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If we were talking with a Catholic, it would be a reprehensible thought of Mary, having sexual relations with her husband Joseph. Why? Primarily, they view Mary as being a perpetual virgin, never having any children after the miraculous birth of Jesus. However, if we look at one of the Catholic Bibles, we find,
Matthew 13:53-56 Jerusalem Bible (JB)
53 When Jesus had finished these parables he left the district; 54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 This is the carpenter’s son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers [Greek, adelphoi] James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? 56 His sisters [Greek, adelphai], too, are they not all here with us?’”
Even so, another reason is, the Catholic Church has had a long standing mindset on sex, which leaves the flocks with the impression that you cannot be a good Catholic, namely be holy, if they have sexual relations, even within the confines of marriage. For the Catholic hierarchy, this is just incompatible. Are marriage relations and holiness incompatible? What does God’s Word say on the matter?
In getting the Bible’s perspective in the matters of sexual relations, we can go back to the Israelites of the Old Testament. They had a priesthood that God specifically gave them, which God required that they be holy, and we see that marriage was fine for them. (Lev. 21:6, 7, 13) Then, we move to the Christian era, and look at the one, whom the Catholic Church views as their first pope, and he too was a married man, as were most of the apostles. (Matt 8:14; 1 Cor. 9:5) If we look at the Catholic Douay Version of the Bible, the “overseer,” i.e., the “bishop” could be the “husband of one wife.” (1 Tim. 3:2) In addition, the “older men” (“priests,” in Douay Version) could be married. (Titus 1:5-8) Actually, the whole of first0century Christians were viewed as “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,” with most of them being married. (Colossians 3:12, 18-21) Were there sexless marriages in the first-century Christian Congregation> Are there to be sexless marriages today? This would be in direct violation of God’s Word.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 But because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her marital due, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. And likewise, also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Therefore, when we investigate the Scriptures, we do not find that marriage or sexual relations within a marriage are incompatible. If when God speaks of himself in human, figurative terms, as his relation to Israel, he refers to himself as the “husband.” Moreover, Jesus is spoken of figuratively as the “husband” of the Christian congregation. This demonstrates that there is nothing unclean about the marriage relationship, the very relationship that God set in place back in the Garden of Eden. Isaiah 54:5; 62:4, 5; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7; 21:2, 9.
Therefore, we should have absolutely no doubts that after the miraculous birth of Jesus, Mary went on to have normal sexual relations with his wife, which resulted in their having both sons and daughters. (Matthew 1:24, 25; Mark 3:31) This should in no way impede our love and respect for Mary as a holy woman, who was privileged to give birth to the Son of man, Jesus Christ, just as the Jewish people loved and respected Sarah, the woman who miraculously gave birth to Isaac at the age of 90 years old. 1 Peter 3:5-7; Hebrews 11:11-12.
What is the Biblical Basis for Divorce and Remarriage among Christians?
The Bible on Divorce and Contraception
When it comes to divorce and abortion, the Catholic Church does well in its discouraging such practices. Nevertheless, the younger Catholic’s today, in our progressive world, disagree with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church does go beyond Scripture when it suggests that there is no reason for a divorce, as well as teaching that “each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life” (Pope Paul VI – Humanae Vitae, Latin, “Human Life”).
In the Garden of Eden God initiated marriage between one man and one woman, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-24) Jesus made this clear to the Christian congregation as well, when he stated, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” However, he went on to say, “Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” Matthew 19:4-6, 9; 5:32
Jesus made it clear that there is but one basis for divorce, which is sexual immorality. When the Catholic Church has raised the bar above the words of Jesus Christ, it has gone beyond Scripture, and made the Word of God invalid, by their man made traditions. History has shown that the Catholic Church has long viewed adultery as less severe than adultery itself. The Bible encourages sexual relations between a husband and wife.
Proverbs 5:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
The Bible is not squeamish about sexual relations, and we do well to follow that example, if we are to help our young ones avoid the pitfalls of this world. The cistern or well is poetic expressions for the wife, who satisfies the desires of the husband. This is considered a private water source. Having sexual pleasure with one’s wife is compared to drinking refreshing water. This comparison may not resonate with many in our modern world, but ancient Palestine had a dry climate that left them waterless at times. Moreover, they had to dig wells to seek out water, so it was a very precious staple of life.
Drink water from your own cistern: The Bible is not squeamish about sexual relations, and we do well to follow that example, if we are to help, our young ones avoid the pitfalls of this world. The cistern (Heb. bôr) or well is an underground tank for storing precious rainwater and is being used as a poetic expression for the precious wife, who satisfies the desires of her husband. This is considered a private water source, unlike the water supply in public places. Therefore, the point is quite clear, just as you drink water from your own cistern or well, you only have sexual relations with your own wife.
Flowing water from your own well: Having sexual pleasure with one’s wife is compared to drinking refreshing water from your own well. This comparison may not resonate with many in our modern world, but ancient Palestine had a dry climate that left them waterless at times. Moreover, they had to dig wells to seek out water, so it was a very precious staple of life. This figurative language instructs the husband to have sexual relations only with his wife. Just as the precious water of the arid climate of Palestine from the husband’s own well brought physical life to the husband, so to sexual intimacy from his wife brought pleasure to his life.
Proverbs 5:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Just as the “cistern” of verse 15 stood for the wife’s sexual affections for her husband, the “springs” and “streams of water” of verse 16 is a reference to the husband’s sexual affections for his wife. In other words, verse 16a would read something like, ‘shall your [the husband’s] springs [sexual affections] be scattered outward [someone other than his wife]? Verse 16b would read, ‘in the streets [where prostitutes are], shall there be streams of water [the husbands sexual affections]?’ Verse 15-16 gives the reader an analogy that the “cistern” [the wife] satisfies the sexual desires of the husband, and the “springs” and “streams of water” [the husband] satisfies the desires of the wife.
Should your springs be scattered abroad: Springs (Heb. mǎʿ·yān) refers to a natural flow of groundwater that comes to the surface, which flows from beneath the ground, and should be distinguished from water that is stored in a well or a cistern. Scattered abroad means to be thrown or moved, spread far from the place from which it originated.
Streams of water in the streets: Streams translates a word (pě·lěḡ), which refers to a natural body of water that flows on or underground within the bed and banks of a channel.
Both springs, as well as streams, are regularly used in the Old Testament as a means of enjoyment or pleasure. However, the cisterns and wells spoken of in verse 15 are located on the property of the owner, while the streams and springs of verse 16 are often at a distance.
Using figurative language, the Scriptures employ the terms cistern and well of verse 15 and springs and streams of verse 16 as expressions of “water sources” to denote a source of the wife’s sexual affections for her husband in verse 15 and to denote a source of the husband’s sexual affections for his wife in verse 16, with the point being made that sexual satisfaction is not to be sought outside of the marriage. Of course, the love between husband and wife properly involves the marital relationship. However, all those outside the marriage must be excluded from its intimacies.
Proverbs 5:17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 Let them be for you alone,
and not for strangers with you.
May the sexual desires that the husband receives from his wife, be his alone, never to be shared with another.
Let them be for you alone: This verse replicates and reinforces the command in verses 15–16. The pronoun them (Heb. hā·yā(h)) is a reference to the “cistern” and “well” of verse 15 and the “springs” and “streams” of verse 16, which are used to denote a source of the wife’s sexual affections for her husband in verse 15 and to denote a source of the husband’s sexual affections for his wife in verse 16. In other words, the water sources (sexual affections) of your household are for you alone and should not be shared with others.
And not for strangers with you: Stranger: (Heb. zār) was applied to those who forsook what was in harmony with the Mosaic Law and so were estranged from God. Thus, at Proverbs 2:16, the one morally estranged harlot or prostitute is referred to as a “strange (Heb. zār) woman.” (Prov. 2:16; 5:17; 7:5) The point being made here is simple, do not share your sexual affections with another.
Sexual intimacy should be for you and your spouse alone, which like life saving-water, it should not be wasted on strangers. May the sexual desires that the husband receives from his wife and the wife receives from her husband, be his and hers alone, never to be shared with another. These verses, 15-17, are forbidding any kind of unfaithfulness in the marriage, even flirting.
Proverbs 5:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
May the husband’s sexual desires continue to be quenched by the wife of his youth, not in seeking out a second wife, a mistress, or a prostitute?
Let your fountain be blessed: A fountain (Heb. mā·qôr) is a well, a fountain, a natural spring of groundwater, which is a relatively small body of water either on the surface of the ground or just below the ground, which denotes the sense of life and cleansing associated with clean and pure water. (Prov 5:18; 25:26; Jer. 2:13; 17:13; 51:36; Hos 13:15; Zech. 13:1) Here the meaning of your fountain is the husband’s wife, who is the source of his sexual affections. Blessed (Heb. bā·rǎḵ) refers to God blessing the husband. It is God pronouncing good or showing favor, having favorable circumstances or state at a future time, for the husband who has a righteous standing before God because of his having remained faithful to the wife of his youth, as he has never had sexual relations with anyone other than his first wife, either by committing adultery or by finding a manufactured reason for divorcing your first wife. Happiness and being highly favored by God characterize this rejoicing in your wife.
And rejoice in the wife of your youth: The meaning of blessed from line one is seen in the parallel word in the second line of our verse, “and rejoice (Heb. śā·mǎḥ) in the …” Both blessed and rejoice are referring to the husband who is content, full of joy because of his wife, who is the source of his sexual affections. This text is emphasizing the sexual affections within a marriage, as has been the case since verse 15. The Hebrew samach is a command to take sexual satisfaction (pleasure) with your first wife, which infers that the husband should never look for or seek sexual relations outside of the wife of his youth, which is speaking of the young age when they were married, i.e., the first wife. The marriage should embrace sexual satisfaction, joy, and contentment.
May the husband’s sexual desires continue to be quenched by the wife of his youth, not in seeking out a second wife, a mistress, or a prostitute? God will certainly bless, i.e., bring happiness and rejoicing in the sexual satisfaction between a husband and the wife of your youth but not in any other relationship with any other person.
Proverbs 5:19-20 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
19 a loving doe, a graceful mountain goat.
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
be intoxicated always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a strange woman
and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?
To the husband, who has allowed his passions for his wife to continue over the years, she is as desirable and attractive as a female deer, and he is intoxicated with the pleasure she continually brings him, with her body and her love. The husband should reciprocate this to her and her alone. The Hebrew word shaga, which is rendered “intoxicated,” is generally used in reference sin that is committed unintentionally, like our innocent appearing situation that we have spoken about throughout Proverbs chapter five. One reference work reads,
The primary emphasis in the root [shaga] is on sin done inadvertently. This is indicated in several ways. First, the two derivatives from [saga, shegia, and misgeh] indicate an act perpetrated in ignorance, not willfully. Second, in the … The Scripture pinpoints at least three causes for such wandering. The first is wine and strong drink (Isa 28:7; Prov 20:1). The second is the seductive strange woman (Prov 5:20, 23) versus the love of one’s wife, which ought to “captivate” one (Prov 5:19). The third is the inability to reject evil instruction (Prov 19:27).
How do we close out this section, by looking at the implications of our day? Why would there be a need for any man or woman for that matter to place themselves in innocent appearing situations by flirting in the workplace because the spouse it not there, by a teenager living a different lifestyle while at school, or by spending time alone with someone of the opposite sex? Why be enticed into sexual affection outside of the marriage?
A loving doe, a graceful mountain goat: The wife is described as “a loving doe, a graceful mountain goat.” (Prov. 5:18-19) Solomon was an intelligent observer of the wildlife in Israel, so unquestionably he had a good reason for using this metaphor. To the husband, who has allowed his passions for his wife to continue over the years, she is as desirable and attractive as a female deer, and he is intoxicated with the pleasure she continually brings him, with her body and her love. The husband should reciprocate this to her and her alone. Solomon “characterizes the wife of his youth as a doe or graceful deer, terms that are erotic and reminiscent of Song of Songs 2:9, 17; 8:14.”
The female wild goat has to be tough as well as graceful. As God made clear to Job, the wild mountain goat gives birth in the mountainous peaks and bluffs, in rocky, remote and difficult places where food may be rare and temperatures are brutal. (Job 39:1) Notwithstanding these difficulties, she takes care of her offspring and teaches them to climb and leap among the rocks as gracefully, swiftly, and agilely as she does. The wild goat also bravely and fearlessly protects her young from predators. It is nothing to see a female wild goat fighting an eagle for great lengths of time, as her young kid hides beneath her for protection.
Women of God, who are wives and mothers, they oftentimes must raise their children under unfavorable conditions. Like the wild female mountain goat, they show commitment, devotion, and unselfishness in caring for their God-given privilege that is a very heavy responsibility at times. And they courageously endeavor to protect their children from both physical and spiritual dangers. So, Solomon was not belittling women with this metaphor, rather he was actually bringing attention to a woman’s grace and beauty, her spiritual qualities that radiate through even in the most difficult conditions. In this context, the Hebrew word (chen), translated graceful, means ‘grace or elegance of form and appearance that is attractive and draws interest from her husband, pleasing, and stimulating him.’
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times: Here in this context (Heb. dǎḏ) breasts, a sexually desired area of the body should be taken as a symbol or image of love, affection, or charm. NJPSV translates literally: “Let her breasts satisfy you at all times.” John H Walton writes, “The wish that the son might be intoxicated by his wife’s breasts and inebriated [intoxicated] by her love is also paralleled in the Song of Songs, where the woman claims that the man’s ‘love is better than wine’ (Song 1:2, 4; 4:10). Love and lovemaking make one lightheaded, similar to the effects of drinking wine.”
Be intoxicated always in her love: The Hebrew word (shaga), which is rendered intoxicated, is generally used in reference sin that is committed unintentionally, like our innocent appearing situation that we have spoken about throughout Proverbs chapter five. On reference work reads, “The primary emphasis in the root [shaga] is on sin done inadvertently. This is indicated in several ways. First, the two derivatives from [saga, shegia, and misgeh] indicate an act perpetrated in ignorance, not willfully. Second, in the … The Scripture pinpoints at least three causes for such wandering. The first is wine and strong drink (Isa 28:7; Pro. 20:1). The second is the seductive strange woman (Pro. 5:20, 23) versus the love of one’s wife, which ought to ‘captivate’ one (Pro 5:19). The third is the inability to reject evil instruction (Pro 19:27).” The wife of your youth is like a loving, tender doe, and the husband should be intoxicated with satisfaction in the pleasures of her body, love, and affection that she gives him.
Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a strange woman: Stranger: (Heb. zār) was applied to those who forsook what was in harmony with the Mosaic Law and so were estranged from God. Thus, in Proverbs, the one morally estranged harlot or prostitute is referred to as a “strange (Heb. zār) woman.” (Prov. 2:16; 5:17; 7:5.)
And embrace the bosom of a foreigner: While a foreign (Heb. nāḵ·rî) woman was initially, in the Israelite history, a reference to an immoral woman, who were morally alienated from God and came from outside of Israel; however, in time the term foreign woman came to include any prostitute or adulteress. Her smooth words were flattering and seductive. God created man so that he should be exhilarated with his own wife not the breasts of a foreigner, the wife of another mam.
How do we close out this section, by looking at the implications of our day? Why would there be a need for any man or woman for that matter to place themselves in innocent appearing situations by flirting in the workplace because the spouse is not there, by a teenager living a different lifestyle while at school, or by spending time alone with someone of the opposite sex? Why be enticed into sexual affection outside of the marriage? The Christian loves to exaggerate their abilities by saying, ‘my faith would never allow me to be unfaithful,’ or ‘the Holy Spirit will protect me from advancements of the stranger,’ or simply, ‘I would never cheat on my spouse.’ These are all innocent appearing mindsets of fools. The Bible is full of warnings to all Christians, even those who believe that they are so spiritually strong that they would never stumble. In fact, these warnings are most appropriate for these latter ones, as they are willfully blind and ignorant of their own sinful nature. James writes, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire [or own lust]. Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” – James 1:14-15.
“HOMOSEXUAL” 1946: Was There a Mistranslation That Shifted Culture?
James 1:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
When we consider the Bible’s viewpoint on birth control, the Catholic Church has not changed its position since Augustine (354-430 C.E.), who wrote in 419: “I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility [oral contraceptives]” (Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17).
In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued his landmark encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Latin, “Human Life”), which reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence.
When we look at the Scriptures, the Bible does not prohibit birth control (contraception). In fact, it does not even mention it, and birth control has been practiced for about 4,000 years among the non-Jewish nations. While the Bible does not condemn birth control, it does condemn abortions, as is clearly stated at Exodus 20:13 and 21:22, 23. Therefore, any birth control, like the “morning after pill,” which allows a woman to terminate a pregnancy just by taking a pill, would be biblically condemned. Life begins at conception, and to take a life, would result in the Bible’s equation, “a life for a life.”
Psalm 139:13-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 For you produced my kidneys;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
When I was woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes even saw me as an embryo;
and in your book they all were written,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
 Kidneys: figuratively, the term in Hebrew or Greek refers to the innermost aspects of the human personality. The verse can be also rendered my inward parts
Here again, and method of birth control that is abortive would be biblically wrong, it would be a very grievous sin. However, what about birth control that is not abortive? There is no command within Scripture to procreate. God specifically told both Adam and Noah, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1:28; 9:1) While this is certainly, a command from God, but the context is the extinction of humanity otherwise. If Adam and Eve had chosen to forego having children, there would be no humanity. If Noah and his sons had made the same decision, there would be no humanity. Thus, it is not a command in the sense that disallows precautions, but was to get humanity underway. Moreover, there is no such command given to Abraham, or in the Mosaic Law, nor in the New Testament.
Therefore, married couples can decide for themselves as to whether they want to raise a family, or how many children they want to have, as the Scriptures do not condemn birth control. Thus, according to Scripture, the husband and wife have the right to use non-abortive birth control if they desire. How should other Christians, who choose not to use birth control, view those in the congregation who do?
Romans 14:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Romans 14:10-13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 for it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.
Do Not Cause Others to Stumble
13 Therefore, let us no longer pass judgment on one another, but rather decide this: not to place a cause for stumbling or a temptation before a brother.
The Bible’s View of Celibacy
While the Bible does not demand celibacy from its religious leaders, like the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament, or congregation overseers within the New Testament, as the Catholic Church maintains, it does speak of voluntary singleness. Jesus said,
Matthew 19:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 For there are eunuchs who were born such from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs on account of the kingdom of the heavens. Let him who can make room for it make room for it.”
As can be seen herein, Jesus never said that any man was to remain celibate. Rather, as was explained in the above, the apostle Peter was married, as were many of the apostles. Mark 1:29, 30; 1 Corinthians 9:5
The apostle Paul covers the subject of voluntary singleness for both men and women as well, when he writes,
1 Corinthians 7:8, 35, 38, 40 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Now I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. 35 Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not that I may put a restriction on you, but to promote appropriate and devoted service to the Lord without distraction. 38 So, then, he who marries his own virgin does well, and the one who does not marry her will do better. 40 But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is, and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
Notice that Paul is speaking of voluntary singleness, not to be distracted from their service to God. Notice that it is that one point, not to be distracted in their service to God. However, a Catholic will add another point that is unbiblical, “to avoid the distraction of sex, and to remain pure.” First, there is more to a marriage than sex. If a woman remained single, to better serve God, she would be free from the dozens of hours per week that would have gone into carrying for a husband and children. Second, a single person is no more pure than a married person is.
Therefore, singleness is a gift that some Christians have the desire for, which includes both male and female, so that they can devote their lives to serving God. There is no need for some special vow, as this is a personal decision, between God and the one making the commitment, and it is not compulsory. 1 Corinthians 7:28, 36
In fact, anyone religious group suggesting required, or obligatory celibacy would be a sign of apostasy,
1 Timothy 4:1-3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and command to abstain from foods that God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth.
Maintain the Biblical View
If one were to investigate the Catholic Churches teachings on marriage and sexual relations, it would not find a Scriptural basis, but rather philosophical rather than Biblical, as well as pagan religions. The result is hundreds of millions of Catholics today, who have been shamed into a guilt complex on sexual relations within the marriage, as well as the hardship of forced celibacy on their Catholic priests, nuns and monks.
The Bible views marriage and sexual relations quite different. In the Bible,
Hebrews 13:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Let marriage be honorable among all, and let the marriage bed be without defilement, for God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers.
In addition, sexual relations within the marriage do not somehow make these Christians less holy than the one, who have freely chosen to remain single. Moreover, those who do remain single, to serve God, will many times have a closer relationship with God because they are not sharing themselves with many others, like a spouse and children. Nevertheless, this is no argument toward the idea that they are somehow better in God’s eyes. Serious, objective Bible study enables us to uncover teachings that are unbiblical, as opposed to those that are biblical.
John 8:31-32 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
 Peter was not the first pope. Peter was not the “rock” that the church was founded on. (Matt 16:18, Jerusalem Bible, JB) Jesus was the “rock” that the church was founded on. (Ac 4:8-11; 1 Pet 2:4-8; Eph. 2:20, JB) The other apostles did not view Peter as having primacy over them (Lu 22:24-26, JB) Considering that Jesus is alive in heaven, and the head of Christianity, there is no need for successors. (Heb. 7:23-25, Rom 6:9; Eph. 5:23, JB)
 The Hebrew word translated “joined” literally means “to cleave, to adhere, specially firmly, as if with glue.” (Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures)
 A cistern is an underground tank for storing rainwater.
 Victor P. Hamilton, “2325 שָׁגָה”, in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke, electronic ed., 904 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999).
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