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Ivan Veller



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  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Faith, here is how Luke 23:43 has been rendered in three modern translations: (Updated American Standard Version 2022) “Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” (Son of Man Bible 2022) “Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Unlocked Literal Bible, Version 9, 2022) (a derivative work based on the ULB 2017) "Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise"
  • Ivan Veller

    Most versions call her a “servant [or, deaconess]” (ALT 2005); “Greek: diákonos” (BD 2011 fn).
    134 versions (Geneva 1587, followed by LEB, Mounce, NASB, NKJV, ULT, etc.) call her a “servant” (or refer to her service).
    32 versions (Tyndale 1534, followed by MB 1537, GB 1539, BB 1568, NABRE, etc.) identify her either as having served “in the ministry of the church” (DRB) as “a minister of the congregacion of Chenchrea” (Tyn. 1534; cf. MB 1537, etc.) or as having “ministered to the congregation of Cenchrea” (NMB).
    66 versions (Reina-Valera 1602, followed by Alx., ALT, AMP, AMPC, AOB, BDS, BL, BNP, BYO, CCB, CCBT, CEI, CNVS, CNVT, CSBS, CSBT, CST, CUV, CUVS, DHH, ERV-ZH, Eth., GWT, Hw., HNZ-RI, ISV, JBS, KJA, Lm., LBLA, LND, LSG, Mace, NBLA, NBV, NCB, NEG, NGU-DE, NIV, NLT, NR1994, NR2006, NTLH, NTLR, NTV, NTVR, NVB, NVI, Ph., RCU17SS, RCU17TS, RHB, RMNN, RSV, RUSV, RVA2015, RVC, RVI, RVR1960, RVR1995, SENT, SG21, TNIV, & VKF) call her a “deacon” (NIV) or “a deaconess” (ISV).
    Of the range of translation possibilities for διάκονον—“a ·helper [or servant; or minister; or deacon; 1 Tim. 3:11]” (EXB 2011)—we have followed the traditional, conservative, literal rendering “deaconess."

  • Ivan Veller

    Although Acts 6:1-7 may refer to administering monetary assistance by giving the money to widows across a banking table, it might instead refer to ministering to their needs by making purchases and providing food for them—putting food on the table.
    Perhaps this network of care was bolstered by “women such as Mary Magdalene, Joanna, “Chuza, Susanna, and many others” who, earlier, had been “ministering to [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their own means” (Luke 8:1-3).
    Could Paul be saying she was “a minister [of my needs]” (MLV 2014; although a rare rendering unique to the MLV)—like Epaphroditus, sent “to take care of my needs” (Php. 2:25) in prison? At one point, Paul had needed a cloak and scrolls (2 Timothy 4:13).
    Or, maybe her service included ministrations such as tending to the elderly and sick. [An interesting side note: Incidentally, the Old Spanish translation “feruicia” (Oso 1569)—i.e. “serviciar” (to serve)—sounds like the Spanish “saureciar” (to heal); i.e., serving through nursing.]
    διάκονον (as a Romanian translation footnotes) is “designating a specific service in the church; [and] is derived from the verb diakoneo (to serve, to take care of something)” (NTLR 2006).

  • Ivan Veller

    Hi Arrey,
    Romans 16:1 is a good place to start. Perhaps the bible translation you use reads similarly to the Geneva (1587), KJV, NKJV, ESV, or the UnfoldingWord Literal Text (June 2021) which renders Phoebe as being a “servant” of the church in Cenchrea—“a ministrant of the assembly” (YLT). The VFL (1999) footnotes that the literal rendering is "deaconess." Thus, the AMP (2015) calls her "a deaconess (servant)." Wycliffe (1385) (cf. Oso 1569) rendered this as meaning that she “is in the service of the church,” implying that this is an office she holds. The Lexham English Bible (2010) footnotes how Phoebe was "a servant [“a deaconess”; some interpreters understand this term to refer to a specific office (deacon/deaconess) which Phoebe held in the local church at Cenchrea].” The word can refer to caring for others—ministering to their needs the way that “many women … had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him” (Mat. 27:55 ESV; cf. KJV, NKJV, LSV 2020; BIB 2016, “ιακονοῦσαι diakonousai … ministering”). Or, if linked to the banking duties of the Seven in Acts 6:1-7, it could refer to administrating care by managing and distributing money allocated for financial assistance.

  • Ivan Veller
    Respectfully, Sharlyn, "the sum of [God's] word is truth, and every one of [His] righteous rules endures forever" (Psalm 119:60 ESV). "Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he said, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' (Luke 10:25 NRSV). "‘Well,’ replied Jesus, ‘what is written in the law?" (v. 26 NTE). "'If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments'" (Matthew 19:17 CEB). Do we?
  • Ivan Veller
    We must “‘be careful not to forget the LORD who brought [us] out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Fear the LORD your God, serve Him … only … Do not follow other gods … Do not test the LORD your God … [We] are to diligently keep the commandments of the LORD [our] God and the testimonies and statutes He has commanded [us]. Do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD … We were slaves … but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand … And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes and to fear the LORD our God, that we might always prosper and be preserved, as we are this day. Deu 6:25 And if we are careful to observe every one of these commandments before the LORD our God just as He has commanded us, then that will be our righteousness’” (Deuteronomy 6:12 –25 BSB). Please “‘Take to heart … [and] carefully follow all the words of this law. For they are not idle words to you, because they are your life, and by them you will live’” (Deuteronomy 32:46–47 BSB).
  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Mr. Wilson, God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness” (Colossians 1:13, BSB 2019) “that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6 BSB). “How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:16 BSB)! https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/from-captivity-to-freedom-the-lesson-of-the-feast-of-unleavened-bread One “cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too;” one “cannot partake in the table of the Lord and the table of demons too” (1 Corinthians 10:21 BSB). May we “‘be very careful to observe the commandment and the law … to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul’” (Joshua 22:5 BSB). “Then the devil … said … ‘… worship me’ … But Jesus replied, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’” (Luke 4:7-8 BSB).
  • Ivan Veller
    Here's an online version: http://streaming.ucg.org/files/HymnalAPP-en-es/HymnalAPP/index.html The hymnal is packed with beautiful, lovely songs praising God! One of my favorites is 171. Which is your favorite so far?
  • Ivan Veller
    Hi Marcus, It is indeed a complex topic. Certainly there remains a deep need to fear God as demonstrated by obedience to His commandments rather than waiting until judgment day to repent. To whom much is given, much shall be required (Luke 12:48). And yet, what does the converse of this verse imply? Furthermore, the immediate context of Jesus' statement is that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for those who would hear the gospel preached (verse 47)--and that, although "The servant who knows the master's will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows," "the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows" (verses 47-48). For more on this topic (including the word “krisis” (κρίσεως) in John 5:29, which the KJV mistranslates as "condemnation" but which the LEB 2012, NLT 2015, ESV 2016, BIB 2016, BLB 2016, RHB 2017, MLV 2018, SOMB 2018, ULB 2018, & BKJV 2018 render as "judgment"), see last week's sermon by Mr. DeCampos: https://www.ucg.org/sermons/eternal-judgement-0 God's judgment is perfect because it is both just and merciful.
  • Ivan Veller

    Hi Dailen,

    “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship … in truth" (John 4:24). If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person … is not living in the truth” (1 John 2:4). Accepting God includes accepting guilt for having broken His statutes: “The land … will enjoy its sabbaths without them; … they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes” (Lev. 26:43). “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to … test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Dt. 8:2). “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Dt. 5:29). May we “earnestly obey [His] commandments ... to love … God and serve Him … heart and … soul” (Dt. 11:13). May we pray, “With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” (Ps. 119:10): https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/a-new-covenant-for-transforming-the-heart

  • Ivan Veller

    Hi John,

    On the one hand, "Through the Bible we see the opportunity to repent as [being] a gift from God, [an opportunity made] possible only when God draws us to Him. As … Jesus … stated, 'No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him' (John 6:44).

    'It is impossible for anyone, acting alone, to completely surrender his or her will to God. Humanly we cannot comprehend the depth of change that God desires to see in our hearts and minds. We need help even to understand what sin is!

    'That’s why God must grant us repentance (Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25). In addition, we need the will—both the desire and the choice—to repent. This willingness to repent, too, comes from God: 'For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him' (Philippians 2:13...)”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-road-to-eternal-life/repentance-your-first-step

  • Ivan Veller

    "[However, although] God 'desires all men to be saved,' He doesn’t force anyone to repent (1 Timothy 2:4). His kindness and goodness lead us to repentance as mentioned (Romans 2:4), but He doesn’t make the choice for us. The decision is still ours … [to] surrender our will to Him … to bring into our lives His way of thinking and living as revealed in His Holy Scriptures. He wants every one of us to rid ourselves of our former way of thinking and living and become a 'new man' in thought, attitude and character (Ephesians 4:22-24) … [to] “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23).

    'These admonitions mean a lifetime of growth and change for us, starting with the initial change—the repentance God expects before baptism. He asks us to reorient our hearts, aiming for a new direction in life.

    'To be carnally minded is death,' said Paul, 'but to be spiritually minded is life and peace' (Romans 8:6). We must be willing to let the revealed Word of God, the Bible, change our thinking. That is where real repentance begins": https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-road-to-eternal-life/repentance-your-first-step

    We must still "'Choose life'" (Deut. 30:19)!

  • Ivan Veller
    Hi again Nkmttj, Christ endorsed the weekly cycle recognized by the Jews. Since then, “in the centuries since [His death], the Jewish people … have fiercely guarded the observance of the seven-day weekly cycle … [&] there isn’t any historical record of any dispute among any Jewish groups that the day we call Saturday is the seventh day of the weekly cycle … The Jewish people have successfully kept the original seven-day weekly cycle intact”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/how-can-we-be-sure-that-saturday-is-the-seventh-day Moreover, “in more than 100 ancient and modern languages the seventh day of the week was named ‘Sabbath’ or its equivalent … [Yet] in no language do we see ‘Sabbath’ similarly linked with Sunday, the first day of the week”: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/sunset-to-sunset-gods-sabbath-rest/names-for-saturday-in-many-languages-prove-which-day-is-the-true-sabbath We can be sure that the correct date of the seventh-day Sabbath has been faithfully preserved by Christ, “master of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8, Texas Standard Version 2008): https://www.ucg.org/sermons/how-can-we-be-sure-saturday-is-the-seventh-day
  • Ivan Veller
    Paul is speaking of “Sabbath” “keeping” (KJV 1611 marginal note) – a “shabathism” (Etheridge) or "sabbatism" (CLV 2003, ECB, ERRB, IGRNT 2011, LITNT 2011) – that is, an observance of “the seventh-day rest for God's people” (ERV 2008): • "there is still a Sabbath-keeping for the people of God" (BBE) • "So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people" (OJB) • “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping [Footnote: The Greek word is sabattismos, which means Sabbath-keeping]” (TS 2009) • “a keeping of the Sabbath” (JMNT 2013) • "Therefore, there remains a keeping of the Sabbath" (AOB 2018) “Consequently, (NET 2016), “Therefore it is established” (Murdoch): • “It is therefore the duty of the people of God to keep the Sabbath” (Lamsa Peshitta) • “It is therefore the duty of the people of [God] to keep the Sabbath” (HRB 2012)
  • Ivan Veller
    For instance, translations rendering “σαββατισμὸς” (sabbatismos, G4520 N-NSM) – the “Sabbatical rest” (FAA 2011), “Shabbos” (OJB), “seventh day” (UDB 2018) rest, “Shabbat rest” (TLV 2014), or "sabbatic rest" (YLT) – as "sabbath" or "Sabbath" at Hebrews 4:9 include the ACV 2011, ALT 2005, AOB 2018, APB 1996, ASV, ASV 2015, AMP 2015, AMPC, AUV 2005, BBE, BIB 2016, BKJV 2018, BLB 2016, BSB 2016, CEV, CEB 2011, CGV 2010, CSB 2017, CTNT, DLNT 2011, EHV 2017, EMTV 2003, ESV 2016, EXB 2011, EWG 2017, HCSB 2009, ISV 2014, KJ3 2006, LEB 2012, LITV, Mace, MLV 2018, Mounce 2011, Murdoch, NABRE 2010, NASB, NET 2016, NEV 2012, NHEB 2018, NIRV 2014, NIV 2011, NRSV, NRSVCE, NTE 2011, NTVR 2015, RHB 2017, RSV, RSVCE, RV, SENT 2012, SOMB 2018, TNIV 2001, ULB 2018, VOX 2012, VW 2010, WEB, WE, WPNT 2015, and WYC 2011.