My Answers to Muslim Questions, continued

A Muslim poster asked why I had not continued my discussion with him.

I answered that I have a very difficult time figuring out how to return to a thread where I have posted material on Facebook.

This evening I somehow encountered the thread again, and wrote an extended answer to the question we had been discussing. But when I was about to post my comment, Facebook interrupted me and asked me to “sign in” and/or “reload this page.” So I was not able to post what I had written minutes ago, and cannot find the thread where I had typed the post. This is not the first time this has happened.

[The Muslim response:

Jerome Smith, I am not sure if you forgot to reply to my questions regarding the death of Jesus in relation to the trinity and the one regarding the contradiction of concept between the Old and New Testament or if you ignored them or if you are planning to reply soon. Whatever the case, I haven’t got an answer yet.

Now all know that the original language in which the Old Testament is written is mainly Hebrew.

So, as for Isaiah 7:14, there should not be a debate at all since it is very apparent that the original Hebrew word used there is “almah” which all scholars know means “a maiden” or “a young woman (of marriageable age who has not yet given birth)”, who may or may not be a virgin.

But the Greek translation, the Septuagint, uses the Greek word “parthenos” which, as you have said, most certainly means a virgin.

The Hebrew word for virgin is “bethulah”, par excellence, and not “almah.”

So it’s not a matter of scholarship but a matter of language.

It is therefore clear that perhaps the author of Matthew, whoever he is, had not the knowledge of Isaiah 7:14 from the original correct rendering of the Hebrew and his knowledge must have come form the mistranslated Greek Septuagint only.

But if the meaning of the original is unequivocally known, naturally, the original supersedes the latter incorrect meaning.
Furthermore, the parallel would still not be an actual parallel here because the one with Jesus still implies the disunity among the trinity Godhead even with the translation you have given.

ReplyOctober 10 at 7:04amEdited ]


I was able to find the thread again just now, so I have inserted the text I have been responding to. Even so, the same thing happened again–I was asked to “sign in” and when I did so I was not returned exactly to where I was.


Fortunately, I saved my comment/answer to my computer’s “memory,” so if that has not been lost, here it is:

My Response:

Adil Abdurahman, I have not forgotten this discussion thread. I am not well acquainted with the process of finding the thread again unless someone comments and I get a notification.
Your argument that the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, therefore the meaning of the Hebrew text should have precedence over the meaning of what is found in a mere translation into Greek done many years later sounds reasonable on the surface, but is not correct when all the evidence is taken into account.
I made mention of two additional passages as examples of the principle involved without quoting the passages or offering an explanation.
I mentioned Hebrews 1:6.
Heb 1:6  And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 
Now, where is that stated in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament?
The text is not found in our present Hebrew text. It is found in the Greek Septuagint. Hebrews 1:6 quoted the Septuagint translation of Deuteronomy 32:43,
43 Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him, for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.
Brenton, L. C. L. (1870). The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation (Dt 32:43). London: Samuel Bagster and Sons.
I mentioned Revelation 4:8.
Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 
Revelation 4:8 is citing Amos 4:13 from the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament for the title “Lord God Almighty.”
13 For, behold, I am he that strengthens the thunder, and creates the wind, and proclaims to men his Christ, forming the morning and the darkness, and mounting on the high places of the earth, The Lord God Almighty is his name.
Brenton, L. C. L. (1870). The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation (Am 4:13). London: Samuel Bagster and Sons.
Notice that Amos 4:13 speaks of Christ, and states “The Lord God Almighty is his name.” It is to this passage that John in the book of Revelation alludes when he uses this title at Revelation 4:8.
When Jesus came to Nazareth, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day and stood up for to read (see Luke 4:16). He found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 
Luk 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 
These words as read by Jesus are cited from the Septuagint from Isaiah 61:1-2.
Therefore, in the light of this evidence, it should be clear that the New Testament writers in their writings and Jesus Himself in his preaching and teaching at times made use of the Greek Septuagint translation of the Bible, as recorded in the New Testament.
David McCalman Turpie, in his The Old Testament in the New: A contribution to Biblical Criticism and Interpretation, gives a very complete analysis of how the Old Testament has been cited by the New Testament. The book contains a number of Tables, Table A, for example, contains the quotations in the New Testament which agree with the original Hebrew of the Old Testament. Table D contains “the quotations of the New Testament which differ from the original Hebrew text but agree with the Septuagint version.” This is the case for Luke 4:18, 19.
Table A lists Matthew 19:18 and Matthew 19:19 as well as Matthew 21:31 as instances where Matthew cites the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. This shows that your suggestion that “the writer of Matthew, whoever he is, was not acquainted with the Hebrew text,” is mistaken.
Knowing this background information helps to provide answers to some interesting questions.
The Jehovah Witnesses argue that Jesus is never called “Almighty God,” but only “mighty God.” Their assertion is clearly mistaken, because Revelation 4:8 speaks of Jesus Christ and cites Amos 4:13 which clearly calls the Messiah “the Lord God Almighty.”
The Jehovah Witnesses argue that Jesus was never worshipped. Their assertion is clearly mistaken because Hebrews 1:6 cites Old Testament Scripture which records the divine command, “Let the angels of God worship Him,” in direct reference to Deuteronomy 32:43.
This also proves from Scripture that Jesus Christ existed as a Person before His human birth to Mary in Bethlehem, for the angels of God were commanded by God to worship Him before Jesus became a man.
I have not yet delved into the question of the status of the Trinity when our Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross of Calvary. But it should be quite clear that it was the divine-human Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His human nature died on the cross as a priestly-sacrificial offering of Himself for our redemption through His atonement: His divine nature, of course, did not experience death.
If I am able to find this thread again, I can give more explanation regarding the incarnation and hypostatical union of the two natures in Christ and related matters pertaining to the Trinity as revealed in the Bible.
Thank you for your gracious patience manifest in your awaiting my replies.
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How to find God the Father and God the Son and Holy Spirit in the New Testament

The Nugget:

Joh 20:28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 

My Comment:

To find the truth about what the New Testament says about a subject or theme you must not only read it carefully and repeatedly, but you must study it carefully. This is true of any work of great literature, but especially true of the Bible.

You will not always find the subject you wish to learn about by simply searching for that exact term in the Bible. Some terms we often use in speaking of topics taught in the Bible are not given or referred to by those exact terms in the Bible, yet the teaching is most certainly there. For example, you will not find the precise phrase “second coming” or the term “rapture” or the terms “eternal security,” “trinity,” “God the Son,” “God the Holy Spirit,” anywhere in the Bible. To learn about these topics you must study by looking up the cross references given for the Bible passages that come closest to speaking of the subject.

Just now, in a discussion begun on “Jesus or Mohammad, who’s the Right Way to Heaven” Facebook group, the following Muslim challenge to Christians was posted:

The Question:

Let’s make a search for God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit in the new testament. 
We will find many verses that talks about GOD THE FATHER, but there was no verse that talks about God the son or God the holy spirit.
That assures and proves that God the father is the only God according to the bible.

My Response:

Ibrahim Al Dahleh, you apparently have not made a careful, thorough study of the New Testament.
You are also falling into a logical trap, a trap that insists upon finding expressions worded exactly as you specify, rather than searching the Scripture carefully to learn how the Bible states its teachings.
One of my 24 rules of correct Bible interpretation is what I call the rule of necessary inference. Some things in the Bible are not directly stated in the words we might wish or choose to use to express the truth it reveals, but by necessary inference, we can legitimately derive such truths from what is said.
Careful study of Scripture demonstrates that all three (and only these three and no others)–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–are persons of the Godhead, who are associated on an equality of being, and possess the attributes and prerogatives of Deity.
Consider these facts stated in the Bible:
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, KJV) are each
(1) called God.
The Father is called God:  John 6:27.  Galatians 1:1, 3.  Ephesians 6:23.  Philippians 2:11.  Colossians 2:2.  1 Thessalonians 1:1. 2 Timothy 1:2. Titus 1:4.  2 Peter 1:17.  Jude 1:1. [These are the very passages you have cited in your opening post above, thank you]
The Son is called God:  John 20:28.
John 20:28
28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
King James Version
John 1:1
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
King James Version
John 1:14
14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
King James Version
Romans 9:5
5  Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
King James Version
Titus 2:13
13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
King James Version
Hebrews 1:8
8  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
King James Version
2 Peter 1:1
1  Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
King James Version
The Holy Spirit is called God:  Acts 5:3, 4
Acts 5:3
3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
King James Version
Acts 5:4
4  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
King James Version
(2) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each called Lord:
The Father is called Lord:  Romans 10:12
Romans 10:12
12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
King James Version
The Son is called Lord:  Luke 2:11
Luke 2:11
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
King James Version
The Holy Spirit is called Lord:  2 Corinthians 3:17
  2 Corinthians 3:17
17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
King James Version
(3) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each called or said to be everlasting:
The Father is called everlasting:  Romans 16:26
Romans 16:26
26  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
King James Version
The Son is called everlasting:
Micah 5:2
2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
King James Version
John 8:58
58  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
King James Version
John 17:5
5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
King James Version
Hebrews 13:8
8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
King James Version
Revelation 22:13
13  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
King James Version
The Holy Spirit may be said to be eternal or everlasting:  Hebrews 9:14
Hebrews 9:14
14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
King James Version
God the Father, as well as Jesus Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit are each:
(4) Omniscient
The Father is omniscient:  Hebrews 4:13
Hebrews 4:13
13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
King James Version
The Son is omniscient:  John 21:17, “thou knowest all things”
John 21:17
17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
King James Version
[This is asserted or demonstrated further in a number of passages of Scripture:  John 2:24, 25;  John 4:16;  John 5:6;  John 5:42;  John 6:61, 64;  John 11:14 (Jesus knew days before he arrived that Lazarus was dead);  Matthew 17:24-27, and many more passages.] 
The Holy Spirit is omniscient:  1 Corinthians 2:10, 11
1 Corinthians 2:10-11
10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
King James Version
Only God can be omniscient. Since Jesus Christ is both declared and demonstrated to be omniscient, by the rule of necessary inference, Jesus Christ must be God, that is, He always has been divine, or deity, in His eternal position as God the Son.

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Did God forsake Jesus on the cross, Part 3

The Nugget:

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

My Comment:

Once again my Muslim participant has brought forth more very good questions.

The Questions:

Is it not clear from the Bible itself that in this is incident, among many others, Jesus didn’t utter the expression in question in Greek? All the translations give the expression in another language: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

So it doesn’t matter whether Jesus spoke Greek or not, or if Matthew was originally written in Greek or not, because clearly Jesus did not utter the expression in Greek.

Furthermore, concerning ‘forsaken’ or ‘left’, I said that even if the translation was as you claim, the question was: If there is the absolute unity, why would Jesus complain against whoever left him about being left in the ‘redemptive role’? Why would he question “Why”? Did he not understand? Or was Jesus forced to be there by the God he was calling without his consent? Did he not want it?

Furthermore, if there is that absolute unity among the Godhead as you strongly claim, then, when Jesus died at the cross, did all three die likewise? Or were they separated so that only 1/3rd of the Godhead died? Or did he not die at all?

My Response:

Adil Abdurahman, once again you have asked some excellent questions.
First of all, those of us who are Bible-believing Christians understand that the very words contained in the Bible are given by divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God….”). Divine inspiration extends to the books of the New Testament (2 Peter 3:15, 16;  1 Timothy 5:18).
Now, as for what is said by Jesus on the cross as recorded in Matthew 27:46, though it is true that Jesus spoke these words in Aramaic, not Greek, Matthew furnishes his translation and explanation by divine inspiration in Greek. It is the explanation in Greek that contains the divinely intended meaning of what Jesus said. Therefore, the full explanation of the Greek which I gave is both pertinent and correct. The scholarly documentation for what I have said can be found readily in J. H. Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, Volume II:  Accidence and Word Formation, Section 118 (a), page 305, just over one-third of the way down the page. The only English translation that gets this matter correct is Lavender’s New Testament, page 57, note i.
Scholarly documentation for my assertion that Matthew was originally written in Greek, not Aramaic, and that certain sayings of Jesus Himself must have been spoken in Greek, will be found in A Grammar of New Testament Greek, Volume IV, page 38 and also Grammatical Insights, page 181, both works written by Nigel Turner, who continued and completed the work of Dr. J. H. Moulton after Dr. Moulton’s death, and published by T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh. I have placed a note at Matthew 16:18 regarding the significance of the Figure of Speech Paronomasia, “which shows that Matthew was originally written in Greek, and is not a translation from the Aramaic” (see The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge at Matthew 16:18 or The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury at Matthew 16:18 for additional details).
Jesus predicted the manner of His death several times before the events took place (see Mark 8:31 and Luke 9:22; Matthew 16:21).
A very significant text will be found in John 2:18-22,
Joh 2:18  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 
Joh 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 
Joh 2:20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 
Joh 2:21  But he spake of the temple of his body. 
Joh 2:22  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. 
Recall that when Peter drew his sword when Jesus was about to be taken and arrested, Jesus responded:
Mat 26:51  And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. 
Mat 26:52  Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 
Mat 26:53  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 
Mat 26:54  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 
From this event, we are assured that Jesus knew very well what He was getting into. Jesus asserted that He could at will summon a superior force of angels–the margin of my Bible says 72,000 angels, to defeat the force arrayed or gathered against Him. But Jesus did not do so. Why? Because, Jesus said, “But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be?”
Jesus plainly tells us that He did what He did voluntarily:
Joh 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 
Joh 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. 
The Scripture further tells us that Jesus did what He did for us “for the joy that was set before him”:
Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
The central message of the Gospel may be read in John 3:16,
Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 
Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 
Joh 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 
Joh 3:20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 
Joh 3:21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 
From the Bible, we learn that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was truly man and is still truly man. He had two natures:  a divine nature and a human nature. In His human nature he could and did suffer pain, and of course, like any human being would respond to that pain because it was truly felt. Yet, despite the agony experienced on the cross, Jesus endured the cross, He died to make atonement for our sins, and the proof that what He did was accepted by God resides in the fact that God raised Jesus bodily from the dead “on the third day,” as Jesus predicted, as the prophets proclaimed in word or in type, in fulfillment of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

As to the question, did Jesus actually die? The answer is unequivocally, Yes. We have the testimony of the Centurion who was on the scene. We have the testimony of John, the disciple Jesus loved, who was there and wrote graphically of what he saw. We have the fact that Pilate was surprised that Jesus died so quickly, and requested and sent for proof or assurance of the fact before he would agree to release the body to Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus for burial.

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Did God forsake Jesus on the Cross, Part 2

The Nugget:

Mar 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 

My Comment:

After my post of October 3, 2017 on Facebook, another Muslim participant replied with several excellent questions.


The Question Posed:

He asked, “What major difference is there between the translation you have given and the popular translation?

“To forsake means:  to leave permanently. So it’s just a choice of words.

“Besides, Jesus most likely spoke Aramaic, and most definitely not Greek. So that makes your argument less effective because it focuses on the Greek.

“Further, the next verses indicate that he was actually complaining against someone because the people witnessing the event, if it ever occurred, thought so.

It says,

“Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah!’ Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to him to drink. The rest said, ‘Let him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save him.” [Matthew 27:47 – 49]

Furthermore, if it is as you say, that God left Jesus in that circumstance, the question would still not be averted. Why would God leave the other God in whatever circumstance the latter God was? And why would the latter God complain against the former God for living him in the “redemptive” role? Was there, therefore, a disagreement between the Godhead as to the redemptive role? And how can one God leave another God in any circumstance if there is absolute unity in the Godhead?”

My Response:

Adil Abdurahman, you ask some very good questions, and make some most interesting assertions.
Jesus certainly spoke Aramaic, but the linguistic evidence demonstrates forcefully and clearly that He knew Greek and spoke Greek as well.
How do we know this? We know this on the basis of certain figures of speech found in the record of what Jesus said. The figures exist in the Greek text, but are so natural to the flow of thought that it is certain they are not the result of “translation Greek.” This, by the way, is a major argument supporting the fact that Matthew was originally written in Greek, and is not a translation from a previous Aramaic source document. [See Nigel Turner, Grammatical Insights, p. 181;  Grammar of N.T. Greek, vol. iv. p. 38]
Therefore, the distinctions maintained in the Greek text of the New Testament are intentional distinctions placed there by the authors of those documents. Certain types of distinctions are very, very regular and so cannot be the result of chance or accident. This is particularly the case with the use of the subjunctive mood in Greek, a feature not usually conveyed in English translations, though it is an exceedingly important matter.
“Forsake” is not at all the same as “left” in the context of Matthew 27:46. “Forsake” is actually a wrong translation, though it is the usual one.
Christ was “left,” but in what sense? He was left “in” the redemptive role. The circumstance in which the Savior was left was the act of Atonement through death by bloodshed. Our Lord was not forsaken, abandoned, separated from the Father–impossible. This would require the absurd impossibility that Jesus dropped out of the Trinity, which cannot be because God is in essence and being One. But He was left in the sense of redemption to do the work of redemption. He was left to “tread the winepress alone.” He was left alone to do what only the Incarnate God-man of hypostatical union could do–left alone but not alone. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
There is not the remotest  possibility, therefore, that Christ could have been separated from God–the Trinity.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, though distinct in Person, are the same in nature, and thus have no separate existence! The Trinity were one God even as Christ was upon the cross.
The presumption that God must differ from Himself in order to be able to save–Christ made sin, forsaken by the Father–is blasphemy and unbelief! He is a Savior intrinsically!  Immutably!  Eternally! In and by Himself Exclusively! Herein the Calvary event is rescued from the absurdities of penal atonement imposed on this text (Matthew 27:46;  see Mark 15:34).
The same word, egkatelipen, is used of Demas forsaking Paul (2 Timothy 4:10). Thus  Paul was “left,” but in what sense? He was “left in the plight” of desertion. The purpose of the “leaving” declares the difference in meaning;  Demas’ purpose was “another love,” requiring a separation; God’s purpose was “redemption,” requiring togetherness and oneness.

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Did God forsake Jesus on the cross?

The Nugget:

Mat 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

My Comment:

This text of Scripture has been misunderstood and mistranslated in virtually all English Bible translations.

The translations we trust are faulty here, probably because of a built-in but unrecognized doctrinal bias in favor of a very mistaken Penal Satisfaction theory of the Atonement.

The more I study the Greek text with the help of the Lavender Translation and my shelves of Greek grammars, the more I come to see that we are almost hopelessly entangled in doctrinal error based on a tradition that takes us back not to the Bible, but to Anselm, who wrote a volume attempting to answer the question “Why did Christ have to die?”

This systematic error makes it much more difficult to present the Gospel in its fullness here at home and on the mission field.

Case in point:  on a Facebook website discussion in a group called “Christianity and Islam Friendly Debate” a Muslim from Bauchi, Nigeria, posted this question:

“If Jesus died willingly and deliberately for the sins of others, why he prayed to God to escape him from dead?”

In other words, “Why did Jesus pray to God to keep him from dying?” is what I think the poster might have meant. It is hard to tell.

I answered, “Your question is not clear to me. Jesus prayed, ‘If it be possible.’ Jesus prayed ‘if it be thy will.’ If we consider John 10:18 and context and Hebrews 12:1, 2 we find Jesus voluntarily gave Himself for us, and did so with joy.”

In a following comment, the poster asks “How do one imagine that God will cry to another God for help?” with a citation of Mark 15:34 and a reference to Matthew 27:46.

He further comments, “I think no Christian in his sense could believe that his God was crying for help from another God. If you are one of those that believe Jesus as God you better change your mind before you die.”

I commented:  “It would help very much if you understood the New Testament more accurately.”

In reply, the poster said to me, “empty words the Bible says let no one to deceive you with empty words.”

My Response:

In the first place, Saraki Saraki, our usual translations of Matthew 27:46 into English and no doubt into other languages do not properly convey the intended meaning of the original Greek text. Here is a much better translation:
“My God! My God! Why did you leave me in this circumstance?”
The words “did You leave…in this circumstance” translates Egkataleipes, an aorist active indicative from evgkataleipo, egkataleipō. The term is a compound word made up of en (in), kata (down, downwards), and leipō (to leave). So in keeping with its definitive characteristics, the word means to leave in some circumstance.
Noted Greek grammarian Moulton in volume 2, section 118a on page 305 notes this word points “to the plight in which the victim is left.”
The meaning in the context of Matthew 27:46 is that Christ was left in the redemptive role.
The Father did not forsake the Son on the cross. This is a popular heresy that denies the Unity of the Trinity, the Oneness of God at Calvary, and the Immutability of the Godhead.
As generally but wrongly translated, this verse gives support to the penal atonement theory–that Christ was punished in atonement. In order for Christ to be punished, He must be “made sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21, another instance of gross mistranslation, where “made sin” should be translated “take sin”), the basis on which the Father is said to have “forsaken” the Son.
The Father did not forsake the Son as He was dying on the cross, in the very act of reconciling the world to Himself (see 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19).
There is much more to be learned from the Bible about this most important subject, but to keep this comment from being too long I’ll stop here.

Just now, the Muslim responded with a single word:  “lier.”

I replied, “That is hardly an acceptable reply in a discussion or debate. I documented my assertions with citations both from scholarly resources about Greek grammar, citing Moulton, and citations from the Bible itself. If “lier” is your best response, you have lost the debate!

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What are “Reciprocal References”?

Dear Ken,


Reciprocal references are links backward or forward to all other passages that contain a cross reference to the passage you are consulting. The original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge contained references to 1 Corinthians 15:55, but at 1 Corinthians 15:55 there was not a reference given pointing back to each of those references. Here are the original 1 Corinthians 15:55 references from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:


1 Corinthians 15:55

O death: Hos_13:14

sting: Act_9:5; Rev_9:10 *Gr.

grave: or, hell, Luk_16:23; Act_2:27; Rev_20:13-14 *Gr.

is thy victory: Job_18:13-14; Psa_49:8-15, Psa_89:48; Ecc_2:15-16, Ecc_3:19, Ecc_8:8, Ecc_9:5-6; Rom_5:14



Here are the reciprocal references not given in the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:


Reciprocal: Job_41:22 – is turned into joy Psa_16:10 – my Psa_23:4 – I will Pro_14:32 – the righteous Isa_51:13 – where is Mat_16:18 – and the Luk_6:48 – the flood 1Co_15:26General 2Ti_1:10 – who Heb_2:14 – destroy Rev_6:2 – and he went Rev_6:8 – was Death,

All these reciprocal references will be found to contain a cross reference to 1 Corinthians 15:55.


Here are the cross references to 1 Corinthians 15:55 as given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:
1 Corinthians 15:55


O death. T853. *Psa_23:4; *Psa_37:37; *Psa_48:14; *Psa_49:15; *Psa_73:26; *Pro_14:32; Isa_25:8; *Hos_13:14; +✓Rom_8:38; Rom_8:39; 2Co_4:16; *2Ti_1:12; Heb_2:14; Heb_2:15

sting. Act_9:5; Act_26:14; Rev_9:10

grave. or, hell. Gr. hades, +Mat_11:23; Hades is the New Testament Greek equivalent of the Hebrew sheol. Its meaning is not merely the grave, as a reference to the notes on sheol will prove. +*Gen_37:35 n. Job_17:13; Psa_49:15; Psa_141:7; +*Ecc_9:10; Isa_14:9 n. Luk_16:23; Act_2:27; Rev_20:13; Rev_20:14 g.

is thy victory. Job_18:13; Job_18:14; Psa_49:8-15; Psa_89:48; Ecc_2:15; Ecc_2:16; Ecc_3:19; Ecc_8:8; Ecc_9:5; Ecc_9:6; Rom_5:14

You can see that when I did the work on The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by hand I missed many of the reciprocal references.


Here are the references as they now stand in my newest work, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:


1 Corinthians 15:55

O death. T853, 1Co_15:26, *Psa_23:4; *Psa_37:37; *Psa_48:14; *Psa_49:15; *Psa_73:26, *Pro_14:32, *Isa_25:8, *>Hos_13:14, +**Rom_8:38; +**Rom_8:39, 2Co_4:16, *2Ti_1:12, *Heb_2:14; *Heb_2:15, Rev_6:8.

where is. Job_41:22, Psa_16:10, Isa_51:13, +*Luk_6:48, 2Ti_1:10, Rev_6:2.

sting. 1Co_15:56, Act_9:5; +Act_26:14 g. Rev_9:10 g.

grave. or, hell. Gr. hades, +Mat_11:23, Hades is the New Testament Greek equivalent of the Hebrew sheol. Its meaning is not merely the grave, as a reference to the notes on sheol will prove. +*Gen_37:35 note. Job_17:13, **+Psa_9:17; Psa_49:15; Psa_141:7, +*Ecc_9:10, Isa_14:9 note. Mat_16:18, Luk_16:23, Act_2:27, Rev_20:13-14 g.

is thy victory. Job_18:13-14, Psa_49:8-15; Psa_89:48, Ecc_2:15-16; Ecc_3:19; Ecc_8:8; Ecc_9:5-6, Rom_5:14.




Additional reciprocal references to 1 Corinthians 15:55 found in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge discovered by doing a “reciprocal search” on 1 Corinthians 15:55 using my Logos 7 Bible software:

Psalm 88:10.  Psalm 116:15.  Psalm 39:13.  2 Timothy 1:10.  Revelation 20:13.  Joshua 4:23.  Numbers 23:10.  Proverbs 29:6.  Romans 8:11.  Proverbs 12:28.  Leviticus 14:7.  Matthew 16:18.  Isaiah 38:17.  Psalm 9:6.  **Luke 16:23.  Romans 16:25.  **Revelation 21:4.  Matthew 22:31.  **Philippians 3:21.  Revelation 2:10.  +*Hebrews 6:2.  John 11:25.  Revelation 1:18.  Luke 6:48.  **Philippians 1:21.  Genesis 3:15.  Colossians 2:15.  Matthew 11:23.

When these newly found reciprocal references are integrated into the cross references given for 1 Corinthians 15:55 in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury we now have this set of expanded cross references available for study:

  1. O death.   T#853. ver. 26 (1 Cor 15:26).  Nu 23:10.  *Ps 23:4.  *Ps 37:37.  39:13.  *Ps 48:14.  *Ps 49:15.  *Ps 73:26.  88:10.  **Ps 116:15.  *Pr 14:32.  *Is 25:8.  *>Ho 13:14.  +**Ro 8:38, 39.  16:25.  2 Cor 4:16.  **Phil 1:21.  *2 Tim 1:10, 12.  *He 2:14, 15.  Re 1:18.  6:8.  20:13.  where is.  +*Ge 3:15.  =Le 14:7.  =Jsh 4:23.  Jb 41:22.  Ps 9:6.  *Ps 16:10.  *Pr 12:28.  29:6.  Is 38:17.  51:13.  +*Mt 22:31.  +*Lk 6:48.  Jn 11:25.  **Ro 8:11.  **Phil 3:21.  Col 2:15.  2 Tim 1:10.  +*He 6:2.  Re 2:10.  6:2.  **Re 21:4.  sting. ver. 56 (1 Cor 15:56).  Ac 9:5.  +Ac 26:14g.  Re 9:10g.  grave. or, hell.  Gr. hades, +Mt 11:23. Hades is the New Testament Greek equivalent of the Hebrew sheol.  Its meaning is not merely the grave, as a reference to the notes on sheol will prove.  +*Ge 37:35n.  Jb 17:13.  **+Ps 9:17.  49:15.  141:7.  +*Ec 9:10.  Is 14:9n.  Mt 11:23.  16:18.  **Lk 16:23.  Ac 2:27.  Re 1:18.  20:13, 14g.  is thy victory.  Jb 18:13, 14.  Ps 49:8-15.  89:48.  Ec 2:15, 16.  3:19.  8:8.  9:5, 6.  Ro 5:14.



So, thank you, Ken for such a good question that led to this very fruitful further study of the cross references for 1 Corinthians 15:55.







greetings jerry I was blest in my study of the cross references on 1 Cor 15:55. I read about reciprocal cross references but I am not sure what that meant really.


Do you have anything I could read on it. One of the things that attracted me to the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge was when I heard John MacArthur urge that we should pay close attention to the NT references in OT passages and look them up. I have done just that and that’s what gets me excited about Bible study!

Like in 1 Cor 15.55 do you go back to OT references and look those up? I have the Cross Reference Guide right here on my desk ready to go this morning.

Thank you again for your ministry of the word.



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What Does God Hate, Part Four

Pro 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 

Pro 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 

Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 

My Comment:

The fourth thing God hates is “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations” (Proverbs 6:18).

This post is the fourth in a series. Part Three was posted here on April 19, 2017 [].

In modern English, Proverbs 6:18 has been translated to read “those who make evil plans or are quick to do wrong,” by the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

This verse has application to both political issues on any level as well as to the personal lives of every individual.

What God thinks about those who “devise wicked imaginations” is made very clear by studying the cross references, which I share below. I just studied this verse in depth this morning and expanded the number of cross references given to even more than is available in the published edition of The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. What God thinks should be of comfort and encouragement to those who are on God’s side, and an even greater terror to the wicked. If you will take the time to read these references you will be blessed, encouraged, and instructed, I’m sure.

Cross Reference Study of Proverbs 6:18

Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,

18.  heart that deviseth.  ver. +*Pr 6:14.  Pr 3:29.  *Pr 14:22.  24:8.   +**Ge 6:5.  2 S 16:20, 21.  +**Ps 5:9.  *Ps 36:4.  *Je 4:14.  Da 6:5, 11, 12.  Mic 2:1.  *Zec 8:17.  wicked imaginations.  Pr 12:2.  14:17.  15:26.  *Ge 19:4.  +**Dt 7:25.  +**Ps 101:3.  Ezk 38:10.  +*Zec 7:10.

 Since some readers here may not be able to read each reference given above by hovering the mouse pointer over the reference (an action which should open a little window that displays the text of the verse), I will present the text of the first several verses in full, with further comments about some of them.

heart that deviseth.

(1) ver. +*Pr 6:14.

Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 

This verse, from the same chapter, tells more about the character of individuals who “devise mischief.” “Frowardness” in the original Hebrew is translated from a word that means fraud or perversity.

We see evidence of this kind of behavior among some politicians, but they are not the only ones exhibiting this kind of bad character. The point is, God hates such activity and disposition in a person. I believe the only viable solution for this character problem is for a person to become rightly related to our Lord Jesus Christ.

(2) Proverbs 3:29

Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

The connection between Proverbs 3:29 “evil” and Proverbs 6:18 “mischief” is that both verses contain the same Hebrew word (Strong Number H7451) but are translated differently into English by the KJV. God hates those who devise evil against others, in whatever form it takes.

(3) Proverbs 14:22

Pro 14:22  Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good. 

I have noticed that it is frequently the case in the Bible that wherever the word “err” occurs you will find a cause/effect relationship statement. These form a fascinating field of Bible study. I have given a full list of the examples I have found in my note at Psalm 9:10 in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury and also in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.  For Proverbs 14:28, “devising evil” (the cause) results in a person being in error (the effect); “devising good” (the cause) results in a person being blessed by mercy and truth (the effect).

(4) Proverbs 24:8

Pro 24:8  He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.

Young (of Young’s Concordance fame, as well as Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible) renders “a mischievous person” as “a master of wicked thoughts.”

That brings to mind a problem in our society today. George Soros seems to be behind a number of evil activities that have gone on, for which he is said to have paid the participants in those activities. Another unfortunate problem of a different kind–it is reported that there may be very few “honest” politicians in Congress, for many of them have been compromised and are therefore under the control of other wicked forces that promote and carry on such nefarious activities as child sex trafficking, and therefore they must do the bidding of those who hold the evidence against them in reserve in case they do not cooperate. This is a very serious problem nationally and internationally among political leaders, if the reports I’ve heard, seen and read are true. In any case, we need to obey the Bible and pray for those in authority over us in the government that they may be released from the control brought about by this great evil. This ties in to the important truth given at Psalm 101:3,

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

To escape these snares and pitfalls, we must follow the advice given in Psalm 119:63,

Psa 119:63  I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. 

We must totally avoid all compromising relationships, whether at school, on the job, in government, in Congress, and even in Christian ministry. Even very innocent and well-intentioned persons can be falsely accused of evil behavior by the kind of persons God declares He hates, including those with hearts that devise wicked imaginations, that is evil plans, to cause another’s downfall. Therefore, be very careful in all your associations, words, and actions so that they cannot be taken the wrong way. Live a life of such good character such that if you are falsely accused, no one will believe the accusation.

There are yet more fascinating cross references to cover, but if I take the time to cover them all here in writing, few will be patient enough to read it all. But I have shared my expanded cross references above so that you can follow up on them by your own study.

Posted in Christian Living, How to Study the Bible, Politics and the Bible, Practical Application Bible Studies, Principles of Christian Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Bible Nugget #463, 1 Timothy 5:23

The Nugget:

1Timothy 5:23  Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

My Comment:

This verse is one of the most misapplied verses in the Bible. To suppose that Paul would advise Timothy to partake of alcoholic beverage for the health of his stomach ailments is absurd. In the first place, in New Testament times wine was not distilled in a manner to make it more alcoholic or potent as is done in modern times. Of course, in Paul and Timothy’s day refrigeration was not available, so grape juice could be fermented. But the better understanding of what Paul was recommending would be to take Paul’s advice to Timothy in the sense of consume more fresh fruit juice. Paul elsewhere in this same letter to Timothy commanded total abstinence, according to the proper translation of the Greek text (1 Timothy 3:2).

This issue was just raised on Facebook on a site where Muslims and Christians exchange views.

My Response:

A resource I have addresses 1 Timothy 5:23 as follows:
“These words have been the excuse for much drinking. Timothy had been carefully trained by his godly mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5) and was evidently abstemious in his habits. The old missionary, worried about the frail health of his young friend, advised him to use the fruit of grapes which grew there in abundance. St. Paul was the forerunner of today’s popular acceptance of the therapeutic value of fresh fruit juices for digestion and general health. While St. Paul may have known nothing about vitamins, he did know that fresh fruit juices were healthful for digestion” (B. R. Palmer, “The Bible and the Use of the Word ‘Wine,'” page 4).
Other New Testament passages in the original Greek text command total abstinence from what we today call alcoholic beverages, as at 1 Timothy 3:2, where the Greek is more correctly to be translated “without wine” which the Friberg lexicon defines “…strictly holding no wine, without wine; abstinent.”
Therefore, the better part of wisdom is to remain totally abstinent.

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Is Jesus Christ like Moses or not?

The Nugget:

Deuteronomy 18:15  The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

My Comment:

Some Muslims deny that Jesus is like Moses. They deny that Jesus is “that prophet, like unto thee” that God promised Moses should come.

Instead, Muslims claim that Jesus is unlike Moses in various aspects, including His miraculous birth, His death and resurrection, and so forth.

Rather, some Muslims seek to establish that there are predictions in the Old Testament and the New Testament that a prophet should arise who is greater than Jesus Christ, and that Prophet, whom they claim is the promised Comforter, is Muhammed.

My Response to the Muslim Claim that Jesus is not like Moses:

To say that Jesus is not like Moses is contrary to what the Bible itself teaches.
(1) Christ was like Moses as a Prophet.
Deuteronomy 34:10
10  And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
King James Version
Luke 24:19
19  And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
King James Version
(2) Christ was like Moses as a Mediator.
Deuteronomy 5:5
5  (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,
King James Version
1 Timothy 2:5
5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
King James Version
Hebrews 8:6
6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
King James Version
(3) Christ was like Moses in Excellency.
Moses excelled all the prophets in speaking to God mouth to mouth (Numbers 12:6-8); Christ excelled Moses and all men in that being in the bosom of the Father, He has come down from heaven and declared God to us (John 1:18;  John 3:13).
Numbers 12:6
6  And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
King James Version
Numbers 12:7
7  My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
King James Version
Numbers 12:8
8  With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
King James Version
John 1:18
18  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
King James Version
John 3:13
13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
King James Version
(4) Christ was like to Moses in Faithfulness.
Christ excelled Moses in faithfulness, for Moses was faithful in God’s house as a servant, but Christ as the son over his own house.
Hebrews 3:2
2  Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
King James Version
Hebrews 3:5
5  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
King James Version
Hebrews 3:6
6  But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
King James Version
(5) Christ was like to Moses in signs and wonders, wherein he also excelled Moses.
Luke 24:19
19  And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
King James Version
Acts 2:22
22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
King James Version
Act 10:38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
John 15:24
24  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
King James Version
(6) As Moses was king among his people, Christ in this respect is like Moses, but infinitely greater, for Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Revelation 19:16
16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
King James Version
1 Timothy 6:15
15  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
King James Version
(7) Christ was like Moses as a legislator. Moses gave Israel the Law of God. Christ gave a new law, the Gospel, and a new commandment, the Law of Love. Furthermore, God never commissioned any human beings to give laws to mankind but Moses and Christ; and therefore, as a lawgiver, Christ alone resembles Moses, for none but themselves have given laws in the name of God, which He has ratified and confirmed by the most certain and infallible signs, proofs, and miracles.
Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments. 
John 13:34
34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
King James Version


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