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The 3 Most Misunderstood Verses in Scripture


The three most mistranslated scriptures in the Bible have to be Romans 14:5-6, Galatians 4:8-10, and Colossians 2:16-17. In order to understand the truth of the following three statements, we need is to understand the context of the passages!

Romans 14:5-6

Romans 14:1-6 "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks."

The context of this passage is that Paul is concerned about brethren who are "weak in their faith." having "doubtful debates or arguments". What were those doubtful things? 

The man made laws that had been set concerning eating traditions, such as washing hands before eating, or eating meat bought from the market because it may have been sacrificed to a pagan god. When speaking of days, it refers to the fact that both the Pharisees and Saduccees had come up with different rules concerning some holy day observances.

Paul is saying we are not to let others judge us: 1) for not eating and drinking and observing holy days and sabbaths or, 2) for observing them. They were not to be judged for keeping the holy days and Sabbaths.

Galatians 4:8-10

Galatians 4:8-10 "Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years."

If you read the first verse it makes clear that the topic here is pagan worship. These were gentiles that had converted and were having a hard time letting go of their pagan observances at certain times of the year. 

Colossians 2:16-17 "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." 

Paul used the verb "are", had they been repealed he would have used a verb "were." If Paul had said the holy days and sabbaths "were a shadow of things to come...;" a case might be made from this text that God had rescinded holy day observance, but just the opposite is what the text is clearly saying. These days are still in effect and will be when our Lord returns.

Foods, festivals, new moons, and sabbaths ARE the substance of Christ. Christians should not worry about what others are saying in judging you on what you eat, or drink, or how you observe the festivals (holy days), or the Sabbath, but keep them as you have learned them because they will be kept in the future as well, just as Christ also kept them.


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