Theology Thursday - Byzantine Priority & the "Phantom" Eclectic Text (Part 1)

In an appendix to his The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Platform, Maurice Robinson explained the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine platform are, in fact, quite different. For him, the crux of the issue is the dominance of the Byzantine text:1

From the beginning of the modern critical era in the nineteenth century the Byzantine Textform has had a questionable reputation. Associated as it was with the faulty Textus Receptus editions which stemmed from Erasmus’ or Ximenes’ uncritical selection of a small number of late manuscripts (hereafter MSS), scholars in general have tended to label the Byzantine form of text “late and secondary,” due both to the relative age of the extant witnesses which provide the majority of its known support and to the internal quality of its readings as subjectively perceived.

Yet even though the numerical base of the Byzantine Textform rests primarily among the late minuscules and uncials of the ninth century and later, the antiquity of that text reaches at least as far back as its predecessor exemplars of the late fourth and early fifth century, as reflected in MSS A/02 and W/032.

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Revelation 19:15 & the Coming Reign of Jesus over the Nations

I often have been drawn to Revelation 19:15. This verse comes in the middle of Revelation 19:11–21, a dramatic section describing Jesus’ second coming from heaven to earth. Concerning Jesus the verse reads:

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

4 Messianic Passages & Revelation 19:15

Note that the wording of Revelation 19:15 is closely connected to four Old Testament messianic passages: Read more about Revelation 19:15 & the Coming Reign of Jesus over the Nations

Wm. Paul Young's Problems with the Truth About God (Part 2)

Image of Lies We Believe About God
by Wm. Paul Young
Atria Books 2017
Hardcover 272

Read Part 1.

Universal Salvation

When I speak of Young’s universalism I am not referring to the belief that Jesus Christ provided an atonement for every sinner; a position which I hold. I am instead talking about the liberal theological teaching that God will save everybody, whether or not they have placed their trust in His Son.

Because of the author’s encounters with hurt and pain, it is understandable that he has searched for a god who is safe and accepting. In his striving to push past the debilitating burden that bitterness carries with it, perhaps he has embraced a god that characterizes his wish to move on and forgive—everyone? One can’t be sure. But Young wants to remove what he sees as the hard edges off of the traditional concept of God: Read more about Wm. Paul Young's Problems with the Truth About God (Part 2)

Three Ingredients for Higher Education Survival

In his recent well-crafted article, “Higher Education Seeks Answers to Leaner Years,” Jon Marcus of The Hechinger Report has provided a resonant clarion call for higher education leaders. Marcus quotes one administrator who acknowledges that, “We inherited a system largely conceived in the 1960’s … but times, society and students have all changed dramatically.” Marcus describes an industry wide seismic shift that continues and has not yet resolved.

So where this is all headed might not be apparent for quite some time. What is clear, however, is that the current model for providing education and degree qualification is facing huge decreases in demand and rising costs of doing business well above the level of inflation. Those two market keys signify that higher education is no longer viable in its current form. The question with which schools must wrestle is whether they are Blockbuster Video or Old Spice.

Blockbuster Video was entrenched in its video rental model and was late to the digital subscription market. While Netflix was skyrocketing, Blockbuster stores were closing. Old Spice, on the other hand, while remaining true to its core product, recognized it was outmoded and revamped to communicate with its next-generation market, successfully building market share. Blockbuster’s product was no longer desired in the market. Neither was Old Spice’s. Blockbuster didn’t adjust quick enough. Old Spice did. Read more about Three Ingredients for Higher Education Survival

A Dispensational Discourse with Dr. Robert Lightner

Posted with permission from Dispensational Publishing House.

One of the wonderful privileges that I have in my role with Dispensational Publishing House is the opportunity to interact with great Bible teachers, pastors and other authors. One such man is Dr. Robert Lightner. I have heard of him for many years, as he was a seminary professor to my own teachers, and I was also acquainted with the wealth of his written materials. We share a common heritage in the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. I am so grateful for the faithful testimony of this man over many decades. And I am pleased to announce that Dispensational Publishing House will be publishing two new books from him: Christ: His Church, His Cross, His Crown and Heaven and Hell. How blessed we are to introduce him to you here, first, in this interview article, where we are able to profit from Dr. Lightner’s observations regarding dispensational theology across the decades of his ministry.

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

Dr. Robert Lightner has been a fixture at Dallas Theological Seminary for nearly 50 years. Doubtless like many of his own students, he traces his understanding of dispensational theology to some very influential professors. Read more about A Dispensational Discourse with Dr. Robert Lightner

Theology Thursday - "My Words Shall Not Pass Away" (Mt 24:35)

If Jesus promised His Words would never pass away, what are the implications for the doctrine of preservation? Did God’s Words ever pass away? Were they lost for centuries in the sands of Egypt? Could they have been? How can prophesy even be meaningful if the very words of God were lost for a time, or may be lost in the future?

In this excerpt from a book he edited, entitled Thou Shalt Keep Them, Kent Brandenburg explains what Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:35 means for the doctrine of preservation.

In Matthew 24:35, the Lord Jesus Christ makes the significant prophesy, “Heaven and earth shall not pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ Although in its context the prophesy relates to His Second Coming, it also directly concerns the future of heaven and earth and God’s Words.1

Brandenburg briefly explains some of the context surrounding the great prophesy from Matthew 24: 2 Read more about Theology Thursday - "My Words Shall Not Pass Away" (Mt 24:35)

The Book of Revelation Is Not Apocalyptic Literature

It may seem odd to suggest that the book entitled Apocalupsis does not belong to the genre of literature commonly referred to as apocalyptic. Nonetheless that is my suggestion here. The term employed in the title of the book denotes a revelation or disclosure.1 While this particular revealing or disclosing describes a broad swathe of eschatological events, it is not its own literary genre.

Apocalyptic as a genre is described as “characteristically pseudonymous; it takes narrative form, employs esoteric language, expresses a pessimistic view of the present, and treats the final events as imminent.”2 Henry Barclay Swete (Cambridge), even while arguing that Revelation is apocalyptic literature, admits that the book differs from that genre, in that the book of Revelation (1) is not pseudepigraphic, (2) engages a specific audience (seven churches), (3) has a significant church focus, rather than a purely Israel nation-centered focus, and (4) includes notes of insight and foresight that are more indicative of inspiration than is found in earlier extra-biblical apocalyptic literature.3 Read more about The Book of Revelation Is Not Apocalyptic Literature

Wm. Paul Young's Problems with the Truth About God (Part 1)

Image of Lies We Believe About God
by Wm. Paul Young
Atria Books 2017
Hardcover 272

Wm. Paul Young is best known as the author of the astoundingly successful book The Shack. He has also written two other works. All his books deal with pain and suffering and seek to offer hope.

Unfortunately, Young’s brand of hope, although it presents itself as Christian, and indeed has been understood as such by many, is not anchored in the biblical portrait of God at all. This book, Lies We Believe About God, lays bare Young’s understanding of some of the central tenets of Christianity for all to see. Those of us who were unhappy with the portrayal of God in The Shack have had our suspicions vindicated. Young’s conception of God is very unbiblical.

Where He Is Right

Saying that this book contains a false view of God is not the same as saying that it is entirely false. He has some strong words for the word-faith people (86-87). He correctly states that for God to change this world into a monument of His grace “speaks volumes” about His character (39). He is also spot on when he says that we are all individuals and God will relate to us as such (158), and in his insistence that we have intrinsic worth (32). There are a few things in the book where the author makes a good point or two. He can get you to agree with him. Read more about Wm. Paul Young's Problems with the Truth About God (Part 1)