Often Misquoted Bible Verses
Sadly, several keys verses from Scripture are often misquoted and misunderstood by a large number of people. This is sometimes due to simple ignorance, and sometimes due to intentional misdirection. Above all else, the Christadelphians want all people to read and clearly understand God's message for each of us through His Holy Word. This page presents these verses and their basic meaning. With a clearer understanding, each person will be able to understand God's message more fully.
John 1:1 could very well be the most misquoted and misunderstood verse in the whole of scripture. In the King James Version, this verse reads:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Later in verse 14 we read:
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
These two verses taken together are often misquoted, equating Jesus with "the Word", and therefore equating Jesus with God (from verse 1).
To truly understand this passage from John, we need to look to the original Greek, not the English translation. In Greek, verse 1 says:
"En arche en ho Logos, chai de Logos en pros ton Theos, chai theos en de Logos."
A word for word translation to Engish would be: "In beginning is/was the Logos, and the Logos is/was next to the God, and god is/was the Logos." From this, we need to fully understand the word "Logos". And this is where we see one of the worst translations in the King James Version Bible.
From the Merriam-Webster dictionary, we get a good definition for "Logos" - "the divine wisdom manifest in the creation, government, and redemption of the world". So "Logos" is "divine wisdom". "Logos" can also be simply stated as "God's Plan" or "God's Purpose" with the world. With a proper understanding, we see that "Logos" is mental, not physical. It is a plan or idea, not a physical person or being. And we see that translating "Logos" as "the Word" does not convey the true meaning.
John 1:1 would be better understood if the English phrase "God's Plan" was used instead of "Word". Then the text would read something like "In the beginning was God's Plan, and the Plan was with God, and the Plan was God." The text continues this way through verse 14: "And God's Plan was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." referring to the fact that the whole Plan and Purpose of God from creation and throughout history was to see His only begotten son born, live, and glorified.
To complete our understanding of this passage, we must also look at John 1:3-4:
"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men."
We must note that where the King James Version has "him" in these verses, the original Greek word is "autou", a genderless possessive pronoun. In most cases, this word is translated "it", not "him" or "her". Which pronoun to use is based on the context, and when a context is not available, the pronoun "it" should be used. When the tranlators did their work 400 years ago, they set the pronoun to "him", setting the stage for debate ever since. So when reading this word in English, in order to avoid confusion, it would be best if we read "him" as "it/him/her", noting that there is no gender implied.
With serious consideration of this passage, we can see that it does not teach that Jesus was with God in the beginning at the time of creation, but rather the Plan for Jesus guided God's creative Hand. Jesus only came into existence when God's Plan "became flesh", was bodily fulfilled, in the manger in Bethlehem about 2000 years ago.
John 10:30 reads simply:
"I and my Father are one."
This verse is referenced by trinitarians in an attempt to prove that Jesus and Yahweh (the Father) are two parts of the same God. But by doing so, they imply that this verse should be read: "I and my Father are physically one." In order to truly understand whether or not this is accurate, we should look for other places where John uses this same word. We find such a place a few chapters later where Jesus is praying to his Heavenly Father:
"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they (the disciples) may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one..." (John 17:22-23)
These are all the same word for "one". So if John 10:30 implies "physically one", then so does John 17:22 imply "that they (the disciples) may be physically one." Logically, this just doesn't make sense. The disciples and the followers of Christ throughout the millenia cannot be physically "one".
However, we can be emotionally and spiritually one. We can share the same mindframe, the same passion, the same love for each other and for Jesus Christ as he had for his Heavenly Father.
This is a common theme throughout the scriptures. The most well-known passage in this theme, the one read at most weddings, is found in Genesis 2:24:
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh"
Here, again, "one" does not mean "physically one", but rather emotionally and spiritually one. A husband and wife are to share such a level of love for each other that they become inseparable. So too, we are to share this same level of love with our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ such that we are inseparable. In this sense, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are one.
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