Archive for the 'Errors' Category

The meaning of Revelation 22:18-19

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Laodicea

ChristArt

By Spencer D Gear

It is a common ploy to make these two verses apply to the entire Bible. Here is an example that I met on Christian Forums:

All the newer bibles are garbage that have been changed by Satans children to subtlety change Gods messages , not unlike what Satan did in the garden of Eden when speaking with eve[1]…. I have only spoken the truth showing thru scripture what happens when one changes the word of God, I would think one would be able to make an informed view that the newer bibles are in direct conflict with Gods warning in revelation 22 [verse 19][2]…. He changed Gods word and for this his name was taken away from the bible just as God promised in revelation 22:19.[3]

Revelation 22:18-19 states:

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (ESV).

It speaks of “the book of this prophecy”. Which prophecy? The Book of Revelation.

We know this because the Book of Revelation was a prophecy given by “John to the seven churches that are in Asia” (Rev. 1:4). What was to be done with this prophetic Book of Revelation when it was first written?

“Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (Rev. 1:11 ESV).

So this Book of Revelation (not the entire NT) – only this one book – was sent to the 7 churches of Asia [we now know that these churches are in what we call Asia Minor]. So, what was written in Rev. 22:19, if it were to have any meaning to the people in the 7 churches of Asia Minor COULD NOT have been referring to the entire Bible as it is one book, the Book of Revelation, that was in “the words of the prophecy of this book” and “in a book” and this one book was sent. It would have been strange to have the warning of Revelation 22:18-19 to apply to the whole of the OT and the NT for the “seven churches” of Asia Minor when only one book was sent to them to hear.

Therefore, the only meaning of this warning is to the prophecy of the Book of Revelation. The seven churches of Asia would know that, but people in the twenty-first century want to change that to give it a meaning that was not possible for the churches of Asia Minor to have understood.

Why don’t these people understand the intent of the writing of this book that had only one meaning to the people who first read it in Asia Minor – they had only one book, the Book of Revelation, and the warning against adding to the prophecy of this book could have only one meaning to them? It referred ONLY to the one book they heard or read in Asia Minor– the Book of Revelation.

Notes


[1] Christian Forums, Baptists, ‘The New International Version (NIV) Bible completely removes the word ‘Godhead’, Azadok2day#22, 5 July 2012. Available at: http://www.christianforums.com/t7669527-3/ (Accessed 7 July 2012).

[2] Ibid., #49, 6 July 2012.

[3] Ibid., #53, 6 July 2012.

 

Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 October 2015.

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Paul was in error when he wrote Romans! Really?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

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ChristArt

By Spencer D Gear

What do you say to someone who states that Paul, the apostle, was in error when he states that “there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1 NIV).

I’ve been in a back and forth discussion on Christian Forums with 2knowhim on the topic of God and secular governments. He wrote to me:

When Paul said that all scripture was inspired by God he surely was not including his writings as scripture, that is somethings that men later concluded and we are here to debate the wisdom of such an endorsement.

In order for scripture to be considered scripture it must be put through a vigorous set of standards and it is obvious to me that the churches of Asia got it right by forsaking Paul.

Can scripture be considered as God breathed if it is obvious that they are both fallible and wrong? You say they aught to be accepted because some men, at some point of time, claimed them to be the inspired word of God and you seem to reject any reasonable challenges that clearly show that the writings of Paul are in err because it has always been believe that the compiled writings of Paul’s are in a book you claim is the infallible word of God. But that book we have shown is both fallible and not inspired by God and that only goes to show that the writings in question should not be considered as inspired writings. Jesus’ teachings are a part of the collective of the writings in the bible but they were never put into a book by God but by men and the bible is a fallible book of collective writings of men, which I believe happen to contain true God breathed writings in the teachings of Jesus the Christ.

Is my reasoning in err (sic) then lay out your argument.[1]

The following is my response:[2]

You may be correct when you state that when Paul wrote all Scripture was inspired [theopneustos = God breathed] of God that he was not including his own writings. But I wouldn’t be so brazen as to state that categorically as you did. Why?

In fact, he was referring probably to the OT. However, William Hendiksen and Simon Kistemaker in their commentary on the pastoral epistles commented on the meaning of

all Scripture. in distinction from “(the) sacred writings” (for which see on verse 15) means everything which, through the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the church, is recognized by the church as canonical, that is, authoritative. When Paul wrote these words, the direct reference was to a body of sacred literature which even then comprised more than the Old Testament (see 1 Tim. 5:18). Later, at the close of the first century A. D., “all scripture” had been completed. Though the history of the recognition, review, and ratification of the canon was somewhat complicated, and virtually universal acceptance of all the sixty-sic books did not occur immediately in every region where the church was represented – one of the reasons being that for a long time certain of the smaller books had not even reached ever corner of the church -, it remains true, nevertheless, that those genuine believers who were the original recipients of the various God-breathed books regarded them at once as being invested with divine authority and majesty (Hendriksen & Kistemaker 1955:301-302).

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ChristArt

One of your major errors is your view that Paul was in error because “when Paul said that all scripture was inspired by God he surely was not including his writings as scripture” (your words). This is where you show your ignorance of another portion of the NT:

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:14-16 NIV, emphasis added).

Here the apostle Peter writes of Paul the apostle who wrote in his letters and how does Peter compare Paul’s writings? They are among the Scriptures as he wrote of “the other Scriptures” in the same breath he was writing about what Paul wrote.

The apostle Peter regarded Paul’s writings as Scripture.

But how do you regard them?

Can scripture be considered as God breathed if it is obvious that they are both fallible and wrong? … the writings of Paul are in err … But that book we have shown is both fallible and not inspired by God and that only goes to show that the writings in question should not be considered as inspired writings.

Even Paul’s “hard to understand” writings are Scripture. What is Peter’s instruction to people like you who claim that Paul is in error? Peter is very clear:

ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

These are not my words, but Scripture places you in the category of “ignorant and unstable people” and what do you do? You “distort” Scripture. What is the consequence for people who do this? “Their own destruction” is coming.

I am not making this accusation against you. This is what Peter, the apostle, in the inspired Scriptures states about those who distort what the Scriptures of Paul state. When you state that Paul in Romans 13:1-7 is in error in what he states about human governments, and you state that he was wrong, and that “the bible is a fallible book “, you are the one who brings “destruction” on yourself.

It is horrifically judgmental on yourself when you do this, but you are without excuse. Peter, under the inspiration of God, has told you what your outcome will me.

It is very sad for me to point this out to you, but it seems that you are ignorant of the nature of NT Scripture – especially the writings of Paul.

This statement by you is abominable:

The bible is a fallible book of collective writings of men, which I believe happen to contain true God breathed writings in the teachings of Jesus the Christ.

And you have the temerity to place it in bold.clip_image004

Works consulted:

William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker 1955. New Testament Commentary: Thessalonians, the Pastorals, and Hebrews. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic.


 Notes:

[1] Christian Forums, Christian Apologetics, ‘Can a person discriminate against women and be a Christian? 2knowhim, #38, 16 May 2012, available at: http://www.christianforums.com/t7654554-4/ (Accessed 16 May 2012).

[2] Ibid., OzSpen, #42.

 

Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 16 October 2015.

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