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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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 "Insights" from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

Why Do We Believe What We Believe? Matt. 22:29

Why Do We Believe What We Believe? Matt. 22:29

During the time of Christ, the Jews were divided into two major "denominations", the Pharisees, and the Sadducees. The Pharisees tended to believe the Old Testament scriptures, but had two major weaknesses, they tended not to live by the scriptures they "believed" and added hundreds of "traditions of men" to the scriptures. They were stronger at keeping the "traditions" they had invented, than they were at keeping the God given scriptures that they supposedly "believed". Example, Mark 7:1-13.

The Sadducees, on the other hand, were strong on a literal interpretation of the scriptures, and they rejected the traditions of man that had been added to the scriptures by the Pharisees, but, their major weakness was that they picked and chose which Old Testament scriptures they "believed".The Sadducees did not believe in the supernatural, or in angels, or in the resurrection of the dead. Example, Acts 23:8.

When Jesus answered the Sadducees in Matt. 22:29, and told them (KJV) "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.", this statement of Jesus is brought into full force by the definition of the Greek word translated "err". The English word "err" in this passage sounds like Jesus is just telling them that they are wrong, but the Greek word underneath "err" is "planao", meaning to be "DECEIVED". The Greek verb "Planao" in Matt. 22:29 is in the "present tense", stating that they were "being deceived" at that time, and in the "passive voice", indicating that they were not producing the action, but were being deceived by others, and in the "indicative mood", stating that this is not a theoretical, but a real problem.

The Sadducees, in their false system of beliefs, had to ignore all the scriptures in the Old Testament that stated the reality of the resurrection of the dead. They had to ignore the eternal covenants God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Jobís statement of the resurrection in Job 19:26, Davidís statements in 2 Sam. 12:23 & Psa. 17:15, Isaiahís statement in Isa. 26:19, Danielís statement in Dan. 12:2, and Ezekielís statement in Eze.37:1-14.

The error of the Sadducees was that they were being DECEIVED by building their "denominational" beliefs on selected scriptures, instead of on what the whole word of God teaches. In Acts 17:11, the believers at Berea were praised for going home and checking the scriptures to see if the things they were hearing were true.

I urge you to always read the CONTEXT around verses that are pointed out to you, and to prayerfully check what the WHOLE Bible teaches on each subject. God wants us to know the whole truth, and as Jesus said in Matt. 7:7, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you". Letís learn from the shortcomings of the Sadducees and Pharisees, and not repeat their mistakes. As the bumper sticker says, "Read your Bible, there WILL be a test".

Bob Jones