Servants or Slaves, a post by Will Kinney

Servants or Slaves?

Romans 1:1 KJB – “Paul, A SERVANT of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”

NASB – “Paul, A BOND-SERVANT of Jesus Christ, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”

ESV -“Paul, A SERVANT of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”

1 Corinthians 7:22 KJB – “For he that is called in the Lord, being A SERVANT, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s SERVANT.”

NASB – “For he who was called in the Lord while A SLAVE, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s SLAVE.”

ESV – “For he who was called in the Lord as a BONDSERVANT is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is A BONDSERVANT of Christ.”

This little word study resulted from a letter I received from another Christian who wrote me about the alleged error of translating the Greek word ‘doulos’ as “servant” and not always as “slave”. Here is his letter and then my response to the question he brings up.

This brother writes: Recently I was at a gathering and the minister made a big issue about the word “slaves” in the new versions. He said it should have been “slaves”and not “servants” as the King James says. Could you give me more info on this word “servants” and why it should be translated servants and not slaves? He implied that it was a translators preference and nothing to do with Greek. I would really appreciate if you could get back to me with any info on this word “servants” and why it should not be translated “slaves”. I need your help on this one. God bless, hope to hear from you soon. In Christ, because of Calvary, Bruce Downey

Hi brother Bruce. Thanks for writing. I have heard this silly objection to the King James Bible a few times now. One other such “Every Man For Himself Bible Corrector” is Fred Butler. He also has posted this alleged error on the internet. Fred Butler works with fellow Bible Corrector John MacArthur, who also thinks the Greek word doulos should always be translated as “slaves”.  Fred probably got this idea from his favorite teacher.

Men like Fred Butler and John MacArthur do not believe that any Bible in any language is the complete and infallible word of God, but instead make their own minds and flawed understanding the “Final Written Authority”, and yet their ongoing bible invention differs from everybody else’s.

 John MacArthur is now banging the drums for his new book in which he thinks he has found some new insight that apparently has been lost or hidden for hundreds if not thousands of years by virtually all translators of the Bible, both in English and foreign languages.  

 

John MacArthur writes: “Well if you read the New Testament in its original text, you would come away stunned really by how different the original text is from any English version that you’ve ever read…whether King James, New King James, New American Standard, ESV, NIV and you can name all the rest.  All of them virtually have found a way to mask something that is an absolutely critical element of truth.  In fact, the word “slave” appears in the New Testament 130 times in the original text.” 

http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/80-321.htm

 

 

Keep in mind that John MacArthur does not believe that ANY Bible in ANY language is or ever was the complete, inspired and 100% true words of God.  He is a Bible Agnostic.  He has never seen “the original text” he talks about a single day in his life; and he sets up his own mind and understanding against virtually all other Bible translators when it comes to the meaning of the word doulos.

 

For proof of this, see – John MacArthur – Pastor with NO Infallible Bible -

http://brandplucked.webs.com/johnmacarthur.htm

 

Even some Greek scholars tell us that the word doulos can have multiple meanings. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament tells us on page 156 that the word doulos can mean either  1.  a slave, and bondman, or 2. A SERVANT, and attendant of a king.

 

Greek Dictionaries:  I have right here in my study a hardback copy of Diury’s Modern Greek-English Dictionary 1974.  On page 481 when you look up the Greek word doulos it gives these definitions: “slave; enslaved; A SERVANT”.  The verb form is douleuw and is translated as “I SERVE, I labor; I work.”  A related word is he doula and is defined as “a maid, SERVANT, servant girl.”  The Greek word even in modern times still carries both meanings, just like the Hebrew and New Testament Greek word – a slave or a servant.

 

What “scholar” John MacArthur ought to do is simply learn a bit more about the richness of his own native English language. 

 

 Websters New World Dictionary, College Edition.

 

Look up the word Servant in any good English dictionary and you will see that it means: 1.  A person employed to perform services, especially household duties, for another or others.  2. A SLAVE.  3. A person employed by a government; public servant; civil servant. 4. A person ardently devoted to another or to a cause, a creed.

 

 

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913

 

1. One who serves, or does services, voluntarily OR ON COMPULSION; a person who is employed by another for menial offices, or for other labor, and IS SUBJECT TO HIS COMMAND; a person who labors or exerts himself for the benefit of another, his master or employer; a subordinate helper. A yearly hired servant.” Lev. xxv. 53.

 

2. ONE IN A STATE OF SUBJECTION OR BONDAGE. Thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt. Deut. v. 15.

And Webster’s 1828 Dictionary added these definitions:

 

3.In Scripture, a slave; a bondman; one purchased for money, and who was compelled to serve till the year of jubilee; also, one purchased for a term of years.

 

4. The subject of a king; as the servants of David or of Saul. The Syrians became servants to David. 2 Sam. 8.

 

5. A person who voluntarily serves another or acts as his minister; as Joshua was the servant of Moses, and the apostles the servants of Christ. So Christ himself is called a servant, Is. 42. Moses is called the servant of the Lord, Duet. 34.

 

 There is no version that I could find that consistently translates the word doulos as slave or bondservant, except the Westcott-Hort based Goodspeed translation of 1943, which didn’t amount to more than a passing ripple in a parking lot puddle.  Goodspeed was a LIBERAL theologian, and even John MacArthur now seems desperate enough to recommend this liberal paraphrase just so he can bolster his idea that somebody else agrees with him that the Greek word doulos should always be translated as “slave”.

The closest modern version to do this in the New Testament is the NASB, however even the NASB translates this same word as servants in Revelation 10:7 – “His SERVANTS the prophets”. So too do Wallace’s NET version, the NIV, RSV, ASV, RV, NRSV, ESV, NKJV and the ISV.

Daniel Wallace and his ever changing NET version demonstrates the inconsistency and fickleness of modern scholarship when it comes to defining the meaning of various Greek words.

Wallace translates Romans 1:1 as: “ From Paul, a SLAVE (2) of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”

He then goes on to footnote regarding the use of the word “slave” – “(2) – Traditionally, “servant.” Though (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical translation and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.”

OK, at this point the learned docktor argues for the correct translation as being either ‘bondservant’ or ‘slave’. Oh, but wait. What does this modern day scholar do with other passages of his own NET bible version? Let’s see.

In Luke 2:29 Dr. Wallace translates the verse as: “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your SERVANT (88) to depart in peace.”

He then footnotes: “(88) – Here the Greek word (doulos, “slave”) has been translated “servant” since it acts almost as an honorific term for one specially chosen and appointed to carry out the Lord’s tasks.”

At this point we might well ask, Well, how does this present definition of yours differ from its use in all the other passages where the Lord’s people, prophets and apostles are referred to as “servants” in almost every Bible translation in existence?

In Revelation 1:1 Wallace translated the word doulos once again as servant, saying, “ The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his SERVANTS (2) what must happen very soon. He made it clear by sending his angel to his SERVANT John”.

He then footnotes: (2) Grk “slaves.” Although this translation frequently renders (doulos) as “slave,” the connotation is often of one who has sold himself into slavery; in a spiritual sense, the idea is that of becoming a slave of God or of Jesus Christ voluntarily. The voluntary notion is not conspicuous here; hence, the translation “servants.”

Did you notice that last part? In order to communicate what he calls “the voluntary notion” he has now (and in other places too) decided to this time translate this Greek word as “servants” in order to show the voluntary nature of this service rendered unto God.

In Revelation 11:10 again Dr. Wallace translates the verse as: “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God is completed, just as he has proclaimed to his SERVANTS the prophets.”

So which of the various nuances of meaning does the good docktor wish to convey here? “Not … a free individual serving another”, or does he this time include the “voluntary notion”, or is it “an honorific term for one specially chosen and appointed to carry out the Lord’s tasks.”? These Bible Correcting guys are nothing if not consistently inconsistent.

The NIV 1982 edition translates doulos as SERVANT 94 times and as SLAVE only 29 times. For example, look at Romans 1:1 – “Paul a SERVANT of the Lord Jesus Christ”. This word doulos is rendered as servant in the KJB, NKJV, NIV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, the 2001-2011 English Standard Version, and the ISV 2007.

See also Luke 2:29 where Simeon comes into the temple and takes up the child Jesus into his arms and blesses God, saying: “Lord, not lettest thou thy SERVANT (doulos) depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation…”

SERVANT is the translation given to this word by Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549 – “Nowe lettest thou thy seruaunt departe in peace, accordinge to thy promes.”, Bishops’s bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Revised Version 1881, ASV 1901, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible 1902, Weymouth, Young’s, RSV 1946-1973, NRSV 1989, Amplified 1987, ESV 2011, Message 2002, the NKJV 1994, the NIV 1982 – 2011 editions, the Complete Jewish Bible 1998, Names of God Bible 2011, The Voice 2012, the new ISV 2014 (International Standard Version), Common English Bible 2011, and even in Daniel Wallace’s inconsistent and wacky NET version 2006.

Foreign language translations also translate the Greek word doulos as servants. Among these are the French Martin 1744, Louis Segond 1910, French Ostervald 1996 and the La Bible du Semeur 1999 – serviteurs.  Among the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese translations we find the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995 – siervos, the Italian Diodati 1649, Riveduta 1927 and the New Diodati 1991 – servitori –  as well as the Portuguese Almeida – servus.

In the Old Testament there is one Hebrew word Ebed which can either be translated as servant, bondservant or slave. It all depends on the context. Even the NASB translates this one single word as servant 684 times and as slaves only 25 times.

The same Hebrew or Greek word can mean either servant or bond-servant, depending on the context. In Leviticus 25:39-42 the exact same word is used in two very different ways. We are told the poor Hebrew brother who was sold unto another Jew was not to be compelled to “serve as a bondservant, but as a hired servant – “For they are my SERVANTS, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as BONDMEN.”

Again, the same thing is found in 1 Kings 9:22 where we read: “But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no BONDMEN: but they were men of war, and his SERVANTS, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.” BOTH words are the exact same Hebrew word; Context makes all the difference in meaning.

Is the Lord Jesus Christ a SLAVE or a SERVANT of God? Many passages in the prophetic book of Isaiah refer to Christ as the “servant” of the Lord. See Isaiah 49:5-6, 50:10, 52:13, and 53:11 “…by his knowledge shall my righteous SERVANT justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”

In the New Testament, we are not called slaves but rather servants because Christ said “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36.

In I Corinthians 7:22 we are told “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Galatians 5:1 says: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” And 5:13 ” For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty”

Your minister should write his own bible version, and maybe then he will be happy. He is a Bible corrector who has set up his own mind and understanding as the final authority. Don’t believe him. Trust your King James Bible and settle for nothing else.

Will Kinney

 Return to Articles – http://brandplucked.webs.com/kjbarticles.htm

After having posted this article at our Which Version club – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/whichversion/-  another Bible believing Christian posted the following comments, and I totally agree with what he says.  He posted:

It is a false doctrine to say we are slaves of Christ, and it is a false doctrine to say we are slaves to sin. You need to “go to the Greek” to set up this edifice of error.

1. Sinners are servants of sins. Servants serve a master. They earn wages. The wages of sin is death.

2. Christians are servants of Christ. Christians face choices. Many times we are instructed to yield, to obey, to serve and to submit. This is not slavery language, but servant language. As sons of God we must never give up serving God. We are always commanded to serve, to do so willingly. A slave has no will.

It is EXTREMELY EVIL to teach that the KJB has “conspired” to cover up or change a doctrine.

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John MacArthur – Confused and Self-Contradictory Pastor with No Infallible Bible, a post by Will Kinney

John MacArthur – Confused and Self-Contradictory Pastor with No Infallible Bible

 You can now listen to this video teaching about John MacArthur’s unbelief in an infallible Bible here on Youtube if you prefer -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJptorc_GWI&list=PL16B2149EE5E54979&index=2 

John MacArthur – Pastor and Teacher with No Infallible Bible and self-confessed Bible agnostic -“We don’t know whether He said it or not.”

 

John MacArthur has a lot to say about the inspiration and infallibility of “The Bible”.  He likes to sound as if he really believes in the existence of a complete, inspired and 100% true Holy Bible, but the poor man doesn’t have one, and he couldn’t tell you where to get one if his life depended on it.

 

Now I am not saying at all that John MacArthur is not a brother in the Lord, or that he’s the spawn of Satan and on his way to hell.  No, I believe he is a born again Christian, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and I will be spending eternity with him in the presence of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

However when it comes to the fundamental doctrine of whether or not the Scriptures – the complete written words of God in a real and tangible Book that exists now somewhere on this earth – are the inspired, infallible, inerrant and 100 % true words of God, then I have to totally disagree with brother John MacArthur.  He does not have nor believe in such a Book and he has written several articles blindly and ignorantly criticizing the only true Holy Bible in existence and the Standard by which all others are to be measured – the Authorized King James Holy Bible.

 

Mr. MacArthur has written several articles criticizing the idea that the King James Bible is the pure words of God.  In his own writings he often quotes and uses several textually different and contradictory versions like the NKJV, NASB, NIV or he just makes up his own translation as he goes along.  He disagrees with parts of all Bible versions out there and in a very real way has made his own mind and understanding his “Final Authority”.

 

In this article I would like to look primarily at one of Mr. MacArthur’s articles found on his church home site, and address the issues he brings up.  Here is Mr. MacArthur’s main article criticizing the King James Bible.

 

http://jcsm.org/StudyCenter/john_macarthur/KJV.htm

 

In his articles Mr. MacArthur recommends several modern versions including the NKJV (he has his own study bible using the NKJV), the NASB or the NIV, but he actually believes none of them are the complete and infallible words of God.

 

If you listen to some of the things Mr. MacArthur SAYS, he sounds like he actually believes “the Bible” is the inspired and inerrant words of God, but when he is pushed against the wall to actually identify for us where we can get such a Book, he has none to give us.  Instead he blithely recommends several conflicting versions that disagree among themselves by literally THOUSANDS of words, numerous whole verses, and hundreds of different meanings when compared one with another.

http://www.ondoctrine.com/2mac0075.htm 

 

Mr. MacArthur SAYS –  “Let me just add as a footnote to that that God has also marvelously preserved the Scripture with VERY FEW ERRORS …the existing Bibles that we have today HAVE NOT CHANGED AT ALL since then. So God has truly superintended His Word.”

 

Mr. MacArthur also SAYS “In John 10:35 Jesus says the Scripture can’t be broken. THE BIBLE SAYS IT IS INFALLIBLE THAT IS WHAT IT CLAIMS. Secondly, it claims to be inerrant. And if infallible speaks of the totality, inerrant speaks of the parts. It is infallible as the old reformers used to say as a rule of faith and practice. It is also inerrant in every several part so that it is not only, watch now, infallible in the truth it conveys, but IS INERRANT IN EVERY WORD.  And that means IT IS WITHOUT ERROR.

 

Now, let’s look a bit more closely at John’s logic and consistency of reasoning, shall we?  On the one hand he tells us that the Scripture has been preserved WITH VERY FEW ERRORS, and in the next breath he tells us IT IS WITHOUT ERROR.  So, which is it John?  “very few errors” or “without error”?  Are you referring to a specific and real Bible when you talk about “the Scripture that cannot be broken”?  Of course not.  You have no such Book.

 

Here is just one of many examples of John MacArthur’s Biblical Agnosticism. In one of his sermons about Matthew 6:13 he has this to say:The doxology is simply this; “For Thine is the kingdom, the power, the glory forever, Amen.” That’s a doxology. You just say it, you just think it, you just offer it to God, you don’t dissect it. AND BY THE WAY, THERE’S MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE THAT JESUS DIDN’T EVEN SAY THIS, THAT’S WHY IT’S NOT INCLUDED IN SOME OF YOUR VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE. WE DON’T KNOW WHETHER HE SAID IT OR NOTSome manuscripts have it, some don’t.

 

Agnostic = One who does not know for sure.

 

Additional Note: Since posting this article about John MacArthur a couple of people have challenged me on this saying that surely John MacArthur never said this; that I was making it up, or that I must have him confused with some other John MacArthur.  Well, here is the Grace to You site where you can read it for yourself. MacArthur’s  quote about “We don’t know whether He said it or not” is at the bottom of his sermon.  You can see it here -

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/2244 

 

(Regarding the Doxology, there is massive evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ did say these words and they are to be included in the true Bible. – See the first part of this study of the so called “science” of textual criticism)

 

 http://brandplucked.webs.com/scienceoftextcrit.htm 

 

See also the article on why modern versions like the ESV, NIV, NASBs that omit whole sections and many words from what is commonly called The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:2-4 are in fact the “new” Catholic bible versions

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/matthew613.htm 

Going back to Mr. MacArthur’s contradictory statements about “WITHOUT ERROR” and “WITH VERY FEW ERRORS” maybe Mr. MacArthur would like to tell us which of these few examples of hundreds I know about he considers to be among those “very few errors”, and where his Bible “without error” is found among them.

 

The following short list is just a sampling of the divergent and confusing readings found among the contradictory modern bible versions. There are numerous other examples.  Among these “details” are whether Jeremiah 27:1 reads Jehoiakim (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, KJB) or Zedekiah (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman)

 

Or whether 2 Samuel 21:8 reads Michal (Hebrew texts, KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV) or Merab (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman)

 

or 70 (NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, KJB) being sent out by the Lord Jesus in Luke 10:1 or 72 (NIV, ESV, NET)

 

 or in Matthew 18:22 does the Lord say to forgive your brother not “until 7 times, but unto 70 times 7 times” (= 490 times – RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, ESV, ALL Greek texts) or 77 times (NRSV, NIV)

 

or the 7th day in Judges 14:15 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV) or the 4th day (RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET)

 

or God smiting 50,070 men in 1 Samuel 6:19 (KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NET) or 70 men slain (RSV, NIV, NRSV, ESV),  or “70 men- 50 chief men” (Young’s), or “70 MEN OUT OF 50,000 Holman Standard

 

or there being 30,000 chariots in 1 Samuel 13:5 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV) or only 3000 (NIV, NET,  Holman)

 

1 Samuel 13:1  Here we read: “Saul reigned ONE year; and when he had reigned TWO years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel.”  reading – ONE/TWO years (NKJV, KJB, Geneva, Judaica Press Tanach, Orthodox Jewish Bible), or 40/32 (NASB 1972-77) or 30/42 (NASB 1995, NIV),  OR 30 years/ 40 years (NET) or _____years and______and two years (RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition, St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985), or “was 40 years old…and when he had reigned 2 years” (ASV 1901, Amplified bible 1987) or “____years old and reigned 2 years” (Complete Jewish bible, Knox bible, , Jehovah Witness New World Translation) or “was 30 years old…ruled for 42 years” (ISV, Common English Bible) or “32 years old…reigned for 22 years” in the 1989 Revised English Bible, or as the Jehovah Witness New World Translation has it – I Samuel 13:1 – “Saul was . . .* years old when he became king, and for two years he reigned over Israel. “  Footnote: The number is missing in the Hebrew text.” or even “was 50 years old and reigned 22 years.” in the New English Bible of 1970!

But wait.  There’s even more. The ESV 2001 edition had “Saul was________years old when he began to reign, and he reigned____and two years over Israel.”  But now the 2011 edition of the ESV has come out (I have a hard copy right here in front of me) and it now has the perhaps even more ridiculous reading of “Saul LIVED FOR ONE YEAR AND THEN BECAME KING, and when he had reigned FOR TWO YEARS over Israel, Saul chose 3000 men of Israel…”.  Think about it. “Saul lived for one year and then became king”.  They just get loopier and loopier, don’t they?

Can you guess which other version reads this way?  You got it; the Catholic Douay-Rheims 1610 and the Douay Version 1950 which read: “Saul was A CHILD OF ONE YEAR WHEN HE BEGAN TO REIGN, and he reigned two years over Israel.”

 

Or 2 Samuel 15:7 “forty years” (Hebrew, Geneva, NKJV, NASB, RV) OR “four years” (NIV,RSV, ESV, NET)

 

or whether both 2 Samuel 23:18 and 1 Chronicles 11:20 read “chief of the THREE” (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, NRSV, Holman, NIV, NET, Holman, NET) or THIRTY from the Syriac (NASB, RSV, ESV)

 

or 2 Samuel 24:13 reading SEVEN years (Hebrew, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET) or THREE years (LXX, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman)

 

  or whether 1 Kings 5:11 reads 20 measures of pure oil (Hebrew texts, Geneva, KJB, ASV, RV, NASB, NRSV) or 20,000 (RSV, NIV, ESV, NET, LXX and Syriac)

 

or in 2 Chronicles 31:16 we read THREE years old (Hebrew texts, Geneva Bible, Wycliffe, LXX, Syriac, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, Holman, NET) or THIRTY years old (NASB – ft. Hebrew “three”)

 

or where 2 Chronicles 36:9 reads that Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign (Hebrew texts, NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, KJB, RSV, NRSV ESV 2001 edition) or he was 18 years old (NIV, Holman, NET, ESV 2007 edition)

 

or that when God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead it is stated in Acts 13:33 “this day have I begotten thee” (KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, RSV, NRSV, ESV) or “today I have become your Father” (NIV, Holman, NET).

 

MacArthur’s Criticism of the King James Bible

 

Mr. MacArthur goes on in his main article to point out what he believes are errors in the King James Bible.  Let’s see what he says and then find out if there is any truth or merit to what he states.

 

He titles this section – “The Biblical Position on The KJV Controversy”

 

Mr. MacArthur says: “Let me share with you my own conclusions after studying these issues. Bible versions, such as the New International Version and the New American Standard Bible, have been translated by godly men of demonstrated academic repute from the very best manuscript evidence that is available today. May I add, the manuscript evidence that is now available is far superior to that which was available to the King James Version’s translators in 1611. I would have no reservation in recommending these versions, yet I myself choose to continue using the Scofield Reference Bible because it is the text with which I am most familiar.”

 

NOTE – It should be obvious to everyone that brother John does not believe that any of these conflicting bibles are the infallible words of God.  He tells us on the one hand that the NASB and NIV are from what he calls “the very best manuscript evidence”, and yet he himself prefers the NKJV, which, if he were to follow his own logic,  would then necessarily have to be based on the poorest manuscript evidence. 

 

Versions like the NASB, NIV omit some 3000 words found in his NKJV in just the New Testament alone, plus reject scores if not hundreds of Hebrew readings, and change the very meanings of hundreds of other verses by the way they have translated them.  How can they all be the infallible words of God? In fact, it is an undeniable fact that versions like the ESV, NIV, NASBs are the “new” Catholic bible versions. See the following articles: 

 

Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASBs are the “new Catholic bibles – Part One

http://brandplucked.webs.com/realcatholicbibles.htm

Removing all doubt about the ESV, NIV, NASB being the new Catholic bibles – Part TWO

http://brandplucked.webs.com/esvcatholicpart2.htm 

 

As for his “very best manuscript evidence” maybe Mr. MacArthur is unaware of just what these so called “oldest and best manuscripts” actually say.   Here is where you can see how “the very best” really read.  If these are indeed “the very best” then we are in a world of hurt and are hopelessly adrift concerning what God really said or inspired in His precious words. 

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/oldestandbestmss.htm

 

Mr. MacArthur then goes into his arguments against the King James Bible as being the only true Bible.  He tells us the following:

 

1. “The Old and New Testaments were not originally written in the English language. They were first written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.” 

 

NOTE – Golly, we didn’t know that ;-)

 

2. “We do not have the originals of any of the books of the Bible.”

 

 NOTE – This is about the only true statement I found in Mr. MacArthur’s article.

 

3. “God never promised the perfect preservation of the originals, but He did promise to preserve their content. They are preserved within the body of currently existing manuscripts.”

 

NOTE – Here Mr. MacArthur reveals the true nature of where he thinks God’s words have been preserved.  Not in any single Bible in any language, including the never identified “the Hebrew” or “the Greek”.  No, not in any of them.  They supposedly are “out there somewhere” among 5000 to 6000 remaining scraps, portions and partial books of the remaining manuscripts which contain literally thousands of textual variants that nobody can agree on which ones are correct and which are not.  THAT’S where Mr. MacArthur’s real “bible” is.

 

By the way, God’s true Bible does say that He will preserve His WORDS till heaven and earth pass away; not just the general ideas.  See Psalms 12:6-7, Matthew 24:35 and John 10:35.  The question is, Do we have them in a real Book called the Bible or are they scattered hither and yon out there somewhere “within the body of currently existing manuscripts” as John MacArthur affirms?

 

Mr. MacArthur continues: “4. There are differences among the original language manuscripts that have come down to us in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. This is the chief cause of the problem.

 

5. These textual variations are almost always incidental and do not significantly affect the sense of what Scripture is saying. As a matter of fact, once the easily solved variants are removed, 99.9 percent of what is in our Bible can be confirmed without question.

 

6. It is usually easy to identify the cause behind a textual variant because the Greek New Testament has been preserved in far more existing manuscripts than any other piece of ancient literature. We are faced with, “an embarrassment of riches.”

 

NOTE – Mr. MacArthur repeats the oft spoken modern version mantra about how our bibles are 99.9% the same, and there is really no substantial differences among them.  This is an outright Falsehood (a.k.a.  A Lie) and easily seen to be so by anybody who would just take the time to compare the various bible versions out there in present day Bible Babelonia.  

 

Here is a partial list of how versions like the NIV, NASB differ from John MacArthurs own NKJV as well and the King James Bible.

 

Are the Bible Versions 99.9% the Same?

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/arebibles995same.htm

 

John MacArthur NOW states that he does not believe that 12 verses as found in Mark 16:9-20 are inspired Scripture and should be in our Bible. He USED to preach that they were Scripture.

To see a very well done refutation of John MacArthur’s arguments for their omission, see these Youtube videos done by James Snapp Jr.  He completely demolishes MacArthur’s position on these verses.

 Here is Part One – about 15 minutes

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx2Q1X0_r5g&feature=relmfu

 

And here is Part Two – about 15 minutes

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s7ZxsBjtaw&feature=relmfu 

And here is Part Three, the Summary – about 15 minutes

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU4JNBCckxI&feature=relmfu 

James Snapp also writes concerning John MacArthur’s ever revolving door of his personal convictions concerning what is and what is not inspired Scripture: 

“Following up regarding John MacArthur: I’ve been doing some research on John 7:53-8:11, and happened to stumble across an October 25, 1970 sermon that John MacArthur preached no the subject. It’s at this site with a transcript.   http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1519/jesus-confronts-hypocrisy

He called John 7:53-8:11 a “portion of Scripture,” and specifically said, “And I want you to understand this, and there is no conclusive evidence either way since some manuscripts have it and some don’t.” Following a series of rhetorical Q-&-A, he states, “I think too that the beauty and the obvious Christ- likeness of this record leads me personally to believe that it is genuine.”

Has anyone seen any evidence that Dr. MacArthur has changed his mind about this? The note in the MacArthur ESV Study Bible says that the section “most likely was not a part of the original contents of John,” and that “The earliest and best manuscripts exclude it,” but also says, “It is good to consider the meaning of this passage and leave it in the text, just as with Mark 16:9-20,” but clearly, sometime after that note was written, he changed his mind about Mark 16:9-20.” [End of comments by James Snapp]

Let’s look at the remaining points John MacArthur brings up against the King James Bible.

 

I John 5:7-8

 

 Mr. MacArthur says: “Perhaps the biggest error of fact concerns 1 John 5:7-8. You claim that it was a part of the original manuscript and should, therefore, be included in any Bible. Have you really read the textual history of that particular manuscript? Let me give you a summary. The passage is absent from every known Greek manuscript except four, and these four contain the passage of what appears to be a translation from a late translation of the Latin Vulgate. These four manuscripts are dated very, very late. The passage is quoted by none of the Greek fathers, who, if they had known it, would certainly have used it in the trinitarian controversies of the early centuries. The passage is absent from the manuscripts of all ancient versions. It is quoted first in time not in a Bible text but in a Latin treatise about the Bible in the 4th Century A.D.

 

Its inclusion in the TR seems to have come through the pen of Erasmus. When charged by Stunica, Erasmus replied that he had not found any Greek manuscript containing these words, but that if a single Greek manuscript could be found that contained it, he would include it in a future edition.

 

The one manuscript that was later presented to Erasmus in substantiation of the inclusion of that verse has now been identified as a Greek manuscript written in Oxford about 1520 by a Franciscan friar who took the words from the Latin Vulgate. Erasmus then inserted the passage in his third edition of 1522 but indicated in a lengthy footnote his own personal suspicions that the manuscript had been prepared in order to refute him. These are the facts.”

 

NOTE – Uh…Mr. MacArthur.  Those are NOT the FACTS at all, and even Bruce Metzger stopped repeating that lie you just told us about the Erasmus thingy.  

 

I John 5:7-8 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” reads the same in ALL English bibles from Wycliffe 1380, Tyndale 1325, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568 and the Geneva Bible 1560, 1587, 1599, 1602 to the King James Bible of 1611  and it was even in the 1582 Catholic Rheims New Testament and the previous Catholic Douay-Rheims bible, and is still found today in the NKJV Mr. MacAruthur himself “prefers” but apparently does not believe!

 

Much more can be seen here in defense of the inspiration and legitimacy of this verse:

  http://brandplucked.webs.com/1john57.htm

 

Among these FACTS are the following which directly contradict many of Mr. MacArthurs statements.

 

Here is just a partial list of those who contended for the authenticity of this verse.  Cyprian – 250 AD, Priscillian -385 AD, Jerome 420 AD, Fulgentius, Cassiodorus, Isidore of Seville, Jaqub of Edessa, Thomas Aquinas, John Wycliffe, Desiderus Erasmus, Lopez de Zuniga, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, Cipriano de Valera, John Owen, Francis Turretin, John Wesley, John Gill, Matthew Henry, Andrew Fuller, Thomas F. Middleton, Luis Gaussen, Frederick Nolan, Robert L. Dabney, Thomas Strouse, Floyd Jones, Peter Ruckman, George Ricker Berry, Edward F. Hills, David Otis Fuller, Thomas Holland, Michael Maynard and Donald A. Waite.

 

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” is found in 10 remaining Greek manuscripts, at least 4 Old Latin manuscripts, is quoted or referred to by at least 8 church fathers, is in some ancient versions like the Syriac, Armenian and Slavic versions, in the Waldensian Bibles from 157 AD till the time of the Reformation, is in thousands of Vulgate Latin manuscripts, is in the Spanish Reina Valera used throughout the entire Spanish speaking world today, the Italian Diodati, the Russian, Portuguese, pre and post Lutheran German bibles, and all English versions till 1881.

 

 It is important to note that the Greek Orthodox Church’s New Testament contains 1 John 5:7 both in the ancient and in the Modern Greek versions.  Either God has been faithful to preserve His pure words with nothing added or He has failed and the scholars of today who do not believe any Bible on this earth is the perfect word of God are right.  You choose which view is more honoring to the living God Who promised that heaven and earth would pass away, but His words would not pass away.”  Matthew 24:35.

 

 More Specific Examples from the Pen of John MacArthur Pastor-Teacher

 

 Mr. MacArthur continues his article saying: “What Is The TR?  One great problem with this whole issue is that the term, “textus receptus” is often misunderstood and misused.”

 

“The Trinitarian Bible Society exists for the purpose of circulating uncorrupted versions of the Word of God (namely KJV). Terrence H. Brown, the TBS secretary, makes this honest admission, “One problem is that many people use the term ‘textus receptus’ without defining it, and give the impression that this received text is available somewhere in a single manuscript or printed copy, but this is not the case. No copy, written or printed, was called the ‘textus receptus’ until the Elzevirs used this description in the preface to their edition in 1633. It should therefore be understood that the King James Version translators, who published their work in 1611, did not use an edition of the Greek text actually known by this name.”

 

NOTE: – strictly speaking, this is true.  However it should be pointed out that what the Elzevir brothers referred to as the Received Text  (the TR or Textus Receptus) was the underlying Greek text found in the King James Bible.  For Mr. MacArthur to continue his article here talking about what “the TR” has instead of what is found in the King James Bible is a fabrication of his own mind.  Nothing was called “the TR” before the text of the King James Bible came on the scene.

 

John MacArthur then continues: “It is very interesting to note that there are about 290 differences between the “textus receptus” and the King James Version. Let me illustrate.”

 

NOTE – Not true, Mr. MacArthur. Nothing was called “the textus receptus” before the King James Bible.  What John MacArthur is referring to may be a particular Greek text by Stephanus in 1550 or perhaps Erasmus, but those were NOT THE TR.

 

Here are John MacArthur’s first five examples. He states:

 

“1. Note in Romans 12:11 where the TR has “serving in season” but KJV, along with all modern versions, has “serving the Lord.”

 

2. In I Thessalonians 2:15, the TR has the pronoun “you” while the KJV, along with all other modern versions, has the pronoun “us.”

 

3. The King James Version in Revelation 11:1 has the reading, “And the angels stood.” The TR, along with all modern versions, does not include this phrase.

 

4. If you read 1 John 2:23 in the KJV, you note that the translators included in italics the phrase, “But he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” It is omitted in the TR but included as a part of the text in most modern versions.

 

5. Luke 17:36, “Two men shall be in the field; and one shall be taken, the other left” is included in the King James Version but it is omitted in the TR and all other modern versions.”

 

NOTE – John MacArthur is completely wrong on all 5 examples.  The Trinitarian Bible Society’s printed copy of the Textus Receptus contains EVERY ONE OF THESE KJB READINGS in their text.  So does the online Modern Greek Bible used by the Greek Orthodox churches all over the world today.  You can see the Modern Greek version here: 

http://unbound.biola.edu/  Mr. MacArthurs’ information is completely false.

 

In addition to this, these early foreign language versions translated around and before the time the King James Bible came out in 1611 contain all the same readings as found in the KJB and the TBS Greek Textus Receptus.  Agreeing with the King James Bible in all five of these examples are the Italian Diodati of 1603 and the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras of 1569! Also agreeing in all 5 examples is the Bishops’ Bible of 1568, a full 43 years before the first copy of the King James Bible was printed. John MacArthur is simply wrong on all counts and does not know what he is talking about.

 

Mr. MacArthur then continues his ignorant criticism of the King James Bible with Objection #6.   Here he erroneously states: “Matthew 23:24 is a humorous example of a printing error, not a translation error. The King James Version reads, “Ye blind guides, which strain AT a gnat and swallow a camel.” It’s obvious to everyone that the word “at” should be “out.”

 

Again, Mr. MacArthurs’ criticism is totally baseless. The only thing “obvious to everyone” here who has actually bothered to look into this commonly raised objection is that Mr. MacArthur has not done his homework but merely copied some anti-King James Bible nonsense pasted from some other Bible Agnostic who didn’t know what he was talking about either.

 

Matthew 23:24’s “strain AT a gnat” is perfectly accurate and is not a printing error at all.  Want proof?  Here it is:

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/mt23strainat1tim29sha.htm

 

Mr. MacArthur then closes out his arguments with points # 7 and # 8.  He says: “7. The problem of 1 John 5:7-8 was discussed in the lengthy letter earlier so we won’t discuss it here.”

 

(NOTE – Again, John MacArthur is himself guilty of false information and is shown to be a hypocrite for criticizing a verse that is found even in his own MacArthur NKJV Study Bible.  – See 

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/1john57.htm )

 

“8. In Revelation 22:19, both the TR and the King James Version have the phrase, “Book of Life.” That phrase is not found in any Greek manuscript, rather “tree of life” is the only text. Erasmus translated the last six verses from the Latin Vulgate because his Greek manuscript lacked these verses. Just a final note. Even the KJV translators did not claim for their work what modern promoters insist. The original translators at times were uncertain of the correct variant and made marginal notes to indicate other possibilities. In the preface to the original KJV, the editors acknowledged the profit from other versions. Here is what they wrote:

 

“Therefore as S. Augustine saith, that varietie of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversitie of signification and sense in the margine, where the text is not so cleare, must needes doe good, yea, is necessary, as we are perswaded.” (End of quotes by Pastor and Teacher John MacAruthur)

 

FINAL NOTES – Twice more Mr. Bible Agnostic John MacArthur is misinformed and found to be criticizing a Bible reading that is found even in the same Bible version he himself prefers and frequently uses.

 

He is wrong about Revelation 22:19’s “book of life” 

- See http://brandplucked.webs.com/rev2219bookoflife.htm

 

And then Mr. MacArthur closes out his criticism of the King James Bible much like fellow Bible Agnostic James White does with a quotation by the King James Bible translators taken completely out of context and misapplied to the entire Bible version issue.

 

The quote taken from St. Augustine and employed by the KJB translators does not refer at all to the entire Bible or even individual verses found in the Bible, but rather to the names of specific animals and plants and how to translate them into English.

 

 Variety of translations

 

 One line from the Preface to the King James Bible is often cited by supporters of modern versions. It has to do with the goal of the KJB translators in making a good translation better. In his tract entitled, Pick a Bible, Any Bible, Mr. Terry Alverson cites Dr. Miles Smith of the KJV translation committee and states, “Obviously Smith and his co-workers did not undertake the task of translating the KJV with the intent that it was to be the only Bible. Quite the contrary. It appears the 1611 KJV translators would be the first to applaud a modern day effort to ‘make a good translation better.’ “(p.2).

 

One wonders if the claim that the KJB translators would be the first to applaud a modern day effort is correct in light of their full statement. The context of Dr. Smith’s citation is given below:

 

Truly, good Christian reader, we never thought from the beginning that we should need to make a new translation, nor yet to make a bad one a good one, (for then the imputation of Sixtus had been true in some sort, that our people had been fed with gall of dragons instead of wine, with whey instead of milk:) but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principle good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavour, that our mark.

 

The history of all the “good ones” which predated the KJB shows that they were all based upon the same Greek line of manuscripts; the Traditional Text. Further, it should be noted that the translators said their goal was NOT to make a bad one good, else the accusation from the Pope that the translators were feeding their people with “gall of dragons” might have some basis. Their goal was to make “one principle one” from the good ones which predated the KJB. Clearly, this is not an affirmation to alter the text based on either the Alexandrian or Western line of manuscripts.

 

Likewise, the KJB translators spoke of the need for many translations. Some have used this to justify the use of modern versions based on a differing line of manuscripts. Jame R. White writes, “When the very preface to the KJV says, ‘Variety of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures,’ it is obvious that the KJV Only position is proven utterly ahistorical thereby. The position requires the translator to be something its own authors never intended it to be.” (The King James Only Controversy, pp. 76-77).

 

The context of this statement was the use of marginal notes to explain the meaning of some Hebrew and Greek words which either carry several meanings or for rare animals. Please note the full context of the phrase in question:

 

“There be many words in the Scriptures which be never found there but once, (having neither brother nor neighbour, as the Hebrews speak) so that we cannot be holpen by conference of places. Again, there be many rare names of certain birds, beasts, and precious stones etc. concerning which the Hebrews themselves are so divided among themselves for judgement . . .Now in such a case, doth not a margin do well to admonish the reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily? For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident, so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgement of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption. Therefore as S. Augustine saith, that variety of translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin where the text is not so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded.”

 

 Obviously the KJB translators were referring to the variety of translations regarding specific names of certain birds, beasts and stones, NOT to the wholesale  omission or addition of thousands of phrases, verses and words to the God inspired texts.

 

The modern version proponents like James White and John MacArthur rip this quote out of context and apply it in an attempt to justify their rejection of the Traditional Greek Text of the Reformation Bibles, and their rejection of many Hebrew texts as well.

 

Mr. John MacArthur pretends he is a Bible believer, but in fact he recommends several contradictory bible versions that differ from each other in thousands of words, contain silly or ludicrous statements, and teach false doctrine in many ways, thus proving themselves to be false witnesses to the Truth of God.

 

Here are some examples of the false doctrines found in these bogus modern bible versions embraced and promoted by men like James White, James Price, Doug Kutilek and John MacArthur –  not one of whom believes there exists now or ever existed in any language the complete, inspired, infallible and 100% true words of God in The Bible.  

 

  http://brandplucked.webs.com/nodoctrinechanged.htm

 

John MacArthur may have some good things to say when it comes to other aspects of the Christian faith (though I completely disagree with him about his “Lordship salvation” teaching) but when it comes to the vitally important Doctrine of the Infallibility of Scripture he “is blind, and cannot see afar off.” 2 Peter 1:9

 

“Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.”  Proverbs 14:7

 

“For ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.”  Jeremiah 23:36

 

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.  But they said, We will not walk therein.”  Jeremiah 6:16

 

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  Matthew 11:15

 

Will Kinney

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/articles.htm

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Worshiping Jesus as God – A Reply to the Late Ahmad Deedat, Pt. 3, a post by Sam Shamoun

Worshiping Jesus as God –

A Reply to the Late Ahmad Deedat Pt. 3

In this final part of our refutation we are going to look at texts where the first Christians offered prayers and invocation to their risen Lord.

According to the NT documents, the first Christians were known for and characterized by their practice of calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus,

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, both their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

A practice which began among Jesus’ Jewish followers in Jerusalem of all places!

But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to THY saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon THY name.’… And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ And all who heard him were amazed, and said, ‘Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on THIS NAME? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests.’” Acts 9:13-14, 20-21

What makes this truly remarkable is that the OT scriptures are crystal clear that Yahweh God is the only Being whom believers were to call upon in their worship and petitions:

Thence he removed to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.” Genesis 12:8

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.” Genesis 21:33

Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he! Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the Lord, and he answered them. He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies, and the statutes that he gave them.” Psalm 99:5-7

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord:O Lord, I beseech thee, save my life!’… I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LordI will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:1-4, 13, 17

Jesus’ followers even called upon their risen Lord at the moment of their deaths, as we find in the case of the first Christian martyr Stephen:

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and JESUS standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and THE SON OF MAN standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named SaulAnd as they were stoning Stephen, HE PRAYED, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ AND HE KNELT DOWN and cried with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:55-60

Stephen here prays to the risen Lord Jesus in the same way that the Psalmist prayed to Yahweh,

Into thy hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” Psalm 31:5

And similarly to the manner that Christ himself prayed to the Father while he was on the cross:

And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments… Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last.” Luke 23:33-34, 46

Moreover, not only does Stephen ask Christ to receive his human spirit, he even beseeches the exalted Lord to forgive his murderers, which is another divine function since both the Holy Bible,

And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ And immediately Jesus, perceiving IN HIS SPIRIT that they thus questioned WITHIN THEMSELVES, said to them, ‘Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Rise, take up your pallet and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the paralytic— ‘I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.’ And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” Mark 2:5-12

And the Quran concur that only God is able to forgive sins:

And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring God to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, – and who can forgive sins except God? – and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done. S. 3:135 Y. Ali

Stephen’s prayer therefore provides further proof that the first Christians were worshiping Jesus as God Almighty Incarnate. As the following commentaries explain:

“… [2.] Our Lord Jesus is God, to whom we are to seek, and in whom we are to confide and comfort ourselves living and dying. Stephen here prays to Christ, and so must we for it is the will of God that all men should thus honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. It is Christ we are to commit ourselves to, who alone is able to keep what we commit to him against that day it is necessary that we have an eye to Christ when we come to die, for there is no venturing into another world but under his conduct, no living comforts in dying moments but what are fetched from him. [3.] Christ’s receiving our spirits at death is the great thing we are to be careful about, and to comfort ourselves with. We ought to be in care about this while we live, that Christ may receive our spirits when we die for, if he reject and disown them, whither will they betake themselves? How can they escape being a prey to the roaring lion? To him therefore we must commit them daily, to be ruled and sanctified, and made meet for heaven, and then, and not otherwise, he will receive them. And, if this has been our care while we live, it may be our comfort when we come to die, that we shall be received into everlasting habitations.” (Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/view.cgi?bk=43&ch=7; bold and underline emphasis ours)

And:

Verse 59-60

calling upon God and saying, Lord Jesus, etc. — An unhappy supplement of our translators is the word “God” here; as if, while addressing the Son, he was really calling upon the Father. The sense is perfectly clear without any supplement at all – “calling upon [invoking] and saying, Lord Jesus”; Christ being the Person directly invoked and addressed by name (compare Acts 9:14). Even Grotius, De Wette, Meyer, etc., admit this, adding several other examples of direct prayer to Christ; and Pliny, in his well-known letter to the Emperor Trajan (a.d. 110 or 111), says it was part of the regular Christian service to sing, in alternate strains, a hymn to Christ as God.

Lord Jesus, receive my spirit — In presenting to Jesus the identical prayer which He Himself had on the cross offered to His Father, Stephen renders to his glorified Lord ABSOLUTE DIVINE WORSHIP, in the most sublime form, and at the most solemn moment of his life. In this commitment of his spirit to Jesus, Paul afterwards followed his footsteps with a calm, exultant confidence that with Him it was safe for eternity (2 Timothy 1:12).

Verse 60

cried with a loud voice — with something of the gathered energy of his dying Lord (see on John 19:16-30).

Lord — that is, JESUS, beyond doubt, whom he had just before addressed as Lord.

lay not this sin to their charge — Comparing this with nearly the same prayer of his dying Lord, it will be seen how very richly this martyr of Jesus had drunk into his Master‘s spirit, in its divinest form. (Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/view.cgi?bk=43&ch=7; bold and underline emphasis ours)

(6) As invoking the name of Jesus seems to have been a characteristic and familiar mark of the early Christians, so to do this just as the spirit is passing out of time into eternity, and in these solemn circumstances to commit to Jesus that most precious of all deposits-one’s own spirit-asking Him to receive it on its flight from the body, is such an act of supreme worship as no devout dying believer can be conceived to have offered to one whom he believed to be no more than a creature, or to be other than “God over all blessed forever;” and if the great apostle did not habitually do this very thing which Stephen did with his last breath, what meaning can be put upon the words already quoted, penned by him when about to seal his testimony with his blood, “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day”? (2 Timothy 1:12.) (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible – Unabridged: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/view.cgi?bk=43&ch=7; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Finally:

Verse 59

Calling upon God – The word God is not in the original, and should not have been in the translation. It is in none of the ancient mss. or versions. It should have been rendered, “They stoned Stephen, invoking, or calling upon, and saying, Lord Jesus,” etc. That is, HE WAS ENGAGED “IN PRAYER” TO THE LORD JESUS. The word is used to express “prayer” in the following, among other places: 2 Corinthians 1:23, “I call God to witness”; 1 Peter 1:17, “And if ye call on the Father,” etc.; Acts 2:21, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord,” etc.; Acts 9:14; Acts 22:16; Romans 10:12-14. This was, therefore, AN ACT OF WORSHIP; a solemn invocation of the Lord Jesus, in the most interesting circumstances in which a man can be placed – IN HIS DYING MOMENTS. And this shows that IT IS RIGHT TO WORSHIP THE LORD JESUS, AND TO PRAY TO HIM. For if Stephen was inspired, it settles the question. The example of an inspired man in such circumstances is a safe and correct example. If it should be said that the inspiration of Stephen cannot be made out, yet the inspiration of Luke, who has recorded it, will not be called into question. Then the following circumstances show that he, an inspired man, regarded it as right, and as a proper example to be followed:

(1)He has recorded it without the slightest expression of an opinion that it was improper. On the contrary, there is every evidence that he regarded the conduct of Stephen in this case as right and praiseworthy. There is, therefore, this attestation to its propriety.

(2)the Spirit who inspired Luke knew what use would be made of this case. He knew that it would be used as an example, and as an evidence that it was right to worship the Lord Jesus. It is one of the cases which has been used to perpetuate the worship of the Lord Jesus in every age. If it was wrong, it is inconceivable that it should be recorded without some expression of disapprobation. (3)the case is strikingly similar to that recorded in John 20:28, where Thomas offered worship to the Lord Jesus “as his God,” without reproof. If Thomas did it in the presence of the Saviour without reproof, it was right. If Stephen did it without any expression of disapprobation from the inspired historian, it was right. (4)these examples were used to encourage Christians and Christian martyrs to offer homage to Jesus Christ. Thus, Pliny, writing to the Emperor Trajan, and giving an account of the Christians in Bithynia, says that they were accustomed to meet and “sing hymns to Christ as to God” (Latriner). (5)it is worthy of remark that Stephen, in his death, offered the same act of homage to Christ that Christ himself did to the Father when he died, Luke 23:46. From all these considerations, it follows that the Lord Jesus is a proper object of worship; that in most solemn circumstances it is right to call upon him, to worship him, and to commit our dearest interests to his hands. If this may be done, HE IS DIVINE.

Receive my spirit – That is, receive it to thyself; take it to thine abode in heaven.

Verse 60

And he kneeled down – This seems to have been a “voluntary” kneeling; a placing himself in this position for the purpose of “prayer,” choosing to die in this attitude.

Lord – That is, Lord Jesus. See the notes on Acts 1:24.

Lay not … – Forgive them. This passage strikingly resembles the dying prayer of the Lord Jesus, Luke 23:34. Nothing but the Christian religion will enable a man to utter such sentiments in his dying moments. (Albert Barne’s Notes on the Whole Bible: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/view.cgi?bk=43&ch=7; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

To confirm Barne’s point that Stephen was inspired by God to worship Christ, recall that according to v. 56 Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit, which is why he was able to see a vision of the risen and glorified Christ standing at God’s right hand. And in the previous chapter Luke tells us that this holy servant of the Lord Jesus was a man filled with faith, power, grace and the Holy Spirit, one who was able to perform mighty miracles before the people, and whose countenance was like that of an angel’s:

And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the peopleThen some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, arose and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spokeAnd gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” Acts 6:5-11, 15

These Christians were simply obeying what the Lord himself had told them while he was with the disciples on earth:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT.” John 14:12-14

Jesus makes the remarkable assertion that once he is with the Father in heaven, he would then personally answer all the petitions that his followers make in his name!

This presupposes that Christ is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent since he has to be aware of all those who are praying to him, where exactly are they praying from, and what they are praying for, and must further possess the power to answer all these requests.

Thus, Christ is making himself out to be the Hearer of prayer, even though both the Holy Scriptures,

Praise is due to thee, O God, in Zion; and to thee shall vows be performed, O thou who hearest prayer! To thee shall all flesh come on account of sins.” Psalm 65:1-2

And the Quran teach that this happens to be a function that God carries out,

When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way. S. 2:186 Y. Ali

And your Lord says: “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer): but those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in Hell – in humiliation!”… He is the Living (One): There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds!

S. 40:60, 65 Y. Ali

Since he alone has the ability to hear and answer all prayers!

This should sufficiently put to rest the late Deedat’s desperate attempts of trying to undermine the clear biblical proclamation that the disciples and all who believed were worshiping the Lord Jesus as God Almighty in the flesh.

All biblical references taken from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Holy Bible.

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Worshiping Jesus as God – A Reply to the Late Ahmad Deedat, Pt. 2c, a post by Sam Shamoun

Worshiping Jesus as God –

A Reply to the Late Ahmad Deedat Pt. 2c

We continue from where we previously left off by returning to the issue of individuals kneeling and prostrating before Jesus.

The following is another case where someone runs to worship Jesus begging him to deliver his child from an unclean spirit:

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ When the disciples heard this, THEY FELL ON THEIR FACES, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear.’ And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, ‘Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.’… And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him AND KNEELING BEFORE HIM said, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.’ And Jesus answered, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.’ And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:1-9, 14-21

Christ not only casts out a demon effortlessly, he even transfigures before his disciples in order to reveal his inner, abiding divine glory that had been veiled by his humanity, with the Father himself descending in a cloud in order to personally bear witness to the disciples that Jesus is his Son whom he loves and whom they had to obey.

That’s not all. We are even told that the 24 elders and the four living creatures that dwell in heaven bow down to the Lord Jesus in the same context where every created thing which exists in every imaginable place gives the risen Christ the exact same worship that God the Father receives!

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAMB, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘WORTHY IS THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, SAYING, ‘To him who sits upon the throne AND TO THE LAMB be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders FELL DOWN and worshiped.” Revelation 5:8-14

The beloved Apostle John wasn’t the only inspired writer to make this assertion, since another blessed servant of Christ stated something similar when he ascribed to the Lord Jesus,

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

The same exact worship that Yahweh proclaimed through the prophet Isaiah that he alone shall someday receive in recognition of his being the only righteous God and Savior in existence,

Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’” Isaiah 45:21-23

And which the holy Apostle himself rendered to God the Father!

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,” Ephesians 3:14-15

Such worship of Christ shouldn’t come as surprise since the Lord himself stated that the Father commands everyone to honor him in the same way that they honor the Father:

The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23

To top this all off, the Apostle John records a vision he had where he falls down at Christ’s feet after seeing him in his glorious splendor:

 I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odicea.’ Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’” Revelation 1:9-18

Amazingly, the risen Lord not only manifested his divine glory to his beloved servant, appearing to him in the exact same way that Yahweh did in the OT to some of the prophets (cf. Ezekiel 1:24, 26-28; 2:1-10; Daniel 7:9-10), he also applied to himself titles which both the inspired Scriptures,

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.’” Isaiah 44:6 – cf. 48:12

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;” Daniel 4:34

And the angel whom I saw standing on sea and land lifted up his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there should be no more delay,” Revelation 10:5-6

And the Quran agree belong to Deity alone:

He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things. S. 57:3 Y. Ali

In light of the foregoing, could the God-breathed Scriptures be any clearer that Jesus’ own followers were worshiping the risen and exalted Christ as God Almighty in the flesh?

With that said we are now read to move on to the final part of our rebuttal.

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Is this all fluff and bluff?

Why does the Church teach that works can obtain salvation?


 

Full Question

Why does the Roman Catholic Church teach the doctrine of “works righteousness,” that through good works one can earn salvation?

Answer

The Catholic Church has never taught such a doctrine and, in fact, has constantly condemned the notion that men can earn or merit salvation. Catholic soteriology (salvation theology) is rooted in apostolic Tradition and Scripture and says that it is only by God’s grace–completely unmerited by works–that one is saved.

The Church teaches that it’s God’s grace from beginning to end which justifies, sanctifies, and saves us. As Paul explains in Philippians 2:13, “God is the one, who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.”

Notice that Paul’s words presuppose that the faithful Christian is not just desiring to be righteous, but is actively working toward it. This is the second half of the justification equation, and Protestants either miss or ignore it.

James 2:17 reminds us that “faith of itself, if it does not have work, is dead.” In verse 24 James says, “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” And later: “For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (2:26).

The Council of Trent harmonizes the necessity of grace and works: “If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or by the teaching of the Law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema” (Session 6; can. 1).

The Council fathers continued by saying, “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema” (Session 6: can. 9).

By the way, “let him be anathema” means “let him be excommunicated,” not “let him be cursed to hell.” The phrase was used in conciliar documents in a technical, theological sense, not in the same sense as the word “anathema” is found in Scripture. Don’t let “Bible Christians” throw you for a loop on this one.

So, far from teaching a doctrine of “works righteousness” (that would be Pelagianism, which was condemned at the Council of Carthage in A.D. 418), the Catholic Church teaches the true, biblical doctrine of justification.

End quote taken from apostolic apologetics website.

So we do need OUR OWN good works in order to be saved according to Roman Catholicism. We also need grace to be able to do OUR OWN good works which are necessary and instrumental to gain our salvation. The Catholic position is that because this grace is infused through the sacraments it is not meritorious. It is still by the grace of God. It could not have been possible without the grace of God channeled to the believer through the sacraments such as baptism and most of all the mass. Through the repeated sacrifice of Jesus at the mass the believer’s sins are forgiven and he receives new infused grace to do new good works OF HIS OWN which are necessary for his salvation. The merit attached to them is not merit pure and simple but a kind of gracious merit. The Roman Catholic church calls this condign or congruent merit. Congruent before regeneration, condign after regeneration.

The denial that this is works righteousness is the fluff and bluff part. Maybe not full Pelagianism but Semi-Pelagianism. Essentially Arminianism.

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Worshiping Jesus as God – A Reply to the Late Ahmad Deedat Pt. 2b, a post by Sam Shamoun

Worshiping Jesus as God –

A Reply to the Late Ahmad Deedat Pt. 2b

Continuing from where we previously left off, here are further examples of individuals falling down at the feet of Jesus to worship him:

Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him.  And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue; AND FALLING AT JESUS’ FEET he besought him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As he went, the people pressed round him. And a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years and could not be healed by any one, came up behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. And Jesus said, ‘Who was it that touched me?’ When all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the multitudes surround you and press upon you!’ But Jesus said, ‘Some one touched me; for I perceive that power has gone forth from me.’ And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, AND FALLING DOWN BEFORE HIM declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.’ While he was still speaking, a man from the ruler’s house came and said, ‘Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.’ But Jesus on hearing this answered him, ‘Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well.’ And when he came to the house, he permitted no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and bewailing her; but he said, ‘Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, ‘Child, arise.’ And her spirit returned, and she got up at once; and he directed that something should be given her to eat.” Luke 8:40-55

The above passage shows that Jesus not only has the ability to resurrect people back to life, he also possesses the divine authority to transmit power through his physical body unto others in order grant them instant healing and cleansing.

Moreover, these two cases provide further examples of Christ’s moral, ethical and ceremonial incorruptibility, since the Law prohibited coming into contact with a woman with a flow of blood or a dead body. To do so meant that the person would become ceremonially unclean and would have to be removed from the camp of people for a period time, and only be allowed to reenter after having washed in water (cf. Leviticus 15:25-30). And yet instead of making Christ unclean the reverse occurred, i.e., the woman with a blood disorder and the dead young girl were instantly healed and restored by touching/being touched by the Lord.

In this next example we are given a display of Jesus’ omnipresence and omnipotence:

And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hid. But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came AND FELL DOWN AT HIS FEET. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, ‘Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered him, ‘Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’  And he said to her, ‘For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.’ And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.” Mark 7:24-30

Matthew provides some additional details concerning the posture of the woman when she first approached Christ:

But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’” Matthew 15:25

Here is a Gentile woman who knew enough of about Jesus that she falls down before his feet to worship him and confess him as Lord. What makes this incident all the more remarkable is that Christ was able to cast out a demon from a young girl without having to be physically present with her to do so!

This not only highlights his sovereignty over the spirit realm, but it also exemplifies his omnipresence and omnipotence, divine characteristics that are ascribed to the Lord all throughout this Gospel:

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

Here is one that is truly astonishing:

Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Hail!’ And they came up AND TOOK HOLD OF HIS FEET and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.’… Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, to the close of the age.’” Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20

Notice how Jesus’ followers worship the risen Lord in the same context where he claims to possess absolute universal sovereignty, a rather remarkable assertion. He even identifies himself as the One who bears the same divine named belonging to both the Father and the Holy Spirit, and who can even be personally present with all of his followers wherever they maybe till the end of this age!

Now let’s contrast all of this with what the Quran says concerning Allah:

And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things. S. 3:189 Hilali-Khan

And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. S. 17:111 Pickthall

He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days; then He mounted the Throne. He knoweth all that entereth the earth and all that emergeth therefrom and all that cometh down from the sky and all that ascendeth therein; and He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah is Seer of what ye do. S. 57:4 Pickthall

Hast thou not seen that Allah knoweth all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth? There is no secret conference of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be; and afterward, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Lo! Allah is Knower of all things. S. 58:7 Pickthall

These Quranic texts conclusively prove that Christ’s claims are such that only God Almighty himself could make… and yet Jesus made them!

In light of the foregoing, we are now ready to proceed to the next part of our response.

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The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy = just more Evangelical mumbo jumbo signifying nothing, a post by Will Kinney

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy = just more Evangelical mumbo jumbo signifying nothing

 

Do you believe “the Bible” IS the inspired and 100% true and inerrant words of God or not? 

 

     The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

 

You can see and read here for yourself this modern day Evangelical confession of faith in what they call the Scriptures.

 

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/chicago.htm

 

     This was the statement that launched the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, an interdenominational joint effort by hundreds of evangelical scholars and leaders to defend biblical inerrancy against the trend toward liberal and neo-orthodox conceptions of Scripture.

 

     The Statement was produced at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago in the fall of 1978, during an international summit conference of concerned evangelical leaders. It was signed by nearly 300 noted evangelical scholars, including Boice, Norman L. Geisler, John Gerstner, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, Harold Lindsell, John Warwick Montgomery, Roger Nicole, J.I. Packer, Robert Preus, Earl Radmacher, Francis Schaeffer, R.C. Sproul, and John Wenham.

 

As you will soon see, this “bold” confession of faith in the inerrancy of Scripture is nothing more than a pious sounding bunch of mumbo jumbo that ends up meaning absolutely nothing of any value to anyone.  Notice their repeated use of present tense verbs in such phrases as “the Holy Scriptures ARE the supreme written norm”, “the Scripture IS true and reliable in all the matters it ADDRESSES.” and “Scripture in its entirety IS inerrant, BEING free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.”

 

This all sounds very good and orthodox.  I like it.  So, WHERE IS this inerrant and infallible Scripture they keep telling us about?  Oh, wait.  Now they tell us in Article X.  Here it is: “We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, APPLIES ONLY TO THE AUTOGRAPHIC TEXT of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture ARE the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.”

 

Now, this “statement on inerrancy” is absurd on several levels. First of all, they have never seen a single word of these originals a day in their lives and the originals never did make up a 66 books in one volume Bible to begin with. Secondly, it is absurd to affirm that “translations are the Word of God (it should be “word” of God, not the “Word” (Jesus Christ) of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original”, when they HAVE no original to compare any translation to.

 

They are professing a faith in something they KNOW does not exist and they have never seen. Now, that is pretty silly, isn’t it. They don’t have a complete, inspired and infallible Bible to show or give to anyone. Try a little honesty, folks. Don’t try to pass off pious sounding double speek as gospel truth.

 

A far more honest “statement of inerrancy” based on what they really believe  (and most other Christians today too) would go something like this: “IF the originals had survived and WOULD HAVE BEEN placed into a single volume consisting of 66 inspired books, THEN THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN the inerrant and 100% historically true Bible we could have believed in.  Unfortunately God did not do it this way and so we just have to do the best we can with what we have and nobody is really sure about or in total agreement with everybody else about what any particular reading or text might be. So, go with God and hope for the best.”

 

Notice one particular requirement they list for us that defines this non-existent, hypothetical, philosophical, mystical and not yet in print “Inerrant Scripture” they keep wanting us to think they believe in. It’s found in Article XII – “We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science.”

 

Well, as a King James Bible believer (with a real Bible to give to anyone who wants to read it for himself) I agree that the true and infallible words of God must also be 100% historically true.  IF it is not, then we should ask at what point and when does God start to tell us the truth about all those other things found in His Book?

 

 

So, let’s take the following few examples and ask our “originals only” brethren to tell us what their “inerrant Bible” actually says in these following places.  I have basically limited this list to different historical events regarding the names of the people or the numbers of the things or people involved in these historical events.

 

 The following short list is just a sampling of the divergent and confusing readings found among the contradictory modern bible versions. There are numerous other examples. 

 

 The Bible Agnostic Test  

 

I hear from many unbelievers in the existence of a complete and infallible Bible when they say: “I’m not a bible agnostic! You don’t know my heart. How can you say I am a bible agnostic and an unbeliever in the inerrancy of the Bible?  How dare you? You are being judgmental.”   

So I ask them if they are willing to take The Bible Agnostic Test. A bible agnostic is someone who does not know (a = not + gnostic = to know) for sure what God said in many instances.  Just go through this first part where you will find about 20 examples of completely different names and numbers in todays Bible Babble Buffet Versions and tell us if you know which readings are the ones God inspired in His Book. Just pick one example if you like and let us know. OK?  Most bible agnostic simply dodge the whole test and refuse to answer it.  What about you?  Willing to take the Test?  

 

The Bible Babble Buffet Versions

 
Among these “historic details” are whether Jeremiah 27:1 reads Jehoiakim (Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, KJB, Douay-Rheims) or Zedekiah (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985)

whether 2 Samuel 21:8 reads Michal (Hebrew texts, KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Douay-Rheims) or Merab (RSV, NIV, NASB, ESV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)

Three or Thirty?

 

2 Samuel 23:18-19 KJB (Hebrew texts, Geneva, NKJV, NIV, NET, Holman) – “And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among THREE. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three. Was he not most honourable of THREE? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three.

 

2 Samuel 23:18-19 – “…was chief of THE THIRTY…most renowned of THE THIRTY” (RSV, NRSV, ESV, NASB)

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/2sam2381819three.htm

1 Kings 5:11 “TWENTY measures” (Hebrew text, KJB, NASB, ASV, ISV) or “TWENTY THOUSAND baths” (NIV, LXX) “20,000 cors” (RSV, ESV, NET)?

 

King James Bible – “And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food TO HIS HOUSEHOLD, and TWENTY MEASURES of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.

 

ESV (RSV, NRSV, NIV, NET) – “while Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 core of wheat as food for his household, and 20,000 cors of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year.” ESV Footnote 20,000 = Septuagint; 20 = Hebrew.

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/1k51120or20000.htm

 
or the 7th day in Judges 14:15 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, Douay-Rheims) or the 4th day (RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)

Or Hannah taking young Samuel to the house of the LORD with THREE bullocks in 1 Samuel 1:24 (KJB, Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, JPS 1917, NKJV, Youngs, NET, Douay-Rheims) or “A THREE YEAR OLD BULL: (LXX, Syriac RSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)

or God smiting 50,070 men in 1 Samuel 6:19 (KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NET, Douay-Rheims) or 70 men slain (RSV, NIV, NRSV, ESV, Catholic New Jerusalem), or “70 men- 50 chief men” (Young’s), or “70 MEN OUT OF 50,000 Holman Standard

or there being 30,000 chariots in 1 Samuel 13:5 (KJB, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Douay-Rheims) or only 3000 (NIV, NET, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)

Look at the new “revision” of the ESV 2011. It came out in 2001 and they revised and changed about 300 verses in 2007 and then they revised it again in 2011. Take a look at what they have done with 1 Samuel 13:1.

1 Samuel 13:1 Here we read: “Saul reigned ONE year; and when he had reigned TWO years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel.” reading – ONE/TWO years (NKJV, KJB, Geneva, Judaica Press Tanach, Orthodox Jewish Bible), or 40/32 (NASB 1972-77) or 30/42 (NASB 1995, NIV), OR 30 years/ 40 years (NET) or _____years and______and two years (RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition, St. Joseph New American Bible 1970, Catholic New Jerusalem 1985), or “was 40 years old…and when he had reigned 2 years” (Amplified bible 1987) or “____years old and reigned 2 years” (C…omplete Jewish bible, Knox bible) or “was 30 years old…ruled for 42 years” (ISV, Common English Bible) or “32 years old…reigned for 22 years” in the 1989 Revised English Bible, or even “was 50 years old and reigned 22 years.”!

But wait. There’s even more. The ESV 2001 edition had “Saul was________years old when he began to reign, and he reigned____and two years over Israel.” But now the 2011 edition of the ESV has come out (I have a hard copy right here in front of me) and it now has the perhaps even more ridiculous reading of “Saul LIVED FOR ONE YEAR AND THEN BECAME KING, and when he had reigned FOR TWO YEARS over Israel, Saul chose 3000 men of Israel…”. Think about it. “Saul lived for one year and then became king”. They just get loopier and loopier, don’t they?

Can you guess which other bible version reads like the latest ESV?  You got it.  The Catholic Douay-Rheims and the Douay Version 1950 – “Saul WAS A CHILD OF ONE YEAR WHEN HE BEGAN TO REIGN, and he reigned two years over Israel.”

By the way, here is a more in depth study showing why the King James Bible got it right, as it ALWAYS does.
http://brandplucked.webs.com/1samuel131wordslost.htm

1 Samuel 17:4 How Tall Was Goliath?

 

In 1 Samuel 17:4 the Hebrew texts tell us that the height of Goliath was SIX cubits and a span, which would make him about 9 feet 6 inches tall.  That indeed is a giant.  However the LXX tells us that Goliath was a mere FOUR cubits and a span – “ὕψος αὐτοῦ τεσσάρων πήχεων καὶ σπιθαμῆς” – which would make him only 6 feet 6 inches tall, which would hardly be much among NBA players today.  King Saul himself was head and shoulders taller than the other Israelites, and yet he was afraid of this giant. If he were only 6ft. 6 inches, this would not make much sense.

 

Agreeing with the Hebrew text the he was 6 cubits and a span tall are the RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV and all Jewish translations.

 

However there are a few loonies out there like Daniel Wallace and gang’s NET version that says: “His name was Goliath; he was from Gath. He was CLOSE TO SEVEN FEET TALL.”

 

Dan Wallace’s group chose the reading found in SOME LXX copies of FOUR and a half cubits tall.  Other LXX copies have FIVE and others still have SIX cubits and a span. Also reading this way are the new ISV (International Standard Version) and the Catholic St. Josepeh New American bible 1970. So, which one is right? Was he 4 or 5 or 6 cubits and a span tall?

 

For more information on this see Scatterbrained Septuagint Silliness –

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/scatterbrainseptuagint.htm

2 Samuel 15:7 “forty years” (KJB, Hebrew, Geneva, NKJV, NASB, RV, Douay-Rheims) OR “four years” (NIV, RSV, ESV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)

or whether both 2 Samuel 23:18 and 1 Chronicles 11:20 read “chief of the THREE” (KJB, Hebrew texts, RV, ASV, NKJV, NRSV, Holman, NIV, NET, Holman, NET, Douay-Rheims) or THIRTY from the Syriac (NASB, RSV, ESV, Catholic New Jerusalem)

or 2 Samuel 24:13 reading SEVEN years (KJB, Hebrew, ASV, NASB, NKJV, NET, Douay-Rheims) or THREE years (LXX, NIV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Holman, Catholic New Jerusalem)

or whether 1 Kings 4:26 reads 40,000 stalls of horses (Hebrew, KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, ESV, NKJV, Douay-Rheims) or 4,000 stalls (NIV, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem)

or whether 1 Kings 5:11 reads 20 measures of pure oil (Hebrew texts, Geneva, KJB, ASV, RV, NASB, NRSV, Douay-Rheims) or 20,000 (RSV, NIV, ESV, NET, LXX and Syriac, Catholic New Jerusalem)

 

2 Chronicles 3:4 – “one hundred and twenty” or “twenty cubits”?

2 Chronicles 3:4  Measurements of the house of the LORD built by king Solomon — “the height ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY” or “TWENTY CUBITS HIGH”?

2 Chronicles 3:4 – KJB (ESV, NASB) – “And the porch that was in front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was AN HUNDRED AND TWENTY; and he overlaid it within with pure gold.”

NIV (NET, Holman, Catholic St. Joseph) – 2 Chronicles 3:4 – “The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long, across the width of the building and TWENTY CUBITS HIGH. He overlaid the inside with pure gold.”

NIV Footnote: “SOME Septuagint and Syriac manuscripts; Hebrew A HUNDRED AND TWENTY.”  

http://brandplucked.webs.com/height120or20.htm

 
or in 2 Chronicles 31:16 we read “males from THREE years old” (Hebrew texts, KJB, Geneva Bible, Wycliffe, LXX, Syriac, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, Holman, NET, Douay-Rheims) or “males from THIRTY years old” (NASB – ft. Hebrew “three”, Catholic New Jerusalem)

or where 2 Chronicles 36:9 reads that Jehoiachin was 8 years old when he began to reign (Hebrew texts, KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, KJB, RSV, NRSV, ESV 2001 edition, Douay-Rheims) or he was 18 years old (NIV, Holman, NET, ESV 2007 edition!!! and once again the Catholic New Jerusalem)

Luke 10:42 How many things are needed? “ONE THING” or “A FEW THINGS”?  Bible Babble Buffet at its Best.

 

King James Bible –  Luke 10:42 – But ONE THING IS NEEDFUL: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

NASB 1963-1977 editions – “But ONLY A FEW THINGS ARE NECESSARY, REALLY ONLY ONE, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

NASB 1995 edition – “But ONLY ONE THING IS NECESSARY, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

NIV 1973, 1978 and 1982 editions – “BUT ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.”

 

NIV 2011 edition – “BUT FEW THINGS ARE NEEDED – OR INDEED ONLY ONE. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.”

 

Did you notice that both the NASB and the NIV changed THE TEXT from one edition to another, AND that they REVERSED THEIR CHOICES?  What is going on here in Bible Babble Buffet Land?

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/luke1042onethingneedfl.htm

 

Luke 10:1,17 were there 70 sent out to preach (NASB, NKJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, ISV, KJB) or 72 sent out? (NIV, ESV, NET, St. Joseph NAB, Catholic New Jerusalem)

 

or in Matthew 18:22 does the Lord say to forgive your brother not “until 7 times, but unto 70 times 7 times” (= 490 times – KJB, RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, ESV 2001, 2007 editions, ISV, Douay-Rheims, St. Joseph NAB, ALL Greek texts) or 77 times? (NRSV, NIV, ESV 2011 edition, Catholic New Jerusalem, Jehovah Witness New World Translation)

 

Hebrews 11:11 Was it Sarah or Abraham?

Hebrews 11:11 KJB – “Through faith also SARAH HERSELF received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child, when SHE was past age, because SHE judged him faithful who had promised.”

(Tyndale, Geneva, Darby, Youngs, RV, ASV, NASB, RSV, ESV 2011, NKJV, Holman Standard 2009, Common English Bible 2012 and ALL Greek texts)

NIV 1973, 1978 and 1982 editions – “By faith ABRAHAM, even though HE was past age – AND SARAH HERSELF WAS BARREN – was enabled to become A FATHER because HE considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

(Dan Wallace’s NET version 2006, NRSV 1989, New Century Version 2005, Names of God bible 2011, Lexham English bible 2012)

NIV 2011 edition – “And by faith even SARAH, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because SHE considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

 

or that when God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead it is stated in Acts 13:33 “this day have I begotten thee” (KJB, NASB, NKJV, RV, RSV, NRSV, ESV, Douay-Rheims) or “today I have become your Father”? (NIV, Holman, NET, Catholic New Jerusalem).

 

If you go back and read through this list of just some of the numerous very real differences that exist among these Bible of the Month Club versions, ask yourself Which (if any) are the 100% historically true words of GodIF “the Bible” is not 100% historically true in the events it narrates, then when does God start to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? 

 

 So, try to honestly answer the basic question here. Do you or do you not believe there IS (or ever was) a complete, inspired and 100% true Bible in any language that IS the inerrant and infallible words of God?  Are you a Bible believer or a Bible “agnostic” who doesn’t know if such a Bible exists or not and what it might look like if it did?

 

Here are the documented FACTS about where present day Christianity stands in its apostate beliefs about the Inerrancy and Infallibility of the Bible.  Most Christians today do NOT believe The Bible IS the inspired and infallible word of God.

This statement may seem shocking at first, and many pastors and Christians will give the knee-jerk reaction saying that they do believe the Bible IS the infallible word of God. However, upon further examination, it will soon be discovered that when they speak of an inerrant Bible, they are not referring to something that actually exists anywhere on this earth. They are talking about a mystical Bible that exists only in their imaginations; and each person’s particular version differs from all the others.

As one liberal theologian pointed out in his review of Harold Lindsell’s, The Battle for the Bible, the only real difference between the conservative and liberal positions on the Bible is that the conservatives say the Bible USED TO BE inspired and inerrant, whereas the liberal says it NEVER WAS inspired or inerrant. BOTH positions agree that the Bible IS NOT NOW inspired or inerrant.

As brother Daryl Coats so aptly says in his article The Two Lies: “If the Bible was inspired only in the original manuscripts, no one in the entire history of the world has ever had an inspired Bible. The original autographs of Job and the books of Moses had disappeared more than a thousand years before the first book of the New Testament was written, so no one has ever owned a complete Bible made up of the “divine originals.” Nor, has anyone ever owned a complete New Testament made up of “inspired originals”, because the originals were distributed among more than a dozen individuals and local churches.”

God said: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” Amos 8:11

The Lord Jesus Christ also stated in Luke 18:8 “Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

The apostle Paul wrote concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST…” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

The number of professing Christians who do not believe in a “hold it in your hands and read” type of inspired Bible has steadily increased over the years since the flood of multiple-choice, conflicting and contradictory modern bible versions began to appear about 100 years ago.

The following testimonies about the character of Evangelicalism today were made by key Evangelical leaders. The irony is that these same men are part of the problem they lament. Each of these men has been guilty of endorsing modern bible versions.

“MORE AND MORE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS HISTORICALLY COMMITTED TO AN INFALLIBLE SCRIPTURE HAVE BEEN EMBRACING AND PROPAGATING THE VIEW THAT THE BIBLE HAS ERRORS IN IT. This movement away from the historic standpoint has been most noticeable among those often labeled neo-evangelicals. This change of position with respect to the infallibility of the Bible is widespread and has occurred in evangelical denominations, Christian colleges, theological seminaries, publishing houses, and learned societies” (Harold Lindsell, former vice-president and professor Fuller Theological Seminary and Editor Emeritus of Christianity Today, The Battle for the Bible, 1976, p. 20).

“WITHIN EVANGELICALISM THERE ARE A GROWING NUMBER WHO ARE MODIFYING THEIR VIEWS ON THE INERRANCY OF THE BIBLE SO THAT THE FULL AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE IS COMPLETELY UNDERCUT. But is happening in very subtle ways. Like the snow lying side-by-side on the ridge, the new views on biblical authority often seem at first glance not to be very far from what evangelicals, until just recently, have always believed. But also, like the snow lying side-by-side on the ridge, the new views when followed consistently end up a thousand miles apart. What may seem like a minor difference at first, in the end makes all the difference in the world … compromising the full authority of Scripture eventually affects what it means to be a Christian theologically and how we live in the full spectrum of human life” (Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, 1983, p. 44).

The neutral method of Bible study leads to skepticism concerning the New Testament text. This was true long before the days of Westcott and Hort. As early is 1771 Griesbach wrote, “The New Testament abounds in more losses, additions, and interpolations, purposely introduced then any other book.” Griesbach’s outlook was shared by J. L. Hug, who in 1808 advanced the theory that in the second century the New Testament text had become deeply degenerate and corrupt and that all extant New Testament texts were but editorial revisions of this corrupted text.

As early as 1908 Rendel Harris declared that the New Testament text had not at all been settled but was “more than ever, and perhaps finally, unsettled.” Two years later Conybeare gave it as his opinion that “the ultimate (New Testament) text, if there ever was one that deserves to be so called, is for ever irrecoverable.”

H. Greeven (1960) also has acknowledged the uncertainty of the neutral method of New Testament textual criticism. “In general,” he says, “the whole thing is limited to probability judgments; the original text of the New Testament, according to its nature, must be and remains a hypothesis.”

Robert M. Grant (1963) adopts a still more despairing attitude. “The primary goal of New Testament textual study,” he tells us, “remains the recovery of what the New Testament writers wrote. We have already suggested that to achieve this goal is well-nigh impossible.” Grant also says: “It is generally recognized that the original text of the Bible cannot be recovered.”

“…every textual critic knows that this similarity of text indicates, rather, that we have made little progress in textual theory since Westcott-Hort; that WE SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE A DEFINITIVE DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT THE BEST TEXT IS; that we do not have a clear picture of the transmission and alteration of the text in the first few centuries; and, accordingly, that the Westcott-Hort kind of text has maintained its dominant position largely by default” (Eldon Epp, “The Twentieth-Century Interlude in NT Textual Criticism,” Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism, p. 87).

“As New Testament textual criticism moves into the twenty-first century, it must shed whatever remains of its innocence, for nothing is simple anymore. Modernity may have led many to assume that a straightforward goal of reaching a single original text of the New Testament–or even a text as close as possible to that original–was achievable. Now, however, REALITY AND MATURITY REQUIRE THAT TEXTUAL CRITICISM FACE UNSETTLING FACTS, CHIEF AMONG THEM THAT THE TERM ‘ORIGINAL’ HAS EXPLODED INTO A COMPLEX AND HIGHLY UNMANAGEABLE MULTIVALENT ENTITY. Whatever tidy boundaries textual criticism may have presumed in the past have now been shattered, and its parameters have moved markedly not only to the rear and toward the front, but also sideways, as fresh dimensions of originality emerge from behind the variant readings and from other manuscript phenomena” (E. Jay Epps, “The Multivalence of the Term ‘Original Text’ In New Testament Textual Criticism,” Harvard Theological Review, 1999, Vol. 92, No. 3, pp. 245-281; this article is based on a paper presented at the New Testament Textual Criticism Section, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, November 1998).

In his well written article, The Two Lies, ( http://av1611.com/kjbp/articles/coats-twolies.html ) Bible believer Daryl R. Coats says: “If the Bible were inspired only in the original manuscripts, no one today really knows for sure what is in “the Bible” because no one today has ever seen the original manuscripts. Not surprisingly, this is the attitude behind every English “bible” published since 1611. “We can only follow the best judgment of competent scholars as to the most probable reconstruction of the original text,” says the preface to the RSV, too deceitful to define just what a “competent scholar” is and to cut through the double-talk and admit, “This is what we think the Bible might be.” “Scholarly uncertainty” is more clearly evident in the third edition of the UBS “Greek New Testament,” the introduction to which states, “The letter A [next to a passage] signifies that the text is virtually certain, while B indicates there is some degree of doubt. The letter C means that there is a considerable degree of doubt whether the text or the apparatus contains the superior reading [note: “the superior reading” is not the same as “the correct reading”!], while D shows there is a very high degree of doubt concerning the reading selected for the text.” Apparently the scholars change their mind from year to year as to which “readings” are genuine; how else do we explain the “more than five hundred changes” between the second and third editions of the UBS “Greek New Testament”? 

George Barna, president of Barna Research Group, reported that a study exploring the religious beliefs of the 12 largest denominations in America highlights the downward theological drift that has taken place in Christian churches in recent years. The study found that an alarmingly high number of church members have beliefs that fall far short of orthodox Christianity. ONLY 41 PERCENT OF ALL ADULTS SURVEYED BELIEVED IN THE TOTAL ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE. Only 40 percent believed Christ was sinless, and only 27 percent believed Satan to be real.

Of the Baptists surveyed 57 percent said they believed that works are necessary in order to be saved, 45 percent believed Jesus was not sinless, 44 percent did not believe that the Bible is totally accurate, and 66 percent did not believe Satan to be a real being. Barna said, “The Christian body in America is immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy.”

Pastor Michael Youseff’s Message on His “Leading The Way” program. The title of todays message was “The Bible, The World’s Most Relevant Book – Part 2. In his message he gave statistics of a poll that was conducted. Here is what the poll revealed:

85% of students at America’s largest Evangelical Seminary don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.

74% of the Clergy in America no longer believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.

What Christians really believe

A book by George A. Marsden, “Reforming Fundamentalism” quotes a survey of student belief at one of the largest Evangelical seminaries in the US. The poll indicated that 85% of the students “do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.”

This book also lists the results of a poll conducted by Jeffery Hadden in 1987 of 10,000 American clergy. They were asked whether they believed that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in faith, history, and secular matters:

95% of Episcopalians,

87% of Methodists,

82% of Presbyterians,

77% of American Lutherans, and

67% of American Baptists said “No.”

The Barna Research Group reported in 1996 that among American adults generally: 58% believe that the Bible is “totally accurate in all its teachings”; 45% believe that the Bible is “absolutely accurate and everything in it can be taken literally.”

“Support dropped between that poll and another taken in 2001. Barna reported in 2001 that: 41% of adults strongly agrees that the Bible is totally accurate in all that it teaches.”

“Seminary students, future pastors and leaders in the church, show very little support for the inerrancy of the Bible position. What does that foretell about the future of the church? Undoubtedly, just as the poll results show in the 1996 – 2001 time frame, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE BELIEVING THE BIBLE IS INERRANT WILL DROP.”

 

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  Matthew 11:15

 

Will Kinney

 

 

 

http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume29/GOT029003.html

Manuscript Comparison Chart

PAPYRUS (ALEPH) SINAITICUS (B) VATICANUS TEXTUS RECEPTUS
p 45 agrees with 19 times 24 times 32 times
p 66 agrees with 14 times 29 times 33 times
p 75 agrees with 9 times 33 times 29 times
p 45, 66, 75 agrees with 4 times 18 times 20 times
p 45, 66 agrees with 7 times 3 times 8 times

(The above chart data, taken from A Survey of the Researches into the Western Text of the Gospel & Acts; part two 1949-1969, by A.F.K. Klijn.)

Papyrus (p45) contains excerpts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. It is presently in the Chester Beatty Museum, Dublin, Ireland.

Papyrus (p66) contains excerpts from the Gospel of John. It is presently located at Cologne/Geneve, in the Bibliotheque Bodmer.

Papyrus (p75) contains excerpts of Luke and John. It is presently located at Cologne/Geneve, in the Bibliotheque Bodmer.

Note, please, that these lately discovered manuscript fragments, agree more frequently with the Textus Receptus, than they do with Westcott and Hort’s favored Aleph and B. p45 is thought to date from the 3rd century. p66 is dated circa 200 A.D. And, p75 is dated from the beginning of the 3rd century.

 

 

Wilbur Pickering, ThM. PhD. writes in his book The Identity of the New Testament Text, 2014 –

“Bruce Metzger said, “It is understandable that in some cases different scholars will come to different evaluations of the significance of the evidence”. A cursory review of the writings of textual scholars suggests that Metzger’s “in some cases” is decidedly an understatement. In fact, even the same scholars will vacillate, as demonstrated by the “MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED CHANGES” introduced into the third edition of the Greek text produced by the United Bible Societies as compared with the second edition (the same committee of five editors prepared both).

K. Aland, M. Black, C.M. Martini, B.M. Metzger, and A. Wikgren, eds., The Greek New Testament, third edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975), p. viii. Although this edition is dated 1975, Metzger’s Commentary upon it appeared in 1971. The second edition is dated 1968. IT THUS APPEARS THAT IN THE SPACE OF THREE YEARS (’68-’71), WITH NO SIGNIFICANT ACCRETION OF NEW EVIDENCE, THE SAME GROUP OF FIVE SCHOLARS CHANGED THEIR MIND IN OVER 500 PLACES. IT IS HARD TO RESIST THE SUSPICION THAT THEY WERE GUESSING.”

http://www.walkinhiscommandments.com/Pickering/Miscellaneous/Pickering%20-%20Identity%20of%20the%20NT%204th%20edit..pdf

 

The changes between the 25th and 27th editions of the Nestle-Aland NTG are also interesting — 763 changes, of which 408 occur in the Gospels.

 

 

Return to Articles - http://brandplucked.webs.com/articles.htm

 

Notes from the Internet  

 

John MacArthur Plans Biblical Inerrancy Summit

 

http://www.christianpost.com/news/john-macarthur-plans-biblical-inerrancy-summit-answers-critiques-of-teaching-against-charismatic-movement-116365/

 

John MacArthur, along with several other influential Christian leaders, is soon going to host what they call a Biblical Conference on Inerrancy.  With great fanfare (and pious sounding hypocrisy) they announce: “We have a dynamic line-up, including today’s preeminent defenders of truth: Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Carl Trueman, Iain Murray, Ian Hamilton, Derek Thomas, Miguel Nunez, Steve Lawson, RC Sproul, Mark Dever, Paige Patterson, Steven Nichols and Kevin DeYoung. These are leaders who are willing to stand up for the integrity of Scripture without compromise.”

 

Mr. MacArthur states: The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, released in 1978, set the standard for inerrancy. Since that document was produced 36 years ago, a new generation has arrived that needs to be brought in line with the truth. Current publications demonstrate that the true doctrine of inerrancy is under attack. Some of these attacks are subtle while others are more blatant, but anything that undermines the absolute inerrancy of Scripture destroys the foundation of all Christian truth. Trusting the Bible is everything. Next year’s Summit will address this crucial issue, and give it the attention it deserves.

 

In every generation, pastors and teachers are accountable to God for defending the authority and inspiration of Scripture. Trusting God’s Word is directly connected to trusting His person. Trusting His Word is also the necessary conviction of every Bible expositor. Preaching biblical exposition and believing in inerrancy are inseparable. Next year’s Summit is intended to act as a beacon for the benefit of the church where we intend to expose the fallacies, silence the critics, and reaffirm the trustworthiness of Scripture.”

 

Having John MacArthur give a lecture on the Inerrancy of the Bible is like having Hugh Hefner give a talk extolling the virtues of celibacy.  

 

See John MacArthur – Confused and Self-Contradictory Pastor with No Infallible Bible

 

http://brandplucked.webs.com/johnmacarthur.htm 

 

 

Brother Daniels 6 minute video It is NOT a conspiracy theory.

Change the Bible by changing the words 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ4QBC0W2wo

After you watch it, you might like a couple of concrete examples.  Here they are. You might be very surprised at what you see here.

Examples of some of these “word changes” for the new religion.

Acts 17:22 “too superstitious” changed to “very religious”

http://brandplucked.webs.com/acts1722bowelpissbas.htm

Titus 3:10 “heretic” changed to “a divisive person”

http://brandplucked.webs.com/hereticordivisive.htm

 

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  Luke 8:8 

Well done movie-documentary on The King James Bible – the Book that Changed the World.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8089133/the_book_that_changed_the_world_kjb/

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