Monday, April 19, 2021

Handling an Inspired Work

There are not a few readers who seem to approach the Gospels, for instance, in a purely critical spirit. From the style of their inquiries, it would scarcely be supposed that they are handling an inspired Work. They treat it exactly as if it were an ordinary narrative. To be warned against some popular mistake: to be furnished with a correct translation; to have the events it records, reduced to true historical order; and to understand the allusions to manners, and natural phenomena:--such seem to be the chief objects of their desire. Readers of this class find writers of their own mental complexion: writers, who can be eloquent enough about the Pharisees and Sadducees; indeed, who have much to say on the subject of Jewish antiquities generally; are very exact in speaking of the Herods; very communicative concerning the geography of Palestine, and the observations of modern travelers; but who have little to communicate besides. They seem to make it a point of honor to be very dry on points of living interest.
John William Burgon, A Plain Commentary on the Four Holy Gospels, Intended Chiefly for Devotional Reading, p. iii

Sunday, April 18, 2021

See the destined day arise

“See the destined day arise” is a translation of the Latin “Lustra sex qui jam peregit” by Venantius Fortunatus (AD 530–607).[i] Richard Mant (1776-1848) made the loose translation or paraphrase, which appeared in his Ancient Hymns, from the Roman Breviary as “Hymn for Good Friday.”[ii] Written in 7s. meter, I like the tune Solid Comfort as a vehicle for this hymn.

1. See the destin’d day arise!
See, a willing sacrifice,
To redeem our fatal loss,
Jesus hangs upon the Cross.

2. From a tree our loss began
Fatal to primeval man:
Health attends us from a tree,
God and man, vouchsafed by Thee.

3. Jesus, who but Thou had borne,
Lifted on that tree of scorn,
Every pang and bitter throe,
Finishing Thy life of woe!

4. Who but Thou had dared to drain,
Steep’d in gall the cup of pain;
And with tender body bear
Thorns, and nails, and piercing spear?

5. Thence pour’d forth the water flowed,
Mingled from Thy side with blood,
Sign to all attesting eyes
Of the finished Sacrifice.

6. Holy Jesus, grant us grace
In that sacrifice to place
All our trust for life renew’d,
Pardon’d sin, and promised good.

7. Grant us grace to sing to Thee
In the trinal Unity,
Ever with the sons of light,
Blessing, honour, glory, might.

[i] “Lustra sex qui jam peregit” is a beginning line of a stanza in the hymn “Pange lingua.”
[ii] No. 43, page 52; London: J. G. & F. Rivington, 1837.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Education without a moral compass, 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 if possible.)

“Education without a moral compass is like a cancerous tissue. It will grow, but only to the eventual destruction of its host.” -- John Asquith

“Worship must be regulated by God’s Word. Silence is not permission.” -- Kent Brandenburg

“If we’re not ready to die, we’re not ready to live.” -- Gary Chapman

“Much better it is to be humble with Christ in a barren desert, than to be proud with Adam in a delicious paradise.” -- John Hacket

“Were it not for temptations, we should be concealed from ourselves; our graces, as unexercised, would not be so bright, the power of God should not appear so in our weakness, we would not be so pitiful and tender towards others, nor so jealous over our own hearts, nor so skillfully of Satan’s method and enterprises, we should not see such a necessity of standing always upon our guard.” -- Richard Sibbes

“Trust and faith do not mean that you don’t think, or that you don’t examine the evidence – but it does mean that you know enough to trust the Creator for all you do not know.” -- David Robertson

“I used to be paid to be good; now I am good, for nothing.” -- Steve Brown

“Jesus was tempted in every way that man is, excepting by that class of temptations that are sinful because originating in evil and forbidden desire.” -- W. G. T. Shedd

“God’s word meets every condition in the world which confronts us.” -- S. Franklin Logsdon

“There is no education in the second kick of a mule.” -- credited to Mark Twain, L. Mendel Rivers, et al.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Sadducees and the Resurrection

About the Sadducees
In connection with the Pharisees
  • They were also religious leaders, Acts 4:1, Acts 5:17
  • They spuriously came to John’s baptism, Matthew 3:7
  • They tempted Jesus for a sign, Matthew 16:1
  • They espoused religious leaven, Matthew 16:6, 11-12
In distinction from the Pharisees
  • They denied the resurrection, Matthew 22:23, Mark 12:18, Luke 20:27
  • They denied angels and spirits, Acts 23:6-8
  • They filled the high priestly offices, Acts 5:17

Matthew 22:23-33 (See also Mark 12:18-27 and Luke 20:27-38)

The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

The Sadducees make a phony inquiry. They did not believe in the resurrection, yet posed a fanciful question based on harmonizing the law of levirate marriage with the resurrection.[i] Their assumption was that Jesus would be confused by and unable to answer the question.

The Sadducees provide a legal foundation for their query, “Moses said or wrote.” These instructions may be found in Deuteronomy 25:5-6. History indicates the practice existed before the law (Genesis 38:6-10). The appeal to Moses would strike fear into the average person, but Jesus is great than Moses!

Jesus gives an unexpected answer. Their question is fictional in their own minds, and in truth! They err both in understanding the scriptures and the power of God (cf. Hosea 4:6). “In the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage.” God has the power to resurrect, but marriage is irrelevant in the resurrection.

Jesus gives them an additional explanation (Old Testament scripture for the resurrection, again more than they bargained for). Concerning the resurrection itself, God “is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.” Read Exodus 3:6a, Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Intriguingly, the point made hinged on the tense of a verb. The liberals Sadducees here were silenced and could say no more.

[i] The levirate marriage preserved the name and inheritance of a man who died childless. “Levirate” comes from the Latin word levir, meaning a husband’s brother, or brother-in-law. Despite its sound, the word is unrelated to the tribe of Levi, or their ancestor. |

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Mute donkey

Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness...but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

Proper decorum–and the avoidance of an unnecessary distraction–demands that we substitute “illegitimate” for “bastards” in Hebrews 12:8, and “mute donkey” for “dumb ass” in 2 Peter 2:16.
When I read this comment of Doug Kutilek, I thought “mute donkey” sounds really weird. However, I have since found that several Bibles have that rendering in 2 Peter 2:16 (including the New American Standard Bible). Intriguingly, according to a few dictionaries that I checked, both “dumb” and “mute” are now considered offensive, when referring to a person incapable of speech. (It is hard to keep up.) That may account for newer Bibles going with words like “speechless.”
  • Dumb, noun or adjective. Offensive. Of a person incapable of or lacking the faculty of speech.
  • Mute, noun or adjective. Dated, offensive. Of a person incapable of lacking the faculty of speech.
I suppose the donkeys and asses do not mind!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

3 Reasons I Changed My Mind, 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.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Baptismal Formula

Before he ascended back into heaven, Jesus commanded his disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). After this, in about ten days’ time, the apostles baptized the first of their converts. Luke mentions “in the name of Jesus Christ,” (Acts 2:38, for example) but not “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Does the Lord’s command in Matthew 28:19 demand that a specific “formula” be spoken at the time of baptism? Must the administrator of baptism speak certain words in an exacting way in order for the immersion to be scripturally valid? Did the disciples carry out Christ’s command of Matthew 28:19?

Mentions in the book of Acts

  • Acts 2:38 be the name of Jesus Christ
  • Acts 2:38 baptistheto ekastos humon epi to onomati Iesou Christou
  • Acts 8:16 they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
  • Acts 8:16 bebaptismenoi huperchon eis to onoma tou Kuriou Iesou
  • Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord
  • Acts 10:48 baptisthenai en to onomati tou Kuriou
  • Acts 19:5 they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
  • Acts 19:5 ebaptisthesan eis to onoma tou Kuriou Iesou
The Jews and proselytes on Pentecost, the Samaritans, the Gentiles at Cornelius’s house, and the twelve disciples at Ephesus were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5).

See also:

  • Acts 8:37-38 I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God...and he baptized him.
  • Acts 22:16 arise, and be baptized… calling on the name of the Lord.
  • Romans 6:3 baptized into Jesus Christ
  • 1 Corinthians 1:13, 15 …were ye baptized in the name of Paul?...lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
  • Galatians 3:27 baptized into Christ
Some History and Practice (briefly)

The Didache (an early writing similar to a “church manual”) in 7:4 says, “But concerning the baptism [immersion], thus immerse; having stated all these things, immerse into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” [i]

Tertullian, writing “Against Praxeas, Chapter 26” circa AD 216, said, “After His resurrection He promises in a pledge to His disciples that He will send them the promise of His Father; and lastly, He commands them to baptize into the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, not into a unipersonal God.”[ii]

Cyprian of Carthage (Epistle 72:18, circa AD 253) also invokes baptism under the Trinitarian formula, writing, “Finally, when, after the resurrection, the apostles are sent by the Lord to the heathens, they are bidden to baptize the Gentiles in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…Christ Himself commands the heathen to be baptized in the full and united Trinity?”[iii]

Intriguingly, in Summa Theologicae (circa AD 1265–1274), Thomas Aquinas argued that “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” was the suitable form of baptism and that “in the name of Jesus” was only valid in the primitive church: “It was by a special revelation from Christ that in the primitive church the apostles baptized in the name of Christ.”

The 1644 London Baptist Confession does not mention the formula of names used in baptism. The Standard Confession of 1660 advised “to Baptise (that is in English to Dip) in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Spirit, or in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” However, the more influential London Baptist Confession of 1689 and Philadelphia Confession of Faith of 1742 assert, “The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

The New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1833, once in widespread use in the United States, declares, “We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost.”

Some denominational groups, such as the United Pentecostal movement, use the Acts passages as a baptismal formula – that is, the words spoken when baptizing a person. United Pentecostals are Unitarians rather than Trinitarians, so that the “Trinitarian formula” of Matthew 28:19 is inimical to their theology. To them, “Jesus Christ” is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. E. W. Bullinger, an ultra-dispensationalist theologian who finds the origin of the church after the end of the book of Acts, believes there are two different formulas. In Matthew 28:19-20 he finds “the commission of the Jewish ministry at the end of this age” and then “the baptism ‘in’ or ‘into’ the name of the Lord Jesus in Acts, &c, was the continuation of John’s baptism for a while, i.e. during the transitional period of Acts until the mystery was openly revealed and fully proclaimed. Then, the baptism of Eph. 4:5 supervened and still maintains.”[iv]

Some views of “the baptismal formula”

  • “In the name of” means “by authority of” (as in, “Stop, in the name of the law!”)
  • Baptism “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” and “in the name of Jesus” mean the same thing. Both/either is valid.
  • Only baptism when the administrator says “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” is valid. 
  • Only baptism when the administrator says “In the name of Jesus” is valid. “When Jesus said to baptize ‘In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,’ he was referring to his own name.”
  • The formula, or words spoken, should (or may) combine both ideas, such as, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
A majority of Christian groups seem to agree that the phrase ‘in the name” means to baptize under or with Christ’s authority. See Acts 4:7 “by what power or by what name.” It is important that in Matthew 28:19 Jesus says “in the name (singular)” for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – signifying the concept is authority, not simply an exact replication of names.

[i] The Didache of the Twelve Apostles, J. Louis Guthrie, 1938, p. 10.
[ii] Tertullian advocated “trine immersion,” continuing, “And indeed it is not once only, but three times, that we are immersed into the Three Persons, at each several mention of their names.”
[iii] Cyprian seems to hold baptism as a means of salvation: “How, then, do some say, that a Gentile baptized without, outside the Church, yea, and in opposition to the Church, so that it be only in the name of Jesus Christ, everywhere, and in whatever manner, can obtain remission of sin…”
[iv] Bullinger, “The Formulae of Baptism in Acts and the Epistles (in relation to Matt. 28:19, 20),” in The Companion Bible, Appendix 185, p. 206. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

In other words, bimble to wimble

  • bimble, verb. (intransitive) To move at a leisurely pace, esp. on foot; to amble, wander.
  • blower, noun. (British, informal) A telephone.
  • cakelet, noun. A small cake.
  • chreia, noun. A succinct anecdote embedding a pointed saying, so called because designed for use in rhetoric.
  • corrupt, noun. Having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain; Evil or morally depraved; (of organic or inorganic matter) in a state of decay; rotten or putrid.
  • dia duit, interjection. God be with you (Irish greeting, equal to America’s hello).
  • mackintosh, noun. A raincoat; a lightweight, waterproof fabric that was originally of rubberized wool or cotton; a garment, particularly an overcoat or cloak, rendered water-proof by a solution of India-rubber; rubber cloth of the kind used in making a mackintosh.
  • misotheist, noun. A person who express misotheism, a dislike or hatred of God or gods.
  • nonce, adjective. (of a word or expression) Coined for or used on one occasion.
  • pakamac, noun. A lightweight mackintosh that can be folded up into a small pack when not in use.
  • parish pumpery, noun. Concern with local matters exclusively, parochialism; (also) people having such concerns collectively (rare).
  • risible, adjective. Provoking laughter through being ludicrous.
  • tabor, noun. A small drum formerly used to accompany oneself on a pipe or fife.
  • whinge, verb. To complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way.
  • wimble, noun. A device used especially in mining for extracting the rubbish from a bored hole; any of various other instruments for boring. (verb) To bore or perforate with or as if with a wimble.

The text above all texts

Until recently, most people in traditionally Christian countries lived in the linguistic and imaginative world of the Bible. It was not the only world in which they dwelt...Yet the text above all texts was the Bible. Its stories, images, conceptual patterns, and turns of phrase permeated the culture from top to bottom. This was true even for illiterates and those who did not go to church, for knowledge of the Bible was transmitted not only directly by its reading, hearing, and ritual enactment, but also indirectly by an interwoven net of intellectual, literary, artistic, folkloric, and proverbial traditions...
George Lindbeck, late Yale University professor

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Knotty whips and jagged thorns

Contrition. Zech. xii. 10., Common Meter.
Look on him whom they pierced and mourn.

1. Infinite grief! Amazing woe!
Behold my bleeding Lord!
Hell and the Jews conspired his death,
And used the Roman sword.

2. O! the sharp pangs of smarting pain
My dear Redeemer bore,
When knotty whips and jagged thorns
His sacred body tore!

3. But knotty whips and jagged thorns
In vain do I accuse;
In vain I blame the Roman bands,
And the more spiteful Jews.

4. ’Twere you, my sins, my cruel sins,
His chief tormentors were;
Each of my crimes became a nail,
And unbelief the spear.

5. ’Twere you that pulled the vengeance down
Upon his guiltless head;
Break, break my heart,—O burst mine eyes,
And let my sorrows bleed.

6. Strike, mighty grace, my flinty soul,
Till melting waters flow,
And deep repentance drown mine eyes
In undissembled woe!

This hymn came to my attention through a writing by Gilbert Beebe on the “Spirits in Prison, I Peter 3:18-20” (Elder Gilbert Beebe, Editorials Volume 5, pages 23-32). He mentioned stanzas three and four. I found the full hymn in A Selection of Psalms and Hymns from Various Authors (Henry Mead, London: Robert Hindmarsh, 1795).

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Satan tempts, 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 if possible.)

“Satan tempts, and then he tempts a man to think it is no temptation.” -- William Bridge

“You cannot prevent the birds from flying in the air over your head, but you can certainly prevent them from building a nest in your hair.” -- Attributed to Martin Luther

“You are a lot worse than you think you are.” -- Jack Miller

“In those temptations that arise from our own hearts, we are never without fault” -- Richard Gilpin

“Temptation may even be a blessing to a man when it reveals to him his weakness and drives him to the almighty Savior.” -- F. B. Meyer

“It isn’t biblically accurate to say that temptation is only sinful when we yield to it.” -- Kyle Borg

“Christ’s temptations were all of them sinless, but very many of the temptations of fallen man are sinful: that is, they are the hankering and solicitation of forbidden and wicked desire. The desire to steal, to commit adultery, to murder, is sinful, and whoever is tempted by it to the act of theft, or adultery, or murder, is sinfully tempted.” -- W. G. T. Shedd

“And in nothing the sinfulness of sin appears more than this, that it hides all it can, the knowledge of itself.” -- Richard Sibbes

“When such a temptation comes from without, it is unto the soul an indifferent thing, neither good nor evil, unless it be consented unto; but the very proposal from within, it being the soul’s own act, is its sin.” -- John Owen

“The the broker between the heart and all wicked lusts that be in the world.” --  Lancelot Andrewes

Friday, April 09, 2021

Book Review of Don’t Passover Easter, by Bryan Ross

A book review of Don’t Passover Easter: A New Defense of “Easter” in Acts 12:4, by Bryan C. Ross. Don’t Passover Easter is a recent (2020) religious non-fiction, available in paperback or e-book (78 pages) from Dispensational Publishing House, Inc. for $9.99. Ross is also the author of The King James Bible in America: An Orthographic, Historical, and Textual Investigation (2019) and Rightly Dividing E. W. Bullinger: Assessing His Life, Ministry, and Impact (2020).

Readers interested in Bible translation and words should find Ross’s Don’t Passover Easter quite fascinating. Some of the more adamant KJV-detractors will not welcome it. However, some KJV-supporters might not either. Ross challenges the two views that are more common that his – that Easter in Acts 12:4 represents a pagan holiday (he interacts with Samuel Gipp, pp. 5-8, on this) or a Christian holiday (he interacts with an article at KJV Today on this). He sees “Easter” simply as a reference to the Jewish Passover and not a mistranslation. He further rejects the influence of Alexander Hislop mistakenly tying Easter to the goddess Ishtar/Ashtarte – as well as KJV-detractors such as James R. White whose work also promotes such a view.

This work is “A New Defense” probably in the sense that no one defending the translation in Acts 12:4 has previously presented this explanation in writing in the late 20th and 21st centuries. It is not new is the sense of being unheard of or not previously demonstrated. Through good research, Ross shows that Easter meant pascha before there was such a word as Passover in English – and still meant that in 1611.

Ross looks at the etymology of the English word “Easter,” as well as reviewing English Bible translations made before the King James translation in 1611. One thing that surprised me – because I had failed to consider it – is that the 1557 Geneva New Testament, unlike its successor the 1560 Geneva Bible, uses some form of the word “Easter” 24 times (then Pascal Lambe twice, and Passover thrice).

At the end of the work, there are three appendices on the English words Easter and Passover. A fourth appendix reviews translation words related to the event in the Old and New Testaments.

I highly recommend the book. It is brief (78 pages, including appendices), well documented, well written, and has a little larger than normal type that is easier on old eyes. Ross holds a dispensational view (mid-Acts) that some readers could find a distraction, but, in my opinion, does not detract from the worth of the book.
“The King James Bible is, therefore, not in error with this rendering nor is it a mistranslation of the Greek word pascha. Rather it is a perfectly acceptable English way of referring to the Jewish feast, as attested by the etymological and translational evidence…” (p. 46)

Thursday, April 08, 2021

I Timothy 6:10

Some King James Bible detractors love to complain about the words of 1 Timothy 6:10, saying the proper translation must be “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Yet even one of the “go-to” modern authorities, Dan Wallace, admits this sentence has a number of possibilities – only one of these basically matching what the detractors claim the translation must be.

In a discussion of “Indefinite Predicate Nominatives,” Wallace uses 1 Timothy 6:10 as an illustration.
1 Tim 6:10 ῥίζα πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἐστιν ἡ φιλαργυρία
This is a difficult text to translate, having the following possibilities: (1) ‘the love of money is a root of all evils,’ (2) ‘the love of money is the root of all evils,’ (3) the love of money motivates all evils,’ (4) ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils,’ (5) ‘the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils,’ (6) ‘the love of money motivates all kind of evils.’ The reason for these six possibilities is that first, it is difficult to tell whether ῥίζα is indefinite (options 1 & 4), definite (2 & 5), or qualitative (3 & 6), and secondly πάντων may mean ‘all without exclusion’ (1, 2, & 3) or ‘all without distinction’ (4, 5, & 6).

(From: Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996, p. 265)

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Grave in 1 Corinthians 15:55

Q. Does any Bible translate the Greek word αδης (Hades) as “hell” in 1 Corinthians 15:55? Why is it translated “grave” in the King James Version?

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

A. Our common English Bible (KJV) translates the word αδης 10 times as “hell” (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14) and once as “grave.” I am not aware of any modern English Bibles that have hell in 1 Corinthians 15:55. However, the following 16th-century English Bibles have “Hell, where is thy victory?”

This changed with the coming of the Geneva New Testament in 1557, which has grave in 1 Corinthians 15:55 instead of hell. In 1568, the Bishops Bible again has hell, but in 1611, the King James agreed with Geneva, using grave. As far as I know, that has remained consistent to the present in Bibles translations based on the Textus Receptus and Majority Text. However, the 1881 Revised Version, which often rejected TR readings for their critical text, used the word “death” twice and does not have either hell or grave. Modern translations based on the critical text follows the RV is this change.

Tyndale’s Bible, in 1526, appears to be the first use of hell in 1 Corinthians. Wycliffe does not have it in 1382, but rather has death twice. However, Wycliffe translated from the Latin (which has mors/death twice) rather than the Greek (which has θανατε and αδη). Tyndale may have been influenced by Martin Luther, who has Hölle (hell) in his German Bible. The word “helle” is used in the Anglo-Saxon Gospels, translated circa AD 1000. I am not aware of any Saxon translation of 1 Corinthians, but it is found in Matthew 16:18, for example. The general consensus, though, is that they translated the Saxon Gospels from the Latin rather than the Greek. The Vulgate has “inferi” in Matthew 16:18.

Why would the translators use “grave” in 1 Corinthians 15:55, while using “hell” in the other places? The older Bibles’ use of “hell” obviously is not an incorrect way to translate “hades.” The King James Bible does so in other places. The context of 1 Corinthians 15 is the resurrection. This includes Jesus’s resurrection from the grave (vs. 4, 12, 20). The chapter concludes in a crescendo (vs. 50-58) of Christ’s victory over death by resurrecting the dead in Christ from their graves. Death is swallowed up in victory in the resurrection from the grave. Therefore, I think “grave” is a more precise rendering in the context.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Online Bible Version-Related Resources


The presence of links does not constitute the endorsement of all books linked. However, some of them with which I disagree are important to historical research.

Monday, April 05, 2021

10 Reasons Why Abortion, 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.

Humility employed in the service of pride

Cast Thyself down from hence. Luke 4:9
Humility employed in the service of pride

That He might fall down bodily, and be proud spiritually, and so he thrust together a frivolous presumption, and a dangerous descension. How much is humility abused when pride will wear the colours of that great virtue to deceive the world. There was gross ambition in Absalom’s stooping to steal the hearts of the people. As a kite will sweep the earth with his wings, that he may truss the prey in his talons, and fly aloft to devour it, so all the crouches and submissions which an ambitious man makes are to get somewhat what he seeks for, and to clamber to promotion. This is observed, because Satan impels Christ to cast Himself down, not for true humility’s sake, but upon vainglory to flutter in the air, that all Jerusalem might take notice how precious He was to the care and custody of all the angels.
John Hacket (1592-1670), bishop of Coventry and Lichfield

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Christ Arose

Baptist minister Robert Lowry in 1874 wrote both words and music of Christ Arose, consisting of three stanzas and a refrain. I can remember hearing it from early in my life.

Robert Wadsworth Lowry (March 12, 1826–November 25, 1899) was born in Pennsylvania. He joined the Baptist Church at age 17, and soon after entered the University of Lewisburg. Lowry was a Baptist minister as well as a composer of Christian songs. He pastored churches in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. Lowry served as a faculty member and chancellor at the University of Lewisburg, and as President of the New Jersey Baptist Sunday School Union. Lowry married first Anna Rhees Loxley (1824–1890) and they had five children. He married second Mary Jane Runyon (1852–1941). He worked as a music editor for Biglow Publishing Company, and wrote around 500 tunes, including Marching to Zion, Nothing But the Blood, I Need Thee Every Hour, Christ Arose, Shall We Gather at the River (Beautiful River) and How Can I Keep from Singing. Lowry died in New Jersey. He is buried at the Hillside Cemetery in Scotch Plains, Union County, New Jersey. Lowry said, “I have always looked upon myself as a preacher and felt a sort of depreciation when I began to be known more as a composer.”

1. Low in the grave he lay,
Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord!
2. Vainly they watch his bed,
Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus my Lord! 

3. Death cannot keep its prey,
Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away,
Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave he arose (he arose),
With a mighty triumph o’er his foes (he arose),
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose (he arose)! he arose (he arose)!
Hallelujah! Christ arose! 

Jesus Christ arose. He arose from the grave. He arose a Victor. He lives forever. Hallelujah!

Saturday, April 03, 2021

In other words; aggravation, aggregation, and aggrupation

  • adorkable, adjective. Unfashionable or socially awkward in a way regarded as appealing or endearing.
  • aggravation, noun. The act of aggravating or the state of being aggravated; a source of continuing, increasing irritation or trouble; exasperation.
  • aggregation, noun. A group or mass of distinct or varied things, persons, etc.; collection into an unorganized whole; the state of being so collected.
  • aggrupation, noun. An association or grouping, esp. a political organization; an affiliation formed on the basis of common interests or objectives.
  • derpiness, noun. (informal) The act of being stupid or silly but generally in an inoffensive way.
  • didapper, noun. A little grebe or dabchick (a small diving water bird); hence, figuratively, someone who disappears for a time and then suddenly reappears again.
  • dunduckety, adjective. Designating a drab nondescript color, esp. a dull brown resembling the color of mud; of such a color.
  • ferhoodle, verb (used with object). (Chiefly Pennsylvania German Area) To confuse or mix up.
  • florid, adjective. Having a red or flushed complexion; elaborately or excessively intricate or complicated.
  • foofy, adjective. Elaborate or intricate (esp. excessively so); fussily decorative.
  • gunsel, noun. (informal) A criminal carrying a gun.
  • hagiography, noun. The writing of the lives of saints. A biography that treats its subject with undue reverence. Cf. legendarium, passionary.
  • legendarium, noun. A body or collection of lives or legends of the saints; spec. a book of readings from saints’ lives, often used as lessons during church services, a lectionary. Cf. hagiography, passionary
  • martyrology, noun. The branch of knowledge or history dealing with the lives of martyrs; a list of martyrs.
  • passionary, noun. A book containing accounts of the sufferings of saints and martyrs, for reading on their feast days; a martyrology. Cf. hagiography, legendarium.
  • perfervid, adjective. Intense and impassioned; ardent.
  • prelection, noun. A public lecture, talk, or reading; especially a college or university lecture given to students; such a lecture in written form.
  • tergiversate, verb (used without object). To change repeatedly one’s attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Douay–Rheims Only

Just an odd but perhaps interesting notice in passing – some people claim that there is a Douay–Rheims Only Movement (DRO) that is similar to King James Onlyism. This DRO view is held both by traditionalist Catholics who are in full communion with the RCC, as well as sedevacantists.[i] Here are three related readings:

[i] Sedevacantists are persons who identify as Roman Catholic, but believe that the position/office of the Bishop of Rome (or pope) is currently vacant (from the Latin phrase sede vacante, “with the chair [that is, of ‘Saint Peter’] vacant”).

Thursday, April 01, 2021

More false friends

“False friends” is a term primarily used in linguistics to mean words in different languages that look or sound similar, but differ significantly in meaning.​ gives the example of the English word gift (which means a present) and the German word gift (which means poison). In Authorized: the Use & Misuse of the King James Bible, Mark Ward tweaks this to refer to words in the King James translation of the Bible whose common use in modern English have a different meaning than in the KJV. In reference to the King James Bible, I have further tweaked “false friends” to refer to writers or speakers who claim to be supporters of the King James Bible – usually extremely strong claims – yet whose support may actually cause damage to the King James Bible and its reputation.[i] In this regard, I have written about Jack Hyles, Nic Kizziah, Timothy Morton and “The Carpenter”, Peter S. Ruckman, and Matthew Verschuur. Gail Riplinger, author of New Age Bible Versions, can be added to the list, though I have as yet to write anything about her.

These kinds of false friends profess absolute support for the King James Bible, while making false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims about it.[ii] A different type of false friend is those writers who love to proclaim, “I love the King James Bible, but...” In this case, I believe their claim of friendship itself is false, or at the least deceptive.

Rick Norris, author of The Unbound Scriptures, can be considered in this group. He says, “I have read the KJV over 50 years, and I accept and defend the KJV as what it actually is.” Yet in his writings, it is hard to pick out positive statements about the King James translation. Most of his information about the KJV is decisively negative. He will say it is “King James Only” that he opposes, not the King James Bible. If so, why does he never write positive things about the King James translation of the Bible?

Norris has written at least two books,[iii] and maintains a website called, Bible Version & King James Only Controversy Information. Norris’s modus operandi quickly becomes obvious to those who inspect his books, website, and writings at online discussion forums. First, there is the “Hath God said” sidewinding rhetorical questions designed to lead to a conclusion for which he does not have evidence. Then there are the maybes, seems likes, likelys, and probablys interspersed with innuendo and implication, so that the evidence given and points made really do not clearly give the evidence or make the point (if the reader is paying attention). Finally, there is the multiplication of quotes. A few may be relevant, followed by other writers repeating and quoting the same the thing he has already referenced – so that most of them add no real evidence and are ultimately the equivalent of hearsay in court testimony. Matthew Verschuur is spot on with this description:

“Of course, when it comes to facts, Rick Norris goes into quotefest mode. He cites everything he can lay his hands on, filling whole paragraphs with quotations.”[iv]

This method makes Norris’s material look well documented and wearies the reader into subjection.

Here is an example of how he dealt with a discussion of the word “bishopric” in Acts 1:20 – which he claimed Archbishop Richard Bancroft or some prelate changed after the KJV translators finished their work. The evidence is second-hand. Two of the complainers have some relevance; in at least they claim someone who could have known told them this. However, he multiplies quotes of people who are merely citing the two more original claims, as if this somehow establishes proof. When stymied on presenting first-hand evidence instead of “probably,” “he could have,” or “may have had,” Norris moved on to deflection, asking, “Do you claim that a standard authority for the meaning of English words [The Oxford English Dictionary] is wrong in suggesting that Wycliffe, Tyndale, and Coverdale used the rendering ‘bishoprick’ with a different meaning than the later meaning asserted by Richard Bancroft and some of the KJV translators?” He asserted “John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Miles Coverdale may have used [emp. mine, rlv] this rendering in a different sense with the meaning ‘office’ or ‘overseership.’ The Oxford English Dictionary gave this as an ‘obsolete’ meaning of the word and cited Acts 1:20 in Wycliffe’s Bible and the 1535 Coverdale’s as examples of this use (Vol. II, p. 224).” [emp. his]

In my discussion, I made no mention of the Oxford English Dictionary, but he framed his question in a way to imply I thought the OED was wrong. On the other hand, he ignored that I said that the word “bishopric” has a semantic range that covers from “office” to “bishop/overseer of a realm.”

Further, if he had any solid evidence from the OED, why did he not write “John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Miles Coverdale used” instead of “may have used”? Continuing, I asked Rick Norris if he disagreed that the semantic range of the word bishopric included “office” and “bishop/overseer of a realm.” I also asked whether he claimed that the Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the word bishopric did not hold in its range of meaning “bishop [overseer] and rice or ric [realm, province, dominion, power]” before or in the days of Wycliffe and Tyndale? When asked, he changed to presenting long lists of semi-related quotes, and when pressed, he clammed up.

With friends like that, who needs enemies?

[i] Such a false friend might be defined thusly: a person attached to the King James Bible by high feelings of affection and great regard, who is a supporter of it (as opposed to others) yet whose actions toward it tend to harm rather than support and promote.
[ii] Bryan Ross asserted “It is not productive for King James Bible Believers to assert things which can easily be proven inconsistent by further comprehensive study of the historical and textual facts.” p. 5).
[iii] KJV-Only Myths About Archaic Words: What does that word in the KJV mean? (Lulu/Unbound Scriptures Publications, 2008/2009) and The Unbound Scriptures: A Review of KJV-only Claims and Publications (Unbound Scriptures Publications, 2003). It appears he only sells the latter on his web site.
[iv] Yes, the same Matthew Verschuur named in the first paragraph.