Every Word of God
A Treasure Chest of
of the Bible
Jesus and Paul argued doctrine from individual words of scripture, just as Moses had taught – man is to live by every word of God (Deut 8:3; Luke 4:4). They did not use paraphrases like The Message or dynamic equivalent translations like the NIV. Neither did they use word-changing versions like the NKJV, the NASB, the ESV, or their corrupt cousins. Jesus and Paul’s assumption of a word-perfect Old Testament directs us to demand such a Bible and to use it the same way – contending from individual words. As Bible versions appear annually, loudly advertising their different wording, let this study revive your soul that God gave and godly men used word-perfect Bibles.
NOTE: Much credit for the one-word examples in this study goes to Titus Yiwei Chan (born 1989), an aerospace engineer and logistics analyst, who grew up in Penang, Malaysia and studied and worked in Singapore before joining this congregation in 2017, marrying here, and having a son named Isaac.
Should We Earnestly Contend for Every Word of Holy Scripture?
Fascinating Examples of Jesus and Paul Arguing Doctrine from Single Words
It is our practice to teach the Scriptures with meticulous and dogmatic attention to each word, its grammatical relationship to the words around it, and its meaning. We do this with our preserved English version, the King James Bible, for all the examples to follow are found clearly in this version.
We believe our English version to be Scripture as much as the copies and/or translations studied by the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:32,35), the Bereans (Acts 17:11), and Timothy (II Tim 3:15-17). So we believe we should study every word with great care, for they are the very words God intended for us.
We take this precise approach to Bible study from our Lord’s instruction. Jesus declared every jot and tittle (the smallest parts of language) were important, would be fulfilled, and should be obeyed (Matt 5:17-19). He taught Scripture cannot be broken, while considering a single word (John 10:35).
Ezra’s method is God’s ordained way to teach Scriptures (Neh 8:8). They “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” We must read exactly the words God gave and provide the sense of that reading, which will result in understanding.
Distinct reading and giving of the proper sense require faithfulness to the words and grammar of Scripture. Compromising the sense of Scripture for its mere sound is an evil exchange, for it promotes a false hermeneutic, which will inevitably lead to heresy.
We must earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). If we do not contend for Scripture’s words and grammar, why should we contend for its sentences? We might as well write a novel about the Bible like The Cottonpatch Version or The Living Bible.
Since God has magnified His Word above all His name (Ps 138:2), we intend to treat it accordingly by magnifying every single word and point of grammar. How can we do less?
We reject striving with men about words to no profit, for our brother Paul instructed Timothy to avoid such vain babblings, as they will lead to more ungodliness (II Tim 2:14-18). Instead, we are to study for God’s approval and doctrinal integrity by rightly dividing the Holy Scriptures.
Our intent in the paragraphs following is not to develop the doctrinal arguments to anyone’s final satisfaction, but rather to show the great importance placed on individual words in Scripture.
Enjoy the following examples and learn to contend for every word of God. We hope that any ministers of Christ reading this might be provoked to stir up their gift and be ready scribes in the Word of God in these perilous times of the last days (II Tim 1:6; Ezra 7:6; II Tim 3:1-17).
Should we earnestly contend for every word and the precise grammar of Holy Scripture?
Passage: Matthew 22:23-33 from Exodus 3:6
Key Verses: (Keyword capitalized, underlined, bold)
31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
32 I AM the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Sadducees denied the resurrection of bodies and the existence of human spirits (Acts 23:8). After demolishing their foolish question about the woman marrying seven brothers (Matt 22:23-30), Jesus proved the existence of human spirits, by quoting God’s declaration to Moses at the burning bush that He was then the God of Abraham (Ex 3:6), though Abraham had been dead about 300 years. Jesus appealed to the present tense verb AM to prove that Abraham still lived in Moses’ time. It is peculiarly precious that this verb from which the Lord argued is italicized in the KJV, an open indication by the honest translators that it had to be interpolated in translation!
Passage: Matthew 22:41-46 from Psalm 110:1
43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him LORD, saying,
44 The LORD said unto my LORD, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
45 If David then call him LORD, how is he his son?
In order to expose the Bible ignorance of the seminary-trained and Fundamentalist Pharisees (Acts 26:5), Jesus asked them their opinion of God’s Christ, or the Messiah, “Whose son is he?” They revealed their ignorance and avoided the Lord’s intent by granting the Messiah sonship only to David. In response, Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 and argued that David by inspiration had called the Messiah his LORD, thus indicating the Messiah would be much more than merely David’s son. It is peculiarly precious Jesus would defend His deity this way!
Passage: John 8:56-59 from Exodus 3:14
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.
The Jews had challenged Jesus as to whether He was greater than their esteemed father Abraham (John 8:51-55). His answer that Abraham had rejoiced to see His day confounded their carnal minds, for they could not comprehend that His divine nature had existed long before Abraham. With only eyes of flesh, they only saw His biological age of something less than fifty. To further declare His deity and confound their theological ignorance, Jesus used the present tense verb of being, AM, to prove His eternal existence before Abraham and to identify Himself with the sacred name of Jehovah from Exodus 3:14. It is peculiarly precious Jesus would thus claim to be Jehovah to these tetragrammaton-worshipping Jews!
Passage: John 10:30-36 from Psalm 82:6-7
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are GODS?
35 If he called them GODS, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
The Jews wanted to stone Jesus for blasphemy, because He had made Himself equal to God by claiming to be His Son (John 10:30-33). The title, Son of God, was too much for them to grasp or accept (John 10:36). To show their hypocrisy in the scriptures and in titles given to men, Jesus quoted Psalm 82:6 that a title of civil rulers was GODS. Since this inspired word of scripture could be no other word, therefore there was divine legitimacy to call rulers, GODS. If it was right before God to call men GODS that were mere recipients of God’s revelation, how much more right did Jesus have to be called the Son of God by virtue of His special sanctification by Jehovah as Legislator, Master, and Judge! It is peculiarly precious that scripture’s individual words cannot be questioned, which destroys modern versions at II Samuel 21:19 and Mark 1:2!
Passage: Galatians 3:16 from Genesis 12:7; 13:15-16; 15:5,13,18; 17:8-10,19; 21:12; 22:17-18; and 24:7.
16 Now to Abraham and his SEED were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy SEED, which is Christ.
Paul condemned Jewish legalism by Moses’ use of singular SEED rather than the plural seeds. He declared the inspired O.T. word to be the singular SEED and argued from it. It had to be singular, because the Spirit’s intent was Jesus Christ, not Isaac, Ishmael, the Jews at large, etc. This is a glorious, eye-opening explanation of God’s promises to Abraham and puts them in an entirely different light. With Galatians 3:29 nearby, we may assume with inspired authority that believers in Christ are actually the SEED of Abraham intended all along. And to this agree Paul’s words in Hebrews 11:8-16, where he taught that Abraham saw and sought spiritual fulfilments of the promises, not natural or national. Sorry, Scofield! It is peculiarly precious that the NKJV and other modern versions condemn themselves as not being inspired by changing the O.T. word from SEED to descendants, offspring, etc.
Passage: Galatians 4:9
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather ARE KNOWN of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Paul argued that the passive voice of being KNOWN OF GOD is superior to the active voice of knowing God. Salvation to eternal life is the choice of God to make His elect accepted and adopted in the Beloved (Eph 1:3-6; II Tim 2:19), consequent to foreknowing them and His operations of grace on their behalf (Rom 8:29-30; I Pet 1:2). Here our beloved apostle makes a distinction of importance by the voice of a verb. It is peculiarly precious that his distinction damns the modern freewill craze of emphasizing sinners knowing God!
Passage: Hebrews 8:6-13 from Jeremiah 31:31-32
13 In that he saith, A NEW covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Paul argued from the word NEW in Jeremiah 31:31-32 to show that God was reforming His worship and Moses’ economy was about to disappear (Heb 9:10). After showing the need for a new covenant due to Israel’s failure to obey the old one, he then added to his argument by using NEW to prove that the first covenant was therefore old and shortly disappearing. It is peculiarly precious that Paul had no idea of a future covenant with the Jews as Dispensationalists dream, for the NEW was then in place and the old then disappearing.
Passage: Hebrews 12:25-29 from Haggai 2:6-7
27 And this word, Yet ONCE more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Paul argued the gospel kingdom of the N.T. was permanent and Moses’ economy of the O.T. had terminated on the basis of the word ONCE from Haggai’s prophesy of the coming of the Desire of all Nations. Israel’s history had many judgments, but God had determined one final reformation of the nation and its religion, proven by Haggai’s ONCE. It is peculiarly precious that Paul here declared both Haggai 2:6-7 fulfilled and the kingdom of God then present and to endure forever.
Passage: Romans 4:16-21 from Genesis 17:4-6
17 (As it is written, I HAVE MADE thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Paul identified God’s use of the perfect tense, “I HAVE MADE thee,” when He told Abram he was already the father of many nations, though he only had Ishmael at that time. Paul argued the perfect tense was not strictly correct, but God’s ability to restore reproductive life and perform His promises is such that He can use the perfect tense for future events! It is peculiarly precious that Genesis 17:4-6 has three statements about Abraham’s progeny, with two of those in the future tense, yet Paul selected only the statement in the perfect tense.
Passage: Ephesians 4:8-10 from Psalm 68:18
9 (Now that he ASCENDED, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
Paul argued that David’s use of ASCENDED proved Christ must first have descended, because you cannot go up, unless you are already down, and Immanuel had to come down to be down (Phil 2:5-8). He deduced Christ’s humiliation from one word. It is peculiarly precious that David’s prophecy has God giving the ministerial gifts to Christ, but Paul’s inspired fulfilment has Christ giving them to the church, similar to Peter’s explanation about the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:33).
Passage: Hebrews 2:11-18 from Psalm 22:22
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them BRETHREN,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my BRETHREN, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his BRETHREN, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Paul argued several points from the single word, BRETHREN, used by David in the greatest Messianic psalm. Christ and His church must be of one body, one family, and especially one nature, based on the familial or societal meaning of BRETHREN. Since they are of flesh and blood, He took part of the same nature; He did not take on Himself the nature of angels, but rather that of the seed of Abraham. It magnified His priesthood to be made like them in all respects. This sameness of construction, nature, and temptation, all introduced by the inspired BRETHREN, allows Him to be a most sympathetic and helpful priest (Heb 2:17-18; 4:15 – 5:3).
Passage: Hebrews 3:1-6 from Numbers 12:7
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his HOUSE.
3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the HOUSE hath more honour than the HOUSE.
Jehovah reproved Aaron and Miriam for criticizing Moses, for he, unlike them, was much more than a mere prophet, and he had been faithful throughout God’s HOUSE (Num 12:7). Paul, without a direct quotation, took this single word, and used it seven times, proving Jesus Christ’s superiority to the greatest prophet of the Hebrews. Moses was a servant in the HOUSE, but Jesus as God built the HOUSE; Moses was a servant in the HOUSE, but Jesus was a Son over the HOUSE. No wonder God rebuked Peter in the holy mount, when he thought to equate Moses and Elijah as peers (Matt 17:1-9)!
Passage: Hebrews 3:7 – 4:11 from Psalm 95:7-11
3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, TO DAY if ye will hear his voice,
3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called TO DAY; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, TO DAY, after so long a time; as it is said, TO DAY if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
The generation of Hebrews that came out of Egypt had a short time to take Canaan. Because they refused out of faithless fear, Jehovah swore to kill them in the wilderness. Though they repented after hearing His wrath, their foolish and rebellious effort to take the land ended in disaster (Num 14:39-45). Paul used TO DAY from David’s psalm regarding this event five times to impress upon the Hebrews the specific and short time they had to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ to enter the N.T. rest. A day is a short period of time, and Paul repeatedly used TO DAY to emphasize the limited and serious nature of believing and obeying the gospel while they had the opportunity (II Cor 6:1-2). It is peculiarly precious that God had sworn against that generation of Hebrews as well, which John and Jesus declared clearly and often, which judgment He brought on them by the Roman armies under Titus in 70 A.D.
Passage: Hebrews 3:11 – 4:11 from Psalm 95:7-11
4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his REST, any of you should seem to come short of it.
4:9 There remaineth therefore a REST to the people of God.
God rested and sanctified the seventh day as a day of rest for the nation of Israel (4:3-4). Joshua brought Israel into Canaan for a rest, with everything built and furnished for them (4:8). However, David prophesied of another rest in Psalm 95. Paul took the word REST and used it ten times, proving by induction it could not be either of these other two rests, for David wrote “after so long a time.” The rest is the gospel rest of a finished salvation by Jesus (4:10). It is peculiarly precious that this rest rejects any form of conditional eternal life.
Passage: Hebrews 4:3,5 from Psalm 95:7-11
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, IF they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
5 And in this place again, IF they shall enter into my rest.
David used IF once in Psalm 95:7, indicating that he was not recounting history, but rather prophesying of a conditional rest at a future time called To day. Paul used David’s IF at 3:7,15; 4:3,5,7. His inspired summary of Psalm 95 in 4:3 and 4:5 used IF in a much shorter version of David to emphasize that the gospel rest was conditional. He argued that the Hebrews could enter God’s rest, IF they believed, unlike their fathers. He also used IF for two conditional descriptions of faith (3:6,14). It is peculiarly precious that modern Bibles delete IF in 4:5! The NIV reads, “And again in the passage above he says, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” This destroys Paul’s argument that the gospel rest is conditional and leaves this section confusing.
Passage: Hebrews 2:5-9 from Psalm 8:4-8
8 Thou hast put ALL things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put ALL in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet ALL things put under him.
Paul made two arguments from the single word ALL used by David in Psalm 8:6. First, by definition, the word does not ordinarily allow for exceptions – the subjection at hand is total dominion. Second, Paul argued that since ALL things are not under the dominion of man, the application of the psalm must be to Jesus Christ, for we the Man Christ Jesus does have total authority after being crowned with glory and honor (2:9). Paul confirms this doctrine, with an exception, in I Cor 15:24-28.
Passage: 1 Peter 3:1-6 from Genesis 18:12
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him LORD: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Peter argued that holy women of the O.T. submitted to their husbands just as he commanded the wives of the N.T. to do. Appealing to Israel’s first parents, he used the single word, LORD, which was Sarah’s title for Abraham, indicating great reverence and subjection. It is peculiarly precious that submission was not the subject matter of Genesis 18:12 and that Sarah called Abraham, LORD, in her thoughts!
Passage: 1 Peter 2:4-8 from Ps 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; 28:16.
4 To whom coming, as unto a living STONE, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Peter chose the word STONE from three O.T. passages pertaining to Jesus Christ, tying them together by their joint use of this one word. He then built a doctrinal declaration of the two responses to God’s chosen STONE – some considered Him precious and believed on Him, while others were offended by Him and rebelled, according to God’s sovereign will. He then used the STONE terminology to address His elect hearers as living stones themselves, whom God had also chosen to build together for a spiritual kingdom of priests to serve God acceptably through Jesus Christ their STONE.
Passage: Hebrews 7:20-22 from Ps 110:4
20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord SWARE and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
Paul used Hebrews 7 to prove that Jesus Christ’s priesthood was superior to the Levitical priesthood descending from Aaron. He used these three verses to show that God SWORE to install and ordain Jesus as a high priest, for that is the word used by David in the one-verse prophecy of Jesus being a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4). But the Levitical priests were ordained without any swearing or oath by God. Since God SWORE for the ordination of Jesus, it made His priesthood and surety of the new testament much better than their priesthood of merely ordaining successive generations of sons without any similar or related formal attestation and guarantee by the LORD Jehovah.
Passage: Hebrews 7:16-17 from Ps 110:4
16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest FOR EVER after the order of Melchisedec.
Paul used Hebrews 7 to prove Jesus Christ’s priesthood was superior to the Levitical priests. The longevity and perpetuity of Melchisedec’s priesthood, based on an endless life, far exceeds the short and temporary lives of the Levitical priests. Paul’s argument is based on the single word FOREVER. It is this aspect of Jesus Christ’s priesthood that saves His people to the uttermost – all the way to the end – for His intercession is not interrupted by death (Heb 7:23-25,28).
Passages: Mal 2:15, Mat 19:4-6, I Cor 6:16, Ep 5:30-32 from Gen 2:24
15 And did not he make ONE? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore ONE? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
Moses used the word ONE to describe the union of a man with his wife when ordaining marriage in Genesis 2:24, and there may be four or more arguments drawn from it elsewhere in the Bible. Glory to God for every word of God! Malachi used it to condemn polygamy in Malachi 2:15, since God had the residue of the spirit and made only ONE wife for Adam. Jesus used it to condemn divorce in Matthew 19:4-6, for God’s institution of marriage makes two people ONE, and man should not put them asunder. Paul used it to condemn fornication with a harlot, for intercourse makes two bodies ONE, in I Corinthians 6:16. Paul used it again to describe the relationship of Jesus Christ and His church as being ONE body and members of each other in Ephesians 5:30-32.
Passage: Galatians 3:10-13 from Deut 27:26, Deut 21:23
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the CURSE: for it is written, CURSED is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the CURSE of the law, being made a CURSE for us: for it is written, CURSED is every one that hangeth on a tree.
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Paul used Abraham versus Moses to oppose Jewish legalists that added works of the law like circumcision to the finished work of Jesus Christ (Gal 3:1-9; 5:1-12; Rom 4:1-15). Moses’ religion was one of works, which required perfect obedience to its many commandments in order to claim justification and righteousness before God. Any failure to obey – even one violation of one commandment – destroyed any hope of justification and was enough for God to CURSE that person (Deut 27:26; 28:15; Jer 11:3-5). Paul showed by this fact and feature of Moses’ law that all Jews trusting the law of Moses were under God’s CURSE. The law of Moses could not justify a person to give them a righteous standing with God. Moses’ law proved God’s condemnation and curse of all men to be just and right. Paul instead exhorted men to faith and trust in God like Abraham had practiced, for his life of faith was the scriptural example and basis for claiming the promise of justification (Gal 3:6-9,11-12,15-24). The law was only a schoolmaster to drive men to believe on Christ, who not only kept all Moses’ commandments perfectly, but He also died a substitutionary death by hanging on a tree, which was to bear a further CURSE while satisfying the CURSE of God for all disobedient sinners in Him as Abraham’s seed (Gal 3:25-29). If the word CURSE were missing in either side of Paul’s argument, he could not make the powerful point that is here.
For Further Study:
1. One-Word Arguments (PPT slides)
2. Ahaziah “Contradiction”
3. Corruption of I Peter 3:21
4. Grammar of Regeneration
5. Genitive Case Phrases
6. Who Killed Goliath?
7. Bible Babel of I Samuel 13:1 (PPT slides)
8. Bible Babel of I Samuel 13:1 (details)
9. Proverbs Babel
10. Need for Thee and Thou
11. Easter in Acts 12:4
12. Two or Three Eunuchs
13. Fraud of the NKJV
14. Author of Confusion
15. Most Amazing Book Ever Written (PPT slides)
16. Why We Believe the KJV
17. How to Read the Bible (PPT slides)
18. Attacking the Bible (PPT slides)
19. Inspiration of Scripture
20. Back to the Bible
21. Hermeneutics – Interpreting Scripture
22. Rule #1 – No Contradictions – Largest Context
23. Rule #2 – Small Context
24. Salvation Problem Texts