Archive for March, 2016

From Nazaroo’s old website. Nazaroo, and a group of other Bible believers, have created a site that deals specifically with the Pericope Adulterae . One article in particular addresses the argument that James White stole from Daniel Wallace (almost verbatim) on a recent podcast. I wanted to preserve this article here before the website closes and the information is lost.

Dr. James A, PhD

 

 

Synopsis: A definitive, factual account of John 7:53-8:11 with positive proof to show that it was in the original autographs of John’s Gospel.

 


Introduction

I have purposely reserved for the last the most difficult problem of all: namely, those twelve famous verses of St. John’s Gospel (chap. 7:53-8:11) which contain the history of “the woman taken in adultery” – the Pericope de Adultera, as it is called.

It is altogether indispensable that the reader should approach this portion of the Gospel with the greatest amount of experience and the largest preparation. It would be convenient, no doubt, if he could further divest himself of prejudice; but that is perhaps impossible. Let him at least endeavor to weigh in impartial scales the evidence which will now be laid before him. He must do so of necessity if he would judge rightly, for the matter to be discussed is confessedly very peculiar and in some respects even unique. Let me convince him at once of the truth of what has been so far spoken.

It is a singular circumstance that at the end of eighteen centuries two instances, and but two, should exist of a considerable portion of Scripture left to the mercy (so to speak) of textual criticism. Twelve consecutive verses in the second Gospel and as many consecutive verses in the fourth are in this predicament.

It is singular, I say, that the Providence which has watched so marvelously over the fortunes of the deposit, the Divine wisdom which has made such ample provision of its security all down the ages, should have so ordered the matter that these two coextensive problems have survived to our times to be tests of human sagacity – trials of human faithfulness and skill. They present some striking features of correspondence but far more of contrast, as ill presently appear.

And yet the most important circumstance of all cannot be mentioned too soon namely, that both alike have experienced the same calamitous treatment at the hands of some critics. By common consent the most recent editors deny that either set of verses can have formed part of the Gospel as it proceeded from the hands of its inspired author.

It has already been demonstrated in a separate treatise how mistaken this opinion of theirs is in respect to the last twelve verses of the Gospel according to St. Mark. I must be content in this place to deal in a far less ceremonious manner with the hostile verdict of many critics concerning St John 7:53-8:11.

That I shall be able to satisfy those persons who profess themselves unconvinced by what was offered concerning St. Mark’s last twelve verses, I am not so simple as to expect. But I trust that I shall have with me all candid readers who are capable of weighing evidence impartially and understanding the nature of logical proof when it is fully drawn out before them, which indeed is the very qualification I require of them.


Historical Background and Burden of Proof

And first, the case of the Pericope de Adultera requires to be placed before the reader in its true bearings. For those who have discussed it are observed to have ignored certain preliminary considerations which, once clearly apprehended, are all but decisive of the point at issue. There is a fundamental obstacle, I mean, in the way of any attempt to dislodge this portion of the sacred narrative from the context in which it stands, which they seem to have overlooked. I proceed to explain.

Sufficient prominence has never yet been given to the fact that in the present discussion the burden of proof rests entirely with those who challenge the genuineness of the Pericope under review. In other words, the question before us is not by any means, Shall these twelve verses be admitted into the sacred text or must they be refused admission? That point has been settled long, long ago.

St John’s twelve verses are in possession. Let those eject them who can. They are known to have occupied their present position for fully seventeen hundred years. As far as is known, there never was a time when they were not where, and to all intents and purposes, they now are. Is it not evident that no merely ordinary method of proof, no merely common argument, will avail to dislodge twelve such verses as these?

Twelve such verses, I say. For it is the extent of the subject matter which makes the case so formidable. We have here to do with no dubious clause concerning which ancient testimony is divided, no seeming gloss which is suspected to have overstepped its proper limits and to have crept in as from the margin, no importation from another Gospel, no verse of Scripture which has lost its way, no weak amplification of the Evangelical meaning, no tasteless appendix which encumbers the narrative and almost condemns itself. Nothing of the sort.

If it were some inconsiderable portion of Scripture which it was proposed to get rid of by showing that it is disallowed by a vast amount of ancient evidence, the proceeding would be intelligible. But I take leave to point out that twelve consecutive verses of the Gospel cannot be so dealt with.

Squatters on the waste are liable at any moment to be served with a notice of ejectment, but the owner of a mansion surrounded by broad acres which his ancestors are known to have owned before the Heptarchy may on no account be dispossessed by any such summary process.

This (to speak without a figure) is a connected and very striking portion of the sacred narrative. The description of a considerable incident, complete in itself, full of serious teaching, and of a kind which no one would have ever dared to invent. Those who would assail it successfully must come forward with weapons of a very different kind from those usually employed in textual warfare.

It will be presently shown that these twelve verses hold their actual place by a more extraordinary right of tenure than any other twelve verses which can be named in the Gospel.


The First Two Verses of the Passage

It would, however, be premature to enter on the proof of that circumstance now. I prefer to invite the reader’s attention next to the actual texture of the Pericope de Adultera, by which name (as already explained) the last verse of St. John 7 together with the verses 1-11 of chapter 8 are familiarly designated.

Although external testimony supplies the sole proof of genuineness, it is nevertheless reasonable to inquire what the verses in question may have to say for themselves. Do they carry on their front the tokens of that baseness of origin which their impugners so confidently seek to fasten on them? Or do the, on the contrary, unmistakably bear the impress of truth?

The first thing which strikes me in them is that the actual narrative concerning the last nine of these verses: being preceded by two short paragraphs is of an entirely different character and complexion. Let these be first produced and studied:

“and every man went to his own house: but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.” “And again, very early in the morning, he presented himself in the temple; and all the people came unto him: and he sat down and taught them.”

Now as everyone must see, the former of these two paragraphs is unmistakably not the beginning but the end of a narrative. It purports to be the conclusion of something which went before, not to introduce something which comes after. Without any sort of doubt, it is St. John’s account of what occurred at the close of the debate between certain members of the Sanhedrin which terminates his history of the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

The verse in question marks the conclusion of the feast – implying, in short, that all is already finished. Remove it, and the antecedent narrative ends abruptly. Retain it, and all proceeds methodically, while an affecting contrast is established which is recognized to be strictly in the manner of Scripture. 1 Each one had gone to his home, but the homeless One had repaired to the Mount of Olives.

In other words, the paragraph under discussion is found to be an integral part of the immediately antecedent narrative, proving to be a fragment of what is universally admitted to be genuine Scripture. By consequence, itself must needs be genuine also. 2

It is vain for anyone to remind us that these two verses are in the same predicament as those which follow: are as ill-supported by MS evidence as the other ten and must therefore share the same fate as the rest. The statement is incorrect, to begin with, as will presently be shown.

But what is even more deserving of attention, since confessedly these twelve verses are either to stand or fall together, it must be candidly admitted that whatever begets a suspicion that certain of them at all events must needs be genuine, throws real doubt on the justice of the sentence of condemnation which has been passed in a lump on all the rest.


The Gospel Context of the Passage

I proceed to call attention to another inconvenient circumstance which some critics in their eagerness have overlooked.

The reader wil bear in mind that – contending, as I do, that the entire Pericope under discussion is genuine Scripture which has been forcibly wrenched away from its lawful context – I began by examining the upper extremity, with a view to ascertaining whether it bore any traces of being a fractured edge. The result is just what might have been anticipated. The first two of the verses which it is the fashion to brand with ignominy were found to carry on their front clear evidence that they are genuine Scripture. How then aoub the other extremity?

Note, that in the ‘oracular’ Codices B and Aleph immediate transition is made from the words “out of Galilee ariseth no prophet,” in chapter 7:52, to the words, “Again therefore, Jesus spake to them, saying,” in chapter 8:12. And we are invited by all the adverse critics alike to believe that so the place stood in the inspired autograph of the Evangelist.

But the thing is incredible. Look back at what is contained between chapter 7:37 and 52, and note the following: two hostile parties crowded the temple courts (vv 40-42); some were for laying violent hands on our Lord (v.44); the Sanhedrin, being assembled in debate, were reproaching their servants for not having brought Him prisoner, and disputing one against another 3(vv.45-52). How can the Evangelist have proceeded, ‘Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, “I am the Light of the World”? What is it supposed then that St. John meant when he wrote such words?

But on the contrary, survey the context in any ordinary copy of the New Testament and his meaning is perfectly clear. The last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles is ended. It is the morrow and “very early in the morning.” The Holy One has “again presented himself in the temple” where on the previous night He so narrowly escaped violence at the hands of His enemies, and He teaches the people.

While thus engaged – with the time, the place, His own occupation suggesting thoughts of peace and holiness, and love – a rabble rout, headed by the scribes and Pharisees, enter on the foulest of errands; and we all remember with how little success. Such an interruption need not have occupied much time. The woman’s accusers having departed, our Saviour resumes His discourse which had been broken off.

“Again therefore” it is said in verse 12, with clear and frequent reference to what had preceded in verse 2: “Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the Light of the World.” And did not that saying of His refer as well to the thick cloud of moral darkness which His words, a few moments before, had succeeded in dispelling, as to the orb of glory which already flooded the temple court with the effulgence of its rising – His own visible emblem and image in the heavens?

I protest that with the incident of “the woman taken in adultery,” so introduced, so dismissed, all is lucid and coherent; without those connecting links, the story is scarcely intelligible. These twelve disputed verses, so far from “fatally interrupting the course of St. John’s Gospel, if retained in the text,” 4 prove to be even necessary for the logical coherence of the entire context in which they stand.


The Content and Meaning of the Passage

But even that is not all. On close and careful inspection, the mysterious texture of the narrative, no less than its “edifying and eminently Christian” character, vindicates for the Pericope de Adultera a right to its place in the Gospel. Let me endeavor to explain what seems to be its spiritual significance; in other words, to interpret the transaction.

The scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to our Saviour on a charge of adultery. The sin prevailed to such an extent among the Jews that the Divine enactments concerning one so accused had long since fallen into practical oblivion. On the present occasion our Lord is observed to revive His own ancient ordinance after a hitherto unheard of fashion. The trial by the bitter water, or water of conviction, 5 was a species of ordeal intended for the vindication of innocence, the conviction of guilt. But according to traditional belief the test proved inefficacious, unless the husband was himself innocent of the crime whereof he accused his wife.

Let the provisions of the law, contained in Numbers 5:16-24, be now considered. The accused woman having been brought near and placed before the Lord, the priest took “holy water in an earthen vessel” and put “of the dust of the floor of the tabernacle into the water.” Then, with “the bitter water which causeth the curse” inhis hand, he charged the woman with an oath. Next he wrote the curses in a book and blotted them out with the bitter water, causing the woman to drink the “bitter water which causeth the curse.” Whereupon if she were guilty, she fell under a terrible penalty, her body testifying visibly to her sin. If she was innocent, nothing followed.

And now, who sees not that the Holy One dealt with His hypocritical assailants as if they had been the accused parties? Verily they had been brought into the presence of incarnate Jehovah; and perhaps when He had stooped down and wrote on the ground, it was a bitter sentence against the adulterer and adulteress which He wrote.

We have but to assume some connection between the curse which He thus traced “in the dust of the floor of the tabernacle” and the words which He uttered with His lips, and He may with truth be declared to have “taken of the dust and put in on the water” and “caused them to drink of the bitter water which causeth the curse.” For when, by His Holy Spirit, our great High Priest in His human flesh addressed these adulterers, what did He but present them with living water 6 “in an earthen vessel”? 7

Did He not further charge them with an oath of cursing, saying “if ye have not gone aside to uncleanness, be ye free from this bitter water; but if ye be defiled…” On being presented with this alternative, did they not, self-convicted, go out one by one? And what else was this but their own acquittal of the sinful woman, for whose condemnation they showed themselves so impatient? Surely it was “the water of conviction”, as it is six times called, which they had been compelled to drink; whereupon, “convicted by their own conscience”, as St. John relates, they had pronounced the other’s acquittal.

Finally, note that by Himself declining to “condemn” the accused woman, our Lord also did in effect blot out those curses which He had already written against her in the dust, when He made the floor of the sanctuary His “book”.

Whatever may be thought of the foregoing exposition (and I am not concerned to defend it in every detail) , on turning to the opposite contention we are struck with the slender amount of actual proof with which the assailants of this passage seem to be furnished. Their evidence is mostly negative, a proceeding which is constantly observed to attend a bad cause; and they are prone to make up for the feebleness of their facts by the strength of their assertions.

But my experience, as one who has given a considerable amount of attention to such subjects, tells me that the narrative before us carries on its front the impress of Divine origin. I venture to think that it vindicates for itself a high, unearthly meaning. It seems to me that it cannot be the work of a fabricator. The more I study it, the more I am impressed with its Divinity. And in what goes before I have been trying to make the reader a partaker of my own conviction.


The Style and Diction of the Passage

To come now to particulars, we may readily see from its very texture that it must needs have been woven on a heavenly loom. Only too obvious is the remark that the very subject matter of the chief transaction recorded in these twelve verses would be sufficient in and by itself to preclude the suspicion that these twelve verses are a spurious addition to the genuine Gospel.

And then we note how entirely in St. John’s manner is the little explanatory clause in verse 6: “This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse him.” 8 We are struck besides by the prominence given in verses 6 and 8 to the act of writing, allusions to which are met with in every work of the last Evangelist. 9

It does not of course escape us how utterly beyond the reach of a Western interpolator would have been the insertion of the article so faithfully retained to this hour before lithon in verse 7.

On completing our survey, as to the assertions that the Pericope de Adultera “has no right to a place in the text of the four Gospels,” is “clearly a Western interpolation, though not Western of the earliest type” 10 (whatever that may mean), and so forth: We can but suspect that the authors very imperfectly realize the difficulty of the problem with which they have to deal.


A Survey of Liberal Critical Opinion

Dr. Hort finally assures us that “no accompanying marks would prevent” this portion of Scripture “from fatally interrupting the course of St. John’s Gospel if retained in the text”; and when they relegate it accordingly to a blank page at the end of the Gospels within “double brackets” in order “to show its inferior authority,” we can but read and wonder at the want of perception, not to speak of the coolness, which they display. Quousque tandem?

But it is time to turn from such considerations as the foregoing and inquire for the direct testimony, which is assumed by recent editors and critics to be fatal to these twelve verses.

Tischendorf pronounces it “absolutely certain that this narrative was not written by St. John.” 11

One, vastly his superior in judgement (Dr. Scrivener), declares that “on all intelligent principles of mere criticism, the passage must needs be abandoned.” 12

Tregelles is “fully satisfied that this narrative is not a genuine part of St. John’s Gospel.” 13

Alford shuts it up in brackets and, like Tregelles, puts it in his footnotes.

Westcott and Hort, harsher than any of their predecessors, will not, as we have seen, allow it to appear even at the foot of the page.

To reproduce all that has been written in disparagement of this precious portion of God’s written Word would be a joyless and unprofitable task.

According to Green, “the genuineness of the passage cannot be maintained.” 14

Hammond is of opinion that “it would be more satisfactory to separate it from its present context and place it by itself as an appendix to the Gospel.” 15

A yet more recent critic [Nicholson] “sums up” that “the external evidence must be held fatal to the genuineness of the passage.” 16

The opinions of Bishops Wordsworth, Ellicott, and Lightfoot will be respectfully commented on by and by.

In the meantime, I venture to join issue with every one of these learned persons. I contend that on all intelligent principles of sound criticism the passage before us must be maintained to be genuine Scripture, and that without a particle of doubt.

I cannot even admit that “it has been transmitted to us under circumstances widely different from those connected with any other passage of Scripture whatever.” [Scrivener] 17

I contend that it has been transmitted in precisely the same way as all the rest of Scripture and therefore exhibits the same notes of genuineness as any other twelve verses of the same Gospel which can be named.

Nevertheless, like countless other places it is found, for whatever reason, to have given offence in certain quarters; in consequence it has experienced very ill usage at the hands of the ancients and of the moderns also, but especially of the latter.

In other words, these twelve verses exhibit the required notes of genuineness less conspicuously than any other twelve consecutive verses in the same Gospel. But that is all.

The only question to be decided is the following: On a review of the whole of the evidence, is it more reasonable to stigmatize these twelve verses as a spurious accretion to the Gospel or to admit that they must needs be accounted to be genuine?

… I shall show that they are at this hour supported by a weight of testimony which is absolutely overwhelming. I read with satisfaction that my own convictions were shared by Mill, Matthaei, Alder, Scholz, and Vercollone. I have also the learnedCeriani on my side. I should have been just as confident had I stood alone – such is the imperative strength of the evidence.


Alleged Textual Evidence Against the Passage

To begin then. Tischendorf (who may be taken as a fair sample of the assailants of this passage) commences by stating roundly that the Pericope is omitted by Aleph, A, B, D, L, T, X, Delta and about seventy cursives.

I will say that no sincere inquirer after truth could so state the evidence. It is in fact not a true statement. A and C are in this vicinity defective. It is therefore no longer possible to know with certainty what they either did or did not contain. But this is not merely all:

Sidebar: Codex Alexandrinus

I proceed to offer a few words containing Codex A:

Woide, the learned and accurate 18 editor of the Codex Alexandrinus, remarked (in 1785) “Historia adulterae videtur in hoc codice defuisse.” But this modest inference of his has been represented as an ascertained fact by subsequent critics. Tischendorf announces it as “certissimum.”

Let me be allowed to investigate the problem for myself. Woide’s calculation (which has passed unchallenged for nearly a hundred years, and on the strength of which it is nowadays assumed that Codex A must have exactly resembled Codices Aleph and B in omitting the Pericope de Adultera) was far too roughly made to be of any critical use. 19

Two leaves of Codex A have been here lost, namely, from the word καταβαινον in 6:50 to the word λεγεις in 8:52: – a lacuna (as I find by counting the letters in a copy of the ordinary text) of as nearly as possible 8,805 letters, allowing for contractions and of course not reckoning St. John 7:53-8:11.

Now in order to estimate fairly how many letters the two lost leaves actually contained, I have inquired for the sums of the letters on the leaves immediately preceding and succeeding the hiatus; and I find them to be respectively, 4,337 and 4,303: a total of 8,640 letters. But this, it will be seen is insufficient by 165 letters, or eight lines, for the assumed contents of these two missing leaves.

Are we then to suppose that one leaf exhibited somewhere a blank space equivalent to eight lines? Impossible, I answer. There existed, on the contrary, a considerable redundancy of matter in at least the second of those two lost leaves. This is proved by the circumstance that the first column on the next ensuing leaf exhibits the unique phenomenon of being encumbered, at its summit, by two very long lines (containing together fifty-eight letters), for which evidently no room could be found on the page which immediately preceded!

But why should there have been any redundancy of matter at all? Something extraordinary must have produced it. What if the Pericope de Adultera, without being actually inserted in full, was recognized by Codex A? What if the scribe had proceeded as far as the fourth word of St. John 8:3 and then had suddenly checked himself? We cannot tell what appearance St. John 7:53-8:11 presented in Codex A, simply because the entire leaf which should have contained it is lost.

Enough however has been said already to prove that it is incorrect and unfair to throw Aleph , A, B into one and the same category, with a ‘certissimum’ as Tischendorf does.

 

As for L and Delta, they exhibit a vacant space after St. John 7:52, which testified to the consciousness of the copyists that they were leaving out something. These are therefore witnesses for – not witnesses against – the passage under discussion.

[Codex] X being a commentary on the Gospel as it was read in church, of course leaves the passage out.

The only uncial MSS therefore which simply leave out the Pericope are the three following: Aleph, B, and codex T. The degree of attention to which such an amount of evidence is entitled has already been proved to be wondrous small.

We cannot forget moreover that the two former of these copies (Aleph, B) enjoy the unenviable distinction of standing alone on a memorable occasion: they alone exhibit St. Mark’s Gospel mutilated in respect of its twelve concluding verses.

But I shall be reminded that about seventy (cursive) MSS of later date are without the Pericope de Adultera; that the first Greek father who quotes the Pericope is Euthymius in the twelfth century; that Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Cyril, Nonnus, Cosmas, and Theophylact knew nothing of it; and that it is not contained in the Syriac, Gothic, or Egyptian versions.

Concerning every one of these statements I remark over again that no sincere lover of truth, supposing him to understand the matter about which he is disputing, could so exhibit the evidence for this particular problem.

The first reason is because so to state it is to misrepresent the entire case. The next reason is because some of the articles of indictment are only half true – in fact are untrue. But the chief reason is because in the foregoing enumeration certain considerations are actually suppressed which, had they been fairly stated, would have been found to reverse the issue. Let me now be permitted to conduct this inquiry in my own way.


The Evidences Re-Examined: The Old Latin

The first thing to be done is to enable the reader clearly to understand what the problem before him actually is. The critics insist that twelve verses which, as a matter of fact, are found dovetailed into a certain context of St. John’s Gospel, must be dislodged. But do the critics in question prove that they must be? For unless they do, ther is no help for it but that the Pericope de Adultera must be left where it is.

I proceed to show:

(1) first, that it is impossible on any rational principle to dislodge these twelve verses from their actual context. Next, I shall point out that,

(2) the facts adduced in evidence and relied on by the assailants of the passage do not by any means prove the point they are intended to prove, but admit of a sufficient and satisfactory explanation. Thirdly, it will be shown that,

(3) the said explanation carries with it, and implies, a weight of testimony in support of the twelve verses in dispute that is absolutely overwhelming. Fourth,

(4) the positive evidence in favor of these twelve verses will be proved to outweigh largely the negative evidence, which is relied on by those who contend for their removal.

To some people I may seem to express myself with too much confidence. Let then be said once for all that my confidence is inspired by the strength of the arguments which are now to be unfolded. When the Author of Holy Scripture supplies such proofs of His intentions, I cannot do otherwise than rest implicit confidence in them.

Now I begin by establishing as my first proposition that, these twelve verses occupied precisely the same position which they now occupy from the earliest period to which evidence concerning the Gospels themselves reaches.

And this, because it is a mere matter of fact, is sufficiently established by reference to the ancient Latin version of St. John’s Gospel. We are thus carried back to the second century of our era, beyond which testimony does not reach. The pericope is observed to stand in situ in Codices b c e ff2 g h j.


Patristic and Versional Support

Jerome (A.D. 385), after a careful survey of older Greek copies, did not hesitate to retain it in the Vulgate. It is freely referred to and commented on by himself 20 in Palestine;
whereas Ambrose at Milan (374) quotes it at least nine times, 21
as well as Augustine in North Africa (396) about twice as often. 22
It is quoted besides by Pacian in the north of Spain (370), 23
by Faustus the African (400), 24
by Rufins at Aquileia (400), 25
by Chrysologus at Ravenna (433), 26
and by Sedulius, a Scot (434). 27

The unknown authors of two famous treatises written at the same period largely quote this portion of the narrative. 28

It is referred to by Victorius of Victorinus (457),
by Vigilius of Tapsus (484) in North Africa, 29
by Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492), 30
by Cassiodorus of Southern Italy, 31
by Gregory the Great, 32

and by other Fathers of the Western Church.

[See footnotes below: References are found in Burgon,
The Causes of Corruption in the Traditional Text, ]

To this it is idle to object that the cited authors all wrote in Latin. For the purpose in hand their evidence is every bit as conclusive as if they had written in Greek – from which language no one doubts that they derived their knowledge, through a translation.

…But in fact we are not left to Latin authorities:

Bohairic version: (Out of thirty-eight copies of the Bohairic version the Pericope de Adultera is read in fifteen, but in three forms which wil be printed in the Oxford edition. In the remaining twenty-three, it is left out.) How is it intelligible that this passage is thus found in nearly half of the copies, except on the hypothesis that they formed an integral part of the Memphitic version? They might have easily been omitted, but how could they have been inserted?

Once more. The Ethiopic version (5th century), the Palestinian Syriac (which is referred to the 5th century), the Georgian (probably 5th or 6th century), to say nothing of the Slavonic, Arabic,and Persian versions,which are of later date, all contain the portion of narrative in dispute.

The Armenian version (4th-5th century) also originally contained it, though it survives at present in only a few copies.

Add that it is found in Codex D, and it will be seen that in all parts of ancient Christendom this portion of Scripture was familiarly known.

But even this is not all. Jerome, who was familiar with Greek MSS (and who handled non of later date than B and Aleph!), expressly related that the Pericope de Adultera “is found in many copies both Greek and Latin.” 33

He calls attention to the fact that what is rendered ‘sine peccato’ is αναμαρτητος in the Greek: and lets fall an exegetical remark which shews that he was familiar with copies which exhibited (in ver.8) εγραφεν ενος εκαστου αυτων τας αμαρτιας, – a reading which survives to this day in one uncial (U ) and at least 18 cursive copies of the Fourth Gospel. 34

Whence is it – let me ask in passing – that so many critics fail to see that positive testimony like the foregoing far outweighs the adverse negative testimony of Aleph, B, T, yes, and of A and C to boot, if they were reproducible on this point? How comes it to pass that the two codices, Aleph and B, have obtained such a mastery – rather exercise such a tyranny – over the imagination of many critics as quite to overpower their practical judgment?

We have at all events established our first proposition: namely, that:

(1) From the earliest period to which testimony reaches, the incident of “the woman taken in adultery” occupied its present place in St. John’s Gospel.

Sidebar: The Ferrar Group: (Family 13)

The critics eagerly remind us that in four cursive copies (13, 69, 124, 346) the verses in question are found tacked onto the end of St. Luke 21. But have they then forgotten that “these four codices are derived from a common archetype” and therefore represent one and the same ancient and, may I add, corrupt copy?

The same critics are reminded that in the same four codices (commonly called the Ferrar Group) “the agony and bloody sweat” (St. Luke 22:43, 44) is found thrust into St Matthew’s Gospel between chapter 26:39 and 40. Such licentiousness on the part of a solitary exemplar of the Gospels no more affects the proper place of these or of those verses than the superfluous digits of a certain man of Gath avail to disturb the induction that to either hand of a human being appertain but five fingers, and to either foot but five toes!

It must be admitted then that as far back as testimony reaches, the passage under discussion stood where it now stands in St. John’s Gospel. And this is my first position.

But indeed, to be candid, hardly anyone has seriously called that fact in question. No, nor do any (except Dr. Hort 35 ) doubt that the passage is also of the remotest antiquity.

Adverse critics do but insist that however ancient, it must needs be of spurious origin or else it is an afterthought of the Evangelist. Concerning both of these imaginations we shall have a few words to offer by and by.

It clearly follows – indeed it may be said with truth that it only remains – to inquire what may have led to its so frequent exclusion from the sacred text? For really the difficulty has already resolved itself to into that.


The Cause of the Omission

And on this head, it is idle to affect perplexity. In the earliest age of all – the age which was familiar with the universal decay of heathen virtue but which had not yet witnessed the power of the gospel to fashion society afresh and to build up domestic life on a new and more enduring basis; at a time when the greatest laxity of morals prevailed and the enemies of the gospel were known to be on the lookout for grounds of cavil against Christianity and its Author – what wonder if some were found to remove the Pericope de Adultera from their copies, lest it should be pleaded in extentuation of breaches of the Seventh Commandment?

The very subject matter, I say, of St. John 8:3-11 would sufficiently account for the occasional omission of those nine verses. Moral considerations abundantly explain what is found to have here and there happened. But in fact this not a mere conjecture of my own. It is the reason assigned by Augustine for the erasure of these twelve verses from many copies of the Gospel. 36

Ambrose, a quarter of a century earlier, had clearly intimated that danger was popularly apprehended from this quarter; 37 and Nicon, five centuries later, states plainly that the mischevious tendency of the narrative was the cause why it had been expunged from the Armenian version. 38 Accordingly, just a few Greek copies are still to be found mutilated in respect of those nine verses only.

But in fact the indications are not a few that all the twelve verses under discussion did not by any means labor under the same degree of disrepute. The first three (as I showed at the outset) clearly belong to a different category from the last nine, a circumstance which has been too much overlooked.


The Ancient Lectionary Tradition

In the meantime the Church, for an obvious reason, had made the choice of St. John 7:37-8:12 – the greater part of which is clearly descriptive of what happened at the Feast of Tabernacles – for the Pentecostal lesson. And she judged it expedient, besides omitting as inappropriate to the occasion the incident of the woman taken in adultery, to ignore also the three preceding verses, thus making the severance begin, in fact, as far back as the end of chapter 7:52.

The reason for this is plain. In this way the allusion to a certain departure at night and return next morning (St John 7:53-8:1) was avoided, which entirely marred the effect of the lection as the history of a day of great and special solemnity -“the great day of the feast”. And thus it happens that the gospel for the day of Pentecost was made to proceed directly from “Search and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet, ” in chapter 7:52, to “Then spake Jesus unto them, saying, I am the Light of the World,” in chapter 8:12, with which it ends.

In other words, an omission which owed its beginning to a moral scruple was eventually extended for a liturgical consideration and resulted in severing twelve verses of St.John’s Gospel – chapter 7:53-8:11 – from their lawful context.

 

We may now proceed to the consideration of my second proposition, which is that:

(2) By the very construction of her Lectionary, the church in her corporate capacity and official character has solemnly recognized the narrative in question as an integral part of St. John’s Gospel, and as standing in its traditional place, from an exceedingly remote time.

 

Take into your hands at random the first MS copy of St. John’s Gospel which presents itself and turn to the place in question. No, I will cite all the four Evangelia which I call mine, all the seventeen which belong to Lord Zouch, and all the thirty-nine which Baroness Burdett-Coutts imported from Epirus in 1870-1872. Now all these copies (and nearly each of them represents a different line of ancestry) are found to contain the verses in question. How did the verses ever get there?

But the most extraordinary circumstance of the case is behind. Some out of the Evangelia referred to are observed to have been prepared for ecclesiastical use. In other words, they are so rubricated throughout as to show where every separate lection had its ‘beginning’ and where its end.

Again I ask (and this time does not the riddle admit of only one solution?), When and how does the reader suppose that the narrative of “the woman taken in adultery” first found its way into the middle of the lesson for Pentecost? I pause for an answer. I shall of necessity be told that it never “found its way” into the lection at all; but having once crept into St. John’s Gospel (however that may have been affected) and established itself there, it left those ancient men who devised the Church’s Lectionary without choice. They could but direct its omission, and employ for that purpose the established liturgical formula in all similar cases.

But first, how is it that those who would reject the narrative are not struck by the essential foolishness of supposing that twelve fabricated verses, purporting to be an integral part of the fourth Gospel, can have so firmly established themselves in every part of Christendom from the second century downward, that they have long since become simply ineradicable?

Did the Church then, pro hac vice, abdicate her function of being a “witness and a keeper of Holy Writ”? Was she all of a sudden forsaken by the inspiring Spirit who, as she was promised, should “guide her into all truth”? And has she been all down the ages guided into the grievous error of imputing to the disciple whom Jesus loved a narrative of which he knew nothing?

For, as I remarked at the outset, this is not merely an assimilated expression, or an unauthorized nominative, or a weakly supported clause, or any such trifling thing. Although be it remarked in passing, I am not aware of a single such trifling excresence which we are not able at once to detect and remove. In other words, this is not at all a question, like the rest, about the genuine text of a passage. Our inquiry is of an essentially different kind, namely : Are these twelve consecutive verses Scripture at all, or not? Divine or human? They claim by their very structure and contents to be an integral part of the Gospel. And such a serious accession to the deposit, I insist, can neither have “crept into” the text nor have “crept out” of it. The thing is unexampled, is unapproached, is impossible.

Above all, (the reader is entreated to give the subject his sustained attention), is it not perceived that the admission involved in the hypothesis before us is fatal to any rational pretense that the passage is of spurious origin? We have got back in thought at least to the third or fourth century of our era.

We are among the Fathers and Doctors of the Eastern Church in conference assembled, and they are determining what shall be the Gospel for the great Festival of Pentecost. “It shall begin,” say they, “at the thirty-seventh verse of St John 7, and conclude with the twelfth verse of St. John 8. But so much of it as relates to the breaking up of the Sanhedrin, to the withdrawal of our Lord to the Mount of Olives, and to His return next morning to the temple had better not be read. It disturbs the unity of the narrative.

“So also had the incident of the woman taken in adultery better not be read. It is inappropriate to the Pentecostal Festival.” The authors of the great Oriental Liturgy therefore admit that they find the disputed verses in their copies, and thus they vouch for their genuineness. For none will doubt that, had they regarded them as a spurious accretion to the inspired page, they would have said so plainly.

Nor can it be denied that if in their corporate capacity they had disallowed these twelve verses, such an authoritative condemnation would most certainly have resulted in the perpretual exclusion from the sacred text of the part of those verses which was actually adopted as a lection. What stronger testimony on the contrary can be imagined to the genuineness of any given portion of the everlasting Gospel than that it should have been canonized or recognized as part of inspired Scripture by the collective wisdom of the Church in the third or fourth century?

And no one may regard it as a suspicious circumstance that the present Pentecostal lesson has been thus maimed and mutilated in respect to twelve of its verses. There is nothing at all extraordinary in the treatment which St. John 7:37-8:12 has here experienced. The phenomenon is even of perpetual recurrance in the Lectionary of the East, – as will be explained below.39

Permit me to suppose that, between the Treasury and Whitehall, the remote descendant of some Saxon thane occupied a small tenement and garden which stood in the very middle of the ample highway. Suppose further, the property thereabouts being government property, that the road on either side of this estate had been measured a hundred times, and jealously watched, ever since Westminster became Westminster.

Well, an act of parliament might no doubt compel the supposed proprietor of this singular estate to surrender his patrimony; but I submit that no government lawyer would ever think of setting up the plea that the owner of that peculiar strip of land was an imposter. The man might not have title deeds to produce, to be sure; but counsel for the defendant would plead that neither did he require any. “This man’s title,” counsel would say, “is – occupation for a thousand years. His evidences are – the allowance of the State throughout that long interval. Every procession to St. Stephen’s every procession to the Abbey has swept by the defendant’s property, on this side of it and on that, since the days of Edward the Confessor. And if my client refuses to quit the soil, I defy you – except by violence – to get rid of him.”

It is in this way then that the testimony borne to these verses by the Lectionary of the East proves to be of the most opportune and convincing character. The careful provision made for passing by the twelve verses in dispute, as well as the minute directions which fence those twelve verses off on this side and on that – directions issued we may be sure by the highest ecclesiastical authority, because recognized in every part of the ancient Church – establish them effectually in their rightful place. In addition, and what is at least of equal importance, these directions fully explain the adverse phenomenae which are ostentatiously paraded by adverse critics and which, until the clue has been supplied, are calculated to mislead the judgement.


The Silence of Early Commentators Explained

For now, for the first time, it becomes abundantly plain why Chrysostom and Cyril, in publicly commenting on St. John’s Gospel, pass straight from chapter 7:52 to chapter 8:12. Of course they do. Why should they, how could they, comment on what was not publicly read before the congregation? The same thing is related (in a well-known scholion) to have been done by Apolinarius and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Origen’s name, for aught I care, may be added to those who did the same thing, though the adverse critics have no right to claim him, seeing that his commentary on that part of John’ s Gospel is lost.

A triumphant refutation of the proposed inference from the silence of these many Fathers is furnished by the single fact that Theophylact must also be added to their number. Theophylact, I say ignores the Pericope de Adultera – passes it by, I mean – exactly as do Chrysostom and Cyril. But will anyone pretend that Theophylact, writing in A.D. 1077, did not know of St. John 7:53-8:11? Why, in nineteen out of every twenty copies within his reach, the whole of those twelve verses must have been present.

The proposed inference from the silence of certain of the Fathers is therefore invalid. The argument e silentio, always an insecure argument, proves inapplicable in this particular case. When the antecedent facts have been once explained, all the subsequent phenomena become intelligible. But a more effectual and satisfactory reply to the difficulty occasioned by the general silence of the Fathers remains to be offered.

Underneath the appeal to patristic authority lies an opinion – not expressed indeed, yet consciously entertained by us all – which in fact gives the appeal all its weight and cogency, and which must now by all means be brought to the front.

The Fathers of the Church were not only her Doctors and teachers but also the living voices by which alone her mind could be proclaimed to the world, and by which her decrees used to be authoritatively promulgated. This fact makes their words, whenever they are delivered, so very important; their approval, if they approve, so weighty; their condemnation, if the condemn, so fatal.

But then, in the present instance, they neither approve nor condemn. They simply say nothing. They are silent; and in what precedes, I have explained the reason why. We wish it had been otherwise. We would give a great deal to persuade those ancient oracles to speak on the subject of these twelve verses, but they are all but inexorably silent.

No, I am overstating the case against myself. Two of the greatest Fathers (Augustine and Ambrose) actually do utter a few words; and they are to the effect that the verses undoubtedly genuine: “Be it known to all men,” they say, “that this passage is genuine; but the nature of its subject matter has at once procured its ejection from MSS and resulted in the silence of the commentators.” The most learned of the Fathers in addition practically endorses the passage; for Jerome not only leaves it standing in the Vulgate where he found it in the Old Latin version, but relates that it was supported by Greek as well as Latin authorities.

To proceed however with what I was about to say.

It is the authoritative sentence of the Church then on this difficult subject that we desiderate. We resorted to the Fathers for that, intending to regard any quotations of theirs, however brief, as their practical endorsement of all the twelve verses. We desired to infer from their general recognition of the passage that the Church in her collective capacity accepted it likewise.


The Voice of the Early Church Identified

As I have shown, the Fathers decline, almost to a man, to return any answer. But are we then without the Church’s authoritative guidance on this subject? For this, I repeat, is the only thing we are in search of. It was only in order to get at this that we adopted the laborious expedient of watching for the casual utterances of any of the giants of old time. Are we, I say, left without the Church’s opinion?

Not so, I answer. The reverse is the truth. The great Eastern Church speaks out on this subject in a voice of thunder. In all her Patriarchates, as far back as the written records of her practice reach (and they reach back to the time of those very Fathers whose silence we felt to be embarrassing), the Eastern Church has selected nine out of these twelve verses to be the special lesson for October 8.

It would be impossible to adduce a more significant circumstance in evidence. Any pretense to fasten a charge of spuriousness on a portion of Scripture so singled out by the Church for honour is nothing else but monstrous. It would be in fact to raise quite a distinct issue, namely, to inquire what amount of respect is due to the Church’s authority in determining the authenticity of Scripture? I appeal not to an opinion, but to a fact. That fact is, that though the Fathers of the Church for a very sufficient reason are nearly silent on the subject of these twelve verses, the Church herself has spoken with a voice of authority so loud, that none can affect not to hear it. Indeed, it is so plain that it cannot possibly be misunderstood.

And let me not be told that I am hereby setting up the Lectionary as the true standard of appeal for the text of the New Testament; still less let me be suspected of charging on the collective body of the faithful whatever irregularities are discoverable in the codices which were employed for the public reading of Scripture. Such as suspicion could only be entertained by one who has failed to apprehend the precise point just now under consideration.

We are not examining the text of St. John 7:53-8:11. We are only discussing whether those twelve verses en bloc are to be regarded as an integral part of the fourth Gospel, or as a spurious accretion to it. And that is a point on which the Church in her corporate character must needs be competent to pronounce, and in respect of which her verdict in favor of these twelve verses, remember, at a time when her copies of the Gospels were of papyrus as well as “old uncials” on vellum. ON the contrary, before “old uncials” on vellum were at least in any general use.

True, the transcribers of Lectionaries have proved themselves just as liable to error as the men who transcribed Evangelia. But, then, it is incredible that those men forged the Gospel for St. Pelagia’s Day; and it is impossible, if it were a forgery, that the Church should have adopted it. And it is the significance of the Church having adopted the Pericope de Adultera as the lection for Oct 8, which has never been sufficiently attended to, and which I defy the critics to account for on any hypothesis but one: namely, that the Pericope was recognized by the ancient Eastern Church as an integral part of the Gospel.

Now when to this has been added what is implied in the rubrical direction that a ceremonious respect should be shown to the Festival of Pentecost by dropping the twelve verses, I submit that I have fully established my second position, namely, that by the very construction of her Lectionary the Church in her corporate capacity and official character has solemnly recognized the narrative in question as an integral part of St. John’s Gospel, and as standing in its traditional place, from an exceedingly remote time.


Critical Theories Fail to Explain Facts

For (I entreat the candid reader’s sustained attention), the circumstances of the present problem altogether refuse to accommodate themselves to any hypothesis of a spurious original for these verses, as I proceed to show.

Repair in thought to any collection of MSS you please – suppose to the British Museum. Request to be shown their seventy-three copies of St. John’s Gospel, and turn to the close of his seventh chapter. At that particular place you will find, in sixty-one of these copies, these twelve verses; and in thirty-five ofthem you will discover, after the words Prophetes ek tes Galilaias ouk eg. A rubrical not to the effect that “on Whitsunday, these twelve verses are to be dropped; and the reader is to go on at chapter 8:12”.

What can be the meaning of this respectful treatment of the Pericope in question? How can it ever have come to pass that it has been thus ceremoniously handled down through the ages? Surely on no possible view of the matter but one can the phenomenon just now described be accounted for.

Else, will anyone gravely pretend to tell me that at some indefinitely remote period (1) these verses were fabricated; (2) were thrust into the place they at present occupy in the sacred text; (3) were unsuspectingly believed to be genuine by the Church; and in consequence they were at once passed over by her direction on Whitsunday as incongruous, and appointed by the Church to be read on October 8, as appropriate to the occasion?

But further, how is it proposed to explain why one of St. John’s afterthoughts should have fared so badly at the Church’s hands and another, so well? It is suggested that perhaps the subject matter may sufficiently account for all that has happened to the Pericope de Adultera. And so it may, no doubt. But then, once admit this, and the hypothesis under consideration becomes simply nugatory; it fails even to touch the difficulty it professes to remove.

For if men are capable of thinking scorn of these twelve verses when they found them in the “second and improved edition of St. John’s Gospel,” why may they not have been just as irreverent in respect of the same verses when they appeared in the first edition?

How is it one whit more probable that every Greek Father for a thousand years should have systematically overlooked the twelve verses in dispute when they appeared in the second edition of St. John’s Gospel, than that the same Fathers should have done the same thing when they appeared in the first? 40

But the hypothesis is gratuitous and nugatory; for it has been invented in order to account for the phenomenon that whereas twelve verses of St. John’s Gospel are found in the large majority of the later copies, the same verses are observed to be absent from all but one of the five oldest codices.

But how (I wish to be informed) is that hypothesis supposed to square with these phenomena? It cannot be meant that the “second edition” of St. John did not come abroad until after Codices Aleph, A, B, C, T were written.

For we know that the old Italic Version (a document of the 2nd Century) contains all the three portions of narrative which are claimed for the second edition. But if this is not meant, it is plain that some further hypothesis must be invented in order to explain why certain Greek manuscripts of the fourth and fifth centuries are without the verses in dispute. And this fresh hypothesis will render the one under consideration (as I said) nugatory and show that it was gratutitous.


Spiritual Bankruptcy of the Critical Position

What chiefly offends me however in this extraordinary suggestion is its irreverence. It assumes that the Gospel According to St. John was composed like any ordinary modern book: capable therefore of being improved in the second edition, by rescension, addition, omission, retraction, or what not. For we may not presume to limit the changes effected in a second edition.

And yet the true Author of the Gospel is confessedly God the Holy Ghost, and I know of no reason for supposing that His works are imperfect when they proceed forth from His hands.

The cogency of what precedes has in fact weighed so powerfully with thoughtful and learned divines that they have felt themselves constrained, as their last resource, to cast about for some hypothesis which will at once account for the absence of these verses from so many copies of St. John’s Gospel and yet retain them for their rightful owner and author, St. John.

Singular to relate, the assumption which has best approved itself to their judgment has been, that there must have existed two editions of St.John’s Gospel – the earlier edition without, the later edition with, the incident under discussion. It is, I presume, in order to concilliate favor to this singular hypothesis that it has been further proposed to regard St. John 5:3,4 and the whole of St. John 21 (besides St. John 7:53-8:11) as afterthoughts of the Evangelist.

But this is unreasonable, for nothing else but the absence of St.John 7:53-8:11 from so many copies of the Gospel has constrained the critics to regard those verses with suspicion.

Indeed, on the contrary, there is not known to exist a copy in the world which omits so much as a single verse of chapter 21. Why then are we to assume that the whole of that chapter was away from the original draft of the Gospel? Where is the evidence for so extravagant an assumption?

So, concerning St. John 5:3,4, to which there really attaches no matter of doubt, as I have elsewhere shown, 41 we find the following: thirty-two precious words in that place are indeed omitted by Aleph B C and twenty-seven by D. But by this time the reader knows what degree of importance is to be attached to such an amount of evidence. On the other hand, they are found in all other copies. They are vouched for by the Syriac 42 and Latin versions, in the Apostolic Constitutions, by Chrysostom, Cyril, Didymus, and Ammonius; among the Greeks, by Tertullian; among the Latins by Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine. Why a passage so attested is to be assumed an afterthought of the Evangelist has never yet been explained. Nor will it ever be.

Assuming, however, just for a moment the hypothesis correct for argument’s sake, namely, that in the second edition of St.John’s Gospel the history of the woman taken in adultery appeared for the first time. Invite the authors of that hypothesis to consider what follows. The discovery that five out of six of the oldest uncials extant (to reckon here the fragment T) are without the verses in question, which yet are contained in ninety-nine out of every hundred of the despised cursives: what other inference can be drawn from such premises, but that the cursives fortified with other evidence are by far the more trustworthy witnesses of what St. John in his old age actually entrusted to the Church’s keeping?

[finis]

(Miller: The MS. [Burgon’s] here leaves off, except that a few pencilled words are added in an incomplete form. I have been afraid to finish so clever and characteristic an essay.)



Original Footnotes:


(provided from the Edition by Edward Miller from Burgon’s notes and his own verifications and collations of same.)


1. Compare:
1 Sam 24:22 – ‘And Saul went home: But David and his men got them up into the hold.
1 Kings 18:42: ‘So Ahab went up to eat and to drink: and Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.
Esther 3:15: ‘And the king and Haman sat down to drink: but the city of Shushan was perplexed.‘ Such are the idioms of the Bible.

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2. Ammonius (Cord. Cat. p.216), with evident reference to it, remarks that our Lord’s words in verse 37 and 38 were intended as a viaticum which all might take home with them, at the close of this, ‘the last, the great day of the feast’.

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3. So Eusebius: οτε κατα το αυτο συναχθεντες οι των Ιουδαιων εθνους αρχοντες επι της Ιερουσαλημ, συνεδριον εποιησαντο και σκεψιν ορως αυτον απολεσωςιν εν ω οι μεν θανατον αυτου κατεψηφισαντο. ετεροι δε αντελεγον, ως ο Νικοδεημος, κ.τ.λ., (in Psalmos, p. 230a)

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4. Westcott and Hort’s prefatory matter (1870) to their revised Text of the New Testament, p. xxvii.

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5. So in the LXX. See Num. v. 11-31.

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6. Verse 17. So the LXX.

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7. 2 Cor. 4:7, 5:1.

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8. Compare ch. vi.6, 71: vii.39: xi.13, 51: xii 5, 33: xiii. 11,28: xxi. 19.

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9. Consider ch. xix.19,20,21,22: xx.30,31: xxi.24,25. – 1John i.4: ii.1,7,8,12,13,14,21,26: v.13. – 2 John 5,12. 3 John 9, 13. – Rev.passim., especially i.11,19: ii.11,19: ii.1, &c.: x.4: xiv.13: xvii.8: xix.9: xx.12,15: xxi.5,27: xxii18,29.

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10. Westcott and Hort, ibid. pp. xxvii, xxvi.

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11. Novum Testamentum, 1869, p. 829

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12. Plain Introduction, 1894, ii. 364.

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13. Printed Texts, 1854, p. 241.

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14. Developed Criticism, p. 82.

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15. Outlines, &c., p. 103.

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16. Nicholson’s Gospel according to the Hebrews, p. 141.

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17. Scrivener, ut supra, ii. 368.

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18. I insert this epithet on sufficient authority. Mr. Edw. A. Guy, an intelligent young American, – himself a very accurate observer and a competant judge, – collated a considerable part of Cod. A in 1875, and assured me that he scarcely ever found any discrepancy between the Codex and Woide’s reprint. One instance of italicism[itacism?] was in fact all that had been overlooked in the course of many pages.

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19. It is inaccurate also. His five lines contain eight mistakes. (Woide) Praefat. p. xxx, para. 86.

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20. (Jerome:) ii. 630, addressing Rufinus, A.D. 403. Also ii. 748-9.

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21. (Ambrose:) i. 291, 692, 707, 1367: ii. 668, 894, 1082: iii. 892-3, 896-7.

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22. (Augustine:) i. 30: ii. 527, 529-30: iii1. 774: iii2. 158, 183, 531-2 (where he quotes the place extensively and comments upon it): iv. 149, 466 (quoted largely), 1120: v.80, 1230 (quoted largely both places): vi 407, 413: viii. 377, 574.

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23. Pacian (372 A.D.) refers the Novatians to the narrative as something which all men knew. “Nolite in Evangelio legere quod pepercerit Dominus etiam adulterae confitenti, quam nemo damnarat?” Pacianus, Op. Epist. iii. Contr. Novat. (A.D. 372). Ap.Galland. vii. 267.

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24. (Faustus:) Ap. Augustin. viii. 463.

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25. (Rufinus:) In his translation of Eusebius. Nicholson, p. 53.

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26. Chrysologus (433 A.D.) Abp. of Ravenna. Venet. 1742. Ile mystically explains the entire incident. Serm. cxv. para.5.

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27. Sedulius the Scot (435 A.D.) makes it the subject of a poem, and devotes a whole chapter to it. Ap. Galland, ix. 553 and 590.

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28. (anonymous:) ‘Promiss.’ De Promissionibus dimid. temp. (saec. iv). Quotes Jn viii 4,5,9. P.2, c. 22, col. 147b. Ignot. Auct., De Vocatione omnium Gentium (circa, 440 A.D.), ap. OPp. Prosper. Aquit. (1782), i. p. 460-1: – “Adulteram ex legis constitutione lapidandam…liberavit…cum executores praecepti de conscientiis territi, trementem ream sub illius iudicio reliquissent…Et inclinatus, id est ad humana dimissus…”digito scribebat in terram,” ut legem mandatorum per gratiae decreta vacuaret,” &c.

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29. (Vigilius:) Wrongly ascribed to Idacius.

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30. Gelasius P. (492 A.D.) Conc. iv. 1235. Quotes Jn viii 3, 7, 10 , 11.

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31. Cassiodorus (514 A.D.) Venet. 1729. Quotes Jn viii 11. See ii. p. 96, 3, 5-180.

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32. (Gregory:) Dialogues, xiv. 15.

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33. (Jerome:) ii. 748: – “In evangelio secundum Ioannem in multis et Graecis et Latinis codicibus invenitur de adultera muliere, quae accusata est apud Dominum.”

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34. ενος εκαστου αυτων τας αμαρτιας Ev. 95. 40, 48, 64, 73, 100, 122, 127, 142, 234, 264, 267, 274, 433, 115, 121, 604, 736.

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35. (Hort:) Appendix, p. 88.

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36. (Augustine:)

Sed hoc videlicet infidelium sensus exhorret, ita ut nonnulli modicae fidei vel potius inimici verae fidei, (credo metuentes peccandi impunitatem dari mulieribus suis), illud quod de adulterae indulgentia Dominus fecit, auferrent de codicibus suis: quasi permissionem peccandi tribuerit qui dixit, ‘Iam deinceps noli peccare;’ aut ideo non debuerit mulier a medico Deo illius peccati remissione sanari, ne offenderentur insani.

De coniug. adult. ii. cap. 7. i. 707: – “Fortasse non mediocrem scrupulum movere potuit imperitis Evangelii lectio, quae decursa est, in quo advertistis adulteram Christo oblatam, eamque sine damnatione dimissam. Nam profecto si quis ea auribus accipiat otiosis, incentivum erroris incurrit, cum leget quod Deus censuerit adulterium non esse damnandum.”

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37. (Ambrose:) Epist. 58. “Quid scribebat? nisi illud Propheticum (Jer. xxii. 29-30), Terra, terra, scribe hos vivos abdicatos.

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38. (Nicon:) Constt. App. (Gen. iii. 49), Nicon (Gen. iii. 250). (Miller:) I am not certain about these two references.

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39. (Lectionary Mutilations of Scripture:) Two precious verses (viz. the 43rd and 44th) used to be omitted from the lection for Tuesday before Quinquagesima, – viz. St. Luke xxii. 39 – xxiii. 1.

The lection for the preceding Sabbath (viz. St. Luke xxi. 8-36) consisted of only the following verses, – verse 8, 9, 25-27, 33-36. All the rest (viz. verses 10-24 and 28-32) was omitted.

On the ensuing Thursday, St Luke xxiii was handling in a similar style: viz. ver. 1-31, 33, 44-56 alone were read, – all the other verses being left out.

On the 1st Sabbath after Pentecost (All Saint’s), the lesson consisted of St. Matt. x. 32, 33, 37-38: xix. 27-30.

On the 15th Sabbath after Pentecost, the lesson was St. Matt. xxiv 1-9, 13 (leaving out 11, 12)

On the 16th Sabbath after Pentecost, the lesson was St. Matt. xxiv 34-37, 42-44 (leaving out 38-41).

On the 6th Sabbath of St Luke, – the lesson was ch. viii. 26-35 followed by verses 38 and 39.

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40. (Scrivener:) “This celebrated paragraph….was probably not contained in the first edition of St. John’s Gospel but added at the time when his last chapter was annexed to what had once been the close of his narrative, – xx. 30, 31.” Scrivener’s Introduction to Cod. D, p. 50.

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41. …in a so far unpublished paper.

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42. It is omitted in some MSS of the Peshitto.

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J/A

On March 8, 2016, in a blatantly dishonest diatribe against me, James White labeled King James Only advocates as “cultists”. What was his premise? That the King James doesn’t follow the erroneous Granville Sharp rule (“GSR”), which even Dan Wallace admitted is inconsistently applied throughout the NT, and can really be narrowed down to 2 passages (Titus 2:13, and 2 Peter 1:1). Essentially, James White accused the KJV of diminishing the deity of Christ based on these two passages (which he is wrong about anyway even IF he was right about the GSR, which he’s not) Now I have a ton of arguments against this view alone, but only one is necessary to completely blow White’s theory out of the water, and expose him for the dishonest hypocrite that he is.

Here is the most simple, common sense rebuttal to White’s blathering. In numerous responses to KJV advocates who point out that modern versions alter dozens of passages that eliminate the deity of Christ (John 1:18, 1 Tim 3:16, Rom 9:5, 1 Cor 10:9, 1 John 5:7-8, Dan 3:25, etc…), modern versionists like White claim we are mistaken to allege modern versions attack the deity of Christ IF THE DEITY OF CHRIST CAN BE ESTABLISHED BY OTHER PASSAGES. In other words, to White, it is irrelevant that even if KJVO advocates were right about those verses, it doesn’t matter because the charge can not be substantiated that modern versions alter the deity of Christ if His deity can be shown elsewhere.

Now here’s the kicker for that kind of defense against someone who in the same breath accuses KJVO advocates of being “cultists”. Let’s assume for argument’s sake White is right about the GSR in the KJV. IF THE KJV CAN SHOW THE DEITY OF CHRIST CAN BE PROVEN FROM OTHER PASSAGES, THEN WHITE CAN’T REALLY CRITICIZE KJVOS FOR BEING “CULTISTS” NOW CAN HE!! White always claims “inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument”, but he refuses to apply his own rules consistently. If the ability to show the deity of Christ in other places among modern versions vindicates THOSE versions, then how is it that the same analysis doesn’t vindicate the KJV if the deity of Christ can be shown in other passages if White is right about 2 passages where he [erroneously] contends the GSR proves it diminishes the deity of Christ? The deity of Christ in the KJV can be established in John 1:1, John 1:18, Romans 9:5, Matt 1:23, Isaiah 7:4, 9:6, Mark 2:7-10, John 8:58, John 10:31-35, Phil 2:6, Matt 19:6, Col 2:9-10, Heb 1:8, John 20:28, John 8:24, 1 John 5:7-8, 1 Tim 3:16 and a plethora of other OT and NT passages.

White uses equivocation and a special pleading fallacy of applying a rule to vindicate his modern version onlyism on the same grounds that he labels KJVO advocates cultists for. If the existence of the deity of Christ can be found outside of the verses that KJVOs attack modern versions over, then why doesn’t that same rule apply to White’s attacks against the KJV even if he was right about the GSR rule? The answer to that is simple, White knows that KJVOs have a better case against him, and to keep listeners from fairly judging both sides of the issue, he tries to put Bible believing Christians in the same category as other cultists like the Watchtower (in spite of the fact that some of the most aggressive defenders of the King James Bible are 1689 LBC Calvinists, like him). Ironically, the men behind White’s modern version onlyism were avid occultists and rationalists who did not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture (See, Heretics Behind Modern Bible Versions Supported By James White).

Regarding White’s charge about Titus 2:13, the result of White’s absurd assessment is that God permitted the Roman Catholic church to have the accurate readings (stored on library shelves, no less) while the rest of the church “erroneously” relied on these verses to support the Trinity for 1800 years. White claims that it “wasn’t the King James translators faults”, which means that not only were the King James translators ignorant of a 19th century Greek grammar rule in the 17th century, but so, too, was every Bible believing Christian that was martyred over these texts who translated it the same way until a bunch of rationalists decided it should be interpreted differently, rationalists that now include James White and his ilk. Anti King James Only advocates frequently ask us the dumbest question ever, “Where was the Bible before 1611?”, but if you look at their position, NONE OF US HAD IT BEFORE THE “BEST” and “OLDEST” MANUSCRIPTS WERE FOUND BETWEEN 1840-1881.

Dr. James A., PhD
Member Dean Burgon Society

whatyouhavetobelieve

UPDATED 3/22/16 Screenshot at Bottom of Page Showing White’s Own Follower Admitting Post Not Altered

UPDATED 3/19/16 With James White’s Contradictory Facebook Posts At the End of This Article

UPDATE: 3/19/16 11:13 PM: James White has now accused me of altering the original Facebook post. The post was copied and pasted in its entirety with no alterations whatsoever. How convenient that he deleted it, and then accused me of altering it. Since I know White goes through about 5 edits before posting anything, I’m sure he kept a copy of the original draft. His ego is too big to trash something like this. Screenshot at the end shows one of his own followers admitting that my article includes White’s original post.

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Dr. James A, Ph.D

“”If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” No that wasn’t James White that said that, even though he uses the tactic frequently. That was none other than Joseph Goebells, Hitlers minister of propaganda.

It is well known that I can’t stand race baiting. I think the #BlackLivesMatter “movement” is one of the most despicable establishment-created groups out there.  It does far more harm than the attention they attempt to bring to some of the corruption they have bona fide complaints about, and vilifies good police officers. Moreover, it minimizes the plight of whites, and other minorities, that have suffered the same fate at the hands of abusive authority figures (Waco, Randy Weaver, unarmed homeless white shot in New Mexico, etc…). The elite globalists want an excuse to take our guns, and get Americans fighting each other, and Black Lives Matters is a Soros engine duping blacks into thinking it’s a Luther-type movement (a fact even recently and surprisingly admitted to by Louis Farrakhan) setting the stage for the government to justify all of the oppressive edicts they have prepared to take our freedoms.

But fact is, it wasn’t that long ago that blacks were still fighting to have any kind of rights recognized. Even after a civil war, and an emancipation proclamation, blacks were still eating at White Only restaurants a hundred years later, and still struggling with racism in the South. And as much as I can’t stand a so-called “oppressed minority” of any stripe broad-brushing an entire culture over the actions of a few idiots, I can’t stand those who give them a valid reason to do so. James White did exactly that today in a Facebook post.

I’m going to post the note in its entirety and highlight all of the racist comments made simply because the kid he is referring to is black.

I bought a dash cam recently. Seems everyone in Russia has one (I guess you have to for insurance purposes), and I thought it would be pretty good to have to document some of the crazy things that happen while driving. So I was coming home this evening and happened to be the first car at Glendale and 35th Avenue in Phoenix. And as you will see, a young black kid, looks to be 15 years old or so, was crossing the street. Now if you watch, you will see a police SUV cross in front of me first going east. The kid then comes into the screen, and though he sort of hid it under his elbow, he plainly flips off the police vehicle. Then he is emptying the drink he is consuming as he walks out of the frame. What you can’t see is that he then simply tossed the bottle into the bush in the corner of the gas station. I happened to notice the two ladies in the car next to me had seen the same thing. We just looked at each other, put up our hands in exasperation, and shook our heads.

As I drove away I thought about that boy. There is a more than 70% chance he has never met this father. In all probabilities he has no guidance, has no example. He is filled with arrogance and disrespect for authority. He lives in a land where he is told lies every day—the lie that he cannot, through hard work and discipline, get ahead, get a good education, and succeed at life. He is lied to and told the rest of the world owes him. And the result is predictable: in his generation, that 70% number will only rise. He may well father a number of childrenmost of which will be murdered in the womb, padding the pockets of Planned Parenthood, [Blacks make up the majority of aborted babies, and White knows that] and those that survive will themselves be raised without a natural family, without the God-ordained structure that is so important for teaching respect, and true manhood or womanhood.

It never crossed my mind to flip off a police car as it passed me by when I was his age. Of course, it never crossed my mind to walk around with my butt hanging out of my pants, either, as if the entire world needed to see what kind of underwear I was sporting that day. I know I would have been mighty guilty had I tossed my drink bottle into a bush—and I never would have dreamed of doing that in front of everyone like this young man did. But I had a father [that molested your sister, Patty Bonds, whom you threatened*See Comment Section Why This Matters]. And a mother. And I was taught to respect others, and myself. If I had not had those things, I still would not have acted as he [that’s not what your theology claims], simply because times have changed, and not for the better. There was simply more restraint in my day. It surely makes me wonder what the future holds [simple, John 3:18]. Oh, I know—this is nothing. There are videos on line of kids like this shooting guns in the air and robbing people and doing car jackings. I know. But you need to understand: those folks didn’t get there without first finding it “fun” to strut, flip, toss, and live an attitude of disrespect.

Not a single word about this mans lost condition even after assuming how bad of an upbringing he may have had. Not one word was said about this kids need for the gospel of Christ. How on earth does White know how many kids he’s fathered? How does White know if he has a dad or not? How does he know nobody ever taught him that work is valuable instead of having everything handed to him? Those are all notorious assumptions about blacks. White has said some ridiculous things about me, but he’s never even made those connections as he’s done with this black kid. Maybe that kid DID have parents that taught him right (I did) and got in with the wrong crowd (I did). There are white preachers kids who have taught their children right, who ended up committing suicide, turned gay, or rebelled against Christianity. Proverbs certainly gives timed truths for rearing children, but those are general axioms, it doesn’t always work out the way we’d like. Nevertheless, as right as White is about the things that can and do contribute to delinquency, it is wrong to make that kind of assumption from a stereotype that is clearly based on this kid’s color.

For someone who believes in total depravity, why is White surprised that an unsaved sinner acts like, well…and unsaved sinner. For someone who believes in exhaustive determinism, it sure is interesting to see how White points to human restraint of the older days. Although this isn’t the first time White has taken potshots at blacks (see our article on James White’s “Culturally Black Churches Don’t Preach the Gospel”). Are actions like this kid took silly, foolish? Of course they are. But it makes Christians everywhere look foolish when a popular professing Christian explains this kids behavior because of his color, instead of his condition-Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12. White just gave this kid, and every other Black Lives Matter advocate another reason to hate white people, and white Christians.

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UPDATE 3/19/16

James White deleted the original Facebook post, and it’s a good thing we saved it. White offered two separated defenses of his original post, and not only do both posts contradict each other, they contradict the original post.

The first response is here

The second response is here (And these responses are in the order shown on his FB page, not necessarily the date they were posted. Thus the first response is the latest, and the second response was what he wrote first)

In the first response, White states,

OK, I just deleted “the post.” It was about how judgment is coming upon our land, about how restraint once existed that exists no longer, and it was a lament about what happens when the God-ordained structure of the family breaks down

Notice the problem? His original post doesn’t say a single word about the “observation” being about “judgment coming upon our land”. White is simply misleading his followers about his post because it received so much negative attention and is creating an entirely new narrative from what he actually said in the original post. His observation was one based on pure stereotype of a young black male, period. There was no lament about break down of family structure, in fact, White said he probably didn’t even have one.It was an attack on a black family. There is a huge difference between a lament, and a blatant pejorative racial stereotype.

Furthermore, White proves in both responses that the issue WAS about race. White says that,

Well, I got the message loud and clear today: I am not allowed to notice those things, or, at least, I cannot comment on them. See, I am the wrong color. The amount of melanin I have in my skin does not reach a sufficient level to allow me to speak to any such issue. As long as the kid strutting in front of my car flipping off the police has more melanin than I do—I must shut up, because I don’t get the “narrative.

And yet his second reply claimed that the post wasn’t about race, but about statistical probabilities of families in general (an assumption that most of his followers made). Here’s the problem with that. If it wasn’t about race, then why did White go to great lengths to complain about the color of HIS skin disqualifying him from discussing “SUCH ISSUE[s]”?  If it wasn’t about race, then it would have been unnecessary for White to make that contrast. He was attempting to defend his original position by implying that white people should be able to talk about black issues without being labeled racist. I agree with that, but that’s not what he said and that wasn’t the issue, at all. However, the very fact that he’s even attempting to defend that point of view reveals that he knew it was about race all along, and now he’s gauging his follower’s responses and morphing into a different narrative than the one he created in the first place. This is a habit that White has that often goes unnoticed. He does this  regularly with his responses to King James Only advocates as well as Non Calvinist opponents (Here’s a list of examples)

White blames the response of his own followers (and this is important) for “racial gnosticism”

For those wondering, gnostics believed you were saved through the acquisition of knowledge [Editor: HOW DID THIS ISSUE TURN INTO ONE ABOUT SALVATION WHEN YOUR CRITICS ARE BLACK REFORMERS???]. Racial gnostics believe that unless you walk in racial shoes—experience what they experience—you cannot have anything meaningful to say. Of course, it would never cross my mind to go back to how my ancestors were treated and create some “narrative” and demand you “understand” it before you could talk to me, but hey—I also think it is ridiculous to blame your parents for your own life choices, too. But I’m now an old fogie, out of step with modern times, irrelevant.

First of all, the majority of the flack he was getting over this was from his own followers, not the radical, left wing BLM type crowd, but his own loyal black following that affirmed over and over again to him that he had been a great help to them on many issues, and that they loved him. Yet White blasts them with the accusation of racial gnosticism which makes a very gross category error let alone is down right insulting.

Secondly, blacks didn’t create the stigma that they are complaining about. White’s response is basically, “slavery happened a long time ago [“my ancestors” comment], get over it”.The issue is far beyond slavery. The “narrative” that White is complaining about is one that elite, greedy globalists created for them. Chemical experiments were never practiced on whites, but they were on blacks. Diseases don’t get created on white’s in America, they do those experiments on blacks in Africa. Whites weren’t deliberately given syphilis in order to find a cure for it so that white politicians could continue whoring around without fear of their man parts falling off; but blacks were (Tuskegee Experiments). White’s don’t have their neighborhoods racially gerrymandered as many cities do to force blacks to live in selected sections of the town, the list is endless. The civil war ended in the late 1800s, and yet it took the Civil Rights Act nearly 100 years to make rights of blacks enforceable (Civil Rights Act of 1964) even though the 13th and 14th Amendments had long been passed. Yet even then, legal precedents had to be decided to determine exactly what the bill meant and how to apply it, so it wasn’t immediately effective- that’s what led to the protests of Luther and Malcom X in the first place. Then globalists capitalized on that and helped create rival gangs, and then flooded their neighborhoods with drugs (I don’t have time to spell all this out, but I have a ton of documentation on it). White politicians (mostly democrats) capitalized on the chaos simply to vie for votes from the community to secure positions of power that would help implement socialist policies (that’s another article).

The fact is there IS a stigma that most blacks still face in America. The confusion for whites is that there are sinful, selfish, greedy, sellouts that are capitalizing on the chaos and using it to their own ends. Thus, when BLM promotes looting businesses or shooting cops, our first reaction is to blame blacks for not giving whites the credit for the things we have done to help them and in turn, broad-brush the entire black community. Black Lives Matter does not represent the entire black community, and many black Christians and conservatives have opposed it.

White’s ridiculous comment that he shouldn’t have to walk a mile in their shoes to have a platform to speak about their issues is a red herring. Nobody was asking White to walk in their shoes, but to simply listen to what they had to say about why they feel the way they do, and not use the racial buzz words that normally describe the black community off of an isolated experience of a young black male that was used as proof of statistics he arbitrarily and presumptively applied to them. Instead, White threw a temper tantrum, shut down his Twitter account, and accused his own black followers of racial gnosticism. White wanted to have a monologue about the black plight, but didn’t want to listen to their side of the story about where he went wrong. When he got caught, he tried to spin the original narrative he created, and then blamed his own black followers for misrepresenting his position, and succumbing to a BLM type mentality. White marginalized and dismissed his black followers, while allowing two separate posts on the topic to be commented on by all of his white followers without objection or censorship. And these black followers of his get it. They were not the leftist liberal crowds, the Sharpton race baiters, the DeRay collaborators. They were Christians that gave him a benefit of a doubt that he refused to give to them. And yet, none dare call it racism.

Furthermore, since Calvinists in particular have a mean history of racism, it’s hard to blame the reaction of many blacks when reckless comments like this are made.

piperslavery

 

A young black  man with the user name of “Ameen” posted a video response to White that I think is worth listening to. It’s an hour long, but is a pretty fair description of what happened, and a response that in my opinion accurate reflects how most of the other blacks feel about White’s comments. I don’t agree with everything, but I think he said it far better than I could.

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James White repeatedly accuses me of being a “cultist”. Although he calls me an anonymous troll, he declined my public offer to debate him to prove that KJVOs are cultists. Why? Because 1) he needs to use as many pejorative terms as he can muster to discredit me, and 2) He knows full well there are CALVINISTS who are King James Only advocates. White would NEVER even attempt to debate me on this because he loses the moment I can show that his own card carrying TULIP brandishing Calvinists are among some of the most aggressive King James Only advocates there are.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video by Will Kinney, A CALVINIST, answering the charge that King James Only Advocates are cultists.

Here’s an article by Kinney as well that addresses the same.

It’s also interesting that White calls me an unsaved heretic (and our statement of beliefs is outlined in the “About Us” section and neither White nor his followers have made an attempt to show which views are “cultic”), yet he calls Dr. Michael Brown, a charismatic, tongues speaking, eternal security rejecting Arminian, brother (in other words, since Dr. Brown gives him an occasional platform to reach Brown’s crowd so that White can address social issues, then Brown is not a heretic, even though any other charismatic would be a heretic in any of White’s circles). Folks, that is the mark of an inconsistent and dishonest man. White uses the same Nazi propaganda tactics to villify and marginalize his enemies by repeating a lie so much-without any evidence whatsoever-that others simply start believing it. This was a common tactic used by Joseph Goebells of Hitler’s Nazi regime.

UPDATE 3/22/16

White’s Charge of “Altering” His Original Facebook Post

White thanked Tom Buck for informing Thabiti Anyabwile  that my post was “altered” in an attempt to discredit the evidence I posted from White’s original article. This is not the first time that White has made this kind of unfounded claim, but below is a screenshot from one of his most devout followers, “Hacim Ramallah” (Jonathon Autry) ADMITTING “at least his post was in context”. “Hacim” was an anonymous account until he was sued by Ergun Caner for exposing him. White relied on much of Hacim’s research and White retweets Hacim’s posts quite frequently. Hence, Hacim can not be cited by White as a biased witness. Hacim has attacked me relentlessly, and thus his admission to the fact that my original post is NOT altered is a slap in the face to White’s claim.

hakimadmission

Dr. James A., PhD

Apparently, some movie is out about Christ in His youth. I won’t pretend to know anything about it, so I won’t comment on the movie. I won’t comment on eating rat poison either, but I have a feeling it’s bad for you. What I can comment on is James White’s erroneous view of the 2nd commandment. White states,

I do not think it is a violation of the 2nd Commandment to make a movie or the like about Jesus. I know many who do. However, I believe the making of images prohibited in that commandment is directly relevant to worship, first of all, and secondly, involves a human speculation about something God has not revealed. But the Son did, in fact, enter into human flesh, and I do not believe God would have struck a child dead for drawing a picture of Jesus on the ground. If you worship an image of Jesus, that is wrong. But portraying Him in the historical context of His own personal revelation is not. That’s my understanding.”

Now think about something. In early Greek and Roman culture, there were busts, statues, portraits made and imprints on currency of every major philosopher, Caesar, queen, you name it. Ever notice that none of the apostles nor any of their converts who saw Christ, nor anyone else EVER made any such portrait of Christ, the most popular Person of that day? Don’t think that was coincidence or accident.

Secondly, White makes an enormous category error. He opines that if a child saw Jesus and drew a picture of Him, He would not strike him dead and therefore the portrait wouldn’t violate the 2nd commandment. Here’s the flaw, the portrait the child drew in James’ scenario would be of the ACTUAL JESUS, whereas a movie or play is someone OTHER THAN the real Christ.

The other problem with these kinds of movies is the same problem with the Catholic crucifix, it gives a person an erroneous fixation on Christ based on a speculative and imaginative caricature. Every time a person prays, he or she will have that false image in their head of some Hollywood version of Jesus. In fact, in James White’s debate against Patrick Madrid, he attacked the crucifix, and in the second chapter of his Roman Catholic Controversy, he stated that the display of Christ on a crucifix leads one away from the truth of the gospel (and note, his comments on that were in spite of and collateral to their element of worship).

Scripture says there are those blessed who have NOT SEEN Christ and yet believed (John 20:29). Thus, having a false caricature of Christ is not only unnecessary, but blasphemous. If a professing Baptist can’t condemn a false caricature of Christ in a movie, then how is anyone supposed to take his critiques of paintings of Christ or crucifixes seriously? The second commandment (Exodus 20:4-5) didn’t simply say thou shalt not worship any graven image (that part’s in Exodus 20:5), but that you are not to MAKE any graven image, OR LIKENESS. So not only is the 2nd commandment against the worshiping of graven images, but against the very making of them, and creating a likeness. This is clearly why all of the disciples raised on Jewish law never left behind any sort of portrait of Christ. Nobody was concerned with the idea that they needed to prove the historicity of Christ by preserving it in a Polaroid instead of recording His words in Scripture. Any movie that attempts to portray Christ is an attempt at a  creation of a likeness of the Son of God, and a false creation at that. To excuse this kind of caricature merely because Christ was in the flesh demeans His deity.

These are the kind of problems you have with a non discerning Calvinist who has no absolute authority other than some Greek original he’s never seen, and some Bible that he couldn’t tell you is THE word of God. Even the ones he does use are interpreted allegorically because he’s a staunch amillennialist. But ah, don’t want to offend the fellow Calvinist movie buffs. Gotta stay soft with the party line. That’s why he gets away with saying one thing to Catholics, and another to his followers. It’s the kind of mentality that will tell an unbeliever that the proof that the Bible has been preserved is that we have over 5,000 manuscripts to prove it (when he really means the TR has over 5,000 mss), and then criticize those very same mss as not being the most reliable when talking to professing believers (In other words, he needs the Textus Receptus and Majority Text to prove provenance to unbelievers, but when he needs to sell a book about King James Onlyism to professing believers, and get royalties from the Lockman Foundation as a critical consultant on the NASB, he will attack those same manuscripts as untrustworthy, unreliable, full or errors, and not the oldest).

I’d trust a blind man giving me directions down an elevator shaft before I’d trust this guy with the Bible.

 

For more White Lies, see my recent response to his Dividing Line diatribe. This response had numerous of White’s own followers questioning him, so much so that he threatened to block anyone for asking questions or mentioning it.

By James A, ThM,

[Updated below with how James White aids a fake Muslim]

 

On March 8, 2016, “Dr” James White of Alpha & Omega ministries (which is kind of an ironic name for a ministry who endorses a Bible [NASB] that removes “Alpha and Omega” from Revelation 1:11. Revelation 1:11 KJV, Revelation 1:11, NASB) performed a character assassination ritual on his Dividing Line show attacking yours truly, kind of (beginning that the 29:00 mark). His aim was at Dr. James Ach, who has not been at Do Right Christians for nearly a year now (a fact that has been well-known) and thus it is already clear that White didn’t do even the least bit of homework before putting on his papal mitre. White lied several times, used unconfirmed gossip, and blatantly slandered me. This has been par for the course for White, and virtually none of his followers bothered to fact check his assertions (one who tried to, “Jonathon”, was yelled at during the show which you’ll see if you watch it at the 44:50 mark).

I’m going to go point by point and shred White’s bogus diatribe against me which all started over a screenshot I posted about his bogus bike riding stats, which he never adequately answered, and even lied about. But think about this. White has ignored our Twitter account for 3 years. Of all the things he chose to respond to: not Calvinism, not King James Only, not amillennialism, or any of the other things we’ve challenged him on, he chose to get angry over what we posted about his bike riding stats! And this guy calls ME unstable? Matt Estes was right, I DID post it as a joke even though the numbers were actually off, it was White that took it to an entirely different level.

“Big Brother”

White starts off with accusing me of cooperating with “Big Brother” because I reported 2 tweets of his to Twitter API. They suspended his account because they confirmed my allegations that White was publicly accusing me of a crime, the crime of stalking. In White’s world, accusing someone of a crime is not a big deal. In the real world, false allegations of criminal activity can have real consequences to those of us who live in the real world. If anyone was attempting to get “Big Brother” involved in getting a Christian in trouble with the government, it was White, not me.

Secondly, since when did Twitter become a government agency? Is White and his followers so incompetent that they don’t know who “Big Brother” is? White even stated my actions would set a bad precedent that allows government to attack other Christians. This is a major category fallacy since Twitter is a privately owned social media engine, and not an agency of the government. Twitter has some dubious policies, and are especially biased against conservatives, but far from being the FBI, CIA, NSA, State Police, Obama Administration, Department of Justice, local police, Homeland Security, et al. THOSE are Big Brother agencies, NOT TWITTER. It takes the most gullible sycophant to swallow this charismatically emotional driven complaint from White.

Furthermore, White claimed that his “freedom of speech” and First Amendment was infringed upon. I’m sorry, what? Again, a category error where Twitter is not the government of which the First Amendment is directed at (federal, and states through the 14th Amendment). Restrictions or liberties are not enforced by Twitter, they are the responsibilities of governments. Furthermore, First Amendment protections to not protect persons from yelling fire in a movie theater. Free speech does not entitle people to cause riots. If free speech were a carte blanche to say whatever you wanted without exception, there would be no such thing as defamation laws (the legal term that incorporates both slander and libel). White demonstrates he is completely ignorant of law.

Finally, I reported ONLY the tweet that falsely accused me of a criminal act. I did NOT report the vile tweets that ridiculed or vilified me. I reported ONLY the tweets that he posted for Big Brother to see that were false accusations of criminal acts. What White DIDN’T show his followers were the other tweets that were still left on his page, including the ones he sent me calling me evil (yet if I tweet HIM, it’s stalking). Twitter did not delete his comments because I was “afraid” of being “exposed”, but because White made false criminal accusations. Period. White tries to convince others it was based on his content of “exposing” someone, which clearly was not the case.

[We won’t say how White went to “Big Brother” Youtube to get videos of him removed]

Mother’s Basement

At 31:34, White says I’m an anonymous troll (which I have all  my information except my full last name for personal reasons because of something that has happened to my children of which police have yet to do anything about). My college is listed which can be verified, and I have talked with numerous friends on Twitter at length over the phone who know exactly who I am, where I live, what church I go to, etc… Funny however, that White used an anonymous person, “Hakim”, to get most of the dirt he got on Ergun Caner, and endorses several other another anonymous accounts ( one who’s actually an attorney out of Georgia).

But living in my mother’s basement? Seriously? What kind of adult says something like that? And what kind of followers listen to such a childish, immature comment and claps? I thought the days of the ‘your mama” jokes were over.

White continues I am in my mid 30s (I am 43) and never worked a job (even though profile says I have a ThM [recently finished my PhD but thesis hasn’t been graded] and am paralegal). Of course, White here is fishing for information, but he’s still making false assumptions which shows how bad of a psychic he is.

Do Nothing But Attack People

White says I do “nothing but attack people”. He’s an “apologist”. Apologists by nature attack people all day long. White attacks King James Only advocates all the time (even accuses us of being a cult) and non Calvinists whom he claims have “Anti Calvinist Derangement Syndrome”. Do you really think that those of us who believe the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the virgin birth, the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, creation, cessation, salvation by grace through faith, are going to quietly sit by and NOT say something when White travels the world referring to us in the same vernacular he uses to describe Jehovah’s Witnesses? Are you kidding me? We defend ourselves from HIS ATTACKS, and we KJVOS are the ones stalking HIM?

But if James White hounds someone like William Lane Craig, who refuses to debate him because he’s a jerk, then for White, it’s OK.

whitetrolling - Copy

James White also chased Ergun Caner for about ten years.

Now I don’t have a problem with White chasing anyone because he’s doing what he thinks is his duty as an apologist to do (for argument’s sake, not that he’s right about the content of what he’s attacking them over). But what I write about White is based on the exact same conviction, yet he applies a different standard for himself. White’s doctrine’s are heretical, dangerous, and misleading Christians all over the world, and I have the same right to call him out as he believes he does to me. But only one of us is accusing the other of “stalking”.

“He Doesn’t Go Out There And Do Debates”

No, I don’t. I go into the highways and hedges and compel them to come (Luke 14:23) because the Bible admonishes that kind of soul winning (Acts 5:42) instead of debating people (Isaiah 58:4, Romans 1:29, Titus 3:10). Soul winning IS a form of debating, but White has people convinced that formal debates are a Biblical standard and a measure of success which is the furthest from the truth. There are a number of reasons why debates are not always successful (which I will explain another time). White, however, uses debates as a rhetorical rebuttal to those who argue with him on any given matter. For example, when White “debated” Chris Pinto, when others ask about the fraudulent Codex Sinaiticus, instead of White (or his followers) answering simple questions in follow up to additional information that has come out, White simply responds, “I debated that subject” and, bam, case closed, don’t question me no more, bro. White points to his debates and declares that he won, and that is supposed to just end the discussion.

Frankly, all of White’s debates are irrelevant because the bulk of the debate is what he says AFTER the debate, and that’s how he designs his debates. This is why White would never win a debate with William Lane Craig because Craig knows how to exploit his many logical fallacies, and why White only challenged Craig on Twitter, instead of calling him or his staff where he knew he could have had a formal discussion about a debate. Craig had to hear about White’s challenge second hand. But White’s followers heard it long enough on his Twitter and his DL show that it was enough for his followers to help his ego by declaring “Looky, Looky, Craig won’t debate White, he’s skeered”. That’s really just how dishonest and egotistical this tyrant is.

Cooperating With Muslims, Atheists, Catholics, Oh My!

This one was particularly rib-tickling. At 32:20, White claims that I follow around URLS where his name is mentioned “anywhere on the internet”, and jump in the conversations to help Muslims, atheists, Catholics, “he don’t care”. Wow. Any proof of that? Of course not. Was there a screenshot? Nope. You mean to tell me White took the time the screenshot my comments about his bike riding stats, but didn’t gather evidence to show how I’m cooperating with Muslims and Catholics? Again, more blatant outright fabrications. Anyone that follows me knows that I have 4 major issues with White: Anti King James, Hyper Calvinism, Amillennialism, and threatening a rape victim.

In fact, I have even AGREED with James White on certain modern day issues like the gay agenda, and EVEN ENDORSED HIS BOOK on the subject. I don’t disagree with White about EVERYTHING and have no problem giving others credit for the things that they get right. Do you think White would have that same sentiment toward me? Of course not. I am mature enough to take the high road when it comes to certain conflicts even though I know my theological adversaries won’t always give me that same courtesy (like White).

Interestingly enough, James White endorses an anonymous account named “Hakim Ramallah”. Hakim, or rather, Jonathan Autry, gives the impression that he is either Muslim or former Muslim-which would make sense given that he was the one Ergun Caner sued because he was one of the anonymous sources James White was using for information on Ergun Caner during the time White was pursuing Caner for claiming to be an ex-Jihadist (and for the record, I don’t believe Caner’s story, either).

So why is White endorsing a fake Muslim Twitter account, particularly after he spent so many years attacking Caner for the same thing, not mention having the gall to accuse me of “supporting Muslims”. What a hypocrite. (Yes, Yes, White trolls, I know, “Hakim’s” level of fakeness isn’t nearly what Caner did. It’s too bad I even have to express that disclaimer since White’s followers don’t appear to see the irony and hypocrisy in just the smallest appearance of evil here).

hakim

The Gospel Is Irrelevant to “These People”

By “these people” White is referring to all King James Only advocates, which is kind of ironic considering that one of the most aggressive King James Only advocates that has written extensively about White’s erroneous anti KJVO views is a guy named Will Kinney-A CALVINIST. So while White condemns all KJVO advocates as cultists, one of the rebuttals I have to him and even challenged him to debate with me was proving that KJVOs are cultists when there are many among his own Calvinist brethren who are KJVO. So if all KJVOS are Christ denying, gospel rejecting heretics, that would include 1689 LBC Calvinist confessionalists like Kinney and scores of others (Brandenberg, Pinto etc…)

Independent Fundamental Baptists care far more about the gospel than White, we take it to the streets on a daily basis. It is White who makes it hard for us by criticizing our Bible, our methods, our sincerity, our heritage, and our message (which can be seen in the About Us section, and the above gospel tab, You Die, Then What? By the way, we have a gospel message on our website, where is White’s on his?)

Why Was I Going To Do This In The First Place

White asks a good question, why is he even responding to my graphic about the bike? His harsh reaction is what made it appear he had something to hide. Most narcissists react that way when you call them out over little things.

At first, White accused me of COMPRESSING the graphic. He later accused me of ALTERING it.

whitegraph

Of course, once White tried to explain the numbers, he had to back peddle a little, and lie. The stats I pointed out and deduced were from ONLY the bike riding stats. I was well aware of the other rowing and granny exercises that were part of the chart, and White knows that, it said so on the very graph he used. But that’s a common trick, show your viewer the graphic in plain sight and hope they ignore the noise. White’s numbers were still wrong. But think about it, if White had accused me of ALTERING THE GRAPHIC AT FIRST, why didn’t he attempt to prove the altering he accused me of, instead of crunching the numbers differently?

Oh wait, he did prove one point: that a circle became on oval because I had to make it smaller to fit the entire page with the other graphics. None of his followers blinked an eye at this. The evidence that I altered the graph (remember, he said compressed at first on Twitter) was that the circles were different sizes? Are you kidding me? How does anyone take this guy seriously?

And yes, White was right that the Gran Fonda was cumulative, BUT NOT FOR THAT DAY and he knew exactly what I was talking about. Although the stats were cumulative, I was referring to requirements for a one day event, and included those stats for the week. White even admitted that I was right about the weekly and monthly stats, but he attempted to confuse his readers about the total. I even had bikers messaging me telling me it was weird and that I was right.

But considering that one of White’s tools in his polemics trick bag is to insult people over the grammar or spelling (I don’t use spell checker on EVERY document I post, or 140 character Tweets), if he can dish out petty insults about silly stuff, then why can’t I! The bike issue was not that big of a deal to me. For goodness sake he posts the stuff every day and brags about it. He even spent about 5 minutes ranting about it in the middle of insulting me.

No Accomplishments 45:25

Well there’s a catch 22. If I defend myself from the accusation that I haven’t accomplished anything, then I’ll be accused of bragging about my accomplishments. Apparently, White sees treasures stored on earth as proof of accomplishment. So guess what, White can have that one, because I’d rather be last on earth for Christ than first in my own cause to be seen of men. I spend my days witnessing to people in nursing homes, and passing out tracts throughout Illinois.

This shows that White values earthly success over spiritual rewards. And if that’s the standard of Godliness, that I haven’t written as many books, or engaged in debates, then guilty as charged. I’ll stack the souls I’ve led to Christ against White’s debates, and let God determine who was more “successful”.

I Saved Lives Through Bike Riding

White claims that several people said he saved their lives by inspiring them to work out. This is an emotional argument against what the Bible says about bodily exercise profiting little. Note that I NEVER said that exercise is bad. I work out several times a week, but no more than an hour. Why? Because it’s all that is needed to stay healthy enough to be effective for God, and that is precisely what Paul was talking about in Timothy. James White like every other important verse in the Bible, he just cuts 1 Tim 4:8 right out of the Bible.

James White’s actually setting a BAD example that could RUIN others’ health. I’m not going to take up this response to show the bad effects of lactic acid build up, creatine and glutamine depletion, muscle, joint and lung damage that can occur by over doing what White does. You don’t burn thousands of calories like that without knowing how to manage your diet and supplements (and frankly, White doesn’t look like someone who’s burning up as many calories as he says he is, unless he is a very reckless eater: maybe he can do another show about THAT).

SNUGGLING UP TO “POLEMICIST”

This was an obvious snub at JD Hall of Pulpit and Pen. Now what White didn’t tell his viewers (which I only later found out myself) was that this information came from Tom Buck. The accusation is that JD Hall and I were conspiring together (how about q-ing that conspiracy music White references a few minutes prior!) to “take down” other people. JD Hall and I have never talked, and I have sent him probably a few messages from Twitter about links to SBC issues. JD Hall and I are as different as night and day on a lot of issues, but I agree with his position on the Southern Baptist Convention. Because I have retweeted some of Hall’s articles on gay affirming, abortion isn’t murder defending SBCers that Hall has exposed, I’m now “yoking” with “a certain polemicist”.

However, all that White accused me of came from a second hand source that provided no proof. When I asked Tom Buck to show proof on Twitter, he simply said “God knows and you know”. That’s the age-old “you know what you did” tactic when you know you can’t prove what you said. Yet White ran with it anyway.

I AM DOING THIS BECAUSE MY TWITTER WAS SUSPENDED” 51:-00

Now White followers,  THINK THIS THROUGH FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE. If White is accusing me of having his Twitter account suspended BECAUSE of his tweet threatening to expose me, THEN HIS PROGRAM COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BASED ON THE TWITTER SUSPENSION OVER SOMETHING HE’D ALREADY THREATENED TO DO ANYWAY!!!! Do you folks get that? White had already posted that he was going to do a live show attacking me on March 8, which he posted on March 6. But at 51:00, he says that the REASON he is doing the show is because I got his Twitter account suspended, which didn’t happen until March 9, his threats were March 6.

Unbelievable how none of his followers caught that.

VILE THINGS ON HIS TWITTER FEED

If White has us blocked, then what “vile things” on my Twitter feed is he referring to? Screenshot? Proof? Reference? Example? Link? Nothing. He and his followers accused me with absolutely nothing to show for it.

The only thing that White has ever specifically mentioned as being “vile” is our posting of what his own sister, Patty Bonds, accused him of, which was that he was aggressive and threatening to her when she exposed their father for molesting her. Below is the screenshot we took of her comments on her blog, Abbas Little Girl, before she locked it after James White basically accused her of making the story up as part of a Catholic conspiracy against him. In other words, because she’s now a Catholic, she deserved to be raped. (And yes, this is a very personal issue with me).

pattybonds

White can not argue that a person deserves to get raped because it’s part of his theology (God ordains rape of children):

White threatens his own sister over exposing a pedophile and WE are the “vile” ones?

GEORGE B WINER ISSUE

This is the real issue. White uses every opportunity he can to vilify King James Only advocates by making us look like extremists. By the time you get to the real story, he has you hating me so much you believe anything he says when he gets to his contention.

whiterobertsonblunder

White NEVER ANSWERED THE ANACHRONISM. He simply backed up, and said in a very general way, “well back 3 pages, it’s talking about Titus 2:13 [I know] and anyone who reads this knows what it’s talking about”. Hello? Anybody home? That’s not an answer. The problem is White has misquoted Robertson and laid the blame for the King James translators on their mistranslating Titus 2:13 (and other places where the GSR rule “applies”. It’s actually used quite randomly, and there’s places where modern versions don’t apply it consistently themselves, but White ignorantly uses the GSR to claim that the KJV undermines the deity of Christ, when it’s clearly the other way around and he knows it. If you believe White’s tripe about the GSR, then God allowed the church to misrepresent the deity of Christ in Titus 2:13 for 1800 years). White knows he goofed. White even defended his comment within the comment itself by claiming that “scholars did not want to fly in HIS FACE”. Again, how could the King James translators, and even up the the 1769 Blayney edition of the 1611 AV (which is the standard now), flown in the face of a man who wasn’t even born until 1789?? WHITE NEVER ANSWERED THIS but did his typical politician song and dance. White knows full well that the last edition of the KJV, and the very edition he attacks most is the 1769 Blayney edition, so he couldn’t have been referring to any AV scholars after 1769. Yet his implication is that all scholars from 1611-1769 were afraid to fly in the face of a man that wasn’t even born yet. Instead of admitting his research was sloppy, or he simply made a mistake, he dodged it. However, this is the same criteria of which he attacked Gail Riplinger on. If her mistakes make her unreliable, then so should White’s.

 

Part 2 Later This Week

 

By the way, the day before White’s show, we posted exactly what he was going to say before he said it. He didn’t disappoint!

WhiteExpose

 

 

 

 

James A. ThM, PhD a/b/t

Calvinist Colin Maxwell posted a photo with comment on 1 Corinthians 11:19 (from the Geneva Bible) insinuating that God “decreed” heresy among believers. This is a gross distortion of the Bible and demonstrates the problem with Calvinist eisegesis and how they redefine simple etymology.

Geneva -1 Cor 11v18.jpg

First of all, we’ll deal with what Paul did NOT say. Let’s put this quote in context from the King James Version:

Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.” I Corinthians 11:17-21.

Paul did NOT say God “decreed” this, that is Calvinist Gnostic speak for anything they want to blame God for as the cause of evil that He uses for His purposes (see our article on The Decrees of God). Furthermore, the word “must” does not mean “decree” or “ordain” or “caused”.

What it does say.

If I walk into a room and smell smoke, then my conclusion is that there must be a fire (Where there’s smoke there’s fire). This does not mean that fire is necessarily there for some preordained purpose (formal cause). This confuses the efficient cause with the instrumental cause of the event. In this case, the fire is the instrumental cause of the smoke (that through which the smoke arose) it is not the efficient cause of the smoke (that by which the smoke arose). Maxwell’s assessment demonstrates a fundamental error in the laws of causation. Maxwell assumes (as do other Calvinists) that God is the efficient cause of heresy, whereas the text shows that the self-determined acts of heresy and division were the instrumental cause and the efficient cause was the believers in error, not God.

Paul is not arguing about who or what “must have” caused the heresy, in this case, God, according to his logic. Paul is giving the explanation of why there are divisions among the Corinthians (vs 18) not that they MUST be there. Put another way, if I say, “You MUST be joking”, that does not mean that the person “making” the joke must make it or was forced, or ordained to be ironic. Clearly, because Paul told the church to be of one mind (Phil 2:1-5) to avoid schisms in the church (1 Cor 12:25), God wouldn’t ordain something that He proscribed against.

Another explanation for this verse are that heresies is often used to describe sects (Acts 5:17, 15:5, 24:5, 26:5, 28:22, taken from αἵρεσις). The very fact that the etymology behind this word is one that describes CHOICE shows that αἵρεσις is not and can not be something that is decreed or ordained. That’s like the Drill SGT saying that he orders you not to choose your next choice of action. That’s called a Hobson’s Choice. Nevertheless, if Paul was using “must” in a prescriptive sense, it would be the kind of division that purposely separates from those who espouse to false doctrine (Romans 16:17) so that other believers who had Paul’s approval would be manifest among the real believers. In other words, “You must DIVIDE” is not the same as-and holds a different emphasis than- “You MUST Divide” because the division and the heresy itself is an action caused by God.

There is simply no logical or Biblical reason to interpret this verse as a “decree” by God that results in and causes the division and heretical doctrines among believers in the church. God is not sitting in heaven talking false doctrine with the devil and then approving which of the devil’s ideas (or God’s since Calvinists claim it’s His decree) would be the best used heresy or division to cause God’s church members to embrace heresy. It’s bad enough that Calvinists claim God does this between believers and unbelievers (preterition), but to endorse this kind of rhetoric among God’s own children is preposterous.