Saturday, September 07, 2019

I can't do all things through Christ ..but I can delete two letters and lose a game

Can I fly?

Can I win every game and pass every test?

Philippians 4:10 says I can do all things through Christ, right?

No, that's just "the American dream on steroids," as Kyle Hatfield concludes.

And as Inigo  Montoya concludes:

This verse may be

                              the most dangerous of all  the "verse out of context" fails.

(Well, next to the infamous "God will never give you more than you can handle"
 trope that people think is in the Bible, but isn't.  See  "God will ALWAYS give you more than you can handle"),

Reading in context (and contexture) easily solves the obvious problem of the verse "not working":

1. Note the context. The verse is framed (before and after) with an inclusio  about the offering the Philippians have taken for Paul, and how other churches not taking one, and both being OK.

2)The whole topic is clearly learning to be content (financially) no matter the circumstance (even when people don't support hum financially).  Nothing even close to a motivational "I can pass this hard test".

3)Grammatically and logically, the "I can do all things" is connected to "being content."  So much so that some translations style it "I can do all these things through Christ."( Douay-Rheims Bible) ,What things?  Being content/  Not all things...but all things related to be content..even when I'm poor or starving.

Isn't  the way almost everyone interprets this verse  almost the exact opposite of what it says/means.
Even when i DON'T win the game, pass the test, I can still be content..even though there are things I CAN'T DO......???


The New  (2011) NIV Translation nails it by just deleting two letters from THINGS"...IT'S NOW "THIS".

Bye, N and G.  You have  (not) served us well.

Philippians 4:10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

For some good links on this, see 

and Craig Keener:
Afootball player at a Christian college approached his Bible professor, greatly troubled. His coach had encouraged the team that they could “do all things through Christ who strengthens” them, citing Philippians 4:13. Yet the team had lost a few games, and the student was unable to fathom why his team was not always winning, since they “could do all things through Christ.” The problem, of course, is not with the text, but with the view that the player and apparently his coach had read into the verse. The football player was assuming that Paul had in view matters like winning football games.
Thanking the Philippians for sending him a love-gift (4:10, 14), Paul noted that he had learned contentment with both little and with much (4:12); he could do all things through Christ (4:13). In this context, he is saying that by Christ’s strength he could rejoice whether he had much or little. Today we should learn to rejoice in whatever our situation, knowing that Christ strengthens us to endure: whether persecution, ridicule, or even losing a football game.  link
Or watch him at 3:33 here:
Also,Monty Waldron writes for Athletes in Action: "Paul’s words are handled almost superstitiously—a spiritual rabbit’s foot—inscribed on skin or apparel with hopes of Divine favor. With the best of intentions, this phrase is rehearsed as an assurance of God’s enablement for personal pursuits..If this is a favorite of yours, hang with me—its meaning is actually better than most athletes realize." 

Oh, and Tim Tebow doesn't have verseitis:
"A lot of people know Philippians 4:13 -- 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' -- but a lot of people don't interpret that verse the right way. Most people think it means I can do anything ...on the football field, or I can make a lot of money. But that's not exactly what it's talking about there. It's [saying] I can be content with anything."-Tim Tebow, see 

Philippians 4:13 | What thing can Christ strengthen us to do?

Of course, don't get me started. On related matters;

11)Don't get me started on Jeremiah 29:11..


     12) the individual Christian wearing spiritual armor

               13)the "fruitS of the Spirit"

  14)Jesus being literally forsaken by God because
 "God can't look at us, he can                      only look at Jesus..."

                                                            15) "Christians are sinners, not saints"