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The Persecuted Church




Interpretation of the Word, Meaning, and Application of tetelestai

Brian Simmons Passion Bible seeks the meanings he writes not from the original words. He says the essential meaning of a passage should take priority, translating the essence of God’s original message and heart into modern English.” 

“The meaning” has priority over the literal form of the original words.

His basis for the meaning is that“There is a language of the heart that must express the passion of this love-theology.” (About the Passion Translation)

He speaks of translating the Word to the language of our heart. But God tells us our heart is deceitful, why? Because of sin. Therefore  sin is the natural language of man’s heart.

Though we receive the Holy Spirit, we still have the old nature of sin within.

His concept then becomes a huge problem in changing the meanings of the word to be adjusted to man’s heart.  The Word which was given was by the Holy Spirit of whom it is said, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12-13)

You need to know The Passion Translation does not have any intention of being an accurate translation of the Word of God given by the Holy Spirit. Simmons has said his Bible is a meaning-for-meaning translation, translating the essence of God’s original message and heart into modern English.”

“The goal of TPT is to trigger inside every reader an overwhelming response to the truth of the

Bible, revealing the deep mysteries of the Scriptures in the love language of God, the language

of the heart.” https://www.thepassiontranslation.com/about-the-tpt/

No other Bible translator of the Word has made this kind of claim in translating the words.  Not only is this prideful, but it is a goal that cannot be done for the simple fact that the words which are written are inspired by the Holy Spirit, God himself.  Any translator’s goal should conform to the accuracy of the Word because that is what God has communicated to us by. 

There is so much to address in this paradigm shift Bible that it becomes overwhelming in how or where to peel the onion.  Let’s begin with what he has done to Jn.19:30. He says nothing will contradict the word-for-word, but his own translation does contradict the word in numerous places, and this is one of them.

The Passion Bible, Jn.19:30 When he had sipped the sour wine, he said, It is finished, my bride! Then he bowed his head and surrendered his spirit to God.” Underline mine

Simmons included both interpretations, which makes it difficult to understand what he really means unless one includes his footnote.

 The footnote v. John 19:30 This is from the Hebrew word kalah, a homonym that can mean “fulfilled [completed],” and “bride.” Jesus finished the work of our salvation for his bride. The translation has combined both concepts. For a fascinating study of the Hebrew word used for “bride” and “finished,” with its universe of meaning, see Strong’s Concordance, Hb. 3615, 3616, 3617, 3618, and 3634. Although the completed work of salvation was finished on the cross, he continues to work through his church today to extend God’s kingdom realm on the earth and glorify the Father through us. He continues to work in us to accomplish all that his cross and resurrection have purchased for us, his bride. His cross fulfilled and finished the prophecies of the Messiah’s first coming to the earth. There was nothing written that was not fulfilled and now offered to his bride.” (underline mine)

Notice what he has done in his explanation, after admitting salvation was completed he shifts it to the church describing her work continues, but these are not connected to the payment of what Jesus has done to give us forgiveness and access in relationship. Salvation is for all who believe, it is they that become his bride; not for his bride (this will be explained fully later).

He says nothing written that was not fulfilled and now offered to his bride.” Wrong, many things written have not taken place for his bride, for example we are not sinless yet, nor resurrected, immortal in our body.

The word he refers to is the Hebrew word kalah. OT:3615 kalah (kaw-law'); a primitive root; to end, whether intransitive (to cease, be finished, perish) or transitived (to complete, prepare, consume): -accomplish, cease, consume (away), determine, destroy (utterly), be (when ... were) done, (be an) end (of), expire, (cause to) fail, faint, finish, fulfil, X fully, X have, leave (off), long, bring to pass, wholly reap, make clean riddance, spend, quite take away, waste. (New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary).

When I looked up the word Kalah (3515) on Bible hub there is no word “bride” included. 3616 kelal which means to complete, there is no “bride” included there either.

In looking in the Strong’s Concordance 3616, Kaleh comes from the root word 3617 which is from OT:3615; a completion; adverb, completely.

When we come to OT:3618 kallah (kal-law') which is pronounced differently. It says  this comes from the root OT:3634; a bride (as if perfect); hence, a son's wife: KJV-bride, daughter-in-law, spouse.

Yet when we look up 3634 kalal (kaw-lal'); it means  a primitive root; to complete:

There is no universe of meaning, nor do I see it fascinating…. I do not see what he is saying in this but then he also teaches The Word of God is the spouse of the Spirit. They’re married. They’ll never file for divorce. ” (Brian Simmons  An Interview With The Man Behind The Passion Translation, Welton Academy) I certainly do not see this either.

The Aramaic the word for “Finished” Ezra 6:14 “And they built and finished it.” OT:3635 kelal (Aramaic) (kel-al'); corresponding to OT:3634; to complete: (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary)

If he says it was in Aramaic then it is not the word bride.

What I found is that Aramaic in The Evangeliun of Eshu Meshika According to Yukhanan, Yeshua said, "Behold, it is finished." And he bowed his head and gave up his Spirit. The Original Aramaic New Testament in Plain English.

The Aramaic Peshitta says Ho Mashálam, Ho is an interjection like "hey" or "lo." Mashálam means "finished, done."

The word Bride in Hebrew is found in Isa.61:10. # 3618 kallah (kal-law'); is from the root OT:3634; a bride (as if perfect); hence, a son's wife. A word taken from a root word do not always have a correlation, or carry its meaning. It depends on the context it is used in.

The word bride is not Aramaic, but Hebrew, and it does not mean finished, anymore than finished in Hebrew means bride. To understand this mistake, one only has to substitute bride for finished in other passages.

For example, the same word is in Genesis 2:1 "Thus the heavens and the earth were FINISHED, and all the host of them."

Not: "Thus the heavens and the earth were BRIDE, and all the host of them.”  

Exod. 32:5 concluded-finished to make an end כַל

1 Kings 6:14-15 So Solomon built the temple and finished it.

Deut. 31:24 when Moses had completed writing the words of this law כְּכַלֹּות

However, there are other words for completed in the Old Testament: fulfilled / finished

Jer. 29:10 “After seventy years are completed at Babylon” OT:4390 or mala' (Est 7:5) (maw-law'); a primitive root, to fill or (intransitively) be full of, in a wide application (literally and figuratively): KJV-accomplish, confirm, + consecrate, be at an end, be expired, be fenced, fill, fulfil, (be, become, X draw, give in, go) full.”  

The word in Hebrew- Finished OT:8552 tamam (taw-mam'); a primitive root; to complete, in a good or a bad sense, literal, or figurative, transitive or intransitive

Translated from…?

In Simmon’s translation of Romans: Grace and Glory 2015, he says it was translated from the original Greek and Aramaic texts. Andrew Chapman asks, How can a single letter from Paul have both ‘original’ Greek texts and ‘original’ Aramaic texts? Surely he must have written Romans in either one language or the other? The Passion [Anti-]Translation: was Brian Simmons really translating from the Syriac Peshitta?

Let me make this clear since many do not comprehend the embellishments put forth. Paul wrote to the Gentiles (Romans) in Greek. The Gentiles did not speak Hebrew (or Aramaic) which was the language strictly among the Jews.  He would not write it in Aramaic because it would take years for them to learn a new language like this. Simmons is placating an audience of minimal knowledge. Furthermore, it bears repeating, there are no “originals,” which means the primary manuscript from which copies are made from.  Simmons is constantly presenting canards on his ability and knowledge.  And this certainly brings into question the NAR, who call themselves apostles and prophets (Simmons is named among them), they prove their lack of education and authenticity by allowing this (and other things) to be said without any correction.

Simmons tries to overlay his intended meaning to present a new application. In an interview, he doubles down on his interpretation of this word, more than the notes in his Bible.

What has surprised you as you’ve taken a fresh look at the New Testament?

“This has changed the lives of everyone I’ve shared it with. The last words of Jesus were not in Greek because he spoke Aramaic on the cross. The last word he spoke: “It is finished” or tetelestai in Greek is actually the Hebrew word kallah. Kallah is a homonym – has dual meanings. It can mean completed or finished. But what if for 2000 years we've been deprived of an alternative meaning for the final words of Jesus?” https://www.premierchristianity.com

Have we been deprived?  Get it! He is introducing what he has surmised the meaning to be. A conclusion from not doing a word for word translation. He says all the Greek and Hebrew Scholars must acknowledge Aramaic because Jesus spoke it, therefore he spoke “bride” from the cross. But He can’t prove it was spoken in Aramaic because he wasn’t there. Understand that this “new apostle of Bible translations” is telling us what the apostles wrote was not accurate in Greek, he is introducing accuracy, correcting them all.

As for his point of Aramaic over the Hebrew. 56 times in the gospels Jesus spoke the name Peter in the Hebrew, calling him Simon /Simon Peter, but only once did he call him in Aramaic Cephas (John 1:42).  

Let’s look at his spin on Scripture. What he cleverly has done is put the word it is finished elsewhere, where it is not in the Bible.

TPT Isa.44:23 Sing! Starry sky above, break loose with singing, for Yahweh has finished it!

The word Kalah is not in this passage for finished. No other translation has his wording.

NKJV Isa. 44:23 sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth

He subtly put this term elsewhere, TPT Ps. 22:31 His generation yet to be born will glorify him. And they will all declare, “It is finished!

I do not see the word Kalah in this passage either.

The KJV has “They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.”

Now what if we used his word “bride” For example: Starry sky above, break loose with singing, for Yahweh has “BRIDE,” make sense, no not at all.

Back to Jn.19:30, Brian Simmons is purposely changing the Word and its meaning at the point of the gospel being introduced, and that is no small matter to ignore. Every of the 7 statements from Jesus’ crucifixion are important but the last few explain in context what this about.

Luke 23:44 “Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

From the time the sins of mankind were laid upon him it was about the Father dealing with the issue of mans sin through his Son

Matt 27:46-47: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!”

John 19:30: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!"

What was accomplished? what was finished? The new covenant with with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah Jer. 31:31 ( see also Heb.8:8 - Rom 11)

Luke 23:46-47: “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'"

John 19:28 tetelestai (NT:4999). Perfect passive indicative of teleoo (NT:4999). See same form in John 19:30. As in John 13:1, where Jesus is fully conscious (knowing, eidoos (NT:1472) of the meaning of his atoning death. (from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Same word is used in Jn. 17:4 “I have finished the work.”

KJV Jn.17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”

TPT says “I have glorified you on the earth by faithfully doing everything you’ve told me to do.”

If Simmons were consistent, it would read, “I have bride the work.”

New Testament Greek- John 17:4 Finished- accomplished teleioosas (NT:4993). First aorist active participle of teleiooo (NT:4993), an old verb from teleios (NT:4991) (perfect). Used in John 4:34 by Jesus with to (NT:3543) ergon (NT:2011) as here. That was Christ's "food" brooma (NT:1023) and joy. Now as he faces death he has no sense of failure as some modern critics say, but rather fulness of attainment as in John 19:30 tetelestai (NT:4999). (from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Paul in 2 Tim 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.”  teteleka (NT:4999). Perfect active indicative of teleoo (NT:4999) (from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament)

teléō (from 5056) the root of the word is telos, "consummation, completion") – properly, to complete (consummate), i.e. finish (means "reaching the end (aim)." (a goal achieved, a consummation, a result attained) it means to bring something to a successful end to or to its intended or destined goal. It does not mean just to complete a task but to carry it out fully, to bring it to the finish or to perfection (not to bride).

The Greek word for finished is teleo. This specific word, tetelestai, is found twice in the entire New Testament, in John 19. John used the Greek language which is very expressive to make his point. That the old covenant was done away with because the new covenant was fulfilled (1 Cor. 3:11).  

Some say Jesus said this to his “bride” which introduces another problem, there was no bride yet, for there was no Church until Pentecost. Jesus paid the price for a bride to be purchased in the Jewish tradition, but this does make this word (finished) the word bride.

The word bride is mentioned once in the gospels by John explaining himself as the friend of the bridegroom who has the bride (Jn. 3:29). John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophets called himself a friend of the bridegroom he was not part of the Bride. John’s disciples are also called friends of the bridegroom Mt.9:15; Mk.2:19.

Rv. 21:9 The “bride, the Lamb's wife.” We are not married yet. The marriage takes place  Rv.19:7 in heaven.

We are engaged by being ‘sealed’ [aorist tense], this is spoken of when we receive the Spirit. The main Scripture that teaches this is Eph. 1:13-14: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

Sealed: Gr. Aurobon- a down payment like wedding ring- assuring we are engaged. In Biblical times a seal was attached to a letter or legal document to authenticate who it’s from, or ownership. In this we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and will be the bride at the wedding

p.2  Greek, Aramaic or Hebrew- What is written is what is meant



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