• By Pastor Boffey
  • on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
John 19:19-20 (19) And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. (20) This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. My observations today from this text are based upon my conviction that the King James Version of the Bible (known also as the Authorized Version of 1611) is the preserved, inspired Scripture in English. I first note that today's text shows that the very same message was able to be expressed in multiple languages. Now if a lowly human governor (Pilate) can express the same message in more than one language, why should it be thought a thing incredible that the Almighty God could do likewise? This, of course, was amply demonstrated on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost caused His word to be expressed in multiple languages simultaneously (ACT 2:4-11). There were mockers there on that day who could not admit to the obvious and so said of the apostles, “...These men are full of new wine...” (ACT 2:13). The mockery of God's power to translate His own word as He sees fit continues to this day by wise fools who may or may not themselves be full of new wine but certainly are full of something. Note how the Spirit of God presents Pilate's superscription (LUK 23:38) in upper-case letters, “... JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Writing to someone in “all caps” is considered bad form today, particularly in electronic communications. It is usually considered shouting. A survey would reveal that the use of caps in words or phrases is very sparse in Scripture but there are some noteworthy examples that come to mind, and there is an interesting association between them. Mind, though, that the following observations are not to be construed as a method of arriving at doctrinal truth which is rather to be determined by the definitions and grammar of the words of Scripture. The following is just interesting: 1. All four gospels present Pilate's superscription in caps (MAT 27:37; MAR 15:26; LUK 23:38; JOH 19:19). The four gospels are not synonymous in every detail but they are on this point. 2. In 6412 places, “LORD” translates the Hebrew “Jehovah” (Strong's #3068) which means, “the self-Existent or eternal” That same Hebrew word is also translated “LORD'S” 108 times, and “GOD” 4 times, and “JEHOVAH” 4 times. It is always translated in upper-case words. 3. When the LORD was instructing Moses as to how He should be presented to the Israelites, He told Moses to tell them that His name was “I AM THAT I AM” and “I AM” (EXO 3:14). 4. When God announced the certain fall of Babylon, He did so by writing on the wall in caps, “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (DAN 5:25). God divinely directed the overthrow that very night (DAN 5:30-31). 5. A creepy religious system which prostitutes itself to political power was later depicted as a whore upon whose forehead “...was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (REV 17:5). Like old Babylon, it also meets with a divinely directed overthrow (REV 18:1-24). 6. The prophet Zechariah twice referred to the coming Messiah as the “BRANCH” (ZEC 3:8; ZEC 6:12), the latter introducing Messiah's kingship, “...he shall be a priest upon his throne...” (ZEC 6:13). Strung together here is the story of the ages in caps. The LORD JEHOVAH became a man, JESUS OF NAZARETH (“...God was manifest in the flesh...” 1TI 3:16) Who identified Himself as the “I AM” (JOH 8:58). He was the prophesied KING OF THE JEWS, the BRANCH of David (ZEC 6:12-13 c/w JER 33:15-18) Who died, was buried and rose again that He might be “...crowned with glory and honour...” (HEB 2:9). The opposition powers of political and spiritual darkness denoted by BABYLON have a certain divinely directed demise foretold as clearly as the handwriting upon the wall in Daniel's day, for one day heaven will open and the Faithful and True Word of God will come to destroy them (REV 19:11-15), “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (REV 19:16). If using caps is shouting, their curious usage in Scripture perhaps is setting forth something worth shouting about: JESUS IS KING! Pilate had it right.

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The Cincinnati Church is an historic baptist church located in Cincinnati, OH.