HOW LONG WERE THE HEBREWS IN EGYPT?
September 13th, 2019
Genesis 15:13, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;”
Exodus 12:40-41, “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.”
Acts 7:6, “And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.”
Galatians 3:17, “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
How long were the Hebrews in Egypt? Was it 400 years (Genesis 15:13; Acts 7:6) or 430 years (Exodus 12:40-41; Galatians 3:17)? Is there a discrepancy here? Is this a contradiction?
If we begin, as we should, with the premise that the word of God contains no errors nor contradictions then we must assume there is a reasonable explanation. The only question is whether or not we can figure it out.
It seems that the easiest answer is to say that God was “rounding off” the number in Genesis, which was later quoted in Acts. It was actually “four hundred and thirty years” but He rounded it off to “four hundred years”. This could be an acceptable explanation if there were other places in Scripture where God did this.
However, there doesn’t appear to be any other instances; God always gives exact numbers. So let’s look for another explanation.
Notice that in the two verses which say ”four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13 and Acts 7:6) it says “they shall afflict them” and “bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil”. But in Exodus 12:40 it says “the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.” The affliction and bondage did not begin immediately when the “seventy souls” came into Egypt (Exodus 1:5) but thirty years later when “there arose up a new king over Egypt” (Exodus 1:8). This would make their “sojourning” in Egypt 430 years while making their “affliction” in Egypt 400 years. This would also be consistent with the wording of Galatians 3:17 which tells us that “the covenant, that was confirmed...was four hundred and thirty years” before the law (Exodus 12). The covenant was given to Abraham many years previous but it was “confirmed” to Jacob on his journey to Egypt in Genesis 46:1-4, “four hundred and thirty years” before the Hebrews left Egypt.
Whether this is definitively the answer we cannot be absolutely sure. But what we do know is that there is an explanation for ANY and EVERY supposed contradiction or inconsistency in the word of God. There are no discrepancies; no contradictions.
Follower or Imitator?
January 27th, 2015
There are a number of places in the New Testament where the Greek word “mimêtai” appears. It is the word from which we get our word “mimic”. In all of these places the KJV translates this word as “followers” or “follow” where other bible versions translate it as “imitate” or “imitators”.
1 Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. (KJV)
I urge you, then, be imitators of me. (ESV)
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (KJV)
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (ESV)
Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (KJV)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (ESV)
Phillipians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me. (KJV)
Brothers, join in imitating me. (ESV)
1Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord (KJV)
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord (ESV)
1Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God (KJV)
For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God (ESV)
2Thessalonians 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us (KJV)
For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us (ESV)
Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them… (KJV)
So that you may not be sluggish , but imitators… (ESV)
Hebrews 13:7 …whose faith follow… (KJV)
…imitate their faith… (ESV)
3 John 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good (KJV)
Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good (ESV)
Both words, “follow” and “imitate”, can be correct translations of the Greek word “mimêtai”, so neither is necessarily a wrong translation. However, the KJV translators obviously chose “follow” over “imitate” whereas modern translators prefer the opposite.
Why? We can only speculate. Believing that God oversaw the translation work of the Authorized Version (KJV), and that the scholarship of those translators far surpasses that of modern scholars, they must have had a reason for choosing one word over another. Consider the following story:
Dr. Richard Kilby was one of the KJV translators. After the completion of the translation work he was traveling with a friend, a Mr. Sanderson, to Derbyshire (England). On Sunday they went to the local church to hear the preacher. That morning, unaware of Dr. Kilby’s presence, the young preacher spent most of his time correcting different words in the “late translation” (KJV) and gave three reasons why one of the words in particular was translated incorrectly. After the service the young preacher was invited to a house where Dr. Kilby was also present. There the Doctor rebuked the young preacher for wasting the congregation’s time on questioning the Bible instead of preaching good doctrine. He then told the young man that for that one word which he told the congregation he had three reasons to reject it, Dr. Kirby and the other translators had considered those same three reasons but found thirteen more reasons why they should translate it as they did. (1)
So, likewise, the KJV translators rejected “imitators” in favor of “followers”. Their reasoning may have been that “imitator” or “imitation” usually means fake or counterfeit. We use it in our vernacular when we have something made of “imitation leather”. It isn’t real. Or maybe they knew their Bible well enough to know that when someone imitates someone they are not, trouble ensues: see the story of the seven sons of Sceva who tried to imitate Paul’s miracles and ended up in a mess of trouble – Acts 19:10-20. Or better yet, read Isaiah 14:14 where Lucifer attempts to “be like the most high”; an imitator but definitely not a follower.
So, “Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children”.
(1) The Translators Revived: A Biographical Memoir of the Authors of the English Version of the Holy Bible, pg. 139-140 (A.W. McClure/Scribner Press, 1853)
Tags: 1 Corinthians 4:16, follower, imitator, mimêtai, mimic
Posted in KJV 1611
Eagles or Vultures?
October 1st, 2014
In studying for a Sunday School lesson this week on the Second Coming of Christ I’m researching Matthew 24:28, “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” I thought “eagles” and “carcase” was a strange combination because eagles are usually predators of living creatures not dead ones. That explains why the newer versions change the verse to, “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (ESV). Sure, that makes more sense; vultures (or buzzards) are “road kill” creatures – not “eagles”. But there is one big problem with that change: it is not an accurate nor correct translation.
The Greek word for “eagles” is “aetoi” and it is the word used here in every available Greek text. Wycliffe, Tyndale, and the Geneva Bible (as well as the King James Bible) all translated the word as “eagles”. Even the ASV and RSV translated the word “aetoi” as “eagles”. However, almost every version since those (including the NASV and NRSV) have changed the word to “vultures”. The Greek word for “vultures” would be “gupas” but it appears in no Greek text whatsoever. So why did the modern translators change the word to “vultures”? Because it makes more sense? That would be dangerous. We cannot change something in the word of God because WE think it makes more sense another way.
Tags: aetoi, buzzard, eagles, Greek, Matthew 24:28, vultures
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Robert Bruce: Man of Prayer
July 26th, 2014
Robert Bruce was a man of prayer. The Scotsman, who lived from 1554-1631, had preached once already that morning in Larbert in the summer of 1627. When he delayed to reappear to preach the second time that day the crowd grew anxious. So they sent the bellman to the place where Bruce was staying to ask the preacher to make haste to come to the church. When the bellman approached the door of Bruce’s room he overheard a conversation taking place inside. Not wanting to interrupt the conversation, he returned to those who had sent him and told them he did not know how much longer it would be until the preacher came to the church. “I think he shall not come out the day at all,” said the bellman, “for I hear him always saying to another that he will not, nor cannot, go except the other go with him, and I do not hear the other answer him a word at all”. This seasoned saint was not speaking to any other man, but to God; without whose presence he would not attempt to preach.
Tags: Larbert, prayer, Robert Bruce, Scotsman
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God Manifest in the Flesh
October 17th, 2013
1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (King James Bible)
1 Timothy 3:16 “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: Hewas manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” (English Standard Version)
This verse, in the King James Bible, is one of the great verses on the Deity of Christ or what we call “the incarnation”; that God was made flesh.
How this mistake, in the ESV (and other modern versions), happened:
Greek text of the King James Bible says – Θεὸς (theos) which is translated “God”
Greek text of the ESV (and others) says – ὃς (os) which is translated:
Of the 300 known Greek cursive copies of the epistle of Paul to Timothy 254 read Θεὸς. In the others, the Θε (The) was omitted, leaving ὸς (os). Thus, the modern bible versions change the Deity (God) to humanity (He, Who, Which).
If “He” (or “Who”, or “Which”, or even “Christ” [NLT]) is anyone other than “God” then the doctrine of Deity has been subtly attacked. Don’t use a bible that questions and attacks the Deity of Christ.
Note: The Muslims attack the King James Bible over this verse and support the new modern versions’ alteration:
Don’t use a bible the Muslims recommend!
Tags: 1 timothy 3, believed world, christ, deity, esv, god, great, Greek, king james bible, modern versions, muslims, mystery godliness, os translated,says -, seen angels, spirit, spirit seen, timothy 3 16, version
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THEY BOTH CAN FLY!
November 8th, 2012
While reading through my Bible last time, I decided to read the New International Version along-side my King James Bible when reading the New Testament. As I came across omissions, changes and word substitutions I would sometimes comment on them online. One such change was the word “angel” (KJB) in Revelation 8:13 which had been changed to “eagle” in the NIV and other modern translations. The Greek word in question is αγγίλου which is translated “angel” over 70 times in the Book of Revelation. Angels are used often in end time prophecy as deliverers of God’s messages.
After a brief exchange over this difference a letter was written, by the person I was discussing this with, to Bibles International for their explanation in using “eagle” over “angel”. This was their reply:
“Hi _______ , I’m sorry to be so long in replying. I wanted to wait and run your question by our Chief Language Consultant, Dr. Troy Manning.
What Dr. Manning explained to me is: The textual reading for “angel” is found in the Textus Receptus, the Greek text upon which the KJV (and NKJV) is essentially based, and it is also found in a family of manuscripts associated with the commentary of Andrew, bishop of Caesarea, in Cappadocia. The dates for this family of manuscripts are late 6th and early 7th centuries. The textual reading for “eagle” is found in a much larger group manuscripts, notably Codex Sinaiticus (4th century) and Codex Alexandrinus (5th century). This is the reading in most miniscules and most ancient versions (Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic). The Hodges-Farstad Majority Text, a published text based on the Majority Theory of textual criticism, also has “eagle” in its text. Thus, the majority of ancient manuscripts and versions read “eagle”, so most modern English (and French) versions also reflect that majority reading.
Does the difference make a difference? No, I don’t think so. Both eagles and angels can fly, and God can use both to deliver His message. He can do it however He wants, because He’s God!”
I wrote the following reply:
This is the response I knew you would get. It is basically this:
1. The difference between the King James and the others is the Greek text it is based upon. The King James comes from the Textus Receptus the others come from the Alexandrinus and Sinaiticus.
This is not only why “angel” is “eagle” but also why there is no Matthew 17:21, Matthew 18:11, Matthew 23:14, Mark 7:16, Mark 9:44, Mark 9:46, Mark 11:26, Mark 15:28, Luke 17:36, Luke 23:17, John 5:4, Acts 8:37, Acts 15:34, Acts 24:7, Acts 29:29 and Romans 16:24 in the modern versions. These verses are in the Textus Receptus but they are not in the Alexandrinus or Sinaiticus.
It is also the same reason over 180 multiple-word phrases are in the King James but not in the modern versions and that 200 titles of Jesus Christ are altered.
2. The claim is made that the Alexandrinus and Sinaitius are better because they are “older”, thus most modern versions accept their reading.
These two manuscripts are rejected by many Bible-believing scholars. The Sinaiticus was found in a trash can at a monastery (at the foot of Mt. Sinai) and Alexandrinus came from a man named Origen in Alexandria, Egypt. Origen started the allegorical interpretation of Scripture and thus produced the Alexandrinus accordingly. These manuscripts were rejected by the early Christians.
So it basically comes down to this: do you want an English language Bible that has the 16 verses, 180 phrases and 200 complete titles of Jesus Christ or one that does not have them? If you want them use the King James Bible. If you don’t want them use any of the new bible versions.
Tags: Bible Versions, King James, original languages
Posted in KJV 1611 | 1 Comment »
PURIFIED SEVEN TIMES
June 13th, 2011
When the translators of the King James Bible did their work beginning in 1604, they used Hebrew and Greek (and Latin) for their translating. But they were also provided with something else to assist them in their labors. Several other English translations of the Bible had been produced before the King James Bible of 1611 became the mainstay for 400 years. When the King James translators sat at their desks to do their translation work they were also provided with some of those previous translations. In fact the translators had loose-leaf copies of each of the following:
1. Tyndale’s translation (1525)
2. The Coverdale Bible (1535)
3. The Matthews Bible (1537)
4. The Great Bible (1539)
5. The Geneva Bible (1560)
6. The Bishops Bible (1568)
They were to do their translating in light of (and comparing) what others had already done, using the previous translations as a guide but making changes as the original languages dictated. They declared in “The Translators to the Reader” that it was their desire from the previous translations “to make good ones better” (Page 9). In fact, Guideline #14 established for the translators stated, “These translations to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishops Bible: Tyndale’s, Matthews, Coverdale’s, Whitchurch’s [Great Bible], Geneva”. So they used the other 6 translations to assist them in producing a seventh, and final, translation.
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver
tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve
them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7)
According to this verse, that seventh translation would be the “preserved” words of God. It is interesting to note that in creation (Genesis 1) six times God said “it was good”. But the seventh time He said “it was very good”.
When the King James Bible came off the press, beginning in 1611, Gods promise of the preservation of His words was complete.
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IN MEMORY OF JOSHUA LEATHLEY
May 6th, 2011
(Written by Sonja for Samaritan Ministries)
Joshua Philip Leathley, was born on January 1, 1987 on Kosrae, an island in the Pacific near Guam. Joshua was adopted at birth by missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Leathley who brought him to the United States in 1991. He lived in Cambridge, Ohio, for 20 years with his family which includes five sisters, Kristina, Sarah, Miranda, Joselyn and Erin; and two brothers, Matthew and Robert.
Joshua was a graduate of Cambridge High School and attended the Mid-East Career Center. Josh was employed at Guernsey Industries where he was coached and encouraged by a caring staff who possessed extraordinary gifts for helping people. He was a member of Bible Baptist Church in Cambridge where his father is the pastor.
Joshua’s ever present smile and compassionate heart touched everyone who met him. He had no inhibitions about sitting down beside a stranger and making conversation, eventually inviting them to church or talking to them about the Lord. He enjoyed greeting everyone who came to church, his outgoing personality made visitors feel welcome. (His seat of choice was on the center isle of the back row where he could be sure not to miss anyone who came into the auditorium.) He enjoyed taking photos and collected pictures of everyone he knew. He had a heart for missions and desired to be a missionary.
Joshua’s first bout with a brain tumor was in 1998. He was successfully treated by Dr. Michael Shannon and remained free of any symptoms for thirteen years. In January of 2011 the tumor tried to grow again and hemorrhaged. A successful surgery removed the large hematoma that had formed and the prognosis was encouraging. However, the morning after the surgery, the tumor hemorrhaged again and the blood was not contained as before due to the fresh incision. Joshua peacefully went back to “sleep” and woke up in the arms of his Lord on April 7, 2011.
In a letter from Joshua’s neurosurgeon following his death, Dr. Shannon describes him well: “I have taken care of literally thousands of people in my 30 + years of practice and Josh has been one of the most unique individuals that I have ever met. It was truly a pleasure and an honor to help take care of him. He was the nicest, sweetest, most polite individual…and he was one of the funniest and most enjoyable people to spend time with….everyone who came in contact with him would find reason to like him. I loved him as I would my own son…One only needs to know [his] family to know that it was not just genetic, but he was a product of his environment and being in the comfort and care of loving individuals.”
Joshua had trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour when he was younger. The Bible tells us that for the Christian, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Joshua is in Heaven today, whole and healthy: no more pain, no more struggles. Yet he will be sadly missed by his family and friends
Tags: Joshua Philip Leathley
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IN HONOUR OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE
March 27th, 2011
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. In spite of the flood of translations that have hit the market since 1881, the King James Bible continues to be loved and cherished by millions of English speaking people. Though many churches have replaced the King James Bible in their pews with any one of the multitudes of newer translations, a great many are still holding on to the beauty, accuracy, simplicity and doctrinal clearness of the King James Bible. Here are some reasons why:
1. It is a familiar translation. In contrast to the newer translations that adopt modern language into the “scriptures”, the King James Bible has infused itself into our language. “My brother’s keeper”, “an eye for an eye”, “the powers that be”, “the apple of his eye”, “a thorn in the flesh”, “the blind lead the blind” and many, many other phrases have become a common part of our language. And verses like, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37); “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21); and “The Son of Man is come to save that which is lost” (Matthew 18:11), have become familiar to us though the newer versions omit them entirely.
2. It is a wonderful translation. Everyone gives accolades to the King James Bible for its Elizabethan English and its poetic beauty. The language that produced the writings of Shakespeare was at its climax in the 1600’s and no reading of any modern version has its flow and tempo.
3. It is an accurate translation. In 1604 King James of England invited 54 scholars to take part in a new translation of the Scriptures. Although only 47 names have come down to us, we know that the scholarship of these men has been unmatched to this day. Most were fluent in several languages and some were studying Greek and Hebrew at ages 5 and 6 (while modern-day scholars are still working on English). These men were divided into six groups with two groups working together in each of three locations. Each group was assigned portions of the Bible to translate; their work would then be checked and approved by the other two groups. At the conclusion, all were gathered together for final readings and any questions on the translation were ironed-out among them. Forty-seven of the greatest scholars agreed on each and every English word translated from Hebrew and Greek! That’s why it is difficult to keep a straight face in front of the audacity and egotism of anyone who would say, “A better translation of this word would be…”!
4. It is a superior translation. The King James translators used a Greek text that is different from the texts used by the modern version translators. The texts used by modern scholarship to correct the King James include manuscripts that were discarded by the early Christians (Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Dead Sea Scrolls). They were discarded because they had been tampered with and major doctrines had been purposely omitted.
5. It is an inspired translation. It’s about the words. It’s not about the original writers, the copyists, or the translators. “All scripture is given by inspiration”. Paul wasn’t inspired, Moses wasn’t inspired, John wasn’t inspired and the translators weren’t inspired. When Paul spoke the lengthy sermon recorded in Acts 22, Luke recorded every word in “inspired” Greek. Every Greek text has the words of Acts 22. But Paul wasn’t speaking Greek when Luke recorded it, he was speaking Hebrew. The Hebrew Paul was speaking was “inspired” by God. So was the Greek that Luke was translating it into! Anyone who says “no translation is inspired” hasn’t been paying attention to their Bible. Translation does not eliminate inspiration. God is powerful enough to ensure the preservation of his inspired words through translation.
So in this 400th year of our English King James Bible we give thanks to God for His inspired, preserved, infallible word!
Tags: 400th year, a thorn in the flesh, acts 22, an eye for an eye, bible,christ, Elizabethan English, english, god, Greek, Hebrew, inspired, james bible, King James, luke, man, matthew, modern version, My brother’s keeper, newer translations, paul, paul speaking, scriptures, son, texts modern, the apple of his eye, the blind lead the blind, the powers that be,translation, translation word, version, word
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A TALE OF TWO HISTORIES
September 25th, 2010
There are two approaches to history concerning the founding of the United States of America. One approach is that the United States was founded on the Bible and that the majority of the Founding Fathers were men of Christian faith. The other approach is that the United States was founded as a completely secular nation and that the Founding Fathers were, at most, loosely affiliated with churches of the Christian faith.
With that premise set, one can find history books that will present whichever side you prefer! If you want “Christian” history books, you can find them. If you want a “secular” presentation in a history book you can find that. Here’s the dilemma: though both are readily available, which presentation is more accurate? That’s the question.
Two recently published books will give us some light into this discussion. Both of these books cover roughly the years 1600-1776 in U.S. history. The first book is titled Forged in Faith (Howard Books, 2010) and is written from the Christian perspective. It presents our nations history with the influence of godly people like the Puritans, Roger Williams, William Penn, Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Adams and others. It presents our Christian heritage in a very positive light.
The second book is titled America’s Hidden History (Smithsonian Books, 2008) and is decidedly a non-Christian (I’m prone to say anti-Christian) history of the founding period of our nation. The Puritans are referred to derogatorily (including references to Fox’s Book of Martyrs as “Puritan propaganda”) and George Washington’s faith (his “non-existent prayer vigils in Valley Forge” p.102) is not mentioned but his Masonic ties are emphasized, although the author acknowledges that “records indicate that he attended at most three meetings, and possibly fewer or none” (emphasis mine).
So how do two scholarly men write books about the same time period yet come out with entirely conflicting accounts? The answer is found in their bibliographies!
Kenneth Davis, the author of America’s Hidden History, lists 18 books as reference for his chapter on George Washington. Of the 18 books the oldest book was written in 1965! Eight of them have been written since the year 2000! One is undated. In contrast, in Rod Gragg’s Forged in Faith, 60% of his references (there are 17 pages to his bibliography) were written before 1965 with most of them dating in the 1800’s.
The secular historians want us to believe that the “Christian nation” advocates have rewritten and changed the historical record. But this brief example shows that the oldest publications clearly reveal the Biblical heritage of our nation while the more recent publications have erased the faith of our Founding Fathers.
Tags: 18 books, america, america hidden, approach united, book, book titled, books, christian, Christian Nation, faith, forge, forged, forged faith,founding fathers, George Washington, hidden history, history, history book,history books, puritan, puritans, states founded, united states, william,written 1965
Posted in historical, Political | No Comments »
PERSONAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
August 17th, 2010
Though the title of this essay might lead one to believe that this is a jab at modern day politics, that is not the intent. This is more about how the Bible and its principles have shaped our nation. America’s greatness and prosperity are not the result of chance. You would have to be as blind as an evolutionist to believe that all the elements of our republic (our branches of government, our monetary system built on tens, etc.) are a result of fortunate coincidence. The influence of the Bible and Christianity on early America cannot be honestly disputed. That is not to say that all of the Founding Fathers were Christians, but even those who were not had a knowledge and respect of the Scriptures that would surpass many ministers today!
That thorough knowledge and familiarity of scripture affected the formation of our nation. For example, Isaiah 33:22 says, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” This verse teaches that God’s government is three-fold: For the LORD is our judge – Judicial; the LORD is our lawgiver – Legislative; and the LORD is our king – Executive. A human government based on God’s government has the upper hand in being blessed of God.
And we cannot discount the influence of early American preachers on our founding documents. Rev. John Wise was a Congregationalist minister from Massachusetts in the late 1600’s. He preached a sermon looking at the different forms of taxation in the Bible
and showed that taxation without representation was tyranny. He preached a sermon looking at different forms of government in the Bible and said it is clear that Gods government is the consent of the governed. He preached a sermon where he said all men were created equal and are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. In 1772 his sermons were printed and spread over the colonies. They were reprinted again in 1774. Then in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was written incorporating phrases from Wise’ sermons. So great was this preacher’s contribution to the Declaration that later Calvin Coolidge referred to Wise as the inspiration for the Declaration of Independence.
So what about personal property rights? One of the most important issues to our Founding Fathers was the guaranteeing of personal ownership of property. John Adams said, “Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist”. This principle again is one whose origin is found in the Word of God.
In Acts 5 we read the story of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, selling a parcel of land and bringing the money from that sale as a contribution to the early church. The result of that action did not end favorably for the couple because they claimed they were giving the entire proceed of the sale when, in fact, they were keeping part for themselves. But Peter made it clear that their error was not in keeping back part of the money but in claiming that they were giving all. Peter’s words were “Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?” The early church recognized the personal ownership of individual property.
Some might argue that Acts 2 shows a different regard to personal possessions by the early church for there “all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (vs. 44-45). This principle has been attempted under Communism and Socialism with negative results. That is because they are leaving out the pre-requisite for making that system work; “all that believed”. You can’t make that system work when God is shut out. In fact, that system worked voluntarily only for the church in Acts 2, but was never practiced or taught again thereafter. It is interesting to note that the early settlements of Jamestown and Plymouth both tried this system (people could take from a common store regardless of their work effort) and almost starved to death. Pilgrim William Bradford said that some colonists believed “the taking away of property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing”. But the experiment instead bred “confusion and discontent, and retarded much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort”. Bradford recorded the colonists’ switch to private property and the result: “This had very good success for it made all hands very industrious”. This is the Biblical principle “if any would not work neither should he eat” (2 Thess 3:10).
In Matthew 19 a young man comes to Jesus Christ asking what he needs to do to have eternal life. The Lord tells him to “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor…But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions”. The Lord did not rebuke him for having possessions but the problem was that his possessions had him. In the next chapter of Matthew a man hires laborers to go out and work in his vineyard. He hires some early in the morning and sends them out into his field to work. Three hours later he hires some more idle men to go out and work his vineyard. The same thing happens throughout the day. At the end of the workday he begins to pay his workers, beginning with those who were hired late in the day. When the first-hired workers come to get their pay and realize that they received the same amount as those who were hired later, they begin to complain. The man replies, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” The Lords approval of this interpretation of personal property rights is obvious as He tells this story as a picture of how He deals with His laborers.
The personal ownership of property is so important in Scripture that even a king could not take possession of someone else’s land! In I Kings 21 King Ahab desires the vineyard belonging to a man named Naboth. He offers him a “better vineyard” and then offers the worth of it in money, but Naboth refuses both offers. King Ahab goes away “displeased” because he could not get the land he wanted. He recognized that he had no authority over personal property rights!
May our nation and our government continue to respect the principle of personal property rights.
Tags: acts 2, bible, bradford, christ, declaration, declaration independence,different forms, early america, early church, founding fathers, god,independence, john, king ahab, looking different, lord lawgiver, matthew,men, naboth, ownership property, personal ownership, Personal Property Rights, peter, property, scripture, sermon looking, system work, wise,word, work, work vineyard
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March 19th, 2010
A lot of folks make a big deal of the “original languages” (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) of the Bible. While we understand that God first gave His Word in Hebrew and Aramaic in the Old Testament and in Greek in the New Testament, God’s inspiration is not limited to those languages. Through inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16) and preservation (Psalm 12:6-7) we can believe that God has preserved his inspired words in the English language with the King James Bible. Many claim that a translation cannot be inspired. That statement not only cannot be supported with Scripture but, in fact, can be refuted by Scripture.
In Acts 22 Paul gives a lengthy speech to the Jewish multitude in defense of his conversion and his call to the Gentiles. Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, records in Greek every word that Paul spoke. But Paul didn’t give his speech in Greek, he gave it in Hebrew (Acts 21:40; 22:2). So the original Greek is not the “original”, it is a translation from Hebrew! The same thing is true of the conversation between the Lord and Paul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9. Paul tells us in Acts 25:14 that the conversation was in Hebrew although Luke again wrote it in Greek. So which is inspired, the Hebrew Paul actually spoke or the Greek recorded by Luke? The answer is BOTH because “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The “original” and the “translation” are both inspired. There are other Scriptural examples but these will suffice for now.
Why is this important? There are two things that happen when someone elevates the “originals” to the detriment of the inspired translation. First, by putting the emphasis on the “original language”, the man (or woman) in the pew is not getting anything to benefit them in everyday living. For example, when the preacher gets all worked up over “agape” and “phileo” in John 21, he’s showing his ability to use Greek and missing the importance of the passage. The person in the pew needs to learn from that text how he can be restored to fellowship with the Lord after sinning, not which kind of “love” is supposedly being referred to.
Secondly, the emphasis on “the original” tells the person in the pew that they can’t possibly understand the Word of God without a knowledge of the original languages or someone who can tell him what it says. Here is one preacher’s personal testimony of that obvious truth:
“I did a lot of that when I first got out of seminary. I used my knowledge of Greek and Hebrew in the study and in the pulpit. One day a woman wounded me with a compliment: ‘I just love to hear you preach. In fact, when I see the insights you get from the original languages, I realize that my English Bible is hardly worth reading.’ I went home asking myself, What have I done? I’m trying to get people into their Bibles, but I’ve taken this lady out of hers.” (“Making a Difference in Preaching”, Haddon W. Robinson)
Reading and studying our English Bible will give us all the depth (and insight) of the Word of God that we need. If anything is worth knowing (and if it’s right) we’ll find it in our Bible. You and I can read our English King James Bible with the complete assurance that it is just as much the Word of God (and the words of God) as the “original languages” were at their time. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
The Delusion of Atheisim
December 8th, 2009
Upon seeing an advertisement for a book entitled The God Delusion by noted atheist Richard Dawkins, I decided I wanted to read it. I didn’t want to read it bad enough to pay the $27 charge at the local bookstore so I got it through e-bay for $7.98 (including shipping) from a Goodwill store. Thus not only did I save a lot of money but I also did not increase the sales count of this book!
I’m not sure what I expected when I got the book but I can say that I was disappointed that the author writes more from a biased, antagonistic, egotistical mindset than from a reasonable, intelligent position. That is not to say that the author is not intelligent; he definitely is, and he is arrogantly proud of it.
Now when I received this book in the mail, it should have gone into its proper place in line with the books I am currently reading and planning to read. But, curiosity got the best of me so I have pre-emptively read the Preface already. Here, briefly, is the summary of his 7-page Preface:
1. If you are religious, you are a victim of “childhood indoctrination”. The author hopes that his book will reach some of this class of people who are still “open-minded”; those whose “childhood indoctrination…didn’t ‘take’, or whose native intelligence is strong enough to overcome it” (page 6). Personally, like many, many Christians I know, I wasn’t raised in a church going, Christian home. My father was an agnostic when I was growing up and I simply believed like he did (i.e. “if there is a God than why is there war, famine, etc ”). Thankfully, my father did trust Jesus Christ as his Saviour at age 45 (after I had already become a Christian; would that be “reverse indoctrination”?) and was ready to meet the Lord when he passed from this life.
2. If you are an atheist, you are enlightened and “among the educated elite” (page 4). This is the predominant thought process of the atheist; “we don’t believe in God because we are smarter than everybody else”. Don’t believe this? “…atheism nearly always indicates a healthy independence of mind and, indeed, a healthy mind” (page 3). Translated: if you are a Christian you have a mental problem. Yes, they really believe that! The puzzling thing is that atheists are not smart enough to realize how smug and intolerant they sound when they stroke their own ego’s like this.
3. Religious people are “faith-heads” (page 5) while atheists are “free spirits” (page 6). “Faith-heads” sounds eerily like “ditto-heads”, which makes me wonder if the author is a closet Rush Limbaugh fan! This atheist, like most, feels that he is superior because he is a self-proclaimed open-minded free-thinker, which he definitely is not!
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book so that I can be more intelligently educated on the delusion of atheism.
The King James Revisions
November 24th, 2009
I have been recently using a reprint of the original 1611 King James Bible in my daily reading. New versions of the Bible are always claiming to be nothing more than “updates” of the old, poetic, Elizabethan English King James Version of 1611. In their sales pitches they often refer to the fact that the 1611 KJB went through four “revisions” to get to what we hold in our hands today. So, they claim, we aren’t using a 1611 King James Bible but a 1769 King James Bible. Here are some things I’ve found in reading an “original” 1611:
1. I have had no problem reading the 1611 translation. Yes, the words are spelled differently, and the type set is different, but the variations are not enough to hinder easy reading.
2. No words have been updated /modernized from 1611 to 1769, neither have any words been left out.
3. No verses have been shortened or omitted through the “revisions”.
So in the 158 years from 1611 to 1769 the only changes are spelling, type set (from Gothic to Roman) and some capitalization (most notably the word “Church”  to “church” ). In fact, the four “revisions” (more correctly called “editions”) of the 1611 King James Bible could be briefly described as thus:
1. 1629 correction of earlier printing errors
2. 1638 same as above
3. 1762 standardization of spelling
4. 1769 same as #3
When you look at the dates you see that this is actually just two “revisions” not four. The correction of printing errors took two efforts to complete as did the standardization of spelling. So then from 1769 to present (240 years), with the above corrections of printing errors and standardization of spelling, there have been no changes whatsoever.
Compare this to the multiple versions from the Revised Version of 1881 (the first English translation after the King James), to the American Standard Version of 1901, to the Revised Standard Version of 1951, to the New American Standard Version of 1971, to the New International Version of 1977, to the English Standard Version of 2001, to The Message (an irreverent and blasphemous 2002 translation), and many others. In them, words are drastically changed, and/or phrases are completely omitted (i.e. “through his blood”-Eph 1:7), and in some, sixteen verses completely disappear (Matt 17:21,18:11, 23:14; Mark 7:16, 9:44,46; 11:26, 15:28; Luke 17:36, 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37, 15:34, 24:7, 28:29; Romans 16:24). That’s not revision, its robbery!
The Pulpit’s the Problem
November 6th, 2009
The following quote is attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian most widely known for his 2-volume set, Democracy in America (1835, 1840):
“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
This historians observation for the greatness of America was that in her churches the ”pulpits flame with righteousness”. America’s early churches were not “seeker sensitive”, “contemporary” or “emerging”. They weren’t designed for social activities or entertainment. No praise teams, no electric guitars and drums, no Starbucks in the lobby, no cafe’s in the church. The thing that brought the people together was fire and brimstone, Holy Ghost-filled, Bible preaching. In most of our churches today we are losing this, or have already lost it. You could enter into many churches today and not even need to bring a Bible with you. The Bible is nothing more than a backdrop for our touchy-feely, sensitive, fleshly, conscience-soothing pleasure. You can gather many for “Gospel sings” or “concerts” but those same attendee’s would shun an old-fashioned heaven-sent Bible-preaching revival! The main problem in America today is not our politicians, our courts or our schools; the main problem is our pulpits!