Testimony

In the wonderful third epistle of John we see the testimony of four individuals’; the apostle John, Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius.  Three had a good testimony, one that bore witness to the truth, the truth about Jesus Christ found in the Holy Bible, the other had an evil testimony because he rejected the truth and refused to receive those who bore witness to the truth, the beloved apostles and saints of God.  Beloved we have much the same going on today with the church.  Let us read this beloved epistle and then apply it to the testimony of the church that exists today.

(1) The elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.  (2)  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.  (3)  For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walk in the truth.  (4)  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.  (5)  Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; (6) Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:  (7)  Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.  (8)  We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow helpers to the truth.  (9)  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, receives us not.  (10)  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbids them that would, and casts them out of the church.  (11)  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  (12)  Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.  (13)  I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:  (14)  But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.  3John 1:1-14 

First I wanted to comment about John’s love for his friend Gaius, John wanted Gaius to be blessed in body, soul and life.  This friend of John’s was dear to his heart because he had led him to Christ and Gaius had the wonderful testimony of being faithful to the truth and loving the saints.  Since Gaius was quick to help believers in their service to the Lord Jesus Christ, John wanted Gaius to be wise about good and evil.  He wanted Gaius to make a distinction between those who were of God and those who were not.  John made it clear that this distinction could be made on the evidence of godly and ungodly behavior.  John wanted Gaius to support the faithful and avoid the faithless.

May dear brethren, we as believers can have such generous and innocent hearts that we don’t realize we must be careful to distinguish between those who have a testimony that is faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and those who do not.  How do we tell the difference?  There is one eternal and comprehensive dividing line, and that is the written Word of God.  Notice that John warns Gaius that Diotrephes refused to receive the apostles and spoke with malignant lying words against them.  My beloved brethren, today in the church this same hateful reception is being given to the apostles through the rejection of the Word of God handed down to us through the Received Text.  The Received Text is directly descended from the original writings of the apostles and the prophets; if the Word of God is rejected, then so too are His servants, the apostles and the prophets.

The promoters of the modern versions, are just like Diotrephes, they love to have the preeminence and malign God’s Holy preserved, infallible, inerrant, inspired Word given to His saints.  The uncertainty they deposit in the hearts and minds of Christians regarding the Word of God is used by them to promote the sale of more and better versions with greater and improved helps so the student of the “Word of God” can know it just a little bit better (but never with complete certainty).  One new version that has recently come out is the NIV Zondervan Study Bible with the august D. A. Carson as the general editor of this “new modern version”.   This is the same D. A. Carson who has written against the Received Text in favor of the modern versions and believes and has stated that we cannot know the exact words that Jesus Christ spoke, we can only know the sense of those words.  Beloved, are those the words of faith or of unbelief? The following is the quote of what he said:

Yet Carson has come to the position that form criticism of the Gospels is an authentic endeavor and that in the Gospels we do not have the actual words of Jesus but only a semblance of what Jesus said. “But their failure to preserve the ipsissima verba Jesu (the authentic WORDS of Jesus) does not mean that they have tampered with the ipsisima vox Jesu (the authentic VOICE of Jesus)” (D.A.Carson, Douglas Moo, Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament, 1992, p. 44). David Cloud, Faith vs. The Modern Bible Versions p. 373 (pdf).

Here is a man, much like Diotrephes, who has abandoned the truth, letting his mind be deceived by textual criticism which has corrupted many with unbelief leading them into despicable apostasy.  My beloved brethren, we are commanded by God to mark and avoid those who teach doctrine contrary to the doctrine we have been taught from God’s precious Word.  Over and over throughout the New Testament we are warned to avoid heretics and doctrines of demons.  Asserting that we cannot know the exact Words of Jesus Christ is a doctrine straight from the pit of hell.  Many, I am afraid, are deceived by the great PR that is used to polish and promote these deceivers so they can become wealthy and gain renown at our expense and loss.

(17) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  (18)  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.  (19)  For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. Romans 16:17-19 

Praise God He has always had His servants who have a good testimony with regards to the truth and godly behavior.  Like Demetrius, who was well spoken of by those who knew the Lord and those who did not, but most importantly, who was given a good report by the truth itself, there are men today who have done diligent study in support of the faithful text that was handed down to us by the church as the beloved gospels and epistles were copied over and over again, so we can be sure we have the inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved Word of God for us today in the Received Text, and that the King James Version is a good English translation of that Greek Text.  Here is the testimony of one such faithful worker that will encourage your hearts about our precious Bible given to us by our gracious God and King, Jesus Christ.

What I want to share with you comes from the heart and mind of Wilbur N. Pickering based upon his diligent research, in his book, The Identity of the New Testament Text.  This portion of his book was such a blessing to my heart and faith, and I hope that it will be likewise to yours.  As John’s heart was for his friend Gaius that he would prosper in all things, so is my heart for you, that the Lord Jesus Christ would firmly establish you in the faith in this day and age of wide spread evangelical apostasy.  I will give you the gist of what he wrote along with pertinent quotes from the chapter “The History of the Text”.

Dr. Pickering makes the point in this chapter that the transmission, or handing down of the text of the New Testament could be considered to be a normal process.  What does this mean?  The copies would be prepared by able and intelligent people who had received copies from people they trusted.  There could be copying mistakes, but no malicious effort to change the text.  So the errors would be minor. The faithful, believers, would have recognized the authority of the apostles and would handle the text with care and reverence.

The original autographs would have been located within Asia Minor, Rome and Palestine, with Asia Minor and Greece holding the greatest number of texts, possibly around twenty-four.  Mr. Pickering says, “On the face of it, we may reasonably assume that in the earliest period of the transmission of the N. T. text the most reliable copies of the Autographs would be circulating in the region that held the Autographs”.  So that would be the Byzantine area, not the Alexandrian area.

Copies would be made right away; the early church fathers attested to the circulation of texts and letters between the different churches throughout the Graeco-Roman world.  Since the early copies could be verified by the centers still possessing the Autographs, there would be a “wide dissemination of MSS in close agreement with the original text.”  The early church fathers freely quoted from the N. T. text and attested that it was the Word of God.  Clement of Rome quoted from both the N. T. and O. T. side by side and called them both the “holy word”.  This bishop of Rome, in the first century, clearly quoted from Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, and Romans in a letter to the Corinthian church and recognized these books and other N.T. books referenced, as the Scripture.  Dr. Pickering sites other church fathers who quoted the N. T. Scriptures.

Up to 90% of the existing MSS belong to the Majority text type, which is the Byzantine text.  Dr. Pickering then reasons that this domination demonstrates the Byzantine text goes all the way back to the Autographs.  The remaining texts, the 10%, do not represent one text form, but multiple forms, and they disagree among themselves as much as they diverge from the Majority text.  This is the present situation with the modern Bible versions based upon the corrupt Alexandrian manuscripts which are replete with grievous errors.  No wonder those who, like D. A. Carson, support Textual Criticism are unsure of the text of the New Testament and deny the very Words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to their own condemnation and destruction.

So my beloved brethren, we have the testimony of two sources of documents for the translation of the Bible into English.  Like Demetrius, one is faithful and true, and leads to greater confidence and trust in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.  The other like Diotrephes, undermines the work of the apostles and spreads apostasy abroad destroying lives, making the world a ripe place for the rise of the Antichrist.  Dear believers in Christ Jesus, please choose wisely for your edification and the glory of our beloved God and Savior.  Hold fast the testimony of the faithful witness and despise and reject the infidel that leaves unbelief in its wake.

(14) Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go…. (25) Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.  (26)  I have many things to say and to judge of you: but He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him.  (27)  They understood not that He spoke to them of the Father. John 8:14 and John 8:25-27 

Lord Jesus Christ thank You so much for ensuring that we have Your true Word for our edification and faith.  Amen!

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50 Responses to Testimony

  1. Thank you, Eliza, for strengthening our faith that the Lord in His love and faithfulness preserved His Holy Word for us and that we should not become unsettled and afraid!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob Wheeler says:

    My blog post about the KJV is now up.

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  3. gracealone1 says:

    Having read your “blog post” it is even more obvious than ever that your words come from an unregenerate heart and mind. The god you serve seems to be unable to preserve his own words and must accommodate the weakness and ignorance of the masses from day to day, year to year, century to century in order to get them to believe the lies perpetrated on mankind since the first lie: “Hath God said?” Faith is absent those who question the validity of the Word of God (in this case the KJV), who prefer to take it upon themselves to save mankind from the “old ways”, the “old language”, and even the “old thoughts and intents” contained therein and offer the nonsense of wicked men. Did you really taut Wescott and Hort as some sort of authority on the Word? Two of the most notorious heretics of their day. It’s then recommended by you to ditch the KJV in favor of the catholic bible and their Latin Vulgate which is filled with the “another gospel” of Gal. 1:6-9. Next you get all duplicitous on us and say that you believe the Westminster Confession about the inspiration of the Scriptures and in the next sentence you make room for all the heresies deposited in the “new English versions” (perversions) of the Bible. You’ve read the site where the side by side review of these perversions are tested against the KJV and the perversions that you so highly recommend ALWAYS come up short. So why do you say that the “modern English translations should not be shunned?” They should be shunned and burned. By this broad and bold statement you have placed junk like “the amplified bible” and “the message” as viable “translations” of the real Word of God.

    You have repeatedly and consistently shown yourself to be a false teacher. Why anyone would take you seriously is beyond reason. Why anyone should view your post as anything other than the same old tired nonsense of your father, the devil, to bring into question the real Word of God is also beyond reason. The more you spout your lies the further you will be from repentance and faith. The Scriptures refer to such a thing as “hardening of the heart” John 12:38-40. You seek to gain disciples to believe in the same inept, powerless, ever changing god that you believe in. No thanks. By saying that two or more “translations” can be authentic while each accuses the other of error is the lie straight out of the pit of hell where your father resides. It is also calling the Creator, Sovereign, Almighty GOD a liar, because, you say, that two or more “translations” are valid in their opposition to each other, as if God can’t make up His mind what is true and what is not—a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    Repent of this great evil you seek to perpetuate on the people of God while you have the time.

    Darrel

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eliza says:

      Amen ! Well said. Although I didn’t read Bob’s posts I appreciate your answer to him here. Years ago I too was given the information about the inspired Word of God that the apostates always proffer, but even though I didn’t have the knowledge I now possess, I, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, unequivocally confessed that the Bible is God’s preserved, infallible, inerrant, inspired Word completely reliable and trustworthy. As you said it is all a matter of faith born from a regenerate heart. Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Darrel, I don’t have the strength to read Bob’s post about the KJB, I just cannot. The History Channel is something I avoid too. It seems that some people are able to for the purpose of helping others.
      Lord bless you!

      Eliza, thank you again for doing the work on this urgent question.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza says:

        You are welcome Maria. I will be writing more in the future. Right now, I am doing what I can. My schedule is a little busier this semester, so I haven’t posted as much. We all have things that come up that we have to deal with. May God make us faithful to complete the work the He has given us to do. Amen!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bob Wheeler says:

        Dear Maria,
        I can understand your perplexity on this issue. But please don’t assume that a person who routinely calls anyone who disagrees with him a “false teacher” who has an “unregenerate heart and mind” is necessarily true. “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation* his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and very evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peacable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (James 3:13-18; * The word “conversation,” of course, is used here in its archaic sense of “conduct, behavior.”) “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20).
        I wrote the two blog posts mainly for Eliza’s benefit, to give her some background information and make her aware of some of the issues involved. I’m sure that she will research the subject thoroughly and arrive at her own conclusion!

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        • Eliza says:

          Bob,
          The Lord brought me to the place of believing that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved Word of God by the power of His Holy Spirit. He taught me that it is the reception and response to His Holy Word that divides between the genuine and the false. This faith secured in my heart by the Holy Spirit has been mine for decades. I have never swerved from this conviction wrought by the Holy Spirit, and He has used the truth of His Word working in my heart to reveal to me false teachers and faithful teachers as I have compared what has been taught with the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures. I am so thankful that Jesus Christ has promised His Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth. He does this for all of His children.
          The error of the modern versions is they deny we have extant the infallible, inerrant, inspired, preserved Word of God. We see the mischief this false doctrine has wrought within the visible church. If we don’t have the very Words that God wants us to have then how can we know what He has truly said? If what He has said to us is the matter of someone’s opinion then we are right back in the dark ages when the Catholic church kept the Word of God from the masses and gave them their errant source and interpretation.
          Bob, it really does boil down to a God given love of the truth and faith that we do have the inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved Word of God faithfully translated for us from the Textus Receptus. Any and all research that does not stem from these God given attributes will only lead the researcher astray, unless of course, God leads them aright. That can and has happened.
          I am sure that you noted the references I gave at the end of my second post on the KJV. I am now reading Forever Settled, by Dr. Jack Moorman. It is another source of encouragement. May Christ encourage your heart with love of His truth and confidence that we have for our use the preserved, inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God in the KJV.

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        • Bob, I can’t promise to read it. My “mind is blown” by all that is going on – dissension among the brethren, apostasy, attacks from atheists. To me, and it is true and factual, the Counter-Reformation has succeeded and we are a remnant once again.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. gracealone1 says:

    Maria,
    There are many tactics employed by Bob Wheeler to get his “audience” hooked into believing all the lies he puts forth. He seldom, if ever, will answer a question especially if an honest answer would destroy his own fantasy theology. He attempts to shift guilt away from himself and onto anyone else when his nonsense is exposed—-notice above how he tries to shift the guilt to me instead of accepting his own guilt of planting seeds of doubt about the veracity of the Word of God (it really goes a lot further than just ‘planting seeds of doubt’). He tries to ‘build a consensus’ where a person can believe just about anything he wants and still call it “truth” by telling you that all the bible “versions” are valid with the newer ones being “more valid” than the KJV. He goes further to cast extra doubt on the KJV by claiming that it’s translators used a less than qualified text (the Received Text) and that new “discoveries” of other texts make them “more valid” than the KJV. What he fails to state due to his inability to be honest is the fact that ALL of the “new versions” either change or delete verses and by doing so CHANGE THE GOSPEL presented by these ‘new versions’.

    He requires you and me and Eliza and all the other readers here to love him and accept what he says as truth and condemns everyone who does not capitulate to his nonsense. As I said before Bob’s error goes a lot further than just sowing seeds of doubt. He has, by his own words, called my Father a liar. By accepting these ‘new versions’ he calls into question the very words of the Savior because these new versions change and/or delete at will whatever they deem necessary to promote another gospel. Bob has also insulted the Spirit of Grace by saying that He really didn’t say what He said or that He said two different things that oppose each other. He does this and sadly gets away with it by claiming to be a “brother in Christ”, a “Christian” and as such he must be afforded “love” and “respect” and be believed no matter how far off he is from the Scriptures. He plays the “Rodney King Card” ********* “Ca Ca Can’t we just all get along?” No, Bob, we cannot because you are not who you claim to be for if you were you would have repented long ago of all the errors and heresies you have attempted to promote here and on your own web site. He would require the real brothers and sisters in Christ to hold hands with him, to accept as “true” his words despite the fact that they conflict with the Word of God. Even this is in total contradiction to the Word, but he doesn’t care—2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11; Titus 3:9-11 Rom. 16:17 & 18. Bob has been admonished many times by not a few people and he has yet to repent so what shall we do? Feel sorry for Bob or obey the Word? (Titus 3:9-11). He would rather play his game, confuse people, lead them away from the Word, cast doubt on the Word’s trustworthiness and the veracity of God Himself by saying that we really can’t trust what we read in the Bible to be true and inspired by the Holy Spirit therefore a man can believe whatever he wants to believe or not believe. Sounds like the work of the wicked one to me, what do you think?

    A few links (albeit lengthy) to help your studies:
    http://watch-unto-prayer.org/another.html
    http://watch-unto-prayer.org/scripture.html

    Don’t be fooled by the “Love Card”. Bob uses it only as a ploy to disarm your defenses against his lies. He will likely try to defend himself further, but will never defend the Word, the Faith, or the Character of God. As an angel of light Bob has deceived many, no doubt. I hope you will not fall prey to his devices.

    Darrel

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob Wheeler says:

    May I point out to you all that the New King James Version uses exactly the same Greek text as the old King James Version. So who’s the liar now?

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    • Eliza says:

      Not exactly, since the footnotes for the NU are used, and there are words that have been changed in keeping with the modern versions, so the wording through the footnotes is challenged along with changes in the words. One in particular is raised with Christ rather than raised by Christ. Big difference.

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  6. Bob Wheeler says:

    Nor did I ever condone the work of Westcott and Hort. Darrel is the one who needs to repent of his vicious lies and blasphemies. He has repeatedly violated the Ninth Commandment. And I am very disappointed in both Eliza and Maria for believing his repeated lies and accusations without ever bothering to read what I actually said. Shame on you all!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eliza says:

      Okay, that is fair. I will read it later.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bob, please forgive me. “He who answers a matter before hearing, it is folly and shame to him…” I will try to read your post and will pray about what has happened here. I agree with Eliza’ s post, with the understanding too that the Lord not only inspired His Word but preserved it. I will pray and study.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob Wheeler says:

        I thank you both!
        I should mention to Maria that if she doesn’t feel up to reading all the technical detail about manuscripts and versions, she could just concentrate on the second half of the second blog post, where I talk about the King James Version as a translation. Eliza should probably take the time to read through both blog posts thoroughly, though, if she’s going to write about textual criticism in the future.
        I will also state, as my conclusion, that I think that the best English translation available on the market today is probably the New King James Version. When I write my own blog posts on a New Testament passage I usually begin by translating from the Majority Text of the Greek New Testament, and then when I write the blog post I will cite the NKJV, even thought the NKJV uses the Received Text. (the Majority Text readings are in the footnotes.).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Eliza says:

          The Received Text is the printed form of the Majority text which is the copies, or the manuscripts. They are both the same. That is something I learned from Dr. Jack Moorman. He has a very excellent work on the KJV. I will be reading your blog in the near future. BTW The information I have gotten is from those who have done extensive research into the manuscripts. I am sure that I am well informed and will be more so after I finish Dr. Moorman’s book.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Okay, Eliza, I get this. Not sure what to do with all I’m learning but will add it to necessary knowledge.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Bob Wheeler says:

            The problem, unfortunately, is that they are not the same. For example, in the Book of Revelation, according to the footnotes in the NKJV, the Majority text differs from the Received Text no less than 140 times. When Erasmus began work on what eventually became known as the Received Text, he only had one manuscript available for the Book of Revelation, and it was missing the last six verses. So he translated from the Latin Vulgate back into the Greek. So, for example, in Rev. 22:19 the Majority Text reads “from the tree of life,” but the Received Text, following the Vulgate, reads “from the book of life.” And in Rev. 22:21, where the Majority Text reads “with all the saints,” the received text, along with the Vulgate, reads “with all of you.”
            Edward Hills, the author of the book I reviewed, tried to get around the problem by arguing that since western (Roman Catholic) church was doctrinally sounder than the eastern (Greek Orthodox) church, the Latin Vulgate in some cases preserves readings that are closer to the original than what is in the Majority text used by the eastern church. He then argues that in the providence of God Erasmus used the Latin Vulgate to correct the Greek, so that the Received Text is inerrant. But to me that sounds like a convoluted argument. I think that we should base our translations on the text found in the majority of Greek manuscripts, for the reasons I stated in my first blog post.

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        • Bob, I printed out your post “King James Only?” and have read it through once carefully.

          (For me, this last couple of weeks have been a time of recovery from illness, fatigue, the death of my Dad-in-law (he was 94!), and participating both at Eliza’s blog and Wally Fry’s blog. At Wally’s a kind of typical battle with an atheist is going on about a post concerning the Lord’s declarations of His own Deity.)

          Some thoughts about your post:

          it is a book review of “The King James Version Defended.” I completely agree with the author that the Word of God was providentially preserved, and it is obvious to me that you also believe this, but that the author of the book, Edward F. Hills, and Eliza believe that we have this in the Textus Receptus, and that you believe that we have this in the Majority Text (Byzantine) but that it should still be amended by new manuscripts.

          Is this a fair assessment of your view? Where you differ in my opinion is that she believes no errors can exist in what that the Lord preserved, and I agree.

          You did not promote the work of Westcott and Hort but argued that someone could say that they too were used by God; and the inference I drew from the way you said this is that you believe this would be a bad thing.

          You stated that the modern versions do well in communicating what can be communicated: thoughts, concepts and ideas that the Holy Spirit inspired prophets and apostles to record. Okay, but this is problematic, I truly believe. Those thoughts and concepts are communicated in particular words. In reference to these things you said, “No cardinal doctrine of the faith hinges on such minor questions as whether Ephesians 5:9 reals ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ (Byzantine Text) or ‘fruit of the light’ (Alexandrian Text, Latin Vulgate).” To me this would be a significant difference, and reflect or open the door to gnosticism.

          You also said that modern versions shouldn’t be shunned. Okay, but they should bear keen scrutiny, especially if they are the work of individuals instead of groups of scholars (KJV and Septuagint were translated by groups, right?).

          Also, couldn’t 17 words and phrases from the KJV that are now obsolete simply be footnoted with a modern word?

          Some of my own thoughts:

          Why couldn’t the KJV simply have the archaic forms changed? Not Thou necessarily, but constructions using ‘eth’ on verbs and things like that. We are not translating for “common people”, I believe, but for everyone, so we need a version that shows the complexity of thoughts and concepts while cleaning up the archaisms which put people off and which people parody and mock.

          Christian publishing houses cannot be trusted because they are in the business of making money, not honoring the Lord. So they can commission new translations, versions – but who wants to use the next new thing for big bucks, when the Lord gave us His Word freely and without error?

          A huge number of study Bibles have been and are being published. One of the worst in The Jesus is Calling Study Bible in which so-called private revelation from “Jesus”, recorded by Sarah Young (author of Jesus is Calling), is used as notes side by side with God’s Word. The blasphemous and the holy side by side.

          This is all a necessary discussion. Wish we hadn’t descended to personal criticism. May the Lord forgive us and help us!

          Liked by 3 people

          • Eliza says:

            Amen! Well written Maria.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Bob Wheeler says:

            I mentioned in the blog post that the Westminster Confession of Faith makes the statement that the Bible was “immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages.” (WCF, I.viii). But how, and in what form, was it kept pure? A.A. Hodge, commenting on the Confession, explained it like this:”. . . the original sacred text has come down to us in a state of essential purity.” He then went on to say of the manuscript evidence, “many hundreds of these have been collated by eminent scholars in forming the text of modern Hebrew and Greek Testaments. The differences are found to be unimportant, and the essential integrity of our text is established.” I think that that is a pretty fair assessment of the situation.
            To say that a modern, printed edition of the text is inerrant is to say that copyists and editors are working under divine inspiration,and were therefore incapable of making mistakes. But we are still human and we still make mistakes (yes, I’ve made one or two during the course of my lifetime, I ashamed to admit!). There was once a printed edition of the KJV that came to be known as “the wicked Bible” — the printer accidentally left the word “not” out of the Seventh Commandment!
            But God will hold us accountable for the Bibles He has given us. Let’s assume that the only Bible that some poor soul has is the Living Bible, which I think is absolutely horrible. But God will still hold that person accountable for the knowledge he has, as defective as it may be.
            As for the archaisms – I have a KJV put out by the American Bible Society that has a list in the back of over 500 archaic and obsolete words found in the KJV — everything from “advertise” to “botch” to “target.” Did you know that the “nephews” in I Tim. 5:4 aren’t the sons of your brother or sister? They’re your grandchildren! I did see an edition of the KJV that had the obsolete words in the text highlighted, so that the reader’s attention would be drawn to a footnote giving the modern meaning of the word. But I think it’s just simpler to use the NKJV.
            I basically avoid study Bibles — I would rather concentrate on what the Bible itself says. Sometimes a brief historical introduction at the beginning of a book is helpful, but the footnotes I think are useless. I was raised on the old Scofield Reference Bible (I still have mine!), and it took a while for me to discover that Dispensationalism isn’t in the text of Scripture itself — although Eliza and I have our differences of this issue as well. And it is certainly true that publishers are just out to make money. Over the past years some “Christian” publishers were bought out by large secular firms — they’re just out to make money. And what is true of some of the study Bibles they put out is even more true of their hymn books.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Eliza says:

            Bob, what you said about the texts is true about the Majority text, but not the others. The Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, upon which the modern versions are based, diverge from each other in over 3000 places in the gospels alone, and these are not minor copyist errors but additions, deletions and words changed. So they disagree with each other more than they agree with each other and they are definitely at variance with the Majority Text. When it comes to the Majority Text the agreement between the manuscripts is so pervasive that Hort had to come up with his genealogy and recession and conflation theories to try to explain away the cohesiveness of the texts and the great number of manuscripts for the Majority text. Biblical scholars today agree that his theories have no merit whatsoever. The reason why Westcott and Hort choose the “Alexandrian” text over the Majority Text was because Hort had a deep seated hatred of the Majority Text which he expresses at a very early age, even before he began his work. Do we really want to be dependent upon versions that are the work of those who despise the Word of God?
            The need for the day is to go back to the Majority Text, of which the Received Text, is the printed copy. So in other words, we must go back to the Received Text.
            This is an interesting history note, since I know you love church history, it is agreed by biblical scholars that during the second century heretics worked at corrupting the text of the NT to give variant readings. After that the corruption of the NT text stopped because they couldn’t be sold anymore since the text copied from the Autographs was prevalent and the Autographs were still extant.
            Tertullian (160-221) said the following in 208 in answer to the heretics:
            “Run over to the apostolic churches, in which the very thrones of the apostles are still preeminent in their places, in which their own authentic writings are read. Achaia is very near you, in which you find Corinth. Since you are not far from Macedonia you have Philippi…And the Thessalonians. Since you are able to cross to Asia, you get Ephesus. Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority of the apostles themselves.” Dr.Moorman, Jack, Forever Settled, 1999
            The texts that are other than the Majority text, and have as their designations, the Alexandrian text and the Western text, which these texts can’t really be grouped seeing that they diverge from one another to a large degree, but to simplify the comparison we will use these designations are from the area that had the greatest amount of corrupting influence upon the NT text during the second century. One of the greatest heretics of all time, Origen, came from Alexandria, and it is believed that his corrupting influence is seen in the corruption of the manuscripts of the Scriptures.
            So why did the corrupted manuscripts not prevail over the texts that faithfully preserved the Word of God in the NT Autographs? Because believers, rejected them and held onto the faithful manuscripts. We need much the same thing to happen today. We must reject the faithless modern versions and hold fast to the faithful text, the Received Text that has been faithfully translated into English in the KJV.
            About the NKJV, it has footnotes for the corrupted text as if that is a better or more faithful reading and there are places where words are changed. Here is an important example:
            “Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up by Jesus, and shall present us with you.” 2 Corinthians 4:14
            The word by is changed to with in the modern versions, NIV, NASV, NB, and the NKJV. Being raised up by Jesus reveals His power and authority over us as God our Lord and Savior, where with Him renders not to be the Agent of the resurrection. A significant change, especially since much of what is changed in the NT through these aberrant manuscript texts attacks the deity of Jesus Christ.
            If we want to staunch the flow of apostasy within the visible church then we must choose the Word of God over the word of men.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Bob, I didn’t make myself clear about translating for “common people”. What I mean is we all need to learn and grow and be brought into (up to?) more knowledge than we are capable of at present.
          :0)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bob Wheeler says:

            I also have to tell you a story about modernizing the English in the KJV. Brother Andrew (God’s smuggler) was Dutch, and was going to study at a Bible college in the UK. So, to prepare himself, he got an English Bible and began studying it. Then, when he got to Britain, people thought he was a little strange when he would ask them “how art thou?”

            Liked by 2 people

  7. Bob Wheeler says:

    Eliza,
    It is true that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus diverge from each other. Sinaiticus really is a very poor manuscript, and was corrected frequently. Interestingly, the last time it was corrected, the corrector used a manuscript that came from Pamphilius is Caesarea, and this had the effect of bringing it into conformity with the Majority Text — which indicates that the Majority Text is virtually identical with the manuscript used by Pamphilius. Vaticanus is is close agreement with several older Egyptian papyri, which indicates that it is a good representative of the Alexandrian type of text.
    As for II Cor. 4:14 I’m not sure why the NKJV translated it “with Jesus Christ.” In both the Majority Text and Received Text the Greek uses the preposition “dia,” which when followed by a noun in the genitive case, usually means “through.” The Alexandrian text uses the preposition “sun” or “syn,” which means “with.” So on this one the NKJV is inexplicably inconsistent.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eliza says:

    This is what the critics had to say of Erasmus said in the late 1800’s: “The manuscripts which Erasmus used, differ, for the most part, only in small and insignificant details from the bulk of the cursive manuscripts. The general character of their text is the same. By this observation the pedigree of the Received Text is carried up beyond the individual manuscripts by Erasmus to a great body of manuscripts of which the earliest are assigned to the 9th century.”(Hort) These critics made this conclusion after quoting Hort: “This remarkable statement completes the pedigree of the Received Text. That pedigree stretches back to a remote antiquity. The first ancestor of the Received Text was, as Dr. Hort is careful to remind us, at least contemporary with the oldest of our extant manuscripts, if not older than any one of them.”
    Erasmus, due to his prominence and great intellect and learning had access to numerous manuscripts but chose five MSS for the first edition of the Greek New Testament.
    This is what is stated by Edward F. Hills regarding the Received Text:
    The Textus Receptus is virtually identical with the Traditional text found in the majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts.
    Finally this is what the NKJV says about noting differences between the text published (from the Received Text) in the NKJV and the Majority Text:
    M-Text: “This symbol indicates points of variation in the Majority Text from the Traditional text, as also previously discussed in “The New Testament Text.” It should be noted that M stands for whatever reading is printed in the published Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text, whether supported by overwhelming, strong, or only a divided majority textual tradition.”
    This text has many problems and deletions when compared with the Traditional Text used for the Received Text. It is a computer compilation of the majority texts and based upon the faulty work of Von Snoden.

    The present edition does not cite the testimony [1] of the ancient versions or [2] church fathers. [3] Nor are the lectionary texts considered. This Is not because such sources have no value for textual criticism. Rather; it is due to the specific aims of this edition, in which the primary goal has been the presentation of the Majority Text as this appears in the regular manuscript tradition (The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text, edited by Zane Hodges, published by Nelson, 1982, p. xviii).

    Here is why, they didn’t consider all of the evidence. So that accounts for this Greek New Testaments variation with the Received Text. This is a huge problem.

    Completely to scuttle the testimony of [1] ancient versions, [2] church fathers quotations, and [3] the lectionaries In the laborious process of New Testament Textual Criticism Is not only to act foolishly and unwisely; not only to go In direct opposition to the sound principles of Dean John William Burgon [a scholarly Bible-believing textual critic of the 19th century]; but it is also to contradict the recommendations contained in another book published by the same publisher (Nelson) entitled The Identity of the New Testament Text by Wilbur N. Pickering (Nelson, 1977) with a foreword by none other than Zane C. Hodges! Which Nelson are we to believe? The 1977 Nelson, or the 1982 Nelson? Which Hodges are we to believe? The 1977 Hodges, or the 1982 Hodges? Has truth changed in just five years?

    In 1896, Dean Burgon, in his Traditional Text of the Gospels (as edited by Edward Miller) outlined his “principles” of textual criticism (pages 19-39). The materials for this sacred science included [1] copies (page 21); [2] church lessons or lectionaries (page 22); [3] ancient versions (page 22); and [4] quotations of Scripture from the church fathers (page 22). Nothing was to be omitted from this process. Copies alone were not considered complete!

    http://solascriptura-tt.org/Bibliologia-PreservacaoTT/MajorityTextMovingAwayFromPreservedScripture-Cloud.htm

    So the work of Hodges and Farstad calls into questions whether or not we have had the preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God given to us in the Received Text and faithfully translated in the KJV. This is again a work of unbelief. So what you said, about the Majority Text, while I may have made a misnomer mistake doesn’t take away from the fact that the Received Text is the printed version of the Traditional text handed down to us through the ages and is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved Word of God. Amen!

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    • Bob Wheeler says:

      And Wilbur Pickering was one of the consulting editors of the Hodges and Farstad Majority Text! Hodges and Farstad’s approach makes sense — they had the limited aim of reproducing the text found in the majority of Greek manuscripts. So in that sense quotations from church fathers, lecitionaries, ancient versions, etc. was irrelevant.
      On the other hand, if we are trying to get back to a purer form of text than the Majority Text, then we will consider all the available evidence. Which is exactly what the NU (Nestle’s — United Bible Society) text does! The theory there is that if the Coptic Version used in Egypt, or the old Latin version used in Europe and North Africa has a different reading than what is found in the Majority Text, then the alternative readings should be given equal weight.
      So do we go by the majority of Greek manuscripts in our possession, or do we argue that an ancient Egyptian papyrus might just contain the correct reading? It brings us back to the original question: what is the original text kept pure through the ages, and how do we know?

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      • Eliza says:

        That would be the Received Text as attested to by all of the evidence. If we don’t have at our core the belief that Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved Word of God, then we will never have any confidence. What you so glibly say negates the truth that the Alexandrian text came from the area steeped in corruption, and that the WH, and therefore the NU, renderings of the Greek based upon the corrupted Aleph and B MSS attack cardinal doctrines of our faith, one being the deity of Christ.
        So without the starting point that God not only superintended the writing of the very Words of Scripture, but also that He over saw the preservation of the text, we can never answer that question, because we will always be unsure. I believe the Received Text takes us back to the original Autographs because of the preponderance of the evidence and the certainly that God wouldn’t give us His Word through His specially chosen vessels without also ensuring that it was preserved throughout the ages.

        6 The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven time. 7 You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation forever. 8 The wicked prowl on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men. Psalm 12:7-8

        As the modern versions have proliferated we have seen the wicked prowl on every side. So the question is whose side are we on? Are we on God’s side or the devil’s side.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. MTJames says:

    Being as ignorant of conservative textual criticism as I am of ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages, I find myself impaled on the fence between the well-informed contributors to this discussion. What I do know from experience is that God’s Holy Spirit will make His word known to any and all honest inquirers. Pick a version, any version, and we will find God’s Holy Spirit using it to convict sinners, as well as dishonest skeptics using it in their vain attempts to prove God’s Word unreliable, and belief in God foolish.

    I was born into a Catholic family, educated in a Catholic school, and inundated with Catholic error until my early twenties, yet God somehow spoke to me through the Catholic versions of His Word and revealed to my simple mind just a few of the apostate dogmas with which the Romanist sect attempts to control its adherents. Through that process, and the loving example of Christ-followers—some of whom used the Living Bible—I came to faith in Christ Jesus as my loving Savior. God was able to make His Word true to me, and all men liars, not through nit-picky arguing about minor deviations between manuscripts, but through the witness of His Spirit to my hungry spirit and inquiring mind.

    Academic discussion is healthy until it leads to bitter spirits and ungodly, judgmental name-calling. What a fine example of our Savior’s love we project when the satanic spirit of pride rears its hideous head among the brethren.

    I’m sure I love God’s Word as much as any of you, but I know with certainty that God’s True Word lies not in the minor technicalities that we argue, but in the work it accomplishes, making us true little Christs among this lost generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      Our God is so gracious to save sinners no matter their background, but this really has nothing to do with the mishandling of the Word of God that has taken place at the hands of the textual critics. Jesus Christ confronted those, the religious elite, who put tradition ahead of His Holy Word. The Spirit of Truth Who is the Author of the Truth promises to guide us into all truth, which is the Word of God. If that Word has been attacked and compromised through the deceitful tactics of those who despise the truth are we to stand idly by? How is that loving and following Christ’s example Who told Pilate the reason He came was to bear witness to the truth is considered to be unloving? We can do less.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. messiah gate says:

    Peace, my brothers.

    Sometimes we can get so engaged in a scholarly discourse that we begin to sound much too legalistic; and forget what Paul said, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2, KJV).

    I can learn that from any varied number of translations.

    My problem with KJV is its transliteration of baptizo into baptism. Rather than translate the Greek into its proper English meaning — immersion — the Authorized Text sought to uphold the practice of the Church of England to sprinkle water on converts.

    If we are literal, or legalistic, and believe that immersion is necessary for salvation then what will become of the millions of poor souls who were only sprinkled? Shall they stand before God and blame King James?

    Whatever translation I am reading I always reference a Hebrew and Greek lexicon. For example, with regards to the previously referenced 2 Corinthians 4:14 are we raised up “with” (or “by”) Jesus?

    The Greek word used here is σὺν (syn) — Strong’s Greek 4862 — which appears 129 times in the New Testament, and is translated exclusively as “with”. This is the translation found in the oldest MSS, and (in the KJV) is considered to be a “perversion of the true sense” of the text.

    Maybe it would be useful if we simply learned Koine Greek and Hebrew, and discarded all other translations.

    Again, I leave you in peace; and thank you, Eliza, for visiting my blog.

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    • Eliza says:

      Fortunately we are saved through repentant faith in Christ and need not be baptized for salvation, although it is an act of obedient faith, as witnessed by the thief who died upon a cross adjacent to Christ and was promised by Jesus that he would be with Him that day in Paradise. Many people ask, “How come there are so many versions of the Bible” as a reason to discount the truth of the Scriptures, how can that be glorifying to God? Do you like the Message which is a gross mishandling of the Scriptures? Check out my latest blog for a side by side comparison of the KJV, ESV, and NIV. The oldest manuscripts differ between themselves in 3000 places in the gospels, should we really consider what they say? They not only disagree amongst themselves but also differ from the majority of the manuscripts as is obvious from the side by side comparison of the three versions.

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