Practice playing the melody and the chords along with the melody (2 introductory measures):

I believe that abortion is an act of horrific cruelty that puts to death an innocent unborn human being. More importantly, key passages point to a proper understanding of what abortion is in the eyes of Jesus.

Abortion is a Breaking of the Greatest Commandment

Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s being (Matt. 22:37-38). Putting to death an innocent unborn child is an egregious failure to love God with all one’s being because to do so is to attack unjustly a helpless human being made in the image of God (cf. James 3:9).

Abortion is a Breaking of the Second Greatest Commandment

Jesus taught that loving one’s neighbor as oneself is the second greatest commandment (Matt. 22:39). No one is a closer neighbor to another human being than an unborn baby is to his mother.

A mother who arranges to put to death her innocent unborn baby through abortion profoundly fails to obey God’s commandment that she love her neighbor as herself.

Abortion is a Breaking of the Sixth Commandment

Jesus confirmed the sixth commandment that God gave to man when He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment (Matt. 5:21). Those who put to death an innocent unborn child who has done no wrong to anyone are guilty of breaking God’s commandment not to murder.

Abortion is a Breaking of the Golden Rule

Jesus taught that we are to do to others whatever we would want done to us (Matt. 7:12). Those who abort unborn children break the Golden Rule that Jesus gave because none of us would want to be put to death in the merciless manner that helpless children are killed when they are aborted.

Abortion is a Sin for Which Jesus Died to Provide Forgiveness to All Who Repent and Believe

The Father sent His Son Jesus into the world to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:15). Jesus laid down His life to save sinners from their sins (Matt. 1:21; 1 John 3:16).

Jesus offers forgiveness to all those who repent of their breaking the two greatest commandments, the sixth commandment, and the Golden Rule through the sin of abortion. Anyone who repents toward God and believes in Jesus Christ will receive forgiveness of this sin (and all his other sins).

Abortion is a Sin for Which Jesus Will Judge All Who Refuse to Repent and Believe

God raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him glory that the faith and hope of people might be in God (1 Pet. 1:21). God has appointed Jesus to be the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42).

As the God-appointed Judge, Jesus will forgive all who repent of the sin of abortion and believe in Him (Acts 10:43). He is the Judge who will condemn eternally all who refuse to repent of their sins and believe (2 Thess. 1:7-9).

Conclusion

God does not want anyone to perish—He wants all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). Believe in God and believe in Jesus and you will be saved and find rest for your soul (Matt. 11:28-30), no matter what sins you have committed!

Jesus does not want anyone to go on being heavy laden with the burden of the sin of abortion. If you are guilty before God in this way, acknowledge what abortion is in the eyes of Jesus.

Confess your sinfulness before God and forsake it and you will receive mercy from God (Prov. 28:13). Believe that Jesus died for that sin and all your other sins (1 Cor. 15:3), believe that God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10), and call on His name as Lord (Rom. 10:13), and He will give you rest for your soul that no one else can or ever will (Matt. 11:28-30).

It seems that it has again become fashionable for women in the US to have long hair. Scripture presents Christian women with clear revelation for why they should have long hair regardless of what the current fashion trends may be.

Divine Commendation

In figurative language, God commends a woman’s having long hair when He includes a statement about Jerusalem’s hair having grown as part of her natural beauty that He had bestowed upon her as a grown woman:

Eze 16:7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

Feminine Excellence

The Apostle Paul challenges the Corinthian believers about proper practice in public worship partly by reasoning with them from the instruction that they innately receive concerning what is excellent for a woman:

1Co 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

From divine viewpoint, long hair is a uniquely excellent1 attribute that God has given to women. It is not incidental that God here extols one of the same things to which He directed attention to about Jerusalem when she had grown up.

Conclusion

Although fashions frequently change in human cultures, God’s truth remains unchanged. Christian women should have long hair because their having long hair is a unique excellence that God has bestowed upon them and commended to them in His perfect Word.


1 This terminology is based on the excellent explanation provided in preaching and teaching by Pastor Mark Minnick that the glory of something may best be understood as its unique excellence.

Two key passages reveal what God wants men whom He has redeemed to believe about whether He cares how long their hair is.

First Corinthians 11:13-15

Paul’s teaching in First Corinthians 11 is likely the most well known passage about divine perspective concerning the length of a man’s hair. In the midst of extensive teaching about head coverings in public worship settings, Paul states,

1Co 11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

This divine revelation makes clear that God does care about the length of a man’s hair. According to Paul, even nature instructs believers that it is a shame for a man to have long hair.

What Paul teaches here is corroborated by revelation in a second passage given by God through the prophet Ezekiel, which although it was given prior to Paul’s statement, pertains to divine perspective about the hair length of his ministers in the future Millennial reign of Christ on the earth.

Ezekiel 44:15-27

In a lengthy passage concerning regulations for the Zadokian priests who will serve God in the Millennial temple (Ezek. 44:15-27), God makes known His viewpoint about the length of hair that his priests will have to have:

Eze 44:20 Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads.

Through this revelation, God teaches us that His priests in the Millennium will not be allowed either to shave their heads or to grow their long; instead, they will need to maintain their hair at an intermediate length (cf., “they shall keep their hair well trimmed” [NKJV]).

Conclusion

A comparison of these two passages shows believers that God does care about the length of hair that a Christian man has. Christian men who are devoted to walking in God’s ways in all areas of their lives should heed what He teaches about what length of hair He wants men whom He has redeemed to have.