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

In the Wild West women took care their children got a knowledge of the Word of God. In the growing states of the New World the oral tradition of the Word of God ensured the Gospel-readings spreading.

For millennia prior to the invention of writing, which is a very recent phenomenon in the history of humankind, oral tradition served as the sole means of communication available for forming and maintaining societies and their institutions. Moreover, numerous studies — conducted on six continents — have illustrated that oral tradition remains the dominant mode of communication in the 21st century, despite increasing rates of literacy. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}

The States got some very strong ladies, creating schools and congregations where women told in their own words what was written in the Holy Scriptures. In the early nineteenth century, at the European continent and in the colonies where the largest, most influential churches like Catholics and Church of England reigned, they like Presbyterians, and the Episcopalians (or Anglicanism and Episcopal Church in the United States of America) forbade women to preach. In the New World women proved their necessity for leading everything in good directions. Searching the bible and having met people from different denominations many came to conclusions which made them to form newer groups. In a small number of those denominations, particularly the Congregationalists, the restrictions on women’s religious speech became challenged. Professor of Religions in America and the History of Christianity in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Catherine Brekus whose works have included a history of female preaching in America, entitled Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740 – 1845 (1998) and a history of early evangelicalism based on a woman’s diaries, entitled Sarah Osborn‘s World: The Rise of Evangelicalism in Early America (2013), writes.

“Anti-authoritarian, anti-intellectual, and often visionary, they deliberately set themselves apart from the ‘worldliness’ of established churches by insisting that God could choose anyone — even the poor, uneducated, enslaved, or female — to spread the gospel.”

She briefly traces the story of evangelicals — especially Free Will Baptists, Christian Connection, northern Methodists, African Methodists, and Millerites — who allowed women to preach.

Benjamin Randall (1749-1808) main organizer of the Freewill Baptists (Randall Line) in the Northeastern United States.

Inspired by the preaching of the lay exhorter Benjamin Randall in New Hampshire that Free Will Baptist Association was formed in 1782. By 1780 the various Baptist groups had formed around 450 churches, a number exceeded only by Congregationalists with about 750 and Presbyterians with some 490. With the disappearance of a Puritan orthodoxy at the beginning of the eighteenth century the Congregational churches, whose ideas were based on the priesthood of all believers, developed by Robert Browne and Henry Barrow, and were Calvinist in tone, had opened the way for women preaching and for people telling with their own words what was written in the Bible.

The gradual collapse of state religious establishments after ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789 served Baptist purposes, and by 1800 they had become for a while the largest denomination in the nation, with almost twice as many adherents as the second-ranked Congregationalists. Those Baptists supported the creation of colleges, seminaries, tract societies, and missionary agencies. Educated leaders provided the impetus for the creation in 1814 of a General Missionary Convention, soon called the Triennial Convention, to sponsor home and foreign missions. Before long, it had allied itself with other agencies to promote publication and education. Several groups considered themselves to be a continuation of the first church where followers of Christ, men and women tried to bring people to God and have them baptised by immersion, the only true form of Christian baptism. At the end of the 20th century it would be the pressure of the major trinitarian Baptist groups, like the 13.9 million Southern Baptist Convention which would make the non-trinitarian Baptists looking for other congregations, but still leaving 26,7 million U.S.A. Baptists.

Brekus notes how fearing the colonies’ established churches had “quenched the spirit” by requiring college education for ministers, evangelicals said

“God could communicate directly with people through dreams, visions, and voices,”

and appealed to Joel’s promise (quoted by Peter at Pentecost) to invest

“female preaching with transcendent significance. Whenever a woman stood in the pulpit, she was a visible reminder that Christ might soon return to earth.”

Yet influenced by the wider culture, they did not think the Bible sanctioned their equality with men in Church, home, or political life. Rather than seeking ordination and settled pastorates, they remained itinerate evangelists. So, these biblical feminists were caught between two worlds — too radical to be accepted by evangelicals, but too conservative to be accepted by women’s rights activists. {Christian Reflection; A Series in Faith and Ethics}

Waves of Irish Presbyterians flooded into the middle and southern colonies, which tolerated their religious beliefs, and flowed into the unoccupied western regions. Some were established congregations who brought their ministers with them; most immigrated as individuals or in small family groups and were followed by clergymen. But the Presbyterian Church in England, re-established in 1844, was reported to have only 76 places of worship in 1851 — one-fifth the number of quaker meeting-houses. {J. A. Cannon; The Oxford Companion to British History; 2002}
A Plan of Union with the Congregational associations of New England that existed from 1792 until 1837 was disrupted when the Old School Presbyterians, favoring separate denominational agencies for missionary and evangelistic work, prevailed. The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions was then established.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

Placing great importance upon education and lifelong learning the Presbyterians and their missionary schools also prepared others to think about the Word of God and to spread it around.

Several men and women brought their notes to the bible words and also did not mind when preaching to quote freely from the bible. In this way the Americans got used to an easy fluent language to tell about God His sayings and wonders.

Gradually, the evangelicals’ educational systems, church organizations, and worship styles became more like those of churches that had been established and wealthy in the colonial era but many Bible students, followers of Dr. John Thomas and of Charles Taze Russell continued to spread the Word of God in their own words and in Bible fragments translated to American English in tracts and magazines.

The Christadelphians offered people the Wilson’s polyglot translation for free. When Benjamin Wilson died in 1900, his heirs inherited the plates and copyright. When they were approached by Charles Taze Russell, then president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, he via a third party obtained the copyright, and at some later point, the plates. The Society published the Diaglott in 1902, and later had the type reset for publication on its own presses in 1927, with an additional printing in 1942.

Much discussion went on between the other Bible-student parties involved in the first edition and still using the version in their churches or ecclesia. Unto the exclusiveness to reprint the polyglot for public release the Christadelphians and Wilson his church had to keep reproduction only for their own members.
In 2003 the MiamiChurch of the Blessed Hope with support from Christadelphians in the United Kingdom and the United States published their own edition, with a new preface, and where pleased the Emphatic Diaglott at last came home again.

Christadelphians, Watchtower Biblestudents and others looked at the return of Christ, a terrible war where nations would get against many other nations, but also were aware that Jerusalem would be restored after some time.

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) American theologian, minister, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized futurism and dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.

From English and Puritan descent the American orphan Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) converted to evangelical Christianity through the testimony of a lawyer acquaintance. He came under the mentorship of James H. Brookes, pastor of Walnut Street Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, a prominent dispensationalist premillennialist. He also attempted with limited success to take charge of Dwight L. Moody‘s Northfield Bible Training School, and served as superintendent of the American Home Missionary Society of Texas and Louisiana; and in 1890, he helped found Lake Charles College (1890–1903) in Lake Charles, Louisiana and in 1914 founded the Philadelphia School of the Bible in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (now Cairn University)

Scofield’s premillennialism seemed prophetic.

“At the popular level, especially, many people came to regard the dispensationalist scheme as completely vindicated.”

Scofield Reference Bible, page 1115. This page includes Scofield’s note on John 1:17, which some have interpreted to mean that Scofield believed in two means of salvation.

The first bible translation, since the Geneva Bible (1560), to bring a commentary on the biblical text alongside the Bible instead of in a separate volume, also attempted to date events of the Bible in its second edition (1917) eight years after its first edition. This Scofield Reference Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1909 contained the entire text of the traditional, Protestant King James Version, and became a widely circulated study Bible edited and annotated by this American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield, whose notes teach futurism and dispensationalism, a theology that was systematized in the early nineteenth century by the Anglo-Irish clergyman John Nelson Darby, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren (Christian brethren, or Darbyites) and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren, (who like Scofield had also been trained as a lawyer).

John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren.

In 1867 ex curate in the Church of Ireland parish of Delgany, County Wicklow, Darby had presented a translation of the New Testament which he revised for the editions in 1872 and 1884.  He declined however to contribute to the compilation of the Revised Version of the King James Bible. After his death, some of his students produced an Old Testament translation based on Darby’s French and German translations in which we may see Darby’s dependence on W. H. Westcott’s Congo vernacular Bible, Victor Danielson’s Faroese work and the Romanian Bible published by G.B.V. and Dillenburg, Germany (GBV)

It was after 25 years serious research that in 1881 the British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, and Bishop of Durham, Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) with Irish-born theologian and editor Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892) had presented their “New Testament in the Original Greek” on the believe that the combination of Codex Bezae with the Old Latin and the Old Syriac represents the original form of the New Testament text. Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort their Greek translation was used as the base fro many later translations.

The Revised Version of the New Testament translators, 1881.

They also were asked to become translation committee members for the Revised Version which in the United States was adapted and revised as the “Revised Version, Standard American Edition” (better known as the American Standard Version) in 1901.

Those translations using the advanced knowledge of the newly found ancient manuscripts and better insight in the old language, received until today opposition from fervent “King James Only” people. Up to today those King James only people say that is the only worthy and true Bible, also forgetting that other people who speak an other language than would be deprived of God’s Word in the Bible. Those KJV-only people complaining that the or a new translation did not base their text on the 1611 KJV forget that it should not be based on that text but on the most original bible manuscripts we can find. The last straw is that many who swear by only the KJV itself do not use themselves the original version and worse even do not know what print edition they use and that this has many differences against the 1611 edition.

Problem with those KJV-only believers is that they want to have their church doctrines still confirmed in the new translations though those versions using the Name of God where it was placed, makes it clear about whom is spoken and about who speaks, so that no confusing is being made between God and Jesus and shows clearly that it are two different characters. Therefore, it mostly are ardent trinitarians who do not want to accept versions which come closer to the original ancient writings, because this way people believing in the Trinity may come to see that it is a human doctrine and not a Biblical doctrine, and as such they may come to see that the non-trinitarian churches are much more following God’s Word than their church want them to believe.

Lots of KJV-only people also do not want to have the real translation or a synonym for a word they use wrongly, like sheol or the hell which just means the grave or sepulchre, but when a bible translation like the NIV translates it with the “grave” they consider an attack on the KJV word of “hell” they understanding it to be a place of eternal doom and torture.

The KJV-only people believe that this English translation of the Authorised King James Version should never be changed, but do not see or forget that they themselves use also a changed version and not the original 1611 first version.

A staunch Seventh-day Adventist missionary, theology professor and college president was even more stepped on his toes when the Bible Students of the Zion’s Watchtower dared to bring out a modern English translation based on that Westcott-Hort translation and on the Greek texts of Nestle, Bover, Merk and others.

Not only women and children had asked for a less archaic Bible translation.

On December 2, 1947 a “New World Bible Translation Committee” was formed, composed of Jehovah’s Witnesses who professed to be anointed.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was released at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York, on August 2, 1950. The translation of the Old Testament, which Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to as the Hebrew Scriptures, was released in five volumes in 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1960. The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961, and has since undergone minor revisions and standing strong between the 55 new English translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures which were published between 1952 and 1990.

They also reproduced The Greek transliterations for the Christian Greek Scripture portion of the Bible from the Westcott and Hort text in The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (1969).

While critical of some of its translation choices, , associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A., Jason BeDuhn called the New World Translation a “remarkably good” translation, “better by far” and “consistently better” than some of the others considered. Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation

“is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available”

and

“the most accurate of the translations compared.”

in his 2003 book, Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament, which has generated considerable controversy for highlighting cases of theological bias in the translation process, by which, he argues, contemporary Christian views are anachronistically introduced into the Bible versions upon which most modern English-speaking Christians rely.

BeDuhn noted, too, that many translators were subject to pressure

“to paraphrase or expand on what the Bible does say in the direction of what modern readers want and need it to say.”

On the other hand, the New World Translation is different, observed BeDuhn, because of

“the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures by 2004 had been made available in 32 languages plus 2 Braille editions and two years later already in 57 languages.

The 1984 revised edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures richly enhanced accurate Bible knowledge by means of several distinctive features such as the marginal (cross) references, an extensive footnote apparatus, a concordance (Bible Words Indexed) and an appendix. Modern computerization has assisted greatly in preparing these features.

In the New World Translation an effort was made to capture the authority, power, dynamism and directness of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and to convey these characteristics in modern English. They also made an end to the used of  now-sanctimonious formal pronouns thou, thy, thine, thee and ye, with their corresponding verb inflections.

Many trinitarians were not pleased with that translation which tried to give as literal a translation as possible where the modern-English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not, by any awkwardness, hide the thought, but which also placed in the Hebrew text everywhere the tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH) was notated, printed God’s Holy Name Jehovah. As such God His Name was again visible, like in the ancient manuscripts,  6,973 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Though it may be called a pity that they also did not take the effort to put Jesus name right, not going for the Issou or “Hail Zeus“, but printing his real original name Jeshua.

With this word-for-word statement of the original in the hand the real followers of Christ could show those who call themselves Christian, but do follow the human doctrine of the Trinity, where they went wrong in their thinking and could show them that Jesus is the way to God and not God himself.

But in this clear up-to-date contemporary version many churches saw a danger for their followers who could be brought to other thinking than their denomination’s doctrines.

In the previous decades several paraphrased bible book translations had seen the light and many bible students also had used free translations in their pamphlets. This time taking liberties with the texts for the mere sake of brevity, and substituting some modern parallel when a literal rendering of the original makes good sense, had been avoided. Uniformity of rendering has been maintained by assigning one meaning to each major word and by holding to that meaning as far as the context permits. At times this has imposed a restriction upon word choice, but it aids in cross-reference work and in comparing related texts.

In rendering the sense and feel of the action and state of Hebrew verbs into English, it is not always possible to preserve the brevity due to a lack of corresponding colour in English verb forms. Hence, auxiliary words that lengthen the expression are at times required to bring out the vividness, mental imagery and dramatic action of the verbs, as well as the point of view and the concept of time expressed by the Bible writers. In general the same is true of the Greek verbs. Thus, imperfect verbs have been kept in the imperfect state denoting progressive action. Participles have been rendered as participles involving continuous action.

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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

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Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  3. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  4. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  5. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Celebrating the Bible in English
  8. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  9. What English Bible do you use?
  10. The Most Reliable English Bible
  11. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  12. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  13. New American Bible Revised Edition
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  16. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. iPod & Android Bibles
  21. Missed opportunity for North Korea
  22. What are Brothers in Christ
  23. Wanting to know more about basic teachings of Christadelphianism
  24. Around C.T.Russell
  25. A visible organisation on earth
  26. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  27. Jesus three days in hell
  28. Dead and after
  29. Sheol or the grave
  30. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  31. Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 5)
  32. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (1)
  33. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (2)
  34. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  35. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  36. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4

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Further reading

  1. The Bible
  2. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  3. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  4. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  5. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  6. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  7. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  8. King James version (1)
  9. King James Version 2
  10. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  11. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  12. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  13. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  14. Which Bible Translation?
  15. Is Christianity a paradox?
  16. Migration in a context of colonisation
  17. The sorrow and burden of it all
  18. A Belgian refugee in Maidenhead finds work
  19. When the boys come home…
  20. Do not be dissuaded by so paltry a matter as a change of time
  21. “I often wonder why I joined up”
  22. Dedicating the Powner Hall
  23. A dinner treat for the Congregational men
  24. Church Hill
  25. That We May All Be One: World Communion Sunday, 2015
  26. History, Empathy, and Race in America
  27. Empathy, racial reconciliation, and the study of history
  28. “The End of White Christian America”
  29. The calling we have in culture
  30. A. W. Tozer and the Historic Trinity
  31. Tozer’s Critique of Evangelical Christians
  32. Corporate Evangelicalism – Where did it come from?
  33. Defining Evangelicalism
  34. Decline and Fall
  35. Fundamentalism Will Kill You
  36. Progressive Evangelicals: Who We Are And What We Believe
  37. How Evangelicals are Losing an Entire Generation – by Amy Gannett
  38. On celebrating diversity within the church
  39. Evangelicalism is no longer growing–why?
  40. The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians
  41. Becoming a Liberal Christian Part I: High Church and Militant Evangelicalism
  42. Reformed Baptists and the Purity of the Church
  43. The Westminster Factor
  44. Of Polls, Presbyterians, and Seventh-Day Adventists
  45. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Reformed the web)
  46. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Chanty notes)
  47. “Episcopals Now Second Class Christians”: Anglicans Demote Episcopalians As Global Christianity Gets More Polarized
  48. Am I a Presbyterian?
  49. Daniel’s 70-Week Vision Series #18 – Part 94 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
  50. At the resurrection who is left behind?
  51. A Thousand Years
  52. News brings great joy
  53. Confirmation
  54. Bible Wars
  55. How Trustworthy Are Bible Translations?
  56. How I Know The King James Bible is the Word of God
  57. King James Only–Refuted part 2
  58. King James Only–Refuted (part 3)
  59. Ways in which Fundamentalists are discriminated against
  60. Between Christians
  61. Repentance From Dead Works: 3 – Don’t Forget Good Works Are Dead Works
  62. Communion – the most terrifying sacrament in the IFB church
  63. Spirit of our times.
  64. King James XX
  65. I believe the King James Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  
  66. Is Modern Really Better?
  67. How some preachers trick you when defining Greek words!
  68. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  69. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  70. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  71. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  72. Transilvania în 1865, prin ochii lui Edward Millard – blogul unui duh întarâtat

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

Not having enough background of the Jewish Koine Greek, or Jewish Hellenistic Greek, the variety of Koine Greek (hē koinē dialektos ‘the common language’) or “common Attic”  found in a number of Alexandrian dialect texts of Hellenistic Judaism, most notably the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible which at the time of the King James Bible‘s first edition was not yet available, as well as Greek Jewish texts from Palestine. This made that lots of words for previous Bible translations and the Authorised Version, where not yet understood properly and of some words they thought it were persons (names) instead of things (nouns) and situations.

Hellenistic Judaism: historical sites

Important historical sites of Hellenistic and medieval Judaism. – Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Words and word elements were adopted and adapted into Latin over c.1,500 years, and passed through Latin into many European and other languages, being used in the main for scholarly and technical purposes. The flow into English was at first very limited and largely religious, such as Old English cirice and its descendant church (from kūriakón dôma the Lord’s house).

Katharina-von-Bora-05.jpg

Katharina von Bora (1499–1552) one of the most important participants of the Reformation because of her role in helping to define Protestant family life and setting the tone for clergy marriages.

At the beginning this knowledge of languages was a man’s job, but from the 19th century women began to have their say as well. Lots of Christians have the wrong idea that women in the ancient times had nothing to say. Many also think that in Christianity women played no role at all. they should know that the Set Apart or Holy Scriptures  acknowledges and celebrates the priceless value of a virtuous woman (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7).

Whilst by the Jews there where not so many women teachers or rabbi’s, from the beginning the master teacher Jeshua had a big heart for them and had many women around him, following him everywhere they could and talking about his actions. The Bible teaches women are not only equals with men (Galatians 3:28), but are also set apart for special honour (1 Peter 3:7). Jeshua also knew how in the past the the priceless value of a virtuous woman was celebrated and insisted those around him to respect the woman also. (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7).  Not only did the master teacher encourage their discipleship by portraying it as something more needful than domestic service and always treated women with the utmost dignity — even women who might otherwise be regarded as outcasts (Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 7:37-50; John 4:7-27).

“1  After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” (Luke 8:1-3 NIV)

“38  As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”” (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)

Clearly the listening to Jesus’ teaching was for the rabbi important, because he would not be long with them. for him it was also important that they would know what they had to talk about when he would be gone, because they had to go out into the world and witness about what he had done, and for telling others about the coming Kingdom of God. All those who wanted to be called a disciple or follower of Christ had to witness for him.

“You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.” (Acts 22:15 NIV)

Already from the start women where there with Jesus.  Christ’s first recorded, explicit disclosure of His own identity as the true Messiah was made to a Samaritan woman (John 4:25-26). When he was gone there were also women present in the room when the Spirit came over the apostles.  From then onwards they too were not afraid any more to come out with their beliefs. Soon they too took also their role in the preaching and some of them even became renowned.

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” (Acts 9:36 NIV)

Often it were women who opened up their house for followers of Christ coming together and to lead the meetings.

“When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.” (Acts 12:12 NIV)

Also when things where not so clear for some they dared to call them with them and explain it so they could better understand the truth. Also women who talked about Jesus but did not know everything well, were helped by the apostles so that they could do a better job.

“13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.” (Acts 16:13-15 NIV)

Throughout history there have always been faithful women spreading the Word of God.

It might well be that the energetic monk and young theologian Martin Luther, who felt himself to be “a sinner with an unquiet conscience,” was stimulated by the former Benedictine and Cistercian nun Katharina von Bora, who had fled her convent with several other nuns or ‘vestal virgins’, to Wittenberg, and who became, at the age of 26,  his  wife in 1525 (him being 41) and became known as “die Lutherin”.  She became the “boss of Zulsdorf,” after the name of the farm they owned, and the “morning star of Wittenberg” for her habit of rising at 4 a.m. to take care of her various responsibilities, administering and managing the vast holdings of the monastery, breeding and selling cattle, and running a brewery in order to provide for their family and the steady stream of students who boarded with them and visitors seeking audiences with her husband. It can well be that her being at the site of the prosecuted Luther, made him to continue his translation work of the Bible and not giving up his ideas.

In the two following centuries it were women who often took care that the children got to hear the Word of God at home, whilst they were able to hide this sacred book for the persecutors. Those who fled from the European continent to look for a New World also carried with them the Holy Bible in their language or in Latin.

In the 17th century religious groups found their way to the New World and at certain places founded their own colonies so that they could perfectly practice their own faith. Religious liberty for others — a concept Americans would later take for granted — was not part of the Puritans‘ plan. Instead, founding Governor John Winthrop envisioned a model “Citty [sic] upon a hill,” an example of Christian unity and order. Not incidentally, women were expected to play a submissive and supporting role in this society.

Anne Hutchinson, née Anne Marbury

At the Massachusetts Bay Colony a skilled midwife and herbal healer with her own interpretation of Puritan doctrine, challenged the leaders of this “wilderness theocracy,” as Barbara Ritter Dailey describes it.
Anne Hutchinson  [Anne Marbury Hutchinson (1591-1643)] eldest daughter of a strong-willed Anglican priest who had been imprisoned and removed from office because of his demand for a better-educated clergy, had probably inherited the strong will of her father, taking with her a legacy of biblical scholarship and religious independence.

When the Anglican Church silenced one of her favourite teachers, John Cotton, one of England’s outstanding Puritan ministers, one of New England’s first generation, leader in civil and religious affairs, and a persuasive writer on the theory and practice of Congregationalism, left for the colony of Massachusetts in America, Hutchinson became extremely distraught. She finally persuaded her husband to leave for America, so that she could follow her religious mentor.

William Hutchinson was granted a desirable house lot in Boston, and both husband and wife quickly became church members.
When she was criticized for failing to attend weekly prayer meetings in the homes of parishioners, she responded by holding meetings in her own home. She began by reiterating and explaining the sermons of John Cotton but later added some of her own interpretations, a practice that was to be her undoing. As her meetings became more popular, Hutchinson drew some of Boston’s most influential citizens to her home. Many of these were town merchants and artisans who had been severely criticized for profiteering in prices and wages; they saw in Hutchinson’s stress on grace a greater freedom regarding morality and therefore more certainty of their own salvation. But others came in search of a more meaningful and personal relationship with their God. As she attracted followers and defenders, the orthodox Puritans organized to oppose her doctrines and her advocates.

Cotton was chiefly responsible for the exile of Anne Hutchinson, because of her antinomian doctrines, and for the expulsion of Roger Williams.They continued to preach and used their own words. Quoting from the Bible in a non literal way became common practice and would be later taken up in presenting fragments or stories from the Bible. This free telling of Bible stories was also taken up in other languages and was breeding ground for children’s Bibles and freely quoted or paraphrased Bible translations.

The Ritual Dance of the Shakers, Shaker Historical Society

The priests and male clerics mostly kept the bible in their hand and sometimes read some phrases out of it. They still were in the majority, though some ladies walked to the forefront and got followers. It had not all to be literate women who took charge.
An unlettered daughter of a blacksmith who was probably named Lees joined at the age of 22 joined the faith group Shaking Quakers, or Shakers, because of the shaking and dancing that characterized their worship (It originally derived from a small branch of English Quakers founded by Jane and James Wardley in 1747). Ann Lee married in 1762, a union that tradition holds was unhappy and may have influenced her later doctrinal insistence on celibacy. She became the group their accepted leader and was known as Ann the Word or Mother Ann. Although illiterate, she claimed the gift of tongues and the ability to discern spirits and work miracles. She was also convinced of the holiness of celibacy, an idea stemming from her own experience of losing four children at or soon after their birth. In 1774 she led a band of eight to America, where, two years later, at Watervliet, N.Y., the first Shaker settlement in America was founded. The Shaker communities flourished in the mid-19th century and contributed a distinctive style of architecture, furniture, and handicraft to American culture. The communities declined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The two American converts who followed Mother Ann as Lead Elder — Joseph Meacham (1787–1796) and Lucy Wright (1796–1821) — developed an institutional structure for less antagonistic relations with society.

At that time, a woman’s leadership of a religious group was considered to be a ‘sect leader’ and as a radical departure from Protestant Christianity. Living apart from her husband Elizur Goodrich, she like him committed herself fully to Shakerism and within a decade rose to leadership within the Shakers movement, with the power and authority which women were not allowed in other religions.

Wright was fully aware of our task of witnessing and sent missionaries to preach across New England and upstate New York as well as into the western wilderness, where those preachers recruited proselytes and established new Shaker villages in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
Under Wright’s administration, Shakers standardized and increased book and tract publishing for the widely-scattered religious society. Their first statement of beliefs was Testimony of Christ’s Second Appearing in 1810, followed by a hymnal which served much the same purpose in 1813. This way the bible-fragments were brought to the general public in ordinary simple words.

In the early nineteenth century the movement expanded into Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. By the mid-1820s about 4,000 believers lived in sixteen communal villages, usually with residential “Great Houses” surrounded by meetinghouses, barns, mills, workshops, and smaller residences for children and probationary members. A hierarchy of elders and eldresses who had completely abandoned the sinful world were in charge.

Charles g finney.jpg

Charles Grandison Finney (1792–1875) American Presbyterian minister and leader in the Second Great Awakening in the United States.

In the New World several Female Missionary Societies saw the light and invited men as well as women to proclaim the Word of God.  The Female Missionary Society of the Western District hired in this way Charles Grandison Finney who came to promote social reforms, such as abolition of slavery and equal education for women and African Americans. From 1835 he taught at Oberlin College of Ohio, which accepted all genders and races, opening the way for more women able to read the Bible.

The Christians who believed only in One God and wanted others also to know the biblical truth, saw with dismay how Finney used scare tactics to gain converts.

Across the board, many thought that his habitual use of the words you and hell “let down the dignity of the pulpit.” {Charles Finney Father of American revivalism}

During the 16th and 17th century Anabaptists were heavily prosecuted in Europe because of their view of Jesus his position and man’s position in this world. By the many searchers for the truth lots of them found they could not take on the human doctrines like the Trinity and found that people had to be fully aware of what believing meant and when to commit themselves to the Only One God. From the Low countries many went to America. On the boat-trip they had a very good opportunity to speak about the biblical truth to others form different denominations. also the English doctor John Thomas who as ship’s surgeon on the Marquis of Wellesley, took the occasion to share his ideas with many people on board. When this boat docked in New York, Thomas travelled on to Cincinnati, Ohio where he became convinced by the Restoration Movement (also known as the or the Stone-Campbell Movement) of the need for baptism and joined them in October 1832. Looking for the “church within” we can imagine that people tried also to express themselves freely to show others how they understood the Word of God.

The Restoration Movement developed from several independent strands of religious revival that idealized apostolic Christianity. They were united in the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. After his bad experience fearing for his life when the boat had nearly sunk, Thomas took his vow to God seriously and went going from one place to another, preaching the Word of God. Many of his followers came to “the Brotherhood”, and started to have meetings in their houses or barns to study the Word of God. For them it was clear that human doctrines and church creeds divide and that real Christians should be under Christ. for them God’s Word was clearly given to all people and the Bible was not to be the matter only for clergy. For them all Christians should take the Bible as their guide and leader and should suppress all divisive doctrines and practices.

One of Thomas his disciples would find enough people interested to print pamphlets and tracts. He also started as a Christian restorationist minister and became better known as Pastor Russell, being the instigator of Russellism or founder of the Russellites, opposite the Thomasites or followers of Dr. Thomas who founded the Christadelphians, Brothers in Christ who took studying the bible as one of their priorities (hence the other name Bible Students).

Dr Thomas also wrote for and was editor of the Apostolic Advocate which first appeared in May 1834, whilst Charles Taze Russell started only in July 1879 with publishing his monthly religious journal, Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1881 he co-founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society with William Henry Conley as president, providing the establishment of an international Bible Student movement. In 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. From then onwards those Bible Students tried to bring Bible fragments in the common language of the day. For them women had also their say and were worthy co-operators to produce articles and to bring bible texts in contemporary American English.

It was his successor as society president, Joseph Rutherford who brought a wide division in the Bible student movement and created the Jehovah’s Witnesses who would work at translating the Word of God, doing a marvellous job, presenting bibles in many languages all over the world, so that nobody would have an excuse he or she could not find a Bible in a language he or she understands.

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Mary Jane Patterson (1840–1894)

In 1862 Mary Jane Patterson became the first African-American woman to receive a B.A degree in the New World. She received a recommendation for an “appointment from the American missionary Association as a … teacher among freedmen.” In 1865 Patterson became an assistant to Fanny Jackson Coppin at the Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania). In 1869 to 1871 Patterson taught in Washington, D. C., at the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth known today as Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.). She served as the school’s first Black principal, from 1871 to 1872. She was reappointed from 1873 to 1884. During her administration, the school grew from less than 50 to 172 students, the name “Preparatory High School” was dropped, high school commencements were initiated, and a teacher-training department was added to the school. Patterson’s commitment to thoroughness as well as her “forceful” and “vivacious” personality helped her establish the school’s strong intellectual standards.
We can imagine by those standards being a Christian life style and good moral where essence.

Already around the turn of the 18th to 19th century women had started wanting to have a stronger voice in the education of children. Also parents started looking more at how to bring up children together in a community. They had seen the public school system starting to develop going away from certain ways of life preferred by them. The spiritual aspect was important and could not be forgotten. Discontented with the new public school system more alternative education developed in part as a reaction to perceived limitations and failings of traditional education. In many of such schools at that time the Bible and Christian life formed an important element of educational basic training. A broad range of educational approaches emerged, including alternative schools, self learning, homeschooling and unschooling.

Benjamin Wilson (1817–1900)

In 1840 the English family Wilson though originally Baptists, joined the growing Campbellite movement and moved to the New World four years later. In Geneva, Illinois the family began to distance themselves from the Campbellites. In 1846 Benjamin Wilson wrote his first letter to the other ex-Campbellite John Thomas, as recorded in the latter’s magazine The Herald of the Future Age, agreeing with the Thomas’ views on the immortal soul – the initial cause of his break with Campbell. There is considerable correspondence in Thomas’ magazines from various members of the Wilson family over the next several years.

Just as John Thomas had been re-baptised in 1847, Benjamin Wilson was rebaptised in 1851, marking off a new start from the Campbellites.

The first page of the Complutensian Polyglot

From 1855 to 1869 Benjamin Wilson published a monthly religious magazine, the Gospel Banner, which merged with John Thomas’s magazine, Herald of the Coming Kingdom.

In 1857 the autodidact Biblical scholar Benjamin Wilson presented a first section of a side-by-side two-language New Testament version like the New Testament in Greek and Latin, had been completed in 1514 with the Complutensian printed by Axnaldus Guilielmus de Brocario at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes at the university at Alcalá de Henares (Complutum) and the Antwerp Polyglot, printed by Christopher Plantin (1569-1572, in eight volumes folio). Polyglot means, literally poly or multi tongue or multi lingual, “through tongue” or “many / several languages” and is understood to signify “interlinear.”

In England there had also been a polyglot translation by Brian Walton who was aided by able scholars and used much new manuscript material (London, 1657). It included the Ethiopic Psalter, Canticle of Canticles, and New Testament, the Arabic New Testament, and the Gospels in Persian. His prolegomena and collections of various readings mark an important advance in biblical criticism.

It was in connection with this polyglot that Edmund Castell produced his famous Heptaglott Lexicon (two volumes folio, London, 1669), a monument of industry and erudition even when allowance is made for the fact that for the Arabic he had the great manuscript lexicon compiled and left to the University of Cambridge by William Bedwell. {Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia}

The Emphatic Diaglott.jpgThe Bible was also published in several languages by Elias Hutter (Nuremberg, 1599-1602), and by Christianus Reineccius (Leipsic, 1713-51). Ten years before the “Polyglot Bible in eight languages” (2 vols., London, 2nd ed. 1874) the Christadelphians produced the complete two-language Emphatic Diaglott translation, of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson. For the Greek text he based it on the various Readings of the Vatican Manuscript, No. 1209; the text used by the German rationalist Protestant theologian Johann Jakob Griesbach, who was the earliest biblical critic to subject the Gospels to systematic literary analysis. In this translation the name of God is also restored, so that readers could clearly see about whom was spoke and who said something, the lord Jeshua (Jesus Christ) or the Lord of lords”Jehovah“.

In this Interlineary literal Word for Word English translation ‘Signs of Emphasis’ were given; whilst under each Greek word the English equivalent is printed. In the slim right-hand column of each page is presented a modern English translation as made by Benjamin Wilson. Also a copious selection of ‘References’; many appropriate, illustrative, and exegetical ‘Foot-notes’; and a valuable ‘Alphabetical Appendix’ are given. This combination of important items could not be found in any other book at that time.

Such literal translations made many bible Students to see much things more clearly. Also Charles T. Russell, learned that the inspired Greek Scriptures speak of the second “presence” of Christ, for the Diaglott translated the Greek word “parousía” correctly as “presence,” and not as “coming” like the King James Version Bible. Accordingly when C. T. Russell began publishing his new Bible magazine in July of 1879, he called it Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

The Christadelphians allowed also the Millenial Dawn Bible Students (later the Watchtower Society) to distribute Wilson’s work widely around the world from 1902. Also the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith and the Church of the Blessed Hope which he founded are still part of the Christadelphian movement which still print this Bible translation.

Bible students form the Zion’s Watchtower suggested that,

Every student of God’s plan, as presented in the Tower, ought to have the aid which the Diaglott affords.

As such this translation became a useful attribute for the later standard Bible of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The New World Translation.

In 2004, the Abrahamic Faith Beacon Publishing Society brought home The Emphatic Diaglott and re-published a new version of it, working in partnership with The Christadelphian Advancement Trust.

In the homeschooling opposite to traditional Christian schools it were mostly women who took up the job as teacher. Having only bibles in Old English they wanted books in a more contemporary language and put pressure on the existing clergy. From the congregations also came a louder cry to provide them with modern language bibles.

King James Version of the Bible

King James Version of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Answering that cry from the housewives and teachers in 1870 an invitation was extended to American religious leaders for scholars to work on the revision of the Authorized Version/King James Bible of 1611. In 1871, thirty scholars were chosen by Philip Schaff. The denominations represented on the American committee were the Baptist, Congregationalist, Dutch Reformed, Friends, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal, and Unitarian.

In England also there was a request to have a revision and by the Convocation of Canterbury in 1870 two companies were formed, one each for the Old and New Testaments to revise the King James Version. Parallel companies in the United States received the work of the English scholars to return their comments. For those at work it was made clear only a revision and not a new translation was contemplated.

The New Testament was published in England on May 17, 1881, and three days later in the United States, after 11 years of labour. Over 30,000 changes were made, of which more than 5,000 represent differences in the Greek text from that used as the basis of the King James Version. Most of the others were made in the interests of consistency or modernization.

In the traditional churches there was not much interest in the Old Testament, this not fitting in with the accent of their teaching on Jesus, instead of God.

On certain points the English and Americans did not agree. At that time the Americans still gave in to the British revisers and published preferred readings and renderings in an appendix to the Revised Version. In 1900 the American edition of the New Testament, which incorporated the American scholars’ preferences into the body of the text, was produced. A year later the Old Testament was added, but not the Apocrypha. The alterations covered a large number of obsolete words and expressions and replaced Anglicisms by the diction then in vogue in the United States.

As shown above women and the general American public made use to talk about the Bible and to use it at home. The publishers could not ignore their wishes and provided them with some official version which could offer an alternative for the partly published Bible books and for the unofficial translations into modern speech made from 1885 which had gained popularity. Their appeal reinforced by the discovery that the Greek of the New Testament used the common non-literary variety of the language spoken throughout the Roman Empire when Christianity was in its formative stage.

The notion that a nonliterary modern rendering of the New Testament best expressed the form and spirit of the original was hard to refute. This, plus a new maturity of classical, Hebraic, and theological scholarship in the United States, led to a desire to produce a native American version of the English Bible. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}

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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

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

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Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  3. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  4. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  5. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Celebrating the Bible in English
  8. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  9. What English Bible do you use?
  10. The Most Reliable English Bible
  11. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  12. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  13. New American Bible Revised Edition
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  16. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. iPod & Android Bibles
  21. Missed opportunity for North Korea
  22. What are Brothers in Christ
  23. Wanting to know more about basic teachings of Christadelphianism
  24. Around C.T.Russell

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Further reading

  1. Jennifer Strauss, ‘The Anabaptist Cages, Münster’
  2. The Bible: Kept Pure in All Ages
  3. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  4. AV1611: England’s Greatest Achievement
  5. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  6. Ye King Iames Bible
  7. King James Version
  8. Thees, Thous, and Wot Nots
  9. The King James Bible
  10. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  11. King James Only? (Ethernal Christ)
  12. KJV Only? (Lynn Thaler)
  13. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  14. King James XV
  15. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  16. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  17. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  18. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  19. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  20. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  21. The Attack on the Bible
  22. John 3:16 isn’t the gospel that saves men’s souls today
  23. New Age Deism
  24. New Age Deism: Part Two
  25. Inside Orthodox Judaism: A Critical Perspective On Its Theology
  26. Mailbox Monday August 29: on Katharina von Bora
  27. 11th April 1612. Dangerous Heresy.
  28. Book Review: The Reformers and Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin
  29. women.born.before | 05 feb 1760
  30. Settler Colonialism and the Freedom of Religion
  31. Searching for Religious Freedom
  32. Freedom From and For Religion
  33. This Week in History – Kicked to the Curb by a Pilgrim
  34. King Survey: Women and Other Puritans
  35. The Puritans: Church and State
  36. Midweek Blog: Anne Hutchinson, the “Unnatural Woman”
  37. Paddling the Hutch: Ned P. Rauch takes the plunge
  38. Great Information Wrapped Inside This Human Struggle
  39. The Puritan identification with the Bible
  40. Despite Roger Williams’ Efforts, Providence Burns in 1676
  41. Williams
  42. Roger Williams in Art
  43. Mass Moments: Roger Williams Banished
  44. Research Reading IV
  45. Research Reading V
  46. History Weekend: The Shakers, pt. 1
  47. Quakers
  48. Commonwealth – Part Two
  49. A Catalogue of Severall Sects & Opinions
  50. History of the Anabaptist Head Covering
  51. Faith in the Head Covering
  52. Persecuted in Revolutionary Baltimore: The Sufferings of Quakers
  53. Half an hour in James Watt’s Workshop
  54. The Advices & Queries project
  55. The Violent Seduction of Thomas Paine by Rocket Kirchner
  56. The Last Runaway Review
  57. Stantons in America
  58. Eber Sherman, ,7th Great-Grandfather
  59. Birmingham Quakers and the Spanish Civil War
  60. Hidden Nearby: Charles Grandison Finney’s Birthplace
  61. Free Charles Finney Book!
  62. The reward of fervent prayer, Charle G. Finney
  63. Midweek Blog: Charles Finney, Staring at You Until You Join His Revival
  64. “Could God Forgive A Man Like That?”
  65. Joseph Logan land, 127 acres, Ninety Six District, South Carolina, 1785
  66. Alexander Campbell & the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  67. Restoration
  68. The Restoration Movement, Acapella & the Trinity
  69. The Future of the Restoration Movement, Part 2
  70. Charles Taze Russell – “Don’t read your Bible”
  71. Apocalyptic Forecasts
  72. Women’s History: Mary Jane Patterson
  73. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  74. What is Wrong with Evangelicals in America?
  75. For Us or Against Us: The Politics of the Christian Right & the Shutdown
  76. Icon: Tacy Cooper
  77. The Secret of Powerful Revivals Are the Intercessors Praying Behind the Scenes
  78. Les origines de nos traditions dans l’Eglise : Partie 1
  79. Edifying Christian Biographies That Will Bless Every True Christian!
  80. A Visit to Pembroke College
  81. Hospitality
  82. ‘Tis a Gift
  83. A weekend away
  84. Simple gifts
  85. Becoming Visible: Quaker Outreach at Colleges
  86. Turbulent Londoners: Ada Salter, 1866-1942
  87. A Spicy Letter to Preachers
  88. On Church Leadership (an email exchange with Sándor Abonyi of Hungary) – Pt.1: “The First Button”
  89. My way is the best
  90. ELCA Repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery, Next Up: Mennonite Church USA
  91. A glimpse of Missouri’s Amish
  92. Freedom of religion
  93. Book Review – Recovering the Margins of American Religious History: The Legacy of David Edwin Harrell, Jr. (Waldrop and Billingsley, eds.)
  94. Book Review: The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith (David Edwin Harrell, Jr.)
  95. Churches of Christ – The Road Ahead
  96. Some Notes on Bible Translations

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Save

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Meaning of Sacrifice

“Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”

The doctrine of atonement involved in this scriptural principle is one of the most important and in some respects one of the most difficult of all the primary truths connected with the Gospel. Nowhere else is it so easy for men to get out of their depth, and there is no other subject that proves so tempting.

There is certainly danger that vital truths affecting the sacrifice of Christ may be called in question or may be obscured by wrong teaching on this subject. There is far more danger that a destructive strife of words should arise through men getting out of their mental depth in an effort to measure the mind of God. Dr. Thomas once remarked that the elementary truths regarding redemption were few and simple and no reason could be given for them beyond “the fact that God wills them”. If a candidate for baptism revealed a sound knowledge of these simple truths and of this simple explanation of them, we should not dare to “forbid water”. Suppose that having rendered a satisfactory confession of faith on all other first principles the candidate said:

“I believe that God required a perfect sacrifice before He could forgive sin, and that He provided the One capable of rendering that sacrifice. He sent forth His Son, the Lord Jesus, made of a woman, made in all points like his brethren, tempted in all points as we are, but by virtue of his divine parentage so superior to us morally that he was able to render the perfect sacrifice required and thus to secure redemption for himself from sin-stricken human nature and both forgiveness and redemption for those who come to God through him in the way appointed.”

Should we dare to forbid baptism because the candidate was unable to explain why God required a perfect sacrifice, or why He demanded the shedding of blood before sins could be remitted?

If we are quite agreed that an understanding of these simple elements is sufficient for one to enter the Covenant, surely it is a tragedy if brethren become divided simply through the effort to see further. It may be even worse than a tragedy, for it sometimes leads to destructive strife in which extremes act and re-act upon each other, the disputants getting further and further out of their depth, while the vital duties of life are neglected. We would not suggest for a moment that being agreed on the simple and elementary truths we should be content to go no further. Certainly we must push on and gain all the knowledge of divine things that is possible. Discussion of such matters may be very helpful if conducted by brethren who have grasped the more elementary teaching of the Word regarding human conduct. This, however, is certainly a subject in which we do well to be swift to hear and slow to speak; we may venture to suggest, still slower to write. So much sin lies at the door of the man who invented printing.

It may be helpful to take note of the main causes that have led brethren astray when they have tried to probe deeply into the doctrine of atonement. We may then be on our guard at least against these particular dangers.

One cause has been through the tendency to confuse the shadow with the substance. Brethren have reasoned that the types of the law suggested such and such necessities and the sacrifice of Christ had to conform. The truth is, of course, exactly the other way. The work of Christ was the very central feature of the divine purpose and all the shadows of the law had to conform to it. The Apostle in writing to the Hebrews, truly reasons from the types forward to Christ, but he makes it plain that Christ is the substance. We recognize the writings of the Apostles as of precisely the same authority as the Old Testament Scriptures. We do well therefore to take their plainest language as our guide and see that our understanding of types and symbols falls into line.

A second cause of confusion is the tendency to seek an explanation according to a human conception of logic and legality. Many years ago we had to point out that while human laws might often have effects far removed from the intention of the law makers, this could never be the case with the laws of God. We cannot recognize any distinction between the divine law and the divine will. When God makes a law it is the expression of His will for the time to which it applies, and it is made with a full knowledge of all its effects (see Acts 15 : 18).

“that have been known for ages.” (Acts 15:18 NIV)

We can hardly suppose that any brother would ever dispute this proposition; but some have reasoned as if they never thought of such an idea. We do well therefore to remind each other of this simple truth, which forbids us to make any distinction between legal necessities and the divine will.

A third cause of confusion has been through the persistent use of phrases that are sometimes misleading. Some staunch brethren in upholding the truth that Christ bore our sin-stricken nature have used language suggestive of an automatic cleansing by death. We could easily have rival camps in this matter, disputants on each side being totally unconscious of the ambiguity of their own language but too acutely conscious of the worst interpretations that could be put on the language of opponents.

Earnest brethren and sisters, anxious to hold the truth, have sometimes been perplexed and almost distracted in the strife of words, beyond their power to understand. The havoc that such strife may cause is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that one of the most capable men we ever had among us, in his efforts for legal logic ended by teaching justification for sin without faith, and we were all slow to realize the full enormity of the position. I well remember the surprise and even consternation of one of his supporters when he was first shown this feature of the case.

Even now there is the same disposition towards legal reasoning regarding types and shadows with the clear principles of Scripture neglected. Although disputants would deny the charge, it is a fact that some of them persistently lose sight of the fact that all things in God’s dealings with this world centre round Christ. The reason that all things under the law were cleansed by the offering of blood, was that all things in the age to come will be through the sacrifice of Christ. In reasoning with Jews it might be necessary to invert the argument, but we who are privileged to know the substance of God’s great purpose must never lose sight of it.

What is the literal truth revealed in the New Testament as to the meaning of sacrifice? It is that God forgives sins and offers eternal life on the basis of the perfect sacrifice effected by Christ in his life and death. Whatever figurative or partly figurative language the Bible may use, this is the real meaning. Washed in his blood, our sins laid upon him, a bearing of our sins in his own body, the purchase of his blood, the ransom, his being delivered for our offences, the just for the unjust-all such expressions must be understood in harmony with the literal truth that God forgives. Transgressions of the divine law can only be put away by the forgiveness and forbearance of God. Physical uncleanness of nature can only be put away by the power of God. The sacrifice of Christ is the divinely appointed basis in which God in mercy and forbearance offers forgiveness and redemption to sinners (Rom. 3 : 23-4, 4 : 7; Eph. 1 : 7; Col. 1 : 14; 1 John 1 : 9, 2 : 12).

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 NIV)

“”Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Romans 4:7 NIV)

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7 NIV)

“in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:14 NIV)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)

“I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.” (1 John 2:12 NIV)

If we desire to probe further and ask the question why did God require such a sacrifice as the basis of the forgiveness offered to humanity, we shall never find any answer through the various interpretations of the law or by talk of the penalty due to sin. Divine law is simply an expression of divine will. It was not the will of God that man should sin, but it was the will of God that man should be a free agent and that death should be the wage of sin. It was the will of God that the human race having been defiled by sin should have no access to His holy presence except on the basis of a perfect sacrifice.

And it is the will of God that we should respond to the gracious invitation and be saved on the basis He has provided (1 Thess. 5 : 9). If we ask why God required such a sacrifice, we must seek a moral explanation. It is no answer to quote the law which expresses His will.

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9 NIV)

Guided by Scripture we can find a moral explanation that satisfies every demand that the intelligence can make. The perfect sacrifice was required that the flesh might be effectively repudiated, that sin might be conquered and condemned, that the righteousness and holiness of God might be declared, and that sinful man should be humbled without a particle of ground for boasting being left to him (Rom. 3 : 23-27, 8:3; Eph. 2 : 1-9).

“23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.” (Romans 3:23-27 NIV)

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,” (Romans 8:3 NIV)

“1  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no-one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:1-9 NIV)

God made it clear even in ancient times that humanity could not approach to Him at all except with humble faith and on the basis of blood shedding. He gave a law that emphasized the sinfulness and helplessness of His people (Rom. 8 : 15, 5 : 20).

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”” (Romans 8:15 NIV)

“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2 NIV)

He made it clear that when sins were put away by sacrifice they were really forgiven (Lev. 4 : 20, 26, 31, 35).

“and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:20 NIV)

“He shall burn all the fat on the altar as he burned the fat of the fellowship offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the man’s sin, and he will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:26 NIV)

“He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:31 NIV)

“He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the lamb of the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:35 NIV)

He promised a deliverer who should “make an end of sin”, and “bring in everlasting righteousness” (Dan. 9). When the fullness of time was come He revealed that scheme of love into which even the angels had desired to look. He made selection of a virgin of the house of Israel and produced from her one who should be strong for the great work required. So the flesh was repudiated even in the birth of Christ, sin was conquered and condemned in every act of his life, and finally he freely rendered the last obedience even unto death that he might be raised from the dead to immortality and glory as the captain of our salvation-made perfect through suffering (Heb. 2 : 10).

“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10 NIV)

To him much was given and of him much was required. The lights and shadows inseparable from the formation of a character needed to be intense in the probation of our great Captain. He worked out his perfection and salvation by the strength God gave him, and thus through him God opened the way of life for us. Here is the sin nature that had produced only helpless sinners, controlled, condemned and finally put away by the strong Son of God in his perfect obedience of life and death. On this basis humanity can approach the holiness of the Creator and men of faith though sinners can be exalted to the divine. On this basis of the sin nature conquered, repudiated and condemned by the one God made strong for Himself, God forgives. That is the real meaning of atonement.

It is hardly possible to imagine anyone who had ever caught even the most fleeting glimpse of this vision turning back to the pitiful speculations of men as to supposed legal necessities. There are those in the world who think that the real body of Christ never rose, but remains eternally dead as the price due to God or the punishment due to sin! It would be difficult to make any comment on such an idea while preserving the language of decorum. The brethren are doubtless proof against such monstrous teaching. Let them keep far from the narrow reasoning that leads in that direction. The New Testament describes the sacrifice of Christ in plain and literal language. Let us interpret all figures and symbols by reference to the plain statements. God-who knows the end from the beginning, who does according to His will, but who “cannot deny Himself” God provided the means for condemning and overcoming sins on the basis of which He with much forbearance forgives those who please Him by their faith.

Much controversy has been caused by the question as to whether Christ offered for his own cleansing. It has been largely a war of words, due on the one hand to a fear of saying or subscribing to anything derogatory to Christ and on the other hand perhaps a tendency to relapse into the old exaggeration of “original sin”. There ought not to be a minute’s difficulty in dealing with the question and securing agreement.

When we speak of “sin” in the flesh we use the phrase just as the Apostle used it in Romans 7. Obviously it is a derived or secondary sense of the word, for the primary meaning of sin is transgression of divine law. It is a similar extension of meaning to that of the word “death” for poison when they said, “there is death in the pot”. The Apostle speaks of a law in his members which wars against the laws of God and leads to transgression. He calls this physical weakness “sin” in the flesh or “sin” that dwelleth in me. It is the diabolos in human nature, the natural desires of the flesh which, if they are allowed to “conceive”, “bring forth sin”. We need not argue as to whether there is such a law. We all know it only too well. We are born with it and if we give way to any sin we correspondingly strengthen the evil desire in that direction and thus make “sin” in the flesh more active. To suppose that an extraordinarily pure and righteous man would feel this weakness less than others is a huge mistake. The truth is the other way. It is the thoroughly fleshly man who is unconscious of the sinful law in his members and who probably would not understand what the Apostle meant. The man with the highest ideals and the most spiritual mind will feel the struggle most. To suggest that Christ was tempted in all points as we are and yet without this law of sin in his members is to proclaim a complete contradiction. It is like saying, “Except that he was not tempted at all!” Suggestions from without are no temptation to us if they do not appeal to something within. Christ bore just this same denied nature that we bear or he could not have been tempted as we are and therefore could not have condemned and conquered sin. Christ bore this quality in the flesh, but he never allowed it to conceive even to the point of sinful thought. Therein was the most terrific struggle and the most portentous victory of all human experience. It is easy to understand that with his ideals, and his standards of rectitude, the weakness of the flesh would be so distressing that even the most startling language of the Psalms is comprehensible.

Now whether we take the plain language of the Apostles (Heb. 9 : 12; 10 : 20) or the prophecies and types of the law, the teaching is that all things were to be cleansed by the perfect sacrifice and that no one of Adam’s race should have access to the Most Holy place except on the basis of that sacrifice (Lev. 16 : 2-14 note seven times of sprinkling). Some have caused confusion by arguing whether Christ’s offering for himself was “only a matter of obedience to God” or whether it was something more. What do they mean? Obedience to God is carrying out the will of God. What can be required beyond this? Surely we are all agreed that Christ, “the beloved son“, “the servant in whom God delighted”, and the one who “always did his Father’s will“, needed no forgiveness. Surely we are also agreed that he needed cleansing from the sin-stricken nature in which he wrestled with and’ conquered the diabolos. There could be no forgiveness for personal sinners except on the basis of the perfect sacrifice, for this was the will of God. There could be no cleansing and immortalizing, no entry into the Most Holy by any of Adam’s race except on the basis of the same perfect sacrifice, for that also was the will of God. Christ came to do God’s will, he was obedient in all things even unto death, and so with his own blood-in other words, on the basis of his perfect offering-he entered the Most Holy “having obtained eternal redemption.”

The truth is that when brethren who are agreed as to these fundamentals still argue and suspect each other of being “unsound”, they are really in their minds raising that old question of many years ago,

“Supposing Christ had been the only one to be saved, would he still have had to die a sacrificial death?”

Everyone ought to have learned long ago that this question is not legitimate. It is asking,

“If the will of God had been totally different in one direction, would it have remained the same in another closely related matter?”

There is only one proper answer to such a question. No one knows what the will of God would have been if His purpose had been other than it is, and only a presumptuous man would claim to know.

We have to do with the purpose of God as it is and as it is revealed to us. These truths are so simple and withal so beautiful that unless brethren insist on a misleading form of words making for strife, there should be no difficulty in agreeing.

The will of God determines everything. It was the will of God that none of our sin-stricken race should enter His holy presence except on the basis of the most complete repudiation of the flesh involved in a perfect obedience even unto death. He provided the strength necessary for this great work and it was for this purpose that Christ was born. Thus through the blood of the everlasting Covenant he was brought again from the dead. With his own blood he entered the Most Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption, and we, if we are faithful, can stand at last “washed from our sins in his blood” and covered with his righteousness. All these figures meaning that God accepts, forgives and cleanses His people on the basis of the perfect life and death of His Anointed Son.

– Islip Collyer

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Preceding articles

Doopsel en bloedvergieten ter vergeving

With child and righteousness greater than the law

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Doopsel en bloedvergieten ter vergeving

In de volgende tekst van broeder Islip Collyer gaat het over de keuze die wij moeten maken omtrent het bloed van Christus.

“Zonder het vergieten van bloed is er geen vergeving van zonden.”

De leer van de verzoening betrokken bij het Bijbelse principe is één van de meest belangrijke en in sommige opzichten een van de moeilijkste van alle primaire waarheden verbonden met het Evangelie. Nergens anders is het zo makkelijk voor de mens  uit zijn diepte te krijgen, en er is geen ander onderwerp dat bewijst zo verleidelijk te zijn.

Er is zeker gevaar dat vitale waarheden die het offer van Christus aan gaan in twijfel kunnen worden getrokken of verduisterd kunnen worden door verkeerde leer over dit onderwerp. Wij mogen het niet minimaliseren hoe gevaarlijk het kan zijn hoe de mens kijkt naar het zoenoffer van Jezus. Vooral als men weet dat bepaalde Christenen er aan vast houden dat Jezus wel God moet zijn omdat zij vinden dat geen enkel mens bekwaam zou zijn om Gods Wil te doen. Hierbij onderschatten zij wel een hele boel mensen.

Dr. Thomas merkte meteen dat er slechts weinig elementaire waarheden over verlossing waren en dat deze eenvoudig waren en dat er geen reden kan worden gegeven voor hen over het “het feit dat God hen wil “. Als wij een gemeenschap willen vormen moet men zich afvragen welke de noodzakelijke kennis moet zijn om toe te treden tot de gemeenschap.  Het staat vast dat men zeker niet alle begrip en kennis kan vereisen van iemand die pas in het geloof staat. Dr. Thomas was er daarom van overtuigd dat men iemand tot de doop kan toe laten als deze een gedegen kennis blijkt te bezitten van deze eenvoudige waarheden. Ook al zouden zij slechts een eenvoudige uitleg van die Bijbelse principes kunnen voorleggen moeten we niet durven hen het “water te weren”. Eens iemand zich komt aanbieden om gedoopt te worden moeten wij na gaan of hij of zij voldoende kennis heeft van de Waarheid.

Indien de persoon getuigt te geloven in de vereiste van God in een perfect offer voordat Hij de zonde zou kunnen vergeven en dat Deze Enige Ware God voorzag in die éne die zich bereid toonde zich op te offeren, moeten wij dit teken van geloof aanvaarden. Natuurlijk moeten wij dan na zien of hij de persoon van Christus Jezus wel degelijk kan plaatsen en deze niet als God aanschouwt. Als de doopkandidaat getuigt kennis te hebben van Jezus rol en dat deze de gezondene van God is, de zoon van God en een profeet wiens woorden wij ter harte moeten nemen, moeten wij in die persoon een valide kandidaat zien.

Er mag geen reden zijn om de doop te verbieden omdat de kandidaat niet bekwaam zou zijn om uit te leggen waarom God een volmaakt offer nodig had, of waarom Hij het vergieten van bloed eiste voor de zonden konden worden vergeven.

Sommigen zullen zich wel afvragen waarom wij een ‘doop‘ vragen als mensen vroeger reeds gedoopt zijn. Daarbij moet men de vraag stellen of die mensen zelf persoonlijk een doopbelijdenis hebben afgelegd, of waren het anderen die het voor hem of haar hebben gedaan, zoals bij een kinderdoop gebeurt. Een baby heeft niet de kennis noch het verstand om al dan niet voor God te kiezen en kan zeker zich niet uitdrukken deze keuze voor God te maken. Ook heeft het nog geen zonden gedaan mist het nog niet in kennis is van wat mag en niet mag, van wat juist of verkeerd is.

In sommige kerkgemeenschappen mag dan wel een wederhelft van de babydoop bestaan met een geloofsbelijdenis die op latere leeftijd wordt afgelegd door de ‘communiekant’. Doch bij zo een eerste en bij de tweede of plechtige communie kan er geen sprake zijn van een doop of geldige doopbelijdenis, mist de doop door onderdompeling in water moet gebeuren. Bij die gemeenschappen waar men gelegenheid heeft om de belijdenis zogezegd te vernieuwen, valt op dat die jongeren bij zulke gelegenheid dan nog te jong zijn of niet echt een keuze kunnen maken maar eerder de traditie volgen om op die leeftijd zich aan te bieden voor een communiefeest en/of vormsel.

Bij zulke een gelegenheid om een geloofsbelijdenis af te leggen moet de persoon werkelijk voldoende bijzijn of haar zinnen zijn. Hij of zij moet getuigen van zelf een eigen keuze te maken zich aan te bieden voor God en de gemeenschap van Christus. Hierbij moet de persoon ook getuigenis afleggen en bewijzen dat hij of zij verandering wil hebben van het voorgaande, het voorbije leven. De bekeerling komt namelijk in een nieuw soort leven, in onderworpenheid aan God en niet meer in onderworpenheid aan de wereld.

Een goed begrip van eenvoudige elementen moet volstaan om de intrede te laten maken.

Het kan nuttig zijn om kennis te nemen van de belangrijkste oorzaken die hebben geleid dat mensen of zelfs broeders dwalen als ze geprobeerd hebben om dieper in de leer van de verzoening te gaan. Hiervoor moeten wij op onze hoede zijn.

Een van de oorzaken is door de tendens om de schaduw met de stof verwarren. Broeders hebben geredeneerd dat de aard van de wet die en die voorgestelde noodzakelijkheden en het offer van Christus moesten conformeren. De waarheid is natuurlijk precies andersom. Het werk van Christus was het zeer centrale kenmerk van het goddelijke doel en al de schaduwen van de wet moesten er aan voldoen. De apostel die schrijft aan de Hebreeën redeneert vanuit de types naar Christus, maar maakt het duidelijk dat Christus de stof is. Wij erkennen dat de geschriften van de apostelen precies dezelfde autoriteit hebben als het Oude Testament. We doen er daarom goed aan hun duidelijkste taal te nemen als onze gids en na te gaan dat ons begrip van types en symbolen er mee in lijn valt.

Ook zien wij dat er verwarring kan ontstaan door de neiging om een verklaring te zoeken op basis van een menselijke opvatting van logica en legaliteit. Vele jaren geleden moesten we erop wijzen dat terwijl de menselijke wetten vaak effecten hebben die ver verwijderd waren van de bedoeling van de makers van de wet, kan dit nooit het geval zijn met de wetten van God. We kunnen geen onderscheid herkennen tussen de goddelijke wet en de goddelijke wil. Als God een wet maakt is het de uitdrukking van Zijn wil voor het tijdstip waarop zij van toepassing is, en is het gemaakt met een volledige kennis van de gevolgen ervan (zie Handelingen 15: 18). We kunnen nauwelijks veronderstellen dat elke broer ooit deze stelling zou betwisten; maar sommigen hebben zodanig geredeneerd alsof ze nooit aan een dergelijk idee gedacht hebben. We doen er dus goed aan elkaar te herinneren aan deze eenvoudige waarheid, die ons verbiedt om onderscheid te maken tussen juridische behoeften en de goddelijke wil.

Bij het tot de gemeenschap willen behoren houdt in dat  men zijn taal en handelingen zal aanpassen zodat zij niet indruisen tegen de Wil van God. De bekeerling en diegene die tot de broedergemeenschap is toegetreden horen zich dan ook aan de ethiek en Goddelijke moraal te houden en zich goed te gedragen en met elkaar te communiceren met een waardig taal gebruik waarin dubbelzinnigheden best wordt vermeden.

Ernstige broeders en zusters, die popelen om de waarheid vast te houden, zijn soms verbijsterd en bijna afgeleid in de strijd van woorden, buiten hun vermogen om te begrijpen.

De ravage die dergelijke conflicten kunnen veroorzaken is misschien het best geïllustreerd door het feit dat een van de meest capabele mensen die we ooit in ons midden hadden, in zijn inspanningen voor juridische logica eindigde door het onderwijs van rechtvaardiging voor de zonde zonder geloof. Hierbij waren we allemaal traag om ons te realiseren van de volledige omvang van de positie. Ik herinner me goed de verbazing en ontsteltenis zelfs van één van zijn aanhangers toen hij voor het eerst dit aspect van de zaak werd getoond.

schrijft broeder Islip Collyer, die vervolgt

Ook nu is er dezelfde neiging tot juridische redenering met betrekking tot types en schaduwen met de duidelijke principes van de Schrift verwaarloosd. Hoewel twistende partijen de lading zouden ontkennen, is het een feit dat sommigen van hen voortdurend het feit uit het oog verliezen dat alle dingen in Gods handelen met deze wereld centreren rond Christus.

De reden dat alle dingen onder de wet werden gereinigd door het offer van bloed, was dat alle dingen in de komende eeuw ook door het offer van Christus tot stand zullen komen. In de redenering met de joden kan het nodig zijn om het argument te keren, maar wij die het voorrecht hebben om de inhoud van Gods grote doel te weten mogen dat nooit uit het oog verliezen .

File:1292-1-doop-kamerling.jpg

Tafereeltegel, tegel in tegelveld van vier stuks, twee hoog, twee breed, ‘De doop van de kamerling’, hoekmotief kwartrozet

Het is dat besef van onze reiniging door Christus zoenoffer dat ons moet overhalen om gereinigd te worden in het water van zuivering. Onze overgang van deze wereld tot de wereld van Christus moet via de weg verlopen van volledige onderdompeling als teken van witwassing. Hierbij moet het geloof er zijn dat Jezus zijn loskoopoffer ons de genade brengt van God. Enkel als de bekeerling werkelijk aanvaard dat Jezus zijn eigen wil opzij zette om de wil van God te doen, waarbij het duidelijk moet zijn dat daarom Jezus God niet kan zijn (want anders zou het steeds zijn wil zijn) en niet tegenstaande alle verleidingen zich toch gehouden heeft aan Gods Wil, zich aangeboden heeft als zoenoffer en een lam voor God, dan kan de gegadigde toe treden. Met het volle besef dat God niet in verleiding kan gebracht worden en niet kan sterven, alsook geen bloed heeft, moet de doopkandidaat dat bloedvergieten van Christus Jezus erkennen als een noodzakelijkheid om ons  voor eens en voor goed los te kopen. Maar daarbij zal hij of zij ook moeten beseffen dat door dat bloedvergieten de Genade van God over ons gekomen is maar ons niet het vrijrecht geeft om zomaar alles te doen wat wij wel graag zouden doen. Neen, een heel boel dingen blijven nog steeds ongeoorloofd en zullen steeds onaanvaardbaar zijn voor een ware volgeling van Christus Jezus.

De letterlijke waarheid geopenbaard in het Nieuwe Testament over de betekenis van het offer houdt in dat God zonden vergeeft en het eeuwige leven aanbiedt  aan de hand van het volmaakte offer gebracht door Christus in zijn leven en dood. Welke figuratieve of gedeeltelijk figuurlijk taal van de Bijbel mag gebruikt worden, dit is de echte betekenis. Gewassen in zijn bloed, onze zonden op Hem gelegd, een peiling van onze zonden in zijn eigen lichaam, de aankoop van zijn bloed, het losgeld, hij overgeleverd om onze zonden, de rechtvaardige voor de onrechtvaardigen – al deze uitdrukkingen moet worden verstaan in harmonie met de letterlijke waarheid van die vergevende God.

Overtredingen van de goddelijke wet kan alleen opzij gezet worden door de vergeving en verdraagzaamheid van God. Fysieke onreinheid van de natuur kan slechts weggeblazen worden door de kracht van God. Het offer van Christus is de door God aangewezen basis, waarin God in Zijn genade en verdraagzaamheid vergeving en verlossing biedt aan zondaren.

“Iedereen heeft gezondigd en ontbeert de nabijheid van God;” (Romeinen 3:23 NBV)

“‘Gelukkig is de mens wiens onrecht is vergeven, wiens zonden zijn bedekt;” (Romeinen 4:7 NBV)

“In hem zijn wij door zijn bloed verlost en zijn onze zonden vergeven, dankzij de rijke genade” (Efeziërs 1:7 NBV)

“die ons de verlossing heeft gebracht, de vergeving van onze zonden.” (Colossenzen 1:14 NBV)

“Belijden we onze zonden, dan zal hij, die trouw en rechtvaardig is, ons onze zonden vergeven en ons reinigen van alle kwaad.” (1 Johannes 1:9 NBV)

“Kinderen, ik schrijf u dat uw zonden u vergeven zijn omwille van zijn naam.” (1 Johannes 2:12 NBV)

Het is die aanvaarding van Jezus zoenoffer door God en door ons welke dankzij Gods aanvaarding ons vrede en hoop mag brengen op bevrijding van de vloek der zonde of de vloek der dood.

Als we willen verder te onderzoeken en de vraag stellen waarom heeft God een dergelijk offer als de basis van de vergeving aangeboden aan de mensheid nodig heeft, zullen wij nooit een antwoord te vinden door middel van de verschillende interpretaties van de wet of gesprek van de straf als gevolg van de zonde. Goddelijke wet is gewoon een uitdrukking van de goddelijke wil. Het was niet de wil van God dat de mens zou zondigen, maar het was de wil van God dat de mens een vrije persoon zou moeten zijn en dat de dood het loon van de zonde moest zijn. Het was de wil van God, dat het menselijk ras, dat door de zonde verontreinigd is, geen toegang zou hebben tot Zijn heilige aanwezigheid, behalve op basis van een volmaakte offer.

En het is de wil van God dat we moeten inspelen op de genadige uitnodiging en dat wij worden gered op de basis die Hij heeft voorzien.

“Want Gods bedoeling met ons is niet dat wij veroordeeld worden, maar dat wij gered worden door onze Heer Jezus Christus.” (1 Thessalonicen 5:9 NBV)

Indien wij ons aanbieden zal God ons ook tegemoet komen want Hij is bij de mens, bereid om hen te ontvangen. Als we vragen waarom God een dergelijk offer nodig heeft, moeten we een morele verklaring zoeken. Het is geen antwoord om de wet aan te halen die zijn wil tot uitdrukking brengt. Geleid door de Schrift kunnen we een morele verklaring vinden die elke eis dat de intelligentie kan maken voldoet. Het volmaakte offer was nodig zodat het vlees daadwerkelijk kan worden ontkend, dat de zonde zou kunnen worden overwonnen en veroordeeld, dat de gerechtigheid en heiligheid van God zou worden verklaard, en dat de zondige mens zou vernederd worden, zonder een deeltje van de grond voor roem over te laten aan hem.

“23 Iedereen heeft gezondigd en ontbeert de nabijheid van God; 24 en iedereen wordt uit genade, die niets kost, door God als een rechtvaardige aangenomen omdat hij ons door Christus Jezus heeft verlost. 25 (25-26) Hij is door God aangewezen om door zijn dood het middel tot verzoening te zijn voor wie gelooft. Hiermee bewijst God dat hij rechtvaardig is, want in zijn verdraagzaamheid gaat hij voorbij aan de zonden die in het verleden zijn begaan. Hij wil ons nu, in deze tijd, zijn gerechtigheid bewijzen: hij laat ons zien dat hij rechtvaardig is door iedereen vrij te spreken die in Jezus gelooft. 26 27 Kunnen wij ons dan nog ergens op laten voorstaan? Dat is uitgesloten. En door welke wet komt dat? Door de wet die eist dat u hem naleeft? Nee, door de wet die eist dat u gelooft.” (Romeinen 3:23-27 NBV)

“Waartoe de wet niet in staat was, machteloos als hij was door de menselijke natuur, dat heeft God tot stand gebracht. Vanwege de zonde heeft hij zijn eigen Zoon als mens in dit zondige bestaan gestuurd; zo heeft hij in dit bestaan met de zonde afgerekend,” (Romeinen 8:3 NBV)

“1  U was dood door de misstappen en zonden 2 waarmee u de weg ging van de god van deze wereld, de heerser over de machten in de lucht, de geest die nu werkzaam is in hen die God ongehoorzaam zijn. 3 Net als zij lieten ook wij allen ons eens beheersen door onze wereldse begeerten, wij volgden alle zelfzuchtige verlangens en gedachten die in ons opkwamen en stonden van nature bloot aan Gods toorn, net als ieder ander. 4  Maar omdat God zo barmhartig is, omdat de liefde die hij voor ons heeft opgevat zo groot is, 5 heeft hij ons, die dood waren door onze zonden, samen met Christus levend gemaakt. Ook u bent nu door zijn genade gered. 6 Hij heeft ons samen met hem uit de dood opgewekt en ons een plaats gegeven in de hemelsferen, in Christus Jezus. 7 Zo zal hij, in de eeuwen die komen, laten zien hoe overweldigend rijk zijn genade is, hoe goed hij voor ons is door Christus Jezus. 8 Door zijn genade bent u nu immers gered, dankzij uw geloof. Maar dat dankt u niet aan uzelf; het is een geschenk van God 9 en geen gevolg van uw daden, dus niemand kan zich erop laten voorstaan.” (Efeziërs 2:1-9 NBV)

Nu is het geloof in Christus Jezus essentieel om tot God te komen en zij die tot de gemeenschap van Christus willen komen moeten die Nazareense man ook werkelijk de volle erkenning geven voor wie hij is en voor wat hij gedaan heeft. Zij die zich vroeger Christen noemden maar geloofden dat Jezus God zou zijn hun voorgaand doopsel heeft generlei waarde, mits het de persoon en daad van Jezus niet ten volle erkende – een essentieel punt van Christelijk geloof.

God maakte het duidelijk, zelfs in oude tijden, dat de mensheid enkel tot Hem kon naderen met een nederig geloof en aan de hand van het bloed vergieten. Hij gaf een wet die de zondigheid en hulpeloosheid van Zijn volk benadrukte. De erkenning van dat bloedvergieten van Jezus opent die weg naar God. Enkel dat zoen- of reinigingsoffer kan de zonden op zij zetten en vergeving afroepen.

“U hebt de Geest niet ontvangen om opnieuw als slaven in angst te leven, u hebt de Geest ontvangen om Gods kinderen te zijn, en om hem te kunnen aanroepen met ‘Abba, Vader’.” (Romeinen 8:15 NBV)

“Dankzij hem hebben we door het geloof toegang gekregen tot Gods genade, die ons fundament is, en in de hoop te mogen delen in zijn luister prijzen we ons gelukkig.” (Romeinen 5:2 NBV)

“Hij moet de stier op dezelfde wijze offeren als de stier van zijn eigen reinigingsoffer. Zo voltrekt de priester voor het volk de verzoeningsrite en krijgt het vergeving.” (Leviticus 4:20 NBV)

“Al het vet moet hij op het altaar verbranden, zoals ook met het vet van het vredeoffer gedaan wordt. Zo voltrekt de priester voor de leider van het volk de verzoeningsrite voor wat hij misdaan heeft, en krijgt deze vergeving.” (Leviticus 4:26 NBV)

“Al het vet moet hij verwijderen, zoals ook met het vet van het vredeoffer gedaan wordt, en hij moet het op het altaar verbranden als een geurige gave die de HEER behaagt. Zo voltrekt de priester voor de persoon in kwestie de verzoeningsrite, en krijgt deze vergeving.” (Leviticus 4:31 NBV)

“Al het vet moet hij verwijderen, zoals ook met het vet van het schaap voor het vredeoffer gedaan wordt, en hij moet het verbranden op het altaar, samen met de andere offergaven voor de HEER. Zo voltrekt de priester voor de persoon in kwestie de verzoeningsrite voor wat hij misdaan heeft, en krijgt deze vergeving.” (Leviticus 4:35 NBV)

God beloofde een verlosser, die een einde moest maken aan zonde en “eeuwige gerechtigheid brengen” (Dan. 9). Toen de volheid van de tijd gekomen was onthulde Hij die regeling van de liefde waarin zelfs de engelen hadden gewenst te kijken. Hij maakte de selectie van een maagd uit het huis van Israël en produceerde uit haar iemand die sterk genoeg was voor het grote werk dat nodig zou moeten zijn. Dus het vlees werd verstoten, zelfs in de geboorte van Christus, werd de zonde overwonnen en veroordeeld in elke daad van zijn leven, en uiteindelijk presenteerde hij vrijelijk de laatste gehoorzaamheid tot de dood toe, dat hij naar onsterfelijkheid en glorie kon worden opgewekt uit de doden als de kapitein van onze zaligheid volmaakt door lijden.

“Want om vele kinderen in zijn luister te laten delen achtte God, voor wie en door wie alles bestaat, het passend de bereider van hun redding door het lijden naar de uiteindelijke volmaaktheid te voeren.” (Hebreeën 2:10 NBV)

In onze onvolmaaktheid moeten wij oog hebben voor eenieder die zich aan biedt om opgenomen te worden in de gemeenschap van Christus. Niemand kan de volledige waarheid bezitten noch volmaakt zijn tot in de uiteinden van zijn lenden. Maar door te erkennen dat Jezus als mens daar wel in geslaagd is geven wij toe aan God dat wij onder zijn bescherming willen komen te staan.

Aan Jezus werd veel gegeven maar ook veel gevraagd. Datgene wat van hem gevergd werd zouden velen van ons niet eens halen. Hij werkte zijn perfectie uit en bracht redding door de kracht die God hem gaf, en dus door hem opende God de manier van leven voor ons. Hier is de zondige natuur die alleen hulpeloze zondaars, gecontroleerd, veroordeeld en uiteindelijk de sterke Zoon van God weg zette in zijn volmaakte gehoorzaamheid van leven en dood. Op basis hiervan kan de mensheid de heiligheid van de Schepper benaderen en kunnen de mensen van het geloof, alhoewel zondaars, worden verhoogd tot het goddelijke. Op deze basis van de overwonnen zondige natuur, verworpen en veroordeeld door de ene die God sterk voor Zichzelf maakte, vergeeft God. Dat is de werkelijke betekenis van de verzoening.

Het Nieuwe Testament beschrijft het offer van Christus in duidelijke en letterlijke taal. Laten we alle figuren en symbolen  interpreteren op basis van de duidelijke uitspraken. God, die het einde vanaf het begin weet, Die doet naar Zijn wil, maar die “Zichzelf niet kan verloochenen” voorzag de voorwaarde voor het veroordelen en het overwinnen van zonden op basis waarvan Hij met veel verdraagzaamheid diegenen vergeeft die Hem behagen door hun geloof .

Aldus moet diegene die zich ook aan biedt om als kind van God in de gemeenschap opgenomen te worden, spijt betuigen van voorheen gedane fouten en hier om vergiffenis vragen.

Veel controverse is ontstaan door de vraag of Christus voor zijn eigen reiniging aangeboden. Het is grotendeels een oorlog van woorden, te wijten aan de ene kant om een angst te zeggen of een abonnement op iets denigrerende aan Christus en aan de andere kant misschien een neiging tot terugvallen in de oude overdrijving van ‘erfzonde’ geweest. Er behoort niet tot een minuut moeite met het omgaan met de vraag en het veiligstellen van overeenkomst.

Verder zal hij ook de belofte moeten maken om de ‘zonde’ in het vlees terzijde te zetten. (Uiteraard is het een afgeleide of secundaire betekenis van het woord, voor het primaire betekenis van de zonde is overtreding van de goddelijke wet.)

Zij die Jezus als God aanschouwen vallen buiten beschouwing voor het geloof in Christus, want zij negeren de persoonlijkheid van de Nazareense Jood. Zoals wij worden geboren met de mogelijkheid tot zondigen was dat ook zo bij Jezus. Hij was echter sterk genoeg om dit niet te doen en zich vrij van zonden te houden. Zij die beweren dat hij daarom wel God moest zijn  vergeten dat zij zo van God een vreselijk wezen maken die wetten oplegde aan Zijn schepselen waarvan Hij wist dat zij die toch niet zouden kunnen houden. Om te veronderstellen dat een buitengewoon zuiver en rechtvaardig mens deze zwakte minder dan anderen zou voelen is een enorme vergissing. De waarheid is andersom. De man met de hoogste idealen en de meest spirituele geest zal de strijd meest voelen. Om te suggereren dat Christus in alle dingen werd verzocht als wij en toch zonder deze wet van de zonde in zijn leden is, is een verkondiging in complete tegenspraak. Het is hetzelfde als zeggen:

“Behalve dat hij in het geheel niet geneigd was!”

Suggesties van buitenaf zijn geen verleiding op ons als ze geen beroep doen op iets in. Christus droeg alleen deze zelfde ontkende natuur die wij dragen. God kan niet verleid worden maar Jezus wel (mits hij god niet is) maar doordat hij niet voor de verleiding viel kon niet veroordeeld worden en overwon zonde. Christus droeg deze kwaliteit in het vlees, maar hij heeft nooit toegestaan om “zwanger te worden van zonde”, zelfs tot op het punt van de zondige gedachte. Daarin was dit voor hem de meest geweldige strijd en de meest onheilspellende overwinning van alle menselijke ervaring.

Zoals Jezus gehoorzaamheid aan God vertoonde moet diegene die zich christen wil noemen ook gehoorzaamheid aan God willen vertonen en tegelijkertijd ook de leer van Christus Jezus na volgen.  anders heeft hij of zij geen recht om zich Christen te noemen.

Na het tot het geloof komen en de wil zich aan God en Zijn gemeenschap over te geven moet blijken dat die persoon ook daadwerkelijk de wil van God wil uitvoeren.

Christus kwam om Gods wil te doen, hij was in alles gehoorzaam tot de dood, en zo met zijn eigen bloed, met andere woorden, op basis van zijn volmaakte offer, ging hij het Allerheiligste in om voor ons een voorspreker of bemiddelaar te zijn. Met zijn eigen bloed betrad hij het heilige der heiligen, een eeuwige verlossing, en wij, als we getrouw zijn, kunnen eindelijk ” van onze zonden in zijn bloed worden gewassen” en bedekt worden met zijn gerechtigheid.

Zij die in Jezus geloof stellen zullen ook terecht mogen inzien dat God bereid is om hen te accepteren, te vergeven en te reinigen, dit op basis van het volmaakte leven en de dood van Zijn Gezalfde Zoon. Hen is het gegeven om zich aan te bieden om gedoopt te worden en deel uit te maken van de gemeenschap van broeders en zusters in Christus.

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Voorgaande artikelen

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen. #9 Controverse betreft doop

Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #12 Anabaptisten

16° Eeuwse Broeders in Christus

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Aanvullende artikelen

  1. Schepper en Blogger God 11 Het Oude en Nieuwe Blog 1 Gericht op één mens
  2. Het begin van Jezus #3 Voorgaande Tijden
  3. Redding, vertrouwen en actie in Jezus #6 Samenhoren
  4. Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 5 Vrucht van de geest
  5. Overtuiging voor de dingen die God beloofde
  6. Jezus van Nazareth #3 De Zoon van God
  7. Kiemend zaad
  8. De Bekeerling, bekeringsactie en bekering
  9. Doop
  10. Doopsel
  11. Doop en Geloof
  12. Dopen en herdopen
  13. Geestelijke vorming tot heiligheid #3
  14. Gods vergeten Woord 5 Verloren Wetboek 4 De ‘katholieke’ kerk
  15. Ontdopen gaat verder in België, een keerpunt om stil bij te staan
  16. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #9 Controverse betreft doop
  17. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #12 Anabaptisten
  18. 16° Eeuwse Broeders in Christus
  19. Synode: Jezus annuleerde Bijbels ‘Gekozen volk’
  20. Overtuiging voor de dingen die God beloofde
  21. Wedergeboorte en lidmaatschap tot een kerk
  22. Doopverplichting bij Baptisten
  23. Nederlandse Raad van Kerken wil gezamelijke dooperkenning
  24. Pinksterkerken en RKK dichter bij elkaar
  25. Doop in de huiskerk
  26. Religieuze feesten in mei 2016
  27. De aanduiding door Paulus en Jacobus van de werken die wij horen te doen

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Aanverwante lectuur

  1. Hoe weet je eigenlijk of God bestaat? @trouw #geloof(sovertuiging) #religie #bewijzen
  2. Wijsheid op woensdag: religiegoïsme
  3. Wie of wat is God?
  4. Geloof
  5. Life Changing
  6. Herbelijdenis
  7. Over communies en vestimentaire keuzes maken
  8. en toen was het eindelijk zo ver !!!!
  9. foto souvenierke
  10. ‘n Paar geloofsvrae bespreek
  11. Stel je eens voor, als dat zou kunnen …
  12. YHWH, ons Skepper
  13. Lewe en dood
  14. Pasen 2016
  15. Hoop
  16. Goal
  17. Gehandicapte mensen: goed of slecht voor het karma van gelovigen?
  18. Ascension Day

Looking at older articles series over Russell on the previous Bible-scholar Association

On Bijbelvorsers Webs, the closing site of the Biblescholar association, we published on March 4, 2011 at 5:36 am:

Charles Taze Russell the year he died of a heart attack (1916, Oct. 31)  - Charles Taze Russell het jaar dat hij stierf aan een hartaanval (1916, oktober 31)

Charles Taze Russell the year he died of a heart attack (1916, Oct. 31) – Charles Taze Russell het jaar dat hij stierf aan een hartaanval (1916, oktober 31)

Our articles series over Russell has been gotten of our websites (2014 note: from the MSN Groups + from Windows Live Spaces) for a time , but will be placed back over a few months.  Before it comes so far we want to get it clear that on the net there are some wrong accusations to the name of Charles T. Russell.
Particular sites give wrong information on Charles Taze Russell and write that he is the founder of the Witnesses of Jehovah or the group called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One of the pivot figures in the movement of the Biblestudents, Russell was a man of open mind that also in his free thinking looked to other students of the Bible and did not mind taking over some of their ideas.  As he wanted to take over several thoughts of the followers of Doctor Thomas (the Thomasites or Christadelphians).  He was against each form of authority.  He did not believe in such sectarian organization as the Witnesses of Jehovah had later become, neither in its authoritarian hierarchy.  The true founder of the Jehovah Witnesses organization was Joseph Rutherford.

Russel himself was also conscious of that not a human organization would be able to decide if some one would be able to enter the Kingdom of God.  Differently than the Society of the Jehovah Witnesses he pushed never the idea that all holy Christians had to accept all his ideas and decisions.

About this you can read already the right reaction of Reslight in:  Who’s The Founder Or Jehovah Witnesses?  

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Please do find additional information:

  1. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study
  2. A move in Spaces
  3. Retrieving some older articles previously placed on Multiply
  4. SOPA & PIPA More good things thrown away than bad things
  5. Looking from different perspectives
  6. Pleased to find Christadelphian World on the net
  7. Around C.T.Russell
  8. Charles Taze Russell and what he started
  9. Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
  10. Russell and his beliefs
  11. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  12. Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
  13. A visible organisation on earth
  14. Different approach in organisation of services #1
  15. Different approach in organisation of services #2
  16. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  17. Change of name
  18. Daily portion of heavenly food
  19. Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God
  20. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  21. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  22. Belonging to or being judged by
  23. Words to push and pull
  24. Religious Practices around the world
  25. Suprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
  26. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  27. Bringing Good News into the world
  28. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  29. Not many coming out with their community name
  30. Power in the life of certain
  31. Concerning gospelfaith
  32. Hallo World
  33. Belgian Biblestudents – Belgische Bijbelstudenten
  34. What are Brothers in Christ
  35. Thomasites
  36. Christadelphian people
  37. Our (Christadelphian) way of life
  38. My (Christadelphian) faith
  39. Brief history
  40. History of the Christadelphians
  41. Who are the Christadelphians
  42. Birmingham Amended Statement of Faith
  43. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult

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  • Russian Court Declares Jehovah Witnesses’ Website Extremist (rferl.org)
    Prosecutors in Russia’s Tver region filed a claim last year saying that the ideas promoted by Jehovah’s Witnesses incite hatred and division.

    Three of the religious organization’s main books, “What Does The Bible Teach Us About,” “Get Closer To Jehovah,” and “Come And Follow Me” were also found by the court to be extremist.

  • Court bars kids from Jehovah’s Witness activities (stuff.co.nz)
    In March, the Family Court declined to continue the interim guardianship order which had placed constraints on the children participating in Jehovah’s Witness faith.

    The parents subsequently sought guardianship directions from the High Court either constraining or permitting the children’s participation in the faith.

    Lawyers for the children resisted such an order being made, submitting that it would curtail the children’s freedom of religion.

  • Judge stops children of Jehovah’s Witness from going to church (nzherald.co.nz)
    A judge has stopped the children of a Jehovah’s Witness from going to church and attending witness meetings and allowed them to attend birthday parties and Christmas celebrations.

    The High Court ruling, released publicly today, comes after the children’s separated parents appealed against Family Court orders regarding custody details.

    Justice Brendan Brown said his ruling would “dilute” the two young children’s exposure to their mother’s faith. However, he recognised the order was “at odds” with the children’s wishes.

  • 10 Things You Never Knew About Jehovah’s Witnesses (listverse.com)
    The modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses (known most commonly for their door-to-door evangelizing work) have been around since the late 1800s. It was around that time that a Bible study group based in Pennsylvania began analyzing, comparing, and dissecting Biblical scripture only to arrive at conclusions not taught by the majority of mainstream Christian religions. This group used zealous proselytizing to spread their scriptural discoveries. They also used their hope for the future that they gathered from the Bible to spread their beliefs across the US. Eventually, they spread their message into many different countries. Though they are currently based in hundreds of lands around the globe, the general populace knows relatively little about this far-flung faith.
  • Missionaries at the Door (guardianlv.com)

    Most everyone has had contact with missionaries of multiple faiths who come knocking at the door anxious to talk about God and religion. Many are keen to ask them to leave before getting their back history or any sort of personal information. While most have heard about Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, many are not aware of the theological basis for their proselytizing and the institutional expectations that drive them.

    One of the fastest growing denominations in the country with a current membership hovering around 1.1 million, Jehovah’s Witnesses claim special and unique insight into the Bible and God’s purposes and will for people today. Each member is expected to proselytize on a regular basis. One can find them going door-to-door and two-by-two in any given big city or small town in America and increasingly throughout the world. They bare what they believe is a special message from God.

  • Jehovah’s Witness member dies after child delivery for refusing blood transfusion (dailypost.ng)
    According to London Evening Standard, Adeline, and her husband, Kweku Keh, had been looking for a child for many years. She reportedly endured years of failed fertility treatments, until finally; she was able to conceive naturally, only to die after giving birth to her son, Mawsi, through caesarean section at Homerton Hospital.

Different approach in organisation of services #3

Radio calls and booklets

Today the Jehovah Witnesses are the biggest known Bible Student Group in Belgium. At first they could find Bible Students groups associating with them and start growing from the previous preparations of those groups. But they too had to see members leaving them.

Français : Jumet (Charleroi - Belgique) - Chap...

Français : Jumet (Charleroi – Belgique) – Chapelle Notre Dame de Heigne (XIIe siècle) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As result of the broadcastings in the mid 20° century, in French and sponsored by the Brethren of Dawn from the U.S; 3 Belgian families were interested in the Present Truth. It was Brother Armand Lechien who got in touch with Brother Félix Pilarski through the mail service of Radio Luxemburg: Brother Félix aimed him towards Jumet. These 3 families left the movement they were members of (the Jehovah Witnesses) because they thought the teachings they heard were not in harmony

with the Scriptures. The Polish-Belgian Brother and Sister Wlodarski had got French brethren and sisters in their circles and found more brethren from the French Association des étudiants de la Bible coming more and more frequently to serve the Word of God (brother François Wozniak, Kosmalski A. Liszka, T. Kubiak, J., Osorowski S.,TF et Ed. Pilarski, Speil, a few from Saint Etienne and many others …..); the family Kula, their younger daughter and one son attended the meetings, in the following years just like in France, pilgrim brethren came from the United States and later from Poland.

Courcelles coal mine ” 6 périer ” Souvret

The families – Armand et Louise Lechien – Ernest et Helena Duchateau –  Edmond et Jeanne Henrioule decided to have meetings during the week (on Wednesday and Thursday) to study the Figures of the Tabernacle. With their agreement, the families Wlodarski and Kula joined them. The studies were held in two languages with the help of a translator (2 languages were spoken French and Polish).

Brother Félix Pilarski and other brethren worked a lot for these meetings because they spoke French perfectly.
Brother Félix Pilarski made a handsome contribution to the development of the meeting of Courcelles with edifying biblical discourses and his visits. He was also personally active in the country of Liège and in Brussels where he had a deposit of booklets. Other brethren also paid many visits; among them we can mention Brother Joseph Wozniak, Adolphe Debski, and others.
After Brother Ernest Duchateau died suddenly, meetings continued for some time. When Brother Lechien died after a quite long disease, we could see a repetitive thing around the house churches, the ecclesia of Courcelles disappeared in the mid 70’s.

Former town hall of Jumet, where the film “Why did He come to earth?” of the Bible Students was given.

On October 24th 1987, the ecclesia of Jumet organised two projections of the film “Why did He come to earth?” in the community City Hall of Charleroi. Those shows were announced with advertising: posters in public places, advertising in the city with loudspeakers, spots on local newspapers radio and TV, display on electronic screens, distribution of leaflets.
More than hundred persons attended these film projections. Leaflets and tracts were given to the participants but only few asked for further information and other booklets.

Soothed to sleep with man’s talk

Very soon in history the majority in Christendom went running after the false teachers. The myths were more pleasing to the ear than the actual truth. They were soothed to sleep with it. Early on the Brothers, as true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, were in the minority. Their faith of the true gospel was of ‘origin’ pure, by the human impurities it was swung back and forth by the years gone.

In Belgium and the Netherlands remained Bible Faithful following Jesus’ command and continued preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
The first nor the second world war had kept them from it, even though many of them were anxiously looking forward to the action of the two warring camps, because they were against fighting, and because they adhered to a faith that was not liked by anyone.

That Jesus and his apostles spoke about the news that there would be established a Kingdom on earth, that would be ruled by Jesus Christ and in which the faithful of all ages would have a place alongside their Lord: i.e. as co-rulers, this sounded obviously not fine in the ears for them (the German Fuehrer wished to be the only ruler). But the cheerful message for humanity survived now the fight under people and brought unprecedented peace in some families.

The doctrine of Christ’s reign on earth was first treated as highly symbolic, gradually became labelled as a very questionable and useless thought and was ultimately rejected as an absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism.
God’s light happily extinguishes not; it is an eternal flame. The people of Israel in ancient times also reached detritus. They even served other gods. Nevertheless, there remain at this time believers in the One God and history now could repeat itself. Faithful to God those bible students wanted to share their findings and in spite the continuous opposition dared to go against the most popular doctrine of men.

Getting a base in Holland

After attempts from the Netherlands were made to bring Truth to England (in the 16th Century) and having a flight of truth seekers to the New World in the 19th century, now letters of truth seekers from the New World could again send truth to Europe.

The teachings of Elias Smith and John Thomas now, the time was ripe, an opportunity was given to a ‘resurgence‘ of Bible Faithful. They also found their way across the ocean and in all English-speaking countries they could find a foothold.

Through the centuries, the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, which was preached by Jesus and the apostles, showed a dynamic force which has all the opposition of powerful religious groups defied and still serves as the sole basis of faith for those who want to search God.

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands - Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands – Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

In 1956 in the Netherlands finally the group of Brothers in Christ could get solid and communities as “de Broeders in Christus“, arose in Den Haag (The Hague), Amersfoort, Ede and Groningen.

From 1957 officially recognised, seeing it as our duty to our Lord to make his name known among the people in our area, as well as among other nations, they made work of it to go around billing leaflets. They kept their focus on the Bible as the source of all knowledge and followed the guiding principle of the word of our Lord, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” They also began to spread the magazine “Met Open Bijbel” (With Open Bible) of which Rudolf Rijkeboer was the driving force.

Vanishing interest

It clearly appeared that after the ‘golden age’ with the children boom and citizens of Belgium having their life becoming better, the interest for the biblical message of Truth is vanishing with time passing on.
The Bible Students saw their number of members in ecclesiae decreasing.The visiting brethren and sisters from the Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM) for 25 years made regular visits to put leaflets and pamphlets in the postboxes. Their short visits trying to get people on the street interested in the works of Christ and in the promises of God, did not work out. At the time (early 21° Century) they wanted to give it all up and several Christadelphians left Holland to return to England or to go to Australia.
At the end of the 20° Century some Bible Students with ex-Jehovah Witnesses formed the Vrije Christenen or Free Christians. In that movement was also the non-trinitarian Baptist Marcus Ampe very active. Even before he himself became a Christadelphian he had already brought others to the Christadelphian faith. In Flemish Brabant and in Hainaut, plus on the net, with him, again an effort was made to bring the Good News of the coming Kingdom.
The Belfry in Mons

The Belfry in Mons, one of the meeting places of the Free Belgian Christadelphians

Last year brother Marcus tried to get several Bible Student groups together, but failed because of their will to have a certain power and the will to keep everything in control themselves. Plus some, like our confrères which we ourselves could not get over the bend to join the other Christadelphians in Belgium, made it impossible to have the different bible Students exchanging ideas, meeting sessions and information about their where-about and working. For our Australian brothers, of the Australian Bible Students, the CBM members were not close enough in following the teachings of brother Dr. John Thomas and mixing with the too loose teachings would dilute the whole system (they thought).

The man from the North and his organisation, have most of the Bible Students (except the JW) living in Belgian. But they resisted in giving the addresses of their ecclesiae in Oostende, Gent, (Brussels) and Antwerp. this made that the few but very active Christadelphians from Brussels, Leuven and Mons, could not meet with more Christadelphians in Belgium.
We too had to face the difficulty of bringing people together in peace and where confronted with a loss in our ranks, but our invitation is still open to join as members of the Body of Christ, united in the love of Christ.
We are convinced that our preaching work is important and that even when we do not reach so many people in Belgium, we do hope we can reach some others far away from us. We do hope that our voice may also sound in the darkness and bring some light to people we do not know, but who we do hope to meet in the Kingdom of God. We look forward to meet many new faces, happy to be under the Guidance of the Lord and not bounded by single people, but constructed on the cornerstone Jesus Christ.
Though we may have a different approach in organisation of services we do believe we all should go for the same truth and for the unification under Christ, by which each group might have a different name, but is willing to be united in spirit, sharing to build up and construct positively working to help each other entering the gate of the coming Kingdom.
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Preceding articles:
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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians and find further related articles:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Harvest in Belgium
  34. Building up the spirit of the soul
  35. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  36. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  37. Change of name
  38. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  39. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 3

Radio-oproepen en boekjes

Vandaag zijn de Jehovah Getuigen de grootste bekende Bijbel Studenten organisatie in België. Eerst konden ze Bijbelonderzoekers groepen vinden die met hen, ten tijde van Rutherford, wilden associëren. Diegenen die Charles Taze Russell eerst hadden gevold en nu verder wensten te gaan met Rutherford begonnen verder uit te groeien. Maar de interne onenigheden veroorzaakten ook breuken, die zelfs tot in België voelbaar waren.

Français : Blason de Jumet (Charleroi-Belgique...

Blazoen van Jumet (Charleroi België), ook wapenschild van de abdij van Lobbes. (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Als gevolg van radio uitzendingen, in het Frans en gesponsord door de Broeders van Dawn uit de VS; waren 3 Belgische gezinnen geïnteresseerd in de tegenwoordige waarheid. Het was Broeder Lechien Armand, die in contact kwam met broeder Félix Pilarski via de mail service van Radio Luxemburg: Broeder Félix richte zich tot hem in Jumet. Deze 3 families werden ook eerst lid van de vereniging met de naam “Jehova Getuigen” of Getuigen van Jehovah. Toen zij merkten dat Rutherford met zijn Genootschap meer en meer afweek van de leerstellingen van Russell en vonden dat de leringen die zij hoorden niet in harmonie waren met de Schrift, verlieten zij de beweging. Maar zij bleven verder de Heilige Schrift onderzoeken.

Families die samen kamen in huizen of Huiskerken vormden

De Pools-Belgische broeder en zuster Wlodarski hadden Franse broeders en zusters in hun kennissenkring en vonden meer broeders van de Franse vereniging Association des étudiants de la Bible die ook vaker bij hen wilden komen om te het Woord van God te dienen. Zo konden zij een paar broeders van Saint Etienne treffen: François Wozniak, Kosmalski A. Liszka, T. Kubiak, J.Osorowski S., TF et Ed Pilarski, Speil, en vele anderen; de familie Kula, hun jongste dochter en een zoon woonden de vergaderingen bij. In de volgende jaren, net als in Frankrijk, kwamen pelgrim broeders uit de Verenigde Staten en later uit Polen hen bezoeken.

De families – Armand en Louise Lechien Ernest en Helena Duchateau – Edmond en Jeanne Henrioule besloten bijeenkomsten tijdens de week (woensdag en donderdag) te houden waarbij zij een studie hielden over de Figuren van het Tabernakel. Met hun toestemming voegden zich de families Wlodarski en Kula bij hen. De studies werden gehouden in twee talen met de hulp van een vertaler (de 2 talen die werden gesproken waren Frans en Pools).
Broeder Félix Pilarski en andere broeders werkten veel voor het welslagen van deze bijeenkomsten, omdat ze
perfect Frans spraken.

De Sint-Lambertuskerk in Courcelles.

Broeder Félix Pilarski maakte een fraaie bijdrage aan de ontwikkeling van de vergadering van Courcelles met stichtelijke Bijbelse discoursen en met zijn bezoeken. Hij was ook persoonlijk actief in het streek van Liège (Luik) en in Brussel, waar hij een voorraad van boekjes had. Andere broeders leverden ook vele bezoeken af, onder hen kunnen we onder andere broeder Joseph Wozniak, Adolphe Debski noemen.
Nadat  Broeder
Ernest Duchateau plotseling overleed werden de bijeenkomsten nog  voortgezet voor bepaalde tijd. Toen broeder Lechien overleed na een heel lange ziekte konden we een repetitieve zaak zien rond de huis kerken. De ecclesia van Courcelles verdween in het midden van de jaren ’70.

Voormaling Gemeentehuis. Gebouwd in 1825-1827 door Jan Kuypers, waar de Bijbelstudenten film “Waarom kwam Hij naar de aarde?” werd vertoond.

Op 24 oktober 1987, organiseerde de ecclesia van Jumet twee uitsteeksels van de film Waarom kwam Hij naar de aarde?” In het gemeenschapscentrum van het stadhuis van Charleroi. Die shows werden aangekondigd met reclame: affiches op openbare plaatsen, reclame in de stad met luidsprekers, advertenties in de lokale kranten, op radio en tv, weergave op elektronische schermen, distributie van folders.
Meer dan honderd personen woonden deze filmprojecties bij. Pamfletten en traktaten werden gegeven aan de deelnemers, maar slechts weinigen vroegen voor meer informatie en andere boekjes.

De leer van Christus ‘regering op aarde’

Al snel in de geschiedenis van het Christendom zag men de meerderheid valse leraren nalopen. De mythen waren meer een lust voor het oor dan de werkelijke waarheid. Ze werden tot rust gewiegd met hetgeen zij zelf graag wensten te horen. Wat was er niet fijner om die zaken te horen die je niet moesten doen veranderen van gewoonten en zeden.

Al vroeg in de geschiedenis geraakten de ware volgers van Jezus Christus in de verdrukking. In sommige streken moesten zij zelfs voor hun leven gaan vrezen. Die angst voor vervolging maakte dat zij eerder verdoken hun godsdienst beleden.

De Broeders hun geloof van het ware evangelie was van oorsprong’ puur, maar door de menselijke onzuiverheden werd het ook heen en weer geschud doorheen de jaren. De verscheiden kleine groepjes die thuis de bijbel bestudeerden handelden verder in hun eigen kleine kring. Dit maakte ook dat er niet veel kennis naar buiten bloeide.

In België en Nederland bleven Bijbel Getrouwen naarstig de Bijbel bestuderen maar ook de opdracht van Jezus volgen, met het blijven prediken van het Evangelie van het Koninkrijk van God.
De eerste noch de tweede wereld oorlog had hen er van kunnen weerhouden, hoewel velen van hen angstvallig uitkeken naar de werking van de twee strijdende kampen, omdat ze
tegen het vechten waren en omdat ze handelden op grond van een geloof dat helemaal niet graag gezien werd door iedereen .

Dat Jezus en zijn apostelen spraken over het nieuws dat er een koninkrijk op aarde zou worden opgericht dat zou worden geregeerd door Jezus Christus en dat daar de gelovigen van alle tijden een plaats zouden krijgen naast hun Heer: dwz als coheersers, klonk natuurlijk niet fijn in de oren voor hen (die de Duitse Führer als de enige heerser wilde). Maar de blijde boodschap voor de mensheid overleefde nu de strijd onder de mensen en bracht een ongekende vrede in sommige families.

De leer van Christus’ regering op aarde werd eerst behandeld als zeer symbolisch, werd geleidelijk bestempeld als een zeer twijfelachtige en nutteloze gedachte en werd uiteindelijk als een absurde uitvinding van ketterij en fanatisme afgewezen.
Gods licht dooft gelukkig niet; het is een eeuwige vlam. Het volk van Israël in de oudheid bereikte ook detritus. Zij dienden ook andere goden. Toch blijven er op dit moment gelovigen in de Ene God die ook Hem Alleen als Allerhoogste willen dienen. Ook na de grote verschrikking van de wereldoorlogen kon de geschiedenis zich
nu herhalen. Trouw aan God wilden die Bijbel studenten, niet zo maar één werelds man en zijn organisatie (Rutherford en de Getuigen van Jehovah) volgen. Naast het trouw blijven aan de hoeksteen Jezus, als het enige fundament voor Gods Kerk, bleven er getrouwen aan Dr.Thomas en aan de Bijbel hun bevindingen met anderen delen en ondanks de voortdurende tegenstand durfden zij in te gaan tegen de meest populaire leer van de meeste mensen.

Het krijgen van een basis in Holland

Na pogingen die vanuit Nederland werden gemaakt om de Waarheid naar Engeland te brengen (in de 16e eeuw) en de vlucht van de waarheidszoekers naar de Nieuwe Wereld in de 19e eeuw, konden nu brieven van waarheidszoekers uit de Nieuwe Wereld weer de waarheid naar Europa toe sturen.
De Europeanen konden nu vanuit de Nieuwe Wereld de andere denkwijze horen van mensen die veel tijd hadden gestoken in het onderzoeken van de Bijbel. Het onderricht van Elias Smith en John Thomas kon nu de tijd rijp was, een gelegenheid geven aan een opleving’ van de Bijbel Getrouwen. Zij vonden ook hun weg over de oceaan en in alle Engels sprekende landen, waar ze een voet aan de grond kon vinden. Van daaruit druppelde het naar de Lage Landen.

Door de eeuwen heen, toonde het Evangelie van Gods Koninkrijk, zoals het voorheen gepredikt werd door Jezus en de apostelen, een dynamische kracht die alle tegenstand van de machtige religieuze groepen die het kon trotseren. Dat evangelie van Gods Koninkrijk dient nog steeds als de enige basis van het geloof voor hen die God willen zoeken. En de Engelsen die dat wisten en de Noordzee hadden overgestoken om te gaan verkondigen, konden in Nederland ook mensen vinden die dat Woord van God trouw wensten te blijven.

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands - Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands – Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

In 1956 kon in Nederland eindelijk de groep van Broeders in Christus soliditeit krijgen en ontstonden gemeenschappen in Den Haag, Amersfoort, Ede en Groningen. In Nederland officieel erkend sinds 1957, bleven zij het als hun plicht tegenover onze Heer zien, om zijn Naam bekend te maken onder de mensen in hun omgeving, alsook onder andere volken. Daarbij ligt hun nadruk op de Bijbel als de bron van alle kennis, waarbij hun leidraad daarbij het woord van onze Heer is:

“Om niet hebt gij het ontvangen, geeft het om niet.”

De gemeenschap van Broeders in Christus begon ook het magazine “Met Open Bijbelte verspreiden  waarvan Rudolf Rijkeboer de drijvende kracht was tot aan zijn dood vorig jaar.

Verdwijnende interesse

Het bleek duidelijk dat na de gouden eeuw’ met de kinderboom en inwoners van België die hun leven steeds beter zagen worden, dat hiermee ook de belangstelling voor de Bijbelse boodschap van de Waarheid verminderde. De laatste jaren kan men spreken van totaal geen interesse meer voor Geloof, Bijbel of Kerk.
De Bijbel Studenten zagen hun leden aantal in Ecclesiae verminderen. De enige troost die zij konden hebben was dat ook in de algemeen reguliere kerk een neerwaarste spiraal op gang was gekomen. De bezoekende broeders en zusters van de Christadelphian Bijbel Missie [Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM)] uit Groot-Brittannië, die voor 25 jaar regelmatige bezoeken maakten aan België om folders en pamfletten in de brievenbussen te steken, konden minder geestdrift vinden bij hun eigen leden, omdat het niets bleek uit te halen. Met hun korte bezoeken probeerden ze mensen op straat te bereiken en hoopten dat er op hun folders zou worden gereageerd. De Nederlandse Broeders die de algemene leiding toen nog hadden over het gehele gebied kregen echter verwaarloosbaar weinig reacties van het zuiden. Op het moment dat ze het allemaal wilden opgeven en verschillende Christadelphians Holland begonnen te verlaten om terug te keren naar hun geboorteland (Engeland of naar Australië), vond in België toch een kentering plaats in de wereld van Bijbelvorsers.
In de jaren ’90 vormden sommige Bijbel Studenten met exJehovah Getuigen de Vrije Christenen. In die beweging was ook de niet-trinitarische Doopsgezinde Marcus Ampe. Nog voordat hij zelf werd opgenomen in de Christadelphian gemeenschap had hij als niet-trinitarisch Baptist al anderen tot het Christadelphian geloof gebracht. Met hem predikend in Vlaams-Brabant en in Henegouwen, plus op het net, werd wederom een poging gedaan om het goede nieuws van het komende Koninkrijk te brengen.

Verwoede pogingen

Vorig jaar deed hij een poging om de verschillende Bijbel Studenten groepen bij elkaar te krijgen. Hij hoopte zo dat de verscheidene splintergroepen meer tot een uitwisseling van ideeën en vergaderingen zouden komen. Spijtig genoeg, werden zijn verzoeningspogingen tussen onderling strijdende groepen niet gewaardeerd. Een man uit het hoge noorden met zijn organisatie die nochtans het linken van hulp in haar naam heeft, hield het tegen dat door hem en zijn organisatie gedoopte Christadelphians met de Christadelphians van de Vrije Christadelphians (toen nog gewoon genaamd: Christadelphians en onder bescherming van CBM) met als basis de regio Leuven en met de Bijbelstudenten Christadelphians samen zouden kunnen komen. Broeder Marcus zijn onderneming liep faliekant uit. In plaats van de Christadelphians verenigd onder één dak te krijgen werd de kleinste groep nog meer uitgedund door onenigheid omtrent unificatie. Bepaalde mensen wensten zelf alles onder controle te hebben en konden het niet verdragen dat iemand anders in hun boeken zou kunnen mee kijken. Vooral de man van het Noorden zorgde voor de grootste struikelsteen.
Een aantal van onze medebroeders konden wij zelf niet zo ver krijgen dat zij over hun meningsverschillen heen zouden kijken. Voor onze Australische broeders, van de Australische Bijbel Studenten werden de CBM-leden niet zuiver genoeg gevonden. Volgens hen zijn de CBM leden te ver afgeweken van de originele leer van broeder Dr. John Thomas. Voor hen zou een samengaan met een groep, die (volgens hen) te los omspringt met de leer, het hele systeem verzwakken. Hierdoor kregen wij het ook moeilijk te verduren om mensen in eigen rangen er toe te bewegen over de menselijke tekortkomingen heen te kijken, en waren wij dan ook slachtoffer van een leegloop.
Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, opgericht door Marcus Ampe - Bijbelvorsers (Bible Scholars), association for Bible study, founded by Marcus Ampe

Bijbelvorsers, Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie, opgericht door Marcus Ampe – Bijbelvorsers (Bible Scholars), association for Bible study, founded by Marcus Ampe

Onze uitnodiging om zich te verenigen als Broeders en zusters in Christus blijft open staan. Door al zijn tevergeefse inspanningen heeft broeder Marcus Ampe er ook genoeg van gekregen om de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie verder te onderhouden en zal hij de website Bijbelvorsers in de nabije toekomst gaan afsluiten. Dit om zich meer te concentreren op de belangrijke opdracht die volgelingen van Jezus hebben gekregen, namelijk de verspreiding van het Goede Nieuws. Hij zal zich dan ook, met enkele doorzetters, verder het Goede Nieuws verkondigen. Broeder Marcus Ampe wil zich meer toeleggen op het prediken zelf in plaats van tijd en energie te verliezen aan het trachten mensen te verenigen, wanneer het er klaarblijkelijk geen tijd voor is om daarin te slagen.

We zijn ervan overtuigd dat ons prediking werk belangrijk is en dat zelfs als we niet zo veel mensen in België kunnen  bereiken, we toch ook hopen dat we enkelen hier kunnen bereiken, maar ook wat anderen die misschien wel ver weg van ons wonen. We hopen dat onze stem ook mag klinken in de duisternis en wat licht tot mensen zal mogen brengen die we niet kennen, maar die we hopen te ontmoeten in het Koninkrijk van God. We kijken ernaar uit om veel nieuwe gezichten, gelukkig te zien onder leiding van de Heer, niet begrensd door enkele mensen, maar gebouwd op de hoeksteen van Jezus Christus.
Hoewel we een andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten mogen hebben, geloven we dat we allemaal samen zouden moeten gaan voor dezelfde waarheid en voor de eenwording onder Christus, waarbij elke groep een andere naam zou kunnen hebben, maar bereid is om te worden verenigd in de geest, bereid te delen en samen te werken om positief op te bouwen, elkaar te helpen en constructief gemeenschappen onder Christus te vormen. Wij hopen dat er in de toekomst meer gegadigden kunnen gevonden worden die wel tezamen elkaar willen ondersteunen en er aan werken om nog meer mensen warm te maken om samen op weg te gaan en elkaar te helpen om door de nauwe poort het komende Koninkrijk binnen te kunnen gaan.

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Voorgaand:

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 1

Andere aanpak in de organisatie van de diensten # 2

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Aanvullende lectuur:

  1. Welkomstwoord
  2. Staat Europa voor vrijheid van godsdienst
  3. Godsdienstvrijheid mensenrecht
  4. EU wetsvoorstel banning levensbeschouwelijke symbolen
  5. EU wil christenen het zwijgen opleggen
  6. Werk maken van Godsdienstvrijheid
  7. Christendom blijft van invloed
  8. Politiek en macht eerste prioriteit #1
  9. Wat betreft Waar Elke mens recht op heeft
  10. Marx, het Volk, Religie, Christendom en verwrongen ideeën
  11. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #1
  12. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #3
  13. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #4
  14. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #5
  15. De Dag is nabij #8 Overzicht
  16. De nacht is ver gevorderd 2 Studie 1 Zijn het de laatste dagen? 1 Intro
  17. De nacht is ver gevorderd 20 Studie 4 Nu actueel: Financiële Crisis
  18. De nacht is ver gevorderd 22 Studie 4 Nu actueel: Nut van tekenen
  19. Een kerk naar smaak en taal
  20. De marketing van God een op maat gemaakt bedrijfsadvies
  21. Oorlog in kerkenland
  22. Manifest Gelovigen nemen het woord
  23. Fragiliteit en actie #6 Juistheid van handelen
  24. Fragiliteit en actie #7 Gebeurtenissen en Prioriteiten
  25. Redding, vertrouwen en actie in Jezus #6 Samenhoren
  26. Redding, vertrouwen en actie in Jezus #9 Omgang met anderen
  27. In de hand #5 Niet bang zich te geven
  28. Geloof heeft te maken met hoe je voelt
  29. Wegen die tot God leiden
  30. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen. #4 Volgelingen van Jezus
  31. Opwekking begint in het gezin
  32. Kerklidmaatschap belangrijk of niet
  33. Kerk niet bepaald gebouw
  34. Samen komen in huizen
  35. Opbouw van een ecclesia
  36. Schijnbaar onmogelijke opdracht
  37. Hermeneutiek om uit te dragen #10 Verkondigen
  38. Verkondigen
  39. Opdracht tot getuigenis
  40. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #11 Vredelievende waarheidzoekers
  41. Zoeken naar waarheid, studiemateriaal, Jehovah Getuigen, ex-Jehovah Getuigen en anderen
  42. Wie, wat & hoe Christadelphians
  43. Volharding en Bijbelstudenten
  44. Overgang 2013-2014 en Met Open Bijbel
  45. Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars
  46. Nieuwe naam een feit
  47. Seizoen 2013-2014
  48. Op weg naar 2014-2015
  49. Een nieuw seizoen voor de deur
  50. Een terugblik op Christadelphianisme en de Broeders in Christus in België
  51. Denken aan het ontbinden van de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie: Bijbelvorsers
  52. Bij de opheffing van de Vereniging voor Bijbelstudie
  53. Jehovah steile rots en vesting, bron van inzicht
  54. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  55. By the closing down of the Association for Biblestudy
  56. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

+++

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The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

John 20:21

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The Biblical Review

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Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

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A place to share your daily blessings

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Gedachten en berichten over hedendaags (on)geloof

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A topnotch WordPress.com site

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JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

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Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

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be careful 'how you hear'

Next Comes Africa

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me - Psalm 139: 9,10

friarmusings

the musings of a Franciscan friar...

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