Blasphemy in the Bible
Matthew 12:31 -
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men.
The blasphemy case against the little girl in Pakistan has caught everyone's attention. It was refreshing to hear she was given bail yesterday. Even though they got the person who framed her yet she was kept in jail, that too a small girl like her, this made everyone to take note of the happenings in Pakistan.
In today's message the Lord wants us to understand what blasphemy means and what the Bible have to say about it.
Blasphemy in simple words is opposite to praise and directed towards God. We cannot blasphemy a person for that would be called 'cursing' and not 'blasphemy', the word blasphemy is solely related to God. When we praise Him we lift His Name up and glorify Him and blasphemy means doing the opposite of it.
The word translated as blasphemy in the Old Testament is the word 'naqab' and in the New Testament is the Greek word 'blasphemia'.
Hebrew Strong number <05344> naqab pronounced naw-kab'
The same word is translated in the Bible as - curse 6 times, expressed 6 times, blaspheme 3 times, bore 2 times, name 2 times, pierce 2 times, Appoint 1 times, holes 1 times, pierce through 1 times, strike through 1 times; total 25 times.
Greek Strong number <988> blasphemia pronounced blas-fay-me'-ah
The same word is translated in the Bible as - blasphemy 16 times, railing 2 times, evil speaking 1 times; total 19 times.
It is interesting to note in Hebrew unlike in Greek it does not only reflect only vocal abuse but also physical action.
When we discuss on this topic with Muslims they are fast to point out that the Bible in the Old Testament as in Leviticus 24:13-16 states a person needs to be stoned if found guilty of blasphemy. They also point to incidents in the Bible where the Israelites and Jews did stone people for blasphemy. Christians without knowledge on this matter get into fix to answer them.
Like in blasphemy and other cases where the Lord instructed that a person be stoned to death we see Jesus' action did not tally with the understanding of the Israelites or Jews. We see Jesus not only did not stone the women condemned of adultery but saved her from getting stoned by others. Did Jesus break God's Law? If He did He would have been a sinner, which He was not. So the question comes what did Jesus understand of the Law which the Jews did not?
If we inspect the scripture in depth, it does talk of the person found guilty of the crime to be stoned and none can deny that. But the catch comes on the conditions set for stoning that person; the person needs to be taken 'without the camp'. It is these words that the Jews did not understand which Jesus did. The Jews were people not led by the Spirit of God and people of the flesh so for them without the camp meant outside the town or city. But when God said it, it did not mean outside the town.
When Jesus died it is written He died without the camp it meant He died among sinners. God's Word is Spirit and Truth and should be understood in Spirit and spiritual Truth. If without the camp meant outside the town then in the incident during the times of Moses when there was sin in the camp and the Tabernacle was put outside the camp and when the 70 elders started prophesying like Moses when the Spirit on him was put on them, in that incident God stands breaking His own rules for 2 inside the camp also prophesied.
Yes people who are accused of blasphemy will; be stoned to death but only outside the camp, when we stand before the Throne of Judgment on the Judgment Day.
In today's message the Lord is also telling us by His sacrifice He has even forgiving the sin of blasphemy, provided it is not against His Spirit. It is only when we realize the relationship between the Godhead we will know why blasphemy against the Father or Son are forgiven but not against the Spirit.
God is Spirit and our physical actions do not hurt Him but our words do. The Hebrew language put our abusive words against God are like stone cast at Him. Let us be careful what we speak, if we are not glorifying or praising His Name let us kept our mouths shut and not take His Name in vain, especially of His Holy Spirit.
Even if any person by mistake tears the Bible it is not blasphemy but when someone by thoughts or vocal words speaks against God, abuses, mocks or makes fun of Him, His Word or His work it is blasphemy.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, help us to take control of our tongue and our mind that we may not blasphemy You even when we are not alert. Lord, we ask You to forgive us for the times we have out of fun spoken against your Word or the work among your people. Help us to always be alert in spirit and sober in the flesh...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.
16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.
1 Kings 21:9-11
9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:
10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.
Acts 6:9-13, 57-60
9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.
12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,
13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Leviticus 20:10 - And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
John 5:22 - For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
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