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Christians Beware (part 2):

Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment

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Question #1:   Hi Doctor, Could you take a look at this stuff and let me know your opinion? I know what you've written before on the subject of Matthew supposedly having been written in Hebrew before Greek. I hope the URL comes through; if not, I will cut and paste the entire article for you. It seems like a lot of supposition to me--not solid proof.

http://www.onlinetruth.org/Articles%20Folder/hebrew_gospel_of_matthew.htm

Thanks. God bless.

Response #1:   This is an interesting article, but much of it characterized as "new" is not new at all. I would agree completely with the positions that 1) Matthew's gospel is the first one, not Mark's; this is a standard conservative position; and 2) that Hebrew was widely spoken in Judea during the time of Christ – at least this is how I would put it. I would not say "the apostle spoke Hebrew instead of Aramaic" or insinuate anything of the kind. The truth is the apostles and our Lord doubtless spoke both (as I have opined before) in addition to Greek. As I have also pointed out before, it is not unusual at all in world history for peoples dwelling at a nexus of civilizations, geographical boundaries and political divisions to speak as many languages as necessary to get by (even today, everyone in Switzerland learns at least German, French and Italian, and most know several other languages besides these). It is only in places like the US where we see multi-lingualism as unusual. So the fact that Matthew was Jewish and spoke Hebrew (as well as Aramaic and Greek) in no way proves that he wrote his gospel in Hebrew.

As to the evidence in Eusebius, as I have also said many times, like all library historians, Eusebius is only as good as his sources. In my experience with ancient writers, when they attribute sources they are more likely to have a good one. What does Eusebius say about his source for this tradition of a Hebrew-language gospel? He says that he (i.e., Eusebius himself) has heard ("they say" – unknown source) that Pantaeus when in India found the Gospel of Matthew. Notice that in Eusebius HE 5.10 we are not actually told that Matthew wrote his gospel "in Hebrew"; merely that this particular copy of the gospel reportedly found in India was "in Hebrew". The article's author explains the reason for a trip to India as being the large number of ancient Jewish communities there. Whether there is any truth to the supposition that this supposed trip of Bartholomew's (or the one ascribed to Pantaeus) ever happened or happened for this reason, if this reconstruction of events long after the fact on slender evidence is correct, it would only explain why one would want a Hebrew as opposed to a Greek copy of Matthew in India, namely for the use of the Hebrew-speaking communities there. Bartholomew is also claimed by the Armenians as the one who brought Christianity to their country, and the Armenian version of the scriptures dates at least as far back as the 5th century. This is later than Pantaeus by some two centuries, it is true, but in contrast to him and his copy of the Hebrew version of Matthew, we actually have textual evidence for the ancient Armenian version. So Eusebius' report is not news (except if one has not before read this passage); it is third hand and unattributed, and it doesn't actually say that Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew, only that a copy of it in Hebrew existed – but this is precisely what we should expect if Bartholomew's mission (or anyone else for that matter) had been to make the Word accessible to the target population (assuming the thesis of Jewish colonies in India being the recipients).

I have dealt with the Origen, Irenaeus and Papias fragments on this tradition before, pointing out that they are all derivative of the same source (i.e., the same one used by Eusebius), and since they say the same thing in almost the same language, they obviously should not be considered independent evidence. It is difficult to say what to make of the Shem Tov "gospel", but as the article itself reports late Hebrew versions of parts of the New Testament are not unprecedented. There are a variety of reasons (scholarly and apologetic as well as evangelical) why the book of Matthew may have been translated into Hebrew in later centuries. But the existence of a 14th century translation doesn't seem to me to be particularly convincing evidence that Matthew wrote the book in Hebrew originally (or that this is it, even if he had).

Were I to be a proponent of the "Hebrew first" theory, I wouldn't be finding anything much here either new or terribly convincing for my case. As always, evidence must be weighted. The existence of Matthew in Greek in various forms and in incredible volume from the 2-3 century forward compared to the existence of not one line of a Hebrew gospel in any early manuscript or papyrus form is to me still decisive.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

A friend was hoping you could answer this one from the correct way of reading this sentence:

Hebrews 4:9: There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

BR is right... I think when he pointed out that 'rest' is sabbatismos and is according to Strong's "1) a keeping sabbath". HOWEVER, I need clarification on this word 'remaineth' which is apoleip . Here is how is it defined:

1) to leave, to leave behind

2) to desert or forsake

SO, what it really being said here? Are we to leave, meaning, leave in place 'a keeping sabbath' or are we to leave behind (desert) 'a keeping sabbath'? I would really love to nail him on this one!

This was the original post from a Messianic Gentile letter of the law promoter:

Shalom Shabbot my friends.

I wanted to ask you a question on this Set-apart day of YHWH's rest. Do you obey the Creator of the Universe and follow the teachings of the Messiah, or do you obey the Roman Catholic church? Here are some direct questions to Rome and their answers. What power has claimed authority to change God's law? The Papacy. "The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws...The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God; and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth." Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca (Ready Library), "Papa,'' art. 2. What part of the law of God has the Papacy thought to change? The fourth commandment. They [the Catholics] allege the change of the Sabbath into the Lord's day, contrary, as it seemeth to the Decalogue; and they have no example more in their mouths than the change of the Sabbath. They will needs have the Church's power to be very great, because it hath dispensed with a precept of the Decalogue. The Augsburg Confession (Lutheran). Part 2. art. 7, in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Harper), Vol. 3, pg. 64. "It [the Roman Catholic Church] reversed the Fourth Commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of God's word, and instituting Sunday as a holiday." N. Summerbell, History of the Christian Church (1873), pg. 415. Does the Papacy acknowledge changing the Sabbath? It does. The Catechismus Romanus was commanded by the Council of Trent and published by the Vatican Press by order of Pope Pius V, in 1566. This catechism for priests says: "It pleased the church of God, that the religious celebration of the Sabbath day should be transferred to `the Lord's day'." Catechism of the Council of Trent (Donovan's translation, 1867), part 3, chap. 4, pg. 345. The same, in a slightly different wording, is in the McHugh and Callan translation (1937 ed), pg. 402. "Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days? Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church." HENRY TUBERVILLE, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (1833 approbation), pg. 58. (Same statement in Manual of Christian Doctrine, ed. by Daniel Ferris [1916 ed.], pg. 67.) Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept? Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. STEPHEN KEENAN A Doctrinal Catechism (3d ed.): pg. 174. The Catholic Church by virtue of her divine mission changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. The Catholic Mirror official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893. "1. Is Saturday the 7th day according to the Bible & the 10 Commandments?'' "I answer yes.'' "2. Is Sunday the first day of the week & did the Church change the 7th day, Saturday, for Sunday, the first day?'' "I answer yes.'' "3. Did Christ change the day?'' "I answer no!'' Faithfully yours, J. Cardinal Gibbons Gibbons' autographed letter. Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. PETER GEIERMANN, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1946 ed.). pg. 50. Geiermann received the "apostolic blessing" of Pope Pius X on his labors, January 25, 1910. Hebrews 4:9-10 the Greek text says Sabatismo, and your english versions of the Bible say "rest", when it should say "There remains a Sabbath keeping rest for the people of Elohim" Revelation 22:14, KJV— Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Commandments here is: "used of the commandments of the mosaic law..."

Full post here:

http://watcherrefugeecamp.freeforums.org/do-we-follow-the-messiah-or-the-roman-catholic-church-t372.html

Thank you as always for your great helps in these matters, yours in the Lord Jesus and all for Him only.

Response #2: 

As I know you understand, translation is not merely a matter of looking a word up in Strong's and plugging in whatever one prefers. For one thing, apoleipo is a verb, and in Greek, any given verb can have a variety of persons (1,2,3), numbers (sing., plur.,dual), tenses (pres.,impf.,fut.,pf.,plupf.,aor.), voices (active, middle, passive), and moods (indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative, participles, and infinitives). Therefore the precise parsing of the verb is critical to understanding what it is saying. This is clear to the ear, though not to a non-Greek speaker accessing a concordance. For example, eipe means "Speak!" (singular imperative), whereas legein means "to speak"; these are from the same verb but sound nothing alike. A hearer/reader would never mistake them, but the distinction is not at all clear from the Strong's number. Strong's has for this verb, among many other possibilities as definitions "relate" and "put forth", but if I were to translate the first form "was put forth" or the second "is being related" I would be far off the mark.

The above was necessary to explain what is going on in this verse. The form in Hebrews 4:9 is the third singular, present middle indicative of apoleipo. Taking that information together with the true meaning of sabbatismos, a rather uncommon noun most likely coined by Paul himself (it is found nowhere else save latter occurrences, mainly in the church fathers; it may occur in Plutarch, but even then it would be later than the book of Hebrews), I offer the following translation:

So then there does remain a Sabbath-comparable rest (sabbatismos) for the people of God.
Hebrews 4:9

The real question is, what does Paul mean by this statement? Let us start with the fact that the entire purpose of the book of Hebrews is to demonstrate that the continuation in the rites and rituals of the Mosaic Law on the part of the believers in Jerusalem was a huge mistake and, in some respects, an abomination. Christ is superior to angels (as opposed to Jewish views that suppress the truth of the Trinity); Christ's priesthood is superior to the Mosaic priesthood, and built on a lasting and much better (new) covenant. Christ's sacrifice was real, not merely ritual, and has accomplished actual salvation, and none of these backsliders will ever be restored "so long as they continue to crucify the Son of God afresh" (Heb.6:6).

In such a context, the changing of the word "Sabbath" to a new word otherwise unknown before is significant. It takes no great leap of understanding, even without looking at the immediate context, to realize that this "Sabbath-thing" which remains is not the Sabbath day as observed under the Old Covenant (or Paul would just have said "Sabbath"), and we should be equally suspicious that we are to take it to mean that we are now merely transferring over the old usage to the new, switching days and some minor customs but otherwise preserving the same idea of things. If we were to do that in regard, for example, to the replacement of the Levitical priesthood by Christ's priesthood, we might have to agree with the Roman church (since their priesthood is just such a reworking). In fact, the word sabbatismos is the word "Sabbath" to which is appended the (originally) adjectival suffix -ismo, a suffix which connotes adaptability or fitness for something. Thus, sabbatismos ought to mean "something suitable for rest" (the root meaning behind the Hebrew word shabbath).

In the context, this rest is something we need to "enter into" once and for all (chapter three), as opposed to something that occurs only once a week. Every day is "today", upon which we are to hear His voice and enter into this rest. For "that promise of entering into His rest still stands", and "we who have believed do enter in this rest" (Heb.4:3), that is, by faith. The rest of faith (or "faith rest") is something to which all believers are heir (positionally), but which all must appropriate (experientially) by learning to walk with the Lord, resting in Him and trusting in Him at all times – not just one day a week. The fourth commandment has thus been transformed for us who have the Spirit of God. We are to keep Him and His truth holy at all times, not merely on one day a week.

For this reason, the discussion in this email has set up a false choice. It is not a matter of "shall we honor God Saturday or Sunday?" Rather the challenge for all true believers in Jesus Christ is to honor Him everyday, to draw closer to Jesus every day, to read and study our Bibles, to pray, to listen to substantive teaching, to meditate on the truth, to grow and help others do the same every day. If a group chooses to have a special day of the week in which they conduct most of their group activities, that is certainly not prohibited by scripture. To want to sanctify it as special in regard to all others is a legalistic mistake bound to have negative repercussions for all who take this false teaching to heart. But then to try and jam this false doctrine down the throats of those who do not agree is pure evil.

Those of us who stand by God's grace will never let ourselves be so enslaved. We are committed to loving the Lord and living for Him full time, 24/7. That we fall short occasionally is no brief for handing over our free will to a system that God Himself has made obsolete (Saturday Sabbath observance) or to a system that is entirely man-made (Sunday Sabbath observance). It makes no difference to me if my brothers and sisters go to church on Saturday or Sunday. Would that they would make every day a day to put God at the top of their list of priorities. But if they are not being taught the truth of the Word of God when they get to church (and morbid cultivation of distracting false issues like this is anything but), then it would be far better if they didn't go at all. We are all here for the same reason, to glorify our Lord by our personal spiritual advance and to help others achieve the same through the generous application of our spiritual gifts. Choosing up sides over irrelevant questions is not only distracting but self-destructive to one's spirituality in the end. True Christian unity is about following Jesus, not the pronouncements of men.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6 NIV

In full gratitude for the grace of the One who died to free us from the Law of sin and death that we might grow in Him in all truth, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Please see also the following links:

Sabbath Questions.

Keeping the Sabbath

Sabbath Observance.

Should Christians honor Sunday as the new Sabbath?

The Sabbath.

Day 7 (in SR 5)

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Hi Dr Luginbill,

I recently heard some weird "teachings" about how the word amen came from the Egyptian God Amon Ra, and that when Christians say "amen" that we are actually given homage to this Egyptian pagan deity. Then I found a page that told the truth about how bad that "theology" really is, citing the actual word roots and that the two words have nothing in common just as the words "bear" and "bare" sound the same and yet are completely different. So this came up in a conversation, without my trying to prompt this in any way, here is the dialogue:

http://watcherrefugeecamp.freeforums.org/a-quiz-for-decisionists-t174-40.html

At the bottom of that page/thread the poster, who is really trying to push his legalism, gives a link that gives that erroneous teaching about amen/Amon Ra, when a poster said "AMEN!":

http://www.touregypt.net/amen.htm

I wanted to cite a source and was hoping that I could find that page, but to no avail, so I hope maybe you have a link that answers that question, I doubt this person will understand, or even try, what you have to say, but maybe there are others that can get sidetracked by all his nonsense, so I want to give an intelligent answer.

Thanks again, in advance,

Response #3:    

You are precisely correct, and the example given of homophones in the same language is a good one. Ancient Egyptian was not a Semitic language, so that, when it comes to comparisons with Hebrew, we are really talking apples and oranges. It so happens that this is another one of those questions making the rounds, and I have it written up (briefly) on the site at the following link:

"Is saying 'amen' invoking an Egyptian deity?"

Please feel free to write me back if you need any more detail on this. Kudos to you once again for all your good work in standing up for the truth of scripture in the service of Jesus Christ.

In our Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4: 

Hi Bob,

At http://www.learnthebible.org/Occam%27s%20Razor.htm is the following quote.

"Occam's Razor refers to a principle developed by him and applied to the ponderous doctrines and proofs of the scholastics - especially Thomas Aquinas. In its most basic form, Occam's Razor states that the simplest proof of a doctrine or principle is the best one. Why use extensive proofs of a doctrine if a simple one did the job?"

Occam was fighting against the many-leveled and complicated proofs given by the philosophers of his time. However, there is much that we can learn from this today. Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." God reveals to us what He wants us to know. Yes, we need to study, compare scripture with scripture and rightly divide the word. But sometimes we work too hard to get God's word to fit our doctrine. Why not take scripture a face value unless Biblical truth requires otherwise?

Let's apply Occam's Razor to Acts 12:4. Instead of counting days and determining what holidays Herod would or would not celebrate, let us consider the meaning of the word Easter. The Oxford English Dictionary gives as its first definition of Easter the following definition: "One of the great festivals of the Christian church, commemorating the resurrection of Christ, and corresponding to the Jewish Passover, the name of which it bears in most of the European languages." Notice that it corresponds to the Passover. But there is more."

The way Occam's razor is applied in science is to assume that the simplest explanation is the correct (most useful) one. It's problem lies in its use to discard the notion of God. The attached paper is an egregious example of the misuse of this principle - to imply that God is a conflating and unnecessary "factor". Of course God is reality and. What is your reaction (a) to the statement that Occam was referring to theological disputes and (b) atheists' use of his principal to lend scientific 'weight' to their arguments? What of the idea "we work too hard to get God's word to fit our doctrine"?

Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Hallelujah!

Response #4:   

As to Occam, well, I'm no philosopher or logician. Your statement about simplification of hypotheses and going with the theory that removes the maximum number of assumptions is my understanding of this "law", but it is a bit like in textual criticism where we have the "law" of lectio difficilior, which states that the more imponderable textual variant is likely to be correct. However, as in that "law" where there are many exceptions (it's only right a little more than half the time), I would reply to the Occam principle that it is not only a question of the number of assumptions but the quality of them (or lack there of). If I need only assume that Jupiter is made of red candle wax to prove my theory about its color, by a perverse application of the razor my theory is to be preferred to more likely scientific theories which make use of multiple assumptions.

Any theory that assumes "there is no God" is wrong prima facie, because everyone knows (or knew, before they deliberately and willfully blotted the fact out of their conscience) that there is a God. Therefore the fact that someone wishes to use a philosophical rule of thumb to turn reality on its head makes no great impression on me. People do this sort of thing all the time.

As far as "working too hard" is concerned, well, I'd like the truth when it comes to the Bible and to everything God has given us to be known about Himself. It is in fact the case that many precious truths in the Bible are not easy to get to. They cannot easily be gleaned from a one time reading of an English translation with no background in the teachings of Christianity. This is true of things simple and of things complex. We look in vain for the word "Trinity" in scripture. Does that mean that people who believe in the Trinity are "working too hard"? Of course not. The Trinity is a reality and a biblical teaching. The fact that orthodox theologians and apologists have "worked hard" over many centuries to make it clear and understandable is a good thing, not a bad thing. As in all things, you get out of it what you put into it. Paul tells us that he "worked harder than all the rest" (1Cor.15:10), and his searching out of the truth is certainly included in this phrase, if not preeminent in it. Getting it right is not easy. Hard work must be done God's way, of course. Hard work doesn't in and of itself always produce results. I could "work hard" at chess night and day for a decade and I would never become a grand master (same goes doubly for anything athletic, especially at my age). But good things seldom occur accidentally. This is the sort of thing people often throw out there when they wish to eliminate all claims of authority. But I would hope that on some level every Christian would understand that studying theology in seminary, while no guarantee of pristine accuracy, helps develop skills of doctrinal definition and refinement, and that having a formal knowledge of the histories and cultures of the biblical civilizations is a plus in figuring out complicated scriptural references, not a minus, and that being solidly grounded in the original languages of scripture is essential for having any true idea of what really lies below the surface of an English translation (and therefore indispensable to saying anything "new" about Christian doctrine, let alone criticizing anything "old"). On top of all this, there are the issues of spiritual gifts, experience, and "hard work". I like to think I have learned a thing or two about these matters in the last thirty years. I do make assumptions, but I believe I have developed a pretty careful methodology for initially vetting them, carefully employing them, and circling around back to test them as I learn and grow (which I am still doing). Yes, God has given us all His Word, but He also gave us gifted people to teach it that we might the better learn it and apply it – and not for no reason. That is what this thing called the Christian life is really all about:

Christ Himself appointed some of us apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers in order to prepare all of His holy people for their own ministry work, that the entire body of Christ might thus be built up, until we all reach that unifying goal of believing what is right and of giving our complete allegiance to the Son of God, that each of us might be a perfect person, that is, that we might attain to that standard of maturity whose "attainment" is defined by Christ; that we may no longer be immature, swept off-course and carried headlong by every breeze of so-called teaching that emanates from the trickery of men in their readiness to do anything to cunningly work their deceit, but rather that we may, by embracing the truth in love, grow up in all respects, with Christ who is the head of the Church as our model. In this way, the entire body of the Church, fitted and joined together by Him through the sinews He powerfully supplies to each and every part, works out its own growth for the building up of itself in love.
Ephesians 4:11-16

Hope this helps – feel free to write me back about this.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear, Dr. Luginbill

I have recently found myself at a bit of a wall in bible study over contradictions in the language used to describe Christ in the gospels. Such is the case when Matthew and Mark write of the crucifixion of Christ. Both giving famous last words and attitudes of Christ. In your view should these both be taken as literal competing ideas or should they be put into one understanding. Unrelated I also found myself in an interesting discussion the Hebrew word used in the old testament many Christians understand as virgin girl, as in a young virgin will give birth to the messiah. My counter argued to me that this is a false understanding and that the word should be understood to be just a young girl. Any input would be greatly appreciated and thank you for such a wonderful website.

Response #5: 

I am not surprised that you have "bumped into" these two questions which are being frequently batted about in cyber-space at present. First, the "contradictions" in the gospels (and in scripture in general) are only apparent. I have met many of these over the years, and they have always yielded to careful study. Sometimes there is a textual issue, sometimes it is a question of translation, occasionally and blessedly it is a matter of requiring a deeper understanding of the truths of scripture in order to resolve what seems to be a contradiction but really is not. But as I often say, rather than being disturbed by these "problems", such instances are really our "best friends". That is because they force us to reevaluate our construct of the truth, often from the ground up in terms of the specifics of the doctrines we must engage in each such instances. Inevitably, we learn something in the process and circle in a little closer on the precise truth – that is, if we trust God and approach our task in a diligent and workman-like fashion. It is true that "cracking" some of these difficult passages can take time, effort, and possibly even skills that not everyone has. That is why I always recommend a deep knowledge of Greek and Hebrew for anyone interested in teaching the Bible as their area of service to Christ's Church. Without a solid grounding in both languages, when such things come up a person is left to depend on the opinions of others. It is also true that sometimes there is a "tree" of research leading to the solutions of some problems. That is to say, it may very well be that to solve problem A, we first may have to solve problem B, and that this solution is in turn dependent upon our cracking of problem C – and we may not even know that B and C are problems yet (that is, "problems" in our understanding of the whole of scripture and its doctrines). All this is a long way of saying that over time and in time, working forward with faith and availing ourselves of the best teaching presently available, we can expect to have all our concerns addressed and all our questions answered, even if sometimes we have to wait.

I recently completed part 4A of the Basics Series: Christology (see the link), and this study has a lot to say about a variety of issues in the gospels. For example, the events of the crucifixion including Christ's statements from the cross are covered in detail (please see the specific link: The Crucifixion). Personally, I don't find anything in the four gospels contradictory at all in this regard. They treat different events in their own words and with different emphases, but that is to our benefit, giving us more information, all of it absolutely true. I invite you to have a look at the links for the specifics (I believe I have sufficiently covered all of the words Christ spoke from the cross and all the major events that are recorded), but I would certainly be willing to address any particular perceived contradiction about which you have any questions.

On the question of the Greek parthenos versus the Hebrew 'almah, different cultures and different languages approach the problem of categorization through vocabulary in different ways. Although the word 'almah does not necessarily mean "virgin" without a context, in the context of Isaiah 7:14 we most definitely have to do with a virgin, not merely a young girl, as is made crystal clear from the contextual delimiters. This is a standard thing in any language, and it is always dangerous to project our own English prejudices about such things, importing them improperly into another language and culture.

To use a few examples of the cultural issue before we get to the specific exegesis, in ancient Greek, there is no special word for "chicken", even though they not only had them, but the chicken was the only fowl they sacrificed and the one they ate almost exclusively (there is a word for "rooster": alektryon). Instead, they use the word ornis which is the generic word for bird. How can they do this without confusion? Easily. They rely on context to make it clear. Wherever there is a question of eating or sacrificing or laying eggs, etc., it's very clear what sort of "bird" we are talking about (Aelian Aristides for the purposes of a technical treatise does do a back formation of rooster to get "chicken", but he dates to the 2/3 cent. A.D.). If two thousand years from now someone should be studying our own civilization and came across a text that dealt with Thanksgiving wherein it was stated that "the bird is almost ready", it might be conceivable that this hypothetical future scholar might be in doubt about what sort of bird was being prepared, even if they knew it was usually a turkey. But they would be wrong to state, "well they could be talking about a chicken or a duck". In our society, when we say "bird" in a Thanksgiving context, it means turkey 100% of the time. Another common example in Greek is the lack of any particular word for "wife". Instead they use "woman" (as they use "man" for husband). Didn't that lead to some confusion? Not at all, because they are very aware of the possible misunderstandings this creates and always adroitly use contextual indications that no Greek speaker ever would mistake (e.g., in their use of the definite article and the specific situation being described). This is exactly what the Hebrew does with the word 'almah. So the only real question in regard to the validity of the objections you report is whether or not the Isaiah passage gives us any indications that we should understand and translate "virgin" instead of "young girl". The answer is an emphatic "yes".

We know from Isaiah 7:3 that Isaiah's wife was not a virgin; they had been married for some time and already had a son. She would therefore not only not be a "virgin", but also could not possibly be considered "a young woman" in the sense of the word 'almah. Further, Isaiah 8:3 tells us that the next son of Isaiah mentioned in scripture was not named "Immanuel". Taken together, eliminating the prophetic meaning of Isaiah 7:3 by applying it to Isaiah is unquestionably wrong. Finally, Isaiah 8:8-10 and in particular 8:18 show unequivocally that "Immanuel" is meant as a prophetic name for the Messiah, so that the prophecy of Isaiah 7:3 must relate to the Messiah. Therefore, since it is a prophecy for the future, as such the fact that the woman is an 'almah must be a sign; otherwise there is no rationale for including the information. Thus, the context makes a strong case for the word 'almah meaning "virgin", and thus referring prophetically to the virgin birth (just the New Testament tells us as well). Moreover, in the absence of any good way to "explain away" this clear prophetic signaling, the onus falls on doubters to come up with something else this "might mean" – and as the problems outlined above with the alternative you report demonstrate, that is in fact not an easy thing to do.

In Isaiah 7:14, God actually says "Behold, the Lord Himself will give you a sign. The 'almah will conceive and bear a son and they will call his name Immanuel". In addition to the above, there are at least three very clear contextual indications that this is a virgin and not merely a young woman who might be married. First, we are told that this is a special "sign". It is no particular "sign" for a woman to give birth. Therefore any Hebrew reader would naturally suppose that "virgin" was what 'almah meant here rather than "young girl" because that is the only way that this could be a special "sign" given by the Lord Himself. Some have tried to get around this imposing obstacle by suggesting that we are talking here about Isaiah's wife, but that does not hold water on any count for the reasons discussed above. For one things, this would be very odd phrasing: if "your wife" were what was meant, then 'isha would much more probably be used, as well as some possessive suffix: ishtechah "your wife". Secondly, the verbal sequence here is future "she will conceive and give birth and they will call His Name", and, coupled with the impersonal collective qarath, "they will call" not "you will call", certainly suggests that the event will take place after Isaiah's death at least. That fact would lead anyone familiar with the general schema of Old Testament eschatology to assume that we are thus talking about the Messiah who is, after all, the Son of God.

We may allow as to how at the time of Isaiah's prophecy, it might not be universally understood that the Messiah was virgin born, but, logically, how else could He be God's Son? And it was clearly known that the Messiah was to be "the Son of God" (cf. Matt.26:63). This is the Bible we are talking about, after all, so that once we establish that the passage is Messianic, then in theological terms it is certainly legitimate to apply what we know of Christ's birth from the gospels to our interpretation of this passage. Thirdly, the fact that this child will be called "God is [now] with us!" (Immanu-el) shows very clearly that this birth itself is in fact a "sign", and therefore that it cannot be an ordinary birth – and the only way the birth may be considered sign-worthy is if we understand the 'almah as a virgin, not just a young married woman. Q.E.D. Importantly as well, note that it is not "a virgin" but the virgin (i.e., "the virgin will conceive and bear . . . ). Once we understand that the passage cannot be referring to Isaiah's wife, the use of the definite article endows the virgin herself with specialness and specificity, pointing to a unique, future event. All of these factors combine to make the interpretation here extremely clear. Even for those who choose to disbelieve the fact of Christ's virgin conception and birth, what the texts are saying is pellucid.

Finally, Greek does have a specific word for virgin, parthenos, and this is of course the word which Matthew uses at 1:23 to translate 'almah when it quotes Isaiah 7:14. So regardless of how one feels about the Septuagint and the issues of its use in the New Testament, the inspired New Testament text here does use parthenos, removing any lingering doubt about the matter. For this reason, translating the Isaiah passage as "young girl" is a mistake and something that would only be done by someone with a definite theological prejudice against the doctrine of the virgin birth. That is to say, no secular scholar who carefully studied the Hebrew alone should do so, and no Christian who knew of the Matthew passage would do so. Only someone who has the very deliberate agenda of trying to "debunk" the New Testament (that is, "demythologize" it as the anti-spiritualists term it) would ever think of doing this.

Thanks for your encouraging words!

In Jesus our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Hi Bob!

I just watched a video series and it is a bit lengthy, but I found it interesting. But, as always, would like your opinion on it. It falls in line with your findings, but is a bit earlier. I am hoping you can take the time to watch the whole thing and let me know if there is any merit to it, whatsoever. Here is the link to it:

http://www.waytozion.org/video/stream/timeline/timeline.html

It is very detailed and concise, but I am not completely familiar with much of the Jewish feasts and such...but, it made sense, somehow.

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.

In Christ,

Response #6:    

I listened to this presentation. It has some good points, however, I cannot endorse it. The author starts by lining out the seven days of human history with which I agree (see the link: the Seven Days of Human History), but never does much with that. He spends much time on the literal seven days of the week and their relationship to the first Passover and "manna week", but it is never explained how that has any impact on his final interpretation. His analysis of the Passion week is very unclear and entirely incorrect (it glosses over a number of difficulties and ignores others entirely). Daniels 70 weeks are inexplicably and incorrectly made to apply to the Messiah's second rather than His first advent, but since "After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be put to death" makes it clear that it is the first advent that is in view, this interpretation which in my opinion has already failed at this point utterly flops. Later on, we "learn" that Adam was "born" 6005 years ago. That would be important information for the author's purposes, but it comes out of thin air. Reconstructing the Old Testament time-line from Adam's creation is indeed critical to charting the divine structure of history, but it requires much consultation of scripture which is lacking here (see the previous link). The 120 years of Genesis 6:3 is then taken to be a huge building-block in decoding "the plan". Why? The context is all about the flood, and we would need some biblical verification to take it as the key verse to figuring out the date of the Tribulation et al. Instead, we get a faulty and illogical assumption that because 120 years "can't" refer to the birth of Noah's sons, that therefore it must mean all of these other unsupported things the author wants it to mean. Even if the prior point were true, i.e., that the 120 years "couldn't be tagged to Noah", that would not necessarily mean that it meant "120 jubilees" (obviously). In fact, Genesis 6:3 does not say anything about Noah so that there is no reason to attach it to the birth of his sons so as to "discover" a straw-man discrepancy. And after all, the birth of Noah's sons is again recorded later in chapter six verse 10 – making the interpretation of the 120 years as a prior countdown entirely reasonable (see the link: "More Questions about Genesis").

Another critical mistake in interpretation is the assumption that the break-point or start-point for the Church Age is the birth of Christ. However, as important as our Lord's coming into this world was, it was His death on the cross that saved us, and it is to that event that all prior scripture looks forward and all scripture following looks back. It would be very odd indeed if God's structuring of human history pivoted around anything but the cross (which in fact it does). Counting 2,000 years from our Lord's death to His return without any complicated computations or resorting to the Talmud or the constellations (a feature of this presentation I find most disturbing) yields a date of 2033 or thereabouts (depending upon the actual date of the crucifixion and resurrection of course), sufficient in itself to negate the author's thesis. After all, he began very reasonably with the correct view of the seven days of human history. But if the Church age is then 2,000 years, how can we have the Tribulation begin this year (2010)? Even if we were to start counting at our Lord's birth instead of from His salvation of us all at the cross, the theory would not work (for then we would either already be in the Tribulation or the Millennium, depending on the precise year of Christ's birth). I think that when the author gets off into incorporating historical events that have happened since the cross as somehow significant in biblical prophecy he shows his true colors. There is no unfulfilled prophecy until the Tribulation begins (see the link: "Signs of the Coming Tribulation"). I can assure you that the Balfour declaration, the foundation of the secular state of Israel through human efforts, and the six day war are not instructive in any way for these matters for the very simple reason that they are not predicted or treated in scripture in any way whatsoever. As I say, the thing I found most disturbing was the author's resorting to the names of the constellations and other astronomical details to prove his case. God has indeed created all the celestial phenomenon, but I know of no scripture which would give us any license to interpret the Bible by means of such (in fact, all that scripture has to say about such things points entirely in the opposite direction).

This is the sort of Bible interpretation that has a special capacity to fool people. I don't know that this is the author's intent. He may have a good heart but he is going about things in a most dangerous and incorrect way. Were I intent on deceiving my audience, I would do just this sort of thing he is doing, namely, throw out a lot of interesting and complicated material that made it seem I really knew what I was talking about and then jump to the conclusions I desired even though they didn't logically follow from the things I had "proved". As the above illustrates, there are many instances in this presentation where it is clear that the author has jumped many logical steps and gone from shaky or even incorrect premises to conclusions which are barely related to the prior material. In any case, the author is going to be "proved" right or wrong very quickly, inasmuch as his calculations which have a patina of exactitude (even though in truth they are built on sand) point to this very year as the year the Tribulation will begin. At time of writing, not only is there no Jewish temple in Jerusalem but no hint of one coming. By Christmas, it will certainly be clear that this particular tour de force was entirely misguided.

I do thank you for the reference as this is not the first time I have been asked about the 120 Jubilees theory in regard to some claim on the internet. As I say, there are certain "tells" that such interpretations have which should be obvious to all believers. Any time someone brings in astrology or recent historical events or contemporary personalities, it is a sure bet that they have missed the boat – the only question being whether they have done so on purpose or not.

In our dear Lord Jesus whose return we eagerly await,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

Hello Dr Luginbill,

I hope this question doesn't put a monkey wrench in your brain! This internet guy doesn't quit with the strange stuff he comes up with, and I really couldn't make heads or tails out of this one, he says:

http://watcherrefugeecamp.freeforums.org/all-believers-aren-t-in-the-church-t33-60.html

The word Ekklesia is the same Greek word used in the Greek LXX (The Greek Torah and Prophets translated before Messiah came by 70 Jews for the Gentiles to read) This is the exact same word used for Israel when they were called out of Egypt, and is always used for the Assembly of Israel (Which also had gentiles among them that left Egypt to worship the One true Elohim) The word Ekkelsia means the people who are called out of Pagan sun god worship to follow the one true Creator of the Universe. So technically we could say the "Church" started when Israel left Egypt (Who worshiped Ra and Horus, who of course were born on December 25th) The word church actually comes from the word Circe or Circa which is a Greek goddess. It is also the word we get Circus from, which I think is very fitting when it comes to Mainstream western Christianity. But anyways Tex is 100% correct, the word "Church" never occurs in the scriptures. In fact a "church" where a paid orator speaks after singing is done is the exact format pagans worshiped their gods. But when we read Shaul's letters he teaches us that everyone should bring their own word, everyone should contribute, be able to ask questions, and be involved and actually learn something. The elders were there to make sure the meeting never got out of hand.

So I tried to do my own investigating, and couldn't really find anything in the online encyclopedias and online dictionaries, but I did find this article by a Universalist (this guy says alot of off the wall crazy stuff):

http://www.tentmaker.org/Dew/Dew2/D2-CirceDaughterOfTheSun.html

Do you know more about this? I hope you can straighten out the jumbled mess he put into my head!

Love in Jesus and for His sake alone,

Response #7:   

There are a couple of aspects to this question, it seems to me. The first is "what is / who are the Church?", and, secondly, "what is the etymology of the word?" I will start with the second. Personally, I love etymologies, and they can sometimes be informative in biblical exegesis. However, in terms of their probative value they are always "down the list" from what the Bible actually teaches on any given subject. I say this because it is a notorious feature of false doctrine and cult-teaching to use etymologies (often false etymologies) as "proof", whereas in fact as a general rule even a true etymology usually has to be restricted to the role of application only (rather than being dispositive in doctrinal matters). Words mean what they mean, regardless of their original derivation.

That said, the etymology provided here is absolutely false. The word "church" is probably an anglicized form of the Scottish kirch (though the actual journey into English is somewhat debatable). However it got into the English language, what it is is absolutely clear, namely, a transliteration of the Greek word kyriake (or kyriakon), meaning "the ____ belonging to the Lord", with the word "house" to be supplied. A "church", etymologically, is "the Lord's house", speaking of a particular building rather than the people who may belong to the fellowship which meets there.

Secondly, as such, "church" is perhaps a poor term to use for what occurs in the Bible, the word ekklesia which means "assembly" (and which is the origin of the English word "ecclesiastical"). In the New Testament, for example, we find the phrase "the church which meets in their house" (Rom.16:5; 1Cor.16:19; cf. Col.4:15), making it clear that, biblically speaking, a building is nothing. A "church" is a group or "assembly" of believers. The same is true of the Church, which is Christ's assembly from the beginning of human history until His return. Here I differ with some groups who see "the Church" only beginning at Pentecost in Acts chapter two. I do use the terminology "the Church Age" for the period from that time until Christ's return, because it is within this two thousand year period that, numerically speaking, the Church is filled out and completed with the massive influx of gentile believers into Christ's assembly (empowered by the unique gifts and ministry of the Spirit which so characterize our present age). However, in the resurrection that occurs at Jesus' return, there will be no distinction in this regard between Adam and Eve on the one hand and the last group saved at the end of the Tribulation on the other (or anyone in between). All of us in this coming echelon of the resurrection are in "the assembly"; all of us are part of "the Church" (please see the link: in SR 5, "The Church").

Finally, it seems this person's objective really has little to do with either the etymology of the word or the true meaning of the Church in doctrinal terms. It seems instead that the idea is to paint current Christian practice in typical local churches as "pagan". Now far be it from me to defend what the average local Christian church is doing these days. Anyone who accesses this website regularly understands that in my view of things teaching the Word of God is the main reason for assembly, so that 1) most local churches fall far short of the biblical standard (to the extent that they fulfill it at all), and 2) most of what they do engage in is pointless for the most part and harmful in many cases. However, to call this paganism goes way too far and is unarguably unfair and untrue. That is especially so since the evidence for this provided above is wholly based on an entirely false etymology.

In the One whose true Church we are, all we who believe in and follow Him, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #8:

Dear Dr. Luginbill, We are really enjoying reading your work online. We recently left the "Vatican II counter-Church". Please go to the website www.vaticancatholic.com to find out why then tell us what you think. We'd love to know what someone of your erudition would think of this new information. Thank you,

Response #8: 

Very good to make your acquaintance. I am delighted to hear that these materials are proving to be a help to you – that is always my heart's desire. I did have a look at the link you provided. There are certainly extensive materials there and I would be hesitant to characterize them too thoroughly on the basis of a brief visit. It does appear that this group is in the camp of those who disagree with the "modernizing" Catholic reforms of the last century, preferring the Latin mass, among many of the other "old ways" of doing things. What is very interesting (and something that did surprise me, though it probably shouldn't have since it is predictable), is the claim that the mainline Roman Catholic church is the "false church", and that they are the "true church". In the past, this sort of vituperation has been reserved for Protestants.

Thank you again for your interest and your kind words. I would certainly be happy to provide a more detailed response to any specifics in the doctrines of this organization should you wish a more focused answer.

Yours in the Savior of the world, our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Bob Luginbill

Question #9:  

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

Thank you so much for your email. We were so thrilled to hear from you! We have been assiduously reading Part I, II and now Part III of the "Satanic Rebellion" Series. I've never read anything this comprehensive or anything close to this quality on these topics before---in fact, we intend to read all of this series and we'd like to read all your information on eschatology that we possibly can...and it comes as an answer to prayer. As for Most Holy Family Monastery---well, it looks like the closest thing to the ancient, pre-Vatican II Catholic faith we could find. We got our socks shocked off when we found their site last year---totally changed our lives forever, no way we can ever go back to the "Vatican II counter-church" --- it just seems to make too much sense. We are going to pick up on our reading of Part III of the "Satanic Rebellion" Series right now---it is answering so many questions, words just do not describe---how grateful we are that you've applied your brilliance and obvious love of God to this fine work. Sincerely in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of His Holy Mother Mary,

Response #9:    

Thank you again so much for you kind words. I fear you will soon discover just how far short of them I truly fall. Do feel free to write me any time (and apologies ahead of time for any offense given by my irascible and unrepentant Protestantism).

In our dear Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

No, you don't "fall short" of our "kind words"---they are all true, we've been reading your work all day ---right now re: the Antichrist-----I'd like for you to check out the VIEW THE VIDEOS FOR FREE on line on the Most Holy Family Monastery site www.vaticancatholic.com just click onto the "videos" tab on their site up top----in particular, I'd really like to know your reaction to the video Brother Michael Dimond made on the "Anti-pope John Paul II is the Anti-Christ" since all the antipopes of the counterfeit "Catholic" church which really got seriously rolling with Vatican II seem to personify the antichrist-------they CERTAINLY slayed the Mass with the "Novus Ordo Missae" the "New World Order Fake 'Mass"--------just as they slayed Christ but guess what? He rose again! You know so much about eschatology....thus I'd like to know YOUR take on this particular line of eschatological teaching----I gather you are not predisposed toward the ancient Catholic faith but how can a Christian live with out the example of the lives and writings of all the wonderful Saints, especially our Blessed Mother? You see, we have Saints whose books are indispensable in today's spiritual onslaught, for example Saint Louis Marie de Montfort's books on Mary such as his book True Devotion and The Secret of the Rosary. What about St. Alphonsus de Liguori's book Preparation for Death? There are so many classics......why would any serious Christian choose to deprive themselves of such God-given treasures? Brother Michael Dimond has made and has a new video coming out soon on "Fatima, the End of the World and the Imposter Sister Lucia"......and Brother Peter Dimond has a new book out "The Bible Proves the Teachings of the Catholic Church" which I'd love for you to read. Check out their you-tube channel, their free videos online and if you want I personally will get you a box of their books and videos and send them to you. I would like to know what you think! For it seems, the end of the world may be much closer than we previously thought since it looks as though most of these prophecies about the endtimes have indeed ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED! Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,

Response #10:   

In my reading of scripture, there are no unfulfilled prophecies whose fulfillment signals the closeness of the Tribulation. That is, scripture is replete with information about the Tribulation (the subject of two series at my site), and while there will be myriad undeniable indications that the Tribulation has begun, once it has begun, there is in my investigation of the Bible not a single, definitive "event" that will tell Christians that the Tribulation is close (merely general trends in the manner of the leaves of the fig tree announcing that summer will soon arrive). Please see the link: "Signs of the Coming Tribulation".

Antichrist will be a religious figure, but I have difficulty foreseeing a scenario where he will either be or even be called a pope. Antichrist will claim to be Christ, not a representative, or stand-in, or human head of a church, any church, but the Messiah Himself. That is, after all, the double meaning of his title: "anti-" meaning "instead of" as well as "against" in the Greek. All this is dealt with at the link in part 3B of the Coming Tribulation series, "Antichrist and his Kingdom".

Finally, I can appreciate that believers of all stripes and traditions can receive inspiration and even, occasionally, edification from secondary works about the Bible (that is, after all, the purpose of this ministry). But I have always drawn a very strict line in the sand between the Word of God and the words of mere men, myself included, no matter how "saintly" their lives may appear. After all, according to scripture, we are all "saints", that is, all who have been hallowed by being made one with Jesus Christ through faith in His Person and work for us on the cross (Matt.27:52; Acts 9:13; 9:32; 9:41; 26:10; Rom.1:7; 8:27; 12:3; 15:25-26; 15:31; 16:2; 16:15, etc., etc.).

In Jesus our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

Thank you very much for your email, I will read your writings on the "Coming Tribulation", and thank you for the recommendation. I am not a scholar nor particularly erudite. And I can perceive you are very sincere in your hard work for Jesus Christ, Lord and God. I can only very simply say, it is my belief and understanding that one must hold and profess the faith CHRIST taught us in order to be saved, that there is only ONE such faith on earth, that it is indeed the ANCIENT (as opposed to this modernist heretical apostasy called the "Vatican II sect" counter-church) Catholic faith as taught by Christ and the Apostles. If I did NOT say this to you in charity, I would be a liar and a child of the lie. No, I wish to be a child of God, and speak the truth in charity. I recommend you look closely at that site I gave you, www.vaticancatholic.com. It's full of videos and archived radio programs and debates and written articles you may find interesting. If you felt like it, you could probably have a formal debate with one of the Brothers, but I hope you will just convert. If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

Response #11: 

Thanks much for your concern. In truth, of course, we know very little of the "ancient church" – except what may be found in scripture. Happily, scripture tells us all we need to know. Salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ – the acceptance of His work in dying for us on the cross, and His Person, true humanity and undiminished deity in one perfect person now forever. The church at Rome was not a major "player" in organized Christianity much before the fifth century, and even during the early, post-apostolic years, churches east and west both began to "get things wrong" almost immediately after the passing of the twelve and their associates. That is not only historically verifiable (through the writings we possess from those early centuries), but also demonstrable from scripture. The "seven churches" of Revelation chapters two and three are not only contemporary local churches, but also (and primarily) representatives of Church-Age trends (please see the link: Coming Tribulation part 2A: "The Seven Churches of Revelation"). The first era following the apostles, that of Ephesus (ca. 70-82 A.D.) was already "leaving its first love" of studying and concentrating on the truth of scripture, and we see that trend continuing to accelerate over the past two millennia (Rev.2:4). During the (swiftly approaching) Tribulation, the love of many is prophesied by our Lord to "grow cold" (Matt.24:12), and ignorance of coupled with disregard for the truth of the Bible will be central to this trend toward apostasy when fully one third of true believers in Jesus Christ (not to mention most nominal Christians) will fall away (please see the link: "The Great Apostasy").

I'm not much on debating or apologetics. If salvation were a function of belonging to a particular group, there might be a point (please see the link: "The False Doctrine of Institutional Security"). This ministry is on the internet in no small part because I have no official affiliation with any group, Protestant or Catholic. Salvation comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and all who are born again through faith in Him and His work are members of His Church, their names being "written in heaven" rather than on some church role (Lk.10:20; Heb.12:23).

Thank you again for your enthusiasm for the truth and for our dear Lord Jesus, and also for you genuine concern for me – a concern I share for you.

My prayer is for your continuing spiritual growth in the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

Thank you very much for your very lovely, thoughtful email. I am not an angel nor a saint, no I am a miserable lowly sinner, falling short of God's grace and all the blessings He has showered on me, in every way. I believe only what my weakened will and dimmed intellect perceive, which I have already shared with you, the ancient traditional Catholic faith. If it is ok with you, I will keep you in my daily Rosary, for Our Lady to protect you and care for you. She only leads us to: JESUS. I have a song about Jesus I will forward to you its called "Rivers of Living Water" composed and recorded on Easter Sunday, 2009, just after we escaped the Vatican II counter-church. Praise God! I hope you enjoy the song! Why don't we just keep each other posted on anything really major we think each other may be interested in. For example, what do you think about Haiti? There is SO much going on...have you been watching Jesse Ventura's new series on TRU TV (you can get them all on you tube) called Conspiracy Theory? He just aired one on 2012 on Jan. 13th, would like to know what you think. I will send you the song now on an MP3. Good night, and God Bless you, in Jesus Christ and Mary Mother,

Response #12:    

Thanks for the song. We certainly have in common the understanding that we are sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If that's what you mean by "the ancient traditional Catholic faith", well, I have no problem with that. The word katholikos in Greek simply means "universal", so that a biblical application of it would be "for all Christians regardless of denomination". Mary was a great woman, perhaps the greatest female believer of all time, but since Christ's ascension we all now have direct access to the Father and Son, and have no need of intercession from anyone else (Mary, priests, saints, angels, etc.).

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
John 14:14 NIV

On the TV program, it's funny you should ask. I actually caught a few minutes of the show you reference (it was about the "Bilderbergers"). I know a little too much about conspiracy theories for my own good. Once I came to put my entire life-emphasis behind following Jesus through the His Word of truth, I came to see that human beings control nothing, and that the devil only seems to control things, but that even his control is really only superficial. In fact, nothing can happen outside of the Will of God, and even disasters have their place in our Lord's "working all things out for the good".

Thanks again for your good words and enthusiasm for our Lord and His truth!

In Jesus our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #13: 

Hello,

I belong to NO religious order whatsoever.

I was reading the mass of false information you give out on the Internet and would love to discuss why you are so wrong? Let's take a look for starters at the misnomer that this story book Jesus ' died for us. The first point I make is that this alleged sacrifice was a selfish sham in which a so called God dressed up to look like a man and then pretend to die for them.

i) This dressed up God rewarded itself for its efforts for IF it had truly ' died for us ' then it would still be dead and not rewarded.

ii) IF it had ' died for us ' then we wouldn't still die but we certainly do.

iii) no one can die for the sins of another. -

In Deuteronomy 24:16 (KJV) it specifically says this: The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the father. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin. (Online Source: http://whatjewsbelieve.org/) - What Jews believe Point 1.) cf. Fathers must not be put to death for what their children24 do, nor children for what their fathers do; each must be put to death for his own sin. (Deut. 24:16) NET; This was later confirmed by - Ezekiel 18:20 RSV "THE SON SHALL NOT SUFFER FOR THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHER. NOR THE FATHER SUFFER FOR THE INIQUITY OF THE SON; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." Ezekiel 18:20 also "pulls the rug out from under" Christianity's main premise, that all generations of mankind are burdened with sin and death stemming from Adam's act of disobedience. Only Christ's redeeming shed blood can end this never-ending cycle of sin and death. Quite clearly Ezekiel refutes this notion. "The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father." (Online Source: http://www.bibleorigins.net/MoabiteBloodMessiah.html) More so - Jews correctly also, do not believe in original sin. IN SHORT... Jews do not believe in the existence of Original Sin. The concept of Original Sin simply states that because Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they brought Death into the world. Every human being dies because Adam and Eve committed a sin, and for their sin, all humans are punished with death. However, the Bible describes something entirely different. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden because if they remained, they could eat the fruit of the Tree of Life, which would make them IMmortal. If Adam and Eve had to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life to become IMmortal, then they were created mortal to begin with. They did not bring Death into the world, and we don't die because they sinned. As a matter of Biblical fact, the answer to Question One shows that one person cannot die as the punishment for the sins committed by another. We die because Death is a natural part of existence, and has been since from the moment the first human beings were created. That is why God told the animals, before Adam and Eve ate the fruit from The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil, to be fruitful and to multiply, since they needed to replace themselves. God also told the same thing to Adam and Eve before they ate that fruit as well. (Online Source: http://whatjewsbelieve.org/) - What Jews believe Point 5.)

As it turned out therefore, the biblical text unambiguously proves that the Pharisees and Sadducees were correct and this biblical Jesus rightly recognised as a fraud. IF you want to try to justify your current stance and have the courage of your alleged convictions then I look forward to an amicable discussion?

Response #13:   

Dear Friend,

The teachings available at Ichthys are biblical teachings. So if you do not accept the Bible as the Word of God, then there is no point in our having a discussion. If you do accept this fundamental principle of the true faith, then how do you reconcile your egregiously incorrect statements with the following passage (and hundreds more like it)?

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Romans 5:6-11 KJV

In Jesus Christ, the only way to salvation and eternal life – through faith in Him and what He did for us in paying the price for all our sins on the cross.

Bob Luginbill

Question #14:

You are no friend of mine, you tell lies that try to deceive me, friends don't do that. Here's your first lie (Taken from your email response) -

For when we were yet without strength, in due time */Christ died for the ungodly/*.

My response to that lie of yours -

1. The Christian understanding is that the messiah, Jesus, died for the sins of the people. The messiah is supposed to be a human sacrifice that is the blood sacrifice necessary for the forgiveness of sin.

But we are taught in this proven self contradicting bible that no one can die for the sins of another.

2. Not only that gesture of your christ was fraudulent but it also ' died for itself ' for IF it had truly died ' for the ungodly etc. ' it would still be dead and not raised and rewarded for its efforts.

You are therefore a liar like your story book Jesus the fraud character. You DO NOT have the Truth but rather embrace the lies of a liar.

Now you can continue to make excuses why you want to run away to lick your fatal wounds I inflicted, or you can come back and I will try to reverse your current condition by healing you with more Truths IF you are prepared to try to be healed?

As I said, I belong to NO religious group, I just want you to be made aware of what this story book actually says rather than what you have so far been brainwashed and misled to believe what you wished it said; but doesn't, and is NOT to be trusted as a credible divinely inspired document (for none literally exist) but is rather the words of men.

So IF you want to try your luck again at legitimately demonstrating your arguments and having them compared to Truth that currently evades you? I give you that opportunity again. However IF you refuse again I accept that as your capitulation and admission you are the product of a liar and a fraud and incapable of supporting your current now proven lost cause!

Response #14: 

Without Jesus, you cannot see eternal life.

Without believing the testimony of the Spirit in the Word of God, you cannot receive the truth about Him.

All of your fine "logic" may delight you personally, but it will mean nothing when you stand before Him on the day of judgment.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

There is no other path to eternal life; there is no other Way to avoid judgment.

In Jesus, the Savior of the world.

Bob L.

Question #15:  

The story book facts refute your brainwashed mentality.

You are obviously incapable of supporting your current ideology so I accept your capitulation.

Your story book Jesus is proven a fraud by the text itself that I provided in detail.

You choose to ignore Truth and continue to live a lie and mislead others.

YOU are the one who should be concerned for being a liar and a fraud!

I may be contacted if you think you can ever muster something to support your lost cause and want to try your luck against me?

Meanwhile, stop wasting my time you loser!

Response #15:    

Clearly, you have no interest in the Bible's pearls.

Warn divisive people once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.
Titus 3:10

In Him of whom alone it is true, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved", dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

 

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