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Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading VI

[posted 9/18/21]

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Question #1:  

Hello Bob,

Today, I had a good fifteen minute chat with my grandfather who is a Christian. He is a smart man, but hasn't been all that interested in the Word throughout his life. I had sent him your answer to my very first question in June (on usury) and he had said it was one of the the best answers he had ever seen. During our chat today, he was questioning the Bible after I said it was God's word and that we should take every verse as God's Word. His big hangup is on translations and languages across thousands of years. And based on the quality of your usury response, he said he wanted me to write you an email on it that I would then send to him. I personally tried to answer the answers he was asking, but he wanted the answers from you.

His questions: Since there have been many translations of the Bible across thousands of years, have there been any material changes from these translations from one language to another or manuscript to manuscript which leads you to think that there are substantial differences from the original Prophets and New Testament writers and the versions today?

Since there are 30 different English versions, are there any substantial differences among them?
Is there an official Roman Catholic Bible or an official Russian Orthodox Bible, and are there material differences among them?

How good is the manuscript evidence of the Bible today?

I know these are a lot of questions, but a couple of my family members have been questioning me about this, and I think one of your responses would clear this up for them. I certainly will pray that it will. Thank you kind sir!

In our Lord and Savior,

Response #1:

I'm thrilled to hear about your grandfather!

As to his question, to be frank, these are the kinds of questions Christians tend to pose to themselves to justify not looking into scripture: "It's pointless, so why should I bother?"; when the real underlying position is, "I really don't want to be bothered with it – or change as a result of it – so here is a good excuse for not having to do so." Blessedly, the Lord has a way of breaking through to every believer who at his/her core is going to prove responsive, even if that transition is a little rough. I'm hoping that this is the case with your grandfather:

(28) “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ (29) He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. (30) Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. (31) Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.”
Matthew 21:28 NKJV

You're free to share the above with your grandfather or not. As to his questions, I'll confine my remarks mostly to the New Testament because the principles are the same for the Old (happy to talk more about that later as well). As I'm sure you know, moreover, there is a great deal about this on the website and more to come when I finally get to BB 7 (now posted at the link).

Translations: Every translation of the Bible of which I know has been produced by translating the text of it from the original languages directly, and not from other translations. So while translators are no doubt influenced by their prior understanding of scripture and other translations they have read, they have all been working with mostly the same text (see below). In terms of English translations, they all have their strengths and weaknesses, and I greatly prefer some to others, but any sort of comprehensive reading of different, major translations (leaving out things such as the JW's NWT version and other self-serving cult productions) will show that for the most part they are not only translating the same text but also for the most part are coming up with very similar renderings in terms of the meaning.

For those of us who live and die by the Word of God, every small nuance is important. But for someone doing a literary analysis of different English translations, it will soon become apparent that in 99% of passages the renderings mean essentially the same thing, and that it is rare to find a passage where entirely different meanings are given in differing translations. Where that does happen, it is almost always a result of 1) reading a different text (i.e., the manuscript / textual tradition is understood differently by the different versions), or 2) interpreting the Greek (or Hebrew or Aramaic) in an entirely different way.

In terms of #2, ancient languages are not modern languages and there are places where different scholars understand the same text differently (e.g., because of what word or form or grammatical construction X means elsewhere in Greek, for example, to simplify greatly the issue of interacting with ancient Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic). The solution here is to have recourse to good scholars who are also believers with a deep understanding of scripture (if you understand what you are reading, your chances of translating correctly are obviously better).

In terms of #1, first, the places where the manuscript tradition of the Old and New Testaments are discrepant consist of well less than one percent of the total corpus. And I would rate the number of places where, for example, New Testament witnesses vary in a significant way at less than one tenth of one percent. Second, there are many small discrepancies which do not appreciably affect the meaning. For example, very common is whether or not there is a 'de' or a 'kai' (both words mean "and"), and exactly where it was originally placed (word order is flexible in Greek much more so than in English). And there are other reasons for mild disagreements. For example, the way that the words "we" and "you [all]" and their different case forms were pronounced in the early centuries of our era came to be essentially identical, so manuscripts being copied in a scriptorium, where one reader narrated the text and the other scribes copied it, could easily come to confuse "our love" for "your love" and vice versa – because Paul, e.g., could easily mean either one in an epistle (and usually did). Third, where there are occasional textual variants, it is almost always the case that we have more than enough evidence from the multitudinous number of textual witnesses (among other things) for someone with a good knowledge of textual criticism (i.e., someone who understands how texts were copied, and thus how mistakes tended to be made) to figure out the likely original text; that is especially true for someone who has a deep understanding of what the teachings of the Bible actually are.

That brings me to the most important point. Anyone who looks into this issue can easily find out that the New Testament is a thousand times better supported as to its text than say, the ancient Greek historian Thucydides (my secular research specialty). There are papyri of Thucydides which date to within six centuries or so of the time of writing, but all of our complete manuscripts are medieval. And yet because what witnesses we do have mostly agree, we are certain of the text over 99% of the time because scholars have spent centuries going over it with a fine-toothed comb. In terms of the Bible, however, we have thousands of manuscripts and papyri, and complete manuscripts dating to the fourth and possibly third century A.D., with some papyri dating from the end of the second century. All of these, even these earliest NT papyri, while not complete copies of the entire NT, manifest the same text as the later manuscripts.

My paternal great grandfather fought in the civil war, signing up with the Ohio militia to do so right at its inception. These men were called "the squirrel hunters", and I have both his enlistment certificate and also his mustering out certificate (they signed up at that time only for a one year "hitch"). The distance in time between today and that documented event is about the same as that between the writing of the Chester Beatty papyrus #64 and the gospel of Matthew which the papyrus partially preserves (with no serious textual differences between it and later witnesses). And as I say there are thousands of manuscripts and papyri (not to mention other witnesses such as ostraka, verses written on potsherds). To say that the New Testament is the best witnessed and most solidly textually secure writing coming from the ancient world would be a massive understatement. We don't doubt the text of Thucydides so as to not read his 'History'. How much more then should we not be confident that the Bible we are reading is the same one Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul etc. originally wrote?

Anyone who puts any serious time into this issue quickly discovers that the text of the New Testament we have today (in the original Greek) IS the text of the New Testament as it was originally written. Differences are small, generally insignificant, and easily decided upon by anyone conversant with the issues of textual criticism and knowledgeable in the language. So the real question, the really important question, is "what does the text mean?"

When it comes to translations, most significant differences have to do with the translators understanding the same texts differently. It is often the case in translating the Greek NT that a choice has to be made in rendering things into English. Does it mean X or Y exactly? One of my favorite translations for avoiding this issue is the King James. I like to call it the most creatively ambiguous English translation of the Bible. That is because there are innumerable places where instead of X or Y the KJV has found a way to render the text where it could mean X OR Y (or maybe even Z).

The bottom line here is that anyone who is interested in the Bible need not worry that by reading, say, the NIV versus the ESV one is getting entirely different information. When it comes to things that a believer who is not a prepared pastor-teacher CAN get out of the Bible, those things can be gotten from either one (or from any major English version, and I always tell readers to check other translations wherever they have questions about meaning).

The real issue is – as any serious Bible reader knows – that there are many things that can only be sorted out by listening to good, doctrinal Bible teaching. For example, the Trinity is a true doctrine and an important one (obviously). But that word does not occur in the Bible. And if a person had never before heard of the Bible or Jesus Christ, and began reading the Bible for the first time, it is entirely conceivable that said person might never come to a full understanding of the Trinity – absent a good teacher. If a Christian reads the Bible and does see and understand Trinitarian passages and issues, it is doubtless because he/she had been previously taught about it (e.g., in Sunday school).

So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
Acts 8:30-31 NKJV

I encourage everyone to read the Bible, and the more the better (see the link: "Read your Bible!"). It's an investment that pays all sorts of dividends. But to grow up to spiritual maturity requires a depth of understanding and belief in more than can be superficially gleaned by reading English versions without direction. That's the purpose of Ichthys, namely, to help guide anyone who asks me up into their chariot.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hey Dr. Luginbill,

I've been watching interviews, discussions and sermons on YouTube about different Christian topics. People like NT Wright, Timothy Keller, John Piper and such. It's all been really edifying. But today I watched a video on a Christian apologetics channel that funnily enough, dealt a blow to my faith. It was an interview with a New Testament scholar who is also a Christian. She believes in God and the resurrection, but she doesn't believe in the inerrancy of scripture. She says that there are many errors in the scriptures. She says that some of the books of the New Testament weren't even written by who they're attested to. She says that Mark copied off of Paul. I believe she said that Matthew was originally anonymous, if I'm remembering correctly. She says that Christianity is centered around Jesus, not the Bible. Therefore, it doesn't matter whether the Bible contains inaccuracies or not.

All this has sowed seeds of doubt in my mind, even though she's not an atheist. She's a New Testament scholar with two master's degrees. She got those degrees from Wheaton college. She's working on her PHD at Duke. She teaches undergraduate and graduate religious classes there. All this lends credibility in my mind, even though I know scholarship isn't the same as faith. I think the fact that she is Christian and does believe in God is what's shaking my faith. If those things she says about the Bible are true, then what else about the Bible or God is wrong? That's what I'm questioning. I don't want to be having these doubts or questions. I wish I had never even clicked on that video. The woman's name is Laura Robinson if you want to see for yourself.

Thank you for your continued prayers. They're always appreciated. I'll keep you in my prayers as well.

Thank you,
p.s., I've remembered a few other things said that I have questions about. Her friend said on their podcast that there are other books and letters that were considered canon by the early church. He gave the example of there being a 3rd Corinthians I believe. And he quoted some document from the early church that said anyone who denies the authenticity of 3rd Corinthians is a heretic. All this makes it sound as if the Bible we have now isn't inspired, it's just what the church decided to include. Her friend also said that the gospel writers changed what Jesus said on the cross to suit them. In one gospel, He asks God "why have you forsaken me?" In another gospel He says "I commit My life into your hands." The woman and her friend are both Christians who believe in God. They're both New Testament scholars. What am I supposed to make of all this? On a more personal note, have you ever had times where you doubted? If you did, could you tell me how you got through it?

Response #2:

First of all, I just posted last week the final installment of Bible Basics, BB 7: Bibliology, and that study is all about the very questions you ask. So while I will say a few things here, please do read that study, because I can't come close to giving you the same level of detail in this short email.

I suppose the first thing I would want to ask this woman working on her Ph.D. is whether or not the Lord Jesus Christ is having personal conversations with her. If the answer is "yes", then we can safely conclude that she is bonkers. If the answer is "no", then my follow-up question would be, "then how in the world do you know anything about Him or how do you know that anything is true, if you haven't heard it from God's own mouth?". There is no response to that question – for those who reject the Bible. Simply put, the Bible is the ONLY source of truth here on earth (except, of course, for the testimony God has left for Himself and about Himself in the creation He has constructed, i.e., "natural revelation"; cf. Ps.19:1-6; Acts 17:22-31; Rom.1:18-21). Every other single snippet of divine truth that you know and believe or that I know and believe came from the Bible, either directly or indirectly (through someone teaching us who got it from the Bible or got it from someone else who got it from the Bible etc.).

If the Bible were not true, then there would be no way for us either to find out the truth or to verify that what we have been taught is the truth. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Living Word of God (e.g., Jn.1:1ff.; Rev.19:13) gave us His written word – so that we might know that truth and NOT be "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Eph.4:14 NKJV).

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.
Revelation 1:1a NKJV

The book of Revelation is said to be God the Father's gift to the Son "to show" us wonderful things in the future. That is either a true statement or a false statement. If it is false, then it would be – for those who do not believe the Bible – of a piece with the falsity of the whole book which throughout claims to be the Word of God but which is making false claims . . . if in fact it is not God's Word. But if the statement is true, then it is of a piece with the claims throughout the book, that it is inspired, that it is God's Word, that it is true in every way. And in fact you know in your heart of hearts that it is true, that it is the very truth.

Why do people proffer the horrible lies you report in your email? The devil is the father of lies, lying and liars, and he has an army of liars working for him in this world. In fact, most of what we are bombarded by here in this world is from the source of "cosmos diabolicus", the devil's world system, designed to lead the world astray and deceive it (link). Just because someone claims to be a Christian does not mean that they are. Someone who makes that claim yet rejects Jesus Christ, or rejects His deity, or despises His work for us on the cross is lying. There are many wolves in sheep's clothing and always have been (Matt.7:15). And in our lukewarm era of Laodicea, even many actual shepherds are incapable of protecting the sheep – because they are lukewarm about the truth (Jn.10:12; cf. Acts 20:29-30).

Trust me when I tell you that Paul never wrote a "3rd Corinthians" and that there was never a time when any godly believer had to be in doubt about what was the Bible and what was not.

E.g., "the gospel writers changed what Jesus said on the cross to suit them" – is nonsense. Have you ever read a history book? Have you ever been interested in a historical topic and read two of them? Are they ever identical? Of course not. And these historians are not "changing things to suit themselves", they are selecting incidents and facts to illustrate what happened. The advantage of the gospels is that everything selected is true because the Holy Spirit superintended the process (not true of secular history). In any history it would be impossible to include everything, and as John confirms, "there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (Jn.21:25 NKJV).

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:1-6 NKJV

Doubting usually follows temptation (just like Eve came to doubt, once her position was challenged), and, like all temptation, to resist effectively we have to make conscious decisions to grow spiritually day by day. The more we commit to believing the truth – after seeking it out and listening to it – the stronger our faith becomes. The more we drift, the weaker we get. Faith in the truth is like a muscle that either strengthens or atrophies, depending on how we treat it.

To that end, I cannot recommend the people you are listening to on the internet. You call them "edifying" but it seems that your faith is going backwards, not forwards. I'm very sure that Ichthys has all you need to grow, but I do realize that it is not for everyone. I also heartily recommend Bible Academy (link).

Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi all,

We know the Lord Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Jn 1:1) and all scripture speaks about him. It is interesting to note how he is presented in all 66 books of the Bible. When we read this individual books, it will help us keep that focus in mind. I hope you find it interesting and helpful.

Below taken from (Prophetic Messages for Modern Times, pp. 205-206) non-exhaustive as general presentation:

1. Genesis: Seed of the woman; Shiloh (Gen 3:15; 49:10)
2. Exodus: Passover lamb (Exod 12:3)
3. Leviticus: Anointed High Priest (Lev 8:7-12)
4. Numbers: Brazen serpent; Star of Jacob (Num 21:8; 24:17)
5. Deuteronomy: Prophet like Moses; the great rock (Deut 18:15; 32:4)
6. Joshua: Captain of the Lord's hosts (Josh 5:14)
7. Judges: Angel of the Lord (Judg 2:1)
8. Ruth: Kinsman-Redeemer (Ruth 2:1)
9. 1 Samuel: Great Judge (1 Sam 2:10)
10. 2 Samuel: Seed of David (2 Sam 7:13)
11. 1 Kings: Lord God of Israel (1 Kgs 8:15; 25)
12. 2 Kings: God of the cherubim (2 Kgs 19:15)
13. 1 Chronicles: God of our salvation (1 Chr 16:35)
14. 2 Chronicles: God of our fathers (2 Chr 20:6)
15. Ezra: Lord of heaven and earth (Ezra 1:2)
16. Nehemiah: Covenant-keeping God (Neh 1:5)
17. Esther: The God of providence (Esther)
18. Job: Risen & returning redeemer (Job 19:25)
19. Psalms: The anointed Son (Ps 23:1, 12); the Holy One (16:10); the Good Shepherd (23:1); the King of Glory (24:7-10)
20. Proverbs: The wisdom of God (Prov 8:22-31)
21. Ecclesiastes: The one above the sun (Eccl 8:70
22: Song of Solomon: Chief among ten thousand; altogether lovely (Songs 5:10;16)
23. Isaiah: Virgin-born Immanuel; wonderful counselor; the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; the Suffering Servant; the man of sorrows (Isa 7:14; 9:6; 52:13;53:3)
24. Jeremiah: The Lord our righteousness (Jer 23:6; 33:16)
25. Lamentations: The faithful and compassionate God (Lam 3:22-23; 31-33)
26. Ezekiel: The Lord is there (Ezek 48:35)
27. Daniel: Crushing stone; Son of God; Son of Man (Dan 2:34; 3:25; 7:13)
28. Hosea: King of the resurrection (Hos 13:10; 140
29. Joel: God of the battle and giver of the Spirit (Joel 2:11; 28-32)
30. Amos: God of hosts and the plumb line (Amos 4:13; 7:7)
31. Obadiah: Destroyer of the proud (Obad 1:8; 15)
32. Jonah: The risen prophet; God of second chances; the long-suffering one (Jon 2:10; 3:1; 4:9-11)
33. Micah: God of Jacob; the Bethlehem-born; the pardoning God (Mic 4:1-5; 5:2; 7:18-190
34. Nahum: The avenging God, the bringer of good tidings (Nah 1:2; 15)
35. Habakkuk: The ever-lasting, pure, glorious, and anointed One (Hab 1:12-13; 2:14; 3:13)
36: Zephaniah: The King of Israel (Zep 3:15)
37. Haggai: Desire of all nations (Hag 2:7)
38. Zechariah: Branch, builder of the temple; King of triumphal entry; pierced onel the King of the earth (Zeh 3:8; 6:12-13; 9:9; 12:10; 14:9)
39. Malachi: The Son of righteousness (Mal 42)
40. Matthew: King of the Jews (Mt 2:2; 27:37)
41. Mark: Servant (Mk 9:35; 10:43-44)
42. Luke: Perfect man (Lk 240; 52)
43. John: Eternal God (Km 1:1-5; 20:28; 31)
44. Acts: Ascended Lord (Acts 1:9)
45. Romans: The Lord our righteousness (Ro 10:4)
46. 1 Corinthians: Our resurrection (1 Cor 15:3-4; 20; 51-57)
47. 2 Corinthians: God of all our comfort (2 Cor 1:3)
48. Galatians: Redeemer from the law (Gal 4:4-5)
49. Ephesians: Head of the church, giver of gifts (Eph 1:22; 2:20; 4:8)
50. Philippians: Supplier of every need, obedient servant (Phil 1:19; 2:5-8; 4:19)
51. Colossians: Fullness of the Godhead (Col 1:19; 2:9)
52. 1 Thessalonians: The coming of Christ (1 Thes 4:13-18; 5:2)
53. 2 Thessalonians: The consuming Christ (2 Thess 2:8)
54. 1 Timothy: Saviour of sinners (1 Tim 1:15; 2:3-4)
55. 2 Timothy: Author of Scripture; righteous and rewarding Judge (2 Tim 3:16-17; 4:8)
56. Titus: Our great God & Savior (Titus 1:3; 2:11; 13; 3:4)
57. Philemon: Payer of our debt (Phlem (1:19)
58. Hebrews: Appointed heir of all things; one greater than the angels & prophets (Heb 1:2; 4; 3:3; 4:8)
59. James: Ever-present God; the coming one; te healer (Jas 4:8' 5:8;15)
60. 1 Peter: Unblemished lamb; great example; Lord of glory; chief Shepherd (1 Pt 1:19; 2:21-24; 4:13; 5:4)
61. 2 Peter: The beloved Son (2 Pt 1:17)
62. 1 John: Word of life; advocate, propitiation; Son of God (1 Jn 1:1; 2:1-2; 3:8; 4:10; 15; 5:5)
63. 2 John: Son of the Father (2 Jn 1:3)
64. 3 John : The truth (3 Jn 1:4; 8)
65. Jude: Preserver and only wise God (Jude 1:24-25)
66. Revelation: The Alpha & Omega; the Lion of Judah; King of Kings (Rev 1:8; 5:5; 19:16)

God bless you all

Response #3:

Thanks!

Question #4:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Regarding your posting to the effect that Greek not Hebrew was the original language of the New Testament, I have facts and discussion to help you fully assess the question of original language of Mathew and Hebrews.

In addition to the earliest history telling us that Mathew was written in Hebrew, we also have manuscript evidence which verifies the fact. It goes against critical scholarship, but it's true evidence. Critical scholarship means scholarship which criticizes the Bible instead of trusting it, which is not something they advertise but it's a fact. The "critical position" or simply "critical" is an academic notation which states disagreement with Scriptural text; because, in the past, academic writings about Scripture which speak against Scripture wanted the reader to know they are not saying that this is what Scripture teaches, so they would note "critical"; but I think today they are more interested in being sneaky about it, or maybe they don't know better because the institutions have misled them. I suppose you are a member of academia, but sometimes you have to step back a bit to see all of what is really happening. The mouth of the little horn of the beast was given power over all languages, so I hope you consider that fully as a Christian should.Here are a couple videos which detail the facts about Mathew's Gospel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW20AgLi--s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO_mLthgqQg
Some of it is redundant between the two videos, but also there are useful details in each video, so I offer both. As I'm aware, all evidence shows Mathew was originally Hebrew, which explains the problems in the Greek such as Messiah telling us to obey the tradition of the Pharisees, the same tradition which Messiah also said makes void the Torah Of The God. In reality it says that the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat so whatever he says do; Messiah was saying the only authority they have is to teach Moses; He was not saying they have the same authority as Moses, but the Greek incorrectly says that. There are genealogical issues also, which I presume you are aware of, but no issue in the Hebrew original (not to be confused with Hebrew translations from Greek, which also exist). I hope you'll watch the videos, so I'll leave it at that. I don't know of even one shred of evidence that Mathew was written in Greek, so I find your responses to be very curious because you reject the statements of Christian Brothers who lived in the era soon after Scripture was written, but I don't have any idea what basis you have for accusing them of lying. To be plain, to state an assumption as fact is to lie. Papias got his facts somewhere, and you accuse him. It's easy to see that Greek was the widespread language so the Hebrew would have been rarely transcribed, and old manuscripts decay to nothing. The Nazarenes were persecuted out of existence by a murderous "Church" because Nazarenes sang both the Song Of Moses and the Song Of Messiah, and that is referred to in revelation where it says that the same mouth which was given power over all languages also overcame the saints; so it's most likely that if Torah (God's own Law) was persecuted then so also Hebrew manuscripts were deliberately destroyed. Before the era in which they were likely destroying the Hebrew manuscripts, yet also after they copied manuscripts a few times, so the earliest era from which we still have some manuscripts remaining, by then there was almost zero use of Hebrew manuscripts so they would have only copied a few to preserve it rather than copy many to use them. If Mathew was written in Hebrew and translated into Greek, we should expect to see today many Greek manuscripts and almost zero Hebrew manuscripts. If there are flaws in the Greek which are not flawed in Hebrew, this would verify the likelihood of Hebrew original. This is exactly what we see, and it is not evidence that Greek was the original. I didn't want Mathew to be originally in Hebrew, I want my studies of the Greek to be studies of the original language, but facts are facts and honesty is honesty and I cannot deny the Truth. The source I would like is whichever source verifies this statement which you wrote: "For instance, you can see the "Paul wrote Hebrews in Hebrew" quotation morphing right before your eyes as it travels from Eusebius to Jerome." It looks like these are separate statements based on simliar and common awareness; they do not tell the same story and the latter does not appear to quote the earlier. Without a source stating that Jerome quoted Clement, I am forced to consider it likely that the Hebrew origin of Hebrews was, at the time, a fact known by many in the Church. In those early years, especially in Papias' time, which language was the original of each of the NT Scriptures would have most very likely been easily available knowledge to learned and literate brethren such as Papias. Therefor, if they only say these books were written in Hebrew and they do not say the originals were Greek, then we have zero basis to accuse the brethren. If you still actively use this website, and update it, you may (if you like) use this question. -Why don't you quote the Church fathers who said that Hebrews and Mathew were originally Greek? Do any such quotes exist? If history only says one thing and no one refuted it, then why do you accuse the brethren?- And lastly, Hebrews is "anonymous" because it's not a personal letter so it does not have the personal statements which we see in the epistles. The audience were anonymous Hebrews; it was written to all Hebrews to address Hebrew stumbling blocks to trusting-in-Messiah, to prove that Yeshua is Messiah and to prove the Gospel. We do see mention of Timothy and Shaul refers to Timothy as being his eyes when he says he will see them with Brother Timothy if he comes shortly, meaning that Timothy was to be Shaul's agent and act and speak for Shaul and report back (standard ancient protocol in an era before telecommunication). Obviously it was written in Hebrew because it was written to the Hebrew people, they used Hebrew Scriptures every Sabbath. It damages your credibility that you reject that Hebrews was written in Hebrew, unless you have good evidence to offer. I have offered plenty of good evidence. In the past two years I have spent over two thousand hours investigating Scripture and doctrine. I never paid to be institutionalized into dogma, my only motive in this is Truth, and I have nothing to lose if Mathew and Hebrews were originally in Greek and/or Aramaic. I just know what evidence there is, because I cared to look. I didn't spend two thousand hours being walked by leash through a program, but rather the Spirit guides me to investigate to the best of my ability (which with modern technology is a pretty fair best, I think). So if you are right and I am wrong, if evidence is on your side, please enlighten me so I won't be deceived any longer. Thanks for reading, I hope to hear back from you Dr. Luginbill. Yhvh bless and keep you and shine His Name His Son upon you.

Response #4:

All of the rest of the books of the Bible have been preserved by the Lord in their original languages and texts.

How would you explain this one original text alone not surviving then?

Question #5:

Thank you for responding.

We do have manuscripts. They are a longer period of transmission (than for the Greek) to our earliest copy, but they also show no signs of translation. For the record, I'm not suggesting we should ignore Greek manuscripts, some things may be lost in transmission, other things we see clearly were lost in translation. I think either video will sufficiently explain the preserved manuscripts, and I think it's the video in the second link which has the more complete explanation of the assessments of whether or not they are original documents. Academia has no motive to acknowledge these documents. As I remember, there are more manuscripts translated into Hebrew than there are transmissions from the original Hebrew; and all that is carefully sorted out by the scholar in the video. I'd like to name numbers, but I don't have it memorized so assuredly. It may be 25 or so, but that may be referring to all Hebrew Mathews instead of just the transmissions. Also, I'm not saying the Greek does not preserve His Scriptures; I'm not exactly prepared to fully dissect what level of perfect accuracy to the original constitutes preservation of His Scripture. What I can say is that Hebrews appears to be a perfect translation into Greek, and so we don't need Hebrew copies; but Mathew is flawed in Greek so we need the Hebrew and we have it. I know some people tend to only accept majority perspectives, but I'm also very certain that Messiah warns us against that in both the New Testament and the Old Testament. Did you watch either video? You may want to asses the evidence for yourself and also assess whether or not he is lying. It seems to me that the evidence is conclusive, unless Nehemia (the scholar) is deliberately lying. Considering his journey out of Rabbinic Judaism into Scriptural Judaism, I think he is an honest man.

Response #5:

Re: "We do have manuscripts." ?!

If any ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the gospel of Matthew exist, that is BIG news to me!

Kindly provide a link to the supposed Hebrew manuscripts of Matthew and I'll have a look.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW20AgLi--s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO_mLthgqQg

These are the links which state the information. There are three Hebrew versions of Mathew, two translations from other languages, and one which shows zero sign of being a translation; however the Greek does show many signs of being a translation. My personal experience is that the Spirit knows the Truth, and sometimes I read and I'm like "this is not the Truth" so I look up the original language (usually Greek) and 100% of the time it shows the Truth where the English did not. This same method of discovery came upon one of the men who is in one of the videos, because according to the Greek Messiah contradicted Himself and the man knew that such is impossible. He asked his friend who is an extremely qualified scholar to look into it, and the links explain all of that. I have not looked up the document myself (I think there are 4 of them now, maybe 23 or so, but the 23 number may come from a different detail such as total of all 3 Hebrew versions; I'm going on memory at the moment). I think it's called Tovit Mathew or Tophit Mathew; something sounding like that, named for the Jew who preserved it as he was determined to refute it so that Jews would not turn to Messiah. He literally states that if someone copies the document without also copying his refutation, that they are cursed; that is how much he feared this document spreading. Maybe that's a red-flag to you, but the videos total only 86 minutes and so if it's BIG news it is worth an hour and a half to consider for yourself. I am not yet qualified in Hebrew at all and not in a high level in Greek, so I cannot assess much from the document itself, which is why I've not tried to find it for myself. I am very qualified to be Spirit guided and it's sometimes revealed to me that the English cannot be correct, and I'm qualified enough to study Greek vocab using good resources. Because I'm very experienced at seeing flaws in the English, I am well aware of the method by which the contradiction was discovered, and that led to a deep search which discovered the original Hebrew Mathew which the Vatican had in a junk-file; junk-file meaning that no one knew what was in the file but they did not want to throw it away. There are a few proofs in the video of which I am qualified to assess the logic thereof and, though I cannot check for myself, I have no reason to think it is a hoax. I do know it's not a mistake; they are either hoaxing, or they have the accurate conclusion. Instead of repeatedly asking me, I suggest you go straight to my source and spend less than 90 minutes seeing for yourself what you think. You'll get the exact document information and, if it can be found from that info, then you will be able to find it. This isn't about how easily I can prove it to you, but this is about whether or not it is true. I'm not pretending to be the scholar on this matter, but I do refer you directly to the scholar.

Response #6:

With all due respect, a YouTube video is NOT a "source".

I'm a very busy person with a full time job – more difficult now that I have to do it remotely – as well as with this ministry.

If there are documents, manuscripts of Matthew in Hebrew which have survived from antiquity, I guarantee you that they will either be online or in publications which can be referenced.

If such references are lacking, then there are no such documents, "videos" notwithstanding.

Question #7:

Youtube is simply a media format. The scholar is extremely qualified, his name is Nehemia Gordon. I don't know why one would reject a scholar simply because he reached out to share with non-academics. I never suggested you not research the sources, I just said those links are the lead I can offer. Academia is a political worldly institution, Messiah has warned you about trusting the World, if you don't trust Messiah in His warning that is your prerogative. It may be that academia is the last entity which wants you to know the Truth; and we know academia always has to be dragged kicking and screaming before they accept new facts, so don't expect them to offer this anytime soon. If it's not important to you to check if this has merit, to assess the scholarship for yourself, then I see that it is not important to you; excuses aside.

And no need to respect me, I am no respecter of persons myself and so I ask for no respect.

Response #7:

I'm not rejecting anyone. I'm merely asking for the sort of basic proof any scholar worth his or her salt would demand.

If you wish me to evaluate "texts", show me the texts (online) or give me the bibliographical references so I can get them out of the library.

I don't have time to track this down myself – this is your question to me, right?

But I reiterate, if there are no online references and if there are no bibliographical references then the things do not actually exist.

Question #8:

Ok. I'm reviewing the audio in fast forward to find some details.

Note: It's not true that all data is now online, uploading data takes man-hours, it's not magic. For example, Nehemia paid $2500 to get access to a manuscript hoping it was a Hebrew original but he quickly found it was a translation from a European language. Nehemia was not simply able to go online and find it, not even in the expensive databases which he is subscribed to. Why are databases expensive? To pay for the man-hours required. The Data: You can find some of the data in a book called "Hebrew Gospel Of Mathew" by George Howard; this was Nehemia's first lead on the matter. Nehemia recommends the 1987 edition as opposed to the 1995 edition. Howard was aware of nine manuscripts, but Nehemia has found 28. One of the manuscripts is in the Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome and you can look at it on microfilm at the Library Of Givat Ram in Jerusalem. Another manuscript was kept at the Jewish Museum in Livorno Italy, but it was lent out and never returned, yet we have the microfilms still and you can find it at the Library Of Givat Ram; Nehemia tried to contact the man who borrowed it, but Nehemia does not speak the man's language, though I would think they could communicate in Hebrew, but maybe the man does not know Hebrew well enough. One of the videos literally shows photos of these two microfilm images, so you can see the images there if not elsewhere. One video is only audio, so the images are in the other video; they appear at 22:20 and 22:56. The manuscript which is at the Biblioteca Casanatense was recently made available in a miscellaneous file online, "shelfmark only", so it is accessible online but I don't know the shelfmark number. Nehemia Gordon wrote three books, in which the bibliographies likely have information which is more useful to finding the manuscripts: "The Hebrew Yeshua Vs The Greek Jesus", "The Naming Of Jesus In Hebrew Mathew", and "A Prayer To Our Father". Some Clarification: The only detail I'm aware of which I did not find in these two videos, is in the book by George Howard (I probably heard it in another video which is 82 minutes alone). It's the name of the rabbi who's manuscript Howard cited; sounded like Tovit or Tobit, but when I searched for "Tovit Mathew manuscript" and "Tobit Mathew manuscript" a bunch of discussions of manuscripts of the book of Tobit came up and of the book of Mathew, and people with names similar to Tobit Mathew; so if the info came up it was buried under the more-mainstream information. Nehemia reviewed all the facts for himself, looking through many manuscripts over the course of some years, and his second major was archeology so he also researched some archeological facts about the "seat of Moses" in order to fully understand what Messiah was saying. I see where I got the number "four" from in one of my previous letters; that is how many manuscripts Nehemia found which have preserved one specific detail. These are Tobit Mathew (or Tovit) and the two I detailed for you, and one other. George Howard wrote about a process by which Hebrew Mathew was "corrected according to the Greek", this is likely because the Jews who were transcribing feared being killed if it was discovered that these documents have differences from the Greek and Latin, which is why the detail is only preserved in four of the 28 manuscripts. One way we know these four are correct in this detail is that they are the only four manuscripts which do not self contradict. Specifically, Messiah blatantly says to not obey the takkanot of the Pharisees (oral commands), but later Messiah supposedly says "all that they (the Pharisees) say observe and do" and this would be a blatant contradiction (as it appears in English, Latin, and Greek), but actually it says "all that he (Moses) says observe and do" so in reality there is no contradiction.

Response #8:

George Howard's book is about Shem Tov's 14th century translation of Matthew into rabbinical Hebrew.

I could translate Plato into pig-Latin – that wouldn't make pig-Latin the original language in which Plato wrote.

I've heard about this late medieval translation. It's not Matthew's original, however.

Here are some links:

Gospel Questions VI: the Long Ending of Mark et al. [see Q/A #31]

The Trinity and Messianic Legalism [see Q/A #2]

Christians Beware (part 2): Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment

Question #9: 

That's right, Shem Tov( I conflated "Shem Tov" and "Tobit" in my head). Thank you. This will be the last I encourage you to look into this, but first I have a request: -Please offer me the source which convinced you that Shem Tov is a translation? "I've heard about" is not very convincing compared to a solid argument which is coupled with a full assessment performed by a highly qualified expert who I've heard from enough that I have good reason to trust both his honesty and due diligence. Did you inspect the manuscript for yourself, or else research a detailed assessment of the matter? I'd sure like if you'd offer me that lead, so I can more easily check the counter-evidence. At this point I'll go searching for a detailed assessment, but if you remember where you were shown the evidence that would sure help me out. Let me ask you about two arguments which we are both capable of assessing for ourselves: -Why does the Greek contradict itself while Shem Tov does not contradict? -Shem Tov only made the manuscript to refute it, and placed a curse on anyone who transcribes it without including his refutation. Why would he even want the document to exist in Hebrew? Wouldn't he rather not translate it so Jews would not read it? Seems it already existed and that's why he wanted to refute it. If you don't have those answers, then it's food for thought. Academia often needs correcting, and when the facts are being straightened out we have opportunity to be on the right side or the wrong side of that process. We also see the words of Zechariah quoted in Mathew 27 but it states they are quoted from Jeremiah; I don't know if this detail is correct in Shem Tov, I bet it just says "the prophet" like it does for every other quote in Mathew, but I'll sure look into it. This issue may be an unrelated detail, but we do see a surprising amount of problems with Greek Mathew in contrast to the other books.
p.s.,
I'm finding some interesting contrasts between Shem Tov and our received. Based on all the evidence, it seems Shem Tov is not a trustworthy document; but I have much more scouring to do. Because the earliest Church fathers tell us Mathew was written in Hebrew, and all evidence considered, it seems that Shem Tov does preserve some details from the original, but also has been deliberately and drastically altered over the centuries to speak less highly of Yeshua. Anyway, it's complicated, so if you don't want to try to sort it out that is understandable. I really have no choice, I must make my best assessment. Thanks for the discussion. Sorry if I was ignorant and wasted your time.

Response #9: 

No worries, my friend.

"seems that Shem Tov does preserve some details from the original".

That is where the scholar in me is highly skeptical. If there are no fragments whatsoever for 13 centuries of any such Hebrew gospel of Matthew, and then suddenly a millennium and a half later a "manuscript" miraculously appears, well, it's not as if there hasn't been a cottage industry over the centuries to produce everything mentioned in scripture and many things not mentioned and present them as "original documents" when in fact they are forgeries.

For example, we read of the "Book of Jasher" in Joshua and Samuel. And lo and behold a ms. of it pops up . . . in the 19th century. But it turns out to have been concocted from whole cloth.

For something like Matthew's gospel, of course, a person who knows Hebrew well could produce a Hebrew translation of the Greek original and then proclaim the translation he has "found" to be the "original Matthew" – which is in fact exactly what we have in Shem Tov. If as falsely claimed the manuscript were based on the original, the author would have had to have had an exemplar which was a copy of that original – where did that come from? And more to the point, where did it go?

If I were to tell you that this book written in English I just handed you was a new revelation from God, and that I had translated it from an unknown language written on golden tablets with the aid of magic glasses, you would be well within your rights to ask to see the tablets and the glasses. "Trust me!" is not sufficient.

In Jesus Christ, the God-man, the Savior of the world, the only Way to salvation through faith in Him, His perfect person, God and man forever, and His perfect work, in dying for the sins of the entire world.

Bob L.

Question #10:

Thanks Bob.

I am actually thinking again that Shem Tov's Mathew does come from the Hebrew original. The main complaint is that Mathew, as the author, never says Yeshua is Messiah, but if he is writing to the Jews he likely did not want to say "I'm telling you Yeshua is Messiah" but rather chose to tell the story and document where others call Him Messiah. If you'll bear with me one final moment here. It seems to me that when they translated it into Greek they emphasized that He is Messiah because the Greek audience would mostly miss all the clues which make it blatant to 1st century Jews. Now this changes my perspective, in the past I would've thought that such clarifications would be edits and so a proof of something awry. But, I now think that Yhvh inspired such clarifications (if my theory is correct, I will read a translation of Shem Tov, I can at least assess the document for fitting or not-fitting with what we've received). This theory makes sense because the name of Jeremiah obviously doesn't belong; some might think that means God's words were not properly preserved, but I think "obviously" is the operative word in that regard, we know the quote is not from Jeremiah and so the truth of the text is preserved in that knowledge. It's less about technical knit picking and more about the fact that His words are preserved and we have received them; there is technicality to knit pick, but it's not worthy of causing any discredit to the authenticity of the document. Thanks for the discussion, it sure helped me. I had some growing pains, which is good.

Together with you in Messiah,

P.S. When I say "Not worthy of causing discredit to the authenticity of the document" I refer to Greek Mathew and Mathew in general, I'm not addressing objection to "Shem Tov" with that statement."Shem Tov" is what it is, and I only have my best assessment which has barely begun.

Response #10:

We can't really assess the validity of Shem Tov unless and until we examine his exemplars, that is, the collection of mss. he consulted in his edition (if that is what it is); however, if it is instead a back-translation from the original Greek into Hebrew – as all the evidence suggests (with no actual evidence that it is anything else) –  then I would prefer and recommend rather F. Delitzsch's translation of the Greek New Testament into Hebrew. He was a real scholar with a strict Jewish background and his translation is enlightening and thought-provoking for all the reasons you probably find Shem Tov interesting. But it's not Matthew's original either. Matthew wrote that one, inspired by the Spirit, in GREEK.

In Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.

Bob L.

Question #11:

Thanks. I see that I put you in the middle of my own journey here, and you have been very gracious.

Response #11:

Thank you.

In Jesus our one and only Savior, God and man in one person forever.

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Robert,

You know what. I should have thought about my question before I sent it. Thanks anyhow – beautiful typology/symbolism indeed.

As an additional series I am planning and starting to draft a typology series. The series will be Christ focused. I reckon that typology correctly explained in depth, clearly, and in sufficient quantity really has the potential to increase a believers faith. Plus, typology has the potential to be abused by a scholar reckoning too many things as symbols or a scholar denying historical events (eg Jonah and the whale) and then diluting any value to the type. Plus, you have some limited information on this but it's not crazy flushed out such as your Tribulation types. This I think gives me an opportunity to add some value.

Unger will be helpful with this.

In our Savior and Lord,

Response #12:

The classic Christian work is by Hegestenberg, Christology of the Old Testament (originally in German; link to free copy at Gutenberg).

Other Ichthys links to consider:

Biblical Metaphors and Symbolism

Symbolism and Allegory

Hermeneutics, Typology, Christophany, Theophany and Anthropopathism

Typology and Sequence in Old Testament Prophecy (in CT 1)

Old Testament Typology

Prophetic Types of antichrist

The Analogy of Noah and the Great Flood

There's a lot of this sort of thing scattered around Ichthys if you look up "types" and "type" with the site search function (site:ichthys.com: ).

What you say about going overboard is true; that was a huge problem in the early church-visible (one thinks of Origen). Then there are also those interpreters who don't want to find types anywhere even when they are clear and even when missing them is a mistake that results in misinterpretation.

I had a theology prof in seminary who wanted to dismiss the altar sacrifices of the Law as having anything originally to do with the cross . . . until I quoted John the baptist, "Behold! The Lamb of God!" (I should have quoted Revelation too).

Keeping it in between the two limits, namely, of not making a type out of absolutely everything on the one hand or of over-scrupulously denying things that actually are types on the other, is the challenge.

In Jesus our hope.

Bob L.

Question #13:

I have a question to the experience of Jonah foreshadowing our Lord's experience:

Is the men rowing against the storm part of the type in the sense of human works and effort to appease God only makes God's wrath worse (Jonah 1:13)?

Is God commissioning Jonah part of the typology because God also directly commissions Jesus our Lord?

Is it safe to say that just as Jonah was baptized into the raging sea, our Lord was baptized into the Lake of Fire to suffer for all the sins of the world? The Bible doesnt say for sure, but from a couple of simple deductions and the baptism imagery, I would say that it is not a stretch considering what happens to unbelievers.

Revelation 20:14-15 (NASB) 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

In Jesus

Response #13:

I will observe that you can correctly say, e.g., "they rowed hard, but human efforts are never effective in the face of the will of God; just as human works generally . . ."; and "the Lord compares His death and resurrection to Jonah's experience in the belly of the big fish; and Jonah was commissioned (add other similarities) just as our Lord was". In other words, these are good and interesting observations which you can certainly make without recourse to an over-reliance on the word/concept of typology.

Remember, that typology is a interpretive lens which is only valid because the Bible itself makes the comparisons; typology does not have "power" in and of itself. In other words, declaring something a "type/antitype" does not allow making deductions otherwise not obviously present in scripture. If we start looking for these things, we may be tempted to find meaning where it really doesn't exist – in terms of being put there by the Spirit for the reason of a type. After all, the men actually did row to no effect; and all prophets are commissioned, but if we start teaching that they are all types of Christ, that dilutes things quite a bit.

As to #3), while I do see what you are saying, the lake of fire is a definite place; Christ remained on the cross for the entirety of the three hours, so I don't know how that could have happened. Also, while Christ did say He had a "baptism to undergo", He was talking about the cross, not water (baptism in scripture is sometimes water-less – as in the baptism of the Holy Spirit); and I don't recall anything about baptism with Jonah. In other words, good teaching always moors every possible point to direct teachings from scripture, and is careful about drawing deductions which aren't actually taught.

In Jesus our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Dr. Luginbill:

If God is omniscient how can He regret? Does the word translate different than what we generally understand it to mean?

“The Lord regretted making human beings…” Genesis 6:6
“The Lord regretted he had made Saul king…”1Samuel 15:36

Thank you!

Response #14:

There is a lot of this sort of thing in the Bible. We call these "anthropopathisms" (see the link), that is, God presenting Himself to us as behaving in a way and from motivations we as finite and limited human beings are capable of understanding. So of course the God who planned every single thing from before He created the world doesn't react to circumstances in time, but we do; and this is also His way of communicating to us how we should "feel" about things as seen from His perspective. It's actually a good way of getting across to us the seriousness of rebelling against Him.

Question #15:

Hi Bob,

Myself and my family, plus two Christian friends, have received some teaching in recent weeks that is throwing us into confusion. I have searched your website but can’t find anything on the following we’ve been taught so far ( which is making me feel a little ‘sea-sick’ and never heard of before ):

Our Christian journey while alive on earth starts in Egypt (the world) pass through the Red Sea (baptism) end up in the wilderness and only get ‘rest’ in Canaan once we have passed through the Jordan (?). Possible second baptism?

Similarly our walk is like the three parts to the Temple where once in the holy of Holies we can find rest. Once there you can’t leave.

The axe John the Baptist talked about (Matthew 3:10) representative of chopping out the sin root. It’s not so much the fruit of sin but dealing with the root of sin.

Mixed up with above is the emphasis on baptism of fire .... but all of this is drip fed and nothing reaching a conclusion yet.

My friend now thinks she’s in the wilderness and wants to know how to get rid of the root of sin?! I think it sounds like holiness /second blessing /entire sanctification teachings but I’ve never come across this before but can’t see this procedure in the bible ( ie a full consecration to the Lord brings a full filling of the Holy Spirit and fully sanctified). I am desperate for help please??? My family hasn’t gone back , but need to say why if this indeed incorrect teaching....

Many thanks in advance

Blessings

Response #15:

This really is "nutty" stuff!

To start with, the Israelites didn't start in Egypt; they went down there in the fourth generation. And they didn't stay there. And when they left, they only tarried in the wilderness forty years because of unbelief. And it was not the same generation that left which went into the land. And the most important point of all: the Bible NEVER draws any parallel between the experience of Israel as a nation and the life of a Christian believer. There is no biblical justification to do so.

This is taking what might be an interesting illustration (where the points surely do not all fit) and turning it  into a Bible doctrine and telling people to live their lives by it! This is as bad as anything the RC church has done or other cults which only use the Bible to further their agendas. Bottom line: I would steer clear of any group that mishandled the Word of God in such an obvious way.

Scripture has many clear mandates, especially in the New Testament, to guide our Christian lives. We don't need to fall back on allegory – especially when it is only loosely tied to the scriptures and when the allegory is not authorized by them . . . and clearly violates them in many places.

The other things you mention fall into the same category. We find rest in the holy of holies? What does that mean, exactly? The temple does represent specific things with the holy of holies representing the presence of God. But we are to have rest down here, on our journey (e.g., Heb.4:1-10). So that is a direct contradiction of scripture.

The root is the root of sin? Where does it say THAT in scripture? God is the one who holds the axe in John's analogy and He is the One who is going to cut down all bad trees. Bad trees are unbelievers. We all sin. We all have a sin nature. Sin is forgiven when we confess (1Jn.1:9). And we gain gradual victory over sin as we grow spiritually (or certainly should). But this weirdness is only spreading confusion about the Word.

As I'm sure you know, there's no "second blessing"; all believers have the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:9). And as to the baptism of fire, that happens after the second advent (it's the removal of all who took the mark of the beast so that none enter the Messiah's kingdom; see the link).

I would counsel your friend to 1) start reading her Bible (if she does, she'll surely see that all this "teaching" is nonsense); 2) find a good place to grow through the correct teaching of the truth: test the fruit; if the fruit is good, then eat the fruit; if it's bad, find another tree.

Best place for an overview of the Christian walk at Ichthys is BB 6A: Peripateology (at the link).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Are Hodge's epistle commentaries and Unger's gospel commentaries helpful resources?

Response #16:

When it comes to commentaries, I have found them less and less useful as time goes by. I get some help from Unger's OT set; don't have nor have I ever used (to the best of my knowledge) his NT set (did he write that himself or is it a production of his estate as many things with his name on it now are?). I do have some of Hodges but, along with his systematic theology, I think you'll find that they are steeped in Calvinism and tend towards sermonizing on the one hand and not particularly enlightening linguistic commentary on the other.

Question #17:

I am inclined to see the Lazarus and the Rich man as a parable because
1. It is in a string of parables
2. It is a story used to make a point about the earlier comments about the Pharisees seeking money, and actually being detestable in the sight of God because they did not get the truth of the Law and were therefore unsaved. Even if they had good things in this life, they would have bad things in the next life.

Therefore I'm learning towards this being a parable -- it fits with our Lord's style of teaching. This is one parable however where the accessories have significance because we learn something about a part of the world that we did not know about before. For example, in other parables Jesus uses comparisons with the earthly world such as the rapid growth of a small seed. Since we already know about this world from observation we don't learn from the accessories. In this case we learn about the make up of the underworld, something we cannot observe or know fully. For this reason, the accessories are important because they tell us about the underworld.

I think I am in the middle of the road interpretation here. I think it is likely a parable since this it connects with other commentary communicating a principle and also in context it would make sense as a parable. While also I would cherish the unique accessories we learn about since it is about a part of reality we do not know much about. Whether this event actually happened however, I don't think we can say for sure like the other parables in Scripture.

Then on the other hand, you could argue that this story would be an outlier among the parables because it is the only one that uses a spiritual setting (the underworld) to communicate another spiritual point (better to be a looked down upon believer here and now then a highly esteemed unbeliever) while all the other parables use earthly examples to make a spiritual point. No need to respond quickly.

Response #17:

As you know, I teach that our Lord's relating of Lazarus and the rich man in the underworld in Luke's gospel is NOT a parable.

It depends to some degree on what a person means by "parable".

He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables".
Mark 4:11 NIV

The purpose of parables is to teach the truth but without forcing it down someone's throat. This has the effect of not casting pearls before swine (so as to be trampled) and also of veiling the truth from those not willing to accept the truth (fulfilling the prophecy of, e.g., Is.6:10). So in the parable of the tenants (Matt.21:33-46; Mar.12:1–12; Lk.20:9-16), the scribes and Pharisees realized that Jesus had spoken this parable against them (e.g., Lk.20:16), but they didn't understand all the ramifications of it. Had Jesus said, "You and your type killed all of God's prophets; now He has sent me, His Son, and you will kill Me too – and then God will destroy you and give the ministry of the Word to the gentiles", that would have been direct teaching and not teaching via parable. But the truth and its meaning are the same either way.

And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
Luke 13:2-5 NKJV

The above is certainly not a parable, but it is using a report of actual events to present biblical truths. In this case, Jesus is asked about a particular event, and He responds adding another event for good measure – both things happened.

Did the events related in the case of Lazarus and rich man actually happen? It is not actually possible to say that the events in many of the parables didn't happen, but because our Lord doesn't name names or give places, they have a generic application – and the willing are encouraged to apply them to themselves.

The main problem with some people's assessment of our Lord's relating of Lazarus and the rich man as being a "parable" is that then they want to go and say that "since it is a parable" that the events "never happened" and therefore "we can't accept the details as anything more than illustrative". So, in their view, therefore, "there is no way we can say that there is consciousness in the grave" because "this is just a story, a parable". In other words, wrongly characterizing this passage has given many an excuse to excise the truth that it presents.

But consider:

"There was a certain rich man . . ." – statement of fact.

". . . there was a certain beggar named Lazarus . . ." -- statement of fact.

Indeed, our Lord presents everything in this "story" as a series of statements of fact. That is because they happened. Since all this actually did happen, and since all of the things that go along with this "story" – such as the description of paradise and torments – are truthful and accurate and not "just made up for the purposes of the story", I am reluctant to call it a parable (on top of the other reasons you discuss). Because that gives some people the wrong idea, and it allows other people to diminish the truth of what this chapter teaches "because it is only a parable".

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #18:

Would you then say that the teaching of the unjust steward is not a "parable". Although it does teach a spiritual truth about not forcing something down one's throat, it never once says that it is a "parable". Therefore, its in the spirit of parable teaching, but not a parable because it doesn't explicitly say so?

In Jesus

Response #18:

On the parable of the unjust steward, you probably already have the Ichthys link, but here it is again just in case.

On parables generally, there are other links in the subject index, but the main point I would like to make is the one I tried to make last time we discussed this, namely, that it may be a mistake to worry too much about "is this a parable or not" because the content of what is being taught is really what is at issue. As in the example of the one you mention, my question would be "what difference would it make to the interpretation?" And, in general, it would never make any difference since we would be understanding the details and applying them the same way whether or not a) it actually happened or, b) it is a "story".

The biblical point about parables in teaching is to avoid the direct approach so that a) unbelievers who have no interest in the truth don't even understand the point; but b) believers who are interested can see the truth objectively first and then apply it to themselves and respond accordingly – whereas to directly tell them might cause offense.

A good example of the latter is the following in Luke 7:36-50 where our Lord realizes that His host is "thinking wrong" about Mary pouring ointment on His feet et al. So He first gives the principle in what we could call a short parable (I would call it that) about two men forgiven a debt and letting Simon figure out for himself that the one forgiven much is more grateful than the one forgiven little; then our Lord directly applies it to Mary (and by application to Simon and the ones listening).

Of course, while Mary was responsive – in faith – for having been forgiven much, the truth is that we are ALL forgiven much, but some are more grateful than others. And the other Pharisees present didn't accept the truth at all – as unbelievers never do. So that in a nutshell tells us all we need to know about parables, which are "side stories" or "parallel stories" in the application of the etymology of the word: 1) A story we can relate to easily and draw natural conclusions from, being objective about the details and more importantly the obvious conclusions because the details are not about us personally; 2) A direct application to us and our own lives (if we are willing to make it); 3) A lack of application – and hence of true understanding – on the part of those who reject the truth and are not willing to apply it to their lives (even if the details are explained to them).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19: 

 How many parables are there in total in the New Testament? I looked this up on gotquestions and they give a list - "Here is a list of parables in the Bible, defining parable as “a fictional yet realistic story that illustrates a spiritual truth”:

https://www.gotquestions.org/parables-in-the-Bible.html

You can see the list on the link. Would you say this is pretty accurate? Based on their definition, they show that the NT contains about 37-38 parables.

Response #19: 

I read this in scripture:

And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.
Mark 4:33-34 NKJV

So the biblical definition of a parable seems to me to be not connecting the dots directly when teaching, but instead letting people who are truly interested draw the appropriate conclusions from the illustration if they are inclined to do so – in order to be able to speak the truth to those who are not interested in it and not provoke violent opposition of the sort that would have ended Our Lord's ministry before the time.

So I don't think there's much profit in counting up parables since the definition is not as clear as sources like this seem to think. In the narrative about Lazarus in paradise, for example, we have our Lord relating things that actually happened – the details are not "fictional". And it's not entirely clear to me that many of the "parables" our Lord told didn't actually happen at some time and place just the way He said they did.

Getting hung up on the form is a mistake. Once we understand why our Lord taught that way, we can concentrate on the content – which is what is truly important.

Here's one link to parables at Ichthys apropos of all this.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

The parable of the minas and talents are parables addressing Jesus Christ's evaluation of believers at His second advent.

Why then is there an unbeliever being addressed here (the third slave who puts his mina into a handkerchief).

I do not see an opportunity for this kind of dialogue between Lord Jesus and an unbeliever at the second advent except for the purging of the Jews, which this parable is not discussing.

Definitely would appreciate some clarification on this.

In our Lord

Response #20:

It's not unusual in the Old Testament and also in the gospels – before the Church Age interpolation was explained (cf. "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" Acts 1:6) – for all of eschatology to be rolled into one. I call it "Prophetic Foreshortening". 

Nothing in the parable is untrue; and the only adjustment needed for complete understanding is just what you mention, namely, that the evaluation of the unbelievers comes later; but it does come right on the heels of a believer-only judgment (that of the millennial believers, the "Friends of the Bride"); put together, these are the sheep and the goats.

So you can understand this parable as being the same as the sheep and goats judgment – which comes immediately after this parable in Matthew chapter twenty-five . . . and which has the same interpretive issue, namely, the judgments at the end of history but with the Church Age not yet being visible. Revelation of the Church Age and the mystery doctrines related to it would require the completion of our Lord's mission and the sending of the Holy Spirit (see the link).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.


P.S.:  If you haven't noticed or already done so, please check out the list of wonderful ministry offerings on the Special Topics page, including John Jackson (anyone with questions about the "church-visible" will find this helpful), "Bible Readings by Emma", Bible Reading Log by Christian Vassallo (helps for reading through the English Bible),  The Holocaust: A Biblical and Historical Examination (Future Implications) by Fred London, the Expanded Index to Old Testament translations at Ichthys, Foundational Principles, by Odii Ariwodo, "The Peter series" translated into Kiswahili by Resi Kilambo, Video presentations by Steven Tammen based on the SR series, and Steven's group studies of BB 6A.


*Special Prayer Request

  • For Jay's daughter in a coma on life support in the ICU, and for Jay's encouragement.

  • For my friend Carmen who just suffered a broken left arm (both bones, compound fracture of the ulna) and a broken back (two vertebrae fractured).

  • For Leigh's sister, for protection in and swift deliverance from a very dangerous domestic situation.

  • For Tony, for healing from aggressive glaucoma.

  • For Dawn's daughter Daphne, for healing from chronic Lyme disease.

  • For Mewn, for healing.

  • For Jamie, for encouragement and support under pressure.

  • For Sylvia, for her strength and energy is supporting her grandchildren and great grandchild whose parents are unbelievers, and for her help in leading them all to the Lord.

  • For Ron, in hospital battling severe infection pursuant to a knee replacement, kidney failure and pneumonia

  • For Carrie, recently diagnosed with cancer. She has three daughters. The family has already been through a lot, having lost their husband/father to cancer a few years ago. They are believers.

  • For Luke's father, for healing of the cyst/lump in his kidney and recovery of health [update: "Dad has recovered quite a bit from his surgery and he has started getting around more often. I am thankful to God for all that he has done for me and my family."].

  • For Andrea's continuing progress in spiritual growth, for her daughter Juanita's salvation.

  • For Anna's brother who is in failing health, that he might be led to the Lord.

  • For our friend Odii and his family for comfort, encouragement and support on the passing of his father, and for deliverance from malevolent individuals attempting to take advantage of the situation.

  • For our friend Yuhanna, for swift deliverance from his present situation.

  • For Ashley, for recovery of her health from a difficult to diagnose and serious condition [worsening with shortness of breath and tremors]; and for the salvation of her parents and her brother.

  • For Gill's sister, praise here as prayers have been answered and she has been moved to the right place.  Gill asks for prayer "for her continued recovery, as well as to demonstrate to the family the power of prayer and faith in Christ".

  • For Jon's mother, for healing from an intestinal mass, and for peace and deliverance on her job.

  • For our brother Abishai's help with his business to provide for his family's basic needs (hard times at present).  Please also pray for his ministry activities and for his wife's healing.  Please pray for Jacob who presently lacks income and has a difficult family situation, [praise for Bhavani who along with her husband have both found jobs!]

  • For Femi who is in severe legal jeopardy, for his deliverance [praise here! Dr. Femi is home tonight; please keep praying for his deliverance going forward].

  • Brian is in the hospital with pancreatitis; [*out now but please also pray for recovery and that his insurance will cover it].

  • For Will successful surgery for his for his nerve impingement and recovery therefrom.

  • For Jeanette and Phil to be delivered from a terrible work situation, and for the pressure to turn them toward the Lord.

  • For Walter's son Josh, in need of surgery for a defective heart valve.

  • For our friend Gaurav, for encouragement, health, and material deliverance. [n.b., Gaurav was the first one on this list years ago; he writes that he is still "hanging in" and staying faithful to the Lord, but he and his family are in greater material need than ever; please remember them in your prayers]; *please also pray for his health and his mother's health (she recently became blind in one eye from an infection and diabetes complications, neither of which have resolved as yet).
  • For David's wife who is entering hospice [*update: our friend's wife has gone to be with the Lord; please pray for his comfort].
  • For Bob and Debbie for healing and recovery following successful cancer treatments. "Praise/thanks here for our Lord's wonderful help and grace, both bodily and spiritually! Please keep us in prayer for help and healing/coping with other health issues. Thanks to all for their love and prayerful support in our trials. Your friend in Jesus, Bob P."  *[update: please pray for Bob about an undefined and concerning pain yet to be diagnosed]

  • For comfort for Jon and his family in the loss of his father (thanks to all who have been praying for him.  Jon reports convincing evidence that his dad was indeed saved before the end.  Praise the Lord!); **please also pray for peace for him and for his mother in their job situations and for genuine Christian fellowship.
  • For Abby for success and blessing in her new efforts in ministry, and for her cousin Danny's health. Please also pray for her health, strength and perseverance in stressful and challenging circumstances; please also pray for her mother's health.
  • For Ramsey, in his new position.

  • For the empowerment of our friend Curt's ministry; for his health, the health of his family, and for his help in moving to a safer location.

  • For our friend John's family's deliverance from cult influence [praise for some good news here, but some members are still entrapped]. Please also pray for John's health and that of his wife as well.

  • For our friend Steve for strength, protection, providence and deliverance - more needful now than ever.
  • For help and deliverance for our friend Cindy's daughter.
  • For our friend Brittany's spiritual recovery and encouragement.
  • For our friend Ken and his family's protection from persecution for seeking the truth.
  • Ken Young's ministry and for his health (please see the link).
  • For Christian congregations being persecuted in Sri Lanka (please see the link).
  • *For the healing from MS, blessing, encouragement and vindication of our brother, Nihal.  Please also protect him and his family and church family from the recent troubles in Sri Lanka.
  • For our friend Mike's encouragement and God's blessing on his livelihood to provide for his family.
  • For Helen's healing from cancer and for her comfort in the loss of her family members.
  • For Clyde's encouragement and deliverance in severe testing.
  • For Judah in overcoming spiritual obstacles and for help in preparing for ministry.
  • For the salvation of Tom and his family.

  • For our friend Oscar's continued spiritual growth and help in securing suitable employment in spite of serious satanic opposition.
  • For the salvation of Danny's mother and for her healing in extreme pain; for healing in body and mind, and for his protection and blessing on his family and for their reconciliation.  Please also pray for Danny's living situation, and also for his job situation where he is experiencing persecution.
  • For deliverance for John's friend from the JW heresy.
  • For our friend Anna and her family's comfort in the loss of her daughter, and for the comfort, encouragement and salvation of her two grandchildren.
  • For our friend Sheila's healing from the effects of a chronic condition.
  • Our friend Sandra [she went to be with the Lord 7/7/20].
  • For our newly converted brother Jacob in India, for healing for him and for his daughter, for his material needs, and for the salvation of his parents.
  • For Billy's mother to be led into all of God's truth.
  • For Resi in transitioning from Roman Catholicism and for help in serious financial difficulties.  Please also pray for our friend and his cooperative to be successful (praise here for some wonderful progress!).  Prayers also please for family who does not share his faith. And please pray for our friend's protection from persecution in a place where standing up for the truth and not following the crowd results in suspicion and shunning.
  • For Leigh, for protection and deliverance from a dangerous neighbor, and for help in restoring her home and home situation.

  • For help for Steven, for success in his new job and for balance in preparing to minister to the body of Christ.
  • For Becca's mother, for healing from serious liver disease, lung problems, and chronic pain.

  • For the salvation of John's two unbelieving sons.
  • For Charles' two granddaughters for their salvation and spiritual growth.
  • For Chris, for health concerns (memory and fatigue), and for getting a better job in the midst of budget cuts. *Please also pray for Lisa's health.
  • *For Cary, for deliverance in persecution on the job for sticking up for the Lord and for the truth (special harassment for a Christian teacher in a state school where Mormons are in charge).
  • For Alex' and Chris' mother, for her salvation and the opening of her heart to the truth.
  • For our friend Carmen, for the protection of her granddaughters, and her encouragement and strength in negotiating a difficult trial; for her boy Josh's recovery from alcoholism and for encouragement for him to turn to the Lord for help.
  • For Amber's continued spiritual growth and encouragement, and for her healing.  Please also pray for the salvation of her grandmother.
  • *For Sande, for help getting through his officer cadet program (broken leg healed but plagued by tendonitis). Please pray also for his health and the health of his mother and grandmother.

  • For Christian, for the prospering of his consultancy in order to have more time to prepare for and engage in ministry [praise here!  please continue to pray for the success of his business].
  • For Jeffery, for the salvation of his two sons.
  • Dorota went to be with the Lord yesterday (5/27/19); please pray for the salvation of her two daughters.

  • For Peter, for the deliverance of his family from cult influence and to be led to salvation in Jesus Christ, and for help in meeting serious financial challenges. Please also pray for his son's return to spiritual growth and for the salvation of his grandchildren. [Praise and thanks for prayers answered - but please keep them up!]
  • For comfort and encouragement for Charles and his family in the recent loss of wife and mother.
  • For Kamil, a new believer, who has been unjustly accused because of his family's political activities.
  • For the spiritual growth and encouragement of Max and his family.
  • For Michael, for his health and for his livelihood in providing for his family, and for his efforts in leading his family to the truth of the Word. [our friend is currently unemployed and his business is out of operation, so please pray for him for restoration of livelihood]

  • For Sam, for help and support and encouragement in moving away from a legalistic and controlling environment in order to seek and serve the Lord in a godly way.

  • For George, for comfort and support in the loss of his spouse for being unwilling to adhere to her group's SDA tenets.


  • More E-mails:       Complete archive of previous emails:  Ichthys' Emails

    Eschatology Issues LXXX

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading V

    Eschatology Issues LXXIX

    Eschatology Issues LXXVIII

    Eschatology Issues LXXVII

    Eschatology Issues LXXVI

    Eschatology Issues LXXV

    Eschatology Issues LXXIV

    Eschatology Issues LXXIII

    Fighting the Fight XIII

    Marriage and the Bible IX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry XII

    Eschatology Issues LXXII

    Eschatology Issues LXXI

    Eschatology Issues LXX

    Eschatology Issues LXIX

    Church History III

    Gospel Questions XVII

    Eschatology Issues LXVIII

    Eschatology Issues LXVII

    Baptism: Water and Spirit X

    Eschatology Issues LXVI

    Eschatology Issues LXV

    Old Testament Interpretation XVII

    Eschatology Issues LXIV

    Eschatology Issues LXIII

    Gospel Questions XVI

    Eschatology Issues LXII

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ XI

    Eschatology Issues LXI

    Biblical Interpretation XIII

    Eschatology Issues LX

    Eschatology Issues LIX

    Eschatology Issues LVIII

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ X

    Eschatology Issues LVII

    Eschatology Issues LVI

    Eschatology Issues LV

    Confronting False Groups and False Teaching V

    Eschatology Issues LIV

    Eschatology Issues LIII

    Struggling with Faith and Sin

    Eschatology Issues LII

    Eschatology Issues LI

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry XI

    Eschatology Issues XXXXX

    Christian Perspectives on Disease and Death

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ IX

    Eschatology Issues XLIX

    Culture and Christianity XXII

    Eschatology Issues XLVIII

    Eschatology Issues XLVII

    Eschatology Issues XLVI

    Eschatology Issues XLV

    Culture and Christianity XXI

    Eschatology Issues XLIV

    Theology Questions IV

    Eschatology Issues XLIII

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ VIII

    Eschatology Issues XLII

    Isaiah Questions

    Eschatology Issues XLI

    Eschatology Issues XL

    Eschatology Issues XXXIX

    Eschatology Issues XXXVIII

    Eschatology Issues XXXVII

    Eschatology Issues XXXVI

    Confronting False Groups and False Teaching IV

    Eschatology Issues XXXV

    Eschatology Issues XXXIV

    Eschatology Issues XXXIII

    Eschatology Issues XXXII

    Eschatology Issues XXXI

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry X

    Eschatology Issues XXX

    Eschatology Issues XXIX

    Old Testament Interpretation XVI

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief VII

    New Testament Interpretation IX

    Fighting the Fight XII

    Eschatology Issues XXVIII

    Spiritual Warfare VII

    Believers in the World XI

    Revelation Questions II

    Believers in the World X

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation V

    Biblical Interpretation XII

    Old Testament Interpretation XV

    Gospel Questions XV

    Fighting the Fight XI

    Apologetics and Legalism II

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry IX

    Gospel Questions XIV

    The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry VIII

    Marriage and the Bible VIII

    Believers in the World IX

    Biblical Interpretation XI

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief VI

    Cults and Christianity XII

    Eschatology Issues XXVII

    Theological Questions III

    New Testament Interpretation VIII

    Eschatology Issues XXVI

    Old Testament Interpretation XIV

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth IV

    Old Testament Interpretation XIII

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief V

    Biblical Interpretation X

    Fighting the Fight X

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth III

    Baptism: Water and Spirit IX

    Biblical Anthropology VIII

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation IV

    Genesis Questions IV

    Fighting the Fight IX

    Eschatology Issues XXV

    Angelic Issues IX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry VII

    Legalism, Past, Present and Future IV

    New Testament Interpretation VII

    Eschatology Issues XXIV: the 'Rapture' et al.

    Believers in the World VIII: Coping with Family

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief IV

    Believers in the World VII

    Culture and Christianity XX

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations XI

    Cults and Christianity XI

    Spiritual Gifts and False Teaching

    Angelic Issues VIII

    Christology Questions X

    Believers in the World VI

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VI

    Atheism and Evangelism

    New Testament Interpretation VI

    Old Testament Interpretation XII

    Fighting the Fight VIII

    Spiritual Warfare VI

    Sin, Faith and Suffering

    Prayer, Vows and Confession

    Eschatology Issues XXIII

    Apologetics, Ministry and False Teaching

    Culture and Christianity XIX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry VI

    Church: The Biblical Ideal versus the Contemporary Reality II

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief III

    Fighting the Fight VII

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions VI

    Interpretation, Application, Exegesis and Ministry

    Biblical Anthropology VII

    Baptism: Water and Spirit VIII

    Text and Canon

    New Testament Interpretation V

    Grace versus Law II

    Apathy, Atheism, Cults and False Teaching

    All about Ichthys III

    The Battlefield Within II: Combating anger, fear, blaming God, blaming others

    Salvation Questions III

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation III

    Eschatology Issues XXII

    Cults and Christianity X

    Cults and Christianity IX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry V

    Fighting the Fight VI

    Marriage and the Bible VII

    Culture and Christianity XVIII: Substance Use and Abuse, Tithing, Politics and Environmentalism, Friendship, Self-Defense, and Work

    Paul the Apostle: Aspects of his Life and Ministry II

    Old Testament Interpretation XI

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ VII

    The Transitional Era of the Book of Acts and its Unique Spiritual Gifts

    Old Testament Interpretation X

    Marriage and the Bible VI

    The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted

    Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth III

    Eschatology Issues XXI

    Eschatology Issues XX

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations X

    Legalism, Past and Present III: Sabbath observance, tithing, dietary regulations and other issues

    Believers in the World V: Ministering, Mutually Encouraging, and Coping with Family, Politics, and Health

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief II

    Old Testament Interpretation IX

    Christology Questions IX: Christ and His Church

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ VI: Perseverance

    Science and the Bible III

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation II

    Eschatology Issues XIX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry IV

    Bible Interpretation IX

    Marriage and the Bible V

    Gospel Questions XIII

    Biblical Anthropology VI

    Cults and Christianity VIII

    Fighting the Fight V: Dispatches from the Laodicean 'Front' II

    Old Testament Interpretation VIII

    Eschatology Issues XVIII

    Spiritual Growth III

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry III

    Sin, Guilt, and Salvation II

    New Testament Interpretation IV

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations IX

    Peace, Reconciliation and Salvation

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ V: Soldiers of the Cross

    Baptism: Water and Spirit VII

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation

    Cults and Christianity VII

    Old Testament Interpretation VII

    Sin, Guilt, and Salvation

    Eschatology Issues XVII

    Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VIII

    The Infinity, Magnitude, Glory, Providence and Plan of God

    Eschatology Issues XVI

    Gospel Questions XII

    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God IV

    Nephilim, Antichrist, the False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast

    Angelic Issues VII

    Prayer Questions II

    The Trinity and Messianic Legalism II

    Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Judgment II

    Atheism and Apologetics II

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth II

    Culture and Christianity XVII: Humor, Self-Defense, Pacifism and War

    Culture and Christianity XVI: Alcohol, Money and Dietary Issues

    Dreams, Visions, Miracles, Exorcism, Tongues, and False Prophets

    Calvinism, Catholicism and Ichthys

    Apologetics, Legalism, Cults and Philosophy

    The Law, Legalism, and Rome

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ IV

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

    Faith and Free Will in Trial and Testing

    Free Will and God's WILL in Salvation

    Jobs, Money, Finances and Giving: What does the Bible say?

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry II

    Eschatology Issues XV

    Dealing with Sin and Guilt

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ III

    Preparing for Tribulation II

    It is Better on the Other Side

    Family Matters

    Christology Questions VIII: The Deity, Humanity and Life of Christ

    The Lives of the Apostles and the Writing of the New Testament II

    Biblical People and Places: Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Hagar, Esau, Joseph and more

    Biblical Anthropology V: Body, Spirit and 'Soul', Present and Future

    Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions V

    Prophets, Prophecy, and False Prophets

    Christology Questions VII: The Life and Spiritual Death of Christ and Holy Communion

    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God III

    Culture and Christianity XV: The Bible vs. some Sensitive Social and Political Issues

    Christology Questions VI: Christophany, Deity and the Spiritual Death of Christ

    Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth II

    Spiritual Warfare V

    Cults and Christianity VI

    Fighting the Fight IV: Dispatches from the Laodicean 'Front'

    Eschatology Issues XIV

    The Gift of Tongues: Part 3

    The Resurrection Body and our Eternal Future II

    Gospel Questions XI

    Blindness, Disease and Healing

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry

    Atheism and Apologetics

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VII

    Church History II

    Salvation Questions II

    Culture and Christianity XIV

    Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth

    Judaism and Legalism in the church-visible

    Bible Interpretation VIII

    Apostasy, Sin and Salvation

    Confronting False Groups and False Teaching III

    Eschatology Issues XIII: Time of the Tribulation and the Resurrection, Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast

    Salvation Questions

    Theological Questions II

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions IV

    Old Testament Interpretation VI

    More Questions on the Book of Hebrews: Melchizedek, Esau, and the 'Impossibility' of Being Restored

    Believers in the World IV: Making Godly Choices vs. Following Man-Made Rules

    Guilt, Sin and Victory through Spiritual Growth

    Confronting False Groups and False Teaching II

    Cults and Christianity V

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth

    Christian Struggle, Perseverance and Deliverance

    The Bible and the Natural World

    Sin, Fear and Forgiveness

    An Extended Conversation on the 'Unpardonable' Sin

    Eternal Realities: Real Heaven, Real Hell

    Eschatology Issues XII: Babylon, Armageddon, Israel, 2026

    Ministers, Ministry, and Preparation for Ministry

    Evangelism in Principle and Practice II

    Gospel Questions X: Glory, John the baptist, the hidden talent, the Kingdom of God

    Old Testament Interpretation V: The Flight to Egypt, the Virgin Birth, Jonathan's Choice, Tyre in Prophecy

    Matthew Questions, verse by verse

    Marriage and the Bible IV

    Politics and Political Action on the Eve of the Tribulation

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading IV

    Spiritual Growth II

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ II

    Baptism: Water and Spirit VI

    Science and the Bible II

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

    Culture and Christianity XIII: College, Dating, Marriage and Friendship

    Eschatology Issues XI: Trumpets, the Millennium, the Time of the Tribulation and the Resurrection.

    Sin according to the Bible: Hamartiology II

    Bible Interpretation VII

    Salvation and Sin

    Bible Interpretation VI

    Eschatology Issues X: Strong delusion, blood moons, 2026, imminence, apostasy & the mark of the beast

    Angelic Issues VI: Cherubs, Guardians, Elders and 'gods'

    Sin according to the Bible: Hamartiology I

    Bible Chronology, Aramaic and Interpretation

    Christians and Mental Illness

    Culture and Christianity XII

    Prayer Questions

    The Trinity and Messianic Legalism

    Anger, Anthropopathism, Eternity and Divine Motives

    Unbelievers, Free Will, and the Plan of God II

    Christology Questions V: the Baptism, Temptation and Spiritual Death of Christ

    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God II

    Believers in the World III: Prosperity Gospel, Tithing, Cults and Legalism

    Gospel Questions IX

    Faith, Hope and Love: Virtue in Spiritual Warfare

    Trinity Questions II

    Some Sensitive Topics IV

    Finding a Church - or Something Better? II

    New Testament Interpretation III

    Faith vs. History, Archaeology, Philosophy

    Believers in the World II: Confronting False Groups and False Teaching

    The 144,000 and the Two Witnesses of the Tribulation

    Biblical Anthropology IV: Soul and Spirit, Image and Likeness, Book of Life, Life at Birth, Accountability and Infant Salvation.

    Spiritual Growth

    Predestination, Free Will and False Teaching

    Christophany and the Trinity

    Love, Marriage, and Divorce: Marriage and the Bible III

    Interpreting Dreams and Analyzing Prophetic Claims

    Culture and Christianity XI: Lying, Suicide, Tattoos, Investing, Drugs, Music, Family, Dating, Politics

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading III

    Eschatology Issues IX: Amillennialism, Trumpets, and the Seven Days

    Spiritual Warfare IV: Demons, Demonic Influences and Satanic Methodology

    Satan's Fall from Grace

    Atheism and Gnosticism: Denying the Truth about God

    Sin, Salvation and Forgiveness: Claiming the Mental and Spiritual High-Ground

    Struggling with Salvation . . . and Relatives

    Legalism, Past and Present II

    Ministry and the Ichthys Ministry II

     All about Ichthys II: Mutual Encouragement in the Lord

    The Book of Job and Christian Suffering

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

    Christology Questions IV: Jesus' Birth, Baptism, Early Life, and Kenosis

    Third Party Testimony III: Near Death Experiences, Revelations and Tongues

    Third Party Testimony II: Charismatic Claims of Visions, Dreams and Prophecy

    Third Party Testimony I: We Believe God and His Word - Not People

    God Heals - in His way (not our way)

    Sanctification, Separation and Restraint

    Finding a Church - or Something Better?

    Culture and Christianity X:  Military Service, College, Politics, and Race Relations

    Contemporary Churches and Women Preachers

    Culture and Christianity IX: Politics, Tithing, Music, Crucifixes, Alcohol, and Gambling

    Marriage and the Bible II

    Biblical Anthropology III: Soul versus Spirit, "Soul Sleep", and the Interim Body

    New Testament Interpretation II: Who is equal? Grace in vain. Unequally yoked.

    Aspects of the Crucifixion II: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

    Aspects of the Crucifixion I: Carrying the cross, trials and rooster crow.

    Salvation Lost and Found

    The Canon: Content, Chronology, and Criticism

    Spiritual Warfare III: Peter's 'Angel', Saul's Death, and Strange Events

    Old Testament Interpretation IV: Gehazi's Leprosy, Tyre's Destruction, and Immanuel

    Nephilim, Fallen Angels, and Genesis 6

    Gospel Questions VIII

    Sin, Atonement and Forgiveness II

    Sin, Atonement and Forgiveness I

    Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Judgment

    When is the Rapture?

    Noah, the Flood, and the Nature of Animals

    The Tribulation: Timing of, Preparation for, and Conditions in

    Eschatology Issues VIII: Revelation, Tribulation and Judgment

    Antichrist: the Mark, the Number, and the Identification of the Beast

    Satan's Revolt and the Tribulation to Come

    Old Testament Interpretation III: The Name 'Jacob', the Mark of Cain, Jeshrun.

    Old Testament Interpretation II: Urim and Thummim, the Bronze Serpent, the Ark.

    Being Saved: Security, Apostasy, and the Sin unto Death

    Fighting the Fight III: False Teaching, Local Churches, and the Truth

    Fighting the Fight II: Struggling with Sin, Doubt, and Severe Testing

    Fighting the Fight I: Accountability, Faith, Sin, Forgiveness, and Reward

    Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church II

    Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church I

    Witnessing: Cults and Christianity II

    Witnessing: Cults and Christianity I

    Ministry and the Ichthys Ministry

    Biblical Interpretation V

    Baptism: Water and Spirit V

    Spiritual Growth, Church-Searching and "Discipling"

    Unbelievers, Free Will, and the Plan of God

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VI

    Baptism: Water and Spirit IV

    Paganism, Idolatry, Mythology and the Occult

    The Lives of the Apostles and the Writing of the New Testament

    The Essence of God and Deity of Christ

    Parables and their Interpretation

    The Meaning and Purpose of True Christian Assembly

    Marriage and the Bible

    Spiritual 'ups' and 'downs'

    1st John: Text and Interpretation

    Eschatology Issues VII

    Perseverance in the latter days of Laodicea

    Babylon USA?

    Baptism: Water and Spirit III

    Prayer: the Persistence, Purpose and Power of.

    Paul the Apostle: Aspects of his Life and Ministry

    Gospel Questions VII: The Wedding at Cana et al.

    Israel, 'Lost Tribes' and the Star of David

    Israel and Antichrist in Eschatology

    Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ II

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions III

    Culture and Christianity VIII

    The Geography of Heaven, Hades and 'Hell'.

    Eschatology Issues VI

    Bible Interpretation IV

    Legalism, Past and Present

    The Resurrection Body and our Eternal Future.

    Christ the First-Born, High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek.

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading II

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading

    Hermeneutics, Typology, Christophany, Theophany and Anthropopathism.

    No, Hebrews does not teach that you lost your salvation.

    Gospel Questions VI: the Long Ending of Mark et al.

    Judas and the Betrayal of Christ

    Doubting Salvation and Questions of Sin

    The 144,000: God's Seal vs. the Mark of the Beast

    Atheism: Putting Truth to Death

    War in Heaven II

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions II

    War in Heaven

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions I

    The Law, Love, Faith-Rest and Messianism

    Paul and the Law

    Genesis Questions III

    Sin and Salvation, Confession and Forgiveness

    Have I Lost My Salvation? (III)

    The Battlefield Within: Fighting the inner spiritual Struggle.

    Putting Christ in Christmas: Loving Jesus, the Star and the Magi, Wonderful Counselor.

    Old Testament Interpretation: Moses and Zipporah, David's disastrous Census, the Destruction of the Midianites, et al.

    Healing, Miracles, and Dreams: Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff by biblical Means

    153 Fish: Explaining some Difficult New Testament Passages

    Kenosis: Our Lord's Self-Limitation during the 1st Advent

    Biblical Anthropology II: 'Soul sleep', & dichotomy vs. trichotomy

    Biblical Anthropology I: The Nature of Human Beings and Human Life according to the Bible.

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II.

    Culture and Christianity VII: Jury Duty, Witnessing, Biometry, Military Service et al.

    Culture and Christianity VI: Halloween, Holidays, Aliens, and Christian Applications.

    Angelic Issues V: Michael, the Angel of the Lord, Christophany, demons, cherubs, and Satan's revolt.

    Angelic Issues IV:  Satan's Revolt in the Plan of God.

    New Testament Interpretation: Melchizedek, 'Forsake not Assembly', 'Women Remain Silent', Water-Baptism, Tongues, Prophecy, Intervention of Departed Believers.

    Lost my salvation II?

    All about Ichthys: Mutual Encouragement in the Lord. 

    Genesis Questions.

    Fallen Angels, Demons, Nephilim, and the Devil's Methodology.

    End Times Interpretation II.

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief.

    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God.

    End Times Interpretation.

    Grace versus Law.

    Communion and the Spiritual Death of Christ.

    Sinlessness and 1st John.

    Israelology, Anti-Semitism, the Remnant, Gentiles, Lost Tribes, Jewish Myths.

    "Soul Sleep" versus our true Heavenly State.

    Christology Questions III: The Angel of the Lord, the Lamb Slain, monogenes.

    Angelic Issues III: Demons, Satan, Elders, Female Angels and Guardians.

    Against Universalism III: Unbelievers in the Plan of God.

    Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

    Marriage "Matters".

    In Need of Guidance and Encouragement.

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations V.

    Servants, Slaves, Disciples, and Ministers.

    Baptism: Water and Spirit II.

    Bible Interpretation III: David's Anointing, Stephen versus Genesis, Triplets, This People, and more.

    Evangelism in Principle and Practice.

    Scripture versus Personal Experience.

    Calvinism, Covenants and Catholicism.

    Culture and Christianity V: Temporal Authority vs. Biblical Application.

    False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security III.

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism IV: Unclean and Impure?

    Things to Come III: The Wrath of God and the Fate of the Beast's Army.

    God Works All Things Together for Good.

    The 7 Trumpets, the 7 Kings, Nephilim, Antichrist and Revived Rome.

    The Coming Tribulation and the Kingdom of God.

    Sin, Confession and Forgiveness.

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ.

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations IV.

    Culture and Christianity IV: Doing one's job as 'unto the Lord', the peril's of 'heroic medicine', Christian perspectives on legalizing marijuana, when lying is not a sin, and when life begins.

    Eschatology Issues V: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons".

    Ichthys and Contemporary Christianity.

    Gospel Questions V: Help my Unbelief, Respecting our Enemies, etc.

    The Two Witnesses of the Tribulation: Moses and Elijah.

    The Apostles, the Jerusalem Council, and Legalism then and now.

    Aspects of the Christian Walk: Gambling, Lying, Christmas, Judging, Worrying, et al.

    No Rapture

    Believers in the World: Using our Free Will to Respond to the Lord

    Christology Questions II: The Serpent Lifted and the Cross, Jesus' Infallibility, Destroy this Temple, the Sign Spoken Against, His Glorification, the Spirit's Anointing, and the Necessity for His Humanity.

    Paul's Jerusalem Error, Worshiping Truly, the Priesthood of the Believer, and Peter's Vision of the Impure Food

    Christian Trials and Testing

    Gospel Questions IV: The Prophet, the rich man in Hades, Peter's wife, the 'eleven' and the 'twelve' apostles, 'the world could not contain' (Jn.21:25), and progressive revelation.

    Eschatology Issues IV: Israeli politics, 'This Generation', Signs of the Times, the Beast presently alive?, 'Flee Babylon', Preparing for the Tribulation, and 'was, is not, will be'.

    John's Water-Baptism versus the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

    Eschatology Issues III: Over-focusing on Revelation, the Seven Churches, Enoch versus Elijah, and the Symbolism of the Menorah

    The Purpose of Chronicles, Cyrus the Persian, the Chronology of the Exodus Plagues, Qumran and Isaiah, Nebuchadnezzar's Madness, and Jeremiah 31:22, "A Woman will Embrace a Man".

    Aaron and the Golden Calf, Mount Zion, Moses and Zipporah, the high priest's attire, and the ark of the covenant.

    Aspects of the Genesis Curse on Animals, the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, and Kainam.

    The City of David, the Star of David, Solomon's Wisdom, and the Song of Solomon.

    The Israelites at Kadesh and 'not entering the Land of Promise'.

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

    Sin and Spiritual Transformation.

    Cults and Christianity IV

    Cults and Christianity III

    Cults and Christianity II

    Cults and Christianity.

    One Baptism: the True Meaning of Peter's Words at Acts 2:38.

    Apostasy and the Sin unto Death, the Conscience and Sanctification.

    The Plan of God and Individual Salvation (excerpt from BB 4B)

    In Your Anger, do not Sin:  Ephesians 4:26 and the Sin Nature

    Bible Interpretation II: Easter, Abiathar, the Hyssop-Blood Cross, Baal, the Scarlet Thread, Names of God, Adiaphoria, and Mezentius.

    Spiritual Warfare II

    Culture and Christianity III

    Have I Lost my Salvation?

    On the Firing Line: Encouragement in Christian Trials

    Eschatology and the Old Testament

    Prayer and our Walk with Jesus.

    Issues of Canonicity II: Aramaic, Enoch, KJV, and the Pastorals

    Bible Vocabulary and Bible Word Studies

    Satan, his Demons, and the Gnostics

    Antichrist: Alive and Well and Living on Planet Earth?

    The Nature of Angels

    Our Eternal Future: Life after Death for Believers in Jesus Christ

    Giants and Nephilim, Sumerian Myths, and Sea Monsters

    Dreams and Visions II

    The Golden Rule

    The Divinity of Jesus Christ

    Free-Will Faith and the Will of God

    Some Sensitive Topics III

    The Spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy: explaining James 4:5.

    Faith: What is it?

    The Seven-Fold Spirit of God.

    Free-Will Faith in the Plan of God.

    Putting the Word of God First.

    Free-Will Faith.

    The False Doctrine of "Soul Sleep" II.

    The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security II.

    The Plan of God

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism III

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism II

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism.

    The Gift of Tongues: Part 2

    The Gift of Tongues: Part 1

    Mega-Churches, Emergent Christianity, Spirituality and Materialism.

    Epignosis, Christian Epistemology, and Spiritual Growth.

    Jephthah's Daughter, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage.

    Christian Unity and Divisiveness.

    Death, Martyrdom and Resurrection.

    Blessing, Cursing, and Prayer.

    Freedom and Responsibility.

    Fighting the Good Fight of Faith.

    Only-Begotten, Mother-of-God, On-this-Rock: English-only Interpretation is Dangerous.

    The Greek Text of the New Testament and some Issues of Textual Criticism.

    What does the name 'Christian' mean?

    Some Jewish Issues.

    Christians Beware: Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment (part 2).

    Christians Beware: Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment.

    Sin and Forgiveness.

    Spring Special: The Millennial Regathering and Purging of Israel.

    Life Begins at Birth.

    Culture and Christianity II

    Culture and Christianity I

    The Saved and the Unsaved

    Last Things and Last Judgments

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry IV

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry III

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry II

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry I

    More on Antichrist and his Kingdom

    Antichrist and Babylon

    Prophecy Questions.

    Theological Questions

    Heavenly Things.

    Dysfunctional Churches.

    Some Sensitive Topics II.

    Christmas Special: The Judgment and Reward of the Church.

    What is God's Will?

    Apologetics

    Thanksgiving Leftovers.

    Combating Legalism VI

    Combating Legalism V

    Combating Legalism IV

    Combating Legalism III

    Combating Legalism II

    Combating Legalism I

    Aspects of the False Doctrine of Institutional Security

    Chronological Order of the Books of the Bible II

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations III

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations II

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations I

    Gospel Questions III: Least in the kingdom, Millstones, Pennies, Pebbles, Babes, Rhaka, Tallits, and the Crown of Thorns.

    Gospel Questions II: Jesus' Turning Water to Wine, Sweating Blood, Walking on Water, Washing the Disciples' Feet, and the Promise of Freedom."

    Things to Come II: Genesis Rapture, Daniel's Weeks, Seven Kings, Signs of the Apocalypse, Tribulational Suffering, Seven Seals, the Bride of Christ, and Mystery Babylon.

    Things to Come: The Half Hour, the 144,000, the Book of Life, Rewards, the Beast's Kingdom, the Great Apostasy, and the so-called 'Partial Rapture'.

    Satan and the Existence of Evil.

    The Holy Spirit: Blasphemy against, Restraining Ministry, and Gender.

    Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Growth

    Christian Love, the Golden Rule, Christian Military Service and Self-Defense.

    Issues of Canonicity: Apocrypha, Enoch, and Inspiration.

    Church: The Biblical Ideal versus the Contemporary Reality.

    Numbers, Letters, and the Mark of the Beast.

    Gospel Questions I: Jesus' Life, the Gospels and Cherubs, and who Wrote Matthew.

    More Questions about Genesis.

    Naaman, Nero, Nineveh, and Senacharib.

    The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security.

    Choosing Hell: Questions about Salvation and the Love of God.

    The Chronology of the End.

    The Route of the Israelites in Crossing the Red Sea.

    Some Issues of Transmission, Translation, and Transliteration: The Camel and the Needle, etc.

    Aspects of the Life of Christ: Jesus' siblings, the man born blind, et al.

    Jesus is God and man.

    Jesus is God.

    Redemption, the Blood of Christ, Christ our Passover, and The Passion of the Christ.

    Eschatology Issues II: Angelic bodies, heaven and hell, Satan and the Nephilim, etc.

    The Book of Job and Biblical Interpretation.

    Some Questions about Eternity.

    Who Controls our Thoughts and Emotions?

    The Day of the Lord.

    Sleep as a Euphemism for Death.

    Literal Hell.

    Christ's Preaching to the Spirits in Hell (1Pet.3:18-20), & Michael's Rebuke of Satan (2Pet.2:10-11 ).

    Recovering from Sin.

    The Timing of the Resurrection.

    Dispensations, the Church, the Rapture, and the Destruction of the Universe.

    Christianity versus Contemporary Kitsch.

    Purpose Driven Life, Oprah's New Age Religion, et al.

    Lot, Esau, and Cain: Learning through Negative Examples.

    Against Universalism II: Only Believers are Saved.

    Against Universalism I: Free Will and the Image of God.

    Courage in the Fight.

    Demon Influences.

    Sabbath Questions.

    The Seven Edens and the Eden of Adam and Eve.

    Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.

    Mary 'Full of Grace'?

    Changing the Name of God?

    The Beast:  Some Questions about Antichrist.

    The Book of Revelation:  Some Questions.

    Red Hot or Lukewarm? Bible Teaching versus Sermonizing.

    The Last Judgment and the Great White Throne.

    Baptism:  Water and Spirit.

    Spiritual  Marathons.

    Christology:  Some Questions on the Life of Christ.

    Regarding Ichthys.

    Train up a Child in the Way he should Go.

    War, History, and Politics.

    Unbelief and its Consequences.

    Dreams and Visions.

    Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ.

    Free Will and Faith under Pressure.

    Angelic Issues II.

    Science and the Bible.

    Bible Interpretation I:  Academics, Versions et al.

    Faith in the Word of God: the Basis of all True Worship.

    Aspects of the Resurrection II.

    Faith and Encouragement in the midst of Fiery Trials.

    Some Sensitive Topics.

    Jethro, Amenhotep, Iraq, the Catacombs, and the KJV.

    Eschatology Issues: The Fig Tree, Ezekiel 38, Joel 3, and the Trumpets.

    Christ the Rock, the Rooster's Crow, and the Cross.

    Applying Faith II: Production, Forgiveness, Circumcision, Truth over People.

    Applying Faith: Eating, Drinking, and Vacation.

    The Tree of Life, Communion, and the Virgin Birth.

    Grammar Questions.

    Can Prayer Be Offered From Heaven? & Some Genesis Questions.

    Walking the Path of Faith through the Light of the Word of God.

    Salvation on the battlefield, truth revealed to infants, and damnation.

    Preparing for Tribulation.

    Divine Sovereignty and Divine Judgment.

    God's Free Gift of Salvation.

    Should Christians wear Jewelry?

    The Lord's Prayer.

    The Events Surrounding the Birth of Christ.

    Cremation or Burial?

    Zechariah, Demon Possession, Marriage, Spiritual Experiences, and Bible Prophecy.

    No Grounds for Divorce?

    The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.

    Taking Personal Responsibility: Interest, Bankruptcy, Gambling, and Employment.

    The Seven Churches, the Judgment Seat of Christ,  and other issues in Eschatology.

    The Canonicity of the book of Hebrews.

    Great White Throne, the Last Judgment, and the Outer Darkness.

    Political Action versus Biblical Christianity.

    Study Tools and Methodologies.

    Covenants.

    The Gospel and the Kingdom of God.

    Pursuing a Deeper Relationship with Jesus and Christian Epistemology.

    The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory.

    The Divinity of the Spirit and the Percentage of those who are Saved.

    Should Christians ever consider getting a lawyer?

    Pastoral Authority, Popes, Pat Robertson, and Pelagianism.

    Some Questions on Church Polity.

    Apostles and Evangelism

    Luther, Arminius, Calvin, Kant, Ironside, Tutu and Thieme.

    Angelic Issues.

    Transmutation, Resuscitation, and Resurrection.

    Is the Soul a tertium quid?

    More on the Documentary Hypothesis and More on the Rapture.

    Enoch's Walk with God and Some Questions in the Gospels.

    The Influence of the Renaissance and Rationalism on the Church and Cutting off Arms in Malachi 2:3.

    Sabbath Observance.

    1st John 5:20 & Romans 6:23.

    Eschatology Questions.

    Baptism and Following Jesus.

    Where is Armageddon?

    Assurance of Salvation.

    The Cross, Sin, and the Devil in God's Plan.

    More on: Spiritual Gifts; Hats & Hair; the Age of Accountability.

    Daniel 9:25 and Daniel 11:30.

    Who will populate earth during the Millennium?  and  Asking for Wisdom: James 1:5.

    Was Judas Saved?, The Gospel of Judas, and Issues of Canonicity.

    Is 'My Son' Israel or Jesus in Hosea 11:1?  &  How do you Prove Sin to Someone?

    Did Matthew Write his Gospel in Hebrew?

    Christian Crowns, Pagan Names, and the Time of the Cock-Crow.

    Child-like Faith, Mark vs. Matthew, the Mahdi, and 'Who was with God in the Beginning?

    True Orthodoxy and False Creeds.

    Foot-washing, Bitter Herbs, Baptism, and Borrowed Faith.

    All Things Charismatic.

    Friday versus Thursday Crucifixion.

    Jesus' Cursing of the Fig Tree, Apostasy, and 'Feng Shui'.

    The Genesis Serpent, Using "it" to refer to the baby Jesus, and more on Tattoos.

    Combating Gnosticism.

    Resisting the Devil.

    Why did Jesus choose John over James to take care of His mother Mary?

    Antichrist's 'desire of women' in Daniel 11:37 et al.

    Do recent catastrophes have a divine origin?

    Does God really want us to be sick and poor?  Revisiting the prosperity gospel.

    Why did our Lord Jesus arise from the tribe of Judah?

    What will our relationship be in heaven with children who died young?

    The baptism of the Holy Spirit as distinct from speaking in tongues.

    The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.

    The Great White Throne Judgment.

    Moses and Zipporah.

    The Victory of Faith.

    Does God's choice of us eliminate our free will?

    Why does God allow bad things to happen?

    The Bible as "divine", roof prayer, and tattoos.

    Character in Hebrews 1:3, et al.

    Exorcism, et al.

    "Are the children of unbelievers lost if they die before receiving Christ?"

    How not to get "left behind".

    "Is baptism necessary for salvation?"

    "The nature of life after death."

    "The personality of the Holy Spirit."

    "The dragon of Revelation 12 and the talking idol of Revelation 13."

    "Bound by Satan in Luke 13:16, language and the Tower of Babel, Daniel's 70th week, and the number 12."

    "Infirmities and Diseases in Matthew 8:17"

    "The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish in John 6."

    "Waiting for the Ascension" and "Amos 4:11".

    Why was Canaan cursed?

    Should Christians have a competitive attitude?

    John "leapt for joy" in the womb - or did he?

    Satanic Influence in Video Games and Television.

    Moving Mountains:  Matthew 21:21

    Not a hair shall be lost? Luke 21:16 versus Luke 21:18.

    The reign of antichrist:  7 years or 3 and 1/2 years?

    The Trinity in Scripture.

    The Ark of the Covenant.

    "Doubts about the Nephilim in Genesis 6" and "Ezekiel 9:4 and the Mark of the Beast"

    "Word Counts in the Bible", "Him whom they Pierced (Rev.1:7)", and "Necromancy".

    "Waiting for a Savior" and "The Direction East in the Bible"

    Transubstantiation.

    Is there a purgatory according to the Bible?

    Your desire shall be for your husband: Genesis 3:16.

    Have I committed the unforgivable sin?

    Is the local church meant to be a patriarchy?

    Why doesn't the Bible mention all of the prophets of the children of Israel?

    The True "Victorious Life".

    Tohu in Genesis 1:2 and the Cause of the Darkness.

    Why Doesn't God Prevent All Children from Dying?

    Why were Christians being regarded as "evil-doers" in 1st Peter 2:12?

    The Scofield Reference Bible.

    Phylacteries and the Mark of the Beast, and "What about Joseph?"

    Feeling desperate and alone.

    Is Tithing net or gross?

    Assembly of the local church, and Jesus' use of "I AM" from Exodus 3:14 in John 8:58

    The "burden of the Lord" in Jeremiah 23:32-40, and judgment for idle words in Matthew 12:36-37.

    The importance of spiritual resiliency.

    Does God use disease to discipline us?

    Recovering from Cult Exposure.

    Variability in Christian Testing and Personal Tribulation.

    Is there any value to the Apocrypha?

    The Communion Ceremony outside of the local church.

    The Christian Walk, the End, and Tattoos.

    Should Christians honor Sunday as the new Sabbath?

    Chronological order of the books of the Bible.

    Doubt, light, missed opportunities et al.

    Addicted to Sin.

    Corporate prayer in Matthew 18:19:  "when two agree on earth".

    What does the Bible say about humor?

    The value of cumulative prayer.

    Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State.

    How could a loving God order the destruction of the Canaanites?

    Should Christians observe the Torah?

    Church Polity and three other passages.

    Walking with Jesus.

    Tongues: does 'no man' understand?

    The few saved, the door in heaven, visions of heavenly realities, and Christmas.

    Spiritual Warfare.

    Christian suffering and spiritual maturity.

    Aliens, antichrist, and eschatology.

    Does exceptionally sinful behavior indicate that a Christian has lost salvation?

    Should Christians celebrate Jewish festivals?

    The Deaths of the 12 Disciples / Apostles of Christ.

    Categories of Sin in Psalm 19.

    Some brief answers on a variety of topics.

    Pastoral Support, Pastoral Preparation, and the Purpose of Assembly.

    Eternal Rewards.

    Encouragement, Isaiah 6:11-13, and the Hope of Repentance.

    Questioning the Genesis Gap.

    Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

    How much should we pay our pastor?

    More about Women Preachers.

    Is it wrong for me to celebrate Easter?

    The Remnant in Isaiah 6:13.

    The Big Distinction.

    The Day of the Lord in 2nd Peter 3:10.

    The Day of the Lord.

    Church History.

    The Sealing of the Holy Spirit.

    Visions of Angels: Colossians 2:18.

    Waiting on God's timing:  patience in testing.

    "Your Throne, O God":  Psalm 45:6.

    Moses striking the Rock.

    Procreation and Creation.

    What is meant by the phrase "the Lord's footstool"?

    1st Peter 3:3-5

    A conversation about divorce and remarriage.

    Faith in the midst of the fiery trial.

    Hebrews 10:26 again, and two other notes on Arthur Pink and the Greek word diakonos.

    What is the correct translation of Isaiah 59:19?

    Is the star of Acts 7:43 the star of David?

    Some questions about Nimrod and Christmas trees, Tongues, and Healing

    Is Jesus the only One ever to restore sight?

    What happens to people who were born and died prior to the birth of Christ?

    Which is better, the King James Version or the New King James Version?

    What is the minimum necessary to be saved?

    How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 2)?

    How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 1)?

    Psalm 22:1, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

    The "Mind of Christ" in 1st Corinthians 2:16

    Simeon and Simon, and the two crows of the rooster

    Ichthys, saints, and the Last Adam

    Does Hebrews 10:26 teach loss of salvation?

    Eternal security: where does one draw the line?

    Who are Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39?

    How did John the baptist come to doubt Jesus?

    Is Jesus literally seated on the throne at God's right hand?

    Are the Celts the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

    Whatever happened to the "Genesis Gap"?

    "The baptism which now saves you":  1st Peter 3:21.

    Hebrew Language Study Tools.

    What type of healing is being discussed in Isaiah 53:5?

    The Origin of the Four Seasons

    2nd Peter 3:5: Doubting the Tribulation

    Tent-making and Galatians 6:6

    A Question about Ichthys books

    Biblical Metaphors and Symbolism

    Faith and the Pre-Tribulational "Rapture".

    Faith Healing.

    Bible translation and John 8:58.

    Melchizedek and the high priesthood of Christ:  two questions et alia.

    In need of encouragement.

    The centurion and the Syro-Phoenician woman.

    Who is the Meshiach?

    A Sadducean Question

    What is "heaven" like according to Christian teachings?

    Acts 20:28: Whose Blood?

    1st Corinthians 11:  Hats or Hair?

    Confession of Sin, Fellowship, and the Filling of the Holy Spirit.

    A Miscellany of Questions and Answers (Nineveh, the beast, tongues, demons, Sadam, etc.)

    Some Greek Questions in the Gospels (John 1:3; 2:19; 8:58; Luke 23:43)

    Is Man trichotomous, and does that mean that salvation is three-tiered?

    Questioning the Trinity

    The blood of Christ

    Christ knocking at the door in Revelation 3:20

    The futility of memory without God and eternal life.

    The meaning of Jesus' words, "I am" in John 8:58

    What does the Bible say about Heaven and Hell?

    Peace in 1st Corinthians 14:33

    Salvation and Church Affiliation.

    Several questions on the book of Hebrews.

    Does the Bible prohibit women from preaching or teaching in the Church?

    Should Christian leaders refrain from drinking in public?

    How to use the Bible translations at Ichthys.

    The Worship of Jesus:  a proof of His divinity?

    An Extended Conversation about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    Is water baptism required for Christians today?

    Are health and wealth a part of the gospel?

    Will those in Hades be able to see Christ's return?

    Feelings of Guilt about Remarriage.

    Who are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

    What does "the Word was with God" mean in John 1:1-2?

    Three questions on three verses in Isaiah (Is.21:4; 28:10, & 66:24).

    How important is education for a pastor?

    Does Hebrews 10:26-35 ("deliberate sinning" etc.) mean that a believer can lose his or her salvation?

    Availability and use of Ichthys materials: several questions.

    Is there any difference between demons and fallen angels?

    Confronting atheism.

    Two questions about Judas Iscariot.

    Three Questions about Tattoos and Salvation.

    The Hebrew word for 'one' (`echadh) and the uniqueness of God.

    Did the witch of Endor really conjure up the spirit of Samuel?

    A Question about the "Waters Above".

    Why did God the Father wait so long to send Jesus into the world?

    How does being "slain in the Spirit" relate to being baptized in the Spirit?

    How do you prove the existence of God?

    Where does the Bible teach that Jesus is God?

    Is it ever Justifiable to Tell a Lie (part 2)?

    Seeing double in Matthew.

    Mary, Joseph, and Nazareth.

    Is the Westminster Catechism a Good Reference Tool?

    What does it mean "the spirit returns to God" in Ecclesiastes 12:7?

    Is there any Connection between biblical Gemstones and Moral Characteristics?

    Are Miraculous Gifts Operational Today?

    Jesus Christ in the Old Testament (Christophany: Gen.3:8).

    Can those in organizations which teach "salvation by works" be saved?

    Is "helpmeet" a wrong translation in Genesis 2:20?

    Our will and God's WILL.

    Cast thy Bread upon the Waters:  What do the seven and eight portions in Ecclesiastes 11:2 mean?

    Was Cain Satan's literal "seed"?

    The Demon Possessed Girl in Acts 16:16.

    The "Sin unto Death" in 1st John 5:16.

    Is death just a natural part of human life?

    Communion and the Blood of Christ.

    What does it mean in 1st Corinthians 7:14, "the unbelieving husband is sanctified"?

    The Re-institution of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium.

    Secular Documentation for the Exodus.

    The false doctrine of "soul sleep".

    The Author of Hebrews and Jesus' Perfect Completion of His Mission.

    The Trinity in Isaiah 63:10-15.

    How old was Jesus at the time of His crucifixion and resurrection?

    Five Smooth Stones: 1st Samuel 17:40

    How can we know the Bible is true?

    The name "Jesus".

    Habakkuk's Prosperity Prayer: Habakkuk 3:17-19.

    Jeremiah 31:22: "A Woman shall Compass a Man".

    The New International Version of the Bible and some issues in Bible translation.

    Is "the Prophet" of Deuteronomy 18:18 Muhammad?

    The One True God and the Trinity in the Old Testament.

    Are those in Hebrews 6:4 who "crucify the Son of God afresh" lost?

    Are New Bible Translations Part of a Conspiracy?

    What exactly is the "red heifer prophecy", and how does it relate to the events of the end times?

    Where did the waters of Genesis 1 go?

    Interpreting Revelation

    Sin, Baptism, and the Book of Revelation

    Tithing and the Book of Life

    The Dangers of the Prosperity Gospel.

    English and the Tower of Babel.

    The "Seven Thunders" of Revelation 10:3-4

    The fate of the unrighteous dead in Isaiah 66:24

    Who are the "sons of the kingdom" in Matthew 18:11-12?

    Why does Judah get greater honor than Jerusalem in Zechariah 12:7?

    Are there Female Angels?

    Longevity in the Millennium.

    How is the date of Easter computed?

    What is the meaning of the 1290 days versus the 1335 days in Daniel 12?

    What Church era are we now in?

    The mark of the beast.

    Christophany in the Exodus.

    Can you explain "help my unbelief!" in Mark 9:24?

    What does it mean to "overcome" in Revelation chapters 2 and 3?

    Are women required to wear veils or hats in church?

    Is the world about to come to an end?

    Does the Bible ever describe the earth as being round?

    Pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation rapture?

    Pearls before swine.

    Recognizing the Messiah.

    The gift of healing.

    The origin and fate of the "giants" in Genesis chapter six.

    Christian suffering - Christian encouragement.

    Is speaking in tongues biblical?

    Is speaking in tongues a sin?

    Can you recommend a good commentary on the book of Romans?

    Aspects of the resurrection.

    The recipients of Peter's epistles.

    Pre- or Post-Tribulation "rapture"?

    The lives of the prophets.

    The old prophet who lied.

    Animal sacrifice in the millennium.

    Is it ever justifiable to lie?

    Who wrote the King James version?

    The meaning of the divine name יהוה.

    The so-called "documentary hypothesis".

    The relationship between the books of Kings and Chronicles.

    David's disastrous census of Israel.

    Aspects of the Unseen Angelic Warfare and 666, the Mark of the Beast.

    The 200 million strong demon army of Revelation 9:13.

    Deliverance through Childbearing in 1st Timothy 2:15?

    Some questions about the Tribulation.

    More on divorce and remarriage.

    Divorce and remarriage.

    The antecedents of ICHTHYS.

    What does it mean to "remember the Sabbath and keep it holy"?

    The manner of the apostle Peter's death.

    Wasn't Matthias the thirteenth apostle?

    Forward progress necessary for salvation and spiritual growth.

    The "seven days" of human history.

    1st John 1:9 and confessing sin.

    ICHTHYS and the role of traditional Christianity.

    Can you recommend a good survey for the Old and New Testaments?

    Where can I find more information on the "Genesis gap"?

    Is Church membership an issue in salvation?

    Can you recommend a church?

    Are these materials available for purchase as books?

    A bit of autobiography.

    What is your opinion of the Abingdon one-volume Bible Commentary?

    What is the significance of the number "20" in the Bible?

    The 144,000 of Revelation chapters 7 and 14.

    What is your view on predestination?

    Who is "true Israel"?

    The chronology of the date 2026.

    Does baptism play a role in being born again?

    Why does the devil have access to God while man cannot stand in His presence?

    The structure of the book of Revelation.

    What is your view of the rapture?

    What is meant by the "10 days" of Revelation 2:10?

    Dragons in the Bible?

    Are there apostles in the Church today?

    What is the meaning of the word "chosen" in the Bible.

    The Passover.

    What are the most common Bible names?

    What is the biblical significance of the number forty?

    What does the Bible have to say about witchcraft?

    How can I protect myself from false teaching?

    Didn't the devil know he couldn't defeat God?

    Are the Masons wrong according to the Bible?

    Six Questions.

    Can the faith of "backsliders" be restored?

    Are there biblical origins to mythology?

    What does the phrase "sides of the pit" mean in Isaiah 14:15?

    Can prayer be offered in the name of the Son?

    Election and John 6:37?

    Is it valid to celebrate Christmas?

    Can you give me some information on divine names in the Bible?

    What is the significance of name changes in the Bible?

    Is faith a "gift of God"?

    Is there a "gospel of Thomas"?

    Is the nature of Man dichotomous or trichotomous?

    Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem?

    Does the Bible teach a literal Millennium?

    What does the word "good" mean in Genesis?

    Who are "the dead" who "rise first" in 1st Thessalonians 4?

    Are the Greek tenses in John 7:34 correctly translated?

    Is the devil "mad" to oppose God?

    Does the Bible require supporting the pastor financially?

    How can Jesus be a man and God at the same time?

    How did people atone for intentional sin in Old Testament times?

    What is the symbolism of the Lamb of God in Revelation?

    Can you recommend some word study tools for Bible study?

    Can people who commit suicide be saved?

    Are tattoos biblical?

    Is it "ichthys" or "ichthus"?

    What is the difference between wisdom and discernment?

    Marriage of Believers and Unbelievers.

    Is hearing believing in John 6:35?

    How certain a date is 2026?

    Is Paul describing himself in Romans chapter seven?

    Is tithing required for salvation?

    What is the evidence for the "rapture"?

    Is there any validity to the "prosperity gospel"?

    Who are the "Nephilim" in Genesis chapter six?

    Church attendance.

    Is there a literal "devil"?

    What does the Bible have to say about reincarnation?

    What is the unpardonable sin?

    Believing the Bible for Spiritual Growth.

    Why was the New Testament written in Greek?

    What about those who have never heard of Christ?

    What about elders and deacons?

    Eternal Security and "sinless perfection".

    Eternal Security and "salvation by works".

    Does the Bible teach ex nihilo creation?

    When did Jesus first know He was God's Son?

    Are there prophets today?

    Despairing of life.

    How important is baptism?

    How could Christ have been three days and nights in the grave?

    Do Muslims worship the One true God?

    What can I do about spiritual fainting?

     


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