“Wives, submit to your husbands.”

Wives, submit to your husbands. (Ephesians 5:22)

That is a misquote of Paul.

“What?!? That’s exactly what Paul says! Here it is from the King James Version—God’s own translation of the Bible:”

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands.

“And in the New Revised Standard Version:”

Wives, be subject to your husbands.

“And in the New International Version:”

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands.

“And in the English Standard Version:”

Wives, submit to your own husbands.

“Paul absolutely says that wives must submit to their husbands!”

No, he does not.

Every single one of those “quotes” is a misquote of Paul. There is no period after “husbands.” What Paul did say was:

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord - Ephesians 5:22Paul is not telling wives to submit to their husbands.

Paul never tells wives to submit to their husbands.

In Ephesians 5:22 (as well as in Colossians 3:18 and similar passages elsewhere), Paul is telling wives in what way they should submit to their husbands.

There’s a huge difference.

For more on wives submitting to husbands, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Bible Re-Viewed

Thoughts on Seeing the Eclipse

The total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, as seen from Glendo State Park, Wyoming

The total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, as seen from Glendo State Park, Wyoming

Where were you for the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017?

Annette and I, plus several visiting family members, were camping at Glendo State Park, 100 miles north of where we live in Cheyenne. Our campground was right on the centerline of the path of totality.

After several days of swimming, kayaking, mountain biking, seeing the local scenery, and generally relaxing and enjoying one another’s company, Eclipse Day arrived. The weather in eastern Wyoming was perfect. It was a warm, sunny day with crystal clear skies. In and around the small town of Glendo (population 204), it was a people- and vehicle-choked madhouse. But where we were camped, a 25 minute drive around on the other side of the lake, all was calm and peaceful. There were groups of people here and there on the beach, in the campground, and on the ridgeline above it.

We picked out a nice, sandy spot under a copse of trees on the edge of the wide beach. There we could enjoy the shade while we were waiting, and head out into the clear sun for the eclipse itself. We had been planning this event for nearly a year. Now it was time to sit back and take in the spectacle!

For more on the eclipse of 2017, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Science Philosophy and History

God’s Children

The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Jesus called a little child, and had the child stand in front of them. He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name, welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:1–5)

Sibling rivalryNow, this is ought to cause some consternation for those of us who are, or have been, parents of young children. We spend huge amounts of time and energy trying to get our children to grow up and become mature adults. Then Jesus turns around and tells us that we are the ones who have to change—and become like little children!

Young children tend to squabble . . . a lot. Parents who have more than one child have most likely spent many long days playing referee as jealousy over matchbox cars, stuffed animals, and trading cards erupted into name-calling, shoving, hitting, and kicking. After a day like that, the last thing a parent wants to hear is Jesus telling us that we have to change and become like little children!

For more on God’s children please click here to read on.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, Spiritual Growth

Why Did God Choose Israel?

The Bible’s history of the Israelite people is put in the context of a branching family tree of humanity going all the way back to the first humans on earth. At each point where the tree branches, the lineage is traced through a particular son in preference to the other possible lineages. Though the reason for picking one lineage over another is usually not stated explicitly, there are several criteria that determine what line the ancestry of God’s people will follow:

  1. The default option is for the lineage to pass through the firstborn son.
  2. If the character of the firstborn son is not suitable, the lineage will pass through the first son whose character is suitable.
  3. Required character traits include faithfulness to God and tenacity of character.
  4. And in general, God chose the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because the nation that would come from them could serve as a light and a blessing to the other nations of the earth.

These factors can be seen operating in the various points at which one lineage prevails over another in the Bible story. However, the fourth puts the other three in context, and deserves its own special coverage before the rest are taken up in a sequential account following the Bible narrative.

For more on why God chose Israel, please click here to read on.

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Posted in The Bible Re-Viewed

What is the Spiritual Significance of the Story of Elijah and Elisha?

The previous article, “What Can We Learn from the Story of Elijah and Elisha?” responded to this Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Adom Ameyaw:

Can you explain and give the significance 2 Kings 2:1–18 in the life of a Christian?

In that article, we drew out a few of the lessons in that Bible story that are plain for anyone to see.

In this second (and final) article in response to Adom’s question, we’ll dig deeper, and look at the spiritual significance of this story for our Christian walk.

We’ll draw on the method of Bible interpretation offered by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772), and on various commentaries inspired by that method, without actually quoting from them. But mostly, we’ll look more deeply at the text of the story itself, and sleuth out a few of the spiritual insights it contains.

For more on Elijah and Elisha, please click here to read on.

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Posted in The Bible Re-Viewed

What Can We Learn from the Story of Elijah and Elisha?

Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Adom Ameyaw:

Can you explain and give the significance 2 Kings 2:1–18 in the life of a Christian?

2 Kings 2:1–18 tells the fascinating story of how the great prophet Elijah passed on his mantle, and with it his prophetic power, to his student and successor Elisha—who then went on to be a great prophet in his own right. To get the full flavor, I recommend that you click the link and read the whole story before moving on.

Elijah parts the Jordan using his mantle

Elijah parts the Jordan

The events in this story took place more than 800 years before Jesus Christ lived on this earth, so is not a specifically Christian story. However, as with everything in the Bible, Christians can find great significance for their own lives not only in the story itself, but from the deeper message it contains.

In this article we’ll look at some of the lessons this story contains plainly for anyone to see.

In a second article we’ll dig deeper, and look at its spiritual significance.

For more on Elijah and Elisha, please click here to read on.

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Posted in The Bible Re-Viewed

Anyone Can Choose to Do Good

The six Polk County inmates who saved their deputy

The six Polk County inmates who saved their deputy

On June 12 a Polk County, Georgia, sheriff’s deputy started going down. And this wasn’t a good time for that. You see, he was overseeing six prison inmates who were out on work detail sprucing up a local cemetery in preparation for Father’s Day.

But go down he did. He suffers from a rare brain malformation, and the Georgia heat that day was too much for him. As he lay unconscious on the grass, the inmates had access to his gun, his cellphone, and his van. They could have made a run for it.

Instead, this story has a happy ending.

You see, he was their deputy. They spent five days a week, seven hours a day with him out on work detail. When they saw him go down, they knew what they had to do.

For more on good deeds and prison inmates, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Current Events

What Does It Mean to Sit at the Right Hand of God?

The right hand of GodIn Psalm 110, David writes:

The Lord says to my lord,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
(Psalm 110:1)

And in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus quotes these words in an exchange with the Pharisees:

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

They said to him, “The son of David.”

He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41–46)

What did David mean when he poetically wrote about sitting at the Lord’s right hand? And what did Jesus mean when he quoted David?

Does this really mean—as traditional Christians commonly believe—that God the Father and God the Son are two different people, and that Jesus will literally sit at the right hand of God, like a viceroy sitting to the right of his king?

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) offers a different view.

For more on the right hand of God, please click here to read on.

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Posted in All About God, The Bible Re-Viewed

Is Your Spirit Rounded or Angular?

A round faceAn angular faceAs I was browsing headlines the other day, this title at LiveScience.com caught my attention:

A Politician’s Name & Face: Why a Good Match May Win Votes

How does someone’s name match their face, I wondered?

As it turns out, studies show that people tend to think:

  • Names with “rounder-sounding” vowels such as “u” and “o,” that are pronounced with rounded lips, go better with people who have a rounder face, puffier lips, and so on.
  • Names with “sharper-sounding” vowels such as “e” and “I” go better with people who have a more angular face and thinner lips.

For further fascinating details on these findings, including how having a name that matches the face can help politicians win elections, see the linked article.

For me though, as a lifelong aficionado of the spiritual writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772), the story had yet another fascination. You see, two and a half centuries ago Swedenborg connected the “rounder” and “sharper” vowels to the character types of the two main types of angels.

For more on angular and rounded angels, please click here to read on.

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Posted in Science Philosophy and History, The Afterlife

If There Was No Literal Flood, What does the Ark Mean?

In his massive multi-volume work Secrets of Heaven, originally published in eight Latin volumes in London, 1749–1756, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) states that the first chapters of Genesis, up to somewhere in the genealogy in Genesis 11 that leads to the stories of Abraham starting in Genesis 12, were never meant to be taken literally. Instead, they were written by ancient authors to tell a spiritual story in a metaphorical or “correspondential” style.

In Secrets of Heaven #554–1059 Swedenborg offers a verse-by-verse spiritual exegesis of the Flood story in Genesis 6:1–9:17.

Noah's Ark interior scene

Noah’s ark interior scene

The symbolic nature of the early chapters of Genesis

Swedenborg interprets the characters and events of the early chapters of Genesis as referring, not to literal events of actual historical human beings, but rather as symbolic accounts of whole races and generations of early humans. In his interpretation, Adam and Eve, for example, do not refer to two human individuals named “Adam” and “Eve,” but rather to an early culture of human beings. They represent the first beings on earth who were both physically human and had a developed spiritual awareness of God and heaven.

For more Noah’s Ark, please click here to read on.

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Posted in The Bible Re-Viewed
Lee & Annette Woofenden

Lee & Annette Woofenden

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