SHOULD I ATTEND A
Should a Christian young person (or anyone for that matter)
attend a Homecoming or Prom Dance? There are many activities at
high school in which young people can involve themselves. Many of
these would be fitting and permissible. But, that does not mean
that every High School activity is one in which they should be
How does one determine what activity to engage in at school?
Should we make that determination based solely upon the fact
- It is an activity being held at school? NO!
- It is an activity sanctioned by the school? NO!
- It is an activity being chaperoned by adults? NO!
- It is an activity that many of my friends will be
- It is an activity in which I get to dress up?
- It is an activity that is a once in a life time
- It is an activity in which I get to have my picture made
with some friends? NO!
- It is an activity in which ones parents
participated and promotes? NO!
For a Christian young person, what one participates in and
supports is not determined by the school system, what is popular,
or what friends may or may not do, but solely by the Word of God (2
Peter 1:3; Col. 3:17; 2 Tim. 3:15-17). The child of God (young or
old) is to be different, distinct (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:3-6;
12:1-2). We live in this world but we must not live by
the standards of the world.
To answer the question concerning Homecoming and Prom
dances, one must first consider whether the modern dance
is something that Christian young people (or anyone) should engage
in? Are there any precepts and principles from the Bible that will
help us in dealing with that question? Yes.
Dancing is CONDEMNED in the Scripture. When you
read of the works of the flesh as listed in Galatians 5:19-21, Paul
said that they who do such things shall not inherit the
kingdom of God. Please consider these two words:
lasciviousness and reveling. Lasciviousness is
described as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste
handling of males and females (Thayers Greek-English
Lexicon). Reveling is a jovial feast with music and
dancing (Liddell Scott Greek Lexicon). When one
understands the meaning of these words, it is evident that dancing
is condemned in the Scriptures.
Dancing CAUSES lewd and lustful desires. While
engaging in the modern dance, one cannot obey:
flee...youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:22);
...neither be partakers of other mens sins; keep
thyself pure (1 Tim. 5:22), and ...abstain from
fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11).
When we engage in activities that cause lustful desires, it is
sinful. Remember that Jesus said, But I say unto you, That
whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed
adultery with her already in his heart (Matt. 5:28).
Dancing CRUSHES ones influence for good. We
influence the people around us for good or evil. Dancing, attending
the prom, is not a good work. We must stay away from
those things that are evil (1 Thess. 5:22; Matt. 5:16; 1 Tim.
4:12). Young people, keep your body and heart pure (1 Cor. 6:16-20;
Matt. 4:8). Parents, you must help your children to be pure in
their attitudes, actions, attire and activities by guiding them and
directing them in the way that is right. Both parents and young
people need to stand up for what is right and oppose that which is
wrong (Eph. 5:11; 1 Cor. 16:13).
The Bible has not changed. It must continue to be our guide
in everything we do (Col. 3:17). We must not see how close we can
get to a sin without committing sin.
It is tragic when there are those who will try to justify
the participation of Christian young people in school dances. Yes,
I know there are things said to justify such activities, but none
will stand in light of what the Bible teaches.
What do some say? The say...
The Homecoming Dance is chaperoned by adults.
Since dancing is a sin, trying to give it respectability by
calling it a homecoming dance or a prom does
not work. You can call school dances whatever you want, but the
activity is still sinful. How are you going to chaperon sin? Would
it be scriptural for young people to get together to watch
pornography as long as it was chaperoned by adults? Of course, not!
Who would suggest such? You cannot chaperon sin and make it right,
It Is Good Exercise. Please, is that the
reason young people dance? What kind of exercise are they getting
when there is a slow-dance and the young man is holding
the young woman closely to his body? There is exercise for sure but
the unholy kind, the exercising of his/her mind upon things that
are not pure (Phil. 4:8). What kind of exercise is it when the two
are rubbing their bodies together in such seductive ways? What kind
of exercise is it when there are wild gyrations with explicit
sexual movements to seductive music? All such exercise
arouses sinful desires, but according to some, it is not wrong
because it is such good exercise.
I enjoy the rhythm and when I hear it I must
move. Really? If two young people are in the back seat of
their car listening to music and going through some of the same
movements as displayed on the dance floor, I wonder how many
parents would say I understand. Parents, if your daughter
and some young man are in your home listening to music with
earphones so as not to disturb you (you cant hear the music)
and you see them in their seductive dancing, would you be upset?
You better believe it! Yet, if those young people unplugged the
earphones so that you as a parent could hear the music, would you
still be upset? Sadly, some would not. Isnt it amazing how
some think that music can make sinful actions no longer
sinful. Just put music to it and it becomes a justified activity.
Remember that music does not cover immodest
attire, indecent actions and activities in any shape or form.
If it is wrong to attend the school dances because
of what is going on there, then how can we go anywhere? Do
we not understand what the purpose of a homecoming dance or prom
is? It is to encourage and promote dancing, which is sinful. The
activity is sinful. So, why would a child of God desire to attend
a sinful activity?
If you go to a mall, a grocery store, a sporting goods
store, etc., it is possible that you may see and hear things that
are not good. But, that is not the purpose of them. It is the
purpose of a homecoming dance and prom to promote and encourage
dancing that which the child of God must not participate in.
That is completely different. Besides that, when you are in a place
and see and hear things that are not good, you can leave, as you
should. This is what Joseph did when He was tempted by
Potiphars wife in Genesis 39:12, and fled and got him
out. I wonder, if we had been the parents of Joseph, would
we have encouraged him to keep on going back to Potiphars
house knowing what was awaiting him there? Faithful Christian
parents would say, no way is he going back there! Why is
it then, that we permit our children and encourage other young
people to attend the school dances, where sin is practiced?
Attending any of the school dances is no place for a
faithful child of God. We must be what God wants us to be. We must
do as the Bible directs. Consider these passages:
Titus 2:12, ...denying ungodliness and worldly lust,
we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present
Romans 12:2, And be not conformed to this world: but
be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of
James 1:27, ...and to keep himself unspotted from
1 John 2:15-17, Love not the world, neither the
things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love
of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust
of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away,
and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for
Colossians 3:1-3, If ye then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the
right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on
things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with
Christ in God.
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, Prove all things; hold fast
that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatsoever
things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things
are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and
if there be any praise, think on these things.
1 Peter 2:11, Dearly beloved, I beseech you as
strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war
against the soul.
1 Peter 4:3, For the time past of our life may
suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked
in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings,
and abominable idolatries.
Galatians 5:19-21, Now the works of the flesh are
manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations,
wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness,
revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I
have also told you in time past, that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto
Jeremiah 10:23, O LORD, I know that the way of man
is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his
Proverbs 14:12, There is a way which seemeth right
unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
The modern dance is sin. Whatever form that sin takes, a
child of God must be in opposition to it because of the result of
sin (Rom. 6:23). It matters not what the sin is, nor who is
engaging in it, nor where it is being conducted. Our response to
sin must be as one who...
Let us strive to always remember who bought us; who we
believe in and who we belong to, so that more than anything else in
this life we live for the Lord (Phil. 1:21) and long for that
beautiful place called Heaven (John 14:1-3).
- Despises it, not Delights in it (Rom. 12:9).
- Denounces it, not tries to Dignify it (Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim.
- Departs from it, not Demonstrate it in our lives (1 Cor.
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Table of Contents
THE FIELDS ARE WHITE UNTO HARVEST
Garland M. Robinson
Have you ever wondered how many people have lived since the
creation some 6,000 years ago? Can we even imagine such a number?
It was to Abraham that God said, ...I will make thy seed as
the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the
earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered (Gen. 13:16;
cf. Jacob, 28:14). However large that number may be, it only
considers the descendants of Abraham. What about all the other
families of the earth? According to census.gov, there are now more
than seven billion (7,063,400,000) people on the earth (315 million
in the USA). What would the number be since the beginning of time?
Only God knows.
OUR COMMAND IS TO GO
Regardless of the number of people that have ever lived,
each one has a soul created in the image of God
(Gen. 1:26-27). The soul of every human being will continue through
eternity either in Gods heaven or Satans hell. It is
because of mans impending doom that the only begotten
Son of God (John 1:1-3,14) came into the world to save
sinful men. It was the Father that so loved the world that
he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
The Bible is right. It tells us that all have sinned
and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
There is none righteous, no not one (Rom. 3:10).
People are sick, spiritually sick. They are lost and undone in
trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). Notice what Jesus said to the
scribes and Pharisees who murmured against him and his disciples
for eating with publicans and sinners: They that are whole
need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call
the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:31-32).
The redeemed are nothing more than unprofitable ser-
vants, even after we have done all those things which we are
commanded, we have only done that which was our duty to do (Luke
17:10). It is only through the grace and mercy of God, only through
the blood of Christ and our faithful obedience to Gods Word,
that we will be saved (Eph. 2:8; Rev. 1:5; Matt. 7:21). How
terrible it is to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb.
Jesus said, Go ye into all the world and preach the
gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). This has been our
marching orders now for 2,000 years. It is a sad commentary on our
part when millions, perhaps billions, know of Coca-Cola or Elvis
Presley who have never heard of Jesus the Christ. Since we have the
authority to go, why arent more going? Jesus told his
disciples, ...the harvest truly is plenteous, but the
labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of harvest, that he
will send forth labourers into his harvest (Matt.
THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER
When Stephen was stoned to death, there was a great perse-
cution against the church at Jerusalem. As a result, the disciples
were scattered, and Acts 8:4 says they ...went everywhere
preaching the word. Those faithful to the cause were not
ashamed to preach the Gospel. In just 30 years it was said the
Gospel was preached to every creature which is under
heaven (Col. 1:23).
Contrary to Bible teaching, some today appeal to the carnal
minds of people to lure them into the church. All sorts of games,
recreation and entertainment are being used. The Bible says the
drawing power is THE WORD OF GOD. In Romans 1:16 we read,
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for
it is the power of God unto salvation.... What is
Gods power? building large elaborate plants,
gymnasiums, ball fields, et al? NO.
WHATS OUR PROBLEM? WHY ARENT WE GOING?
The Gospel of Christ is Gods power. Jesus said,
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me
draw him... Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath
learned of the Father, cometh unto me (John 6:44-
45). One is not drawn to the Lord by hearing the church is to give
away helicopter rides or by getting to see big bird, or
by getting to play in their new gym. People are drawn by hear-
ing and learning of the Father through Bible teaching.
The Gospel of Christ is the drawing power! Take away Gospel
preaching, and Gods is powerless!
Would not the answer to these questions be that we are not
obeying Matthew 6:33? Jesus said in his sermon on the Mount,
but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his
righteousness.... There are far too many things
that are put ahead of our work as Christians. If the truth be told,
our problem is one of idolatry. Idols, however, are not
always shaped in human form. Nor does one always bow down
to them. But just the same, people worship idols. It may take the
shape of recreation, ball-games, clubs, boats, guns, fishing
equipment, television, hobbies or just plain ole laziness.
Selfishness, choosing to follow our own will instead of Gods
will, constitutes idolatry.
Could it be that Christians today do not love the lost
enough to try to teach them the eternal word? Yea, most probably.
Could it be that some do not really believe that people who have
never heard the Gospel are lost? Yea, some of these too. Could it
be that some just dont want to? Yea, getting closer.
Could it be that multitudes will say to you, you never
mentioned him to me? Yea, most assuredly.
Why are people lost? Its not because they have never
heard the Gospel. Its not because they have never obeyed the
Gospel. People are lost because of one reason and one reason only.
Men/women are lost because of their sins. All have sinned (Rom.
3:23). There is none righteous, no not one (Rom. 3:10). Ones
sins separate them from God (cf. Isa. 59:1-2). When people die
separated from God, they are lost for eternity. They are cast out
into that place called hell the place prepared for the devil
and his angels (Matt. 25:41). It is a place of outer darkness where
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12; 22:13;
25:30). It is a place that is described as a lake that burns with
fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8; 14:10; 19:20). It is a fire that
shall never be quenched, where their worm dieth not and the fire is
not quenched (Mark 9:44,46,48).
In order for sinners to be saved/rescued from their
impending doom (the penalty of their sins), they must be forgiven
pardoned. In order to be forgiven, they must be taught
the Word of God. After learning the Word of the Lord, they must
believe it. The Lord said plainly, ...ye shall die
in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall
die in your sins (John 8:24). Though denominationalism
stops at belief/faith, the Lord does not. Matthew 7:21 is very
clear, once sinners BELIEVE the Word, they must OBEY
the Word. Jesus said, Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that
doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven
(Matt. 7:21). In order to obey the word, they have to know the
word. Without obeying the word, they cannot be saved. Jesus only
saves those who OBEY him (cf. Heb. 5:8-9). Faith only, faith by
itself, faith without obedience, is dead, barren, useless. The
inspired James writes, Ye see then how that by works
a man is justified, and not by faith only. ... For as the
body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is
dead also (James 2:24,26).
It is utter foolishness to believe and teach that one can be
saved before (without) doing (obeying) what God says. But
multitudes are those who stand in the Lords face and argue
with him every day that they are saved by faith only
before and without any acts of obedience. The Lord knew this
would happen and answered it in James 2:17-26. He illustrated the
point of faith coupled with obedience by using the
example of Abraham and Rahab. They each were blessed by God WHEN
they obeyed God. Hebrews chapter 11 devotes itself to the same
point. Individuals were blessed AFTER they obeyed God Abel
offered (v.4), Enoch pleased (v.5), Noah prepared (v.7), Abraham
obeyed (vs.8,17). God rewards those who diligently seek him (Heb.
11:6). There is ACTION involved in pleasing God.
Notice these plain passages which tell us what Jesus said to
do in order to have your sins forgiven and be saved.
One must HEAR the word. No man can come to
me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise
him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they
shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath
heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto
me (John 6:44-45).
One must BELIEVE the word and that Jesus is the only
begotten Son of God. But as many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that
believe on his name (John 1:12). He that
believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his
belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins:
for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your
sins (John 8:24). He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned (Mark 16:16). There are so many other passages on
believing: believe the scriptures (John 2:22), believe the prophets
(Luke 24:25), believe on/in Jesus (John 3:16,18,36; 6:29,35,40).
One must REPENT of their sins. Repent means to change
the mind change your thinking and attitude. Such a change
leads to a change of life and action. Jesus said he was come
...to call...sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:13).
The disciples ...went out and preached that men should
repent (Mark 6:12). The men of Nineveh shall rise
up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for
they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater
than Jonas [is] here (Luke 11:32). I tell you,
Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish
(Luke 13:3,5). ...I say unto you, there is joy in the
presence of the angels of God over one sinner that
repenteth (Luke 15:10). ...Repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). Then Peter
said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38; cf. 3:19).
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now
commandeth all men every where to repent (Acts 17:30).
Paul taught repentance everywhere, at Damascus, Jerusalem, all the
coasts of Judaea and to the Gentiles, ...that they should
repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance
One must CONFESS that Jesus is the Son of God and
Savior of the world. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by
me (John 14:6). Peter preached on the day of Pentecost,
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that
God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord
and Christ (Acts 2:36). Concerning confession Jesus said,
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will
I confess also before my Father which is in heaven (Matt.
10:32). Paul wrote to the Romans, That if thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the
mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10). To
the church at Philippi we read, That at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in
earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should
confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the
Father (Phil. 2:10-11). Jesus told of some who refused to
confess Him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many
believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess
[him], lest they should be put out of the synagogue (John
12:42). Those who deny Jesus the Lord will be denied entrance into
heaven, for Jesus said ...whosoever shall deny me before
men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in
heaven (Matt. 10:33).
One must BE BAPTIZED into water for the forgiveness
of sins. Johns baptism was for the forgiveness of sins.
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism
of repentance for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4; Luke
3:3). The baptism preached and practiced by Jesus was for the
forgiveness of sins (John 4:1-2; cf. Mark 16:16). In the first
Gospel sermon we read, Repent, and be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38; cf.
Those who reject baptism for the remission of sins, reject
the counsel of God. And all the people that heard [him],
and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism
of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God
against themselves, being not baptized of him (Luke 7:29-
30). Those who believe in faith only reject baptism for
the remission of sins, therefore they reject the counsel of God and
cannot receive forgiveness of sins. They will be lost! Jesus said,
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which
I say (Luke 6:46)?
Are you ready to obey God? Salvation is only awarded to
those who believe and obey. The writer of Hebrews recorded,
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the
things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the
author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey
him (Heb. 5:8-9).
The fields are white unto harvest. Lets all be busy
doing the work of the Lord, for the night cometh when no man can
work (John 9:4).
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WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD DATE CHRISTIANS
When people begin to date, they may not give serious thought to
the idea of marrying the person they are spending time with. They
may think of it as a way to develop new friendships and enjoy
common interests. Usually this is the case. However, we do not
marry strangers. We make the choice of our future life-long
companion from among the people we know and love. This means we
will marry a person we have come to know through time spent
together. In other words, dating. Thus, we ought to give serious
consideration to the kind of people we choose to date. Just like
our parents told us to be careful with whom we associate when we
were kids, so we ought to be careful who we choose to date. As Paul
put it, Evil companionships corrupt good morals (1
Cor. 15:33 ASV). So it is when young adults (or not so young adults
for that matter) spend time with the wrong kind of
people. It becomes easy to let our guard down and be negatively
influenced by those who have different aspirations. As Paul told
the church do not be conformed to this world (Rom.
A successful marriage is one that helps souls get to heaven.
So, what can Christians do to improve the likelihood of having a
successful marriage? Ideally, Christians should seek to date only
faithful members of the church (i.e., Christians). Two Christians
share the common goal of seeking the kingdom of God first in their
lives (Matt. 6:33). This is not the case with a Christian married
to a non-Christian. Many can attest to this. Does this mean it is
wrong for a Christian to date a non-Christian? No. There are times
when the unbeliever is converted, though this is the exception
rather than the rule (1 Peter 3:1).
So, if you are dating, be wise regarding the people you
choose to date. Your eternal destiny could be decided by your
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Table of Contents
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION #2
Robert R. Taylor, Jr.
New versions will not leave their tampering off Mark
16:9-20. The RSV of 1946 left out twelve verses and left
untranslated more than 160 Greek words. Later, this modernistic
version added them, but not before much literary damage had been
done to the inestimable portion of precious Scriptures.
The ESV placed these verses from Mark 16:9 to Mark 16:20 in
brackets. Living Oracles did not do this early in the 19th
century. The KJV did not do this. The ASV of 1901 did not place
these twelve verses in questionable brackets. Neither did the NKJV.
In my book, Challenging Dangers Of Modern Versions,
I devote a full chapter in defense of Mark 16:9-20 and refuting the
highhanded and irreverent treatment modernistic scholars give in
assault to this chapter. In that material I have some very
significant and relevant observations by the late and lamented
Thomas B. Warren. He knew more about the Bible in general
and Mark 16:9-20 in particular than all the RSV translators in the
aggregate did! He knew what belonged; they did not. ESV translators
come up lacking on Mark 16:9-20.
Years ago brother Noel Merideth and I had a
discussion with a professor of Bible in one of our schools. He said
to us, I cannot be sure Mark 16:9-20 belongs in the
Bible! Both of us said, in essence, We can be sure and
are sure it belongs. The Holy Spirit and Mark were sure it
belongs. Reverent Bible scholars through the centuries have been
sure it belongs. The ESV came up lacking on these twelve strategic
verses. Are its defenders among us pleased with what ESV
translators did to Mark 16:9-20? If they are, they need some real
help relative to translational matters!
Luke 1:3-4 in the ESV poses another relevant
question. Why does this version make an attack upon Lukes
inspiration by having Luke to say that he had followed all
things closely for some time in the past... (Luke 1:3)? This
is of close kin to how the RSV treated this passage and raised the
ire of conservative Bible scholars in the 1940s. The KJV says he
had perfect understanding of all things from the very
first.... The ASV used accurately here. One may
follow something closely and still not possess inspired
understanding and totally accurate knowledge of what he writes.
Like the other seven writers of the New Testament, Luke wrote by
Holy Spirit inspiration. His two books are verbally inspired
they are plenarily inspired. This means far more than
following matters closely. It would be of interest to know what
concepts of inspiration all the ESV translators had. The NKJV has
Why is an important part of Luke 4:4 omitted in the
ESV? The KJV and the NKJV do not omit this part of Jesus first
answer to the devilish tempter.
Why is the footnote of Luke 4:35 more accurate than
what the ESV has in the beginning of this verse? Let us
alone or leave us alone are preferred over the
Ha in the ESV.
In Luke 10:1 and 17, why put the number 72 and not
70? They have 70 in the footnote. The KJV, the ASV, the NKJV and
even the RSV in 1952 did not opt for 72. Some of these will note
that some manuscripts have 72. Why not put 70 in the text and 72 in
the footnote instead of doing vice versa?
In Luke 14:5, is Jesus talking about a son
or an ass (donkey) that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath
day as we have in the ESV or an ass or an ox fallen into
a pit... as we have in the KJV? The ASV has an ass
with a footnote that some manuscripts have a son. Why not
put the son in the footnote and ass or
donkey in the text as the KJV or the NKJV did?
In Luke 16:23, why change Abrahams bosom to
Abrahams side? The KJV has bosom. The ASV has
bosom. The NKJV has bosom. The NIV preferred
side. ESV does the same.
I was not surprised in the least to see how the ESV dealt with
the comprehensive and beautiful term of monogenes. This
term, in referring to Jesus, occurs in John 1:14,18; 3:16,18
and 1 John 4:9 five times total. It is only Son
in four of these passages and only God in John 1:18 in the
ESV. The mono portion of the word means only. What
does the genes mean? It has to mean something. The ESV
translators evidently did not think it meant anything for they left
it minus any and all translation. Many of the modern translations
do the same such as the RSV (Revised Standard Version) the
NEB (New English Bible) the NIV (New International
Version), the Living Bible Paraphrased, Readers Digest
Bible, etc. The KJV, the ASV, Living Oracles, the NKJV and the
NASB all translate the term as only begotten.
In December of 1988, brother Noel Merideth and I
discussed monogenes with brethren Hugo McCord and
Ralph Gilmore. Brother Merideth and I defended only
begotten. McCord and Gilmore opposed that rendering. For my
preparation of that discussion, I visited a number of prestigious
libraries, including the one at Oklahoma Christian College where
brother McCord taught for so long. I read the works of Greek
scholars before A.D. 325, after 325, Reformation leaders and
Restoration greats among us. I was overwhelmed with the unanimity
of hundreds of these men who called Jesus Gods only
begotten Son. Since only begotten is an accurate
translation of monogenes, the term John employed, then we
have John, the Spirit that inspired him, plus the Father and Son
who told the Spirit to use this term, all in favor of what our
accurate English translations have had all along.
Some years back a native Greek from Greece operated a
restaurant in Ripley. He and I became friends and he even came to
hear me preach. I asked him one day, How should
monogenes be translated? Minus even a moment of
hesitation he stated, only begotten! This is where
ripe Greek and English scholarship has stood for twenty centuries
and where reverent scholarship still stands. The ESV did itself no
real honor by mutilating this marvelous and monumental word of
Why do we have God is spirit in John 4:24
in a small s and not a capital one? It is Spirit in the
KJV, the ASV and the NKJV. Even the Jehovah Witness Version and
Living Bible Paraphrased have it in an upper cap. The ESV in John
4:24 joins company with the RSV, the Readers Digest Bible and
the NIV. Our readers need to be aware that translators, as a rule,
translated the Greek word for Spirit or spirit with Upper Case when
the term references Deity and with Lower Case when the human spirit
was under consideration. God is Spirit should have been
retained since the Greek word refers to Deity.
Why are the twelve verses in John 7:53-8:11 placed in
brackets in the ESV? Our earlier versions like Living Oracles and
KJV did not place them in brackets. Neither did the NKJV. If this
section does not belong in the Sacred Canon and in the exact place
where we have it, we have John 7:52 ending with no
prophet and John 8:12 having Then spake Jesus again unto
them.... Something had to go in the gap. I agree with my very
warm friend, J. Noel Merideth, who said, in essence, This
section belongs in the Bible and right where we have it!
Why is Acts 8:37, in our reliable Bibles, omitted in
the ESV from the text and placed in a footnote? If this verse does
not belong, the inquiring eunuch did not even get an answer for the
question he propounded. Look how awkward it is to go from verse 36
to verse 38 in the ESV. I fault the ASV for doing the same. Luke
was not an awkward penman. There is an abrupt gap, as brother
McCord once explained it, if this verse is omitted. The Holy Spirit
and the inspired Luke did not resort to abrupt gaps. When I deal
with the Ethiopian noblemans conversion I never leave out
verse 37. The KJV from which I have preached for more than 63
years, does not omit it. The NKJV does not leave it out. If the
verse does not belong, as per the ESV, then the inquiring African
did not receive a response to his deeply important query. I cannot
conceive of any sincere winner of souls ignoring a vital question
like this. Surely, an inspired soul winner like Philip would not
have done so. The ESV comes up lacking relative to this verse.
Why, in the ESV, are Acts 13:24 and 19:4 not
in line with each other? In the former passage it has Paul at
Antioch in Pisidia to say, A baptism of repentance to
all the people of Israel while it has Paul to say at Ephesus
in Acts 19:4, John baptized with the baptism of
repentance.... It is the same baptism in both passages. The
KJV and the ASV consistently use the in both passages.
Johns baptism deserves all the definitive words that can be
In Acts 19:14 at Ephesus, why is Sceva styled a
Jewish high priest? As I write this, I have a complete
list of all high priests from Aaron, the first one, to Phannis, the
final one in A.D. 70. Sceva is not on the list! During the
early 1980s brother Hugo McCord produced his own New Testament
translation. He asked me to be one of his consultants and critique
it. When he came to Acts 19:14 he listed Sceva as high priest. I
disagreed with him on this and told him why. He listened to me and
rendered it a Jewish chief priest and not a high priest.
The ASV has a chief priest. There were many chief priests
who were never high priests. The ESV did itself no credit in this
Why in Acts 21:34,37, 22:24, 23:10,16,32 does the ESV
have Paul taken into the barracks and not into the
castle? The KJV has castle. The ASV has castle.
I know some of the newer translations have barracks. Why the
change? Castle allows the careful student to connect castle with
the tower of Antonio which was located near the temple and housed
Roman soldiers appointed to keep order in the temple area. It had
been repaired at great expense by Herod the Great and named in
honor of his Roman friend, Marc Anthony. Castle comes much closer
in connecting the place with Herods building at the
northwestern corner of the temple than barracks. Why is
there such a yen for change in the new translations when older
renderings have done so well across the passing centuries? I
realize that the Greek word parembole can be translated
barracks. But it also can be translated
encampment. Barracks or encampments can be located in
tents or wide open places. Castle comes much closer in picturing
where Paul was to be taken the tower of Antonio.
In Acts 24:24ff, why is convenient season
replaced with opportunity? The KJV has convenient
season. The ASV has convenient season. The NKJV has
convenient time. Even the NIV has convenient. Felix
had the opportunity to obey the Gospel and become a
Christian the very day Paul preached with power and pathos to him
and Drusilla. But he did not deem it convenient for him to
do so. J. W. McGarvey was considered to be the finest Bible scholar
in his era as per the London Times. Brother McGarvey
presented a very fine argument on this word convenient. He
said that if a man is called upon to do something toward which he
has no liking, he may say to the one requesting such, When it
is convenient I will do it, meaning if it is ever as
convenient for me to do it as not to do it, then I will do it.
Brother McGarvey was of strong persuasion that Felix was saying,
Paul, if it is ever as convenient out there in the future for
me to become a Christian as to remain a non-Christian, then I will
call or summon you. Felix did not deem it convenient that day
to become righteous, practice self-control and live in such a way
that judgment day horrors did not produce terror for him. Such
would have demanded he give up his beautiful, adulterous wife, his
dishonesty, all bribe receptions and no more cruelties as he had
practiced in the past. Convenient season captures this much
better than opportunity with its absence of preciseness. Why
not stay with precise renderings that the older translations did?
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