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Misleading through ecumenical interpretation John 12:3



A striking example of misleading believers based on ecumenical interpretations is provided in John 12:3. The anointing of the feet of Jesus Christ by a sinner, interpreted by the offspring of “theology”.

Young theologians and their perspectives

The example of John 12:3 shows how easy it is to obscure the actual statements of biblical verses and impose your own interpretation on top of them. Young “young theologians” and graduates of more renowned educational institutions, such as in Saxony-Anhalt, and who have already been set loose on humanity as pastors, explain the supposedly contained messages of the Bible. The at least negligent misdirection can only succeed if such explanations are simply adopted “in good faith” without any checking and due to a lack of interest in the truth.

Interpretation of the anointing of Jesus’ feet by Mary

The anointing of the feet of Jesus Christ by Mary Magdalene, according to John 12:3, serves for a quite adventurous interpretation. Jesus Christ is a guest in a Pharisee’s house. Mary, a well-known sinner (prostitute), appears and anoints the feet of Jesus Christ. This process was designed as follows:

The Bible version “Hope for All” (German Bible) was obviously used to interpret John 12:3.:
Then Mary took a bottle of pure, precious oil of nard, poured it on Jesus’ feet and dried them with her hair. The scent of the oil filled the entire house.

Bible prophecies
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According to the story, by using the expensive oil, Maria wanted to express: “You are worth it to me!” Afterwards she dried Jesus’ feet with her hair and this was “untypical at the time, a woman touching a man”. The fact that Mary used her hair to dry was an expression of: “When I am very close to Jesus, I have life.” According to John’s interpretation, he was able to remember the scent of the oil for decades afterwards.

The explanation of the verse ends with the “knowledge” gained from it: “She recognized her worth and the worth of Jesus.”

The “anointing” is veiled

This interpretation presents some difficulties. Basically, a “modern” and therefore manipulative version of the Bible was used at this point (Info). According to the wording, it is the Bible version “Hope for All”.

Bible versions that are still based on the original textus receptus and not on the “scientific” Nestle-Aland show a significant difference. In Schlachter 2000 (German Bible), John 12:3 is reproduced as follows:
Then Mary took a pound of real, precious ointment of nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped his feet with her hair; but the house was filled with the smell of the anointing oil.

The same verse from the English “King James Version”:
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

The Bible “Hope for All” does not use the word “anointing” or the word “anointing oil”. In the basic Greek text this is called “eleipsen” (“ηλειψεν”). The same change in statement also occurs in verse 5 (Hope for All):
It would have been better to sell the oil for 300 pieces of silver and give the money to the poor.”
There the Bible edition is content with “oil”

In the Schlachter 2000 the verse reads::
Why wasn’t this anointing oil sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?

and in the King James Version:
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

Each clearly described as “anointing oil”. In the basic Greek text the word “muron” (“μυρον”) can be found and therefore clearly “anointing oil”.

The parallel passage in the Gospel of Luke also shows a change in context through the “Hope for all”. Luke 7, 37,38:
A prostitute who lived in the city came in. She had learned that Jesus had been invited to the Pharisee’s house. In her hand she carried a bottle of precious oil. The woman went to Jesus, knelt by him and wept so much that his feet became wet with her tears. She dried her feet with her hair, kissed them and poured the oil over them.

The same verse in Schlachter 2000:
And behold, there was a woman in the city, a sinner; When she heard that he was a guest in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster flask full of anointing oil, and she stood at his feet, wept, and began to wet his feet with tears; and she wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

In the English “King James Version” the verse reads:
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

It is clear that the Bible version “Hope for All” obscures the fact of the anointing of Jesus Christ.
These “adjustments” are not the only changes in the numerous “modern Bible editions” but have long been carried out in a comprehensive style. It is very difficult to understand that “theologians” and also some pastors even consider such editions of the Bible that have been changed in the spirit of ecumenism.

Just a fan of a “star”?

Anointing oil
Just oil or an anointing oil?

It may well be that at that time it was completely out of character for a woman to touch a man. But it would be just as “untypical” to assume this in Maria’s case. It was anything but unknown to Jesus Christ and the Pharisees present. Maria was a “well-known sinner (prostitute)”. The Pharisees complained not that she touched Jesus, but that Jesus Christ allowed himself to be touched by a sinner. The Pharisees even saw their mistaken assumption confirmed that Jesus Christ was not a prophet, otherwise he would have known that Mary was such a sinner. The Pharisees concluded that he would “never” let her touch him.

Mary used a precious anointing oil at a cost of 300 days of work and, according to the interpretation, wanted to express that Jesus Christ was worth it to her. In which way? Just like a big fan is worth spending hundreds of euros on a concert by a “superstar”? Or is it more about Mary realizing who Jesus Christ actually is and that she is a lost sinner and without Jesus she would have no hope, needs forgiveness and glorifies Jesus Christ with her actions? Admittedly. If a sensible Bible translation were used that didn’t simply write about a “pouring of oil” but truthfully about an anointing, then perhaps one would figure it out on their own.

Just proximity to Jesus Christ?

A factually incorrect interpretation is the depiction that Mary used her hair with the certainty that one has life if one is “very close to Jesus”.
“A little off is also off”, better, “almost saved is also lost forever”. It is not the “closeness” to Jesus Christ, whatever that may look like and whatever that means, that secures life, but only the fulfillment of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say something like “when the Holy Spirit is at hand or within reach,” but always in connection with His fulfillment. So in Acts 4:8:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
and in Ephesians 3:19:
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

The depiction of proximity to Jesus Christ alone is – to say the least – a negligent misunderstanding.

Suggestive core message?

The final core statement, “she recognized her worth and the value of Jesus,” should actually be accompanied by the declaration that Mary recognized her position as a lost sinner and Jesus Christ as Lord and her only way to life. Otherwise there would be a wide range of interpretations that are not particularly helpful and also offer room for misunderstandings and even misleading. Standing alone, the summary presented suggests anything but the necessary self-denial.

An “ecumenical” interpretation

Fake News
Fake gospel

Choosing the right, i.e. unadulterated, Bible is the first prerequisite for uncovering such distortions. Then at the top of the priority list is to study the gospel yourself and check every point and comma of any information you have picked up from third parties.

The direction of travel of the interpretation shown above is clear. It is ecumenical in nature. “Refreshing” new perspectives on the written word. According to this interpretation, Jesus Christ is subtly lowered, while Mary the human being is simultaneously elevated. This is evident simply from the concealment that it is an anointing and not a simple pouring of sinfully expensive scented oil. Added to this is the erroneous representation that simply being close to Jesus is enough for one’s own salvation. The essentials are not even addressed. The reader or listener is even led away from the actual path to salvation and instead led to an interreligiously universally compatible salvation story.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:1

Bibelverse aus Schlachter 2000

Misleading through ecumenical interpretation John 12:3
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