Jesus Is, Was, and Is To Come
So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful.” Jude 1:5 NLT
This is a most interesting verse of scripture. Not long ago, I was reading this passage and, on that day, it jumped off the page at me. I, for many years, have read the KJV (King James Version) as my regular, and preferred, translation of the Bible. In fact, I have spent years memorizing scripture from the KJV. It's my favorite translation to quote. It's a literary masterpiece. On this day, however, I was reading this scripture in the NLT (New Living Translation). The word "Jesus" jumped out at me like a pressed spring that had been suddenly released. Immediately, I found myself analyzing the text with scrutiny that I, previously, had not. I questioned the use of the name of Jesus in reference to the children of Israel and their Exodus from Egypt. This was intriguing. I am a firm believer in the Deity of Jesus Christ. This wasn't what made me question this text. I simply had never seen this verse in that light. As I examined the various translations, it became extraordinarily clear that this rendering was spot on. For years, I have listened to the likes of Charles (Chuck) Swindoll. His national radio broadcast - "Insight For Living" airs on approximately 2000 radio stations around the world in multiple languages. In the 1990's, I learned that his personal preferred translation of the English Scriptures was the NASB (New American Standard). In 1994, Chuck became the president of Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. He now serves as it's Chancellor. With the confidence that I have in such a scholarly, stellar shepherd, I have, for a few decades now, respected the NASB as a reliable translation. With this in mind, I often parallel my Bible reading and study with the NASB and the NLT (New Living Translation). My recent research on Chuck has gleaned that he also now prefers the NLT. I say all of that to bring credibility to the references I make daily to these translations. I realize that some of you are staunch in your translation position. I respect your personal views on this and don't intend to insinuate anything other than "rightly dividing" the biblical context of any passage. I came up among the KJV 1611 ranks. I was reared in those Independent, Fundamental churches. I have spent the last 36 years of my life in biblical learning. No, I haven't "arrived"! I am still learning and will continue to do so until Christ returns. However, I am a "staunch" researcher of biblical truth. I am pursuing God and His heart!!
Looking at the various translations of Jude 5, we can conclude that "Jesus" is the correct usage of the original manuscripts intent. Coupled with the previous verse (Jude 4) we can accurately place the context. Jude refers, in verse 4, to false teachers denying the Lordship of Christ. This fits, exactly and precisely with verse 5. Together, they make an absolute statement of Jesus pre-incarnate Deity and His overseeing Omnipotence in the time of the Exodus. In the YouVersion Bible app on my phone, the NASB has a footnote attached to the phrase "the Lord". The footnote indicates that "two early manuscripts read Jesus". The NIV (New International Version) footnote says "some manuscripts read Jesus". The AMP (Amplified Bible) footnote says "two early manuscripts read Jesus". The HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) footnote reads "Jesus/Joshua, God Christ". The transliteration of the Greek (the original manuscript language of the New Testament)word for Jesus is "Iesous". We get our English word "Jesus" from this. The Hebrew name for Jesus is "Yeshua" which is a common alternative form of "Yehoshua" - "Joshua". His name means "Jehovah is Salvation". Jesus Is, Was, and Is To Come!!! The late Dr. S.M. Lockridge said this: "Jesus has been is, is is, and always will be is. You can't keep your verbs in the proper tense when talking about Him." Just as in the days of Jude, we must, in our day, adamantly defend the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 KJV (Jesus speaking - check in the red letter edition of the Bible).
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Rev. Curtis Norris