Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

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The Hebrew and the Greek

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

You call yourself a student of the bible, and do not have the original Hebrew/Greek translation? Are you serious? I forgot, its KJV, or nothing for Paul.1

The Interlinear Bible is the OT in Hebrew and the NT in Greek, translated in literal English by Jp(sic) Green.You would no(sic) this if you had one. It is not a study bible, it is the original Hebrew/Greek translation of God’s Word! Every serious Bible student would have this original translation and would no(sic) this.2

I get challenged from time to time about where I stand on the Scripture, as I am King James Version only. Specifically, I use the 1769 Edition of the KJV, which is the last edition and incorporates standardized modern punctuation and spelling. I hold to the King James Version for several reasons that are well-grounded Scripturally, of which I will address a couple. Unfortunately, it means that I am going to get hammered as being “backward” and a “stick in the mud” as I steadfastly refuse to use any modern version, except to show the corruption of those versions. Worse yet, I am even more uneducated and unlearned as I also refuse to use interlinear bibles, commentaries and such like, choosing to remain with the Bible and a couple of authoritative unabridged English dictionaries and a thesaurus.

In the minds of some, this makes me ignorant, presumptuous and a bit of a dunce. However, that would fly in the face of certain facts about my abilities as a technician, able to grasp complex technical subjects like interferometric principles and laser interferometry, machine geometry and design, electronics, control systems, etc. It also is to have an attitude devoid of understanding some very significant things the LORD God has declared in His word. What I am stating here is plain: I deliberately chose this particular route to take against advice to the contrary, as I see certain things in Scripture that confirm and validate what I believe. With that stated, here is a portion of my case laid before you:

First, it is essential to understand that the LORD God is the Author of all languages, no matter when and where they come into existence. The LORD demonstrated this at Babel:

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:5-9)

Additionally, the LORD God performed the reverse of Babel on the day of Pentecost:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (Acts 2:1-11)

At Pentecost the LORD did not undo the languages. Rather, He ensured that everyone present, regardless of where in the world they originated from, heard what was spoken in their own language, even down to the particular dialect they spoke. Thus we find the LORD fully capable of controlling and commanding not only the language, but the way we hear what is spoken, regardless of what language the words are spoken in.

The day of Pentecost had a specific and express function for the New Testament church, but is also applicable to the issue of what Bible we use and whether we need the Greek and Hebrew source texts to refer back to. At Pentecost the LORD made it very plain to all who heard, and to the apostles who spoke, that He intended to have His word in every language on the face of the earth. That is, after all, the only reason for having anyone speak in tongues on that particular day or any other day. We find this confirmation to spread the Scripture throughout the entire world confirmed and reinforced by the Lord Jesus Christ when He stated:

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:45-47)

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Now, it would be quite the stretch to believe the Lord Jesus Christ plainly commanded and intended for the gospel and all of the word of God to go to every single nation on the face of the earth, and then believe that everyone needs to learn ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek so they can understand what the LORD God requires of us, and what Jesus Christ did for us. Somehow, that simply does not work — at all. Thus we are forced to ask another question:

Did the LORD know that His word would need to be translated?

The answer is an obvious “Yes.” Certainly He knew. The only other option would be to require everyone on earth to learn ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek. Certainly we find that not practical, nor do we find anywhere in Scripture the LORD God requiring any particular language to be learned before one can learn of Him. Instead, what we do find is an outreach to every nation on earth, regardless of the language spoken. The particular preservation of the Old Testament Scripture was in Hebrew as the LORD’s covenant was with Israel.3 After all, what could we make of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon? Certainly it would be far, far from reason to assume that his court and kingdom spoke Hebrew, or that he allowed Hebrew to be spoken in His court during the conduct of business. Rather, they spoke Chaldee, or Aramaic and conducted business accordingly. So then another question arises which we ought to consider seeing the following declaration is in the Scripture:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

And again:

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:6-7)

Since all the words of the LORD are pure and unadulterated, how did the LORD God intend for everyone in the world to have His word? Certainly the LORD God knows of the problems inherent in translating anything from one language to another, and certainly He has a plan for insuring that all who want His word can have it. If we care to note the passage from Psalm 12, where it is stated:

Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:7)

We will understand that the preservation of the Scripture lies within the province of the LORD God, and is not given unto man. Moreover, we should understand that the Scripture is not given to man to have and to hold, rather what is given to man is actually a copy of the Scripture, and not the original. Whether we wish to understand it or not, the original is held inviolate in Heaven:

For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)

And again:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalm 119:160)

Thus man has absolutely no power to change the original which is in Heaven. Moreover, all that results in men changing the Scripture to suit themselves, is to bring utter condemnation upon their own heads. Because the Scripture is so held inviolate, the Lord Jesus Christ made it utterly clear the standard by which man is to be judged:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:47-48)

If then, these things are true (and they are) and the LORD God is a righteous Judge, then He will insure that man always has access to His written word — the Scripture. Moreover, we can plainly see that the LORD fully intended for people to have His word in their native language so they know and understand how and why He judges them. Here then we turn to the problem of translating the Scripture, and yet retaining the purity of the word of God. However, before proceeding, we should consider how the LORD God views His own word, and consequently what our view of His word ought to be:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2)

By this we should understand that mishandling the word of God — the Scripture, is worse than blaspheming the name of God. Therefore, we should be the more careful and cautious how we handle the Scripture, lest we outright condemn ourselves.

What this means is that those who do any translating of the Scripture into another language must be led and guided of the LORD God to do the translating, and must do it on a proper basis, else the work they undertake will not be blessed and will not result in an accurate and proper translation. Moreover, we do have examples in Scripture that demonstrate plainly the LORD’s ability to use individuals to present His word in multiple languages accurately. First, we have the several incidents recorded in Acts where Hebrew, or other known tongue was spoken and it was recorded in Greek. (Acts 22:1-2, 26:14, 10:44-46, 19:1-6) And, we have the apostle Paul’s own testimony of speaking the word of God to others who did not speak Hebrew, in which he effectively and accurately translated what is stated in the Old Testament:

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (I Corinthians 14:18-20)

Here the apostle Paul testifies to the Corinthians that he spoke the word of God in several different languages, and refused to speak in an unknown language. This would not, and should not be surprising as the ministry of the apostle Paul encompassed a number of countries, and the LORD God equipped and enabled him to carry out that ministry. The one “language” the apostle Paul refused to speak was the “unknown” tongue, as there was and is no profit in it.

What this plainly demonstrates is the ability of the LORD God to carry forth His word into many different languages utilizing the individuals He has called and gifted for particular ministries. Moreover, the LORD is able to do so and maintain the purity of His word, all without the need for interlinear Bibles and constantly referring back to the Hebrew and Greek. Rather, what the LORD plainly intended was the translation of His word into every language on earth.

Though there is much more to be said about this, particularly as to why I hold to the King James Version only, for now this will suffice as I certainly am no better than the Waldensians, who had a Bible in their own language, and their doctrine was sound for quite a long time. However, we should also note that merely having a right Bible, or the correct underlying Scripture text, or even having the originals (which do not exist anymore) does not in any way guarantee that one will have right doctrine. Rather, having right doctrine is a matter of attentiveness and obedience to the LORD and His word, not merely possessing it and reading it.

There is one further item of note here as to why the particular interlinear Bible Aaron chose to use is J.P. Green’s “literal” interlinear. It really is quite simple, and it has everything to do with the doctrine interwoven in the English text of the “literal” interlinear Bible:

FOUNDER OF SOVEREIGN GRACE PUBLISHERS, INC
JAY P. GREEN, SR.4

Hmmm . . . . a Bible that would validate Augustinian/Calvinist/Reformed/Sovereign Grace/Primitive Baptist theology. What better way to insure your doctrine is “valid.” After all, the “Bible” says so.

Oh, and Mr. Green had to attack the King James Version to support his new version (else why would we need a new version):

Although it is admitted that Erasmus has added to his Received Text two or three readings from the Latin Vulgate, without Greek manuscript authority (e.g. Acts 9: 5, 6), and one from the Complutension Bible which as no Greek manuscript authority (1 John 5: 7), we have not deleted these from the Greek text as supplied by the Trinitarian Bible Society – though we do not accept them as true Scripture.5

And, we also see that J.P. Green ignores the Formal Translation method and lumps it in with Dynamic Translation, smearing both the KJV translators and the Bible they produced (Should we wonder why?):

THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS

There are two translations in this volume, one appearing as the literal translation of the Greek words, with English equivalents directly under each of the Greek words, and the other, The King James 2 Version, on the side of the page, which serves to provide a straight-forward translation for the purpose of making it easy for the reader to see the proper word order in English, and to thus easily essiminate the message given in God’s word on that page. Both translations are accomplished in a word-for word translation.

The ‘conceptual idea’ form of “translating” the word of God has been rejected, studiously avoided because no person has the right, nor the inspiration, to rewrite God’s word to conform it to his own concepts.

Those passing off their conceptual ideas are, in our opinion, despising the words originally given, and carefully preserved……. It is hoped that these literal word-for-word translations will demonstrate that a true word-for-word translation can also be a readable and easily understood representation of the Scriptures.6

Now we have somewhat of the rest of the story. . . .


  1. e-mail from Aaron dated 20 Feb. 2009
  2. e-mail from Aaron dated 19 Feb. 2009
  3. There are the minor exceptions of part of the book of Daniel, minor portions of Ezra, and a verse in Jeremiah.
  4. J.P. Green Study Archive @ PreteristArchive.com – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
  5. J.P. Green Study Archive @ PreteristArchive.com – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – THE GREEK TEXT IN THIS VOLUME
  6. J.P. Green Study Archive @ PreteristArchive.com – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS
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Invalid Questions – Part 2

Friday, February 6th, 2009

In addressing the questions raised by Aaron, we can examine them in whatever order we desire. However, since there is an order to things, a failure to examine them in proper order will yield some very interesting results for our doctrine. In the Scripture, there is an order to building doctrine, which is expressed in the following passage:

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:9-13)

Hence, to begin to understand what the Scripture states as far as doctrine is concerned, one must be a born-again child of God, and have some amount of maturity. Moreover, there must be a willingness to learn in the manner the LORD has prescribed, which is “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” and that process cannot be hurried, rushed, or shortcut, as the LORD God will not bless such “workarounds” as he made quite clear to the apostles:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (John 16:12)

And again, that any learning is totally dependent upon what the LORD allows:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. (Hebrews 6:1-3)

Thus, we have to do everything, including the way we approach and address doctrine, the way the LORD God is pleased with, else we aren’t going to get very far and be right in our determination of what proper and correct doctrine is. In seeking to accomplish this, one of the first things we must understand is that Scripture is to be trusted implicitly. This is not to say we blindly trust Scripture, but that we trust it implicitly, the LORD God having proven its accuracy.

Therefore, when we come to understand that Scripture is silent on a matter, we implicitly understand that we also should be silent on the matter and not “pry” into what we can infer about the matter. Additionally, when Scripture demonstrates that we “started in the middle” of a subject, we should accept that correction and seek the actual beginning of how the subject is addressed. A prime example of this concerns what the whole focus of the Scripture is, or “What the Bible is All About.” Interestingly enough, finding out what the Scripture is all about doesn’t require an entire book, but only a few of passages from the Scripture itself:

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Luke 1:67-75)

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44-47)

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:9-10)

Hence, by the above passages, the whole focus of the Scripture is the Lord Jesus Christ and His work to effect the redemption of man.1 Thus, by beginning where the LORD wants us to begin in Scripture, the answer to this question, which often yields books, is given by just a few passages of Scripture that are easily understood. So it is with the following questions:

1. Why is it that one unregenerate person believes the gospel and not another?

5. What principle in him made him choose what he did?

Now, when I was originally given these questions I was told that I could not say “I don’t know.” and leave it at that. I supposed the assumption was that because the Scripture does not tell us why one person chooses to believe and another doesn’t, it means that unregenerate individuals cannot of themselves choose to believe the truth, and thus be saved. In fact, this is the Calvinist/Reformed Theology position. However, it carries the implicit assumption that in gaining the knowledge of good and evil, we somehow are not ever able to recognize or elect anything right, good and true. This implicit assertion of Calvinism is directly contradicted by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:9-11)

Clearly, the Lord Jesus Christ who is God Himself, plainly acknowledges and points out, using it to teach the goodness and mercy of God, that we do know, and are able to recognize what is good and right and true, even though we are evil. Our problem is not that we cannot see and acknowledge the truth. Rather, it is a quite severe unwillingness to submit to that truth we recognize and acknowledge. There is a fundamental difference and distinction between acknowledgment of a particular truth, and submission to that truth.

Since the Scripture does plainly teach that all individuals can and are able to recognize the truth, and are able to choose between the truth and a lie, and yet does not explain why one chooses and another does not, I replied back to the challenge with the following:

Well, first off, your “”I don’t know” is not an answer.” is rank hypocrisy due to the fact that you Calvinists cannot explain what the criteria is that your “god” uses to determine who he will save and who he will send to hell. If you can show me that criteria in the Scripture, then I will accept this condition of not using “I don’t know” for an answer. Otherwise, I am going to invalidate at least two (2) of your questions, possibly others.2

Of course, what I received back was some very circular logic about God performing His pleasure, in choosing to save some whensoever, and howsoever He wills. What I was never sent was an actual set of criterion for how God decided who would be saved and who would be condemned. So it was that I choose to proceed to answer the two specific questions that have no answer with an explanation from Scripture as to why there is no answer. The long and short of it can be given quickly:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) (II Chronicles 6:30) see also I Kings 8:39

Here we plainly see two things:

First, it is clearly understood that the question posed by the LORD in Jeremiah, is a rhetorical question in which the obvious answer is “No one.” Which is to say that each and every individual’s heart lies to them and deceives them about their true intentions. We do know from the rest of Scripture that this applies to those who are not born-again in Christ, and thus are unregenerate.3 Since every person was at one time (and most still are) unregenerate, Jeremiah, Chapter 17, verse 9 applies equally across the board to everyone, so long as they remain dead in trespasses and sins. If at some point they come to Christ for salvation and are born-again in Christ Jesus, that changes. In our unregenerate state this is how we are — every single one of us.

Second, as Solomon made very plain (and the LORD caused it to be recorded twice in Scripture), it is only the LORD God who knows the heart of an individual as it really is. No one else is either capable of, or privy to the inner workings of the heart of man. This stands to reason as we are expressly told we cannot know our own hearts. How then could we actually evaluate the heart of someone else? After all, if our own vision and understanding are impaired, how could we knowingly, honestly pass judgement as to what is in the heart of another? The best we are given to judge by is what the Lord Jesus instructed during the sermon on the mount:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

As one brother in Christ put it some years back, we are at best “fruit inspectors.” The long and short of it is our hearts lie to us, and we cannot discern what is actually in the heart of another. Moreover, to repeat, only the LORD God knows what is in each and every individual’s heart. Hence, why one particular person chooses to believe and another doesn’t, is a complete mystery to us, but not to the LORD God. However, He has plainly chosen to not waste time explaining the intricate “whys” and “wherefores” of one person versus another. After all, what real purpose would it serve anyway? First off, most folks would deny that is what is happening in their hearts, and second, they would view it a mere entertainment. Thus, no real good would come of it. Nonetheless, there is a day coming in which all those inner workings and thoughts will be revealed.

To be continued . . .


  1. Yes, the statement is true. Everything the Scripture gives us significant detail about does fit within the framework of bringing about the salvation of man and how the LORD God accomplished that work. It is at once and the same time, both utterly simple and terribly complex and complicated.
  2. private e-mail to Aaron
  3. Here I can just see the Calvinist trying to claim victory by saying this proves their contention that one must be regenerated to believe. However, it does not as their strange contention that one must be regenerated to believe, directly contradicts a number of passages in Scripture.
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Invalid Questions – Part 1

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Whether we choose to believe it or not, there is such a thing as an invalid question. It has been said that “There are no stupid questions.” however, since there are invalid questions, we could well say that knowingly asking an invalid question to elicit a particular response, is indeed ends up being a stupid question that is only designed to benefit the questioner, and not actually used to determine the truth of a matter. Such questions are like the following:

Please answer YES or NO:

Have you stopped beating your wife? (Presumes one beats his wife, regardless of the answer given.)
The last time you drank, were you violent? (Presumes one drinks, and one has been violent when drunk.)
Would you favor abortion over infanticide? (Presumes one supports the killing of innocent children.)

And the list could go on. Without getting into every example of an invalid question, it can be accurately stated that there are a number of questions that are designed to lead a person into unwittingly admitting something they know is not true, and do not even agree with. Hence, there are invalid questions.

The following questions are also invalid, as they presume things that are not in evidence Scripturally. They are asked knowing there is no answer to them (at least from the Calvinist perspective), and thus are given under the express condition:

I will admit defeat and repent, if you can answer these questions biblically. “I don’t know” is not an answer.1

And here are some of the questions:

Why is it that one unregenerate person believes the gospel and not another?

Was he able to generate a right thought, produce a right affection, create right belief, while at the same time man #2 did not have the natural wherewithal to come up with the faith to be saved?

If they both made use of the same grace, did one make better use of it than the other?

If God’s grace places us in a neutral state, then what motivates one man to believe and not another?

What principle in him made him choose what he did?

If all men are neutral in God’s grace was it by chance that one believed and not another?

Is it the grace of God that makes you differ from unbelievers or is it your faith?2

Now, we should understand that there are reasons why the LORD states some things plainly in His word, and other things he is totally silent on. Those things that are plain, those things that can be derived from principles and statements, and those things there is ample evidence for in Scripture, do belong to us, as the LORD stated through Moses:

The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Now, there are limitations to what each of us learn, as we are often not ready for the teaching:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:12-15)

And again:

But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24)

So it is that the LORD is actually the Teacher of His children, and He uses those He has gifted to teach and preach to accomplish that task, as the Scripture also instructs:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; . . . (Ephesians 4:11-14)

So it is that the education of the born-again child of God is accomplished by the LORD Himself, at a rate he determines we can handle. Since He truly does know how fast we learn the lessons He desires to impart to us, He is able to “tailor make” the lessons to fit each and every one of His children, and use both the Scripture, and the events of our individual lives to “drive the point home” as it were.3

However, there are things the LORD reserves to a set period of time, or even a stage in a person’s life. Nowhere is the LORD compelled to reveal any or all of His mind, except by what His own righteousness, love, mercy, and judgement bring forth from Him. We see this also in Scripture:

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4)

And, we see that the LORD has spoken things men have heard, but are not allowed to repeat at any time, in any context:

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. (Revelation 10:1-4)

It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (II Corinthians 1-4)

And, there are times the LORD has commanded men to record and disseminate everything He told them:

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. (Exodus 17:14)

Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. (Isaiah 30:8-11)

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. (Jeremiah 30:1-2)

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:5)

And so it is that the LORD God retains full control over His word, and reveals it as He will, even to the point of sealing it up when people do not appreciate it and lay it to heart:

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. (Isaiah 29:9-14)

Thus, we can conclude by the foregoing, that if the LORD has not spoken of something in His word, He has plainly chosen to retain that unto Himself, and we are never to be privy to it. This reservation of His word, and how the LORD God chooses to deal with individuals was aptly illustrated in the incident of the woman caught in adultery in John, Chapter 8:

They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? (John 8:4-10)

What I will state here is extracted from the article “The Impossible Command” and addresses directly this issue:

The writing upon the ground
Regarding what the Lord wrote on the ground, I note that many have made comment as to what the Lord wrote and have speculated much upon it. Personally, my thought is that the Lord did not see fit to tell us. Thus it is none of our business and we ought to leave it alone. We should remember that God is under no obligation to tell us anything, let alone what He writes during a particular instance.

We could, however, take some lessons from the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ wrote upon the ground, in full view of the accusers and the woman, but spoke not a word to the crowd and the disciples at large. It is also notable that it is not recorded that the apostles asked what He wrote. What can be drawn from this is that the Lord was dealing with those accusers and the woman, but what He desired to convey to them was no one else’s business.

It is clear, whatever He wrote had its particular effect upon those who saw it. We should note, whatsoever the Lord addressed to an individual or group of individuals frequently was for them alone. If we remember, the Lord rebuked Peter after the resurrection when he asked about John and what John was supposed to do, to wit: “Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?” (John 21:21) to which the Lord answered “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (John 21:22) Thus, the Lord reminded Peter (and us as well), what He has for one is not necessarily anyone else’s business. Those things pertaining to all, He has insured they are contained, in full, in the Scripture. Incidentally, anything that the Lord would lay upon any individual or group would not be contrary to the already completed Scripture.

Finally, what we do know about the Lord’s dealing with individuals is this: The Lord deals with everyone individually as they are able to understand what he must tell them. We also know the Lord does not deal haphazardly or randomly with anyone. Nothing the Lord does is ‘in isolation’ or unconnected with anything else, but all drives toward the purpose of reconciling that person to the Lord through recognition of their sin, understanding of who God really is, repentance of sin, and trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. To that end, we can understand that whatever the Lord Jesus wrote upon the ground was for those individuals and them alone. What He wrote did not and does not apply to us as He did not make us privy to it. In short, we need to learn to mind our place and not delve into situations the Lord has not seen fit to reveal to us lest we sin in the manner of Job and speak words without knowledge.4

Here now, we arrive at the point of the questions, having somewhat examined the LORD’s view on the handling of His word, which is the Scripture, and whether the questions can be answered, should be answered, and if the LORD God would honor such inquiry. Here again are the questions, which I have numbered to track the answering of them:

1. Why is it that one unregenerate person believes the gospel and not another?

2. Was he able to generate a right thought, produce a right affection, create right belief, while at the same time man #2 did not have the natural wherewithal to come up with the faith to be saved?

3. If they both made use of the same grace, did one make better use of it than the other?

4. If God’s grace places us in a neutral state, then what motivates one man to believe and not another?

5. What principle in him made him choose what he did?

6. If all men are neutral in God’s grace was it by chance that one believed and not another?

7. Is it the grace of God that makes you differ from unbelievers or is it your faith?

Bear in mind now that questions 3, 4, 6, and 7 all address grace and its operation in some way, and thus will be addressed together in a discussion of grace and its operation upon a person. This leaves questions 1, 2, and 5 to be discussed separately. However, questions 1 and 5 speak of the heart, and the secrets of a man’s heart, and thus will be discussed together. This leaves question 2 to be discussed by itself, and it will touch upon several areas, including faith.

To be continued . . .


  1. Private e-mail from Aaron referencing the following questions.
  2. http://reproachofmen.org/blog/?p=593&cpage=1#comment-1333
  3. There is a context in which this teaching occurs at its optimum, but the discussion of that is best left to another article.
  4. emphasis mine, not in the original article
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Wednesday Night Lesson – The Will of God?

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

NOTE: This study is about the implications of doctrine, and how not thinking through statements of doctrine will lead to false doctrine and bad conclusions.

But does this mean that God has ultimately left it up to Solomon to follow Him or not? No, because in the next chapter we see David acknowledging that it is ultimately God who gives a person a heart to obey, for He prays “give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments” (29:19). There would be no use in asking God to cause Solomon to obey if God had ultimately left the choice up to Solomon. In light of all that we have seen, it seems best to conclude that since God controls all things, He causes us to make willing choices so that His will is always done, yet these choices are genuine, and we are accountable for them. Again, we do not need to necessarily see how these truths fit together, but if we are going to believe the Bible, it seems that we must believe them.1

Here we see the Calvinist/Reformed theologian stating that David asked the LORD God to make Solomon’s heart right, and implying that God did so (It might be just me that perceives an implication here, but I asked someone else, and they perceived the same thing), when he states:

“There would be no use in asking God to cause Solomon to obey if God had ultimately left the choice up to Solomon.”2

And citing the following passage as proof:

O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. (I Chronicles 29:18-19)

However, if God did so make Solomon’s heart perfect, it sure didn’t stick, either that, or it was simply David asking for something that was more a hope than anything else. Besides that, we are told to ask:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11)

All David is asking for here is for the LORD to prevail upon Solomon, not that he expects the LORD to change Solomon’s heart, but that it would be good if Solomon’s heart was perfect and remained so.

It is real shaky ground to assume what is going through David’s heart and mind and then draw doctrine from that. It is assumed here that David knew that God changed hearts without the express consent of the individual, and thus asked for Solomon’s heart to be changed. However, there is nothing in Scripture that tells us what David knew concerning the LORD changing hearts without the consent of the individual. Moreover, no matter what David knew, it is quite the assumption to purport that David is asking strictly by doctrine and not out of any desire for Solomon to do well, doctrine notwithstanding. It would be quite the stretch to take everything David says as doctrine, even in his prayers, especially since we can easily point to several instances where David was doctrinally wrong, even to the point of committing wicked sin.

In any case, we see the result of David’s request:

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. (I Kings 11:4)

However, there are other things that go beyond that in the assertions of Calvinists, where they do not consider the end of their doctrinal stance, and by Scripture, what they are actually saying. We are told:

“God has ordained every step of your life ____, every bad and good decision, everything. He has your life written in a book.”3

“People make decisions for themselves. OK ____, Good. People are responsible for the decisions they make, Ok, Good. Every decision a person makes good or evil fulfills God’s will. GOD IS BEHIND EVERY DECISION A HUMAN BEING MAKES. IT IS LIKE SLIPPING A GLOVE OVER YOUR HAND.4

“He causes us to make willing choices so that His will is always done, yet these choices are genuine, and we are accountable for them.”5

Yet, the Scripture states:

Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. (Isaiah 65:12)

Obviously, it was not God’s will what Israel did, and the LORD said so. How then did Israel fulfill God’s will? By the Scripture, they didn’t, and God said so.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s let their contention stand, and give them the holding that everything anyone does, good or evil, is fulfilling God’s will.

What are we then to make of this:

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30)

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6:38)

Obviously, the above two verses are a claim that, according to the Calvinist/Reformed quotes above, can not be unique as everyone fulfills the will of God, even when they attempt to work cross purposes. Now, why is it Christ came? But let us go on:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. (Mark 3:35)

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (I John 2:17)

But according to the Calvinist, everyone does the will of God, hence they are either in direct contradiction with Scripture here, or they to believe in universal salvation. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ said that only those who do the will of God actually go to heaven. Ergo, by the quotes above that belong to those of Calvinist/Reformed theology, everyone fulfils the will of God. Hence, everyone goes to heaven. Isn’t this the doctrine called “Universal Salvation?” Calvinists have quite the conundrum here. But, let us proceed further:

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: . . . (I Peter 4:1-3)

Obviously, according to I Peter, chapter 4, there is a distinct difference between the will of God and the will of the Gentiles, which is equated to the workings of the flesh. If you are doing the will of the flesh, you are NOT doing the will of God.

Now we have some possibilities here:

A.) The Calvinists don’t care what Scripture states, and thus don’t care about the contradiction, and how they clearly contradict Scripture.

B.) The Calvinists cannot think through the logic of their doctrinal position and see that ultimately they end up at the same place as those holding Universal Salvation doctrine.

C.) The Calvinists cannot reason out that the following is a terrible contradiction:

“He causes us to make willing choices so that His will is always done, . . .”6

One cannot “cause” another to make a “willing” choice. Will is volition, and thus to “cause” another’s volition to do your volition is not for them to be “willing” in any sense of the term.

Moreover, when “God” “causes” a person to commit “willing” sin, no matter how you try to reason it away, it cannot be gotten around that “God” becomes the author of sin.

D.) The Calvinists cannot reason through to see that if everyone ultimately does the will of God, then they negate the very reason Christ came — which was to do the will of the Father because man cannot. The Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill the will of the Father, which is expressed in Ecclesiastics, Chapter 12, verse 13:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastics 12:13)

Which is the same as this:

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:35-38)

Therefore, whether the holder of Calvinist/Reformed/Sovereign Grace/Primitive Baptist theology realizes it or not, they make everyone as righteous as Christ, and thus in no need of salvation. Hence, Christ’s coming was pointless, and Christ died for nothing as all men ultimately fulfill the will of “God,” thus pleasing “God.”

What you say, that is wrong? I don’t think so. Isn’t God pleased when His will is done? Certainly he is, as the Scriptures are full of references to that fact. Hence, why should anyone be condemned as all men and angels, even the Devil himself ultimately do the will of “God” according to the adherents of Calvinist/Reformed theology.

You know, there is a Scriptural label for this doctrine:

ANTICHRIST

Either Calvinists are antichrist, and hide that fact. Or, they are so abysmally stupid they cannot reason out the end result of their doctrine, and are thus used freely of the Devil.

Of course, they have their grand “escape clause:”

Again, we do not need to necessarily see how these truths fit together, but if we are going to believe the Bible, it seems that we must believe them.7

Blind belief — no better than the Catholic Church’s pat “It’s a mystery.” answer to anything in their doctrine that is inherently contradictory.

You know, if a doctrine has unworkable logic in it, on top of contradicting plain Scripture, perhaps it’s time to change your doctrine?


  1. http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/providen.html
  2. Ibid
  3. e-mail from Aaron
  4. Ibid. Really bad analogy here. It is the hand that controls the glove that covers it. By using this analogy, Aaron is saying we control God!
  5. http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/providen.html
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
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Really? You Think So?

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I trust you will understand the title of this article by the time you’re done reading it. If not, well, not to be flippant, but I can’t help you there. I am going to be as plain as I can be, without venturing into ridicule (I hope).

I’ve been working on reformatting the articles on the website to make them far more readable and compatible with every browser out there. In the process of that, this week I have worked on the Apologetics section and have reformatted several of the “Contradictions” articles. While reformatting the introductory articles that address the “non-tract” (which is really a tract for atheism), I reread the introduction of the “non-tract” and was struck by the statement:

“The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim. The problem is the bible itself.”

Which sets in the middle of their argument against the Scriptures, which states:

Why do trained theologians differ? Why do educated translators disagree over Greek and Hebrew meanings? Why all the confusion? Shouldn’t a “divinely inspired” document be as clear as possible?
The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim. The problem is the bible itself. People who are free of theological bias notice that the bible contains hundreds of discrepancies.

Notice the thing about the statement that caught my eye? The statement claims that problems with the Bible and interpreting it are not caused by human limitations.

Really?

How absolutely arrogant can we be here? So, the supposition here is that man, or some men, are perfect? Some of the approximately 6 billion people that walk this earth are actually unlimited in their perspective and ability? How is that now?

If this is the case, then why don’t we have an answer to some of the problems that have given man grief ever since man has been on this earth? Just where are these supposed “enlightened, perfected ones” that are so perfect they are “free from theological bias?”

You know, I grew up on a farm, and I know it when I see it and smell it. No one, but no one is “free from theological bias.” Everyone has some opinion, idea or knowledge of God. Everyone — PERIOD. There are no exceptions. Thus, logically, everyone has a “theological bias” of some sort. Even the atheist has an opinion about God — he doesn’t believe God exists. This, in itself, is a “theological bias,” an opinion that holds that God is not there.

Perhaps then, this explains somewhat the outlandish statement “The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim.” After all, only someone with an overinflated sense of self worth would even contemplate making such a statement. This statement really does defy all evidence. All we have to do is look at the stock market and the economy and we will have sure and certain evidence that man has plenty of limitations. Moreover, the statement contradicts the evidence given in the preceding paragraph of the “non-tract.” Thus, it is a real hoot to state:

“Why do trained theologians differ? Why do educated translators disagree over Greek and Hebrew meanings? Why all the confusion? Shouldn’t a “divinely inspired” document be as clear as possible?”

And then turn right around and state:

“The problem is not with human limitations, as some claim.”

If man were so stinking “unlimited,” wouldn’t we have found out the conclusive, irrefutable, inarguable truth by now? After all, according the atheists, man have been around for far longer than 6000 years. No, according to the theory of evolution subscribed to by atheists, man has been around plenty long enough to have come to conclusive and irrefutable truth by now. After all, “some” of us are “unlimited” and “free from theological bias” and thus able to see infinitely, and determine the truth of all things.

Now I know that the atheists and freethinkers try to warp and twist the meaning of “inspiration” as it is used in Scripture, so that it somehow means that man wasn’t involved in the LORD’s working on earth. After all, the vast majority of the Scripture is about man, and the failings of man, and why man needs (indeed, must have) a redeemer. I also know that the atheists and freethinkers totally discount the spiritual, even though the Scripture deals with the spiritual, and shifts from the physical to the spiritual from one verse to the next.

Ahh, but the atheists and freethinkers are not limited and are “free from theological bias” so that they can discount and intentionally ignore all rules of logic and common sense when it comes to the Scripture. Gee, I wonder if they do this with the owner’s manual for their vehicles? Or is it that they assume they already know, and thus aren’t required to read?

Logically, it is demanded that one must take into account the spiritual when reading the Scripture. This is no different than any other book. If I am reading a book about electrical theory and practice, I am not free to argue with it because it doesn’t address things from a mechanical or hydraulics point of view. It’s kind of like looking at the owner’s manual for a Dodge truck and thinking it’s wrong because you own a Ford, and your vehicle isn’t like that; meanwhile, ignoring all evidence and firmly convincing yourself that the manual must be wrong.

Actually, it is really sad that such hubris exists in man, to move him to claim that the problems people experience with understanding Scripture are not due to man. The really sad part is the lack of understanding of just how limited man really is. We are very nearly deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid, and we really don’t perceive that at all. This goes back to the old adage that “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” By that old adage, the folks that wrote, approved of and utilize this tract, really don’t know anything — they just think they do.

Of course, this is in reality, nothing new. There have always been those who cavil the word of God, and the LORD God has always known that. That is why we find the following passage in the Old Testament:

Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. (Isaiah 41:21-24)

You know, none of us have a clue what tomorrow will bring. In fact, none of us really know what will happen an hour from now. So much for not having limitations. However, the LORD God does know, and He has caused much of things to come to be recorded in His word.

However, if the atheist is so smart and not limited in his perception, let the atheist tell us what will be on the morrow, and of things to come. However, no man has been able to do that yet, despite the “unlimited” powers of some.

If it weren’t so serious, it would be laughable. However, I don’t think it’s going to be all that funny when the atheist stands at the white throne of judgement and is face to face with the LORD — and is proven dead wrong. Somebody is going to eat the words of the “non-tract,” and regret the day they ever thought them up.

Really, You think so?

No. Unlike the authors of the “non-tract,” I know so.

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Distorting the Word

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

. . .There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:18)

Of the more common things assumed by people concerning the Scriptures, there are a couple that really don’t sit well with me. It’s not that I get angry or anything, it’s just distressing to consider that people do not understand certain, very important items with regard to Scripture.

First, not all Bibles are the same. For as long as the word of God has been around, men have been perverting it. This is done mainly to justify themselves and their strange, ungodly doctrines and arcane religion. Most folks, even in solid fundamental churches, do not know that the King James Bible comes from the line of Scripture that never saw Roman Catholic influence, and is of the same source text as the Bibles used by the independent, autonomous churches that were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church, the Muslims, and various other pagan religions ever since the first church at Jerusalem. Fundamentally, the underlying text is different, and in the case of the King James Bible, the method of translation is different as well. These things cannot help but bear strongly on the doctrine contained in the Bible one chooses to read.

Second, that the Scripture belongs to the LORD God and Him alone. It is His word. It is really puzzling to me that people will scream bloody murder over plagiarism and the unauthorized alteration of someone else’s work, but don’t seem to grasp the enormity of altering the word of God, and the condemnation that brings upon them. No, it is as if they believe there is no consequence to their action. It is interesting that the translators of the King James Bible held a very strong belief that they were not free to change anything in the Scripture. Unlike a lot of folks, they believed the Scripture to be sacred and not be touched without consequence. In short, they believed the truth of the following statement:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:19-21)

It is the understanding that the Holy Ghost caused the men who penned the Scriptures to put the words on parchment, vellum, and whatever else they used as a medium for their writing, that caused the translators to hold the Scriptures as sacred. Moreover, that the words written were not really the words of the prophets who penned them, but are the words of Almighty God, given to the prophets to write. Thus, the words are not to be tampered with, as one king in Judah found out:

And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. (Jeremiah 36:1-4)

When Jeremiah was done speaking everything the LORD had given him, Baruch took the roll and read it in the temple, in the hearing of all the people. In the events that followed, the roll was taken and read before the king. The king’s response was the same disrespect for the word of God that we see so much of today:

So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. (Jeremiah 36:21-24)

Though Jehoiakim, king of Judah thought that burning the roll would be the end of the matter, he found out that the LORD God does not take kindly to someone utterly disregarding, and then destroying His word. Not only would the words be written again, but judgement was pronounced upon Jehoiakim for his insolence.

Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. (Jeremiah 36:27-30)

Now, all the above is necessary to understand what a blessing it is that we, as English speakers have in possessing the word of God in the form of the King James Bible. English history is intertwined with the Bible and fundamental Christianity. This desire for the word of God is most visible during the time of Wycliff and Tyndale, but has existed since 63 AD when the gospel reached the British Isles. However, the pinnacle of the desire for the pure word of God culminated with King James the VI & I of Scotland and England, and the translation of the King James version of the Bible.

I call attention to all this because there is a third assumption made by the vast majority of individuals concerning the word of God. It seems that we implicitly assume that every language has a right Bible like we do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sadly, most of the languages in the world do not have a Bible with the proper underlying Greek and Hebrew text, and are not properly translated either.

The reason for this lies in the way the Scripture has been handled in those languages from the time they first received the word of God. One of those languages is German. There is no right German Bible. Either the underlying text is wrong, or the translation suffers from the doctrinal/cultural bias of the translator. One of the reasons for this is found is a German religious poem tracing back to about 830 AD. The poem is supposed to be about Jesus, the Redeemer. But this Jesus is nowhere near the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scripture:

Der Heliand

Of the other religious poems, Der Heliand (Heiland – the Redeemer) is still mentioned. A showpiece of the Germanic Stave rhyme poetry of about 6000 long lines. The epic poem was written during the Carolingian times (around 830 A.D.) in the language of old Saxony. It is assumed that Kaiser Ludwig the Pious, the son of Karls des Großen, ordered a Saxon poet to poetically germanise the Gospel. The Redeemer is a gospel harmony, or a portrayal of the life of Jesus, which the poet put together from all four of the gospels.

In this epic Christ becomes, fully corresponding to the German feeling, a German king, his disciples, followers. The setting of the plot is not the Jewish Palestine, rather the German Saxony. The German traits of loyalty, honor, courage, masculinity, and heroism are brought forth strongly. Because the Germans were unfamiliar with loving your enemies, self sacrifice, humility, loving your neighbor, and the idea of peace, Christ is portrayed, not as a poor, humble man, but rather as a courageous, powerful king of the people, a man of the sword, who dies in the battle for his people and for God’s Kingdom. The shepherds in the field, don’t tend sheep, rather brave horses, Joseph is a loyal vassal, the holy three kings are noblemen, who come to swear loyalty to their feudal lord, the marriage in Cana is a German celebration, and in the Sermon on the Mount he promulgates his teaching to his followers. A few lines in modern translation should convey to us the spirit of this wonderful cultural document:

“Then was the quick sword-warrior Peter infuriated. His wrath boiled wildly, he could not speak, for it troubled him so deeply, that they wanted to seize the Lord. Wrathfully he stepped forward, the bold warrior, to stand up for his leader. Quickly he pulled the sword from his side and hit the nearest enemy with full force, so that Malchus was reddened with the sword’s cut, on the right side, his ear cut off, his cheek split. Blood shot out, seething from the wound. As the cheek of the nearest enemy was split, the people moved back out of fear of the sword’s bite.“1

Ever wonder why the gospel and fundamental Christianity never seemed to get anywhere in Germany? Perhaps it also has much to do with Luther as well, since Luther often translated the words “reprove,” “rebuke,” and “teach” as “beat and thrash” in the Bible he translated, which is fully consistent the German cultural understanding of Christ expressed in Der Heliand. Now, to be certain, Luther had the correct underlying text for his translation work. But Luther’s doctrine was also skewed, and he yielded far to much to German culture, as it is expressed in the poem above. In Luther’s mind the wonderful passage in Titus, chapter 2 concerning grace, becomes something to be avoided. When we read it in English, we equate teaching with instruction, since the word “teach” does mean exactly that — to instruct.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; . . .(Titus 2:11-12)

But in the Luther Bible it becomes:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, beating and thrashing us . . .(Titus 2:11-12)

Now, the underlying word in Greek could be translated as “beating and thrashing.” But that would be terribly inconsistent with what “grace” is, and how grace works. No, the problem is that Luther was very much influenced by the culture he lived in, and translated the Scripture accordingly. This is apparent from the fact that the particular meaning Luther chose for “teach” is not the primary meaning of the word. Instead, Luther chose a meaning that was in minority usage, and out of step with how the rest of Scripture portrays the working of grace. Teaching and instruction do not require chastening unless the person being taught won’t learn any other way. Moreover, there is specific underlying Greek word for “chastisement.” The underlying Greek word for “teaching” is given below to demonstrate the error Luther perpetuated in his translation of the Bible. Luther could have used any number of German words that mean specifically “teaching,” such as “lehren” or “unterrichten,” et al. However, Luther chose to use the word “züchtigen” which has the specific meaning “to beat or thrash,” thus not even broaching the idea of teaching, let alone any other method of teaching. Since the rest of Scripture does a very good job of defining the methods the LORD uses for teaching, Luther could have used any German word for teaching, and let the context derive the meaning. In the following definition, please note that the meaning which includes striking someone, is very much the minority usage of the word:

3811 paideuo {pahee-dyoo’-o} from 3816; TDNT – 5:596,753; v
AV – chasten 6, chastise 2, learn 2, teach 2, instruct 1;
13 GK – 4084 { πpαaι?δdεeύ?ω? }
1) to train children
1a) to be instructed or taught or learn
1b) to cause one to learn
2) to chastise
2a) to chastise or castigate with words, to correct
2a1) of those who are moulding the character of others by reproof and admonition
2b) of God
2b1) to chasten by the affliction of evils and calamities
2c) to chastise with blows, to scourge
2c1) of a father punishing his son
2c2) of a judge ordering one to be scourged2

What this demonstrates is the error of allowing culture to influence the translation of the Scripture into the vernacular of the people of a particular language. The translation is supposed to be a formal equivalence translation that is independent of the culture of the people. This is necessary as the Scripture is supposed to reform the culture. If the Scripture condemns a particular cultural ideal, then so be it. We all are, meaning everyone in this world, supposed to conform to the word of God, not the other way around. To do what Luther did (and so many others have done), is to pervert and distort the message the LORD God has in his word. To do that is certain to incur the displeasure of the LORD. Moreover, the people who are influenced by such distortion of the Scripture, will never truly understand what the LORD is doing and why He is doing it. Finally, there are some specific thoughts that we ought to keep firmly in mind concerning the situation we see with translations of the Scripture into different languages:

1. Since every word of God is pure, changing the words in the slightest is certain to make them impure, and distort the meaning, thus changing the message.

2. There is a reason the LORD gifts some men to be teachers of His word. Things that are not so clear in Scripture must be taught. Nowhere in the Scripture does it declare the Scripture to be a “do it yourself,” self-teaching book. That is not the method the LORD chose to use. Instead, He expressly chose to use individuals to minister unto other individuals and teach them the things pertaining to the LORD, and what the LORD requires of man. This necessarily includes things that are obscured by the culture the man of God is sent to. Lest we forget, it is a glory to God that an individual voluntarily follows the LORD and willingly teaches His word unto others.

3. Tampering with the word of God does great harm and hinders the acceptance of the Scripture by the people to whom the Scripture is sent. Germany never has had a right Bible, and neither have the Spanish speaking people. The primary reason for this is the hearts of the people. The LORD God responds directly to the hearts of individuals, and when the predominance of individuals in a culture will not receive the things of God, the LORD responds accordingly. For whatever reason, the people of the British Isles have loved the word of God, and the things of God. This love reached its zenith between 1500 and 1700 AD, but has been evident from time to time since 63 AD. Clearly it has much to do with how the Scripture was handled by those entrusted with it. The LORD God responded to this by giving the English speaking people a pure and right Bible. Sadly, we do not see the same desire for the true word of God in history of either the German or Spanish speaking peoples. What is worse is the fact that we do not see that desire in hardly any other culture in this world — much to their detriment.

Last of all, we must remember whose word it is that we have the privilege of looking into. The Scripture belongs to the LORD God, and he will give understanding of it to whosoever He will. Our attitude toward the word of the LORD dictates how much understanding of that word we will receive.

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)


  1. Deutsche Kulturgeschichte, 3rd Edition, 2002, Hans-Wilhelm Kelling, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-287027-3, pp 55-56. (Translated by SuAnne Droddy)
  2. Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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And there’s not a problem with this . . .? (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Yesterday, I addressed Isaiah 1:18 in and how it appears in the Spanish Bibles when it is translated literally, as compared to the King James Version and the underlying Masoretic text. However, I addressed only a portion of the error that is contained in the verse. In yesterday’s post, I focused on the use of the Spanish word “si” which means “if” instead of “aun” which means “though” and how that changed the entire meaning of the passage. Unfortunately, that is not the only error in the passage.

In the King James Version, Isaiah 1:18 states:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

And in the Reina-Valera 1602, it states:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

Which, literally translated, states:

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet, like the snow, they shall be made white; if the are red like crimson they shall be as wool.

Beside the use of the word “if” in place of “though” there is serious concern for the statement “The Lord will say come and let’s agree:” and what it means with its attendant implications for the doctrine of salvation. Now, I am certain that in the minds of many, the question will be raised: ‘What’s wrong with that statement, isn’t the Lord still seeking to call man to agree that man is a sinner?’ Yes, He is. But the problem lies not in the fact that the LORD is seeking to bring man to the understanding that each and every person is a sinner, as that is very much the case. Rather, the problem lies in the fact that this statement is placed in the future. Instead of “saith the LORD, ” which is present perfect tense. What is given in the Spanish is “The Lord will say” which is future tense.

Why is this an issue, and what real difference does it make? Well, of you are an ultra-dispensationalist, or are one that holds that salvation is different in the different periods of man’s history, I guess it doesn’t really make that much difference. However, if you believe that God has never changed, and that since the fall man has never changed, and you understand that the LORD God knew in eternity past that man would need a Savior, then it is a destructive rendering of the underlying Hebrew text, and inconsistent with the rest of the Scripture.

How so? Consider the following passages:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: . . . (Luke 1:67-70)

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (Acts 3:18)

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. (Hebrews 11:4)

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (Isaiah 48:12-16)

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 12:8)

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:24-26)

Now, I won’t quote all of Isaiah, chapter 59 as it is lengthy, but well worth reading as it details the condition of man. However, the last part of the chapter states:

Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. (Isaiah 59:15-17)

Just when did the LORD see the condition of man? In Revelation, chapter 13 quoted above, it plainly states that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. Please note this places the sacrifice of Christ to have occurred before the creation of man. Clearly, the Scripture details that the LORD created man on the sixth day, which is after the foundation of the world. So then, the LORD saw the fallen state of man before He made the heavens and the earth, and before man was ever created.

But, it is argued, how could the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, be slain on the cross before the world was ever made, and long before the Gospels detail His crucifixion? Isn’t that a contradiction, and doesn’t that cause problems in the Scripture?

Only if one’s understanding of God is incomplete or flawed. Consider the following passage and its implications as touching what the LORD tells us in Scripture:

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (Romans 4:16-17)

When God “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” what He is telling us is the following: He sees all time all at once and differentiates every point in time from every other point in time. Hence, in eternity past, when the LORD God made a covenant with Himself for the salvation of man, the outcome of Christ’s earthly ministry was never in doubt. The fact that the Word would become flesh, live perfectly before the Father, and go to the cross to pay for our sins, was a sure and certain thing: it was impossible for the Lord Jesus Christ to fail.

Hence, the gospel, and means of salvation for man, throughout the entire history of man from the fall has NEVER changed. In Ephesians, chapter 2 it is expressly stated:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8)

And just so men know that grace and works for salvation don’t mix, we are told in Romans:

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)

So then, when it states in Hebrews, chapter 11 that “by faith Abel” and in Genesis, chapter 6 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) we know that both Abel and Noah believed in Christ to come and were justified in the sight of God based upon that belief and trust in God’s promise of a Savior. (Of course, one could read Job 19:23-27 or Hebrews 3:15-4:2) Thus, the gospel has always been the same.

Therefore, it is reasonable to pose the question: Is it “the Lord will say . . .” concerning our sin, or is it far more accurate to understand that it has always been “ . . .saith the LORD” in addressing the wicked and sinful condition of man?

Plainly, the LORD God has always stated, and continues to state that we, individually are sinners in need of salvation. He has made it clear that there exists no other means of salvation outside the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the Word, long before the world ever was chose to take on the form of a man and become our next of kin so that He would pay the price of our sin.

The statement and declaration of God is present perfect, not future tense. It is not ‘He will say.’ He has said and continues to say what He knew in eternity past. Thus instead of:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

To be accurate it must state:

Venid ahora, y razonamos dice el SEÑOR: aun vuestros pecados son como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; aun son rojos como el carmesí, serán como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

And there’s not a problem with this . . . ?

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And there’s not a problem with this . . .? (Part 1)

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

When I witness to someone concerning their need for salvation, there is a verse that I like to use as it is very applicable to rational Westerners (which we in America are). That verse is Isaiah 1:18, which states:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

The verse contains much in the way of doctrine. Primarily, I’d like to point out that the LORD God does desire to reason with every one of us. I want the person I am witnessing to, to understand that believing in Christ Jesus for one’s salvation is not an issue of superstition or blind belief. Rather, the Lord is not pleased by those methods of believing in either the Father or the Son. No, the LORD God desires that we are fully persuaded by reason. To be certain, this reasoning is not reasoning with the mind, although that does occur in the process. Instead, it is a reasoning with the soul. The reasoning primarily focuses on the state of that person’s soul as God sees it. The reasoning is about God’s righteousness versus man’s ability to become righteous by his own effort. And further, this reasoning also brings the person to consider who Christ is, why He died on the cross, and why Christ is qualified to pay the price for that individual’s sin, and that individual is not.

In all this reasoning that the Holy Ghost does with the individual, there is not an agreement between them, until that person yields on each particular point. Rather, it is an adversarial process that can take months or years with the person denying the truth of their state, and/or the truth of who God is, and how and why Christ came, along with who Christ actually is.

This last point is a very critical point that must be thoroughly understood and agreed to willingly before the LORD will accept the profession of that person. Why? Because the LORD is not pleased by blind belief, nor is He pleased by superstition as they who engage in such practices have no sure knowledge of who and what they are trusting. Instead, the LORD God desires that everyone come to know, not guess, but know Him personally, and know and fully understand that they can indeed trust Him and the provision he has made for us in Christ Jesus. This is what glorifies God. Whereas, blind belief doesn’t glorify at all. However, to persuade an individual and have them come to the knowledge of their Creator, and His love for them, and for that individual to be sure and certain of it, is indeed a glory and honor to God. After all, that soul turned to the truth willingly, and became obedient to the truth willingly; and all because the Holy Ghost persuaded them in their heart. Any fool will believe blindly and without proof, and that is no glory to God.

Thus, there is extreme importance attached to the phrase in Isaiah 1:18 which states “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:” However, that phrase suffers when we decide to use the Spanish Bible. Now, for those who are not familiar with this issue, we in the English-speaking world are not the only ones to suffer from a proliferation of Bible versions. However, we at least do have a right Bible that we can turn to as the need arises. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the Spanish world.

I wish I could state differently, but based upon dealing with translating English into Spanish over the last two years, I cannot. I work with a translator that is qualified to translate, and normally does medical interpretation and translation. She, along with a brother in my home church, have translated the Reproach of Men site into Spanish. In so doing, the Statement of Faith was also translated (and I currently have to update the Spanish version) in which each and every supporting verse of each article was checked to see that it properly supported the statement made. The variation of the Spanish verses from the English is simply astounding. Now, to be sure, the Spanish Bible used was not the RV 1960, rather the Bible used was the Reina-Valera 1602, which is supposed to be the most like the KJV.

However, considering all that was discussed above about the LORD God reasoning with individuals (through the instrument of Faith) and what God requires of them in the way of belief, what is one to make of the following rendering of Isaiah 1:18:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana.

And now, the literal translation of that passage:

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet, like the snow, they shall be made white; if the are red like crimson they shall be as wool.

I don’t know about you, but I do not like what I read in the translation above. If, . . .? If . . . ? If your sins are as scarlet. . .

Uh . . . no, — I don’t think so. Our sins are, . . . not if, but are, as scarlet. The price of our sin is blood, and the shedding of it to cover them. Moreover, (and I asked specifically about this) since when is the snow, scarlet? No, that cannot be right either. It must mean that some punctuation is incorrect.

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet; like the snow, they shall be made white;

Which, with the replacing of the comma with a semicolon, is better, but it still does not resolve the first clause and all the attendant problems of using the word “if” rather than the Spanish equivalent of the word “though.” In Spanish, the word for “if” is “si” and the word for “though” is “aun.” Thus it is not a “mistake” in the sense of a typographical error. Rather, the word “si” was deliberately chosen when the word “aun” was a clear and unambiguous rendering of the underlying Hebrew (at least in the Masoretic). Moreover, the word “aun” would give the Spanish reader the plain sense and understanding that they are sinners in need of salvation. As this passage stands, the reader is given to option of questioning the validity of the LORD’s charge laid against them.

Of course, the error was repeated in the last phrase as well. Again, the question “if” our sins are red. No, sorry, they are red like crimson.

By the way, this is not the only passage in the Spanish Bible(s) that are flawed in this way. In the Statement of Faith, many verses from the 1602 (it’s worse in the 1960 RV) had to modified to match what is stated in the King James Version. And, yes, this verse was rewritten to match the KJV:

Venid ahora, y razonamos dice el SEÑOR: aun vuestros pecados son como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; aun son rojos como el carmesí, serán como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

Is it any wonder that the Bible seems to have no significant impact upon the Hispanic world?

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The Real Global Warming

Friday, February 29th, 2008

I am always somewhat amused by the dire predictions of the environmental crowd and the craze of “global warming.” However, I am not amused enough to forget that they manipulate public opinion and the politicians enough to make life difficult for the rest of us. The amusing thing about the global warming crowd is the blindness to the fact that the weather forecasters cannot accurately predict the weather more than a couple of hours in advance. Yet, they swear up and down that they know for sure and certain that the earth is undergoing radical climate change in the form of “global warming.”

All right, that’s just fine. Actually, I will agree with them. They are right. The earth will undergo a radical climate change and it will indeed be global warming. Even the word of God agrees with them on this. Yes indeed, the Bible and the anti-God, humanistic, atheist crowd actually do agree on something — global warming.

Now, I know that some will think I am off my rocker about this. Rest assured, I am nowhere near even getting out of the rocker, let alone falling off of it. No, there is sound biblical basis for my assertion that the radical environmentalists and the Bible agree. Here’s my proof:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (II Peter 3:10)

And just so we don’t miss it, the LORD insures that it is repeated:

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (II Peter 3:11-12)

Now, I do believe that the words “burned up” and “fervent heat” positively, assuredly indicate that global warming is coming. That it is indeed a reality and unstoppable. In fact, the “global warming” that will occur is not just confined to our little ball in space. No, the Scripture is quite plain that it will extend to all the physical creation:

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. (Revelation 20:11)

When the Scripture states that “there was found no place for them.” It plainly means that the earth and the heaven cease to exist. If there is “no place” for them, then there isn’t any place where they can be. Not to be flippant, but that’s some “global warming” for you.

You see, the environmentalists and the Bible do actually agree — there will be global warming. The really sad part for the environmentalists comes in the time after the universe is burned up. They will not get to see what the LORD God will do in making a new heavens and new earth:

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 66:22-23)

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1)

Instead, I am afraid all that the environmentalists will see is a great white throne, and a lake of fire:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15)

Why? Because they do not believe God, or His word. And, they refuse the commandment to repent and believe the gospel. Hence, they are unhappy as they know deep down inside that God is displeased with them for their disobedience:

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

You know, I wish the environmentalists were as concerned for their own welfare, as they supposedly seem to be for the rest of the world’s. If they were, perhaps they would try to insure that they don’t end up in some “warming” of their own.

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Preaching

Friday, January 18th, 2008

I have added a new section to the website: Preaching. The Introduction begins with this:

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)

It is interesting that the LORD God chose a method of delivering His message to man that the world considers foolishness. After all, aren’t there more effective ways of getting the message across? Surely dramas, movies, and songs all are more effective at influencing people to believe in something?

Well, that depends upon what you are trying to achieve. More importantly, it depends upon what you can perceive about a person, versus what LORD God actually knows about man, and particularly about a specific person. Fundamentally, the method used to reach and influence people does depend upon what you can perceive about them, and their true motivations. In this regard, man is at a significant disadvantage, versus the LORD. The LORD made this very plain to the prophet Samuel, when Samuel went to anoint a king to replace Saul. . . more

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