Reviewing the Reviewers Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This entry was posted in Bible Study Tools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Connect with Facebook

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.