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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are You A Flake?

Gleanings from Job

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gleanings from Daniel

Some folks have asked about the other studies I wrote up on Daniel. They are all suppose to be available under my Daniel “tag,” but my “tag” only displays the last 10 or so posts from the series. Folks are missing out on the first half. So, I put them all in one place for your convenience.

Daniel, A Brief Introduction

Israel in Babylon: 1:1,2

An Uncompromising Life: 1:3-21

The God of Dreams: 2:1-23

Kingdoms and the Latter-day: 2:24-43

The Latter-days: 2:28

The Coming Kingdom: 2:44-49

The Fiery Trial: 3

The Humbling of Nebuchadnezzar: 4

Babylon Falls: 5

The Lion Den: 6

The Night Vision of the Four Beasts [1]: 7

The Night Vision of the Four Beasts [2]: 7

Excursus: Premillennialism and Daniel 7

The Ram and the Goat: 8:1-8, 15-22

Antiochus IV: Precursor to the Anti-Christ: 8:9-14, 23-27

Daniel Prays for Israel: 9:1-19

An Introduction to Daniel’s Seventy Weeks

God Answers Prayer: 9:20-24

Daniel’s Seventy Sevens: The Sabbatical Year: 9:24

Daniel’s Seventy Sevens: Prophetic date Setting: 9:25-27

True Spiritual Warfare: 10

The Testimony of Fulfilled Prophecy: Daniel 11:1-35

The Willful King: Daniel 11:36-45

The Final Triumph of God's People: Daniel 12:1-3

God's Prophetic Word: Daniel 12:4-13


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Refuting Theistic Evolution and Old Earth Creationism

Articles I have written interacting with, and answering, theistic evolution and other old earth accommodationist views of the creation week in Genesis.

On Theistic Evolution, Biologos, and General Deep-time Creationism

Views of Genesis and Personal Salvation

Expelled

Hard Truths for Theistic Evolutionists [1]: God’s Character and the Doctrine of Inspiration

Hard Truths for Theistic Evolutionists [2]: On Death, Dying, and Suffering

Hard Truths for Theistic Evolutionists [3]: Genesis as Absolute Beginning Out of Nothing

Hard Lessons from OEC and Theistic Evolutionists [1]

Hard Lessons from OEC and Theistic Evolutionists [2]

On Matters of Age

True Colors

Old Earth Defenders of the Gospel

Evangelicals and Atheists Together

Interactions with Muddled Reformed Apologetics

Apologetics and the Age of the Earth

Time Bigot: And Other Remarks by an Ignorant, Anti-old Earth Creationists

Hermeneutical Challenges and Other Exegetical Jedi Mind Tricks

Article XII and the Age of the Earth

Miscellaneous Articles

Raqia and Ancient Cosmology

Going “Bart Ehrman”

The OEC Woodshed

Honest to God

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

300,000

Sometimes in the next hour, 6/22/11, 1:09pm, my hit counter will roll over to 300,000.
That's like a city's worth of people who have stopped by here, this rustic outpost down on a dirt road off the internet super highway since August, 2006.

Nothing too spectacular about that, I know. I just like nice, round numbers.

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Gleanings from Daniel [22]

ThisPresentDarknessTrue Spiritual Warfare (Daniel 10)

I come to what is really the final revelation give to Daniel. 

The entire prophecy is contained in the final two chapters of Daniel, 11 and 12.  Chapters 10 through 12 are one literary unit.  The prophecy is broken in three large sections: 

Chapter 10 introduces us to the revelation.

Chapter 11 pertains to prophecies of nations at conflict with Israel.

Chapter 12 pertains to prophecies regarding Israel at the time of the end.

With this final prophecy, we see how God’s dealings with His people Israel and the major nations runs its course.

I. Historical Background (10:1-3)

Daniel opens chapter 10 by writing how this vision came to him in the third year of Cyrus, 536/535 B.C.  A good portion of the Jews would have returned to the land by this time or were preparing to return.  This would also be around the time of the “lion den” incident as recorded in chapter 6, perhaps shortly after it.

You will also note how Daniel not only names himself, but also gives his Babylonian name, Belteshazzar. Quite possibly this is a reminder that this is the exact same guy from right at the start of the exile 70 years earlier. 

Daniel is still in Babylon and this raises the question:  Why didn’t he return to Israel?  There are a few possibilities,

- He was too old to make the trip.

- His responsibilities prohibited him.

- Or more likely, Daniel believed he could serve Israel better if he stayed were he was.

Daniel speaks of a message being delivered, a revelation that is described as both extraordinary and true.  The Hebrew word tsava, is difficult for translators to understand in this passage.  The NKJV, for example, translates the word “the appointed time.”  However, the word more often refers to hard service in the army or warfare, even conflict.  If this message pertains to the events recorded in the last three chapters of Daniel’s book, it is understandable the message revealed to Daniel refers to a great conflict.  Something that was yet to happen a long way off (certainly for Daniel).  This was both a heavenly conflict as well as an earthly conflict Israel will experience.  But knowing the work described by the spiritual beings in chapter 10, ultimately, spiritual conflict was at the heart of the earthly warfare.

It was during this time Daniel experienced a period of mourning.  It is uncertain why that is.  It could be a result of the vision he had received, or the fact he knew the returning Jews were being challenged by the inhabitants as recorded in Ezra.  Whatever the case, Daniel began a fast.  He didn’t eat any choice food (just basic sustenance), and he didn’t oil his body, which in a dry climate of the Iraqi desert, would be uncomfortable.  He did this for three weeks.

II. Heavenly Vision (10:4-12) 

It is the Jewish month, Nisan, on the 24th of that month.  Passover would had been on the 14th.  Daniel is by the Tigris river.  Here, Daniel is physically by the river, not by a river in merely a vision.  The Tigris starts several hundred miles north of Babylon and comes as close as 20 miles to the city.  Daniel may had been away on sort of a retreat.  Perhaps to spend time praying in regards to the message he had received.

He then sees a vision of a man.  The question is asked, “Who is he?”  Some suggest Gabriel from previous occasions, but this man is remarkably different.

First, when this man appears before Daniel he becomes afraid.  The entourage with Daniel are gripped with such terror that they flee, leaving Daniel alone. 

Second, note also the description of this man.  He is described as being girded with gold and his face flashed as lightning.  The description sounds almost identical to the vision of God Ezekiel had in Ezekiel 1:26-28 and John had of Jesus in Revelation 1:12-16.  This man appears to be a Christophany, a very vision of God Himself.

However, if this is a Christophany/theophany, it is difficult to interpret the discussion with Daniel.  This individual is said to be withstood by the Prince of Persia.  How exactly can a prince withstand God, especially if the Prince of Persia is a devil? 

One suggestion on how to understand this passage: God limits His authority.  I personally don’t like that view. 

I think a better way to understand the discussion: Daniel is interacting with more than one being.  You have the Man of God – Christophany, and then Gabriel – speaking to, and helping, Daniel. 

Verse 10 would be Gabriel.  He uses similar expression with Daniel as he did in chapters 8 and 9.  Such things as “highly favored one.”  He tells Daniel he has come to deliver a message. 

III. Heavenly Conflict (10:13-15)

Here we have one of the strange revelations in Scripture that reveals to us something about the angelic realm.  This passage raises many questions that are not necessarily answered.

Yet, in spite of it’s unusual account, several groups speculate.  They create whole theologies out of the notion of territorial spirits, big angels and demons who are organized into an elaborate hierarchy and exercise authority over regions of the world, including cities, townships, and neighborhoods.  Two popular novels from 20 years ago, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness fictionalized this view of “spiritual warfare.”

Rather than fantastic, sci-fi understandings of spiritual warfare, what can Daniel’s account tell us?

1). Angels are Real.  Elect and evil angelic beings exist.  Simple enough.

2). Angelic beings, both good and bad, have a hand of influence on human affairs, particularly as it pertains to God’s people.  Somehow - it’s not entirely clear - this “Prince of Persia” (perhaps Satan?) was involved with the Persian government.  We see in other passages that demonic hordes do influence wicked people against God’s people.  They have wanted to eradicate the Jewish nation (Daniel 8, 11) and at the end of days this will also be true with the Anti-Christ, 2 Thess. 2:9, Rev. 13:2, who is empowered by the Devil.

3). There is an invisible, spiritual warfare being waged involving angelic beings and humanity.  Note that Daniel was oblivious to it UNTIL it was revealed.  We know it happens, but we are not entirely sure how it plays itself out.  The Bible does provide for us some insights:

Ephesians 6:11-12.  Paul speaks of the “wiles” or “schemes” of the Devil.  This implies some level of planning, always in the form of ideas or philosophies that in the end, merely appeal to our sinful nature.  How exactly do we engage the Devil’s schemes?  By shouting incantations that supposedly “bind” the Devil?  Claim streets in the name of Jesus? This is not biblical at all.

2 Corinthians 10:1-5 provides some directives.  Here, Paul tells us we are to engage “thoughts,” “minds,” “knowledge” that is lifted up against God.  Real spiritual warfare engages ideas and philosophies and worldviews that are opposed to the knowledge of God.  We don’t attack demons directly, but the rebellious ideas they spread throughout the world that ensnares the minds of sinners.  We do that with the truth of the Gospel.

IV. Heavenly Encouragement (10:15-21)

Daniel’s encounter with God and these angels was overwhelming for him.  He wasn’t jumping up and down with praise – He was scared.  He lost physical strength, but Gabriel strengthens him.  He tells Daniel that Michael, your prince, has been appointed by God specifically to watch over Israel.  Daniel is told that he and his people are not alone in a sea of hostile nations, but God and His choice heavenly host fights for them.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

A Brief Review

macbookJohn MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock

by Iain Murray, 250 pages.

Iain Murray is by far my favorite biographer/Church historian. The first "Christian" biography I read was his Life of A.W. Pink. What I appreciated about Murray's book was how he didn't write about Pink like a disconnected academic. He genuinely cared for the life of this man, and he made my theological hero come alive. He respected Pink's contribution to Christian theology, yet at the same time, he didn't hold back offering his editorial opinion regarding Pink's personal foibles. In fact, Murray's evangelical conviction he brought to all his books helped me frame the lives of his subjects with the perspective of God's providence.

After reading Pink's biography, I picked up Murray's works on Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, his two volumes on the life of M. Lloyd-Jones, and his fabulous study on American Christianity during the Second Great Awakening, Revival and Revivalism. All those books served to impact my thinking about Church History.

When I learned a couple of years ago that Murray was preparing to write a biography on my pastor, John MacArthur, I was excited. I knew he would bring his “evangelical commitment” to telling John’s personal life, as well as treat him as a faithful servant for the Lord. He would care for John in the same way he had all his previous subjects, and this care runs throughout this book.

Murray’s biography on John is an easy read. I was able to get through it quickly, within a few days spread over a week or so, and that was with being distracted by babies and tending to my wife. Though Murray’s work is short, coming in just at 250 pages including the index, he covers John’s life and ministry with precise attention to important details. Such things as his early life, his time in college and seminary, being called to Grace Community Church, and the background to subsequent ministries like Grace to You and the Master’s College and Seminary.

I particularly enjoyed learning of John’s parents and their involvement in his life as a kid. The memories he shares about the comforts his mother brought to the family home exhorted me to consider the comforts my wife and I bring to our own, and what my children will remember about growing up there. Also, Murray writes a bit on John’s ministry in the south during the Civil Rights era in the mid to late sixties. One of the more compelling stories from this period in John’s life is him ministering short ways from Memphis the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Just hours after the murder, John, and a car full of pastors, drove to the hotel were King had been staying and he was able to see that tragic moment in history firsthand.

The only criticism I would have with this book is its brevity, especially with the theological controversies that have swirled around John’s preaching over the years. Those controversies played a significant part in defining John’s commitment to biblical truth and the Gospel and they need to be fleshed out. Murray mentions a good number of them, and goes into some detail with a few of them, like the Kenneth Nally case, but I personally would have liked more discussion of those matters than what he offers. But, as Murray explains in the forward, he meant his book to be more of a “sketch” than to present a “full portrait” of John because his life and ministry is still in progress.

Out of all the biographies I have ever read, this one is probably the most unique - at for me. The main reason being is because I personally know the biographical subject and his family. Additionally, I also know many of the individuals mentioned throughout the book, and I have firsthand knowledge of a good many of the events in John’s life of which Murray writes. It made reading the book a bit surreal at times, but it caused me to step back and thank the Lord how he has allowed me to be apart of such a influential ministry.

In conjunction with this biography, the latest edition (spring, 2011) of The Master’s Seminary Journal is a festschrift in honor of John. Many of the men who have been influenced by him contribute articles highlighting those areas of John’s shepherding and preaching that have defined him. Things like commitment to biblical authority and expository preaching. Our librarian at Master’s also has a complete bibliography of John’s written work. For those interested, it would make a good supplement to Murray’s outstanding biography.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

On The Resurrection at the Great White Throne

I am preparing a message on eternal judgment for an upcoming sermon. In my preparation, I came across this section from J.A. Seiss's Lectures on the Book of Revelation on the wicked dead being raised to life,

No trumpet is sounded; for the sounding of the trumpet is for those in covenant with the King, as his armies and friends; but these are not his people nor his friends. There is simply the going forth of eternal power, into the sea, into the graves, into Hades, into all the depositories of the souls and bodies of the unholy dead, and all the vast multitudes in them suddenly stand in the presence of the throne.

Not one of them that ever lived and died, from the beginning of the world till then, save and except the Beast and the False Prophet, but is in that unblest congregation. "The great and small", the big sinners and the little sinners, rulers and subjects, nobles and plebeians, the learned and the ignorant, the refined and the vulgar, the civilized and the barbarous, emperors and beggars, all alike are there. We read of no white robes, no spotless linen, no palms, nothing but naked sinners before the naked majesty of enthroned Almightiness, awaiting their eternal doom. [Seiss, 479]

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Stroll Through Asinine Territory

dehartsUnder this post, commenter, “c.t.” leaves this knuckle busting comment:

Why would a King James Only person (however you want to define such a person) be shocked by an original 1611 AV? You really think a KJV-O doesn't know about font and spelling differences and the Preface and so on? And why the constant attitude that people who are KJV-O (or whatever) are dumb? You sound like leftists talking about Tea Party people. All this, "You should see the look on their face when I show them a leaf from a 1611 and it's from an apocryphal book..." Really? KJV-O people don't know the Apocrypha was included in the original 1611 between the Old and New Testaments? They don't? Really? How long a shelf life will these straw men have for you guys? If you think the only reason people don't agree with you is because they are stupid you are in asinine territory. Again, think of the idiot glow of self-glorified leftists in our world today. Try to convince them they are village idiots. Can't do it. You don't want to be where they are, guys. Wake up.

Indeed.

Let’s back up and note some highlights:

You really think a KJV-O doesn't know about font and spelling differences and the Preface and so on?

I am not sure what part of Asinine Territory you have ventured through, but from my visits, yes, most individuals who call themselves “KJV-Only” don’t know about font, spelling differences, the preface, and so on. In fact, when I have pointed these things out to them and the problems it presents for their “onlyist” apologetic, many of them react with bewilderment. It’s a similar reaction I use to see when these same “onlyists” learned that “G.A. Riplinger” is really a twice-divorced woman, rather than a man.

And why the constant attitude that people who are KJV-O (or whatever) are dumb?

That’s a dishonest overstatement. I don’t think David Cloud is “dumb.” He’s certainly a bomb thrower, but he’s not “dumb.”

“Dumb” implies they lack intelligence, and even though I have met a few “dumb” “onlyistst” in my life, the majority are bright, intelligent, and have all the best intentions of honoring God. Rather than being “dumb,” I would say “onlyists” are willfully misinformed and seriously lack discernment. Their views are given to tin-foil hat theology and revisionism. Not only does their apologetic devalue God’s ability to protect His Word as He directs His people to transmit it from one generation to the next, the entire system is held together by a dark, nefarious conspiratorial thread that is suppose to exist in the fabric of Church History. Such things as heretics corrupting manuscripts and new age mystics giving us modern translations to blind us to the coming of the Anti-Christ.

But once you show them these conspiracies are pure fiction, the whole KJV-Only tapestry comes unraveled.

Really? KJV-O people don't know the Apocrypha was included in the original 1611 between the Old and New Testaments? They don't? Really? How long a shelf life will these straw men have for you guys?

Yep. Really.

Regrettably, a good deal of KJV-Onlyists people don’t know the Apocrypha was included in the original 1611. I didn’t know it was included when I was a young, naïve “onlyist.” I think I had to learn that fact from Sam Gipp.

But these remarks miss the point.

The Apocrypha’s inclusion in the original KJV edition is a problem for “onlyists.” They constantly argue how modern versions are translated from manuscripts that were hidden in Catholic monasteries, filed away in the secret vaults of the Vatican library, and that all the modern day textual critics are Pope loving ecumenists. Yet, in the earliest editions of the KJV, it contained the very books that distinguish Roman Catholicism from Reformed Protestantism. If the KJV is the seven-fold purified Word of God kept intact in English as the chorus of KJV advocates proclaim, why would God allow false, soul damning books to be included in the initial translation to begin with? Do you not see the inconsistency?

Moreover, the inclusion of the entire letter from the translators to the readers further exposes “onlyists’” to the absurdities of their mythos regarding the KJV, particularly the fact that the KJV translators utilized a multitude of ancient sources including the LXX, a document the greatest body of “onlyists” insist was a forgery of Origen published some 2 1/2 centuries after Christ. Not to mention the use of inserting marginal readings that clearly provide an alternative translation to various passages, alternative translations that are often found in modern versions, but are criticized by “onlyists” as examples of “corrupting God’s Word.”

You may not like my neighborhood here in Asinine Territory, but at least we are honest and haven’t blinded ourselves to reality.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Holy Cow!

Dan Phillips emailed me to tell me Justin Taylor had linked to my post highlighting how John MacArthur finished preaching the NT after 42 years of ministry.

Preaching the Entire New Testament Verse-by-Verse

Wowzers.

I've been linked by Challies and Pyro before, but Justin Taylor is like hitting the big times.

To put it into perspective, it would be like getting invited onto the Tonight Show and sitting on the couch between Johnny Carson and George Gobel.

One clarification:

I had written in my original post,

To our knowledge here at Grace, this hasn't been done in over a hundred years or more. The one person that comes immediately to my mind is John Gill, who preached through both the OT and NT, but that was in the 1700s.

Several commenters here, and at Taylor's blog, took umbrage with my statement. A few noted J. Vernon McGee, Calvary Chapel founder, Chuck Smith, and even W.A. Criswell, who also preached through the entire NT within the last 100 years.

If I could be a bit more specific, what I have in mind is detailed exposition. Though it is true these men may have "preached" through the NT, when you consider their catalog of sermons, they don't have nearly the depth of exposition that MacArthur presents. If you think about it, John took 8 years to preach through Matthew. Ten years to get through Luke. Plus, he taught a book in the morning and a different book on Sunday evenings. He preached anywhere from 50 to 70 minutes depending upon the subject matter.

McGee goes through the entire Bible in 5 year rotations. His teaching could be classified as more of a survey than exposition. I would say the same about Chuck Smith as well. He doesn't do verse-by-verse, and in many cases covers entire chapters at a time. I haven't listened to Criswell, so I can't really offer an opinion as to the level of depth he gave his messages. Remember, I did qualify by saying "to our knowledge."

Having thought about it a bit more, the only other preachers I can think of who gave the level of exposition John did was S. Lewis Johnson, but if you check his catalog available on-line, he didn't preach the entire NT, and James Montgomery Boice of 10th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, but the Lord took him before he could complete the task.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Greatest Marriage Proposal Ever

My wife sent this to me. It's quite spectacular.

Two things come to mind upon seeing it.

If you go to these great lengths to ask a girl to marry you, you had better be sure she will say "yes." If she runs out in frantic tears after you arrive, you will forever be remembered on "fail blog" and be a Youtube viral sensation for all the wrong reasons.

Second. There is a part of me who wants to get a posse of husbands together and lay a whippin' on this guy for showing us all up.




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Evolutionary Priestcraft

Over at the On The Box site, I have been tussling with some heathens in the comments of this post. Their responses to my challenges give me the clear impression they are youngish, naïve, and epistemically out-of-touch.

One of them writes,

Is this where you pretend Atheists have some sacred text that they hold fundamental in order to be insulting without addressing anything of meaning?

Young atheists these days like to pretend they have no allegiance to any philosophical authority. They are “free thinkers” and as “free thinkers” they are beholden to no person or “ism” anywhere in the world.

The reality, however, it that atheists do participate in a complex religious system.

- Charles Darwin is the messiah figure. He is the deliverer who has provided a way to be liberated from the enslavement of “autonomous stifling” religious tyranny.

- Evolution, descent with modification over millions of years, is the religious system.

- Darwin’s On the Origins of the Species is the sacred text. The final “revelation” that provides the foundation for certain belief.

- There is a papacy, a succession of pope figures, the bulk of which are British: Thomas Huxley, Bertrand Russell, and the current head, Richard Dawkins.

- The atheist pope issues decrees, makes dogma, speaks ex cathedra, and pronounces fatwas against the enemies of the true faith.

- Religious orders exist: Punctuated Equilibrium and slow, gradual descent with modification.

- There are well-known evangelists: Carl Sagan, Christopher Hitchens.

- Para-science ministries: PBS and Discovery Channel.

- Inquisitors: National Center for Science Education.

- Schismatics: Biologos.

- Heretics: Discovery Institute, AiG, CMI.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

1969 - 2011

This past Sunday, June 5th, 2011, John MacArthur accomplished something that is extremely rare in Christendom. He finished preaching through the entire New Testament, verse by verse.

To our knowledge here at Grace, this hasn't been done in over a hundred years or more. The one person that comes immediately to my mind is John Gill, who preached through both the OT and NT, but that was in the 1700s.

It was an emotional moment. John's last sermon was on the longer ending of Mark, chapter 16:9-20. It was a encouraging message that explained the confidence we can have in the integrity of the Scriptures.

The message can be downloaded here: A Fitting End To Mark's Gospel

The Sunday evening before that, John did a Q&A with the audience. He opened by sharing a bit about his thoughts and feeling with finishing the NT. A number of the questions asked had to do with his ministry. It, too, is worth the download to listen. Q&A Part 58

John is on sabbatical until August, but I have heard him mention on a few occasion that he may return to preaching through the Gospel of John, because he felt he didn't cover it as thoroughly as he liked the first time around. I believe it was the first major book he preached through. Others have mentioned they said he may do some character sketches of lesser known folks in the Bible. What ever the case, I am excited to see where he goes next.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sye On Presuppositional Methodology

I didn't know about Sye TenBruggencate of Sinners Ministries being in the So. Cal. area UNTIL after he left. It would had been nice to meet him. But maybe it was providence seeing I had a new baby occupying my time.

Anyhow, I saw this video over at Pastor Segers's place earlier this week. While Sye was in the area, he attended the evangelism academy put on by Way of the Master. He also had the opportunity to be on the program, On the Box, with Tony Miano, who happens to live in our home town. In fact, I saw Tony a few days ago in my neighborhood about a block from my house.

The discussion is on presuppositionalism, or what I believe to be biblical apologetics, and its application in evangelical encounters. I spoke with Sye yesterday over the phone, and I have to say he is probably the most impassioned of teachers when it comes to Christians knowing biblically how to share their faith. I went away from our conversation deeply encouraged. I exhorted him to work up his thoughts into a book and maybe some video teaching material. The book, as I understand it, is in the works.



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Monday, June 06, 2011

The Zondervan KJV 1611 400th Anniversary Edition

A Really Brief Review














1300 pages, Old and New Testaments;
plus charts and Bible reading plans.
Published by Zondervan

As I noted in my previous article, Wal-Mart has for sale the 400th anniversary edition of the KJV 1611 published by Zondervan. I picked up a copy over the weekend and had the opportunity to thumb through it. I thought I would offer a brief review.

This Bible is really meant to be a collectors item. If you are hoping for a well crafted leather bound Bible, this isn't it. The cover is rather cheap, even though it is a hardback. I have had my copy since Saturday and I already have a tear forming on the bottom edge of the spine. The paper is also cheap. The pages have a newspaper feel to them, rather than what you may feel from a normal Bible. But this is meant to be an "economically priced keepsake" as the opening note from the Zondervan publishers states, so I would imagine they did not mean it to be a day-to-day, general use Bible.

The Bible is a digital replica of the original 1611 KJV, so in spite of the cheapness of the material book, the copy is amazingly clear and concise. Zondervan is to be commended for doing a good job with the reproduction of such an important work. In fact, the copy more than makes up for the low quality of the actual book, so you're not wasting your 5 dollars if you purchase it.

Basically, it is the Old and New Testaments as they were published in the original 1611 edition. Regrettably, the Apocrypha has been left out to make the book more manageable. Again, I am sure this was also done to reduce cost and keep the size at a minimum. The Bible is already 8 1/4 by 5 1/2 inches in height and width and it is almost 3 inches thick. The extra books would have easily added another 1/2 inch. I personally think it would have been worth it, but oh well.

Because this Bible is the KJV 1611, the old, Gothic lettering is used and the spelling and language reflects how folks wrote in the 17th century. So for example, "Psalms" is spelled "Pfalmes," "Job" is "Iob," and words like "wisdom" is spelled "wifdome," and "David," "Dauid." You get the picture. In other words, a person has to concentrate to read through the passages.

What is neat about this edition is the little extras I previously didn't know about. For example, there is the entire original essay of the translators to the readers. Most KJV only ministries published KJV Bibles and include just the opening dedication to King James I. I own a super wide-margin KJV with the dedication, and when I was a young, naive Christian, falsely believed this was the essay by the translators to the readers. It is not.

Moreover, there are 30 some odd pages of all the major genealogies found in the Bible illustrated in genealogical "trees." For me, discovering these wonderful illustrations more than made up for the cheapness of the book. The illustrations begin with Adam and Eve, and include such individuals as Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, all of the 12 sons of Jacob, the Kohathites, Esau, David, and many others. There is even an alphabetical table of all the nations of Canaan surrounding Israel, along with a detailed (for 17th century folks, anyways) map of the land of Israel.

The one drawback to the table and map, however, is the smallness of the font. It's like -0.2 picas or something. In other words, you seriously have to get out a magnifying glass to read the words and see the map. But I guess that is to be expected if you have to reduce the 15'' by 12'' folio sized original to a handheld version.

One final interesting item to note is the Bible and prayer reading plans. Remember, the KJV is an Anglican Bible, so the translators created an extended table incorporating the readings from the Book of Common prayer with the Bible readings. Even more interesting is how they match all of this data with the rising and setting of the sun and moon to the corresponding months in minutes and degrees. There is almost a Zodiac like feel to the whole thing, which makes me wonder what KJV onlyists would think of it.

At any rate, regardless of the low quality paper and cover, overall, I believe this Bible is worth your 5 dollars (or $5.15 with tax if you are in CA). Even if you are a pastor or teacher who has moved in the direction of the "electronic library" for your Bibles and books, it is not very often the reproduction of a major, historical Bible is made available at such a cheap cost. You don't want to pass it by.

One final note. Zondervan obtained their original 1611 from the world's largest dealer in rare and antique Bibles and theological books. They have a Bible Museum in Goodyear, Arizona, west of the metro-Phoenix area, located oddly in a Hampton Inn off the 10 freeway. I have literally been traveling by it to see in-laws for nearly a decade and I had no idea the place existed. I already have a visit intended for our next trip to see papa.

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Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Best Cure for KJVOnlyism

kjvI was tooling around at Wal-Mart the other day, picking up some items for the house, when I saw a gigantic display of books over by the DVDs. Upon closer inspection, I was surprised to discover the books were a facsimile of the original 1611 KJV edition, complete with the flowery, Elizabethan “Gothic” font. They’re put out by Zondervan for the purpose of marking the 400th anniversary of the KJV’s publication. It was around 5 bucks and I plan to secure one for myself before they run out, because I am sure these things are going to go fast.

Anyhow…

In the most recent edition of As I See It, Doug Kutilek explains the apologetic importance of Wal-Mart selling a facsimile of the KJV.

The Best Cure for KJVOism: A Real 1611 KJV

It has been widely publicized that the year 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the original publication of the so-called “Authorized” or “King James Version” of the Bible in English. This translation has historically been the most widely used, at least since it overtook the previous champion, the Geneva Bible of 1560 (chiefly, at least initially, as a result of the legal suppression of the printing of the Geneva Bible by the British monarchy, in favor of the KJV). It should be noted, however, that the great majority of the editions and copies of the KJV printed and read in the past 400 years have been revisions rather than reprints of the original form of the KJV, with literally tens of thousands of revisions in spelling, punctuation and the use of italics, plus many hundreds in the precise wording of the text, to say nothing of the switch from “black letter” (“Gothic”) type to Roman, the widespread omission of the Apocrypha in the 18th and later centuries, along with the omission of an extended calendar and charts of Biblical genealogies, and most unfortunately, the omission of the extremely important and informative introductory essay, “The Translators to the Readers,” which was in the original edition. In short, most KJV users, particularly those who claim to be “King James Version 1611 Only” in their beliefs, have never actually seen or used a real 1611 King James Version in the original form in which it was issued from the press in 1611.

In the past, there have been from time to time facsimile reprints of the 1611 KJV. In 1833, “The Holy Bible, an exact reprint page for page of the Authorized Version published in the year 1611” was printed at the University Press, Oxford; it was in Roman type (see A. S. Herbert, Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the English Bible 1525-1961. London: British and Foreign Bible Society, 1968; p. 377). In 1911, the University Press at Oxford issued two 1611 reprints--the first a facsimile (in black letter) in reduced size of the original 1611 KJV, the other an exact reprint page-for-page but in Roman type, of the 1611 edition, both with introductory essays by A. W. Pollard (see Herbert, p. 458). I have owned a copy of the 1911 Roman type reprint for almost 35 years.

This 1911 Roman type reprint was reissued in the 1970s (or early 1980s) by Thomas Nelson of Nashville, about the time they issued their New King James Version (and for a time Nelson sold the two volumes together in a slipcase). This reprint omitted the Pollard essay (and perhaps other features--I gave my copy to one of my sons a few years ago and cannot check it directly). Later--probably in the 1990s--, Hendrickson Publishing (the publishing arm of Christian Book Discount) also reprinted the1911 Roman type edition (in precisely the form Nelson had). These two recent reprints are easy to find via the internet.

Besides these, there have been over the years several full-sized facsimile reprints of the 1611 KJV by various publishers; my brother has a copy of one made in the 1950s, for which he paid $350, used, a decade ago. Such full-sized facsimiles are rarely met with and are generally rather pricey (in the hundreds or even many hundreds of dollars)

Now, another edition, widely available and quite inexpensive, has appeared, this made by Zondervan and sold at Wal-Mart (and perhaps other retail outlets). The ISBN is: 978-0-310-44029-1. It is a facsimile--an exact reproduction in the original black letter script--of the 1611 edition, but in a reduced size, and with one feature of the original omitted--the thirteen books of the Apocrypha (as noted on p. viii of the Introduction to this new edition). That the 1611 KJV originally did have the Apocrypha can be visually confirmed in this edition on the page containing Malachi 4, where the “catch-word” at the bottom of the page is “APO-“ which points to “APOCRYPHA” which is at the top of the page in the original (and in my 1911 reprint), after which originally followed the complete text of those non-canonical books).

The printed retail price of this Zondervan 2011 facsimile reprint is $7.99, though I have bought several copies at Wal-Mart in Kansas for $4.97 and I have heard it priced about a dollar higher elsewhere (and I suspect they hope to make a profit on the publication of the KJV at that price). I would strongly urge EVERY PREACHER, EVERY CHRISTIAN READER and EVERY CHURCH AND CHRISTIAN COLLEGE LIBRARY to get a copy AT ONCE. If you have any KJVO friends, buy and give them a copy. There is no quicker cure for KJVOism that the direct and extended study of the 1611 edition, introductory material and all.

One finds in the actual, original, genuine 1611 KJV (no doubt “preserved in the form God wants us to have”) an introductory essay that states the translators’ perspective on their own and other translations (they, at least, were decidedly NOT “KJVOnly”). If I could do just ONE thing, I would make every KJVO partisan read carefully those 11 highly informative pages. The original translator’s English Bible text has literally thousands of variant marginal renderings (showing that they did not believe their translation as found in the text was infallibly correct), plus variant manuscript readings, showing that they did not believe that the manuscript reading given in their text was necessarily always right. One will also find numerous places where words are “omitted,” “added” or altered as compared with all modern editions of the KJV, to say nothing of a considerable number of printer’s errors (are these also part of the “perfect preservation” we hear so much about?). And one can discover on the title page of the NT those revealing words: “cum privilegio” (Latin: “with privilege”) which demonstrate the undeniable fact that this translation was COPYRIGHTED FROM THE DAY IT WAS FIRST PUBLISHED (contrary to the gross misrepresentation on this point that is part of the accepted KJVO “wisdom”).

I am quite sure that the quickest “cure” for the absurdity of KJVOism is the close and careful study of the actual original KJV itself. I would challenge--even dare--every KJVO partisan to get this facsimile of the original KJV and study it “cover to cover” and margin to margin, spending a year and more in the process, and try to prove me wrong.

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