Christians – Don’t waste your life!

Pastor David Platt preaching on Paul’s reevaluation in Philippians 3

  •  If we want our lives to count we must treasure Christ above everything else this world has to offer.

The many treasures of a wasted life (these are all good things, but, these good things were the ones keeping Paul from Jesus. Paul said it is possible to be and do all these things and yet come to the end of your life and to be written above it „wasted”)

  1. Family heritage
  2. Social status
  3. Biblical knowledge
  4. Religious activity (zeal)
  5. A moral lifestyle

but there is one thing in life that counts and that is the surpassing  greatness of knowing Christ Jesus. The only treasure of the life that counts is Christ.

sermon starts at the 6:00 minute.

You have one life and you have one shot to make your life count for His glory on the landscape of human history.

  • We trust in Christ to provide everything we need

What do we gain by gaining Christ?

  1. His righteousness covers our sin
  2. His power guarantees our resurrection
  3. His satisfaction transcends our suffering
  4. God delights in showing His greatness through those who radically trust in Him

The Life that Counts:

  1. They treasure Christ
  2. They trust Christ
  3. They pursue Christ with obsessive passion

The question we ask, „Is why follow hard after Christ?”

A holy dissatisfaction with comfortable christianity which is dangerous. Paul, the planter of most of the New Testament churches states that he has so much more to do in pursuit of God and that is where our own christianity should stand today.

We need a fresh understanding of the degree to which Christ has followed hard after us.

Anunțuri

On what day was Jesus really born? A New Testament Manuscript Expert Responds

A 1466 copy of Jewish historianFlavius Josephus‘ first century workAntiquities of the Jews, widely used to establish the chronology of Jesus. Photo from Wikipedia.

This is a study by Daniel B. Wallace , which you can read it in its entirety here-  http://bible.org/article/birth-jesus-christ

Daniel B. Wallace has taught Greek and New Testament courses on a graduate school level since 1979. He has a Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and is currently professor of New Testament Studies at his alma mater.

His Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Zondervan, 1996) has become a standard textbook in colleges and seminaries. Dr. Wallace is also the Executive Director for the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

Wallace – We must keep in mind that the Jesus we worship was truly born in time-space history. And that babe in the manger was truly crucified–and just as surely rose from the dead. The Bible is different from the sacred books of other religions because it invites historical investigation. And when it has met the test–as it surely always, inevitably does–it inculcates a greater devotion in the heart of the believer for the one we call the Son of God.

The Year Jesus Was Born

In the western hemisphere, we split time by the birth of Jesus Christ. But did he really even live? If so,when was he born?

Josephus records an eclipse of the moon just before Herod passed on. This occurred on March 12th or 13th in 4 B.C. Josephus also tells us that Herod expired just before Passover. This feast took place on April 11th, in the same year, 4 B.C. From other details supplied by Josephus, we can pinpoint Herod the Great’s demise as occurring between March 29th and April 4th in 4 B.C.

It might sound strange to suggest that Jesus Christ was born no later than 4 B.C. since B.C. means ‘before Christ.’ But our modern calendar which splits time between B.C. and A.D. was not invented until A.D. 525. At that time, Pope John the First asked a monk named Dionysius to prepare a standardized calendar for the western Church. Unfortunately, poor Dionysius missed the real B.C./A.D. division by at least four years!

Now Matthew tells us that Herod killed Bethlehem’s babies two years old and under. The earliest Jesus could have been born, therefore, is 6 B.C. Through a variety of other time indicators, we can be relatively confident that the one called Messiah was born in either late 5 or early 4 B.C.

My atheist friend scoffs at such flexibility. He says, „If you don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, how do you know that he really lived?” That is hardly a reasonable question! The other day I called my mother to wish her a happy birthday. „Mom, how many candles on this birthday cake?” I inquired. „I don’t know, son–I don’t keep track any more,” she sighed. After a few minutes of pleasant conversation, we hung up.

Now, of course, I can’t be certain, but I do believe that that was my mother on the other end of the phone. She can’t remember how old she is (and she’s neither senile nor very old), but that doesn’t make her a figment of my imagination, does it? Because if she’s just a phantom, then for the last three minutes, you’ve been reading absolutely nothing!

The Day Jesus Was Born

This coming December 25th most parents will be lying to their children about old St. Nick. Some of us will be celebrating the birth of our Savior. But was he really born on this day?

Was Jesus really born on December 25th? Virtually every month on the calendar has been proposed by biblical scholars. So why do we celebrate his birth in December?

The tradition for December 25th is actually quite ancient. Hippolytus, in the second century A.D., argued that this was Christ’s birthday. Meanwhile, in the eastern Church, January 6th was the date followed.

But in the fourth century, John Chrysostom argued that December 25th was the correct date and from that day till now, the Church in the East, as well as the West, has observed the 25th of December as the official date of Christ’s birth.

In modern times, the traditional date has been challenged. Modern scholars point out that when Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep in the hills around Bethlehem. Luke tells us that an angel appeared to „some shepherds staying out in the fields [who were] keeping watch over their flock by night” (2:8).

Some scholars feel that the sheep were usually brought under cover from November to March; as well, they were not normally in the field at night. But there is no hard evidence for this. In fact, early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. So you can see, December 25th fits both tradition and the biblical narrative well. There is no sound objection to it.

Now admittedly, the sheep around Bethlehem were the exception, not the rule. But these were no ordinary sheep. They were sacrificial lambs. In the early spring they would be slaughtered at the Passover.

And God first revealed the Messiah’s birth to these shepherds–shepherds who protected harmless lambs which would soon die on behalf of sinful men. Whey they saw the baby, could they have known? Might they have whispered in their hearts what John the Baptist later thundered, „Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Now, of course, we can’t be absolutely certain of the day of Christ’s birth. At least, not this side of heaven. But an early winter date seems as reasonable a guess as any. And December 25th has been the frontrunner for eighteen centuries. Without more evidence, there seems no good reason to change the celebration date now.

We can blame the ancient church for a large part of our uncertainty. You see, they did not celebrate Christ’s birth. At all. To them, it was insignificant. They were far more concerned with his death . . . and resurrection.

But modern man has turned that around. A baby lying in a manger is harmless, non-threatening. But a man dying on a cross–a man who claims to be God–that man is a threat! He demands our allegiance! We cannot ignore him. We must either accept him or reject him. He leaves us no middle ground.

This Christmas season, take a close look at a nativity scene once again. Remove your rose-colored glasses–smell the foul air, see the cold, shivering animals. They represent the Old Testament sacrificial system. They are emblems of death. But they are mere shadows of the Babe in their midst. He was born to die . . . that all who believe in him might live.

The Visit of the Magi

When Jesus Christ was born, men–known as magi–came from the east to worship him. Were they wisemen . . . or astrologers?

Matthew begins his second chapter with these words: „Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him.'”

Who were these wise men from the east? Matthew tells us next to nothing about them–he doesn’t mention their names, nor how many there were–not even which country they came from. As mysteriously as they come on the scene, they disappear. . .

Though Matthew doesn’t tell us much, over-zealous Christians throughout church history have dogmatically filled in the blanks. By the 6th century A.D., these dark strangers were given thrones and names: Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar were the alleged names of these alleged kings. But this has nothing to do with the biblical story: we really have no idea what their names were–nor even their number. There could have been 3 or 300 as far as we know! But one thing we do know for sure: they were not royalty. The ancient magi were reilgious and political advisors to eastern kings–but there wasn’t a drop of blue blood among them.

But isn’t it true that the magi were astrologers? And didn’t God prescribe death to astrologers in the Old Testament? ‘Not always’ and ‘yes’ are the answers. In Deuteronomy 17, God commands his people to execute all astrologers by stoning. Jean Dixon wouldn’t stand a chance in such a theocracy! The fact that she–and others like her–are so comfortably tolerated–even well respected!–in modern America ought to show us that the U.S.A. is a post-Christian country–at best . . .

But what about these ancient magi? Were they astrologers? After all, they followed a star to Bethlehem.

We might answer this in three ways: First, not all magi were astrologers, for Daniel the prophet was the chief of the magi in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Through his influence, undoubtedly many of the magi carried on their religious and political duties as worshippers of the One true God.

Second, there are some biblical scholars who believe that Isaiah predicted that a star would appear when the Messiah was born. If this interpretation is correct, then the magi who worshipped the newborn king were clearly following in Daniel’s train, for he almost surely taught them from Isaiah.

Third, although a few believe that the ‘star’ they saw was a natural phenomenon–such as a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter–this cannot explain how the star stood right over Bethlehem. Clearly, the ‘star’ was completely of supernatural origin. If so, it probably had nothing to do with astrology.

Therefore, the magi most likely did not subscribe to such superstitious folly. If so, they were truly wisemen . . .

I saw a bumper sticker the other day, which read, „Wise men still seek him.” Actually, that’s not quite accurate. The Bible tells us that „no one seeks God, not even one.” But if he has led us to himself, then we have become wise. For it is true that „wise men still worship him.”

The Boys from Bethlehem

One of the most heinous atrocities in human history was the murder of Bethlehem’s babies by Herod the Great. But did it really happen?

In the second chapter of Matthew’s gospel, we read that when Herod the Great heard of the Messiah’s birth, „he was troubled–and all Jerusalem with him.” Later, when the wise men did not report back to him, he became furious and ordered all the baby boys up to two years old in and around Bethlehem to be slaughtered!

Three questions come to mind as we consider this cruel incident: First, how many babies did Herod actually kill? Second, how old was Jesus when this happened? And finally, why does no other ancient historian record this outrage? In other words, did it really happen?

How many babies did Herod murder? Some scholars have suggested as many as 200! But most reject such a figure. Bethlehem was a small community–almost a suburb of Jerusalem. The village itself–and the surrounding countryside–would hardly have more than 30 male infants under two. Most scholars today place the number between 20 and 30.

But that’s if only the boy babies were killed. Actually, the Greek text of Matthew 2:16 could mean ‘babies’–not just ‘boy babies.’ And psychologically, Herod’s henchmen might not have bothered to check the gender of their victims. The number might be as high as 50 or 60.

Second, how old was Jesus when this occurred? According to the best chronological evidence, he could not have been more than three or four months old. He was more than likely born in the winter of 5 or 4 B.C.–Herod died in the early spring of 4 B.C. So why did Herod slay all children up to two years old? The answer to the third question might help to answer this one. . .

Third, why is this event not recorded outside the Bible? Specifically, why did Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, fail to mention it?

Josephus tells us much about Herod. The best word to describe his reign is ‘overkill.’ He murdered hisfavorite wife’s father, drowned her brother–and even killed her! He executed one of his most trusted friends, his barber, and 300 military leaders–all in a day’s work! Then he slew three of his sons, allegedly suspecting them of treason. Josephus tells us that „Herod inflicted such outrages upon (the Jews) as not even a beast could have done if it possessed the power to rule over men” (Antiquities of the Jews 17:310). Killing babies was not out of character for this cruel king. And killing them up to two years old–to make sure he got the baby Jesus lines up with his insane jealousy for power.

Josephus might have omitted the slaying of the babies for one of two reasons: first, he was no friend of Christianity and he left it out intentionally; or second, just before Herod died he locked up 3000 of the nation’s leading citizens and gave orders that they were to be executed at the hour of his death. He wanted to make sure that there would be mourning when he died. . . Israel was so preoccupied with this that the clandestine murder of a few babies might have gone unnoticed. . .

Herod thought that he had gained a victory over the king of the Jews. Yet this was a mere foreshadowing of the victory Satan thought he had when Jesus lay dead on a Roman cross. But the empty tomb proved that that dark Friday was Satan’s worst defeat!

Conclusion

We’ve been looking at several aspects of the birth of Jesus Christ in this short study. Now, we want to put it all together.

In the winter of 5 or 4 B.C., God invaded history by taking on the form of a man. He was born in a small town just south of Jerusalem. Bethlehem, which means ‘the house of bread,’ indeed became worthy of its name one lonely winter night. For there, in that town, was born the Bread of Life . . .

His mother placed the infant king in a manger–or feeding trough–because the guest room where they were to stay was occupied. The birth of this king was celebrated that night only by his mother, her husband, and a handful of shepherds. The shepherds had been in the fields around Bethlehem, guarding the lambs which would die at the next Passover. An angel appeared to them and gave them the birth announcement: „today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). In their simple faith, they rushed to see their newborn king.

Shortly after the birth of the Messiah, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem and inquired of king Herod where the real king of the Jews was to be born. The theologians of Herod’s court knew the Scriptures well–in ‘Bethlehem’ they recited. Ironically, though they knew the Scriptures, they did not believe them! They did not even bother to travel the five or six miles to Bethlehem to see their Messiah.

But Herod believed the Scriptures! That is why he sent a corps of butchers to Bethlehem to slaughter innocent children, in hopes of destroying this rival to his throne. But he was too late. The magi had come and gone and Jesus was by now safe in Egypt.

And the magi believed the Scriptures. They had traveled several hundred miles to worship this Babe. They were guided to Bethlehem by a supernatural celestial phenomenon–and by the Scriptures. Apparently, their ancestors had been instructed by Daniel the prophet about the coming Messiah. . . When they saw the child, they fell down and worshiped him. This was God in the flesh. They could do no other.

And they gave him gifts–gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This was an unusual present–by any standards. The gold, of course, we all can understand–but the frankincense and myrrh were odd. Perhaps they had read Isaiah’s prophecy that „nations will come to your light, and kings to your rising . . . They will bring gold and frankincense, and will bear good news. . . ” (Isa. 60:3, 6). This explains the frankincense, but not the myrrh.

Now myrrh, like frankincense, was a perfume. But unlike frankincense, myrrh smelled of death. In the ancient world, it was used to embalm a corpse. Jesus himself would be embalmed with this very perfume (cf.John 19:39).

If the magi were thinking of Jesus’ death when they brought the myrrh, they no doubt knew of it from Daniel’s prophecy (9:24-27). In the ninth chapter of Daniel we read that the ‘Messiah will be cut off’ and this ‘will make atonement for iniquity’ and ultimately ‘bring in everlasting righteousness’ (9:26, 24).

Even at the birth of our Savior, the shadow of the cross is already falling over his face. . .

The theologians of Herod’s court did not believe the Scriptures. They were fools. Herod believed, but disobeyed. He was a madman. The simple shepherds and the majestic magi believed in this infant Savior–and it was reckoned to them as righteousness. May we follow in their train.

The most prominent prophecies foretold in the Old Testament and then fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament.

Jesus is King

The most prominent 13 prophecies about Jesus, which were both foretold in the Old Testament and then fulfilled in the New Testament.

  1. Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt 1:23
  2. Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt 2:1
  3. Lived in Nazareth * Isaiah 11:1 Matt 2:21-23
  4. Rejected by his own Isaiah 6:10, 53:1-3John 1:11
  5. Enters Jerusalem triumphantly Zecharia 9:9 John 12:12-19
  6. Betrayed by a friend Zecharia 11:12-13 Matt 26:14
  7. Died with criminals Isa. 53:9 Matthew 27:38
  8. Buried with the rich Isa 53:9-12 Matthew 27:57060
  9. Lots cast for his clothes Psl 22:18 Luke 23:24
  10. Offered vinegar to drink Ps 69:21 Matthew 27:34
  11. Dying words are given Ps 22:1, 31:5  Matthew 27:46, Lk. 23:46
  12. No bone is broken Psalms 34:20 John 19:36
  13. His side to be pierced Psalms  22:16, Zech 12:10 John 19:34

From Jack Wellman’s book, „Blind Chance or Intelligent Design, Empirical Methodologies and the Bible„, (chapter five).

366 prophecies foretold in the Old Testament and then fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament

Isaiah prophecies Christ Photo credit http://kingdomnewtestament.com

There are at least 1,800 prophecies in the Old Testament.

The astounding list below is of Old Testament prophecies that Jesus already fulfilled in the New Testament:

1. Genesis 3:15…..Seed of a woman (virgin birth)…..Luke 1:35, Matthew 1:18-20
2. Genesis 3:15…..He will bruise Satan’s head…..Hebrews 2:14, 1 John 3:18
3. Genesis 5:24….The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated….Mark 6:19
4. Genesis 9:26-27…The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem…Luke 3:36
5. Genesis 12:3…As Abraham’s seed, will bless all nations…Acts 3:25,26
6. Genesis 12:7…The The Promise made made to Abraham’s Seed…Galatians 3:16
7. Genesis 14:18…A priest after Melchizedek…Hebrews 6:20
8. Genesis 14:18……..A King also……..Hebrews 7:2
9. Genesis 14:18…The Last Supper foreshadowed…Matthew 26:26-29
10. Genesis 17:19…….The Seed of Isaac…….Romans. 9:7
11. Genesis 21:12 …Seed of Isaac…Romans 9:7, Hebrews 11:18
12. Genesis 22:8…The Lamb of God promised…John 1:29
13. Genesis 22:18…As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations…Galatians 3:16
14. Genesis26:2-5..The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer..Hebrews11:18
15. Genesis 49:10…The time of His coming…Luke 2:1-7; Galatians 4:4
16. Genesis 49:10…….The Seed of Judah…….Luke 3:33
17. Genesis 49:10……Called Shiloh or One Sent……John 17:3
18. Genesis 49:10…To come before Judah lost identity…John 11:47-52
19. Genesis 49:10…To Him shall the obedience of the people be…John 10:16
20. Exodus 3:13,14……..The Great „I Am”…….John 4:26
21. Exodus 12:5…A Lamb without blemish…1 Pet. 1:19
22. Exodus 12:13…The blood of the Lamb saves Romans wrath…Romans. 5:8
23. Exodus 12:21-27…Christ is our Passover…1 Corinthians 5;7
24. Exodus 12:46…Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken…John 19:31-36
25. Exodus 13:2…Blessing to first born son…Luke 2:23
26. Exodus 15:2…His exaltation predicted as Yeshua…Acts 7:55,56
27. Exodus 15:11…His Character-Holiness…Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27
28. Exodus 17:6…The Spiritual Rock of Israel…1 Corinthians 10;4
29. Exodus 33:19…His Character-Merciful…Luke 1:72
30. Leviticus14:11…The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood..Luke5:12-14; Acts 6:7
31. Leviticus16:15-17…Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death…Hebrews 9:7-14
32. Leviticus16:27…Suffering outside the Camp…Matthew 27:33; Hebrews 13:11, 12
33. Leviticus17:11…The Blood-the life of the flesh…Matthew 26;28; Mark 10:45
34. Leviticus17:11…It is the blood that makes atonement…1 John 3:14-18
35. Leviticus23:36-37…The Drink-offering: „If any man thirst.” ..John 19:31-36
36. Numbers 9:12…Not a bone of Him broken…John 19:31-36
37. Numbers 21:9…The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up…John 3:14-18
38. Numbers 24:8… Flight to Egypt…Matthew 2:14
39. Numbers 24:17…Time: „I shall see him, but not now.”…Galatians 4:4
40. Numbers 24:17-19…A star out of Jacob…Matthew 2:2, Luke 1:33,78, Revelation 22:16
41. Deuteronomy 18:15…”This is of a truth that prophet.”…John 6:14
42. Deuteronomy 18:15-16…”Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me.”…John 5:45-47
43. Deuteronomy 18:18…Sent by the Father to speak His word…John 8:28, 29
44. Deuteronomy 18:19…Whoever will not hear must bear his sin…John 12:15
45. Deuteronomy 21:13-23…As a prophet…John 6:14; 7:40, Acts 3:22,23
46. Deuteronomy 21:23…Cursed is he that hangs on a tree…Galatians 3:10-13
47. Ruth 4:4-9…Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us…Ephesians 1:3-7
48. 1 Samuel 2:10…Shall be an anointed King to the Lord…Matthew 28:18; John 12:15
49. 2 Samuel 7:12…David’s Seed…Matthew 1:1
50. 2 Samuel 7:14a…The Son of God… Luke 1:32
51. 2 Samuel 7:16…David’s house established forever…Luke 3:31; Rev. 22:16
52. 2 Samuel 23:2-4…would be the „Rock”…1 Corinthians 10:4
53. 2 Samuel 23:2-4…would be as the „light of the morning”…Revelation 22:16
54. 2 Kings 2:11…The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated…Luke 24:51
55. 1 Chronicles 17:11…David’s Seed…Matthew 1:1; 9:27
56. 1 Chronicles 17:12, 13a…To reign on David’s throne forever…Luke 1:32, 33
57. 1 Chronicles 17:13a…”I will be His Father, He…my Son.”…Hebrews 1:5
58. Job 19:23-27…The Resurrection predicted…John 5:24-29
59. Psalms 2:1-3…The enmity of kings foreordained…Acts 4:25-28
60. Psalms 2:2…To own the title, Anointed (Christ)…Acts 2:36
61. Psalms 2:6…His Character-Holiness…John 8:46; Rev. 3:7
62. Psalms 2:6…To own the title King…Matthew 2:2
63. Psalms 2:7…Declared the Beloved Son…Matthew 3:17
64. Psalms 2:7, 8…The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated…Acts 13:29-33
65. Psalms 2:12…Life comes through faith in Him…John 20:31
66. Psalms 8:2…The mouths of babes perfect His praise…Matthew 21:16
67. Psalms 8:5, 6…His humiliation and exaltation…Luke 24:50-53; 1 Corinthians 15:27
68. Psalms 16:10…Was not to see corruption…Acts 2:31
69. Psalms 16:9-11…Was to arise from the dead…John 20:9
70. Psalms 17;15…The resurrection predicted…Luke 24:6
71. Psalms 22:1…Forsaken because of sins of others…2 Corinthians 5:21
72. Psalms 22:1…Words spoken from Calvary, „My God…” Mark 15:34
73. Psalms 22:2…Darkness upon Calvary…Matthew 27:45
74. Psalms 22:7…They shoot out the lip and shake the head…Matthew 27:39
75. Psalms 22:8..” He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him „…Matthew 27:43
76. Psalms 22:9……Born the Savior……Luke 2:7
77. Psalms 22:14…Died of a broken (ruptured) heart…John 19:34
78. Psalms 22:14,15…Suffered agony on Calvary…Mark 15:34-37
79. Psalms 22:15……..He thirsted……..John 19:28
80. Psalms 22:16…They pierced His hands and His feet….John 19:34,37;20:27
81. Psalms 22:17,18…Stripped Him before the stares of men…Luke 23:34,35
82. Psalms 22:18…..They parted His garments…..John 19:23,24
83. Psalms 22:20,21…He committed Himself to God…Luke23:46
84. Psalms 22:20,21..Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel.. Hebrews 2:14
85. Psalms 22:22…..His Resurrection declared…..John 20:17
86. Psalms 22:27…He shall be the governor of the nations…Col 1:16
87. Psalms 22:31……”It is finished”……John 19:30
88. Psalms 23:1….”I am the Good Shepherd”….John 10:11
89. Psalms 24:3……His exaltation predicted……Acts 1:11; Phil. 2:9
90. Psalms 27:12…Accused by false witnesses…Matthew 26:60,61, Mark 14:57,58
91. Psalms 30:3……His resurrection predicted……Acts 2:32
92. Psalms 31:5…”Into thy hands I commit my spirit”…Luke 23:46
93. Psalms 31:11…His acquaintances fled from Him…Mark 14:50
94. Psalms 31:13…They took counsel to put Him to death…John 11:53
95. Psalms 31:14,15…” He trusted in God, let Him deliver him”…Matthew 27:43
96. Psalms 34:20…..Not a bone of Him broken…..John 19:31-36
97. Psalms 35:11….False witnesses rose up against Him….Matthew 26:59
98. Psalms 35:19…He was hated without a cause…John 15:25
99. Psalms 38:11…..His friends stood afar off…..Luke 23:49
100. Psalms 40:2-5…The joy of His resurrection predicted…John 20:20
101. Psalms 40:6-8….His delight-the will of the Father….John 4:34
102. Psalms 40:9….He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel….Matthew 4:17
103. Psalms 40:14…Confronted by adversaries in the Garden…John
104. Psalms 41:9…..Betrayed by a familiar friend…..John 13:18
105. Psalms 45:2…Words of Grace come from His lips.. Luke 4:22
106. Psalms 45:6…To own the title, God or Elohim…Hebrews 1:8
107. Psalms 45:7…A special anointing by the Holy Spirit…Matthew3:16; Hebrews1:9
108. Psalms 45:7,8…Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed)…Luke 2:11
109. Psalms 49-15…His Resurrection…Acts 2:27; 13:35, Mark 16:6
110. Psalms 55:12-14…Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy…John 13:18
111. Psalms 55:15…Unrepentant death of the Betrayer…Matthew 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-19
112. Psalms 68:18…To give gifts to men…Ephesians 4:7-16
113. Psalms 68:18…Ascended into Heaven…Luke 24:51
114. Psalms 69:4…Hated without a cause…John 15:25
115. Psalms 69:8…A stranger to own brethren…Luke 8;20,21
116. Psalms 69:9…Zealous for the Lord’s House…John 2:17
117. Psalms 69:14-20…Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion…Matthew 26:36-45
118. Psalms 69:20…”My soul is exceeding sorrowful.”…Matthew 26:38
119. Psalms 69:21…Given vinegar in thirst…Matthew 27:34
120. Psalms 69:26…The Savior given and smitten by God…John 17:4; 18:11
121. Psalms 72:10,11…Great persons were to visit Him…Matthew 2:1-11
122. Psalms 72:16…The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground…John 12:24
123. Psalms 72:17…His name, Yinon, will produce offspring…John 1:12,13
124. Psalms 72:17…All nations shall be blessed by Him…Acts 2:11,12,41
125. Psalms 78:1.2…He would teach in parables…Matthew 13:34-35
126. Psalms 78:2b…To speak the Wisdom of God with authority…Matthew 7:29
127. Psalms 88:8…They stood afar off and watched…Luke 23:49
128. Psalms 89:26…Messiah will call God His Father…Matthew 11:27
129. Psalms 89:27…Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings…Luke 1:32,33
130. Psalms 89:35-37…David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever…Luke 1:32,33
131. Psalms 89:36-37…His character-Faithfulness…Rev. 1:5
132. Psalms 90:2…He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2)…John 1:1
133. Psalms 91:11,12…Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ…Luke 4;10,11
134. Psalms 97:9…His exaltation predicted…Acts 1:11;Ephesians 1:20
135. Psalms 100:5…His character-Goodness…Matthew 19:16,17
136. Psalms 102:1-11…The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary…John 21:16-30
137. Psalms 102:16…Son of Man comes in Glory…Luke 21:24
Revelation 12:5-10
138. Psalms 102:25-27…Messiah is the Preexistent Son…Hebrews 1:10-12
139. Psalms 109:4…Prays for His enemies…Luke 23:34
140. Psalms 109:7,8…Another to succeed Judas…Acts 1:16-20
141. Psalms 109:25…Ridiculed…Matthew 27:39
142. Psalms 110:1…Son of David…Matthew 22:43
143. Psalms 110:1…To ascend to the right-hand of the Father…Mark16:19
144. Psalms 110:1…David’s son called Lord…Matthew 22:44,45
145. Psalms 110:4…A priest after Melchizedek’s order…Hebrews 6:20
146. Psalms 112:4…His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al… Matthew 9;36
147. Psalms 118:17,18…Messiah’s Resurrection assured…Luke 24:5-7;1 Corinthians 15:20
148. Psalms 118:22,23…The rejected stone is Head of the corner…Matthew 21:42,43
149. Psalms 118:26a…The Blessed One presented to Israel…Matthew 21:9
150. Psalms 118:26b…To come while Temple standing…Matthew 21;12-15
151. Psalms 132:11…The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body)…Luke 1:32
152. Psalms 138:1-6…The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings… Matthew 2:2-6
153. Psalms 147:3,6…The earthly ministry of Christ described…Luke 4:18
154. Psalms 1:23…He will send the Spirit of God… John 16;7
155. Proverbs 8:22-23…The Messiah would be from everlasting…John 17:5
156. Proverbs 30:4…Declared to be the Son of God…John 3:13, Romans 1:2-4, 10:6-9, 2 Peter 1:17
157. Song of Solomon 5:16…The altogether lovely One…John 1:17
158. Isaiah 2:2-4…Repentance for the nations…Luke 24:47
159. Isaiah 4:2…Messiah reigning
160. Isaiah 5:1-6…Son of God’s vineyard: a parable of judgment
161. Isaiah 6:1…When Isaiah saw His glory… John 12:40-41
162. Isaiah 6:9-10…Parables fall on deaf ears…Matthew 13:13-15
163. Isaiah 6:9-12…Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words…Acts 28:23-29
164. Isaiah 7:14…To be born of a virgin…Luke 1:35
165. Isaiah 7:14…To be Emmanuel-God with us… Matthew 1:18-23
166. Isaiah 8:8…Called Emmanuel…Matthew 28:20
167. Isaiah 8:14…A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense… 1 Pet. 2:8
168. Isaiah 9:1,2…His ministry to begin in Galilee…Matthew 4:12-17
169. Isaiah 9:6…A child born-Humanity…Luke 1:31
170. Isaiah 9:6…A Son given-Deity…Luke 1:32; John 1;14; 1 Tim. 3:16
171. Isaiah 9:6…Declared to be the Son of God with power… Romans. 1:3,4
172. Isaiah 9:6…The Wonderful One, Peleh…Luke 4:22
173. Isaiah 9:6…The Counselor, Yaatz…Matthew 13:54
174. Isaiah 9:6…The Mighty God, El Gibor…Matthew 11:20
175. Isaiah 9:6…The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth…John 8:58
176. Isaiah 9:6…The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom…John . 16:33
177. Isaiah 9:7…To establish an everlasting kingdom…Luke 1:32-33
178. Isaiah 9:7…His Character-Just…John 5:30
179. Isaiah 9:7…No end to his Government, Throne, and Peace…Luke 1:32-33
180. Isaiah 11:1…Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer…Matthew 2:23
181. Isaiah 11:1…A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse…Luke 3:23,32
182. Isaiah 11:2…The anointed One by the Spirit…Matthew 3;16,17
183. Isaiah 11:2…His Character-Wisdom, Understanding, et al….John 4:4-26
184. Isaiah 11:4…His Character-Truth…John 14:6
185. Isaiah 11:10…The Gentiles seek Him…John 12:18-21
186. Isaiah 12:2…Called Jesus-Yeshua (salvation)…Matthew 1:21
187. Isaiah 16:4,5…Reigning in mercy…Luke 1:31-33
188. Isaiah 22:21-25…Peg in a sure place…Revelation 3:7
189. Isaiah 25:8…The Resurrection predicted…I Corinthians 15:54
190. Isaiah 26:19…His power of Resurrection predicted…John 11:43,44
191. Isaiah 28:16…The Messiah is the precious corner stone…Acts 4:11,12
192. Isaiah 29:13…He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word…Matthew 15:7-9
193. Isaiah 29:14…The wise are confounded by the Word…I Corinthians 1:18-31
194. Isaiah 32:2…A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place…Matthew 23:37
195. Isaiah 33:22…Son of the Highest…Luke 1:32; 1 Timothy 1:17 6:15
196. Isaiah 35:4…He will come and save you…Matthew 1:21
197. Isaiah 35:5…To have a ministry of miracles…Matthew 11:4-6
198. Isaiah 40:3,4…Preceded by forerunner…John 1:23
199. Isaiah 40:9…”Behold your God.”…John 1:36;19:14
200. Isaiah 40:11…A shepherd-compassionate life-giver…John 10:10-18
201. Isaiah 42:1-4…The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer… Matthew12:18-21
202. Isaiah 42:2…Meek and lowly… Matthew 11:28-30
203. Isaiah 42:3…He brings hope for the hopeless… John 4
204. Isaiah 42:4…The nations shall wait on His teachings… John 12:20-26
205. Isaiah 42:6…The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles…Luke 2:32
206. Isaiah 42:1,6…His is a Worldwide compassion… Matthew 28:19,20
207. Isaiah 42:7…Blind eyes opened… John 9:25-38
208. Isaiah 42:13-25…Messiah’s actions at His second coming…Revelation
209. Isaiah 43:11…He is the only Savior… Acts 4:12
210. Isaiah 44:3…He will send the Spirit of God… John 16:7,13
211. Isaiah 45:23…He will be the Judge… John 5:22;Romans. 14:11
212. Isaiah 48:12…The First and the Last…John 1:30;Rev. 1:8,17
213. Isaiah 48:17…He came as a Teacher…John 3:2
214. Isaiah 49:1…Called from the womb-His humanity…Matthew 1:18
215. Isaiah 49:5…A Servant from the womb…Luke 1:31;Phil. 2:7
216. Isaiah 49:6…He is Salvation for Israel…Luke 2:29-32
217. Isaiah 49:6…He is the Light of the Gentiles…Acts 13:47
218. Isaiah 49:6…He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth… Acts 15:7-18
219. Isaiah 49:7…He is despised of the Nation… John 8:48-49
220. Isaiah 50:3…Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation… Luke 23:44,45
221. Isaiah 50:4…He is a learned counselor for the weary… Matthew 11:28,29
222. Isaiah 50:5…The Servant bound willingly to obedience… Matthew 26:39
223. Isaiah 50:6a…”I gave my back to the smiters.”… Matthew 27:26
224. Isaiah 50:6b…He was smitten on the cheeks… Matthew 26:67
225. Isaiah 50:6c…He was spat upon… Matthew 27:30
226. Isaiah 52:4-5…Suffered vicariously…Mark 15:3,4,27,28; Luke 23:1-25,32-34
227. Isaiah 52:7…To publish good tidings of peace… Luke 4:14,15
228. Isaiah 52:13…The Servant exalted…Acts 1:8-11; Ephesians 1:19-22
229. Isaiah 52:13…Behold, My Servant… Matthew 17:5; Phil. 2:5-8
230. Isaiah 52:14…The Servant shockingly abused… Luke 18:31-34; Matthew 26:67,68
231. Isaiah 52:15…Nations startled by message of the Servant… Romans. 15:18-21
232. Isaiah 52:15…His blood shed to make atonement for all… Rev. 1:5
233. Isaiah 53:1…His people would not believe Him… John 12:37-38
234. Isaiah 53:2a…He would grow up in a poor family…. Luke 2:7
235. Isaiah 53:2b…Appearance of an ordinary man… Phil. 2:7-8
236. Isaiah 53:3a…Despised…. Luke 4:28-29
237. Isaiah 53:3b…Rejected… Matthew 27:21-23
238. Isaiah 53:3c…Great sorrow and grief… Luke 19:41-42
239. Isaiah 53:3d…Men hide from being associated with Him… Mark 14:50-52
240. Isaiah 53:4a…He would have a healing ministry… Luke 6:17-19
241. Isaiah 53:4b…He would bear the sins of the world… 1 Pet. 2:24
242. Isaiah 53:4c…Thought to be cursed by God… Matthew 27:41-43
243. Isaiah 53:5a…Bears penalty for mankind’s transgressions… Luke 23:33
244. Isaiah 53:5b…His sacrifice would provide peace between man and God… Col. 1:20
245. Isaiah 53:5c…His back would be whipped… Matthew 27:26
246. Isaiah 53:6a…He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind…Galatians 1:4
247. Isaiah 53:6b…God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind… 1 John 4:10
248. Isaiah 53:7a…Oppressed and afflicted… Matthew 27:27-31
249. Isaiah 53:7b…Silent before his accusers… Matthew 27:12-14
250. Isaiah 53:7c…Sacrificial lamb… John 1:29
251. Isaiah 53:8a…Confined and persecuted… Matthew 26:47-27:31
252. Isaiah 53:8b…He would be judged… John 18:13-22
253. Isaiah 53:8c…Killed…. Matthew 27:35
254. Isaiah 53:8d…Dies for the sins of the world… 1 John 2:2
255. Isaiah 53:9a…Buried in a rich man’s grave… Matthew 27:57
256. Isaiah 53:9b…Innocent and had done no violence… Mark 15:3
257. Isaiah 53:9c…No deceit in his mouth… John 18:38
258. Isaiah 53:10a…God’s will that He die for mankind… John 18:11
259. Isaiah 53:10b…An offering for sin… Matthew 20:28
260. Isaiah 53:10c…Resurrected and live forever…. Mark 16:16
261. Isaiah 53:10d…He would prosper… John 17:1-5
262. Isaiah 53:11a…God fully satisfied with His suffering… John 12:27
263. Isaiah 53:11b…God’s servant… Romans. 5:18-19
264. Isaiah 53:11c…He would justify man before God… Romans. 5:8-9
265. Isaiah 53:11d…The sin-bearer for all mankind… Hebrews 9:28
266. Isaiah 53:12a…Exalted by God because of his sacrifice… Matthew 28:18
267. Isaiah 53:12b…He would give up his life to save mankind… Luke 23:46
268. Isaiah 53:12c…Grouped with criminals… Luke 23:32
269. Isaiah 53:12d…Sin-bearer for all mankind… 2 Corinthians 5:21
270. Isaiah 53:12e…Intercede to God in behalf of mankind… Luke 23:34
271. Isaiah 55:1…Every one come who is thirsty…New Testament
272. Isaiah 55:3…Resurrected by God… Acts 13:34
273. Isaiah 55:4…A witness… John 18:37
274. Isaiah 55:5…Foreign nations come to God…Acts
275. Isaiah 59:15-16a…He would come to provide salvation… John 6:40
276. Isaiah 59:15-16b…Intercessor between man and God… Matthew 10:32
277. Isaiah 59:20…He would come to Zion as their Redeemer… Luke 2:38
278. Isaiah 60:1-3…Nations walk in the light…Luke 2:32
279. Isaiah 61:1-2a…The Spirit of God upon him… Matthew 3:16-17
280. Isaiah 61:1-2b…The Messiah would preach the good news… Luke 4:17-21
281. Isaiah 61:1-2c…Provide freedom from the bondage of sin and death… John 8:31-32
282. Isaiah 61:1-2…Proclaim a period of grace… John 5:24
283. Isaiah 62:1-2…Called by an new name…Luke 2:32, Revelation 3:12
284. Isaiah 62:11…Thy King Cometh, Entered Jerusalem on Colt…Matthew 21:7
285. Isaiah 63:1-3…A vesture dipped in blood…Revelation 19:13
286. Isaiah 63:8,9…Afflicted with the afflicted…Matthew 25:34-40
287. Isaiah 65:9…The elect shall inherit…Romans 11 5-7, Hebrews 7:14, Revelation 5:5
288. Isaiah 65:17-25…New heaven/New Earth…2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1
289. Isaiah 66:18-19…All nations come to God…New Testament
290. Jeremiah23:5-6a…Descendant of David…Luke 3:23-31
291. Jeremiah 23:5-6b…The Messiah would be God… John 13:13
292. Jeremiah 23:5-6c…The Messiah would be both God and Man… 1 Tim. 3:16
293. Jeremiah 30:9…Born a King…John 18:37, Revelation 1:5
294. Jeremiah 31:15…Massacre of infants…Matthew 2:16-18
295. Jeremiah 31:22…Born of a virgin… Matthew 1:18-20
296. Jeremiah 31:31…The Messiah would be the new covenant… Matthew 26:28
297. Jeremiah 33:14-15…Descendant of David… Luke 3:23-31
298. Ezekiel17:22-24…Descendant of David… Luke 3:23-31
299. Ezekiel 21:26,27…The humble exalted…Luke 1:52
300. Ezekiel34:23-24…Descendant of David… Matthew 1:1
301. Daniel 2:34-35…Stone cut without hands…Acts 4:10-12
302. Daniel 2:44,45…His Kingdom Triumphant…Luke 1:33, 1 Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 11:15
303. Dan. 7:13-14a…He would ascend into heaven… Acts 1:9-11
304. Dan. 7:13-14b…Highly exalted… Ephesians 1:20-22
305. Dan. 7:13-14c…His dominion would be everlasting… Luke 1:31-33
306. Daniel 7:27…Kingdom for the Saints…Luke 1:33, 1 Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 11:15
307. Dan. 9:24a…To make an end to sins… Galatians 1:3-5
308. Dan. 9:24b…He would be holy… Luke 1:35
309. Dan. 9:25…Announced to his people 483 years, to the exact day, after the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem… John 12:12-13
310. Dan. 9:26a…Killed… Matthew 27:35
311. Dan. 9:26b…Die for the sins of the world… Hebrews 2:9
312. Dan. 9:26c…Killed before the destruction of the temple… Matthew 27:50-51
313. Dan. 10:5-6…Messiah in a glorified state… Rev. 1:13-16
314. Hosea 3:5…Israel restored…John 18:37, Romans 11:25-27
315. Hosea 11:1, Numbers 24:8…Flight to Egypt…Matthew 2:14
316. Hosea 13:14…He would defeat death… 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
317. Joel 2:28-32…Promise of the Spirit…Acts 2:17-21, Romans 10:13
318. Joel 2:32…Offer salvation to all mankind… Romans. 10:12-13
319. Micah 2:12-13…Israel Regathered…John 10:14,26
320. Micah 4:1-8…The Kingdom established – place of Birth Bethlehem…Luke 1:33, Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:4,10,11
321. Micah 5:2a…Born in Bethlehem… Matthew 2:1-2
322. Micah 5:2b…God’s servant… John 15:10
323. Micah 5:2c…from everlasting… John 8:58
324. Haggai 2:6-9…He would visit the second Temple… Luke 2:27-32
325. Haggai 2:23…Descendant of Zerubbabel… Luke 3:23-27
326. Joel 2:28-32…Promise of the Spirit…Acts 2:17-21, Romans 10:13
327. Amos 8:9…The Sun Darkened…Matthew 24:29, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12
328. Amos 9:11-12…Restoration of tabernacle…Acts 14:16-18
329. Habakkuk 2:14…Earth filled with knowledge of the glory of the Lord…Romans 11:26, Revelation 21:23-26
330. Zechariah 2:10-13…The Lamb on the Throne…Revelation 5:13, 6:9, 21:24
331. Zechariah 3:8…God’s servant… John 17:4
332. Zechariah 6:12-13…Priest and King… Hebrews 8:1
333. Zechariah 9:9a…Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem… Matthew 21:8-10
334. Zechariah 9:9b…Beheld as King… John 12:12-13
335. Zechariah 9:9c…The Messiah would be just… John 5:30
336. Zechariah 9:9d…The Messiah would bring salvation… Luke 19:10
337. Zechariah 9:9e…The Messiah would be humble… Matthew 11:29
338. Zechariah 9:9f…Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey… Matthew 21:6-9
339. Zechariah 10:4…The cornerstone… Ephesians 2:20
340. Zechariah 11:4-6a…At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders… Matthew 23:1-4
341. Zechariah 11:4-6b…Rejection causes God to remove His protection.. Luke 19:41-44
342. Zechariah 11:4-6c…Rejected in favor of another king… John 19:13-15
343. Zechariah 11:7…Ministry to „poor,” the believing remnant… Matthew 9:35-36
344. Zechariah 11:8a…Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them… Matthew 23:33
345. Zechariah 11:8b…Despised… Matthew 27:20
346. Zechariah 11:9…Stops ministering to the those who rejected Him… Matthew 13:10-11
347. Zechariah 11:10-11a…Rejection causes God to remove protection… Luke 19:41-44
348. Zechariah 11:10-11b…The Messiah would be God… John 14:7
349. Zechariah 11:12-13a…Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver… Matthew 26:14-15
350. Zechariah 11:12-13b…Rejected… Matthew 26:14-15
351. Zechariah 11:12-13c…Thirty pieces of silver thrown into the house of the Lord… Matthew 27:3-5
352. Zechariah 11:12-13d…The Messiah would be God… John 12:45
353. Zechariah 12:10a…The Messiah’s body would be pierced… John 19:34-37
354. Zechariah 12:10b…The Messiah would be both God and man… John 10:30
355. Zechariah 12:10c…The Messiah would be rejected… John 1:11
356. Zechariah 13:7a…God’s will He die for mankind… John 18:11
357. Zechariah 13:7b…A violent death… Matthew 27:35
358. Zechariah 13:7c…Both God and man.. John 14:9
359. Zechariah 13:7d…Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him… Matthew 26:31-56
360. Malachi 3:1a…Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah… Matthew 11:10
361. Malachi 3:1b…Sudden appearance at the temple… Mark 11:15-16
362. Malachi 3:1c…Messenger of the new covenant… Luke 4:43
363. Malachi 3:3…Our Sins Are Purged…Luke 1:78, John 1:9; 12:46, 2 Peter 1:19, Revelation 2:28; 19:11-16; 22:16
364. Malachi 4:5…Forerunner in the spirit of Elijah… Matthew 3:1-2
365. Malachi 4:6…Forerunner would turn many to righteousness… Luke 1:16-17

And for leap year, you can have Psalm 21 as a Messianic Hymn and David’s praise.

From Jack Wellman’s book, „Blind Chance or Intelligent Design, Empirical Methodologies and the Bible„, (chapter five).

Photo credit www.reasons.org

NEW from D A Carson – 4 video lectures on the book of Hebrews – Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

D A Carson at TEDSPhoto from video lecture

Each video is one lecture on the book of Hebrews from Dr. Carson’s Spring 2013 Acts, Pauline, and General Epistles course at the Deerfield campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In these four lectures, Dr. Carson covers the basic questions involved in interpreting Hebrews such as authorship, date of composition, and intended audience, as well as covering its content and focusing in particular on major themes of Christology. Hebrews is unique in the New Testament in its explanation of Christ’s high priestly work and its extended application of Yom Kippur imagery to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Dr. Carson highlights the unique, once-for-all quality of Jesus’ sacrificial death as presented by Hebrews as well as the reality of Christ’s ongoing high priestly ministry on behalf of believers.

– See more at: http://news.tiu.edu

LECTURE 1 of 4

In the first lecture of this four-part series on the Book of Hebrews, Dr. Carson looks at the introduction to the book, the significance of the idea of “better,” and explores Old and New Testament occurrences of the phrase “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

For LECTURES 2, 3 and 4 click here – http://divinity.tiu.edu/media-resources/video/teds-lecture-series-d-a-carson/. You will also have the option of downloading the text for each video in pdf form, as well as downloading each video to iTunes.

Lecture 2 of 4 – Carrying on in the Book of Hebrews, Dr. Carson highlights the Biblical trajectory of entering God’s rest, walks through understanding passages in a moralizing and typological way, discusses how to preach particular passages in Hebrews, and points out what he sees as the definition of a true Christian.

Lecture 3 of 4 – Dr. Carson’s third lecture on Hebrews focuses on perseverance and preservation of the saints, with discussions on the doctrine of Christian assurance and its implications for pastoral ministry and evangelism. He also begins to lay the groundwork for the next lecture on the king-priest figure of Melchizedek.

Lecture 4 of 4 – In the final lecture on Hebrews, Dr. Carson digs into what the Old and New Testament writers say about priesthood, law, covenant, and sacrifice, and the “once-for-all” effect of the death of Jesus.

Timeline of Bible Translation History

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This timeline is from www.greatsite.com 

check it out and bookmark it, it has a lot of detailed information on the history of the Bible as well as facsimiles and photos of rare pages and Bibles from antiquity. Page Source – http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/#timeline. (This English Bible History Article & Timeline is ©2013 by author & editor: John L. Jeffcoat III. Special thanks is also given to Dr. Craig H. Lampe for his valuable contributions to the text.)

Timeline of Bible Translation History

1,400 BC: The first written Word of God: The Ten Commandments delivered to Moses.

500 BC: Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make up The 39 Books of the Old Testament.

200 BC: Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books.

1st Century AD: Completion of All Original Greek Manuscripts which make up The 27 Books of the New Testament.

315 AD: Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27 books of the New Testament which are today recognized as the canon of scripture.

382 AD: Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Manuscripts Produced which contain All 80 Books (39 Old Test. + 14 Apocrypha + 27 New Test).

500 AD: Scriptures have been Translated into Over 500 Languages.

600 AD: LATIN was the Only Language Allowed for Scripture.

995 AD: Anglo-Saxon (Early Roots of English Language) Translations of The New Testament Produced.

1384 AD: Wycliffe is the First Person to Produce a (Hand-Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible; All 80 Books.

1455 AD: Gutenberg Invents the Printing Press; Books May Now be mass-Produced Instead of Individually Hand-Written. The First Book Ever Printed is Gutenberg’s Bible in Latin.

1516 AD: Erasmus Produces a Greek/Latin Parallel New Testament.

1522 AD: Martin Luther’s German New Testament.

1526 AD: William Tyndale’s New Testament; The First New Testament printed in the English Language.

1535 AD: Myles Coverdale’s Bible; The First Complete Bible printed in the English Language (80 Books: O.T. & N.T. & Apocrypha).

1537 AD: Tyndale-Matthews Bible; The Second Complete Bible printed in English. Done by John „Thomas Matthew” Rogers (80 Books).

1539 AD: The „Great Bible” Printed; The First English Language Bible Authorized for Public Use (80 Books).

1560 AD: The Geneva Bible Printed; The First English Language Bible to add Numbered Verses to Each Chapter (80 Books).

1568 AD: The Bishops Bible Printed; The Bible of which the King James was a Revision (80 Books).

1609 AD: The Douay Old Testament is added to the Rheims New Testament (of 1582) Making the First Complete English Catholic Bible; Translated from the Latin Vulgate (80 Books).

1611 AD: The King James Bible Printed; Originally with All 80 Books. The Apocrypha was Officially Removed in 1885 Leaving Only 66 Books.

1782 AD: Robert Aitken’s Bible; The First English Language Bible (KJV) Printed in America.

1791 AD: Isaac Collins and Isaiah Thomas Respectively Produce the First Family Bible and First Illustrated Bible Printed in America. Both were King James Versions, with All 80 Books.

1808 AD: Jane Aitken’s Bible (Daughter of Robert Aitken); The First Bible to be Printed by a Woman.

1833 AD: Noah Webster’s Bible; After Producing his Famous Dictionary, Webster Printed his Own Revision of the King James Bible.

1841 AD: English Hexapla New Testament; an Early Textual Comparison showing the Greek and 6 Famous English Translations in Parallel Columns.

1846 AD: The Illuminated Bible; The Most Lavishly Illustrated Bible printed in America. A King James Version, with All 80 Books.

1885 AD: The „English Revised Version” Bible; The First Major English Revision of the KJV.

1901 AD: The „American Standard Version”; The First Major American Revision of the KJV.

1971 AD: The „New American Standard Bible” (NASB) is Published as a „Modern and Accurate Word for Word English Translation” of the Bible.

1973 AD: The „New International Version” (NIV) is Published as a „Modern and Accurate Phrase for Phrase English Translation” of the Bible.

1982 AD: The „New King James Version” (NKJV) is Published as a „Modern English Version Maintaining the Original Style of the King James.”

2002 AD: The English Standard Version (ESV) is Published as a translation to bridge the gap between the accuracy of the NASB and the readability of the NIV.

This English Bible History Article & Timeline is ©2002 by author & editor: John L. Jeffcoat III. Special thanks is also given to Dr. Craig H. Lampe for his valuable contributions to the text. This page may be freely reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, in print or electronically, under the one condition that prominent credit must be given to “WWW.GREATSITE.COM” as the source.

English Bible History

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The fascinating story of how we got the Bible in its present form actually starts thousands of years ago, as briefly outlined in our Timeline of Bible Translation History. As a background study, we recommend that you first review our discussion of the Pre-Reformation History of the Bible from 1,400 B.C. to 1,400 A.D., which covers the transmission of the scripture through the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, and the 1,000 years of the Dark & Middle Ages when the Word was trapped in only Latin. Our starting point in this discussion of Bible history, however, is the advent of the scripture in the English language with the “Morning Star of the Reformation”, John Wycliffe.

John WycliffeJohn Wycliffe – The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380’s AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled “Wycliff” & “Wyclif”), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!

John Hus

John Huss – One of Wycliffe’s followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe’s ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. The last words of John Hus were that, “in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.” Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) into the church door at Wittenberg. The prophecy of Hus had come true! Martin Luther went on to be the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people; a translation more appealing than previous German Biblical translations. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs records that in that same year, 1517, seven people were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church for the crime of teaching their children to say the Lord’s Prayer in English rather than Latin.

Johann  GutenbergJohann Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450’s, and the first book to ever be printed was a Latin language Bible, printed in Mainz, Germany. Gutenberg’s Bibles were surprisingly beautiful, as each leaf Gutenberg printed was later colorfully hand-illuminated. Born as “Johann Gensfleisch” (John Gooseflesh), he preferred to be known as “Johann Gutenberg” (John Beautiful Mountain). Ironically, though he had created what many believe to be the most important invention in history, Gutenberg was a victim of unscrupulous business associates who took control of his business and left him in poverty. Nevertheless, the invention of the movable-type printing press meant that Bibles and books could finally be effectively produced in large quantities in a short period of time. This was essential to the success of the Reformation.
Thomas LinacreThomas Linacre – In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin… though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.
John ColetIn 1496, John Colet, another Oxford professor and the son of the Mayor of London, started reading the New Testament in Greek and translating it into English for his students at Oxford, and later for the public at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. The people were so hungry to hear the Word of God in a language they could understand, that within six months there were 20,000 people packed in the church and at least that many outside trying to get in! (Sadly, while the enormous and beautiful Saint Paul’s Cathedral remains the main church in London today, as of 2003, typical Sunday morning worship attendance is only around 200 people… and most of them are tourists). Fortunately for Colet, he was a powerful man with friends in high places, so he amazingly managed to avoid execution.
ErasmusErasmus – In considering the experiences of Linacre and Colet, the great scholar Erasmus was so moved to correct the corrupt Latin Vulgate, that in 1516, with the help of printer John Froben, he published a Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament. The Latin part was not the corrupt Vulgate, but his own fresh rendering of the text from the more accurate and reliable Greek, which he had managed to collate from a half-dozen partial old Greek New Testament manuscripts he had acquired. This milestone was the first non-Latin Vulgate text of the scripture to be produced in a millennium… and the first ever to come off a printing press. The 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus further focused attention on just how corrupt and inaccurate the Latin Vulgate had become, and how important it was to go back and use the original Greek (New Testament) and original Hebrew (Old Testament) languages to maintain accuracy… and to translate them faithfully into the languages of the common people, whether that be English, German, or any other tongue. No sympathy for this “illegal activity” was to be found from Rome… even as the words of Pope Leo X’s declaration that „the fable of Christ was quite profitable to him” continued through the years to infuriate the people of God.
William TyndaleWilliam Tyndale was the Captain of the Army of Reformers, and was their spiritual leader. Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language. Tyndale was a true scholar and a genius, so fluent in eight languages that it was said one would think any one of them to be his native tongue. He is frequently referred to as the “Architect of the English Language”, (even more so than William Shakespeare) as so many of the phrases Tyndale coined are still in our language today.
Martin LutherMartin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German.

William Tyndale wanted to use the same 1516 Erasmus text as a source to translate and print the New Testament in English for the first time in history. Tyndale showed up on Luther’s doorstep in Germany in 1525, and by year’s end had translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale had been forced to flee England, because of the wide-spread rumor that his English New Testament project was underway, causing inquisitors and bounty hunters to be constantly on Tyndale’s trail to arrest him and prevent his project. God foiled their plans, and in 1525-1526 the Tyndale New Testament became the first printed edition of the scripture in the English language. Subsequent printings of the Tyndale New Testament in the 1530’s were often elaborately illustrated.

They were burned as soon as the Bishop could confiscate them, but copies trickled through and actually ended up in the bedroom of King Henry VIII. The more the King and Bishop resisted its distribution, the more fascinated the public at large became. The church declared it contained thousands of errors as they torched hundreds of New Testaments confiscated by the clergy, while in fact, they burned them because they could find no errors at all. One risked death by burning if caught in mere possession of Tyndale’s forbidden books.

Having God’s Word available to the public in the language of the common man, English, would have meant disaster to the church. No longer would they control access to the scriptures. If people were able to read the Bible in their own tongue, the church’s income and power would crumble. They could not possibly continue to get away with selling indulgences (the forgiveness of sins) or selling the release of loved ones from a church-manufactured „Purgatory”. People would begin to challenge the church’s authority if the church were exposed as frauds and thieves. The contradictions between what God’s Word said, and what the priests taught, would open the public’s eyes and the truth would set them free from the grip of fear that the institutional church held. Salvation through faith, not works or donations, would be understood. The need for priests would vanish through the priesthood of all believers. The veneration of church-canonized Saints and Mary would be called into question. The availability of the scriptures in English was the biggest threat imaginable to the wicked church. Neither side would give up without a fight.

Today, there are only two known copies left of Tyndale’s 1525-26 First Edition. Any copies printed prior to 1570 are extremely valuable. Tyndale’s flight was an inspiration to freedom-loving Englishmen who drew courage from the 11 years that he was hunted. Books and Bibles flowed into England in bales of cotton and sacks of flour. Ironically, Tyndale’s biggest customer was the King’s men, who would buy up every copy available to burn them… and Tyndale used their money to print even more! In the end, Tyndale was caught: betrayed by an Englishman that he had befriended. Tyndale was incarcerated for 500 days before he was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536. Tyndale’s last words were, „Oh Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”. This prayer would be answered just three years later in 1539, when King Henry VIII finally allowed, and even funded, the printing of an English Bible known as the “Great Bible”. But before that could happen…

Myles CoverdaleMyles Coverdale and John “Thomas Matthew” Rogers had remained loyal disciples the last six years of Tyndale’s life, and they carried the English Bible project forward and even accelerated it. Coverdale finished translating the Old Testament, and in 1535 he printed the first complete Bible in the English language, making use of Luther’s German text and the Latin as sources. Thus, the first complete English Bible was printed on October 4, 1535, and is known as the Coverdale Bible.
John RogersJohn Rogers went on to print the second complete English Bible in 1537. It was, however, the first English Bible translated from the original Biblical languages of Hebrew & Greek. He printed it under the pseudonym „Thomas Matthew”, (an assumed name that had actually been used by Tyndale at one time) as a considerable part of this Bible was the translation of Tyndale, whose writings had been condemned by the English authorities. It is a composite made up of Tyndale’s Pentateuch and New Testament (1534-1535 edition) and Coverdale’s Bible and some of Roger’s own translation of the text. It remains known most commonly as the Matthew-Tyndale Bible. It went through a nearly identical second-edition printing in 1549.
Thomas CranmerIn 1539, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, hired Myles Coverdale at the bequest of King Henry VIII to publish the „Great Bible”. It became the first English Bible authorized for public use, as it was distributed to every church, chained to the pulpit, and a reader was even provided so that the illiterate could hear the Word of God in plain English. It would seem that William Tyndale’s last wish had been granted…just three years after his martyrdom. Cranmer’s Bible, published by Coverdale, was known as the Great Bible due to its great size: a large pulpit folio measuring over 14 inches tall. Seven editions of this version were printed between April of 1539 and December of 1541.
King Henry VIIIIt was not that King Henry VIII had a change of conscience regarding publishing the Bible in English. His motives were more sinister… but the Lord sometimes uses the evil intentions of men to bring about His glory. King Henry VIII had in fact, requested that the Pope permit him to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. The Pope refused. King Henry responded by marrying his mistress anyway, (later having two of his many wives executed), and thumbing his nose at the Pope by renouncing Roman Catholicism, taking England out from under Rome’s religious control, and declaring himself as the reigning head of State to also be the new head of the Church. This new branch of the Christian Church, neither Roman Catholic nor truly Protestant, became known as the Anglican Church or the Church of England. King Henry acted essentially as its “Pope”. His first act was to further defy the wishes of Rome by funding the printing of the scriptures in English… the first legal English Bible… just for spite.
Queen MaryThe ebb and flow of freedom continued through the 1540’s…and into the 1550’s. After King Henry VIII, King Edward VI took the throne, and after his death, the reign of Queen “Bloody” Mary was the next obstacle to the printing of the Bible in English. She was possessed in her quest to return England to the Roman Church. In 1555, John „Thomas Matthew” Rogers and Thomas Cranmer were both burned at the stake. Mary went on to burn reformers at the stake by the hundreds for the „crime” of being a Protestant. This era was known as the Marian Exile, and the refugees fled from England with little hope of ever seeing their home or friends again.
John FoxeIn the 1550’s, the Church at Geneva, Switzerland, was very sympathetic to the reformer refugees and was one of only a few safe havens for a desperate people. Many of them met in Geneva, led by Myles Coverdale and John Foxe (publisher of the famous Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, which is to this day the only exhaustive reference work on the persecution and martyrdom of Early Christians and Protestants from the first century up to the mid-16th century), as well as Thomas Sampson and William Whittingham. There, with the protection of the great theologian John Calvin (author of the most famous theological book ever published, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion)and John Knox, the great Reformer of the Scottish Church, the Church of Geneva determined to produce a Bible that would educate their families while they continued in exile.
John CalvinThe New Testament was completed in 1557, and the complete Bible was first published in 1560. It became known as the Geneva Bible. Due to a passage in Genesis describing the clothing that God fashioned for Adam and Eve upon expulsion from the Garden of Eden as „Breeches” (an antiquated form of „Britches”), some people referred to the Geneva Bible as the Breeches Bible.
John KnoxThe Geneva Bible was the first Bible to add numbered verses to the chapters, so that referencing specific passages would be easier. Every chapter was also accompanied by extensive marginal notes and references so thorough and complete that the Geneva Bible is also considered the first English „Study Bible”. William Shakespeare quotes hundreds of times in his plays from the Geneva translation of the Bible. The Geneva Bible became the Bible of choice for over 100 years of English speaking Christians. Between 1560 and 1644 at least 144 editions of this Bible were published. Examination of the 1611 King James Bible shows clearly that its translators were influenced much more by the Geneva Bible, than by any other source. The Geneva Bible itself retains over 90% of William Tyndale’s original English translation. The Geneva in fact, remained more popular than the King James Version until decades after its original release in 1611! The Geneva holds the honor of being the first Bible taken to America, and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims. It is truly the “Bible of the Protestant Reformation.” Strangely, the famous Geneva Bible has been out-of-print since 1644, so the only way to obtain one is to either purchase an original printing of the Geneva Bible, or a less costly facsimile reproduction of the original 1560 Geneva Bible.

With the end of Queen Mary’s bloody reign, the reformers could safely return to England. The Anglican Church, now under Queen Elizabeth I, reluctantly tolerated the printing and distribution of Geneva version Bibles in England. The marginal notes, which were vehemently against the institutional Church of the day, did not rest well with the rulers of the day. Another version, one with a less inflammatory tone was desired, and the copies of the Great Bible were getting to be decades old. In 1568, a revision of the Great Bible known as the Bishop’s Bible was introduced. Despite 19 editions being printed between 1568 and 1606, this Bible, referred to as the “rough draft of the King James Version”, never gained much of a foothold of popularity among the people. The Geneva may have simply been too much to compete with.

By the 1580’s, the Roman Catholic Church saw that it had lost the battle to suppress the will of God: that His Holy Word be available in the English language. In 1582, the Church of Rome surrendered their fight for „Latin only” and decided that if the Bible was to be available in English, they would at least have an official Roman Catholic English translation. And so, using the corrupt and inaccurate Latin Vulgate as the only source text, they went on to publish an English Bible with all the distortions and corruptions that Erasmus had revealed and warned of 75 years earlier. Because it was translated at the Roman Catholic College in the city of Rheims, it was known as the Rheims New Testament (also spelled Rhemes). The Douay Old Testament was translated by the Church of Rome in 1609 at the College in the city of Douay (also spelled Doway & Douai). The combined product is commonly referred to as the „Doway/Rheims” Version. In 1589, Dr. William Fulke of Cambridge published the „Fulke’s Refutation”, in which he printed in parallel columns the Bishops Version along side the Rheims Version, attempting to show the error and distortion of the Roman Church’s corrupt compromise of an English version of the Bible.

King James IWith the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Prince James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. The Protestant clergy approached the new King in 1604 and announced their desire for a new translation to replace the Bishop’s Bible first printed in 1568. They knew that the Geneva Version had won the hearts of the people because of its excellent scholarship, accuracy, and exhaustive commentary. However, they did not want the controversial marginal notes (proclaiming the Pope an Anti-Christ, etc.) Essentially, the leaders of the church desired a Bible for the people, with scriptural references only for word clarification or cross-references.

This „translation to end all translations” (for a while at least) was the result of the combined effort of about fifty scholars. They took into consideration: The Tyndale New Testament, The Coverdale Bible, The Matthews Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, and even the Rheims New Testament. The great revision of the Bishop’s Bible had begun. From 1605 to 1606 the scholars engaged in private research. From 1607 to 1609 the work was assembled. In 1610 the work went to press, and in 1611 the first of the huge (16 inch tall) pulpit folios known today as „The 1611 King James Bible” came off the printing press. A typographical discrepancy in Ruth 3:15 rendered a pronoun „He” instead of „She” in that verse in some printings. This caused some of the 1611 First Editions to be known by collectors as „He” Bibles, and others as „She” Bibles. Starting just one year after the huge 1611 pulpit-size King James Bibles were printed and chained to every church pulpit in England; printing then began on the earliest normal-size printings of the King James Bible. These were produced so individuals could have their own personal copy of the Bible.

John BunyanThe Anglican Church’s King James Bible took decades to overcome the more popular Protestant Church’s Geneva Bible. One of the greatest ironies of history, is that many Protestant Christian churches today embrace the King James Bible exclusively as the “only” legitimate English language translation… yet it is not even a Protestant translation! It was printed to compete with the Protestant Geneva Bible, by authorities who throughout most of history were hostile to Protestants… and killed them. While many Protestants are quick to assign the full blame of persecution to the Roman Catholic Church, it should be noted that even after England broke from Roman Catholicism in the 1500’s, the Church of England (The Anglican Church) continued to persecute Protestants throughout the 1600’s. One famous example of this is John Bunyan, who while in prison for the crime of preaching the Gospel, wrote one of Christian history’s greatest books, Pilgrim’s Progress. Throughout the 1600’s, as the Puritans and the Pilgrims fled the religious persecution of England to cross the Atlantic and start a new free nation in America, they took with them their precious Geneva Bible, and rejected the King’s Bible. America was founded upon the Geneva Bible, not the King James Bible.

Protestants today are largely unaware of their own history, and unaware of the Geneva Bible (which is textually 95% the same as the King James Version, but 50 years older than the King James Version, and not influenced by the Roman Catholic Rheims New Testament that the King James translators admittedly took into consideration). Nevertheless, the King James Bible turned out to be an excellent and accurate translation, and it became the most printed book in the history of the world, and the only book with one billion copies in print. In fact, for over 250 years…until the appearance of the English Revised Version of 1881-1885…the King James Version reigned without much of a rival. One little-known fact, is that for the past 200 years, all King James Bibles published in America are actually the 1769 Baskerville spelling and wording revision of the 1611. The original “1611” preface is deceivingly included by the publishers, and no mention of the fact that it is really the 1769 version is to be found, because that might hurt sales. The only way to obtain a true, unaltered, 1611 version is to either purchase an original pre-1769 printing of the King James Bible, or a less costly facsimile reproduction of the original 1611 King James Bible.

John EliotAlthough the first Bible printed in America was done in the native Algonquin Indian Language by John Eliot in 1663; the first English language Bible to be printed in America by Robert Aitken in 1782 was a King James Version. Robert Aitken’s 1782 Bible was also the only Bible ever authorized by the United States Congress. He was commended by President George Washington for providing Americans with Bibles during the embargo of imported English goods due to the Revolutionary War. In 1808, Robert’s daughter, Jane Aitken, would become the first woman to ever print a Bible… and to do so in America, of course. In 1791, Isaac Collins vastly improved upon the quality and size of the typesetting of American Bibles and produced the first „Family Bible” printed in America… also a King James Version. Also in 1791, Isaiah Thomas published the first Illustrated Bible printed in America…in the King James Version. For more information on the earliest Bibles printed in America from the 1600’s through the early 1800’s, you may wish to review our more detailed discussion of The Bibles of Colonial America.
Noah WebsterWhile Noah Webster, just a few years after producing his famous Dictionary of the English Language, would produce his own modern translation of the English Bible in 1833; the public remained too loyal to the King James Version for Webster’s version to have much impact. It was not really until the 1880’s that England’s own planned replacement for their King James Bible, the English Revised Version(E.R.V.) would become the first English language Bible to gain popular acceptance as a post-King James Version modern-English Bible. The widespread popularity of this modern-English translation brought with it another curious characteristic: the absence of the 14 Apocryphal books.

Up until the 1880’s every Protestant Bible (not just Catholic Bibles) had 80 books, not 66! The inter-testamental books written hundreds of years before Christ called “The Apocrypha” were part of virtually every printing of the Tyndale-Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible, the Protestant Geneva Bible, and the King James Bible until their removal in the 1880’s! The original 1611 King James contained the Apocrypha, and King James threatened anyone who dared to print the Bible without the Apocrypha with heavy fines and a year in jail. Only for the last 120 years has the Protestant Church rejected these books, and removed them from their Bibles. This has left most modern-day Christians believing the popular myth that there is something “Roman Catholic” about the Apocrypha. There is, however, no truth in that myth, and no widely-accepted reason for the removal of the Apocrypha in the 1880’s has ever been officially issued by a mainline Protestant denomination.

The Americans responded to England’s E.R.V. Bible by publishing the nearly-identical American Standard Version (A.S.V.) in 1901. It was also widely-accepted and embraced by churches throughout America for many decades as the leading modern-English version of the Bible. In the 1971, it was again revised and called New American Standard Version Bible (often referred to as the N.A.S.V. or N.A.S.B. or N.A.S.). This New American Standard Bible is considered by nearly all evangelical Christian scholars and translators today, to be the most accurate, word-for-word translation of the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures into the modern English language that has ever been produced. It remains the most popular version among theologians, professors, scholars, and seminary students today. Some, however, have taken issue with it because it is so direct and literal a translation (focused on accuracy), that it does not flow as easily in conversational English.

For this reason, in 1973, the New International Version (N.I.V.) was produced, which was offered as a “dynamic equivalent” translation into modern English. The N.I.V. was designed not for “word-for-word” accuracy, but rather, for “phrase-for-phrase” accuracy, and ease of reading even at a Junior High-School reading level. It was meant to appeal to a broader (and in some instances less-educated) cross-section of the general public. Critics of the N.I.V. often jokingly refer to it as the “Nearly Inspired Version”, but that has not stopped it from becoming the best-selling modern-English translation of the Bible ever published.

In 1982, Thomas Nelson Publishers produced what they called the “New King James Version”. Their original intent was to keep the basic wording of the King James to appeal to King James Version loyalists, while only changing the most obscure words and the Elizabethan “thee, thy, thou” pronouns. This was an interesting marketing ploy, however, upon discovering that this was not enough of a change for them to be able to legally copyright the result, they had to make more significant revisions, which defeated their purpose in the first place. It was never taken seriously by scholars, but it has enjoyed some degree of public acceptance, simply because of its clever “New King James Version” marketing name.

In 2002, a major attempt was made to bridge the gap between the simple readability of the N.I.V., and the extremely precise accuracy of the N.A.S.B. This translation is called the English Standard Version (E.S.V.) and is rapidly gaining popularity for its readability and accuracy. The 21st Century will certainly continue to bring new translations of God’s Word in the modern English language.

As Christians, we must be very careful to make intelligent and informed decisions about what translations of the Bible we choose to read. On the liberal extreme, we have people who would give us heretical new translations that attempt to change God’s Word to make it politically correct. One example of this, which has made headlines recently is the Today’s New International Version (T.N.I.V.) which seeks to remove all gender-specific references in the Bible whenever possible! Not all new translations are good… and some are very bad.

But equally dangerous, is the other extreme… of blindly rejecting ANY English translation that was produced in the four centuries that have come after the 1611 King James. We must remember that the main purpose of the Protestant Reformation was to get the Bible out of the chains of being trapped in an ancient language that few could understand, and into the modern, spoken, conversational language of the present day. William Tyndale fought and died for the right to print the Bible in the common, spoken, modern English tongue of his day… as he boldly told one official who criticized his efforts, “If God spare my life, I will see to it that the boy who drives the plowshare knows more of the scripture than you, Sir!

Will we now go backwards, and seek to imprison God’s Word once again exclusively in ancient translations? Clearly it is not God’s will that we over-react to SOME of the bad modern translations, by rejecting ALL new translations and “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. The Word of God is unchanging from generation to generation, but language is a dynamic and ever-changing form of communication. We therefore have a responsibility before God as Christians to make sure that each generation has a modern translation that they can easily understand, yet that does not sacrifice accuracy in any way. Let’s be ever mindful that we are not called to worship the Bible. That is called idolatry. We are called to worship the God who gave us the Bible, and who preserved it through the centuries of people who sought to destroy it.

We are also called to preserve the ancient, original English translations of the Bible… and that is what we do here at WWW.GREATSITE.COM

Consider the following textual comparison of the earliest English translations of John 3:16, as shown in the English Hexapla Parallel New Testament:

  • 1st Ed. King James (1611): „For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.”
  • Rheims (1582): „For so God loued the vvorld, that he gaue his only-begotten sonne: that euery one that beleeueth in him, perish not, but may haue life euerlasting”
  • Geneva (1560): „For God so loueth the world, that he hath geuen his only begotten Sonne: that none that beleue in him, should peryshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe.”
  • Great Bible (1539): „For God so loued the worlde, that he gaue his only begotten sonne, that whosoeuer beleueth in him, shulde not perisshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe.”
  • Tyndale (1534): „For God so loveth the worlde, that he hath geven his only sonne, that none that beleve in him, shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe.”
  • Wycliff (1380): „for god loued so the world; that he gaf his oon bigetun sone, that eche man that bileueth in him perisch not: but haue euerlastynge liif,”
  • Anglo-Saxon Proto-English Manuscripts (995 AD): “God lufode middan-eard swa, dat he seade his an-cennedan sunu, dat nan ne forweorde de on hine gely ac habbe dat ece lif.”
  1. FOXES-BOOK-OF-MARTYRS.COM
  2.  TYNDALE-BIBLE.COM
  3. GUTENBERG-BIBLE.COM 1611-KING-JAMES-BIBLE.COM
  4. KING-JAMES-VERSION-BIBLE.COM
  5. PARALLEL-BIBLE.COM
  6. FOR-BIBLE-COMMENTARY.COM
  7. NEW-TESTAMENT-GREEK.COM
  8. JOHN-WYCLIFFE.COM
  9. FOR-MARTIN-LUTHER.COM
  10. JOHN-CALVIN.NET
  11. WILLIAM-TYNDALE.COM
  1. Wycliffe Bible Translators estimate they will finish translating the Bible in all languages by 2025
  2. Reformation Day October 31, 1517: The Bible and Martin Luther
  3. The First (1385) English Bible Translator – John Wycliffe’s Life – (Video)
  4. Church History – John Wycliffe (1320-1384) translated the first English language Bible
  5. ‪The Forbidden Book – „History of the English Bible”

What Were the Original Languages of the Bible?

I found this excellent article at Biblegateway.com and I thought I’d share it:

Photo credit http://www.human-resonance.org (ancient Aramaic scroll, though, not from the OT)

What language was the Bible originally written in? Pastors and seminarians can probably answer that easily enough, but the rest of us might have only a vague idea that the Bible was written in one of those “dead” languages. Ancient Greek? Latin, perhaps?

The Bible was actually written in three different ancient languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. While (a modern version of) each of these languages is spoken today, most modern readers of those languages would have some difficulty with the ancient versions used in the Biblical texts. It’s strange to think that we might hardly recognize the most influential book in the world in its original form!

Hebrew, Language of (Most of) the Old Testament

Ancient Hebrew was the tongue of the ancient Israelites and the language in which most of the Old Testament was penned. Isaiah 19:18 calls it “the language of Canaan,” while other verses label it “Judean” and “language of the Jews” (2 Kings 18:26; Isaiah 36:11, 13; 2 Chronicles 32:18; Nehemiah 13:24).

Ancient Hebrew is a Semitic language that dates back past 1500 B.C. Its alphabet consists of 22 characters, all consonants (don’t worry; vowels were eventually added), and is written from right to left.

While Hebrew remained the sacred tongue of the Jews, its use as a common spoken language declined after the Jews’ return from exile (538 B.C.). Despite a revival of the language during the Maccabean era, it was eventually all but replaced in everyday usage by Aramaic. Modern Hebrew can trace its ancestry to Biblical Hebrew, but has incorporated many other influences as well.

What’s Aramaic?

Ancient Aramaic originated among the Arameans in northern Syria and became widely used under the Assyrians. A few passages in the Old Testament were written in Aramaic (Genesis 31:47; Ezra 4:8-6:18, 7:12-26; Jeremiah 10:11).

Some have compared the relationship between Hebrew and Aramaic to that between modern Spanish and Portuguese: they’re distinct languages, but sufficiently closely related that a reader of one can understand much of the other. Aramaic was very popular in the ancient world and was commonly spoken in Jesus’ time.

bible scribe

Photo credit hcsb.org

The New Testament wasn’t written in Hebrew?

Many people assume that the New Testament was written in Hebrew as well, but by the time the gospels were being written, many Jews didn’t even speak Hebrew anymore. Rome had conquered Greece, and the influence of Greek culture had saturated the empire. What’s interesting about Biblical Greek is that it didn’t use a high-class or complicated style; it was written in koine (common Greek), a language that could be understood by almost anyone, educated or not.

It’s amazing to see how the Word of God has traveled through languages and cultures. It began in the language of his chosen people, adopted the language of the Roman world, and now exists in over 2,000 different languages. Far from being a static, one-language text, the Bible actually embraces translation and cross-language accessibility by its very nature. Whether you read the Bible in its original languages or in one of thousands of modern tongues, it’s a blessing to be able to read God’s word today just as it was read thousands of years ago.

Craig Blomberg – How Historians Can Know Jesus of Nazareth

Question: Outside the New Testament, what documentary evidence do historians have for the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth? And what does this evidence tell us?

Craig Blomberg:

We have all kinds of evidence written by other Christians in the earliest decades of the second century, after the New Testament was complete. But, usually, somebody asking that kind of question is asking, ‘What kind of nonChristian evidence do we have, concerned that perhaps Christians were biased, and therefore, wanting to make sure that we can prove that Jesus existed, was something like what Jesus claimed He was from other ancient Jewish, Greek, Roman sources. There are about a dozen such references to Jesus. By far, the fullest one comes from a late first century Jewish historian named Josephus. But, we find early second century writers in the Roman world like Tacitus and Plutonius. We find references in the Encyclopedic size collection of Jewish traditions known as the Talmud, and elsewhere.

And, from them, we can corroborate that Jesus was a Jewish teacher, who lived in the first third of the first century, who had a ministry that intersected with that of a man named John, who baptized people, and hence got the name ‘John the Baptizer’, that He was born out of wedlock, that He had disciples, five of whom are named, who are particularly close followers. He regularly got in trouble with certain Jewish authorities of His time for radical views about the law. And that He finally was crucified. We know that from Tacitus. In the second century, under the governorship of Pontius Pilate, which narrows the time frame to from the mid 20’s to the mid 30’s of the first century. And that despite that ignominious death, his followers believed that they saw Him raised from the dead and believed that He was the Messiah, the Jewish liberator, beginning very quickly even to worship Him, as if He were a God, to use the language of Pliny, in the early second century. So, even without touching a Christian source, there’s quite a bit we can know about Jesus.

click to read book

click to read full essay (pdf)

Question: Now, some people would question the reliability of the Gospels, which for sure give a much fuller account of the life and ministry of Jesus. How would you respond to the suggestions that the writers of the Gospels embellished the account of Jesus’s life, turning a simple Jewish prophet into a kind of Gentile God? How would you respond to that concern? 

We have remarkably ancient testimony, remarkably close in time to the life of Jesus. Probably, the earliest written Gospel was Mark, most likely written in the ’60’s of the first century, with Jesus having died in about A.D. 30. A 30 year period may seem like a long span of time to us, but, in the ancient world, which was an oral culture, when people memorized and passed on faithfully, for generations, the beliefs and traditions and narratives of their families, tribes, nations, with high degrees of care and accuracy; one generation is a very short period of time. There were still plenty of eyewitnesses living in Israel who could remember the historical Jesus, what He was really like, many of whom had not become His followers.

The entire Christian claim could have been very easily debunked early on, if there had been widespread embellishment and misrepresentation of who Jesus was.

Question: Dr. Blomberg, in his book, the DaVinci Code, Dan Brown has called attention to the importance of the so called gnostic Gospels in early Christianity. Would you tell us something about these gnostic Gospels, and do you think they shed significant light on the historic Jesus of Nazareth?

I suppose, the first thing that needs to be said  for people who have never actually seen one of these documents is that they are not Gospels, in the sense of being narratives of a significant percentage of Jesus’s ministry, the way Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are. The vast majority of the so called Gnostic Gospels are supposed secret revelation, after Jesus’ resurrection to one or more disciples by Jesus and they tend to discourse on things utterly unlike the Jesus of the New Testament Gospels, reflecting on the origins of the Universe, the angelic hierarchies, why the world was created, how sin came to be, an abstract theological reflection, very different from what we read in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There is one gnostic Gospel, the Gospel of Thomas, which also is not a consecutive narrative. It’s just 114 sayings, linked together and attributed to Jesus, that does have significant overlap with the Jesus of the New Testament. Maybe as many as a third of the sayings attributed to Jesus in this account remind readers of something that they would read in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. But then, another large collection, maybe up to half of the sayings are quite different. There’s philosophical speculation that gnosticism was so known for. And then, tantalizingly, the remainder could be taken in orthodox Christian direction, could be taken into a gnostic direction. They’re short and cryptic enough that it’s hard to know for sure. But, does Thomas, or any of these other Gospels give us solid historical information that would change our understanding of who Jesus of Nazareth was? No, not at all.

Question: Do you find that many neighbors, friends that you interact with have had a skewed perspective on the early church because of books like Dan Brown’s? And, what would you wanna say to them specifically?

Yes, a surprising number of people, whether they picked it up from Brown, or from somebody else of his ilk, or by word of mouth, that garbled Brown, who garbled the ancient church. I would want to say is that what competed with orthodox Christianity in the early years was very different, was later than the New Testament documents  and was pretty easily dismissed. It did not become some lingering controversy that the so called lost gospels were not, for the most part, suppressed, as some claim. They simply fell out of use because they weren’t of value to the vast majority of early Christians. My friend Darrell Bock, who teaches at Dallas Seminary, likes to say, „It’s true that sometimes winners rewrite history. But, it’s also true that sometimes winners deserve to win.” And, all evidence points to the fact that apostolic orthodox Christianity was the dominant Christian tradition that had carefully preserved the life of Christ and its significance, and that’s what deserved to be passed on and be preserved.

Question: As we close, can you tell us in a nutshell, why we should believe in the historicity of Jesus, and what that means for us today?

We should believe in the historicity of Jesus because even if we’re skeptical of all Christian testimony, there is enough non-Christian testimony to corroborate His existence and the main contours of His life. But then, we shouldn’t be so skeptical about all Christian testimony, because much of it represented the testimony of people who were not born into Christian families, but who are adult converts convinced by the evidence, convinced by the transmission of the stories and accounts of Jesus, that He was so significant, they should become believers and followers in Him. You can’t just write all of that evidence off because somebody was convinced by it. And that significance continues to this day. In all the world religions, in all the traditions of the philosophers and teachers, nowhere else has someone made the claim  in actions and in labels that He applied to Himself and in explicit teachings, that He was somehow so close to God, that those out of his culture and religion, who believed in God, at times accused Him of blasphemy, executed Him, and yet, was reported to have been seen again bodily, by more than 500 of His followers, who then began an unbroken tradition of following Him, and at a very early date, even worshipping Him as that God. There’s no other religion or worldview that has that package of events. You have to come to grips with who Jesus of Nazareth was. And if you look at the evidence, it might just transform your life, for the good.

VIDEO by ChristonCampusCCI

Dr. Craig Blomberg discusses the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. (See his full essay at http://www.christoncampuscci.org/.) Dr. Blomberg responds to claims that the so-called „Gnostic gospels” are more reliable than the four Gospels of the Bible, showing that the historical evidence clearly suggests otherwise.

Dr. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, has also written a full essay on this topic, which lays out in a clear, organized fashion the evidence that supports the historicity of Jesus. That essay and several other free essays on relevant topics for college and university students are available online for free at http://www.christoncampuscci.org/.

This video and the corresponding essay are provided as a ministry of Christ on Campus Initiative, a nonprofit organization generously supported by the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding (a ministry of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL), the Gospel Coalition, and the MAC Foundation (Fort Collins, CO).

Is Christianity really rational? by R.C. Sproul

rc sproul 2Have you ever had a nonbeliever say that your argument is not rational? Or that Christianity is not rational? Here’s R  C Sproul answering this very same question in a post from August 2013 on the ligonier.org website:

By all means! It is intensely rational. Now, I’ve had the question asked of me, “Is it true that you are a Christian rationalist?” I said, “By no means! That’s a contradiction in terms. A rationalist is somebody who embraces a philosophy that sets itself over and against Christianity.” And so, while a true Christian is not a rationalist, the Christian faith is certainly rational.

Is Christianity coherent? Is it intelligible? Does it makes sense? Does it fit together in a consistent pattern of truth, or is it the opposite of rational—is it irrational? Does it indulge in superstition and embrace Christians who believe that Christianity is manifestly irrational? I think that’s a great tragedy. The God of Christianity addresses people’s minds. He speaks to us. We have a Book that is written for our understanding.

When I say that Christianity is rational, I do not mean that the truth of Christianity in all of its majesty can be deduced from a few logical principles by a speculative philosopher. There is much information about the nature of God that we can find only because God himself chooses to reveal it to us. He reveals these things through his prophets, through history, through the Bible, and through his only begotten Son, Jesus.

But what he reveals is intelligible; we can understand it with our intellect. He doesn’t ask us to throw away our minds in order to become Christians. There are people who think that to become a Christian, one must leave one’s brain somewhere in the parking lot. The only leap that the New Testament calls us to make is not into the darkness but out of the darkness into the light, into that which we can indeed understand. That is not to say that everything the Christian faith speaks of is manifestly clear with respect to rational categories. I can’t understand, for example, how a person can have a divine nature and a human nature at the same time, which is what we believe about Jesus. That’s a mystery—but mysterious is not the same as irrational.

Mystery doesn’t apply only to religion. I don’t understand the ultimate force of gravity. These things are mysterious to us, but they’re not irrational. It’s one thing to say, “I don’t understand from my finite mind how these things work out,” and it’s another thing to say, “They’re blatantly contradictory and irrational, but I’m going to believe them anyway.” That’s not what Christianity does. Christianity says that there are mysteries, but those mysteries cannot be articulated in terms of the irrational; if that were so, then we have moved away from Christian truth.

Read more questions (about 100 of them) and R C Sproul’s detailed, 1 page answers, here – http://www.ligonier.org

How did the Bible become the Bible? Carl Trueman & G. K. Beale

carl-truemanCarl Trueman: The history of the production of the Canon is a long and complicated one. And it really doesn’t come to a close until the 16th century, with the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism, when canonical issues really become somewhat acute, somewhere in the middle of the 16th century. Now that can be a very disturbing thought to people. (Thinking) Oh wow, so we didn’t have a Bible ‘til the middle of the 16th century? Well, no. The story is less disturbing than that when you look at the details. I think, by the middle of the second century, if you look at the writings of the apostolic fathers, or the writings of the Greek apologists, you already have functionally in place, the vast majority of the books of the New Testament- the canon. Canon formation is generally, christians are concerned about the formation of the New Testament. I mean, they’re really interested, how did the church decide that these New Testament works were part of the New Testament and not just early christian writings that weren’t inspired. I think, by the middle of the second century, (aprox 150 A.D.) you can make a good case for saying the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), most of the letters of Paul are already in place, as authoritative in the church. And the debates tend to be about the smaller epistles. I’d want to say (they are) not lesser material, because it’s all divinely inspired. But, in terms of constructing a coherent Gospel theology, the shorter epistles make less contribution to that overall theology.

G. K. Beale:

One of the criteria among the church fathers was apostleship, apostolicity. If you can demonstrate that in a book, it should be seen as included in the canon. But, then some will say, „But, wait a minute. How about Luke? He wasn’t an apostle.” And the author of Hebrews, we don’t know who that was, though the early church, some held it was Paul.  But it’s been pretty well concluded that we don’t know who that was. Some have even contended that even the Book of Revelation is not the John the apostle. Those who weren’t apostles were a part of the apostolic circles. Take Luke. Luke was a traveling companion with Paul. And so, those in the apostolic circle are considered New Testament prophets. We know Ephesians 2:20 talks about „the church is founded on the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus, Himself, being the cornerstone…” And so, we know there were a group of prophets attached, or in some way associated with the apostolic circle. So, all of these writings that can be traced back to the apostolic circle become canonical. They are the legal representatives of Christ, now that He’s left the earth. You might remember when Christ said, „He who receives you, receives Me. He who receives your word, receives My word”.

The idea of apostleship, they were like lawyers.  The lawyer in court represents the defendant. And so, the lawyer’s words are the defendant’s words. The apostles’ words are Christ’s words. This is really laid out nice in a book by Herman Ridderboss, called ‘Redemptive History and The New Testament Scriptures – Biblical and Theological Studies’.

Was there an official council that settled this, even beyond second century?

Carl Trueman:

In the 4th century, at the Council of Constantinople. The role of the church becomes acute because one of the things that is debated in the 16th century is why do people believe the canon? Is it because the church says these books are canonical, or is it because the books are in and of themselves canonical? And it’s a division, really, between Catholics and Protestants, that to an extent persists to this day.

I think, the Protestant response that I agree with is that the church recognized those books that were inspired. The church didn’t make them inspired, the church didn’t make them canonical, the church came to recognize them as canonical. One of the things, though, I think we need to do as individual christians is to understand how that dynamic works out in our own lives. When I was converted from a non-christian background,the first Sunday I go along to church, why do I take the canon of the Bible as the canon? Well, I did it that Sunday because the church told me. I was in a church and this was the canon, as far as the church saying it’s so. Over a period of time though, as the Bible was consistently preached and applied to me by ministers, and as I read it for myself, I saw the beauty and the coherence and the power of those books, which impresses itself on the individual. So, I think, as Protestants, it’s worth acknowledging that often, early in our pilgrimage we believe the Bible because the church tells us so. But, on the bases of that we move on ultimately to believe the Bible because the Bible itself is self authenticating. You don’t need an external authority to authenticate the Bible.

G. K. Beale:

Another way to put it is: Did the church create the canon or did the canon create the church? The canon created the church, the church recognized it. There’s a nice book that argues well with this. Because of the flurry of some scholars saying that a lot of the apocryphal Gospel really should have been in the canon and that it was really just a political power move that they weren’t in it. The book is The Heresy of Orthodoxy and its authors are Andreas Köstenberger and  Walter Kruger.

Here’s a little more on this second book from Amazon:

Beginning with Walter Bauer in 1934, the denial of clear orthodoxy in early Christianity has shaped and largely defined modern New Testament criticism, recently given new life through the work of spokesmen like Bart Ehrman. Spreading from academia into mainstream media, the suggestion that diversity of doctrine in the early church led to many competing orthodoxies is indicative of today’s postmodern relativism. Authors Köstenberger and Kruger engage Ehrman and others in this polemic against a dogged adherence to popular ideals of diversity.

Köstenberger and Kruger’s accessible and careful scholarship not only counters the „Bauer Thesis” using its own terms, but also engages overlooked evidence from the New Testament. Their conclusions are drawn from analysis of the evidence of unity in the New Testament, the formation and closing of the canon, and the methodology and integrity of the recording and distribution of religious texts within the early church.

VIDEO by DESERT SPRINGS CHURCH

Did God really say? VIDEO with full transcript

An essential, highly interesting affirmation by the panel of the belief on biblical inerrancy from the Together for the Gospel Conference 2012, led by Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. Besides the great panel discussion, there are also a few book recommendations (linked to Amazon, just click on title or photo) and lots of links to search peripheral issues as they relate to the inerrancy debate. This page will be added to the (permanent) apologetics page.

photo from T4G website – http://t4g.org/resources/photos/

  1. We affirm that the sole (final) authority for the Church is the Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible and totally sufficient and trustworthy. We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine revelation or that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or by effects of human sinfulness. 
  2. We affirm that the authority and the sufficiently of Scripture extends to the entire Bible and that therefore the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice. We deny that any portion of the Bible should be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or for example to set the words of Jesus against the words of Paul. 
  3. We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for the Church and that the Church must resist the allure of pragmatism and post modern conceptions of truths as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture. We deny that truth is merely a product of social construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of the biblical events and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form. We further deny that the church can establish its ministry on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing techniques or contemporary cultural fashions.

Is inerrancy something new? Short answer „NO!”

Minute 4 – Dever addresses the charge that „inerrancy” is a „new thing” or just a „reformation doctrine?”.

  • John Piper responds:.In 1971 Fuller Theological Seminary  took the Word out.  I read what was happening in Germany. It blew me away. I did not see it coming. So it may have been there, but the teachers that I loved and had influenced me most didn’t talk that way and didn’t give me indication that it would be going that way. I was never able to make any sense out of the distinctions between infallible and inerrant. 
  • Dr Simon Gathercole – teaches New Testament at Cambridge, in England. One of the clearest figures to express a doctrine of inerrancy was St. Augustine and it came up for him in conversation with the Manichaeans where he made it very clear that there were no contradictions in Scripture , that if you do find what looks like a mistake in Scripture, it is either a result of a problem with the translation, a problem in the text, a particular manuscript or scribal error or that you have misunderstood it. So Augustine is an example of someone who was very clear on inerrancy.
  • Ligon Duncan – there is a consistent witness across Christian history to the Bible’s sole, final authority and its inspiration and inerrancy.
  • Peter Williams – (undergraduate studies at Cambridge) „I believe it is fully authoritative, inerrant, inspired by God’ I think I’d want to add more words, I want to say: It’s basically clear, it’s sufficient, it’s historical. People can take a word like „inerrant” and leech it (by saying) – „I agree with the notion that Scripture is entirely true, but then they try and weaken it in other ways and I think that’s happening particularly because a lot of people, at least in this country are signing an inerrancy statement for their paycheck (which sometimes happens; they redefine inerrancy). There are many reasons to believe in inerrancy, but I think when you believe in verbal inspiration (i.e.) that God gave words and you believe in God’s trustworthiness, that He has a true character and you want to have a relationship with God, then it is inescapable logically to come to a view of Scriptural inerrancy. If you believe that God has given words, I don’t see how you can break that and say, „Well, He gives words and they are sometimes full of errors”, without actually questioning God’s trustworthiness Himself.

The 3 roots/trajectories on how inerrancy is denied

  • Al Mohler (11 min mark) Why wouldn’t anyone believe in this? (This question) leads to a principle of interpreting church history, which often surprises people when you first hear it, and that is that „heresy precedes orthodoxy„. That doesn’t mean that the false precedes the true. It does mean that the codification, or confession of the faith is often in the face of, is a response to heresy or that which is sub biblical or sub orthodox. So, in 325  AD you have a statement made by the Council of Nicaea, that wasn’t necessary until Arius denied that the father and the Son are of the same substance. And when it comes to inerrancy, the first thing is that this is God’s word, God is totally true, so all the attributes of Scripture seem to come, and yet Augustine has to respond to the Manichaeans and we have to respond to contemporary denials of the total truthfulness of Scripture. I think there are 3 roots, or 3 trajectories in which that comes:
  1. The first is ideological and this is basically the external critique of biblical inerrancy. It comes from new atheists, of course if you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe there could possibly be a word of God; if you don’t believe in supernatural revelation as a possibility, or even recently, if you don’t believe in words as units of meaning; that are capable of conveying truth, there are various rules of philosophy and literary interpretation that have lost all confidence in words. They have to use words to explain how little confidence they have in them any longer; it’s part of the whole conundrum, but nevertheless, it is an ideological assault and so a good bit of what you will read simply says: „Inerrancy is an impossibility” and it will move on. But, it is not the major issue of our concern, there are two other trajectories.
  2. Another trajectory is apologetic. This is where you have evangelicals who say: This is an embarrassment. To claim inerrancy is to over claim the text, it is an impediment to our intellectual credibility and so you have people who would pose to be within the evangelical movement who will say, as Kenton Sparks in a recent book said, „This is the intellectual doom,” to paraphrase him, because it makes us continually defend the truthfulness of every passage in a text and that is leading modern people to have huge intellectual obstacles to receiving the main message in the text, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So you have various forms of this kind of apologetic argument; it’s the same argument as people who come along and say you can’t talk about the Bible’s teaching on sexuality; that’s presenting too much of an obstacle for contemporary people to come to Christ. Ot, you can’t deny the theory of evolution, it’s metanarrative because that creates too much of an impediment for people to come to Christ. And so, you have websites today and people arguing that inerrancy is just an obstacle, it’s a theological construct that’s doing more damage than good.
  3. The third trajectory, or the third root you can look at this is moral, in which case you have people say that if we’re committed to total truthfulness of Scripture, then we’re committed to text which reveal God as acting in immoral ways; God’s people sanctioning immoral acts, and what you have is people who will say, „Look, we have the capacity as human beings to judge God, and thus we’re gonna go to the conquest of Canaan or we’re gonna go to the way God deals with any individual in either Testament of the canon and say that that’s immoral. If you’re gonna try and impose a human standard of morality, like the late atheist, Christopher Hitchens, if you read the Bible honestly you’re gonna find texts that are gonna cause you all kinds of  difficulty and by the way, one of the things Christopher Hitchens did very well for us was to say, „He can understand theists who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and he can understand atheists who don’t believe it’s possible, what he didn’t understand were people who tried to pose in the middle.
  • Dr Simon Gathercole – The central plank for me in the doctrine of inerrancy, and that is that it was Jesus’ view of Scripture and I think the 2 other points that were mentioned are really significant. The sort of dogmatic logic of what Scripture says, God says and therefore because of the character of God, Scripture is without error. Also, it’s the continuous testimony of the Church. I would recommend everyone read John Woodbridge’s book  Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal even though the debate is now different, but there’s a lot to learn there. But, if you just look at the way Jesus treats Scripture, what He says about Scripture, „Your word is truth”, „Scripture cannot be broken”, the way He refers to Adam, the way He refers to Elijah and Elisha, all the figures of the Old Testament, the way He responds to Satan: „It’s written, and every word is proceeding from the mouth of God.” That has to be the real cornerstone for our doctrine of inerrancy and it means that it’s an imperative of discipleship for us, that it’s a matter of following Jesus. (Also recommends Christ and the Bible” by John Wenham)
  • Peter Williams – If heresy precedes orthodoxy then I think that apologetics precedes heresy, as in most heresy begins as apologetics movement. And, I say that as someone who is involved in apologetics and likes it. Liberal theology is an attempt to rescue Christianity from deep embarrassment and that’s how a lot of these things begin and  those of us that are involved in apologetics need to be quite careful about that, because it can lead to error. The way people get seduced sometime into abandoning Scriptural authority is when they become persuaded that, that thing which adheres most to their dreams and their aspirations and start to believe „that more people will come to Christ if I just water this down somewhat”. Sometime people become persuaded in theological education that they are being more faithful to the text if they read it in a way that is contrary to another text. When people are being brought up in a Chirstian context, to value the authority of the Bible, it appeals and they become persuaded that the most honest reading of the text is to read it so it contradicts to another one.
  • Al Mohler –   Liberal theology is a succession of rescue attempts for the reputation of Christianity and to just give an example of what Peter is talking about: You have Rudolph Bultmann, who in one of his books says people who use electric lights don’t believe in a supernatural universe. So, in other words, if you’re gonna reach modern people we’re gonna have to bring christianity into intellectual credibility with the modern world. A lot of the things you see being claimed right now are as old as the heretics that the church fathers faced and certainly in terms of protestant liberalism and what the church has faced in over 100 years.
  • Ligon Duncan –  Another example in modern liberalism is Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher  was offended by the doctrine of the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ and the uniqueness of Christ. And he looked out at Germany and he said: German intellectuals are rejecting Christianity in droves, they’re impacted by the enlightenment and the message of Christianity must change if we are going to be able to capture this generation for christianity. It wasn’t as if he was sitting around inventing to destroy christianity, but in fact he did that with apologetic missionary motives in reaching his culture and so liberalism’s fundamental premise is that the message must change if christianity is going to survive and effectively engage the culture.
  • Peter Williams -It’s going right back to Marcion in the second century. Marcion is deeply embarrassed by the Old Testament, by the Jewishness of Jesus. He, as an apologist thinks that he can commend christianity far better by ditching those things. So, that’s why becoming an apologist, led straight to the heresy.
  • John Piper (minute 20 mark) Mark Dever asks why JP concluded that inerrancy was true: There are layers to that like- My momma told me it was true. That’s one layer. „..remember those from whom you’ve learned the faith” (2 Timothy 3:14), that’s an argument in the Bible. Second layer would be: God made me see it. That’s the deepest layer and I do believe I couldn’t believe the Bible is untrue, if I tried because I am just taken by Him, for it. I believe that’s the deepest reason. You can’t persuade anybody with that and so, up above those layers are the layers of experience, of encounter with the text and I think that at one level the Bible, as C.S.Lewis said: „You believe in it as you believe in the sun, not only because you see it, but you see everything else by it”. I asked my professor in Germany one time, „Why do you believe the Bible? And he said: Because it makes sense out of the world for me. Year after year, after year you live in the book and you deal with the world and it brings coherence to evil and good and sorrow and loss. And there’s one other level I would mention: Liar, lunatic, Lord argument in the Gospels works for me in Paul: Liar, lunatic or faithful apostle because I think I know Paul better than I know anybody in the Bible. Luke wrote most quantitatively, but he’s writing narrative. But with Paul, if you read these 13 letters hundreds of times, you know this man. Either he’s stupid, I mean insane, or liar, or a very wise, deep, credible, thoughtful person. So, when I put Paul against any liberal scholar in any German university  that I ever met, they don’t even come close. So, I have never, frankly, been tested very much by the devil or whoever to say, „This wise, liberal, offering his arguments…” I read Paul and I say, „I don’t think so”. This man is extraordinary, he’s smart, he’s rational. He’s been in the 3rd, 7th heaven and he is careful about what he is saying. So, that whole argument „Liar, lunatic, Lord – works for me with Jesus and it works powerfully for me for Paul and moreover once you’ve got Paul speaking, self authenticating, irresistible, world view shaping truth, then as you move out from Jesus and Paul, the others just start to shine with confirming evidences. Just a few ayers, there are others. Dever prompts John to give one more. JP: Why are you married after 43 years? How do you endure losses? really, where does your strength come from? You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Free from pornography and free from divorce, free from depressions that just undo you. How do you find your way into marriage over and over and out of depression and away form the internet? How does that happen? It happens by the power of this incredible book. Dever: For people who haven’t had time to accumulate all those layers, anything you would tell them to read? Piper: Back when the inerrancy council was red hot „Scripture and truth” edited by Grudem and
  • Mark Dever recommends J. I. Packer’s „Fundamentalism and the Word of God”.
  • Al Mohler – The problem is how few of our confessional statements are clear on this in the first place. So one of our evangelical liabilities is that too much has been assumed under an article of Scripture without specifying language, with inerrancy being one of those necessary  attributes of Scripture confirmed. You do find people today, some lamentably who are trying to claim that  you can still use the word, while basically eviscerating it, emptying it of meaning. So you have historical denials, in particular, you have someone who says that a text… and „The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy” makes it very clear, our affirmations and denials are actually patterned after the International Council of Biblical Inerrancy, which was itself patterned after previous statements in which there were not only affirmations, but clear denials. So, when you look to that statement, you’ll see that there’s the version of what inerrancy means and that means „This is not true”. So, you have clear denials. One of the affirmations is: Scripture has different forms of literature, but the denial is that you can legitimately dehistoricize an historical text. So, in other words, everything in Scripture reveals, including every historical claim is true. You find some people saying: „Well, you can affirm the truthfulness of the text without the historicity of the text. You can’t do that. You have people who are now using genre criticism, various forms to say: This is a type of literature. My favorite of these lamentable arguments is the one that says: This is the kind of text to which the issue of inerrancy does not apply. In other words: I don’t like it. But, what they mean is: I am not making a truth claim. If I am not making a truth claim… that’s ridiculous, but you find these kinds of nuances going on. You also find very clear, points of friction. So, let’s give an example of points of friction: Do we have to believe in the historicity of the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis? What Pete said about apologetics, that puts us over, against a dominant, intellectual system that establishes what is called credibility in the secular academy. Those evangelicals who feel intellectually accountable to that, are trying to say, „There has to be some other way then,  of dealing with Genesis 1 through 11 and that’s where you have now the ultimate friction point, with coming, for instance, the historical Adam and an historical fall and now you’re finding people who are trying to say, „Okay, there is no historical claim in Genesis 1 through 3, but I still believe in an historical Adam because I am just going to pull him out of the air and pop him down and say, „I still believe in an historical Adam (but) I am not going to root it in the historical nature of the text, but I need him because Paul believed in him. And then, you have people who have websites today, someone like Peter Enns, who used to teach at an institution which required inerrancy, but no longer teaches there, who says, „Clearly, Paul did believe in inerrancy, but, Paul was wrong”. And so, now you not only have the denial of inerrancy of the historicity of Genesis 1 through 3, you have Paul now, in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 being said, „Well now, inerrancy for him means ‘he was speaking truthfully, as inspired by God, but limited to the world view that was accessible and available to him at the time’. That is not what Jesus believed about Scripture. That is not what the church must believe about Scripture. I never came close to not believing in the inerrancy of Scripture. I came close to believing that there could be other legitimate ways of describing the total authority and truthfulness of the text and especially in context of fierce denominational controversy, I thought there must be room for finding it somewhere else and some people even mentioned here were correctives. For example J.I. Packer’s Fundamentals of God, was the bomb that landed in the playground. That little experiment just doesn’t happen; you take that out, it simply won’t work. At about the time that you (Mark Dever) and I really became friends, we were looking at how you came from an evangelical background where those issues have been discussed for 20 years before they did explode in the Southern Baptist Convention. My denomination had to learn this lesson a little bit late and at great cost.
  • Mark Dever– leaving the denominational stuff aside, you (Mohler) as a Christian, you found an intuitive, like John is talking about, an intuitive faith in Scripture.
  • Al Mohler– Well, it was intuitive, but I also had intellectual guardrails. My earliest, explicit theological formation was when apologetics hit me as a crisis as a teenager and I was led directly into the influence of Francis Schaeffer. And the book that most influenced me as a  teenager in high school, holding on to the faith as against a very secular environment was his book based on  lectures at Wheaton „He is there and He is not silent”, and I would point to that as the 5 or 10 books that most shaped my thinking, because Schaeffer’s logic in his lectures is really clear: „If there is a God, who doesn’t exist, we’re doomed. If there’s a God who does exist, but doesn’t speak, we’re just as doomed. If there is a God who does exist and He does speak, then salvation is in the speech. And so that was one of the guard rails in my life and being raised in a Gospel church that preached the word of God and just assumed that when you say „It’s the word of God”, it means all this.
  • Ligon Duncan – I didn’t have faith challenges as a teenager that Al did, but I was reading a lot of that apologetic literature and this was being talked about by evangelicals and the Ligonier statement on Scripture had come out in 1973, the ICBI Chicago Statement came out in 1978. Those are my teenage years. This is a conversation in the conservative corner of evangelicalism, in which I was reared. I had a good pastor that was happy to have me ask him questions about this when I was troubled with something I could ask him, he was on the board at Westminster Theological Seminary. When I went to Edinburgh (Scotland for PhD) I already had a solid education in the doctrine of Scripture at Covenant Seminary. But when I went to Edinburgh , James Barr’s book „Fundamentalism”  had just come out and I read it. I have more writings in the margins of the text in this book. I was arguing with him relentlessly in this book.
  • Mark Dever – This was an attack on J.I. Packer’s book and other kinds of statements of faith and Scripture.
  • Ligon Duncan – At that point I thought this would be some kind of hot topic. I had read some Barr in seminary, mostly semantics of biblical language and other things like that, in which, hopefully he is going after some bad stuff, but, I decided that when that book came out that I needed to read everything that Barr had ever written because of the potential influence on scholars. I was doing patristics at Edinburgh and so this wasn’t something that was part of my reading for work, it was just something I needed to do on the side and so I did. It was the most soul killing 6 months that I have ever spent. It was very disturbing. And several things helped me: One is a professor who had already thought through all of these issues. I went to another professor, and as we sat down he said, „You need to know, I have walked through all of these issues long ago and I’m happy to walk with you through them now. That was an enormous intellectual and theological resource to me. But then, it was the reality of Christ and the Gospel and the lives of believers that didn’t even know that they were ministering to me because that person could not be the way he or she is if there wasn’t a Holy Spirit indwelling Christ in us. I was also reading Ned Stonehouse’s biography of J Gresham Machen, who went through the same thing when he went to Marburg to study and he came into contact with Hermann and the german liberals of those days, and his correspondence with his mother was very significant in keeping him with just losing his mind.
  • Al Mohler – One other thing that was very informative to me was listening to people preach and seeing the distinction in the midst of a huge controversy with some people saying, „I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and other people saying, „I believe almost the same thing, I just think the words aren’t necessary, etc., etc.” When one got up and said, „This is the word of God”, read the text and preached the text and the other read the text and said, „Let’s find what’s good in here”. And they didn’t necessarily put it that way, but you could tell that is what they were doing homiletically. Here is an accountability to every word of the text. The text speaks because when the text speaks, God speaks. And on the other hand, people saying, „You know, there’s good stuff here, let’s go find it”.
  • Peter Williams – I went through a time of significant doubt when I was around 21 , 22. Mark (Dever) was in town at the time, in Cambridge, a great help and the Lord brought me through those, having to work through a lot of that. I certainly looked at liberalism and secular approaches to the Bible, from the inside, within my heart and really, there is nothing there, there’s nothing that has the explanatory power, the comprehensive work that the Gospel, the work in your life and even, also, I think on a historical  level there are some amazing things about the Bible. If I can just mention one: Historical level: Go back 400 years to someone like James Ussher (or 350) calculating the dates of Kings of ancient Israel, or Kings of Assyria. That was before archaeology had begun, before the language of the Assyrians had even been deciphered (that’s been in the last 200 years) and he gets the dates of Tiglas Pileser within one year of what now people believe it to be, based on the Bible and he’s not got Hebrew manuscripts any earlier than 11th century AD. and he’s getting reliable information from 1800 years earlier. You can document that. It’s not widely appreciated, but he gets the year 728 and we think it’s 727. It’s pretty remarkable, that sort of level of agreement. It is one of the most amazing stories to me, of historical accurate information being transmitted.
  • John Piper – ends with prayer that faith would increase in this generation.

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Inerrancy is Supported Biblically: The Relationship Between the Nature of God and Scripture – Carl Trueman and G. K. Beale

G. K. Beale:

There’s been some debate among evangelicals. And when I say evangelicals I don’t know what I mean because everybody’s an evangelical today, and it’s a huge, huge umbrella. It didn’t used to be back in the mid 20th century. But, nevertheless, a book as been written arguing that the traditional view of the inerrancy of the Bible is not biblical. Now, the traditional view he has in mind is a particular writer who started an evangelical seminary in England. The usual deduction is made that:

  1. God is perfect. I think that’s a pretty good deduction. His character is perfect.
  2. Therefore, what God speaks orally is perfect. So far, so good, for this particular writer.
  3. But his third one is that since God is perfect, His oral word is perfect, therefore His written word is perfect.

And this writer says, „Nowhere in the Bible do you find where it extends the perfection of God’s character  to the written Bible. He says, „That’s a logical deduction,” and in one way it makes sense. But, it’s not biblical. You can’t find a passage that really connects God’s perfection and his character with his word. So, I started thinking, when I read this, „I think there are passages. Such passages as Revelation 3:14, where it says that Christ is the ‘Amen’, the faithful and true witness the beginning of the creation, i.e. the new creation of Christ. It says that Christ is the ‘Amen’, the faithful and true witness. What’s amazing about that is that it’s almost a quotation from Isaiah 65:15-16, where it speaks of God as the ‘Amen’, the faithful and true. What a high statement about Jesus.

In fact, Isaiah 65:16 is the only place where it addresses a person in the Bible with ‘Amen’ as God. The only other place is Revelation 3:14, Jesus is the „Amen’, He’s identified with God, he’s a divine person. And so, He’s the faithful and true witness. So His character is true and what He says is true, and then very intriguingly in chapter 21:5, you have the statement that says: „The one who sits on the throne says: Write, these are true words of God.” And it says: Behold I create all things new. But, this phrase ‘Write, John…’ why are you to write John? These are actually true and faithful words of God. Well, that phrase ‘faithful and true’ is found only back in chapter 3:14. And this is an explicit development here in chapter 21, where John is to write God’s oral word, because they’re faithful and true. In other words, there’s an actual command for him to now put into writing what has been said, that represents God’s faithful character.

So we do actually have a place where God’s faithful character is true, and His oral word is true, and that’s to be put into writing. And one person’s writing, „Yeah, but when John went to record it, – okay, he was commanded to write, but when he went to record it, couldn’t there have been a little slippage? Was God actually superintending the recording? Yeah, yeah, He was in the command, but was He superintending the recording?” And, in fact, Carl Trueman rattled off a number of passages  about John, in the Book of Revelation writing the word of God. You might remember the seven letter, where Jesus commands John, „Write!!!” And, all of a sudden Jesus is speaking, John’s writing, but they’re the words of Jesus and at the end it says: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says. So, these are human words, they’re Christ’s words, they’re the Spirit’s words. Of course, at the very end it says, „If anyone adds to these words, God will add to him the plagues written in this book. And anyone who takes away from these words, God will take his part away form the tree of life and his part in the Holy City.” So, obviously, the words as they’ve been written down, have indeed been superintended by God through his prophet John.

So we do actually have an actual explicit Scriptural explanation of what this author says can’t be found. God’s character is true, His oral word is true, and the extension of that oral word to the written is not only commanded by God, but superintended by the Spirit. (Photos via http://www.wts.edu)

carl-truemanG. K. Beale:

Carl Trueman

From Acts 7- Scripture is the living word. As God is living and active, so His word is not just a book of logarithms, but it’s the speech of the living God.

G. K. Beale:

The sovereignty of God is important. Those, sometimes you find, who don’t affirm the absolute sovereignty of God. By that I mean, that leaves and birds don’t fall from heaven apart from God’s hand, even to that detail. If that’s the case, then it makes complete sense that when humans write, they will be sovereignly superintended by God, though their styles are different. But, those that don’t affirm the absolute sovereignty of God will say, „Humans have independence from God. They’re not always under God’s sovereign hand.” Then (to them) it makes sense that some human error could have crept in there. So I do think that an absolute understanding of the sovereignty of God is very important.

How do you make sense of contradictions in the Bible? Peter Williams at USC

Cambridge scholar Peter Williams answers USC’s toughest questions about the Bible at The Veritas Forum. Moderated by Dead Sea Scroll expert Bruce Zuckerman.

In this clip, Williams and Zuckerman share their perspectives on how to deal with contradictions in the Bible. Williams suggests that many such cases are deliberate contradictions to draw out important meanings, and that he hasn’t found any unreconcilable statements. Zuckerman suggests that the writers were more concerned with the message and less than the details. http://www.veritas.org/talks VIDEO by The Veritas Forum (Photo below credit onthewarningtrack.podbean.com)

From the video:

„The Bible is full of contradictions,” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot. How do you understand biblical contradictions as a scholar and how do you understand them  as a professing Christian?

Peter Williams:

The way I see things is a contradiction is not necessarily a bad thing, the way Dickens begins ‘A Tale of Two Cities’- ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….’ At which point, you might close the book, or you might struggle on for a few more pages. But the point is that simply using code which is opposite, and someone asks me, „Do you believe this?” And I say, „Yes and no.” Of course my yes is a qualified yes, and my no is a qualified no. But, I have packaged them as a formal contradiction. Now, sometimes bible writers will actually use contradictions quite deliberately.

John’s Gospel has its famous passage: ‘For God so loved the world’. John’s epistle has a passage that says: ‘Do not love the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.’ In other words, telling you not to love the world. But, of course you have to think a little it further about what it means by world, and what it means by love. And John’s Gospel is actually full of these sorts of these things, where it says, „The Son didn’t come into the world to judge it, and in another place it will say ‘for judgment I came into the world.’ And they’re in the same Gospel, sitting alongside each other.

You can find in 1 Samuel 15 where it says that God does not change His mind, he’s not like a man to change His mind, and yet He does change His mind. And it’s all there in the same passage. You can find in 2 Kings 17 a passage that talks about ‘they worshipped God’ and ‘they didn’t worship God’ and then ‘they did worship God’. In other words, you’ve got A B A. Both of those 2 Old Testament passages that I mentioned, where you have a statement contradicting the statements on the two sides, and I think these are things deliberately put there by the authors.

Now, there, I think one of the things that makes us use contradictions less often is that since Aristotle taught us to use technical vocabulary, we like to use one term with one sense. And we don’t like the idea of using one term with multiple senses. That means ancient authors were not constrained in that same way. Now, people might be prepared to accept, when they read John’s Gospel that John has an overall intention when he uses these contradictions. In other words, he’s making you think a little bit further. What happens, though, when they find one thing in one writer and another thing in another writer, and they say, „Well, there’s no way I can fit those together.” Now, the way I would understand things is that things are written in the Bible as such, that there are different authors at the human level, but a single author at the divine level. I can’t prove that, but it seems to me a rational thing. So, I don’t find this sort of contradictions in the Bible which are utterly irreconcilable at any level. In other words, I don’t find them in the Bible something that says Jesus was born in Egypt and Jesus was born in Judea.

I come to the text believing that it speaks truth. I don’t think it has to speak truth according to our conventions, our interest in precision. It can quote in completely different ways than us, because after all speech marks (punctuation ?) were only invented in the last few centuries, so there are all sort of conventions which make it different. But, I think… and this is where we need to have a discussion on this issue, that I think there is an overall coherence within Bible writers, even that come from some pretty different perspectives. I’m happy with tension.

…..

When scholars claim that they found these 2 very different strands which are being combined by some editor at some stage, that is essentially a scholarly reconstruction, all we have is a final text, and the final text is where we start from and and we try to explain how the final text arose as it did. And so, if we have 2 passages alongside each other  that seem to us to be different, well, someone put them together and thought that they could fit together. And so, I want to understand that someone’s mind, and I think that very intelligent people can waste a lot of effort dealing with hypothetical sources, and I’m not sure that’s a very fruitful thing.

The Reliability of The New Testament – Daniel Wallace PhD

Daniel B. Wallace, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and Recently his scholarship has begun to focus on John, Mark, and nascent Christology. He works extensively in textual criticism, and has founded The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (csntm.org), an institute with an initial purpose of preserving Scripture by taking digital photographs of all known Greek New Testament manuscripts. He has traveled the world in search of biblical manuscripts. His postdoctoral work includes work on Greek grammar at Tyndale House in Cambridge, textual criticism studies at the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung in Münster, and the Universität Tübingen, Germany. Photo credit www.dts.edu –

 The Realiability of the New Testament

Wallace: Excerpt: If my New Testament doesn’t really tell the truth about who God is, or who Jesus is, or whether He was really raised from the dead, or if I can’t be sure that’s what the original text said, then I’ve got a few problems to deal with. What I want to give you today is a reason for confidence in the Scriptures. I will begin by quoting from some scholars who have disagreed with this confidence:

  1. We begin with well known scholar Dan Brown, who wrote in his book ‘The DaVinci Code”: The Bible has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.” You’ve all heard something like that, you may even have said something like that: The Bible’s been translated so many times, and retranslated, how can we tell what it originally said? We’re going to deal with this issue front on and you’re going to realize that’s a really stupid statement to make.
  2. But, there are others who have written something similar. Atheists are now joining the chorus: „We do not have any of the original manuscripts of the Bible. The originals are lost. We don’t know when and we don’t know by whom. What we have are copies of copies. In some instances, the copies we have are twentieth generation copies.” C. J. Werleman, Jesus lied P. 41. By the way, there’s a new kind of atheism out that no longer says that Christianity is wrong, that’s presupposed, but, what it’s now saying is that Christianity is evil. And that’s what we have to deal with: Atheism is good and Christianity is evil. C. J. Werleman also wrote a book titled „God hates you, hate him back„. It’s kind of a strange title for an atheist, don’t you think( for someone who doesn’t believe in God)? Now, he says: We don’t have any of the original manuscripts; he’s right. He says: The originals are lost and we don’t know when and by whom. He’s right. What we have are copies of copies. That’s true. However, I have no idea where he got the idea that some copies are 20th generation copies. I think he made it up.
  3. Muslims are saying the same thing, and Muslims are a huge group for us to have to deal with. They have their apologists who are making claims about the Koran. And, a very well known british muslim, M. M. Al-Azumi has written a book called „The history of the Koranic texts from revelation to compilation- a comparative study with the Old and New Testaments„. The book is very, very popular in Britain. He says, „The Orthodox church, being the sect which eventually established supremacy over all the others, stood in fervent opposition to various opposition (a.k.a „heresies”) which were in circulation… In each case this sect, the one that would rise to be the Orthodox church, deliberately corrupted the Scriptures so as to reflect its own theological visions of Christ, while demolishing that of all rival sects.” What’s he talking about? He is saying that the Bible that you have today is a corruption of the original. What he says elsewhere is that the deity of Christ is definitely not taught in the original New Testament, and (that) this group known as the Orthodox church, which is nothing that even resembles orthodoxy, made up things about Jesus and they demolished all the other views.Well, where are Werdleman and Al-Azumi getting their ideas from? They’re not New Testament scholars. They don’t know Greek, as far as I know. Well, they’re getting it from a number of New Testament scholars, but, principally, from one fellow who has become the #1 theologian in the country as far as the media is concerned. If you ever watch any of these stories, it’s typically around Christmas and Easter is when you will see these TV shows that are typically dealing with „well, Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead…” Somebody claimed just a few years ago that we actually found the bones of Jesus.

Well, Bart Ehrman was an evangelical, he went to Moody Bible Institute, he’s a graduate of Wheaton College- two very fine evangelical schools. He went on to Princeton Seminary to study under the great Dr. Bruce Metzger, who was one of the finest New Testament scholars of the 20th century and an evangelical himself. Ehrman got his master;s and his doctorate under Metzger at Princeton Seminary. And then he began to drift. Later on, he got out of evangelicalism, but still called himself a Christian, years later he called himself an agnostic, which is where he is at today. But, he has also said, „If there is a God, it’s definitely not the God of the Bible.” He’s not the God that I could possibly ever worship. Because of his spiritual journey, or unspiritual journey, Ehrman has become kind of the spokesman for liberalism and is the #1 theologian, as I said, in the media, newspapers, radio, television, they all interview him because (they say): Oh, here’s a guy who came out of evangelicalism and now he’s against it.” This is where these other people have gotten their ideas from about the text. Bart Ehrman is a bonafide New Testament scholar whose specialty is the New Testament manuscripts. In his book „Misquoting Jesus” he said, „Not only do we not have the originals, we do not have the first copies of the originals. We don’t even have copies of the copies of the originals, or copies of the copies, of the copies of the originals.” I am sure he is right in the first and second generation. But, Ehrman has made this claim and his writings have impacted tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, who are either marginally within the Christian faith, or were considering and they’ve abandoned it. That’s Bart Ehrman. (8:30)

Two attitudes to avoid

It reminds me of a couple of attitudes we need to avoid as we think about these issues of the text of Scripture.

  1. Radical skepticism or total despair. This attitude is the one I have just presented to you from these 3 writers:  That, basically, we can’t tell what the original text said, we might as well give up (cause) we don’t know.
  2. But, there’s another attitude that’s equally pernicious, and it’s found among Christians. King James only people have this attitude. Many of you come to church with your Bible in your hands, and you say, „This is exactly what the apostles wrote.” We don’t know for sure about some things, but we do have certainty about others. So there’s another attitude we need to avoid, which is absolute certainty. It makes us uncredible in the eyes of skeptics and sometimes when that absolute certainty gets dashed, people switch the pendulum way too far, over to radical skepticism. (9:00)

While there are 2 attitudes to avoid, there are 4 questions I want us to answer this morning:

  1. How many textual variants are there?
  2. What kinds of textual variants are there? Do they affect doctrine, are they spelling differences?
  3. What theological beliefs depend on textually suspect passages?
  4. Is what we have now what they wrote then?

The above notes are from the first 10 minutes of the video (there are 26 minutes remaining, in which Dr. Wallace answers the 4 questions)

VIDEO by Shulamitefire The Realiability of the New Testament

ABOUT THE VIDEO: Published on Jul 28, 2013

If you encounter someone who questions or doubts the accuracy and reliability of our Bible, the information Dr. Daniel Wallace provides in this presentation at Heights Baptist Church in 2013 will address those issues directly.

Dr. Daniel B. Wallace has been Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Seminary for over 25 years and is an internationally known Greek New Testament scholar. He has been a consultant for five Bible translations and founded the Center for the study of New Testament Manuscripts.

Paul Washer – A Warning not to Stray from the Gospel

1 Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons

washer

Now, let’s look at the first phrase: Now, the Spirit exlicitly says,” this is very unusual language. We don’t find this in any other place in the New Testament. A great emphasis is being given, which means ‘this is very, very important’, which means: „You should listen!” I mean, you should listen to all the words of God, and all the words of Christ, but once in a while, reading through the New Testament, we hear Jesus say, „Verily, verily…”, „truly, truly…I say unto you”. It doesn’t mean that it’s more true. It means that He’s putting emphasis on this. Listen, if you’re going to listen, this is what you need to listen to.  This is the way Paul is dealing with this, but the Spirit explicitly says that something’s gonna happen in the latter times.

Now we need to define latter times cause there’s a lot of confusion about that. Some people look back to the year 1948 and the reestablishment of Israel as the latter times. Other people of a charismatic persuasion look back to certain revivals to say the latter days have now begun. Well, all of that is wrong. According to the Scriptures, the latter days, the latter times began 2000 years ago. This is very clear, from Peter quoting Joel in Acts 2:17, when the Spirit of God is poured out and Peter said, „“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. The latter days began with the first coming of the Messiah, His death, resurrection, and ascension. These are the days of the Messiah, these are the latter days, which I don’t have time to get into, but it’s also time of trouble.

It was always believed that when the Messiah came there would be a time of trouble, a time of transition, a time of already and not yet, which is what we can see today in a macrocosm. We can see God’s kingdom advancing in the world, but, it hasn’t fully advanced. And, we can also see it in a microcosm, we can see it in you. There’s a time of trouble, in that Messiah has come into your heart. He has made great changes, but it is still a time of trouble in your own soul. You’re still not completely sanctified. It’s what we call in theology, ‘the already, but not yet’. The kingdom has come, the kingdom is coming, the kingdom has not yet come in its fullness.

So we’ve been in the latter days. Paul is going to describe something that is going to be a battle within the entire age of the church. It’s something that he had to write about here, when he was writing to Timothy. It’s something that you and I need to hear 2000 years later.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith. Now, this is very important. You say, „Well yeah, we live in that time.” Now, we live in a time, in the West, where there are not many believers, but people who are out and out saying they are atheists, they are agnostics, they are some other religion, but they are not Christian. This is talking about something that is going to go on within the context of what is known as the public or open church. It’s saying that within Christianity itself there are going to be people who will fall away.  (From the first 5 minutes with 44 min, remaining)

VIDEO by GoodTreeMinistries.com

What Role Do Works Play At Final Judgment for the Believer? Four views in a new book from Zondervan

Alan P Stanley sets up the discussion in this book from 4 points of view from

  1. Robert Wilkin, Executive Director of the Grace Evangelical Society;
  2. Tom Schreiner, New Testament and Pauline Scholar at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary;
  3. James Dunn, a leading British New Testament scholar known for his Jesus and Paul studies, not to mention coining the term „New Perspective;”
  4. Michael Barber, professor of theology, Scripture, and Catholic thought at John Paul the Great Catholic University.

On Pages 9-10, there is a  list/chart Stanley puts together of Scripture relating to what the Scripture has to say on this:

Scripture has consistently testified to this final day of judgement in a number of ways.

  1. God is the rightful „Judge of all the earth” (Gen 18)
  2. No one will be exempt (1 Sam 2; Gen 18; 1 Chron 16)
  3. Judgment is according to people’s works (Job 34; Ps 62; Prov 24)
  4. Judgment will bring „every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Eccl 12)
  5. God will judge with justice and equity (Gen 18)
  6. The wicked „will not stand in judgement” (Ps 1) while the righteous „will sing before the Lord” (Ps 98)

Of course, the New Testament builds on what the Old Testament established: (pg. 10)

  1. God has „set a day” for judgment (Acts 17; Rom 2; 1 Cor 4)—i.e. „the last day” (Jn 12); „the day of judgment” (Matt 10)
  2. It is a day that has come closer, for „the hour has already come” (Rom 13); „the end of all things is near” (1 Peter 4)
  3. God has selected a man to carry out his judgments; that man is named Jesus, whom the Father has „entrusted all judgments” and given all „authority to judge” (Jn 5)
  4. Therefore, judgment will not be left to „any human court” (1 Cor 4)
  5. God’s judgments through Christ will be „based on truth” (Rom 2)
  6. The „Sovereign Lord” is able and will judge „people’s secrets through Jesus Christ” (Rom 2)

The book can be purchased here – http://www.amazon.com/Views-Works-Final-Judgment-Counterpoints

– See more at: http://www.koinoniablog.net/2013/08/what-role-do-works-play-at-final-judment-for-the-believer.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2FpQHu+%28Koinonia%29#sthash.c0D9C8pk.dpuf

R. C. Sproul – The Privilege of Addressing God as „Father”

An older video of a much younger R. C. Sproul:

rc sproul 2Go with a group of Christians, listen to them pray at home, a prayer meeting, or Bible study and invariably, as Christians pray out loud, one after another will address God. How? They’ll start their prayer saying, „Father,” or, „Our heavenly Father.” It’s the most common expression that we as Christians use to address God. And why not? When our Lord taught us to pray, he taught us to say ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name’.

What could be more basic to Christianity than to address God as Father? A German New Testament scholar (can’t quite make out the name through the audio- might be Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694–1768)) has done a study on prayers  of the ancient Israelite people, and it is his conclusion that there’s not a single example anywhere in extant Jewish literature, including the Old Testament, the Talmud, the Targums, and so on, until the 10th century A.D. where a Jewish person addresses God directly- as Father. That simply wasn’t done. People would speak of the fatherhood of God among the Jewish people, but no one would address Him directly: „Father”. He says you don’t find it till 10th century in Italy. Yet, in the New Testament, we have the record of a Jew, a Jewish rabbi , who has many, many prayers recorded for posterity. And, that in every prayer that he prays, save one, he directly addresses God as Father. And that’s Jesus of Nazareth.

And what Reimarus demonstrates is that Jesus’ use of the term ‘Father’ for God was a radical innovation. Completely unheard of in Jewish liturgy! And what He did in His radical departure from convention, He invited His followers to be involved with. Because, what Jesus teaches about the human race is that by nature we are not the children of God. This was the dispute our Lord had with the Pharisees, who thought that just because they were born Jewish, that they were children of Abraham, that they were therefore the children of God. Jesus said, „You are of your father, the devil. God can raise up children of Abraham from these stones.”

..what Jesus does is defines Sonship in terms of obedience to God. And, because we are not by nature obedient to God, we are by nature children of wrath, the New Testament teaches us, and not universally children of the Father. The only way we ever have the right to call God „Father’, to cry Abba (Father) in His presence is because we have been adopted.   And the biblical message of sonship and daughterhood in the body of Christ is rooted and grounded in this concept of adoption. That only Christ is the natural Son of God, and only if you are in Christ do you become a member of the household of God. It is the church in the New Testament that is called the family of God. It is the church in the New Testament that is called the household of God. And that unique concept of redemption  through adoption is completely obscured when we talk about the universal fatherhood of God. Do you see that?

VIDEO by Ligonier Ministries

Doubting Darwinism – J.P.Moreland PhD quotes atheist Thomas Nagel against Darwinism

J. P. Moreland expresses some doubts on Darwinian evolution. VIDEO by religionphilosophy

J.P. Moreland

Moreland:

Not long ago, the former professor of biology at Cornell University, a man who is known throughout the world for his expertise in biological science, William Provine, made the following statement:

„Let me summarize my views about what modern evolutionary biology tells us: There are no gods. There is no purpose to life. There are no goal directed forces of any kind. There;s no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I’m going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There’s no ultimate foundation for ethics, there’s no meaning to life, and there’s no such thing as free will. „

Now, Provine is a good scientist, but a very bad philosopher.  And, his view is widely believed among the intellectual elite of our culture. And unfortunately, the culture, and what the culture believes is largely determined by the intellectual elites. That’s just the way it is.

Now, Provine’s statement is really not true, because, if evolutionary theory is true, it doesn’t mean there’s not a god. I could grant the truth of evolutionary theory, and I would still have plenty of reasons to believe in God, completely outside of the biological realm.

There is for example an argument for God’s existence

  • based upon the origin of the universe
  • based upon the fine tuning of the universe
  • based on the objectivity of the moral law
  • based on the miracles in the New Testament
  • based on the reliability of the New Testament documents

So, even if evolutionary theory is true, it doesn’t follow, that all the things that Provine has told us are reasonable to believe. As I said, I could grant the truth of evolutionary theory for the sake of argument, and still have plenty of reason to believe in the Christian God.

Well then,

What does evolutionary theory do?

It actually does, I think, 2 things:

  1. First of all, it robs us of an argument for God’s existence, because we can base an argument on God’s existence based upon the design of living things. After all, living things look designed. And so, you can build an argument for God based upon the design of living things, and if evolutionary theory is true, it could be argued – that argument is off the table. Fair enough. Then, evolutionary theory would rob the Christian believer of one of many arguments  for God’s existence. That’s a legitimate point.
  2. The real problem however, with evolutionary theory is not that it touches on whether or not there’s a God. The real problem with evolutionary theory is it tends to undermine some very plausible ways of interpreting the early chapters of the book of Genesis. And the book of Genesis is an important foundational document to the Christian community.

So, it’s important to understand that Provine has it wrong. So, nevertheless, evolutionary theory is an important thing it’s just been misunderstood by the general public and Provine, in terms of the impact of the theory, if it’s true,

Is evolution true?

Well, that depends on what you mean by it. I am going to characterize 3 different meanings of evolution and tell you where the tension lies, and then I’ll give you 3 reasons why I don’t believe in the theory of evolution. (See rest of transcript below video)

Evolution can mean 1 of 3 things:

  1. Microevolution- Evolution can mean that organisms change when they go to new environments. This is true. If you take a group of brown rabbits, and if they migrate to an area where there’s a lot of snow, it could be (that) after several generations their coats turn white, rather than brown, and that enables them to survive better. Is that definition of evolution true? Yes, and nobody disputes it. That’s called microevolution.
  2. Common descent- The second meaning of evolution is called the thesis of common descent. This is the idea that living things appear on earth in a sequence of simpler life to a more complex life, in a sequence of new life forms all the way from single cell organisms (simple life, supposedly) up to human beings. That’s called the thesis of common descent (from chimps to mankind).  All of the evidence for evolution is evidence for this thesis. There is no evidence for the third thesis, I’m about to tell you (about). Well, is the thesis of common descent true? I’m inclined to say, „No.” But, let me say very clearly, „If the thesis of common descent turned out to be true, I would have very little problem with it, as an evangelical believer, because I think that the early chapters of Genesis teach us that life appeared on earth, by and large, through a sequence of events from the simple to the complex. So, if the thesis of common descent was true, which I don’t believe it is, but, even if it were, it would cause my Christian faith very little adjustment because I am committed to the idea, according to Genesis, that living things appeared on earth, by and large, from simple to complex.
  3. The blind watchmaker thesis– The real problem with evolution is the third definition, and that’s where all the tension lies. This is called the blind watchmaker thesis.  According to the blind watchmaker thesis of evolution, the processes that gave rise to living things are totally naturalistic processes, and there was no room for God to do anything. We don’t need to postulate God to explain where life came from, that God was involved in creating different life forms along the way because mutations and natural selections, that is blind processes- the watchmaker who designed us was blind- that means not conscious, not intentional, had no purposes in mind. Why? Because the processes that gave rise to us are purely material physical processes of mutation and natural selection, and that’s where the real tension lies, because this thesis says that the common descent of animals from simple to complex took place without any intervention from God creating anything, or doing anything in the process. The process is purely naturalistic, and we don’t have to postulate a supreme being to explain life. (9:00)

There is, in my opinion, not a shred of evidence to this thesis.  All of the evidence in debates are evidence for common descent, not for the blind watchmaker thesis. I am going to give you three reasons why I think it’s false. In other words, I am going to give you 3 reasons why I believe that God had to be involved in the process, and that you cannot explain the living world, as we know it, without there being a Creator intelligent God. Before I do, there are many lines of evidence I could have selected, but, I’m gonna pick 3.  In most fields there are pace setters that set the pace in that field. I am an academic and a professional philosopher, and there are certain people in my discipline that are pace setters. If you’re gonna be a responsible, professional philosopher, you have to read what they write, because if you don’t know what they say, you’re not up to speed on your discipline. One of the professional philosophers in my field, for 50 years, who has been one of the leading intellectuals in the entire world, I would list him in the top 30 western thinkers in the world, is Thomas Nagel. He is a professor of philosophy at New York University. He is clearly an avowed atheist. In his book ‘The Last Word’, he makes it clear „I fear God, and what I mean by that is I don’t want God to exist. I don’t want the universe to be like that and I hope there’s no God.” It’s called the cosmic authority problem.   He doesn’t want an authority over his life and he is clear about that. Photo above via http://ebooksdownloadfree.com Photo below Thomas Nagel – via Wikipedia.

A week ago, a major event happened. Nagel, who is an atheist, published a book with Oxford University Press (1 of the 2 top academic Presses in the western world (Cambridge being the other)), and he has argued in this book that the general theory of evolution is nonsense for 3 reasons.  Now, he doesn’t believe in God, he’s hoping for other solutions. But, the point is that you have one of the top academic atheists in Europe and in the United States publishing a book that just came out (video is from 2012). I’ve taken notes from this book, and he says that there are 3 things that evolution cannot and will never explain and so we have to abandon the theory, in terms of its adequacy of explaining living things. I am going to use the ones he lists, because he’s a critic of our views.

1. The Origin of Life

Too improbable to happen by natural processes. Living things contain information & we know, as the SETI scientists themselves assume that if we discover information, that is evidence that the cause of that info is intelligent minds Nagel claims, and he’s right about this, that the probabilities of natural law and chance to produce life  is abslutely ridiculous. That you will never get living things, by natural laws and Darwinian processes to appear. Why is that? When Darwin looked through the microscopes of his day, a living cell looked like a simple little blob of jello. Not so anymore. We now know that the simplest single cell is like the city of Detroit or Chicago or New York. It’s got a police dept., it’s got a library, it’s got street signals… I mean, it’s as complicated as a city.  The problem has become then, how do you get through natural processes and random chance? Something that complicated in 4 billion year (let’s grant/say), and Nagel says, „There’s not a snowballs chance in a certain place (hell) that that’s gonna happen. Here’s an example: Suppose I filled the state of Texas a mile high with quarters and I put an X on one quarter, and I flew over it in a helicopter and I put it somewhere in the state of Texas. The chances of evolving through natural processes a single cell would be the chances of me giving the opportunity to pick one quarter and picking the right quarter on the first draw. No one in his right mind would believe anything like that. What if I did pick the quarter on the first draw? You would know that it was rigged, that it was done by cheating, done on purpose. And Nagel says that there’s just not any possibility that the probability of forming life through Darwinian processes are so astronomically small that they’re comparable to picking the quarter on the first draw in the state of Texas. No one in his right mind would believe that.

By the way, there is a second problem with the origin of life. We now know that information comes from an intelligent mind. When we discover information, it is evidence that intelligence stands behind that information. You’ve heard of the search for life in outer space. It’s called SETI the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The assumption that is made by the SETI scientists is that information can only come from an intelligent mind. So, if we discovered a signal from outer space that contained information, we would conclude that the origin of that signal was an intelligent mind of some kind. What we have discovered is that there is more information in a single cell than in all the books in the libraries where I did my phD at USC. It is stacked with information and the evidence of information is evidence of mind. So, the origin of life is the first reason why Darwinian theory fails because (a) it is too imporbable to be rational, to believe it happened that way, and (b) living things contain information and information is evidence that the cause is an intelligent thinker.

2. The Diversity of life forms 

(a) Diversity of life is far too complex and intricate for it to have evolved in 3.5 billion years through natural processes and chance mutations and through the laws of chemistry and physics. (b) Living systems contain irreducibly complex structures and it will not confer survival values for a mechanism if it doesn’t have all the parts. Here’s the second reason why I don’t believe in Darwinian evolution: It’s the diversity of life forms that we see all around us. The diversity and the complexity of life around us. Nagel makes the point that if evolutionary theory were true, and somehow, if we could get a single cell organism say, 3.5 billion years ago, there’s not enough time in 3.5 billion years to go from a single cell organism to lions, and tigers, and bears. Because, if evolution were truewe would not expect there to be enough time for very much diversity to have appeared. In other words, the sheer complexity and diversity of living things is far too much for the mechanisms of evolution to account for it. And Nagel runs a probability argument on this as well, saying, pretty much like the state of Texas, „Suppose we could evolve a single celled organism, the probabilities of developing life as we know it are again, like picking the quarter on the first draw. It’s way too improbable. Think of a butterfly, for example. The mechanisms that can take you from a caterpillar to a butterfly are staggering. You start with a caterpillar, it goes through a stage where you have a stack of goo with not much information, and then you get a butterfly squirting out that is totally different than the caterpillar. And the processes and the staggering detail, and the amount of complexity involved in something that simple are simply too much for the mechanisms of evolution to explain.

Consider the brain. I’m doing research on the soul and the brain this year. If you take a look at what are called the neural nets, these are networks of neurons, and in order for you to have a thought, you have to have billions of neurons firing in just the right place, at just the right time. There’s not a chance that that could happen through natural consequences, it’s way too complicated.  So, the probability of life diversifying into the staggering complexity that we see is simply too large for evolution to explain, says Nagel, and I agree with him. (20:00)

One other problem with the diversity of life involves what is called irreducible complexity. Something is irreducibly complex if it contains parts that won’t work if all the other parts aren’t there. Let me give you an example of an irreducibly complex structure: a mousetrap. It is composed of 5 parts- the base, the spring, the trap, the thing that holds it down, and so on. A mouse trap won’t work with only 4 of the parts. It doesn’t work until you have all 5 parts in the right place and then it works. That means that a mousetrap is irreducibly complex. The problem is that you can’t evolve irreducibly complex structures one part at a time, because it’s not gonna work till all the parts are there. And, how is a structure that’s only got some of its parts there, but it doesn’t work gonna help an organism survive ? Let me illustrate it. There’s a little single celled organism called a flagellum, that you can see under a microscope. It has a rotary tail. The thing will turn at 100,000 rpm’s in one direction and propel the little guy through fluid. It will stop on a dime and turn 100,000 rpm’s in the opposite direction, just like that. It contains 50 parts. Guess what? If you’ve got 49 of the parts it doesn’t work. It needs all 50 parts, before an of it will work. How are you gonna evolve the rotary tail from precursors that didn’t have a rotary tail, one part at a time? You can’t evolve irreducibly complex structures  one part at a time because the structures will not confer survival value on their owners unless all the parts are present.  And, irreducibly complex structures are a huge, huge problem for Darwinian theory.  (25:00)

3. Consciousness

This is the one Nagel spends 2/3 of the book arguing. Consciousness. The real problem is that you can’t get mind from matter. If you say, „In the beginning were the particles…” then what you end up with is brute sub atomic particles, electrons, strings, protons, neutrons, whatever they think is down there. You end up with particles that aren’t conscious- an electron doesn’t have consciousness. The laws of chemistry and physics cause these particles to bind together to form molecules. Those bind together to form cells, and those bind together to form the bodies of living things. The process is a process of taking matter and simply forming it into more complicated arrangements of matter. But now there’s a problem here, and Nagel points it out. If you start with matter and all you do is rearrange matter, you know what you’re gonna end up with? Rearranged matter. You’re not gonna get mind squirted into existence. To put the point differently, you might end up with brains, but you’re not gonna end up with minds. Cause if you end up with minds, that’s getting something from nothing, and that’s a pretty tough sell.

Basically, what I mean by consciousness is what animals and we have, and that’s what we’re aware of when we introspect- when you close your eyes and introspect, you are aware of your consciousness. Your consciousness includes:

  • sensations – experience of pain and pleasure
  • thoughts – like the thought that 2+2=4
  • beliefs – like my belief that George Washington was the 1st president of the United States
  • desires – my desire to be a good dad and to have ice cream and avoid the dentist
  • acts of free will – where I freely choose to raise my arm to vote, for example

So, what we have is consciousness is not physical. It is invisible. I could look all throughout your brain and I couldn’t see your thoughts or your feelings, or your desires, or your beliefs. All I would find would be  neurons firing. The problem is, as Nagel points out, if you start at the beginning with the particles, and you rearrange the particles according to the laws of chemistry and physics you’re never gonna get consciousness. I don’t have that problem cause I believe in God. I don’t think ‘In the beginning was the particles…”, I think in the beginning was the logos. So, I start with mind. I don’t start with matter. And it’s not a problem to explain where our minds came from because the universe began with a grand mind. Surely a grand mind could make subsequent minds.  If the universe began with consciousness, it means that there was a kind of big mind out there, a big conscious being. If you don’t mind, I’ll just use the word God for Him.

Conclusion:

If Nagel and I are right about this, why are all the scientists Darwinist? There are 2 reasons:

  1. They are taught to think that way in graduate school. They’re internalized into a theory that you have got to force the evidence to fit. They are not open to alternative methods of explanation, because if you start appealing to a designer, they claim that you’ve stopped doing science. And so, they are angry at Intelligent Design advocates. I was at UC Berkeley a couple of years ago (2010), and just before I came, William Demski was on campus defending intelligent design. Do you know what happened? The biology department boycotted the meeting and wouldn’t let their graduate students attend it. There’s free thought for you. If this guy’s so stupid and his ideas are so ignorant, go to the meeting and expose him as a fraud. But, why boycott a meeting? Because when you do an undergraduate and graduate degree in science you are taught a certain set of theories that you’re not allowed to question, because if you question Darwinism, you’re now going to religion and religion and science are not supposed to mix.
  2. The cosmic authority problem. Nagel says, „I don’t want God to exist.” I think, frankly, the reason Darwinism is held widely is because of sex. In the early days of Darwinism, Huxley, who was Darwin’s bulldog, stated clearly that the reason he defended Darwinism is he wanted to do sex anyway he wanted to anytime, and he didn’t want anybody telling him what he should do. And today, we are a sex crazed culture in the west and I think evolution gives you the permission not to have to worry about a divine being who might judge your sexual behavior. I think that’s got a lot to do with it. What it doesn’t have to do with is the evidence. Because, I’m telling you, while there may be evidence for microevolution, there may even be evidence for common descent (though I don’t accept that), there is to my knowledge a terribly inadequate defense of the blind watchmaker thesis, and there are good reasons not to believe it.

 

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