John 3-16 and the Hebrew Israelites
I have dealt with and corrected many scriptures that the Hebrew Israelites have twisted and corrupted in order to preach their false doctrine. I have dealt with their claims regarding the Bible saying Jesus and the Israelites were black. I have dealt with their claims the law remains. I have dealt with their claims regarding salvation. However of all these claims and deliberately and dishonestly misrepresenting, misinterpreting and twisting of scriptures I don’t think there is a worse example than John 3-16. What they do with this verse in order to literally change its meaning and force it to say something that it just doesn’t is actually astounding.
It is their claim that John 3-16 actually means that God ONLY loves Israel. Yes you did read that correctly. They claim that John 3-16 actually means that God ONLY loves Israel.
Let’s have a look at the verse.
John 3-16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Now this looks very clear, God loves the WORLD that he gave his only begotten son and WHOSOEVER believes should not perish but have everlasting life.
NOT so according to the Hebrew Israelites. They assert that world really means Israelites and whosoever means those Israelites that believe.
Now obviously if World means the world as in the inhabitants of and whosoever really means whosoever then the Hebrew Israelites claim is invalid.
So let’s look into the claim a little a little deeper.
The Hebrew Israelites claim that the correct meaning of the word world in this verse means a group of people with common interests or goals, as in the Israelites and does not mean everyone.
The Hebrew Israelites will often go to the Hebrew or Greek to support their claims regarding the meaning of a word. However in the case of the claim regarding world in this verse they do not, Instead they go to the English definition of world and select the definition that best suits their interpretation.
They say that if we look at the dictionary definition this is one of the definitions that is given. In one of the videos from a Hebrew Israelite (TribeofJudahTeach) he states for us to look up the definition at freedictionary.com…so let’s do exactly that. Now if we look at definition number 6b we will see it states A class or group of people with common characteristics or pursuits
a. The earth, especially together with the life it supports: a chemical found all over the world; an ecologicaldisaster that could threaten the entire world.
b. The universe: how the ancients conceived the world.
a. Humankind considered as social beings; human society: turned her back on the world.
b. People as a whole; the public: The event amazed the world.
3. often World A specified part of the earth: the Western World.
4. A part of the earth and its inhabitants as known at a given period in history: the ancient world.
5. A realm or domain: the animal world; the world of imagination.
a. A sphere of human activity or interest: the world of sports.
b. A class or group of people with common characteristics or pursuits: the scientific world.
7. A particular way of life: the world of the homeless.
8. All that relates to or affects the life of a person: He saw his world collapse about him.
9. Secular life and its concerns: a man of the world.
a. Human existence; life: brought a child into the world.
b. A state of existence: the next world.
11. often worlds A large amount; much: did her a world of good; candidates that are worlds apart on foreign policy.
12. A celestial body such as a planet: the possibility of life on other worlds.
1. Of or relating to the world: a world champion.
2. Involving or extending throughout the entire world: a world crisis.
And it is THIS definition that he claims is THE definition in question in this verse. And he is not the only Hebrew Israelite to do so. This is the common definition that is implied.
So Basically world in John 3-16 DOESN’T mean definition 1, 2, 3,4,5 or indeed 6a …NO the definition that is meant by John is definition 6b (actually 9a in the video). So we have to ignore all these other definitions that don’t fit the Hebrew Israelite claim but we take the ONE definition, in ENGLISH, a language that didn’t exist at the time John wrote his gospel, that does fit the Hebrew Israelite claim and it is THIS definition that is the correct one.
Now while this in itself seems slightly dishonest, rather selective and very unlikely, when we look further into this claim we will see that the usage of this definition just fails.
Unlike the Hebrew Israelites we are going to go to the Greek and show this interpretation incorrect.
The Greek word is κόσμος kosmos meaning the world, universe; worldly affairs; the inhabitants of the world;
It does NOT have the definition of a group of people with common characteristics or pursuits as it does in an obscure English definition. Not a surprise then that the dishonest Hebrew Israelites have chosen not to use the Greek as support for their claim in this case but have selected one in English that does.
The meaning of world in John 3-16 is all people. People of all nations as opposed to just the Israelites. It is the inhabitants of the world.
We KNOW this based on the Greek of the verse in question.
Whosoever is the Greek πᾶς, pas and means all, every. There is no limitation, it is all inclusive . This is literally ALL, everyone.
Then we have ὁ Ho which is a definite article followed by πιστεύων pisteuōn. This is the PRESENT participle form of the Greek word πιστεύω pisteuó to believe. So in this verse it is believing (present)
When we put this together we get ALL the BELIEVING in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. ALL means all and so this defines the word world as the inhabitants of.
The Israelites back at the time of Jesus, just like many of the Hebrew Israelites today, believed that the Messiah was only for the Israelites themselves. In the context of the verse Jesus was talking to Nicodemus ,a Pharisee. Jesus had just explained to him that in order to see the kingdom of heaven a man must be born again. Jesus was explaining to him spiritual things
John 3- 12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Jesus tells him that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the son of man (Jesus) must be lifted up.
John 3- 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Jesus then makes the statement that whosoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3- 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
And then he states the famous statement of John 3-16 which repeats part of the previous verse. While adding some more information.
The word SO is the Greek οὕτως houtó and houtós meaning in this way.
In THIS WAY God loved the world. In what way?
That the son of man would be lifted up as the serpent was lifted up.
Here the Hebrew Israelites try to twist the meaning again and actually use this to demonstrate that this will be ONLY Israel that will be saved.
The claim being that if we go back to the story in Numbers where Moses lifts up the serpent, we will see that it was many of the people of the children of ISRAEL that died.
Numbers 21- 6And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
It was ONLY Israel that was saved by the serpent.
So they claim that as the serpent was only to save the Israelites then so Jesus would only save Israelitess. This ignores the fact that there were many non Israelites who had joined Israel in the wilderness but even without this when we use the correct understanding of the whosoever in John 3-16 then we know that the WHO that was saved via the serpent in Numbers is not even in reference. The reference is to the likeness of the lifting up not to who the serpent was lifted up for. This understanding has to be forced into this verse when the verse doesn’t say it and the usage of whosoever clearly negates this understanding.
Now brother Nathaniel of the IUIC in a video on this verse used Acts 2-21 and 22 to “prove” that the WHOSOEVER doesn’t mean whosoever as in all, despite this being exactly what it means as we have already seen, again he claims that it actually means Israelites and ONLY Israelites.
It must be pointed out before we look at these verses that Nathanial used, that Nathaniel also keeps away from the Greek when asserting his understanding of whosoever. But let’s have a look at the verses in question
Acts 2- 21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
It being asserted that Peter is saying that the men of Israel identified in verse 22 are the whosoever referenced in verse 21…..wow just wow. Basic language comprehension just gets thrown out the window with this one.
This is just not what is being stated at all and to anyone who comprehends English…no..anyone that understands language it is blatantly obvious that is not what is being stated.
Peter states ye men of Israel, here these words….The men of Israel are the ones that Peter is addressing. He is telling them to hear these words …what words…The words he had just stated in the previous verse…..
Acts 2- 21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The men OF Israel were told to hear the words that ALL(Whosoever) that shall call on the Lord shall be saved. The Greek again is πᾶς Pas.
He did NOT say All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved hear you men of Israel that you are the whosoever. There simply is no way that the whosoever are the men of Israel.
Peter was talking to the men of Israel. The men of Israel believed that the Messiah was ONLY for them. Peter told them to hear his words regarding WHOSOEVER.
For anyone that has just basic language skills I don’t really think I need say anymore on this.
But the Hebrew Israelites also make other claims regarding John 3-16. They will go to other verses that have the word world in it (selected by them in order to support their claim) The word world appears 252 times in the Bible, 46 in the OT and 206 in the NT.
But again we will look at the verses that THEY use.
We shall start with John 17-9
John 17-9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine
The assertion here is if the world in John 3-16 means everyone then Jesus says that he didn’t pray for them. This argument is self defeating as if the world in John 3-16 means Israelites only then Jesus says he didn’t pray for the Israelites …Houston we have a problem.
Either the world in these 2 verses has different referents or the understanding of the statement of Jesus has not been understood correctly (or deliberately misrepresented).
If we look just a few verses forward we will see that Jesus mentions the world a number of times.
John 17-14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Now again if the world here is a reference to the Israelites then Jesus states his disciples were hated by the world (the Israelites), they are NOT of the world (the Israelites) just as HE is not of the world (the Israelites). Just further evidence that they have not understood the meaning.
The word World in John 17-9 is also Kosmos.
The true meaning here in verse 9 requires context. Verse 9 is part of a Prayer that Jesus was praying. This prayer was specific prayer for his disciples. This didn’t mean that Jesus never prayed for others as he even states in verse 20
John 17-20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
But here in THIS prayer Jesus was praying for the disciples that God had given him.
When we look at chapter 17 Jesus actually makes 3 separate prayers. He prays for himself (verses 1-5)…then he prays for the disciples specifically (verses 6- 19) and then also for ALL believers (verses 20-26)
The start of the prayer has Jesus stating that he had manifested the name of God to those that God had given him from out of the world, the disciples.
John 17- 6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word
Jesus then states that they believed that God had sent him.
John 17- 7Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Then Jesus says he prays NOT for the world but for them, his disciples. A specific prayer for them.
The world here being people. Jesus states that the people (world) hated the disciples because they(the disciples) were not of them(the people) just as he(Jesus) was not of them (the people). Jesus is simply distinguishing between his disciples and the other people but probably more specifically those people who did not believe on him.
John 17-14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Jesus also prayed that they would not be taken away from the people but simply they should be kept from Evil. Before Jesus repeated that they and he were not of the world.
Jesus stated that as he was sent into the world so he sent them also.
John 17- 18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
Jesus clearly prayed for people who were non believers as he states earlier in the chapter
John 17- 3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
The world simply meant people.
Another verse that is often used to prove that the world does not mean the entire world but just Israel is John 1-29
John 1-29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world
As we see it states Jesus takes away the sin of the world. So what the Hebrew Israelites will do is try to show that Jesus ONLY took away the sins of ISRAEL. If Jesus only took away the sins of Israel then it could at least be inferred that the world in John 1-29 refers only to Israel.
For this they will go to Acts 5-30 and 31
Acts 5- . 30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins
As we can see in verse 31 it very clearly says “to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins”
And so they assert this verse states Jesus only gave repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.
However that is NOT what it says. “And forgiveness of sins” is separate and distinct from “for to give repentance to Israel”. Here the word ‘AND’ separates the two statements. Jesus was exalted to do both, however the fact that “to Israel” comes BEFORE “and forgiveness of sins means that this is not included in the statement “for to give repentance to Israel”. If Israel was the subject of both statements then it would read “for to give repentance AND forgiveness of sins to Israel.”
To assert that the forgiveness of sins here is identified with Israel is grammatically incorrect.
EVEN if this was to refer to Israel only however, which it very clearly doesn’t, this would not mean that Jesus only gave forgiveness of sins to Israel.
There are other clear verses that state that Gentiles can receive repentance.
Acts 11-18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Acts 20- 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
And also that Gentiles can also receive forgiveness of sins.
Acts 26- 17Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Ephesians 1- 7 in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
When we look at who Paul was writing to at Ephesus we will see that it was to the saints AND to the faithful in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1- 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
The Saints who are Israelites clearly being distinguished from those who are called the faithful in Christ.
This claim regarding world being only Israel in John 1-29 when properly examined does not stand.
When properly examined the claims regarding John 3-16 made by the Hebrew Israelites, just like the rest of their claims finds no support beyond the blatant twisting of scripture that they always resort to.
John 3-16 is all inclusive.