ABC:Colossians 2

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Verse 13[edit]

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Mark 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

There is an unforgivable sin.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus forgives our sins. No exceptions mentioned.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

"All" of our sins are forgiven.

This only looks like a contradiction to someone who thinks the New Testament was written in English. It wasn't, it was written in Greek, back in the 1st century A.D. Thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, codexes like Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, the Masoretic Text, and early 2nd century manuscripts such as the John Rylands Papyrus and Bodmer Papyri we know what the original Greek text was. (See Manuscript Evidence)

Modern translators may have translated this as "sins" (especially in whatever translation TheThinkingAtheist.com was quoting - I quoted the KJV which translated Colossians 2:13 as trespasses instead of sins). However, all three passages actually use three different words that got translated into English as sin, so they're actually all referring to different things. We just get confused over this because our English translators didn't do a very good job translating from the original Greek text.

I'll quote the original Greek text (which you can see for yourself with PowerBible CD or other software) so you can see what's going on here.

Mark 3:28 Verily <amen> I say <lego> unto you, <humin> <hoti> All <pas> sins <hamartema> shall be forgiven <aphiemi> unto the sons <huios> of men, <anthropos> and <kai> blasphemies <blasphemia> wherewith <hosos> soever <an> they shall blaspheme: <blasphemeo>
29 But <de> he <hos> that <an> shall blaspheme <blasphemeo> against <eis> the Holy <hagios> Ghost <pneuma> hath <echo> never <ou> <eis> <aion> forgiveness, <aphesis> but <alla> is <esti> in danger <enochos> of eternal <aionios> damnation: <krisis>

1 John 1:9 If <ean> we confess <homologeo> our <hemon> sins, <hamartia> he is <esti> faithful <pistos> and <kai> just <dikaios> to <hina> forgive <aphiemi> us <hemin> our sins, <hamartia> and <kai> to cleanse <katharizo> us <hemas> from <apo> all <pas> unrighteousness. <adikia>

Colossians 2:13 And <kai> you, <humas> being <on> dead <nekros> in <en> your sins <paraptoma> and <kai> the uncircumcision <akrobustia> of your <humon> flesh, <sarx> hath he quickened together <suzoopoieo> with <sun> him, <autos> having forgiven <charizomai> you <humin> all <pas> trespasses; <paraptoma>

As is apparent from reading the original text, these are actually three different words, hamartema in Mark 3:28,[2] hamartia in 1 John 1:9,[3] and paraptoma in Colossians 2:13.[4] The word translated unrighteousness in John 1:9 that one is to be cleansed utterly of is adikia.[5] Critics don't seem to bother learning or studying the Bible in depth enough to realize it wasn't written in 21st century English, and just make negligent mistakes like this as a result.

Verse 16, Should We Keep the Sabbath?[edit]

Dan Barker of FFRF claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[6]

Shall We Keep the Sabbath?

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

Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Numbers 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.
36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

vs.

Isaiah 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

John 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

Colossians 2:16 ¶ Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

The FFRF want to focus on the Sabbath rules under the Old Covenant, not the New Covenant which Christians are under (Jeremiah 31:31); ignoring the context of the Sabbath for which it was given, as the Israelite Pharisees did. In doing so, they ignore the principles emphasized in the New Testament by Jesus about the Sabbath, that it was intended primarily for the good of people, not as a burden. (Mk. 2:27) What matters is that the Sabbath be used to do good for others. (Mt. 12:12)

The Sabbath was intended to protect the poor from overwork, not create onerous regulations that govern what everyone can do on a certain day of the week (as the Pharisees viewed it). The Old Testament Covenant, including its rules on the Sabbath, was not kept properly by the Israelites for thousands of years, which is why Jesus brought in the New Covenant which emphasizes the underlying spiritual principles the Sabbath was intended for; protecting and helping mankind while focusing on God.

Sources[edit]

  1. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Hamartema. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/hamartema.html.
  3. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Hamartia. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/hamartia.html.
  4. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Paraptoma. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/paraptoma.html.
  5. Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Adikia. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/adikia.html.
  6. Barker, D. (2019). "Bible Contradictions." FFRF.