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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #12 God Himself masters His Own Word

In the previous chapters we have seen that there have been lots of different translations which all have something to offer and of which some may be edited with a special purpose and public in mind.

English: The study translation Bible 2009 Česk...

English: The study translation Bible 2009 Česky: Český studijní překlad Bible 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We always should remember for what sort of public the Bible in our hands is translated. Was its purpose to reach teenage kids and as such has avoided too difficult words, or was it more for adolescents, still using a restricted vocabulary or was it for educated people who can bear some more difficult words?

A study Bible.

A study Bible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We also do have to be careful when we speak about a Bible translation that we do not take the additional notes as being part of the real Bible. Too many people forget that it are human words which are added to give the readers some guidance, but mostly are written from denominational points of view.  In this way the so called “Thematic Bibles” and the “Study Bibles” are the most dangerous. They are the easiest sources to have the mind site tracked to human dogma‘s.

Ultimately, we believe the Bible to be inerrant because it comes from God Himself. It is unthinkable to contemplate that God might be capable of error. Therefore, His Word cannot possibly contain errors. This is our faith—we can trust the Bible because we can trust God. {Sproul, R. C. (2009). Can I Trust the Bible? (Vol. 2, p. xii). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.}

For those who say only the King James Version is the only right and true Bible, they should wonder if God then in the previous and following years was not able to protect His Own Word. Do they not trust God that He could take care that those who wanted to translate His word and spent so many hours, days, months and some even years, to make a worthy translation, would make a reasonable good translation which could bring God His Word to the general public?

We should all remember that

God, who is Himself truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God’s witness to Himself. {Sproul, R. C. (2009). Can I Trust the Bible? (Vol. 2, p. xv). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.}

and be aware that though those 66 books may have been written down by different people at different times in the previous history, but have always been God’s Truth and not their own thinking.

Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. {Sproul, R. C. (2009). Can I Trust the Bible? (Vol. 2, p. xv). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.}

It is that Divine Authority Who still overlooks the work done for Him. even when there may by so many different translators from different denominations, they all when working with the Word of God trying to bring it in the language of their people, may come under the Guidance of the Most High God.

 The Holy Spirit, Scripture’s divine author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning. {Sproul, R. C. (2009). Can I Trust the Bible? (Vol. 2, p. xv). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.}

In the  previous chapters we have seen how even of the King James version many totally different versions were created and that several people who say “Only the King James version” may be using themselves a totally different version than the Authorised King James Version of 1611 and each been talking about a different Bible translation.

We also could see that the many versions in many languages all may equip the reader to reach deep into God’s Word and if they are really willing to put all human dogma’s aside that the translation they may use still shall be able to to unlock the riches and majesty of God His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in their life to do the same.

If it are published bibles for a specific group, we should carefully check if all the bible books are represented with the full texts. We also have seen that the saying of Stanton who concluded that

the Bible in its teachings degrades Women from Genesis to Revelation

English: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her daught...

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her daughter Harriot, 1856 Category:United States history images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

is not correct and that God even allowed women, like herself, to translate His word. The famous 19th Century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a “Revising Committee” found much to admire in the Bible, particularly some of the Old Testament women. While many of her views are still controversial, time and advances in womens’ rights have lessened some of the shock value of her book The Woman’s Bible. Stanton doesn’t go as far as some modern feminist theologians and proclaim ‘God is a woman’, but there are several contributions which discuss the gender of the ‘Elohim’ and the female aspects of the Kabbalah.

For those who want to put women on a higher place or give them a nice attention, there may be several Women’s Bibles to give to that special woman in their life, so that she’ll find inspiration with a Bible made just for her. From women’s study Bibles, to Bibles made just for moms, available in popular translations from NIV, NKJV, to ESV, such Bibles for women will help her on her faith journey. So people may find the wisdom, grace, encouragement and guidance that Women’s Bibles can deliver.

Whatever Bible translation you might like to use always remember what the essence of that Book should be. Always remember that the goal of a Bible study should be . . . to study the Bible. Always be careful not to be sidetracked by so many beautiful pictures or lovely stories which are told next to the real Bible text.

Always remember that Bible study is not a social club, a counselling session, or a place to meet “felt needs.” Fellowship, counselling, and meeting needs are often the choice fruits of a good Bible study as women get to know one another and are shaped by the Word. But these fruits should never overcome the goal of studying the Scriptures together. Also Bible Journaling may be great fun for lots of females. Though we notice that lots of girls and ladies let themselves be carried away by their drawings and spent more time to their ‘journaling’ instead of ‘studying’ the Word of God.

Therefore we do ask every person who wants to go for a thematic bible or a special group Study bible to concentrate on the Word of God Itself and to remember always that the additional notes are those of human beings and not part of the Bible itself.

If you keep your goal in mind, you will keep focused on the Scriptures. Tangents will threaten to take you down a rabbit trail, but you will guide them back to the solid ground of the Word. Wrong answers will be offered, but you will arrive at the truth. Real needs will arise, and you’ll be surprised how they are met with Scripture. At the end of an hour or two women will be built up and equipped with the Word. {7 Mistakes We Make in Women’s Bible Study}

English: Page from the Dutsch Professorenbijbe...

Page from the Dutsch Professorenbijbel (“Professors Bible”), a translation of the Latin Vulgate of the Books of the New Testament. This part, covering the Pentateuch, was published in 1904. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let us not forget that it was the KJV translators themselves who stated in their original pref­ace that the very purpose of their translation was to provide God’s Word in a readable and understandable fashion. They too looked at previous versions and recognized and accepted the translation work that had been done before them, not downgrading it.  times and language have evolved, so we should recognise that the 17th century language is not so comprehensible for the contemporary public and that even certain phrases where not so correctly translated because there was not yet such a thorough or good insight in the original language as we have to day.

Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon question

So then how can anyone logically argue that they would object to mod­ern translations being done today for the same purpose? {The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6}

and be honest when you look at the old and original Authorised Version. See if the used words are clear enough even in contemporary spelling.

Nederlands: bijbeluitgave 1611

Bible edition of 1611 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now examine this yourself. Here are a few examples of words from the KJV that have passed completely out of use and convey no meaning to readers today:

almug, neesing, chode, tabret, habergeon, cieled, purtenance, aceldama, sackbut, blains, wot, trow, churl, ambassage, crookbackt, “collops of fat”, “wimples,” “hole’s mouth,” “ouches of gold,” “naughty figs,” and “fetched a compass” (which does not mean to go find a compass but “to turn around”).[2]

These were the words chosen by KJV translators in 1611 to signify the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words. Translators now simply find English words in use today that more accurately convey the meaning. {The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6}

Steve Mittelstaedt and Sat Sapienti write

The goal of translating any ancient text ought to be to make the original sense of that text available to a modern reader.  It really doesn’t matter whether that ancient text was written by Aristophanes or the Apostle Paul. {(Lost in) Permanent Translation}

It is more important to have the Bible presented in a language people of the day can understand easily, without doing shortage to the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek writing.

We must be aware of choices made by publishers, like trying to translate as close as possible to the original language (NWT, Ref.B., Aramaic-English B., The Scriptures, HalleluYah B, NASB) putting meaning ahead of clarity (NAS, Ryries, NASB, ESV, and NRSV), putting clarity ahead of meaning sometime translating very freely (CEV, AMP, Liv.B, the Book, MSG, NLT and GNB/GNT) and those aiming at the optimal amount of meaning and clarity simultaneously (Naz.Com., NKVJ, NAB, NET, HCSB, CEB and NIV).

This are all Bible translations which may come on the bookshelf, but the most important thing is that they are read, not only once, but regularly.

May we use the conclusion of Dr. John Ankerberg of the The John Ankerberg Show and of Dr. John Weldon

In conclusion, if you are a Christian who uses the King James Version, if you understand what you read and are comfortable with it, then by all means, continue to use it. The KJV, despite the kinds of minor problems which occur in any translation, is still a fine Bible.
What if you are a Christian who uses a modern translation? You also should feel free to continue reading a good modern translation.
Don’t be deterred or intimidated by those who would tell you that you do not have the Word of God in your hands. {The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6}

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Full text of the Women’s Bible

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English: Title page of The Holy Bible, King Ja...

Title page of The Holy Bible, King James version, 1772. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #6 Revisions of revisions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #8 Selective Bibles and selective people

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #9 Restored names and Sacred Name Bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #10 Journaling Bibles and illustrative women

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations

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Additional reading

  1. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  2. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  3. Another way looking at a language #1 New Year, Books and Words
  4. Another way looking at a language #4 Ancient times
  5. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  6. Word of God presented to people in more than 3200 languages
  7. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  8. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  9. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  10. Breathing to teach
  11. Wycliffe Associates supporting underground Bible translators
  12. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  13. The NIV and the Name of God
  14. Geneva Bible, Source text for our series on the beginning of Jesus

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Further reading

Bible Translations

A biblebookshelf by paulthinkingoutloud

  1. A New Bible Translation Classification System
  2. The Making of a Worthy Bible Translation
  3. The Translator’s Dilemma
  4. Which Translation of the Bible?
  5. Which is the best English Bible?
  6. 7 Bible Translations You Should Look at Regularly
  7. Compare translations
  8. Reflections on an Old Bible
  9. Medieval Manuscripts and Modern Evangelicals: ETS 2016 in San Antonio
  10. Bible in more languages than Hamlet and Harry Potter put together
  11. Behind the Scenes
  12. That’s for others
  13. Partnership possibilities to #endbiblepoverty @pciassembly @wycliffeuk
  14. Book Review | “How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth” by Gordon D. Fee
  15. Book Review | Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation
  16. Book Review | The Complete Guide to Bible Translations: How They Were Developed – Understanding Their Differences – Finding the Right…
  17. How I Know The King James Bible is the Word of God
  18. Good Book
  19. Ryrie’s Bibles and Manuscripts Auctioned off
  20. Review: The Bible: Authorised King James Version with the Apocrypha (Oxford World Classics)
  21. What Happened to it Being Easy?
  22. I and thou
  23. The King James Version Controversy
  24. Gen 3:16, the ESV, and My תשׁוקה for Folks to Stop Using Hebrew Grammar in the Debate
  25. Two challenges to the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures
  26. Should You Only Read the King James Bible? — The Parker J Cole Show
  27. KJV Only!
  28. King James Only–Refuted (part 3)
  29. Hitchens KJV-Only?
  30. King James Only-ism – invented by Seventh Day Adventist?
  31. King James Only? … The Final Word
  32. Saved or Being Saved
  33. Why’s My NIV So Different From My KJV?
  34. NKJV vs. ESV: Thoughts on the Translation Wars
  35. Blomberg Gives Clarity in the Translation Wars
  36. (Lost in) Permanent Translation
  37. Bible Translations in other Country
  38. Bible Translation Around the World.
  39. Is Modern Really Better?
  40. English Bible Translations
  41. Common English Bible Translation says we live under a Dome
  42. Infographic on English Bible Translations
  43. What’s the best English Bible translation?
  44. Book Review – William Tyndale: A Biography
  45. William Tyndale, Martyr
  46. A mysterious torn image of William Tyndale
  47. DR. John Wycliffe, Low-Tech Bible Translator
  48. Legible or fancy
  49. Henry Martyn (1781 – 1812)-19th October
  50. 500th Anniversary of the Book that Changed the World
  51. Finally, an Awesome Backgrounds Bible!
  52. Crossway Reverses Decision to Make ESV Bible Text Permanent
  53. The ESV’s Great Reversal
  54. The ESV’s Unchangeable Nature?
  55. A scroll, a paper footprint and quite a lot of prayer
  56. Discover Your Language
  57. Literacy… and little pull thingies
  58. New Bible Translation Eliminates “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Messiah” Because It Insults Muslims
  59. The “Treasure” is the Word
  60. Applying God’s Holy Word
  61. Friday Five: The Bible!
  62. About that Bible!
  63. Circle Means Circle – Not Ball/Sphere/Globe!
  64. The Wicked Bible
  65. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  66. A Useless Commentary
  67. I’m not sure what title to give this post, as I’m totally confounded
  68. It’s A Matter Of Life and Death! – Grain of Wheat blog
  69. It’s A Matter Of Life and Death! (alloutwarblog)
  70. The Word and the words: a sonnet for Lancelot Andrewes
  71. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  72. Some Thoughts on the NET Bible
  73. Gospel or Good News?
  74. Jesus, Light of the World
  75. Celebrating the Story
  76. Bible Translation Day
  77. Ulster Rugby and Bible Translation
  78. Washington, D.C.: ‘Topping Out’ the Museum of the Bible
  79. Search The Bible…
  80. The Difference a Sigma Makes
  81. Freedom from the Bible Police
  82. More Bible Stuff
  83. Thou Shouldst Buy This Book

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A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium

Figures in history

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell.

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history lots of religions had troubles with certain figures wanting to have control over everything and wanting to be the main leader.

The Biblestudent movement is no different than any other Christian denomination. In its coarse of history there have been strong leaders creating schisms or denying there where divisions having come out of their group.

One of the pupils of Dr. John Thomas never wanted to have a following of a singular person. Charles Taze Russell managed to create a big amount of followers who were genuinely interested to make the best out of Bible study. Their leader had arranged that they could have additional literature which could be of help to their study, but it was never intended to replace the Bible.

Centralized authority

Russell did not believe in any centralized authority except Jesus and the apostles through the Bible. Because he did believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and that the Gentile Times ended in 1914 he could not be associated with other Bible Students who do not believe that Christ returned in 1874, or that the Gentile Times ended in 1914. The Christadelphians for example are such a group who think Christ still has to return. Whilst his freedom to believe Thomas his unique beliefs were accepted many objected to them being preached as necessary for salvation and this led to a series of debates particularly between Alexander Campbell and Dr Thomas.

John Thomas

John Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Thomas might have had a particular vision on what was predicted in the Bible. His exposition of Bible prophecy led to him making various detailed predictions about then current day events many of which did not come to pass, as was noted in the foreword to subsequent editions of Elpis Israel after his death. those predictions make it sometimes, mainly for Roman Catholics, difficult that he could have followers, because they expect that they would accept everything their teacher would have said or written. But Dr. Thomas Thomas never claimed to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and as such his writings should not bind any body to believe other things than those which are clear in the Bible. All other findings are ideas, of which some may be accepted and others rejected, without having to be excluded of the community, because in the community there should be freedom of thought. Everybody may say his opinion of how he thinks things could be. But what we can not know for sure we do not have to accept the predictions or guessing of individual members. Nobody can or should force his or her ideas on somebody else. Every person should come into the faith by independent study and should not bound himself or herself to any  particular person or organisation and not be placed under any specific ranking, like in the traditional churches, with their pope, cardinals, bishops and priests.

Time of the end

c131

Dr. Thomas may have written:

There is a part of prophetic time, upon the heels of which, our race is now treading, called “the time of the end”—“a time of trouble,” says the Messenger of God, “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.”

and have thought that end-time could have been very close. Thomas thought that they had at length arrived at

“the time of the end,” in its bearing upon the congregation of the Lord Christ.

At the time when he lived he considered

The political signs of the disastrous times—“the time of the end”—coming upon the nations, are crowding the page of history; and the rumbling of that voice, which is to “roar out of Zion,” already trembles upon the ear.

For him it was time to put on the complete armour of God, and gird the loins of your minds with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, preparing our feet with the glad tidings of peace, taking up the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation, and arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

If you would win you must fight; and you must either take a decided stand on the one side or the other. You may delude yourselves with peace here, and happiness hereafter; but be assured that these states are incompatible; for, if you would reign hereafter, you must suffer here.

The Christian Church, or “the Lamb’s wife,” has arrived at the period of preparation, and the proclamation of the Great Captain is — Make ready! And how are the Christians to do this? — By a reformation of morals and combining together heart and soul, and purse, for the restoration of the Christian institution to what it was in apostolic times. This is what must and will be done before the Messiah comes; and, if the faint hearted professors of this generation won’t do themselves the honor of effecting it, the next generation will, and our contemporaries will have the mortification of losing that great recompense of the inheritance, to secure which is now within their grasp.

He believed it was time to rejoice and exult, and give glory to him, because the marriage of the Lamb had come.

But the congregation of the Lord — the Lamb’s wife — will only have attained to this glorious character, when every individual member shall have been immersed into Christ; instead of being composed of persons, as it is now, some of whom have put on Christ and others their own experience. Every saint must have his robe washed white in the blood of Christ; no speckled garments will be admitted there.

What we do know from Scripture is that at the end-times certain signs would be given to the world, like more earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms. But there is also been told about a starting of the troubles in the land of Euphrates and Tigris, after which children would come to resist their parents and religions would come up against other religions, even having wars in the own families and religious groups. And when you look at it that is just what we are encountering today.

Powerful engines

In Dr. Thomas his time the press was a powerful engine.

It is a mighty messenger, whom all the combined power of the Kings of Europe cannot control. Without his aid, Luther’s revolt could not have been effected, and the world might still have been groaning under the despotism of kings, priests, ignorance and superstition. His voice is loud, as when a lion roars; and when he cries seven thunders utter their voices.

“A little book” is a mighty weapon, and like the tongue, has “set the wheel of nature in a blaze.” We rely, therefore, a great deal on the potency of a little book, in our efforts at reformation and restoration. It has done wonders, and will yet do more. It has embittered the stomach, but sweetened the taste; and, while the ponderous tomes of systems of divinity encumber the dusty shelves of the libraries of the downy doctors of the day, from which they pilfer the chopped logic of their sermons, — the wayfaring man though unlearned, can recline under the shade of a tree, and, drawing from his pocket the little book which contains the will of his heavenly Father, he can imbibe the divine words of the Holy Spirit which are able to make him wise to salvation, and far more learned, too, than the gods of the people, though charged to the full with the crudities of Whitby, Gill, Scott and Henry. Despise not, therefore, the day of little books and small things, but promote, as far as you can, the circulation of the fearless and independent “Advocate” of the ancient gospel and apostolic order of things. Editor.

{Thomas, J. (1834-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (1:277-284). Richmond, Va.: s.n.}

Lots of little books, newsletters and exhortations have been written by now. Today certain people become more afraid of the small writings by many persons or want others to follow only their “little writings”. They even want to go so far to take care that what is published can be taken away from public view.

Forcing ideas in other’s heads

Dr.Thomas did not force his ideas onto others and never suggested that he was speaking under inspiration from God or had any personal visions. In this we should find the big difference between what John Thomas did and the false prophet of Deuteronomy 18. We should remember when people read the Bible they are just humans who also can easily miss the mark. He too like any of us could err on doctrine. There is one of the big differences in our believes, we do not belief that any person can be having all the wisdom and be infallible. Some religions claim infallibility for their leaders, but the Christadelphians are not among them.

John Thomas changed his mind several times during the course of his life on many Biblical matters as his understanding became clearer. He was a Bible student of the first order whose main purpose in life was to sift through the myths and dogmas and understand what was the original teaching of Christianity. John Thomas never wanted or desired for people to follow him. His desire was that people would follow God and Jesus Christ as taught in the Holy Scriptures.

Today once more the Biblestudent movement is having a person who is forcing his ideas onto others and who wants that they follow him and his organisation and no other.

No prophets and no solo teachers

Despite being wrong on the date of Christ’s return, John Thomas was amazingly accurate in many of his interpretations of prophecy. He predicted with uncanny accuracy, among other things, the establishment of the state of Israel a hundred years before the fact. Again, the only credit John Thomas can take for this accurate prediction is for the countless hours he put in as a Bible student and not as a prophet.

Other Christadelphians have predicted the date of Christ’s return only to see the time come and go. We always should remember that even Christ Jesus did not know when he would be coming back, so how could we say when he would be coming back? Mark 13:32 should put an end to the practice of guessing or predicting. Speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus states

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

The bottom line is that neither John Thomas nor any other Christadelphian is a prophet or has claimed to be and should not claim to be so. We should go to the infallible word of God for our prophetic visions and most importantly for our understanding of the Hope of Israel (Acts 28:20).

That Book of books should be our infallible Guide and not a singular man.

Excessive zeal

Some  Christadelphians and other Bible Students might have had an

excessive zeal carried to the point of harshness on the part of a few that has led to the Christadelphians being everywhere spoken against. {Robert Roberts in The Sect Everywhere Spoken Against}

English: Variants of symbol of Cross and Crown...

Variants of bible Students symbol of Cross and Crown enclosed within wreath(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the years there came to be moments in the Bible Student movement that a particular person got master of the strings and forced his ideas on others. One of such persons imposing his law was Joseph Franklin Rutherford with his “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma. Rutherford wanted to distinguish himself from other Bible Student groups and by taking the name Jehovah’s witnesses wanted to symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell’s traditions. Others just wanted to have the power themselves and love to be the one in the spotlight.

Today Belgium is been hit by the attempts of a man from the North to get in charge of what is to happen in the Christadelphian community in Belgium. Previously he had already made some attempts to have a good crack to become the leader in Belgium as part of his strategy to be a leader of a worldwide organisation which would “link” all people together to him.

He wanted a cat flap in the Belgian community by having the Belgian responsible, under the wings of the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, denouncing his connection with that group and giving all honour to Mr.D.H. and his organisation C.l..

The difference with the other members of the Biblestudent movement which consider them the only one sincere Biblestudents, is that they as Witnesses of Jehovah have the zeal to reach everybody and as much as persons they can reach. The present group forbids its members to take contact with other members of the Christadelphian community and do not allow them to look for other like-minded people. Their members are also not encouraged to go out preaching and do not seem to bring the gospel to other people. Though their organisation has the word “Care” in their name they do not seem to care about other people. They do not seem to be interested to meet other Christadelphians, though they call themselves Christadelphian. We do find it strange, that all those people baptised in Belgium by Mr. D.H. do not look for other Christadelphians, when they themselves would call themselves Christadelphian. There are enough Christadelphian websites by which people in Belgium could find some Belgian Christadelphians. We wonder why they do not take any contact then with those very few Brothers and Sisters in Christ, who live in isolation in that small country!

Asked to defile

CBM Feb. 18 18.13

Christadelphian Bible Mission U.K. or CBM – 2014 February

Mr.D.H. asks from every person who wants to become a member of or to be associated with his organisation “C.l.” to “defile” (his words) the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM members. Mr. D.H. is even proud he can find enough people who were under the wings of the CBM but got attracted by his organisation and were willing to denounce the CBM and to corrupt the name of the other Christadelphians.

Mr.D.H. also writes to the association of Belgian Christadelphians:

You describe yourselves as “CBM brethren”, but the policies of that organization preclude you from fellowshipping with us, … There are at this time 7 brothers and sisters from British ecclesias having a great time in Riga, Latvia fellowshipping with us and witnessing baptisms there. They have had to defy the CBM to do so but it has been to their and everyone’s blessing.

All the previous members of the Biblestudent movement except Mr. Rutherford never did ask that of their members. Therefore we are concerned about seeing once again a schism coming into existence where the leader of the group who excludes the other shall proclaim the others are the bad guys and have many schisms under them, while they go out in the clear. This time it looks more dangerous than with the group of Rutherford which became the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We would not consider them a sect, and would not consider they are following just one leader. They at least do have a committee. Now everything seems to turn around one man having everything in control and the others having no opportunity to say something against that person in charge.

During Russell’s ministry congregations continued to form and each of them remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance. Russell’s organization maintained hundreds of “pilgrims,” or travelling preachers. By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement. {The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374} but his organisation became under the influence of an autocratic and secretive person who was enjoying to have power. Like Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society the Man from the North would like to have control over the Christadelphians as well.

It is a pity many people do not know that because being disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford’s tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society. Though today the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be the original and only true Biblestudents, founded by Russell.

Here we see a repetition of history, Mr.D.H. from the North claiming to be the organisation bringing the Truth and being the real followers of Christ and the real followers of John Thomas. They consider all others as the “bad ones”.

Concerns

Belgian Christadelphians English pages

English web-pages of the Belgian Christadelphians

The CBM was and is concerned about Mr.D.H his many converts.

“The issue with CBM is that it feels these converts are not properly taught, instructed and baptised. … it is not the converts fault at all, hence bringing them into a small fellowship group would be to their benefit.”

Mr. Marcus Ampe from the Belgian Christadelphians tried to bring the Central Fellowship CBM members (Amended Christadelphians) together with other Christadelphians. He and some committed members of the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven engaged in an effort to bring all different souls under one roof and having them meet in peace at different places in Belgium.

Currently people might find different Christadelphian groups like the Bereans, mostly in North America and the remnants of the Dawn fellowship mainly in the UK and Australia. In Ghent there live some Old Paths who do not want to meet with us, though an other person from the Old Paths is already several years happy meeting with us at different places in Belgium and France. From those Old Paths, in the world you might find also the Companion and Lightstand fellowships resulting from splits within this group, but with some of these later joining with the Dawn group and some remaining separate. All refuse association with any other fellowship, and all share three main characteristics of which the claim that the Central fellowship is either apostate or willing to accept apostasy, is one.

For months discussions and writings went on and lots of time was spend to come to a solution to have baptised Christadelphians in Belgium a place to meet other brothers and sisters, plus having an opening to invite non-baptised people to different places in the country.

Christadelphia Black-out Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page being blacked-out in February 2014

It might not be. Mr.D.H. keeps refusing and doing everything to break the unity of the Christadelphian community. The last few days he even went so far to go into attack against Mr. Ampe and his publications on the net, hindering all his preaching work. The Man from the North succeeded to silence Mr. Ampe by jamming his personal Google+ pages and publications, as well as having taken away from public viewing his website Christadelphian World and the Facebook page Christadelphia.

When a person goes so far he takes down the websites of others,we do come in a very dangerous situation where the dictator manages to silence anybody who does not agree with him. This did not happen yet in the world of the Biblestudents before. Lots of screaming to each other and having lots of words going to and fro, might have happened more than once in the community where many people were very concerned to preach and to get as many people as they could to the Truth.

Necessity for union

Mr. Marcus Ampe tried to get the people living in Belgium, to meet with others, no matter to which Christadelphian group they might originally belong. for him unity between followers of Christ is most important.

According to him the ecclesia or the parish is part of the Body of Christ. Each community having its own independance, but joining hands in the general basic creeds. all those different communities should feel the bond with each other, though all keep their own choice and responsibility to appoint representatives, for the discharge of all the duties of an ecclesia: for the instruction and proper baptism of new members; for the spiritual as well as physical welfare of all its members; for the repudiation of error and, where ultimately necessary, for withdrawal from disorderly or erring members. These duties are carried out by the ecclesia concerned on behalf of the whole body of believers, and therefore there must be complete agreement among all ecclesiae as to the basis on which fellowship is shared.

It is not good for the Body of Christ when there is division in it. All should have brotherly love and be willing to accept the differences of character of each individual. Each person should feel that he or she is fully respected and taken on in the community of believers and recognised as a follower of Christ, full member of the Body of Christ.

Central fellowship practice

Marcus Ampe does regret that many groups have continued to differentiate and divide because their members either can’t resist (or don’t want to resist) the urge to police anyone and everyone in their “fellowship”.  today Mr.D.H. and his organisation also have shown their true face, certainly after creating a black out for some of the Belgian websites and pages (Google+ and Facebook).

Like you may find on different Central Fellowship websites, the Central Fellowship members of Belgium believe that all ecclesiae in a community should be regarded as part of a single body; the division into individual ecclesiae being only a matter of geographical convenience. For this reason the concept of “ecclesial autonomy”, where individual ecclesiae accept different standards in matters relating to fundamentals of belief and practice, is rejected by the Dawn community. But on non-fundamental matters there must be ecclesial independence. We firmly reject any idea of an overall controlling body.

The Central fellowship has been using the Ecclesial Guide, appreciating ecclesial autonomy and ecclesia-based fellowship, as based upon the Scriptural principles encapsulated in the BASF. It has rejected those who demand the BASF only, and allowed instead for different expressions of the same saving truths, both in its different reunion documents, and in individual ecclesial statements. This has given the breakaway fragments, if they sought unity again, a way back into the larger group. And the reasonable combination of ecclesial autonomy, a common set of beliefs, and a more or less standard fellowship practice has allowed ecclesias and individuals of some diversity to remain together. It is a paradigm that works (with some glitches, of course) for a worldwide community. {Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship, Glad Tidings, March 2013}

Sad occurrence

Having Mr. D.H. such an aggressive stand, blocking any form of co-operation and not only making that the CBM members can not meet with other brethren, worse him silencing several of the Belgian internet places to meet the general public, or a real intrusion of democratic freedom of speech and of showing brotherly love and willingness to give everybody the same possibilities to reach others to bring them to the Kingdom of God.

Also the Association of Bible Students got a red notice from Google and got the message their reply on Christadelphian World was taken of public viewing because of ‘inappropriate language’. For our readers to decide if it was really a language which should not be open to the public we here present a photograph of the reply to the article: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks:

Biblestudents comment on Christadelphian World - Blogger Feb. 14 14.04Such an action of silencing all who have some remark to make or have other ideas, is creating a ground for a dictatorial community and would not resist others to accuse such a community for being a cult. Sectarianism is something none of the Bible-students would like to be associated with. Many groups face already difficulty, by being called a cult, that we can need such a group of Mr.D.H. like we need a hole in the head.

It is incredible that such a single man can create such upheaval and cause a black out of websites or voices on the international internet. We do not understand how he managed to this, but it is an inadmissible action. The man from the North his attitude is impermissible and all those involved in the building up the body of Christ here on earth should warn their flock of the dangers of such a person, who does not recoil to use all means to get his goal.

Reason to react

We can not just do if nothing happened.  The man of the North keeping back ways to reach non-believers and believers, making the Belgian brethren to fail to talk to them about salvation, he is essentially condemning them to separation from God and withholding them from getting in contact with lovers of God.  When we see such un-christian action been taken to silence a follower of Christ, certainly when such events are caused by somebody who calls himself a Christian, the community should act. According to us when a Christian sees a fellow Christian sinning and does not say anything, the person who stays silent is not showing them the love of Christ and in effect is actually “hating” the other person. When people have an argument with somebody they should come to terms and solve the matter, first in private, than by bringing it the eyes of some private brothers or/and sisters, and when nothing helps they should let more people from the community know what is going on and where there are problems. Mr. Marcus Ampe followed this path of trial to come to reconciliation between all the parties involved. He and the members of the Belgian ecclesia wanted it to work it out. They did not want to have seeds of anger and hostility sown in anybodies heart toward any person or organisation.  The Belgian Christadelphians have been pushed in the corner and are obliged to defend themselves.

All those who consider themselves to be a follower of Christ should try to unite with the other followers of Christ. All those sincerely studying the bible should show others the way Christ Jesus has paved for us and how he wanted us to unite. Therefore let us show that brotherly love to each other, give each other hands and unite under the body of Christ.

In the peace and love of Christ, peace be with you all.

***

Without freedom of thought there can be no suc...

Without freedom of thought there can be no such think as wisdom & no such thing as puclick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The cause of maddening:

After months of trying to get reconciliation and getting nowhere Mr. Marcus Ampe found it necessary to let his public know that he nor his ecclesia members could do much against the unbearable situation not to meet with others or being able to give the addresses of other communities in Belgium. After having placed the articles Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars and  No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks, Mr. D.H. accused him of slander. In his defence Mr. Ampe replied to the articles and accusations, but found that very quickly his defence was taken off the net, with the accusation of being of “inappropriate language”.

Other reactions were given afterwards:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God (2/10/2014)
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood (February 10, 2014)
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them (2/12/2014)
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech (Friday, February 14, 2014)
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation (February 14, 2014)
  6. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (2014/02/15)
  7. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (17 , Feb, 2014)
  8. Delay in publications because attack from outside (February 17, 2014)

Dutch articles:

  1. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (February 15, 2014)
  2. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (17 , Feb, 2014)

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship
  2. Integrity of the fellowship
  3. Secret or public return of Jesus
  4. Signs of the Last Days
  5. Weapons of our warfare
  6. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  7. Belonging to or being judged by
  8. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian

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  • One Mind, One Accord (propheticsteps.com)
    How often do you find total agreement with other people? I often find myself in agreement with others, but not always for the same reason. There are times I can see someone else’s point of view, but I do not agree with their assessment. Just because people laugh at the same joke does not mean they find the same thing funny.This is one of the many problems plaguing the body of Christ today. I have found myself in different congregations, in different denominations, among friends and strangers, and have discussed some of those differences. If this were a solvable problem, the many denominations of churches would be reduced to one.
    +
    Today I simply ask that you pray for the churches. Prayerfully ask for Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Pray for strength to stand strong on truth. Pray for humble submission to God’s word, God’s will and the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Pray for the leaders of the body of Christ, the burden is great for those in positions of authority, as is the judgment they assume in taking positions of leadership.
    +

    Another gospel?
    The church, in general, today is experiencing perilous times. There are so many denominations, doctrines, teachings, and ideas. What I find to be most dangerous is this: The general acceptance of all things. If someone thinks it, believes it, and says it loud enough multiple times, someone else is willing to accept it and repeat the process.
    +
    If we find a gospel being preached that is easy to digest and a gospel that tickles the ears, we better be alarmed. If we hear soothing words that eases the burden of sin without true repentance and cheapens the grace which God has given, it must become our duty to defend the truth.

  • “Shut Up!” – One Year Bible – February 18 – Tuesday (jerryrothauser.wordpress.com)
    Cheatin’ goes, always shows!  If someone snookers his neighbor in any way, he had to repay and add 20% to it. To boot, he had to sacrifice a ram.Maybe we take sin too casually.  If we had to buy a smelly ram and then have it slaughtered in front of our eyes and smell the burning flesh and see the blood maybe we wouldn’t be so casual about sin.  Or would we?  Maybe we’d also appreciate the lamb slain for us a bit more, too?  Naaah.
  • SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 2:17-18 (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    Christ’s message was meant for both Gentile (afar off) and Jews (nigh).  Keep in mind, although the ministry of Christ centered upon the Jews (Matt 15:24), Christ did minister to Gentiles as well:
  • Dealing With Problems (dailybibleplan.com)
    As problems arise for us, we often do not know exactly how to handle them and we can easily be tempted not deal with them at all.  When we see a non-believer who does not know the Way, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not talk to them about Christ because it might be uncomfortable.  When we see a fellow believer sinning, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not confront them on their sins because we want to maintain the peace.  Just like Festus, we can be tempted to try to send others on their way to allow someone else to deal with the problem, but none of this is biblical.  Being a follower of Christ does not afford us the opportunity to “bury our heads in the sand”.  Jesus was very specific when He told us how to deal with problems, and regardless of the situation we are called to deal with problems head on.
  • “But did you pray for the wolf?” (standupforthetruth.com)
    First of all I want to say up front that I do not believe praying for a wolf is wrong, a sin, nor am I saying that you shouldn’t do it. Furthermore, this post is not intended to discourage you from doing so, but only to raise the question are wesupposed to pray for the wolves?I would also like to preface this thesis by clarifying that when I speak of wolves in this post, I am not referring to the rank and file who have fallen under the spell of their leaders, but the leaders themselves (Think: Helen Ukbato, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, et al).

    With that said, allow me to present some thoughts on this matter.

  • Bibles removed from Iowa State guest rooms (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    On January 29 I put up a brief post noting that someone had complained about the presence of Gideon Bibles in the guest rooms at Iowa State University’s (ISU) Memorial Union, lodgings that are part of a public university. I also reproduced the letter that the ISU got from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) saying that those Bibles were a no-no—a violation of the First Amendment. The letter worked: no litigation was necessary. The University removed the Bibles.

    There are many reports of this victory on the internet, but I was most interested in the one at the Christian News Network, as the coverage was most extensive and I hoped there would be some funny comments.

  • After Christian Politicians in Northern Ireland Force Cancellation of Satirical Bible Play, the Backlash is Fierce (patheos.com)
    Remember how the Mormon Church responded when The Book of Mormon musical came out? They embraced it (without quite endorsing it), placed ads in the Playbill, and even issued a well-crafted public statement:

    The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.
    +

    When “keeping the peace” becomes of higher value than God’s glory, tolerance begins to set in. It is one thing to have a nation where everyone is free to worship as they please. It is another to promote false religion and to censor the worship of Jesus. One protects people’s right to worship the other promotes principles contrary to the Bible and works against the worship of Jesus.

    “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

    In an effort to appease, Solomon opened the door for the eventuality of his wives’ religions to be on an equal footing with the law of God in matters of law and order leading to the acceptance of anti-biblical principles whose practice cannot be blessed by God.

  • Freedom of Speech (keithgarrettpoetry.com)
    Freedom of speech, the words, phrase, and the meaning are not clear,

    It Is our right we are told that speak we may In public our own way.

    There Is no such thing as saying what you’re thinking out loud In the streets,

    They say that It’s your right but you better be careful of what you are saying.

    How much freedom of speech do we really have, I do know not that much,

     

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Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit

In the previous articles we have seen that churchmen of the late third and early fourth centuries, such as Athanasius, reflected this influence as they formulated ideas that led to the Trinity. Their own influence spread, so that Morenz considers “Alexandrian theology as the intermediary between the Egyptian religious heritage and Christianity.”

The early days of Christianity

2.2.3. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit

Cybele, Ankara Museum

Montanus (? born in Ardaban (Misia) not for from Phrygia – 195) was first a priest of the Anatolian Earth Goddess Cybele.  Phrygia‘s State deity was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Asia Minor, and spread from there to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies from around the 6th century BCE. In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of her cult, and claimed her conscription as a key religious component in their success against Carthage during the Punic Wars.

When Montanus converted to  Christianity, at Ar­daoau he fell into a trance and began to “prophesy under the influence of the Spirit.” He was soon joined by two young women, Prisca, or Priscilla, and Maxirnilla, who also began to prophesy. He got the message that Christ would soon return and that the Holy Spirit would reign now.
As a prophet of God convinced that the Paraclete spoke through him Montanus proclaimed the towns of Pepuza and Tymion in west-central Phrygia as the site of the New Jerusalem, making the larger Pepuza his headquarters. His followers, the Montanists awaited, the coming of the Holy Ghost to take the place of the Son and announce a more perfect Gospel, made Him the object of an exclusive worship, which the Church had to repress.

Giving the Holy Spirit such an important place in adoration was as such not such a bad teaching to bring forth the third person in the godhead. The idea to transpose the function of Anatolian Mother Goddess  Cybele to Mary as mother of Christ, was very convenient, because now Mary could also be seen as the Magna Mater (“Great Mother”) or mother of God and could be adored. She now could belong to other figures to be but apart or made “holy” (‘set apart’ as sacred.[1])

More and more artefacts where used to bring adoration or placed in worship spaces. God detests statues or artefacts given shape by man for worship. In the Old Testament, votive offerings, the re­turn of which to profane use was strictly banned; such objects, destined for destruc­tion, thus became “accursed” as well as con­secrated. [2] The apostle Paul also considered such statues or stone carvings an abomination which should be ruled out. He spoke about something’s to be “denounced” [anathema] or accursed but also being “offered up to God”. Praying to statues was considered a crime for the first Christians.

Those who showed their love to pictures or statues did do something against the commandments of God and showed that they did not love Elohim the Most High God but were objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings. For the first Christians they were unrepentant of a crime that merits the severest condemnation and as such should not be considered any more as part of the ecclesia. They were exposed to the sentence of “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” for they did “not embrace saving beliefs, as was the sentence of all mankind before the atonement, justification and sanctification of the blood of Christ that allowed for the redemption of sins”. [3]

The use of the word “anathema” to signify a curse and forced expulsion from the com­munity of Christians was taken over and became the standard term in the church after St. Cyril of Alexandria pronounced his 12 anathemas against the heretic Nestorius (in 413 CE). In the 6th cen­tury, anathema came to mean the severest form of excommunication that formally sepa­rated a heretic completely from the Christian Church and condemned his doctrines; minor excommunications, while prohibiting free reception of the sacraments, obliged the sinner to rectify his sinful state through the sacra­ment of Penance.

File:Svenskaya.jpg

SS. Anthony and Theodosius with the Theotokos Panachrantos, an 11th-century icon from the Svensky Monastery. Tretyakovkaja Gallery. – 11 Century

In the 4° century they liked the idea of the adoration of the Holy Spirit and the Magna Mater or Theotokos, the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include ‘God-bearer ‘ and ‘the one who gives birth to God’. The Council of Ephesus decreed, in opposition to those who denied Mary the title Theotokos (“the one who gives birth to God”)[4] but called her Christotokos (“the one who gives birth to Christ”). Athanasius of Alexandria in 330, Gregory the Theologian in 370, John Chrysostom in 400, and Augustine all used theotokos.[5]

Next to the incarnation of God now the Spirit would also come onto the earth and could be adored or worshipped. In 380 the anathemas [6]pronounced by Pope Damasus, in the Fourth Council of Rome, condemned whosoever should deny that the Holy Ghost must be adored like the Father and the Son by every creature (Denzinger, Enchiridion, n. 80). These anathemas were renewed by Celestine I and Virgilius, and the ecumenical council of 381 in its symbol, which took its place in the liturgy, formulated its faith in the Holy Ghost, “Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.” These expressions indicate the unity of the adoration of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that is, that one or the other Person of the Trinity may be adored separately but not to the exclusion of the other two.

The idea of a Trinity, which, since the Council of Nice, and especially through Basil the Great (370), had become the Catholic dogma was of course not only regarded by Jews as antagonistic to their monotheistic faith . Real students of the Bible found no reason to go into such a teaching. For them the Bible was clear with words like the ‘son of God’. It became even worse when certain Christians took this Three-Une God, ‘God the son’ ‘God the Father’ together with “the Holy Ghost [”Ruaḥ ha-Ḳodesh”] as conceived of as a female being,” having their parallels in all the heathen mythologies.[7]


[1] In this sense the form of the word was once (in plural) used in the Greek New Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered ‘gifts.’

[2] Old Testament descriptions of reli­gious wars call both the enemy and their be­seiged city anathema inasmuch as they were destined for destruction.

[3] Alternatively, the Apostle Paul could be suggesting that those who do not love the Lord should be offered up to God.

[4] For some Mary gave birth to Jesus, who would be the god of eternity, being both God and man, divine and human and therefore the child born ‘tokos’ from God ‘Theos’ or Theotokos.

[6] Offerings or precious Gifts made to God

[7] As has been shown by many Christian scholars, such as Zimmern, in his “Vater, Sohn, und Fürsprecher,” 1896, and in Schrader’s “K. A. T.” 1902, p. 377; Ebers, in his “Sinnbildliches: die Koptische Kunst,” 1892, p. 10; and others.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=489&letter=C&search=Christianity

  • The Doctrine Of The Trinity (justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com)
    Christians regards their religion as monotheistic, since Christianity teaches the existence of one GodYahweh, the God of the Jews. It shares this belief with two other major world religions, Judaism and Islam.
  • Advent Series 2012, Pt. 4 | Mary: The Mother of God (thereformedwesleyan.com)
    She was a simple and frail human being just like the rest of us. I think that there are some within the Christian family that have gone too far in seeking to praise Mary for her role in the Christmas story. However, I do believe that those of us on the other side of the family do not go far enough in recognizing the remarkable fact that Mary was the one chosen for this sacred task.
    +
    The first characteristic Mary demonstrated was humility.
    +
    The second characteristic that Mary demonstrated in this short exchange was acceptance.
  • Mary & Joseph (findingchristinchristmas.wordpress.com)
    In real life we see out-of-wedlock births all the time. Plus, we witness all the consequences thereafter to one extent or another.But, how miraculous that God chose Jesus to be born this way.
  • Fatherhood: One Reason the Holy Trinity Matters (gregoryccochran.com)
    The Holy Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, operating in complete unity of will and purpose (though 3 distinct, divine persons)–is unique to Christian theology. The Trinity belongs to no other religion, and, thus, no other religion can explain the complexities of the universe.
  • YOUCAT(38) Who is the “Holy Spirit”? (mycubao.org)
    When we discover the reality of God in us, we are dealing with the working of the Holy Spirit.
  • Advent: The First Baby Shower Unites Women on the Margins (wholeness4all.wordpress.com)
    In America, baby showers are times for women to come together and celebrate new life; presents are exchanged, advice given, and games played. Mary and Elizabeth celebrated the new life within them by exchanging presents of joy, encouragement, song, and prophecy. Both women were carrying children of promise: one would pave the way and the other would be the way.
    +
    during this season of Advent, let us remember that the Gospels included everyday people who God used in extraordinary ways.
  • Charles Stanley: 10 Ways to Know You’re Following the Holy Spirit (promisebook.net)
    Not sure if you’re being led by the Spirit? Here are a few key Scriptures to help discern.
  • Hail Mary, Full of Grace – Advent Meditation (mccatholic.com)
    There is a tendency in Protestant and many Anglican circles to overlook Mary.  We see her in Nativity scenes and on Christmas cards.  We sometimes hear the Ave Maria sung or played at this time of year, but there is often such a fear of treading on ground that is considered Roman Catholic that many Christians miss out on the great lessons that the Mother of our Lord and the Mother of the Holy Church has to teach us.  Many of us have been brought up in circumstances and backgrounds that, if not directly, then indirectly, lead us to feel that any honor or veneration paid to Mary was an act of worship and therefore wrong and sinful.

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #8 Concilie van Constantinopel

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen.

Concilie van Constantinopel

De Britse historicus H. G. Wells suggereerde dat Constantijn politiek en autocratie invoerde in een reeds sterk verdeelde christenheid. Wells schreef: „Niet alleen werd het concilie van Nicea door Constantijn de Grote bijeengebracht, maar alle grote concilies, de twee in Constantinopel (381 en 553), [en het concilie in] Efeze (431) en [in] Chalcedon (451) werden door de keizerlijke macht bijeengeroepen.

Concilie van Nicea-325 vastgesteld op het Concilie van Constantinopel in 381

In 381 G.T. werd op het concilie van Constantinopel de Niceaanse geloofsbelijdenis bekrachtigd. En het voegde daar nog iets anders aan toe: de heilige geest werd „Heer” en „levengever” genoemd. De uitgebreidere geloofsbelijdenis van 381 G.T. (die thans in hoofdzaak in de kerken wordt gebruikt en „de Niceaanse geloofsbelijdenis” wordt genoemd) toont aan dat de christenheid op het punt stond een volslagen trinitarisch dogma te formuleren. Maar zelfs op dit concilie werd dat dogma nog niet afgesloten. De New Catholic Encyclopedia erkent:

„Het is interessant dat het concilie van Constantinopel I (381 G.T.), dat 60 jaar na Nicea I werd gehouden, de term homoousios in zijn definitie van de goddelijkheid van de Heilige Geest vermeed.”[1]

„Geleerden hebben zich verbaasd over de ogenschijnlijk gematigde wijze waarop deze geloofsbelijdenis was geformuleerd; het verzuim bijvoorbeeld om het woord homoousios voor de Heilige Geest te gebruiken teneinde de wezenseenheid met de Vader en de Zoon aan te duiden.”[2]

Diezelfde encyclopedie erkent: „Homoousios komt in de Schrift niet voor.” Nee, de Bijbel gebruikt dat woord noch voor de heilige geest noch voor de Zoon om de wezenseenheid met God aan te duiden. Het was een onbijbelse uitdrukking die tot de ontwikkeling van de onbijbelse, ja, antibijbelse leerstelling van de Drieëenheid bijdroeg.

Zelfs na het concilie van Constantinopel duurde het eeuwen voordat de Drieëenheidsleer in heel de christenheid werd aanvaard. De New Catholic Encyclopedia zegt: „In het Westen . . . schijnt men met betrekking tot Constantinopel I en de daar afgekondigde geloofsbelijdenis in het algemeen het stilzwijgen te hebben bewaard.”[3] Deze bron toont aan dat de op het concilie afgekondigde geloofsbelijdenis tot de zevende of de achtste eeuw in het Westen niet in brede kringen werd erkend.

St Athanasius

St Athanasius – Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Bijbelgeleerden erkennen ook dat de Athanasiaanse geloofsbelijdenis, vaak aangehaald als een standaarddefinitie en ondersteuning van de Drieëenheid, niet door Athanasius geschreven werd, maar veel later door een onbekende schrijver werd opgesteld. The New Encyclopædia Britannica merkt op:

„Tot aan de 12de eeuw kende de Oosterse Kerk deze geloofsbelijdenis niet. Sinds de 17de eeuw zijn bijbelgeleerden het er algemeen over eens dat de Athanasiaanse Geloofsbelijdenis niet door Athanasius (die in 373 stierf) geschreven werd, maar waarschijnlijk in de 5de eeuw in Zuid-Frankrijk werd opgesteld. . . . De geloofsbelijdenis schijnt in de 6de en 7de eeuw voornamelijk invloed te hebben gehad in het zuiden van Frankrijk en Spanje. Ze werd in de 9de eeuw gebruikt in de liturgie van de kerk in Duitsland en enige tijd later in Rome.”[4]

„Bij latere algemene concilies hadden de keizerlijke kerkpolitiek en de wedijver tussen de grote aartsbisdommen dikwijls de overhand”[5]. Aangezien zulke kerkvergaderingen gekenmerkt werden door kerkelijke politiek en wedijver, brachten ze geen vruchten van Gods geest, zoals liefde en vrede, voort. Integendeel, ze werden ontsierd door werken van het vlees, waaronder „vijandschap, twist en jaloezie; . . . verdeeldheid, scheuring en nijd”.

Ook al worden de concilies goedgepraat als theologische mijlpalen, in de ogen van velen zijn het grafzerken geweest die de slagen markeren waarmee de zuivere christelijke leerstellingen zijn verbrijzeld. [6][7]


[1]New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Deel VII, blz. 115.

[2]New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Deel VII, blz. 436,

[3]New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Deel VII, blz. 436.

[4] The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 1985, 15de druk, Micropædia, Deel 1, blz. 665.

[5]The Encyclopedia Americana.

[6] Ter illustratie: In 325 G.T. voerde het Concilie van Nicea de leerstelling van de incarnatie (vlees- of menswording) van Christus in, ofte wel de leer van Christus als ’god en mens’. Deze loochening van het feit dat Jezus werkelijk een mens was, werd een van de misleidendste leerstellingen van de christenheid. (Vergelijk 2 Johannes 7.)

[7] De Drieëenheid is derhalve onschriftuurlijk. De leer werd in 325 G.T. op het concilie van Nicea aangenomen toen afvalligen een heidens idee overnamen dat afkomstig was uit het oude Egypte en Babylon. Zoals historicus Will Durant opmerkte in The Story of Civilization: Part III: „Het christendom heeft het heidendom niet vernietigd; het heeft het geadopteerd. . . . De ideeën over een goddelijke drieëenheid kwamen uit Egypte.” En The New Encyclopædia Britannica verklaart: „Noch het woord Drieëenheid noch de expliciete leerstelling als zodanig komt in het Nieuwe Testament voor . . . De leerstelling heeft zich in de loop van verscheidene eeuwen geleidelijk en onder veel onenigheid ontwikkeld.”

De Mariaverering zou nog meer navolging krijgen door de leerstellingen van Bernard of Bernardus van Clairvaux ( 1090 –  1153) een Franse abt en de belangrijkste promotor van de hervormende kloosterorde van de cisterciënzers. In het vroegmiddeleeuwse denken, had de maagd Maria een ondergeschikte rol gespeeld en pas met de opkomst van het emotionele christendom in de elfde eeuw, werd Maria dan de belangrijkste bemiddelaar tussen de mensheid met de godheid.

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen. #5 Apologeten

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen.

Apologeten.

Tijdens de vreedzame tweede eeuw herleeft het heidendom en worden de christenen nog slechts sporadisch vervolgd. Een christelijke volksliteratuur versterkt het geloof en het gnosticisme en marcionisme belagende kerk.

Ongeveer vanaf het midden tot aan het einde van de tweede eeuw van onze gewone tijdrekening verschenen de kerkleiders die men nu Apologeten noemt. Hun geschriften hadden ten doel het christendom dat zij kenden, te verdedigen tegen vijandige filosofieën die in de Romeinse wereld van die tijd gangbaar waren. Hun werk dateert uit de tijd dat de Apostolische Vaders hun geschriften zo ongeveer hadden voltooid, en uit de periode daarna.

Icon of Tatian the Asssyrian

Tatianus de Assiriër

Tot de Apologeten die in het Grieks schreven, behoren Justinus de Martelaar (Justinus Martyr/Justin Martyr), Tatianus, Athenagoras, Theophilus, en Clemens van Alexandrië. Tertullianus was een apologeet die in het Latijn schreef. Onderwezen zij de Drieëenheid van de hedendaagse christenheiddrie aan elkaar gelijke personen (Vader, Zoon en Heilige Geest) in een Godheid, waarbij ieder waarlijk God is en er nochtans niet drie Goden zijn maar er één God is?

In het boek The Formation of Christian Dogma zegt dr. Martin Werner over de vroegste opvatting omtrent de verhouding van de Zoon tot God:

„Die verhouding werd onmiskenbaar beschouwd als een verhouding van ’ondergeschiktheid’, i.e. in de zin van ondergeschiktheid van Christus aan God. Overal waar in het Nieuwe Testament de verhouding van Jezus tot God, de Vader, ter sprake wordt gebracht, . . . wordt deze categorisch als ondergeschiktheid opgevat en weergegeven. En de meest overtuigde Subordinatianist van het Nieuwe Testament, volgens het synoptische verslag, was Jezus zelf . . . Dit oorspronkelijke standpunt, krachtig en duidelijk als het was, heeft zich lange tijd kunnen handhaven. ’Alle grote pre-Niceense theologen wezen op de ondergeschiktheid van de Logos aan God.’”[1]

„De ondergeschiktheid van de Zoon werd over het algemeen, zo niet eenstemmig, door de ante-Niceense Vaders onderstreept . . . Dat zij de Zoon als onderscheiden van de Vader bezagen, blijkt uit de omstandigheid dat zij zijn ondergeschiktheid duidelijk onderstrepen. . . . Zij beschouwden hem als onderscheiden en ondergeschikt.”[2]

„De christologie van de apologieën, evenals die van het Nieuwe Testament, is in wezen subordinatiaans. De Zoon is altijd ondergeschikt aan de Vader, die de ene God van het Oude Testament is. . . . Wat wij dus bij deze vroege auteurs aantreffen, is geen Drie-eenheidsleer . . . Vóór Nicea was de christelijke theologie bijna universeel subordinatiaans.”5

Volgens de Drie-eenheidsleer van de christenheid is de Zoon wat betreft eeuwigheid, macht, positie en wijsheid gelijk aan God de Vader. Maar de Apologeten zeiden dat de Zoon niet gelijk is aan God de Vader. Zij bezagen de Zoon als ondergeschikt. Dat is niet de Drie-eenheidsleer.[3]

Vóór Tertullianus zelfs geen melding gemaakt van de Drie-eenheid. En de ’heterodoxe’ Drie-eenheid van Tertullianus was geheel verschillend van die waarin velen heden ten dage geloven.

Onder Trajan Decius breekt een kerkvervolging uit die tijdens Diocletianus nog heviger wordt.


[1] The Formation of Christian Dogma (oorspronkelijke titel: Die Entstehung des christlichen Dogmas), door Martin Werner, 1957, blz. 125.

[2]The Church of the First Three Centuries, door Alvan Lamson, 1869, blz. 70, 71.

[3]Gods and the One God, door Robert M. Grant, 1986, blz. 109, 156, 160.

Lees ook: Tatianus aankondiging aan de Grieken: Tatian’s  Address to the Greeks

Ga de geschiedenis van de Kerkelijke dogma’s na en vergelijk met wat er in uw Bijbel te vinden is.

Dogma’s of aan geen beredenering meer onderworpen geloofsartikelen houden een risico in dat de mens een regel op legt waaraan iedereen zich moet aan houden. Iedere zogenaamde waarheid waarvan een Kerkgemeenschap plechtig heeft verklaard dat zij door God geopenbaard is en derhalve door de mens geloofd moet worden, zoals het dogma van de Heilige Drievuldigheid, de Onfeilbaarheid of enige andere leerstelling die hun geloofwaardigheid aan zichzelf of aan het gezag van een leermeester ontlenen, zouden moeten onderzocht worden in het licht van wat er werkelijk te vinden is in de Heilige Schrift, het Woord van God. Indien er geen verwoording of kennisgeving in het Boek der Boeken, de Bijbel staat kan men aannemen dat het een menselijke oplegging is, daar God wel duidelijkheid zou gegeven hebben in Zijn Woord.

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