Should Christians Keep Jewish Holy Days?
Should Christians Observe Jewish Holy Days?
From Susan via Facebook 10/20/2022-
I have a question: what do you think of believers who keep the Jewish sabbath and holy days?
We have freedom in Jesus Christ.
- We have freedom to keep the Jewish sabbath and holy days if we want to.
- We have freedom to not keep the Jewish sabbath and holy days if we want to.
These sabbaths and holy days are not obligated for Christians to keep, as the Jews were obligated to keep them.
- This idea is found in how Jesus interacted with the law in the days of His earthly ministry.
- This idea is found in Hebrews, and the supremacy of Jesus and the new covenant.
- This idea is found in Romans 10:4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
- This idea is found in Colossians 2:16-17.
- (16-17) Applying the truth of Jesus’ victory in light of the Colossian heresy.
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
- So let no one judge you: The opening “so” is important. It connects this thought with the previous thought. Because Jesus won such a glorious victory on the cross, we are to let no one judge you in food or in drink or in other matters related to legalism. A life that is centered on Jesus and what He did on the cross has no place for legalism.
- “It would be preposterous indeed for those who had reaped the benefit of Christ’s victory to put themselves voluntarily under the control of the powers which he had conquered.” (Bruce)
- Food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come: The Old Testament law had certain provisions that are done away with in Jesus, regarding such things as food and sabbaths. It isn’t that those laws were bad, simply that they were a shadow of things to come. Once the substance – Jesus Christ – has come, we don’t need to shadow any more.
- The point is clear: days and foods, as observed under the Mosaic Law, are not binding upon New Covenant people. The shadow has passed, the reality has come. So for the Christian, all foods are pure (1 Timothy 4:4-5) and all days belong to God.
- Christians are therefore free to keep a kosher diet or to observe the sabbath if they please. There is nothing wrong with those things. However, they cannot think that eating kosher or sabbath observance makes them any closer to God, and they cannot judge another brother or sister who does not observe such laws.
iii. “The regulations of Judaism were designed for the period when the people of God consisted of one racial, cultural, and geographical unit, and are simply put out of date now that this people is becoming a world-wide family. They were the ‘shadows’ that the approaching new age casts before it.” (Wright)
Did Adam and Eve eat any other food before eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
Is there anything in Genesis that explicitly states that Adam and Eve had eaten any kind of food from any other source, before they got tempted and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
To my knowledge, there is no mention in the Bible of Adam and Eve eating any specific thing before they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This leads to another interesting question for us to consider about the book of Genesis. How long did Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden before they fell? When we read about it in the Genesis account, it seems to happen suddenly. But we really don’t know that; we’re operating by how that kind of feels to us as we read the text. There’s no mention of any kind of timespan.
So, it is possible that Adam and Eve lived for some days, some weeks, some months, or I suppose you could even speculate years, before they ate from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now, of course, if it were to be more than a day, they would have had to eat from some other source of food and nourishment in the Garden of Eden. We’re not told anything specific about them eating before they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge and good and evil, but this is just one of the things about which the text itself just doesn’t speak.
There is no indication in the Bible of them eating anything in the Garden of Eden before they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, nor is there any firm indication of how long they were in the Garden of Eden before the fall.
When Jesus said in John 3 that we must be born of water, was the water a reference to water birth or to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26) or something else?
Ephesians 5:26 is that verse where Paul says that the work of Jesus towards His people is to sanctify and cleanse His people by the washing of water by the Word. Jesus says in John 3 that we must be born of water, and I regard that as natural birth.
John 3:5-6 – Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
There have been a lot of different takes on this passage. Some people think that it’s talking about a washing of the Word, as indicated in Ephesians 5:26, and a washing or a work of the Holy Spirit. Some people think that the being born of water here speaks of being born of the waters of baptism and being born of the work of the Spirit.
I don’t know if we can conclusively say, but I’ll give you my best guess on this. I think that when Jesus spoke of being born of water and of the Spirit, I think He’s talking about our natural birth. That’s what Jesus means by being born of water. An unborn baby is carried in a sac filled with a watery substance which surrounds the child in the womb, and that water is released before the child is born. You could say that a child is born of water, the waters of birth.
I think He’s talking about the water of natural birth, and then the work of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual birth. The reason I say that is because Jesus said in verse 6, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” I think that the being born of water corresponds to our natural birth, being born of the flesh. And being born of the Spirit corresponds to the spiritual work.
I agree that there’s probably some legitimate room for people to have a different perspective, such as that He’s talking about the washing of the water of the Word, as you suggested. I’d be a little less confident about it meaning the waters of baptism, but I could see how someone could make that case. But because of verse 5, where Jesus makes the parallel of the being born of the flesh and being born of the Spirit, that’s the view I would take.
Is it ok to listen to worship songs that aren’t performed by Christians (or by Christians who have fallen away)?
Is it okay to listen to worship songs that aren’t performed by Christians, or by Christians that have fallen away? An example is Cat Stevens’ “Morning has Broken.” It’s a lovely hymn. But Cat is far away from Christianity. Is it okay to use this as a part of my worship?
I think this is a matter of individual conscience before God. There are some Christians who are able to just say, “I’m going to judge a work by the work itself, by the words and the tune of the song itself. If that ministers to me, helps me in worship, or guides me to worship, then good.” But I think there are other Christians who would have a conscience that says, “No, Cat Stevens went on to become a very decided and vocal Muslim; I don’t want to associate myself in any way with that path, so I won’t make that part song any part of my life or my worship.”
I really truly think that this is a matter of individual conscience. If the Holy Spirit were to convict a brother or sister that it was okay to do it, or if the Holy Spirit were to convict a brother or sister that it was not okay to do it, I wouldn’t dispute either one. I would say, do what you feel like the Holy Spirit has led or guided or commanded you to do.
There is a lot in the Christian life that is left up to this area of liberty of conscience. Sometimes we try to make rules for others when God deliberately leaves things in a gray area. God can move in one life to do one thing and move in other life to do something else. We should be aware of the phenomenon that God may require something of you that He doesn’t require of another brother or sister in Christ. And you need to be okay with that.
Now, don’t go thinking that makes you any better or any more holy. This is just the Holy Spirit having a personal dealing with you. So, you should be at peace with that. Sometimes we just have a hard time with that idea. We want to put upon others the things which the Holy Spirit is dealing with us about. I think we need to give room to the Spirit of God to work in ourselves and in others, in a way that He would tailor to each individual life.
Now, obviously, I’m not speaking about things that are clear in Scripture. For example, when it comes to God’s command about committing adultery, I can’t say, “Well, you know, the Holy Spirit gave me permission to do something like that.” No, no, no. There are certain things that are clear in the Scriptures. But there are other things that the Holy Spirit just leaves to the individual liberty that He may grant or not grant in somebody’s life.
What are your thoughts on Christians who convert to Judaism?
It’s a little difficult to know exactly what you mean by this question. I could take the concept of converting to Judaism in a few different ways. Theoretically, somebody could say, “I believe that Jesus is my Messiah. I’m going to trust in Jesus as my Messiah, and have an unreserved devotion to Jesus, in trust and obedience to Him, and the finished work that He did for us on the cross and in His resurrection. But in other ways, I’m going to live as a Jewish person lives.” Okay, that’s theoretical.
But I’m going to assume that that’s not what you’re indicating, in your question. I assume that you’re indicating somebody who would say, “I am no longer a Christian. I no longer recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Lord over my life. I no longer consider Him to be my master and me to be His disciple. I’m going to convert to Judaism.”
If a person does that, well, I think that’s tragic. I think that person is departing from the truth. They’re departing from the truth of not only the Greek Scriptures, which we commonly call the New Testament, but they’re also departing from the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures, which we commonly call the Old Testament.
Make no doubt about it, the Hebrew Scriptures point to Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, to be the Messiah. And if somebody denies the person and work of Jesus Christ, it’s not just that they’re mixed up about the New Testament, the Greek Scriptures; they’re mixed up about the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. An accurate understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures points to Jesus Christ.
The person who forsakes Jesus for any other religion, whether it be Judaism, Islam, or any other, they are not actually seeking after God. Jesus said that He was and is the perfect representation of God the Father, and that to reject Jesus is to reject God. This is a heavy thing.
It’s just not conceivable from a biblical perspective that somebody could say, “Oh no, I love God, and I’m obedient to Him. It’s just Jesus that I push aside. I don’t believe Jesus is who He said He was. It’s just Jesus that I have a problem with.”
Nope. Jesus made it very plain that to reject Him was also to reject the Father. So, I would regard it as a tragedy for somebody to forsake their Christianity, and to embrace or to go back to Judaism. I would think they would be moving further away from God, and not closer to Him. The Bible tells us, in Paul’s letter to Timothy, that there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Just one. There’s no other mediator that will avail you before God.
How did God speak to people in the Old Testament, especially when giving them specific instructions?
How do you think God spoke to Adam, Moses, Cain, Jonah, David, the prophets? He gave David so many clear instructions for battle, for instance, and the specifics of the Tabernacle and the Temple. Could you elaborate on what this might have looked like?
We know that there are a few times in the Bible when God spoke with an audible voice. We know that God spoke with an audible voice at Mount Sinai when He delivered the Ten Commandments to the nation of Israel. We know that God spoke with an audible voice on the Mount of Transfiguration, when He told the disciples, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him.” God spoke with an audible voice, saying something very similar at the baptism of Jesus. God spoke with an audible voice to Paul (Saul of Tarsus) on the road to Damascus.
So, it’s possible for God to speak with an audible voice. But I suspect that even in Bible times, it was not the predominant way that God spoke. I believe that God spoke to people with the voice of the inner man, speaking to a person’s thoughts, yet somehow making it clear that is the Lord who is speaking.
I don’t think there’s any way to prove this one way or another. But we shouldn’t think that every time the Bible says that the Lord spoke in such a way, that it was an audible voice.
For example, consider when the writers of Scripture were writing, such as Paul in one of his prison epistles, when he wrote the letter of Philippians from his Roman imprisonment. When Paul was writing out his letter to the Philippians, we shouldn’t have some people call a “dictation theory,” assuming that God spoke audibly to Paul, and said, “Okay, write what I tell you.” No, God was moving in and through Paul’s thoughts and perfectly inspiring him.
There are a few occasions in the Bible where God spoke with an audible voice. But that doesn’t mean that every time God spoke, it was with an audible voice. No doubt there were many times when God spoke simply through the thoughts of an individual.
Now in a modern context, I have to say that I think it’s very dangerous for modern believers to long for or to demand that God would speak to them in an audible voice. I actually think that could open a believer up to at least the possibility of spiritual deception. Because friends, we can say that in some regard, God is not the only one who has a voice. There is at least some way in which demonic spirits can communicate with humanity. We don’t know all the details. All we know is that there is the potential and the ability in some way for them to communicate to our thoughts, to suggest things. And that gives the idea that if someone were to hear an audible voice, in a spiritual sense, it might not be God.
Yes, it’s possible for God to speak to us. For Him to speak to us audibly would be very, very rare. But that’s not how we should seek Him. We should seek God in and through His Word. As I seek Him in and through His Word, as I walk in the Spirit, as I try to live a God-glorifying life, God may speak to me and guide me and direct me in other ways. But we don’t want to open ourselves up to spiritual deception, by demanding that God speak to me in such a way. There is one place that we know for sure God has spoken. He has spoken to us in and through His Word.
Can a man who feels called to ministry begin without a wife?
As someone who believes he has a call to ministry, do you believe I could commence ministry without a wife?
Yes, I do think that’s possible. First of all, I would say that if you feel called to ministry, and you believe that God wants you to pursue that, God bless you. As Paul wrote in 1 Timothy, “It’s good if someone desires this position of ministry, this position of overseer; that’s a good thing.” God bless you for that.
The Bible does not require that people in ministry be married. Now, I do know that in the qualifications for a leader as described in 1 Timothy and Titus, it says that he should be the husband of one wife. I don’t at all think that is a requirement that the minister be married. And why do I say that? Well, because if it were a requirement that the minister be married, then Jesus was disqualified for ministry. And Paul was disqualified for ministry, because Paul was not married, at least for most of his ministry.
So, any rule that would eliminate Jesus the Messiah, and the Apostle Paul, from your list of ministerial candidates, is surely a flawed rule. No, when it says in the Pastoral Epistles, that a servant of God should be the husband of one wife, instead of seeing that as a requirement for marriage, it just means that the husband who is married must be faithful to his wife. First of all, polygamy would be out of the question. But then also having a wandering heart or a wandering eye after other women would be excluded. The translation of that idea in the original language is that the minister, the servant of God, should be a “one-woman man.”
And I would say that “one-woman man” could either refer to one woman being his wife, or to the one woman that God has for him, if God has called that minister to be married. God may not necessarily have that calling on every minister’s life. Although I think it’s relatively rare among believers, God calls some to celibacy instead of to marriage. Paul makes that very clear in his letter to the Corinthians.
So, I don’t know what the Holy Spirit would be guiding you to do in particular. But in general, I would not say that being unmarried is a prohibition to entering into ministry. I hope that’s helpful for you.
Does the Sabbath start Friday night and end Saturday night?
The Jewish Sabbath does. There are Christians who have taken the idea of the Sabbath, and sort of transferred it to a Christian context. And for many of them, the Sabbath is Sunday, measured by the daylight hours beginning in the morning and ending in the evening, or at nighttime.
But the Jewish way of reckoning a day is that the day begins at sunset. That’s the beginning of the day. And then the day continues on, and at sunset the following day, that’s the end of one day and the beginning of another.
So yes, the Jewish Sabbath is like that. But there are people who have taken a Christian concept of the Sabbath. Again, this is something that Christians are free to do or not to do. We have freedom in Christ, just as I mentioned before. They are free to do that or not to do that. But again, there’s no doubt about how the way that the Jewish people themselves reckon the Sabbath.
Is there always a blessing after a trial (like Job)?
I’m just going to be very straightforward and honest with you. No, there’s not always a blessing after a trial. Let me explain to you why I would say such a thing.
First of all, it’s because we don’t always respond rightly under a trial. Sometimes we receive trials and difficulties in our life with a lot of unbelief, with a lot of complaining, with a lot of needless agony. And we don’t gain the spiritual benefit in that particular trial which God would want us to gain. The benefit and the blessing that God can work through trials, depends at least somewhat upon our response to God in the midst of the trial.
But I would also say this. The blessing that comes after a trial may be a blessing that we receive in eternity. No person will ever put God in their debt. God will reward all those who serve Him, all those who honor Him, all those who give up anything for His glory and His honor. You can be sure of that. But some of those blessings will be received in theworld beyond, in the life will live after our life on this Earth. That doesn’t make those rewards or blessings any less real. It just makes them less immediate. I think that’s something that we need to understand.
So, first of all, we may not respond to the trial correctly. Secondly, the blessing may come not in this life, but in the next. Thirdly, the blessing that we receive may not immediately feel like a blessing. I don’t really know how to describe this exactly. But I there are instances in our life when God is blessing us, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like it at the moment. Only in retrospect do we realize that God was really blessing us in the midst of that trial, and we can have some peace and rejoice in that.
What is the big salvation-by-works issue that you see among Christians today?
Circumcision was the salvation by works issue for the Galatians. What’s the big salvation-by-works issue that you see among Christians today?
In first century Judaism, the Judaism which Paul wrote to the Galatians about in the New Testament, circumcision didn’t save in and of itself. Rather, it was being under the Law of Moses that saved. Circumcision was the initiation into that.
Generally, the teaching was not “If you’re circumcised, you can never be lost.” There were some rabbis who taught that. But rabbis generally taught that salvation came by being obedient to the law. And circumcision was the first step in that, at least, of course, for a man.
In our modern context, I would say that church people try to be justified by the law through rule keeping.
They think that if they’re moral enough, keep a certain list of rules, go to church, and maybe give some of their money to the church or to God’s work, that their salvation will be ensured. Of course, that is a deception. They’re looking to what they do to save themselves.
We need to understand that the core of Christianity is not what I do for God. The core of Christianity is what God has done for me or for you in Jesus Christ, especially in His death on the cross and in His resurrection. That’s the core of Christianity. Now, I’m choosing my words carefully. I’m not saying that what we do for God is irrelevant, or that it has no place. No, it definitely has a place. The Christian life is a life of discipleship. It’s a life of action. What we do for God has its place, no doubt about it. But it’s not the core of our Christian life.
The core of our Christian life is what God has done for us. When that gets turned around, and being a good Christian is no longer a matter of trusting in, relying on, and clinging to Jesus, but simply keeping a list of rules, then that answers to the trust which Jews had in circumcision.
Why are the sexual relations between Lot and his daughters considered a sin, if they happened before the law of Moses was given? Even Abraham married his sister.
Why is the sexual intercourse between Lot and his daughters considered a sin if it happened before the law of Moses, and even Abraham and more people married their sisters?
The only time in the Bible that I’m aware of somebody marrying their full sister – that is, someone from the same father and mother – was in the first generation after Adam, Cain and his wife, Seth and his wife; they would have had to marry their sister. But after that, even in the days of Abraham, Sarah was his half-sister, not a full sister. Surely there’s a difference between that and sexual relations between a parent and their offspring. Now, the daughters of Lot were not children; so, I wouldn’t say a parent and child, but it’s certainly a parent and offspring. Surely there’s a difference between that.
The wrongness of what happened with Lot and his daughters, is indicated by the fact that they had to get Lot drunk in order to consummate the act. They had to remove him from his normal faculties of wisdom and judgment before they could consummate the act. That in and of itself shows that it was something that they themselves knew was wrong, even though there was not a specific commandment against it.
Later on, when the law of Moses came and strictly forbade such relations, as indicated in Leviticus, it was not creating such laws; it was codifying such laws which were already written into the heart and conscience of mankind. What Lot and his daughters did was known to be wrong by all the parties involved. We know that from the circumstances around the occasion.
Later on, when that is specifically condemned, for example in the Book of Leviticus, it wasn’t the creation of a law that didn’t exist before. It was the codifying of a law that was written in the heart and the mind of mankind. God simply put it in writing.
What did Paul mean in Colossians 3:3 when he said that our life is “hidden with Christ in God?”
Colossians 3:3 – For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Here’s the idea. First of all, Colossians 3:3 begins with, “For you died.” You say, “Well wait a minute? When did I die? I seem to be pretty much alive, right here and right now. When did I die?”
Well, I’ll tell you when I died. I died when Jesus died on the cross. Because I am so identified with Him, that when He died, I died. When He rose from the dead, I rose from the dead. That’s the status of everyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ, who puts their trust in, relies on, and clings to Jesus, especially in what He did at the cross and in the empty tomb.
Our life is so identified with Jesus, that we died with Him. Paul explores that theme in Romans 6 as well. And now our life is hidden with Christ in God. There is a sense in which Jesus Christ is hidden from the world right now. He has ascended to heaven, and the world can’t see them with a physical eye. We are seated with Christ in the heavenlies. As Christ is hidden, there’s a sense in which our life with God is hidden, and the world cannot see our glory, so to speak. In fact, sometimes we can’t even see our glory.
Now, here’s the idea. The Christian as a glory in their identification with Christ that the world can’t see. Think about all the things that the Scriptures say about who we are in Jesus. We are adopted as sons and daughters. We are living stones being built up into a spiritual house. We are kings and priests with Him. We are a royal priesthood. We want to consider all of this together.
When the world looks at me, they don’t necessarily they don’t look and say, “Hey, that’s a king and a priest. That’s somebody who belongs to a royal priesthood.” No, they just say, “Well, there’s a guy.” The glory that we have is hidden. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. Those things are real, but they’re not apparent. Jesus is real on this earth. But He’s not present by observation of the physical eye. It’s an aspect of our identification with Jesus Christ.
What are your thoughts on the role of female deacons vs. a male deacon’s wife (1 Timothy 3)?
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul talks about the qualifications for elders. Those qualifications of elders are presented with the assumption that the elder is a man, not a woman. Then he talks about deacons. And then he talks about either the wives of deacons or women deacons. It’s not exactly clear in the text.
So, there has been some debate. Is Paul talking about the institution of women deacons? Or is Paul talking about qualifications for the wives of deacons? I’ll just give you my opinion, while acknowledging that there’s some legitimate debate about this.
I believe that Paul is talking about women deacons, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, I think that the New Testament does not restrict the service of women in the church. But within local congregations, it does restrict the leadership or the authority of women in church.
This is my opinion of what the Scriptures teach, after careful study and delving into the best arguments that would try to say to the contrary. I believe that God has appointed the leadership of qualified men – not just any man, but qualified men – in congregations, and specifically that He doesn’t want women to take those congregational positions of spiritual leadership.
I don’t regard the position or function of a deacon to necessarily be one of spiritual leadership. “Deacon” implies spiritual service. That’s what a deacon is all about. Now, of course, anybody who’s serving in ministry is to be a servant. But even more specifically, deacons are described as servants. And we also have the example of at least a few people in the New Testament, such as Phoebe, who are specifically spoken of as being deacons.
I don’t have a problem with the concept of women deacons. And I don’t think that contradicts the biblical pattern, the biblical instruction, or what I would regard as a biblical imperative, that God has ordained the leadership of qualified men in His local congregations.
My opinion, coming forth through my study of the Scriptures and my understanding of church history and how God has worked things through history, is that God’s command for the leadership of qualified men in congregations and God’s command for the leadership of the husband in the home doesn’t extend to every other area of life. I don’t think that God has commanded male leadership or headship in politics, in economics, in business, in education. Look, I just don’t see that the Bible has commanded that. I want to be careful to be a person that says, “Yes, where the Bible does say something, we can say it, but where the Bible is silent, we don’t want to make a commandment of God out of a tradition of man.” So again, I don’t have a problem with the concept of women deacons.
Why did Paul instruct us not to worry about whether food was sacrificed to idols, when first century believers were to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols?
Why did Paul instruct us not to worry about whether food was sacrificed to idols, when two constraints placed on first century believers were to abstain from fornication and to forgo meat sacrificed this way.
You’re contrasting what Paul said to believers in 1 Corinthians, about eating meat sacrificed to idols, with what was written to believers in Acts 15, about how they should act in light of being Gentiles in a pagan world.
In Acts 15, at the Jerusalem Council, they make a decree. The commandment is found in verses 28-29, that they would keep things from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and sexual immorality.
Acts 15:28-29- For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
The rationale for those things was found in verse 21:
Acts 15:21- For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.
In light of the Jerusalem Council, Gentile Christians were not to do those things, so as not to offend Jewish brothers or sisters, or the Jewish community as a whole, who were potential converts. They were not to give needless offense.
Some things listed transcended mere giving of offense, especially sexual immorality. But “things offered to idols” had a special context to not offend the Jewish population around them. I think the difference is that segments of the Christian community in Corinth had relatively little interaction with the Jewish community around them. And for them, Paul said, it’s not the same thing. You don’t have to avoid eating meat sacrificed to idols, so as to not offend your Jewish neighbor. Because at least some of these communities of Christians in Corinth didn’t have that issue. For them, the concern was different. That’s how I would explain the difference between those two things.
It is specifically explained in Acts 15, that the rationale for those requirements was to not needlessly offend the Jewish presence around them. But where there wasn’t such a Jewish presence, they didn’t have to be concerned with everything on that list in the same way. That’s the best way I would explain.
I have heard that in 2 Timothy 2:24 the phrase “apt to teach” means “teachable.” How true is this?
2 Timothy 2:24- And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.
According to different manuscript traditions, things can be translated differently. It probably doesn’t disturb the context to take it either way. It just doesn’t. In fact, you could say that in context, “teachable” might make more sense, but “apt to teach” or “able to teach” certainly can’t be excluded from that.
In this kind of matter, I would want to look at the manuscript evidence for either kind of reading, see which one has more evidence behind it, and take it from that. Either one of those can express a biblical idea. So, I wouldn’t exclude either one of those as being terribly out of line with the context.
How should a wife “lead” her home if her husband isn’t a strong believer?
That’s a good question. You know, my wife and I were just talking about this the other day. We recognized that a wife is a leader in the home. There’s no doubt about it. A wife does have a leadership role. Now, we would say that it’s leadership under the headship of her husband, but she has a leadership role. She certainly leads the children. She certainly leads in other aspects of the practical outworking of daily life in the home.
So, the point isn’t to say that a wife has no application or outworking of leadership. No, that’s not it at all. Simply, the Bible says that the husband has a leadership that is described as headship, or in other words, sort of being the general manager or head over the home.
Well, how should wife lead her home if her husband isn’t a strong believer? Well, I would say that the wife would probably say that she needs to take a little more spiritual leadership in regard to the children if the husband isn’t a strong believer. She should look to really pour into the children if her husband isn’t a believer or not a strong one. But she should look for ways to give her husband the opportunity to step up to leadership.
Now, I know this is difficult. Each individual marriage relationship has its own dynamics. I’m always a little bit hesitant to give just kind of a one-size-fits-all answer. But in general, a wife needs to be sensitive to give an opportunity for her husband to lead. If she’s so busy leading, then her husband may never see a need, or even an opportunity to step forward, at least in his mind. And that’s not good. And so, yes, there may be appropriate times for the wife to step in and take more leadership. But at the same time, it should never be done in a way that would seek to exclude or push out the leadership or the budding and developing leadership of the home. And, as much as possible, she should seek to do it without trying to lay any kind of guilt trip upon the husband. Again, these are difficult things. And every marriage relationship has its own dynamics. But these are some of the principles we see at work.