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Pastor Michael Huffman | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jun 24 2009 8:06 AM

I have read a lot of good comments. One thing that I would be interested in hearing everyone comment on is this: We all agree that there are textual proof that dilutes this from the original; however, how would you preach this and keep your Church confidence in the verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture. We could go into the textaul variants, but the average Church member, even if they could understand textual things, would turn you off. I agree with Dan Wallace that this is my favorite Bible story that is not in the Bible. I do believe that this one an actual historical event, though.

Pastor Michael Huffman, Th.A Th.B Th.M

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 9:08 AM

Now, I am going to get my coffee and then I am looking forward to hearing your responses Smile

Bohuslav

Posts 218
John Nerdue | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 9:17 AM

It would probably be more appropriate to discuss some of these things in a Bible class (Something I am going to be doing myself in a few months) than it would be to preach on it but if I were to preach it (I would not) I would say a few words at the beginning to let people know that this is not original but that I thought it was a piece of true history (If I thought that but I do not) or a good story that illustrates some biblical truths.

Just for the record I believe the bible is the revealed word of God and is inspired and inerrant in the autographs. (Verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture)

 

I don’t know if this helps much but may God be glorifed anyway! Smile

Posts 3717
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 10:26 AM

Agreed with all the comments on textual issues with the passage. For me, these illustrate the issue with trying to argue for "inerrancy." Before I could have a meaningful discussion, we'd have to agree on which Greek text we wanted to consider--never mind which English translation... all of which brings me to the real point I wanted to make: what makes scripture Scripture?

For me, that it was written by an authoritative source recognized by the earliest church is only part of the equation. The consistent witness of the church for 2000-3500 years that God speaks through this particular text reliably, with all that's needed for salvation is just as important.

Were these the only writings of the original authors? I suspect not. Yet these were the only works considered Scripture...

Where John 8 may not be able clearly to pass the test of authorship (though it'd be going too far to say we have proof that it fails the test), it clearly passes the test of consistent church witness that God speaks through this particular text. And we have the consistent witness of the church as a whole that it belongs in the canon.

With the appropriate caveats, I'd preach it.

Grace & peace to you!
Bill

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 11:18 AM

JamesChaisson:
Just for the record I believe the bible is the revealed word of God and is inspired and inerrant in the autographs. (Verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture)

I really get tired of this dodge -- and it can only be considered to be a dodge.  We do not possess the autographs.  We have not possessed the autographs for centuries.  We are unlikely to find the autographs at any time to come.  If we were somehow to find the autographs, how would we manage to authenticate that they were indeed the autographs?  Stop speaking of "innerant in the autographs" since there is no such thing.  Either the scriptures are God's word to us or they are not -- as they are.  That includes the manuscript errors which have accreted to it throughout its transmission.  There was never a time when it was not the Word of the Lord.  Whether it was "innerant" or not is another matter.  I think it can be shown that there are indeed errors of history, biology, astronomy, geology, etc., etc.  Nevertheless it remains God's word.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 218
John Nerdue | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 11:30 AM

Ease up on the attitude. If you don’t agree just say so don’t get all upset about it. I don’t think that I am dogging anything.

God inspired the prophets and Apostles to write down his words guided by the Holy Spirit but once copying started the nature result would be some errors such as spelling and others but I believe we have the original word of God preserved in the manuscript tradition not contained in any one manuscript. We haven’t lost anything but have gained some extras like John 8:1-11 and the last 12 verses of Mark.

Remember, that was the whole reason for textual criticism in the first place to get back to the original.  

Posts 218
John Nerdue | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 11:35 AM

Notice my error. It should read “Natural” not "Nature". Here is an example of what we have in the manuscript evidence but notice every one reading my post would understand and know this was a mistake.

 

JamesChaisson:

...but once copying started the nature result would ...

Posts 634
Pastor Michael Huffman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 12:58 PM

I guess it would better if everyonre in the Church could have a lesson in textual criticism. But the fact is, I know Pastors who do not want anything to do with it. I believe that so much discussion on this in a preaching session would cause some to doubt and think, "Well what else is not in the original text". Goerge is write God has preserved His word for us in the Manuscript Transmission. As James White pointed out in his debate with Bart Ehrman, you can look in all the manuscript witnesses and have the Word of God. That is why it is so important that God's men have a working knowledge of the original language. Dont tell me you dont have language skills, you do have skills...now just learn the language.

Pastor Michael Huffman, Th.A Th.B Th.M

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 3:03 PM

JamesChaisson:

Ease up on the attitude. If you don’t agree just say so don’t get all upset about it. I don’t think that I am dogging anything.

God inspired the prophets and Apostles to write down his words guided by the Holy Spirit but once copying started the nature result would be some errors such as spelling and others but I believe we have the original word of God preserved in the manuscript tradition not contained in any one manuscript. We haven’t lost anything but have gained some extras like John 8:1-11 and the last 12 verses of Mark.

Remember, that was the whole reason for textual criticism in the first place to get back to the original.  

You are absolutely correct that textual criticism is an attempt to at least get as near as possible to the original.  What I find troubling are these weasel words "in the autographs."  You know as surely as the sun rose this morning that you will never have the autographs so you therefore know as well that if you ever get cornered on your view that you can say "I'm not sure whether that was in the autograph."  NONSENSE !  From the very first copy of any gospel or epistle we no longer were dealing with the autograph.  Every hand copied manuscript of any appreciable size has errors.  Don't try to squirm out of the fact that this is simply a way to CYA.  I'm not particularly accusing you of "dogging" anything.  You're just a poor victim (Aren't we all just victims these days?).  You learned this autograph smotograph business from others who should have known that all they were doing is building a fortress around possibly untenable positions so that they could sit back and say "You can't touch me; you don't have the autographs."

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 218
John Nerdue | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 3:57 PM

 

The autographs are gone but we still have what the authors originally wrote in the manuscript tradition. When we talk about inerrancy in my mind we are talking about the originals. If we are asking do we have the word of God today the answer is yes but there are places that we are unsure what the original reading was but we have it it’s just one of maybe two or three readings. I think t was Rob Bowman who said we have more puzzle pieces than we need the task today is deciding which are the ones we don’t need said another way we have 110% in our bibles. We are not missing anything.

For reference check out what people like James White and Dan Wallace have to say on this subject. I agree with them.

I am not sure if I am reading you correctly but it seems that your posts are becoming increasingly more hostile. If you would like to discuss this issue with me let’s do it. Email me and we can have (I hope) a Christ-like discussion if not I will allow others to jump in here and I will refrain from commenting anymore. One other issue is we have gone somewhat off topic. I believe the topic was “How do we preach this passage”.  

jpcsmcmjc@juno.com

 

 

 

Posts 142
John Hapgood | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2009 4:32 PM

JamesChaisson:
I believe the topic was “How do we preach this passage

No one can answer that question for you. If you don't believe it should be in the Bible - then you skip over it. You cant preach a message on every passage in the Bible. You don't have to state your reasons. For a Bible Study of the passage, you'r obligated to teach what you know as honestly as you can. But - can you really KNOW if it's scripture or not. If you cant know then your just casting doubt based on someone else’s surmising.

If you haven’t made up your mind on it yet - read  Grace Theological Journal 6.1 (1985) 49-66 THE TEXT OF JOHN 3:13 by DAVID ALAN BLACK to get an idea just what's involved in making those kinds of decisions

John

P.S. I did not think George was being hostile

Posts 218
John Nerdue | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 6:21 AM

"We have to educate believers. Instead of trying to isolate laypeople from critical scholarship, we need to insulate them. They need to be ready for the barrage, because it is coming. The intentional dumbing down of the church for the sake of filling more pews will ultimately lead to defection from Christ." - Dan Wallace

My Favorite Passage That’s Not in the Bible by Dan Wallace

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2007/08/my-favorite-passage-that%E2%80%99s-not-in-the-bible/

 

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 9:01 AM

I remeber years ago I preached on the JOhn 5:1-17 about the man at Bethesda. For those people it was for the first time somebody told them the verse 3b and 4 is not part of the original story, but some kind of popular belief. I put the healing of the man by Jesus in the opposite to the belief in angel mooving the water. I made sure however the end result was bigger assurance in the Word of God and centrality of Christ. Most people got the point, but for some I was abolishing the autority of the Word of God. SOme people just like much more their own traditional explanations of the Scripture and what they preached on that, talked to other people, and now you come and destroy their pet story. I believe however, the Word of God is worth of being sincere with people. I know it is much different situation with our text we discuss here. I believe, we can use it in the sermon, more, we should, and to be honest with the truth about it, but to do it the way people will not have less trust for the Word of God afterwords than before your sermon. (I mean sincere people, forget those who always have the answer before they even ask...)

Bohuslav

Posts 5573
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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 9:26 AM

Bohuslav Wojnar:

I remeber years ago I preached on the JOhn 5:1-17 about the man at Bethesda. For those people it was for the first time somebody told them the verse 3b and 4 is not part of the original story, but some kind of popular belief.

I've rarely found it helpful to mention this sort of thing from the pulpit. In fact, there's a lot of study that doesn't make it directly into a message. When I preach, I preach the Word, I don't preach about the Word, unless it's the only way to get at an aspect of the Word that is 'lost in the translation.' A wise seminary professor said something like this: "preach what it says, not what it doesn't say." Another prof encouraged us to be very careful when challenging a translation so we don't undermine people's trust in the Bible; after all, he continued, those who translated it were probably better original language scholars than you will ever be.

Being honest doesn't always mean saying everything. If I reported on all I studied, and all the different ways scholars view some texts, I'd never get to the part that requires response on the part of the hearer. No, we always pick and choose what to say. If I were convinced that a certain part of the text wasn't a part of the original, I'd just not rely on that part as authoritative. I wouldn't make a big deal of pointing that out from the pulpit. I'd just avoid those verses (a little difficult, if you take a verse-by-verse approach to preaching, otherwise not an issue).

 

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 9:35 AM

Richard DeRuiter:
No, we always pick and choose what to say. If I were convinced that a certain part of the text wasn't a part of the original, I'd just not rely on that part as authoritative. I wouldn't make a big deal of pointing that out from the pulpit. I'd just avoid those verses (a little difficult, if you take a verse-by-verse approach to preaching, otherwise not an issue).

I agree, however, if you know common understanding of some principles among the people is based on the stories like that (in our case it had always been explained as 2 ways how God was healing people, by the angel mooving the water and now Jesus came to do it directly) I think iin such case we need to touch the issue of what is and what is not the Scripture, however do it in a positive way, so that end result is higher trust in the Word of God and better understanding what Jesus did in the story. However, as I said, in such story, where the sure text even better clerifies the main point, it is great. It the case of our discussed text, it is more difficult, since whole story is in question.

Bohuslav

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 9:41 AM

By the way, do you guys really think we can put Mark 16 into the same category as John 8?

Bohuslav

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 9:43 AM

Bohuslav Wojnar:

By the way, do you guys really think we can put Mark 16 into the same category as John 8?

I'm not picking up any stinkin' snakes or drinking any poison!

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 9:47 AM

George Somsel:
I'm not picking up any stinkin' snakes or drinking any poison!

Hmm... while being in Afrika and Afghanistan, I was glad we have that promise of protection Smile

But anyways, what about the verse like this:

15 And he said to them, t“Go into all the world and uproclaim the gospel to vthe whole creation. 16 wWhoever believes and is xbaptized ywill be saved, but zwhoever wdoes not believe will be condemned.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mk 16:15-16). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Bohuslav

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 11:01 AM

Bohuslav Wojnar:

George Somsel:
I'm not picking up any stinkin' snakes or drinking any poison!

Hmm... while being in Afrika and Afghanistan, I was glad we have that promise of protection Smile

But anyways, what about the verse like this:

15 And he said to them, t“Go into all the world and uproclaim the gospel to vthe whole creation. 16 wWhoever believes and is xbaptized ywill be saved, but zwhoever wdoes not believe will be condemned.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mk 16:15-16). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

That was a somewhat feeble attempt at humor.  Perhaps I should have put a smiley after it.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2009 11:31 AM

George Somsel:
That was a somewhat feeble attempt at humor.  Perhaps I should have put a smiley after it.

No, no, it was OK, I understand your humor, it is that portion of Czech genes in you Smile

I just wanted to say, this portion of scripture is not just nice story with nice morals, but part of scripture full of theological implications. Some of that used havily in certain traditions close to me Smile (I am third generation Pentecostal)

Bohuslav

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