A Commentary on the Manuscripts and Text of the New Testament

9780825443404This new work has been sent by the nice Kregel-ites for review:

This small and insightful volume is an essential resource for the committed student of Greek New Testament. Using the same trim size as UBS and NA28 Greek New Testaments, this reference commentary, based on the latest research, is designed to aid the reader in understanding the textual reliability, variants, and translation issues for each passage in the New Testament.

Unlike any other commentary, this volume contains commentary on actual manuscripts rather than a single version of the Greek New Testament. There are nearly 6,000 existing manuscripts, and just as many textual variants, with thousands of manuscripts having been discovered since the time of the King James Version. This commentary is filled with notes on significant textual variants between these manuscripts.

I’ve thumbed through it a bit and it looks quite useful.  More anon, once I’ve worked through the whole volume.

Kim Davis, Occupying the Moral High Ground Isn’t a Part Time Position: An Open Letter

Dear Ms Davis,

The honorable thing for you to do is to resign your office.  I can sympathize with your opinion as I myself am not a supporter of any sort of marriage that has nothing to do with one man and one woman being joined.  But you took an oath to uphold the law of the land and though you lacked the foresight to see this day coming, it now has arrived.

I understand why you don’t want to issues licenses, so don’t.  Given, however, that the highest court in the land says you must, your options are limited to either acquiescence to the state or taking your stand by leaving your office.  Utter a NEIN to the state and leave it to the consequences of its own decisions.

This, again, is your only course of action because you certainly do not now occupy the moral high ground.  Multiple failed marriages and children born out of wedlock do not the hero make- even if those actions were, as you profess, long in the past.  Letting your hair grow and wearing dresses that reach to the floor do not make up for, or cover up, past indiscretions.  Your foes have found your Achilles heel and they will snap at it until not only are you crippled, but your cause as well.

You have already lost the battle.  You will gain nothing by standing your ground and the only cogent sensible responsible Christian thing to do is to leave office.  When you wrestle with pigs in the mud, the only thing that happens is that you get as filthy as the pigs.

There is nothing to be gained by your course of action.  Unless you change course, leave office, and live as a Christian.  Legal victory isn’t that which overcomes the world, faith is.  As the author of 1 John has it, ‘it is faith which victoriously overcomes the world’.

Resign, Kim.  Keep your faith.  And your freedom to exercise it.

Dipping Kids in a Porta Pool Isn’t Baptism

Down in Georgia a Steven Furtick clone has taken it upon himself to ‘baptize’ a group of kids before a football practice.

A Georgia school district is investigating after video of a mass baptism was posted on YouTube. The video, posted by First Baptist Villa Rica, was shot on school grounds just before football practice. “We had the privilege of baptizing a bunch of football players and a coach on the field of Villa Rica High School! We did this right before practice! Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!” the caption with the video reads.  By Tuesday evening, the video had been removed from YouTube.

No, you didn’t ‘baptize’ anyone.  You dunked kids in a tub. Baptism requires two things: 1) the agreement of the congregation of which the baptized person will become a member; and 2) the promise of the baptized that he or she will become a participating member of that congregation.

Baptism is the act by which believers identify with the Body of Christ, the Church.  Not in some abstract ‘church universal’ notion but in the quite concrete association of the redeemed sinner with a community of faith of which he becomes a viable member.

If the boys in this ‘baptism’ (which is really a farcical bastardization of actual baptism and its meaning) were not accepted as baptismal candidates by the Congregation; and if they didn’t agree to become members of that congregation, they were never baptized at all.

It is quite clear to anyone watching these sorts of things that the Furtick clones have no idea what baptism means, signifies, or demands.  They are making a mockery not only of the Church, but of the act of baptism itself.  They are precisely the reason why persons without adequate theological training should never be allowed to ascend a pulpit.

The Willow Creek Church (PCA) Situation Explained…

Who doesn’t love spot on tongue in cheek theological excoriation?


(Here’s the backstory- http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/august/tullian-tchividjian-files-for-divorce.html)

Luther’s View of Cougars

[Somebody asked] whether a marriage between a young man and an old woman would be proper when there was no hope of offspring. The doctor [Martin Luther] replied, “Yes, indeed! Of the four reasons I gave in my Genesis the fourth is that such a marriage should be approved for the sake of honoring marriage. However, I’d prefer if at the wedding the words, ‘Be fruitful and multiply,’ were omitted. Yet I don’t like to make ceremonies and regulations, for once one starts there’s no end to it any more. One follows another, as in the papacy.” — Martin Luther

Luther Didn’t Cash in On His Translation of the Bible

Our Saxon friends write

Did you know … that Luther did not make a single Gulden off of his Bible translation?

Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament first appeared at the autumn edition of the Leipzig Autumn Fair in 1522. The first edition consisted of 3,000 copies and sold out right away. By the end of the first year of publication alone, the twelfth edition was being issued! Incidentally, Luther refused to take any financial benefit. He did not make a single Guilder (Gulden) off of his translation. One time, someone suggested to him that he should publish his complete works. Martin replied that he would rather devour them.

Martin Luther’s September Testament, 1522