Friday, February 09, 2018

Give me your Puzzling Passages (modified)

I'd like to start a new collection: Puzzling Scripture. Submit your passages that, for you, resist a satisfactory explanation.

Of course, there are likely many such passages. However, if I had to pick just one, I think it'd be:
16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. (1 John 5:16-17)
No matter how many commentaries I read, or study-bible footnotes, I have yet to come across a parsing of this passage that smells right. For example, Matthew Henry, whom I find consistently reliable and understandable, writes, concerning this passage:
There is a sin unto death (v. 16), and there is a sin not unto death, v. 17. (1.) There is a sin unto death. All sin, as to the merit and legal sentence of it, is unto death. The wages of sin is death; and cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them, (Gal. 3:10). But there is a sin unto death in opposition to such sin as is here said not to be unto death. There is therefore, (2.) A sin not unto death. This surely must include all such sin as by divine or human constitution may consist with life; in the human constitution with temporal or corporal life, in the divine constitution with corporal or with spiritual evangelical life.
Say what?

Feel free to offer an explanation of this passage—but the main point for this post is to encourage you to submit your favorite puzzling scripture.


  1. How about John 14:12-14 --
    "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

    1. Yeah-- that's a puzzler indeed.

    2. I suggest that the Lord Jesus fills out the details of Joh. 14:12-14 with Joh 15:7. "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

  2. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? (1 Corinthians 15:29)