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Excerpt of Chapter 26 of Jesus' Words on Salvation:

 

John 3:16 Is About Obedience to Jesus Not Faith in Facts About Events in Jesus' Life as Taught in 1 Cor. 15:1-4.

 

Introduction.

 

When the English translations of the Greek New Testament were made in the 1526-1611 period, the “difficult Greek in which the New Testament is written...still held mysteries for” English scholars. (Nicolson: 224.)

 

One of those mysteries was the Greek word pisteuo in John 3:16. In over 200 instances of pisteuo in the New Testament, not once did the King James Bible render it as obey. (See Strong’s Concordance.) However, scholars now realize obey was a common meaning of pisteuo in ancient Greek. Obey certainly was the meaning of pisteuo in John 3:36 (See Part 2, JWOS: 448). Yet, this obedience-salvation formula is identically repeated in John 3:16.

 

Besides John 3:36 helping, one can more easily accept pisteuo means obeys in John 3:16 when one looks at Apostle John’s many quotes of Jesus about obedience.

 

Jesus in John 8:51 says “whoever keeps on obeying (tereo) My Teaching should never ever die.” (For in depth discussion, see John 8:51 - Obedience Saves.)

 

In John 15:1-10, Jesus says a “branch in me” that does not “bear fruit” is “taken away,” “cut off from the vine,” thrown “outside and burned.” (For in depth discussion, see Metaphor of the Vine.)  

 

John likewise quoted Jesus saying in total accord:

 

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good [things], unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil [things], unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29 KJV).

 

(For full discussion, Those Who Have Done Good Things Are Resurrected in html or PDF.)

We saw again that Apostle John was told that those who obey the commandments (plural) have the right to the tree of life. (Rev. 22:14.) John writes:

 

Happy [are] the ones doing His commandments, so that their right will be to the tree of life, and they shall enter by the gates into the city. (Rev 22:14)(ALT)(GSB)4

 

For further discussion, Who Has The Right to the Tree of Life.

 

We also saw Apostle John writing Jesus’ words to the Sardisian Christians. They are dead due to having “incomplete works.” They can prevent the Spirit leaving by repenting and obeying. Through John’s pen, Jesus tells them:

 

And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: ‘These [things] says the One having the seven spirits of God and the seven stars [i.e., Jesus is speaking]: I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and you are dead.

(2) ‘Become watching [fig., Wake up], and strengthen the rest which you were about to be throwing out, for I have not found your works having been completed before My God. (3) Therefore, be remembering how you have received, and be keeping [tereo, obey] it, and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you shall by no means know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev 3:1-3 ALT)(Wycliff "works...full")5

For a complete discussion, see Incomplete & Lukewarm Works.

 

John another time relays Jesus as saying that lukewarm works by Christians at Laodicea will cause Jesus to spew them out of His mouth.

 

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Rev 3:15-16 KJV.)

 

Finally, we saw among the many verses that tied eternal life (zoe ainon) to obedience and works was the following words of Jesus recorded by Apostle John in his Gospel:

 

He that loveth his life loseth it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (26) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will the Father honor. (John 12:25-26 ASV.)

 

These passages from the writings of John quoting Jesus are but echoes of what we find in Matthew, Luke and Mark. John is repeatedly emphasizing themes of obedience.

 

Hence, besides John 3:36, these passages from John make the proposed translation of John 3:16 as about obedience appear far more sensible than translation tradition would suggest.

 

This change, incidentally, will unite what scholars call the Synoptic-Jesus with the Johannine Jesus. It turns out there are no separate portrayals of Jesus in the mind of Matthew-Mark-Luke versus the mind of John. Rather, the translators have improperly given Jesus two doctrines and two personalities by erroneously translating John 3:16 in a manner which suits cheap grace doctrine to leave uncorrected even afer scholarship improved and knew John 3:16 was about obedience.

 

However, we shall see that the leading evangelical scholars who dared write on this question begrudgingly or with coyness admit pisteuo means obey in John 3:16. It is only the translators who, for some inexplicable reason, continue to hesitate to make this now compellingly-obvious correction.

 

For further information, see our video on YouTube -- John 3:16 Should be Translated as "keeps on obeying" Jesus Saves.