"Truly I say to you, the servants of humanity shall be forgiven of their transgressions and whatever blasphemy they may utter. But whomever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit shall not have forgiveness – but shall face the danger of eternal damnation.” (Mark 3:28-29)
Son of Man or Servant of Humanity?Within the translation of this verse, from the Lost Gospels of Jesus, we find a phrase not found among sectarian translations. This has to do with the translation of the Greek phrase, υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων, to "servants of humanity."
Sectarian translations such as King James and most others have translated this Greek phrase to "sons of men."
The Greek phrase is, in fact, the plural version of υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου - which is typically translated in sectarian Biblical translations to "Son of Man."
Yet we find "Son of Man" is not an appropriate translation to a term Jesus often described himself with.
What would be the meaning of Jesus describing himself as a "son of man" anyway? Every male is a son of a man. Such a translation (to "son of man") completely squelches the devotional meaning of this phrase.
The Greek word υἱὸς can certainly mean "son," but only "in a restricted sense," according to the lexicon, when describing "the male offspring (one born by a father and of a mother)."
Otherwise, the use of the word within philosophical or devotional contexts has a different meaning. That is, according to the lexicon, "one who depends on another or is his follower."
Thus the appropriate translation of υἱὸς in the context of Jesus' teachings would be "follower," "devotee" or "servant."
This is the meaning related to the spiritual and devotional contexts of Jesus' teachings.
Furthermore, the Greek word τοῦ means "of," and the Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) means, according to the lexicon, "a human being, whether male or female" or "generically, to include all human individuals." In other words, in this context, it means "mankind" or "humanity."
Thus we find that within the devotional context of Jesus' reference to himself, the phrase υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου would be more appropriately translated to Servant of Humanity.
This, in fact, was Jesus' role. He came as a service to all of humanity - teaching love for God.
In fact, we also find that Daniel, Ezekiel and David were all described similarly in the Hebrew books of the Old Testament. Again, in these cases, "son of man" was also applied to the translation, this time from the Hebrew phrase, בֶן־אָדָם - the combination of בֵּן (ben) and אָדָם ('adam) - the latter referring to "man" or "mankind."
Like the Greek υἱὸς, the Hebrew word בֵּן (ben) can mean, according to Thayer's lexicon, "a subject, rendering obedience to a king, or lord" and "a disciple, inasmuch as teachers were treated with reverence and obedience, like parents, and received the title of father. Hence, "sons of the prophets," for disciples of the prophets and the schools of the prophets themselves... "sons of the magi," used for the disciples of the magi' among the Greeks (υἱοῖς) i.e., disciples of Bardesanes."
Yes, we find that the Hebrew lexicon refers to the Greek word υἱοῖς having a parallel use as בֵּן (ben), referring to a follower or disciple - a devotee. This, of course would also change the translation of υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ to "follower of God" or "devotee of God" rather than, "son of God."
Why plural servants of humanity?
So what about the meaning of Jesus' υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων statement in Mark 3:28 above, in the plural sense?
Jesus is referring to those students and disciples who are following him. They are, in this sense, "servants of humanity" because they are also performing service on behalf of humans everywhere, as they sought to spread Jesus' teachings.
This is consistent with what Jesus is saying about them. He is saying that those who are following him will be forgiven of their transgressions or sins - even the transgression related to blasphemy.
But should they blaspheme the Holy Spirit - well, that is another matter altogether.
Jesus states this following his parable of the strong man and the house - which followed the "teachers of the law" accusing Jesus of being a demon because he was able to drive out demons.
In referring to the Holy Spirit, Jesus is speaking of the worst offense - to blaspheme God's representative and thus the Holy Spirit who is guiding God's representative. Jesus clarifies this elsewhere:
“My teaching is not mine, but comes from He who sent me." (John 7:16)Jesus taught elsewhere that it is the Holy Spirit within who guides His representative:
"But they will capture you and arrest you. Don’t think about what you will say beforehand – nor should you plan: But whatever will be given to you at that time you will speak – because it is not you that speaks, but the Holy Spirit." (Mark 13:11)
"When they bring you before the synagogues, the chiefs and the authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what you are to say. Because the Holy Spirit will instruct you in that moment what you should say." (Luke 12:11-12)Jesus also stated that his students would continue their spiritual progress via the Holy Spirit - sent because of their relationship with Jesus:
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit – whom the Creator will send in my name – He will teach you everything and remind you of everything I said to you." (John 14:26)So we see that the Holy Spirit is God's expansion - through which the Supreme Being can guide those who seek to serve Him. Because the Supreme Being transcends time and space, He can reside next to each of us through His superior spiritual technology.
We also see that others were guided by the Holy Spirit within the texts of the Bible, as the Gospel of Luke discusses John the Baptist's father and teacher Zechariah as also representing God:
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesized, saying – “Praised be the LORD, God of Israel. For He has visited us and has delivered redemption to His people." (Luke 1:67-68)This is describing Jesus' teacher, John the Baptist. It is saying that John delivered redemption to God's people - meaning that John also represented God and was saving people by teaching them love of God.
Will God ever forgive blasphemy?
So will the Supreme Being not forgive those who have slandered Him or His expansion the Holy Spirit?
The word being translated to "blasphemes" is βλασφημέω (blasphēmeō). This is pretty straight forward. The word means, according to the lexicon, "to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme."
The phrase translated to Holy Spirit here is πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον - which literally translates to "Spirit the Holy."
What is the damnation being referred to? It is the damnation of the physical world - the place where we misidentify ourselves with these physical bodies and are thus stuck within the confines of this place of suffering, where we are constantly dealing with pain, disease, old age and death.
We are here in this world because we rejected the Supreme Being, and being forgiven by Him is critical. The problem is that the notion of forgiveness contradicts eternity - which is confirmed by ἄφεσιν. Thus we can understand that Jesus is not speaking of permanence so much as he is speaking of consequence.
The reality is that if a person is blaspheming the Supreme Being's expansion as the Holy Spirit - as He reaches out to us during our journey through the physical world - due to His love and care for us - we will be lost. Forever.
Does this mean that the Supreme Being will never let us come back to Him? Does it mean He will never forgive us in the future?
Certainly not. It means that once a person has fallen into the depth of darkness to come to a place where they will blaspheme the Supreme Being, they are lost.
But this doesn't mean the Supreme Being doesn't forgive. And it doesn't mean He won't give us another chance. But as long as we remain opposed to Him we will never have a shot at returning.
In other words, only those who approach Him and beg for His mercy and His protection will have the opportunity to return to Him.
Yes, this is an exclusive opportunity, offered through His representative and the Holy Spirit. While the opportunity to reach out to the Supreme Being is available to everyone, returning to Him and the spiritual realm is only available to those who take shelter in Him. In this state, everything is possible. Consider God's statement in the Book of Jeremiah:
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
God has a history of forgiveness
We can also consider how the Supreme Being forgave the people of Nineveh after they became humbled and asked forgiveness in the Book of Jonah.
In other words, the Supreme Being is a forgiving Person. He loves us unconditionally and has compassion. He is full of mercy and softened by love. And He is all-powerful.
This was also characterized by Jesus elsewhere:
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to gain entrance to the sanctuary of God.” They were greatly astonished, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” But he replied, “With humans, it’s impossible. But not with God: Because with God, everything is possible.” (Mark 10:25-27)So we can see with this statement that Jesus is stating how impossible it is for a person to raise themselves up to return to the spiritual realm - but the Supreme Being is in complete control and He can make anything happen.
If there can be forgiveness, how can there be eternal damnation?
What Jesus is describing is that the consequence of blasphemy will be eternal. So long as there is blasphemy, there is damnation. The two are connected. Eternally. A person who continues to blaspheme will continue to be damned. Eternally. This is confirmed by the first part of this sentence above, as Jesus is stating such a blasphemer will be lost forever.
Yes, forever. But remember that the words "forever" and "eternal" and "eternity" are words that revolve around the element of time. And time is a physical element.
The spiritual realm is not controlled by time. And the Supreme Being and His compassion are also not controlled by time. Time is an element belonging to the physical realm - but time has no influence the spiritual realm.
Therefore, the terms "never" "forever" "eternal" and "eternity" are only relevant to our existence within the physical realm. The physical realm is revolving around self-centeredness. And as long as we remain self-centered - these elements pervade and control us.
In other words, if one humbly approaches the Supreme Being and asks for His forgiveness, and asks Him to guide us back home to Him - yes, He will guide us. This is His compassion and mercy. He will transcend the time and space that bind and control us. Only by taking shelter in Him and His mercy can we be released from the bondage of the physical world.
God is an ocean of mercy
One could compare it to treading water in the middle of the ocean. What if we were to fall overboard in the middle of the Pacific ocean. How could we possibly swim thousands of miles to the nearest shore? But if a rescue helicopter were to find us and pick us up - we could transverse the ocean easily, because the rescue helicopter flies above the ocean. It flies over it. But in order to be picked up by the helicopter we will need to take shelter of the chair the chopper lowers down to the water. We'll have to get into the chair completely in order to be pulled up.
God's unconditional love and compassion are like a rescue helicopter. Because He transcends the constraints of the physical world, He can lower a chair down in the form of His representative and save us - should we take shelter in the teachings of His representative. His love and mercy lay outside the restrictions of time and space.
We may be lost forever as far as our own ability to escape the confines of this hellish physical world. But He can save us because He transcends the confines of the physical realm.
In the end, the Supreme Being is about relationships: He enjoys relationships with His children. Those who become devoted to Him and want to be with Him are taken under His wing and nurtured. Those who want to be away from Him receive physical bodies with which to play out our self-centered desires - remaining eternally bound from one lifetime to the next within this physical world - essentially lost in the pit of hell.
But if we take shelter in God with sincerity, devotion and love, He will save us. This is why Jesus' most important teaching was:
“The most important of all the instructions is, ‘Hear O Israel – the LORD our God is our only Lord – and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ – this is the most important instruction." (Mark 12:29-30)