What's New

Welcome to the “What's New” section of the REV website. Below you will see a list of some of the most recent edits and updates to the REV commentary. If you click the “Read More” link at the end of each update, it will open the commentary page in a new browser window or tab.

A red asterisk appearing at the right of the “What’s New” menu item indicates there has been an edit or addition within the last three days.

Each commentary edit or update is separated by a solid line and includes the time of entry, the book and verse reference, and a short statement about what has been added or changed in that commentary entry along with a preview of the commentary.

We hope that this feature enables you to see the work that is currently being done on the REV commentary and to learn about God’s Word along with us.

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Date added or revised: 2/23/2018 9:45 PM EST
Appendix 11: What is the Holy Spirit? [Replaced Appendix 11: “What is the Holy Spirit?”]

Appendix 11. What is the Holy Spirit?

Introduction
It is a great blessing to properly understand the Bible. It is comforting and exciting, and it fosters conviction, enthusiasm and power in a Christian’s life. In contrast, when we are confused about the Bible and do not understand it, we have less enthusiasm and conviction, and tend to walk with less power in our Christian life. Sadly, there is much confusion in Christianity concerning “the Holy Spirit,” and the goal of this appendix is to clear up some of that confusion.

In the Bible, “HOLY SPIRIT” is primarily used in two very different ways: One way is to refer to God Himself, and the other way is referring to God’s nature that He gives to people. God is holy and is spirit, and “the Holy Spirit” (capital “H” and “S”) is one of the many “names,” or designations, for God (the one God, known as “Yahweh”). Also, however, God gives His holy spirit nature to people as a gift to spiritually empower them, and when HOLY SPIRIT is used that way it should be translated as “holy spirit” (lower case “h” and “s”). Also, in showing that “HOLY SPIRIT” is either a way of speaking about God, or the gift of God’s nature, this appendix will also present evidence that leads to the conclusion...Read More

Date added or revised: 2/20/2018 1:16 PM EST
Appendix 10: Jesus is the Son of God; not God the Son [Replaced Appendix 10: “Jesus is the Son of God; not God the Son”]

Appendix 10. Jesus is the Son of God; not God the Son

Introduction
The Bible teaches that there is one God, the Father, and one Messiah and Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the divinely conceived Son of God. Those are very important truths, and this appendix will give evidence that supports them. In doing so, this appendix will also show that Jesus Christ is the fully human “Son of God,” and not “God the Son,” and thus it will also give evidence that shows that the Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity.

For clarity’s sake, it is helpful to understand what the Trinity is. The orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and the three of them are co-equal, co-eternal, and share the same essence, and together those three individual “Persons” are one triune God; also, Jesus is both 100% God and 100% man, and both Jesus’ divine nature and his human nature live together in his flesh body. The doctrine of the Trinity, though widely believed, is never stated in the Bible.

We do not present this appendix to antagonize or attack anyone, but rather because we believe an honest and rigorous examination of the biblical evidence will support that the Father alone is God and Jesus...Read More

Date added or revised: 2/16/2018 2:46 PM EST
Commentary for Hebrews 5:9 [Add to commentary. “the source.”]
the source.” The Greek word translated “source” here in Hebrews 5:9 is aitios (#159 αἴτιος) and when it is used in a context like this it means “cause, source” (BDAG; also Friberg’s Analytical Lexicon); “responsible agent, cause” (Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek); “cause, reason, occasion,” (Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament). A number of English versions have picked up on this and translate aitios as “source” (CJB; HCSB; ESV; NAB; NASB; NET; NIV; NJB; NLT; NRSV). Indeed, Jesus is the source of salvation, because through him everlasting life was made available.

It is vital that people understand that everlasting life comes through belief in Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9), because belief in Jesus as Lord is the only sure way to have everlasting life. Although there may be some people on earth who have not heard of Jesus and may be saved by their righteous life (Rom. 2:14), no one who hears about Jesus and rejects him will be saved, and in the final analysis, if a person does not have everlasting life then they have nothing at all.

In calling Jesus the “source” of salvation it is understood that Jesus was not the ultimate and first cause, or source, of salvation, God is. Ages ago God designed His plan for our salvation...Read More

Date added or revised: 2/15/2018 11:39 AM EST
Commentary for 1 Corinthians 9:15 [Initial commentary. “Anacoluthon.”]
“rather to die than…. No one will take from me.” Here in 1 Corinthians 9:15, Paul abruptly breaks off his thought. This is the common figure anacoluthon, in which the speaker abruptly stops speaking about one subject and either stops completely or continues with another line of thought. Parents are very prone to use anacoluthon. For example, a mother might shout to her young children who are making a ruckus in a room, “If I have to come in there….!” Or a girl who is dating might say to her girlfriend, “If I find out he went out with that girl…!”

An anacoluthon usually occurs at times of uncertainly, or in times of great emotion or intensity, which is certainly the case with Paul here. Paul pointed out to the Corinthians that as a minister of the Gospel he had the right to be supported by the money that came in for the furtherance of the Gospel, but he had not used the money to support himself but instead had worked with his hands. In spite of that, there were people who were suspicious of Paul and his lifestyle (1 Cor. 9:3). So he explained how he lived, ending with his affirmation that he had not used ministry money to support himself and was not writing about it in order to get people to support him. He then said, “It would...Read More

Date added or revised: 2/12/2018 3:03 PM EST
Commentary for James 3:1 [Initial commentary. Teachers and the judgment]
“we will receive a stricter judgment.” Teachers will receive a stricter judgment than most other Christians because what they believe and teach not only influences them, but also influences the ones they lead and teach (this is actually true of any Christian leader; not just teachers although this verse only mentions teachers). If a person sins and leads others to sin, that is a greater sin—and has greater consequences—than if a person sins on his own and does not lead anyone else into sin.

We see that pattern in the Old Testament. For example, Leviticus 4 is about the sin offering people had to offer when they sinned unintentionally. If a priest sinned, which also brought guilt on the people, he had to bring a young unblemished bull as a sin offering (Lev. 4:3-4). The text assumes that if a priest sinned the people would be affected by the sin as well. If, on the other hand, a leader sinned, he was to bring a lesser offering, an unblemished male goat as an offering (Lev. 4:22-23). The sin of the leader was not automatically assumed to affect the people, although it might. Leviticus 4 also shows that the ceremony that accompanied the priest’s offering was more involved and elaborate than the ceremony that accompanied a...Read More

Date added or revised: 2/6/2018 4:28 PM EST
Commentary for Psalms 5:3 [Initial commentary. “I will make preparations.”]
“I will make preparations for you.” The Hebrew verb about making preparations was used about making preparations for sacrifices, but it was also used for making verbal preparations; in this case it would be preparing words to speak to God. In any case, the fact that Psalm 5:1-2 are about praying and crying out to God, and this verse, Psalm 5:3, begins with “you will hear my voice” and ends with “and will carefully watch” indicates that the psalmist is speaking of making preparations to petition God in what he says, whether or not his petition was accompanied by a sacrifice. The psalmist would prepare his petition to God and then would carefully watch for an answer.

There are some wonderful lessons in what the psalmist does here. For one thing, he starts preparing to approach God “in the morning.” He understands that it is important to magnify God, recognize Him for who He is, and ask for His help as the day starts. The psalmist does not ignore God, forget Him, or “put Him on a back burner” until later in the day “when I have time for Him.” Also, the fact that the psalmist prepared to approach God shows that his prayer or petition was deliberate and well thought through. He knew what he was asking God for, and why. This was not...Read More

Date added or revised: 1/21/2018 7:41 AM EST
Commentary for Exodus 22:11 [Initial commentary. “must accept it”]
“its owner must accept it.” A major theme in the Torah, God’s “instruction book,” is personal responsibility. The point of Exodus 22:10-11 is that everyone is responsible for their own possessions. If a person is unable to watch over his possessions for a time, then he (or she) must be very careful in picking someone to watch his stuff, because if it somehow disappears, the one who said he would watch over the stuff only has to swear he did not take it himself, and the matter is settled. The stuff is gone somehow, but there is no retribution required. The lesson in this is that each person is responsible for his own things. If you must leave something with someone, you have to pick someone that you trust and that you think is also responsible and diligent to keep it safe, and even then if it somehow gets lost you lose what you own. No one is ultimately responsible for your things but you.

But there is an exception that involves risk for the one who agreed to keep watch over the things. If anything is stolen, the one who agreed to watch the things must pay back for what was stolen. He does not have to pay the owner double, but he has to make good the loss (Exod. 22:12). Part of the lesson here is that you do not want to agree...Read More

Date added or revised: 1/17/2018 8:46 AM EST
Commentary for Exodus 22:6 [Initial commentary. “kindled the fire”]
“the one who kindled the fire.” Accidents happen, but they will happen a lot less if the person who “accidentally” did not prepare for, pay attention to, or control what he was doing was held responsible for the accident. Obviously, there are times when accidents cannot be helped and no one is genuinely responsible, but in this case the person purposely lit a fire, and if it is not properly prepared for and watched over, a fire can get out of control. The point is that there are kinds of accidents where it is reasonable to hold a person responsible for the accident. If societies were more diligent about doing this, there would be fewer “accidents.”
 
Date added or revised: 1/12/2018 3:50 PM EST
Commentary for James 1:7 [Add to commentary. “receive from the Lord.”]
“will receive anything from the Lord.” This verse is usually taken to mean that the person who is doubting will not receive anything from the Lord because the Lord will not give him anything, and there are times when that is no doubt the case. But the Lord is gracious and merciful, and gives to us even when we do not deserve it, and so there is a second meaning buried in this verse: that a person who is doubting often does not receive what the Lord is giving because his own doubt keeps him from receiving it. Most Christians have experienced this at one time or another: we reject something that we do not trust is from the Lord. We may think it comes to us just by chance, or it is not good for us, or it is even from the Devil, but then we find out after the fact that it was from the Lord. Part of the mature Christian walk is blending trust with discernment so that we do not miss what the Lord is giving to us.
 
Date added or revised: 1/12/2018 12:47 PM EST
Commentary for Luke 2:13 [Add to commentary. “the heavenly army.”]
“the heavenly army.” The Greek word translated “army” is stratia (#4756 στρατιά). Robertson (Word Pictures in the New Testament) writes: “A military term for a band of soldiers common in the ancient Greek.” We do not see any good reason to translate stratia as “host” in modern versions. In the times of the King James Version (1611), the word “host” often referred to an army, but that use of “host” has almost completely fallen out of use, and very few modern readers would read “host” and think “army.” Nevertheless, due to tradition, and also due to the theology that “God is in control and the Devil can only do what God allows him to,” many modern versions still use “host.”

This heavenly army of angels would have almost certainly been standing on the ground on the hillsides where the flocks were—the area around Bethlehem is very hilly. Many paintings and Christmas cards depict this army of angels having wings and hovering in the air, but that is not likely. With the exception of Zechariah 5:9, no angel in the Bible has wings, and they almost exclusively appear looking as if they were humans, and standing on the ground. For example, when the heavenly army protected Elisha, “the mountain was covered with horses and chariots...Read More

 
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