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Early Meaning and Manuscripts

Early Meaning and Manuscripts



2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Early Meaning and Manuscripts – We have to get back to the earliest meanings and manuscripts (as close as we can to the original) if we want to really understand what was said.

The Bible has been copied over thousands of years. Each handwritten copy was a different manuscript.

God did not promise that the copies of the Bible would be perfect, so there may be errors in the copies. We need to figure out what was originally written.

The New Testament has more manuscript evidence than any other ancient book by thousands!

The Dead Sea Scrolls proved that our Old Testament is identical to what was written 2,000 years ago.

1 Kings 4:26 (KJV)
Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

2 Chronicles 9:25 (KJV)
Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen

1 Kings 4:26
Solomon had four* thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.
* Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew forty

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

People’s Ideas
“I don’t have to go to a Church to be the Church”
“You don’t have to go to Church to be a Christian”

Ekklesia by Tom Nelson
“The Greek word for church here is ekklesia. Ekklesia was used widely in extra-biblical literature of the day to describe a public gathering, an assembly of people summoned by a herald or town crier. Here in Matthew chapter sixteen, Jesus employs this word and attaches to it a special significance: God’s redemptive community.”

Example of knowing the early meaning: So, what is “a church”? Primarily, it is a local gathering of Christians committed to each other and meeting together to do important business of God!

What is the Church?
Pillar and foundation of truth and God’s household (1 Tim 3)
Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5)
Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12)

Leviticus 25:45
You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.

It looks like God condones slavery in the Bible. What’s going on?

Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments
Modern readers must overcome their temptation to read into any ancient Jewish, Greek or Roman text their knowledge of modern slavery. The meanings of any familiar-sounding terms can be determined only by a close investigation of the particular social systems and cultural values the early Christian writers took for granted. Among the distinctive and often surprising features of slavery as practiced around the Mediterranean in the early centuries of our era are these:

1. An enslaved person generally could not be identified by appearance or clothing; racial or ethnic origins were not reliable indicators of social or legal status.

2. The cultural and religious traditions of slaves were usually those of their owners and other free persons.

3. Education of slaves was encouraged, enhancing their value; some slaves were better educated than their owners. Rome’s cultural leadership in the empire largely depended on educated, foreign-born slaves who had been taken there.

4. Partially as a result, many slaves functioned in highly responsible and sensitive positions such as workshop and household managers, accountants, tutors, personal secretaries, sea captains and physicians (see Martin, 1-49). An important minority of slaves had considerable influence and social power, even over freeborn persons of lesser status than the slaves’ owners.

5. By no means were the enslaved regularly to be found at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid. Rather those free and impoverished persons who had to seek work each day without any certainty of employment occupied the lowest level. Some of them sold themselves into slavery in order to obtain job security, food, clothing and shelter.

6. Slaves could own property, including their own slaves. They could accumulate funds that they might use to purchase their own freedom.

7. Because slaves were owned by persons across the range of economic levels, they developed no consciousness of being a social class or of suffering a common plight. Thus no laws were needed to hinder public assembly of slaves.

8. In contrast to New World slavery, ancient owners did not regard their adult slaves paternalistically; they clearly distinguished the roles of parents and of owners and felt no need to justify the institution of slavery.

9. Persons not infrequently sold themselves to pay debts, to escape poverty, to climb socially or to obtain special governmental positions.

10. A large number of domestic and urban slaves, perhaps the majority, could anticipate being set free by age thirty, becoming a freedman or a freedwoman. At any moment innumerable ex-slaves throughout the empire were proof that slavery need not be a permanent.

Deuteronomy 23:15
“If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master.”

Romans 12:20-21
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

To know information about the early meaning I should get the app from or at the very least a study Bible like “The Quest Study Bible.”

There are some great websites with correct information about Biblical interpretation. Such as,,,,, and most of

I should research the early meaning of words in Scripture, but also not get caught up in finding hidden meanings, especially when the meaning is plain.

Matthew 8:13
Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Speaker: Jeff Piepho

Jeff is the founding Pastor of Revolution Church, and host of Truth Revolution. Not afraid to laugh at himself, his sermons contain plenty of examples of how he needs to apply what we are all learning.