Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 264

1

The Genitive Case

My own comments are added, but most of the following information came from Daniel
B. Wallace's book, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics.
The Semantics of Genitives in the Exegesis of ScriptureWallace quotes Moule as
saying the genitive is "immensely versatile" and "hard-worked" as far as Greek cases
go. The meaning or semantics of genitives can be difficult at times, due to their wide
variety of possible functions. But a good understanding is important and rewarding for
one seeking to correctly interpret the meaning of Scripture. Wallace states: "Learning
the genitive uses well pays big dividends. It has a great deal of exegetical significance,
far more so than any of the other cases, because it is capable of a wide variety of
interpretations."Really, it is difficult to stress enough, regarding the use of genitives in
God's Word, how important it is to use logic, and to translate the words in context, in a
way which conveys an understanding that is consistent with the teachings in all the rest
of Scripture. The apostles were moved by the Holy Spirit to write what they wrote, and
did not contradict each other. Nor did they contradict the teachings of the Old
Testament. One passage never ever opposes another in principle. Neither will the
meaning of any text be illogical and empty. In prayer, the Holy Spirit will quietly "nag"
one's spirit about a wrong interpretation, or else persist in filling up one's inadequate
view of even a right interpretation, until one begins to see it entirely correctly. He must
be heard by the heart, then by the mind. If an interpretation does not fit right with the
rest of Scripture, one must go through the texts more carefully, with prayer and inner
discernment, to search for the real, plain, rational meaning which God intended to
convey.
Context always plays a large part in the interpretation of syntax, but is far more
critical to the interpretation of genitives than it is to the interpretation of any other case
forms. Genitives have well over a hundred different and distinctly identifiable functions.
(Of course, Wallace, and this document, will divide those functions into about thirty five
main categories, but some of them could each be further divided into five or six
subcategories.) In order to determine which category a genitive falls into, and thus its
meaning, one must almost always make a judgment call based on an examination of
the context, since the syntax of the construction with the genitive usually does not
indicate much of anything. Yet, judging by context is often a subjective matter, requiring
careful observation, logic, much background knowledge, and other factors. So
interpreting by context can cause many disputes. In summary, the broad spectrum of
possible interpretations for genitives, and the main reasons for numerous arguments
concerning these various interpretations, are due to the following:Elasticity: The
genitive bears such an expansive area of possible meanings because the Greeks
employed the genitive in more than one syntactical role, where each role could have a
broad spectrum of functions. Of course, it serves a true genitive role, indicating "of"
something. And, in this role alone, it can be classified into about a hundred different
2

functions. Yet the genitive form also serves in the role of an ablative, where it implies
separation, source, origin, removal, and other similar ideas. Many of these functions can
be expressed in English with our preposition "from," but this one preposition itself can
express numerous different functions. Now Latin, and other inflected Indo-European
languages, used two cases, one for each of these two roles. Then, in English, we
mostly use a variety of prepositions rather than inflected cases. But the Greeks used
one inflected case for both grammatical roles, where the two roles combined perform a
broader spectrum of functions than combined grammatical roles of any other
case.Embedded Kernels: An "embedded kernel" is a way to condense or compress a
unit of information or a thought into a small "package" of written words. It expresses an
idea in very few words, where the reader can only know what is meant by that
"package" in context. To use an example from Wallace, a form of the phrase ἡ ἀγάπη
τοῦ Θεοῦ ("the love of God") is often found in the GNT. Sometimes it means "the love
which God has for us," and other times it means "the love which we have for God." In
context, we usually know what is meant. But outside of context, we cannot know its
intended meaning.
Language is just a bunch of symbols, patterns of either voiced sounds or etchings on a
paper. And these symbols sometimes represent thoughts in a very concise manner.
However, in expressing these symbols of very abbreviated thought, we often sacrifice
some clarity and precision. The expression of our thoughts through embedded kernels
can frequently mean such a variety of things, that we can easily mistake the intended
meaning for something else, if we are not careful. The genitive form "covers a multitude
of semantic relationships" and is frequently used to produce compressed "kernels" of
thought which, for an English translation, require many more words to describe clearly.
The Greek construction of these "kernels" is basically: HEAD NOUN + GENITIVE
NOUN (abbreviated as N-Ng, which stands for a Noun [of any case] followed by a Noun
of the genitive case). Whenever we see this construction, we need to "unpack" it. It is
like a new bookshelf from the store, packed into a small flat box, which needs
assembling when taken out of the box, before it can be made useful. Greek genitives
(and many other Greek expressions) need to be "unpacked" and assembled into more
idiomatic English expressions, in order to convey the real intended meaning. But this is
where big mistakes can be made. Unless the contents of the "package" are assembled
correctly, the resulting English translation can be weak and unstable, or even entirely
useless.Antithetical Possibilities: This refers to the various possibilities of
interpretation, each of which might be opposed or in sharp contrast to the other.
Grammatical constructions involving other cases often give structural clues which help
in their interpretation -- such as the use of articles with certain words, the position of the
words in relation to each other, and so on. But, although the genitive can be used for
more functions than any other case, a construction with a genitive is the same (N-Ng)
for most functions. Thus, its interpretation depends more on context than on the
structure of its grammatical construction. The lexical definition of the genitive form,
whether it is articular, its number (singular or plural), and a few other considerations will
affect its interpretation. But the context is usually most critical. Outside of the context,
3

many possible meanings of a N-Ng construction can be antithetical, completely opposite


or very sharply contrasted with each other, especially with verbal head nouns. So a
great deal of thought, with a thorough examination of context, is often required to
"unpack" its true meaning.Genitive Chains: These are chains or strings of several
consecutive genitives, and might also be called "concatenative genitives," where one
genitive is concatenated or joined to another. In these chains of genitives, the
interpretation of each successive genitive frequently depends on the genitive in front of
it. But this is not always true. Again, interpretation must be by context and other factors,
using common sense.
The Definition of the Genitive CaseTo define a case is to give its "unaffected
meaning" -- what any word in that case generally implies apart from its context, its
specific lexical meaning, particular construction, and so on. It is an attempt to define the
common characteristics of almost all words in that case. This is difficult to do for any
case, but in particular for genitives. The genitive inflections on words are fairly easy to
explain and recognize, but not the unaffected meaning of genitives in general.Basically,
there are two general roles which a genitive form can serve in Greek. One is the
standard role as a true genitive, which "defines, describes, qualifies, restricts, limits"
(Wallace). In grammars which assume an eight-case system, this is the only role they
recognize, since they define the other major role as a different case, even though it
uses the same genitive form (for a comparison of the eight-case and five-case systems,
see How Greek Cases are Used). However, a genitive form can also serve in the role of
an ablative, which implies the idea of separation, source or comparison, and its
meaning is normally conveyed by our English preposition "from." Regarding both these
roles, there are some common implications:
A genitive indicates limitation according to kind or quality: When a genitive
modifies a noun, it generally limits it to a particular "kind." It is said to "limit," because
the word it modifies becomes limited to only the "kind" of person(s) or thing(s) in its
class, to that which is described by the genitive. For example, the "kingdom of God"
refers to the kingdom which belongs to God, or to the kingdom which originates directly
from God. By using the genitive "of God," the noun "kingdom" is limited in meaning to
only one kind of kingdom. That meaning may exclude kingdoms of men, the kingdom
which originates from Satan, and other kingdoms. An accusative also limits, but
according to extent or quantity, and usually (as a direct object) limits a verb, thus is
adverbial. For example, in the clause, "the kingdom worshipped God," the noun "God" is
the direct object telling who the kingdom worshipped. This limits the verb's action to one
function. It limits the "extent" of the action. The statement's action is limited to the
worship of "God" only.
A genitive is usually adjectival, in a way often implying movement from it: The
genitive is the only oblique case which generally modifies a noun, and, thus, is generally
adjectival. In addition, it implies movement from the genitive to the noun it modifies.
That is, whatever limitation the genitive is expressing, that limitation is frequently
4

transferred from the genitive to the head noun it modifies. In possession, "a
gadget of the man," the "man" owns and holds the "gadget," where owning and holding
are actions from the genitive. In an ablative role, "righteousness from God," God is the
source causing the righteousness, where causing is an action from the genitive. So
there is implication of movement or action from a genitive. We frequently see this
implication when genitives are used as objects of prepositions too. For example, the
phrase ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ ("out of God") implies movement from God, towards the word being
modified by this phrase.
But, as mentioned above, an accusative, especially as a direct object, usually limits the
action of a verb. Therefore, its function can be described as more generally adverbial.
Also, a direct object receives movement or action, performed by a subject. The action is
upon or towards itself, which is the opposite of a genitive. And we see this quality in the
use of accusatives in prepositional phrases as well. A dative is generally adverbial too,
but without any implication of movement, since an indirect object passively receives the
result of an action, and is not directly involved in the action itself. Datives, as objects of
prepositions, also imply this. An example of both are in the clause, "they gave God
praise." Here the direct object "praise" is what was moved from the subject to the
indirect object "God." So God passively received the action. If we wrote this in the
passive voice, it would be: "God was given praise by them." So the indirect object now
becomes the subject passively receiving the action of their giving praise. As you can
see, both the accusative direct object and the dative indirect object can be described as
being generally adverbial, because both are used to limit or describe something about
the verb's action.Now the role of a genitive form as a true genitive (where it implies "of")
is familiar to most English speaking persons. But its ablative role is less well known.
The ablative idea of "separation" can imply (1) existing in a static state of being
separate "from" the genitive; (2) acting progressively with movement "away from" the
genitive; (3) or focus on a result or cause coming "from" a genitive source or origin. By
the koine period, the use of a genitive form in an ablative role was becoming
increasingly rare, except with some nouns. It was mostly being replaced by the use of
the prepositions with a genitive object: ἀπό ("from") + a genitive form; or ἐκ ("out of,
from") + a genitive form. But ablative and genitive roles bear similar
implications.Whether in the role of a true genitive, or in an ablative role, (1) a genitive
form indicates limitation according to kind or quality, and (2) a genitive form is usually
adjectival in function, which implies movement from it. These two qualities basically
define the genitive case.Each of the blue main headings below will indicate a general
"Grammatical Role" of the genitive case. Under each main heading, related subtopics
and more specific functions of the semantic categories will be explained under green
subtitles.
Grammatical Role 1:
Adjectival GenitivesThis is the most fundamental role of a genitive, it describes.
Whether as a true genitive or as an ablative, the genitive describes the head noun. Thus
it qualifies or modifies the head noun, indicating limitations as to the scope of that
noun's class of persons or things. In this way, the genitive functions much like an
5

adjective. However, the genitive is more emphatic or stronger than an adjective, and a
genitive also implies movement or action from it to the head noun.For example, the
noun "God" represents a real Person, a living Being who actively wills and performs
actions. But the adjective "godly" (which can also serve as an adverb, by the way) is just
a modifier which indicates characteristics related to God. So, to describe something with
a genitive form of a noun, we might say: "God's kingdom," "the kingdom of God," or "the
kingdom from God." In doing so, we indicate the activity and presence of God, as a real
Person with will and power being exerted over the kingdom. He acts upon His kingdom.
Depending on the characteristics of any genitive person or thing, there are usually
strong implications of some kind of definite interactive relationship between the genitive
noun and the head noun.But to describe the same thing with an adjective, we might say
it is a "godly kingdom." All this implies is a characteristic "relative to" other things in the
class of the head noun. We might call it "godly" because there are other kingdoms
which are extremely ungodly, and, thus, the kingdom is relatively "godly" by
comparison. Or we might call it godly because it meets what we personally feel is a
minimum standard by which it may be perceived as being godly. All adjectives bear
similar implications of general characteristics or attributes relative to other persons or
things in the class of the noun being modified. So an adjective provides a weaker
description than a genitive noun, which has all the real and definite attributes of a
person or thing.Using a genitive noun is often far stronger and more emphatic than
using an adjective because a noun is stronger and more emphatic than an adjective.
This is mostly because a noun generally represents something real, whole or tangible.
But an adjective merely represents a quality or quantity, which is only a part of the
existence or essence of the noun it modifies.Also, an adjective can only be modified by
adverbs, or other "adverbial modifiers." And an adverb only modifies the feel, perception
or sense of the adjective, that is, of the quality or quantity the adjective expresses. But a
noun represents a real person or thing, with many different qualities and a set quantity.
So a noun consists of many "adjectives" put together. Thus, a genitive noun is generally
a more powerful modifier than an adjective. A genitive never loses its property of being
a noun, or its "nominal force," as Wallace puts it. Therefore, it can be usually modified
by adjectives or any other kind of "adnominal modifier," such as participles. There is an
exception. Wallace points out that an attributive genitive, which functions more like an
adjective, is not normally modified by adjectives and other adnominal modifiers. Yet,
even "its connotation is decidedly more pronounced than a mere adjective would be"
(Wallace).
a. Descriptive Genitives
Aporetic GenitivesOf course, almost all genitives are descriptive. But this is just a
"catch-all" category, or a "last resort" category, something to use if the genitive does
not fit into any other category listed below this one. If the genitive does not seem to fall
under a more specific classification below, it is usually safe to simply call it a
"descriptive genitive," since all genitives are basically that.In fact, this is not really a
category or function at all. There are so many possible distinct functional categories for
the genitive, that Wallace defined only a few more than about thirty others, those which
6

are most useful exegetically. Each of those may also include more than one
subcategory, but that still left a good number unclassified. So he lumped all the
remaining less distinct and less exegetically critical functions into this "category." As he
said, he "had to stop somewhere," and it would not do much good to distinguish
between another few dozen functional categories and their subtle differences in nuance.
The main categories are covered, almost everything needed to exegete Scripture, to
glean its real meaning. Then the more subtle nuances can be detected by prayerful
thought and a careful examination of the context.Wallace says that this is the category
to use if either the head noun or the genitive is: (1) "highly idiomatic," in that it is used to
mean something which is peculiar to Christian usage in the GNT as an ecclesiastical
term, or as a Greco-Roman cultural term that means something other than the normal
lexical definition; or (2) "figurative," in that the term represents something symbolically
or metaphorically; or (3) "informed by Semitic usage," in that its meaning is affected by
the way the term was used by the Jewish culture and possibly in the Septuagint.As an
example, Wallace gave the phrase "son of disobedience," which uses the head
noun υἱός with a genitive. Clearly this is not just attributive, as in "disobedient son," with
added emphasis. After all, it isn't really talking about anyone's son. Actually, the
word υἱός ("son") implies a general overall nature or dominant characteristic, even an
essence of being -- which is "disobedient." This idea must be brought out in the
translation, but it is not if we treat it as an attributive genitive. As Wallace says,
"υἱός with a genitive is notoriously complex." So the genitive with υἱός may be simply
called a "descriptive genitive," although it might even deserve its own category.By the
way, the term "aporetic genitive" is derived from the Greek word ἀπορέω, which
means, "I am at a loss." It simply means that this is not a real category, but merely a
term to call a genitive when you are "at a loss" to categorize it as anything else found in
a grammar guide.The descriptive genitive is, in a way, "common" in the GNT. But this
category is not, because it is a "last resort" and "catch-all" category. Still, Wallace gave
six examples. Here the head noun is highlighted in green, and the descriptive genitive is
highlighted in bluish green.ἐγένετο Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ
κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

Translation: "John came, the one baptizing in the wilderness, preaching an


immersion of repentance for forgiveness of sins" (Mark 1:4).

Comment: The Jews used the same basic procedure, prayer and immersion, as a ritual
for many different kinds of ceremonial declarations of spiritual cleansing from God.
Some immersions had slight variations, such as the number of times one dipped under
the water, whether it was public or not, whether one needed to see the rabbi or not, and
so on. The "baptism of repentence" was one kind of immersion or "mikvah" practiced by
the Jews, and is still practiced to this day in basically exactly the same way as it was
then. It is the "teshuvah" (repentance) done for the willful sins, where the teshuvah (or in
some instances, God's punishment) is the actual cleansing of one's spirit from the sin,
but the mikvah is the sign or symbol recognizing God's cleansing, with thanksgiving of
7

heart.

This particular immersion or mikvah was required before one could be forgiven a sin,
and also before one could make a sacrifice to atone for sin (back when the temple still
stood, and sacrifices could be made). Like every kind of mikvah, it required sincerity, but
this called for a particular kind of sincerety. No forgiveness could be granted, nor could
any sacrifice be made, concerning any kind of intentional or deliberate sin. Yet almost
all known sins are done intentionally or deliberately, albeit often without much clear
thinking, and frequently in anger, or in some other emotional state. So one had to
"repent" first, before one could be forgiven and/or make a sacrifice for sin. That is, one
had to inwardly change one's intentions about the sin, with regret and an attempt to
make things right again. Thus one had to see a trusted rabbi, priest or knowledgable
elder, one who could question one concerning one's intentions, to ensure that one was
not just sorry about the consequences of the sin, but truly and actually sorry about doing
the sin itself, about offending God. In this way, it was said that the rabbi baptized a
person, although the person actually knelt in the water, prayed, then dipped oneself
under the water.

So we know exactly what was meant by this expression, "immersion of repentance," or


"baptism of repentance." But translating it and categorizing it is another matter. As
Wallace points out, it could be "causal," something like "immersion based on
repentance." Or it could be something like a form of apposition, "baptism that
symbolizes repentance." Or it could be a genitive of production, "the immersion
produced by repentance." Since it is grammatically difficult to categorize, we may just
want to call it a descriptive genitive.καὶ ποιήσας φραγέλλιον ἐκ σχοινίων πάντας
ἐξέβαλεν ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ, τά τε πρόβατα καὶ τοὺς βόας, καὶ τῶν κολλυβιστῶν ἐξέχεεν τὰ
κέρματα καὶ τὰς τραπέζας ἀνέτρεψεν, καὶ τοῖς τὰς περιστερὰς πωλοῦσιν εἶπεν· ἄρατε
ταῦτα ἐντεῦθεν, μὴ ποιεῖτε τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Πατρός Μου οἶκον ἐμπορίου.

Translation: "Then, having made a whip out of ropes, He cast out all from the temple
grounds, both the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the coins of the moneychangers,
and overturned [their] tables. Also, to those selling doves, He said, 'Take these things
away from here! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!'" (John 2:15-
16).

Comment: Obviously, from context, this is talking about "a house where merchandise is
sold." So what category does this fit into? Again, it is likely best to just call it a
descriptive genitive. Of course, this was the court of the Gentiles, where God-fearing
Gentiles were supposed to be able to come and worship, hear biblical teachings, and
enjoy quiet prayer. It was for the Gentiles who had not yet become full Jewish
proselytes. And it belonged to the one true God, not to men. So it was to be used
directly for His spiritual purposes, not for the external business affairs of the church. But
many Jews did not bother to fulfill their God-given duty to preach and teach about the
8

wise and just God to Gentiles. Then they had the bright idea that they would raise
money for the church in these outer temple grounds, instead of keeping it as a place for
Gentiles. Somehow they, just like most "Christian" churches today, thought that raising
funds was more important than serving those in desperate need of biblical teaching and
prayer, to heal all life.

Notice the disdain Jesus held for money. He did not just close the boxes of coins and
throw them at the moneychangers, commanding them to get out. Instead, Jesus poured
their coins onto the ground! Then notice it only mentions Jesus speaking to those selling
doves, but to no one else. While He beat the rest away, He verbally commanded the
dove sellers to leave. Doves were sacrifices reserved for the poor alone. While the
middle class and rich were commanded to sacrifice sheep and cattle, the poor were
only told to sacrifice inexpensive or free doves. So here Jesus was either more angry
with the dove sellers than the others, because they were causing the poor to spend their
last few cents on dove sacrifices, instead of allowing them to bring their own free doves
for sacrifice (doves are very easy to catch for oneself). Or else Jesus was not quite as
angry with them, because they were serving the needy. From context, the former seems
more likely than the latter. Jesus spoke in great anger against the commission dove
sellers.ἡ ἀγάπη τῷ πλησίον κακὸν οὐκ ἐργάζεται· πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη. καὶ
τοῦτο εἰδότες τὸν καιρόν, ὅτι ὥρα ἤδη ὑμᾶς ἐξ ὕπνου ἐγερθῆναι· νῦν γὰρ ἐγγύτερον
ἡμῶν ἡ σωτηρία ἢ ὅτε ἐπιστεύσαμεν. ἡ νὺξ προέκοψεν, ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤγγικεν.
ἀποθώμεθα οὖν τὰ ἔργα τοῦ σκότους, ἐνδυσώμεθα δὲ τὰ ὅπλα τοῦ φωτός.

Translation: "Love does not work evil for the one nearby. Therefore, love [is] fulfillment
of law. And this [do], knowing the appointed time, because [it is] an hour already [for]
you to be raised out of sleep, for now our salvation [is] nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent, so the day has drawn near [to remain]. Thus, we should lay aside
from ourselves the works of darkness, but we should put onto ourselves the
equipment of the light" (Rom. 13:10-12).

Comment: This is talking about work, the work of evil versus the work of righteous love
which fulfills God's law. Workmen, as they do today, slung tools over their shoulders
and put on equipment when they went out during the day to work. Soldiers also fought
during the day, and put on their equipment. But this passage seems to be speaking
about equipment for work, like belts and tools put on in the morning for the day's labor.
Since both the head noun and genitive are used figuratively, it is difficult to classify the
genitive as anything. So it is left under the classification of a general descriptive
genitive.
συνεργοῦντες δὲ καὶ παρακαλοῦμεν μὴ εἰς κενὸν τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ δέξασθαι ὑμᾶς.
λέγει γάρ· καιρῷ δεκτῷ ἐπήκουσά σου καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σωτηρίας ἐβοήθησά σοι. ἰδοὺ νῦν
καιρὸς εὐπρόσδεκτος, ἰδοὺ νῦν ἡμέρα σωτηρίας.
9

Translation: "So [as] those working together, we also take you aside for counsel to
receive the grace of [our] God not in vain. For He said, 'In a welcome appointed time, I
heard you, and in a day of salvation gave help for you. Look! Now [is] an appointed time
very welcome to [us]. Behold! Now [is] a day of salvation!" (II Cor. 6:1-2).

Comment: Here it is speaking of a welcome appointed time or designated season,


when God "hears" us, that is, when God answers our prayers. This is also called "a day
of salvation," when God gives help for us. Thus, the genitive here cannot be attributive
because, as Wallace points out, this phrase would then mean "a saved day." But it is
talking about our salvation on that day, not the salvation of the day itself. It is "the day in
which salvation comes" (Wallace). In context, this meaning is fairly clear if we leave the
translation as "a day of salvation." So we simply leave this as a descriptive
genitive.ὑμεῖς δὲ, ἀδελφοί, οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σκότει, ἵνα ἡ ἡμέρα ὑμᾶς ὡς κλέπτης καταλάβῃ.
πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς υἱοὶ φωτόςἐστε καὶ υἱοὶ ἡμέρας. οὐκ ἐσμὲν νυκτὸς οὐδὲ σκότους. ἄρα
οὖν μὴ καθεύδωμεν ὡς οἱ λοιποί, ἀλλὰ γρηγορῶμεν καὶ νήφωμεν.

Translation: "But you, brothers, are not in darkness, in order that the day might be cast
down upon you like a thief. For all of you are children of light and children of day. We
are not of night nor of darkness. Therefore then, we must not sleep like the rest. But we
must constantly be vigilant and we must continuously remain sober" (I Thes. 5:4-6).

Comment: The context is speaking about the day of Christ's physical return to the
earth, which will come when the wicked do not expect it, "and they will definitely not
escape." But this day will not "be cast down upon" us unexpectedly. For we are
"children of light and children of day." In other words, we see things that the rest do not.
They are like those whose spirits are asleep at night in the dark, unaware of what is
occurring all around them, and unable to see anything even if they do wake up, for
everything is darkness all around them, incomprehensible. Yet we are not asleep, but
awake. Nor is there darkness all around us, for we are "not of night nor of darkness."
Jesus' Holy Spirit illuminates reality and verity all around us, like the light of the sun in
daytime. So again, since this is speaking figuratively of being able to see and
understand true reality, this is not just an attributive genitive, as in "light children" or "day
children." It is not so much emphasizing the kind of "children" we are, as much as it is
emphasizing the kind of quintessential attribute we bear as those who are bought and
owned by Christ, who grants us the light of His truth through His Spirit. As is often the
case, this plural form of υἱός once more connotes those who have a dominant
characteristic or very inner nature or essence of being that is what the genitive
indicates. It is figurative and idiomatic.
καὶ ὁ πέμπτος ἄγγελος ἐσάλπισεν. καὶ εἶδον ἀστέρα ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεπτωκότα εἰς τὴν
γῆν, καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ἡ κλεὶς τοῦ φρέατος τῆς ἀβύσσου. καὶ ἤνοιξεν τὸ φρέαρ τῆς
ἀβύσσου καὶ ἀνέβη καπνὸς ἐκ τοῦ φρέατος ὡς καπνὸς καμίνου μεγάλης. καὶ ἐσκοτώθη
ὁ ἥλιος καὶ ὁ ἀὴρ ἐκ τοῦ καπνοῦ τοῦ φρέατος. καὶ ἐκ τοῦ καπνοῦ ἐξῆλθον ἀκρίδες εἰς
τὴν γῆν ...
10

Translation: "Then the fifth angel sounded a trumpet. And I saw a star out of heaven,
having fallen and now remaining on the earth. Also the key for the lid to the shaft of the
abyss was given to it. So he opened the lid to the shaft of the abyss, and smoke
ascended out of the shaft's opening like smoke from a great furnace. Both the sun was
darkened and the air by the smoke from the shaft. Then locusts came out of the smoke
into the earth ..." (Rev. 9:1-3).

Comment: The word φρέατος is the genitive singular form of the noun φρέαρ, which
refers to a vertical shaft, such as the shaft of a well. Such a shaft might be only a few
feet in radius, perhaps with a small wall to raise it above ground level, and often with a
lid to keep animals (like rats and mice) from falling in and drowning, thus polluting the
water. This particular shaft obviously had a locked lid, like a private well. But the shaft is
an ἄβυσσος, going down so deep that the bottom is not perceptible or measurable. In
Greek literature, the word ἄβυσσος also was a name for the land of the dead, or
netherworld. Christians and Jews used it as another name for hell. So this is talking
about Satan, a spiritual creature which has fallen from heaven and now dwells on the
earth. As indicated by the divine passive, God will give Satan a key to an entrance to
hell, allowing him to release his own demonic creatures, in the form of "locusts," into the
tangible world, to torment those who worship the beast. So the idea is "a key which
opens the lock fitted to the lid over a shaft." The phrase ἡ κλεὶς τοῦ φρέατος is just a
brief method of saying all this, and needs to be "unpacked" for an English translation, at
least enough to give an English reader some idea of what is said here. And, of course,
this genitive does not fit any other grammatical category, and thus must simply be called
a descriptive genitive.Wallace also listed the following as examples of descriptive
genitives: Mat. 24:37; II Cor. 11:14; Eph. 2:2; Heb. 12:15 and possibly Heb. 1:9.
b. Possessive GenitivesTo an English-speaking student, this is likely the most familiar
function of a genitive, since our English "possessive" case corresponds directly to the
genitive case. However, the Greek genitive case is really more about "generating" than
just possessing. Only in this category is the genitive a substantive indicating who or
what owns, possesses or holds decision-making authority (in the way that an owner
does) over the head noun. But Wallace warns that, "A genitive should not be labeled
possessive unless this is the narrowest sense it can have."So key words like "owned
by," "possessed by," or "belonging to" should be able to be inserted before the
translation of the genitive, and fit in well. Of course, these key words need not be used
in the actual translation. Most often one should use a possessive form with an
apostrophe ("God's people") or the preposition "of" ("the people of God"). But the key
words should make sense if they were to be used, and get across the main idea implied
by the genitive ("the people owned by God"). Otherwise, it is best to categorize a
genitive as something else.Also note, pronouns are the most frequently occurring
possessive genitives. One can almost assume a genitive pronoun is possessive
(although it is not always). This reveals the general nature of a possessive genitive.
Usually, it is a noun representing a person or living being. Then the head noun refers to
11

a thing, of the kind that can be possessed by that living being.Some have suggested
certain guidelines for categorizing genitives. But these are dangerous in that one tends
to follow these artificial rules instead of actually interpreting the meaning in context. We
must read the text in the same way as a first century reader who was a knowledgeable
member of the apostolic church. For example, they suggest that one should decide
for possession over source / origin whenever one is unsure. Or, when the head noun is
a verbal noun (i.e., any noun expressing the performance of an action), then the
category of subjective should be preferred over possessive. However, if one is unsure, it
is best to pray, think, study the context carefully, and possibly look in a reputable
commentary, before deciding upon which category the genitive fits into, and thus
determine its meaning. Meaning can never be adequately determined by "priorities"
based on statistics. Meaning is determined only by context and other factors correctly
handled through revelation from the living Author.It should also be mentioned that, even
when a genitive may be clearly defined as a possessive, it still might be better to
classify it (and thus interpret its meaning) as something else. In other words, while the
aspect of possession might be a part of the meaning, other implications of meaning may
need to be expressed more prominently. Wallace gave the following examples of
genitives -- all of which indicate possession, but all of which indicate a greater emphasis
on other meanings: "children of God" functions more as a genitive of relationshipthan
possession; "apostle of Jesus Christ" (with its verbal head noun, "apostle," indicating a
sending action) would be more of a subjective genitive, where Jesus is the "subject"
performing the action of sending; and "flesh of men" is more of an "attributive" genitive,
where a kind of flesh is being described.So, although the possessive genitive is
common, it is best to reserve it as a "second to last resort" in terms of selecting it as a
category. If the most relevant meaning of the genitive construction fits into some other
category, choose that other category. Wallace gave some examples of genitives which
indicate possession as the primary or dominant meaning. The head noun is highlighted
in green, and the possessive genitive is highlighted in bluish green.
καὶ ἰδοὺ εἷς τῶν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἀπέσπασεν τὴν μάχαιραν αὐτοῦ, καὶ
πατάξας τὸν δοῦλος τοῦ ἀρχιερέως ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον. τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς·
ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς. πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν
ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται. ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα Μου, καὶ
παραστήσει Μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων;

Translation: "Then behold, one out of those with Jesus, extending [his] hand,
drew his sword, and striking the slave of the high priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus said
to him, 'Return your sword into its place. For all those taking a sword, by a sword will
perish. Or do you suppose that I cannot call aside My Father, and He will now stand
aside more [than] twelve legions of angels for Me?'" (Mat. 26:51-53).

Comment: There are several genitives which could be called possessives in this
example. Now some may want to classify "his ear" as a partitive genitive instead, since
the head noun ("ear") indicates a "part of" the genitive ("his," i.e., the man). But, when
12

the head noun is a body part of the genitive ("man's foot," "dog's paw"), the genitive is
called a possessive. This is because a body part is truly "owned" or "possessed" by the
genitive person or sentient being. Only when the head noun is a "part of" a genitive
"thing" or "power" (organization, authority, etc.), is it called a partitive genitive, since the
head noun is not really "owned" or "possessed" by the genitive, just a part of it.

In this example, we see how a slave is owned by the high priest too, who was a very
wealthy man, in contrast to the ordinary priests. During this time in history (after 37 BC),
the high priest's family had received this office through political means and bribery,
being appointed by the king or ruler of the land. The office was passed on to family
members as well, who functioned as a sort of royal family. Their income was partly
derived from the temple treasury and other lucrative posts associated with the temple,
positions which were given mostly to family members. The high priests also owned
lands and villages, ships and trading businesses, controlled the sale of sacrificial
livestock, and even received income from violently pilfering hides of sacrifices, taking
bribes and extortion.

When the Messiah Jesus came, He set up a new order of priesthood, and even joined
all God's elect from the Gentiles to His church, to His true Israel. Yet Jesus did not call
His purified Messianic church of Israel to rise up and defend its inheritance of the
Abrahamic covenant (i.e., the one true church). The true church cannot be upheld or
defended by violence and physical means. For the true church is strictly chosen by God
alone, where each elect soul is taught individually by God through Jesus' Holy Spirit,
where all are joined together by the work of Jesus' Holy Spirit alone, and raised up into
various levels of activity and power by God's hand alone. All depends on God, not on
the hands of men. God alone is wise and God alone has power to do all that needs to
be done, by His prompting and compelling of each individual to do his or her small part.
So the true church never was an organizations of men, run by men according to man's
thoughts.

But it seems that Peter, the disciple who cut off the ear of the high priest's slave, did not
yet understand this. Apparently he thought that the time for physical battle had begun,
where the Messianic kingdom was prophesied to destroy the corrupt of the earth. He,
like most Jews, thought this would be done by the hands of God's servants, just as the
people of God conquered the land of Canaan during the times after Moses. Later, it was
revealed that Jesus would destroy the wicked at His second coming by His own power
alone. There would never be a truly "Christian" army appointed to do this work for God,
although Christian armies could defend against those who attacked the defenseless,
and Christian police could subdue criminals who violated laws protecting basic societal
order.
εἶτα λέγει τῷ Θωμᾷ· φέρε τὸν δάκτυλόν σου ὧδε καὶ ἴδε τὰς χεῖράς Μου, καὶ φέρε τὴν
χεῖρά σου καὶ βάλε εἰς τὴν πλευράν Μου, καὶ μὴ γίνου ἄπιστος ἀλλὰ πιστός. ἀπεκρίθη
Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν Αὐτῷ· ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου.
13

Translation: "Then He said to Thomas, 'Bring your finger here and behold My hands.
Also bring your hand and put [it] onto My side. Thus, do not be without faith, but [have]
faith.' Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:27-28).

Comment: There are several possessive genitives here, "your finger," "My hands,"
"your hand," and "My side." Then "my Lord" and "my God" are also possessive
genitives. These might be called genitives of subordination too, "Lord over me" and
"God over me." But in this context, Thomas is saying that he possesses the faith to trust
and put confidence in Jesus as his Lord and Master, and as his God who created him.
So this is similar to the argument above, regarding the difference between a partitive
and a possessive genitive. If the head noun is an authority or ruling figure, yet the
genitive is primarily emphasizing a personal ownership of belief, faith, trust and
confidence in the head noun, or a possession of a personal relationship with the
head noun -- especially if the head noun is Jesus our God, or God our Father -- then the
genitive is likely a possessive. It is not really a subordinate genitive, which emphasizes
a head noun's authority and power.
ἐδηλώθη γὰρ μοι περὶ ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοί μου, ὑπὸ τῶν Χλόης, ὅτι ἔριδες ἐν ὑμῖν εἰσιν. λέγω
δὲ τοῦτο ὅτι ἕκαστος ὑμῶν λέγει ἐγὼ μέν
εἰμι Παύλου, ἐγὼ δὲ Ἀπολλῶ, ἐγὼ δὲ Κηφᾶ, ἐγὼ δὲ Χριστοῦ. μεμέρισται ὁ Χριστός; μὴ
Παῦλος ἐσταυρώθη ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν; ἢ εἰς τὸ ὄνομα Παύλου ἐβαπτίσθητε;

Translation: "For it was made clear to me, concerning you, my brothers, by those [sent]
from Cloe, that there are quarrels among you. And I say this because each of you says
either I am of Paul, or I am of Apollos, or I am of Cephas [i.e., Peter, the apostle], or I
am of Christ. Has Christ been permanently divided? [It was] not Paul [who] was
crucified on your behalf [was it]? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?" (I Cor.
1:11-13).

Comment: Here each genitive modifies a pronoun ἐγώ ("I"), as a subject complement
after a linking verb. Still, each genitive indicates the "kind" of person represented by the
pronoun "I," and each functions much like an adjective after a linking verb. Of course,
none is emphasizing that Paul, Apollos, Peter or even Christ "owns" the person who is
the hypothetical antecedent of the pronoun. Rather, each name represents a divisive
sect. So the clauses here mean, "I belong to the sect of Paul," "I belong to the sect of
Apollos," and so on. Or it can be put another way, "The sect of Paul owns my
allegiance," and the like. When someone follows a sect, that sect "owns" or "possesses"
their thoughts and their allegiance. Therefore, these can be called possessive genitives.

But Paul, Apollos, Peter and especially Jesus never ever came to create new sects for
themselves. All came to build up an existing church of God's elect. The works of all
God's true servants are all about God and His people. Jesus and His servants served
God's people for their spiritual salvation into life, and even served for their physical well-
14

being too. When God's people develop an actual ability to see the reality of God and His
creation, they can build a relationship of truth with God, and with each other, in abiding
freedom with joy. This is saving lives. The works of God's true servants are not about
themselves, not about developing hierarchical systems of men, and physical systems of
power. The people in man-made religious sects are fooled into thinking that, if only they
work the man-made system right, they will be saved. Then their dependence on the sect
almost turns them into slaves owned by the sect, and owned by the leaders of the sect.

That is the point of this rebuke. Yes, all true Christians should have only one Owner and
Master, Jesus the Christ, and not a man, nor an organization of men. But Jesus Himself
came to serve and save His people, not to be served by His people. Jesus also came to
open eyes to reality, more and more each day, to give His people the ability to face the
real truth about themselves and others, about all existence around them. He came to
teach principles of reality, for living a real and joyful life. And the further one advances
as a disciple of Christ, the more one learns to serve, yet while losing the worldly respect
of one man over another. Yes, we all, as one mind, learn to respect, cherish and guard
His words and opinions, above our own, and above those of any other man. Still, we
agree in harmony because the truth is one effective truth, and always consistent. So our
unity is not from brainwashing, but by all arriving at a common consensus concerning
the facts.

Some sects might even call their people "disciples." Yet they really do not teach truth or
wisdom which can free anyone before God. All they do is bind people to delusions and
lies, teaching only what is good for the sect itself, because they want unthinking slaves.
But our Lord Jesus rose from the dead and lives, and is able to personally speak to
each of our hearts. So we learn to trust Him as the One who is infinitely wiser than
anyone else, as the One looking out for our good. Thus, our following is nothing like the
mindless following of sect members to a sect leader, whose trust is in a man or an
organization of men. Rather, we put our faith directly in our Lord Jesus, as disciples of a
living Teacher.

Furthermore, we seek full and useful understanding, not just fleshy commands, orders
from men, or academic dogma which tell us what to say and do. We do not memorize
and follow words through our intellect alone, like dumb beasts led to their slaughter
along a fenced-in path to death. We do not live by creeds and memorized facts, and we
do not just parrot Scriptures to "prove" what we are told is true. Instead, we learn
principles of truth, and see how they work effectively to produce real results, in wisdom
straight from our Lord and Teacher, who counsels our spirits directly. Although Jesus
may call some of His servants to speak words for Him (as church elders and teachers),
His Spirit alone can make His words come alive, to live within us. Now we walk by faith,
trust and confidence in a Lord, and in facts of truth which Jesus teaches our hearts.
πίστει Μωϋσῆς μέγας γενόμενος ἠρνήσατο λέγεσθαι υἱὸς θυγατρὸς φαραώ, μᾶλλον
ἑλόμενος συγκακουχεῖσθαι τῷ λαῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἢ πρόσκαιρον ἔχειν ἁμαρτίας ἀπόλαυσιν,
15

μείζονα πλοῦτον ἡγησάμενος τῶν Αἰγύπτου θησαυρῶν τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
ἀπέβλεπεν γὰρ εἰς τὴν μισθαποδοσίαν. πίστει κατέλιπεν Αἴγυπτον, μὴ φοβηθεὶς τὸν
θυμὸν τοῦ βασιλέως. τὸν γὰρ ἀόρατον ὡς ὁρῶν ἐκαρτέρησεν.

Translation: "By faith Moses, having had become great, refused to be called a son of
the daughter of a pharaoh, choosing [and taking up] to continuously suffer evil treatment
together with the people of God, rather than to have a benefit from sin for a set time,
having considered the reproach of Christ [to be] greater riches than Egypt's treasures.
For he was repeatedly looking away from [them] unto the wages to be given from [God].
By faith he altogether abandoned Egypt, not having feared the anger of the king. For, as
one seeing the Invisible One, he steadfastly held to the course" (Heb. 11:24-27).

Comment: This again is a possessive genitive. Here the inference is an emphasis on a


people "owned" by God. As His "possession," God does not allow even one of His true
people to be stolen from Him, not even by a king or daughter of a king. Nor does God
allow any to run too far away, so they become forever lost from Him, or from His true
flock. Jesus is the good, right, and "high quality" Shepherd (ὁ Ποιμὴν ὁ καλὸς), who
does not permit any of His people to stray to the point where they will be permanently
lost. A bad shepherd might do that, but not a Good Shepherd, who sees all things and
who has all power to effect all things. Yes, the temptation of an easy and opulent
lifestyle may be alluring, and even God's elect have a selfish and self-centered body
and brain of flesh which desires such things. But the Holy Spirit of God our Father and
Jesus continuously pulls at the spirits of His people, drawing them away from sinful self-
indulgence. Then He leads His true people into a joyful and satisfying service for Him
and His people, to identify with God's people because they identify with God, as His
children of His family.As examples, Wallace also listed Mark 12:17; John 18:15; Acts
17:5; 21:8; James 3:3 and Rev. 13:17.
c. Genitives of RelationshipThis genitive "indicates a familial relationship, typically the
progenitor of the person named by the head noun" (Wallace). In the GNT, the head
noun usually refers to a child, and a parent is indicated by the genitive. But the
opposite can also be true. Sometimes the head noun can refer to a parent of a child
indicated by the genitive. So the genitive indicates (1) a family member in general,
and (2) the exact relationship must be understood from context alone. Also, both the
head noun and the genitive normally will be proper names.This resembles a genitive of
source or origin, and may almost be classified as such, although it is somewhat like a
possessive genitive too. It really means "[a child] from [a parent]" or "[a parent] whose
child from him or her is [a name]." So it is about descendants from a source, from a
parent or ancestor. So even if head noun is not provided immediately in front of a
genitive, the genitive usually refers to a parent / ancestor, from whom someone in
context came. Or, at times, if no head noun is immediately in front of the genitive, it can
refer to a descendant from a progenitor mentioned in context (e.g., Ἰακώβου καὶ
Σαλώμη in Mark 16:1).A genitive of relationship is rare. But where it is found, the
meaning is usually obvious. So there is not normally a problem in identifying it. Wallace
16

gave the following examples where the head noun is highlighted in green and the
genitive of relationship is highlighted in bluish green.λέγει αὐτῷ πάλιν
δεύτερον· Σίμων Ἰωάννου, ἀγαπᾷς Με;

Translation: "He said to him again, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" (John
21:15).

Comment: Here the name of the son is the head noun. Then the name of the parent is
the genitive, indicating the relationship. By the way, all three times that Jesus asked
Simon Peter if he loved Him, Jesus used the phrase Σίμων Ἰωάννου ("Simon, son of
John"). Actually, Jonathan means "God has given," and it seems Jesus was indicating
either, "you were born and given by God to your parents for a purpose to fulfill on this
earth, for a destiny," or, "you have a relationship with your father John which negatively
affects the way you serve Me." Of course, we cannot know exactly why Jesus kept
repeating this phrase, "Simon, son of John," because only Jesus and Simon Peter
would know for sure. But it was deliberately written into the text, and is therefore
significant, meant for us to think about. Also, we know with certainty that Jesus did not
need to say this phrase even once, much less all three times. Jesus was speaking
privately with Peter, yet did not use the name "Peter," which He Himself gave to him.
Instead, Jesus chose to use Peter's name given to him by his human father, and always
along with his father's name. So we are supposed to notice this oddity and ponder it.
But why? The implications are so ambiguous that we cannot assume exactly what
Jesus was inferring. Yet the repetition of the phrase is clearly trying to tell us something.
Perhaps it is vague for a reason, because Jesus wanted us to contemplate all the many
possible inferences related to it.καὶ προβὰς ἐκεῖθεν εἶδεν ἄλλους δύο
ἀδελφούς, Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ
μετὰ Ζεβεδαίου τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν καταρτίζοντας τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν. καὶ ἐκάλεσεν αὐτούς.
οἱ δὲ εὐθέως ἀφέντες τὸ πλοῖον καὶ τὸν πατέρα αὐτῶν ἠκολούθησαν Αὐτῷ.

Translation: "Then going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of
Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets.
So He called them. Thus, immediately leaving behind the boat and their father, they
followed Him [as disciples]" (Mat. 4:21-22).

Comment: Here the genitive of relationship is again the parent, as is usual. Remember,
a genitive implies "from" an origin or source, so it usually represents a parent. Note here
that the father was with James and John when Jesus called them, and John was likely a
boy, perhaps as young as twelve, since he leaned against Jesus like a boy would, even
a few years later. Also note that the father must have approved, since he was with them
and they would not have gone unless he did approve. So here are brothers of a
believing father. And they too were fishermen. In those days, even the rabbis learned a
trade, and devout Jews considered working with the hands to be honorable before God.
When they were deep into their studies, they naturally could not devote as much time to
17

physical labour. Yet they never developed the pagan attitude that physical labour was
only for a lower class. Even a Jewish a scholar or king would get his hands dirty in work
or warfare.τότε προσῆλθεν Αὐτῷ ἡ μήτηρ τῶν υἱῶν Ζεβεδαίου μετὰ τῶν υἱῶν αὐτῆς
προσκυνοῦσα καὶ αἰτοῦσά τι ἀπ᾽ Αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· τί θέλεις; λέγει Αὐτῷ· εἰπὲ ἵνα
καθίσωσιν οὗτοι οἱ δύο υἱοί μου εἷς ἐκ δεξιῶν καὶ εἷς ἐξ εὐωνύμων Σου ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ
Σου. ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· οὐκ οἴδατε τί αἰτεῖσθε....

Translation: "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons,
falling down in worship to request something from Him. So He said to her, 'What [is it]
you want?' She said to Him, 'Say that these two sons of mine may sit with You in Your
kingdom, one on the right and one on the left.' But answering, Jesus said, 'You do not
know what you ask....'" (Mat. 20:20-22).

Comment: Here there are two genitives following the head noun. The first genitive, τῶν
υἱῶν ("of the sons"), indicates the children of the head noun (nominative ἡ μήτηρ,
"mother"), which is a little unusual. But following this genitive is another
genitive, ζεβεδαίου ("of Zebedee"), which indicates the parent (i.e., father) of the
previous genitive head noun, which is a more normal use of a genitive of relationship.
So the head noun can be another genitive, even if the other genitive head noun is itself
a genitive of relationship.

Human beings are pathetic, and this is almost a comedic moment, revealing the
lowliness and clouded thinking of human nature. Parents often live through their sons,
seeking to make them "great," so they can participate in the sphere of their sons'
greatness. Even a mother who loves her sons might also cling to some level of selfish
ambition worked through her sons, reasoning that she wants only what is best for them.
Now a good mother sacrifices, watches, corrects, nurtures and trains her sons in the
best way she knows how, very often in much love. Yet women tend to do much of this
with an eye to things of man, willingly compromising and complying with the systems of
men. But these things of man are not always so real, nor so good, even though every
woman needs to work within some form of a man-made system, in order to do her kind
of work for God.

So this woman's husband just recently allowed her two sons to leave home as disciples
of Jesus. One was James, likely a young man in his teens or early twenties, and the
other was John, likely a boy, possibly as young as twelve. Thus she was probably partly
heart-broken, but also very proud of her sons. This was obviously a Jewish family which
believed in Jesus as the Messiah. Now, in her love for her sons, the mother wanted to
ensure that her sons would be treated well by the Rabbi and Messiah Jesus. But she
clearly thought the Messiah would set up a kingdom much like those she knew and saw
in this world, with a great king sitting on a throne and consulting advisers on either side
of him. So she wanted to ensure that the Rabbi and Messiah would promise not to
neglect the proper and full education of her sons, so they would become respected and
18

powerful rabbis, and thus have a good career as authorities working for the big king.

Then Jesus sobered up the delusion of this very human mother, by exposing the reality
of the situation. The true Messianic kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), but is a
spiritual kingdom. His kingdom is inside us (Luke 17:21), part of the spiritual heaven
which is always near our spirits, not far away, although it is invisible to our eyes of flesh.
There is no earthly power and wealth, with worldly administrators bearing great power
over men. Nor is there the consulting of advisers, because God alone is wise. So her
sons could never become that, and Jesus could not grant her request, in the way she
asked. God has ears to hear every plea and every request for what is righteous and true
because, in the first place, He Himself puts in us both the will to ask and the desire to
ask what He wills. Yet God cannot grant a request like this, which is not according to
truth.

So we are encouraged to supplicate and beg God for all kinds of things, in prayer. But
the purpose of this is to build a relationship with God, and to learn that His will is always
best. Still, in the end, all matters of the spirit follow destinies ordained from the
beginning by the Father, and are only secondary results of the decisions by men, whose
hearts are turned by the spirit who owns them (either the Spirit of Jesus, or the spirit of
the air). And Jesus is One with the Father, without a shadow of difference in purpose or
will. Even Jesus our God had a cup to drink, a predestined suffering and death to bear.
So did His disciples. Then, after that, there is granted a spiritual "right" hand of
fellowship for all God's elect children. But a "left" hand of rejection is reserved for all His
enemies. Furthermore, Jesus said both these places, both the right and the left, are "for
whom it has already been prepared by My Father [and now remains in waiting]"
(20:24).... λέγων τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὅτι δεῖ παραδοθῆναι εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων
ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ σταυρωθῆναι καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἀναστῆναι. καὶ ἐμνήσθησαν τῶν
ῥημάτων Αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὑποστρέψασαι ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου ἀπήγγειλαν ταῦτα πάντα τοῖς
ἕνδεκα καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς λοιποῖς. ἦσαν δὲ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ Μαρία καὶ Ἰωάννα καὶ Μαρία ἡ
Ἰακώβου καὶ αἱ λοιπαι σὺν αὐταῖς. ἔλεγον πρὸς τοὺς ἀποστόλους ταῦτα καὶ ἐφάνησαν
ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν ὡσεὶ λῆρος τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα, καὶ ἠπίστουν αὐταῖς.

Translation: "... saying that, 'It is necessary for the Son of Man to be delivered into
hands of sinful men and to be crucified, then to rise again on the third day.' So they
remembered His spoken words. Thus, returning from the tomb, they reported all these
things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now they were Mary Magdaline and Joanna
and Mary the [mother] of James, and the remainder [of women] with them. They told
these things to the apostles, yet these uttered words appeared to them as if [to be]
nonsense, so they did not even attempt to [hear and] believe the women" (Luke 24:7-
11).

Comment: Here the genitive must be interpreted by context alone. Now we know that
James was one of the apostles, and it is not really possible to think that he was the
19

father of Mary. So we cannot translate this as "Mary, the daughter of James." We have
to assume, through context alone, that this refers to "Mary, the mother of James."

Notice also that ἠπίστουν is the imperfect form of ἀπιστέω ("disbelieve"). The durative
imperfect form would mean "continuously disbelieving" or "without even making an
attempt to believe." It is not like an aorist would have been, which would simply mean
they did not believe at that time. Also note whom they did not even try to believe. The
ones telling the men these things were all women. Women tend to comply more readily
to whatever system and situation they find themselves in, because God made them to
be more flexible and compromising than men. If a societal system is superstitious,
women tend to be superstitious too. They have a strong inclination to think according to
the patterns and belief systems of their husbands, familiar society, and closest
associations. This kind of flexibility and compliance sometimes makes men distrust what
women say.

However, men tend to "write off" women far too quickly. Yes, women definitely do think
differently, because God made women think differently for a good reason and purpose.
They work in the things of mankind, details of life in family and society. Men tend to
specialize in areas, thus, if taught, can become more solidly grounded in fundamental
principles with a more logical flow of perception and ideas. So men tend to design and
build systems, while women manipulate and work systems. Thus, when one combines
pairs of average men and average women, the result is a much higher intelligence (in
the full array of verbal and performance abilities) than is usually possible with pairs of
the same sex. And more importantly, a godly man must never underestimate
the spirit of a godly woman. Two godly spirits working with their bodies in submission to
Christ, with a humble man serving as the head like a truly devoted priest under Christ
(for God's will, not his own), can do very much indeed. So, if godly men are faithful and
confident in the things they do best, and make humble decisions, while also listening
seriously to the details and ideas put forth by godly women who are faithful and
confident in what they do best, the result is absolutely profound under God. God made
families, and churches or societies modeled after families, to function in this way.
Churches and societies must not become dictatorships run by men who belittle and
dismiss the input of women.

Of course, this biblically supported concept flies in the face of the relatively modern
extreme of humanistic feminism (which is not really so modern, and can be found in
ancient Greece and Rome, even in the writings of Plato). But this biblical concept of the
spiritual equality of women, yet the service of women in traditional roles which carry no
authority over men, also dramatically opposes the traditional humanistic Roman system.
In the pagan Roman system, men exert despotic authority in the home and society,
where they are served by inferior women and slaves. Yet the church has traditionally
supported this false Roman system throughout its history, by distorting the Scriptures
about the submission of women. Women comply to the systems of men quite naturally,
20

if those systems are godly, and if the men function as true priests who serve their wives
and children and people humbly, for their good and for the purposes of God. But when
men demand to be served and insist on their own personal will to be done, then there is
harm and natural rebellion. Also, just as a godly man must serve the King Jesus and
resist the devil, even though God allows the devil to rule men as prince of this world, so
too must a woman serve God rather than her husband if her husband is clearly evil.
d. Partitive GenitivesAgain, a genitive can often indicate "from" a source, or an origin.
And a partitive genitive indicates the "whole thing" or source from which the head
noun is a part. So, after the head noun, you can often add key words like, "which is a
part of," then the genitive. Of course, these key words must be adjusted for singular and
plural forms, or for nouns representing people or things. For example, if the head noun
is "poor" and the genitive is "saints," you can interpret it as "the poor of the saints" or
"the poor who are among the saints."Naturally, as Wallace explains, "This is a
phenomenological use of the genitive that requires the head noun to have a lexical
nuance indicating portion." That is, the phrase with the genitive must have a head noun
which can and does indicate something or someone which can be a part of the whole
expressed by the genitive. So the head noun can be a class or subcategory within the
genitive, like the "poor" among the whole general category of "saints." Or the head noun
can be a number (e.g., "one," "some") or a fraction (e.g., "half," "tenth"). And it can be a
piece or part of a whole entity (e.g., "branch" of a vine, "first fruit" of an entire harvest),
or any part of a whole.Wallace also related this kind of genitive to one kind of
possessive genitive above, the "possessive genitive with anatomy," as in "the ear of his"
or "his ear." Remember, it is generally considered that a body part is truly "owned" or
"possessed" by the genitive person or sentient being. So it is more than just a "part" of a
"whole." But when the head noun is a "part of" a genitive "whole thing" or "power"
(organization, authority, etc.), is it called a partitive genitive, since the head noun is not
really "owned" or "possessed" by the genitive.In addition to this, Wallace adds that, "the
partitive genitive is semantically the opposite of the genitive of apposition." A genitive of
apposition can sometimes be an example of a general category indicated by the head
noun, as in "the city of Tyre." In the class of all things called "cities," is one called Tyre.
The genitive is something within the general class or category of the head noun. So the
partitive genitive means almost the opposite of a partitive genitive. This illustrates how a
genitive must be understood in context. Although the structure of most genitive phrases
are the same (N + Ng), their meanings can be very different or opposite.Quite often a
genitive following one of the following head nouns will be a partitive genitive: (1) a form
of the indefinite pronoun τις ("a certain one of [genitive]," Mark 14:47; Luke 9:8; James
1:18); (2) a form of the adjective ἕκαστος used substantively ("each of [genitive]," Heb.
11:21; Rev. 21:21); or (3) a form of the number εἷς ("one of [genitive]," Mat. 5:19; Mark
5:22; Luke 5:3,12,17). Also, at times, the head noun might not even be found with the
partitive genitive, but context will indicate what it is. Also, Wallace says that the
preposition ἐκ + genitive may have a "partitive force to it" (e.g., Mat. 27:48; John 11:49;
16:17).Even though partitive genitives were being replaced in koine Greek by a
construction with a noun + ἐκ + genitive, they are still quite common in the GNT, and
21

easily identified. Wallace gave the following examples where the head noun is
highlighted in green and the partitive genitive is highlighted in bluish green.καὶ ὡς ἦλθεν
ἐπὶ τὸν τόπον, ἀναβλέψας ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν· Ζακχαῖε, σπεύσας κατάβηθι.
σήμερον γὰρ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ σου δεῖ Με μεῖναι. καὶ σπεύσας κατέβη, καὶ ὑπεδέξατο Αὐτὸν
χαίρων. καὶ ἰδόντες πάντες διεγόγγυζον λέγοντες ὅτι παρὰ ἁμαρτωλῷ ἀνδρὶ εἰσῆλθεν
καταλῦσαι. σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον· ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίση μου τῶν
ὑπαρχόντων, Κύριε, τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι, καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα, ἀποδίδωμι
τετραπλοῦν. εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι σήμερον σωτηρία τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ
ἐγένετο, καθότι καὶ αὐτὸς υἱὸς Ἀβραάμ ἐστιν. ἦλθεν γὰρ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ζητῆσαι
καὶ σῶσαι τὸ ἀπολωλός.

Translation: "And as Jesus came upon the place, looking up, He said to him,
'Zacchaeus, come down quickly. For today it is necessary for Me to remain in your
house.' Then, making haste, he came down and welcomed Him rejoicing. And seeing
[this], all murmured saying that He went in to lodge beside a sinful man. But standing
[there], Zacchaeus said to the Lord, 'Behold, the half of my possessions, Lord, I [now]
give to the poor, and if I accused anyone falsely of anything, I [now] pay back fourfold.'
So Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this household, because even he is
a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost'" (Luke
19:5-10).

Comment: Here we see a fraction, the neuter accusative plural of ἥμισυς ("half"). The
plural head noun is used with the plural genitive, unlike English, where we use a
singular "half" with a plural. This head noun is modified by the genitive plural τῶν
ὑπαρχόντων ("of the possessions"). And the genitive pronoun, μου, indicates that he
means his own possessions, of course. A fraction, like this, is often followed by a
partitive genitive.

Remember, Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector living in Jericho, a Jew who was rightly
called a sinner because he took up Roman ways, not just because he collected taxes
for Rome. These tax collectors were almost never nice men, like some are today. Back
then, a tax collector could basically take whatever he wanted, as long as he did not
cause too much trouble. And he had Roman soldiers to back up any demands he made
on anyone. So they frequently engaged in extortion, or taking needed money and
supplies from the poor by force. Thus, they usually became quite rich, but were
intensely hated by the Jews, and thought to be damned to hell. Zacchaeus was one of
these rich tax collectors.

But Zacchaeus clearly had grown weary of his money, and longed for life and God. So
he intensely desired to see what the Messiah looked like. Obviously, he believed Jesus
was the real Messiah. Otherwise, he would not have gone to all the trouble of running
ahead of the crowd, then indignantly climbing up a sycamore tree to get a mere sight of
Jesus passing by (i.e., he was short and could not peer over the crowd). For a rich man,
22

who had adopted the Roman class system, to run and climb a tree, was a total
abandonment of all Roman-style self-dignity and "being," a complete abandoning of
self, in desparation, for something needed at all cost. Obviously, this was a man who
deeply hated his own life, and was absolutely desperate to find God's forgiveness, with
a new life in Christ.εἰ δέ τινες τῶν κλάδων ἐξεκλάσθησαν, σὺ δὲ ἀγριέλαιος ὢν
ἐνεκεντρίσθης ἐν αὐτοῖς καὶ συγκοινωνὸς τῆς ῥίζης τῆς πιότητος τῆς ἐλαίας ἐγένου, μὴ
κατακαυχῶ τῶν κλάδων. εἰ δὲ κατακαυχᾶσαι, οὐ σὺ τὴν ῥίζαν βαστάζεις ἀλλὰ ἡ ῥίζα σέ.
ἐρεῖς οὖν· ἐξεκλάσθησαν κλάδοι ἵνα ἐγὼ ἐγκεντρισθῶ. καλῶς· τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ ἐξεκλάσθησαν,
σὺ δὲ τῇ πίστει ἕστηκας. μὴ ὑψηλὰ φρόνει, ἀλλὰ φοβοῦ· εἰ γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς τῶν κατὰ φύσιν
κλάδων οὐκ ἐφείσατο, οὐδὲ σοῦ φείσεται.

Translation: "But if some of the branches were broken off, yet you [Note the singular
"you" employed throughout this text, indicating each individual Gentile's responsibility
for his or her thoughts and actions concerning this matter], being a wild olive, were
grafted in among them, and became one sharing in common together with [them] of the
olive tree's oil from its root, do not boast against the branches. So if you boast against
[them], it is not you who supports the root, but the root [who supports] you. Therefore
you will say, 'Branches were broken off in order that I might be grafted in.' Just so. They
were broken off for unbelief, but you stand in faith. Do not think high things [of yourself],
but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you" (Rom.
11:17-21).

Comment: When the head noun is a form of the indefinite pronoun, and it is followed by
a genitive, the genitive is often a partitive genitive. Here it indicates "some" of all the
branches on an olive tree. The olive tree is a metaphor of the church, which is Israel.
And the root is God, that is, the Messiah Jesus, our God. Some of the branches κατὰ
φύσιν("according to nature," i.e., those who are physically descended from Abraham)
were broken off, but not all. Nor was the tree replaced by a new tree. Then "wild olive"
branches, that is, Gentiles, were grafted into the church, into Israel. And these Gentiles
were grafted in, ἐν αὐτοῖς ("in them" or "among them," i.e., among the Israelites).

It is important to recognize this fact, because many do not believe God's Word of truth,
but instead believe the lie that Jesus created a new Gentile church to replace Israel. If
they do not repent, they can and will be removed from the church. Those who reject
God's people of Israel, also reject God's creation of His church through Abraham (Gen.
17:4-8), and reject God Himself, then attempt to create their own new and man-made
church, apart from God. Jesus did not come to create a new church. Rather, Jesus
came to an already existing church of God's people. He also came to add to that
church, just as He has added to Israel, from the Gentiles, since the time of Abraham,
even in the time of Moses. Jesus did not come to destroy a church of Israel, which
depended entirely upon Him to fulfill the unconditional Abrahamic covenant with them.
To say God rejected the church of Israel, and to say God created a new people of God
(i.e., a new church), is to say God Himself, and God alone, failed. Those who believe in
23

"replacement theology" are not really just saying that Israel failed, but are actually
saying that God Himself failed. They, in reality, deny the very power and faithfulness of
God, and actually declare God to be weak and faithless. If they claim to be members of
the church of Jesus (who is the Jewish King and Messiah), yet also claim that their own
"Christian" church began at the Pentecost (or after the time Jesus came to dwell with
men on the earth), they slander and deny Christ at the same time. So these are wild
olive branches that never were truly grafted in, or that were only grafted in temporarily,
only in order to be broken off again.ηὐδόκησαν γὰρ Μακεδονία καὶ Ἀχαΐα κοινωνίαν τινὰ
ποιήσασθαι εἰς τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῶν ἁγίων τῶν ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ. ηὐδόκησαν γάρ, καὶ
ὀφειλέται εἰσὶν αὐτῶν. εἰ γὰρ τοῖς πνευματικοῖς αὐτῶν ἐκοινώνησαν τὰ ἔθνη, ὀφείλουσιν
καὶ ἐν τοῖς σαρκικοῖς λειτουργῆσαι αὐτοῖς.

Translation: "For Macedonia and Achaia thought it good to have done some sharing in
common with the needy among the saints, of those in Jerusalem. For they thought it
good, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have shared in common with their
spiritual things, they are obligated also to serve them [at their own expense] in the
things of the flesh" (Rom. 15:26-27).

Comment: Here there is one subcategory, "the needy" or "the poor," which is part of a
larger category or class, "of the saints" or "who are among the saints." Then these
saints are further specified as "the ones of" (τῶν) the saints "in Jerusalem" (gen. of
apposition). This is about the Gentiles not only sharing in common with the needy in
their own church and city, but also giving to the needy Jewish saints, whose central
point of distribution is Jerusalem. It is surely more blessed to give than to receive, if it is
wise and according to the Lord's will, from a calling upon the spirit. Here Paul indicates
the Gentile's debt to the Jews, "of whom is the adoption and the glory, and the
covenants and the giving of the law, and the service and the promises, of whom are the
fathers, and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh, the One who is God over
all, blessed unto the ages, amen" (Rom. 9:4-5). God began His work for man on earth
with Adam and Eve, but then formed a sanctified people, separated unto Himself. He
created this people through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). It is important for us to
recognize this fact, because it affects the way we perceive ourselves as the people of
God, as the true church. And that, in turn, affects the way we conduct ourselves as a
people, the way we meet and build social networks in the church, and so on. It affects
what and how we serve "in the things of the flesh," because we have "shared in
common with their spiritual things."καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐγένετο σεισμὸς μέγας, καὶ τὸ
δέκατον τῆς πόλεως ἔπεσεν, καὶ ἀπεκτάνθησαν ἐν τῷ σεισμῷ ὀνόματα ἀνθρώπων
χιλιάδες ἑπτά, καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ ἔμφοβοι ἐγένοντο καὶ ἔδωκαν δόξαν τῷ Θεῷ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.

Translation: "And in that hour a great earthquake occurred, so the tenth of the city fell,
and the names of seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake. Then the
remainder were in fear and gave glory to the God of heaven" (Rev. 11:13).
24

Comment: Here again is a number, a fraction, followed by a genitive noun, a partitive


genitive. This earthquake will happen in Jerusalem after the last three and a half years
(42 months) of the beast's rule on earth. In the middle of his seven-year rule, the beast
will take over Jerusalem, set up the "abomination of desolation" in the third (future)
Jewish temple, and cause the Gentiles to "trample" the city. But God will distract the
beast with attacks from the east during this time, so he will not be able to exert complete
control over the region of Israel. God also will send two prophets to preach in Jerusalem
for the three and a half years. Finally, the beast will get around to killing the two
prophets from God, and the world will rejoice because they will think it is the end of
God's words and God's punishments worked through the two prophets. Also, the beast
will leave their bodies lying in the street, presumably to gloat upon his supposed victory
over God. But, after three and a half days, God will raise their bodies from the dead, in
the sight of their enemies, and call them into heaven. In that very hour, this great
earthquake will occur.πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον ἄνωθέν ἐστιν
καταβαῖνον ἀπὸ τοῦ Πατρὸς τῶν φώτων, παρ᾽ ᾧ οὐκ ἔνι παραλλαγὴ ἢ τροπῆς
ἀποσκίασμα. βουληθεὶς ἀπεκύησεν ἡμᾶς λόγῳ ἀληθείας, εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἀπαρχήν
τινα τῶν Αὐτοῦ κτισμάτων.

Translation: "Every [action of] good giving and every completed free gift from above is
continuously descending from the Father of lights, with whom does not exist variation or
a shadow of turning. Having decided, He gave birth to us by a word of truth, in order for
us to be a type of firstfruit among His creations" (James 1:17-18).

Comment: The head noun here is modified by the indefinite pronoun τινα, used as an
adjective "to moderate an expression that is too definite" (BDAG3). That is, it indicates a
"kind" or "type." Then the partitive genitive is itself modified by another genitive, the
genitive personal pronoun Αὐτοῦ ("His"). The context speaks about both trials and
temptations. Trials are tests of a sort, which purify us. The Jews commonly taught that
suffering and trials "cleanse" or "purify" us from sin, like metal is refined and made more
pure by fire, by being melted in great heat. And this spiritual cleansing, which turns the
spirit towards God and kills unholy desires of the brain and body of flesh, is from God.
But temptation to sin, which is another kind of "testing," is never from God. God allows
Satan to rule as the prince of the physical world for a time, for a greater good to be
worked in the end (i.e., to develop a greater love of God and desire for His holiness in
the hearts of His own people). However, God Himself never directly tempts anyone to
sin.

After teaching these things, James concludes by telling us not to be deceived (v. 16),
that is, by the temptations of the devil. Then he assures us with this comment about
what does come from God our Father. Our Father is constantly sending us spiritual gifts
from heaven, which is a spiritual place, with spiritual realities or "truths" that we call
"lights." And we can rely on these things of God to be always good, never evil or
deceiving, because God remains totally unchanging. Thus, His original counsel or
25

decision to give us birth shall stand forever. Since God will never change His mind
about giving birth to us, there is not anyone or anything, even ourselves, which can alter
His decision. This also means that His truth, by which we were born, cannot change
either.ἑνὶ δὲ ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. διὸ
λέγει· ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν, ἔδωκεν δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. τὸ
δὲ ἀνέβη τί ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς; ὁ καταβὰς Αὐτός
ἐστιν καὶ ὁ ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν, ἵνα πληρώσῃ τὰ πάντα.
Translation: "So to each one of us was given grace, according to the measure of the
gift of Christ. On account of which He says: 'Having ascended into the height, He led
captive captivity, He gave gifts to people.' Now what is the [expression] 'He ascended' if
not that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth? The One descending
Himself is also the One ascending far above all the heavens, in order that He might
fulfill all things" (Eph. 4:7-10).

Comment: Wallace calls this a "debated example" because only some believe this is a
partitive genitive. Some who believe it is a partitive genitive say the head noun ("lower
parts" or "lower regions") is a part of the "earth" in a way which refers to the burial of
Jesus below the earth, or even to the descent of Jesus into hell during the time He
remained dead in the body. However, we must realize that the whole "earth" includes
the upper regions (i.e., the first "heaven," the sky where the birds fly and clouds float),
and the lower regions, the land upon which men walk. Thus, this expression can be a
partitive genitive and still refer to the incarnation of Jesus as a man who walked among
us on the earth. But Wallace believes this is more likely a genitive of apposition. That is,
he believes it most likely means, "He descended into the lower parts [of the universe],
that is, the earth." There is not really a need for this, however. But he is right about one
thing. In context, it is clear that this text refers to the incarnation of Christ, not to His
descent into hell for a time. For one thing, hell is not ever referred to as a lower part of
the earth, but as being separate from the earth, as a spiritual place figuratively below or
underneath the earth. Besides, Jesus ascended from the earth, and it is speaking about
Him descending first to the place from which He ascended. So He descended from
heaven to earth. Also, it is speaking of His gifts to people living on the earth (gifts
making apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor-teachers, and people for all works of
ministry).Wallace also gave the following list of examples of partitive genitives: Mat.
21:11; Mark 2:16; Luke 4:29; 8:44; 16:24; 18:11; John 2:1 and Jude 13.
e. Attributive GenitivesMore than genitives in any other category, attributive genitives
function like regular adjectives, and usually can be easily converted into adjectives or
adjectival participles. An attributive genitive indicates an attribute or "innate" quality
of its head noun, but often more emphatically than an adjective. Wallace says "it is
similar to a simple adjective in its semantic force, though more emphatic," and, "with
more sharpness and distinctness." If you can readily convert the genitive into an
adjective, so it means almost the same thing, it is likely an attributive genitive.Still, it is
often best to translate an attributive genitive into a prepositional phrase beginning with
"of." One reason for this is that, when the head noun is said to be "of" a certain attribute
26

or quality denoted by the genitive, it implies something similar to a partitive genitive --


that the head noun can be classified as a member or part of the genitive's category, as
one of a group of related things. So the genitive becomes a more emphatic attribute or
quality. Wallace gave the phrase "body of sin" as an example. Converting it to an
adjective, "sinful body," does not carry the same force as "body of sin." The adjective
implies that the body may be somewhat "sinful," but "sin" may be merely one of its many
attributes, some of which might be more pronounced than sinfulness. But "body of sin"
implies the body exists in the category of all things having sin as their most significant
identifying feature, as thee predominantly outstanding characteristic.This kind of
genitive might sometimes be difficult to classify, however. For instance, regarding the
above example ("body of sin," Rom. 6:6), in context it could also mean, "in order that the
body producing sin might be destroyed" (which would be a genitive of product). Or it
may be interpreted as "the body full of sin" (a genitive of content). Then a genitive of
material is also "technically a subset of the attributive genitive" (Wallace), which would
be translated as "the body made out of sin." But this last interpretation is not really
suitable in this context, so it is clearly better to interpret as an attributive genitive (or a
genitive of content or product).Wallace also points out that a head noun relates to the
genitive with either an active force or a passive force, as determined by context. An
interpretation with a passive force might be "the body made out of sin." Here the head
noun receives the action of being made from the building material called "sin." To
convert this into an adjective with a passive force (if you felt context implied that
meaning), it may be translated something like "a sin-caused defective body." To
interpret with an active force, it might be "the body producing sin," where the head noun
performs the action of producing the sin. Converted to an adjective with an active force,
it could be "a sinful body." Or a clearer active force may be expressed by a participle: "a
sinning body."The use of attributive genitives were very common in the GNT, much
more common than their use in classical Greek (mostly due to a more heavy use in the
Septuagint, and by Semitic people who spoke Greek as a second language). Wallace
gave the following examples where the head noun is highlighted in green and the
attributive genitive is highlighted in bluish green.εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος· ἀκούσατε τί ὁ
κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας λέγει. ὁ δὲ Θεὸς οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν Αὐτοῦ τῶν
βοώντων Αὐτῷ ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός, καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῖς; λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ποιήσει τὴν
ἐκδίκησιν αὐτῶν ἐν τάχει. πλὴν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐλθὼν ἆρα εὑρήσει τὴν πίστιν ἐπὶ
τῆς γῆς;

Translation: "So the Lord said, 'Hear what the unjust judge said. Thus, certainly shall
God not produce the vindication of His elect, of those crying out to Him day and night,
and hold back from casting anger upon them? I say to you that He will produce their
vindication in haste. However, in conclusion, when the Son of Man comes, will He find
faith upon the earth?'" (Luke 18:6-8).

Comment: Jesus spoke these words after telling His disciple the parable of the unjust
judge, in order to teach them "it is necessary for them to always pray and not to be
27

discouraged" (v. 1). This judge was "not one fearing God and not having regard [for the
needs] of men" (v. 2). So he was an unjust judge. However, there came a woman
without a husband or father (χήρα does not always mean "widow," but refers to a
woman living alone, vulnerable, without a man as a protector). She pleaded with him,
asking him to vindicate her from one accusing her, likely from a lawsuit demanding
something from her. Yet the judge ignored her, for awhile. Still, the woman kept coming
and asking. So he finally said to himself, "indeed, because this woman, without a
husband, causes me trouble, I will vindicate her, lest [her] constant coming annoy me
unto the end" (v. 5).

In context, we cannot interpret ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας as "the judge of the unjust," which
makes it sound like he was a righteous judge, who judged against the unjust. Actually,
Jesus is portraying him as a judge producing or causing injustice or unrighteousness.
So the translation must get this idea across, and transforming the genitive into an
adjective is one of the best ways of doing so. Therefore, although this could be
categorized as a genitive of product or content and so on, it may be best to just call it an
attributive genitive -- since it works best as an adjective and indicates an attribute of the
judge.

Now this parable, and Jesus' explanation of the parable, call us to persistently and
repeatedly pray for just and right things, and not to give up in our desires and earnest
compulsion to see the completion of our prayers, even to work hard for what Jesus puts
in our hearts to pray for and desire. And note, even an unjust judge may hand out
justice, and vindicate the accused and harassed, or those facing unjust demands upon
them. Thus, certainly our holy and just God, who loves His elect, whom He chose from
the beginning, will also vindicate us in the end. And He will do so quickly. But consider
this. When God vindicates one person, shall He do so unjustly, by causing injustice to
others, through a hasty process of gratifying one person's demands? Surely not!

Sometimes correcting injustice is a straightforward matter, where the perpetrator is


clearly evil, so all that is required is a relatively simple blow from God against the unjust.
But that is actually very rare. In almost all circumstances, vindication requires much
wisdom to sort out complex interactions between various parties affected by the process
of bringing true justice. After all, God's justice is nothing like pagan or Roman so-called
"justice." God's justice is not a fool's arbitrary punishment for a crime. God's justice is
about righting wrongs, exposing lies by bringing out truth, correcting errors,
straightening the bent, reshaping the misshapened, repairing the broken, rebuilding was
was wrongfully torn down, building what men neglected to build, restoring the losses of
victims, rectifying wrongs, and finding solutions to problems caused by sin. So, when
Jesus says, "He will cause their vindication in haste," Jesus means that God will start
the process quickly, but not take hurtful or unwise shortcuts. The process needs to work
out many variables and factors, unlike the fool's justice we sometimes dream about.
28

Then one more thing must be seen here. After giving and explaining this parable, Jesus
demanded that we draw a conclusion related to the question: "when the Son of Man
comes, will He find faith upon the earth?" This construction demands that we come to a
"conclusion," since it uses the words πλήν and ἆρα (a stronger form of ἄρα, indicating a
strong demand for an appropriate conclusion to a remark, or a correct answer to a
question). Jesus' statement compels us to think carefully on this matter. Clearly, true
"faith" must always produce a constant and incessant flow of supplicatory prayers to
God, calling out for Him to vindicate, for Him to make things right. But, do all Christians
really want things to be made right? Or are many of them the very ones who make
many things wrong? Are many of them the ones whom God's true elect cry out against
both day and night? Are Christians the cause of much error, sin, oppression,
suppression and neglect? Do those who suffer injustice -- those who have both spiritual
and physical needs which are ignored by those who have the ability to truly and rightly
help them, and ignored by those whose sins of omission cause more suffering than their
many sins of commission -- do these suffering ones cry out against the selfish self-
indulgence and willful ignorance of so-called "Christians," against "Christians" who take
for themselves what God intended them to use for His purposes instead? Is this why
churches do not pray without ceasing, in pure faith of spirit and truth, for real
vindication? Will Jesus actually find real faith on earth, when He comes to strike dead
the unjust and wicked?εἰ γὰρ σύμφυτοι γεγόναμεν τῷ ὁμοιώματι τοῦ θανάτου Αὐτοῦ,
ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἐσόμεθα· τοῦτο γινώσκοντες, ὅτι ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος
συνεσταυρώθη, ἵνα καταργηθῇ τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, τοῦ μηκέτι δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς τῇ
ἁμαρτίᾳ. ὁ γὰρ ἀποθανὼν δεδικαίωται ἀπὸ τῆς ἀμαρτίας.

Translation: "For if we have become and remain those grown united with the likeness
of His death, rather [so] also we shall be of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old
man was crucified together with [Him], in order that the body of sin might be rendered
inoperable, so that we no longer serve sin as slaves. After all, the one having died has
been justified from sin" (Rom. 6:5-7).

Comment: The expression, "the body of sin," might be interpreted as a number of


different things, as discussed above. But, in context, it is speaking about a body whose
brain and flesh once served sin like a slave, without question, without control over itself.
Yet, for those whom Jesus Christ has chosen and called, this is now a body which is
dead to sin. Once a slave dies, he or she is free. And Jesus died in our place. So now
we are no longer owned as slaves, although our bodies remain slavish and prone to sin.

From the day of Adam's sin, bodies of flesh have been defective, born with a lack of
harmony concerning God's revealed will. All human beings are born defective, prone to
cold, cruel sin. In fact, all creation remains defective, groaning to see the restoration at
Christ's coming, or perfection in heaven. All creation does some evil, albeit man alone is
culpable for all its "sin," since all the earth was created as man's dominion. All
temporary things have been thrown into corruption, although to an extent always limited
29

by God.

At the time of Adam's sin, the devil was made prince of the air, over all men and over all
that exists in and below the atmosphere of earth. So he leads men's thoughts
whereever he desires -- although only as far as the King Himself, Jesus the Messiah,
allows him to do so. We all were once held captive to that prince, as slaves, to know
and think only what he desired us to know and think. Yet Jesus paid the just price for
us, while we were yet enslaved and ignorant sinners, who knew nothing of the reality
outside our limited worlds. Now we have been bought with a price, and remain justified
and freed forever.

Dying to sin is something Jesus gives us the will to do each day, through prayer that
makes His Word alive in us. At the same time, death to sin is something done to us, as
passive recipients, by His power. We cannot help but die to sin, even though our flesh
resists. For Jesus puts into us a greater light each day, to see more clearly how utterly
sinful we truly are, how defective and corrupt are our thoughts of flesh. All that we once
took pride in, we now see as perverse, leading to death. We see the carnal things of this
world as useless, even harmful or hurtful in more ways than we ever imagined. God
alone is wise. God alone is holy. So, in this earthly life, and beyond, we now seek first
the things of God's kingdom, and work for the useful treasures of spirit and truth in
Jesus.

In seeing this, sin gradually loses its power, and becomes inoperable, ineffective in its
tempting power. Sure, we sometimes succumb to temptation, in times of spiritual
slumber, when the flesh is left unguarded by the spirit's prayer. This is why we must
stay sober and alert, always "crucifying" the tendency of the flesh to submit to its former
master. Always, we must remain aware of the spiritual power of Satan over the flesh.
The former slave is conditioned to obey Satan, and will obey Satan, if we let Satan talk
to our body and brain of flesh. Satan waits to catch us off-guard, to command our flesh
as he once did before our lives were freed in Christ. Thus, our spirits silence our flesh.
And we make still our spirits too, in order for our hearts to hear our Lord and King,
Jesus.λογίζομαι γὰρ ὅτι οὐκ ἄξια τὰ παθήματα τοῦ νῦν καιροῦ πρὸς τὴν μέλλουσαν
δόξαν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι εἰς ἡμᾶς. ἡ γὰρ ἀποκαραδοκία τῆς κτίσεως τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν τῶν
υἱῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀπεκδέχεται. τῇ γὰρ ματαιότητι ἡ κτίσις ὑπετάγη, οὐχ ἑκοῦσα, ἀλλὰ διὰ
τὸν ὑποτάξαντα, ἐφ᾽ ἑλπίδι διότι καὶ αὐτὴ ἡ κτίσις ἐλευθερωθήσεται ἀπὸ τῆς δουλείας
τῆς φθορᾶς εἰς τὴν ἐλευθερίαν τῆς δόξης τῶν τέκνων τοῦ Θεου. οἴδαμεν γὰρ ὅτι πᾶσα ἡ
κτίσις συστενάζει καὶ συνωδίνει ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν.

Translation: "For I reason that the sufferings of the present appointed time are not
equal to the glory about to be revealed for us. After all, the creation's intensely focused
watching [Note: Here the "creation" likely refers to all animate or sentient beings on
earth, who are not God's children, i.e., likely primarily to all animal life.] is eagerly
waiting the unveiling of the sons of God [Note: Here "sons" is likely used in a gender
30

indefinite sense referring to the "heirs" of God's kingdom. Only sons inherit from the
father, but spirits are neither male nor female, so all spirits born of God inherit His
kingdom.], since the creation was subjected to an inability to achieve its goal, not
willingly, but because One subjected [it] in hope, in that even the creation itself will be
set free from [its] slavery of corruption, into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
For we know that all the creation continuously groans together, and together it
constantly suffers the pain of giving birth, until the present time" (Rom. 8:18-22).

Comment: Wallace points out that, in a genitive chain (i.e., in a string of "concatenative
genitives"), an attributive genitive usually needs to be removed from the chain, by
transforming it into an adjective, in order to make the meaning clear. In the example
above, it can be literally translated: "into the freedom of the glory of the children of God."
Here the genitive "of the glory" modifies the noun in front of it, "freedom." And it is likely
an attributive genitive. But the next genitive in the chain probably does not modify the
genitive in front of it. That is, "of the children" does not seem to modify "glory." Rather,
this chain appears to be talking about "the glorious freedom of the children of God."
Here we pulled the attributive genitive out of the chain in order to make this meaning
clear.

Of course, this could also be interpreted in several other ways as well, all of which fit the
context. It could mean: "into the freedom which is the glory of the children of God," or,
"into the freedom belonging to the glory of the children of God," or, "into the freedom
which is a part of the glory of the children of God." On the other hand, as is sometimes
the case in Greek (just as it is in English), the phrase may have been intensionally left
without a clue to its exact meaning in order to convey all these meanings at once.

By the way, this indicates an eternal spirit in "creation," that is, likely only in animals. For
"the glorious freedom of the children of God" refers to a spiritual freedom apart from the
body of flesh, an eternal spiritual life on earth and in heaven, as is deduced from the
context of this whole chapter. In this chapter, the body of flesh is contrasted to the spirit.
True Christians are also defined here, "as many as are being led by the Spirit of God,
these are sons [or "children" or "heirs"] of God" (v. 14). Man's spirit, not man's flesh, is
being led by God's Spirit. So this text is about spirits. Then it says the "creation"
watches, waits, has a goal which is frustrated, has a will which was unwillingly subjected
to frustration, has a hope, and shall be set free from its slavery to corruption, into the
same freedom that will be enjoyed by God's human children, which is a spiritual
freedom. Therefore, it is speaking of a spiritual creation on earth, a creation which is not
human, but a creation which has spiritual characteristics much like men -- cognizance,
will, hope and an eternal glory. In context, this can only refer to spirits of animals and
the like.καὶ ὑμᾶς ποτε ὄντας ἀπηλλοτριωμένους καὶ ἐχθροὺς τῇ διανοίᾳ ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις
τοῖς πονηροῖς, νυνὶ δὲ ἀποκατήλλαξεν ἐν τῷ σώματι τῆς σαρκὸς Αὐτοῦ διὰ τοῦ θανάτου,
παραστῆσαι ὑμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους καὶ ἀνεγκλήτους κατενώπιον Αὐτοῦ, εἴ γε
ἐπιμένετε τῇ πίστει τεθεμελιωμένοι καὶ ἑδραῖοι καὶ μὴ μετακινούμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς ἐλπίδος
31

τοῦ εὐαγγελίου οὗ ἠκούσατε, τοῦ κηρυχθέντος ἐν πάσῃ κτίσει τῇ ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν, οὗ
ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ Παῦλος διάκονος.

Translation: "And you once were entirely estranged and hostile, with the mind on evil
works. But now He reconciled [you] in the body of His flesh through [His] death, to
present you holy and without blemish and free from any accusations before Him -- if
indeed you remain with faith having been laid as a foundation and solid, also not being
moved away from the hope of the Gospel which you heard, the one having been
proclaimed in all creation under the sky, of which I, Paul, became a minister" (Col. 1:21-
23).

Comment: Here the genitive describes an attribute of the body, but would be weaker if
it was transformed into an adjective, as in "fleshy body." The idea is that Jesus suffered
and died physically, in His "body of flesh," for us. Then, as Wallace says, "this could
equally be labeled a genitive of material" too, because it means a "body made of flesh."

Also note that those who like to translate σάρξ as "sinful nature" cannot do so in this
circumstance. It would be clearly blasphemous to say Jesus reconciled us "in the body
of His sinful nature." Now, just as the body of Jesus' flesh died for us, so too our flesh
died in Him, and He "condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). When our flesh dies, we
are done with sin. There is absolutely no reason to ever translate σάρξ as "sinful nature"
in the GNT. Those who do so hold to a very distorted understanding of Christ's true
work of salvation. They do not comprehend the active will of the flesh, the purpose for
God's physical creation, and matters regarding sin or holiness. Their concept of spirit is
distorted as well, especially when they call intellectual understanding from the brain of
flesh a spiritual matter. We must be careful to define the things of God as God defines
them in His Word, not according to teachings of humanistic philosophy and tradition....
Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἁμαρτωλοὺς σῶσαι· ὧν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ. ἀλλὰ
διὰ τοῦτο ἠλεήθην, ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ ἐνδείξηται Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς τὴν ἅπασαν
μακροθυμίαν, πρὸς ὑποτύπωσαν τῶν μελλόντων πιστεύειν ἐπ᾽ Αὐτῷ εἰς ζωὴν
αἰώνιον. τῷ δὲ Βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων, ἀφθάρτῳ ἀοράτῳ μόνῳ Θεῷ, τιμὴ καὶ δόξα εἰς τοὺς
αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. ἀμήν.

Translation: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. But
because of this, I received mercy, in order that Jesus Christ might demonstrate in me,
the chief [of sinners], all [His] longsuffering, as an example for those who are about to
believe upon Him into eternal life. So to the King of the ages, to the immortal, invisible,
only God, [is] honour and glory unto the ages of the ages. Amen!" (I Tim. 1:15-17).

Comment: In ecstasy, Paul calls Jesus "the King of the ages," or, "the eternal King."
Here Paul praises God for His mercy in saving him, who was a chief among the sinners.
For God commanded, "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for
Yahweh will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain" (Ex. 20:7, NASB).
32

This, and the commandment against idolatry, are the only two of the Ten
Commandments which promise punishment. All who teach false doctrine, or prophesy
falsely, or do evil works falsely in God's name, shall not escape punishment. Yet, before
his salvation experience, Paul not only proclaimed false doctrines in the Lord's name,
but also persecuted the Lord's people in God's name, and thus attacked the Lord
Himself, Yahweh incarnate, who is Jesus. While doing so, he proclaimed and worshiped
a false god, a god invented in his own mind, as an idol which he served. Therefore, Paul
willfully broke all three of the first and foremost commandments. Truly he was a chief
among sinners! Even murder and all forms of sexual immorality are light matters
compared to Paul's sins. Then theft is yet a lesser sin. So the Lord demonstrated all
limits of longsuffering towards Paul by saving him. Who then, in light of this salvation
and mercy granted to Paul, cannot be saved?ἀδελφοί μου, μὴ ἐν προσωπολημψίαις
ἔχετε τὴν πίστιν τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς δόξης. ἐὰν γὰρ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς
συναγωγὴν ὑμῶν ἀνὴρ χρυσοδακτύλιος ἐν ἐσθῆτι λαμπρᾷ, εἰσέλθῃ δὲ καὶ πτωχὸς ἐν
ῥυπαρᾷ ἐσθῆτι, ἐπιβλέψητε δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν φοροῦντα τὴν ἐσθῆτα τὴν λαμπρὰν καὶ εἴπητε· σὺ
κάθου ὧδε καλῶς. καὶ τῷ πτωχῷ εἴπητε· σὺ στῆθι ἐκεῖ ἢ κάθου ὑπὸ τὸ ὑποπόδιόν μου.
οὐ διεκρίθητε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐγένεσθε κριταὶ διαλογισμῶν πονηρῶν; ἀκούσατε, ἀδελφοί
μου ἀγαπητοί, οὐχ ὁ Θεὸς ἐξελέξατο τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῷ κόσμῳ πλουσίους ἐν πίστει καὶ
κληρονόμους τῆς βασιλείας ἧς ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν Αὐτόν; ὑμεῖς δε ἠτιμάσατε
τὸν πτωχόν.

Translation: "My brothers, by receiving [some] with partiality, you do not have faith from
our Lord Jesus Christ, towards [His] good opinion. For if there might enter into your
synagogue a man with a gold ring and in bright white clothing, yet also there might enter
a poor man in dirty clothing, then you look upon the one wearing the bright white
clothing and may say, 'Respectfully we beg you to sit at the good place here.' Then to
the poor man you may say, 'You stand there,' or, 'Sit under my footstool.' Do you not
judge between the two among yourselves, thus have become judges with reasoning for
evil purposes? Listen, my beloved brothers, did God not elect the poor in the world [to
be] rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised for those loving Him? But
you have dishonored the poor man" (James 2:1-6a).

Comment: As Wallace points out, these two genitives cannot be interpreted after the
preposition "of," since the phrase would connote judging in a good way. The translation
would be: "judges of wicked reasoning," or, "judges of evil motives," and imply that
these two genitives were objective genitives (i.e., functioning like the objects of the
verbal noun, receiving the action of being judged, as implied by the noun). But that is
clearly not what is meant in context. Here the two genitives are describing the attributes
of the judges, as attributive genitives. It would be nice to transform these two genitives
into adjectives, but that is difficult and sounds awkward (e.g., "evil-reasoning judges,"
"evil-motived judges"). Also, we need to get across that the noun διαλογισμῶν suggests
reasoning through to a conclusion, thus for a purpose. And in this instance, it is for an
evil purpose, since the judgment is based on external appearances alone, and clearly in
33

order to gain money or favors from the rich man. So it is best to try to get this idea
across by using a different preposition, like "with," and words that more accurately
convey this intended meaning.

Now note too how the imperatives function in this text. An imperative can be used to
politely supplicate or beg, or else to command. For the rich man, the words and context
obviously indicate polite supplication with the imperative κάθου. But for the poor man,
the imperatives στῆθι and κάθου indicate condescending commands from one thinking
himself to be a superior addressing an inferior. Clearly, these kinds of actions do not
arise from pure faith in action, not out of the kind of faith which comes as a gift from our
Lord Jesus the Messiah. Certainly, this kind of behavior does not invoke His good
opinion.

Also notice the meeting place of Christians in the apostolic church was still called a
synagogue, just as the Jews called their meeting places synagogues. After all, the
apostles knew that the church Jesus "built upon" was indeed the church of Israel. Then
notice how this passage relates directly to the words of Jesus: "Blessed in spirit are the
poor, for the kingdom of the heaven is for them" (Mat 5:3; cf. Luke 6:20). Here James
speaks about God electing or choosing those who are physically and materially poor,
that is, according to this world's systems. These are to be spiritually rich in faith, as heirs
of the kingdom which He promised for those who love Him. So, by this, we can now
understand how the apostles themselves interpreted Jesus' beatitude. Now we know
Jesus was talking about the physically poor and impoverished people according to
the κόσμος ("world system"). Jesus was not referring to those who are somehow "poor
in spirit," yet still physically rich (see also the parallel remark of Jesus, concerning this
very beatitude, in Luke 6:24).

By both their actions and words, the church has long denounced these clear teachings
and commands of Jesus and the apostles. While they read the words aloud in church,
their behaviour routinely calls these words of God false and offensive. But, under the
current circumstances now unfolding, and for the inevitable future horrors about to fall
upon us all, it is time to listen to our Lord and Master and God. It is time to abandon
materialistic ways. Surely we must now begin the lengthy process of developing
numerous skills for living modest and godly lives, lives which cares wisely for each
other, providing for each according to individual needs, encouraging each to work in his
or her destiny from God, while rightly handling accommodations for individual
weaknesses causing poverty, if such exist.Other examples of attributive genitives
provided by Wallace include: Luke 16:9; Acts 9:15; Rom. 11:8; Gal. 6:1; Philp. 3:21;
Heb. 1:3 and Heb. 7:2 (as well as possibly II Cor. 1:12; Philp. 2:1 and Col. 1:25).
f. Attributed GenitivesThe attributed genitive is opposite to the attributive genitive in
meaning (semantically opposite), where the head noun functions like an adjective
modifying the genitive. In some grammars -- since a genitive usually modifies the
head noun in some way, but here the head noun modifies the genitive -- this may be
34

called a "reverse genitive." You can usually determine whether it is an attributed


genitive if you can convert the the head noun into an adjective modifying the genitive,
while retaining the same general meaning of the phrase in context. Wallace gave the
example where "newness of life" can be converted into "new life" without changing the
meaning much (other than perhaps making it a little less emphatic).Yet, other than
reversing the roles of the head noun and genitive, the semantics are much the same as
an attributive genitive. That is, the attributed genitive generally connotes a more
emphatic meaning when the preposition "of" is used (e.g., "newness of life" is more
emphatic than "new life"). Also, the active or passive force of the modifying head noun
must be interpreted according to context, and that meaning should be made clear in the
translation. For more information, see the explanation in the "attributive genitives"
category immediately above.Attributed genitives are not very common in the GNT, but
the interpretations of some genitives as attributed genitives can severely affect the
meaning of the text. So this is a category to be careful with. Wallace gave the following
examples, where the first three examples are clearly attributed genitives.
However, the last three examples are "exegetically significant" passages and the
interpretation is difficult. In all these examples, the head noun is highlighted in
green and the attributed genitive is highlighted in bluish green.ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε ὅτι ὅσοι
ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, εἰς τὸν θάνατον Αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθημεν; συνετάφημεν
οὖν Αὐτῷ διὰ τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τὸν θάνατον, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστὸς ἐκ νεκρῶν
διὰ τῆς δόξης τοῦ Πατρός, οὕτως καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωμεν.

Translation: "Or do you not know that (as many [of us] as were baptized into Christ
Jesus) we were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried together with Him
through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead ones
through the glory of the Father, in the same way we also might walk in newness of life."
(Rom. 6:3-4).

Comment: As you can see from context, it is the "life" that is "new." So the head noun
describes an attribute of the life, not the other way around. And there really is no better
category to place this genitive under, in order to get the intended meaning. Perhaps it
may be a possessive genitive ("life's newness" or "newness possessed by life"). But
clearly, it is better as an attributed genitive. The head noun can easily be converted into
an adjective ("new life"), and it's interpretation or meaning fits the context best of all.

Keep in mind that Paul, a Jew, was here referring to the very common Jewish
immersion ritual, which Jesus commanded. Paul was not talking about the Gentile
invention of a pagan-like magic ceremony called "the sacrament of baptism," which was
practiced in later centuries. Paul spoke of the mikvah for Gentile Romans, in particular,
the mikvah of repentance and conversion. The mikvah was the most important part of
conversion for a Gentile, since it not only indicated a repentance from sins (which even
biological Jews had to go through), but was also a symbol of forsaking or dying to one's
old life as a Gentile, in order to rise again into a new life as one of God's people (in this
35

case, by entering the church's completion through its promised Messiah Jesus, i.e., the
fulfilled church, where God's promise to Abraham had finally come to pass through
Jesus' work on the cross).

So, first of all, the cleansing from sin is accomplished by God Himself, not by the
baptism ceremony itself. A mikvah could only be performed after God's cleansing took
place, and after proof of it, even regarding a cleansing from physical things, like leprosy
and so on (e.g., see Numbers 19:19, regarding the required bath in water, which is
another kind of mikvah or immersion ritual, and takes place after the leper is confirmed
by the priest as one who has already been entirely cleansed from leprosy). Always the
Jews went to the mikvah after being cleansed in the heart by God, not before, never to
become cleansed. The ceremony was never treated like a pagan ritual, like a sacrament
which manipulates God, which causes God to perform a cleansing. Rather, it is an
acknowledgment of God's work, knowing that it is not possible for one to cleanse
oneself. It is recognizing that a cleansing must come from God, by His grace and mercy.
It is acting out what God did, in faith, proving what one believes has happened from
God. It is giving God the glory, while remembering it was all from Him alone, not from
oneself, not by any hands of any men.

This is why the passive voice is used. The person who is baptized actually prays and
immerses oneself. But the actual spiritual deed is done by God to us, where we are
passive recipients of His act of cleansing. And we are baptized "into Christ" and "into
God." That is, we enter into His sphere of life and into His kingdom. After we pray, we
immerse with sincerity of true faith (for the mikvah is never valid, never recognized as
anything meaningful, if one is not sincere and cognizant of the real reason for the
mikvah, which involves a change of intentions regarding known sin, in this instance).
Thus, we are covered with the waters of cleansing, buried under the water in a death to
our old lives. Then we rise from the waters, cleansed, into a new life. And this new life is
active, a "walk" in the ways of God, going about the daily business and work of our new
Owner and Master, in whatever He might call us to do, whether physical or spiritual.καὶ
τί τὸ ὑπερβάλλον μέγεθος τῆς δυνάμεως Αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας κατὰ τὴν
ἐνέργειαν τοῦ κράτους τῆς ἰσχύος Αὐτοῦ, ἣν ἐνήργηκεν ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ ἐγείρας Αὐτὸν ἐκ
νεκρῶν, καὶ καθίσας ἐν δεξιᾷ Αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις ὑπεράνω πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ
ἐξουσίας καὶ δυνάμεως καὶ κυριότητος καὶ παντὸς ὀνόματος ὀνομαζομένου οὐ μόνον ἐν
τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι. καὶ πάντα ὑπέταξεν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας Αὐτοῦ, καὶ
Αὐτὸν ἔδωκεν κεφαλὴν ὑπὲρ πάντα τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἥτις ἐστὶν τὸ σῶμα Αὐτοῦ, τὸ πλήρωμα
τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν πληρουμένου.

Translation: "And [know] what [is] the surpassing greatness of His power for us, those
continuously believing because of the working of the might of His strength, which He
effectively worked in Christ, raising Him out of the dead ones, and seating [Him] at His
right hand in the heavenly places, high above all rule and authority and power and
lordship and every name ever being named not only in this age, but also in the [ages]
36

about to come. And all things were made subordinate under His feet, since He gave
Him [to be] Head above all things for [the benefit of] the church, which is His body, the
fullness of the continuous fulfilling of all things in all [of us], for His own purposes [i.e.,
the genitive present middle participle is with the gentive article and the words between]"
(Eph. 1:19-23).

Comment: Once more, the head noun (μέγεθος, "greatness") modifies the genitive
following it (τῆς δυνάμεως, "of the power"). Then the pronoun (Αὐτοῦ, "His") modifies
this genitive too. So this phrase is talking about "His surpassingly great power for us,
those believing." It implies that Jesus uses His power for us, for our benefit. It cannot
really mean "His surpassingly powerful greatness unto us, those believing," which bears
a connotation of a simple belief in God's greatness. After all, this last interpretation does
not fit the context, since the next clause indicates the reason for our believing this,
"because of the working of the might of His strength." Therefore, in this context, we
must interpret it as an attributed genitive, as being about His power working for us.ἐμοὶ
γὰρ τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος. εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί, τοῦτό
μοι καρπὸς ἔργου. καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι. οὐ γνωρίζω. συνέχομαι δὲ ἐκ τῶν δύο, τὴν
ἐπιθυμίαν ἔχων εἰς τὸ ἀναλῦσαι καὶ σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι, πολλῷ γὰρ μᾶλλον κρεῖσσον. τὸ
δὲ ἐπιμένειν τῇ σαρκὶ ἀναγκαιότερον δι᾽ ὑμᾶς.

Translation: "For, to me, to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. Yet, if [it is] to live in the
flesh, to me this [will mean] fruitful work. Then what will I choose? I do not know. Thus I
am being held on both sides by the two, having the strong desire to be free [from the
bonds of flesh] and to be together with Christ, for [this is] rather much more
advantageous. Yet to remain in the flesh [is] more necessary on account of you" (Philp.
1:21-24).

Comment: This passage is a little difficult to interpret because of all the missing finite
verbs. Still, after examining the context, it is clear that Paul is speaking about "fruitful
work" being done, for the benefit of his people, if he remains alive in the flesh. Living
means activity. If Paul lives, his only reason for doing so would be so that he can
engage in the activity of work. Then, if God is willing, his work would also bear fruit for
his beloved ones. These verses indicate what happens in Christ. We lose all desire for
the things of the world systems, like money and power. Rather, we enjoy life for one
reason only, to participate in our various kinds of work for our Lord, and thus for His
creation, in particular, for His people. Nothing else really matters. Nothing else really
brings any true joy or satisfaction. Of course, each person works in a different field and
destiny. Some build tangible goods, some intangible. And all must take time for rest,
simple recreation in the good of God, food, and all that the body needs in order to live
on earth. For there is a time for all things under the sun. Yet to serve with fruit is the
heart of joy.

Furthermore, we know there will be even greater and more fruitful service to God in
37

heaven, a work without frustration or thorns of earthly life. So it is far more tempting to
leave this earth, to be with Christ. Still, either way, there is an equality in both earthly
and heavenly life. Although earthly service is more painful and difficult by far, its fruits
are far more urgent in the eyes of our Lord. Thus, if He allows us to join in His earthly
work, He also provides far greater spiritual rewards and treasures in heaven for these
painful deeds. There is great joy in heaven over a sinner who repents, and that is our
heavenly treasure, our spiritual joy, the wage we work so hard to gain. We build for
God, in God. Physical creation has a wondrous spiritual purpose, a mystery unknown by
the world.... τοὺς ἐν δυνάμει Θεοῦ φρουρουμένους διὰ πίστεως εἰς σωτηρίαν ἑτοίμην
ἀποκαλυφθῆναι ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ. ἐν ᾧ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὀλίγον ἄρτι εἰ δέον λυπηθέντες ἐν
ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς, ἵνα τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως, πολυτιμότερον χρυσίου τοῦ
ἀπολλυμένου, διὰ πυρὸς δὲ δοκιμαζομένου, εὑρεθῇ εἰς ἔπαινον καὶ δόξαν καὶ τιμὴν ἐν
ἀποκαλύψει Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Translation: "... [You are] those being continuously guarded by the power of God,
through faith, unto a salvation ready to be unveiled in the last appointed season. In this
you constantly rejoice, [although for] a little while now, if necessary, [there is] grieving in
various trials. [This is] in order that the testing of your faith, more precious than
perishing gold, yet through fire being proved, might be found for praise and glory and
honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:5-7).

Comment: Clearly, just as Wallace says, the neuter nominative singular comparative
adjective πολυτιμότερον ("more precious") obviously modifies the neuter nominative
singular head noun τὸ δοκίμιον, not the genitive noun ("faith"). But the question is, what
is more precious than gold? Wallace, and others, seem to think it must be the faith, or
its genuineness, which is precious. In other words, they interpret τὸ δοκίμιον to mean
"the genuineness," and τῆς πίστεως as an attributed genitive, so the phrase would
mean, "your proven faith ..." or "your genuine faith ..." Now we all agree that "proven" or
"genuine" faith is precious. But is this about "genuine faith," or about God's action and
process of "testing faith"? Does τὸ δοκίμιον actually mean "the testing," as in a process?
If it does, the genitive τῆς πίστεως is most likely an objective genitive, that is, "faith" is
what receives the action of testing by God. It would be about the process of testing,
indicating how the objective genitive ("faith") is being acted upon. So it would be "faith"
which is "through fire being proved," that is, our trials mentioned in the previous verse
are really precious.

To say our faith merely has the attribute of being "proven" or "genuine" is to place the
emphasis on what man does, by acting in faith. Yet the context of the whole passage
focuses upon what God does, not on what man does. And what He does is test us, like
metal, like gold through fire, to refine us and make us more pure. Finally, at the end, it
says our testing "might be found for praise and glory and honour," that is, all of this is to
be given to God, not to us. We shall, in the end, give God praise, glory and honour for
testing and refining our faith, and thus perfecting our lives, even though it is through
38

suffering. For it is God who guards our eternal salvation, making us into what we must
become, to prepare us for our eternal life with Him. God's power ensures we shall
become genuine, by His power working through our faith, a faith He will refine like
gold.... οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου,
ἵνα ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ Πατὴρ τῆς δόξης, δῴη
ὑμῖν πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ ἀποκαλύψεως ἐν ἐπιγνώσει Αὐτοῦ, πεφωτισμένους τοὺς
ὀφθαλμοὺς τῆς καρδίας ὑμῶν, εἰς τὸ εἰδέναι ὑμᾶς τίς ἐστιν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς κλήσεως Αὐτοῦ,
τίς ὁ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τῆς κληρονομίας Αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις, καὶ τί τὸ ὑπερβάλλον
μέγεθος τῆς δυνάμεως Αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας ...

Translation: "I do not cease giving thanks on behalf of you, repeatedly making mention
in the time of my prayers, [praying] so that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of glory, might give to you a spirit full of wisdom and revelation, in a full knowledge of
Him. [May] the eyes of the heart of you [all], having been enlightened and now
remaining with light, [be] for the purpose that you know what is the hope of His calling,
what [is] the riches of the glory of His inheritance among the saints, and what [is] the
surpassing greatness of His power for us, those continuously believing ..." (Eph. 1:16-
19a).

Comment: The first example here refers to something which God might give to us,
something that Paul is praying for believers to receive, or to gain in greater measure.
Now the head noun, πνεῦμα ("a spirit"), likely does not refer to the Holy Spirit, since the
believers have already received the Holy Spirit (see verses 13-14). Also, this noun is
anarthrous, indicating "a spirit," not "thee Spirit." Now, if this is an attributed genitive,
then Paul is praying for them to receive "a spiritual wisdom and revelation." Wallace
prefers this interpretation. He says, "Grammatically, when an anarthrous genitive is
related to an anarthrous head noun, both nouns will usually be equally definite,
indefinite, or qualitative." Thus, since the genitives seem to be qualitative, he believes
the head noun is also qualitative, and could be interpreted: "give you spiritual wisdom
and revelation."

Yet it is difficult to believe the head noun is functioning as an adjective. If it was


adjectival, why didn't Paul just use the adjective πνευματική? Rather, this seems to be a
gift which affects the human spirit in each believer, since it is a gift equal to "the eyes of
the heart ... having been enlightened." And this means "the eyes of the spirit," since the
"heart" is almost completely synonymous with "spirit" in the GNT. So the gift appears to
be a giving of "content" to a human spirit. The genitives seem to be "genitives of
content," where God grants that each human spirit becomes "full of wisdom and
revelation" from Him. This interpretation also emphasizes the spiritual mind and will, as
something separate and distinct from the brain and intellect of flesh, which is always an
intention of Paul.

For the next example, we must define a couple of terms. We know "His inheritance"
39

means an inheritance for us, for believers. We will inherit what God duely appointed for
each individual "among the saints," and are marked with a guarantee of our inheritance
into our redemption in heaven (v. 14). Now, if this is an attributed genitive, then this is a
prayer for us to know "what is the rich glory of His inheritance among the saints." This
implies a knowledge and focus upon the "glory," which is "rich" in that it provides so
much benefit to us. Still, it is not the "riches" but the "glory" which becomes the most
important element, and the main focus of our attention. Then we must realize that the
word "glory," in the GNT, always connoted "a good opinion," either from God towards
us, or from us towards God. Here it would refer to the good opinion of God towards us.
Therefore, interpreting this as an attributed genitive implies a focus upon pleasing God,
to know how important it is to have His good opinion -- which is what we shall have in
heaven, when we are made complete at last, and perfected into what we long to be,
made into the fullness of our destiny and created essense, into what truly pleases God.

However, if we interpret this as an attributive genitive, then this is a prayer that we know
"what is the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints." Here the implication is
a focus upon what we will get for ourselves in heaven. Our attention is turned towards
the "riches" or reward. Considering the ecstatic praise for God alone, and intense
worship of God found in this chapter, with the entire focus upon the glory of God, I
would tend to think this interpretation is far less likely. Then there are other possible
interpretations too. The "riches" generally refer to the spiritual gifts of God. These can
be treasures of love, joy, peace, and so on. Thus, maybe this passage means the
"riches from the glory of His inheritance." But "riches" also can be faith and His gifts
given in order to enable us to serve Him. If so, then perhaps this means "the riches
producing the glory of His inheritance." Nonetheless, this is most likely an attributed
genitive, with the focus upon knowing the "glory" or "good opinion" from God towards
us, and seeking this from Him.φάσκοντες εἶναι σοφοὶ ἐμωράνθησαν, καὶ ἤλλαξαν τὴν
δόξαν τοῦ ἀφθάρτου Θεοῦ ἐν ὁμοιώματι εἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πετεινῶν καὶ
τετραπόδων καὶ ἑρπετῶν. διὸ παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Θεὸς ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῶν
καρδιῶν αὐτῶν εἰς ἀκαθαρσίαν τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι τὰ σώματα αὐτῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς. οἵτινες
μετήλλαξαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν τῷ ψεύδει, καὶ ἐσεβάσθησαν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τῇ
κτίσει παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα, ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν.

Translation: "Always claiming to be wise, they became foolish, and exchanged the
glorious incorruptible God with a form of an idol of corruptible man, also birds and four-
legged animals and reptiles. Because of this, God handed them over to the strong
desires of their hearts unto moral corruption, in order for their bodies to be dishonored
among themselves. Whoever [was like this] afterward exchanged the truth from
God with [their] lie, and highly esteemed and served the created thing more than the
One having created, who is worthy of praise unto the ages. Amen!" (Rom. 1:22-25).

Comment: Wallace indicated that Θεοῦ (in verse 25) may be an attributed genitive,
where the phrase means: "exchanged the true God with the lie." But that does not make
40

sense. When one thing is exchanged for another thing, we are usually talking about two
things perceived as being in the same class or category. Now the genitive Θεοῦ in verse
23 may be an attributed genitive (which might be what Wallace actually meant), since
they exchanged the "glorious incorruptible God" with "a form of an idol," that is, they
exchanged the real God for a false god, both being in the same category, as objects of
worship. But in verse 25, they exchanged a "truth" for a "lie," that is, they exchanged
one kind of information for another kind. So, in verse 25, the genitive Θεοῦ most likely
means "from God," where God is the source or origin of the head noun ("truth"). Since
biblical Jews and Christians perceived God as the source of all things, the
genitive Θεοῦ was often used as a genitive of source. This interpretation also fits best
with the context, since it portrays their sin as being much more reprehensible. If one
exchanges a truth from a man, for a lie, then that one is surely a sinner. But if one
exchanges a truth from God, for a lie, then that one is a much greater sinner. For we
must realize that God has indeed revealed some basic truths about Himself and His
ways to all men. Yet many men reject these plain truths from God, then invent their own
lies to replace these truths.Another example of an attributed genitive may be τὸ
ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου μου ("the surpassing knowledge of
Christ Jesus my Lord," Philp. 3:8). Wallace also give the example: καταρώμεθα τοὺς
ἀνθρώπους τοὺς καθ᾽ ὁμοίωσιν Θεοῦ γεγονότας ("we curse people, those having been
made according to the likeness of God," James 3:9). But if this was an attributed
genitive, it would mean something like: "according to the similar God," which doesn't
make sense. So this seems to be an attributive genitive, where "God" is an attribute of
the noun "likeness." People are made in "God's likeness." Wallace also suggested
looking at Eph. 4:18 and II Thess. 2:11, neither of which seems to have an attributed
genitive in it, as far as I can tell.
g. Genitives of MaterialIn this category, the genitive indicates what the head noun is
"made out of" or is "consisting of." Wallace points out that this is "a subset of the
attributive genitive, but it involves other nuances as well." Those other nuances include
basically two things: (1) The genitive is a physical or material property; and (2) Because
the genitive is physical or material, so also is the head noun, since it is made out of the
genitive. Thus both are in the same "lexio-syntactic category." A lexio-syntactic category
is a category of a word with a specific kind of meaning required to form the construction
of a phrase. In this instance, both the head noun and the modifying genitive must be
substantives which refer to physical or material things.Genitives of material are rare in
the GNT for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the GNT did not talk much about what
physical things were made of. Then, when it did, a construction with the preposition ἐκ +
a genitive was most often used. Still, Wallace gave two examples. In these
examples, the head noun is highlighted in green and the genitive of material is
highlighted in bluish green.οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ῥάκους ἀγνάφου ἐπιράπτει ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον
παλαιόν. εἰ δὲ μή, αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ, καὶ χεῖρον
σχίσμα γίνεται.

Translation: "No one sews a patch made of an unshrunk piece of cloth upon an old
41

garment. For, if otherwise, the new takes the fulness away from itself [and] from the
old [i.e., the unshrunk patch then shrinks and pulls at the old cloth to which it was sewn,
thus it tears the old cloth along the seam where both were sewn together], and a worse
tear occurs" (Mark 2:21).

Comment: The word ἐπίβλημα is a nominative singular noun meaning "patch, a piece
of cloth used to repair a hole in clothing" (BDAG3). Then ῥάκους is the genitive singular
form of ῥάκος, which refers more generally to any piece of cloth, such as a rag, a patch,
or even a new piece of cloth. After this genitive, we find the word ἀγνάφου, which is the
genitive singular form of ἄγναφος. This noun refers to "cloth fresh from the weaver's
loom, not fulled, unshrunken, unsized, new" (BDAG3). After cloth was woven, it was
sent to a "fuller," to a person who "fulls" cloth. That is, the fuller would wash and treat
the cloth, to shrink and thicken it into a permanent size and flat condition, and to make it
bright and even. But the word ἄγναφος refers to cloth which had not yet been "fulled,"
and thus not yet shrunken. So the highlighted genitives in this example indicate what
the head noun ("patch") was "made out of" (i.e., "made of a new piece of unfulled
cloth").καὶ οἱ ἔμποροι τῆς γῆς κλαίουσιν καὶ πενθοῦσιν ἐπ᾽ αὐτὴν, ὅτι τὸν γόμον αὐτῶν
οὐδεὶς ἀγοράζει οὐκέτι, γόμον χρυσοῦ καὶ ἀγρύρου καὶ λίθου τιμίου καὶ μαργαριτῶν καὶ
βυσσίνου καὶ πορφύρας καὶ σηρικοῦ καὶ κοκκίνου, καὶ πᾶν ξύλον θύϊνον καὶ πᾶν σκεῦος
ἐλεφάντινον καὶ πᾶν σκεῦος ἐκ ξύλου τιμιωτάτου καὶ χαλκοῦ καὶ σιδήρου καὶ μαρμάρου,
καὶ κιννάμωμον καὶ ἄμωμον καὶ θυμιάματα καὶ μύρον καὶ λίβανον καὶ οἶνον καὶ ἔλαιον
καὶ σεμίδαλιν καὶ σῖτον καὶ κτήνη καὶ πρόβατα, καὶ ἵππων καὶ ῥεδῶν καὶ σωμάτων, καὶ
ψυχὰς ἀνθρώπων.

Translation: "Then the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, because
absolutely no one purchases their cargo any longer, a cargo consisting of gold and
silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple [cloth] and silk and
scarlet [cloth], and every kind of citrus wood and every kind of ivory object and every
kind of object made of the most valuable wood and of brass and of iron and of marble,
and cinnamon and Indian spice and incenses and myrrh and frankincense and wine and
oil and fine flour and grain and cattle and sheep, and [things] of horses and [things] of
carriages and [things] of bodies, and souls of men" (Rev. 18:11-13).

Comment: Here the genitive can be translated after the key words "consisting of,"
instead of the usual "made of." This text refers to a prophesied future event, where the
great prostitute of Babylon (i.e., the mother of all false churches) is burned to the ground
by the beast, destroyed for all time. Of course, the name "Babylon," in the book of
Revelation, actually refers to the fourth kingdom mentioned in the prophecies of Daniel.
That is, it refers to Rome. But it is here called Babylon, since Babylon was its head or
founder. Now consider this very long list of goods, and how the merchants wept and
lamented because absolutely no one (i.e., a double negative indicates "absolutely no
one") would purchase any of these very many different kinds of things any longer.
42

Many of these things would normally be purchased, regardless of whether or not


Babylon was destroyed. This is especially true regarding the food items. So why would
no one purchase these things from the merchants' cargo any longer? The only possible
reason could be that these things must have all been directly associated and identified
with the prostitute of Babylon. All must have been manufactured specifically for the use
of the prostitute, or else bore some kinds of marks, symbols, labels or brands of that
prostitute of Babylon. Also, by this time in history, much of the earth's population will
have been killed. So the food supply would be plentiful for survivors. Thus, if any goods,
even food items, were marked with a sign of the prostitute of Babylon -- which would
cause both the people of the beast and the remaining Christians to associate those
goods with that great enemy of theirs -- then who would want to purchase
them?Another example Wallace gave was μίγμα σμύρνης καὶ ἀλόης ("a mixture made
of myrrh and aloes," John 19:39). Possibly σώματι τῆς σαρκὸς Αὐτου ("body consisting
of His flesh," Col. 1:22) and τοῦ σώματος τῆς σαρκός ("of the body consisting of flesh,"
Col. 2:11) may be considered to be genitives of material as well.
h. Genitives of ContentWhile the genitive of material indicates what the head noun is
"made of" or "consists of," the genitive of content indicates what the head noun
contains. For example, τὸ σκεῦος τοῦ πηλοῦ uses a genitive of material to indicate
the material it is made out of, and means, "a vessel made of clay." Then τὸ σκεῦος τοῦ
ὕδατος uses a genitive of content to indicate what it contains, and means, "a vessel full
of water," "containing water," or simply, "of water."However, most genitives modify a
head noun. But the genitive of content is used more extensively, with various kinds of
words. It can indicate contents of a:(1) Head Noun: The translation may use key words
like "of," "full of," or "containing," although context and the meanings of the words must
be considered in the translation. The genitive is called a nominal genitive of content,
since it modifies (describes the contents of) a substantive (i.e., "nominal" means
"formed from or pertaining to a noun").(2) Adjective: The adjective may be used
substantively (i.e., as a noun), so the translation may use the same kinds of key words
as a noun. The genitive is also called a nominal genitive of content, since it usually
modifies a substantival adjective. The adjectives will often be a form of βάθος ("depth
[of how many fathoms?]"), μέστος ("full [of what quantity or quality?]"), πλήρης ("full [of
what?], filled [with what?]"), πλήρωμα ("a fullness, full number, full measure, full content
[of what?]"), or πλοῦτος ("riches [of what?]").(3) Or Verb: The translation may use the
key word "with," but also may need to be translated in other ways, depending on the
context and meanings of words involved. The genitive is called a verbal genitive of
content, since it modifies a verb. The verb which the genitive modifies will often be a
form of γέμω ("fill, cover [with what?]"), πίμπλημι ("fill [with what?]"), and πληρόω ("fulfill,
fill up, make full [with what?]").In Greek, the indication of contents almost always used a
genitive form, not a dative form. Even though it would seem that a dative should be
used, since we often translate a Greek dative form by using the key word "with," the
dative was almost never used to indicate contents in Greek. So, if contents are
indicated with a genitive, it is often best to use the key word "with." But if a dative
substantive is used (or the preposition ἐν + dative), it may be used to indicate how,
43

when, where, or why -- and thus would require key words like "by," "in," or "because
of."Like the genitive of material, the genitive of content is a "lexio-syntactic category."
That is, this grammatical construction requires the kind of head noun, adjective, or verb
which refers to a quantity of something. Then the genitive of content, which modifies
that word, must indicate a substance or an item which can be contained in it. The
substance or item can be tangible or intangible, literal or figurative. However, if a
genitive is following the kind of word which refers to a quantity, and the genitive is the
kind of word which refers to a substance or item that can be contained in or fill the word
it modifies, then the genitive is likely a genitive of content.Semantically (i.e., regarding
the implied meaning), the genitive of content frequently carries more weight, or draws
more of the focus, than the word it modifies. This is especially true when the genitive of
content modifies a noun or substantive. "It is the important word rather than the head
noun" (Wallace). After all, we are usually more interested in what is inside a container or
package than we are in the outer container or package itself. Especially in the GNT,
because the genitive of content carries an implied emphasis or focus on the inner
contents, "typically this construction is used in figurative language as a rhetorical
device" (Wallace). For example, we find σκεύη ὀργῆς ("vessels of wrath") in Romans
9:22. Here a human being is likened to a "vessel," and "wrath" is portrayed as a
substance in it. So it is figurative language to illustrate a concept. This particular
instance also implies either a purpose or an action: "vessels made to contain God's
wrath," or, "vessels made for God to pour His wrath into them," or, "vessels which God
will fill with His wrath," or, "vessels continously receiving God's wrath in
them."Examples of Genitives of Content
Genitives of content are "fairly common" in the GNT. Wallace gave the following
examples in the two categories mentioned above: four "nominal genitives of content"
and four "verbal genitives of content." For these examples, the head noun, adjective or
verb which is modified by the genitive is highlighted in green, and the genitive of content
is highlighted in bluish green.Nominal Genitives of Contentλέγει οὖν ὁ μαθητὴς
ἐκεῖνος ὅν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ Πέτρῳ· ὁ Κύριός ἐστιν. Σίμῶν οὖν Πέτρος, ἀκούσας ὅτι ὁ
Κύριός ἐστιν, τὸν ἐπενδύτην διεζώσατο, ἦν γὰρ γυμνός, καὶ ἔβαλεν ἑαυτὸν εἰς τὴν
θάλασσαν. οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι μαθηταὶ τῷ πλοιαρίῳ ἦλθον, οὐ γὰρ ἦσαν μακρὰν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς
ἀλλὰ ὡς ἀπὸ πηχῶν διακοσίων, σύροντες τὸ δίκτυον τῶν ἰχθύων.

Translation: "Therefore, the disciple, that one whom Jesus loved, said to Peter, 'It is
the Lord!' Thus, Simon Peter, hearing that it was the Lord, girded himself with [his] outer
garment [i.e., he probably pulled on his tunic, like a long T-shirt, and also put on his belt,
like a long sash around the waist], for he was naked [i.e., he was wearing only a
loincloth], then cast himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat -- for
they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away [i.e., about 100
yards or meters] -- dragging the net full of fish." (John 21:7-8).

Comment: The context helps to determine whether the genitive of content should be
translated as "full of fish" or "containing fish" or just "of fish." Here the head noun is the
44

direct object of the verb σύροντες, which is the present active participle form of σύρω,
and means "continuously dragging." So the net did not just have a few fish in it, which
could have been pulled into the boat. They were forced to leave it continually dragging
in the water along the side of the boat, or from the stern, because it was too heavy to
pull into the boat. Also, in verses 6 and 11, it literally tells us the net was full of fish. So it
is translated "full of fish."

Just before this incident, seven disciples had gone out to fish, and had done so all night,
yet caught nothing. Now the day was approaching. At this time, Jesus came to the
shore nearest to them and called out, "Cast the net from the right side of the boat, and
you will find [fish]." They did, and the net became so full of fish that they could not haul it
in. Then John recognized the One who called out to them. It was Jesus. But he had to
tell Peter this, because Peter was likely a middle-aged man with poorer eyesight, while
John was a young man, obviously with better eyesight. So impulsive Peter jumped into
the water, then swam about a hundred yards to shore, in order to greet Jesus. He
jumped as soon as he knew it was Jesus, but after putting on his tunic, out of respect
for the Lord.

So we see here an illustration of how our labor depends upon our Lord Jesus. When
Jesus commands something, it is always on the right side, and it is always thoroughly
effective. Thus, we must learn to do what He says when He calls. The real dawn and
light of our lives can only begin when He comes to call us. But all our work before that is
only in vain, and in the dark. Also remember that this was the time when Jesus had that
private conversation with Peter, where He asked him three times if he loved Him. Yet it
was just after Peter was so eager and desperate to greet Jesus that he swam all the
way to shore. Clearly, love for Jesus is not just emotional, and Jesus often tries to tell us
this. Jesus related love for Him as that which feeds and cares for His sheep, that is,
foremost by true preaching, but also by ministering to the inner and outer needs of His
people.ἐν δὲ ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις πληθυνόντων τῶν μαθητῶν ἐγένετο γογγυσμὸς τῶν
Ἑλληνιστῶν πρὸς τοὺς Ἑβραίους, ὅτι παρεθεωροῦντο ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ τῇ καθημερινῇ αἱ
χῆραι αὐτῶν. προσκαλεσάμενοι δὲ οἱ δώδεκα το πλῆθος τῶν μαθητῶν εἶπαν· οὐκ
ἀρεστόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς καταλείψαντας τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ διακονεῖν τραπέζαις.
ἐπισκέψασθε δὲ, ἀδελφοί, ἄνδρας ἐξ ὑμῶν, μαρτυρουμένους, ἑπτὰ πλήρεις Πνεύματος
καὶ σοφίας, οὓς καταστήσομεν ἐπὶ τῆς χρείας ταύτης. ἡμεῖς δὲ τῇ προσευχῇ καὶ τῇ
διακονίᾳ τοῦ λόγου προσκαρτερήσομεν.

Translation: "Now in these days, [with the number of] disciples increasing, there was a
grumbling of the Hellenists [i.e., Jewish disciples, but not 'observant' Jews, those who
did not follow the 'orthodox' traditions of the Pharisees] against the Hebrews [i.e.,
'observant' Jewish disciples], because they were regularly overlooked in the daily
service for their needy women who had no husband [and often had no other man to look
after them]. So the twelve [apostles], having called aside the multitude of disciples, said,
'Having abandoned the Word of God, in order to serve tables, is not acceptable to us.
45

So, brothers, examine mature men from among you, those being affirmed [by others].
[Then choose] seven, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we will appoint [to work] on
behalf of this need. But we will remain devoted to prayer and to the ministry of the
Word" (Acts 6:1-4).

Comment: Here we find two genitives of content modifying the adjective πλήρεις, the
accusative plural masculine form of πλήρης ("full, filled, complete"). And, logically, these
genitives must be genitives of content. They cannot be anything else. Also (although the
genitives here are anarthrous, and it does not specify that πνεύματοςrefers to the Holy
Spirit), whenever the GNT speaks about a person being filled with a spirit (using a
genitive), it is always referring to one filled with the Holy Spirit. (The expression "filled
with the Holy Spirit," with a genitive, is almost exclusive to Luke alone: Luke 1:15,41,67;
4:1; Acts 2:4; 4:8,31; 6:5; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9,52.) Thus, the apostles were asking for
seven men who could be described as "full of thee Holy Spirit and wisdom."

By the way, Wallace points out where Paul also used an expression with a "filling" word
and the πνεῦμα. But Paul used a dative form: καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν
ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι ("And do not be drunk with wine, in which is
dissipation, but be filled in spirit," Eph. 5:18). Wallace says, "A typical translation is 'be
filled with the Spirit' which implies that the Spirit is the content of the filling. But this is
highly suspect from the Greek point of view." Actually, this phrase in Eph. 5:18 is most
likely talking about being filled with God's wisdom and understanding "in the human
spirit" and "by the Holy Spirit," since true wisdom and understanding from God is first
known by the human spirit from God's Holy Spirit, then filters through to the brain of
flesh and its intellect.

Also, a couple of other things should be mentioned about this text. Since the church, at
this stage, was not actively seeking disciples among the Gentiles, and since many Jews
did not follow the traditions of the Pharisees, the term Ἑλληνιστῶν most likely refers to
the Jewish disciples who were Hellenized, that is, who had adopted a Greco-Roman
way of life. Then the term Ἑβραιους would refer to the Jewish disciples who followed
Jewish traditions. The Hellenists made a complaint against the more orthodox Jews
because the needy women among the Hellenists were not receiving as much support
and help when daily alms and food were distributed by the church. The imperfect
passive παρεθεωροῦντο might suggest they "were sometimes overlooked," but on a
regular basis nonetheless (i.e., it is durative). By the way, χῆραι does not refer strictly to
"widows," but rather to any women without husbands -- and often those who did not
have fathers, uncles or any other male heads of households to look after them either.
Since women had almost no income-earning opportunity, women without husbands
often lived in extreme poverty. So the church provided for them.

This text is important regarding church administration as well. From context, it seems
that the apostles were regularly working at serving tables and directly ministering
46

physically to the needy for some time. This shows that a true minister has a heart for
God's people, and will deign to get his hands dirty in serving them physically. But their
primary calling was to teach God's Word. So they needed to stop doing this physical
kind of work as much as they did. For it took away from their true calling, gifts, and
service to the Lord. So, in the future, they decided to devote themselves to full-time
work in prayer and the ministry of the Word (i.e., teaching doctrine). Yet they saw the
need for these more physical services to be handled with guidance and leading from the
Holy Spirit, and with wisdom. Ministry to the needy is far from a simple task, and
requires the best to do it, in order to be truly effective for Jesus. Otherwise, the needy
are treated ignorantly, and crushed spiritually. So wisdom is necessary to raise them up
to do what God has called them to do, each one in the unique way in which one must do
those things, often with special accommodations and modifications.

But note, these apostles worked full-time, and were supported by the church, as is
indicated in several places in the GNT. Also, multiple elders normally taught and led a
church of any significant size. Without a doubt, we know that some of these teaching
elders, along with some of the other support staff, were given wages, contrary to what
some churches teach. The church provided for the needs of many full-time workers,
each according to requirements for his family and himself, unless a man could obtain
enough income from other sources, and if those other sources did not interfere too
much with a man's ministry for God.

Then the support staff was appointed, but not exactly like it is in most churches today.
Here the 12 elders of this church (i.e., the apostles appointed by Jesus) said they would
appoint seven men. But they said they would do this only after the other mature males
found and examined the men qualified to do the job, men with a testimony from the
people. So men certainly were not in charge of the church. Jesus appoints all His
servants. A church is not a democracy, where ministers are elected by men. Actually, all
are chosen by God. If a man begins to show signs of being filled with the Holy Spirit and
being called into a ministry, and after the people begin to "testify" or "affirm" these things
(recognizing real fruit of a man), he is examined by the other mature men of the church.
Then the whole group of teaching elders (in this case, all 12) gives approval by
appointing him, but only if he proves to be truly called, taught, raised up, and sent by
Jesus.θέλω γὰρ ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι ἡλίκον ἀγῶνα ἔχω ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καὶ τῶν ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ καὶ
ὅσοι οὐχ ἑόρακαν τὸ πρόσωπόν μου ἐν σαρκί, ἵνα παρακληθῶσιν αἱ καρδίαι αὐτῶν,
συμβιβασθέντες ἐν ἀγάπῃ καὶ εἰς πᾶν πλοῦτος τῆς πληροφορίας τῆς συνέσεως, εἰς
ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ Θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ, ἐν ᾧ εἰσιν πάντες οἱ θησαυροὶ τῆς σοφίας
καὶ γνώσεως ἀπόκρυφοι. τοῦτο λέγω ἵνα μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς παραλογίζηται ἐν πιθανολογίᾳ.

Translation: " [With my inner will] I want you to know how great a struggle I am having
on behalf of you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in
the flesh. [This is] in order that their hearts may be counselled, being caused to go forth
together in love, and into all riches of the full assurance of understanding, into a full
47

knowledge of the now revealed truth from God, [who is] Christ, in whom all the
treasures of [this] wisdom and knowledge are hidden. I say this in order that no one
might, with false reasoning, deceive you in persuasive arguments" (Col. 2:1-3).

Comment: In a footnote regarding any head noun or adjective (found with a genitive of
content), Wallace quoted Williams' Grammar Notes, which stated, "the word to which
the genitive is related implies a quantity or amount of the thing in the genitive, rather
than being a container which is actually containing something." This is often true, and
certainly is true here. These "treasures" are not containers of wisdom and knowledge
hidden in Christ, and especially not treasure chests which need to be opened by
"priests" who are given spiritual "keys" from other men, by man's will. Rather, the noun
"treasures" indicates the "quantity or amount of the thing in the genitive." So the noun
phrase "all the treasures" implies a quantity of "all" wisdom and "all" knowledge. And the
head noun also implies that this wisdom and knowledge should be collectively viewed
as "treasures." These are "hidden" in Christ, but only hidden from the world. For it also
says these hidden things are a μυστήριον, which refers to a revealed truth, where that
truth is hidden from others. And the revelation is "from" or "of" God. So God Himself
reveals "all" this wisdom and knowledge directly to His people.

Also notice how Paul wanted them and us (i.e., we are the ones who have not seen his
face in the flesh) to know how great a struggle he had on our behalf. His purpose for
wanting us to know this was so our hearts "may be counselled," which will "cause us to
go forth together." Then, in the end, this is all for the purpose of preventing anyone from
deceiving us. First, after we know about Paul's struggle, we are warned and counselled
to more carefully watch out for opposition from enemies of the cross, knowing that the
work of Christ in us will be attacked as well. We too will bear the same struggle, and can
expect it. Nonetheless, the way we go must be "in love." That is, all true knowledge and
wisdom from God ultimately relates to righteous and true love. God tells us how to
survive with abundant life, how to love. As a consequence, this means that the final
destination we are to go to, and seek, is into "the full assurance of understanding," and
into "a full knowledge of the now revealed truth from God."βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς ἔσται ὁ
συλαγωγῶν διὰ τῆς φιλοσοφίας καὶ κενῆς ἀπάτης κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων,
κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου καὶ οὐ κατὰ Χριστόν· ὅτι ἐν Αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ
πλήρωμα τῆς Θεότητος σωματικῶς. καὶ ἐστὲ ἐν Αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι, ὅς ἐστιν ἡ Κεφαλὴ
πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας ...

Translation: "Beware, lest anyone will kidnap you into continuous slavery, through
philosophy and empty deception, according to the teachings handed down from men,
according to the fundamental principles of the world system, and not according to Christ
-- because in Him continuously resides all the fullness of the substance, essence and
nature of the one God bodily. And you have been fulfilled and continuously remain full in
Him, who is the Head of all rule and decision-making authority" (Col. 2:8-10).
48

Comment: If ever there was a meaning-packed text in the Bible, this is it! The noun τῆς
Θεότητος is the genitive singular form of Θεότης, and is found only once in the entire
GNT. In Greek literature, it referred to one who has a "share totally in divinity." Of
course, in Judeo-Christian literature, it makes reference to the one and only God. It
means, "the state of being God," and indicates one possessing "divine character /
nature, deity, divinity" (BDAG3). "The word differs from the expression 'Godhead' in
Rom. 1:21 in that it emphasizes not so much divine attributes but divine nature or
essence.... He was and is absolute and perfect God" (R&R). It is also articular, making it
a definite reference ("thee one God").

Then the head noun, πλήρωμα, indicates the quantity "of the substance, essence and
nature of the one God" in Jesus. That is, all of God, the fullness of God, the whole of
God's Being, every bit of His substance and essence, exists in Jesus Christ -- not just a
part of God. Finally, the adverb σωματικῶς modifies the verb. That is, the present
indicative verb indicates a continuous dwelling or residing of the fullness of God in
Jesus, and bodily, that is, in a way our human spirits can touch and communicate with
Him. But this would not refer to a physical body.

Of course, when Paul wrote this, he was speaking about the current or present body of
Christ, in heaven, the glorified spiritual body of Christ. Paul was not speaking about a
past body of Christ, when Jesus walked among us on earth. Yet this spiritual body is a
body nevertheless, and Jesus shall also take on a physical body again, when He
returns physically to walk among us, just as He walked among us the first time. Yet
neither the spiritual or physical body is a mere container of a spirit. Rather, a body is a
tool of a spirit, although a physical body is not a very cooperative tool. For we must
realize that God's Word never portrays spirits as being part of this physical space-time
continuum. Spirits are always viewed as being separate and distinct from all physical
existence.

Now, in this life, our human spirits are temporarily bound by the command of God to
limitations associated with bodies of flesh (unlike other spiritual beings, i.e., angels, who
have only known spiritual bodies). But spirits are greater. Thus we must not visualize an
image of Jesus, our God (who is Spirit), as a wispy, translucent, physical vapor
contained in a much more real and solid body of flesh, like we see spirits portrayed in
the movies. In reality, if anything is weak and vaporous, it is the temporary physical
creation, not the permanent spiritual creation. Therefore, a more real spirit owns a body,
not the other way around. So, when it says that the full Being of God resides in Jesus
bodily, it must mean Jesus, as God, owns and dwells in a real, actually existing, spiritual
"body" entity.

(It is worthless to speculate too much on such matters. All we know is that, in I Cor.
15:44-50, we are told that both physical bodies and spiritual bodies exist. Now, since
spiritual bodies are not made of physical matter, they simply cannot be part of, nor
49

subject to, physical space or time. Therefore we conclude that spiritual bodies must be
made of some kind of unimaginable but real spiritual substance, within some kind of
different and separate space-time continuum.)

This brings us back to the text. In verse 8, it warns against "philosophy and valueless
seductive deception." Back then, philosophies were, in essence, much the same as they
are now (i.e., humanistic philosophies). Then the "valueless seductive deception" might
refer to the many belief systems rising up in the Roman empire, such as feminism,
homosexual cults, abortions, gnosticism, and just about everything we see today. They
appealed to the baser nature, lusts, fears and instincts of men, thus seduced people
through sensual enticements, through what can basically be called "seduction." And,
just like today, many charlatans sought to enslave souls under their power, or to get
money from them, or both. And, of course, these philosophies and deceptions were said
to be "according to the teachings handed down from men." None came from God. They
were also "according to the fundamental principles of the world system," or, "according
to the elemental spirits of the world." In other words, they may have sounded logical, but
their premises were all lies to begin with. So any logic build upon these lies, no matter
how good that logic may sound, will always be worthless. Also, the way this phrase is
worded, it may have something to do with those philosophies from the school of Athens,
which formed the essential framework of neoplatonism, and most of our modern
philosophies as well.

The sad part about this warning is that, immediately after the apostles died, the church
fell into the practice of harmonizing the Bible with the philosophies of that day. Almost
all the "church fathers" believed more from Plato than from Christ. Their whole concept
of God was more along the lines of teachings from humanistic philosophy than from the
Bible. The definition of the church, and its entire mode of practice, came directly from
pagan cults, totally abandoning the Biblical teachings. Later, doctrines of "free will"
came entirely from neoplatonism, with a complete rejection of the biblical teachings
regarding salvation. Basically, almost nothing even close to biblical Christianity has
been seen upon the earth since the days of the apostles. Even evangelical churches,
who claim the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, actually believe and practice
theistic humanism, "according to the tradition of men, according to the fundamental
principles of the world system." And if some do provide a few semi-biblical teachings,
these are so weakened by their humanistic philosophies that they accomplish almost
nothing truly pleasing to God. So the "church" today is not even a real church.

Yet, think about what Paul stated here. It is almost as if Paul knew the church would fall
into these useless philosophies and deceptions, so he provided the cure. Actually, the
whole Bible provides the cure. That is, we are told how to find the truth. It is in Christ
alone. This truth is pure, because it comes from the Creator of all that exists, the
Creator of all that is good and holy, as well as the Creator of all that was made
defective, for temporary evil purposes, like the devil. So, if we know Jesus Christ, and if
50

we are taught by Him, then, and only then, can we cut through all the lies. Then, in truth,
we can truly live. In real truth, about God and about ourselves as worthless sinners
soon to be made worthy of our Lord's good opinion, we are made able to love with a
real love. We can also experience all things well, from the stillness of early morning
light, to the brightness of mid-day, and even the night, when we can only walk in faith.

We must seek the cure for the church, to revive the church. We desperately need true
revival for the devastating times waiting ahead of us. So let us return to the advice Paul
gave us. In verse 6, he admonishes us to walk in Christ in the same way we received
Christ, that is, in the way Jesus and His apostles brought us to salvation. So we must
walk in the sphere of Jesus' protection, counsel, teaching, guidance and light. In verse
7, he says this walk must be rooted in Him, where all our waters of life, and the
nourishment from the solid ground of heaven, can be fed to our branches, so we might
bear good fruit and live. Only in this way can we grow and be built up. There is no other
way. Jesus must strengthen our faith in Him, so we may follow, with grateful hearts, His
way.

Now notice that the statement about the deity of Christ Jesus, in verse 9, is an answer
to the warning in verse 8. So Paul warns us about the philosophy and empty deception
of this world "because" Jesus is fully and entirely God. Do we get this? Do we truly
realize that we do not need to be impressed with the "genius" of Plato, and think that we
must somehow reconcile God's Word to the "great" humanistic philosophies. We do not
need to be ashamed of God's Words and make them bow obediently to the school of
Athens, like the 2nd century apologists and so-called "church fathers." No, they were
not "church fathers," and they were not wise. They were actually fools without faith,
trying to appease the vain and bloody Roman traditions and humanistic philosophies of
their day. What good are Plato's philosophies? How many millions have been murdered,
or slaughtered in wars, by those men who thought themselves to be like Plato's
philosopher kings? What good ever came from Plato? No good ever will come! Yet,
from whatever is pure wisdom and truth from Christ, much good has come.

Yes, "because" the entire fullness of God resides in Christ, I will believe in Him. And I
will not believe in the philosophies and empty deceptions of this world. Why should I be
ashamed of the Word of God? All wisdom and truth from the Bible has done only good
historically, thus has proved to be from God. But look at the injustice and horrors of
humanistic philosophies throughout all history. Without exception, whenever humanism
has had its way, death and oppression have followed. Even the coming beast will be a
humanist. So why have Christians always bowed to those arrogant lies? Why do they
say they cannot return to biblical teachings because they are not as wise and practical
and good as the humanistic ways? Sure, in the humanistic systems, pastors love to
become "lords," and the people love to be free from any real need to actually serve
God. Yet, if men are the heads of their churches, then Jesus is not the Lord and Head
of their churches. And if the people are not truly serving Jesus, they also can bear no
51

real fruit, thus they never get any real fruit to eat, and spiritually starve.

So it is time to return to Jesus, as Lord, to remember that He is indeed our Lord. Men
are not our lords. The philosophies of men are junk, worthless and empty words of
deception, not worthy of any respect at all. The traditions of men hold no value for us.
The basic principles of this world's system -- including selfish ambition, craving the
accolades and praise of men, and especially the money and all financial systems --
bring nothing but death and futility. Instead of being filled with lusts for fame, power,
money and things of this world, we need to pray for Jesus to fill us with Himself. The
cleansing and refreshing waters of His power and truth must fill us to overflowing,
because we are going to need those waters in the days about to fall heavily upon us.
Jesus is the Head of all rule and decision-making authority. We have no need to bow to
the doctrines of men!Another two examples of nominal genitives of content may be
found in Rom. 11:33 and II Cor. 8:2.Verbal Genitives of
Contentκαὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἀκούοντες ταῦτα. καὶ
ἀναστάντες ἐξέβαλον Αὐτον ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἤγαγον Αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους
ἐφ᾽ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν, ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι Αὐτόν. Αὐτὸς δὲ διελθὼν διὰ
μέσου αὐτῶν ἐπορεύετο.

Translation: "And all in the church, hearing these things, were filled with anger. Then,
rising up, they cast Him out of the town and led Him as far as the ridge of the hill, upon
which their town was built, in order to throw Him off the cliff. But He, passing through the
midst of them, travelled on" (Luke 4:28-30).

Comment: A verbal genitive modifies a verb. It almost functions as a direct object, but
not really. Actually, it more often modifies the verb in much the same way as the English
language will use an adverbial prepositional phrase beginning with the preposition
"with."

Wallace points out that "most grammars" categorize a verbal type of a genitive of
content under the classification of "genitive direct object," or discuss it under the topic of
verbs that indicate "filling." Then he says, "Though that is an equally valid location, to list
it only there would not be as helpful, since it is an important category, in its own right,
exegetically as well as syntactically."

Here the genitive θυμοῦ ("anger") follows the verb ἐπλήσθησαν. This verb is the 3rd
person plural 1st aorist indicative passive form of πλήθω, which is most often found in
another form, πίμπλημι (this is the lexical form). The active forms mean "cause to
be completely full, fill, fulfill" (BDAG3). The passive form means "be [caused to be]
fulfilled, be satiated, be brought to completion or to pass." So here, this aorist passive
form is indicating that the people of this church "were filled" or "were satiated" or were
completely consumed by anger.
52

Why were they so angry with Jesus? In this instance, Jesus had just rebuked the church
in His home town of Nazareth, where He grew up. He told them, “Not one prophet is
acceptable in his native place” (v. 24). Then Jesus refused to perform miracles in His
own home town because of their lack of faith in God, or their lack of faith in Him as their
Messiah and God.

Now some would say they did have faith, since it says, “All testified about Him, and
were astounded over the gracious words coming out of His mouth” (v. 22). Some would
say that Jesus had them where He wanted them, because they were obviously
infatuated by Him. Now, with a few well-chosen compliments, He could empty their
wallets. They would give Him anything and do anything for Him.

But Jesus was not interested in men thinking He was eloquent or brilliant as a man.
Jesus once said, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do,
even if you would not believe in Me, believe in the works, in order that you might know
and realize that the Father is in Me and I in the Father” (John 10:37-38). In reality, Jesus
was all about getting people to trust confidently in God their Father, and to focus upon
God working through Him for them. It was not about man’s fickle glory for Himself, but
about getting them to have real faith in God.

Every work and miracle that Jesus did was in order to give glory to God the Father. This
was because Jesus wanted to turn their focus towards God alone, so they would hope
in God alone. If they did this, God would hear their prayers and answer with power.
Then God would work the straightening of all crooked and wrong things, with healing.
Only God has the power to destroy the works of the devil, and build life. So they needed
to go to God for these works to be done, not to men.

If they relied on men, nothing good would result, except possibly an exchange of one lie
for another. If any glory went to men, or to false gods (even to a false god they imagined
to be the God of Israel), this would be a form of worship. And hoping in the power of
men or false gods does no good. All men and false gods are weak, and usually very
wrong and evil. So hoping in men or false gods always ends up with someone getting
hurt. Thus, evil is promoted by giving glory to men or false gods. This is why God
cannot allow glory to go to men or other gods, and why God withdraws His support from
all such things.

But these people, in Nazareth (the town where Jesus grew up as a boy, from the time
He was a baby) only saw Jesus as a wise but fully human child, one who became a
potentially good rabbi, like other gifted rabbis. They would not think of Him as anything
more than a local carpenter’s son, albeit one who learned much and could now speak
eloquently. Nevertheless, even if they did not consider Jesus to be the real Messiah or a
real prophet, and just saw Him as an ordinary man, they should have put faith in God to
work through an ordinary man. And they should not have judged Jesus according to
53

external criteria, according to things regarding the human body.

Faith in God will examine the words and deeds of any man, to see if they truly come
from God. For we know that all past true prophecies from God came through ordinary
men like us, and strictly by God’s unmerited grace. Even if God’s words come through
men who are less than ordinary, even if God’s words come through those who are very
weak and extraordinarily unimpressive, if those words are indeed true and from God,
then we must recognize that fact. We judge words by their truth and power for
godliness, not by the vessel God chooses to speak through.

But to judge the words and works of God Himself according to the outward appearances
of a man is foolish, and evil. And it definitely is not faith. For “the one being out of God,
hears the words of God” (John 8:47). Because they judged by the outward human
attributes of Jesus, and not by the truth of the words and deeds themselves, they
judged by illogical and irrelevant criteria, and against God Himself. Even though, at first,
they flattered Jesus, they were still judging wrongly by outward things. Instead of
looking at Jesus as One whom God chose to work through, with a focus on God and His
words, they sinned, and focused on the man and how he outwardly presented words.
Thus, they proved they had no true faith in God Himself.

The people of that church / synagogue thought much like many so-called “Christians” do
today, and like many throughout history. They seemed to think prophets become
prophets because of their own human will and power, or by extensive training from men,
and by great human efforts to achieve godliness. They expect a “man of God” to be
much different from other ordinary men, and superior to all others in some way. Thus,
clearly, such people put their faith entirely in man and man’s ability, not in God and
God’s ability. For God is so powerful that He can even speak through a donkey, if He
desires.

But we must learn to trust in God, and know that God simply chooses to work through
whatever man He decides to work through, entirely by grace. No man can ever possibly
earn this ability by his own efforts. In fact, every prophet God ever spoke through was a
sinner and weak. So God always chose His prophets in spite of their mortal sinfulness,
weakness, and ineptitude. None were chosen because of their “greatness” among men.

Yes, when God works in His people, He also makes them to become righteous. But
God never chooses a man because a man has already made himself righteous and
superior to others! In spite of this well-known and clear fact, the focus of that church in
Nazareth, and most other churches throughout history, clearly rested upon the ability of
men to do earn the power of God. They never trusted upon God’s power to work in and
through ordinary men. Thus, they had no faith in God, only in men, thinking men could
manipulate God.
54

Therefore, Jesus did not allow Himself to heal any of them. Otherwise, they would
praise the physical man Jesus, as a man, and not because they saw and believed in
God working through Jesus, nor because they believed that Jesus is God Incarnate
(God in a body of a man). That is, they would focus on how a man could, by his own will
and efforts, cause miracles by manipulating God through His own godliness and
according to his own human will. Thus, this is definitely not glorifying God Himself.

But if they did not glorify God, then they also would not turn to God for His salvation, for
His power worked through grace. Rather, they would keep on attempting to make
themselves righteous enough to manipulate God into performing more miracles for
themselves, according to their own will, possibly even for money. Also, they might think
they could do things to make God indebted to them, and force God to do what they
desired, because they “earned” favors from God. They wanted man to control God, to
rule God, to be in charge of what happened to themselves. They did not want God to be
their Lord. Such an attitude is not faith in God, but faith in man, and a great sin!

So, even if they praised Jesus as a man, and not as their God, this was blasphemy.
Jesus knew this, of course. Thus, Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith in God. He
even pointed out that Gentiles, those outside the church, were the only ones who had
true faith in God during the times of Elijah and Elisha. The rest of the church of Israel
had faith only in men, resulting in their extremely corrupt ways. So God did not call
Elijah and Elisha to heal anyone in the church of Israel during those days. God only did
miracles for a few Gentile believers through these two prophets.

In reality, only God can make a man right inside the spirit, by His power. Men cannot
wipe themselves clean with their own filthy hands. Now when a man strives hard to
make himself righteous, when he works long hours in study and prayer to prove himself
more worthy than the rest, when he makes great sacrifices to exalt himself, when he
spends his life condemning sinners in his self-centered pride, when he feels he has
earned the right to look down at “lesser” human beings (thus thinking himself to be a
“greater” human being), then such a man cannot tolerate a rubuke which exposes him
as a deluded fake. So such a man hates the one who brings this kind of truth to light.
This is why the men in this church intensely hated Jesus.ἔλαβεν οὖν τοὺς ἄρτους ὁ
Ἰησοῦς καὶ εὐχαριστήσας διέδωκεν τοῖς ἀνακειμένοις, ὁμοίως καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀψαρίων ὅσον
ἤθελον. ὡς δὲ ἐνεπλήσθησαν, λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς Αὐτοῦ· συναγάγετε τὰ περισσεύσαντα
κλάσματα, ἵνα μὴ τι ἀπόληται. συνήγαγον οὖν, καὶ ἐγέμισαν δώδεκα
κοφίνους κλασμάτων ἐκ τῶν πέντε ἄρτων τῶν κριθίνων ἃ ἐπερίσσευσαν τοῖς
βεβρωκόσιν.

Translation: "Therefore, Jesus took the loaves of bread and, having given thanks,
distributed [them] to those reclining [on the grass]; in the same way also, the cooked
fish, as much as they wanted. Now when they were filled, He told His disciples, 'Gather
the leftover pieces, so that not any is wasted.' So they gathered [them], and filledtwelve
55

baskets with pieces from the five loaves of barley which were left over from those
having eaten" (John 6:11-13).

Comment: The verb here is ἐγέμισαν, the 3rd person plural 1st aorist indicative active
form of γεμίζω. It means "put something into an object to the extent of its capacity, fill"
(BDAG3). So it refers to the action of filling something, and is another kind of "filling"
verb. It differs from γέμω, which means "be full of something," referring to the state of
being full rather than the procedure of filling something. Then the genitive, κλασμάτων,
is the genitive plural form of the noun κλάσμα, "fragment, piece, crumb" (BDAG3). Once
more, the genitive can be translated by using the key word "with" in front of the genitive.
Also notice here that Jesus commanded that nothing be wasted, even though He made
the excess miraculously. All God's creation, like His creation of food for the people here,
is a miracle. Yet it is all purposeful, and it is a sin to waste what God has given, even if
you know that it can be replaced. All God's creation of nature is cyclic, where nothing is
wasted, but only recycled back into the life cycle again.καὶ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὴν
ἡμέραν τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς ἦσαν πάντες ὁμοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό. καὶ ἐγένετο ἄφνω ἐκ τοῦ
οὐρανοῦ ἦχος ὥσπερ φερομένης πνοῆς βιαίας καὶ ἐπλήρωσεν ὅλον τὸν οἶκον οὗ ἦσαν
καθήμενοι, καὶ ὤφθησαν αὐτοῖς διαμεριζόμεναι γλῶσσαι ὡσεὶ πυρός, καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐφ᾽
ἕνα ἕκαστον αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες Πνεύματος Ἁγίου, καὶ ἤρξαντο λαλεῖν
ἑτέραις γλώσσαις καθὼς τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐδίδου ἀποφθέγγεσθαι αὐτοῖς.

Translation: "And when the day of the Pentecost was to be completely fulfilled, they
were all together in the same [place]. Then a sound out of heaven suddenly occurred,
just as something being carried by a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where
they were sitting. Also tongues, as if of fire, being divided into parts, appeared to them,
and sat upon each one of them. Thus they all were made full and complete with the
Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, just as the Spirit gave to them [the
ability] to speak out" (Acts 2:1-4).

Comment: This is once more a verb of "filling." Note here that it is an


aorist passive form of πληρόω, referring to something made full of something, or made
completewith something. Those who were filled did not "will to be filled," but received
this work of filling from God, passively, according to God's will, not their own wills.
Regarding persons, this verb also seems to imply "fill with powers, qualities, etc."
(BDAG3). So the Holy Spirit filled and completed these people, in terms of their faith
and abilities, such as their abilities to understand what is the will and Word of God, and
to do it. This is critical to understand, because this is the sanctification, with both a
separation unto God and a righteousness from God, which all Israel had been waiting
for. It is the New Covenant in Christ. For the Holy Spirit is not a helper who obeys man's
will, as a servant of man. Rather, He is our Counselor and Lord, who does the will of our
Father and of Jesus, and rules over us as our God. Jesus' Holy Spirit completes us in
His New Covenant.
56

Therefore, as Wallace says, "the Spirit-filling ... in Acts is never commanded." We do


not determine if or when we shall be filled with the Holy Spirit. God does. There is only
one time something like this is commanded, in Eph. 5:18. Yet, Eph. 5:18 is not a
command to be filled with the Holy Spirit according to one's own will. Rather, it is a
command to be filled in one's own human spirit, or else a command to be filled by the
Holy Spirit, through submission to the Holy Spirit. In Eph. 5:18, the verb is an imperative
form of πίμπλημι, meaning "cause to be completely full," that is, "cause" by submitting
and hearing. It is not an imperative form of πληρόω, which would imply a filling directly
according to one's own will.

Also, "the command there to be filled by the Spirit has nothing to do with tongues-
speaking" (Wallace). Never, in the entire GNT, are we ever told that everyone who is
filled with the Holy Spirit will be given the supernatural gift of speaking in tongues. In
fact, all we find are teachings which imply the opposite, that only some will speak in
tongues, such as where it tells us that only some receive this gift (I Cor. 12:10-11,30).
Nor are there subcategories of different "kinds" of tongue-speaking, where they say
some "kinds" can be spoken publicly in church without interpretation, contrary to the
command in I Cor. 14:27-28. The "tongue-speaking" movement in charismatic churches
opposes God's commands and teachings in very many ways, and does not even test
these gifts. We are commanded to "prove all things, hold fast to the good, abstain from
every shape of evil," and this applies especially to things which come from spirits. Yet
they let in any spirit, without caring whether it is from God or Satan.

Our Father and Jesus timed the giving of His Holy Spirit in a very special way. It is
important to realize this, and be sensitive to the purpose of this exact timing. First,
Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin on the day of the Passover. The Passover was a
celebration of the day on which God freed His people from Egypt, forever leaving
behind their bondage to slavery. Likewise, Jesus death on the cross paid for all our sins,
and condemned sin in the sphere of the flesh. Our whole life, in spirit, is forever free
from the bondage of sin -- although our flesh still wars against our spirits, and against
the Spirit of God. Therefore, our flesh shall die. Yet our spirits shall live eternally with
Jesus in a new promised land, in heaven.

The first day of the Passover ("Pesach") week is the 15th of Nisan (or 15th of Abib).
This is the day Jesus died. After the sun sets on that day, a new day begins, since
Jewish days begin after sunset. So, after sunset, which is the beginning of the 16th of
Nisan, a sheaf of barley, called the Omer, is "waved" or presented to the Lord (barley
matures earlier, so it is harvested before the wheat and other crops). This is the feast of
Firstruits. After sunset on that day, which is the 17th of Nisan, the Jews begin to count
the 49 days (seven weeks) of Omer. Each night they say the number of the day,
literally, along with a blessing. So, after sunset on the day Jesus died, which was a
"preparation day" (i.e., a Friday), the Pentecost was on the 50th day. This day is also
called the Shavuot (meaning "seven weeks"). The apostles were sitting together "when
57

the day of the Pentecost was to be completely fulfilled," that is, during the daylight hours
of this 50th day, when the Shavuot, after a count of 49 days, is finished.

Now the Shavuot, or Pentecost, is celebrated as the day upon which God gave the
Torah to His church, to His people, on Mount Sinai. That is, it is a celebration of the day
God made the Old Covenant with His church. It is also a celebration of the harvest. For
the church of God's people began to be harvested (that is, separated unto God) as
firstfruits from Egypt after the Pentecost, when they were delivered and redeemed, like
grain is removed from the chaff and straw. Jesus delivered His people on the Passover
by paying for their sins. But more than just deliverance from sin, and separation unto
God, is required for sanctification. One also needs to be made holy. Thus God gave
Israel the Old Covenant on Mount Sinai, a failing and temporary symbol of the New
Covenant.

So the Old Covenant was not like the New Covenant, and deliverance from Egypt was
just a physical sign of what God was going to do spiritually through the Messiah Jesus,
on behalf of all God's people in all time. Because all these things were just symbols of
what was to come in the Messiah, this is why Jesus waited until the Shavuot before He
gave the Holy Spirit to His people. This baptism or filling with the Holy Spirit is the
fulfilling of the promise of the New Covenant. For, remember, God's promise of the New
Covenant is this: "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will
be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jer. 31:33, NASB). That is exactly what the
Holy Spirit of Jesus was sent to do in God's people. The Holy Spirit teaches us God's
ways, His desires, the full expression of what God only partially expressed through His
Old Covenant law. So God fulfilled the New Covenant for His people, for the church of
Israel, by putting His Spirit in them. This was according to the exact timing and way God
originally brought the symbols of the temporary Old Covenant to His people.Wallace
also gave Luke 6:11; Acts 3:10; 5:17; 13:45; and 19:29 as examples of verbal genitives
of content.
i. Genitives in Simple AppositionThere are two categories of genitives used in
apposition. One is the "genitive in simple apposition," and the other is the "genitive of
apposition." In syntax and semantics, a genitive in simple apposition is like any
other substantive used in apposition. That is, any substantive used in apposition to
another substantive has the following characteristics:It is found immediately after the
substantive it describes or explains.It refers to exactly the same person or thing as the
substantive it describes or explains.It serves in the same grammatical role as the
substantive it describes or explains.It takes the same case as the substantive it
describes or explains.So a genitive in simple apposition follows immediately after
another genitive substantive in order to clarify, describe or explain it, just like a
nominative in apposition to another nominative, or just like an accusative in apposition
to another accusative, and so on.But a "genitive of apposition" is a little different in
syntax and semantics. It may be somewhat similar. However, a "genitive of apposition"
follows behind a substantive which can be in any case (nominative, accusative, genitive
58

or dative), and it also clarifies its head noun by providing an example of it. Detailed
differences between the two are explained in the next category.A genitive in simple
apposition is not very common. But Wallace gave the following examples where the first
genitive substantive is highlighted in green and the genitive used in apposition to it is
highlighted in bluish green.ἰδόντες δὲ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐχάρησαν χαρὰν μεγάλην σφόδρα. καὶ
ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν εἶδον τὸ Παιδίον μετὰ Μαρίας τῆς μητρὸς Αὐτοῦ, καὶ πεσόντες
προσεκύνησαν Αὐτῷ, καὶ ἀνοίξαντες τοὺς θησαυροὺς αὐτῶν προσήνεγκαν Αὐτῷ δῶρα,
χρυσὸν καὶ λίβανον καὶ σμύρναν.

Translation: "So seeing the star, they rejoice with exceedingly great joy! Then, coming
into the house, they saw the child with Mary, His mother, and falling down, they
worshiped Him, and opening their cases, they presented gifts for Him -- gold and
frankincense and myrrh" (Mat. 2:10-11).

Comment: Here the name Μαρίας is a genitive singular form followed by another
genitive τῆς μητρὸς, found in apposition to it. Both terms have exactly the same person
as a referent, that is, both refer to the same real human being called Mary, who is also
called the mother of Jesus' body. These two genitives are followed by a (possessive)
genitive pronoun Αὐτοῦ, which is translated in front of the genitive in apposition. But the
other two genitive terms serve the same grammatical role, as objects of the
preposition μετά. And both are interchangeable. Thus, one can even change the order
of the other two genitive terms ("with His mother, Mary") without altering the meaning of
the text.Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν
Ἐφέσῳ καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ
Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Translation: "[This is a letter from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of
God, to the saints being in Ephesus, and to those faithful in Christ Jesus. [I pray there
may be] grace for you and peace from God, our Father and [from] the Lord Jesus
Christ" (Eph. 1:1-2).

Comment: This is the beginning of the introduction of Paul's letter to the Ephesians.
The genitive singular noun Θεοῦ is followed by another genitive singular noun Πατρὸς,
which is used in apposition to it. Again we see that the genitive in simple apposition
follows immediately after another genitive, refers to exactly the same Person, and
serves in the same grammatical role (as an object of the preposition ἀπό). Also, the
order of the two genitives can be reversed ("from our Father, God") without altering the
meaning at all.ὅτι ἐν Αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ
καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι. τὰ πάντα δι᾽ Αὐτοῦ καὶ
εἰς Αὐτὸν ἔκτισται. καὶ Αὐτός ἐστιν πρὸ πάντων καὶ τὰ πάντα ἐν Αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν. καὶ
Αὐτός ἐστιν ἡ Κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος, τῆς ἐκκλησίας, ὅς ἐστιν ἀρχῄ, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν
νεκρῶν, ἵνα γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν Αὐτὸς πρωτεύων.
59

Translation: "Because in [the sphere of will and power belonging to] Him all things
were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether
thrones or lordships [i.e., any dominions, lands, corporations, estates, tribes, people
groups, and so on, anything ruled by 'lords,' by anyone having authority] or rulers or
authorities. Through Him and for Him, all things have been created and now exist. And
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together and remain together. And He
is the Head of the body, the church. [He is] the One who is the beginning, firstborn out
of the dead, in order that He should be bearing chief authority in all things" (Col. 16-18).

Comment: The term τῆς ἐκκλησίας ("the church") is used in simple apposition to τοῦ
σώματος, ("the body"), because both are genitives and one immediately follows the
other. There is no other way to interpret this. Thus, both terms refer to exactly the same
entity. Therefore, in this instance, the theological implications are enormous. This whole
text is astounding, especially considering implications of perfect tense verbs used here.
In the cosmological argument, God is sometimes seen as an original cause, but after
that, created things are seen to cause the effects, so there is a chain of cause-effect
events occurring. But here the perfect tense forms suggest God is the current cause of
all events too, that all now exists and now remains held together by Him. He is also that
which is not caused, because all caused things are in time, and God created time. Thus,
God, the only cause of all things, is a mutually exclusive set, apart from the set of all
caused things. The cause of all, both in the beginning and now, is God. Caused things
do not themselves directly produce effects, but only the uncaused God does. So it is not
for every X (caused thing or effect) there is some Y (a cause) such that X is caused by
Y. Rather, it is for every X there is every Y such that X is caused by Y. This chapter
contains one of the clearest portrayals of the full Deity of Christ found anywhere in the
entire Bible. But consider this statement. If "the church" (i.e., the ones "called out" by the
Lord Jesus) is actually used in apposition to the noun "the body," and Christ is the Head
of that body, so that it is His body, then what are we forced to conclude from this?

First, both terms refer to exactly the same entity, and that entity is Christ's existence as
a "body," which is the church. The terms "body" and "church" are interchangeable.
There is only one body of one Christ, and Christ is the inseparable Head of that body.
Thus, no man is head, but the living and risen Christ is directly the Head. And there is
only one Head. So, "Christ is the Head of every man" (I Cor. 11:3). Ultimately, although
leaders may have some authority, it is limited, for they are not the Creator nor the
ulitmate Head. All decisions and all teaching must ultimately be endorsed by the one
and only Head. So, if even a child is given something to say, and that Word is truly sent
from God, it holds more authority than any man on earth. Real authority is from Jesus
alone, over all men.

Next, we must also conclude that the church existed as long as Christ's body has
existed. Some will say this is speculation, but it isn't. They may say this is a figurative
reference to a body which does not, in reality, exist. Is it? Or is this a reference to an
60

actual body, which is spiritual and real, and has also existed in the flesh? The latter is
true. But Christ already existed in the beginning of creation, before time and the creation
of the physical space-time continuum existed. No one knows whether a "body" of Christ
was created at the beginning or always existed in an eternal "now" before the beginning
of creation. But we do know that Christ Himself existed before time was created, and we
also know His body existed at the beginning. For God walked with Adam and Eve (Gen.
3:8). And we know there is only one body of the One God Yahweh. That body is Jesus.
So, Jesus walked with Adam and Eve, and with Abraham (Gen. 18), and with others.

Although the church was separated as a recognizably distinct body during the time of
Abraham (and we call Gen. 17 the beginning of the church, since it was then called the
people of God and was given a form), the church actually existed since the beginning --
both intagibly in the will and mind of Christ, and tangibly in His creation of human beings
on earth. Adam and Eve were the first members of the church. The church has always
existed, although it did not always have a name (i.e., "Israel") and form (i.e., as a
distinct body of people who could be called by a name). But we know Jesus came to His
church, and to die for the sins of all His people of His church, including sins of Adam
and Eve.

Furthermore, Jesus is always the same, yesterday, today and forever. Thus, although
Jesus eventually gave the church a name and identity through Abraham, and made it
into an entity distinct from the world, it was always the same. There are no
"dispensations," where the church received different powers and gifts from Christ. All
ages of the church, of Christ's body, were alike in power and gifts. Of course, the
revelation of knowledge about Christ differed. But even these revelations were not so
much dependent on times as much as on God's willingness to reveal them to
individuals. For example, David and Isaiah knew more about Christ than the vast
majority of Christians do today. And, although Jesus died for the church at a particular
point in physical time, His salvation was always for all the people of His church, even for
those existing before that physical time. Adam, Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the
prophets who lived before the physical time of Christ's death are all saved through
Christ's sacrifice on the cross for their sins.

This also means that there are no "dispensations" of the spiritual gifts. Jesus' body does
not wax and wane in power, nor change into a different form as the physical times
change. Jesus created time, and Jesus is not subject to time, and He cannot change.
Just as Adam and Eve were given prophecy, and Moses, and the Old Testament
prophets, so also were the apostles, all through the same Holy Spirit of Jesus. Likewise,
just as Jesus miraculously healed people before and during the Old Testament times,
so also did He miraculously heal people in New Testament times. And according to the
book of Joel, which is almost all about the very last days which have not even begun to
occur yet, more spiritual gifts will be granted in the last days. We are the body of Christ.
We are the hands and mouth through whom Christ acts upon this earth, although He
61

can also act upon this earth apart from His body. Yet, if we are His body, and we submit
to His will as our Head, then He will, at various times and seasons, give prophecy and
work miracles through us, just as He did through His own body when He walked on
earth in the flesh.ἐπεφάνη γὰρ ἡ χάρις τοῦ Θεοῦ σωτήριος πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις,
παιδεύουσα ἡμᾶς, ἵνα ἀρνησάμενοι τὴν ἀσέβειαν καὶ τὰς κοσμικὰς ἐπιθυμίας
σωφρόνως καὶ δικαίως καὶ εὐσεβῶς ζήσωμεν ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι, προσδεχόμενοι τὴν
μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου Θεοῦ καὶ Σωτῆρος
ἡμῶν, Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ὃς ἔδωκεν Ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἵνα λυτρώσηται ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης
ἀνομίας καὶ καθαρίσῃ Ἐαυτῷ λαὸν περιούσιον, ζηλωτὴν καλῶν ἔργων.

Translation: "For the grace of our God was made clear, saving all kinds of men,
training us [through discipline and instruction], in order that, [while] denying godlessness
and the worldly lusts, we might live prudently and righteously and in a godly way in the
present age, eagerly waiting for the blessed hope and appearance of the glory of the
great God and our Saviour, [who is] Christ Jesus -- who gave Himself on behalf of us in
order that He might pay to redeem us from all lawlessness and might cleanse for
Himself a people, selected [for Himself], zealous for good works" (Titus 2:11-14).

Comment: The genitive term Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ is clearly used in apposition here. Also, the
genitive phrase to which it is used in apposition refers to one Person. After the
phrase ἀπιφάνειαν τῆς δόξης ("appearance of the glory"), we expect to find who or what
appeared gloriously, in the good opinon of all the elect. Then we first see a genitive
noun with an adjective (in an attributive position after the noun's article), τοῦ μεγάλου
Θεοῦ ("of the great God"). Next, we see the conjunction καί followed by another genitive
noun modified by a pronoun, Σωτῆροσ ἡμῶν. Regarding these: (1) both are personal
nouns, that is, referring to a person; (2) both are singular; and (3) neither are proper
nouns. So, applying Sharp's rule here, both terms refer to exactly the same Person.
That is, this is a Greek idiom referring to the one "God Saviour." Then the genitive
proper nouns, Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, follow in simple apposition, that is, a title ("Messiah" or
"Christ") and a name ("Jesus"). And, of course, the nouns used in simple apposition
refer to exactly the same Person too. So "Christ Jesus" is used in apposition to both the
preceding genitives. Thus, this is directly and clearly stating that "Christ Jesus" is "the
great God and our Saviour." It is not just equating Jesus to the term "our Saviour," but
also to the term "the great God."Wallace's other examples of genitives in simple
apposition include Mat. 2:1; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:4; John 7:42; Acts 22:20 and Rom. 5:17.
Wallace also said that instances of simple apposition in general (whether with two
nominatives, accusatives, gentives or datives) are where "an anarthrous proper name
[is] followed by an arthrous [i.e., articular] descriptive noun." Consequently, many
examples of simple apposition are of this kind.
j. Genitives of Apposition
(Epexegetical Genitives, Genitives of Definition)The genitive of apposition
(sometimes called the "epexegetical genitive" or the "genitive of definition") provides a
specific example within the larger class or category indicated by the substantive
62

(head noun) it modifies. So it also defines and clarifies its head noun, but only by
providing an example of it. And its head noun may be in any case (nominative,
accusative, genitive or dative). Wallace provided the following examples:"the land of
Egypt" This is found with a genitive head noun, ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου, in Acts 7:40, Heb. 8:9
and Jude 5; or with a dative head noun, ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτου in Acts 13:17. In all
these, Αἰγύπτου is a genitive of apposition. The head noun indicates an ambiguous
class or category or things which can be called "lands." Then the genitive provides a
specific example in that larger category. "Egypt" is an example of a "land.""a sign of
circumcision" This is found with an accustive head noun in Rom. 4:11, σημεῖον ἔλαβεν
περιτομῆς, σφραγῖδα τῆς δικαιοσύνης τῆς πίστεως ("he received a sign of circumcision,
a seal of the righteousness of faith"). This text has two phrases, each beginning with an
accusative, where the second phrase is used in "simple apposition" to the first. Within
each phrase, there is a "genitive of apposition" with an accusative head noun. Looking
at the first phrase, the head noun ("sign") once again indicates an ambiguous category.
Then the genitive provides an example of a "sign." Wallace also feels this example
indicates a clarification of ambiguity. In other words, the genitive ("circumcision")
clarifies what is meant by the head noun "sign." That is, the genitive indicates what kind
of sign it is. The head noun's category is the kind of sign which is a symbol of a spiritual
attribute. It is not a physical sign with words or pictures, like a road sign. Nor is it an
event which serves as a sign that a prophecy is about to be fulfilled. Nor is it any other
kind of sign. So the genitive clarifies what is meant by the word "sign.""the breastplate
of righteousness" This is found with an accusative head noun in Eph.
6:14, ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσύνης ("putting on the breastplate of
righteousness"). This head noun ("breastplate") is figurative, a metaphorical reference
to a class or category of "things which protect." Then the genitive ("righteousness") is an
example in this category. But here, the genitive also defines the head noun. It provides
the real meaning of the metaphor, where the thing figuratively called a "breastplate" is,
in reality, our "righteousness." In other words, righteousness from God is that which
protects us from whatever strikes and injures anyone who practices
unrighteousness.So, compared to a genitive used in simple apposition to another
genitive, a genitive of apposition is similar in construction and function, but with a few
differences in syntax (i.e., its head noun can be in any case), as well as differences in
semantics (i.e., this genitive defines by giving a specific example in the head noun's
class). The similarities and differences are as follows:The genitive of apposition is found
immediately after the substantive (i.e., head noun).The head noun will indicate a class
or category of persons or things, and the genitive of apposition will belong in that class
or category.The head noun will be "ambiguous or metaphorical," and "begs to be
defined" (Wallace). Thus, the head noun will require a genitive example which is "a
concrete or specific example" (Wallace), in order to clarify or define the head noun. The
genitive example makes the head noun's reference less ambiguous or more literal.The
genitive of apposition refers to the same person or thing as the head noun. However,
there are substantial differences between a genitive of apposition and a genitive in
simple apposition in terms of how they refer to the same person or thing:A genitive in
63

simple apposition is exactly equal to or exactly the same person or thing as the other
substantive, which is also a genitive. Both genitives "have the same referent" and are
just different terms or designations for the same person or thing. So both are translated
as one single genitive. For example, the phrase τοῦ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν can be
translated as, "of God, our Father." The term "our Father" is used in simple apposition to
clarify the term "of God," where the substantive "God" = "our Father." Both terms refer
to one single Being. So only one "of" is used before the translation of the whole
phrase. The key word "of" is not used in translating the genitive in simple apposition --
just a comma. It is not translated "of God of our Father," but simply "of God, our
Father."A genitive of apposition is not exactly equal to the head noun, or not exactly
the same person or thing. Rather, the genitive of apposition is just one specific example
within the larger category of the head noun. For example, the phrase τὴν πόλιν τῆς
Σαμαρείας can be translated as "the city of Samaria" (renamed Sebaste by Herod, but
still called Samaria). The head noun "the city" is not exactly equal to, not exactly the
same thing as the genitive "Samaria." Sure "the city" = "Samaria" in context. But really
"Samaria" is a modifier here, indicating which city. So the key word "of" is used with the
genitive of apposition. Even if the head noun was also another genitive, the key word
"of" could be used in translating both substantives, as in "the people of the
city of Samaria."The genitive of apposition serves in the grammatical role of a modifier.
It does not really serve in the same grammatical role as its head noun, like a genitive in
simple apposition does. After all, a genitive in simple apposition to another genitive
refers to exactly the same person or thing, but the genitive of apposition is not exactly
the same person or thing. Still, a genitive of apposition refers specifically to the same
person or thing that its head noun refers to in a more general sense.While the genitive
of apposition provides an example which defines the head noun, the head noun also
connotes something about the genitive. In the phrase "the land of Egypt," it connotes
the physical place or land of Egypt, not Egypt's people or government. In "the sign of
circumcision" it tells us to view circumcision as a sign, not as a physical action. In "the
breastplate of righteousness" it suggests we focus upon the protecting power of
righteousness, not on other aspects of it. So the genitive of apposition and its head
noun "stand in a symbiotic relation: they need each other if both clarification and
connotation are to take place" (Wallace).The genitive of apposition modifies a head
noun which may be in any case (i.e., its head noun may be a nominative, accusative,
genitive or dative). But a genitive of simple apposition normally follows after another
genitive substantive.As you can see, the main things to remember are (1) a genitive of
apposition provides an example of the head noun, and (2) it can follow a head noun in
any case. Also, the genitive of apposition differs in meaning from the genitive in simple
apposition. "There is a significant semantic difference between a genitive of apposition
and a genitive in simple apposition" (Wallace). In actual translation, the word "of" will
usually suffice before the genitive of apposition, and it is not difficult to see when the
construction is a genitive of apposition.Both a genitive of apposition and a genitive in
simple apposition are instances of words used in apposition to other words. This can be
tested by adding key words like "which / who is," "that is," or "namely" between the
64

genitive and the word it follows, in order to express the same meaning. So a phrase with
a genitive in simple apposition, like "God, our Father," could be translated with the key
words as "God, who is our Father," and express the same meaning. Or a phrase with a
genitive of apposition, like "the city of Samaria," could be translated with the key words
as "the city which is Samaria," and express the same meaning. So both are
grammatically classified as instances of "apposition." Yet one must realize the
differences between the two kinds of apposition, because translation as one or the other
will affect the meaning.As we saw above, with any word used in simple apposition, term
"A" referring to "X" exactly equals term "B" referring to "X." So, if the two terms can be
reversed, without changing the meaning, then it is a genitive in simple apposition (e.g.,
"God, our Father" = "our Father, God"). But a genitive of apposition is not exactly equal
to its head noun. A category is not equal to an example in it. This is clear if the head
noun is not a genitive (e.g., "He came to the city of Samaria" does not equal "He
came of Samaria to the city"). And it can even be true if both terms are genitives (e.g.,
"the people of the city of Samaria" is not equal to "the people of Samaria of the city" --
although it could be translated as being in simple apposition too, "the people of the city,
Samaria" and "the people of Samaria, the city"). In this case, whether it is translated as
a genitive of apposition or a genitive in simple apposition, does not affect the meaning
much. However, in some instances, it certainly can affect the meaning, with important
doctrinal implications. So, before you interpret a text as one containing a genitive of
apposition, ensure the genitive is actually an example in a category indicated by its
head noun.There are also two kinds of genitives of apposition. Some are "nominal," like
"Samaria," where the referent is a physical person or thing. Others are "verbal nouns,"
which describe an action. Verbal nouns might carry deeper implications. For example, in
the sentence, "Blessed are the ones reading and hearing the words of this prophecy,"
the action noun "prophecy" refers to "the act of prophesying." So it can infer a meaning
derived by using the genitive action noun as a verb, such as: "John prophesied these
words to bless the ones who read and hear them." Of course, one does not translate it
this way. But you can see how the meaning is inferred, which may support related
doctrines, such as teachings about how prophecy edifies and blesses.A genitive of
apposition is fairly common. These examples were provided by Wallace, where the
head noun is highlighted in green and the genitive of apposition is in bluish
green.ἤγγιζεν δὲ ἡ ἑορτὴ τῶν ἀζύμων ἡ λεγομένη πάσχα. καὶ ἐζήτουν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ
γραμματεῖς τὸ πῶς ἀνέλωσιν Αὐτόν· ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ τὸν λαόν. εἰσῆλθεν δὲ σατανᾶς εἰς
Ἰούδαν τὸν καλούμενον Ἰσκαριώτην, ὄντα ἐκ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ τῶν δώδεκα. καὶ ἀπελθὼν
συνελάλησεν τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ στρατηγοῖς τὸ πῶς αὐτοῖς παραδῷ Αὐτόν.

Translation: "Now the feast of unleavened bread drew near, that being known as the
Passover. Then the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might destroy Him, for
they feared the people. But Satan entered into Judas, the one being called Iscariot,
being out of the number of the twelve. And parting from [the twelve], he talked together
with the chief priests and officers as to how he might betray Him for them" (Luke 22:1-
4).
65

Comment: Here the head noun is a nominative form, ἡ ἑορτή ("the feast"), and the
genitive of apposition follows immediately after it, τῶν ἀζύμων ("of unleavened bread").
So the construction is much like that of a substantive in simple apposition to another.
However, this is a genitive in apposition to a nominative. So this construction does not
involve a substantive in apposition to another substantive in the same case. Also, the
head noun here indicates a general category of things called "feasts," while the genitive
is a specific example of a feast. So it is a normal "category-example" genitive of
apposition. The genitive is articular as well, making the genitive definite, pointing to a
specific thing. So it does not refer to just any meal with unleavened bread, but to a feast
with "thee unleavened bread," one which the ceremonial law required one to eat
unleavened bread.

It is interesting that the Passover was the very time when Jesus decided to allow the
wicked to murder His body. During this time in history, there was a "Messianic fever"
among the people of Israel. They were excited about their Messiah arriving soon
because they lived in the very time Daniel had prophesied that the Messiah would
come. And, for observant Jews, the Passover is the prime time to ponder the coming
Messiah, not just God's past deliverance from Egypt. The Passover Seder is full of
references to the Messiah. Therefore, this was when the chief priests and leaders of the
church were most worried about Jesus, since many of their people saw Jesus as the
promised Messiah. Yet they could not just kill Him openly, since the people would riot,
grab them all, and stone them to death. Thus, they sought some kind of plan which
would make them look like the good guys, and turn the people away from Jesus, at
least long enough to kill Him.

Now, if there is evil and unjust work to be done, God lets Satan mastermind it. So God
then gave Satan permission to enter into Judas Iscariot. Then Judas spoke with the
chief priests, likely laying the whole groundwork of the plot to kill Jesus. Filled with the
cunning of Satan, and with his knowledge of Jesus' habits, Judas knew exactly how
they could kill Jesus, yet keep themselves distanced from all blame. For one thing, the
Passover is celebrated privately, with the family and very close friends. And it is a very
important feast. So almost everyone remains home during the Passover night. Thus,
one can move openly in the Jewish streets without attracting any audience. So, they
could go out, arrest Jesus, beat Him until He appeared outwardly powerless and
pathetic in the eyes of the people (since almost all people judge only by superficial
outward appearances), and hand Him over to the Gentile Romans to have Him crucified
as a rebel. When the people woke up in the morning, this would make them think the
officials caught Jesus doing something terrible during the night, while everyone was
tucked away quietly in their homes. And, if the Romans crucified Him, how could the
church leaders be blamed?ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον
καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν. εἶπαν οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι· τεσσεράκοντα καὶ ἓξ ἔτεσιν
οἰκοδομήθη ὁ ναὸς οὗτος, καὶ Σὺ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερεῖς αὐτόν; ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔλεγεν
66

περὶ τοῦ ναοῦ σώματος Αὐτοῦ. ὅτε οὖν ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν, ἐμνήσθησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ
Αὐτοῦ ὅτι τοῦτο ἔλεγεν, καὶ ἐπίστευσαν τῇ γραφῇ καὶ τῷ λόγῳ ὃν εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς.

Translation: "Jesus answered and said, 'Destroy this temple and, in three days, I will
raise it.' Therefore, the Jews said, 'This temple was built up in forty-six years. And You
will raise it in three days?' But that One spoke about the temple of His body. Thus, when
He was raised out of the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this, and they
believed in the Scripture and in the word which Jesus spoke" (John 2:19-22).

Comment: This is a good example of how a category can refer to many different things.
The Jewish leaders thought Jesus was referring to the physical temple of stone in
Jerusalem, rather than referring figuratively to His body as a temple. So this is a genitive
of apposition providing an example of the kind of temple Jesus spoke about, and thus
defining the meaning of the term used figuratively. It is a "metaphor-meaning" genitive
of apposition. Since this is a genitive following another genitive, some might want to
interpret it as a genitive in simple apposition. But that distracts from the whole point of
the clause, which is to explain how the Jewish leaders were mistaken about what was
meant by the term "temple." So this is clearly a genitive of apposition, where the term
"of His body" is provided specifically to define the meaning of the figurative term
"temple."

Wallace also comments: "Exegetically, John 2:19-21, culminating in this verse, is triply
significant. First, it clearly indicates that the New Testament viewed the resurrection of
Christ as a bodily resurrection. Second, Jesus is here represented as an agent of His
own resurrection. The New Testament thus speaks of the entire Trinity as participants in
Christ's resurrection (cf., Eph. 1:20; I Pet. 3:18). Third, the reason for the collocation of
'temple' with 'body' thus becomes clear: the Shekinah glory, which had long ago
departed from the temple, now resides in Jesus bodily." The first two points are clear.
Yes, the GNT always spoke about how Jesus rose from the dead in His physical body,
not just as a ghost or spirit. Then Jesus also clearly declared, "I will raise it." Jesus
Himself, as God, had the power to raise His Own body out of the dead (John 10:17-18) -
- although God is One, and thus God the Father and God the Holy Spirit also
participated in this event.

But the third point is not so clear. Just because "His body" is an example of a "temple,"
it does not necessarily imply that the manifestation or presence of God's power and
glory has departed forever from the physical temple, and can now reside on Jesus
alone. Surely it is true that the Shekinah, or majesty and presence of God, does exist in
and upon Jesus. And, more than ever, we shall see this at His second coming. Also, the
Shekinah did exist at various times and in various intensities on the stone temple as
well, according to God's will. But, first of all, God does not need to display His majesty
and presence at only one place at a time. Indeed, the Shekinah will always be upon His
people in all time and forever in heaven. It is upon all His creation. Actually, the
67

Shekinah can be upon a billion places at one time, if God desires. Secondly, although I
may be wrong, this may be an attempt to deny the fact that a third physical temple will
be built in Jerusalem before Jesus returns, and remain during the millenium, for the
entire time Jesus resides on the physical earth. But both the Old Testament prophecies
about the Messiah (which are mostly about Jesus' second coming) and the New
Testament prophecies about Jesus' second advent, clearly state that a physical temple
will exist in Jerusalem when Jesus returns. And Jesus will reside there, ruling the earth
as King from that temple. So, will the Shekinah not remain on that temple then, as well
as in and upon Jesus? Of course it will!μακάριος ἀνὴρ οὗ οὐ μὴ λογίσηται Κύριος
ἀμαρτίαν. ὁ μακαρισμὸς οὖν οὗτος ἐπὶ τὴν περιτομὴν ἢ καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν ἀκροβυστίαν;
λέγομεν γάρ· ἐλογίσθη τῷ Ἀβραὰμ ἡ πίστις εἰς δικαιοσύνην. πῶς οὖν ἐλογίσθη; ἐν
περιτομῇ ὄντι ἢ ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ; οὐκ ἐν περιτομῇ ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ.
καὶ σημεῖον ἔλαβεν περιτομῆς, σφραγῖδα τῆς δικαιοσύνης τῆς πίστεως τῆς ἐν τῇ
ἀκροβυστίᾳ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν πατέρα πάντων τῶν πιστευόντων δι᾽ ἀκροβυστίας, εἰς τὸ
λογισθῆναι αὐτοῖς τὴν δικαιοσύνην, καὶ πατέρα περιτομῆς τοῖς οὐκ ἐκ περιτομῆς μόνον
ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς στοιχοῦσιν τοῖς ἴχνεσιν τῆς ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ πίστεως τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν
Ἀβραάμ.

Translation: "Blessed [is] a man upon whom the Lord would never impute a sin. Then,
[is] this blessedness upon the [people of] circumcision, or also upon the [people] not
circumcised? For we say faith was imputed to Abraham [as that which is] unto
righteousness. Thus, how was it imputed? [Was it when he was in a state of] being in
circumcision or in uncircumcision? [It was] not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision!
Then he received a sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness from faith, this
while in [the state of] uncircumcision, for the purpose that he is to be a father of all of
those believing, through [a life remaining in a state of] uncircumcision, for the purpose
that righteousness is to be imputed to them. And [he is] a father of [the people of]
circumcision -- for those not from circumcision only, but also for those walking in the
steps of faith of our father Abraham [while he was] in uncircumcision" (Rom. 4:8-12).

Comment: Here we have two examples of genitives of apposition. The head nouns with
these genitives are categories of things, where the genitives are examples in these
categories. However, the head nouns are also ambiguous terms, because a "sign" or a
"seal" can refer to very many kinds of things. So, although these are "category-example"
genitives of apposition (like all genitives of apposition), they are more specifically called
"ambiguity-clarification" genitives of apposition. That is, the genitives make it clear what
kind of "sign" or "seal" is being referred to here. The kind of "sign" is actually a symbol
of God's covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17:11), indicating that God will someday cut
away the lusts of the flesh which interfere with righteousness from God. This is the
process of sanctification which comes from Jesus' Holy Spirit, which makes us truly
righteous in a pure love, and thus also separates us from others unto God for His
purposes. It is also a "seal," of the kind which ensures that God will own, and thus
guarantee and produce, the righteousness which comes from faith in God, believing He
68

will do these things for them.

What was the meaning of all this? First, it is important to understand the forms of the
word λογίζομαι in this text. For one thing, it was originally, and remained primarily about,
determining something through a mathematical or logical or rational process, meaning
"reckon, calculate, count." This also implies a sense where one will "give careful thought
to a matter, think (about), consider, ponder, let one's mind dwell on" (BDAG3). So this
word, in this context, refers to something which is "imputed" or "credited" or "adjudged"
to another, but with thought and reason. In a good sense, it is like "crediting" something
to someone, but for a reason and purpose, with a goal in sight, with much good reason
and thought behind the action. In a negative sense, this infers laying a charge against
someone, setting something against one's account, attributing a sin or crime to a
person, but after examining the evidence and doing it through careful, rational thought.

Now all are sinners, as the previous chapter of Romans thoroughly explained. Yet God
never imputes or adjudges or attributes a sin to some of these sinners. These are those
who are owned by God, who have a spirit which is a new creation, made to will and to
desire the things of God. Of course, these people also have the brain and body of flesh,
which wars against these new desires of the spirit, against the desires put in the reborn
spirit by God's Holy Spirit. Yet these do not seek to walk according to the desires of their
flesh, but rather strive to walk according to the desires of the spirit. In their spirits, they
continually seek the counsel and command of their Lord, of Jesus, and of His Holy
Spirit. But who exactly are these people of God, for whom the Lord never imputes sin?
Are they only those who are Jews, those physically circumcised with a "sign" of the
covenant God made through Abraham? (Circumcision is a temporary physical sign of
God's spiritual covenant, by which God promised to make Abraham's children into His
people, and make Himself become their God, to make them worship Him in spirit and
truth.)

Here it is reasoned that all true Christians know that faith was imputed or reckoned or
credited to Abraham, as that which moves "unto" or "into" a state of real or subjective
righteousness, into a condition of acting righteously. That is, it is imputed εἰς
δικαιοσύνην, where the preposition εἰς always implies some kind of movement or
process. So Abraham was not just forensically credited as being in a static state of one
classified as righteous. Rather, God reckoned Abraham to be one being moved into
righteousness, going through the process of being made righteous. Thus, since faith is
that which moves one into righteousness, faith is credited or reckoned "for"
righteousness. Also, since faith is a trust in God (that He will move us into
righteousness), and because we know God cannot fail to complete any task He
undertakes, our faith knows that our righteousness is as good as already received. It is
a sure thing, guaranteed. It is as good as being signed, sealed and delivered, although
we will not be totally perfected until the final judgment day in heaven. So now we ask,
who gets this? Well, we can induce this by observing exactly when and how God gave it
69

to Abraham. Did God first require Abraham to perform a physical act of circumcision, or
any other ritual, or any other deed, before God reckoned these things for him? Did
God's imputing depend on his physical actions?

Actually, as the apostle Paul points out in this text, God imputed these things to
Abraham before Abraham was physically circumcised, not after. In fact, Abraham did
nothing to cause God to do this, other than believe God's words to him (Gen. 15:4-6).
Abraham was just a man who knew everything depended on God, and entirely trusted
God to do whatever God said He would do. And, if one is always believing the counsel
and advice of God, then God will make one become righteous through His words. So
God imputed a state of becoming righteousness to Abraham, through grace alone.
Furthermore, Paul twice uses a construction with the preposition εἰς and an infinitive, to
indicate that God did this for a purpose or to bring about an intended result. These two
purposes were: (1) so that Abraham may become a father of all who believe in God to
fulfill the promise to Abraham, even to become a father of believers who now remain
uncircumcised; and (2) in order to impute or credit righteousness to the uncircumcised
as well as to the circumcised Jews. So the blessedness of never having God adjudge
one of sin, is for both the uncircumcised Gentiles and for the circumcised Jews. But this
is only for those who have faith in God, who listen to God in the spirit, and trust Him as
their Lord, for those who do not walk according to self-centered desires of the
flesh.καὶ πόλεις Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρας τεφρώσας καταστροφῇ κατέκρινεν, ὑπόδειγμα
μελλόντων ἀσεβεῖν τεθεικώς, καὶ δίκαιον Λὼτ καταπονούμενον ὑπὸ τῆς τῶν ἀθέσμων ἐν
ἀσελγείᾳ ἀναστροφῆς ἐρρύσατο· βλέμματι γὰρ καὶ ἀκοῇ ὁ δίκαιος ἐγκατοικῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς
ἡμέραν ἐξ ἡμέρας ψυχὴν δικαίαν ἀνόμοις ἔργοις ἐβασάνιζεν· οἶδεν Κύριος εὐσεβεῖς ἐκ
πειρασμοῦ ῥύεσθαι, ἀδίκους δὲ εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεως κολαζομένους τηρεῖν, μάλιστα δὲ
τοὺς ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ μιασμοῦ πορευομένους καὶ κυριότητος
καταφρονοῦντας.

Translation: "Also He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by a destruction,


reducing them to ashes, having set down an example for those always intending to be
ungodly. Yet He rescued righteous Lot, being worn down by the unprincipled behavior in
lack of self-constraint. For, by seeing and hearing their lawless works, dwelling among
them day after day, this righteous one tormented [his] righteous soul. The Lord knows [it
is necessary] to rescue godly ones out of a trial, but to guard unjust ones until a day of
judgment, [until] being punished -- yet especially those going out after flesh in polluted
lust, and looking down on the Lord's power with contempt" (II Pet. 2:6-10).

Comment: Here there are two genitives of apposition with one accusative plural head
noun. Also note, in this text, Lot was called righteous three times, although his behavior
was far from exemplary at times. Still, Lot longed for righteousness in his soul, and had
a heart for God. We know this must be true since God rescued only him out of all the
people in the city. The angel also rescued His wife and daughters, but only because of
Lot himself, since his unrighteous wife was turned into a pillar of salt (for looking back
70

towards her old life), and his daughters later proved their lack of righteousness too. As
for Lot, what did Peter focus on as the main thing illustrating his righteousness? Was it
a deed? No, it was a form of faith. For Lot was tormented or vexed in his righteous
spirit, concerning the lawless works and deeds of the people around him. So Lot must
have heard the Lord in his heart, and believed those words. Righteousness begins with
an inward condition of the spirit and soul, one which believes God. Then it becomes an
outward manifestation of righteousness. Conversely, evil deeds mostly come from evil
hearts. The kind of wickedness which God hates most is the intentional kind. And these
people were intentional sinners, those who had nothing but contempt for the Lord
God.ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἣν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις Αὐτοῦ ἃ
δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει, καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου Αὐτοῦ τῷ δούλῳ Αὐτοῦ
Ἰωάννῃ, ὃς ἐμαρτύρησεν τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅσα
εἶδεν. μακάριος ὁ ἀναγινώσκων καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας καὶ
τηροῦντες τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ γεγραμμένα· ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς ἐγγύς.

Translation: "A revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show His
slaves things which are necessary to occur in haste, and He indicated by signs having
been sent through His angel to John, His slave, who testified about the word of God and
[about] the testimony of Jesus Christ, as much as he saw. Blessed [is] the one [publicly]
reading and the ones hearing the words of the prophecy, and guarding things having
been written to stand [authoritatively] within it, for the appointed time is near" (Rev. 1:1-
3).

Comment: Since most people in the church did not have a copy of Scripture, one
person would stand and read it to the rest, one portion at a time. Then he would sit
down and the elders would exegete the passage, explaining and expounding upon what
was read from God's Word. Other men, even younger men, would ask questions too, so
that the meaning could be thoroughly explored. Then the faithful were expected guard
the truths of these Scriptures in their hearts, once they grasped the full meaning. And
the faithful elders would guard against false meanings, errors, and things taken out of
context. John, and the other faithful elders appointed by Christ, saw this as necessary,
in order to prepare God's people for the events of the future, so they would stand with
courage and hope in the dark and troubled times about to fall upon the whole earth.For
other examples of genitives of apposition, Wallace suggested Luke 2:41; John 11:13;
13:1; Acts 2:33; II Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14 and Rev. 14:10. Then, as mentioned
previously, Wallace also believes the following contains a genitive of apposition: τὸ δὲ
Ἀνέβη τὶ ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβε εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς ("so this, 'He ascended,'
what is it if not that also He descended into the lower parts of the earth," Eph. 4:9). Here
Wallace suggests the plural μέρη ("parts") is an ambiguous term referring to multiple
regions or parts of some bigger location, and is then followed by a singular genitive of
apposition which indicates one region or part among those other implied regions or
parts. Thus, this would mean, "the lower parts [of the universe or of the whole of
existence], namely, the earth." He cites examples like Isaiah 9:1 in the Septuagint, and
71

Mat. 2:22, which seem to use a singular genitive of apposition with the plural μέρη as
well. Also, similar uses are found in Mat. 15:21; 16:13; Mark 8:10 and Acts 2:10. By this
argument, he says that this passage does not really state that Jesus descended into
hell, as some take this to mean. Really, all it says is that it refers to Jesus' incarnation,
when Jesus descended to the earth to walk among men. And I absolutely agree,
according to context. But I don't know if the translation as a partitive really even implies
that Jesus descended into hell in the first place. Either way this is translated, it refers to
Jesus' incarnation, not to some kind of descent into hell, which is totally unrelated to
context.
k. Genitives of Destination
(Genitives of Direction or Purpose)Wallace defines the genitive of destination as a
genitive which indicates one or more of the following:Where the head noun is
going.Direction of the head noun's movement or focus.Purpose of the head noun's
existence.At times, a genitive of destination conveys a definite expression of intention.
But it simply suggests a "tendency" or even "mere direction" in other instances. So,
depending on context, it sometimes may be better to replace the key word "of" with
another key word implying more about what the text is connoting. Other key words
suggested by Wallace, which may be useful, are: "for the purpose of," "destined for,"
"towards," or "into."A genitive of destination is "somewhat rare." Wallace called his first
two examples below "clear examples." However, he labeled the other four "debatable
examples." For each, the head noun is highlighted in green and the genitive of
destination is highlighted in bluish green.τίς ἡμᾶς χωρίσει ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χριστοῦ;
θλῖψις ἢ στενοχωρία ἢ διωγμὸς ἢ λιμὸς ἢ γυμνότης ἢ κίνδυνος ἢ μάχαιρα; καθὼς
γέγραπται ὅτι ἕνεκεν Σοῦ θανατούμεθα ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν. ἐλογίσθημεν
ὡς πρόβατα σφαγῆς. ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τούτοις πᾶσιν ὑπερνικῶμεν διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντος ἡμᾶς.
πέπεισμαι γὰρ ὅτι οὔτε θάνατος οὔτε ζωὴ οὔτε ἄγγελοι οὔτε ἀρχαὶ οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα οὔτε
μέλλοντα οὔτε δυνάμεις οὔτε ὕψωμα οὔτε βάθος οὔτε τις κτίσις ἑτέρα δυνήσεται ἡμᾶς
χωρίσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Θεοῦ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.

Translation: "What will separate us from [our] love for Christ? [Will] affliction or anguish
or persecution or famine or inadequate clothing or peril or sword [do so]? As it has been
unalterably written, 'For Your sake, we are being put to death the whole day. We were
counted as sheep destined for slaughter.' But in all these things, we continuously win a
decisive victory through the One having loved us. For I have been persuaded and
remain confident that neither death nor life, neither angels nor earthly rulers, neither
things placed in current circumstances nor things about to come, nor powers, neither
exalted or low to the depths, nor any other created thing will be able to fully separate us
from our love for God, [from] that [which is] in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:35-39).

Comment: The verb used in the clause with the head noun and its genitive modifier is
the aorist indicative passive form of λογίζομαι ("count, reckon"), and indicates an
intention which is thought out and planned. With this verb, and in context, a translation
of this genitive should also try to indicate that purpose and intent, as a genitive of
72

destination.

What does this passage mean? Clearly, it does not mean anything even close to what is
taught in almost all middle-class North American churches and Bible Colleges today!
This is not about how Jesus loves us so much that nothing will take His love away from
us, resulting in Jesus keeping us safe from all suffering. Obviously, the fact that Jesus
loves us is established in countless places in God's Word, even in this very chapter.
But, God's love, Christ's love, is clearly not a protection from all these trials listed here.
In fact, we are told over and over again how we shall be persecuted and suffer for
Christ's sake, how we too shall participate in Christ's suffering, even as sheep destined
by God for slaughter. So it is actually a great crime, and a horrifying blasphemy, to
teach that we are all living comfortable, middle-class and extremely self-indulgent lives -
- even while there is brutal and Satanic injustice occurring all around us, in our own
neighborhoods, our own nations, and throughout the world -- because Jesus loves us
and protects us from that pain our brothers and sisters throughout the world now know
and bear so unjustly.

Really, what is this passage saying? First, we must ask ourselves if it is talking primarily
about Christ's love for us, or our love for Him? Obviously, our sufferings and our deaths
are not going to hinder Christ's love for us. So this must be talking about our love for
Christ, which comes from Christ, and how our love for Him and in Him cannot be
affected by circumstance or environment. It also makes reference to Christ's unfailing
love for us as well, since Christ is our prime example of One who did not stop loving
God or us, even through the worst and most unjust suffering unto death. Clearly, the
context indicates that our love for Christ will be the same as His love for us. For context
says, "in our weakness, the Spirit shares together with us in taking up the things which
are over against us" (v. 26). "And we know that, for those loving God, God works
together all things for good, for those being called according to [His] purpose" (v. 28).
This verse holds a particular emphasis on the "bad" things which happen to us, telling
us that even these hard trials will work for our good in the end. After all, we never need
to be told this when everything appears to be going well in our physical circumstance.
The point is, we are born again into a love for Christ, predestined to love Christ.
Because Christ died an unjust death for us, in His love for us, and because He
supplicates God on our behalf (v.34), nothing "bad" that happens to us can separate us
from our love for Christ.

For the apostles were not like the middle-class Christians. They were not living in the
delusion that everything is for self, nor living off of the exploitation of other souls and
through the ravaging of God's creation itself. They did not see life through rose-colored
glasses that filtered out all reality, except pretty homes and cars -- while ignoring the
filth, brutal injustice, vast prisons of extreme poverty from which countless souls are
desperately trying to escape in vain, and all the wicked exploitation going on around
them, making men bitter, cold-hearted and hopeless in spirit. Rather, the apostles,
73

along with most of their impoverished and persecuted brothers and sisters in the family
of God during that time, lived "as those doomed to death in the arena ... [who] hunger
and thirst ... are inadequately dressed and physically tormented and homeless" (I Cor.
4:9,11).

This chapter is a favorite of persecuted churches throughout the world, because its
focus rests on the groaning and suffering of the saints, and the whole of creation, of all
who must bear the frustration of slavery in a corrupted world -- and because of its
message of hope for a final liberation. But most middle-class Christians know nothing of
this hope, because they know nothing of this spiritual frustration. All they know and long
for is a physical solution to their tiny physical problems, like their debts, which were
mostly incurred for self-indulgent things they did not need in the first place, things which
do more harm than good. How many face torture and death, totally ruthless prisons and
starvation, both for themselves and for their loved ones, all for the name of Jesus? How
many face not just sexual harassment, but violent rape, sometimes on a daily basis?
How many face homelessness, even being driven from place to place, dragging one's
whole family along, even on the very day one's spouse or child is painfully murdered in
cold blood before one's own eyes? On that day, do they have to tell themselves to be
strong in Christ, because none truly die in Christ, because their hope is not in this
world? Do they need the courage and power of Christ on that day? Do they need the
real truth about God, and His real wisdom for life, in order to bear such horrifying
circumstances?

These middle-class "Christians" do not seem to realize that their delusion and lie can
last only so long before it collapses. Their lives are built on a foundation of sand, and
the prophesied cataclysmic world-wide events will soon annihilate all their churches and
lives built upon that sand. Either they or their children, perhaps their grandchildren, will
experience these worldwide events, which will tear away all that they now cherish so
selfishly. And what then? If they learned the real truths of God's Word now, with a focus
on God, and not a focus on self, then perhaps they would find the strength, through faith
and love for Christ, to face their certain deaths, and the deaths of their loved ones. If
they now learned to live very modest lives, and turned their focus away from the things
of this corrupt world, and developed real community, perhaps there also would not be
so many deaths, nor so much suffering, both now and in the future. But, as it stands in
North American churches today, they are only set up to currently cause much suffering
throughout the world, both through their sins of omission as well as their sins of
commission. And, thus, they surely work hard to cause much suffering and death for
themselves, and for their children, in the future, because they strive to make themselves
ill-prepared to handle the certain collapse of the world systems they love so dearly.ἀπὸ
δὲ τῶν δοκούντων εἶναί τι -- ὁποῖοί ποτε ἦσαν οὐδέν μοι διαφέρει· πρόσωπον ὁ Θεὸς
ἀνθρώπου οὐ λαμβάνει -- ἐμοὶ γὰρ οἱ δοκοῦντες οὐδὲν προσανέθεντο, ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον
ἰδόντες ὅτι πεπίστευμαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας καθὼς Πέτρος τῆς περιτομῆς, ὁ
γὰρ ἐνεργήσας Πέτρῳ εἰς ἀποστολὴν τῆς περιτομῆς ἐνήργησεν καὶ ἐμοὶ εἰς τὰ ἔθνη, καὶ
74

γνόντες τὴν χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι, Ἰάκωβος καὶ Κηφᾶς καὶ Ἰωάννης, οἰ δοκοῦντες
στῦλοι εἶναι, δεξιὰς ἔδωκαν ἐμοὶ καὶ Βαρναβᾷ κοινωνίας, ἵνα ἡμεῖς εἰς τὰ ἔθνη, αὐτοὶ δὲ
εἰς τὴν περιτομὴν· μόνον τῶν πτωχῶν ἵνα μνημονεύωμεν, ὃ καὶ ἐσπούδασα αὐτὸ τοῦτο
ποιῆσαι.

Translation: "So from those seeming to be something -- of what kind they were then
makes no difference to me [literally: "bears through to nothing for me"]; God does not
receive a man according to outward appearances [literally: "God does not receive the
outward face of a man"] -- for those seeming [to be something] contributed nothing to
me [i.e., in context, Paul is speaking of them contributing nothing in terms of correcting
of any of his doctrines, teaching him any new doctrines, instructing him to do anything
he had not already been doing, or providing him with any better wisdom for serving in
his ministry]. But, on the contrary, observing that I had been entrusted and remained
faithful with the Gospel intended for those who are uncircumcised, just as Peter [was
entrusted with the Gospel] intended for those who are circumcised -- for the operating in
Peter unto apostleship for those who are circumcised also operated in me for the
Gentiles -- and knowing the grace having been given to me, James and Cephas and
John (those seeming to be pillars) gave the right hand of fellowship [i.e., recognition of
communion in purpose and identity] to me and Barnabas -- in order that we [should go]
unto the Gentiles, but they unto those who are circumcised. [They] only [requested] that
we should remember the needy, and I was diligent to do this very thing" (Gal. 2:6-10).

Comment: Here there are two genitives of destination with one head noun, and the
second is separated from the other by the phrase "just as Peter." But they are both the
same construction and obviously intended to mean the same thing. This is just another
Greek "shortcut," or abbreviated method for saying, "just as Peter was entrusted with
the Gospel intended for those who are circumcised." Also note that, although the term
"circumcised" primarily referred to the Jews, it also referred to Gentiles who were full
proselytes, who had undergone full conversion to Judaism through circumcision,
baptism and a temple sacrifice (as distinguished from Gentile "God-fearers" who were
considered to be still Gentiles since they were not circumcised nor baptized). There
were many full proselytes, even whole tribes of Gentiles from the previous century, as
well as many Gentile converts since then. Some proselytes even seemed more Jewish
than many full-blooded Jews. A few even became notable rabbis. Nevertheless,
although Josephus and other Jews called the proselytes "Jews," and proselytes were
allowed to marry full-blooded Jews (except those of the Aaronic lineage), proselytes
were often seen as not truly being Jews. Still, they were definitely included under the
designation of "circumcised," and Peter (even before he knew God did accept
uncircumcised Gentiles into the church) would have preached to proselytes, in the same
way he preached to Jews. So it may be better to use the term "circumcised" instead of
the term "Jews."

Some churches make a very big deal about the accountability of each man to other men
75

who hold authority in the church. Pastors are also accountable to other pastors, or to
head pastors, overseers, bishops or whatever. There are man-made checks and
balances instituted into firm hierarchies of men. There are systems and creeds and
colleges with tests, along with many other things of men, all to ensure that church
leaders toe the line. Most threaten to at least fire pastors who deviate from their
doctrines, and cults of the past have even tortured and executed "heretics," all in order
to ensure their "right" doctrines are taught. There is only one little problem with this.

Historically, the only bodies of teaching we have seen from churches who do these
things are those which always fall within the range of "very bad" to "outright demonic."
But not even one of these churches have ever produced a body of doctrines which can
be called anything better than "very bad." And the more they try to install more systems
of men, and stricter systems of men, to ensure "correct" doctrine is taught -- and the
more they employ stronger threats to enforce adherence to their "right" doctrines -- the
more heretical those churches become. Actually, the most strictly regulated churches
are all terrible cults! The very fact that they turn all their faith towards men, and trust
only men to teach and regulate the teachings according to systems of men, means they
are already entirely defeated. They have lost sight of the Lord Jesus Christ as their
Head and Teacher. So, the best they can do after that is to disband their churches, in
order to keep themselves from being eternally damned as fake usurpers of Christ's
authority.

Yes, men sharpen men. So we believe in a plurality of elders in each church, as there
was in the apostolic churches. Also, men should not think of themselves as called to be
pastors or teachers until they are about 40 years old, or at least 30 -- and only if they
are truly called, trained and taught for many years by Jesus Himself, through His Word -
- not by men through the doctrines and traditions of men. Even then, they must not let
people address them as "Pastor," since a title is forbidden by Jesus. Rather, they must
know that they are nothing but sinners, totally reliant on Jesus to give them whatever He
chooses to give. Then, if Jesus also chooses to open the eyes of the people to real
truth, because they pray to know it, and because God puts in them the will to know it,
because they are His elect, then they will hear that truth, and guard it in their hearts,
applying it to their lives, each learning to serve according to Christ's personal calling into
his or her own particular destiny. But if Jesus is not the one and only Head of the body,
the only real Teacher of all, then there is no real body, no real church, is there? If a
church is run by men, taught by men, guarded by men, all according to teachings and
traditions of men, where their "head" is man, then it is not a body of Christ, not a real
church, is it?

In the final analysis, if Paul spoke about the senior and original twelve apostles as
merely being men who seemed to be something, but contributed nothing to him, then
we must realize that Paul was taught directly from Jesus through God's Word. Paul was
raised up into His ministry by Jesus alone, and taught by Jesus' Holy Spirit directly.
76

Every single true pastor is absolutely required to be the same. Nothing less will do.
Being a pastor is having the grace of Christ's Holy Spirit operating in him, nothing less.
Nor does God choose pastors, or judge them, according to outward appearances. Thus,
neither should we. No brilliance or eloquence will suffice. Only truth directly from Jesus
is good enough. After observing that a man has been taught by Christ, to the point of
maturity, where he is consistently producing the real fruit of truth for Christ, then the
other elders -- if they are also called, trained, raised up, and sent, all by Christ Himself --
can extend the right hand of fellowship to that man, counting him to be one with them in
purpose and identity. Pastor-elders are all men entrusted by Christ alone with the
Gospel of real truth, and are those who faithfully keep that trust, as the perfect tense of
the verb indicates.ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ἔχει ζωὴν ἐν Ἑαυτῷ, οὕτως καὶ τῷ Υἱῷ ἔδωκεν
ζωὴν ἔχειν ἐν Ἑαυτῷ. καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔδωκεν Αὐτῷ κρίσιν ποιεῖν, ὅτι Υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου
ἐστίν. μὴ θαυμάζετε τοῦτο, ὅτι ἔρχεται ὥρα ἐν ἧ πάντες οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις ἀκούσουσιν
τῆς φωνῆς Αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκπορεύσονται, οἱ τὰ ἀγαθὰ ποιήσαντες εἰς ἀνάστασιν ζωῆς, οἱ τὰ
φαῦλα πράξαντες εἰς ἀνάστασιν κρίσεως.

Translation: "For just as the Father has life in Himself, just so also He gave the Son life
to have in Himself. Also, He gave Him decision-making authority to do judgement,
because He is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed by this, because an hour comes in
which all those in the tombs will hear the voice of Him and will journey out, those having
done usefully good things unto a resurrection for the purpose of living life, those having
done easy worthless things into a resurrection for the purpose of judgment" (John 5:26-
29).

Comment: Clearly, both these kinds of resurrections are placed in direct contrast to
each other. Thus, each is the exactly same kind of construction, but each one uses
different terms with contrasting meanings. So we need to translate both phrases,
regarding the two kinds of resurrections, in the same manner, because Jesus obviously
intended them to express comparable concepts. Now, what is a "resurrection of life"?
Well, the gentive ("of life") can indicate several kinds of things. But the verb, with the
action noun as a head noun, suggests movement or travelling "into" something. Also,
when we look at the parallel phrase, "resurrection of judgement," we see that the
genitives are also meant to be interpreted as action nouns, that is, they refer to "living
life" and "being judged." Therefore, these genitives refer to a state of existence during
which an action takes place. Furthermore, because there is a movement into these
genitives, the movement is "for" or "to" the genitives -- certainly not "of" or "from" the
genitives. Then we must realize that the whole sentence answers the question "why?"
and begins with "because." So it indicates purpose, a reason "why" something is done.

Looking at all this, the translation likely should not simply indicate a "resurrection of life"
versus a "resurrection of condemnation," as many translations do. This is actually
intended to tell us why Jesus said He has life in Himself (that is, the power to make
alive), and also why He said He has decision-making authority to do judgment. The
77

reason is because He is indeed the prophesied Messiah ("Son of Man"). Furthermore,


contrary to what many rabbis taught, the Messiah Himself will cause the resurrection
and judge men. So, by the evidence, these seem to be genitives of destination
indicating purpose. As Wallace says, "Here the genitives seem to express both purpose
and result ... the gloss that seems to encompass both ideas is 'the resurrection that
leads to life / judgment.'"ἐγένετο δὲ, πορευομένων ἡμῶν εἰς τὴν προσευχήν, παιδίσκην
τινὰ ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα πύθωνα ὑπαντῆσαι ἡμῖν, ἥτις ἐργασίαν πολλὴν παρεῖχεν τοῖς
κυρίοις αὐτῆς, μαντευομένη. αὕτη κατακολουθοῦσα τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ ἡμῖν ἔκραζεν
λέγουσα· οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι δοῦλοι τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ὑψίστου εἰσίν, οἵτινες καταγγέλλουσιν
ὑμῖν ὁδὸν σωτηρίας. τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίει ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας. διαπονηθεὶς δὲ Παῦλος καὶ
ἐπιστρέψας τῷ πνεύματι εἶπεν· παραγγέλλω σοι ἐν ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπ᾽
αὐτῆς. καὶ ἐξῆλθεν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρα.

Translation: "Then, [as] we [were] going into the place of prayer, it happened [that] a
certain slave girl, having a spirit of a python [i.e., a spirit of a serpent dragon which
foretells the future], [came] to do battle with us. Whatever [she said by this] craft
continously provided much [benefit] for her masters, [while] soothsaying in a state of
being possessed by the spirit. This girl, following closely after Paul, repeatedly
screamed out saying: 'These men are slaves of the most high God, who fully proclaim to
you a way into salvation.' And this she did for many days. Thus, having been greatly
disturbed, and turning around, Paul said to the spirit: 'I command you, in the name of
Jesus Christ, to come out from her!' And it came out in the same hour." (Acts 16:16-18).

Comment: Looking at the event, we would have to conclude that this was a real
demonic spirit screaming out these words. Now God obviously did not allow this evil
spirit to say very much, and only that which was true, that which would benefit God's
message from the apostles in the end -- although the apostles were severely beaten
and put in prison overnight because they cast the demon out of the girl. Also, God
obviously commanded the demon to follow the apostles until the apostles cast him out
of the girl, since she was likely one of God's elect. Still, the demonic spirit attacked by
annoying the apostles and by disturbing their work. The demon was hostile to the
apostles. Therefore, we must interpret this in context, knowing it was spoken by a
spiritual being with full knowledge of spiritual things, by a hostile demon, but one being
commanded by God to do what it did. So, does this refer to "a way of salvation," or to
something more specific.

Clearly, demons are malicious, never giving anything away without strings attached,
without also binding men into a slavish dependence on them, guiding men into all kinds
of dark and depressing fears with destructive behaviours, manipulating men by their
lusts. A demon knows many ways leading into destruction. But a demon is also well
aware that there is only one way leading into salvation for men. Since a demon knows
that all men are sinners, and thus that all men are already heading for destruction, it
was here talking about the only way leading instead into salvation, the way through
78

Christ. It knew full well about this spiritual truth. So we should not really translate this as
"a way of salvation," which implies there are many ways. Rather, it needs to be
translated as "a way into salvation" or "a way that leads to salvation." We need to get
across that this spirit was forced to tell one last oracle to all those doomed to hell, that
the only way to escape was being proclaimed by these apostles. A translation must
imply that this is a "way" which is different from all other ways, a way whose purpose
and goal is salvation.ἢ οὐκ ἔχει ἐξουσίαν ὁ Κεραμεὺς τοῦ πηλοῦ ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ
φυράματος ποιῆσαι ὃ μὲν εἰς τιμὴν σκεῦος, ὃ δὲ εἰς ἀτιμίαν; εἰ δὲ θέλων ὁ Θεὸς
ἐνδείξασθαι τὴν ὀργὴν καὶ γνωρίσαι τὸ δυνατὸν Αὐτοῦ ἤνεγκεν ἐν πολλῇ
μακροθυμίᾳ σκεύη ὀργῆς κατηρτισμένα εἰς ἀπώλειαν, καὶ ἵνα γνωρίσῃ τὸν πλοῦτον τῆς
δόξης Αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ σκεύη ἐλέους, ἃ προητοίμασεν εἰς δόξαν, οὓς καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς οὐ
μόνον ἐξ Ἰουδαίων ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐξ ἐθνῶν;

Translation: "Or does the Potter not have decision-making authority to make, out of the
same lump of clay, on the one hand a vessel unto honor, but on the other hand a vessel
unto dishonor? So [what can we say] if God, willing to demonstrate [His] wrath and to
make known His capability, bore, with much longsuffering, vessels destined for wrath,
having been prepared and standing ready for destruction? And [what can we say if He
did this] in order that He might make known the riches of His glory
upon vessels destined for mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, whom also
He called, not only us out of the Jews, but also out of the Gentiles?" (Rom. 9:21-24).

Comment: This passage talks about the ἐξουσία ("decision-making authority") of God,
then uses the present participle form of θέλω to indicate the continuous will of God
involved in demonstrating these things. Both imply intent and determination of events by
God's sovereignty. Then it describes the "vessels of wrath" with the perfect passive
participle form of καταρτίζω. The perfect passive form means: "having been prepared
for a purpose and now standing ready for that purpose." Even if we took it to be a
middle form, it would mean: "He has prepared it for His own purpose and it is now
standing ready for that purpose." Either way, we are talking about a purpose being
involved, and that purpose is indicated by the following prepositional phrase, "for
destruction." Then the contrasting construction of "vessels of mercy" must also involve
purpose, since it is speaking of an identical situation, but where the purpose is for mercy
instead of wrath. The text describes these vessels with the aorist indicative active form
of προετοιμάζω, which means, "having prepared beforehand or in advance," with an
"indication of the goal." Here the goal is specified with a prepositional phrase too, "for
glory," that is, in order to be made into that which will receive the good opinion of God.
These are also those who are "called" by God, which again suggests for a purpose.
Thus, both these examples in this text are genitives of destination indicating purpose. In
other words, the first means "vessels destined for wrath," and the second means
"destined for mercy."καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις
ὑμῶν, ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα
τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρο, τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας·
79

ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν,
ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, καὶ ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς ὡς
καὶ οἱ λοιποί.

Translation: "And you being dead in [your] transgressions, and in your sins, in which
you once conducted your lives according to the age of this world system, according to
the ruler having authority over the air [i.e., all that is in and below the atmosphere of the
earth], from the spirit now operating in the sons of rebellion [i.e., "sons" means those
who share a dominant characteristic, namely, they are those who will not be persuaded
to do what is right]; among whom also we all once intermingled with [in daily life], in the
lusts of our flesh, continuously performing the things willed from the flesh and from [its]
understanding, and were children with a nature that leads to wrath, just like the rest"
(Eph. 2:1-3).

Comment: Some might say that, if Rom. 9:22 talks about "vessels destined for wrath,"
then who is to say that the genitive in Eph. 2:3 is not also a genitive of destination? If so,
would this not mean it calls us "children destined for wrath" here too? Thus, nothing is
predestined by God's will, since we are now saved, now destined for heaven, but once
were destined for hell. In answer to this, I should first say that the genitive in Eph. 2:3 is
likely a genitive of destination after all, but with a very different sense, considering the
context. And, above all, this genitive does not actually modify the
noun τέκνα ("children"). Actually, its head noun is φύσει, the dative singular form
of φύσις, and means "with a nature or essence." (By the way, φύσει is in all ancient
manuscripts.) Therefore, even if we interpret its genitive modifier as a genitive of
destination, the phrase would mean, "children with a nature leading to wrath." And, even
if the text read τέκνα ὀργῆς, it could not mean "children destined for wrath," since the
verbs and context simply do not imply that meaning. Also, what "nature" is this talking
about specifically? Is it talking about a spiritual "sinful nature," or simply the carnal
tendencies from the brain and body of flesh? Actually, it is talking about the nature of
the flesh. In this verse, the genitive form of σάρξ is a "subjective genitive indicating the
source of the desires" (R&R). And, yes, this flesh of ours definitely does have a nature
that leads to the incurring of God's wrath, if we walk according to its desires and
thoughts. So, any way one looks at it, this passage clearly does not indicate any kind of
predestination into a place of wrath, like Rom. 9:22 does. The context of Rom. 9:22 is
obviously different, especially with the verbs used there.
l. Predicate GenitivesA predicate genitive is a genitive substantive in simple
apposition to another genitive substantive, but joined by a genitive participle
form of a linking verb, to make an expression stronger or more emphatic. Actually, this
construction is "an emphatic kind of simple apposition" (Wallace). But since a linking
verb is involved, one substantive asserts something about the other. Normal rules
apply in determining which substantive is the subject and which is the predicate
nominative. That is, the priority for the subject is: (1) pronoun; (2) articular substantive
or proper name; and (3) the first substantive, if both are equal.Of course, the linking
80

verb used in this construction often will be a genitive participle form of εἰμί, that is,
either ὄντος (genitive singular) or ὄντων (genitive plural). But it may be another kind of
linking verb too, such as a genitive participle form of γίνομαι, ὑπάρχω or καλέω. The
genitive participle can be used with the two genitive substantives to create an adjectival
phrase (modifying some other substantive), or a genitive absolute construction (i.e., a
phrase which is grammatically independent from the sentence, and simply provides
additional information).Predicate genitives are "relatively uncommon." But Wallace
provided the four examples below. In each example, both the genitive substantives will
be highlighted in bluish green and the genitive participle form of the linking verb will be
highlighted in green.καὶ ὡς ἀτενίζοντες ἦσαν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν πορευομένου Αὐτοῦ, καὶ
ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο παρειστήκεισαν αὐτοῖς ἐν ἐσθήσεσι λευκαῖς, οἳ καὶ εἶπαν· ἄνδρες
Γαλιλαῖοι, τί ἑστήκατε βλέποντες εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν; οὗτος ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὁ ἀναλημφθεὶς ἀφ᾽
ὑμῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οὕτως ἐλεύσεται ὃν τρόπον ἐθεάσασθε Αὐτὸν πορευόμενον εἰς
τὸν οὐρανόν. τότε ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ ἀπὸ ὄρους τοῦ καλουμένου ἐλαιῶνος, ὅ
ἐστιν ἐγγὺς Ἰερουσαλὴμ σαββάτου ἔχον ὁδὸν.

Translation: "And as they were gazing into the sky at Him going away, then behold,
two men somehow were standing near [i.e., pluperfect form of verb, 'somehow ...'] by
them, in white garments, who also said, 'Men, Galileans, why have you been standing
and still remain standing, looking into the sky? This Jesus, the One having been taken
up away from you into the sky, just so will come [by] which mode you watched Him
going into the sky.' Then they returned, into Jerusalem, from the mount, the one being
called Olivet [i.e., meaning 'Olive Grove'], which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath's journey
away [i.e., literally, 'of a sabbath having a way,' meaning less than 2,000 cubits away, or
1000 yards / meters]" (Acts 1:10-12).

Comment: The noun ὄρους is the genitive singular of ὄρος ("hill, mountain"). Then the
articular τοῦ καλουμένου is the masculine genitive singular present middle / passive
participle form of the linking verb καλέω, and means "the one being called." Lastly, the
noun ἐλαιῶνος is the genitive singular form of ἐλαιών ("olive grove / garden"). Naturally,
since this genitive phrase is the object of the preposition ἀπό ("from"), the key word "of"
is not placed in front of the phrase. Wallace translates this as "[the] mountain which is
called 'Olivet.'" There is nothing particularly emphatic about this phrase, but it clarifies
which mount they were standing upon. After all, since Jesus will return in the same
"mode" or "manner" in which they watched Him go up into heaven, and "just so" or
"thus," then He will likely descend upon the Mount of Olives (also called Olivet)
again.κράξαντες δὲ φωνῇ μεγάλῃ συνέσχον τὰ ὦτα αὐτῶν, καὶ ὥρμησαν ὁμοθυμαδὸν
ἐπ᾽ αὐτον, καὶ ἐκβαλόντες ἔξω τῆς πόλεως ἐλιθοβόλουν. καὶ οἱ μάρτυρες ἀπέθεντο τὰ
ἱμάτια αὐτῶν παρὰ τοὺς πόδας νεανίου καλουμένου Σαύλου. καὶ ἐλιθοβόλουν τὸν
Στέφανον, ἐπικαλούμενον καὶ λέγοντα· Κύριε Ἰησοῦ, δέξαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου. θεὶς δὲ τὰ
γόνατα ἔκραξεν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· Κύριε, μὴ στήσῃς αὐτοῖς ταύτην τὴν ἁμαρτίαν. καὶ τοῦτο
εἰπὼν ἐκοιμήθη.
81

Translation: "So crying out with a great voice they held together [their hands over] their
ears, and, with one mind, rushed upon him. Then casting [him] outside of the city, they
began to stone [him]. Also, the witnesses [i.e., the 'witnesses' do the actual stoning of
the 'offender' in Jewish law] placed their garments near the feet of a young man being
called Saul. Then, [as] they began to stone Stephen, [he was] calling upon [Jesus] and
saying, 'Lord Jesus, welcome my spirit!' Laying [upon his] knees he cried with a great
voice, 'Lord, do not stand this sin against them.' Thus, saying this, he fell asleep" (Acts
7:57-60).

Comment: Because this genitive phrase modifies the accusative plural noun τοὺς
πόδας, it is an adjectival phrase and would begin with the key word "of." Again, the
participle used here is a genitive singular present passive participle form of the linking
verb καλέω.

In this passage, we see a classic example of how men behave in a typical man-made
religion, invented through the intellect, where self-serving men exalt themselves
according to their own vain thoughts. Naturally, most of these "great" religious leaders
were sentenced to eternal hell after they died. Yet many still revere some of them to this
day, since they want to be like them. But, in contrast to them, here was a simple and
truly godly man, Stephen, who served the tables of the poor. Now Stephen had rebuked
these proud and false religious leaders, members of the Sanhedrin. And he did so by
comparing their actions to the villains condemned by God's Word, exposing their
arrogance and hardness of heart against the Holy Spirit of Yahweh. Then, at the end of
his stinging rebuke by the Holy Spirit of Yahweh, he declared, "Behold, I see the
heavens having been opened and the Son of Man standing out from the right hand of
God!"

This was when these old religious fools, who had connived their ways to the top of their
man-made religious hierarchy, started screaming and covering their ears. When a man,
who uses false religion for his own glory, suddenly hears something that exposes
reality, and proves his entire delusion to be fake and leading only to hell, he can do one
of two things. He can either repent, or he can tell himself more lies to convince himself
that his delusion is real. And most do the latter, since they invest their entire lives in
promoting themselves on behalf of their worldly false religion. So, like we have seen
throughout history, and frequently see in our own day, these fakes covered their ears in
order to suppress the truth. Then, to justify themselves in their own minds, they
murdered the source of that truth, even while convincing themselves that they did so as
a service to God, as heads of the church who protected the church. Even while Stephen
spoke directly to Jesus, the God of all men, and even as he called upon God to forgive
his own murderers, these criminal minds simply grew more angry and finished killing
him. After all, rulers of fake in religion only want to hear useless flattery, or to have men
to cower before their imagined greatness. A fake does not want to hear about the
possible forgiveness of his sins, since that implies he is merely as lowly as every other
82

man.εἴ γε Χριστὸς ὄντων ἡμῶν ἀσθενῶν ἔτι κατὰ καιρὸν ὑπὲρ ἀσεβῶν ἀπέθανεν. μόλις
γὰρ ὑπὲρ δικαίου τις ἀποθανεῖται· ὑπὲρ γὰρ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ τάχα τις καὶ τολμᾷ ἀποθανεῖν·
συνίστησιν δὲ τὴν Ἑαυτοῦ ἀγάπην εἰς ἡμᾶς ὁ Θεὸς
ὅτι ἔτι ἁμαρτωλῶν ὄντων ἡμῶν Χριστὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀπέθανεν. πολλῷ οὖν μᾶλλον
δικαιωθέντες νῦν ἐν τῷ αἵματι Αὐτοῦ σωθησόμεθα δι᾽ Αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς. εἰ γὰρ
ἐχθροὶ ὄντες κατηλλάγημεν τῷ Θεῷ διὰ τοῦ θανάτοῦ τοῦ Υἱοῦ Αὐτοῦ, πολλῷ μᾶλλον
καταλλαγέντες σωθησομεθα ἐν τῇ ζωῇ Αὐτοῦ. οὐ μόνον δὲ, ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμενοι ἐν τῷ
Θεῷ διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, δι᾽ οὗ νῦν τὴν καταλλαγὴν ἐλάβομεν.

Translation: "Surely [you see] how Christ, according to the appointed time, still pressed
onward [and] died on behalf of ungodly ones, for us who are weak. For, with difficulty,
someone will die himself on behalf of a righteous man, since one perhaps dares to die
on behalf of the good man. But God brings together [evidence of] the love from Himself
for us, because Christ died on behalf of us, for us [who are] continuously
existing [as] sinners. Thus, with much more [benefit than] now having been justified in
His blood, we will be saved through Him from [future] wrath. For if, [while] being
enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, with much more
[benefit than] having been reconciled, we will be saved in [the sphere of will and power
associated with] His life. Yet not only [this], but [there is] also our boasting in God
through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now have received the reconciliation"
(Rom. 5:6-11).

Comment: There are actually a couple of examples of predicate genitives in this text,
one right at the beginning (ὄντων ἡμῶν ἀσθενῶν), and both are emphatic, asserting
what we are now, were always, and will be until we die in the flesh and receive His
judgment solution of our perfecting on the final day. Throughout our lives on earth, we
shall always have strong ungodly and sinful tendencies from the brain and body of flesh.
But, looking now at the highlighted example, there are a few things to note. First, we
must determine which order the two substantives should take with regards to the linking
verb. Here, the pronoun takes priority over the anarthrous noun. So that pronoun
becomes the subject for the English translation, and the other the predicate. Then we
must not forget that the participle form of the linking verb is what is being modified by
the adverb ἔτι ("still, yet").

Also, some may want to translate this as a clause such as, "while we still were sinners."
Wallace says, "This is an instance of a genitive absolute construction that involves an
equative verb as participle," which means it would be a grammatically independent
element. Of course, to translate this as an English clause, the pronoun is changed into
the subjective form "we" and the participle is changed into "were." Yet this seems to
almost take away some meaning. For one thing, it does not really appear that Paul is
talking about how we "were" sinners in the past, implying that we are no longer sinners.
This is especially true since he emphasizes the adverb ἔτι at the very front of the whole
clause, and this adverb is meant to give a sense of continuance. In context, this is not
83

during a past time, but in a present time. Paul always maintains we are still sinners. So
we should perhaps try to interpret that sense of past, present and future continuance
into the text. Also, the genitives seem to indicate "for" or "on behalf of," especially since,
a few words later, this sentence contains the preposition ὑπέρ with the object being the
same genitive (ἡμῶν) that is used in this phrase with the predicate genitive. Clearly, ἔτι
ἁμαρτωλῶν ὄντων ἡμῶν refers to the same persons as that object of the preposition.
Thus, this predicate genitive was here translated in apposition to the object of the
preposition.

This passage draws our attention to the fact that Christ did not stop Himself from dying
on our behalf because we were weak ungodly sinners. And, even though we are still
weak ungodly sinners, to a large extent -- because our will of our flesh wars against the
newly created will of our born-again spirits, and against the will of the Master's Holy
Spirit who rules over our redeemed spirits -- we know, with absolute certainty that God
loves us. We know this because of the evidence which God clearly put forward, namely
that God Incarnate, the utterly sinless Jesus, died on our behalf. Due to His sacrifice on
the cross, we have justification, which always includes both the payment of our sins'
penalty along with His counselling, which lead us into righteous and wise actual
behaviour in this life on earth. But, much more beneficial than this, is our salvation from
future wrath on the judgment day. When we are talking about biblical judgment, God's
kind of judgment, there is nothing but wrath for those who have no will to do what is
good and right in God's eyes. But, for those who can be redeemed, who desire to live a
life pleasing to God, full of righteous and true love, there is correction for the
straightening and perfecting of their lives. And this is what we shall receive from Jesus,
in order to live with Him forever in heaven. We shall not receive wrath, not in this life,
nor in eternity. Yes, we shall receive some fiery trials of correction, but we never receive
God's unbridaled wrath.

However, do we see how this correction depends on Christ's resurrection bodily? Christ
had to rise from the dead in His body, in order to seal the promise of hope for our lives.
For we too have hope in this bodily life because Jesus rose in His body. Because He
lives, we can live now. Because He was raised, we too shall be raised out of the dead
into eternal life. Of course, Jesus' body is, at this present time, glorified into a spiritual
body. For flesh and blood cannot exist in the spiritual heaven, where He is now. And, so
also, our bodies will be transformed or exchanged for spiritual bodies when we go to
heaven. However, a body is a body. And we have bodies. So, if Jesus did not rise
bodily, then all human beings with bodies in the likeness of Christ's body would be
doomed to never have life in a body. Yet Jesus rose bodily. Therefore, we live by His
life, in the sphere of His will and power continuously exerted on behalf of us, for whom
He died, on behalf of those born in a body of flesh just as He was also born in a lowly
body of flesh. This itself is "much more" beneficial than even His reconciliation through
His blood shed in death.
84

Furthermore, we have a great hope in all this. And that hope gives way to our boasting
in God. Just as men boast about the wealth they store up, and how comfortably they will
live on it during retirement, we can boast in a much better way. For we can look forward
to an eternal future with far greater riches, even taking with us our spiritual treasures of
truth, justice, mercy, righteous love, joy and peace accumulated here on earth. But
those who have stored up wealth for retirement on earth, only have to look forward to a
very short time of ease and moderate pleasure (e.g., Luke 12:16-48). Many die only a
few years after retirement. Some are too old and physically weak or sick to truly enjoy
their retirement. Others, even if they are healthy for awhile, get extremely bored, since
their lives become purposeless. Still others lose all their wealth before they retire, since
something happens to steal away their life's savings. And surely, with the prophesied
cataclysmic events of the future, none who live when those events begin to occur, will
have anything worldly to rely upon for retirement. But, like the apostles and all men of
God, we will work till we die, God willing, or until we can no longer work. Then we look
forward to an eternal life of perfect health and fruitful service to Christ in heaven. Yet we
will have even the basic necessities from our people in our family of God until then
too.ἄρα οὖν οὐκέτι ἐστὲ ξένοι καὶ πάροικοι, ἀλλὰ ἐστὲ συμπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων καὶ οἰκεῖοι
τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐποικοδομηθέντες ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ
προφητῶν, ὄντος ἀκρογωνιαίου Αὐτοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησου, ἐν ᾧ πᾶσα οἰκοδομὴ
συναρμολογουμένη αὔξει εἰς ναὸν ἅγιον ἐν Κυρίῳ, ἐν ᾧ καὶ ὑμεῖς συνοικοδομεῖσθε εἰς
κατοικητήριον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν πνεύματι.

Translation: "In conclusion therefore, you are no longer strangers and resident aliens,
but you are fellow-citizens of the saints and members of God's family, having been built
up upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the
cornerstone, in whom the entire building, [while] being fit together, grows into a holy
temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built up in spirit [as different parts of a
building being constructed all at the same time together] into a permanent dwelling
place of God" (Eph. 2:19-22).

Comment: Once again, for the English translation, the order of substantives must follow
the Greek system of priority. And the whole phrase, Αὐτοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησου refers to one
Person, "Christ Jesus Himself," so it is treated as one substantive. Since this is a proper
name, and the other substantive (ἀκρογωνιαίου, "cornerstone") is just an anarthrous
noun, the proper name receives the main focus, and thus is translated as the subject of
the phrase in the English translation. Also, Wallace says this is a "genitive absolute
construction." So it is translated as an independent phrase between commas.

Because it is so important, let me once again refute those who say the "Christian"
church began when Jesus came, or at the Pentecost. Those who believe this also think
the Jews must enter the Gentile church to be saved. Of course, according to this
chapter, and many other teachings found in God's Word, this is a clearly false doctrine.
Here Paul says the Gentiles were, at one time, "apart from Christ." But He does not say
85

the Jews were. Why were Gentiles "apart from Christ," the Jewish Messiah and King? It
was because they were also "excluded from citizenship in Israel" as "strangers of the
covenants of promise" (verses 11-12). God made all His "covenants of promise" with
Israel forever, and with Israel alone, never with any Gentile people-group. The first
"covenant of promise" (related to the church) was the Abrahamic covenant, the promise
which created the church itself in the first place, a people group separated unto God.

In sanctification, this Abrahamic covenant separated God's church from the world, that
is, from the Gentiles. But God now brings believing Gentiles "near by the blood of
Christ" (v.13). God brings these believing Gentiles "near" to Him, by joining them to His
church of Israel. Then it says Christ is "our peace, the One having made both one" (v.
14). Well, does this mean God made both one by joining the Jews to Gentiles, thus
destroying His church of Israel, which He promised would last forever, and thus also
breaking His promise? Or does it mean God brings Gentile believers into Israel, even
into Israel's spiritual temple which is their Messiah's body, thus "having broken the
middle wall of partition" (v. 14) which kept Gentiles out of the inner area of His temple?
Clearly, the latter is true. God brought Gentiles into Israel, even to the inner grounds of
His temple.

So now we have one body, which is the body of the Jewish Messiah Jesus. And both
Jews and Gentiles are equally sinners. So both need reconciliation with God through
Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. So both receive this from Jesus, which brings both peace
with God. From all this, we must now draw a conclusion, as is indicated by the
words ἄρα οὖν("then therefore," but indicates, "in conclusion therefore"). And that
conclusion is that Gentiles are "no longer strangers," that is, from the covenants of
promise. Now one other "covenant of promise" is the New Covenant of salvation in
Christ's blood, which was also made with Israel and with Israel alone. Salvation can only
come through Israel's New Covenant. There is no other salvation. Yet Gentiles can join
Israel in this covenant and its salvation. And they are "no longer ... resident aliens," like
Gentile proselytes and God-fearers were considered to be, even though they worshiped
the God of Israel with Israel. Now these believers are "fellow citizens of the saints and
members of God's family." Israel is God's family, the bride of God and the children of
God. So Gentiles are now full members of this Jewish family, when they are truly
brought into Christ.

If Gentiles are true believers, they have been built up upon the foundation of the Jewish
New Covenant apostles and Jewish Old Covenant prophets. They have been placed
like individual stones upon the one foundation of the one building of the one church of
Israel, which is owned by Christ. And this building is still being continuously built up to
this day, as the remaining present tense verbs in this passage indicate. We are now
"being fit together" into the temple or body of Christ, holy inside the sphere of all that is
of Christ. Each individual and local church is "being built up in spirit," so that different
parts of the temple are always being built, all at the same time, throughout the world, by
86

God Himself.

Now the stock answer to all this is: "I'm not going to change my beliefs because they
are not essential doctrines, and who cares when the church began?" Well, God cares.
Why? First of all, we are saved by faith. So, if one refuses to believe what God says in
His Word, then one does not believe God, and is therefore an unbeliever, and not
saved. Second, in truly believing the doctrine that we are joined to Israel, one's whole
attitude towards the living Jews in one's own community, and in the world, is severely
affected. Yes, our Jewish neighbors often oppose the Gospel of Christ. Yet they are, in
fact, our beloved brothers and sisters, into whose family we have been joined by God.
Even many Jews who oppose Christ yet remain the beloved election of God, who will be
saved by Christ on the judgment day (Rom. 11:28-29). So Christians are closer to Jews
than they are to any other people group or nation in the world. Then we must remember
that the false doctrines of replacement theology have led Roman Catholics and
Protestants to persecute, oppress, beat, starve and murder millions of Jews over the
last two thousand years. So too, the humanistic Roman Catholics are directly
responsible for the bigotry of the Nazi secular humanists, who murdered six million
Jews. Can "Christians" join in that?

This murder of Jews continues today, by so-called "Christians" and by Muslims, both of
whom cling to very similar false doctrines of replacement theology. So anyone who
upholds those false doctrines actually shares in the guilt of all their sins committed
against Jews because of those false doctrines, all those sins now and throughout
history. After all, one shares guilt with a criminal if one testifies falsely on behalf of that
criminal, even if that criminal lived long ago. This principle of sharing guilt by collusion
was upheld by Jesus (e.g., Mat. 23:29-35), and comes from God's law (e.g., perhaps
Ex. 23:1-2 and Deut. 19:18-19 will suffice for now), with support from other witnesses
(e.g., Rev. 18:4). Since one shares in the crimes of all those with whom one shares in
the lies that caused those crimes, then all those who believe in the false doctrines which
caused murders in the past, are also unrepentant murderers themselves. But
unrepentant murderers cannot enter heaven. Thus, the doctrine that replacement
theology is a so-called "non-essential" doctrine, which does not affect salvation, is itself
false.

On a more positive note, there is much to be gained by understanding that Israel is the
one and only church, established by God through Abraham. First, if God did not forsake
Israel, even after all their sins -- although He punished them severely, and also said that
not all Israel is Israel -- then we know that God will never completely forsake those who
are His true elect among the Gentiles -- although He also may punish them for sins.
Second, although we utterly reject the false doctrines of Jews (those which are based
on traditions of men and not on God's Word), we also begin to see many things that
God taught His people of Israel to do rightly. These ways are far more effective than the
humanistic Roman ways currently practiced by almost all "Christian" churches. Also,
87

these Jewish ways are illustrated in, and supported by, the whole of God's Word, both
the Old and New Testaments, because they came from God. So we can learn very
much indeed from the Jews, if we are careful to toss out their horrible traditions of men.
After all, Jews are the original people of God, the natural branches of the church. They
have been shaped by God for four thousand years. All God's covenants, Messiah the
God, the Word of God, the salvation of God, and all that is truly valuable on earth, came
from God through His people of Israel, the one church. "Salvation is out of the Jews"
(John 4:22).Other examples of predicate genitives, provided by Wallace, include John
4:9, Acts 18:12 (a genitive absolute construction), and Acts 21:8 (where the predicate
genitive ἑνος must be supplied).
m. Genitives of SubordinationHere the key word "over" often can be used instead of
"of" in front of the genitive, because a genitive of subordination indicates a person,
people, land, territory or thing which is subordinate under the rule or authority of
its head noun. Of course, this is another "lexico-semantic" category, in that the head
noun (which can also be a participle or other substantive) must be in the class of words
indicating rulers or authorities. Two head nouns, which Wallace says are common, are
forms of βασιλεύς ("king") and ἄρχων ("ruler"). Of course, Θεός is also a ruler. Then the
genitive must be something which is under the ruler or authority. The genitive of
subordination can be a type of objective genitive, when the head noun suggests an
action of ruling, but it cannot otherwise. So this is treated here as a separate
category.Although Wallace does not say how often the genitive of subordination is
found in the GNT, it is likely "somewhat rare." His first three examples below were
called "clear examples," but he labeled the last three as "disputed examples." In
each, the head noun is highlighted in green and the genitive of subordination is
highlighted in bluish green.αὐτῶν δὲ ἐξερχομένων, ἰδοὺ προσήνεγκαν Αὐτῷ κωφὸν
δαιμονιζόμενον. καὶ ἐκβληθέντος τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐλάλησεν ὁ κωφός. καὶ ἐθαύμασαν οἱ
ὄχλοι λέγοντες· οὐδέποτε ἐφάνη οὕτως ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ. οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον· ἐν τῷ
ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια.

Translation: "So, while they were going outside, behold, they carried to Him a dumb
man being demon possessed. Then, [after] the demon [had] been expelled, the dumb
man spoke. Thus the crowds were amazed, saying, 'Never was it manifested this way in
Israel!' Yet the Pharisees said, 'By the ruler over the demons He casts out the demons'"
(Mat. 9:32-34).

Comment: The genitive of subordination is obvious here. Of course, it can also be


translated as "the ruler of demons," and most would know exactly what was meant. But
it really means "the ruler over demons," and one might want to make that explicitly clear
in the translation. In this instance, the Pharisees were actually accusing Jesus of
casting out demons by the power of Satan, who is "the ruler over demons." This was a
great sin, because it was deliberately a telling a lie about an action of God's Spirit
working through Jesus. Thus, it was telling a lie about the Holy Spirit of God, and
slandering the Holy Spirit.
88

If they simply slandered Jesus, by honestly saying something in ignorance, like, "He
appears to be just an ordinary man, and we suspect that He is not a true prophet sent
from God, because He does not follow our traditions," then they might be forgiven. After
all, they would have been acting in error and ignorance, mistaking their traditions for
truth, and being too foolish to truly understand God's Word. Later, they could even
repent from this sin, when they learned the truth. Also, even if they slandered God the
Father, through a misunderstanding of who He truly is, by saying something like, "God
does not work miracles among men in this dispensation of time," they might be forgiven
too, for the same reasons. However, to intentionally slander the holy work of the Holy
Spirit, when He serves His people in righteous and compassionate acts of love, and to
denigrate Him just so that they can steal the admiration and respect of the people at the
expense of God's Holy Spirit, in order to steal and usurp God's glory for themselves, is
not a sin which can be forgiven. For this kind of sin is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

The reason this sin cannot be forgiven is that it is so very intentional. One who does this
kind of thing will never repent, nor even want to repent. The kind of spirit which commits
a sin against the Holy Spirit must be one born of Satan, and an elect spirit born of God
cannot commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Even if an elect spirit does not yet
know God at all, when that spirit sees any real work of God's great love, one which truly
frees a person from evil, one which brings God's righteous joy to another soul, then that
elect spirit will be in awe of the beauty of that miracle. Their intellect of the flesh may
even deny that it came from God, yet their spirit will still think the miracle itself is
beautiful and wondrous. But, if a spirit is so cold that it sees nothing good or beautiful in
a clear work of God, but rather thinks only about how other people will turn away from
oneself, and how one might lose some power or respect if others believe in the One
through whom the miracle came, and thus coldly plots to lie about what one saw, in
order to keep the people loyal to oneself, then one's spirit is not an elect spirit, but rather
a spirit born of Satan. For that one's spirit is permanently set in direct opposition to the
Holy Spirit, is entirely bent on its own wicked purposes. That spirit loves evil, hates all
that is holy, and despises all that is from God's righteous love. That spirit will never want
to truly repent.

Some might think God is hard and despotic because He does not forgive this kind of
sin, and throws some spirits into eternal darkness of hell. But think about it. Actually,
hell is a mercy of God, even though it is an eternal punishment. We cannot even feel
too sorry for the kind of person who goes to hell. After all, those spirits have never
actually seen, experienced or known any real beauty in their lives -- and never want to!
Now we know that all God's elect occasionally feel a glory in the spirit of God's physical
creation, as they gaze upon an open field in the morning light, or spring trees, or
majestic mountains. This is a reaction of an elect spirit to his or her Father, the Creator.
But a child of Satan only sees what an elect person's flesh sees. So, while an elect
person's spirit gasps in awe at the beauty of God's creation, their body and mind of flesh
89

only sees a good thing, not an awesome thing. In fact, the flesh might even be suffering
and not enjoying it at all. But the child of Satan only enjoys God's creation when they
can use it in some way, for recreation (usually involving powerful machines to give their
flesh a carnal sense of "conquering" nature), for profit, or for something else which is
appealing to the flesh.

Yet much more than the beauty of physical creation, an elect spirit rejoices to see a real
spiritual truth directly from God -- revealing utter holiness, justice, righteous and pure
love, or other things of God. And this is something the children of Satan can never ever
even begin to experience. When a child of Satan is exposed to real spiritual truth, they
either remain completely neutral to it (if it does not personally affect them in any way), or
they hate that truth (if it denies them some kind of pleasure or power of the flesh). And
this hatred of truth among Satan's children is not just a reaction of the flesh, like it
sometimes is in even some of God's elect, when their intellect of the flesh finds out it is
wrong. Rather, this hatred is a permanent and abiding hatred directly from their spirits.

Thus, if these children of Satan will always continuously hate all true spiritual light of
God, and can never even learn to love it, and if heaven is continuously filled with that
spiritual light for eternity, then how cruel would it be to cast those children of Satan into
heaven? Would it not be far more merciful to cast them into the spiritual darkness of
hell, where they can nurse their delusions and lies of their spirits forever? They are
children of Satan, who come from hell, whose native land is hell, and who shall return to
their father in hell. Sure their lies and delusions will torment them, just as those lies and
delusions torment them on earth, enslaving them and driving them into continuous
ungratified frustration. But they still cherish their tormenting lies and delusions, and so
must have them above all. However, God's elect come from heaven, and are born to
love the light of heaven. Their spirits are always drawn to that perfect and pure light of
God (although their brains and bodies of flesh often resist). Therefore, one way or
another, all God's elect shall surely be found in heaven for eternity, to be with Jesus and
the Father forever -- even if some elect must first pass through fire, to purify their spirits,
before entering.καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν Αὐτὸν, κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς
αὐτῶν καὶ λέγοντες· οὐὰ ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις, σῶσον
Σεαυτὸν καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ. ὁμοίως καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐμπαίζοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους
μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων ἔλεγον· ἄλλους ἔσωσεν, Ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι· ὁ Χριστὸς, ὁ
Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραὴλ καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ, ἵνα ἴδωμεν καὶ πιστεύσωμεν. καὶ οἱ
συνεσταυρωμένοι σὺν Αυτῷ ὠνείδιζον Αὐτὸν.

Translation: "Then those traveling by slandered Him, wagging their heads and saying,
'Aha, the One overthrowing the temple and rebuilding [it] in three days, save Yourself,
descending from the cross!' In the same way also the chief priests, [while] ridiculing
[Him] to one another, with the scribes, said, 'He saved others, He is not able to save
Himself! The Messiah, the King over Israel, He must come down now from the cross, so
that we might see and might believe!' Also those having been crucified and remaining
90

on the cross with Him insulted Him" (Mark 15:29-32).

Comment: A child of God, unless he or she has been terribly brutalized by the one he
or she sees slowly dying on a cross, and has not yet known the Holy Spirit of God at all,
could never say such things, not even about the worst criminal. But this illustrates the
coldness of Satan's children, many of whom claim to be members of God's church.
Some of these children of Satan even rise up to become the most prominent leaders in
God's church. And foolish people love, respect and revere these wicked sons of hell.
But we must be careful to realize they are not actually true leaders nor members of the
real church, just fakes, nothings who can make themselves look good outwardly to the
world. So we should not bow to them, nor work with them in any capacity in a church.

To this day, many of God's elect are fooled into accepting fake pastors just like those
illustrated here. Yet they expose the true nature of their spirits when they rejoice in
personal power over others. These church leaders were quite elated by their apparent
victory, relieved that they could now continue to enjoy the personal power they had
previously exerted over the souls they manipulated in the church, without any more
interference from Jesus. And when they mockingly said Jesus was the Messiah and
King over Israel, they were hoping the people would judge Him by outward
appearances. They wanted the people to see Jesus naked, humiliated, beaten and
dead on the cross, so they would not believe in Him as their Messiah and King. Yet the
opposite came true. We saw how that Man, who is God among us, saved others, yet
refused to save Himself, so He could bear the pain and death we ourselves deserved,
to free us from the penalty of our own sins. Taking upon Himself this humiliating,
degrading, tortuous death on our behalf, He proved Himself to be our true Messiah and
eternal King, King over the real church of Israel forever, a King who rules for the benefit
of His beloved ones, not for His own benefit. So we reserved our rejoicing until the time
which brought great anxiety and horror to the wicked, until the day He rose from out of
the dead, alive to rule all forever. Moreso, we shall wait until He returns in glory, to rule
the world from earthly Jerusalem.ἀλλὰ ἀπειπάμεθα τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς αἰσχύνης, μὴ
περιπατοῦντες ἐν πανουργίᾳ μηδὲ δολοῦντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλὰ τῇ φανερώσει
τῆς ἀληθείας συνιστάνοντες ἑαυτοὺς πρὸς πᾶσαν συνείδησιν ἀνθρώπων ἐνώπιον τοῦ
Θεοῦ. εἰ δὲ καὶ ἔστιν κεκαλυμμένον τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἡμῶν, ἐν τοῖς ἀπολλυμένοις ἐστὶν
κεκαλυμμένον, ἐν οἷς ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αιῶνος τούτου ἐτύφλωσεν τὰ νοήματα τῶν ἀπίστων εἰς
τὸ μὴ αὐγάσαι τὸν φωτισμὸν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς δόξης τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ
Θεοῦ. οὐ γὰρ ἑαυτοὺς κηρύσσομεν ἀλλὰ Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν Κύριον, ἑαυτοὺς δὲ δούλους
ὑμῶν διὰ Ἰησοῦν.

Translation: "But we have spoken out against the hidden things of shame, not walking
in unscrupulous cunning nor deceptively using the Word of God, but by the openly seen
things of truth, continuously presenting ourselves together [openly] towards every
conscience from men, in the sight of God. Yet even if our Gospel is having been veiled
and remains hidden among those perishing, it is veiled and remains hidden for
91

unbelievers, in whom the god over this age has blinded [their] reasoning, in order that
[they] cannot clearly see the illumination of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the
image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Christ Jesus [as] Lord, yet
ourselves [as] your slaves for the sake of Jesus" (II Cor. 4:2-5).

Comment: Here "the god" is portrayed as actively ruling "over this age." The one real
God is ruler over all ages, but this refers to the god of unbelievers, the one who blinds
them and makes them see only the things of this world. That is, God has given Satan a
limited amount of ruling power, subordinate to God Himself, for a limited time, and for
God's ultimate purposes. But Satan's power is enough to completely own and
manipulate his own people, where those people have no "free will," but blindly think and
do whatever Satan wills them to think and do. God lets the devil veil the minds of his
own children, so he can distort their ability to think and reason, until they cannot see
even what is clearly and plainly presented both in God's creation all around us, and in
the Word of God.

Many blinded slaves of Satan became teachers and leaders of cults. Back then, they
would often teach in stages, one stage for each level in the hierarchies they developed
and controlled as "lords." They usually implied that they were superior, having a great
and secret knowledge which others could only grasp step by step. So, with the first
stage of teaching (something usually carnally appealing), they lured "dupes" into their
cult, making them into their slaves willing to work for more of their empty promises.
Then they dragged some in deeper with each subsequent stage of teaching. Of course,
what they taught was all nonsense, but it often connected to reality just enough to make
their victims think it was real. Now the men who did these kinds of things formed many
groups, like those later called the gnostics, but included many religious cults using
terms from Judaism and Christianity. Often their "hidden things" and "secret knowledge"
made reference to God, prophets, Jesus and so on. Of course, these references were
nothing but shameful and disgraceful foolishness -- teachings with a "cunning" that was
totally unscrupulous, leading to everything from fornication to murder. So some of these
religious cults twisted the Word of God into extremely adulterated and deceptive
messages. It was somewhat easy to do this with the Bible, because it is a spiritual book
and hard to understand for most common people, yet remained highly respected as
being authoritative and powerful. Thus, deceivers easily got many souls to believe their
skillful distortions of its contents, in ways slightly connected to reality, but corrupted to
serve their own carnal purposes. Many deceivers do precisely the same thing today.

Yet look at the way the apostles described their own preaching! Truly these were men
actually sent from God to serve His people, even as slaves to God's people for Christ's
sake, on account of Christ's purposes and will. When the apostles talk about how they
preached, it can be always described by the word "openly." They hid nothing, but rather
renounced or spoke out against hidden things of the cults, which were all spiritually evil
and to the shame of those who believed them. All they said from God was laid out
92

openly, in the plain light of day, for the people to see. There were no stages where men
were initiated and received an accolade or title from other men, in order to be allowed to
advance into the next stage -- which was merely a way for hierarchies of those cults to
control their dupes, to ensure that no truth gets in, no one who thinks clearly enough to
"rock the boat" and disturb their dark delusions of their system. But in a real church, the
Head of every man is Jesus Christ, who raises up His own teachers, openly, in the sight
of all. Heretics run from these men, and go places to start their own oppressive cults.
But true preachers freely teach plain truth openly to all whom Christ calls to hear them.

So, today, when one finds a real preacher, one who is even beginning to be taught by
God Himself, being called and raised up by Christ Jesus our Lord, that one will freely
preach openly. A true preacher hides nothing from the people, if what he preaches truly
comes from God. A real preacher never manipulates people, in order to control the
people for his own purposes, to rule as a "lord" over the people. Rather, he freely and
openly proclaims the truth to all whom God makes willing to receive it. He bares his
soul, and knows he is nothing, for he knows that all good things must come only from
Jesus our God. All the truth he receives, he lays before the consciences of men. He
cares nothing for position and power over men, but is willing to lose all those kinds of
things for the good truth from Jesus. He will never proclaim faith in himself, to have men
follow him. Instead, he preaches faith only in Jesus Christ, Jesus as Master and Lord.
For only Jesus can teach and guide the spirits in the hearts of men, directly. For Jesus
lives!ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦτο ἠλεήθην, ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ ἐνδείξηται Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς τὴν ἅπασαν
μακροθυμίαν, πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν μελλόντων πιστεύειν ἐπ᾽ Αὐτῷ εἰς ζωὴν
αἰώνιον. τῷ δὲ Βασιλεῖ τῶν αιώνων, ἀφθάρτῳ ἀοράτῳ μόνῳ Θεῷ, τιμὴ καὶ δόξα εἰς τοὺς
αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. ἀμήν.

Translation: "But because of this, I received mercy, in order that Jesus Christ might
demonstrate in me, the chief [of sinners], all [His] longsuffering, as an example for those
who are about to believe upon Him into eternal life. So to the King of the ages, to the
immortal, invisible, only God, [is] honour and glory unto the ages of the ages. Amen!" (I
Tim. 1:16-17).

Comment: This same example is also found in the examples of attributive genitives,
where "of the ages" is treated like an adjective attributing a quality to the head noun
"King." In other words, when the genitive is interpreted as an attributive, the meaning is
more like "eternal King." But Wallace says, "The problem with taking this as attributive
(as ASV et al. do) is that the genitive is plural [while the head noun is singular].
However, if it were put in the singular, the meaning would not be 'eternal king' ('king of
the age' would be a temporal king). RSV, NRSV treat it as a genitive of subordination --
'king of the ages.' ... The question is whether innate character or actual domain is
emphasized. The genitive is elastic enough to include both; perhaps the expression was
left in the genitive for this very reason, as a sort of pregnant genitive." In other words, it
can mean both "eternal King" and "King ruling over the ages," and was likely put this
93

way in order to express both meanings. Otherwise, it could have been written as
either τῷ αἰωνίῳ Βασιλεῖ ("the eternal King") or τῷ Βασιλεῖ τῷ βασιλεύοντι τῶν
αιώνων ("the King reigning over the ages").καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν
καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν, ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου,
κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρο, τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς
υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας· ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς
σαρκὸς ἡμῶν, ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, καὶ ἤμεθα τέκνα
φύσει ὀργῆς ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί.

Translation: "And you being dead in [your] transgressions, and in your sins, in which
you once conducted your lives according to the age of this world system, according
to the ruler having authority over the air [i.e., all that is in and below the atmosphere of
the earth], from the spirit now operating in the sons of rebellion [i.e., "sons" means those
who share a dominant characteristic, namely, they are those who will not be persuaded
to do what is right]; among whom also we all once intermingled with [in daily life], in the
lusts of our flesh, continuously performing the things willed from the flesh and from [its]
understanding, and were children with a nature that leads to wrath, just like the rest"
(Eph. 2:1-3).

Comment: This text is also found under genitives of destination, but with a focus on the
genitive in the third verse, not on the genitives in the second verse, as it is here. Now
Wallace translates the part surrounding the highlighted text here as: "you formerly
walked according to the ruler of the domain of the air, [the ruler] of the spirit which now
works in the sons of disobedience..." However, he clearly misses the point. The one
who is the "ruler of the domain of the air" is one and the same entity as "the spirit which
now works in the sons of disobedience." Yet his translation makes it look like the "ruler"
is ruling the "spirit," which is like saying that Satan is ruling over Satan. That is not a
very logical thing to say. Really, what Paul is saying here is that Satan is "the ruler
having decision-making authority over the earth, over the air or atmosphere of the earth
and all that is below it." And Satan is also "the spirit now operating in the sons of
rebellion."

Wallace's reasoning for his translation is as follows: "Although some take πνεύματος as
a genitive of apposition to ἄρχοντα, this is semantically impossible because such cannot
occur when both nouns are personal.... The idea of this text, then, is that the devil
controls non-believers both externally (the environment or domain of the air) and
internally (attitutude or spirit)." But who says this is a genitive of apposition (i.e., a
genitive which provides a specific example within the larger class indicated by the head
noun)? What if τοῦ πνεύματος is taken as a genitive phrase in simple apposition to
another genitive phrase beginning with τῆς ἐξουσίας? What if both are simply
descriptive genitives defining who this ruler is? In other words, if the two are descriptive
genitives in simple appostion, it means: "according to the ruler, [the one being] the
authority over the air, [the one being] the spirit now operating in the sons of rebellion."
94

Obviously, that is what is meant here! But the idea that the "ruler" has this authority, and
the power causing the conduct of sinful lives is "from" this ruler, may need to be made a
little more clear too. Still, the "ruler" must be portrayed as the "spirit" working in the
wicked. Satan is the spirit.ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης
κτίσεως, ὅτι ἐν Αὐτῷ ἐκτισθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ
ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι. τὰ πάντα δι᾽ Αυτοῦ καὶ εἰς
Αὐτὸν ἔκτισται. καὶ Αὐτός ἐστιν πρὸ πάντων καὶ τὰ πάντα ἐν Αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν, καὶ
Αὐτός ἐστιν ἡ Κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος, τῆς ἐκκλησίας· ὅς ἐστιν ἀρχῄ, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν
νεκρῶν, ἵνα γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν Αὐτὸς πρωτεύων, ὅτι ἐν Αὐτῷ εὐδόκησεν πᾶν τὸ
πλήρωμα κατοικῆσαι ...

Translation: "He is an expressed form of the invisible God, firstborn of all creation,
because in Him all things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the visible
and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or decision-making authorities.
All things have been created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and
all things stand together in Him. Thus He is the Head of the body, the church; He is the
beginning, the firstborn out of the dead, in order that He may be holding supremacy in
all things, because [God] was well pleased [to have] all [His] fullness to dwell in Him ..."
(Col. 1:15-19).

Comment: First, let me quote Wallace's interpretation of the phrase: "who is the image
of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." Then let me quote his reasoning
behind this interpretation: "Though some regard this genitive to be partitive (thus,
'firstborn who is a part of creation'), both due to the lexical field of 'firstborn' including
'preeminent over' [I Chron. 5:1 and Ps. 88:27 in LXX, or Rom. 8:29 and Rev. 1:5 in
GNT] (and not just a literal chronological birth order) and the following causal clause
('for [ὅτι] in Him all things were created') -- which makes little sense if mere
chronological order is in view, it is far more likely that this expresses subordination.
Further, although most examples of subordination involve a verbal head noun, not all do
... The resultant meaning seems to be an early confession of Christ's lordship and
hence, implicitly, His deity." However, although I partially agree, there seems to be a
few gaps in his logic.

The biggest gap in his argument is that the main idea behind the head
noun πρωτότοκος is not "preeminence over." Many other nouns could have been used
if that was the main idea. Actually, the main ideas of πρωτότοκος are (1) first male born,
(2) a right to inherit a double portion, and (3) a little more authority than other brothers.
Now this right was sometimes, although rarely, given to one born second, if something
was wrong about the firstborn. Nonetheless, it is always a right received because of
birth order, due to the time one was born. Thus, "preeminence" is a secondary idea, that
is, the result of birth order. And the rule of the firstborn over his brothers was not great.
If you want to talk about real preeminence, one has to use a different head noun. After
all, brothers were always fighting with each other. For the firstborn did not get all the
95

inheritance and all the authority. Rather, he only received a double portion. So the chief
emphasis, by using this word, is first temporal, not about power "over" something.
Above all, the one primary consideration has to be about the timing. The "firstborn"
existed in time before all else.

As for Wallace's references, I Chron. 5:1-2 is about Reuben, son of Leah, who is literally
firstborn of all Jacob's sons. But he lost that status to Joseph, firstborn of Rachel. Then
it tells about how Judah ended up having preeminence in power over his brothers, but
how Joseph was still considered to have the "blessing" of the "firstborn," even though he
had no preeminence. So "firstborn" in this context has nothing to do with "preeminence."
In Ps. 88:27 (89:27 in our Bibles), it speaks about God making "David" His "firstborn,"
who is "higher than the kings of the earth." This has some relation to preeminence, yet
means that the throne will be inherited from David's line, more than it refers to
preeminence. In particular, the Messiah King shall come from David. In Rom. 8:29, it
speaks about believers being "transformed" or "conformed" into the "image" of Jesus
the "Son." The purpose or result is that Jesus is "firstborn among many brothers."
Again, this refers to a time element. Jesus spiritual "form" or "image" is first, before all
being made like Him. So it has no emphasis on "preeminence" in context. And, lastly,
Rev. 1:5 refers to Jesus' body being "firstborn from the dead," which is about His body
rising first into heaven. Thus it does not relate at all to His "preeminence." So all these
are about first in time.

Also, in verse 17, we see that it says He "is before" (πρό) all things, which obviously has
a temporal meaning. That is, He existed previous to the time when all things existed.
This would relate also to verses 15 and 18, indicating that "firstborn" means first in time.
The fact is that the word πρωτότοκος chiefly indicates first in time. Both verses 15 and
18 use this word to indicate that Jesus came before other things. Yet one cannot go so
far as to say it is a partitive genitive ("firstborn who is a part of creation"), since Jesus,
who created all things (including time), simply could not be a part of created things, all
of which rely on the simultaneous creation of space, energy and time -- which the book
of Genesis says God created. It also says, "all the fullness" dwells in Him (v. 19), that is,
all the fullness of God exists continuously in Jesus. So Jesus is one with God, because
all of the one God is in Him. Thus Jesus, as a whole Person, cannot be a "part of
creation."

Thus, Jesus existed in Spirit before anything (including time) existed. But, since Jesus is
"firstborn of all creation," it must refer to only Jesus' existence as both an earthly and a
heavenly "body" -- as that which relates to both visible (physical) and invisible (spiritual,
heavenly) creation. His body came first, before both earth and heaven. All was made in
reference to that "body" of Jesus, as well as in relation to His Spirit, which existed
before His body. In verse 15, it talks about His "image" or expressed "form" being
"firstborn," created first before all else. Then His "body" is also "firstborn out of the dead"
(verse 18). Consequently, this is not a partitive genitive, nor a genitive of subordination.
96

Now, it can be related to inheritance of a firstborn (possessive, "firstborn who owns all
creation"), which gives more of the idea of the head noun than having straight power
"over" it. It also may be a genitive of product, considering the context ("firstborn which
produces all creation"). He is the "Son" who built up the entire "estate" of God the
Father. In addition to this, it may be a genitive of reference (see below for a further
explanation). But it may be best to simply interpret it with the key word "of," then let the
context say all the rest.Other clear examples of genitives of subordination listed by
Wallace include John 12:31; Acts 4:26; Rev. 1:5 and Rev. 15:3.
n. Genitives of Production
(Genitive of Producer)Here, the genitive is used to indicate that which produces the
head noun, and normally can be interpreted with the key words "produced by" (e.g., ἡ
εἰρήνη τοῦ Θεοῦ = "the peace of God" = "the peace produced by God"). It is something
like a genitive of source (and sometimes classified as such), because the genitive is a
source of the head noun. But there is "a more active role on the part of the genitive [of
production]" (Wallace), since it involves the production of the head noun (i.e., it means
"peace produced by God," not just "peace from God").The genitive of production is also
like a subjective genitive. But the head noun, with a subjective genitive, is always a
verbal noun that implies an action (so it can function like a verb). Then its genitive
indicates the subject that performs its action (e.g., ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ = "the love of
God" = "God loves [us]"). In fact, the subjective genitive can often be translated just like
a genitive of production (i.e., "the love of God" = "the love produced by God [for us]").
So a genitive of production is often classified as a subjective genitive in most Greek
grammars.Likewise, since a subjective genitive directly performs an action, it is not quite
like a genitive of source either. With a genitive of source, the head noun is a "product"
or "thing" that is received in an unspecified way from the genitive (i.e., "the love from
God" is not as specific as "the love with which God actively loves us"). So, in this, it also
resembles a genitive of production.However, although a genitive of production functions
as a subject, like a subjective genitive, the genitive of production does not directly
perform any action which may or may not be implied by the head noun, but always
performs the action of the verb "produce." Then, with a genitive of production, the head
noun always functions as the direct object which receives the action of the implied verb
"produce" (i.e., "the peace produced by God" = "the God-produced peace" = "God who
produces peace [for us]"). Also, the head noun, with a genitive of production, is either
not a verbal noun (i.e., not a noun indicating an action), or else is a verbal noun that is
always better translated as a direct object ("[head noun] produced by [genitive of
production]"). Unlike a subjective genitive, a genitive of production cannot be translated
"by converting the genitive into the subject and converting the [head] noun ... into a
verbal form" (Wallace).In addition to this, the example of the subjective genitive above,
in a different context, may be used as an objective genitive as well, where the genitive
functions as the direct object of the head noun's action (i.e., in some instances, ἡ ἀγάπη
τοῦ Θεοῦ, "the love of God," can also mean, "our love for God" = "[we] love God").
Neither the gentive of production nor the subjective genitive are like the objective
genitive, because the objective genitive (not the head noun) functions as the direct
97

object, and the objective genitive is never the subject.Summary of Similarities and
Dissimilarities:Genitive of Production: ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ Θεοῦ = "the peace of God" =
"peace produced by God [for us / in us / with us / through us]"Genitive of Source: ἡ
δικαιοσύνη τοῦ Θεοῦ = "the righteousness of God" = "the righteousness from God" =
"righteousness produced by God [in us / through us]"Subjective Genitive: ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ
Θεοῦ = "the love of God" = "God's love [for us]" = "God loves [us]" = "the love produced
by God [for us]"Objective Genitive: ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ = "the love of God" = "[our] love
for God" = "[we] love God" = "the love produced [by us] for God"Wallace says the
genitive of production is "not common" in the GNT. But he did find four examples, all of
which he called "possible" illustrations. For each example, the head noun is highlighted
in green and the genitive of production is highlighted in bluish green.παρακαλῶ οὖν
ὑμᾶς (ἐγὼ ὁ δέσμιος ἐν Κυρίῳ) ἀξίως περιπατῆσαι τῆς κλήσεως ἧς ἐκλήθητε, μετὰ
πάσης ταπεινοφροσύνης καὶ πραΰτητος, μετὰ μακροθυμίας, ἀνεχόμενοι ἀλλήλων ἐν
ἀγάπῃ, σπουδάζοντες τηρεῖν τὴν ἑνότητα τοῦ Πνεύματος ἐν τῷ συνδέσμῳ τῆς εἰρήνης·
ἓν σῶμα καὶ ἓν Πνεῦμα, καθὼς καὶ ἐκλήθητε ἐν μιᾷ ελπίδι τῆς κλήσεως ὑμῶν· εἷς
Κύριος, μία πίστις, ἓν βάπτισμα ...

Translation: "Therefore I call you aside for counsel (I, a prisoner because of the Lord),
to walk about [in a way] worthy of the calling unto which you were called -- with all lowly
opinion of one's entire self and forbearance, with longsuffering, patiently putting up with
one another in love, making every effort to guard the oneness produced by the Spirit in
the bonding together which produces peace; one body and one Spirit, just as you were
also called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism ..." (Eph. 4:1-5).

Comment: Wallace comments: "Here, 'the unity of the Spirit' probably = 'the unity
produced by the Spirit.' Although the genitive is related to a verbal noun, it would lose
some of its force to say, '[by being diligent to maintain] what the Spirit unites.' Thus, to
call τοῦ Πνεύματος a subjective genitive does not seem to do full justice to the author's
thought here." The context seems to strongly support this interpretation by Wallace.

This seems to emphasize "oneness" or "unity" as product produced by the Holy Spirit.
Thus, the head noun receives the most emphasis by being interpreted as a direct object
placed first in a phrase, before the words "produced by." For the head noun would not
receive nearly as much focus if one translated it in a way indicating that the Holy Spirit
directly performed the ambiguous action of unifying. Transforming the head noun into a
verb subtracts emphasis and force from it. Also, this genitive of production is likely used
in contrast to the genitive of product found in the prepositional phrase immediately after
it ("in the bonding together which produces peace"). On the other hand, this can be
interpreted as a genitive of source too ("unity from the Spirit"). But "unity produced by
the Spirit" expresses this more forcefully and specifically, which fits better in context.

Jesus' Holy Spirit actively works in our minds of our spirits, to produce oneness or unity.
Mostly, He unifies by teaching, by quietly feeding powerful truths to our spirits. If we all
98

submit the ears of our hearts to His voice, listening carefully while denying our flesh
long enough to let our brains fully comprehend what He tells our spirits, then we all
begin to become one. Each might still think in a different way, with a unique method and
from an individual perspective. Yet all begin to think and act as one unit, for one
harmonious overall purpose, goal or objective -- that which our Head Jesus sets for His
whole body.

When translating, we must keep in mind the whole message of the entire Word of God,
which is a consistent and harmonious message. And it all clearly emphasizes that God
produces all. Therefore, especially when we have an apostle, directly moved by Christ's
Holy Spirit, calling for our action, we must realize he is surely also implying "how" we
are to perform that action, that is, entirely through the counsel and power received from
God. We walk by conducting our lives according to the directing influence of Jesus' Holy
Spirit, by Christ pulling our spirit unto whatever He calls us to do. Only in Him will we
find true wisdom, then unity in mind and purpose. We certainly are not able to unite in
any other way! Men try to unite under many foolish things. Some, like Roman Catholics,
want to unite under a man as a head, a pope and a council of men, a humanistic kind of
unity. But they usurp the words, authority and counsel of the real Head, of the living
Christ!

Others want to unite under a gospel which is so compromised and watered down that it
says virtually nothing in any absolute or clear way. By doing this, they think they can
make God look like He never says anything offensive to anyone. Their idea is that, if
God's Word is made to say absolutely nothing against anyone or anything, then no one
can argue about the "nothing" which God's Word is made to say. Then they think this
will allow everyone to accept everyone else. It does, but only with a superficial,
humanistic, man-centered, cold-hearted and tenuous kind of unity, which is broken
extremely easily. They do not want biblical unity, "the unity produced by the Spirit,"
which truly binds every aspect of one's whole personal life to another true believer's
inner life -- in sacrificing together, suffering together, dying together, and sharing joy
from God together. Rather, they just want a lack of conflict, with a tolerance that is
undefined, even to the point of allowing anyone to exploit or oppress the others. But all
this is nothing like the unity which is taught in God's Word. Jesus did not come to make
peace with Satan and sin, but to destroy the works of the devil, to set free the captive
and slave of sin, to expose and correct the willful errors of men. Our unity involves
denying ourselves, rejecting our lusts of the flesh -- in order to think realistically and
rightly, according to the real and effective facts directly revealed to us by our wise God,
through His Holy Spirit inside us.

For example, some want all Christians to unite under a "loving" acceptance and full
approval of homosexual marriage. To do this, they demand that we partake in a
wholesale denial of the fact that the truth and power of Jesus' Holy Spirit has turned
literally thousands of homosexuals, throughout history, completely away from their lust
99

for the flesh of the same sex. They want us to unite under one common premise, that
homosexuality is a biological orientation, which even secular science has proven to be
false. And God's Word clearly declares that homosexuality is simply a slavery and an
addiction to aberrant thoughts stemming from lying spirits. So, is this unity wise? Can
everyone unite in God under a lie? Is God a liar? Will this not just perpetuate slavery to
sin? Will this produce true respect for the truth of God's Word? Will this prevent the
endless trouble and death produced directly and indirectly from sexual immorality of all
kinds? True, sexual immorality only breaks the seventh of the Ten Commandments, and
is not as bad a sin as teaching false doctrine, which breaks the third commandment. So
we must not treat homosexuals as being much worse than heterosexual adulterers, and
know there is forgiveness and change of heart offered by God for them.
But teaching this false doctrine, in the name of our God Christ, is a far, far greater sin
than practicing homosexuality itself! And it causes much horrifying harm. Thus, we
cannot and must not unite under this false doctrine, nor destroy people by uniting under
any other lie of men.

The only kind of unity taught anywhere in God's Word, taught by God, is unity in Him,
with Christ as the only Head. And this necessarily entails unity in faith, believing His
authoritative teachings taught directly by His Spirit. Anyone who does not have an elect
heart, renewed and taught directly by Christ, is never able to fully join into Christ's body,
to experience this kind of oneness -- since it involves God's changing of one's mind in
repentance, with acceptance of the absolute one and harmonious truth of God, in
Christ, through His Holy Spirit. And God is clear in what He teaches. There is no dispute
about what God's Word teaches, when the risen Lord corrects us. His Word is very clear
and precise. Now there are plenty of people who deny what He clearly teaches, and
who love to twist what He clearly teaches, according to the lusts and strong desires of
their own brains of flesh. Those people only believe what they want, which is actually
only what they are told to believe by the lying spirits who own them. So they cannot see
or think honestly about the reality and truth exposed openly and clearly by God,
because they are blinded. No matter how intelligent they are, they will always refuse to
see what is plainly said in God's Word, or even what is plainly revealed in all nature
surrounding them. They are simply captive and weak-willed slaves, who must think
whatever lies their masters command. But we are freed, with our eyes opened, to see
and walk in the light, to observe and understand what is actually occurring all around us.
Therefore, the more each individual walks in this light directly from God, the more unity
such an individual will find with those who do the same. Oneness is produced by Jesus'
Holy Spirit, not by men.τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, ὃς ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ
ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ, ἀλλὰ Ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν
δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος. καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς
ἄνθρωπος, ἐταπείνωσεν Ἑαυτὸν γενόμενος ὑπήκοος μέχρι
θανάτου, θανάτου δὲ σταυροῦ.

Translation: "Always hold this opinion among you, which also [is] in Christ Jesus. [He is
100

the One] who, continuously existing in the outward form of God, did not regard being
equal with God [as] that which is stealing [from God's right to all glory and honour], but
emptied Himself [of personal advantage], taking the outward form of a slave, becoming
[a being] in the likeness of men. And being found as a man in outward appearance, He
made Himself lowly in social status, becoming submissive unto death,
even death brought about by a cross" (Philp. 2:5-8).

Comment: This could be interpreted several ways. Here it is translated as a genitive of


production. Wallace says this could also be a genitive of means ("death by means of a
cross") or a genitive of place ("death on a cross"). Then he says, "However, to take it as
a genitive of production brings out the force of the author's thought a little better ...
the δέmakes the statement emphatic ('even'), which fits well with a genitive of
production."

This seems to be part of an ancient hymn. In it, Paul first said Jesus submitted to a
human death in His body, which He did not need to do, since He is God. The only
reason Jesus died in the body, was for our sakes, to pay the penalty for our sins. Then
Paul adds that Jesus not only died, but He died as the most lowly of persons possible,
just as those who were considered to be less than human in the eyes of Rome. The
cross was reserved for persons of the absolute lowest possible status according to the
Roman class system, that is, for rebellious slaves, insurgents against Rome, and the
worst of criminals. In fact, this death was for those who were considered to be less than
slaves, and slaves did not hold status as human beings in the eyes of Rome. Thus,
Jesus died for everyone of His elect, no matter how lowly any may look in the eyes of
the world.μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς ἀπατάτω κενοῖς λόγοις. διὰ ταῦτα γὰρ ἔρχεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ Θεοῦ
ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας. μὴ οὖν γίνεσθε συμμέτοχοι αὐτῶν. ἦτε γάρ ποτε σκότος,
νῦν δὲ φῶς ἐν Κυρίῳ. ὡς τέκνα φωτὸς περιπατεῖτε -- ὁ γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ φωτὸς ἐν πάσῃ
ἀγαθωσύνῃ καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ -- δοκιμάζοντες τί ἐστιν εὐάρεστον τῷ Κυρίῳ. καὶ
μὴ συγκοινωνεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς ἀκάρποις τοῦ σκότους, μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε. τὰ γὰρ
κρυφῆ γινόμενα ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν αἰσχρόν ἐστιν καὶ λέγειν. τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ
φωτὸς φανεροῦται, πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστιν.

Translation: "Let no one mislead you with empty words. For, because of these things,
the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of rebellion [who put no confidence in the
words of God]. Therefore, do not become partakers together with them as one of them.
After all, you were once darkness, but now [are] light in the Lord. Walk as children of
light -- since the fruit produced by light [exists] within all useful goodness and
righteousness and truth -- carefully discerning what is well-pleasing to the Lord. And do
not ever have things in common together with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
rather even correct [them by exposing them through sound reasoning]. For the secret
things being created by them are uselessly ugly, even to discuss. But all things being
exposed for correction by [the power or agency of] the light are made clearly known,
since everything being made clearly known is light" (Eph. 5:6-14a).
101

Comment: In this context about the effectiveness of God's light, this should probably be
interpreted as a genitive of production ("the fruit produced by the light"). It can also be a
genitive of source ("the fruit from the light"), but as a genitive of production, it more
forcefully relates the idea that God's light has power to bear good and useful fruit of
effective truth leading to righteousness. This light is that which emulates, imitates and
mimics what is of God (v. 1). This light loves as Christ loves us (v. 2), a love through
which He gave His bodily life up for us, by teaching us the real truth against all
opposition from the false church, and by dying for our sakes. It is a light which is entirely
righteous and true, that which brings us salvation and "an inheritance in the kingdom of
Christ and God" (v. 5). It is the opposite of that which is unrighteous, self-serving and
greedy (v. 3-5). There is no misleading or deception from this kind of light, but rather the
reproving, correcting and exposure of that which is falsely taught about God's Word by
deceivers.

Many Christians claim to be "loving" because they overlook false teachings of men in
the church. But they are not loving in the least, since they sin greater and cause more
harm than non-Christians who overtly oppose the Word of God. Christians do not listen
to non-Christians, regarding God's Word. But they do listen to false teachers in the
church, and thus sin by those false teachings. Since the wages of sin are death, they
are harmed and sometimes die by the sins caused by false teachings. So how is it
loving to accept false teachings? Those who overlook false doctrines actually do not
believe God, since they do not believe His words. Nor do they truly and fully love the
real God, since they would love His words of truth, and hate lies about Him and His
words, if they loved Him. But they do not know the real God, otherwise how could they
believe false words about Him? Thus, they are false Christians, and will certainly go to
hell, unless they repent.

However, there are also many other Christians who go the opposite way, and breed an
active hatred against those who believe false doctrines, even when it is not their fault,
even when they are simple souls who do not presume to teach or preach the doctrines,
but just follow what the real deceivers have conned them into believing. Some hate
Jews of the one true church, just because God Himself has hardened their hearts
against the truth about their own Messiah Jesus. Others hate Roman Catholics and
members of other false churches. So they hate the victims, and seek to destroy the
innocent, instead of working to free those victims into Christ. Besides, these hate-
mongers almost always cling to more false teachings than the ones they hate, and are
usually worse than the ones they hate most! They are themselves cult members who
need saving by Jesus.

So we must remember, we cannot ignore any false teachings. But neither should we
ever try to use the violence and force of this world to threaten and terrorize souls into
cowering under what a few men falsely call "truth." Real truth about God can only come
102

from God, not from man. So man is not able to use force, nor any other means, to make
people believe the real truth about God. Of course, God's Word teaches us to reason
with souls. So we preach and teach, but God alone can open the ears of their spirits to
hear. And we can also expose lies. The word ἐλέγχετε is the present imperative active
of ἐλέγχω, and is a command "to scrutinize or examine carefully, bring to light, expose;
bring a person to the point of recognizing wrongdoing, convict, convince; express strong
disapproval of someone's action, reprove, correct" (BDAG3). All of these meanings are
implied here. We correct lies by exposing them in the light of real truth, presenting
reality before their eyes, until it is clear (φανεροῦται, "is made clearly known, is
manifested") -- that is, if God grants eyes to see. If they are unable to see, or refuse to
see, all we can do is pray, preach and watch ourselves, to find and guard the real truth.
Then, if God grants us some earthly power over men, by raising some of us up into
positions in government and so on, all we can impose on others is a minimum "natural"
law, to keep basic order, not religious law. For God alone can grant true faith in Him and
His words.

Now, clearly, according to God's Word, we are forbidden to join with any unrepentant
ones who claim to be Christians, who intentionally teach false doctrines or practice
other sins (e.g., Mat. 15:12-14; Rom. 16:17; I Cor. 5:11; II Thes. 3:6; II Tim. 3:5; Titus
3:10; II John 10-11). Yet we can associate with those who do not claim to be Christians,
even if they sin (e.g., I Cor. 5:9-10,12-13). And we must remember, it is not those who
sin in ignorance who are most at fault. Rather, it is those who willfully and intentionally
sin. Thus, all God requires is that we do not associate with any sinners who claim to be
Christians, until they fully repent. For those are the ones who know what God's Word
says. They possess and read Bibles, yet intentionally ignore the truth, or willfully cling to
false teachings by refusing to accept what God's Word clearly states. Therefore, we
must especially disassociate from so-called "Christians" who claim to teach or lead
others in the church, but stubbornly proclaim any kind of false doctrine. For they
practice willful ignorance, always learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth,
confidently affirming what they know nothing about. They sin in the worst ways, even
against all the first four of the Ten Commandments. Still, if some claim to be Christians,
but sin in other ways, without repenting (even by practicing lesser sins like murder,
sexual immorality, theft, greed and so on), we must have nothing to do with them either
-- except to rebuke them, expose their lies, correct their wrongs, and preach real truth to
them.

The devil puts his most powerful demons and deceivers in the church, because, if he
can destroy the power of the church, the rest of the society around the church is
relatively easy to destroy. For the devil knows that God works through His own children
of His true church more powerfully than He works through anyone or anything else.
Even a small church, if truly faithful, can powerfully reason out truth to the people, or
expose lies, and thus change the whole course of a nation towards more godly ways, if
God allows it. And the devil cannot fight against that! So Satan works harder at keeping
103

churches false than he does at causing any other kinds of sins. If he nullifies the power
of the church, the rest of the people are mere puppets in his hands. Then the devil also
knows that false Christians can most effectively slander the name of Christ too, and the
name of the one God, which Satan loves to do. Also, if an elect soul is living out there,
and has an inner propensity to turn to God in faith, the devil most effectively uses false
Christians to prevent those elect souls from truly knowing their Father God. So false
teachers in the church are far more evil servants of Satan than the Hell's Angels
motorcycle gang, worse than the terrible despots who physically murder people.

Above all, it is false Christians who cause men to distrust God and turn away from Him.
In fact, false Christians steal from all society, since they cause everyone to disregard all
the general benefits of the light of God's wisdom and truth, which is useful for all
aspects of life, spiritual and physical, personal and corporate. False Christians are the
worst destroyers, since they defame the body of Christ, giving both the Lord Jesus and
His church a bad name. The church is meant to be the light of the world and the salt of
the earth, whom He gave to the world in order to help all people. But false churches
make Christ's body look like a confused mess of darkness, like a worthless thing that
does not bring life and value into society. Now non-Christians are simply just what they
claim to be. So they do not slander God's name effectively at all, even when they boldly
speak blasphemies against God -- since no one believes them nearly as much as they
believe false Christians who claim to be God's representatives. Thus, non-Christians
cannot steal much of God's light from men, not nearly as much as false Christians.
False churches even hold many of God's elect children captive in darkness, by
deceiving them into thinking they have found God and His truth, when they have not in
fact. Therefore, we must be watchful and love God enough to truly care about what we
teach. If we do not care and love, God will hand us over to Satan's influence until we
repent, and turn to Him in desparation. But if the church is in Satan's hands, all the
world around us suffers too.χαίρετε ἐν Κυρίῳ πάντοτε. πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε. τὸ ἐπιεικὲς
ὑμῶν γνωσθήτω πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις. ὁ Κύριος ἐγγύς. μηδὲν μεριμνᾶτε, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν παντὶ τῇ
προσευχῇ καὶ τῇ δεήσει μετὰ εὐχαριστίας τὰ αἰτήματα ὑμῶν γνωριζέσθω πρὸς τὸν
Θεόν. καὶ ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡ ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν φρουρήσει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν
καὶ τὰ νοήματα ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

Translation: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice. Let your tolerant
reasonableness be experienced by all people. The Lord is near. Be anxious about
nothing, but in everything, by prayers and by petitions with thanksgiving, continuously
let your requests be made known to God. And the peace produced by God, surpassing
all understanding, will fortify and provide many protectors to securely guard your hearts
and your thoughts in Christ Jesus" (Philp. 4:4-7).

Comment: This is a kind of peace which "will guard." Also, this construction with the
genitive is a part of a "Semitic type of conditional sentence," as in, "make your request
known, then the peace of God will guard your hearts" (R&R). The word φρουρήσει is the
104

3rd person singular future indicative active form of φρουρέω, which is a military term,
usually referring to guarding by a garrison, often in a way involving numerous soldiers or
guards, and possibly fortifications. It suggests control over a situation too. Thus, this
kind of peace must operate through a highly regulated and orderly troop of answers to
prayers, and revealed truths, all of which are continuously provided by God, sent to us
as we pray. These answers and truths act like soldiers, forcefully calming and securing
our hearts and thoughts, putting down rebellion. They guard us from anxiety, panic and
all negative things which might rise up to cause uncontrolled and unclear thinking in us.

Paul talks about this kind of peace through prayer because he wants us know how to
rejoice, and how to act with "tolerant reasonableness." This kind of peace through
prayer is what makes us able to rejoice and be tolerant or reasonable. But anxiety and
fear steals away all joy, and makes one irrationally intolerant. We rejoice because we
have confidence in God through Christ Jesus. For we do not rely on ourselves, not on
own actions. Nor do we demand adherence to the letter of the law from others, but are
willing to trust in God by being reasonable in our judgments. After prayer and insight, we
can act with "tolerant reasonableness" towards others. If we were faithless, and relied
on everyone's full adherence to the law to keep us safe, to keep everyone in strict order,
we would rule by terror, like the superstitious and fearful pagan Romans did. Much rage
and violence stems from the inner fear that anything bad must be overcome by reacting
to it with force and violence, with a fight. Yet we know that all people are weak and
sinful in many ways. So we tolerate much -- although we teach much of God's wisdom
too, and try to find His solutions when things go wrong. Either way, we learn to trust in
God, not in ourselves or others, certainly not in the power of the flesh to get revenge or
put down opposition with violence. Pagans falsely call these kinds of things "justice."
But we do not.

Consequently, we are talking about a particular kind of peace. It is a peace which is


"surpassing all understanding." If it cannot be understood by human minds, then it
clearly cannot be produced by human minds either. So it is a peace from God. This
means the genitive could be a genitive of source ("the peace from God"). But it is active,
and continuously flowing from God, in coordination with our prayers, as we listen for
God's voice. And a genitive of source cannot imply this active power nearly as well as a
genitive of production. It is peace continuously "produced by" God, not merely "from"
God. Thus, it is probably best to interpret this as a genitive of production, like it is
here.Wallace also suggested the following verses which might have genitives of
production: Rom. 1:5 (perhaps "for compliance produced by faith"), Rom. 4:11 (perhaps
"a seal guaranteeing righteousness produced by faith"), Gal. 3:13 (perhaps "out of the
curse produced by the law"), Gal. 5:22 (perhaps "the fruit produced by the Spirit"), and I
Thes. 1:3 (perhaps "the work produced by faith and the labour produced by love and the
perseverance produced by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ").
o. Genitives of ProductThis is the opposite of the genitive of production. Here the
head noun produces what is indicated by the genitive, and the genitive often can be
105

interpreted with the key words "which / who produces" in front of it (e.g., ὁ Θεὸς τῆς
ἐλπίδος = "the God of hope" = "the God who produces hope [in us]"). In the GNT, since
the central message is about what God does, Wallace says, "frequently Θεός will be the
head noun and the genitive an abstract term."Just as a genitive of production was
similar to a subjective genitive, the genitive of product is similar to an objective genitive.
That is, the genitive of product functions almost like a direct object which receives the
action of a verb. However, an objective genitive always has a verbal head noun, one
that implies an action upon the genitive. But the genitive of product always has a head
noun that functions as a noun, as the subject of a clause formed with the genitive,
where the head noun performs the action of "producing" the genitive.Like the genitive of
production, Wallace says the genitive of product is also "not common." Of the four
examples he provided, he called the first two "clear examples" and the other two
"possible examples." For each example, the head noun is highlighted in green and the
genitive of product is highlighted in bluish green.λέγω γὰρ Χριστὸν διάκονον γεγενῆσθαι
περιτομῆς ὑπὲρ ἀληθείας Θεοῦ, εἰς τὸ βεβαιῶσαι τὰς ἐπαγγελίας τῶν πατέρων, τὰ δὲ
ἔθνη ὑπὲρ ἐλέους δοξάσαι τὸν Θεόν, καθὼς γέγραπται· διὰ τοῦτο ἐξομολογήσομαί Σοι
ἐν ἔθνεσιν καὶ τῷ ὀνόματί Σου ψαλῶ. καὶ πάλιν λέγει· εὐφράνθητε, ἔθνη, μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ
Αὐτοῦ. καὶ πάλιν· αἰνεῖτε, πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, τὸν Κύριον, καὶ ἐπαινεσάτωσαν Αὐτὸν πάντες
οἱ λαοί. καὶ πάλιν Ἠσαΐας λέγει· ἔσται ἡ ῥίζα τοῦ Ἰεσσαί, καὶ ὁ ἀνιστάμενος ἄρχειν
ἐθνῶν· ἐπ᾽ Αὐτῷ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν. ὁ δὲ Θεὸς τῆς ἐπίδοςπληρώσαι ὑμᾶς πάσης χαρᾶς
καὶ εἰρήνης ἐν τῷ πιστεύειν, εἰς τὸ περισσεύειν ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ ἐλπίδι ἐν δυνάμει Πνεύματος
Ἁγίου.

Translation: "For I say Christ [came] to have become and remain a minister of the
Jews [i.e., literally, "of the circumcision"] on behalf of God's truth, in order to confirm the
promises from the fathers, so the Gentiles [will be able] to glorify God because of [His]
mercy, just as it has been written: 'Because of this, I will publicly and solemnly declare
[the truth of the Word] for You among the nations, and I will sing [praise] to Your name'
[Ps. 18:49]. And again He says: 'Be delighted, Gentiles, with His people' [Deut. 32:43].
And again: 'Praise the Lord, all the Gentiles, and let all the people [groups] give Him
approving praise' [Ps. 117:1]. Then again Isaiah says: 'There will be the root of Jesse,
and the One rising up to rule the nations; upon Him Gentiles will hope' [Is. 11:10]. So
may the God who creates hope [in us] fill you will all joy and peace when [you] put [your]
confidence [in Him], in order that you abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"
(Rom. 15:8-13).

Comment: Obviously, in context, the "God of hope" indicates that God is the source of
this hope. The context talks about promises of God spoken by the "fathers" -- which
does not refer only to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob here, but to all faithful prophets and
servants of God who are predecessors of the Jews. These promises were that the
Gentiles also would glorify the one and only God, because of His mercy. God's Word
would go out to them, and they would be delighted in God, along with the Jews. All will
eventually hope in the one true God who created all. Clearly, if it is God who fills us, in
106

order that we hope in Him by the power of His Holy Spirit, then it is God "who creates
hope" in His people. So this genitive should get across the idea that hope is actively
produced in us by God, by His action of filling us with joy and peace, and by His power.

It should also be pointed out here that Christ is here called a διάκονος, that is, a servant
or minister. For Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. And it uses the perfect
passive infinitive form of γίνομαι to indicate that He not only became a servant and
minister in the past, but now remains a servant and minister, even forever, although He
is our God who owns us as our Lord. Then the genitive περιτομῆς tells us who it is that
Jesus Christ came to serve. Jesus came to serve and minister to the "circumcision,"
which is another name for the Jews. Jesus did not come to the Gentiles, but to the
Jews. Then Gentiles are brought into Israel, to also receive His ministering. And
Gentiles come to God because Jews (in particular Jewish apostles) publicly and
solemnly declared Christ Jesus to them. Consequently, Gentiles should be glad and
delighted "with His people." Who are these people of God, with whom Gentiles should
rejoice? They cannot be other Gentiles! The term "His people" is just another name for
the Jews, the church of Israel.

All the passages Paul quoted here are from the Septuagint: διὰ τοῦτο ἐξομολογήσομαί
Σοι ἐν ἔθνεσι, Κύριε, καὶ τῷ ὀνόματί Σου ψαλῶ ("Because of this, I will publicly and
solemnly declare [the truth] for You among the Gentiles, Lord, and I will sing to Your
name," Ps. 17:49, LXX, or Ps. 18:49 in English Bibles); εὐφράνθητε ἔθνη μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ
Αὐτοῦ ("Be delighted, Gentiles, with His people," Deut. 32:43, LXX); αἰνεῖτε τὸν Κύριον
πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, ἐπαινέσατε Αὐτον πάντες οἱ λαοί ("Praise the Lord, all the Gentiles, all
the people [groups] give Him approving praise," Ps. 116:1, LXX, or Ps. 117:1 in English
Bibles); and καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκεινῃ ἡ ῥίζα τοῦ Ἰεσσαὶ, καὶ ὁ ἀνιστάμενος ἄρχειν
ἐθνῶν· ἐπ᾽ Αὐτῷ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσι, καὶ ἔσται ἡ ἀνάπαυσις Αὐτοῦ τιμή ("And there will be in
that day the root of Jesse, and the One rising up to rule the nations; upon Him Gentiles
will hope, and His rest [from toil] will be highly valued," Isaiah 11:10, LXX).παρακαλῶ δὲ
ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ πνεύματος,
συναγωνίσασθαί μοι ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς ὑπέρ ἐμοῦ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, ἵνα ῥυσθῶ ἀπὸ τῶν
ἀπειθούντων ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ καὶ ἡ διακονία μου ἡ εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ εὐπρόσδεκτος τοῖς
ἁγίοις γένηται, ἵνα ἐν χαρᾷ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦ συναναπαύσωμαι
ὑμῖν. ὁ δὲ Θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν. ἀμήν.

Translation: "So I call you aside with counsel, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ
and through the love of the spirit, to contend together with me, in prayers on behalf of
myself to God, [praying] in order that I might be delivered in Judea from those putting no
confidence [in the Lord], also [that] my ministry unto Jerusalem might be well-pleasing
to the saints, in order that I might rest and be refreshed together with you, in joy coming
to you through the will of God. Now the God who produces peace [in us be] with all of
you. Amen" (Rom. 15:30-33).
107

Comment: Paul was going to undertake a journey to Jerusalem, in the province of


Judea, to bring relief funding to the needy saints there. In Judea, many Jews sought to
kill him, those who did not put confidence in their Messiah Jesus. Paul engaged in a
constant and unrelenting struggle with these Jews, while, at the same time, he was
treated without mercy by the unbelieving Gentiles. Through all this opposition, he
ministered physical and spiritual aid to both believing Jews and Gentiles. Thus, he
spoke of rest from his labours, and peace from God. Of course, he is not talking about
peace with those who opposed him, since he knew full well that peace with unbelievers
was not possible until either the Lord renewed their hearts in repentance, or until the
Lord Jesus returned, bringing with Him the destruction of all the spiritual children of the
devil. So Paul is talking about inner peace, with confidence in the Lord. And this is
something only God can produce inside one's heart, even under the circumstances
which Christians had to endure at that time.ὀφείλομεν δὲ ἡμεῖς οἱ δυνατοὶ τὰ
ἀσθενήματα τῶν ἀδυνάτων βαστάζειν, καὶ μὴ ἑαυτοῖς ἀρέσκειν. ἕκαστος ἡμῶν τῷ
πλησίον ἀρεσκέτω εἰς τὸ ἀγαθὸν πρὸς οἰκοδομήν. καὶ γὰρ ὁ Χριστὸς οὐχ Ἑαυτῷ
ἤρεσεν, ἀλλὰ καθὼς γέγραπται· οἱ ὀνειδισμοὶ τῶν ὀνειδιζόντων Σε ἐπέπεσαν ἐπ᾽ Ἐμέ.
ὅσα γὰρ προεγράφη, εἰς τὴν ἡμετέραν διδασκαλίαν ἐγράφη, ἵνα διὰ τῆς ὑπομονῆς καὶ
διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως τῶν γραφῶν τὴν ἐλπίδα ἔχωμεν. ὁ δὲ Θεὸς τῆς ὑπομονῆς καὶ τῆς
παρακλήσεως δῴη ὑμῖν τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν ἐν ἀλλήλοις κατὰ Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, ἵνα
ὁμοθυμαδὸν ἐν ἑνὶ στόματι δοξάζητε τὸν Θεὸν καὶ Πατέρα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ
Χριστοῦ. διὸ προσλαμβάνεσθε ἀλλήλους, καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς προσελάβετο ἡμᾶς εἰς
δόξαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.

Translation: "So we, the strong, owe a debt to continuously bear the weaknesses of
those not strong, and not to constantly accommodate ourselves. Let each of us
accommodate [his] neighbor for useful good towards building up. For even Christ did
not accommodate Himself, but just as it has been written, 'The reproaches of those
reproaching You fell upon Me' [Ps. 69:9, i.e., a Messianic psalm of David, where all the
thoughts of the Messiah are for God's glory, and not for His own reputation or glory,
where He accepts suffering for God's name, and being hated by those who hate His
God]. Then as many things as were previously written, they were written for teaching us
[doctrine], in order that we may have hope through steadfastness and through the
personal counsel of the writings. Now I long for God, who produces steadfastness and
personal counsel, to give the same mind to you among one another, because of Christ
Jesus. On account of this, always receive one another, just as Christ also received us
for God's glory" (Rom. 15:1-7).

Comment: The two genitives here are singular forms of ὑπομονή ("capacity to hold out
or bear up in the face of difficulty," BDAG3) and παράκλησις (referring to what is said
when one calls aside a person to counsel that person, and usually involves things like
exhortation, admonishment, guidance, appeals for action, encouragement, comfort,
consolation, and so on). Now, just before this, Paul spoke about the steadfastness and
personal counsel of God's Word, which produces hope in us. As we read Scripture, if
108

we remain steadfast in our faith, with constant diligence of heart, we become personally
convicted and are counseled by what we find in it. But is this because we are so smart?
And is it because our own willpower is so strong in ourselves that we remain steadfast?

Some actually do interpret the Word of God only with their intellect of the flesh, and do
remain steadfast only through their own human willpower alone. But those are false
Christians, who do immeasurable harm, the type who have slandered the name of
Christ Jesus for many centuries. However, Paul says he longs for God to give
(i.e., δῴη is the aorist optative active form of δίδωμι) us all the same mind among one
another. And when he speaks about God giving this, as the source of this, he also calls
God "the God of steadfastness and of personal counsel." So it is quite clear that Paul is
talking about God being the source of these things too. Considering the context about
these very things coming through His Word, it would also mean that they come through
His agency and power working inside us, through His Holy Spirit. For this is what the
apostles believed, that Jesus Christ Himself must first open our eyes to see what is truly
meant by the words of God, or else we are not be able to truly see. If God does not
grant us His Spirit's power to make us steadfast, and to counsel us, then we cannot gain
anything of real value from God's Word. Either the devil will snatch all His truth from us
(like birds snatching seeds that fall on a hardened ground) or that truth will fade away
from our thoughts (like seeds on rocky ground, which may sprout, but soon wither and
die).

Consequently, I believe these are genitives of product, things produced by God. For
every believer needs the kind of steadfastness which comes from God alone, which is
produced by God working in us. Otherwise, without His constant intervention, we cannot
steadfastly continue to do the works of God for His people. In the flesh, we always fall
back into thinking, "Why do I do this? What good does it do me to bear such loss of my
time and resources, since I receive nothing in return except ridicule and disdain for all
my efforts?" But the Holy Spirit continuously counsels us to carry on, for God's sake, for
the sake of His people, for future generations. Whenever we become discouraged, the
hounds of heaven bare their teeth and relentlessly attack our selfish and self-centered
flesh, while the fires of heaven burn with zeal in us, driving us onward towards the goal
of His calling into our destiny. Those who know these things from God (although they
may not be naturally steadfast in anything, and though they may be fools in all matters
of worldly wisdom), become truely steadfast in the things of God, without turning back,
ever learning more real wisdom in all spiritual matters, with the ability to apply it
correctly.πρὸς δὲ τὸν Υἱὸν· ὁ θρόνος Σου ὁ Θεὸς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος, καὶ ἡ
ῥάβδος τῆς εὐθύτητος ῥάβδος τῆς βασιλείας Αὐτοῦ. ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην καὶ
ἐμίσησας ἀνομίαν. διὰ τοῦτο ἔχρισέν Σε ὁ Θεός, ὁ Θεός Σου ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως παρὰ
τοὺς μετόχους Σου.

Translation: "But concerning the Son [it says]: 'Your throne, God, [is] unto age after
age, and the scepter of uprightness [is] His scepter of the kingdom. You loved
109

righteousness and hated lawlessness. Because of this, God, Your God, anointed You
[with] oil of gladness alongside Your companions [who share with You]" (Heb. 1:9).

Comment: This is a quote from Psalm 45:6-7. Wallace suggests: "When half of the
expression under study is metaphorical, grammatical decisions are notoriously difficult."
In other words, this is speaking about the Messiah's scepter being "uprightness," not a
physical scepter. Then it talks about a spiritual event of the Messiah's anointing as King
and Priest. It is not a physical deed done by human hands, but rather by God, who is
Spirit. So is this anointing oil that which produces gladness (a genitive of product),
because the anointing means God has chosen Him as King and Priest? Actually, I think
this is one of the least likely of explanations, since Jesus would not rejoice in His being
chosen to be King and Priest. He was also anointed and chosen for this role before the
beginning of time, and is One with the God who chose Him. So this expression may
refer to Jesus' shining spiritual appearance, resembling shining skin when covered by
anointing oil, a glow produced by gladness. If the this is true, then it could be a genitive
of production ("oil produced by gladness") or a genitive of source ("oil from gladness").
Then again, this may be suggesting that the event of anointing is an occasion full of
gladness, associated with gladness. Or it could infer both at once, and more. So it is
likely best to leave this translated as "oil of gladness," as a common descriptive
genitive.Wallace says that ὁ Θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης ("the God who produces [inner] peace,"
Rom. 16:20) is another clear example of a genitive of product. He then also suggests
that some possible examples might be found in I Cor. 14:33; II Cor. 13:11 and Philp.
4:9.
Grammatical Role 2:
Ablatival GenitivesA genitive form is called an ablative when it suggests separation
or source. Sometimes an indication of source implies separation "out of" the source,
but not always. Most often an ablative genitive can be translated by the key word "from."
This does not connote anything either negative or positive, but simply indicates
separation in a neutral manner, where only context can suggest anything either
negative or positive. This separation can be static, a state of being somehow removed
from the head noun (or verb or adjective) it modifies. Or the separation can
be progressive, a process of being taken away, or a movement away from the head
noun. During the koine period, ablatival genitives were being replaced by prepositional
phrases, especially ἐκ + a genitive, or ἀπό + a genitive. So they are not extremely
common.There are only three kinds of ablatives classified by Wallace in his grammar.
Two emphasize "the state resulting from the separation" (Wallace). One of these two is
most often a progressive ablative, suggesting movement away from the genitive
towards a result, and is called a "genitive of separation." The other is a static ablative,
implying a state of being unlike something else (thus in a separate class), and is called
a "genitive of comparison." The third kind emphasizes "the cause of separation"
(Wallace), or at least the cause of it existing as a separately identifiable entity, if the
head noun and genitive remain united or joined, but as two separately identifiable
entities. This is called a "genitive of source" or "genitive of origin." It can be static, or it
110

can be progressive too, if it implies movement out of or away from the head noun.As far
as I can see, both the genitive of production and the genitive of product may also be
ablatival genitives, since they clearly indicate a type of separation from the head noun.
This is especially true of the genitive of production (N produced by Ng), which is very
much like a genitive of source (N from / out of Ng). Also, a genitive of product (N who /
which produces Ng) is just the opposite of a genitive of source, where the head noun
indicates that from which the genitive is separated by being produced (N is now away
from Ng). Both genitives of production and genitives of product are called adjectival
genitives, but adjectival genitives primarily describe a quality or attribute of a head noun.
So I am not sure why they are classified as such.
a. Genitives of SeparationAs the name suggests, the genitive of separation is that
from which the word it modifies is separated. And the word it modifies may be a verb or
noun. The genitive indicates the place or point from which the modified word
begins to depart. Thus, the word it modifies is "from," "away from" or "out of" the
genitive. Also, since this often suggests a movement "away from" the genitive, even if
the word which the genitive modifies is a noun, the verb (or verbal, such as a participle
or infinitive) in the phrase or clause with that N-Ng construction will need to be used in
order to interpret or understand the genitive.For example, look at the clause, ἐκτινάξατε
τὸν κονιορτὸν τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ("shake off the dust from your feet"). Here the
genitive τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ("of your feet") modifies the noun τὸν κονιορτὸν ("dust"). But
the clause indicates a movement of that dust from the feet, caused by the action of
shaking the feet, as expressed by the verb ἐκτινάξατε ("shake off"). So the genitive
("feet") receives an action of being shaken. Also, the noun which the genitive modifies
("dust") is the direct object and receives the action of being shaken off. So the genitive
("feet") indicates the starting point or place from which the word it modifies ("dust")
begins to move away.The genitive of separation is generally easy for an English-
speaking person to recognize and interpret, since we often use a similar construction:
"shake the dust off of your feet" = "shake off the dust from your feet." However, the use
of more explicit prepositional phrases became the norm in koine Greek -- while the use
of a genitive alone, without a preposition in front of it, became quite rare. Of course, as
mentioned above, ablatival genitives, including genitives of separation, were replaced
by prepositional phrases beginning with ἀπό ("from") or sometimes ἐκ ("out of"). Thus,
one might tend to see the example above written as ἐκτινάξατε τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν
ποδῶν ὑμῶν ("shake off the dust from your feet") in koine Greek. But, in classical
Greek, a simple genitive, without a preposition in front of it, was used far more
frequently.Naturally, since a genitive of separation indicates movement "away from,"
"out of" or just "from" the word it modifies, it will most often directly modify a verb (or
verbal), and always one which "connotes motion away from, distance or separation"
(Wallace). Most of the examples below are genitives modifying verbs. But, if a genitive
of separation modifies a noun (as in the example above), then that head noun will be
with a verb or verbal that implies movement from the genitive. Therefore, this type of
genitive is another lexico-syntactic category, in that the verb (or verbal) it modifies (or
the verb with its head noun) must have a lexical meaning of a specific type, one
111

expressing either physical or metaphorical movement from or out of the


genitive.According to Wallace, the genitive of separation is "rare" in the GNT. However,
he provided the five examples listed below. In each example, the word which the
genitive modifies will be highlighted in green and the genitive of separation will be
highlighted in bluish green.εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν μὴ ἀπέλθητε, καὶ εἰς πόλιν Σαμαριτῶν μὴ
εἰσέλθητε. πορεύεσθε δὲ μᾶλλον πρὸς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ.
πορευόμενοι δὲ κηρύσσετε λέγοντες ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. ἀσθενοῦντας
θεραπεύετε, νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε, λεπροὺς καθαρίζετε, δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλετε. δωρεὰν
ἐλάβετε, δωρεὰν δότε.... καὶ ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς, μηδὲ ἀκούσῃ τοὺς λόγους ὑμῶν,
ἐξερχόμενοι ἔξω τῆς οἰκίας ἢ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης ἐκτινάξατε τὸν κονιορτὸν τῶν ποδῶν
ὑμῶν. ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως
ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ.

Translation: "Do not go in the direction of the Gentiles, and do not enter into a town of
Samaritans. But rather journey to the lost sheep from the house of Israel. Then
journeying, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near!' Heal those
being weak. Raise the dead. Cleanse lepers. Cast out demons. Freely you have
received. Freely give.... And whoever might not welcome you, nor hear your words,
going outside of the house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet. Surely I tell
you, it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of
judgment than for that city" (Mat. 10:5b-8,14-15).

Comment: Here we see a clear indication of movement, where the starting point of that
movement is the genitive. In other words, the dust on the feet is shaken off the feet, and
"away from" the feet. This action was an insult, a way of saying that you wanted nothing
at all to do with that person or household or city, no association at all. If anyone claims
to be a Christian, or if a whole church refuses to welcome a true Christian -- that is,
because the true Christian actually proclaims real truth from Christ Jesus and from His
Book, the Word of God -- then the one claiming to be a Christian, by rejecting the true
Christian, has also rejected Jesus Christ Himself (see Mat. 10:40-42). Even if one who
claims to be a Christian is in the habit of welcoming anyone, regardless of one's beliefs,
but simply rejects the words of truth from God's Word, that one proves himself to be a
false Christian, for he has rejected Christ Jesus Himself, by rejecting Christ's words. We
are to have nothing to do with such persons, and are supposed to clearly indicate to
them that we cannot have anything to do with them, because of their rejection of Christ.

Of course, this saying of Jesus only applies to those in the church. After all, Jesus was
sending these apostles only to those who were members of the church, that is, Jesus
sent them only to the people of Israel. Jesus was not sending them out to the rest of the
world. Thus, if a person does not claim to be a Christian or Jew, if we come across one
who openly professes unbelief, and if that one does not welcome us nor listen to
Christ's words, then we can still associate with that one. We can try to approach that
one through neighborly conversations, business dealings, and so on, if that one is
112

willing to talk with us. Perhaps, if our conversations are full of truth, and we make the
most of every opportunity in an honest and candid manner, God will open their eyes and
ears of their hearts, so they can see and hear what we say, with understanding. But we
must not associate with those who claim to be our brothers, if they reject the truth, since
they do much more harm to the good name of Jesus than those who do not claim to
know God at all. For more information on this subject, also read I Corinthians 5:9-13
carefully.ἔδοξεν γὰρ τῷ Πνεύματι τῷ Ἁγίῳ καὶ ἡμῖν μηδὲν πλέον ἐπιτίθεσθαι ὑμῖν βάρος
πλὴν τούτων τῶν
ἐπάναγκες· ἀπέχεσθαι εἰδωλοθύτων καὶ αἵματος καὶ πνικτῶν καὶ πορνείας. ἐξ ὧν
διατηροῦντες ἑαυτοὺς εὖ πράξετε. ἔρρωσθε.

Translation: "For it seemed to the Holy Spirit and to us that no greater burden [is] to be
put upon you than these compelling things: to always abstain from [the eating of]
animals sacrificed to idols, and from [the consuming of anything which has] blood [as an
ingredient], and from [the eating of] strangled animals, as well as from [the practice of]
sexual immorality. Through the continuous habit of guarding yourselves from these
things, you will do well. Farewell." (Acts 15:28-29).

Comment: Here we find a string of four genitives of separation, and all modify the
verbal ἀπέχεσθαι, the present infinitive middle form of ἀπέχω. In context, the infinitive
means "to avoid contact with or use of something, keep away, abstain, refrain from"
(BDAG3). The present tense would indicate a continuous or habitual abstinence. Since
this verbal's lexical meaning connotes "separation from," it is often followed by a
genitive of separation, indicating what thing one should abstain from, avoid or keep
away from.

These two verses are the final words of a letter sent from the apostles and elders,
together with the whole church (v. 22) in Jerusalem. And it was sent to Gentile believers
everywhere, in all the major churches having Gentile members at that time (v. 23). So it
is advice meant for all Gentile believers everywhere, and the intent of this letter, if
properly understood, actually stands for all time. First, looking at this letter, we see that
the intent is to oppose those who troubled the Gentile believers with false doctrines, in
particular, the false doctrines of the Judaizers, who demanded that Gentiles become
circumcised and obey all the Old Testament laws (v.24). To combat this heresy, the
authors of this letter first endorsed several biblical and true teachers of God's Word, and
advised the Gentiles that these men would proclaim the same things as them, through
their words of reasoning (v. 25-27). So the main thrust of this letter is to prevent false
teachings from overtaking churches with Gentile members, and to get them to listen to
those truly called by God to proclaim the real Gospel of Christ Jesus, the authentic truth
of real salvation.

But, if their message was against the Judaizers, against those who tried to bind them to
the Old Testament ceremonial and moral laws (that is, against those who tried to get
113

Gentiles to follow God's law through the interpretations of men, according to the
intellect, which flies against all principles of faith, since faith believes in the ability of
God's Spirit to teach and enable us to do all that the law requires, and much more -- to
even do all that is truly pleasing to God), then why did the letter include the prohibitions
of three dietary (ceremonial) laws and one moral law? Why did it not include all the
ceremonial laws and all the moral laws? Clearly, this last part of the letter was meant for
absolute novices, Gentile believers who had just come out of their pagan beliefs. It was
just telling them a few things to physically avoid from the beginning of their walk of faith,
and to keep avoiding always. When a new convert comes into the church, that one must
change some aspects of his or her lifestyle right away. Then the true teachers, those
actually called and sent by Jesus, can teach them the deeper meaning of the Gospel
while they attended the church. Then they can slowly learn the real spiritual implications
of these four simple prohibitions here, and learn to walk by listening to Jesus' Holy Spirit
directly.

Now the focus of these prohibitions was not actually upon physical matters, although
physical obedience is beneficial too. In those days, Roman cities commonly had open
air booths which sold prepared food, much like hot dog stands or booths in the food
courts of shopping malls today. Since most Roman apartments in those days did not
have kitchens, most residents were forced to eat regularly from these places. And,
according to Roman custom, much of the meat came from animals that were
ceremonially offered to pagan idols. Also, these places appeared to be far from sanitary.
In fact, it is a wonder their patrons did not all die from parasites and germs spread
through those places! Still, these few dietary laws were not just strictly to prevent the
Gentiles from eating in those places. In reality, they could not, since people relied on
that food to survive. Besides, who cares whether food was offered to an idol? God is
God alone. God created all things and owns all things. Thus, if a man thinks he stole
something from the one real God, then made it the property of his demon idol, how
could we possibly believe him? Is our God so weak that a man or demon can steal His
property from under His nose? Of course not! Whatever they thought they dedicated to
an idol remained God's property, and still remains God's property, forever! So we thank
God for it and eat it as a blessing.

Yet these prohibitions were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God Himself, so they were for
some real purpose. They were meant to tell novice Christian Gentiles to avoid these few
particular things for a reason. At first, these things would keep the novice believers from
falling back into idolatry, and into an addiction to pagan practices of sexual immorality,
as was common in the Roman Empire and even "sanctified" with temple prostitutes
(female and male). But more than this, these few laws all had deeper implications
taught in God's Word. Obviously, eating things offered to idols was associated with
spiritual idolatry of all kinds. The forms and effects of that spiritual idolatry would be
explained later. But, at first, it would be good enough for the novice to just avoid things
offered to idols, if possible. Later, this would eventually lead to questions, where the
114

answers would explain the reality of spiritual things better. Then the avoidance of things
with blood, and things strangled (i.e., which did not have the blood drained out) would
lead to finding out about God's ways of respecting all life (e.g., Gen. 9:4-6). And, lastly,
the command against avoiding physical sexual immorality would lead to continued
physical sexual morality, better marriages, and ultimately to understanding faithfulness
unto our Husband God.διὸ μνημονεύετε ὅτι ποτὲ ὑμεῖς τὰ ἔθνη ἐν σαρκί, οἱ λεγόμενοι
ἀκροβυστία ὑπὸ τῆς λεγομένης περιτομῆς ἐν σαρκὶ χειροποιήτου, ὅτι ἦτε τῷ καιρῷ
ἐκείνῳ χωρὶς Χριστοῦ ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι τῆς πολιτείας τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ ξένοι τῶν
διαθηκῶν τῆς ἐπαγγελίας, ἐλπίδα μὴ ἔχοντες καὶ ἄθεοι ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ. νυνὶ δὲ ἐν Χριστῷ
Ἰησοῦ ὐμεῖς οἵ ποτε ὄντες μακρὰν ἐγενήθητε ἐγγὺς ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Αὐτὸς γάρ
ἐστιν ἡ εἰρήνη ἡμῶν, ὁ ποιήσας τὰ ἀμφότερα ἕν καὶ τὸ μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ λύσας,
τὴν ἔχθραν, ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ Αὐτοῦ τὸν νόμον τῶν ἐντολῶν ἐν δόγμασιν καταργήσας, ἵνα
τοὺς δύο κτίσῃ ἐν Αὐτῷ εἰς ἕνα καινὸν ἄνθρωπον ποιῶν εἰρήνην ...

Translation: "Because of this, remember that when you, the Gentiles in flesh, the ones
being called the uncircumcision by those being called the circumcision done by the
hand in flesh [i.e., this is contrasted to the real circumcision of the heart done by God,
the one Moses spoke about, which the Messiah grants to all His people] -- that you
were, for that season, apart from Christ, having been alienated and remaining so, from
the citizenship of Israel and foreigners separated from the covenants of promise, not
having hope and atheists in the world system. But now, in Christ Jesus, you, the ones
then being far off, have become near by the blood of Christ. For He is the peace
belonging to us, the One having made both [Jews and Gentiles] one, and the One
having completely destroyed the enmity [which is] the dividing wall of partition -- in His
flesh having totally nullified the law of commandments consisting of decrees, in order
that, in Himself, He might entirely fashion the two into one new person, making peace
..." (Eph. 2:11-15).

Comment: There are actually two genitives of separation in this passage. One genitive
of separation follows after a verbal, ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι, which is the masculine
nominative plural perfect passive participle form of the verb ἀπαλλοτριόω, and means
"having been estranged or alienated and remaining in that state of being estranged or
alienated." The perfect tense indicates an emphasis on the result of remaining in the
state, that is, only "for that season." Then the passive voice implies that, without God's
intervention, no change was possible -- since they were brought into that state as
passive recipients, without power to resist, and likewise could only get out of it as
passive recipients of God's works of grace. This is another verb with a lexical meaning
indicating "separation from," through alienation or estrangement, and can take a
genitive of separation.

The second example of a genitive of separation follows the masculine nominative plural
form of the adjective ξένος, used substantively in reference to strangers or people from
a foreign country. In this instance, it builds on the idea of what said just before this. First
115

it declares that Gentiles were alienated "from the citizenship of Israel." Then it calls
them "foreigners" or "strangers." In other words, it calls them those who had no
citizenship status in the spiritual nation of Israel. So they were also "separated from the
covenants of promise." That is, one of the two main covenants of promise is the
Abrahamic Covenant, by which God defined those who are His people, the church,
forever (Gen. 17:7-8). The second is the New Covenant in Christ Jesus. Gentiles can
never be included in either covenant, except by being joined to the "citizenship of
Israel," that is, by being brought into the church of Israel. Only those who came through
Isaac, the son of God's promise, not any of Abraham's other children, can inherit God's
covenant with Abraham. Likewise, only those through Jacob (later called Israel), who
are made to eagerly desire and value what is of God, can inherit God's covenant with
Abraham. Then, God made the New Covenant only with those who are called His
people through the real Abrahamic Covenant (Jer. 31:31). But now God has brought
Gentiles into His church of Israel, and thus into these covenants of promise, through
Jesus, uniting all His elect in one body.κρεῖττον γὰρ ἀγαθοποιοῦντας, εἰ θέλοι τὸ θέλημα
τοῦ Θεοῦ, πάσχειν ἢ κακοποιοῦντας. ὅτι καὶ Χριστὸς ἅπαξ περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν ἀπέθανεν,
δίκαιος ὑπὲρ ἀδίκων, ἵνα ὑμᾶς προσαγάγῃ τῷ Θεῷ, θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκὶ ζωοποιηθεὶς
δὲ πνεύματι· ἐν ᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασιν πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν, ἀπειθήσασίν ποτε
ὅτε ἀπεξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ Θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ,
εἰς ἣν ὀλίγοι, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν ὀκτὼ ψυχαί, διεσώθησαν δι᾽ ὕδατος. ὃ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν
σῴζει βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς
Θεόν, δι᾽ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅς ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ Θεοῦ, πορευθεὶς εἰς οὐρανόν,
ὑποταγέντων Αὐτῷ ἀγγέλων καὶ ἐξουσιῶν καὶ δυνάμεων.

Translation: "For, if the will of God should possibly will [it], [it is] better to suffer [while]
doing good than [to suffer while] doing evil, because Christ also died once for all time
regarding sins -- a righteous One on behalf of unrighteous ones -- in order that He might
bring you to God -- [you] on the one hand having been put to death in flesh, and on the
other hand having been made alive in spirit. In view of which [i.e., considering that the
saved are dead in flesh and alive in spirit], having gone away [from earth], He preached
also to the spirits in prison, to rebels [who put no confidence in God] at one time, when
the longsuffering of God eagerly waited for the ark being constructed in the days of
Noah. From this, a few, that is eight souls, were brought safely through water -- which
[is] also an antitype [corresponding to] baptism [which] now saves you -- not a putting
off of filth from flesh, but, from a good conscience, a formal appeal unto God, through
the [enabling power or instrumentality of the] resurrection of Jesus Christ -- who is at the
right hand of God, having traveled into heaven, [with] angels and decision-making
authorities and powers having been put in subjection to Him" (I Pet. 3:17-22).

Comment: In this instance, the genitive of separation (σαρκὸς, "flesh") is placed in front
of the words it modifies (ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου, "a putting off of filth"). This was likely done for
emphasis. Like the Jewish rabbis, Peter strongly declared that the act of baptizing flesh
is not for physical purposes, but for spiritual purposes, an outward expression of an
116

inner act of the spiritual conscience towards God. This is entirely consistent with the
historical teachings of Jews concerning the mikvah of repentance and mikvah of
conversion (i.e., the word "mikvah" or "mikveh" literally means "a collection of water" -- a
river, lake, pool, etc. -- but is used as a technical term referring to numerous immersion
ceremonies commanded by God in the books of Moses, ceremonial washings or
bathings, dipping either persons or things). The biblical Jewish mikvah is what Jesus
commanded for us.

The quoted passage begins by telling us that we may need to suffer by the will of God.
The verb θέλοι ("might possibly will") is the 3rd person singular present optative form
of θέλω. It is used with the particle εἰ to produce what is almost a 4th class condition: "If
the will of God should possibly will that we suffer, then it is better to suffer while doing
good than while doing evil." This thought pervades the rest of the quote, then carries on
into the next chapter. His point is that our physical suffering is worth going through. After
all, we first need to remember that Jesus also suffered and died. Yet Jesus was sinless
when He suffered. And He died on our behalf, for sinners who did not deserve this act
of grace. Also, Jesus' death was not just for our forgiveness, to let us remain evil,
practicing sin. Instead, Jesus died for a reason, in order to bring us to God. We are put
to death regarding the desires of the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, with new desires
for the things of God, with a new heart that has a new will to practice righteousness.
And this salvation of Christ is a very precious, very rare thing. After all, it is like Noah's
salvation. Yet only eight souls, out of all the people on earth, were saved during the time
of Noah.

Now it also says Jesus traveled "to the spirits in prison," to preach to them. This likely
refers to the spirits of those who previously died in the flesh, but had no opportunity to
hear the real truth of the Gospel of Christ's salvation. If this is so, then Jesus must
preach to the spirits of all who die without hearing the Gospel, all in the past or future.
So all spirits will eventually hear all the real Gospel truth directly from Jesus. Then,
since all God's preaching is effective, all the elect spirits will believe and enter into
heaven, even if they died without previously having known Christ. Still, Peter's main
point here is that God chooses very few souls who are alive on earth, to hear this truth.
This makes Christ's truth, and our salvation with it, extremely valuable to us, worth all
the suffering.

Peter also calls the salvation of Noah, and of the seven others with him, an ἀντιτυπος or
"antitype" of baptism. An antitype is something which corresponds to something else. In
this instance, it refers to something which is an opposite or contrasting type. In other
words, Noah and the seven others were saved by floating on top of the water in an ark,
while the wicked were destroyed by drowning under the water. But baptism is an
antitype, an opposite type, in that those who are saved and go to baptism are those who
immerse under water, while those who perish are those who do not go under water.
117

But notice how quick Peter was to point out that baptism is not for the flesh, but a
physical expression of what is in the spirit. The negative οὐ follows immediately after the
word βάπτισμα, then the genitive σαρκός is placed right after the negative. So the act of
baptism does nothing physical for us. In fact, it really does nothing spiritual for us either,
at least not in a direct way. Rather, it is what we do "from a good conscience" which is
all important. And, actually, our conscience is itself a new creation and from God, not
really created by ourselves according to our own wills. So even this act of the
conscience is a result, after God's work. Then this act of the inner spirit's desire and will,
the act of the conscience, is called an ἐπερώτημα. Now some like to translate this word
as "pledge." But that interpretation does not entirely fit with either the biblical or Jewish
teachings about baptism. Both the Jews and apostolic Christians emphasized the
spiritual cleanliness associated with this ritual. But the word "pledge" does not truly
capture what is meant, since a "pledge" relates more to a human obligation to perform
stipulations, conditions and demands of a contract, and by one's own human power. Yet
baptism was never seen as a sealing of one's own contractual obligations, or binding
oneself to a contract.

Actually, baptism was always seen as a reaction to something God had already done or
said, or as a prayer for God to recognize that which involved the intentions of the heart
in response to Scriptural decrees. So it was never about "binding" or "obligating"
oneself. We must realize that this was a ceremony performed after the priest proved
that God had outwardly cleansed one of leprosy (Lev. 15:13; Num. 19:19,
"bathe"), after the cessation of any act causing ritual impurity (Lev. 15), after one
changed one's intentions of the heart in repentance, and after one had turned to God in
conversion (and after one was circumcised in the flesh, regarding a Gentile male's
conversion to Judaism, which means after God's circumcision of the heart regarding
conversion to Messianic New Covenantalism). Now the BDAG3 defines ἐπερώτημα as
"a formal request, appeal," which is actually closer to what was meant here. The NASB
also translates it as an "appeal." Baptism is more like an appeal to God, asking God to
make us clean and righteous.

This also means that it is not baptism itself which directly saves us. For it says that the
event of Noah being "brought safely through water" is the thing which is "an antitype
corresponding to baptism which now saves you." But the waters of the flood in Noah's
day certainly did not save Noah. In fact, the waters were what endangered his life. Even
the ark which Noah built himself did not actually save him from the flood. Really, God
saved him. Noah was saved because God told Noah to build the ark, and gave Noah
instructions regarding how to build it. Then God waited almost a hundred years until
Noah completed the ark. Lastly, God told Noah when to enter the ark, and kept the ark
from being destroyed by the cataclysmic flood. Therefore, any way one looks at it, Noah
was saved entirely by God. So, if the salvation of Noah is an antitype, where physical
circumstances regarding water are reversed, but where the Agent producing the
salvation is the same (because both are the same "type"), then the salvation of baptism
118

is also entirely worked by God. It is not man's human act of immersing in physical water
which saves us directly, but God's effective series of works that bring us to salvation.

Of course, whether one interprets baptism as an "appeal" or a "pledge" to God, the fact
is that this passage invalidates all forms of infant "baptism" too. For it is the saved one,
the one getting baptized, who must either "appeal" or "pledge" to God during baptism,
as is indicated by the pronoun "you" (ὑμᾶς). No parent or godparent can possibly do this
for the one being baptized. Always, a mikvah had to be done by those with proper
"intent," and was considered invalid if one immersed without a right "intent." In reality,
infant baptism was patterned after pagan Roman rituals, those which were thought to be
able to manipulate the demon gods of the pagans, to indebt their gods to men,
according to the actions of men. But that kind of attitude, where men think that they can
manipulate God, is called the sin of "tempting God." Biblically, this is a greater sin than
murder or sexual immorality. However, most parents who supposedly "baptize" their
infant children do so superstitiously, and in ignorance. Therefore, their sin of baptizing
their children will not be counted against most of them. But this does not alter the fact
that a so-called infant "baptism" is worthless, completely invalid, and a sin from which
one should repent.Χριστοῦ οὖν παθόντος σαρκὶ καὶ ὑμεῖς τὴν αὐτὴν ἔννοιαν ὁπλίσασθε,
ὅτι ὁ παθὼν σαρκὶ πέπαυται ἁμαρτίας, εἰς τὸ μηκέτι ἀνθρόπων ἐπιθυμίαις ἀλλὰ
θελήματι Θεοῦ τὸν ἐπίλοιπον ἐν σαρκὶ βιῶσαι χρόνον.

Translation: "Therefore, [since] Christ [is] having suffered in flesh, you also arm
yourselves with the same resolve, because the one having suffered in flesh has been
caused to cease from sin. [Have this resolve] for the purpose that, [for whatever] time
[you have while] remaining in flesh, [you] live no longer for lusts of men, but in the will of
God" (I Pet. 4:1-2).

Comment: This passage continues the thought of the previous example above (I Pet.
3:17-22). Just like a soldier arms himself for battle, we are to prepare ourselves to face
suffering. We must have the same resolve as our sinless Lord and God, Jesus Christ,
when He faced death on the cross. Like Him, we shall also suffer while doing good,
since His purpose was not just to pay for our sins, but to also bring us to God, that is, as
righteous ones who are like Him. This is why we appeal to God, in baptism, asking Him
to make us righteous through the power of our resurrected Lord Jesus -- who now holds
all power and authority in heaven, and is therefore fully able to make us truly righteous.

Here the verb πέπαυται is the 3rd person singular perfect indicative passive form
of παύω, and means "he / she / it has ceased" or "has been caused to cease." A
genitive of separation follows it, indicating what we have ceased "from" doing. That is,
suffering in flesh causes us to cease from sin. It seems the idea is that suffering focuses
us, grabs our attention, and causes us to walk more carefully. After all, we sin most
when we are not suffering -- when we are well-fed, content, secure, and have much free
time on our hands. It is then that we become almost fixated on the gratification of our
119

own selfish pleasures. For instance, it was when David rested securely in his mansion
in Jerusalem, with idle hands and nothing to do, that he became obsessed with another
man's wife, with Bathsheba. Then he sinned, even to the point of committing murder
and adultery.Wallace indicated that other examples of genitives of separation may be
found in Luke 2:37; Rom. 1:4; I Cor. 9:21; 15:41; Gal. 5:7 and Rev. 8:5. He then said,
"Rom. 1:17 might also fit, though this is debatable."
b. Genitives of Source
Genitives of OriginA genitive of source (sometimes called a genitive of origin) is a
genitive which indicates the source or origin of its head noun. Therefore, if key
words like "from," "out of," "derived from," "dependent on" or "sourced in" can be placed
in front of the genitive, it is likely a genitive of source. As with all ablatives, koine Greek
also tended to replace the genitive of source with more explicit prepositional phrases,
particularly ἐκ + a genitive. So genitive substantives indicating source or origin are
normally rare in the GNT. But the genitive form of one noun is an exception, Θεοῦ,
which is quite commonly used as a genitive of source, since one of the major attributes
of God is that He is the source and origin of all that exists. He is also the first cause of
all that happens, and all that exists or occurs is fully dependent upon His will
alone.Wallace says that "source is an emphatic idea: emphasis and explicitness go
hand in hand." This is why the more explicit prepositional phrases are most often used
to indicate source or origin. Yet, although indicating source and origin with Θεοῦ is a
matter of reminding or informing, thus explicit, it is not indicating emphasis in any way.
So this principle does not always hold true.But, because Wallace believes that
emphasis and explicitness are closely related, he concludes "it is not advisable" to seek
the classification of a genitive as being most likely a genitive of source. Then he says,
"In some ways, the possessive, subjective, and source genitives are similar," and, "if
they all make good sense, subjective should be given priority" (i.e., call it a subjective
genitive only if the head noun is a verbal noun). If the head noun is not a verbal noun,
one should consider classifying it as a possessive genitive before calling it a genitive of
source. Then he comments: "The distinction between [genitives of] source and
[genitives of] separation, however, is more difficult to call ... separation stresses
result while source stresses cause."In the very end though, context remains the single
most important factor in determining the interpretation and meaning of anything in the
GNT -- including whether or not a genitive substantive, especially Θεοῦ, is a genitive of
source. And, by context, I mean both the immediate local context, and the global
context of the whole Bible. We must admit to the unified and harmonious perspective of
all the authors of the Bible, regarding their theological teachings and how we interpret
the words they use. All the authors of all the books of the Bible were moved to write
what they wrote by the same mind of the same Holy Spirit -- although each had to also
physically write down these teachings after God had given these teachings to the spirit,
according to his own personal linguistic ability of his own brain of flesh. Consequently,
there may be physical differences in each man's outward style and vocabulary, but the
principles taught by each man's words will always be entirely harmonious with those of
every other man's writings in the Bible. For their spirits were all taught exactly the same
120

truths from the same Teacher. The outward expressions may differ, but the meanings
are always consistent.Thus, we commonly see expressions like "Son of God," which
uses a genitive of source. This is not a subjective genitive, nor a possessive genitive.
And it cannot be a genitive of separation either, because the Son only bears a separate
identity from God the Father -- but He is One with the Father. Actually, the genitive is
saying the "Son" originates from God, came from God, is out of God, although still
remains in God, and does not exist outside of God. The same can be said for "Spirit of
God." This genitive is not possessive, and is not a genitive of separation either, since
there is no real separation occurring. Rather, it is a genitive of source. Now for some
expressions, like "the kingdom of God," the genitive bears a dual meaning, as both a
possessive and a source. Many other expressions -- the "truth of God," "peace of God,"
"righteousness of God," "love of God," and so on -- are both genitives of source and
production. God is the source, origin and producer of all these head nouns, and all are
derived from God, and all utterly depend on God to begin to exist and to continue to
exist. Thus, genitives of source may be quite rare in the GNT, but one genitive, Θεοῦ, is
quite commonly used as a genitive of source.As discussed above, in the opinion of
Wallace, genitives of source are "rare" in the GNT. That is debatable. Still, he provided
the four examples below. In each example, the word which the genitive modifies will be
highlighted in green and the genitive of source will be highlighted in bluish green.τοῦτ᾽
ἔστιν, οὐ τὰ τέκνα τῆς σαρκὸς ταῦτα τέκνα τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλὰ τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας
λογίζεται εἰς σπέρμα. ἐπαγγελίας γὰρ ὁ λόγος οὗτος· κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τοῦτον ἐλεύσομαι
καὶ ἔσται τῇ Σάρρᾳ υἱός. οὐ μόνον δὲ, ἀλλὰ καὶ Ῥεβεκκὰ ἐξ ἑνὸς κοίτην ἔχουσα, Ἰσαὰκ
τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν· μήπω γὰρ γεννηθέντων μηδὲ πραξάντων τι ἀγαθὸν ἢ φαῦλον, ἵνα ἡ
κατ᾽ ἐκλογὴν πρόθεσις τοῦ Θεοῦ μένῃ, οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ τοῦ καλοῦντος, ἐρρέθη
αὐτῇ ὅτι ὁ μείζων δουλεύσει τῷ ἐλάσσονι· καθάπερ γέγραπται· τὸν Ἰακὼβ ἠγάπησα, τὸν
δὲ Ἠσαῦ ἐμίσησα. τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν; μὴ ἀδικία παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ; μή γένοιτο. τῷ Μωϋσεῖ γὰρ
λέγει· ἐλεήσω ὃν ἂν ἐλεῶ, καὶ οικτιρήσω ὃν ἂν οικτίρω. ἄρα οὖν οὐ τοῦ
θέλοντος οὐδὲ τοῦ τρέχοντος ἀλλὰ τοῦ ἐλεῶντος Θεοῦ.

Translation: "[The meaning of] this is, [it is] not the children according to the flesh [who
are] children of God, but the children of the promise [who] are counted among
[Abraham's true] offspring. For the word of promise [is] this: 'According to a particular
appointed time I will come and a son will exist for Sarah.' Not only so, but Rebbecca
also conceived out of one [man], Isaac, our father. Nonetheless, not yet being born nor
practicing anything usefully good or worthlessly foul -- in order that the purpose of God,
[which is] according to [His] choice, might continuously remain, not out of works but out
of the One calling -- it was said to her that the greater will slavishly serve the lesser. [It
is] just as it stands having been written: 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I loved less.' Therefore,
what will we say [regarding this]? [Is this] not wrongdoing from God? May such an
impossible thing never exist! For in [the books of] Moses it says: 'I will bear mercy [in the
heart] for whomever I bear mercy, and I will express acts compassion for whomever I
show compassion.' Consequently, therefore, [this being elected and called children of
God, who are the children of promise, who are loved by God and shown mercy from
121

God, is] not derived from willing it to occur, nor from running and striving to make it
occur, but comes from God continuously granting mercy" (Rom. 9:8-16).

Comment: Verse 16 begins with the words ἄρα οὖν, indicating a logical conclusion to
the preceding arguments. So the thing which these genitives describe is that which was
the subject of the previous arguments. In other words, Paul is speaking about who can
be counted as the real seed of Abraham, the true church which receives God's promise
to Abraham, the real "children of God." The first genitive indicates the action of
continuous willing, and has a negative preceding it. Thus, it is saying that being saved,
that is, being a child of God, does not originate from willing it to occur. In the Greco-
Roman culture, human will was a central focus of the philosophies from the school of
Athens and other major centers of learning. They taught that returning to the high god
was accomplished by man's will. Here Paul directly refutes that common pagan view.
The second participle refers to the act of running or striving. This related more to the
prevalent Jewish idea of earning salvation by doing the works of the Mosaic law. With
the negative in front of it, Paul also denies that being a child of God originates from
continuously striving to be one.

The third genitive of source has no negative in front of it, and is preceded by the strong
adversative particle, ἀλλά, indicating that the real way in which we are saved and
become children of God is about to be revealed. And that is also a genitive singular
present participle, ἐλεῶντος, which is modified by the genitive Θεοῦ. Actually, both are
genitives of source, although Θεοῦ is also a possessive genitive. Therefore, our
salvation is "derived from the action of continuously granting mercy," and its source is
"from God." In other words, our being elected and called children of God, who are
counted as the seed of Abraham, thus making us true heirs of God's promise and
covenant with Abraham through Isaac (Gen. 17:7-8,19-21), and true members of the
church, as those who are loved by God and shown mercy from God, all originates from
God's act of continuously bearing mercy in His heart. But it is not from man willing it to
be, through "free will," as pagan philosophies taught. Nor is it from continuously striving
to obey the law of God.ἀδελφοί, ἡ μὲν εὐδοκία τῆς ἐμῆς καρδίας καὶ ἡ δέησις πρὸς τὸν
Θεὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν εἰς σωτηρίαν. μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς ὅτι ζῆλον Θεοῦ ἔχουσιν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ
κατ᾽ ἐπίγνωσιν· ἀγοοῦντες γὰρ τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην, καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ζητοῦντες
στῆσαι, τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐχ ὑπετάγησαν. τέλος γὰρ νόμου Χριστὸς εἰς
δικαιοσύνην παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι.

Translation: "Brothers, the goodwill indeed of my heart, and the prayers of pleading to
God on behalf of them, [are] for [their] salvation. For I testify concerning them that they
have a zeal for God, but not according to exact knowledge -- since being ignorant of the
righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they were not
in submission to the righteousness which comes from God. After all, Christ [is] the
completion of law, unto righteousness for everyone believing" (Rom. 10:1-4).
122

Comment: Again, there are two examples of genitives of source in this quote. The first
genitive of source is embedded between the article of the head noun, and the head
noun itself. This was likely to ensure we understand that this is righteousness from God,
in contrast to the righteousness men seek to establish or make stand for themselves
according to their own power. Then the same genitive of source is repeated later in the
sentence. Also note here that the verb ὑπετάγησαν is an aorist passive form
of ὑποτάσσω, where the passive interpretation is "they were in subjection to, were in
submission to."

So this passage implies and outright states that New Covenant righteousness in Christ
is that which: (1) comes from another source -- not from ourselves, but from God; (2) is
related to right knowledge, based upon an effective and correct knoweldge of God and
His Word; (3) becomes subjective righteousness, that which is effectively played out
through our real-life activities; (4) comes through our action of passively submitting
ourselves to the working of God in us, such as by subjecting the ears of our hearts and
our thoughts to the things which His Holy Spirit is speaking and teaching to our inner
spirits; (5) is Christ, that is by Christ's power and the work of His Spirit; (6) is the
completion, end, goal, perfecting, finishing, and fulfilling of the law of God, of the Old
Covenant law given to us by God through Moses; and (7) is only for or done by those
believing, those putting their confidence in God, in Christ, to make them truly
righteous.καὶ πρὸς ταῦτα τίς ἱκανός; οὐ γὰρ ἐσμεν ὡς οἱ πολλοὶ καπηλεύοντες τὸν λόγον
τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἐξ εἰλικρινείας, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἐκ Θεοῦ κατέναντι Θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ λαλοῦμεν.
ἀρχόμεθα πάλιν ἑαυτοὺς συνιστάνειν; ἢ μὴ χρῄζομεν ὥς τινες συστατικῶν ἐπιστολῶν
πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἢ ἐξ ὑμῶν; ἡ ἐπιστολὴ ἡμῶν ὑμεῖς ἐστε, ἐγγεγραμμένη ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις
ἡμῶν, γινωσκομένη καὶ ἀναγινωσκομένη ὑπὸ πάντων ἀνθρώπων, φανερούμενοι ὅτι
ἐστὲ ἐπιστολὴ Χριστοῦ διακονηθεῖσα ὑφ᾽ ἡμῶν, ἐγγεγραμμένη οὐ μέλανι ἀλλὰ Πνεύματι
Θεοῦ ζῶντος, οὐκ ἐν πλαξὶν λιθίναις ἀλλ᾽ ἐν πλαξὶν καρδίαις σαρκίναις.

Translation: "And for the purpose of [preaching] these things, who is adequate? For we
are not like the many [who are] peddling the Word of God [for profit], but we speak as
[those] out of pure motives, but [we speak] as [those] out of God, in the presence of
God, in Christ. Must we begin again to bring ourselves together with you? Or do we not
need, as some [do], introductory letters to you, or from you? You are our letter [which
brings us together with you], having been written and remaining in our hearts, always
being experienced and being read by all people. [It is] continuously being made clear
that you are a letter from Christ, having been served [i.e., delivered] by us; having been
written not by ink, but [remaining written] by the Spirit of the living God; not in stone
tablets, but [remaining written] in tablets [which are] hearts [of] flesh" (II Cor 2:16b-17 &
3:1-3).

Comment: Faith is trusting in the ability of our God, Christ Jesus, alive in the heavens.
If faith is true, it also does not believe in ourselves. "So we have such confidence
through Christ towards God. Not that we are adequate ones [made adequate] from
123

ourselves, to count anything as out of ourselves. But our adequacy [is] out of God, who
also made us adequate ministers of a New Covenant -- not [ministers] of a written thing,
but [ministers] of a Spirit; for the written thing kills, but the Spirit makes live" (II Cor. 3:4-
6).

Therefore, the genitive in the above quote is a genitive of source, indicating that the
elect in the Corinthian church are a letter written by Christ, "from Christ." They are not a
letter for Christ. They are not a letter written by the apostles, nor by any preacher, nor
by any man. Context makes this clear. When we preach, we cannot do anything but
give what we have first been given from God, to the best of our ability given by God. We
cannot do anything more. None can be saved by us. None can believe because of us.
None can be made to live from the dead by our power or skill. We are nothing. We have
absolutely no power to affect anyone or anything at all. We, of ourselves, are not
remotely adequate.

Through practice, training and study alone, we cannot become experts in handling and
manipulating the words of God, like some think they can. After all, we do not and cannot
serve God's chosen souls, the elect to whom we are sent, by just speaking mere words
alone. Only the living Spirit of Jesus Christ can make alive, not words alone. Nor can we
become experts in handling and manipulating the Spirit of Christ, as some boldly
attempt to make others believe that they can do. For our Holy Spirit, who is the real Holy
Spirit, is our ruling Lord and God, who handles and manipulates us, by His unlimited
power and authority. None can manipulate the real Holy Spirit of God, since He is God.
We can do absolutely nothing to make the Holy Spirit of Jesus perform anything which
originates from our own thoughts or will. Rather, if we ever possibly accomplish
anything in any way even remotely pleasing to God, we can only do so by doing what
He gives us to do, and what He commands us to do, in His love. He even makes His
own commands work.καὶ ὁ πέμπτος ἄγγελος ἐσάλπισεν. καὶ εἶδον ἀστέρα ἐκ τοῦ
οὐρανοῦ πεπτωκότα εἰς τὴν γῆν, καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ἡ κλεὶς τοῦ φρέατος τῆς ἀβύσσου. καὶ
ἤνοιξεν το φρέαρ τῆς ἀβύσσου, καὶ ἀνέβη καπνὸς ἐκ τοῦ φρέατος ὡς καπνὸς καμίνου
μεγάλης, καὶ ἐσκοτώθη ὁ ἥλιος καὶ ὁ ἀὴρ ἐκ τοῦ καπνοῦ τοῦ φρέατος. καὶ ἐκ τοῦ καπνοῦ
ἐξῆλθον ἀκρίδες εἰς τὴν γῆν, καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς ἐξουσία ὡς ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν οἱ σχορπίοι
τῆς γῆς.... ἔχουσιν ἐπ᾽ αὐτῶν βασιλέα τὸν ἄγγελον τῆς ἀβύσσου, ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἐβραϊστὶ
Ἀβαδδὼν, καὶ ἐν τῆ Ἐλληνικῇ ὅνομα ἔχει Ἀπολλύων.

Translation: "And the fifth angel trumpeted. Then I saw a star having fallen out of the
sky unto the earth [and remaining there]. And the keys of the shaft of the abyss were
given to it. Then he opened the shaft of the abyss, and smoke rose up out of the shaft
like smoke from a great furnace, thus the sun and the air were darkened from the
smoke from the shaft. Then out of the smoke came locusts unto the earth, and power of
choice [to sting] was given to them, like the scorpions of the earth have power of choice
[to sting].... They have a king over them, the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew
[is] Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon" (Rev. 9:1-3,11).
124

Comment: The first two highlighted examples here would be genitives of source, where
their head nouns refer to smoke having originated from these genitives. However, in
context, the third example (from verse 11, which Wallace cited) is not likely a genitive of
source. It is most likely a possessive. In verse one of this chapter, it clearly states that
this one is a star fallen from the sky, that is, an angel cast out of heaven. While it is true
that this "king" is the "destroyer" (and is thus clearly referring to Satan), and while it is
also true that Satan was created for the abyss of hell (i.e., hell is his home and
kingdom), this genitive is not likely indicating his source as much as his possession of
the abyss.Wallace also gave Rom. 15:18,22; II Cor. 4:7 and II Cor. 11:26 as verses
which have other examples of genitives of source. He indicated that Col. 2:19 might
possibly be another. However, there seems to be many more examples of genitives of
source which Wallace does not apparently acknowledge, especially those with the
word Θεοῦ.
c. Genitives of ComparisonAs its name suggests, a genitive of comparison is used to
indicate comparison, and is almost always with an adjective in
the comparative degree. So it is most often found with an adjective meaning
something like "greater than," "less than," "better than," "worse than," "higher than,"
"lower than," and so on. And it is usually translated after the key word "than," as in,
"higher than the heavens." The following points may also be noted:In the GNT, there is
no clear example of a genitive of comparison with an attributive adjective. Even if a
genitive substantive is with a comparative adjective, but one in the attributive position
(i.e., Article + Adjective + Noun or Article + Noun + Article + Adjective), it would likely
not be a genitive of comparison. So something like τῶν ὑψηλοτέρων οὐρανῶν would
mean "the higher heavens." But in the predicate position (i.e., with an anarthrous
adjective), it could be a genitive of comparison. So something like ὑψηλότερος τῶν
οὐρανῶν may mean "higher than the heavens."Not every genitive substantive with a
comparative adjective in predicate position will be a genitive of comparison. Each must
be interpreted in context. Also, comparatives were used as superlatives at times, and a
superlative does not indicate comparison.A genitive of comparison is not always with a
comparitive adjective. On rare occasions, a genitive of comparison might be with a verb
that suggests a comparsion, or even with an adverb in the comparative
degree.Sometimes the comparison is between the "unknown" and the "known," where
the genitive of comparison is the "known." So the "unknown" may be "the foolishness of
God," which is "wiser than men." Or a comparison might be made between the
intangible and the tangible, where the genitive of comparison will be the tangible. So the
intangible value of a human life is "worth more than many [tangible] sparrows."A
comparison may be emphatic, or rhetorical (for dramatic effect), and so on.Genitives of
comparison are "relatively common" and Wallace provided the following seven
examples. In each example, the comparative adjective with the genitive will be
highlighted in green and the genitive of comparison will be highlighted in bluish
green.οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν. ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἔνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον
ἀφαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει. οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν
125

καὶ μαμωνᾷ. διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν· μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν τί φάγητε ἢ τί πίητε, μηδὲ
τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν τί ἐνδύσησθε. οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆςκαὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ
ἐνδύματος; ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν οὐδὲ θερίζουσιν
οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν εἰς ἀποθήκας, καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά. οὐχ
ὑμεῖς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν; τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν μεριμνῶν δύναται προσθείναι ἐπὶ τὴν
ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ πῆχυν ἕνα;

Translation: "No one is able to serve as slaves for two masters. For either he will hate
the one and he will love the other, or he will devote himself to one and he will
contemptuously look down upon the other. You are not able to serve as slaves for God
and for mammon. Because of this, I tell you, do not be anxious for your life, [regarding]
what you might eat or what you might drink, nor for your body, [regarding] what you
might wear. Is not the life [about] much more than food and the body [about] much
more than clothing? Look unto the birds of the sky, that never sow [seeds] nor harvest
nor gather [crops] into storehouses -- yet your heavenly Father provides for their needs.
Do you not bear more worth than them? Yet which of you, [by] being anxious, is able to
add upon his age one measure of time?" (Mat. 6:24-27).

Comment: Here the neuter nominative singular adjective πλεῖόν ("more, much more") is
the comparative degree of the adjective πολύς ("much, many, great, large"). It takes two
genitives of comparison, which are predicates of the linking verb ἐστίν. Actually, two
clauses are implied with the one linking verb and one comparative adjective, and two
subjects are provided with two comparative genitives as two different predicates: "life is
much more than food and the body is much more than clothing." Then we see another
genitive of comparison later in this quote, the pronoun αὐτῶν ("than them"). However,
this time the genitive is with a comparative adverb, μᾶλλον ("more, to a greater extent"),
the comparative degree of the adverb μάλα ("very, exceedingly"). Also, it is with a form
of the verb διαφέρω, which sometimes uses a genitive of comparision without an
adverb.

Note that Jesus is speaking mostly to the poor and needy. In those days, there were
even far more poor and needy souls than there are today in our land, and they had no
social programs. Israel was much like some of the worst "third world" countries are
today. People, and their children, were sold into slavery for relatively small debts, and
life was extremely cruel. The rich exploited and oppressed the poor masses virtually
without restriction or limit. So there was a great temptation to endlessly pursue the
accumulation of wealth. Of course, there still is today. Yet Jesus states that being
anxious about these material things does absolutely no good. Now some say He is
indicating that the life of a person is "worth" more than food. But, looking at the context,
what He is really saying is that the life of a person is "about" more than food. In other
words, we do not live to eat, but eat to live, so we may serve God as our Master. We
live so we can do the works of God. And we do not work to get money, in order to dress
in fine clothes and impress people with our "glorious" outward appearance. Rather, we
126

simply work to please our Master God, to see His works done on earth as they are in
heaven, to see Him glorified.ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ Πέτρος καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητής, καὶ ἤρχοντο εἰς
τὸ μνημεῖον. ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ, καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμεν τάχιον τοῦ
Πέτρου καὶ ἦλθεν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον ...

Translation: "Therefore Peter and the other disciple went out, and came to the tomb.
Now the two ran together, yet the other disciple ran in front, more quickly than Peter and
came first to the tomb ..." (John 20:3-4).

Comment: Here we see another clear example of a genitive of comparison following a


comparitive adverb, where τάχιον ("more quickly, speedily, hastily, swiftly") is the
comparitive degree of the adverb ταχύ ("quickly," which is properly the neuter
nominative singular form of the adjective ταχύς). A genitive of comparison with an
adverb is rare, but it does occur, as we clearly see here and also in the example
immediately above this.καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννόντων τὸ σῶμα, τὴν δὲ
ψυχὴν μὴ δυναμένων ἀποκτεῖναι. φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ
σῶμα ἀπολέσαι ἐν γεέννῃ. οὐχὶ δύο στρουθία ἀσσαρίου πωλεῖται; καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐ
πεσεῖται ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἄνευ τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν. ὑμῶν δὲ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς πᾶσαι
ἠριθμημέναι εἰσίν. μὴ οὖν φοβεῖσθε. πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε ὑμεῖς.

Translation: "And do not be afraid of those killing the body, but not being able to kill the
soul. But rather be afraid of the one being able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are
not two sparrows sold for a half an hour's wage? Yet one of them will not alight upon the
ground without your Father. Yet even the hairs of your head are all having been counted
and the number recorded. Therefore, do not be afraid. You bear more worth than many
sparrows" (Mat. 10:28-31).

Comment: Here the verb διαφέρετε is the 2nd person plural present indicative active
form of διαφέρω, and means, "you carry through a place, bear through; bear a
difference, differ from; bear / carry more worth than, are superior to." This same verb
was also found in the very first example. But there it was used with the comparitive
adverb μᾶλλον("more"). Here the same verb is used with a genitive of comparison
directly, without any comparative adjective or adverb. This is one of the few verbs which
can do this (although this is also rare). The message of this passage (Jesus' command
to not fear men) is with regard to publicly exposing their secret wickedness (vs. 26-27).
Even though the wicked can kill our bodies, in revenge for exposing their lies (or just for
proclaiming God's truth of His words, or for doing His works, all of which bring the
wicked condemnation, see vs. 32-42) Jesus commands us to not fear their wrath. For
the sake of our people, both now and in future generations, and for the love of God, we
cannot keep silent. We must pray to God for guidance, prepare, and wisely choose our
words and times according to God's will. But still, we must broadcast His truth, all of it.
Much harm is done by keeping silent. Then, even if they kill us, we cannot die. Our
spirits and souls shall live eternally. Yet those who oppose God and His truth will surely
127

die. Eventually, they must shed their bodies of flesh. Then their souls will hide miserably
from God, and flee from the light of His realities, wallowing in spiritual nightmares of
their dark delusions for eternity in hell.εἰρήνην ἀφίημι ὑμῖν, ειρήνην τὴν Ἐμὴν δίδωμι
ὑμῖν· οὐ καθὼς ὁ κόσμος δίδωσιν Ἐγὼ δίδωμι ὑμῖν. μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία
μηδὲ δειλιάτω. ἠκούσατε ὅτι Ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν. ὑπάγω καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. εἰ ἠγαπᾶτέ
Με, ἐχάρητε ἂν ὅτι πορεύομαι πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα, ὅτι ὁ Πατὴρ μείζων Μού ἐστιν. καὶ νῦν
εἴρηκα ὑμῖν πρὶν γενέσθαι, ἵνα ὅταν γένηται πιστεύσητε.

Translation: "Peace I leave behind for you, My peace I give to you. [This peace] I give
to you [is] not like [the peace which] the world gives. Do not let your heart become
unsettled, nor let it be cowardly. You heard that I told you, 'I go and I come to you.' If
you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am journeying to the Father, because the
Father is greater than Me. And now I have told you before it occurs, in order that when it
happens, you might believe" (John 14:27-29).

Comment: Here the genitive pronoun Μού follows the nominative masculine singular
form of the adjective μείζων ("greater, exceeding some kind of standard more than
another"), which is the comparative degree of μέγας. So the pronoun is clearly a
genitive of comparison. Yet what did Jesus mean when He said the the Father is
greater than Him? First, we must understand that God's Own Word repeatedly states
there is only one God. But God's Word also clearly illustrates that God works in His
creation, and continuously expresses Himself to His creation, as three Persons. Each
Person expresses "words" of God in a different way -- the Father does so from heaven,
Jesus bodily represents God's expression among men as He abides together with men
in the form of men, and the Holy Spirit communicates directly to the spirits of men. The
expression of these "words" of God (whether "spoken" or "unspoken," of His revealed
will or His secret will) is always effective, in that God's "words" always translate into real
actions, and never fall to the ground without causing exactly what God intended to do.

Next, remember that Jesus said His words were not His own, but from the Father
having sent Him (v.24). So the Father is the source and first cause of Jesus' words and
the actions resulting from them. Thus, we are not really talking about a greater status
here. Instead, the Father is the greater "expresser" because He is the Person of the one
God who initially plans all things, then initially expresses all things, and is thus the first
cause and final decision-making authority of all that God expresses through the other
two Persons (of what we call the Trinity). All the words of Jesus and the Holy Spirit
originate from the Father in heaven. Every expression of righteous love, even all that we
yearn for in our hearts, first originates from our Father, then is expressed and worked by
God through Jesus and His Holy Spirit. Now some might say the "office" of the Father is
greater than the "office" of the Son. But that kind of gets away from the oneness of God.
One almost pictures three thrones on three different platforms, one below another, each
commanding the other in a hierarchical relationship. But that is not fully true. We have
one God, whose three thrones remain on one and the same platform -- where all three
128

work as one, in perfect, harmonious conjunction with each other. So it seems the
Father's "expression" is greater, although it does somewhat connote "role" or "office."

Now why did Jesus tell us these things? We must first realize He tells us many things
about the future, including end-time prophecies, so that when these outwardly terrible
things actually occur, we will maintain our trust in Him, and believe He remains
sovereign over all. He is still in His heaven and what happens must happen to
accomplish His will for a greater good to result. Just before this, Jesus told His disciples
that the world would see Him no longer, but His disciples would see Him (v. 19). Also,
His Holy Spirit would come to be a Counselor for them (v. 16-17; 26). In other words,
there is a Father in heaven who is in control of all things which occur on earth. The plan
is for the disciples of Jesus to operate on earth on a completely different level, with a
whole different perspective, all governed by Jesus and His Holy Spirit operating upon
and through them in a way which the people of this world cannot ever know or
experience in any way.

Because of this, we look at the horrifying event of a crucifixion as something which is


good and glorious, as a victory! But, at its very best, the world can only see it as the
unjust murder of an impoverished but good Teacher upon a cross, in a tortuous death
reserved for the lowest of criminals. The world may see some facts, but not the whole
reality. For Jesus fully paid a real penalty of sin for His true people, a penalty which we
surely would owe to God even at this moment, if He did not pay it. By rights, a just God
should let real sinners like us fall under a curse, and abandon us to complete slavery to
the liar Satan, into darkness and delusion of our minds, both while we live on earth, and
for empty eternity in hell. Yet Jesus freed us from the bondage of that penalty. Now, by
His free grace, we are given eyes to see, to be entirely redeemed from a useless and
futile life of emptiness, now given to eternal fulness and all reality in heaven with God.

So we rejoice that Jesus died for us, in love, and moreso that He rose from the dead to
live with the Father until He returns to this earth in the flesh again, and until He grants
us new kinds of bodies for eternal life with Him in heaven. For Jesus bears no more
sorrow while He is with the Father in heaven. Furthermore, He lives to hear us, and to
do for us more now than He even did when He lived on earth before His death and
resurrection. In all this we have peace. For we do not trouble ourselves with the
thoughts of how this world is crumbling, even with their foolish and futile plans for saving
themselves, which always backfire and cause more deaths, since those plans fly
against the will of God. Nor do we have selfish ambition to strive after, to use as an
excuse to trample the innocent, or defend with violence, and to fret over if it is
threatened. Rather, we just daily do what Jesus gives our hands to do, knowing the
success of our work entirely depends on Him alone. And that success will not
necessarily be what is seen by the world, but is what God Himself surely will cause to
occur. Then, someday, we shall die in the body of flesh, and our real life, for which this
earthly life is just a preparation, will begin to be truly lived.οὐχὶ ἐμώρανεν ὁ Θεὸς τὴν
129

σοφίαν τοῦ κόσμου; ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐκ ἔγνω ὁ κόσμος διὰ τῆς
σοφίας τὸν Θεόν, εὐδόκησεν ὁ Θεὸς διὰ τῆς μωρίας τοῦ κηρύγματος σῶσαι τοὺς
πιστεύοντας. ἐπειδὴ καὶ Ἰουδαῖοι σημεῖα αἰτοῦσιν καὶ Ἕλληνες σοφίαν ζητοῦσιν, ἡμεῖς δὲ
κηρύσσομεν Χριστὸν ἐσταυρωμένον, Ἰουδαίοις μὲν σκάνδαλον, ἔθνεσιν δὲ μωρίαν,
αὐτοῖς δὲ τοῖς κλητοῖς Ἰουδαίοις τε καὶ Ἕλλησιν, Χριστὸν Θεοῦ δύναμιν καὶ Θεοῦ σοφίαν.
ὅτι τὸ μωρὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ σοφώτερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐστίν, καὶ τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ
Θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

Translation: "Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, by the
wisdom of God, the world did not know God through [its] wisdom, God thought it good to
save, through the foolishness of the preaching, the ones believing. Because not only do
Jews habitually ask for signs, but also Greeks habitually seek for wisdom, we now
preach Christ having been crucified with its permanent result [i.e., a perfect passive
participle, emphasizing the effect, paying for all the sins of His people once and for all
time] -- an obstacle to Jews on the one hand, and foolishness to Gentiles on the other
hand. Yet to those [who are] the called ones -- both to Jews and to Greeks [who have
been called by God] -- Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the
foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God [is] stronger than men"
(I Cor. 1:20b-25).

Comment: The neuter nominative singular adjective σοφώτερον ("wiser, more clever,
having greater understanding in matters of conduct or in making decisions") is the
comparative form of the adjective σοφός ("wise"). The genitive following it (τῶν
ἀνθρώπων, "than men") is a genitive of comparison. Likewise, the neuter nominative
singular adjective ἰσχυρότερον ("stronger," either physically, mentally or spiritually) is
the comparative of ἰσχυρός ("strong"), with the same genitive of comparison following it.

Now there are many kinds of wisdom, even many kinds of worldly wisdom. So exactly
what kind of wisdom is Paul denouncing here? Obviously, he is striking a direct blow at
humanistic wisdom. First we must understand that Paul is writing to a Greek community
in Corinth, just down the road (or across the bay) from Athens, which was the foremost
learning center of the entire Roman world. That was the place where the religion of the
Satanic beast was codified into its systematic form, where the humanism of Babylon,
the ancient enemy of the Messiah, as prophesied by Daniel, was most manifestly
nurtured and broadcast throughout the third and fourth kingdoms of the beast, unto the
Greco-Roman world. Therefore, we see terms such
as σοφός ("wise"), γραμματεύς ("scholar, scribe"), and συζητητής ("disputant, debater,
one seeking knowledge together with others), all terms which humanistic philosophers
loved to use. And we see phrases like οὐκ ἐν σοφίᾳ λόγου ("not in wisdom of speaking
reason," v. 17), which seems to allude to the so-called "wisdom" of the logos ("rational
principle"), which the school of Athens taught about, how it pervaded the universe and
was emitted from the "high god." With the negative, Paul proclaims that the real God's
servants do NOT preach that kind of wisdom. For, at that same time, Jews like Philo
130

(just like the later Christian apologists and "church fathers" of the 2nd century), were
trying to say that God's Word was allegorical, and the philosophies of Athens were
literal, but both referred to the same god. Yet this is very far from true. The "high god" of
the συνετῶν ("intelligent ones," those practicing logical reasoning intellectually, v.19) is
a demonic pagan god, and those philosophies have indirectly killed and oppressed
millions of souls through the arrogance of "wanna-be philosopher kings" throughout the
centuries. The art of rhetoric, practiced by professional speakers in those days, may
have made their "high god" sound noble, or even made him look like the real God of
Israel. But that pagan god is not noble, and is nothing like the real God, the God of
Israel. So, to Paul, their eloquence of human cunning would simply empty the "cross of
Christ" of all its meaning and power from God, turning it away from all the truth worked
in man directly through Christ's real Holy Spirit.

Then we see how this chapter begins with Paul calling Corinthians to hear his counsel,
"in order that you all speak the same thing, and there may not be any schisms among
you, but you might be joined together in the same mind and in the same thinking" (v.
10). For Paul heard there was strife among them. Where was this strife coming from?
Clearly, in the rest of the chapter, we see Paul's direct opposition to the things most
commonly taught by the humanistic philosophies of the Greeks and Romans. So we
must conclude that these divisions in the Corinthian church arose from those who
thought they were wise because they proclaimed the philosophies of humanism, and
tried to harmonize them with the teachings of God's Word -- in exactly the same way as
the church has always done from the end of the first century to this very day, effectively
emptying Christ's message of salvation of all its power, turning instead to faith in man,
while spurning faith in God Himself. So Paul is here rebuking the faithlessness of almost
all churches in history, and the same faithlessness practiced by almost all churches
today.

Our evangelical churches, like almost all churches in history, reject faith in God
regarding the vast majority of its teachings and practices. To them, salvation is put into
effect according to the neoplatonic doctrine of man's "free will," where man manipulates
a Greco-Roman high god to create his own state of union with that god. Of course, this
has nothing to do with real salvation. Churches simply do not believe in the biblical God,
who is the Creator of every man's spirit, mind and environment, who sets in motion all
things and directly controls all things, thus saves whom He wills by His Own sovereign
election, like God's Word clearly states. They also believe in the status and authority of
men in humanistic hierarchical structures, where only a select elite communicate with
the gods, while the rest of the people must be content to sit back and hear the lectures
of those few elite. Churches certainly do not believe that a living Christ is the One Head
of the whole church, able to rule directly over each individual man, where this sovereign
Christ allots gifts, abilities and callings to each individual, so that each one can and will
do his or her own part in the whole body. Actually, there are too many other pagan and
humanistic teachings and practices in the church to mention, all of which directly
131

oppose the working of biblical faith, as taught in God's Word. And Jesus will come to
destroy it.

In the meantime, for those who are given ears to hear and eyes to see, there must
come repentance away from worldly so-called wisdom. Yes, Jesus Christ is the power
of God, able to completely free us from the binding delusions of this dark world, able to
turn us towards His real reality, which He Himself created, so we may live a sound and
wise life. For Jesus is also the wisdom of God, enabling us to use truths and knowledge
correctly and effectively, to enact real justice and create balanced ways for man to live -
- without exploiting, oppressing, destroying, casting aside, forgetting or excluding
others. In all history, the closer any individual has come to understanding and living
what God has taught in His Word, the closer that one has come to achieving a satisfying
and good life, approved by all. The same is true concerning families, societies and
whole nations. But the philosophies of the Greeks and Romans have brought nothing
but cruelty and death. Never have they brought any true justice and love, because they
invariably suppress the truth, and all justice and love must necessarily be founded on
truth. And so we conclude that the things of God, which worldly souls call "foolish," are
still far wiser than anything from men. And the things of God which the worldly think to
be weak and ineffective, always prove to be, in the end, much stronger than anything
men can possibly build.πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ Θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς
πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις· ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν Υἱῷ, ὃν
ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι᾽ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας· ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς
δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως Αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς
δυνάμεως Αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς
μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, τοσούτῳ κρείττων γενόμενος τῶν ἀγγέλων, ὅσῳ
διαφορώτερον παρ᾽ αὐτοὺς κεκληρονόμηκεν ὄνομα.

Translation: "Having previously uttered words [part by part,] with many parts and with
many methods, for the fathers, by the prophets -- God uttered words to us upon these
last days, by a Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, also through whom He made
the ages. Ever being the emitting radiance of glory and the exact representation of His
fundamental essence, [this Son is the One] who [is] continuously bearing all things by
the word of His power. Having made [from Himself] a cleansing of sins, He sat at the
right hand of majesty in high places, [by] having become so much more superior in
power than the angels, [by] as much as He has inherited and remains in possession of
a name more excellent than them" (Heb. 1:1-4).

Comment: Here the adjective κρείττων ("stronger, better, superior [in power]") is the
comparative of κρατός ("strong"). The comparative adjective is preceded by a dative of
instrument, τοσούτῳ ("by so much more"), pointing to the instrument or means by which
something is done. The participle γενόμενος is placed between the adjective and the
genitive to indicate the action of "having become superior in power." So the expression
suggests something like: "Jesus was able to sit at the right hand of majesty in high
132

places by taking the action of having become very much superior in strength, as
compared to the angels." It does not say when Jesus became "superior" to the angels,
but we assume it was when He created them. By the way, there is another comparative
adjective in this sentence, διαφορώτερον ("more excellent"), the comparative
of διάφορος ("distinct, different; outstanding, excellent," BDAG3). However, this is
followed by a prepositional phrase, παρ᾽ αὐτούς ("than them"). A comparative can be
followed by the prepositional phrase (παρά + accusative) to indicate the same thing as
a genitive of comparison, yet perhaps in a more explicit way. Possibly this is to make it
clear that Jesus' name is indeed "more excellent."κατὰ τοσοῦτο καὶ κρείττονος διαθήκης
γέγονεν ἔγγυος Ἰησοῦς. καὶ οἱ μὲν πλείονές εἰσιν γεγονότες ἱερεῖς διὰ τὸ θανάτῷ
κωλύεσθαι παραμένειν· ὁ δὲ διὰ τὸ μένειν Αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἀπαράβατον ἔχει τὴν
ἱερωσύνην· ὅθεν καὶ σῴζειν εἰς τὸ παντελὲς δύναται τοὺς προσερχομένους δι᾽ Αὐτοῦ τῷ
Θεῷ, πάτοτε ζῶν εἰς τὸ ἐντυγχάνειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν. τοιοῦτος γὰρ ἡμῖν καὶ ἔπρεπεν
Ἀρχιερεύς, ὅσιος, ἄκακος, ἀμίαντος, κεχωρισμένος ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν,
καὶ ὑψηλότερος τῶν οὐρανῶν γενόμενος· ὃς οὐκ ἔχει καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἀνάγκην, ὥσπερ οἱ
ἀρχιερεῖς, πρότερον ὑπὲρ τῶν ἰδίων ἁμαρτιῶν θυσίας ἀναφέρειν, ἔπειτα τῶν τοῦ λαοῦ·
τοῦτο γὰρ ἐποίησεν ἐφάπαξ Ἐαυτὸν ἀνενέγκας.

Translation: "According to so much more, indeed Jesus has become and remains a
guarantee [that a promise] of a better covenant [will be fulfilled]. And, on the one hand,
many more are having had become and are now remaining priests, because the [others
were] prevented by death from [being able] to continue. On the other hand, because He
[is able] to continuously remain unto time without limit, He has the priestly office without
it being able to be transferred to another. From this [priestly office], He is indeed able to
save unto completion the ones continuously approaching God through Him, always
living in order to intercede on behalf of them. For such a One indeed was fit to be a High
Priest for us; devout, without evil, ethically undefiled, having been separated and
remaining apart from sinners, also having become higher than the heavens. [He is One]
who does not have daily necessity, just as the [Old Covenant] high priests [now do], to
first offer up sacrifices on behalf of [their] own sins, then for [sins] of the people. For this
He did once and for all time, offering up Himself" (Heb. 7:22-27).

Comment: The adjective ὑψηλότερος ("higher") is the comparative of ὑψηλος ("high").


As one can see from the perfect periphrastic constructions in verses 20 and 23 (εἰσιν
γεγονότες), and from the wording in other places, this book of Hebrews was obviously
written at a time when high priests still served in the temple, that is, sometime before
AD 70, when the Romans destroyed the temple. Also, this was obviously written by a
Jewish man who was familiar with the Jerusalem temple and knew Old Covenant law
thoroughly.

Yet this Jewish man taught that Jesus has replaced the office of the Old Covenant high
priest with Himself, and the Old Covenant sacrifices of animals with His sacrifice of His
own body. Thus, he taught that Jesus has replaced the entire Old Covenant with the
133

New Covenant. For we must remember that, if even one law of the Old Covenant is
replaced (whether it is a moral or ceremonial law, since the moral law states that no law
can be added or subtracted from the whole law), then the whole Old Covenant is
replaced. Now, since Jesus has replaced both the laws of the priesthood (which existed
to govern the administration of the whole Old Covenant law) and also replaced the
sacrificial laws (which existed to atone for sins against the moral law), then Jesus has
replaced the whole Old Covenant law with His New Covenant. Furthermore, the New
Covenant is not a law for us to perform, but rather always described as a promise which
God Himself will perform -- in much the same way that the Abrahamic Covenant was
not a law for God's people to perform, but rather a promise from God to make them into
His people, and to make Himself to become their God. Some invent many fine-sounding
arguments against these principles, but their arguments are simply that, inventions of
men. Yet these principles of New Covenant theology all directly and indisputably come
from God's Word, and emphatically deny that Christians were ever "bound" to Old
Covenant moral law, conclusively and effectively nullifying the 17th century invention of
"Covenant Theology."Wallace also gave examples of genitives of comparison in I Pet.
1:7 and in Eph. 4:9. The first (I Pet. 1:7) is discussed under an example of attributed
genitives above. The other (Eph. 4:9) is briefly discussed the the comment after the
examples of genitives of apposition. He also mentioned that genitives of comparison are
quite common in Hebrews (e.g., 3:3; 11:26), if you would like to find more examples.
Grammatical Role 3:
Verbal Genitives
(Genitives With Verbal Nouns)A verbal genitive is always found with a head noun or
substantive which can be described as being "verbal." Here the term "verbal" means the
head noun or substantive suggests an action of a verb (it does not refer to participles
and infinitives). That is, the head noun or substantive will be a cognate of a verb, and
imply the action of that verb cognate, like the noun πίστις ("faith") is a cognate of the
verb πιστεύω ("believe"), and implies the action of believing. In a construction with its
verbal head noun, the verbal genitive indicates either the subject performing the
action, or the direct object receiving the action of the verb.For example, ἡ παρουσία
τοῦ Υἱοῦ means "the coming of the Son," and is equivalent to "[when] the Son comes,"
where the genitive ("Son") functions as the subject performing the action of the verbal
head noun ("coming"). Then εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης Αὐτοῦ means "for a
demonstration of His righteousness," and is equivalent to "[when He] demonstrated His
righteousness," where the genitive ("righteousness") functions as the direct object of
the action suggested by the verbal head noun ("demonstration"). Sometimes the verbal
genitive can even indicate both the subject and direct object at the same time. That is,
"the love of God," in some instances, may mean both "[when] God loves us" and
"[when] we love God."Wallace believes the verbal genitive actually could be another
category listed under "adjectival genitives," since it indicates a quality or attribute of the
head noun, even like a possessive ("the Son's coming," "his righteousness's
demonstration," "God's love"). But he says, "there are some advantages to placing
these uses under a separate [category] ... This is partially due to the fact that the
134

objective and the subjective genitives are both crucial and confusing, but also due to the
fact that included here is a category not normally listed in New Testament grammars ...
The verbal genitive construction, then, is a sentence [embedded within another
sentence]."There are three types of verbal genitives: (1) the subjective genitive, which
functions as the subject of the verbal; (2) the objective genitive, which functions as the
direct object; and (3) the plenary genitive, which serves as both. When categorizing and
interpreting a verbal genitive, always remember the following two points (which were
also delineated by Wallace):All categories of verbal genitives are lexico-syntactic
categories, where the genitive must modify a verbal substantive. The verbal noun must
be a cognate of a verb and suggest some kind of action. So a head noun can be
something like "love," "hope," "testimony," "obedience," and so on -- suggesting actions
of "loving," "hoping," "testifying," "obeying," and so on. If the genitive does not modify
a verbal substantive, then it cannot be a verbal genitive. However, Wallace also
points out that one must determine whether or not a noun is a verbal noun from a
"Greek rather than English" perspective. In other words, a Greek word
like βασιλεῦς ("king, ruler") is a cognate of the Greek verb βασιλεύω ("rule, rule as
king"), and thus could take a subjective genitive. Yet we would not normally think the
noun "king" would be a verbal noun from an English viewpoint.Next, Wallace points out
that a subjective genitive can modify a head noun with a verb cognate that is
either transitive or intransitive. Because a subjective genitive functions as the
subject, it does not matter whether or not the verb's action requires a direct object. For
example, "the coming of the Son" equals "[when] the Son comes," where the head noun
is a cognate of a verb that is intransitive here ("comes"), and does not require a direct
object. But context may also require us to interpret another head noun as a transitive.
For example, "the love of Christ" equals "[when] Christ loves [us]," where the verbal
head noun suggests a transitive verb ("loves"), and also requires a direct object ("us,"
implied by context).

Yet an objective genitive must always modify a head noun with a verb cognate
that is transitive, since it functions as a direct object. For example, "demonstration of
His righteousness" equals "[when He] demonstrated His righteousness," where the
head noun is transitive ("demonstrated"), requiring a direct object. Of course a plenary
genitive needs to be translated both ways. So a plenary genitive also must always
modify a head noun with a transitive verb cognate. For example, "the love of God"
equals "[when] God loves [us]" and / or "[when we] love God," where the head noun is
transitive in both interpretations. This means more verbal genitive constructions will be
subjective genitives, rather than objective or plenary genitives -- since the head noun of
a subjective genitive can have either a transitive or intransitive verb cognate, but the
head noun of an objective or plenary genitive must always have a transitive verb
cognate.a. Subjective GenitivesIf a head noun or substantive is a cognate of a verb,
and it suggests the action of its verb cognate, it is called a "verbal noun." If a genitive
modifies such a verbal head noun or substantive, where the genitive represents a
person or thing which performs the indicated action of the verb cognate, then the
135

genitive is likely a subjective genitive. A subjective genitive performs the action of


the verbal noun or substantive it modifies.Subjective genitives are "common" in the
GNT. In the examples below, the head noun will be highlighted in green and the
subjective genitive will be highlighted in bluish green. Wallace provided the following
five clear examples below. However, after these first five, you will find another five
examples, all involved in a debate concerning the interpretation of πίστις
Χριστοῦ constructions. That is, the dispute is between those who interpret πίστις
Χριστοῦ as a subjective genitive like "the faithfulness of Christ" ("[when] Christ acts
faithfully"), and those who interpret it as an objective genitive like "faith in Christ"
("[when we] believe or trust Christ").ἐὰν οὖν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν· ἰδοὺ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐστίν, μὴ
ἐξέλθητε· ἰδοὺ ἐν τοῖς ταμιείοις, μὴ πιστεύσητε· ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ
ἀνατολῶν καὶ φαίνεται ἕως δυσμῶν, οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Ψἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου·
ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα, ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί. εὐθέως δὲ μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν
ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται, καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς, καὶ οἱ
ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται. καὶ
τότε φανήσεται τὸ σημεῖον τοῦ Ψἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ τότε κόψονται πᾶσαι
αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ
οὐρανοῦ μετὰ δυνάμεως καὶ δόξης πολλῆς.

Translation: "Therefore, if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go


out [there]. [Or if they say,] 'Behold, [He is] in the secret rooms,' do not believe [them].
For just as the lightning comes out and [suddenly] shines from east to west, likewise will
be the arrival of the Son of Man. Wherever there might be a carcase, there will be
gathered together the vultures. So immediately after the affliction of those days, the sun
will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, then the stars will fall from the
sky, and the powers of the skies will be shaken. Also then will appear the sign of the
Son of Man in the sky, and at that time all the people groups of the earth will strike their
chests [in anguish], since they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of the
sky with power and much glory" (Mat. 24:26-30).

Comment: The Greek noun παρουσία refers to the "advent, arrival, coming" or the
state of now being present at a place. It is a cognate of the verb πάρειμι ("be beside, be
present"). Clearly, the genitives ("of the Son of Man") function as the subject performing
the action suggested by the noun, the action of arriving or coming. So the
genitive Ψἱοῦ is a subjective genitive. Now, is it not interesting how Jesus here
describes His coming?

Although the pretribulation rapture doctrine (a fiction about two second comings of
Christ, invented in the 19th century and made popular in the 20th century) is called
"orthodox" today, and makes dishonest preachers rich, this doctrine obviously has
nothing to do with what God's Word actually teaches us. It may be comforting to
materialistic middle-class North Americans, who want nothing but physical comfort and
security. But the false pretribulation rapture doctrine is not so comforting to real
136

Christians, who are actually struggling to walk in true faith, and often suffer for their faith
-- who know the real and sovereign Holy Spirit. Those who teach the abject nonsense
about a secret first "second coming" of Christ, before the great tribulation of the saints,
try to avoid being associated with the liars whom Christ warns us will say He is "in the
secret rooms." But, in reality, they are the very ones who say Christ will come secretly.

Jesus never did much of anything secretly. And He still does everything openly. For He
is the God who owns all, and never needs to try to hide His words and deeds, like the
devil and his wicked minions always do. Instead, Jesus came to build a people who are
honest and candid, who live free under God, specifically because they are open about
all truth, which forms the foundation of all justice and love. Yes, Jesus also hides His
truth from those who hate Him, from the devil's children. But He "hides" it in plain sight,
everywhere you look. His truth is written in all His creation. Then Bibles can be found in
any book store, and in almost any language. Those who are true preachers sent from
God, speak in public, like Christ. Or now they also write on internet web sites,
accessible to the eyes of anyone. Yet, for all this, the wicked cannot know a single real
thing about Christ.

Therefore, when Jesus does return (for His one and only second coming), none will be
able to miss His brilliantly glorified, plainly overt, openly manifest coming, even if they
wanted to do so. After the seven years of the beast's rule, the sky will be darkened for a
time. Then Jesus will come suddenly upon that darkness, like lightning, shining in the
physical sky, with blinding glory visible to the whole earth. But, unlike lightning, His light
will not flash momentarily, then release the darkness again. No, His light will come to
stay, even for a thousand years. At that time, just as both the Old and New Testament
prophecies reveal, He will also bring great destruction for the wicked. Just previous to
this, the false church who rode on the back of the beast, the Great Prostitute of
Babylon, will have been burned by the beast, who turns against her. Yet some false
Christians will remain even then. So this destruction of the wicked will include them,
along with the wicked followers of the beast, and all the other wicked spirits of the world.
The dead will cover the ground everywhere, and "wherever there might be a carcase,
there will be gathered together the vultures." So, indeed there will be a "taking away" at
His coming, but according to all prophecies, it will be a "taking away" of the wicked by
death.

And notice when Jesus says He will come, "immediately after the affliction of those
days," when the sky is darkened. Whose affliction is Jesus talking about? Of course,
Jesus is speaking of the affliction of His people, sometimes called the "great tribulation."
Both the Old and New Testaments speak about how God will grant the beast a time to
persecute and kill God's people, especially during the last half of his seven-year reign.
Then the darkness comes, and Armageddon. But before the beast's army can conquer
the few remaining believers in Israel and Jerusalem, Jesus will return, destroying both
the beast and his armies. No one will be able to miss this advent of Christ Jesus. All the
137

people groups of the earth will see it. And, before they die, the wicked, who refused to
repent, who took to wearing the mark of the humanistic beast, will beat their chests in
anguish, even in an anguish which will remain upon them for eternity. So Jesus is not
going to have a secret first "second coming," to whisk away self-indulgent Christians in
a pretribulation rapture, just because they took the liberty of adding to and taking away
from John's prophecy -- in spite of John warning such souls that they will fall under a
curse for doing exactly that (Rev. 22:18-19). Jesus is not going to have a secret first
"second coming," followed by an overt second "second coming" seven years later.

Really, we must begin to read the end-time prophecies just as they are written, with the
events in the same order, without adding to them according to whim, nor subtracting
from them according to taste. When the end-time prophecies are all taken at face value,
they all coordinate and harmonize perfectly with each other, all the end-time prophecies,
from both the Old and New Testaments. Then none contradict each other, and all say
the same things. Yet this kind of honest interpretation of prophecy has never occurred in
the church since the second or third century, and, even then, was rare. Always, the
church has insisted that it has a license to invent whatever it wants regarding end-time
prophecies. Regarding the interpretation of all other Scriptures, the church always has
been generally dishonest. But there have always been some respected teachers who
remained relatively honest and bold about the true meaning of one part or another. Yet,
throughout history, we find almost no Christian teachers who even attempted to be
honest about end-time prophecies, with the possible exception of Charles Spurgeon,
and a few others who admitted to the truth of an odd verse or two. Now, since a curse is
pronounced against those who distort these end-time prophecies, and because the time
is rapidly drawing near, it is time for the church to repent, and at least try to be honest.οἱ
δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον ἐζήτουν κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ μαρτυρίαν εἰς τὸ θανατῶσαι
Αὐτὸν, καὶ οὐχ ηὕρισκον· πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐψευδομαρτύρουν κατ᾽ Αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἴσαι αἱ
μαρτυρίαι οὐκ ἦσαν. καὶ τινες ἀναστάντες ἐψευδομαρτύρουν κατ᾽ Αὐτοῦ λέγοντες ὅτι
ἡμεῖς ἠκούσαμεν Αὐτοῦ λέγοντος ὅτι Ἐγὼ καταλύσω τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον τὸν χειροποίητον
καὶ διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν ἄλλον ἀχειροποίητον οἰκοδομήσω. καὶ οὐδὲ οὕτως ἴση ἦν ἡ
μαρτυρία αὐτῶν.

Translation: "So the chief priests and all the council searched for a witness against
Jesus, in order to put Him to death, yet did not find [any]. For many gave false testimony
against Him, yet [their] testimonies were not identical. Then some standing up falsely
testified against Him saying, 'We heard Him saying, "I will cast down this temple made
by hand and through [the work of] three days, I will build another not made by hand."'
Also, likewise, neither was the testimony of them identical." (Mark 14:55-57).

Comment: Here the noun is ἡ μαρτυρία ("testimony, witness"), a cognate of the


verb μαρτυρέω ("testify, bear witness, give evidence"). So the pronoun functions as a
subject, since it refers to them performing the action of testifying. Notice here that this is
a church council, one which was almost identical to the numerous church councils of
138

Roman Catholics and Protestants throughout history. Like almost all church leaders
throughout history, these men were not at all interested in finding the truth. Nor were
they striving to arrive at a solution to the doctrinal disputes Jesus raised. Rather, they
blindly insisted they were right, and anyone who opposed them must be wrong. After all,
their comfortable and respected positions of prestige and power were threatened. So
their only thought was to stop the threat to their pride and power. Although most
churches today do not kill people, almost all still operate according to the same vile
principle. Thus, we must watch prudently, and avoid such church leaders or
councils.εἶπεν δὲ ὁ ἄγγελος πρὸς αὐτὸν· ζῶσαι καὶ ὑπόδησαι τὰ σανδάλιά σου.
εποίησεν δὲ οὕτως. καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· περιβαλοῦ τὸ ἱμάτιόν σου καὶ ἀκολούθει μοι. καὶ
ἐξελθὼν ἠκολούθει, καὶ οὐκ ἤδει ὅτι ἀληθές ἐστιν τὸ γινόμενον διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου, ἐδόκει
δὲ ὅραμα βλέπειν. διελθόντες δὲ πρώτην φυλακὴν καὶ δευτέραν ἦλθαν ἐπὶ τὴν πύλην
τὴν σιδηρᾶν τὴν φέρουσαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν, ἥτις αὐτομάτη ἠνοίγη αὐτοῖς, καὶ εξελθόντες
προῆλθον ῥύμην μίαν, καὶ εὐθέως ἀπέστη ὁ ἄγγελος ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ. καὶ ὁ Πέτρος ἐν ἑαυτῷ
γενόμενος εἶπεν· νῦν οἶδα ἀληθῶς ὅτι εξαπέστειλεν ὁ Κύριος τὸν ἄγγελον Αὐτοῦ καὶ
ἐξείλατό με ἐκ χειρὸς Ἡρῴδου καὶ πάσης τῆς προσδοκίας τοῦ λαοῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων.

Translation: "Then the angel said to him, 'Gird up the tunic and put on your sandals.'
So he did just that. And he told him, 'Cast your cloak around [yourself] and follow me.'
Then, going out, he followed, yet did not know that what was happening through the
angel was real, and he thought [himself] to see a vision. So going through the first
guard, then the second, they came upon the iron gate leading in the city, which had
opened of itself for them. Thus, going out, they came to one street, then immediately the
angel departed from him. Consequently, in having become himself, Peter said, 'Now I
truly know that the Lord sent out His angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod
and from every expectation of the people of the Jews" (Acts 12:8-11).

Comment: The noun προσδοκίας is the genitive singular of προσδοκία (an


"expectation" towards something about to happen), which is a cognate of the
verb προσδοκάω ("give thought to something that is viewed as lying in the future, wait
for, look for, expect," BDAG3). The people of Israel, including his own people of his
church, were expecting that Herod would execute Peter, since Herod had just executed
the apostle James, the brother of John, one of the other three from the inner circle
which Jesus chose (Peter, James and John). Also, Peter knew he would eventually be
bound by the wicked and die in the flesh for the Lord, because the Lord Jesus told him
as much (John 21:18-19). But it was not to be just yet! For Peter had some purposeful
work on earth to finish first. His destiny in Christ Jesus was not yet fulfilled and
completed. No human power can stop what God intends to be done in His name. After it
is done, Jesus will free us from flesh.τίς ἐγκαλέσει κατὰ ἐκλεκτῶν Θεοῦ; Θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν;
τίς ὁ κατακρινῶν; Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς ὁ ἀποθανών, μᾶλλον δὲ ἐγερθείς, ὅς ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ
τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὃς καὶ ἐντυγχάνει ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν; τίς ἡμᾶς χωρίσει ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χριστοῦ;
θλῖψις ἢ στενοχωρία ἢ διωγμὸς ἢ λιμὸς ἢ γυμνότης ἢ κίνδυνος ἢ μάχαιρα; καθὼς
γέγραπται ὅτι ἕνεκεν Σοῦ θανατούμεθα ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν, ἐλογίσθημεν ὡς πρόβατα
139

σφαγῆς. ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τούτοις πᾶσιν ὑπερνικῶμεν διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντος ἡμᾶς.

Translation: "Who, [as a judge] against the elect of God, will call to have [them] brought
in [to face criminal charges]? [Will it be] God, the One justifying? Who [will be the
prosecutor] condemning? [Will it be] Christ Jesus, the One having died, but rather
having been raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also pleads on our behalf [as a
defense Counselor]? Who will separate us from the love of Christ? [Will it be] pressuring
tribulation or stressing anguish or persecution or hunger or inadequate clothing or
danger or [the violence of] a sword? Just as it has been unalterably written, 'For Your
sake, we are always being put to death as sheep for slaughter.' But in all these things,
we constantly decisively conquer through the One having loved us" (Rom. 8:33-37).

Comment: Of course, the noun ἀγάπης is the genitive singular of ἀγάπη, which is a
cognate of the verb ἀγαπάω, and refers to the righteous and godly kind of love. Here, it
clearly refers to Christ's love for us, even though He allows us to suffer and die for His
name, to partake in His own suffering and death in the flesh. Since it is refers to Christ,
the Messiah and intercessor, performing the action of love, it is a subjective genitive.

Many Jews, who were opposed to the New Covenant theology of the apostles,
proclaimed that God would judge the apostles and Christians for saying that we are no
longer bound to the Old Covenant law. Some of these even believed Jesus Christ was
the true Messiah, but did not believe in the New Covenant replacing the Old Covenant.
And they were called the circumcision party, or Judaizers, by the apostles. Now, if the
apostles and Christians were, in fact, performing a crime and sin against God, by
teaching New Covenant theology, then they would be separated from the love of God,
thus from the love of the Messiah God, since God is just and holy, and cannot make
Himself a partaker in sin by joining Himself in love with one who intentionally sins.

But the apostles and Christians also suffered and faced death on a regular basis,
usually from the Jews and Gentiles who opposed them, but also from storms and
hardships caused by nature. So, did this mean that God cursed them, and they were not
loved by God? Did this mean that they actually were wrong in their teachings? Well,
then did it mean that Jesus was wrong, since He also suffered and died, even at the
hands of the wicked? On the other hand, concerning the wicked exploiters and
oppressors of this world, who live a long and prosperous life of material ease and
comfort, in spite of their blasphemies against God, and in spite of their crimes against
God's people, are they blessed by God? Or could it be that God gives some of the
wicked a reward on earth, because they will miss it all the more, and it will torment them
all the more, when they must exist for eternity in hell without anything of the flesh to
please and gratify them ever again? Is their "reward" actually a curse, which is heaping
up condemnation daily upon their spirits, and filling their hearts with desires that shall
ever torment them in eternity? And are we, who suffer now in the flesh, being purified
for an eternity of spiritual satisfaction in joy, a knowing and unity of life with our Lord
140

Jesus, a bond of communion with Him, which not even the greatest angels in heaven
can ever realize?

The previous chapters of Romans build up to this point, and the following chapters
expound on it. Do we live by faith, or do we live according to human interpretations of a
binding law? A superstitious person, without faith, would think the first sign of trouble or
hardship is God's condemnation, even a separation from the love of the Messiah. But
we cannot. For the Holy Spirit of Jesus nags our hearts, draws us back to our Father
and to our Lord and Brother, Jesus. We cannot even be separated from our Lord and
God even if we ever wanted to do so ourselves. For He has an almighty hold upon us.
Now who is going to condemn us in any way which will make God curse us and
separate us from Himself and His love? Obviously, men cannot do this. For God is not
ruled by men, nor by councils of church men. No condemnation from them will make
God forsake us. So who is left to condemn us but God Himself? Yet, will God our
Father, whom we know as the one constantly justifying us, now act as a judge, contrary
to His own actions of justifying? Will God act to unjustify us, to haul us into His court to
bring charges against us, even while He is nullifying all our charges through His
justification? No, for God cannot oppose Himself. Then will Jesus -- who is now working
for us as our defense Counselor, who intercedes for us, who pleads on our behalf -- will
He now enter the court to act as the prosecutor, to bring charges against us, to
condemn us? No, because Jesus cannot do two completely opposite works at the same
time. Jesus is God, and He cannot oppose Himself any more than God the Father can
oppose Himself. God is not a man, that He can contradict Himself at every turn! So who
is left to condemn?

The Christians and apostles saw their loved ones forcibly dragged away from them, to
be cast into barbaric prisons, to be tortured and killed. They saw their own family
members, from the family of God and from their biological families -- fathers, mothers,
sons, daughters, brothers, sisters -- all suffer and die at the hands of the wicked, and by
terrible hardships through nature. Then they themselves also died in these ways. And
they all knew that, in the flesh, there would be severe trials and death. Yet they also
knew that they, the elect of God, could never die. Nor could anyone or anything, even
the most powerful spirits of angels from hell, ever separate them from the active love of
God working through the Lord and Messiah Jesus, to perfect and save them unto
abundant life eternal. Every blow, every pain, brought them closer to the realization of
that final victory in Him. The more they bore against their flesh, the greater was the
filling of their treasures for heaven. With each scar of flesh, their spirits gained a mark of
knowledge, permanent reminders of Christ's sufferings and scars, binding them in holy
union and communion with Him, in the depth of His spiritual wonder and joy present in
all His created life, even to see more clearly the radiant light shine from His kingdom
above.διὰ τοῦτο παρακεκλήμεθα. ἐπὶ δὲ τῇ παρακλήσει ἡμῶν περισσοτέρως μᾶλλον
ἐχάρημεν ἐπὶ τῇ χαρᾷ Τίτου, ὅτι ἀναπέπαυται τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ πάντων ὑμῶν. ὅτι εἴ
τι αὐτῷ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν κεκαύχημαι, οὐ κατῃσχύνθην, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς πάντα ἐν ἀληθείᾳ
141

ἐλαλήσαμεν ὑμῖν, οὕτως καὶ ἡ καύχησις ἡμῶν ἐπὶ Τίτου ἀλήθεια ἐγενήθη. καὶ τὰ
σπλάγχνα αὐτοῦ περισσοτέρως εἰς ὑμᾶς ἐστιν ἀναμιμνῃσκομένου τὴν πάντων
ὑμῶν ὑπακοήν, ὡς μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου ἐδέξασθε αὐτόν. χαίρω ὅτι ἐν παντὶ θαρρῶ
ἐν ὑμῖν.

Translation: "Because of this, we have been called aside [to be personally encouraged
and now remain encouraged]. But upon our having been called aside and personally
encouraged, we instead rejoiced more strongly regarding the joy of Titus, because his
spirit received, from all of you, a rest from labour which he still enjoys. [I also rejoice]
since, if I boasted and continue to boast about anything to him on behalf of you, I was
not ashamed, but as we uttered all words to you in truth, just so also our boast about
[you to] Titus became [that which has proved to be] true. And more strongly are his
inner parts [filled with affection] for you, from the memories of all
your compliance continuously being brought to mind, since you received him with fear
and trembling. I rejoice because in all things I dare to be confident in you" (II Cor. 13-
16).

Comment: Here the accusative singular noun ὑπακοήν ("compliance, obedience") is


the direct object of the present passive participle ἀναμιμνῃσκομένου ("of or from
repeatedly remembering, from the memories continuously being brought to mind").
Between the article of the noun, and the noun itself, are placed two genitive
plurals, πάντων ὑμῶν ("of all of you"). Since the noun ὑπακοή is a cognate of the
verb ὑπακούω ("follow instructions, obey, follow, be subject to; hear," BDAG3), it is
clearly referring to an action performed by the genitives. So these are subjective
genitives, performing the action of complying.

Many pastors like to shake their heads sorrowfully as they preach sermons about how
the Corinthian church was an example of a problematic church, a church with many
faults like their own. Perhaps they feel somewhat smug and justified in having the
multitudinous problems facing their own weak and extremely superficial churches, and
somehow think their faults can be overlooked. They imagine that the Corinthian church
was worse than their own, where Christians met each Sunday, but hardly knew the
names of the others, and certainly did not share all things in life and death. They dream
that the Corinthians were a bunch of gossiping, bickering, selfish, carnal souls, like most
in their own churches. So they then sit back, content to allow their own false teachings,
along with their own ineffective, unbiblical, humanistic methods of ministering to their
churches, continue to prevent any real and positive repentance and change towards the
truth, even permitting sins to continue to cause irreparable harm to the Lord's people.

But look at the reality of the Corinthian church. The blatant and indisputable fact is that
the Corinthian church was a prime example of a good church. They were compliant with
all the counsel of Christ given through the apostles, filled with Holy Spirit, prolific in the
real operation of the supernatural gifts given by and administered by Jesus' Holy Spirit,
142

generous in their aid to the needy, and repented earnestly and immediately from a sin of
allowing only one member (out of likely thousands) to have sexual relations with a
former concubine of his father. The sins of this church are so minor compared to the
sins of all known churches since the end of the first century, that not one past or present
church in the entire world since then can even hold a candle to that Corinthian church.
These were real Christians, who lived and died as a godly family, who risked their lives
on a continuous basis for Christ. Now how can any current pastors possibly look down
on a church like that? Look at what Paul and Titus said about this church, how they
praised them and put confidence in them. Now what would they say about churches
today?

Another rather ridiculous myth floating around is the saying that Paul lost some authority
and respect in the eyes of the Corinthians, by the time he wrote this second letter to
them. They primarily say this because they feel uncomfortable with the bold way in
which Paul rebuked the sins and errors of that church in the first letter to them. Yet, in
this passage, it says that these Corinthians received Titus with "fear and trembling." And
this Titus was less in stature and authority than Paul, and was merely a messenger sent
by Paul (albeit a fully called and trained elder and teacher in the church). So, if they
feared Titus, how much more did they fear Paul? Clearly, Paul was like a father to the
people of the Corinthian church. Now, when a father is rebuking a child, he comes
across as a lot more forceful and authoritative, even threatening. But, when the child
repents and complies with the father's demands, then the father behaves far more softly
towards the child, displaying love and gentleness. Yet the father does not do this
because he has lost face, because he is now respected less in the eyes of his child!
Some very worldly, carnal and wicked souls may think that anyone who shows
gentleness, or praises another, is weak, or is doing so only to get on the good side of a
person. They think like that because they have no love. But those who know a real love
of a real father also know that there are many different attitudes that a father can take
when approaching a child.Some other clear examples of subjective genitives indicated
by Wallace include Luke 7:30 (τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ, "the counsel of God"), Rom. 9:11
(ἡ ... πρόθεσις τοῦ Θεοῦ, "the purpose of God"), Rom. 13:2 (τῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ διαταγῇ, "the
ordinance of God"), I Cor. 16:17 (τῇ παρουσίᾳ Στεφανᾶ και Φορτουνάτοῦ καὶ Ἀχα¨ικοῦ,
"the arrival of Stephen and of Fortunatus and of Achaicus"), II Cor. 7:6 (τῇ παρουσίᾳ
Τίτου, "the arrival of Titus"), I John 5:9 (τὴν μαρτυρίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων ... ἡ μαρτυρίαν
τοῦ Θεοῦ, "the testimony of men ... the testimony of God"), and Rev. 3:14 (τῆς κτίσεως
τοῦ Θεοῦ, "of the creation of God").
The Πίστις Χριστοῦ Debate

Examples:οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῶ νόμῳ λαλεῖ, ἵνα πᾶν στόμα
φραγῇ καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ Θεῷ. διότι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ
δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιον Αὐτοῦ. διὰ γὰρ νόμου ἐπίγνωσις ἁμαρτίας.

Νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ πεφανέρωται, μαρτυρουμένη ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου καὶ
143

τῶν προφητῶν, δικαιοσύνη δὲ Θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰς πάντας τοὺς
πιστεύοντας. οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή. πάντες γὰρ ἥμαρτον καὶ ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ
Θεοῦ, δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν τῇ Αὐτοῦ χάριτι διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ
Ἰησοῦ· ὃν προέθετο ὁ Θεὸς ἱλαστήριον διὰ πίστεως ἐν τῷ Αὐτοῦ αἵματι, εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς
δικαιοσύνης Αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων ἐν τῇ ἀνοχῇ τοῦ
Θεοῦ, πρὸς τὴν ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης Αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι Αὐτὸν
δίκαιον καὶ δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ.

Ποῦ οὖν ἡ καύχησις; ἐξεκλείσθη. διὰ ποίου νόμου; τῶν ἔργων; οὐχί, ἀλλὰ διὰ νόμου
πίστεως. λογιζόμεθα γὰρ δικαιοῦσθαι πίστει ἂνθρωπον χωρὶς ἔργων νόμου. ἢ Ἰουδαίων
ὁ Θεὸς μόνον; οὐχὶ καὶ ἐθνῶν; ναὶ καὶ ἐθνῶν, εἴπερ εἷς ὁ Θεὸς ὃς δικαιώσει περιτομὴν
ἐκ πίστεως καὶ ἀκροβυστίαν διὰ τῆς πίστεως. νόμον οὖν καταργοῦμεν διὰ τῆς πίστεως;
μὴ γένοιτο, ἀλλὰ νόμον ἱστάνομεν.

Translation: "But we know that as much as the law talks about, it speaks to those
within [the sphere of whatever is taught by] the law, in order that every mouth might be
shut and all the world might become liable to God for judgment. This is because, in His
sight, all [those living in the] flesh will never become justified by [doing] works of the law.
For through the law [is] a recognition of sin.

"Yet now, apart from the law, a righteousness from God has been revealed and remains
clearly seen, continuously being testified about by the law and the prophets, but a
righteousness from God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all those consistently
believing. For there is no difference between [anyone]. For all sinned, and [all] fall short
of the good opinion of God, continuously being justified freely by His grace, through the
redemption payment, [which is] in Christ Jesus. [This is the One] whom God intended to
be an atonement sacrifice, [atoning for us] through faith in His blood, for a
demonstration of His righteousness -- on account of [His] deliberate disregard of sins
having previously occurred, in the tolerance of God -- towards the demonstration of His
righteousness in the present appointed time, in order for Him to be just, also justifying
the one [who is judged as being righteous] out of faith in Jesus.

"Therefore, where [is] the boasting? It has been excluded. Through what sort of law?
[Through the law] of works? No, but rather through a law of faith. For we count a man to
be justified by faith apart from works of a law. Then [is He] God of the Jews only? [Is
He] not also [God of] the Gentiles? Yes, [He is God] also of the Gentiles, if indeed God
[is] One, who will justify the circumcision out of faith and the uncircumcision through
[this same] faith. Therefore, do we nullify law through [this same] faith? May such an
impossible thing never be! Instead, we make the law stand" (Rom. 3:19-31).ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε
εἶδον ὅτι οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσιν πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, εἶπον τῷ Κηφᾷ
ἔμπροσθεν πάντων· εἰ σὺ Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων ἐθνικῶς καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαϊκῶς ζῇς, πῶς τὰ
ἔθνη ἀναγκάζεις ἰουδαΐζειν; ἡμεῖς φύσει Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ οὐκ ἐξ ἐθνῶν ἁμαρτωλοί, εἰδότες δὲ
ὅτι οὐ δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ἔργων νόμου ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, καὶ
144

ἡμεῖς εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐπιστεύσαμεν, ἵνα δικαιωθῶμεν ἐκ πίστεως Χριστοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἐξ
ἔργων νόμου, ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σάρξ.

εἰ δὲ ζητοῦντες δικαιωθῆναι ἐν Χριστῷ εὑρέθημεν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἁμαρτωλοί, ἆρα Χριστὸς


ἁμαρτίας διάκονος; μὴ γένοιτο. εἰ γὰρ ἃ κατέλυσα ταῦτα πάλιν οἰκοδομῶ, παραβάτην
ἐμαυτὸν συνιστάνω. ἐγὼ γὰρ διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω. Χριστῷ
συνεσταύρωμαι· ζῶ δὲ οὐκέτι ἐγώ, ζῇ δὲ ἐν ἐμοὶ Χριστός· ὃ δὲ νῦν ζῶ ἐν σαρκί, ἐν πίστει
ζῶ τῇ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντός με καὶ παραδόντος Ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ. οὐκ
ἀθετῶ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ· εἰ γὰρ διὰ νόμου δικαιοσύνη, ἄρα Χριστὸς δωρεὰν
ἀπέθανεν.

Translation: "But when I saw that they did not walk straight towards the truth of the
Gospel, I said to Cephas [i.e., to Peter the apostle], in front of all:

"'If you, being a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the
Gentiles to adopt Jewish ways? We [are] with Jews through physical birth and not with
sinners out of Gentiles, yet [we are] those knowing that a man is never justified out of
[doing] works of the law, [never justified] if not through faith in Christ. Thus we believed
in Jesus Christ [i.e., emphatic pronoun "we" with 1st person plural 1st aorist indicative
verb, and embedded prepositional phrase, "we put our confidence into Christ Jesus"], in
order that we might be justified out of faith in Christ, and not out of works of the law,
because none [of] all [who live in the] flesh will be justified by [doing] works of the law.

"'But if, while seeking to be justified by Christ, we were found [to be] sinners ourselves,
then is Christ a minister of sin? May such an impossible thing never be! For if I put an
end to what [were the sins from which I was justified], [then] I build up these things
again, I prove [only] myself [not Christ] to be a transgressor! Still, through [the just
demands of] the law [for the death penalty to be paid], I died to the law, in order that I
might live for God. I have been crucified together with Christ, and remain in a state of
having the penalty of sin fully paid [i.e., perfect passive verb]. So I no longer live, but
Christ lives in me. Then what I now live in the flesh, I live by faith, by this [faith] in the
Son of God, the One having loved me and having given over Himself on behalf of me. I
never reject the grace of God. For if righteousness [is] through the law, then Christ died
for nothing'" (Gal. 2:14-21).ὁ οὖν νόμος κατὰ τῶν ἐπαγγελιῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ; μὴ γένοιτο. εἰ
γὰρ ἐδόθη νόμος ὁ δυνάμενος ζωοποιῆσαι, ὄντως ἐκ νόμου ἂν ἦν ἡ δικαιοσύνη. ἀλλὰ
συνέκλεισεν ἡ γραφὴ τὰ πάντα ὑπὸ ἁμαρτίαν ἵνα ἡ ἐπαγγελία ἐκ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ
Χριστοῦ δοθῇ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν. πρὸ τοῦ δὲ ἐλθεῖν τὴν πίστιν ὑπὸ νόμον ἐφρουρούμεθα
συγκλειόμενοι εἰς τὴν μέλλουσαν πίστιν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι. ὥστε ὁ νόμος παιδαγωγὸς
ἡμῶν γέγονεν εἰς Χριστόν, ἵνα ἐκ πίστεως δικαιωθῶμεν. ἐλθούσης δὲ τῆς πίστεως
οὐκέτι ὑπὸ παιδαγωγόν ἐσμεν. πάντες γὰρ υἱοὶ Θεοῦ ἐστε διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν Χριστῷ
Ἰησοῦ.

Translation: "Therefore, [is] the law against the promises of God? May such an
145

impossible thing never be! For if there was given a law having the ability to make alive,
there actually would have been righteousness out of the law. But the Scripture
imprisoned together all mankind under sin, in order that the promise might be given to
those believing out of faith in Jesus Christ. Yet before the faith [was] to come, we were
guarded under law, continuously imprisoned until the [coming of the] faith being about to
be revealed. So the law became and remains just like a guardian of underage children,
of us for Christ, in order that we might be justified out of faith. But the faith having come,
we are no longer under a guardian of underage children. For you are all children of God
through [your] faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:21-26).ἐμοὶ τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ πάντων ἁγιων
ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις αὕτη, τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαι τὸ ἀνεξιχνίαστον πλοῦτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ,
καὶ φωτίσαι τίς ἡ οἰκονομία τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ ἀποκεκρυμμένου ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων ἐν τῷ
Θεῷ τῷ τὰ πάντα κτίσαντι, ἵνα γνωρισθῇ νῦν ταῖς ἀρχαῖς καὶ ταῖς ἐξουσίαις ἐν τοῖς
ἐπουρανίοις διὰ τῆς ἐκκλησίας ἡ πολυποίκιλος σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ, κατὰ πρόθεσιν τῶν
αἰώνων ἣν ἐποίησιν ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν, ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν παρρησίαν
καὶ προσαγωγὴν ἐν πεποιθήσει διὰ τῆς πίστεως Αὐτοῦ.

Translation: "To me, the least of all saints, was given this grace, to preach well the
unsearchable riches of the Messiah to the Gentiles, and to illuminate what is [my]
stewardship of the revealed truths having been hidden in God from ages [past], in [God]
having created all things -- in order that the diverse wisdom of God might now be made
known through the church, to the rulers and decision-making authorities in the heavenly
places, according to God's purpose for the ages, which He made in Christ Jesus our
Lord, in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through [our] faith in Him"
(Eph. 3:8-12).ἀλλὰ ἅτινα ἦν μοι κέρδη, ταῦτα ἥγημαι διὰ τὸν Χριστὸν ζημίαν. ἀλλὰ
μενοῦν γε καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ
τοῦ Κυρίου μου, δι᾽ ὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω
καὶ εὑρεθῶ ἐν Αὐτῷ, μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου, ἀλλὰ τὴν
διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ, τὴν ἐκ Θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει, τοῦ γνῶναι Αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν
δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως Αὐτοῦ καὶ κοινωνίαν παθημάτων Αὐτοῦ, συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ
θανάτῳ Αὐτοῦ, εἴ πως καταντήσω εἰς τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν.

Translation: "But whatever things were gain to me, these I have continued to count as
loss, for the sake of Christ. But more than that, I also count all things to be loss for the
cause of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, on account of whom
I suffered the loss of all things. Yet I consider them refuse, in order that I might gain
Christ, and be found in Him -- not having my righteousness from the law, but that
[righteousness] through faith in Christ, [my] righteousness from God based upon faith.
[My purpose and goal is] to know Him and the power of His resurrection, as well as
fellowship in His sufferings, being conformed into the likeness of His death, if somehow
I might arrive at the resurrection out from the dead" (Philp. 3:7-11).

Comments on the Five Passages Above:


146

Regarding the previous five examples above, all the verbal genitives (highlighted in
green) are the focus of the Πίστις Χριστοῦ debate. This dispute involves forms of the
verbal head noun πίστις followed by any genitive referring to Jesus (like Χριστοῦ). Some
say this kind of construction should be interpreted as a subjective genitive, while most
say it should be interpreted as an objective genitive. Those who think it is a subjective
genitive usually translate it as "the faithfulness of Christ." Those who believe it is an
objective genitive usually translate it as "faith in Christ," meaning "[when we] believe /
trust Christ." In the examples above, I interpreted all constructions of this kind as
objective genitives.

Grammatical Considerations: As far as I can see, there are several questionable


assumptions made by those who interpret πίστις Χριστοῦ as a subjective genitive:When
one comes across a verbal noun with a genitive, the first step is to determine what the
cognate verb means in the active voice, not what it means in the passive voice. After
one knows this, one can more readily determine whether the genitive is the verb's
subject or object, or if it is a verbal genitive at all. The active meaning of the verb
cognate of πίστις (i.e., the active meaning of πιστεύω) is "believe, trust, put confidence
in." So, what does our God, Christ, believe and trust in? Clearly, this is not a subjective
genitive about Christ's faith. When God's Word talks about faith, believing and trusting,
it is almost always about His people believing Him and His words. So those who
translate these constructions as subjective genitives must always start with a sort of
passive meaning of the verb cognate, "be entrusted [with]." Then, they need to go even
further, transforming that into the adjective πιστός ("faithful"), and using this adjective
substantively with a linking verb ("be faithful," "Christ is faithful").Above all, when trying
to determine whether or not a construction with a verbal noun has a subjective or
objective genitive with it, one must look at the context to find out who or what is
performing the action implied by the verbal noun. Clearly the context of all these
passages is speaking about the topic of our human faith, not about the faithfulness of
Christ (see more below). So the subject performing the action in all the above texts is
us, not Christ.Not only should the verbal noun be translated into its active form (unless
there is some clear and real indication that it should be translated into its passive form),
but we should try to determine whether the verb is used transitively or intransitively.
In its active form, if the context or general use of a verb cognate is transitive, then the
genitive is likely an objective genitive. The verb cognate πιστεύω is usually transitive. It
always at least implies that it has a direct object which is believed or trusted. It may
often be used intransitively, yet, even then, especially in the GNT, it always implies
belief, trust and confidence in God, or in our God Jesus. And it normally implies that we
perform the act of believing.Every instance of the πίστις Χριστοῦ construction (in the
examples above) is found in a prepositional phrase. And the context almost always
uses this construction to describe the means "through" (διά) which we receive
something from God, such as righteousness from God -- as opposed to the method of
making our own righteousness by doing the works of obeying a law. Or it may indicates
a cause (with ἐκ, "out of, by the cause of"). But none of these prepositional phrases
147

indicates a "direct agent" or first cause producing the righteousness, justification and so
on. They only indicate an indirect agent, instrument, means, or secondary cause. Now
God is always the direct Agent. But we ourselves are usually the indirect agents
involved. Thus, since these constructions usually indicate the indirect means or cause
by which we receive something, πίστις Χριστοῦ implies a clause with an active and
transitive verb, where we are the subjects performing its action: "[when we] believe
Christ."Since these constructions indicate a reciprocal action (whereby we perform an
action through which our receiving of something else is made effective), they also
suggest that a specific kind of faith is being defined, one which is the means to receiving
things like righteousness from God. But how is a "kind" of faith defined? It is defined by
indicating who or what one trusts, believes or puts one's confidence in. And that person
or thing is always indicated by the direct object of this verb. Therefore, this implies the
verb is transitive -- that which indicates the object receiving our act of trust or
confidence or faith (thus making our receiving of things like "righteousness from God"
effective). However, interpreting this as a subjective genitive with a transitive verb would
be more like "[when] Christ believes [something]," where the "something" Christ
believes would be completely unknown through context. Even translated as a passive
verb, it would be "[when] Christ is entrusted with [something like our salvation]," not
simply "[when] Christ is entrusted" or "[when] Christ is faithful."Those who claim to
interpret this construction as a "subjective genitive" like to translate it as "the faithfulness
of Christ." But that is not actually a translation as a subjective genitive. Really, that is
translating the noun πίστις as the adjective πιστός, then using that adjective
substantively as a noun, then translating the genitive as a possessive. So they are
actually translating it as a possessive genitive, not as a subjective genitive. They
translate it as "Christ's faithfulness." Yet πίστις here obviously refers to an action, not to
a noun owned by Christ. Even if this genitive was to be translated as a possessive, with
the sense of a subjective genitive, it should be "Christ's faith," not "Christ's faithfulness."
But what is the object of Christ's "faith," that is, what does He believe? In Roman's 3:3,
for example, the context of τὴν πίστιν τοῦ Θεοῦ can actually indicate "God's trust in the
Jews by giving them His words." But what exactly does "Christ's faith" imply in these
examples of the πίστις Χριστοῦdebate? We cannot say! So it is clear that we cannot
interpret these as subjective or possessive genitives.It should also be noted that most
verbal genitives suggest a clause with temporal implications, that is, they imply that
the action of the clause began at some point in time, and that the action did not exist
before that point in time. While it is also true that these verbal genitive constructions
usually cannot and should not be converted into clauses (Subject + Verb [+ Direct
Object]), they do imply a clause and an action of a verb nonetheless. And verbal
genitives often imply a dependent clause beginning with "when," "after," "before" and so
on. At the very least, they usually imply some kind of time element, since they imply a
finite verb, and finite verbs normally suggest some kind of time element. Therefore,
interpreting this construction as a subjective genitive would actually imply "[when] Christ
is faithful," since it speaks about receiving righteousness and justification in a point in
time, from God. These gifts are conditional, in that they are given only to
148

believers when they believe at some point in time (of course, faith is given freely from
God too, yet also at a point in time). So this implies a temporal sense of when Christ
acts faithfully, suggesting Christ is unfaithful when He does not give these gifts. Yet
Christ is never unfaithful!
Logic: One of my biggest objections to translating πίστις Χριστοῦ as "the faithfulness of
Christ," is that it displays a complete lack of logic. While it is true to say righteousness
comes through "the faithfulness of Christ," it means absolutely nothing. After all,
absolutely everything in heaven and on earth exists, and does whatever it does, only
due to the faithfulness of our God, Christ. So absolutely anything and everything is
"through the faithfulness of Christ." Therefore, why say so -- unless one thinks Jesus is
sometimes unfaithful! Also, since nothing can possibly exist or happen unless He first
faithfully and directly creates it, causes it, or allows it to occur, then one must never
imply that He, in His faithfulness, functions as an "indirect" instrument or cause. No! He
is the first cause, the direct Agent causing all things! Even the devil was created and is
allowed to deceive and destroy only because Christ Jesus faithfully and directly allows
the devil to do so for an appointed period of time, in order to achieve the planned
greater good in the end, to come a step closer to the final goal which God the Father
planned from the beginning.

Therefore, saying that righteousness is through "the faithfulness of Christ" is equivalent


to saying, "the war of 1812 occurred through the existence of the universe." Now, while
it is true that the war of 1812 could not have occurred if the universe did not exist,
stating that it "occurred through the existence of the universe" is a totally meaningless
statement. It adds absolutely nothing to our knowledge of the war of 1812. In the same
way, stating that righteousness comes through "the faithfulness of Christ," when
everything that exists and happens in heaven and on earth also occurs through the
faithfulness of Christ, is not a logical statement. For one thing, it adds absolutely no
meaning to the text. Also, it can even suggest that other things might occur through
other means (i.e., that some things can occur apart from Christ' faithfulness), or perhaps
that Christ is sometimes unfaithful, both of which are not logical and not true.

Context: Next, the context of each of the above texts involved in the Πίστις
Χριστοῦ debate must be examined individually. Each one's context can indicate who
performs the action associated with the verbal head noun -- just as context determined
it for each clear example of a subjective genitive displayed above (Mat. 24:27, "[when]
the Son of Man comes"; Mark 14:59, "[when] they testified"; Acts 12:11, "[what] the
Jewish people expected"; Rom. 8:35, "[the continuation of] Christ loving [us]"; and II
Cor. 7:15, "[when] you all complied"). Also, note that all the clear examples of subjective
genitives above interpret the verb cognate in the active voice. In addition to this, most
have temporal implications ("when" or "the continuation of"), suggesting either a view to
the beginning or ending of an event. Even Acts 12:11 refers to a future event, about to
occur. However, this is not what we see regarding the verbal genitives pertaining to
the Πίστις Χριστοῦ debate, when translated as "subjective genitives." Keeping these
149

things in mind, look at the context to determine whether the verbal genitives suggest a
translation as subjective genitives or as objective genitives:Rom. 3:22,26: This speaks
about our righteousness, and a new source of it. Our righteousness could not be
produced by obeying God's law through our own thoughts of the brain of flesh, nor by
the mind of an unregenerate spirit. But a new and different kind of righteousness is
"revealed" in New Testament times, from a different source. It no longer comes through
our always-failing attempts to obey Old Covenant law, but comes from another source,
from God, through His regenerating power working in us and through us. Yet it is only
specifically "for all those believing." So God is the direct Agent performing or causing or
creating our righteousness, in and through us. But it is because we trust Him to do this.
That trust or faith is the instrument or means, the indirect way through which this
righteousness works effectively in us and through us -- the "instrumentality or
circumstance whereby something is accomplished or effected" (BDAG3). In verse 22,
this is indicated by the preposition διάand the genitive verbal noun (πίστεως) followed
by the genitives Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Now, since God is the direct Agent, we are the ones who perform the indirect cause of
our righteousness, that is, the working of faith. So the focus is not on any action of God,
nor of our God Jesus. Rather, the focus is upon our actions. The text is telling us what
to do and how to do it. The context is all about the part we play, how we participate in
becoming righteous. So this suggests that we interpret this verbal noun in the active
voice. Besides, our first interpretation of any verbal noun should always be in the active
voice. Also, in the GNT, only created human beings ever perform the action of believing.
God (including Christ our God) is never said to have "faith." God literally cannot believe
in anyone except Himself, or whatever He creates to do exactly and precisely what it
does.

Thus, every indication here is that we perform the action of believing. So we are the
subject performing the action of an active verb. It is also a temporal verb, in that
we now believe, in order that we may now receive a righteous from a new source. But
who do we believe? Of course, we had a certain kind of faith when we walked according
to the brain of flesh, by obeying the Old Covenant law, since we believed in the
existence of God, and feared Him. However, this is speaking of a new kind of faith. Now
we trust Christ Jesus to grant us rebirth, and a new creation of a new inner spirit, with
His Holy Spirit's power and with counsel. Therefore, the genitive Ἰησοῦ
Χριστοῦ functions as the direct object. And we must interpret this verbal genitive as an
objective genitive: "[when we] believe and trust Jesus Christ," or "faith in Jesus Christ."
Verse 26 is similar: "out of [when we] believe and trust Jesus," or "by the cause of [our]
faith in Jesus."Gal. 2:16,20: Like the verbal genitives found in Romans 3:22,26, the two
verbal genitives in Gal. 2:16 involve a first prepositional phrase with διά ("through the
means of"), followed by another prepositional phrase with ἐκ ("by the cause of"). Both
imply our performance of the action implied by an active form of the verb cognate.
These two instances are also similar to the two in Romans, because the topic here is
150

about our justification, which is related to righteousness, since it is being counted


righteous and made righteous by God. So many of the same arguments apply. The
direct Agent justifying us is God, and we are justified through the working of our own
faith, by trusting Jesus to intercede on our behalf, based on His sacrifice on our behalf.
Note that the statement, "and we believed in Christ Jesus" (with an emphatic pronoun),
follows immediately after the first verbal genitive. Also, the second verbal genitive here
is part of a clause which explains the purpose for believing, "in order to be justified out
of [our] faith in Christ." Further down, in verse 20, it tells how Paul lives in the flesh, that
is, by faith. So everything indicates that all three verbal genitives here must be
interpreted as objective genitives. They make no sense as subjective genitives.Gal.
3:22: Here the topic is about our righteousness again, which is a promise of God, the
promise of the New Covenant (where God will write His law on our hearts and in our
minds). This promise is given "to those believing." Immediately before saying it is "to
those believing," we see the prepositional phrase with the verbal genitive (ἐκ πίστεως
Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ). So the clause means that "those believing" receive God's promise of
making them righteous "out of, or by the cause of, [them] believing and trusting Jesus
Christ [to fulfill the promise that God's law will be written by His Own hands on their
hearts and in their minds]."Eph. 3:12: This time it speaks about our boldness and
access in confidence, that is, about our actions. Then it uses a prepositional phrase
beginning with διά again, indicating how -- the means, the instrumentality or way in
which we effect this boldness and access in confidence. That is, "through [our] believing
and trusting Him." So context once more indicates that we are the ones performing the
action of the verb cognate, and Christ is the One whom we trust. Clearly, the pronoun
(whose antecedent is Christ) only makes sense as an objective genitive.Philp.
3:9: Here Paul is speaking about his former life as a Pharisee of Pharisees, that is, as
one who lived by every letter of the law, or at least by their very human, carnal,
materialistic and faulty interpretations of those laws. Then he says that he counted all
that to be rubbish, and that he does not have any righteousness "out of the law," that is,
where law is the source or guidance for his actions. Instead, he has righteousness in a
different way, one described by a prepositional phrase beginning with διά. Thus, he is
once more describing the way in which he becomes righteous, where Christ is the direct
Agent causing it, the direct source, but it is also indirectly put into effect "through" his
own actions. He performs the action, and Christ receives the action. His personal
righteousness is "through [him] trusting Christ." It further clarifies that this is what Paul
means because, immediately after it says this, a phrase defines it by calling it "the
righteousness out of God based upon faith." Here the direct source is implied. God is
the direct source and it is based upon the action of faith. Thus, Χριστοῦ is clearly an
objective genitive in this text, and not a subjective genitive.Therefore, (1) grammatically,
there are many reasons to believe these are all objective genitives, (2) logically they
only make sense as objective genitives, and (3) context clearly suggests that they only
make sense as objective genitives. So what is left to suggest that we interpret these
verbal genitives as subjective genitives? Well, Wallace outlines the following reasons for
some interpreting these as subjective genitives:It seems that those on the "subjective
151

genitive" side apparently think that the only reason those on the "objective genitive" side
interpret these constructions as objective genitives is because both nouns are
anarthrous. That is, a grammatical guideline is: if both nouns are anarthrous, the
genitive is objective; but if both are articular, the genitive is subjective.
Neither πίστις nor Χριστοῦ have an article in front of them, so the construction suggests
an objective genitive. However, those on the "subjective genitive" side then say that this
guideline does not matter, since all the examples of πίστις Χριστοῦ constructions are in
prepositional phrases, and prepositional phrases tend to omit the articles, even when
the nouns are definite. Thus, those on the "subjective genitive" side feel that they can
interpret these constructions as "the faithfulness of Christ." But most biblical scholars do
not say that the one and only reason that they interpret a verbal genitive as subjective
or objective is by the presence or absence of the articles. There are many other more
important grammatical, theological, logical and contextual factors to be considered as
well. Now those on the "subjective genitive" side conclude: "The grammatical argument
for the objective genitive, then, has little to commend it." Well, they would be right if our
one and only grammatical argument was that it is anarthrous, but it is not.Those on the
"subjective genitive" side also argue that the word πίστις is not usually followed by a
"personal genitive," that is, by a personal pronoun or by a name of a person. However,
whenever it is followed by a "personal genitive," that genitive is normally not the object
receiving the action. This is true in secular Greek, but not as much in the GNT, since we
have a personal God, and He alone is the sole object of our faith. Therefore, in these
constructions, we may often interpret a reference to Him as the object receiving our
faith, unless context clearly indicates otherwise. When we interpret anything, we must
interpret it according to the source or global context behind what is said. For example,
atheistic radicals used to say, "Keep the faith, brother." But what they were actually
saying was, "Keep working for and believing in our common cause, you, the one who
believes the same things that I do." They knew what was meant because they
interpreted the phrase according to the general beliefs of the one saying it. Likewise, we
interpret what is said in the Word of God by the beliefs of the writers who wrote those
things, even according to the theology taught in the whole Bible, since all believed the
same things from the same Holy Spirit.

Consequently, we do not interpret the πίστις Χριστοῦ constructions the same way that
we interpret things said by those outside the church. After all, these things were written
by men with a completely different perspective on God and all matters pertaining to
Him. As Wallace points out, in the GNT, the πίστις + personal genitive construction
does exist where the genitive is clearly an objective genitive: Mark 11:22, ἔχετε πίστιν
Θεοῦ = "have faith in God," "you [always] trust and believe God"; James 2:1, ἔχετε τὴν
πίστιν τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ = "have faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ," "you
[always] trust and believe our Lord, Jesus Christ"; and οὐκ ἠρνήσω τὴν πίστιν Μου =
"you did not deny [your] faith in Me," "you did not deny [that you] believe and trust Me."

There are also examples of πίστις with impersonal genitives, that is, with genitives
152

referring to things, which are interpreted as objective genitives, as expected: Col.


2:12, διὰ τῆς πίστεως τῆς ἐνεργείας τοῦ Θεοῦ = "through faith in the working of God,"
"through [when you] trust in God's actions"; and II Thes. 2:13, πίστει ἀληθείας = "faith in
the truth," "[when you] believe the truth." Also, most of the time, when a personal
genitive is not referring to God or Christ (in the GNT, most often an articularform
of πίστις followed by a genitive personal pronoun), it should be translated as a sort of
"subjective genitive," or more precisely as a possessive: Mat. 9:2, τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν =
"their faith"; Mat. 9:22, ἡ πίστις σου = "your faith"; and Mat. 9:29, τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν =
"your faith." This construction (article + πίστις + anarthrous personal genitive) is quite
common in the GNT. But it is actually a possessive genitive construction, not really a
subjective genitive construction. And πίστις does not imply an action of instrumentality
or cause in these constructions, like it does in all the constructions involved in the Πίστις
Χριστοῦ debate. The one exception is τὴν πίστιν τοῦ Θεοῦ in Rom. 3:3, where both
nouns are articular, indicating a subjective genitive ("the faithfulness of God," "God's
faithfulness," "[when] God trusts [us with the words of God]). But even this may be
interpreted as an objective genitive ("[our] faith in God").

Those who are zealous for the "subjective genitive" side are even questioning the
objective genitives in Acts 3:16 (ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει τοῦ ὀνόματος Αὐτοῦ, "by faith in His
name," "by believing in His authority and power to command and effectively accomplish
anything") and Rev. 14:12 (οἱ τηροῦντες τὰς ἐντολὰς τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τὴν πίστιν Ἰησοῦ,
"those guarding the authoritative words of God and [their] faith in Jesus"). Of course,
logically, interpreting these as subjective genitives, or as possessive genitives, is
absurd. How could a man be healed "by His name believing" or "by the faithfulness of
His name." A name itself does not believe or act faithfully. The person makes the name,
not the name the person. One can only believe in the power and authority of a name
representing a person. And how could men guard "the faithfulness of Jesus"? They can
only guard the purity and existence of their own faith. Some even see συναθλοῦντες τῇ
πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ("striving together for the faith of the Gospel," that is, "for the faith
taught by the Gospel," Philp. 1:27) as a subjective genitive. So they would think it
means something like, "striving together for the faithfulness of the Gospel." Now,
logically, I can see how we can all strive and work together in the same kind of faith, the
kind taught by the Gospel, or for a common goal which that faith compels us towards.
But how on earth can we strive together in making the Gospel become faithful? Surely
we must now begin to admit that these "subjective genitive" scholars are beginning to
get a little ridiculous in their zeal!Wallace concludes: "Although the issue is not to be
solved via grammar, on balance grammatical considerations seem to be in favor of the
subjective genitive view." But clearly, taking into account all the "grammatical
considerations" (not just the fact that both nouns are anarthrous, but all grammatical
considerations) the "balance" actually falls very heavily on the objective genitive side.
Then, when one adds the consideration of both local and global context -- which is
always important, especially regarding the interpretation of genitives -- then the
interpretation of πίστις Χριστοῦ as an objective genitive construction is rock solid. Add to
153

this the logic required to interpret whatever we read in God's Word, and we are
absolutely forced to interpret Χριστοῦ as an objective genitive. Also, why does he say
that "the issue is not to be solved"? Surely we have a duty to solve this "issue," in the
name of our God, if we are called by Him, for the sake of our people. For the "issue" is
about how we walk in righteousness, and put into effect our justification from Christ! The
issue of this debate is not about insignificant teachings. These errors strike at the very
core of our salvation in Christ, and its effectiveness.

Now we must ask why this debate even got started in the first place. Who started it and
for what reason? Wallace provides a clue to this puzzle. He says, "Older commentaries
(probably as a Lutheran reflex) see Χριστοῦ as an objective genitive, thus,
'faith in Christ.' However, more and more scholars are embracing these texts as
involving a subjective genitive (thus, either 'Christ's faith' or 'Christ's faithfulness')."
Luther and the reformers were very strong on the doctrines of God's election, with its
doctrines of salvation (including our role in becoming effective servants of God) through
"faith alone." But these doctrines were eroded in the 17th century by Covenant
theologians, and always opposed by Roman Catholics and Protestants who believed in
the neoplatonic teachings of "free will." In our day, the trend in the church is towards
these two extremes, either fully committed to pagan doctrines of "free will," or to an
even more radical Covenant Theology, as an emotional reaction to the lawless insanity
of "free will" churches today.

Therefore, I suspect that the Πίστις Χριστοῦ debate was initially drawn into the forum of
evangelical scholars by Covenant theologians, "free will" theologians, and Roman
Catholic theologians, all of whom hate the fact that the New Testament clearly says we
are not bound to the Old Covenant law, neither to its moral nor ceremonial law. They do
not like the doctrines of "faith alone," which are strongly supported by the interpretation
of Χριστοῦ as an objective genitive. Another reason why both Covenant and Roman
Catholic theologians hate the doctrine of "faith alone" is because neither believes Jesus
Christ will return physically to the earth. Instead, they want the churches to eventually
rule the earth, as the body of Christ for a "millennium." In other words, they want to
create a theocracy, where their own church leaders can impose religious law on all
citizens of the land. Thus, they deny all these teachings about freedom from the law,
and righteousness from God through faith alone, and that the law is for the lawless only.
They also deny that the Old Covenant Israel itself, under Mosaic law, did not impose its
law upon Gentiles living in the land, so even Israel was never a theocracy like they want
to establish. Above all, anyone who wants a theocracy ruled by men essentially denies
that only God can make anyone believe, through His power to regenerate by rebirth,
and by opening the spiritual eyes of the heart. Rather, they think anyone can become
righteous by "free will."

Even the Covenant theologians, in actual practice, believe in the "free will" of all men,
though they outwardly profess to be "Calvinists." After all, a theocracy ruled by men is
154

utterly impossible, if it is indeed true that God alone can make men believe, and also
true that righteousness is through that faith alone. After all, if righteousness can only
come through faith in Christ, who can judge another man in the matters of religion? So,
if they believe righteousness comes through faith alone, and faith comes from God
alone, then any attempt to create a man-ruled theocracy will simply force everyone to
become hypocrites, and coerce all to pretend to believe the truth, although they do not
in reality. For everyone will be afraid to express what they truly believe, but superficially
obey the laws of the theocracy, and go to state churches, only because it is expected --
not because they truly long and yearn to know more about Jesus. Now all those who
want to deny that we can only become righteous by trusting Jesus to make us
righteous, these are the very ones who would love to interpret these constructions as
"the faithfulness of Christ," as possessive genitives (but which they call subjective
genitives). They want to look good, yet still deny the only true means and source
effecting our righteousness.

Conclusion: As it is with most false doctrines taught in the church throughout history, I
suspect that those on the "subjective genitive" side of the Πίστις Χριστοῦ debate are
primarily motivated by politics and personal biases. I simply cannot see how their
interpretation comes from a purely objective approach to grammatical, contextual and
logical considerations. Every honest and logical examination of the grammatical
elements and context supports the interpretation of Χριστοῦ as an objective genitive.
Most scholars throughout history have interpreted it this way. But somehow even some
good scholars are now being duped by a few fancy words. Unfortunately, so many
scholars seem to get caught up in fine-sounding arguments posed by men with ulterior
motives.
b. Objective GenitivesIf a head noun or substantive is a cognate of a verb, and it
suggests the action of its verb cognate, it is called a "verbal noun." If a genitive modifies
such a verbal head noun or substantive, where the genitive represents a person or thing
which receives the indicated action of the verb cognate, as the direct object of the verb's
action, then the genitive is likely an objective genitive. An objective genitive receives
the action of the verbal noun or substantive it modifies, like a direct object of the
verb's action.To identify an objective genitive more readily, Wallace suggests
substituting the key word "of" with a word indicating the way in which the
genitive receives the action of the verb. So he suggests key words like "for," "about,"
"concerning," "toward," and "against." In the example above, "a demonstration of His
righteousness," a key word like "proving" might be suggested in context, thus the
phrase would become, "a demonstration proving His righteousness." Yet it is usually
easier to just interpret the verbal head noun as a verb, then determine whether the
genitive fits better as a direct object or subject of that verb. For example, when we
translate our example as "[He] demonstrated His righteousness," it makes more sense
and fits much better in the context (of Rom. 3:25) than it would by translating it as "His
righteousness demonstrated [Him]." Thus, this must be an objective genitive
construction, not a subjective genitive.As mentioned under the main heading of "Verbal
155

Genitives," the objective genitive is another lexico-syntactic category. That is, the
genitive's head noun or substantive must be a cognate of a verb. Thus, its head noun
must suggest a verbal idea, some kind of action of a verb. In other words, its head noun
must be a "verbal noun." Also, the action implied by the head noun must be the action
of a transitive verb. So its action must act upon something. The action must have some
kind of direct object to receive its action, where that direct object is the genitive following
it. If the head noun's action is intransitive, it cannot have an objective genitive.Although
objectives genitives are "common" in the GNT, they are not quite as common as
subjective genitives. But, to determine if a genitive with a verbal noun is a subjective or
objective genitive, one must not use statistics. Rather, one must determine this by the
type of verb cognate associated with the head noun, context, and logic. In the examples
below, the head noun will be highlighted in green and the objective genitive will be
highlighted in bluish green.ὁ μὴ ὢν μετ᾽ Ἐμοῦ κατ᾽ Ἐμοῦ ἐστιν, και ὁ μὴ συνάγων μετ᾽
Ἐμοῦ σκορπίζει. διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν, πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς
ἀνθρώποις, ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται. καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ
τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ· ὃς δ᾽ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ
Ἁγίου, οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι. ἢ ποιήσατε τὸ
δένδρον καλὸν καὶ τὸν καρπὸν αὐτοῦ καλὸν, ἢ ποιήσατε τὸ δένδρον σαπρὸν καὶ τὸν
καρπὸν αὐτοῦ σαπρὸν· ἐκ γὰρ τοῦ καρποῦ τὸ δένδρον γινώσκεται.

Translation: "The one not being with Me is against Me, and the one not gathering
together with Me scatters. Because of this, I tell you, all sin and slander will be forgiven
for men, but the slander of the Spirit will not be forgiven. Thus, whoever might speak a
word against the Son of Man, [that sin] will be forgiven for him. But whoever might
speak against the Holy Spirit, [that sin] will not be forgiven for him, neither in this age
nor in the [age] about to come. Either you make the tree beautifully good and its fruit
beautifully good, or you make the tree unfit for any good purpose and its fruit unfit for
any good purpose -- for by the fruit the tree is known" (Mat. 12:30-33).

Comment: Here both the head noun (ἡ ... βλασφημία) and the genitive (τοῦ Πνεύματος)
are articular, but the genitive is found between the head noun's article and the head
noun itself. It seems that both are intended to be definite ("thee slander" and "of thee
Spirit"), where the genitive may be embedded to indicate that it modifies the noun. In
God's Word, all unintentional sins, such as sins done in ignorance, can be forgiven.
Also, any intention which is a result of the weakness of the flesh (anger, lust, pride,
greed, and so on), may change. Thus, if one intentionally sins, but changes one's
intentions later, through "repentance," then an intentional sin becomes unintentional and
is forgiven.

Now the most common method of slandering Jesus, the Son, or the most common way
of slandering God the Father, is by teaching false doctrines concerning God's Word.
This is considered to be a "blasphemy" or slander of God's good name, because it
makes God appear to say what He did not actually say, and it also often makes God
156

appear to be what He is not in reality. Also, when one teaches about the Word of God,
one claims that what one teaches is from God, and one is thus teaching in God's
"name." Thus, if one teaches false doctrine, then one is misusing God's name and
slandering His good name, breaking the third of the Ten Commandments. Nonetheless,
false teaching is often done through ignorance, or in anger, or by being influenced in the
brain of flesh through some carnal desire. Therefore, this sin can be, and often is,
forgiven, even though God considers this sin to be worse than murder, any form of
sexual immorality, or theft.

However, what about a sin which comes directly from the intention of the spirit? The
spirit is basically what it is and always will be. It remains as what it was made to be. Of
course, a spirit born out of the will of God will have elements missing when it is first
placed in a fetus. So it must be "born again" to begin the process of becoming fit for
heaven with Christ forever. Still, that spirit will long for things of its Father in heaven,
even if those longings are suppressed by its flesh all its life. Yet a spirit born from Satan
never, ever bears any real desire or concern for things of God. Both the children of God
and the children of Satan have bodies of flesh. So both desire the things of this world by
their desires of the flesh. Yet the spirit originally born of God always wants something
more than just that, while the child of Satan does not. Therefore, when an elect spirit
sees something spiritual from God's Holy Spirit, that elect spirit leaps for joy inside, and
perceives it as the most beautiful of things, far more beautiful than anything in all
physical existence. On the other hand, when a spirit born of Satan sees any kind of
spiritual work or expression of Christ's Holy Spirit, about the only thing it perceives is a
threat and a reminder of its future damnation. So the children of the devil slander the
Holy Spirit straight from their unchanging spirits in their hearts, and never can repent,
since their slander comes from a malice which their hearts will always bear against God
for all eternity, an intentional blasphemy with intent they will forever hold against God.

So the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can never be committed by an elect child of
God. Even if their flesh opposes a work of the Holy Spirit, or they do so in carnal
superstition and ignorance, when they truly see the spiritual side of that work or
expression of the Holy Spirit, they cannot help but rejoice in it with their inner spirits of
their hearts. They cannot even fight that joy. On the other hand, even if a child of Satan
sees a work or expression of the Holy Spirit as something which may be carnally useful
to it, and desires to claim it in the flesh, they cannot help but hate and despise the
spiritual side of it. And they cannot fight that feeling either, since it comes from the very
core of their being, so they do not want to fight it. As a result, even those who have
physical circumstances in life which have made them into criminals or very destructive
human beings, if those have spirits born as the elect of God, you will find some noble
and loving things in those people. On the other hand, even some very "churchy" people
have spirits born of Satan, and have nothing truly noble or loving in their inner
spirits.εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος πρὸς αὐτὸν· νῦν ὑμεῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ
τοῦ πίνακος καθαρίζετε, τὸ δὲ ἔσωθεν ὑμῶν γέμει ἁρπαγῆς καὶ πονηρίας. ἄφρονες, οὐχ
157

ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔξωθεν καὶ τὸ ἔσωθεν ἐποίησεν; πλὴν τὰ ἐνόντα δότε ἐλεημοσύνην, καὶ
ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν. ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις, ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ
ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ πήγανον καὶ πᾶν λάχανον, καὶ παρέρχεσθε τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὴν
ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ· ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι.

Translation: "So the Lord said to him, 'Now you, the Pharisees, cleanse the outside of
the cup and of the dish, yet the inside of you consists entirely of ruthless self-seeking
and wickedness. Foolish ones, [is] not the One making the outside also He [who] made
the inside? But in addition, give the things within, kind deeds of charity, and behold all
things are clean for you. But woe to you, the Pharisees, since you tithe from the mint
and the rue and every herb, then pass by the dealing out of fair judgment and the
love of God; yet it is necessary to do these things, and not pass by those'" (Luke 11:39-
42).

Comment: The context is about how the Pharisees should make fair judgments and
love God. So the genitive receives the action of the verb, and Θεοῦ an objective
genitive.

Now, consider this teaching of Jesus. He said that some very religious people can make
their outside look good, while what is inside is self-seeking and evil. We have all seen
this many times, but often do not take the action of parting with them, although we know
Jesus told us to leave them, to have nothing to do with such people. Then consider this
as well. Does it not also follow that some who are good inside cannot make their outside
look good, due to various factors beyond their control (like biological disorders of the
physical brain, or an extremely bad past, or a host of other things and numerous
combinations of them)? Might not some who outwardly look unacceptable actually be
true children of God inside, with spirits secretly longing for just and noble things of God?

We all know the old sayings of Jesus and I Corinthians 13. Any deed out of pure love for
God, even giving a just a cup of water, will see a real reward. Or a man may hold his
pride and temper in check, against one who offended him, out of a sense of needing to
do what is right, or in fairness. He does this because he knows that he is himself a
sinner, with much shame. These kinds of people greatly fear God, and do not want to
displease the God they love so much. So these are children of God, both great and
small. But others may even sacrifice all they own for the poor, and give up their lives in
a grandstanding acts of foolish courage, yet be nothing but the offspring of Satan. Some
of them go so far as to cruelly kill in the name of God, to make themselves appear to be
heroes, or outwardly religious, or because they think they can earn their way into
heaven. Yet most of these are deluded enemies of Christ, fit only for the fires of hell.

Outwardly, the Pharisees were possibly the most "churchy" and "Christian-like" people
in history. Yet Jesus most often viewed them as children of the devil. Then, if any
Pharisees ever learned to love God, in Jesus, they left the the Pharisees. Still,
158

Pharisees have many kindred souls today. In our time, most Christians invent their own
brand of religion, in order to make themselves think they are "holier" than others, or to
delude themselves into thinking they are saved from hell. They use outward appliances,
forms, rules, games, words, associations and countless other things to make
themselves appear religious and look good in the eyes of men. Yet almost all of these
are sons of hell. For they do not obey God from the heart, straight from a love for God,
in either simple or great matters. So they are, in essence, Pharisees who love neither
God nor His words.

Furthermore, the greatest "leaders" in these churches are more the sons of hell than the
rest. If one desires to advance in their ranks, to climb their ladder of their so-called
"success," to gain their positions of power in their pathetic man-made hierarchies, one
must be the greatest hypocrite of all. Meanwhile, these foolish ones, who are the lowest
of the low in reality, are so deluded that they almost always look down on the souls
whom God truly loves, to whom God gives His greatest gifts by grace, in spite of what
they look like outwardly. In fact, they even practice to hinder and oppress, or at least
neglect and suppress God's true people. For these religious hypocrites are the very
ones who looked down on Jesus too. They hated and spurned our perfect God in His
body of flesh. And they violently opposed His words, trying to suppress them at every
turn. Now true Christians must judge wisely and rightly, to seek out and remain with
those given hearts to hear and to love God. But let them also judge the spiritually blind
as being blind. Then let them part from the spiritually blind, and not call them brothers!
Meanwhile, we do not persecute the spiritually blind. Rather, we simply let the blind lead
the blind into the pit. Still, we do this while exposing their false teachings, preventing
them from hurting any of the innocent, and calling on Jesus to rescue His true elect out
of them.πάντες γὰρ ἥμαρτον καὶ ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ Θεοῦ, δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν
τῇ Αὐτοῦ χάριτι διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ; ὃν προέθετο ὁ Θεὸς
ἱλαστήριον διὰ πίστεως ἐν τῷ Αὐτοῦ αἵματι, εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης Αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν
πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων ἐν τῇ ἀνοχῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ, πρὸς τὴν ἔνδειξιν τῆς
δικαιοσύνης Αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι Αὐτον δίκαιον καὶ δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ
πίστεως Ἰησοῦ.

Translation: "For all sinned, and [all] fall short of the good opinion of God, continuously
being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption payment of Jesus as
Messiah. [This is the One] whom God intended to be an atonement sacrifice, [atoning
for us] through faith in His blood, for a proof and demonstration of His righteousness --
on account of [His] deliberate disregard of sins having previously occurred, in the
tolerance of God -- towards the demonstration of His righteousness in the present
appointed time, in order for Him to be just, also justifying the one [who is judged as
being righteous] out of faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:23-26).

Comment: This example was already translated and discussed above. Wallace
comments, "The idea is 'God publicly displayed Jesus Christ in order to demonstrate
159

His righteousness.'" Well, it was not so much that this was a "public" display, but rather
that a just God could not possibly forgive the crimes and sins of His elect without a just
payment being made for those sins. A just God cannot simply say, "Do whatever crimes
and sins you like, I will overlook them all and love you, without ever requiring any justice
or just payment for those sins and crimes, and without ever correcting you, without ever
making you truly righteous." No, a just God has to prove a fair and just penalty has been
paid for our sins. Then He must also make us truly righteous in word and deed, in order
to justly justify us, that is, in order to be able to honestly grant us the privileges of those
who are truly righteous when they stand before Him. For God cannot be unfair or
dishonest. If a just God overlooked the sins of His elect, then He would also have to
overlook the sins of Satan and his children, just to be fair. He could never judge them
and require them to pay their penalty for their sins. Nor could He command them to part
from His presence in heaven. Rather, He would need to allow their cold and unloving
spirits to continue sinning in heaven, before His eyes, forever -- thus turning heaven into
a hell. Therefore, Jesus had to die in the flesh, to pay the just penalty for our sins -- for
the sins of His own people, but not for the sins of Satan and his children. Then our
utterly holy, pure and loving God had to begin the process of making His own elect
children fully and truly righteous in their spirits, in order to even be able to honestly
associate Himself with them at all. For an utterly holy, pure and loving God simply
cannot join Himself together with those who hurt others through sin. Now God does
these things for us, so we can be free from the just penalty of sin, and also draw near to
God.συνέκλεισεν γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς τοὺς πάντας εἰς ἀπείθειαν ἴνα τοὺς πάντας ἐλεήσῃ. ὦ
βάθος πλούτου καὶ σοφίας καὶ γνώσεως Θεοῦ; ὡς ἀνεξερεύνητα τὰ κρίματα Αὐτοῦ καὶ
ἀνεξιχνίαστοι αἱ ὁδοὶ Αὐτοῦ. τίς γὰρ ἔγνω νοῦν Κυρίου; ἢ τίς σύμβουλος Αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο;
ἢ τίς προέδωκεν Αὐτῷ, καὶ ἀνταποδοθήσεται αὐτῷ; ὅτι ἐξ Αὐτοῦ καὶ δι᾽ Αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς
Αὐτὸν τὰ πάντα. Αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν.

Translation: "For God has imprisoned together all these ones into [a state of] rebellion
[where they do not put confidence in God], in order that He may show mercy to all these
ones. O depth of wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable are His
judgments and His ways are not able to be tracked! For who has known the mind of the
Lord? Or who has become a counselor of Him? Or who has given first to Him, that it will
be repaid to [the one who first gave it]? Because all things [are] out of Him and through
Him and into Him, the glory [is] for Him unto the ages. Amen!" (Rom. 11:32-36).

Comment: Here the word σύμβουλος refers to an "adviser, counselor" (BDAG3). It


connotes "together with," that is, getting together with God, calling God aside in order to
give God a little helpful advise on how to do things better, how His Word must be
changed to fit altered circumstances, and how to plan for the future. It is an objective
genitive, not a genitive of association (not meaning, "a counselor together with God,"
implying one might be working with God, or under God, as a fellow counselor of others,
see below). Rather, σύμβουλος implies getting together with God in order to counsel
God, as one who is superior or wiser than God. Here Paul states this rhetorically, as a
160

literary devise to show how pathetic and ridiculous the vain minds and thoughts of some
are in reality, how they presume to be wiser than our unfathomably wise, infinite Creator
God.

How can foolish human beings possibly ever think they are wiser than God, so they can
alter God's Word to fit their biases, culture or personal desires? Or who can ever begin
to think that he can first give something to God, thus making God owe him something in
return? For everything a man can have, in order to give it away, including wisdom, must
first come from God, the original Source of all. And through the things God made, as
instruments to effect all other things, all events occur, where God is the first and primary
cause of all, and continuously controls all that happens, every second of every day. All
exists for God's purposes, by His will. So what is man supposed to change from God's
Word? Anything a man alters against God's revealed will in His Word, will always and
invariably fail, and will cause more harm than good, in the end. For God alone is wise.
Thus, to God, and to God alone, belongs all good opinion and glory, forever. Amen!

This quote also refers to Paul's previous explanation of how Gentiles should not reject
the church of Israel, since the reality is that Gentiles were grafted into that very same
church of Israel. Gentiles cannot think the Jews are rejected by God, simply because
most Jews currently reject Jesus as their prophesied Messiah. Paul likely wrote this
letter in about AD 57, just nine years before the great rebellion began in AD 66. At that
time the New Covenant members of the church were already mostly Gentiles. But for
the first ten to twenty years, the New Covenant church did not even know that it was
supposed to preach to uncircumcised Gentiles, and so remained firmly identified with
the church of Israel, since the Messiah's New Covenant was made only with Israel. But
now the attitude was changing. The Jews were becoming increasingly odious to Rome,
since many more Jews were thinking of rebelling against Rome. And Rome was
escalating its level of persecution against Jews. Therefore, the now mostly Gentile
Christian church began to try to distance itself from Jews. As a result, it was beginning
to think it was not really one with Israel, but that it was a separate and distinct people
from Israel. They no longer saw themselves as Gentiles who converted to become New
Covenant Jews or Israelites, like they did previously. So Paul was telling them not to be
so hasty in accepting this lie.

The first line of the above quote states that God Himself imprisoned all His elect (τοὺς
πάντας, "all these ones"), both the Jews and Gentiles talked about in the previous text.
And God Himself locked them into rebellion or disobedience, that is εἰς ἀπείθειαν. In the
GNT, this word refers to a disobedience or rebellion against God through a lack of
belief, not being persuaded to do what God wills one to do, with a lack of confidence in
God, without belief or faith in God. So it was God Himself who shut up their minds in a
state of unbelief. But God did this for a purpose, as is indicated by the
conjunction ἵνα and the subjunctive ἐλεήσῃ. So God did this "in order to grant mercy for
all these" elect Jews and Gentiles. Yet there are times for all things, and appointed
161

times for God to grant mercy to each, by opening eyes of spirits to see the truth. At the
present time, the Jews remain somewhat blinded to their Messiah Jesus, until the full
number of Gentiles enters into the church of Israel. But when that time is ripe, just
before Jesus returns, God will work His irresistible power to allow all the chosen
remnant of elect Jews to believe in Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah. Man is not in
control of these things. God is. And the timing is not of men, but of God. God's free gifts
of salvation and His calling are irrevocable. God will never regret calling the Jews, even
if many now do not believe and rebel, since God Himself causes and controls this very
rebellion, and God does not make any mistakes.... ὁ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει
βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς Θεόν
...

Translation: "... which also [is] an antitype [that] now saves us, baptism, not a putting
off of filth from flesh, but an answer of a good conscience unto God ..." (I Pet. 3:21).

Comment: Here the verbal noun obviously uses the genitive as a direct object. This
verse was already quoted and explained as an example under the heading "Genitives of
Separation." Here Wallace adds the comment: "The semantic force of this sentence is:
'And baptism now saves you. I'm not talking about the kind which removes dirt from the
body ...' That is to say, there is no salvific value to the water per se." This is a good
observation. Baptism only "saves us" in that what it represents saves us, which is an
"answer" or appeal of a good conscience towards God. Even so, it is not even this
which directly saves. What comes from our "good conscience" is merely a part of the
process of being saved. The real first cause and original source of our salvation is, of
course, God alone. For example, we also say faith saves us. But we really mean that
our salvation process is worked by trusting in God and in His words, as well as by
putting our confidence in the power and sacrifice of Jesus. Yet our faith is in God, in His
power to accomplish what we cannot do ourselves. So it is our God, not the faith itself
directly, which actually saves us. This is important to understand, since many treat
baptism as a magic ritual by which men can exert control over the salvation of other
human beings, and over the membership of the church. No, God chooses who will
believe Him. Then only those chosen ones respond with faith. Because they are already
chosen members of God's people, they go to the baptism, in order to appeal or answer
God from a good conscience, as a response to the work of salvation which God has
already initiated.Other examples cited by Wallace include Mark 11:22; Luke 22:25; Acts
2:42; Rom. 2:23; 13:4; I Cor. 15:34; II Cor 9:13; Eph. 4:13; Col. 1:10; Heb. 4:2; I Pet.
2:19 and II Pet. 1:2. In addition to these, see the information on the Πίστις
Χριστοῦ debate above, under the heading "Subjective Genitives." Wallace also points
out that ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ("the resurrection of Jesus Christ," "[when God]
resurrected Jesus Christ," I Pet. 3:21); κληρονόμοι ... Θεοῦ ("heirs of God, "[when we]
inherit God") and possibly συνκληρονόμοι ... Χριστοῦ ("joint heirs of Christ," "[when we
together] inherit Christ," but more likely, "[when we] inherit [together with] Christ," Rom.
8:17); and τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ ("the love of God," "love for God," John 5:42) are all
162

disputed examples of objective genitives.


c. Plenary GenitivesA plenary genitive is a verbal genitive which provides an equally
fitting interpretation as both a subjective and objective genitive (for explanations of
subjective and objective genitives, see the previous two headings). Sometimes we can
intentionally or unintentionally write or say something with a dual meaning, where both
meanings are equally valid. The writings of the GNT are no exception. It seems the
apostles did leave some passages written in a way which could be interpreted as both
subjective and objective genitives, likely intentionally.When asked, "Did he do it or did
you?" -- to be humorous, and to indicate that we both did it -- we might answer "yes,"
even though it is not a "yes or no" question. The action implied by a plenary genitive is
similar in that both do it. Of course, in the GNT, the plenary genitive is not meant to be
humorous. But it is a literary device used to make one think a little harder.Also,
classifying a verbal genitive as a plenary genitive is not just an excuse to avoid having
to make a decision, to get away with not carefully examining the context, thinking and
praying. Actually, one should only decide that a verbal genitive is a plenary genitive
after an even more careful consideration of the text, after it becomes apparent that
neither the subjective nor objective interpretation can be eliminated, and both meanings
must be equally intended.So an interpretation as a plenary genitive is not a first choice,
but it is a valid option if it clearly is the intended meaning of the text. If you see what
looks like a construction with a verbal genitive, try interpreting it as a subjective genitive,
then an objective genitive. "If both ideas seem to fit in a given passage, and do not
contradict but rather complement one another, then there is a good possibility that the
genitive in question is a plenary (or full) genitive" (Wallace).Although plenary genitives
are not very common in the GNT, they are likely more common than most like to admit.
We all want to find out what a given text means precisely. Yet we must realize that the
apostles, even by the moving of the Holy Spirit, and like many Jewish rabbis, could and
would imply double meanings by their words at times. Wallace gave the three examples
below, which may be disputed, but which might be plenary genitives. Here the head
noun will be highlighted in green and the plenary genitive will be highlighted in bluish
green.οὐ πάλιν ἑαυτοὺς συνιστάνομεν ὑμῖν, ἀλλὰ ἀφορμὴν διδόντες ὑμῖν καυχήματος
ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, ἵνα ἔχητε πρὸς τοὺς ἐν προσώπῳ καυχωμένους καὶ μὴ ἐν καρδίᾳ. εἴτε γὰρ
ἐξέστημεν, Θεῷ· εἴτε σωφρονοῦμεν, ὑμῖν. ἡ γὰρ ἀγάπη τοῦ Χριστοῦ συνέχει ἡμᾶς,
κρίναντας τοῦτο, ὅτι Εἷς ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν· ἄρα οἱ πάντες ἀπέθανον· καὶ ὑπὲρ
πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι
καὶ ἐγερθέντι. ὥστε ἡμεῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν οὐδένα οἴδαμεν κατὰ σάρκα· εἰ καὶ ἐγνώκαμεν
κατὰ σάρκα Χριστόν, ἀλλὰ νῦν οὐκέτι γινώσκομεν. ὥστε εἴ τις ἐν Χριστῷ, καινὴ κτίσις· τὰ
ἀρχαῖα παρῆλθεν, ἰδοὺ γέγονεν καινά.

Translation: "We do not promote ourselves to you again, but are giving you an
opportunity of a boast on behalf of us, in order that you might have [it] towards those
boasting in outward appearances and not in the heart. For if indeed we are confused
and concerned, [we give it] to God. If we are certainly of a sound mind, [we give it] to
you. For the loveof Christ holds us together, judging this, that One died on behalf of all
163

[of us], consequently the all died. And He died on behalf of all [of us] in order that those
living might live no longer for themselves, but for the One having died on their behalf, for
the One also having been raised. As a result, from now on, we do not form our
understanding of anyone's character and being according to the [attributes and outward
things of the] flesh. We possibly have also known Christ according to [attributes of the]
flesh, but now no longer know [Him in this way]. Just so, if anyone [is] in Christ, [that
one is] a new creation. The old has passed by. Behold, that one has become and now
remains a new [creation]!" (II Cor 5:12-17).

Comment: Here the apostle Paul, speaking also on behalf of all the other teachers and
apostles who were sent to instruct the Corinthians, tells them that "the love of Christ"
holds him and all others together. It sustains them in a way which results in orderly and
sound thinking. Some say the verb συνέχω here means "to provide impulse for some
activity, urge on, impel" (BDAG3). But in context, it is referring to being held together in
a sound mind. And the reason "the love of Christ" does this is because they no longer
live for the matters of the flesh, but Christ lives through them, and they live for Christ. So
they do not worry about the same things others do. Whatever they may be concerned
about, they take to God in faith, knowing that God will surely take care of all that needs
to be done for His will and purposes to be accomplished on earth. Thus, they think and
judge all persons and all things from a new perspective, as new creations, born again in
spirit, so they now see all things from a spiritual viewpoint in Jesus, our Lord and God.
Therefore, what is this "love of Christ"? Is it Christ's love for them, or their love for Him?
Clearly, it is both! All they do is in love for Christ, and all comfort is in knowing His
love.Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἣν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός, δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις Αὐτοῦ ἃ
δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει, καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου Αὐτοῦ τῷ δούλῳ Αὐτοῦ
Ἰωάννῃ, ὃς ἐμαρτύρησεν τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅσα
εἶδεν.

Translation: "A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show His slaves
things which must occur in haste, and indicated by sending via His angel to His slave
John, who testified about the word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ, as much as
he saw" (Rev. 1:1-2).

Comment: Now John said he received a witness or testimony from Jesus, but also
states that this book is about Jesus and what he saw of Jesus. Therefore, does the
phrase "a revelation of Jesus Christ" mean "[this is what] Jesus revealed," or does it
mean "[this is what I] reveal about Jesus [and all I saw of Him]"? Since this phrase is the
"title" of this scroll written to all Christians in all time, and judging from his introduction,
this phrase likely was intentionally constructed to bear a double meaning. In this way,
John is able to focus the reader on Jesus Christ, on both His revealing and being
revealed.δικαιωθέντες οὖν ἐκ πίστεως εἰρήνην ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου
ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, δι᾽ οὗ καὶ τὴν προσαγωγὴν ἐσχήκαμεν τῇ πίστει εἰς τὴν χάριν
ταύτην ἐν ᾗ ἑστήκαμεν, καὶ καυχώμεθα ἐπ᾽ ἐλπίδι τῆς δόξης τοῦ Θεοῦ. οὐ μόνον δέ,
164

ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμεθα ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν, εἰδότες ὅτι ἡ θλῖψις ὑπομονὴν κατεργάζεται, ἡ δὲ
ὑπομονὴ δοκιμήν, ἡ δὲ δοκιμὴ ἐλπίδα, ἡ δὲ ἐλπὶς οὐ καταισχύνει, ὅτι ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ
Θεοῦἐκκέχυται ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν διὰ Πνεύματος Ἀγίου τοῦ δοθέντος ἡμῖν.

Translation: "Therefore, having been justified out of faith, we have peace towards God,
through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have had and continue to have
access, by faith, into this grace in which we have stood and now remain standing. Thus
we may express unsuppressed confidence upon a hope for the good opinion of God.
And not only so, but also we may express unashamed confidence in [our] afflictions,
knowing that the affliction [works] the capacity to remain steadfast, then [our] remaining
steadfast [produces] a proven quality in our character, so this tested-true character
[exerts] an eager expectation [for good]. And this hope does not put to shame,
because the love of Godhas been poured out in a way which fully accomplishes what it
now intends to do in our hearts, through the Holy Spirit given to us" (Rom. 5:1-5).

Comment: Of course, the phrase ἡ ἀγάπη with the genitive τοῦ Θεοῦ, refers to a love
which has something to do with God, and it takes place "in our hearts." Then, in front of
the clause in which this phrase is found, the word ὅτι also indicates that this "love of
God" was poured out for a reason, related to our not being put to shame for our action
of hoping (i.e., this love proves that our hope was not just a deluded and empty hope).
This "love of God" also passively receives an action upon it, indicated by the
verb ἐκκέχυται, the 3rd person singular perfect indicative passive form of ἐκχέω ("pour
out"). This perfect form refers to a love which has been poured out, or given over to us,
but with its result or effect emphasized (i.e., otherwise, a passive aorist form would have
been used instead). Considering that this pouring out was for a reason, its result or
effect must be to prove that our hope is not in vain. That is, the love is poured out to
perform an action which makes us not ashamed of our action of hoping in God to do
good for us. Also, the Holy Spirit (whom it states is given to us) works as the indirect
agent who accomplishes the pouring out of this "love of God," as is indicated by the
preposition διά. Thus, everything in context is about God's love doing things for us.

So, no, I don't see how this can possibly be a plenary genitive. Absolutely nothing in the
text seems to allow one to even consider that it might be a plenary genitive. Wallace
points out, "Many older commentators interpret this as objective (e.g., Augustine,
Luther), while the majority of modern commentators see it as subjective ..." Well,
Augustine and Luther were clearly wrong. There simply is no way it can be an objective
genitive. And it cannot be both either. In reading this, it surely and certainly can only be
regarded as a subjective genitive. Just because this love is "in our hearts," does not
mean it is our love for God. After all, God's Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts with us, as
King, as the Owner of our hearts, with more right to be in our hearts than we do
ourselves. So we cannot conclude that, in this particular context, it refers to the "love
that comes from God and that produces our love for God," although that is a true
statement theologically.According to Wallace, two other possible plenary genitives may
165

be found in John 5:42 (but this surely is an objective genitive, "love for God," not a
plenary genitive), and II Thes. 3:5 (but these are most likely descriptive genitives, "into
the action of loving with God's kind of love and into Christ's type of steadfastness"). Yet
Wallace also gives examples with constructions like τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, which may
very well be plenary genitives, each meaning, "God, in a good and right manner,
proclaimed a message, so we proclaim that message which is about God" (Mark 1:1,14;
Rom. 1:1; 15:16; and I Thes. 2:2,8,9).
Grammatical Role 4:
Adverbial GenitivesThis kind of genitive modifies a verb, adjective or adverb, thus
serves in the role of an adverb. Although it may sometimes modify a noun, it describes
an implied adjective or an implied verb's action upon that noun, so it functions in an
adverbial role. Because it sometimes implies an action, a participle may need to be
substituted for the key word "of" in the translation of an adverbial genitive. Otherwise, an
adverbial genitive may function much like an adverbial prepositional phrase, and might
possibly be best translated into a prepositional phrase.So one category of averbial
genitives would be genitives of price, value or quantity. And an example of this may be
literally translated as "you agreed of a denarius." Here the genitive modifies a verb and
it means, "you agreed [to work] for a denarius," where the genitive is translated into a
prepositional phrase ("for a denarius"). Then, with a noun, you might see something
like, "bread of two hundred denarii," which is equivalent to "bread worth two hundred
denarii" or "bread valued at two hundred denarii,"where it implies a verbal like "worth"
(i.e., a word implying an infinitive "to become") or "valued at" (a past participle and
preposition). A genitive of time is another type of adverbial genitive, which often
suggests the present participle "during." For example, "he came of night" means "he
came during the night." Other categories of adverbial genitives include genitives of
place / space (often interpreted with prepositions like "in," "at" or "through"), genitives of
means ("by"), genitives of agency ("by"), genitives of reference ("with reference to"), and
genitives of association ("with," "in association with").
a. Genitives of Price, Value or QuantityThe genitive of value or quantity
expresses how much, regarding a price, value or quanitity. This particular genitive
noun usually follows a verb expressing an action of buying, selling or quantifying
(e.g., ἀγοράζω, "buy, purchase, acquire"; πιπράσκω, "sell, export, offer for sale";
and πωλέω, "sell, barter, exchange, engage in a business transaction"). Yet it may
sometimes be used with a noun, where a verbal is implied ("valued at / for," "worth," "for
the amount of").Often, the genitive of price, value or quantity can be translated with the
key word "for" in front of it, but sometimes may require a participle or infinitive to explain
the action involved ("sold for," "to sell for," "purchased for," "to buy for," "to work for a
wage of"). The genitive may be a noun referring to a type of money, and also could be
modified by a genitive adjective indicating a number (e.g., δηναρίου, [one] denarius, a
day's wage for a labourer, a silver coin; διακοσίων δηναρίων, 200 denarii). Yet it might
just simply indicate the kind of material or instrument used to complete a transaction for
the exchange of goods or services, without indicating a number (e.g., a genitive form
of τιμή, "price, value"; χρυσός, "gold"; ἀγρύριον, "silver").Genitives of price, value or
166

quantity are "relatively rare" in the GNT, but Wallace gave four examples. Here the verb
or head noun which the genitive modifies will be highlighted in greenand the genitive of
price, value or quantity will be highlighted in bluish green.λαβόντες δὲ ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ
τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου λέγοντες· οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν, καὶ ἴσους αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν
ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς ἑνι
αὐτῶν εἶπεν· ἑταῖρε, οὐκ ἀδικῶ σε· οὐχὶ δηναρίου συνεφώνησάς μοι; ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ
ὕπαγε; θέλω δὲ τούτῳ τῷ ἐσχάτῳ δοῦναι ὡς καὶ σοί· οὐκ ἔξεστίν μοι ὃ θέλω ποιῆσαι ἐν
τοῖς ἐμοῖς; ἢ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρός ἐστιν ὅτι ἐγὼ ἀγαθός εἰμι; οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ
ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι.

Translation: "So receiving [their pay], they grumbled against the master of the estate,
saying, 'These last ones did one hour [of work], and you made them equal to us, the
ones having borne the burden of the day, and the heat.' But answering one of them, he
said, 'Fellow worker, I do not wrong you. Did you not make an agreement together
with me [to work] for a denarius? Take up what [was given to] you and go. Now I will
this, to give to the last one as also to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will [to do]
with my own things? Or is your eye evil [with malicious intent towards me] because I am
good?' Just so, the last will be first and the first [will be] last" (Mat. 20:11-16).

Comment: Here the genitive, δηναρίου ("of a denarius"), modifies a verb


(συνεφώνησας, "you made an agreement [together with], you agreed [with]"). So the
genitive indicates "how much" was agreed upon by both parties involved in the
transaction or agreement.

This parable (Mat. 19:30 & 20:1-16) bears a very important message for all God's
people in His body, the church, which is the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God.
Yet it is almost always ignored. So let me try to explain it again. It is mostly about how
Christians grumble during their lives on earth, but illustrates life on earth and in heaven.
First we must ask what Jesus meant by saying the last will be first and the first last.
Clearly, He was not talking about creating a hierarchical system, where some lord it
over others, with special privileges, finer clothes, and greater benefits. Many churches
seem to think this is how a church should function, but it obviously is not what Jesus
meant. Actually, Jesus was saying that He will treat all equally, thus, so should we. The
Head of every man is Jesus, not another man. Yet this Head and Lord Jesus came to
serve, not to be served. So, if Jesus is also our example, how can men think they
should be treated better than Jesus Himself demanded that He be treated by His
people, whom He created and owns?

Remember, Jesus is here contrasting the world's system with God's system. In the eyes
of the world, those who accomplish much are viewed as "first," as though they have
earned their right to be respected more than those who are less productive. Then those
who accomplish little are viewed as "last" in the eyes of the world, as though they have
no right to any respect since they do not produce as much. On the other hand, in the
167

backwards and confused world system, ruled by Satan in sin, we also see how the
"first" of the first, those with the very highest status, always get much more reward for
much less work than others do. And the "last" of the last, those with the very lowest
status, have to work much longer and harder to get much less reward than the others
do.

Therefore, Jesus is making a play on words, in comparing God's kingdom to Satan's


kingdom, using the world's terminology to describe God's kingdom. Since the "least
productive" in the church will receive the same reward as the "most productive" in the
church, those whom the world would call "last" in the church will be like the "first" in the
world, much like the world's "highest in status," like those who have to do very little work
in order to gain much reward. Then the "most productive" in the church will receive the
same reward as those who are "least productive" in the church, so those whom the
world would call the "first" in the church will be like the "last" in the world, like the world's
"lowest in status," like those who must do much work in order to get just a little reward.

Those who are given much from God, or are given these gifts early in life, do not earn
any more compassion and respect from God than those who finally and truly see the
light of God later in life, nor more than those who have less spectacular gifts from God.
In the end, all is from God, and no man has anything he can boast about as being from
himself, or because of himself. Really, what can any person say? Did God give them a
good brain and body? Can God not also take away that good brain and body? Did God
give them a spirit which sees God, understands God, and wills to serve God? Then did
they give birth to that spirit, and rebirth to that spirit, then teach and shape it into what it
is? And, as for the person who did not know Jesus for most of his or her life, should they
be punished because God did not come to them and open up their eyes until the last
days of their lives? Or have they already been punished, even if they have lived in self-
indulgent luxury until they came to know that they were known of the Lord? After all,
does not every man, after he finds the truth of Jesus in His true salvation, say to
himself, "How painfully I regret having wasted all those years that I did not serve my
Lord Jesus!"

So the kingdom of God (both the church on earth and in heaven) is not about striving to
gain power and position over others, nor about gaining more wealth for oneself, more
than others, which always causes others to suffer, directly or indirectly. The kingdom of
God is simply about doing whatever our Lord calls us to do, each one to the best of
one's own ability, with whatever gifts and resources the Lord chooses to allot for the
work. In the end, all depends on our Lord and God, not on us. Yet, if this is true -- and it
certainly is -- then those who accomplish what the world views as "little," or who do what
the world calls "common" kinds of work, these will receive the same reward as those
who accomplish what the world views as "much," or the same as those who do kinds of
work glorified by the world. In a real church, each elect soul receives what is needed for
life and work -- not according to status, quantity of work done, nor kind of work done.
168

Of course, this kind of system can only work among true Christians, and only among the
most mature of them. It cannot possibly work among the people of the world, nor among
immature Christians. So it cannot be transformed into any kind of a political system, and
absolutely can never be imposed on anyone by the hands of men. Rather, it is a system
governing the spirits of men by the direct authority and counsel of Jesus Christ, through
His Holy Spirit, in mature love of the godly and righteous kind -- while it suppresses the
desires of the body. Only a heart renewed by Christ, and taught in depth by His Holy
Spirit, can even begin to live by this principle. Eventually, in heaven, all God's elect
children will see these things and do them. However, we are not in heaven yet.

Also, when Jesus returns, the whole physical earth will operate by these principles, but
only because all the wicked will be destroyed first, and because Jesus will have the
knowledge and power to teach and enforce such a system. Men do not have enough
knowledge to judge spirits rightly, nor the power correct those needing correction, while
destroying those who need to be destroyed. And there are still the children of the devil
among us in this world. Nor will these wicked ones be removed until the appointed time,
when Jesus will judge all spirits rightly. So only after Jesus returns, can He completely
remove all the hierarchies of men lording it over others -- with arrogance, selfishness,
violence, exploitation and oppression. But, for now, we must operate according to God's
system in our churches, in His kingdom. Then we can also strive towards this goal in
our world's political systems, protecting the weak who cannot defend themselves. Still,
we must not become carnally oppressive, for we must remember that carnal men truly
have nothing else to motivate them other than the godless and selfish things of this
world.

People of this world only work for themselves, and for whoever or whatever directly
affects themselves. All others and all else matters almost nothing to them. Men in the
worldly system are ruled by the prince of demons, and cannot know what God's elect
children can know and desire. So, in the worldly system, we must make some
allowances for the worldly to strive, to "get ahead" in self-seeking ways, for greed, and
to feel superior to others -- as long as these things do not cause too much harm to
others. But we ourselves, from our churches, the kingdom of God, must not do such
things. All those whom Jesus is calling to work for God, must realize the body only
needs so much. Therefore, our real motivation to work hard is for the satisfaction of the
spirit, in truly pleasing our Father in heaven through Jesus. And Jesus is our example.
When He lived among us, He lived modestly, taking only what He needed for His body
of flesh. Also, in this parable, the "master of the estate" (οἰκοδεσπότης) is Jesus. Yet He
called the worker a ἑταῖρος, which is like calling him a "co-worker, comrade, companion,
fellow worker." So you see His humility, lacking any concept of a superior or inferior
status towards us.

Now a pastor or elder, one who teaches in the church, must be a mature Christian, with
169

a true calling and gifts from God. So he must become like Jesus, and be a servant to all.
Naturally, this does not mean he is supposed to do whatever people want him to do,
since this not doing the Lord's work according to His will, but would be striving to please
and obey men. However, God's real servant will work hard at whatever the Lord Jesus
commands him to do. And he will do this humbly, to serve God by serving His people. A
true pastor or elder will never try to lord it over Christ's flock, nor to take more than he
needs. He will live modestly in whatever society he lives. Of course, he cannot become
too poor, lest the needs of this world steal from his work. But neither can he take too
much, lest the pleasures of this world steal from his work, making him compromise the
truth of God. Also, if he takes too much, he is stealing from what God gives to provide
for the needs of others, and thus he steals from God. All mature Christians must live
modestly, motivated by the satisfaction of gaining the good opinion of Jesus, to hear
Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You are my fellow worker and
friend!"ἐπάρας οὖν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ θεασάμενος ὅτι πολὺς ὄχλος ἔρχεται
πρὸς Αὐτόν, λέγει πρὸς Φίλιππον· πόθεν ἀγοράσωμεν ἄρτους ἵνα φάγωσιν οὗτοι; τοῦτο
δὲ ἔλεγεν πειράζων αὐτόν· Αὐτὸς γὰρ ᾔδει τί ἔμελλεν ποιεῖν. ἀπεκρίθη Αὐτῷ ὁ
Φίλιππος· διακοσίων δηναρίων ἄρτοι οὐκ ἀρκοῦσιν αὐτοῖς, ἵνα ἕκαστος βραχύ τι λάβῃ.

Translation: "Therefore, lifting up [His] eyes and observing that a large crowd was
coming towards Him, Jesus said to Philip, 'From where might we buy loaves so that
these ones might eat?' But He said this testing him. Philip answered Him, 'Loaves of a
quantity worth two hundred denarii are not enough for them, in order that each might
take some little [portion].'" (John 6:5-7).

Comment: Hear again the genitive is placed in front of the word it modifies, like it was
in the previous example. However, this genitive (δηναρίων, "of denarii") is plural and
modified by a genitive plural adjective (διακοσίων, "two hundred"). Then this genitive
phrase modifies a nominative plural noun (ἄρτοι, "loaves"), instead of a verb, even
though this is obviously a genitive of price or value. By the way, if one considers that a
denarius would likely buy at least 16 large loaves of bread, and possibly more, where
each loaf is a man's meal of itself, this would be at least 3,200 large loaves of bread.
So, if all the crowd would not even get a small piece (less than half a loaf), then it must
have been a very large crowd, more than about six or seven thousand people (including
women and children).

Also notice here that Jesus was testing Philip, regarding Philip's faith in Him and in God
the Father. As the Messiah, Jesus was a Rabbi above all, a Teacher of His people,
training them to think clearly and rightly about the reality of God, the true meaning of
God's Word, and the realities of God's creation. So, like every other teacher, Jesus
tested His students. Yet this testing by Jesus was not done in order for Him to find out
how much His students had learned. Most tests from Jesus were done in order to help
His students discover that they did not yet know as much as they thought they knew.
Here Jesus obviously wanted Philip to discover that he still thought like the world, and
170

turned first to money for the solution to all life's problems. Now since, at this point in his
life, Philip failed the test his Teacher gave him, I suppose he did not get a Bible College
degree that day. In fact, considering how Jesus tested a man's inner-most thoughts of
the heart, and the character of the spirit, I would even be so bold as to say that Jesus
likely never handed out Greco-Roman types of accolades of men, like college degrees
and titles like "doctor."καὶ κατέβη Ἰακὼβ εἰς Αἴγυπτον, καὶ ἐτελεύτησεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ
πατέρες ἡμῶν, καὶ μετετέθησαν εἰς Συχέμ καὶ ἐτέθησαν ἐν τῷ μνήματι
ᾧ ὠνήσατο Ἀβραὰμ τιμῆς ἀγρυπίου παρὰ τῶν υἱῶν Ἐμμὼρ ἐν Συχέμ. καθὼς δε ἤγγιζεν
ὁ χρόνος τῆς ἐπαγγελίας ἧς ὡμολόγησεν ὁ Θεὸς τῷ Ἀβραάμ, ηὔξησεν ὁ λαὸς καὶ
ἐπληθύνθη ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ...

Translation: "And Jacob went down into Egypt, and came to an end, he and our
fathers. Then they were transferred into Shechem, and were placed in the tomb which
Abraham had purchased for a price in silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. So
just as the time drew near for the promise which God solemnly declared to Abraham,
the people increased and multiplied in Egypt ..." (Acts 7:15-17).

Comment: Here the genitive once more modifies a verb, ὠνήσατο, the 3rd person
singular 1st aorist indicative deponent of ὠνέομαι ("buy, purchase"). The genitive of
price, value or quantity is the genitive singular form of τιμή ("price, value, estimate").ὁ δὲ
κολλώμενος τῷ Κυρίῳ ἓν πνευμά ἐστιν. φεύγετε τὴν πορνείαν. πᾶν ἁμάρτημα ὃ ἐὰν
ποιήσῃ ἄνθρωπος ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν· ὁ δὲ πορνεύων εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα
ἁμαρτάνει. οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι τὸ σῶμα ὑμῶν ναὸς τοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν Ἁγίου Πνεύματός ἐστιν, οὗ
ἔχετε ἀπὸ Θεοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτῶν; ἠγοράσθητε γὰρ τιμῆς. δοξάσατε δὴ τὸν Θεὸν ἐν
τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν.

Translation: "Yet the one closely joining [oneself] to the Lord is one spirit [with Him].
Flee from sexual immorality. Every sin, whatever a man might do, is outside the body.
But the one committing sexual immorality, sins towards his own body. Do you not know
that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, [the Holy Spirit] whom you have from
God, and you are not your own [possession]? For you were bought with a price [paid for
you]. Thus, cause others to have a good opinion of God by [what you do with] your
body" (I Cor. 6:17-20).

Comment: Here again, the genitive modifies a verb. In our day, people speak so much
about freedom, and their right to do whatever they want to do. Now some of these cries
for freedom are legitimate, because those people are being unjustly oppressed by
others who exploit them for selfish gain, power, and even just to gratify their own
Satanic hatred and cruelty. But what about those who want the right to be sexually
immoral? Do they have the right to bear children which others must care for, the right to
become diseased and die, the right to spread diseases which kill others, the right to
make society pay unjust expenses, the right to break the hearts of family and friends
who have invested much in their lives, and the right to gratify their lusts at a great cost
171

to others?

Clearly, we never have the right to do whatever we want. There are always limits to
freedoms and rights. Hopefully, those limits will be wisely placed and administered, and
only reasonably prohibit physical actions that may cause harm to others. Yet there must
be limits, either imposed by others on unreasonable and self-centered persons, or limits
imposed by oneself, if one is reasonable and thinks about the welfare of others. For
instance, we cannot drive a car at any speed anywhere we want, or we will surely end
up harming the property and lives of others. We cannot even make a loud noise in the
middle of the night, in some places, because we will wake up working people and
children who need their sleep. Even if we are by ourselves in the middle of the
wilderness, we are not totally free, because we must plan ahead and watch what we do,
or else we could end up killing ourselves. Even cooking a meal in the wilderness, if not
properly done, could start a fire which might kill people, cost millions of dollars, and
possibly kill oneself.

But, of all people, the Christians should know that they do not own themselves, and
have no right to do whatever they feel like doing in the flesh. We do not own ourselves,
and certainly do not have any rights and freedoms. We are owned by our Lord, who
created us. Furthermore, while many others may be handed over to Satan because they
sinned, we sinners have been purchased for a price, a big price, even the sacrifice of a
sinless body in death. Therefore, since we are owned by Him, and since He is a loving
Master who has saved us from a cruel master who was destroying us, how should we
behave?

Someday we will be able to do everything we want, when we want to do it, and how we
want to do it, much like God Himself. But, by then, we shall be like God. God spends all
His time doing precisely what He wants to do. Yet He follows His own deeply detailed
plan, for a loving purpose, while serving the people He created for Himself. And all God
ever wants to do is good. So, if He does whatever He wants to do, we are very, very
happy with that. Likewise, once He perfects us, and transforms us into His image, every
single thing we will ever want to do will be good and pleasing to God, and to our
beloved ones with us in heaven. Therefore, we will never need to do anything we do not
want to do when we live in heaven. This is why we say we can only have "free will" in
heaven.Wallace also listed the references to most of the remaining rare genitives of
price, value and quantity: Mat. 10:29; 16:26; 20:2; 26:9; Mark 6:37; 14:5; Luke 12:6;
John 12:5; Acts 5:8; 22:28; I Cor. 7:23; Heb. 12:16; and Jude 11.
b. Genitives of TimeThe genitive of time indicates the kind of time period during or
in which an event occurs, and thus suggests or may be translated with key words
such as "during," "at" or "within." For instance, a person may "fast twice of a week,"
meaning "twice during a week," where the kind of time is a "week." Or if a person is
"working of night and of day," then he works some hours during the night and some
hours during the day. But it does not mean he is working all the night hours and all the
172

daylight hours. In Greek, as Wallace carefully points out, the different oblique cases,
when used in reference to time, suggest different meanings:Accusative of
Time: Extent of time, "How long did it take, from what point to what?"Genitive of
Time: Kind of time, "During, at, or in what kind of time period?"Dative of Time: Point of
time, "When did it take place, at what point in time?"A little more in depth treatment of
how the "bare" oblique cases (without prepositions) are used with reference to time can
be found in the intermediate grammar article on accusatives, under the heading "Time
References in Oblique Cases." It should also be mentioned that genitives referring to
time, when found behind a preposition like ἐκ or ἀπό, bear a different meaning.
With ἐκ + a genitive (indicating a time), the phrase expresses a source or origin of
time, from which something originated, like a state, condition or event beginning or
originating "from childhood" or "out of the time of childhood." Then the preposition ἀπό +
a genitive (indicating a time), refers to a starting point from which an event began, such
as "from that day" to another time.Genitives of time are "not very common" in the GNT,
but Wallace once more gave four examples. Here the head noun, verb or other word
which the genitive modifies will be highlighted in green and the genitive of time will be
highlighted in bluish green.εἶπεν δὲ καὶ πρός τινας τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτοῖς ὅτι εἰσὶν
δίκαιοι καὶ ἐξουθενοῦντας τοὺς λοιποὺς τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην. Ἄνθρωποι δύο
ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν προσεύξασθαι, ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης. ὁ
Φαρισαῖος σταθεὶς ταῦτα πρὸς ἑαυτὸν προσηύχετο· ὁ Θεός, εὐχαριστῶ Σοι ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ
ὥσπερ οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἅρπαγες, ἄδικοι, μοιχοί, ἢ καὶ ὡς οὗτος ὁ τελώνης·
νηστεύω δὶς τοῦ σαββάτου, ἀποδεκατεύω πάντα ὅσα κτῶμαι.

Translation: "So He also spoke this parable, to some of those having put confidence
upon themselves, remaining persuaded that they are righteous [i.e., the participle is
perfect tense, which emphasizes current effects of having been persuaded in the past,
which translates into (1) past confidence or faith upon themselves to be able to make
themselves righteous, and (2) remaining persuaded that they are now righteous], and
contemptuously regarding the rest as nothing: 'Two men went up into the temple to
pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. Standing, the Pharisee prayed
these things to himself: "God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men --
extortioners [i.e., many tax collectors used their power to extort money from people],
unjust ones, sexually immoral ones, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice during the
week, tithe from all things, as much as I possess"'" (Luke 18:9-12).

Comment: Here the genitive is τοῦ σαββάτου ("of the sabbath, of the week"). The Jews
referred to a week as a "sabbath," as in this instance. Thus, this genitive refers to a kind
of time, that is, to a week. Then it modifies an adverb, δίς ("twice"). So the expression
"twice of the week" means "twice during the week." A fast could be during the twelve
daylight hours only, where a person only ate in the evening, or it could be for a full 24
hours, from sunset to sunset. This likely refers to fasting during the daylight hours.

Notice how Jesus said the Pharisee prayed "to himself." Does this mean that he prayed
173

silently, or that he prayed to himself as though he was his own god. In this instance,
Jesus likely means both. Considering how the perfect participle πεποιθότας was used in
the previous sentence -- to express how such men placed their confidence or faith
"upon" themselves, and remained persuaded that they were righteous -- Jesus was
surely saying this Pharisee did indeed pray to himself, not to God, even though he
thought he was praying to God. Jesus was saying that this man had no faith in God,
only in himself.

Who are the unbelievers in the church? They are those who look down on others, who
think others are nothing, or at least that others are far less good than they are
themselves. Invariably, those who do this are those who do not have saving faith, or
else have extremely weak and polluted faith. After all, looking down upon others, while
thinking oneself to be righteous, clearly means one believes that all human beings are
capable of making themselves righteous. But real saving faith sees reality, and fears
God. It understands that all human beings are so extremely ignorant that they seldom
ever realize when they hurt others unjustly and sin, since people mostly think of
themselves. Nor do these hypocrites even begin to comprehend the power of demons
to manipulate minds and hearts, but remain blind to the fact that they are complete
puppets of the devil, who does not allow them to see how they are being manipulated,
as total slaves to his delusions, working religious sins worse than murder or adultery. So
these religious hypocrites merely speak many religious words, yet only to slander God
in reality, and have not had their eyes opened by God at all, and have never really
known anything even resembling true faith in God's power to rescue their hearts and
minds from their bondage to Satan. They just pray to themselves, to an idol they call
"god."

How we need Jesus, our God! We need His grace to open our eyes continuously, to
wake us up, to stir up our desire to seek Him, to strengthen our resolve to know His
truth -- to rebuke, guide, teach, counsel, scold, discipline, love, cherish, comfort,
encourage and rule over us. Unless Jesus renews our spirits, and unless His Holy Spirit
comes to rule our spirits, there can be absolutely nothing but empty darkness in us. If
Jesus does not make us see, we have no hope at all of discovering reality. We simply
do not have any power or ability to do so. And if we do not face reality, then we cannot
be healed from any spiritual or emotional wounds. So we walk in constant bitterness or
hatred or fear. Nor can we truly love apart from the working power of Jesus in us and
through us, because real love needs truth to work at all, and His courage to work. If
Jesus grants us the seeing of truth, and faith to believe it, then we will repent in fear
that, if we turn away from Him, we will become lost into the utter darkness of delusion
again.

So real saving faith puts absolutely no confidence in oneself, and knows with certainty
that no man can even begin to make himself righteous in the least or tiniest matter. But
notice how false religion works, how Satan deludes souls into thinking they are saved.
174

Above all, the demonic delusion and influence reminds them about the bad things they
do not do. Yet true religion is expressed by doing to others what we would have them
do to us, regarding deeds of spirit, in truth, in the vital activity of God's kind of love,
created by Jesus' power to redeem, to teach the very reality He created and rules. All is
of Jesus. So all our faith is in Him. This is why Satan makes false religion focus upon
what one does not do physically -- not violent, not thieving, not unjust, not sexually
immoral. Still, regarding the attitudes of the heart, the falsely religious actually are
violently abusive in word and deed, steal from God and from the lives of many people,
never act in a truly fair and just manner, and are very driven by animalistic urges to
dominate and oppress, while committing ocular adultery as well. So the devil distorts
their thinking, until they think all is about physical and outward appearances. They want
only to look good to others and themselves, not actually be good in spirit, before God
who sees the spirit.

To them, religion is all about never physically doing, or never getting caught doing, any
acts which outwardly look bad, even regarding things like not drinking, not smoking, not
looking dirty or shabby, not associating with undesirable persons, not being near places
where sinners often go, and so on. Furthermore, when they do any kinds of "good"
deeds, they are always things which focus on self, and which glorify self, not God. So
they do outwardly observable or measurable deeds, things which can be openly seen
by others, and reported or bragged about to others. They keep count of how often they
fast, or give a certain percentage of their income. Then these numbers and statistics
can be reported and bragged about to men. But if they just fasted for God, at irregular
intervals, whenever they needed to clear their inner thoughts and get right with God,
then they would not bother to ever keep a tally of the number of fasts, so they could not
report anything to impress men. If they just gave whatever and whenever they could,
without the one hand knowing what the other hand was giving, they would have no
amount to report to men, no score to brag about, to impress others or themselves.

I have dealt with many kinds of false churches in my day, and Jesus has also brought
me into a close and long-term fellowship with many victims of these false churches. One
common characteristic of false churches, as Jesus seems to point out here, is that they
almost always teach their people to tithe, to give 10% of their income. Almost all false
churches do this, since their focus is on material and physical things. Yet all Christians
who tithe are either ignorant of the Word of God, or else just plain hate God. There
simply is no such thing as a real Christian, who truly knows what God's Word teaches,
who also knows and loves the real God -- with faith in one's beloved Father and Owner,
and in the Lord Jesus, to rule every aspect of one's life -- who tithes to appease God.

First, since the New Testament teaches us to give according to our means, logically it
teaches against tithing. But if the false churches want to teach their people to tithe
according to the Old Testament law, then they should know that no one can fulfill their
legal duty to the law by simply giving ten percent of their income. For instance, God
175

commands all His people (those bound by His Old Covenant law), all who have the
means, to freely lend money to needy members of the church. They must do this
without holding back, giving money for anything the borrower requires to maintain an
adequate standard of living, or for tools and supplies to do his work. Then the lender is
commanded to totally and permanently nullify the entire debt at the end of each
Sabbath year, which occurs every seven years. God's law also states that, even if a
brother must borrow money at a time which is only a few months before the end of the
Sabbath year, a wealthy church member is not allowed to refuse to lend that brother the
money, even though he will never get his money back. A lender essentially must give
money freely to the needy, since he is frequently not allowed to ever get it back. Yet the
law says this lender is giving to the Lord God in doing this. So here we see how God's
law commands giving in addition to a tithe. Therefore, a tithe is not all God expected His
people to give.

Then there were many other laws requiring one to give to the Lord, in addition to the
tithe. Thus, any Christian who thinks that the Old Covenant law of the tithe is still
binding, and feels that he has dutifully fulfilled his obligation to God by tithing, while he
keeps all the rest of his income for his own selfish purposes, is just ignorant of God's
Word. But if that person knows God's Word, then tithes anyway, and does not have
compassion on others, but lives in luxury, and does not live modestly in the face of God,
it exposes him as a God hater. In reality, the New Covenant fulfills the law. So the Old
Covenant guideline of the tithe, which was for the average man, is nullified. In Christ's
New Covenant, each one gives according to one's means. We all live modestly, work
together for a common good in the calling and wisdom of God, and give not only all
excess material resources to our Owner and Lord, but also all our lives in total, with joy
and satisfaction in all we do.ἦν δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων, Νικόδημος ὄναμα
αὐτῷ, ἄρχων τῶν Ἰουδαίων· οὗτος ἦλθεν πρὸς Αὐτὸν νυκτὸς καὶ εἶπεν Αὐτῷ· Ῥαββί,
οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ἐλήλυθας διδάσκαλος· οὐδεὶς γὰρ δύναται ταῦτα τὰ σημεῖα ποιεῖν
ἃ Σὺ ποιεῖς ἐὰν μὴ ᾖ ὁ Θεὸς μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ. ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἀμὴν ἀμὴν
λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μὴ τις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν, οὐ δύναται ἰδεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ. λέγει
πρὸς Αὐτὸν ὁ Νικόδημος· πῶς δύναται ἄνθρωπος γεννηθῆναι γέρων ὤν; μὴ δύναται εἰς
τὴν κοιλίαν τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ δεύτερον εἰσελθεῖν καὶ γεννηθῆνα. ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· ἀμὴν
ἀμην λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μὴ τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ Πνεύματος, οὐ δύναται εἰσελθεῖν εἰς
τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ. τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς σάρξ ἐστιν, καὶ τὸ
γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ Πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστιν. μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι εἶπόν σοι δεῖ ὑμᾶς
γεννηθῆναι ἄνωθεν.

Translation: "Now there was a man out of the Pharisees, his name [being] Nicodemus,
a ruler of the Jews. This one came to Him during the night and said to Him: 'Rabbi, we
know that [You are] a teacher having come from God. For no one is able to do these
signs which You do, unless God might be with him.' Jesus answered and said to him,
'Truly and certainly I say to you, if anyone might not be born [again] from above, he is
never able to entirely see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, 'How is a man
176

able to be born, being old? He is not able to enter into the womb of his mother a second
time, thus to be born.' Jesus answered, 'Truly and certainly I say to you, if anyone might
not have been born out of water and Spirit, he is never able to fully enter into the
kingdom of God. That now existing and having been born out of flesh, is flesh. And that
now existing and having been born out of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed because
I told you it is necessary for you to be born [again] from above'" (John 3:1-7).

Comment: An adverbial genitive often modifies a verb, and this genitive of time (νυκτὸς,
"of night") is modifying the verb ἦλθεν ("he came"). So it indicates that he came "of
night" or "during the night." Wallace says, "With the genitive ... the emphasis is on
the kind of time in which Nicodemus came to see the Lord. The gospel writer puts a
great deal of emphasis on dark versus light; the genitive for time highlights it here." But
it emphasizes him coming in secret, thus in the dark. Now most of the Pharisees hated
Jesus, because the Pharisees were the most respected religious people among the
Jews. Unlike the Sadducees and secular Jews, the Pharisees believed the whole canon
of Old Testament Scriptures came from God, so was inerrant. Our Old Testament was
actually preserved through them. The Pharisees also frequently taught about the
coming Messiah of Israel, about eternal life in heaven, about the resurrection of the
dead, and about most of what Christians teach. Then many preached to unsaved
Gentiles as well, calling them to repent and turn to the living God. So they were
essentially evangelicals, Messianic believers who trusted in the whole of God's Word
and evangelized. But Jesus exposed their hypocrisy and errors. Thus Jesus threatened
their comfortable way of life and the order in their churches. He also threatened their
leaders' pride, positions of authority, respect and income -- by proving them to be fakes
and shams, false teachers. Consequently, the leaders of the Pharisees hated Jesus
more than anyone else did. Therefore, this text points out how Nicodemus, a leader
among the Pharisees, came to Jesus during the night, in secret. He was afraid of being
discovered by the other Pharisees, who would expel him from church if they found out
that he spoke, on friendly terms, with Jesus.

Nicodemus began this conversation with Jesus by explaining why he came. He did not
come to argue or oppose Jesus, but came because he, and apparently some others
among his people, truly believed that Jesus was a real teacher sent from God. That is,
he believed that Jesus, because of the miraculous signs Jesus gave, spoke the words
of God's teachings in prophecy. Any words coming directly from God, even words called
teachings, are prophecy, in contrast to normal and not-so-authoritative teachings from
elders and rabbis, which come from a human understanding of God's Word. Now what
Nicodemus said was a great complement as well, and saying something like that to any
other preacher would cause that preacher to be inflated with pride, to turn to thoughts of
himself. But Jesus simply ignored the complement and did not think of His Own glory.
Instead, Jesus saw the real need of the man and of his people, then spoke to that need.

Jesus knew the real problem of Nicodemus and his people, regarding their inability to
177

walk in God's ways. Their problem was that they did not focus on God and God's Holy
Spirit. Rather, they were almost entirely centered on man -- on man's flesh as Jewish
descendants in the blood of Abraham, on man's carnal interpretations of God's Word by
the brain of flesh, on man's form and outward appearances of religion. So the true elect
among them felt empty inside, as though their religion was getting nowhere, and was
not what it should be. So Jesus counseled Nicodemus to look to God in faith, for a
rebirth, to be created anew into a new life through the power and will of God, by God's
Holy Spirit.

Here Jesus was not just speaking about getting into heaven after death. In verse three,
Jesus first uses the aorist subjunctive passive form of the verb γεννηθῇ ("may have
already been born"), then the present (durative) indicative form of the verb δύναται ("he
is currently able"), with an aorist infinitive ἰδεῖν ("to see in total, to fully see, to completely
see"). So Jesus meant that, unless God might have already given rebirth to a person,
that one never has any current ability, in this life on earth, to fully see the kingdom of
God (a general 1st class condition). That is, one cannot perceive and understand the
truth which comes from God, which is given to His people of His kingdom, that is, to His
church. Of course, this also means the unregenerate soul will not "see" heaven either,
since he will never be allowed to enter heaven, only view it from a distance, from hell.

The same is true concerning verse five, where γεννηθῇ and δύναται are used again, but
with the aorist infinitive εἰσελθεῖν ("to fully or completely enter into"). Thus, one who "has
not already been born out of water and Spirit" is not now, in this life on earth, ever able
to completely and fully enter into the kingdom of God, which is His church on earth. One
who is not born again might go to a church, but that one can never truly become a part
of Christ's body, a chosen elect member of God's church. One must know God's inner
cleansing through Christ's justification, and must be renewed in spirit by Jesus' Holy
Spirit to be one of His people, a true member of the church. The one having been born
out of flesh is now, today, flesh. But the one having been reborn out of God's Holy Spirit
is now, today, a new spirit. So Jesus is primarily teaching about a believer's life on
earth, life in the flesh, but a walk by the spirit's faith, bearing a new heart from God's
Holy Spirit.δυνάμενοι ἐν βάρει εἶναι ὡς Χριστοῦ ἀπόστολοι· ἀλλὰ ἐγενήθημεν ἤπιοι ἐν
μέσῳ ὑμῶν, ὡς ἐὰν τροφὸς θάλπῃ τὰ ἑαυτῆς τέκνα· οὕτως ὁμειρόμενοι ὑμῶν
ηὐδοκοῦμεν μεταδοῦναι ὑμῖν, οὐ μόνον τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς ἑαυτῶν
ψυχάς, διότι ἀγαπητοὶ ἡμῖν ἐγενήθητε. μνημονεύετε γάρ, ἀδελφοί, τὸν κόπον ἡμῶν καὶ
τὸν μόχθον. νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐργαζόμενοι πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαί τινα ὑμῶν
ἐκηρύξαμεν εἰς ὑμᾶς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ.

Translation: "[We were] able to be the means of being a burden [to you], as apostles of
Christ. [This is a 'concessive use of the participle which qualifies the fact, "we never
came requiring honor," by asserting the principle that the authority demand for honor
inheres in their place of preponderance of Christ's apostles' (R&R). The participle,
infinitive, and preposition ἐν indicate that they had the right to be a burden to them, to
178

receive pay and care, as apostles.] But we became gentle in the midst of you, as though
[we were] a nurse [who] might continuously cherish the children given to her. Just so,
longing with desire for you, we were always well pleased to share among you, not only
the Gospel of God, but also the souls of ourselves, for the reason that you became
beloved to us. For remember, brothers, our exhausting labor and troublesome
toil. Working during the night and during the day towards the goal of not having to
burden anyone among you, we preached the Gospel of God to you" (I Thes. 2:7-9).

Comment: Here the verb follows after the two genitives of time, and that verb is a
present participle. The genitives indicate that the apostles worked sometimes during the
day and sometimes during the night, but not all night and not all day. "The stress is not
on the duration, but on the kind of time in which they worked" (Wallace). The days in the
Mediterranean area were about 12 hours, and so were the nights. But a worker never
worked at night, since it was dark, of course, and they did not have very good lighting.
Also, candles and lamp oil were expensive. But a teacher could teach at night. So this
seems to be suggesting that the apostles applied their trades as manual workmen by
day, then taught by night -- and during the daylight hours of the Sabbath days too.

While the pagans had many itinerate philosophers who taught for pay, Jewish teachers
taught for free. By custom, a Jewish rabbi would learn a trade and earn his keep from
that trade, as well as study and teach, so he would not be a burden to God's people.
However, most of the better rabbis had no time to earn their own living, while teaching
large numbers of disciples. So, in such a case, the people in the rabbi's church, and / or
some of his disciples, might operate the rabbi's business for him, in order to support
him. Otherwise, a wealthy person, or bunch of less wealthy persons, might support a
rabbi by giving him a wage directly. Paul himself stopped working at his trade as a
tentmaker immediately after he received enough income to carry on as a full-time
preacher (Acts 18:3,5, cf. II Cor. 11:7-9). After all, a gifted and called teacher of God's
Word was not required by God's law to support himself. On the contrary, God's law
required the people to support the teacher. A true teacher from God was considered
well worthy of his pay, just as also God's law commanded the people to support the
Levitical priests who taught God's Word full-time. And the teachers were to be given
enough to adequately support their family as well, in the same way as Levitical priests
were, and like the apostle Peter was given enough to support his wife (e.g., I Cor.
9:5).καὶ ναὸν οὐκ εἶδον ἐν αὐτῇ· ὁ γὰρ Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ ναὸς αὐτῆς ἐστιν,
καὶ τὸ ἀρνίον. καὶ ἡ πόλις οὐ χρείαν ἔχει τοῦ ἡλίου οὐδὲ τῆς σελήνης, ἵνα φαίνωσιν αὐτῇ·
ἡ γὰρ δόξα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐφώτισεν αὐτὴν, καὶ ὁ λύχνος αὐτῆς τὸ Ἀρνίον. καὶ
περιπατήσουσιν τὰ ἔθνη διὰ τοῦ φωτὸς αὐτῆς, καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς τῆς γῆς φέρουσιν τὴν
δόξαν αὐτῶν εἰς αὐτὴν· καὶ οἱ πυλῶνες αὐτῆς οὐ μὴ κλεισθῶσιν ἡμέρας, νὺξ γὰρ οὐκ
ἔσται ἐκεῖ· καὶ οἴσουσιν τὴν δόξαν καὶ τὴν τιμὴν τῶν ἐθνῶν εἰς αὐτὴν. καὶ οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ
εἰς αὐτὴν πᾶν κοινὸν καὶ ὁ ποιῶν βδέλυγμα καὶ ψεῦδος, εἰ μὴ οἱ γεγραμμένοι ἐν τῷ
βιβλίῳ τῆς ζωῆς τοῦ Ἀρνίου.
179

Translation: "And I did not see a temple in it, for the Lord God the almighty is its
temple, and the Lamb. Also the city has no need for the sun nor for the moon, in order
that they might shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp [is] the Lamb.
So the nations will walk about through its light, and the kings of the land will bring their
glorifying [of God] unto it. And its gates certainly never may be shut during the day, for
night shall not be there. Thus they will bring the glorifying [of God] and the honour [of
God] from the nations unto it. And every profane thing, also one creating an
abomination and lie, may absolutely never enter into it, [none] except those having been
written and remaining in the Lamb's book of life" (Rev. 21:22-27).

Comment: This is referring to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of peace and the
dwelling place of God, which shall descend upon the spiritual heaven's new land, with
its new sky. This will be a permanent and eternal land, made for God's people to dwell
forever. Of course, we are told that no flesh and blood shall enter this heaven (I Cor.
15:50), and that there will be a final burning or total destruction of the current earth and
the current skies (i.e., such as in II Pet. 3:10-13, which would include two of the three
"heavens" taught in the Bible, that is, the atmosphere around the earth, where birds fly
and clouds float, as well as outer space, where the sun, moon and stars exist). So this
eternal land in heaven somehow involves a new space-time continuum, with a new kind
of body for our spirits, and new kinds of land, trees, rivers and so on. We cannot
speculate on this too much, because we simply cannot imagine such a thing. All we
know is that it will not be like the earth, yet something like the earth, in that it has some
kind of form for the body and for all other things. So this means the earth was partially
patterned after the eternal land in heaven, which is our real home, the place where we
were created to live. But the earth is just a temporary structure made to serve as a tool
that works a building process by God in His elect children. So heaven also will have
many things somewhat like earth -- including some kinds of cities, nations, kings, rocks,
trees, waters and so on.Wallace also suggested that other examples of genitives of time
can be found in: Mat. 2:14; 14:25; 24:20; 28:13; Mark 6:48; Luke 2:8; 18:7; John
11:9,49; Acts 9:25; I Thes. 3:10; I Tim. 5:5 and Rev. 7:15.
c. Genitives of Place or SpaceThe genitive of place or space "indicates the
place within which the action of a verb occurs." Keep in mind, this is a category of
adverbial genitive, so it usually modifies a verb, or a verbal noun. And the action of the
verb is "of" the place or space indicated by the genitive. Therefore, the action takes
place inside the area of the place, or inside the volume of the space. So Wallace
suggests key words like "where," "within which," "in," "at" or occasionally "through" can
be used in the translation of the genitive, instead of the key word "of."Another point of
semantics mentioned by Wallace is that the genitive of place or space normally
describes the kind or quality of the place or space, not a specific location (like the dative
would). It is much like the genitive of time, which also indicates a kind of time. Now this
"kind" or "quality" may point to a specific place or space, but in a general manner, only
in order to provide an indication of the type of place or space. In the examples below,
Jesus was about to come through "of that," referring to the road Zacchaeus overlooked.
180

So it means, "He was about to come through that way" (here the key word "of" is simply
dropped off). An example of "space" can be where one was to dip "of water," which
means "dip within water" or simply "in water."A genitive of place or space is "somewhat
rare," but Wallace provided the following three examples. For each, the verb or word
modified is highlighted in green and the genitive of place or space is highlighted in
bluish green.ἐγένετο δὲ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πτωχὸν καὶ ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν
ἀγγέλων εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ· ἀπέθανεν δὲ καὶ ὁ πλούσιος καὶ ἐτάφη. καὶ ἐν τῷ ᾅδῃ
ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις, ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν καὶ
Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ. καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν· πάτερ Ἀβραὰμ, ἐλέησόν με
καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ ὕδατος καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν
γλωσσάν μου, ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ. εἶπεν δὲ Ἀβραάμ· τέκνον, μνήσθητι ὅτι
ἀπέλαβες τὰ ἀγαθά σου ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου, καὶ Λάζαρος ὁμοίως τὰ κακά· νῦν δὲ ὧδε
παρακαλεῖται, σὺ δὲ ὀδυνᾶσαι.

Translation: "Now the poor man happened to die and to be carried away by the angels,
[setting] him into the place of honour nearest Abraham. [i.e., κόλπος means "chest,
breast," but the phrase does not mean Lazarus went "into the chest" of Abraham, but "in
the place of honor at the banquet in the next world' (BDAG3).] Then the rich man also
died and was buried. So, in Hades, lifting up his eyes, existing in tortured agony, he saw
Abraham from far off, and Lazarus in the place of honour nearest him. Thus, calling [to
him], he said, 'Father, Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus, in order that he
might dip the tip of his finger within water and might cool off my tongue, because I suffer
anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you received the good
things for yourself in your life, and, in the same way, Lazarus the bad things. So now
here he is taken aside for counsel and comfort, but you suffer anguish" (Luke 16:22-25).

Comment: Here the verb is βάψῃ, the aorist subjunctive form of βάπτω ("dip"), a more
general term than βαπτίζω ("fully dip, completely dip under, immerse"). The
genitive ὕδατος ("of water") indicates the kind of substance into which the dipping was
to take place. So it referred to any water, not to a specific vessel or body of water (like a
dative would).

Note first that our Father God gives all His children names (fathers named children in
those days), but God does not name the children of the devil. He leaves that to their
own father, Satan. Thus, Jesus called the one who went to heaven by a name, Lazarus
(a Hebrew name which seems to mean "God is my help"). But Jesus did not call the rich
man, who went to Hades (Hell), by any name, and only referred to him as a rich man.
Now Jesus also made another point by doing this. Remember, the rich man was a
descendant of Abraham physically, but went to hell anyway. So Jesus was saying that
being a physical descendant of Abraham is only one factor involved in His calling any
particular person a true Israelite or Jew. Yes, God promised to be God to Abraham's
physical descendants, and to elect them as His people. But God only promised this for
some of Abraham's descendants, as God made abundantly clear through the sign that
181

only Isaac was chosen and allowed to inherit Abraham's blessing of God's covenant,
not any of Abraham's other children. So God, not a man, makes us members of His
church.

Only those whose spirits are also born of God are truly God's chosen people of Israel.
Nevertheless, as we know from other Scriptures (like Rom. 11:28-29), many Jews, who
do not now believe in Jesus as their Messiah, are God's beloved elect, and will go to
heaven. For they have been blinded by God for a time, so that they do not yet recognize
Jesus as their Messiah, until the full number of Gentiles enter the church of Israel. For
those who are elect Jews actually do acknowledge that the Messiah will be sent by God
to rule the earth, since they believe the Old Testament writings about the Messiah. And
they speak in hope of Him. Yet God now prevents them from recognizing Jesus, until
the prophesied appointed time -- which will be when Jesus, the One they pierced,
returns.

Here we also see that the attitudes and delusions of the rich man still exist as he lingers
in the torments of hell, exactly the same delusions and lies that ruled his heart before he
died. Namely, as a rich man, he believed worldly lies delineating the status of men. So
he assumed Lazarus was nothing, since Lazarus was merely a beggar. Now, after
death, Lazarus was carried by angels to a place of honour closest to Abraham,
indicating that Lazarus was actually a person of great stature and worth in the eyes of
God. But the rich man died and went to hell, simply, without any honour or dignity
indicated in any way whatsoever. Only his body received one last dignity, to be buried,
likely with an elaborate funeral to honour that body, which would soon rot with worms.
But now that his spirit existed forever in hell, he called out to Abraham, whom he
obviously honored in life. Yet he arrogantly begged Abraham to command Lazarus to
come to him, to comfort him.

So there we have it. Now the rich man had become the beggar, yet an arrogant one.
Even in hell, even in the face of all the clear evidence proving the reality that Lazarus
was a greater and more exalted person than he was himself, the rich man still believed
that the once lowly beggar on earth was still nothing, that Lazarus was still of sub-
human status, only fit to serve him. Also notice that the rich man did not speak to
Lazarus himself. The rich man never asked Lazarus, as an equal, "Will you dip your
finger in water and come to me, to cool my tongue?" After all, the rich would not stoop to
speaking to a beggar directly, but would get someone else to do it. One would think that
he would see reality and even try addressing Lazarus as "sir" or some such thing, now
that the true status was revealed for all to see. Yet the rich man still would not
acknowledge such a thing. Instead, he spoke only to Abraham, with whom he thought
he had equal status.

So what kind of anguish and torture did the rich man feel in hell? We find a clue to this
in the words Jesus proclaimed from Abraham, when Abraham told the rich man that he
182

had received good things during his life on earth. Now the rich man could never again
receive anything more. Jesus also repeated such things: "Yet woe to you, the rich
[disciples], because you have received your consolation and counsel. Woe to you, those
having been well fed and remaining full now, because you will hunger. Woe, those
laughing now, because you will mourn and lament" (Luke 6:24-25). So, is the torment of
hell referring to the selfish and wicked desires of the spirit never being gratified? After
all, this torture cannot be physical, since nothing physical exists in spiritual places like
heaven or hell.

Now we can assume Jesus intended us learn accurate truths about heaven and hell
through this parable. Also, we know a spirit must have some kind of a body in heaven
and possibly hell, but it is called a spiritual body, made of a spiritual substance. Thus, it
could not feel physical pain, only a spiritual kind of pain. So, what is a spiritual kind of
pain? Can we surmise that hell involves being abandoned to one's own lies and
delusions, with all their associated desires forever ungratified in any way? It only makes
sense that the spiritual darkness would be a reference to the spiritual delusions and lies
which God abandons them to bear forever, with the spiritual fires of their burning lusts
and desires consuming them forever, never being gratified or quenched, eating at their
spirits like a multitude of worms which never die. These would be the same delusions
and lies, with the same lusts and desires, that were found in their hearts while they lived
on earth.

On the other hand, Abraham spoke about how Lazarus was taken aside for counsel and
comfort. Most translations interpret the verb παρακαλέω as "comfort, consolation."
However, I seriously doubt that this is what was meant by the word either here or Luke
6:24. Neither the Jews nor Gentiles would likely think of this verb as strictly referring to
"comfort," since both valued the words of men. In Luke 6:24, Jesus probably meant the
rich were called aside and flattered, or advised on how to invest their money (often in
exploitive ways), or warned about those who might cost them some expense, but also
were listened to as though their every word was important. Then in this passage (v. 25),
it would refer to Abraham's counsel to Lazarus about any of his wrong thinking, with
consolation that explained his suffering. And it would allude to the judgment day as well.

In biblical judgments, a solution was supposed to be found, not just revenge, like the
pagans sought. If someone could be corrected, so they truly repented and attempted to
restore what they unjustly caused another to lose, then this was best. And there was no
minimum penalty, so the sinner or criminal could even be set free without a penalty.
Only if a person could not be corrected into repentance, was that person to be punished
to the full extent of the law. Thus Lazarus, if he believed any false doctrines or lies on
earth, would be corrected and purified in his thinking. This is the privilege of all those
who are God's true children. They shall not be abandoned to their delusions or lies, to
suffer the burning of the ungratified desires of those delusions eternally. Rather, we
shall all be perfected when we come to our God, to our Lord Jesus, on that great
183

judgment day.καὶ εἰσελθὼν διήρχετο τὴν Ἰεριχώ. καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ὀνόματι καλούμενος
Ζακχαῖος, καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἀρχιτελώνης, καὶ αὐτὸς πλούσιος· καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν τίς
ἐστιν, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου, ὅτι τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν. καὶ προδραμὼν εἰς τὸ
ἔμπροσθεν ἀνέβη ἐπὶ συκομορέαν, ἵνα ἴδῃ Αὐτόν, ὅτι ἐκείνης ἤμελλεν διέρχεσθαι. καὶ
ὡς ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὸν τόπον, ἀναβλέψας ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν· Ζακχαῖε, σπεύσας
κατάβηθι· σήμερον γὰρ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ σου δεῖ Με μεῖναι.

Translation: "And having entered Jericho, He was passing through. Here was seen a
man being called by the name Zacchaeus, and he was a chief tax-collector, and he
[was] rich. Now he was seeking to find out who Jesus was, yet was not able to [see]
from the crowd, because he was short in stature. So, having run ahead to the front, he
ascended upon a sycamore tree, in order that he might observe Him, because He was
about to pass through that [way]. Then, as Jesus came upon the place, looking up, He
said to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down quickly! For today, in your house, it is necessary
for Me to stay" (Luke 19:1-5).

Comment: The genitive demonstrative ἐκείνης is feminine here because it's implied
antecedent would be the feminine noun ἡ ὁδός ("the way, road, path"). In this instance,
the verb which the genitive modifies (διέρχεσθαι) has a prefix of διά. So, since the
genitive here suggests the key word "through" ("through that [way]"), but the verb
already means "to pass through," it is not necessary to use any key word before the
genitive.

In this text, it says Zacchaeus was seeking to find out more about Jesus. This is what
the Holy Spirit of God does in men. He makes us seek to know Jesus in a most
profound and incomprehensibly personal manner. The Holy Spirit always hovers around
the lives of God's elect, from before birth, even when we are little children. He frequently
whispers to us, and sometimes calls, long before we truly know Jesus. Then the time
comes when He makes circumstances for us to find Jesus, to be found by Jesus, and to
repent to Jesus.

Just before this event of finding Jesus, the Holy Spirit reveals much hard truth about
ourselves to our hearts and minds, proving to us that we are nothing, and have nothing
of value in our lives. Clearly, He was doing this in the life of Zacchaeus, making him
yearn for something greater than the things of this world, for what is more than riches
and more than any physical pleasure found on earth. Jesus' Spirit shows us the
emptiness of our lives, and the full glory of His life in truth, making us desire His higher
calling, to seek for treasures of heaven, for the blessings of His reality, for love in
righteousness, for a holy love in God. We want to love Him, and be loved by Him, and to
love others in God's family, without pretense, in truth. Yet that Holy Spirit does not ever
make us seek these things directly, as some in the world teach us to do. Some want
truth, justice, love, peace, joy and all things of God, without God, without Jesus.
However, the real Holy Spirit of the one and only God invariably and always turns us to
184

Jesus, and to Jesus alone, with His Word. For only Jesus is the way, the truth and the
life. And none can get to heaven, or truly know God our Father, except through Him
(John 14:6). There is only one way to find what is truly satisfying to the soul and spirit of
the heart, and that is through Jesus.

Then notice Jesus saw all things. Jesus did not pass by the great inner desire and
desperate longing of Zacchaeus, without seeing him. Rather, Jesus saw him on the
tree, even while the crowd was pressing around Him. When the appointed time comes,
Jesus knows and acts, doing all that needs to be done for the salvation of the spirit and
the heart. That day Jesus called Zacchaeus by name -- which is likely a miracle, since
Jesus probably was never introduced to Zacchaeus. How could Jesus know his name?
Yet we know that, when Jesus calls us, He is already very familiar with us, to the
extreme. His Holy Spirit speaks to us with more knowledge about ourselves than we
have about ourselves, and cuts through our vain delusions about ourselves like a hot
knife through warm butter. So, yes, Jesus noticed and called Zacchaeus. And
Zacchaeus responded, because he could do nothing less before the command of his
Lord. Then Zacchaeus repented fully, giving up most of his wealth in order to serve
God's love righteously.τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, ὃς ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ
ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ, ἀλλὰ Ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν
δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος. καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς
ἄνθρωπος, ἐταπείνωσεν Ἑαυτὸν γενόμενος ὑπήκοος μέχρι
θανάτου, θανάτου δὲ σταυροῦ.

Translation: "Always hold this opinion among you, which also [is] in Christ Jesus. [He is
the One] who, continuously existing in the outward form of God, did not regard being
equal with God [as] that which is stealing [from God's right to all glory and honour], but
emptied Himself [of personal advantage], taking the outward form of a slave, becoming
[a being] in the likeness of men. And being found as a man in outward appearance, He
made Himself lowly in social status, becoming submissive unto death, even death on
cross" (Philp. 2:5-8).

Comment: This example text is also found under the title "Genitives of Production."
Wallace said this might also be an example of a genitive of means too, "death by means
of a cross." In a way, it is a genitive of place, production and means all at once. But
keep in mind the theology taught by this text, namely that Jesus, our God, loved us so
much that He submitted to being beaten and tortured to death for our sakes, to pay the
penalty for our sins and crimes. He emptied Himself until He was of the lowest possible
social status, which was necessary in order to be hung on a cross, since the cross was
the method of execution for only those whom the Romans did not classify as having full
human status. Jesus did this for those of us who are so lowly in the eyes of the world.

Furthermore, this love of Jesus was greater than anything we can imagine. When we
get a little sick with a cold or flu, even when we have medications and so on, we can
185

barely think of anyone but our own poor selves, in selfish and ignorant ways. Yet Jesus
went through horrifying torture and pain leading to death, all the while thinking of the
welfare of His people. This is a love stronger than anything we can ever know. So we
can talk about the knowledge of Jesus, in putting down false doctrines of men, or the
power of Jesus to perform miracles. And these are indeed very godly and wonderful
things, even things which are acts of love. Still, when Jesus died on that cross, without
selfish words or thoughts, the proof He made of love was His greatest and most
powerful work of all.Wallace also mentioned two metaphorical examples. One is
possibly φωτίσει τὰ κρυπτὰ τοῦ σκότους ("He will shed light upon the things hidden in
the darkness," I Cor 4:5), and the other is possibly ὁ κρυπτὸς τῆς καρδίας ("what is
hidden in the heart," I Pet. 3:4). Both genitives modify a noun meaning "hidden thing[s],"
but it is a verbal noun indicating the action of hiding. And both genitives indicate a place
within which something is hidden.
d. Genitives of MeansA genitive of means expresses how an action is performed,
that is, "the means or instrumentality" by which the action is performed. Therefore, it
usually modifies a verbal noun, verbal adjective or verb -- a word which indicates an
action of some sort. And it can most often be translated with the key word "by" in front
of it. Since the genitive indicates a means or instrument by which the action is
performed, that genitive will not represent a person, but rather a "thing." For example,
"righteousness of faith" means "righteousness by means of faith" or
"righteousness performed by acting through the belief that God's Holy Spirit is teaching
one's spirit in the heart, trusting in God and in His Word that He teaches, all with full
confidence that one is safe from condemnation because Jesus paid the whole penalty
for one's sins."As Wallace points out, in koine Greek, a means or instrument performing
an action was more often indicated with the use of the more explicit preposition ἐκ + a
genitive. So using a bare genitive for this purpose was quite rare. Also, a bare dative
case is more normally used to indicate a straight "means" ("by means of [something]").
Thus, the genitive of means may sometimes indicate a little more, like "by the means of
and also partly by the cause of."For the reasons stated above, Wallace says that a
genitive of means is "quite rare." Still, Wallace gave the following examples. In each
example, the word modified by the genitive is highlighted in green and the genitive of
means is highlighted in bluish green.μακάριος ἀνὴρ οὗ οὐ μὴ λογίσηται Κύριος
ἀμαρτίαν. ὁ μακαρισμὸς οὖν οὗτος ἐπὶ τὴν περιτομὴν ἢ καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν ἀκροβυστίαν;
λέγομεν γάρ· ἐλογίσθη τῷ Ἀβραὰμ ἡ πίστις εἰς δικαιοσύνην. πῶς οὖν ἐλογίσθη; ἐν
περιτομῇ ὄντι ἢ ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ; οὐκ ἐν περιτομῇ ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ. καὶ σημεῖον ἔλαβεν
περιτομῆς, σφραγῖδα τῆς δικαιοσύνης τῆς πίστεως τῆς ἐν τῇ ἀκροβυστίᾳ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι
αὐτὸν πατέρα πάντων τῶν πιστευόντων δι᾽ ἀκροβυστίας, εἰς τὸ λογισθῆναι αὐτοῖς τὴν
δικαιοσύνην, καὶ πατέρα περιτομῆς τοῖς οὐκ ἐκ περιτομῆς μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς
στοιχοῦσιν τοῖς ἴχνεσιν τῆς ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ πίστεως τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἀβραάμ.

Translation: "Blessed [is] a man upon whom the Lord would never impute a sin. Then,
[is] this blessedness upon the [people of] circumcision, or also upon the [people] not
circumcised? For we say faith was imputed to Abraham [as that which is] unto
186

righteousness. Thus, how was it imputed? [Was it when he was in a state of] being in
circumcision or in uncircumcision? [It was] not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision!
Then he received a sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness by and from faith,
this while in [the state of] uncircumcision, for the purpose that he is to be a father of all
of those believing, through [a life remaining in a state of] uncircumcision, for the purpose
that righteousness is to be imputed to them. And [he is] a father of [the people of]
circumcision -- for those not from circumcision only, but also for those walking in the
steps of faith of our father Abraham [while he was] in uncircumcision" (Rom. 4:8-12).

Comment: This text is also found above under the heading "Genitives of Apposition."
The whole phrase ("of the righteousness by and from faith") is in apposition to the noun
"a seal," indicating an example in the category of what are called "seals." But the phrase
is actually used to clarify what is meant by God sealing us. That is, God seals us, with
His mark of ownership upon us, in order to set us aside for His special purposes, which
includes making us righteous. Also, faith is credited or imputed or counted as that which
is εἰς δικαιοσύνην, or moving and progressing "into righteousness." Thus, this is how the
righteousness from God functions. The genitive τῆς πίστεως ("of faith") follows after and
modifies the other genitive verbal noun τῆς δικαιοσύνης ("of righteousness"), indicating
how Abraham's righteousness, and thus our righteousness from God, is performed, how
it functions in daily life. Righteousness operates and is partly caused by "faith."

Of course, our Father God, through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, is the first cause
and original source of all righteousness. But "how" does He produce righteousness in
our daily lives? To work in our lives, God first grants us faith to trust Him. This gift of
faith is the "means" or "instrument" through which He works in our lives. It enables us to
participate in the kind of righteous love that God prompts, compels and calls us to
perform. For we must trust God before we are able to hear Him when He speaks to our
spirits, to teach us His truth of His Word rightly, to reveal applications of His truth in
wisdom from His Holy Spirit, to counsel us through our trials and decisions, as His
power sets the course of our path into all that is needed to accomplish His purposes in
life. And nothing of this kind of faith is possible if we first do not bear confidence in His
love for us, that He indeed will act for our good and not for our harm. So we need to
begin our walk of faith by entirely trusting that Jesus' sacrifice of death paid the full and
complete price for all our sins (past, present, and future), with the result that God no
longer condemns us, so He will never hand us over permanently to deception or
spiritual harm. Our Father God will only allow that which ultimately works for our spiritual
good, which works towards His goal of our eternal spiritual salvation. Even hard times,
or times of discipline, will work for our good in the end, to teach us and shape us into
what is right.ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου ἐλάβομεν ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ
Θεοῦ, ἵνα εἰδῶμεν τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ χαρισθέντα ἡμῖν· ἃ καὶ λαλοῦμεν οὐκ
ἐν διδακτοῖς ἀνθρωπίνης σοφίας λόγοις, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν διδακτοῖς Πνεύματος, πνευματικοῖς
πνευματικὰ συγκρίνοντες. ψυχικὸς δὲ ἄνθρωπος οὐ δέχεται τὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ
Θεοῦ· μωρία γὰρ αὐτῷ ἐστιν, καὶ οὐ δύναται γνῶναι, ὅτι πνευματικῶς ἀνακρίνεται. ὁ δὲ
187

πνευματικὸς ἀνακρίνει μὲν πάντα, αὐτὸς δὲ ὑπ᾽ οὐδενὸς ἀνακρίνεται. τίς γὰρ ἔγνω νοῦν
Κυρίου, ὃς συμβιβάσει Αὐτόν; ἡμεῖς δὲ νοῦν Χριστοῦ ἔχομεν.

Translation: "But we did not receive the spirit of the world but the Spirit which is out of
God, in order that we might know the things freely given to us from God; which things
we also utter, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in [words] taught by the Spirit,
continuously comparing the contrasting or harmonious underlying principles of spiritual
things with [other] spiritual things [through careful thought, judgment and discernment].
Yet a natural person does not receive things from the Spirit of God. For, to him, they are
foolishness, and he cannot know [such things], because they are spiritually examined
and judged step by step. So, on the one hand, the spiritual man methodically examines
and judges all things, while on the other hand he is methodically examined and judged
by none. For who has known the mind of the Lord? Who will instruct Him [as to how
things should be]? However, we have the mind of Christ!" (I Cor. 2:12-16).

Comment: Here we see the genitives ἀνθρωπίνης σοφίας ("of human wisdom")
modifying an adjective, διδακτοῖς, the masculine dative plural form
of διδακτός ("taught"). It is used with a dative noun to indicate "taught words" or "words
taught," and is a verbal adjective since it suggests the action of teaching. The genitives
behind this adjective thus express how the action of teaching took place. The means or
instrument is "by human wisdom," so it is a genitive of means. By the way, following
this, we find a similar construction, ἐν διδακτοῖς Πνεύματος ("in [words] taught by the
Spirit"). There the "Spirit" [i.e., of God] is the "personal agent" who did the teaching. So
it involves a "genitive of agency," which is somewhat like a genitive of means, except
that it refers to a person and not to a thing.

This chapter speaks about God's wisdom, placing it in direct contrast with the so-called
"wisdom" of the world. This particular kind of wisdom from God is the domain of mature
males only, and only if they are fully known and ruled by Christ. It can only be learned
by truly Christian males. Then it can only be taught by mature Christian males, after
they have been taught and rebuked by the Holy Spirit for years. All true teachers of
God's Word in the true church (elders, pastors, missionaries) are mature males given
the calling of the Lord by grace alone, those who have received a free gift of
understanding and instruction from Jesus' Holy Spirit, to search out and find the true
essence of principles operating behind spiritual matters, to teach and make judgments
wisely.

Now this kind of wisdom also requires a gift of a physical brain of a certain kind, as well
as spiritual knowledge directly from God. For God created all, and sovereignly rules
over all, even over physical matters. And God's Word tells us that God gives the
spiritual gift of this kind of wisdom, for teaching and judging in spiritual matters, only to
some mature males in His church. From birth, these true teachers of God's Word are
called and physically equipped for their calling, with what is needed for their work. God
188

gives them a brain able to process the logic and reason taught by Him. For He created
all things with His wisdom, where wisdom is like a bride of God, a helpmate. And
wisdom also becomes highly cherished by these men called by God, almost like a wife
to them as well. They feed and care for wisdom, share their innermost thoughts with
her, take much time to listen to her words, and love her. So God raises up and grants
this level of His gift of spiritual wisdom for teaching and judging in spiritual matters,
through His Holy Spirit's work, to only a few men, only to those whom He has physically
enabled to receive it and work with it. Only a few of all Christian men are truly called to
teach and judge, and they themselves are judged more strictly by God, because they
know what is holy or unholy, what is true or false, making them more culpable for all
things, in their own lives and in the lives of those given to them. But no woman is ever
granted this kind of wisdom.

However, truly Christian women can develop a different kind of wisdom, although they
are not physically able to work in this particular kind of wisdom indicated in this chapter,
since God made their physical brains for a different function. Of course, a Christian
woman's wisdom is not a worldly wisdom, and is also from the Holy Spirit alone. But a
woman's kind of wisdom is based on the principles taught by a man's kind of wisdom.
And a woman's kind of wisdom deals with matters of mankind, with everything from
spiritual family and church relationships, to physical care for children and all persons,
with an unconditional kind of loyalty in righteous love. A woman's wisdom does not
involve judgments in spiritual matters. Actually, some Christian women are so gifted in
this kind of wisdom from God, that even the wisest men cannot fathom it, just as even
the wisest of women cannot fathom the kind of wisdom given to men. So a female
cannot purely, correctly, and deeply delve into logical relationships between spiritual
principles, and fully comprehend how they affect things, in order to authoritatively teach
true doctrine or judge spiritual matters. Thus, a woman simply is not able to become a
teacher, and thus a judge in the true church, nor ever be a wise spiritual leader of men.

If mature Christian men have been thoroughly taught by Christ's Holy Spirit, they can
then methodically examine and come to a right judgment about all other men and all
other matters, spiritual or physical (since physical matters are always indirectly factors
or consequences of spiritual things). But each individual man does not ever have all the
wisdom of God's Holy Spirit directly in his mind, even though he has access to the Holy
Spirit who knows all things in all areas of wisdom. Actually, each individual elder in the
church is normally given some degree of specialization in one particular area of wisdom
or another. Thus the Lord calls up several men in each local church group, so that they
rely on each other, with fear of God, and depend on the Head, not on themselves. For a
mature Christian man can only bear whatever wisdom is freely given to him, because
the mind of Christ lives inside him, directing his thoughts as his Lord and God. So part
of being granted the gift of wisdom has to do with a God-given physical gift of
intelligence, and in one particular area of intelligence only. But this physical gift is only a
very small part of wisdom from God. Primarily, God's wisdom depends on what God's
189

Spirit decides to grant the spirit of an elect sinner by grace. So even the most intelligent
man of this world cannot even begin to understand what the wise Christian man knows
from God, thus cannot judge, in spiritual terms, whether a Christian man, or his words,
are right, wrong, good or evil. Yet, in terms of seeing clearly bad effects, or plain
contradictions in logic, even the most average man of this world can often tell when a
religion is false.

Now, since this is speaking so much about wisdom, it might be fruitful to look more
closely at a few key words indicating the kind of wisdom and thought talked about here.
First, in the quote above, the word εἰδῶμεν is the 1st person plural subjunctive of the
plain old word οἶδα, which is a defective perfect tense of εἴδω. Thus, it refers to knowing
by seeing, with the effects of that seeing emphasized. Here it is about seeing and
knowing "things freely given out of God," spiritual things which leave a permanent
impression on both the mind of the spirit and the mind of the flesh, things remaining in
heart and brain.

Then Paul explains that these things, which are directly from God (because they are
"out of" God, where God is the direct Agent granting these "things"), are not taught by
means of human wisdom, but by the Holy Spirit. Greco-Roman schools taught the
wisdom and doctrines of philosophies invented in their own minds. So they required a
novice disciple to go through a training period, whereby they used lectures, rituals, tests
and devices of men to thoroughly indoctrinate a disciple. Then, if the disciple believed
and followed their teachings without question, he was approved by leading members of
the school. So he was given an accolade from them, much like a degree or diploma,
indicating that he "towed the line" and would be able to be able to teach the same cult
doctrines as they did themselves. In other words, the pagan schools functioned very
much like our secular colleges and universities. Now our Bible colleges are patterned
after this image too, but also use more modern factory-style methods of human wisdom
(for instructing and indoctrinating masses of disciples at a time, but by the same pagan
principles). Thus, our Bible colleges utterly reject the slower, more personal biblical
methods of teaching, used by Jesus and the apostles. Yet Paul is here telling us that
they, the apostles truly sent out by God, were not taught like pagan priests and scholars
in the secular institutions of learning. Rather, the men sent by God Himself had received
individual and personal instruction, in words of reason and explanation (ἐν λόγοις), all
directly from God's Spirit.

How does this knowledge from God's Holy Spirit work in us? Paul briefly describes the
process with the word συγκρίνοντες, a present [durative] participle of συγκρίνω, which
refers to "an ongoing process of comparing, contrasting, combining, harmonizing one
principle or piece of evidence with another." It is a compound of σύν ("together with")
and κρίνω ("judge"). Thus, especially in biblical Jewish terms, it suggests a process
which begins by separating information into various categories, by making distinctions
between what is true or false, relevant or irrelevant, effective or ineffective, beneficial or
190

harmful, good or bad in terms of producing desired long-term effects, and so on -- all
according to how the Holy Spirit convicts the heart and mind, through God's Word and
through experiential knowledge interpreted by Him. Then, after sorting out facts and
principles, it involves a process of judging, finding logical conflicts in the body of
information, or else harmonizing what rationally fits together, to arrive at a correct and
wise conclusion.

Now the neuter accusative and dative plural forms of the adjective πνευματικός, used
substantively, indicate what things are examined and compared with what other things
in this process of making a judgment. That is, "spiritual things" are compared with
"spiritual things." So this is about rationally and carefully pondering and meditating upon
words of reason regarding spiritual things. It may compare or contrast things taught by
God's Spirit to those taught by human wisdom. The man of God weighs the so-called
"wisdom" of the world against the wisdom taught by God. But mostly, his work involves
piecing together and harmonizing all underlying principles that bear up the doctrines
and ways of God. For, after one is taught by Jesus' Holy Spirit, one begins to see the
beautiful uniformity, harmony, symmetry and consistency of God's mind, in all the Holy
Spirit teaches through His Word, and in all God's creation too. Then one also begins to
see the countless fundamental contradictions and the outright foolishness of doctrines
and principles taught by the world. But there are literally no conflicting principles found
in God's Word. The more we know His real truth, the more we find truly pure reasoning.

Then Paul tells us that a "natural person," one who knows only the thoughts of the
intellect from the brain of flesh, does not have the capability of knowing these spiritual
things. It is impossible for him to ever "receive" or learn these things, because this kind
of knowledge and wisdom can never come from books or words of men, not even from
truly Christian men, but only from God's Spirit. Men who are taught by God's Spirit, can
facilitate and guide, sharpen and provide directing influence. But all truly called teachers
from God will always beg men to pray with the careful examination of God's Word, so
that all will be taught directly by Jesus' Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Teacher, and men can
only aspire to becoming faculty assistants to the one and only true Teacher. After all,
these truths and principles are based on the "big picture," and only the Holy Spirit can
always maintain a full awareness of all things in His mind, then teach and remind us
about whatever we need to know, along with countless supporting details. Then Jesus'
Holy Spirit also rebukes, admonishes and corrects our thinking, reminding us of things
which our flesh never wants to face. He opens up our eyes to look realistically at all
things, present and past, personal and corporate, so we begin to understand what led to
what, and how God allowed each effect to occur because of certain causes and
purposes. It all begins to fit together. But those who are not taught by Jesus' Holy Spirit
must focus upon whatever their master commands them. A person of the world sees
only a narrow and distorted picture of a few things, ignoring all else, even the most
relevant facts.
191

Thus, to describe how the wisdom of God develops, Paul used present indicative forms
of the verb ἀνακρίνω. This is a compound of ἀνά ("step by step, methodically")
and κρίνω("judge, separate, discern"). So this speaks about engaging in a process of
carefully and methodically examining facts and evidence, sifting and sorting this
information, using reason and logic, then coming to a conclusion or judgment about the
matter. Now, since the wisdom of God must account for spiritual data, which is actually
underlying and causing all physical things seen outwardly, the natural man cannot
possibly even begin to grasp what God teaches us. The natural man is only given a
desire and ability to see what his master Satan allows him to see, thus normally
receives and believes only what he wants to believe from those desires, except when
God, the Lord of lords, intervenes at times. Consequently, all that is real, all that
operates according to principles which the one and only real Creator God presides over,
is just foolishness in the eyes of a natural man. For example, Greek and Roman
humanists were all about status, about "being" something. So, to them, talk about a God
who comes in the flesh and dies to pay the penalty of sin for criminals, slaves and other
persons of "non-human" status was absurd, and they mocked it to no end. Thus, the
natural man goes on continuously striving for foolish worldly things in his short-sighted,
irrational, carnal, unjust and unrealistic ways. The entire history of the world is tragic,
where almost all we see is how one group of carnal people oppressed, exploited and
killed another. Also, almost all the so-called "great" and "wise" men in history have been
fools who dealt out ignorant and foolish injustice, which worldly souls deceitfully
rationalize in their own deluded minds.

Clearly, the so-called "wisdom" of the world is not what we want. Over and over and
over again, throughout all history, we have seen its ill effects. Yet should we reject all
physical knowledge, as that which is not spiritual? Or should we separate physical
knowledge into a different category and say it has nothing to do with spiritual
knowledge? Should we reject the physical entirely, in order to be more spiritual? Or
should we forbid all spiritual inferences when we talk about physical truth, while
forbidding all physical inferences while speaking about spiritual truths? Is all reality and
truth actually so irreconcilably divided? It was in the minds of the humanists, especially
the Platonic philosophers. But is it so in God's Word? Did not God, who is Spirit, create
all physical things, and ultimately for eternal spiritual purposes too? So why can't
physical things be spiritual, or have spiritual applications? For example, Jesus came in
physical flesh and died a physical death for ultimately spiritual and eternal purposes.
So, on the one hand, we must not accept the "wisdom" of the world, its carnal theories
and philosophies from Satan, which indeed are spiritual, even when they deny the very
existence of God and spiritual things. On the other hand, if something physical is
actually true and real, then it has been made true and real by God for His spiritual
reasons. Yet I often see Christians superstitiously and ignorantly reject scientific facts,
just because they think those truths about God's creation are not spiritual, or because
those who teach those truths are not Christians.
192

Of course it is true that academics and scientists have lied throughout history, often
deliberately suppressing truth. However, God created the physical reality of all things,
and studies like science put forth observations of that physical reality. Also, even if an
evil fool says something true among his lies, that truth remains true. So, yes, we must
oppose the evil and destructive words and philosophies of academia and science, but
not the real facts (when separated from the false so-called "facts" of science and
academia). And we do not hate those who teach lies, since we don't know who among
them are actually God's elect. But we know this, all positively true scientific and
historical facts are always harmonious with what God's Word teaches, and should not
be rejected.

Now some may point out that Hitler's regime based their policies on "modern science,"
especially a so-called "scientific fact" that their race was superior to all others, and the
"logic" that all inferior races and individuals should be eliminated to purify the human
race, through genocide and eugenics programs. Still, we cannot judge the whole
science of genetics based on what those scientists taught and did. And, yes,
evolutionists willfully suppress scientific facts supporting the young-earth theory, while
they deliberately promote false "evidence" supporting their theory of a very old earth.
But we cannot dismiss all biological sciences as evil because of this. And just because
the philosophy and unbiblical methods of psychology have destroyed millions of lives,
without ever really producing much good, it does not mean psychiatrists and
psychologists do not know any truths, how things truly affect behaviour and one's ability
to think in various ways.

Christians who are taught by Jesus' Holy Spirit do not operate in ignorance and foolish
superstition. How can we lie, by calling something false when it is actually true, and do
this in the name of Jesus? Doing this only produces a self-centered and self-exalting
religion, where people think they are more spiritual and godly than others just because
they can call something evil, and say they don't touch such evil things like others do. So
they condemn others as being less spiritual and inferior to themselves just because
those other people are honest enough to believe the real truth. However, since these
ignorant or lying condemners focus entirely upon their own outward appearances, they
are just very fleshy and carnal, not spiritual at all. For the truly spiritual man is honest,
and knows that all true truth is useful for God, whether it is spiritual or physical truth.

For example, many Christians still refuse to recognize the existence of cognitive
disorders and disabilities, biological weaknesses in the physical brain. This is in spite of
masses of real scientific data, such as pictures of dysfunctional brains in operation,
placed in comparison to normal brains. And it is in opposition to biblical teachings about
how the strong must bear with those who are cognitively weaker. Consequently, a
spiritual man of God recognizes these physical truths and acts in spiritual compassion,
with real wisdom, providing all that is needed for the body, soul and spirit of the person
with a cognitive disorder or disability, with compensations and accommodations. But a
193

purely carnal mind of a false Christian will deny the reality of such things, then blame a
cognitively disabled one for not doing things "normally," and persecute the disabled one
(either by not doing what can be done for the disabled person, or by actively opposing
what needs to be done). Even an unbeliever can do better, by acknowledging the real
existence of the disorder and trying to help, although they only treat physical needs,
while ignoring the spiritual needs, leaving a disabled one's heart hopeless and in
despair.

Thus, true Christians must denounce the lies of the world, which means they denounce
and expose both the secular philosophies as well as the philosophies taught and
applied by the vast majority of "Christian" churches (since those are just "Christianized"
secular and worldly philosophies in those churches, not biblical at all). Then a true
Christian, who is taught by God, will seek to teach and build a personal life, and a
corporate life in his church, which serves God in right and complete ways, taking into
account all truth of all reality. For "we have the mind of Christ" guiding and teaching us
in our hearts. The result of this will be that a true Christian, especially one who is taught
well by God, will not be popular inside or outside of the regular church. But such a man
will be loved by God.

The principle kind of human wisdom that Paul opposes here is that of the "leaders" in
his time. These were, just as they are now, almost all humanists. Back then, they were
mostly students of Greek philosophies related to Plato and Aristotle. And, as we saw in
the very unjust Roman oligarchy, which was a brutal and oppressive slave society, this
humanistic "wisdom" never had any power to regenerate the spirit into a new creation,
nor turn hearts to new and better desires, like God and His wisdom does. This worldly
wisdom has always operated on the principle that looking good, and getting men to do
what you want them to do, is success. But God's wisdom operates on the principle that
what benefits all men equally well and justly, without causing harm to anyone else, is
success. Human wisdom is for self, and for those most closely associated with self, like
nationalism. But God's wisdom usually puts self last, and puts our selfless God's
opinions first, for the good of all. Furthermore, God's wisdom is based on actual reality,
which never changes, making it effective in all things. But worldly wisdom is based on
the shifting sands of ever-changing man-made delusions, which makes it far less
effective.

If our God grants some true awareness of reality to us, we can begin to act correctly
and humbly, through faith in His truth and power, to fully accomplish God's purposes. It
is not about being loyal to a church, or to the people or doctrines of a church. It is about
faith in God alone, not faith in man. Faith in man is the religion of humanism, which is
prophesied to be the religion of the beast, the anti-Christ. Unlike the world, we cannot
trust in human ability, since we know real reality, with a sober view of human limitations.
Of course, we still act in confidence, since our confidence rests in God's ability, not
ours. However, in order to do this, we also realize that we must first know God's will,
194

from His own mind. God will not work against His own will just to please us! So we can
only be confident that He will work through us, to make happen all that we set out to do,
by first knowing His will concerning what we should do, our satisfying destined purposes
in life. Thus, God gives us His very own Spirit, who works in us a searching out of all
reality, truth and wisdom, even the deep things of God. This Spirit knows God just as
well as a human spirit knows its own human being, because this Spirit is God, the Spirit
of God. Therefore, through God's own Spirit, we gain access to the mind of God
Himself. Jesus' Holy Spirit can directly tell us exactly what God is thinking, and He is
available all the time, so that He may always tell us these things. Thus, we never have
need for any vastly inferior, arrogant, empty human wisdom, such as that which most
worldly leaders follow, which causes inefficiency, exploitation, oppression and ends only
in death after death.

Although human wisdom disdains and mocks God's wisdom -- and although human
wisdom works so hard at sounding superficially more eloquent and persuasive -- it all
invariably leads to nothing in the end. Those leaders who follow human wisdom always
directly or indirectly cause unjust suffering and deaths everywhere they rise to power.
Actually, almost the same applies to those who mix human wisdom with God's wisdom.
A polluted religious "wisdom" might sometimes be a tiny bit better than an overtly
godless human wisdom, yet it is frequently worse. Now, as I often mention, the most
popular kinds of worldly human wisdom taught in Paul's day involved humanistic
philosophies from the school of Athens, which were followed by most Roman leaders of
that time. So these humanistic philosophies were primarily what Paul opposed here. Yet
this same philosophy is the direct predecessor of neoplatonism, the religion of
Augustine, and the religion of the Roman Catholic church, as well as of most Protestant
churches, even to this day. Almost everything taught in almost all churches of our time,
is either heavily influenced by, or else directly originating from, the same humanistic
philosophies which Paul so adamantly denounced here. The religion of our church
fathers, Constantine, Augustine, almost all popes (including current ones), most
reformers, most mainline churches, and most evangelical churches is actually a mix of
Christian terminology with humanism, which is actually theistic humanism, not real
biblical Christian theism at all.

So now it is time for us to repent and return to God, to beg His Holy Spirit for His truth
and wisdom in our personal and corporate lives. Now we must toss away the foolish
"human wisdom" of the purely neoplatonic "free will" doctrines, with its faith in man and
self-esteem, then return to a pure and biblical faith in God. We must relinquish man's
control over the church, with its manipulation through so-called "sacraments" patterned
after pagan rituals, or with its oppressive rule by the hierarchies of men over the spiritual
teachings of the church, and return to the ordinances for the remembrance of God, with
Christ as the real Head of every mature male in the church. The most difficult spiritual
and physical times in the history of the world are coming upon us soon, within this
generation or within a few generations from now. So we must set our hearts to humble
195

ourselves through faith in Jesus, and cannot afford to remain carnal and weak any
longer. For God has plans for revival at the beginning of the seventh seal, and He must
work in His church many years before that, to prepare true teachers for that
revival.μακάριος ἀνὴρ ὃς ὑπομένει πειρασμόν, ὅτι δόκιμος γενόμενος λήμψεται τὸν
στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς, ὃν ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν Αὐτόν. μηδεὶς πειραζόμενος λεγέτω
ὅτι ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πειράζομαι· ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς απείραστός ἐστιν κακῶν, πειράζει δὲ Αὐτὸς
οὐδένα. ἕκαστος δὲ πειράζεται ὑπὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ἐξελκόμενος καὶ δελεαζόμενος·
εἶτα ἡ ἐπιθυμία συλλαβοῦσα τίκτει ἁμαρτίαν, ἡ δὲ ἁμαρτία ἀποτελεσθεῖσα ἀποκύει
θάνατον.

Translation: "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under temptation, because
having become approved, he will receive the crown of life, which [God] promised for the
ones having an ongoing love for Him. Let no one continuously being tempted say, 'I am
tempted from God.' For God is without temptation from evil, and He tempts no man. But
each one is tempted by the power of his own strong desires, constantly being lured
away and enticed. Then the strong desire, having conceived [by a union together with
temptation], gives birth to sin. And sin, after having been completed, ends this
pregnancy with the result of death" (James 1:12-15).

Comment: The word modified by the genitive κακῶν ("of evil, wickedness, depravity") is
the noun ἀπείραστος, which means "without temptation." This noun can be use in either
an active sense ("who does not tempt," BDAG3) or a passive sense ("who cannot be
tempted," BDAG3). Here it is used in a passive sense. So it means God is "not able to
be tempted, invincible to assault of evils" (R&R). The genitive indicates the thing that is
tempting or luring or drawing the desire of the one being tempted. So the genitive
indicates the instrument used by the subject who is performing the act of tempting
("without temptation from evil, untempted with evil, not being tempted by evil").

God created all beings and all things, both good and evil. Now when God created good
beings, they were created to do everything in exactly in the same way as God would do
those things Himself. Thus, in this respect, they are like God, in His image. Everything
good is "like God," or "of God." Then, when God created evil beings, they were made
with a lack of desire and ability to do things the way God would do them. Thus, evil can
be defined as "that which is not what God would do." Evil is a deficiency, a lack of being
whole and complete in terms of performing God's desires. And sin is that which falls
short of accomplishing God's desires, or God's revealed will. So evil is basically that
which is "not like God," or "not God." Therefore, since evil is "not God," God is
completely without temptation, because He has no desire or will to be that which He is
not. Nor can God ever change to become that which He is not now, for change requires
a new external factor to cause the effect of change, and there is nothing outside of God.
So God is forever and always completely without any desire for anything evil, totally
without any temptation to be evil in any way whatsoever. God remains always only what
He is.
196

And God is utterly and purely holy and perfect in every way. He is the foundational
definition of all that is good, righteous, beautiful, holy, right, correct, true, wise, pure, and
loving. So, just by being exactly what He is forever, He forever defines what is good in
all His creation. Then whatever is lacking in whatever God is, that lacking thing is
forever defined as evil. These definitions cannot change. But we lack at the present
time. We are not perfect. For we are not yet what God meant us to be, and we do not
yet do what God meant us to do. Therefore, we are evil. However, we are being
changed and transformed by God into His image. This does not mean we will be entirely
equal to God, nor will we all be the same as each other. Rather, it means God will make
each individual elect child of His to be exactly what He created each to be, and able to
do exactly what He created each to do, all perfectly according to His desire and will.
Each will perform whatever service they were created to perform, according to their own
calling and destiny, in a way which is exactly like God would do it Himself. But this will
only happen in heaven. We are not yet perfect, and cannot be so until we shed these
bodies of flesh.

This process of making us perfect is called our sanctification. In the end, we will indeed
"become approved" by God, and "will receive the crown of life." In the meantime, we are
tempted, fall into sin, and cause harm or even death. Yet this temptation is not directly
from God, although it is indirectly from God. For example, the devil asked God if he
could tempt Job, and God allowed it. So the devil, and some of Job's so-called "friends,"
directly tempted Job. Yet God said these trials -- performed directly by the devil, which
tempted Job to turn away from God into sin -- ultimately came from Himself. For God
said to Satan, "you incited Me against [Job], to destroy him without cause" (Job 2:3,
NKJV).

Still, God is a builder, a creator, and cannot help but build that which is perfect and
good. So we must ask why God allows the devil to tempt us. And why did God create
the devil, his fallen angels, and the human children of the devil? Why did God create
beings who lacked the desire and ability to perform His desires? Well, for one thing, we
know God cannot make mistakes. So we know God intentionally and deliberately
created beings who would do evil. And we also know that God does all things
purposefully, since God cannot help but be fully cognizant of every tiny thing He does,
and cannot help but thoroughly think through the entire process of doing it. So why did
God make His elect children to live for a time in the temporary creation of the physical
universe, and in a temporary physical body, all of which bears a deficiency, all of which
is tainted by evil? What was His purpose? Why was man born naked in physical flesh,
without spiritual "garments" of righteousness, which were instantly granted to all God's
elect angels, the very kind of "garments" which God Himself is described as wearing?
Surely God had a purpose for this. And certainly, since God is good, that purpose had
to be in order to create a greater good in the end. But how could such things create a
greater good?
197

There are many clues from Scripture, indicating why God allows evil and temptation,
which also tell us what the end result of a "greater good" will be. One is Rom. 8:28,
where it says, "God works all things together into good for the ones loving God, for the
ones being called according to [God's] predetermined plan." Then this quote from
James is another. For James tells us that the crown of salvation is a promise (which is a
type of plan) for one loving God. So both Rom. 8:28 and James 1:12 indicate that God's
purpose in His plan, His goal of producing a greater good, directly relates to love, and
love for Him in particular. So only the one loving God will ever be able to become one
who remains steadfast, who actively takes action to stand against temptation, and who
will gain the good opinion or approval of God. Then he will receive a "crown." Now a
crown indicates high esteem to a certain degree. But more than that, a crown indicates
the right and duty to rule with authority, and we shall indeed rule over "cities" in heaven.
Yet we can only rule rightly if we truly love God. Furthermore, this is a "crown of life,"
expressing the fact that we shall truly live through our work of ruling in heaven, with
great joy and satisfaction, where the curse of Adam cannot ever frustrate our loving
service to God.

So God does not tempt. Instead, God builds us into all that we must become for our
permanent and real life, for our life that He created us to eternally live, at home with Him
in heaven. We are not like the elect angels, who never were imperfect, and never had to
undergo trials of temptation like us. Rather, we are created in sin, to learn to overcome
sin, to learn to love God more than the angels. He who is forgiven much loves much.
Also, we who experience and know very well what is not God, learn to appreciate and
love what is God much more. In this way, we become more like God. For God knows
what He is not. But the angels do not really know this on an experiential level. All angels
can truly know is what God is, what they always experience God to be in heaven. This
is why God said, after man sinned, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to
know good and evil" (Gen. 3:22, NKJV). This certainly is not to say God is a sinner.
Actually, it really means God has an innate knowledge of what He is (good) and what
He is not (evil). Now, through this hard life with sin, so do we. And this knowledge sets
us apart from angels. It develops us into God's true children, into His true friends closest
to His heart.
e. Genitives of AgencyA genitive of agency is a genitive substantive indicating the
person who performs the action of the verbal word it modifies, that is, the genitive
is a "personal agent" by whom something is done. Usually, the genitive of agency
represents the ultimate agent, the one who directly initiates and causes the action.
However, in koine Greek, an ultimate agent is usually expressed by the more explicit
prepositional phrase ὑπό + a genitive. Then a genitive of agency might rarely represent
an intermediate agent, one who performs the action on behalf of the ultimate agent. But
an intermediate agent is most often indicated by διά + a genitive.Also, a genitive of
agency almost always modifies a substantival verbal adjective. So that adjective will
suggest an action, will be used as a noun, and will often end in -τός, τή, τόν (or some
198

other case form of an ending beginning with tau: -τον, -του, -τῳ, τοι, τους, των, τοις, etc.
-- an adjective's ending of -τος indicates an ability or force, thus implies an action). Of
course, since the genitive performs the action of the verbal adjective, it will normally
imply an action in a passive sense, as in the action of the adjective "taught" in "they will
be all taughtby God." If, in context, the adjective implies an action in an active sense,
then the genitive will not likely be a genitive of agency, as in, "they will all teach of/about
God," not, "they will all teach by God."Therefore, if you find a genitive with a substantival
verbal adjective implying a passive sense, that genitive is likely a genitive of agency.
Wallace pointed out three common constructions to look for, which are: ἀγαπητός +
genitive ("is/are loved by [genitive]"); διδακτός + genitive ("is/are taught by [genitive]");
and ἐκλεκτός + genitive ("is/are chosen by [genitive]").In koine Greek, because
"personal agency" is mostly indicated through the use of prepositional phrases, Wallace
says the genitive of agency is "fairly rare." However, he gave the following examples. In
each example, the word modified by the genitive is highlighted in green and the genitive
of agency is highlighted in bluish green.ἠκολούθει δὲ τῷ Ἰησοῦ Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ ἄλλος
μαθητής. ὁ δὲ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος ἦν γνωστὸς τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ, καὶ συνεισῆλθεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰς
τὴν αὐλὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, ὁ δὲ Πέτρος εἱστήκει πρὸς τῇ θύρᾳ ἔξω. ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ
μαθητὴς ὁ ἄλλος ὁ γνωστὸς τοῦ ἀρχιερέως καὶ εἶπεν τῇ θυρωρῷ, καὶ εἰσήγαγεν τὸν
Πέτρον.

Translation: "So Simon Peter and another disciple continuously followed [for the sake
of] Jesus. Then the disciple that was known to the high priest also entered together with
Jesus into the court of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door outside. Therefore,
the other disciple known by the high priest went out and spoke to the female
doorkeeper, then brought in Peter" (John 18:15-16).

Comment: Two disciples of Jesus followed the temple guards and the crowd which
brought Jesus in to the courtyard of Annas, to have Jesus declared a heretic worthy of
death. Annas was the father-in-law of the current high priest, and the father of five high
priests, as well as a former high priest himself. Although the Roman rulers frequently
deposed and chose new high priests, the law of God stated that each high priest held
his office for life. So Annas still bore much authority in the eyes of the people. Now one
of the two disciples was Peter, and the other was likely John, who was probably still a
young teenager at the time. This other disciple was known by the high priest, possibly
as a relative. John came from a quite godly family, who may have been closely related
to the high priest, even to Annas. So the temple guard and the female gatekeeper likely
thought little of allowing a young man like John, who was also known by the high priest,
into that courtyard. Also, John went in together with Jesus. A loved one or friend might
go with an accused person to the court, or care for the accused in a prison. However,
the much older disciple, Peter, hung back. Peter had seen a few winters, and seems to
have been more aware of what was going on, while John seems to have been more
trusting in the integrity of the legal system, and in the people of that system. So John did
not hesitate to go in, then also went back to bring in Peter, after finding out Peter was
199

not with him.οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐλθεῖν πρός Με ἐὰν μὴ ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ πέμψας Με ἑλκύσῃ
αὐτόν, κἀγὼ ἀναστήσω αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ. ἔστιν γεγραμμένον ἐν τοῖς
προφήταις· καὶ ἔσονται πάντες διδακτοὶ Θεοῦ. πᾶς ὁ ἀκούσας παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ
μαθὼν ἔρχεται πρὸς Ἐμέ. οὐχ ὅτι τὸν Πατέρα ἑώρακέν τις, εἰ μὴ ὁ ὢν παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ,
οὗτος ἑώρακεν τὸν Πατέρα. ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὁ πιστεύων ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον. Ἐγώ
εἰμι ὁ ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς.

Translation: "No one ever has the ability to come towards Me unless the Father having
sent Me might exert force to pull him, and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written
and still stands as valid in the [books of the] prophets, 'And they will be all taught by
God.' Everyone hearing from the Father, and learning [from Him], comes towards Me --
not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One being from God, this One has
seen the Father. Truly and surely I say to you, the one believing has eternal life. I am
the bread of life" (John 6:44-48).

Comment: The adjective here is a nominative plural form, διδακτοί ("taught,


teachable"). And it implies an action in a passive sense, in that the context is about
being "taught by God" (Θεοῦ), in order to be compelled, or drawn by God's force,
towards Jesus (so that we will hear and feed upon the real truth from Jesus). In saying
this, Jesus is quoting Isaiah 54:13. This quote is regarding God's restoration of the
physical land of Israel and Jewish people. God restores them because of what the
Messiah has done, for Yahweh has laid the iniquity of us all upon the Messiah (53:6),
who was "cut off from the land of the living, for the transgressions of [God's] people"
(53:8), and "poured out His soul unto death" in order to bear the "sin of many" and make
"intercession for transgressors" (53:12). Therefore, God establishes a "covenant of
peace" with Israel, which is the New Covenant of Jesus, and this covenant will stand
forever (54:10). This covenant will bring about the result that "all [their] children will be
taught by Yahweh" (54:13, cf., Jer. 30:34).

All the context is about what God does, in spite of the fact that His people are sinners. If
the Father does not act upon one's heart and mind, one will never truly want the real
Jesus our God, and cannot do anything truly good and right by his own initiative. No one
is ever drawn or attracted to Jesus simply because of something in one's natural self, in
the brain of flesh. Unless God the Father first causes a desire for Jesus in the heart,
until He teaches the spirit and breaks down the flesh, no one even begins to move
towards Jesus and His truth. An elect spirit may long for a Father they do not know, but
the flesh does not want to know. In reality, natural men, even God's elect children in
their brains of flesh, never ever like or desire what Jesus truly teaches and represents,
and they cannot begin to comprehend His truth. All minds of flesh actively resist and
flee from the real and true Jesus, as well as from His real truth. Naturally, religiously
inclined minds of flesh have invented numerous and various shapes of idols to worship,
and have called each of them by the name "Jesus" -- just as the Israelites created a
golden calf and wickedly convinced themselves that it was Yahweh God. But in reality,
200

no idol in the imaginations of men can ever represent the one real Jesus, the true Lord
God and Judge. And, in the end, God's people are only attracted to Jesus after God
exerts His power upon them, after the Father puts a desire in their spirits of their hearts.
Even so, even after God does this, their unruly brains of flesh still continue to resist this
inward spiritual desire.

So, even the right things God's people do, such as coming to Jesus and learning from
God, are a result of the Father's work in action -- by His will and His initiative, not ours.
We see this truth expressed in many ways in this context, and throughout the Old and
New Testaments. For instance, the quote above begins with: οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐλθεῖν
πρός Με. Here the preposition πρός indicates a movement towards Jesus, in the
direction of Jesus and His truth. Then the definite objective negative, together with the
present durative tense of the verb, means one never has the ability, capability or power
to come towards Jesus, to even begin to move towards Jesus and His truth. None can
come towards Jesus unless the Father first exerts His power and force upon them, to
pull, draw, drag and compel them, as is indicated by the verb ἕλκω (which never means
merely "attract"). First our Father must use His power against the will of a fleshy mind.

The same is true of Jesus' statement in verse 65: οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐλθεῖν πρός Με ἐὰν μὴ
ᾖ δεδομένον αὐτῷ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρός, which means, "no one ever has the ability to come
towards Me unless it may be given permanently [i.e., the perfect passive participle
emphasizes the lasting effect] to him out of the Father [i.e., the preposition ἐκ indicates
that the Father is the Originator and Source of the ability]." So, if everyone is totally
unable to come towards Jesus, to feed on His words and saving power, then who can
come by his own "free will"? Who elects God? This is why God's Word never says we
are electors of God. Rather, it says we are the elect of God, chosen by God's will. Only
after He chooses and loves us, and after He plants His seed of faith in us, can we
choose and love Him, in order to bear fruit for Him.

This coming towards Jesus also bears a promise with it. In the last day, Jesus will raise
up the one coming. This is why Jesus previously said, "All which the Father gives to Me
will come towards Me, and the one coming towards Me absolutely will not be cast out"
(v. 37). No one coming towards Jesus can ever be lost to hell, because all who come
can only come by the Father's will. And all whom the Father wills to come will certainly
come. For who can possibly resist God's will? Most men cannot even resist the will of
other human beings. So how can anyone possibly resist God's will, which is always
done by His almighty power and infinite wisdom? Also, Jesus came to us from heaven,
to do the Father's will. So, if the Father wills a man to go towards Jesus and His truth,
then Jesus will receive him, not turn him away. For Jesus cannot resist the Father's will,
since He is One with the Father. Thus, Jesus also said, "I will not lose [any] out of all
whom He has given to Me ... everyone carefully observing the Son, and putting trust
and confidence into Him, shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day"
(verses 39,40).
201

Therefore, if anyone knows he or she is being irresistibly drawn towards Jesus and His
truth -- if one feels inwardly empty and miserable when the flesh fights the truth from
Jesus, then feels inwardly disturbed and angry upon hearing a lie about Jesus or the
words He spoke, but feels an inner joy in the spirit when Jesus and His truth triumphs
over the lie and evil -- then that one shall inevitably turn to Jesus. That one will embrace
Jesus either before or after death, and eternal life in heaven is assured with absolutely
certainty. The Father's will shall certainly be done! And He wills for all His Own children
to be with Him eternally. Of course, both the elect and the sons of the devil will be
raised from the dead on that last day, since all must go to judgment. However, only
God's children will go up, to heaven. Those born by the will of Satan, who care nothing
about the real truth from Jesus, shall all go down, to hell. But we have faith that God's
election and calling are always effective, and God never ever fails to accomplish what
He wills and sets out to do. All who are taught by the Father (that is, all who hear and
learn from the Father), will come to Jesus. Then all who come to Jesus will be raised up
to eternal life.

But Jesus specifies that this is an invisible work of God, a spiritual work inside people,
so one may not be fully aware of it, or cognizant of it, especially in the beginning. Only
Jesus is always fully aware of the Father's presence, and cognizant of how the Father is
working. For Jesus came from heaven, and was with the Father from the beginning. So
Jesus has spiritual eyes to always see the Father, who is Spirit. This seems to be why
Jesus added the parenthetical remark, "not that anyone has seen the Father, except the
One being from God, this One has seen the Father." Here Jesus was obviously referring
to a spiritual perception, an ability to be inwardly aware of the Father, who is Spirit.

Jesus said He is the "bread of life" too. Clearly He was saying figuratively that He is
spiritual food, that is, a source of correct and true teachings of biblical doctrines, the
truths which feed the hunger of the spirit and soul in an elect child of God. But now, if
our Father teaches us Himself, why would He then send us to the Messiah Jesus, in
order for Jesus to teach us as well? Since our Father did send Jesus, our Father must
have done this for a reason, because we need Jesus and His teachings for something
more than what the Father Himself teaches us. Otherwise, the New Covenant would not
need to have a Messiah to bring it to men. The Father Himself could have brought us
the New Covenant. So why did He send Jesus to teach us? A clue to an explanation for
this is found in the Messianic teachings of Moses. When God first gave the law to His
chosen people in the church of Israel, He spoke the Ten Commandments with
thunderings and lightening flashes. So His people told Moses, "You speak with us, and
we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die" (Ex. 20:19, NKJV). God the
Father had to make the flesh of men fear Him. But how can they love Him if they fear
Him in this way, with the terror of the flesh? Therefore, God had to be with man, like
man, among man, incarnate and Immanuel, something like the prophet Moses, in order
to truly speak with them.
202

This is why Moses told the church, "Yahweh your God will raise up for you a Prophet
like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you
desired of Yahweh your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not
hear again the voice of Yahweh my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I
die.' And Yahweh said to me: What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a
Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He
shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear
My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him" (Deut. 18:15-19, NKJV).
This "Prophet" is Jesus. Since the people could not bear to have God the Father speak
to them directly, God would come to them in human flesh, in order to speak to them. In
a way, all the true prophets who came before Jesus, were images of Christ Jesus, who
is God. Human prophets were all men among the people, men whom the people could
hear. And Jesus is God incarnate, thee Prophet from whom the people can hear God.

It almost seems as though our Father normally teaches our spirits directly, without fully
teaching our brains of flesh. He seems to initiate a change in our hearts or spirits, so
that we will desire Jesus and His truth inwardly, more strongly each day throughout our
youth, yet often without being aware of this change consciously. We see many
examples of this in the Bible, such as in the way Jesus called His disciples, who came
instantly with Him, as though they had been waiting inwardly for Him for a long time.
John the Baptist also knew the Messiah was coming, but did not know who He was,
until he saw Jesus. Then he knew. Also, many true Christians have had this experience
prior to a knowledge of Jesus' salvation. Many bore a growing inner longing for
something they could not identify specifically, before meeting Jesus and His Holy Spirit.
It is as though our Father speaks directly to our spirits, from birth, causing an internal
and unconscious desire for God in our spirits. He also works this through the
manipulation of circumstances as well, and we usually cannot tell it is our Father who is
doing these things, until later. Then through all this, and as a result of it, our Father
turns us towards Jesus and His truth.

So our Father sent Jesus to personally speak His words directly to the whole person, to
both spirit and body, just like Moses and the prophets. (Of course, now we are called to
function as the body of Christ, through Jesus' Holy Spirit. Thus, it is important for very
true prophets to speak God's words to the church as well, to expose sin and correctly
apply the truths of God to the individual and corporate lives of people, to convict His
elect for repentance into joy and communion with our God.) In addition to this, Jesus
grants us an inward cleansing with entire forgiveness. And this sanctification allows us
to draw near to God. Now there is no limit or barrier, like there was around Mount Sinai.

In conclusion, it seems that our Father sends us to Jesus for two main reasons. First,
we find forgiveness and conscious access to God our Father through Jesus. Second,
we receive teachings from God in a way which is accessible to our whole being, both to
203

the mind of the spirit and brain of flesh. Nevertheless, we must realize that our God is
One. So we cannot divide and categorize God too much, putting God into a little box
shaped by our incomplete logic, limiting His abilities according to our own thoughts. For
that is idolatry and great sin. Rather, we simply know our Father is fully able to speak to
us in a way which can be understood by both spirit and flesh, if He so desires, for He is
God Almighty. Yet He chooses to most often speak to us through Jesus and His Holy
Spirit.τίς ἐγκαλέσει κατὰ ἐκλεκτῶν Θεοῦ; Θεὸς ὁ δικαιων;

Translation: "Who will bring in a charge against the ones chosen by God? [Will it be]
God, the one justifying?" (Rom. 8:33).

Comment: Again, this can be translated as "the elect of God" or "those God has
chosen" or some such expression. But, regardless of how it is translated, the genitive
form indicates that God is the Agent who performs the action of electing or
choosing.πᾶσιν τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Ῥώμῃ ἀγαπητοῖς Θεοῦ, κλητοῖς ἁγίοις· χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ
εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Translation: "To all those being in Rome, loved by God, called [to be] holy: [May there
be] grace for you, and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ"
(Rom. 1:7).

Comment: The example here might be translated something like "beloved of God," but
it means the same thing. The adjective indicates an action of loving, and the love is
performed by an Agent indicated with the genitive. And that Agent is God.... ἐν οἷς ἐστε
καὶ ὑμεῖς κλητοὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ...

Translation: "... among whom you also are called by Jesus Christ ..." (Rom. 1:6).

Comment: Wallace says this is a disputed example. I don't really know which versions
translate it as a genitive of agency, but some might see it as a "structural parallel" with
the genitive of agency found immediately after it in verse 7 (see example above). Yet
most translate this genitive as a possessive, as in "called to belong to Jesus Christ"
(NIV, ESV). Others seem to translate it in an ambiguous manner, as in "the called of
Jesus Christ" (NASB, NKJV). And it does not seem to be a genitive of agency. Actually,
in context, it seems to be a possessive, likely indicating purpose too, "called for Jesus
Christ [to serve Him]." Wallace also believes it is a possessive for the following
reasons:"only rarely in the New Testament is it said that Christ does the calling of the
saints" (although the calling of His own disciples is different)"ultimate agency is normally
in view for the genitive of agency, while only rarely is Christ considered to be the
ultimate agent""it is not infrequent to find a possessive genitive after an adjective ending
in -τος, especially in Romans"Another clear example can be found in I Cor. 2:13, ἐν
διδακτοῖς Πνεύματος ("in [words] taught by the Spirit"), which can be found under the
examples of genitives of means above. Other than that, no further examples of genitives
204

of agency were given.


f. Genitive AbsolutesThis is a grammatically independent phrase which provides
additional information, and is most often found at the beginning of a clause. The
construction centers around an anarthrous genitive participle, and may also have a
genitive noun or pronoun, along with other words in the phrase. More information can
be found in the lessons about participles.
g. Genitives of ReferenceThe genitive of reference normally indicates a reference as
to what the word it modifies is of, from, apart from or originating from. It is a
reference which gives additional information. Since it most often is used to modify an
adjective, it is classified as an adverbial genitive, but with some ablatival qualities. A
genitive of reference can also modify a noun or another substantive, although it may
bear some adverbial force even then, because it may provide information which defines
or explains the source of an action, what it is from.Every case form can be used as a
reference to provide additional information, where each bears a different implication. A
pendent nominative or an accusative of reference are grammatically independent
elements, where a nominative may be more emphatic, drawing more focus. But a
genitive of reference is not grammatically independent, since it functions in an adverbial
role, by modifying a word which is a grammatical part of the sentence. A dative of
reference is the most common case form used for a reference, and is not grammatically
independent either. But a dative of reference usually implies an idea of accrual,
movement to or towards something, or an increase for or in something. Then the
genitive of reference suggests the opposite, where there is an ablatival quality to it,
a movement from something, being apart from or subtracted from something, being
from a source. So the dative of reference and the genitive of reference are most closely
related, yet with almost opposite implications.Now the key words "with reference to" or
"with respect to" or "regarding" may be substituted for the genitive key word "of," simply
in order to be able to help one identify the genitive as a genitive of reference. However,
the key word "of," and sometimes "from," may be more suitable for the translation, since
the words "with reference to" often do not really convey any sense of the genitive, and
usually leave the translation without meaning, since it is too ambiguous an expression.
Then again, one might add a whole phrase to give the sense of the genitive's
connotations. For example, "an evil heart of unbelief" sounds better and captures the
meaning better than "an evil heart with reference to unbelief." It is also captures the
meaning better than using the genitive as a straight adverb modifying the adjective
"evil," as in "an unbelieving evil heart." Better yet, one could translate it as "a heart with
evil which originates from unbelief."Wallace said the genitive of reference is "not
common." Then he gave two examples which modify an adjective, as well as two which
modify a noun, where he indicated that the last example was debatable. In each
example, the word modified by the genitive is highlighted in green and the genitive of
reference is highlighted in bluish green.βλέπετε, ἀδελφοί, μήποτε ἔσται ἔν τινι ὑμῶν
καρδία πονηρά ἀπιστίας ἐν τῷ ἀποστῆναι ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ζῶντος, ἀλλὰ παρακαλεῖτε ἑαυτοὺς
καθ᾽ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν, ἄχρις οὗ τὸ σήμερον καλεῖται, ἵνα μὴ σκληρυνθῇ τις ἐξ ὑμῶν
ἀπάτῃ τῆς ἁμαρτίας· μέτοχοι γὰρ τοῦ Χριστοῦ γεγόναμεν, ἐάνπερ τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς
205

ὑποστάσεως μέχρι τέλους βεβαίαν κατάσχωμεν. ἐν τῷ λέγεσθαι· σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς


φωνῆς Αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε, μὴ σκληρύνητε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν ὡς ἐν τῷ παραπικρασμῷ.

Translation: "Beware, brothers, [that] there will not ever be a heart [which is] evil from
unbelief in any one of you, which is thus to stand away from the living God. But call
aside [others among] yourselves for personal counsel and admonishment according to
[the need of] each day, while [the day] is being called 'today,' so that not any one out of
you might be hardened by the deceit of sin. For we have become and remain partakers
of Christ, if we might at least hold onto the beginning of [our] foundational confidence
until the guaranteed end. [It is the time] in which to say: 'Today, if you hear the voice of
Him, do not harden your hearts as in the provocation [of God by the children of
Israel] [see Psalm 95:7-8; Ex. 17:1-7]" (Heb. 3:12-15).

Comment: Here it would not do to translate this phrase as "a heart evil with reference
to unbelief," since such a phrase means almost nothing. But the idea is that the "evil"
comes from the practice of "unbelief." And, in turn, the heart is what the adjective "evil"
modifies. So it is speaking of a heart made evil through or by unbelief, where "unbelief"
might also be treated as a genitive of means ("a heart [becoming] evil by unbelief"). Nor
can we translate it as "a sinful, unbelieving heart" (NIV), where "unbelieving" modifies
the noun "heart" and does not indicate that the "unbelief" is the cause or source of the
evil.

The point is that a spirit which does not seek the counsel of God, in trust and faith, is
invariably evil. It either centers on self or on a delusion, both of which end in destruction.
Most criminals think only of themselves, without caring about how their actions affect
the lives of anyone not closely associated with themselves. Some criminals don't even
care about their own family and friends either, just themselves. Then a some cling to
one delusion or another, or to many at once. And all these delusions ultimately come
from Satan, no matter how noble some make these delusions sound. So, with these
delusions in hand, some become religious zealots, ultra nationalists, so-called "freedom
fighters," and so on -- destroying and killing in the name of whatever they call "good."
But none are ever truly aware of reality, nor of the effects of their actions upon the lives
of others. The faithless exist in their own tiny, dark world separated from the light of
God's reality. None are capable of any true reason either, in spite of their common
boasts that they know better than everyone else. Furthermore, almost all carefully
maintain a list of lies used to justify their actions, which they lock safely and securely
within their hearts, lest anyone harm it. Yet they should destroy their lists by their own
hands. For God will treat their irrational and worthless lists like trash on Judgment Day.
Then how will they stand?

Now this passage is a stern warning against those who depart into the delusions of
unbelief, who do not trust in the reality-based truth and counsel of God through faith.
But more than that, it is a warning for the rest of the church to prevent anyone among
206

themselves from doing so. Even if one person is allowed to operate out of unbelief in a
church, it can cause great harm. At the very least, it can turn a living church into a
spiritually dead, materialistic and fake church. Yet, most often, just one false believer
can transform a blessed church into a curse for all who enter its doors. Also, we should
realize that an unbeliever is not normally an athiest, and certainly not in this context.
Here an unbeliever is one who thinks he believes in God, but does not believe all God's
words are true, or else feels some of God's words are worthless. He has stepped away
from God, turned his back on God, and stood apart from God. Unbelievers are those
whose real faith is in man, or in themselves, even if they think they believe in God.

This is why the author of Hebrews tells God's people to immediately call aside any
person who might be caught in sin or error, even before the day ends. The
word παρακαλέωmeans to call aside, to speak personally with a person. This can be for
any reason, such as to comfort or encourage, scold or admonish, request or entreat,
and so on. In context, this is speaking about calling one aside for any and all the above
reasons, and ultimately for the purpose of keeping everyone on the same right track --
the way chosen and ruled by the Lord, not by men. We must try to keep not only
ourselves, but every brother and sister away from sin and error. The longer a man gets
away with sin and error, the more he becomes hardened. Very soon he begins to
believe he is right, and God's Word is wrong. Also, his list of excuses and so-called
reasons grows longer and longer, until it is almost impossible to cut through the
hundreds of lies and excuses.περὶ οὗ πολὺς ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος καὶ δυσερμήνευτος λέγειν,
ἐπεὶ νωθροὶ γεγόνατε ταῖς ἀκοαῖς. καὶ γὰρ ὀφείλοντες εἶναι διδάσκαλοι διὰ τὸν χρόνον,
πάλιν χρείαν ἔχετε τοῦ διδάσκειν ὑμᾶς τινα τὰ στοιχεῖα τῆς ἀρχῆς τῶν λογίων τοῦ Θεοῦ,
καὶ γεγόνατε χρείαν ἔχοντες γάλακτος, οὐ στερεᾶς τροφῆς. πᾶς γὰρ ὁ μετέχων
γάλακτος ἄπειρος λόγου δικαιοσύνης, νήπιος γὰρ ἐστιν· τελείων δὲ ἐστιν ἡ στερεὰ
τροφή, τῶν διὰ τὴν ἕξιν τὰ αἰσθητήρια γεγυμνασμένα ἐχόντων πρὸς διάκρισιν καλοῦ τε
καὶ κακοῦ.

Translation: "Concerning [the priesthood of Christ in the order of Melchizedek], the


Word [has] much to say for us, and [it is] hard to explain because you have become dull
in [your] hearing. For indeed, being obligated to be teachers by this time, you have need
again for someone to teach you the elementary principles from the beginning regarding
the words of God. And you have become in need of having milk, not solid food. For
everyone partaking of milk [is] inexperienced regarding [the handling of] the Word of
righteousness, for he is an infant. Yet the solid food is for the mature, for the ones
having [ability] towards rightly evaluating both good and evil, because of their habit of
having the faculties of [spiritual] perception trained [with the effect of now being
fit] [i.e., γεγυμνασμένα is a neuter plural perfect passive participle of γυμνάζω, meaning
"having been trained and disciplined so one is now fit and ready," where the passive
implies "trained by God"]" (Heb. 5:11-14).

Comment: The adjective ἄπειρος literally means "without experience." And it can also
207

mean, "pertaining to lack of knowledge or capacity to do something, unacquainted with,


unaccustomed to" (BDAG3). So the genitive modifying this adjective is indicating what
one is without experience in doing. It implies an action which one is not familiar with
performing. Since the genitive modifying the adjective is λόγου, and the context is about
teaching, this must be a genitive of reference and would mean something like "with
reference to the action of interpreting and teaching God's Word of righteousness."

In a way, this also bears a bit of an ablatival quality too. The adjective implies
"without" πεῖρα. And πεῖρα means "an effort to accomplish something, attempt, trial,
experiment; experience won by attempting" (BDAG3). So ἄπειρος indicates that one
has not learned by doing these things -- by trying, attempting, experimenting. Now it
seems that a dative of reference with this might imply "without experience in the Word,"
meaning there was no accumulation of experience with regards to gaining ability to
handle God's Word. But the genitive of reference used here, functions like a genitive of
source. It indicates a source from which building materials come. That is, the principles
which one attempts, tries and experiments with, come from the "Word." Or God's Word
could be perceived as a source from which the learning originates, since it provides
instructions for the actions performed. This fits with the verb γεγυμνασμένα in the next
sentence, a passive verb implying a training and disciplining by God, not by one's own
training program. It also suggests that God, in training us, makes us try things and exert
effort, just like a trainer of a physical athlete. So God's Word is like a training manual,
words of thee Trainer. And the expression before this verb, ἄπειρος λόγου δικαιοσύνης,
would mean "without having learned experientially from [or out of] the Word of
righteousness."

Now we want to become spiritually mature and complete (i.e., the adjective τελείων is
the genitive plural of τέλειος, meaning "pertaining to meeting the highest standard,
perfect, complete; being mature, full-grown, adult; being fully developed in a moral
sense," BDAG3). So, to be spiritually mature, we must learn from God's Word of
righteousness through "hands-on" experience, by constantly applying the principles
taught in His Word. We learn to be truly righteous, with a real ability to discern and
judge between what is actually good and actually evil by believing what is written, by
attempting to walk according to those principles. We gain knowledge by a sort of action
of "experimenting." We ask questions, search for the answer, draw a hypothetical
conclusion (hypothesis), then apply it carefully, observing all that happens. Whatever
consistently and repeatedly proves true in our experience, and in the experiences of
others throughout history, we keep, and perfect. But if anything proves wrong, we try to
find out exactly why it is wrong. So we begin to learn by study in prayer with much
thought. But then we act. We make mistakes, then pray again for a deeper and better
understanding of His Word, now more carefully searching His Word in prayer, repenting,
and trying it all over again, until we get it right. We learn spiritual things in the same way
we learn physical things. The only difference is that, with physical things, we go to
physical people to ask questions, or to books written by men. But for matters of true
208

spiritual and inward righteousness, a man must go to the living Jesus and our Father in
prayer, and to His Word, not to men.

Then, when we truly begin to learn from God, through His Word, we begin to see that
some things which we called "good" are actually evil in God's eyes, and some things we
thought to be evil, are not actually so evil, but only interpreted as such through
ignorance and superstition. For instance, some of the most common and accepted
teachings in the church are found to be extreme blasphemies against God, turning men
away from faith in God and towards faith in man. These are sins which break all of the
first three of the Ten Commandments, and completely oppose the central message of
the Gospel of Christ, along with the whole underlying framework supporting the entire
Word of God. So these cherished teachings of the church are more destructive, and
more of an abomination to the eyes of God, than murder or sexual immorality. Thus,
many of "the tax collectors and prostitutes will go into the kingdom of God before" the
famous preachers and evangelists of our day, since some more overt and blatant
sinners will more simply and honestly believe God's Word and repent (Mat. 21:31-
32).καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐθαύμασαν λέγοντες· πῶς παραχρῆμα ἐξηράνθη ἡ συκῆ;
ἀποκριθεῖς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν καὶ μὴ
διακριθῆτε, οὐ μόνον τὸ τῆς συκῆς ποιήσετε, ἀλλα κἂν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ εἴπητε· ἄρθητι καὶ
βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, γενήσεται· καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἂν αἰτήσητε ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ
πιστεύοντες λήμψεσθε.

Translation: "And observing [how] the disciples were amazed, saying, 'How did the fig
tree immediately wither?' -- Jesus, answering, said to them, 'Truly I say to you, if you
might have confidence [in God], and might not engage in a dispute [against God
internally in mind and heart] according to your own reasoning, not only will you do a
thing [like the withering] of the fig tree, but if you also might say to this mountain, 'Be
taken and cast into the sea,' it will occur. And all things, as much as you would ask in
prayer, putting confidence [in God], you will receive" (Mat. 21:20-22).

Comment: The genitive in this example modifies the neuter singular article τό, which
indicates "a thing." So this particular genitive of reference modifies a substantive, but
not an adjective used substantively. The genitive again bears the connotation of
describing an action, however. The "thing" in the phrase "a thing of the fig tree," is an
action. It is describing the action of withering which happened to the fig tree: "do a thing
like the withering of the fig tree," "do what happened to the fig tree." Therefore, the
genitive functions in an adverbial role. Also, it seems to be somewhat ablatival, because
it is used in making a comparison: "do a thing which is more than what happened to the
fig tree."

Now, in our day of much false faith, a warning needs to made regarding this statement
from our Lord Jesus. We must realize the whole of what Jesus taught in all matters, and
not take this statement out of the global context of all else that Jesus taught. First, when
209

Jesus taught about faith, He always talked about putting confidence and trust in God
alone -- in our Father, in Himself, and in His Holy Spirit. This true faith believes two
things about God: (1) that God, not man, has the power to do anything, and (2) that God
will only do what He wills to do according to His holiness and wisely intentioned
purposes, not according to what we want in our brains of flesh. Therefore, Jesus
is not saying that, if our flesh is angry with a mountain (perhaps because we stubbed
our toe when we were walking on it), we can say, "Be removed and cast into the sea,"
and it will then instantly fly off to be cast into the sea. And Jesus is not saying that if we
psych up our minds and emotions of flesh enough to believe that our words will make
events happen in the ways we want, then we can cause things to happen through this
belief in our own power and our own words. Actually, that is not faith in God at all. It is
faith in man, faith in words said by the fleshy will of man, and faith in a very false and
demonic kind of "faith power" -- which is exactly what ancient forms of demonic
witchcraft practiced. So Jesus was not teaching demonic witchcraft here! We must
remember Jesus is actually talking about faith in God alone -- according to God's will
and God's purposes in God's timing.

Jesus is talking about God granting to us whatever we ask from Him through prayer.
Now, when we pray, we must listen more than we must speak. Then, when we hear
from God, we learn about His desires from His will. However, the things He tells us are
often not completely explained at first, if we are not ready to hear all that God's will
entails. Frequently, all we receive from Him is an ambiguous calling to go in a general
direction, or a teaching granting us a general understanding of certain principles
explained in His Word. Only after we act on these commands and teachings of God,
does He tell us more. He continuously tells us more. But all these things are told to our
spirits in our hearts, by God, who is Spirit. So it usually takes time for His commands
and teachings in the spirit to be understood by the brain of flesh, and that only after
much struggle against the brain of flesh, with much searching and thinking. Then it also
takes some skill and familiarity with Jesus Himself, after much time spent in prayer and
the reading of His Word, to be able to distinguish Jesus' voice from other spiritual
voices. Yet, as we move in trust upon His words to our spirits, we learn to act upon His
will.

But we must remember that true prayer is from our spirit's will alone, even though our
brains of flesh are involved in the process of prayer. The spirit in the heart, ruled by
Jesus' Holy Spirit, completely commands the attention of the whole being, when we truly
pray, in real prayer. This is not emotion, nor a psyching up of the brain of flesh. Rather,
true prayer is a sober and rational inner spiritual conversation with the real God, directly
from the heart. It definitely is not a state of ecstasy, like the pagans practiced, with
mindless submission to false spirits. Rather, true prayer discusses pure truth and
wisdom with God. And God teaches very deeply and rationally, where the whole mind of
spirit and brain of flesh are involved, with much thought and repentance to our Master.
210

Therefore, our spirits learn to ask God for whatever things we truly need to accomplish
His will alone, because those are the things our sanctified and reborn spirits desire
above all. For, although our flesh still desires things against God's will, our sanctified
spirits are cleansed and set apart for God's purposes. So our spirits care absolutely
nothing for the things of this world. Thus, when we truly pray in a way ruled by God's
Holy Spirit, we never ask for fleshy or worldly things. Thus, only with this true kind of
prayer, asking for whatever is God's will, do we ever see God grant us whatever we ask.
Then, even if a whole church or government stands in the way of our doing that which
God has truly commanded, God will remove that obstacle. No matter how large the
obstacle may be, God can and will remove it, if it is His will, and if it is the time for it to
be removed. So, if God's Spirit prompts our hearts to pray for something, then we know
the time for that event to occur is now at hand, when God will do it. Therefore we then
pray in complete confidence for it, not matter how huge the request may be. For God
performs miracles.ὃς ἐρρύσατο ἡμᾶς ἐκ τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ σκότους και μετέστησεν εἰς
τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης Αὐτου, ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, τὴν ἄφεσιν
τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν· ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, ὅτι
ἐν Αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε
θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι· τὰ πάντα δι᾽ Αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς Αὐτὸν ἔκτισται·
καὶ Αὐτός ἐστιν πρὸ πάντων καὶ τὰ πάντα ἐν Αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν, καὶ Αὐτός ἐστιν ἡ
κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος, τῆς ἐκκλησίας· ὅς ἐστιν ἀρχῄ, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἵνα
γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν Αὐτὸς πρωτεύων, ὅτι ἐν Αὐτῷ εὐδόκησεν πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα κατοικῆσαι
καὶ δι᾽ Αὐτοῦ ἀποκαταλλάξαι τὰ πάντα εἰς Αὐτόν, εἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ
σταυροῦ Αὐτοῦ, δι᾽ Αὐτοῦ εἴτε τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἴτε τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

Translation: "He delivered us out of the controlling authority of darkness and


transferred [us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have the
redemption, the dismissal of [our] sins. He is an expressed form of the invisible
God, firstborn of all creation, because in Him all things were created in the heavens and
upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or
decision-making authorities. All things have been created through Him and for Him. And
He is before all things and all things stand together in Him. Thus He is the Head of the
body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn out of the dead, in order that He may
be holding supremacy in all things, because [God] was well pleased [to have] all [His]
fullness to dwell in Him; also to reconcile all things unto Himself through Him -- whether
things upon the earth or else things in the heavens, [all are reconciled] through Him --
making peace through the blood of His cross" (Col. 1:13-20).

Comment: This example was also discussed above, as a debatable illustration of a


genitive of subordination. Now Wallace says this is most likely a genitive of
subordination, and means "firstborn over all creation" (indicating He is preeminent over
all, and all is in subordination to Him). Of course, this is true. Jesus is preeminent over
all, and many Scriptures directly state this. But this particular phrase does not. As
mentioned above, the word πρωτότοκος ("firstborn") does not ever primarily connote
211

"preeminence." Even when it partially does so, it does so weakly, where preeminence is
a distant secondary idea to being first in time, first in occurrence. Even if a second born
obtained the title of "firstborn" (which was rare), it was because he was born before the
other brothers -- and the true firstborn had usually lost his place in the family entirely,
perhaps through physical death, or by being rejected because he did some terrible
deed. So, even when the "firstborn" was not literally the first one born, he was still the
one born first in time, before the other legitimate heirs. Being first in time is always the
main idea of πρωτότοκος. If the idea of preeminence was the main idea being
communicated here, the author certainly would not have used this word. So we must
not try to make it artificially fit this interpretation, but rather try to find out exactly what is
actually being taught here.

Arguably, a genitive of reference may be the best category for πάσης κτίσεως. When
the genitives modify the noun πρωτότοκος, it is a reference to Jesus being first in time,
before all creation. Also, there is an ablatival quality about it too, in that Jesus is
"firstborn apart from all creation." Yet the noun πρωτότοκος still implies the "creation" or
"birth" of Jesus, as though He did not exist at one time, but was created in time, albeit
before all the rest of creation. And how can this be true? Jesus is God. And God always
existed in some kind of an "eternal" moment of "now" before the creation, since He
created time itself (i.e., the first day) at the beginning of creation, together with all space
and matter. Logically, all created things, without exception, must begin in time. Since
God created time itself, God never began, never was created, but is the only existence
which is uncreated. Actually, we cannot even use time words like "eternal" or "now" to
describe the spiritual state in which God existed before He created time. But, basically,
an expression like an "eternal now" is about as close as we can get in using words to
describe how God existed always before He created time in heaven and on earth. And
the point is that God always existed before the beginning of creation. Since Jesus is
God, Jesus was never created. To be created, one has to begin to exist in time. Since
Jesus created time, He cannot exist in time or ever begin in time, but rather all time
exists "in" Him, and is governed by Him.

Nonetheless, this phrase, in context, is not speaking about the Spirit of Jesus, not the
spiritual substance of Jesus which existed always before time existed. Rather, it is
talking about the εἰκών of Jesus. That is, it is talking about His "form," that
which represents His invisible Being. It is talking about His physical and/or
spiritual body which His Spirit uses. It is the "form" which is here called the "firstborn of
all creation." God is Spirit, and Jesus is God. Yet His invisible Being is Spirit, not His
body or "form." Certainly His physical body on earth existed in this physical space-time
continuum, as a visible and tangible "form." And even His glorified "spiritual body" in
heaven is not just His Spirit, but rather His Spirit in a "spiritual body," a body which
exists in some kind of time made for heaven. For Scripture says the "spiritual body" is
that which is "put onto" the spirit, thus covers or contains the spirit (e.g., I Cor. 15:35-
54). So how could even the spirit in heaven be just spirit alone, since every spirit has a
212

"spiritual body" which covers or contains that spirit?

Jesus is like us, with both Spirit and body. Of course, the Spirit of Jesus is the unlimited
and uncreated Spirit of God. Yet we merely have created spirits, which began in
spiritual time, whatever that might be (i.e., spiritual time and matter are not fully
conceivable to a brain of flesh, which can only think and communicate in words
representing things of this physical universe, where the brain of flesh must even use
physical terms to describe spiritual things). However, we have spirit and body just like
Jesus has Spirit and body. And Jesus' body, the εἰκών or "form" of Jesus, is the
"firstborn of all creation." In other words, His body was created before all creation, in
time, but apart from all else. His body is also πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν ("firstborn out
of the dead," verse 18), which means, in the history of all time, His body was the first
body to ever rise to life out of the dead, into resurrection for eternal life as a glorified
body. (Yes, Jesus raised other bodies out of the dead temporarily, but they died again,
and were not raised to be transformed into glorified spiritual bodies, able to enter
heaven, before Him.) In both instances here, the noun πρωτότοκος refers to Christ's
body, and in both it refers to Him being first in time.

Now, if the body of Jesus was created first, before all the rest of creation, that first body
would have been His glorified eternal "spiritual body," not His physical body. His eternal
body, which was to live forever in heaven, would haveBeware, brothers, [that] there will
not ever be a heart [which is] evil from unbelief in any one of you, which is thus to stand
away from the living God. But call aside [others among] yourselves for personal counsel
and admonishment according to [the need of] each day, while [the day] is being called
'today,' so that not any one out of you might be hardened by the deceit of sin. For we
have become and remain partakers of Christ, if we might at least hold onto the
beginning of [our] foundational confidence until the guaranteed end. [It is the time] in
which to say: 'Today, if you hear the voice of Him, do not harden your hearts as in the
provocation [of God by the children of Israel] [see Psalm 95:7-8; Ex. 17:1-7] been the
first creation, coming even before He created heaven. So, at the same time His spiritual
body came into existence, so did the spiritual "space-time continuum," which would be
basically inconceivable to us, yet more real than our physical space-time continuum,
since it is eternal, not temporary. After this spiritual body of God, and thus after He
created the spiritual "space-time continuum," then all heaven would have been created,
all with careful reference to the design of the first thing. That is, God would have made
heaven with consideration for His first design of His spiritual body, who is our one God,
Jesus.

Likewise, it is clear that Jesus' spiritual body can become a physical body, and that He
can make other spiritual bodies become physical bodies too. After all, we see how
God's Word says that Yahweh God walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, Yahweh
God came with two angels to Abraham, angels appeared physically to men, Jesus
exchanged the physical body of His resurrection for a spiritual body when He ascended
213

into heaven, and Jesus will exchange His glorified spiritual body for a physical body
again when He descends to live among us for a millennium. Therefore, Jesus' spiritual
body, which can be transformed into a physical body at will, is also the pattern for the
creation of the physical earth. Therefore, all creation, both heaven and earth, would
have been made to "fit" the wants and needs of that body of God, of the εἰκών or
"expressed form" of God, who is Jesus. So, when we were created in God's image, we
were created in the image of Jesus, with both spirit like God, and body like Jesus
(except without the power of Jesus).

After all, it says, "all things have been created through Him and for Him." This implies
that Jesus was an intermediate Agent acting on behalf of God the Father. But God is
One. So how could Jesus, our God, be an intermediary for Himself, as God? The only
way is if it is speaking about the "expressed image" or body of God functioning as an
intermediary Agent or instrument in producing creation. And creation was made for Him,
unto Him, even "into" His intentions, plans, purposes and goals. All revolved around
Him, for love, for friendship, for spiritual children who would be like Him, with whom He
could share His own life. "And He is before all things and all things stand together in
Him." This is because Jesus' body or εἰκών or "expressed form" of God came into
existence in time before all the rest of creation. Then all was created in reference to His
"expressed form," to be like Him in love and in all that He is. And Jesus is the "He is,"
that is, Yahweh. By His power, all things exist together in harmony, for His Own
purposes, in the sphere of all that He is.

Clearly, it states that "He is the beginning." That is, Jesus is the first, preceding all else
in time. But, since it speaks of His being in time, then it must be speaking of His body,
which exists in time. Obviously, it makes sense that God would make His Own body
first, before creating all other things, before making His eternal home of heaven. After
all, a home is made for the one who lives in it. We do not build fox holes or bird nests for
humans. Instead, we build houses with doors big enough for humans to enter, then
design all the other aspects of the home with human wants and needs in mind. So God
would not make just any kind of eternal spiritual home, then create His spiritual body to
fit into that home. Rather, God would first make His spiritual and eternal body, then
make the spiritual eternal home to fit the desires and needs of His will for that body.
God would have made Jesus' home in heaven to accommodate all His body's purposes
and goals.

Then the earth would have been made after heaven, because it is a temporary training
ground, to build up and teach God's children and friends. Now human beings, who are
God's elect children, were all made in His image, in order to live with Him in heaven.
Therefore, since He made His home in heaven to also be our final and permanent home
too, does it not also follow that earth was made in the likeness of heaven? Earth had to
be made to fit our desires and needs, which are partly the same as they will be in our
home in heaven -- except that our bodies are physical now, but will be transformed into
214

spiritual bodies in heaven. Also, God cursed and made the earth corrupted after
mankind sinned. Nevertheless, earth must bear traces of our spiritual eternal home in
heaven.

The point is that God did not make some kind of mistake or blunder when He created
humans who fall into sin. God did not come to us in the body of Jesus to fix a mistake
which He previously made. Rather, God knew exactly what He was doing when He
created man, and knew that man would fall into sin when He created man. For He
created man naked, without garments of righteousness -- like the garments God is
always portrayed as wearing, and like the garments all the angels are always portrayed
as wearing, and like the garments of righteousness that we shall obtain finally in Christ
(e.g., Rev. 19:8). So we see that Jesus came first, and all was made in relation to His
desires and needs for His will to be done. Thus, the temporary physical universe was
made to work a process which prepares us for our permanent home in heaven. This
process included sin, then repentance into love for God, to work out the goal for us to
become eventually more like God than the angels in heaven. Angels are each made
perfect for their individual purposes, but can never be children, heirs and friends of God,
like we will be. Therefore, we now sin, and need Jesus' payment for our sins, in order to
fulfill a real, planned, intentional and predestined purpose of God. That purpose is that
we will love God in a more complete way after being freed from sin. All that ever existed
and will exist in the future works towards a greater good in the end, for all God's elect
heirs.

In all this activity of God, Jesus bought our complete forgiveness, the dismissal of all our
sins, by paying the full and just penalty for our sins. And He did this in order to redeem
us from bondage to the power and authority of delusions and lies. Now He has removed
us from the rule of darkness, and transferred us into the light of the Father's kingdom
containing His love for His Son, and thus into His love for all whom His Son loves. None
of this is by accident. All was planned and willed by God from the beginning. Therefore,
since God cannot fail, none of this plan can fail. God is working out all according to His
exact plan and intentions. All is being done rightly and correctly, all totally under His
control. All invisible and visible workings are entirely created and kept in existence by
God, and nothing can slip out of His capable hands. There are no powers or rulers
which can possibly escape from, or overcome, the absolute control of God's sovereign
power.

Jesus Himself is the One God whom we can trust with faith, regarding all this. Jesus is
the expressed form of thee God Himself, within whom all the fullness of God lives. Thus
He created all, and thus He rules over all supreme. In Jesus, all God's elect children,
whom God allowed and intended to fall into sin, will be brought back and reconciled to
God, to become more than they were in their own personal beginnings. This is not a
haphazard thing which might fail in even one single instance. It is all a sure and planned
thing, without any chance of error or failure, without even one tiny exception. God does
215

not make mistakes. Through the sacrifice and payment of sins by Jesus' bodily death on
the cross, all God's elect children shall indeed approach God in everlasting peace, to
live with Him forever in heaven. Not one of God's elect will be left behind in hell. The
salvation of all His children will be completed to absolute perfection in Christ. In fact, it is
already as good as completed and finished in Him. There is not a thing He did not think
of, and there can be no possible errors leading to a loss. Nothing exists outside of God's
creation, in order to be able to disrupt or destroy God's plan for His chosen ones.
h. Genitives of AssociationA genitive of association expresses who is part of and
together with whatever the head noun or word being modified indicates. The
genitive will usually modify a noun or adjective beginning with the prefix συν, or else a
word which conveys the idea of togetherness. And the genitive of association seems to
suggest "part of" the same group, limiting the scope to a more narrow and closely
associated group. The genitive is not just "with," but "one with" or "part of the same
people with." Wallace suggests using the key words "with" or "in association with," but
these may not be strong enough indicators of the togetherness implied here.The
preposition σύν always takes a dative object, and indicates "together with,
accompaniment, fellowship." So, in secular Greek, most often when nouns beginning
with the prefix συνare found with a personal noun or pronoun, they seem to be found
with a dative noun or pronoun. But if a word prefixed with συν is with a genitive personal
noun or pronoun, the genitive indicates a closer association. That genitive may be
almost like a partitive genitive, suggesting that the genitive is the whole, and the word
prefixed with συν is a part of it. So can be translated as "which is together with and a
part of [the genitive]." Or the opposite can be true, where the genitive indicates that it is
a part of the whole represented by the word prefixed by συν. So it means, "together with
[the genitive] and of which [the genitive] is a part or belongs."For example, in secular
Greek literature, it appears that a word like συνεργός ("co-worker, helper"), if it is found
with a personal noun or pronoun, might most often be found with a dative form, such
as ὁ συνεργὸς ἡμῖν ("a worker together with us, a helper to us"). But in the GNT, one
almost always finds συνεργός with a genitive personal noun or pronoun. In Rom. 16:3,
we see τοὺς συνεργούς μου ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, which means something like, "the fellow
workers together with me [and with whom I am one] in Christ Jesus." Then, in verse 9, it
says, τὸν συνεργὸν ἡμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ, which is more like a partitive genitive, and means
something like, "the fellow worker together with us [and who is one of us] in Christ." In
verse 21, both terms are singular: ὁ συνεργός μου, meaning, "my co-worker [with whom
I am closely associated]."Wallace says, "This usage has particular exegetical weight in
the Pauline letters, for it typically makes explicit some ramification of the ἐν
Χριστῷ formula (since believers are said to be in Christ, because of their organic
connection to Him, they now associate with Him in many and profound ways)....
not just their legal or forensic connection: cf. especially Rom. 5, where both the forensic
and organic connections are made." That is, we do not only gain a static legal freedom
from the penalty of sin through the sacrifice of Christ, but also actively participate in
living life with Jesus, a life which grows and thrives in terms of our relationship with God
and each other, bearing ever more of the fruit of righteous love in Christ Jesus and
216

through Him.The genitive of association is "somewhat common," and Wallace provided


quite a few examples. However, he placed most of the examples under the subheading
"Clear Examples," and the rest under the subheading "Disputed Examples." So I did the
same below. For each example, the head noun or word modified by the genitive is
highlighted in green and the genitive of association is highlighted in bluish green.Clear
Examplesοὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τοὺς τάφους
τῶν προφητῶν καὶ κοσμεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν δικαίων, καὶ λέγετε· εἰ ἤμεθα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις
τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν, οὐκ ἂν ἤμεθα αὐτῶν κοινωνοὶ ἐν τῷ αἵματι τῶν προφητῶν. ὥστε
μαρτυρεῖτε ἑαυτοῖς ὅτι υἱοί ἐστε τῶν φονευσάντων τοὺς προφήτας. καὶ ὑμεῖς πληρώσατε
τὸ μέτρον τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν.

Translation: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you build up the
graves of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, then say, 'If we
were [living] in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in
[shedding] the blood of the prophets.' As a result, you testify for yourselves that you are
sons of those having murdered the prophets. And you fully meet the standard of your
fathers" (Mat. 23:29-32).

Comment: As Wallace points out, this genitive of association is not modifying a word
beginning with the prefix συν-, which is a little unusual. In this instance, it is modifying a
nominative plural form of the noun κοινωνός ("a sharer, partner, fellow partaker or
participant"), and means "partakers together with them."

Now these religious scholars and leaders fell under the delusion that they knew more
than their fathers -- in exactly the same way their fathers, who murdered the prophets,
fell under the delusion that they knew more than the prophets. So make no mistake.
These religious men were not confessing the sins of their fathers, along with their own
sins, like God wants us to do. Instead, they were entirely focussed on themselves,
thinking themselves to be quite good, and far better than their fathers. But, in reality,
these hypocrites were worse. If they prayed humbly, in the fear of God, they would say
something like: "God help me in my weakness, because I so often sin just like my
fathers before me. I beg You, O Lord, in Your power, overcome my obvious pride and
temper. Open my ears to hear those You send to rebuke me, who teach me to repent
into Your ways, though I am a sinner like my fathers." Also, just like many do today,
men back then would brag about their most prominent ancestors, or about the
reputation of their family line. Yet, in reality, the behaviour of the vast majority of their
ancestors, if examined in the light of the Gospel, was usually reprehensible, cruel,
proud, self-serving and not pleasing to God at all. No one's ancestors ever truly are
anything worth boasting about, and the "best" are usually the worst.

This is why God wants us to confess the sins of our fathers along with our own sins
(e.g., Lev. 26:40-42, see also Neh. 9:2; Ps. 106:6; Jer. 3:25; 14:20; Ezek. 18:14-20;
Dan. 9:8,16). We must not get caught up in our fathers' sins. So we should not extol or
217

esteem the worldly and selfish behaviours of our fathers, in order to artificially create
esteem for ourselves in the unholy eyes of the world. Even if some of our fathers were
truly blessed by God, all were indeed sinners. And we must realize that, just as the sins
of the fathers cannot fall upon the children, so too, the righteousness of the fathers
cannot fall upon the children either. Yet look at how frequently the children take up the
same sins as their parents, and "fully perform the measure of [their] fathers." Also, we
must know that, if a man approves of the sins of another man (even the sins of a
stranger, much less sins of a father), then that man has joined himself with the sinner,
as a partaker in the sinner's sin. On the other hand, if we deeply love and long for the
righteousness of Christ, with increasing disgust over our own sins (and the sins of our
fathers), then we too become partakers in Christ's righteousness, and God's power shall
grant our desires for righteousness more each day.ὅσοι γὰρ Πνεύματι Θεοῦ ἄγονται,
οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν Θεοῦ. οὐ γὰρ ἐλάβετε πνεῦμα δουλείας πάλιν εἰς φόβον, ἀλλὰ ἐλάβετε
Πνεῦμα υἱοθεσίας, ἐν ᾧ κράζομεν· Ἀββὰ, ὁ Πατήρ. Αὐτὸ τὸ Πνεῦμα συμμαρτυρεῖ τῷ
πνεύματι ἡμῶν ὅτι ἐσμὲν τέκνα Θεοῦ. εἰ δὲ τέκνα, καὶ κληρονόμοι· κληρονόμοι μὲν
Θεοῦ, συγκληρονόμοι δὲ Χριστοῦ, εἴπερ συμπάσχομεν ἵνα καὶ συνδοξασθῶμεν.

Translation: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For
you did not receive a spirit of slavery, unto fear again. Rather, you received the Spirit of
adoption as sons, in which we cry out loud, 'Abba, [our] Father!' The Spirit Himself
testifies together with our spirit, that we are children of God. So, if [we are] children,
then heirs; on the one hand, heirs [inheriting] God, on the other hand, heirs as one with
Christ [and inheriting all He does together with Him], because we suffer together with
[Him] in order that we also may be glorified together with [Him]" (Rom. 8:14-17).

Comment: This example was also briefly mentioned as a possible example of an


objective genitive, with the head noun translated like a verb: "[when we together] inherit
Christ." Now we are the priesthood of God. So the only real inheritance of God's true
priesthood is the Lord God Himself (e.g., Num. 18:20; Deut. 10:9; 18:2). Therefore,
when Paul says we are κληρονόμοι Θεοῦ ("heirs of God"), the genitive is most likely an
objective genitive, meaning we inherit God. Then the next phrase, συγκληρονόμοι
Χριστοῦ, possibly has an objective genitive too. Still, there is a μέν ... δέ construction
here, where the two phrases are compared and contrasted ("on the one hand ..., on the
other hand ..."). Also, the head noun in this other phrase begins with συγ, a form of the
preposition σύν. Thus, Χριστοῦ is more likely a genitive of association: "heirs together
with Christ, as one with Christ." This implies that, as the people of Christ, belonging to
Christ, we inherit whatever Christ inherits, when Christ comes into His inheritance, since
we are one with Him. Context definitely supports this view, since it also talks about us
suffering together with Him, and being glorified together with Him, as though all we do is
as one people, whose one Head is Christ, whose entire lives are one in Christ -- if we
truly are led by the Spirit of God, and not by the spirit of the world.... καὶ ἀποκαταλλάξῃ
τοὺς ἀμφοτέρους ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι τῷ Θεῷ διὰ τοῦ σταυροῦ, ἀποκτείνας τὴν ἔχθραν ἐν
Αὐτῷ· καὶ ἐλθων εὐηγγελίσατο εἰρήνην ὑμῖν τοῖς μακρὰν καὶ εἰρήνην τοῖς ἐγγύς· ὅτι δι᾽
218

Αὐτοῦ ἔχομεν τὴν προσαγωγὴν οἱ ἀμφότεροι ἐν ἑνὶ Πνεύματι πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα. ἄρα οὖν
οὐκέτι ἐστὲ ξένοι καὶ πάροικοι, ἀλλὰ ἐστὲ συμπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων καὶ οἰκεῖοι τοῦ Θεοῦ,