Monday, November 18, 2019

Acts 20:28 variant: Church of [the Lord and] God

Image: The Complutensian Polyglot at Acts 20:28 reads: ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ
Acts 20:28 Church of God. Here the majority of the Greek manuscripts read, Church of the Lord and God. The Latin Vulgate, however, and the Textus Receptus read, Church of God, which is also the reading of [the critical text, as well as] Aleph B, and other ancient witnesses. (E. F. Hills, The King James Version Defended (p. 201)

Church of God = ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ
Church of the Lord and God = ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ κυρίου καὶ θεοῦ


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

“The word of God” in the Acts of the Apostles

Image: Acts 4:31 ff. in the Complutensian Polyglot
τὸν/ὁ λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ (the word of God)

I oftentimes hear people call the Bible the word of God, and sometimes people can make the mistake of thinking that whenever Scripture mentions "the word of God" they think it's talking about the Bible when, in fact, it's not talking about itself (Scripture) but about someone speaking the word of God which, in the New Testament, is the (spoken) gospel.

A reading of the Acts of the Apostles reveals that whenever the writer is referring to Scripture he writes "scripture" and whenever the writer is referring to the gospel he writes "the word of God" or something similar (e.g., the word of the Lord, the word of the gospel, the word of his grace, the word, these words, etc (see below).

The word of God in Acts is always spoken. It is both preached and taught, and there are times in Acts when the Jewish (Old Testament) Scriptures are used in the preaching and teaching the (New Testament) gospel...

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31). The word of God = the gospel. (the word of God = τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ)

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables (Acts 6:2). The word of God = the gospel. (the word of God = τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ)

And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7). The word of God = the gospel. (the word of God = ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ)

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: (Acts 8:14). The word of God = the gospel (word = λόγον)

And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God (Acts 11:1). The word of God = the gospel (τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = the word of God).

But the word of God grew and multiplied (Acts 12:24). The word of God = the gospel (λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = word of God).

And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: (Acts 13:5). The word of God = the gospel (τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = the word of God).

But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. (Acts 17:13). The word of God = the gospel (the word of God = ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ).

And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them (Acts 18:11). Teaching the word of God = the gospel and Christian living (teaching the word of God = διδάσκων ἐν αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ).

Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God (Acts 19:7). The word of God = the gospel (τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = the word of God).

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Below are all of the passages in Acts related to this topic…

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs… (Acts 2:22). These words = the gospel. (words = λόγους)

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation (Acts 2:40). Many other words = The gospel. (words = λόγοις)

Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; (Acts 4:4). The word = the gospel. (word = λόγον)

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word (Acts 4:29). Thy word = the gospel. (word = λόγον)

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31). The word of God = the gospel. (the word of God = τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ)

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost (Acts 5:5). These words = God’s word of prophetic judgement. (words = λόγους)

Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life (Acts 5:20). The words of this life = the gospel. (words = ῥήματα)

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables (Acts 6:2). The word of God = the gospel. (the word of God = τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ )

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). The ministry of the word = the gospel. (word = λόγου)

And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7). The word of God = the gospel. (the word of God = ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ)

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word (Acts 8:4). The word = the gospel. (word = λόγον)

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: (Acts 8:14). The word of God = the gospel (word = λόγον)

And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans (Acts 8:25). The word of the Lord = the gospel (word = λόγον)

The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; (Acts 10:36-37) The/That word = the gospel (the word = λόγον, that word = ῥῆμα).

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (Acts 10:44) These words = the gospel (words = ῥήματα). The word = the gospel (word = λόγον).

And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God (Acts 11:1). The word of God = the gospel (τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = the word of God).

Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. (Acts 11:14). Words = the gospel (words = ῥήματα).

Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 11:16). The word of the Lord = the gospel (the word of the Lord = τοῦ ῥήματος [τοῦ] κυρίου).

Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. (Acts 11:19). The word = the gospel (word = λόγον).

But the word of God grew and multiplied (Acts 12:24). The word of God = the gospel (λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = word of God).

And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: (Acts 13:5). The word of God = the gospel (τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = the word of God).

Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent (Acts 13:26). The word of this salvation = the gospel (ὁ λόγος τῆς σωτηρίας ταύτης = the word of this salvation).

Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:3). Word of his grace = the gospel (word = λόγῳ).

And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia: (Acts 14:25). Word = the gospel (word = λόγον).

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. (Acts 15:7). The word of the gospel = the gospel (word = λόγον).

And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: (Acts 15:15-16). The words of the prophets; as it is written = prophet words written = scripture ( word = λόγοι; γέγραπται = written).

Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: (Acts 15:24). Words that subvert souls = false gospel (words = λόγοις).

And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. (Acts 15:32). Exhorted with many words = prophetic exhortations (words = λόγου).

Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. (Acts 15:35). The word of the Lord = the gospel (the word of the Lord = τὸν λόγον τοῦ κυρίου).

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, (Acts 16:6). The word = the gospel (word = λόγον).

And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house (Acts 16:32). The word of the Lord = the gospel (word = λόγον).

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ (Acts 17:2-3). This is an example of 1) utilizing Scripture and 2) preaching the gospel (reasoned with = διελέγετο; scriptures = γραφῶν).

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11). Word = gospel; Scriptures = Old Testament (received the word = ἐδέξαντο τὸν λόγον; scriptures = γραφὰς).

But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. (Acts 17:13). The word of God = the gospel (the word of God = ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ).

And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them (Acts 18:11). Teaching the word of God = the gospel and Christian living (teaching the word of God = διδάσκων ἐν αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ).

Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God (Acts 19:7). The word of God = the gospel (τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ = the word of God).

And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:10). The word of the Lord Jesus = the gospel (the word of the Lord Jesus = τὸν λόγον τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ).

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32). Word of his grace = the gospel (the word of his grace = τῷ λόγῳ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ).

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35). The words of our Lord Jesus = the gospel teachings of our Lord Jesus ( the words of our Lord Jesus = τῶν λόγων τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ).

And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. (Acts 22:22). This word = the gospel (word = λόγου).

But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness (Acts 26:25). The words of truth = the gospel (words = ῥήματα).

And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves (Acts 28:29). Having said these words = having said the gospel (having said these words = ταῦτα αὐτοῦ εἰπόντος).

And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:30-31). Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ = the gospel (Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ = κηρύσσων τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ διδάσκων τὰ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ) 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The cults of blood and race and nation


Image: Soldiers in South Sudan
“There has emerged a secularism which claims to represent the same high moral ideals that Christianity does, but without dependence upon the religious beliefs which are characteristic of the church . . . It is an atheistic movement which claims to cultivate moral ideals of the same value as those defined by the church.” This man-centered religion “has made man himself the end-all and be-all of existence.” And as long as man lives for himself the world will be filled “with the cults of blood and race and nation. And in so far as that doctrine continues to dominate Western thought we may expect the recurring horrors of war and revolution, because it is a doctrine whose logic deprives mankind of a common frame of reference and in the end sets every man against every other man.”*

Guy Franklin Hershberger, War, Peace, & Nonresistance (pp. 185-86)

* H. R. Neibuhr, W. Pauck, and F. P. Miller, The Church Against the World (Chicago, 1935) pp. 32-33; 110-11