The Extreme Peril of False Religion

I received an important prayer request today concerning two related groups of Lutheran missionaries in the Middle East who were then within ten minutes of ISIS fighters, fighters who were ruthlessly beheading Christian children in front of their own parents. The Christian children refused to recant their faith in Jesus Christ. Not one child gave in. But all were killed. We need to pray for the missionaries and the Christian parents in their extreme grief at this time.

False religion can involve any religion other than Biblical Christianity or possibly Biblical Judaism. Any religion which does not believe the whole Bible, the Old Testament or the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament or the Greek Scriptures is a false religion.

Any religion whose adherents go about beheading innocent children and adults because they do not recant their faith in Jesus Christ is surely a religion inspired by demons from hell.

But false religion can involve groups, denominations, movements, within the Christian faith as well. Some of these are known as false cults.

Such false religions are just as devastatingly perilous as are the Muslims in ISIS. Jesus plainly said “by their fruits ye shall know them.” The fruit of Muslim belief in the Middle East has not improved since their false religion began before the Middle Ages. Sharia Law has no place whatsoever in the United States of America, and should be utterly opposed. We don’t need a return to barbarism here.

Jesus said broad is the road to destruction, and many are on that road. He said narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it.

The only people on this earth who are on the way that leads to life are those who are getting their truth strictly from the Bible.

The best way to get the truth from the Bible is to read and study it for yourself. Study it by doing Real Bible Study!

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My answer to “The Pretrib Jackpot!” by Bruce Rockwell

A new poster kindly submitted the following article by Bruce Rockwell this morning [September 15, 2014] to the comment section for the William Craig article I posted on July 31, 2014. Just now, the comment section for that article returns an “error,” and I cannot access it myself. I figure if the Devil wants to mess with me, I’ll post the information in this more public space where all can see and read it. You should find it interesting and instructive. Here is the article as I received it. I inserted comments in brackets within the article:

THE ARTICLE

The Pretrib Rapture Jackpot!

by Bruce Rockwell

Attention, writers. You can make a fortune by promoting the pretrib rapture!

First, some background. As you know, pretrib began in Scotland in 1830. The earliest developers, including Edward Irving and John Darby, admitted that it was then a totally new view that had never been part of any church’s theology.

They also admitted that it had suddenly sprung from only OT and NT “types” and “symbols” and not from any clear Bible statement!

As late as 1957, pretrib expert John Walvoord admitted in “The Rapture Question” (p. 148)that “pretribulationism” is NOT “an explicit teaching of Scripture”!

[On this point Bruce Rockwell has entirely misrepresented what John Walvoord says on page 148 of The Rapture Question. Here is the paragraph in question from page 148:

"Ladd, in contrast to Jones, concedes that post-tribulational rapture is an inference rather than an explicit revelation of Scripture in the following statement: "Nor does the Word explicitly place the Rapture at the end of the Tribulation." The fact is that posttribulationism is an interpretation of Scripture which pretribulationists believe is contradicted by many passages which imply otherwise. Pretribulationism is based on the fact that it allows a harmony of the Scriptures relating to the second advent. The separation of the translation from the return of Christ to earth permits each of the two events, so different in character, to have its own place. It solves the problem of the confusing and contradictory details in the posttribulational interpretation illustrated in the difficulty of the posttribulationists themselves to work out a harmony of the prophecies related to the second advent."

Notice additionally that the citation from Walvoord, upon reading it, concerns the posttribulation rapture position, not the pretribulation rapture position. Clearly, Mr. Bruce Rockwell totally misread page 148 of Walvoord's work!]

Since the early 1900s pretrib has been sold by novelists like Sydney Watson (in 1913) and by Salem Kirban whose “Left Behind”-type novel “666” came out in 1970–the same year Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” started breaking sales records.

The very first rapture novel titled “Left Behind” came from the joint pens of Peter and Patti Lalonde in mid-1995, resulting in some competitors being left behind.

The pretrib rapture view, which admittedly is only an “inference” and not “explicit,” rests basically on verses in John 14, 1 Thess. 4, and 1 Cor. 15, none of which have either a “taken/left” separation or exciting nail-biting scenarios that can “sell” pretrib.

[Notice Mr. Bruce Rockwell makes reference to the proper Scripture passages, but makes an assertion unbacked by any analysis of the verses themselves, and mistakenly repeats his misreading of Walvoord's statement from page 148 of The Rapture Question which I supplied in full above, that "The pretrib rapture view, which admittedly is only an 'inference' and not 'explicit.'" Would Mr. Bruce Rockwell deny the doctrine of the Trinity or the doctrine of the Deity of Christ because the evidence is only inferential? Is there not such a thing as a valid inference?]

You have to go to Revelation’s action-packed chapters instead. When you do, you discover they can be tied to end time details found basically in the Olivet Discourse.

As you know, pretribs believe in two stages; Stage 1 is the pretrib rapture which supposedly occurs several years before Stage 2 which is the posttrib second coming to earth.

Since the three “rapture” chapters listed above don’t have any clear rapture-type separation between the “righteous” and the “wicked,” your best launching pad if you want to be a bestselling author is “the one shall be taken, and the other left” phrase in Matthew 24:40, 41 and Luke 17:34-36.

[Surely "the dead in Christ shall be raised first" (1 Thessalonians 4:16) is a clear rapture-type separation between the "righteous" and the "wicked," so Mr. Bruce Rockwell's statement is not correct.]

Trouble is, Dr. Walvoord and many other pretrib leaders declare that the “one taken” are the “wicked” taken in judgment while the “righteous” are left! But since the average pew-sitters don’t seem to know this, you can easily convince them that the “one taken” is a sort of code for an any-moment pretrib rapture!

And the pew-sitters don’t know that Walvoord etc. also teach that the same phrase is part of “non-imminent” Stage 2 which is posttrib (and not pretrib) and is on “Jewish” (and not “Church”) ground!

In order to preserve and emphasize Stage 1 (the pretrib rapture), pretrib merchandizers in recent decades have been stretching forward various aspects found in Stage 2 and quietly applying them to Stage 1. Aspects include “the day of the Lord,” “God’s wrath,” “the taken/left phrase,” “the unknown day and hour,” and Christ’s coming “as a thief” (which is always tied to Armageddon and other posttrib events).

(For more on the above Google “The Correct Answer to Who’s Taken” etc. on Joe Otriz’s blog of April 12, 2010. Also Google “Pretrib Rapture Stealth.”)

Yes, I’ve told you how you can turn yourself into a bestselling, wealthy author.

But unfortunately you have some competition because Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins have already become opportunists and made millions of dollars that are destined to be left behind!

For more on them and their partners, Google “The ‘Left Behind’ Rapture,” “LaHaye’s Temperament,” “Jerry Jenkins Apologizes for Being Seen Gambling in Casinos,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism,” “Evangelicals Use Occult Deception,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.”

In closing let me say that Jeremiah 17:11 warns that “he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.”

And you can bet on this!

MY RESPONSE

I will try again to gain access to the comment section where I wrote a response to the above article this morning. If access is still denied, I’ll write a new response.

Well, I found a way to access what I wrote this morning, so here it comes, by hand-typed transcription to avoid copy and pasting any possible malicious code along with it [I have since learned that the problem was caused by the server; this site is now on a different server]:

Dear Lou,

Thank you for submitting the interesting article by Bruce Rockwell, “The Pretrib Rapture Jackpot!” This article is a very good example of the logical fallacy called “ad hominem” or “against the man.”

The truth or falsity of a Bible doctrine does not depend upon the character or wealth of the men or women who promote it. That fiction writers have popularized the view for wider public consumption hardly counts as evidence either for or against the doctrine. One should not assume that fiction writers necessarily have an accurate grasp of the Bible doctrine underlying the plot outline of their fiction.

What one must do to refute a doctrine is present a more valid exegesis of the texts of Scripture that bear upon the doctrine. The article’s author correctly identifies the major passages in the Bible that establish the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine. But beyond the bald assertion that these passages do not explicitly teach the pre-tribulation rapture Bruce Rockwell does not go. Perhaps had Mr. Rockwell written a longer article he could have spelled out his proof to the contrary. But far as I know, no author yet has done so.

To suggest the alleged “newness” of the doctrine as an argument against it is logical nonsense. Do you and Mr. Rockwell mean to say that there is nothing new to be learned from the Bible through further, careful study? Such an idea is absurd on its face. The issue is not how new or old a doctrine is (or whether any church has adopted it as part of their church creed), but is the doctrine supported by careful and accurate appeal to the Bible. The “age” of a doctrine is surely no evidence of its truthfulness. Many ancient heresies are with us today, and those very old errors are as dangerous now as when first propounded (Arianism, for example). We are warned against such doctrines throughout Scripture (Isaiah 8:20; Acts 20:29, 30; Galatians 1:6, 7, 8, 9; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:9, 10; Jude 1:3).

The pretribulation rapture doctrine did not originate with John Nelson Darby or anyone else in the 1830s. It comes from a careful comparison of Scripture with Scripture. A careful study of Mr. George N. H. Peters’ work, The Theocratic Kingdom in three large volumes, will demonstrate that in Peters we have a careful prophetic scholar who establishes the doctrine in detail on a firm basis without ever using the terms “rapture” or “pretribulation.” His work was completed in the 1880s as I recall. He spent a lifetime of study to produce it. While he mentions Darby and others, he is very much against Darby and the Plymouth Brethren and their writers. So Mr. Peters certainly did not learn about the pretribulation rapture from them! Furthermore, Peters thoroughly proves that the doctrine of the premillennial Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ has always been the doctrine of the true Church from apostolic times, and was the undisputed doctrine of the Church for the first two and a half to three centuries after Christ.

So it may be that individuals like you, and Mr. Bruce Rockwell, and many if not most others who are against the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture have been drinking from the poisoned wells of false doctrine themselves.

Thank you for submitting such an interesting article. I have already answered the issues it brings up against the pre-tribulation rapture on this site in many articles under the category accessible to the right on “Bible Prophecy.” Please feel free to further the discussion by bringing up any Biblical evidence you may have that seems contrary to the position I currently support. I am always ready to change my mind about these matters should further evidence from the Bible, carefully exegeted, prove my position wrong. Are you?

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Reviewing the Reviewers, Part 4

Positive Reviews for Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible:

[I am most thankful to Amazon and these reviewers of my book, Nelson's Cross Reference Guide to the Bible. Thankful to Amazon for keeping these reviews on line; thankful to the writers of these reviews. Fifteen out of 16 reviewers gave my book "five stars," one gave it "four stars" because of its small print and thin paper. Of course, we cannot have it both ways: to keep this book portable, it must be printed on thin paper using small print like most Bibles are.]

Wow!!!! Outstanding Product, May 10, 2009
By Frederick Douglas (Collierville, Tennessee)
This review is from: Nelson’s Cross-Reference Guide to the Bible: Illuminating God’s Word Verse-by-Verse (Hardcover)

WARNING: The Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible is an outstanding resource for those who (1) prefer to let the Bible interpret itself; (2) do not mind a little work — putting in some time and digging for the answers in connection with their Bible study; and (3) not overly thrilled bout study Bibles and commentaries out of concern for “opinions” of the editors/contributors. I purchased it about a year ago and I’m constantly amazed at its quality. There is so much good I can say but in the interest of space I want to focus only on how Nelson’s Cross Reference will assist you in letting the Bible interpret itself. I have no problem with study Bibles. But using a product like the Nelson’s Cross Reference will help you sharpen your own study skills, provides you with comfort in what the Bible says on a subject, verse or paragraph, and the Bible itself will either support or disprove comments in study notes or a commentary.

My assumption is that most reference Bibles skimp on the cross references because of formatting and attempting to keep the “reference” edition thin. The Nelson’s Cross Reference is a outstanding primary or supplement to letting the Bible interpret itself. I study with the ESV Single Column Reference Edition, NASB Reference Updated Edition (1995), and HCSB Large Print Reference. To illustrate the value of the Nelson’s Cross Reference, for John 11:11, where Jesus states Lazarus has “fallen asleep,” on this verse the ESV has only 1 reference, the NASB has 5, and the HCSB has 2. The Nelson’s Cross Reference has an astounding 25 references including a definition of “Lazarus,” citation to the Strong’s number (2976g). For John 1:1, the ESV has 12 references, NASB has 8 and HCSB has 6. Nelson’s Cross Reference has an astounding 61!!! Including very helpful references from Isaiah, Psalms, Job, Jeremiah, Micah. Each set of words in John 1:1 is divided and references are provided for “the beginning,” “the Word,” “with,” “and he Word,” and “was God.” One last example, for John 10:9 where Jesus says he’s the door, ESV has 3 references, NASB has 1, and HCSB has no references. Nelson’s Cross Reference has 18, providing reference supports for key words in the verse such as “the door,” “if,” “be saved,” and “go in and out.”

The fact that the Nelson’s Cross Reference is tied to the KJV is not a problem at all. Again, there are many benefits to this product but to my knowledge there is no other product providing you with the tools to let the Bible interpret itself. Could it be improved — of course. However, a little work to navigate around this valuable resource will not kill you.

I simply can’t think of a single volume resource better than this one!, March 11, 2010

By Jerry Weinhausen (Gilbert, AZ)

Jerome Smith’s latest reference tool is called “Nelson’s Cross-Reference Guide to the Bible: Illuminating God’s Word Verse-by-Verse”. It’s virtually half the thickness of the massive New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge which he released in 1992 and in my estimation, this volume is easier to use. The conventions used in this Cross Reference Guide are few and simple compared to the NTSK. As stated in the Guide, they are as follows: 1) A “+” (plus) symbol marks where more verses on the theme are found, 2) References in Italic type show where the Bible quotes itself, 3) References in Italic bold mark prophecies and their fulfillment. There are several lesser conventions explained by the Guide that are easily understood and learned. Is the Nelson Cross-Reference Guide to the Bible an improvement over the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R.A. Torrey? I think so and most everybody commenting here might agree with me. If you’re forced to downsize your group of study helps due to economics and/or shelf space, this tool alone could replace a variety of tools by itself. I’d never find myself without a copy.

Handmaiden of the Bible, November 3, 2009
By Oecolampad (W. Haven, CT USA)

I cannot praise this book enough. It is truly a rare jewel surpassed in its value only by the Bile itself. In its simplicity, scope and completeness it is breath-taking. If the Bible is the Queen of books, then NTSK/CRGB is her only fit handmaiden. And for this precious gem we have Jerome H. Smith to thank. Of course, he built upon the work of others. But his was no quick slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am edit job. 30 years of Bible study went into NTSK. He compared verse with verse until he was satisfied that every reference was both relevant and significant. To the 500,000 references of TSK he added 100,000 of his own. For CRGB he added still more references mostly based on the alternative renderings provided by the KJV translators in the margins of their work. What’s more, for NTSK he compiled no less than 7 indices: Subject, Topic Number, Prayer, Proverbs, Name, Figure of Speech and Strong’s Numbers. He also provided an extensive bibliography. Leaving most of the notes he found in TSK unmodified, he added his own personal notes to about 275 vss. But the indices, bibliography and most of the notes were removed for CRGB. What a pity!

The ultimate proof that God was pleased with the holy work of Jerome Smith is the fact that Satan tried to cut him down before he could finish his book. In Smith’s own words from the preface of NTSK:

“I almost did not live to finish my editorial work on the New Treasury, for I was shot in the head by an unknown assailant on March 13, 1986, when I had typed the text only as far as 1 Samuel 3. The Lord miraculously spared my life. During my recovery I kept working on the book, often without income.”

Smith has truly shown us what it means to live “a long obedience in the same direction.”

Fantastic resource for serious Bible students, January 30, 2010
By book connoisseur (Natrona Hts., PA)

I love this resource from Jerome Smith. It goes through the Bible and gives cross references for almost every verse. Scripture comments on Scripture and it is a great reference when you want to study a particular phrase and how it is used elsewhere in the Bible. With some phrases he will put a + and that means if you go to the verse listed you will find much more explanation there. Sometimes with just one verse of Scripture you can get “lost” going from verse to correlating verse. I use this book almost everyday and am so glad I found it here on Amazon and read the great reviews. If you are looking for a book to help you in your times in the Word of God, I think you will love this. One thing though, the print is rather small, so make sure you have reading glasses if you have problems seeing small print.

Hope you have a copier that enlarges, February 8, 2008
By J Hosack (PA)

This is possibly the best Bible Cross reference available. It is a wonder why they have made it so hard to work with as the whole book is like reading footnotes on paper that is too thin and bleeds through. The work done in this volume deserves better presentation. It is an excellent reference.

An Easy to Use, Practical Tool for Bible Study!, April 28, 2010
By David Bower (Houston, Texas, USA)

This guide is a concise cross reference to words in the Bible. It is based on the Authorized Version, also known as the King James Version of the Bible, but will work with other translations as well.

It is laid out using the same order of books as found in the Protestant Bible, meaning the Apocryphal books are omitted. There is no table of contents or index so the user must find their way as they would using the Bible. For those with some familiarity with the Bible that should not be a problem. For others there is a page called “Bible Book Abbreviations” which lists the books of the Bible in order of their appearance.

The writer includes some commentary on selected verses; for example in Genesis 6:2, the writer comments – “Sons of God” denotes wondrous, mighty, supernatural beings, frequently (but as here, perhaps not always: see Mt 22:30) used of angels in the O.T. This is an effort on the writer’s part at balancing the sons of God as fallen angels versus the sons of God as the “godly line of Seth” interpretation.

The paper is thin, as some reviewers have pointed out, but very similar to the type of paper used in many editions of the Bible. The binding seems to be first class and should give many years of service. As is so often the case, this book was published in China.

If you are interested in serious Bible study, then this book can be a valuable work tool.

Desert Island Scenario: Only Two Books, August 14, 2011
By Charles “Jesus is King!!!” (Pittsburgh)

If I could only have one book for the rest of my life I would choose the Bible.
If I could have two I’d choose this and the Bible.

Get one.

Initial post: Sep 5, 2011 7:50:24 AM PDT

Arthur Roshkovski says:

agreed

Great Reference, April 3, 2011
By craig

This is one of the best references to have for studying the bible. Most Bibles have decent cross references in them already, but this one takes it to a much higher level. With regards to the thin pages, yes, they are thin. It is just like most Bibles though, and if that doesn’t bother you, this definitely won’t. This isn’t the kind of book you look at for more than 30 seconds at a time anyway. It’s 1500+ pages, and I would much rather have a smaller profile for carrying this around rather than a giant book with nicer pages. Definitely recommend this book.

Very useful cross reference, July 27, 2013
By Sean

I typically just use the cross reference in the middle of my Bible. I was pleasantly surprised with the extensive list of verses that are referenced. I’ve really enjoyed it.

I love this book, February 15, 2013
By Tony Harrison “Be kind to one another, tender… (Mobile Al)

Excellent study book. Cross reference is really the only way that I study the Word of God. I sometimes use commentaries but cross references are so much better because I hear straight from God about what He has said instead of hearing man’s opinion. The Bible itself becomes its own commentary by using cross references.

Great buy, great book!, November 20, 2010
By Surendra Bajracharya

It’s a book that has increased my appetite for the Word of God. I thank God for the effort that went into it.

rosebud, October 4, 2010
By rosebud

Wonderful tool to help study the Bible. I didn’t think the print was too small… I’m over 50. As for the thin pages, they aren’t any different than a good Bible.

Great product, April 26, 2014
By RuthW

This is a great book. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible and this book has all the cross references on each chapter of the Bible.

The seller sent a very good book with no underlining or highlighting. I would recommend them.

[The review by RuthW may reflect that my book has gone out of print; I understand from a notice on the Christian Book Distributor's website that my book will become available once again in November of 2014]

Very Helpful, June 5, 2013
By Brandon E.

I think this is a must have book for serious bible study, for the layman and preacher alike. Highly recommended!

GOOD BOOK, May 16, 2013
By Nita

I ordered this book for a friend and myself, My friend love the book for his Christian studies however, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in my daily Bible study class.

GIFT, January 22, 2013
By Larry Gross

I sent this book as a gift to a friend in a foreign country. It arrived very quickly (about 3 weeks) and in good shape. They were happy – I’m happy! Good job, well done Amazon!

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Reviewing the Reviewers Part 3

The following positive reviews of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge I found at the Amazon website just now [9/16/14: server problems prevented my posting anything until just now, 10-4-14 at 7:15 pm]. They speak for themselves, and I am grateful to all who have said a good word about my book, and to Amazon for carrying my book and keeping these reviews available.

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

By Kevin P. Timkoon July 11, 2001

Format: Hardcover
Though I am no pastor, I have a respectable library of exegetical works which enable me to understand the meaning of Biblical passages and others which are good to excellent at finding what I need. I find the New Treasury an invaluable tool in these endeavors. It is an awesome chain-reference tool that, combined with my concordance (I use Young’s), my lexicons (Gesenius (OT), Wilson (OT), Vine’s Expository Dictionary for New Testament words and Thayer (NT)), and my interlinear Bible have GREATLY enhanced my Bible studies which I have used to answer many people who search for Biblical answers to hard questions. I strongly recommend this text, especially to pastors and teachers of the Bible. This is in fact my second copy of this work, the first being given to a pastor friend of mine (who absolutely LOVES it). There are many aids in it to help you find passages of similar meaning (not necessarily the same word) as well as contrasting with passages of the opposite meaning. References are rated in how critical of a cross reference they are, and to where all of the references are listed in one section for that particular item you are studying. While I have never read the original Treasury, I find that this reference material is beyond just being helpful to the point of being a MAJOR part of my reference library.

Excellent Bible Study Tool

By Aletheiaon May 26, 2003

Format: Hardcover
I have been using the old edition of “The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge” until this new edition came out. And I instantly love it!

Here are the reasons:

1. Modernized typeset. The older edition was not good for reading, you had to strain your eyes to read, BUT this NEW edition has easy-to-read type, a big plus.

2. Revised and Expanded. The book revised some of the mistakes of the old edition and expanded more from it by adding additional materials, such as: (a) 100,000 new cross references. (b) Indexes to specific Bible topics, names, prayers, etc. This is useful for topical studies. (c) Inclusion of “System Markings” that uses symbols to highlight what “information can be found at specific references — whether fulfilled prophecy, similar word meanings, contrasting ideas, biblical types…etc.” This system I really love! It saves me time and helps me organize the study effectively each verse.

3. Very sturdy binding. Hard cover and stitched binding (It was stitched binding when it first came out (1992,1993), but recently they changed it to glued binding). The paper’s quality is excellent.

The only gripe I have is that it uses KJV of the Bible for entries (it is not available for other versions of the Bible).

Well, you can’t have ‘em all. In all, I found this new edition incredible and indispensable on my desk. For all those who love the Bible will love this tool for years to come.

[I used the KJV/AV as the basis of the New Treasury because (1) it is in the public domain and requires no permission to use it; (2) it is the best widely available English translation because it is literal enough that one can make clear references to related passages and the KJV can consistently be used to follow the figures of speech used in the Bible; (3) The KJV is an established translation that is not constantly being updated so its key words remain constant! (4) The KJV follows the Received Text of the Greek NT--many modern versions follow texts which drop out many words and even verses such as Acts 8:37; (5) To accommodate those of a more scholarly bent I have included alternate readings and renderings which update the KJV after an un-italicized "or" following the affected key word or words; (6) The KJV is a superior literary work which no modern translation can match; (7) Many standard reference works such as Strong's Concordance, Young's Analytical Concordance, and other such works are keyed to the King James Version]

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

By Roy Germainon September 22, 2001

Format: Hardcover
I obtained my first copy of this work a few years ago. I find it invaluable in my biblical study and research work. Having reviewed the original, I find that the aids included in NTSK opens your mind and stimulates thought in a Godly perspective. I loaned my first copy to a colleague and can’t get him to return it. When I’m travelling, besides my Bible, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and Strong’s Concordance are the resources that go with me.

The Only Bible Needed for Bible Study

By Wayne H. Mackirdyon November 28, 2000

Format: Hardcover
I am a retired Army Chaplain. Often, when deployed, I could only take a limited amount of resources. If I could only take one book in addition to my Bible, it would be TSK. Every verse of the Bible is cross-referenced…a basic principle of Bible Study is that the Bible best interprets the Bible. This is the most valuable resource you can have on your shelf. This is the first book any student of the Bible should purchase. By the way, this doesn’t discount the many other resources available, it just is the first one you ought to obtain.

Massive but cumbersome

By paulon February 10, 2003

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The New Treasury is an improvement over the classic, original Treasury. The notes in the New Treasury are more informative. However, there is so much material in either Treasury that one can get sidetracked or overwhelmed looking up each cross reference. Also ,one will be turning many, many Bible pages to see the actual cross references. The best solution is to get the CDRom of the New Treasury in a program like Libronix and pass the mouse over the reference for a popup or click to see the reference. That way the place in the New Treasury isn’t lost in all the cross-referencing. An excellent Bible tool, but easier to use in electronic form {cdrom}. paulbatscha

An improvement over the original

By Brian Douglason December 2, 2001

Format: Hardcover
Don’t believe the nay-sayers! This is an incredibly useful reference book for anyone who wants to study the Word, even more so than the original Treasury. Its system of cross-referencing is comprehensive and easy to use. I’ve found Smith’s reference symbols to be useful, but if you don’t like or agree with them, you can just ignore them! This book is a tremendously valuable cross referencing tool, and I recommend it to anyone who seeks to better understand the cohesiveness and scope of Biblical teaching.

it`s new yet old.

By david lopezon June 18, 2014

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great especially the exegesis of 1thess.5:23. Thank you very much, a great bible study tool no matter what subject you are studying.

Notes on each book, each chapter, each verse.

By E. J. Lordon January 21, 2014

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a concordance but the bookend that completes an exhaustive concordance. An excellent tool for the Bible student.

Great help

By Nancy Caeson April 9, 2013

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband and I both use it for inductive Bible study. It is a real help to find related verses.

Great addition to Bible students study

By Jerry Ray Woodon February 25, 2013

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great addition to a believers library, It is a great help in helping one interpret scripture with scripture. A true treasure. Easy to use, encourages one to study the word.

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Reviewing the Reviewers Part 2

It is time “to take the gloves off” and tackle the nonsense expressed by some reviewers on Amazon of my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Consider the following negative review:

Unnecessary bulk added, April 30, 2001

By

Gary F. Zeolla “Director of Darkness to Light ministry and of Fitness for One and of All”

This review is from: The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (Hardcover)

The original “Treasury” was a very helpful volume. But I would not recommended this “New Treasury.” It is a very bulky volume that adds much unnecessary and unreliable information, such as theological notes from an Arminian perspective. The original Treasury just gives the cross-references without bias comments.
If you want help with Bible study, get the original “Treasury.” I used it extensively in developing my book “Scripture Workbook: For Personal Bible Study and Teaching the Bible.” The cross-references in the original “Treasury” were a great aid in finding the thousands of verses I reference in my book.

Well, my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, is clearly a more bulky volume than the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

This is so because:

(1) The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge uses much larger type uniformly throughout the book. The original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, typeset by hand in the early nineteenth century, uses variable type size, all of it small, and some of it, such as in the Psalms, where references are crammed into three columns on a page, very small and hard to read.

I think readers today would prefer the larger size type which of course requires more pages, which accounts for most of the “unnecessary bulk added” that Mr. Gary F. Zeolla complains of.

(2) Now The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge which I produced has far more cross references than the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge does.

I think people who actually study the Bible using cross reference Bible study very much appreciate having more cross references available everywhere throughout the volume. That, too, accounts for more of the “unnecessary bulk added” that Mr. Gary F. Zeolla complains about.

(3) The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge has seven indexes; the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge has no indexes.

I think people who study the Bible for themselves very much appreciate those indexes to the subjects, the topics, prayer, proverbs, names, figures of speech, Strong numbers to Hebrew words, and Strong numbers to Greek words.

If Mr. Gary F. Zeolla had taken the proper time to investigate those indexes he would have possibly learned that I placed more index entries which support his Calvinistic views than he likely can find in any other published reference source. I was very careful to provide a very balanced approach to subjects upon which good Bible-believing Christians may differ. I quite often gave more support to the “underdog,” or less popular viewpoint in my notes, since most Christian book publishers refuse to publish the contrary or minority view, and often Christian bookstores refuse to carry books that defend the minority view. Truth is not determined by a majority vote, so quite often it turns out that the minority view is more correct than the majority view. It was my intention to provide in my standard Bible reference work a resource that permits anyone to learn the Biblical evidence behind each of several views about many Bible doctrines. My subject index provides the balance by indexing both or several sides of many doctrinal issues.

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge “adds much unnecessary and unreliable information, such as theological notes from an Arminian perspective,” Mr. Gary F. Zeolla complains.

That strikes me as very odd indeed. At the time I was typing up The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, my application for church membership in a local church I had attended nearly five years was rejected. I was told by the pastor to go find a church that believed what I did. His church was staunchly Arminian. He accused me of being a Calvinist, based, as I recall, upon the fact that I graduated from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, which he said was a Calvinistic school. The pastor may have seen my bookshelves filled with sets of works by Calvinists, sets published by Jay Greene’s Sovereign Grace Publishers, with a distinctive dark green cloth binding. The pastor was no doubt aware that I had recently been an active elder in the Presbyterian Church.

I think Mr. Gary F. Zeolla has much to learn, as do we all. I challenge anyone anywhere to refute the substance, that is, content, of any theological note I have written for The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. My notes are thoroughly grounded in Scripture. No one has yet refuted a position I have taken.

I hardly think I have entered any “unreliable information” in the notes I have provided in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

As for “Arminianism,” that is often shorthand used by Calvinists for any view that does not support their false doctrine of unconditional eternal security for the elect–more popularly but incorrectly known as “Once Saved, Always Saved.” Most Calvinists have no idea of what “Arminianism” is. They need to read and re-read Roger E. Olson’s scholarly yet highly readable volume, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities before they make themselves look more foolish than they are before saying any more about it.

You cannot properly interpret the Scripture if you ignore or contradict the grammar of Scripture. I am a retired English teacher. I took my college work in both undergraduate and graduate school with an emphasis in English grammar and linguistics. I pay attention to grammar. I studied Greek for only two years at Bob Jones University, but I have continued to study Greek ever since then on my own. That means I have been studying Greek to a greater or lesser extent since 1958 until now.

Greek grammar totally refutes the assertions of Calvinists at every turn. No Calvinist has properly exegeted John 3:16. They cannot do so. They dare not do so. John 3:16 refutes their position. Calvinists ignore the subjunctive mood, a mood used in Greek to express the presence of a contingency. A contingency means that a promise is valid only for those who continue to meet the requirements set forth in context. At John 3:16 we read “For God so loved the world.” “World” is stated by respected grammarians to be a “monadic construction,” which in plain English means, the “world” is a whole, and it is the only one of its kind. Therefore, Calvinists are seriously in error when they jump from John 3:16 to other texts in John or elsewhere to try to prove God did not love the whole world, but only the world of the elect.

John 3:16 further states that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth.” The English word “believeth” is a present tense verb. The Greek underlying this translation is also present tense. Present tense in Greek is not just reference to time, but also to the kind of action specified, and this fact grammarians call “aspect.” In John 3:16 the kind of belief specified is belief that continues. It is NOT a one-time “act of faith,” but a continuing belief.

John 3:16 further states, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish.” The “should” in English translation would better be translated “may not perish,” the “may” identifying the subjunctive mood that specifies there is a contingency involved named in the context. The “may” does not express doubt. It points to the fact that the kind of belief that results in “eternal life” is continuing belief.

The Bible teaches the eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever!

Moral of the story: We as Christians must use greater care in how we judge the work of others, especially when we write reviews that stay on public display like on Amazon. Now, as the author, I could have asked that Amazon remove Mr. Zeolla’s negative comment. I did not do so, and do not intend to do so. I did have Amazon remove one review that was totally biased and so factually incorrect that it reflected poorly on the reviewer and the credibility of the reviewing process.

We need to be careful to not judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment (John 7:24). Nicodemus counseled, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” (John 7:51).

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Reviewing the Reviewers Part 1

I had occasion today to check into the current availability of my book, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, thanks to a question posted by a commenter here.

In the process (I learned from CBD that Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible will be available again in November of 2014) I encountered many interesting reviews of my two books.

Most interesting to me is the negative review by R. Robinson on Amazon about my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. She writes:

Reader please use caution with this book. It is noted in the “How to use thus Book” section that E. W. Bullinger a known Hyperdisoensationalist is referenced in this book. His ” Companion Bible” is used which has some very unusual notes. Example: In Genesis Bullinger says Adam could fly because he had “dominion” over all the animals including birds. I personally am throwing out this book and going with an older version. I’m surprised that John MacArthur endorsed this on the back cover

Now R. Robinson is very correct that Mr. E. W. Bullinger is “a known Hyperdispensationalist.” What that means is that Mr. Bullinger makes distinctions regarding the several dispensations that are likely more refined than a careful study of the Bible would warrant. As a result of these distinctions, Mr. Bullinger does not believe, for example, that water baptism is to be practiced by the Church today in this present dispensation (I have answered that blatant error in my note at Matthew 28:19). His distinctions no doubt involve a number of other positions he takes that are not supported by a careful study of Scripture.

As for dispensations themselves, to suggest there are seven dispensations is very arbitrary, and is not directly supported by the text of Scripture. See my notes on this issue in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge at 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:2. Dividing Scripture into seven dispensations may be seen by some as a helpful teaching device, but such an arbitrary division must not be made a point of Bible doctrine! That there are dispensational distinctions which must be made is most clear in the Bible; those who disagree are often very mistaken about the place of the nation of Israel in the plan of God and in the great Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants.

R. Robinson asserts that Bullinger in the Companion Bible in Genesis “says Adam could fly because he had “dominion” over all the animals including birds.”

I have not been able to verify that claim against Mr. Bullinger. I have used the Companion Bible extensively since about 1962 or even earlier. I have combed its many notes very extensively, but have not come across that in my reading of either the Companion Bible or anywhere else in his published works that I have read.

One lesson to be learned from this review by R. Robinson is, verify all claims by going to the source.

A second lesson to be learned is, when making a claim, provide the precise documentation for the claim so others can verify its correctness.

A third lesson is, don’t throw out a resource because you might disagree with a position an author holds. If I did that, there would be few books left in my rather extensive personal library indeed. You can always learn something from an author with whom you disagree. An author like Mr. E. W. Bullinger has carefully done his homework. He presents much helpful assistance in understanding the Bible more accurately. His work on the figures of speech in the Bible is outstanding. No publication I am aware of, before or since, is nearly as helpful. Mr. Bullinger is also about the best author I know of who has discerned the literary structure within the Bible. He presents that structure in the margin of the Companion Bible, and explains the structures in an appendix to the Companion Bible. Mr. Bullinger explains the significance of those literary structures in his very helpful volume, How to Enjoy the Bible in an even more readable and understandable form.

If you check the subject index to my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, you will find among the several entries under his name, reference to corrective information about Mr. E. W. Bullinger under “Bullinger, E. W. Materialist bias of, noted and corrected, Psalm 16:10 note.”

With regard to R. Robinson’s comment, “I’m surprised that John MacArthur endorsed this on the back cover,” I am thankful he did. Do I agree with all Mr. John MacArthur teaches? Absolutely not. Much of what he teaches is superb, but like I have said before on this site, when he departs from the Bible itself to promote the five points of Calvinism and the so-called “doctrines of grace,” he is sadly very mistaken. I wrote about that in an article titled “Doctrines of Grace or Doctrines of Demons?”–one of the most accessed pages on this site: it is page 227, as I recall. I find it interesting in my use of the MacArthur Study Bible that he may have read my notes in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge in the Book of Acts, where I cite scholarly sources which prove beyond any possible doubt that for whatever reason, the apostles practiced infant baptism. See my note at Acts 16:15 for a summary of the Biblical evidence. The MacArthur Study Bible appears to contradict my findings, but in my judgment does not present any evidence to the contrary beyond mere assertion. But Dr. John MacArthur was not intending to endorse my notes, but the valuable cross references I have provided for cross reference Bible study. I can tell by his teaching on the radio that Dr. MacArthur has made use of the additional cross references I have furnished in my book, references not present in the original work, The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

I checked into the other reviews written by R. Robinson on Amazon. I found this review immensely interesting:

This review is from: The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures: 3 Bible Texts (Hardcover)

I was a Jehovahs Witness for 25yrs. They are the translators of the English in this bibke. They are a cult abd used an anonymous group of JW leaders to translate which was later discovered who they were. One was Franz the former president of the WTBTS. Nine of these men had firmament training to translate the Bible. Franz was shed in court to translate one simple verse at Genesis 1 and he could not do it. They even asked a German man Gerhardt that had made his own NT translation and was quoted to be able to speak with spirits through his medium wife, to bless the new NWT Bible! They alter the deity verses about Jesus including John 1:1 by saying “and the word was a god”…. Denying Jesus is God, ,denying the Holy Spirit as one of the God head. Their false teachings are all over this bible.

I am most thankful that, however it may have taken place, R. Bobinson has left that realm of darkness and encountered the true light of the Bible. I wish she could find this website and interact with me directly here. Amazon asserts that “R. Robinson” is her real name. She would be helped, I am sure, by what I could share with her about my experiences with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Though wrong, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been a blessing to my life as they have stirred me to a deeper study of God’s Word as I investigated the truth or falsity of their teachings. The results of those years of study when they came to my apartment every Monday night for four years can be seen in the Subject Index entry in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, page 1562, “Jehovah’s Witnesses: Answers to Doctrinal Errors,” where under 21 enumerated subheadings I indicate where the answers to their mistaken positions on as many issues are to be found in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and, of course, the Bible itself. I have been contemplating the possibility of doing a full series of articles on those 21 topics here. What do you think–should I do that?

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“Time Is Getting A Wee Bit Short”

I read a very interesting post at http://market-ticker.org/ today titled “Time Is Getting A Wee Bit Short” by Karl Denninger. I believe his site is well worth reading daily. In short, sometimes pungent articles, his brief daily commentary is most informative. I believe he takes a common-sense approach to economic, social, and political matters in the news, or that ought to be in the news. Like most writers, he falls short a bit when he makes observations that pertain to religious matters, and that is what I would like to comment on here today.

Mr. Denninger wrote:

Our government swindles you every single day with deficit spending, destroying your purchasing power. You cheer for your food stamps and how “compassionate” we are, and in fact you hear it in virtually every “mainstream” church. It’s all a lie; there’s no compassion involved in robbing people of their dignity and their ability to provide for themselves a nickel at a time.

Speaking of churches, have you ever wondered about their proclamations of an afterlife? Nobody has ever come back to tell us that it’s real, of course, whether it’s the puffery of Heaven or the fires of Hell. In my cynical hours spent with various spirits of the liquid sort I have occasionally mused on whether that is an intentional lie conjured by men as a means of trying to convince the common parishioner not to take revenge in the here and now when his boy is [molested] in the rectory or some other grievous insult has been perpetrated against him or his family. After all logic says that a dying man finds no deterrence even when confronted with a death sentence by the civil authorities, and when the church has conspired with said civil authorities to rob the common man in their mentally deranged version of Robin Hood…… http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=229385

I would like to focus especially upon his statement: “Nobody has ever come back to tell us that it’s real, of course, whether it’s the puffery of Heaven or the fires of Hell.”

Simply put, Some One did come back and told us all about these things. That Person is our Lord Jesus Christ. It is on the basis of the FACT of His bodily resurrection and return from the dead that we know for sure that Jesus is Who He said He is, and that the Bible is true, and we too have an assured hope of heaven and eternal life if we believe in Him.

Check out for yourself what the Bible tells us in Luke chapter 24. My favorite verse there is Luke 24:39, a verse which pretty well tells all you need to know. But you can also check out the eye witness testimony of a person who deeply doubted the story of the resurrection, and was convinced when, in the midst of a group of gathered people, Jesus confronted Thomas with the direct evidence Thomas had requested, an incident you will find recorded at John 20:26, 27, 28.

As a matter of law, legal principle, and logic, once eye-witness testimony has been written down, its evidential value continues ever after and does not need to be repeated. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the best attested FACT of history that we have in recorded history because the evidence is confirmed by eight different writers who were either there at the time it happened or were very closely connected with those who were, whose written records have come down to us. No other historical event of ancient history comes with this much testimony. The testimony presented in the New Testament unquestionably meets the tests of historicity. The witness or testimony of the New Testament documents is therefore unimpeachable.

Now if you are resting your faith upon the claims of a particular religious denomination, as Karl Denninger might be resting his upon Roman Catholicism, your faith may indeed be on shaky ground, on shifting sand, instead of upon the rock-solid testimony preserved in the 27 primary source documents we call the New Testament. I encourage you to anchor your faith in the Bible itself. You will not be disappointed if you make the effort to get better acquainted with that most important Book in the world. I’ve spent much time on this site explaining how to get acquainted with the Bible by doing Real Bible Study. Take full advantage of this advertising-free opportunity to learn more from and about the Bible from the material I have posted here. I think all my articles are of permanent value, so just because I wrote some of them in 2010 does not mean they are out of date! Your time is better invested learning from someone who has spent the time and has done the homework necessary to be equipped to teach others. I think I have surely done that since 1953.

I just had my final cataract surgery yesterday, so forgive any typos you may catch in this article. That also explains why I have not posted as often as I have sometimes done in the past. But I could not miss this opportunity to call your attention to the valuable Market Ticker website written by Mr. Karl Denninger. I trust he won’t mind my comments here on a paragraph or two I found there that he wrote today.

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Even famous folks sometimes get it wrong

Even famous folks sometimes get it wrong when it comes to understanding the plain words of Scripture. I encountered an interesting example yesterday.

Walid and Theodore Shoebat wrote an article titled “ISIS declares they will invade Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Spain, and destroy the Cross.”

Walid Shoebat is a former Muslim who has converted to Christianity. Mr. Shoebat has made a careful and thorough study of the Bible and Bible prophecy. I believe he is correct, to a degree, in his understanding that the Antichrist arises not from Europe or Rome, but from the Middle East. Mr. Shoebat, as I understand him, believes that the Antichrist will be a Muslim. I cannot confirm that, but I can affirm that the Bible gives, as one of the names of Antichrist, “the Assyrian” (Micah 5:5).

Some things in the co-authored article are suspect, I believe. Consider how they handle Romans 1:7,

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)

When reading these words, we must keep in mind that St. Paul is writing to the Church of Rome, that is, the Roman Catholic Church. For those who affirm that I am wrong, I ask you kindly, if Romans is not being written to the Roman Catholic Church, then which church is it being written to? And where today can I find this church?

You cannot find it, and you never will, no matter how hard you try. But if you would like to take up the challenge, then I would gladly see your findings. In antiquity, the primacy of the Roman Church was established as the head of the churches. This was not an invention of Constantine. Tertullian, one of the oldest and most ancient authorities of Christianity, declared the primacy of the Roman Church. I will let his words speak for themselves:

Notice the first sentence I quoted above: “When reading these words, we must keep in mind that St. Paul is writing to the Church of Rome, that is, the Roman Catholic Church.”

Mr. Shoebat has committed a common error. He (or they) equate the “church at Rome” with the Roman Catholic Church. This is surely a mistaken connection. The Roman Catholic Church had no existence until almost 600 years after Paul wrote the Book of Romans. Of course, the Roman Catholic Church and its apologists delight in propagating this error, but that does not verify the claim.

Mr. Shoebat then asks the pointed question, “For those who affirm that I am wrong, I ask you kindly, if Romans is not being written to the Roman Catholic Church, then which church is it being written to?”

May I kindly answer that Romans was written to a group of Gentile believers and Jews who had become Christians who lived at Rome. The germ or start of that congregation (or more likely congregations–the Jewish converts had problems associating with the Gentile converts, as reflected in what Paul writes in Romans 14:1-5) was a group of converts who believed the Gospel and became Christians as a result of Peter’s first sermon on the Day of Pentecost (read carefully Acts 2:10).

The original church at Rome that Paul wrote to was a missionary outpost of the original Jerusalem church, and historically held that status for several centuries. During that time the church at Rome could hardly be called the “Roman Catholic Church” in the modern sense of that contradictory term. Contradictory, because as soon as you prefix to “Catholic” the term “Roman,” it is no longer Catholic, or universal! Historically, the Greek Catholic Church is older than the “Roman Catholic Church” by many centuries.

So yes, I affirm that in this matter Mr. Shoebat is most definitely wrong, dreadfully so.

Mr. Shoebat continues,

And where today can I find this church?

You cannot find it, and you never will, no matter how hard you try. But if you would like to take up the challenge, then I would gladly see your findings. In antiquity, the primacy of the Roman Church was established as the head of the churches. This was not an invention of Constantine. Tertullian, one of the oldest and most ancient authorities of Christianity, declared the primacy of the Roman Church. I will let his words speak for themselves:

Mr. Shoebat asks a good question: If Paul was not writing to the Roman Catholic Church, what church was he writing to, and where today can that church be found?

The Bible, as always, gives the pertinent clue:

Romans 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice that Paul was not writing to the Pope at Rome, for there was no Pope at Rome then. Notice Paul was not writing to Peter as the head of the Church at Rome, for Peter was not then at Rome. Notice further that the church at Rome was not founded by Peter or any of the other apostles. The church at Rome was made up of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, those Paul addresses by the expression “called to be saints.” Paul here uses the term “saints” in its New Testament Biblical meaning, ordinary Christian believers. All believers are “saints,” or more literally from the Greek, “holy ones.” Bible saints have nothing to do with so-called “saints” canonized by the Roman Catholic Church without Biblical authority.

Therefore, Paul was not addressing his letter to a church of the sort represented today by the name “the Roman Catholic Church,” but to a group of believers that met in “house churches” on the first day of every week for fellowship and instruction in their new-found faith.

Where can you find such a church today? Not in the Roman Catholic Church you may be sure! You can find it wherever Bible-believing, Bible-practicing Christian believers meet for fellowship around God’s Word in the Bible, and who work both individually and together to reach others with the true message of the Gospel found exclusively in the Bible.

Read your Bible with your eyes wide open! If your church by its practices and by its teachings teaches things you don’t clearly find in the New Testament, you most likely are in the wrong church!

That should sufficiently answer Mr. Shoebat’s challenge, “You cannot find it, and you never will, no matter how hard you try. But if you would like to take up the challenge, then I would gladly see your findings.”

If Mr. Walid Shoebat truly believes in our Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, and is truly saved by faith in what God has done through Christ for us rather than depending upon what we may do for God, and if Mr. Walid Shoebat truly believes the Bible, then the simple answer I have just shared will be sufficient to answer his question, an answer I furnished directly from the Bible itself.

The next claim made by the article by Mr. Walid Shoebat and his son is as follows:

Also, one cannot ignore the fact that no where in the epistles of St. Paul do we find the faith of a particular church praised as being “spoken of throughout the whole world”. It is only to the Roman Church that St. Paul gives this very significant description.

I do not wish to be rude, but to this claim I would answer, Nonsense!

I have already dispensed with the claim that the church of or at Rome addressed by Paul is the Roman Catholic Church. This is an error that involves reading later history, 600 years later at that, into New Testament history. That is a fatal error in logic. Maybe the word for that is anachronism. It occurs in literature when an author in our time writes an historical novel that mistakenly has the characters doing or knowing something that was not yet in existence at the chronological time frame of the story’s setting.

Mr. Walid Shoebat would do well, as would everyone, to carefully study a Bible text, such as Romans 1:8, by first consulting the cross references available in The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, or The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, or Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible for this passage before making the claim that only the church of or at Rome’s faith is praised as being “spoken of throughout the whole world.” Mr. Shoebat says “It is only to the Roman Church that St. Paul gives this very significant description.”

Let us test this claim as to its truth by consulting the cross references given at Romans 1:8,

Romans 1:8. I thank. See on Ro 6:17. Ac 27:35. 1 Cor 1:4. 14:18. 15:57. Ep 1:15, 16. *Ep 5:20. Phil 1:3-5. *Phil 4:6. Col 1:3, 4. +*Col 3:17. 1 Th 1:2, 3. **1 Th 2:13. 3:9. 2 Th 1:3. *2 Th 2:13. 1 Tim 2:1. 2 Tim 1:3-5. Phm 1:4, 5. *He 13:15. 2 J 1:4. 3 J 1:3, 4. my God. Ac 7:32. +Phil 1:3. 4:19. through. Ro 2:16. 5:1. **Jn 14:6. 2 Cor 1:5. Ep 3:21. *Ep 5:20. *Phil 1:11. *He 13:15. 1 P 2:5. 4:11. that your faith. Ro 16:19. +Mt 24:14. *2 Cor 2:14. **Col 1:6, 23. **1 Th 1:8-10. is spoken of. 2 Cor 3:2. Col 1:9. 3 J 1:3. the whole. *Mt 24:14. Mk 13:10. *Lk 2:1. *Ac 11:28. Re 3:10. 16:14. world. Gr. kosmos, +Mt 4:8. Ro 10:18.

Notice the key words that your faith. Notice I have provided emphasis marks throughout the references given in my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. The double asterisk, or in the printed edition, the check mark, means a very important, critical reference that should not be overlooked. I have assigned this level of emphasis to Colossians 1:6, 23 and 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10.

Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Consider also 2 Corinthians 3:2,

2Co 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

The clearest parallel is 1 Thessalonians 1:8,

1Th 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

The church at Rome, therefore, is not the only church Paul commended for having a faith and practice that was known “in every place.” The argument Mr. Shoebat has built upon his misconception falls flat and is invalid for the purpose he uses it.

I had suspected from another video presentation I watched that Mr. Walid Shoebat is Roman Catholic. This article by himself and his son surely confirms my initial impression. Now this does not invalidate all he says about the Bible and the Middle East and Bible prophecy, but it should alert all of us of our need to carefully confirm from the Bible itself the validity of any claims others build upon their interpretation of it.

One of the best methods for guarding against falsehood and mistaken doctrine is to do Real Bible Study by means of studying all the cross references you can get your hands on. The most complete cross references available are given right here at www.realbiblestudy.com for any verse I have discussed. The next most complete source will be found in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge which unfortunately and unwisely is out of print but still available in software format. The currently in-print resource, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, is the remaining best source of complete cross references for Bible study.

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Heiser’s Laws for Bible Study

Dr. Mike Heiser has a very interesting Bible study website. The one I visited a few times is titled “The Naked Bible,” if I recall correctly. Dr. Heiser is a scholar who is far above my level of expertise, yet in the past I have dared to differ with him on, for example, the significance and interpretation and application of Revelation 1:19 as a key to understanding the intended structure of the content of the Book of Revelation. In response to my comments about that verse Dr. Heiser kindly directed me to a newer commentary by Beale on the Book of Revelation. After reading the relevant portion of Beale’s commentary, I concluded that Beale was appealing to an alleged feature of the text that would not have been noticed at the time by the original recipients, so I consider Beale’s argument invalid.

In a discussion on a new Christian discussion site, www.Christiandiscourse.com, Dr. Heiser shared his “personal laws for Bible study.” Here is the substance of the six laws he presented with my additional and concurring commentary:

Bible reading is not Bible study. I have learned, kicking and screaming mind you, that this is where most people are at. Everyone can do serious Bible study and they should.

I agree fully with his introductory remark. If I understand him correctly, he rightly says most people are fine with Bible reading, but need to advance to the level of Bible study.

1. There is no substitute for close attention to the biblical text

You should be observing the biblical text in the original languages. If you cannot, never trust one translation in a passage. Use several and then learn skills for understanding why they disagree. These skills would be things like learning grammatical terms and concepts, along with translation philosophy and the basics of textual criticism.

If you read very far on my website here, you will see that I do make some reference to the original language of the Bible, I cite more than one translation when that helps clarify the meaning, and I have surely discussed grammatical terms and concepts.

I have not dealt extensively with translation philosophy. This involves the issue of whether you should seek to follow a very literal translation such as Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, which strives to translate word-for-word from Hebrew or Greek into English, striving to translate the same original language word consistently by the same English word everywhere it occurs, or should you make use of a “dynamic” translation, which strives to convey the ideas behind the words and larger units like phrases, clauses, and sentences into equivalent ideas in modern English, as to some extent the NIV or the New Living Translation attempt to do. Both kinds of translation are helpful. A literal translation permits more careful study of the figures of speech in the Bible. A dynamic translation makes it easier to follow the ideas (as understood by the translator or translators) in the text. It is best to make use of a number of different translations at the same time when digging deeper into a specific text of Scripture. With modern software, it is easy to do this.

I have not dealt much with textual criticism, but I have been studying the subject since the mid 1950s, probably for longer than Dr. Heiser has studied the subject, though by no means do I claim to know more than he does. A scholar friend of mine from Chicago, Mr. G. E. Hoyer, procured many scholarly volumes on this subject for me.

2. Patterns in the text are more important than word studies

You need to learn to trace threads and ideas through the Bible and observe how the New Testament re-purposes and interprets the Old Testament. If you aren’t paying attention to these things, you’re missing more than you think you’re seeing.

I certainly agree fully with Dr. Heiser on this rule! For the ordinary Bible reader, the most direct way to follow Dr. Heiser’s advice in this “rule” is to use cross reference Bible study. I wrote an article here on this site asking the question, “Is it really possible to study the Bible without using cross references?” The answer is yes, you can, but you will miss much if not most of what there is to gain from careful Bible study.

With more specific regard to patterns in the text, the Companion Bible is a very helpful resource understandable by ordinary readers of the English Bible.

Word studies are important, but doing word studies can lead the Bible student to not take careful account of the word in context. Context shapes meaning. Supposing that the “meaning” of a word as given in a lexicon always holds for every context where the word occurs is a very mistaken idea engaged in by many rather well-known Christian Bible scholars. I have noted this issue here and there in my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (see my note at John 5:39 and my note at Revelation 3:10, for example). There is also the very significant issue of falling into the trap of succumbing to the logical error sometimes called the “word study fallacy.” I make reference to that fallacy at the end of my note on 1 Timothy 4:1.

3. The Bible must be interpreted in context, and that context isn’t your own, or that of your theological tradition

The context of the Bible is the context that produced it—ancient Near East/Mediterranean.

In other words, if you’re letting your theological tradition filter the Bible to you, you aren’t doing Bible study or exegesis, and you aren’t interpreting the Bible in context.

Dr. Heiser is most correct. This third “rule” is the principle behind my emphasis on this site that you start out your reading and study of the Bible by using a plain text Bible. You want to learn as much as you can directly from the Bible itself, not the ideas of any commentator on the Scripture. Study Bibles are of great help, but the notes they contain are not divinely inspired. Only the text of the Bible itself is divinely inspired. Beware indeed of falling into the trap of reading the Bible in terms of your theological tradition. Some of the most popular and highly respected Bible teachers of our day at times fall into this trap. If what you believe can have the suffix “ism” added to it, beware! Calvinism, for example, is most certainly mistaken in some of its assertions, compared to what the text of Scripture itself declares.

4. The Bible is a divine human book; treat it as such

Put another way, God chose people to write the biblical text, and people write using grammar, in styles understood by their peers, and with deliberate intent—and so the Bible did not just drop from heaven. Study it as though some person actually wrote it, not like it is the result of a paranormal event.

The Bible must be understood grammatically before it can be interpreted doctrinally. Those who ignore the grammar most certainly will be in error on many points of their interpretations and understandings of what the Bible teaches. It is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of this matter.

Certainly the Bible is divinely inspired. It is verbally inspired. It is inspired of God down to the last “jot and tittle.” Men who wrote the Bible were directed by the Holy Spirit as to exactly what to write (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16). Yet the Holy Spirit fully employed the ability and style of each individual writer. The writing of John is very different from the style of Paul in the original language text.

5. If it’s weird, it’s important (i.e. it’s there for a reason; it is not random)

Put another way: Systematic theology isn’t helpful (and can be misleading) if its conclusions are not derived from exegesis of the original text. Biblical theology is done from the ground up, not the top down.

Systematic theology can be very instructive, but the study of Biblical theology is far better. I have called the “top down” method of expounding Bible truth the deductive system of interpretation, a method that should be avoided. To get at the truth of the Bible it must be studied inductively. This is done by gathering all the material that is given in the Bible on the subject, theme, or issue you wish to study or are concerned about, and considering the whole, and all its parts carefully in the contexts where the parts are found, before coming to a sound conclusion about what the Bible teaches.

The Bible does not present all its teaching on a given subject in one place, like one chapter, or several chapters, or even a whole book. The material must be carefully searched for, and discovered by finding all the places that relate to the subject being studied.

You cannot merely use a Bible concordance to find all the material that pertains to the issue of concern. That is because the same subject elsewhere in the Bible may be mentioned using entirely different terms.

This is why you must make use of cross reference Bible study, using as complete a resource providing cross references as you can find. It is helpful to use more than one resource which contains good cross references. In reference Bibles, one of the best and most complete source of cross references is the American Standard Bible published years ago by Nelson, identified on its cover as Teachers’ Edition. The NIV Study Bible has a good collection of center column references also. The original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and my expansions and corrections of it, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible are probably the most complete resources available for cross reference Bible study. Both The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge are available in Bible software. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is also available on line on the Internet. A site I like is the edition featured at a site with a name something like the blue-letter Bible. My new much expanded edition of my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, is available right here on this Real Bible Study site in many samples I have posted for the daily Bible Nuggets and other Bible topics I have addressed.

6. If, after you’ve done the grunt work of context-driven exegesis, what the biblical text says disturbs you, let it

Dr. Heiser is surely correct about this. I have expressed the idea as learning something new in your careful study of the Bible. Sometimes when you learn something new, that new knowledge requires that you make some changes in what you understood or believed before. If this is not happening as a result of your Bible study, you probably are not really studying the Bible, or you’ve got your mind made up already and think you will never change. In either case, you are wrong, and need to develop a taste for what I call Real Bible Study.

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Daily Bible Nugget #319, Joel 3:2

The Nugget:

Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

My Comment:

In this text God declares what he will do, to whom, and why.

God will gather all nations. God will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, a famous battle ground in Scripture.

God will plead with the nations there on behalf of his people and his heritage Israel.

Why will He do all this?

Because (1) the nations have scattered the Jews among the nations; and most significant for this present time, (2) God charges the nations for “parting my land.”

If you are familiar with the content of Bible prophecy, you will immediately understand what a precarious position any country takes who would dare to take part in “parting” God’s land, Israel.

If you are not familiar with Bible prophecy, it is imperative that you change course in your life and get to know the Bible. If enough people become knowledgeable about the Bible, they will wisely have positioned themselves to take the proper stance toward the nation of Israel. God promises to bless those who bless Abraham (Genesis 12:3), and curse those who curse Abraham. In Bible language this means those who work against Israel of today are guilty of cursing Abraham. The proper attitude for all Christians to take to the Jews and Israel the nation is clearly stated in Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Any so-called “Two-State Solution” is clearly directly contrary to the will of God plainly declared in the Bible. It is about time that more Christians spend less time on the frivolities of this life such as sports and entertainment and self-indulgence and use the time gained to reach out to win others to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. That alone would be a giant step forward in remedying many of the moral and spiritual ills of this society. We should use the time gained to develop a deeper knowledge of what the Bible itself actually teaches. That is what Real Bible Study is all about! The cross references I share below will lead any thoughtful reader to much material in the Bible that pertains to Bible prophecy as it may pertain to events unfolding in our 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 page 950 for Joel 3:2.

(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 979 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Joel 3:2.

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

Joel 3:2. also gather. ver. Joel 3:11, 14. 2 K 10:21. Is 66:18. Ezk 38:15. Mi 4:11. *Zp 3:8, 19. +*Zc 12:2. **Zc 14:2-4. Re 16:14, 16. 19:19-21. 20:8. all nations. FS171o3, Ge 41:57. All put by the Figure Synecdoche (of the Whole) for representatives or people from all nations. **Ps 83:1-8, 14-18. Je 25:31. 28:8. Zc 2:8. 14:3. **Mt 25:32. the valley of Jehoshaphat. i.e. Jehovah hath judged. Between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Mentioned only here and ver. Joel 3:12; the event recorded in 2 Ch 20:21-26 being typical of this scene of future judgment of the nations (CB). ver. Joel 3:12. =2 Ch 20:21-26. *Ezk 39:11. *Zc 14:4. will plead with them. or, will judge them. The judgment of Mt 25 turns on how the nations had treated “My brethren,” and not upon the grounds of justification by faith (CB). Is 51:22. *Is 66:16. Je 25:31. *Ezk 38:22. Am 1:11. Ob 1:10-16. Mic 4:3. Zc 12:3, 4. Mt 22:7. **Mt 25:31-46. Re 11:18. 16:6. 18:20, 21. my people. +*Dt 32:43. Ho 2:23. Mt 25:31-46. my heritage. Dt 32:9. Je 12:7. Israel. Note this; not merely Judah, but the twelve-tribed nation. **Ezk 37:22. whom they have scattered. Je 50:17. and parted my land. +*Ge 12:2, 3, 7. +*Ge 13:15. +*Ge 17:7, 8. **Le 25:23. +**Dt 32:43. Je 12:14. 49:1. Ezk 25:8. 35:10. **Ezk 48:14. Da 11:39. Zp 2:8-10.

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