We need Affirmative Learning NOT Affirmative Action

The United States Supreme Court just made a decision about Michigan’s state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2006 to let stand its ban on Affirmative Action policies once practiced in university admissions.

This morning I heard snatches of angry protests railing against the Supreme Court’s decision from local supporters of Affirmative Action who are upset that such discriminatory policies are gone for good.

Some in the Black and the Spanish community support Affirmative Action.

I support Affirmative Learning. They need to learn to do the same.

If parents want their children to have a chance at success in college, they need to learn right now that education begins in the home. If your children are spending their time playing video games, watching television, or cruising the Internet for most of their out-of-school waking hours, forget it. If you are constantly carting them off to sporting activities, forget it.

Your child needs to learn how to read. Your child needs to learn how to write. Your child needs to learn how to think.

I remember vividly a parent who became very angry with me because I told her that her daughter was not cooperating with my attempts to help her academically. The parent was most incensed when I told her that her daughter did not know how to read well enough. She angrily said her daughter surely knew how to read. Then I dropped the bombshell. I said according to my testing, she reads at about the fourth grade level. The parent asked on what basis did I know that? I said that is how high she scored on my standardized reading comprehension pretest.

The daughter was in the eleventh grade, as I recall. That means she was reading at seven years below grade level. She was a student in the Health and Welfare Curriculum at Cass Technical High School, and she had been referred to me by the department head for that curriculum for academic assistance.

Now other students had been brought to me for assistance. They cooperated. They succeeded. They were amazed at their own progress, and were most appreciative that my help brought them immediate results in substantial grade improvement on their report card even though the teacher they had was extremely rigorous in his grading system. That teacher was much feared when I was a student at Cass myself.

Dr. Ben Carson, who spoke at a Presidential Prayer Breakfast not too long ago, knows the answer. His mother knew the answer. She encouraged him to read books from the public library every week. That is the direction to go. You learn to read better by reading more. As I recall, Dr. Carson said she even required him to write reports on the books he read. You learn to write by writing, too.

The most efficient way to do that is to have students read several books on a non-fiction subject. Have the student read the easiest one first–even if it comes from the children’s collection in the library. Then read a second book on the same subject, from the young adult section. Finally, read a book from the adult section of the library. What the child or student learns from the easiest level will enable them to understand the middle level of difficulty. And that will enable the student to understand a book written at the adult level on the subject. There are lots of non-fiction subjects to choose from. I have set up such “reading ladders” using a series of books on rocks. Another series on the weather. Another series on other topics of science. When a child or student thinks a subject is boring, I tell them it is boring because you are boring. When you learn more about a subject it becomes more interesting. The more you know about subject the more interesting it becomes for you.

Now what I have just written in the above paragraph is the simple key you need to solve the academic problem of any child or student. Now, just go put all this into practice.

Would you want the services of a neurosurgeon who entered college unqualified? Who got in because of Affirmative Action? Who was passed along because professors feared to fail too many minority students? Or would you rather be treated by someone like Dr. Carson who fully earned his credentials?

I believe the Supreme Court’s decision ought to send a message. If students want to enter prestigious universities, then they had better start young to develop their academic skills.

The greatest influence on the future academic success of any child is the education they receive in the home. From what I read, surveys reveal that 85% of the homes in the United States of America have a Bible at hand. The Bible, especially if read in the King James Version, is the best textbook to start with. After all, it comes from the Creator of the universe Himself. Children really need to learn what He has to say.

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Daily Bible Nugget #235, Matthew 7:24

The Nugget:

Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

My Comment:

The Scriptures should not only be heard but obeyed. Making the teachings of the Bible the foundation of our life is like the wise man who built his house upon a rock. Christ emphasized we should take heed both what we hear and how we hear. But most of all Christ desires us to put His teachings into practice in our own lives. In order to do that, it helps if we read His Word on a regular basis and even study it so that we know what His sayings are, and what they command or expect of us.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1027 for Matthew 7:24.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1045 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Matthew 7:24.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Matthew 7:24. whosoever heareth. or, every one (as ver. 26). FS171B, Ge 24:10n. ver. Mt 7:7, 8, 13, 14. Mt 5:3-13, 28-32. 6:14, 15, 19-23. *Mt 11:29. 12:50. Pr 8:34. 10:17. 15:32. 25:12. Is 2:3. *Lk 6:47-49. *Lk 8:21. +*Lk 11:28. +*Jn 13:17. *Jn 14:15, 22-24. 15:10, 14. *Ro 2:6-9. *Ga 5:6, 7. **Ga 6:7, 8. *James 1:21-27. *James 2:17-26. **1 J 2:3. *1 J 3:22-24. 5:3-5. Re 22:14, 15. and doeth. T#1075. ver. Mt 7:21. %Mt 23:3, 4. *Mt 28:20. Ge 6:22. 22:18. +*Ge 26:5. Ex 12:50. 35:1. Le 20:8. 26:3. Dt 5:10. 11:32. 13:18. +*Jsh 1:8. 2:21. *2 Ch 31:21. *Ezr 7:10. Jb 42:9. Ps 15:5. 19:11. +*Ps 119:34, +*Ps 119:100. Pr 10:17. Mk 11:6. Lk 6:47-49. *Lk 8:21. +*Lk 11:28. +*Jn 13:17. 21:6. Ro 2:13. **Phil 4:9. *He 5:9. 11:8. +*James 1:22-25. 2:14-26. *1 J 2:15-17. *1 J 3:22, 23. Re 20:4. 22:14. liken. FS160A, +Ps 1:3. a wise. Mt 25:2. Jb 28:28. Ps 46:2. *Ps 111:10. +*Ps 119:99, 130. Pr 10:8. 14:8. +*Pr 22:3. +Lk 12:42n. 1 Cor 3:10. He 11:7. *James 3:13-18. which built. Gr. oikodomeō [(S#3618g): Rendered (1) build: Mt 7:24, 26. 16:18. 21:33. 23:29. 26:61. 27:40. Mk 12:1. 14:58. 15:29. Lk 4:29. 6:48, 49. 7:5. 11:47, 48. 12:18. 14:28, 30. 17:28. Ac 7:47, 49. Ro 15:20. Ga 2:18. (2) edify: Ac 9:31. 1 Cor 8:1. 10:23. 14:4 (twice), 1 Cor 14:17. 1 Th 5:11. (3) builder: Mt 21:42. Mk 12:10. Lk 20:17. Ac 4:11. 1 P 2:7. (4) build up: 1 P 2:5. (5) be in building: Jn 2:20. (6) embolden: 1 Cor 8:10]. Jb 8:15. 1 Cor 3:10, 11. *Col 2:7. upon a rock. Mt 16:18n. Ps 27:5. 40:2. Is 28:16, 17. Lk 6:48. 1 Cor 3:11. +*Col 1:23. +**Jude 1:3n.

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Daily Bible Nugget #234, 2 Corinthians 4:2

The Nugget:

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

My Comment:

The Scriptures should not be handled deceitfully. How can you tell when the Scriptures are being handled deceitfully? Watch for such things as (1) resorting to the same well-worn proof-texts from Scripture even after solid evidence has been presented to show the proof-texts are being wrongly applied; (2) failure to incorporate all the evidence found in the Bible on an issue before arriving at a conclusion; (3) failure to follow carefully the rules of interpretation posted in the October 2010 archives; (4) being convinced by what others have said about the authority and grand history of their church rather than going by the Bible alone and in its entirety; (5) being gullible and taking for granted that what is being presented as from Scripture is really the truth about what Scripture teaches (Proverbs 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:21); (7) failure to take careful account of the nuances of Greek grammar when interpreting doctrinal matters in the New Testament–such as when Calvinists fail to account for the presence of the subjunctive mood as at John 6:44 and many other passages; (8) mindless adherence to ancient creeds and symbols without verifying their soundness in terms of careful Bible interpretation: the so-called Reformed tradition is woefully misguided in its interpretation of the Bible; (9) venerating the authority of great men, such as the Protestant Reformers, who great as they were, were not well-informed about the Bible doctrine of the Atonement of Christ (they borrowed the salvation terminology from the Roman Catholic Church and imported it into our English translations), and were wrong about Bible prophecy; (10) following mistaken groups, denominations, movements and organizations who claim great authority but do not direct you to independently verify their claims by direct appeal to the Bible. Be very careful to check things out for yourself by consulting sources that are reliable. That is a tall order. I have attempted here at this Real Bible Study site to share with you how to read the Bible, how to study the Bible, how to use Bible study tools, the answers to false doctrine, and much more. Furthermore, I have personally responded to every person who posts a comment or question here, often at great expense of time and labor on my part to do so. But I love to do this because I am still learning, too. I am not afraid to learn something new, and sometimes that something new that I learn requires that I correct my thinking on the basis of new or better evidence. Are you open to learning something new from the Bible? I hope you are. That is the way to handle the Scriptures honestly.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1332 for 2 Corinthians 4:2.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on pages 1354-1355 or in Logos 5 Bible software for 2 Corinthians 4:2.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

2 Corinthians 4:2. renounced. 1 Cor 4:5. the hidden things. Is 29:15. Ezk 8:7-12. Ep 5:11. dishonesty. or, shame. Gr. aischunē (S#152g). Ge 38:23. Lk 14:9g. +*Ro 1:16. +Ro 6:21. Ep 5:12. Phil 3:19g. He 12:2g. Jude 1:13g. Re 3:18g. not walking. 2 Cor 1:12, 13. +*2 Cor 2:17. *2 Cor 11:3, 6, 13-15. Ezk 14:10n. +Lk 20:23. Ac 20:29, 30. 25:10. 1 Cor 3:12, 19. +*Ep 4:14. Phil 1:16. 1 Th 1:5. 2:3-5, 10. 2 P 3:3. craftiness. or, cunning. Gr. panourgia (S#3834g). **2 Cor 11:3g (subtilty). %2 Cor 12:16. Ge 27:35. 2 K 10:19. Jb 13:7. Mt 22:16. Mk 12:14. Lk 20:23g. Ro 16:18. 1 Cor 1:17. 3:19g. +*Ep 4:14g. +*2 P 1:16n. nor handling. T#1074. +*2 Cor 2:17. 6:3. 8:20. 1 K 22:14. Je 2:8. +**Mk 12:24. Ga 1:7. 1 Th 2:3. 1 Tim 5:13-15. 6:10. %**2 Tim 2:15. 1 P 2:2. *2 P 3:16. 2 J 9-11. the word of God. Dt 4:2. 12:32. +*Pr 30:6. +**Is 8:20n. Mt 13:19. +Ro 9:6. *He 4:12. *Re 22:19. deceitfully. Ps 52:2. Pr 12:5. Phil 1:16. 2 Th 2:10. Titus 2:7. by. 2 Cor 5:11. 6:4-7. 7:14. 11:6. manifestation. Perhaps an allusion to Ex 28:30, where for “Urim and Thummim” the LXX has “manifestation and truth” (see Hogg and Vine, Commentary on 2 Thessalonians, p. 266). 2 Cor 3:12. 1 Cor 12:7g. Jn 16:25. Col 4:4. the truth. 2 Cor 6:7. 7:14. *Ac 20:27. Ep 4:15. commending. +2 Cor 3:1. 5:11. 6:9. 7:2. 12:12. Mk 1:22. Lk 4:32. Jn 8:46. Ac 26:28. Ro 14:18. 1 Cor 4:2. conscience. +2 Cor 1:12. Pr 20:27. +Ac 23:1. 24:16. 1 Cor 10:27. 1 P 3:16. in the sight. 2 Cor 2:17. 5:11. *1 K 18:34. *Ac 4:19. 23:1. 1 Th 2:4, 5.

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Are baptism and the Eucharist necessary to salvation?

Dave Armstrong says they are. I’ll take his word for it that he is expressing the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

Dave Armstrong kindly sent me an e-book copy of his work with the short title Pillars of Sola Scriptura. Below I supply his argument in condensed form on a point he states no Protestant has ever successfully refuted, in his experience. He challenged me to try to refute him if I could. I am most pleased to oblige.

They haven’t “obviated” the argument I just made; nor has any Protestant I have ever met in 20 years of Catholic apologetics come up with a rational rebuttal of it. (Dave Armstrong, Pillars of Sola Scriptura, 107.7/560)

The “argument” Dave Armstrong just made was this:

Premise [my label, for clarification] (104.0/560):

Both baptism and the Eucharist are necessary to salvation:

Baptism:

(1) Mark 16:16
(2) Acts 2:38
(3) Acts 22:16
(4) Romans 6:3-4
(5) Titus 3:5
(6) 1 Peter 3:18-21

Eucharist:

(1) John 6:48-51
(2) John 6:53-58

Conclusion [my label for clarity]: (106.9-107.2/560)

“But Protestants notoriously disagree on both of these things necessary for salvation; therefore, it appears that it is not true that Scripture is plain enough for all to agree on matters concerning salvation. It is much easier to hold that there are false premises somewhere, in cases of contradiction, and to go after those. But it is manifest that people may interpret “plain” Scripture and come up with contradictory conclusions.”

Already I have previously dealt with Dave Armstrong’s assertions here about baptism, and I thanked him for choosing that subject, since I have studied that issue most thoroughly both directly from the Bible and with the assistance of scholarship embodied in books I own and have read carefully on both sides of the subject. Anyone who owns a copy either printed or in software of my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, may read at will my summary of the Baptist argument for immersion at my note at Romans 6:4. The summary of the non-immersion position I give at Colossians 2:12. Any layperson or scholar is welcome to come to their own conclusion as to whether I fairly treated each side and presented its strongest evidence or not.

Dave Armstrong’s argument above may be summarily dismissed and considered refuted because his interpretation relative to the matters of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are incorrect, based upon a provable misinterpretation of Scripture.

As to baptism, the confusion is evident on Dave Armstrong’s part. Many others make the same mistake here as he did. The mistake is to (1) assert what the Bible does not say, namely, that ritual water baptism is necessary to salvation; (2) not understand the distinction between “real” baptism, performed by the Holy Spirit when one is saved and “ritual water baptism” performed by a human administrator physically upon the person. There is a vast yet provable difference.

Dave Armstrong makes yet another mistake when he asserts (3) that the Eucharist is necessary for salvation, and makes appeal to (4) John 6 in support of his contention, when John 6 does not pertain at all to the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper because the Lord’s Supper had neither been yet instituted nor explained.

Dave Armstrong has shared with me that the Roman Catholic Church has only authoritatively interpreted as a matter of required belief about seven to nine specific Bible verses or passages. That is probably wise on their part, and it leaves even Roman Catholic interpreters some freedom of opinion, I would suppose, on the rest of Scripture. Yet in handling this issue, I’m sure there are more than nine reference passages alluded to even in the short argument summary above, so I would presume that the Roman Catholic Church has not addressed all of those texts infallibly as of yet.

Now the central point of difference between Biblically literate Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church is this: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that grace is received through the seven sacraments. Of particular importance, I would presume from Dave Armstrong’s argument, are the sacrament of baptism and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

The Bible does not teach sacramental salvation. Therefore:

(1) Ritual water baptism in any form or mode is not required for salvation.

At each of the Scripture passages Dave Armstrong has listed regarding baptism I have placed careful notes in my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, which fully address his position and the position of others who think ritual water baptism is required for salvation. This evening I do not have time to copy-and-paste from my files all of those notes in this post. If I did so, but few would venture to wade through the mass of material I have assembled.

I will present my notes on Mark 16:16, to demonstrate that my notes do indeed answer Mr. Armstrong’s error, and thus roundly refute him on this point:

Mark 16:16

Mark 16:16. that believeth and. Mk 1:15. Lk 7:50. 8:12. **Jn 1:12, 13. **Jn 3:15, 16, 18, 36. **Jn 5:24. 6:29, 35, 40. 7:37, 38. *Jn 11:25, 26. 12:46. **Jn 20:31. Ac 8:37. *Ac 10:43. *Ac 13:38, 39. **Ac 16:30-32. 18:8. Ro 3:6, 24-27. *Ro 4:1-5, 11, 24. 5:1. **Ro 10:9. Ga 3:22. He 10:38, 39. 1 P 1:21. *1 P 3:21. **1 J 5:10-13. is baptized. T#36, T#894. Nu 19:20. +*Mt 28:19. *Jn 3:3, 5. +*Ac 2:38n, 41. *Ac 8:36-39. 10:48. 13:24. 16:30-34. +*Ac 22:16. **Ro 6:3, 4n. *Ro 10:9-14. **1 Cor 12:13. **Ga 3:27. **Col 2:12n. Titus 3:5, 6. He 6:2. *1 P 3:20, 21. shall be saved. Ac 4:12. **Ac 16:31. **Ro 10:9. **Ep 2:8. 1 Th 2:16. *Titus 3:5. +**He 6:9n. 1 P 3:21. but he. **Jn 3:18, 19, 36. +*Jn 8:24. *Jn 12:47, 48. Ac 13:46. 2 Cor 4:3, 4. **2 Th 1:8. **2 Th 2:8, 12. *Re 20:15. +*Re 21:8. believeth not. Gr. apisteō (S#569g, 2 Tim 2:13). ver. Mk 16:11. Lk 24:11, 41. **Jn 3:18, 36. 16:9. Ac 3:23. 28:24. Ro 3:3. 2 Cor 6:15. 2 Th 2:12. 2 Tim 2:13. He 2:1-3. 3:19. 1 P 2:7, 8. 1 J 5:10-12. shall be damned. or, condemned. Gr. katakrinō (S#2632g, Mt 12:41). For each positive requirement for salvation, there is in Scripture a negative statement threatening loss of salvation if the requirement is not satisfied. That is, belief as a requirement for salvation is stated positively and negatively (Ac 16:31 with Jn 3:18); repentance is spoken of positively and negatively (Ac 17:30 w Lk 13:3). Although baptism is enjoined as a command, it is nowhere stated in the negative (i.e. “he that is not baptized is lost,” or the equivalent), as all positive, essential requirements for salvation are. This passage comes closest to being such a negative statement, but it lacks the negative clause pertaining to baptism. Nor can such a clause be “supplied” as though its omission were a mere ellipsis, for in so essential a matter, we dare not add to what is expressly written (**Pr 30:6. **Re 22:18, 19). Therefore, the physical rite of water baptism cannot be shown from Scripture to be necessary to salvation. Mk 16:16 is not a command statement, nor is it in the subjunctive mood of a conditional clause, which would have to read “If one believes and is baptized he shall be saved.” If it were so worded here or anywhere, then baptism would be a necessary condition with which one must comply in order to be saved. But Mark 16:16 is a mere declaration that the baptized believer shall be saved. Had the Bible said “He that is baptized, and takes the Lord’s Supper, and pays tithes and offerings, and forsakes not the assembling of himself with other believers, and cares for widows and orphans, shall be saved,” it would have been a declarative statement of general Bible truth. But that is not the same as saying “If a person does all these things he shall be saved.” What one receives when he believes, he does not lose when he is baptized. Nowhere in the New Testament is baptism made a command or a condition essential to salvation. It never occurs as such in the imperative mood in a command statement, or in the subjunctive mood in a conditional clause, with the promise that by subscribing to such one shall receive salvation. There are four, perhaps five, conditions or terms of salvation, all of which are stated both positively and negatively: (1) one must hear the Word of God: positive, Ro 10:17. Jn 5:24. negative, Ac 3:23. (2) one must be convicted by the Holy Spirit: positively, Jn 6:44. 16:8-11. negatively, Ro 8:9. (3) repentance is a means by which one receives salvation: positively, Ac 11:18. *Ac 17:30, 31. *2 P 3:9. negatively, +*Lk 13:3. 2 Cor 7:10. (4) belief in or on Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord: positively, Ac 10:43. *Ac 15:9. 16:31. Ro 1:16. *Ga 3:26. *Ep 2:8, 9. **1 J 5:1, 11-13. negatively, Jn 3:18. 8:24. (5) confession of Christ as Lord before men: positively, **Ro 10:9, 10. negatively, Mt 10:32, 33. As with repentance, confession is not regarded in Scripture as an act which is separate from belief; it is concomitant. If not, then one who is dumb cannot be saved; nor could a person isolated from society be saved through the reading of the Word. All four or five conditions or terms of salvation are stated both positively and negatively; baptism is not one of these. Just as the verb “baptize” is never used in the entire New Testament in the subjunctive mode in a promise of salvation, neither is the noun “baptism” used in the instrumental, means, or agency case of prepositions so as to offer salvation, justification, or the new birth by or through baptism. In stating the conditions of salvation, Scripture does teach that (1) one receives a pure heart by faith in Christ, Ac 15:9; (2) one is justified by faith, Ro 5:1. Ac 13:39; (3) one is saved by grace through faith, Ep 2:8, 9; (4) one is said to be a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus (Ga 3:26. Ep 3:17), but one is never said to receive a pure heart, be justified, be saved, or to be a child of God by or through baptism (some of the preceding information I first learned when I heard Albert Garner debate in Gainesville, Florida, in 1974. Much of the information is also in his book, Defense of the Faith, Part 2, Chapter 2, “The Baptismal Regeneration Heresy,” especially pp. 238-241, “Objections Answered, Mark 16:16″). The one word believe represents all a sinner can do and all a sinner must do to be saved. Hearing, conviction of the Holy Spirit, repentance, confession of sin, confession of Christ before others, are all concomitants of—things that accompany—true belief, not so many discrete requirements for salvation. A study of what the New Testament says regarding Abraham’s faith (Ro 4:3-5, 10, 11, 24. Ga 3:6. He 11:17-19. James 2:21) will show that Abraham was declared righteous (Ge 15:6) chronologically before any act of obedience on his part, before the institution of circumcision, before the sacrifice of Isaac, and of course well before the establishment of the Mosaic law. This teaches us that no ordinance, no act of obedience, no obedience to law, and no “act of faith” precedes the imputation of righteousness—simply believing God. Dt 18:19. 30:15. Ezk 44:9. +**Mt 25:46n.

CONCLUSION:

I believe that on the basis of the arguments I have given above, and the fuller evidence presented in my note from The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge for Mark 16:16, that I have absolutely refuted Dave Armstrong on the one point that water baptism, what I and other scholars have termed “ritual water baptism,” is NOT a requirement for salvation.

It should be noted that “real baptism,” accomplished by the Holy Spirit, IS REQUIRED for salvation, and many texts of Scripture wrongly applied to ritual water baptism actually refer to real baptism. Such passages are readily identified in context when the element water is not mentioned, or when no human administrators of baptism are mentioned, or when what is accomplished by the baptism referred to goes beyond what any humanly applied ritual ordinance can do.

Dave Armstrong used his argument about baptism and the Eucharist to support his contention that Protestants have never come to agreement on the meaning and application of the supposedly “plain” Bible texts that pertain to these two issues, so the Protestants must be wrong, and the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is therefore in error. I have previously refuted Dave Armstrong on that point by suggesting and demonstrating for the issue he brought forward to demonstrate his point that what he considered an impossibility I proved was indeed possible. I said that if one were to dig deeply enough into the Bible and study it carefully using the rules of interpretation I have spelled out in some detail in the October 2010 archives here, many if not most matters of disagreement may be authoritatively settled from Scripture itself, paying particular attention to the grammatical issues involved. In that discussion he kindly brought up the issue of baptism, in reference to John 3:5. I presented a rational, logical, Biblically-based argument to explain what John 3:5 means. He cited in refutation of my claims what noted Greek scholar Marvin Vincent in his work on word studies had to say about that verse. I presented a full refutation of Vincent’s exposition. At that point after considerable scouring of this website, Dave Armstrong determined that this is an anti-Catholic website, and that I am plainly anti-Catholic. Dave Armstrong said he has made it his policy not to carry on debates on anti-Catholic websites. I presented full evidence that I am not anti-Catholic, but I most definitely am anti-error! I am pro-Bible, and believe in Real Bible Study.

I have not refuted Dave Armstrong’s book as a whole. I am still reading it. But I thought that I would post these comments on one issue I found in reading his book this evening that it is certain from Scripture that Dave Armstrong is in error, and on this point I believe I have refuted him. To prove me wrong, in debate, Dave Armstrong would have to prove I am mistaken about how to properly interpret Mark 16:16. With regard to this post, that is the only issue on the table.

Until Dave Armstrong answers my rebuttal of his appeal to Mark 16:16, he can no longer claim that no Protestant has ever attempted to answer his book, Pillars of Sola Scriptura: Replies to Whitaker, Goode, and Biblical “Proofs” for “Bible Alone.”

Well, at least should he happen to read this, he will know that I have been reading his book.

Posted in Dave Armstrong Discussions, Doctrinal Discussions | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Bible Nugget #233, Deuteronomy 6:7

The Nugget:

Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

My Comment:

The Scriptures should be taught to children. This passage speaks of teaching the Scriptures diligently to our children. This should take place not only in the Sunday school, but in the home. As a teacher I have learned that children can actually learn far more than we give them credit for. The earlier we begin, the sooner they become prepared to learn still more. It ought to be most obvious what the solution to our education achievement problems should be. The focus needs to be on the home. It is possible to teach children at home. When we teach them the Bible, that develops character in the child, and an interest in spiritual things. I taught high school during a period of significant change in Detroit. There was a period of significant “white flight” from the city. There was also an influx of minority students into the city. The teaching staff did not change appreciably for much of that period. But the new class of students were not able to learn at the level of the students who were there before them. What made the difference? I contend it was not a matter of race, but a matter of home background and culture. It got worse as misguided government policies stripped black families of their fathers. Many children consequently came from single-parent families. Some of the single parent heads of households were doing a terrific job of raising their children. But many single-parent mothers were struggling, though well-intentioned. At parent-teacher conferences I sometimes explained to them how to boost the achievement of their children. I explained to my high school students what to do in their own families once they got married and had their own children. I must say that more of the black families and students were tuned in to spiritual things than were the white families whose students I taught previously. The key is to follow God’s directions in the Bible. Bible reading in the home can vastly improve children’s reading and listening comprehension. Take time to read to children daily. That will make them more successful in school. If the children are led to the Lord at a young age, that will keep them on the right track morally and spiritually. Even when children reach their teen years, actually especially then, it is important to keep teaching them the Word of God. At that age, and often before, they can learn to study God’s Word on their own, and reach other young people for Christ.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 186 for Deuteronomy 6:7.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on pages 204-205 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Deuteronomy 6:7.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Deuteronomy 6:7. And thou shalt. ver. Dt 6:2. *Dt 4:9, 10. *Dt 11:19. +*Ge 18:19. Ex 12:26, 27. 13:14, 15. **Ps 78:4-6. *Ep 6:4. teach. Heb. whet, or sharpen. or, repeat. Dt 31:19. +Dt 32:41. Jb 8:10. Is 28:10. diligently. ver. Dt 6:17. **Jsh 1:8. He 11:6. children. ver. Dt 6:20. Dt 29:29. 31:12, 13. 32:46. +*Ex 13:8. **Ps 78:5-7. *Ps 145:4. +*Pr 22:6. Is 38:19. Jl 1:3. +*2 Tim 3:15. shalt talk. T#1073. ver. Dt 6:20. Ru 2:4, 12. 4:11. *Ps 37:30. *Ps 40:9, 10. 77:12. *Ps 105:2. **Ps 107:2. 119:46, 172. 129:8. *Pr 6:22. *Pr 10:21. *Pr 15:2, 7. **Ml 3:16. *Mt 12:35. *Lk 6:45. 24:14. *Ep 4:29. *Col 4:6. **1 P 3:15. in thine house. Ps 101:2.

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Daily Bible Nugget #232, Deuteronomy 11:18

The Nugget:

Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

My Comment:

The Scriptures should be laid up in the heart. Once again God tells us in His written Word in the Bible that we should lay up His words in our heart and in our soul. It looks to me that He even suggested that His words be written down in a portable format so they could be taken with them wherever they went so they could be talked about. In our day we have pocket Bibles and pocket New Testaments. We even have them available in portable electronic devices for ready reference. Just taking these words with us in some type of physical or digital format does not lay up these words in our heart and in our soul. To lay up God’s Word in our heart we must read it for ourselves. Some of the most significant and instructive verses we should consider committing to memory. The Psalmist said he hid God’s Word in his heart so he would not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). God’s Word does provide a mighty sword (Ephesians 6:17). God’s Word is the source of faith (Romans 10:17). Faith is listed among the armor we are to use in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:16). If you have not been putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10, 11) you are inviting spiritual defeat. Get into the Bible by reading it regularly. Memorize passages that are most helpful to you. If we all did these things and shared these ideas with others to have them follow our good example, the world, at least our world, would be a better place. Jesus once said something like “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17).

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 191 for Deuteronomy 11:18.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 209 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Deuteronomy 11:18.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Deuteronomy 11:18. ye lay up. See on +*Dt 6:6-9. +*Dt 17:19. 32:46. Ex 13:9, 16. Nu 15:39. +*Jsh 1:8. **Ps 119:11, 30, 129-131. *Pr 3:1. 6:20-23. *Pr 7:2, 3. Ac 8:28. *Col 3:16. *He 2:1. 2 P 1:12. 3:1, 2. these my words. +**Jn 5:39n. in your heart. +*Ps 37:31. soul. Heb. nephesh, +Ge 34:3. bind them. Pr 3:3. a sign. *Mt 23:5. as frontlets. Dt 6:8. between your eyes. Re 13:16.

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Daily Bible Nugget #231, Deuteronomy 6:6

The Nugget:

Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

My Comment:

The Scriptures should be laid up in the heart. This could mean just read them enough so that you can recall what the Bible says. But I think that laying up Scripture in the heart means to memorize some of the key verses in the Bible. Scripture memory takes diligence and patience. For most people I would think that memorizing Scripture would take some planning. It would require a method of systematic review in order to learn the verse well enough to plant it in your long-term or permanent memory. Years ago I placed the verses I wanted to learn by heart on 3 by 5 inch file cards. I wrote the verse on the lined side of the card. I wrote the “address,” the Bible book name, chapter and verse number, on the short end of the plain side of the index card. I worked hard to learn both the words and the reference information or “address” with each verse. After I learned a verse, I reviewed it each day for a week. If I found I had learned it well enough, I placed it in the group of verses to review once a week while I continued learning other new verses. If, when I reviewed a verse in the once-a-week review set, if I could not remember it perfectly, I put that card back into the daily review set of cards. I have placed a whole set selected from the verses I chose to memorize on this site as Daily Bible Nuggets at the beginning of the series. They are from the list of verses I shared with my high school Sunday school class. It is helpful to our spiritual walk to be able to meditate upon and receive encouragement from verses we have learned by heart. Knowing verses by heart makes it easier to share God’s word with others even when we are not near a Bible.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 186 for Deuteronomy 6:6.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 204 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Deuteronomy 6:6.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Deuteronomy 6:6. And these words. +*Dt 17:19. 31:12. +*Jsh 1:8. *2 Ch 17:9. **Ps 19:7. Ac 8:28. which I command thee. Dt 5:10. 11:13. Nu 15:39. Jsh 22:5. Ps 103:18. shall be in thine heart. +*Le 11:3. Dt 11:18. 17:19. 32:46. Nu 15:39. 1 K 8:48. *Jb 22:22. Ps 37:31. 40:8. +*Ps 119:11, 97, 98. Pr 2:10, 11. 3:1-3, 5, 21. 4:4. 7:3. Is 51:7. Je 31:33. Lk 2:51. 8:15. Jn 5:38. 15:7. 2 Cor 3:3. Col 3:16. 2 J 1:2.

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Daily Bible Nugget #230, Acts 17:11

The Nugget:

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

My Comment:

The Scriptures should be searched daily. The Scriptures should be searched daily by everyone. In the previous two Daily Nuggets I shared a total of 22 benefits of searching the Scriptures. In yesterday’s post I shared just how to use cross references. There are many different ways to incorporate cross reference Bible study into your Bible reading. I like the idea of taking note of a verse that I encounter in my Bible reading any given day. I then make use of the cross references for that verse and look them up one at a time. I find it “sinks in” better for me if I use actual printed Bibles, a larger one to read from, and a smaller one to turn to the passages given by the cross references. That is a slower process than just hovering a mouse pointer over the reference in a Bible software program like the free e-Sword Bible software available from www.e-sword.net which contains the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or the Logos 5 software which has both the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and my expanded and corrected edition of that work called The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, but the Logos software program is not free. Another possibility is to read one chapter of the book of Proverbs each day, reading the chapter that corresponds to that day’s date. Today as I write this is April 17, 2014, so the chapter to read would be Proverbs chapter 17, for example. Then select one of the verses that most interests you and look up the references for that verse. I followed this process through until I had looked up all the cross references given in the book of Proverbs. I always knew where I left off because I marked the cross references by underlining them carefully with a fine point Parker ball point pen. I double-underlined those verses that were especially clear or critically important to understand the subject of the verse or word or phrase or clause. I always arrived at school early, so before the school day began I usually had time enough to look up the cross references for one verse. Yet another idea is to spend some time studying Psalm 119. That is the longest chapter in the Bible. It contains 176 verses. If you read one verse from Psalm 119 each day in succession, you would go through the chapter two times in a year. If you looked up the cross references for that verse each day you would find that to be a delightful continuing study of the Bible. I went through Psalm 119 myself quite recently, spending two months just on that chapter, studying the cross references and finding additional cross references. Few people could do that, unless you are now retired like me. It is also delightful to go off on a “rabbit trail” as you study verses and subjects of interest to you in the Bible. Just start with the references at a verse that interests you. You will no doubt encounter other verses that are most interesting. Look up the cross references for them too. Doing such studies as these will surprise you just how other passages explain the verse you started from. However you manage to do it, seek out time when you can search the Scriptures daily, whatever Bible study method or whatever Bible study tools you choose to utilize.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1250 for Acts 17:11.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on pages 1270-1271 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Acts 17:11.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

Acts 17:11. more noble. or, well-born. Gr. eugenēs (S#2104g). High in rank, hence they were more courteous (CB). T#1099. *Ac 13:7. Ge 34:19. 1 Ch 4:9. *Pr 1:5. 9:9. Je 2:21. Lk 19:12g. Jn 1:46-49. 1 Cor 1:26g. Thessalonica. ver. +Ac 17:1. 1 Th 1:1. 2 Tim 4:10. they received. *Ac 2:41. 8:14. 10:33. 11:1. Ne 8:3. +*Jb 23:12. *Pr 2:1-5. **Pr 4:7, 20-22. 8:10. Ec 5:1. SongS 8:2. Je 6:16. *Mt 13:11, 23. Mk 4:8. Lk 10:38, 39. 2 Cor 8:5. 1 Th 1:6. **1 Th 2:13. *2 Th 2:10. **James 1:21. **1 P 2:2. the word. Gr. logos, Mk 9:32n. +Ac 8:4. 10:36. *Lk 16:29. readiness of mind. Ac 10:33. %Ac 14:2. 16:14. %+*1 S 25:17. **Ps 25:9. Mk 12:37. *S#4288g: Ac 17:11. 2 Cor 8:11, 12 (willing mind), 2 Cor 8:19 (ready mind). 2 Cor 9:2 (forwardness). This word is used in the New Testament (1) of a ready desire to hear God’s word, and (2) of a ready desire to give to God’s work (Thomas Walker). and searched. or, examined. Gr. anakrinō, *S#350g. Rendered (1) examine: Ac 4:9. 12:19. 24:8. 28:18. Lk 23:14. 1 Cor 9:3. (2) judge: 1 Cor 2:15, 15. 4:3, 3, 4. 14:24. (3) ask question: 1 Cor 10:25, 27. (4) search: Ac 17:11. (5) discern: **1 Cor 2:14. Thayer defines this word “By looking through a series (ana) of objects or particulars to distinguish (krino) or search after. Hence, to investigate, examine, inquire into, scrutinize, sift, question” (Lexicon, p. 39). Compare “search” at Jn 5:39, the same English but a different Greek word (*S#2045g). T#1069. Le 11:3. 1 Ch 28:8. **Ps 1:2, 3. 119:18, 97-100, *Ps 119:148. Pr 2:2. +*Pr 8:9. *Pr 15:14. +**Is 8:20n. *Is 34:16. *Lk 16:29. *Lk 24:44. *Jn 3:21. +**Jn 5:39n, 40. 1 Cor 2:14g. 1 Tim 4:13. +**2 Tim 3:15-16. *1 P 1:10-12. +*2 P 1:19-21. *1 J 4:5, 6. the scriptures. ver. Ac 17:2. Ac 8:28. 26:22, 23. *Ps 119:105. *Ps 138:2. +*Je 15:16. +*Je 23:18, 22, 28, 29. +Mt 21:42. +*Mk 12:24. +*Ro 15:4. 2 Tim 2:15. daily. Ac 16:5. Ex 16:4. *Dt 17:18-20. +*Jsh 1:8. 2 Ch 8:14. Ezr 3:4. *Ne 8:18. +*Ps 1:2. Pr 8:34. Lk 11:3. +*Lk 21:36. +**Col 1:10. +*He 3:13. *He 11:6. *1 P 2:2. *2 P 3:18. whether. or, if. FS184D1, +Lk 22:67. A. T. Robertson notes that the Bereans “were eagerly interested in the new message of Paul and Silas but they wanted to see it for themselves. What a noble attitude. Paul’s preaching made Bible students of them. The duty of private interpretation is thus made plain (Hovey)” (Word Pictures, vol. 3, p. 275). T#1059, T#1121. Ac 8:31n. Dt 13:3. +**Pr 14:15. 15:14. *Pr 18:1n, +*Pr 18:17. +**Is 8:20n. Ezk 14:10n. +*Da 11:30. Ho 6:3. +*Mk 4:24. +*Lk 8:18. Jn 4:42. 7:17. **Ro 14:12. 1 Cor 10:15. +*1 Cor 14:29. *2 Cor 4:2. +*Ga 1:8n, 9. **1 Th 5:21. 1 Tim 4:1. James 1:19. *2 P 3:16, 17. **1 J 4:1.

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Daily Bible Nugget #229, John 7:52

The Nugget:

John 7:52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

My Comment

The Scriptures should be searched. I think John had a subtle sense of humor here. He reports that the Pharisees and perhaps the Sadducees told Nicodemus that he ought to search the Scriptures. If he were to do so, he would learn that no prophet arises from Galilee in Bible prophecy.

Just before this these Jewish leaders asked the question, “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who know not the law are cursed.”

Sometimes when we criticize others we reveal our own flaws. Like the familiar childhood playground taunt, “It takes one to know one,” the faults we find in others may reveal our own because we may be unconsciously sensitive to those particular issues.

Someone in this account raised the question earlier, “Shall Christ come out of Galilee?” (John 7:41). Had they known their own Scriptures they would have known that Christ was indeed predicted to come out of Galilee (Isaiah 9:1, 2).

The whole account is filled with irony, for the Jewish leaders, critical of Nicodemus, did not know that several of their great Old Testament prophets did arise from Galilee. Nothing like sticking your foot in your mouth!

It really doesn’t hurt to search the Scriptures. Searching the Scriptures will do you much good. We should search the Scriptures to (1) avoid sticking foot in mouth, John 7:52; (2) become better informed about Bible prophecy; (3) equip ourselves to more adequately defend the truth, Jude 1:3; (4) become more accurately informed about Bible doctrine; (5) receive guidance for daily living, Psalm 32:8; (6) discern the times, 1 Chronicles 12:32; (7) equip ourselves to comfort others, 2 Corinthians 1:4; (8) know where to turn in Scripture to find the comfort it offers, Romans 15:4; (9) be able to share the comfort of the Scriptures with others, Romans 15:4; (10) know the promises of God and how to both find and apply or claim them, (11) be equipped to ground others in the faith, Col 1:23; (12) train others to teach others, 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:2.

Now, just what tools are needed to search the Scriptures? I suggest at a minimum a complete concordance like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to find the precise word you are looking for, and the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible to find verses related to a verse you want to understand more deeply. The Cross Reference Guide can do what no concordance can do–it can help you locate a verse you want to find even when you cannot remember any of the words in the verse. I just had occasion to use it for this very purpose right now to locate the reference given above to 1 Chronicles 12:32.

Usually the way that works is I think of a verse that might be related to the verse I cannot find and follow the cross references at that verse to find the passage I am looking for. But this time I couldn’t even think of a related verse. So, I made use of the Subject Index in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and found the verse that way.

Do you know how to use cross references? It is not hard to learn how to use them. Shame on pastors and Sunday school teachers for not teaching their congregation or class how to use them! I learned how to use them while baby-sitting a neighbor’s children one evening. I discovered they had several Bibles on the shelf in their living room. One of those Bibles had a center column which contained cross references. I studied them for a time that evening, and learned in a matter of minutes how they worked and how interesting they were. If you have a study Bible that has cross references you can easily do the same. But if you don’t have such a Bible, you can try out the cross references I have posted here every day with each Daily Bible Nugget. Just hover your computer mouse pointer over each reference and the text of that reference will appear for you to read.

Let other people know about this site so they can learn to enjoy Real Bible Study for themselves. There is much valuable free information on this website, and I trust you have appreciated that there are no advertisements here!

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1180 for John 7:52.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1201 or in Logos 5 Bible software for John 7:52.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

John 7:52. Art thou also. ver. Jn 7:41. Jn 9:34. Ge 19:9. Ex 2:14. 1 K 22:24. Pr 9:7, 8. Mt 12:32. of Galilee. Mt 2:22. 26:69. Mk 3:7. Lk 23:5. 24:19. Ac 2:7. Search. ver. Jn 7:41. Jn 1:46. +**Jn 5:39. **Is 9:1, 2. Mt 4:15, 16. 1 P 1:10. and look. FS108A6. Idiom F/S 824: idiomatic usages of verbs. Two imperatives are sometimes united, so that the first expresses a condition or limitation in regard to the second; by which the latter becomes a future. Here, “search and thou wilt see.” For other instances of this idiom see 1 C 15:34. 1 T 6:12. If they had looked, they would have found that Jonah and Hosea arose out of Galilee, and perhaps Elijah, Elisha, and Amos (CB). See Isaiah 9:2 where the Messiah as the great light arises in all likelihood out of Galilee (Is 9:1). for out of. 1 K 17:1. %2 K 14:25n with Jsh 19:13. Am 1:1. Mic 1:1n. Ac 3:17. ariseth. Mt 11:11. Lk 7:16. Ac 13:22.

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Daily Bible Nugget #228, John 5:39

The Nugget:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (KJV)

John 5:39 You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me, (NET Bible)

My Comment:

The Scriptures should be searched. Now why would anyone ever need to search the Scriptures? Isn’t it good enough to just read them? Shouldn’t we expect pastors and clergy to do the searching for us? If you are so fortunate to be under the care of a pastor who actually preaches, or better teaches, from the Bible, you may be lulled into a false sense of security that you are fed enough spiritual food on Sunday to last the whole week without any further effort on your part. But I believe you will enjoy better spiritual health if you are in touch with the message of the Bible more than just on Sunday in a worship service. We all need to grow spiritually. Spiritual growth may be reduced if we stay on a starvation diet! We should search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11) to (1) feed ourselves spiritually, 1 Peter 2:2; (2) promote spiritual growth, 2 Peter 3:18; (3) become workmen that need not be ashamed, 2 Timothy 2:15; (4) enjoy close communion or fellowship with God, Psalm 1:2; (5) become more proficient in the Scriptures in order to handle or interpret them correctly, 2 Timothy 2:15; (6) become an instrument in God’s hand to reach others for Him, Acts 18:24, 26, 27, 28; (7) have an answer to the questions others may ask, 1 Peter 3:15; (8) teach our own children the way of the Lord, Psalm 78:5, 6, 7, 8; (9) test the truth of what is taught to avoid false doctrine, 1 John 4:1; (10) find Christ in all the Scriptures, Luke 24:27. Each of these ten points could be greatly expanded and supported by more Scripture by searching out the cross references given for each of the verses I referenced. More points could be added–these ten came just now spontaneously and in no particular order off the top of my head. I would particularly call attention to number 8 with its reference to Psalm 78:5-8. The verses show both how and why we should teach children and young people the Bible in the home. In short, it will keep your children on the right path. Read those verses carefully and you will see they state a cause/effect relationship which is very evident even in our own day.

For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:

(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on pages 1173-1174 for John 5:39.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on pages 1194-1195 or in Logos 5 Bible software for John 5:39.

(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:

John 5:39. Search. *S#2045g. Jn 5:39. *Jn 7:52. Ro 8:27. 1 Cor 2:10. 1 P 1:11. Re 2:23. The Greek form for “search” may be indicative, a statement of fact, and so rendered “Ye search,” as in many modern translations, or it may be imperative, a command, as in the A.V., “Search.” Robertson thinks the following words, “ye think,” which are indicative, favor taking the verb as indicative, not imperative. Alford favors taking the verb as an imperative, because of the preceding context, and its initial position in the sentence. The Companion Bible notes that “the indicative never commences a sentence without the pronoun or some other word, while the imperative is so used.” For the same Greek construction see Jn 7:52, “Search, and look…”; Jn 14:11, “Believe me…”; Jn 15:20, “Remember the word…” This Greek word for “search” occurs in the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Old Testament, in the following places: Ge 31:33, 35, 37. 44:12. Dt 13:14. Jg 6:29. 2 S 10:3. 1 K 20:6. 2 K 10:23. Pr 20:27. Je 27 (50):26. Jl 1:7. The word is defined “to seek out, trace; used of a lion who ‘scours the plains and traces the footsteps of the man who had robbed him,’ Homer, Iliad, xviii. 321; used of dogs tracing their game by the foot, Homer, Odyssey, xix. 436. Hence, to track, trace, investigate” (Bullinger, Critical Lexicon and Concordance, p. 672). The imperative should be adopted here; the Jews did not search, but merely read the Scriptures, as so many Christians today. Had they searched diligently, and believed, they would have accepted the claims of Jesus. Lessening the force of Christ’s statement by taking it as an indicative rather than imperative seems to detract from the Bible’s teaching regarding itself, that we are to search the scriptures, not merely read them. Some modern translations appear to weaken the force of a number of texts which contain the Bible’s teaching about itself at several critical points, particularly here, John 8:31, and 2 Tim 3:16. T#1068. ver. *Jn 5:46. Jn 7:52. Dt 11:18-20. *Dt 17:18, 19. *Dt 32:46, 47. +*Jsh 1:8. *Ps 1:2. +*Ps 119:11, *Ps 119:45, 97-99. Pr 6:23. 8:33, 34. +**Is 8:20n. 29:18. *Is 34:16. *Je 8:9. *Mt 22:29. Mk 12:10. **Lk 16:27-29, 31. Ac 8:32-35. +**Ac 17:11, 12. Ro 2:17, 18. 3:2. *Col 3:16. 1 Tim 4:13. **2 Tim 3:14-17. +**1 P 1:11. **2 P 1:19-21. 3:1, 2. Re 1:3. De Burgh notes that the following cross references suit the Indicative rendering, Ye search: ver. 45-47. Ezk 33:30-32. Mt 23:29-31. Ac 13:27. the scriptures. Dt 31:12. +*2 Ch 17:9. *Ps 19:7. Ec 12:12. +**Is 8:20n. Je 6:16. Ml 4:4. Mt 2:4-6. +Mt 21:42. +*Mk 12:24. Lk 24:25-27. +**2 Tim 3:15-17. for. FS71, +Jn 1:24. Here we have in two verses a double Epicrisis, the first approving, and the second condemning, but both adding a solemn truth, independent of the statement that goes before. (A) Search the Scriptures, (B) For in them ye think ye have eternal life. (A) And they are they which testify of me: (B) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. In the first and third members (A and A), we have the Scriptures; while in the second and fourth (B and B, the Epicrisis), we have the action and conduct of those who possessed them. in them. 1 Cor 15:2. **1 Th 2:13. **2 Tim 3:15. *James 1:18. *1 P 1:23. ye think. Gr. dokeō, S#1380g, Mt 3:9. Robertson cites Bernard who believes this word in John “always indicates a mistaken opinion (Jn 5:45. 11:13, 31. 13:29. 16:20. 20:15)” (Word Pictures, vol. 5, p. 92). The analogy of scripture, however, flatly contradicts this position, and forbids taking this as the meaning here, however correct it may be for the other passages cited, for scripture elsewhere teaches that we are born again through the instrumentality of the written word of God (**2 Tim 3:15. James 1:18. 1 P 1:23). The Pharisees rightly believed that “in them” they had eternal life, but as Jesus elsewhere states, they knew not the scriptures nor the power of God (Mk 12:24), made them void by their traditions (Mk 7:7-9), and failed to believe them (Jn 5:46. Lk 16:31). Dt 32:47. *Ps 16:11. 21:4. 36:9. 133:3. +*Da 12:2. Mt 19:16-20. *Lk 10:25-29. Ac 15:28g. 1 Cor 4:9g. **+1 Cor 7:40g,n. He 11:16, 35. ye have. ver. **Jn 5:24. Jn 3:36. +Jn 4:14. **1 J 5:13. eternal. Gr. aionios, +Mt 18:8. Mk 10:17. Ro 6:23. Titus 1:2. 1 J 2:25. they are they. Mk 9:4. 10:3. which testify of me. T#1020. ver. John 5:32, 36. *Jn 1:45. +*Jn 12:41. *Dt 18:15-18. **Ps 40:7. *Song of S 2:9. 8:2. Lk 4:21. See on +**Lk 24:27n, 44. Ac 3:22. *Ac 8:28, 30. 10:43. 18:28. 24:14. *Ac 26:22, 23, 27. *Ro 1:2. 1 Cor 15:3. He 3:5. **1 P 1:10, +**1 P 1:11. 1 J 4:14. 5:9. *Re 19:10.

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