Salvation
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Salvation
Comments by C. L. Troupe - 16 Feb 2007

ANSWERING THE (OFF-TOPIC) ISSUES ON SALVATION

 

I appreciate any and all dialog about the Scriptures in general and salvation in particular. Those who have read my article on salvation should understand that the topic was salvation.  My focus was in dealing with the issues of salvation by grace through faith as opposed to those who teach that salvation is something we must earn – or even can earn.

 

I also dealt with the Biblical definition of salvation.  The entire focus was salvation and what a person must do in order to be saved – and know it.

 

But it seems Mr. Coombs wants to argue about whether human beings have a conscious, non-corporeal soul which survives the physical death of the body, and goes immediately to either a place of comfort or a place of torment.  I am definitely up to that, and I will more than gladly deal with that issue at length.

 

Mr. Coombs also seems to present himself as an expert on the  “original languages,”  accusing the translators of the Authorized Version (and the overwhelming majority of all the other Bible scholars in the world) of  “transliterating,”  by moving a comma to the wrong place.  Then he corrects them by telling us where the comma should be placed, and also refers to his own book as a source of authority.

 

Like I said, I will gladly deal with the false doctrine of “soul sleeping,” but first I want to offer a response to some of his other (off-topic) comments.

 

In keeping with the separation of comment and response, I will print Mr. Coombs’ remarks in a different font style:

 

Mr. Coombs’ remarks and quotations will appear in the Arial font like this.

 

My responses will remain in this (Time New Roman) font like this.  So, let the games begin:

Here below is the first of his comments I want to deal with:

 

Your understanding and translation of this verse  (Luke 23:43) is totally wrong, as are the translations that transliterate this sentence as:

 

"And Jesus said unto him, verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." (King James).

 

First off, this verse, in both the NIV and KJV, was not “transliterated.”  It was properly and accurately translated.  And every reputable translation committee on the planet translates it the same way.  And secondly, you obviously do not know what the word “transliterate” means.

 

Transliteration is the spelling of a word from another language (often another language with a different alphabet) using the letters of one’s own alphabet in order to approximate the close pronunciation of it.

 

A common example of transliterating a word is when we write the Greek word agape using English letters as: “agape.”  Please, for credibility’s sake, find out what a word means before you use it in public.

 

I am also concerned as to why anyone would want to use The Watchtower Society’s New World (so-called) “translation” for anything other than an ultimate example of unregenerate man’s attempt to alter Scripture to fit his own preconceived ideas.  It is the most corrupt and perverted piece of work the Watch Tower Society has ever published, and nobody (except Jehovah’s Witnesses and their ilk) actually takes it seriously.

 

His next statement concerns his totally off-base interpretation of 1Corinthians 15:22:

 

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

 

The word ALL in the above verses is Pantos, the plural of Pas meaning ALL - not just people but all things, all manner of, everything, anything whatsoever, every, every kind or variety, including all creatures that have ever been alive – even including prehistoric creatures.

 

You obviously have no idea what the terms “…in Adam…” and “…in Christ…” mean!  If a person is just barely literate he or she should be able to read those verses in their context and see that Paul’s entire discourse is about the fall (and salvation) of human beings! 

 

Hint:  ALL human beings (not animals) are “in” Adam, but NOT all human beings are “in” Christ! 

The word “all” in 1st Corinthians 15 most certainly does NOT mean “all creatures that ever lived.” 

 

The word itself simply means all that there is.  It includes everything and excludes nothing.  However, even the word “all” can be limited by the context in which it is used.

 

Modern example:  If my grandson and I were standing in our kitchen, and I told him to empty all the trashcans, he (not being stupid) would know and understand that I did NOT intend for him to empty all of the trashcans in the world – or even all the trashcans on our street. He would understand that I was speaking from within the context of our home, and thus limiting the word “all” to include only the trashcans in our home.

 

Bible example:  When the apostle Paul says (in Philippians 4:13) “…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…”  he is not claiming to be able to do all things in the sense of  having the ability to do anything or everything imaginable.  He is only telling us that he is able to do “all” of the things that he just mentioned in the previous verses. 

 

The word has a similar limitation in 1st Corinthians 15, limiting the “all” only to all those who are in Christ.

 

Being saved by the hearing and believing of the gospel and the receiving of Christ as one’s savior is a transaction that takes place between God and man – exclusively!  It does NOT include our pets, barn yard animals, or the beasts of the wild.

 

Jesus did not die on the cross to save animals.  Animals cannot sin.  Animals cannot repent (nor are they required to repent).  Salvation is designed, intended, and offered, exclusively to human beings – not animals.

 

Peter is talking about Jesus in Acts 4:12 as he tells us of the means and the recipients of salvation:

 

“…neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven, given among MEN whereby WE must be saved…”

 

Please understand that I am not saying there aren’t animals in heaven, or that there will not be animals on the “new earth” (Jesus is described in Revelation as coming out of heaven riding on a white horse). We may even be reunited with our beloved pets (I’m counting on it).  But if that turns out to be true, it will only be because of God’s great love and compassion – not because the animals had a salvation experience.

 

The next statement is equally ludicrous:

 

It is very difficult to discern the pure truth with so many different denominations and translations of the Holy Scriptures – In fact unless one goes back to the original languages it is nearly impossible, unless one receives understanding of the truth by revelation from the Great Holy Spirit.

 

Here’s what I suspect about your “going back” to the original languages – and I assume you mean the original languages of the Bible:  You do seem to be saying that the English speaking peoples of the world do not in fact have the Word of God – unless we can read and understand the “original” Hebrew and Greek.  Or else we, like yourself (?) must have it divinely translated and interpreted for us directly from the “Holy Spirit.”

 

Which of these are you saying?  Are you saying that you are trained (and fluently proficient in the Hebrew and Greek?  Or that your understanding of Scripture is superior because you are getting a direct translation-feed from the Holy Spirit?

 

I think everything you know about New Testament Greek you’ve copied from Watchtower Society magazines. And I think your “understanding” of the above noted verse of Scripture has more to do with an overactive imagination than anything else.

 

I am aware that the things of the spirit of God must be spiritually discerned, but the spiritual discerning of the Scriptures, is not some kind of mystical experience whereby the meaning of the Word of God is made to mean something other than what it actually says when we read it.

The next statement I cite only partially:

 

I prove conclusively that the word everlasting does not mean never ending. . . .

 

No, actually you don’t.  You are only repeating what the Watchtower authors and the other soul sleepers publish.  Such people claim that the Greek word “aionion” (and all variations, cases and tenses of it) simply means, “a long period of time with an eventual ending.” 

 

So, evidently you must believe that Jesus died on the cross so that we can receive forgiveness of our sins and be given a life that is not never ending?  Or be given a life that has a beginning and an eventual ending?  Don’t we already have that?

 

The last paragraph is an obvious sarcasm, but the point is that even the New World so-called, “translation” renders  “…eis tous aionas ton aionon…”  as  “…for ever and ever…”  every place that word structure appears EXCEPT where it pertains to eternal punishment.

 

The problem the soul sleepers have with “aionion” isn’t really with its meaning of eternal or never-ending so much as it is with their private notions against the concept of eternal torment.

 

Okay, I am going to deal with the issue of the comma.  But first consider the following:

 

But in some other of the modern translations including "New World Translation of the HOLY SCRIPTURES." This verse is translated as:

 

'And he said to him: "Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise."' (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures).

 

You mention “some other modern translations,” including the New World, but the only one you cite is the Watchtower’s!  No big deal, I just want everyone to know where you are getting your doctrinal information and your “knowledge” in the “…original languages…”

 

Here is the next statement that makes no sense.  He question’s the thief’s salvation:

 

“…the thief will be … assessed at the Great White Throne Judgement and serving out his sentence – if any…”

 

I maintain that the thief will not be at the Great White throne Judgment.  That judgment is reserved for those who die in their sins.  Jesus said that the thief would be with Him, in Paradise, and yes, that very day.  And even if you disagree with the time-frame, you simply have no reason whatsoever to doubt that Jesus had forgiven the thief, and promised him that he would be with Him in paradise – eventually according to your interpretation. 

 

Read the book Revelation (in a trustworthy translation), and you will see that those who stand before the Great White Throne are cast into the lake of fire.

 

And now, about that comma.

 

There is but one reason for anyone wanting to move the comma to where it appears after the word “today.”  That reason cannot be a more accurate translation from the Greek, or even a more superior knowledge of the Greek, for as Mr. Coombs so rightly states, there were no punctuation marks in the original Greek of the New Testament.

 

It is a simple (yet blatant) attempt to manipulate a punctuation mark in order to have Jesus saying something other than what He had actually said.

 

Move the comma and you have a much better chance of convincing the ignorant and unsuspecting that Jesus was telling the repentant thief. . . . .

 

“…truly I am telling you TODAY (as opposed to yesterday or last week some time – just so you will know what day it is that I am telling you this), you will (some day) be with me in paradise (eventually), but not actually today, because when you die, you’ll just be dead.”

 

The soul sleepers desperately need that comma shifted around so as to validate their false doctrine of soul sleeping.

 

Leave the comma where it is, and you have Jesus telling the thief that they will be together in paradise that very day – which is not only grammatically accurate, but also in keeping with the overall counsel of God’s Word.

 

One interesting attempt to rationalize the moving of the comma is telling us that Jesus was simply using a manner of speech, such as when we say things like, “…I am telling you right now…”  Thus Jesus saying,  “…truly I tell you today, . . .”

 

The only problem is, Jesus didn’t talk like that.  You may go back and read all through the four gospels, and see the many, many times when Jesus would say, “…verily I say…”  and even when He was being emphatic,  “…verily, verily I say…”  You will see that He NEVER went around saying anything even close to  “…verily I say to you today…”  Or, “…I am telling you right now…”  That simply was not His style.

 

The jury has been out on this issue for many, many years and all of the reputable scholars and translators – and legitimate theologians – have ruled.  When Christians die, their souls leave the body and are ushered immediately into the presence of the Lord to await the resurrection and the rapture of the living saints – and the comma stays where it is.

 

In Christ’s service,

C.L. (Chuck) Troupe

 

PS:  I am not a “lurker.”  Frank invited me to post, and I do so only at his pleasure.

 

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