Another King James Bible Believer

"Keep my words" vs. "Obey my teaching"

"Keep My words" vs  "Obey My teaching"  If you'd prefer, you can now listen to a teaching video on this topic on Youtube -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDGYGu-k7CI&list=PL16B2149EE5E54979&index=32


John 14:23-24 King James Bible - "
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  HE THAT LOVETH ME NOT KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."
 
John 14:23-24 NIV 2011 -"Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me WILL OBEY MY TEACHING. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.  ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE ME WILL NOT OBEY MY TEACHING. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."
 
King James Bible - "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we KEEP his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and KEEPETH NOT his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but WHOSO KEEPETH HIS WORD, in him verily is the love of God perfected." 1 John 2:3-5

NIV 1984 edition - "We know that we have come to know him if we OBEY his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does NOT DO what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone OBEYS his word, God's love is truly made complete in him."

1 John 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and KEEP his commandments." (Tyndale, Geneva Bible, KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB)

1 John 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and OBEY his commandments." (ESV, Catholic St. Joseph NAB, NET (Dan Wallace), Holman Standard, RSV, NRSV. "..and CARRYING OUT his commandments." (NIV 1984, 2011)

What do the phrases "keep my commandments" and "keepeth His word" mean? I am convinced that many Christians misunderstand the meaning, and some modern versions, like the NIV, ESV, RSV, NRSV, NET and the Catholic St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible perpetuate the error.

This may come as a shock to many but the word TO KEEP in both Hebrew and Greek does NOT mean "to obey" or "to do"!!!. The Hebrew word Shamar # 8104 is translated in the KJB, Tyndale, Geneva Bible, Revised Version, ASV, NKJV, NASB as "to keep, to observe, to take heed to, to preserve, to be a watchman, and to regard."
 
The Greek word teereo # 5083 likewise in these versions is translated as "to keep, to guard, to watch, to preserve, to reserve, to take care of, to keep watch over, and to hold fast." 
 
Consult all the Greek Lexicons you wish. Take a good look at Moulton and Milligan, Thayer's, Vines, Liddell and Scott or the Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich Greek lexicons.  They all list the meanings of this Greek word teereo as "to keep, to preserve, to observe, to give heed to, to guard, to hold, to not lose, to protect, to hold firmly" but not one of them lists "to obey" or "to do" as being one of the definitions of this Greek word. 
 
Why? Because it simply does NOT mean "to obey" or "to do". There are other words that mean "obey" and others that mean "to do", but not this one.
 
If you are playing basketball with some buddies in the park and you take out your wallet and keys and ask a friend to KEEP them for you, obviously you want him to hang on to them and not lose them. You are not telling him "to obey" them.
 
Many modern versions have completely changed the intended meaning of these two Hebrew and Greek words. It started with the liberal RSV and continued with the equally liberal NRSV, and has continued to some extent among the more recent NIVs, ESVs, Holman and NET versions. 
 
The NIV 1984 edition translates the O.T. word Shamar as "to obey" 29 times and as "to do" 5 times. It also translates the N.T. word tereeo as "to obey" 21 times and "to do" 3 times.
 
I believe this is due, not only to Satan's hand at work to promote a works oriented religion, but also to much careless preaching. Legalism is natural to the human heart.  Martin Luther said legalism is like a oil in our bones.
 
Few Bible students take the time to actually look up a word in the Bible itself, not a commentary, to see exactly how the Holy Ghost uses this particular word.

Here are a few examples of how the Hebrew word Shamar is used. Try to fit "to do" or "to obey" into the text and see if they fit.
 
"Am I my brother's KEEPER?" (Gen.2:15). "The Lord bless thee and KEEP thee" (Num. 6:24). "KEEP me as the apple of the eye" (Ps. 17:8). "O KEEP my soul and deliver me" (Ps. 25:20). "PRESERVE me, O God." (Ps. 16:1). "I have set WATCHMEN upon thy walls, O Jerusalem." (Isa. 62:6)

Try to fit "to do" or "to obey" into these New Testament examples. "thou hast KEPT the good wine until now" (John 2:10). "Holy Father, KEEP through thine own name those whom thou hast given me...I have KEPT them in thy name...KEEP them from evil" (John 17:11-12,15) "Peter therefore was KEPT in prison." (Acts 12:5)

A good way to get the sense of a word is to compare it with the contrasting or opposite words used with it.
 
"a time TO KEEP and a time TO CAST AWAY" (Ecc. 3:6).
 
"They that FORSAKE the law praise the wicked, but such as KEEP the law contend with them" (Pro. 28:4).
 
Speaking of wisdom God says: "FORSAKE her not and she will PRESERVE thee" (Pro. 4:6 - same word as "to keep"). "My son, ATTEND TO my words, INCLINE THINE EAR unto my sayings; Let them NOT DEPART from thine eyes; KEEP them in the midst of thine heart" (Pro. 4:20-21).
 
"Only TAKE HEED TO (same word) thyself, and KEEP thy soul diligently, lest thou FORGET the things which thine eyes have seen and lest they DEPART from thy heart all the days of thy life..." (Deut. 4:9)

Notice also the distinction drawn between TO DO and TO KEEP in Deuteronomy 4:6.
 
This passage contains four separate things the Israelites were to do. "And Moses called all Israel and said unto them, HEAR, of Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day that ye may LEARN them, and KEEP, and DO them."
 
They were to hear, to learn, to keep, and to do. The same concept is seen in may passages but one more may help to illustrate. "Ye shall therefore KEEP my statutes and my judgments which I speak in your ears this day that ye may LEARN them, and KEEP, and DO them."

When the Bible speaks of us KEEPING the commandments of the word of the Lord, God is telling us not to forsake, let go of, forget or turn away from them, but rather to guard, preserve, hold on to and cling to them.
 
By God's grace we hopefully will not only keep them but also do and obey them; but, to KEEP and to OBEY are two distinct and separate concepts.

This difference between to keep and to obey is often illustrated for us in God's true words. Let's look for a moment at the life of king David.
 
In 1 Kings 11 we are told: "And it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods...for Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammorites...Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and THOU HAST NOT KEPT My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend thy kingdom from thee and will give it to thy servant" (1 Kings 11:4,5,11) Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, BECAUSE HE KEPT my commandments and my statutes." (1 Kings 11:34)

In 1 Kings 14:8 God, through His prophet Ahijah, rebukes king Jeroboam. "...and thou hast not been as my servant David, WHO KEPT MY COMMANDMENTS, and who followed me with all his heart, to do right in mine eyes; but hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back."

The principal sin of Solomon and Jeroboam was turning to other gods - apostasy and idolatry. God says David KEPT His commandments, yet David certainly disobeyed the commandments of God by committing adultery and murder.
 
But king David never turned away from Jehovah as being the only true God of his life. He held onto God's revelation of Himself in His word and never forsook Him to follow another religion or other gods.

Now, let's look again at some of these verses to see if the meaning has been changed.
 
John 14:23-24 King James Bible - "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  HE THAT LOVETH ME NOT KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."
 
John 14:23-24 NIV 2011 -"Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me WILL OBEY MY TEACHING. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.  ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE ME WILL NOT OBEY MY TEACHING. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." 
 
 
Agreeing with the King James Bible's "If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS" = τὸν λόγον μου τηρήσει, and "He that loveth me not KEEPETH NOT my sayings" =  τοὺς λόγους μου οὐ τηρεῖ are Wycliffe 1395 - "If ony man loueth me, he schal kepe my word", Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - "If any man loue me, he will keepe my worde...He that loueth me not, keepeth not my wordes", the Douay-Rheims bible 1582, Wesley's translation 1755, Webster's translation 1833, Darby, Young's, the Revised Version 1881, ASV 1901, the RSV 1952, NRSV 1989, ESV 2001, Complete Jewish Bible, Hebrew Names Version, Bible in Basic English 1961, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Douay 1950, The New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, the NKJV 1982, NASB 1960-1995, the Message 2002, Holman Standard 2009, the Third Millenium Bible 1998, the ISV 2010 and the Common English Bible 2011.
 
Other English bibles that correctly say KEEP MY WORDS instead of OBEY MY WORDS are The Word of Yah 1993, God's First Truth 1999, The Evidence Bible 2003, Green's Literal 2005, Concordant Version 2006, Faithful N.T. 2009, Bond Slave Version 2009, English Majority Text Version 2009, Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Far Above All Translation 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), World English Bible 2012, Lexham English Bible 2012,
 
 
Wrong Translations = Wrong Doctrine
 
 
John 14:23-24 NIV 2011 -"Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me WILL OBEY MY TEACHING. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.  ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE ME WILL NOT OBEY MY TEACHING. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."
 
Agreeing with the NIV is, not surprisingly, Daniel Wallace's NET version -
 
"Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, HE WILL OBEY MY WORD, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.  The person who does not love me DOES NOT OBEY my words. And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me."
 
But then he footnotes: under "obey" and "not obey"-  "or keep", "or does not keep".
 
And the new Thomas Nelson Expanded Bible of 2011, which is a loose paraphrase, and says: "Jesus answered, “If people love me, they will ·OBEY MY TEACHING [L it. keep my word].Those who do not love me DO NOT OBEY MY TEACHING [Lit.  keep my words]. This ·teaching [word] that you hear is not really mine; it is from my Father, who sent me." 
 
 
You should note that this paraphrase reads exactly like the NIV but they have included the bracketed footnotes that say Literally the Greek is "keep my word" and  Literally "word" rather than "teaching".
 
The Names of God Bible 2011 is wrong with its paraphrase  - “Yeshua answered him, “Those who love me WILL DO WHAT I SAY.” 
 
The Voice 2012 is also wrong with - “Anyone who loves Me will listen to My voice and OBEY.”
 
A Verse Comparison Chart of 1 John

1 John 2:3-5. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we KEEP his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and KEEPETH NOT his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but WHOSO KEEPETH HIS WORD, in him verily is the love of God perfected." 

1 John 2:3- if we KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV 1881, ASV 1901, RSV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NET

1 John 2:3- if we OBEY his commandments - NRSV, NIV 1984, 2011; WE LIVE OUT his commandments - The Voice

 1 John 2:4- KEEPETH NOT his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NET

1 John 2:4 - DISOBEYS his commandments RSV, NRSV; DOES NOT DO his commandments NIV 1984, 2011; DOESN'T LIVE OUT his commandments The Voice 2012
 
1 John 2:5 - whoso KEEPETH his word - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV 2011,
 
1 John 2:5 - who OBEYS his word -  NIV 1984, NRSV, NET version, The Voice, Names of God bible 

1 John 3:22 - we KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV,  NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV 2011, NET

1 John 3:22 - we OBEY his commandments - NIV 1984, NRSV 1989, Names of God Bible 2012

1 John 3:24 -  he that KEEPETH his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV,  NKJV, NASB, NIV 2011, ESV, NET
 
1 John 3:24 - he THAT OBEYS his commandments - NIV 1984, NRSV, Names of God; FOLLOWS his commands - The Voice 

I John 5:2 - and KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB,

1 John 5:2 - and OBEY his commandments - Holman Standard, RSV, ESV, St. Joseph NAB, NET (Dan Wallace), NRSV; CARRYING OUT his commandments NIV 1984, 2011

1 John 5:3 - that we KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV 2011, NET

1 John 5:3 - that we OBEY his commandments - NIV 1984, NRSV, Names of God bible 2012
 
The NIV 1984 and many other modern versions have changed the sense and meaning of these verses entirely. 
 
1 John 5:3-5 NIV - "We know that we have come to know him if we OBEY his commands. The man who says, 'I know him' but DOES NOT DO what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if any man OBEYS his word, God's love is truly made complete in him."

If the NIV and other modern versions that change "keep" to "obey" is the correct interpretation, then I do not know of anyone that is a true Christian. Please don't give me that old, worn out line about "the habit" or "the pattern of obedience". Do you sin in thought, word, attitude or deed at least once a day? Or how about once an hour? Is this not then a pattern of sinning?

The commandments, or the Biblical teachings, are the words of God. In 1 John 3:23 we are told: "And this is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."
 
This same chapter tells us "Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists...they went out from us, but they were not of us...who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son...Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning..." (the original teaching concerning the Person and the work of Christ; don't leave that truth for a new or false religion) "These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you."

The epistle of First John speaks of two different kinds of sin. "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it." 1 John 5:16.

Here is a BROTHER who is sinning a sin not unto death. He is a brother in Christ who continues in some kind of sin, (it is a present continuous tense), a garden variety sin to which we are all prone.
 
But 1 John 5:16 also mentions a sin that is unto death, for which he is not to pray. I believe this sin is that of forsaking the doctrine that Jesus is the Christ, denying it, and following the false religion of antichrist.
 
The prophet Jeremiah was likewise told not to pray for those who, having been warned repeatedly, turned to other gods. See Jeremiah 7:16 and 11:14.

New Age teaching and Eastern Religions such as Hinduism are very similar to each other. They teach that Christ is a divine spirit or consciousness within us all. They teach that soon we will all become this Christ Consciousness. No! This is not true at all.
 
The Bible tells us that JESUS IS THE CHRIST; there is no other. He died and shed His blood for the sins of His people. There is no other Saviour. If anyone denies this truth, the apostle John does not say that they should pray for this sin unto death.

The true Christian can never sin in this way of continuing to deny that Jesus is the Christ. "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" 1 John 3:9.
 
The seed mentioned here is most likely the word of God - "the seed is the word of God" (Luke 8:11); "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God..." 1 Peter 1:23.

Notice too how the word TO KEEP is used in 1 John 5:18: "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God KEEPETH himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."
 
When it says that he that is born of God sinneth not, it cannot be consistent with the rest of Scripture and our own experience to say that this refers to ANY SIN AT ALL. This would contradict 1 John 1:8 where it says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
 
This verse then, in the context of the whole epistle, refers to the sin unto death - that is, to deny that Jesus is the Christ.

To sum up the argument: He that KEEPETH His commandments, and KEEPETH His word is the Christian who holds onto, guards, preserves and retains the doctrine of Christ and does not forsake it to follow the antichrist religion.
 
"Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." 1 John 2:24.

In light of what the phrase "keepeth my commandments" really means, it adds a new dimension to the Bible version controversy.
 
Most of the modern versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV, NET and Holman Standard are based on a very different, ever-changing Greek text that omits some 5000 words, including many entire verses, from the New Testament and they often depart from the Hebrew texts in the Old Testament, and they are in fact the new Vatican Versions. 
 
Want proof?  See NIV, NASB, ESV, NET and other Vatican Versions  reject Hebrew texts -
 
 
And Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are  the new "Catholic" bibles - 
 
 
Then look at the second part of the part of the comparative study to see all the same whole verses and thousands of words omitted in all these versions and the modern Catholic versions as well.
 
 
 
With this in mind, consider the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when He says: "He that hath my COMMANDMENTS and KEEPETH them, he it is that loveth me...If a man love me he will KEEP MY WORDS, and my Father will love him...He that loveth me not KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: and THE WORD which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's that sent me." John 14:21-24. Commandments = my sayings = the Father's word.
 
"I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me; AND THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD...For I have given unto them THE WORDS which thou gavest me; and they have received them" John 17:6-8
 
"They have kept thy word" = Keep them, preserve them, hold them fast, and do not let them go, depart or disappear.
 
If we love our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then the proof of our love for Him is in having a love for His words of absolute truth and grace, hanging on to them and not letting them go.
 
Why then leave the time tested King James Holy Bible for an inferior Vatican Version that changes scores of Hebrew readings, adds hundreds of words to the Hebrew texts and omits anywhere from 3000 to 5000 inspired words of God from the New Testament?  Think about it. 
 
All of grace, believing the Book,
 
Will Kinney

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Related Study. For an examination of Satan's Religion of Works and the Modern Versions see -