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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Bloody sweat

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

This intriguing passage is often debated whether the sweat of Jesus contained actual blood or had the appearance of blood. Here are some comments of others, three excerpts from Bible Hub.

Johann Albrecht Bengel:
The force of the particle ὡσεὶ falls on θρόμβοι, not on αἵματος, as is evident from the fact of it (not αἵματος) having the epithet, and in the Plural, καταβαίνοντες. The blood streaming from the pores in smaller drops became clotted together by reason of its copiousness. If the sweat had not been a bloody one, the mention of blood might have been altogether omitted, for the word θρόμβοι even by itself was sufficient to express thick sweat.—ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν, upon the earth) by reason of its copiousness. Thereby the earth received its blessing.
Charles John Ellicott:
The form of the expression, “as it were, great drops (better, clots) of blood,” leaves us uncertain, as the same Greek word does in “descending like a dove,” in Matthew 3:16, whether it applies to manner or to visible appearance. On the latter, and generally received view, the phenomenon is not unparalleled, both in ancient and modern times.
John Gill:
...but the case rather seems to be this, that the pores of Christ’s body were so opened, that along with sweat came out blood, which flowed from him very largely; and as it fell on the ground, he being fallen on his face to the earth, it was so congealed by the cold in the night season, that it became really, as the word signifies, clots of blood upon the earth.
Perhaps see also, Hebrews 5:7; Luke 22:43.

Friday, July 30, 2021

3,462 Nigerian Christians hacked to death, 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.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The greatest pulpits, 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.)

“The greatest pulpits are not in churches; they are on beds of pain.” -- J. Vernon McGee

“The preachers in America have not given the ‘gos-pill.’ Therefore, Americans are on every pill you can think of, and none of them are working.” -- Lester Roloff

“The openly profane have never, from the days of Cain unto the present, been so great a scourge to the saints of God, as those who have stood the highest in religious profession.”  -- Gilbert Beebe

“The Old Testament opens like an old weather-beaten chart. People who foreshadow Christ walk across its pages.” -- W. Kenneth Connolly

“Behind every sin is a lie believed.” -- Elaine Kennelly

“I don ’t have a problem. I am the problem.” -- Heard

“Do not do weird stuff. Just do what’s in the Bible.” -- Sam Emadi

“The Spirit has already revealed everything we need for gathering and growing churches.” -- Jonathan Leeman

“The politicization of evil is worse than privately held stupid ideas like racism or economic collectivism.” -- Elyssa Lloyd

“Acts 1:8 (go into all the world) didn’t happen until Acts 8:1 happened.” -- Steve Brown

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Report on the 1611 Translation to the Synod of Dort

The Synod of Dort, held at a city in the Netherlands known as Dordrecht, was a called meeting for the Reformed churches best remembered for its debate regarding differences in the teachings of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius. It convened over a two-year period – November 1618 to May 1619. It was, however, not just a Dutch meeting, but had representatives from Reformed churches across Europe, including England. Often we do not recognize or remember that the first agenda of the Synod was to commission a new Bible in the Dutch language. Accordingly, the Statenvertaling or Statenbijbel was published in 1637.[i]
 
At the seventh session on November 20, 1618 (on Tuesday before noon) a report on the new Bible of 1611 (now commonly known as the Authorised or King James Version) was given to the Synod about that translation. The report in Latin, with an English translation, is included in a facsimile reprint of the Authorized Version published in the year 1611, edited and introduced by Alfred William Pollard.
 
Samuel Ward, a King James translator in the Second Cambridge Company, was one of the delegates from England to the Synod of Dort.[ii] The information about the translation may be his alone. The information below is (hopefully) an accurate transcription of the report, first in the Latin, with the English translation following.
(If you do not read Latin, just skip down to the English. If you read Latin and find transcription errors, please let me know.)
 
LXII. REPORT ON THE MAKING OF THE VERSION OF 1611 PRESENTED TO THE SYNOD OF DORT.
 
Sessione Septima.
 
xx Novembris, Die Martis ante meridiem.
 
Theologi Magnae Britanniae scripto explicarunt, quo consilio, quaque ratione negotium accuratissimę versionis Anglicanę à Serenissimo Rege Iacobo institutum fuerit, quę ratio in distribuendo opere fuerit observata: turn que leges interpretibus fuerint prescripte; ut inde ea, que nobis usui fore judicarentur, desumi possent. Exemplum ejus scripti hie subjicitur:
Modus quem Theologi Angli in versione Bibliorum sunt secuti.
            Theologi Magnae Britanniae, quibus non est visum tantae quaestioni subitam et inopinatam responsionem adhibere, officii sui esse judicarunt, praematura deliberatione habita, quando quidem facta esset honorifica accuratissimae translationis Anglicanae mentio, à Serenissimo Rege Iacobo, magna cum cura, magnisque sumptibus nuper editae, notum facere huic celeberrimae Synodo, quo consilio, quaque ratione sacrum hoc negotium a Serenissima ejus Majestate praestitum fuerit.
            Primo, in opere distribuendo hanc rationem observari voluit: totum corpus Bibliorum in sex partes fuit distributum: cuilibet parti transferendae destinati sunt septem vel octo viri primarij, Linguarum peritissimi.
            Duae partes assignatae fuerunt Theologis quibusdam Londinensibus: quatuor vero partes reliquae divisae fuerunt aequaliter inter utriusque Academiae Theologos.
            Post peractum à singulis pensum, ex hisce omnibus duodecim selecti viri in unum locum convocati, integrum opus recognoverunt, ac recensuerunt.
            Postremo, Reverendissimus Episcopus Wintoniensis. Bilsonus, una cum Doctore Smitho, nunc Episcopo Glocestriensi, viro eximio, et ab initio in toto hoc opere versatissimo, omnibus mature pensitatis & examinatis extremam manum huic versioni imposuerunt.
            Leges Interpretibus praescriptae fuerunt hujusmodi:
Primo, cautum est, ut simpliciter nova versio non adornaretur, sed vetus, et ab Ecclesia diu recepta ab omnibus naevis et vitiis purgaretur; idque hunc in finem, ne recederetur ab antiqua translatione, nisi originalis textus Veritas, vel emphasis postularet.
            Secundo, ut nullae annotationes margini apponerentur: sed, tantum loca parallela notarentur.
Tertio, ut ubi vox Hebraea vel Graeca geminum idoneum sensum admittit : alter in ipso contextu, alter in margine exprimeretur. Quod itidem factum, ubi varia lectio in exemplaribus probatis reperta est.
            Quarto, Hebraismi et Graecismi difficiliores in margine repositi sint.
            Ouinto, in translatione Tobit et Iudithae, quando quidem magna discrepantia inter Graecum contextum et veterem vulgatam Latinam editionem reperiatur, Graecum potius contextum secuti sunt.
            Sexto, ut quae ad sensum supplemendum ubivis necessario fuerunt contextui interserenda, alio, scilicet minusculo, charactere, distinguerentur.
            Septimo, ut nova argumenta singulis libris, & novae periochae singulis capitibus praefigerentur.
            Denique, absolutissima Geneologia et descriptio Terrae sanctae, huic opere conjungerentur.
 
TRANSLATION.
 
The theologians of Great Britain offered a written explanation of the design and plan in accordance with which the business of the very accurate English version was instituted by the most Serene King James, of what plan was observed in distributing the work, and what rules were laid down for the translators; with the intent that any points which might be judged useful to us might be taken from it.
A copy of this document is subjoined.
            Method which the English Theologians followed in the version of the Bible. The theologians of Great Britain, unwilling to give a sudden and unconsidered answer to so important a question, considered it their duty to hold an early consultation, and since honourable mention has been made of the very accurate English translation lately set forth, with great care and at great expense, by the most Serene King James, to notify to this numerously attended Synod the design and plan with which this sacred business was furnished by his most Serene Majesty.
Firstly, in the distribution of the work he willed this plan to be observed: the whole text of the Bible was distributed into six sections, and to the translation of each section there were nominated seven or eight men of distinction, skilled in languages.
            Two sections were assigned to certain London theologians; the four remaining sections were equally divided among the theologians of the two Universities.
            After each section had finished its task twelve delegates, chosen from them all, met together and reviewed and revised the whole work.
            Lastly, the very Reverend the Bishop of Winchester, Bilson, together with Dr. Smith, now Bishop of Gloucester, a distinguished man, who had been deeply occupied in the whole work from the beginning, after all things had been maturely weighed and examined, put the finishing touch to this version.
            The rules laid down for the translators were of this kind:
            In the first place caution was given that an entirely new version was not to be furnished, but an old version, long received by the Church, to be purged from all blemishes and faults; to this end there was to be no departure from the ancient translation, unless the truth of the original text or emphasis demanded.
            Secondly, no notes were to be placed in the margin, but only parallel passages to be noted.
            Thirdly, where a Hebrew or Greek word admits two meanings of a suitable kind, the one was to be expressed in the text, the other in the margin. The same to be done where a different reading was found in good copies.
            Fourthly, the more difficult Hebraisms and Graecisms were consigned to the margin.
            Fifthly, in the translation of Tobit and Judith, when any great discrepancy is found between the Greek text and the old vulgate Latin they followed the Greek text by preference.
            Sixthly, that words which it was anywhere necessary to insert into the text to complete the meaning were to be distinguished by another type, small roman.
            Seventhly, that new arguments should be prefixed to every book, and new headings to every chapter.
            Lastly, that a very perfect Genealogy and map of the Holy Land should be joined to the work.
 
The Holy Bible: a Facsimile in a reduced size of the Authorized Version published in the year 1611, Alfred William Pollard (1859-1944), Editor. Oxford: Printed at the University Press, 1911, pages 141-142.

[i] The Statenvertaling was the first translation of the Bible into Dutch from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages.
[ii] The delegates from England were Walter Balcanqual, George Carleton, John Davenant, Thomas Goad, and Samuel Ward. Goad attended the Synod in place of Joseph Hall, who had to return to England. See “The English Delegation to The Synod of Dordt” by Mark Shand. Some sources also name Lancelot Andrewes and William Ames.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Indestructible Book

The Indestructible Book

“I would to God that the ploughman would sing a text of Scripture at his plough and the weaver would hum them to the tune of his shuttle,” wrote Desiderius Erasmus in the preface of his New Testament.
 
Erasmus with his Greek New Testament helped break up the fallow ground. It was William Tyndale “who provided the Bible in the labourer’s language” in England. (Connolly, p. 140) Tyndale told one clergyman, “If God spare my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost.” Tyndale was condemned as a heretic. His enemies condemned him to strangulation and burning at the stake, which occurred in Flanders in 1536, ten years after his English New Testament was available to the ploughboy in England. His last words were a prayer, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” (Connolly, p. 146) Within a few years the King of England (Henry VIII) was authorising an English Bible!
 
In 1535 a Bible translation made by Miles Coverdale appeared. Debating those who wished to use the Latin rather than English, Miles Coverdale said, “No, the Holy Ghost is as much the author of it in Hebrew, Greek, French, Dutch, and English, as in Latin.” (Connolly, p. 148) Coverdale petitioned for recognition of his translation as a recognized English Bible. However, “in 1542 Coverdale’s Bible was placed on a list of banned books.” (Connolly, p. 148)
 
Thomas Cromwell petitioned Coverdale to edit the Matthew Bible, which was authorised by King Henry VIII.
 
The Indestructible Book, William Kenneth Connolly, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1996

Monday, July 26, 2021

As you are tempted, 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.)

“As you are tempted without ceasing, pray without ceasing.” -- Charles H. Spurgeon

“Jesus Christ is the center of the human race. With Him there are no favored races.” -- A. W. Tozer

“For the canon to be the canon, it must be self-authenticating.” -- Michael J. Kruger

“The ability to do good in any case imposes an obligation to do it.” -- Cotton Mather

“Textual criticism is not a science. It is a philosophy.” -- Chris Thomas

“The ancient text of God’s inspired Word both now and in the future will remain an object of God’s special care.” -- Jakob van Bruggen

“Liberalism in kernel seldom resembles liberalism in the full ear.” -- Randall Cofield

“We can want what we will, but we cannot will what we want.” -- Heard
 
“Most men dislike the trouble of thinking for themselves. They like following a leader. They are like sheep, when one goes over the hill all the rest follow.” -- J. C. Ryle

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” -- George Washington

“Go to now, most dear reader, and sit thee down at the Lord’s feet and read his words.” -- Miles Coverdale

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.” -- Martin Luther

Preservation supports Inspiration

“Let me hear some of those Reasons which prove that God is the Author of the Holy Scriptures...Fifteenthly. The marvellous preservation of the Scriptures. Though none in time be so ancient, nor none so much oppugned; yet God hath still by his Providence preserved them, and every part of them.”
A Body of Divinity: Or, The Sum and Substance of Christian Religion, James Us(s)her (1581–1656), 1677, London: Printed by J. D., pp. 5, 8
“We may know the Scripture to be the Word of God by its miraculous preservation in all ages. The holy Scriptures are the richest jewel that Christ has left us; and the church of God has so kept these public records of heaven, that they have not been lost. The Word of God has never wanted enemies to oppose, and, if possible, to extirpate it. They have given out a law concerning Scripture, as Pharaoh did the midwives, concerning the Hebrew women’s children, to strangle it in the birth; but God has preserved this blessed Book inviolable to this day. The devil and his agents have been blowing at Scripture light, but could never blow it out; a clear sign that it was lighted from heaven. Nor has the church of God, in all revolutions and changes, kept the Scripture that it should not be lost only, but that it should not be depraved. The letter of Scripture has been preserved, without any corruption, in the original tongue. The Scriptures were not corrupted before Christ’s time, for then Christ would not have sent the Jews to them. He said, ‘Search the Scriptures.’ He knew these sacred springs were not muddied with human fancies.”
A Body of Divinity, Thomas Watson (ca. 1620–1686), p. 27 in online transcription

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Treasures

Treasures.
 
The following poem was written by Martha Snell Nicholson. She was born 1888 in Nance County, Nebraska, the daughter of Samuel F. Snell and Mary B. Coy. In 1919 she married Howard Wren Nicholson in Washington and thy soon moved to California. According to her obituary and various internet sources, Mrs. Nicholson was an invalid and bedridden for about 30 years before her death in 1957. She and her husband are buried at the Westminster Memorial Park in Orange County, California.
 
Of her, pastor and well-known radio teacher J. Vernon McGee wrote:
I was privileged to know the poet, Martha Snell Nicholson, and to be her pastor. She suffered terrible pain whenever her body was touched, so much so she couldn’t leave her home. Well, she wanted to be baptized by immersion. So, we went to her home and as I baptized her, lowering her into a bathtub filled with water, she screamed out in pain. It was horrible. But if you read any of her poetry, you’d never dream that she suffered so. It was God’s beautiful discipline working in her in order to bless others.
Despite her chronic illnesses (apparently she was a sickly child even from birth), she read widely and developed an enjoyment of poetry. Her suffering became a catalyst for her poetry, spiritual, biblical, and heartfelt in praising her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. WorldCat library catalog has over 2 dozen listings for Martha Snell Nicholson, including Twenty Years of Pain and Thankfulness: by One Who has Learned Songs in the Night (a small brochure).

“Treasures” is the title of the poem below, which teaches that God in his providence empties our hands of “every glittering toy” to fill them with “his own transcendent riches.” I was not aware that the poem had ever been put to music. Since it is 8s.7s. meter, I thought it would work with the well-known tune Holy Manna. Later I discovered that a gospel group called The Couriers have sung it under the title Empty Hands (the music apparently written by Tom Fettke). A lady named Mary W. Bentley has a song on YouTube titled One By One, which uses Nicholson’s poetry from “Treasures.”[i]
 
1. One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most,
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost.
 
2. And I walked earth’s highways, grieving.
In my rags and poverty.
Till I heard His voice inviting,
“Lift your empty hands to Me!”
 
3. So I held my hands toward heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
Till they could contain no more.
 
4. And at last I comprehended
With my stupid mind and dull,
That God could not pour His riches
Into hands already full!


[i] Library records suggest that “He became sin for us,” a poem by Martha Snell Nicholson, is used with a song in Harmony Bells (G. Kieffer Vaughan, editor, Lawrenceburg, TN: James D. Vaughan Company, 1949).

Saturday, July 24, 2021

By Babel’s Rivers

A couple of stanzas from Psalm 137 in The Pilgrim Psalter by Henry Ainsworth.

By Babel’s rivers, there sat we, 
yea, wept, when we did mind Zion. 
The willows that amidst it be
our harps we hanged them upon.
For songs of us there ask did they
that had us captive led along;
and mirth, they that us heaps did lay
Sing unto us some Zion’s song! 

Jehovah’s song how sing shall we;
Within a foreign people’s land?
Jerusalem, if I do thee 
Forget, forget let my right hand. 
Cleave let my tongue to my palate,
If I do not in mind thee bear,
If I Jerusalem do not 
Above my chiefest joy, prefer!

The second stanza above as originally presented, to compare updates that have been made:

Iehovahs song how sing shal wee;
Within a forreyn-
people’s land?
Ierusalem, if I doo thee 
forget: forget let my right hand.,
Cleav let my tongue to my palat,
if I doo not in mind thee bear:
if I Ierusalem doo not, 
Above my chiefest joy, prefer!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Pilgrim Psalter

In connection with the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim landing in Plymouth, Sister Mary Huffman of Birmingham, Alabama has republished The Pilgrim Psalter by Henry Ainsworth (originally, The Book of Psalmes, Englished both in Prose and Metre. With Annotations, opening the words and sentences by conference with other Scriptures. Amsterdam: Giles Thorp, 1612). In December of 1620, the Mayflower Compact Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth Harbor. In their worship, they used Ainsworth’s Psalter.

Description from The Psalter Company website:
The Pilgrim Psalter (originally titled “The Book of Psalms, Englished in Prose and Meter”) was produced by Henry Ainsworth in 1612. Ainsworth was a Hebrew scholar and Bible teacher among the English Separatists in Amsterdam. Ainsworth’s metrical translations of the Psalms are remarkably faithful to the Hebrew text, and he set them to many of the standard tunes of the Reformation era. The Pilgrims began using this Psalter while living in Amsterdam, and they carried it with them on the Mayflower. It was used in Plymouth until the colony ceased to be independent in 1692. It is here newly reprinted with updated spelling and musical notation, along with a historical introduction explaining its history, features, use, and lasting influence.

ISBN: 978-1-7369918-0-0
Publisher: The Psalter Company, LLC
Binding: Hardcover, Cloth
Pages: 446
Dimensions: 9 1/4" X 6 1/4" X 1 1/4"
Price: $20 each of $325 for a case of eighteen​
Sister Huffman is a devoted Christian and talented musician well-qualified to edit this edition. In addition to the metered psalms and accompanying tunes, the front material has 60 pages, including:
  • An endorsement from Colonel John Eidsmoe, Board of Directors of the Plymouth Rock Foundation
  • Foreword by Gary Marks, minister emeritus of the Church of the Pilgrimage
  • The original preface by Henry Ainsworth
  • Introduction by Mary Huffman, explaining the Pilgrim history as well as the psalms and tunes of the psalter
  • A brief essay on the worship of the Pilgrims, by Paul Jehle, President of the Plymouth Rock Foundation
The bulk of the book – 358 pages – contains Ainsworth’s translations of the Psalms in meter, with accompanying tunes. There are, of course, 150 psalms. Each is provided with a tune – some with more than one tune. This new work presents these psalms not just as historical material, but as songs for the churches to sing. The modernizing of spelling and updating of how the tune is presented will aid in this. The Pilgrim Psalter could be used exclusively by churches that want to sing the Psalms only. It could be used as a hymnal supplement in churches that would not want to sing the Psalms exclusively.
 
The back material includes a writing by Ainsworth on the life and work of David; a biography of Ainsworth; information on the tune sources; and a bibliography.
To truly understand the heart, mind, and soul of the Pilgrims, we need to understand their music...Through their music they received comfort, assurance, and inspiration to their quest and pursue their vision. And their music was not the chanting of monks, the cantatas of Bach, the oratorios of Handel. Their music was plain and simple, sung without musical accompaniment, assembled in the Reformation Psalters, and based upon the word of God, particularly the Psalms. John Eidsmoe, “Endorsement”
To combine all these factors and considerations of Hebrew and English poetry in a consistent way throughout the entirety of the 150 Psalms is no small task. Indeed, while other English Psalters have achieved more polish by English standards, none has achieved more accuracy with the Hebrew in wording and structure, and in such a systematic and comprehensive way, and still with a remarkably intact English poetic structure. Mary Huffman, p. xxxii
The mark of the Reformation and doctrine of the Priesthood of the Believer restored the concept that the choir was the congregation, and thus the Pilgrims’ focus was on the participation of the people in worship. Paul Jehle, p. lx
This work provides continuity by making good use of The Music of the Pilgrims by Waldo Selden Pratt – a book published in 1921 (Boston: Oliver Ditson Co) on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock.

The book is very handsomely done! I highly recommend it. If you are a collector of song books, it will make a nice addition to your collection. If you are a student of church history and/or American history, you will want this book. If you are looking for songs to sing – The Pilgrim Psalter has them.
 
Sample Recording, Psalm 33 from The Pilgrim Psalter

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

12-Year-Old Nearly Died, 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, July 20, 2021

Lockman Foundation Logsdon Statement

I contacted the Lockman Foundation with some specific questions about the Foundation, Dewey Lockman, and S. Frank Logsdon, etc. I did not get direct answers to the questions, but receive this in an e-mail.
Here is our official statement regarding Mr. Logsdon:

Logsdon was not a co-founder of the NASB, nor was he a translator. We don't know why anything he says would be relevant to the NASB. The NASB stands on its own merits, apart from any individual, as an accurate and trusted translation.

The Lockman Foundation strictly adheres to the fourfold aim that guides all of its translation work:

These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
They shall be grammatically correct.
They shall be understandable.
They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore, no work will ever be personalized. (Our work is a symphony, not a solo, because many have had a part.)

In His Service,
Carole Holdinski
The Lockman Foundation
This e-mail is dated Thursday, April 15, 2021. It is different from the official statement posted on the website of James R. White.

The questions I asked were:
  • Is this (i.e. the statement posted on the website of Alpha Omega) an official statement?
  • If so, by whom was it made? (For example, Board, President, etc.)
  • When was the statement made?
  • Is it possible that someone misread and/or misunderstood the referenced letter from Logsdon to Lockman stating he was moving to Florida in 1973?

Lockman and Logsdon, no urban legend

An urban legend

This is a brief summary of something on which I am working for the future. I am posting the summary because I am also posting an e-mail I received from the Lockman foundation, and some of this is needed to explain it.

Back in 2002, someone on the Baptist Board using the moniker LRL71 wrote:
“There is an ‘urban legend’ out there that a man by the name of Frank Logsdon, who was supposedly a ‘co-founder’ of the NASB, had ‘recanted’ his associations with the Lockman Foundation and the NASB. KJV-onlyists have placed this (mis)information in their tracts as proof that the NASB is unequivocally the most perverse translation out there.”
KJV-onlyists have contributed to the confusion, making claims that Logsdon never made, such as:
  • “Chief NASV Translator” 
  • “co-founder of the NASB” 
  • “one of the men who translated the NKJV”
What Frank Logsdon actually said:
So…back in, oh, what was it, 1956, 57, Mr. F. Dewey Lockman of the Lockman Foundation – one of the dearest friends we’ve ever had for 25 years, a big man, some 300 pounds, snow white hair, one of the most terrific businessmen I have ever met. I always said he was like Nehemiah; he was building a wall, and you couldn’t get in his way when he had his mind on something; he went right to it; he couldn’t be daunted. [I] never saw anything like it; most unusual man; very unusual. [I] spent weeks and weeks and weeks in their home, real close friends of the family. 

Well, he discovered that the copyright [on the American Standard Version of 1901] was just as loose as a fumbled ball on a football field. Nobody wanted it. The publishers didn’t want it. Who would want it? Nobody wanted it. It didn’t get anywhere. Mr. Lockman got in touch with me and said, “Would you and Anne come out and spend some weeks with us, and we’ll work on a feasibility report; I can pick up the copyright to the 1901 if it seems advisable.” Well, up to that time I thought the Westcott and Hort was the text. You were intelligent if you believed the Westcott and Hort. Some of the finest people in the world believe in that Greek text, the finest leaders that we have today. You’d be surprised; if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. They haven’t gone into it, just as I hadn’t gone into it – just taking it for granted.

Well, at any rate, we went out and started on a feasibility report, and I encouraged him to go ahead with it. I’m afraid I’m in trouble with the Lord. [Because] I encouraged him to go ahead with it. We laid the groundwork; I wrote the format; I helped to interview some of the translators; I sat with the translators; I wrote the preface. When you see the New American Standard, they are my words. Well, when I my copy (I got one of the fifty deluxe copies, that were printed; mine was number seven, blue—a light blue cover.) But it was rather big and I couldn’t carry it with me, and I never really looked at it. I just took for granted that it was done as we started it, you know, until some of my friends across the country began to learn that I had some part in it and they started saying, “What about this; what about this?” Especially Dr. David Otis Fuller in Grand Rapids. I’ve known him for 35 years, and he would say (always called me Frank; I’d call him Duke), “Frank, what about this? You had a part in it; what about this; what about this?” And at first I thought, now, wait a minute; let’s don’t go overboard; let’s don’t be too critical. You know how you justify yourself the last minute. [But] I got to the place where I said, “Anne, I’m in trouble; I can’t refute these arguments; it’s wrong; it’s terribly wrong; it’s frightfully wrong; and what am I going to do about it?” Well, I went through heart searching—some real soul searching for about four months, I don’t know, I think [it was] about four months; and I sat down and wrote the most difficult letter of my life, I think.

I wrote to my friend Dewey, and I said, “Dewey, I don’t want to add to your problems,” ([he] had lost his wife some three years before;  I was there for the funeral; [also] a doctor had made a mistake in operating on a cataract and he had lost the sight of one eye and had to have an operation on the other [one]; he had a slight heart attack; had sugar diabetes; a man seventy-four years of age) but I wrote and said, “I can no longer ignore these criticisms I am hearing and I can’t refute them. The only thing I can do—and dear Brother, I haven’t a thing against you and I can witness at the judgment of Christ and before men wherever I go that you were 100% sincere,” (he’s not a translator; he’s not schooled in language or anything; he was just a business man; he did promoting; he had the money; he did the promoting; he did it conscientiously; he wanted it absolutely right and he thought it was right; I guess nobody pointed out some of these things to him, when it was finished), but nevertheless, I said, “I must under God renounce every attachment to the New American Standard.”
[This transcript will vary from most (if not all) that are available online, as they tend to smooth out the speech patterns, while I have tried to capture them – hopefully to give the feel that Logsdon is speaking extemporaneously. This was not a written speech. So, for example, when he mentions 1956 or 57, he does not have a paper before him but is remembering when he thinks it happened. However, this way of transcribing might make it harder to comprehend at times. I recommend listening to the audio to overcome that problem. This recording had to be made after the death of Dewey Lockman, January 11, 1974 and before the death of Franklin Logsdon, August 13, 1987. I believe external and internal evidence indicate that it was most likely recorded in 1974.]

The urban legend or Christian myth aspect of this saga is that it “grew legs and walked upright.” However, there is a real story underneath, which I am working to uncover. Discounting the later debaters who dispute from their preconceived prejudices, I believe the main witnesses tell the truth to the best of their abilities. There are a number of discrepancies in the stories, but I suspect none are lies – just various people telling a story as they remember it from their own vantage points. At this time I believe if sufficient records can be found it will clarify and harmonize most of the discrepancies. Perhaps some day some people will care about the truth of the matter more than the advantage they can obtain in an ongoing debate!

Logsdon, the man and the preacher

Stuart Franklin Logsdon (1906-1987) was born in Eckhart Mines, Allegany County, Maryland, March 20, 1906 to Joseph Franklin Logsdon and Ada Elizabeth Deffenbaugh. He married Anne Nicholson Lauder (1906-1998) in 1932. They had one child, Elizabeth Elaine (Betty) Logsdon. Stuart Franklin Logsdon passed away on August 13, 1987 in Largo, Pinellas County, Florida. He and his wife are buried in Serenity Gardens Memorial Park in Largo.

For about 30 years Logsdon pastored churches in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario (Canada), Illinois, and Michigan. In 1930, he was living at Rawlings in Allegany County Maryland and was a minister in the Rawlings Methodist Episcopal Circuit, including Cresaptown Methodist Episcopal Church. Sometime afterward he affiliated with the Baptists, going to Grace Baptist Tabernacle in Buffalo, New York in 1932. Logsdon was a respected pastor. He pastored Bethel Baptist Church, Erie, PA (late 1936-circa 1942; a GARBC-affiliated church), Central Baptist Church in London, Ontario (1942-50), Moody Memorial Church, Chicago, IL (Dec 1950-Sept 1952),  Immanuel Baptist Church, Holland, MI (1952-58). He taught at London Bible Institute in Ontario, Canada. He participated in Bible conferences and other meetings with such men as M. R. DeHaan, Billy Graham, Roy Gustafson, Bob Jones, Robert T. Ketcham, R. G. Lee, J. Vernon McGee, Stephen Olford, Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, Lehman Strauss, George Sweeting, H. O. Van Gilder, John Walvoord. According to news reports, Logsdon was the “main speaker each morning” at the national meeting of the Conservative Baptist Association in 1964 in Long Beach, California. Publishers of his books include Back to the Bible, Moody Press, Regular Baptist Press, and Zondervan. Perhaps Logsdon is best identified as an independent Baptist who moved in conservative non-denominational circles.

Moody Church has some of his sermons online:

Though Logsdon may not be well remembered today, he was well known among conservatives and fundamentalists in his day. His stand against the NASB may be part of the reason that he and his books are no longer promoted in the same circles in which he mainly moved.


Church News, Section D, St Petersburg Times, Saturday, June 21, 1958, p. 10-D

Monday, July 19, 2021

A poll and an opinion

A couple of articles I cannot recommend as sound, but are nevertheless interesting.
The author states that the material was gathered from over 75 interviews he conducted between 2010 and 2018 with those dissatisfied with their evangelical faith. I was struck by the fact that the interviewees often complained about white evangelicals’ allegiance to politics. Yet it was often their own political views rather than theological ones that influenced their exit from evangelicalism.
I have numerous and significant disagreements with the theology and practice of the Roman Catholic (so-called) Church. Nevertheless, this opinion piece makes a valid point about their need to stand on what they believe.

The Canon Revisited

“The books received by the church inform our understanding of which books are canonical not because the church is infallible or because it created or constituted the canon, but because the church’s reception of these books is a natural and inevitable outworking of the self-authenticating nature of Scripture.”
Michael J. Kruger, Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012, p. 106

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Ye who seek comfort

1. All ye who seek a comfort sure
In sadness and distress,
Whatever sorrow burdens you,
Whatever griefs oppress:
When Jesus gave himself for us
And died upon the tree,
His heart was pierced for love of us;
He died to set us free.
 
2. Now hear him as he speaks to us
Those words for ever blest:
“All ye who labor, come to me,
And I will give you rest.”
O Jesus, joy of saints on high,
And hope of sinners here,
We place our ev’ry trust in thee
And lift to thee our prayer.

This Latin hymn was translated into English by Edward Caswall. He was born July 15, 1814, at Yately in Hampshire. His father R. C. Caswall was a clergyman there. Edward died January 2, 1878. The hymn usually appears with the tunes St. Bernard and Kingsfold.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

In other words, cowboy and turtle up

  • affix, noun. An additional element placed at the beginning or end of a root, stem, or word, or in the body of a word, to modify its meaning. (Compare infix, prefix, and suffix.)
  • clavicorn, adjective. Having club-shaped antennae, as many beetles of the group Clavicornia.
  • cowboy up, verb. To adopt a tough approach or course of action.
  • dicta probanta, noun. A theological term meaning “proof text”.
  • diurnal, adjective. Of or relating to a day or each day; of or belonging to the daytime; active by day (Compare nocturnal).
  • hendiadys, noun (Rhetoric). A figure in which a complex idea is expressed by two words connected by a copulative conjunction. For example, “to look with eyes and envy” instead of “with envious eyes.”
  • heresiologist, noun. A person who studies or writes about heresies; a heresy hunter.
  • infix, noun. An affix (word or letter) that is inserted in the body of a word.
  • lingua franca, noun. Any language that is widely used as a means of communication among speakers of other languages.
  • nocturnal, adjective. Of or relating to the night; done, occurring, or coming at night; active at night (Compare diurnal).
  • perlaceous, adjective. Resembling pearl in appearance; pearly, nacreous.
  • poetaster, noun. An inferior poet; a writer of poor or trashy verse; a mere versifier.
  • prefix, noun. An affix (word or letter) placed before another word.
  • schlimazel, noun. Bad luck, misfortune.
  • schwa, noun. An unstressed mid-central vowel (such as the usual sound of the first and last vowels of the English word America), represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet by (ə). The the symbol (ə) used to represent this sound.
  • sea change, noun. A striking change; any major transformation or alteration.
  • subnival, adjective. Designating the uppermost mountain zone in which regular plant growth is still possible, immediately below the permanent snow line.
  • suffix, noun. An affix (word or letter) added at the end of a word to form a derivative.
  • turtle up, verb. To cope by withdrawing (as in to one’s shell).

Friday, July 16, 2021

Baptists and Calvinism, 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.
  • Baptists and Calvinism: Lessons from Sprague’s Annals of the American Baptist Pulpit -- “Sprague is himself not a Baptist. In other words, he has no ‘dog in the fight.’”
  • Did We All Come from Adam and Eve? -- “...the wonders of modern genetics, far from unhitching humanity from Adam, is actually completely consistent with God’s eyewitness Genesis account of His special creation of two humans—Adam and Eve, the parents of every human being ever born.”
  • Fight Google’s Censorship! -- “DuckDuckGo is not specifically conservative–it just doesn’t have the leftist bias of Google. DuckDuckGo just puts up what most people actually are searching for when they do Internet searches.”
  • Innovation at Skogskyrkogården -- “Skogskyrkogården, Woodland Cemetery, is considered one of the most important works of modern architecture of the 20th century.”
  • Jeff Riddle: A Small Part of a Bigger Picture -- “I would like to commend to you the work and ministry of Dr. Jeff Riddle, lead pastor of Christ Reformed Baptist Church of Louisa, Virginia. Dr. Riddle has been a prominent and influential voice for a minority Reformed view of Scripture which has come to be known as the ‘Confessional Text Position’ (sometimes referred to by others as the ‘Traditional Text Position’, the ‘Canonical Text Position’ and the ‘Ecclesiastical Text Position’).”
  • Miles Coverdale 1488–1569: Bible Editor, Bishop and Beggar -- “The first complete printed Bible in English was the result of the enthusiastic and diligent editorial labours of Miles Coverdale.”
  • Mountain Springs Church - Org. 1885, Floyd County -- “Situated in a remote part of Floyd County and now surrounded by the Berry College Wildlife Management Area, Mountain Springs Methodist Church built its first permanent structure around 1875 across the road from its current church building.”
  • PRTS Update -- “PRTS has applied a precise and academic evaluation of the ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Such study invariably uncovers that the truest Greek text in existence is the Textus Receptus.”
  • Support for Biden erodes among Democrats as U.S. looks past pandemic -- “Just 35% of the country thinks the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction, and 44% say they are ‘very concerned’ that prices will keep rising, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll.”
  • Thomas J. Rusk Led Annexation of Texas July 4, 1845 -- “The seat of Cherokee County and Rusk County are also named for Rusk and statues and dedications for Rusk stand proudly around Nacogdoches.”
  • U.S. Supreme Court backs conservatives against California donor disclosure -- “We are left to conclude that the Attorney General’s disclosure requirement imposes a widespread burden on donors’ associational rights.”
  • WAC Announces Expedited Entrance for Four Texas Institutions -- “One week after announcing the acceptance of membership invitations, Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Jeff Hurd announced that the official join date for Abilene Christian University, Lamar University, Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin State University has been moved up to July 1, 2021.”
  • 76-Year-Old Woman Incarcerated For Not Picking Up Calls While In Class Granted Compassionate Release -- “Because of her release to home confinement, the most pressing initial concerns (COVID, age, and health) were addressed. The court concludes that it would do little (if anything) to serve the goals of sentencing to require her to return to full custody.”

Systemic Racism Discussion

Karen Swallow Prior on systemic racism, and a reply by Peter Lumpkins. You might find these interesting.
  • Don’t believe in systemic racism? Let’s talk about the sexual revolution. -- “If you still don’t believe in systemic racism, let’s talk about the sexual revolution. ‘The sexual revolution that started in the 1960s — spread through popular culture, enacted by the masses and codified in law — is now as pervasive and inescapable as the popup ads on our computer screens. Almost no home or family or person has been unaffected by it.”
  • Systemic Racism & Sexual Revolution: Replying to Karen Swallow Prior -- “When Prior returns to describe the analogous nature between the 60s sexual revolution and systemic racism in our culture, she offers no real similarities apart from her raw assertion there exists similarities. For example, the sexual revolution ‘spread through popular culture . . . now as pervasive and inescapable as the pop-up ads on our computer screens . . . From myriad loudspeakers, it broadcasts the words and rhythms of pop-music erotica. And constantly, over the intellectual Muzak, comes the message sex will save you and libido make you free.’ But where would we similarly find systemic racism like this in our culture?...In the end, Prior contradicts her own analogy.”

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Sermon Committee?

What is a sermon committee, and what do they do?

In some discussion about the new SBC President (pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, AL), Steve Newhouse mentioned a sermon committee. I have never heard of such previously. If you live long enough, I suppose you learn lots of new things! He did not specifically say what this committee is, while implying it is group that somehow helps the pastor in the preparation of his sermons. Another person named Kristin later explained that pastors often have formal or informal committees that talk about things “that might influence the direction of what passages or topics would be good for the congregation.” David Griffin pointed to Ed Litton’s own explanation of his committee – what he calls a preaching team – which is involved in discussing details even such as the outline of and approaches to a sermon series.

“We employ a preaching team approach at Redemption Church that is comprised of eight men from our staff/congregation who meet weekly to discuss study insights, outlines, and approaches to the text. This sermon prep process includes working in the languages, consulting commentaries and books, and listening to strong communicators.” – Pastor’s Statement by Ed Litton
Someone on the Baptist Board pointed me to a similar practice of Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

“...on Saturday night before preaching on Sunday, a small group meets at his house. He reads his sermon manuscript to them, receives feedback and makes changes accordingly.” Pastors talk leadership & preaching

In Preach: Theology Meets Practice, Dever writes: 
“I’ve made it a practice over the past fifteen years to take a few members of my church to lunch on Saturdays and think with them through the application grid...Then, later, after I’ve written the sermon, I’ll read it to a few friends in my study on Saturday night, and often there are women present who give me some of the best comments I receive.” (Preach: Theology Meets Practice, Mark Dever, Greg Gilbert, Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing, 2012, pp. 93-94)

This all seems quite unusual to me, both from (1) the standpoint of it being new – something of which I have never heard – and (2) not being much like the “sermonizing” recorded in the New Testament. Generally, the teaching of the New Testament preachers is much more spontaneous, whether evangelism in the field (e.g. Acts 2:14, Acts 13:14-16) or teaching in the church (e.g. Acts 15:7, 1 Corinthians 14:29-31). Further, the need of such a committee puts the emphasis on the sermon as oratory rather than the sermon as teaching the word of God.[i] Finally, it jettisons the idea of New Testament practice as the normal way we should approach church, including preaching.[ii]


[i] The writing down of notes or thoughts is not so objectionable, as that what goes on in many pulpits is about the speaker rather than the hearers. Preaching should not be about devising a cunning format, or delivering a stunning discourse. It should be about communicating the truth of the gospel and God’s word. 
[ii] Some of which includes dialogue (Mark 8:27–10:52; Acts 19:8; 20:7-9; I Corinthians 14) as opposed to lecture. The type of meeting that Paul described in I Corinthians chapter 14 is much more open and informal than the average Baptist meeting today. Is it possible that there should be both much more teaching and interactive dialogue in our regular gatherings? How do the scripture examples show us we should operate in this area of practice?