Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Roe Thomas Holleman

Today I post brief bios of two first cousins, Richard Valentine Holleman (1874-1969, son of Clinton Marion Holleman) and Roe Thomas Holleman (1884-1912, son of Robert Houston Holleman). R. V. was a Primitive Baptist preacher. R. T. was a Missionary Baptist preacher. Both were first cousins of my maternal grandmother, a daughter of Moody Valentine Holleman. One candle burned brightly and quickly. Cousin Roe Holleman died of spinal meningitis in the 27th year of his age. He was licensed to preach in March 1901, and ordained December 21, 1902 – making his time in the ministry about ten years. The other candle burned slowly and steadily. Cousin Richard Holleman died in the 95th year of his age, after nearly 63 years in the ministry. He was ordained December 15, 1905. Surely now any religious differences they had are all resolved!

At least two other Holleman-side first cousins were also preachers – Nehemiah Morris “Nead” Holleman, son of John Lawrence Holleman, and Moody Cunningham Hays, son of Parmelia C. Holleman Hays.[i] I have little biographical information on either of these, but may be able to post something later. I once heard the following story about Nead Holleman. He received a call to a church to the south – perhaps around Livingston where he is buried. He moved, did not harvest his crop, but left it for his neighbors to harvest and to have.

The youngest man ever to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches was Roe Thomas Holleman, in 1907 and 1908. He was born on September 27, 1884, in the Oak Flat community between Mt. Enterprise and Laneville, Rusk County, Texas. His parents were Robert H. Holleman and Nancy Jane Vaughn.

Roe Holleman attended rural schools in Rusk County, and graduated from high school at Cushing, Nacogdoches County.[ii] He felt the divine call to preach at the age of seventeen. He was licensed by Smyrna Baptist in March 1901. In the March conference Smyrna church elected a committee “to investigate the matter in regard to Brethren Roe Holleman and Edwin Stanford’s application to preach.” The committee retired forthwith, evidently in consultation with the prospective ministers, came back and made their report in the same meeting, and the two were given “the privilege to preach.” Roe Holleman began preaching in rural churches in Rusk County.

Roe Holleman conducted divine services in the Smyrna Church conference of July 1901, and again in August. He enrolled in Jacksonville Baptist College, and seems to have attended there 1902-1904. On October 18, 1902, Smyrna Church considered the request of W. B. Perry, representing Mt. Enon Church, for ordination of Bro. R. T. Holleman to the full work of the ministry. Ordination of Brethren J. W. Bryan and J. A. Jones to the deaconship was already pending, the first date for the deaconship service not having been kept “on account of Providential hinderance (sic) in the form of rain.” Consequently, the two deacons and the minister were all ordained on December 21, 1902. Bro. J. A. Lee preached the ordination sermon; other members of the presbytery were Elders E. C. Rice, M. L. Vaughn, Wm. M. Pruitt, V. T. Vaughn, Jas. A. Long, and J. J. Burks.

In 1906-1907, he served as pastor of both the Sacul Baptist Church in Sacul and the Central Baptist Church in Cushing, both in Nacogdoches County. His reputation as a preacher soon spread to the town of Nacogdoches, where the First Baptist Church secured his services as pastor. After resigning his Nacogdoches pastorate, he returned to Cushing where he again served as pastor for a time.

In his earliest ministry, Roe Holleman apparently maintained his membership for the most part of the time in the Smyrna Church, though he was pastoring elsewhere. His ministry began in turbulent times for associational Baptists in Texas. Disgruntled members (and possibly some non-members) of the Baptist General Convention of Texas – often designated as the “church-party” – formed the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas in 1900. Smyrna Church supported the “church-party” and the BMA of Texas. Supporters of the BGT of Texas were termed the “board-party.” Roe Holleman struggled with his affiliation. In February 1905, the church voted to “receive the credentials of Bro. R. T. Holleman for the present by his request to wait for further developments.” Subsequently the church voted to restore the credentials of Brother Holleman on July 15 of the same year. This circumstance likely was related to the division and his attempt to find his place in it. Eventually Roe Holleman cast his lot with board-party (Convention) Baptists.[iii]

Roe Holleman married Ola Menefee of Huntsville, Texas on December 30, 1908, who was at that time teaching in the Cushing High school. To this union were born two sons, Irvin Thomas Holleman and Samuel Brooks Holleman. At some point, he enrolled in and attended Baylor University, with 1911-12 being his senior year. Roe Holleman died during that senior year on January 18, 1912, of cerebral meningitis. While attending Baylor, he had an appointment once a month at Cushing. He had traveled from Waco, filled his appointment at Cushing on Sunday morning January 14, and then went to his parents’ home in the Oak Flat Community. He became sick Sunday afternoon, and suffered greatly from what was diagnosed as spinal meningitis. He died on Thursday in the home of his parents.[iv]

Roe Thomas Holleman was considered a very brilliant young preacher, who, had he lived a longer life, might have become one of the foremost preachers in Texas.[v] From the two sources we know that Roe Holleman pastored at least these churches: Central Baptist, Cushing, Nacogdoches County; First Baptist, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County; Mt. Enon Baptist, Rusk County; Sacul Baptist, Sacul, Nacogdoches County.

This biography combines information from Seventy-five Years in Nacogdoches by William Tellis Parmer, Centennial + 5 by James Wyatt Griffith, East Texas Family Records, and family information passed down.

[i] Roe also had three first cousins on the Vaughn side who were Baptist preachers, Robert Raymond Scruggs, Benjamin Lewis Vaughn, and William Wyatt Vaughn.
[ii] Likely because the rural schools did not have as many grades as the schools in towns. Even in the 1930s when by parents were in high school, Oak Flat had 10 grades, and both went to other schools to attend the 11th grade.
[iii] Planning a simple memorial service for Roe Holleman was not so simple. The following incident reminds us of the super-strained feelings from the Baptist division of 1900. “Unended bitterness resulted from this schism of Baptists. Especially was there strong feeling in the beginning. The most apparent case in the Smyrna Church was that involving Bro. Roe Holleman. After the untimely death of Bro. Holleman January 18, 1912 some desired to hold a memorial service in the Smyrna Church building, with Bro. Leland Malone, a Convention pastor, giving the message. This was not allowed until, on March 12, ‘on motion the church granted Elder Leland Malone the use of the church house to hold Bro. Roe Holleman’s funeral service the third Sunday in April, 1912.’” Centennial + 5: History of Smyrna Baptist Church of Rusk County, Texas, 1873-1978, J. W. Griffith, Henderson, TX: , 1978, p. 18.
[iv] There are some conflicts on his death date. Seventy-five Years in Nacogdoches gives January 17. An obituary reproduced in East Texas Family Records (Vol. 7, No. 2, Summer 1983, p. 29) says he died “Friday morning at 7 o’clock” – which would have been the 19th of January. Engraved on his tombstone is January 18, 1912, which I have accepted as correct and consistent with our family records.
[v] Seventy-five Years in Nacogdoches: a History of the First Baptist Church, 1884-1959, William Tellis Parmer, Dallas, TX: Dorsey Company, 1959, pp. 207-208. His widow, Mrs. Ola Parker, gave some of the biographical information given by William T. Parmer.

Richard Valentine Holleman

Today I post brief bios of two first cousins, Richard Valentine Holleman (1874-1969, son of Clinton Marion Holleman) and Roe Thomas Holleman (1884-1912, son of Robert Houston Holleman). R. V. was a Primitive Baptist preacher. R. T. was a Missionary Baptist preacher. Both were first cousins of my maternal grandmother, a daughter of Moody Valentine Holleman. One candle burned brightly and quickly. Cousin Roe Holleman died of spinal meningitis in the 27th year of his age. He was licensed to preach in March 1901, and ordained December 21, 1902 – making his time in the ministry about ten years. The other candle burned slowly and steadily. Cousin Richard Holleman died in the 95th year of his age, after nearly 63 years in the ministry. He was ordained December 15, 1905. Surely now any religious differences they had are all resolved!

At least two other Holleman-side first cousins were also preachers – Nehemiah Morris “Nead” Holleman, son of John Lawrence Holleman, and Moody Cunningham Hays, son of Parmelia C. Holleman Hays. I have little biographical information on either of these, but may be able to post something later. I once heard the following story about Nead Holleman. He received a call to a church to the south – perhaps around Livingston where he is buried. He moved, did not harvest his crop, but left it for his neighbors to harvest and to have.

FROM ELDER AFTON RICHARDS IN THE “BANNER OF LOVE” OCTOBER 1961: Our Profile this issue is of Elder R. V. Holleman, a pioneer minister of Southeast Texas.

I have not been very closely associated with this good man, but have corresponded with him for some 20 or more years, and heard him preach a few times.

He is counted as one of the truly great old fathers in Israel. While he retired a few years ago, he is still a great influence for good among Primitive Baptists.

My father, who was more closely associated with him, especially in the mid 40’s, said the courts missed one of their best gifts when Brother Holleman did not study law. He said that he had a brilliant technical mind. And my observation of him has proven to me that this is true.

I remember some two years ago some time after he retired, at a session of the Primitive Association, Brother Rowell, the moderator, whom custom said should preach Sunday morning, in his kind way bowed out and gave the time to Brother Holleman. His mind was so clear, and he took a subject and discussed it from a technical standpoint, like an attorney briefing his case. This too, presented in the spirit of the Lord. It could not be put into words the great worth to the cause of Christ of such able old soldiers as Brother Holleman.

WRITTEN BY ELDER HOLLEMAN: I was born in Rusk County, Texas, August 28, 1874 and moved to Leon County October 1884. I have lived in the Wealthy Community since. I united in marriage to Miss Eva Mae Gilbert (who was born Dec. 25, 1884) Dec. 15, 1907. She has been loyal.

I united to Union Church in Leon County on Saturday before the second Sunday in October 1894 and was ordained Dec. 15, 1905. I was in the constitution of Mt. Zion Church at Wealthy in April 1904, and I am the only living charter member.

During my ministry, I have served the three churches in Leon and Madison Counties, one of them (Shiloh) for 47 years. I have served as moderator of our association for 19 years. I have united in marriage 210 couples. I have estimated that I have been in 750 funerals. I have baptized 169 persons.[i]

WRITTEN BY DAVID MONTGOMERY: Elder Holleman had a wide influence in southeast Texas, and the memory of his ministry still lingers in the hearts of the Primitive Baptists in that area. He served the Fellowship Church in Madisonville, Texas for 45 years. He was a civic leader, being instrumental in the extension of rural electrical service into his area. He was postmaster of Wealthy, Texas from 1905 to 1914. He ran a general store at Wealthy for several years and almost went bankrupt when he accepted cotton for more than its value in lieu of money just to help his neighbors out. He served as a school trustee and was a member of the Leon Country Volunteer Parole Board. He was well respected in the church and in his community. He was laid to rest September 12, 1969 at the age of 95 years and 14 days.

The above is taken from Biographical Sketches of Primitive or Old School Baptist Ministers, Volume 2 –  Published 2001 by David Montgomery and Mark Green, and used by permission.

Additional information from his niece, Opal Holleman Miller, who described him as “a gentle smart man”:
  • R. V. Holleman was baptized by Elder J. C. Denton on Sunday October, 14, 1894, the morning after he united with the Union Primitive Baptist Church by experience.
  • R. V. Holleman taught music and was a song leader, in addition to his preaching ministry.
  • R. V. Holleman resigned the pastoral care of his churches in 1952, but continued to serve Mt. Zion and Union in other ways, including church clerk.
  • Beginning in 1948, couples he had married started a tradition of visiting Elder Holleman and his wife every 3rd Sunday in May, and continued the tradition until his death.[ii]

[i] Sometime after writing this, Richard Holleman remembered one other baptism he had forgotten, bringing the total to 170. A complete list of “Baptisms Held by Elder Richard Valentine Holleman, Primitive Baptist Minister” can be found in Leon Hunters Dispatch, Vol. 14, No. 3, Spring 1993, pp. 80-85.
[ii] When Gilford Vaughn pastored Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church at Normangee, Texas, he told me that R. V. Holleman had married most all of the older couples in his church.

Monday, December 30, 2019

No one really understands

“No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems.  They are trying to solve their own problems -- of which getting elected and re-elected are No. 1 and No. 2.  Whatever is No. 3 is far behind.”
Thomas Sowell

The reproach of the foolish

“Make me not the reproach of the foolish.” Psalm 39:8
Who are these “foolish?” I think the best answer to this question is given by our Lord himself, in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. “The foolish” were those who had oil in their lamps, but none in their vessels. By “the foolish” in the text, therefore, we may understand those who have the light of knowledge in their heads, and the lamp of profession in their hands, but no oil of grace in their hearts. They are “foolish,” because they know neither God nor themselves, neither sin nor salvation, neither the depth of the fall nor the greatness of the remedy. They are “foolish,” as regards themselves, in thinking that light and knowledge will save them, without life and grace; and they are “foolish,” as regards others, for want of an experimental acquaintance with the heart.
J. C. Philpot

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Time how swift

Hymns on the seasons: “Time how swift,” by John Newton, a hymn in 7s. meter with 8 lines.

1. While with ceaseless course the sun
Hasted through the former year,
Many souls their race have run,
Never more to meet us here;
Fixed in an eternal fate,
They have done with all below;
We a little longer wait,
But how little—none can know.

2. As the wingèd arrow flies
Speedily the mark to find;
As the lightning from the skies
Darts, and leaves no trace behind;
Swiftly thus our fleeting days
Bear us down life’s rapid stream;
Upwards, Lord, our spirits raise,
All below is but a dream.

Thanks for mercies past receive,
Pardon of our sins renew;
Teach us, henceforth, how to live
With eternity in view:
Bless Thy Word to young and old,
Fill us with a Savior’s love;
And when life’s short tale is told,
May we dwell with Thee above.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Scripture is the manger, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify when possible.)

“Scripture is the manger in which the Christ lies. As a parent goes to a cot to find their baby, so the Christian goes to the Bible to find Jesus. Don’t inspect the cot and forget to worship the baby.” -- Martin Luther

“Out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires have come the deepest things I know about God.” -- Elisabeth Elliot

“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger.” -- Jonathan Turley

“The paradox is indeed that new life is born out of the pains of the old.” -- Henri Nouwen

“The need for simple, radical, embodied love is as acute today as it ever was.” -- Denny Burk

“There is a God we want, and a God who is, and the two are not the same.” -- Ligon Duncan

“Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone’s garden.” -- Unknown

“Immanuel, God with us, means God is truly among all classes of people, not simply the connected or well-resourced.” -- Daniel Darling

“The Spirit is absent in the event of the cross in most theologies.” -- Rustin Umstattd

“Satan loves to fish in the troubled waters of a discontented heart.” -- Thomas Watson

“The Lord is all power. I am nothing but his instrument. The Lord tunes the instrument.” -- Heard

“If you use carnal means to attract men, you’re going to attract carnal men.  And you’re going to have to keep using greater carnal means to keep them in the church.” -- Paul Washer

“A person who can’t worship God in his church, because it uses carnal worship and doesn’t preach a true gospel or have a true God, should leave that church and go to one that does.” -- Kent Brandenburg

Bethel Church Hires Crisis Manager, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Sacred Name Movement, IDMR

Until now, at best the “Sacred Name Movement” was only in my peripheral vision, something of which I vaguely knew. Recent events changed that, and I have sought to read and know more about it – not because I think it a viable teaching, but because it is in error.

In short, the “Sacred Name Movement” is or includes any church or denomination that teaches the use of only the original Hebrew names for God and Jesus. Therefore, only “Yahweh” is to be used as the name for the one whom Christians recognize as God the Father, and only “Yahshua” is to be used as the name for Jesus (or the Holy Spirit).[i] Names such as God and Jesus are pagan and blasphemous.

According to many sources, the Sacred Name Movement developed within the Church of God, Seventh Day in the 1930s, chiefly by the instrument of Clarence O. Dodd and his periodical The Faith.[ii] The movement attempts to answer Proverbs 30:4, “What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” In October 1938, The Faith magazine carried an article by Angelo B. Traina, who later developed the Holy Name Bible. Triana’s titled his article “What is His Son’s Name?” In the article, his answer was “Jahovah” for the Father and “Jah-hoshua” for the Son.[iii] The movement wavered and wandered from name to name, Jehovah, Jahovah, Jahweh, Yahvah, and so on, finally settling on Yahweh as the preferred spelling.[iv] By 1941 Dodd was settled, and November of that year he placed the names of Yahweh and Yahshua in the masthead of his magazine. Further, he concluded that the titles Lord, God, and Jesus Christ would no longer appear in The Faith.

Angelo B. Traina created the first “Sacred Name Bible.” In 1950, he published the New Testament. The complete Bible, Old and New Testaments, was published in 1963 – called The Holy Name Bible, Containing the Holy Name Version of the Old and New Testaments. The Holy Name Bible is a reworked King James Version of the Bible. Traina founded the Scripture Research Association, to distribute the Holy Name Bible.[v]

Most of the Sacred Name Movement brings its followers under the Old Testament Law, the seventh-day Sabbath, the food laws, and the Jewish feasts.[vi] However, the body I encountered, the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research (IDMR), distinctly departs from this method in a very opposite direction. Not only does IDMR not hold its followers under the Old Testament Law, neither do they observe New Testament ordinances such as baptism and the Lord’s supper. The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research pronounces salvation as by grace through faith, and not by works of righteousness. However, it must come through the right name. The name chart at IDMR’s website claims the true names are Yahweh (the Father), Yahshua (Holy Spirit), and Yahweh Elohim (Word or Son). On the other hand, Yesu, Yeshua, Yehowah, Jehovah, Adonai, Jesus, Lord, and God are all “false and vain names and titles.”

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research originated with Henry Clifford Kinley, a Church of God preacher, and what he called a divine panoramic vision that occurred in 1931. Kinley thus describes his experience:
I have repeatedly declared and avowed that I, Henry C. Kinley, received a Divine Vision and Revelation in the Year 1931 just as Moses, Paul and other of the Prophets and Apostles and it was one of the most Panoramic and Stupendous visions ever given unto man…. with this Divine Vision and Revelation, I received power to foretell every world-wide event and happening and to heal all manner of physical illness as a witness to the fact…[vii]
Henry C. Kinley founded his teachings in a grand vision, this revelation that he received in 1931. He said he saw “the happenings of all the patriarchs from Adam on down” and “understood the whole Purpose of Yahweh from start to finish.” Nevertheless, the God of his vision inexplicably forgot to inform Kinley about the Sacred Name! Thirty years after the vision – 1961 – Kinley wrote his magnum opus and titled it God: the Archetype (Original) Pattern of the Universe![viii] In the second edition of 1969, he corrected this to Elohim: the Archetype (Original) Pattern of the Universe.[ix]

Numerous flaws exist in Sacred Name theology in general, and in the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research in particular – which I will address next, briefly. Some of the flaws are readily apparent, while others will require deeper digging.

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research considers itself a school of research rather than a church. However, Jesus did not promise to build a school, but said rather, “upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). If IDMR is not his church, it is a false church and rightly no church at all (as they admit).

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research is grounded in a vision of its founder. In the vision which purportedly revealed to Henry Kinley the whole purpose of Yahweh from start to finish, the “Sacred Name” obviously was not revealed, since Kinley was not consistently using it until some 35 or so years later. How could one have confidence in a vision that was deficient in the Sacred Name department, if the Sacred Name theology were really true?

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research creates fake history – that the New Testament was written originally in Hebrew. There is zero evidence of this made-up fact. A. B. Traina calls mistaken the belief that “the New Testament originals were written in, nay inspired in, the Greek language.” Yet, there are thousands of Greek manuscripts and fragments of the New Testament. In addition, there are thousands of manuscripts in Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Syriac, etc. On the other hand, there are NO Hebrew manuscripts of the New Testament.

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research mistakes the text of the Old Testament, which does not have ONLY ONE Bible name for “God.”[x] The Old Testament applies many names – Yahweh, Adonai, Elohim, El Shaddai, etc. In his Bible “Preface,” A. B. Traina writes, “For Yahweh they have substituted Baal, the Babylonian deity, and Adonay, the Canaanitish deity of the Phoenicians, both corresponding to the English word Lord.” Despite Traina’s asseration, Adon, Adonai or Adonay (Hebrew: אֲדֹנָי) is found over 400 times in the Hebrew Old Testament referring to Jehovah Yahweh God. It is first used in Genesis 15:2. Cf. Joshua 3:11. Yahweh himself makes clear he does not have just one name – Exodus 6:3 “and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name YAHWEH was I not known to them.”

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research fails to follow the example of Yahshua the Messiah. He prays and teaches us to pray using the title Abba/Father rather than a name.

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research does not trust the Bible, does not really believe it is inerrant, and does not believe it is preserved. According to Traina, until 1963 translation efforts were faulty. The “extant translations,” he writes, “have failed to bring out the true message of the Scriptures.” He would have us believe, however, that his random “corrections” of the King James Bible render the Holy Name Bible acceptable “to bring out the true message of the Scriptures.”

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research is cultic in their approach to knowledge. They own hidden knowledge. Neither their Bible nor their writings are readily accessible. Nonetheless, if they supply to you and you read their material and do not come to the right conclusion, members will say that you need to attend their meetings to understand their teachings.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that both the Sacred Name Movement and the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research misinterpret scripture and misunderstand language – both the language of scripture and how language works. A word or name is not the thing or person, but represents it. I can be Robert in English, Roberto in Spanish, Robrecht in German, Rupert in Dutch, Robertus in Latin, Bob or Bobby for short, but what matters is who you are talking about, not in what language you are speaking. The God of the Bible and his name transcends languages; he is the God of all the earth who hast redeemed us out of “every tongue.”

[i] The exact names are not consistent throughout the movement.
[ii] The Church of God, Seventh Day is part of the larger Adventist movement, and is among those who reject the teachings of Ellen G. White and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
[iii] Jehovah is a Latinization of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton יהוה. The name Jehovah/Iehouah appeared in most early in English Bibles, but not to any great degree. It appears eight times in the 1599 Geneva Bible, and seven times in the 1611 King James (according to Bible Gateway). They most frequently give “the Lord” as the equivalent of the Tetragrammaton. The 1901 American Standard Version of the Bible might be considered the pioneer in a standard translation using Jehovah, the “Sacred Name.” The name appears in the American Standard Version in 5831 different verses of the Old Testament. The Young’s Literal Translation has “Jehovah” in 5787 verses; the new Lexham English Bible uses “Yahweh” in 5824 verses – but does not use Yahshua in the New Testament.
[iv] Though this generally seems to be the preferred spelling, it certainly is not the sole spelling, and some publications choose simply to insert the Hebrew Tetragrammaton יהוה instead of an English translation. The four Hebrew letters, reading from right to left, are yodh, he, waw and he. Curiously, though IDMR makes much of the “Y” in creation – the y in trees, grass, the nose & eyebrows – the Hebrew “yodh” does not look like an English “Y”.
[v] The Holy Name Bible is not a translation, but rather changes names and words in the English KJV text to Hebrew-based forms. The “Preface” to the Holy Name Bible can be read HERE.
[vi] While the Sacred Name Movement seems very pro-Jewish, it can range from that to ambivalent to anti-Semitic. Traina’s Holy Name Bible “Preface” has an odd footnote that “The Caucasian people are Israel.”
[vii] Elohim the Archetype (Original) Pattern of the Universe, p. 3.
[viii] A copy of God: the Archetype (Original) Pattern of the Universe, by Henry Clifford Kinley, ©1961, is held by American Jewish University Libraries.
[ix] What purports to be a copy or copies of Elohim: the Archetype (Original) Pattern of the Universe can be found HERE and HERE.
[x] Traina and others argue that God has many “titles” but only one name. See his “Preface.” This contradicts Exodus 6:3 (noted above), as well as verses like Exodus 34:14 – which says a description of God or his character is his name.

Abbrevations of English Bible Translations

Hopefully you can click and see a smaller list also

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Jesus is unique

Jesus is unique – existing as the only one or as the sole example; one of a kind; unlike anything else; having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable.

In his birth.
Jesus is pre-existent eternal God, creator of heaven and earth. He was born of a virgin, made flesh and dwelt among us. There is none other birth like it! John 1:1-3John 1:14Isaiah 7:14Luke 1:30-35Matthew 1:18-23; Galatians 4:4.

In his life.
Jesus was sent from the Father to seek and save that which was lost. He came not to serve, not to be served. Unlike every other life, his was holy, sinless, and undefiled. There is none other life like it! John 8:18; Mark 10:45Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:26.

In his death.
Jesus had complete power or control over his death. Unlike every other death, he could retain the spirit from death, or dismiss the spirit at the moment he was finished. Further, his death was vicarious, that is, he died not for himself, for he had no sin, but he died for others. He died for sin, for sinners, to save. There is none other death like it! Ecclesiastes 8:8Romans 6:23John 19:30Romans 5:81 Peter 3:18.

In his resurrection.
Jesus had not only control his own death, but owned victory over death itself. He did not just rise from the dead, but is the resurrection and the life. In death and life, he is Lord of the dead and the living, and ever lives to make intercession. There is none other resurrection like it! Revelation 1:18John 11:25; Romans 14:9; Mark 16:6; Hebrews 7:25.

The truth of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ finds expression in his eternal Godhead, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his sacrificial death, and his glorious resurrection. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Great Creator makes

1. Behold the great Creator makes
Himself a house of clay,
A robe of virgin flesh He takes
Which He will wear for aye.

2. Hark, hark, the wise eternal Word,
Like a weak infant cries!
In form a servant is the Lord,
And God in cradles lies.

3. This wonder struck the world amazed,
It shook the starry frame;
Squadrons of spirits stood and gazed,
Then down in troops they came.

4. Glad shepherds ran to view this sight;
A choir of angels sings,
And eastern sages with delight
Adore this King of kings.

5. Join then, all hearts that are not stone,
And all our voices prove,
To celebrate this holy One
The God of peace and love.

These words were written by Thomas Pestell (circa 1584-1659). Pestel was a chaplain to King Charles. This Endris Night seems to be the tune with which the hymn most commonly appears.

What a lovely scene

“It is not enough to peek in the manger and say, ‘Oh, how nice. What a lovely scene. It gives me such good feelings.’ The truth is, even if Christ were born in Bethlehem a thousand times but not within you, you would be eternally lost. The Christ who was born into the world must be born in your heart. Religious sentiment, even at Christmastime, without the living Christ is a yellow brick road to darkness.”
R. Kent Hughes, in Luke: That You May Know the Truth

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Why Mary? (Repeat)

Why did God choose Mary to be the mother of Jesus? Most look for something in Mary who is or for something she did. “She was a young Jewish virgin.” “She was holy.” “She was receptive.” And on it goes. Out of all the women who have ever lived, was she the only receptive holy young virgin? Out of all the young unmarried Jewish women in her day, was she the only receptive holy young virgin? Why did God choose Mary? The Bible does not say. The wrong answer has made Mary the object of worship and special adoration.

The birth of Jesus Christ happened as much according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God as his crucifixion. He came in the fullness of time – God’s time – to the right people in the right place. He fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of his first advent.

Why did God choose Mary? The Bible does not say. Nevertheless, this we know. The angel announced to Mary, “thou hast found favour with God.” The Greek word for favour is “charis”, which is translated “grace” well over 100 times in the Bible. Mary became the mother of Jesus by GOD’S unmerited favour, his eternal choice, and his unlimited power. It was nothing that Mary did. It was nothing that she was. God extended grace. Oh, how the natural man recoils from this being an unconditional choice on God’s part. However, God did not ask Mary if she, a young unmarried Jewish virgin girl who had never known a man, wanted to be the mother of the Saviour. He chose her. He called her. The Holy Ghost came upon her, she conceived and brought forth a Son and called his name Jesus – “for he shall save his people from their sins.”

How like God’s choice of Mary is his choice to save poor undeserving sinners. It is nothing they do. It is nothing they are. God extends grace. Thank God for his grace!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Eggs and Potatoes

The same pot. The same water. The same temperature. Eggs and Potatoes.

“The same boiling water that softens the potatoes hardens the eggs. It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.”

Simple, Radical, Embodied Love

1 Corinthians 16:20 “… Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.”
There is no indication here that Paul thinks of it as anything more than a sign of greeting among people who love one another. In the context of the community’s divisions at Corinth, however, the holy kiss would necessarily serve as a powerful sign of reconciliation among people who had previously been estranged. It is easy to interpret this brief imperative (“Greet one another with a holy kiss”) as a perfunctory gesture, until we try to visualize the Corinthians actually putting it into practice in a community where conflict has prevailed. Within our divided denominations can we envision the members of opposed factions and caucuses coming together and embracing in a holy kiss? As usual, Paul’s call to love is simple, radical, and embodied.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

God’s Glory in His Works

Another text found in The Psalter With Responsive Readings[i] is “Lord, Our Lord, Thy Glorious Name.” The hymn expresses how excellent the Lord’s name is in all the earth. The text is based in Psalm 8:1-6, 9, in 7s. meter, doubled. This metrical psalm praises the excellent name of the Lord, and his wondrous works. In The Psalter With Responsive Readings it appears with the tune Thanksgiving by Walter Bond Gilbert (1929-1910).

1. Lord, our Lord, thy glorious Name
All thy wondrous works proclaim;
In the heavens with radiant signs
Evermore thy glory shines. (v. 1)
Infant lips Thou dost ordain
Wrath and vengeance to restrain;
Weakest means fulfill Thy will,
Mighty enemies to still. (v. 2)

2. Moon and stars in shining height
Nightly tell their Maker’s might; (v. 3)
When thy wondrous heavens I scan,
Then I know how weak is man. (v. 4)
What is man that he should be
Loved and visited by Thee,
Raised to an exalted height,
Crowned with honor in Thy sight? (vs. 4-5)

3. With dominion crowned he stands
O’er the creatures of Thy hands;
All to him subjection yield
In the sea and air and field. (v. 6)
Lord, our Lord, Thy glorious Name
All Thy wondrous works proclaim;
Thine the Name of matchless worth,
Excellent in all the earth. (v. 9)

[i] John McNaugher, Chairman (1857-1947), Pittsburgh, PA: The United Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1912.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Fredonian Declaration of Independence

The Fredonian Declaration of Independence was signed December 21, 1826. Martin Parmer signed this document as President. Brother Haden and Benjamin were principal leaders. Interestingly, Parmer had only recently arrived in Nacogdoches. The rebellion and accompanying independence failed.

The Fredonian Declaration of Independence
Whereas, the Government of the Mexican United States, have by repeated insults, treachery and oppression, reduced the White and Red immigrants from the United States of North America, now living in the Province of Texas, within the Territory of the said Government, into which they have been deluded by promises solemnly made, and most basely broken, to the dreadful alternative of either submitting their freeborn necks to the yoke of an imbecile, faithless, and despotic government, miscalled a Republic; or of taking up arms in defence of their unalienable rights and asserting their Independence; They—viz:—The White emigrants now assembled in the town of Nacogdoches, around the Independent Standard, on the one part, and the Red emigrants who have espoused the same holy cause, on the other, in order to prosecute more speedily and effectually the War of independence, they have mutually undertaken, to a successful issue, and to bind themselves by the ligaments of reciprocal interests and obligations, have resolved to form a Treaty of Union, League and Confederation.
    For the illustrious object, BENJAMIN W. EDWARDS and HARMAN B. MAYO, Agents of the Committee of Independence, and RICHARD FIELDS and JOHN D. HUNTER, the Agents of the Red people, being respectively furnished with due powers, have agreed to the following Articles.
   1.   The above named contracting parties, bind themselves to a solemn Union, League and Confederation, in Peace and War, to establish and defend their mutual independence of the Mexican United States.
   2.   The contracting parties guaranty, mutually, to the extent of their power, the integrity of their respective Territories, as now agreed upon and described, viz: The Territory apportioned to the Red people, shall begin at the Sandy Spring, where Bradley's road takes off from the road leading from Nacogdoches to the Plantation of Joseph Dust, from thence West, by the Compass, without regard to variation, to the Rio Grande, thence to the head of the Rio Grande, thence with the mountains to the head of Big Red River, thence north to the boundary of the United Sates of North America, thence with the same line to the mouth of the Sulphur Fork, thence in a right line to the beginning.
   The territory apportioned to the White people, shall comprehend all the residue of the Province of Texas, and of such other portions of the Mexican United States, as the contracting parties, by their mutual efforts and resources, may render Independent, provided the same shall not extend further west than the Rio Grande.
   3.   The contracting parties mutually guaranty the rights of Empressarios to their premium lands only, and the rights of all other individuals, acquired under the Mexican Government, and relating or appertaining to the above described Territories, provided the said Empresarios and individuals do not forfeit the same by opposition to the Independence of the said Territories, or by withdrawing their aid and support to its accomplishment.
   4.   It is distinctly understood by the contracting parties, that the Territory apportioned to the Red people, is intended as well for the benefit of the Tribes now settled within the Territory apportioned to the White people, as for those living in the former Territory, and that is incumbent upon the contracting parties for the Red people to offer the said Tribes a participation in the same.
   5.   It is also mutually agreed by the contracting parties, that every individual , Red and White, swo has made improvement within either of the Respective Allied Territories and lives upon the same, shall have a fee simple of a section of land including his improvement, as well as the protection of the government under which he may reside.
   6.   The contracting parties mutually agree, that all roads, navigable streams, and all other channels of conveyance within each Territory, shall be open and free to the use of the inhabitants of the other.
   7.   The contracting parties mutually stipulate that they will direct all their resources to the prosecution of the Heaven-inspired cause which has given birth to this solemn Union, League and Confederation, firmly relying upon their united efforts, and the strong arm of Heaven, for success.
   In faith whereof the Agents of the respective contracting parties hereunto affix their names.  Done in the Town of Nacogdoches, this twenty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six.
  We, the Committee of Independence, and the Committee of the Red People, do ratify the above Treaty, and do pledge ourselves to maintain it in good faith. Done on the day and date above mentioned.