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Monthly Archives: August 2010

True Calvinism According to John Calvin

Tonight, I had the fortune of spending the evening with John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion.  Though not a Calvinist myself, I did stumble across a couple of sentences that would horrify most of today's Calvinists.  Allow me to quote him:

1. THE human mind, when it hears this doctrine [referring to the Doctrine of Reprobation], cannot restrain its petulance, but boils and rages as if aroused by the sound of a trumpet. Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an invidious charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated (Bernard. in Die Ascensionis, Serm. 2). This they do ignorantly and childishly since there could be no election without its opposite reprobation.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, Chapter xxiii, Section 1. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Did you get what Calvin stated?  If not, go back and read it again.  

The Doctrine of Reprobation is the belief that not only does God chooses who goes to Heaven, but God also chooses those who will go to Hell.  He goes on to say that you cannot have the Doctrine of Election without the belief in Reprobation.

Most Calvinists today are against the idea that God chooses people to go to Hell.  They will claim that while God does in fact choose the elect for salvation, He then allows the rest to continue on their inevitable journey to destruction.  They go so far as to ostracize any Calvinist who does hold to the Doctrine of Reprobation, calling them Hyper-Calvinists.

According to John Calvin himself, anyone who denies the Doctrine of Reprobation is an ignorant child, and is not a true Calvinist.

My response?  I laugh at the heresy of Calvinism and weep over all the damage and destruction these individuals cause.  God be merciful to those who would don the mantle of Calvin and reject God's Word.  

 

Lord, open their eyes to the heresy they hold to!

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Posted by on 30-August-2010 in Uncategorized

 

Matthew 13:31-32: The Lesser of All Seeds

"Good, better, best; never let it rest; until your good gets better, and your better gets best!"  

So many pseudo-Bible Scholars love to look at the mustard seed (ref. to Matt. 13:31-32) and tout that the Bible is wrong, because the seed is not the smallest.  While the mustard seed is approximately 1/20th of an inch in size, with the smaller petunia seed about 1/50th of an inch and the yet smaller begonia some 1/100th of an inch in scale.  Even yet the smaller orchid seeds are so tiny that a 10x to 30x microscope is required for the eye to see it in any detail. Furthermore, the microscopic spores of mushrooms, lichens, and molds, which also are seeds, are so tiny and lightweight that even the slightest currents of air may carry them vast distances. These too are seeds for the word spore itself means "seed." Therefore the mustard seed is technically not the smallest seed of all. The objection has been pressed even further to say something like, "Since the mustard seed isn't the smallest of all seeds then Jesus was wrong, and if Jesus was God and made everything, He should have known that the mustard seed is not the smallest seed!

The sad part is NO God fearing Bible Scholar has ever called them to the carpet!  Why… WHY… doesn't anyone look at the Greek?!?  The word MIKROTERON (translated small, less in verse 32) is a Comparative, NOT a Superlative.  Don't believe me?  Look it up.  I double-dutch dare you.

Allow me to give you a quick lesson on adjectives.  Adjectives are used to describe nouns.  An example is, "This is a SMALL seed."  But then you have a next level of adjectives, called Comparatives.  While an adjective would be used by saying, "this is a small seed,"  a comparative would state, "this is a smaller seed."  It is an adjective that is used to compare, hence the name: Comparative.  But then we have the next step, which is called a Superlative.  Superlatives include, but are not limited to highest, greatest, grandest, etc., etc., etc. So, if we used a superlative in this sentence, it would state, "this is the smallest seed."  Understand?


The accurate translation for verse 32 is, "Which indeed is the LESSER of all the seeds….".  

Now, ask yourself the question, why is our Lord and Savior using a comparative instead of a superlative?  Why?  You cannot argue with the Greek as you sometimes can with the English.  This adjective is a comparative and not a superlative.  So, again I ask, why is God's Word using a comparative and not a superlative.  The answer is simple, and comes in two parts.  

1.)  Christ, being Creator, knows that the Mustard seed is not the absolute smallest seed.  If the Bible was in fact stating that the mustard seed was the smallest, it would not use the comparative MIKROTERON, but the true superlative: ELAXISTOS (which btw, means smallest, least).  Yet it does not!  

2.)  He is also not using this parable to teach science, but to teach a moral.  What seed is so small as a mustard seed, yet grows to be so huge?  A petunia?  No.  A mushroom?  Nope.  It's the mustard seed.
 
You see, one thing the Bible consistently does is it allows people who have chosen to reject Christ have just enough wiggle-room to talk themselves out of the truth.  If God wanted to close that hole, He could have easily made the mustard seed the smallest.  But he didn't.  We cannot come to Christ through intellectual or empirical facts.  We can only come to our Lord and Creator through FAITH (Hebrews 11:6).
 
Addendum – But I hear some of you say, the King James says it is the least of all seeds.  This is a superlative, isn't it?  My reply would be yes, but during this period of the King's English many words similar to this were in fact inter-changeable, without causing a problem.  Is the King James Bible wrong?  No.  Back then, this is a correct statement.  The problem is that the English Language shifts through time, and not God's Word.  The Authorized King James Version is still the very best English Translation available today.  My grief is that the NKJV did in fact NOT adjust this word.  Arthur Farstad was a Godly man, and a friend of mine, but he was wrong since he purposed to have the NKJV adjust the Bible to Modern English.  And all the other English translations??  Why is it that they use the word, "smallest?"  That answer is easy too!  Look who did the translating!
 

Let God be true, and every man a liar…. – Romans 3:4

 
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Posted by on 29-August-2010 in Uncategorized

 

Erasmus's 1522 Greek-Latin New Testament (3rd Edition)

Ever since I started my Bible degree ('89), I always had a fascination with electronic books, especially Bible software and electronic texts.  Over the years I have always maintained the latest and greatest Bible programs, including e-Sword, TheWord, Logos, and BibleWorks.  All of these are great, but none of them provided many early Greek texts that I wanted.  Sure, they were eager to give you the Nestle-Aaland Critical Text, and even willing to provide Scrivener's Greek Text, but not Erasmus's New Testament in Greek and Latin.

For years I had scoured the Internet for a copy to no avail.  Once, in 2006, Ink and Blood English Bible Exhibit came to Idaho Falls and I had a chance to gaze upon a copy of Erasmus's text, but even think about touching it made the security guards nervous.  After dialoguing with several software providers, I almost gave up hope of even obtaining even a glance at the text.

Until now…

Last week, I ran across Bibles.org.uk.  It provided a list of free Bible texts, sadly of which were not in a pdf format but in DejaVue format.  I wasn't too excited about this, but I was curious about their online store.  Thinking that I was too poor to buy anything, I thought i was safe.  I was wrong.  The link directed me to Lulu.com's Bible Storefront.  There I found many interesting an wonderful pdf sources for Greek texts, but the most fantastic find was Erasmus's 1522 3rd Edition Greek-Latin New Testament.

Needless to say, I was not hesitant to grab a copy.  For less than $15.00 I had fulfilled a 20 year old quest.

 
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Posted by on 28-August-2010 in Uncategorized

 

Romans 6: The Key to the Prison Cell

{Our church has a Reformer's Unanimous (aka RUI) program.  Though it originally geared for substance abusers, RUI also is great for Christian growth and development.  While going through this program, we are asked to do several challenges: memorizing Scripture, journaling, and writing reports.  Where i am at right now, I am asked to write a small essay on what Romans 6 means to the believer.  Though the requirement only asks for 100 words, I just wrote what came to my mind in as short an essay as possible.  And here it is.}

Romans 6 is a vital key for the believer in relation to his Christian walk.

Through out his unregenerate life, the Christian was bound to sin as a slave is bound to his master. If he tries to escape that master will have the power and authority to hunt him down and capture the hapless soul. Sin was the same way. The poor unregenerate works and struggles to better himself, only to be found still shackled to sin. No matter what he does, no matter where he goes, he does not have the ability to free himself from the bondage that will only end in death.
 
Romans six announces that great joy that the child of God, those who put their trust in Jesus Christ now has a new master. Gone are the chains that bind the soul to his former master. Gone is the authority sin had over the man. Gone is the power. Gone is the fear. Gone are the consequences of sin. As Christ died on the cross, we share in that death, becoming dead to sin. When our Lord and Savior rose from the tomb, we also rose with Him in newness of life. Now, we no longer have to obey sin. We have that option.
 
The problem is that sin is not muzzled. Though he cannot touch you, this evil master, can entice you and threaten you to serve him again. When the believer must realize is that his threats and promises are hollow and vain. Though we are free from sin, doesn’t mean we are isolated from sin. Sanctification is a three-fold course.
 
1.)           Salvation brings separation from the Penalty of Sin.
2.)           Christian maturity brings separation from the Power of Sin.
3.)           and Death brings separation from the Presence of Sin!
 
Romans Six is the key to our prison cell. The chains are loosed, the cell door is unlocked, and the prison guards are powerless. Whether you leave that prison cell or not depends on you!
 
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Posted by on 27-August-2010 in Uncategorized

 

Logos 4 Now Coming to Mac

For years, Logos software has been the pinnacle tool for all serious Bible students, teachers, pastors, and scholars.  It is a robust tool that allows you to search through your entire library and like any good tool, it allows you to increase your speed and quality of work.

Last November, Logos came out with Version 4.  Being a much more powerful tool than Logos 3, people were quick to grab it up.  The problem was, Logos 4 didn't work on the Mac computers.

Until Now.

On October 1st, Logos 4 will be coming out for the Apple Macintosh computers.  As with the PC version, it will provide some really serious tools.

Stop by Logos and check it out for yourself.  It's well worth the investment.

 

 

Logos Bible Software is giving away thousands of dollars of prizes to celebrate the launch of Logos Bible Software 4 Mac on October 1. Prizes include an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod Touch, and more than 100 other prizes!

They’re also having a special limited-time sale on their Mac and PC base packages and upgrades. Check it out!

 
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Posted by on 21-August-2010 in Uncategorized

 

Which Textus Receptus Do You Hold To?

Several days ago, I joined another Christian forum.  In my introductions, I had stated that even though I personally consider the Authorized King James Version to be the superior English translation, this does not make me a KJV-Only adherent. I concluded by claiming to be a TR-Only person, holding to the conviction that the Received Text is superior over the liberal's Critical Text.

An immediate sharp reply came in the form of the query, "Which Textus Receptus do you hold to?"

Now, I have danced with enough scorners and pseudo-Bible Scholars enough to know, that they really are not interested in my answer, but only to show their intellectual prowess. Yet, setting their motivations aside, it really is a good question.

Allow me to explain:
1. Today's copy of the Textus Receptus (which is published by the Trinitarian Bible Society) is actually Scrivner's Text (circa. 1881 and 1894). At first, he along with many of his colleagues were duped by Westcott and Hort until he realized the true impact of their heresy. Though it is claimed that Scrivner "reverse-engineered" his Greek Text from the King James, he did more than this in a different direction, of which I will explain later.

2. Before Scrivner's Text we then have Beza's Greek Text of 1565. Beza was Calvin's successor, and was a popular Reformed Scholar of his time.

3. Going back further, we have Stephanus Greek Text of 1550. This was compiled by Robert I Estienne, who was also known as Robertus Stephanus in Latin.

4. The predecessor to Estienne was Desiderius Erasmus himself. Erasmus was commissioned by the pope to recompile the Latin Vulgate. Yet, he thought best to also include in his text the original Greek text. He had the impression that scholars in different countries, speaking different languages would receive better profit from the original text than from a Latin translation of the Greek. This work began in 1512, and was printed in 1522. This is where the title Textus Receptus came from, which is Latin for "Received Text".

Erasmus took the overwhelming collection of Byzantine Manuscripts as his source (and possibly referred to the Complutensian Polyglot <who knows?> which also came from the same manuscripts). Approximately 50 to 60 years earlier, the Byzantine Empire fell to the Muslims, which caused a massive exodus of the Eastern Empire to the West, bringing with it the Greek texts, and fresh ideas of the culture, which I personally believe ignited the Renaissance Period. With the deterioration of these manuscripts Erasmus thought it wise to compile them together which gave birth to the TR.

The Complutensian Polyglot came several years earlier, and did not officially bear the title Textus Receptus, but is useful in textual criticism.

————————————————————————-
Summation:
So you see where this individual is coming from. As a scholar I firmly hold to not only the doctrine of Plenary Verbal Inspiration of God's Word, but I also strongly believe that God dynamically and personally preserved His Word through time. This "skeptic", in an attempt to derail me, tosses the question (of which I will expand), "Which Textus Receptus do you believe is 'pure' since there are a handful of Received Texts through time?"

My answer to him is, "yes, all of them."
————————————————————————-



Now, before I allow this scorner to jump up and shout "ah-ha!" allow me to steal his thunder. Between Erasmus and Scrivner, there are words that differ, If you open up a Critical text and TR side-by-side, you will notice variants. Words are spelled differently, and some add to, and some take away whole phrases. This is the same between the TRs, BUT TO A MUCH LESSER DEGREE.

The biggest gripe the liberal scholars hear, coming out of the TR Camp is that the Critical Text (aka Westcott-Hort Text, Nestle-Aaland Text, UBS Text) and the Textus Receptus has too many differences. They chortle over the fact that the varying TRs also contain differences. What they don't tell you is that these differences are far less significant than found in the inferior texts of the codices Siniaticus and Vaticanus.  While the difference between the Critical Text is several thousand, the differences between the various recognized texts which have been referred to as "Textus Recpetus" is just a scant handful.  And these variances can be quickly identified and make no impact on interpretation.

I'll give you one such example, and it is found in Luke 2:22. In the TR as a whole, the phrase we need to focus on is, "…the days of her purification…." In the Stephanus Text, he uses the feminine plural pronoun, which reads in English, "…the days of their purification…." Between the TR and the Critical Text, this is a minor variance, but it is significant to those who believe that God preserved His Word! But let's take a look at it.

In the computer networking world, there is a term called CRC-Check Sums. A checksum is usually a bit or two of data, attached to a larger data packet which is a key sort of. When a data packet comes in, the receiving computer tally's up all the data in a number and compares it to the check sum. If they agree, then the data is accepted. If they do NOT agree, the receiving computer requests that the data packet gets resent. This retains the integrity of the data traveling across the Internet.

The Bible does the same thing! <w00t to all you Christian geeks out there!>

If you've been in a Bible-Believing church long enough, you will hear a preacher say, "The very best commentary for the Bible, is the Bible itself!" This is a true saying.

Now, Luke 2:22 is referring to an Old Testament Ceremonial Law, which is found in Leviticus 12. In Lev. 12:1-4, it talks about how a woman who has just given birth is ceremonially unclean. She needs to wait 8 days, then her son is circumcised, and she can bring an offering to the temple (or tabernacle). Yet, look at verse 4, "…until the days of her purifying be fulfilled."

So, which pronoun should be used? That's a no-brainer: "her."

Also is the fact that while all of these texts have been dubbed, "Textus Receptus", the ones who bear the most variants have never been used to translate another Bible, ergo, not truly being a Received Text.


Once again, the scorners, and godless are quick to jump up and proclaim, "That is only evidence of the Lucian Recension!"

I now have to pose the question, "who taught you about Lucian of Antioch and the Lucian Recension?"

The source of this lie stems from none other than the liberal theologians themselves! There never was a Lucian of Antioch. There never was a Lucian Recension! It was made up to give a false-credence to the Westcott and Hort Text. It was conjured up by those who refuse to see God's protective hand and Satan's diabolical plans to corrupt the text. Rather, they want to impress each other by their massive intellect. They love to be patted on the backs by their godless peers, rather than seek after God's approval.


But what about the accusation that Scrivner doctored his text to crow-bar it to the King James? Who told you he did that? Ah… the liberal theologians.

The translators of the Authorized Version didn't just pull their translation out of thin air, as the godless would like you to believe. Neither did Scrivner hap-hazardly concoct a new Greek Text from the King James Bible.

The whole point of standing for the Textus Receptus over the Critical Text is that God promised to preserve His Word.  Do you cling to men who cannot help but mock and ridicule God's Word, or will you believe the Bible:

Psalms 12:6-7
6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Psalms 119:89
89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Isaiah 40:8
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Matthew 5:18
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
1 Peter 1:23-25
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The text itself apart from God's Holy Spirit is just a book.  But it's what we do with this book, and the influence of God's Holy Spirit is what the true value is.

 

Who do you believe?

 

The choice is yours.

 
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Posted by on 19-August-2010 in Uncategorized

 

Free Online Bible Study Tools

It's now 4:10PM on a Wednesday.  I have 25 minutes to kill, before I need to toddle off and begin my routines for tonight's class.  Since there isn't a whole lot that can be done in 25 minutes, I figured that I could best use it to toss off a quick note and let you folk know about a free web site I had found the other day.

This site is called Bible Study Tools, So far as I have seen, it's a free online service providing quick access to general study tools, including Bible translations, dictionaries, and encyclopedias.  Though most of us already have either e-Sword, or TheWord loaded up on our main computers, there are times when we are visiting a friend's house, or working on another workstation, that a quick and easy service like this is extremely useful.

When you get an opportunity, stop by the site and check out what's available, in order to see if it could meet your needs.

 
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Posted by on 11-August-2010 in Uncategorized