The Practice of Textual Criticism
Determine the Original Reading
Note: The following are critical texts: the TR stands for Textus Receptus text (1550), WH stands for Westcott and Hort text (1881), and NU stands for the Nestle-Aland text (28th ed. 2012) and the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (5th ed. 2014). WHNU is applicable to all three texts. GENTI: 2019 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear
Collecting the manuscript evidence is a laborious process, but it is a little more straightforward than the evaluation process. In the collection process, the goal is to gather as much evidence as possible concerning various readings of a specific text. In the evaluation process, the aim is to determine which reading has the best evidence for being the original reading. The evaluation process is complicated by the fact that not all scholars agree on which evaluation principles are to be used or the relative importance of each of them.
- There can only be one reading, which is the original reading.
- Manuscripts are to be weighed not counted. Certain families of manuscripts are more trustworthy (e.g. Alexandrian over Byzantine, Western, or Caesarean). In addition, certain manuscripts within a family are more faithful than others (e.g. P66 P75 01 03)
- Generally, the reading that is weighty from both internal and external evidence is preferred.
- The external evidence of the manuscript witnesses are to be evaluated first; thereafter, will the internal evidence be considered.
- The primary weight of external evidence goes to the original language manuscripts. If the weight is so evenly distributed, it is difficult to make a decision; the versions and Church Fathers may serve to tip the scales.
- Probability is determined based on paleographical details and the habits of scribes.
The Internal Textual Criticism Process
- The reading that the other reading(s) most likely came from is likely the original. This is the fundamental principle of textual criticism.
- The more difficult or awkward reading is often preferable. The reading at first will seem to be more difficult or awkward to understand, but after further investigation, it will be discovered that a scribe deliberately or mistakenly changed the text to an easier reading.
- The shorter reading is generally preferred if the change is intended. This is a reflection of scribal tendency, as a scribe is far more likely in his efforts at clarification, willfully to make an addition to a text. Very rarely will a scribe intentionally add to his text by mistake.
- The longer reading is generally preferred if the change is unintended. This again is a reflection of scribal activity, in that a scribe is far more likely to omit a word or phrase mistakenly, as to intentionally adding.
- The longer reading is preferred if there is clear reason(s) internally as to why the scribe omitted a word or phrase, like difficulties (perceived contradictions) or awkwardness. For example, a scribe may willfully remove or alter a verse that is repeating one of the previous verses.
- Within the synoptic gospels especially, a less identical reading is preferred as scribes had a tendency to harmonize readings.
- An author-style reading is preferred. If a reading matches the style of the author, it is preferred, and the variants that are foreign to that style are questionable.
- An author-vocabulary reading is preferred. If a reading matches the vocabulary of the author, it is preferred, and the variants that are foreign to that vocabulary are questionable.
- An author-doctrine reading is preferred. If a reading matches the doctrine of the author, it is preferred, and the variants that are foreign to that doctrine are questionable, especially if they are of a later period in Christian history, anachronistic.
- The reading that is deemed immediately at odds with the context is preferred if deemed intentional because a scribe is more likely to have smoothed the reading out.
The External Textual Criticism Process
- The Alexandrian text-type is generally preferred (especially P66 P75 01 03), unless it appears to be a “learned” correction.
- A represented reading from more than one geographical area may be preferred to even an Alexandrian text-type reading. The reason is that the odds are increased greatly against a reading being changed from the original in such a wide geographical and family spectrum.
- An overwhelming Alexandrian representation (P66 P75 01 03), numerous Alexandrian manuscripts of great quality and trustworthiness can overrule a widely represented reading from all geographical areas and families.
- The Byzantine reading is always questionable until proven otherwise.
- The most faithful to a text-type is preferred if they are divided in support.
Different Approaches to New Testament Textual Criticism
Thoroughgoing Eclecticism (G. D. Kilpatrick, J. K. Elliott)
Under this method, the evidence is one-sided, coming primarily from internal evidence. Those who side with this method tend to view the textual evidence as being unreliable, giving no preference to any text type. These textual scholars will argue that any variant could be original because no manuscript in their eyes is “best” or “better” than another. Therefore, the reading that fits the internal context, such as the style or thought of the author is deemed original. This is a minority view, and this position is criticized for not recognizing the value of the textual evidence.
Reasoned Eclecticism (B. M. Metzger, K. Aland, B. Ehrman)
Under this method, both internal and external evidence is allegedly given equal weight. Allegedly because many of those who profess this method tend to lean toward the internal evidence of what a copyist would most likely have done, as opposed to consistently trusting manuscripts, which are considered reliable. Eclecticism means to pick and choose. It refers to those textual scholars who lean toward selecting elements from both internal and external evidence. This is the method of those on the committees of the Nestle-Aland 28th edition and United Bible Societies 4th edition of the Greek New Testament. These scholars also prefer the manuscripts of the Alexandrian family of texts as being the best and most faithful in preserving the original reading. They view the Western family of texts, while early, as paraphrases, adding and removing words, clauses, and whole sentences. The Byzantine family is later than the Alexandrian and Western families and is known for its smoothing out rough readings, the combining of two or more readings, and the harmonization of parallel passages. Finally, there is the Caesarean family that is known for its mixture of Western and Alexandrian readings.
Reasoned Conservatism (H. A. Sturz)
Under this method, each of the four text types, Alexandria, Western, Byzantine, and Caesarean, are considered as early as the second century. The scholars that prefer this method also consider both internal and external evidence. However, they differ in that they give all four-manuscript families equal weight as to evidence toward the original reading, emphasizing the geographical distribution of the manuscripts.
Byzantine Priority (M. Robinson, Z. Hodges, A. Farstad)
Under this method, the Byzantine text family is given priority over the other three and is considered the best and most faithful in preserving the original reading. The textual scholars that prefer this method favor the reading from the majority of the manuscripts, which happens to be the Byzantine text. Several of the scholars that worked on the New King James Version committee, which is based on the Textus Receptus (i.e., Byzantine), are of this position. Of course, this method violates one of the pinnacle rules of textual criticism; manuscripts are to be weighed not counted. In other words, the majority does not equal that you have an original reading; it is the weight of the manuscripts involved. “For example, if ten manuscripts are copies of a single parent manuscript, then an error appearing in the parent will appear ten times in ten copies. But these ten copies are equal to a single authority, not to ten.”
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Documentary Approach (F. J. A Hort, E. C. Colwell, P. Comfort, Edward D. Andrews, Don Wilkins)
Under this method, greater weight is given to the documentary evidence. This method is the position of this writer. As was stated in the above, the Reasoned Eclecticism method attempts to depend on both internal and external evidence equally in their determination as to what is the original reading. However, this has proven not to be the case. A textual scholar must make these determinations on a variant-by-variant basis. The NU has tended to favor the internal evidence at times, resulting in a critical text that is out of balance in their documentary evidence.
The approach here is to select a manuscript(s) that is deemed the best for each book of the New Testament. It must be remembered that for hundreds of years in the early manuscript copying, books and sections (e.g., Gospels and Paul’s letters) were produced, not the whole New Testament. For example, for the Gospel of Luke, we would use P4, P45, and P75, as well as B. P4 and P75 are preferred and make up the B text. Thus, the original text of the Gospel of Luke is retained in P4, P75, and B while we get further support from P45.
Now that we have established the best manuscripts for establishing the original for the Gospel of Luke, they need to be scrutinized, removing any clear errors or variants. When we have established a semi-critical text for the Gospel of Luke from this process, it would then be used as our standard text from which we establish the original wording, making certain by standing it up against other witnesses. If there were any places where the other witnesses seem to compete with this standard text, internal evidence would then be considered.
In the above, we have given the reader, a brief outline of the rules and principles for carrying out the practice of New Testament textual criticism, as well as different approaches to implementing those rules and principles. Below, we will consider a few selected examples that will enable us to put these rules into practice.
Examples of New Testament Textual Criticism
[BRD] ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 14:14 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
14 ἐάν τι αἰτήσητέ με ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου τοῦτο* ποιήσω.
“Ask,” (A D K L Π Ψ Byz al) It, TR and in agreement with 14:13; 15:16 and 16:23
variant/TR εαν τι αιτησητε εν τω ονοματι μου
“whatever you ask in my name”
A D L Q Ψ
“Ask me,” (P66 P75vid א B W Δ Θ f 13 28 33 700 al Vg Syh,p, WH NU
“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
𝔓66 𝔓75 א B W Δ Θ 060 f13 33
*τουτο εγω 𝔓66c 1241
If one is wondering why ego (“I”) is missing, it may be that the scribe or some previous scribe left it out, because it is redundant in the verse. Because the personal ending on the verb poieso (“I will do”), has the “I” and there is no real need for ego.
Rule: The reading that the other rose from is likely the original. Was it more likely that “me” was omitted or added? It is more likely that “me” was omitted, to be in agreement with 14:13, 15:16 and 16:23.
Rule: The more difficult or awkward reading is often preferable. Which is the harder reading? “Me” is at odds with verses 14:13; 15:16 and 16:23, and the rest of the Gospel of John.
Rule: The reading that is deemed immediately at odds with the context is preferred if deemed intentional, because a scribe is more likely to have smoothed the reading out. The scribe likely omitted “me” to bring verse 14 in harmony with verses 14:13, 15:16 and 16:23, as well as the rest of John. In addition, “me” seems logical when we consider it with the “I” at the end of the sentence.
“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
Rule: Within the synoptic gospels especially, a less identical reading is preferred, as scribes had a tendency to harmonize readings. Even though John is not one of the synoptic gospels, it seems the copyists were trying to harmonize by omitting “me.”
Rule: The Alexandrian text-type is generally preferred (especially P66 P75 01 and 03) There is no doubt that we have the best Alexandrian support.
Rule: A represented reading from more than one geographical area may be preferred to even an Alexandrian text-type reading. “Me” has Alexandrian and Western family support.
Rule: An author-doctrine reading is preferred. If a reading matches the doctrine of the author, it is preferred, and the variants that are foreign to that doctrine are questionable. This is the only principle that stands against “me.”
[BRD] ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΡΚΟΝ 1:2 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
2 Καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν τῷ Ἠσαίᾳ τῷ προφήτῃ Ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου·
Mark 1:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
WH NU γέγραπται ἐν τῷ Ἠσαίᾳ τῷ προφήτῃ
“As it is written in Isaiah the prophet”
א B L Δ 33 565 cop
ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΡΚΟΝ 1:2 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)
2 ὼς γέγραπται ἐν τοις προφηταις Ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου εμπροσθεν σου
Mark 1:2 King James Version (KJV)
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
variant/TR γεγραπται εν τοις προφηταις
“it has been written in the prophets”
A W f13 Maj
The King James Version, “the prophets,” is based on the Textus Receptus (Byzantine text), while the Updated American Standard Version’s, “Isaiah the prophet,” and other modern translations are based on WH and NU critical texts (Alexandrian text). The decision as to which is the original reading is pretty straightforward. “Isaiah the prophet” is the original reading for several reasons. (1) It has the best early manuscript evidence, (01, B, D, L, 038, 33, Old Latin, Vulgate), (2) which is widespread as well. On the other hand, (3) “the prophets,” is limited to the Byzantine manuscripts (A, K, P, W, Byz). In addition, (4) the reading that the other likely rose from is “Isaiah the prophet,” because the quote is actually from both Isaiah and Malachi. Therefore, it would be far more likely that a scribe would take note of this, and alter “Isaiah the prophet,’ to “the prophets.” Therefore, both external and internal evidence supports “Isaiah the prophet” as the original reading.
[BRD] ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 5:22 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
22 ᾿Εγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ Ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ Μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός.
Matthew 5:22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever says to his brother, ‘You fool,’ will be brought before the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the fire of Gehenna.
WH NU πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ
“everyone who is angry with his brother”
𝔓64+67 א* B 1424 Origen MSSaccording to Apollinaris, Augustine, Jerome
ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 5:22 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)
22 ᾿Εγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ εικη ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ Ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ Μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός.
Matthew 5:22 King James Version (KJV)
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
variant/TR πας ο οργιζομενους τω αδελφω αυτου εικη
“everyone being angry with his brother without cause”
א2 D L W Θ 0233 f1, 33 Maj Diatessaron it syr cop MSSaccording to Origen, Apollinaris, Jerome
The King James Version, “whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause,” is based on the Textus Receptus (Byzantine text), while the English Standard Version’s, “everyone who is angry with his brother,” and other modern translations are based on WH and NU critical texts (Alexandrian text). This example is resolvable, but it is not as easy as Mark 1:2. Was Jesus forbidding all anger with one’s brother or just anger “without cause”?
The internal evidence would suggest that the original reading was without the addition of “without cause.” It seems more likely that a scribe was attempting to soften Jesus daring statement that no anger with one’s brother was justifiable. The scribe wanted to qualify Jesus’ statement by suggesting that there may be a “cause” to justify some incidents of anger with one’s brother. Bruce Metzger and the committee that edited the Greek New Testament were of this same view.
Although the reading with [“without cause”] is widespread from the second century onwards, it is much more likely that the word was added by copyists in order to soften the rigor of the precept, than omitted as unnecessary.
Therefore, the internal evidence points to the addition “without cause” being an interpolation (insertion). The external evidence is strongly in favor of this decision as well. The shorter reading has strong textual support (p67, 01, B, Vulgate). However, the reading “without cause” has the Western (D, Old Latin) and Byzantine (K, W, and many others) text types, as well as Alexandrian witnesses (L, Coptic). Thus, the longer reading has a little weight to it with the extensive geographical distribution, with it also being early as well. To sum up, both readings are equally early, the geographical external evidence argues for the longer reading, as the more widespread reading; however, it is not to be preferred over the shorter reading with its strong manuscripts and internal evidence, which makes it almost certain.
[BRD] ΠΡΟΣ ΕΦΕΣΙΟΥΣ 1:1 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
1 Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν ᾿Εφέσῳ καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·
Ephesians 1:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, To the holy ones who are at Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus:
WH NU ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ
“apostle of Christ Jesus”
𝔓46 B D P 33 syrh
ΠΡΟΣ ΕΦΕΣΙΟΥΣ 1:1 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)
1 Παῦλος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ τοῖς ἁγίοις τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν ᾿Εφέσῳ καὶ πιστοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·
variant/TR αποστολος Ιησου Χριστου
“apostle of Jesus Christ”
א A F G Ψ 1739 Maj it syrp
Ephesians 1:1 King James Version (KJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
The King James Version, “apostle of Jesus Christ,” is based on the Textus Receptus (Byzantine text), while the Updated American Standard Version’s, “apostle of Christ Jesus,” and other modern translations are based on WH and NU critical texts (Alexandrian text). The internal evidence points us toward “Christ Jesus,” which is more characteristic of the Apostle Paul. (See 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Gal 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Tim 1:1; 2 Tim 1:1 and Titus 1:1) The external evidence of two stronger early witnesses goes to the rendering “Christ Jesus” as well. This is the preferred reading, which is Beyond Reasonable Doubt [BRD].
[BRD] ΚΑΤΑ ΛΟΥΚΑΝ 11:2 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
2 εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς Ὅταν προσεύχησθε, λέγετε Πάτερ, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου·
Luke 11:2 Updated American Standard Version (USSV)
2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
WH NU Πάτερ
𝔓75 א B syrs Marcion Origen
ΚΑΤΑ ΛΟΥΚΑΝ 11:2 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)
2 εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς Ὅταν προσεύχησθε, λέγετε Πάτερ ημων ο εν τοις ουρανοις, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου· γενηθητω το θελημα σου ως εν ουρανω και επι της γης·
Luke 11:2 King James Version (KJV)
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
variant/TR Πατερ ημων ο εν τοις ουρανοις
“Our Father who is in heaven”
A C D W Θ Ψ 070 f13 33vid Maj it syrc,,p cop
The King James Version, “Father which art in heaven,” is based on the Textus Receptus (Byzantine text), while the Updated American Standard Version’s, “Father,” and other modern translations are based on WH and NU critical texts (Alexandrian text). If we consider the internal evidence of which reading was more likely to give rise to the other, it would have to be the shorter reading of “Father.” If the longer reading “Father which art in heaven” were the original, there would have been no reason to change it. The Greek text shows that there is no real possibility of accidental omission. Moreover, if the shorter reading was the original, one can see the scribe trying to harmonize Luke’s account of the Lord’s Prayer with that of Matthew. Therefore, the longer reading could have easily developed from the shorter reading, with the reverse being very unlikely.
Based on the norm of scribes attempting to harmonize the synoptic gospels, the shorter reading being less identical is to be preferred. In addition, the shorter reading is characteristic of Luke as he quotes Jesus as addressing God as “Father” in direct address in his gospel without qualifying it. Therefore, the shorter reading of “Father” is the preferred reading, based on internal evidence.
The external evidence supports the shorter reading as well, with the strongest of the Alexandrian witnesses (P75 01 B L), as well as geographically widespread external evidence (Caesarean and Western). However, the longer reading has some minor Alexandrian support as well (C 044 1241), and has a wider distribution to (Caesarean and Western, and Byzantine). Despite this, the shorter reading is also favored as being original, because of the superior witnesses. In conclusion, the shorter reading of “Father” is to be preferred on both the internal and external evidence.
ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 6:33 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
33 ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον τὴν βασιλείαν καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ, καὶ ταῦτα πάντα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν.
|Matthew 6:33 New King James Version (NKJV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
|Matthew 6:33 English Standard Version (ESV)33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.||Matthew 6:33 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
[CE] TR NA/UBS: τὴν βασιλείαν [τοῦ θεοῦ] καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ
“the kingdom of God and his righteousness” —— L W Θ 0233 f,13 33 Maj syr (KJV, NKJV, NRSV, ESV, NLT, CSB)
|Matthew 6:33 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)||Matthew 6:33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
|Matthew 6:33 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
[BRD] WH: την βασιλειαν και την δικαιοσυνην αυτου
“the kingdom and his righteousness” —— א (it) cop,bo Eusebius (RSV NASB NIV NJB NET UASV)
Variant: την δικαιοσυνην και την βασιλειαν αυτου
“the righteousness and his kingdom” —— B (none)
Variant: την βασιλειαν των ουρανων και την δικαιοσυνην αυτου
“the kingdom of the heavens and his righteousness” —— Clement (none)
Variant: την βασιλειαν του θεου
“the kingdom of God” —— 245 (none)
In short, the kingdom is found in the earliest Alexandrian manuscripts א and B, as well as (itk) copsa, bo, Eusebius, which the later scribes expanded to include the kingdom of God in L W Θ 0233 f,13 33 Maj syr, and Clement the kingdom of the heavens.
Note: א and B are not entirely in agreement because they disagree in word order. However, it is true that they both have “the kingdom,” but it’s not an entirely clean comparison.
א “the kingdom and his righteousness”
B “the righteousness and his kingdom”
There are three other variants besides variant 1, which is found in the Revised Standard Version. Variant 2 reads “the righteousness and his kingdom,” which is found in the Vaticanus manuscript. Variant 3 read “the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness,” which is found in Clement. Variant 4 read “the kingdom of God,” which is found in 245. Bruce Metzger in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament indicates that the committee had difficulty in deciding which variant to place in the text. The minority of the committee was moved by the reading that would result in the rise of the other readings (variants 2 and 3), which is supported by א (B) itl al, while the majority of the committee was “impressed by the prevailing usage of Matthew, who almost never employs βασιλεία without a modifier (the instances in 8:12; 13:38; 24:7, 14 were regarded as special exceptions), and explained the absence of a modifier in several witnesses as due to accidental scribal omission. In view of these conflicting interpretations, it was thought best to include the words in the text but to enclose them within square brackets.”
Metzger says that the minority of the committee observes, “the reading that best explains the rise of the other readings is that supported by א (B) itl al, inasmuch as the addition of τοῦ θεοῦ [of God] (or τῶν οὐρανῶν [of the heavens]) after βασιλείαν [kingdom] seems to be an altogether natural supplement, which, if present originally, would not have been deleted.” Agreed, if either of these readings were in the original, why would the later scribes delete them? Since there is no explanation for this, the kingdom is significantly more likely to be the original reading. The committee should have stayed with this initial sense of what and why the kingdom was original.
However, Metzger says, “a majority of the Committee was impressed by the prevailing usage of Matthew, who almost never employs βασιλεία [kingdom] without a modifier (the instances in 8:12; 13:38; 24:7, 14 were regarded as special exceptions), and explained the absence of a modifier in several witnesses as due to accidental scribal omission.” Again, this argument is the very reason the kingdom is the original reading because later scribes had this reason for adding of God or of the heavens. The likelihood of an accidental omission in both א and B is highly unlikely. Generally, when it comes to the testimony of later manuscripts such as L W Θ 0233 f,13 33 Maj syr, Metzger and his committee would not have given more weight to them than the evidence of the Alexandrian manuscripts א and B, yet here they thought it was “In view of these conflicting interpretations, it was thought best to include the words in the text but to enclose them within square brackets.” This is the inconsistency that shows up in the NA text at times.
-  Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 15–16.
-  IBID, 16.
-  IBID, 16.
The argument above that “the prevailing usage of Matthew, who almost never employs βασιλεία [“kingdom”] without a modifier,” is well taken. However, this may also be the explanation behind the later scribes, who chose to add “of God” or “of the heavens.” As the minority of Metzger’s committee stated, these additions were natural for Matthew, and if they were original, there would have been no reasonable explanation as to why the scribes of א (B) [Sinaiticus and Vaticanus] would delete them. Therefore, it seems that variant 1 “his kingdom and his righteousness,” or variant 2 “the righteousness and his kingdom,” are more likely to be the original reading.
[BRD] ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 1:25 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
25 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.
א B Zvid 071 f,13 33
Matthew 1:25 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
25 and he was not knowing her until she gave birth to a son; and he called his name Jesus.
WH NU ἔτεκεν υἱόν
“she gave birth to a son”
א B Zvid 071 f,13 33
ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 1:25 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)
25 καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν τον υἱόν αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.
Matthew 1:25 King James Version (KJV)
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
ετεκεν τον υιον αυτης τον πρωτοτοκον
she gave birth to her firstborn son
C D L W K W Δ Π 087 Maj
The harmonization of passages is likely an intentional change by a copyist, who is seeking have a passage agree with a similar passage from another book. Again, these are generally found in what are known as the Synoptic Gospels, names Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Nevertheless, they are found elsewhere.
One might suppose that the removal of “firstborn” was intentional, to avoid the idea that Mary had other offspring, advancing the unbiblical view of Mary’s perpetual virginity. Nevertheless, if this were the objective of the copyist, he would have followed through in other verses in the same manuscripts. He would have removed Luke 2:7, where it reads, “She gave birth to her firstborn son.” However, this is not the case. Therefore, the better understanding is that Luke 2:7 was actually an influence on the copyist, who added to Matthew 1:25 so that they would harmonize. This could have been done intentionally, as copyists liked to harmonize the Synoptic Gospels, or it could have been done unintentionally, as he simply penned it from memory of the other verse.
The best manuscript witnesses of the Alexandrian family, as they are the most ancient, as well as the most trustworthy support “She gave birth to a son.” Moreover, it is found in the Caesarean family as well. Even though, “she gave birth to her firstborn son,’ is found in all of the text-types, it would not stand against the Alexandrian support of “a son.”
Mark 1:1: Was “Son of God” in the Original?
ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΡΚΟΝ 1:1 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU)
1 ᾿Αρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
[PE] Mark 1:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, [the Son of God].
Son of God (υἱοῦ θεοῦ) is absent in א* Θ 28c al by either a human error in copying or an addition by the copyist adding to the title – B D W al(e.g., Rev. 1:1). Because of the strong witnesses and the fact that “Son of God” is a theme throughout Mark, it could have been original; thus, it is retained in brackets.
[PE] TR NU Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ [υἱοῦ θεοῦ]
“[The] beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God”
א1 B D L W it syr cop (A f,13 Maj add του before θεου)
variant 1/WH Αρχη του ευαγγελιου Ιησου χριστου
“[The] beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ”
א* Θ (28) copsaMS Origen
variant 2 Αρχη του ευαγγελιου
“[The] beginning of the Gospel”
This textual variant would be listed as a significant one. (See How to Count Textual Variants) Textual scholar Daniel Wallace writes, “A textual variant is simply any difference from a standard text (e.g., a printed text, a particular manuscript, etc.) that involves spelling, word order, omission, addition, substitution, or a total rewrite of the text.” The vast majority of New Testament textual variants are insignificant. What is it that would make this one significant? First, those that are insignificant are easily resolved because they are simply copyist mistakes of some sort, like a misspelled word. They are also insignificant because they would have absolutely no impact on the text. The significant variants are but a handful in comparison to the 138,020 words in the Greek New Testament. Why is it that Mark 1:1 is a significant variant? It is significant because Bible critics like to abuse it, to make the following point that the BBC’s documentary states,
Today’s Mark begins with “Jesus Christ the Son of God”. But, the Original Codex Sinaiticus didn’t have “Son of God”. Someone added it later… This is highly significant because in the earlier version Jesus became divine only after his baptism by John the Baptist. The edited insertion makes Jesus divine at birth. Some 19th-century readers would have been shocked that Mark did not share that belief.
From one single document, the BBC makes a claim of what Mark supposedly believed. First, let us state that Mark’s entire theme of his short gospel is about the divine sonship, the “Son of God.” (See 1:11; 3:11; 5:7; 9:7; 14:61-62; and 15:39) This would suggest that “Son of God” was in the original at Mark 1:1 and that it was accidentally omitted, which is the position of many textual scholars. Before delving into the original reading evidence, let us deal with what BBC is saying about the Sinaiticus manuscript.
It is easy to see how the phrase could have been accidently omitted. First, let us briefly mention that the early manuscripts–among which were the autographs–were written in all capital letters, with no breaks in between the words. If we were to look at the last three letters of the word “gospel” as well as Jesus Christ Son of God”, it would have look like so in the Vaticanus,
What may look like a capital Y (wye) to the English eye, this is actually a capital “G” in Greek, named gamma. The repetition of the letter Y could have had the scribe lift his eye from the second Y of line two in the above image. Then, when he looked away at his exemplar (master copy), his eyes could have fallen on the fifth Y of line two, meaning that he would have left out the letters that would have given us “Son of God.” This type of scribal error is quite common and is known as Homoeoteleuton (similar ending). This refers to a scribal error in which the scribe lifts his eyes from the copy he is making, looks to his exemplar, but his eyes drop to a similar letter, resulting his accidentally omitting the material between. (See 1 John 2:23)
Whether the “Son of God” is in the original of the Gospel of Mark or not does not matter as to Jesus’ divinity. If “Son of God” is not the original reading, this does not mean that Mark believed that Jesus was not divine from birth. In other words, of “Son of God” is not original it does not suggest that Mark believed that Jesus was divine after his baptism. Verse 1 is not a part of the main body of the text; it serves as the title of the work. The body of the text does not start until verse 2. Therefore, as a title, it does not matter whether it reads “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” or “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Finally, what we have not addressed is, “there was always a temptation (to which copyists often succumbed) to expand titles and quasi-titles of books.” Therefore, if we do have an addition of “Son of God,” it is not part of the text body itself, and cannot suggest that Mark did not see Jesus as divine at birth.
Getting back to the possible omission, textual scholar Bruce Metzger also wrote,
The absence of [Son of God] in [Sinaiticus] may be due to an oversight in copying, occasioned by the similarity of the endings of the nomina sacra. (TCGNT, 65)
Nomina Sacra: Various contractions and abbreviations are found in our earliest manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures. The type that is most important to this discussion is what has become known as the sacred names, or nomina sacra, such as Jesus, Lord, Christ, God, and Jerusalem. These sacred names are abbreviated by keeping the first letter or two and the last letter or two. Another important feature is the horizontal line placed over these letters to help the reader know that they are dealing with a contraction.
Now to the Codex Sinaiticus (c. 330–360), it is one of the most important manuscripts available to the study of New Testament textual criticism, second only to the Vaticanus (c. 325–350). While it is true that “Son of God” is not in the main text of the Sinaiticus manuscript, the corrector of the scriptorium added it before it left. All of these points made throughout this article were left out of The Beauty of Books (BBC) – Ancient Bibles, the codex Sinaiticus. Just to offer one misleading comment/tone in the very beginning of the video, the commentators say, “this volume is the oldest [pause for emphasis] surviving copy of the New Testament [very long pause] complete.” The very long pause is to leave you the average reader hanging on the statement that the Sinaiticus “this volume is the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament. (Bold mine) While Sinaiticus dates to c. 330–360, it is not the oldest copy by any means. We have copies that date back to 150 – 175 C.E. However, they are not the complete New Testament. Why? It was not until the 300s that the 27 New Testament books were bound as a whole. Prior to you would find the Gospels bound together, the Gospels and Acts were bound together, Paul’s letters were bound together, and so on.
Returning to the BBC video, at 3:45 in it says in a suspicious tone, “A really remarkable change occurs at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel. Today’s Mark starts with ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God.’ But the original Codex Sinaiticus didn’t have “Son of God.” [Pause for emphasis] Someone added it later. This is highly significant because, in the earlier version, Jesus became divine only after his baptism by John the Baptist. The edited insertion makes Jesus divine at birth. Some 19th-century readers would have been shocked by the idea that Mark did not share that belief.”
What the commentator does not tell you is, as was stated above, the corrector who added “Son of God” was the one working at the scriptorium with the scribe who copied the Sinaiticus. That corrector had to review all manuscript copies, which is what the Sinaiticus was, and correct any scribal errors. He is the one that added “Son of God” before the Sinaiticus manuscript left the scriptorium. This means that the scribe accidentally omitted “son of God” and it was in his exemplar, so the corrector put it in. The additional commentary about what Mark believed is total conjecture, because Mark was one of the earliest disciples of Jesus, and traveled with Peter and Paul, and likely knew every one of the apostles intimately. He would have known from the others that Jesus was divine at birth. Moreover, the other books contain this information. Lastly, as was said earlier, verse one was a title to the book, not a part of the body of the text. In fact, the original may have just had, “Beginning of the Gospel.” As was said, scribes loved to enhance the titles, so another scribe or even Mark himself added Jesus Christ before sending out the edition to be published. Then again, it is possible that the addition was added “Son of God.” Either way, it being part of the title, this means it does not contribute toward what Mark felt about Jesus prior to baptism.
Nevertheless, the accidental omission is usually because the similar letters would be in play because of the use of the nomina sacra. This is likely not the case, because “Son” was not among the earliest for four divine names written as a nomen sacrum (singular): Lord, Jesus, Christ, and Theos. In fact, this likely took place very early, when the nomina sacra were scarcely used, therefore any accidental omission based on the nomina sacra is unlikely. As an aside, there is no evidence that the originals contained the nomina sacra, as it seems to be an early second-century invention.
Worksheet for New Testament Textual Criticism
|Reading 1||Reading 2||Reading 3||Reading 4||Reading 5||Reading 6|
|Reading 7||Reading 8||Reading 9||Reading 10||Reading 11||Reading 12|
|Which reading is it that the other reading(s) most likely came from?
|Is there a reading that is a more difficult or awkward reading, which upon further reflection makes sense?
|If deemed intentional, which is the shorter reading and does it match the reading the other likely came from?
|If deemed unintentional, which is the longer reading and does it match the reading the other likely came from?
|If within the synoptic gospels especially, which is a less identical reading?
|Which reading matches the style of the author?
|Which reading matches the vocabulary of the author?
|Which reading matches the doctrinal position of the author?
|Which reading is in harmony with the immediate context, as well as the book itself?
SEE BIBLIOGRAPHY AT BOTTOM OF PAGE
SEE RELATED ARTICLE by my coauthor Dr. Don Wilkins The Practice of Textual Criticism to Determine the Original Reading
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This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. …
Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …
Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.
Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer. So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.
DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.
What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are the proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Some of the questions asked and answered in THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN’S SURVIVAL GUIDE are “You claim the Bible is inspired because it says it is, right (2 Tim. 3:16)? Isn’t that circular reasoning?” “You claim the Bible was inspired, but there was no inspired list of which books that is true of. So how can we know which ones to trust?” “With so many different copies of manuscripts that have 400,000+ variants (errors), how can we even know what the Bible says?” “Why can’t the people who wrote the four Gospels get their story straight?” These questions and many more will be asked and answered with reasonable, rational, Scriptural answers.
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, 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 truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?
Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?
Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.
What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.
Islam is making a significant mark on 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. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.
IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is 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 them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.
The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …
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, … 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, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?
A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.
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 (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.
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 criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
FEMINIST CRITICISM will offer the reader explicitly what the Bible says. Feminist criticism is a form of literary criticism that is based on feminist theories. The worldview of feminism uses feminist principles to interpret the word of God. Biblical feminists argue that they are merely focused on creating equal opportunities to serve. They say that they want the freedom to follow Jesus Christ as he has called them. They assert that they merely want to use the gifts that he has given them in God’s service. Biblical feminists maintain that Scripture clearly states the worth and value of men and women equally when it comes to serving God. Biblical feminists also say that they want to partner with the men when it comes to taking the lead in the church and parenting in the home. They seek mutual submission and subjection in the church leadership and the home headship, not what they perceive to be a male hierarchy. FEMINIST CRITICISM will gently and respectfully address these issues with Scripture.
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy 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 apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.
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. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.
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 the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.
Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. 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. …
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 Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”
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; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.
“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters
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 which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.
“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.
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 the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.
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 Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.
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 truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …
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 Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …
Translation and Textual Criticism
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
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. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …
We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.
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 of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …
THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. 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 offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …
INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.
The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.
THE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?
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 biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …
CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.
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 not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
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 eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
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 one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
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 level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …
Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. 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 …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. 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 as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …
In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …
This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …
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 of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application. …
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 humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …
Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.
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?
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 important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …
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 earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …
Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell
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 will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.
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 Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.
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 is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.
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 Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it! These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.
The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.
Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.
Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.
AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”
In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean 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 Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.
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 the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …
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 embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …
 Paul D. Wegner, A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible : Its History, Methods & Results (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 239.
 However, the Documentary Approach gives great weight to the external evidence of the documents.
 Do not confuse the fact of majority, with the idea that they were the preferred, because it was simply a case of their becoming the standard text for the most centuries, and thus copied far more over a much longer period. As Constantinople [or Byzantium] became the center of the Greek-speaking church, the local text there was to become the dominant text for the whole of the whole empire.
 David Alan Black, New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide (Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Books, 1994), 39.
 Nestle-Aland 27th edition and the United Bible Societies 4th edition of the Greek New Testament
 B stands for the Vaticanus Codex, dating to about 350 C.E.
 Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, A corrected, enlarged ed. of The complete text of the earliest New Testament manuscripts (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 2001)
 Philip Comfort in his 2008 New Testament Text and Translation Commentary also stated, “”Clearly, this addition was an attempt to soften Jesus’ bold assertion and to thereby justify anger if it is for a good reason. But this insertion must be rejected on internal grounds (had it originally been in the text, why would it have been deleted?) and on documentary grounds.” P. 11.
 Bruce Manning Metzger and United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 11.
 Bruce Manning Metzger and United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 16.
 The Synoptic Gospels describe the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke that tell the story of Jesus Christ’s life and ministry from a similar point of view and are similar in structure.
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Head, Peter M. “The Habits of New Testament Copyists Singular Readings in the Early Fragmentary Papyri of John.” Biblica, Vol. 85, No. 3, 2004: 399-408.
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