The LORD is near to all who call upon Him

The LORD is near to all who call upon Him

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to all Christians in Singapore, writing about Bible-Presbyterian Churches (BPC) in Singapore. Firstly, to call them for heart searching and repentance. Secondly, to refute those false teachers of Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) in Singapore, because they are teaching heresies and becoming heretics! Verbal Plenary Preservation is a lie!! +++THIS BLOG CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.+++

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Another message to FEBC and BPC

Sermon preached on a Sunday Worship

Click the link above to listen.

3 Ways Not to Use Greek in Bible Study

Bible students love to talk about “the original Greek.” Preachers, too. Some preachers seem to want to work Greek into their sermons as often as they can.

And of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to know something about the language that God gave us for the New Testament. But there are also dangers involved, since most Christians either don't know Greek at all, or (which is almost the same thing) know only enough to look up individual Greek words. Just imagine how badly a foreign speaker could butcher English if all he could do was look up individual English words.

The path is littered with what D. A. Carson has called “exegetical fallacies” (a book I was assigned three times in school). This brief article is my effort to condense a couple of Carson's lessons, in order to help us learn how not to use Greek in Bible study.   

1. Usage Trumps Etymology: Avoiding the Root Fallacy

When I was a homeschooling high schooler, I took a course on etymology. Etymology deals with the “roots” of words—where a word originally came from way back in the foggy mists of time. It's a valuable area to study, and nothing I'm about to say in this article is meant to suggest otherwise.

Nevertheless, a problem arises when people mistakenly think that a word's etymology tells them “what it really means.” 

 We can see the fallacy of this notion clearly in our native English language. For example, the word nice comes from the Latin root nescius, meaning “ignorant.” But no one but a fool would respond to your calling them “nice” by saying, “Oh, I see what you really mean! You're saying I'm ignorant! You and your veiled Latin insults!”

No one does this in their native language, but many Christians do this very thing when studying the Bible. They look up Greek words in their Strong's Concordance, find the original Greek root, and conclude that they have found the word's “real” meaning. This is what Carson calls the “root fallacy.”

Don't get me wrong: roots and etymology are good. They can sometimes give you an interesting back story on why a particular word came to be used to describe a particular thing. They can even help you win the national spelling bee. But they don't tell you the “real meaning” of a word, because a word's meaning is not determined by its etymology, but by its usage. The question is not, “Where did this word originate?” but, “What did the writer/speaker mean by it?”

If you proposed to your girlfriend and she said, “No,” but you could somehow prove that “No” came from a Greek word meaning “Yes,” it still wouldn't do you any good. “No” means what your girlfriend (and everyone else) means by it, not what it might have meant 1,000 years ago in an ancestor language. The reason no one today would take “nice” to mean “ignorant” is that no one today uses it that way. If you want to know what a word means today, you must find out how it's used today. That's what an up-to-date dictionary will tell you. For Bible students, it's also what a good lexicon will tell you. One of the best tools for the Bible student to have right now is William Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament WordsThis volume also contains a helpful piece called “How to Do Word Studies,” which will warn you against some of the same pitfalls that I am telling you about.   

2. Scholars Are Necessary: Avoiding the Cult of the Amateur 

When it comes to Bible study, many Christians seem to think that knowing Greek is like a magic bullet that will unlock all the secrets of biblical meaning. I once thought this, and then I began studying Greek. The main thing I learned in the first couple of weeks of class was that most of what I thought I knew about Greek was malarky. Turns out that agape and philos aren't really different kinds of love after all, and the gospel isn't really the “dynamite” of God. In many ways, Greek is much more mundane than I had thought. It resolves some questions but also creates others.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from studying Greek. In fact, I would encourage as many Christians to learn it as can. But the reality is that most believers don't have the time or the ability. The good news, however, is that God never intended all (or even most) of his people to have to learn Greek in order to understand his Word. There is a happy division of labor. God is merciful—some people become experts in Greek and Hebrew so the rest of us don't have to.

As Robert Plummer recently observed, “Never before in the history of Christianity has there been less need for word studies than today. With the multiplicity of many excellent English Bible translations, readers of the Bible have the fruit of scholars' painstaking research.” And as 19th-century Baptist theologian John Dagg put it:

Translations, though made with uninspired human skill, are sufficient for those who have not access to the inspired original. Unlearned men will not be held accountable for a degree of light beyond what is granted to them; and the benevolence of God in making revelation has not endowed all with the gift of interpreting tongues. . . . God has seen it wiser and better to leave the members of Christ to feel the necessity of mutual sympathy and dependence, than to bestow every gift on every individual. He has bestowed the knowledge necessary for the translation of his word on a sufficient number of faithful men to answer the purpose of his benevolence. And the least accurate of the translations with which the common people are favored is full of divine truth and able to make wise to salvation.

If Dagg is right, and I think he is, then the impulse that says, “I don't want to be dependent on scholars” may be a latent form of pride. It may be the hand saying to the foot, “I have no need of you.” I'm not trying to turn translators into an infallible high priestly class. I'm simply saying that unless God expects us all to become language scholars, then he must have willed a division of labor. It won't do to replace the cult of the expert with the cult of the amateur. We depend on scholars whether we like it or not.

Pride will chafe at this reality, and paranoia will invent conspiracy theories. But until we become omniscient, omnipotent, and omnicompetent, nothing will change it.

3. Context Is King: Avoiding the Overload Fallacy

Humility will see this fact as welcome news and will be relieved at God's way of dividing the labor. The sad truth is that many Christians spend too much time looking up Greek words and coming to misguided conclusions because they don't really understand how the language works (they often know just enough to be dangerous). But for those who think they can't understand the Bible at all unless they can read Greek, the good news is that nine times out of ten you will gain a better understanding of what a word means simply by reading it in its context.

Here's what I mean by “reading it in its context”: don't just zero in on one word. Read the entire sentence. Then read the entire paragraph. As a teacher once noted in a Sunday school class at my church, “Words shouldn't be read with blinders on.” Most words don't have a “literal meaning” at all—rather, they have a range of possible meanings (the technical term is “semantic range”). That's why a dictionary usually lists several possible options. Only when a word is used in context does the precise meaning becomes clear.

The better you know a language, the less time you will spend zeroing in on individual words. Consider this sentence: “Cinderella danced at the ball.” The average American can read this sentence and understand it immediately. No fluent English speaker who knows the story of Cinderella is going to see the word ball and think, Hmm. I wonder what ball means. I better look it up. But imagine if a misguided non-English speaker were studying this sentence the way many people study the Bible. He might look up the word ball and think, Ah! Look at this! This word ball is rich in meaning! It can mean all sorts of things! A round object; a non-strike in baseball; a dance. Boy, this sentence is so much richer when you can read it in the original English!

But of course, as native speakers, we can immediately see the folly of this method. Yes, the word ball can mean all those things, but in this sentence it only means one of them. Which means that the other possible meanings are irrelevant at this point. Reading every possible meaning into a particular use of a word is sometimes called the “overload fallacy.”
Context usually narrows the possible meanings to one (an exception would be those wonderful things called “puns”). For example, if you want to know what John means by the word sin in 1 John 3:4, instead of zeroing in on the word sin and doing a word study of hamartia and trying to find out what hamarita “really” means based on its root, read the entire sentence: “Sin is lawlessness.” Then read the surrounding context: “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.”

I'm not saying that Greek word studies are bad, or totally unnecessary (after all, we are not native Greek speakers). But unless you do them properly, they'll simply give you the illusion of knowing something when you really don't. Most of the time you'll do better to simply compare a number of solid translations like the NASB, ESV, NIV, and NLT. After all, the people who translated these Bible versions understand Greek far better than you or I ever will. So don't throw away their expertise. And as you read, pay attention to the context. An ounce of good contextual analysis is worth a pound of poorly done Greek word studies.

So take your English Bibles and read carefully. When you do word studies, avoid the root fallacy, take advantage of scholars' expertise, and remember that context is king. In short, read, reread, and reread again. It's not as flashy a study method, and it probably won't make you feel (or look) as smart, but it'll give you much more accurate results.

The King James Only Controversy

Occasionally, someone will ask me what I think about the King James Only controversy raging in some of the fundamentalist circles of independent Baptist life. Having grown up around many KJV-Onlyers, I can only express sadness that the conservative independent Baptists continue to separate from each other over unimportant matters.

The fundamentalist movement is cocooning itself into a safe web of tradition that will eventually squeeze the very life out of it. It used to be that independent Baptists separated themselves from other Christians over important doctrines, such as the virgin birth of Christ or the inspiration of the Scriptures. Today, the independents are separating, even among themselves, over issues such as Bible translations, music style, and dress.

Rising to the forefront of the fundamentalist squabbles is the King James Only controversy. Some groups are claiming that this is the hill on which to die, the main issue by which to tell a fundamentalist from a liberal. 

So what is it anyway? The King James Only controversy is essentially a conspiracy theory that claims that all modern translations of Scripture are based on tainted manuscripts and that their translators are driven by a liberal Protestant or Roman Catholic (or even one-world government) agenda. This theory manifests itself in various forms, some of which are more extreme than others.

KJV Only Arguments

1. The King James Version is based on the “Majority Text” over against the modern versions that are based on the corrupt “Alexandrian Texts.”  
Response: Most of the Byzantine texts used by the King James translators come from the 11th and 12th centuries. We have since discovered many older and more reliable manuscripts, which are closer to the original writings of the Bible authors. By comparing the earlier manuscripts to the later ones, we can see how the flourishes and additions of scribes can corrupt a text over time, leading us to believe that many of the “Alexandrian manuscripts” are closer to the originals and the majority of Byzantine texts altered. If the controversy were truly a textual issue, one wonders why the Greek scholars in the KJV camp have not come up with a modern English translation based on the texts they deem “inspired.” The textual issue is actually a smokescreen which hides the true reason for rejecting modern versions: any update of the KJV is considered tampering with God’s Word.

2. The modern translations attack the deity of Christ by removing references to his lordship.
Response: The Byzantine texts have the additional “Lord” and “Christ” added to the name of Jesus in many places where the older, more reliable texts do not. These are most surely the results of ambitious scribes, seeking to show reverence to the Savior or simply making mistakes in copying manuscripts. There are many examples where the deity of Christ is made clearer in modern translations than in the KJV. (Jude 4, Phil. 2:6-7, Acts 16:7, 1 Peter 3:14-15, John 14:14)

3. Heretics, occultists and homosexuals were on the translation committees of modern versions.  
Response: This is an all-out attack on the character of faithful believers who have sought to use their linguistic skills in offering an accurate translation of the Scriptures. The biblical linguist B.F. Westcott is consistently attacked, due to negligence in confusing him with the spiritualist W.W. Westcott. If there is anyone whose salvation should be questioned due to their “fruit,” it would be some of the extremist KJV Only advocates, whose polemic, vicious rhetoric is not becoming of a believer in Christ.

4. The modern translations delete verses from the Bible.  
Response: Based on the older and more reliable manuscripts, the modern translations have simply sought to reflect what was contained in the original manuscripts. It is just as serious to add to Scripture, as it is to take away from Scripture. The starting-point for KJV Only advocates is that the KJV is the standard to which all other translations must bow, which is also the position they seek to prove. Thus, they employ circular reasoning that will not allow them to see any other position as possibly correct.

5. The 1611 Authorized Version is the preserved Word of God in English.  
Response: No one today reads from the 1611 version, which also included the Apocrypha. The 1769 revision is the most common version of the King James translation, and this one includes thousands of differences compared to the original.

6. The modern translations promote a “works-salvation.”  
Response: Virtually all of today’s cults (excepting the Jehovah’s Witnesses) prefer the King James version over the rest, including the Mormons, who also preach a “works-salvation.” Of course, this does not negate the worth of the King James version, but we could use this argument if we were to employ the same tactics of the KJV Only crowd. Compare Revelation 22:14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (KJV) Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. (ESV) If we were to use the KJV Only logic, we could assume on the basis of this verse that the King James translators were conspiring to take us back to the chains of Catholicism, while the ESV translators are translating faithfully God’s Word. Of course, this would be a ridiculous assumption, but it is the kind of reasoning that KJV Only advocates employ. Even John R. Rice, the founder of the (now KJV-Only) Sword of the Lord admitted in Our God-Breathed Book – The Bible that the KJV renders Revelation 22:14 incorrectly and that the ASV is more accurate here.

7. The newer versions include footnotes which offer different renderings of certain words or verses. These footnotes confuse the reader and undermine the doctrine of inspiration.  
Response: The 1611 King James Version also included thousands of footnotes which offered different readings for different verses. We should be grateful for today’s translators, who in the spirit of the King James tradition, have been intellectually honest when rendering exceptionally difficult verses about the limits to their knowledge.

 Like with anyone who expounds a conspiracy theory, it is usually fruitless to try to reason with the KJV Only crowd. One should seek to prod these brothers and sisters to a correct understanding with love and patience, realizing that most efforts will be spurned and may turn out in vain.

written by Trevin Wax  © 2007 Kingdom People blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Original text

Please show me the original text.......if you are very clever!

Where is the Original Text?

My answer is the Original Text is in all the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts handed down to us...

Original text is not handed down to us only in a single TR, TR is only a compilation of various manuscripts.

You have to look into all the manuscripts.

Do not make harsh judgment! By saying some manuscripts are corrupted, some are not.

Who are you to judge? You puny little human!

I see NKJV, NIV, ESV as faithful translations...they are not very far from the original text.

I believed every doctrine is preserved,

I also believed Every Word from the Original Text is preserved,

they are preserved in various Hebrew and Greek manuscripts,

not in a single TR or translation.

You puny little PhD

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Warning to FEBC and BPC

My purpose of this writing is to raise awareness among us, reject this false teaching-Verbal Plenary Preservation. My writing is not coming to an end yet, but one thing for sure, you can see how long i have involved in this blog, nearly 8 years, Verbal Plenary Preservation has disturbed us for so long, it is irritating our faith in God. My effort tells you, we must not stop writing, we have to warn these false teachers, stop promoting false doctrines! 

Nearly 3000 pages of writing against these false teachers, i will bring these pages to heaven to testify against them, until today they still do not want to repent, how cruel and selfish they are, they have no mercy onto us, especially the young people. How many young men have been misled? People like Clement Chew and many more. Because they wanted to serve in these heretical BPC, they have to accept false teaching and promote them in their various ministries before they can be ordained by the false teachers, i pray one day they will awake from day light dream. Return to the right path!

These false teachers are unteachable, unreasonable, i hope some of their followers will come and read all these writings! See how these false teachers had disturbed us and have ignored our view!

Their churches have no truth at all, they have pillars of falsehood! They said they have the truth, but they are telling lies, they have no truth at all! They are puny little false teachers!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

3 Reasons Not to Panic over Bible Translation Revisions

Crossway recently released the English Standard Version in a 2016 “Permanent Text” edition (the updated text will be free for Logos users who own the ESV). The ESV, it was announced, would remain “unchanged forever, in perpetuity.” As Christianity Today rather cheekily titled its article on the new edition, “Bible Translation Becomes Unchanging Word of God.”
I wrote a lengthy article on this topic, most of which is below; but yesterday, after much internet chatter, Crossway reversed their decision.
I’m glad perpetuity didn’t last very long, even if it meant I had to scramble to edit this piece, because now I get to agree with these brothers and sisters in Christ at Crossway whom I love and appreciate so much. I felt that they were humble and even eloquent in their statement. They now plan “to allow for ongoing periodic updating of the text to reflect the realities of biblical scholarship such as textual discoveries or changes in English over time.” They clarify that “these kinds of updates will be minimal and infrequent,” but they insist (rightly, I think) that “fidelity to Scripture requires that [they] remain open in principle to such changes.”

There was parallel Internet chatter when the NIV 2011 came out, and it seems to me that many people were alarmed not so much by individual revision choices but by the whole idea that their beloved translations might be changed in the first place.
Concern is certainly understandable—this is the Bible we’re talking about. But I encourage lovers of Scripture not to panic. What, indeed, are the negative ramifications of the continued, minor revision of a much-read, much-preached-from, and much-memorized Bible translation?

Yes, there may be some confusion if the pastor carries an edition different from that of people in the pew (though that will be rare given the sheer number of words in the Bible). Yes, it can be frustrating to have memory verse cards that differ in a few places from printed texts. And yes, bronze plaques in church lobbies are difficult to revise.

But translation revisions are unlikely to bring total collapse of people’s faith in Scripture, start nuclear war, or get Philip Pullman hired by the Lewis estate to write an eighth Narnia book. I encourage people to look on the bright side. I actually think periodic revisions in the ESV (or NIV, or NASB, or any other good English Bible translation) provide an opportunity for helpful reflection on what Bible translations are and what they’re supposed to do for us.

Positive ramifications

In fact, all of the negative ramifications that I can think of turn very quickly into positives if the church will remember three simple things:

1) You have a pastor

Almost every Christian to whom I’m writing has a pastor. Many or most of you have pastors who have studied Greek and possibly Hebrew. If you are disturbed by the changes or difficulties or apparent discrepancies in a given Bible version, send him an email. God gave him to you to shepherd you, and confusion over what the Bible says is a genuine spiritual need. Give him a chance to help you with it.

If people I teach and preach to ask me questions about why a particular verse is translated a particular way—and I wish they would do it more often—I’m thrilled to be handed such a fantastic teaching moment. Bible translation is difficult; I should know, I’m doing it now for a Bible publisher. My job is to use the full resources of modern punctuation—especially em dashes, colons, and semicolons—in the New Testament, and it has proven to be even more challenging (and enriching) than it seemed when I did similar things as academic or devotional exercises. Other people are going to read my work as part of Scripture. What an awesome privilege and responsibility! I’d love the chance to explain what I’m doing to others. (I’ll resist the urge here.) I’m betting your pastor will feel the same way about the Bible he’s dedicated his life to teaching to others (Ezra 7:10). Give him the opportunity to use his training and gifts (Eph. 4:11–14), and if he feels unqualified to answer a particular question hopefully he has the email addresses of his seminary professors.

Yes, it is possible that a translation committee will choose a less than ideal rendering somewhere. Revision may even make a particular English version worse here or there according to one measure or another (readability, euphony, lexicography, etc.). But in all my years comparing major Bible translations in multiple languages, I’ve almost never come across a translation which was flat out impossible or undeniably linked to a heretical theological agenda. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have their retranslation of John 1:1, but I’ve never seen the like in the major translations used by mainstream American Christians. If you think you’ve discovered a place where a translation is wrong, talk to your pastor about it.

But if a translation revision—or the differences among separate translations—sparks a question, that’s a good thing.

2) Our English Bible translations are good, but not inspired

One big reason, I think, why people become alarmed about changes in Bible translations is that they assume a simple, mostly correct, but still flawed syllogism: 1) if this Bible in my hands is God’s word, and 2) God’s word is perfectly reliable, then 3) it can’t change.
I totally feel the intuitive power of this reasoning, but there’s a flaw in it which is subtle yet important: translations (the Bible in your hands) are God’s word, but in a derivative and secondary sense. We can’t wiggle out from under the authority of God’s word by saying that it resides only in the Hebrew and Greek, that the English will never capture it. But orthodox bibliology is clear and has been for centuries (see Richard Muller’s excellent discussion of this issue in volume 2 of his Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics): it’s only the Greek and Hebrew that are divinely inspired (2 Tim 3:16), not the Tagalog or Urdu or Japanese or Marathi or English.

God has chosen not to inspire any translations in any language, so smart and good and godly people are going to disagree over some of the finer points of translation. And that disagreement, far from being threatening, is a good thing. When it occurs among people who truly love the Lord and know the Bible, they will all have good points to make. They will all have useful and edifying perspectives on the one Word of God, and probably on English and Urdu, too.

Should ἀγάμοις (agamois) in 1 Cor. 7:8 be translated “the unmarried,” as all English translations I could find render it, or “widowers,” as major commentator Gordon Fee has suggested? The very question will stir up good investigation and remind us that God has chosen to give us his precious Word through translations made by gifted but limited humans. If someone is bothered by scholars voting on the text of the (English) Bible, what are the alternatives? I can think of only two: either having just one translator or having an inspired translation. The latter is bibliological heresy, and I don’t see how the former is better than a committee.

I grew up in a church which felt strongly that there was only one reliable English Bible translation (I will let the reader guess which one). I love those who first taught me God’s word, and I can never be bitter against Christian men and women who loved me like they did and do, even if I now disagree with them. But we do agree on this: the Bible nowhere promises a perfect or inspired translation.

I believe that there are many riches among the numerous excellent English Bible translations at our disposal. Far from confusing me, my Text Comparison tool in Logos has aided my understanding of the Bible over and over. One of the main things I use Logos to is compare Bible translations.

Yes, we are called to “guard the good deposit entrusted” to us (2 Tim 1:14), but I actually see that as an argument for using 1) multiple translations that are 2) periodically revised, not for keeping what we have perpetually unchanged. In other words, I agree with the Crossway’s latest statement.

3) “Vulgar” language is a moving target

And that, in turn, is because of the most important reason translation revisions in general need to continue. Here it is: like a housewife, a translator’s work is never done.
It is good, not lamentable, to have an assortment of English Bible translations—especially if they lie on a continuum from more literal to more interpretive. I want the major evangelical versions (NASB, ESV, NIV, CSB, NLT, NET, etc.) to stick around, because each has found a useful spot on that continuum. I personally would like to see periodic revisions (every 30 years? 50?) built into the charter of every one of them. If a given translation is still in use, if money can be found to pay for the translators’ sandwiches (Luke 10:7), and if English has continued to change, every translation needs to be updated—because of the principle for which William Tyndale gave his life, the principle the Westminster Confession of Faith puts this way: the Bible should be “translated into the vulgar language of every nation.” This statement reflects a central Reformation principle, and the Westminster divines cite Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians to support it: “If with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said?”

But “the vulgar language of every nation” is a moving target. “Vulgar” is an obvious case in point: it no longer commonly means what it did to the Westminster divines in such a context. It is now positively misleading. What the Westminster divines meant by “vulgar,” of course, was not Seth Rogen or Gilbert Gottfried so much as Peter Jennings and John McWhorter. The English Bible should be keyed, at the very least, to the general standard set by the sorts of prominent writers and educators and journalists who make up the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel. (Note: there are no theologians on the panel, and I have begun a small campaign to get them to pick me. Note also that British and Singaporean and Kenyan editions, if such there be, may be keyed to their respective dictionary usage panels.)

Tyndale actually keyed his Bible to a “lower” standard, however, and I tend to agree with him. His famous words to some now-forgotten prelate ring through the centuries:
If God spare my life, ere many yeares I wyl cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than thou doust.
If we believe Tyndale was right, then we need to be willing to listen to modern plow boys who have trouble reading our favored Bible translations (and I don’t mean only the KJV). The Bible is given not just to prominent people but to the whole world God loves, including the hoi polloi, the children, and “the least of these.” In English we can afford to have a spectrum of translations: ESVs and NASBs for the writers and educators and NLTs and NIrVs for those without so many educational advantages—and maybe NIVs and CSBs for when everybody’s together. But no Bible translation should fail to reflect the way living people actually speak and write. And that changes. Gay, anyone?

God chose to speak the language of the people. As C. S. Lewis, someone with a subtle feel for different forms of ancient Greek, once wrote in an inimitable essay on “Modern Translations of the Bible” (which you simply must read),
The New Testament in the original Greek is not a work of literary art: it is not written in a solemn, ecclesiastical language, it is written in the sort of Greek which was spoken over the Eastern Mediterranean after Greek had become an international language. (251)
Without erasing the cultural and historical gaps that exist between us and the biblical authors (there should still be unfamiliar things like “eunuchs” and “mandrakes” in English Bibles), we still need to insist that our English translations sound like us. As Lewis says,
If we are to have translation at all we must have periodical re-translation. There is no such thing as translating a book into another language once and for all, for a language is a changing thing. If your son is to have clothes it is no good buying him a suit once and for all: he will grow out of it and have to be reclothed. (252)

Permanent text editions

If the ESV were to stop being revised, we’d need to be prepared as an English-speaking Christian church to give it up some day the way we’re giving up the NIV 1984, to relegate both to a back shelf in the library used by biblical scholars but not normally accessed by those without specialized knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, and English. Vernacular translation is that important.

Someday, any Bible translation that doesn’t get revised will contain words, sentence structures, and even perhaps punctuation and typographical features that English speakers no longer use—just like “chambering” and “besom” have dropped out of our vocabulary since the KJV was translated, just like we no longer say “this work goeth fast on” (Ezra 5:8 KJV), and just like we no longer have the option of omitting quotation marks the way Tyndale and Wycliffe did.

More dangerously for understanding, however, any translation that doesn’t get revised will contain words, syntax, and punctuation/typography that English speakers use differently. Maybe the reader of the future will have better resources at his disposal, but right now historical sentence structure and punctuation conventions are almost impossible for the non-specialist to look up in a reference work. And then there are the words which will still be used in the future but which have added, dropped, or amended their senses. Those will be hard to spot; that future reader may read right past them without realizing he’s missing something. And we have no way of knowing which of our words will mean something different to him—just like the KJV translators could never have known that “halt” in 1 Kings 18:21 would mean “stop,” not “limp,” to every modern reader I’ve ever asked. “Prevent” in Psalm 18:5 is another good example. (10¢ Logos credit to the first person who figures out what I mean with that one—and if you want more examples, I’ve got a book coming out next year with Lexham on this topic.)

I’m glad the ESV will continue to be revised over the years, and I don’t mind that my boxed, calfskin, single-column Heirloom edition will differ here and there from my ESV in Logos—because the principles of this article should not be forgotten henceforth and forevermore.

mark ward
Mark L. Ward, Jr. received his PhD from Bob Jones University in 2012; he now serves the church as a Logos Pro. He is the author of multiple high school Bible textbooks, including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Impious and fruitless talk like Verbal Plenary Preservation

Paul is admonishing Timothy, in preaching the gospel, to follow a straight path, without being turned aside by disputes about mere words or impious talk. The debate, however, is probably fruitless (an example of the logomachia which Paul deplores!), for the broad sense is clear enough and the underlying image, whatever it is, has lost all its freshness and force.

J. N. D. Kelly, The Pastoral Epistles, Black’s New Testament Commentary (London: Continuum, 1963), 183.

The Approved Workman (2:14–19)

There are several essentials for being an approved workman: he doesn’t quarrel, he is competent, he avoids majoring in minors, he doesn’t wander from the main task, and he is committed to personal moral values.
Workmen who are always quarreling will not provide quality work (2 Timothy 2:14). And so it is with Christians in the church. Good workmen are to be competent, and so are Christians. The one who deals with the Word is to be one who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The word translated “correctly handles” literally means to cut straight. Don’t be taking side detours with the Word. Don’t be cutting corners. Don’t be dodging the important issues.

The idea of cutting straight comes from the concept of plowing a field. A farmer in that day would set his eyes on a distant goal and use that as a guiding point. As long as he kept his eyes on the goal, he could cut a straight furrow across the field.

Our goal for teaching is to enable people to be like Christ, not for them to think we are smart and creative. We are not to read into the Word what is not there. We are to keep it in context, compare it with other Scriptures, and stay with the intention of the writers. We are not only to know what it says, but also what it means. We are to apply it to our lives today.
If our goal is to have people focus on our great knowledge and teaching ability, then we have not handled the Word correctly. If our goal is to cause people to belong to “our” group, then we have not handled the Word correctly. If our goal is to criticize everyone else, then we have not handled the Word correctly.
If our teaching leads to godless chatter, then we have not handled the Word correctly. If our teaching leads men astray, then we have not handled the Word correctly (2 Timothy 2:18). If our teaching leads to wickedness, then we have not handled the Word correctly (2 Timothy 2:19).
We are not to be quarreling about words (2 Timothy 2:14), chattering about ungodly things (2 Timothy 2:16), wandering from the truth (2 Timothy 2:18), challenging mainline doctrines about Jesus (2 Timothy 2:18), destroying people’s faith (2 Timothy 2:18), causing people to doubt their salvation (2 Timothy 2:18), being involved in wickedness (2 Timothy 2:19), being loose in morals (2 Timothy 2:20, 21), and failing to flee evil desires (2 Timothy 2:22).
There are two kinds of workmen—one who is approved and one who is ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15). The ashamed workman is one whose work is not acceptable, regardless of how much energy he puts into it. The building he has built (people’s lives) will come crumbling down. The approved workman will build upon God’s solid foundation (2 Timothy 2:19), while refraining from quarreling, majoring in minors, and wandering from the truth. At the same time, he will be competent in how he handles the Word and in how he lives in the world. He will handle the Word by cutting it straight. He will live in the world by walking away from and/or fighting against wickedness.

Knofel Staton, Timothy–Philemon: Unlocking the Scriptures for You, Standard Bible Studies (Cincinnati, OH: Standard, 1988), 142–143.

2 Timothy 2:15

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Timothy’s adversaries in Ephesus were given to quarreling about words, as Paul had noted in his previous letter (1 Tim. 6:4–5; compare 1 Tim. 1:6). They were adept at creating controversies in the church and confusing gullible followers. Paul called it godless chatter, and said that those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. The words more and more show progression, but of the wrong kind; instead of growing in grace, these false teachers would grow in disgrace. Like some modern cults, the Ephesian heresy dealt in fiction and fable, not in   p 162  fact. God’s representatives dare not deal in worthless words; they must be those who correctly handle the word of truth. The contrast is striking. When Scripture is faithfully taught and preached, error suffers by comparison.

Robert Black and Ronald McClung, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon: A Commentary for Bible Students (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2004), 161–162.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Deadly Sin of FEBC and BPC

Both FEBC and BPC have a common deadly sin,

worst than smoking cigarette,

worst than drinking wine,

worst than pornographic addiction,

worst than an ordinary sinner.

Both FEBC and BPC have a deadly sin,


They are very proud of themselves, they behave like the Pharisees, they see themselves better than every one else!



Luk 18:9  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Luk 18:10  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luk 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luk 18:12  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luk 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luk 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else,n Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray,o one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breasts and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 18:9–14.

Monday, October 3, 2016

I wanna be the very best

I thought Pokémon Go was so yesterday, but the past few days have proven me wrong. On three different occasions, I was in close proximity to two men and one office lady who were glued to their bluish green phone screen having a go at the game of augmented reality. Whether you are a light or serious or pro or no gamer, the gaming industry is here to stay. The arena of competition is so intense I would describe it as akin to a gladiators’ colosseum. Fact is people are making a living out of gaming. For some very concerned Christians, we wonder is it acceptable to game and more specifically to play Pokémon Go.  

1. Is Pokémon Go satanic? If you have been guilty of forwarding a digital message which you received from someone without verification, chances are you tend to look for demons under every conceivable carpet. Is Pokémon Go satanic? When we employ the word “satanic” – I think we meant to ask, “Is this game extremely evil, just like Satan?” Then I shall say no, it is not. What I would qualify as satanic will be killing or maiming innocent lives to gain mileage for religious ideology. The abuse or the neglect of human lives for profit or pleasure is satanic. Some people have questioned, “Is the game creator, satanic?” Remember satanic means extremely evil, like Satan? The answer is coming up in a moment. Pokémon is formed by two Japanese words, translated are: pocket and monster. Does the use of monster give you the idea of a beast, demon or devil? What about Cookie Monster in Sesame Street – did Cookie MONSTER and Count Dracula make this children TV programme satanic? The baddest Pokémon monster is Giratina, an antagonist, an adversary. What do you do in game? You are supposed to defeat it with your Pokémon skills. This is the game’s worldview of defeating an adversary – with your skills. In God’s worldview, we know these to be true… 1 John 2:14b - …and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 4:4 - You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. On a constant basis, we interact with a few worldviews which are not in sync with God’s worldview. Within conversations is an open window for us to interact with people. Pretty much what the Alpha Course is facilitating when people come to a common platform with different worldviews. By the way, Satoshi Tajiri is just a creative game designer. He did not intend to induct anyone into anything evil. So, stop hunting for a demon under his carpet. 

2. Are you behind the steering wheel?
When it comes to the use of leisure or spare time, it is a case of different strokes for different folks. Gaming like any hobby or activity can start out as a form of interest but possibly degenerates into a must-do thing or can’t-do-without thing. The following Scriptures inform our choices: 

"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive. – 1 Corinthians 10:23
Is gaming bringing you benefits or undesirable consequence? If playing Pokémon Go cause you to neglect interaction with people or personal safety, then stop playing.

"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but I will not be mastered by anything. – 1 Corinthians 6:12. 
 Found in are some self-check questions:  Can you get through the week without using the internet?  Do you ever feel bad or guilty about your internet use?  Have you neglected your family because of your use of the internet?  Have you been in trouble at work/school because of internet use? Replace “internet” with “Pokémon Go” or any other social media activity. If you say yes to any of the questions, realise that you have digital addiction. I urged you to seek counsel. No drunkard will admit to being drunk; it is pointed out by another sober person. Be honest with yourself.
3. Do you play with eyes wide shut?
The challenge of our day is not merely how to distinguish between good and evil because if you verify the received information, you can make a distinction. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. – Hebrews 5:14 The challenge today is distinguishing between the good and the best. If I want to, I can choose to play Pokémon Go. I have the right to play, but will I waive my right to play? (c.f. 1 Corinthians principles) Will I give up my right to play in order to attend to a phone call, to a need, to my spouse/child/parent who wants a conversation with me, or to a duty I have yet to complete?
Ps Jabez Chia

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Preserved not in one single Bible translation or manuscript..

Let me explain my view, i believe God preserve His written Word, not in a single Hebrew or Greek manuscript, not in TR nor single Bible version, nor a Bible translation, but He preserved His written Word generally. Where they are now? The Word of God is preserved, either hidden or surfaced, well kept in all the OT and NT manuscripts, and in all faithful Bible Versions and translations, like NIV, KJV, NKJV, ESV...

Please do not quarrel over some Hebrew or Greek manuscripts, TR or Bible versions and translations! Be humble!

Tell you the truth, in writing this blog, i was brought very low! Those theologians hated me and my writings. They hate this blog.

My side of story

Before Timothy die, Jeffrey hijacked the Bible College, to pursue his own agenda to become principal and pastor like Timothy. He used Verbal Plenary Preservation as his stepping stone.

Unfortunately, Jeffrey was facing pastors Charles and Colin, both disliked him, so he used Timothy to oust Charles and Colin from the church session, but backfired, there go the lawsuit!!! Timothy was misled and misinformed because he was getting old.

Jeffrey was so cruel to his own comrades, they were one team in the beginning, because of Jeffrey's own agenda, he killed them one by one in Bible College silently, only those agreed with him, he spared their lives. This war spread beyond control, many great men had fallen away, this is the reason why for these few years, i am writing this blog to warn him to stop his cruelty.

Neither Charles and Colin are innocent, they are selfish, narrow minded and stubborn. Do not open the church door for some to come in, and they are too soft toward some of his church elders, so one day they too will be punished for these wrong doings. 

Why these evil things happened in BPC? It is because BPC was so proud and arrogant, in the way they preached and led the church, this is a judgment from above to humble them and to shame them, so that they may return to their first love.

Here i stand, to testify their wrong doing!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Warning false teachers

Dearly beloved, let us not be found exploiting the flock of God for that is the characteristic of false teachers and brethren. The religion of true believers is not in the kitchen but in the Word of God. The God of the saints is not their bellies but the Lord Jesus Christ. False teachers and brethren will always put themselves first before God and others. The true Christian, however, will always put God first in his life, and love the brethren. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)