Archive for September, 2013

By Dr. Elisha Weismann and Dr. James Ach

A recent article by the Pope adoring Fred Butler slandering Chris Pinto follows the logic of James White-among many others-contending that the Codex Sinaiticus was not actually discovered in a trash can as affirmed by “KJVOnlyists”. What is their evidence? From the donut- glaze- saturated keyboard of Butler is written:

Tischendorf’s second return in 1853 to the monastery was unfruitful, but on his third visit in 1859, he took a walk with a young Athenian steward who invited him back to his room for some refreshment. The steward told Tischendorf that he had read the OT in Greek and then revealed to him a bulky parcel wrapped in a red cloth. When he unwrapped it, it contained not only the sheets Tischendorf saw in 1844 that were being used to light fires, it contained some 346 parchments from the same volume.

Quip and Lie (Fred Butler, the author of the Hip and Thigh blog) as most others, conveniently leave out the events that lead up to this red-wrapped bundle of apostate joy. First, they lay emphasis that the Codex was “neatly wrapped” in red cloth, and then secondly, they note that a basket is not the same thing as a garbage can, and wallah, no evidence exists that any part of the Codex was found in a garbage can. Thus essentially, the argument for whether or not the Codex was found in a garbage can comes down to semantics and a little history revision (by deliberately omitting Tischendorf’s own statements regarding how the Codex was found).

Butler has a bad habit of quoting bias sources as well. In one article again slandering Chris Pinto, Butler sites Frederick Kenyon who claimed that Constantine SImonides, who laid claim to the actual authorship of Codex Sinaiticus, was only 15 years old when he claimed to have compiled manuscripts for the transcription of the Codex, and that therefore Simonides could not have possibly had the scholarship necessary at such a young age to perform such a rigorous and pedantic task (although, as a Calvinist, Butler would have no problem with the scholarship of Jonathon Edwards who went to Yale at age 13).  However, Kendrick admitted, as does history, that Simonides was born in 1820, and his first claim to the Codex occurred in 1840. That would have made Simonides 20 years old, not 15. After confronting Fred Butler with this glaring inconsistency, Butler removed the date of Simonides birth year from his article, and indicated no correction, although he still maintains that Simonides was only “a teenager”. Butler defends his usage of “teenager” by claiming Simonides could have been 19, but Butler makes this assertion in support of Kenyon who claimed that Simonides was only 15. Butler cited Kenyon as an authority on the veracity of Simonides claims, but then capitulates and obfuscates on the reliability of Kenyon’s facts.

From Tischendorf’s own testimony he writes the following:

It was in April, 1844, that I embarked at Leghorn for Egypt. The desire which I felt to discover some precious remains of any manuscripts, more especially Biblical, of a date  which would carry us back to the early times of Christianity, was realized beyond my expectations. It was at the foot of Mount Sinai, in the convent of St. Catherine, that I discovered the pearl of all my researches. In visiting the library of the monastery, in the month of May, 1844, I perceived in the middle of the great hall a large and wide basket full of old parchments; and the librarian, who was a man of information, told me that two heaps of papers like this, mouldered by time, had been already committed to the flames. What was my surprise to find amid this heap of papers a considerable number of sheets of a copy of the Old Testament in Greek, which seemed to me to be one of the most ancient that I had ever seen. The authorities of the convent allowed me to possess myself of a third of these parchments, or about forty-five sheets, all the more readily as they were destined for the fire

First of all, how could Tischendorf claim that these were the oldest manuscripts he’d seen without any examination of them first?*. Secondly, the story shows clearly that the manuscripts that were in the basket were there for the purpose of awaiting incineration. If that’s not a “trash can” excuse the puppies for drinking out of the kitten’s milk bowl.

Dean Burgon, who thoroughly debunked the work of Westcott & Hort (whom Butler considers “good godly evangelical scholars”-more on that later) writes,

“We suspect that these two manuscripts are indebted for their preservation, “solely to their ascertained evil character”; which has occasioned that the one eventually found its way, four centuries ago, to a forgotten shelf in the Vatican Library;

“while the other, after exercising the ingenuity of several generations of critical Correctors, eventually got deposited in the wastepaper basket of the Convent at the foot of Mount Sinai.

“Had B and ALEPH been copies of average purity, they must long ago since have shared the inevitable fate of books which are freely used and highly prized; namely, they would have fallen into decadence and disappeared from sight.” The Revision Revised , pg 319.

Even Norman Geisler, who is not only NOT KJVO, but wrote an endorsement for James White’s “The King James Only Controversy” shown on the cover of White’s book writes,

“It was found in the monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai by the German Count Tischendorf, who was living in Prussia by permission of the czar…”On his first visit (1844), he discovered forty-three leaves of vellum, containing portions of the LXX (I Chronicles, Jeremiah, Nehemiah and Esther), in a basket of scraps which the monks were using to light their fires. He secured it and took it to the University Library at Leipzig, Germany. It remains there, known as the Codex Frederico-Augustanus…Geisler & Nix, General Introduction to the Bible, 1968.

Popular KJVO critic, James White, although adamantly denying that the Codex was found in a waste basket, says of the finding of Tischendorf,

Constantin von Tischendorf embarked on a journey to the Middle East in 1844 searching for biblical manuscripts. While visiting the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, he noted some scraps of parchment in a basket that was due to be used to stoke the fires in the oven of the monastery. Upon looking at the scraps he discovered that they contained part of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament.

This was exactly what he was looking for, and so he asked if he could take the scraps to his room for examination, warning the monks that they should not be burning such items. His obvious excitement worried the monks, who became less than cooperative in providing further information about manuscripts at the monastery. King James Only Controversy, pp 32-33

Thus we have clear and convincing evidence that the Codex was FIRST discovered in a basket, and that basket was used to reserve fodder for kindling. Now perhaps White and Butler call fodder for fire from materials one wishes to discard by burning as non-trash, but common sense modern vernacular would have no issues with the term “waste basket”. To offer such criticism merely because the manuscripts were not placed in Glad bags and the “basket” did not have a Flip Wilson lid on it is shear semantic nonsense.

Furthermore, White and Butler, et al, lay emphasis on Tischendorf’s receipt of the REMAINDER of the Codex wrapped in red cloth as evidence that the Codex was not found in a dumpster. However, Tischendorf’s own writings show that he obtained his initial manuscripts directly from the waste basket, and it was only LATER that he gained REMAINING manuscripts that were wrapped in cloth. BUT! where did THOSE manuscripts “wrapped in red cloth” come from?? Again, from Tischendorf’s own testimony relaying what the monk had given him he writes,

 Scarcely had he entered the room when, resuming our former subject of conversation, he said, “And I too have read a Septuagint, i. e., a copy of the Greek translation made by the Seventy;” and so saying, he took down from the corner of the room a bulky kind of volume wrapped up in a red cloth, and laid it before me. I unrolled the cover, and discovered, to my great surprise, not only those very fragments which, fifteen years before, I had taken out of the basket, but also other parts of the Old Testament, the New Testament complete, and in addition, the Epistle of Barnabas and a part of the Pastor of Hermas.

Notice what Tischendorf says about the manuscripts in the red wrapped cloth, “ which, fifteen years before, I had taken out of the basket”. So whatever manuscripts Tischendorf did not obtain 15 years ago from the waste basket, he collected the remainder on this particular visit, and the manuscripts that White and Butler, et al, so vivaciously remind us were “wrapped neatly in red cloth” were themselves TAKEN FROM THE SAME BASKET WHERE TISCHENDORF OBTAINED HIS FIRST MANUSCRIPTS 15 YEARS AGO. 

Oh the lengths that Bible agnostics will go to in defending their beloved Pope and his Jesuit minions.

Butler’s Veneration of Westcott & Hort

In response to a blogger named “Sandy” who asks “So do you really believe there is no counter reformation being led by Jesuits?”, Butler replies,

No, not today, nor in the manner that Chris Pinto describes. You have to consider the fact that a number of men committed to the importance of Sinaiticus are Bible-believing, God-fearing, evangelical Christians who are squarely anti-Catholics. Pinto’s thesis implicates them as either being duped by the Jesuits, which would throw their spiritual discernment into being seriously questioned, or unbelieving Catholic sympathizers who are secretly aiding the Jesuits. Both of those scenarios are patently absurd.

First of all, what a naive imbecile to believe that the Jesuits have no CURRENT plans involving a “counter-reformation”. Let’s not forget that Rome’s current “vicar” is a Jesuit. Sure, Butler and White will tell you that Rome has a few bad doctrines, all short of naming the Pope as an antichrist and the Catholic Church as a CULT. But nevertheless, any casual perusal of the Jesuit Oath reveals that a Jesuit will “to a Jew become a Jew, to a Calvinist a Calvinist, to a Protestant a Protestant”.

The first men “committed to the importance of the Sinaiticus” were Westcott & Hort, who comprised a committee for the “revision” of the King James Version in 1881. The following are the “good godly evangelical” beliefs of Westcott & Hort of which almost all modern Bible translations owe their lineage,

“I reject the word infallibility of Holy Scriptures overwhelmingly.” (Westcott, The Life and Letters of Brook Foss Westcott, Vol. I, p.207).

“Evangelicals seem to me perverted. . .There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, especially the authority of the Bible.” (Hort, The Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.400)

“He [Jesus Christ] never speaks of Himself directly as God, but the aim of His revelation was to lead men to see God in Him.” (Westcott, The Gospel According to St. John, p. 297).

“(John) does not expressly affirm the identification of the Word with Jesus Christ.”…(Rev. 3:15) might no doubt bear the Arian meaning, the first thing created.”

“”…Have you read Darwin? How I should like to talk with you about it! In spite of difficulties, I am inclined to think it unanswerable. In any case it is a treat to read such a book.”

“But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with … My feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable. If so, it opens up a new period.”

I am inclined to think that no such state as Eden (I mean the popular notion) ever existed, and that Adams fall in no degree differed from the fall of each of his descendants, as Coleridge justly argues.

“Further I agree with them [Authors of Essays and Reviews] in condemning many leading specific doctrines of the popular theology … Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue. There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible.”

“I confess I have no repugnance to the primitive doctrine of a ransom paid to Satan. I can see no other possible form in which the doctrine of a ransom is at all tenable; anything is better than the doctrine of a ransom to the father.” (Hort, The First Epistle of St. Peter 1:1-2:17, p. 77)

The pure Romanish view seems to be nearer, and more likely to lead to the truth than the Evangelical.” (Hort, Life and Letters, Vol. I, p. 77)

There is OVERWHELMING evidence from the writings of Westcott and Hort themselves as well as their children they had great veneration for Mary and the church of Rome, had heretical views of the deity of Christ, salvation, the inspiration of Scripture, and yet these men are whom White and Butler consider “good godly evangelical” scholars? Even Butler’s favorite Calvinist, Charles Spurgeon wrote of Westcott & Hort,

“With those who treat the Bible as waste paper, and regard the death of Christ as no substitution, we have no desire for fellowship. After the gospel has been found effectual in the eternal salvation of untold multitudes, it seems rather late in the day to alter it; and , since it is the revelation of the all-wise and unchanging God, it appears somewhat audacious to attempt its improvement. When we call up before our mind’s eye the gentlemen who have set themselves this presumptuous task….. Their gigantic intellects are to hatch out the meanings of the Infinite. Hitherto they have not hatched out much worth reading. Their chickens are so much of the Roman breed, that we sometimes seriously suspect that, after all, Jesuitical craft may be at the bottom of this “modern thought”.

But what about Tischendorf’s own beliefs? Tischendorf admittedly claimed to follow in the footsteps of Karl Lachmann**- who was known to reject the inspiration of the Scriptures and was a German philosophical rationalist- and that Tischendorf was a professor within the German universities of whom applied rationalism to the texts of the Bible. Between Tischendorf’s 7th and 8th editions of the Codex were over 8,000 changes to his own manuscripts. Tischendorf did not believe that any English version extant in his time (let alone the KJV) was based on earlier manuscripts, but were all 15th century productions, and thus he did not believe that any inspired or infallible copies of the Bible existed in any language in any version. Butler himself even admits this stating that,

Tischendorf believed the TR, from which the KJV had been translated, was an inadequate text because it was not based upon the “best” manuscripts of the NT.  He believed better manuscripts were waiting to be discovered and their discovery would only serve to refute the skeptics and critics who wrote those trashy novels about the life of Jesus.

So in other words, God was not capable of preserving His word throughout history, and we must all wait for “better” manuscripts which have not yet been discovered to see if we still have the word of God. This is no different from evolutionary thinking, that somehow new evidence will surface to discredit creation, and therefore Christian scientists must stay apprised of all of the archaeological finds of atheists because God forbid they find something that proves there really is no God. Most logical Christians do not need that kind of “evidence”, they believe by faith that there is an Intelligent Designer behind the creation of the universe. It’s too bad this logic doesn’t apply to most Christians when it comes to the preservation of the word of God that we are told to “preach in season and out of season”. We are expected to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” from a plethora of manuscripts that wicked scholars can’t even agree on to verify that we actually have the word of God.

And as Pinto pointed out, and as history attests, Tischendorf was granted quite a liberal audience and attention from not only the Pope of Rome, but many of the Pope’s minions. It doesn’t seem to bother Butler that the Pope would permit such welcome to a supposed Protestant “scholar” all the while burning Protestant “heretics” in the dungeons of Roman monasteries. Why were such exceptions extended to Tischendorf from the Roman Papacy that were CLEARLY not extended to any other Protestant minister?

Ironically, Butler attempts to prove Tischendorf was not “in league” with Rome by citing Rome’s oft attempts to erect a “wall” against Tischendorf’s efforts to peruse the manuscripts more thoroughly. Well then doesn’t that beg the question that if Tischendorf was never able to gain a full examination of the texts that the reliability of his own translations of the Codex should be questionable? The very fact that Codex Sinaiticus has Rome written all over it (in some MSSmss, quite LITERALLY with the Roman Imprimatur stamped on the pages) does not seem to make Butler or any other KJVO critic blink, but then neither does Butler’s own version of events claiming that Tischendorf’s manuscript translation is reliable while at the same time admitting that Tischendorf was not permitted a proper perusal of the underlying texts.

Butler proposes that a few scant quotes cited by James Bentley quoting Tischendorf prove his “orthodoxy”. Tischendorf has never published any clear indication that he was a born again Christian, and there are no clear writings extant of just exactly what his beliefs were which is quite odd for anyone claiming to be Protestant. As prolific a writer as Tischendorf was regarding the Codex, one would think he would have produced a clear treatise on his beliefs. Yet Butler relies on Bentley attempts to use a mere scintilla of quotes from Tischendorf which are no different from the professions of any modern Roman priest to prove Tischendorf was a believer. Butler in defending the “orthodoxy” of Tischendorf, offers only the following quote,

He was passionately determined to refute those who were destroying the faith of the Christian world. Many Christians desperately longed for such a refutation. In a pamphlet published in March 1864 Tischendorf wrote, ‘May my writing serve this end: to make you mistrust those novel theories upon the Gospels — or rather, againstthem — which would persuade you that the wonderful details which the Gospels give of our gracious Saviour are founded upon ignorance and deceit.’ [Bentley, 37]

What Catholic priest or even a Jehovah’s Witness would not claim that the Bible contains the “wonderful details which the Gospels give of our gracious Saviour”? Is this a full-proof evidence of fundamental Christian belief? Hardly. Note that Bentley asserts that “Many Christians desperately longed for such a refutation”. A refutation of what? If Tischendorf was a Protestant, then the only refutation “many Christians” were seeking for would be a refutation AGAINST ROME.  Butler claims that Tischendorf was an “evangelical apologist” with absolutely ZERO evidence for such an absurd claim. Tischendorf has absolutely no recorded documentation of refuting any of the heresies extant in his day and thus accordingly, none of these apologetic works are cited by Butler. The only “refutations” that were extant regarding textual evidences were Rome’s disdain over the Textus Receptus and King James Bible. Somehow, Tischendorf supposing to be a Protestant minister, questions the validity of the Protestant Bible from he would naturally have derived any of his Protestant beliefs, begins his search for the “better manuscripts” coincidentally at a CATHOLIC monestary? Also, something that Pinto nor any of his critics have observed, is that not only is it clear that Tischendorf altered the manuscripts, but that monks themselves could have done so in the 15 years between Tischendorf’s initial discoveries, and his return to the monastery on which he obtained the remaining manuscripts wrapped in red cloth. There is clear evidence that that which was wrapped in the red cloth was obtained from the pile of scraps that Tischendorf did not make off with. It begs the question as to why the monks burned any manuscripts at all, and had others wrapped in a red cloth only to remain stagnant and unutilized in a monastery. It is likely that the monks did not know what they were burning, but then once Tischendorf published his first discoveries, and knowing the reception and adulation it was given by the Pope, took the remaining copies, altered them, and then placed them in the red cloth expecting Tischendorf’s return.

Butler’s defense of Tischendorf is inadequate, defies logic and common sense, is often contradictory and often cites as evidence facts not only missing from his own articles but wholly absent from history. The real question is why skeptics such as Butler and White are so quick to vilify Chris Pinto and any other person defending the Textus Receptus or King James Bible over a video that was created that is not specifically in defense of the King James Bible (although Butler MUST paint this label on Pinto in order to classify him as a KJVO so that he can by proxy attach all of his other ridiculous anti- KJVO arguments against anyone that dares lift a hint of criticism against the venerable Tishcendorf, Westcott or Hort). Why go to such extreme lengths to defend such a shady history that follows Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort? Butler dances with sparklers that Pinto can not give absolute proof of a conspiracy, but neither can Butler nor those he cites offer any logical explanation as to why the Roman Catholic Church was so receptive to Tischendorf. Considering that the preponderance of evidence is in favor of the involvement of Rome than against it, it certainly casts great doubt upon the credibility of Butler and his ilk in proffering such a vigorous defense of a “church” they claim to oppose.

I’ll offer my own “conspiracy theory”. Jesuits are known for joining the ranks of their enemies even to the tune of slandering their own religion (Catholics) if it means a greater victory in the long run. Critics like White and Butler will gladly quip “We debate Catholics so we couldn’t possibly be pro-Catholic” as evidence that they would not be likely candidates for Jesuit infiltrators. Their positions on the Catholic church while appearing to cast some of their doctrines in a negative light, are a far cry from labeling the Catholic church for what it really is: a beast from the horns of the dragon straight out of the pits of hell (Revelation 17), that has made every effort to destroy belief in the word of God as the inerrant and preserved revelation of God’s instructions to His church. Just as the Catholic church adopted the “if you can’t kill them [Christians] join them” and made Christianity the state religion of Rome, so too, has the Catholic church maintained that if they can’t destroy the Bible by burning it along with those who translated any anti-Vatican texts, they may as well “join” the legitimate copies of the Bible with amalgamations of corrupted texts, and encourage critics like Butler, White, Nestle, Aland, Norris, Kutilek, Carson, Bryce, Wallace, et al, to help promote their validity. If they are not somehow directly involved with the RCC, they are certainly guilty as co-conspirators in her treachery.

Perhaps Butler’s motivation is the promise of the latest Darth Vader action figure in a package signed by the Pope that he can add to his collection of Star Wars paraphernalia. How any supposed God-fearing Christian could have such adoration for  blatantly occultic Hollywood trash is bewildering.

Edited and Updated by Dr James A, PhD

_____________________________________________________

* From The Forged Origins of the New Testament, Tony Bushby writes,

The revelations of ultraviolet light testing


In 1933, the British Museum in London purchased the Sinai Bible from the Soviet government for £100,000, of which £65,000 was gifted by public subscription. Prior to the acquisition, this Bible was displayed in the Imperial Library in St Petersburg, Russia, and “few scholars had set eyes on it” (The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post, 11 January 1938, p. 3). When it went on display in 1933 as “the oldest Bible in the world” (ibid.), it became the centre of a pilgrimage unequalled in the history of the British Museum.


Before I summarize its conflictions, it should be noted that this old codex is by no means a reliable guide to New Testament study as it contains superabundant errors and serious re-editing. These anomalies were exposed as a result of the months of ultraviolet-light tests carried out at the British Museum in the mid-1930s. The findings revealed replacements of numerous passages by at least nine different editors.

Photographs taken during testing revealed that ink pigments had been retained deep in the pores of the skin. The original words were readable under ultraviolet light. Anybody wishing to read the results of the tests should refer to the book written by the researchers who did the analysis: the Keepers of the Department of Manuscripts at the British Museum (Scribes and Correctors of the Codex SinaiticusH. J. M. Milne and T. C. Skeat, British Museum, London, 1938).

**

Tischendorf’s first find contained 43 leaflets which he dubbed the Codex Frederico-Augustanus, in dedication to Frederick Augustus of Saxony, a Roman Catholic, married to a Roman Catholic, and buried at Katholische Hofkirche, a Roman Catholic cemetary.

Tischendorf also notes in his first chapter of “When Were Our Gospels Written” (1874) that,

At the same time, the committee of the Religious Tract Society of
Zwickau expressed a desire to circulate this pamphlet, provided it were
recast and adapted for popular use. Although I had many other
occupations, I could not but comply with their request, and without
delay applied myself to the task of revising the pamphlet. I was glad
of the opportunity of addressing in this way a class of readers whom my
former writings had not reached; for, as the real results of my
researches are destined to benefit the church at large, it is right
that the whole community should participate in those benefits.

This popular tract, in the shape in which I now publish it, lacks, I
admit, the simple and familiar style of the usual publications of the
Zwickau Society; but, in spite of this fault, which the very nature of
the subject renders inevitable, I venture to hope that it will be
generally understood. Its chief aim is to show that our inspired
gospels most certainly take their rise from apostolic times, and so to
enable the reader to take a short but clear view of one of the most
instructive and important epochs of the Christian church.

In sitting down to write a popular version of my pamphlet, the Zwickau
Society also expressed a wish that I should preface it with a short
account of my researches, and especially of the discovery of the
Sinaitic Codex, which naturally takes an important place

The “Zwickau prophets,” i.e., Nicholas Storch, Thomas Drechsel, and Mark Stübner, etc., claimed to be prophets of God and to have received revelations directly from God. They were leading an anti-Protestant, anti-Catholic, spiritualistic attempt at communism and anarchy based on a view of taking the millennium by force as prophets. Thomas Münzer (1490–1525) was a radical figure in the Reformation who became a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1524–1525. From this man we get a clear window into all of his associates:

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By Will Kinney

There are some today who argue about the meaning of the phrase “only begotten Son” and tell us that the King James Bible translators got it all wrong and it really should read something like “the one and only Son” or “the unique Son”. Let’s look at the Greek text for the first part of John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his ONLY BEGOTTEN Son”. In Greek this looks like – Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν.  The word in question is  μονογενῆ

According to numerous Greek-English lexicons the meaning in reference to the Son of God is “only begotten”. It is so translated by a multitude of English Bible versions. It also appears that some of the more modern lexicons are changing the meaning of the word from what others in the past have said about the meaning of this word is, particularly in reference to the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

I have a hard copy of Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, 17th edition, dated 1887.  On page 451 it tells us that the word has one primary meaning and one secondary meaning.  The first meaning listed under the word monogenes is “ONLY BEGOTTEN”.  The second meaning is “born from one and the same mother”. Those are the only definitions it gives.

I also have a modern Greek-English Dictionary. It is not a Bible reference book in any way; it is just a secular dictionary called Divry’s Modern English-Greek and Greek-English Desk Dictionary by D.C. Divry, Inc. Publishers, New York, 1974.  If you look up the Greek word monogenes on page 594 is has only one definition listed – ONLY BEGOTTEN.

I also have Gerhard Kittel’s massive work, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. In volume IV on pages 737 through page 741 it discusses the meanings of the word monogenes. It says on page 739 – “In the New Testament monogenes occurs only in Luke, John and Hebrews. It means “ONLY-BEGOTTEN”.  On page 741 he says: “In John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1 John 4:19 monogenes denotes more than the uniqueness or incomparability of Jesus. In all these verses He is expressly called the Son, and He is regarded as such in John 1:14. In John monogenes denotes the origin of Jesus. He is monogenes as THE ONLY BEGOTTEN.” (caps are mine).

Likewise Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words discusses the meaning of monogenes on page 822. He says: “It is translated “only begotten”.  We can only rightly understand the term “only begotten” when used of the Son, in the sense of unoriginated relationship. The “begetting” is not an event of time, however remote, but a fact irrespective of time. The Christ did not become, but necessarily and eternally is the Son. He, a Person, possesses every attribute of pure Godhood.”

Vine also continues: “In John 1:18 the clause “the Only Begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father,” expresses both His eternal union with the Father in the Godhead and the ineffable intimacy and love between them, the Son sharing all the Father’s counsels and enjoying all His affections.” 

Now let’s compare some English Bible versions through the centuries.  We will be looking at John 3:16

Wycliffe 1395 – “For God louede so the world, that he yaf his `oon bigetun sone”

The Great Bible (Cranmer) 1540 -“For God so loue þe worlde, that, he gaue is only begotten sonne,”

Bishops’ Bible 1568 – “For God so loued the worlde, that he gaue his only begotten sonne

The Geneva Bible 1587 – “For God so loued the worlde, that hee hath giuen his onely begotten Sonne”

The Douay-Rheims 1610 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”

King James Bible 1611 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”

Whiston’s Primitive New Testament 1745- “his only begotten Son”

John Wesley’s translation 1755 – “he gave his only begotten Son”

Living Oracles 1835- “his own begotten Son”

Darby 1870 – “his only-begotten Son”

The Revised English Bible 1881 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” 

The ASV of 1901 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”

Young’s literal 1898 – “that His Son — the only begotten — He gave”

Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta – “that he even gave his only begotten Son”

NKJV 1982 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”

NASB 1995 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son”

Knox Bible 2012 -“God so loved the world, that he gave up his only-begotten Son”

But we begin to see a change in many of today’s versions

The first major modern English Bible version that began to change the phrase “the only begotten Son” to “the only Son” was the liberal RSV which reads- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”

The printed Greek Lexicons also began to change. I have a hard copy of what they label as “A Greek-English Lexicon compiled by Liddell and Scott” dated 1968 and it now lists under the meaning of monogenes “the only member of a kind; unique.”  But Liddell and Scott were not alive in 1968 and their Greek Lexicon written in 1887 when they WERE alive says that monogenes means “only begotten”.  So who is changing the Lexicon that now bears their names?  It certainly was NOT Liddell and Scott!

Holman Standard 2003 – “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His  One and Only Son”

The NIV 2011 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son”

ESV 2003-2011 – ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son”

The ISV – “”For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son”

The Catholic bible Versions

What is of interest is to see how the Catholic bible versions have been changing over the centuries.  The Douay Rheims of 1610 and the Catholic Douay of 1950 both read “God so loved the word that he gave his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON”.  But the 1970 St. Joseph New American bible  and the 1985 New Jerusalem bible both read like so many other modern versions – “God so loved the world that he gave HIS ONLY SON” 

Jesus Christ is NOT God’s ONLY Son. There are the “sons of God” in the book of Job who are angels of God – See Job 1:6; 2:1 and 38:7. And the believing people of God in both the Old and New Testaments are also called the sons of God. As far as being “unique”, or “one of a kind”, God has made every individual who has ever lived on the face of this earth “unique” and one of a kind.  No two of us are exactly alike in our mental, physical or spiritual makeup. For much more detail on the meaning of monogenes as “only begotten” and NOT something like “unique” see Scott Jones’ article The Definition of Monogenes”  here- 

Definition of Monogenes

Below is the response of Cris Putnam to Adullam Films refuted by Chris Pinto regarding Tares Among the Wheat, a compelling documentary that proves that the Codex Sinaiticus is a forgery with a convincing probability that it was a conspiracy promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church.

Original article here.

THE CRIS PUTNAM REVIEW

by Christian J. Pinto

A review of our film, Tares Among the Wheat was posted on LogosApologia.org by author, Cris Putnam.  He refers to the thesis of the film as A Conspiracy Without a Goal.   While we are not at all offended by the disagreement, we find a number of considerable problems with his arguments, which we present below.  Mr. Putnam writes that:

“The film is centered on the idea that Codex Sinaticus or ‘Sinai Bible’ was actually created as part of a Vatican conspiracy to undermine biblical inerrancy.”

Actually, the film tells the true story of the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus in 1859 by the German scholar,Constantine von Tischendorf.  Within a year of publishing the first facsimiles, a renowned Greek paleographer named Constantine Simonides came forward and declared that the manuscript was not ancient at all, but a modern work created by him in 1840.  The film documents his writings, as well as those of his opponents, and examines why his story was rejected in the nineteenth century.

Of course, Tares goes further than this, also showing the relationship of Constantine von Tischendorf with the Vatican, and presents a plausible thesis for why Rome would have been interested in promoting Tischendorf and his great discovery.  Our history includes the fact that Rome developed higher criticism as a weapon of the Counter Reformation and her centuries-old desire to destroy the concept of Biblical inerrancy, which is the foundation of the Protestant doctrine Sola Scriptura.

While we certainly think it’s possible that Rome worked with Tischendorf to alter the manuscript as part of her own agenda, we do not believe it was created for that purpose.  The story is more complex.  It depends largely on the testimony of Simonides, who not only claimed that he had written the codex, but that it was “systematically tampered with” by others.  In the film, we strongly suggest that his claims have never been fully disproven, something acknowledged by renowned scholar, J.A. Farrer in his classic work, Literary Forgeries (1907).

Yet to understand Rome’s motivation, we must recognize that she believes the concept of Scriptural inerrancy is the chief cause of division between herself and all Protestant churches.  In the modern online Catholic Encyclopedia under the heading of ‘Protestantism’ there is the following declaration concerning the teaching ofSola Scriptura (the Bible alone) as the foundation of the Christian faith:

“The belief in the Bible as the sole source of faith is unhistorical, illogical, fatal to the virtue of faith, and destructive of unity.”

Keep in mind the phrase destructive of unity, because this will matter as we go along in our commentary on Putnam’s review.  But first, let us examine the different parts of his objections.  He writes:

“… I am unconvinced that Codex Sinaiticus is a forgery because the conspiracy is fundamentally incoherent. There’s no discernable pay off for the conspirators.  The movie did not present any evidence that modern Bibles help Catholic theology in any meaningful way or undermine inerrancy… You would think that if Rome were going to concoct a forgery they might include something about Mary or purgatory but this is not the case. Where’s the payoff for Rome?”

MODERN BIBLES, INERRANCY & THE CAUSE OF ROME

First, the film does not focus on modern Bibles, per se, but rather the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus and the story of Constantine Simonides.  Yes, we understand that the critical text (which undergirds most modern Bibles) is largely based on readings from Sinaiticus, but they are not exclusively based on Sinaiticus.

Second, the purpose of Rome (as we understand it) was not to promote Catholic theology, but rather to destabilize the foundation of the Biblical record by shattering the concept of Biblical inerrancy. Her reason for doing this was to open the door to ecumenical compromise and the promotion of a one world religious movement.  This is why the film ends showing the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.  This was the beginning of the modern day ecumenical movement, the promotion of the idea that there are many paths to finding God, and that Christianity should be seen as just one religion among many.

In other words, if it could be shown that the Bible is not infallible, and that it was a book written by men who made mistakes — then an alternative view of God and Christ could be presented.  If men made so many mistakes in the Biblical text, then maybe they were mistaken in thinking that Jesus is the only way to heaven.  If the impression could be given that the Scriptures had undergone an evolutionary process, and therefore should not be taken too literally, then Jesus might be blended in with Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, etc.  If it could be shown that the Bible has evolved, then it could be argued that our ideas about “God” should evolve also.  That’s the idea.

According to the British Library, Sinaiticus has a total of 23,000 corrections (an average of 30 corrections per page) more than any other manuscript in Biblical history.   It is important to remember that the codex is presented loosely as “the world’s oldest Bible,” and more specifically as the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.  Dr. Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library, tells us that:

“This is the ancestor of all the Bibles that everybody else has in the world.” 

In other words, all the other Bibles have as their point of origin a manuscript that is a mass of confusion and contradiction.

Third, while Putnam claims that we presented “no evidence” that shows how the Codex Sinaiticus undermines Biblical inerrancy, we believe he is incorrect. It may be that he missed the following quote from the BBC documentary, The Beauty of Books – Ancient Bibles, the Codex Sinaiticus.  In the narration we are told:

“On closer inspection, the text of the Codex Sinaiticus is littered with revisions … It is history’s most altered Biblical manuscript, and within those changes lie its real theological secrets…. scholars were surprised to find so many changes.  Many scribes wrote for money.  They wrote quickly which meant they sometimes made errors.  But 23,000 corrections can’t be explained in this way.  There have to be theological reasons too…. If the Biblical text could vary, it couldn’t be the immutable word of God.”

In studying the history of Rome and the Bible, and the confession set forth by the Jesuits in the Middle Ages, it becomes clear that Sinaiticus fulfilled their theory, which was that the Bible is full of errors.  This was the point Rome argued for hundreds of years against the concept of inerrancy.

While we only quote from it briefly in Tares, the BBC documentary goes on to cite a variety of readings, questioning the divinity of Christ, His resurrection, etc.  The documentary is driven by higher critical thinking, and gives the impression that the corrections in Codex Sinaiticus imply that someone inserted the idea of Jesus as the “Son of God” in Mark’s gospel.  Once this kind of argument is accepted, it diminishes the position of Christ to that of an ordinary prophet or wise man, like Confucius, Zoroaster, etc.  At one point, Dr. Scot McKendrick says that the many corrections demonstrate “that the text is being discussed, and is evolving …”

Putnam asked: Where’s the payoff for Rome?

The answer to his question is the ecumenical movement.  The answer could be seen in the ecumenical activities of Billy Graham in the 20th century, joining with Catholic priests and nuns in his crusades, or in the 1994 document Evangelicals and Catholics Together.  With this, it could also be seen in Assisi, Italy in 1986 when Pope John Paul II met with religious leaders from all over the world, with Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, American Indian Shamans, etc.  As he joined hands with them in prayer he told them, “We are all praying to the same God.”  An inerrant Bible that is taken too literally would be destructive of unity between the various “Christian” groups, and the differing religions of the world.  Destroying the concept of Biblical inerrancy opens the door to compromise and apostasy through ecumenism.  As Cardinal William Levada has said:

“Union with the Catholic Church is the goal of ecumenism.”

That’s the payoff for Rome.  Even now, the Vatican works with the United Bible Societies to produceinterconfessional Bibles for the cause of ecumenism, and both parties are very open about it.  We would encourage others to go to the Vatican’s official website, and type “United Bible Societies” into the search engine to learn more about this relationship and its ecumenical nature.

CRITICAL CONTRADICTIONS & FAULTY REASONING

Putnam asked:

“Why does Dr. James White … find the conspiracy to be ridiculous?”

Chances are, it is because Dr. White knows little about the real history of Constantine Simonides, which is not uncommon among modern academics. Part of the reason we made our film was to inform others of what we consider to be an important and untold history of the Bible in the 19th century.  Our understanding is that Dr. White bases his primary objection on a flawed theory about text-types and manuscript families, as Putnam reveals in this quote below:

“… [White] is aware of the textual critical issues that Pinto is not… the conspiracy is not even possible once you realize what it would necessarily entail. If one bothers to look into textual criticism, you will quickly see thatSinaticus undergirds an entire text type…. the Alexandrian text-type.” (Emphasis added)

Not even possible?  Putnam is clearly uninformed of the many arguments presented by scholars on all sides concerning Alexandrian text-types and text-types in general.  In his review, he copies a series of uncials and minuscules from Wikipedia that are said to represent the alleged Alexandrian text type.  He then concludes:

“So for Pinto’s conspiracy to work not only is Codex Sinaiticus a forgery, it means that all of these papyri which share the same text type were similarly forged and planted in archeological sites around Egypt and middle east. It starts to get prohibitively absurd when you consider the amount of effort and the number of conspirators that would be required.”

Putnam’s conclusion is like saying that if you purchased a Rolex watch on the streets of New York, and later learned that it was a counterfeit — then that must mean that all other Rolex watches are counterfeits. The argument makes little sense.  For the record, we nowhere assert that all the other Alexandrian manuscripts or papyri are forged.  The Putnam/White argument has been engineered through faulty reasoning, which we will further demonstrate.

ALEXANDRIAN CHARACTER OF CODEX SINAITICUS

Based on the description given by Simonides of the various texts used for his codex, it is very probable that what might be called the Alexandrian character of Codex Sinaiticus comes, at least in part, from the influence ofCodex Alexandrinus.  We remind the reader that Simonides claimed that he and his uncle (Benedict) intended the manuscript to be a gift to the Czar of Russia.  In a letter written to his friend, Charles Stewart in 1860, Simonides described the manuscripts that were chosen by Benedict as the textual basis for the codex:

“… the learned Benedict taking in his hands a copy of the Moscow edition of the Old and New Testament … collated it … with three only of the ancient copies, which he had long before annotated and corrected for another purpose and cleared their text by this collation from remarkable clerical errors, and again collated them with the edition of the Codex Alexandrinus, printed with uncial letters, and still further with another very old Syriac Codex …” (Letter of C. Simonides to Mr. Charles Stewart, as published in the Guardian, August 26, 1863, see Elliott, pp. 54-56)

So, according to Simonides’ own testimony, Alexandrinus was one of the manuscripts used for the foundation of the text; hence, this could explain why Codex Sinaiticus is said to be comparable to Alexandrinus in the Old Testament and Pauline epistles.  Furthermore, based on the description of how Benedict used Alexandrinus alongside the Moscow Bible, and then employed three unnamed “ancient copies,” which he himself had “annotated and corrected” the result would be a very unique series of readings, unlike any other manuscript —which is exactly what is found in the Codex Sinaiticus.  It is further possible that the three unnamed manuscripts were also of Alexandrian character, yet on this point we can only speculate.

ALEXANDRIAN TEXT-TYPE?

The theory that certain manuscripts come from an “Alexandrian” family was well established by the late 18thcentury, more than half a century before Codex Sinaiticus was fully discovered in 1859.  Hence, the argument that the Alexandrian grouping somehow depends on Sinaiticus is untenable.

Even more important is the completely flawed nature of the text-type argument to begin with.  It was something employed by Westcott and Hort in the 19th century as a manipulative device that would allow them to justify using minority manuscripts in place of the greater body of manuscript evidence (i.e. the Majority Text).  But the text-type family argument has long since been refuted by the leading textual critics in the world, as shown by the following quotes:

“We have reconstructed text-types and families and sub-families and in so doing have created things that never before existed on earth or in heaven.” (M.M. Parvis)

“It is still customary to divide manuscripts into the four well-known families: the Alexandrian, the Caesarean, the Western and the Byzantine.  This classical division can no longer be maintained…. If any progress is to be expected in textual criticism we have to get rid of the division into local texts.” (A.F.J. Klijn)

“Was there a fundamental flaw in the previous investigation which tolerated so erroneous a grouping?  Evidently there was…. Those few men who have done extensive collations of manuscripts, or paid attention to those done by others, as a rule have not accepted such erroneous groupings.” (Bruce Metzger)

“The whole question of families and recensions is thus brought prominently before the eye, and with space one could largely comment upon the deeply interesting combinations which thus present themselves to the critic…. let us … not imagine that we have successfully laid certain immutable foundation stones, and can safely continue to build thereon.  It is not so, and much, if not all, of these foundations must be demolished.” (H.C. Hoskier)

In other words, the whole concept of manuscript families (which forms the core of the Putnam/White argument) has been virtually abandoned by the leading textual critics in the field.  Why?  Because when these alleged text-types or “families” are compared, they have so many differences that they simply cannot be grouped together in any logical manner.  It is also worth noting that the above-mentioned scholars are not “King James Only” advocates by any means, quite the contrary.

Dr. Jack Moorman, after examining the arguments of the leading critics, openly refuted the Alexandrian text-type, in particular, saying:

“The [Alexandrian] text is an artificial entity that never existed.” (Moorman, “Forever Settled: A Survey of the Documents and History of the Bible,” p. 73)

If Cris Putnam had realized this, he might not have written his review.

Codex Sinaiticus is said to be part of this alleged Alexandrian family with Codex Vaticanus – yet these two manuscripts differ in more than 3,000 places in the four gospels alone.  These are not a unified family, but rivals in sharp disagreement with each other.  Dr. Moorman argues that there is really only one family of manuscripts:

“With some 85% or more of the 5000 extant MSS falling into the category of the Received Text, there is in fact only one textual family – the Received.  All that remains is so contradictory, so confused, so mixed, that not by the furthest stretch of the imagination can they be considered several families of MSS.” (Moorman, “Forever Settled,” p. 71) 

THE CRITICS & BIBLICAL INERRANCY

Putnam ends his review with the following remarkable statement: “… it seems to me that the modern scholars have done inerrancy a huge favor.”

A huge favor?  By ignoring the greater body of textual evidence, and in its place, promoting a small collection of manuscripts considered to be “confused” and “contradictory” with tens of thousands of differences between them?  Yet telling the modern world that these represent the “oldest and most reliable” manuscripts?  This was a favor for inerrancy?  The reality is that such illogical argumentation is the reason why so many souls have turned away from the Bible, and no longer believe it is the authoritative Word of God.

A NOTE ON DR. DANIEL WALLACE

Finally, the review mentioned a presentation given by Dr. Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary, which is said to prove that the claims of Constantine Simonides cannot be true.  Several of our listeners have also mentioned this video.  Because of this, in an upcoming article, we will break down the arguments of Dr. Wallace, and show why we disagree.

By Dr. James Ach

I often frequent websites and forums and in September of 2012, I signed up for the “Baptist Board” forum which claimed to be independent Baptist. However, I was attacked for my views on the very first post I made. Subsequently thereafter I engaged in numerous debates about the King James Only Controversy and Calvinism. I had received the worst treatment and name calling on any “Baptist” website I have ever been to when debating these 2 issues. I was labeled as a liar, unsaved, and called every name in the book that began with the letters “F”, “A”, “S” and “P”, and accused of starting an anti-Calvinist revolution.

I also experienced the most extreme forms of anti-Semitism on this “Baptist” forum. Because of my views on dispensationalism, the KJV and Calvinism, the Calvinist administrators allowed members of the forum to slander me as a Jew with impunity. One member even sent me a picture of a pig with the caption, “What’s for dinner?”. Another poster blamed Israel for all of the terrorist attacks and claimed that the Muslims learned their tactics from Jews. I would have expected to read this kind of rhetoric from the “Westboro” crowd, but from a website that claimed to be independent Baptist? I was shocked.

Dr Bob Catholic Suit

Dr. Bob Griffin (Wife [L], Liquor [R])

I had frequent conflicts with one “Dr Bob” also known as Dr. Bob Griffin, a head administrator of this forum. Dr. Bob often deleted any rigorous defenses I made of the King James Bible, and even created a separate forum that was buried and difficult to find for any thread started about Calvinism. Threads that I started were quickly moved to this forum, while Pro Calvinist threads remained in the general viewing area.

Dr. Bob accused me of “hating the sovereignty of God”, and declared that I was “evil”. Although Dr. Bob was very prolific in his accusations against me, he was never willing to debate on Calvinism when challenged and defend his accusations. Dr. Bob even referred to me as “Tel Aviv’s Village Idiot”. I was banned from the Baptist Board on 9/10/13 for calling Dr. Bob an idiot after he made a comment about me kissing my deceased mother.

After the first few conflicts, I decided to see just what Dr. Bob was about. I was sent statistics from his Facebook page where he lists the colleges he attended, but one curious reference that was listed that he gave no other details about, was a Ph.D acquired from “St Alcuin College”. St. Alcuin College is a university that trains Jesuits among other students. Of course, I asked Dr. Bob to explain this, and he never replied to the question.

Needless to say the “Baptist Board” is the worst atmosphere of professing Baptists I have ever seen.

The trend that I noticed on this Baptist Board and many other websites like it, is the anti King James Version and Calvinist movements using such websites as tools to attract members to what they think is a fundamental Baptist website, and then using administrative functions to slight those who favor the King James and are Non Calvinist. These websites deliberately avoid clarifying their true beliefs, and advertise themselves on “Top Sites” that are IFB related lists. These websites are being carefully used to sabotage the beliefs of Bible believing Baptists and promote their versions of Reformed Theology and anti King James Bible sentiments on unsuspecting members.

Bible believing Baptists need to beware of such websites like this and mark them as divisive Satanic schemes to attempt a coup among fundamental Baptist churches. We advise pastors of real fundamental Bible believing Baptist churches to warn their members about such websites as well.

The following forums are the only ones I would recommend for King James Non Calvinist believers:

*Online Baptist (website, http://www.onlinebaptist.com/index.html)

*Calvinism’s Other Side- (website, http://calvinismsotherside.freeforums.net/)

Facebook Groups 

[I do not use Facebook which I despise with a passion, thus those who have groups that they would like listed may send us the URL]

*Boaz Baptist Church Chronicles (url, https://www.facebook.com/groups/159341557496683/ )

We have also developed a new “Top Baptist” listing for real Bible Believing Baptists at:

Bible Believing Baptist Topsites

By Dr. James Ach- [We will address Biblical proof texts cited in the author’s quote of McCune  in Part 2 since these are common proof texts used by Calvinists to support unconditional election, and this article is addressing a response about decrees.]

X-Ray-Hip FractureSo a flunkie who calls himself ‘Hip and Thigh” from “the- blood- of- Jesus Christ -doesn’t- save -us” John MacArthur ministries, decided to challenge one of our articles on the decrees of God as viewed by Calvinism. Naturally for Bible agnostics like this, he begins with the assumption that we are wrong by default because we use the KJV and are KJVO. I suppose that means we are wrong about the Trinity, deity of Christ, believer’s baptism, cessation, the existence of God, virgin birth, Christ’s sinlessness, etc..merely because we hold that the KJV is the word of God.

Of course, we pointed out this presumptuous fallacy when James White used it as well. We received no response when we asked how Norman Geisler was considered orthodox when he wrote an endorsement of the front of James White’s “The King James Only Controversy” but was considered a heretic when he wrote, “Chosen But Free” against Calvinism. As we will presently see, his scholarship is about as believable  and accurate as his initial presuppositions and opening diatribe.

Quip and Lie finally begins his drivel in what he probably thinks is sound exegesis with the following:

Of course, anyone who is a serious student of God’s Word knows that the doctrine of God’s eternal decrees, especially as they pertain to the salvation of His elect people, does not hang upon the English word “decree” or “decrees” as translated in the KJV. I personally would expect more from someone who puts “Dr.” in front of his name, but we are dealing with an individual who takes Larry Vance seriously as a researcher.

Nothing like the begging the question fallacy right off the bat. What Quip and Thigh really means is that unless you arrive at the same conclusion as he does, you haven’t really studied SERIOUSLY. But let’s entertain his logic for a second.

If Calvinism did not hang upon the English word “decree” then why use it in the first place? Did John Calvin hang his hat on a word that had not even been introduced into the KJV yet? When John Calvin wrote, “Men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God, and do not discuss and deliberate on anything but what he has previously decreed with himself, and brings to pass by his secret direction” was Calvin using the KJV here? Since the KJV was published about 50 years after Calvin died (1564) this shows just what kind of Quipper and Liar we’re dealing with here. I would certainly expect more from someone who believes they have the same ability as Samson to fight with a hip bone instead of an ice cream cone.

Quip and Lie takes a pot shot at Laurence Vance, but offers nothing in response as to why Vance was not qualified to write against Calvinism. And to date, there has been no published work by any Calvinist author refuting Vance’s book, “The Other Side of Calvinism”.

Now notice how Quip and Lie attempts to sneak in shady and uncertain “scholarship” after attempting to inoculate his readers with vitriol about our article and website:

Rolland McCune, in his first volume on systematic theology (pp., 308-309), looks at the Hebrew text and identifies 6 key words that pertain to God’s decrees: yatsar, ya’ats, ‘etsah, chashab, machshebeth, nathan. Depending upon the context they can be translated as decide, purpose, plan, device, ordain or other similar words describing God’s actions that He decided to do in eternity. They are used in such passages as Psalm 139:16, Isaiah 19:12, Jeremiah 32:19, Genesis 50:20, Jeremiah 1:5.

Coming to the NT, McCune notes 10 key words that pertain to God’s decrees and purposes: horidzo, prooridzo, protithemai, proetoimadzo, tasso, proginosko, prognois, procheiridzomai, procheriotoneo.  Likewise, depending upon the context, those words can mean to determine, appoint, fix, foreordain, elect, set beforehand. They are found in such passages as Acts 2:23, Romans 8:29, Ephesians 1:9 and 2:10, Acts 17:26, and 1 Peter 1:1:2.

While none of those words are necessarily translated as “decree” and “decrees” in the KJV, the doctrine of God’s eternal decrees is clearly confirmed by any honest evaluation of the relevant passages. But that shouldn’t concern a KJV onlyist who believes God’s Word is frozen in only one translation that is 400 years old.

Notice first that NONE of the Hebrew words carry the same meaning that Calvinism gives to “decree”. Quip and Lie was likely hanging  his hat hoping this wretched Jew did not know Hebrew. We’ll even borrow from Strong’s (a Calvinist favorite) for evidence of Quip and Lies folly (If Quip and Lie would like us to use Wallace, Mounce or anyone else, we can do that, too):

Yatsar: To form, fashion.

Ya’ats: Advise, counsel.

Etsah: Counsel, advise.

Chashab: To think, account for

…Ah, we get the point. Now what the typical Calvinist will do here, is take any of the alternate renderings where the verb form may be used in context with a passage that indicates God either foreknowing something or bringing a SINGLE EVENT to pass, and then reconstruct the definition of the word as if the word in and of itself means the same thing outside of the context it was used in. However, even THAT does not work because just as in the English word decree, none of these Hebrew words imply that God decreed anything from eternity and caused it to come to pass in the deterministic fashion in which Calvinism defines “decrees”.

This is precisely why you see the sleight- of- hand used here by Quip and Lie. Notice that after attempting to convince the reader with his plethora of initial insults and the certainty of his theology, he then punts to UNcertainty with, “the Hebrew words CAN be translated…” (typical anti-KJVO “scholarship onlyism” Bible agnostic logic) Which is it? Do these words prove the Calvinist decree as defined by Calvinism is accurate or not? Quip’s argument was that there are words in Hebrew that are equivalent to “decree”. Well of course there are! Why is that? Because “decree” IN THE BIBLE DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME THING AS DECREE DEFINED BY CALVINISM and that was the whole point of our article, “The Decrees of God”.

For example, the decrees spoken of in Daniel 4-6 show decrees made by a king. Something they gave counsel about or ordered. The Calvinist will then say “See! There it is! The word ‘decree’ is similar to these other Hebrew words”. And that’s the catch. Here Quip and Lie wants the readers to agree with him first that decree is not an isolated usage, get the reader to believe that “decree” and other Hebrew words for “counsel” “ordain” are synonymous with decree, and then proceed to create his own definition of decree which for any Calvinist, is defined by Calvin or the Westminster Confession (pick one); that God from eternity past has determined ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER come to pass. This then causes the reader to believe in the Calvinist usage of other Hebrew usages as synonymous with the Calvinist definition of decree by default. Neat trick isn’t it! Yes, if you are truly that gullible.

Naturally, when the Calvinist is faced with the implications of this statement, they will blame supralapsarianism although the infra and supralapsarians all use the same ‘proof texts’. Even some Calvinists like Berkouwer bite the bullet on this one, “We can not speak of before and after in God’s eternal decrees as we do in time, hence the difference between supra and infra can be called imaginary because it implies the application of a temporal order to eternity”. And yet when the Calvinist is faced with such conundrums, they simply pawn it off on “mystery”, or in Quip and Lie’s case, on the KJV that wasn’t around when John Calvin wrote about God’s decrees.

Quip and Lie proceeds to argue about God’s eternality, of which we have a question for him as well!

“I’ll go out on a limb and assume that our KJVO apologist at least affirms the eternality of God. To my knowledge, I don’t think I am dealing with an open theist Socinian heretic.

So far so good. We are not Open Theists. We do believe that God knows the future, but disagree that foreknowledge is an independent force of God that creates its own opportunities and events. It’s not the God of Foreknowledge, but the foreknowledge of God. Foreknowledge means to know, and to know ahead of time, it does not mean to create. God did not KNOW the world into existence, He SPOKE the world into existence. If everything were determined simply because God foreknew it, then all matter and creation would necessarily be eternally existent because you can not separate what God knew from when He actually created anything. But moving on so as to not overwhelm our critic with common sense…

An eternal God knows all things, because He is, say it with me, ETERNAL. There is no knowledge He has to gather to Himself. Add to that the fact that He is the creator. An eternal creator creates all that there is, and because He is the creator, He not only knows all that will transpire in history future, He has planned it so, all the good, bad, and ugly. The fact of detailed biblical prophecy affirms that point.

That means God has planned for man’s salvation, and specifically from Scripture, a particular people, or what is revealed to us as His redeemed elect.  It is not some nebulous concept of “The Elect” to which God has left people to choose if whether or not they will join the club. It is people, individuals, that God chooses.

But let’s leave the theological ramifications aside for now. Our KJVO advocate insists God’s decrees do not pertain to election or predestination  He also brashly claims God’s decrees are only made in TIME and not eternity. He wants to keep God out of the electing to salvation business and let man choose his own destiny with his freewill. But does the Bible confirm his thesis?

…ETERNAL (Did I say it right?). First of all, I do not disagree with the obvious that God knows the future, and that He has planned for certain things. God’s planning would be a natural element to His desires and wishes. But that’s where the Calvinists should stop when it comes to the foreknowledge of God. But instead, they make the pantheistic leap from there that because God knows all things, and has plans for the future, that He MUST cause all of those events to come to pass. The implications of this is that God is in fact the author and first cause of evil and sin. Though the average Calvinist vehemently rejects this implication, it is inescapable if their theology is followed consistently. And as we will demonstrate shortly, there are some things that God “decreed” that DID NOT HAPPEN.

Quip and Lie says, “let’s leave off the theological ramifications” and then offers that decrees are related to God’s predestination and election. Scripture? Proof? Plenty of presuppositional philosophy but no proof albeit two passages from Ephesians and Timothy, neither of which support his claim.

Of Ephesians 3 Quip writes:

Without this becoming an exercise in the obvious, let’s first consider Ephesian 3:11 (taken from the KJV text so as to be consistent),

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Note my emphasis. “Eternal purpose.” God had a purpose that is described as eternal. There are actually two words here translated as “purpose” and “purposed.” Both words,prothesis and poieo have the meaning “to set forth” and “to do,” respectively. Paul is saying that in eternity, because again, they are “eternal” purposes, God set forth to do something. In the case of Ephesians 3, it is to reveal God’s wisdom in regards to the salvation of the gentiles. That is eternal salvation that was “decreed,” because well, if you purpose to do something, that means you decreed it to happen, right?

No Non Calvinist denies that God’s PURPOSE is that He desires all men to be saved, and that Christ accomplished the atonement to secure that purpose for those who repent and believe. But Quip’s interpretation is altogether implying something the text does not say. There is a stark difference on what God’s purpose and plan is and him forcing men against their wills based upon an arbitrary election that damns some sinners simply because God had pleasure in condemning them to an eternal hell. Read the text again Quip, “purpose (prothesis)” here is not a verb (nor an exception to where nouns are used as verbs) and thus you can not imply action on God’s part by forcing a grammatical implication that is not in the text.

And on Timothy, Quip opines that,

Let’s look at one more taken from 2 Timothy 1:8,9,

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began

Once more, note my emphasis. Paul speaks of being saved and called by a holy calling. Paul did not get called because of his works, but according God’s own purpose and grace. The word “purpose” is again translated from prothesis, which means “to set forth.” What did God set forth to do according to Paul’s words? To save and call him and his friend Timothy to whom he is writing. When did God set forth to save and call Paul and Timothy? BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN. When exactly is that? Oh, I’ll venture a guess here and say ETERNITY PAST!  In fact, the phrase “world began” was translated from pro chronos, which means “Before Time!.”

The very translation this guy claims to be the only sure and reliable Word of God flatly contradicts him. Now he sits upon the horns of a significant dilemma. Will he side with the authority of his beloved translation or his feverish devotion to hating Calvinism? Or perhaps he’ll choose a third option of spinning the Bible in such a way so as to re-interpret it to favor him? What’s a rapid, anti-Calvinist KJV onlyist to do?

Once again, the exact same flaw as his argument on Ephesians 3:11. Remember, the entire context of his debate was about our article on the decrees of God, and how Calvinism defines decrees as God determining all things whatsoever comes to pass. 2 Timothy 1:8-9 shows God had a purpose, what He desired and wanted to happen, but He also chose to give men free will (the libertarian kind). What this verse does NOT say, is that God CAUSED anyone’s salvation as determined by any decree, past present or future or as “determined” (as Calvinism defines determine) at all.

Now let us show you some monkey wrenches in Quips theology.

The story follows in 1 Samuel 23 where David is on the run from Saul. David is cornered in  Keilah with Saul hot on his trail. David then inquires of the LORD in verses 12-14,

Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, They will deliver thee up.

13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.

Notice that the LORD said of Saul “he WILL deliver thee up”. What happened in verse 13? Saul, “FORBARE to go forth”. Saul did NOT deliver David up, Saul FORBARE. God said unequivocally that Saul WILL deliver David, and then Saul did not because David did something that altered the course of his destiny in the same manner that a sinner alters his destiny of judgment when He trusts Christ as Saviour.

If God “determines all things” then naturally God is the author of all the confusion that men experience. Yet 1 Corinthians 14:33 says He is not the author of confusion. If God determines all things, then that includes all the temptations men face, yet God says “Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God’. See James 1:12-14. If God desires and causes others to sin by the determination of His counsel before the foundation of the world, then we would not read the following statements by God in Jeremiah 32:35,

And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

In the OT, Israel is the elect of God (Isaiah 45:4) and yet God sent Jonah to a city of Gentiles. What’s more is that God throws the following nuts and bolts against the Calvinist determinist in Jonah 3:8-10.

 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Now can Mr. Hip see where God said, “and God repented of the evil, that HE SAID HE WOULD DO unto them, and DID IT NOT”? Chalk it up to “conditional prophecy” if you want to, but it demonstrates that not everything that God says is determined to come to pass by some eternal decree because the Scriptures prove over and over again that man’s decisions made in time can and HAVE altered the path of what God said WOULD HAPPEN with and without conditions.

Now on to our final question that we have for Mr. Lip and Chicken Thigh. If sin is necessary to vindicate God’s sovereignty, to the extent that He eternally decreed that all things come to pass as He ordains them, was there a lapse in God’s sovereignty before He executed judgment on the first sin? Was God fully God, content from all eternity and satisfied BEFORE He became sovereign over creation? If God decreed all such events, included sin because of its “eternal purpose”, and therefore his decree and preterition are necessary to prove His sovereignty, what happened to God’s sovereignty from the time that He was content and satisfied from eternity past to the time when the first sin was manifested, and the subsequent judgment of that sin?

If Quip and Lie thought for one second that us ignoring some of his ridiculous comments was any indication of his pedantic intellectual superiority, let this be the beginning of a beautiful love/ hate relationship, where we hate to see well meaning believers caught up in error, but love debunking the arguments and fallacies of self aggrandizing Bibliophobes.

alienRecently Dr. Elisha Weismann wrote an article about James White where he detailed the flaws of James White’s amillennial heresy, as well as questioned why White would schedule a debate in Africa (when the trip actually begins in London) and was still advertising for the necessity of funds to cover the trip. Elisha asked why would White not “count the cost” before “building his trip”? It was an honest and legitimate observation that White turned into a conspiracy theory.

To this James White responded on his website that Elisha was a conspiracy theorist simply because our website is KJVO.  White stated, “Of course, this is a KJV Only site, and KJV Onlyism produces the most wide-eyed forms of vitriol and slander on the Internet, so we should not be overly surprised”. So once again, White while appearing to be pious, attacks a person’s intelligence and even lumps them into a conspiracy theorist category merely because they believe in the King James Bible. White accuses KJVO of being the most vitriolic on the internet, and yet every radio show he plays snippets of the now deceased Dave Hunt, taking statements Hunt said out of context to mock him. White himself even admitted on his 9/5/13 broadcast that many consider him obnoxious. They are probably all conspiracy theorists, too!

But who’s the real conspiracy theorist here? Are KJVO folks the only ones that oppose Calvinism and James White? Did not Norman Geisler write an endorsement on the cover of James White’s “The King James Only Controversy”? and yet Geisler also wrote a book about Calvinism called, “Chosen But Free” to which White responded with “The Potter’s Freedom”. Dave Hunt wrote a book on Calvinism and Hunt is not KJVO. But according to White, all who defend the KJVO are conspiracy theorists.

By the way James, we don’t believe in aliens, chemtrails, or zombies.

Ironically, White has promoted an upcoming speech about Ergun Caner which he calls, “The Great Evangelical Cover Up”. White has accused Norman Geisler of covering up the allegations against Ergun Caner about his truthfulness of being born in Turkey among other things. According to James White, the small handful of people that have defended Caner constitute a black eye on the entire apologetics community, and amount to an “evangelical cover up”. Thus according to White, the entire church is involved in a conspiracy to cover up Ergun Caner’s story.

So who’s the real conspiracy theorist here?

White further attempts to defend the Council of Nicea as if it wasn’t actually Roman Catholic. According to James White, the deity of Christ was not TRULY defended until the council of Nicea, as if Paul, Peter, John, Polycarp, et al, never defended the Trinity prior to this council. It took a GOVERNMENT SPONSORED council to tell the church the real truth about the deity of Christ. The council of Nicea which also led to the production of the Nicene Creed defending baptismal regeneration as well (“we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins”).

Anyone that has actually spent even a minute of time can see the Canons of the Council of Nicea are the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. But of course, White as a staunch Calvinist, needs to defend the murderour acts of Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin since they relied on the fact that heresy was punishable by death under government law. Somehow White must justify Calvin’s illegitimate theocracy and so he must rewrite and revise history to disassociate the Council of Nicea from the Roman Catholic Church in order to make a bogus connection of succession between Calvin and the followers of Augustine that emanated from the Council since that is the earliest date one could show for any historic evidence for most of the beliefs held by Calvinists.

Thus, White’s following statement about debating Roman Catholics means absolutely nothing to us.

Well there you go! Don’t worry about all those debates with Roman Catholic apologists! No, no, that was all a cover, you see! Unless you present KJV Onlyism, you are actually a Jesuit! See, there isn’t a fact on God’s green earth that can stop a conspiratorialist from reaching their goal.

Just because White debates Roman Catholicism does not mean he isn’t a Jesuit himself. In fact, that is part of the Jesuit Oath.

My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among other Protestants, generally to be a Protestant, and obtaining their confidence, to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and even to descend so low as to become a Jew among Jews, that you might be enabled to gather together all information for the benefit of your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope.

You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities, provinces, states that were at peace, and incite them to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other, and to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous, cultivating the arts and the sciences and enjoying the blessings of peace. To take sides with the combatants and to act secretly with your brother Jesuit, who might be engaged on the other side, but openly opposed to that with which you might be connected, only that the Church might be the gainer in the end, in the conditions fixed in the treaties for peace and that the end justifies the means.

You have been taught your duty as a spy, to gather all statistics, facts and information in your power from every source; to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family circle of Protestants and heretics of every class and character, as well as that of the merchant, the banker, the lawyer, among the schools and universities, in parliaments and legislatures, and the judiciaries and councils of state, and to be all things to all men, for the Pope’s sake, whose servants we are unto death.

A person that debates Roman Catholicism and yet affirms the texts created by their scholars (Westcott, Hort, Tischendorf) and then attempts to cause the rest of Christianity to believe that the Council of Nicea was not actually Roman Catholic thereby having his followers actually accept the Canons of Catholicism is the most dangerous form of double-tongued apologetics.

While we do not subscribe to every conspiracy theory published on the internet, there are some conspiracy theories that have quite a bit of validity. Americans especially should understand that. Anyone that believes that John Kennedy was killed by a lone gun man with a magic bullet is nuts. The Bible describes in great detail how Satan creates an international conglomerate that will eventually unite the world against Christ (as they attempted to do in Genesis 11 under Nimrod). You don’t get world leaders to give up their national sovereignty and patriotism to the control of a one world dictator without some kind of elaborate conspiracies to bring that to fruition. It is people such as White and many others that scream the loudest against conspiracy theories that are truly the most dangerous hucksters because they are putting Christians to sleep about the realities of the soon return of Christ and the chaos that will precede it. And yet in the process of White’s vilification of all KJVOs being conspiracy theorists, White concocts a few conspiracies of his own against his detractors.

By Dr. James Ach and Dr Elisha Weismann

On September 3, 2013, James White finally responded to a video posted by Dr. Jerry Walls titled, “What’s Wrong With Calvinism“. The lecture that  Dr. Walls gives on Calvinism is one of the most damning arguments against Calvinism extant as it demonstrates that the Calvinist view of  the nature and character of God is not only inconsistent with Scripture, but is actually an assault on His holiness.

Before we begin our critique of White’s response, let us first advise our readers that Jerry Walls is in fact an Arminian and we here at Do Right Christians are not in agreement with Arminianism. However, since Walls represents a view of Calvinism that we share in common, when we use the term “Arminian” in this article as quoted by White (who assumes that if one is not Calvinist then they must be Arminian by default), we will assume that White would be referring to those of us who are Non Calvinist as well.

WHITE’S MAIN OBJECTION

White’s argument against Walls was woefully inadequate. We took notes minute by minute and want to address one of his latter arguments first. White’s primary “beef” it seems with Walls is that Walls argument is primarily philosophical and not as much emphasis on Biblical support as White would like. White repeats this on numerous occasions throughout his article. White contends the Bible should come first and then presuppositions built around the arguments. However, White is a demeaning hypocrite in this accusation.

First of all, White begins the show with a sound bit of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” in which he plays 2 snippets of Dave Hunt: one where Hunt admits ignorance of the Reformers, and one where Hunt claims to know more about Calvinism than most Calvinists do. White touts this as a blatant contradiction and uses these quotes by Hunt to prove that Hunt is not a credible source for evaluating Calvinism. This is classic James White misrepresentation and it also defies White’s own logic which we will explain hereafter.

Hunt never said He was ignorant of Calvinism, he said he was ignorant of the plethora of writings made by traditional Reformers. These could include Whitefield, Edwards, Gill, Beza, et al. However, Hunt has said that he has studied John Calvin’s “Institutes” as well as Martin Luther’s “Bondage of the Will” as well as thoroughly studied the Westminster Confession (which he quotes in his video “What Love Is This”). But yet according to White, a person can not truly claim to understand Calvinism unless they have a thorough knowledge of ALL of the Reformed authors. Of course, White does not differentiate between Reformers that followed Calvin, or those who followed Luther. Or whether those of the Calvinist persuasion should be Baptist (like Spurgeon, Carey) or Presbyterian (like Knox). Nevertheless, based on White’s statement, no person who has studied Calvinists such as Arthur Pink, Lorainne Boettner, Hodge, Helm, Piper, MacArthur, J.I. Packer, R.C. Sproul, Kennedy, Mahaney, Moeler, Jones, Grudem, et al, really understands Calvinism. Thus according to White, a person may have read 50 different authors of the Calvinist persuasion, but not TRULY understand Calvinism unless they demonstrate a thorough knowledge of an undefined list of Reformers.

Well to this we would say, since White admits that he has never read Peter Ruckman’s response to his book “The King James Only Controversy” then he truly doesn’t understand the KJVO position even though he wrote a book about it. (Since White accused us of being stupid because we are KJVO in addressing an article that didn’t even discuss the King James Controversy, we figured we’d give him a free “plug” on the issue so he has actual grounds to slander us this time).

JAMES WHITE IS NOT “SOLA SCRIPTURA”

Now here’s where the hypocrisy of White rears its ugliness. White claims that the Bible should have been primary in Walls lecture. However, White contends that, like Spurgeon, that Calvinism IS the gospel. That only Calvinism offers a true representation of what the Bible says about salvation and the sovereignty of God. Well Mr. White, did you give Dave Hunt that same speech? Of course not. White’s accusation against Hunt was that he didn’t understand Calvinism because he didn’t understand the Reformers. If Calvinism “IS the gospel”, and the only way to properly understand Calvinism is by a perfect or thorough understanding of the Confessions and Reformers, then James White is ultimately putting the Reformers and Creeds above the Bible because one can not truly understand Calvinism by just reading the Bible, as White says of Hunt, unless you are versed in the writings of the Reformers, then you don’t know John. So in essence, White himself is a hypocrite for accusing Walls of not using Biblical arguments first.

Furthermore, Calvinism IS a philosophical system, and Walls was simply matching fire with fire. White began his show by claiming that Calvinism is based upon Biblical presuppositions, but Calvinism has more philosophical definitions than any other Christian denomination. We would love for White to prove that the following Calvinist terms are explicit in the Bible: supralapsarianism, infralapsarianism, sublapsarianism, reprobation, preterition, general call and effectual call, double predestination, total inability, monergism, etc. Calvinism begins with man-made presuppositions with definitions that are not found in the Bible, and then builds proof texts around them. Dare White then to claim that Calvinism is not largely based on philosophy. It is also ironic that White did not begin the lecture where Walls attributed Calvinism to Augustine (A Roman Catholic philosopher).

THE RADIO SEGMENTS

[The following will list the time section where the excerpt of White’s comments are being addressed]

18:00-White begins by assuming that Walls should begin with Genesis 50 and other Calvinist proof texts as a foundation of the lecture. Although this is quite presumptuous on White’s part, he should at least allow Walls the liberty to format the debate in terms that he believes adequately represents Calvinism. Ironically, a mere 5 minutes before White made this comment, he criticized Michael Brown for using proof texting in his debates about Calvinism.

20:40– White attempts to rebut Walls definition of freedom by implying that if taken seriously, would have the result of rejecting any divine decree of God. Of course, White fails to even develop an argument for the decrees of God, or how such decrees were relevant to addressing Walls definition of freedom. (Please read our article on “The Decrees of God” to show that White’s attempt to inject something into the debate that had nothing to do with Walls argument would not help White’s case anyway.) White simply asserts “there MUST be a decree” so White offers only a presuppositional bias against Walls here with no Biblical support to advance his rebuttal.

Moreover, something that White seems to ignore here is that Walls is quoting sources directly from Calvinist authors and the Westminster Confession. Now unless White is in disagreement with the same authors that he accused Dave Hunt of being ignorant of, that they are not credible sources, Walls is quoting from those of whom White would generally consider a credible resource for defining Calvinist beliefs. For his listeners, however, there are some things that are seen in the video that you can not see in an audio response, such as the author of a quote Walls may be citing which would lead his listeners to believe that Walls is merely paraphrasing his opponents instead of quoting directly from their sources.

21:39-Here White resorts to the accusation that such a view of free will makes the autonomy of man the final arbiter of salvation. Not only is this a gross caricature of something that Walls never said, but was totally non sequitur to the explanation that Walls was giving in defining what is meant by “freedom”. However, this is a common accusation leveled against Non Calvinists in that we believe that if man has free will to choose to repent and believe, that somehow we ignore Ephesians 2:8-9 and every other verse that shows that salvation is by grace through faith, not of works,  and that some how it robs God of His sovereignty even if it was His idea to save us in such a manner. It is a classic straw man argument that White used here simply to reinforce this accusation in the minds of his listeners as a distraction from what Walls was actually saying.

22:10-After Walls finishes defining freedom, White does not actually challenge Walls description. Rather, White opines down a rabbit trail of defining Open Theism as being the only consistent form of Arminianism, even though he admits that Walls is probably not an Open Theist. White then simply writes off Walls explanation as an attempt to paint humans as mere robots, but yet White doesn’t make any valid effort to refute such a conclusion. White delves into another rabbit trail about Total Depravity by claiming that Arminians don’t really believe in Total Depravity because frankly, they don’t arrive at the same conclusion that Calvinists do about inability. This is another common Calvinist debate tactic that attempts to persuade others to Calvinism by bootstrapping inability to depravity. If one does not accept that man has the complete inability to respond to God or hear the voice of God because he is dead in sin, then he really doesn’t believe in depravity because in Calvinism, inability is the result of depravity. But just because Walls does not agree with the conclusion of inability does not mean that he does not believe in depravity, and even White admits that Walls does not define depravity AS HE UNDERSTANDS IT, although this was quite a red herring because depravity was not the issue at this point which is something common that you will note in the remainder of White’s address.

29:30-White asserts again that Walls is defending the creaturely aspect of man. That as creatures we object to God from a creaturely perspective and that our actions are the result of the fall under Adam’s Federal Headship. However, Walls does not object to the Federal Headship of Adam here (and frankly, we don’t know where Walls stands on that issue because it wasn’t brought up in his lecture), but regardless of this argument, which is AGAIN non sequitur to Walls’ argument, White fails to address the logical conclusion of Walls contention (if Walls were actually arguing this point) which would be that if God determines all things, which White admits that He does, then even the Federal Headship of Adam would be one of God’s own making, and as such, would still make God responsible for the choices that men make because they are not free to choose between A or to choose Not A. If man is not free to choose good because he is determined to do evil, and can not choose to do otherwise, then it is a blatant contradiction to claim that man actually chooses to do evil when he could have chosen to do good if he wanted to, but he could not want to because God prevented him from the ability to do so by failing to install the programming that would have allowed man this “free” option. God is ultimately the first and primary cause of the will of the man who can not choose to act other than by the evil desires and wishes that God gave him. White does not even come close to refuting this point.

30:00-White again, veers off of the debate and explains regeneration in a manner that has nothing to do with what Walls is discussing. It’s as if White is listening to and responding to an entirely different lecture. If White decided to talk about Pizza somehow he would believe that it was relevant to the discussion. White mocks Norman Geisler by claiming that Geisler, Hunt and others opposed to Calvinism hold to something that they never said. White contends that Geisler mocks Calvinism by saying “Oh well God has to raise you from the dead” and thus accusing Geisler of denying God’s salvific power in salvation. Geisler nor Hunt have ever said this. What they said is about the Calvinist view that passages Calvinists use that describe a physical resurrection to justify the view that God spiritually quickens us BEFORE we have even repented is erroneous (See our article on James White’s “Could Lazarus Have Said ‘No?’“). White has a bad habit of deliberately misrepresenting his opponents words and views.

31:00-White here is discussing what occurs in the life of a believer AS A RESULT of salvation which is not what Walls is addressing. What Walls is arguing here is the Calvinist view that God causes you to have a will that then irresistibly calls on God. Walls is arguing about what Calvinist believes BEFORE salvation occurs, and what CAUSES it to occur, whereas White is addressing the effects of salvation AFTER it has occurred. As Norman Geisler says, White, “put De Cartes before De Horse”.

41:00-White continues to interrupt in his play-by-play rebuttal. White accuses Walls of Universalism and even says “Ah, see! He admitted it” when what Walls is doing is showing how his development of the Calvinist Conundrum would actually lead to Universalism IF this premise were accepted by Calvinists. White interjected his objection before Walls clearly stated that not only does he himself not believe in Universalism, but that most Calvinists would also reject it. So again, White objects to something that Walls was not finished developing.

CONCLUSION AND SUMMARY

We have somewhat borrowed from Walls argument in one of our objections against Calvinism in our article “Free Will Proves the Sovereignty of God” as well as developed another conundrum called “The Calvinist Uniformity Conundrum” which you can find on our forum, Calvinisms Other Side at the top of the website. But to summarize Walls’ excellent exposition of the core problem with Calvinism is that if God could have determined that all men freely worship Him, and praise Him, and He chose not to, but He could have, then He did not do so because He did not WANT to do so in contrast to those He DID want to save irresistibly. Since Calvinists admit that God does whatever He wishes or desires, then it follows that all things that God determined are based upon what He desired and wanted to determine. If God then determined that others be eternally damned, then God predetermined men to be damned simply because He WANTED TO in order to get glory for Himself and prove His sovereignty. Yet who God had to prove it to is a mystery because the necessity that God needed to prove His sovereignty implies that God was somehow not content before He created anything and became sovereign over what He created. It wasn’t enough that the Father loved the Son throughout eternity, God needed and therefore depends on evil in order to vindicate Him (from who?) and thus not only is this a gross caricature of the nature and character of God, but a distortion of God’s love.

In addition to Walls argument we content that it also presents a somewhat pantheistic view of God in that God is rivaled by sin and evil. If God needs sin to prove His sovereignty, then sin must of necessity be eternally existent because whatever it takes for God to be wholly God and complete, must have existed either within Him or in this case outside of Him (if determinism is true) to accomplish His complete satisfaction and contentment. Thus either God was not fully God until sin was manifested, or sin actually eternally existed along side of God, but laid dormant until it had a chance to be useful in demonstrating God’s justice. Calvinists often argue that the existence of sin is necessary by focusing on its purpose rather than its author. This would therefore make sin an equal god of its own nature.

Although White has admittedly known about this video for a few months or a year (he claims both) it is painfully obvious that White was not prepared to address the content of this video head-on. White not only mischaracterized several arguments, divorced himself from the actual content of the debate on several occasions with irrelevant rabbit trails and red herring distractions, but attempted to insulate his readers with a preemptive reason why he did not address this video by claiming it was based merely on philosophy when he himself has used exactly what he accuses Walls of against Dave Hunt, and even plays it at the beginning of his “rebuttal”. However, Walls did say that there is a thorough video exposition of Calvinist proof texts which White only mentions in passing on a prior radio show. Since White didn’t bother to give his listeners the reference to these videos, you can find them here.

Although we do not agree with all of Dr. Jerry Walls theology, we do agree that this presentation by Dr. Walls accurately represented the views of Calvinism which is something that even White did not completely object to. It is in our opinion one of the most condemning speeches ever given on the core issue of Calvinism and Reformed theology outside of Dr. Laurence Vance’s book, The Other Side of Calvinism. White has not vowed to finish his review of this video, and from what have heard so far, that would probably save him from further embarrassment as his attempt to address the claims made by Dr. Walls was wholly inadequate, but we will watch for any additional responses by White on this, and will keep our readers up to date on this issue.

 

 

See also our response to James White’s Critique of Jerry Walls’ “What’s Wrong With Calvinism?”

By Dr. Elisha Weismann

In a recent broadcast by James White, White admitted to being an “amillennialist”, but admitted that he never, ever, debates prophecy, and apparently the amillennial position is of not critical importance to him. James White is also a Calvinist and I believe this is one of the primary reasons he does not take a solid stand on prophecy (and on that note, neither did Martin Luther, nor John Calvin, neither of which wrote a commentary on Revelation). Apparently, the return of Christ is not something of significance in the field of apologetics according to White.

Although there are some Calvinists who are premillennial, White does not appear to be one of them, but does not take the liberty to go into detail as to why. So, we will explain it for him! (We will be accused of “slandering” him because we are “KJVO” anyway, so may as well take some other liberties.)

Although some Calvinists like John MacArthur maintain a premillennial view, any premillennial view destroys the Calvinist interpretation of Romans chapter 9. If premillennialism is true, then Romans 9 must be viewed as a description of God’s plan for a future restoration of Israel instead of an individual scheme for salvation as most Calvinists maintain.  Just because some Calvinists do not accept this but rather opine that Romans 9-11 DOES cover this subject EXCEPT FOR those proof texts in Romans 9 does not discount the above fact. Romans 9-11 is clear from the very beginning of chapter 9 that Paul is making the distinction between those claiming some type of rite or right as a result of physical birth in Abraham as opposed to those who actually were the target of the blessings-those born of Isaac instead of Hagar.  It is almost imperative that a Calvinist MUST reject dispensationalism in order to maintain their view of Romans 9 as addressing individual salvation instead of what it actually teaches-the corporate restoration of Israel. But, since most Calvinists reject dispensationalism and are either post millennial or amillennial, it is much easier for them to avoid a discussion of prophecy because they find it much harder to defend their views of prophecy than the attempts to defend Calvinism. They are more comfortable defending views that can apply philosophical rationalizing in soteriology than to the subject of eschatology which is not so easy to defend at the same time because many of the proof texts used by Calvinists in their TULIP system are in the context of prophecies. Therefore the Calvinist apologist will have us believe that prophecy is not important.

This could not be further from the truth. For every verse in the Bible that deals with Christ’s first coming, there are 8 that deal with His second coming. The very last book of the Bible deals with the second coming of Christ, and Paul spent 2 entire epistles dealing with the subject of prophecy (1 and 2 Thessalonians). Yet, if the Calvinist can avoid the debate over eschatology, they can avoid having to explain how their soteriological views are at odds with a clear premillennial teaching in the Bible. If the Calvinist can successfully deflect an argument about eschatology, then they can maintain that such verses in the Old Testament (OT) that clearly indicate a future restoration of Israel as a nation can be interpreted as fulfilled by the church and therefore the Calvinist can lay an individual salvation emphasis on OT passages such as Ezekiel 36-37, Jeremiah 10, Isaiah 10 and even Romans chapters 9-11, verses that give a clear distinction between Israel and the Church.

This is why a debate over eschatology SHOULD be addressed by Calvinism and those that oppose Calvinism, and those who oppose Calvinism should force Calvinists to address eschatology because failure to do so permits them to get away with interpreting clearly futuristic passages about corporate Israel into a philosophical debate about the sovereignty of God over the individual wills of men.

We will deal with amillennialism in greater detail in a few weeks. Most of our readers are familiar with the difference between pre and a-millennialism but we will give a short explanation.

What is amillennialism? This view was first made popular by  Augustine (following Origin’s allegorical method of interpretation) who popularized the view in his book “City of God” and is now the dominant view of the Roman Catholic Church. Ironically, one Calvinist dating site copies the Catholic definition of amillenialism almost verbatim (See Sovereign Grace Singles  compared to the Catholic Answers explanation of amillennialism).  It is from 2 Greek words “a” meaning against or “none” and “millenia” meaning thousand. Thus amillennial literally means, no thousand, i.e., no 1,000 year reign as opposed to premillennial thought, which takes Revelation 20:4 literally which says:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

In fact, Revelation 20 mentions “thousand years” six times. It mentions that binding of Satan for 1000 years (v2), what will occur when Satan is released (v3), how long believers will reign with Christ (v4), how long it will be until those who died in the tribulation will be raised (v5), reference again to believers who reign with Christ for a thousand years (6), and mentions Satan’s release again in v7. Now most amillennialists do not take these verses literally. In fact, many do not take any of Revelation literally at all. Many of the full preterist and covenant persuasion hold that all of Revelation was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (See our article on Problems With Preterism, Historicism and Covenant Theology and our article against Steven Anderson’s “After The Tribulation” ). They believe that the 1,000 years is figurative and could be 2,000 years, or perhaps 6,000, or maybe even 20,000, anything but a literal 1,000 years. They believe that Satan was bound although there is no New Testament support for this. Peter asked believers in Acts 5:4-8 why they had allowed Satan to fill their heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and Paul mentioned Satan hindering him in 1 Thess 1:18, a messenger of Satan being sent to buffet Paul in 2 Cor 12:7, and warns us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices in 2 Cor 2:11. It is clear from numerous passages in the New Testament that Satan is not bound.

The amillennialists also hold that Christ is now reigning on earth spritually, in our hearts, and thus Revelation is not a physical reigning on earth but a spiritual reigning.  Thus the amillennialist believes that Christ is reigning as King in heaven, and we are His spiritual kingdom here on earth. This means that the amillennialist must ignore or allegorize the lion laying down with the lamb in Isaiah 11:6-9, ignore the borders of Israel given in Genesis 17:7-8, the literal mountains described in Micah 4:2-4, the tree of life in Revelation 2:7, the Lamb feeding us on earth in Revelation 7:17 along with all of our tears being wiped away in verse 16, the fact that Jerusalem will not be occupied by Gentiles or ANY that defile, work abominations or make lies (Rev 21:27) although Jerusalem is now occupied by Muslims and Catholics.  It also ignores the Sabbath rests described in Hebrews 4.  If Christ is reigning here and now, there are numerous events described in Revelation that should be apparent that obviously are not.

The amillennial teaching also leaves unresolved the birthright of Ephraim given in Genesis 49 which includes the land promises to Israel NOT the church. The blessings that the CHURCH inherited are the spiritual blessings that were inhabited from Abraham which were fulfilled in Christ through the line of Judah. However, the birthright to Ephraim was not to be reckoned by the genealogy! 1 Chronicles 5:1-2. This fact alone serves to refute all postmillennial and amillennial heresy and shows that there is yet a future fulfillment for Israel which will be a remnant of literal, physical Jews. Romans 9:27, Revelation 7:4-8. Jesus describes the thousand years as the kingdom of heaven, a literal, physical heaven where Christ will sit on the throne of David ruling from earth. Jeremiah 33:17, Revelation 3:12, Isaiah 9:7:

 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32-33

Amillennialism is rather simple to refute and thus it is understandable why most Calvinists that hold this view don’t bother spending very much effort defending it and simply hope that it does not become a major topic of discussion in any debate on Calvinism.  But suffice it to say, that there is certainly a valid reason why the Reformers, including Martin Luther and John Calvin, didn’t touch the subject of prophecy with a ten foot pole because rightly dividing the word of truth and putting all of the prophecies concerning Israel in their proper place would rob Calvinism of a hundred  proof texts used to support individual salvation and their views of election and predestination.

OTHER ISSUES WE HAVE WITH WHITE

Ecumenicism

We stumbled on to a website called Defending the Faith, promoting a “Apologetics Cruise” featuring James White and Jerry Johnson. Ironically, the url for the Defending the Faith website is called “SovereingCruises.org”. So now apparently God is not only sovereign over man’s will, but also over $500 cruises  as well.  Jerry Johnson is a member of the Nicene Council organization. The Nicene Council is a NOTORIOUS Roman Catholic council that set the stage for many of the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. On the Nicene Council website, there follows this statement

NiceneCouncil.com was established in 2005 for the purpose of furthering the cause of the Reformation. Though we are Reformed in our theology we are not restricted to one Christian denomination. In fact, we have in our employment and on our board individuals from different denominational backgrounds. We stand firmly on our Statement of Faith and adhere to the early historic, ecumenical creeds and the later Reformed confessions of faith”

Thus it comes to no surprise to us that James White aligns himself with such ecumenical organizations since he regularly supports their “Bible” versions. It is also no surprise that James White is now attacking Chris Pinto for showing that the ESV and other Bibles are part of a Jesuit conspiracy. Part of his defense of the modern versions is citing that Daniel Wallace “debunked” the allegation that Codex Siniaticus is a forgery. One would do well to thoroughly examine the evidence given in “Tares Among The Wheat” * where much evidence has surfaced that proves that Sinaiticus was in fact, the product of Constantine Simonides and was a forgery edited by Tischendorf and presented to the Pope as an ancient manuscript.

Fund Raising

For what seems to be several months now, James White has advertised the need for funding of a trip to Africa. Of course, the link then takes you to the donation tab, where the explanation of the trip is found at the bottom of the page after an additional “General Travel Fund” is mentioned, where it says his first trip will be to London to debate Roman Catholicism, and then to Africa to “minister to the saints”, and then to debate Islam with Yusuf Ismail who lives in Ethiopia.

Now we get that any ministry has expenses, especially when travelling out of your home country. A flight from Phoenix Arizona to Johannesburg, Africa, costs an average of $2,000. However, Guidestar reports that Alpha & Omega Ministries, Inc, reported a revenue of nearly $190,000 at the end of the 2012 Fiscal Year (and reported nearly $204,000 in expenses). Now we won’t ask how an apparently small radio and online ministry accrues $204k in expenses and $190k in revenue, but find that such a revenue would amount to an average of $15,000 per month. You mean to tell me that as of August 2013, White has NOT YET raised sufficient funds for a debate that has ALREADY BEEN SCHEDULED???

Now, the Calvinists claim that Paul was a Calvinist. If that were true, then perhaps James White should be making tents (Acts 18:3) to support his mission trips, instead of posting the following about his bike rides on his Twitter account:

4theweek: 228 miles, 12,188 ft. of ascent, 13:50 in saddle. For August: 1,038.56 miles, 59:01 in saddle, second 1k+ mile month in a row.

Now I don’t know how many hours are spent riding a bike 1000 miles a month, but personally if I was an apologist that needed an enormous amount of funds that $15,000 a month does not cover, for the sake of defending the gospel, I certainly would not be spending THAT MUCH leisure time riding a bicycle. It is in my opinion poor stewardship of God’s time, as well as the people who are donating to his website. Apostle Paul worked with his own hands to get his funds 2 Cor 11:9, 2 Thess 3:8-17, etc. Now there’s nothing wrong with riding a bike, but when you are short of funds for “spreading the gospel” then your time should be spent working to get your financial needs met before expecting your audience to foot the bill while you enjoy the wind in your face on a mountain side.

For more of our opinions about James White, see the article he acknowledged, but never responded to.  Response to James White.

Be sure to read our critique on James White’s “rebuttal” to Jerry Walls updated 9/3/13

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*There has been quite a bit more developments since Pinto’s production of this video that has confirmed even moreso now Pinto’s allegations.