Archive for September 2015

Tyndale’s Task

September 19, 2015

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Among the memorable words of William Tyndale, to whom the English speaking people owe more than any other man for their versions of the Scriptures, the following are characteristic.

In his first preface he imposes this task upon his readers:

… that if they perceived in any place that the version has not attained unto the very sense of the tongue or the very meaning of Scripture, or have not given the right English word, that they should put to their hands and amend it, remembering that so it is their duly to do.

Though he was the first English scholar to translate directly from the Hebrew and Greek, he himself eagerly embraced opportunities of revising his own work. This is the spirit which actuated his successors, whose learning never led them into the pitfall of infallibility.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Vol. 5, page 41


The Fixed Ideas of Religious Notions

September 14, 2015

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Old notions of every kind, and most of all religious notions, are hard to dislodge from the mind. It does not matter how unscriptural they may be, or illogical, or even absurd, if only they have been believed for generations, if only they have been entertained by good and learned men, if only they have found a way into the current versions of the Bible, they are reverently received, and become “fixed” ideas.

The original Scriptures were divinely inspired, and therefore all of their statements on a given subject are in full accord one with another; but the translations of the Scriptures, like the ecclesiastical systems which produced them, were not inspired, and the peculiar reverence frequently given to their opinions is not grounded in reasons, and would often be amusing if it were not sad. Traditions of good men and current versions (even though “authorized”) are broken reeds to lean upon, and those relying thereon are certain to experience disappointment.

Vladimir GelesnoffVladimir Gelesnoff (1877-1921)
Unsearchable Riches, Vol. 5, page 241

Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously

September 12, 2015

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If men will cease taking themselves so seriously and accept God’s statement that “we can do nothing against the truth but only for the truth” [II Corinthians 13:8], they will not be so fearful of the task of plunging into the study of the Word of God. The Bible may be deep; but if need be, I prefer to drown in it, rather than to be battered to death by the waves of human ignorance, human error, superstition and opinion. Those who meditate upon the Word of God day and night are called “blessed.” That word means “happy,” and I claim to be one of those happy men.

Otis Q SellersOtis Q. Sellers
The Word of Truth
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Paul’s Early Epistles Need Modifications

September 8, 2015

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In the transitional era preceding the present secret administration of God’s transcendent riches of grace, Paul wrote his epistles to the Thessalonians and to the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, as well as his first letter to Timothy. The question arises, did the revelation of the secret in Ephesians and its companion epistles annul the previous revelation completely, and ignore its recipients, so that Romans to Galatians and Thessalonians are obsolete, or do they still stand just as they are, so that Ephesians is a mere addition to their message?

Or is there a third course indicated, between these two extremes, their acceptance as a whole, yet with modifications in detail to accord with the later revelation? …

All of Paul’s previous epistles are definitely declared to be ours, yet with such modifications as the abrogation of Israel’s priority involves. Ephesians does not restate Paul’s previous evangel, for that would have been useless. All to whom the new revelation came were acquainted with it. All that they needed was the ability to adapt it to the larger light.

As a consequence, the epistle to the Ephesians is full of contacts and contrasts with Paul’s previous teaching. Not only are we given the broad basis on which to build our attitude toward Paul’s other writings, but many of the details are developed for us and the character of the link between the two is carefully considered.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 18 (1927), pages 204-207

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