The Books that did not make it into the Bible

The beginning of Wesley Huff’s lecture (see the video at the end of this post) was a condensation of the opening of the book, “The Heresy of Orthodoxy” by Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger – very important to see the connection between Walter Bauer, Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels.

It has always amazed me that Elaine Pagels promoted the Gnostics so much in the past 20-30 years,  given that she was trying to make the argument that women were more free and promoted and more equal, and exalted and could be church leaders among the Gnostics, yet saying 114 of the Gnostic tinged Gospel of Thomas makes clear this is not true:

Simon Peter says to them: “Let Mary go out from our midst, for women are not worthy of life!” Jesus says: “See, I will draw her so as to make her male so that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who has become male will enter the Kingdom of heaven.” The 2nd century, Gospel of Thomas, saying 114.

Muslims and skeptics and atheists are constantly using these arguments and mixing more scholarly arguments with the pop-DaVinci Code type false ideas; and Roman Catholics use aspects of these historical arguments in their arguments that the Church decided the canon, rather the books (writings, scrolls) having inherent power and pressing themselves upon the church to receive them, witness to them, affirm them, discern them.

Wesley Huff’s mistake about the 2 Clements  (Clement of Rome in 96 AD vs. Clement of Alexandria circa 215 AD) needs to be corrected. He corrected himself verbally,  but the graphic was repeated throughout the lecture.

Also, the graphics of “books” in first century, for his power-point presentation, IMO, should have been rolled up individual scrolls – there were no “books” (with a binding, etc.) in 1st to mid-2nd century AD – the codex (flattened out sheets tied together) became more normal and in use in mid to late 2nd century and 3rd century.

As Kostenberger and Kruger say on page 65 of their book:

  1.  The “Gnostics severed any connection between Jesus and the God of the Old Testament”.  (Cerinthus, Valentinus, Basilides, Marcion, the “Gospel of Thomas”, Infancy Gospels, the Encratites, and others) Modern pastors who want to “un-hitch from the Old Testament” (Andy Stanley) need to be aware of where that kind of thinking comes from.
  2. In the Gnostic system of salvation, “the role of Jesus as Redeemer was not to save people from their sins by virtue of His sacrificial death on the cross, but to bring knowledge (gnosis) to entrapped humanity.”
  3. “On the whole, however, what is more important than what Gnostics (and other sects) believed about Jesus is when they started believing it. Unlike the orthodox, whose core Christological beliefs coalesced in the early to mid-first century, Gnostics did not solidify their Christology – if such solidification ever occurred – until the second century.” (Ibid, page 65)

This is why Irenaeus (writings: 180-202 AD), Polycarp (155 AD), and Tertullian (writings 190-220 AD) in the late second century, into the early third century (and others after them such as Clement of Alexandria (215 AD) and Epiphanius, 320-403 AD) were so strong in the condemnations of these heresies and cults.  These are the same kind of ideas – that matter was evil, creation was evil, the body was evil, sex and marriage was evil, etc. that led to over-exalting of Mary and Gnostic tinged documents and infancy gospels that were later written and flourished in the deserts of the east and Arabia, and the reason why Islam was influenced by these elements in their rejection of Jesus’ death on the cross and His Deity.

But Muslims have no business affirming and using these early church Gnostic heresies, and the argumentations of the Bauer-Ehrman-Pagels hypothesis, since at the core of Gnosticism, they deny very clear things that Islam affirms. (Creation, God as the One Creator, who is identified as the same one creator God of the OT, the body, marriage, etc.)

See also here on the second century “Proto-Evangelium of James” and how the idea of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary got started.

Posted in Apologetics, Bart Ehrman, Canon of Scripture, church history, early church history, History, Islam, Muslims | Leave a comment

Exegesis of Genesis 1-11, Dr. William Barrick

Go to the side bar at You Tube for the rest of the lectures. (Total of 16 lectures)

Posted in Evolution and Creation, Genesis, Hebrew, Old Testament book study, OT Hebrew | Leave a comment

John Henry Newman’s confession – early church is different than later church in history

Cardinal John Henry Newman admitted that the early church (“catholic” / universal -first 500 years) is different than the later church (later = Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox).

It does not seem possible, then, to avoid the conclusion that, whatever be the proper key for harmonizing the records and documents of the early and later Church, and true as the dictum of Vincentius must be considered in the abstract, and possible as its application might be in his own age, when he might almost ask the primitive centuries for their testimony, it is hardly available now, or effective of any satisfactory result. The solution it offers is as difficult as the original problem. 

John Henry Newman

Keith Matthison’s excellent article that demonstrates how wrong that Cardinal John Henry Newman was about “being deep in history”.

Keith Mathison, at Ligonier Ministries, and in the September 2010 issue of Tabletalk, has an excellent article on John Henry Newman’s claim to be deep in history . . . and he compares Newman’s take with another Anglican who converted to Rome in the 19th Century, Henry Edward Manning.

Here is an excerpt at the end. Excellent analysis of this shibboleth that is deceiving modern day evangelicals left and right.

“Cardinal Newman recognized the obvious difference between the current Roman Church and the early church. He was too deep in history not to see it. He had to develop his famous idea of doctrinal development to explain it. He argued that all the later Roman doctrines and practices were “hidden” in the church from the beginning. They were made explicit over time under the guidance of the Spirit. But the problem that many Roman Catholics fail to see is that there is a difference between development and contradiction. It is one thing to use different language to teach something the church has always taught (e.g., the “Trinity”). It is another thing altogether to begin teaching something that the church always denied (e.g., papal supremacy or infallibility). Those doctrines in particular were built on multitudes of forgeries.

Cardinal Manning solved the problem by treating any appeal to history as treason. He called for blind faith in the papacy and magisterium. Such might have been possible had the fruits of the papacy over 1,500 years not consistently been the precise opposite of the fruit of the Spirit (Matt. 7:16).

Cardinal Newman said that to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant. The truth is that to be deep in real history, as opposed to Rome’s whitewashed, revisionist, and often forged history, is to cease to be a Roman Catholic.”

Keith Mathison

From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website:

Posted in Apologetics, church history, Development of Doctrine, early church history, Protestantism / Evangelicalism, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism

Balancing the common claim that the Copts and Miaphysites welcomed the Arab Muslim Invaders


Posted in Apologetics, Balance, church history, History, Islam, Muslims

Jerome’s Latin translation of “repent” as “do penance”, leading to unBiblical practices for centuries

Jerome’s Latin translation of the Greek metanoeo / μετανοεω was a mistake. The Latin was “do penance” and developed into doing external deeds that the priest said, like crawl up steps and say 100 hail Mary’s or give money to the poor or the church for forgiveness. That is wrong. “Repent” is an internal turning from sin to God that includes a godly sorrow that leads to change and salvation.

Also, Jerome’s translation from Greek into the Latin word for justification was wrong also. (the Greek is: “the count righteous / just / right” but the Latin had more the idea of “to make righteous / just / right”. These 2 mistakes in translation and relying upon them (rather than the original Greek) for centuries is just one of the problems of what later became the Roman Catholic Church.

This is a good explanation:

Actually, “TheDen,” you omitted a very important little word, and in fact, by adding that word, Jerome did change the sense of the entire passage. Here’s a link to A Concise Dictionary to the Vulgate New Testament with an introduction by G.C. Richards who lists, on page 16, some of the same effects on the text that McGrath noted. Specifically, the words paenitentiam agere which “inevitably suggested ‘acts’ and that it no doubt led to the development of the penitential system, by which ‘penance’ became something [to be] done.”

He gives other examples that you can read for yourself, and the inevitable conclusion is: “thus the language of the Vulgate affected in no small degree the life of the Church”.

Diarmaid MacCulloch in his History of the Reformation also summarizes the effects of the Latin Vulgate on the church:
An examination of the New Testament [of Jerome’s mistranslations in the Vulgate] had even more profound consequences [than his mistranslations of the Old Testament]: Jerome had chosen certain Latin words in his translation of the original Greek, which formed a rather shaky foundation for very considerable theological constructions by the later Western Church.

It was not simply that Jerome gave misleading impressions of the Greek text: the mere fact that for a thousand years the Latin Church had based its authority on a translation [with many errors in it] was significant when scholars heard for the first time the unmediated urgency of the angular street-Greek poured out by … Paul of Tarsus as he wrestled with the problem of how Jesus represented God. The struggle sounded so much less decorous in the original than in Latin: the shock was bound to stir up new movements in the Church and suggest that it was not so authoritative or normative an interpreter of Scripture as it claimed.(82-83)
Again, regarding the translation of “metanoiea”:
Most notorious was Erasmus’s retranslation of Gospel passages (especially Matthew 3.2 [and and also 4:17]) where John the Baptist [and Jesus] is presented in the Greek as crying out to his listeners in the wilderness: “metanoeite”. Jerome had translated this as “poenitentiam agite,” “do penance”, and the medieval Church had pointed to the Baptist’s cry as biblical support for its theology of the sacrament of penance. Erasmus said that what John had told his listeners to do was to come to their senses, or repent, and he translated the command into Latin as “resipiscite.” Much turned on one word.(99-100)
Craig Keener has provided an excellent study of what the word “repentance” meant in the New Testament-era literature, and says (primary source references omitted):
“Repentance” in the Gospels recalls not the “change of mind” earlier etymological interpreters sometimes supposed, but the biblical concept of “turning” or “returning” to God (Is 31:6; 45:22; 55:7; Jeremiah 3:7; 3:14; 3:22; 4:1; 8:50; 18:11; 24:7; 25:5; 26:3; 35:15; 36:7; 44:5; Lamentations 3:40; Ezekiel 13:22; 14:6; 18:23; 18:30; 33:9; 33:11; Hosea 11:5; 12:6; 14:1-2; Joel 2:12-13; Zechariah 1:3-4; Malachi 3:6)

[I’ve listed all these Scriptural citations to show that the idea of “repentance” espoused here did have a great deal of consistency through the OT.]

The idea of repentance as returning to God was pervasive in early Judaism but foreign to Greek religion. Sages extolled repentance, some later rabbis even claiming its preexistence or its association with the Messiah’s mission. It is efficacious, though in rabbinic tradition it merely suspends judgment until the Day of Atonement may remove it (and beyond a certain limit it is not efficacious for the person who premeditates sin in hopes of repenting afterward [Sounds a lot like Roman Catholics who think it’s ok to sin, because you can then just go to confession]).

Yet John’s call is more radical; his “repentance” refers not to a regular turning from sin after a specific act, but to a once-for-all repentance, the kind of turning from an old way of life to a new that Judaism associated with Gentiles converting to Judaism, here in view of the impending day of judgment (cf. MT 4:17; 11:20; 12:41; Acts 17:30-31Open in Logos Bible Software (if available); Rom 2:4Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). His call to repentance recalls a familiar summons in the biblical prophets. In various ways John warns his hearers against depending on the special privileges of their heritage. Craig Keener (“The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary” Grand Rapids, MI, Cambridge, UK, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ©2009, pg 120)

From this article by John Bugay:

Posted in Repentance, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholic false practices, Roman Catholicism

The Arrogance of liberal scholarship

An old Dividing Line podcast from 2005, with Dr. James R. White​ where the late Dr. Robert Funk, one of founders of the hyper-liberal, skeptical “Jesus Seminar” (with other liberal scholars like John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg), played clips from a 1989 radio interview with him. Dr. Funk, cursed at Dr. White and the others of the radio station (told them to “go to hell”) (which is ironic because liberal scholars usually don’t even believe a real hell, as the Bible teaches – Mark 9:47-48; Revelation 20:10-15) and hung up on him. Dr. Funk had a lot of knowledge, was a liberal scholar, wrote textbooks on Biblical Greek, but sadly, did not know the Lord of the Scriptures. Dr. Funk was full of arrogance and pride of knowledge and looked down on any scholar who also believed in Biblical Inspiration and Inerrancy. (1 Corinthians 8:1 – “knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies”)

“Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not go unpunished.”  Proverbs 16:5

Posted in Liberal Theology, Pride and Arrogance

The Real Issue About Roman Catholicism

Posted in Apologetics, Justification, Peace with God, Roman Catholic False Doctrines, Roman Catholicism, Salvation