Saturday, September 30, 2023

Looking for these KJB articles

I am looking for the following articles by King James Bible Detractors. Do you of you know where I might find them, especially if they are online or hardcopy (but any way is better than none). Thanks.

  • Doug Kutilek, “A Careful Investigation of Psalm 12:6, 7,” The Biblical Evangelist, Vol. 17, No. 21, October 14, 1983.
  • Doug Kutilek, “Erasmus and His Theology,” The Biblical Evangelist, Vol. 19, No. 20, October 15, 1985, pp. 3-4.
  • Gary Hudson, “The Great ‘Which Bible?’ Fraud,” Baptist Biblical Heritage, Vol. I, No. 2, Summer, 1990.
  • Doug Kutilek, “Wilkinson’s Incredible Errors,” Baptist Biblical Heritage, Vol. I, No.3, Fall, 1990.
  • James A. Price, “King James Only View of Edward F. Hills,” Baptist Biblical Heritage, Vol. I, No. 4, Winter 1990-91.
  • Gary Hudson, “The Real ‘Eye Opener’,” Baptist Biblical Heritage, Vol. II, No. 1, Spring, 1991.
  • Doug Kutilek, “The Truth about the Waldensian Bible and the Old Latin Version,” Baptist Biblical Heritage, Vol. II, No. 2, Summer, 1991.

Some or all of these used to be on Doug Kutilek’s, but that site has been down for quite some time.

An open letter to the Texas Republican Party chairman

I interrupt the regularly scheduled blog post to bring you this important political message. I received no response, and so am posting here as promised.

Dear Chairman Rinaldi,

Our family received a postal mail correspondence from you as a representative of the Republican Party of Texas, stating “The Republican Party of Texas stands with Ken Paxton because he stands with us.”

[Personal information redacted.] Yes, we certainly can argue that Attorney Paxton is better than the Democratic alternative. He has done some good things as Attorney General. However, I am unwilling to settle for the lesser of two evils. Mr. Paxton has shamed the Republican Party of Texas, and brought us into disrepute for our moral inconsistency – saying one thing and doing another. For my part I am not only a fiscal conservative, but a moral conservative as well. The Republican Party of Texas platform is both fiscally and morally conservative.

I think you may be correct that the impeachment process is politically motivated. However, it does not logically follow that this means Ken Paxton should continue in the office of Attorney General. He needs to go. The second-best way for him to go would be for the voters who voted him in to vote him out. The best and less painful way would be for him to go voluntarily, either by resigning or not running again. Neither of these two options seem likely, based on the actions of Mr. Paxton and support of the state Republican Party chairman.

The Party platform says, “We affirm God’s biblical design for marriage and sexual behavior between one biological man and one biological woman, which has proven to be the foundation for all great nations in Western civilization” (p. 29).

For you, perhaps, and for some members of the party, this may only be a generic plank to show a reason for the opposition to the marriage of people of the same gender. It certainly is and should be that, but it is more than that. It affirms “God’s biblical design for marriage and sexual behavior” – which Attorney General Paxton has flaunted. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and we could forgive him for the sin of adultery. However, after this sin he multiplied sin upon sin. Attorney General Paxton lied to his wife, lied to his supporters, lied to Texas, continued to pursue the adultery he promised to put behind him, and used his position as Attorney General of the great State of Texas in doing so! I do not and cannot trust liars.

I intend to share this letter as an “open letter” to my church, my Facebook friends, and on my blog. Before doing so, I will give you an opportunity to respond. Is there any reason to believe that these things that Mr. Paxton did (mentioned in the previous paragraph) are not so? I will not support Ken Paxton simply because he is better than the Democratic alternative. He needs to support this plank of the State Party platform by living it. If not, we need a better Republican alternative.

Thanks for reading and considering my opinion. May you have a blessed day.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Names and Titles of Jesus

Some of the names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament are:
  • Almighty
  • Alpha and Omega
  • Amen
  • Apostle
  • Bishop
  • Bridegroom
  • Captain of Salvation
  • Chief Shepherd
  • Christ
  • Dayspring
  • Door
  • Emmanuel
  • Faithful Witness
  • Firstborn
  • God
  • Good Shepherd
  • Governor
  • Great Shepherd
  • High Priest
  • I am
  • Image of God
  • Jesus
  • King of the Jews
  • King of Kings
  • Lamb of God
  • Light of the World
  • Life
  • Lion of the tribe of Juda
  • Lord
  • Lord of Lords
  • Master
  • Messias
  • Nazarene
  • Only Begotten Son
  • Passover
  • Potentate (Blessed and Only)
  • Rabboni and Rabbi
  • Redeemer
  • Resurrection (The) and the Life
  • Rock
  • Root of David / Root and Offspring of David
  • Saviour
  • Second Adam / Last Adam
  • Shepherd
  • Son of David
  • Son of God
  • Son of Man
  • Son of the Highest
  • Teacher
  • True Vine
  • Truth
  • Way
  • Witness
  • Word / Logos
What would you add? Subtract?

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Outlines of the Book of Acts

Three brief rough outlines of Acts

                 Two apostles, with some overlap

                    a. Peter                chapters 1-12

                    b. Paul                 chapters 9-28


Three places of witness

(Acts 1:8 furnishes the framework on which to build the history.)

                    a. In Jerusalem                             chapters 1-7

                    b. In Judaea and in Samaria        chapters 8-12

                    c. Unto the uttermost parts          chapters 13-28


  1. The establishment of the church from Jerusalem, 1:1—12: 25.
  2. The establishment of the church from Antioch, 13:1—28: 31. [1]


Highlights from the body of the book

            A. The day of Pentecost: Acts 2:1ff.; read vs. 1-4

            B. Gospel to the Samaritans: Acts 8:5ff.; read vs. 5-6

            C. Gospel to the Gentiles: Acts 10:1ff.; read 10:44-11:1

            D. Gospel to the World: Acts 13:1ff; read vs. 2-4

                 1. The church consultation at Jerusalem 15:1-35

                 2. Paul’s missionary journeys

                    a. First: 13-14

                    b. Second: 15:36-18:22

                    c. Third:   18:23-21:14

                    d. Fourth: 21:15-28:31   

The book of Acts begins in Jerusalem and ends in Rome. Paul’s imprisonment, which begins in Jerusalem and ends in Rome, encapsulates this. Also, note that Luke begins his first writing to Theophilus in the temple in Jerusalem and ends his second writing in the capital in Rome.

G. Campbell Morgan called the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles “the Pentateuch of New Testament history.” “Four of these books present the Person of our Lord; while the fifth gives the first page of the history of the Church...”[2]

[1] Introduction to the New Testament, Louis Berkhof Accessed 10 January 2020 3:00 pm.
[2] Morgan, The Acts of the Apostles, New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1924, p. 7.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Raise the Dead, Matthew 10:8

KJV: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

WEB: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you received, so freely give.

The presence or absence of the words “raise the dead” is a substantial difference in teaching! I took a look at the controversy and found a few interesting things. I will report a few things below.

Of the 62 versions/ translations of Matthew 10:8 on BibleGateway, every version has “raise the dead” or an equivalent expression – with one exception, the World English Bible. (Darby does put [raise the dead] in brackets.) The NET Bible has this note about “raise the dead”: “The majority of Byzantine minuscules, along with a few other witnesses (C3 K L Γ Θ 579 700txt* 1424c sa mae), lack νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε (nekrous egeirete, ‘raise the dead’), most likely because of oversight due to a string of similar endings (-ετε in the second person imperatives, occurring five times in v. 8). The longer version of this verse is found in several diverse and ancient witnesses such as א B C* (D) N 0281vid ƒ1, 13 33 565 579mg lat bo; P W Δ 348 syh have a word-order variation, but nevertheless include νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε.”

In a commentary edited by Charles John Ellicott, chairman of the 1880s New Testament revision company (the same revision with better known names Westcott and Hort) this statement is made about “raise the dead” in verse 8: “Raise the dead.—The words are omitted by the best MSS., and their absence is more in accordance with the facts of the Gospel history...” Nevertheless, both the RV of Ellicott/ Hort/ Westcott and its younger sister ASV both include “raise the dead” in Matthew 10:8. (Ellicott is the editor of the commentary and Edward Hayes Plumptre is the writer of the comments on Matthew. According to Ellicott, Plumptre served on the Old Testament revision committee)

For what it’s worth, the Pulpit Commentary makes this observation:

“According to the true order of these commands, solely physical ills are mentioned first in their partial (sick) and in their final effect (dead); then physical and ceremonial pollution (lepers), which forms a transition to the mention of ills primarily spiritual, even though they ultimately affect the body (devils).”

It seems this author thinks the reading is correct, but does not like the order in the King James Bible.

Lastly, the giving of power to the apostles to “raise the dead” is in fact consistent with what actually happened in New Testament history. See Acts 9:36-42 and Acts 20:9-12.

My NAS-B Ryrie Study Bible has no comment whatsoever on “raise the dead.” If I were James White, I might say something about the tenacity of the reading “raise the dead.” But I’m not James White; I’m just a poor TR/KJV guy. So, instead I’ll just say “raise the dead” is the correct reading!

Much more could be said. These are just a few observations after quickly researching the passage.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Learning from the Augsburg Confession

“Poor and afflicted,” Lord, are thine,
Among the great unfit to shine;
But tho’ the world may think it strange,
They would not with the world exchange.[i]

It is a common modern misconception that the Amish and Mennonites are Anabaptists, and that Baptists are not. In popular usage there is some truth to that. However, in meaning and history such a view is not correct.[ii] Historically, “Anabaptist” has been a catch-all term to describe all sorts of groups, with varying shades of belief. They were all Anabaptists in the sense that they held in common believers’ baptism, that water baptism was reserved for adults who professed their own faith, and therefore “re”baptized those who had been baptized (usually sprinkled) in infancy. It is for this practice that they were called “Anabaptists” by their opponents.[iii]

The Baptists of London prepared a Confession of Faith in 1644, which they called a confession “Of those Churches which are commonly (though falsly) called Anabaptists.” This statement has been used to “prove” that Baptists are not Anabaptists. However, we must understand the use and misuse of the term, as well as its origin. Again, it was a catch-all. If you rejected infant baptism then you were an Anabaptist, historically. On the other hand, the Baptists of London rejected the term as a self-descriptor. The confession itself does not clarify why they rejected the term. Their opponents were not impressed, and still considered them Anabaptists.[iv] In the end, this is a struggle to be recognized clearly on our own terms rather than the terms given by opponents. Baptists of strong constitution still argue that we do not “rebaptize.”[v] “Anabaptist” Balthasar Hübmaier put it this way in his Short Apology (1526):

“I have never taught Anabaptism…But the right baptism of Christ, which is preceded by teaching and oral confession of faith, I teach, and say that infant baptism is a robbery of the right baptism of Christ…”

The 1530 Augsburg Confession (Confessio Augustana) of the Lutheran Church provides some interesting insight into the views of Anabaptists in the early 16th century.[vi] This confession of faith was submitted at the Diet of Augsburg (Germany) in 1530 to His Majesty Charles V (1500–1558. Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain, Archduke of Austria, and Lord of the Netherlands), setting forth the views of “Our [Lutheran] Churches, with common consent.” It sets forth their views in two parts – the chief articles of faith in 22 articles, followed by 7 articles recounting Catholic abuses that had been corrected by the Lutherans (e.g., celibacy of priests). The Confession was printed in both German and Latin.

The following excerpts of the Augsburg Confession are found at the CCEL.ORG website. I provide first the Latin, for it goes back to the original time period. This provides an extra layer of research for those who understand Latin. The rest can ignore it. The Latin text is from the editio princeps, 1531, and the English translation is by Charles P. Krauth in the 1800s.[vii] I will also give an alternate English translation (and explain why later).

The Augsburg Confession condemns the beliefs of Anabaptists in five of the 22 articles of faith. We should not understand that all Anabaptists believed all of these things – which can be disproven with a little research. Rather, it is that the Lutherans thought each of these were things held by some variety of Anabaptist. The Anabaptists in concert rejected the baptism of infants and held to the biblical practice of believers’ baptism. However, they thought there were Anabaptists who were universalists, or believed in annihilation of the wicked, Anabaptists who held sinless perfection, Anabaptists who held eternal security, and, of course, Anabaptists who rejected service in civil office and military service.

Article V: Of the Ministry

Damnant Anabaptistas et alios, qui sentient, Spiritum Sanctum contingere sine verbo externo hominibus per ipsorum preparationes et opera.

They condemn the Anabaptists and others, who imagine that the Holy Spirit is given to men without the outward word, through their own preparations and works.

They condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word, through their own preparations and works.

It is possible, considering the last phrase, that the Anabaptists were misunderstood by the Lutherans for attending on their own local congregations while refusing to attend the ministrations of the state church. There were some Anabaptists who were spiritualists, expecting to receive new or advanced revelation beyond the written word. Those might be included in this condemnation.

Article IX: Of Baptism

Damnant Anabaptistas, qui improbant Baptismum puerorum et affirmant pueros sine Baptismo salvos fieri.

They condemn the Anabaptists who allow not the Baptism of children, and affirm that children are saved without Baptism.

They condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the baptism of children, and say that children are saved without baptism.

This is the common thread of all Anabaptism – rejecting the baptism of children and holding to believers’ baptism. Whether they are Baptist immersionists or Mennonite pourers, they are all alike Anabaptists in this regard.

Article XII: Of Repentance

Damnant Anabaptistas, qui negant semel justificatos posse amittere Spiritum Sanctum. Item, qui contendunt quibusdam tantam perfectionem in hac vita contingere, ut peccare non possint [dass diejenigen so einst sind fromm worden, nicht wieder fallen mögen]. Damnantur et Novatiani, qui nolebant absolvere lapsos post Baptismum redeuntes ad pœnitentiam. Rejiciuntur et isti, qui non docent remissionem peccatorum per fidem contingere, sed jubent nos mereri gratiam per satisfactiones nostras

They condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that men once justified can lose the Spirit of God, and do contend that some men may attain to such a perfection in this life that they can not sin. [Here are rejected those who teach that those who have once been holy can not fall again.] The Novatians are also condemned, who would not absolve such as had fallen after baptism, though they returned to repentance. They also that do not teach that remission of sins is obtained by faith, and who command us to merit grace by satisfactions, are rejected.

They condemn the Anabaptists who deny that those once justified can lose the Holy Ghost. Also, those who contend that some may attain to such perfection in this life that they cannot sin. The Novatians also are condemned, who would not absolve such as had fallen after Baptism, though they returned to repentance. They also are rejected who do not teach that remission of sins comes through faith but command us to merit grace through satisfactions of our own.

This first English translation of this statement is the main reason I chose to include an alternate translation. Krauth’s translation muddies two groups in one. There were Anabaptists who denied that once men were justified could lose the Holy Ghost. That is Baptist eternal security teaching, and different from the falling from grace idea held by the majority of modern-day Anabaptists. Then again, there are those who believe one can attain sinless perfection in this life. As written, these are two different statements, rather than one belief as Krauth translates it. It is not clear to me whether the Lutherans saw the Novatians as a group within Anabaptism, or a completely separate. More research could shed some like on that.

Article XVI: Of Civil Affairs

Damnant Anabaptistas, qui interdicunt hæc civilia officia Christianis. Damnant et illos, qui Evangelicam perfectionem non collocant in timore Dei et fide, sed in deserendis civilibus officiis, quia Evangelium tradit justiciam æternam cordis. Interim non dissipat Politiam aut Œconomiam, sed maxime postulat conservare tanquam ordinationes Dei, et in talibus ordinationibus exercere caritatem. Itaque necessario debent Christiani obedire magistratibus suis et legibus; nisi cum jubent peccare, tunc etiam magis debent obedire Deo quam hominibus (Acts v. 29).

They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid Christians these civil offices. They condemn also those that place the perfection of the Gospel, not in the fear of God and in faith, but in forsaking civil offices, inasmuch as the Gospel teacheth an everlasting righteousness of the heart. In the mean time, it doth not disallow order and government of commonwealths or families, but requireth especially the preservation and maintenance thereof, as of God's own ordinances, and that in such ordinances we should exercise love. Christians, therefore, must necessarily obey their magistrates and laws, save only when they command any sin; for then they must rather obey God than men (Acts v. 29).

They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid these civil offices to Christians. They condemn also those who do not place evangelical perfection in the fear of God and in faith, but in forsaking civil offices, for the Gospel teaches an eternal righteousness of the heart. Meanwhile, it does not destroy the State or the family, but very much requires that they be preserved as ordinances of God, and that charity be practiced in such ordinances. Therefore, Christians are necessarily bound to obey their own magistrates and laws save only when commanded to sin; for then they ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5. 29.

It is well-known that many Anabaptists then and now believed Christians should not hold civil office. That was not, however, the sine qua non of Anabaptism. Anabaptist leader Balthasar Hübmaier (1480-1528) believed government was an institution ordained by God, that Christians should support their government and pay taxes, and even that Christians could “take up the sword” for government under the right circumstances.[viii] Pilgram Marpeck (1495–1556) was an engineer who worked in the public employ. The Münster Rebellion is a very negative and radical example of Anabaptists and civil office. In fact, it may have solidified the majority against interacting in government affairs. The Confession seems to imply that Anabaptists did not believe in obeying magistrates, which is a misinterpretation. They also believed in Acts 5:29, but, holding the freedom of religious expression, thought that magistrates requiring religious faith and “orthodox” belief of its citizens was a violation of Acts 5:29.

Article XVII: Of Christ’s Return to Judgment

Damnant Anabaptistas, qui sentiunt hominibus damnatis ac diabolis finem pænarum futurum esse. Damnant et alios, qui nunc spargunt Judaicas opiniones, quod ante resurrectionem mortuorum pii regnum mundi occupaturi sint, ubique oppressis impiis [eitel Heilige, Fromme ein weltlich Reich haben, und alle Gottlosen vertilgen werden].

They condemn the Anabaptists who think that to condemned men and the devils shall be an end of torments. They condemn others also, who now scatter Jewish opinions, that, before the resurrection of the dead, the godly shall occupy the kingdom of the world, the wicked being every where suppressed [the saints alone, the pious, shall have a worldly kingdom, and shall exterminate all the godless].

They condemn the Anabaptists who think that there will be an end to the punishments of condemned men and devils. They condemn also others who are now spreading certain Jewish opinions, that before the resurrection of the dead the godly shall take possession of the kingdom of the world, the ungodly being everywhere suppressed.

This shows some Anabaptists were universalists, and that some were probably annihilationists (i.e., annihilation of the wicked would put an end to their punishments). The later belief sounds much like Postmillennialism, and bears more study. We do know that at least some Anabaptists were looking for and expecting a Millennial Kingdom.

Final thoughts 

That’s a brief look, in a long post, of some ideas which one might draw about Anabaptists from the Lutheran Confessio Augustana. It represents what they felt were errors of the Anabaptists, as they understood them. They condemned and opposed them. Roman Catholics replied to the Confessio Augustana in August 1520 with the Confutatio Augustana. At least three times they praised the Lutherans for “condemning the Anabaptists, a most seditious class of men that ought to be banished far from the boundaries of the Roman Empire…” The kings of the earth stood up, and the state churches gathered together, against the Lord and against his little flock.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.

[i] By Thomas Kelly (1769–1855).
[ii] Even the Editors of the online Encyclopaedia Britannica – certainly no bastion of Landmarkism – recognize that the Anabaptist, at the least, is the “spiritual ancestor of modern Baptists, Mennonites, and Quakers.”
[iii] From the Greek baptizo, immerse, and ana, again. “Again” refers more to how their opponents viewed these baptisms – that is, baptizing again, or a second time, someone who have already been baptized. The “Anabaptists,” on the other hand, saw this are the first, real, and only baptism – that is, whatever had happened before, it was not baptism. This is one reason Baptists moved away from the term. They did not admit to “rebaptizing” or baptizing again. Other reasons were to distance themselves from other Anabaptists they considered unsound or heretical, and probably to avoid some of derision and persecution directed at all who were considered Anabaptist. The excesses, uprising, and establishment of an “Anabaptist Kingdom” at Münster, Westphalia tainted the name for years to come. Many still associate the name “Anabaptist” and “Münster” as inextricably linked. There exists the possibility and even cases of “anabaptist” practice by some who believe in infant baptism, in that they will not receive a particular infant baptism performed by some other group, denomination, etc. This is anabaptism in principle, though I am not aware of it being historically identified as Anabaptism.
[iv] For example, Daniel Featley wrote wrote of Article 39, “Here they lispe not, but speak out plain their Anabaptisticall doctrine; whereby they exclude all children of the faithfull, from the Sacrament of entrance into the Church.” In 1647 published The Dippers Dipt, or, The Anabaptists Duck’d and Plung’d over Head and Ears.
[v] “Antipaedobaptists” is another term that is probably more accurate. Baptists are against paedobaptism (infant sprinkling, pouring, and even immersing), while, in the strictest sense, do not believe that they are rebaptizing Paedobaptists when they baptize them.
[vi] Thanks to Mark Osgatharp, Baptist pastor in Wynne, Arkansas, for pointing out this resource connection.
[vii] The first English translation of the Confession was made by Richard Taverner in 1536. It has the advantage of also being from the time period. I have not seen it online, however.
[viii] Enough Anabaptists defended the use of the sword for defense of country that there is a distinct name for those who held such a view, Schwertler Anabaptists. In Anabaptists and the Sword (1972), James M. Stayer challenged the consensus teaching that all 16th century Anabaptists taught non-resistance (and wins, in my opinion).

Monday, September 25, 2023

The best interpreter

“The best interpreter of a book is generally the man who wrote it. The Holy Ghost wrote the Scriptures. Go to him to get their meaning, and you will not be misled. Oh, when shall the time come when every Christian shall say, ‘By the grace of God I read the Scripture, and I am enabled by the Holy Spirit to mark it, to learn it, and to understand it. I earnestly labour to know what God means by what he has said, as far as the human intellect can understand his meaning.’”

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892), The Secret Food and the Public Name, 1872, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 18

Sunday, September 24, 2023

The Only Son from Heaven

The author of the hymn below – Elisabeth Cruciger (or Elisabethe Creutziger, Elisabet Creutzigerin) – was born around 1500 to the von Meseritz family, a family off Polish nobility. She grew up as a nun in a convent. For some reason Elisabeth left the convent in Pomerania and came to Wittenberg. She heard the gospel from a preacher named Johannes Bugenhagen. It may be that she heard the gospel from Bugenhagen before she left Pomerania, and then came to Wittenberg with this family. In 1524 she married Caspar Cruciger, a student of Martin Luther. Elisabeth Cruciger became a close friend of Luther’s wife Katherina. She is probably the first female Lutheran hymn writer. Her hymn was included on page 20 in the Lutheran hymnal Enchiridion Oder eyn Handbuchlein, published in 1524. Elisabeth died at the young age of 35, at Wittenberg, in May 1535. Her hymn, written in German, begins “Herr Christ der eynig gots son” (Lord Christ, the one Son of God). It bears the title “Eyn Lobgsang von Christo” (“A Song of Praise to Christ,” I think). Later it is credited as “Ein geistlich liedt von Christo, Elisabet Creutzigerin,” in the Geistliche Lieder (Wittenberg, 1531).

The hymn in Enchiridion is made up of five stanzas, with seven lines each. In German its meter appears to me to be, and a corresponding tune is given with it. This tune, or at least an adaptation of it, is called Herr Christ Der Einig Gotts Sohn and is used with the hymn in modern hymnals. “The only Son from heaven” is a translation made by Arthur Tozer Russell of stanzas 1-3. Russell follows the original hymn meter. The translation is Hymn No. 41 in Russell’s Psalms and Hymns, Partly Original, Partly Selected, for the Use of the Church of England (Cambridge: John Deighton, 1851).

Arthur Tozer Russell (1806–1874) was born at Northampton, the son of Thomas Russell. He was a Church of England clergyman and theologian, as well as a hymn writer and translator of hymns. He died at Southwick in 1874 and was buried at the St. Michael & All Angels Churchyard there.

1. The only Son from heaven,
By prophets long foretold,
Now by the Father given,
His glory doth unfold.
No bound his light confineth;
No star so brightly shineth,
As he our Morning Star.

2. Lo! In the time appointed,
Christ of a Virgin born,
Our King of God anointed:
Oh bright and holy morn!
The power of death he breaketh;
Man of his heaven partaketh—
An heir of life again.

3. O Lord, our hearts awaken
To know and love you more,—
In faith to stand unshaken,—
In spirit to adore;
That we whilst onward hasting,
O Lord, thy sweetness tasting,
May ever thirst for thee.

The hymn sometimes appears with a sort of doxology as the fourth stanza. That stanza is not part of Russell’s original translation/poetry in Psalms and Hymns. for the Use of the Church of England, neither is it from Cruciger’s original hymn.

O Father, here before you
With God the Holy Ghost
And Jesus, we adore you,
O Pride of angel host.
Before you mortals lowly
Cry, “Holy, holy, holy,
O blessed Trinity!”

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Billie Jean and Bobby

At this time in 1973 [posted late, so actually the anniversary was Wednesday], the so-called “Battle of the Sexes” played out – a highly hyped and oddly remembered match between female tennis star Billie Jean King and former male tennis star Bobby Riggs. It is “the talk of the town,” Wednesday being the 50th anniversary.

I think this match is quite an odd thing to celebrate as some grand victory for women. Yes, Billie Jean beat Bobby in three straight sets. She was a great tennis player. The “Battle of the Sexes” had many repercussions. However, judged solely as a tennis match, it really is a downer. King was 29 years old and at the top of her game. Riggs may have been one of the world’s best tennis players at one time. But on September 20, 1973, Bobby Riggs was a 55-year old out of shape “has been,” not well prepared, with a mouth bigger than his serve. 

Now had Billie Jean beat an Arthur Ashe or a Björn Borg on or around that day, that would have been something! Bobby Riggs? Nah.

Three tombstone inscriptions

Below are three tombstone inscriptions by which I was impressed.

“Beneath this stone two sisters sleep who’ve left us here a while to weep; in bloom of youth were call’d away, transient as theirs may be our stay.”

“Death is the close of life’s alarms, the watch-light on it’s shores, the clasping in immortal arms of loved one’s gone before.”

“Beneath this dolesome veil she rests, her weary head serene, from busy life, she’s peaceful laid, no sorrows intervene.”

Friday, September 22, 2023

Pitbull Pidcock

Rick Pidcock, a freelance writer and graduate of Bob Jones University, at times seems trying to establish himself at the pitbull of the left of liberal Not-Baptist Opinion Everywhere (aka Baptist News Global. He is a prolific contributor to BNG, but, like Martha, he is careful and troubled about many things – especially if those things have anything to do with “white evangelical conservatives.” It is almost like he has an insecurity rooted in fear.

Like many on the left, he fears the possibility of no longer being able to kill babies in the womb. He and they are enamored with that “right.”

The primary case against abortion is theological, not political. When conservatives declare that “life begins at conception,” that is a theological claim based on Psalm 139:13, not a scientific claim or a public policy claim.[i]

No great surprise for people who claim the Bible as their authority. And while biblical claims do not find their genesis in science, they do not necessarily contradict one another. And even if Pidcock can’t see it, “science,” which parses its words carefully in the current “politically-charged” atmosphere, is near the same place as Christians. Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute admits, “Pregnancy is established when a fertilized egg has been implanted in the wall of a woman's uterus.” And Encyclopedia Brittanica states, “The zygote (fertilized egg cell)...represents the first stage in the development of a genetically unique organism.”

Logic, common sense, and the American College of Pediatricians are slightly ahead of them, and right there with the Bible and Christians. There is one point in which something changes from two to one. “The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop.”

Rick cannot take it. In another diatribe, he makes clear his holier-than-thou position: If you want to discuss abortion with him, you must lay aside what you believe and discuss it on his terms. What hubris!

Drop that concept [belief in hell], and then maybe we can talk about abortion with a modicum of humanity and common sense. Until then, I can’t take anything conservative evangelicals in the pro-life movement have to say about abortion the least bit seriously.

See how the “liberal-minded” left operates? Acquiesce to my position before we can even begin to discuss an issue. Oh, the intolerance of tolerance!

[i] Note two things about “a theological claim based on Psalm 139:13, not a scientific claim or a public policy claim.” 1. “As if” that is the only theological prop we have. 2. He seems to disallow Christians using their source of truth in “public policy.” Get your truth elsewhere if you wish to unveil it in the public square. This from the folks who talk talk talk about “religious freedom.”

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Dating the book of Acts

The book of Acts covers a period of about thirty years, from Jesus’s ascension to Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome.[1] Over this 30-something year period, we get a good view of the “praxis” of the church. Many today seem to have forgotten what the church “looked like.” The book of Acts should remind us.

The period covered is approximately AD 30-32 to AD 62. Some historical dates associated with Acts are:

            1. The crucifixion:                                                      circa AD 32

2. Herod’s death:                                                        AD 44 (12:43)

3. Gallio as deputy of Achaia                                     AD 52-53 (18:12-17)

4. Festus’s appointment as Governor:                        AD 59 (24:27)

The time when Acts was written is between AD 62 and AD 66.[2] Luke wrote it after (i.e., later than) he wrote the Gospel. This is the “sequel.” The two treatises of Luke, taken together, make up about one-fourth of the New Testament. Luke is writing after Paul’s imprisonment in Rome and before his death. Luke was with Paul near the time of his death. Surely he would have mentioned it if it occurred before he wrote Acts.

Luke “sets his narrative in the framework of contemporary history; his pages are full of references to city magistrates, provincial governors, client kings, and the like, and these references time after time prove to be just right for the place and time in question.”[3] This is much to the chagrin of Bible deniers, but exactly what Bible believers expect.

Interesting note: though perhaps of no major significance, the period of time covered in the book of Acts and the length of ministry of the Apostle Paul are approximately the same, with the history of Acts beginning two or three years before Paul’s conversion and the history of Acts closing three or four years before Paul’s martyrdom.

[1] Luke and Acts as a unit covers events from the announcement at Jerusalem of the birth of John the Baptist to the arrival of the apostle Paul in Rome – from the central city of God’s chosen people to the central city of the known world. 
[2] Darrell Bock says it can be “no earlier than AD 62” because of Paul’s imprisonment. Acts, p. 25. Significantly, Luke does not record the death of Paul (circa AD 64-66) or the destruction of Jerusalem (circa AD 70). The abrupt ending and date of the book are linked, indicating it was written shortly after the conclusion of the last events mentioned. See “The Acts of the Apostles,” George E. Ladd, in Wycliffe Commentary, p. 1123. 
[3] “The Book of Acts,” F. F. Bruce, New Bible Dictionary, p. 11.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

CT vs. MT vs. TT

When it comes to printed Greek texts of the New Testament, they fall into three groups:

  • Critical Text - this term refers to texts that are created from the process of collating and comparing the extant Greek manuscripts using a complex and varied set of rules (eclecticism) to determine the “original” or “earliest” reading. By far the most commonly used is the NU - the Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies text, which are the same text with different “apparatus.” The majority of modern translations of the Bible are based on the Critical Text.
  • Majority Text - this term refers to texts that are created from the process of collating and comparing the extant Greek manuscripts to find which readings are in the majority in available manuscripts. The primary Majority Texts are those by Hodges-Farstad, Robinson-Pierpont, and Wilbur Pickering. There are no major or common Bible translations based on the Majority Text.
  • Traditional Text - this term refers to a line of texts more commonly referred to as the Textus Receptus, descending originally from the work of Desiderius Erasmus, and including printed texts by Stephanus, Beza, and the Elzevirs. The Traditional Text in most common use today is the Scrivener Text printed by the Trinitarian Bible Society. The traditional text is also called the Confessional Text. The text is “traditional” in being commonly and widely used since the 1500s by so-called “Protestant” churches, and in distinction of the Roman Church and its Latin text. Reformation-era translations were based on the Traditional Text, and it is the preferred underlying New Testament text for translations made by the Trinitarian Bible Society.

I do not intend to go into great detail. Hopefully the above statements are simple and fair representations of each type, category, or group of  texts. I do not doubt that my own preference affects how I try to define them. The above is primarily an introduction to the two points below.

The Majority Text and Traditional Text are closer textually. The Traditional Text has minority readings in a few places, but contains mostly majority readings, making it very close to any reconstructed text based on majority readings. The Critical Text has many more minority readings than either of these two, as well as many patchwork readings that are not found in any manuscript.

The Majority Text and Critical Text are closer philosophically. They are both achieved by ongoing reconstruction and then because of their method are never finally settled. New discoveries can change their form and content. Though there are some variant Traditional Texts (TRs), those who use the Traditional Text are settled and the only changes likely are in the form of minor editing (which could be correction of typographical errors or simple formatting).

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

King James Bible Editing

This post presents some interesting research by Christopher Yetzer. In it he tests the theory that some later editors of the King James Bible made some decisions giving preference to the Stephanus 1550 edition of the Textus Receptus over the Beza 1598 Textus Receptus.[i] I found his research interesting and asked his permission to post it on my blog. Brother Yetzer is a Baptist missionary, a native Ohioan, preaching in Milan, Italy. In addition, he researches and writes concerning the Traditional Texts and King James translation of the Bible. The writing below is from Brother Christopher Yetzer, posted with his permission.[ii]


I had heard that the later editors (after the initial printing) of the KJV used Stephanus’ 1550 text (for italics and such) instead of Beza’s 1598 text which was clearly the most uniform to the 1611 translation itself. Scrivener said “so that Beza’s fifth and last text of 1598 was more likely than any other to be in the hands of the King James’s revisers...” It has also been commented that the Elzevir text was more often printed on mainland Europe. So, I wanted to check some verses and test these hypotheses. 

Out of 13 verses checked 8 followed Stephanus where he differed from Beza and 7 of those were also in Elzevir’s text. None followed Beza against Stephanus. 3 of the changes were from 1638 or previous and the other 4 were from after 1638.

  • (KJV1611) the readings in the 1611 printing
  • (CE) what they are in the current edition
  • (Date) when the change was made in the KJV tradition
  • (Steph./Beza:) the readings according to the 1550 Steph. and the 1598 Beza
  • (Elz.) which of those editions was followed by the 1633 Elzevir edition[iii] 

Ephesians 6:24. KJV1611: “in sinceritie.” CE: “in sincerity. Amen.” Date: 1616/1629. Steph./Beza: Both include αμην. Elz.: Same.

Matthew 14:34. KJV1611: “Genesaret” CE: “Gennesaret” Date: 1629. Steph./Beza: Both have Γεννησαρετ (*both also have variant spellings in their notes). Elz.: Same.

Mark 6:53. KJV1611:”Genesareth” CE: “Gennesaret” Date: ≥1638. Steph./Beza: Both have Γενησαρετ (*Steph. has variant in margin). Elz.: Same.

Mark 8:14. KJV1611: “Now the disciples had” CE: “Now [the disciples] had” Date: ≥1638. Steph./Beza: NA(margin)/οι μαθηται: Elz.: Steph.

Revelation 11:14. KJV1611: “woe is past, and behold,” CE: “woe is past; [and], behold,” Date: ≥1638. Steph./Beza: NA/και. Elz.: Steph.

Acts 7:16. KJV1611: “Sichem” CE: “Sychem” Date: 1638. Steph./Beza: Συχεμ/Σιχεμ. Elz.: Steph.

John 8:6. KJV1611: “as though he heard them not.” CE: “[as though he heard them not].” Date: 1638<. Steph./Beza: Neither (Steph. has the reading in the margin.) Elz.: Same.

Acts 1:4. KJV1611: “assembled together with them” CE: “assembled together with [them]” Date: 1638<. Steph./Beza: NA/μετ αυτων. Elz.: Steph.

Acts 26:3. KJV1611: “Especially, because I know thee” CE: “Especially [because I know] thee” Date: 1638<. Steph./Beza: NA(margin)/ειδως. Elz.: Steph.

2 Peter 2:18. KJV1611: “lusts of the flesh, through much wantonnesse,” CE: “lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness,” Date: 1638<. Steph./Beza: NA/εν Elz.: Beza.

1 John 3:16. KJV1611: “the love of God” CE: “the love [of God]” Date: 1638<. Steph./Beza: NA(margin)/του θεου. Elz.: Steph.

John 16:25. KJV1611: “the time commeth” CE: “but the time cometh” Date: 1756. Steph./Beza: Both have αλλ. Elz.: Same.

Acts 26:18. KJV1611: “To open their eyes, and to” CE: “To open their eyes, [and] to” Date: 1638<. Steph./Beza: του/και Elz.: Steph.

Used by permission.

[i] Originally posted in the Facebook group “King James Bible / Textus Receptus Defenders,” August 30, 2023. 
[ii] With some minor formatting for the blog. 
[iii] Yetzer: “I didn’t attempt to track all of them to the specific year that they were changed in English, but mainly compared them to the 1638 printing as to whether the change was pre or post 1638. I also tried to mention if Stephanus or Beza gave the reading in a marginal note.”

Monday, September 18, 2023

From God’s word

“If there is something to teach, let it be taught from God’s word. If something is to be refuted, let it be refuted from God’s word. If something is to be corrected, let it be corrected from God’s word. If something is to be taught, let it be taught from God’s word.”

Attributed to Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499–1542)

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Christian’s Song

I paired words from the hymn below (1st & 2nd stanzas, and refrain) with the tune Wiley. I had read how Mr. Wiley Palmer Jones sang those words, and I desired to have a tune with which to sing them. The resulting tune was named Wiley, in honor of Mr. Jones. Written in 2011,* it was published in The Sacred Harp, 2012 Cooper Revision (No. 514). The tune has subsequently been included in The Good Old Songs, Second Volume as well (No. 562).

The poetry is attributed to George Askins. I believe he wrote the original hymn, and that it was been transmitted in a number of variants arranged from his original. Likely his best-known hymn is “Brethren, we have met to worship.”

The Christian’s Song. 6.6.7.D.

1. Dear brethren, I have found,
A land which doth abound,
With fruits as sweet as manna,
The more I eat I find,
The more I am inclined,
To sing and shout “hosanna!”

My soul doth long to go,
Where it may fully know,
The glory of the Savior;
And as I pass along,
I’ll sing the Christian’s song,
I hope to live forever.

2. What must this fountain be,
From which grace flows so free,
It yields both peace and pleasure;
There’s no terrestrial bliss,
Can ever equal this,
A foretaste of my Savior.

3. Perhaps you think I’m wild
And simple as a child;
I am a child of glory.
My joy is from above,
My heart is filled with love,
I long to tell the story.

4. Now brethren, can you say,
That you are on your way—
Are on your way to glory?
I care not for the name,
Religion is the same;
Come tell the pleasing story.

5. My soul doth sit and sing,
And practices her wings,
And contemplates the hour:
When the messenger shall say,
Come quit this house of clay,
And with bright angels tower.

6. In fields of living green,
Close by the crystal stream,
My Saviour leads his children.
And if they watch and pray,
Each moment every day,
Their shepherd never leaves them.

7. While perfect love controls
Each motion of their souls,
Their faces shine with heaven;
And as they pass along,
They sing the Christian’s song,
“We hope to live forever.”

* Note: April 6, 2011. As an odd circumstance, it was written on my Mother’s birthday, April the 6th.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

In other cruci- words

  • crucial, adjective. Involving an extremely important decision or result; decisive; critical.
  • crucible, noun. A severe, searching test or trial; a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
  • crucifer, noun. A person who carries a cross, as in ecclesiastical processions; (Botany) a cruciferous plant.
  • cruciferous, adjective. Bearing a cross; (Botany) belonging to the family Cruciferae, the mustard family of plants.
  • crucifix, noun. A cross with the figure of Jesus crucified upon it; any cross.
  • crucifixion, noun. The act of crucifying, or the state of being crucified.
  • cruciform, adjective. Being in the shape of a cross; cross-shaped.
  • crucify, verb. To put to death by nailing or binding the hands and feet to a cross; to treat with gross injustice; persecute; torment; torture.
  • cruciverbalist, noun. A designer or aficionado of crossword puzzles.

Friday, September 15, 2023

The Good Confession and Baptism

Acts 8:36ff. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? ... If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.

For the eunuch and to Philip, the question of baptism comes up. The preaching of Jesus does not exclude the preaching of baptism, which is a testimony of his death, burial, and resurrection according to the scriptures. The believer does not delay to obey. Compare Psalm 119:60 “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.”

The eunuch of Ethiopia first makes “The ‘Good’ or ‘Great’ Confession” that must be made by all, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Cf. Matthew 16:16; Romans 10:10 – “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Ultimately, every tongue shall confess, Romans 14:11.

Baptism is immersion. Philip and the eunuch “went down both into the water” and both “come up out of the water.” Paedorantists would have them only go “to the water,” – or even if they went “into the water” that “they went perhaps up to the ankles or mid-leg into the water, and Philip sprinkled water upon him” (Matthew Henry). Yet, even the Protestant Reformer John Calvin (who did not hold to immersion only) sensibly includes this note on Acts 8:38: “Hence we see what was the manner of baptizing with the ancients, for they plunged the whole body into water.” Immersion was the universal practice of the New Testament and early churches. 

The baptism of the eunuch indicates these elements:

  • Proper authority vs. 26-27
  • Proper candidate vs. 36-37
  • Proper mode vs. 38-39 

The Spirit of the Lord removed Philip to points beyond. Even though “the eunuch saw him no more,” he nevertheless “went on his way rejoicing.”

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Acts 8:37 again

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

On Re-Baptism (Anonymous) 3rd century?

Just as the Ethiopian eunuch, when he was returning from Jerusalem and reading the prophet Isaiah, and was in doubt, having at the Spirit's suggestion heard the truth from Philip the deacon, believed and was baptized...

On Baptism, Chapter 18 (Tertullian)

The Scripture which he was reading falls in opportunely with his faith: Philip, being requested, is taken to sit beside him; the Lord is pointed out; faith lingers not; water needs no waiting for; the work is completed, and the apostle snatched away. 

Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews (Ad Quirinium), Cyprian, Book 3, Treatise 12, chapter 43 (written in the 250’s, in Latin)

In the Acts of the Apostles: “Lo, here is water; what is there which hinders me from being baptized? Then said Philip, If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

A Greek scholium attributed to Irenaeus

Philip...easily persuaded him to believe on Him, that He was Christ Jesus...

[This can be found in Catenae Graecorum Patrum, Volume 3, edited by John Anthony Cramer, on page 144.]