Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Did Jesus Use a Pulpit?

There are no pulpits in the Bible. Somehow, Jesus managed without a pulpit in his sermon on the mount or any of his other discourses. Even in the synagogues there is no evidence that Jesus, Paul or the rabbis would have used anything approaching our contemporary conception of a pulpit.

The first reference to a pulpit is found in a letter of Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, in the mid 3rd century. Cyprian makes several references to ordination as it relates to the pulpitum of his church building. In fact, this is one of the first references to any sort of formal development of the building of churches. Michael White, says,
"The term seems to refer to a slightly raised dais or platform at one end of the assembly hall where the clergy sat. In one instance the honor of ordination is symbolized in ascending the pulpitum in the loftiness of the higher place and conspicuous before the whole people. The phrase "to come to the pulpitum" even becomes the technical term for the ordination of a reader in the church at Carthage (White Vol.2, 23).

By the ninth century the pulpit appears in a lateral (sometimes elevated) position in the basilican cathedrals of the day. This move represented the less prominent place of preaching in the congregation and the heightened emphasis upon liturgical aspects of worship (Dargan, 109).

Eventually, pulpits became extremely ornate in their construction. Carved stairways, intricate ornamentation, and grand canopies describe the pulpit as a piece of art in the pre-reformation european cathedral. John Throop describes preaching in one such pulpit at the Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon. "To reach the marble pulpit in that church," he said, "I had to climb nearly 12 feet up a long flight of circular steps. I couldn’t tell whether the breathlessness that followed was from being up so high, or being in a pulpit from which, hundreds of years ago, holy and articulate preachers, perhaps even the Bard himself, preached Gods Word (Throop, 48)."
The reformation led not only to a renewed emphasis upon the sermon but to the repositioning of the pulpit in the center of the sanctuary. This better symbolized the reformation emphasis upon the centrality of God’s Word.
by Kenton C. Anderson

Today many churches don't have pulpits or move them from time to time. Is this wrong? Nowhere in the Bible does it say, "Thou Shalt Not Remove Thy Pulpit." Some think it does. But then again this is a matter of preference and not doctrine or the Bible. To say it is more than that is to say more than the Bible does. Many Pastors say more than the Bible does on certain matters anyway, isn't that sad. This is for another blog post.

I trust the power is in the Word and not in the furniture. What about you?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

John MacArthur on "Altar Calls"

Below John gives his opinion on altar calls. Much of which I agree.

"in 1 Corinthians, chapter 2, Paul shunned manipulative oratory. He didn't do like many preachers do today. He wasn't into manipulating his crowd, he says in chapter 2, verse 1, of 1 Corinthians, "I didn't come with superiority of speech" (that's oratorical ability), I didn't come to bowl you over with my oration, I didn't come with "wisdom."

He says, verse 4, "My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom" (I didn't use technique; I didn't use manipulation). I didn't want your faith to "rest on the wisdom of men" (literally, the wisdom of their information or their approach). He said, I came to you with God's wisdom; I came to you in God's power; I came to "you in weakness in fear and in trembling."

He didn't use techniques that excite and stir, and move people's emotions to achieve results. He preached the Scriptures (listen to this) to the mind! Many preachers today (and I suppose through history) are good at the art of persuasion--they know how to move people to respond without the Scripture being the issue. They can manipulate them emotionally, and frankly, that kind of stuff really prostitutes the preacher's stewardship, because it makes him no different then a secular persuader.

It is not my task to manipulate you to do something emotionally. All the slick techniques, all the gospel marketing packages, all the pulpit histrionics of jumping and stomping and flailing around and beating the organ, and doing whatever they do to create the mood. All the sad stories, the mood music, the endless invitations, the hand raising, the walking, all of that kind of pressure is not preaching the Word.

The decision of yielding, surrendering and then retaining and acting, is between the hearer and God, and not the hearer and the preacher. It is the Holy Spirit's work.
Preaching is proclaiming saving truth, sanctifying truth, and strengthening truth from Scripture, the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. So Paul says, I was entrusted with the proclamation. That's all that I can do. All I can do is to get their ATTENTION and bring COMPREHENSION. The message is the Scripture, and since the message is the Scripture, beloved, it should be patently obvious to everyone that the proper kind of preaching should be "expository preaching." That is the only legitimate way to be true to the divine message.

You know as well as I know that I could manipulate people with stories. I mean, you could tell a tear jerking story and effect emotional trauma on people. You can move people with things other than the Scriptures, but you are working on their feelings and not on their mind. The message is Scripture, and if the message is Scripture and the preacher is to preach the message he has to preach the Scripture, and preaching the Scripture means you must exposit the Word."
end quote:

I think most churches and preachers in Alexander County would agree with much of what John is saying. This is why at ETBC we never tell people they are saved because they have "raised their hand", "walked an aisle", "prayed a prayer", "cried", "got goose bumps" "joined the church" "took The Lord's Supper" "were baptized as a baby or an adult".

This is also why we usually don't sing an invitation song for 15 minutes and tell stories about people wrecking in a car on the way home from church dying and going to hell. We also try not to get people to respond to the benefits of Christianity, such as: "A home in Heaven, peace in your heart, you will live your best life now" "or God will give you a cool car and a pretty spouse".. etc..

Our goal is to let people know they are guilty before God because they are sinners. And apart from the shed blood of Jesus and His resurrection we would all spend eternity in Hell. We try to trust the Holy Spirit to convict the sinner of their lost condition.
If the Holy Spirit does they will repent (it is a gift from God according to the Bible), confess (Romans 10:9) and follow Jesus. This is the Lord's work and He is responsible for the results.

This can happen if they come forward or not. Only God can raise spiritually dead people and give them "the real stuff". All my screamin, yellin, huffin and puffin can't do this for someone. If it could I would.

How do we know people have "the real stuff". Time will tell. Just because one "makes a decision" doesn't mean they are saved.
At Bonfire we saw many people make decisions. We call them decisions because only God knows their heart and time will tell if they are sincere or not. Many probably are sincere and some are probably not. Time will tell. God has called us to preach the Gospel and leave the results to Him. The same is true in your church as well.

The typical salvation experience in Alexander County goes something like this:

Go to church and hear a message from a preacher, get emotional and call it conviction, make a decision as a 8,9,10 yr old -get baptized- then backslide through their teenage years and early 20's - then date a girl who is in church - then come back and rededicate and serve the Lord. Is this person saved? Time will tell. Many are saved, backslide and "rededicate" and some are not.

With this said: we still preach the Gospel and give an invitation (which sometimes includes: praying, raising hand and "walking forward"). We just trust the Holy Spirit to give people "the real stuff". Time will tell.

Would LOVE to hear your comments!

Monday, March 29, 2010

KJV Only arguments defeated.

Dan Wallace said, "We should have a very positive assessment of the KJV without elevating it to inspired status."

Would you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
Below are some KJVonly arguments and Dan's answer to them.. enjoy :)

Sometimes this KJ Only attitude goes beyond all logic and dabbles in the realm of the absurd. In 1995 I was on the John Ankerberg show called, “What’s the Best Bible Translation?” There were three KJV advocates. Early on in the eight-part program (that was filmed all in one day) John Ankerberg asked them, “If a person in Russia becomes a Christian, are you saying that he would need to learn English in order to read the only true Holy Bible?” After a brief pause, the lead KJV advocate said, “Yes!” I wondered why I had been asked to be on the show after hearing that response…

Not all KJV advocates employ such illogic however. Here are some of the basic arguments that KJV advocates use for this Bible’s status as the only Holy Bible, with a brief response:

1. It is perfect. The translators were the best ever, the most godly men. But even the translators explicitly denied that the KJV was perfect in the original preface (which, unfortunately, is now no longer printed with the KJV Bible). They said, “perfection is never attainable by man.” They themselves said that only the original was inspired, that no translation was perfect or ever could be.

2. All modern translations cause chaos because they are so different. If we all used the KJ, there would be no uncertainty about the wording of the text. There is no uncertainty anywhere.
But this ignores the fact that original 1611 KJV had 8500 marginal readings, many of which expressed doubt about the meaning or wording of the text. On numerous occasions, they simply had to ‘flip a coin’ and put something in the text! The translators were humble men, who wanted to alert the reader when they just weren’t sure what the Hebrew or Greek text meant. It is only the omission of these marginal readings that has given some folks the illusion of certainty.

3. No modern translation deserves the name, “Holy Bible.” But this is not the attitude of the KJ translators themselves. They said, “the word of God may be recognized in the very meanest translation of the Bible.” This would include the translations that came before them and the ones that came after.

4. God has used the KJV for 270 years. No other translation has stood the test of time. No other translation has sold as many copies. This proves that it is the one and only inspired Word of God.
But this is not true. The Latin Vulgate was the official Bible of western Europe for over 1000 years—four times as long as the KJV was on the throne! And the NIV has actually outsold the KJV—and it did it in one-tenth the time. Frankly, this attitude is remarkably similar to the attitude that virtually every generation of Christians has had when confronted by a new translation that challenges their ‘old favorite.’ It represents emotional baggage rather than clear thinking. This attitude of resistance to new translations was seen when Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate, when Erasmus ‘corrected’ the Latin Vulgate, and even when the King James Bible was produced! Those who know history know that it is the attitude of the ignorant. And as much as we must truly love these folks, it is also important that we help them love and learn truth. The incarnation of Christ demands no less of us.

5. The language is exalted, elegant, beautiful. This Bible was written in the golden age of the English language—when English was correctly and properly spoken. This is the language that the Bible deserves to be in—Elizabethan English.
But the real language of the Bible was of a different sort. It was the conversational Greek of the day—the Greek that men on the streets of Athens and Antioch, Jerusalem and Corinth, spoke. In fact, it was known as the ‘common Greek,’ and it was a big step down from the golden age of Greek literature, the classical Greek era that ended 400 years earlier. And although there were artificial and pompous attempts in the first century AD to revive this classical Greek, none of the NT writers got sucked into this mode of writing. Their writing was clear, and simple, and connected to real people—not artificial and pompous.

And the KJ translators explicitly tried to capture that. Their goal, in fact, was to make the text as plain and simple to understand as possible. They said (in the original preface):

[The Catholics have] the purpose to darken the sense, that [although] they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the language thereof it may be kept from being understood. But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself … that it may be understood even [by] the very vulgar.”
It is a great irony that today part of the reason the KJB is so revered is because it sounds so archaic, so other-worldly. It is the Bible that speaks in a stained-glass voice. But this is precisely what the KJ translators condemned in a translation! Their intention—which they accomplished for their day 400 years ago—was to make the Bible clear, simple, easy to understand.

All of these arguments have nothing to do with our Protestant heritage. Instead, KJ Only advocates unwittingly look more like Roman Catholics than Protestants.

Would LOVE to hear your comments?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Different Editions of the King James "Version" of the Bible

By Dan Wallace:

One of the ironic facts about the KJV is that it is impossible to honestly speak about the first printing, because there never really was a first printing! “The revision and correction process began immediately in 1611, … even before the first printed edition was completed and put together. The pages of these two editions [the actual first edition and the corrected second edition]… seem to have been accidentally mixed before either was assembled and bound.”

Thus, the first edition of the KJV is actually more of a first-and-second-edition hybrid. But there are ways to tell whether one possesses a ‘first-second’ edition or a completely second edition. I won’t go into those details here. I have seen what is probably the finest example of the so-called ‘first’ edition of the KJV surviving today. It is part of a private collection in Texas.

Besides these two editions, the Authorized Version went through at least two more in the first year alone. In the first three years, it actually went through fourteen minor editions due to the frequent mistakes in the process of translating, revising, and printing. But these are not really revisions by today’s standard. Two larger overhauls were completed in 1629 and 1638. Within fifty (50) years “the need was presented and an effort was made to officially revise [it once] again”—this time more thoroughly than the previous two revisions. But Parliament decided not to act on this impulse when Charles II ascended the throne in 1660. The shifts of the political winds thus stymied the third revision of the KJV. It would not undergo a major revision again for 100 years. In 1762 and 1769, the KJV was revised for a third and fourth time.

Altogether, nearly 100,000 changes have been made to the 1611 KJV. The vast bulk of these are rather minor (mostly spelling and punctuation changes), but in the least this fact shows how impossible it is today for any church or any Christian to claim, “We read only the original 1611 King James Version of the Holy Bible”!

With all the revisions made to this translation over the centuries, printer’s errors were bound to creep in. Even though the goal was to eradicate all mistakes, every printing of the KJV added more!

For example, in 1611 the so-called ‘Judas Bible’ was printed: In Matt 26.36, the KJV says that Judas came with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane—even though Judas had already hanged himself in the previous chapter!

The very first edition of the Authorized Version is the ‘Basketball Bible’ because it speaks of ‘hoopes’ instead of ‘hookes’ used in the construction of the Tabernacle.

A 1716 edition has Jesus say in John 5.14 “sin on more” instead of “sin no more”!

The next year, the famous ‘Vinegar Bible’ appeared; this name was attached to this printing because the chapter title to Luke 20 was “The Parable of the Vinegar” instead of the “Parable of the Vineyard.”

In 1792, Philip, rather than Peter, denied his Lord three times in Luke 22.34.

Not only have there been these occasional but bizarre printing mistakes, but several errors in the 1611 edition have never been changed. For example, in both Acts 7.45 and Heb 4.8 the name “Jesus” appears when Joshua is actually meant! Hebrews 4.8 in the Authorized Version says, “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”
The passage is saying that although Joshua brought his people into the promised land, he could not give them the eternal rest that they needed. But by having “Jesus” here, the KJV is thus saying that Jesus was inadequate, that he was not able to save his people from their sins. In Greek, both ‘Joshua’ and ‘Jesus’ are written the same way— jIhsou'". The issue is not one of textual variant, but of inattention to the details of the interpretation of the text.

Or consider Matt 23.24 the Authorized Version reads, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” The Greek text here means to “strain out a gnat”—not “at a gnat.” Jesus’ point is the same as what he says in Luke 6.41— “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” The religious leaders focused on the tiny problems of others without taking care of the big issues in their own lives.15

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Bibles" that influenced the King James "Version"

Bibles that influenced the King James "version" by Dan Wallace:

The KJV was not a brand new translation, but a revision of earlier works. Although it was supposed to be based on the Bishops’ Bible—departing from it only where necessary—it really was influenced by many translations. At Oxford University is a manuscript that gives us a fascinating glimpse into the translation work—almost ‘behind the scenes,’ as it were. The manuscript is a copy of the Gospels from the Bishops’ Bible that was used by the translators through various stages of revision. You can detect the various groups that worked the document over. Handwritten notes mark up almost every verse of the text. The first team made their revision marks by hand, completing the work within a relatively short period of time. (Had the KJV appeared in 1608, when the first revision of the whole Bible was virtually completed, it would have looked substantially like a revision of the Bishops’ Bible. But more work needed to be done.) Then, the manuscript was sent to a final revision committee. And they marked up the text still further. One of the most fascinating aspects of the work is that as the manuscript went through its stages of revision, the new version kept looking less and less like the Bishops’ Bible and more and more like Tyndale!

Besides Tyndale’s translation, the Geneva Bible also had a huge influence on the KJ—especially in the Old Testament books that Tyndale had not translated. Further, in the original preface to the KJV the Bible is quoted several times—and every time it is the Geneva version that is quoted, not the King James!

And perhaps most surprisingly, the Rheims-Douai version had some impact as well. The Old Testament was completed only a year or two before the KJV was published—it was thus too late to have an influence. But the New Testament of the Catholics had appeared in 1582, and it made its way into the Authorized Version in a few places.

Nevertheless, the KJV was still much closer to the Geneva and Tyndale than to anything else. It may properly be regarded as the fifth revision of Tyndale. As we noted yesterday, 90% of the King James New Testament was really Tyndale’s translation. Two statements made yesterday about Tyndale’s influence are worth repeating. First, Prof. Isaacs said:

“[Tyndale’s] simple directness, his magical simplicity of phrase, his modest music, have given an authority to his wording that has imposed itself on all later versions.… Nine-tenths of the Authorized New Testament is still Tindale, and the best is still his.”

Second, the introduction to a reprint of Tyndale’s New Testament declares: “Astonishment is still voiced that the dignitaries who prepared the 1611 Authorized Version for King James spoke so often with one voice—apparently miraculously. Of course they did: the voice (never acknowledged by them) was Tyndale’s.”

Well this sure sheds some light on how we got the King James "Version" of the Bible. Sounds like many earlier "Bibles" played a big part in its development. Approximately 90%! Wow!
What do you think? I would love to hear your comments.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bibles that influenced the King James Translation

Several Bibles influenced the translation of the King James "Version" of the Bible.

One very influential Bible was the Bishop's Bible.
The Bishops' Bible was an English translation of the Bible produced under the authority of the established Church of England in 1568. It was substantially revised in 1572, and this revised edition was to be prescribed as the base text for the Authorized King James Version of 1611.

The translators of the King James Version were instructed to take the 1602 edition of the Bishops' Bible as their basis, although several other existing translations were taken into account. After it was published in 1611, the King James Version soon took the Bishops' Bible's place as the de facto standard of the Church of England.

The preface of the “original” King James says, ““Truly, good Christian Reader, we never thought from the beginning, that we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one ... but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principal good one, not justly to be excepted against; that hath been our endeavor, that our mark.”

- Preface to the King James Bible

Wow! Sounds like the King James translators sought to do what other translators and translations do today. Take the original text and make it clear and make a good one better!

Would love to hear your comments.

Cockatrice? Really?

The cockatrice is a mythological creature with the body of a dragon or serpent, and the head and legs of a rooster. According to myth, they are the product of a rooster egg (a rare thing indeed!) hatched by a serpent or toad. A magical creature, it can kill with a glance, and its breath is poisonous. The terms "cockatrice" and "basilisk" are usually used interchangeably.

It is listed here in the King James Version: Proverbs 23:32, Isaiah 11:8, Isaiah 14:29, Isaiah 59:5, Jeremiah 8:17.

John Ankerberg said this about the Cockatrice and other mythical creatures in the KJV:

Finally, mythical animals, such as the unicorn (Deut. 33:17; Ps. 22:21; Isa. 34:7, etc.), the satyr (Isa. 13:21; 34:14), the dragon (Deut. 32:33; Ps. 44:19, etc.), and the cockatrice (Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17) represent translations acceptable to men in 1611, but today these translations have either been corrected or it is admitted the exact meaning is unknown. Thus, unicorns become “wild oxen,” satyrs become “wild goats,” a term con- nected with the demonic “goat idols” in Leviticus 17:7; cockatrice becomes “snake” or “viper.”
All of this proves that the King James Version now in use in many of our churches is not a perfect translation.
Consider some more examples of the difference between the 1611 edition and our modern KJV. In 1611 the KJV had “Then cometh Judas” in Matthew 26:36. Today it is rendered in the KJV as, “Then cometh Jesus.” Wouldn’t you say this is a rather big differ- ence?

Well, what do you think? Have you ever seen a Cockatrice? According to Ankerberg, the translators of the KJV did. The Bible translation I use doesn't mention the cockatrice! What should I do?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spiritual Warfare and Pastoral Ministry

- 1,500 ministers leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, being simply warn out, or due to contention in the churches.

- 50% of pastor’s marriages will end in divorce.

- 80% of pastors and 84% of pastor’s wives feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as a pastoral family.

- 50% of pastors are so discouraged they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other means of making a living.

- 80% of seminary and bible college graduates who enter into the ministry will leave the ministry within 5 years.

- 80% of pastor’s wives feel their spouse is overworked.

- 80% of pastor’s wives wish their spouse would choose another profession.

- A majority of pastor’s wives said the most destructive event that has ever happened to their marriage and family was the day they entered into ministry.

- 70% of pastors fight depression.

- 40% say they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning the ministry.

- 70% said the only time they spend studying the Bible is in sermon preparation.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bonfire: This is Just the Beginning

I thought I would do a post about Bonfire. This was probably the single greatest week in the History of Alexander County for Student salvation's. Of the students who made decisions for Christ about 97% were unchurched. This is simply amazing. I am so blessed and thankful to be apart of this great move of God. Over 11 churches participated in follow up the following 2 weeks. And we still have many more weeks to go.

I simply love seeing people come to Christ. Nothing thrills my heart like seeing God draw students to faith in Him. He gets all the glory and Praise. I was saved when I was 20. I would have been in the 97% like these students. Hard to believe I grew up in a County with over 100 churches and never heard the Gospel until I was 20. I am determined that others will not reach their 20th birthday without hearing the Gospel.

This is simply the beginning!

I agree with Spurgeon who said, ""If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Preach Christ or Go home! by Spurgeon

The motto of all true servants of God must be, “We preach Christ; and him crucified.” A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.

Leave Christ out? O my brethren, better leave the pulpit out altogether. If a man can preach one sermon without mentioning Christ’s name in it, it ought to be his last, certainly the last that any Christian ought to go to hear him preach.

Yes, it is Christ, Christ, Christ whom we have to preach; and if we leave him out, we leave out the very soul of the gospel. Christless sermons make merriment for hell. Christless preachers, Christless Sunday school teachers, Christless class leaders, Christless tract distributors—what are all these doing? They are simply setting the mill to grind without putting any grist into the hopper, all their labor is in vain. If you leave Jesus Christ out, you are simply beating the air, or going to war without any weapon with which you can smite the foe.


The Theology of Deliverance Part 2

Delivered from what:

From error to truth:
So the first thing we want to know about the doctrine of deliverance, or the theology of deliverance, is that true Christians have been delivered from error to truth. I
n Colossians chapter 1 I think we can get a good start. Here is a passage that expresses the great miracle of deliverance. And verse 13 is the notable verse, verse 13, Colossians 1:13, "For He the Father delivered us, rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son."
Back in verse 12 Paul says, "We therefore give Him thanks because He has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."
Now here you have that very familiar biblical contrast between darkness and light. We have been delivered out of the domain of darkness. We have been delivered into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, as the Greek literally says, which is a Kingdom made up of saints in light. Darkness is synonymous with ignorance, darkness is synonymous with error. Light is synonymous with truth. We have been taken out of error, out of darkness and delivered into a Kingdom of light ruled by the beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ. That's the first category of deliverance.

True Christians understand the truth. They have come from darkness to light. They have come from error to truth.
Psalm 119:130, "The entrance of Thy Word gives light."
"Thy Word," we read in Psalm 119:105, "is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path."

That is the first great area of deliverance. Out of the darkness of error, into the bright light of truth.

The Apostle Paul when he was commissioned to preach, according to Acts 26:18, was sent to sinners to open their eyes that they might turn from darkness to light so that darkness and light are really symbols or metaphors of error and truth. And notice please, in verse 13, that truth is synonymous with Jesus Christ. We are delivered from the domain of darkness which is the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of His beloved Son and He is the light of the world. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world and whoever comes to Me will never walk in darkness." The light is synonymous with Jesus Christ. It is synonymous with entering into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

So the first thing that is true about the delivered, the true Christians, is that they do not believe error because they have come to the light. They have come to the truth. To borrow the language of Ephesians chapter 6, they are engaged in a battle against the spiritual forces of darkness but they are triumphant because they have put on the armor of God and the first piece of armor is the belt or the girdle of truth.

A Christian is someone then who understands the truth, who has been delivered from Satan's lies to God's truth. To be saved, according to 1 Timothy 2:4, to be saved is to come to the knowledge of the truth.
That's a very important verse, write that down,
1 Timothy 2:4, "To be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
That is to say, one and the same. Being saved is not some kind of mystical cryptic, some kind of inexplicable feeling. Being saved is come to the knowledge of the truth. Luke tells us in the book of Acts that when the gospel was preached on the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people believed and they continued in the Apostles' doctrine.
They started there and they continued there. A true Christian is a person who has been deposited, rescued out of ignorance and deposited in the realm of truth. They came into the realm of truth and they continue in the realm of truth. To be saved is to come to the knowledge of the truth. The Christian is someone who understands the truth, who believes the truth, who embraces the truth, who loves the truth and who submits to the truth.

And, you know, it amazes me that there are so many people in evangelicalism today, leaders in evangelicalism, pastors and writers, who believe a person can be a Christian without ever being delivered from error to truth. I'm reading today that there are those saying there are people in countries in obscure places and tribes in hidden back waters of the world who have never had a Bible and never hear the truth of Jesus Christ who are going to be saved because God is going to be gracious and kind to them and they're going to be saved even though they've never heard the truth. Well, that is a lie.
If, according to Romans 1, they live up to the light they have and if they see the creator in the creation and through reason and according to Romans 2 follow their conscience back to a lawgiver, if they live up to the light they have, Christ who is the light that lights every man who comes into the world, John 1:9 says, God will reveal more light to them and they'll come to a greater light because God will give them a greater light. But no one will ever be saved who doesn't come to the knowledge of the truth.

They're saying today that you don't have to come to the knowledge of the truth. Call all the missionaries home. Stop proclaiming the gospel to every creature, even though Jesus told us to do that. But the Bible tells us that when you're delivered, you're delivered out of error into truth and you come literally into a paradigm, a realm, a domain, a kingdom of light. In the words of John 6:45, all believers are taught by God. They possess an enlightenment which sets apart the teaching of God from all the teaching of men. True believers understand the truth as opposed to error. They have received by regeneration a new nature and that new nature has a capacity for the truth. That new nature has an infinity for the truth. That new nature has a devotion to the truth, has a love for the truth.

Simply stated, being saved demands coming to believe whole-heartedly the truth...that saves. And if you don't believe the truth that saves, you can't be saved. You have to believe the delivering truth to be delivered.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Theology of Deliverance by John MacArthur

One of the great words in the Bible is the word "deliverance," though it is not commonly used in the Christian vocabulary. Sad to say, rarely do you hear theologians talk about, rarely do you read theologians write about the truth of deliverance, and yet it is nonetheless a profoundly important term for understanding God's redemptive work. God is in the business of deliverance. And deliverance may be the best, it may be the most clarifying and it may actually be the most comprehensive word to explain God's gracious and powerful work in our lives. We were prompted to this discussion by the fact that Jesus came with a ministry of deliverance. And when we began to see that in the case of Jesus, it drew us into the greater theme of deliverance which covers really all of God's redemptive purpose.

In Romans 11:26 Paul writes, "The Deliverer will come and He will remove ungodliness and He will take away sin." The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ is there identified as the Deliverer. In fact, every time in the Bible you see the word "save, saved, salvation, or Savior," you can translate it with some form of the word deliver. Essentially it means the same thing. But deliver communicates well to us because we understand in the English the meaning of deliverance.

The theology of deliverance and understanding of deliverance is a critical area of truth. And it becomes critical at the point of understanding who is a true Christian. And that, I pointed out, is absolutely essential to the health and well-being and effectiveness of the church. If the church blurs the line between Christians and non-Christians, it then invites the enemy into the camp, totally distorts its own identity and allows Satan to gain a foothold. It is a matter of being content or even inviting the tares to be sown among the wheat. And yet that is exactly what is happening in evangelicalism today.

The evangelical church is inviting non-Christians in and then redefining them as Christians. I told you last week, the greatest failure of professing Christianity in this day and for this century past has been the failure to distinguish between true Christians and false. And it's worse now than it's ever been. It's been going on all through the century and it's now worse than it's ever been. The true church is the society of the delivered and we have to keep that distinction very clear because the Lord wants a pure church, He wants a chaste bride and He wants a bride without blemish and without spot. The church must be made up of true believers and it must be clear who is a real Christian and who is not so that we protect the church from the encroachment of Satan, and also so that we protect the lost from being deceived. Not only when we allow non-Christians to be defined as Christians do we pollute the church, but we also aid and abet the deception of Satan and people live as though they were Christians when in fact they are not.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Piper on the word Believe

He says, "Faith is the consequence, not the cause, of the new birth."
Would love to know your thoughts.
But before you answer, either by email or comment, understand that only God can give life to a dead heart. I think we would all agree with that.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 1 John 5:1

Preach Jesus, All the Time

Great advice from Spurgeon:

“Brethren, there is an abiding fullness of truth in Christ; after you have heard it for fifty years, you see more of its fullness than you did at first. Other truths weary the ear. I will defy any man to hold together a large congregation, year after year, with any other subject but Christ Jesus. He might do it for a time; he might charm the ear with the discoveries of science, or with the beauties of poetry, and his oratory might be of so high an order that he might attract the multitudes who have itching ears, but they would in time turn away and say, “This is no longer to be endured. We know it all.”

“All music becomes wearisome but that of heaven; but oh! if the minstrel doth but strike this celestial harp, though he keepeth his fingers always among its golden strings, and be but poor and unskilled upon an instrument so divine, yet the melody of Jesus’ name, and the sweet harmony of all his acts and attributes, will hold his listeners by the ears and thrill their hearts as nought beside can do. The theme of Jesus’ love is inexhaustible, though preachers may have dwelt upon it century after century, a freshness and fullness still remain."

Monday, March 15, 2010

the way we all "MUST" worship :)

I love it when “arm chair theologians” try to exposit scripture. Their true intent always comes out.

Some will show their intelligence by quoting this verse waaaaaaayyyy out of context. For instance, they will take this verse, John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Then “they” will say this, “John said that we MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth! This word must is the greek word dei. It is a verb that means it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper.”

This is right and true. So far so good, But then they will take it waaaayyyy out of context and say, “everyone must “ worship they way they do or they are not worshiping God the way He “must” be worshiped.

Most of the time these type “theologians” will talk about the way other churches worship, even though, they themselves have never darkened the door of these “other” churches. Then they will pass judgment on these type churches because they don’t look like, talk like or sing the songs “the way” they do. But who can argue with an “arm chair theologian”. Sounds like they have the mind of God figured out. And even though we are never told “how” Jesus worshiped, they somehow know exactly how He did by using this encounter Jesus has with this lost woman in John 4.

Wow what great hermeneutics! Some how they have figured out the heart of Jesus in worship. And even though there was not a church building in Jesus day He must have worshiped the way these “theologians” do in their church because they worship the way God intends for people to worship. Just like them. Right? I mean that is in the Bible isn’t it?

Well I’m certainly no “arm chair theologian” but I did a little research and in order to not be to “worldly” in worship I feel we “must” worship like the Amish brethren do it!!

And in the words of Brother Sid everyone said, “Thank God” :)

Spurgeon on the Cross

You need not weep because Christ died one-tenth so much as because your sins rendered it necessary that He should die. You need not weep over the crucifixion, but weep over your transgression, for your sins nailed the Redeemer to the accursed tree. To weep over a dying Saviour is to lament the remedy; it were wiser to bewail the disease. To weep over the dying Saviour is to wet the surgeon's knife with tears; it were better to bewail the spreading polyps which that knife must cut away. To weep over the Lord Jesus as He goes to the cross is to weep over that which is the subject of the highest joy that ever heaven and earth have known; your tears are scarcely needed there; they are unnatural, but a deeper wisdom will make you brush them all away and chant with joy His victory over death and the grave. If we must continue our sad emotions, let us lament that we should have broken the law which He thus painfully vindicated; let us mourn that we should have incurred the penalty which He even to the death was made to endure ... O brethren and sisters, this is the reason why we souls weep: because we have broken the divine law and rendered it impossible that we should be saved except Jesus Christ should die.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tozer on God

A.W. Tozer writing on Psalm 18:35 (“your gentleness made me great”):

“God is easy to live with. Satan’s first attack upon the human race was his sly effort to destroy Eve’s confidence in the kindness of God. Unfortunately for her and for us he succeeded too well. From that day, men have had a false conception of God, and it is exactly this that has cut out from under them the ground of righteousness and driven them to reckless and destructive living.

Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God. Certain sects, such as the Pharisees, while they held that God was stern and austere, yet managed to maintain a fairly high level of external morality; but their righteousness was only outward.

Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be. The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure.

The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.

He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust. He may sometimes chasten us, it is true, but even this He does with a smile, the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.”

– A.W. Tozer in The Root of the Righteous, pp. 13-16. As quoted in the newest Banner of Truth Magazine (issue 531; Dec. 2007).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Christian Music?

These guys wouldn't like East Taylorsville music probably but I bet they listen to Blue Grass :)
What type of music is appropriate for church and why? Would love to hear your comments.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

KJV Preachin!

Here are some well meaning but misguided preachers proclaiming the "doctrine" of the King James Version as "The Only Bible".

Some comments that stuck out to me are:
One guy says ,"the KJV is for this generation".. what about the generations before the KJV. How did they make it spiritually. He also says " that the King James is the Bible “that’s up in heaven.” Say what?

Another guys says, “I have a photocopy of a 1611 that matches my Bible today word-for-word.” What?! That’s nothing more than a bald-faced lie! There are 24,000 revisions (many of them small) between the original 1611 and the current 1769 revision that most people are using in the modern English-speaking world. I have a reprint in my office of a 1611, with an apocrypha and it is different than a "newer King James".

Then one pastor says "you can't be saved out of these versions. Or "it produces another type of salvation", It is bad seed"? That is border line blasphemy. Wouldn't you agree? So what he is saying is "that every person in the world that wasn't saved by direct result of the KJV is lost."
He is saying anyone saved under the ministry of: Greg Laurie, Charles Stanley, Billy Graham, John MacArthur, James MacDonald, David Jeremiah, John Piper, Tommy Nelson, Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Lon Solomon, Joe Brown, Jamie Steele....etc are not saved!!

Do you agree with that statement? I would like to know. If you "prefer" the King James "Version" that is fine. But to put down other translations of the "Bible" to say others can't be saved from them is WRONG! I'm sure you would have to agree with me.

With that said, the King James is a great "translation". It is one of the best but preachin like this must stop! Too bad to see Truth mixed with error. God help us, we are in a mess!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why I still Preach the Word by MacArthur

1. Because the Message of God's Word is Timeless and Truly Powerful.
A primary reason that I still preach the Bible is that this alone is God's eternal divinely empowered message. Forty years of ministry could never exhaust it, either in terms of its freshness and richeness, its depth of teaching, or its ability to impact lives. God's Word is timeless and no matter how culture changes God's Word never does.
Scripture is powerful because, unlike man-made programs and solutions, the Bible is empowered by God Himself. There have always been men in pulpits who gather crowds because they are gifted orators, interesting storytellers, entertaining speakers, dynamic personalities, shrewd crowd manipulators, rousing speech makers, popular politicians, or erudite scholars. Such preaching may be popular but not necessarily powerful. No one can preach with power who does not preach the Word. And no faithful preacher will water down or neglect the whole counsel of God. Proclaiming the Word- all of it- is the pastor's calling.

2. Because God's Word is the Good News of Salvation.
A second reason to preach the Word is that Scripture alone unfolds God's plan for salvation. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68
Why would I ever go anywhere else for spiritual answers than to the inspired revelation of Jesus Christ. Scripture reveals the Mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). I certainly don't have the words of life, neither does anyone else. Only He does.

The Bible makes it clear that, no matter what people's felt needs may be, their real need is for forgiveness and salvation from sin so as to escape eternal hell and enter the bliss of heaven. A fulfilled life, a happy marriage, a loving friendship, a successful career-- those "needs" pale in comparison with the eternal issue facing every human being.

The Bible also makes it clear that genuine belief include more than mental assent. Biblical faith is more than just a "profession of faith"; it is a change of allegiance- from the mastery of sin to the lordship of Christ. As a preacher, it certainly would be convenient for me to preach a gospel that says, "If you've ever made a profession of faith in Jesus, then you're saved, even if there is nothing in your life to validate that claim." But I can't do that, because that's not the true gospel. The true gospel repeatedly commands true believers to repent and tells us that, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Utternaces of God by John MacArthur

"Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God;" 1 Peter 4:11

Now when people evaluate churches they might evaluate them on the basis of many things. But there's only one that really sets the tone. The single most important reason to choose a church is the nature and character of its preaching and teaching. Where you have strong biblical preaching and teaching, everything else tends toward strength. Where you do not have strong biblical teaching and preaching, everything else is weak and tends toward shallowness. Preaching sets the tone in the church, proclaiming biblical truth is essential. Why? "Because man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

Preaching the Word of God, teaching the Word of God is a critical function in the life of the church. And, of course, we live in a time when preaching is being depreciated and it is being set aside in favor of other forms of communication. But the essential reality for the church, that which basically dictates its strength or weakness, is the character of its preaching and teaching. You show me a church where there is strong biblical preaching and teaching, and I will show you strong people and strong ministry. You show me a church where there is weak biblical preaching and I will show you a church with weak people and weak ministry. That's just how it goes because the Word of God is the food that makes believers mature and strong.

And the reality is that people in churches all across our country and all around the world are frankly starving. I hear it all the time, everywhere I go. It comes through the mail bags every day. People saying, "I can't find any place where I can be fed. I'm starving here or there or wherever it might be. Where do I find some food for my soul? Isn't anybody going to teach me the Word of God?" Cries from people all across the world, really. People are starving.

"Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God;" 1 Peter 4:11

That's simple enough. Whoever speaks, let him speak the utterances of God. Let him speak what God has spoken. Let him preach the Word. That's what it's saying. Let him tell us about God from God's own revelation. Whoever speaks, let him speak the utterances of God.

John goes on to say and I agree, "We preach God...God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit...revealed through the Word of God. "If any man speaks, let him speak the utterances of God." Not his own opinion, not somebody else's opinion, not the collective opinion of any group, not the contemporary consensus. When you speak, you speak the utterances of God."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Examine Yourself!

The Few from I'll Be Honest on Vimeo.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
2 Corinthians 13:5


Psalms 92:10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

Deuteronomy 33:17 His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns:

Job 39:9-10 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

Psalms 29:6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

Numbers 23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Numbers 24:8 God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

Isaiah 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

Psalms 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Psalms 92:10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

Unicorns? What do you think? The KJV says so, maybe there were unicorns.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Pastors Physical Health

Pastors and Physical Health

So Pastors how is your physical Health? Really, how is it? This could be a life changing moment for many of us. Our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and we are to treat our bodies with respect. I often hear Pastors with weight or health issues joke about it. It is no laughing matter. Many Pastors suffer from stress, depression, low self-esteem and the list goes on an on. Much of this could be managed and maybe even done away with by a simple diet plan and daily exercise program.

As I stated before I have a problem with eating. I love to eat. I love sweets, potato chips, Diet Sun Drop, Hot Fudge Cake. Etc. And I used to gorge every chance I got. I didn’t think it was a big deal because I never really gained a lot of weight. It was still sin. I was committing sin and laughing about it. Make jokes about it. I then did a study in Titus. Paul said, “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."

So I did a study on “lazy gluttons”. I was one to a point. I was deeply convicted about my health and my testimony before our congregation. I realized I was an ambassador for Christ in the Church and the Community. I decided to make a change. I decided I would not just preach on self-control but would put it into practice.

Everyday except Sundays I get up at 4 am and do an exercise program. Every day.
I live on a diet plan or an "eat healthier plan". Every day. I have cheat days but I am still determined not to “be a glutton”. Being a glutton is hard to define so let the Holy Spirit be your guide. I try to give my body one hour a day and give Jesus, East Taylorsville Baptist Church and my Family the rest. It has been a life changer for me mentally, spiritually and personally.

Pastors being a Pastor is hard enough. At ETBC we have right at 1,700 members. I can’t be a “lazy glutton” and lead this flock. I must set the example and with God’s help I am. What about you?

So here is what I suggest for all Pastors:
1) Get your butt out of bed early- stop sleepin in.
2) Get off your butt- walk, jog, do jumping jacks, push ups,,, etc.. (I say this because much of our time is spent in study and travel visiting… get off your butt)
3) Stop making excuses. Be A MAN!!!
4) Realize the difference it will make in your health- some people and many Pastors will put their families thru some difficult days because of their health, that could be avoided. Unwanted Dr and hospital stays. Health complications. Many of us if we don’t change will put our families thru hard times because we are “lazy gluttons”. I visit people quite often whose last days are extremely hard because they would not take care of their health. The family suffers.

So Pastors, do something about it! Decide, commit, succeed.

Friday, March 5, 2010


One of the things I have struggled with in the past is gluttony. I shared recently with our church how I was a recovering glutton, even though I never gained a lot of weight. I love to eat. I love to gorge and that is sin.
Gluttony seems to be a sin that Christians like to ignore. We are often quick to label smoking and drinking as sins, but for some reason gluttony is accepted or at least tolerated. Many of the arguments used against smoking and drinking, such as health and addiction, apply equally to overeating. Many believers would not even consider having a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette but have no qualms about gorging themselves at the dinner table. This should not be!

One well known Pastor I know just recently said this on his blog, he used to be 300 lbs and an admitted glutton, "A lot of pastors are fat—period.
Which is sad because a pastor that refuses to address his weight is hypocritical in that he will often tell people to have “self control” when it comes to sex before marriage…or have “self control” when it comes to smoking…but he cannot seem to practice “self control” in a buffet line."
He goes on to say, "Statistics prove that WAY MORE PEOPLE die every year due to obesity than alcohol…yet the SBC remains silent on the subject…probably because it would force many of them to stop pointing their fingers at others and actually deal with who they see in the mirror!"

The Bible should always be our guide:
Proverbs 23:20-21 warns us, “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
Proverbs 28:7 declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”
Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”

Physical appetites are an analogy of our ability to control ourselves. If we are unable to control our eating habits, we are probably also unable to control other habits. And everyone said, "Amen"
Your body is a Temple how are you treating it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

MacArthur on Bible Translations Part 2

MacArthur ESV Study Bible Promo from Crossway on Vimeo.

Can't wait to get mine!

John MacArthur on Bible Translations

I love John MacArthur. He is one of my favorite preachers and writers. He has greatly impacted my theology. One of the things I love about John is he is not afraid to stand for what he believes regardless of his peers or acquaintances. He is reformed. He admits it. He is proud of it. Many pastors today hide behind their Baptist label and will not admit who they are even though they preach reformed theology. Anyway here is A Man of God's view on Bible Translations. KJV onlyers I would love to hear your comments. I know you are reading!

by John MacArthur:
What approach should be used to determine the variant which accurately represents what God originally wrote? It is our opinion that the "balanced approach" is best. It gives equal weight to both internal and external evidence. It gives unbiased consideration to the various manuscript families.

The argument that defends the Byzantine tradition, by appealing to the fact that most manuscripts in the Greek New Testament attest the Byzantine, is logically and historically weak. It is not a truism that a majority of manuscripts necessarily preserve the best text.

The argument that defends the Byzantine text by appealing to the providence of God is theologically false. The determination of the best variant in an individual case is not a theological issue alone, but primarily a textual issue.

Textual arguments that depend on adopting the "textus receptus" and then comparing it to other text types are guilty of bias. To argue that because a modern version does not include something that's included in the TR, or adds something which the TR does not add, is to argue that the modern versions and their translators are guilty of adding to or subtracting from the true text.

It could be equally true that those who translated the TR were the ones who actually deleted or added. The charge that the non-Byzantine text types are theologically in error is wrong. This was evidenced earlier in our lengthy letter.There is no necessary connection between the adoption of the Byzantine text/King James Version and the inspiration of Scripture. There are equally godly, scholarly men on both sides of this issue who all strongly embrace the historic, orthodox understanding of the inerrancy and infallibility of the Scriptures.

Adoption of the TR or King James Version should never be made a point of theological orthodoxy or ecclesiastical fellowship.

A believer should continue to use an accurate English translation which is personally most readable and understandable such as KJV, NASB, or NIV.

I appreciate a man who not only knows what he believes but is not afraid to stand for what he believes!

Wallace on the 1611

Sixth, when the KJV was first published, it was heavily resisted for being too easy to understand! Some people revere it today because it is difficult to understand. I fear that part of their response is due to pride: they feel as though they are able to discern something that other, less spiritual folks cannot. Often 1 Corinthians 2:13-16 is quoted with reference to the KJV (to the effect that ‘you would understand it if you were spiritual’). Such a use of that text, however, is a gross distortion of the Scriptures. The words in the New Testament, the grammar, the style, etc.—in short, the language—comprised the common language of the first century. We do God a great disservice when we make the gospel more difficult to understand than he intended it. The reason unspiritual people do not understand the scriptures is because they have a volitional problem, not an intellectual problem (cf. 1 Cor. 2:14 where ‘receive,’ ‘welcome’ shows clearly that the thing which blocks understanding is the sinful will of man).

Seventh, those who advocate that the KJV has exclusive rights to being called the Holy Bible are always, curiously, English-speaking people (normally isolated Americans). Yet, Martin Luther’s fine translation of the Bible into German predated the KJV by almost 100 years. Are we so arrogant to say that God has spoken only in English? And where there are substantial discrepancies between Luther’s Bible and the KJV (such as in 1 John 5:7-8), are we going to say that God has inspired both? Is he the author of lies? Our faith does not rest in a singular tradition, nor is it provincial. Vibrant, biblical Christianity must never unite itself with provincialism. Otherwise, missionary endeavor, among other things, would die.

Eighth, again, let me repeat an earlier point: Most evangelicals—who embrace all the cardinal doctrines of the faith—prefer a different translation and textual basis than that found in the KJV. In fact, even the editors of the New Scofield Reference Bible (which is based on the KJV) prefer a different text/translation!

Finally, though it is true that the modern translations ‘omit’ certain words and verses (or conversely, the KJV adds to the Word of God, depending on how you look at it), the issue is not black-or-white. In fact, the most recent edition of a Greek New Testament which is based on the majority of MSS, rather than the most ancient ones (and thus stands firmly behind the King James tradition), when compared to the standard Greek New Testament used in most modern translations, excises over six hundred and fifty words or phrases! Thus, it is not proper to suggest that only modern translations omit; the Greek text behind the KJV omits, too! The question, then, is not whether modern translations have deleted portions of the Word of God, but rather whether either the KJV or modern translations have altered the Word of God. I contend that the KJV has far more drastically altered the scriptures than have modern translations. Nevertheless, I repeat: most textual critics for the past two hundred and fifty years would say that no doctrine is affected by these changes. One can get saved reading the KJV and one can get saved reading the NIV, NASB, etc.

I trust that this brief survey of reasons I have for thinking that the King James Bible is not the best available translation will not be discarded quickly. All of us have a tendency to make mountains out of molehills and then to set up fortresses in those ‘mountains.’ We often cling to things out of emotion, rather than out of true piety. And as such we do a great disservice to a dying world that is desperately in need of a clear, strong voice proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Soli Deo gloria!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why the King James is not the best Translation

(1611 with the Apocrypha)

Dan Wallace explains why he feels the King James is not the best translation eventhough it is a very good translation:

Third, the King James Bible has undergone three revisions since its inception in 1611, incorporating more than 100,000 changes. Which King James Bible is inspired, therefore?

Fourth, 300 words found in the KJV no longer bear the same meaning—e.g., “Suffer little children…to come unto me” (Matt 19:14). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God” (2 Tim 2:15). Should we really embrace a Bible as the best translation when it uses language that not only is not clearly understood any more, but in fact has been at times perverted and twisted?

Fifth, the KJV includes one very definite error in translation, which even KJV advocates would admit. In Matthew 23:24 the KJV has ‘strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.’ But the Greek has ‘strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.’ In the least, this illustrates not only that no translation is infallible but also that scribal corruptions can and do take place-even in a volume which has been worked over by so many different hands (for the KJV was the product of a very large committee of over 50 scholars).

I appreciate the comments yesterday. Please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dan Wallace on the King James

Second, the Greek text which stands behind the King James Bible is demonstrably inferior in certain places. The man who edited the text was a Roman Catholic priest and humanist named Erasmus. He was under pressure to get it to the press as soon as possible since (a) no edition of the Greek New Testament had yet been published, and (b) he had heard that Cardinal Ximenes and his associates were just about to publish an edition of the Greek New Testament and he was in a race to beat them. Consequently, his edition has been called the most poorly edited volume in all of literature! It is filled with hundreds of typographical errors which even Erasmus would acknowledge. Two places deserve special mention. In the last six verses of Revelation, Erasmus had no Greek manuscript (=MS) (he only used half a dozen, very late MSS for the whole New Testament any way). He was therefore forced to ‘back-translate’ the Latin into Greek and by so doing he created seventeen variants which have never been found in any other Greek MS of Revelation! He merely guessed at what the Greek might have been. Secondly, for 1 John 5:7-8, Erasmus followed the majority of MSS in reading “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Spirit and the water and the blood.” However, there was an uproar in some Roman Catholic circles because his text did not read “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.” Erasmus said that he did not put that in the text because he found no Greek MSS which had that reading. This implicit challenge—viz., that if he found such a reading in any Greek MS, he would put it in his text—did not go unnoticed. In 1520, a scribe at Oxford named Roy made such a Greek MS (codex 61, now in Dublin). Erasmus’ third edition had the second reading because such a Greek MS was ‘made to order’ to fill the challenge! To date, only a handful of Greek MSS have been discovered which have the Trinitarian formula in 1 John 5:7-8, though none of them is demonstrably earlier than the sixteenth century.

That is a very important point. It illustrates something quite significant with regard to the textual tradition which stands behind the King James. Probably most textual critics today fully embrace the doctrine of the Trinity (and, of course, all evangelical textual critics do). And most would like to see the Trinity explicitly taught in 1 John 5:7-8. But most reject this reading as an invention of some overly zealous scribe. The problem is that the King James Bible is filled with readings which have been created by overly zealous scribes! Very few of the distinctive King James readings are demonstrably ancient. And most textual critics just happen to embrace the reasonable proposition that the most ancient MSS tend to be more reliable since they stand closer to the date of the autographs. I myself would love to see many of the King James readings retained. The story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) has always been a favorite of mine about the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ. That Jesus is called God in 1 Timothy 3:16 affirms my view of him. Cf. also John 3:13; 1 John 5:7-8, etc. But when the textual evidence shows me both that scribes had a strong tendency to add, rather than subtract, and that most of these additions are found in the more recent MSS, rather than the more ancient, I find it difficult to accept intellectually the very passages which I have always embraced emotionally. In other words, those scholars who seem to be excising many of your favorite passages from the New Testament are not doing so out of spite, but because such passages are not found in the better and more ancient MSS. It must be emphatically stressed, however, that this does not mean that the doctrines contained in those verses have been jeopardized. My belief in the deity of Christ, for example, does not live or die with 1 Timothy 3:16. In fact, it has been repeatedly affirmed that no doctrine of Scripture has been affected by these textual differences. If that is true, then the ‘King James only’ advocates might be crying wolf where none exists, rather than occupying themselves with the more important aspects of advancing the gospel.

Monday, March 1, 2010

MacDonald on God's part in Salvation process

God Makes Things Happen from Harvest Bible Chapel on Vimeo.

Who Saves? God Saves! Where is his tie?

KJV 1611- Not the Best Translation

Is the KJV 1611 Edition the "right" Bible as many say. It certainly is a good translation but does this mean other translations are wrong. Some even ignorantly say other translations are not of God. Well how silly. Where does this come from. I would ask a KJV only person which revision is the correct revision since the KJV (which is a good translation) has been revised several times. Also, where in the Bible does God guarantee that any translator of the Bible, anyone who copies the Bible, anyone who preached the Bible, or anyone who teaches the Bible, will be infallibly correct? [There is no such Scripture. The doctrine of infallibility of the translation in the King James is not a Bible doctrine; it is a manmade scheme by some partly ignorant and some partly influenced by bad motives.]

Dan Wallace is a professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Wallace is considered an authority on Koine Greek grammar and New Testament textual criticism among New Testament scholars. He also served as senior New Testament editor for the NET Bible and has founded the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. The purpose of the institution is to preserve the Greek text of the New Testament by taking digital photographs of all extant Greek New Testament Manuscripts.

Dan says and I quote: "First, I want to affirm with all evangelical Christians that the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant, inspired, and our final authority for faith and life. However, nowhere in the Bible am I told that only one translation of it is the correct one. Nowhere am I told that the King James Bible is the best or only ‘holy’ Bible. There is no verse that tells me how God will preserve his word, so I can have no scriptural warrant for arguing that the King James has exclusive rights to the throne. The arguments must proceed on other bases.

The he says "Second, the Greek text which stands behind the King James Bible is demonstrably inferior in certain places." end quote

Tomorrow we will see why he says the Greek text behind the King James is inferior.
What do you think? I would love to hear your comments.