From Mark Copeland... "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT" Infractions Of The Law Of Love - III

                       "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT"

                  Infractions Of The Law Of Love - III


1. In this study, we shall conclude our survey of those works of the
   flesh we have characterized as "Infractions Of The Law Of Love"

2. As listed in Ga 5:19-21, they are eight in number and include such
   things as "hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, 
   selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy" (NKJV)

3. We have already considered four of these eight...
   a. "hatred" (echthra) - hostility that one may harbor in one's heart
      toward another
   b. "contentions" (eris) - strife or quarreling that results from 
      such hostility
   c. "jealousies" (zelos) - envy which casts grudging looks
   d. "envy" (phthonos) - envy which has arrived at hostile deeds

4. As we consider the remaining four, we shall also summarize why these
   eight sins are properly included in a list that has such heinous 
   sins as fornication, idolatry, sorcery, etc.

[Let's start by taking a closer look at...]


   A. THUMOS (outbursts of anger, wrath)
      1. This word describes...
         a. The blaze of temper which flares into violent words and
         b. The explosive temper which is uncontrolled
      2. Not to be confused with...
         a. Righteous indignation, which is proper and controlled 
            (e.g., the righteous indignation of God - Ro 2:4-11)
         b. Anger which is properly checked and not allowed to produce
            an occasion for sin - cf. Ep 4:26-27
      3. Some try to excuse their explosive tempers as simply 
         a. "That is just the way I am"
         b. "I am just a fiery Irishman, a hot Italian, etc."
         c. "It is human nature"
         ...but Christians, no matter what their "nature", are blessed
         to become partakers of "divine nature", and must therefore put
         away these things - cf. 2Pe 1:3-4; Ep 4:31-32; Col 3:8-11

   B. ERITHEIA (selfish ambitions, disputes, strife)
      1. This word describes a self-centered attitude in the doing of
         any work; for example...
         a. Working solely for money
         b. Seeking and holding political office purely for personal
            interests and ambition
         c. Doing the work of the Lord out of a desire for recognition,
            personal ambition, or rivalry
      2. It is used to describe those who were preaching Christ out of
         jealousy - cf. Php 1:17
      3. It is this word which describes those who create party
         divisions in the church...
         a. Who are acting out of vainglory and a desire to be first
         b. Rather than out of a true desire to stand for truth
      4. It is contrary to that "mind of Christ" described in Php 2:3-5

   C. DICHOSTASIA (dissensions, seditions)
      1. This word literally means "a standing apart"
      2. It describes a condition where all fellowship, all 
         togetherness are gone
         a. This was the condition in the church at Corinth - cf. 1Co 3:3
         b. Paul taught we should mark those who cause such 
            divisiveness - Ro 16:17
      3. Such dividedness may be due to:
         a. Personal division (where two people refuse to speak to each other)
         b. Class division (i.e., class warfare between the rich and poor)
         c. Party division (where devotion to party rises above 
            devotion to principle)
         d. Racial division (e.g., Jew vs. Gentile, Greek vs. 
            barbarian, white vs. black)
         e. Theological division (misusing labels and fixing them 
            unfairly on others)
         f. Ecclesiastical division (church division, especially in the
            form of denominationalism)
      4. This sin is committed when we confuse...
         a. Prejudice with principle
         b. Unreasonable stubbornness with unwavering resolution

   D. HAIRESIS (heresies, factions)
      1. This word appears close in meaning to "dichostasia"(dissensions)
      2. As used in the NT, it most commonly denotes a body of people
         belonging to a particular school of thought or action
         a. Such as the "sect" of the Sadducees - Ac 5:17
         b. Or the "sect" of the Pharisees - Ac 15:5
      3. The early Christians were often accused of being a "sect" - 
         Ac 24:5; 24:14; 28:22
      4. Peter used it to describe those false teachers who will bring
         in destructive divisions - 2Pe 2:1
      5. Thus it refers to divisiveness, especially that brought about
         by false teaching
      6. Only later in history did this word come to mean a belief or
         doctrine which is contrary to orthodoxy or the truth

[Like the sins of "hatred, contentions, jealousies...envy", the four
sins of "outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies"
all contribute to disrupting the fellowship and unity that should be
found in the body of Christ.  That such is true may help us to


      1. It is true that He died to reconcile man back to God - 2Co 5:18-21
      2. But also to reconcile man back to man in one body! - Ep 2:13-16

      1. Not only the "vertical" reconciliation we have with God, which
         we preserve by living holy lives (which is why we must avoid
         sins of moral impurity)
      2. But also the "horizontal" reconciliation we have with one 
         another, which we preserve by maintaining the unity of the 
         Spirit in the body of peace - cf. Ep 4:1-3

      1. Undo the work of Christ on the cross!
         a. Dare we commit sins of moral impurity to jeopardize our 
            reconciliation with God?
         b. Then neither should we violate the law of love and 
            jeopardize our reconciliation with one another!
      2. Are in direct violation to:
         a. The will of Christ concerning unity - cf. Jn 17:20-23
         b. The command of Paul concerning division - cf. 1Co 1:10-13


1. Indeed, these "Infractions Of The Law Of Love" are serious 
   a. Not only because they undo the work of Christ on the cross
   b. But because they can keep us out of the kingdom of heaven! - Ga 5:21

2. We are not only to avoid these sins ourselves, but those who 
   persistently engage in them...
   a. As instructed by Paul - Ro 16:17-18
   b. One reason for avoiding such is found in Pr 23:24-25...

              "Make no friendship with an angry man,
                  and with a furious man do not go,
               Lest you learn his ways
                  and set a snare for your soul."

How much better it would be to develop a friendship with Christ, to 
learn of His ways, and develop those qualities that constitute the 
fruit of the Spirit! - cf. Ga 5:22-23

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Is Mark 16:9-20 Inspired? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Is Mark 16:9-20 Inspired?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The science of textual criticism is a field of inquiry that has been invaluable to ascertaining the original state of the New Testament text. Textual criticism involves “the ascertainment of the true form of a literary work, as originally composed and written down by its author” (Kenyon, 1951, p. 1). The fact that the original autographs of the New Testament do not exist (Comfort, 1990, p. 4), and that only copies of copies of copies of the original documents have survived, has led some falsely to conclude that the original reading of the New Testament documents cannot be determined. For example, Mormons frequently attempt to establish the superiority of the Book of Mormon over the Bible by insisting that the Bible has been corrupted through the centuries in the process of translation (a contention shared with Islam in its attempt to explain the Bible’s frequent contradiction of the Quran). However, a venture into the fascinating world of textual criticism dispels this premature and uninformed conclusion.
The task of textual critics, those who study the extant manuscript evidence that attests to the text of the New Testament, is to examine textual variants (i.e., di­ver­gen­cies among the manuscripts) in an effort to reconstruct the original reading of the text. They work with a large body of manuscript evidence, the amount of which is far greater than that available for any ancient classical author (Ewert, 1983, p. 139; Kenyon, 1951, p. 5; Westcott and Hort, 1964, p. 565). [NOTE: The present number of Greek manuscripts—whole and partial—that attest to the New Testament stands at an unprecedented 5,748 (Welte, 2005)].
In one sense, their work has been unnecessary, since the vast majority of textual variants involve minor matters that do not affect doctrine as it relates to one’s salvation. Even those variants that might be deemed doctrinally significant pertain to matters that are treated elsewhere in the Bible where the question of genuineness is unobscured. No feature of Christian doctrine is at stake. Variant readings in existing manuscripts do not alter any basic teaching of the New Testament. Nevertheless, textual critics have been successful in demonstrating that currently circulating New Testaments do not differ substantially from the original. When all of the textual evidence is considered, the vast majority of discordant readings have been resolved (e.g., Metzger, 1978, p. 185). One is brought to the firm conviction that we have in our possession the New Testament as God intended.
The world’s foremost textual critics have confirmed this conclusion. Sir Frederic Kenyon, longtime director and principal librarian at the British Museum, whose scholarship and expertise to make pronouncements on textual criticism was second to none, stated: “Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established” (Kenyon, 1940, p. 288). The late F.F. Bruce, longtime Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism at the University of Manchester, England, remarked: “The variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice” (1960, pp. 19-20). J.W. Mc­Garvey, declared by the London Times to be “the ripest Bible scholar on earth” (Phillips, 1975, p. 184; Brigance, 1870, p. 4), conjoined: “All the authority and value possessed by these books when they were first written belong to them still” (1956, p. 17). And the eminent textual critics Westcott and Hort put the entire matter into perspective when they said:
Since textual criticism has various readings for its subject, and the discrimination of genuine readings from corruptions for its aim, discussions on textual criticism almost inevitably obscure the simple fact that variations are but secondary incidents of a fundamentally single and identical text. In the New Testament in particular it is difficult to escape an exaggerated impression as to the proportion which the words subject to variation bear to the whole text, and also, in most cases, as to their intrinsic importance. It is not superfluous therefore to state explicitly that the great bulk of the words of the New Testament stand out above all discriminative processes of criticism, because they are free from variation, and need only to be transcribed (1964, p. 564, emp. added).
Writing in the late nineteenth century, and noting that the experience of two centuries of investigation and discussion had been achieved, these scholars concluded: “[T]he words in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part of the whole of the New Testament” (p. 565, emp. added).


One textual variant that has received considerable attention from the textual critic concerns the last twelve verses of Mark. Much has been written on the subject in the last two centuries or so. Most, if not all, scholars who have examined the subject concede that the truths presented in the verses are historically authentic—even if they reject the genuineness of the verses as being originally part of Mark’s account. The verses contain no teaching of significance that is not taught elsewhere. Christ’s post-resurrection appearance to Mary is verified elsewhere (Luke 8:2; John 20:1-18), as is His appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:35), and His appearance to the eleven apostles (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23). The “Great Commission” is presented by two of the other three gospel writers (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-48), and Luke verifies the ascension twice (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9). The promise of the signs that were to accompany the apostles’ activities is hinted at by Matthew (28:20), noted by the Hebrews writer (2:3-4), explained in greater detail by John (chapters 14-16; cf. 14:12), and demonstrated by the events of the book of Acts (see McGarvey, 1875, pp. 377-378).
Those who reject the originality of the passage in Mark, while acknowledging the authenticity of the events reported, generally assign a very early date for the origin of the verses. For example, writing in 1844, Alford, who forthrightly rejected the genuineness of the passage, nevertheless conceded: “The inference therefore seems to me to be, that it is an authentic fragment, placed as a completion of the Gospel in very early times: by whom written, must of course remain wholly uncertain; but coming to us with very weighty sanction, and having strong claims on our reception and reverence” (1:438, italics in orig., emp. added). Attributing the verses to a disciple of Jesus named Aristion, Sir Frederic Kenyon nevertheless believed that “we can accept the passage as true and authentic narrative, though not an original portion of St. Mark’s Gospel” (1951, p. 174, emp. added). More recently, textual scholars of no less stature than Kurt and Barbara Aland, though also rejecting the originality of the block of twelve verses in question, nevertheless admit that the longer ending “was recognized as canonical” and that it “may well be from the beginning of the second century” (Aland and Aland, 1987, pp. 69,227). This admission is remarkable since it lends further weight to the recognized antiquity of the verses—what New Testament textual critic Bruce Metzger, professor Emeritus of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, referred to as “the evident antiquity of the longer ending and its importance in the textual tradition of the Gospel” (1994, p. 105)—placing them in such close proximity to the original writing of Mark so as to make the gap between them virtually indistinguishable.


In light of these preliminary observations regarding authenticity, what may be said regarding the genuineness of the last twelve verses of the book of Mark? In arriving at their conclusions, textual critics evaluate the evidence for and against a reading in terms of two broad categories: external evidence and internal evidence (see Metzger, 1978, pp. 209ff.). External evidence consists of the date, geographical distribution, and genealogical interrelationship of manuscript copies that contain or omit the passage in question. Internal evidence involves both trans­crip­tional and intrinsic probabilities. Trans­crip­tional probabilities include such principles as (1) generally the shorter reading is more likely to be the original, (2) the more difficult (to the scribe) reading is to be preferred, and (3) the reading that stands in verbal dissidence with the other is preferable. Intrinsic probabilities pertain to what the original author was more likely to have written, based on his writing style, vocabulary, immediate context, and his usage elsewhere.

Four Textual Possibilities

According to Metzger (1994, pp. 102ff.), the extant manuscript evidence contains essentially four different endings for the book of Mark: (1) the omission of 16:9-20; (2) the inclusion of 16:9-20; (3) the inclusion of 16:9-20 with the insertion of an additional statement between verse 8 and verse 9 that reads: “But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation”; and (4) the inclusion of 16:9-20 with the insertion of an additional statement between verses 14 and 15 which reads:
And they excused themselves, saying, “This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits [or, does not allow what lies under the unclean spirits to understand the truth and power of God]. Therefore reveal thy righteousness now”—thus they spoke to Christ. And Christ replied to them, “The term of years of Satan’s power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was delivered over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, in order that they may inherit the spiritual and incorruptible glory of righteousness which is in heaven.”
The fourth reading of the text may be eliminated as spurious. Meager external evidence exists to support it, i.e., only one Greek manuscript—Codex Washing­toni­anus. As Jack Lewis noted: “The support for the shorter ending is so inferior that no scholar would champion that Mark wrote this ending” (1988, p. 598). It bears what Metzger called “an unmistakable apo­cry­phal flavor” (1994, p. 104). The statement does not match the style and grandeur of the rest of the section, leaving the general impression of having been fabricated. This latter point applies equally to the third ending since it, too, possesses a rhetorical tone that contrasts—even clashes—with Mark’s simple style.
The third ending represents a classic case of conflation—incorporating both verses 9-20 as well as the shorter ending—and may also be eliminated from consideration. In addition to internal evidence, the external evidence is insufficient to establish its genuineness. It is supported by four uncials (019, 044, 099, 0112) that date from the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries, one Old Latin manuscript (which omits verses 9-20), a marginal notation in the Harclean Syriac, several Coptic (Sahidic and Bohairic) manuscripts (see Kahle, 1951, pp. 49-57), and several late Ethiopic manuscripts (see Sanday, 1889, p. 195, and Metzger’s response, 1972). Besides being discredited for conflation, the third ending lacks sufficient internal and external evidence to establish its genuineness as having been originally written by Mark.


Ultimately, therefore, the question is reduced simply to whether verses 9-20 are to be included or excluded as genuine. Over the last century and a half, scholars have come down on both sides of the issue. Those who have questioned the genuineness of the verses have included F.J.A. Hort (Westcott and Hort, 1882, pp. 29-51), B.H. Streeter (1924, pp. 333-360), J.K. Elliott (1971, pp. 255-262), and Bruce Metzger (1994, pp. 102-106). On the other hand, those who have insisted that Mark wrote the verses have included John W. Burgon (1871), F.H.A. Scrivener (1883, pp. 583-590), George Salmon (1889, pp. 156-164), James Morison (1892, pp. 446-449), Samuel Zwemer (1975, pp. 159-174), and R.C.H. Lenski (1945, pp. 748-775).
The reading of the text that omits verses 9-20 altogether does, indeed, possess some respectable support (see the UBS Greek text’s critical apparatus—Aland, et al., 1983, p. 189). The weightiest external evidence is the omission of the verses by the formidable Greek uncials, the Sinaiticus and Vati­can­us, which date from the fourth century. These two manuscripts carry great persuasive weight with most textual scholars, resulting in marginal notations in many English translations. For example, the American Standard Version footnote to the verse reads: “The two oldest Greek manuscripts, and some other authorities, omit from verse 9 to the end. Some other authorities have a different ending to the Gospel.” The New International Version gives the following footnote: “The two most reliable early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20.” Such marginal notations, however, fail to convey to the reader the larger picture that the external evidence provides, including additional Greek manuscript evidence, to say nothing of the ancient versions and patristic citations.
Additional evidence for omission includes the absence of the verses from various versions: (1) the Sinaitic Syriac manuscript, (2) about one hundred Armenian manuscripts (see Colwell, 1937, pp. 369-386), and (3) the two oldest Georgian manuscripts that are dated A.D. 897 and 913. [NOTE: Many scholars list the Old Latin codex Bobiensis from the fourth/fifth century as evidence for the omission of the verses. However, as indicated by the critical apparatus of the UBS Greek text (see Aland, et al., 1983, p. 189), Bobiensis (k) contains the “short ending”—deemed by everyone to be spurious. Its scribe could have been manifesting his concern that something (i.e., verses 9-20) was missing and so settled for the “short ending”.]
Among the patristic writers (i.e., the so-called “Church Fathers”), neither Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 215) nor Origen (A.D. 254) shows any knowledge of the existence of the verses. [Of course, simply showing no knowledge is no proof for omission. If we were to discount as genuine every New Testament verse that a particular patristic writer failed to reference, we would eventually dismiss the entire New Testament as spurious. Though virtually the entire New Testament is quoted or alluded to by the corpus of patristic writers (Metzger, 1978, p. 86)—no one writer refers to every verse.]
Eusebius of Caesarea (A.D. 339), as well as Jerome (A.D. 420), are said to have indicated the absence of the verses from almost all Greek manuscripts known to them. However, it should be noted that the statement made by Eusebius occurs in a context in which he was offering two possible solutions to an alleged contradiction (between Matthew 28:1 and Mark 16:9) posed by a Marinus. One of the solutions would be to dismiss Mark’s words on the grounds that it is not contained in all texts. But Eusebius does not claim to share this solution. The second solution he offers entails retaining Mark 16:9 as genuine. The fact that he couches the first solution in the third person (i.e., “This, then, is what a person will say...”), and then proceeds to offer a second solution, when he could have simply dismissed the alleged contradiction on the grounds that manuscript evidence was decisively against the genuineness of the verses, argues for Eu­se­bi­us’ own approval. The mere fact that the alleged contradiction was raised in the first place demonstrates recognition of the existence of the verses.
Jerome’s alleged opposition to the verses is even more tenuous. He merely translated the same interchange between Eu­se­bius and Marinus from Greek into Latin, recasting it as a response to the same question that he placed in the mouth of a Hedibia from Gaul (see the discussion by Burgon, 1871, p. 134). He most certainly was not giving his own opinion regarding the genuineness of Mark 16:9-20, since that opinion is made apparent by the fact that Jerome included the verses in his landmark revision of the Old Latin translations, the Vulgate, while excluding others that lacked sufficient manuscript verification. Jerome’s own opinion is further evident from the fact that he quoted approvingly from the section (e.g., vs. 14 in Against the Pelagians, II.15 [Schaff and Wace, 1954, 6:468]).
Further evidence for omission of the verses is claimed from the Eusebian Canons, produced by Ammonius, which allegedly originally made no provision for numbering sections of the text after verse 8. Yet, again, on closer examination, of 151 Greek Evangelia codices, 114 sectionalize (and thus make allowance for) the last twelve verses (see Burgon, p. 391; cf. Scrivener, 1883).
In addition to these items of evidence that support omission of verses 9-20, several manuscripts that actually do contain them, nevertheless have scribal notations questioning their originality. Some of the manuscripts have markings—asterisks or obeli—that ordinarily signal the scribe’s suspicion of the presence of a spurious addition. However, even here, such markings (e.g., tl, tel, or telos) can be misconstrued to mean the end of the book, whereas the copyist merely intended to indicate the end of a liturgical section of the lectionary. Metzger agrees that such ecclesiastical lection signs constitute “a clear implication that the manuscript originally continued with additional material from Mark” (1994, p. 102, note 1).
The internal evidence that calls verses 9-20 into question resolves itself into essentially two central contentions: (1) the vocabulary and style of the verses are deemed non-Markan, and (2) the connection between verse 8 and verses 9-20 seems awkward and gives the surface appearance of having been added by someone other than Mark. These two contentions will be treated momentarily.


Standing in contrast with the evidence for omission is the external and internal evidence for the inclusion of verses 9-20. The verses are, in fact, present in the vast number of witnesses (see the UBS Greek text’s critical apparatus—Aland, et al., 1983, p. 189). This point alone is insufficient to demonstrate the genuineness of a passage, since manuscripts may perpetuate an erroneous reading that crept into the text and then happened to survive in greater numbers than those manuscripts that preserved the original reading. Nevertheless, the sheer magnitude of the witnesses that support verses 9-20 cannot be summarily dismissed out of hand. Though rejecting the genuineness of the verses, the Alands offer the following concession that ought to give one pause: “It is true that the longer ending of Mark 16:9-20 is found in 99 percent of the Greek manuscripts as well as the rest of the tradition, enjoying over a period of centuries practically an official ecclesiastical sanction as a genuine part of the gospel of Mark” (1987, p. 287, emp. added). Such longstanding and widespread acceptance cannot be treated lightly nor dismissed easily. It is, at least, possible that the prevalence of manuscript support for the verses is due to their genuineness.
The Greek manuscript evidence that verifies the verses is distinguished, not just in quantity, but also in complexion and diversity. It includes a host of uncials and minuscules. The uncials include Codex Alexandrinus (02) and Ephraemi Re­script­us (04) from the fifth century. [NOTE: Technically, the Washington manuscript may be combined with these two manuscripts as additional fifth-century evidence for inclusion of the verses, since it simply inserts an additional statement in between verses 14 and 15.] Additional support for the verses comes from Bezae Cant­a­bri­gi­ensis (05) from the sixth century (or, according to the Alands, the fifth century—1987, p. 107), as well as 017, 033, 037, 038, and 041 from the ninth and tenth centuries. The minuscule manuscript evidence consists of the “Family 13” collection, entailing no fewer than ten manuscripts, as well as numerous other minuscules. The passage is likewise found in several lectionaries.
The patristic writings that indicate acceptance of the verses as genuine are remarkably extensive. From the second century, Irenaeus, who died c. A.D. 202, alludes to the verses in both Greek and Latin. His precise words in his Against Heresies were: “Also, towards the conclusion of his Gospel, Mark says: ‘So then, after the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God” (3.10.5; Roberts and Donald­son, 1973, 1:426). It is very likely that Justin Martyr was aware of the verses in the middle of the second century. At any rate, his disciple, Tatian, included the verses in his Greek Diatessaron (having come down to us in Arabic, Italian, and Old Dutch editions) c. A.D. 170.
Third century witnesses include Tertul­lian, who died after A.D. 220, in his On the Resurrection of the Flesh (ch. 51; Roberts and Donaldson, 1973, 3:584), Against Praxeas (ch. 30; Roberts and Donaldson, 3:627), and A Treatise on the Soul (ch. 25; Roberts and Donaldson, 3:206). Cyprian, who died A.D. 258, alluded to verses 17-18 in his The Seventh Council of Carthage (Roberts and Donaldson, 1971, 5:569). Additional third century verification is seen in the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus. Verses 15-18 in Greek and verses 15-19 in Latin are quoted in Part I: The Acts of Pilate (ch. 14), and verse 16 in its Greek form is quoted in Part II: The Descent of Christ into Hell (ch. 2) (Roberts and Donaldson, 1970, 8:422,436,444-445). De Rebaptismate (A.D. 258) is also a witness to the verses. All seven of these second and third century witnesses precede the earliest existing Greek manuscripts that verify the genuineness of the verses. More to the point, they predate both Vati­canus and Sinaiticus.
Fourth century witnesses to the existence of the verses include Aphraates (writing in A.D. 337—see Schaff and Wace, 1969, 13:153), with his citation of Mark 16:16-18 in “Of Faith” in his Demonstrations (1.17; Schaff and Wace, 13:351), in addition to the Apostolic Constitutions (5.3.14; 6.3.15; 8.1.1)—written no later than A.D. 380 (Roberts and Donaldson, 1970, 7:445,457,479). Ambrose, who died A.D. 397, quoted from the section in his On the Holy Spirit (2.13.145,151), On the Christian Faith (1.14.86 and 3.4.31), and Concerning Repentance (1.8.35; Schaff and Wace, 10:133,134,216,247,335). Didymus, who died A.D. 398, is also a witness to the genuineness of the verses (Aland, et al., 1983, p. 189), as is perhaps Asterius after 341.
Patristic writers from the fifth century that authenticate the verses include Jerome, noted above, who died A.D. 420, Leo (who died A.D. 461) in his Letters (9.2 and 120.2; Schaff and Wace, 1969, 12:8,88), and Chry­sos­tom (who died A.D. 407) in his Homilies on First Corinthians (38.5; Schaff, 1969, 12:229). Additional witnesses include Se­veri­an (after 408), Marcus-Eremita (after 430), Nestorius (after 451), and Augustine (after 455). These witnesses to the genuineness of Mark 16:9-20 from patristic writers is exceptional.
The evidence for inclusion that comes from the ancient versions is also diverse and weighty—entailing a wide spectrum of versions and geographical locations. Several Old Latin/Itala manuscripts contain it. Though Jerome repeated the view that the verses were absent in some Greek manuscripts—a circumstance used by those who support exclusion—he actually included them in his fourth century Latin Vulgate (and, as noted above, quoted verse 14 in his own writings). The verses are found in the Old Syriac (Curetonian) as well as the Peshitta and later Syriac (Palestinian and Harclean). The Coptic versions that have it are the Sahidic, Bohairic, and Fay­yumic, ranging from the third to the sixth centuries. The Gothic version (fourth century) has verses 9-11. The verses are also found in the Armenian, Georgian, and Old Church Slavonic versions.
What must the unbiased observer conclude from these details? All told, the cumulative external evidence that documents the genuineness of verses 9-20, from Greek manuscripts, patristic citations, and ancient versions, is expansive, ancient, diversified, and unsurpassed.

Reconciling the Evidence

How may the conflicting evidence for and against inclusion of the verses be reconciled? In the final analysis, according to those who favor omission of the verses, the two strongest, most persuasive pieces of evidence for their position are (1) the external evidence of the exclusion of the verses from the prestigious Vat­i­can­us and Sinaiticus manuscripts, and (2) the internal evidence of the presence of multiple non-Markan words. The fact is that the presumed strength of these two factors has led many scholars to minimize the array of evidence that otherwise would be seen to support the verses—evidence that, as shown above, is vast and diversified in geographical distribution and age. If these two factors are demonstrated by definitive rebuttal to be inadequate, the evidence for inclusion will then be recognized as manifestly superior to that which is believed to support exclusion. What, then, may be said concerning the two strongest pieces of evidence that have led many scholars to exclude Mark 16:9-20 as genuine?

Vaticanus and Sinaiticus

Regarding the first factor, it is surely significant that though Vaticanus and Si­naiti­cus omit the passage, Alex­and­rin­us includes it. Alexandrinus rivals Vat­i­can­us and Sinaiticus in both accuracy and age—removed probably by no more than fifty years. Why should the reading of two of the “Big Three” uncial manuscripts take precedence over the reading of the third? Are proponents staking their case in this regard on mere numerical superiority, i.e., two against one? Surely not, given the fact that the same scholars would insist that original readings are not to be decided by counting numbers of manuscripts. If sheer numbers of manuscripts decide genuineness, then Mark 16:9-20 must be accepted as genuine. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus should carry no more weight over Alexandrinus than that assigned by critics to the manuscripts that support inclusion on account of their superior numbers.
Vaticanus is technically, at best, a half-hearted witness to the omission of the verses. Though he considered the verses as spurious, Alford nevertheless offered an observation that ought to give one pause: “After the subscription in B [Vaticanus—DM] the remaining greater portion of the column and the whole of the next to the end of the page are left vacant. There is no other instance of this in the whole N.T. portion of the MS [manuscript—DM], the next book in every other instance beginning on the next column” (p. 484, emp. added). This unusual divergence from the scribe’s usual practice suggests that he knew that additional verses were missing. The blank space he left provides ample room for the additional twelve verses.
Interestingly, some have questioned the judgment of the scribe of Sinaiticus in his omission of Mark 16:9-20 on the grounds that he included the apocryphal books of the Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas (Aland and Aland, 1987, p. 107). Likewise, the scribe of Vaticanus included several of the Apocrypha in the Old Testament, as Sir Frederic Kenyon observed, “being inserted among the canonical books in B [Vaticanus—DM] without distinction” (1951, p. 81, emp. added).
Those who support exclusion of Mark 16:9-20 have not been forthright in divulging that, as a matter of fact, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus frequently diverge from each other, with one or the other siding with Alexandrinus against the other. For example, the allusions by Luke to an angel strengthening Jesus in the Garden and the “great drops of blood” (Luke 22:43-44) are omitted by Vaticanus and Alex­and­ri­nus, but Sinaiticus (the original hand) contains these verses (Metzger, 1975, p. 177). Luke’s report of Jesus’ statement on the cross (“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”—Luke 23:34), is included by Alexandrinus and Sinaiticus (the original hand), but omitted by Vati­can­us (p. 180). On the other hand, Vati­can­us sides with Alexandrinus against Si­naiti­cus in their inclusion of the blind man’s confession and worship of Jesus (“‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshipped Him”) in John 9:38 (Metzger, p. 195). It is also the case that both Vaticanus and Si­naiti­cus are sometimes separately defective in their handling of a reading. For example, in John 2:3, instead of reading “they ran out of wine,” the original hand of Si­naiti­cus reads, “They had no wine, because the wine of the wedding feast had been used up”—a reading that occurs only in Sinaiticus and in no other Greek manu­script. Many other instances of dissimilarities and dissonance between Vati­can­us and Sinaiticus could be cited that weaken the premature assessment of the strength of their combined witness against Mark 16:9-20. [Cf. Luke 10:41-42; 11:14; Acts 2:43,44; Romans 4:1; 5:2,17; 1 Corinthians 12:9; 1 John 4:19.] Further, in some cases the UBS committee rejected as spurious the readings of both Vaticanus and Si­naiti­cus, and instead accepted the reading of Alexandrinus (e.g., Romans 8:2—“me” vs. “you”; Romans 8:35—“the love of Christ” vs. “the love of God” [Sinaiticus] or “the love of God in Christ Jesus” [Vaticanus]).

Summary of External Evidence

The following chart provides a visual summary of the external evidence for and against inclusion of Mark 16:9-20 for the first six centuries—since thereafter the manuscript evidence in favor of the verses increases even further (adapted and enhanced from Warren, 1953, p. 104). Observe that when one examines all three sources from which the text of the New Testament may be ascertained, the external evidence for the genuineness of the verses is considerable and convincing.

Non-markan style

The second most persuasive piece of evidence that prompts some to discount Mark 16:9-20 as genuine is the internal evidence. Though the Alands conceded that the “longer Marcan ending” actually “reads an absolutely convincing text” (1987, p. 287), in fact, the internal evidence weighs more heavily than the external evidence in the minds of many of those who support omission of the verses. Observe carefully the following definitive pronouncement of this viewpoint—a pronouncement that simultaneously concedes the strength of the external evidence in favor of the verses:
On the other hand, the section is no casual or unauthorised [sic] addition to the Gospel. From the second century onwards, in nearly all manuscripts, versions, and other authorities, it forms an integral part of the Gospel, and it can be shown to have existed, if not in the apostolic, at least in the sub-apostolic age. A certain amount of evidence against it there is (though very little can be shown to be independent of Eusebius the Church historian, 265-340 A.D.), but certainly not enough to justify its rejection, were it not that internal evidence clearly demonstrates that it cannot have proceeded from the hand of St. Mark (Dummelow, 1927, p. 73, emp. added).
Listen also to an otherwise conservative scholar express the same sentiment: “If these deductions are correct the mass of MSS [manuscripts—DM] containing the longer ending must have been due to the acceptance of this ending as the most preferable. But internal evidence combines with textual evidence to raise suspicions regarding this ending” (Guthrie, 1970, p. 77, emp. added). Alford took the same position: “The internal evidence...will be found to preponderate vastly against the authorship of Mark” (1844, 1:434, emp. added). Even Bruce Metzger admitted: “The long ending, though present in a variety of witnesses, some of them ancient, must also be judged by internal evidence to be secondary” (1978, p. 227, emp. added). In fact, to Metzger, while the external evidence against the verses is merely “good,” the internal evidence against them is “strong” (1994, p. 105).
So, in the minds of not a few scholars, if it were not for the internal evidence, the external evidence would be sufficient to establish the genuineness of the verses. What precisely, pray tell, is this internal evidence that is so powerful and weighs so heavily on the issue as to prod scholars to “jump through hoops” in an effort to discredit the verses? What formidable data exists that could possibly prompt so many to discount all evidence to the contrary? Let us see.
Textual scholar Bruce Metzger summarized the internal evidence against the verses in terms of two factors: (1) the vocabulary and style of verses 9-20 are deemed non-Markan, and (2) the connection between verse 8 and verses 9-20 is awkward, appearing to have been “added by someone who knew a form of Mark that ended abruptly with verse 8 and who wished to supply a more appropriate conclusion” (1994, p. 105).

The Connection Between
Verse 8 and Verses 9-20

Concerning the latter point, one must admit that the evaluation is highly subjective and actually nothing more than a matter of opinion. How is one to decide that a piece of writing is “awkward” or “likely” to have been added by someone other than Mark? Tangible objective criteria must be brought forward to support such a contention if its credibility is to be substantiated. As support for the contention, Metzger notes (1) that the subject of verse 8 is the women, whereas Jesus is the subject in verse 9, (2) that Mary Magdalene is identified in verse 9 even though she has been mentioned only a few lines before in 15:47 and 16:1, (3) the other women mentioned in verses 1-8 are now forgotten, and (4) the use of anastas de and the position of proton in verse 9 are appropriate at the beginning of a comprehensive narrative, but are ill-suited in a continuation of verses 1-8 (1994, p. 105). Let us examine briefly each of these four contentions.
Regarding the first point, a simple reading of the verses does not demonstrate a shift in subject from the women to Jesus. In actuality, the subject has been Jesus all along, but more specifically, His resurrection appearances. After pausing to relate specific details of the tomb incident involving three women (vss. 2-8), the writer returns in verse 9 to the subject introduced in verse 1—an enumeration of additional resurrection appearances, reiterating Mary Magdalene’s name for the reason that He appeared to her “first.”
Second, much is made of Mary Magdalene being identified in verse 9 though she had been identified already in 15:47 and 16:1. But if her name could be reiterated in 16:1—one verse after 15:47—why could it not be given again eight verses later? Has it escaped the critics’ notice that her name is also mentioned in full in 15:40—a mere seven verses before being mentioned again in 15:47? Yet, not one critic questions the genuineness of 15:47 or 16:1 though they redundantly identify Mary Magdalene again! The fact that there is more than one Mary in the text is sufficient to account for the repetition.
Third, it is also true that beginning in verse 9, the other women are not mentioned again. But, again, the reason for this omission is contextually obvious. Mary Magdalene is the one who spread the word about the resurrection to the others—“those who had been with Him” (vs. 10). It makes perfect sense that the focus would be narrowed from the three women to the one who performed this role.
Finally, the claim that the positioning of anastas de (“now when He arose”) and proton (“first”) are appropriate at the beginning of a lengthy narrative, but inappropriate in Mark 16 with only eleven verses remaining, is a claim unsubstantiated by Greek usage. It is not as if there is some observable rule of Greek grammar or syntax that verifies such a claim. It is simply the subjective opinion of one observer—albeit an observer who possesses a fair level of scholarly expertise. The term “first” (proton) has already been explained as appropriate since Mary Magdalene was the initiator of getting the word of the resurrection out to the others. Verses 9-14 are, in fact, intimately tied together in their common function of identifying resurrection appearances.
The precise construction “now when she arose” (anastasa de) is used by Luke (1:39) to introduce the narrative concerning Mary’s visit to Elizabeth—a section that extends for only eighteen verses (1:39-56). He used the same construction to introduce the narrative reporting Jesus’ visit to Simon (4:38)—lasting four verses (4:38-41)—the broader context actually extending previous to its introduction. Additional uses of the same construction (e.g., Acts 5:17,34; 9:39; 11:28) further verify that its occurrence in the concluding section of Mark is neither unusual nor “ill-suited.” How may one rightly claim that anastas de is inappropriate in Mark 16:9-20 if it is the only time Mark used it? Surely, what Mark would or would not have done cannot be judged on the basis of a single occurrence, nor should Mark’s stylistic usage be judged on the basis of what Luke or other users of the Greek language did or did not do. Is it possible or permissible that Mark could have legitimately used the construction intentionally only one time—without subjecting himself to the charge of not being the author? To ask is to answer.
Before leaving this matter of the connection between verse 8 and verses 9-20, one other observation is apropos. It is true that if Mark’s original book ended at verse 8, the book ended abruptly, leaving a general impression of incompleteness. However, the same may be said regarding the endings of both Matthew and Luke. Matthew reports the Jews’ conspiracy to account for the resurrection by bribing the guards to say the disciples stole away the body (28:11-15), and then shifts abruptly to the eleven disciples receiving the commission to preach (28:16-20). Likewise, Luke has two abrupt shifts in his final chapter. He reports the visits to the tomb by the women and Peter (24:1-12) and then suddenly changes to the two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus (24:13ff.). Another takes place at the end of the Emmaus narrative (24:13-35) when Jesus suddenly appears in the midst of the whole group of disciples (24:36ff.). Yet no one questions the genuineness of the endings of Matthew and Luke. The final chapter of John (21) follows on the heels of John’s grand climax to his carefully reasoned thesis (20:30-31), and gives the general impression of being anti-climactic and unnecessary. Likewise, many of Paul’s epistles end abruptly, followed by detached and unrelated greetings and salutations. No one questions the genuineness of the endings of these New Testament books.
While Metzger does not accept verses 9-20 as the original ending of Mark, neither does he believe that the book originally ended at verse 8: “It appears, therefore, that ephobounto gar [“for they were afraid”—DM] of Mark xvi.8 does not represent what Mark intended to stand at the end of his Gospel” (1978, p. 228). But this admission that something is missing after verse 8 could just as easily imply that verses 9-20 constitute that “something.” Metzger concedes this very point when, after noting that “the earliest ascertainable form of the Gospel of Mark ended with 16:8,” he offers only three possibilities to account for the abrupt ending: “(a) the evangelist intended to close his Gospel at this place; or (b) the Gospel was never finished; or, as seems most probable, (c) the Gospel accidentally lost its last leaf before it was multiplied by transcription” (1994, p. 105, note 7, emp. added). If verses 9-20 are, in fact, attributable to Mark, its absence in some manuscript copies is explicable on the very grounds offered by Metzger against their inclusion, i.e., the last leaf of a manuscript was lost—a manuscript from which copies were made that are now being used to discredit the genuineness of the verses in question. If, on the other hand, verses 9-20 are not genuine, then the original verses that followed verse 8 have been mis­sing for 2,000 years, and we are forced to conclude that the book of Mark lacks information that the Holy Spirit intended the world to have, but which they have been denied—an objectionable conclusion to say the least (yet see McMillan, 1973, p. 190).

The Vocabulary and Style of Verses 9-20

But what about the style and vocabulary of verses 9-20? Are they “non-Markan”? Textual scholar Bruce Metzger insists that they are. Indeed, for those scholars who deem the verses spurious, the most influential factor—the most decisive piece of evidence—is the alleged “non-Markan vocabulary.” He defends his conclusion by referring to “the presence of seventeen non-Marcan words or words used in a non-Marcan sense” (1978, p. 227). Alford made the same allegation over a century earlier: “No less than seventeen words and phrases occur in it (and some of them several times) which are never elsewhere used by Mark—whose adherence to his own peculiar phrases is remarkable” (1844, p. 438). The reader is urged to observe carefully the implicit assumption of those who reject verses 9-20 on such a basis: If the last twelve verses of a document employ words and expressions (whether one or seventeen?) that are not employed by the writer previously in the same document, then the last twelve verses of the document are not the product of the original writer. Is this line of thinking valid?
Over a century ago, in 1869, John A. Broadus provided a masterful evaluation (and decisive defeat) of this very contention (pp. 355-362). Using the Greek text that was available at the time produced by Tregelles, Broadus examined the twelve verses that precede Mark 16:9-20 (i.e., 15:44-16:8)—verses whose genuineness are above reproach—and applied precisely the same test to them. Incredibly, he found in the twelve verses preceding 16:9-20 exactly the same number of words and phrases (seventeen) that are not used previously by Mark! The words and their citation are as follows: tethneiken (15:44), gnous apo, edoreisato, ptoma (15:45), eneileisen, lelato­mei­menon, petpas, prosekulisen (15:46), diageno­menou, aromata (16:1), tei mia ton sabbaton (16:2), apokulisei (16:3), anakekulistai, sphodra (16:4), en tois dexiois (16:5), eichen (in a peculiar sense), and tromos (16:8). The reader is surely stunned and appalled that textual critics would wave aside verses of Scripture as counterfeit and fraudulent on such fragile, flimsy grounds.
Writing a few years later, J.W. McGarvey applied a similar test to the last twelve verses of Luke, again, verses whose genuineness, like those preceding Mark 16:9-20, are above suspicion (1875, pp. 377-382). He found nine words that are not used by Luke elsewhere in his book—four of which are not found anywhere else in the New Testament! Yet, once again, no textual critic or New Testament Greek manuscript scholar has questioned the genuineness of the last twelve verses of Luke. Indeed, the methodology that seeks to determine the genuineness of a text on the basis of new or unusual word use is a concocted, artificial, unscholarly, nonsensical, pretentious—and clearly discredited—criterion.


For the unbiased observer, this matter is settled: the strongest piece of internal evidence mustered against the genuineness of Mark 16:9-20 is no evidence at all. The two strongest arguments offered to discredit the inspiration of these verses as the production of Mark are seen to be lacking in substance and legitimacy. The reader of the New Testament may be confidently assured that these verses are original—written by the Holy Spirit through the hand of Mark as part of his original gospel account.


Aland, Kurt and Barbara Aland (1987), The Text of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerd­mans).
Aland, Kurt, Matthew Black, Carlo Martini, Bruce Metzger, and Allen Wikgren (1983), The Greek New Testament (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, fourth revised edition).
Alford, Henry (1844), Alford’s Greek Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), 1980 reprint.
Brigance, L.L. (1870), “J.W. McGarvey,” in A Treatise on the Eldership by J.W. McGarvey (Mur­frees­boro, TN: DeHoff Publications), 1962 reprint.
Broadus, John A. (1869), “Exegetical Studies,” The Baptist Quarterly, [3]:355-362, July.
Bruce, F.F. (1960), The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerd­mans, revised edition).
Burgon, John (1871), The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark (London: James Parker), 1959 reprint.
Colwell, Ernest C. (1937), “Mark 16:9-20 in the Armenian Version,” Journal of Biblical Literature, 55:369-386.
Comfort, Philip (1990), Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament (Wheat­on, IL: Tyndale House).
Dummelow, J.R., ed. (1927), A Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York, NY: MacMillan).
Elliott, J.K. (1971), “The Text and Language of the Endings to Mark’s Gospel,” Theo­logische Zeitschrift 27, July-August.
Ewert, David (1983), From Ancient Tablets to Modern Translations (Grand Rapids, MI: Zonder­van).
Guthrie, Donald (1970), New Testament Introduction (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, third edition).
Kahle, P.E. (1951), “The End of St. Mark’s Gospel: The Witness of the Coptic Versions,” Journal of Theological Studies, [11]:49-57.
Kenyon, Sir Frederic (1940), The Bible and Archaeology (New York: Harper).
Kenyon, Sir Frederic (1951 reprint), Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, second edition).
Lenski, R.C.H. (1945), The Interpretation of St. Mark’s Gospel (Columbus, OH: Wartburg Press).
Lewis, Jack (1988), “The Ending of Mark,” in The Lifestyle of Jesus (Searcy, AR: Harding University).
McGarvey, J.W. (1875), The New Testament Commentary: Matthew and Mark (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).
McGarvey, J.W. (1956 reprint), Evidences of Christianity (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
McMillan, Earle (1973), The Gospel According to Mark (Austin, TX: Sweet).
Metzger, Bruce M. (1972), “The Ending of the Gospel according to Mark in Ethiopic Manuscripts,” Understanding the Sacred Text, ed. John Reumann, et al. (Valley Forge, PA).
Metzger, Bruce M. (1978 reprint), The Text of the New Testament (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, second edition).
Metzger, Bruce M. (1994), A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York, NY: United Bible Society, second edition).
Morison, James (1892), A Practical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Mark (London: Hodder & Stoughton, seventh edition).
Phillips, Dabney (1975), Restoration Principles and Personalities (University, AL: Youth In Action).
Roberts, Alexander and James Donaldson, eds. (1970 reprint), The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans); Volumes 7 and 8: Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries.
Roberts, Alexander and James Donaldson, eds. (1971 reprint), The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans); Volume 5: Fathers of the Third Century.
Roberts, Alexander and James Donaldson, eds. (1973 reprint), The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans); Volume 1: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus; Volume 3: Latin Christianity: It’s Founder, Tertullian.
Salmon, George (1889), A Historical Introduction to the Study of the Books of the New Testament (London: John Murray, fourth edition).
Sanday, William (1889), Appendices ad Novum Testamentum Stephanicum (Oxford).
Schaff, Philip, ed. (1969 reprint), Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerd­mans); Volume 12: Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians.
Schaff, Philip and Henry Wace, eds. (1969 reprint), Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans); Volume 10: St. Ambrose: Select Works and Letters; Volume 12: Leo the Great, Gregory the Great; Volume 13: Gregory the Great, Ephraim Syrus, Aphrahat.
Schaff, Philip and Henry Wace, eds. (1954), Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 1968 reprint; Volume 6: Saint Jerome: Letters and Select Works.
Scrivener, F.H.A. (1883), A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and Co., third edition).
Streeter, B.H. (1924), The Four Gospels (London: Macmillan), 1953 reprint.
Warren, Thomas B. (1953), The Warren-Ballard Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Welte, Michael (2005), personal e-mail, Institute for New Testament Textual Research (Munster, Germany), [On-line], URL: http://www.uni-muenster.de/NTTextforschung/.
Westcott, B.A. and F.J.A. Hort (1882), The New Testament in the Original Greek (Cambridge: MacMillan).
Westcott, B.A. and F.J.A. Hort (1964 reprint), The New Testament in the Original Greek (New York: MacMillan).
Zwemer, Samuel (1975), “The Last Twelve Verses of Mark,” in Counterfeit or Genuine, Mark 16? John 8?, ed. David Otis Fuller (Grand Rapids, MI: Grand Rapids International Publications).

From “In Place of God” to “God’s Place” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


From “In Place of God” to “God’s Place”

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Nearly one year ago we reported that many militant non-believers gathered in La Jolla, California for the first “Beyond Belief” symposium (see Lyons and Butt, 2007), which the scientific journal New Scientist called “an ‘atheist love fest’” (Reilly, 2007, 196[2629]:7). The conference was held to discuss science, religion, and God, and specifically whether science should “do away with religion” (Brooks, 2006, 192[2578]:9). New Scientist writer Michael Brooks summarized the overall attitude of the attendees in the following words: “science can take on religion and win” (p. 11, emp. added). The participants were ready to roll up their sleeves and “get on with it” (p. 11). They were ready to put science “In Place of God,” as Brooks titled his article.
Fast forward one year to “Beyond Belief II,” and it appears some of the participants approached the idea of a Supernatural Being more cautiously. Even the title of a recent New Scientist article, which reported on the symposium, changed from last year’s arrogant heading, “In Place of God,” to this year’s more sober title, “God’s Place in a Rational World” (see Reilly, 2007, 196[2629]:7, emp. added). Michael Reilly gave some insight into the meeting by recording what one attendee, Edward Slingerland of the University of British Columbia, openly acknowledged:
“Religion is not going away,” he announced. Even those of us who fancy ourselves rationalists and scientists, he said, rely on moral values—a set of distinctly unscientific beliefs.
Where, for instance, does our conviction that human rights are universal come from? “Humans’ rights to me are as mysterious as the holy trinity.... You can’t do a CT scan to show where humans’ rights are, you can’t cut someone open and show us their human rights.... It’s not an empirical thing, it’s just something we strongly believe. It’s a purely metaphysical entity” (p. 7).
Although some at the conference na├»vely believe that “[g]iven time and persistence, science will conquer all of nature’s mysteries” (Reilly, 2007, p. 7, emp. added), it is encouraging to know that at least one person alluded to one of the greatest proofs for God’s existence—the moral argument.
The fact is, morality exists and makes sense only if there is a God, because only God could have created it. All naturalistic explanations for the existence of morality have been shown to be inadequate. What’s more, scientists admit that they still cannot logically explain the existence of morals. In truth, the only logical explanation must be supernatural (i.e., the God of the Bible). [NOTE: To read more on the moral argument for God’s existence, see Jackson, 1995.]


Brooks, Michael (2006), “In Place of God,” New Scientist, 192[2578]:8-11, November 18.
Jackson, Wayne (1995), “The Case for the Existence of God [Part III],” Reason & Revelation, 15[7]:49-55, July, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/271.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2007), “Militant Atheism,” Reason & Revelation, 27[1]:1-5, January, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3195.
Reilly, Michael (2007), “God’s Place in a Rational World,” New Scientist, 196[2629]:7, November 10.

Big Bang or "Big Crunch"? by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


Big Bang or "Big Crunch"?

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


Some scientists have suggested that the Universe started via the “Big Bang,” and will collapse via a “Big Crunch.” Then the whole process will start all over again. Does such a concept have any merit?
The origin and destiny of the Universe always have been important topics in the creation/evolution controversy. In the past, evolutionists went to great extremes to avoid scenarios that suggested a Universe with a beginning or ending, because such scenarios posed bothersome philosophical questions (“What came before the beginning?” or “What will come after the ending?”). Only theories that guaranteed an eternal Universe were worthy of consideration.


One theory offered in an attempt to establish the eternality of the Universe was the Steady State model of Sir Fred Hoyle and his colleagues. Even before he offered this unusual theory, however, scientific evidence had been discovered which indicated that the Universe was expanding. Hoyle set forth the Steady State model to: (a) erase any possibility of a beginning; (b) bolster the idea of an eternal Universe; and (c) explain why the Universe was expanding. His idea was that at certain points in the Universe (which he labeled “irtrons”), matter was being created spontaneously from nothing. Since this new matter had to “go” somewhere, and since two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, it pushed the matter that already existed further into distant space. Hoyle asserted that this process of matter continually being created (the idea even came to be known as the “continuous creation” theory) avoided any beginning or ending, and simultaneously accounted for the expansion of the Universe.
For a time, Hoyle’s Steady State hypothesis was quite popular. Eventually, however, it was discarded for several reasons. Cosmologist John Barrow suggested that the Steady State theory sprang “from a belief that the universe did not have a beginning.... The specific theory they proposed fell into conflict with observation long ago” (1991, p. 46). Indeed, the Steady State theory did fall “into conflict with observation” for a number of reasons. First, new theoretical concepts being proposed at the time were completely at odds with the Steady State model. Second, empirical observations no longer agreed with the model (see Gribbin, 1986). And third, it violated the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that neither matter nor energy may be created or destroyed in nature. Therefore, the Steady State model was abandoned.
The Big Bang model replaced the Steady State theory by postulating that all the matter/energy in the observable Universe was condensed into a particle smaller than a single proton (the famous “cosmic egg”). The Big Bang model, however, suffered from at least two major problems. First, it required that the “cosmic egg” be eternal—a concept clearly at odds with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. John Gribbin, a highly regarded evolutionary cosmologist, voiced the opinion of many when he said: “The biggest problem with the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe is philosophical—perhaps even theological—what was there before the bang?” (1976, pp. 15-16).
Second, the expansion of the Universe could not go on forever; it had to end somewhere. The Universe had a beginning, and would have an ending. Robert Jastrow has addressed both of these points: “And concurrently there was a great deal of discussion about the fact that the second law of thermodynamics, applied to the Cosmos, indicates the Universe is running down like a clock. If it is running down, there must have been a time when it was fully wound up” (1978, pp. 48-49). Matter could not be eternal, because eternal things do not run down. Furthermore, there was going to be an end at some point in the future.
Such a scenario is unacceptable to evolutionists. Jastrow himself admitted: “Astronomers try not to be influenced by philosophical considerations. However, the idea of a Universe that has both a beginning and an end is distasteful to the scientific mind” (1977, p. 31). To avoid any vestige of a beginning, or any hint of an ending, evolutionists invented the Oscillating Universe model (also known as the Big Bang/Big Crunch model, the Expansion/ Collapse model, etc.). Dr. Gribbin suggested: “[T]he best way around this initial difficulty is provided by a model in which the Universe expands from a singularity, collapses back again, and repeats the cycle indefinitely” (1976, pp. 15-16).
That is to say, there was a Big Bang; but there also will be a Big Crunch, at which time the matter of the Universe will collapse back onto itself. There will be a “bounce,” followed by another Big Bang, which will be followed by another Big Crunch, and this process will be repeated ad infinitum. In the Big Bang model, there is a permanent end; not so in the Oscillating Universe model, as Dr. Jastrow explained:
But many astronomers reject this picture of a dying Universe. They believe that the expansion of the Universe will not continue forever because gravity, pulling back on the outward-moving galaxies, must slow their retreat. If the pull of gravity is sufficiently strong, it may bring the expansion to a halt at some point in the future.
What will happen then? The answer is the crux of this theory. The elements of the Universe, held in a balance between the outward momentum of the primordial explosion and the inward force of gravity, stand momentarily at rest; but after the briefest instant, always drawn together by gravity, they commence to move toward one another. Slowly at first, and then with increasing momentum, the Universe collapses under the relentless pull of gravity. Soon the galaxies of the Cosmos rush toward one another with an inward movement as violent as the outward movement of their expansion when the Universe exploded earlier. After a sufficient time, they come into contact; their gases mix; their atoms are heated by compression; and the Universe returns to the heat and chaos from which it emerged many billions of years ago (1978, p. 118).
The description provided by Dr. Jastrow is that commonly referred to in the literature as the “Big Crunch.” But the obvious question is—after that, then what? Again, Jastrow explained:
No one knows. Some astronomers say the Universe will never come out of this collapsed state. Others speculate that the Universe will rebound from the collapse in a new explosion, and experience a new moment of Creation. According to this view, our Universe will be melted down and remade in the caldron of the second Creation. It will become an entirely new world, in which no trace of the existing Universe remains....
This theory envisages a Cosmos that oscillates forever, passing through an infinite number of moments of creation in a never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth. It unites the scientific evidence for an explosive moment of creation with the concept of an eternal Universe. It also has the advantage of being able to answer the question: What preceded the explosion? (1978, pp. 119- 120).


Several questions arise. First, of what benefit would such events be? Second, is such a concept testable scientifically? Third, does current scientific evidence support such an idea?
Of what benefit would a Big Bang/Big Crunch/Big Bang scenario be? Theoretically, as I have noted already, the benefit to evolutionists is that they do not have to explain a Universe with absolute beginnings or endings. A cyclical Universe that expands and contracts infinitely is much more acceptable than one that demands explanations for both its origin and destiny. Practically, there is no benefit that derives from such a scenario. Astronomer Carl Sagan of Cornell University noted:
...information from our universe would not trickle into that next one and, from our vantage point, such an oscillating cosmology is as definitive and depressing an end as the expansion that never stops (1979, pp. 13-14).
Could the Oscillating Universe model be tested scientifically? Gribbin felt that it could.
The key factors which determine the ultimate fate of the Universe are the amount of matter it contains and the rate at which it is expanding.... In simple terms, the Universe can only expand forever if it is exploding faster than the “escape velocity” from itself.... If the density of matter across the visible Universe we see today is sufficient to halt the expansion we can observe today, then the Universe has always been exploding at less than its own escape velocity, and must eventually be slowed down so much that the expansion is first halted and then converted into collapse. On the other hand, if the expansion we observe today is proceeding fast enough to escape from the gravitational clutches of the matter we observe today, then the Universe is and always was “open” and will expand forever (1981, p. 313).
Does scientific evidence support the theory of an “oscillating” Universe? The success or failure of this theory depends, in part, on the amount of matter contained in the Universe, since there must be enough matter for gravity to “pull back” to cause the Big Crunch. This is one reason why cold dark matter is so important. Dr. Gribbin has said: “This, in a nutshell, is one of the biggest problems in cosmology today, the puzzle of the so-called missing mass” (1981, pp. 315-316). In discussing the Oscillating Universe model, astronomers speak of a “closed” or an “open” Universe. If the Universe is closed, theoretically the Big Crunch could occur, and an oscillating Universe becomes a viable possibility. If the Universe is open, the expansion of the Universe will continue and the Big Crunch will not occur, making an oscillating Universe impossible. Joseph Silk remarked: “The balance of evidence does point to an open model of the universe” (1980, p. 309, emp. added). Gribbin commented: “The consensus among astronomers today is that the universe is open” (1981, p. 316, emp. added). Jastrow observed: “Thus, the facts indicate that the universe will expand forever” (1978, p. 123, emp. added). Recent evidence seems to indicate that an oscillating Universe is a physical impossibility (see Chaisson, 1992).
Evolutionary cosmologist John Wheeler has drawn the following conclusion based on the scientific evidence: “With gravitational collapse we come to the end of time. Never out of the equations of general relativity has one been able to find the slightest argument for a ‘re-expansion’ of a ‘cyclic universe’ or anything other than an end” (1977, p. 15). As Ross has admitted: “Attempts...to use oscillation to avoid a theistic beginning for the universe all fail” (1991, p. 105). No one yet has improved on Genesis 1— “In the beginning, God created....”


Barrow, John D. (1991), Theories of Everything (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press).
Chaisson, E.J. (1992), “Early Results from the Hubble Space Telescope,” Scientific American, 266[6]:44-51, June.
Gribbin, John (1976), “Oscillating Universe Bounces Back,” Nature, 259:15-16.
Gribbin, John (1981), Genesis: The Origins of Man and the Universe (New York: Delacorte).
Gribbin, John (1986), In Search of the Big Bang (New York: Bantam).
Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).
Jastrow, Robert (1978), God and the Astronomers (New York: W.W. Norton).
Ross, Hugh (1991), The Fingerprint of God (Orange, CA: Promise Publishing).
Sagan, Carl (1979), “Will It All End in a Fireball?,” Science Digest, 86[3]:13-14, September.
Silk, Joseph (1980), The Big Bang (San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman).
Wheeler, John (1977), “Genesis and Observership,” Foundational Problems in the Special Sciences (Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel).

Culture, Clogged Courts, and God by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Culture, Clogged Courts, and God

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Anyone old enough to remember the 1950s and 1960s cannot help but observe that the moral and spiritual condition of America has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. One stark contrast between then and now pertains to the nation’s criminal justice system—which has shifted from protecting the rights of the victim to protecting the rights of the criminal. Since the 1960s, crime rates have steadily risen to historically all-time highs. Prisons are full to overflowing. A greater percentage of the country’s citizenry is engaging in criminal behavior. The administration of law has been significantly altered. Penal institutions have moved away from the idea that lawbreakers must be punished (not merely rehabilitated), that they should be exposed to harsh prison conditions to discourage a life of crime, and that they should be made to work in order to “pay their debt to society.” It was not uncommon for the prison system to use prisoners to build roads, grow crops, etc. Now, however, generally speaking, prisoners routinely enjoy air-conditioned, comfortable sleeping quarters, nourishing meals three times per day, recreation facilities that enable inmates to increase their physical strength, and lots of leisure time. Technically, the only real consequence of their crimes is simply—confinement. The judicial system allows criminals who commit acts that are “worthy of death” (Romans 1:32) to be spared the consequences of their own actions by sitting on death row literally for years.
The propaganda that asserted itself so forcefully in the 1960s regarding proper discipline (in both home and society) arose from mere human opinion—social theories concocted by those who rejected the spiritual reality depicted in the Bible. The social chaos that has gripped American culture is the direct result of this sinister silencing of God in the public sector. But the Bible is still here. It still provides divine insight into the human condition—for those who are willing to listen.
Touted to be wise beyond all others, Solomon recorded for all time, by inspiration of God, a nugget of insight sorely needed in view of America’s present predicament: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). The Hebrew term translated “speedily” refers to the need to be “in a hurry” and to act “quickly” (Holladay, 1988, p. 185). It refers to “haste” and “speed” (Kaiser, 1980, 1:492; Brown, et al., 1901, p. 555). Moses used this term on the occasion when God threatened to wipe out the congregation of Israel by means of a fast-spreading plague. Moses urged Aaron to “hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them” (Numbers 16:46, NIV). Delay would be disastrous and result in more loss of life. On another occasion, God instructed Joshua to use his spear to signal his soldiers who lay in ambush to attack the city of Ai: “So those in ambush arose quickly out of their place; they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and they entered the city and took it, and hurried to set the city on fire” (Joshua 8:19-20). In order for the army to be victorious, time was of the essence. Another example is seen in the tormented psalmist’s cry to God to save him from his enemies: “Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me” (31:2). The psalmist sought immediate relief from his anguished circumstances. So it is in Ecclesiastes 8:11. When citizens flaunt the laws of the land and commit crimes against their fellowman, a corresponding righteous response is demanded. Indeed, that response is critically indispensable to society’s survival. Crime must be met with a firm response and curtailed swiftly.
But what happens when a sizable segment of a society lacks commitment to right, truth, and compliance with moral standards? What happens when a culture embraces the ludicrous notion that “tolerance” is a virtue and that challenging deviant behavior is “judgmental”? The response to criminal behavior softens and diffuses. Destructive forces are allowed to flourish—forces that will contribute to the unraveling of the fabric of civilization. Indeed, the tendency to flaunt law will spread, gradually permeating the population, and hastening its dissolution. “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). The only hope of America is to return to the moral principles of the Bible.


Brown, Francis, S.R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs (1901), The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004 reprint).
Holladay, William L. (1988), A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Kaiser, Walter (1980), “mehera,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke (Chicago, IL: Moody).

From Jim McGuiggan... A man in an iron mask

A man in an iron mask

Only an idiot or an insensitive clod will walk all over the hurting hearts of poor souls that groan in misery. But we must face it, some pain can’t be removed! A lot of our pain exists because we love people with all our hearts and unless we get a lobotomy the price we pay for the privilege of loving and losing (via death or some other death-like means) is grievous pain.
When the pain is maddening we cry out—and it’s perfectly understandable that we should—we cry out and ask "why?" You might remember that in Dumas' movie The Man in the Iron Mask a man is grabbed by the authorities, taken against his will to a secluded island, taken to the deepest dungeon of the prison on that island and an iron mask was fitted over his face. No one speaks to him, no one tells him why, no one answers his questions or responds to his protests. He’s left in the dungeon, the jailer is forbidden on pain of death to even speak to him and through a barred window he watches the assault team row away. In an awful heart-wrenching cry that echoes in the dungeon and out across the water to the cold-hearted men in the boat he howls, "Why? Why?" Just to make sense of it—that’d ease the pain.
Hearts are the same in real life as they are in profoundly good fiction. Profoundly good fiction is precisely that because it touches on the depths of the human heart in a way that we all recognise. When a hurting soul lifts his or her eyes to heaven and mournfully asks, "Why?" they are being authentically human.
But it’s clear that even if it's possible to offer reasonable part explanations and an underlying ground for trust where knowledge fails, the hurting heart is not prepared to accept "answers". The shattered heart wants the devastation undone! In their awful pain they don’t want to hear that there are "good reasons" why the awful pain should continue. They want it stopped! It doesn’t matter that God wants it to go on! It doesn’t matter that God "allows" it to go on! It doesn’t matter that wondrous things are happening in and through the pain. Stop it!
Tell me, then, why does any truly suffering Christian remain faithful to God?

From Gary... Bible Reading July 22

Bible Reading  

July 22

The World English Bible

July 22
1 Chronicles 27-29

1Ch 27:1 Now the children of Israel after their number, the heads of fathers' houses and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and their officers who served the king, in any matter of the divisions which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year--of every division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:2 Over the first division for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:3 He was of the children of Perez, the chief of all the captains of the army for the first month.
1Ch 27:4 Over the division of the second month was Dodai the Ahohite, and his division; and Mikloth the ruler: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:5 The third captain of the army for the third month was Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, chief: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:6 This is that Benaiah, who was the mighty man of the thirty, and over the thirty: and of his division was Ammizabad his son.
1Ch 27:7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:8 The fifth captain for this fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zerahites: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anathothite, of the Benjamites: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zerahites: and in his division were Twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.
1Ch 27:16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri the ruler: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maacah:
1Ch 27:17 of Levi, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of Aaron, Zadok:
1Ch 27:18 of Judah, Elihu, one of the brothers of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:
1Ch 27:19 of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jeremoth the son of Azriel:
1Ch 27:20 of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:
1Ch 27:21 of the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:
1Ch 27:22 of Dan, Azarel the son of Jeroham. These were the captains of the tribes of Israel.
1Ch 27:23 But David didn't take the number of them from twenty years old and under, because Yahweh had said he would increase Israel like the stars of the sky.
1Ch 27:24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but didn't finish; and there came wrath for this on Israel; neither was the number put into the account in the chronicles of king David.
1Ch 27:25 Over the king's treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the treasures in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the towers, was Jonathan the son of Uzziah:
1Ch 27:26 Over those who did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:
1Ch 27:27 and over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: and over the increase of the vineyards for the winecellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:
1Ch 27:28 and over the olive trees and the sycamore trees that were in the lowland was Baal Hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:
1Ch 27:29 and over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:
1Ch 27:30 and over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the donkeys was Jehdeiah the Meronothite: and over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagrite.
1Ch 27:31 All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David's.
1Ch 27:32 Also Jonathan, David's uncle, was a counselor, a man of understanding, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king's sons:
1Ch 27:33 Ahithophel was the king's counselor: and Hushai the Archite was the king's friend:
1Ch 27:34 and after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the captain of the king's army was Joab.
1Ch 28:1 David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies who served the king by division, and the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, and the rulers over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officers, and the mighty men, even all the mighty men of valor, to Jerusalem.
1Ch 28:2 Then David the king stood up on his feet, and said, Hear me, my brothers, and my people: as for me, it was in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and for the footstool of our God; and I had made ready for the building.
1Ch 28:3 But God said to me, You shall not build a house for my name, because you are a man of war, and have shed blood.
1Ch 28:4 However Yahweh, the God of Israel, chose me out of all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever: for he has chosen Judah to be prince; and in the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel;
1Ch 28:5 Of all my sons (for Yahweh has given me many sons), he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of Yahweh over Israel.
1Ch 28:6 He said to me, Solomon your son, he shall build my house and my courts; for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
1Ch 28:7 I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my ordinances, as at this day.
1Ch 28:8 Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of Yahweh, and in the audience of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of Yahweh your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever.
1Ch 28:9 You, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.
1Ch 28:10 Take heed now; for Yahweh has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
1Ch 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch of the temple, and of its houses, and of its treasuries, and of the upper rooms of it, and of the inner chambers of it, and of the place of the mercy seat;
1Ch 28:12 and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, for the courts of the house of Yahweh, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the house of God, and for the treasuries of the dedicated things;
1Ch 28:13 also for the divisions of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of Yahweh, and for all the vessels of service in the house of Yahweh;
1Ch 28:14 of gold by weight for the vessels of gold, for all vessels of every kind of service; of silver for all the vessels of silver by weight, for all vessels of every kind of service;
1Ch 28:15 by weight also for the lampstands of gold, and for its lamps, of gold, by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps; and for the lampstands of silver, silver by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps, according to the use of every lampstand;
1Ch 28:16 and the gold by weight for the tables of show bread, for every table; and silver for the tables of silver;
1Ch 28:17 and the forks, and the basins, and the cups, of pure gold; and for the golden bowls by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls by weight for every bowl;
1Ch 28:18 and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot, even the cherubim, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of Yahweh.
1Ch 28:19 All this, said David, have I been made to understand in writing from the hand of Yahweh, even all the works of this pattern.
1Ch 28:20 David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: don't be afraid, nor be dismayed; for Yahweh God, even my God, is with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of Yahweh is finished.
1Ch 28:21 Behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites, for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with you in all manner of work every willing man who has skill, for any manner of service: also the captains and all the people will be entirely at your command.
1Ch 29:1 David the king said to all the assembly, Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for Yahweh God.
1Ch 29:2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the brass for the things of brass, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, stones for inlaid work, and of various colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
1Ch 29:3 In addition, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, seeing that I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, I give it to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,
1Ch 29:4 even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, with which to overlay the walls of the houses;
1Ch 29:5 of gold for the things of gold, and of silver for the things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. Who then offers willingly to consecrate himself this day to Yahweh?
1Ch 29:6 Then the princes of the fathers' houses, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers over the king's work, offered willingly;
1Ch 29:7 and they gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand darics, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and of iron a hundred thousand talents.
1Ch 29:8 They with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of Yahweh, under the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.
1Ch 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, because they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to Yahweh: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
1Ch 29:10 Therefore David blessed Yahweh before all the assembly; and David said, You are blessed, Yahweh, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever.
1Ch 29:11 Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, Yahweh, and you are exalted as head above all.
1Ch 29:12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all; and in your hand is power and might; and it is in your hand to make great, and to give strength to all.
1Ch 29:13 Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.
1Ch 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.
1Ch 29:15 For we are strangers before you, and foreigners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding.
1Ch 29:16 Yahweh our God, all this store that we have prepared to build you a house for your holy name comes of your hand, and is all your own.
1Ch 29:17 I know also, my God, that you try the heart, and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy your people, that are present here, offer willingly to you.
1Ch 29:18 Yahweh, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of your people, and prepare their heart to you;
1Ch 29:19 and give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for which I have made provision.
1Ch 29:20 David said to all the assembly, Now bless Yahweh your God. All the assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads and prostrated themselves before Yahweh and the king.
1Ch 29:21 They sacrificed sacrifices to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings to Yahweh, on the next day after that day, even one thousand bulls, one thousand rams, and one thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel,
1Ch 29:22 and ate and drink before Yahweh on that day with great gladness. They made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him to Yahweh to be prince, and Zadok to be priest.
1Ch 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of Yahweh as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
1Ch 29:24 All the princes, the mighty men, and also all of the sons of king David submitted themselves to Solomon the king.
1Ch 29:25 Yahweh magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.
1Ch 29:26 Now David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
1Ch 29:27 The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
1Ch 29:28 He died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor: and Solomon his son reigned in his place.
1Ch 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer,
1Ch 29:30 with all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

Jul. 22, 23
Acts 14

Act 14:1 It happened in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.
Act 14:2 But the disbelieving Jews stirred up and embittered the souls of the Gentiles against the brothers.
Act 14:3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Act 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided. Part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
Act 14:5 When some of both the Gentiles and the Jews, with their rulers, made a violent attempt to mistreat and stone them,
Act 14:6 they became aware of it, and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, Derbe, and the surrounding region.
Act 14:7 There they preached the Good News.
Act 14:8 At Lystra a certain man sat, impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked.
Act 14:9 He was listening to Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes on him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole,
Act 14:10 said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet!" He leaped up and walked.
Act 14:11 When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"
Act 14:12 They called Barnabas "Jupiter," and Paul "Mercury," because he was the chief speaker.
Act 14:13 The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes.
Act 14:14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out,
Act 14:15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them;
Act 14:16 who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.
Act 14:17 Yet he didn't leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
Act 14:18 Even saying these things, they hardly stopped the multitudes from making a sacrifice to them.
Act 14:19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
Act 14:20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe.
Act 14:21 When they had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22 confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God.
Act 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
Act 14:24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia.
Act 14:25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
Act 14:26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled.
Act 14:27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, they reported all the things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the nations.
Act 14:28 They stayed there with the disciples for a long time.