Archives For Biblical Languages

Psalm 106 ends by making known something that God desired that all His people would say:

Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD. {Praise…: Heb. Hallelujah}

Psa 106:48 בָּר֤וּךְ־יְהוָ֙ה אֱלֹהֵ֪י יִשְׂרָאֵ֡ל מִן־הָ֤עוֹלָ֙ם׀ וְעַ֬ד הָעוֹלָ֗ם וְאָמַ֖ר כָּל־הָעָ֥ם אָמֵ֗ן הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ׃

Psalm 150:1 shows us that the same Hebrew expression  that ends Psalm 106:48 (הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ) and is translated as “Praise ye the LORD” in both Psalms is transliterated as αλληλουια in the LXX rendering of Psalm 150:1:

Psa 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Psa 150:1 הַ֥לְלוּ יָ֙הּ׀ הַֽלְלוּ־אֵ֥ל בְּקָדְשׁ֑וֹ הַֽ֜לְל֗וּהוּ בִּרְקִ֥יעַ עֻזּֽוֹ׃

Psa 150:1 αλληλουια αἰνεῖτε τὸν θεὸν ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ αἰνεῖτε αὐτὸν ἐν στερεώματι δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ

Revelation 19 illumines the OT directives from God that are found in both Psalm 106:48 and in Psalm 150:1 by teaching us that heavenly angelic beings say exactly what God directed His people of old to say at the end of Psalm 106:

Rev 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Rev 19:4 καὶ ἔπεσαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι οἱ εἴκοσι τέσσαρες καὶ τὰ τέσσαρα ζῷα καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ θεῷ τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπὶ τῷ θρόνῳ λέγοντες· ἀμὴν ἁλληλουϊά,

Notice that Revelation 19:4 ends with a transliteration of אָמֵ֗ן הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ that is found at the end of Psalm 106:48 and teaches us that saying “Amen; Alleluia” is what heavenly beings say when they worship God!

By comparing Psalm 106:48 with Revelation 19:4, we learn that the directive at the end of Psalm 106:48 was a directive about how God wanted His people to worship Him—they were to say, “Amen, Praise ye the Lord.” We should learn from this comparison that God wants both angelic beings and humans to worship Him by saying these two expressions!

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Confused Greek WordsCorrectly learning the basic vocabulary words used in the Greek NT is a vital part of learning NT Greek. I developed a list of 91 commonly confused Greek words many years ago when I was a graduate assistant teaching Elementary Greek classes. Studying this list and learning their different meanings should help you in mastering these commonly confused words.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

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.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

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!

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

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!

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

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.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

I have been studying NT Greek for many years now. In the past several years, I have been learning Spanish so that I can preach and teach in Spanish churches.

I recently got the idea of using my understanding of NT Greek to help me learn more Spanish. This approach has proven to be helpful for understanding certain uses of Spanish words that I was not able to figure out using my Spanish dictionary or grammar books.

The Use of acaso in a question

By looking at the Greek for several passages that in my Spanish Bibles begin with acaso used with an indicative verb in a question, I was able to figure out that this use of acaso signifies a question that expects a negative answer.

For example, Matthew 7:16 reads as follows in the Reina Valera Revised 1960 (R60) and in Scribner’s 1894 Greek New Testament (SCR):

R60 Mat 7:16 Por sus frutos los conoceréis. ¿Acaso se recogen uvas de los espinos, o higos de los abrojos?

SCR Mat 7:16 ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς· μήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὴν, ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα;

In this verse, ¿Acaso se recogen . . .? is the Spanish rendering of μήτι συλλέγουσιν . . . ; In the Shorter Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, this verse is directly cited in the entry for μήτι:

μήτι interrogative particle in questions that expect a negative answer, often left untranslated, but cf. μήτι συλλέγουσιν surely they do not gather . . . do they? Mt. 7:16;

I think a literal translation of the R60 of Matthew 7:16 would be something along these lines: “By their fruits you will know them. (Surely) grapes are not gathered from hawthorns, are they? Or, figs from burs of a plant?” and the expected answer to both questions is “No.”

John 7:48 provides another example of this use of acaso in a question: 

R60 Joh 7:48 ¿Acaso ha creído en él alguno de los gobernantes, o de los fariseos? 

SCR Joh 7:48 μή τις ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων ἐπίστευσεν εἰς αὐτόν, ἢ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων;

Based on the Greek of this verse, I would translate the R60 as follows: “Not any from the rulers or the Pharisees have believed in Him, have they?” Again, the expected answer is “No.”

James 3:11 also features acaso in a question to signify that a negative answer is expected:

R60 Jam 3:11 ¿Acaso alguna fuente echa por una misma abertura agua dulce y amarga? 

SCR Jam 3:11 μήτι ἡ πηγὴ ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς ὀπῆς βρύει τὸ γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ πικρόν;

My translation of the Spanish of this verse: “(Surely) a fountain is not putting forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter water, is it? No.”

These three examples show how understanding NT Greek can help with learning Spanish!

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Many believers think that Paul teaches that whether a believer esteems the Lord’s Day above other days is a matter of Christian liberty (Rom. 14:5-6). For several key reasons, this is a serious misapplication of Paul’s teaching in Romans 14:5-6.

Divine Consecration of One Day above the Others

In the beginning, the Lord created light and called it “Day” (Gen. 1:3-5a). He so created the universe that “the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5).

Having finished His work of creating all things in six literal 24-hour days, “God . . rested on the seventh day from all His work which God created and made” (Gen. 2:3). He then blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it” (Gen. 2:3). These statements show us that even though God was the one who made all the days, He set apart one day as special above the other days.

Adam, Eve, and all others who were among God’s people prior to the giving of the Mosaic Law would thus have had direct divine activity that would have unmistakably made clear to them that they were to esteem the seventh day above the other days of the week.

Divine Mandate to Esteem One Day above the Others

Through His giving the Decalogue to Moses, God revealed to His people His command that they were to esteem the seventh day above other days:

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

We should notice that God directly ties His commands concerning the Sabbath day to what He did at creation on and concerning the seventh day. God’s people from this point until the Resurrection of Christ and the birth of the Church on Pentecost had both divine consecration and divine mandate that would direct them unmistakably to esteem one day above the other days of the week.

Divine Possession of One Day above the Others

God raised His Son Jesus Christ from the dead on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1-8) and gave Him glory so that our faith and hope might be in God (1 Pet. 1:21). Apostolic use of Psalm 118:22 in Acts 4:10-11 shows us that the Psalmist’s statements in Psalm 118 about the day which the Lord hath made are not to be taken generically to apply to every day but specifically are prophetic prediction about the first day of the week when God would raise Christ from the dead and make Him the head stone of the corner! God’s people ever after are to rejoice and be glad on the day the Lord has made—the Lord’s Day!

Furthermore, on Pentecost, God birthed the Church on the first day of the week (Acts 2). In obedience to an apostolic command (1 Cor. 16:2a), His people thereafter assembled to worship Him on the first day of every week (cf. Acts 20:7), including giving offerings for helping meet the pressing needs of His saints (1 Cor. 16:1-4). All these facts show that the first day was a special day for His NT people in many respects.

In providing His climactic revelation to mankind, however, God revealed that the first day of the week was now special to Him in a singular way unlike any other day was—it was “the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10)! The Greek construction used here reveals a crucial truth:

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Rev 1:10 ἐγενόμην ἐν Πνεύματι ἐν τῇ Κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ· καὶ ἤκουσα ὀπίσω μου φωνὴν μεγάλην ὡς σάλπιγγος,

In the expression τῇ Κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ (‘the Lord’s Day’), the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle John to use the Greek adjective kuriakos (“belonging to the Lord,” [Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, 115]) to teach us that the Lord now has possessed this day in a unique way that was and is distinct from all other days.1 Yes, He created all the days of the week at Creation, but through His work of raising His Son from the dead on the first day and giving Him glory, the Lord took possession of that day in a glorious new way!

The Holy Spirit thus teaches all believers that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day that He distinctively possesses and that His people are to esteem that day above all the other days of the week. Romans 14:3-5 most definitely does not apply to how a Christian should esteem the Lord’s Day, and Christians must esteem the Lord’s Day above all other days!


 

1 I am indebted to my pastor Dr. Mark Minnick for his excellent teaching through which I first learned this glorious truth.

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

If you have ever studied New Testament Greek, I think that these ten previous posts would help confirm to you the truth that using Biblical Greek is very valuable for understanding the Bible and the things of God better!

A Good Example of the Value of Learning NT Greek

Paul’s Commission to Proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God!

The Teaching of Nature (1 Cor. 11:14-15)

Haman, Head Coverings, and First Corinthians 11:1-16

Who Did John the Baptist Identify Jesus to Be

Understanding the Biblical Use of “Dunamai” More Accurately

God Made Jesus Both Lord and Christ

The King’s Words about Everlasting Fire

Interpreting the Word “Lord” in the NT

The “Sabbath” Psalms

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

I have read Acts 10:1-11:18 more than 50 times over the past 25 years. In spite of all those previous readings of this passage, I observed something a few days ago while reading an edition of the KJV that I have never noticed before in Acts 11:12.

What I observed still puzzles me because so far I have not been able to figure out any good reason for why this edition of the KJV (as well as some others) has a clear reference to the Holy Spirit printed the way that it does in Acts 11:12. To understand the issue with how this text reads in this edition, we first have to look at an earlier text in Acts 10 that directly ties to 11:12 in a very close way.

A Clear Reference to the Holy Spirit in Acts 10:19-20 That Is Capitalized

In Act 10, Luke relates at length how God worked in the lives of both Cornelius and Peter to bring Peter to Caesarea to evangelize Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:1-25). As part of God’s remarkable supernatural work to bring about this encounter, Peter testifies to direct divine revelation that was verbally given to him by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19).

In the Broadman and Holman Publishers 1988 Bilingual edition that has the Santa Biblia and the Holy Bible in parallel columns,1 Acts 10:19 reads this way:

Act 10:19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

 20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

The Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19) directed Peter to go with the three men who had come to him from Cornelius and even told him that He had personally sent them Himself (Acts 10:20)! Because to pneuma in this verse is indisputably a reference to the Holy Spirit and not Peter’s own human spirit, editions of the KJV that have the word spirit capitalized here have correctly rendered it so.

A Clear Reference to the Holy Spirit in Acts 11:12 That Is Not Capitalized

As part of his testimony that explained why he went in to uncircumcised people and ate with them (Acts 11:2-3), Peter testified that the Holy Spirit had directed him to go with the men that had come to him. In the B&H 1988 Bilingual edition, Acts 11:12 is printed as follows:

Act 11:12 And the spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

 13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;

Notice that verse 12 has “spirit” in it in a statement that is Luke’s recording Peter testifying about precisely the same event that Luke speaks of in Acts 10:19-20. Unquestionably, the word spirit in this verse is a reference to the Holy Spirit yet this edition of the KJV has “Spirit” in Acts 10:19 but “spirit” in Acts 11:12.

Why Is This Difference in Capitalization Present in Some Editions of the KJV?

This difference in capitalization does not (and could not) have anything to do with differences in manuscript readings, such as textual variants, etc. Why then is this puzzling difference present in some editions of the KJV?2

If you have any reasonable ideas for why some editions of the KJV do this, I would appreciate hearing from you.


1Copyright 1988 Holman Bible Publishers.

2Two other editions that I have that have this same difference in these readings are the Riverside Book & Bible House Holy Bible Old and New Testaments in the King James Version (Printed in England by Eyre and Spottiswoode Limited Her Majesty’s Printers, London) and The Gideons International 1977 Edition of The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with Psalms and Proverbs (Copyright 1968 by National Publishing Company Philadelphia, Pa.).

Copyright © 2011-2021 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.