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1  Theology / General Theology / Re: The Apostles Creed on: February 03, 2006, 03:45:45 PM
Hello ggamble,


“In the spirit of that truth-telling, we who bear his name and heritage must with pain acknowledge also Luther's anti-Judaic diatribes and the violent recommendations of his later writings against the Jews. As did many of Luther's own companions in the sixteenth century, we reject this violent invective, and yet more do we express our deep and abiding sorrow over its tragic effects on subsequent generations. In concert with the Lutheran World Federation, we particularly deplore the appropriation of Luther's words by modern anti-Semites for the teaching of hatred toward Judaism or toward the Jewish people in our day.”

Even the Lutheran Church has come out against Luther’s hater for the Jews as part of their statement above shows. Are you aware that Hitler looked to Luther as one of his most esteemed religious leaders? Are you aware that one of Hitler’s butchers use Luther’s anti-semitism in his defense at the Nuremberg trial?

Apart form all this Luther held to the false gospel of baptismal regeneration. He believed and taught that salvation took place at one’s baptism and apart from baptism one cannot be saved.


“Martin Luther, for example, placed great importance on baptism. Luther states in The Large Catechism of 1529,

    "To put it most simply, the power, effect, benefit, fruit, and purpose of Baptism is to save. No one is baptized in order to become a prince, but as the words say, to 'be saved.' To be saved, we know, is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil and to enter into the kingdom of Christ and live with him forever."”

If Luther believed what he taught then he held to a false gospel which does not have the power to save. God’s Word pronounces a strong anathema to anyone including angles who preach a false gospel and this would include Luther.

Gal 1:6 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” 

Luther’s catechism is a good example of the serious problem of man made doctrinal statements. You have to wonder how many souls are in hell right now because they embraced the false gospel of salvation presented by Luther’s catechism rather than the true gospel of the Bible. Luther’s catechism is a clear case of mankind making void the Word of God by their own traditions.


I feel it is rather unfair for me to have to answer for a liberal Lutheran synod which also denies the verbal and plenary inspiration of scripture and has even apologized to the Roman Catholics for calling the Pope the antichrist so that they can attempt to reach common ground with the Roman Catholic church.

Clearly, Martin Luther's writings have been misused.  I would not for a moment argue that.  I would note that that has also been the case for the Bible, and that wouldn't be limited to those same people who so misused Luther.

Luther's contempories clearly did not take what Luther wrote in an overly literal manner.  If they had there would have been a great persecution of the Jews at the time.  However, such an event is totally missing from history.  Luther's power was such at the time that if he had wanted to be another Pope and march the people off to war he would certainly have had the ability to do so, but he didn't to think that he really was was intending for people to go out and do those things he used as examples is to really distort Luther.

Luther's home was a sanctuary for many, even on his wedding night, one of his opponents,Andreas Karlstadt, knocked on Luther's door.  Luther protected that man letting him into his home.  Andreas actually stayed for eight more weeks.

Luther spoke very strongly against sin, he spoke very strongly against any who he believed contradicted the Bible, yet he did not treat people harshly, he kept his lazy servant, Wolfgang Seberger on.  He not only did not try to kill opponents he was known to save them, and so on.

There is a lot written about Luther with the very intention of discrediting him.  The Roman Catholic church has been at it for a long time.  He is not easy to understand particularly with all that is out there intending to paint him in a bad light.

Now for baptism.

Martin Luther believed the Bible.  One verse that he uses in his explanation of baptism is Mark 16:16 NET
(16)  The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned.

Now with time we have learned that that verse probably wasn't original, but Luther had no such advantage.  He believed the Bible and the Bible said baptism saves.

The Bible also says:
Colossians 2:12-13 NET
(12)  Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead.
(13)  And even though you were dead in your transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions.

So Luther saw Baptism as a Sacrament, something instituted by Jesus, where earthly elements are combined with God's Word and which bestow grace, but you are attributing the Roman Catholic understanding of baptism to Luther.

For instance, Luther did teach that we receive grace through baptism, but he did not teach that we have to be baptised to be saved.  Maybe you are familiar with the saying "Grace alone through faith alone for the glory of Christ alone".  Well that is so taught in Lutheranism that it has its own name the "material principle".  Now if what you think Luther taught is inconsistent with that phrase, it is very likely that you misunderstand Luther.  The other possibilities are that something is being taken out of context or you don't understand the phrase, I can't think of any other.

What happens when people do what you are doing is that people say Lutherans teach that any unbaptised infant will be eternally damned.  At this point it is often difficult to continue a discussion because the Lutherans have fainted away.

Lutherans teach that we are saved by grace through faith.  Lutheran's teach that God's grace comes to us through God's Word and the Sacraments.  Since the Sacraments aren't Sacraments but just a bath and a meal without God's Word, you could condense it to grace comes to us through God's Word and not be incorrect.  (There is also general grace through God's creation, but we are mainly speaking of saving grace here)  Since baptism is not the only means of grace it is not correct to say one must be baptised to be saved under Lutheran theology.  One who is saved would normally be baptised but not always.

It should also be noted that the grace available in baptism doesn't come to us without faith.  It is not the simple act, but the reception of the act in faith, it is the belief that God's Word and promises are true.

Lutherans see the Sacraments as visible forms of God's Word, not as some work to merit salvation.  The only one doing any work in the Sacraments is God.  You could be baptised a thousand times and eat the Lord's Supper every hour and yet if you didn't accept in faith that Jesus gave his body for you and shed his blood for you and died for you, you wouldn't be saved.

You seem to have read Luthers Catechism, I don't know how you so misrepresent him.  Maybe it is the hatred you seem to feel towards him that makes you desire to misunderstand.

Agree with him or disagree but please don't continue to misrepresent him.

2  Theology / General Theology / Re: The Apostles Creed on: February 01, 2006, 06:31:18 PM
A complete translation is here.

Many focus on the Jews and ignore the Lies.   Luther spoke very strongly of any who disagreed with him.  I don't think, as the Jews did, that any man could assume he could go around Luther's area and teach that the Virgin Mary was a whore and Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary and a blacksmith and expect to escape his sharp tongue.

Nor would I expect any to escape who look to the fact that they are physically decendended from Abraham as to proof of their salvation to escape.

Nor the fact that he is circumcised as proof of his salvation.

Nor someone who teaches that the Law is the way to salvation.

Especially not if one was teaching those things and actively using them to proselytyze people in Luther's area.

I've read Luther's booklet, and it clearly references a booklet it is written in reply to.  Here is the last paragraph of Luther's.

So long an essay, dear sir and good friend, you have elicited from me with your booklet in which a Jew demonstrates his skill in a debate with an absent Christian. He would not, thank God, do this in my presence! My essay, I hope, will furnish a Christian (who in any case has no desire to become a Jew) with enough material not only to defend himself against the blind, venomous Jews, but also to become the foe of the Jews' malice, lying, and cursing, and to understand not only that their belief is false but that they are surely possessed by all devils. May Christ, our dear Lord, convert them mercifully and preserve us steadfastly and immovably in the knowledge of him, which is eternal life. Amen.

If you are going to use his writing to conclude he was an anti-Semite, at least read what he wrote, don't base it on condensed versions and others conclusions about what he wrote.


3  Theology / General Theology / Re: The Apostles Creed on: January 31, 2006, 01:43:21 PM
I wasn't familiar with a version that uses "begotten" in the second line.

May I ask where you got it?

4  Theology / General Theology / Re: I want to know about christianity on: January 27, 2006, 07:52:03 AM

The Foundation is God.

There is one God.

There are three persons.  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

This is the teaching of the Trinity.  This seems to be the biggest difficulty that Muslims have understanding.

Some of it is language, there is nothing that perfectly represents the way God is.  Even the word persons is different than how we tend to think of it.  We tend to think of a person as separate from other persons but that isn't the way God is.  He is one, not three separate persons but three united.

It may be helpful, since the explanation is so old to go to the origin of the word "person".  It comes from a Latin word, persona.  Now the persona is a mask that an actor would wear to represent a character.  In one play, an actor would often be several different characters or personas.  He might even dialogue with himself, by alternately holding up different masks and changing his aspect.  Even though he had several personas during the play, there was only the one actor.

Now the example isn't perfect, but it is more what was being taught by God in three persons than what most would realize without going into it.

If you get to God being different persons but limit him to one at a time, that is called modalism. 

A helpful resource to understand the Trinity is the Anthanasian Creed.

Jesus Christ is true God and true man, each fully, completely, and undividely.   He has always existed but he has not always been a man.   He was born of a virgin, having no earthly father.  The reason he came was because no person could be righteous, no man could perfectly keep the Law.   He came and fulfilled the Law becoming a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.  Even death had no power over him and he rose again and ascended to heaven awaiting the day when he will return.

The Holy Spirit is with us.  He convicts us of our sins, making us aware of our need for God.  After we have quit resisting and fighting against God, the Holy Spirit indwells us.  He changes us so that we can truly do good and love God and man.

God has revealed himself to us.  He can be seen through his creation, though it is not usually believed that people see him clearly enough to be saved through what is called general revelation.  He also reveals himself through the Bible.  The Bible is a progressive revelation of God.  Revealing to each succeeding group more of his plan.  The Bible is scripture, though written by the hands of men, it is God-breathed.  We talk of it being inspired, but it would actually be more correct to say it is spired.  The original Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

Christianity splits somewhat on how they see the Bible.  Roman Catholics and Orthodox would see it as a part of Holy Tradition.  They do not get their authoritative teachings only from the Bible, but also through what they believe the church fathers taught and continue to teach.  Most of those whom are generally referred to as Protestants would use the Bible as the sole norm and source of authoritative teachings.  Protestants would split on whether they believe each word is inspired and the truth, or if they believe God's truth is in the Bible, but not necessarily is every word perfect. 

For a very readable explanation of doctrines, I would recommend Wayne Grudem's book, "Bible Doctrine."  He does a good job of presenting doctrines and giving explanations, and unlike some authors, he is very readable.  I actually would disagree with Mr. Grudem on a few things, like his teachings on the charismatic gifts, but if you read Grudem he is fair and presents more than a "this is the only way" type of book.  I think it would be $20 that would save you a lot of confusion.

5  Theology / Prophecy - Current Events / Re: Who's Really Behind the ACLU Lawsuit? on: January 23, 2006, 05:42:10 PM
Well if only certain people have it, how is it a right?  I thought a right was something everyone had unless they have had it removed by a court.  Such as a convicted felon not having a right to own a firearm.

If some investigator gets to decide who does and who doesn't have a right, then noone would actually have any rights.  You would only have those rights granted you.  That would be pretty close to the British system where the crown granted the people rights and if those rights weren't granted they don't have them.  Under our system any right not specifically given the government is supposed to be retained by the people.

Do you think government should be allowed to anything they want to?

I think the laws recognize there is extenuating circumstances.  For instance someone suspected of terrorism, the government could start the wiretaps and apply for the search warrant after the taps have been applied.  And there is the special court and special search warrants.  Most search warrants have to be served but those related to terrorism don't. 

I think part of the question would be should you be a terrorist or treated like a terrorist just because someone suspected has your phone number, or email, or you happen to travel at a certain time.  Did you know there are over a million people who have official files on them now when their only tie to terrorism is that they traveled to Las Vegas during a time of heightened concern.  Nothing else, just flew there and stayed in a motel.  Now it is government record of the flight, where the person stayed and so so.  A record that is even shared with private companies under certain circumstances.  Seems strange that those people had no right to have search warrants issued just because they traveled during certain days. 

Let's say one of the moderators here gets involved in something, should the government be free to dig through all th records of everyone that has ever come to this site?

6  Theology / Apologetics / Re: HOW CAN WE SAY JESUS IS ONE WITH GOD AND STILL CONFESS A TRINITY? on: January 23, 2006, 01:00:06 PM

The explanations have been pretty orthodox but maybe not too satisfying.

One thing to remember is that languages didn't really have anything to describe the revealed nature of God, because there isn't anything else that is like he is, at least not that we know.  So all the examples and such used are "off".  We can use wordly example to try and get closer to understanding but they all fall short of being a perfect example.

Now one thing that came up is the "Oneness" people.  They believe something called modalism.  That would be that God is in one mode (similar to the person of Trinity doctrine) at a time.  So you had God in heaven as the Father, and then He came down as Jesus.  So Jesus was God and the only God while he was here.  Then he went away and came back as the Holy Spirit.  They hold on to the truth that God is one really tightly, but they kind of ignore the places where we see the Father, Son and Spirit at the same time.

One thing I find that confuses people is the use of the term "person" we are used to thinking of separate persons as separate beings.  That really isn't what is in view.  "Person" comes from "persona" the persona is the various masks that an actor would use during a play to be different characters.  Actors would even have conversations with themselves by lifting up the different masks to cover their face.  One play might have a single actor presenting several different persons through the use of different personas.

So if we take that a little way, we see that God is like the actor, and he appears to us in several different persons or personas.  The major difference is that God is all those personas or persons at the same time, see not perfect, can't go too far with the example.

We have to understand God in a way that keeps all that he reveals as truth.  For instance, God is one.  If the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were three gods, then that truth isn't understood correctly.

We end up with one God and three persons.  Each of those person is God, each has all the characteristics of God.  It becomes tempting to think that there is one Supreme God, usually taken as the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit are somehow lesser gods, but that doesn't agree with scripture either.

The Trinity is the only teaching that keeps all that God reveals of Himself as truth.  Otherwise you have to discard something.  It is difficult to understand and that would be why people have and continue to come up with so many other explanations.

One place that I will mention because is confuses a lot of people is the "begotten" issue.  It gets confusing when it is said that Jesus is begotten of the Father because we see places like the first Chapter of Matthew where the verb begat is used of an earthly father and son or daughter type of relationship.

The word translated as begotten is mongenes.  It was thougt to be a conjunction of mono meaning one and a form of the verb gennao meaning to begat or bear.  Well linguistic study has shown that if that were the case, the word should be monogennetos, not monogenes.  The term doesn't mean Jesus was God's only born Son, but has to do with the word genos which means kind or class.  So what it is saying is that Jesus is one-of-a-kind, unique, it's not talking about God the Father producing Jesus in the way a father produces a son.

We can see that in another verse that uses the term monogenes.

Hebrews 11:17 KJV
(17)  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

If you think about it, Isaac isn't the only son whom Abraham has begat or borne.  What he is is Abraham's one-and-only uniqe son from the promise God gave Abraham.  There is no other like him.  We see new translations giving that understanding more clearly.

Hebrews 11:17 ISV
(17)  By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac. The man who had received the promises was about to offer his unique son,

People get real irate about it.  Especially since begotten happened to be in John 3:16 which so many of us memorized as children and somehow it is seen as an attack on orthodox understanding.  Actually what I see is a case where the balance of scripture protected from a misunderstanding from that single word, but there are many who are indeed tripped up by that one word because they give it too much weight.  People say if Jesus is begotten then the Father is first and foremost and they go down the road of multiple gods or lesser gods or even that Jesus isn't really God but a god or not a god at all but a mediator between God and man.

I hope that helps you understand.


7  Theology / Prophecy - Current Events / I a bit confused by the post on: January 23, 2006, 11:50:50 AM
At the end, Pastor Rogers encourages everyone to support the administration but that they should obey the laws.

That is the very basis of the lawsuit, whether people are obeying the laws.

If they are, the court should find that they are and dismiss the suit.

If they are not, the court should find that and have the people obey the laws.

The lawsuit is not capable of doing anthing more than Pastor Rogers urges people to do-obey the laws.

So I'm wondering what is different between supporting the government and obeying the laws, because it would seem consistent to me for everyone to obey the laws.

I don't know if the administration has or has not been obeying the laws in this area, but there does seem to be a reasonable amount of doubt.

8  Entertainment / Politics and Political Issues / Re:Document 47/1985 - America Ignores Iraq's Use of WMD on: December 17, 2005, 03:22:15 PM
It certainly wasn't a blind eye at all.  Much of what Saddam obtained was obtained through foreign subsidiaries of American corporations or through deniable launderers of American aid.

It even went so far that we fixed several "pesticide" applying helicopters for Iraq because the pilots were being overcome by the application.  I have seen helicopters applying insecticides day after day that less than 1 gram of product would be a fatal dosage, yet no such special equipment was needed for the pilot.  Saddam used to like to brag that he had the insecticides to deal with the Iranians.  

We gave Saddam many millions of dollars of aid at a time when according to our own intelligence he used WMD's on almost a daily basis.

We even provided him military intelligence even though we were supposedly neutral because the Iranians were massed and going to cut Iraq in half and would almost certainly have defeated and deposed Saddam.

Several of the people involved in the whole thing back in the Reagan administration are directly involved today, people like Rumsfeld and Cheney.  It makes sense that they were so certain that Saddam had WMD's, he had them back when they were shaking hands with him, why shouldn't he have them now.

The answer seems to be that Saddam while a horrible tyrant, wasn't insane, and he got rid of them or didn't replace them after the Gulf War.  I don't believe he had any "problem" with using WMD's but he could see the handwriting on the wall that if he did-he was gone.  He didn't count on an administration that it seems had decided to get rid of him anyway.

Getting rid of Saddam is a good thing.  The major concerns are that Iran and North Korea consider themselves immune to military action while we are tied down there.  Iran just purchased 1 billion dollars in armaments including many surface to air missles from Russia.

In addition Iran has infiltrated and is funding many of the Shiite militia in Iraq.  They are smart enough not to fight against the US or British troops, what they are doing is settling scores and killing other Iraqies.  Iran hopes to be able to use the whole situation to install a government in Iraq that is very, shall we say, friendly to Iran.

We have to be careful or the end product of our invasion of Iraq will be a greatly strengthened Iran and not a free Iraq.

A reasonable timeframe from our invasion to a free stable Iraq is 12 to 15 years, even then they made need intermittent help for awhile.  A long ways from the 6 days or 6 weeks or at the outside 6 months that Rumsfeld said it would take to end the conflict.

9  Fellowship / For Men Only / Re:infidelity on: December 17, 2005, 02:56:26 PM
Frankly, I don't think there is a "male" point of view on infidelity.  There are common excuses but that is all they are.

Infidelity is not a reflection on you but a reflection on your husband.  Let us use an example.  People all over this world are unfaithful to God, they bind themselves to other gods, they commit spiritual adultery.

Does that reflect that God isn't good enough so they must get something that God isn't capable of giving them? No, of course not.  Neither is your husband's unfaithfulness due to you, he might say it is, you might feel it is, but that doesn't make it true.  He is the one who chose to sin.

I am not saying you or your relationship with your husband have been or was perfect right up to the moment he was unfaithful.  You are a human and I am sure that you too have fallen short at times.

I don't think using other's shortfalls to justify our own actions is limited to either men or women.

We can go right back to Adam and Eve.
Genesis 3:11-13 NET
(11)  And the Lord God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
(12)  The man said, "The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it."
(13)  So the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman replied, "The serpent tricked me, and I ate."

See what Adam did, it wasn't his fault it was the woman and even God's fault.  Eve's reaction the same, it was that old snake.

We inherited our natures from Adam and Eve and instead of admitting our sins, our impulse is to do exactly the same thing-blame anyone or thing other than ourselves.

I hope that helps you,
10  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Bible contradictions or interpretive contradictions on: December 22, 2004, 11:52:51 AM

People do pick and choose, you are correct in that, the reason it is confusing is because we are not under Old Testament Law, not one bit.  The Law including the 10 Commandments are part of God's covenant with the sons of Israel.  Gentiles are not a part of that.

You may not want to bother going through this whole thing, but others may so I put this explanation here.

Look at the Exodus 31:12-18. God speaks there of the sabbath as a sign of the covenant between him and the children of Israel. It is also where he gives the 10 Commandments to Moses. They are both part of the covenant between God and the children of Israel. The Gentiles do not have a part in them. Check it again in Exodus 34:28 notice the words of the covenant, those are the 10 Commandments. The were put into the Ark of the Covenant. So the Words of the Covenant were kept in the Ark of the Covenant. A covenant between God and the Jews, those decended from Israel.

So what happened? Well as you know, people could not keep the 10 Commandments, they could not keep the Levitical law. They broke the covenant with God. Jer 11 is all about the breaking of the covenant and the judgement that is coming on the Jews. This goes on and on until Jer 31:31-32 where we first hear of the new covenant. In Jerimiah is also where we learn that God will raise up a rightous branch from king David. It was talking about Jesus, but the Jews thought it would be a king like David who would lead them here on earth when he came.

So now the new covenant one not of laws but of grace. God didn't write the commandments on stone but on our hearts. We are to love, first God, then man, God above all things, and our neighbor as ourselves. And we are included in this covenant not just the house of Israel. Romans 11 gives an explanation of this. The book of Hebrews spends a lot of time, especially in the 8, 9, and 10 chapters.

Now if you write a new contract, a new covenant with someone, what happens to the old? It is no longer in effect, the new superceeds it. The old is no longer recognized in court because you have entered into a new one. The new covenant is not just for the house of Israel, but for all.  Much of the New Testament is about the inclusion of the Greeks into God's new covenant.

So you might say, what of the 10 Commandments, do we not still obey them. The answer is not as such. We are to show love, not follow the Law. Now mostly it might look as though we follow the law, but we do not. It is confusing because if you show love, much of the foundational laws would be upheld, but not as law. Would you show love by murdering your neighbor, would you show love by taking his wife? No, of course not. So it might be said look they obey the Commandment not to murder, but we do not obey the Commandment not to murder, we obey the Commandment to love our neighbor. Love goes far beyond the Law.

The question of do we need to become Jews and obey the laws has been with us from the very start of the church. The first Jerusalem council in Acts 15 was just over this question. Galations deals strongly with the question.

People often quote part of the Law to show that something is "wrong" but themselves do not uphold the Law.  We are told in the New Testament that if we put ourselves under one part, we are responsible to the whole thing.  You are indeed correct that people pick and choose, but that is not Biblical.  If you pick one part, you pick it all.  It is saddest when people use the Law against those who do not believe, yet if the unbeliever checks the Law in the Bible he sees that Christians themselves do not live under the Law.  It makes all of Christianity appear as the religion of hypocrites.  

I hope that this explanation is clear to you.
11  Theology / Apologetics / Re:IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: December 20, 2004, 12:07:04 PM
Didn't mean to steal your thread Brother Love, my apologies.

You might be interested that I am working on typing in the 1611 "he" KJV into e-Sword.  It's still going to be awhile before its done though.  What I find online as the 1611 KJV isn't true to the actual text.  

The general idea is to provide an easy to use interface with a dictionary and word helps for those that want to study from the original KJV.

Those "s"s are enough to drive me batty!

12  Theology / Debate / I thought this would have died out long ago on: December 16, 2004, 07:08:11 PM
From the NASB:

Rom 14:1 Now accept  the one who is weak  in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.
Rom 14:2 One  person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.
Rom 14:3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.
Rom 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Rom 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.
Rom 14:14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Rom 14:15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do  not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.
Rom 14:16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil;
Rom 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rom 14:18 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Rom 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Rom 14:20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.
Rom 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.
Rom 14:22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
Rom 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
13  Theology / Apologetics / Re:IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: December 16, 2004, 04:28:55 PM
It is my honor to have been a help.  May God bless you abundantly.

14  Theology / Apologetics / Re:IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: December 16, 2004, 04:12:16 PM

The very act of translation changes the word.  How can I say the particular English word is directly inspired by God to be infallible, inerrant.... especially true for those words added by the translators to make the English grammar and sentence work better.

The originals are indeed word for word perfect.  Even if we had them, could you or I sit down and read them and perfectly understand everything?  Doubtful that our scholarship would be so good that we could understand those languages so well that we would get it perfect, but that doesn't mean the Word isn't perfect, only that our understanding would not be perfect.  Even if we read in English our understanding is slightly different.

With the process of transmission of the scriptures, can we say that we have a perfect reproduction of the originals?  No, probably not, though it may be, we cannot be absolutely sure until we find the originals and recognize them.  We do the best we can with what we have.  However, we are very very sure that we are very very close.  The things that we are least sure of are not matters of doctrine or faith, of those we are indeed very sure because they are repeated in different places and with different words, and the witnesses are in such good agreement.  What we are least sure of is numbers.  Numbers are very hard to copy correctly over and over.  Here's a number 300098873333333348876, I'll be back in a few thousand years to see if you have it correctly copied Smiley  It is difficult especially because of the repeated numbers and the fact that no commas are used.  Remove or add a digit and it doesn't become obviously wrong like many (though not all) words.  This is very much like some of the ancient numbers.  Thirty for instance would very much be tententen so it is easy for a scribe to miss a ten or add it and hard to catch it when proofed.

Now the scriptures are held in such esteem that very few take the freedom to change the text just based on what we think should be correct.  Take this example:
In the KJV:  We have the "problem" of the how old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?
(a) Eighteen (2 Kings 24:Cool.
(b) Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9).
That was what the evidence the translators had at the time said.  Rather than pick the more likely eighteen, they let it stand as they had it, until scholarship and finding new witnesses could truly resolve the issue.  We could sit down and make a translation that eliminated those things, but would it be right to do so?  We will know in time, and they don't really affect us anyway.

The NET Bible now shows eighteen for both with this footnote:
tc The Hebrew text reads “eight,” but some ancient textual witnesses, as well as the parallel text in 2 Kgs 24:8, have “eighteen.”

NIV uses eighteen for both with this footnote: 2Ch_36:9 One Hebrew manuscript, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 2Ki_24:Cool most Hebrew manuscripts eight
The NKJV leaves it at eight but has the same footnote as the NIV.  So they are agreeing on the evidence but haven't all agreed that the evidence is sufficient.

Manuscripts are in agreement in the eighteen in 2 Kgs.  

So we are really pretty sure that Jehoiachin was 18 when he began his rein, but we are really really sure a King, Jehoiachin existed and ruled.

We get even more sure in matters like Jesus was true God, and true man.  That there is but one God in the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  That Jesus died for our sins and was raised again physically, and so on.

We know those things to the extent that it could not be called a reasonable doubt to question their truth, it would have to be called an unreasonable doubt, and it doesn't matter which sincere translation you would use in order to make that statement.

There is very little doubt indeed from what we know today concerning what God's message is to us.  As such it is much more than a guideline document, but rather it really is reasonable to follow what we have as scripture itself.  To consider it the very Word of God.  To not do so means we will miss the mark by much more than if we do.  Noone gets more truth by ignoring the whole Bible due to some little copyist error on the age of Jehoiachin , only less truth.  Nothing available is closer to God's absolutely pure Word than the Bible we have.  By that I don't mean one translation, but the whole knowledge we have as to what God said.  Each translation has a few little weaknesses, but that's no excuse to throw any or all away as untrustworthy.  Or to neglect their study.


15  Theology / Apologetics / Re:IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: December 16, 2004, 12:27:21 PM

That is why we get to statement such as this about the Bible.

The Bible, including both Old and New Testaments as originally given, is the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God and is free from error in the whole and in the part, and is therefore the final authoritative guide for faith and conduct.

While a KJVO person would hold up the KJV as the standard.  I hold that the originals were and are perfect and are the standard.

Many people have dedicated their lives to working diligently to make sure the translations we have are a close to the originals as possible.  We trap ourselves if we say every word of a translation is perfect because we end all need for futher scholarship.  The whole art and science of textual criticism is toward the goal of understanding written language such that we can be very sure about what the originals were like. Anyone that translates languages knows that it is really impossible to translate all the subtleties of one language into another.  But that doesn't mean we can't try.

When arguing translations, it is popular to take a verse here and a verse there and say either the text behind it is not the most likely to be correct, or that the translation job itself did not do the best job of rendering the meaning to the reader.  Those indeed are often valid criticisms of a particular translation.

That being said, very very seldom does a doctrine hang totally on one verse, and never in the foundational truths.

So do you have any examples of where doctrine is changed by a translation that was done by people sincerely trying to do a good job?  I don't include "translations" done specifically to hide truth, though even there it does tend to show through.  I won't say there aren't any (I haven't found them), but I do say there aren't any that can't be handled with a little study into the matter.  I am not asking for an example where its like these three words are left off a verse and so you can't tell this from that verse, I mean where the translation is so bad that a truth is lost from the translation.

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