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Romans 12:1-3, Corrected Translation and Exegetical Notes

This passage doesn't make sense in translation unless you grasped how Paul ends Romans 11, warning the audience to STOP being on their high-horse about the Jews being ousted, and the Gentiles being grafted in. Chapter ends with 1Cor2-type warning about how NO ONE TELLS GOD WHAT TO DO -- that we are to be instructed by the Mind of Christ, instead. THINKING, instead. Thinking His Thoughts, instead. Not getting puffed up over how self got "in", but others (here, the Jews) got "out". So Chapter 12 has sanctified sarcasm, which indeed runs throughout this often scathing letter.

Romans 12:1

"So I BEG you, brethren, because of those same unfathomable mercies of God, to offer YOUR OWN bodies as a LIVING sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing TO GOD: your REAL, THINKING worship."

Exegetical Notes on the purple re-translation of Rom12:1. Capped words in purple above, should be read aloud with an emphatic tone, so you get the sarcasm compared to Chap11. The very use of parakalew in this context, after lofty quotes about God's INFINITE WISDOM, tips one off to the sarcasm: parakalew is often used when talking to a SUPERIOR, or someone who's STUBBORN. And, since they have such a HIGH opinion of themselves... so "beg" goes with "mercies" -- a for-the-love-of-God appeal, lol can Paul jab deeper? Of course, mercy is a main subtheme in the epistle, to counter the legalism: several Greek words are used for it. Heh. English would require the insertion of "same unfathomable" to see that the word "mercies" is being used to TIE BACK TO the quotes and tenor of Chapter 11. Greek reader wouldn't need the repetition.

Oh, Paul's wit! See, they LACK wisdom, but are full of hot air. So they are shallow. They are NOT thinking toward Father, so their "thinking worship" is zip, nada, niente, FLUNK. So they are poor. All this is being deftly said in 11:33, by concatenating the very many OT refrains on How Unfathomably Deep (ENDLESSLY deep -- not inscrutable, lol) are the Riches of His Wisdom and Knowledge, especially in Job and Psalms (though Paul appears to be referencing Ps40:5 the most, a setup verse on the prophecy of Christ's COMING). Then 11:34, the other OT quote from Isaiah on WHO SHALL INSTRUCT HIM -- that's a tweak as well, since they are instructing God by their legalism and puffed up "we are grafted in" anti-semitism. Oh, what wordplay! [When my pastor was teaching "magnetism", showing its keywords (L. 1837 of 92SD), he linked Rom11:33-34 to other "riches" and "confidence" (elpis) verses. That's how I got this 'connection', though he was talking in a wholly different context.]

But at the same time, Paul is being very tender and reassuring, for in quoting the Isaiah passage on who-has-known-the-thinking-of-the-Lord, ESPECIALLY in context of the Plumbless-depth-of-Wisdom-Riches quote -- he helps them understand that learning Scripture in God's System is the greatest, wealthiest, most honorable thing you can 'do' for God. Which after all, is why they are so anxious to call themselves "good". They have a love for God, don't know what to do with it, and so.. Paul shows them how they can reciprocate Him properly. So "thinking worship" here in 12:1 ties back to "thinking of the Lord" in 11:34. Lightbulbs go on, then.

It's a great setup for the fabulous news in Rom12:2-3, how we get to be made copies of Our Lord, by the Holy Spirit copying His Thinking into us, thus transmuting us out from our puny shallow natures, into deep-and-rich servants. Truly worthy to thank Him.. at last!

Paul's AGAIN stressing what they are NOT but SHOULD 'be' as Christians. Back in Romans 6:12-13, Paul had already explained that one's "members" (each part of the body) should be placed UNDER God's authority. It was a religio-military analogy: same verb is used here, paristemi, here rendered "offer". Of course, that offering couldn't be done, apart from the Spirit, since flesh and Spirit are enemies, Rom8. Romans 7 had covered the struggle, Romans 6 had covered our position in Christ so we don't HAVE to be sacrificed to our old sin nature, because the Cross divorced us from it. Romans 5 had of course outlined not only the miracle of our being saved forever, but God's plan to let sin abound, so grace of deliverance and future RULE can abound the more. So, in Romans 9, he started to explain how not all Israel IS Israel, but all who really are Israel (believing in Messiah, too -- not racial alone, see Rom9) -- WILL be saved: but right now, are caught up in the fishnet of their own disobedience (=unbelief, Bible keyword, Rom11:32, Greek). That, to rescue them -- again, harkening back to the last half of Romans 5, with a clear parallel warning against anti-semitism, because the Roman Christians, are grafted in.

All the while, though, some among these Roman Christians were NOT living the spiritual life, even though they knew better. Hence the epistle of the Romans, with its stern Chapters 1-3. They were NOT taking grace into account, were becoming legalistic, and Paul is in part writing them to show the GRACE SYSTEM God authored.

So, these Romans were 'sacrificing', alright.. but sacrificing something else, and that to men and not to God.. and, their sacrificing was mindless.

Hence 12:1 -- Oh, parakalOH... hysterical! He's leaping off the lofty OT quotes in Chapter 11, which was a warning not to get cocky about being grafted in! Showing them how they OUGHT TO THINK! So 12:1 Pleeesseee I beg you by that same mercy of God which-you-cocky-folk-are-IGNORING, Be a LIVING holy sacrifice well-pleasing TO GOD, not a dead one to man, a REASONING/THINKING worship (not mindless observances, lol)...

Really stresses the need for THINKING the Word as the worship 'service', by using logikos! Paul thus says via that ONE WORD: It's not reasonable, acceptable, if not thinking WORD (logos) -- ties to Heb11:6. It's not REAL if not thinking WORD (fake worship, else -- logikos has a REALITY connotation, so I had to add that word -- translations always TRUNCATE Greek word meanings, but shouldn't). God REALLY thinks, therefore if you want to worship Him you should REALLY worship Him in SPIRIT [the Renovator] and WORD, John4:24's principle stated here in 12:1's format. All of this tweaking is incredibly lost in WORKS-DISTORTED translation -- see the Greek. English translation of 12:1 makes NO sense in context of Chap11, and 12:2 thus makes NO SENSE AT ALL -- is jarring, since the 12:1 English translation sounds so complimentary! But how do you show the sanctified sarcasm? All I can do, is CAPITALIZE the sarcastic words the way they'd have to be capitalized in English to SHOW sarcasm. So, then: It's taken 4+ HOURS for me to even GLANCINGLY review the context for 12:2, and I want to say the exegesis I got on Romans was 4 years? Seven hours per week? So, then: how do translators, sleep? They should be paid more: pastors and translators and all people who work in Bible should be paid the MOST MONEY of all jobs. Worth it! This is eternal spiritual capital for us!

When Satan&Co. are behind a Bible verse mistranslation, they always make sure it's mistranslated in a KEY STRATEGIC place. As a result, the surrounding context is severed, and the verse itself REVERSES meaning in mistranslation. As a result, the surrounding context makes no sense and has a legalistic flavor, in the mistranslation. So of course, that's what happened here.

So what's the mistranslation 'agenda' for this verse? Well, "THINKING worship" is Paul's stressed point; so Satan&Co. must reverse it; to mistranslate it thus renders all of Chap11 and what follows in 12:2-3, fuzzy and legalistic. Test the foregoing claim: look up the published translations. Notice how, by translating "logikos" ("thinking") "latreian" ("worship") into a legalistic phrase with a body spin ("spiritual service, reasonable service", all implying your BODY is what's serving, lol) -- the reader is lulled into Satan's pitch of works-substitutes, as usual. The very thing the Romans are doing WRONG, is to engage in body-worship, works activities: Paul is UPBRAIDING them for that. Hence the quote in Rom11:33-34, showing them that the worship God WANTS, is God's Thoughts. Showing them that the Jews GOT CUT OFF because of their works -- so stop emulating them, or you will be cut off. Instead, THINK SCRIPTURE -- that's your proper worship.

    So Satan&Co. just GOTTA REVERSE that truth in the translation, lest some believer read the verse, and grow spiritually! So how rich: make the verse in mistranslation, LAUD the very thing Paul is condemning! So they mess with the translators to mistranslate the verse. This is not to malign translators. Translators don't know they are being used this way: see MisTrans.htm for proof. See how important the Word is? Satan&Co. have to mess with each strategic word in the Word, to keep us from learning it properly! Could you HAVE greater proof Who God really is, than this?

    Of course, here you see how Roman Catholicism came into being. Within 40 years after Paul wrote. So by 96AD, when Clement I was penned to the very Corinthians who UNDERSTOOD Paul and therefore bucked the Roman church, you see the full-blown results of the Romans IGNORING what Paul warned them, here in Rom12:1-3. No wonder God had Paul shipped back there in chains about 5-7(?) years after Romans was written. Legalism and anti-semitism were big problems, there.

Romans 12:2

"In fact, STOP BEING CONFORMED to this AGE, but BE TRANSFORMED (it's a play on words: don't copy someone else, become like CHRIST!) by means of the RENOVATION OF YOUR THINKING, in order for IT [your renovated thinking] to approve YOU as genuine, competent (like testing a gemstone versus a fake; another play on words, hard to explain) regarding [still part of eis to clause, content of "it"] what's the Will of God, the Divine Good-and-well-pleasing-and-complete." (Greek hendiodys might be appositional, but it looks like a listing which Paul doesn't complete because they know the list. Similar structure is in Heb6:1ff.)

Exegetical Notes. To fit with the prior PASSIVE verbs, the ENGLISH should be more like "resulting in IT rendering you approved", or "with reference to IT in examining you", (really, both ideas) followed by that last ti to clause (the standard of approval/passing the tests). Paul's making wordplays on copying ("conform" in the sense of copying SOMEONE ELSE) versus REALLY BEING MADE INTO Somebody -- um, like Christ; and on GENUINE versus fake (dokimazw is essentially proving the GENUINENESS OR COMPETENCE; verb was used for testing the quality of metals like gold, etc). "Well-pleasing" is a culturally-loaded word -- idea of being well-thought of, civic minded, respected by society.

So Paul is tweaking them to be popular with GOD their REAL Master, not people.

It's true Scripture defies translation; you'd have to be GOD to translate it properly, heh. Which is why WE GET THE SPIRIT'S BRAINS via 1Jn1:9! AND PASTORS, AND ORIGINAL LANGUAGES preserved! In fact, the translation above is largely the same as my pastor's, when he assiduously EXEGETED for us, most notably in 1976, but many times since (through the words "renovation of your thinking").

Here in 12:2 Greek shows the transformation-and-renovation-of-your-thinking-to-PROVE-YOU-in-the-TRIAL is WORKED UPON YOU: proving for APPROVING you as 'completed' (teleion) w/ref to the will of God, Divine achievement, etc. It's bi-directional, dual-entendre: you KNOWING, SINCE THAT'S WHAT MAKES YOU APPROVED; hence the imperative, "be transformed by the RENOVATION OF YOUR THINKING.." Cool dative case there, for "renovation". Holy Spirit is the Renovator (i.e., Gen1:2ff), and it's to YOUR ADVANTAGE He do so.

So the question was, IN WHAT ORDER do you translate the double-entendre? First meaning, that they should live for GOD, not people, so be approved by GOD, not people, 12:1's theme. Second meaning, that in the PROCESS of being approved by the renovation of the thinking, they themselves will come to KNOW what pleases Him, etc. Paul's whole point is that the audience are APPROVING THEMSELVES, copying/aping Roman religiosity. Trying to fit in with people, rather than seeking to be pleasing to GOD. So it's about becoming GENUINELY APPROVED BY GOD, not by people.

    See, the Angelic Appeal Trial is about whether you GROW UP in Christ, and whether you KNOW what God wants and then LIVE as He wants, because YOU want to -- no matter what hits you. So, as my pastor so often puts it when quoting this verse, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD AND IF YOU DON'T, IT'S ONLY BECAUSE YOU AREN'T LEARNING BIBLE DOCTRINE. If he's said that once, he's said it a thousand times. For, the Trial terms dictate God (and Satan&Co.) TEST YOU on that. Constantly. It's NOT the lifestyle Christians imagine.. but then, they don't really get into the Word enough to know better...

    Paradox.htm and the Thinking Series on the Home Page are large webpages on this Trial, since our whole existence is PREDICATED on it: we are Trial witnesses, whether we know it or not. So, there is woven throughout Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, many TRIAL rules and warnings, disclosures, etc. Translations don't translate most of them, because translations TRUNCATE meanings which ARE in the words -- that would get you fired from the United Nations. But, political compromise always goes into any Bible translation. The publisher can't otherwise make enough money to translate anything...

SO: if you didn't get the SARCASM of 12:1, you'll not translate the double-entendre, in the right order, and if you don't do that -- you'll CUT OUT one of the double-entendres. Worse, you'll MIStranslate the passage FURTHER, by rendering the words with the TOTALLY IRRELEVANT IDEA of the HUMAN PROVING GOD. There's NOTHING in the context about that topic, here. Not to mention, humans don't prove God -- 2nd Temptation, remember Matt4?

So, guess what happens in English translations? THEY MISS THE POINT, and insert a translation that is IRRELEVANT to the context, in the last clause of Rom12:2. After "transformed", English Bibles translate BACKWARDS the Subject and object, so the point of the verse is entirely MISSED.

So the two accusatives in the "eis to" clause are mistakenly reversed, in English. Note the passive/middle voices in the main verbs: SO YOU HAVE TO TRANSLATE HUMAS AS AN OBJECT IN THE EIS CLAUSE, not a subject; "prove" is an INFINITIVE, stressing the TESTING of your thinking as a RULE/Standard done TO you. Because, note the accusatives: "to", one of the accusatives, is NEUTER, referring back to the PRIOR CLAUSE ABOUT RENOVATING YOUR THINKING (same usage is in Eph2:8). And dokimazw means the PERSON is being "proved", not God's Will, etc. -- which latter, are NOMINATIVES, so THEY are the SUBJECT MATTER of the TESTING in the OBJECT, "you" (the "ti to" clause refers back to the "to" in the "eis to" clause). "You" is the second accusative, the tested one. You merely CONSENT (middle/passive voice of the main verbs). And it's "age", not "world" -- aiwn is a TIME word!

How sick is man's thinking. Whenever one is UNSURE, he puts man before God. It's in the genes, folks, and this kind of reversal is very common in Scripture. Fortunately, you needn't chuck your Bible -- just ask of the translation, WHO IS STRESSED -- if man, then suspect a mistranslation. It's EASY to make a translation mistake, because Bible is very ECONOMICAL in its word usages, with double accusatives (like here) multiple prepositional clauses which ALSO have to be ordered, etc. See how the FIRST meaning of GETTING approved got missed, by a SIMPLE REVERSAL of Subject and object? All you need to do is be sleepy one night, and the mistake lasts for centuries. Every translator should get paid a bizillion dollars. Every pastor should get paid a BIZILLION TIMES A BIZILLION TIMES A BIZILLION...

    So making a mistake, is normal, no biggie. BUT the mistakes hang around for CENTURIES, everyone copying the old mistakes, rather than RENOVATING -- YET CLAIM A FRESH TRANSLATION. Well, check a bunch of them, sometime, see how they rarely differ. Even most ROMANCE LANGUAGE Bibles copy from the English, from what I can see of Portuguese, Spanish and French in BibleWorks. In short, people do with translations what these Romans were doing -- copying, not being TRANSFORMED. Heh.

How deft is God's Thinking. He never misses an opportunity to show His Genius! Note how the translation error here DEMONSTRATES the very problem the verse mentions: do you COPY mankind, or let the HOLY SPIRIT MAKE A COPY OF CHRIST'S THINKING IN YOU? [Peter loved that analogy, using hupolimpanw hupogrammos in I think it was 1 Peter.]

    See, the very process of APPROVING YOU in the Trial, proves TO you also what the truth is. This is one of the verses which spawned my better understanding of the "Evidence Testing" doctrine in Bible which my pastor has taught for many years; in part, using this verse to admonish us to keep on keeping on with Bible class. So, you'll find "Evidence Testing" a prominent feature of LordvSatan3.htm and LvS4d.htm, two of the "Thinking Series" webpages. See, for a long time, like any OTHER human dingdong, I MISTOOK the "Testing" to mean that I was supposed to DO OR THINK something, and "I proved" something. Wrongo. GOD DOES ALL THE PROVING. And this is one of the verses to prove it: HS renovates you which approves you in the Trial, DEMONSTRATING to Satan&Co. in the Trial (and thus also to you) how His Word never returns void, boy oh boy.

Whew. Now we're ready for verse 3: Again, as usual I'm translating ONLY from BibleWorks, and NOT from my pastor, even though I prefer his exegesis and translation. (Well, if even BibleWorks materials don't help, I resort to my pastor's translation.) Objective is to show the BIBLE TRANSLATIONS need not be so far off. Deeper objective is to show the TREASURE a believer can get from the original, heh.

Romans 12:3

"For I testify because of the Grace given to me, to every one among you, to STOP THINKING in terms of arrogance, beyond what one ought to objectively think; but rather, objectively think in terms of sanity, for the purposes of being rational without illusion: just as God has assigned to each one a Thinking Standard from Doctrine."

Exegetical Notes. Wow, there's so much to say on this verse. Italicized words are my pastor's translation (well, he renders it "standard of thinking" rather than "Thinking Standard", but means the same), which is better IDIOMATIC ENGLISH than you could learn from lexicons. Better also, because it better translates Bible keywords, and this verse (well, like most others) is CHOCK-FULL of them.

Phrase "in terms of sanity..illusion" is in Greek, "eis to sophronein", and COULD be translated "with reference to" (meaning, CONSULTING) "the sound-thinking", but that's too lame. Which is why I used my pastor's translation, which like any good translator SHOULD do, references more the full SCOPE of the meaning of the word BEING TRANSLATED. The infinitive "sophronein" is used as a verbal noun, so denotes PURPOSE and FLOW, especially since it's used with "eis". Paul always plays with etymology, and here he's tweaking with it, the SHALLOW use of sophronein as 'seemly behavior, self-controlled', compared to, RIGHT THINKING TOWARD GOD, which of course is his comparison parallel since v.1. Verb really (very long time back) came from a noun which itself was formed as a compound of SOPHIA and PHRONEW, the latter being OBJECTIVE thinking, stripping out emotion and appetites; of course SOPHIA is a special Bible word (tweaking the gnostics, often) of DIVINE WISDOM. Stronger force because "eis" is used -- Paul uses eis for DIRECTION OF THINKING a lot, and CHAINS eis prepositions to show cause and effect: that construction causes translators no end of confusion, especially in passages like Romans 10:9-10, Eph4:12-16.

Sophronew never has a human-origin connotation. It's one of the four highest virtues in Greek culture. So Paul is REALLY playing on etymology to make his point. So it's a complete TRAVESTY to translate this very special verb as, "to have sound/sober judgement". "Sophia" was always DIVINE Wisdom, in Greek culture, and Paul is playing on that idea here. Unfortunately, as always, God gets stripped out in translation, so translation makes it LOOK like human sound judgement, never mind the last clause makes it clear God's Thinking is to be thought -- well, NOT clear, because "faith" to an ENGLISH READER means something he DOES, not something he LEARNS. Pistis is a Greek god attribute also. Paul is tweaking it -- the REAL God's Doctrine, not some fake myth's idea pandered by the gnostics and Romans. See -- all through these verses he's contrasting real versus fake, copy mankind or get a copy of Christ's OWN thinking into you. Paul's tracking the GREEK "to" in v.3 as parallels of the three Greek "to" articles in v.2: hence, answering WHAT PROCESS makes one GET the approval as knowing the Will of God (etc.) in v.2. Can't miss it.

Awesome, how he parallels every clause. Last clause in v.1 parallelled by last clause in v.2; last clause in v.3 -- so you 'add' them up to get the ANSWER to what constitutes "REAL THINKING worship" in v.1. No doubt, no waiting to learn, no throwing sticks in the air or consulting the Roman oracles, etc. CONSULT DOCTRINE, and you'll grow and thus be approved and thus KNOW. No wiggle room in the interp, here: parallels are too BALD. (John does the same thing in 1Jn.)

Actually, for someone NOT under my pastor, the phrase "in terms of sanity..illusion" could be translated more like "in terms of DIVINE WISDOM-THINKING", which conveys in English at least SOMETHING more of the Greek meaning, never mind that it's clumsy.

A closer meaning to the Greek is the concept of MEDIATIVE THINKING. The whole idea of promoting sophronein as a VIRTUE was that the god's-wisdom-thinking would MEDIATE all human urges. So came to mean moderation in all things, and was used chiefly to moderate behavior. Of course, WE CHRISTIANS know THE MEDIATOR'S THINKING is the real meaning -- which Paul is stressing, here. Sanity means MEDIATION between the mindless, hence INsensate hence INsane motives of the body, and the 'pure' (made by God, initially perfect) soul. CHRIST'S THINKING IS THAT MEDIATION. So perhaps "in terms of DIVINELY-MEDIATING, WISDOM-THINKING" would (though clumsy) better capture what's meant by "eis to sophronein".

So of course God's Head is chopped off in translation; typical satanic ploy, and we fall for it in thousands of verses. So also the typical mistranslation of the last clause, making it look like God assigns you some ability to believe (so those who believe more than others, are somehow 'better', lol). What rot. But then "faith" is nearly always mistranslated, too: it's the WORD believed, not the act of believing, which Bible usually stresses (again, in Greek, "pistis", like "sophia" is a god-attribute concept, so "pistis" comes to mean WHAT GOD SAYS that you are to believe).

The translators know quite well the god-laden meaning in these Greek words. They seem to think that they are cutting out PAGAN god-meanings, in their truncated translations, so far as I can tell. But they don't get what GOD is saying, how GOD -- the REAL God, k? -- is in fact the Real Actor. So don't chop His Head off! Thus Satan&Co., in the name of honoring God, dismember Him in our minds.

Satan&Co. don't want you to know that the spiritual life is entirely about His Head getting into your head, which the Holy Spirit, wholly runs. So they don't want you to know about right pastor (which concept started just after the Fall, with the parents being the first teachers); so they don't want you to know that it's GOD who does all the work. You might like those facts, see. So the facts gotta be covered up, and reversed. Happened back in the Garden, happened with the morphing of the Mosaic Law into legalism, happens now with the NT.

But here's the shocker: the italicized purple phrase, "assigned to each one a Thinking standard" is also in Eph4:16 (wording isn't quite the same), which Paul hadn't written yet -- this proves that Eph4:16 idea of a pastor being DIVINELY-ASSIGNED TEACHING to a congregation, was already well-known. Which it should be, because the verb merizw ("to apportion, distribute, share-out according to a plan of distribution"), is among the most important keywords in Bible. Everything we GET hinges on this word "merizw". For, merizw references the distribution of spoils of victory prophecy in Isa53:10-12 (LXX; merizw is in v.12); due to the Cross, the promise of His Head getting into our heads (i.e., Jer31:31-34, reflected everywhere in NT, but specifically in Heb8:8-10:17). Link at pagetop on Eph4:12-16 has a LOT more detail, since the SAME PHRASE is used there in a DIFFERENT WAY -- to STRESS the SYSTEM OF DISTRIBUTION of that Isa53 profit which Christ actually won for us by completing His Cross. Whereas here, it's AXIOMATICALLY stated. So everyone knew back in circa 55AD, when Romans was penned, this phrase. Tells you HOW FAST word spread, for this is a VERY sophisticated and detailed doctrine, of the spoils of the Cross. Thus it was no surprise when Ephesians was penned -- what, seven years LATER? -- WHAT PAUL MEANT.

So there's NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that people understood the LXX of Isa53:11, that quintessential prophecy of HIS THINKING GETTING INTO OURS, the 'birthing' of 'children' from HIS SOUL. LordvSatan3.htm's "Third Reason for Invisibility" and "Third Reason for Royalty" go into the MEANING of His Soul getting into ours, what Legacy that is. Highly-sophisticated stuff. Which the readers of Romans ALREADY KNEW at the time Paul penned Romans 12:3. No doubt about it, because Paul is using the keywords to REMIND AND ADMONISH them. No wonder God put Paul in chains and sent him BACK to Rome to write Canon. Those Romans NEEDED him. They WERE sophisticated in understanding, but pressured by the crowd. That's what happens when you are an ADULT spiritually: you get cocky. (LordvSatan3.htm explains something of the spiritual growth stages.)

Wow. I'm in a total state of shock. I did NOT expect to find merizw..metron in this verse, and especially NOW since I JUST FINISHED translating Eph4:12-16, making a webpage around it. I'm totally blown away. Will have to continue writing notes on this v.3 later. Too shocked to write more, now. THIS IS THE BIGGEST DOCTRINE IN BIBLE, GETTING HIS HEAD INTO OURS. Our whole LIVES are.. I can't finish.

Several days later, now. I'm still in shock over Isa53 tie-in here. I redid the Isa53.htm and now the shock is greater than ever. See, the Eph4:16 and 13 tie-togethers use the same keywords as in Isa 53:10-11 OF THE LXX, and they tie even more in Isa53:12, to its word merizw -- which word is ALSO here in Rom12:3! So Paul and the other NT writers tie BACK to Isa53:10-12 by using metron (=Standard, usually with kata, always DIVINE) and merous, the spiritual communication gifts (metron takes the genitive, and merous is the genitive of meros, means ALLOTMENT, one's 'part' of a WHOLE).

So EVERYONE DEPENDS on these communication gifts, and back when Paul wrote, everyone KNEW all that so well, all he has to do is SAY, "metron..emerisen" (aorist of merizw). Which means they WEREN'T studying under their pastors the way they should have, which is why they WERE being puffed up and legalistic.

Romans is a great epistle for many types of doctrinal learning, but here's another: profile of the person who rejects God's system of conveying spiritual information. In Exodus-Numbers, you see a similar profile, and of course there are famous passages like 2Tim2:26-3:7 which succinctly summarize the pathology. Here, though, the surprise is that these folks HAD BEEN under God's "Enotes" -- Greek philosophy word for 'Divine Order of the Universe' Paul uses to good wordplay effect in Eph4:3-16, esp vv.3, 13, and 4:5. But, somehow they got OUT of His Henotes, His Divine System for Spiritual Growth. LordvSatan3.htm goes into great detail about how this System is structured, and works. RightPT.htm explains the pastor's role in your spiritual growth.

    (Noun "enotes" is a VERY FAMOUS CLASSICAL Greek word used by the playwrights and philosophers. If you get into classical Greek, you'll run across it. If memory serves, it's a big linchpin in the Philebus, but maybe somewhere else in Plato. Enotes=the Divine Order of Things, with which you should be in harmony. So, NOT AT ALL "unity of faith", the mistranslation in Eph4:13; not at all related to whether people agree with some denomination or even each other, for crying out loud. Lexicons don't help much here. They are truncated, telling you only that Aristotle and Plutarch use the term. It's a COSMIC with-the-gods SYSTEM, which one does well to learn and harmonize WITH. Harmony with people is a desirable BY-product, but is not at all what henotes really means. Nor is Paul using it that way, for if you look at the Greek from Eph4:1 onward, every Greek word is chock-full of DIVINE ORCHESTRATION concepts. Bible translations truncate, as usual, so you get man-centered IDEAS from translation.)

So a kind of 'portrait' of their problem DESPITE being so familiar with the real spiritual life, can be traced out. Forms a kind of paradigm of traps growing believers in Church, face. In Romans 1, we see the legalism, Paul painting the portrait of the pagan immoral person, knowing full well that the audience would be wagging their heads; only to SMACK them upside the head, with Romans 2. Romans 3 begins the Jew-versus-Christian subtheme (must have been a VERY big problem), Romans 4 on how Grace-only, 5-8 on how salvation makes for the spiritual life (again showing no works), then back to Jew-versus-Christian for 9-11, finally showing how arrogance about being grafted in should be avoided at all costs. So here in Rom12, let's get real, let's get objective, let's get thinking (what we know as) Bible Doctrine under our right pastors, again.

FOR THERE IS NO SPIRITUAL LIFE absent 1Jn1:9; but also, absent being under God's Henotes -- which means, metron merous, Eph4:16 and here in Rom12:3, last clause: your own God-appointed pastor, whoever he is. REALLY LEARNING SOMETHING. Not, telling yourself and others how 'special' you are to be in God's System; but rather, grace-oriented, and thinking Scripture 24/7, so to STAY in His System. That's the REALITY, the logikos latreia (Rom12:1's last two words, three in translation), the John 4:24 WORSHIP SYSTEM. For apart from Him, we can do nothing, John 15.

Persistent living (over a very long period) outside His System has distinctive results, and all of them are devastating. I've seen people who rejected their right pastors, for example, disintegrate before my eyes. Slowly, painfully, over many years becoming more fragile, blind and deaf. No wonder Paul was weeping, in Phili3:18. And the observer can do NOTHING!

Of course, that pathology takes a long time. It starts out, innocently enough:

  • Learning doesn't really occur, but SEEMS to;
  • hence the person gets filled up with a lot of nice vocabulary and nice-sounding smarts (even Greek and Hebrew, boy oh boy) -- but it's just hot air;
  • which other people will come to notice, and the more naive among them, will comment upon.

  • Hence, the person thus engaged OUTSIDE the "enotes" becomes hard-of-hearing (stubborn, prone to think himself right, and most prickly if anything contradicts his notions);
  • he asks man-centered (not God-centered) questions of Bible, evaluates people in man-centered terms, so of course assesses the spiritual life in man-centered terms;
  • paramount among which, is a tendency to value FORM or IMAGE, over content. That's the problem Paul stresses the most, in Rom12:1-3. If form is important, then the person tries to copy people who have degrees, fame, smarts or other human-viewpoint 'goodies', and will DENIGRATE those who do not. It's a form of REJECTING AUTHORITY, actually, though plays quite the opposite. So in the NAME of authority, any WISDOM will be accounted foolish, if not from the mouth of someone who is deemed to HAVE the requisite human-viewpoint 'goodies' warranting respect.

      "Avoid such persons as these", Paul counseled Timothy, in 2Tim3:5. They will not hear any real wisdom, they cannot connect the dots properly, and will actually hate the truth, for they want the truth to make them IMPORTANT. That, it truly does, for all of us. But if you encounter these people, don't expect them to be able to hear you. Tipoff: they want to know SHALLOW things about you, in order to JUSTIFY listening to something you say. Tells you right away they can't understand wisdom, by CONTENT. So just smile, act stupid, whatever -- and distance yourself.

      Children think like this, form look color do-you-like-me; so people yet too young spiritually will also look like those who are RETARDING, as here. If you yourself keep on using 1Jn1:9 and studying in His System, you will learn how to tell the difference. It matters, because God will use you both ways: but with children, you explain; but from the retards, you must walk away. For awhile you won't know the difference, and in your eagerness to help, will get wrapped up in the retards' endless desire to convert you, argue, preen, whatever. But all they truly recognize of wisdom, is that it's IMPRESSIVE. The content totally eludes them -- because, they are OUTSIDE HIS SYSTEM, so like anyone else, understand nothing in that status. So, then: just keep keeping on, yourself; and pray that since God ALONE can help open them again, just as He does for ALL of us.. that He'll help open them, too. We're all in this together, One Body! We're talking DISEASE, here. Not blamesmanship.

  • Hence, he becomes shallow, and whatever analytical abilities he USED to have, atrophy.
  • So, he becomes legalistic, and would like it very much if everyone else followed his own standards. Which, given half a chance, he'll foist on anyone else he can. Of course, "he" means "she" also.

  • The spiritual pathology, if unchecked, devolves down to Numbers 11:6, "our souls are dried up".
  • Because, if not using 1Jn1:9, all that manna is rocks;
  • because, if not under one's right pastor, all that manna, is wormy;
  • because, if not in His System in some other way, the person CAN'T USE whatever he even once REMEMBERED, Bible is. But all that nice vocabulary and smarts and compliments and hot air will make him feel warm and fuzzy and sure of himself and BLIND to the problem.

      Example of this last bullet: using 1Jn1:9, being under your right pastor, but NEVER MUCH TURNING OVER what you are learning. If your pastor has a special vocabulary and you know it; if you memorize (or rote-learn), ape, parrot what you hear BUT DON'T REALLY THINK OVER WHAT IT SIGNIFIES. Bible is meant to be LEARNED, and fact-collection isn't learning. Hence, DISINTEREST is the problem, EVEN WITHIN the "enotes". So just because you are in the right STRUCTURE, doesn't mean you can preen. All that religiosity-like disinterest means a form of godliness but denying its power to transform you, just as if you were overtly hostile and believed you could study Scripture on your own, didn't need 1Jn1:9, etc. It will rear up and bite you, one day. I speak from experience, ouch.

    People tend to assign MERIT to someone else if they perceive the person has KNOWLEDGE. Makes no sense to so assign, since knowledge is only what you know, NOT what you know HOW TO USE. Knowing lots of facts, remembering every book you read, being able to quote, having degrees -- these all mean NOTHING if you can't appropriately USE what you know. Satan knows more than all of us put together -- what GOOD does it do him? So it's a REAL trap to have Scriptural knowledge, if you think that makes you some kind of spiritual giant. Which is a concomitant trap of spiritual growth. Lots of nice Divine Spankings will follow, thank God. Without them, we're TRAPPED! Like Paul quipped in 1Cor13, if you had all the knowledge but not Love (metaphor for Christ's Thinking circulating in you via the Spirit, in God's SYSTEM, not collecting dust or kudos -- see Rom5:5).. you are OUTHEN, OUDEN. Nada, zip, niente, nothing. Hot air.

These Romans were slipping into that pattern. Which is even MORE shocking since it was God's Will that PAUL GO THERE TO PASTOR that flock. Which he fought, going to Jerusalem instead. God wanted Paul there, NOT Jerusalem; and so GOD orchestrated (epichoregia, a big SYSTEM word used in NT, and especially in Eph4:16 to show His backing of the pastor) their TEACHER, to be right where they needed him. Kinda strong statement of Divine Intent. Which God wrought, bringing Paul to Rome in DESMOS, chains -- so those Romans FINALLY DID GET the Doctrine metron merous emerisen, assigned to Paul! See the DEVASTATING EFFECT of going OUTSIDE God's "enotes"! And the devastating PROFIT of being within His Henotes!

So at times Paul must have been wincing .. then, laughing happily about all the GRACE! when he wrote Ephesians. Ohhhhh, Shock too great again. Byeeee...

Please ignore what follows below. It's draft text for a master website collection of translated verses, but I'm not sure whether I should do such a thing. I don't like publically-translating verses when the person should be getting that, from his pastor. All my websites are at best mere brainstorming aids, ADJUNCTIVE: something to play with as you TURN OVER what you are ALREADY LEARNING under whomever GOD appointed to be the right pastor for YOU.

A number of interpretations in my webpages PRESUME that the reader can peruse the original MSS to see how 'I' get an interpretation in Scripture. But I now realize that presumption is wrong, because BIBLE TRANSLATIONS are soo very different. Worse, it seems almost insulting to them, that some whippersnapper like this brainout, would DARE to change the 'accepted' translations. Which, is not at all my intent. It's the WORD OF GOD. Not my word, not anyone else's word. Mistakes are normal, and so is fixing them. Well, why not here? Well, why aren't pastors DOING that, or translating committees? Why should a brainout be doing it? So I feel queasy translating, since it's NOT MY JOB; but.. it's good practice for me, and will help save whoever reads the sites some hair-tearing, if done...

    Moreover, everyone working IN Bible for any length of time realizes God's Infallible Word is Infinitely incapable of correct translation. God really didn't mean for the Word to be translated into another language, but into our heads. We should all be learning the Biblical languages as soon as we are weaned. But, we aren't interested. Although, we used to be..

    So frankly, among those who ARE interested, the crafting of Bible translations are NOT meant to be accurate, because that's impossible; but they are still helpful, to provide easier tracking in the ORIGINAL. Lots of translations are handy for this: KJV, NASB, YLT, and a few others. Remember, it wasn't until about the 1930's that people STOPPED learning the classical languages. So there WAS, albeit among a limited population, a group of folks who COULD read the original-language manuscript copies God so graciously preserved for us throughout the centuries.

    So on the one hand, it WAS impolitic to change a venerated translation like the KJV; but on the other hand, everyone who DID have some understanding of the original languages of Scripture, 'grew up' using the KJV (etc.), so were FAMILIAR with it. (Me too.) So, it BECAME easy to automatically KNOW what Greek or Hebrew word was referenced in a KJV verse. So, the KJV became the standard text of scholarly use, NOT because it was accurate, but because everyone scholarly knew how to USE IT AS A REFERENCE tool. See, it's always easier to think in your native tongue, and to stick with reference materials you know how to use. That's one of the nicer reasons the KJV hasn't materially changed (NKJV really isn't much better, and in some ways worse, for example.)

So what you'll see as translated renderings in this collection of sites will often DISAGREE with the published, venerated versions. I don't claim mine will be accurate, either -- but they WILL be MORE CLEAR than what's published. Basically, I don't seek to MUCH change a translation unless some part of the grammar is BLATANTLY off; then, I DO seek to put back the GREEK MEANINGS THE TRANSLATION OMITS. Then the reader can decide whether he agrees. And, it will be easier to see why some interpretational claim, is made.

Finally, for translation I'm trying to do this ONLY using BibleWorks, rather than depending altogether on my pastor's massive exegesis of nearly every book and verse in Bible. Reason is to TEST HOW EASY it is for someone with SOME legwork to do a BETTER job of seeing what BIBLE SAYS than is in common translations and teachings. Biggest surprise to me in this research is HOW EASY it is to see most of the common 'Christian doctrines' promulgated in Christian history, are WRONG. Clearly, such a claim needs accounting, and while I'm SELECTIVE about WHAT I spend time accounting, I gotta do it. At least, enough for my own due diligence. If a reader gets some brainstorming aid from all this writing, great -- always nice to save someone else time -- but, that's between God and the reader. I'M NOT SELLING ANYTHING.

Pages of this translation genre are all pretty raw. Staccato in style. For, I really DON'T want to spend time translating for a reader, since that's a pastor's job; but the published Bible translations often DIFFER SO MUCH, whatever point is being made in the sites, seems to come from la-la land, to the reader! Now I understand why in chat NO ONE UNDERSTOOD what the heck I was talking about, so I quit going.

So, I'll create more sites like this one, as I have time. Please forgive the rawness, the meanwhile! Or.. well, don't forgive it, as YOU choose!