From Gary... Politics, people and procrastination

For the next year or so, it will seem that all the news will be about politics. For the republicans, the most interesting candidate seems to be Donald Trump. He has MANY, MANY faults, but I do like his straight forward, "get things done" no nonsense answers. And he has a reputation for getting whatever he wants, which is a good thing for a president. Dr. Ben Carson may be the best choice, though, because he too talks no-nonsense, but is a more sensible person. Only time will tell who gets nominated and who will be our leader. Whoever is elected, I sincerely hope that he will NOT be a person who continually blames others and makes excuses without end.

But, wait- people change. Even if someone makes way too many mistakes and has a good heart- they can change. Here is a Biblical example (and one of my favorite people) from the New Testament...

Acts, Chapter 15 (WEB)
 36  After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s return now and visit our brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing.”  37 Barnabas planned to take John, who was called Mark, with them also.  38 But Paul didn’t think that it was a good idea to take with them someone who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and didn’t go with them to do the work.  39 Then the contention grew so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away to Cyprus,  40 but Paul chose Silas, and went out, being commended by the brothers to the grace of God. 

Colossians, Chapter 4 (WEB)
 10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you received commandments, “if he comes to you, receive him”),

Mark was a quitter, but changed his ways. If he can change, so can any one of us. There is hope, we can improve!!! Today, I will get something done and will not make excuses, because that is important to me. How about you?



              Starting A New Testament Church In Your Home


1. In our previous study, I offered suggestions on finding a New
   Testament church today...
   a. The name of a congregation is a good place to begin
   b. Examine the gospel being preached
   c. Compare the practice with the New Testament pattern

2. Whenever possible, we should seek to join ourselves with an
   established congregation...
   a. There are benefits the Lord designed for us from such fellowship
   b. Especially when a congregation is completely and scripturally

3. But it is not always possible to find a congregation of the Lord...
   a. Where the authority of the apostles' doctrine is respected
   b. Where the worship is in Spirit and truth
   c. Where the church is engaged in the work the Lord intended

4. In such cases, it is possible to start the Lord's church in one's own
   a. Priscilla and Aquila had churches meet in their home - Ro 16:3-5;
      1Co 16:19
   b. As well as other Christians in the first century - cf. Col 4:15;
      Phm 1:2
   c. My family met in their home for two years when we lived in Taiwan
   d. Indeed, many established churches today began with Christians
      meeting in a home

[If you deem it necessary to start a church in your home, perhaps these
suggestions may be helpful...]


      1. Remember, this is how Christ adds people to His church
         a. Through the gospel, He calls us - 2Th 2:14
         b. As we heed the gospel call, the Lord adds us to His body,
            the church - Ac 2:41,47
         c. That is why it is so important that the gospel not be
            perverted in any way - Ga 1:6-9
      2. If the gospel we have obeyed is different from that revealed in
         the Scriptures...
         a. By changing either the facts or commands of the gospel...
         b. ...then we have not been saved, and the Lord has not added
            us to His church!
      3. If the church in your home holds to a perverted gospel...
         a. You may be the nicest people, but you are still unregenerate
         b. You may profess the name of Christ, both as individuals and
            as a church, but you are not truly the people of God, nor a
            part of the New Testament Church!
      4. As you give consideration to the gospel, these studies may
         prove helpful...
         a. Conversions In The Book Of Acts
         b. Baptism - A Special Study
      -- These and others studies can be found at the EO website

      1. Why are you wanting to start a church in your home?
         a. Is it because you can't get along with people in another
         b. Is it because you have problems submitting to authority
            (e.g., elders)?
      2. The Lord knows your heart, and will bless your efforts only if
         proper motivated
         a. To serve the Lord faithfully according to His will
         b. To worship Him in Spirit and truth
         c. To be simply Christians, members of His body, the church
         d. To one day becoming scripturally organized as a church (with
            elders and deacons)
      -- Remember that unless the Lord builds the house, labor will be
         in vain - Ps 127:1

[Having obeyed the gospel of Christ in its purity and simplicity, armed
with the proper intention to serve the Lord in all things, you are ready
to begin.  As you meet in your home, be sure to...]


      1. The first day of the week, when the disciples came together
         - Ac 20:7
      2. The first day of the week, when the disciple laid by in store
         - 1Co 16:1-2
      -- One may worship other times, but the Lord's day is essential!

      1. Engage in prayer
         a. We have several examples of group prayer in the early church
            - Ac 4:23-24; 12:5,12
         b. Paul called for prayers to be offered in every place - 1 Ti
            2:1,8; 3:15
      2. Engage in song
         a. Commands to sing can be found in Ep 5:19; Col 3:16; He 13:15
         b. Singing hymns praises God and edifies the brethren
      3. Engage in the Word
         a. Teaching or preaching was part of public worship in the
            early church - Ac 20:7
         b. If preachers or teachers are not present, then just read the
         c. One might also listen to recorded sermons, or read Bible
            studies from the Internet or other sources
      4. Engage in the Lord's Supper
         a. Also called the "breaking of bread" and "communion" - Ac
            2:42; 20:7; 1Co 10:16
         b. A memorial feast instituted by Jesus Himself - 1Co 11:23-26
         c. The fruit of the vine can be simple grape juice (like
         d. The bread should be unleavened (like Matzo)
      5. Engage in laying by in store
         a. Also called the "collection" and "contribution" - 1Co 16:
            1-2; Ro 15:26
         b. To provide for the needs of Christians, and to do the work
            of the church
  -- For more information, see lessons in my study "The Church Jesus

[Remember that Jesus promised to be wherever even just two or three are
gathered in His name (Mt 18:20).  When offered in Spirit and truth,
worship can be just as meaningful in a home as in large building.
Finally, one more thought or two...]


      1. Make contact with Christians in other places
      2. Even though they may be too far away to assemble on a regular
      3. Communicate with them via the Internet or by other means
      4. Perhaps they can provide additional materials for your study
         and worship
      -- It is edifying to know you are not alone in serving Jesus
         simply as a Christian

      1. Seek to share the gospel of Christ with family, friends and
      2. Offer to have Bible studies with them in your home or theirs
      3. Invite them to your worship on the Lord's Day in your home
      -- Don't forget that we have a Great Commission given by our Lord
         - Mt 28:18-20

      1. As you grow, consider renting or building a meeting place other
         than your home
      2. Many people are hesitant to worship in a home; as you rent,
         then build, it develops credibility as a congregation in the
         eyes of the community
      3. Some communities have strict zoning laws regarding the use of a
         home for worship; as you grow, the need to rent or buy a
         central meeting place will become necessary
      -- Consider what will be expedient in your community in reaching
         out to the lost - cf. 1Pe 2:12


1. There are certainly benefits to starting a church in a home...
   a. It provides an opportunity for the Lord to bless those in the
      neighborhood and community
      through your presence
   b. It is easier to create a sense of family and closeness among the
   c. The commute to services is nice if the church is meeting in your

2. But again, whenever possible we should seek to join ourselves with an
   established congregation...
   a. There are benefits and opportunities to be found in a larger group
   b. Especially when a congregation is completely and scripturally

3. What is important is that we are seeking only to "Follow Jesus
   Without Denominationalism"...
   a. Not some man-made church or denomination
   b. To be simply Christians, members of the body of Christ, His church

My prayer is that in some way this series may encourage others who love
Jesus to serve Him as His Word directs, to be nothing more than those
who "Follow Jesus Without Denominationalism"...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Newsweek Article's Attack on the Bible: So Misinformed It's a Sin by Dave Miller, Ph.D.Kyle Butt, M.A.


Newsweek Article's Attack on the Bible: So Misinformed It's a Sin

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.
Kyle Butt, M.A.

Abraham Lincoln is credited with the statement: “How many legs does a dog have if you call its tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” With that thought in mind, we turn our attention to the cover story of the December 23, 2014 issue of Newsweek titled, “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.” Kurt Eichenwald, the author, said concerning his article: “This examination is not an attack on the Bible or Christianity.” He says about his writing, “None of this is meant to demean the Bible, but all of it is fact.” Eichenwald may say that his article is not an attack on the Bible or is not designed to demean it, but that claim is simply not true. He boldly states that the Bible is “loaded with contradictions and translation errors and wasn’t written by witnesses and includes words added by unknown scribes to inject Church orthodoxy.” In fact, the bulk of his writing is an effort to prove these errors, contradictions, and discrepancies. Having declared that they are facts (which is the furthest thing from the truth, as we will show in this response), he says, “Christians angered by these facts should be angry with the Bible, not the messenger.” Make no mistake about it, Eichenwald is bashing the Bible, and he does so without the facts.
In a way, Eichenwald’s attack on the Bible is reassuring to the Bible believer for the simple reason that Eichenwald uses information that has been refuted literally for centuries. His article consists of warmed-over skepticism that has so often been easily refuted; we at Apologetics Press already have articles on virtually every subject he mentions (www.apologeticspress.org). In another way, however, his article is troubling. Why, if his arguments are so easily answered, does the author feel that they will resonate with his audience or cause others to question the Bible? The most reasonable answer seems to be that he knows his audience is ignorant of the responses to his attacks. The Proverbs writer once stated, “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17). To those who have not given these matters much thought, Eichenwald’s information may seem legitimate and may cause one to doubt the Bible’s inspiration. However, when one examines this information, it will be seen for what it is—a thinly veiled, inept attack against the inspired Word of God.

The “Contradictions” in the Bible

The Birth of Jesus

One of the clearest examples of Eichenwald’s errant thinking is seen in his repetitious claim that the Bible is “loaded with contradictions.” In his section titled “No Three Kings,” he contends that the accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke are contradictory. He writes: “Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem. No wise men showed up for the birth…. No angel appearing to Mary…. Not born in a manger….” Then he asks the reader: “Not the version you are familiar with...? You may not recognize this version, but it is a story of Jesus’ birth found in the Gospels. Two Gospels—Matthew and Luke—tell the story of when Jesus was born, but in quite different ways. Contradictions abound.”
Is it true that the versions of Jesus’ “birth” are filled with contradictions? Not at all. Let us see how he proceeds to fabricate contradictions that are not there. First, notice how he begins his section: “Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem.” Note that he did not provide a verse reference for that claim—for good reason: there is no Bible passage that claims that Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem. The account in Luke makes it clear that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (2:4) and, contrary to Eichenwald’s charge, in a manger (2:7,16)—i.e., a barn-animal feeding trough. Did an angel appear to Mary? The Gospels make no such claim, and therefore, cannot be said to contradict one another. An angel appeared to shepherds in the field at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8-13) and to Mary before Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:26-31), but this does not contradict any other passage. Did wise men come to the birth? When we turn to Matthew’s account, the chapter begins its narrative about the wise men: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King…” (2:1). How long after Jesus was born in Bethlehem? The text does not say. In fact, king Herod asked the wise men what time Jesus’ star appeared (vs. 7), and based on that information, the evil king issued a decree to kill the young males in Bethlehem who were from “two years old and under” (vs. 16). Obviously, between the time the star appeared, and the time the wise men arrived, several months had elapsed. In fact, from Herod’s calculations to kill two year olds, it could have been as much as 18 months to two years. So, the story in Matthew 2 is not even a “birth” story. The Bible makes no claim that wise men were at Jesus’ birth. The only contradiction that can be levied concerning the appearance of the wise men is not a contradiction in the Bible, but a contradiction between what the Bible says and what people have erroneously claimed the Bible says—as with the case of the appearance of the angel to Mary.
Eichenwald has committed the very mistake that he accuses so many evangelicals of committing. Early in the article he bemoans the fact that many people who call themselves Christians do not even know what the text says. Sadly, he is right. Many Christians do not study the Bible as they should. He insists that his article is “designed to shine a light on a book that has been abused by people who claim to revere it but don’t read it.” Ironically, Eichenwald’s attack is filled with heat, but very little light. His examples of obvious “contradictions” in the “birth” accounts of Jesus are attacks against information that is not even in the Bible. In an article that purports to straighten out those who are biblically illiterate, to boldly proclaim that the Bible states that “Jesus was born in a house in Bethlehem”—when the Bible nowhere makes such a statement—is inexcusable, slipshod scholarship. [For more information, see the A.P. article: “When Did Jesus Go to Egypt?” (Lyons, 2011).]
In addition, Eichenwald claims that the genealogies in Matthew and Luke trace Jesus’ bloodline through Joseph, “Except…Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ father…. Mary, the mother of Jesus, can be the only parent with a bloodline to David, but neither Gospel makes mention of that.” This allegation has been decisively answered in the A.P. article titled, “The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke.” Here is the short answer to this alleged discrepancy:
Here is the precise purpose of Matthew’s genealogy: it demonstrated Jesus’ legal right to inherit the throne of David—a necessary prerequisite to authenticating His Messianic claim. However, an equally critical credential was His blood/physical descent from David—a point that could not be established through Joseph since “after His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18, emp. added). This feature of Christ’s Messiahship was established through His mother Mary, who was also a blood descendant of David (Luke 1:30-32). Both the blood of David and the throne of David were necessary variables to qualify and authenticate Jesus as the Messiah (Miller, 2003, emp. in orig.).
Isn’t it interesting that Eichenwald left out the fact that Luke’s genealogy mentions Jesus “being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph” (Luke 3:24)? By using the phrase “as was supposed,” Luke demonstrates that Jesus was not the actual son of Joseph, just the perceived one. In addition, the Newsweek author neglected to mention that in Matthew 1:16, when the text says that “Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus,” the word “whom” (in the Greek) is in the feminine form. It could only be referring to Mary. Thus, neither of the genealogies states that Jesus was born to Joseph.

Alleged Contradictions in the Resurrection Accounts

Eichenwald continues his attack on the Bible, stating that the “stories in the four Gospels of Jesus’ death and resurrection differ as well.” He asserts: “And who went to anoint Jesus in his tomb? In Matthew, it was Mary and another woman named Mary, and an angel met them there. In Mark, it was Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, and a young man met them. In John, it was Mary alone; no one met her.” Supposedly, these “differing” accounts are so blatantly contradictory that no further examination need be applied to them. When we apply proper reasoning to this allegation, however, we see there are no contradictions.
For instance, what if John mentions one Mary while Matthew mentions Mary and another woman named Mary? This difference is not a contradiction. John would have had to qualify his statement by saying that “only” Mary or Mary “alone” went to the tomb. Did you notice that Eichenwald includes the word “alone” with Mary, but the biblical text never does? Just because one writer gives additional or supplemental information does not make him contradict the other account. [For more information, see the A.P. article titled, “The Resurrection Narratives” (Butt, 2002).] Consider Eichenwald’s own statement that at the Council of Nicaea, “Constantine arrived wearing jewels and gold on his scarlet robe and pearls on his crown.” Suppose that another person were to say that Constantine arrived with numerous courtiers and was wearing boots. Would that statement be a contradiction? Not in any way. Such accusations barely deserve to be answered—if it were not for their prevalence.

Two Accounts of Creation?

Eichenwald further suggests that “biblical scholars have concluded that two Jewish sects wrote many of the books. Each prepared its version of the Old Testament, and the two were joined together without any attempt to reconcile the many contradictions” (2014). Once again, the Newsweek writer conveniently mentions only those “biblical scholars” who happen to agree with him. What about the thousands of scholars that do not agree with this specious position? As an example of these “doublets,” he states: “The next time someone tells you the biblical story of Creation is true, ask that person, ‘Which one?’ Few of the Christian faithful seem to know the Bible contains multiple creation stories…. Careful readers have long known that the two stories contradict each other.” In truth, careful readers have long known just the opposite. As Wayne Jackson concluded: “When the texts of Genesis 1 and 2 have been considered carefully, one thing is clear: an objective evaluation reveals no discrepancies, nor is a dual authorship to be inferred. Devout students of the Bible should not be disturbed by the fanciful, ever-changing theories of the liberal critics” (See the A.P. article, “Are There Two Creation Accounts in Genesis?” [Jackson, 1991; Cf. McGarvey, 1910, p. 66]). [NOTE: In his section dealing with such doublets, Eichenwald mentions that “biblical scholars” have concluded that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. The evidence, however, reveals that Moses certainly did write these books. See the A.P. article “Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch—Tried and True” (Lyons, 2003; cf. McGarvey, 1902).]
The article also uses the Flood story as an example of doublets causing contradictions. Eichenwald says the “water flooded the earth for 40 days (Genesis 7:17), or 150 days (Genesis 7:24).” His careless use of the Scripture is painful to endure. The text does not say in Genesis 7:17 that the Flood stopped after 40 days. It simply details things that occurred at that time, such as the waters lifting the ark off the ground. The text in Genesis 7:24 specifically says that at the end of 150 days the water began to decrease. The previous 7:17 says nothing about the complete duration of the Flood or when the waters stopped rising. [NOTE: For an exhaustive list of answers to these types of alleged contradictions, see A.P.’s Web site category titled “Alleged Discrepancies.”]

Sunday As the Christian Day of Worship

The title of the Newsweek article, “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,” explains much about the author’s method of bashing. He approaches the subject in light of the idea that many Christians do not read or understand the Bible. One of the author’s grievous faults, however, is that it is apparent that he does not read or understand the Bible either, and he writes in a way that betrays this fact. For instance, when discussing the Christian day of worship, Eichenwald suggests that Constantine was responsible for establishing it as Sunday instead of the Sabbath (or Saturday). He alleges:
Things that are today accepted without much thought were adopted or reinforced at Nicaea. For example, the Old Testament was clear in declaring that God rested on the seventh day, making it the Sabbath. The seventh day of the week is Saturday, the day of Jewish worship and rest. (Jesus himself invoked the holiness of the Jewish Sabbath.) The word Sunday does not appear in the Bible, either as the Sabbath or anything else. But four years before Nicaea, Constantine declared Sunday as a day of rest in honor of the sun God…. Many theologians and Christian historians believe that it was at this moment, to satisfy Constantine and his commitment to his empire’s many sun worshippers, that the Holy Sabbath was moved by one day, contradicting the clear words of what ultimately became the Bible (2014).
Notice the author’s tactic. First, he says that both the Old Testament and Jesus invoked the Sabbath (our Saturday) as holy. Then he states that the Bible never even uses the word Sunday. And, lastly, he implies that Christians were not “officially” worshiping on this day prior to Constantine, but that Constantine changed the day of Christian worship to Sunday.
Eichenwald’s assertions regarding the day of Christian worship contradict both biblical and historical fact—and are easily answered. First, he confuses the issue when he says that the word “Sunday” is not even used in the Bible, since none of our modern names for the days of the week are used in the Bible. The term “Saturday” does not appear. You will not read the terms “Friday” or “Monday” in the original text either. Such is to be expected. The real question is: did the writers of the Bible have their own designation for the day that we call Sunday? Of course they did; it was called “the first day of the week,” Saturday (or Sabbath), being the last or seventh day of their week. We could ask, then, do we read about anything in the New Testament happening on the first day of the week? Absolutely. In fact, Jesus rose early “after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn” (Matthew 28:1). Christians were to come together to give money to support the church’s work every “first day of the week” in the city of Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:2). And the book of Acts explains that the Christians gathered to partake of the Lord’s Supper (referred to as “breaking bread”) on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
Early Christian writers that lived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries verify this truth. As Eric Lyons wrote in the A.P. article titled “Did Paul Want Christians to Come Together on Saturday or Sunday?”:
Ignatius wrote in his letter to the Magnesians (believed to be penned around A.D. 110) how Christians “have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day” (1:62, emp. added; cf. Revelation 1:5). And, in chapter 67 of his First Apology (written around A.D. 150), Justin Martyr noted how Christians would gather together “on the day called Sunday” to read the writings of the apostles and prophets, instruct, pray, give, and eat of bread and wine (2005; see also the A.P. article, “The First Day of the Week” [Lyons, 2006]).
Biblical scholar Robert Milligan wrote, “That the primitive Christians were wont to celebrate the Lord’s Supper on every first day of the week is evident.... During the first two centuries the practice of weekly communion was universal, and it was continued in the Greek church till the seventh century” (1975, p. 440).
In addition to these facts, Eichenwald seems to be totally unaware of the overwhelming testimony of the New Testament that the Old Testament has been fulfilled and removed. Yes, the Old Testament mandated worship on the Sabbath—for the Jews; but Christ’s death and resurrection changed the law. As the Hebrews writer so concisely observed, “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete” (8:13). And again Paul wrote that the Old Law, “was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:25). Christians no longer sacrifice animals as the Israelites did, they no longer celebrate the Passover, and they no longer hallow Saturday as the Holy Day. Those are vestiges of the Old Law that have been removed. For Eichenwald to misunderstand such clear and repetitive New Testament teaching is disappointing to say the least. The testimony of the New Testament and early Christian writers proves that Sunday was the Christian day of worship centuries before Constantine arrived on the scene.

Jesus and Family Values

In the first paragraph of his article, Eichenwald caricatures certain “Christian” fanatics and caustically attacks them, demanding that “they are God’s fraud’s, cafeteria Christians who pick and choose which Bible verses they heed with less care than they exercise in selecting side orders for lunch.” As we have seen throughout this review, Eichenwald is often guilty of the very tactics he condemns others for using. As an example, consider his statements concerning Jesus and family values. He wrote:
Some of the contradictions are conflicts between what evangelicals consider absolute and what Jesus actually said. For example, evangelicals are always talking about family values. But to Jesus, family was an impediment to reaching God. In the Gospel of Matthew, he states, “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (2014).
Talk about cafeteria style Bible interpretation! Eichenwald conveniently fails to include the fact that one of Jesus’ dying statements was to ensure that His mother was taken care of after His death (John 19:26-27). He leaves out the fact that Jesus’ apostles insisted that husbands are called to love their wives and give their very lives to protect them (Ephesians 5:25). In addition, children are to honor their parents (Ephesians 6:1), fathers are to train and discipline their children (Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:7-11), families are to financially support their own (1 Timothy 5:8), and wives are to love their husbands and their children (Titus 2:4). In addition, Jesus insisted that God is like a loving Father who longs for the return of His children (Luke 15:11-32). It is only possible to question Jesus’ and the apostles’ family values if a handful of verses are ripped from their context.
What is Jesus really saying when He mentions that His followers are to “forsake” families or homes for His cause? The easy-to-understand message here is that a relationship with Jesus must be the most important relationship in the life of His followers. That means if a spouse were to demand that a Christian participate in pagan idol worship or the spouse was going to leave, then with much sadness but firm resolve, the Christian should let the spouse leave and not join in the pagan idol worship. If Hindu parents insist that if their college son becomes a Christian they will disown him, that son should follow Christ and be disowned by his parents. We can all understand that a person should never commit murder, theft, or adultery to preserve a close relationship with family or friends. Jesus was merely stating that the relationship with Him is the most important. [See the A.P. article “Hate Your Parents—or Love Them?” Butt, 2004).]

Has the Bible Been Corrupted?

One of the longest sections of the Newsweek article deals with the idea that the Bible has been corrupted over time, that we do not really know which books belong in the Bible, and that translation errors are so plentiful that we do not have the original message. Yet these allegations have been confronted and refuted time and time again. [Cf. A.P.’s soon-to-be released video series titled, “Has the Bible Been Corrupted?” in which such assertions are debunked.] Many books over the years have masterfully answered the skeptic in this regard, including such volumes as J.W. McGarvey’s Evidences of Christianity, F.F. Bruce’s The Canon of Scripture, Bruce Metzger’s The Text of the New Testament, and a host of others. The Newsweek article manifests abysmal, inexcusable ignorance of the long established facts of the matter.
For example, Eichenwald states that we do not have the original message of the Bible because the originals are lost and the translations are filled with errors and variations. He claims that
no television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we’ve all read a bad translation—a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times (2014).
Supposedly, according to Eichenwald, since we don’t have the originals, and our translations are from copies that were written in other languages, there is no way we have actually read the Bible.
This naïve, uninformed view of message transmission cannot be maintained in light of the evidence. Are we to believe that since we have never seen Eichenwald’s original article that he personally typed or penned, then we cannot have the information he intended to present? Is it true that since some people read the article on-line, but others in printed form, then the original message is hopelessly lost? Is it true that anyone who reads the article in a language other than English has never really read the article, since it would be a translation? What Eichenwald and other skeptics are attempting to do is suggest that it is impossible to pass information accurately from one language to another, or from one printed page to another; but that suggestion is simply not true. If it is possible for a person to copy accurately a message once, it is possible to do so twice, and so on.
When we approach the Bible, we must simply ask, “Do we have the message that the original authors penned?” When we explore that question, we discover that the books of the New Testament are the most extensively verified books of ancient history. If we deny the Bible is verified, then we are saying that it is impossible for any information to be conveyed accurately from the past to the present. The skeptics’ attack is not against the Bible, per se; it is against the idea that we can know anything from ancient history. If it is possible to know what any writer has ever penned, then the skeptic’s accusations against the Bible cannot be sustained. When Eichenwald states, “And what biblical scholars now know is that later versions of the books differ significantly from earlier ones,” he implies there are so many variations in the manuscripts that the original message has been lost. This misleading exaggeration is a typical ploy by those who wish to discredit the integrity of the text of the Bible. What’s more, when he states, “Scribes added whole sections of the New Testament, and removed words and sentences that contradicted emerging orthodox beliefs,” he unwittingly admits that scholars have been able to identify and isolate those very words and sentences! In actuality, those manuscripts wherein scribes manifested doctrinal bias are in the small minority, do not represent the mass of manuscripts, and are identifiable.
Due to length constraints, a detailed analysis of textual variants is beyond the scope of this article. However, the sincere inquirer may easily access the analyses that have been made on each passage. For example, for a thorough discussion of the last 12 verses of Mark, see Miller, 2005; Scrivener, 1861, pp. 429ff; et al. For a discussion of the manuscript support pertaining to the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:11), see Scrivener, pp. 439-443; Woods, 1989, p. 162; McGarvey, 1974, p. 16; Metzger, 1971, pp. 219-222; Jackson, 2011, p. 161; et al. For 1 John 5:7, see Woods, 1962, pp. 324-326; Metzger, 1971, pp. 716-718. For Luke 22:17-20, see Metzger, 1971, pp. 173-177. Any standard text on textual criticism discusses these and many other variants (e.g., Aland and Aland, 1987). If the reader desires the truth regarding the authenticity and integrity of the Bible, the evidence is available—if the individual is willing to spend the time and effort to weigh that evidence and arrive at the proper conclusion (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1).
What Eichenwald fails to divulge are several facts that completely undermine and discredit his attack on the integrity and transmission of the Bible:
  1. God knew that the original autographs would not survive, and that His Word would have to be transmitted through the centuries via copies. The transmission process is sufficiently flexible for God’s Word to be conveyed adequately by uninspired, imperfect copyists.
  2. We know how the original New Testament books read because we have three surviving classes of evidence by which to reconstruct the original New Testament: Greek manuscripts, ancient versions, and patristic citations.
  3. The current number of Greek manuscript copies containing all or part of the New Testament now stands at 5,795. This amount of manuscript evidence for the text of the New Testament is far greater than that available for any ancient classical author.
  4. The time between the writing of the original books of the New Testament and the earliest surviving copies is relatively brief.
  5. Although no two manuscript copies agree in every detail, the degree of accuracy achieved by most scribes was remarkably high. The vast majority of textual variants involve minor matters that do not alter any basic teaching of the New Testament. No feature of Christian doctrine is at stake.
  6. Suitable solutions to these differences are detectable. Even if they weren’t, the original reading is one of the extant options. And even those variants that some might deem “doctrinally significant” pertain to matters that are treated elsewhere in the Bible where the question of genuineness/certainty is unquestioned.
  7. We can confidently affirm that we have 999/1000ths of the original New Testament intact. The remaining 1/1000th pertains to inconsequential details.
These observations have been verified by the greatest textual critics and linguistic scholars of the past two centuries. Their conclusions have not become outdated, but remain as valid today as when first formulated. If the integrity of the text of the Bible was fully authenticated in their day, it remains so today. Consider the following statements by some of these world class authorities.

Scholarly Verification of the Purity of the New Testament Text

F.F. Bruce (1910-1990) was a biblical scholar who taught Greek at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Leeds, chaired the Department of Biblical History and Literature at the University of Sheffield, received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Aberdeen University, and served as the Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester. He wrote over 40 books and served as Editor of The Evangelical Quarterly and Palestine Exploration Quarterly. Bruce declared: “The variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the N.T. affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice” (1975, pp. 19-20, emp. added). As if anticipating the Newsweek article, he also stated:
In view of theinevitable accumulation of such errors over so many centuries, it may be thought that the original texts of the New Testament documents have been corrupted beyond restoration. Some writers, indeed, insist on the likelihood of this to such a degree that one sometimes suspects they would be glad if it were so. But they are mistaken. There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament (1963, p. 178, emp. added).
Bruce further insisted:
Something more ought to be said, and said with emphasis. We have been discussing various textual types, and reviewing their comparative claims to be regarded as best representatives of the original New Testament. But there are not wide divergencies between these types, of a kind that could make any difference to the Church’s responsibility to be a witness and guardian of Holy Writ…. If the variant readings are so numerous, it is because the witnesses are so numerous. But all the witnesses, and all the types which they represent, agree on every article of Christian belief and practice (1963, p. 189, emp. added).
Bruce Metzger (1914-2007) was also a scholar of Greek, the New Testament, and New Testament Textual Criticism, serving as professor at Princeton Theological Seminary for 46 years. He was a recognized authority on the Greek text of the New Testament. He served on the board of the American Bible Society, was the driving force of the United Bible Societies’ series of Greek Texts, and served as Chairperson of the NRSV Bible Committee. He is widely considered one of the most influential New Testament scholars of the 20th century. Metzger stated:
…even if we had no Greek manuscripts today, by piecing together the information from these translations from a relatively early date, we could actually reproduce the contents of the New Testament. In addition to that, even if we lost all the Greek manuscripts and the early translations, we could still reproduce the contents of the New Testament from the multiplicity of quotations in commentaries, sermons, letters, and so forth of the early church fathers (as quoted in Strobel, 1998, p. 59).
Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) was a British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Bishop of Durham and holding the Regius Professorship of Divinity at Cambridge. His colleague, Fenton John Anthony Hort(1828-1892), was an Irish theologian who served as a Professor at Cambridge. Together, they pioneered the widely recognized Greek text The New Testament in the Original Greek in 1881. They are still considered to be renowned textual critics. They forthrightly asserted:
With regard to the great bulk of the words of the New Testament…there is no variation or other ground of doubt…. [T]he amount of what can in any sense be called substantial variation is but a small fraction of the whole residuary variation, and can hardly form more than a thousandth part of the entire text. Since there is reason to suspect that an exaggerated impression prevails as to the extent of possible textual corruption in the New Testament…we desire to make it clearly understood beforehand how much of the New Testament stands in no need of a textual critic’s labours (1882, pp. 2-3, emp. added).
These peerless scholars also insisted: “[I]n the variety and fullness of the evidence on which it rests the text of the New Testament stands absolutely and unapproachably alone among ancient prose writing” (p. 278, emp. added). They add: “The books of the New Testament as preserved in extant documents assuredly speak to us in every important respect in language identical  with that in which they spoke to those for whom they were originally written” (p. 284).
Benjamin Warfield (1851-1921) was a Professor of Theology at Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921. He is considered to be the last of the great Princeton theologians. In his Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, Warfield insightfully observed:
[S]uch has been the providence of God in preserving for His Church in each and every age a competently exact text of the Scriptures, that not only is the New Testament unrivalled among ancient writings in the purity of its text as actually transmitted and kept in use, but also in the abundance of testimony which has come down to us for castigating its comparatively infrequent blemishes…. The great mass of the New Testament, in other words, has been transmitted to us with no, or next to no, variation (1886, pp. 12-13,14, emp. added).
Richard Bentley (1662-1742) was an English classical scholar, critic, and theologian who served as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge and was the first Englishman to be ranked with the great heroes of classical learning. He was well-known for his literary and textual criticism, even called the “Founder of Historical Philology,” and credited with the creation of the English school of Hellenism. Here are his comments on the integrity of the New Testament text:
[T]he real text of the sacred writers does not now (since the originals have been so long lost) lie in any single manuscript or edition, but is dispersed in them all. ‘Tis competently exact indeed even in the worst manuscript now extant; nor is one article of faith or moral precept either perverted or lost in them (1725, pp. 68-69, emp. added).
Sir Frederic George Kenyon (1863-1952) was a widely respected, imminent British paleographer and biblical and classical scholar who occupied a series of posts at the British Museum. He served as President of the British Academy from 1917 to 1921 and President of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. He made a lifelong study of the Bible as an historical text. In his masterful Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Kenyon affirmed:
One word of warning…must be emphasized in conclusion. No fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith rests on a disputed reading. Constant references to mistakes and divergencies of reading…might give rise to the doubt whether the substance, as well as the language, of the Bible is not open to question. It cannot be too strongly asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is certain. Especially is this the case with the New Testament. The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church is so large, that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. This can be said of no other ancient book in the world (1895, pp. 10-11, emp. added).
In his monumental The Bible and Archaeology, Kenyon further stated:
The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established (1940, pp. 288-289, emp. added).
Indeed, “the Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear of hesitation that he holds in it the true Word of God, faithfully handed down from generation to generation throughout the centuries” (1895, pp. 10-11).
Samuel Davidson (1806-1898) was an Irish biblical scholar who served as Professor of Biblical Criticism at Royal College of Belfast and Professor of Biblical Criticism in the Lancashire Independent College at Manchester. He authored many books on the text of the Bible. Referring to the work of textual criticism, Davidson concluded:
The effect of it has been to establish the genuineness of the New Testament text in all important particulars. No new doctrines have been elicited by its aid; nor have any historical facts been summoned by it from their obscurity. All the doctrines and duties of Christianity remain unaffected.… [I]n the records of inspiration there is no material corruption…. [D]uring the lapse of many centuries the text of Scripture has been preserved with great care…. Empowered by the fruits of criticism, we may well say that the Scriptures continue essentially the same as when they proceeded from the writers themselves (1853, 2:147, emp. added).
Frederick H.A. Scrivener (1813-1891) was a prominent and important New Testament textual critic of the 19th century. Having graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, he taught classics at several schools in southern England. His expertise in textual criticism is self-evident in that he served as a member of the English New Testament Revision Committee (Revised Version), edited the Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis and several editions of the Greek New Testament, collated the Codex Sinaiticus with the Textus Receptus, and was the first to distinguish the Textus Receptus from the Byzantine text. In his A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Scrivener admitted:
[O]ne great truth is admitted on all hands—the almost complete freedom of Holy Scripture from the bare suspicion of wilful corruption; the absolute identity of the testimony of every known copy in respect to doctrine, and spirit, and the main drift of every argument and every narrative through the entire volume of Inspiration…. Thus hath God’s Providence kept from harm the treasure of His written word, so far as is needful for the quiet assurance of His church and people (1861, pp. 6-7, emp. added).
J.W. McGarvey (1829-1911) was a minister, author, educator, and biblical scholar. He taught 46 years in the College of the Bible in Lexington, Kentucky, serving as President from 1895 to 1911. He summarized the point: “All the authority and value possessed by these books when they were first written belong to them still” (1974, p. 17).
Elias Boudinot (1740-1821) was a prominent Founding Father of America. He served in the Continental Congress (1778-1779, 1781-1784), as its President in 1782-1783, and was the founding president of the American Bible Society. In his refutation of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, Boudinot explained: “[T]he facts upon which the Christian religion is founded, have a stronger proof, than any facts at such a distance of time; and that the books which convey them down to us, may be proved to be uncorrupted and authentic, with greater strength than any other writings of equal antiquity” (1801, p. 239, emp. added). This Founding Father’s view of the purity of the text of the New Testament was the view of the vast majority of the Founders.
With all the kindness one can muster, these imminent, well-studied, competent, peerless scholars, whose expertise in the field of Textual Criticism is unsurpassed, are far more qualified and accurate in their assessment of the credibility, integrity, and authenticity of the biblical text than the author of the Newsweek article.


Here is the deeply disturbing predicament of our day:
  • Outstanding scholarship of bygone days fully demonstrated the authenticity and integrity of the text of the Bible, forcefully refuting the skeptics to the extent that the skeptics gained little traction in western civilization. The textual evidence that has come to light in recent decades has added even more weight to the arguments for biblical integrity.
  • But in recent years, such honest biblical scholarship has been succeeded by those who do not possess the same burning desire to seek the truth, but instead want to maintain their own infidelic agenda.
  • These biased unbelievers have the brazen effrontery to foist false information upon their unsuspecting victims who are completely unaware of the facts and ill-equipped to handle the onslaught.
  • Due to the propaganda to which the average citizen has been subjected (in an education system that long ago abandoned the pursuit of the truth)—professors and magazine writers know they will go largely unchallenged by the bulk of society.
Indeed, it is unfortunate that such articles as Eichenwald’s even need answering. There was a time when this type of anemic propaganda against the Bible would have immediately been dismissed for the slanted, biased, foolishness that it is. IfChristians will arm themselves with the evidence, and “always be ready to give a defense” to those who are attacking the Truth, God may grant that we see those times again. [NOTE: Those who are fearful that the integrity of the text of the Bible is compromised by the reality of textual variants need to be reminded that the world’s foremost textual critics have demonstrated that currently circulating copies of the New Testament do not differ substantially from the original (see Miller, 2005a, “Is Mark...,” 25[12]:89-95; Miller, 2010).]


Aland, Kurt and Barbara Aland (1987), The Text of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Bentley, Richard (1725), Remarks Upon a Late Discourse of Free Thinking (Cambridge: Cornelius Crownfield).
Boudinot, Elias (1801), The Age of Revelation (Philadelphia, PA: Asbury Dickins), http://www.google.com/books?id=XpcPAAAAIAAJ.
Bruce, F.F. (1963), The Books and the Parchments (Westwood, NJ: Fleming H. Revell).
Bruce, F.F. (1975 reprint), The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Bruce, F.F. (1988), The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press).
Butt, Kyle (2002), “The Resurrection Narratives,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=294.
Butt, Kyle (2004), “Hate Your Parents or Love Them?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=781.
Davidson, Samuel (1853), A Treatise on Biblical Criticism (Boston: Gould & Lincoln).
Eichenwald, Kurt (2014), “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,”  http://www.newsweek.com/2015/01/02/thats-not-what-bible-says-294018.html.
Ignatius (1973 reprint), “Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Jackson, Wayne (1991), “Are There Two Creation Accounts in Genesis?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=1131.
Jackson, Wayne (2011), A New Testament Commentary (Stockton, CA: Christian Courier).
Justin Martyr (1973 reprint), “The First Apology of Justin,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Kenyon, Sir Frederic (1895), Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode).
Kenyon, Sir Frederic (1940), The Bible and Archaeology (New York: Harper & Row).
Lyons, Eric (2003), “Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch—Tried and True,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=36.
Lyons, Eric (2005), “Did Paul Want Christians to Come Together on Saturday or Sunday?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=23&article=1575.
Lyons, Eric (2006), “The First Day of the Week,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=2022.
Lyons, Eric (2011), “When Did Jesus Go to Egypt?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=4132.
McGarvey, J.W. (1902), The Authorship of Deuteronomy (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
McGarvey, J.W. (1910), Biblical Criticism (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
McGarvey, J.W. (1974 reprint), Evidences of Christianity (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
Metzger, Bruce (1968), The Text of the New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press).
Metzger, Bruce (1971), A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies).
Miller, Dave (2003), “The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=932.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Is Mark 16:9-20 Inspired?” Reason & Revelation, 25(12):89-95, December, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=572&article=433.
Milligan, Robert (1975 reprint), The Scheme of Redemption (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
Scrivener, F.H.A. (1861), A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, & Co.).
Strobel, Lee (1998), The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Warfield, Benjamin B. (1886), An Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (London: Hodder & Stoughton).
Westcott, B.F. and F.J.A. Hort (1882), The New Testament in the Original Greek (New York: Harper & Brothers).
Woods, Guy (1989), A Commentary on the Gospel According to John (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
Woods, Guy (1962), A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles of Peter, John, and Jude (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

God’s Original Superhydrophobic Material by Kyle Butt, M.A.


God’s Original Superhydrophobic Material

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

One cannot help but be amazed at ever-increasing technology that continues to offer better, more efficient products and services. Hardly a week goes by that a new discovery does not find its way into the headlines. Interestingly, many of the most advanced, beneficial discoveries are occurring in the field of study known as biomimicry—the copying or mimicking of the natural, biological world.
For instance, on February 23, 2006, the on-line version of Technology Review featured an article titled “Super-Repellent Plastic.” Admittedly, the title of the article itself does not indicate that biomimicry is involved. Yet, knowing that many new discoveries derive from mimicking nature, I could not help but think that this new plastic might be the result of some phenomenon that God had already designed. As I suspected, about three-fourths of the way through the article, the reader is informed that the scientists who are working on this new plastic “took their inspiration from the leaves of the lotus plant, which is naturally superhydrophobic.... GE set out to mimic this pattern on the surface of its polycarbonate materials” (Talbot, 2006).
This amazing new superhydrophobic (“extremely repellent of water”) plastic will “shed” liquids at a much more efficient rate than many current materials, and it will be more inexpensive to manufacture than current substances—like Teflon. Multiple uses for this plastic have been suggested, including ketchup bottles in which the ketchup will not adhere to the sides of the container, and building panels that would be virtually self-cleaning because rain would wash away dirt (Talbot, 2006).
The technology is not supposed to be on the consumer market for another five years, but its potential is excitedly anticipated. In the midst of the excitement, do not lose sight of an important aspect of this technological wonder. Very intelligent, well-educated scientists have spent hundreds (or thousands) of hours on this advancement. And yet, the prototype for it, the lotus plant, has contained the superhydrophobic capacity for the entirety of its existence. What Intelligent Designer is responsible for endowing this amazing plant with such efficient water-shedding abilities? Those who believe in evolution would say that it acquired this ability over millions of years due to random, chance processes at work in nature. But with the same breath they would laud the creative abilities of the GE scientists. Why is it that evolutionists miss the implication that to recognize design in human invention, while attributing the more efficient design in nature to non-intelligent processes, is logically irrational. It is high time that the Creator of nature’s design be given the plaudits He deserves as the Ultimate Engineer.


Talbot, David (2006), “Super-Repellent Plastic,” Technology Review, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/BizTech/wtr_16415,295,p1.html.

Common Sense, Miracles, and the Apparent Age of the Earth by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Common Sense, Miracles, and the Apparent Age of the Earth

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

To many people, the Earth looks extremely old—not hundreds or thousands of years old, but millions or billions of years old. When these individuals hear a creationist talk about a “young Earth” that is only a few thousand years old, they may wonder how someone could hold such a view. “How can anyone look at Earth and think it was created less than 10,000 years ago?” Aside from their reliance on faulty (and often contradictory) assumption-based radiometric dating methods, evolutionists simply believe the Earth looks exceedingly old. The Earth’s rocks, hills, canyons, and mountains leave them with the impression that the Earth has been around for billions of years.

Evolution’s Demand

One must first recognize that evolutionary theory demands an old Earth. As evolutionist Michael Le Page acknowledged in 2008: “A young Earth would…be a problem for evolution, since evolution by natural selection requires vast stretches of time—‘deep time’—as Darwin realized” (198[2652]:26, emp. added). He went on to admit forthrightly that one of the main “sorts of findings…that could have falsified evolution…is a young Earth” (p. 26). If it is the case that a young Earth would be a lethal blow to evolutionary theory, it should come as no surprise that evolutionists cannot help but see the Earth as being billions of years old. Even if they did not always have “old-Earth impressions,” the man-made theory of evolution demands such an interpretation of our planet, else the entire theory of evolution would have to be abandoned. [NOTE: Evolution should be abandoned anyway since it is impossible—whether the Earth is young or old. What’s more, many dating methods exist that point to a young Earth (see Humphreys, 2005).]

Define “Old”

How does anyone actually know what a billion-year-old Earth looks like? Older humans can be identified accurately as “old” (1) because their actual birthdates can be known (i.e, people witnessed their births and gave them birth certificates), and (2) possibly because their appearance can be compared to both older and younger people. The same can be said for animals and plants. People can know exactly when various animals were born or when a tree was planted. But what about the Earth as a whole? No one was alive when this or any other planet was “born.” No one was present on Earth to see the first rock formed, hill raised, or canyon created. How can anyone reasonably say, “The Earth looks billions of years old”? Old compared to what?

Apparent Age and the Great Catastrophe

People who contend that the Earth appears billions of years old must also discount the very real possibility that one or more great catastrophes could have occurred in the past to drastically change the appearance of the Earth. Many have witnessed how earthquakes, local floods, volcanoes, etc. have radically altered the looks of certain places on Earth (e.g., Mt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake). Consider how a tree that has been struck by lightning or damaged during a flood might appear much older than it is. Newly formed igneous rocks from volcanoes often appear old. A person in his twenties who is badly burned may appear as if he is much older—perhaps two or three times his real age. In truth, Christians rightly interpret the Earth based upon the fact that only a few thousand years ago, God supernaturally altered the Earth’s appearance forever by causing “all the fountains of the great deep” to break up and the “windows of heaven” to open, bringing rain “on the Earth for forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11-12; cf. Psalm 104:6-8). Most of the oil, coal beds, fossil graveyards, etc. in the Earth, which many contend are evidence of an old Earth, can be easily and rationally explained as a result of the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8; see Whitcomb and Morris, 1961). In short, even if it could be proven that “the Earth looks very old,” evolutionists cannot rationally deny that such apparent age could be the result of one or more great catastrophes.

Miraculous Maturity

The fact that the Earth appeared older than it actually was at Creation is perfectly logical in light of the nature of God’s miracles. When Jesus miraculously turned water to wine, He did not plant a vine, wait for the grapes to grow over the course of several years, and then harvest them. He supernaturally by-passed this normal, time-laden process and instantaneously made an extremely tasty drink (John 2:1-10). When Jesus fed several thousand men, women, and children with only five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21), He did not make the large amounts of bread needed to feed this many people after planting a crop of wheat, waiting months for it to grow, and then harvesting, threshing, grinding, and baking it. Again, Jesus by-passed a lengthy, natural process and miraculously created bread. Similarly, God made the creation full-grown. He made “the fruit tree” (Genesis 1:11), not just a seed that would eventually grow into a fruit-bearing tree. He created “every winged bird” (Genesis 1:21), not eggs from which birds would hatch months later. He created a grown man capable of walking, talking, working, and procreating (Genesis 1:26-2:25). God miraculously made a mature Creation.

“Mature” Light

Certainly one of the most amazing, time-defying, mature miracles of God’s Creation was the creation of the heavenly bodies on day four. God had previously made light (intrinsic light) on day one of Creation; on day four He made the generators of light. [NOTE: Keep in mind that “the Father of lights” (James 1:17), Who is “light” (1 John 1:5), could easily create light without first having to create the Sun. Just as God could produce a fruit-bearing tree on day three without a seed, He could produce light supernaturally on day one without the “usual” light bearers.] Since light travels nearly six trillion miles per year, and since some stars are an estimated 15 billion light years away, evolutionists assume that the Universe must be at least 15 billion years old. Otherwise, how could we see the light from stars that are so far away?
Once again, the answer (or at least a major part of the answer) to this supposed conundrum goes back to the fact that God worked an amazing miracle at Creation. When God created the heavenly bodies (the generators of light) on day four of Creation, He simultaneously (and supernaturally!) made their light to appear on Earth. Light that might naturally take long amounts of time to reach Earth, miraculously reached Earth in an instant. Just as God had said on day one, “‘Let there be light’…and there was light” (Genesis 1:3), on day four He said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens…. And it was so” (1:14,15). These lights were created to “give light on the earth” (1:15,17) and to “divide the day from the night” (1:14,18). God also “set them in the firmament of the heavens…for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (1:17,14, emp. added). God had a purpose for creating the heavenly bodies, and He made them so that man benefitted from them without having to wait long periods of time for their light to reach Earth.
Starlight did not have to travel for 15 billion years before reaching Earth. When God made Adam and Eve two days after His creation of the heavenly bodies, the first couple immediately profited from God’s miraculous creation of starlight. The first couple did not sleep under starless skies for years waiting for light from distant stars to reach Earth. God spoke the stars and their light rays into existence. Similar to how God created full-grown trees in one day (which if cut down may have had dozens or hundreds of visible tree rings), God made light from far-away stars appear instantly. Indeed, considering the nature of God’s miracles at Creation, a star that might “appear” to be extremely old, is actually only a few thousand years old. [NOTE: It is beyond the purview of this article to answer every quibble about starlight and time. Plausible, creation-friendly explanations regarding fluctuations in light from stars, the formation of supernovas, etc. have been offered by various scientists (see Norman and Setterfield, 1987; Humphreys, 1994). Evolutionary physicist João Magueijo (2003) has even proposed that the speed of light is not a constant.]


The fact that the Earth and Universe may appear much older than it is in no way bolsters the case for evolution. In truth, Scripture reveals that both the miracle of a mature Creation and the cataclysmic Flood are adequate explanations for a perceived “old Earth.”


Humphreys, Russell (1994), Starlight and Time (Colorado Springs, CO: Master Books).
Humphreys, Russell (2005), “Evidence for a Young World,” Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/evidence-for-young-world/.
Le Page, Michael (2008), “Evolution: The Ultimate Guide to a Beautiful Theory,” New Scientist, 198[2652]:24-33, April 19.
Magueijo, João (2003), Faster Than the Speed of Light (New York: Perseus).
Norman, Trevor and Barry Setterfield (1987), The Atomic Constants, Light, and Time, Technical Report (Menlo Park, CA: Stanford Research Institute International).
Whitcomb, John and Henry Morris (1961), The Genesis Flood (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Will You Be Silenced? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Will You Be Silenced?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

When individuals in the 21st century teach what God’s Word says about the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:22-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), even when done in a spirit of “love,” “meekness and fear” (as the Bible teaches—Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 3:15), they are often labeled as unloving, unkind, hateful, and mean-spirited. Take, for example, the response that Kirk Cameron recently received after being interviewed on Piers Morgan’s CNN show Tonight. When asked about his thoughts regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage, Cameron respectfully called it “unnatural” and “destructive,” and “detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization….” “Marriage,” he said, “was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either” (“Kirk Cameron…,” 2012). For these comments, individuals and media members all over the country ridiculed Cameron as being, among other things, “out of step with the modern world” (Dray, 2012), “extremist” (Badash, 2012), “self-righteous” (Burt, 2012), and a “homophobic bigot” (Silverthorne, 2012).
After a Christian posted a comment on his Facebook page recently about President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, saying, “As Christians, this is another sad moment in our nation’s moral downfall,” a young lady responded by writing:
For once, I beg of you, as Christians, to look at someone who is gay or different from you and love them. Just love them. Don't tell them their [sic] immoral or disgusting or brainwashed or bad. LOVE them. As God loves them. As Jesus loves them. Stop spreading HATE and FEAR. You are hurting yourselves. Your children. You are making the world a bad place, the exact opposite of what I know you want. Why is it that the Christians are the ones who seem to be the most judgmental of them all? (2012, emp. added, capitalization in orig.).
Notice that there was no hate in the gentleman’s statement—only perceived hate by someone who would much rather Christians remain completely silent about what the Bible teaches regarding God’s pattern for the home.
In the Fall of 2011, a ninth-grade honors student in Fort Worth, Texas was given a disciplinary referral form, one day of in-school suspension, and two days of out-of-school suspension because he said to a friend in class that “he was a Christian and ‘being a homosexual is wrong’” (Stames, 2011; Khalil, 2011). This one statement, which was overheard by the teacher (who previously had posted a picture in the classroom of two men kissing), allegedly warranted a reprimand and three days of suspension from class. [Thankfully, administrators dropped the suspension completely, but only after Dakota’s mother solicited the help of a constitutional attorney (Khalil).]
A Catholic church in Acushnet, Massachusetts recently changed their marquee to read, “Two men are friends not spouses.” Their words were described by those who opposed the sign as “subtle bigotry,” “hateful,” and “disrespectful.” One woman called the church saying that the church “should be burned” for spreading such hate. One man said that he was “outraged” that a church would choose to speak out on the issue of gay marriage (see “Controversial Sign...,” 2012).
In April 2012, “outspoken gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocate” Dan Savage spoke at an anti-bullying conference in Seattle, Washington before thousands of students and teachers from along the west coast (“Dan Savage…,” 2012). In his speech he stated: “We can learn to ignore the bull**** in the Bible about gay people” (“Anti-bullying Speaker…,” 2012). After several students walked out, the anti-bullying speaker stated: “You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible. It’s funny, as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy***** people react when you push back” (“Anti-bullying Speaker…”).
No doubt, some people who claim to be Christians have spoken about the sin of homosexuality with unChristlike attitudes and in ungodly ways. Such hypocrisy certainly should be condemned, as should all ungodliness (Romans 12:9; 1 John 5:17; Galatians 5:19-12; Revelation 21:8), including homosexuality. However, what we increasingly witness today is, even when Christians teach what Almighty God has revealed about homosexuality in the most loving, kind, meek manner, they are still blasted by homosexual activists and many in the media as being guilty of “hate speech.” For teaching what the Creator has revealed (and expects Christians to teach without compromise; cf. Acts 4:17-20; 5:29), Bible believers have been expelled at school, ridiculed at work, and threatened in their churches. Even homosexual “anti-bullying experts” apparently enjoy “beating up the Bible” (and all the alleged “bull****” in it) and bullying the “pansy*****” Christians that they are supposedly teaching not to bully.
We should not be surprised at the reactions (even highly hypocritical reactions) of the world to the preaching of God’s Word. John the Baptizer, of whom Jesus said “among those born of women there has not risen one greater” (Matthew 11:11), was beheaded for courageously telling a King that it was wrong for him to be married to someone who was not his lawful wife (Mark 6:14-29). Jesus was crucified following three years of preaching a message of repentance (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3,5). Paul, who knew very well what true, biblical love was (1 Corinthians 13), likewise preached a message of repentance (Acts 17:30-31; 26:20), including the encouragement of mankind to repent of the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:22-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-10).
Will the Christ’s church continue to teach what God says on every subject and on every evil, including the sin of homosexuality? Or, will the Lord’s church cower at the threats made against her and remain quiet as homosexual activists, Hollywood actors, and influential media members attempt to silence the alleged unloving “hate speech” of Christians? “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20, emp. added).
“[W]e should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15, emp. added).
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15, emp. added).
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19, emp. added).


“Anti-bullying Speaker a Bully?” (2012), Fox News, April 30, http://video.foxnews.com/v/1612875073001/anti-bullying-speaker-a-bully.
Badash, David (2012), “Kirk Cameron: I Should Be Able to Slander Gays Without Being ‘Slandered’ for Slandering Gays,” March 6, The New Civil Rights Movement, http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/kirk-cameron-i-should-be-able-to-slander-gays-without-being-slandered-for-slandering-gays/politics/2012/03/06/35819.
Burt, Jacqueline (2012), “Kirk Cameron is Even More Self-Righteous and Bigoted than We Thought,” Cafémom, http://thestir.cafemom.com/entertainment/133963/kirk_cameron_is_even_more.
“Controversial Sign at St. Francis Xavier Church, Acushnet, MA” (2012), May 16, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMFvrdb0vQ0.
“Dan Savage Addresses Journalist Conference Speech Controversy, Denies Attacking Christianity”  (2012), Huffington Post, May 1, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/dan-savage-journalist-conference-controversy_n_1464486.html.
Dray, Kayleigh (2012), “Kirk Cameron: Homosexuality is ‘Unnatural’,” Entertainment, March 4, http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/70939/Kirk-Cameron-Homosexuality-Is-Unnatural.
Khalil, Cathryn (2011), “Student’s Homosexuality Comment Leads to Suspension,” September 22, http://www.cbs19.tv/story/15526115/students-homosexuality-comment-leads-to-suspension.
“Kirk Cameron Says ‘Homosexuality is Unnatural’” (2012), CNN, March 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhGQUKoH_TE.
Silverthorne, Sarah (2012), “Kirk Cameron is a Homophobic Bigot,” March 3, http://www.celebdirtylaundry.com/2012/kirk-cameron-is-a-homophobic-bigot-video-0303/.
Stames, Todd (2011), “Texas School Punishes Boy for Opposing Homosexuality,” Fox News, September 22, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/22/texas-school-punishes-boy-for-opposing-homosexuality/.