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Monthly Archives: October 2013

A New ‘Biblical’ Documentary

I put the word ‘biblical’ in sarcastic quotes as I highly doubt the content will be biblical or even true. The title is not new or original as I checked youtube and found several programs with the exact words, though not all are in the same order as the History channel’s effort. The new show is called: Bible Secrets Revealed

I mentioned this over at Cargill’s site and he deleted the comment. They can’t answer or explain why the plagiarism took place so they avoid the issue by deleting the insight. i also tried every link at his site and searched both History channel’s and Prometheus’ websites and could not find any page that carried the details of the new series.

I am betting that 98% of the scholars involved are not true Christians and they all know nothing about the Bible.  What the viewer will be treated to is a scholar’s opinion of what the Bible is saying and not what it is really saying to the world. The following quote supports my point of view:

Please tune in to this documentary, which seeks to address difficult biblical scriptures and teachings in a responsible, academic, yet entertaining manner. The series is certain to be compelling as much for its scholarship as for its examination of secrets buried deep within the biblical texts, that have often traditionally been known only to scholars.

The bold words make me laugh as they do not know any secrets to the Bible that anyone else doesn’t know and it contradicts what Jesus said in the book of John:

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (14:16 & 17 NASB)

and

13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; (16:13a)

Scholars and Academics are not the source of truth nor are the final authority on what the Bible says. If they do not believe God then they do not have the spirit of truth and they do not know the truth. So if you watch this series do so with the help of the Holy Spirit so you can see and avoid the lies these scholars will say.

I do encourage you to watch this series because if you want to refute unbelievers thinking and correct their misconceptions then you have to know what they are saying and believing. Then you have to work with God to find the right responses to their points of view.

Here is the link to the schedule of shows in the series and if you can’t watch  at those times try to tape them o you can see how far off the secular world is when it comes to the Bible.

http://robertcargill.com/2013/10/29/new-history-channel-documentary-bible-secrets-revealed-begins-airing-november-11/

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in academics, history, theology

 

Statements Like This…

…tend to make me angry:

Ancient peoples had much shorter lives than people in western Europe and America today. The evidence from skeletons shows that few people in prehistoric times would have lived beyond the age of 40. (Prehistoric and Egyptian Medicine, by Ian Dawson, pg. 58)

If one studies anything about bones and skeletons they would find out that bones decay just like flesh does. It is hard to make such statements quoted above because, though we find more bone than soft tissue, skeletal remains are very hard to find.

Osteological material can survive the passage of time better than almost any other biological material, however, the integrity of a bone sample can be compromised by soil acidity, water damage, temperature and soil dwelling micro-organisms (Mays, 1998). Trabecular bone appears to decay faster than cortical bone in inhospitable soils, the compact bone of the shaft of long bones will survive whilst the trabecular bone of the condyles or head will not (Mays, 1998). Acidic soils and/or the acidic microenvironment, caused by micro-organisms living in the soil, contribute to either the degradation of hydroxyapatite (the main constituent of bone mineral) or its conversion to brushite. Brushite, another mineral, occupies more space than hydroxyapatite and tends to crack and splinter the bone. Water provides a medium for the transport of ions to and from bone and contributes in a major way to the chemical degradation of osteological materials. Higher temperatures facilitate all of these processes and also contribute to the destruction of collagen, which in turn can start to dissolve bone minerals (Price, 1989).In addition, post-mortem damage, either at the time of excavation or from subsequent poor storage and conservation, can lead to loss of bone. In certain instances this will either, affect the quantitative data obtained, as happened in the case of the ‘Maat’ specimen, or render the specimen unsuitable for density measurement.(http://www.assemblage.group.shef.ac.uk/5/haigh.html)

Bones may be thicker and harder than soft tissue but they do decay and disappear over time.

Bone decomposition can be rapid or decompose over great periods of time. It is all dependent on the environment that the bones are within. Many organism including rodents will consume the bone for calcium, acid soils will dissolve them quickly, some soils will not, preservation techniques will prolong their decomposition.(http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen06/gen06682.htm)

To take a few samples and declare a longevity rate for ancient people is unrealistic. That is like future archaeologists happening upon a small cemetery filled with the remains of young people and there declaring that it was rare for our present day people to live past the age of 40.

The evidence is just not there to make such determinations. We know that the ancients had excellent medical and dental care, even though a few quacks would have existed at the time, and we know that they had the same type of diet we have today, the grains, meat, dairy, etc., so to say that the ancients died out earlier than their modern counterparts just doesn’t make sense.

Like the peoples of Mesopotamia and India, the Egyptians had specialist doctors, took care over hygiene, used herbal remedies and believed that gods and evil spirits sent some diseases. However we know a great deal more about the medicine in Egypt  than in these other civilizations because of the greater variety of sources that have survived…(Ian Dawson, pg. 39)

Medicine is not a modern invention and though some later civilizations started from scratch doesn’t mean that it developed at a later time period than the ancient world. But even with all the modern medical technology and ancient medical practices, the decay rate of bones is not affected and it is rare to find a full skeleton of anything.

This is why we do not believe anthropologists or paleontologists when they construct their supposed evolutionary creatures from millions of years ago. They usually start with only a toe bone or a jaw bone or a femur and then use their imaginations for the rest.

Read the book, The First Humans by Ann Gibbons to get a good idea of how little skeletal structure those researchers use to draw their conclusions and human ancestors. This is why we do not believe scientists when they make the claim that Neanderthals existed. There is not enough evidence to make such claims.

The Neanderthals were humans but not another species, another race or an offshoot of the family tree. They were humans who could have been pre-flood occupants of Earth or they were merely hunters in search of food, or simply buried in the same cave as a communal burial ground.

The Bible is very clear that all men and women descended from Adam And Eve thus the idea of different races is false. We all belong to one race. The Neanderthal myth is just another rant by secular scientists who do not want to believe the Bible; so they make up their own stories to make their lives easier.

Discovering much about the past via human remains is difficult. At best we get a snippet of early life which is enough to see that their lives were not much different from ours. They suffered from disease, injuries, botched surgeries. or had excellent work done and on it goes.

To say more than that would require a lot more evidence which is long gone thanks to decay.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in archaeology, history

 

Debates

A good way to learn how to discuss with non-believers is to watch others who have mastered the art of debate. Though discussion is far different from debating, you still can pick up pointers as not every encounter with an unbeliever is a discussion.

Here are a few debates Christian scholars have had with unbelievers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZakwU4m9IJg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7gmgdk9qG8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2w6G5i6Y0A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q43HzpzY04o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqdkK0vbA68

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LGm0iWPC80

That should give you a good variety of examples to learn from. One warning– they are long just like the introductions of each person involved.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Education

Now I rarely speak on this topic because so many people have their own opinions about how education should be conducted. Even in this country there are a wide variety of opinions on how public schools should be run.

Sadly, most of the complaints come from the many westerners who come to this country for a year or two and think that the western way is the only way. More specifically, they think THEIR idea of the western way is the only correct way and their vocalization of their opinion creates far more problems for them than their sojourn here should.

What motivated me to write on this topic is the fact that I recently picked up the book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. I had heard about the controversy and wanted to read her side of the story. Her way of educating is but one way and though many westerners do not like it, it achieved her goals.

Over the years here educating Korean students, God has taught me a lot. many lessons came through observing the actions and words of my Korean and western counterparts. One thing I learned is that most westerners tend to complain without considering the whole picture. They like t think they have the better way and that they are superior to their Korean co-workers,

It is not a good situation  as the friction that attitude causes makes it difficult for everyone here not the few who complain unwisely. But here are some of the lessons  have learned:

1. The System:

One of the major complaints by westerners is, the system here is broken. It is not doing the job that both parents and educators want done. well that is a misconception on the part of the complainers because they fail to realize that there is only one system to educating.

One person is the teacher and the others are the students. There is no other system to switch over to. This system is the only one we have. Sure people can dress the system in different clothes and call their ideas innovated but when you boil it all down, there is a person who places the student in a situation where they have to learn. That person is the teacher because he or she has an objective–to get the students educated by using some format they devised.

2. Methodology:

Now this is different from the system in that there are as many different methodologies available to educate as there are teachers in the world. A lot of people make the mistake of confusing methodology with ‘the system’.

The big mistake here is that when one person or a group of people see one successful methodology they think everyone has to follow it. So they force that one method upon very resistant teachers who have their own way of educating that works for them.

Outside of God’s way, there is no perfect methodology. One person’s way of educating is as good as another’s. The key for teachers is to find the best methodology for them and stick to it. If the methodology doesn’t fit the teacher then they will have a very hard time educating their students and their students will see this and respond accordingly–usually not in a good way.

If school’s want to educate they need to let teachers develop their own style of teaching, within reason, and let them relate to their students in their own way. This does not mean that tweaking of their methods is omitted. No, for all teachers can benefit from learning from their mistakes or wise counsel from more experienced teachers.

3. Learning:

Two of the hardest points to get across to the many western teachers who come here are: 1. different students learn differently. Unfortunately, in a public school where class sizes tend to be large it is difficult to target different learning abilities. Sometimes the teacher has to make adjustments to their methodologies to reach the majority of students.

When I was doing a Master’s degree, I picked a school I thought would give me the best information in the best way possible in regards to my situation. The problem was their methodology did not fit my learning ability.

I asked if I could make a change and upon receiving their permission and their changes to my curriculum my grades went up remarkably. Now we may not be able to make such changes in the public school system, but we should not label a student as dumb, or slow based solely upon their test scores. Some students would demonstrate their intelligence if they were able to tailor their curriculum to meet their learning abilities.

We do not make wholesale changes because then all were are doing is shifting the same problem to different students.

4. Principals:

A lot of people place the blame upon the principal because he is the man in charge of a school and the buck should stop there. Those who place this blame seldom see the whole picture.

Sure one set of parents may  think that the whole educational field revolves around their children and make unrealistic demands of the principal and that is not fair. For example, if a school has about 1,000 students that means that there are approx. 1000 sets of parents who all think they know how education should be done in a public school.

The principal does not have an easy job in trying to please all these people. It is impossible. But what makes it worse is when the principal and his staff forget why they are in education in the first place and forget what character attributes they need to administer education on such a broad level.

I am in discussion with a man on this website

http://archiesforum.europefreeforum.com/what-were-they-thinking-2-t733-45.html

recording how many negative and absurd acts principals and their staff can do in a school year. We think our predictions for how many will take place over the course of the year will be far too conservative.

The decisions principals’ make will have a long-lasting effect on students and it is sad when schools get burdened with those men and women who are too weak to handle the responsibilities that come with running a school. There is far more to education than running a school like a prison and that is what many school shave turned into with the no tolerance, no excuses, lockdown everything when something goes wrong, ideologies.

If nothing else, principals need to set the tone for education in their schools. If they are not wise, knowledgeable, understanding, fair, just and so on then education deteriorates. The principal cannot be a man who follows the fads or trends but must be able to withstand the pressure and set his school on the right course and be of such good character that he will not let his school decline to the whims of culture or outside pressures.

In today’s world it is not easy to find such men.

5. Teachers:

Teachers should be examples to their students as they have the most contact with them than principals and administrators have. The thing with teaching and teachers is, you never stop teaching even when you leave the classroom for the day.

How one interacts with their students outside of the school will influence how their classes will run when they are in session. One of my former schools asked me to help them with getting their new teacher adjusted to Korea. The problem this teacher had was that once he left the classroom he refused to interact with any of the students, going to the point of ignoring them on the sidewalk in town even though they were 2 feet away from him.

He thought he was well liked by his students and told me so. I, after witnessing his many examples of ignoring students, investigated the claim and found out that the opposite was true. Not 1 student liked him. It was not easy telling him this news but he needed to learn something important.

Teaching doesn’t stop and a teacher’s example goes a long ways in education.

6. Placing Blame:

In this country, westerners who come here to teach love to place the blame on the system or country. They love to do it in a very general manner which often includes labeling innocent people and that is wrong.

Too often it is ‘the system’ that gets the blame and everyone wants to throw out the system when in reality, it is simply one person who is at fault. A lot of times, people target the symptoms and leave the source of the problems in place. They simply do not want to do the work to root out the real problem.

Other times, they take the easy route and throw  money at the problem hoping to buy their way out of a difficult situation. Very few people want to roll up their sleeves any more and get involved so the problems never get fixed and a whole lot of people complain about how poor education is in a given country.

Then even less people want to admit to making mistakes and taking responsibility for them anymore. We are in a ‘pass the buck’ culture. Sometimes, those complaining are not satisfied with the ‘punishment fit the crime’ mentality. They want people to pay the ultimate price for offenses that require little discipline.

We are not in a culture that allows people to learn from their mistakes nor one that allows for second chances. The person making the mistake must be fired and barred from educating ever again and such penalties should be reserved for those crimes that warrant such discipline.

When placing the blame, the complainer really should follow Jesus’ advice first–remove the beam from one’s own eye in order to see clearly how to remove the splinter in the other person’s eye. This advice applies to education and all of its participants. if people practiced that maybe we would solve more educational problems than we are doing now.

One of the things I liked about the first owners of my first private institution here in this country was their efforts in finding the right teacher for the student that paid their fee. They were lucky to have multiple teachers on staff thus if a student didn’t like one teacher, instead of seeing him or her walk out the door, they shuffled the student to different classrooms in hopes of finding the right teacher-student fit.

They were very successful at doing this thus they had a very good reputation and we never hurt for students while they owned the institution. Being wise and knowing how to run a school works. Unfortunately, most complainers do not look at the whole picture , they only see what they want to see and cause trouble which only upsets the smooth operations of a school.

7. God’s Way:

many people scoff at believers for wanting to conduct education God’s way but the secularist has been in charge of education for a long time now and their way doesn’t seem work. Over the past few decades we have seen a sharp decline in education and a large rise in educational problems.

Maybe if the secular educators would humble themselves and let God back into education, they might see a difference. But what are some of God’s ways educators should use? Here is a brief list with annotated comments

A). If a person does a biblical study on the words education, teacher, study, and related words, they will see that God has a lot to say on the issue. We find in 1 Cor. 12: 27-28 the list that God has for his kingdom. In that list we read that teachers are #3 in rank and that ranking tells us that God places a lot of value on teaching.

He also places a lot of responsibility upon the teachers. Being number three means we should take teaching and teachers a lot more seriously than we do.

B). But the words in point A. aren’t the only words we need to look up to understand education correctly. Colossians 3 : 9 tells us: ” Do not lie to each other” and that admonition needs to be carried out by teachers towards their students. You do not lie to students.

We may need to find tactful, compassionate means to communicate certain news to students but never lie to them. Administrators, principals and teachers need to be honest at all times.

C). Then there are other instructions found in Paul’s books of Philippians, Ephesians and Galatians, among other books, on how a believer is to live their lives. Those instructions apply to all educators and their time in school. Education is not immune to biblical living.

D). 1 Corinthians 13 also applies. Love is a powerful tool in the classroom and the students will pick up on it and respond accordingly. One thing that love does is discipline. We do not remove punishment for bad deeds when we love someone.

Love does not remove the boundaries of right and wrong or morality from education but that administration of punishment should be fair, wise, just and honest. Love does not let students act as they please but sets firm rules  to guide them in how to behave correctly.

E). God doesn’t follow fads, majority rule or wingnut ideology nor should educators. They should know what they want to teach, how they want to teach and where they want to lead the students even if that thinking goes against the grain or the mood of the school.

F). There is no law or biblical teaching that restricts parents from providing additional educational material to their children. Too often many parents leave educating up to the teachers then complain when their children do not perform as expected.

Well the parent is free to educate their children in the manner they see fit. God even said so in the verse, PARENTS raise your children… The parent is charged with educating their children and parents should not abdicate that authority to the government, schools or teachers.

If the parent thinks the school is not educating well enough then they should be strong and go get more educational materials for their children to study. Education starts with the parents, not the schools. Instead of ranting and raving about how the school fails, do something about it and take an interest in their child’s education. Education is in the realm of the parent.

G). Outside of God’s way, there is no one idea of what a childhood is. I have heard complaints about this for years. Westerners here say ‘these kids do not have a childhood’ and ‘I want my child to have a childhood.’

Unfortunately for them there is no real definition of what a childhood is. Parent sin one city or nation will have different ideas about how to raise their child and how their childhood will go. This means that if Korean parents want their children to go to school from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. then they are free and have the right to do so.

It is not wrong if it disagrees with another parent’s idea about childhood. It is only wrong if it disobeys God and his rules. God has given each parent the freedom and right to raise their children. He has also given them the free choice to follow his ways or not, one cannot force their ways upon another parent simply because they don’t like how someone else raises their children.

They do not have the authority to force their ways upon others nor do they have the right to use the government or courts to implement their ways over someone else’s. God has given instructions on how to raise a child and that is the way for people to follow.

These are some of God’s way. You will need to study the Bible on this issue to find out how God wants you to educate your children. Education is not easy nor is following God’s ways but it must be done so that the secular world can see the right way in action and so your children will grow up strong in God.

Everyone has an opinion on how to educate children, it is about time they let God have his say.

 

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in academics, General Life

 

Much To Talk About-16

There is a lot to talk about this week, much more than usual, McGrath has a post linking different sites that have issues needing addressing, McClellan has 2 different recent articles that need attention and a host of others.

#1. Daniel McClellan: https://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/jacobovici-on-the-ipuwer-papyrus/#comment-3668

The Ipuwer Papyrus has been talked about, discussed ad nauseam for a long time now. it is actually hard to pinpoint when it was actually written. If one is to believe secular scholars, then the papyrus was written well before the Exodus took place.

But then unbelieving scholars do not want to be seen authenticating evidence for the Biblical Exodus. If they are, they will lose their reputations, standing and academic rewards they treasure. They would also have to eat a lot of crow.

Believing scholars should not side with nor accept the unbelieving scholar’s dating or theories mainly because the latter has no evidence to support their ideas. There is nothing to indicate that the Ipuwer Papyrus is part of their selected genre nor do the unbelieving scholars produce any evidence for a previous event that would inspire that author.

They also cannot provide any credible evidence for their early dating. Much like I. Finkelstein, they just declare it so and stick with that. Now I can’t say it does speak of the ten plagues but that would be an event that would inspire the author to write as he did.

I am inclined to side with Jacobovici  on this point only–that the Ipuwer papyrus COULD BE speaking on the plagues. I can’t be sure, no one can but I do not see it being written earlier than that.

One of the problems with most unbelieving scholars is that they want to see the evidence for biblical events be very literal and use the exact words the KJV Bible uses 3,000 years or more after the fact. They are very unrealistic in their demands for biblical evidence.

If you want to read up on the Ipuwer Papyrus, here is a link to the topic:

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=AnxG8H68wfn0odwJdvg4ZN2bvZx4?p=Ipuwer+Papyrus&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-900

#2. Daniel McClellan: https://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/are-mormons-christians-some-reflections/

The short answer is ‘no’ but many people do actually think that Mormons are Christian. i do not know if the former president Jimmy Carter still holds to his views on the subject but he stated as much in this 2007 interview

http://www.dennyburk.com/jimmy-carter-says-mormons-are-christians/

Newsweek: Do you think a Mormon is a Christian?
Carter: Yes, I do. I have a cousin who is a Mormon and she married one of the Marriott family. I don’t know anyone who’s more devout in their faith than she and her family. I admire them very much.

The Bible has different ideas:

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel [d]contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be [e]accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel [f]contrary to what you received, he is to be [g]accursed! (Gal. 1 NASB)

The mentioning of angels covers the Mormon angel Moroni. He brought a different gospel supposedly to Joseph Smith, who ran with it and used this idea to con so many people and others seeing how easy it was to deceive, continued his deceptive work.

The Mormons claim to follow the Bible but if you examine their religious writings , you will see that the latter contradict biblical teaching constantly.  Their teaching of being married after earthly life contradicts Jesus’ teaching of non-marriage in heaven. Their teaching that Mormons will become gods of their own planets contradict God’s teaching in Revelation.

Their claim that Jesus and Satan are spiritual brothers is false and has no biblical basis (see Mormon doctrine p. 163) And there are other contradictions with biblical teaching in the Mormon beliefs. 

No, Mormonism is not Christian no matter how hard the Mormons try to present themselves as a legitimate faith. They are not Christians just because a former president or religious leaders say that they are. The final word on the subject is God and he does not endorse the Mormon beliefs for it did not come from him but evil.

Mormonism is a cult even though they may include some biblical teachings in their daily lives. You need some truth in the con to snare the unwary.  Mormons do a good job of deceiving its members and the general public.

#3. rogueclassicism: http://rogueclassicism.com/2013/10/22/the-rogueclassicist-skept-o-meter/

{This and the few following points originate from McGrath’s site but I will try to link to the original author each time for clarity}

Claim is made by someone who is not a specialist (i.e. with a degree) in the discipline

This is point #1 on the author’s ‘skept-o-meter’ and it is very misleading. It implies that one has to have academic degrees in a given subject before they are allowed to address a topic or issue.

This is a secular criteria and not one a believer should follow. Yes we do need to study, as the examples of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann only tell us that ignorance is not a christian virtue. We do need to study and research different issues not only to find the truth but to at least be in the ballpark when discussing the topic with unbelievers.

We need to know what the other side is going to say and we need to be able to counter their arguments with the truth intelligently. This does not mean that every believer has to go get university degrees to discuss issues as that would be unrealistic and impossible but it does mean that one should read more than their denominational position on the matter.

Believers also need to be filled with God’s wisdom in order to know how to present what they know to the unbeliever. We just do not open our mouths and let the words fly out–God is not going to do all the work, we at least need to know what to say and when to say it.

That criteria above is meant by unbelievers to limit who can say what and keep biblical and other topics in the realm of the ‘elite’. Before you speak, educate yourself on the topic asking God for help so you do not look foolish when questioned by those unbelievers who do know the issue thoroughly.

Claim has not appeared in a scholarly journal nor is ‘in press’

This is another false criteria. The truth doe snot need to be published in scholarly journals or peer review media. That demand is a form of censorship meant to hide the truth not expose it. Christians need to present the truth intelligently, with love, wisdom and understanding and there is no command to publish in scholarly works.

#4 Michael Sheiser: http://michaelsheiser.com/PaleoBabble/2013/10/christian-ufo-researchers-ape-ancient-astronaut-thinking/

The non-christian world is going to call any evidence or theory supporting the Bible or biblical events ‘paleo-babble’. They think the cross and biblical events are foolish nonsense thus what can believers expect from the unbelieving crowd. We are not going to get applause from those who do not want the Bible to be shown as true.

We will also get such accusations from those who compromise and accept secular teaching on different biblical accounts.

I just don’t think the Bible was ever intended to teach us science.

The problem with this thinking is that the author presumes that origins came the way secular scientists claim. What he ignores is that the Bible is not teaching us science when it relates God’s creative act. The Bible is teaching us about God, his supernatural power and our real origins. There is a big difference between the two.

The Bible also doesn’t claim to be teaching ‘modern science’. It does tell us that it is revealing God to us. Anyone who claims that the Bible is teaching bad science doesn’t understand the Bible or its purpose but are trying to distract believers from the truth while at the same time hiding from it.

#5. Bryan Bibb: http://www.bryanbibb.com/archive/2013/10/21/biblical-literalisms-tight-grip/

My point is that a careful, respectful, and faithful reading of Genesis will examine the creation texts as literature rather than as scientific description.

This thinking goes along with the previous post but with a minor difference. The Bible is not literature as unbelievers or compromisers would define the word. The Bible is a revelation of fact and truth and though many people are swayed by scientific arguments and thought, that fact doesn’t change.

Those who adopt secular teachings of origins over God’s word are swapping the truth for the error. They are repenting from true teaching and embracing false teaching and that is the wrong direction to go in. They are being deceived not the believers of the biblical text.

What Mr. Bibb writes is typical of those who want to remove the truth from the Bible and insert their own false alternatives. They think that they can’t ‘do science’ if they accept Gen. 1 as it is written. But they are not ‘doing science’ by accepting evolutionary thinking. They are doing science fiction. Evolution is not science it is a desperate attempt to fill the void left by rejecting the truth of Genesis 1.

#6 Eye on ICR: http://eyeonicr.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/dinosaurs-on-noahs-ark/

When people criticize those who believe God’s word, they often do not read the passages in question thoroughly enough. The passages on the flood do not mention snapping turtles yet were turtles not on the ark?

When the word ‘all’ is used that means ‘all’ but in this case the Bible limits the type of animals that were on the ark:

you shall bring two of every kind into the ark,

Not a pair of every animal but the representatives of the groupings that God made at creation. Science has yet to figure out what a ‘kind’ is which tells us their limitations and undermines their credibility concerning origins.

If the dinosaurs were not on the ark, their direct ancestors were and by ancestors I mean a pair of animals that will spawn future dinosaurs. Just like all species of dogs were not on the ark but the pair of ancestors which allowed for the breeding of future dogs were there.

Is it important to know if dinosaurs were on the ark or not? No. It is important to realize that when God made the animals, he included dinosaurs in the whole group and that they lived at the same time as  Adam and his descendants lived.

There is more to this topic but time does not permit top continue the discussion.

#7. John Shore: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2013/10/are-not-the-bibles-laws-on-homosexuality-unbiblical/

When a person doesn’t agree with God’s rules and declarations of what is or isn’t sin, they come up with all sorts of convoluted arguments that make no sense and has nothing to do with refuting scripture.

As proof that God condemns homosexuality, anti-gay Christians commonly point to the laws prohibiting homosexuality found in Leviticus.

Actually, it isn’t just Lev. that condemns homosexuality. Paul in the NT does so as well and that recording tells the world that God hasn’t changed his mind about the homosexual preference.

So there is Jesus directing us to understand that if breaking a Biblical “law” does not violate the Great Commandment, then that law should no longer be considered a moral law.

This is a prime example of what I mean by convoluted argument. The author of that piece ignores parts of what ‘love’ is to justify his acceptance of a condemned sexual practice. he forgets that love sets rules, condemns different activities and also punishes those who disobey its rules.

The author in his haste to justify homosexuality is actually appealing to the very thing that condemns it. Read the 2 passages the author quotes just before that point. Love isn’t total freedom where one gets to do as they please–that is actually anarchy and anarchy is not love but destruction.

The author wants love but he doesn’t want to do what loves wants. He wants to do his own thing and that isn’t love. Jesus said, if you love me keep my commandments. Notice Jesus didn’t say, ‘if you love me do as you want.” But the latter is what homosexuals and their supporters want. They reject the former because they are not allowed to do as they please.

 

 
 

A Simple Question To Christian Men

This question is found in the book Summer for the Gods by Edward Larson. pg. 53. here it is:

Many of these letters were written by women, such as the one   asking, “What are mothers to do when unwise education makes boys lose confidence in the home, the Bible , the government and all law?

But let’s tweak it just a little and re-ask it:

What are wives, daughters and girlfriends to do when their husbands, boyfriends and fathers lose confidence, faith in the home, the Bible and all law?

Men are the spiritual leaders of the family, as they go so go their loved ones, (for the most part). If the husband, father or the boyfriend starts chasing after false teaching and pursuing worldly pleasures and forsake God’s teaching and morality then the unchristian influence takes its toll on the rest of the family.

Think about it. You set the tone.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in General Life, theology

 

The Dangers Of Textual Criticism

All but one of the quotes will be from the book A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible by Paul D. Wegner. In my previous post I talked a bit about why I disagreed with the current ideology of textual criticism. Today we will explore those dangers that come with this kind of thinking.

#1. A biblical book may have gone through some modification on its way to its final, authoritative form, and there may be times when we can identify these changes. (pg. 36)

Right here the textual critics, doesn’t matter if they are christian or not, have said that God made errors and that humans were given editorial control over what God said. It also says that the Bible is a human authored book.

Removing the attribute of perfection of God means we do not serve  God but another being in need of a savior. He is not perfect and maybe he made mistakes about the flood and other key elements of the biblical faith. This ideology undermines all confidence in God.

#2. A plausible goal for NT textual criticism is the recovery of the original readings of the text or in some cases it may be necessary to identify the earliest possible readings. (pg. 39)

As pointed out in the previous article, it is basically impossible to ‘recover the original readings’ mainly because we do not have the original autographs to compare any work against. We can never know, beyond faith, that we have the original words of God.

To search for them denies God’s ability to preserve his word as he promised. It is a fine line that believers walk. Yes we need to do textual work to fight against the attacks of evil and make sure we can keep God’s word from being perverted by those who do not believe; BUT we cannot go as far as to be arrogant and say God can’t preserve his own words.

We have God’s original words right now, I like the 3 translations KJV, NIV 1984 and the NASB. I have problems with the other non-cultic versions because of modern influences like Political Correctness and feminism which do play a role in how other translations record God’s word.

#3. In a similar way the text of the Bible has undergone centuries of hand copying of scribes who were prone to human error. (pg. 44)

Yes mistakes were made BUT this is saying that God was incapable of leading people to put into place some sort of quality control. This view makes it seem that the copying of the texts were random and out of God’s control.

For all we know the manuscripts we have recovered were the ones discarded after the errors were discovered and the good ones used till they wore out. It is very dangerous to assume anything about the process involved with any manuscript we discover.

I also have a problem with the idea that ‘scribes’ did all the work and were the only ones who could read or write. If they were professional scribes then they would have protocols in place to spot errors but the practitioners of textual criticism seem to think that copying was all haphazard and without care for God or his word.

#4. Evidence suggests that the Hebrew text was somewhat flexible until the first century AD when it became unified. (pg. 50)

This danger is another assumption. It assumes that God wasn’t aware that changes to the language were going to take place and it assumes that God couldn’t write his word in a manner that could be easily translated.

It also assumes that the ‘evidence’ only points to the conclusions made by the textual critics. Shall we say that all the modern English translations point to a flexibility of the English language or shall we say that different translators simply tried to bring the Bible to a more modern language use?

So why couldn’t the ancient Hebrews do the same thing? Why must every manuscript we find be exactly like the previous ones? Why should their manuscripts reflect very old Hebrew of Moses’ time when probably very few Hebrews still spoke and read that way?

If some modernization of ancient texts took place, we should not be quick to say that there are errors or that editors changed the word of God but that their spiritual leaders were trying to make the older Hebrew more understandable for their people.

#5.  In their zealousness to preserve Scripture, scribes had a tendency to include everything in the text…rather than omit anything; thereby expanding the text in some places. The NT appears to have experienced less flexibility in the transmissional process, but but it is still possible that copyists made modifications to certain texts. (pg. 51)

This danger is the assumption that all copyists were true believers and that each fragment and manuscript were copied by them. We do not know who copied the texts we have thus we cannot say what their pedigree is.

Like modern times, there were those who did not like what the Bible says and went about changing it to their liking. This does not mean that every manuscript is wrong or copied by non-believers. It means we cannot trust that every manuscript reflects the correct transmission of God’s word. Thus we should be careful of what changes we make to supposed errors.

These assumptions, and others, can be deadly in our work to keep the word of God clear of false teaching but there is one more danger in textual criticism and it is the most dangerous of all. It comes from a lecture made by Dr. Daniel Wallace and found at the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-RMdX0zi-Q

The danger comes at the 11:30 mark of the lecture. First the question and then Dr. Wallace’s dangerous answer:

Don’t we have the original New Testament anymore?

No we don’t. It turned to dust centuries ago.

What he has just done with that answer is say to the whole world that the Bible we have does not have God’s word and it is now a book vulnerable to man’s subjective opinion. He has opened the doors for those who do not accept the Bible as God’s word to insert their own alternatives.

He is also saying to the secular world that we have nothing to offer because we do not have God’s word anymore. He is also telling the world that God doesn’t keep his promises, that God is on the sidelines when it comes to transmitting his word to a new set of pages incapable of raising up men to make sure his word is copied correctly and exactly.

He is also destroying any moral guide we have, relegating morality, right and wrong to the whims of whomever is in charge at the moment. It also means that we cannot call Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and others, wrong because we now do not have God’s ultimate standard to judge the world’s behavior and attitudes.

And on it goes. I disagree with him on his claim later in the lecture that ‘we cannot say that we do not have the original words of God’ because of the differences. That is assuming that all the differences are wrong and not one is the correct and original words of God. it is also throwing everything we have out simply because we cannot discern which fragments and manuscripts were written by true believers.

That is not a good attitude to have. If we do not have the originals then we have no God to believe in because he left us without his perfect word and is leaving us floundering trying to figure it all out. He left us no help and all textual critics are now part of the blind leading the blind.

Obviously they are blind since we do not have God’s original words left, we will never know if they got it right and they will not be able to compare their results. God’s word is now whatever these textual critics claim it is and that is very dangerous.

I do not see much of the Holy Spirit involved in textual criticism. I see a lot of men who doubt God’s promise or doubt certain passages and that is not a good sign. I also see a lot of people who want genderless passages, feminism, or political correctness included in God’s word and those ideologies are not from God.

We do have God’s original words today, we must take that declaration by faith because we can only trust that God has kept his promise and preserved his word for everyone. We must rely upon the Holy Spirit to guide us to the correct versions that contain God’s word and we need to verify that it is the Holy Spirit leading us to those words.

Without God’s word, we cannot even say that the homosexual is wrong and in sin. We have God’s word and we can rely on it. If you want a place to start then go with these 3 versions: NASB, KJV and NIV 1984.

Dr. Wallace says we are getting closer and closer to the original autographs but how do we know they are going in the right direction and following the correct ancient manuscripts? I will say he is wrong because we do have God’s original words or God wouldn’t have a church that is really following his commands.

Textual criticism can be helpful BUT we must be careful because what we say reflects upon the God we say we serve. This is why you cannot take even Christian biblical scholars blindly because their mistakes are very costly to the work of Christ.

One last thing, if we are getting closer to God’s original words now, what did the people from the 3rd or 4th century up till the present do? Were they following false words of God? This is why that statement ‘we do not have God’s original word’ is so wrong. It is arrogant because it says that only the modern scholar would discover God’s original words.

No, textual critics make heinous errors. (His claim that the original words may say the number of the beast is 616 not 666 (about the 37 minute mark) is wrong because his assumption that the earlier manuscript is correct and the later one is wrong and that is a very bad assumption to make). It is possible that the earlier manuscript was wrong and the latter one corrected the error.

To assume that the earlier manuscripts are the original words is a fatal mistake and can lead modern scholars to change the true correction back to the error. Follow the Holy Spirit, not textual criticism or critics. He knows the truth.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in academics, history, theology

 
 
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