From "The Answer Book" ©1989 Samuel C. Gipp. Reproduced by permission
QUESTION: What about "nuggets" found only in the Greek?
ANSWER: Why settle for "nuggets" when you can own the
EXPLANATION: Most "nuggets" that preachers find in the
Greek exist only in the fantasy of their minds.
First, anyone who believes that the Bible is the perfect word of
God, cannot believe that it can be improved on... even by them.
Most men who discover "nuggets" are filled with a prideful humility
through which they believe that God is going to show them
something in the Greek that no one else has found. Then they can
"humbly" impress their preacher friends with their monumental
"grasp" of the original language.
They do not, regardless of what they say in the pulpit, really
believe that the Bible is perfect as it stands, in English OR Greek.
Therefore they never read their Bible with a desire for the Holy
Spirit to help them understand it. They instead "pray" that He will
show them some better way to translate some Greek word.
Since the Holy Spirit never does this, they usually resort to "The
Greek Game". This game can be played by anyone. Even if they
have had no training in the Greek language. Simply put, all that the
pseudo-scholar needs to do is to own a Young's Concordance. In
the very back of a Young's Concordance is a list of the Greek and
Hebrew words used in the Bible. Under each word given is a list
of the different ways that that particular word was translated in the
King James Bible. All the eager critic needs to do is to interchange
the English words used.
For example, take the Greek word "haplotes." It was translated
five different ways in the Authorized Version.
1. bountifulness II Corinthians 9:11
2. liberal II Corinthians 9:13
3. liberality II Corinthians 8:2
4. simplicity Romans 12:8, II Corinthians 1: 12
5. singleness Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22
Now, in order for our zealous scholar to humbly display his
massive intellect, he must find a verse where "haplotes" is
translated, let's say, "singleness" or way #5. Such as Ephesians
"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of
your heart, as unto Christ;"
Then in his preaching, when lighting upon his prearranged
victim" he makes some statement that is critical of the King James
translators for having poorly chosen this translation. Then he
chooses one of the other words into which it was translated, say,
way #3 or #4 and takes 10-15 minutes to expound on the virtues
of his choice while ever pointing out sadly the poor choice of the
Authorized Version translators. Of course, later when he reads a
verse such as Romans 12:8, "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:
he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with
diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness", where his pet
Greek word is translated "simplicity" or way #4, he will reverse the
process and expound on the virtue of choice #5. All the time
lamenting, again, the poor choice of God's translators.
His audience, unaware of the ease with which this is
accomplished, stares on in awe of his intelligence and tremendous
grasp of the Greek language. They feel so fortunate to have a man
of such caliber (.22 Blank!) to point out to them the errors in their
Bible. And of course they are totally convinced by this charade
that they, lowly peons that they are, can never truly understand the
Bible as well as their exalted teacher, because they lack the "tools"
he possesses from the Greek.
This scenario is NOT an over statement. I have experienced it
Once while listening to a self-impressed Bible scholar preach I
marveled at the ease with which he duped his audience. He was
reading Romans chapter 8. Upon reading a particular verse, he
stopped at a particular word and stated, "Now the King James
translators mistranslated the Greek word used here." Then he
spent 10-12 minutes expounding on the merits of his choice of
translation. The audience was duly impressed with this man's grasp
of the "original language. " (I once heard a 14 year old boy do the
same thing in a "preaching contest". You see, ANYONE can do
The very next day I was listening to another preacher on the
radio. Coincidentally this zealot was also preaching from Romans
chapter 8. He also read the same verse and ALSO stopped at the
very same word that the expert from the previous evening had
accosted. He then stated, "Sadly, the King James translators did
not properly translate the Greek word used here."
I then braced myself for a rehash of the previous evening's
exposition. But it was not to be. For this particular scholar
pointed out that the word in question should have been translated
an entirely different way (choice #1 vs. choice #4).
He then, as the previous evening's butcher, expounded on the
virtues of HIS choice over that of the King James translators, or
last evening's expert. I was amazed! Two completely different
men, two entirely different opinions. In fact, their only point of
agreement was that the Bible could not possibly be correct as it
was. I quickly consigned their esteemed (and humble) opinions to
the garbage heap of education and accepted the choice that GOD
had made for His Book in 1611.
A second method of finding "nuggets" is for someone with a
limited understanding of Greek to do the same as the above, only
they take their choice of words from the Greek Lexicon instead of
The result is always the same, the congregation is
over-whelmed by the "depth" of his study, They are also
convinced that they can never match his comprehension of the
Bible without matching (Ha!) his comprehension of "the Greek."
A tremendous example of the fallacy of this method of Bible (?)
study is recorded in Dr. David Otis Fuller's book entitled Which
Bible? We quote it in its entirety.
"An interesting story is found in Walton's biography of Bishop
Sanderson illustrating the truth of the old proverb, "a little learning
is a dangerous thing." Dr. Kilbye, an excellent Hebrew scholar and
Professor of this language in the university, also expert in Greek
and chosen as one of the translators, went on a visit with
Sanderson, and at church on Sunday they heard a young preacher
waste a great amount of the time allotted for his sermon in
criticizing several words in the then recent translation. He carefully
showed how one particular word should have been translated in a
different way. Later that evening the preacher and the learned
strangers were invited together to a meal, and Dr. Kilbye took the
opportunity to tell the preacher that he could have used his time
more profitably. The Doctor then explained that the translators had
very carefully considered the "three reasons" given by the
preacher, but they had found another thirteen more weighty
reasons for giving the rendering complained of by the young critic."
A third type of "nugget" is one which actually does not exist
except in totally false statements made by a Bible critic.
The greatest example of this is found in the analogy of the two
Greek words "agape" and "phileo". Both of which are translated
"love" in John 21:15-17.
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."
We have all heard this passage expounded by a
pseudo-scholar. (Sometimes in complete sincerity due to
acceptance of bad teaching.) The presentation is made that
"agape" in Greek speaks of a deep, intimate, selfless love. "Phileo"
on the other hand is little more than a casual "friendly" type of love.
Our scholar then laments, almost tearfully, the constraints of the
English language. He points out that the Lord actually says, "Peter
... lovest ("agape") thou me. (With a deep, intimate, selfless love)
more than these?"
Peter responds, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love ("phileo")
thee." (With a casual, friendly type of love.)
Our Bible critic points out that the Lord, not receiving the
answer that He desires, asks again.
"Simon, son of Jonas, lovest ("agape") thou me?"
Peter, it is then pointed out, is unwilling to commit himself to
such a deep relationship so he responds again.
"Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love ("phileo") thee."
At this point our Bible corrector points out that a saddened
Saviour gives in to Peter's lack of commitment and changes His
own choice of Greek words to "phileo".
"Simon, son of Jonas, lovest ("phileo") thou me?"
This sudden change supposedly shocks Peter into seeing his
own spiritual infidelity to the Lord. Thus, saddened he answers.
"... thou knowest that I love ("phileo") thee."
Our false teacher then points out to his audience that there is no
way to attain such depth of meaning from this passage using only
the feeble English. Once more the trusty "Greek" has enlightened
us as English can never do!
This presentation is tremendously effective and has only ONE
flaw. The definitions given for "agape" and "phileo" are
I am about to make a statement concerning "agape" and
"phileo" which is not based on prejudice or opinion. It is based on
careful honest study of the way in which "agape" and "phileo" were
used in the Bible ("Our final authority in all matters of faith and
practice) by Jesus Christ Himself and the New Testament writers.
The statement is this: There was absolutely NO DIFFERENCE
in New Testament times between "agape" and "phileo" and that
BOTH are used interchangeably by Jesus Christ and the writers
of the New Testament. REGARDLESS of what Greek
grammars, Greek teachers and Greek preachers may say!
If you have been steeped in the false teaching of "agape" and
"phileo" by your college professor or pastor, you will immediately
(and with much prejudice) reject my supposition. ("How could
such godly men be wrong?" Right?)
Yet, I will not attempt to prove it is true. The proof will come
from Jesus Christ, Paul, Peter and John, and any other New
Testament writer that I could have chosen for the comparison. But
wait! They are not my final witnesses. The final and most weighty
argument will be waged by YOU!
For years I have been giving a test in Bible Conferences in
which I speak concerning this false teaching of "agape" and
"phileo". A copy of this test is reproduced below. IF you have the
courage and IF you can be honest with God and yourself, feel free
to take it. Here's how it goes.
In part #I, I have reproduced quotes from the New Testament
which were made by Jesus Christ using "agape" and "phileo".
Without looking at a Greek New Testament or Concordance or
any other help, use the false rules for "agape" and "phileo" given by
critics of the English Bible. Read the quote. Decide whether Jesus
is referring to "agape" love (deep, intimate, selfless love) or
"phileo" love (casual, friendly love).Then put an "A" for agape or
"P"" for phileo in the blank before the quote.
Part #II is identical to part #I except that the quotes are taken
from various New Testament writers. Do the same as in part one,
putting an "A" for agape and a "P" for phileo, using only the critics
definition of these words. No guessing, no hunches. Use only their
After you have completed the test, see the answers found below on this page.
JOHN 21:15-17 - AGAPE vs PHILEO
- 1. Read the Bible quote.
- 2. Put an A or P in the blank before the quote to signify
your choice of the Greek word used, AGAPE or PHILEO.
AGAPE love: Deep, intimate, selfless love.
PHILEO love: Casual "friendly" love.
I - Comparison: How Jesus used AGAPE and PHILEO.
____ 1. Luke 11:42 the love of God
____ 2. John 5:42 the love of God
____ 3. Matt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother
____ 4. Rev 3:9 to know that I have loved
____ 5. Rev 3:19 As many as I love
____ 6. Matt 23:6 love the uppermost rooms
____ 7. John 12:25 He that loveth his life
____ 8. Luke 11:43 ye love the uppermost seats
____ 9. John 5:20 the Father loveth the Son
____ 10. John 16:27 the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me
II - Comparison: How other New Testament writers used AGAPE and PHILEO.
____ 1. II Tim 3:4 of pleasures more than of God
____ 2. John 11:5 Jesus loved Martha,
____ 3. John 20:2 the other disciples whom Jesus loved
____ 4. I Cor 16:22 If any man love not the Lord
____ 5. Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love
____ 6. I Cor 16:24 My love be with you all
____ 7. II Tim 1:7 of power, and of love, and...
____ 8. Rom 12: 10 one to another with brotherly love
____ 9. II Thes 3:12 abound in love one toward another
____10. Titus 2:4 women to be sober, to love their husbands
____11. Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives
____12. I Peter 2:17 Love the brotherhood
____13. Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love continue
____14. Titus 3:4 and love of God our Saviour
____15. I John 2:5 in him verily is the love of God perfected
If you have taken the test and if you have been honest, you
have found that the TRUTH of the matter is that neither Jesus nor
any of the New Testament writers acknowledged the false rule
foisted on us by heady and high-minded Bible critics.
Thus we see that this little "nugget" is made only of "FOOL'S
GOLD" and has never really existed except in the deluded minds
Who will you believe? Jesus Christ or your Greek professor?
ANSWERS TO TEST
JOHN 21:15-17 - AGAPE vs PHILEO
I - Comparison: How Jesus used AGAPE and PHILEO.
- A 1. Luke 11:42 the love of God
A 2. John 5:42 the love of God
P 3. Matt 10:37 He that loveth father or mother
A 4. Rev 3:9 to know that I have loved
P 5. Rev 3:19 As many as I love
P 6. Matt 23:6 love the uppermost rooms
P 7. John 12:25 He that loveth his life
A 8. Luke 11:43 ye love the uppermost seats
P 9. John 5:20 the Father loveth the Son
P 10. John 16:27 the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me
- II - Comparison: How other New Testament writers used
AGAPE and PHILEO.
- P 1. II Tim 3:4 of pleasures more than of God
A 2. John 11:5 Jesus loved Martha
P 3. John 20:2 the other disciples whom Jesus loved
P 4. I Cor 16:22 If any man love not the Lord
A 5. Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love
A 6. I Cor 16:24 My love be with you all
A 7. II Tim 1:7 of power, and of love, and...
P 8. Rom 12: 10 one to another with brotherly love
A 9. II Thes 3:12 abound in love one toward another
P 10. Titus 2:4 women to be sober, to love their husbands
A 11. Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives
A 12. I Peter 2:17 Love the brotherhood
P 13. Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love continue
P 14. Titus 3:4 and love of God our Saviour
A 15. I John 2:5 in him verily is the love of God perfected