A Short Thinking Test for Those Who Think
If you are someone who likes to read and study the scriptures, you will no doubt have come across this passage from the gospel of John. It is a favourite with many people because they think that they have found a hidden meaning in the text that the King James translators overlooked.
JOH 21:15* So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. [King James Bible]
For those of you who think that all you need to give you the authority to correct/add to the King James Bible is a few reference books, concordances & lexicons, a few years in a Bible College learning Bible Greek &/or a professorship in classical languages at world-renowned University, here is a simple question.
My question: do you think the person called the Lord Jesus Christ is able to count? I would think that of course you do. If you really think that the Lord Jesus when he was speaking to Peter in John 21:15 – 17 (after Jesus had asked him “THE THIRD TIME”) knew what he meant when he questioned Peter three times concerning Peter’s love for him. Jesus & Peter knew that he asked exactly the same question three times. Peter was grieved because he heard the same question three times. Jesus asked him if he (Peter) loved him.
Now those of you who like to play around with these so-called Greek original language investigations and suggest that Jesus meant, or actually used, two completely different meaning words to express two different types of love, how come Peter & Jesus both understood that the words were used three times?
You might think that you know that Jesus uses a certain word for love twice and then in the last instance changes that word as far as the Greek original language (even this is supposition there is no Koine Biblical Greek New Testament text to look at anywhere) is concerned. It would be presumptuous to suggest that Jesus meant two different things by these words because both he and Peter understood that he asked Peter about his love for him a total of three times & this includes two different words that obviously mean the same type of love to make a total of three times. You might also know that Jesus used one word twice and another word one time and that Peter responded with that same word three times. As far as Peter understood he had been asked the same question three times. Actually Peter uses the so-called lower level of love when replies after hearing the same question 3 times. He did not acknowledge a change in degree or type of the love that the Lord asked him about.
I think that we miss the mark here. We are called to feed the sheep not educate them incorrectly. Actually, I will tackle this in a more detailed post, if you know your Scriptures you will know that these two Greek words are used on two different occasions in the same verse & context to express the same thing. As far as the word of God is concerned there is no difference between these two different Greek words. If you want to split hairs in this passage in John, the Scripture uses two different Greek words for the word “feed.”
The scriptures warn us that we should be very careful how we handle the word of life.
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. [KJV]