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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Who is Naughty and Nice

Yesterday I posted about the “Pick-a-Bible” syndrome and its relationship to a post-truth society. Today I consider the “naughty vs. nice” method of deciding who is right on religious matters (e.g., re faith and practice). In a post-truth feelings-based society, it becomes natural to turn to how nice a person is in order to decide who is right. How do you feel about that person? If a person is “not nice,” then the “truth” presented by that person is probably wrong. If a person is “nice,” then the “truth” presented by that person is probably right. Kent Brandenburg considers this in his The Who-Is-Nicer or Who-Is-Meaner Argument for the Text of Scripture blog post. Not only are “deciders” using the “nice” criteria, but also “debaters” are putting it out there to help the “deciders” decide. Kent wrote, “I wish there was a moratorium on mentioning it [the “style” and “tone” of argumentation, rlv]. Just leave it alone and continue the debate.” This is a discussion we Christians shouldn’t have to have, but nevertheless need to have.

We all could be kinder, nicer, love more, forgive more. I believe that. However, how “nice” we are does not mean we are correct when we speak about the Bible, salvation, or any number of theological issues. God’s transcendent truth decides right and wrong, good and evil – not how we feel about it, or how we feel about the persons presenting it.

Furthermore, this is not an issue of one side is always nice and the other side is always naughty (i.e., mean, mean-spirited).[i] Both sides in the Bible versions debate can be both nice and mean. It is a matter of how the different sides approach this, their “style.” The “fundamental” side (and KJVO in Bible version debates) tends to express their meanness plainly without any façade.[ii] The “neo-conservative” side (and MVO in Bible version debates) tends to dress up their meanness in “nice clothes” so we can focus on the clothes instead of the meanness. This is especially noticeable to me because I have worked part of my life in construction, where strong men may get mad and express it forcefully; and part of my life in education, where you seldom see much of the in-your-face mean and nasty stuff. Instead it is more likely “stab you in the back with one hand while shaking your hand with the other” – all the while keeping a bright smile on the face, being quite “nice.” There is something better about the severe blow that you can see coming from someone you know is mean, as opposed to the sucker punch that is about to blindside you from someone whom you thought was nice![iii]

This “nice equals right” mentality rises from secular, saccharine, and silly views of what “nice” is. In support of this – or because of it – both secularists and people called Christians have recreated Jesus in their own image of “nice.” The Jesus of the Bible tells us to turn the other cheek. The Jesus of the Bible also turns over the tables of the moneychangers. The Jesus of the Bible tells us to speak the truth. The Jesus of the Bible also calls people hypocrites, serpents, and vipers. I have a feeling some people need to reassess the concept of Jesus that they have installed in their minds.

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth…” John 14:6

“…yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…” Romans 3:4


[i] Is “arrogant and condescending” better than “mean and nasty”? No. However, it is often easier to weasel out of what you said in an “arrogant and condescending” way – “I didn’t mean it that way.” That malarkey is easier to sell to the foolish than claiming you didn’t mean something you said in a “mean and nasty” way.
[ii] Perhaps this is a general trait of “Fightin’ Fundamentalism.” Additionally, too many King James supporters have drunk from the fountain of Peter Ruckman’s nastiness. I lived 60-something years of my life without owning or reading any of his works, except one small pamphlet on segregation that another preacher gave me years ago. Last year I decided I might not be as knowledgeable as I should be on the KJV debate issues without actually reading something Ruckman wrote, so I ordered a couple of his books. If the rest of his books are anything like those, they could be edited down to about half size by taking out all the bombast about how wrong everyone is except him.
[iii] Example: “I’m going to guess you can’t read the original Bible languages,” by a guy who might not be able to read them in the way regular folks think folks mean when they say they can read something.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The “Pick-a-Bible” mentality

Many people say we are living in a post-truth society. I am not sure I even understand exactly what that means. According to Dictionary.com, “post-truth” is an adjective meaning, “relating to or existing in an environment in which facts are viewed as irrelevant, or less important than personal beliefs and opinions, and emotional appeals are used to influence public opinion.” This definition is applicable to what we see – one’s personal beliefs and feelings supplant absolute truth. Truth is not transcendent, but rather related to and defined by the culture.

How unlike post-truth culture Christians should be! How like post-truth culture contemporary Christians are! The modern “Pick-a-Bible” mentality fits well into this mindset and structure. I recently listened to a guy named Matt Baker on a YouTube channel called UsefulCharts. He said:

Anyone doing serious Bible should never rely on just one translation. It is always best to compare several different versions.[i]

Such statements can be multiplied many times over – many of them made by much more well known Christian teachers. This quote simply happened to be the most recent in my hearing. This reminds me of the adage that someone with two watches never knows what time it is.[ii] The adage refers to the problem of having too much conflicting information. This saying has been loaded in all sorts of spin cycles, with the resulting “wisdom” based on what setting is used by the one loading for spin. Yes, it is possible that the one watch you have is not correct. Nevertheless, it is very true that the more watches you wear the less certainty you have about what time it is, when they send conflicting information.

Interestingly, there is a “Coordinated Universal Time” (or UTC).[iii] UTC is a closely synchronized (coordinated) time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. Government clocks and personal wristwatches all find a standard in UTC. There is objective truth. It may be “5 o’clock somewhere” but people do not get to govern what time it is by saying what time they feel it is in their hearts! Somehow, we have ditched such a standard in theology, and there is no standard in Christianity. Every man does that which is right in his own eyes.


[i] I know nothing of Matt Baker, but was reviewing some Bible history which he was presenting. In his talk, he said he uses the NRSV New Testament because “it’s very ecumenical and the one that most academics use.” I am suspect of the NRSV being “the one that most academics use” but his statement is certainly liberal leaning.
[ii] In this form – “A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure” – it is often known as Segal’s Law. Someone wrongly credited the saying to Lee Segall of Dallas, Texas, and it was later thus attributed in print with a misspelling, Segal’s (sic) Law. It seems to have actually originated in the San Diego (California) Union newspaper, September 20, 1930 in this way: “Confusion.—Retail jewelers assert that every man should carry two watches. But a man with one watch knows what time it is, and a man with two watches could never be sure.” It can be seem widely quoted in other newspapers after this, with credit to the San Diego – which seems to support this as the earliest source.
[iii] Some of us in older generations knew UTC as Greenwich Mean Time, but that is no longer the terminology used.

Monday, August 29, 2022

California Appeals Court, 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.

The embarrassing ignoring of the embarrassment of riches

In a reply to an ETC blog on the embarrassment of riches, James Snapp, Jr. wrote the following. He makes an excellent point, despite the naysayers pretending it is not so.

“Looking over those particular textual contests where Byz and Alex disagree, it looks to me like the NA28-editors adopted an Alexandrian reading 92% of the time. Which is to say, 92% of the time, when the editors faced a choice between an Alexandrian reading, and the reading found in the vast majority of manuscripts – the bulk of that ‘embarrassment of riches’ – they adopted the Alexandrian reading, and the reading supported by 85% (or more) of that ‘embarrassment of riches’ was rejected.

“What conclusion can be drawn from this, if not that the editors of NA28 very heavily favor the testimony of a relatively small cluster of Alexandrian MSS, and reject the Byzantine readings, when they disagree with the Alexandrian readings, at 92 out of a 100 opportunities?”

Is it not somewhat hypocritical of those text critics who praise and extol the so-called “embarrassment of riches,” then turn around and ignore most of these riches? I say, “Yea.”

Sunday, August 28, 2022

My Redeemer

“Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.” Romans 15:16

1. I will sing of my Redeemer
And his wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross he suffered,
From the curse to set me free.

Chorus:
Sing, O sing of my Redeemer!
With his blood he purchased me;
On the cross he sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.

2. I will tell the wondrous story,
How my lost estate to save,
In his boundless love and mercy,
He the ransom freely gave.

3. I will praise my dear Redeemer,
His triumphant power I’ll tell:
How the victory he gives me
Over sin and death and hell.

4. I will sing of my Redeemer
And his heavenly love for me;
He from death to life has brought me,
Son of God, with him to be.

On December 29, 1876, gospel composer and singer Philip Paul Bliss and his wife died in the Ashtabula (Ohio) Bridge Disaster. They were traveling to Chicago to participate in evangelistic services led by Daniel W. Whittle at Dwight L. Moody’s Tabernacle. The Ashtabula River bridge collapsed as the train in which they were riding was crossing it. Bliss escaped the train alive, but died in the flames trying to get his wife out of one of the cars. The lyrics of “I will sing of my redeemer” were found in their surviving trunk, and James McGranahan set the hymn to music. McGranahan’s tune begins in 9/8 time, then changes to 12/8 time in the chorus.

My Redeemer, written sometime in 1876, was first printed in Welcome Tidings, a New Collection for Sunday School, compiled by Robert Lowry, William Howard Doane, and Ira David Sankey, and published by Biglow & Main in 1877, song # 52. A “subtitle” under the book title and names of the editors read, “Embracing New Hymns and Music by the Late P. P. Bliss.” Underneath the song title this text was printed: “Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people” Romans 15:16. Other appropriate Bible verses include Ephesians 5:19-20, Titus 2:13-14, and Psalm 89:1, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

The text includes four stanzas and a chorus. The hymn speaks of “My redeemer,” his suffering on the cross to pay the debt of sin and seal the pardon of sinners. Because of the vicarious work, we can “sing,” “tell,” and “praise.” Jesus won the victory over sin and death and hell – and gives that victory to his people.

One interesting recasting of the hymn fits it to the tune Hyfrydol by Rowland H. Prichard (1811-1887).

Saturday, August 27, 2022

In other words, philipped away

  • administrivia, noun. Trifling administrative tasks, esp. those which take a significant amount of time to complete.
  • analog (Brit., analogue), noun. A person or thing seen as comparable to another.
  • blindside, verb. To hit or attack (someone) on the blind side (the noun blind side being a direction in which a person has a poor view, typically of approaching danger).
  • canard, noun. An unfounded rumor or story.
  • cosseted (or cossetted), adjective. Cared for and protected in an overindulgent way; pampered.
  • currywurst, noun. A dish consisting of German sausage covered with a sauce of tomato ketchup mixed with curry powder.
  • defenestrate, verb. To throw a person or thing out of a window; to swiftly dismiss or expel (from a political party or office).
  • dining room, noun. The room in a house, hotel, etc., in which meals are eaten; a room used for formal dinners in a private institution and in some hotels and restaurants.
  • disabuse, verb. (used with object) To free (a person) from deception or error.
  • effete, adjective. Lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent; sterile; infertile.
  • exenterate, verb (transitive). To disembowel; to eviscerate.
  • facade (or façade) noun. The face of a building, especially the principal front that looks onto a street or open space; an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.
  • imprecatory, adjective. That which imprecates or invokes evil or a curse upon.
  • -ism, noun (Suffix). A doctrine, theory, or religion; adherence to a system or a class of principles.
  • locus classicus (Latin), or, classic location, noun. A passage considered to be the best known or most authoritative on a particular subject; in theology, often refers to a proof-text or authoritative reference for a certain doctrine.
  • moonmilk, noun. A soft whitish deposit of carbonate minerals found on the walls of limestone caves as a floury powder or porous mass.
  • opprobrium, noun. The disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; a cause or object of such disgrace or reproach.
  • otosis, noun. Mishearing; alteration of words caused by an erroneous apprehension of the sound.
  • philipped (away), verb. To be removed, (from Philip the evangelist caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, Acts 8:39)
  • polymath, noun. A person of great learning in several fields of study; also, polyhistor.
  • previable, adjective. Not yet viable; (of a baby) not sufficiently developed sufficiently to survive outside the uterus.
  • railipotent, adjective. Given to ranting, haranguing, or invective (formed from rail, verb; -i- connector; and potent, adjective).
  • redound, verb. To become swollen, overflow; to have an effect for good or ill.
  • reginal, adjective. Of or relating to a queen; queenly.
  • regional, adjective. Relating to or characteristic of a region.
  • renege, verb. (used without object) To go back on one’s word.

Bringing Texans Up to Date, 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, August 26, 2022

The cross once seen

From “The Progress of Error” by William Cowper

But if the wanderer his mistake discern,
Judge his own ways, and sigh for a return,
Bewilder’d once, must he bewail his loss
For ever and for ever? No–the cross!
There and there only (though the deist rave,
And atheist, if Earth bear so base a slave);
There and there only is the power to save.
There no delusive hope invites despair;
No mockery meets you, no deception there.
The spells and charms, that blinded you before,
All vanish there, and fascinate no more.
I am no preacher, let this hint suffice–
The cross once seen is death to every vice;
Else He that hung there suffer’d all his pain,
Bled, groan’d, and agonised, and died, in vain.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Literary Guide to the Bible

The Literary Guide to the Bible (Robert Alter, Frank Kermode, editors. Cambridge MA: Belknap Press, Harvard University, 1987/1990) contains some interesting comments about the Bible in general and the Authorized or King James Bible in particular. The editors Alter and Kermode, the contributors, and the Harvard University Press are hardly “King James Onlyists.” Not even close. Nevertheless, they can speak with much more complimentary feeling about the King James Bible than most “King James Version Neverists” can ever muster in all their strength. Here are some excerpts from The Literary Guide to the Bible. I will just lay them here.

“The purpose of the book will now, we hope, be clear. We no longer live in the age when literate persons had a daily intimacy with the Bible on the basis of shared belief; individuals must now attune themselves to the book, which is today rarely assimilated in early youth. To help them do so is our main object.” p. 6

“We have as a rule used the King James Version in translation, and our reasons for doing so must be obvious: it is the version most English readers associate with the literary qualities of the Bible, and it is still arguably the version that best preserves the literary effects of the original languages.” p. 7

“Behind the joke ‘If the Authorized Version was good enough for St. Paul then it’s good enough for me’ lies the recognition of a real resistance to the idea that our Bible is a translation; betrayed by the increasingly common slip which gives the Authorized Version’s alternative title as the St. James Bible.” pp. 649-650

“Nonetheless, it is notable that in this respect [i.e, verbal equivalence, rlv] the Authorized Version is the most conservative of the Renaissance translations.” p. 653

In their opinion, concerning Isaiah 3:18-23, “...the New English Bible’s scholarship will stand up to close scrutiny...” even allowing that the rendering of the individual items “are likely to be far more reliable than the Authorized Version’s.” On the other hand, The Literary Guide resolves:
“More important than the translation of words is the translation of syntax. Consider the way the Authorized Version and the New English Bible cope with Isaiah’s spectacular list of wanton fripperies (3:18-23)...By suppressing the Hebrew syntax the New English Bible translators have made their virtually unreadable. It is nothing but a list, and its context, that of an articulated prophecy, is entirely lost. The Authorized Version translators have taken care to reproduce the syntactic details of the original.” p. 656
After citing four translations of Exodus 9:7, The Literary Guide concludes:
“By heavy use of coordinating clauses the Authorized Version leaves its narrative structures open to the widest possible range of meanings, for such coordination imposes upon events only a relatively weak impression of sequentiality. More sophisticated syntactic structures, using all kinds of subordination, are more interpretative and insist upon such things as cause and effect, motive, and specific temporal relations upon events.” p. 660

“At its best, which means often, the Authorized Version has the kind of transparency which makes it possible for the reader to see the original clearly. It lacks the narrow interpretative bias of modern versions, and is the stronger for it.” p. 664

“...replacing the Authorized Version’s splendidly literal translation ‘him that pisseth against the wall,’ with ‘every mother’s son’ (New English Bible) or ‘every last male’ (New International Version) abandons any real attempt to reproduce its [the original Hebrew’s, rlv] register and tone.” p. 664

“For a similar contrast in the New Testament between the Authorized Version’s reproduction of the original’s expressive syntax and the New English Bible’s suppression of it, see their rendering of 2 Corinthians 6:4-10.” p. 666, fn 14.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

American Bible Union’s Appeal for Prayer and Aid

The Millennial Harbinger printed the “American Bible Union’s Appeal for Prayer and Aid,” from New York, January, 1854. Below is an excerpt of that appeal (see pp. 147-48). The American Bible Union worked on and eventually produced a revised translation of the English Bible. (The American Bible Union dissolved in 1883. The complete Bible was not printed until 1913, by the American Baptist Publication Society.) Quite obviously they were not “King James Version Only.” In promoting their work in this appeal, the Bible Union refers their readers to fourteen Bible texts. The “King James Version Never” circle often claim that many of these texts (used below. e.g. Ps. 12:6; Mt. 4:4; 5:19, et al.) are not really about the Scriptures and only used in that way by “King James Version Only” proponents. Their use in this way by the American Bible Union “puts the lie to” that claim.

The prayers and the alms of the people of God should ascend together, as a memorial before him in so glorious and blessed an enterprise. We need pecuniary assistance. The balance in our treasury is low, and is decreasing. The expenditures for revision are much beseech all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, to consider the import of the following passages of sacred Scripture:

Deuteronomy iv. 2—Ye shall not add to the word that I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it.

Deuteronomy xxvii. 8—And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.

Deuteronomy xxix. 29—The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Psalm xii. 6—The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm cxix. 140—Thy word is very pure; therefore thy servant loveth it.

Psalm cxxxviii. 2—Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Jeremiah xxiii. 28—He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully.

Habakkuk ii. 2—Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Matthew iv. 4—Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew v. 19—Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.

Acts xx. 20—I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you.

Acts xx. 27—I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole counsel of God.

2 Timothy iii. 16—All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Revelation xxii. 18, 19—For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And, if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

In view of the obvious import of such expressions from the lips of Jehovah, and in consideration of the imperative duty thereby devolved upon those who love him, and wish to serve him, we ask them to pray for the divine guidance and blessing to be afforded to all our revisers, and to render prompt and cheerful assistance, by liberal contributions, for the prosecution of this holy enterprise.

On behalf of the Board, Spencer H. Cone, President.

Wm. H. Wvckoff, Corresponding Sec’y.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Dangerous to meddle with that which has been well done

Is this “Christian Friend to Truth” from 1824 (over 100 years ahead of Benjamin Wilkinson) a “Textual Absolutist”? He anathemizes those who would meddle with the good translation made in King James’s time, and uses Psalm 12:6-7 as a proof text concerning the Scriptures.

“I will here remark, that seeing the Scriptures have been translated into so many languages at sundry times, and that many improvements have been made in the translations till the last one, it follows that they had very superior means of acquiring the right sense of the words in comparison with so many preceding translations; and the last number of translators being many who were good and learned men, could consult each other in the best manner, and with all the previous labours of the learned; and thus be under a check by all the learned translations, and by the talents of each other; and therefore if any translation could be good, that was by them; from which consideration I must without any reserve aver that all who have been in any way forward to decry the translation as from them in King James’s time, have so far been guilty of undue reflection, and have only exposed themselves to the views of the biblical critic and divine as wanting to evade the true meaning of the divine words as they are, by stating to the ignorant that such words are in a wrong translation. The translation is on as good a basis as it need be, for the aforesaid reasons; nor is there any thing of any moment. wrong in it, which is as clear as it need be, upon the circumstances of the said translation; and it is therefore dangerous to meddle with that which has been well done, and that because it is a species of adding to or taking from the words of the Lord, which is anathematised Revelations of St. John, xxii. 19. We then have the continued words of the Lord as represented, and in a proper intelligent manner, so that all may read and know them.

“I, in the fourth and last place, remark in further proof of the divine inspiration, and gift of the holy Scriptures to mankind, that they declare the same by their pure or holy kind...and as the Scriptures have in their very nature all pure and good to mankind and the divine Being, they have come from the source of good in order to be good and holy; and as there is only one source of good and holiness, who is God, then they must have come from him primarily, by his operations and teachings to good men, as aforesaid), and from them to all who have or may see or hear them; and thus as pure gold came from the same kind of mine; as pure diamonds came from its kind of stone; as the pure rays of the illuminating sun come from the same, and are the same sort of light and heat, or kind; or as the voice in words is as the thoughts of the mind, so the divine words came from, and are as the eternal mind towards his creatures, pare and holy, and therefore just and right in all they say and do in every respect, Psalm xii. 6,7; and St. Paul’s second Epistle to Timothy, iii. 15, 16, 17.

“Nor is it possible that the divine word or the Scriptures could have any cause but God, seeing they uniformly evince and produce all that is in any way proper or righteous; yea, as impossible is it as to prove that any object produced can in the production be different from that of which it is produced, without any change therefrom.”

The Theological Reasoner, or, The mysteries of Divinity Explained, by a Christian Friend to Truth, Liverpool: J. Hodgson, 1824, pp. 94-97

Monday, August 22, 2022

McKnight on Oden, and other reviews

The posting of book, film, or other reviews does not constitute endorsement of the products, reviews, or sites that are linked.

The health of the mind

“What culture does, or ought to do, is to give a health of the mind that is parallel to the health of the body. It is ultimately a matter of intellectual instincts that are almost like bodily instincts. A sane man knows when something would drive him mad, just as a man standing up knows at what angle he would fall down. He does not have to calculate the angle with a mathematical instrument, or fall flat on his nose forty times in a series of scientific experiments. The body, like the mind, knows its own equilibrium. But it knows it better than the mind; because the problem is simpler, and the physical instincts are less paralysed by false teaching. Now the true teaching, which strengthens and steadies the mind so that it knows and rejects madness at sight, has, in fact, come down to us very largely from the culture of those great languages in which were written the works of the last Stoics and the first Saints, the Greek Testament and the Roman Law.”

Gilbert K. Chesterton in Come to Think of It

“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Forth in Thy Name To Work I Go

Charles Wesley (1707–1788) wrote this hymn text (see below). He published it in Hymns and Sacred Poems: In Two Volumes, Vol. I (Bristol: Felix Farley, 1749), under the heading “Before Work.” The hymn originally had six stanzas, but most hymnals (including John Wesley’s Collection of 1780) only use five, omitting stanza 3.

The heading helps us understand that Wesley’s hymn focuses on our daily labors, our “work’ – not just those things we consider “religious.” We go forth to work in the name of the Lord (stanza 1). In our work we seek to obey God’s will (stanza 2). We seek God’s protection from “choking cares” and “worldly love” as we do our work (stanza 3).  We work at God’s command and offer all our work to God (stanza 4). In the midst of our work, we watch and pray, and look to things eternal (stanza 5). We use God’s gifts for his glory, walking with him in this life until we walk with him heaven (stanza 6).

Scriptures related to Wesley’s hymn include Psalm 16:8; Psalm 139:2; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Matthew 11:30; Matthew 26:41; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:11.
 
This hymn appears with several different tunes in various hymnals, including Hebron by Lowell Mason.

1. Forth in thy Name, O Lord, I go,
My daily Labour to pursue;
Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
In all I think, or speak, or do.

2. The task thy Wisdom hath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
In all my works thy presence find,
And prove thy good and perfect will.

3. Preserve me from my calling’s snare,
And hide my simple heart above;
Above the thorns of choaking care
The gilded baits of worldly love.

4. Thee may I set at my right hand,
Whose eyes mine inmost substance see,
And labour on at thy command,
And offer all my works to thee.

5. Give me to bear thy easy yoke,
And every moment watch and pray;
And still to things eternal look,
And hasten to thy glorious day:

6. Fain would I still for thee employ
Whate’er thy bounteous grace hath given,
And run my course with even joy,
And closely walk with thee to Heaven.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Funny, made-up, and odd words

  • addendumb, noun. Additional stupid material added at the end of a book or document.
  • bilography, noun. An angry irritable account of someone’s life.
  • “Fanta”®size, verb. To indulge in daydreaming about drinking extra large bottles of Fanta brand carbonated soft drinks.
  • franticize, verb. To create a sense of fear, anxiety, or urgency though there is nothing of which to fear, etc.
  • franticizing, noun. Frantically running around like a chicken with its head cut off for no good reason.
  • idiocracy, noun. A society or group that is governed or populated by idiots.
  • incommode, verb. To inconvenience, discomfort, or trouble by putting in the commode.
  • oughtobiography, noun. A book about all the things you ought to being doing in your life.
  • psychophant, noun. A sycophant, especially one with psychological problems.
  • sinsorship, noun. Censoring a crime or sin committed and it's censored from the regular audience (an amalgam of sin and censorship).
  • synonym rolls, noun. A yummy pastry, just like my grammar used to make.
  • whaa-ambulance, noun. An ambulance called for someone’s whining emergency (‘whaa’ as ‘cry’).
  • worseship, noun. Worship that is worse than some other worship.

If you want to read the King James, 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.)

“If you want to read the King James the rest of your life and believe it, wonderful, praise God.” -- Mark Ward

“The original autographs were never at any point in history gathered and compiled together into a completed Bible like you have in front of you.” -- Bryan C. Ross

“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud.” -- Sophocles

“Be careful what books you read, for as water tastes of the soil it runs through, so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads.” -- John Trapp

“If you’re telling yourself you don’t deserve a second chance from God, remind yourself that you didn’t deserve the first one either.” -- Louie Giglio

“In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.” -- Thomas Jefferson

“There are two potential violators of man’s rights: the criminals and the government. The great achievement of the United States was to draw a distinction between these two — by forbidding to the second the legalized version of the activities of the first.” -- Ayn Rand

“What we need today is men who believe in the Bible from the crown of their heads to the soles of their feet: who believe in the whole of it, the things they understand, and the things they do not understand.” -- D. L. Moody

“For you will certainly carry our God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference whether you serve like Judas or like John.” -- C. S. Lewis

“Purity and spiritual eyesight go together.” -- Wayne Van Gelderen Sr.

Friday, August 19, 2022

We do not have to know

“We do not have to know what God knows in order to know what God wants us to know.” 

John 21:25 - And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

John 20:30-31 - And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

A Textual Commentary, 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, August 18, 2022

All the verses on preservation

The list below is an attempt to compile all of the verses (about 50) that are or may be used in reference to the Bible’s teaching its doctrine of the providential preservation of the text of Scripture.

  • I do not claim the list is exhaustive. There are probably other verses that some people use to support the Bible’s teaching its doctrine of the providential preservation of the text of Scripture. If you know of others that should be added, please let me know.
  • I do not claim that every verse listed should be used in reference to the Bible’s teaching its doctrine of the providential preservation of the text of Scripture. (If it is on the list, I saw it used somewhere, sometime.)
  • I do not claim that those who use these verses listed necessarily mean all of the verses directly teach about preservation of the text of Scripture. In other words, they may draw broad principles from some of them.

    Here is the list, as compiled and “finished” as of August 10, 2022. Hope it is useful. Use it wisely.

    • Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
    • Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
    • Deuteronomy 30:14 (cf. Romans 10:8) But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
    • Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
    • Job 19:23-24 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
    • Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
    • Psalm 19:8-9 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
    • Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
    • Psalm 78:5-7 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
    • Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
    • Psalm 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
    • Psalm 111:7-8 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
    • Psalm 117:2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.
    • Psalm 119:89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
    • Psalm 119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
    • Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
    • Psalm 146:6 which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
    • Proverbs 22:12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.
    • Proverbs 22:20-21 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
    • Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
    • Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
    • Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
    • Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
    • Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    • Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.
    • Matthew 4:4 (cf. Luke 4:4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
    • Matthew 5:17-18 (cf. Luke 16:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    • Matthew 24:35 (cf. Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
    • Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
    • Luke 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    • Luke 24:27 (cf. vv. 44-45) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
    • John 10:34-36 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
    • John 12:47-48 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
    • John 17:17 (cf. vv. 8, 20) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
    • Romans 3:2 (cf. Deuteronomy 31:9) ...unto them were committed the oracles of God.
    • Romans 15:4 (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:10; 10:6-11) For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
    • 1 Corinthians 11:23 (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-3) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you...
    • Ephesians 2:20 and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
    • 1 Timothy 3:15 but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
    • 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
    • 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
    • 1 Peter 1:23–25 being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
    • 2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    • 2 Peter 3:1-2 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
    • Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
    • Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.