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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.

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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: 8/11/2022 3:33 PM EST
Commentary for 1 Timothy 2:5 [Only one mediator between people and God]

“one mediator between God and humankind.” 1 Timothy 2:5 is an important verse when it comes to the proper understanding of what happens to a person when they die. Although the traditional Christian teaching is that the soul (or “spirit”) of a person lives on after the body dies, the proper biblical teaching is that when a person dies they are dead in every way, body, soul, and spirit, and they are awaiting the resurrection. Sadly, the orthodox Christian teaching that dead people are actually alive in some form has led to a number of false teachings and practices in the Church. These false practices and beliefs include people trying to contact the dead, which is strictly forbidden by God (cp. Deut. 18:9-14), or of thinking that the dead have come to contact them (which would mean that dead believers would be deliberately disobeying God, which is an untenable belief).

Another false doctrine that stems from the belief that dead people are not really dead but alive in heaven or “hell” is the doctrine held by some Christians that dead people are praying for the living and interceding for them before God. But 1 Timothy 2:5 makes it clear that there is only one mediator between God and humankind, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ....Read More

Date added or revised: 8/1/2022 11:04 AM EST
Commentary for book: 2 Corinthians [Introduction to 2 Corinthians]

Author: God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21), who inspired the Apostle Paul (2 Cor. 1:1; 10:1) to write the letter.

Date: Probably written in ad 56 from Macedonia, most likely in Philippi (2 Cor. 2:13; 7:5; Acts 20:1). Paul had left Ephesus and met up with Titus in Macedonia and learned from him about how the Corinthian church was doing. This was during his third missionary journey, on which he would eventually continue to travel throughout Greece, visiting again Corinth and the other churches he founded before finally heading to Jerusalem, where he was arrested and put in jail (Acts 20:1-3, 13-16; 21:27-33; cf. 2 Cor. 12:14).

The dating of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians has to accommodate the time necessary for all the events described after he wrote 1 Corinthians to occur. It is estimated that 2 Corinthians was written approximately 9-12 months after he wrote 1 Corinthians.

Audience: To all the believers in the church at Corinth, as well as all the believers in Achaia, southern Greece (2 Cor. 1:1). Paul had almost certainly become acquainted with many of the recipients of this letter during his first visit to Corinth when he stayed in the city for eighteen months, witnessing and teaching (Acts 18:11).

Biblical Canon: This second...Read More

Date added or revised: 7/12/2022 4:07 PM EST
Commentary for Revelation 17:8 [The difference between “from” and “before” the foundation of the world.]

they whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.” Many scholars believe that Revelation 17:8 supports the idea of predestination and that the verse is saying that some people’s names are written in the book of life in eternity past, before they are physically born, while other people are not written in the book of life before they are born and those people are therefore doomed to hell by God. However, this is not the way that we should understand the phrase “from the foundation of the world.” To understand what the phrase means, we need to understand the distinction between the phrase “from the foundation of the world” and “before the foundation of the world.”

Often interpreters understand these two phrases to be synonymous, in other words, they think that “from the foundation of the world” and “before the foundation of the world” both mean before the creation of the world in Genesis 1. However, when we look at the occurrences of these two phrases, they clearly have different meanings. “Before the foundation of the world indicates before Genesis, whereas from the foundation of the world indicates from Genesis to present” (Soteriology101.com). Below are a couple of examples that show...Read More

Date added or revised: 6/15/2022 1:32 PM EST
Commentary for 1 Corinthians 14:1 [Spiritual “gifts”]

“spiritual gifts.” The Greek word translated “spiritual” is pneumatikos (#4152 πνευματικός), which is an adjective and thus modifies a noun that in this case is implied rather than specifically stated. The word “gifts” is supplied based on the context of the passage, which reaches back to chapter 12 where Paul began to discuss the diversity of the gifts that are given by God that exist within the body of Christ. There are “gifts,” “ministries,” and “energizings” that are distributed to individuals, and the “manifestation of the [gift of holy] spirit” is given to each Christian in order to benefit God’s people (1 Cor. 12:4-7)

It needs to be noted that there is a distinction in Scripture between the “gift” of holy spirit that is given to believers at the time they are born again (Eph. 1:13-14; Acts 2:38) and the “manifestation” of that gift of holy spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-10) which are also “gifts” in and of themselves. The manifestations of the “gift of holy spirit” are referred to as gifts because they are graciously given by God, and are thus, properly called “gifts.”

Admittedly, it can be somewhat confusing to have the singular “gift” of holy spirit and then “gifts” (also called “manifestations”) that flow from the...Read More

Date added or revised: 6/1/2022 5:49 PM EST
Commentary for Exodus 2:2 [Moses was special.]

“that he was special.” The literal meaning of the words in the Hebrew text of Exodus 2:2 is not debated. Moses is said to be tov (#02896 טוֹב), which means “good,” translated “special” in the REV.

What is debated by scholars is what “good” means in this context. Some commentators say it means “healthy” or “robust” (cp. NET). But M. Kalisch correctly writes: “Rashbam [Rabbi Shmuel Ben Meir] justly refutes the usual translation…“goodly child”…for Jochebed, the mother, would have been perfectly as anxious for the preservation of her child, had it been less fine or less strong. That interpretation would, indeed, almost remind us of the barbarous custom of the Spartans, who killed their children if they did not appear to them sufficiently robust (Plut. Life of Lycurgus)” (M. Kalisch, A Historical and Critical Commentary on The Old Testament, p. 22).

Other commentators say tov means “beautiful” here in Exodus 2:2, but the same objection should be made to the translation “beautiful” (cp. CSB; NASB) as was made about “healthy.” Every baby is beautiful to the mother, and that is as it should be. If all Exodus is saying is that Amram and Jochebed, Moses’ parents (Exod. 6:20), saved Moses because he was “healthy” or “beautiful” they...Read More

Date added or revised: 5/29/2022 8:50 AM EST
Commentary for John 2:4 [The record of Jesus turning water to wine]

“what does your concern have to do with me?” The Greek phrase here in John 2:4 is difficult to translate because it can be translated two different ways and because it is idiomatic. Grammatically it can be quite literally translated as either “What have I to do with you” (KJV; NASB77), or, “What have you to do with me” (NET; NIV; NJB; NKJ; RSV). Because it is Mary who approached Jesus with the problem and implied request, it is more likely that Jesus said “what have you to do with me?”

However, although the translation “what have you to do with me” is very literal, the phrase itself is idiomatic, and so, just as is the case in many idiomatic phrases, the words are not meant to be taken literally but instead the meaning is understood in the culture. The phrase itself is actually Semitic, not Greek, and it was likely that Jesus was speaking to his mother in either Aramaic or Hebrew, not Greek. Because the phrase is idiomatic it should not be translated strictly literally, and the “cold feeling” that the literal Greek translation gives in English is not the feel of the Greek text.

The text note in the NET Bible explains that the Semitic idiom has two distinct meanings, one of which will apply: “The equivalent Hebrew expression in...Read More

Date added or revised: 5/25/2022 1:09 PM EST
Commentary for John 12:32 [I will draw all people to myself]

“will draw all people to myself.” Jesus had just been told that Greeks wanted to see him (John 12:20-22). This confirmed the Old Testament prophecies that he would be a blessing to the Gentiles and was something he himself had taught about earlier in his ministry. The phrase “all people” refers to all the humble, godly, people, just as he had taught throughout his ministry. It is the humble, meek, pure-hearted, righteous people who will be in the Kingdom (Matt. 5:3-10).

John 12:32 has not been well understood by most Christians. Also, it has been completely misunderstood by Christian Universalists, who believe that every human who has ever lived will be saved regardless of whether they were godly or ungodly, and their belief is partly based on passages such as John 12:32 and 1 Corinthians 15:22, which use the word “all” to describe the group of people who will be saved.

The entry below covers three major points: 1) That the word “all” is usually used in a limited, not universal sense. 2) That it was Greek Gentiles who asked to meet Jesus, and that event prompted Jesus to say that he would draw all people to himself. 3) That what Jesus said in John 12:32 does not contradict his many teachings that some people will be saved and...Read More

Date added or revised: 5/6/2022 10:49 AM EST
Commentary for Acts 10:42 [Jesus will judge the living and the dead]

“Judge of the living and the dead.” Jesus will judge “the dead” when he raises up those who are currently dead and they stand before him to be judged (cp. John 5:25-29; Rev. 20:11-15; Acts 24:15).

However, there are times when Jesus will judge “the living,” because at the different judgments not everyone will be dead. One example is the Rapture of the Christian Church. When the Rapture occurs, not every member of the Church will be dead (cp. 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thess. 4:15-17), but every Christian will be judged (2 Cor. 5:10). Also, at Jesus’ Second Coming, when he comes and fights the Battle of Armageddon and conquers the earth (Rev. 19:11-21; Ps. 2:4-9; 110:1-6; Dan. 2:34-35; ), there will be lots of people who will still be alive on earth who have survived the Tribulation and Armageddon. Those people will be gathered before Jesus and separated into two groups, “sheep” and “goats.” The “sheep” will be judged to be righteous and will be allowed to enter Christ’s kingdom on earth (Matt. 25:31-34, 46), but the “goats” will be judged to be unrighteous and thrown into the Lake of Fire (Matt. 25:41, 46).

...Read More
Date added or revised: 5/2/2022 8:55 AM EST
Commentary for 1 Chronicles 12:23 [David recognized as God’s choice for king]

“who came to David at Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him.” 1 Chronicles 12 shows that David was God’s choice for the king of Israel by the support he got from every single tribe of Israel, not just from his own tribe of Judah. Before Saul died and while David was running away from Saul, David had already gotten support from the tribes of Benjamin (1 Chron. 12:2, 4), Gad (1 Chron. 12:8), Manasseh (1 Chron. 12:20), and very likely from other tribes as well (1 Chron. 12:22). Then, after Saul died, David moved to Hebron and was crowned king by the tribe of Judah (2 Sam. 2:4). However, he was challenged for the kingship of Israel by Saul’s son Ish-bosheth because after Saul died, Saul’s general, Abner, had taken Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and set him up as king over Israel in competition with David (2 Sam. 2:4-11).

Nevertheless, people from every tribe of Israel recognized that David was God’s choice as the true king of Israel and supported him instead of supporting Ish-bosheth. 1 Chronicles 12:23-38 lists tribes that had men who came to Hebron in support of David, and every tribe of Israel is specifically mentioned: The tribe of Judah (v. 24), Simeon (v. 25), Levi (v. 26), Benjamin (v. 29), Ephraim (v. 30), the western...Read More

Date added or revised: 4/27/2022 11:05 AM EST
Commentary for book: 1 Corinthians [Introduction to 1 Corinthians]

Author: God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21), who inspired the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 1:1; 16:21), who then dictated the letter to an unnamed secretary, who transcribed it for him (cf. 1 Cor. 16:21).

Date: Written most likely in the spring of AD 54 or 55 but could have been as late as the spring of AD 56. The letter was probably written in the city of Ephesus in Turkey during Paul’s three-year visit there just before the festival of Pentecost (1 Cor. 16:8; Acts 20:31). The time of composition correlates to sometime in the beginning of Paul’s third missionary journey when he learned about some of the issues in the church in Corinth.

Audience: To all the believers in the church at Corinth, as well as every person who calls upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor. 1:2). The recipients of this letter consisted of those believers who Paul had converted during his first visit when he stayed in the city for over eighteen months, evangelizing and teaching (Acts 18:11). Paul describes the Corinthian believers as having been enriched in all things and not lacking any spiritual gift (1 Cor. 1:5-7). Furthermore, according to the issues that Paul addresses, it seems the church was very socially, economically, and ethnically diverse. This is not...Read More