Monday, June 26, 2017

The Perversion of God's Grace from Evangelicals

Nothing was wrong with the Old Testament.  Salvation wasn't different in the Old Testament.  It was like the book of Hebrews talks about, a shadow of things to come.  It was good for what it was, but a proper understanding and acceptance of it is a move toward the New Testament.  You don't really accept the Old if you don't receive the New.  The new covenant is a superior covenant.

The Old Testament isn't law and the New Testament grace.  They are both grace.  A perversion of the old covenant could be "law."  The Old Testament itself, however, is grace.  Old and New are both grace.

Both the Old and the New Testament have "rules."  "Rules" are a means of ruling.  God is sovereign.  He rules.  We look to what God says in His Word to see what His rules are.  He says that if you love Him, you will keep His rules.  The one that God receives to Himself is not the one who says, Lord, Lord, and doesn't do what God says.  It is he who does the will of the Father, like Jesus did.

Justification by faith is not a get out of jail free card.  Paul was clear on that in Romans 6.  He also said that grace is not an occasion, a base of operations, to and for the flesh.  In Jude, we see false teachers who turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.

Grace enables righteous living.  God works in someone both to will and to do of His good pleasure. A primary purpose of church is to to consider one another to provoke unto love and good works.  What are good works?  Are they not the works that God prescribes in His Word?  Are those not rules?  How are we supposed to provoke someone to good works, if we are to just wait for the Holy Spirit to do it? That's not something taught anywhere in scripture.

What I'm describing is how evangelicalism and now much of fundamentalism approaches biblical teaching that they don't like.  They call it legalism.  The grace of God, however, is not a garbage can that just keeps swallowing up disobedience to God's Word.  It is a cleansing agent that empowers righteous living, which is obedience to what God said.

Evangelicals and many fundamentalists pervert God's grace today.  2 Peter 2 talks about it.  Men don't want to do what God says and the grace of God is corrupted to allow people to disobey scripture. That's not how God's grace works.  Paul told Titus that God's grace taught believers to deny worldly lust and to live soberly and righteously in this present world.

According to James, believers are presented with tests of faith. They are to pray for wisdom to pass those tests.  What is wisdom?  It is the proper application of scripture.  Why does someone need wisdom if scripture doesn't need to be applied?  If the only scripture someone obeys are specific actions stated, no wisdom is needed for that.  It's just wrote obedience.  However, scripture does need application.

Almost all of scripture comes in principles that need to be applied.  The application comes in a second term.  God commands no corrupt communication to proceed from the mouth.  Wisdom requires understanding what corrupt communication is.  Believers are assumed to know.

Today if a church has a modesty or dress standard, it is called legalist.  I know because our church gets it all the time.  We rarely talk about dress.  However, we are still criticized as legalistic.  I hear these evangelicals, conservative ones, say that we are dangerous because we are telling people to keep rules and rules are legalism.

God's grace doesn't allow nudity.  It doesn't allow cross dressing.  Are those rules?  They are God ruling by His grace in the life of a believer.  Grace isn't less holy.  It allows someone to live holy and pure.

The apostate wants to do what he wants.  He doesn't want a boss.  A common corruption of grace allows him to do what he wants and yet still categorize himself as spiritual enough, godly enough, or religious enough.  This false, made-up, perversion of grace takes care of all the ways he disobeys God by not applying scripture.  He's doing what he wants and still getting credit for doing what God wants, at least in his mind.  That isn't the grace of God.  It isn't how God's grace works.

Whole evangelical churches are doing what they want and calling it the grace of God.  They design their churches to be worldly to attract the worldly.  If you critique their music and their dress or lack thereof, they pull the legalist card.  This is old.  It occurs again and again.

If you read here, you know I call them legalistic.  They are the true legalists in the tradition of the Pharisees, who reduced God's rules, His laws, to what they could keep.  Evangelicals don't require obedience to the so-called non-essentials.  Their view of grace says that those are permissible.  The non-essential list is growing.  They are not non-essential to God. God wants believers to live according to every Word that proceeds from His mouth.  That's also how God's grace works.

Evangelicals, operating in the flesh, shorten the list of commandments or sayings to be kept, to a list they can keep.  Pharisees did this.  They asked Jesus the greatest commandment, because they were accustomed to ranking their laws, because they knew they couldn't keep them all in their flesh.  Evangelicalism keeps its own rules, except in the flesh.  It keeps those rules by reducing them to a smaller number.  This is not how the Bible teaches Christian living.  God's grace enables a believer to keep everything that God said.  It is a supernatural, spiritual work in the soul of a man that testifies to God.

Reductionism, reducing what scripture has to be kept to a smaller number, depends on the flesh.  It is left-wing legalism.  It says that it is grace, but it really is an operation of the flesh to live how someone wants to live, but still call it Christian living.  It isn't, and it won't be judged as so.

I'm tired of the legalism card, but I think it will keep going.  It is a horrendous lie that is used out of guilt.  Evangelicals are guilty of violating scripture.  Their programs and their attendance and their gimmicks are more important than the Word of God.  They are willing to keep their crowd by lying and calling true believers, legalists.  I expect it will continue.

Friday, June 23, 2017

No Two Biblical Manuscripts Are The Same? Old and New Testament Evidence

Have you heard the oft-repeated assertion that "no two Biblical manuscripts are the same?"  It is one of the most often-repeated arguments by enemies of the God of Scripture and opponents of perfect preservation.  However, it is simply false. There are early copies that are identical to the later printed texts.  For example, you can view the Qumran manuscript 4QGenb (4Q2) here.  A picture from this manuscript, which dates to c. A. D. 50, is below:


This manuscript "is identical to codex L," (Emmanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 3rd ed. [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012], 31), the basis for the common printed Hebrew Bible published by the United Bible Society, as well as being identical to the Hebrew Received Text published by the Trinitarian Bible Society.  You are, thus, viewing with your eyes a very ancient Hebrew text that is identical to printed editions of the Hebrew Bible.

What about for the New Testament? Consider the copy below:



P52, the oldest undisputed fragment from the Gospel of John, dates between A. D. 90-125 (J. Kenneth Eakins et al., “Archaeology and Biblical Study,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 100; Lee Strobel, In Defense of Jesus:  Investigating Attacks on the Identity of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 2007), “Interview #2, Daniel B. Wallace.”)  It contains a Greek text that is identical to modern printed editions of the Gospel of John.  P52 was discovered in an obscure village in Egypt a great distance from Ephesus, where the Gospel of John was composed, demonstrating that the book had been in circulation for quite some time before this very ancient manuscript was copied.  Keener explains:

This text’s discovery far from the Gospel’s likely places of origin pushes its proposed date of writing back at least a quarter century[.] . . . Nor does the manuscript allow us to suppose that this represents a pre-Johannine tradition on which John based part of his Gospel . . .[this] oldest fragment of the Gospel of John . . . does not differ by a single word from our printed Greek texts. . . . 𝔓52 . . . proves the [early] existence and use of the Fourth Gospel in a little provincial town along the Nile, far from its traditional place of composition (Ephesus in Asia Minor)[.] (Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary & 2, vol. 1 [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012], 141–142.)

Thus, very ancient manuscripts of the Bible that are exactly identical with modern printed texts exist.

Furthermore, there are many Biblical manuscripts that represent the text-type found in the Textus Receptus and the Authorized, King James Version that are identical with each other even over the space of entire books.  (This is not the case with the inferior and tiny minority of manuscripts that support the modern Greek critical text). For example, click here to view four manuscripts from widely separated parts of the world, copied in different centuries (and collated by Dr. Wilbur Pickering), that have a text that is absolutely identical for the entire book of Titus

One can contrast this extremely careful copying of the Received Text with the very careless copying of the favorite MSS of the critical text, Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (Aleph). Herman Hoskier did a full collation of Aleph and B, and in the Gospels he found the following:[1]

Disagreements between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus
Matthew
656
Mark
567
Luke
791
John
1022
TOTAL
3036


Compare this with the differences between the Westcott-Hort or critical Greek text and the Received Text in the entire New Testament:

TEXTUS RECEPTUS vs. WESTCOTT-HORT CHANGES
TR Has 140,521 Greek words. W/H changes 5,604 places in the N.T.
TR has 647 pp. in Greek Text. W/H changes include 9,970 Greek words.
TR has 217 Greek words. per page. W/H changes 15.4 Greek words per page.
TR has 100% of the Greek words. W/H changes 7% of the Greek words.
TR has all 647 pp. unchanged. W/H changes total 45.9 pp. in Greek text.[2]

The number of differences between Aleph and B just in the Gospels is comparable to the number of Greek words in which the TR and the W/H text differ in the entire NT--if one extends the average number of disagreements in the Gospels between Aleph and B over the entire NT, there would be more disagreements between the two MSS that critical text advocates falsely claim are the best than there are between the Received Text and the W/H printed editions!

Facts such as these--and there are many more where these came from--should put to rest the myth that there are no Biblical manuscripts that are identical with each other.  They should also show the unsoundness of the critical Greek text and the modern Bible versions based upon it and the superiority of the preserved Word of God contained in the Hebrew and Greek Received Texts from which the Authorized, King James Version was translated.






[1]           Herman Hoskier, Codex B and its Allies:  A Study and an Indictment, vol. 2 (London:  Bernard Quaritch, 1914) 1.
[2]           Donald Waite, Defending the King James Bible (Collingswood, NJ:  Bible for Today, n. d.) “Forward.”

Friday, June 16, 2017

Andrew Murray, Mystical Quietist and Higher Life / Keswick Writer, part 6 of 7

           
Nevertheless, despite the failures of the Faith Cure, Murray believed that the gift of healing was not limited to the first century but was for the entire church age.  He had, after all, been influenced in his doctrine of healing by what he had himself “witnessed . . . [in] a Sunday evening service for the sick . . . [led by] the late Mr. W. E. Boardman.”[1]  Murray wrote:
The Bible does not authorize us, either by the words of the Lord or of His apostles, to believe that the gifts of healing were granted only to the early times of the Church[.] . . . [I]t is the Church’s unbelief which has lost the gift of healing . . . salvation offers to us even now, healing and holiness[.] . . . The more we give ourselves to experience personally sanctification by faith, the more we shall also experience healing by faith.  These two doctrines walk abreast. . . . [D]ivine healing is part of the life of faith. . . . Wherever the Spirit acts with power, there He works divine healings.[2]
Andrew Murray taught, as did John MacMillan,[3] A. B. Simpson,[4] and the Pentecostal movement, that physical healing in this life was part of Christ’s atonement:  “Jesus Christ has obtained for us the healing of our diseases, because He has borne our sicknesses.  According to this promise, we have right to healing, because it is part of the salvation which we have in Christ.”[5]  Job was sick, Murray affirmed, following Boardman, because the patriarch had not properly employed the Higher Life technique of surrender and faith to deal with “his hidden sins.”[6]  It was best for believers to cease using medicine,[7] he believed, and rather to employ Higher Life techniques when they were sick.  Indeed, “setting aside all remedies [is better than] using remedies as believers do for the most part[.] . . . Renouncing remedies, [sic] strengthens faith in an extraordinary manner; healing becomes then, far more than sickness, a source of numberless spiritual blessings; . . . we commit ourselves to Him as our sovereign healer, counting solely on His invisible presence.”[8]  Unfortunately, as with the spurious “healings” of modern charismatics, the generality of the “healings” Murray spoke of were radically different from those of the Lord Jesus and the Apostles.  Biblical healings were all perfect and without any relapses, while such was not the case with the alleged healings of which Murray spoke:  “Sometimes also the first symptoms of healing are immediately manifest; but afterwards the progress is slow, and interrupted at times . . . [or entirely] arrested or . . . the evil returns.”[9]
            The tremendous difference between Murray’s Higher Life theology of healing and the healings of the Lord and His Apostles was connected to his Higher Life doctrine of sanctification.  As the Keswick theology teaches that sanctification is only maintained by a moment-by-moment faith decision without any change or actual renewal of the inward nature, so physical healing is only maintained by a moment-by-moment faith decision, and any relapse in the faith decision leads to a loss of the healing:  “[T]he return to health . . . is the fruit of giving up sin, of consecration to God. . . . [I]t is by healing that God confirms the reality of . . . sanctification[.] . . . When Jesus . . . cures . . . our body . . . miraculously . . . it follows that the health received must be maintained from day to day by an uninterrupted communion with Him.”[10]  The Higher Life for the spirit takes elements that, in Biblical and historic Baptist theology, pertain to the perfect holiness and perfect rest of heaven, and transfers them into the present.  Likewise, the Higher Life for the body takes elements of the physical perfection that pertains to the resurrected state and transfers them to the present.  However, the Higher Life for both soul and body affirms that these elements that actually pertain to the future glory are only maintained in this life through a moment-by-moment faith decision.  Thus, as the Keswick perfectionist state of sanctification was maintained only moment-by-moment, so bodily healing was maintained only moment-by-moment, and the very instant one fell out of the Higher Life his body returned to a state of sickness.  Certainly God is able to heal people today—indeed, every recovery from illness comes from the hand of God (Psalm 103:3)—and it is right for believers to pray for physical healing.  However, the Higher Life theology of healing espoused by Boardman and Murray is unscriptural, and the Biblical gift of healing—which involved no relapses and did not require any faith on the part of the recipient—was temporary and for the first century alone. 
However, according to Murray, none of the spiritual gifts were temporary, and they will all appear to those who have discovered “the higher life”[11]:  “Wherever the life more abundant of the Spirit is to be found, we may expect Him to manifest all His gifts . . . Divine healing accompanies the sanctification by the Spirit . . . the body . . . ought to be healed as soon as the sick believer receives by faith the working of the Holy Spirit, the very life of Jesus in him.”[12]  Murray believed that not healing only, but “all [the Spirit’s] gifts,” including tongues, prophecy, and the rest of the phenomena claimed by the modern charismatic movement, should be expected for the entirety of the church age for those who have entered into the Higher Life[13]—indeed, Murray taught believers to “live in a holy expectation” for a restoration of the other gifts that accompanied the pouring out of the Spirit in Acts.[14]  Keswick theology was the key to having all the sign gifts restored:  “[M]en and women who live the life of faith and of the Holy Spirit, entirely consecrated to their God . . . would see again the manifestation of the same gifts as in former times.”[15]  He affirmed that God may lead believers today through “heavenly voices.”[16]  Tongues, in particular, will be restored as Keswick theology spreads:
On the day of Pentecost the speaking “with other tongues” and the prophesying was the result of being filled with the Spirit. . . . We may reckon upon it that where the reception of the Holy Spirit and the possibility of being filled with Him are proclaimed and appropriated, the blessed life of the Pentecostal community will be restored in all its pristine power.[17]
Murray’s strong continuationism, associated with his teaching that “the intellect must follow,” not lead, “the heart and the life . . . [i]n all the experience of the blessings of the Gospel,”[18] were important in theological trajectory from Keswick to Pentecostalism.[19]
In light of Murray’s Higher Life continuationism, it is not surprising that he was a central figure in the rise of South African Pentecostalism.  Certain of Murray’s books are “sold nowadays only by the Pentecostals.”[20]  Murray requested that his own biography be written by J. DuPlessis, whose continuationism led him to became the General Secretary of the charismatic Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa.[21]  Furthermore, Murray “acted as mentor for Pieter Le Roux, who was to be a key figure in the establishment of Pentecostalism in South Africa,”[22] as LeRoux was “one of the first propagandists” of the Keswick continuationist and essentially Pentecostal “Christian Catholic Church” of John Dowie.  LeRoux went on to become, “for 29 years, President” of the “Pentecostal Apostolic Faith Mission”[23] which developed largely out of the Christian Catholic denomination.[24]  The Christian Catholic Church and the Pentecostal Apostolic Faith Mission “provided the example that has been followed by the South African Pentecostal movement”[25] to this day, including the South African Pentecostal doctrine that “[m]edicine is rejected and . . . absolute reliance on the healing of the sick through prayer” is practiced instead.[26]  In addition to the major Pentecostal denominations, numberless South African “independent Pentecostal churches . . . go back to men like Le Roux” as “offshoots of the Apostolic Faith Mission.”[27]  Andrew Murray’s Keswick continuationism was key to the explosion of the apostasy, which is South African Pentecostalism.
Unlike many other central figures in the Keswick theology, Andrew Murray had a reasonable testimony of personal conversion and a confession that was generally consistent with the fundamentals of the Christian gospel.  He was a sincere and pious man, and various Christian truths found in his writings have been a spiritual blessing to many.  A sincere Pentecostal pastor may similarly make statements that could be of benefit to separatist Baptists.  Nevertheless, the errors of Keswick continuationism and the influence of many unconverted religious figures in Christendom are bound inextricably into the fabric of Murray’s works.  The spiritual truths that have blessed the people of God in his writings are also found in the works of many authors free from Murray’s errors, writers of unquestionable orthodoxy and fervent spirituality who pay far more attention than Murray does to the careful and accurate exegesis of that instrument of the Spirit for the sanctification of the saint, the holy Scripture (John 17:17).

See here for this entire study.






[1]           Pgs. 113-114, Divine Healing, by Andrew Murray.  Nyack, NY:  Christian Alliance Publishing, 1900.
[2]           Pgs. 15, 17-19, 24, 29, Divine Healing, Murray.
[3]           “MacMillan believed that healing is a privilege for the Christian as a provision of the atonement, and needs to be affirmed actively and strenuously,” so that the believer can “refuse the sicknesses that seek to fasten upon [his] physical fram[e]” (pg. 227, A Believer with Authority, Paul L. King).  See pg. 25, The Adult Full Gospel Sunday School Quarterly, November 22, 1942 & pg. 26, The Adult Full Gospel Sunday School Quarterly, January 23, 1938, MacMillan.
[4]           One notes that, in 1900, the Chrisitan and Missionary Alliance published Murray’s Divine Healing in Nyack, NY, home of the CMA Training Institute (cf. pg. 529, The Life of Andrew Murray, DuPlessis).
[5]           Pg. 72 (cf. pg. 12), Divine Healing, Andrew Murray.  London: Victory Press, 1934.  Cf. http://www.jesus.org.uk/vault/library/murray_divine_healing.pdf.
[6]           Pg. 172, cf. 168-173, Divine Healing, Murray.  Since Job was the most righteous man on the earth (Job 1:8), it appears that Higher Life principles must not have been often practiced on the earth in Job’s day, since even the best man on earth was made horribly sick for not properly employing them.  Or perhaps Murray’s reading of Job, in which he follows William Boardman, is radically inaccurate.
[7]           The Word of Faith movement likewise teaches that “all disease comes from the spiritual realm of Satan. . . . a true believer should never be sick. . . . [Word of] Faith teachers insist that believers can, and should, grow in their faith to the point where they no longer need medical science.  Only those in the Faith movement who are immature in their faith guiltily seek medical care” (pgs. 149-150, 186, A Different Gospel, McConnell; pgs. 153-165 demonstrate the almost exact similarity between Murray’s doctrine and that of the Word of Faith theology and provide a fine critique of the Word of Faith healing doctrine.).
[8]           Pgs. 174-179, Divine Healing, Murray.
[9]           Pg. 92, Divine Healing, Murray.
[10]         Pg. 154, Divine Healing, Murray.
[11]         Pgs. 201, 209, Divine Healing, Murray.
[12]         Pgs. 85-86, 124, Divine Healing, Murray.
[13]         Nor is it surprising that charismatic writers can refer to “Andrew Murray” as a “prominent Pentecostal figur[e]” alongside of charismatics like “Aimee Semple McPherson” (cf. pg. 67, A Different Gospel, McConnell), although such a designation for Murray is somewhat proleptic.
[14]         Pgs. 87-88, Divine Healing, Murray.
[15]         Pg. 15, Divine Healing: A Series of Addresses, Murray.  See also pg. 100.
[16]         Pg. 161, The Spirit of Christ, Andrew Murray.  Springdale, PA:  Whitaker House, 1984.  While Murray writes, “There are souls to whom such leading . . . [by] heavenly voices . . . undoubtedly is given,” at least he also affirms that such voices are not the “ordinary” means of leading—an affirmation, however, that a Quaker or practically any modern Pentecostal could also make.
[17]         Pg. 17, The Full Blessing of Pentecost: The One Thing Needful, trans. J. P. Lilley.  London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1908.
[18]         Pg. 204, The Life of Andrew Murray, DuPlessis.
[19]         Murray’s writings also contain antecedents to the Word of Faith heresy.  For example, the doctrine of the authority of the believer, as developed by the Word of Faith movement from the writings of John MacMillan, appears to have been anticipated by Murray:  “The Head truly calls the members of His Body to share His power with Him.  Our Father places His power at the disposal of the child who completely trusts Him” (pg. 83, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Andrew Murray.  Springdale, PA:  Whitaker House, 1981).
[20]         Pg. 114, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.
[21]         Pg. v. The Life of Andrew Murray, DuPlessis & pg. 172, The Pentecostal Movement, Donald Gee.  DuPlessis was a continuationist like Murray but not yet the General Secretary of the Pentecostal Mission at the time Murray asked him to write the biography.
[22]         Pg. 462, “Murray, Andrew,” Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, ed. Larsen; pgs. 72-73, The Pentecostal Movement, Donald Gee.
[23]         Pgs. 115, 120, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.
[24]         Pg. 120, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.
[25]         Pgs. 120-121, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.
[26]         Pg. 121, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.
[27]         Pgs. 171-172, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Assessing Comments on Thou Shalt Keep Them, part two

Part One

The purpose of Thou Shalt Keep Them (TSKT) was to exegete passages on preservation of scripture, like one would exegete passages on salvation for a book on salvation or passages on the Trinity for a book on the Trinity.  That's what we did.  The main criticism of the book has been about the lacking manuscript evidence.  I plead, can we please consider first if the Bible teaches its own preservation? What does the Bible say about its own preservation?  When that doesn't seem to matter or just doesn't matter to people, even those who call themselves professing Christians, I wonder about their approach to anything.

Excerpts of TSKT were posted twice at SharperIron (here and here), and I assessed 18 comments out of what were 39 and now 45.  This will cover the rest.  In general, those commenting didn't interact with the actual posts written, didn't show how that a passage wasn't saying what I wrote that it did. They didn't address the actual post in the comment section (until the last few comments, someone finally did).

Dave Barnhart commented again, and said that his big problem with my argument was that he needed to know what the Bible was before he could believe what it said.  There wasn't this kind of doubt in the first century.  Saints received scripture as the Word of God.  This continued to be true until textual criticism proceeded from unbelieving doubt about the Bible.  Nevertheless, none of the preservation passages were affected by textual variants.  When it comes to the Genesis account, would Barnhart say, "I'm not sure I have Genesis, so I don't know if I can believe the account, until I know that it is Genesis?"  Unlikely.  This is the same.

J. Ng uses the LXX argument, which says that Jesus quoted from a corrupted Septuagint, an argument that has arisen for the critical text in defense of no scriptural bibliology.  I've written extensively here on this subject (here, here, and here), and take the same position as John Owen did, who wrote about it in his biblical theology.  The conclusion, if you agree with Ng, is that the individual words didn't matter to Jesus, just the overall message.  This flies in the face of what the Bible (and Jesus) says about itself.

For Aaron Blumer's next comment, a question that arises from reading what the Bible teaches on its own preservation is, should we expect word-for-word preservation?  What percentage of exactness would we expect based on biblical promises?  Once we are settled on what the Bible teaches, we adjust our view to that.  Blumer seems to be saying that we adjust what the Bible says to our observations of the history of textual transmission.

JBL says he hasn't heard a credible rebuttal to the lack of evidence there ever has been a word-for-word preservation in church history.  Actually, we've had to answer that again and again here and have written whole posts on the history of the doctrine.  Saints believed that the words of the text they possessed were identical to the originals.  Where errors were made in one copy, they were corrected in another.

Tyler speaks to the LXX argument again (which I addressed above to J Ng) and gives a partial answer to himself.  The LXX is corrupt and Jesus wouldn't have treated it like it was trustworthy.

Contrary to Bob Hayton, the TSKT position in the book or otherwise, is not buttressed by our local only ecclesiology, which again is why Reformed and Presbyterians take the same position with a different ecclesiology.  What he's saying is false, but that doesn't matter at SI.  It goes unrefuted, except I write here.  John Owen didn't have the same ecclesiology and we take his position on this.  It seems par for the course though.  Regarding his unrelated issue of the inspiration of the Hebrew vowel points, read Thomas Ross's article.

What seems to be crucial in an attack (from Bob in his comment) on the scriptural doctrine of preservation is the criticism of  Erasmus's TR edition, whether there is manuscript evidence for wording in a few passages.  This does not proceed from a study of the Bible on preservation.  As well, the "which TR" question doesn't change what scripture says about its own preservation.  That's got to be dealt with first.  We shouldn't invent a new way to deal with biblical doctrine that starts outside of the Bible, just because of so-called manuscript evidence.

Aaron comes in to support Bob Hayton by saying that TSKT relies on history instead of scripture, but he doesn't give a scintilla of proof for that.  I can only assume that he means that in looking for a fulfillment of what the Bible teaches, the authors accept what had been preserved and was available as preserved and available.  When Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled, it wasn't relying on history in saying that Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled.  Promises of God are fulfilled in real time outside of scripture, but they are dependent on scripture, not history.  His comment ended the commentary on the first post.

Starting comments on the second post, Josh P says that I'm saying that Christians should believe God preserved His Words in my preferred text.  He says I'm snide because of that.  Men jumped to my defense, because of name-calling.  Not.  No foul called.  Just the opposite, presuppositions based upon scriptural exegesis lead me to my position.  Whatever doesn't fit the biblical presupposition, I reject.  I do the same thing with my Christology.  Are people who do that with other doctrines, snide too?

Bert Perry says that I want words of scripture to be preserved so I look for that in the passages on preservation to guide what they mean.  He uses Matthew 5:18 as an example even though the post was on Matthew 24:35, typical of the comment section.  When Jesus said, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled," I think that teaches preservation of jots and tittles because I want it to say that.   He then says, lost in that, is the real debate, which is the meaning of logos.  Is logos the actual words or the message?  That is the real debate lost in this jot and tittle meaning.  I'm struggling taking Bert's comment seriously.

Mr. Bean says that the reason we wrote the book was because it provided another reason to separate. That too was left unrefuted.  Mr. Bean is a nice man.  He's very funny too.  He should do stand-up for critical text fundamentalists or evangelicals, whichever he is, because he would pack it out with his material.

Tyler engages Bert's comment about logos, and says it is a legitimate comment, because the meaning of logos depends on the context.  Context would mean, however, that you are looking at scripture for your position, wouldn't it?  In Matthew 24:35, the yet to be addressed theme of the post, it is plural, "words."  When it says, "words" (logoi), is that "the message"?  It's easy to see in 1 Peter 1:23-25 that logos and rhema are used interchangeably.  That is a point worth noting too.  In the end, what does it matter if I'm assuming the meaning based on my desire for word perfect preservation, what Bert says is my real motive and manner of operation?

T Howard chimes in, "Not so fast!"  He writes, "The text in context only teaches the authority and validity of Jesus's words as being God's words."  We should applaud that T Howard is the first man to comment on the post.  However, not so fast, what about the words passing away?  Are words passing away or not?  Words not passing away means that they can't lose their authority and validity?  That seems to be what T Howard is writing.  I need a little more information, and I'm saying that very slowly.

Skipping Jim Peet's link to my post, Thomas Overmiller provides links to Aaron's series on TSKT. Look at the sidebar, because I answered Aaron Blumer's series then too.  You can find those posts there.  Regarding his public apology, he doesn't actually say that he does anything wrong.  Look for yourself.  He hadn't read the book by his own admission and he misrepresents the book.  It is a classic non-apology apology.  I apologize if I did anything wrong (which you all know that I didn't, because it's just a disagreement).  The one thing he doesn't do is interact with the posts or Matthew 24:35. He writes a lot of words saying he disagrees conscientiously, because he doesn't believe the passages teach what I'm saying they do.  What do they teach?  Overmiller silence.  Not helpful.

Jay doesn't talk about the post either.  He can't remember, but he thinks Kent used a Psalm passage to say that God preserved the KJV, a passage that only the KJV interprets that way, and it's humorous. First, I don't believe in English preservation, so maybe it wasn't me.   I don't teach that God preserved the KJV.  Second, the teaching that "them" are God's Words in Psalm 12:7 (read here), which he doesn't mention, goes back very far (read here).  Other translations say the same thing, including the Jewish Tanak. Webster's translation in 1833 is identical.

Thomas Overmiller links to and then pastes part of an article by Fred Butler in which Butler depends on a Douglas Kutilek article.  The article is an attack on me.  Butler quotes articles and commentaries, but he doesn't deal with the crucial component that is missed by the men he quotes. Their chief argument is that "words" cannot be the antecedent to "them" because of gender discordance.  That is thoroughly debunked by the fact that all over the Old Testament the masculine pronoun refers to feminine "words."  This is also found in multiple Hebrew grammars.  Butler quotes John Gill and Gill himself missed that point, so his commentary is wrong.  Overmiller makes no mention of that point.  Kutilek's article totally depends on the falsehood that Hebrew pronouns must agree with their antecedents.  It's false.  Overmiller just throws the Butler post out there for whatever reason, as if Butler dealt with what I actually wrote.

Jay refers to a Fred Butler statement pasted in Overmiller's comment and then uses it to mock people. I won't counter the typical scorn coming from Jay, except to say that TSKT isn't intended as a defense of a single translation.  Most of the exegesis comes from the original languages, not the KJV.  Josh P then defends Jay by saying that "the whole matter" is that I want an exegetical response, when there is no relationship between the TSKT exegesis and my position.  The TSKT position actually does come from its exegesis and Josh P doesn't show how it doesn't.  That's not a necessary burden for him or the others who comment at SI.  Tyler, however, in the next comment tries to get someone to comment on Matthew 24:35.

I'll ignore Bert Perry's comment, where he says that people such as myself are authoritarian leaders, Jim Peet's announcement that he's buying TSKT, and Jay's statement about heresy.  JBL says some truth about Matthew 24:35, someone who finally interacts with the actual post.  Bob Hayton gives a plug for a booklet that is essentially a hatchet job on our book.  It is called the Doctrine of Scripture, but you will find that it is not.  It takes some of what we wrote in TSKT and attacks it, in an unconvincing way.  Bob links to a post I wrote about it, since the book said that we believe that someone can only be saved through the KJV, which we refute in TSKT.  In other words, it's a purposeful lie, a smear.  The book is not any kind of organized presentation on preservation or bibliology period.  It's not what myself or anyone wants from the critical text side, that is, laid out the scriptural presuppositions for their position.  It doesn't do that at all, contrary to what Bob says.

In answer to Bert Perry's comment, the part about my not knowing logic.  I took it in college and have taught it three different times, so I have an interest in logic.  I like thinking about the logic of the conclusion that people are not saved who heard the gospel from the critical text.  To be saved, that person is receiving God's Words.  Most of the critical text is God's Words (at least 93% of the NT).  A person is not saved through a rejection of God's Words, like we see in Acts 2:41.  All over scripture, rejection of God's Words is not characteristic of a saved people.  Deuteronomy does make that point. When Jesus is Lord, you don't pick and choose what you'll do and not do.  I'm not going to go through all the Bible to show that, but that is not the same thing as saying that you are saved only through the King James Version, like the book is smearing, and Bert Perry wishes to latch on to.

I want to say that I feel sorry for what Bert Perry has experienced in what he describes at his church in the next comment. I do.  What we said was that Pickering did do collation of manuscripts and he saw that some of them were identical to each other and he mentions which ones.  We said that debunked the legend that not one manuscript was identical to another.  I happen to like Pickering's position better than a critical text one, for numerous reasons, and his work is helpful.  That Pickering prefers a majority text position to the TR doesn't debunk anything we wrote (I'm skipping Tyler's next comment).  There is some missing logic there coming from Bert, to refer back to his reference to logic before.

To address Bert's next comment, first, Pickering gives evidence of identical manuscripts, which we referenced only in refutation of the assertion that no manuscript was identical.  That shouldn't be said, or it should be retracted, because it's not true.  I understand people not retracting.  They would be admitting they are wrong, and that just can't happen.

TSKT, contrary to T Howard's next comment, doesn't assert that the Bible teaches that God preserves His Words in a particular text family.  No one has said that, so it is a falsehood or a strawman.  As to words not passing away just meaning authority and validity, quoting Constable is not sufficient basis for believing that.  How does that relate to heaven and earth passing away?  Do heaven and earth have less authority and validity?

Even though Jay is on the right track in his next comment, he descends to the falsehood or strawman that we see Jesus promising the preservation of a text family.  That is inserting language of textual criticism.  If it is a promise that His Words would be available, like heaven and earth is presently available, then we would ask, what has been available and received by God's people?  The trajectory starts from the teaching of the passage and works out, not the reverse.

I have to applaud Andy Efting's actual interaction with Matthew 24:35.  However, his conclusion does not proceed from the text, unlike where JBL earlier was taking it.  He says, "not pass away" means, "dependable."  Scripture is more dependable because it won't pass away.  However, He says, "my words shall not pass away."  You don't want to take from Jesus promise less than what He says.  He is saying more than they are dependable.

Differing from JBL's next comment, accessibility is more than an inference.  It is stated by Jesus.  It is explicit.

Josh P refers to an article on preservation not by Compton, but by Combs at DBTS journal.  I'm not going to critique Combs article, so this, my friends, is where I stop assessing comments.

I appreciate those who chose to interact at least a little with the article.  I didn't like the name calling and scorn, but I've found it usually will occur.  I don't think anyone got into the depth necessary to overturn the exegetical work of my chapter on Matthew 24:35.