Joshua entered Jerusalem’s temple during Passover in 29 A.D.. He chased the vendors out with a whip (built from cords he had picked up). He was knocking over tables, and scattering animals and money …with passion. He said, “Take these things with you! Don’t make my Father’s house your storefront!” Being scolded for “destroying God’s temple”, he retorted, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Later on that night, Nicodemus (one of the religious leaders) came to Joshua asking about his credentials. Joshua answered, “I tell you Truth’s truth; one cannot see God’s perspective without being born again (from above)”.
Nicodemus asked how old people are supposed to be born twice, and started saying something about his mom’s birthing process. Joshua clarified Nicodemus’ search for a good question, “I tell you Truth’s truth; without being born of water and spirit, no one can enter God’s Perspective. That which is born of The Flesh is flesh. That which is born of The Spirit is spirit. Don’t marvel because I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound (but don’t know where it comes from, or where it’s going). So is everyone who is born of The Spirit.” Nicodemus’ asked how this is possible, so Joshua asked, “Are you Israel’s teacher, and don’t understand these things?
I tell you Truth’s truth; we speak about what we know, and testify about what we have seen (and you don’t believe us). If I told you earthly things (and you don’t believe), how will you believe if I tell you eternal things? No one has gone up into eternity, except he who came down out of eternity – the Son of Man (who is in eternity). Like Moses lifted-up the snake in the wilderness; in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted-up (that whoever believes in him should not die, but have eternal life). For God loved the world so much, that he gave his one and only Son (so that anyone who believes in him should not die, but have eternal life). For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world – and people loved the darkness rather than the light (because their actions were evil). Everyone who does evil hates the light …and doesn’t come to the light (or else their actions would be exposed). But whoever does the truth comes to the light so that his actions may be revealed (that they have been done in God).”
- Joshua goes…
- “Jesus” is Greek for “Joshua”
- God’s “kingdom” is God’s “perspective“. My people live with the concept of Kingdom meaning only a type of government or power expressed by the one in charge. The ruling Kingdom in this day consisted of one person’s perspective (and everyone under the king’s rule lived by his perspective, or could be killed). It was the King’s land that everyone was using, and all his citizen’s were his servants to command. That type of all encompassing authority over everyone’s experience is best culturally termed as a combination of “Power”, “Authority”, “Government”, “Standard” and/or “Perspective”.
- “the changers of money” is replaced with vendors, because I know what those look like, and picture changers of money as the cages at a casino
- “place of business” culturally rephrased as “storefront“
- “zeal” is a beautiful word, and undervalued in our culture. So undervalued, that it doesn’t carry clarity required to appreciate the value of zeal. However, the deepest emotion our culture appreciates is “passion” – so that is closest for this purpose.
- “Most Certainly“ is the phrase used in this translation, but other versions use, “Verily, verily”, “Very Truly”, “Most assuredly”, etc.. The use of a repeated word used here would probably best be translated as “Amen, amen”, but since this word marks our modern Pharisaical trumpet (at the end of our prayers), it also is not an culturally understandable term. Amen is a confirmation of truth, and the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth. This Spirit was in Jesus after his baptism and was planted (through Joshua’s death), and now lives inside each of his followers. “Truth’s truth” is the cultural paraphrase used in this story. Feel free to look up Strongs #g281 (link to Blue Letter Bible)
- “that“ is replaced with “because“, because the end of this sentence isn’t, “that it was most grammatically correct”, but rather “because it should be clearly understandable”.
- “one cannot“ culturally paraphrased to “no one can“.
- “heaven” is what we call the biological sky, but it also refers to the construct of “eternity“. Though this could be either, it’s left as “heavens”
- “of that which“ is culturally paraphrased to “about what“. Strongs #g3739 (link to Blue Letter Bible)
- “receive our witness“ culturally paraphrased as “believe us“. Not only would no one talk that way today (outside of a courtroom), but even though it reduces the number of words – it will be universally used in this story when these three words are in this order. The root words of this phrase are: Strongs #g2983 meaning “receive”, “take”, “have”, or “catch”, Strongs #g1473 references “ego” meaning “me”, or “myself”, and Strongs #3141 meaning “witness”, “testimony”, “record”, or “report”. These three words are used in our culture as “believe us”.
- “As“ is replaced with “like“, because like is our common term to compare (without sounding pretentious).
- “even so” culturally paraphrased as “in the same way“. In this setting the sentence is also arranged… less Yoda.
- “works“ is replaced with “actions“, because it is the same thing, but “works” is something that we can’t clearly define, and actions are clearly visible (in ourselves and others).
- “the teacher of Israel” culturally paraphrased using English’s grammatical process as “Israel’s teacher“
Includes all Joshua’s words from:
- John 2:13-3:21