My Thoughts. . .
Isn’t it strange how our way of doing something, with time, is viewed as God’s way to do it? Something begins innocently, is expedited, approved, confirmed by inference, and evolves as an untouchable practice. If someone mistakenly or purposely deviates from our expectations, he is suspected of raising the “red flag” on a slippery slope.
Satan began by questioning why Adam and Eve could not eat everything in the garden (Genesis 3:1). Then he questioned why God was withholding a specific item from them. He continued by leading them to believe God was keeping something from them which they deserved (v.5)! Satan took an item that was familiar to the first couple, used it to question God’s motives for withholding it, and then convinced them to believe they needed to be gods. He is still doing that, and we are still tripping over ourselves to wear that crown!
Some Bible students do not realize that Jesus never quoted a Bible passage, giving chapter or verse. He almost never told what book it was found in. Folks don’t realize that when the Old Testament was quoted, sometimes it is from the Hebrew text and at other times from the Greek. The Greek text may have been viewed then as some view the NIV today. Believe it or not, Jesus nor the apostles read or quoted from the King James Version!
Jesus seldom mentioned the name of the book he was quoting. Once he mentioned Daniel in Matthew 24:15-16. He referred to David stating something in the Psalms but did not reveal which of the one hundred and fifty it was. He would mention Moses but not tell which of the five books the quote was taken from. He would do the same by mentioning the prophets but not say which one. Our Lord quoted from the Psalms eleven times, from Deuteronomy ten, from Isaiah eight, and Exodus seven. The rest are scattered throughout the first covenant. What some may not be aware of is that Jesus paraphrased some of his quotes. That would probably be paralleled today with someone utilizing the Living Bible, the New Living Translation, or even the Message! The wording of a text from the Greek translation would not follow the exactness of the Hebrew translation. In other words, it would be like reading a passage from the King James Version, then read it from the New King James or NIV and find out the NKJV and NIV were different from the KJV and more like each other. It would be the same thought but worded differently. Sometimes it would be completely different in the way it was expressed.
What this reveals is that no speaker or writer of the second covenant had a speech or spoke on a subject and 1) documented the quote with book, chapter, and verse, 2) documented the statement with five, ten, or fifteen citations attached, 3) no one limited themselves to a specific translations in quoting God’s word, 4) no one was criticized because he didn’t utilize or quote from someone’s favorite translation, 5) no one, not even Jesus was criticized because he paraphrased a biblical passage rather than quoting it verbatim from the Hebrew or Greek text, and 6) no one was accused of not quoting scripture when that passage was paraphrased!
There is nothing wrong with a speaker telling his audience the location of the passage he is quoting. When it becomes a deception of Satan is when people don’t believe the speaker is preaching the gospel when he doesn’t give the specific location of his quote. It is also a deception of the devil when folks believe it isn’t “gospel” because the speaker isn’t supplying a string of citations which he believes supports his remarks. They may quote ten or twenty passages to sustain their point, but God doesn’t require it. In fact, such actions were not practiced by Jesus nor any inspired individual in the first century.
What God does require is that those who hear a sermon must make sure that their speaker and they aren’t being deceived by Satan. Sometimes when a speaker says the Bible teaches something, it may not.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Some don’t realize they have been devoured and Satin is satisfied with his meal choice!