• The Popular Mis-use of the Word "Christ"

    The Popular Mis-use of the Word "Christ"

    by Arnold Kennedy

    It is important to note the New Age with its theosophy uses the words, Father, Mother, Spirit, Lord, Satan, Jesus, and particularly the word "christ." In popular Christian preaching, writing and radio, the word "christ" is used more and more in the New Age fashion as a name in the place of "Jesus." Often teachers and writers make direct transposition of "Jesus" to "Christ" when scripture verses are quoted. The word "Christ" is popularly being used in preaching, books and on radio as a name in a way that is often scripturally invalid. This is partly due to newer so-called translations. "Christ" in scripture may or may not relate to a person, but it is not a name.

    In order to bring the Biblical position out it is necessary to be a little technical and say that there are four main forms of the Greek word that is commonly presented as "Christ." These four forms are 'christos', 'christo', 'christon,' and 'christou,' being the nominative, dative, accusative and genitive cases in Greek. There are also other grammatical forms which modify these. These forms and modifications have not been translated; rather they have just been transliterated, and thus create a problem.

    To illustrate the misuse, we might say, "A tin whistle is made of tin and therefore a fog horn must be made of fog." The false assumption is obvious. If "tin" and "fog" were the different forms of the word 'christ' we can then see that we must wrest scripture if we were to use them either as being both nouns or both adjectives. In many of the about 217 out of 555 times where "christ" is found without a "Jesus" or a "Lord" the word is a verbal adjective. When used as a adjective "christ" is a characteristic of the associated noun [as "canned" in "canned carrots," carrots being the noun]. Also, it is necessary to consider whether the associated verbs are active or passive. To place a capital "C" in "christ" in some places is deceptive mis-translating and the use of the word deceptively changes the meaning of scripture. For example, in Galatians 3:16, commentaries have copied each other for centuries with a false explanation to try to say Paul did not mean what he said. What Paul said really is, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is anointed"—[not "Christ"]. (The "one" here is Isaac, i.e. "In Isaac shall thy seed be called" [Rom. 9:7 and Heb 11:18]).

    It is popular to use the verbal adjective "Christ" as name or a noun and it is used to replace the words, "Lord Jesus Christ" and "Jesus Christ" where these are used in scripture. In the words, "His name shall be called Jesus for He shall save his people from their sins" we are told what His name is. "Jesus Christ" means "Jesus the anointed or consecrated One." What our translators do not make clear is whether or not there is the definite article 'the' before the word "christ." This omission came from the Latin Vulgate.

    Frequently we hear things like "receiving Christ" and "making a decision for Christ" as if "Christ" is a name, something as if it were a surname for Jesus. In this way there is increasing conforming to the New Age usage and possible association with the New Age christ. It is Jesus who must be received as Saviour. It is at the name of Jesus to whom every knee will have to bow. "His name shall be called Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins." [Matt. 1:21]. (Note here that these Israelites being addressed were God's people before they were saved, something popular doctrine refuses to admit).

    Matthew 1:16 does read, "... Mary, of whom was born Jesus who was called Christ." In these verses we have "called" which might look in English as being from a common origin, but the first is kaleo which means to name by name, and the second is lego which means to declare. Here Jesus was declared to be the anointed [christ] ONE. So, "Christ" may be a title, and not a name. "Christ" as in "Jesus Christ" is an appellation which distinguishes Jesus from anyone else having the same name—Jesus. Jesus as "The Christ" is definitive. There are places in the epistles where "christ" does not apply to the person of Jesus, and as soon as we make a misapplication, we "have another Jesus" and another doctrine. If we make "Jesus Christ" and "Christ Jesus" mean the same, then we have to watch that we do not have "another Jesus" and to teach "another gospel"—[2 Cor. 11:4, Gal. 1:16]—with its "Let him be accursed" who does this.

    The word "christ" does not necessarily have any connection with salvation or regeneration in the popular acceptance. It has reference to anointing or consecration of "something" which may or may not be an individual. The meaning is, "to appoint, consecrate or to separate by anointing." Jesus was consecrated by Holy Spirit [power] at His baptism—[John 1:32-34] and this is confirmed in Luke 4:18 and Acts 10:38].

    When Paul speaks of "another Jesus" this must be considered. They are the wrong ones and the individual use of the word "christ" does not give identification. King Saul was the Lord's anointed. The anti-christ has the meaning, "something over against"—"something just like it as an imitation." ["something in the place of"]. God does grant power and authority to personages or governments for His purposes. This does not mean to say that God approves of them or that they are godly, but they may be "the powers that be ordained of God." [Rom. 13:1-6]. A wicked man or demonic man may receive permissive power as the Lord's anointed [christ] for destruction or correction. King Cyrus is described as, "My anointed one," but in no way could he be Jesus.

    Comparing the Old Testament with the New

    The Old Testament equivalent of "christ" is "massiach." Out of the 39 times it occurs it is used of the Lord Jesus, but only in two chapters of the entire Bible is it translated as 'Messiah.' The way "Messiah" is popularly used gives the impression that it is found in many places through the Bible. When used as an adjective, the adjective describes what in particular is anointed. The anointing with oil was used in connection with consecrating things and people to God. It was required for all kings and priests—and was a requirement of office. Israel in the Old Testament was stated to be a "Kingdom of Priests" [Ex 19:6] and a holy [separate] nation unto God. The same language is used to the same people in the New Testament where Peter speaks of A CHOSEN GENERATION [GENOS = RACE] and a "holy" and "royal" [or kingly] priesthood [1 Pet. 2:5-9]. This race is the same anointed race we find in the Old Testament. As John says, it is an anointing that is received from the Holy One and which remains in God's chosen race (Caucasian) and which enables them to be taught [1 John 2:20-27]. Churches will not accept this singular race concept of Scripture.

    Note the tenses in the following verses:

    1. "But ye HAVE an unction from the Holy One" [1 Jn. 2:20].

    2. "NOW He that establishes us with you is Christ AND HATH ANOINTED US is God" [2 Cor. 1:21]. (The one but stabilising us together with you into anointing and having anointed us is God).

    3. "Know ye not that ye ARE the temple of God, and the Spirit of God DWELLS in you" [l Cor. 3:16].

    4. "Whereby ye ARE sealed unto the day of redemption" [Eph. 4:30].

    This is why Paul could tell us that, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we ARE the children of God" [Rom 8:16]. The word here for children is 'teknon' and not 'huios' so the "we" relates to people who are born that way at natural conception. These "children" have not yet been "adopted" or placed in the position as "sons."

    Some Examples of the Wrong Use of the Word "Christ"

    ONE: In 1 Cor. 14:4 we find the words, "They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." [anointed]. Our translators have put capital letters in Rock and Christ to create a belief. But "rock is in the feminine form. Jesus and Peter were not feminine and neither is the rock upon which Jesus builds His ecclesia! Jesus is the Cornerstone and the foundation is the Prophets and the Apostles. For more than one reason "christ" cannot possibly mean "Jesus" here in the New Testament.

    TWO: We read in Heb. 11:26 that Moses esteemed the reproaches of "Christ" [anointing] greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. "Christ" here in the New Testament could not mean "Jesus" as Jesus had not been incarnated with that name at the time Moses lived! We cannot say that Moses must have received Jesus [in the popular usage] "into his heart."

    THREE: When Jesus said, "Many shall come from the East and the West and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven" [Matt. 8:11], then we make Jesus to be wrong if "in Christ" means those who believe in Jesus. Yet the churches insist that "in Christ" means those who believe in Jesus and that if we are not "in Christ" then we cannot be raised from the dead. In what way could Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be "in Jesus" since they lived long before Jesus was incarnated? Look at this and see that "in christ" has a different meaning. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were in the anointing. Isaac and Jacob were partakers of the Spirit anointing [Christ] which had been renewed in Abraham and Sarah. Were Isaac and Jacob "born again" or "born from above"? Jesus said, "Ye must be born again = anothen = from above/origin." It was Nicodemus who said "again = deuteros meaning a second time, not Jesus. We need to know these things just like Nicodemus needed to know them! What we need to know is that the time of being born [gennao] from above, or water and spirit, is at the time of natural birth. There are the ones who have a capacity to "hear" and to "see" the Kingdom of God, and have opportunity to respond. The popular churches completely ignore the tense of this passage to maintain a false doctrine.

    FOUR: Using the A.V. we find a frequent use of "Christ" in 1 Cor. 15:12-23. In verse 18 if we make "Christ" mean "Jesus," then we might say, "Those having fallen asleep in Jesus are perished." This then immediately contradicts verse 12 which would then say that when Jesus was raised from among the dead, all the others remained behind. This in turn would mean that dead people cannot be "in Jesus" at any time or in any manner!

    FIVE: We find the word "Christ" untranslated in a number of places in the New Testament when quoting the Old Testament. For example, in Psalm 2:2 we find the nations taking counsel against the Lord and His anointed people [plural]. In the N.T. "His anointed" is transliterated as "His Christ" [Acts 4:26]. Here the plural people [in Hebrew] are twisted to appear to mean Jesus in a singular sense. But the people being opposed were the Israelite apostles and the Israelite disciples. There is an "and" in both verses. Psalm 2 terminates with the final triumph of both Jesus and those of His people (only) who put their trust in Him.

    SIX: Look at these two verses: Acts 4:26-27 "The kings of the earth and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ, for of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the nations, and the people of Israel were gathered together."

    Now we have different parties, the "Lord," and "his christ," and "thy holy child Jesus. This is a quote from Psalm 2:2, where it says "his anointed" instead of "his christ." Note: the "people [laos] of Israel" here are not teknon or huios of Israel, that is they included the mixed multitude among Israel. When we translate the form of "Christos" properly when it is an adjective, [it means a consecrated, or anointed something or people], all these scriptures make immediate sense and they become consistent. As soon as consecrated people [christ] are somehow transferred to the person of Jesus, then the meaning is lost. Worse than that, it is changed to error.

    "Christos" without "Iesou"

    [i.e., "Christ" without "Jesus"].

    Where we find "Christ" without "Lord" or "Jesus" it helps to look at the translation being aware of the problem and each time seeing if "Christ" means:
    [a] "The consecrated or anointed One", or [b] "The consecrated or anointed People", or [c] A consecrated or anointed something or other party or group—in each context. This does matter!
    Sometimes "Christos" is used on its own, and at times it is combined with "Jesus" and "Lord." To say that the words are always interchangeable is a presumption and an untruth. But churches teach the presumption, even if it may create error. A reading of Bible translations does not make clear the differences between:
    2.Christ Jesus.
    3.Jesus Christ.
    4.The Lord Jesus Christ.

    The original Bible translators/authors had reasons for making such separations! We have to admit there must be a reason why the Apostle Paul chose to leave "Iesou" [Jesus] out in some passages whereas he chose to put it in in others, and why he used all the above variations which have quite different meanings.

    Critical Doctrines

    It has been pointed out that the word "christ" is sometimes an adjective, and being so there is no justification for taking this as a noun in these contexts or where the grammar does not permit it. This in turn has great doctrinal bearing. This may be why the word "christ" is not translated even in recent translations. The are too difficult for traditional doctrine!

    In Galatians 3:14-29 we find "Jesus Christ," "Christ Jesus," "Christ," and "Christ's". Why these variations? R. N. Phillips of Australia translates part of Galatians 3:26-29 separating these words:
    "Verse 26, For ye are all Sons of God through faith, in an anointed [people] of [belonging to] Jesus." [Xristo is representing a noun in this phrase]. Verse 29 And if ye belong to an anointed [people] then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise." Now before anybody rises up in wrath and indignation, let me agree at once that 'Iesou' is the same for the Dative form as for the Genitive form, so 'en xristo Iesou' has two possible translations: 1. In an anounted [one] Jesus ... [which simply means Jesus "Christ"]. 2. In an anounted [people] of [belonging to] Jesus."
    Then Mr Phillips asks what excuse there might be for not translating the word Xristo/s/ou, pointing out that a transliterated word means nothing in another language. He also points out that checking this with a concordance will only repeat the errors of the translators, and I might add, many commentators.

    If we want to keep on choosing a translation which is not in context, or omit translating words to prove a point then we must be making a mistake. This is trying to make the verse fit the theory! One of the reasons as to why the latter translation is not acceptable was given to the author by a Greek "expert" as being, "because the Gentiles are not Israelites." But, the so-called Gentiles that the Apostle Paul addressed in scripture were Israelites of the dispersion [e.g. 1 Cor. 10:1-5 where these brethren of the same kin had 'fathers' who were all baptised unto Moses and went through the Red Sea]. Those so-called "Gentiles" could be nothing but Israelites. Thus the latter translation must be right in this context. It is understandable why the first translation is accepted almost universally. Firstly, it is because of the misuse of the un-translated word "Gentile." Note well that the word translated as "Gentiles" from both Hebrew and Greek is also used of Israelites. Secondly because the word "christ" has been transliterated or made always to mean "Jesus Christ," by translators from early times. These are the problem. Other problems follow on from this. A look at the original covenant will help to confirm what the New Testament is fulfilling.

    Who Are the Seed to Whom the Original Covenant Was Made?

    Addressing Abraham, God says, Gen. 17:7, "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a god unto thee, and to thy seed after thee."

    Here we have to note some important things. If Jesus is the "one seed," then "ALL GENERATIONS" between Abraham and Jesus have been dis-inherited from the covenant! If we like to say that this promise was made only to Abraham and to "Christ," then it could not have been also confirmed to Isaac and Jacob and their descendants. But it was in fact confirmed to Isaac and Jacob; thus it includes those living between Abraham and Jesus.

    Rom. 15:8, "For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcision concerning God's truth, in order to confirm the promises made to the fathers."

    The "fathers" (of Israel) cannot be multicultural! Scripture says the promise was made with "The Fathers" and not "Christ" [as a person]. We are told that Jesus came to confirm the promises made to Himself, are we? So we can immediately see a connection between "christ" [with a small "c"] and "The Fathers." The connection is NOT with "Christ"—[in the way it is commonly taken to mean Jesus]. Nowehere do we find any promise in the Old Testament making the covenant with Jesus as The Christ. So, the fulfillment must be taken the way scripture gives. It is fulfilled in the seed of the Fathers. Looking again at Galatians 3:16, "Now unto Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed which is christ." We can see by this statement that there is a limitation of the promise to just two parties, Abraham and "christ." Here we have to ask a very simple question, and that is, "If 'christ' means 'Christ,' would God then be making a promise to Himself because The Christ is God manifest in the flesh?"

    The Nestle-Aland/UBS/Westcott and Hort Greek Texts provide the basis of translations such as the NIV, NASB, Living Bible, NAB, NKJV, RSV, GNB, Phillips, NW, NJ, and NC. Westcott and Hort are said to have been spiritualists and various editors of many versions since the KJV were and are among those who would deny the "it is finished" of Jesus. There are demonstrable lies in their introductions and notes about manuscripts. There are lexicons by fellow-travellers who are anything but godly. Thayer, for instance was a Unitarian. Kittle was Hitler's mate. The so-called "New" Greek Texts have provided a blueprint for the antichrist's one-world religion. This is a goal of the New Age movement where the "Christ" of the Bible [majority texts] are made to conform to the multicultural "christ" of the New Age. The NIV, for instance, omits "christ" in places, e.g. Acts 16:31, Acts 20:21, 1 Cor. 5:4, 1 Cor. 16:13, 2 Thess. 1:8, etc. The Lord Jesus is omitted in 2 Tim. 4:22, or the Lord Jesus Christ is omitted in Eph. 3:14, etc. The Lord is omitted in 2 Tim. 4:1, Titus 1:4 etc. There is no improvement in later translations and modern language versions, the trend being towards more and more New Age semantics. This in turn enables more and more people to be led astray into believing the "Christ" of the Bible is the same as the "Christ" of the New Age. Now New-Agers can say, "See, there it is in the Bible," that is, the New Age doctrine is also found in the corrupted modern versions and paraphrases. In Paul's day he had to point out this error, so it is nothing new.
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