Welcome to the July 2015 JREnsey blog!
“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (I Corinthians 1:22-25 ESV).
Words to remember
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Eliot
“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” – Elisabeth Eliot
“I’m so progressive, that if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, I’m still offended.” – Frank J. Fleming (I can think of other names for progressives who are that far left. – ed.)
“Truth, like wisdom, is hidden only from those too lazy to seek for it.” (See Proverbs 2:4-6).
Once again the president takes to the air to condemn Americans for owning guns. The SC church shooter was a single stupid racist, but America takes the blame. However, there was another common factor involved besides a gun. Involved in virtually every one of the mass shootings have been an element that they don’t like to talk about—drugs. When will America wake up to see what the pharmaceutical industry is doing to this nation? Teamed with the growing number of psychologists, psychiatrists, and money-grubbing quack doctors, they are destroying the minds of young Americans to think clearly. Promoted for thousands of servicemen who claim PTSD, they don’t heal the “disease”—they merely exacerbate the problem. Suicides are up exponentially among servicemen and veterans. Almost all of these crazy murderous events that are happening can be linked to drugs. People are taking drugs without knowing how they will be affected by them.
C’mon, pastors and youth leaders! We need to speak out on this spreading plague of prescription drug abuse. If not us, who?
In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, “Good night, sleep tight.”
Hmmmm…somehow, ropes and beds just don’t seem to go together.
One nation under [which] God?
A cadet at the United States Air Force Academy started a firestorm when he wrote a Bible verse on the whiteboard outside his room. Complaints were lodged against him for elevating his faith above others, and he was ordered to erase the verse. I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if the verse he quoted was from the Qur’an.
This is just another step in quieting America’s Christian voice. The anti-faith thought police will be cracking down on holiness preaching before all of this political correctness has run its course. Mark that down. It makes people “feel bad about themselves” and separates rather than includes people.
Where is the Commander-in-Chief taking the military?
A recent gay pride event was recently held at the Pentagon that featured lots of top brass, including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter as the keynote speaker.
“My husband Lucas is sitting up front here,” Gen. Taylor said of the man in the same row as Mr. Carter, Army Secretary John McHugh and other senior officials. He said Lucas has subjugated his own career to support the general’s frequent moves over an 18-year relationship.
“We bet everything on my Army career,” said Gen. Taylor, whose 27 years of service spanned an outright ban on gays, then “don’t ask, don’t tell” and finally, the ban’s lifting in 2011.
Gen. Taylor was the master of ceremonies for the Pentagon’s 4th Gay Pride celebration that showcases a month of gay-themed posters and history.
A panel discussion featured a gay Marine officer, a gay Army sergeant who is a criminal investigator, a lesbian chaplain and a transgender, Amanda Simpson, who is executive director of the Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives.
She is the first openly transgender political appointee in any presidential administration. She was chosen for the civilian post, she said, because she was “the best person to do the job.”
All four introduced their wives, husbands, and, in one case, a fiancée before a filled auditorium.
Mr. Carter spoke of his commitment to equal rights, but gave no hint of whether the administration will drop the ban on transgenders and transexuals wearing the uniform.
Trained as an infantryman, Gen. Taylor is a communications and information specialists who deployed to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is now assigned to the Army office of chief of information.
The Pride event kicked off with the National Anthem, sung by the Rock Creek Singers, who are with the Gay Men’s Chorus.
You knew it was coming
Yesterday it was gay marriage, today it’s your children they want.
Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexual. Once we have made room for the transgender folks as a separate group to be protected by rigid laws that deny others of their rights, no kind of behavior is off the table.
Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. Psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago.
Taking the blood out of the Bible?
Someone has asked, “Aren’t contemporary Bible versions taking the blood out of the Bible?” The answer is yes—if the phrase under consideration is in Colossians 1:14, and if that is the only place where redemption through Christ’s blood was mentioned, and if the 1611 version alone is “the Bible.”
This issue comes up in discussions of Colossians 1:14 where the KJV has the phrase, “through his blood.” That phrase does not appear in most modern versions and the fact is heralded by extremists as proof of a conspiracy to remove the blood of Christ from the process of redemption presented in the Bible.
Two points need to be considered here: First, if there was a conspiracy to omit the blood from Scripture, the conspirators must be quite inept because they failed to remove scores of other biblical references to the blood of Christ, especially the one just five verses later (Colossians 1:20) where Paul said, “by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (NIV), “having made peace through the blood of his cross” (NASB), “he made peace…by his blood on the cross” (NLT), “peace by the blood of his cross” (ESV). KJV apologists fail to mention the many other references, as though Colossians 1:14 was the only place in Scripture the blood was cast as the redemptive element.
Second, the phrase “through his blood” in v. 14 is obviously a late insertion in some biblical texts, showing up in only a few late manuscripts, beginning in the ninth century. It is missing in the majority of Greek manuscripts, including the majority of Byzantine manuscripts. It is considered to be a conflation (adjustment to a verse to make it match another) assimilated from Ephesians 1:7 and/or other uncontested verses: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (NIV, ESV, et al.).
Textual scholars refer to this borrowing process by copyists, sometimes called harmonization, as “parallel influence.” Virtually all textual critics, scholars and paleographers who make such matters a life’s vocation, suggest a copyist’s insertion in v. 14 to make it fit with other similar verses. When other scribes copied that particular manuscript, they inserted the additional words into their own manuscript as well. Other scribes may have recognized it as an interpolation and did not include it in their copies. The KJV translators chose to follow texts and versions that included the phrase. The mistake of inserting words that do not belong in the Holy Writ is as serious as removing them (Revelation 22:18,19).
The truth is that no doctrine was created when the phrase was first inserted in the KJV and no doctrine was nullified when it was left out because of the reasons stated. Why is all this evidence ignored and wild claims made that display either a lack of research/scholarship or intentional deception? Average lay readers who are only mildly familiar with the Word, and have no means of verification, are apt to agree with extremists’ false claims.
Let’s nail down the point. Following is a list of New Testament references to the blood of Christ offered as sacrificial payment for our sins:
- Acts 20:28 – “purchased with his own blood”
- Romans 5:9 – “being now justified by his blood”
- Ephesians 1:7 – “redemption through his blood”
- Ephesians 2:13 – “brought near by the blood of Christ”
- Colossians 1:14 – “through his blood”
- Colossians 1:20 – “peace through the blood of his cross”
- Hebrews 9:12 – “but by his own blood”
- Hebrews 9:14 – “the blood of Christ”
- Hebrews 10:19 – “by the blood of Jesus”
- Hebrews 10:29 – “the blood of the covenant”
- Hebrews 13:12 – “sanctify the people with his own blood”
- Hebrews 13:20 – “through the blood”
- I Peter 1:2 – “sprinkling of the blood of Jesus”
- I Peter 1:19 – “with the precious blood of Christ”
- I John 1:7 – “the blood of Jesus Christ his son”
- Revelation 1:5 – “from our sins in his own blood”
- Revelation 5:9 – “redeemed us to God by your blood”
- Revelation 7:14 – “in the blood of the lamb”
- Revelation 12:11 – “by the blood of the lamb”
There are about forty references in the NT about Christ’s atoning blood. Each of them, including those shown here, is similar in the ESV, NASB, NIV, NLT, et al., and appear almost exactly as they do in the KJV, with the one exception of Colossians 1:14. Anyone with a concordance or computer can verify this. If we now have only 39 references instead of 40, has Christ’s redemptive blood been “removed” from the Bible? Of course not. Nothing is removed except an obvious scribal emendation. Every thinking person should reject the suggestion that translation committees and cross-denominational textual analysts got together and said, “Let’s all rip out three words from Colossians 1:14 and discredit belief in the redemptive blood of Christ.” To make that claim provides fodder for pulpits and magazine articles but it does nothing for one’s credibility.
What is the real reason the phrase does not appear in contemporary translations except in explanatory footnotes? The Colossians 1:14 phrase “through his blood” simply does not have the Greek manuscript evidence that other references cited above do. Virtually all textual critics agree on its later insertion by scribes—leaning on the absoluteness of its inclusion in Ephesians 1:7—centuries after Paul wrote the Colossian letter.
As one translation committee wrote: “If these words had been in the original of Colossians, why would scribes omit them here but not in v. 20 or Ephesians 1:7 and in other places where the wording is solidly authentic? Further, the testimony on the behalf of the shorter reading [without the phrase] is quite overwhelming: Aleph A B C D F G ψ 075 0150 633 1739 1881 MT (et al.), as well as several other [early] versions and Fathers.” The NET translation committee and commentator Adam Clarke agree that “the conviction that ‘through his blood’ is not authentic in Colossians 1:14 is as strong as the conviction that these words are authentic in Ephesians 1:7.”
If every word and every verse that appears in any “biblical” manuscript regardless of age or authenticity was put into the Bible, it would produce a crazy-quilt, mish-mash of impossible occurrences and unscriptural doctrines. For example, at least three late Byzantine minuscule manuscripts have at the end of the Lord’s prayer: “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Should that doxology be in our Bibles just because some scribe pulled it out of a liturgical document and added it to the manuscript and a subsequent scribe copied it? Thinking individuals know the answer to that question.
James White, The King James Controversy p. 163. KJV apologists like to say that all of the thousands of Byzantine manusrcipts “match up” with each other. They do not, of course. No two are exactly alike. It should also be noted that Colossians 1:14 is not in the majority of even the Byzantine manuscripts.
For a discussion of “parallel influence,” see White, pp. 156-186.
Translation Committee notes from the NET Bible, 2005; p. 2300. Additionally, Adam Clarke in his famous 180-year-old commentary (establishing that the facts have long been readily available to anyone and everyone who was actually interested in discovering the truth) well summarizes the evidence: “The clause Through his blood, is omitted by [Greek manuscripts] a B C D E F G, and most others of weight and importance; by the Syriac, Arabic of Erpen, Coptic, Ethiopic, Sahidic, some copies of the Vulgate and by the Itala [Old Latin]; and by most of the Greek fathers. Griesbach has left it out of the text. It is likely that the reading here is not genuine; yet that we have redemption any other way than through the sacrifice of Christ, the Scriptures declare not. The same phrase is used Ephesians 1:7, where there is no variant reading in any of the manuscripts, versions, or fathers.” [Vol. VI, p. 515].” Kutilek adds: “Somewhat more evidence is known today, but it merely confirms the thrust of Clarke’s summary.” Some information: Doug Kutilek, “Do Critical NT Greek Texts Subvert the Doctrine of the Blood Atonement?” As I See It online magazine, 5/8; KJVonly.org
King James and His Translators
The translators of the King James Version were probably considered to be upstanding, respectable men in their time. Today, their assumed sterling character and transcendent scholarship are appealed to as reason to hail that version alone as inspired and inerrant—“perfect” is a popular adjective of KJV advocates. That bar is set too high and is unjust both to the public and to the translators themselves. They may have represented the cream of the Anglican clergy crop of that day, but what does that really say? The truth is they could have never reached the level to which modern partisans have elevated them.
Mickey Carter writes: “We cannot produce 50 men in America or in the world today that God will ever use again like those he used who translated the King James Version.” Samuel Gipp declares: “[The KJV translators] were overall both academically qualified and spiritually qualified by their exemplary lives.” D. A. Waite added, “The men who translated the King James were superior in every way to any men who lived before or who live today.” Still others disgorge adjectives like “godliness and spiritual power…orthodox in doctrine…sound understanding…pre-eminent in saintliness.” They are elevated as the ultimate standard of truth, piety, knowledge and scholarship—all put forth in the effort to shore up their work as the epitome of Bible translations.
Norris questions this conviction: “Should we accept a Gnostic idea that a certain group, such as the KJV translators, were possessed of a special or secret knowledge (gnosis), totally beyond the understanding of other believers? …When the product of the KJV translators is made the final authority, it would make these men who produced it the final authority.” Charles Spurgeon observed, “For if you mass together a number of men, each one of whom is fallible, it is clear that you are no nearer infallibility.”
Will he be called “the Antichrist”?
You can read the Bible along with your news source and see exactly where all this is heading.
The $50.00 Lesson
Someone sent the following anonymous story to me. Although I don’t necessarily promote political parties, I thought the story had a fascinating twist.
Recently, while I was working in the flower beds in our front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation, I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up.
She replied, “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.” Her parents beamed with pride!
“Wow! What a worthy goal!” I said. “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that,” I told her.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
So I told her, “You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I’ll pay you $50. Then you can go over to the convenience store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.”
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?”
I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party.”
Her parents aren’t speaking to me anymore.
Jailed for wearing slacks
Los Angeles kindergarten teacher Helen Hulick was a witness to a burglary. When she showed up to witness in court wearing pants, she was held in contempt of court and was given a sentence of 5 days in jail.
This attire has become acceptable to our society today. Should the church go with whatever is acceptable and affirm the wearers? The Bible hasn’t changed. Some think we are “strange” because our ladies conform to biblical standards.
Because gay marriage and homosexuality has become acceptable, should the church affirm them also?
Source: LA Times archives, 1938
How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution
by Maria Kneas
Official government documents say that evangelical Christians are potential terrorists, and some Christian groups are even called hate groups. Christian doctors and nurses are being forced to perform abortions, and a Christian baker has been threatened with prison for not baking a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Christians in Colorado, New York, and Kentucky are being forced to go through “sensitivity training” in order to “rehabilitate” from their religious beliefs and resulting moral convictions. When Communists did such things to American soldiers, we called it brainwashing.
American Christians are in the early stages of persecution, and it is increasing. Unfortunately, many will be blindsided by it because few pastors and church leaders are warning about it or preparing believers for it.
The first part of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution is based on years of research into current events looked at from a biblical perspective. It discloses what is happening, how we got there, and where we are heading. The second part gives encouragement from Scripture and biblical principles for dealing with the challenges of the perilous times in which we live. As Christians, we cannot afford to compromise our faith. We need to believe and obey the inspired Word of God. We need to be prepared to respond to persecution biblically instead of reacting to it carnally.
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For your funny bone
President Obama said, “People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia, and today once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth.”
On 9/11/13 a school in Boston declined to say the Pledge of Allegiance and read a Muslim poem instead. Are schools becoming little more than brainwashing centers? For college students this fall, they will have known no other president than Barack Hussein Obama since the 5th grade.
10 years ago the USA had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now the USA has no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash. – Anonymous
Have safe and happy 4th of July. Celebrate our independence while we still have it.