"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Sincere Question for My Inerrantist Friends

As most of you know, I consider myself an inerrantist. I have no problem believing the sacred text is inspired, infallible and inerrant. However, I have long told the people who hear me teach that we worship the Christ the Scriptures reveal, not the Scriptures themselves. For this reason, I have no problem with textual criticism. In other words, in those few passages of Scripture where Greek scholars believe a later scribe added words to the Bible, it neither shakes my faith nor causes me to doubt the veracity of Scripture to agree with the scholars' conclusions.

For example, this Sunday I am preaching from I John 5:6-12. The text reads from the King James Version as follows.

6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

The emboldened words above (in vs 7-8) are considered by Greek scholars to be an addition to the original text. They believe that because of the controversies in the early church over the deity of Jesus Christ, scribes in the 4th century added the words - words not originally written by John - to help make a stronger case for the deity of Christ and put down the heretics of their day.

Frankly, the text itself seems to confirm the Greek scholars' conclusions. Verses 6-8 speak of the testimonies of man regarding the person of Christ. The water refers to His baptism in the Jordan and what those who witnessed it reported to others about it (God said 'this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased' Matthew 3:16). The blood speaks of Calvary and what those who observed the cross, the earthquake, the eclipse, etc... reported to others it all ('surely this man was the Son of God' Mark 15:39). The spirit (Greek has no capitalization), is "the gospel of truth" (at least according to John Gill), but it also could be a reference to the Holy Spirit which empowers men to proclaim the message of the gospel to others. Regardless, the water (Jesus' baptism), the blood (Jesus' death at Calvary), and the spirit (either the gospel or the Spirit's empowerment to share Christ with others), is the recounting of the history of Jesus Christ - and we believe the testimony. We don't believe a fairy tell. We believe a story that is confirmed by eyewitnesses of actual events. The scribal addition in verses 7-8 seems out of place with the context because it brings in the testimony of heaven, not earth.

It is only beginning in verse 9 that the transition from the testimony of people on earth to the testimony of God takes place. The testimony of God regarding the person of His Son is found in 'life.' He that has the Son has 'life' (an inner divine life). This is, of course, the life that comes from what John calls 'the new birth.' So, the testimony of man is the sharing of Christ's ministry and death with others. The testimony of God is the life that God implants in the person who believes on Christ.

The Greek scholars leave out the emboldened words in verses 7-8 because they don't show up in Greek texts until the 4th Century. For this reason the English Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the New International Version and other modern English translations of the Bible leave out almost all of verse 7 and the first portion of verse 8. For example, the popular English Standard Version translates I John 5:6-12 as follows:

6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Notice how short in length verse 7 in the English Standard Version is compared to the King James Version. In addition, the ESV in vs 7-8 reads completely different than vs 7-8 in the King James Version. Bluntly, almost an entire verse (vs. 7) is left out of the ESV, NIV, NASB, and other translations. An entire statement on the deity of Christ is excluded from our modern English translations.

The question to my inerrantist friends is simple and two fold:

(1). Is your faith in Jesus Christ or in a "perfect" English text (or Greek manuscript)?

(2). Do you talk more to others about your faith in Jesus or your belief in a perfect English text (or Greek manuscript)?

We inerrantist need to realize that the belief in the veracity of the Scriptures does not exclude textual criticisms of our English translations.

We worship the Christ the Bible reveals, not the Bible itself.

In His Grace,


Wade

193 comments:

Debbie Kaufman said...

What a good post Wade. I will always be grateful to your preaching and the other ministers, teachers, at Emmanuel who began to teach me how to study the Bible for myself and to ask critical questions to know what the passages are actually saying.

It has, and it is, changing me daily.

Christiane said...

Hi WADE,

Didn't Erasmus mess around with some Greek texts by making 'adjustments' to correspond with quotes from the Patristic Fathers? (I'm deep into the Patristic writings, these days.)

If true, and these 'adjusted' Greek texts were then translated to form the KJV, this could possibly explain the 'additions' that were not Apostolic writings.

? L's

RKSOKC66 said...

The situation with inerrancy is a "supercharged" issue with some Southern Baptists because of fallout from the Conservative Resurgence.

I personally hold to the "accuracy" or "correctness" of both the OT and NT. This requires the the original manuscripts are without error.

However, of course, we don't have the original manuscripts. For the OT we have the Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensa which is based upon the Masoretic text. As far as I know, BHS is acknowledged as the "best" OT text by virtually all scholars. For the NT, we have both the "Byzantine" and well as the "Western" [Westcott and Hort] family of manuscripts.

In my opinion, variant readings in the Hebrew / Greek texts that we have extant now do not detract from the accuracy of the Bible.

If I say:

"I am going for a ride in my Ford Explorer"

as opposed to


"I am going on a ride in my Ford Explorer"

I think they all have the same meaning, and are still subject to being accurate and true and "inerrant" -- even though I acknowledge that these textual variants are different (due to use of either "for" or "on") and even though we have no way to know which one might be the closest to the original autograph.

I hold that the Biblical text has been preserved by God in an "accurate" form.

I also hold that in all but a few cases, variant readings are so close as to be essentially "equivalent".

However, there are a few "variant readings" between texts (mostly in the NT) that really are "signigicanty" divergent. Some English language translations, including the Holman [HCSB] give us these variant readings when several textual witnesses diverge. This lets these differences show up even in an English language translation so "guys in the pew" like me can see the degree that texts vary in a given passage.

For example: the Holman renders Matt 6:1 as --

"Be careful not to practice your righteousness. . . "

There is a note saying that some Greek NT texts use a different Greek word for "righteousness" which, when translated into English, is best rendered as "charitable giving".

I don't think the Gospel changes regardless of which reading you choose in those few places where there are textual ambiguities.

I'm not able to elucidate a formal theory of inspiration or textual preservation. I think either the BF&M 2K or the Chicago Statement do a good job in defining Inerrancy.

RKSOKC66 said...

Text in in second paragraph second sentence should read:

This requires THAT the . . .

Sorry for the typo

Man of the West said...

Perhaps I am just forgetful, but to the best of my recollection, I have never seen a formal definition of inerrancy that did not make clear that it was referring to the autographs, not the copies. My understanding has always been that inerrancy was a separate issue from textual reliability, with the only exception being the more radical of the KJV-only folks, who can hardly be called "inerrantists" in the same way that, say, Francis Schaeffer was an innerrantist.

For example, the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy reads: WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.

So I have to wonder: who, exactly, are you talking about that defines inerrancy in such a way as not to allow for the existence of relatively minor textual variations? You say, "We inerrantist need to realize that the belief in the veracity of the Scriptures does not exclude textual criticisms of our English translations." Again, I cannot help but note that I have never met or read an inerrantist other than the KJV-only guys who did not realize that. Who is it that you are talking about?

Bill said...

Wade

you bring out an excellent point! I was in seminary (MABTS) during the controversy days, and actually had a professor to state that he did believe that there were some people who were guilty of Bibliolatry (holding the Bible to such a standard that it had become their object of worship!

We, as Bible teachers do need to point to the sufficiency and dependability of the sacred text, yet we also need to make sure that the people in the pew understand just what you have articulated ie "We worship the Jesus of the Bible" NOT the Bible itsself.

Oh, that KJVers would understand that we are NOT their enemies, but that they are dangerously close to being idolators.

Rex Ray said...

Rksokc66,
You mentioned the Holman Bible.

Have you noticed Holman is the ONLY translation of (Matthew 9:18) that has the girl near death. All other translations have her dead.

All translations have the same girl near death in (Mark 5:23) and (Luke 8:42)

Question one: What manuscript did Holman use to make Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree?

Question two. Why am I codenamed for believing all translations except the Holman show an error in (Matthew 9:18), when the Chicago Statement on page nine would call this “error” an “illusion”?

(“Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”)

In other words, would you explain the difference between an ‘error’ and an ‘illusion’?

Question three: I believe the BFM 2000 does a good job of defining the way the Bible is correct, but how does it define ‘inerrancy’ when ‘inerrancy’ is not even mentioned?


Wade,
You’re right: “We don’t believe a fairy tell.” :)

You mentioned (Mark 15:39 Holman) “…centurion…said this man really was God’s Son.”

While (Luke 23:47 Holman) “…centurion…saying, this man really was righteous!”

Wonder what the ‘Codex Sinaiticus” has to say about these differences? Wonder when we can read the Codex in English?


Man of the West,
Your Chicago Statement is different than the one Wade gave us a long time ago if I remember correctly. It did not have what you quoted.


Joe Blackmon,
Before you make a comment, remember if you cannot prove someone wrong in the words they say, always ‘attack’ the person. :)

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Ruffin said...

Wade,

The most important sentence in this post is the last one: "We worship the Christ the Bible reveals, not the Bible itself." Amen. The Bible points to Jesus, is fufilled in Jesus, and is best interpreted through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Despite (or more likely because of) my training in the pre-CR SBTS, I assimilated many of the findings of modern critical biblical scholarship with great appreciation while still maintaining a "simple biblicism"--I believe that God has worked to inspire and to preserve what we need to know to know God and to be saved.

Joe Blackmon said...

The only folks I know who believe in a perfect English translations are KJV onlyists.

To answer your questionS:
1) Jesus Christ
2) I don't believe in a perfect English translation so I've never talked to anyone about my belief in a perfect English translation.

Stephen said...

Great message Wade!!

Trust in the God of the Bible, not the Bible of God.

John Fariss said...

Dear L's,

Going from memory here--but my memory is that you are exactly right about Erasmus. My recollection is that when preparing the first edition of the Greek text of the NT for printing, he left the questionable verse out. But then, when he atempted to get permission to have it printed (no offense, but he was Catholic, and going through the proper Catholic channels), permission was denied because of the "omission." He responded that although the material was in some translations (perhaps even the Vulgate), it not in any of the Greek manuscripts he had access to, and that if someone could show him one in which it was present, he would gladly include it. Fast forward then a few weeks (?, months maybe--don't recall), and someone sent him a Greek manuscript "with the ink still virtually wet" (as I recall my church history putting it) including the words. He was a man of his word, so he included the verses. His printed edition of the Greek NT was what the King James translators used, rather than any original manuscript.

John

Byroniac said...

Wade, thanks for a great post, and please write more!

Paula said...

I don't think any discussion of Bible text is complete without mention of the amazing Robert "Dick" Wilson.

But for a little balance:

The Phantom Pharisee

More Phantom Pharisees

I have read of discoveries significant to the Koine Greek of the first century, some significant portions of which never made it into any of the main lexicons (with the possible exception of the latest Liddell/Scott). Anybody have a good source for documentation on those discoveries of both the late 1800s and the 1970s?

RKSOKC66 said...

Rex Ray:

You asked what is the "textual base" for the NT that was used by the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

The answer, according to the introduction printed in the introduction to the Holman Bible is:

>>>>>

The textual base for the New Testament [NT] is the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th edition, and the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, fourth corrected edition. . . . . At times, however, the translators have followed an alternative manuscript tradition, disagreeing with the editors of these texts about the original reading.

Where there are significant differences . . . amoung Greek [Gk] manuscripts of the NT, the translators have followed what they believe is the original reading and have indicated the main alternative[s] in footnotes.

<<<<<

As to the "definition" of inerrancy: I think there is quite a lot of confusion, but I believe at least 90% of scholars in "SBC circles" (i.e. the six SBC seminaries) would agree with the Chicago statement that the term "inerrancy" -- strictly speaking -- applies to the (now no longer extant) original manuscripts.

I generally use the term "accurate" or "correct" myself in referring to the English language translations that I use as a layman.

There are two "variables" that relate to any given reading of a passage in an English language bible.

1. What text did the translator use,

2. What English language word or phrase did the translator choose given whatever Hebrew/Greek text he is working from.

Rex, I am not condemning you. :) Obviously you are free to do your own research into (a) various Greek texts and/or (b) translations of those texts into English. This holds for Matt 9:18 or any other passage.

Rex, as to your comment regarding "inerrancy" and the BFM. You are correct, the BFM2K does not use the word "inerrancy". Also, it does not differentiate between "original manuscripts", "extant manuscripts [Hebrew / Greek]", or "translations". The BFM2K says the bible does not have errors. It doesn't use the term "inerrancy" which, as understood by most scholars, is a technical term that only applies to original manuscripts.

I'm not a scholar but I still reserve the term "inerrancy" to only apply to original manuscripts.

So strictly speaking, I don't consider the KJV, Holman, NKJV, NIV, or any other English language translation to be "inerrant". They are "correct" or "accurate".

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Christiane said...

Hi JOHN FARISS,

It's me, L's

I have been reading translations of the writings of the Early Church Fathers, and commentaries on them, also. It is impossible to do this without stumbling across Erasmus as a reference. I had already known a bit about him.
My take on him is that he pretty well annoyed Catholics and Reformers, both. His problem: he was sympathetic with many, but he wanted them to see things through a larger lens, to widen their perspectives. This did not sit well with their 'comfort zones'.
How much 'messing with' Greek texts he did, I'm not up on, but it is a given that he did it. He liked to 'polish the language' in both Latin texts and Greek texts.
If he added whole phrases to Greek texts from the Early Fathers' quotes, he may have done it to 'explain further' or 'clarify' the meaning of the original Apostolic sacred writings. A big no-no for sure, but perhaps he thought that since many of the Early Fathers had been taught and baptized by the Apostles, that they were able to 'cast light' on certain verses. ????? One can only speculate about his motives.
But he was 'caught out'.
And today's modern translations do not contain certain 'additions' that 'someone' (?) added 'somewhere' 'sometime' and were innocently incorporated by translators into the KJV who did not realize the truth. Many historians think Erasmus is likely at least one of the suspects. :) Love, L's

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Fariss said...

Christine,

I am back in my office now and checked my copy of "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration" by Bruce Metzger, who (at least when I was in seminary 20+ years ago) was considered THE scholar of the text). He notes unintentional errors in the text creeping in (1) through faulty eyesight on the part of scribes when copying another text, (2) through faulty hearing when copies were being made through dictation, (3) through "errors of the mind," as when relying on memory, usually resulting in variences in word order, the transposition of letters (they sometimes misspelled words too), or the ommission or repetition of a word or words, (4) and "errors in judgment," when marginal notes explaining some word or sentence might become incorporated into the text itself, usually without realizing it--as seems to most often have happened when a text was being copied by dictation. He gives examples of each.

Metzger also notes "intentional changes" that occurred. Some involved spelling and grammar--sometimes these reflected changes in the usage of languages, without recognizing that language does change and evolve over time, while others seem to be based on the fact that some scribes were better educated than others--and in fact, some were better educated (and thus used a slightly different dialect, just as happened in Elizabethan England) than some of the Biblical writers. Other changes involved harmonizing various texts together (such as the Lord's Prayer in Matthew verses the form given in Luke). Still others involved adding adjuncts, very similiar to when marginal notes were addicentially added to the text, and others involved clarifying geographical and historical difficulties. Sometimes, scribes and/or monks had different manuscripts with different readings, and they did not know what to make of the differences--and if Textual Criticism is correct the longer reading is generally the newer, because stories (and I use this term in NO perjorative sense) tend to get added to, not the other way around. Some scholars deliberately evaluated the text and expunged or altered portions of it which did not fit their theology; the most radical example being Marcion, who removed all gospel references to the Jewish background of Jesus. Ambrosiaster believed that where there were difference between the Latin and Greek, the Latin was to be trusted because of the tendency of Greeks to have "presumptous frivolity," while Jerome was fearful of any addition, least the accuracy of the text be altered--and the variation in various ancient manuscripts of the Vulgate prove his fear were well grounded.

John

Christiane said...

Hi JOE BLACKMON,

I think I understand your comment.
The 'scribal additions' would be something that were written at another time and place, and then added by Erasmus to his Textus Receptus. That corresponds with the belief that changes were made originally in the early centuries of the Church by scribes.

My reference to what was added was that Erasmus was greatly influenced by the Patristic Fathers' writings, and scribal additions he allowed might have been a result of this influence. How much of the Patristic Fathers' teachings shows up in the additions of the scribes, I do not know. But it was the Patristic Fathers who led the fight against the early heresies, and it was the Patristic Fathers who defined and defended early Church teachings on the nature of Christ and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, so the 'additions' of the scribes may reflect the 'drama' of those times when the early Church was in 'defense mode' against heresy.

Glad your eye is better. Here is an 'eye' comment from Erasmus:
"in a country of blind men, the one-eyed man is king". :)

Love you dearly, L's

Christiane said...

Hi JOHN,

Thank goodness for the availability of the Codex Sinaiticus to scholars today.
I can't wait to see how this affects views on sacred scripture.

There is something very beautiful and symbolic in that it was at the location of the holy ground of Mt. Sinai that these ancient codices were preserved for centuries, by the Orthodox monks of St. Catherine's Monastery.
For me, this has great meaning. :)
Love, L's

John Fariss said...

According to Metzger, the first printed Greek text of the NT was by (apparently) by Diego Lopez de Zuniga of Spain in about 1514. It is known as the Complutensian Polyglot, but it is uncertain what Greek manuscripts are belind the printed version. Furthermore, it seems this work was not for general circulation, but rather was for use within the scholarly branches of the (Catholic) Church.

Desiderius Erasmus began his work on a Greek text for general circulation about the same time as the Polyglot. Most of the text was based on one of two manuscripts from the 12th Century, with some ommissions supplimented by other manuscripts. Because he lacked complete manuscripts, still other verses were based on the Latin Vulgate, which he translated into Greek.

The first edition was printed in 1515, but it was rushed, and had many typographical errors. Nonetheless, it sold out quickly, as did a second edition. By then, however, critics had arisen--most notably by those who were angry that he had omitted the "Johannine Comma," as the trinitiarian formulation in 1 John 5: 7-8 is known. He replied to these critics saying that if a single Greek manuscript containing this could be located, he would include it in future editions. Rather quickly, a copy was sent him. It is believed to have been prepared by a Franciscan monk named Froy or Roy. It was written in Oxford about 1520, and was translated into Greek from the Latin Vulgate. True to his promise, Erasmus included it in the 3rd edition, but with a lengthy footnote that he believed the manscrupt had been prepared expressly to confute him. It is this 3rd edition that the KJV was based, with little or no credibility given his footnote.

Today only three Greek manuscripts are known with this passage. One is a 12th century manuscript with the passage in the margin, written in "a seventeenth century hand"; another is a sixteenth century manuscript copy of the Polyglot; and the third is variously dated from the fourteenth or sixteenth centuries. The oldest citation of the "Comma" is in a Latin treatise from the 4th Century, and the oldest Vulgate manuscript in which it appears is from about 800 AD.

John

Christiane said...

For JOHN, JOE, and WADE,

Here is an interesting site

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum

Christiane said...

Here is a quote from that site:

"Modern Bible translations such as the NIV, NASB, ESV, NRSV and others tend to either omit the Comma entirely, or relegate it to the footnotes.[20]

In more recent years, the Comma has become relevant to the King-James-Only Movement, a largely Protestant development most prevalent within the fundamentalist and Independent Baptist branch of the Baptist churches. Proponents view the Comma as an important Trinitarian text and assert that those who doubt its authenticity are threatening the biblical basis for Trinitarian belief.[21]"

Note: the Johannine Comma refers to what Wade has high-lighted in his post. "Johannine Comma" mean Johannine (John) clause.

Jon L. Estes said...

Maybe we don't have a bible in the language of the people (American) which can be trusteed since words have been added and others removed. Words used don't mean what they would be understood to mean. There is no line of authority to be followed as adults in our homes and churches. Servant leadership is moot.

WOW! Since the originals are the only thing inerrant, and the copied texts are insufficient to really know what is and is not... What do we have left?

Faith? Absolutely. The same faith that what...?

Lydia said...

WOW! Since the originals are the only thing inerrant, and the copied texts are insufficient to really know what is and is not... What do we have left?"

The Holy Spirit Who teaches truth and leads us to study further. Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is a club to beat folks with or a history book.

Some use it to prove their preeminance on earth over others. Or to try and prove something strange called 'servant leadership' which is an oxymoron.

Jon L. Estes said...

Servant Leadership an oxymoron.

Let's see, Jesus said directly He came to serve, not be served. Does this mean He had no authority or oversight, or leadership because he was a servant?

Without the Holy Spirit, the bible is a club to beat folks with...

I remember in Orlando when someone took the floor and said, the Bible is only a book. Is this is what you believe?

Let me ask... Can we have the Bible apart from the Holy Spirit? Can you separate them? The Bible is God's Word, therefor it is Holy. You can define it anyway you wish but to make it less than God's Word (separating the Holy Spirit from it, seems silly (at best).

Paula said...

I wouldn't say the extant copies are insufficient. Textual criticism is not just people sitting around guessing, it's a very disciplined approach to determining any ancient text's accuracy. Without it it we'd know next to nothing about ancient history.

All these copies of the NT are valuable in that the more of them we have to compare, the better the degree of accuracy and higher confidence that we are very close to the original manuscripts.

So to the degree humanly possible to ascertain the accuracy of any given document, our confidence in the Bible is extraordinarily high. Many other ancient texts are accepted as highly accurate on much less evidence.

That said, it should be noted that practically all the debates on what the Bible teaches have to do with interpretation, not textual evidence. And interpretation is much more subjective of course.

So then we come down to the point of choosing an interpretation, and for that we most certainly do need the Spirit's guidance. Yet though the Spirit is a perfect transmitter, we are imperfect receivers. But at least we have the text as an anchor around which we all can unite.

In the end it boils down to personal conviction, but-- and this is vital-- only after we have exhausted all other efforts at understanding the text. We cannot accept any personal conviction that flies in the face of the documented evidence, but on the other hand we must be absolutely certain that we acknowledge that evidence and have not tried to hide any part of it.

We are, like it or not, at the mercy of experts whose scruples in tampering with the text are not always as they should be. For example, Junia was turned into a man by adding an accent-- by the UBS committee who was supposed to give citation for such an addition, yet provided nothing. After many decades the accent was quietly removed, again without attestation. Bias? Absolutely.

But with access to interlinears and dictionaries we can keep a watchful eye on those experts. The internet makes it possible for many people to follow proceeding that in the past were conducted far from the public eye. Yet at the same time this puts responsibility on all of us to be good Bereans.

And since the parts nobody disputes tell us of God being love, holy, all-powerful, yet merciful, our interpretations are guaranteed to be wrong if they paint a picture of God that is out of line with His undisputed characteristics.

Lydia said...

"Let's see, Jesus said directly He came to serve, not be served. Does this mean He had no authority or oversight, or leadership because he was a servant?"

Are you going by what Jesus taught us to do?

"Without the Holy Spirit, the bible is a club to beat folks with...

I remember in Orlando when someone took the floor and said, the Bible is only a book. Is this is what you believe?"

Is that what I said? No. I said WITHOUT the Holy Spirit it is either a club to beat with or a history book. A true believer has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when they read the Word.

"Let me ask... Can we have the Bible apart from the Holy Spirit? Can you separate them? The Bible is God's Word, therefor it is Holy. You can define it anyway you wish but to make it less than God's Word (separating the Holy Spirit from it, seems silly (at best)."

Then how come satan knows scripture so well?

The Word is Inspired by the Holy Spirit...not everyone who reads the Word has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus said about parables?

John Fariss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Fariss said...

Jon,

You wrote, "WOW! Since the originals are the only thing inerrant, and the copied texts are insufficient to really know what is and is not..."

Come on, Jon, you are sharper than that. I think you know that I am not--and I don't think Paula or Christine or Roger or Rex any of the other ususal contributors--are saying that the text, as we have it, is not to be trusted. Anyway, the examples I cited are simple reality, not liberal, ivory tower speculation. It is a fact that some manuscripts have words which are misspelled, omitted, or repeated (I guess monks got distracted at times, and had to go to the bathroom too, not always when it was most convenient); it is a fact that many different manuscripts have slightly different wordings; it is a fact that there exist several "families" of manuscripts, such that the lines of transmission can be established to a reasonable, perhaps even a legal certainty; it is a fact that not all copiests/scribes/monks had equal educations, abilities, or senses; it is a fact that some marginal notes eventually got incorporated into the actual text in later copies; it is a fact that we do not possess any "autograph copies" of any book of the Bible; it is a fact that no translation can possibly transmit all the meanings and nuances of the original languages; and it is a fact that the meanings of words within a given language change over time--when the KJV was translated, the "thee's" and "thou's" were used (at least by the English upper classes) as a sign of intimacy within one's circle or family, not some special language reserved only for use with God. But not all these put together call into question even one of the basic (dare I say fundamental?) doctrines of the faith. Nor do they call into question the verasity of the text that we do have in any significant way. And although you and I might disagree over the use of the word "inerrant," we both have a high view of Scripture, we both look to those Scriptures as our standard for belief and practive, and (I think) we both agree it is the Holy Spirit who brings discernment and illumination to our study of the written Word that we may "rightly divide" it.

John

Jon L. Estes said...

John,

I struggled as to whether or not put TIC at the end and chose not too.

As an inerrantist I know the Bible is Truth in everything it says, speaks too or concludes.

My comment about not having a bible for the people in their language is in direct reference to the subject of order and authority.

Jon L. Estes said...

"The Word is Inspired by the Holy Spirit...not everyone who reads the Word has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus said about parables?"

So the Holy Spirit issue is not on the bible side, as your comments reflect, but on the human side. Big difference.

RKSOKC66 said...

Paula, John Farris, Christine, et. al:

We don't always close in on a "common" understanding on any subject in Blogville. But here I think we all basically are looking at the same set of facts as it relates to "autographs", variety of texts, translation, interpretation, and illumination.

John Fariss, I'm going to go on Amazon and see if I can find Metzger's book. If so I'm going to order it. Maybe I can get a used copy for cheap -- $20 or less.

Paula, I find your observation particularly apt: To the extent that people have a different "view" of any given Bible passage, it is largely due to "interpretation", not text or translation. You short circuited much of this debate and put it into its proper place.

I don't know anyone who changed their understanding of some doctrine, say 5 point "Calvinism" vs. Arminism, just because they switched from the KJV to the NIV or HCSB or vice versa.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Paula said...

Thanks Roger, glad to be of service. :-)

RM said...

Wade,

As much as I appreciate the new "look" on your blog I would sure rather go back to the old format. This new way just seems to enable way too many preachers who are trying to impresses us with their "smartness" (or lack thereof.

Please reconsider going back to keeping us abreast of what is happening in the SBC. It doesn't have to be negative, just informative and truthful.

Wade Burleson said...

Sorry RM,

Get used to it. It's here to stay.

D.R. said...

L's,

I don't have time to comment further, though I would like to regarding Wade's posting of this particular subject (I took Greek Textual Criticism under Bill Warren at NOBTS - and we had the largest manuscript collection - at least at that time - in North America, so I've always been intrigued with textual criticism), but in regards to this comment you made:

"Thank goodness for the availability of the Codex Sinaiticus to scholars today.
I can't wait to see how this affects views on sacred scripture."

The Sinaiticus has been available to textual scholars now for over half a century - at least those working on the text for translation and editions of the Greek New Testament. It's effects have been seen in almost every edition of the UBS Greek NT and in particular the last two editions of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece.

It's not likely we will see any major results from the digitization of the Sinaiticus (at least not to the Greek text itself), though we may see some more helpful theories emerge as to how the text moved from the original wording to errors such as spelling and grammer, though most of us will see little to no application for laypeople from this. As Bill Warren once told our class, with the manuscripts available today we can be sure that 98% of what we have today is exactly the words the writers of the Bible intended for us to have. And the other 2% affects no major doctrinal positions.

It's awesome to know just how well the Holy Spirit has preserved the Bible for us today.

Lydia said...

"So the Holy Spirit issue is not on the bible side, as your comments reflect, but on the human side. Big difference."

Jon, this was my original comment:

"The Holy Spirit Who teaches truth and leads us to study further. Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is a club to beat folks with or a history book."

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I have been accessing different parts of the origianl manuscripts online for some time at http://www.csntm.org/

This is from the GA 676 13th century manuscript which indicates clearly that Junia was accented in the feminine.

RKSOKC66 said...

D.R.:

Thanks for the info you bring to the table.

RKS

Christiane said...

Hi D.R.,

Thank you for the note re: Codex Sinaiticus. I was referring to the 'availability' of the Codex on line now. Rex Ray reminded us of this recently and gave a web site.
This is something to celebrate among scholars, I think. Love, L's



Hi Jon Estes,

You wrote this: ""So the Holy Spirit issue is not on the bible side, as your comments reflect, but on the human side. Big difference."

I'm not sure I followed the discussions well, but Lydia and Paula are correct: the interpretation is what is important for readers and that comes with the guidance of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit IF WE ARE OPEN TO IT.

All I can add for you is this:
The Holy Spirit WAS there when the Holy Writings were created. He 'held the Light' for the inspired writers.

And the Holy Spirit 'holds the Light' for us as we read the Sacred Writings, but we must be attentive and receptive to the 'still quiet voice' that brings discernment.

In this way, our souls are nourished from this unfathomable source of blessing , in the way that is most helpful to us at that moment. We have been promised that we will be given what we need, if we ask. Love, L's

Wade Burleson said...

Suzanne McCarthy,

Just a heads up for you. On Monday of next week I will be posting an article pointing people to your blog and reposting an article you wrote late last week. Unless I hear an objection from you, I will be linking to your blog directly in the post. My post will be a very positive affirmation of what you have written on your blog. I have only recently discovered your blog and have benefited enormously from it.

Thy Peace said...

Suzanne's Bookshelf.

BUNSW Baptist Pastors Forum said...

“If a man is called an expert, the first thing to be done is to establish the fact that he is such. One expert may be worth more than a million other witnesses that are not experts. Before a man has the right to speak about the history, the language, and the paleography of the Old Testament, the Christian church has the right to demand that such a man establish his ability to do so.”

What credibilty do you have as a linguist? What formal training do you have in textual criticism? Why should we consider that your conclusions are credible?

Paula said...

That is a quote from Robert "Dick" Wilson, acknowledged expert in ancient semitic languages.'

Who are you?

John Fariss said...

BUNSW Baptist Pastors Forum,

I don't know who you are speaking to--and I presume it is to Wade, although not necessarily so--but FYI I don't claim to be an expert at anything. I was quoting and/or summarizing things an acknowledged expert wrote.

You are right that the qualification and criteria of an expert witness is critical. My father was called as an expert witness in firearms many times in court cases. But when anyone asked him if he was an expert, his stock answer was, "That's for you to decide." The he would field any questions asked him, usually by defense lawyers.

John

Paula said...

I agree, I don't think anyone here has claimed to be an expert. Perhaps they are taking "Before a man has the right to speak about the history..." as meaning nobody is allowed to discuss theology without a PhD, but of course Wilson was clearly talking about people claiming expertise, not that it is forbidden for non-experts to discuss these things.

I would also add that if it meant the latter, then the person enforcing the rule must also prove expertise.

RKSOKC66 said...

I'm not an expert. Instead I'm a student.

RK Simpson

Joe Blackmon said...

I'm not an expert. I may one day learn enough to become an expert.

Tom Kelley said...

Bill said...
Wade

you bring out an excellent point! I was in seminary (MABTS) during the controversy days, and actually had a professor to state that he did believe that there were some people who were guilty of Bibliolatry (holding the Bible to such a standard that it had become their object of worship!


Dr. Barnard, right?


-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Hi, Rex,
I'm not sure what you mean when you refer to the Chicago Statement's comment about apparent inconsistencies being illusions. Can you explain what you're getting at? It seems to me that the Chicago Statement is just saying that something may seem like an inconsistency to us now, because we do not have full knowledge or understanding of the facts. But, someday (in the presence of God, if not before) we will better understand God's Word, and what looked like an inconsistency, from our limited perspective, wasn't really inconsistent at all -- it was just an "illusion" that we thought it was inconsistent. At least that's what I have always taken the statement to mean. Do you think it is saying something else?

By the way, how is your wife doing?

-----
Tom

Rex Ray said...

Rksokc66,
Roger, thanks for replying.

You said, “The BFM2K says the bible does not have errors.”

Your statement reminds me of Acts 15 where both ‘sides’ believed James’ judgment agreed with their thinking.

One side believed ‘Jesus plus works’, and the other side believed ‘Jesus plus nothing’.

The actual words of the BFM2K (in our SS literature):

“We believe that the Bible has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

If “WITHOUT ANY MIXTURE of error” meant ‘without error’, they would have omitted ‘any mixture’.

Many times I’ve quoted Michel Whitehead, lawyer for the SBC, explaining what “without any mixture of error’ means:

“It means the truth of the Bible is true, and the untruth of the Bible is not true.”

In my opinion, he didn’t like or agree “without any mixture” as he went on to say:

“That is why we added: ‘and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.’”

To me, most of the Bible is a camcorder that tells what happened. The ‘camcorder’ doesn’t explain who lies etc. and who doesn’t.

I believe all truth in the Bible is Scripture and all untruths in the Bible are not Scripture even though they are in the Bible.

To know the difference is the job of the Holy Spirit and ours to accept His teachings.


Joe Blackmon,
Someone said, “There’s no expert within 200 miles where he lives.” Sort of like Jesus saying, there’s no prophet within his own family.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Wade,

Thank you very much for the heads up. I have emailed you to ask which post in particular you wanted to reference so I can see if I have former posts on the same subject. You are, of course, welcome to link to any post you like.

Rex Ray said...

Tom Kelley,
I believe you are exactly right in what ‘illusions’ means in the Chicago Statement.

But I believe “illusions’ is a cop-out. If any error or untruth is recorded in the Bible, “illusions” has it covered with the belief that SOMEDAY the untruth will be proved as true.

In my opinion, that kind of thinking is about the same as the kool-aid drinkers.

My wife is not much better. With new medicine and new doctors, she’s having a hard time keeping blood pressure under 200 along with other problems.

D.R. said...

L's,

I understand what you are saying. It is exciting to see a major text like this get digitized. I just didn't want you to get your hopes us that there was going to be some major breakthrough from this that would be applicable to the vast majority of Christians. Fortunately (and yet unfortunately), we pretty much have all the info from manuscripts that we are going to get (barring some major discovery like the Dead Sea Scrolls).

D.R. said...

Wade,

You asked two questions:

(1). Is your faith in Jesus Christ or in a "perfect" English text (or Greek manuscript)?

(2). Do you talk more to others about your faith in Jesus or your belief in a perfect English text (or Greek manuscript)?


Then you add:

We inerrantist need to realize that the belief in the veracity of the Scriptures does not exclude textual criticisms of our English translations.

We worship the Christ the Bible reveals, not the Bible itself.



Let me say as one who is an inerrantist and has studied textual criticism, I have no problem with your above statement regarding the veracity of Scripture and textual criticism. But what I am wondering is how exactly that relates to your questions and final statement.

For example to the first ?, I would say that our hope is in the Father's and Son's direction of the Holy Spirit to bring about a written work that is perfect in its original form and in the Holy Spirit's work in illuminating the text, both in interpretation and in the work of textual criticism, to bring us as close to that original perfect work as possible.

Other that KJV-only folks, which have been mentioned previously, I don't know anyone who would disagree with that statement.

To the second ?, I would ask for some clarification, as in an example of what this looks like. I would say the same of your last statement. What does it look like for someone to worship the Bible, as opposed to Jesus Christ?

I've seen this criticism before, but never have I seen anyone quantify it. I recognize that someone will probably say something silly like the changing of the BF&M's statement on Scripture was a sign, but I think this must be established if one is going to rightly answer these questions.

Additionally, it seems as if what you are saying is that if you reject the practice or use of textual criticism it is at least a sign that you may be worshiping the Bible. Is that what you would say?

Finally, it's interesting that you brought up this particular text since (other that Mark 16:9-20), this is the most obvious variant in the NT. Others that are much more controversial are the adulterous woman passage of John 8, and (my favorite because of its incredible ability to draw fire instantly) Luke 23:34 - Jesus saying on the cross, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

None of those passages above are original to the text and all are given a rating by the GNT (UBS 4) of complete certainty they they should be omitted. None of that shakes my faith, nor the faith of any inerrantists I know. The only ones I know of who consistently object to such are KJV-onlyists and none of those would sign the Chicago Statement anyway.

D.R. said...

Rex Ray,

I have no clue what you are discussing with Roger, and I really don't have time to jump into that conversation, but as I was scrolling down something you said caught my eye:

Your statement reminds me of Acts 15 where both ‘sides’ believed James’ judgment agreed with their thinking.

One side believed ‘Jesus plus works’, and the other side believed ‘Jesus plus nothing’.


You actually used this argument with me way back in May of 2008 and I answered you, but you never replied. I bring it up now because you are seriously misrepresenting that text and I showed you there why your interpretation didn't make sense. I think you should review that, and while this is not the forum to do so, I would be willing to discuss it further when I have the time.

Here's the link to that comment.

Please forgive me for the snarkiness at that time, I think we had been going at it for a while at that point.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I would be willing to discuss it further when I have the time.

DR,

I would be willing to continue our discussion of kephale also ...

Bill said...

Tom

Yes, It was Reg Barnard

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RKSOKC66 said...

Rex:

You asked me a question regarding the exact wording of the section in the BFM2K regarding the Bible.

I'm not the guy to ask as I had nothing to do with the wording of the BFM2K. I was in Silicon Valley at that time working as a Software Engineer.

I don't know why the "WITHOUT ANY MIXTURE OF ERROR" clause was inserted. It seems to me like these two statements:

(a) It [the Bible] has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without ANY MIXTURE of error, for its matter.

and

(b) It [the Bible] has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without error, for its matter.

are very close to being the "same".

I can't speak to whatever was said by the Michael Whitehead, the lawyer you discussed this with.

It has been nearly a decade since the BFM2K was formulated, so the reason that the exact wording was chosen may be lost to history. However, many of the people on the BFM committee are still around. Their names are right there in the introduction page of the BFM booklet.

You could ask several of them regarding the wording of article one.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City

Christiane said...

Good Morning D.R.

It's me, L's

You wrote this: 'Fortunately (and yet unfortunately), we pretty much have all the info from manuscripts that we are going to get (barring some major discovery like the Dead Sea Scrolls).'

Even as I type this, I have learned that a graduate student was working with the Codex Sinaiticus and discovered a 'leaf' (page) that had been incorporated into the binding and got lost.
It is very badly damaged, but is being carefully examined as we speak.

And so, another treasure from antiquity is found.

For me, 'hope' is not the same as 'expectations'. It's more like 'patiently waiting upon the Lord' and knowing that in His Way and according to His Plan, we may see much unfold that is now hidden from us for a reason.

So I am 'hopeful' that the we will someday 'know' what now is mysterious to us.
I like it that we have it in us to 'seek' answers and to want to communicate with one another, as I see this also as part of God's design for us.

Could it be that as we honor those gifts we already know to be from the Apostles, that the Good Lord will open more treasures to our eyes from antiquity?

And so it is with the sacred writings that we already have.
In reading the same texts:
the prideful see one thing,
the humble see another.
And in only one of these readers exists the plowed-up ground that will allow their lives to be changed by the Power of the Living Word.

As far as timing, I am hopeful.
Christ came at the time of the Roman Empire, and Christianity spread quickly through the structure of the Empire and on to the known world.
Today, the most ancient text so far discovered is now available on-line to the world. Timing? For a reason?
For those who wait upon the Lord, nothing in this world happens without meaning.
You bet I'm hopeful.

Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

The below links are from Suzanne McCarthy's other blog Silence is the ornament:

The Edge of Silence.
We grew up in a religious denomination where women were silent and men who said the wrong thing were excommunicated.

My sister decided to solve this problem by becoming a missionary. She went to live with a small community of missionaries in a faraway place and teach high school and evangelize. There were a few older missionaries and another young woman, a Bible translator, and later a couple of young men came too.

In all the meetings the women were silent. Even at the Friday evening prayer meeting. Only the men prayed. Later the Bible translator told my sister that, not only, had she never spoken during a meeting, but no one had ever even prayed for her work
.

Finding voice.
She came to our school at the age of 10, severely hearing impaired, with the English vocabulary of a 2 year old. She had only been in Canada for 2 years but her mother tongue was no more familiar to her than English.

She sat sideways on the chair and let her hair hang down over her face, covering cheeks smeared by tears. She did not respond to speech, but allowed a touch. She followed her twin sister through the hallways on arrival, at lunch and after school. Trailing behind, she made sure she did not get left behind, she had no way to ask directions.

I phoned the last school and they told me that she was a very ‘difficult’ child, and ‘would not stop crying in spite of all their reproofs’
.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

You wrote this: 'My wife is not much better. With new medicine and new doctors, she’s having a hard time keeping blood pressure under 200 along with other problems.'

Rex, has your wife been completely evaluated, like at a medical center? Is she being followed up on a frequent basis? Is she on a sodium (salt) free diet?

When my blood pressure got really elevated, I was told I was 'at stroke range' and I was given 'the works'. I think it saved my life.
I will pray for your wife. She needs the best of medical care if she has her blood pressure spiking near or over 200. Love, L's

Jeff said...

My faith is in Jesus Christ. It is also in the reality that God has given us a perfect revelation of Jesus Christ in the Bible. I will not worship the Bible, however, I will not throw it in the trash like others do in the Christian community.

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

I would like to continue the discussion as well. I did enjoy it, as long as it was just you and I going back and forth. Unfortunately, I don't have some of the materials I need to continue some of the discussions and I can only go in one direction at a time. I have no theological library near me and, having depended on that most of my life, I don't have all the resources I probably should have in my possession.

Blogs are a terribly medium for debate, especially the type that needs to be done on this, and I am realizing that. I've been able to do it in the past on my own blog because no one else participated (it was a one on one debate on homosexuality and the Bible). But here that's nearly impossible. If we could structure it to allow for some time to elapse between posts, then I think I could do it again soon. But unfortunately, I have too much going on at Church right now to do any more than drive-by commenting. I certainly paid for our discussion the other night.

Let me know if you have some proposals about what we could do and we'll talk about it. You can follow my blog to my Church's website and then get my email there and we could discuss it off of here if that's better for you.

Thanks again and have a great day.

believer333 said...

”As an inerrantist I know the Bible is Truth in everything it says, speaks too or concludes.
”

Jon, just in case you missed these words from Paula and Man of The West, look again and see what an inerrantist believes….

MOTW writes :
”For example, the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy reads: WE AFFIRM that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.”
”So I have to wonder: who, exactly, are you talking about that defines inerrancy in such a way as not to allow for the existence of relatively minor textual variations?”

Paula writes:
”Textual criticism is not just people sitting around guessing, it's a very disciplined approach to determining any ancient text's accuracy. Without it we'd know next to nothing about ancient history.
All these copies of the NT are valuable in that the more of them we have to compare, the better the degree of accuracy and higher confidence that we are very close to the original manuscripts.



So to the degree humanly possible to ascertain the accuracy of any given document, our confidence in the Bible is extraordinarily high. Many other ancient texts are accepted as highly accurate on much less evidence.



That said, it should be noted that practically all the debates on what the Bible teaches have to do with interpretation, not textual evidence. And interpretation is much more subjective of course.”


It is my observation that many inerrantists don’t know what they are believing about inerrancy. A translation is not held up as inerrant; it is a translation. All translations in any language are subject to errors because they are subject to human interpretation. However, for the most part those errors tend to be few and often hang around certain denominational doctrinal differences. The basic tenants of our faith as Christians are not messed with, thankfully.

Wade Burleson said...

D.R.

You write:

Other that KJV-only folks, which have been mentioned previously, I don't know anyone who would disagree with that statement.

Mostly agree. You may be surprised at the number of KJV only who call themselves SB's. In addition, I think some Southern Baptists don't know what inerrancy really means. They think that it means there should be no disharmony between the multiple English translations.

You then ask for clarification:

What does it look like for someone to worship the Bible, as opposed to Jesus Christ?

In short:

(1). You judge and refuse to personally (I'm not speaking of cooperate fellowship or denominationalism) fellowship with another believer in Jesus Christ because they interpret a passage of the Bible differently than you.

(2). It is more important to know what a beleiver believes about the Word of God than it is what He knows about the Lord Jesus Christ.

(3). You treat the actual Bible (book) itself as "sacred" as the Muslims do the Koran - refusing to let another book be on top, refusing to set it on the ground, etc . . .

I could give more, but those are what come to my mind in response to your question.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

Thanks for responding. I too find it difficult in a busy thread, especially since the comment zone gets harder to handle as it gets longer.

A few thoughts, however.

1) First, I feel that holding others to a belief about kephale that is so difficult to establish is counterproductive. If it is this hard for us to establish anything, could God have intended it to be important.

2) I concede that the model of marriage in the NT was patriarchal. That seems evident. The epistles do not seem to have the intention of changing the outward shape of marriage, although they significantly alter relations within.

3) Some people derive the meaning that the husband is the authority from the passage itself in Ephesians, without referring to outside evidence.

4) However, I see the stated task of the kephale is to be the saviour of the body, and to treat the body as its own body.

5) This can't be taken too literally. The husband does not think for the wife, does not speak for her, does not eat for her, does not hear for her, see for her, does not feel emotion for her, etc. The wife is a separate human being.

(i.e. The husband cannot scratch the itchy spot on his wife's back, unless she directs him to that spot. He cannot feel or communicate for her, or decide for himself where that itchy spot is. And one hopes that this is a mutual activity in marriage.)

6) In the narrative parts of the Bible, there were many women who took action without reference to a husband. In fact, almost every woman in the Bible is either single or takes an important step independent from her husband.

Regardless of the ideal "model" of marriage that existed at that time, there were many widows, many women in mixed marriages, many women abandoned, some women were wealthy and independent. The notion that the husband is the kephale seems to be a model of something, but not a reality for many women in the Bible.

7) Finally, the teaching that the husband is the kehpale of the wife, appears in the same passage which condones slavery. Ephesians works backward from a certain model of household affairs, and looks at how the principle of mutual submission would affect these arrangements. The author interjects with the picture of Christ and the church. This is an illustration.

These are my thoughts, and they do not necessitate chasing down Grudem's whatever number of examples.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

To continue ...

I have given a lot of thought to how 1 Peter appears to recommend wifely submission as suffering for the gospel.

But a contrary example to this is in Acts where Paul demands to be treated as a Roman citizen.

As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, "Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't even been found guilty?"

A wife has every right to advocate for herself to be treated according to the law. She can resist her husband's instruction on how many children she has to bear, who to vote for, whether to work or take further study. She has equal right to participate in these decisions, in the same way the husband has, for the good of the marriage.

There is nothing in the laws of our countries which says that the wife has to unilaterally obey the husband, and no religious teaching has the right to assert over women a separate law which requires them to act to their own disadvantage.

I believe that women flourish when they have equal authority, equal expression and equal participation.

This does not mean that I believe men and women are the same. If they were the same, then the fact that the expression of women was so strongly inhibited would not be so problematic.

Women need to be able to act to further their own well-being, as well as to further the well-being of the men of their household. Women are the mothers of both sons and daughters.

Jon L. Estes said...

How many pastors, believing in the inerrancy of scripture, do you think would get up on a Sunday morning and read the passage they are preaching from, having the congregation follow along and then say...

Well, that sounds good and all but let me tell you what is wrong with the passage I just read...

First, the word _______ in your bible is probably not in the originals so we are going to not consider it as important to the context to this passage.

Then, the best manuscripts we can find say do not have this verse so we are going to omit it from consideration.

Now, let me preach... Thus sayeth the Lord (with the exception of a few minor missing or added details).

Any preacher or teacher who believes the errors are there and does not bring them out is doing what?

Any teacher or preacher who leaves the people hanging where they have hangups is doing what?

I would encourage all pastors who believe there are errors in the text they preach out of to make it known to the people they pastor. To do less is hypocritical to their conscience or manipulative to their people.

Joe Blackmon said...

Jon

Am I understanding you correctly to be saying that you believe there is in fact a perfect English translation? If so, which one is it?

Thanks
joe

Jon L. Estes said...

What I am saying Joe is that the Bible we preach out of is inerrant in everything is says, speaks to or concludes.

If you believe it is not, then please inform your church of such beliefs you hold.

Why not just join the Genesis 1 - 11 is a myth club?

Joe Blackmon said...

Jon,

You didn't answer the question. There are differences in English Bible translations. How do you account for or explain those differences? Is there one bible translation that is right?

While there are Christians who believe Genesis 1-11 is not literal, I don't happen to be one of those.

I have, when I have run into texts that needed explaining, told congregations where I was preaching or teaching about different textual problems in the bible. My acknowledgment that our English translations are based on Greek texts that are copies of the originals and not the originals does not mean that I deny they veracity and reliability of the Bible.

Further, the textual variants that exist are few in number when compared to the places where the extant manuscript evidence is in agreement. We have reliable, faithful copies of the originals from which to produce translations.

Jon L. Estes said...

Joe,

I did answer the question. It may not have been the answer you wanted or thought should be given. But for the record...

What the Bible says... Things can be said in different ways and mean the same thing. So what it says is truth.

What the Bible speaks too... Matters of faith, and practice.

What the Bible concludes... the contextual meaning of the written word as it harmonizes together as a whole.

I am not saying there are not textual things I can explain but those things are a matter God must mend.

I think we often, as mere men make more out of things we can't comprehend than God wants us too. We often make what He gave us more difficult for the people in the pews than we should.

If we make the Bible something only a greek / hebrew scholar can understand, we need to tell our people to throw their bibles away and leave it up to the experts.

Problem with this, even the scholars can't agree.

So where does that leave us? With what we have and the Holy Spirit.

And to comment to a previous thread discussion, I'll leave the word submit in the bible (Eph 5).

Joe Blackmon said...

I am not saying there are not textual things I can explain but those things are a matter God must mend.

As they say in the hood, "For realz?" Like, the Johannian comma discussed in this blog, you don't think a person can make a reasonable conclusion on that based on the evidence?

And yes, I was trying to tie you down to a particular bible translation, Your statements seem to be KJV only. I was just curious if my guess was right. C'est la vie.

Paula said...

If the Bible is so clear and plain that anyone who can read can understand all they need to know...

... then what are preachers and teachers for?

:-)

Jon L. Estes said...

Joe,

Nope, I'm not a KJV only. I preach using the NKJV and insert other translations for clarification to what the meaning of the words are (from the greek / hebrew that we use for study).

Gosh, not long ago, I used the Message for clarification because it made what the greek stated, much clearer than other translations.

But, that's only me.

Jon L. Estes said...

Paula,

Scripture says, for the building up (equipping) the saints.

As for it being plain and clear, I didn't said that but maybe you need to make a point about something else.

Jon L. Estes said...

Joe, I would say most people can make a reasonable conclusion concerning much of the bible bu the things we can't bring to a conclusion, continue to study and leave it to God and in His time he will show.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

FROM PSALM 119


"The unfolding of your words
gives light;
it imparts understanding
to the simple."

Paula said...

When someone says:
Well, that sounds good and all but let me tell you what is wrong with the passage I just read...

First, the word _______ in your bible is probably not in the originals so we are going to not consider it as important to the context to this passage.

Then, the best manuscripts we can find say do not have this verse so we are going to omit it from consideration.

Now, let me preach... Thus sayeth the Lord (with the exception of a few minor missing or added details).


They are saying "We don't need no stinking experts!"

That was my point.

General comment: The question is not whether experts are needed, but to what extent. Nobody here has argued that you have to be an expert in Greek and Hebrew to comprehend the Bible. Instead, we have argued that to preach and teach only from a translation in one's own language and present it without including all aspects of context including textual variants is dishonest and misleading.

Neither extreme-- ordinary people can't talk theology, or experts are unnecessary-- is right.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
Thanks for caring.
Belle is a retired school teacher. She has been to many doctors, including Mayo for symptoms of confusion, shaking, and balance. Four years ago, she had back surgery and still has complications. She’s been on blood pressure medicine for twenty years. A month ago she was in one of the best hospitals in Dallas for five days because she did not know where she was for several hours. They found her sodium was dangerously low and stopped one of her three blood pressure medicines. Her sodium is back to normal. The new doctor is also giving her new medicine to prevent confusion and has doubled the two other blood pressure medicines. Also he has an ‘emergency medicine’ if her blood pressure gets over 180, but it makes her dizzy with a headache and her anxiety is much worse as she wants me nearby at all times. I keep a phone in my pocket when in the back yard.

Sometime I get disgusted with the ‘best medical care’. It’s almost like discussing doctrine on the blog. :)

I developed fast heart beat six months before they took the medicine Seldane off the market for causing fast hear beat. (I’d been on it two years for an itch problem.) The year before, at age 52, I’d averaged a 6’ 52”/mile for eight miles in the Dallas Turkey-trot trying to prove nutrition. I’ve taken fish oil, Q-10, and vitamins and minerals by the handful for over twenty years, but Belle has refused to take any. Within the last year, doctors have convinced Belle to take fish oil, calcium, and a multi vitamin.

I believe the more man messes with food for ‘shelf life’, the ‘shorter man’s life will be.

Christiane said...

Dear REX RAY,

Hi, it's me, L's

I'm calling the nuns to pray for Belle. They will keep vigil for her. I am so sorry that these trials are a part of your lives.
Rest in Him with complete trust.
He can and will bring peace and comforting.

Love, L's

Christiane said...

Dear REX,

It's me again. L's
You wrote this:
"I believe the more man messes with food for ‘shelf life’, the ‘shorter man’s life will be."

My father raised us on organic food (fruits and vegetables) and had a compost pile that he used to enrich his gardens. He read "Prevention" magazine and was a fanatic about not using any kind of chemicals in the garden.
We were given supplements of cod-liver oil capsules when we were little. Pop watched over our diets carefully.

Result: My brother and sister and I were TALLER, and HEALTHIER, and SMARTER than the neighborhood kids around us.

My own daughter had sinus and allergy problems UNTIL going vegetarian on organic foods.
Three months later, she has no troubles that require all those meds she had to take previously.

I think you're right: those preservatives and additives in commercial food are not 'healthy' and may even add to our problems.
I think parents don't feed kids like they used to with 'home grown food' and 'home cooking' so much anymore, because they are so busy. But then I remember: Pop worked two jobs every week day and also had a job on Saturdays to earn money for our education. He always had time for us. His memory is revered in my family.

Love, L's

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
Hey! I was wondering how you were so gifted with knowledge.

“Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink…In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them 10 times better than all the diviner-priest and mediums in the entire kingdom. (Daniel 1:11-20)

The last day that manna fell was when the people had access to the gardens of the enemy:

“And the day after they ate from the produce of the land, the manna ceased…they ate from the crops of the land of Canaan that year.” (Joshua 5:12)

Rex Ray said...

Roger,
You said, “Many of the people on the BFM committee are still around.”

Sorry, I don’t believe any are still around that wrote “ANY MIXTURE OF ERROR” as it was written in the 1925 BFM.

Guess they had liberals back in those days. Huh? :)

BUNSW Baptist Pastors Forum said...

Funny the one person who has claimed to be an expert in this field (and in fact isn't!)won't answer my question. Arrogant isn't he?

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

I was hoping you would respond to my comment by letting me know how we might be able to discuss this further. I am a bit confused by your summary of belief. I understand those are your positions, but certainly you understand that I come to different conclusions when I look at the material.

As you asked I am not going to respond to what you wrote (whether it be by quoting Grudem, the text, or another scholar). But I do want address something that you said in your 2nd comment.

You said:
A wife has every right to advocate for herself to be treated according to the law. She can resist her husband's instruction on . . . She has equal right to participate in . . .decisions, in the same way the husband has, for the good of the marriage...There is nothing in the laws of our countries which says that the wife has to unilaterally obey the husband, and no religious teaching has the right to assert over women a separate law which requires them to act to their own disadvantage. . . I believe that women flourish when they have equal authority, equal expression and equal participation.


If this is the picture you have of Complementarianism, then I think you have been duped. It's not the picture I have ever, ever seen in any Church I have been in. This was certainly not the picture I witnessed at Clifton Baptist Church, where many CBMW writers attend (including Bruce Ware and Tom Schreiner), and this is not the type of marriage I have, nor any of my friends (and if have doubts, my wife would be willing to share with you about our relationship).

My concern here is that you've equated my view with that of a couple of different groups. First, you've equated it with those who hold to secular patriarchy (who aren't convinced Biblically, but rather personally). Secondly, I think you've confused it with Biblically convinced Complementarians who sin in their relationships with their wives because they don't understand their own responsibilities in marriage.

I don't doubt that you've seen abuse or neglect or intimidation or any other thing like this in marriage. My take is that what you've seen is not what I am advocating. Abuse is possible in any relationship - even Egalitarian ones. But what I am advocating doesn't look anything like what you've stated above. And again, if you would like to hear more about that, I would love to sit down with you and my wife and we could talk about how this is modeled in our lives.

In the meantime, I think you are taking incidents you've seen and applying them to an entire group of beliefs, when in fact Complementarians are a diverse group, even the Biblically convinced ones.

Finally, I agree whole-heartedly with your last paragraph. What I disagree with you on is what is in the best interest of women in the Church and home. I believe that Complementarianism, when rightly followed, is freeing and fulfilling to women in the Church and home.

Of course, you don't have to take my word for it. Here are some women that I suggest talking with who are Complementarians, but are also independent, strong, feminine, and highly intelligent and the places where you will find them:


Mary Kassian

Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Girl Talk Blog
Carolyn McCulley
Lydia Brownback
Titus2Talk Blog

D.R. said...

BUNSW Baptist Pastors Forum,

Who are you addressing your comment to?

Rex Ray said...

D.R.,
Your (Thursday 2:45 AM) comment of “Mark 16:9-20 is the most obvious variant in the NT” agrees with the Dallas Morning News quote of four years ago:

“Ray Bruce, a film director who is producing a documentary on the project cited the Book of Mark as an example of how much the modern Bible has been altered from the codex. In the codex, he said, the Book of Mark ends at Chapter 16, Verse 8; with the discovery the Christ’s tomb was empty.

But more modern versions contain additionally 12 verses with the testimony from Mary Magdalene and 11 apostles referring to the resurrection of Jesus.
‘It shows how much this is a dynamic process of editing and adaptation,’ he said, but also raises questions about the influence man has had on texts regarded by Christians as divinely inspired.”



D.R.,
Referring to your link of Sunday March 2, 04:46 AM 2008, we were discussing Acts 15. You said:

“Of course there is no mention of a private v. public meeting – that is something you have to insert into the text.”

I believe the mood of most Christian Jews in that day is revealed by this made up conversation:

“Can you imagine our leaders wanting us to decide if Gentiles can become Christians? We’re God’s chosen people. Not those pagans. They’re dogs!”
“But they say God’s Spirit has been given to everyone.”
“Well, they will have to obey all of our laws.”
“Paul and Peter say anyone can go to heaven by the gift of Jesus.”
“Outrageous! That’s what you can expect of a man who lives with Gentiles. Paul helped kill Stephen and put us in prison, now he’s blaspheming God’s laws. We ought to stone him. James’ men got Peter in line until Paul brainwashed him. I hope they put a stop to this nonsense.”


(Verse 4-5 NLT): “When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabus and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and the elders…But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees [could be the same bunch that Paul argued with in verse 2] stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcise and follow the law of Moses.”

(Verse 6 NLT) “SO the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue.”

D.R., this was their private meeting to decide among themselves how Gentiles were saved and to be accepted as Christians and I did not “insert it into the text.”

After their private meeting, (verse 7 Holman) “After there had been much debate, [probably by the same Pharisees] Peter stood up and said to them…” (Verse 12) “Then the whole assembly fell silent…”

D.R.
There is much to write, but the hour grows late, so maybe later.

D.R. said...

Wade,

Let me address a couple of points. First, if the typical SB doesn't know what inerrancy is, then it's our fault as pastors for not teaching them. Wouldn't you agree?

Regarding your criteria for worshiping the Bible over Jesus, I would say that I generally agree with #1, though I think this is more superstition than anything else, and we all have our superstitions.

In regards to #2, this is a bit vague for me to agree or disagree. How does one "know" Jesus apart from His Word? As David Platt said at the Pastor's Conference, when we make Jesus look like us, we end up worshiping ourselves. We have to make sure to some extent that people are not worshiping a Jesus of their own making. We can only do that by looking through the lens of Scripture. Wouldn't you agree?

As for #3, that's a loaded one, don't you think? For instance, wouldn't you agree with Mohler's theological triage? Would you fellowship with one who denies the Deity of Christ? Or His bodily resurrection? A lot of this comes down to essentials v. non-essentials and then you start judging people on what their essentials are.

In the end, I still think this criticism is more of a vague put down (or even a boogieman) than a legitimate critique. Maybe if you could offer a real example of someone doing this it might help.

believer333 said...

D.R.,

What the average comp believes and lives, and what the inner circle of complementarianism advocate are very often different. Interestingly, most average comps live a marital life that is very close to identical with the average egal, except from some verbiage about authority which they generally don't follow precisely anyway.

But what Sue discusses which you are so adamant that doesn't exist, does indeed exist, just not in your experience. Traditionalism, patriarchalism and the complementarianism born from it, have all used terminology that has allowed some amazing atrocities perpetuated toward women in their relationships.

You as a man, and as a patriarchal/comp man would just not be as aware of it as are many women. That is OK. Good for you.

But, please cease and desist from telling intelligent women whose experience has been different and who personally know of many women whose experience has been different, that they are mistaken. We are not mistaken. We are not silly little women who don't know what we are talking about. We are very aware.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

I had understood that you would not be free right now, and I expect to be away soon, so I cannot arrange anything more at the moment. However, I wanted to explain that I don't think the average person needs to understand Grudem's study on kephale to come to the conclusion that egalitarianism has merits.

Let me say that I have spent much longer than you have in a complementarian church, one which benefits from the ministry of some very respected leaders. I am very familiar with complementarianism, and have read all those women who you cite. I have read some of their books.

I think this is where we disagree. You write,

"Secondly, I think you've confused it with Biblically convinced Complementarians who sin in their relationships with their wives because they don't understand their own responsibilities in marriage."

I don't personally know anyone who doesn't sin, so I have a certain handicap in the regard.

I am convinced that men do not make better decisions for their wives and children than the wife would. I believe it is wrong to deprive the wife of equal participation in decision-making, expecially where her own well-being is at stake.

I am not aware of any complemnetarians who accord their wives equal participation in decision-making.

In the best studies on marriage, it appears that overt power paradigms are not all that significant. However, it has been noted that in unhappy marriages, if there is structural inequality, the suffering is much more severe.

I have found that when it comes to democracy, Tim Kellerin his paper on women and mininstry, wrote,

"Christians are for democracy because we believe in sin. Many folk believe in it for the opposite reason. Rousseau believed in democracy because he thought that people were so wise and good that no one is fit to be a slave. Of course, Christians wish for no one to be a slave, but we believe democracy is good because no one is fit to be a master!

Because of sin, people misuse absolute authority. Thus it is clear that monarchy, wise and good kings, would be a form of government that very much fits the Trinitarian pattern. God is a King, not a President, and our spiritual lives are based on monarchy. So why don’t we have Kings? The answer is that we have to abolish monarchy due to sin. We have to treat all people as equal. .....(quote from Lewis in here.)

In summary, the pattern of rule-and-submission is greatly muted in society because of sin. People abuse authority, so politically, all authority must be elected authority—and all individuals must have access to places of authority."

What shocks me beyond belief is that Keller either does not believe that abuse happens in Christian marriage, or he does not think that Christian women deserve to have access to places of authority for some other reason.

There seems to be no rationale for why women are not accorded any of the concern that men get from Tim Keller. men need a democracy in society to protect them from abuse. And women do not need democracy in the home and church why????

I simply don't understand the logic or rationale.

D.R. said...

Rex,

I had to go back and read that, but it looks like that based on your wording I believed the meeting you were making up was one that came after Peter spoke to the Disciples and before James spoke to the people.

I can't be sure exactly - it's been over year. I apologize for the misunderstanding. But what is interesting is that you don't deal with the crux of my argument - the equivocation you have to make regarding the two Greek words you translate as "burden".

The other thing that troubles me is that your whole interpretation comes from a scenario you had to add to the text in order to come out with your view. And to my knowledge no textual scholar agrees with you. Additionally, wouldn't we see see some later controversy arise over this, or a later Church historian refer to this? It seems that 2000 years later you are the only one who see this.

And not only that - Luke apparently doesn't see it either because of the use of two different words for "burden" meaning two different things. Had this meant to be clear, wouldn't he have used the same words here?


BTW, I am trying to understand your problem addressed to Roger Simpson regarding the phrase "without any mixture of error." Perhaps you could explain it to me.

D.R. said...

Believer333,

Perhaps you failed to read this portion of my post:

I don't doubt that you've seen abuse or neglect or intimidation or any other thing like this in marriage. My take is that what you've seen is not what I am advocating. Abuse is possible in any relationship - even Egalitarian ones. But what I am advocating doesn't look anything like what you've stated above.

I NEVER said you or anyone else was mistaken about seeing real abuse. NEVER. Nor did I say that Suzanne was a silly little woman, nor did I imply it. NEVER. Please do not put words in my mouth or assign motives to me. And I will refrain from doing it to you.

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

You said,
I am convinced that men do not make better decisions for their wives and children than the wife would. I believe it is wrong to deprive the wife of equal participation in decision-making, expecially where her own well-being is at stake.

Again, I can only tell you of my experience and my own marriage, even as you can only tell me of yours. But, what you have described above is absolutely NOT what I saw modeled at Clifton, NOR what my marriage looks like. I don't know what your church was like, but have you considered that the men there was just flat out wrong in how they were supposed to practice Complementarianism? Have you considered that possibly they were a bad model?

All I am saying is that those who teach this stuff (the CBMW guys) that you are arguing about (and the women I listed) and the one with who you are arguing doesn't live out their beliefs like that.

Finally, you said
I am not aware of any complemnetarians who accord their wives equal participation in decision-making.

Guess what? You just met one. I can introduce you to many, many more. Now, will this change your paradigm regarding how you see Complementarians? And can we possibly have a discussion some time about how I (and others) live out their Complementarian beliefs?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

"I am not aware of any complemnetarians who accord their wives equal participation in decision-making."

Guess what? You just met one.


Then how do you differentiate yourself from egalitarians?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I notice that nancy Leigh DeMoss specifically defines the meaning of "head" as final decision-maker. Mot of the other writers to this as well.

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

"Then how do you differentiate yourself from egalitarians?"

First, I am not worried about differentiating myself from Egals. I am worried about leading - leading properly and in such a way that my wife doesn't have to worry and so that I am continually staying within the revealed will of God for my life.

I lead in marriage much like I lead my Church as a pastor. I have a set of deacons who help me, pray with me, and keep me accountable. I act as I feel led and I take their advice into every decision I made. I listen to their concerns and evaluate them. But at the end of the day, I make the decision and ask them to support me. And they do, even if they are apprehensive.

The same is true with my wife. When we moved to TN, she didn't want to leave her family in KY. But I felt it was the best decision. At the end of hours of discussion, she left it up to me. I didn't force her. But she left quite sad. Yet, it was one of the best decisions we ever made. We both enjoyed our time there and wouldn't trade it for the world.

Doing that led us here. And again, it was a tough decision. In the end, I made the final decision, but not without consulting her and listening to her concerns. Finally, we came to GA.

I could give you hundreds of other examples of how we discuss things, we listen to each other, but at the end of it, she trusts me and concedes the final decision. (And trust me, she is not at all passive.) I wish I could say I am always right, but that would be a lie. Still, she and I live knowing that's my calling and my duty and by the grace of God, I am hopefully getting better at it.

Hope this helps to understand where I am coming from.

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

Let me say one more thing, lest I mislead you.

I don't take the final say in everything. I try to function like a good CEO - I recognize I don't know everything, nor do I have expertise in everything.

She's a nurse. When she tells me to take some medicine or go to the Doctor, I listen and I go. And trust me, she is persuasive. She's not scared to straighten out a doctor to two (which is part of her job as a nurse - to be a patient advocate).

But, like every CEO, I have the right to veto those decisions. Usually, I won't because I know she is there to help me. God gave her to me so I would be "complemented" and to neglect that aspect would be unwise.

Now, that's just how Complementarianism works itself in my marriage. If you want to know how it works at Church, I can share that with you as well.

Paula said...

D.R.,

I've watched or been in more debates on comp/egal than I can count, but one of the complaints that never fails to surface is one you keep making: that egals are supposed to know every nuance, every flavor of comp-ism that every individual comp may practice. This is unrealistic at best. In other words, we read comp literature, from those who coined the term (CBMW), from those who keep using the term, and we argue against that. Yet when we do, every one of them says "But that's not what I believe personally, don't lump me in with those others." My response: If it walks like a duck...

So if you do not wish to be lumped with people whose practices differ significantly with yours, then please stop using the term to describe yourself. Make up a new one if you must.

Yet you also say this, which contradicts your claim not to be a comp in practice:
I don't take the final say in everything. I try to function like a good CEO...

But, like every CEO, I have the right to veto those decisions...

God gave her to me so I would be "complemented"...

Now, that's just how Complementarianism works itself in my marriage. If you want to know how it works at Church, I can share that with you as well.


"The final say", "CEO", etc. are NOT Biblical models of either marriage or the church. They are models from business and government. But the NT teaches the head/body metaphor of unity and equality for marriage, and that the church is comprised of all-equal body parts.

NEVER is the husband given "CEO" status over his wife; NEVER is any individual given that status over the community of believers; NEVER is any believer to have authority over another adult believer.

A benevolent ruler is still a ruler, and there are no rulers in Christian marriage or congregations.

Paula said...

And about "complementary":

The left and right hands complement each other. They are distinguishable even though they are practically identical; each is a fully-functional hand. They only differ in that they are mirror images of each other. And they are equal.

You are not the head, you are a hand. Each spouse is a hand. What God gave Adam was not an underling but a strong ally coming to his aid, to address his lack (the Hebrew phrase ezer kenegdo has this meaning). She is not to "follow his lead", to be an employee to his CEO, or any such secondary thing. Instead, she is your partner, your friend, your equal.

Paula said...

To clarify about "head":

Paul does use the head/body metaphor for marriage. But he is not speaking of hierarchy. That is what I meant when I said the husband is not the head but a hand, or he couldn't call his wife an ezer kenegdo.

And note that the husband joins to his wife, not the other way around. Why do you suppose scripture words it that way?

Rex Ray said...

D.R.,
You said, “BTW, I am trying to understand your problem addressed to Roger Simpson regarding the phase ‘without any mixture of error.’ Perhaps you could explain it to me.”

In the first place, are you putting words in my mouth that I have a problem with “without any mixture of error”?

That was a big problem with me until I met the lawyer of the SBC, Michel Whitehead. Our conversation went like this:

Rex: “I don’t understand the BFM saying “without any mixture of error.” If they wanted to say the Bible didn’t have any errors, why did they write that? With me having an engineering background that would mean the errors of the Bible don’t mix.”

Whitehead: “That’s exactly what it means! It’s saying the truth of the Bible is true, and the untruth of the Bible is not true. That’s why we added ‘and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

He did not say so, but it sounded like he might have been consulted by Patterson’s small hand-picked committee when they wrote the BFM 2000 in secret.

I believe Patterson didn’t want the churches to know what was going on so the 2000 could be ‘accepted’ without a thorough study. The only announcement the churches heard was, “We can’t tell you but you’re going to like it.” Duhh?

The messengers that voted were to represent the churches, but how would they represent anything if everyone was in the dark?

I believe the idea was rush-rush-push it through based on “You can fool all the people some of the time…etc.”

Based on the firing of missionaries and others, disruption, and heartache it has caused… “…but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

I believe a more correct name is not the ‘2000 BFM’ but ‘Patterson’s BFM’.


D.R., as I need to weld on church basketball goals before it gets too hot, I’ll reply later on your saying: “I apologize for the misunderstanding.”

Why couldn’t you say you were wrong about me inserting a private meeting into the text? Looks to me you did the ‘wiggle wiggle’? :)

Lydia said...

"I lead in marriage much like I lead my Church as a pastor. I have a set of deacons who help me, pray with me, and keep me accountable. I act as I feel led and I take their advice into every decision I made. I listen to their concerns and evaluate them. But at the end of the day, I make the decision and ask them to support me. And they do, even if they are apprehensive."

DR, The Holy Spirit should be 'leading'. And Jesus Christ the authority.

The CEO structure does not fit for the Body of Christ where all true believers have anointing and are ministers in the Holy Priesthood. All have spiritual gifts if truly saved.

The model you are following is worldly and keeps folks following you, not Christ.

Lydia said...

"gain, I can only tell you of my experience and my own marriage, even as you can only tell me of yours. But, what you have described above is absolutely NOT what I saw modeled at Clifton, NOR what my marriage looks like. I don't know what your church was like, but have you considered that the men there was just flat out wrong in how they were supposed to practice Complementarianism? Have you considered that possibly they were a bad model?


Clifton Baptist Church, Louisville Kentucky

http://www.cliftonbaptist.org/

Where some of the most patriarchal professors at SBTS are pastors and leaders such as Bruce Ware and Tom Schreiner.

For example, Bruce Ware who teaches that women are made in the indirect image of God and are a derivative. Who also teaches that unsubmissive wives trigger abuse.

Also DR, you might want to rethink the examples of women you linked to.

Carolyn McCulley works for SGM, a cultic denomination that has swept some pretty serious sexual perversion under the rug. A denomination that was born out of the spiritually abuse shepherding cults of the 70's. They are extreme patriarchy.

Check out SGM Survivors blog.Or the SGM Refuge blog for many stories of spiritual abuse.

Also, here is a link to just one of Mary Kassians articles.

http://www.truewoman.com/?id=641

You could drive a Genesis Mac truck through the holes in her interpretations.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

You are wasting our time here. First you say that your wife has equal participation in decision-making and then you make it quite clear that she doesn't.

Paula said...

That's right, Suzanne. He wants to say he's playing a fair and equal game, but then there's this Trump Card God gave him...

Lydia said...

" But, what you have described above is absolutely NOT what I saw modeled at Clifton, NOR what my marriage looks like."

DR, I think it is important to point out a fact that few people take into consideration when they are looking at 'models' of marriage from their pastors, professors or any 'leader' in Christendom.

When pastors, professors, etc, 'model' comp/pat marriage, I always take into consideration that their income is tied to their beliefs and what they have historically taught on the subject.

Very few wives would dare to contradict or question a teaching that is tied to provision for her family.

And as many have made quite a good living or gained some portion of fame for certain teachings, it means that it is almost impossible for them to later admit that some of their interpretations on secondary non salvic issues are questionable. Especially when they have written books or have been on the speaking circuit on this particular topic.

I always take this into account when income, fame or position is tied to a secondary certain doctrine.

believer333 said...

”I am worried about leading - leading properly and in such a way that my wife doesn't have to worry and so that I am continually staying within the revealed will of God for my life.
”

May I ask:
1. why you think your wife needs leading
2. where do you think you have to and do lead her
3. what Scriptures advocate a husband is to leads a wife.. and where does it say he is to lead her
4. does that mean that you take your wife’s advice but in the end you make the decision and she is to support you even when she disagrees. And is that what you call shared decision making?
5. Does she trust you because that is what she believes she is supposed to do, or does she trust you because she really believes that your decisions are superior to hers?

“e listen to each other, but at the end of it, she trusts me and concedes the final decision. (And trust me, she is not at all passive.) I wish I could say I am always right, but that would be a lie. Still, she and I live knowing that's my calling and my duty and by the grace of God, I am hopefully getting better at it.”

Forgive my bluntness, but this is not shared decision making. Of course, you make mistakes. You are human. Which is exactly why one person should never have an automatic final vote to which everyone else must submit to and ‘trust’ (coerced trust is not the same as real trust) that it is for the best.

Experience has shown that those couples who share the decisions – specifically the bigger and more important ones – grow and mature individually, as well as together grow closer to God (it requires a lot of prayer sometimes), and grow together in more meaningful ways.

While I am sure that you are doing what you have learned, and mean well, I sincerely believe that you are short sighting both yourself and your wife’s growth in spiritual things. Few women flourish under this type of teaching. And many men are short sighting their own benefit because they are not willing to learn from their wives.

”I don't take the final say in everything. I try to function like a good CEO - I recognize I don't know everything, nor do I have expertise in everything.

She's a nurse. When she tells me to take some medicine or go to the Doctor, I listen and I go.

I am very aware with this thinking. I’ve heard it from many a Japanese man who firmly believes that women are in general inferior to men. However, ONLY in an area where she is schooled beyond him, will he listen to her. But even that is open to censorship as he, the superior male, see fit.

sola396 said...

Paula,

I do think you have a responsibility when debating those who believe differently than you do to not misrepresent their views and practices. There are Egals that are strong feminists (one is Linda Hirshman, who believes that stay at home moms are letting down women). I don't try to represent that all Egals are like that. There are Complementarians who have different practices from me. But overgeneralizing what all Comps believe would be like me saying all Egals believe that stay at home moms are bad for women.

One should use a least common denominator approach or even a mainstream approach. I don't think the majority of Egals with whom I have debated have truly understood how I, and most of my counterparts, really live out our beliefs.

And if lots of people are telling you that you don't understand them, then possibly it's time to start listening to them and realizing they may indeed be right.


Finally, you said:

"The final say", "CEO", etc. are NOT Biblical models of either marriage or the church. They are models from business and government. . .NEVER is the husband given "CEO" status over his wife; NEVER is any individual given that status over the community of believers; NEVER is any believer to have authority over another adult believer.

First, I never said this was a MODEL for my marriage or Church. Rather it is illustration to help others understand in management terms. To say that I regard this as a model is twisting my words beyond recognition.

As for the second half of your statement, may I submit two verses for your attention:

"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching." 1 Timothy 5:17


In both of these verses the words for "obey", "rule", and "submit" represent a type of management that clearly indicates there is authority in view. That authority isn't heavy-handed. But it is clearly some sort of relationship whereby one submits to the leadership of another. That's what I try to model in my Church and home - not heavy-handedness, but loving leadership that guides, directs, and aids for the benefit of all parties.

We must get past this idea that all leadership or authority is bad. It's all around us - our bosses at work, our parents, our teachers, and on and on. Our God has from the beginning been a God of organization, and He's always set forth leaders. Why would it be any different now, especially since it's modeled in the NT?

Paula said...

"sola396" (aka D.R., right?),

How have I overgeneralized what all comps are like? Have I not made it clear that when debating "complementarianism", I cannot be expected to know and address every single variant that uses the term? And in efforts to discuss what YOU believe, you have contradicted yourself in saying "yes, I have final say" and "no, we have equality in decision-making".

Even in this post you say "don't overgeneralize" and "one should use a least common denominator approach". Please make up your mind.

And if lots of people are telling you you contradict yourself, then possibly it's time to start listening to them and realizing they may indeed be right.

Yes, you did liken your marriage to a business; whether you call it a model or an illustration is beside the point. Putting such a relationship in "management terms" is exactly the problem. If you're not "modeling" business, then why put it in business terms? Methinks you protesteth too loudly!

As for the scripture references, look at the Greek: there is no word for rule or authority there. We are to follow THE EXAMPLE of those who brought us the gospel, following their way of life and copying it. Especially in 1 Tim. 5, note that the woman Priscilla was called a prostatis which is the same root used there for "rule".

No, this isn't Business Management, it's Relationship of one part of the body to another. Your model or paradigm is completely wrong.

sola396 said...

Guys and ladies,

First, I wrote the comment authored by "sola396". For some reason my computer automatically generated that account. Sorry for any confusion.

Secondly,
to

Paula
Lydia
Believer333
Suzanne

I've told you what my marriage looks like - how about telling us what yours looks like. Y'all have all commented about mine, but I know nothing of yours and I would like to know.

Paula said...

I'd be happy to, D.R. But then I'm done with you.

This fall my husband and I will celebrate 20 years together. Neither of us was married previously and neither of us has plans to marry anyone else.

We are a team. He leads in his areas of expertise, and I lead in mine. He's good at fixing things and I'm good at academic things. We order our lives after the model of a body, because scripture chose to explain our relationships in those terms. We are truly complementary.

If something needs to be decided and we disagree, we either put it off till the solution comes by prayer or we might even flip a coin if it's not too important. We treat each other as adults, as friends. I'm not his secretary or his mother, and he's not my boss or father.

That's an egalitarian-- AND a truly compelmentarian-- marriage.

Thy Peace said...

Some thoughts on the above comments discussion ...

I respect D.R.'s family structure. Their mode of decision making may not apply to me or to others. But I would not denigrate their choices.

By the same token, I would encourage Comp's to not force their thinking on others who differ from their thinking. Clearly interpretations of The Word are different here. To me, family structures and decision making are lot of times personal and intimate. But when forced into one mode of thinking by Church in their teachings, then I would disagree with them. There needs to be freedom of the spirit within each believer, and they should be guided by their conscience, The Holy Spirit and The Word.

Also, discussions on this subject sometimes gets way too personal when their own families are drawn in to it. But that is the nature of this beast.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

- "obey", "rule", and "submit"
- bosses at work, our parents, our teachers,

I don't think I have a wrong idea of the complementarian marriage. I have also attended a complementarian church for longer than most people here.

Let's look at the verses mentioned.

1 Timothy 5:17

Οἱ καλῶς προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι διπλῆς τιμῆς ἀξιούσθωσαν, μάλιστα οἱ κοπιῶντες ἐν λόγῳ καὶ διδασκαλίᾳ:

Let the elders who rule προεστῶτες well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

Who is mentioned in the NT as a prostatis? Phoebe.

γὰρ αὐτὴ προστάτις πολλῶν ἐγενήθη καὶ ἐμοῦ αὐτοῦ.

for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

Hebrews 13:17

Πείθεσθε τοῖς ἡγουμένοις ὑμῶν καὶ ὑπείκετε,

17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: KJV

Obey your leaders and submit to them, ESV

17Gehorcht euren Lehrern und folgt ihnen Luther

(Listen to/obey your teachers and follow them)

Be yielding unto them who are guiding you, and submit yourselves; Rotherham (by far the most literal Bible translation I have ever seen.)

For the KJV it meant that citizens had to obey the king. But for translators today it means that the congregation has to obey its leaders. How handy!!

In any case, Tim Keller, who I cited further up, is adamant that in secular society authority structures must be democratic to prevent abuse. But in marriage there ought to be no such thing as democracy. Why?

Men arrange Bible translation the their advantage all the time. The king wants power, the elders want power, the husband wants power. Just the fact that male Bible translators have played so many games with Bible translation, should disqualify them from leadership altogether, according to Tim Keller.

But no, he only cares about restricting abuse through democracy if the king does it, not if the husband does it.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I believe that if the wife vows to obey, even of her own choice, that this is a dangerous and morally wrong position.

I have read too many blogs where women have talked about how wonderful it was and the best thing about it was if the decision was wrong - guess what - it was the husband's fault. He has more accountability to God than she does. Great eh?

Fast forward to the child in the hospital bed and the parents standing by, and the wife is silenced by the husband because of a vow to obey. The wife may know the child better, may have insights that the husband does not have. Too bad.

Think about seat belts, life jackets, and every other safety precaution. Men are greater risk-takers that women. I do not think that men should have final say in any enterprise where loss of life is an issue.

I believe that assigning authority by gender impedes morality in decision-making.

Its a moral issue for me.

That said, lots of complementarians are so open to influence from their wives that they live as loving egalitarians, in action if not in word. They may even be exemplary in this aspect and they may be models of integrity on a personal level.

But when the rubber hits the road, assiging authority to the male is putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

D.R. said...

Paula,

Thanks for the insights. Sorry that you feel you need to be done with me.


Suzanne,

First, how does what you say work itself out in your marriage?

Secondly,

You said, "Fast forward to the child in the hospital bed and the parents standing by, and the wife is silenced by the husband because of a vow to obey. The wife may know the child better, may have insights that the husband does not have. Too bad."

My wife read this comment and was immediately offended by it. She interjected quite loudly, "THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS!" My point exactly. That is not how it works. Did you read what I wrote above about listening to my wife on things pertaining to medicine? BTW, I have NEVER, EVER heard of such a thing happening. Do you really know of this happening in a Biblically convinced Complementarian's home?

Third, either way you slice both Hebrews 13 and 1 Timothy 5 teach that there is some level of authority in the Church. I don't think it's handy, I think it's Biblical. Whatever anything else is, it should start with being Biblical. And this is. Thus, one cannot simply explain it away. All authority is not bad.

As for your citation of prostatis (meaning patron, helper), you are correct that it is in the same cognate family. However, according to Trenchard's Vocabulary Guide to the Greek NT, so is epistates meaning "master" and apostasia meaning "apostasy or rebellion". Should we equate those with Phoebe as well? Certainly Not!

It is an exegetical fallacy to equate the two as having similar meanings just by the fact they are in the same cognate group. Many words within the same cognate group actually have opposing meanings. In this context, it is clear that proistemi means "rule" or "in charge over", just as it does in 1 Thess 5:12 - "But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction..."

How do you act in obedience or in submission to those leaders in charge over you in your church? How do you see that one should obey this Biblical calling?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

"epistates meaning "master" and apostasia"

Um, what is this? We can say that the word overseer comes from the verb to "oversee." This has no connection to the word "foresee." The prefix is considered a semantic affix, and changing from a verb to a noun is somewhat different. It may or may not mean the words relate - but usually they do relate in some way.

If you want to use TArenchard, then you need to learn how it works. Well, anyone can make a mistake, and this is why no one should have ultimate authority.

My apologies to your wife. It is not always the case that a wife is also a nurse. I hope that you read my entire comment to your wife and not only one paragraph.

Naturally I was sharing an anecdote that I am aware of.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Do you really know of this happening in a Biblically convinced Complementarian's home?

Yes, I do. I attended a soft comp church for many years, and have seen just about everything, good and bad, the full gamut.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Tim Keller thinks that because of sin and abuse all authority should be democartic in the secular world, but in the church and home, authority should be assigned and non-democrartic. Why would this be?

Because Christians don't sin and abuse? Why? I want just one person to tell me why a man like Keller wants democracy for himself in the world and male authority in the home? Nobody will tell me why abuse in the home and the churxh is not as painful as abuse in the world.

G. Casey said...

In conversing with Messianic Jews about translation issues in the New Testament realizing more that too often there is not enough contextualizing of the text. You can't just do word for word studies one needs to understand the Jewish context which even many aspects of the New Testament is written.

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

You said, "If you want to use TArenchard, then you need to learn how it works."

I must admit that I don't know how to use TArenchard. I've never even heard of it. But I used The Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament by Warren Trenchard through 2 years of college Greek and 2 years of Seminary Greek and I do know how to use it.

That's why I agreed that prostasis (a noun, "helper") and proistemi (a verb, "rule") are related. However, my point about epistates meaning "master" and apostasia meaning "apostasy or rebellion" is that they, along with 45 others that Trenchard cites, are in the same cognate family as prostatsis (the word you brought up) and proistemi (the word in question in 1 Tim 5), the root word being hisemi, which means "set" or "stand"

Simply because a word is in the same cognate family as another word does not mean it has any related meaning or carries any exegetical significance, which was my point about apostasia.

It is an exegetical fallacy to relate Phoebe's description of being a protasis with the calling 1 Tim 5 to give honor to those who proestotes - "manage" or "rule" well.

The fact that you brought up a cognate word with no relation other than being in the same family as the word in question is a red herring, unless you would like to explain how this makes any difference to our discussion about the Biblical truth that there are clear positions of authority in the Church.



As for the example you brought up in regards to denying medical treatment on the basis of male leadership, led me say this as clearly as possible - if this situation went down as you claim it did, then the following is my response:

WHOEVER DID THAT WAS ACTING IN A SINFUL WAY AND NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, OR WHAT I, OR ANYONE I HAVE EVER SPOKEN TO OR HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH WHO IS A COMPLEMENTARIAN, TEACHES.

Had I been their pastor, I would have explained to that man that what he was doing was not Biblical and not in accordance with the will of God.

So Suzanne, as I have said before, possibly your Church was a very poor example of Complementarianism. Continuing to claim that what you saw there was the norm for Complementarianism, however, in light of presented evidence, is misleading at best. And my hope is that you will be presented with better examples of what I believe and teach. That is why I posted the links to the women that earlier. Possibly engaging in dialogue with them lead to a better understanding of what should have been happening in your church and what is happening among Complementarians today.

Rex Ray said...

D.R.,
Let’s clarify your words: “…Peter spoke to the Disciples and before James spoke to the people.”

I know you are a pastor and a ‘learned scholar of the Bible’ whereas I’m only a layman. But I’ve studied Acts 15 for more than twenty years, and based on the above it looks like you’ve only ‘skimmed’ the capture.

Where do you get Peter spoke only to the Disciples and not the people?

After Peter finished speaking in verse 11, verse 12 (Holman): “Then the whole assembly fell silent…” I like the way King James wrote: “Then all the multitude kept silence…”


Let’s back up to verse 6: “So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue.”

This was a private meeting and you would probably agree the pastor of the church, James, would be invited and he knew their conclusion.

I believe Peter’s speech gave the conclusion of the private meeting. I believe also James kept his views silent in that meeting or they would have been ‘stomped on’ by Peter and Paul.

Our deacons have an agreement if one of us does not agree with the majority on an issue and DOES NOT express himself at the deacon’s meeting; he will stay silent on the issue at the church business meeting.

I believe James did not follow that rule in his speech to the people where he said Peter was right, BUT…


D.R., you said, “…you don’t deal with the crux of my argument – the equivocation you have to make regarding the two Greek words you translate as ‘burden’.”

How am I a translator if I copy the Bible?

NLT verse 10: “So why are you now challenging God by BURDENING the Gentile believers…?” Verse 28: “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater BURDEN on you than these few requirements.”

Contemporary English Verse 10-11: “Why are you trying to make God angry by placing a heavy BURDEN on these followers?” Verse 28: “The Holy Spirit has shown us that we should not place any extra BURDEN on you. But you should not eat anything offered to idols. You should not eat any meat that still has the blood in it or any meat of any animal that has been strangled. You must not commit any terrible sexual sins. If you follow these instructions, you will do well.”

The meeting was to decide how Gentiles were saved. Peter spoke to that decision. His speech could be called ‘Apples’.

It could be that James was not speaking on how Gentiles were saved, but how they were to be accepted by Jews.

He named four requirements a person must have before a Jew was allowed to eat with them. His speech could be called ‘oranges’.

It could be both sides were happy: Peter’s side thinking James’ speech was oranges and the sect of Pharisees thinking James’ speech was apples.

I guess we’ll never know what James believed as he never gave up his job of a Nazirite praying for the sins of the people even though Calvary did away with his job.

I believe the Christian Jews took James’ speech as apples as shown in (Acts 21:20 Contemporary English): “My friend, you can see how many tens of thousands of the Jewish people have become followers! And all of them are eager to obey the Law of Moses.”

D.R., you said, “Wouldn’t we see some later controversy arise over this…?”

Hey! Have you ever read Galatians, Second Corinthians, or, or, or…? :)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

Everyone of those women preach "final say." I have read their books and I am appalled.

Just because you don't like how another man uses his "final say," does not mean that you have any right to judge the way he used it. If you want to give "final say" to a man, do you intend to give him a lawbook to go with it?

About cognate words, what you are clearly stating is that the noun anastasis (resurrection) and the verb anistemi (rise again) have no more in common than the noun anastasis and the noun apostasia.

You don't actually think that anastasis and anistemi are related? You think that to rise again has the same relationship with the resurrection and apostasy has? I am afraid I cannot follow your reasoning.

BTW, how much time do you want me to spend discussing your typograhical errors, of which there are a few? Lighten up!

PS. I left my church and found another one, so you don't need to spend to much time on that.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

One of the reasons I do not like the writings of some of these women is the way the want to write about history. Here is an example,

On the blog Women Boldly Praying, Carolyn McCulley wrote,

"The earliest feminists largely were also opposed to marriage. As one leading 19th-century feminist wrote: “It is in vain to look for the elevation of woman, so long as she is degraded in marriage. … I feel that this whole question of woman’s rights turns on the point of the marriage relation.” Though she was a mother of seven who was married for nearly 50 years, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was vocal in her low opinion of marriage—a perspective that shaped feminist thinking through the next 150 years."

It is not in my awareness that early feminists largely opposed marriage. Let's look at what Elizabeth Cady Stanton said,

"It is vain to look for the elevation of woman so long as she is degraded in marriage. I say, it is a sin, an outrage on our holiest feelings to pretend that anything but deep, fervent love and sympathy constitutes marriage. The right idea of marriage is at the foundation of all reform."

It is not being married which degrades a woman. Cady Stanton was not against marriage. She was against women being degraded in marriage. Can anyone help me out here? Which early feminists were against marriage.

Why would McCulley write this about early feminists that they largely were opposed to marriage. I have lost a lot of trust in this kind of writing.

I am too old, and my life is too short. It is a deep regret that anyone has to waste time struggling with the manhood theology. So sad.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

You think that to rise again has the same relationship with the resurrection and apostasy has? I am afraid I cannot follow your reasoning.

I have to rephrase this.

You seem to think that "to rise again" has no more relationship to "resurrection" than it has to "apostasy." You do not believe there are any related words? Is that it?

Do you think that the noun "marriage" and the verb "marry" have no relationship? Do you not connect any words at all?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

Perhaps this is the problem. You have typed out the word for Phoebe as "protasis" and then you typed out the verb as "hisemi."

But, in fact, "prostatis" is the noun based on the verb "proistemi." Please review the spelling of the two words. They are related.

Proistemi means "to lead" and "to be the leader." Prostatis (fem.) and prostates (masc.) mean "leader." But also the word means to "protect." Therefore, often the word prostatis or prostates means to be a "protector."

The prostates in the LXX were the temple leaders. Justin Martyr used the word prostates for the person presiding over communion.

The masculine prostates means in some sense a leader. The verb proistemi means to lead, and the feminine word prostatis means ???

Shall we just say that she was only a helper because she was female. Yes, I read that in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

I have once again reviewed your comments. You have discussed three different words -

- prostasis
- protasis
- prostatsis

However, the word was prostatis. I do not usually notice typographical errors, but it seems that this time it has prevented you from seeing the connection between the verb proistemi, and the noun prostatis.

Here is the Strong's entry.

http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/4368.htm

Paula said...

I am too old, and my life is too short. It is a deep regret that anyone has to waste time struggling with the manhood theology. So sad.

I agree, Suzanne. We shouldn't have to be trying to convince fellow servants that they are not our bosses.

Even if we accept the claim of many that they are not being prideful but only carrying a burden God gave them strictly on the basis of the flesh, I have never heard an explanation of why God would overturn the many clear, undisputed passages for half His body. And I've never heard an explanation of how "not so among you" can be negated by a few cherry-picked verses that even the most extreme patriarchs agree have always been difficult to translate. And I've never gotten a straight answer as to why male believers do not have to follow Jesus' example in laying privilege aside (Phil. 2:5-11).

Once again I say that humble people do not fight for their place in line; nobody fights for last place, which is where Jesus said we would find our leaders. The disciples are still fighting for greatness, and still ignoring Jesus' model of leaders at the bottom of the pile, lifting others up, just as He did.

But Suzanne, you provide a valuable service in defense of the priesthood of ALL believers. Your knowledge of Greek has been able to expose the sophistries of Grudem and his followers, strengthening the resolve of many women to stop accepting what some men try to hand them. Your work is not wasted on us, sis!

Thy Peace said...

God bless you, Suzanne. You are consistently exposing the mis- reasoning and interpretation of Comps. You are laying the ground work for others to follow. You are blessed amongst women and men.

Tim Marsh said...

Interesting continuing conversation about complementarian versus egalitarian decision making:

When my wife and I left family in Alabama for North Carolina, we both felt that this was God's will. Being someone with moderate leanings, and someone who is outspoken about prejudice, job offers in Alabama were slim to none. We both knew that the Lord had to lead us to a church where a mjority of the people were on the same page.

I firmly believe that the Lord reveals his will to both spouses and, like Pastor Wade says, if His will is not clear to both, then do not make a decision until it is.

Tim Marsh said...

Dear Egals,

When I say this, please know that I agree with the egalitarian position.

However, arguing about the meaning of kephale will not resolve your arguments with comps.

Move to the big picture of what is fundamentally important in scripture, particularly salvation. What has God done in Christ that has caused Paul to write Gal. 3:28.

Status is eliminated in the Kingdom of God. The world is turned upside down where the servants lead and the leaders better get out their towels and basins.

Galatians 3:28 is crucial. God's kingdom has broken in through Jesus Christ, and the sending of the Spirit on God's people. (Sons and daughters prophecying is one of those signs, not sons only).

There is no longer "male and female" for we are all one in Christ Jesus.

This is the ideal. Paul is interested mostly in character transformation and interested in Christian community vis-a-vis the world.

The only problem is that (at the time) slavery still existed, women largely had second class social status and mainly uneducated (though there were plenty of exceptions). Therefore, women called to remain silent and not to teach were results of the conditions of the culture, not the intention of God's will. Paul wants the church to be quiet and patient before the world, not loud activism.

However, as Pastor Wade argues, the church, in reading scripture, has mistaken the results of the fall for God's intention for the world.

I really believe all egals need to move to the big picture of scripture, salvation and God's purposes for the thrust of your arguments rather than working in the exegetical minutia.

For example, words, like kephale, receive their 'meaning' from how they are used and their meanings are not often static. After you have understood the semantic range of kephale, you must seek examples of how it is used, and consider the context. But really, sadly enough, presuppositions of the big picture have a large role to play in these arguments.

God Bless!

Paula said...

Tim,

Some of us have tried that. We appeal to the "one anothers", to Phil. 2:5-11, to "not so among you", to 1 Cor. 13... to no avail. Our opponents do not believe that those general principles hold true in all situations. They say "God gave authority to males only", and see no conflict between that assertion and the "big picture".

So we try both. We look at what our opponent appeals to and deal with that, but even so I also appeal to the big picture. It hasn't made any difference to those who cling to privilege, believing God mandated it in spite of all the clear scriptures to the contrary.

And it isn't just a comp/egal thing either. What of the clergy/laity class distinction, which I hold to be against NT teachings? Who cares whether women can be religious CEOs when not even men should be those? Yet many egals do retain this aspect of hierarchy. I have tried appealing to "neither here nor on this mountain, but in spirit and truth", but many still cling to this paradigm.

I wish I knew how to get through on both topics.

Tim Marsh said...

Paula,

You responded before and I never got back...been busy.

First, you are right that those who promote egalitarian readings do so inconsistently. Your point about clergy-laity distinctions are well noted. That is why I am Baptist. Though I know that Baptists do not practice this consistently, I believe that clergy and laity are on the same level. God calls clergy, but has callings for laity as well. God tells us to serve as our job, but we are all called to serve and minister.

As for responding to comps on their own terms...I have come to the conclusion that there are two approaches to theology. There are those who are here to learn and explore ideas and then there are those who are defenders of their traditions. They know and they want you to know that they know, and agree.

It is hard for people to admit that they are wrong. I have made the decision to preach the Bible as I understand, but humbly, knowing that I am a sinner, that others may know better, and that there are some texts that are mysterious.

However, Paula, there are people who will listen and read your blogs. There are people who secretly, though oppressed, are reading and hearing and rethinking the world in which they have been taught: Thus saith the Lord.

Though I am an egal, I do not think that all comps are wanting to be oppressive. I think that they are trying to be faithful to what they know. Yet, I still can't quite get that we are reading from the same Bible.

One thing, Paula, that I would encourage:

An unexplored way to get the message across would be through Christian fiction. I get sick and tired that Christian fiction is about the frontier days, demon possession, small towns, and one interpretation of the end times.

However, we are a people who love stories. What do egalitarian Christian marriages look like? What do female pastors look like?

It was fiction that helped out the civil rights cases and integration, maybe fiction would work in these cases as well.

Right now, conservatives have the market, but what if?

Thank you for your response and to others for your positions and stands that you take. God bless!

Paula said...

Interesting proposal, Tim. But though I'm not into fiction, I'll keep my ears open. :-)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Tim,

I really do agree with you. However, my pastor challenged me with Grudem's study on kephale, and since I could reconstruct it, I did. It was freeing for me to find out what an inconclusive study it was.

But I do, in fact, have a greater leaning toward fiction.

Thy Peace said...

Tim, your comments are right on the mark. This is why "Shack" is very popular. Though the major theme is of human suffering and the Grace being shown that transforms the bitterness and anger ... only fiction can cut through this mess. Lot of times, theological debates and reasoning can only go so far. But to reach a wider audience, fiction makes all these arguments real in a gritty way and relates to people and their emotions.

And that is why I also feel, fiction (well written) is the way to go, to change people's hearts.

Of course, The Word is not fiction and it is changing people's hearts. This is the work of The Holy Spirit.

PS: Suzanne you write very well. I love your stories (real and fictional) in your other blog: Silence is the ornament.

Tim Marsh said...

Thy Peace,

Though you wrote that the Word is not fiction, it is interesting that much is Narrative...

I appreciate your responses, and your vocational objectives

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I think the fiction is here.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I like the one about the Down's syndrome child and had intended it to be a novel some day. Sigh.

Christiane said...

Suzanne, please write the novel.
Love, L's

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

I am not confused, though I did type the word wrong (though I believe only once).

The two words I am talking about are:

proistemi, which the BAGD says means: "be at the head (of), rule, direct"

and

prostatis, BAGD: "protectress, patron, helper"


In Trenchard's Vocab guide, he lists both these words along with the other words I mentioned as having the same basic root:

histemi BAGD: "set, place, bring, allow to come"

Reading your Strong's link, I see that they believe that prostatis is a derivative of proistemi, which may very well be true. But all of these are derivatives of histemi and thus in the same cognante word group. Once a word is spun out of its derivative, it can take on a completely different meaning, as I pointed out before.

Thus, the meaning of prostatis is no more relavent to the question what the elders should be honored for than apostasia is related to what histemi (the root word of all these mentioned) means in any context.

Using cognates and derivatives to define specific forms is an exegetical fallacy. Note what William Mounce says about cognates in his book, Greek for the Rest of Us:

A cognate is a word that is related to another and actually shares the same root. In English, the words "prince" and "princess" share the same root, although their forms are altered because they are masculine and feminine gender, repectfully.

Sometimes cognates have similar meanings. However, at other times there are definite nuance differences between cognates. For this reason it is important not to assume that all cognates have the same meaning, and when doing a word study try to stick to your specific lexical form.

Emphasis mine.


I would still like for you to answer my previous questions:

1) How does your Egalitarianism work itself out in your marriage?

2) How do you act in obedience or in submission to those leaders in charge over you in your church?

3) How do you see that one should obey this Biblical calling?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

I cut and pasted each of your three errors. Now, normally I think this is in bad taste for me to point this out. However, it is relevant in this sense. You have not internalized the pattern which turns histemi verbs into nouns. There are many of these, as you note, and each one has a way of being turned into a related noun.

But here is an example of another derivation, orthotomeo comes from temno. Although this is not transparent to a non Greek speaker, it is transparent to a Greek speaker. Temno - to cut, and othotomeo - to cut straight or properly.

These things are the pieces of the language and are transparent to native speakers of the language.

If you had never heard the word "preacher" but only "preach" you would still be able to derive from your knowledge of English that a preacher was a person who preached. Let me know if you think a child could not do this.

I have no idea what Trenchards is and I have not even once heard anyone recommend it. It seems that when it indicates to you cognates, it is referring to verbs with different prefixes which have changed the meaning. But I am referring here to the noun derived from the verb, a simply relationship.

The facts are that prostatis is the noun derived from the verb proistemi, and it has nothing to do with other words derived from histemi. As I indicated anastasis is from anistemi. Are you claiming that they have no connection?

If you look in the Liddell Scott Lexicon, you will see that proistemi means

- be set at the head of
- govern, direct
- guard, support, succour
- to be champion or protector

(Oddly, it does not have the meaning of "rule.")

If you look up prostatis in the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon, it refers you to prostates (masculine.)

prostates has the meaning of -

- leader, chief
- ruler, president
- patron, guardian, champion

When it says "ruler" it typically implies a ruler in an elected or appointed sense, and not a monarch or dictator.

So, clearly, the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon does not feel that prostatis (feminine) has a meaning that is enough different from prostates (masculine) to warrant a separate entry in the Lexicon.

The meanings that you find in the BDAG are derived from Bible translations and simply indicate the measure to which male bias has altered the meaning of the text.

While BDAG provides many examples from the LXX and NT, it is no way better than the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon and I don't think you will find any theologian who will argue that it is.

Regarding prince and princess, it is true that they have different nuances. But they are related. There are many different levels of cognates and you cannot argue that orthotomeo and peritomeo are the same. But you can argue that peritemno and peritome are related.

Does prostatis mean exactly the same as prostates? That may be one of your questions. Perhaps. The evidence is that the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon says yes. It is a valid point of view.

As to your questions.

I am divorced. I left my church. I don't know the answer to your third question.

However, I do know many couples with successful egalitarian marriages at my new church. Clearly this is possible.

Lydia said...

1) How does your Egalitarianism work itself out in your marriage?"

Paula gave you an example.

Don't go there, Sue. It is a set up. And back to the same tired argument that one just has not seen a real comp marriage modeled. But then, none of us are in the privacy of another's marriage, are we? We see the make up on in public. And as someone pointed out, many comp marriages operate as egal marriages. Which is why Russ Moore called for more Patriarchy.

2) How do you act in obedience or in submission to those leaders in charge over you in your church? "

A presupposition that another human is in authority over you in the Body of Christ. Not so among you. If that were true then the Jones followers were right to drink the kool aid. Hebrews 13:17 is a bad translation and does not negate all the servant passages, the 'one anothers' and not so among you passages.

3) How do you see that one should obey this Biblical calling?

If saved, all are called to minister and each given spiritual gifts to edify the Body. All true believers have anointing. Even 'pastoring' which is not just about making sermons and not for males only.

DR wants folks to believe there is a professional special class of Christians. Just as he described himself earlier as the CEO of his church.

In truth, we are all just servants and Jesus Christ is the authority in the Body. Not a few folks hearing from Christ and then interpreting that for the others. If that is the case, no one could grow in Holiness past the 'authority' and we know that is not true.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

To return to the linguistic discussion -

apostasia means a "revolt" and is derived from aphistemi "to revolt."

prostatis means to "be leader or protector" and is derived from proistemi to "lead or protect."

The fact that they are all derived from histemi is not really relevant.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Lydia,

I did go there. I don't want to hide that I am a single mother of two young adult children. I am not ashamed of my status.

I am of the age where DR should respect me as a mother and not talk to me about sitting down and hearing about how he models his relationships. I have lots of young people to observe if I like.

If the church wishes to pretend that these things don't happen it is no help to anyone.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

If DR wants to go on about how real Christians aren't like this, I can name a few theologians whose wives are not too sold on the submission thing.

Dr. Packer has allowed his wife's position to be included in a book recently printed. She disagrees with his views on women.

I could name quite a few examples like this. This is the real world.

I do know one couple who demonstrate more public unity than any other I know, and that is the Fee's.

Let's just leave any notion that complementarians have more godly marriages than egalitarians by the wayside where it belongs.

Paula said...

Many of us have a lot of experience in these debates, whether it's about male/female or clergy/laity. And I truly believe that these issues are no more solvable than the Calvinist/non-Calvinist or eternal security debates. They go on and on, always dissecting the Body instead of letting it live and move.

There will always be those who insist that a few cherry-picked verses can overthrow the very essence of Jesus' teachings, that of freeing the oppressed and leveling the playing field. It's like emptying a swimming pool because of a speck of dirt.

I have not seen any new or convincing arguments that would tip the scales on any of those subjects, beyond demanding total honesty and transparency from the makers of translations, which seems like an impossible dream. Yet like political ideals, religious ideals have to be repeated endlessly to each new generation.

But instead of going endless rounds on the controversial passages, I will only ask for some honest, straight answers to questions like these:

Can the Bible contradict itself?

If not, then how do you reconcile "not so among you" with hierarchy?

How do you reconcile "treat others as better" with hierarchy?

Where does it say that some spiritual gifts have a unique and more authoritative "calling" than others?

Where does it say that some believers emit a "covering" over others, sometimes simply by being in the room, or on the basis of the flesh?

Can 1 Cor. 13 be forgotten in favor of "the final say"?

Can the "I have no need of you" attitude that Paul refuted be forgotten in favor of suppressing or silencing half the Body?

Where is anyone called by the title "pastor", and where is this person called "the leader of the church"?

And many more...

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I would like to add something on the topic of proistemi and prostatis. I am not saying that Phoebe was Paul's ruler. I am responding to this comment by DR. He said,

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching." 1 Timothy 5:17

In both of these verses the words for "obey", "rule", and "submit" represent a type of management that clearly indicates there is authority in view.


I am clealy saying that the word which is translated as "rule" here does not have the meaning or "rule" in the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon, but rather to lead, to preside, and to protect or guard.

I am also saying that Phoebe as prostatis, did this in some way.

Perhaps it means,

"Let the elders who guard well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching."

And Phoebe is the "guardian" of Paul.

I feel it is quite problematic to use "ruler" and "rule" in either of these verses.

It is also worth noting that women are told to oikodespoteo their household.

I think we need to pull back a minute and ask why it is that male translators have always translated a word, when it refers to men, as sounding authoritative, and when it refers to women, as sounding "helperly" or "submissive."

Thy Peace said...

Women In Ministry [Cheryl Schatz] > Wayne Grudem - answering part 5 of his “Open letter to Egalitarians”.
This is the part 5 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his fifth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer from the Greek and my own questions below that. My blog does not yet have the ability for me to use the Greek fonts so I have included a link to Suzanne’s article that has the Greek.

You can find the other parts here.

Thy Peace said...

My apologies to Cheryl Schatz. I might have inadvertently crashed her blog site. I was testing greek fonts in a comment, and the blog froze up. If anyone can contact Cheryl and please let her know about it, that would be helpful.

Thy Peace said...

Hanging my head in shame ...

If it helps, I was adding a comment to Part 4 of the above posts.

Sorry Cheryl.

Thy Peace said...

It's working OK now. It looks like Cheryl has fixed the problem. Thanks Cheryl. Quick recovery. Good job!

D.R. said...

Suzanne,

I no longer have time to keep this conversation going, as I am going out of town immediately after preaching tomorrow morning.

I will comment in response to this:

While BDAG provides many examples from the LXX and NT, it is no way better than the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon and I don't think you will find any theologian who will argue that it is.

Liddell Scott is a Classical Greek Lexicon and the BDAG (which I call the BAGD) is a Koine Greek Lexicon. You cannot compare them as you have above and no theologian would tell you that they are comparable in the way you have done.

Both are at the preferred Lexicons in their fields and you are incorrect that the BDAG is only Biblical passages. It surveys ALL Koine Greek, which is the Greek of the Bible. There are plenty of references to Plato and Plutarch and many more Koine sources.

Also, Koine is to Classical as Middle English is to Modern English. So only quoting the LS is not helpful in this discussion and insinuating that the BAGD is somehow inferior is problematic. I doubt you will find one NT scholar at a major Seminary who agrees with you in regards to the BAGD on Koine Greek.

None of us has a Ph.D in NT or in Greek and for the most part, all of us are limited on what we can know. I think that is important for us to remember, especially when we begin denigrating men and women who have served us and Christ well by spending their entire lives in the Greek text.


TO ALL,

This at times has gotten personal and I regret that. I have tried not to lash back, but this last round of comments related to my motives for asking you guys about your marriages and the stories some of you have related regarding what you feel are normal expressions of Complementarianism (combined with comments denigrating certain men and women that one does not know personally) have really made me realize that there is no way we are ever going to have a civil discussion over here. I hate that. I would really have liked to have discussed this further.

I believe it is Providential that I must end the discussion here. I apologize for any snarkiness with which I have come across or any inappropriate motive that I have had or even perceived to have had. I wish all of you men and ladies the best. May God bless you as you follow Him.

Soli Deo Gloria,
D.R.

Paula said...

Suzanne,

Another instance where only the female form of a word is stripped of authoritarian meaning is in 2 John. I blogged about it Here and listed all the Strong's references, since that's what most people have access to. It is easy to see even from that, that to turn the feminine form of kurios into a woman's name or the ambiguous "lady" is twisting in the wind to avoid assigning such honor to any woman.

Lydia said...

My apologies to Cheryl Schatz. I might have inadvertently crashed her blog site. I was testing greek fonts in a comment, and the blog froze up. If anyone can contact Cheryl and please let her know about it, that would be helpful."


It is fine, friend. I was just over there.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

DR,

Liddell Scott is a Classical Greek Lexicon and the BDAG (which I call the BAGD) is a Koine Greek Lexicon. You cannot compare them as you have above and no theologian would tell you that they are comparable in the way you have done.

This information is incorrect. Here is a description of this lexicon.

"Indispensable for biblical and classical studies alike, the world's most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary of ancient Greek is now available with the Revised Supplement integrated into the body of the text for the first time ever. The publication of the Revised Supplement in 1996 marked a major event in classical scholarship and was the culmination of 13 years' painstaking work overseen by a committee appointed by the British Academy, involving the cooperation of many experts from around the world.

The Main Dictionary: Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon (9th edition 1940), is the central reference work for all scholars of ancient Greek authors and texts discovered up to 1940, from the 11th century BC to the Byzantine Period. The early Greek of authors such as Homer and Hesiod, Classical Greek, and the Greek Old and New Testaments are included. Each entry lists not only the definition of a word, but also its irregular inflections, and quotations from a full range of authors and sources to demonstrate usage."

The Byzantine period is post NT.

In fact, all theologians would agree with me, and this lexicon is recognized by them all.

I have not at any time said anything that was untrue and have only recounted individual anecdotes regarding individual real events. I made no attempt to attach these events to all complemnetarians.

Paula said...

Suzanne,

Isn't it also true that BDAG is not the same as BAGD? The order of letters changes with revisions, as far as I know.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I wrote this and I will modify what I said here,

The meanings that you find in the BDAG are derived from Bible translations and simply indicate the measure to which male bias has altered the meaning of the text.

The meanings that you find in the BDAG are derived from Bible translations and occasionally indicate the measure to which male bias has altered the meaning of the text.

I also wrote,

While BDAG provides many examples from the LXX and NT, it is no way better than the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon and I don't think you will find any theologian who will argue that it is.

I stand by this as written.

Lydia said...

Lydia,

I did go there. I don't want to hide that I am a single mother of two young adult children. I am not ashamed of my status.

I am of the age where DR should respect me as a mother and not talk to me about sitting down and hearing about how he models his relationships. I have lots of young people to observe if I like.

If the church wishes to pretend that these things don't happen it is no help to anyone.

Sat Jul 18, 08:19:00 PM 2009

Good for you. I cringe when folks are asked about their own marriages and I will tell you why. Years ago, I used to volunteer in a spouse abuse center and the one thing that stunned me was to see WHO would come there. Into the sad mix were several pastor and police officer wives who really had no where else to go for support because of their husbands career.

I learned from that experience to be wary of what you see and hear concerning such things. I also saw some of these women guilted into coming back to save their husband's career.

Unfortuantly, there are many who will read that you are divorced and come to the conclusion you have nothing to offer. Or they will say your experience clouds your ability to discern such things. (There was a time when experience was a teacher :o)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

BDAG/BADG Yes, the letters change. I have both but I don't remember which is which. I don't know if it is an issue in this case.

I wish to make it known that I did not ask DR to divulge any personal information, nor did I react negatively when he asked me to.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

"The most complete Greek-English lexicon (covering Homeric, classical and koine Greek) in current existence is a two-volume work of more than 2,000 pages compiled by .Liddell, Scott, Jones and McKenzie, published first in 1843. It is based on examination of thousands of Greek writings from the period of Homer (about 1000 B.C.) to about A.D. 600 -- a period of nearly 1600 years, including the Septuagint and New Testament times."

This information was in Laurie Fasullo's article which Wade posted the other day.

Paula said...

Thanks Suezanne, for the confirmation on BDAG and its variants. :-) I have to wonder what they're teaching in seminaries these days, with students and grads thinking you can arrange the letters any way you want ("I call it this, you call it that"...), and not knowing that Liddell-Scott includes Koine.

I wish I had been introduced to Greek at a young age, as you were. Do you know the optimum age for introducing a foreign language, and what factors to look for in a child to see if they're ready? I homeschool and my soon-to-be 4th grader struggles with spelling but is a good reader. I'm wondering if he could learn another language by sound only, so it wouldn't confuse his spelling in English till he gets a better handle on it.

I could email you about that if you'd prefer, but if you're busy that's okay too.

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage everyone to listen Pastor Wade's recent sermon that reflects this post. Excellent music, singing and sermon.

#23. He Who Has the Son Has Life (I John 5:6-12), of the series I John: The Christian and Complete Joy. If you watch the video, it's titled "He Who Has the Son Has Life", part 23 of series - July 19, 2009 (1 Jn. 5:6-12).

Rex Ray said...

D.R.,
On this post, I’ll admit I was the first to mention the ‘off topic’ Acts 15, but you took the opportunity to show I was wrong and even linked to how ‘right’ your comment was a year ago.

I replied to that comment, showing you were wrong in accusing me of inserting a private meeting of the apostles and elders into the text (verse 6) to which you replied “I apologize for the misunderstanding.”

I guess coming from a CEO Pastor that listens to deacons but makes the final decision, your reply was as much of a ‘wiggle wiggle’ admission of not knowing Scripture as you would admit.

In your same reply, you showed your lack of knowing Scripture when you said: “Peter spoke to the Disciples and before James spoke to the people.”

How did Peter’s speech silence the “multitude” (verse 12 KJ) if he was not speaking to them?

You said, “The equivocation [Webster: language with intent to deceive] you have to make regarding the two Greek words you translate as ‘burden’.”

I quoted from two translations that used these Greek words as “burden”. Are you also accusing these translations of deception?

BTW, I’m afraid some people, especially preachers, like to use BIG words to show their learning in order to impress the common folks how smart they are.

You conclude: “Your whole interpretation comes from a scenario you had to add to the text in order to come out with your view.”

Well, since my “scenario” did not come from added text, what do you think of my view now?

You said, “It seems that 2000 years later you are the only one who sees this.”

I know you meant this as a cut-down, but on the other hand maybe I could quote another that said”

“Anyone could have found it, but this whisper came to me.”

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

"(1). Is your faith in Jesus Christ or in a "perfect" English text (or Greek manuscript)?"

If there never was a perfect Greek manuscript, then please [anyone] reveal to me the revelation of Jesus that you have that you base your faith in Jesus on.

If anyone is going to believe in someone called Jesus, then that Jesus must reveal Himself in order for one to have anything to place one's faith in.

Any Jesus that is supposedly revealed in something other than and higher than the N.T., is NOT the Jesus I have faith in, but an idol.

A dumb idol that cannot speak and cannot hear.

God Bless,

Benji

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

"(2). Do you talk more to others about your faith in Jesus or your belief in a perfect English text (or Greek manuscript)?"

The Jesus that one should only talk about is the Jesus revealed in Scripture. To talk of any other Jesus is to talk about a Jesus who/which is not Jesus.

The Holy Spirit revealed with F I N A L I T Y the glory of Jesus Christ in the N.T.

God Bless,

Benji

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
If you were a few feet from someone that was going to shoot your children, would you not use a gun that had a broken sight?

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
Or would you watch your children die because your gun was not perfect?

Or watch souls perish because the Bible was not perfect?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex Ray,

You "assert" that the Bible is not perfect.

Please reveal the higher revelation you have that reveals that the original Bible is not perfect.

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
It’s the same revelation you have that reveals the original Bible is perfect.

Why would God change what He’s always done in using ‘crooked sticks’ to hit straight licks?

If He wanted the Bible perfect, He could have used the hand that wrote on the wall to record the Bible in every tongue in the world. But He didn’t because man would have worshipped the recordings instead of Him.

‘Having no other Gods’ includes the Bible.

I believe you having to see the Bible perfect is in a way like Thomas having to see the wounds of Jesus. And Jesus said ‘blessed are those who believe and have not seen’.

I trust the Bible with my whole heart and will say with Job: ‘Though he slay me/not perfect, yet I’ll trust him/the Bible.’

Let’s see, at one time, those that believed the Lord’s Supper was the blood and body of Jesus killed those that believed it was a symbol.

Now inerrantists prevent non-inerrantist holding office in the SBC or being a missionary etc.

Benji, can you see any similarity?

And the big question; which group’s actions reveal the command of Jesus to love one another?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex Ray,

"And the big question; which group’s actions reveal the command of Jesus to love one another?"

But Rex, based on your assertion concerning the Bible, then how do you know the "love one another" command is one of those places that is not an error?

Rex, I know the deal ["i.e., they don't even have the original manuscripts so therefore..."]

But here's the thing. Yes, I believe the originals were perfect and that in the providence of God, though we do not have the originals, we have very good manuscripts today.

Yes, problems exist in the existing manuscripts, but the problems do not threaten the foundations of the faith.

Jesus is the Son of God despite some manuscript possibly stating "...and and..." for example.

2 Timothy 3:16 is sufficient for me to believe that the originals were perfect. If you want to kick that verse to the curb, then I ask you "how do you know the 'love one another' verse is not an error"?

I've given you 2 Timothy 3:16. If you have some "better" revelation that determines which verses are in error and which verses are not, then please reveal it.

Since it would be higher than Scripture, then it should trump the Bible in sales.

God Bless,

Benji

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex,

"‘Having no other Gods’ includes the Bible."

It's actually the Bible that *keeps* one from idolatry.

John 15:7 is an interesting verse Rex. After one reads the first part, one anticipates that Jesus is going to say "...and I abide in you".

However, Jesus takes a surprising turn.

Combine that with the "revelatory" word of Christ being passed on to the Apostles through the Spirit, and one is well on their way to following the authentic Messiah.

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
It’s hard to have a conversation with you when you avoid answering questions like a politician.

You asked me: “reveal the higher revelation you have that reveals the original Bible is not perfect”.

I answered you, but you did not answer any of the six questions I asked you.

You said, “Yes, problems exist in the existing manuscripts…”

That’s like being happy with a car that’s a lemon because the first one off the assembly line was perfect.

What difference does it make with ‘your car’ if the first one was perfect or not perfect?

I agree with you that the errors in the Bible do not amount to a hill of beans.

Question eight: How did the Gospel last for 1900 years without the word inerrancy?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex,

Bottom Line--you claim to have something better than me.

Show it.

I gave you a scripture that I have faith in SO THAT I DON'T HAVE TO HAVE THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS TO BELIEVE THAT THEY WERE PERFECT.

You reject, I think, that the originals were perfect.

Show me the revelation you base this on.

If you don't have revelation, then isn't your religious talk rather hollow?

God Bless,

Benji

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex,

"I agree with you that the errors in the Bible do not amount to a hill of beans."

I never said that. I said there are problems [mostly very minor] in the existing manuscripts that ultimately derive from the original manuscripts which were perfect.

1 Timothy 3:16 is the revelation I am showing you. If you have higher revelation, show it.

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
I think I’m seeing a ‘pattern’; you don’t even agree with me when I agree with you. :)

You said, “Yes, problems exist in the existing manuscripts, but the problems do not threaten the foundations of the faith.”

I agreed with you and said, “I agree with you that the errors in the Bible do not amount to a hill of beans.”

My statement was not a quote from you and didn’t mean to be a quote but only a generalization.

You said, “I never said that. I said there are problems (mostly very minor) in the existing manuscripts that ultimately derive from the original manuscripts which were perfect.”

Why didn’t you quote what you said instead of adding new stuff? Better yet, why didn’t you say something positive instead of negative? Is it the more you prove me ‘wrong’ makes your ‘case’ stronger?

Sure, what I just said is picky-picky, but I believe you are writing picky-picky.

In the first place, it doesn’t bother me at all for you to believe the originals were perfect. Believe that all you want…what matters to me is the Bible we have in our hands is divided into truth and untruth and like Paul we must study and rely on what the Holy Spirit teaches us.

And like I told Paula, sometimes it takes a 2x4 for us to hear Him.

For Paul it was not a 2x4 but a LIGHT. At the time, did anyone know the Bible better than Paul? He believe obeying the Laws of Moses pleased God. But the Holy Spirit taught obeying Jesus was better. Had the Bible changed or did Paul see the real meaning in the Bible?

What changed Paul’s mind? “I conveyed not with flesh and blood.”

Not to ignore 1 Timothy 3:16; do you think Paul was referring only to the Old Testament since none of the New had been written?

I’ll ask you, if Paul knew his writings were going to be half the New Testament do you think he would have been more ‘careful’ in his letters?

And do you call Paul a liar when he says this is not from the Lord, but only what I think?

Benji, Paul is my hero. My problem is not with him but with James in Acts 15.

I see James stabbing Peter and the teachings of Jesus in the back with his “judgment” that I believe united with that Christian sect of Pharisees who believed the Laws of Moses had to be obeyed to be saved.

They became the majority (Acts 21:20) which were the roots of Catholics.

BTW, what do you think happened to D.R.?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex,

2 Timothy 3:16 may be only referring to the Old Testament. However, if one accepts the New Testament as Scripture as well, then it follows that the New Testament is "God-breathed" as well.

It is important to take note that the verse is not talking about the "process" of inspiration but the "final product" called Scripture. That final product is called "God-breathed".

It is not that God is "breathing" into Scripture, but that Scripture itself is what has been breathed out by God.

God Bless,

Benji

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
You said: “It is not that God is ‘breathing’ into Scripture, but that Scripture itself is what has been breathed out by God.”

Are you referring only to ‘originals’, or did God “breath out the Scriptures below in the Bibles we have?

(Acts 15:10 NLT) “So why are you now challenging God by BURDENING the Gentile believers…?”

(Acts 15:28 Holman) “For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater BURDEN on you than these necessary things:”

I believe Peter is saying God does not want Gentiles burdened by rules, but James is saying the Holy Spirit decided to burden the Gentiles with a few rules.

I don’t believe this was just a picky error, but a difference in thinking that has led millions into hell.

I’d be interested in what you think.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex,

I was referring to the originals of which copies have been made so that we have the verses you have alluded to.

I don't think Peter and James clashed.

The burden Peter was referring to was the entire law of Moses [check out 15:5].

What verse 28 is referring to is not the entire law of Moses but those things that are mentioned in verse 29 [which includes an element of not putting up an unnecessary obstacle in relation to the Jews].

I would liken it to Paul and circumcision. When it comes to "circumcision as going back to Mosiac Law", Paul is absolutely against it in Galatians.

When it comes to "circumcision as not putting up an unnecessary hindrance to the gospel", Paul is for it in Acts 16:1-3.

Grace to you,

Benji

Rex Ray said...

Benji,
I should have asked: what do you think the ‘two sides' of the “long discussion” think of James’ judgment?

I believe you expressed the thinking of Peter and Paul.

On the other hand, what did the sect of Pharisees think?

Do you agree that most people most of the time leave a meeting thinking the same as before the meeting? [I know I’m that way. :)]

What did “necessary” mean to both sides?

I think Peter and Paul thought it was “necessary” for Gentiles to get along/accepted by the Jews.

I think the “sect” thought it was “necessary” for salvation which was what the meeting was about. They could hardly wait for James to die so they could add more rules which history shows were done.

In fact, (Acts 21:20 Holman) “…they are all zealous of the law.”

NLT) “…all take the law of Moses very seriously.”

Contemporary English) “…all of them are eager to obey the Law of Moses.”

Living) “…Jewish believers must continue to follow the Jewish traditions and customs.”

Benji, from this Scripture could we conclude the Christian Jews had the laws of Moses for salvation and added Jesus to them?

As their pastor, why in the world didn’t James straighten them out or did he believe the same way?

I believe a clue is given in verse 21, “But they have been told about you [isn’t it the preacher who tells the congregation?] that you teach…to abandon Moses…not to circumcise their children or to walk in our customs.”

Was Paul in danger of being killed by the congregation?

Verse 22: “So what is to be done? They will certainly hear that you’ve come.”

Was the ‘mother church’ in danger of being hated by Christian Gentiles if they killed Paul?

I believe the elders and James had a sticky problem and with one day after Paul arrived, they had the problem solved as shown in their next breath:

Verse 23: “Therefore do what we tell you…”

Yep, Paul took their advice of going to those who wanted to kill him and was never free again.

Problem solved for those who had their cake and ice-cream too. :)

After no trial testimony and no prison visits, I believe Paul realized what had happened to him as he wrote some of the saddest words in the Bible.

(2 Timothy 4:16 KJ) At my first answer no man stood with me…I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”

This was Stephen’s prayer that may have haunted Paul his whole life, and I believe the same crime had been done to Paul.

Well Benji, that’s about it and as this post will go off ‘radar’ soon, I doubt you’ll spend the time to reply.

I’d be interested if you believe all the early Christians including James had Baptist thinking then how/why did they change to Catholic?

Tripp said...

This is a very interesting post by Mr. Burleson. No doubt a very dangerous view, but nevertheless, an interesting one.

It would appear that Mr. Burleson is seeking to create a division between Christ and His word. Hence, this statement, "We worship the Christ the Bible reveals, not the Bible itself", seems to indicate that one should worship Christ, but be weary of Christ's own words. Does that not seem bothersome?

IMO, the argument Mr. Burleson is giving us places on a road back to the idea that the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ, which of course is what the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message said before it was corrected in 2000.

As Christians, we worship Christ. The way we know Christ though is through His word. When one begins to tries to separate Christ and God's word, it will always lead to a subjective view of Christ. Thus, an individualistic view of Christ becomes the standard of judgment (i.e. "my" Christ would never agree with that)...instead of God's revelation of Jesus Christ in His word being the standard.

And we all know where that road will leads us.

Tripp said...

To answer the two questions put forth by Mr. Burleson:

1) Is your faith in Jesus Christ or in a "perfect" English text (or Greek manuscript)?

My faith is in God's preserved word. I believe God has preserved his word for all generations. I trust in God's promises in this regard.

I believe it is very dangerous when we as Christians start making this argument that God's word is preserved only in the original manuscripts. Because that makes God a liar. It also opens the door to all types of translations and debates over whether this word belongs in God's word or not.

It once again creates an individualistic view of God's word and completely does away with the doctrine of preservation. Without God's preservation of His word, we would be men most pitied.

2). Do you talk more to others about your faith in Jesus or your belief in a perfect English text (or Greek manuscript)?

I personally talk more about my faith in Christ. However, when I share Christ to someone, I use God's word.

And if God's word has not been preserved, and is not perfect...then how can I have faith in it or how can the one I am sharing with have faith in it?

IMO, we as Christians have done much harm to the Gospel by having numerous translations that differ. Try explaining to the nonbeliever why one English translation says this, while another says something else. Try explaining to them the whole "manuscript argument"...and then try turning around and saying, "But we can trust God's word". See what the reaction you get is.

When we do not hold to the view that God has preserved His word, we as Christians place ourselves on sinking sand...and also we take away from the glory of God.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex,

I hope to reply sometime next week. My initial impression is that you are making some unnecessary assumptions about what was going on.

Take Care,

Benji

Rex Ray said...

Tripp,
You said, “I believe it is very dangerous when we as Christians start making this argument that God's word is preserved only in the original manuscripts. Because that makes God a liar. It also opens the door to all types of translations and debates over whether this word belongs in God's word or not.”

Your words lead me to believe you don’t believe all translations preserve God’s word. Which translation or translations do you believe is “God’s word”?

Tripp, do you believe God wanted Peter and James to say what they did and their words were ‘breathed’ by Him, or were the men speaking from their beliefs?

Peter: (Acts 15:10 NLT) “So why are you now challenging God by BURDENING the Gentile believers…?”

James: (Acts 15:28 Holman) “For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater BURDEN on you than these necessary things:”

I believe Peter said God did not require Gentiles or anyone to obey the Jewish laws for salvation was a free gift of Jesus, but James said the Holy Spirit decided to burden the Gentiles with a few rules.

Since Peter’s words were omitted from the letter written to the Gentiles, all they received were James’ words.

It seems Gentiles decided to ‘improve’ on ‘James’ burden’ much to the agony of Paul in Galatians and other Scriptures.

This is the way I see the start of Catholic roots. I’d be interested in knowing what you believe about the subject which is off topic.

Paula said...

The point that has eluded my efforts to get across is that there is a HUGE difference between:

-- what God Himself said, and

-- what God wanted RECORDED

The reporting of something is not the endorsing of something. I don't know how else to say it.

Rex Ray said...

Paula,
The point that has eluded my efforts to get across is that there is a HUGE difference between:

1. What God Himself said.

2. What God wanted RECORDED.

3. What God did not want said but was said anyway.

The reporting of something is not the endorsing of something. I don’t know how else to say it.

Hey! I believe if we can get # 3 worked out, we’re about to agree to agree.:)

Paula said...

Lots of things have happened that God did not intend (Jer. 7:31, 2 Pet. 3:9, Luke 13:34), yet they are recorded in scripture. Why?

"These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come." (1 Cor. 10:11)

We can learn from the mistakes of those that came before us, but not if those mistakes are erased from history.

Does God "work all things together" for our good? Absolutely. Does God only care about our comfort, or about our character? Obviously the latter. So can God use our mistakes as lessons, not only for us but also for others?

Not if we cover them up.

Ergo, it is God's will to record the good and the bad, the inspiring and the embarrassing, the noble and the base, to bring us to maturity.

Rex Ray said...

Tripp,
You said, “We can learn from the mistakes of those that came before us, but not if those mistakes are erased from history.”

Thanks for preaching a sermon I believe.

Was it a mistake for Christian Jews to continue following the laws of Moses, customs, and traditions as recorded in Acts 21:20? (Once a year, would they put their sins on a scapegoat?)

Will the SBC learn from these early Christians that became Catholic with all their rules, that the SBC is on the same road with their rules?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Rex Ray,

First, let me say I hope your wife is doing well. In having read more of your comments, I think I have a better understanding of where you are coming from concerning James and others.

"Do you agree that most people most of the time leave a meeting thinking the same as before the meeting? [I know I’m that way. :)]"

I would be careful projecting your experience back into what was going on in Acts 15. That can lead to reading something into the text that is not there.

"They could hardly wait for James to die so they could add more rules which history shows were done."

I don't think you can get this from the text of Scripture itself.

Acts chapter 21 is an interesting chapter. I could see someone interpreting particular verses in that chapter in a way inconsistent with the rest of Scripture IF THE REST OF SCRIPTURE IS NOT TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION.

I think Acts 21:21 suggests that Paul needed to have the kind of cultural sensitivity at that point that he had earlier in Acts 16:1-3

Also, I don't think Peter and James gave contradictory messages in Acts 15. I think Peter was speaking about not adding the law for salvation. I think James was in part speaking about being culturally considerate of the Jews.

I think it is good that you are serious about meditating on what was going on in Acts. However, I think you may need to be more careful to not read into the text things that aren't there.

God Bless,

Benji