(pic credit: ©2017 crisbaj. Used with permission)


John 4:24… past AdoreTheLord blogs called out this Scripture as part of the ‘move of the Lord in our time’… as the Holy Ghost likes to do from time to time, certain Scriptures will come alive to lead the Church down a new and previously-unexplored road towards the ‘What’s Next’… so goes Church history…

After the Blog went up, there were a couple of email/messages affirming that, YES, ‘true worshippers’ are coming into greater focus throughout the mystical Body of Christ.

John 4:24… usual translational rendering goes, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth”.

A head-to-head comparison of the 38 most-used English translations of this verse show that 35 of them were very similar. Nearly half would render ‘God is Spirit’ (capitalized) while the 35 used ‘in spirit’ and ‘in truth’ (small case).

This distinction seems important to help answer a persistent question (esp. in the Blog responses): this ‘spirit and truth’ thing… what does that mean?

I found that many on-line Worship blogs usually fill in the answer for this question as Matthew 22:37-Mark 12:30-Luke 10:27 passage drawn from the Command of Deuteronomy 11:13…

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

(btw, if the Scriptures say something in multiple places, take note!)

For ‘worship leaders’, this was held up as a metric for approaching their skill-set related to congregations…

Well, good answer, but… looking at John 4:24, and the 3 ‘outlier’ translations, we began to ask deeper questions.

After reading some commentaries which questioned the reasons some translations landed their final rendering as ‘in spirit and in truth’, I began to wonder: do these usages lend to a certain interpretation or understanding of the passage that is different than the Gospel writer meant?

Some commentators thought so…

Then there is the work of the New International working group…

Questions, questions, and… well, we thought good answers are in order, so we’re launching a dig-out search with the following 4 question-areas:

  [1] What do the scholarly Scriptural Interlinear translations and Expository resources have to say about this passage? [see the Blog part 2]

  {2} Through the scholarly work, would there be English constructs of the passage that better convey the subtle meanings?

  [3] What is the blog-o-sphere bench-mark ‘current meaning’ or understanding of this John 4 ‘spirit and truth’?

  [4] How does this ‘verse’ link together with the overall passage… the verses before and after… is there a context to be captured here?


Nothing more fun than a scholarly Scriptural search…

A peek at part of our early findings:  “in [the] Spirit and in [the] Truth” may be a worthy ‘amplified translation’ of John 4:24b…


written by crisbaj

© 2017 by crisbaj/  All rights reserved.

All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.

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