coherence based genealogical method

While The Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) blog article is 22 pages long and this article is 8 pages long, the full article/chapter (110 pages) is out of THE TEXT OF THE TESTAMENT by Wilkins and Andrews. Wilkins has penned an easy to understand chapter, which covers a very deep and complex subject matter, which also just happens to be one of the longest treatments of the CBGM to date.

DON WILKINS: B.A. UC Irvine, M.Div. Talbot Seminary

Th.M. Talbot Seminary, M.A. UCLA, Ph.D. UCLA, He has worked with The Lockman Foundation (TLF) as a translator since 1992, Worked on the NASB. Senior Translator for the New American Standard Bible.

This brings us to an overall evaluation of the CBGM. Since I just mentioned uncertainties about readings, let me begin with the evaluation of variant readings, which was the first or second step in constructing the database. I have already noted that this was done supposedly with consideration to both external and internal criteria initially, but my own experience with the CBGM has shown that readings were actually chosen that best met only internal criteria, despite the high regard in which 03 and a few other manuscripts are held. This could be taken as a negative criticism. If anyone argues to the contrary that 03 does very well in the CBGM, it is only to the extent that it agrees with the hypothetical initial text. Experience proves that nothing in the application gives priority to 03 or to any other witness as being older, “better,” or preferable by any other external criterion.

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism by Don Wilkins and Edward D. Andrews

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The high agreement between 03 and initial text A (96%) means that conflicts between the two will be uncommon, however. This is less so for 01, the other major Alexandrian manuscript with agreement between it and A at only 90%, but then again agreement between 01 and 03 is only slightly more than 91%, accounting for those split decisions over various readings that have been so problematic for traditionalists like myself. When conflicts do occur, there are workarounds. The most obvious is simply to reject the CBGM preference and choose the traditionally superior manuscripts as having the best reading, especially if it is the harder reading, as is usually the case. This is the normal way of doing “reasoned” eclecticism; however, distasteful thoroughgoing eclectic critics may find it. Another workaround is to select the reading of the preferred manuscripts as the initial reading in the queries, as I did above for 2 Pet. 3:10, and analyze the results. They should be useful since there is general agreement on the internal criteria.

The main criticism that I think can be leveled at the process of evaluating readings, both initially and at iterations, can also be leveled at any other modern system to a greater or lesser extent: the lack of transparency as to how the decisions were reached. We have in the General (Catholic) Epistles of NA28/ECM2, and in the online initial text A found within the CBGM tools, all of the textual decisions made thus far by the editors, i.e. Mink et al. Unfortunately, the only accounting we have for these decisions is the information that Mink has provided in discussing a few examples to illustrate the operation of the CBGM. It may be that the INTF views this information as proprietary and for in-house use only. I would certainly hope not, given our need to know; and if privacy is the issue, then the discussions behind decisions could be reported anonymously. If, on the other hand, the discussions were never documented, then in hindsight the solution is documentation, together with a simple rule that often is ignored: when in doubt, document. Whether working alone or in committees, my experience is that translators, and I am sure text-critical scholars as well, do not like to make notes of how they reached their decisions on readings in the text. Aside from future accountability, it is a chore, a particularly tedious one at that, and no one wants to draw the short straw and be the secretary. It is also easy to justify skipping documentation because 1) standard criteria are used, and therefore theoretically any scholar should be able to deduce how the decisions were made, and 2) doing documentation would seemingly slow the process too much, when time usually is precious.[1] Yet it is frustrating when one really needs to know later how an undocumented decision was made, and it reminds me of one of Murphy’s many corollaries: there is never enough time to do it right, but always time to do it over.

So if text-critical decisions in the CBGM are undocumented to this point, I would strongly urge a change of practice. At least it is early enough in the process of compiling the initial text that most of the decisions are yet to be made. The UBS and Metzger made laudable efforts toward this goal with their rating system and the Textual Commentary respectively. I would put the ‘A’ to ‘D’ system of the UBS Greek New Testament in the category of “much better than nothing.” Metzger’s Commentary is immensely helpful for all the passages that it covers; one could only have hoped for an exhaustive version of the same. Perhaps something like the Commentary could be done for CBGM passages, i.e. summaries of discussions for difficult decisions, leaving the easier ones to be reverse-engineered by internal criteria.

THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Making and Copying of the New Testament Books by Edward D. Andrews

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Taking the evaluation of readings a step further, it obviously would be desirable for the user to have the option of changing decisions in the CBGM, since there are cases in which (as we will note again below) a change or two can affect tables of potential ancestors/descendants. This is analogous to number-crunching in a spreadsheet. I can well believe that such a feature might overwhelm a mainframe serving many users at once, and perhaps it would only be possible if the application and database were installed on personal computers. Along with this, to make the application truly adaptable to all text-critical positions, it might be desirable to have the decisions on variants keyed numerically to criteria, giving the user the option to weight the criteria differently for any or all decisions. For example, if desired, the user could choose to have the easier reading preferred. Or now that the shorter reading guideline has come under intense scrutiny, it could be very helpful to switch preference between the shorter and the longer. Within the option could even be the sub-option to select exceptions.

Of course, these are wish-list items. I think the strongest criticism that can be brought against the CBGM is the arbitrary and volatile quality of the parameters for potential ancestors, which are crucial for the application. It makes sense that a high level of agreement for variant units in any two witnesses indicates a close relationship between the witnesses, while at the same time they have to be different enough so that the differing readings of one will commend themselves as being prior to those of the other. If I may again use extremes to illustrate: if two witnesses disagreed on every variant reading, we would conclude that the scribe of one found absolutely nothing he trusted in the other if that was his exemplar. Instead, he changed everything; very unlikely, bordering on impossible. On the other hand, if two witnesses agreed on every variant reading, one would provide us no more information about their exemplars than the other, and so only one of them would have any value. What we ideally need, then, is an absolute percentage of agreement confirming for practical purposes that one manuscript was copied from another.

MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” {Third Edition] by Edward D. Andrews

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It is a little ironic that the tables produced by the Potential Ancestors module do not include the percentage of prior readings among all variant units for witnesses. I would be astounded if I were to learn that the question of a minimum percentage was not debated in CBGM discussions. It would not surprise me at all if there was no agreement for quite some time, however. We know that in the end, the barest possible margin was chosen: just one reading. Moreover, it bears repeating that no weighting was given to the rankings based on the margin of prior readings; it was entirely based on the levels of agreement, and the priority of readings essentially was evaluated topass/fail parameters. Larger margins serve only to stabilize the ancestral relationship.

Eldon Epp called attention to this issue when he pointed out that the margin of priority of witness 468 (the default witness for the module) over witness 617 amounted to a microscopic 0.13% of their common variation units.[2] As it happens, his figures came from CBGM v.1; in version 2, where two passages moved out of the unclear category and decreased 468’s lead to just two, the difference was an even smaller 0.07%. For all that, in version 2, 15 passages still remain in the “UNCL” category, seemingly guaranteeing that the genealogical relationship between these two witnesses will be volatile for a considerable time to come. In their case, the term “potential” is especially appropriate, and they also happen to be rather conspicuous witnesses in textual flow diagrams.

It is hard to speculate as to whether there is a solution to this problem. It surely strains credibility to posit that a scribe copied from a manuscript rather than to it because it displays just one more prior reading than it does posterior readings relative to its counterpart. If two manuscripts were in complete agreement except for a single variation unit that clearly was prior in one of them, it could more easily be accepted as the ancestor. But the typical coexistence of both kinds of readings in the same witness introduces an undeniable element of uncertainty, which in turn is only increased by the fact that the ECM editors are not infallible in their decisions about priority. So I doubt that many textual critics would disagree with a preference to find at least 20 percent more prior readings as a minimum for “ancestor” witnesses, and perhaps the CBGM position is that beggars can’t be choosers. We all have to work with what we have, not with what we prefer to have. At the least, however, I think it would be desirable to have options in the CBGM both to exclude those witnesses whose number of “UNCL” passages could change their status as ancestor or descendant and to switch their status at will. It would be even better if the option were available to modify the ranking number and direction of descent for any witness and be able to toggle the results of queries of the other modules to reflect the differences. Indeed, if that were possible, it might not be necessary to change any decisions in variation units for the user to obtain results compatible with his or her own methodology.

Let me use an example with which we are already familiar: the variation unit in Jude 15. We saw above in the attestation diagram for reading b that 468 inherited its reading from 03, and was, in turn, the ancestor of almost all the other witnesses. One of the things we did not note is that 468 is also the principle ancestor for reading c by virtue of being the closest relative to 617, which has that reading. It is identical to b except for the addition of a personal pronoun at the end, making it the longer reading of the two and raising the question of whether the pronoun is a scribal addition or was omitted in reading b. Taking the CBGM results for granted with 468 as first ancestor to 617, it seems clear that reading c was a modification of b. Here is the diagram from the Coherence at Variant Passages module:

Coherence at Variant Passages module

Now, however, we know (as Epp observed) that there may ultimately be no genealogical relationship between 468 and 617 by CBGM analysis, or that it may even be reversed, which actually seems more likely if there is a change. In either case, A would become the closest ancestor to 617 (A is now second). The arrow from 468 to 617 would either disappear or reverse; if the former, then the diagram would indicate that both readings b and c arose independently from a, as is already the case for b and d/1739. This would create a situation similar to the lack of coherence that led Mink to prefer reading a, and would conceivably call for reconsideration of one of the other readings as the initial. If 617 became the ancestor to 468 and the arrow reversed, then the new diagram and attestation of reading b would indicate that the bulk of b witnesses had 617 as their source. Also, whereas I had reason to conclude previously that c was a derivation of b, I could now conclude that in fact, the analysis provides no such evidence, due to the uncertainty of the genealogical direction between 468 and 617.

You may wonder whether there is any workaround for this problem. I can think of nothing elegant nor simple. For anything that I could not easily visualize, I probably would have to print out the relevant diagram or table and crudely draw or write in changes. We can hope that the necessary options are easy to program and will be considered for the CBGM in the near or foreseeable future. Exclusion is already done for witnesses that have an equal number of prior and posterior readings to the witness being compared. The relevant values seem to apply only to the rankings, so I can see no reason why the flexibility cannot be written into the application spreadsheet-style, other than the extra demand on mainframe processing power.

For now, we can still work with volatile witnesses because future decisions might have no effect on their status; but “what if” scenarios could be very helpful in textual decisions. And I hardly need to repeat–but will nonetheless–that more information would be welcomed about all the textual decisions upon which the CBGM database is founded.

Earlier I remarked that the “A-text” might seem most puzzling to a novice learning about the CBGM. The creation and employment of a hypothetical initial text (the “A-text”) may be objectionable to some. In NA28 it is the text for the General Epistles, and eventually will be the text for the entire New Testament if the current methodology and oversight by the INTF continues. For Greek NT students and scholars who have used the UBS or NA texts for many years, it will simply replace what is already an ultimately hypothetical text, as the base text relative to which all other manuscripts are collated. As a translator, I do not find this troubling because I have never taken the NA (or UBS) text to be the original. It has always represented nothing more or less than the choices of the editors, and in point of fact translators generally are free to choose readings differing from the text. In recent years this has become more evident with the appearance of The Reader’s Greek New Testament, and the SBL’s Greek New Testament (SBLGNT).

It must be granted, of course, that none of these Greek New Testaments exists in complete, continuous form in any extant ancient manuscript, and advocates of the Byzantine text point this out as a fatal deficiency. Yet even Byzantine advocates admit with other textual scholars that many ancient manuscripts have been lost, and we have also seen that the Byzantine text itself does not exist continuously in the prime Byzantine manuscripts. If one were to require that any proposed text be found in an extant manuscript to be viable, then advocates of the Alexandrian text theoretically would just resort to 03 as a witness of the original text, together with other reliable witnesses necessary to fill in its lacunae. There are some advocates of both reasoned eclecticism (including Holmes), and thoroughgoing eclecticism (e.g. Elliott), who require any reading to be in some extant Greek manuscript to be viable; in other words, they reject conjectures. I have always taken the position that we do not have any of the autographs or fragments thereof, or if we do, that we have no way of verifying them as such. But I also take it as a matter of faith–and perhaps more importantly, of practice–that we have the entire New Testament extant piece-by-piece in Greek manuscripts. I never accept a conjecture as the original reading.[3]

I should briefly summarize the CBGM’s handling of text clusters or “types.” There is, above all, no recognition or treatment of traditional text-types or families. Of course the initial text A is recognized, which has more in common with 03 than any other extant manuscript, at 96% agreement. Moreover, we have already noted that a distinction clearly is made between Byzantine and non-Byzantine witnesses. The percentage of agreement with MT (Byzantine) readings is provided in the table of potential ancestors for every witness. Some textual critics have expressed eagerness to see how the concept of text clusters will fare once larger portions of the New Testament are analyzed. We can expect contamination to continue to be a factor, I am sure, but we do not whether the statistics for the rest of the NT will be comparable to what we now have for the General Epistles.

One could question the fairness of distinguishing the Byzantine text from all possible clusters in the database. Given the large number of extant Byzantine manuscripts, the text in the database was taken from a sampling that appears to be reliable and objective. The evidence thus far indicates that Byzantine witnesses show a very high level of agreement. The high percentages of agreement inevitably group them together and separate them from earlier witnesses, and in the CBGM programming, they are not penalized for their late dating or any negative appraisals of their quality. The only prejudice I can find against them, as I have already noted, is the internal criteria for textual decisions that operate mainly to their detriment and cannot be altered by users. Of course, this is not a problem for traditionalists who use standard internal criteria.

As you undoubtedly noticed, in this final evaluation of the CBGM I have thus far focused on the negatives. Yet for a more detailed negative review of the system, I recommend Bengt Alexanderson’s Problems in the New Testament: Old Manuscripts and Papyri, the New Genealogical Method (CBGM) and the Editio Cricia Maior (ECM).[4] A number of his criticisms, some of which I have echoed, are sound; others are debatable. In particular, he takes issue with Mink’s position that minor agreements in variants are just as important as other readings in connecting witnesses.[5] We can all agree that the choice of a significant variant found in a particular witness is connective, at least as a case of contamination if not that of the witness as an exemplar. However, I think it is easy to underestimate the significance of minor differences that create variants, perhaps in part because collations have so neatly sorted out all the variants. Scribes were mostly meticulous in the copying process, so to find the very same variation in the same place, knowing that the scribe was copying word for word, is in my viewpoint significant, favoring Mink’s position.

Turning now to the positive aspects of the CBGM, as I said before, it has brought a new dimension to the process of textual criticism: a true genealogical history of individual readings insofar as is possible to determine from the extant witnesses by internal criteria. Through the use of massive computing power, the application has provided organization, objectivity, and accountability, making textual criticism a little less of an art and a little more of a science. By the latter, I am referring to the fact that the meaning of art is relative to the beholder, while scientific conclusions are verifiable and falsifiable.

We can and should be very grateful for the collations we have had for so many years, but with collations, most of us were mentally channeled into textual decisions (if we made any) based on favorite manuscripts listed in the apparatuses. This is the problem to which I alluded in regard to splits in the Alexandrian manuscripts. Most majuscule manuscripts beyond ‘D’ in the alphabet, and virtually all minuscules were likely to be ignored as too obscure. If we did research them, we would probably learn only their dates and where they were housed.

REASONABLE FAITH: Saving Those Who Doubt by Edward D. Andrews

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The CBGM has put all of these manuscripts in their proper places to the extent that this is possible, provided that one agrees with Mink’s four assumptions for scribes. I think the assumptions make sense, and as already noted, the statistics on agreement in readings are objective. We can now see theoretically how the manuscripts relate to one another internally, giving meaning to the collations. I dare say that unless one resorts to traditional external criteria, typically preferring the leading Alexandrian manuscripts and rejecting the Byzantine text (or vice-versa), other collations will now become obsolete next to the ECM, used in conjunction with the CBGM. As a matter of fact, even if collations were able to provide textual flow diagrams or stemmata, they could not begin to include a significant number of manuscripts for readings in comparison with the CBGM. We are probably approaching a time when students and scholars of the Greek NT will no longer carry printed texts, but only electronic note pads (or perhaps just smart phones) either with CBGM online access, or the application and database built in.

With such information comes the accountability I mentioned. It once was enough just to cite the age and superior quality of certain manuscripts, and to point to one or two internal criteria as an explanation of how the preferred reading explains the creation of the others. Whether we realized it or not, when we were doing the latter, we were opening the door to the construction of a genealogy based on internal criteria. It results just from making the same explanation over and over again from one manuscript to the next. As to the age and quality of certain manuscripts, I think these can still be used as overruling criteria, as I’ve said before. However, the CBGM forces us to look at how these manuscripts fit into the genealogies of individual readings and evaluate whether our assumptions and arguments are reasonable. Sometimes, as we have seen, it may be the CBGM that is at fault.

Hopefully, the examples I have provided give the reader some useful exposure with the CBGM, and I strongly encourage the interested reader to go online and use the tools, even if only to experiment with them. As a tool for the traditionalist, either in textual criticism alone or in translation, I can recommend the CBGM as an effective way to trace and evaluate a reading by internal criteria. It might seem that the omission of external criteria is a fatal flaw, but bear in mind that these criteria tend to be significant only when they are used to overrule a decision favoring internal factors, so in that case, one simply rejects the preference of ECM2 and the CBGM. For a thoroughgoing eclectic, the CBGM should be a godsend.

I would conclude with one more criticism, i.e. that the work appears to be going much too slowly to finish the New Testament at an acceptable date (one acceptable to me, at least). The problem seems to be the lack of sufficient human brainpower for such a demanding project, and more people undoubtedly need to be involved in speeding the process. Of course, it may be that there are few at present who are equal to the scholarly demands. Those of us who want to see the project finished can only hope that the situation will improve.

[1] I can almost hear someone suggesting that the solution is to hire a secretary with the skills of a court reporter. However, someone who thoroughly understands the issues and the dynamics of the decision process is also needed to make useful notes; in short, a committee member, like Metzger for the previous UBS (Textual Commentary).

[2] Ehrman and Holmes, “Textual Clusters; by Epp,” 551.

[3] This includes the NA28/GNT5 reading “not found” in 2 Pet. 3:10, but I believe I provided adequate text-critical reasons for rejecting it earlier. Otherwise, I would give it more credit than most conjectures because of the support it finds in important versions.

          [4] Bengt Alexanderson, Problems in the New Testament: Old Manuscripts and Papyri, the New Genealogical Method (CBGM) and the Editio Critica Maior (ECM), Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum et Litterarum Gothoburgensis. Humaniora (2014).

[5] Ibid., 63-64.

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WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIEWHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE?: Should You Be Afraid of Death or of People Who Have Died?

People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of ViewUNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of View

Islam is making a significant mark in our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers …

IS THE QURAN The WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?

IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GODIs Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform …

REASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and MindREASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and Mind

If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, …

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism?BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism

Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation …

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the BasicsBIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the Basics

Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical …

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of PersuasionCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of seventy-two books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan …

REVIEWING 2013 New World TranslationREVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Examining the History of the Watchtower Translation and the Latest Revision

REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively …

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURESREASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES: Sharing CHRIST as You Help Others to Learn about the Mighty works of God

Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on…

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONSREASONING WITH THE WORLD’S VARIOUS RELIGIONS: Examining and Evangelizing Other Faiths

God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8 That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions…

CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM: Defending the Faith, Reasoning from the Scriptures, Explaining and Proving, Instructing in Sound Doctrine, and Overturning False Reasoning, [Second Edition]CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM, [Second Edition]

Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]

MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God's Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]

The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …

THE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From WithinTHE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From Within 

The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus' Witnesses to the Ends of the EarthEARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus’ Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …

CRISIS OF FAITH: Saving Those Who DoubtCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt 

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …

Investigating Jehovah's Witnesses: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s WitnessesINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …

Translation and Textual Criticism

THE COMPLETE GUIDE to BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition] 

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.

CHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation DifferencesCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT The Science and Art of Textual CriticismTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …

MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" [Third Edition]MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …

Biblical Studies

HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of GodHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & ContentTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded] 

The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …

THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded] 

Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …

INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical HermeneuticsINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …

HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to HermeneuticsHOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …

THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern PeopleTHE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …

DEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in RevelationDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy ChurchesA Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …

DYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted SuicideDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …

JOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK: Experience the Ministry of Jesus in a Spiritually Captivating WayJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …

ANGELS & DEMONS: The Bible AnswersANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …

Bible Doctrines

WHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …

IDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast RevealedIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …

The SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …

WHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …

Miracles? - Do They Still Happen Today?: God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith HealingMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing 

Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …

HOMOSEXUALITY - The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …

Christian Fiction

THE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm's LengthTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …

THE SECRET HIDEAWAYTHE SECRET HIDEAWAY ON BRIDGETON HILL

Rachael Garrison knows all the shrewd ways to successfully close multi-million-dollar real estate deals with her father’s famous New York real estate enterprise. But beyond her savvy to rake in huge deals is her premonition that an impending global takeover of the world’s financial wealth is on the horizon by evil leaders of The Great Ten Nations. From New York City to the Irish Hills of Michigan, and into the streets of Detroit her life takes on enormous purpose as

THE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed WrathTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …

SEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to  …

The Shadow Flames of Uluru: Book ONE in the CHAOS DOWN UNDER 

When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …

WRITE PLACE, RIGHT TIME: The Pre-Apocalyptic Misadventure of a Freelance Journalist 

“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.

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