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Old 06-20-2009, 03:27 PM
premio53 premio53 is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 21
Default Don't tell me what it “means” just tell me what it “says”

Neh 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

How many times have you heard someone piously state that he cares not what a verse or word means but what it says? Practically every cult I know of is guilty of that philosophy. Lets look at some verses and see what they say and then lets figure out what they mean.

Pro 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him “betimes.”

For many years I thought “betimes” meant “many times.” It actually “means” to chasten him “early” or “promptly” and ties in with Proverbs 19:18 where it says “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” Any good reference Bible will give the correct “meaning.”

1Co 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

If we take this verse for what it “says” then Mormon practice appears to be legitimate. But what does it mean? Here is the context.

1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1Co 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

There were Corinthians who were teaching that no one (including Christ) ever rose from the dead, yet they still taught and practiced the ordinance of baptism. Since the whole point of baptism is that it signifies the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the act of baptism would be an absurdity if Christ did not rise.

For those who believed that Christ did not rise from the dead, they truly were being "baptized for the dead" because they were being baptized for a dead savior, and not One Who rose from the dead.

Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

We know that cultists use this verse to show that all who are not baptized are damned. Many hyperdispensationalists teach the same thing. However, this is a case of making the verse mean just the exact opposite of what it says! They conveniently leave out the little conjunction “but” which must be applied to the entire verse! Jesus says plainly that “he that believeth not shall be damned” while excluding the first part of the verse.

Another verse of similar construction is:

Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Is it not clear that the flip side is if he puts away his wife for the cause of fornication and marries another, he has not committed adultery?

You can find this throughout the word of God and I find it troubling that some would recommend to a young Christian to disregard attempting to find the “meaning” of a verse and just take it for what it “says.” It is a double edged sword.

Last edited by premio53; 06-20-2009 at 03:34 PM.

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