Friday, August 07, 2009

Sorry We're Closed

Well, I've decided to close this blog indefinitely. I would use the word "forever" but even "indefinitely" might only last a week or two. Basically, because I am fickle at heart and love hopping around, I am moving to WordPress (want to check out that platform again, even though I have no complaints with Blogger, it's just a "curiosity killed the cat" thing). Unfortunately, I am closing down the Isaiah 8:16 blog there, too, in terms of new posts that is, and will combine everything into one blog from here on out, found here:

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Quick Blurb about Inerrancy

I just wanted to write a quick blurb about some of my thoughts on inerrancy. I mentioned three areas of Scripture that I don't believe are genuine. I don't know, however, if any of them for sure are not authentic, so this is just my opinion. Just beware the mindset that sets up the KJV as the gold standard and compares all other translations as incorrectly "subtracting" verses or differing in interpretation.

The first of these is the Comma Johanneum in 1 John 5:7, which if memory serves me I read that Erasmus only included this in his work because there was one Greek manuscript that included it, but the origin of that Greek manuscript was dubious (there are several Latin manuscripts which include it but of course they are older, and the lack of Greek witnesses seems to indicate that the Comma is not original). The doctrine of the Comma is explicitly Trinitarian, so I endorse it without reservation and have no desire to oppose it based on its Trinitarianism. I only reserve skepticism about it because I've referenced it before in defense of the Trinity without knowing the problems behind its origin.

The second is the pericope of the woman caught in adultery. It is troubling to me because though I like the story a lot, it seems rather strange that the guilty male party of adultery is never mentioned or brought to Jesus (so I am left wondering, how did the Jews KNOW unless they were possibly in on it maybe?). Other problems include having a Lukan syntax so I have read instead of really fitting in syntactically with John. Another problem, worse in my opinion, is the fact that the passage has moved around from different places in manuscripts. So it could be a later addition to Scripture.

The third is the Longer Ending of Mark in Mark 16:9-20. There are three different endings for Mark. One is the normal (perhaps original ending) at 16:8. There is a Shorter Ending which I am not real familiar with which includes one additional verse. The Longer Ending adds twelve different verses (the 16:9-20 in the KJV, for example). I remember a seminary student telling me who was studying Greek who told me that the Greek vocabulary and syntax is completely different in the last twelve verses as opposed to the rest of Chapter 16. If that's true, then that is troubling (but could be just a later addition of actual Scripture by an amanuensis who had different style of writing Greek, perhaps).

My problem with the Longer Ending of Mark is a possible Bible contradiction. Mark 16:12-13 says, "12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them." The commentaries I remember reading all suggest a link to Luke 24:13-34, either in suggestion or outright. The only problem is, this cannot truly be a reference to Luke 24, that I can see. Luke 24:33-36 mentions nothing about unbelief or rejection of the message of the two witnesses by the others, and simply says, "33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. 36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." It is true however, that verse 11 says, "And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not." but this concerns an angelic appearance and not one of Christ (verse 6 begins in the KJV with "He is not here" implying his personal absence at that particular instant but more importantly that the Resurrection had indeed occurred). This does not mean that the last twelve verses of Mark 16:9-20 are not genuine, but it does cause me to seriously doubt that the episode I referenced has anything to do with the episode in Luke which seems to bear a similarity to it. If it truly is referencing Luke, then it seems to me to be difficult to harmonize. But it could be referencing history lost now to us but known to the apostles at the time (seems unlikely?).

Well, guess this wasn't a short blurb. But anyway, I have been thinking about this for several days, and unless I've missed something somewhere, I think it's legitimate to mention. It certainly seems interesting.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I do believe in inerrancy after all

First, a plug for James White's debate with Bart Ehrman:

This is an excellent debate (easy for me to say since it's the only debate on this topic I've ever watched, and I liked it, so my approval is a given).

I do believe in Biblical inerrancy, after struggling for a couple of months with this issue. I just do not accept certain passages are truly genuine and canonical (such as the pericope on adultery in John 7:53-8:11, the last twelve verses of Mark in 16:9-20, and the Johannine Comma in 1 John 5:7). Though I grew up with the KJV, and still tend to prefer it by habit if nothing else, my favorite translations now would focus on the ESV, NASB, and NRSV probably (I like the NKJV too, to a lesser extent).

This is just a personal observation; it's not a statement of personal inerrancy (I could be wrong, and I admit it). So, if you disagree with me, please don't write me off as without hope.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Demolishing The Shack

Today I changed my opinion concerning The Shack, by Paul Young. If you have not read it yet, do not bother. I cannot recommend it, after being pointed to excellent resources which discuss this book. I just read the 39-page book review found at on the right-hand side under the title, "Back of The Shack." Though not of the Sovereign Grace persuasion, the reviewer does an excellent job of demolishing (bulldozing?) The Shack (there is a shorter review available, but I have not read it). Also recommended is the website I am troubled at The Shack, and that is putting it mildly.

*EDIT* The name of the author on the book jacket is William P. Young.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Modern Church Membership

Biblical Church Membership
A Look at the Modern Practice of Church Membership

I only just now skimmed this, so I have not taken the time to carefully read this. My initial first impressions are that this falls in line with my current ecclesiogical thinking. Modern church ecclesiology is too much like the "Borg Collective" for my tastes, and I think if you read this article you will see why.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Free Grace Broadcaster

OK. OK. I know. "This isn't a blog post; it's a bookmark!" you say. True. Guilty as charged.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Five-Points of Calvinism by John Piper

I love John Piper's theology and this is a great article on Five-point Calvinism (as it is called), also known as "Doctrines of Grace" and (my chosen term) "Sovereign Grace."

Incidentally, I do not care for the term "Doctrines of Grace." I do not know about other translations, but in the King James, the English word "doctrines" in the plural is always negative, and always signifies either the doctrines of men, or of demons. I believe this is because there are many "doctrines" just as there are many paths of falsehood, but there is only one truth, which is indivisible in unity, and it belongs to God alone as its author (so I could say, "Doctrine of Grace" but there is more than just Grace to that doctrine, and the phrase is not used as far as I know). It is only when the word "doctrine" is singular that any good comes of it, and not always then in the Scriptures. On the other hand, I think "Sovereign Grace" is redundant (what other kind of grace is there? I mean, even in the secular world by its own definitions I would think grace has to be sovereign in order to be grace). And I do not like the word "Calvinism" for the obvious reasons that I do not believe the "theological system" is man-made (though the term is, I grant that), and the theology would exist whether or not John Calvin had ever been born or come to faith in the first place. But, I will usually call it "Five-Point Calvinism" in public because that term is well-defined, and can be properly understood. In private, I seem to prefer "Sovereign Grace." Whatever the case, I echo the praise of Jonah, "Salvation is of the Lord!" (Jonah 2:9b).

EDIT: Typos. Additional comment.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A plan to resume blogging

I plan to resume blogging, but only in a very low-key way. What I mean by that is this, I do not promise to blog regularly, or about anything necessarily interesting, or even that I will follow through on this promise at all, for that matter. And mostly, I will be blogging over at byroniac and not here, and most of the time, I will NOT be blogging about theology (at least, I do not plan to do so). So I am considering consolidating the two blogs and doing away with this one.

If you read this and care, please write me a comment. Thanks!