En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘holy’

Posting on a new site!

Posted by Scott on December 9, 2009

Christmas Greetings-

I wanted to share with everyone who subscribes to this blog I will be posting on my new site effective today 12-9-2009. You can go to www.EnGhedi.com and subscribe for RSS feed and direct email notifications there. The new En Ghedi site is colorful and hopefully useful. I have added some of my favorite mentor’s site’s I have gleened so much from in my journey to know God in a much deeper way. I think you will enjoy the new look, the new content, and ease of use. In the future I will post book reviews on both sites, articles I think are important to be on both sites as well, but the main site will be www.EnGhedi.com .

Over the coming months I will be moving many of the post from this site over to the new site, so you may encounter a repeat message.

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas and most blessed New Year.

Pressing on, Scott

www.EnGhedi.com

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A Prayer for all us on Prayer!

Posted by Scott on March 10, 2009

“Father, what can we say in this hour but to cry out as the disciples cried out, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ Teach us our need. Tear away this vail from our eyes that makes us think we have any adequacy in ourselves. Deliver us from this satanic delusion, this widespread worldly philosophy that our knowledge, our education, our training can provide an adequate background for activity. Give us instead a conscious sense of dependence on You, an awareness that nothing we do will have any lasting value apart from daily, hourly, intimate communion with You.” -Ray C. Stedman

In Christ we all pray, AMEN!

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Cry Out to God or Lose Heart!

Posted by Scott on February 26, 2009

Luke 18 Jesus was telling the disciples how to pray and not give up. Some other translations say “not lose heart” or “not faint”. Jesus was simply putting it to them “..we are to pray and not quit…be persistent in our prayer life.

Here is Jesus confronting the disciples and us with a vivid contrast and choice: Either we pray or give up, we are to move closer to God in prayer or we will faint…we have to choose one or the other. Learn to cry out to our heavenly Father, who we cannot see, but we know that He is always with us, or else we will lose heart.

Jesus is telling these hand picked men to move deeper in the heart of God, deeper into a meaningful relationship with our heavenly Father or they will lose heart and faint. We cannot stand up to the trials, the bending, the twisting, the uncertainties in life without crying out to “Abba Father”. Cry out like a little child does to his daddy…a little child does not always know what to say, but from a deep growning cry call on our God, who is faithful to listen and come to our side. Jesus tells us one key to the heart of God is persistent perpetual prayer…not demands, but persistent crys to the heart of God for His will to be done.

Remember, our heavenly Father has the heart of a daddy and the compassion of a daddy. He hears the crys of His children. Jesus tells us that the persistent prayer of one of His children stirs the heart of God…God is actively waiting on a cry from us many times before He acts on our behalf. He loves us too much not to come to act upon our crying out to Him.

This does not mean God gives us what we demand…He is our Father and will act according to His own will and plans. However, He will act. God our heavenly Father will never leave any of His children grieved and alone in a time of genuine need. He is our faithful Father in whom we can trust.  Will our Father let us go without a job for a while….yes.  Will He let a house or car be repossessed…yes.  Will He let death or sickness come into our lives…yes.  Will He let bills go unpaid…yes.  But He will not let any of this happen to us and have us go through it alone.  It is all about His greater purposes…not our fleeting circumstances that He is most concerned about and we need to understand the same and fight through the fear and disgust with our circumstances.

“God’s answer may be the squeeze of His hand on ours, the quiet comfort of a Father’s voice, the steady reassurance of a Father’s presence even though the woods around us are dark and echoing with fearsome night-sounds. If we listen, we will hear an immediate answering reassurance that the Father is with us and in His own time and way, He will lead us home to a place of light, warmth, and He will put us safely, comfortably in our beds.” -Ray C. Stedman

When Jesus comes will He find faith in us? Remember true prayer is not begging to a reluctant God! True prayer is confidence, trust and absolute faith in God. Prayer is thanking God instead of complaining to God for our ills. True prayer is the rejoicing, receiving, accepting of whatever God wills our life to be. Pray persistently to our Father who is listening.  “He is most glorified in us, when we are most satisifed in Him.” –John Piper.  Will we glorify Him by being satisfied in Him during our most trying times?

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Can A True Christian Lose Their Salvation?

Posted by Scott on January 31, 2009

1. Classic Arminianism

  One must persevere in faith to be saved.

  True believers can lose their faith.

  Those dying without faith in Christ are condemned.

“The believer who loses his faith is damned.”


 

2. Antinomianism

  One need not persevere in faith to be saved.

  True believers can lose their faith.

  Those who lose their faith are saved, since they once believed.

“The believer who loses his faith is saved.”

 

3. Classic Calvinism

  One must persevere in faith to be saved.

  True believers cannot lose their faith, since it’s God’s gift.

  Those dying without faith in Christ are condemned.

  Those who “lose” their faith never had it to begin with.

  God will preserve true believers and they will be saved.


“The ‘believer’ who loses his faith never really had it—or at least it wasn’t in Jesus.”

 

 

 

                Proponents of the first two approaches quote biblical references, but each must strain to explain away the other group’s biblical data.  How can an Arminian read Romans 8, then tell true believers that they may screw up and go to hell???  Then again, how can Charles Stanley read Hebrews 6 and 10 and tell unbelievers who once professed faith not to worry, that they will be saved???  Any true biblical teaching must “fit” with ALL the biblical data, without pitting one text against another and without having to explain away a single “jot or tittle” of God’s inerrant Word.  I believe that only the classical Calvinist model takes into account all of the biblical data.

                Arminians are right when they say the Bible teaches that only those who persevere will be saved, and they’re right in accusing Antinomians of easy-believism and cheap grace.  Antinomians (they wouldn’t use the term) are right in telling committed believers that they are secure in Christ and “once saved, always saved.”  But both of these views are wrong is assuming that a true believer can lose his faith and fall away from Christ.  Faith is “a gift of God—not by works, lest any man boast.”  Paul was confident that, since Christ had begun a good work in believers, He would continue that work until completion (Phil. 1).  John said that those who fell away were never really true Christians, since true believers don’t leave the faith (1 John 2:19).

 

                Scripture teaches that believers must persevere until the end, but also that believers will persevere until the end by God’s grace.  As the Westminster Assembly concluded, Christians might temporarily yield to Satan’s temptations, even to excess, but like Peter when he denied Christ three times, God will still restore and preserve the faith of the Christian, a faith which God gave in the first place!  Peter went on to be chief among the apostles!  Two biblical principles must be held side-by-side:

 

 

 

1.  You Must Persevere until the End:  God’s Requirement of His People

God does not merely command us to begin to believe for a time, and then fall away.  He requires us to continue to believe until the end, living lives of repentance and covenant faithfulness.  Granted, He does not ask for a perfect faith, but He does ask for a real faith, one that produces real, lasting change.

  Colossians 1:21-23

  1 John 1:5-10; 3:3-6

  Hebrews 10:26-31

  Hebrews 12:1

 

2.  You Will Persevere Until the End:  God’s Preservation of His People

We will persevere because God preserves us.  God will keep us from falling—not one will be lost of all those who belong to the Son.  True believers are not able to leave Christ, for Christ is at work within them.


  John 6:38-40

  John 10:28-29

  Romans 8:28-39

  Philippians 1:4-6

  Philippians 2:12-13

  1 John 2:19


 

 

 

                This first set of texts cannot be used to refute the second (Arminianism); nor can the second set of texts be used to refute the first (cheap grace).  The point that makes the two compatible is the biblical teaching that faith (while commanded of everyone) is a gift from God to His elect.  If faith is simply a human action of a free will, then it can be lost.  But if saving faith is God’s gift, then it cannot be lost.  Can professing Christians fall away?  Yes, and they will perish.  Can true Christians fall away?  No, for they are kept by the invincible power of God in Christ. The Bible teaches us that professing Christians who leave the faith were never truly believers (1 John 2:19; and notice the qualification even in Hebrews 10:39).

visit Eternal Security

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The Impossible: You Must Be Born Again…Part 1!

Posted by Scott on January 31, 2009

IMPOSSIBLE – You Must Be Born Again, Part 1

visit http://theoparadox.blogspot.com/ for more from Derek!

This is the first post in a new series called “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE: Rediscovering the Words of Jesus” In this series, we will examine commands of Jesus that are impossible for fallen man to obey, and impossible for man to accomplish apart from God’s grace. Let’s start things off with a look at the famous conversation that took place between Jesus and Nicodemus under the cover of darkness . . .

John 3:1-3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Notice how our Lord uses the language of impossibility. Cannot. He does not say it is very difficult, or that it will take a long time if you really try hard. He does not say, “You can do anything you set your mind to,” or, “Just visualize the kingdom of God, and it will be yours.” He does not even imply that because God commands something, we are able to do it. In fact, He states the opposite. He says we “cannot.”

Jesus is answering Nicodemus’ assertion that “no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him.” Jesus says, in essence, “You can see the signs well enough, but it will require a miracle of God for you to see His kingdom.”
With this answer, Jesus points to the basic blindness of our fallen human nature. We are naturally blind to the things of God. We use our physical eyes all day long, looking at books, billboards, cars, trees, people, websites, nature, art, this blog. Some put their eyes up to microscopes and look at the tiny, hidden world of microorganisms. Others put their eyes up to telescopes and view the vastness of space with its quietly whirling fire-balls and stony, barren planets. We delight in our seeing, as we use our eyes to discover, to perceive, to examine, to scrutinize, to KNOW what is around us. Our eyes aid us in navigation, interpreting language, making judgments and even sinning. They are an entry way to our hearts. We use them like spiritual doors to take in the objects and images of worship that are most passionately cherished within. We are natural idolaters. Sometimes our eyes fill with tears as we witness the tragedies of a sin-saturated world. Sometimes they are wide with wonder as we watch someone perform an amazing stunt. But apart from the new birth, our eyes cannot perceive the kingdom of God. We’re not just shortsighted, we’re not merely in need of enlightenment, we’re not even simply blind. We lack the faculties needed to see it. We have physical eyes, but no spiritual eyes.
Jesus uses His flaming eyes of judgment and compassion to look directly at us. He tells us the truth: “You cannot see the kingdom of God.” With omniscient realism, He tells us what we can’t do, but He offers us the ONE HOPE that enlivens the hearts of His chosen ones. He says the beautiful little word, “unless.” Unless one is born again. Unless a second birth happens. Unless GOD intervenes for us.

We need something, but what we need is out of our reach. How does a person who can’t even SEE cause himself to be born? Causing one’s own birth is physically impossible the first time, and spiritually impossible the second time. Only the Sprit gives birth to spirit, and fallen man does not have the Spirit. Yet Jesus’ earthly mission was intended to bring about a second birth in some of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam.

John 1:11-13 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

One cannot be born again by the will of the flesh, and one cannot be born again by the will of man. The point is emphatic. It is God alone Who can accomplish this.

Jesus calls us to the new birth, but it is a call which He alone can accomplish in us. Is this humbling? It’s meant to be.

Cannot do what? The person who has not been born again cannot SEE something. See what? The kingdom of God. Someone could be standing right in the middle of it, surrounded by its greatness and majesty, but still he would not be able to SEE it – let alone enter into it. Why? He CANNOT.

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Part 2 on The Balance in Doctrine of John Calvin!

Posted by Scott on January 31, 2009

Behold John Calvin’s beautifully balanced doctrine! Part 2 by Chris de Vidal @ deVidal.Blogspot.com

I think that Scripture says that God is perfectly, completely sovereign (in control) of every event in life. And that man is completely responsible for everything that he does. People either tend to favor one over the other, but we MUST hold BOTH with EQUAL tension.

Arminianistic Christians tend to favor man’s responsibility at the expense of God’s soveriegn control. “What if I mess up this gospel presentation?? Someone is going to hell because of me!”

Hyper-Calvinistic Christians tend to favor God’s sovereign control at the expense of man’s responsibility. “Sit down, young man. When God decides to save the heathen in India, He will do it without your help.”

In my experience, classical Calvinism gets as close to the center as I have ever seen, which is one reason I love it so much. In theory (though unfortunately due to our sin not always in practice), in theory both are fully stressed.

Let’s examine classical Calvinism’s explanation of TULIP to see if this is true.

But before I begin, you MUST know that these things are a mystery to me, just like the doctrine of the Trinity! I see them reflected all over Scripture and yet I can’t reconcile them together. I just trust that, like the doctrine of the Trinity, if the Bible says so, I believe it!

Total depravity Mankind is unable to respond to the gospel unless God frees them from chains (sovereignty) and yet God will hold all mankind responsible for their depravity (responsibility) and lack of willingness to obey the call of the gospel (responsibility).

Unconditional election God chooses men based upon zero good deeds (sovereignty), and yet mankind MUST choose Christ to be saved (responsibility)

Limited atonement God applied the blood of Christ (sovereignty) to anyone who would believe (responsibility). The blood of Christ is indeed sufficient for everyone and anyone who would believe. God wants EVERYONE to repent (responsibility) and yet not all repent, or even hear the gospel (sovereignty).

Irresistible grace God calls people in such a way (sovereignty) that they will only and always freely choose Christ (responsibility).

Perseverance of the saints You WILL persevere to the end (sovereignty). You MUST persevere to the end (responsibility).

I’m not asking you to tell me that any of these make sense in your finite mind (they don’t all make sense to this finite mind), I’m just asking you to consider that the old reformers were about as close to walking down the middle as you can get.

As for you, dear Christian, if you stress man’s responsibility, don’t forget that God is fully and completely in control of all of history. With His feet up, OK?!?!?

If you stress God’s sovereignty, don’t neglect that man is fully and completely responsible for his actions. “Repent and believe the gospel!”

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A Balanced Doctrine Evidenced by John Calvin!

Posted by Scott on January 31, 2009

Behold John Calvin’s beautifully balanced doctrine! written by Chris de Vidal

You can read more from Chris @ deVidal.Blogspot.com

Behold the beautiful balance of doctrine that John Calvin handed down to us!
Arminian view: You must persevere in faith until the end to be saved.
Calvin’s view:  You will persevere in faith until the end and thus be saved.

You must choose Christ of your own free will.
You will choose Christ because your will has been freed.

You must bear fruit when converted.
You will bear fruit when converted.

Christ died to make forgiveness possible for anyone who would believe. His blood is sufficient for all.
Christ died to forgive those who would believe. His blood, sufficient for all, was applied directly to us.

God loves everybody!
God loves everybody but also, in ways unfathomable to us, hates the sinner in addition to loving him.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked!
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and yet, in ways unfathomable to us, takes pleasure in all that He does!

God wants no one to perish!
God wants no one to perish, and yet people perish. He must have a higher desire than His desire that no one perish.

Mankind is fully responsible!
God is fully sovereign!

I love how Arminian arguments are enveloped and supported and agreed upon by classic Calvinistic teaching! There are very few points in which we Calvinistic Christians actually cannot agree with Arminians. There are very few things that an Arminian says, in the positive, that I cannot agree with.

I think the only doctrine Arminians say in the positive that I disagree with is this: God would not command something that mankind was not able to obey, that in order to have responsibility you must have ability. In other words, “If I ought, I can.” That doctrine is NOT FOUND ANYWHERE IN SCRIPTURE.* It is a philosophical presupposition that has always existed in mankind but is not found in Scripture.

And I’m talking about the things they say in the positive, not the things they deny (things they say in the negative). They deny many things that are fully Biblical. We cannot agree there. But the things they say in the positive I can agree upon. Therefore I can appreciate for example John Wesley’s messages and the holiness that the Nazarene church celebrates.

Therefore I share wholeheartedly in the doctrines that Arminians know to be fully Biblical and wholeheartedly reject the doctrines that Arminians forget are not Biblical.

Therefore I think that classic Calvinistic doctrines are the most wholly Biblical. Hyper-Calvinistic doctrines slant too far in one direction and Arminian doctrines too far in the other. Classic Calvinistic doctrines that Calvin and Spurgeon and St. Augustine and Edwards and Piper and MacArthur and Sproul and Moeller and Dever and Mahaney et. al. teach are based off the entire Bible, not just selected proof texts. I love what Calvin found!!

* “But Chris, what about all of those commands to obey or repent, don’t they imply that mankind is able?”

No. That is circular logic. See this article.

“But Chris, what about 1 Corinthians 10:13?”

I know, I’ve looked at it dozens of times myself, trying to be completely honest with the Scriptures. I don’t believe that it addresses anyone but believers.

“But Chris, doesn’t that therefore mean that God would allow the lost to be tempted beyond what they are able?

I would have to come to that conclusion, yes.

“How could God judge these people?”

That is a good question.

It sounds wrong, but I simply believe that there must be another way in which neither of us see how this works together with God’s justice. There are simply no other texts to support your doctrine, therefore I must come to the conclusion that there’s another way to figure it out that neither of us have discovered yet.

I plan on writing on that verse at some point in the future. It’s a good verse for thinking about, but that verse alone doesn’t sway my opinion that “If I ought, I can” is NOT TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE.

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A “Shift” in the Wrong Direction…The Shift…a critique!

Posted by Scott on January 21, 2009

The Shift is a book on a supposedly new awareness, a new reality, etc.  This shift as the book tells us that everything we see and experience is from a higher “Infinite Being is the all-encompassing consciousness from which the universe was created.”  I don’t mean to rain on The Shift parade, but it is all man-made “hog-wash”.  The only Infinite Being is the sovereign God, creator of this universe and beyond.  This Infinite Being was not thought up in human minds under some new consciousness, but God has always been from eternity past, still is, and always will be in eternities future.  The God Almighty is the only infinite being that is immeasurably awesome, inconceivably great, inexhaustible, endless, and greater than any preassigned finite value no matter how large.
The Shift tells us that it is the spiritual and creative awakening of humanity. This trans-formative movement has gained momentum in recent years to the point where, today, more than one in four adults (25%) have moved forward towards this new stage of cultural awareness. 2 John 1:5 “I am not writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning.  I ask that we love one another (believers), and this is love, that we walk in obedience to His commands.”  2 John 1: 9 “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teachings of Christ does not have God.”  So, there is no new stage or new awareness.  The things we have been taught from the beginning about Christ is to be carried forward to the end, not the new awareness or The Shift. 

 

New Reality consciousness means to experience new vistas of awareness and new levels of creativity. It means following your heart to express your inner joy through making your own meaningful contribution towards the betterment of the world.   Colossians 2:8 tells us this, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”  “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”  -John Piper  Also, what does God tell us about our hearts in Psalm 64:6b “…we have devised a perfect plan!  Surely the mind and heart of man are cunning.”  We cannot trust the heart.  Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God!'”  Our hearts need to be examined often by God in order to remain pure at heart…Psalm 26:2 “Test me, O Lord and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” 

 

 

In “The Shift: The Revolution in Human Consciousness,” Owen Waters has woven together leading-edge cultural studies with his own discoveries about the human energy system in order to demonstrate that we are in the midst of the biggest cultural shift of all times.

 

 

This book demonstrates that the future of mankind is not just bright… it is brilliant!  Read Revelation and we will know that the future of mankind is anything but bright or brilliant.  The future for God’s people is very bright to perfect, but for unbelievers, the future is nothing but death, torment, and eternal damnation.  This is the reality of what is to come.  This tormenting future may be closer than all of us want to believe.  In Daniel we see that in the prophecy chapter 12 that the many dead will awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  He further talks about the people that would go here and there seeking out to increase their knowledge.  The implications are as we have it today, people are meandering around all over seeking a new awareness, The Shift. 

Who should we ask for knowledge?  Ask our Lord, “Teach me knowledge and good judgement, for I believe in your commands.” Psalm 119:66  It is not that we look within for great knowledge or awareness, but go to our Creator, our heavenly Father…He will give us knowledge and wisdom for each day.  Proverbs 1:7 “ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
       but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” 

So, I will conclude that knowledge and wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord.  If we want knowledge we need to ask of our great Lord and He will supply us with all knowledge we can handle.  We do not need to make a mindless shift anywhere…stay with what is true from the old teachings.  God’s Word is never changing, always fresh today as it was yesterday.  I leave you with a reminder directly from God’s Word:

“Don’t be deceived , my dear brothers.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  -James 1:17

If you are looking for answers, looking for peace, looking for something far beyond what you have ever experienced, I encourage you to consider your life now.  As most people do not think they need a savior and certainly do not want anyone or anything being a lord over their life, however, the Bible tells us we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  A sinful act does not just have to be something that we have actually done, if we think it, Jesus tells us, we have committed a sin against God.  Any sin, even just one sin is punishable by death…our God is a “just” God.  However, Jesus came to this earth as God and as a man.  He voluntarily died a punishing death to atone for the sins of the saints.  This death gives us a way to God the Father forever.  The call is for each of us to fall on our knees in admittance of sin before a holy and pure God.  Ask for forgiveness of all your sins today admitting that you have been an enemy of God.  Tell Jesus you are not worthy of the salvation He offers, but you want it by His gracious will.  Ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life once and for all.   Receive by the power of the Holy Spirit a new life in Christ.  This life is not a posh easy life, but it is the greatest life.  This new life is one of hardships, sacrifices and obedience before our heavenly Father.  I warn you now that a life lived for Christ could cost you your physical life, it could cost you some of your friends, could cost you your job.  Are you willing to pay the price?  Are you willing to accept the cost of the only true life to live which is found in Christ Jesus?  I beg you to think on this hard today and if you sense a pricking in your soul, that could be the Holy Spirit drawing you in…do not resist this drawing of the Spirit, just obey and follow Him.

Scott Bailey 2009

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The New Testament Manuscript Evidence is Reliability Superior!

Posted by Scott on January 18, 2009

 

     The New Testament is constantly under attack and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics.  But, if the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer.  This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writing.  Because the copies are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy.  This process has determined that the biblical documents are extremely consistent and accurate.
   There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.
1  If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.  

Author2 Date
Written
Earliest Copy Approximate Time Span between  original & copy

Number of Copies

Accuracy of Copies
 Lucretius died 55 or 53 B.C.   1100 yrs 2 —-
 Pliny 61-113 A.D. 850 A.D. 750 yrs 7 —-
 Plato 427-347 B.C. 900 A.D. 1200 yrs 7 —-
 Demosthenes 4th Cent. B.C. 1100 A.D. 800 yrs 8 —-
 Herodotus 480-425 B.C. 900 A.D. 1300 yrs 8 —-
 Suetonius 75-160 A.D. 950 A.D. 800 yrs 8 —-
 Thucydides 460-400 B.C. 900 A.D. 1300 yrs 8 —-
 Euripides 480-406 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1300 yrs 9 —-
 Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. 900 A.D. 1200 10 —-
 Caesar 100-44 B.C. 900 A.D. 1000 10 —-
 Livy 59 BC-AD 17 —- ??? 20 —-
 Tacitus circa 100 A.D. 1100 A.D. 1000 yrs 20 —-
 Aristotle 384-322 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1400 49 —-
 Sophocles 496-406 B.C. 1000 A.D. 1400 yrs 193 —-
 Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 yrs 643 95%
 New
 Testament
1st Cent. A.D. (50-100 A.D. 2nd Cent. A.D.
 (c. 130 A.D. f.)
less than 100 years 5600 99.5%

      As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing.  The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure.  That is an amazing accuracy.  In addition there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages.  The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.  
      Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the first century.  If Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., then that means that the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years.  This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned who could have contested the writings.  In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out.  But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the first century that contest the New Testament texts.
     Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing.  This is extremely close to the original writing date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a first century document. 
     Below is a chart with some of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned.  Compare these time spans with the next closest which is Homer’s Iliad where the closest copy from the original is 500 years later.  Undoubtedly, that period of time allows for more textual corruption in its transmission.  How much less so for the New Testament documents?

Important
Manuscript
Papyri
Contents

Date
Original Written

MSS
Date
Approx.
Time Span
Location
p52
(John Rylands
Fragment)3
John 18:31-33,37-38 circa
96 A.D.
circa
125
A.D.
29 yrs John Rylands Library, Manchester, England
P46 
(Chester Beatty Papyrus)
Rom. 5:176:3,5-14; 8:15-25, 27-35, 379:32; 10:1-11, 22, 24-33, 3514:8,915:9, 11-33; 16:1-23, 25-27; Heb.; 1 & 2 Cor., Eph., Gal., Phil., Col.; 1 Thess. 1:1,9-10; 2:1-3; 5:5-9, 23-28 50’s-70’s circa
200
A.D.
Approx.
150 yrs
Chester Beatty Museum, Dublin & Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan library
P66 
(Bodmer Papyrus)
John 1:16:11,3514:26; fragment of 14:29-21:9

70’s

circa
200
A.D.
Approx.
130 yrs
Cologne, Geneva
P67  Matt. 3:9,15; 5:20-22, 25-28   circa
200
A.D.
Approx.
130 yrs
Barcelona, Fundacion San Lucas Evangelista, P. Barc.1

     If the critics of the Bible dismiss the New Testament as reliable information, then they must also dismiss the reliability of the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Homer, and the other authors mentioned in the chart at the beginning of the paper.  On the other hand, if the critics acknowledge the historicity and writings of those other individuals, then they must also retain the historicity and writings of the New Testament authors; after all, the evidence for the New Testament’s reliability is far greater than the others.  The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing.  It is good evidence on which to base the trust in the reliability of the New Testament.

 

*I did not check the math on each of these, but the point is the NT 
manuscript accuracy is so great that no arugment should be taken 
against its accuracy.

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Coming Presidential Inaugural Makes Christ a Minister of Condemnation!

Posted by Scott on January 17, 2009

How Barack Obama Will Make Christ a Minister of Condemnation

 

(Author: John Piper)

At Barack Obama‘s request, tomorrow in the Lincoln Memorial, Gene Robinson, the first openly non-celibate homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church, will deliver the invocation for the inauguration kick-off.

This is tragic not mainly because Obama is willing to hold up the legitimacy of homosexual intercourse, but because he is willing to get behind the church endorsement of sexual intercourse between men.

It is one thing to say: Two men may legally have sex. It is another to say: The Christian church acted acceptably in blessing Robinson’s sex with men.

The implications of this are serious.

It means that Barack Obama is willing, not just to tolerate, but to feature a person and a viewpoint that makes the church a minister of damnation. Again, the tragedy here is not that many people in public life hold views (like atheism) that lead to damnation, but that Obama is making the church the minister of damnation.

The apostle Paul says,

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves , nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

What is Paul saying about things like adultery, greed, stealing, and homosexual practice? As J. I. Packer puts it, “They are ways of sin that, if not repented of and forsaken, will keep people out of God’s kingdom of salvation.” (Christianity Today, January 2003, p. 48).

In other words, to bless people in these sins, instead of offering them forgiveness and deliverance from them, is to minister damnation to them, not salvation.

The gospel, with its forgiveness and deliverance from homosexual practice, offers salvation. Gene Robinson, with his blessing and approval of homosexual practice, offers damnation. And he does it in the name of Christ.

It is as though Obama sought out a church which blessed stealing and adultery, and then chose its most well-known thief and adulterer, and asked him to pray.

One more time: The issue here is not that presidents may need to tolerate things they don’t approve of. The issue is this: In linking the Christian ministry to the approval of homosexual activity, Christ is made a minister of condemnation.

By John Piper

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