Friday, March 31, 2023

The Scriptures, present tense

David Pitman on Why I Preach from the Received Text

Why I Preach from the Received Text, by Pastor David A. Pitman

I appreciated David Pitman’s emphasis on how Baptist Confessions present Scripture in the present tense.

“In every paragraph in the 1689 Confession the Bible is presented in the present tense. The Scriptures ‘are.’ They ‘are contained’ in the 66 books named. The Confession speaks of a Bible given. received, and preserved. I find this in the First London as well (‘the holy Scriptures; in which is plainly recorded.’)

“The New Hampshire Confession echoes this: ‘We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter, that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.’” (Emphasis added)

While on the one hand we read and know the confessions use the present tense, perhaps we do not often think about it. The Scriptures “are,” not just “were.”

In our church confession (Our Statement of Faith: Those Things Most Surely Believed Among Us) we use the present tense: “2. The Bible is inspired by God. Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.”

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Busting an Urban Myth

Did Winston Churchill say this?

“Must everything in our age be predigested? Does the Bible have to be reduced to pablum? I refuse to believe that modern man, who split the atom and is exploring space, is unable to cope with the grandeur and glory of the King James Version.”

Who says he said it?

Here are a couple of examples.

Probably primarily, though, this is a quick quote that gets passed around on Facebook and Twitter.

Who said it?

However, Churchill did not make that statement. I contacted both the International Churchill Society and the Churchill Archive Centre. Representatives from both bodies found no source for such a quote by Winston Churchill. Katharine Thomson, an Archivist at the Churchill Archive Centre, replied that “it doesn’t come up in any of our quote books. Frankly, it looks unlikely: ‘predigested’ and ‘pablum’ really aren’t words you’d expect Churchill to use, though he certainly quoted from the Bible a great deal.” So, I began to search for an answer.

Inez Robb wrote it. Robb was an author and syndicated newspaper columnist. The statement appeared in her column in October of 1962 (mostly on the 12th). It was variously titled, according to the newspaper in which it appeared, for example, “Let’s Keep King James: Modernistic Pablum in New Bible Output” (San Angelo Standard-Times), “See the Bible—Can You Read It” (Detroit Free Press), “There’s a Continuous Itch to Modern the Holy Book” (Albuquerque Tribune), “They’re Diluting the Bible” (Chicago Daily News), “Those Bible Translations” (Los Angeles Evening Citizen-News), What Goes On Here?” (Rutland Daily Herald), “Why Tamper with the Bible” (Fort Myers News-Press), etc.

Among other things, Robb questioned the modern “comprehension” problem, and mentioned Winston Churchill’s connection to the King James Bible.

“Why, in the 20th century, has it suddenly become so difficult even for adults to read the old versions of the Bible, on which their far less educated forebears cut their religious and intellectual teeth? Many a great writer and orator, including Winston Churchill, has owed the elegance of his style and the grace of language to the King James Version. It has been, in the past, a university for countless men.”

In summarizing her thoughts, Inez Robb concludes: “Must everything in our age be predigested? Does the Bible have to be reduced to pablum? I refuse to believe that modern man, who split the atom and is exploring space, is unable to cope with the grandeur and the glory of the King James Version.”


It so happens that in 1962, author and syndicated columnist Inez Robb wrote a column about the 20th century “continuous itch” to retranslate the Bible (see below). In the column, she made a reference to Winston Churchill. Later she summarized her own thoughts, writing what has come to be associated with Churchill, “Must everything in our age be predigested? Does the Bible have to be reduced to pablum? I refuse to believe that modern man, who split the atom and is exploring space, is unable to cope with the grandeur and glory of the King James Version.” It can be seen that his column was later referred to, correctly, by different writers (see example below from The Walterboro Press and Standard), mentioning Churchill but correctly crediting the statement itself to the column author. Apparently, at some point someone misread, mistook what Robb said for something Churchill said. Hopefully and likely this came about inadvertently and not deliberately or maliciously. (Obviously, the name Winston Churchill is important and instantly recognizable to many. The name Inez Robb, not so much.)

I like the quote and agree with it. However, we should credit it to its true source, and not to Winston Churchill. It is important that those who profess to hold the truth not spread untruths. I hope this post might help “bust” this “Christian urban myth” before it gets enduringly ensconced on the World Wide Web.

“Let Bible’s Beauty Be Unchanged,” Birmingham Post-Herald (Birmingham, AL), Friday, October 12, 1962, page 14

“Those Different Bible Versions; Is King James Better?” The Press and Standard (Walterboro, SC), Thursday, November 4, 1975, page 1C

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Erasmus on Vaticanus

Erasmian scholar H. J. De Jonge comments on this subject. Here are some excerpts and a link.

“Erasmus believed that the Ecumenical Council of Ferrera and Florence (1438-45), whose chief object had been the reunion of the Latin and Greek churches, had decided in favour of adapting the Greek manuscripts to the Vulgate.”

“‘It should be pointed out here in passing, that certain Greek manuscripts of the New Testament have been corrected in agreement with those of the Latin Christians. This was done at the time of the reunion of the Greeks and the Roman church. This union was confirmed in writing in the so-called Golden Bull…We too once came across a manuscript of this nature, and it is said that such a manuscript is still preserved in the papal library (  ) written in majuscule characters.’

“The manuscript to which Erasmus refers at the end of this passage is the Codex Vaticanus par excellence, now Gr 1209, designated as B. Erasmus regarded the text of this codex as influenced by the Vulgate and therefore inferior. For the same reasons he had earlier, in 1515/6, also excluded Gregory I as an inferior manuscript, from the constitution of the Greek text of his own Novum Instrumentum although this manuscript is now generally regarded as more reliable than the Codices which Erasmus preferred and made use of. Erasmus passed the same verdict on the Codex Rhodiensis (minuscule Wettstein Paul 50 = Apostolos 52) from which Stunica cited readings in his polemic against Erasmus.”

de Jonge points out that the Golden Bull did not mention Latinizing Greek texts. Later, Erasmus would clarify that he had heard that it had done so. He nevertheless continued to maintain that the latinizing of Greek manuscripts was done.

Erasmus and the Comma Johanneum, Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 1980, pp. 381-389

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Early church writers and Mark 16

When someone tells you that Mark 16:9-20 was not originally in Mark, think about this. Notice a little of the chronology, geography, and variety of early church writers who mention or quote from it. Or as James Snapp, Jr. put it, “From Patrick in Ireland, to Irenaeus in Gaul, to Augustine in North Africa, to Epiphanius in Cyprus, to Aphrahat in Syria, to Eznik in Armenia, the support for these 12 verses is early, abundant, and widespread.” Here are six recognizable names of early church writers, from Mesopotamia to Britain.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Which art, and wast, and shalt be

It seemed to me that the discovery of Beza’s reference to a manuscript with εσομενος (and shalt be) was rather recent. However, German Reformed Protestant theologian David Pareus was aware of it. (Of course, anyone who had read the Latin annotations in Theodore Beza’s 1598 New Testament would have known it, but discussion of this nevertheless seems recent.)

O Lord which art] Sundry times before the true God, yea Christ is thus described: (* see Beza’s annotations on this place) save that in stead of καὶ ἐρχόμενος which is to come (before used) here it is ὁ ἐσόμενος who shalt be (as Beza hath brought to light out of an ancient maniscript) though it commonly be read, καὶ ὁ ὅσιος and holy, as cohering with the foregoing word δίκαιος ὁ ὅσιος righteous, as if he should say, Thou art righteous & holy, that is, pure from all unrighteousnesse. Let us learn therefore rather to adore Gods holy judgements, although we do not fully comprehend the causes of them, then to repine and murmurre against them as being unrighteous.

A Commentary upon the Divine Revelation of the Apostle and Evangelist, Iohn by David Pareus (1548–1622), (translated out of the Latin into English, by Elias Arnold), Amsterdam: Printed by C.P., 1644, p.384

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Fools make a mock at sin

Proverbs 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

Baptist preacher Joseph Stennett Sr. wrote “Who Laughs at Sin.” In the 4th volume of his Works, it is titled “On Proverbs xiv. 9. Fools make a mock of sin,” and contains 4 stanzas in 10s meter.

Joseph Stennett was born in 1663, the son of Edward Stennett, a Baptist preacher. Joseph was ordained to serve the Seventh-Day Baptist congregation meeting at Pinners Hall circa 1690 where he served until his death in 1713. He frequently preached at other congregations who met on Sundays. After his death, Stennett was buried at the St. Nicholas Churchyard in Harpenden, St Albans District, Hertfordshire, England. His son Joseph Jr. was also a Baptist minister, as well as his grandson, Samuel Stennett (1727–1795). The younger Stennett is well known for the hymns he wrote, such as “As on the cross the Saviour hung,” “How charming is the place,” “Majestic sweetness sits enthroned,” and “On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand.”

1. Who laughs at sin, laughs at his maker’s frowns;
Laughs at the sword of vengeance o’er his head;
Laughs at the great redeemer’s tears and wounds,
Who but for sin had never wept or bled.
2. Who laughs at sin, laughs at the numerous woes,
That have the guilty world so oft befell;
Laughs at the whole creation’s groans and throws,
At all the spoils of death, and pains of hell.
3. Who laughs at sin, laughs at his own disease,
Welcomes approaching torments with his smiles,
Dares at his soul’s expence his fancy please,
Affronts his God, himself of bliss beguiles.
4. Who laughs at sin, sports with his guilt and shame,
Laughs at the errors of his senseless mind:
For so absurd a fool there wants a name
Expressive of a folly so refin’d.

The Works of the late Reverend and Learned Mr. Joseph Stennett: Volume 4; Containing his Poems and Letters on Various Subjects, London: 1732, pp. 251-252.

In the recently produced Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Shape Note Edition, No. 211 (Knoxville, TN: Melody Publications, 2020), this hymn is set to the tune Rakestraw by Cuthbert Howard (1856-1927).

Saturday, March 25, 2023

In other words, what Miles Smith said

  • abrogating, noun. The abolishing, formally repealing, or annulling of a law; officially ending.
  • cavil, noun. A trivial and annoying objection.
  • epitomist, noun. One who makes an epitome; one who abridges; an epitomizer.
  • fenowed, adjective. Corrupted; decayed; moldy.
  • gainsaying, noun. Opposition, especially in speech; refusal to accept or believe something; contradiction; denial.
  • gloat, verb. To look at or think about with great or excessive, often smug or malicious, satisfaction.
  • gore, verb. To pierce with or as if with a horn or tusk.
  • meteyard, noun. A yard, staff, or rod, used as a measure.
  • newfangledness, noun. Novelty; the quality of being novel.
  • panary, noun. A pantry or storehouse for bread.
  • pandect, noun. The definitive statement of a legal rule.
  • parley, verb. To speak, talk, or confer; to hold an informal conference with an enemy under a truce, as between active hostilities.
  • peradventure, adverb. It may be; possibly; perhaps, perchance.
  • pernicious, adjective. Causing great harm; destructive.
  • pike, noun. A long spear, a pointed weapon on a shaft, formerly used by infantry.
  • vulgar, adjective. Common; of, or in the popular, or vernacular, speech

Friday, March 24, 2023

Patrick of Ireland and Mark 16

A week late posting on something about “Saint Patrick” of Ireland. In conjunction with last Wednesday’s post, here is evidence that Patrick had an old Latin Bible that included the last twelve verses of Mark.

Confessio (Confession)

Patrick wrote in Latin

Euntes ergo in mundum uniuersum praedicate euangelium omni creaturae; qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit saluus erit; qui uero non crediderit condempnabitur.


Again he says: “Go out therefore to the whole world and announce the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Patrick’s Confession, English translation by Padraig McCarthy at

Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus

Patrick wrote in Latin

Testificor coram Deo et angelis suis quod ita erit sicut intimauit imperitiae meae. Non mea uerba sed Dei et apostolorum atque prophetarum quod ego Latinum exposui, qui numquam enim mentiti sunt. Qui crediderit saluus erit, qui uero non crediderit condempnabitur, Deus locutus est.


I bear witness before God and his angels that it will be as he made it known to one of my inexperience. These are not my own words which I have put before you in Latin; they are the words of God, and of the apostles and prophets, who have never lied. ‘Anyone who believes will be saved; anyone who does not believe will be condemned’ – God has spoken. (Patrick’s Letter, English translation by Padraig McCarthy at

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Grace Abounding

In his book Strictures on the Plymouth Antinomians, Joseph Cottle attributed the following story to one he charged as being an antinomian preacher, which preacher spoke as follows to one of his congregants who was in a state of intoxication.

“Ah! Judith! I see you have forgotten your Lord, but he has not forgotten you.”

Cottle was aghast at the reply, condemning it, while I might say that a different Saviour would do me no good. No, grace does not lead us to continue in sin, but grace is greater than all our sin!

“Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!” (From the chorus of “Marvelous Grace” by Julia Harriete Johnston, 1849-1919)

Romans 5:20

“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”

Romans 6:1-2

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid…”

Isaiah 49:15

“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”

1 John 3:20

“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

S. Rutherford on Preservation

 ...yet there are now substantiall errours, and so foule, that it may be, we have no word of God, at all, amongst us, and God hath no Church, no believer on earth, but we must all take the word of Printers and Translatours, which is meerly the word of man: and what is become of all the Martyrs, that suffered by the bloudy woman Babel? they dyed for meer conjectures and opinions, for they had not the first originall copies of Moses, and the Prophets, yea Stephen the first Martyr, who according to all our copies Act. 7. addeth five to Moses his 70 soules, that went downe to Egypt, in that glorious Sermon that he hath before his death, when he sealed the truth with his bloud, and dyed gloriously, and said, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, dyed but upon the faith of mens fallible skill in Grammer, Printing and writing; for he citeth the writings of Moses to his enemies that stoned him, according to the copies that they then had; who would quickly have controlled him, if he had cited false copies, and Stephens owne testimony was contraverted, and therefore except we say, that Stephen and Christ, and the Apostles, cited the testimonies of the Prophets as they were then obvious to the eyes and reading of both the people of God, and the enemies, and that not simply, as their owne words which they spake as immediately inspired, but as the testimony of the Prophets, according to the then written copies, we must say they spake not ingeniously the truth of God, for it was against truth, candour, ingenuity, to Christ and the Apostles to say, as it is written in your Law, Jo.8.17. and so often it is written, if they would not have the hearers to received, with certainty of faith, and full assurance free from all doubting, and feare of human fallibility, that they cited as written, was undoubtedly the same very truth of God, and no other, which Moses and the Prophets spoke and wrote; and if they would have them to read, search and beleeve these same Scriptures, and to conceive that they drew arguments in the New Testament to prove and continue their doctrine, from that which was written, by Moses and the Prophets in the Old Testament, and would not have them to beleeve them, onely because New Testament writers immediately inspired so said.

6. If God will have us to try and examine all Spirits, all Doctrines, by the Scriptures written, then are we certainly assured, that the books we now have, of the Old and New Testament, are the very word of God, though we cannot, by any possibility, have the first and originall authenick copies of Moses and the Prophets and Apostles... 

Samuel Rutherford (ca. 1600-1661), professor at St. Andrews, Scotland, 1649, pp. 367-368

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Pictures of Jesus

I have long thought Jesus did not look like any of the portraits we generally see of him. This ties in with a question that comes to the minds of Christians, “Should Christians display artists’ conceptions of Jesus?” I think this best to “leave well enough alone” – that is, it is best that churches and Christians avoid displaying paintings of Jesus on their walls. We have no idea of what Jesus looked like, beyond perhaps a general idea of how a first century Jewish male might have appeared. The Bible shows no interest in detailing how Jesus looked physically, so why should we?

The books of nature and of the Bible provide our “picture” of Jesus. They declare who he is – his creation, his nature, his law, his acts, his death, his resurrection, his return.  A portrait hanging on a wall or a picture reproduced on a bulletin cannot begin to be an accurate display of the “image” of God, and doubtless creates a “false image.” The Bible portrait of Christ should hang on the “wall” of our mind!

It was fairly common when I was growing up to see pictures of Jesus hanging on the cross or praying in Gethsemane in some homes and on some church house walls. I don’t think anyone was trying to worship these images, and that it was a sort of cultural thing. Nevertheless, I do not think that can be our standard to follow.

Rather, may we consider the ethics of Sola Scriptura, the Regulative Principle of Worship, the Second Commandment, and the Great Commission. There is a lot of overlap in what these teach us.

Sola Scriptura. If the Scriptures given by inspiration of God completely furnish us with what we need for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, and all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17) – we do not need a painting or image that is not furnished in the Scriptures. If we have a painting or picture, it is essentially a false image in the sense that it does not actually or accurately portray what Jesus looked like in the physical realm. If the Bible is our sole source of faith and practice, we have very little information with which to even imagine how Jesus looked, and even less need to know.

2nd commandment. The emphasis of the second commandment is more on the worship of images rather than just the engraving of images (Exodus 20:4-5). However, they are related. Having a picture that purports to be Jesus hanging in a home or a church building does not mean that those folks are actively practicing idolatry. On the other hand, simply saying they are not practicing idolatry provides no positive support for the practice of displaying such pictures. To me, an image (picture) that purports to be God – even God in the flesh – must at least be approaching the realm of what is forbidden and is better avoided than indulged in. Why not fence it off and leave it alone?

Regulative Principle and Confessions of Faith. The Normative Principle of Worship looks to accept what is not forbidden. The Regulative Principle looks for what is sanctioned. We find no biblical sanction for pleasing our imaginations with imaginary pictures of Jesus Christ. The 2nd London and Philadelphia Baptist Confessions affirm the Regulative Principle in this way: “But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures” (Chapter 22, paragraph 1). Chapter 7 of the 1st London Baptist Confession (1644) puts it this way: “The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is not mans inventions, opinions, devices, laws, constitutions, or traditions unwritten whatsoever, but only the word of God contained in the Canonical Scriptures.” It was then revised thusly in 1646: “The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship of God, in which is contained the whole duty of man, is (not men’s laws, or unwritten traditions, but) only the word of God contained [viz., written] in the holy Scriptures; in which is plainly recorded whatsoever is needful for us to know, believe, and practice; which are the only rule of holiness and obedience for all saints, at all times, in all places to be observed.” In our church statements we assert, “The sufficiency of Scripture for all matters of faith and practice”

The Great Commission. We Baptists use this terminology frequently to describe the authoritative sending of the church by their Head, Jesus Christ (especially as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20). The command of Jesus Christ specifies, directs, and limits the work of the Lord’s churches. Coupled with the Regulative Principle, we find making pictures of Christ is not part of “all things commanded.”

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth, John 4:24. A picture of Jesus, to me, seems to add nothing to spirit or to truth. Jesus dwells with us by his Spirit, not in a picture.

When the people of Israel were gathered before Horeb and God spoke, they saw no image. “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female…” Deuteronomy 4:15-16. Even when Jesus came in the flesh, he made no attempt to appeal to man by the way he looked – “he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2.

Let us allow the Bible to be our source of knowledge about Jesus. Leave the displaying of pictures and images for those who do not hold a “Scripture Alone” position.


Addenda: Benjamin Keach’s Catechism and the 2nd Helvetic Confession

Keach’s Catechism.

Q. 56. What is required in the second commandment?

A. The second commandment requires the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances, as God has appointed in His Word.

(Deut. 32:46; Matt. 28:20; Deut. 12:32)

2nd Helvetic Confession.

Chapter IV, Of Idols or Images of God, Christ and The Saints, Paragraph 2.

IMAGES OF CHRIST. Although Christ assumed human nature, yet he did not on that account assume it in order to provide a model for carvers and painters. He denied that he had come “to abolish the law and the prophets” (Matt. 5:17). But images are forbidden by the law and the prophets (Deut. 4:15; Isa. 44:9). He denied that his bodily presence would be profitable for the Church, and promised that he would be near us by his Spirit forever (John 16:7). Who, therefore, would believe that a shadow or likeness of his body would contribute any benefit to the pious? (II Cor. 5:5). Since he abides in us by his Spirit, we are therefore the temple of God (I Cor. 3:16). But “what agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (II Cor. 6:16)

Monday, March 20, 2023

Fear not your weak body

“Fear not your weak body; we are immortal till our work is done. Christ’s laborers must live by miracle; if not, I must not live at all; for God only knows what I daily endure. My continual vomitings almost kill me, and yet the pulpit is my cure, so that my friends begin to pity me less, and to leave off that ungrateful caution, ‘Spare thyself!’”

George Whitefield (in a letter he wrote to James Hervey in 1750)

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Stratfield, through every age

One of my all-time favorite Sacred Harp tunes is Stratfield by Ezra Goff. It is a great minor fuging tune, with a great stanza from Isaac Watts on Psalm 90.

Ezra Whiting Goff was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, May 26, 1760. Goff served as a fifer during the Revolutionary War. In 1789 he married Mehitable Bliss (1771–1835). They lived in Massachusetts, then moved to Vermont, then New York, and finally to Michigan in 1826. Ezra Goff died at age 68 on August 28, 1828 in Lenawee County, Michigan. He and his wife, as well as their son Timothy and his wife, Sally Waite, were buried on the Goff Farm in Lenawee County.

Several of Goff’s tunes, including Bedford, Derry, Granville, Paradise, and Townshend, appeared in The Village Compilation of Sacred Music by Daniel Belknap, 1806. Stratfield appeared first in The Worcester Collection of Sacred Harmony compiled by Isaiah Thomas and published in 1786. It is the only tune by Goff in The Sacred Harp.

Isaac Watts paraphrased and metered Psalm 90 in the poem which he titled “Man mortal, and God eternal” and included the subtitle or description, “A mournful song at a funeral.” This Long Meter hymn of 8 stanzas (see below) appeared in The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts of 1719.

1. Through every age, eternal God,
Thou art our rest, our safe abode;
High was thy throne ere heav’n was made,
Or earth thy humble footstool laid.

2. Long hadst thou reigned ere time began,
Or dust was fashioned to a man;
And long thy kingdom shall endure
When earth and time shall be no more.

3. But man, weak man, is born to die,
Made up of guilt and vanity;
Thy dreadful sentence, Lord, was just,
“Return, ye sinners, to your dust.”

4. A thousand of our years amount
Scarce to a day in thine account;
Like yesterday’s departed light,
Or the last watch of ending night.

5. Death, like an overflowing stream,
Sweeps us away; our life’s a dream,
An empty tale, a morning flower,
Cut down and withered in an hour.

6. Our age to seventy years is set;
How short the time! how frail the state!
And if to eighty we arrive,
We rather sigh and groan than live.

7. But O how oft thy wrath appears,
And cuts off our expected years!
Thy wrath awakes our humble dread;
We fear the power that strikes us dead.

8. Teach us, O Lord, how frail is man;
And kindly lengthen out our span,
Till a wise care of piety
Fit us to die, and dwell with thee.

Words from Watts’s Psalm 90 are also used with 50a Mortality by Daniel Read (stanzas 5, 6, and 8), and 181 Exit by P. Sherman (stanzas 5-8).

Saturday, March 18, 2023


Teraphim, an idol, especially a small household idol as opposed to larger image in a temple.

Judges 17:5

And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.

Judges 18:14

Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.

Judges 18:17

And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war.

Judges 18:18

And these went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?

Judges 18:20

And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.

Hosea 3:4

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:

Friday, March 17, 2023

Can a Woman Lead, 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, March 16, 2023

Christ’s Holy War with Satan

Reference to Satan’s influence on the text of the Bible is not limited to Dwayne Green and Wilbur Pickering. Much earlier Edward Freer Hills said so.

“…the history of the New Testament text is the history of a conflict between God and Satan. Soon after the New Testament books were written Satan corrupted their texts by means of heretics and misguided critics whom he had raised up…But Satan was not defeated. Instead he staged a clever come-back by means of naturalistic New Testament textual criticism. Old corrupt manuscripts, which had been discarded by the God-guided usage of the believing Church, were brought out of their hiding places and re-instated. Through naturalistic textual criticism also the fatal logic of unbelief was set in motion. Not only the text but every aspect of the Bible and of Christianity came to be regarded as a purely natural phenomenon. And today thousands of Bible-believing Christians are falling into this devil's trap through their use of modern-speech versions which are based on naturalistic textual criticism and so introduce the reader to the naturalistic point of view. By means of these modern-speech versions Satan deprives his victims of both the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit and leaves them unarmed and helpless before the terrors and temptations of this modern, apostate world. What a clever come-back! How Satan must be hugging himself with glee over the seeming success of his devilish strategy.”

Edward F. Hills, The King James Bible Defended, chapter 9, “Christ’s Holy War with Satan”

And we might add John William Burgon in The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels:

“But then further, the Scriptures for the very reason because they were known to be the Word of God became a mark for the shafts of Satan from the beginning.”

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Augustine’s Bible had Mark 16:9-20

Augustine of Hippo (AD 354 – AD 430) believed and used a Bible that included the disputed ending of Mark, chapter 16, verses 9-20. He supports his theology by and makes references to several verses from this section in his writings.

On the Soul and Its Origin, Book 2, Chapter 17

And as a counterbalance against this condemnation, the Lord exhibits the help of His salvation alone, saying, He that believes, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

On the Soul and Its Origin, Book 2, Chapter 23

Everything, therefore, which you find in the books that he [apparently Vincentius Victor, rlv] has addressed and forwarded to you, I beg you to consider with sobriety and vigilance; and you will perhaps make fuller discoveries than I have myself of statements which deserve to be censured. And as for such of their contents as are worthy of praise and approbation — whatever good you have learned therein, and by his instruction, which perhaps you were really ignorant of before, tell us plainly what it is, that all may know that it was for this particular benefit that you expressed your obligations to him, and not for the manifold statements in his books which call for their disapproval — all, I mean, who, like yourself, heard him read his writings, or who afterwards read the same for themselves: lest in his ornate style they may drink poison, as out of a choice goblet, at your instance, though not after your own example, because they know not precisely what it is you have drunk yourself, and what you have left untasted, and because, from your high character, they suppose that whatever is drunk out of this fountain would be for their health. For what else are hearing, and reading, and copiously depositing things in the memory, than several processes of drinking? The Lord, however, foretold concerning His faithful followers, that even if they should drink any deadly thing, it should not hurt them. Mark 16:18 And thus it happens that they who read with judgment, and bestow their approbation on whatever is commendable according to the rule of faith, and disapprove of things which ought to be reprobated, even if they commit to their memory statements which are declared to be worthy of disapproval, they receive no harm from the poisonous and depraved nature of the sentences.

Augustine refers to Mark 16 in his Homily 4 on the First Epistle of John.

You heard while the Gospel was read, Go, preach the Gospel to the whole creation which is under heaven. Consequently, the disciples were sent every where: with signs and wonders to attest that what they spoke, they had seen.

Augustine’s Harmony of the Gospels introduces verses from Mark 16:9-20 when comparing and harmonizing the accounts in the four Gospels. For example:

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book III, Chapter 24

Mark also attests these facts; for, after telling us how the women went out from the sepulchre, trembling and amazed, and said nothing to any man, he subjoins the statement, that the Lord rose early the first day of the week, and appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils, and that she went and told them who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept, and that they, when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book III, Chapter 25

Mark likewise mentions that He appeared first to Mary Magdalene...

...He appeared next to those two, of whom Cleophas was one, and regarding whom Luke presents us with a complete narrative, while Mark gives us only a very brief notice.

Mark tells us how Jesus “upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.”

There are a number more of these in Chapter 25, of which these are samples.

Note: I was unable to find much biography on Vincentius Victor. He is sometimes described as of Mauretania Caesariensis, and a Rogatist who converted to Caecilianism. See, for example, The Contours of Donatism: Theological and Ideological Diversity in Fourth Century North Africa. The theologies of Augustine and Victor are mostly immaterial to the discussion the last 12 verses of Mark. What is more important is that Augustine and those to whom he wrote, and apparently Victor as well, would have recognized Mark 16:9-20 as authoritative.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

On Bible revisions and King James in newspapers, 1869-1998

A little over two years ago I posted On Bible revisions and King James in newspapers, a string of excerpts gleaned from newspapers, 1852-1965. Today I am posting more gleanings, 1870-1998. Quite of few of these were discovered by Christopher Yetzer, a friend of the King James Bible and a Baptist missionary preaching in Milan, Italy. For those who might have access to, I have included the links.

“Like Lord Shaftesbury, they [English converts to Catholicism] complain of the ‘tyranny of professors,’ and seek to close all controversy by proclaiming the infallibility of the Pope, just as the Evangelical leader proposed to end it by affirming the infallibility of the authorized version of the Bible.” [Lord Shaftesbury is Anthony Ashley Cooper (1801-1885), a social reformer and leader of the evangelical movement in the Church of England.]

“The Dominion of Converts,” The Pall Mall Gazette (London, Greater London, England), Monday, December 06, 1869, p. 10

“The thought of touching the present version of Scriptures, in the hope to improve it, will doubtless strike many of our readers as sacriligeous. Some regard the present Bible as verbally inspired; not only the Hebrew and the Greek, but the English; not only the thoughts and sayings which were read to the churches of the second century, but the division into chapters and verses, the head-lines, and the italic interpolations which were added by King James’ forty-seven.”

“Shall the Bible Be Revised,” Daily Davenport Democrat (Davenport, Iowa), Saturday, May 28, 1870, p. 3

“It cannot be denied that a strong prejudice against the proposed revision exists in the minds of a a large number of Christian people, many of whom appear to believe not only that the Bible was written by inspired men, but that King James’s translators were equally inspired when they produced the present authorized version. Were it not so, one would suppose that the firmest believers in plenary inspiration would be the most anxious to secure verbal accuracy in the received text. But strange to say they are the most zealous opponents of the revision of the Bible…Truth cannot be served by error, and if there exists any popular belief in the infallibility of the authorized version of the Scriptures, the sooner it is destroyed the better for the cause of truth.”

“The Revision of the Bible,” The Hertford Mercury (Hertford, Hertfordshire, England), Saturday, June 11, 1870, p. 2

“The international Bible revisers, who have just completed their work, will appear like sacrilegious iconoclasts to many earnest religious souls—who have believed that the very words of the old English King James Bible were of divine inspiration.”

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii), Saturday, November 13, 1880, p. 2

“The doctrine of the infallibility of the King James version can no longer be maintained, and devout Protestants must limit infallibility to the original Hebrew and Greek text.”

“The Baptist Bible,” The New York Times (New York, New York), Sunday, May 27, 1883, p. 6

“There are those who still hold to the absolute infallibility of the King James translation, although the publication of the revised version has somewhat disturbed their faith.”

The Falls City Journal (Falls City, Nebraska), Friday, June 08, 1883, p. 2

“No meaning of the meaning of this declaration [of belief in the Holy Scriptures, at the ordination service] has been made by the church. If it means that infallibility in every line of Scripture, then no clergyman ordained prior to the late revision of the New Testament can accept any of the changes made by the revisers, for he has solemnly engaged to believe in the infallibility of the King James version…To insist that he declaration in the ordination service to uphold the infallibility of the entire Bible is to render hundreds of even ‘evangelical’ clergymen liable to be prosecuted for heresy, and to commit the church to the absurdity of decreeing the infallibility of the translators and printers of the King James version.” [the article about why Mr. Newton “is not Likely to be Tried for ‘Heresy’” indicates Newton’s idea against the belief “that every sentence from Genesis to the Apocalypse is dictated by the Holy Spirit and is hence infallible” will differ from “a majority of members of the church [of England], who believe “that the Bible is the thoughts of God in the language of God.’]

“Newton’s Position,” The Buffalo Commercial Advertiser (Buffalo, New York), Monday, January 28, 1884, p. 2

“I take up this book of King James’ translation. I consider it a perfect Bible, but here are skeptics who want it torn to pieces.”

“Laughter of the Bible,” a sermon by T. Dewitt Talmage, The Daily British Whig (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), Monday, April 19, 1886, p. 1

“Dr. Vincent ridicules the theory of the inerrancy of Scripture and asserts that the devout critic is the best and most efficient champion of revealed religion…but the common people, trained in the faith that every word and syllable in the King James Bible was sacred and inspired, treated the conclusions of scholarship as an assault of the devil. The publication of the revised translation, sanctioned by the most honored names in the Church, was the first announcement to many that there was a possibility of error in the sacred pages, and it was a painful shock to thousands to whom it gave an entering wedge to long-excluded doubt.”

“Biblical Criticism,” The Brooklyn Times, Friday, September 25, 1891, p. 2

“Why not have a joint debate between Lyman Abbott and Joseph Cook, the topic to be ‘The Inerrancy of the King James Translation of the Bible?’ How adjectives would fly and theological thunders would roll, to the delight of the multitude that such a meeting of champions would surely bring together.”

The Boston Daily Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), Wednesday, February 17, 1892, p. 10

“Some ministers seem to take pleasure in pointing out little flaws in our English Bible, and to extol the original to the dispraise of our version now in general acceptance, thereby creating the false and unwholesome impression that our grand English Bible is a mere translation of an inspired Book, which inspired Book no one now on earth ever saw or could see. The wily Talleyrand would characterize such a criticism ‘as worse than a crime, a blunder.’ Because when any preacher ministering to English-speaking people belittle the word of God as rendered in the version now in use, he undermines thereby his own ministry.” [for argument’s sake, the author granted “that our version may be somewhat short of perfection (for a perfect translation is probably impossible)…]

“The English Bible—Is it an Inspired Book?” (“A Paper read by Rev. L. E. Jones of this city at a meeting of the Greenville Ministerial Association…”), TThe Greenville Journal (Greenville, Ohio), Thursday, February 09, 1893, p. 1

“The New York papers of Tuesday reported an interesting and somewhat exciting discussion that took place at the meeting of the Methodist clergy of the Metropolitan district on Monday over the verbal infallibility of King James’s version of the Bible…In the course of his remarks Dr. Buckly said: ‘There are some, even in these days, who believe in the verbal inspiration of the King James version. But I do not believe that there are four men in this room who so believe.’”

“King James’s Version and the Ministers,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), Friday, February 19, 1897, p. 6

“Dr. Buckly, editor of the Christian Advocate (Methodist) said recently in a meeting of preachers in New York that he did not believe that the King James version of the Bible was inspired, and further if a vote of the assembly on the question were taken that not four of those present would disagree with him.”

The Irish Standard (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Saturday, February 27, 1897, p. 4

“On the following day and on Wednesday morning the New York Journal published a number of interviews with clergymen of various denominations, and only one advanced the belief in the absolute infallibility of the King James version. He was the Rev. Dr. John Hall, of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.”

“‘Open Your Eyes, Cries Ingersoll,” The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas), Sunday, February 28, 1897, p. 7

“Many defenders of the inerrancy of the Bible are equally defenders of the King James translation.”

“New Opportunities,” The Weekly Courier (Fort Collins, Colorado), Friday, December 06, 1912, p. 8

“Interpretation is everything. To question the literal inerrancy of the King James Version is in ‘disrespect of the Holy Bible,’ from the point of view of Mr. Bryan and of the Rev. John Roach Straton.”

“Darwin in Washington, Too,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York), Thursday, July 23, 1925, p. 6

“…these chapters by the director and principal librarian of the British museum, should of themselves serve to impart a much needed and sane view as to the claim of literal immutability and infallibility of the authorized King James Version.”

“An Excellent Book,” (a letter to the editor from Robert Adger Bowen), The Greenville News (Greenville, South Carolina), Sunday, October 09, 1938, p. 6

“William ‘Bible Bill’ Aberhart was very much a home-grown Canadian…Mr. Aberhart also believed in the inerrancy of the King James Version of the Bible, claiming that the text on which the KJV is based had been preserved by God in the Swiss Alps, beyond contamination of the Roman Catholic Church.

“In the 1920s, Mr. Aberhart began broadcasting Sunday School lessons over the radio in Calgary. By 1935, he was broadcasting five hours every Sunday over several stations, reaching hundreds of thousands of people.”

“God: Americans Spread Gospel northward,” The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), Saturday, June 20, 1998, p. B3

Monday, March 13, 2023

4 articles re...

...a quick brutal evangelical battle.

The trial which tries all

“‘Scripture is the trial which tries all’ – all except the manuscript evidence, of course.” – Rebater Jim R. Whiteout

“Seeing there is nothing to be practiced, believed, or taught, which is not agreeble to the mind of God, Let us make the Word of God our Judge.

“The Scriptures (as is granted by all that I write to) are the touchstone by which all religious Principles and Acts are to be tryed. To the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this rule, ’tis because there is no light in them, Isa. 8:20. Let nothing pass for current coine, which hath not this stamp upon it.

“Certainly no Christian will refuse to make the truth of God contained in the Scriptures the judge of all he holds and practiceth, it being the basis of both, if they be laid on their true foundation; ’tis the tryal which tryes all; and therefore bring your opinions to the light, to see whether they be of God or no.

“If the Scriptures write jus divium, divine right upon any opinion, ’tis then authentick; but all other authority is not sufficient to command either faith or practice. The Bereans [Acts 17:11] were call’d more noble than they of Thessalonica, because they did not take things upon trust, and believe implicitly, but searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so. If any man of an Angel from Heaven bring you any other Doctrine, let him be accursed, Gal. 1:8.

“Certainly these are the undoubted, perfect, and infallible rule, for all matters of faith and practice, or God could not judge the world by them at the last day.

“Let us do therefore as the wise men, when they saw the starre, go up to Jerusalem, that is, the Law and to the testimony, and willingly acquiesce in the Answer we receive from the Oracles of God.”

Ralph Venning, Mysteries and Revelations (London: Printed by John Rothwell at the Sunne and Fountain in Pauls Church-yard, 1652), pp. 31-32.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

A hymn of consolation

Georg Neumark was born at Langensalza, Thuringia, Germany, March 16, 1621. He was the son of Michael Neumark, a clothier at Langensalza.

In 1641, while on his way to Königsberg to study at the university, Neumark was robbed and lost most of his possessions. He worked and saved enough money to later return to the University of Königsberg, where he studied for 5 years. Neumark wrote over 30 hymns. Trust in God (beginning “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten,” or “If thou but suffer God to guide thee”) is the best known. This hymn was first published in Fortgepflantzter musikalisch-poetischer Lustwald in 1657. It consists of 7 stanzas in 6 lines each  ( meter). It is titled “A hymn of consolation” with a reference to Psalm 55:22: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Neumark believed “That God will care for and preserve His own in His own time.” This hymn was written in 1641, after God’s providence had brought the robbed and poverty-stricken Neumark to Kiel, where he became a tutor while earning an income to go back to Königsberg.

Georg Neumark died July 8, 1681 in Weimar. He is buried in the Jacobsfriedhof.

1. If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that nought can move.
2. What can these anxious cares avail thee,
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help, if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.
3. Only be still and wait his leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whate’er thy Father’s pleasure
And all-deserving love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
To him who chose us for his own.
4. He knows the time for joy, and truly
Will send it when he sees it meet,
When he has tried and purged thee throughly
And finds thee free from all deceit,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own his loving care.
5. Nor think amid the heat of trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred;
Time passes and much change doth bring,
And sets a bound to ev’rything.
6. All are alike before the Highest.
’Tis easy to our God, we know,
To raise thee up though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low;
True wonders still by him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to nought.
7. Sing, pray, and keep his ways unswerving,
So do thine own part faithfully,
And trust his word, though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee;
God never yet forsook at need
The soul that trusted him indeed.

The English translation “If thou but suffer God to guide thee” was made Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878), and was published as No. 134 in Chorale Book for England, 1863. There are several other English translations of this hymn.

Neumark also wrote a tune for his hymn, which was also published in 1657 (but probably written in 1641). It is usually called Neumark after its author.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Some think they are, 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.)

“Some think they are bound for the kingdom, but they are rather bound to this world.” -- Unknown

“Is a man to be a Christian sage in an instant, or a theologian in an hour? No, we begin with a slight tinge of light, and by degrees the sun arises.” -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The reason most people do not recognize Opportunity when they meet it is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like Hard Work.”-- Anonymous (sometimes attributed to Thomas Alva Edison, but no good evidence supporting this)

“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.” -- President Ronald Reagan

“People who pride themselves on the ‘complexity’ and deride others for being ‘simplistic’ should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.” -- Thomas Sowell

“There are gnat strainers among us still, who apparently have little difficulty in swallowing a camel, ‘hump and all’” -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“What is history but a fable agreed upon?” -- often (incorrectly) attributed to Napoléon Bonaparte

“Better an empty house than a bad tenant” or “An empty house is better than a bad tenant.” -- Irish Proverb

“We can’t create revival. But we can set our sails for the wind of the Spirit when it begins to blow.” -- G. Campbell Morgan

“Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men.” -- David Murrow

“If American religion were imaginatively conceptualized as a clothing store, two-thirds of its floor space would house garments for women.” -- Brenda E. Brasher

Friday, March 10, 2023

Peter’s authorship of the 2nd epistle

“A strong case can be made for Peter’s authorship of the second epistle attributed to him. Yet such arguments are for the most part ignored in modern discussions and one may be permitted to wonder how many minds are influenced less by the evidence against Petrine authorship than by the fact that the opinio communis of modern scholarship regards the evidence against it as decisive.” 

“Internal Criticism as a Criterion for Authorship in the New Testament,” Gary B. Ferngren, in Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 134 #536 (October–December 1977). John F. Walvoord, Editor, Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, p. 341.

Thursday, March 09, 2023

The middle chapter of the Bible

An interesting urban myth that has developed about the Bible, is that the 118th Psalm is the middle chapter of the Bible.[i] For example, “Psalms 118: The Middle Chapter of the Bible” presents this idea. I am uncertain how that folks arrive at this figure, but am guessing it is somehow based on someone counting verses, and that dividing the total verses in the Bible (31,102) might land in Psalm 118.[ii] I suspect many people repeat this “middle chapter fact” without checking, after hearing it from a source they trust. Additionally, it makes for nice effect to note that it is the chapter between the shortest and longest chapters of the Bible. However, the numbers do not add up, and we should not repeat errors, no matter how interesting they may sound. 

Here demonstrated is the way I figured the middle chapter, so you can review it for accuracy. This includes counting each individual Psalm as a chapter division. The King James Bible is divided in 1189 chapters, 929 in the Old Testament and 260 in the New Testament. The middle chapter of the Bible is Psalm 117, because it has 594 chapters before it and 594 chapters after it.

594 chapters before Psalm 117.

50           Genesis
40           Exodus
27           Leviticus
36           Numbers
34           Deuteronomy
24           Joshua
21           Judges
4              Ruth
31           1 Samuel
24           2 Samuel
22           1 Kings
25           2 Kings
29           1 Chronicles
36           2 Chronicles
10           Ezra
13           Nehemiah
10           Esther
42           Job
116         Psalms

594 chapters      - Genesis 1 through Psalm 116
1 chapter            - Psalm 117
594 chapters      - Psalm 118 through Revelation 22

33           Psalms 118-150

31           Proverbs

12           Ecclesiastes

8             Song of Songs

66           Isaiah

52           Jeremiah

5              Lamentations

48           Ezekiel

12           Daniel

14           Hosea

3             Joel

9             Amos

1             Obadiah

4             Jonah

7             Micah

3             Nahum

3             Habakkuk

3             Zephaniah

2             Haggai

14           Zechariah

4             Malachi

28           Matthew

16           Mark

24           Luke

21           John

28           Acts

16           Romans

16           1 Corinthians

13           2 Corinthians

6             Galatians

6             Ephesians

4             Philippians

4             Colossians

5             1 Thessalonians

3             2 Thessalonians

6             1 Timothy

4             2 Timothy

3             Titus

1             Philemon

13           Hebrews

5             James

5             1 Peter

3             2 Peter

5             1 John

1             2 John

1             3 John

1             Jude

22           Revelation

594 chapters after Psalm 117.

The middle chapter of the Bible is also the shortest chapter of the Bible. I do not consider it critical to identify the middle chapter of the Bible, but it is important not to repeat erroneous information.

[i] Technically, Psalms 1-150 do not constitute chapters, but rather individual songs. However, for purposes of counting the numbers of chapters in the Bible, almost everyone includes them. It would be interesting, just out of curiosity, to check the middle chapter if the Psalms are excluded. 1189 - 150 = 1039, so the “middle chapter” counting only chapters and not Psalms will be the one that has 519 chapters before it and 519 chapters after it (519 + 1 + 519 = 1039).
[ii] I have not personally checked this count. This may be erroneous as well.