The Holy Bible Made Simple (For Relationships)
In the Old Testament, adultery is frequently used as an analogy to depict the spiritual unfaithfulness of God's people Israel Jeremiah ; Ezekiel , 38; Hosea Homosexuality , fourth, marks another falling away from God's creation purposes in that it violates the divine will for marriage to be between one man and one woman. As Genesis stipulates, "A man [masculine] shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife [feminine], and the two shall become one flesh.
Since homosexuality involves same-sex intercourse that cannot lead to procreation, it is unnatural and cannot logically entail the possibility of marriage. A fifth shortcoming of God's ideal for marriage is sterility , which falls short of the fertility desired by the Creator. Fertility is implicit in the biblical reference to the "one flesh" union. At times, lack of fertility is said in the Old Testament to be the result of personal sin Genesis ; 2 Samuel , while on other occasions sterility is presented as a simple fact of fallen nature Genesis ; ; ; 1 Samuel However, God is often shown to answer prayers for fertility offered by his people in faith e.
Gender role confusion is a sixth and final result of humanity's rebellion against the Creator. Where God's design for man and woman to be distinct yet complementary partners in procreation and stewardship of God's earth is diluted, people will inexorably be confused about what it means to be masculine or feminine, and the lines between the two sexes made by God will increasingly be blurred. Despite the above-mentioned ways in which God's original design for marriage and the family was compromised, however, the Bible in the Old Testament continues to extol the virtues of the excellent wife Proverbs and to celebrate the beauty of sex in marriage Song of Solomon.
The New Testament teaches that the restoration of God's original design for marriage in Christ is part of God's realignment of all things under Christ's authority and lordship. In the book of Ephesians, we read that it is God's purpose "to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ" Ephesians , NIV.
Thus marriage is not an end in itself but part of God's end-time restoration of all things in the person of Jesus Christ. Part of this restoration is that all evil powers are brought under control and are submitted to the supreme authority of Christ Ephesians Later on in the same letter, Paul addresses the subject of marriage in general, and marital roles in particular, within the larger context of believers needing to be filled with the Holy Spirit Ephesians What is the biblical pattern for marriage?
This is best seen in a close study of the pre-eminent passage on marital roles in the New Testament, Ephesians In this passage, instructions are given to both husbands and wives in form of a "house table," which features commands given first to the person under authority followed by instructions for the person in a position of authority. In keeping with this pattern, the passage addresses first wives, then husbands Ephesians ; first children, then parents Ephesians ; and first slaves, and then masters Ephesians ; similar "house tables" are also found in Colossians and 1 Peter Wives, for their part, are called to submit to their own husbands, as to the Lord.
As the church submits to Christ, so wives should to their husbands in everything Ephesians Husbands, in turn, are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. They are to provide for their wives both physically and spiritually and to cherish them as God's special provision for them Ephesians As Christian husbands and wives live out these marital roles, God's original creation design for marriage will be fulfilled once again: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" Ephesians , citing Genesis As mentioned, this pattern of headship and submission is placed within the larger context of Christ's headship over all other powers, which Paul addressed at the beginning of his letter to the Ephesians see Ephesians , Paul returns to this subject at the end of his epistle where he urges all Christians--including husbands and wives, parents and children--to put on the "whole armor of God" so they can stand against the devil Ephesians ; for the various pieces in this spiritual "armor," see Ephesians In this warfare, believers' struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the evil supernatural Ephesians Armed with truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and God's word, they will be able to stand firm and resist the devil "in the evil day" Ephesians The reality of the power of Satan and his forces explains at least in part why there is so much conflict in many marriages and families today.
It also helps account for the widespread nature of divorce and the massive assault on marriage as an institution in our contemporary culture. We turn now to a discussion of singleness and the unmarried state. In Old Testament times, singleness was rare among individuals old enough to marry.
Those unmarried were therefore limited to widows, eunuchs, those who could not marry due to diseases such as leprosy or severe economic difficulties, those who did not marry because of some type of divine call, those who had undergone a divorce, or unmarried young men and women. Thus marriage was the overwhelming norm in Old Testament times, in keeping with the foundational creation narrative in Genesis 1 and 2. In the New Testament, a somewhat different picture emerges.
Jesus spoke favorably about "eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" Matthew , and Paul even called celibacy a "gift from God" 1 Corinthians He further suggested that married people's interests were divided while the unmarried could devote themselves wholly to the Lord 1 Corinthians What is more, Jesus taught that in the eternal state, there will be no more marriage, but all will be "like angels in heaven" Matthew Thus we see in the sweep of biblical history a trend from marriage as the norm with singleness being limited to exceptional cases , to a place where the advantages and disadvantages of both marriage and singleness are affirmed in Jesus and Paul , to a marriage-less state in heaven where the only "marriage" will be that of Jesus, the heavenly bridegroom, to the church as his spiritual "bride.
What does the Bible teach on the subject of homosexuality? As mentioned, the Genesis creation account stipulates heterosexual, not homosexual, marriage as God's original design. Homosexuality falls short in several critical ways. First, homosexual relationships fall short in the area of procreation , since they are by their very nature not able to fulfill God's creation mandate for humanity to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.
Second, homosexuality also violates another cardinal underlying principle of God's creation design for human relationships, namely that of complementarity. The very fact that in some homosexual relationships one partner takes on a male and the other a female role attested by two different Greek words for homosexuality in the New Testament provides indirect support for the complementarity inherent in the divine creation design. In recent years, homosexual advocates have argued that the Bible, rightly interpreted, does not forbid homosexual relationships, only perverse expressions of such.
For example, they have argued that God's judgment on Sodom on Gomorrah Genesis was merely for these cities' inhospitality, not for the sin of homosexuality. However, while Sodom and Gomorrah did in fact show a lack of hospitality, it is hardly conceivable that God would punish these cities by utter annihilation for this comparatively minor offense. Also, the Epistle of Jude clearly states that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah "indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire" i.
John stated that the authors were selective in what they recorded see John Matthew —23 ; —17 ; —9 ; Mark ; ; —31 ; ; —62 ; , Luke —4, 35 ; —11 ; —8, 25—32, 44— John —4, 14 ; —39 ; , 58 ; —37 ; — The first two rows on the overview chart show that Matthew, Mark, and Luke share much of the same content. Even so, each is unique and has much detail that is not shared by the others.
The earliest surviving New Testament text dated to the first half of the second century A. The earliest full manuscripts of individual New Testament books date to around A. After apostolic authority was taken from the earth through the deaths of the Apostles, which resulted in the loss of priesthood keys, the Apostasy accelerated, and diverse and competing groups of Christians claimed scriptural support for their beliefs.
As debates over the authenticity and value of various texts intensified, Christians felt a need to gather together an accepted collection of authentic Christian writings. It was generally understood that some writings were authentic and others were questionable, with some being of greater value than others.
Using these criteria, in A. This collection was confirmed by the third council of Carthage in A. This may have been a factor in the development of the collection of books now known as the Bible. The earliest complete text of the New Testament is the Codex Sinaiticus, written in the fourth century A. Following is an overview of a few of the major translations of the Bible throughout history.
However, because these translations were not closely controlled, church leaders soon became concerned about the many corruptions and variances in the separate texts. To address this problem, Pope Damasus in A. If, on the other hand, we are to glean the truth from a comparison of many, why not go back to the original Greek and correct the mistakes introduced by inaccurate translators, and the blundering alterations of confident but ignorant critics, and, further, all that has been inserted or changed by copyists more asleep than awake?
25 Top Bible Verses About Relationships - Encouraging Scriptures
The Vulgate was given official sanction at the Council of Trent — To escape religious persecution by a Gothic chief, a Catholic priest named Wulfila sometimes known as Ulfilas fled with his followers from Germany to what is now northern Bulgaria. There, Wulfila translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic dialect. This version established much of the Germanic Christian vocabulary that is still in use today.
In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, a number of German translations of the Bible were produced, but the German translation that had the greatest influence was the one produced by Martin Luther. Luther was a German priest and theologian, whose break from the Catholic church helped to fuel the Protestant Reformation.
He disagreed with many church practices that he felt did not accord with the teachings of scripture, and he came to regard the Bible rather than the church as the reliable source of authority for Christians. After publicly announcing his disagreements with the church in , Martin Luther began to work on translating the Bible into German. He completed work on the New Testament in and published his translation of the entire Bible in This translation into the vernacular of German-speaking peoples was one of the most important acts of the Reformation.
It not only gave the German people access to the Bible, but it influenced German culture, standardized German religious and literary language, and helped create national unity. Its influence on the German language is comparable to the influence the King James Bible had on the English language. A revision of the Luther Bible is widely used today. A century and a half before Martin Luther, the work of translating the Bible into English was pioneered by John Wycliffe. One of the most prominent scholars of his day, Wycliffe loved the scriptures and was troubled by the ignorance of scripture that he observed among many clergymen and lay persons alike.
His followers, the Lollards, were persecuted long after his death. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the contributions made by Tyndale:. He was fluent in eight languages, including Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. Tyndale was a devoted student of the Bible, and the pervasive ignorance of the scriptures that he observed in both priests and lay people troubled him deeply. In he traveled to Germany, under an assumed name, where he lived much of the time in hiding, under constant threat of arrest.
With the help of committed friends, Tyndale was able to publish English translations of the New Testament and later the Old Testament. The Bibles were smuggled into England, where they were in great demand and much prized by those who could get them. They were shared widely but in secret. The authorities burned all the copies they could find. In Tyndale was arrested for heresy and treason, and for nearly a year and a half he was imprisoned in a castle dungeon near Brussels, Belgium.
The dungeon was dark, cold, and solitary. Picture a wife who is set apart from others for her husband who loves her. She delights to keep herself from others and to give herself exclusively to him because of his love. So we too should keep ourselves pure from this evil world and be exclusively devoted to Christ, who loved us and chose us as His bride. But why does Paul mention that we are chosen by God, holy and beloved, in the context of talking about healthy relationships?
For at least two reasons. I can give a blessing instead 1 Pet. Actually, there are five nouns: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, which are probably set in contrast to the five sins in verse 5 and the five other sins in verse 8.
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Before we look at these qualities, I have two observations. First, every Christian should have these character qualities, but there is freedom for different personality types. These qualities will take one form with a Barnabas, another with a Paul, and another with a Peter. Second, all these character qualities are modeled in Jesus Christ. He was compassionate and kind Matt. He is our great example of how to relate to others.
God Wants a Relationship With Us
The main thing to grasp is that this is an emotional term. Being moved to compassion involves the feelings, not just the head. It means being touched by the needs of people so that we respond with appropriate action to help them. Jesus used this word to describe the good Samaritan, who felt compassion for the wounded traveler and was moved to help him Luke He used it of the father of the prodigal son, who saw his wayward son returning, felt compassion for him, ran to him, embraced him and kissed him Luke He was stirred emotionally when he saw his son coming home.
Jesus felt compassion for the widow of Nain who had lost her only son Luke When Jesus saw the multitudes, He felt compassion for them Matt. On another occasion, Jesus and His disciples withdrew to a lonely place for some much needed rest. When they arrived by boat, they discovered that the crowd had arrived by land before them. Jesus saw them, felt compassion for them and healed their sick. The disciples saw them and said as I would have said! Jesus saw the multitude and felt compassion because He saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd Mark It all depends on your focus. To be kind means to be free from all which is harsh, rough, and bitter.
This word was used to describe wine that had mellowed Luke A kind person is not demanding and pushy. He gives others room to be imperfect without crawling all over them. Joseph is a great example of kindness.
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His brothers had hated him and sold him into slavery. He easily could have taken vengeance on his brothers, but instead, he forgave them and was generous with them. After their father, Jacob, died, the brothers became afraid because they thought that perhaps Joseph would now pay them back for what they had done to him.
But when Joseph heard it, he wept and spoke kindly to his brothers, assuring them of his continuing love and care for them and their children Gen. Jesus said that God Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men Luke Paul said that the kindness of God leads us to repentance Rom. But I find that neither helpful nor correct. But then what does it mean? Biblically, there are three sides to it:. First, a humble person is Christ-sufficient, not self-sufficient.