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Jun 21, 2024

Yesterday we read David’s long poem of praise for God giving him victory and deliverance from his enemies.

PSALM 119a:
This psalm is famous for being the longest chapter in the Bible, and it is an acrostic psalm with a difference. In this psalm, every line of each stanza starts with the same letter of the alphabet, instead of every line with a different letter. The psalm has 22 stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. And this psalm has a clear theme: God’s Word— or a synonym for it, is mentioned in almost every verse.

Re-reading JOHN 3:
One of the features of John's Gospel is that he breaks in with commentary without warning. Because of the lack of quote marks in ancient Greek, there were no overt signs marking the end of Jesus' speech and John's comment, or at the end of this chapter, John the Baptist's speech and John's comment. I personally don't think that John 3:16 is Jesus' words about himself, but is the start of John's explanation of Jesus' enigmatic words: “as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so [I,] the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in [Me/him] will have eternal life.” We have read that story in Numbers 21. Imagine that all one had to do to be healed of a snake bite was to look at the bronze snake which Moses had put up on a pole. Do you think any of the people who were bitten refused to look up at that bronze snake? (Don’t miss that the shape this cast would have been very much like the shape of a cross.)

NLT Translation notes:
John 3:11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you [refuse to//continue to//won’t] believe our testimony.
13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But [I,] the Son of Man[, have// has] come down from heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so [I,] the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15 so that everyone who believes in [Me/him] will have eternal life.
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
[Exegetes and commentators disagree on where to stop Jesus’ quote. I believe that verse 16 and following is John’s narration. John suddenly breaking in with narration is a frequent feature of his Gospel. There is another example in this chapter. I think that John the Baptist’s quote ends at verse 30 not at the end of the chapter. So I differ with NLT’s quote marks for the last paragraph.]
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in [the Son//him]. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I [(like the best man)] am filled with joy at [Jesus’//his] success.
30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.   [end quote]
[Ancient Greek has no quote marks. I feel John the Baptist’s quote ends at verse 30, and 31-36 are the writer’s narration.]
34 For [Jesus, the One//he is] sent by God[, //. He] speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.
36 [0/And] anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.