Daily Bible Nugget #598, 1 Timothy 2:1

The Nugget:

1Ti 2:1  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (KJV)

1Ti 2:1  First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people, (GW, God’s Word translation)

1Ti 2:1 First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

Very often, in Paul’s writings in the New Testament, thanksgiving or thankfulness is mentioned in connection with prayer. 1 Timothy 2:1 is an example of this. Paul actually spells out several different kinds of prayer in this verse, which is clearer in the King James Version than in the Contemporary English Version cited above.

Paul encourages us all to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and in the very next verse he encourages us to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

It would be a very interesting study to uncover the extent of Paul’s prayer life as reflected by his incidental comments about who he prays for and what he prays for as reflected in his letters in the New Testament. On this topic, one place to start would be Ephesians 1:16.

Using the cross references for Ephesians 1:16 will get you started on this important and interesting theme:

Eph 1:15  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Eph 1:16  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Ephesians 1:16
Cease not. *Rom 1:8; *Rom 1:9, 1Sa 7:8; +*1Sa 12:23, **Php 1:3; **Php 1:4, Col 1:3; Col 1:9, +*1Th 5:17, 2Th 1:3, *2Ti 1:3.
give thanks. Gr. eucharisteō (S# G2168, 2Co 1:11). Eph 5:4, Rom 6:17; Rom 16:19, Php 1:3, 2Ti 1:3, *Phm 1:4.
making mention of you. Gen 40:14, Isa 62:6, *+Rom 1:9, *1Th 1:2; *1Th 1:3, *Phm 1:4.
in my prayers. Gr. proseuchē (S# G4335, Mat 17:21). *Eph 3:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19; Eph 6:18, Joh 16:24, Act 6:4, Php 1:4, Col 1:9, 2Th 1:11, 2Ti 1:3.

Paul encourages his readers to “be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

1 Corinthians 4:16
16  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
King James Version

1 Corinthians 11:1
1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
King James Version

This Thanksgiving, we can all be thankful to God for all the blessings He has given to us.

Posted in Bible Study Tools, Daily Bible Nuggets, How to Study the Bible, Practical Application Bible Studies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Bible Nugget #597, Hebrews 5:12

The Nugget:

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (KJV)

Heb 5:11  We have a lot to explain about this. But since you have become too lazy to pay attention, explaining it to you is hard.
Heb 5:12  By now you should be teachers. Instead, you still need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food.
Heb 5:13  All those who live on milk lack the experience to talk about what is right. They are still babies.
Heb 5:14  However, solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil. (GW, God’s Word translation)

Heb 5:11 Much more could be said about this subject. But it is hard to explain, and all of you are slow to understand.
Heb 5:12 By now you should have been teachers, but once again you need to be taught the simplest things about what God has said. You need milk instead of solid food.
Heb 5:13 People who live on milk are like babies who don’t really know what is right.
Heb 5:14 Solid food is for mature people who have been trained to know right from wrong. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

The best way to learn something better is to teach it to others.

Of course, it helps to know something about a subject before you attempt to teach others.

When it comes to getting to know the Bible, the process of becoming a qualified teacher is actually quite simple to understand and then do.

In my experience, after becoming saved on November 7, 1953, I met a man, Fred Hicks, who was a painter by profession. He had outfitted one of his trucks as a mobile pulpit, which he drove to places where he could stop to preach the Word of God. He invited me to come with him several times to Campus Martius in downtown Detroit where he had a permit to conduct his street preaching. That was a new experience for me. I had the opportunity to talk to people about the Bible, about our Lord Jesus Christ, and about salvation.

About the same time I was encouraged to take a class under Mrs. Florence Key in teacher training so I could become a Sunday school teacher. I was given a class of junior boys in my own classroom. We were studying the book of Genesis. We had a lesson about the flood of Noah. I remember teaching the lesson, then studying the subject further using some books I checked out of the Highland Park Baptist church library. I learned enough from those books that I realized I needed to re-teach the lesson to my class. I believe that even fourth grade boys can become interested in the Bible and learn much more than most adults would suspect.

I continued to attend the Holiness Youth Crusade monthly meetings and was encouraged by the president of the local Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) to become a counselor to help those who came forward to give their lives to Christ. This became further training in the subject of soul winning and witnessing.

In the summer of 1954 I attended a vacation Bible school class for high school students taught by Miss Ellen Groh, then a student at the Detroit Bible College (later named Tyndale College) who became a missionary to Africa. This was a class about how to study the Bible. I was introduced to such Bible study tools as Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament WordsStrong’s Exhaustive ConcordanceThe New Topical Textbook, and The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. I was taught various Bible study methods as we studied the book of 2 Timothy. I have placed many of those lessons on this site under the category found on the right hand side of this page, “How to Study the Bible.”

At high school, I was encouraged by the MYF president to join her in attending the Voice of Christian Youth (VCY) Bible club which met each Tuesday after school in room 666. I became a member of the quiz team, and our team won the city championship in the final quiz held at the VCY rally at the Masonic Temple. Our team decided to parcel out the Bible books to be studied which were to be the subject of the final quiz. I was given the book of James to study thoroughly. I think I just about memorized the whole book in preparation for the quiz. When I  recognized the question pertained to James, I immediately jumped up to answer the question. When the question was about 1 Peter, I sat back in my chair and relaxed to let another team member answer. The audience and the quiz master, Paul Veenstra, caught on. He stopped to encourage me to be ready for whatever question came next. A little embarrassing, but we still won!

By way of direct application, I must warn that Bible teaching comes with great responsibility. James warns us:

Jas 3:1  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (KJV)

Jas 3:1  Brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers. You know that we who teach will be judged more severely. (GW)

Jas 3:1 My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others. (CEV)

In today’s world, with access to the Internet and Facebook, many are posting Bible teaching for others to benefit from. This is a very good thing. But I have noticed from time to time that some are not entirely open to careful instruction and correction. Be very careful about this. If someone cares enough about your message to others to correct you when you are mistaken in your understanding, as I have sometimes done, take extreme care on your part to learn from the correction.

I am always open to correction. How about you? Don’t be afraid to leave a comment here!

Posted in Christian Living, Daily Bible Nuggets, Education Issues, How to Study the Bible, Principles of Christian Living | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Primary Source Evidence from the First Century and a Half from Non-Christian Sources for Christianity

There are some who deny that Jesus did the things recorded of Him as they are reported in the New Testament.

In a discussion thread in a Facebook group I was very recently invited to join, the question of the historicity of the New Testament accounts was raised. I claim the New Testament is comprised of 27 documents that are primary source evidence that document the history they record.

They come from the pens of authors who were there and observed those events, or authors who were closely acquainted with those who were there, or who carefully compiled the evidence available to them from others who in that day had written about these events or who participated in the events and told their story to the New Testament author (Luke, for example).

The claim sometimes made is that there are no books that Jesus wrote, and the New Testament books were written long after the events they record by persons who were not there to witness the events.

Back in 2007 I participated in a discussion about these same issues. Back then I cited a source I have in my personal library by C. R. Haines titled Heathen Contact with Christianity during its First Century and a Half.

Below is the record of what I posted in that discussion. At the time I typed a portion of this book so others could read it. This was a laborious task. I just discovered that I still have some of those files, so I am posting them here so others can learn about what this great Classics scholar, C. R. Haines, has written.

11/8/07 To Hopetx re C. R. Haines

Dear Hopetx,

I cited C. R. Haines as a reputable, scholarly source for information on the subject of his book titled [I]Heathen Contact with Christianity during its First Century and a Half[/I].

I gave a full physical description of the book and its contents in detail to demonstrate I was not dreaming up a source which does not exist.

While I used the common term “Xerox” to describe my copy, it was actually made by an earlier process which leaves a mottled background to each page, though the print is readable. It might not be scannable, though I have the (new, as yet uninstalled) software and scanner to put it in electronic format.

I have not had the time to check the Internet to see if this source is already on line somewhere.

I may have learned of this book through the bibliographical writings of Wilbur Smith. I asked Mr. Alec R. Allenson (a major library bookseller in Napier, Illinois) to find me a copy. He said he had a copy, and would loan it to me so I could make a copy of it. This was back in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

 

The Preface of the book states:

[quote]The present book is put forward as the first in a projected series of little works on early Christianity up to the end of the second century. They are intended to provide the student with convenient materials for the proper understanding of the relations that progressively subsisted between it and the Roman Empire.

If this volume is found satisfactory, and meets with success, it will be followed by a reconstruction of the anti-christian polemic of Celsus, to be succeeded by other volumes on the Early Apologists, the first authentic martyrdoms, and a General Sketch of the attitude of the Roman Administration towards the Christian religion, and in particular a separate treatment of the reign of Marcus Aurelius in this respect.

My best thanks are due to the Rev. F. A. Haines for kindly reading the proofs of this little work and making most valuable criticisms and suggestions.

C. R. HAINES

Petersfield,

September 1923

[/quote]

 

Dr. Wilbur M. Smith mentions this book by Haines very briefly in his 1973 book, The Minister in His Study, on page 48:

 

[quote]HEATHEN CONTACT WITH CHRISTIANITY

All theological professor and many ministers are asked if there were any references in secular literature to Christ and the Christian faith within the one hundred years during and following the apostolic period? There is one small volume of 120 pages that, as far as I know, is the only one that records all such references, in Greek and Latin literature, down to 150 AD. It is significantly entitled, [I]Heathen Contact with Christianity During Its First Century and a Half[/I], with the informing subtitle, [I]Being All References to Christianity Recorded in Pagan Writings During that Period[/I]. The author was C. R. Haines. Here you have both the original Latin and Greek texts, with excellent translations and adequate footnotes.[/quote]

I hope to come back to this thread and share more specifics from the book by C. R. Haines.

 

11/8/2007 Citation from C. R. Haines Introduction

 

I have just a little time to provide more information from Mr. C. R. Haines’ book. The nature of the copying process used for my copy makes it unlikely that it can be scanned. Its use of multiple languages, even in the discussion of the sources presented, makes it unlikely that I can transcribe into a post much of the content itself.

 

Nevertheless, from the section “Prefatory Notes on the Authors Cited Below,” which begins on page 7, I can cite the list of ancient authors whose material Mr. Haines provides:

 

  1. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (circa B.C. 5-65 A.D.)

 

  1. Epictetus (circa 45-120 A.D.), page 10

 

  1. Gaius Plinius Secundus, the Younger (circa 61-113 A.D.), page 11

 

  1. Marcus Ulpius Traianus (Emperor, 98-117), page 13

 

  1. Marcus Cornelius Tacitus (circa 55-120 A.D.), page 13

 

  1. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (circa 70-150 A.D.), page 15

 

  1. Publius Aclius Hadrianus (Emperor 117-138), page 16

 

  1. Phlegon (circa 80-140 A.D.), page 18

 

  1. Marcus Cornelius Fronto (circa 95-167 A.D.), page 18

 

  1. Titus Antoninus Pius (Emperor 138-161), page 20

 

  1. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Sub-emperor 147-161; Emperor 161-180), page 21

 

  1. Titus Flavius Domitianus (Emperor 81-96 A.D.), page 24

 

  1. Dio Cassius Cocceianus of Nicaea (circa 155-235 A.D.), page 26

 

  1. Publius Aelius Aristides (circa 120-189 A.D.), page 27

 

  1. Lucianus (Lycinus) of Samosata (circa 120-190 A.D.), page 28

 

  1. Apuleius of Madaura in Africa (circa 120-190 A.D.), page 31

 

  1. Claudius Galenus of Pergamos (circa 130-210 A.D.), page 31

 

  1. Graffito on the Palatine at Rome (circa 180 A.D.), page 33

 

  1. Numenius of Apamea (circa 170 A.D.)

I have given the page numbers to convey some indication of the amount of introductory discussion Haines provides for each author.

For number 18, which I selected because of its brevity, Haines states (as far as I can transcribe it on this keyboard, since I can’t transcribe the Greek, etc.):

[quote]The inscription, which was found in 1856, is scrawled on the plaster beneath a caricature which represents a figure with an ass’s head crucified, and a man raising his hand in adoration as he gazes upon it.(2) The caricature is supposed to have been made by one of the royal pages quartered on the spot and directed against a fellow page. Tertullian (3) tells us of a caricature showing a figure with ass’s ears and hooves, holding a book, with the inscription [in Greek, theos anokoitees] beneath it, which was exhibited by a renegade Jew in Carthage.

(1) In the Demus Gelatiana, where stood the quarters for the royal pages.

(2) Near by was found another graffito [I]Alexamenos fidelis[/I].

(3) [I]Apol[/I]. 16. See, for a similar figure, Champfleury [I]Hist. of Ancient Caricature[/I] p. 284 (1867) and Duruy [I]Hist. Rom[/I]. V 752 (Engl. Transl.)

[/quote]

11/9/07 Citation from CR Haines pp 7-9.

 

Just another tidbit for C. R. Haines from a website detailing potentially expired copyright:

 

http://www.kingkong.demon.co.uk/ccer/1923x.htm

 

[quote]Charles Reginald HAINES [M: c1867 – 1935 Aug 4]

Heathen Contact With Christianity During Its First Century… [n|1923]

 

[/quote]

 

I note on that website that a few titles are provided links to where they are available on line. No link provided for this C. R. Haines title.

 

Let me hand-transcribe just a bit from the first entry of the “Prefatory Notes on the Authors Cited Below” from page 7:

 

[quote][B]1. Lucius Anaeus Seneca (1)[/B] ([I]circa[/I] B.C. 5-65 A.D.).

 

The high morality of Seneca’s writings and their resemblance here and there in expressions and sentiments to the N.T. [New Testament] disposed certain of the Fathers to regard this Stoic moralist as almost a Christian. Tertulian, writing in the third century, does not scruple to style him [I]Seneca sepe noster[/I] (2), and Jerome (3) two hundred years later echoes his words. In consequence it has become a pleasing fancy that Seneca may have known St. Paul personally at the very end of their lives, which ran almost exactly parallel in time. It has been supposed that he gathered from St. Paul some knowledge of Christ and His teaching before they both perished at the hands of the same tyrant within a year or two of each other.

 

At first sight it seemed quite possible that he might have heard of the Apostle from his favourite brother M. Annaeus Novatus, who on being adopted into the family of the Gallios took the names L. Junius Gallio, and is the very proconsul of Achaia mentioned in the [I]Acts[/I](4). But on reflection it appears highly unlikely that

 

(1) Though Seneca’s knowledge of Christianity cannot be said in any sense to be established, yet the intrinsic interest of the question as to whether he was acquainted with it, and the striking personality of the writer must justify his insertion in this section of the Testimonies.

 

(2) [I]De anima[/I] 20.

 

(3) [I]Adv. Iovin[/I]. I 49

 

(4) xviii 12-18.

 

[end of page 7]

 

Gallio, who as an official took no cognizance of these things, whould have interested himself in the doings of an obscure and despised Jew.

 

However when St. Paul was brought as a prisoner to Rome and placed under the charge of Burrus, the prefect of the Praetorian Guard and Seneca’s close friend, it is not wholly impossible, though it cannot be called likely, that the philosopher and the prisoner were brought into contact. As Nero’s adviser Seneca may also have been present at St. Paul’s first trial and acquittal, in which case he could scarcely have failed to be struck with so remarkable a personality. It has further been suggested that Acte (according to Chrysostom a convert of St. Paul), whose amour with Nero was promoted, it is said, by Seneca, may have been the means of bringing the two men together. This is all that can be adduced in favour of the possibility of any personal contact between the Apostle and the philosopher. But it must never be forgotten that Seneca detested the Jews and called them a [I]gens scleratissima[/I]. (1)

 

Nevertheless it is undeniable that Seneca’s works contain a number of passages which recall parallel sayings in the N.T. A few of the most striking are here given (2). But in spite of their great superficial resemblance it is difficult to believe that Seneca could have been so familiar with Christian teaching and phraseology as these would seem [I]prima facie[/I] to imply. Moreover the vital question of priority in writing has to be considered, and few of Seneca’s works can be accurately dated. But while it is practically certain that in some

 

(1) See Augustine De Civitate Dei VI 2, from which passage it would seem that Seneca had never even heard of the Christian colony at Rome.

 

(2) The cumulative effect of quoting [I]all[/I] the parallel passages makes a much greater impression. See Lightfoot, [I]Philipp[/I]. pp. 268ff.

 

[end of page 8]

 

of the instances generally adduced Seneca was the earlier writer, yet it is noticeable, as Lightfoot (1) points out, that the resemblances become more frequent in his later works, a fact which calls for explanation. Ramsay thinks that “it is plain from his writings that Seneca had some slight acquaintance with Christian teaching,” but he overlooks the possibility that the diction and phraseology of philosophy, especially that of the Stoics, may have coloured St. Paul’s ideas and his mode of expressing them, and so assimilated them to those of Seneca. Still, besides the longer passages, the little similarities of expression are more frequent than we should expect under cover of this or any like explanation: as, for instance, [I]Isti ques pro felicibus aspicitis, si non qua occurrunt sed qua latent videritis, miseri sunt sordidi turpes ad similitudinem parietum suorum extrinsecus culti,[/I] compared with the “whited sepulchres” of St. Matthew (2), and further illustrated by Seneca’s subsequent words, “the counterfeit splendour covers a deep and real foulness”; and, again, [I]in ipso usu sui periturum[/I], by the side of [Greek,] [I]esti panta eis phthoran tee apoxreesei[/I]. The supposed reference to the Trinity is a mere coincidence of language, the work in which it occurs having been written too early to be indebted to Christian sources. The unfamiliar use of [I]caro[/I] (4) in the Christian sense of “flesh” as opposed to “spirit,” as in [I]omne animo cum hac carne grave certamen est[/I], derives from Epicurus (5). As the Christians were

 

(1) See his Essay quoted above p. 289. Professor W. M. Ramsey in The Church in the Roman Empire, p. 273.

 

(2) [I]De Provid[/I]. 6; Matt. xxiii 27.

 

(3) Seneca, [I]De Vita Beata[/I] 7; Coloss. ii 21.

 

(4) [I]Ad Marciam[/I] 24; see also [I]Epist[/I]. 65: cp. Galatians v 17.

 

[end of page 9][/quote]

 

I think the objectivity of C. R. Haines is very evident even in this short citation I have transcribed from his work.

11/11/07 More from CR Haines, Post 76 Thread 262851

 

Since the volume I have by C. R. Haines is not readily available, I trust no one will think it amiss if I transcribe more from this source. You will recall that I left off on page 9 in my Post 57, the last sentence of which continues on page 10. To make reading the text easier, let me cite the last partial sentence at the end of page 9 before giving material from page 10:

 

[quote]As the Christians were not[/quote] (end of page 9)

 

Page 10:

 

[quote]persecuted till the last year of Seneca’s life, the references to the [I]tunica molesta[/I] (1) and to the man who could smile under hideous torments (2) cannot point to the Christians.

 

That some of the [I]Gens Annaea[/I], to which Seneca belonged, became Christians in later times may be inferred from an inscription found at Ostia on the [I]Via Severiana[/I] (3) in 1887, the reference to the [I]Di Manes[/I] not militating against this.

 

[B]2. Epictetus[/B] ([I]circa[/I] 45-120 A.D.

 

As reported by Arrian, this Stoic writer does not use the term Christians, but he calls them “Galileans,” and perhaps in one place, like Plutarch and Lucian, “Syrians.” In some of his words and phrases he recalls the N.T.; but here again, as in the case of Seneca, it is not clear how far the Stoic background and the philosophic terminology generally were responsible for this. Besides the more important parallelisms there are many thoughts and turns of expression which echo familiar Scripture sayings, as for instance [Greek, my transliteration] kurie ele-ee-son (4), ei nomimos eethleesas (5), with which compare ean mee nomimous athleesee, and tis soi tauteen teen exousian edoke (6), oudeis amartanon eleutheros (7), and orkon paraiteesai (8).

 

There is [I]a priori[/I] much more likelihood that Epictetus, the slave of Epaphroditus, Nero’s freedman and

 

(1) [I]Epist[/I]. 14.

(2) [I]Epist[/I]. 78

(3) ‘D(is) M(anibus) M Annio Paulo Petreo M Anneus Paulus Flio Carissimo’

(4) Epict. II 7 12.

(5) [I]Ibid[/I]. III 10 8 and II Timoth ii.5.

(6) Epict. I 29 11 and Matt. xxi.21.

(7) Epict. II 1 23 and John viii.34.

(8) Epict. [I]Encheir[/I]. 33 5 and James v.12. See also Epict. III.1 26 = I Peter iii.3, 4; III 22 3 = Matt xxiv. 48-51; III 24 86 = Mark xi 12.

 

[end of page 10]

 

secretary, living too as he did to so much later a period, should have been brought into contact with Christianity than Seneca the [I]dives[/I] and courtier. If he was brought to Rome before 64, he as well as Seneca may have witnessed the cruelties suffered by the Christians in the Vatican gardens. (1)

 

(1) On the expulsion of the philosophers in 89 A.D. he retired to Nicopolis where Paul had perhaps passed the last winter of his life (Titus iii 12).

[/quote]

 

11/11/07 Still more from Haines, p 11-12, Post 79 Thread 262851

 

Dear Hopetx,

 

Thank you for your continuing patience and graciousness. You stated (post 76):

 

[quote]You think my concerns are ‘ludicrous” [/quote]

 

I know you read what I wrote most carefully. I did not say your concerns were ludicrous, only that your dismissing of the validity of C. R. Haines’ writing as not good enough evidence to be counted valid is ludicrous. I buttressed my assertion with direct links (to Amazon) to the fact that his writings are still published, even as you yourself had mentioned in a prior post. I pointed out that for anyone to get his writing or translation of classic literature admitted to the publication list of the Loeb Classical Library clearly establishes that person as a credible scholar. If you clicked on the book cover display that lets you view a portion of the book on Amazon, you would have noticed that the subject matter, the style, and the very page formatting is identical to what I have been posting from the out of print book, Heathen Contact with Christianity during its First Century and a Half, subtitled “Being all references to Christianity recorded in Pagan writings during that Period.”

 

Now for more actual discussion of the evidence from Mr. C. R. Haines, continuing with page 11:

 

[quote][B]3. Gaius Plinius Secundus, the Younger[/B] ([I]circa[/I] 61-113 A.D.)

 

With the famous correspondence between Trajan and Pliny we get the first clear reference to the Christians by name. Pliny had been sent out by the Emperor as [I]Legatus[/I] of Bithynia and Pontus to restore order in a province that had been suffering from lax administration. He was a lawyer, a financier, a polished Roman gentleman, and an intimate friend of the Emperor’s.

 

The Christians at that time were ranked in the category of brigands and disturbers of the peace, members of a body that set themselves in deliberate opposition to the unifying policy of the State. Pliny’s primary duty of restoring discipline in the province brought him before long into conflict with the Christian community of Amisus. He did not hesitate, naturally humane though he was, to deal summarily, in his capacity of Roman administrator, with the situation that arose there. A sudden outbreak of public feeling, caused apparently by the effect of a decay of temple worship upon certain trades, brought the whole question of the legality of Christianity to the front in an [end of page 11]

 

[page 12]

abrupt and violent manner. Pliny’s letter explains pretty fully what occurred.

 

It is quite a mistake to suppose that Trajan’s answer to Pliny established any new principle in dealing with the Christians. It only explained clearly for Pliny’s guidance what the standing law and usage were. But Trajan, as Pliny had evidently hoped and desired, without shewing the slightest intention of altering the legal status of the Christians, was at the same time unwilling to press the law against them. The mere admission that the accused was a Christian was sufficient, so long as a responsible accuser was forthcoming, to bring about his condemnation and death; but inconsistently enough, as Tertullian (1) later on was not slow to point out, the Emperor ruled that Christians must not be hunted out, as brigands and other malefactors, with whom they were graded, habitually and necessarily were. Yet the mere fact of their disobedience to authority and opposition to the imperial system was enough to justify the extreme penalty.

 

The account Pliny gives us of the Christian worship and manner of life is the earliest we have from the heathen side and, though ambiguous in one or two points, it is full of interest for us. We do not know how many persons suffered in this persecution. Some were sent toRome to be dealt with by the Emperor as Roman citizens, others were degraded from their rank (2), and many more were executed by Pliny. Probably there were between 100 and 200 martyrs (3), more,

 

(1) [I]Apol[/I]. I.

(2) Tertullian [I]Apol[/I]. I.

(3) The [I]Acts of Phocus[/I] bishop of Sinope place his martyrdom under Trajan, but the Governor of the Province is named Africanus.

 

[page 13:]

 

possibly, than under Nero or in the whole reign of Marcus.[/quote]

 

11/18/07 CR Haines p13-16 post 93 thread 262851

 

I did not mean for my last posts to be “thread killers”!

 

Now to continue from my last citation from C. R. Haines, Heathen Contact with Christianity during its First Century and a Half: Being all references to Christianity recorded in Pagan writings during that Period.

 

I left off, back in my Post 79, with the start of page 13. I continue transcribing the text from page 13:

 

[quote][B]4. Marcus Ulpius Traianus[/B] (Emperor 98-117).

 

Though we can gather from his letters to Pliny that neither by character nor principle was Trajan a persecutor of the Christians, yet we have much reason to suppose that Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was thrown to the beasts by his authority in Rome itself. The prisoners sent by Pliny to Rome to be dealt with by the Emperor were doubtless beheaded by his orders. Nor were these the only martyrs under Trajan. Symeon bishop of Jerusalem and cousin of our Lord, fell a victim a few years before. Polycarp in his Letter to the Philippians (1) mentions Zosimus and Rufus in association with Ignatius. The martyrdom of Phocas above referred to is more doubtful. The Acts of Sharbil and Barsamya (2) evidently belong to the reign of Traianus Decius, as the mention of Fabianus the Roman bishop shews.

 

[B]5. Marcus Cornelius Tacitus[/B] ([I]circa[/I] 55-120 A.D.).

 

As we know from Pliny’s letter to Tacitus describing the elder Pliny’s death, they were on friendly terms and Pliny assisted the historian with materials for his work. We may therefore with some confidence suppose that Tacitus heard of his predecessor’s experience with the Christians in the Province, where it appears that Tacitus succeeded Pliny in the command. Moreover, as [I]consul suffectus[/I] in the year of Domitian’s death, he must have known all about his persecution of the Christians and Nerva’s milder policy towards them (3).

 

(1) Ch. 9.

(2) Lightfoot [I]Ignat. and Polycarp[/I] I 66 f.

(3) It has been thought by some that Tacitus may have drawn upon the [end of page 13] elder Pliny’s [I]Histories[/I] (from Claudius to Vespasian) now lost. See Batiffol [I]The Credibility of the Gospel[/I] 36. Engl. Trans.

 

[page 14:]

 

But in what he has to say about the Christians under Nero he is noticeably hard and unsympathetic. He takes their guilt for granted, terms their religion a pernicious superstition, calls them enemies of the human race, and implies they deserved their fate. Unless he had more and better things to say of them in his lost Books, we cannot credit him with any real knowledge of them or their belief. Nor in what he does say can be we sure that his account has not been coloured by the standpoint of the Roman world towards Christianity when he wrote at the end of Trajan’s reign.

 

From what we learn from Pomponia Graecina in the extract given here it seems pretty clear that she must have been a Christian (1), though this cannot be said to be absolutely established. We know that several of the [I]Gens Pomponia[/I], holding high positions in the State, were Christians by the end of the second century. De Rossi has suggested that Pomponia Graecina may have received the name [I]Lucina[/I] at her baptism, and be in fact the Lucina, on whose property was situated a cemetery on the Quirinal Hill near the Catacomb of Callixtus, where members of the [I]Gens Pomponia[/I] and the [I]Gens Caccilia[/I] were buried.

 

The third passage, relative to the Council of War held by Titus at the siege of Jerusalem, has been recovered from the pages of Sulpicius Severus by the acumen of Bernays. It gives the substance, though [end of page 14]

 

(1) Wandinger in his tract on Pomponia suggests that her acquittal in her husband’s court was due to the [I]flagitia[/I] laid to the charge of Christians not being proved against her, and that, as Christianity was not yet distinguished from Judaism, she escaped under the privilege accorded to the latter as a [I]religio licita.[/I]

 

[page 15:]

 

doubtless not the precise words, of what Tacitus wrote, and is valuable as shewing that the distinction between Jew and Christian was clearly recognized by that time.

 

[B]6. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus[/B] ([I]circa[/I] 70-150 A.D.).

 

Critics are not agreed whether in the first extract [I]Chresto[/I] stands for [I]Christo[/I] or not. Chrestus was a common name, especially among slaves. On the other hand [I]Chrestiani[/I] was the vulgar form of [I]Christiani[/I] (1). The Sinaitic MS ([I]pr. manu.[/I]) spells it so in Acts xi 26, and we have seen above that the word was probably so spelt by Tacitus.

 

Orosius (2) quoting this passage of Suetonius says “ait hoc modo, [I]Claudius Iudaeos impulsore Christo adsidus tumultuantes Roma expulit[/I], quod ultrum contra Christum tumultuantes coerceri et comprimi iusserit, an etiam Christianos (3) simul velut cognatae religionis homines voluerit expelli, nequaquam discernitur.”

 

The second extract given below is of some importance owing to its position among sumptuary and police regulations, such as a prohibition against disorders among charioteers, made by Nero. It is clear from this that action against the Christians, which must have followed closely upon the fire, was not based on any regular judicial process by means of a [I]quaestio[/I], but was of the nature of summary jurisdiction ([I]cognito[/I]). Such remained still the case under Trajan and after. The trial of Christians did not come before a constituted Court, but was conducted, in right of his power of [I]coercitio[/I],

 

(1) See Justin, [I]Apol[/I]. I 4.

(2) VII. 15.

(3) It is unlikely there were many Christians in Rome so early as 50 A.D. There were probably a few. [end of page 15]

 

[page 16:]

 

by the [I]legatus[/I] or proconsul of a province, or by the [I]praefectus urbi[/I] at Rome.

 

The rest of the quotations from Suetonius refer to Domitian’s persecution, and though the Christianity of the victims is not expressly stated, it is fairly certain that Flavius Clemens, and possible that Acilius Glabrio also, were converts to Christianity, and that Clemens was put to death not only for suspected treason but also for his adoption of a new religion. As his sons were heirs designate to the Empire (1), this must have opened out an unwelcome prospect for the future. With respect to Cerialis and Orfitus, mentioned with Clemens, the case is not so clear. Some converts from Judaism of the humbler classes (2), by being counted as Jews owing to their being circumcized, may have suffered incidentally under the harsh and degrading regulations of the [I]Fiscus Iudaicus[/I] (3).

 

(1) Suet. [I]Dom[/I]. 15.

(2) See Juvenal below p. 98.

(3) Suet. [I]Dom[/I]. 12.

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #596, Acts 16:31

The Nugget:

Act 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

My Comment:

On Saturday, November 7, 1953, this Bible verse (Acts 16:31) was indelibly written on my memory. I was participating in a regional Bible quiz contest, and the question I answered wrong was “The words ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’ are found in the Gospels.” I answered, “True.” The correct answer was “False.” So I did not win the Bulova watch that evening at the Detroit Institute of Arts auditorium monthly meeting of the Holiness Youth Crusade.

Earlier that day, though, while delivering my Detroit Shopping News paper route, I was thinking about all the things I had read about in the New Testament in preparation for the contest that evening.

I suddenly realized that I had never personally directly come to Jesus Christ in faith believing for my own salvation. I crossed the street in the middle of the block and paused to pray while folding my next newspaper under a young oak tree in front of a home on Lumpkin street. After a short moment in prayer, with no one in sight that gray, cool November morning, I continued my route, whistling the tune of the Gospel song, “Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me, not for the years of time alone, but for eternity.”

I did not then know the location in the Bible of the words “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” but I did understand and knew the location of the words from John’s Gospel found in John 5:24,

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

It took me from August, 1953, until November, 1953, to read through the New Testament two and a half times. Reading the New Testament daily for that length of time totally changed my life.

If this has not happened to you as of yet, I invite you to do as I did, and come to a full assurance of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ such that you, too, know for sure that you now have eternal life and will be with Christ forever.

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Should we expand the Supreme Court and eliminate the Electoral College?

The Nugget:

Proverbs 29:2  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

My Comment:

A. What the wicked intend (in their own words):

(1) Expand the Supreme Court

“The Senate just confirmed Trump’s far-right nominee to the Supreme Court. I won’t lie, this is a dark day for our country. But there is a way out: we have to expand the court.

The stakes are enormous. Just yesterday Mitch McConnell made it explicit when he said “A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about [confirming Barrett] for a long time to come.”1

But he’s wrong. Expanding the Supreme Court is the way we can protect our democracy, our rights, and our way of life. It is how we stop Trump’s values and policies from dominating our country long after he’s left office. And done right, it can prevent Republicans from responding in kind. Now is the time to tell Congress they must expand the court.” (email from Demand Progress.org, Tuesday, 10-27-2020 at 12:17 pm)

More from the letter:

The constitution gives Congress the power to decide the size of the federal courts. In the past, the Supreme Court has varied in size, sometimes having less than nine members and sometimes having more.2

When Jimmy Carter was president, he signed into law the largest expansion of the federal courts in history.3

With a 6-3 majority, the far right is lining up cases that they will push to the Supreme Court. Barrett is poised to be part of a new majority that will rule on abortion rights, corporate power, contraception, immigration, gerrymandering, and the 2020 election itself.

We cannot just sit back and watch as the Trump majority on the Supreme Court destroys decades of case law and reinterprets the constitution in a far-right way.

Expanding the courts doesn’t mean Republicans will automatically do the same thing — and can help end partisan fighting over the courts. As Jamelle Bouie wrote in the New York Times recently:

“The promise of retaliation can bring a new equilibrium. Expand the court, nullify the conservative advantage — show that all of the games and scheming were in vain — and you may create the space for an acceptable compromise around the scope and power of the judiciary.”4

If Congress doesn’t fight back, they will let Trump and Mitch McConnell tilt our federal court system to the radical right for a generation or more. But after the election, Congress can tip the scale back into balance by adding more seats to the Supreme Court.

Congress needs to do its job — and its duty — to stop the right-wing assault on our courts and prevent Trump and McConnell from sabotaging the next president.”

Sources:
1. The Guardian, “‘They won’t be able to do anything about this’: McConnell revels in Barrett supreme court vote,” October 25, 2020.
2. KIRO, “Supreme Court: Changing number of justices not a new idea,” October 9, 2020.
3. The American Prospect, “What Joe Biden Can Learn From Jimmy Carter,” June 28, 2020.
4. New York Times, “Oh, Now You Believe in Norms,” October 13, 2020.

 

(2)  The Electoral College

I received an email on Monday, October 26, 2020, from Adam Schiff regarding the electoral college with the heading: “If you’re ready to change our current Electoral College system and work towards implementing a national popular vote, add your name to Adam Schiff’s petition.”

In the letter, he writes:

“Donald Trump has upended our democratic norms, dismantled the guardrails meant to protect our democracy, and broken laws left and right.

And when Trump is out of office, we’ll need to work to restore and protect our democracy so that there is never another president this destructive. We also need a different GOP, that will not enable such lawlessness and will end it’s cult of personality around the president.

That’s why I’m in favor of doing away with the Electoral College system.

This antiquated system of determining the winner of our presidential elections is as outdated as it is deeply flawed. Since 2000, two winners of the popular vote — both Democratic candidates — lost the presidential election due to the Electoral College. And Donald Trump’s chances at reelection depend on eking out another Electoral College victory, while losing the popular vote by millions.

There’s something fundamentally wrong with the fact that a person who achieves less votes can go on to win and govern 330 million Americans.

There is a growing movement across the country to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote. In the new system, the winner would be the one who gets the most votes.

It’s that simple: One person. One vote. Winner has the most votes. Period.

Change like this won’t be easy, and won’t come overnight. But if we build enough public pressure for a national compact or constitutional amendment, we can come closer to a more perfect union.

— Adam Schiff
U.S. Congressman, CA-28”

B. What the righteous must know and do:

It is clear to me that the Democrats want to change the United States of America from a Republic to a Democracy. Democrats must have forgotten their high school civics and American history lessons. Our founding fathers were absolutely against democracy. Expressing the problem of a democracy in modern terms and simple language, a democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting what to have for dinner. Note that in a pure democracy the rights of minorities are subject to the whim of the majority.

In the first letter cited above, democrats openly state that they want to “pack” the Supreme Court. They must be somewhat ignorant of American history, for this was tried before, and ultimately not well-received. I see it as yet another instance of the Democrat political party revealing publicly their continuing “sore loser” status.

One of the things I remember from the civics class I took was the principle that “To the victor belong the spoils.”

That is why winning elections is important.

That is why every vote counts.

That is why if you stay home and do not vote you are by default voting for what you do not want—the “other team.”

The letter from Adam Schiff contains a number of logical errors–mistakes in thinking. I’ll call attention to just one:  what President Carter did has no relevance to packing the Supreme Court. He did not pack the Supreme Court.

The Electoral College was instituted by the framers of our Constitution for a reason: it ensures that voters who live in less populous states still have a vital say about policies that affect them. At the time, this remarkable innovation was necessary to secure the cooperation of the southern states as well as the smallest and least populous states. Without the Electoral College, politics would be controlled by two or three of the largest or most populous states and the rest of the country would not have a voice in the election of the President or anything else.

Sound reasoning requires that we not change our fundamental institutions as set up by our founders in the Constitution lest we lose even more of our liberties they were most anxious to secure against the overreach of a large central government. Even the Bible reminds us, “remove not the old landmark” (Proverbs 23:10).

The Constitution is not a “living document.” The Constitution is meant to be understood literally and in conformity to what its words meant at the time of its writing and in terms of the intentions of the founders. I just lately finished reading a book by Richard Proctor, Saving the Constitution. Available from or in bookstores everywhere in the US, this remarkable volume expounds each word and line in the Constitution in plain English. I consider this a “must read.”  At this time, the most recent appointment to the Supreme Court is a person who is known to agree with what is sometimes known as the “originalist” principle of interpretation of the Constitution and of law in general. Judges are not entitled to legislate from the bench. With this appointment, those who rightly favor the rule of law not the rule of men may rightly rejoice.

By the way, the principle of original intent and literal interpretation applies to interpreting the Bible as well! I discuss this in detain in the October 2010 Archive found listed to the right. There you will find my important listing of 24 rules of correct interpretation to guide your study of God’s Word. The Bible is indeed a “Living Document” (Hebrews 4:12) that will bring life to the believing reader, but God’s Word never changes.

 

 

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Does the Bible teach total abstinence or moderation?

 

The Nugget:

Proverbs 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

 

My Comment:

Proverbs 20:1 is a verse that I must have noticed upon my first serious reading of the Bible. I remember that I wrote this verse in full at the top of an assignment for my electrical class when I attended Cass Technical High School. My teacher was very displeased that I pointed out that verse to him that way. I, in turn, was very displeased that he spent the whole hour telling the class about how wonderful tasting various kinds of alcoholic beverages were. I did not think then, and I do not think now, that such a discussion was appropriate in a high school class.

But addressing the question: Does the Bible teach total abstinence or moderation? Here is a lesson on how to find the answer in the Bible. My findings will not agree with the findings of some Bible scholars and commentators, but I believe my findings are the result of a more accurate and comprehensive study of the subject.

Looking at the cross references I have given for Proverbs 20:1 in my resource, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, I see now immediately that I need to add more references and links to additional notes and references in the New Testament.

The Bible is very clear, when studied more accurately, that God requires total abstinence.

Here is a note from 1 Kings 20:16,

1Ki 20:16  And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.

the thirty and two. Note (from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, not in the Comprehensive Bible): The Syrians, the besiegers, had their directions from a drunken king, who gave orders over his cups while he was drinking at noon. Drunkenness is a sin which is most detestable in all, but more so in a king than in a private individual, inasmuch as the greater weight a man’s situation carries, whether from accumulated riches, family connections, hereditary authority, or invested command, so is the influence which his vices must have on those around him. Perhaps it may be said, from past experience, that drunkenness, which is a most heinous sin in the sight of God, may be charged on those who indulge only now and then in that which may eventually lead them into drunkenness; for they shut their eyes against the most palpable facts, and rather than give up the paltry gratification of a debauch, involve thousands by their example to positive harm. Benhadad’s drunkenness was the forerunner of his fall. Belshazzar also, we read, drank wine with his princes, his wives, and his concubines, and praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone: and in the same hour came forth the finger of a man’s hand and wrote his doom on the plaster of the wall. Those who fancy themselves perfectly secure, and above the possibility of falling, are commonly nearest their destruction: there is always an Ahab ready to take advantage of and improve the self-imposed imbecility. Isa_54:15.

My Subject Index also gives references to Jeremiah 35:14 and Ephesians 5:18 for the topic “Abstinence, total, from alcoholic beverage, commended.

The notes given at Ephesians 5:18 are most important:

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

excess. or, debauchery. Gr. asōtia (S# G810), properly unsavedness, that is, (by implication) profligacy: elsewhere rendered riot (Strong). or, in which it is unsaving (LNT). Unsaving translates asōtia. The a negates the meaning of the word it prefixes, sōtia, which comes from the verb sōzō, to save, the word used to express being saved from sin. So any form of drinking is a departure from safety, and to become drunk is an unsaving experience filled with multiple negatives. Friberg says on this term: “…strictly, the disposition of an asōtos (having no hope of safety); the act of one who has abandoned himself to reckless immoral behavior…” (The Greek has been transliterated). To drink then is not a matter of excess, or discipline, or moderation, but of abstinence. The context speaks of—works of darkness, wake up, carefully walk, evil days, the will of the Lord; thus only abstinence fits the context (cf. 1Ti 3:2; 1Ti 3:11; Tit 2:2) [LNT, fn t]. 1Sa 25:36, Pro 23:30, Pro 7:11; Pro 25:16, Hos 7:5, *Mat 23:25, Luk 15:13, Tit 1:6 g. **1Pe 4:3; **1Pe 4:4 g.

 

Since I devised the Subject Index I have learned that the Bible actually teaches “Total abstinence from alcoholic beverages required.”

The Bible says don’t be drunk, not that you can’t drink. Does the Bible contradict itself?

I ran across this question when I was virtually required to go to a bar with fellow workers for an evening meal. I ordered milk, not wine or beer. That brought on this very question, and more questions besides!

I know many say what these questioners suggest, but their opinion is entirely mistaken.

Earlier this year I read a book I learned that I had in my Logos Bible software titled Bible Wines. It fully proves from Scripture that total abstinence is required in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Dr. Malcolm Lavender is the person who taught me what was going on in the Greek text of the New Testament, and the subject of total abstinence is affirmed in notes at Ephesians 5:18 as well as at 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:11, and Titus 2:2.

Here is the Titus 2:2 note:

Titus 2:2  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

sober. or, vigilant. or, to be without wine (LNT). Gr. nēphalios (S# G3524), sober, that is, (figuratively) circumspect (Strong). Without wine from nēphalios, meaning abstinence from wine or alcohol. Friberg says “…strictly holding no wine, without wine; of persons sober…abstinent.” Cf. Eph 5:18; 1Ti 3:2; 1Ti 3:11. These passages are normally translated that the use of alcoholic beverages in moderate drinking is acceptable. But moderate drinking does not accord with the meaning of this word as used in the New Testament, or with circumspect living as a Christian. Circumspect from Latin: circum, round + specio, to look; hence, to look around and consider the outcome of an act, end result, example, etc. (LNT, fn c). Tit 2:4, 5, 6, Gen 9:21, *1Co 15:34, Eph 5:18 note, *1Th 5:6; *1Th 5:8, 1Ti 3:2 g, 1Ti 3:11 g. +1Pe 1:13; 1Pe 4:7; *1Pe 5:8 g.

 

Many will ask, if this is the case, why did Jesus turn the water into wine?

 

First, it must be understood that there are two kinds of wines in the Bible:

Jesus turned the water into non-intoxicating wine. This is made clear by the exegesis given in the book, Bible Wines:

“Let one thing more be now proved, and the whole case is too clear for question. Were the ancients in the habit of preserving and using as such, free from fermentation, this juice of the grape which they called wine?

“Beyond all doubt, they were. The evidence is to be found in almost any classical authority. So say Plato, Columella, Pliny, Aristotle. So indicate Horace, Homer, Plutarch.

“Some of these ancient writers give in detail the very processes of boiling, filtering, and sulphurization by which the wines were preserved from fermentation.

“Anthon, in his Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities; Archbishop Potter, in his Grecian Antiquities; Smith, in his Dictionary of the Bible; and many other competent scholars, confirm and support this position.

“Moses Stuart, that prince of philologists, says, ‘Facts show that the ancients not only preserved their wines unfermented, but regarded it as of a higher flavor and finer quality than fermented wine.’ There is no ancient custom with a better amount and character of proof than this.

“There were, therefore, two kinds of wine in ancient use. The one was sweet, pleasant, refreshing, unfermented; the other was exciting, inflaming, intoxicating. How natural, now, to say of the one, ‘A blessing is in it—it maketh glad the heart’! How natural to say of the other, ‘Deceit is in it—it bringeth woe and sorrow’!

“There is no difficulty now in the reconciliation of Scripture with Scripture. The Bible is not a wholesale endorsement of the use of the alcoholic cup. It puts no weapon into the hands of the drinkers and venders of strong drink. And the binding obligations of the law of love in its application to the wine question may be pressed home upon the conscience and the heart, unweakened by any opposing plea of divine precept or example.” (Patton, W. (2004). Bible Wines (pp. 108-109). Redding, CA: Pleasant Places).

Wedding-Wine at Cana

John 2:1–11: The distinguishing fact is that Christ turned the water into wine. The Greek word is oinos; and it is claimed that therefore the wine was alcoholic and intoxicating. But as oinos is a generic word, and, as such, includes all kinds of wine and all stages of the juice of the grape, and sometimes the clusters and even the vine, it is begging the whole question to assert that it was intoxicating. As the narrative is silent on this point, the character of the wine can only be determined by the attendant circumstances – by the occasion, the material used, the person making the wine, and the moral influence of the  miracle.

The occasion was a wedding convocation. The material was water – the same element which the clouds pour down, which the vine draws up from the earth by its roots, and in its passage to the clusters changes into juice. The operator was Jesus Christ, the same who, in the beginning, fixed that law by which the vine takes up water and converts it into pure, unfermented juice.

The wine provided by the family was used up, and the mother of Jesus informed him of that fact. He directed that the six water-pots be filled with water. This being done, he commanded to draw and hand it to the master of the feast. He pronounced it wine – good wine.

The moral influence of the miracle will be determined by the character of the wine. It is pertinent to ask, Is it not derogatory to the character of Christ and the teachings of the Bible to suppose that he exerted his miraculous power to produce, according to Alvord, 126, and according to Smith, at least 60 gallons of intoxicating wine? – wine which inspiration had denounced as “a mocker,” as “biting like a serpent,” and “stinging like an adder,” as “the poison of dragons,” “the cruel venom of asps,” and which the Holy Ghost had selected as the emblem of the wrath of God Almighty? Is it probable that he gave that to the guests after they had used the wine provided by the host, and which, it is claimed, was intoxicating?

But wherein was the miracle? We read in Matthew 15:34 that Christ fed four thousand persons, and In Mark 4:38 that he fed five thousand persons, in each case upon a few loaves and fishes, taking up seven and twelve baskets of fragments. In these cases, Christ did instantly what, by the laws of nature which he had ordained, it would have taken months to grow and ripen into wheat. So in the case of the wine, Christ, by supernatural and superhuman rapidity, produced that marvelous conversion of water into the “pure blood of the grape” which, by his own established law of nature, takes place annually through a series of months, as the vine draws up the water from the earth, and transmutes it into the pure and unfermented juice found in the rich, ripe clusters on the vine.

In Psalm 104:14–15, we read: “That he may bring forth food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man.” Here the juice of the grape which is produced out of the earth is called wine. This wine was made by the direct law of God – that law by which the vine draws water from the earth and transmutes it into pure juice in the clusters.

I am happy to state that this is not a modern interpretation, forced out by the pressure of the wine question, but was also entertained by the early fathers.

St. Augustine, born A.D. 354, thus explains this miracle: “For he on that marriage-day made wine in the six jars which he ordered to be filled with water – he who now makes it every year in the vines; for, as what the servants had poured into the water jars was turned into wine by the power of the Lord, so, also, that which the clouds pour forth is turned into wine by the power of the self-same Lord. But we cease to wonder at what is done every year; its very frequency makes astonishment to fail.” – Bible Commentary p. 305.

Chrysostom, born A.D. 344, says: “Now, indeed, making plain that it is he who changes into wine the water in the vines and the rain drawn up by the roots. He produced instantly at the wedding-feast that which is formed in the plant during a long course of time.” – Bible Commentary, p. 305.

Dr. Joseph Hall, Bishop of Norwich, England, in 1600, says: “What doeth he in the ordinary way of nature but turn the watery juice that arises up from the root into wine? He will only do this, now suddenly and at once, which he does usually by sensible degrees” – Bible Commentary, p. 305.

The critical Dr. Trench, now Archbishop of Dublin says: “He who each year prepares the wine in the grape, causing it to drink up and swell with the moisture of earth and heaven, to transmute this into its own nobler juices, concentrated all those slower processes now into the act of a single moment, and accomplished in an instant what ordinarily he does not accomplish but in months.” – Bible Commentary, p. 305.

We have the highest authority that alcohol is not found in any living thing, and is not a process of life. Sir Humphry Davy says of alcohol: “It has never been found ready formed in plants.”

Count Chaptal, the eminent French chemist, says: “Nature  never forms spirituous liquors; she rots the grape upon the branch, but it is art which converts the juice into (alcoholic) wine.”

Dr. Henry Monroe, in his Lecture on Alcohol, says: “Alcohol is nowhere to be found in any produce of nature; was never created by God; but is essentially an artificial thing prepared by man through the destructive process of fermentation.”

Professor Liebig says: “It is contrary to all sober rules of research to regard the vital process of an animal or a plant as the cause of fermentation. The opinion that they take any share in the morbid process must be rejected as an hypothesis destitute of all support. In all fungi, analysis has detected the presence of sugar, which during the vital process is not resolved into alcohol and carbonic acid, but after their death. It is the very reverse of the vital process to which this effect must be ascribed. Fermentation, putrefaction, and decay are processes of decomposition.” See notes on 1 Timothy 4:4.

Can it be seriously entertained that Christ should, by his miraculous power, make alcohol, an article abundantly proved not to be found in all the ranges of his creation? Can it be believed that he, by making alcohol, sanctions the making of it and the giving of it to his creatures, when he, better than all others, knew that it, in the past, had been the cause of the temporal and eternal ruin of myriads, and which, in all the ages to come, would plunge myriads upon myriads into the depths of eternal damnation?

The Rev. Dr. Jacobus says: “All who know of the wines then used, well understand the unfermented juice of the grape. The present wines of Jerusalem and Lebanon, as we tasted them, were commonly boiled and sweet, without intoxicating qualities, such as we here get in liquors called wines. The boiling prevents fermentation. Those were esteemed the best wines which were least strong.” – Comments on John 2:1–11.

This festive occasion furnishes no sanction for the use of the alcoholic wines of commerce at weddings at the present time, much less for the use of them on other occasions.[1]

 

So why does the Bible say to have a little wine to keep the infirmities away?

Here is the full answer from the book Bible Wines, pages 93-94:

Not given to wine. – The Greek is mee-paromon: mee, a negative particle, not; paroinon, compounded of para, a preposition governing the genitive (of, from, on the part of), the dative (at, by, near, with), the accusative (together, with, to, towards, by, near, at, next to); and oinos, wine. Literally, not at, by, near, or with wine. This looks considerably like total abstinence. It applies equally to private habits and public conduct. Notice the careful steps of the progress. He must be neephalion, abstinent, sober in body, that he may be sophrona, sound in mind, and that his influence may be unimpaired, meeparion, not with or near wine. We find in this passage no  countenance for the moderate use of intoxicating wine, but the reverse, the obligation to abstain totally.

“Not given to wine” is certainly a very liberal translation, and shows how the usages of the day unconsciously influenced the translators. “The ancient paroinos was a man accustomed to attend drinking-parties.” Thus the Christian minister is required not only to be personally sober, but also to withhold his presence and sanction from those assemblies where alcoholic drinks are used, endangering the sobriety of himself and others.

That both Paul and Timothy understood that total abstinence was an essential qualification for the Christian pastor, is evident from the compliance of Timothy. In this same letter, v. 23, Paul advises Timothy, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” The fact is plain that Timothy, in strict accordance with the direction, “not given to wine,” that is, not with or near wine, was a total abstainer. The recommendation to “use a little wine” is exceptional, and strictly medicinal. As there existed in the Roman Empire, in which Timothy traveled, a variety of wines, differing from each other in character, we cannot decide, ex cathedra, that it was alcoholic wine that Paul recommended. Pliny, Columella, Philo, and others state that many of the wines of their day produced “headaches, dropsy, madness, and stomach complaints.” – Nott Lond. Ed. p. 96. We can hardly believe that Paul recommended these. Yet these strikingly designate the effects of alcoholic wines. The same writers tell us that wines destitute of ail strength were exceedingly wholesome and useful to the body, salubre corporis. Pliny mentions a wine in good repute, aduminon – that is, without power, without strength. He particularly states that the wines most adapted to the sick are “Utilissimum vinum omnibus sacco viribus fractis,” which the alcoholic wine men translate, “For all the sick, wine is most useful when its forces have been broken by the strainer.” We do not object to this rendering, since the wine must be harmless when its forces, which is alcohol, are broken. The Latin word fractis is from frango, to break in pieces, to dash in pieces, which indicates the thoroughness of the work  done by the “sacco,” strainer or filter. That the force which the filter breaks is fermentation, is evident from the next sentence of Pliny. (See item “Filtration,” on page 33.) Horace, lib. i. ode 17, speaks of the innocentis Lesbii, innocent Lesbian, which Professor C. Smart renders “unintoxicating.” The Delphin Notes to Horace say, “The ancients filtered their wines repeatedly before they could have fermented. And thus the faeces which nourish the strength of the wine being taken away, they rendered the wine itself more liquid, weaker, lighter, sweeter, and more pleasant to drink.”

Again, Horace tells his friend Maecenas to drink an hundred glasses, without fear of intoxication. (See previous page in this volume.)

Athenaeus says of the sweet Lesbian, “Let him take sweet wine (glukus), either mixed with water or warmed, especially that called protropos, as being very good for the stomach.” – Nott, Lond. Ed. p. 96, and Bib. Com. 374.

Protropos was, according to Pliny, “Mustum quad sponte profluit antequam uvoe calcentur.” “The must which flows spontaneously from the grapes.” – Nott, Lond. Ed. p. 80.

Donnegan defines it, “Wine flowing from the grapes before pressure.”

Smith’s Greek and Roman Antiquities, “That which flowed from the clusters, in consequence of their pressure upon each other, to which the inhabitants of Mytelene gave the name protropos.”

Why not treat Paul with common politeness, not to say honesty, and, as he so emphatically required that a bishop should “not be with or near wine,” believe that when he recommended Timothy to “use a little wine” medicinally, he had reference to such wine as Pliny says was “most useful for the sick,” whose “forces have been broken by the strainer,” or filter? As the recommendation was not for gratification, but for medicine, to Timothy personally, a sick man, and only a little at that, it gives no more countenance for the beverage use of wine for any one, and especially for those in health, than does the prescription of castor-oil by the physician for the beverage use of that article.

The case of Timothy, a total abstainer, illustrates and enforces the inspired declaration that a bishop must be vigilant, that is, abstinent; sober, that is, sound in mind; and not given to wine, that is, not with or near wine If all who are now in the sacred office would follow literally and faithfully the requirements which Paul lays down, “NOT WITH OR NEAR WINE,” the number of total abstainers would be greatly increased, the cause of temperance would be essentially promoted, and the good of the community permanently secured; for, according to Paul, total abstinence is an indispensable qualification for a pastor.[2]

 

[1] Patton, W. (2004). Bible Wines (pp. 74–77). Redding, CA: Pleasant Places.

[2] Patton, W. (2004). Bible Wines (pp. 92–95). Redding, CA: Pleasant Places.

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Daily Bible Nugget #595, Luke 1:44

The Nugget:

Luke 1:44  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

My Comment:

In response to recent reports that many Christians believe that the Bible is ambiguous about the issue of abortion, I believe it is timely for me to share the notes I prepared on this subject for my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and my expansion of that resource titled The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.

Pastors, Sunday school teachers, and just so-called regular Christians must learn then share the truth of what the Bible actually teaches.

Just because the term “abortion” does not appear in the Bible text (though it does as a marginal reading at Job 3:16), we can more fully discern what the Bible teaches when we carefully make use of the rule of Bible interpretation I call “the rule of necessary inference” (see the October, 2010 Archives listed at the right of this screen for the full list of my 24 “Rules of Interpretation” for further study of Biblical hermeneutics, the rules of Bible Interpretation).

Apparently, some have introduced the Hebrew word “nephesh” into the discussion to support the right to abortion. This, too, is a gross error of interpretation and understanding. I have placed a full analysis of the meaning of “nephesh” in the NTSK and the UCRT starting at Genesis 2:7 under the key word “soul.”

Here are my notes as presented in my resource, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, for Luke 1:44,

Luke 1:44

the babe. Gr. brephos (S# G1025, Luk 1:41). Note particularly that brephos is used here for the unborn child in the womb, and the same word is used for the child out of the womb in Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16. Other terms in Scripture used of unborn children, OT and NT, similarly are used of the person out of the womb. See Luke 1:36, “conceived a son,” Gr. uios (S# G5207); see also Luke 1:31; the same term is used of Jesus as a young adult at His baptism at Luke 3:22, “Thou art my beloved son.” See Gen 25:22, children, Hebrew ben (S# H1121), more often used of a child already born (Gen 9:19; Gen 17:25). See Job 3:3, man child, Hebrew geber (S# H1397), used for men as Exo 10:11, See Job 3:16, infants, Hebrew olel (S# H5768), in reference to unborn children, used elsewhere for children who have been born, as Lam 4:4, Thus the Biblical writers, writing by divine inspiration, make no distinction in terminology between children who are yet unborn and those who have been born. Thus God sees the unborn individual not merely as a fetus or tissue, but as a unique person, made in the image of God. +Luk 1:41.

leaped. Luk 1:41, Luk 6:23.

for joy. Scripture says much that bears upon the issue of abortion:

(1) Note that Scripture here attributes emotion to an unborn child.

(2) The fetus is formed by God, Job 31:15 mg. Jer 1:5.

(3) God planned the life before it took form, Jer 1:5.

(4) God delivers new life from the womb, Psa 71:6, Gal 1:15, 16.

(5) Note the despondent wish for spontaneous abortion during a period of depression, Jer 20:17.

(6) An untimely birth preferable to living and dying in disrepute, Ecc 6:3.

(7) The majesty and marvel of life, Psa 139:14, 15, 16.

(8) Life is sacred and precious, Gen 9:6.

(9) Jesus warned not to offend one of these little ones, Mat 18:6.

(10) Christ’s concern and care seen in his blessing little ones, Luk 18:15, 16, 17.

(11) Children are given by God, Gen 33:5; Gen 48:9, Jos 24:3, +*Psa 113:9; +*Psa 127:3, Isa 8:18.

(12) Christ esteemed children highly, Mat 19:14.

(13) Maternal love is normal, Gen 21:16, Exo 2:3. Logically, abortion does violence to maternal love.

(14) If a woman injures a man’s secret parts, her hand was to be cut off, Deut 25:11. If a man injured a pregnant woman, and (a) caused premature birth, but infant and mother otherwise were uninjured, he shall be punished by fine, Exo 21:22; (b) if the mother or child are injured or die, a corresponding severity of punishment, including the death penalty, was prescribed, Exo 21:23, 24, 25. Thus abortion, even accidentally induced, required the death penalty, thus God’s law affords legal protection of the unborn child.

(15) The supreme value of the individual utterly argues against any possible contrary justification for an abortion, Mat 10:31; Mat 16:26, Mar 8:36, 37. Luk 12:7.

(16) If God was utterly opposed to, and displeased with the religious sacrifice of children to Molech (+2Ki 21:6), the burning of which had never been commanded, authorized, or even entered into God’s mind (Jer 7:31), how much more must God be displeased with the destruction of the helpless unborn in the name of granting women the right to choice over their own bodies.

(17) God sets great value on a child. Our response to a child is our response to God, Mat 18:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Jas 1:27.

(18) Conception, development in the womb, and birth are mentioned together at Hos 9:11. God has his hand in each of these stages of development, as the references show. Thus, it is unscriptural to suggest that the unborn child is not yet a person.

(19) The unborn child responds to external stimuli, can hear, for the “babe leaped in her womb,” Luk 1:41; Luk 1:44.

(20) Abortion constitutes injustice to the weak and helpless, and places one under God’s curse, not his blessing, Deut 27:17; Deut 27:19.

(21) We are not to despise one of these little ones, Mat 18:10.

(22) The virgin birth and incarnation began at the moment of the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, Luk 1:35. Isa 49:1.

(23) Bible writers speak of themselves as persons before they were born, Psa 139:13, 14, 15,  16; Isa 49:1; Jer 1:5,

(24) Unborn children are spoken of as dying in the womb, therefore they must be alive before birth; thus life begins at conception, not birth, Job 10:18, 19; Jer 20:15, 16, 17, 18.

(25) The fact that the word “abortion” does not occur in the Bible (but see Job 3:16) has no bearing upon the issue. “Cannibalism” is not mentioned by that term in the Bible either, and so for a host of other concepts such as millennium, rapture, second coming, trinity, infant baptism, believer’s baptism, original sin, using musical instruments in New Testament worship. There is no express command or example for New Testament believers to tithe. There is no express command to worship God on Sunday, or to observe Sunday as the Sabbath. There is no express command or example in the New Testament of the baptism of adult believers that come from Christian homes. There appears to be no express command or incontrovertible example of the precise mode (i.e. immersion, pouring, or sprinkling) of Christian baptism in the New Testament. Neither is there command or example authorizing women to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. There is no express example or command authorizing the taking of the Lord’s supper in the morning! The virgin birth is not mentioned in the Gospel of Mark. Repentance is not mentioned in the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John says nothing about Christ having cast out devils. We must use extreme caution whenever we base an argument on the alleged silence of Scripture (see 1Ch 16:42 note). Though abortion is not mentioned by name in Scripture, a prayerful and submissive, careful examination of the passages adduced above should lead to the firm conviction that abortion is not in harmony with the will of God at any time, for any reason. Yet, should a woman seek and obtain an abortion, she has not committed the unforgivable sin (Mat 12:31 note). God in his mercy is able to forgive even this sin, and welcome the truly repentant sinner to his fold (Joh 6:37, 2Co 7:10). Psa 8:2, Joh 3:29.

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Daily Bible Nugget #594, Mark 1:15

The Nugget:

Mar 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

My Comment:

The very first words of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded by Mark in his Gospel were the commands to repent and believe the Gospel.

Paul cautions (in 2 Corinthians 7:10) that we must exercise true, not false repentance. True repentance comes from the heart and results in permanent change in character wrought by the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. False repentance is a temporary sorrow or regret for mistakes or sins committed without a full commitment to totally abandon and forsake those sins and behaviors. It is most important to seek God and follow His will so that He may grant you genuine repentance unto life.

2Co 7:10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Jesus repeated the warning that repentance is necessary if we would not perish (Luke 13:3, 5):

Luk 13:3  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Luk 13:5  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Jesus set forth an example of a person who really did repent in Luke 18:13,

Luk 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

“Publicans” were a very despised bunch in the time of Jesus. They were people who had sold themselves out to Rome and served as tax collectors. Jesus explained that this publican’s prayer was answered, but the prayer of the Pharisee,

Luk 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

was not heard or answered. It was the publican not the Pharisee who displayed the proper heart attitude in prayer that resulted in God graciously answering his prayer:

Luk 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

For further deeper study on the subject of repentance see the following notes and cross references given for Mark 1:15 in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. WARNING: As always, this is not a generic Bible study. My intention is to present truth, not Pablum. If you are not willing to conform your belief system to the Word of God accurately set forth and taught, then don’t bother to dig deeper into the Bible. But if you really want the truth, then follow through with the following study:

Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mark 1:15

The time. or, season. Dan 2:44; $Dan 9:22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, Luk 3:15; %Luk 21:8, Joh 7:8, +Rom 5:6, *Gal 4:4, *Eph 1:10.

kingdom of God. Mar 4:11; Mar 4:26; Mar 4:30; Mar 9:1; Mar 9:47; *Mar 10:14; *Mar 10:15; *Mar 10:23, 24, 25; *Mar 12:34; **Mar 14:25; Mar 15:43, Mat 3:2 note. %+Mat 4:17; Mat 10:7; +*Mat 12:28; Mat 16:28, +Luk 4:43; Luk 9:2; Luk 10:9; Luk 10:11; Luk 11:20; Luk 16:16; +*Luk 17:21; **Luk 19:11; Luk 21:31, +Joh 3:3, +Act 1:3.

at hand. or, has drawn near. Isa 56:1, +Mat 3:2; Mat 4:17; Mat 10:7; Mat 12:28; %+*Mat 21:43, Gal 4:4.

repent. Here, Jesus gives two imperatives: metanoeite, you must repent, and pisteuete, you must believe. The use of the imperative mood in Scripture affirms man’s obligation and ability to respond to his Creator in order to be saved. It also shows a conditional aspect—one may or may not respond. The imperative mood is of such a nature—a command or entreaty—that it addresses the volition or will, and not simply the reason. The nature of the imperative, then, expresses an appeal from one will to another in a summons to action: Peter was saying, “You must repent…” (Act 2:38); Paul and Silas said, “You must believe…” (Act 16:31); Paul said, “You must allow yourselves to be reconciled to God!” (2Co 5:20); Jesus said, “You must repent and must believe in the Gospel” (Mar 1:15).

Implicit to these inescapable imperatives laid upon mankind by Jesus is His understanding of the following:

(1) That man has a will, and if he has a will, it is necessarily free;

(2) That man is not passive in terms of the necessity to act;

(3) That man is active in his salvation;

(4) That man is not brought to salvation by irresistible grace in a state of total inability, to believe only after saved (cf. Jud 1:4 and note) [LNT, fn j]. Mar 6:12, Mat 3:2; Mat 4:17; Mat 11:20; Mat 21:31, 32, +Luk 5:32; +**Luk 13:3; +**Luk 13:5; Luk 15:7; Luk 15:10; Luk 24:47, +*Act 2:36, 37, 38; Act 5:31; Act 20:21, +*2Ti 2:25; +*2Ti 2:26.

believe. *Mar 16:16, **Gen 15:6, +*2Ch 20:20, **Act 16:30; **Act 16:31; Act 19:4; Act 20:21, Rom 4:24; Rom 16:26, Gal 3:6, Heb 6:1.

the gospel. Luk 2:10, Rom 1:9, **1Co 15:1, 2, 3, 4, 2Co 8:18; 2Co 10:14, Gal 3:8, 1Th 3:2.

 

As always, should you have any questions, or should you happen to disagree with what I have written, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box below.

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Anton Chekhov’s short story “The Bet” and the impact of Bible reading

Teaching great literature is very hazardous should you focus on the details, like theme and climax.

“The Bet” is the story of a banker and a lawyer who made a mutual bet. The lawyer said he could stay in solitary confinement for fifteen years to show the sincerity of his convictions about capital punishment. The banker offered him two million should he succeed in voluntarily remaining in solitary confinement for that long.

The lawyer would be provided a musical instrument. He could have any books to read that he wished. But he could not venture out of his dwelling place until the full 15 years transpired.

The lawyer used his time well. He read widely and deeply and even mastered several languages.

“Later on, after the tenth year, the lawyer sat immovable before his table and read only the New Testament. The banker found it strange that a man who in four years had mastered six hundred erudite volumes should have spent nearly a year in reading one book, easy to understand and by no means thick. The New Testament was then replaced by the history of religions and theology.”

My students found it hard to grasp that this paragraph provides the reason for why the lawyer left his confinement a few minutes early so as not to receive the financial reward for having remained confined for 15 years.

Three students even went to my department head and complained that I was trying to force my religion upon them. My department head asked them, “What religion do you think Mr. Smith is?” The students, devout Roman Catholics from a just-closed Catholic school for girls, answered confidently, “Roman Catholic.” My department head smiled and remarked, if that is your conviction about Mr. Smith, I for one know you are wrong!

My department head was my English teacher when I was in the tenth grade. She observed that I often carried my Bible to school. She said, when I was in her class, that she believed I would become a pastor. She said that to prepare me to that end, she would enroll me in the debate and discussion class the following year. I did well in debate, and with my debate partner, we together won the regional championship in debate. I went on to debate when I was in college at Bob Jones University, where I was on the winning debate team for the men’s championship my senior year.

Now you know part of the “rest of the story.”

Just as the lawyer’s life was entirely changed by reading the New Testament for a bit less than a year, so my life was changed after reading the New Testament from August to November of 1953.

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How to work around my controversial notes when teaching the Bible

A reader here submitted a most important question. I thought it would be helpful to share this where more will see it. I do not have any YouTube videos, but I hope what I write will be just as clear.

The Question:

This might sound like silly, but I am no scholar, and never been to seminary school.

Today, I ordered this book “Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible” Illuminating God’s Word Verse-By-Verse, but just found this website and realized that I don’t have the latest work being “The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury”.

So with that in mind, I wanted to ask, do you have any YouTube videos on just doing a basic tutorial example on a uncontroversial topic/verse from beginning to end on using this resource, “The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury”?

Where I can find more understanding information on how this resource is put together? For example, I want to ensure I could explain it to someone why I used this resource in my future bible studies, and how it works so that one might not think this resource is biased in anyway whatever on any controversial topics, one topic example being tongues.

Thanks!

 

My Answer:

You came to the right place to get an answer to your question since I am the one who created these resources.

To study a subject like “tongues,” begin at any verse in the Bible that pertains to the subject.

I just did a search in e-Sword using the King James Version for the word “tongues.” Of more than 30 references that appeared, I selected Acts 2:4 

At Acts 2:4 I quickly scanned through the references given for the key words “began to speak” and made note of the single + sign given for Mark 16:17. The symbol “+” means “find more here.”

Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

began to speak. Act 2:11, *Act 10:46; *Act 10:47; *Act 19:5; *Act 19:6, Psa 68:18, Isa 28:11, +Mar 16:17, Joh 14:12, *1Co 12:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; *1Co 12:28, 29, 30, 31; +*1Co 13:1; +*1Co 13:8; 1Co 14:5, 6; 1Co 14:18; 1Co 14:21, 22, 23; 1Co 14:39.

Going to Mark 16:17 I focused on the cross references for the key words “shall speak.” The references given there lead to significant verses in the Bible about “tongues” and “speaking in tongues.” You will note that among the verses listed under Mark 16:17 are those recording Paul’s teaching about tongues: Paul said that he spoke in tongues “more than ye all,” and cautioned them “forbid not to speak in tongues.”

Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

shall speak. Joe 2:28, 29, *Act 2:4-11; *Act 2:33; Act 10:46; *Act 19:6, **1Co 12:10; **1Co 12:28; **1Co 12:30; *1Co 13:1; *1Co 13:8; 1Co 14:2; 1Co 14:5, 6-27; 1Co 14:39.

The first reference given at Mark 16:17 in this reference set shows that speaking in tongues is the subject of Bible prophecy (Joel 2:2829). The second reference given is Acts 2:4-11 shows how the prediction was fulfilled in history, and so forth. And so it is possible to work directly through the passages listed to get a non-controversial presentation from the Bible itself about what the Bible explicitly says about this spiritual gift.

I prepared the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury on purpose in a manner to present the evidence both for and against many different doctrinal positions. I did that so that anyone who desires to study the Bible more deeply can see the evidence for alternate viewpoints and come to a sound conclusion after prayer for guidance and insight coupled with careful, thorough study. The Holy Spirit is promised to guide us, but we must take care to do our homework very carefully.

On the other hand, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible has almost no notes, just cross references. Even so, I have seen objections on line to the few outlines I retained.

Most users of all three of my cross reference titles are very pleased at the effort I made to provide more cross references and helpful notes.

Most of the notes I have provided were in response to questions my high school Sunday school class raised as we studied the Bible together, or questions raised by students who attended the Bible Discussion Club at Cass Technical High School in Detroit. Further questions were asked by students in my college and career Sunday school classes in both Detroit, Michigan and Gainesville, Florida.

So, to anyone who might not like my answers, blame my Sunday school classes and the students in my Bible Discussion Club for asking such good questions! They demanded that I include the answers to their questions, even when the subjects might be controversial for some.

Feel free to ask more questions that you might have.

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