Categories
Biblical doctrines Greek New Testament the Bible

The inspiration of Scripture

At some point in the history of the Christian Church, the Church chose the writings (gospels and epistles) of the Apostles and other disciples as the canonical inspired Scriptures. How were those Scriptures chosen? And what constitutes inspired Scriptures? How were they established?

Quite obviously the writings, which now constitutes the accepted Scriptures, were written by humans and not directly by God like He did when He wrote the 10 commandments (with Moses) on Mount Sinai using His own finger to write in stone.  So what defines inspired writings in the vein of 2 Timothy 3:16?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God [meaning God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

We know through the 1st to 3rd centuries AD there were many cults and schisms in the early Church over different heresies. There were many spurious writings claiming inspiration of God, including false gospels, some promoting pet heresies. Then in the modern period there have been much discussion about the preservation of the inspired writings.

In 1881 Westcott and Hort produced the first revised Greek NT manuscript, since the late 16th century, which they compiled largely from the Codex Sinaiticus, also known as “Aleph” (the Hebrew letter א), found by Tischendorf in 1859 at the Monastery of St Catherine on Mount Sinai, and, Codex Vaticanus, also known as “B”, which was found in the Vatican.  It is not known when B arrived at the Vatican, but it was included in a catalog listing in 1475. Both of these manuscripts are dated to the 4th century.

evidence-for-including-1-john-5-7-johannine-comma-kjv

Categories
Bible prophecy Book of Revelation Church History Greek New Testament the Reformation

Revelation 10

Another angel is seen coming down from heaven (v.1) and he had in his hand a little book (v.2).

mighty-angel

Who is this angel? (v.1) Sometimes in Scripture the Lord is represented by an angel (Exodus 3:2-6,13-15). Here he is called “another mighty angel” which may imply he is different from the seven trumpet angels. He has a rainbow was on His head. Where have we seen a rainbow before? In Revelation 4:1-3 “… there was a rainbow round about the throne, …”

His face was like “the sun” (v.1). In Matthew 17:2 we read,

And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment [clothing] was white as the light.

Also 2 Corinthians 4:6 and Revelation 1:14.

His feet were “as pillars of fire”. In Revelation 1:15 “… His feet like to fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace“. This strongly indicates it is the Lord Jesus Christ here. Also read Habakkuk 3:3-6:

3 God came from Teman [תֵּימָן, the south], and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. 4 And His brightness was as the light; He had horns [קֶרֶן qeren, as rays of light] coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of His power. 5 Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet. 6 He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow [in worship]: His ways are everlasting.

This ‘little book’ in His hand (v.2) symbolises the Bible. It is described as an open book, possibly meaning that the prophecy was still being written in that book, the prophecies that are revealed in this final book of the Bible.

Categories
Church History Greek New Testament the Bible

Which is the best English Bible?

KJV

The King James Bible (KJB) was translated from the traditional Hebrew and Greek texts (Masoretic Hebrew Text, The Second Great Rabbinic Bible and the Greek Textus Receptus  (TR) or Received Text) and God’s Words in these original sources most Christians would agree are verbally inspired or God breathed. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,…”.

But here’s what interesting. Modern translations (after 1880) are largely based on the Nestle-Aland Greek text, which is an edited version of the Westcott-Hort Greek text, which is largely the Codex Vaticanus with some corrections from Codex Sinaiticus, not Textus Receptus (TR) the Greek Text on which the KJB is based. The Nestle-Aland Greek text differs from the TR by about 9,970 Greek word differences, additions or subtractions equalling 7% of the total 140,521 words in TR. 

Categories
Belief in God Greek New Testament Witnessing

Die daily for Christ

The Apostle Paul wrote of dying daily for Christ. But how is that possible? What did he mean?

1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

He was speaking figuratively, that daily we must die to ourselves as we put self last and Christ first, to serve Him. The context is clear from,

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Because of Adam’s sin, since we are all the offspring of Adam, literally, we all will eventually die. That is a certainty unless you are one of the ones alive when Christ returns and takes those believers into the clouds with Him. The rest of us look forward to the literal resurrection of our bodies at His return.

As a side note, it is clear that the Apostle Paul believed in the literal historicity of Genesis, Adam and Eve and the Garden in Eden. He did not take it a an allegory.

Categories
Greek New Testament the Bible

Making sense of the Census of Quirinius

by Mark Rogers

In regards to the year of Jesus’ birth there have been various proposals. In particular there has been some debate about what Luke 2:1-5 really means. The debate revolves around when the empire-wide censuses took place in relation to Christ’s birth. James Trimm outlines his explanation in Birth of Yeshua at Sukkot Luke 2:1-7.  Jonathan Sarfati outlines his proposal in The Census of Quirinius. Here I would just like to suggest that there may be a simpler explanation.

What I assert is that the answer is not to be found in the dubious idea that Quirinius ruled Syria twice. The simple proposal that I suggest here is that there are two entirely different Greek words used in Luke 2:1-5, and not one, which unfortunately for 2,000 years many theologians, Bible scholars, historians, linguists, and translators have failed to notice.

Categories
Greek New Testament the Bible

When were the Gospels published?

The Gospels have been much maligned as being copied one from another, not from independent witnesses (for Matthew, Mark and Luke) and that they were written a long time after the events, hence lack eyewitness statements. The Wikipedia page on this notes:

Although some claim that all four canonical gospels meet the five criteria for historical reliability, others say that little in the gospels is considered to be historically reliable. … Most scholars hold to the two-source hypothesis which claims that the Gospel of Mark was written first. According to the hypothesis, the authors of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke then used the Gospel of Mark and the hypothetical Q document, in addition to some other sources, to write their individual gospels. These three gospels are called the Synoptic gospels since they are all very similar.1

Dr Floyd Nolen Jones responds to claims like these in an article2 “The Gospel Colophons.” In the following I reproduce it in full.

Categories
Greek New Testament the Bible

Why are Mark 16:9-20 missing in most modern Bible translations?

Most modern Bible versions have a footnote to the effect that “these verses are not in the oldest, best, most reliable Greek manuscripts”. In laymen’s terms this means that Mark 16:9-20 are not in the 4th century Greek manuscripts,Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph which were derived from Origen’s (AD 185-254) edited New Testament (a 12th century minuscule also omits the verses). These verses are the Great Commission spoken by our Lord as recorded by Mark. It is an apostolic commission delegating great power to the body of Christ that it may continue the ministry of the Lord Jesus.1

This is the opening paragraph of the essay by Floyd Nolen Jones Th.D. Ph.D entitled “The Mutilation of Mark 16:9-20.”2

The claim has been made that since the publication of the King James Bible in 1611 many more and more ancient (i.e. earlier) Greek manuscripts from the New Testament have been discovered. And hence the claim is that these older manuscripts are probably more accurate, that is, they are closer to the original autographs, which were the God-breathed Greek words (2 Timothy 3:16), which God gave to the writers of the New Testament.