"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Christian, You are Free, a Willing Bond Slave



In the third installment looking at Wade Burleson's January 2, 2011 sermon on Jesus being our Jubilee, Wade answers the question of what a Christian's response is to being set totally free from servitude to God.

In the final installment later this week, Wade gives an application of this concept of freedom in Christ to the tithe. While some pastors seek to make us slaves by placing a requirement on Christians to give 10% as a threshold of obedience - we are free to give generously as we have been blessed, not under compulsion. We are bond slaves in the New Covenant, not slaves under the Old.

-----------------------

Part 1: "Christian, Jesus is Your Jubilee, and You Can Rest" - July 21, 2011
Part 2: "Christian, You have Been Released from Servitude to God" - July 27, 2011

109 comments:

Anonymous said...

This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. (Titus 1:1)

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus(Romans 1:1)

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus(Phil 1:1)

This letter is from Simon[a] Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.(2 Peter 1:1)

Brother Wade needs to start reading his Bible.

I know he likes those Joel Osteen songs like "I am a Friend of God"

I am a Slave of God!
I am a Bond-servant of God!
I am a Servant of God!

What Heresy this trash is!!!!

Douglas said...

Talking about slaves, my wife and I watched this a few hours ago:

Slaves for Christ, Pt. 1

thought provoking I reckon.

Thy Peace said...

Doing out of love and not out of duty. Amen. This sermon of Wade, is one of the pivotal sermons ever preached by Wade.

Sharon said...

I think many people follow Paul more than Jesus himself.

Anonymous said...

"I think many people follow Paul more than Jesus himself."

I was under the impression that that they were on the same team. I didn't realize you had to choose between the two.

Anonymous said...

How come the TROLL is usually the first to leave (his childish) comments on a new thread?

He must sit in his parent's basement all day waiting for a new story.

Do you think the exclamation key on his keyboard is worn off by now?

Sharon said...

Anon 1:23,
I'm not sure they actually say the same things. You should research it.

Plus I guess I'm suspicious of anyone who claims to speak for God; be it Paul or Warren Jeffs. I never did understand how a letter to a church could be holy scripture. And part of the letters that claim to be by Paul probably aren't. Read Bart Erhmann.

Warren Jeffs regularly hears from God. The latest thing God said (to Jeffs privately of course) is that the judge in his trial is not long for this world. Sickness and death will soon come upon her for daring to say sex with 12-yr-olds is not allowed-whether God okays it or not.

Tell me why we should believe any man who tells us that God said or thinks so-and-so. How could there possibly be anything more arrogant than that?

Whatever I say comes from my own mind. I do not claim to speak for God. So I'm much more humble than they.

Anonymous said...

peterlumpkins.com shares some insight about your "hero" Wade Burleson:

"Wade lied. That’s a fact. Read it for yourself. Some could say he was only mistaken; he got bad information. No. That’s not true. Someone mistaken, when given the facts by the very ones about whom he was mistaken, would have resulted in correcting the error. Wade didn’t."

I am sure YOU will not research this....Sure sounds like another "Preacher" that YOU have been highlighting lately.

It hurts when the chickens come home to roost...doesn't it??

Anonymous said...

The boy is sadly misguided. Hopefully his father will straighten him out (and by that I mean his earthly and Heavenly Father.)

Tom Parker said...

It is a shame that those that have an ax to grind with Wade use every opportunity to try and put this man down and not surprisingly using the name anonymous in order to do so.

It just seems to go with their nature to conduct themselves this way.

Thy Peace said...

Best response to Lumpkins post (2009.02.05) is this reply by Wade:

There are times when I feel I must offer a defense when someone seeks to impugn my character. There are also times when I simply feel pity for the impugner and offer a quiet prayer for the person who feels the need to denigrate. I feel the latter for you, Peter.

I have already prayed today, and will continue to pray, for you, your family and your ministry.

In His Grace,

Wade

Johnny D. said...

"And part of the letters that claim to be by Paul probably aren't. Read Bart Erhmann."

And you should read "The Case For The Real Jesus" where real scholars dismantle Bart Erhmann's deeply flawed arguments.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure they actually say the same things. You should research it."

I didn't say that they said the same things (they obviously addressed different issues). What I said was that they are on the same team - i.e. they are both advocating faith in Christ for forgiveness of sin, a Christ-like lifestyle, and eventual sanctification in heaven.

If you disagree with that statement, please present your evidence from scripture.

Anonymous said...

"Plus I guess I'm suspicious of anyone who claims to speak for God; be it Paul or Warren Jeffs. I never did understand how a letter to a church could be holy scripture. And part of the letters that claim to be by Paul probably aren't. Read Bart Erhmann."

Jesus was also a man who claimed to speak for God. Are you suspicious of him?

Why would a letter to a church be any less holy scripture than a prophet speaking to a nation and someone writing it down. I'm not seeing a difference there. You should study the history of how the canon was formed if you are truly interested in discovering the process by which our Bible was formed.

As another commenter stated, Ehrmann's theories have been completely debunked by real scholars.

Anonymous said...

"Warren Jeffs regularly hears from God. The latest thing God said (to Jeffs privately of course) is that the judge in his trial is not long for this world. Sickness and death will soon come upon her for daring to say sex with 12-yr-olds is not allowed-whether God okays it or not."

I'm not sure what your point is here. Are you trying to imply that because one person is disingenuous about speaking for God, that all who claim to speak for God are liars?

By that logic, you should throw away all of your money because there are so many counterfeit bills out there.

Anonymous said...

"Tell me why we should believe any man who tells us that God said or thinks so-and-so. How could there possibly be anything more arrogant than that?"

Don't be offended, but it is obvious that you have never taken a Christian apologetics course or you would already know the answer to this question. I'm not saying you have to agree, just that you should at least be familiar with the best arguments. Obviously I can't explain it all here.

Read Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ. He was a former atheist who became a Christian after spending 2 years researching the evidence.

I consider it is incredibly arrogant to say that God can not speak through men.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever I say comes from my own mind. I do not claim to speak for God. So I'm much more humble than they."

This statement reminds me of a joke I heard once: When it comes to being humble I am the world's greatest!

By the way, who gave you that mind?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Sharon: The Bible says "All scripture is given All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16. This would include words from Paul which hold the same weight as words from Christ.

Research for yourself the meaning of a bond slave in the New Testament. It is wonderful that Christ freed us from bondage.

Some Christians remind me of the story of Japanese who didn't know the war was over and hid in a cave for years. They lived as if the war was still going on, not knowing until they were found and told.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever I say comes from my own mind."

Including this?:

"And part of the letters that claim to be by Paul probably aren't. Read Bart Erhmann."

That statement sounds like it came from Bart Erhmann's mind.

Greybeard said...

Debbie, one question: "did Paul believe he was writing a part of the Bible when he wrote 2 Timothy 3:16, or any other books ascribed to him in the New Testament?" When he was writing, Paul was referring to the Torah (Jewish scriptures). The New Testament Canon was no where near adoption. Perhaps he was peering into the future? Regardless, I would caution against using the 2 Timothy text as a justification for understanding the Bible as inspired writing. I believe, with all my heart that the Bible is inspired by God, but not because Paul said so. BTW, more weight should absolutely be given to the Gospels over against any other portions of the Bible. The word written should always be understood in the context of the Word made flesh. Jesus, not Paul is the the authority for the Church. Sadly, we have forgotten and abandoned that. Once Christian doctrine began to abandon Peter in favor of Paul, the Church came off the rails. Hence, all the historic issues and the turmoil today within the Church and within churches that bear no resemblance to the Body of Christ.

TROLL DETECTOR said...

"Do you think the exclamation key on his keyboard is worn off by now?"

Probably not.

Bob said...

I just listen'd to Pastor Burleson's message in its entirety. Wow! Seldom, if ever, have I heard the gospel proclaimed with such clarity and power. Thanks Dog for pointing out what might be a new favorite Bible teacher of mine.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Greybeard: It's a discussion for another day but I'll make it simple. You couldn't be more wrong.

Katie said...

Interesting comments today. Wade Burleson, Peter Lumpkins and Bart Ehrman.

Personally, I think people are criticizing Wade because they don't like his use of certain words as they pertain to servitude. Too bad because it was a really great sermon.

Peter Lumpkins has repeatedly demonstrated that if you don't agree with him, he will make it his purpose in life to attack the dissenter. He also has a problem with misrepresenting what his critics say. I find that completely dishonest. I didn't find any comment from Peter telling Wade he lied. I checked sbc tomorrow, but didn't see it. Does anyone have a link?

Bart Ehrmann is an opportunist and many great scholars have refuted him. He fills a niche and it pays him very well.

Dawg, thanks for posting Wade's sermon.

Tom Parker said...

Katie:

You are so right about PL. He is still all up in airs about the 2011 SBC Convention and that was almost 2 months ago.

Sharon said...

Wow! Ya'll have overwhelmed me with all the responses. It might take me a couple days to have some kind of response for each one.

For now, two people, I think, said real scholars had blasted Erhmann's theories out of the water. Could I get one example of that? I'm not saying they haven't, but an example would be great.

And yes, I have read The Case for Christ and found it unimpressive. I will be glad to try to find The Case for the Real Jesus, and see for myself if it seems to contradict what Erhmann was saying.

And actually I don't believe God speaks through men. Why would he need to do that? Why couldn't he just speak for himself? And how are we to figure out which men are true spokesmen for God? Because they say so?

Oh and someone asked who gave me my mind. Biology? Evolution? Genetics? My ancestors reproduced?

Sharon said...

Jesus seems to focus on what people are to DO to inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul says what a person must BELIEVE.

They don't seem like the same message to me.

Re Jesus himself speaking for God-I'm not sure I believe the real Jesus actually said everything the gospels present him saying. In three of the gospels, he speaks in parables and short sayings. In John, he gives very long speeches. Very suspicious to me.

Re how the canon was formed-I think they went by who the author was of a particular book or letter. The author had to be an apostle? Direct contact with Jesus? Which emphasizes the great problem you get into when you find out that some letters claiming to be by Paul probably or almost certainly are not really by him.

As far as "real" scholars. Well, I'm certainly not one, but I can't see how Erhmann would not be considered one. If scholars disagree, does that mean one of them is not a scholar?

Johnny D. said...

Sharon, get "The Case For the Real Jesus." It's fairly cheap at around $10 for the paperback. I'm not going to go digging quotes out of that and reproducing them here, but rest assured, Bart's "work" is addressed in several places in the book by some well-respected scholars.

Sharon, I read every post Tom puts up here, but I don't read all the comments, so forgive me if you have addressed this before, but are you a believer?

Thy Peace said...

A little bit about Sharon here, in the comments section.

Sharon said...

Johnny D.,
Thanks, I will look for the book. I don't feel any big need to defend Erhmann; it's just that I've read a couple of his books and found them interesting, and he seems to know what he's talking about. But I'd love to hear other opinions from other Bible scholars.

I used to be a believer, but I'm now agnostic. Having been a Baptist fundamentalist most of my life, I'm still very interested in the subject. That's why I find this blog of interest.

Thy Peace said...

Some background posts of Wade related to Lumpkin's post:

Wade Burleson > Forcibly Removing All the Tulips at SWBTS
Wade Burleson > Forcibly Removing the Tulips at SWBTS (Part II)
Wade Burleson > Are Southern Baptists Blind or Blindfolded?
Wade Burleson > The Big Picture: Resisting Separatist Ideology

Johnny D. said...

OK, thanks for explaining, Sharon. It's funny, I was right where you are just one short year ago.

I was a believer, then got my eyes on people and chucked God out of my life.

Took make a long story short, God clubbed me over the head after a number of years of rebellion. I came back last August. Now I honestly do not know how I lived for almost ten years without prayer.

Anyhow, very glad to make your acquaintance.

Johnny D. said...

And thanks for the comment link, Thy Peace! :-)

Anonymouse said...

Speaking of Bart Ehrman"
"Most recently, I read a critique of the Ehrman Project composed by progressive Christian Biblical scholar Dr. Robert Cargill (thanks to Dr. McGrath for linking this post). Dr. Cargill defends the scholarship of Ehrman while reinforcing that Ehrman's views on the Bible need not dismantle one's faith. Cargill explains:

Fundamentalists certainly have their problems with Ehrman. But to be fair, scholars have some issues of their own with Ehrman. The criticisms of Bart Ehrman from the scholarly community are essentially twofold: 1) must a scholar renounce his/her faith just because the Bible is not inerrant or infallible? and 2) Ehrman is only repeating the critical scholarship of other scholars in a popular format.....While I agree with the first criticism of Ehrman (one need not necessarily renounce one’s faith in order to be a critical scholar of the Bible, especially if one does not accept fundamentalist notions of inerrancy, soteriology, and/or systematic theology) – I actually applaud what Ehrman has done with regard to bringing critical biblical scholarship to a public audience.....Therefore, I stand with Bart Ehrman as a biblical scholar who feels we should pursue the truth no matter where it may lead. It can only make scholarship (and the faith for that matter) stronger. For if one’s Christian faith can’t stand up to a few simple questions, then it is not a faith worth following. And if apologists must duck questions, offer red herrings, and flat out lie to others in order to convince them of the brand of Christianity they are selling, then the product is not worth buying."

Debbie Kaufman said...

I won't talk about Bart Erhmann, who is not a Biblical scholar, but a unbeliever in need of a Savior. I won't defend Christianity which needs no defense because it's a matter of believing vs. unbelieving. Faith in Christ, which is the heart of Christianity and no faith in Christ which leads to death the Bible says, eternal death. The answer is to point to Christ and Christ alone for salvation. His work on the cross doing the work I in my sin cannot do. It's always pointing to Christ and nothing else. Christ who the Bible alone reveals. Its who Paul points to in his writings, it's who the Bible is about from the beginning book of Genesis to Revelation.

Faith in Christ and Christ alone for eternal life, for becoming a new creation, for believing that all the Bible says is true, is the only thing I will talk about or point to.

In the sermon Wade preaches, this only applies to those who have been born again. Christians. It is not something that is applied to those without Christ.

Anonymous said...

"Jesus seems to focus on what people are to DO to inherit the kingdom of God."

"Paul says what a person must BELIEVE."

"They don't seem like the same message to me."

Sounds like you are referring to the sermon on the mount in your first statement. After Jesus finishes with the sermon. The disciples ask Jesus - if what you say is true how can anyone have a hope of heaven? Jesus's reply is with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.

What he is saying is that perfection (required to enter heaven) is impossible for man. You can never DO enough to get into heaven.

So, what is the hope of heaven? It is God (Christ's perfect life lived in our place and death on the cross as a payment for sin).

In other words, it is faith. The same BELIEVE message that Paul (and all other biblical authors are preaching).

So, it is indeed the very same message.

Anonymous said...

"Re Jesus himself speaking for God-I'm not sure I believe the real Jesus actually said everything the gospels present him saying. In three of the gospels, he speaks in parables and short sayings. In John, he gives very long speeches. Very suspicious to me."

What evidence do you have that Jesus did not say everything that the gospels record?

Your characterization of the gospels is not entirely accurate. For instance the long speech that you referred to (sermon on the mount) comes from the Gospel of Matthew. One of the synoptic gospels. It also includes the beatitudes and the Lord's prayer.

John presents a realized eschatology in which salvation is already present for the believer. You would naturally expect the writing style to be different from the synoptic gospels.

You can't have it both ways. If all of the gospels said the exact same thing, critics would accuse the authors of collusion. Their differences (as would be the case with four witnesses to any event) lend credence to their credibility.

Correct me if I am mistaken, but it seems to me that you were raised in a strict sect that you later rebelled against. You seem very willing to read material that opposes those beliefs but have a very sketchy knowledge of reliable scholarship that supports it.

I would make an effort to read the best arguments from both sides before coming to a conclusion.

Anonymous said...

"As far as "real" scholars. Well, I'm certainly not one, but I can't see how Erhmann would not be considered one. If scholars disagree, does that mean one of them is not a scholar?"

Biblical scholars are no different than scholars in any other arena. There is good scholarship and there is bad scholarship. It has nothing to do with whether they agree or not. It has to do with reliable research methods.

You will never know the truth until you look at both sides with an open mind and decide for yourself what is more probable.

But be warned in advance. There are consequences to discovering the truth. Most people would rather go through life blindly than to be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

Here is a debate between two of the best: Greg Koukl (Christian Apologist) and Michael Shermer (Skeptic Society):

http://www.hughhewitt.com/transcripts.aspx?id=53dc1daa-c9b6-429f-9732-923b01ba19b3

Anonymous said...

Here is Greg's closing statement:

I started out talking about worldviews. And as a man trying to make sense of my world and finding a worldview that seems to fit reality as I experience it. I think atheism is way too austere for me, Hugh. It commits me to too many counterintuitive things – everything comes from nothing, like comes from nonlife, consciousness comes from matter, morality comes from a reorganization of molecules. None of this seems to make sense to me. There is another alternative that seems to make a lot more sense, that a big bang needs a big banger, that a moral law comes from a moral lawgiver, that design comes from a designer. These notions are captured well, I think, in the Biblical account of life. And the person of Jesus, especially, exemplifying these notions, and then giving us a way to live that makes sense. And this is why I’m a Christian and not an atheist. I think it makes the best sense of the world as we know it.

Katie said...

Thy Peace,

Thanks so much for the links. I appreciate it.

I don't want to hi-jack this article, but I found it seriously hypocritcal for Peter Lumpkins to declare Wade lied, while at the same time, defending Ergun Caner's mistatements.

I don't personally know Wade but from everything I've read, no one who had the good sense that God gave a billy goat could come to the conclusion that Wade is anything but a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I do have a few very minor views that are in opposition to Wade, but they are not essential to the faith.

If I didn't have any familiarity with Wade and Peter, I'd not have any problem identifying Wade as a follower of the Savior, and Peter as one who stirs up division.

Thank you again. :)

Sharon said...

I appreciate all the feedback on my comments, everyone. I've read several apologetics books, several atheists books, watched many debates about it all. It's all pretty confusing and overwhelming to be honest. But I will check out the authors mentioned.

Someone mentioned scholars that use reliable research methods. Not sure what that means, but with Erhmann, for example, it's hard to imagine that he's making it all up or that he doesn't know how to do scholarship properly. I'd think if you're a professor, you'd care a lot about what your peers say about your work. There would surely be many scholars who would know if you were making big mistakes. So you'd be careful what you put into your books. By the way, no one has given me an example of where he's wrong, but I won't press that because I've side-tracked the post long enough.

Oh, someone mentioned I might have rebelled against a strict sect. Quite the contrary. No one was more strait-laced, conservative, respectful of Biblical authority, etc. than me. It's not about rebelling against God. It's simply coming to strongly suspect that it's all imaginary, man-made.

Wallis "Cap" Smith said...

"If I didn't have any familiarity with Wade and Peter, I'd not have any problem identifying Wade as a follower of the Savior, and Peter as one who stirs up division."

Congratulations, Katie, for giving the understatement of the year at Dog's blog. Anybody with the brain the size of a pea can see the anger and bitterness in Peter and the obsessive compulsive behavior he possesses in tearing down his perceived enemies.

Wade Burleson is a breath of fresh air in the SBC. Peter Lumpkins is like stale underwear. He's a necessary part of the SBC wardrobe you just wish somebody take him out and cleanse him every now and then.

Anonymous said...

While I do appreciate some of Wade's sermons and his creativity, I can assure you he is no voice in the SBC. He's done--may as well stick a fork in him.

As for Peter, he's just a wannabe that happens to have a blog.

Anonymous said...

"I appreciate all the feedback on my comments, everyone. I've read several apologetics books, several atheists books, watched many debates about it all. It's all pretty confusing and overwhelming to be honest. But I will check out the authors mentioned."

It all comes down to the question: what is the best/most logical/reasonable conclusion we can draw from the reality we see?

Try reading the Introduction to "The Case for Christ" for the best example I have ever read.

As Greg states in the comment above, atheism is just too counter-intuitive for me to buy into it.

Anonymous said...

"Someone mentioned scholars that use reliable research methods. Not sure what that means, but with Erhmann, for example, it's hard to imagine that he's making it all up or that he doesn't know how to do scholarship properly. I'd think if you're a professor, you'd care a lot about what your peers say about your work. There would surely be many scholars who would know if you were making big mistakes. So you'd be careful what you put into your books."

Well, it would be a wonderful world if that were true - wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, bias and bad life experiences get in the way of many seeing the truth.

The case you made for Ehrman would also apply to Koukl who is a university professor. So title is not a good indicator of truth.

We must look at the facts. So, who puts forth the most compelling argument?

I would suggest that you read this response to Ehrman's book: Misquoting Jesus and see which set of facts are more reasonable and which seem to be grinding an ax.

Here's the link:
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/BibleStudyAndTheology/discipleship/Greg_Koukle_Answering_Bart_Ehrman.aspx

Anonymous said...

"It's simply coming to strongly suspect that it's all imaginary, man-made."

I took the opposite journey. I was an atheist, but didn't have enough faith to stick with it.

Anonymous said...

"Someone mentioned scholars that use reliable research methods. Not sure what that means, but with Erhmann, for example, it's hard to imagine that he's making it all up or that he doesn't know how to do scholarship properly. I'd think if you're a professor, you'd care a lot about what your peers say about your work. There would surely be many scholars who would know if you were making big mistakes. So you'd be careful what you put into your books."

Well, it would be a wonderful world if that were true - wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, bias and bad life experiences get in the way of many seeing the truth.

The case you made for Ehrman would also apply to Koukl who is a university professor. So title is not a good indicator of truth.

We must look at the facts. So, who puts forth the most compelling argument?

I would suggest that you read this response to Ehrman's book: Misquoting Jesus and see which set of facts are more reasonable and which seem to be grinding an ax.

Here's the link:
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/BibleStudyAndTheology/discipleship/Greg_Koukle_Answering_Bart_Ehrman.aspx

Anonymous said...

"Someone mentioned scholars that use reliable research methods. Not sure what that means, but with Erhmann, for example, it's hard to imagine that he's making it all up or that he doesn't know how to do scholarship properly. I'd think if you're a professor, you'd care a lot about what your peers say about your work. There would surely be many scholars who would know if you were making big mistakes. So you'd be careful what you put into your books."

Well, it would be a wonderful world if that were true - wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, bias and bad life experiences get in the way of many seeing the truth.

The case you made for Ehrman would also apply to Koukl who is a university professor. So title is not a good indicator of truth.

Anonymous said...

We must look at the facts. So, who puts forth the most compelling argument?

I would suggest that you read this response to Ehrman's book: Misquoting Jesus and see which set of facts are more reasonable and which seem to be grinding an ax.

Here's the link:
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/BibleStudyAndTheology/discipleship/Greg_Koukle_Answering_Bart_Ehrman.aspx

Anonymous said...

Here is the full link to the article:
http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/BibleStudyAndTheology/discipleship/Greg_Koukle_Answering_Bart_Ehrman.aspx

Anonymous said...

Sorry the full link won't display.

Just google: "Misquoting Jesus Answering Bart Ehrman

Anonymous said...

Here is a quote Bart Ehrman's: The Text of the New Testament (2005)

"Besides textual evidence derived from New Testament Greek manuscripts and from early versions, the textual critic compares numerous scriptural quotations used in commentaries, sermons, and other treatises written by early church fathers. Indeed, so extensive are these citations that if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament."

Bart Ehrman has two books with his name on them that give the exact opposite impression. And both were published the same year (2005).

Sharon said...

Anon 4:56,
Thanks for the link. I just read the article. I agree with the guy that Erhman tried to captivate people with implying that there are lots of mistakes in the NT. That's marketing. But Erhman and this scholar agree that the vast, vast majority are spelling errors, etc. that don't matter.

But even when it's all boiled down, his book gave me as a regular person NEW information. I've been attending church for 50 years, and not once has a preacher told me that that verse re the trinity (I John?) was not originally in there. It's an interpolation (I think it's called.)

Even more shocking was that the story of the adulterous woman was not originally in there. It was added by somebody. At least, that's my understanding. Now THAT was a shocker. Does the average church-goer know those two things? Or even know about the disputed ending of Mark? Or know which gospel was written first, etc?

I don't think they do. I'm assuming that most preachers know about these disputed things; but they certainly don't tell their congregations. People talk all the time about the adulterous woman. They have no clue it's disputed.

So that is what makes such an impression when you read Erhman's books-the fact that most Christians are kept in the dark about these things.

If I am wrong, and lots of Christians know about these things, and I just somehow missed hearing of it for 50 years, please correct me.

Before studying all this some the last couple years, what I knew about the Bible was: fundamentalist doctrine, lots of Bible stories, some verses by memory, could say all the books in order, very basic knowledge of the different versions of the Bible throughout history (learned in 9th grade Christian school Bible class.) That's it. I didn't even know that Paul's letters came BEFORE the gospels!

Anonymouse said...


Avoid Bart Ehrman. He Could Cause You To Lose Your Faith!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Burleson is arrogant, mean, and prideful.

He will crucify other Pastors but the moment someone questions him, he is in total shock.

Those closest to him can testify of my analysis.

Sad that he has such anger and fits of rage.

I am not afraid of him but I am deeply concerned about those that he damages.

God help us.

Katie said...

Sharon,

The word "Trinity" isn't in the Bible, but the Bible does teach it. I believe you are referring to 1 John 5:7. It's called the Comma Johanneum. You have to know about the manuscripts to try to get to the heart of this issue. In general there are manuscripts that are considered to be Byzantine and others that are called Alexandrian. The King James Bible was produced from the Byzantine manuscripts. They were placed into English by a Catholic Humanist Priest named Desiderious Erasmus. Despite having many manuscripts, no where did 1 John 5:7 appear. Erasmus querried many other people who had done translation. He finally said if the Comma Johanneum could be produced in even one manuscript, he would include in his English version of the Bible. It was found in an Irish manuscript, but it's authenticity is still somewhat questionable. Either way, it's not a verse that is essential to the Christian faith, no matter how some people might want to portray it. The Trinity is taught throughout the Bible. Erasmus produced what is generally called the TR (Textus Receptus). After Erasmus, the TR was edited by Theodore Beza (the succcesor to John Calvin, and Stephanus. Today most Bibles use the Nestle-Aland text for the translations. But you'll find many exceptions. Bart Ehrmann is a glass is half empty kind of personality. He can't seem to grasp that the fact that we have THOUSANDS of manuscripts supports the position that the Bible is true. Even among the different manuscipts, there is not a single doctrine that is affected by not having the exact same wording. If all the manuscripts said the exact same thing, then Christians would be accused of tampering with the text.

Wallace "Cap" Smith,
I had so hoped that my pea brain had grown at least a small amount.

Katie said...

Sharon,

I meant to say that Erasmus wasn't the first person to put the Bible into English. You'll find other English Bibles produced before Erasmus. Certainly other languages were also produced. Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German.

I wanted to show the progression of how the Comma Johanneum came to be the object of so much discussion.

Tom Parker said...

Any Mouse:

You said:"Pastor Burleson is arrogant, mean, and prideful.

He will crucify other Pastors but the moment someone questions him, he is in total shock.

Those closest to him can testify of my analysis.

Sad that he has such anger and fits of rage.

I am not afraid of him but I am deeply concerned about those that he damages.

God help us.

August 3, 2011 8:00 PM"

What a brave woman or man you are?

Not!!

I will give you this--you made me laugh.

Anonymouse said...

Well this was easy enough to find: "The 1st- and 2nd-edition texts did not include the passage (1 John 5:7–8) that has become known as the Comma Johanneum. Erasmus had been unable to find those verses in any Greek manuscript, but one was supplied to him during production of the 3rd edition. That manuscript is now thought to be a 1520 creation from the Latin Vulgate, which likely got the verses from a fifth-century marginal gloss in a Latin copy of I John. The Roman Catholic Church decreed that the Comma Johanneum was open to dispute (June 2, 1927), and it is rarely included in modern scholarly translations."

Can you give references to the other "THOUSANDS" of documents you purport to know of?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Ridiculous statement by Anonymous 8:10 pm.

I have known Wade and his family pretty well for close to twenty years. I know his mother and father. I have sub taught Wade's wife's SS class of which I am still a member, many times.

In fact he has been pastor at the church I attend to close to that long and I have no idea what you are talking about. It's totally untrue. Instead of character attacks, stick with the theology of the message he is giving.

Martin Luther once said and I paraphrase that if one cannot attack the theology, one goes after a person's character. Stick to what you know, this statement isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on this Blog and I watched some of this Pastors sermon.

Is he really a Pastor?

I never heard anything like this before??

He didn't say anything about Hell, Sin, the Devil, or people getting drunk.

It is namby pamby Preaching like this that is bringing our country down.

I want someone who brings some heat.

I want someone who steps on my toes.

I want someone who does not wear a Leisure Suit and too much "Just for Men" in their hair.

Was this video down in the 70's?

That cheap wood paneling needs to be updated...it looks like something off the Brady Bunch.

Anonymous said...

I pastor in Wade's hometown of Enid and he is regarded with the upmost respect by people and pastors of all denominations.

Cliff said...

Anonymous 10:38

Your tongue is set on fire from he'll and one hopes not so your soul.

cliff

Anonymous said...

Anonymouse Tim and/or Peter and/or Wes

Welcome to Dog's blog.

Anonymous said...

I stand by my words. Wade is not a preacher. He is a mamby pamby feminist sympathizer.

Anonymous said...

Wade is a liberal.

Anonymous 1038

New BBC Open Forum said...

WD,

Your troll filter software seems to have failed.

WishIhadknown said...

That namby pamby preacher Dr Adrian Rogers preached the same thing that Wade is preaching.

How quick we are to sell our birthright for a bowl of soup.

Thy Peace said...

When the final video segment is posted by WD, there will be lot of frothing-at-the-mouth comments.

Sharon said...

Katie,
Thanks for the information. I know it's a complicated subject. By the way, I did know the word "trinity" is not in the Bible.

But I think I'm asking the same question as Anon asked-what difference does it make if there are a million copies of something, if it's incorrect? Plus wouldn't God care deeply about his word getting corrupted? You'd think he'd keep that from happening. Yet he hasn't done a thing about it. It's things like that that make me wonder if he's there.

So the article someone supplied to me-which I read, and now your reply saying Erhman is a "half glass empty" kind of guy-where is the awful sin that Erhman has committed by simply bringing these issues to the public? As I said before, the preachers don't seem to enlighten people-probably because they know the people have no desire to be enlightened, because that will disturb them and shake their faith in the Bible. (sorry for the run-on sentences.)

So it seems to be that it's not that Erhman's wrong. It's that he's showing bad form by making these things public.

When I first got into this stuff, I thought what would make me want to keep going to church would be if there was a question and answer time or classes where you learned this kind of thing and the history of the Bible and the church. I thought people would love that.

It slowly dawned on me that, "no, they wouldn't love that at all. They would complain and have it halted." People don't go to church to learn things. They go for comfort.

Anyway, that's my deal: resenting that I was kept in the dark all these years.

Sharon said...

Anonymouse (6:42),

Love your name, by the way. Thanks for the link to a great post!

Anonymous said...

"But I think I'm asking the same question as Anon asked-what difference does it make if there are a million copies of something, if it's incorrect? Plus wouldn't God care deeply about his word getting corrupted? You'd think he'd keep that from happening. Yet he hasn't done a thing about it. It's things like that that make me wonder if he's there."

Are you sure you read the Greg Koukl article? Because he explains why that is important in the article. Number of manuscripts and the length of time between the event and the earliest manuscripts are the most important factors in determining the accuracy of any historical document. Remember his example of the recipe? The Bible has many many more copies and the times is the closest of all our ancient documents. That means that is the most accurate document that the world possesses.

Anonymous said...

"So the article someone supplied to me-which I read, and now your reply saying Erhman is a "half glass empty" kind of guy-where is the awful sin that Erhman has committed by simply bringing these issues to the public? As I said before, the preachers don't seem to enlighten people-probably because they know the people have no desire to be enlightened, because that will disturb them and shake their faith in the Bible. (sorry for the run-on sentences.)"

Ehrman is a half-empty kind of scholar when it benefits him financially. When he is writing a sensational book "exposing the secrets of the Bible" (even though they are already in the margin of your Bible), he exaggerates the importance of differences.

When is writing a more scholarly piece (in the same year), his says basically the same thing as Koukl.

Don't you find that somewhat disingenuous?

Not sure where you attended church, but I have known about the things Ehrman mentions for decades. They have no bearing on any important doctrine and the are printed in the footnotes of my Bible.

I'm not seeing a problem here.

Anonymous said...

"So it seems to be that it's not that Erhman's wrong. It's that he's showing bad form by making these things public."

You mean he has made them more public than being in the margin of your Bible or in hundreds of other books and hundreds of Internet articles like the one I listed?

The information "that he has made public" has literally been public for thousands of years.

He's just cashing in on some people's lack of research with sensationalism.

Anonymous said...

"It slowly dawned on me that, "no, they wouldn't love that at all. They would complain and have it halted." People don't go to church to learn things. They go for comfort."

What about the churches that do exactly that? My church has several classes that deal with these subjects.

What about the churches that invite speakers like Greg Koukl and Hank Hannegraaf to come and speak about these subjects? What about the churches that sponsor debates between Christians and atheists and broadcast them on national radio?

You can't put all Christians in one category.

Anonymous said...

Sharon - here is an example of what I am talking about. The text below was taken from the STR blog. Many churches today are inviting Christian apologists to speak on the subjects you addressed.

In fact, the speakers are playing devil's advocate and encouraging the congregation to find answers.

No questions are off limits.

The blog post is broken into segments (below).

Anonymous said...

A Tale of Four Men

It was eighty against one. Not good odds, but when I role-play an atheist with the typical Christian students, I like my chances. But these weren’t students. They were adults. And not just any adults, but Christian leaders on the East Coast. Pastors, youth pastors, parachurch leaders, school teachers, and administrators.

I launched into my “Why I’m Not a Christian” arguments. Debate quickly followed. From the start, a number of adults appealed to their experience of the Holy Spirit—“I know God is real because I’ve experienced His Spirit.” I quickly shot back, “How do you know that’s really God? Mormons say the same thing. Do you think they’re experiencing God as well?”

Anonymous said...

One man in particular was emphatic. “I just know it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to me.” He tried to bolster the argument, declaring God had spoken to him through the Bible as well. I responded with a typical atheist challenge. “The Bible tells us that God spoke to Abraham, asking him to sacrifice his son.” Then I looked him in the eye and questioned him, “If God asked you to kill your son, would you do it?” He joked about his son sitting there next to him, but he could not answer the challenge.

In fact, there were only two leaders out of those 80 who gave me real trouble during the exchange. The first, a youth pastor, launched into the moral argument for God’s existence. I tried to take the “morals are determined by society” route, but he calmly pinned me down. The second, a deacon and Sunday school teacher, offered a design argument, articulating Michael Behe’s argument from irreducible complexity. I quickly changed topics.

Anonymous said...

Afterward, I spoke with these men who argued well for God’s existence. Do you know what they had in common? Both were huge Stand to Reason fans. Both testified to the immense impact STR has had on their lives. The youth pastor revealed he has listened to every single STR podcast. The deacon was currently taking his daughter through our Tactics material. STR’s impact was unmistakable.

Later, the man who claimed he just knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to him approached me. He wanted my help. “My son, sitting next to me, is doubting everything.” Then he burst into tears. Embarrassed, he grabbed my arm and pulled me around the corner. As he wept bitterly, his son’s story emerged. A bright kid, grew up in a Christian home, led friends to the Lord, on fire for Christ, even preached in their church. But now, he questioned it all. He begged me, “Will you talk to him? Please, will you talk to him today?”

Anonymous said...

After my final teaching session, the son approached me, quickly launching into a laundry list of objections to Christianity. A lengthy conversation ensued, covering topics like objective moral truths, utilitarian ethical theory, Kant's categorical imperative, retributive justice, divine hiddenness, intelligent design, and the experience of the Holy Spirit. From the conversation, I guessed he was a graduate student in philosophy. Wrong. He was a high school senior.

His objections boiled down to this: “I’ve been taught that Christianity’s truthfulness is confirmed by my experience. I am no longer having powerful Christian experiences. In addition, I’m reading arguments against Christianity. I now wonder if it’s rational for me to remain a Christian.” He had just rehearsed his father’s argument for Christianity...and its shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

I listened, offered thoughts to reframe his view of Christianity’s truthfulness, put personal experience in its proper place, and introduced him to apologetics. He thanked me and we parted ways. Please pray for Nikhil as I follow up with him over the coming months and even years.

Through the entire experience, two things were clear. First, God is using Stand to Reason in powerful ways. The first two men confirmed this. Second, the truth of Christianity needs to be built on a foundation more solid than personal experience. The second two men confirmed this.

Sharon said...

Anon 9:39,
I think I understand you to be saying that the more manuscripts you have, the more likely you're gonna be to come up with an over-all correct one?

I was thinking of a manuscript with something added, for example-a million copies of that messed-up manuscript doesn't help us. It's a million copies of an error.

Sharon said...

Whew! Ya'll are overwhelming me. Okay, I did look in my New Geneva Study Bible, and it does have a note at the bottom that says that the adulterous woman story is not in some Greek manuscripts. Then it goes on to talk about the details of the story. My question would be-why is the story included if it truly should not be there at all? Is it because people would freak out if it disappeared? If it's not legit, why not put it over in the margin and leave it out of the text (like I've seen some Bibles do with the ending of Mark)? Also no one stands up in the pulpit and talks about this issue. Is that not a problem for anybody but me?

My point is I had to find these things out on my own. My preacher didn't point them out.

I guess re Erhman we can criticize him for wanting to imply that the Bible's all goofed up; yet can't we also criticize those who will not admit that it's not the inerrant, perfect Word of God, God-breathed, etc. that I grew up actually believing? I'd say both camps are leaving the wrong impression purposely.

I commend the churches who do try to teach their congregants to be well-informed on these things. Actually, your example was great, because I happen to believe that what people really trust is some feeling they have had that to them is the Holy Spirit. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but they trust that more than anything else. And of course an atheist is going to point out that the human mind is capable of all kinds of feelings for various reasons that may have not a thing in the world to do with a Holy Spirit.

So at least these churches you've described are talking about things. Good! That's better than all questions being frowned upon-which was my experience.

I do think Christians do have some strong arguments-our sense of morality being one of them. But having a feeling or "just knowing" is not one of the strong ones for me. It makes me think they under-estimate the abilities of the human mind.

Anonymous said...

"I think I understand you to be saying that the more manuscripts you have, the more likely you're gonna be to come up with an over-all correct one?"

"I was thinking of a manuscript with something added, for example-a million copies of that messed-up manuscript doesn't help us. It's a million copies of an error."

Sharon - did you read the entire Greg Koukl article? All of this is explained in the article. Please read it again and let me know which parts are not clear.

The Bible is no different that any other ancient manuscript. The rules for determining the accuracy are the same (as explained in the article). Even Ehrman agrees with what Koukl says in the article. I'm not understanding why you are not getting it.

Anonymous said...

"Then it goes on to talk about the details of the story. My question would be-why is the story included if it truly should not be there at all?"

This is also included in the article and hundreds of other books. Again, Ehrman's "big secret" is already in millions of Bibles around the world, in millions of published books and thousands of online articles.

Doesn't it bother you that Ehrman is just trying to cash in on people's ignorance with sensationalism?

Anonymous said...

"Is it because people would freak out if it disappeared? If it's not legit, why not put it over in the margin and leave it out of the text (like I've seen some Bibles do with the ending of Mark)?"

Again, this is covered in the article. The story is disputed (not in the oldest manuscripts) not proven to be fabricated.

In that case, the logical thing to do would be to include it with a footnote. What part of that is not logical?

Anonymous said...

"My point is I had to find these things out on my own. My preacher didn't point them out."

Perhaps you should address your pastor. Our church discusses these issues frequently. That's why I am able to discuss it with you intelligently.

Perhaps he assumed that you would notice the footnotes in your own Bible. Perhaps he wanted to focus on the Gospel and leading people to salvation instead of dealing with issues that were resolved thousands of years ago and in the end aren't very important (except to a person trying to cash in with a sensational book).

Anonymous said...

"I guess re Erhman we can criticize him for wanting to imply that the Bible's all goofed up; yet can't we also criticize those who will not admit that it's not the inerrant, perfect Word of God, God-breathed, etc. that I grew up actually believing? I'd say both camps are leaving the wrong impression purposely."

Let me ask you a question Sharon.

If the general public had known that all of the so-called errors that Ehrman uses to discredit the Bible (that he implies are being hidden from them) were already listed in the Bible already and that these issues had been put to rest thousands of years ago and that Ehrman had told a totally different story (that the Bible is accurate) in another book he had written the same year - do you think his book would have been a best seller?

That's the irony of Ehrman. He tries to imply that Christians are keeping a secret to hide the truth when it is actually he (Ehrman) who is guilty of that sin - and trying to profit from it.

That is so wrong on so many levels that I'm not sure where to begin.

So, the first half of your contention is accurate.

Unfortunately, the second half is a straw man argument since your understanding of inerrancy is flawed.

Anonymous said...

Here is the correct definition from Wikipedia:

Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact."[1] Some equate inerrancy and infallibility; others do not.[2]
Conservative Christians generally believe that God inspired the authors and redactors of the Bible. Hence, they wrote material that was error-free. Advocates of biblical inerrancy take the position that although none of the original manuscripts currently exist, scholars are able to produce a product that is as near as possible to the original and that it can confidently be said to be the authoritative Word of God. They base their conclusions on scholars' comparison of the many thousands of good copies that have been found, and by examining the thousands of citations of Scripture in the writings of the early Church Fathers.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but they trust that more than anything else."

How did you come to this conclusion?

It isn't true for me or anyone I know?

There are over 2 billion Christians. Are you saying they are all the same?

Anonymous said...

"And of course an atheist is going to point out that the human mind is capable of all kinds of feelings for various reasons that may have not a thing in the world to do with a Holy Spirit."

I suppose that's why I've been hearing my pastor say (for over 30 years) to not trust in feelings.

Anonymous said...

"So at least these churches you've described are talking about things. Good! That's better than all questions being frowned upon-which was my experience."

Sorry for your bad experience. Christians are taught in I Peter 3: 15 to always have an answer for the hope that you have.

Anonymous said...

"I do think Christians do have some strong arguments-our sense of morality being one of them. But having a feeling or "just knowing" is not one of the strong ones for me. It makes me think they under-estimate the abilities of the human mind."

The Bible teaches us to love God with our heart, soul and MIND. God gave us our minds after all.

The Bible never encourages us to rely on feelings to determine truth. Those who do are not following what scripture teaches.

That's the mistake that the Mormon's make. The Book of Mormon tells them that they can know they are saved by a "burning in the bosom."

I agree with Greg Koukl that atheism is just too austere for me and forces me to believe too many counter-intuitive things.

For instance, how did the universe get here?

Did it always exist?
The 2nd law of thermodynamics says no.

Did it come from nothing?
Also unscientific.

or Did God create it?

Which seems more likely?

Johnny D. said...

Jesus was here 2000 years ago. He turned the entire world upside down. He had nothing. No "place to lay his head." Yet, the world is still upside down because of that itinerant preacher.

He was here. He prayed we'd be united, then he subjected himself to a Roman flogging and beating. They stuck a crown of thorns on his head and forced him to carry his cross to a hill outside the city walls. They nailed him to that cross. The most innocent man that ever lived, or will live, and they nailed him to a cross. They buried him in a rich man's tomb. He rose and then appeared to over 500 witnesses, of which Paul kept a list.

These are facts, that if investigated with an open mind, will best fit the record of history.

As I said before, I can't believe I lived almost ten years of my life without Jesus Christ. What a relief to come home. I praise you Jesus for saving me and my beautiful wife. I praise you for our evening prayers together and the way they have made my wife and I grow closer together and closer to you. I praise you for the answers you've given us. You have brought our son on active duty in the U.S. Army through some tough trials and we now know you will see him through even tougher trials ahead. We praise you for answering our prayers about him coming home in less than two weeks and about him getting stationed nearby. You have given us more than we could ever have believed, but most of all, you have given us peace. No matter how this country unravels as it ignores you, we now understand that we are in your grip. We love you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Sharon said...

Anon 9:33,
You said:
"I'm not understanding why you are not getting it."

It feels like you are dropping a lot of hints that I'm not the brightest person you've ever come across.

I told you what my understanding was, so that you could say, "yes, that's what I meant" or, "no, he was saying..."

"Again, Ehrman's "big secret" is already in millions of Bibles around the world, in millions of published books and thousands of online articles."

I'm not looking at it from the point of view of people who've gone to seminary or books read by Bible scholars or people who look at sites on the internet that are critical of the Bible. I'm looking at it from the average, fairly conservative church goer's environment. Ask those people-and there are a lot of them-if they know of the disputes about the ending of Mark, the adulterous woman, the verse about the trinity. Unless you go to a very liberal church, I'm shocked that your pastor stands up and tells people that story does not really belong in the Bible. You said he does, so good for him on that.

And from my experience, pastors are always trying to get people to read their Bibles and pray, so evidently it's tough getting them to do that, which means they aren't likely to come across those notes at the bottom. Plus most people read the Bible devotionally (sp?) anyway; not in an academic way. Plus do all versions even have these notes?

"instead of dealing with issues that were resolved thousands of years ago and in the end aren't very important (except to a person trying to cash in with a sensational book)."

Resolved thousands of years ago? Please explain.

Aren't very important? All I can say is that with my background that the Bible is the very word of God himself-every word is God-breathed, HOLY, perfect, etc., etc.-learning these things about these verses is a HUGE deal. In fact, it's a shocker. So it's a shocker to someone who's always been in church, life has revolved around religion, is a big reader, knows somewhat more about the Bible than the average person.

"That's the irony of Ehrman. He tries to imply that Christians are keeping a secret to hide the truth"

As you can see from what I've already written, I think Ehrman is correct to imply that these things are kept out of site of most Christians. And even now, with Erhman's book out there, I'd bet most are still ignorant of these things. Why? Because many people aren't big readers, or if they are, their pastor would advise against certain books or say ridiculous things like Erhman is on the devil's side, etc.

Maybe you come from a different part of the country from me or a more liberal approach to the Bible.
It would be fascinating to do a survey of church-goers from all denominations just to find out what people know about or don't know about. Your emphasis on this info being in the notes of "millions" of Bibles reminds me of contracts with very fine print at the bottom. A similar situation, I think.

Sharon said...

continued-

"That's the mistake that the Mormon's make. The Book of Mormon tells them that they can know they are saved by a "burning in the bosom."

How is that any different than the Holy Spirit telling people stuff? And there's that verse about God's Spirit witnessing to our spirit whether we are his children (something like that-too lazy to look it up right now.)

Most people most definitely DO go on feelings. They will tell you over and over about how it's all about a "relationship." And a relationship involves feelings and communication of some kind back and forth.

Well, I hope I've addressed most of what you said. By the way, Erhman says it's the suffering in the world that caused him to lose his faith-not what he knows about the Bible. Many liberal Christians, like John Shelby Spong, know a lot about the Bible (all the secrets) yet retain their faith.

Anonymous said...

"It feels like you are dropping a lot of hints that I'm not the brightest person you've ever come across."

That was not my implication. I'm just wondering why you are asking questions about things that were answered in the article that you read. Was the explanation in the article unclear or did it not answer the question adequately?

Anonymous said...

"I told you what my understanding was, so that you could say, "yes, that's what I meant" or, "no, he was saying..."

I'm not sure I could make it any clearer than what Greg wrote.

The same rules that apply for all ancient documents as to determining their accuracy apply to the Bible as well.

I thought the example he gave of the lost recipe made it very clear.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not looking at it from the point of view of people who've gone to seminary or books read by Bible scholars or people who look at sites on the internet that are critical of the Bible. I'm looking at it from the average, fairly conservative church goer's environment."

Well, that would be me. I have never attended seminary, am not a Bible scholar, and I'm not critical of the Bible. I am exactly what you described: a fairly conservative church weekly church goer.

"Ask those people-and there are a lot of them-if they know of the disputes about the ending of Mark, the adulterous woman, the verse about the trinity."

You can ask me. I know all about those things, and I attend a very conservative church. I learned all about these things from classes I have taken at my church (How we got our Bible, History of the church, Apologetics classes, Sunday sermons, etc). Also from reading study Bibles with lots of footnotes and associated articles. Take a look at the note about the ending of Mark in the NIV study Bible.

"Unless you go to a very liberal church, I'm shocked that your pastor stands up and tells people that story does not really belong in the Bible. You said he does, so good for him on that."

That's not what I said at all. I attend a very conservative church and they discuss (as my Bible does) the disputed sections of scripture.

As I stated earlier, because it is disputed (not in the oldest versions) does not mean that it should not be included in the Bible. It means that it is disputed and footnoted as such.

The bottom line is that a pastor is not responsible for an individual knowing about disputed texts that have already been identified in scripture. The Bible tells us to study to show OURSELVES approved.

If I were a pastor, I wouldn't spend much time addressing these issues from the pulpit (with the exception of correcting people's misconceptions from sensational books). These issues were addressed and footnoted thousands of years ago.

Anonymous said...

"As you can see from what I've already written, I think Ehrman is correct to imply that these things are kept out of site of most Christians."

Considering the fact that these issues are footnoted in their Bibles, explained in detail in study Bibles, in hundreds of books and internet articles: how are these things "kept out of site of most Christians?"

You statement implies that they are purposely being kept in the dark. None of the things that I have listed above would be true if that were the case.

And by the way, there is a national radio show "The Bible Answer Man" that answers questions like this everyday across the nation.

As the Bible states: "Men are without excuse."

If you want to know the truth, it is easily found.

Anonymous said...

"And even now, with Erhman's book out there, I'd bet most are still ignorant of these things. Why?"

You are implying here that they would be learning something of importance in Ehrman's book. Nothing could be further from the truth. And he was a couple of thousand years late.

He has written a sensational book about scripture that leads people to a false conclusion for profit.

His disingenuousness is on full display in a second book he wrote in the same year that comes to the opposite conclusion.

"Because many people aren't big readers, or if they are, their pastor would advise against certain books or say ridiculous things like Erhman is on the devil's side, etc."

Perhaps they could just recommend one of Ehrman's other books that supports the Bible instead.

All kidding aside, each of us is responsible for finding truth ourselves. As I have already demonstrated, it is readily available. If Christians are trying to hide the truth, they have surely done a poor job of it.

Also please explain how Ehrman's contentions do damage to the historicity and accuracy of the Bible. Which contested passages are not also supported in non-contested passages and what doctrines are affected?

Anonymous said...

"Maybe you come from a different part of the country from me or a more liberal approach to the Bible."

I live in the buckle of the Bible belt.

Anonymous said...

"It would be fascinating to do a survey of church-goers from all denominations just to find out what people know about or don't know about. Your emphasis on this info being in the notes of "millions" of Bibles reminds me of contracts with very fine print at the bottom. A similar situation, I think."

There is already an organization that does these things called Barna. You can look them up online.

But I can answer the question without looking. Most people are Biblically illiterate. Not just about disputed passages but about many important doctrines or just something as simple as explaining what they believe.

And that is exactly why so many groups (churches, parachurch organizations, radio shows, internet sites, books, and study Bibles) spend so much time trying to educate people about doctrines, church history, and hermaneutics.

Sorry but your "fine print" analogy doesn't work. The information is litetally everywhere.

That's because Christians spent hundreds of years resolving these issues and recording their conclusions for all to see.

Buy an NIV study Bible and look up the disputed sections of scripture and read the pages of information written about these sections.

Nope - not fine print at all.

Anonymous said...

"How is that any different than the Holy Spirit telling people stuff? And there's that verse about God's Spirit witnessing to our spirit whether we are his children (something like that-too lazy to look it up right now.)"

I'm not clear on what you mean by the Holy Spirit telling people stuff. Please clarify.

Romans 8:16 reads:
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint
heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."

Notice that the verse says "with out spirit" not "to our spirit" as you stated. That has a completely different meaning from the Mormons "burning in the bosom."

When the disciples were sent (from John the Baptist) to ask Jesus if he was truly the Messiah, did he tell them to have more faith, or to wait on a feeling?

No - he told them “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”

Jesus pointed the disciples to evidence not feelings.

If you ever do a study on the Book of Mormon, you will see why they rely on feelings instead of evidence. Their book can not be substantiated by history or archaeology. The people, places, coins, animals, battles, tools, weapons can not be verified.

Anonymous said...

"Most people most definitely DO go on feelings. They will tell you over and over about how it's all about a "relationship." And a relationship involves feelings and communication of some kind back and forth."

Again I ask, how did you come to this conclusion. What percentage of the 6 billion living on planet earth have you asked this question? Your poll doesn't sound very scientific. Would you say your statement is based more on fact or feelings?

Yes a relationship involves feelings and communication. No one is saying that there are no feelings involved in our relationship with Christ (what a boring relationship that would be).

But, just like in a marriage, we don't determine our relationship status based on feelings.

Some days "I don't feel married." But then I can look at my marriage certificate and remember back to the day that I made a vow to my wife.

It's the same thing with Christ. I don't always "feel like a Christian." But I can remember back to the day when I made a commitment to follow him and I know that I can rely on his promises.

Anonymous said...

"Well, I hope I've addressed most of what you said. By the way, Erhman says it's the suffering in the world that caused him to lose his faith-not what he knows about the Bible.

Thanks for your responses. I hope my replies were helpful.

Well, that helps to explain why he wrote another book about that Bible that contradicts the first one.

Ah, the age old question of suffering. In my studies, I have found that Christians are the only ones that have an adequate answer to the question of suffering. That subject is covered in great detail in Lee Strobel's book "The Case for Faith." The book was written for another well-known atheist Charles Templeton (who was Billy Graham's parter in the 50's). Everyone thought that Templeton (not Graham) would be the world famous evangelist. He became an atheist instead because of the problem of suffering. Lee attempts to show Templeton that Christians have the best answer for the problem of suffering in his book. I would highly recommend it.

That's one of the reasons that I am a Christian. It fits best with the reality we live everyday.

Anonymous said...

"Many liberal Christians, like John Shelby Spong, know a lot about the Bible (all the secrets) yet retain their faith."

I'm not sure that I would characterize what Spong believes as faith. From what I understand, he dismisses every supernatural event in the Bible a priori.

Ask yourself this question, if you told me your "secrets" and I published a book that included your secrets (and it became the best selling book in the world for hundreds of years). And there were study versions that elaborated in great detail on what your secrets meant. And there were thousands of books written about your secrets. And there were thousands of internet articles written about your secrets. And there were national radio shows that discussed your secrets every day. And there were men who visited churches all across the nation and world discussing your secrets to thousands of church members. And there were classes in churches teaching people about your secrets and telling people how to respond when one of your secrets came up in conversation.

Would it really be a secret at that point?

Anonymous said...

Stumbling Block

Just noticed that Greg Koukl has posted a video on his blog answering the question:

What is something theological or scriptural in YOUR life that has been a stumbling block for you?

Here he talks about issues in the Bible that are tough for him to accept.

Why would he go to the trouble of posting this video on the internet for the entire world to see, if he were trying to hide "secrets" in the Bible as Ehrman suggests?

Just Google "Stand to Reason blog"