Monday, January 1, 2018

Jesus stated, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).  According to the same writer, the name Jesus was given by an angel from God (Matthew 1:21).  Joseph obeyed and “called his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:25).  Paul stated that God has given Jesus “the name which above every name” (Philippians 2:9).  One of the reasons for biblical misunderstandings is due to the King James Version of 1611, as well as following English versions, neglecting to translate the Greek word “Christ.”  Due to that decision, some believe Jesus’ last name is “Christ.”

The Greek word for Christ is χριστοσ (Christos).  It is a transliteration rather than a translation.  This means they spelled the Greek letters into English.  The Greek “os” was dropped in the process, leaving “Christ.”  What the word means is, “anointed one.”  The Hebrew word is Messiah (Mashiah).  It is found 39 times in the KJV.  37 times it is translated as “anointed.”  Twice is it not and spelled out as “Messiah.”  If all English translations had rendered “Christos” as “anointed one,” as the King James did with “Messiah” in most Old Testament passages, this misunderstanding may not have developed.  In the following verses the translation of “Christ” would remove it as Jesus’ last name!

Jesus asked his apostles who men thought he was.  Peter replied to his question with, “You are the anointed one, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15-16).

John ends his gospel account with, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the anointed one, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31).

On the day of Pentecost, Peter replied to a question with, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus the anointed one, for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38, the word “baptized” in another untranslated word!).

If so translated, it would keep us focused on the Lord’s name in passages like the following:

Let everyone who names the name of the anointed one depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).

If you are reproached for the name of the anointed one, blessed are you” (1 Peter 4:14).

If anyone suffers as a follower of the anointed one, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:16).

Who is “the anointed one”?  What is his heavenly given name?

We read descriptive names, such as “the church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23; Colossians 1:15, 18), “The body of the anointed one” (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:12), “The kingdom of the anointed one” (Ephesians 5:5), and “members of the anointed one” (1 Corinthians 6:15).  So, who does the church, body, kingdom, or members belong to?  What is his name?  Is it “anointed one”?  That may be his title, but it isn’t his name.  His name “is above every name” (Philippians 4:9)!

Paul mentions first century assemblies in the following passages.   “The churches of God” (1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4).  “Churches of the Gentiles” (Romans 16:4).  “Churches of Galatia” (1 Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 1:2).  “Churches of Macedonia” (2 Corinthians 8:1).  “Churches of Asia” (1 Corinthians 16:19).  “Churches of Judea” (Galatians 1:22), “All churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).  “Churches of the Anointed One” (Romans 16:16).

The word “church” or “churches” is an inserted word from the 17th century.  The actual word in the Greek text is ekklesia translated “assembly,” or “called out.”  So, instead of “churches” in the above text, we should have “the assemblies of . . .” or “the called out of . . .,” etc.

It is interesting how false impressions begin and the conclusions they produce.