5/29/17

Bible Reading May 29 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading May 29 (World English Bible)


May 29
Judges 15, 16

Jdg 15:1 But it happened after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father wouldn't allow him to go in.
Jdg 15:2 Her father said, I most certainly thought that you had utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion: isn't her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her, instead.
Jdg 15:3 Samson said to them, This time shall I be blameless in regard of the Philistines, when I do them a mischief.
Jdg 15:4 Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between every two tails.
Jdg 15:5 When he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing grain, and also the olive groves.
Jdg 15:6 Then the Philistines said, Who has done this? They said, Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife, and given her to his companion. The Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.
Jdg 15:7 Samson said to them, If you behave like this, surely I will be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.
Jdg 15:8 He struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
Jdg 15:9 Then the Philistines went up, and encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.
Jdg 15:10 The men of Judah said, Why have you come up against us? They said, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he has done to us.
Jdg 15:11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, "Don't you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?" He said to them, As they did to me, so have I done to them.
Jdg 15:12 They said to him, We have come down to bind you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines. Samson said to them, Swear to me that you will not fall on me yourselves.
Jdg 15:13 They spoke to him, saying, No; but we will bind you fast, and deliver you into their hand: but surely we will not kill you. They bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.
Jdg 15:14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him: and the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands dropped from off his hands.
Jdg 15:15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put forth his hand, and took it, and struck a thousand men therewith.
Jdg 15:16 Samson said, With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps on heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have struck a thousand men.
Jdg 15:17 It happened, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand; and that place was called Ramath Lehi.
Jdg 15:18 He was very thirsty, and called on Yahweh, and said, You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant; and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised.
Jdg 15:19 But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out of it. When he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: therefore its name was called En Hakkore, which is in Lehi, to this day.
Jdg 15:20 He judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

Jdg 16:1 Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a prostitute, and went in to her.
Jdg 16:2 It was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come here. They surrounded him, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, Let be until morning light, then we will kill him.
Jdg 16:3 Samson lay until midnight, and arose at midnight, and laid hold of the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and plucked them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.
Jdg 16:4 It came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
Jdg 16:5 The lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, Entice him, and see in which his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will each give you of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
Jdg 16:6 Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, Please, in which your great strength lies, and with which you might be bound to afflict you.
Jdg 16:7 Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven green cords that were never dried, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.
Jdg 16:8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green cords which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
Jdg 16:9 Now she had an ambush waiting in the inner chamber. She said to him, "The Philistines are on you, Samson!" He broke the cords, as a string of tow is broken when it touches the fire. So his strength was not known.
Jdg 16:10 Delilah said to Samson, Behold, you have mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, Please, with which you might be bound.
Jdg 16:11 He said to her, If they only bind me with new ropes with which no work has been done, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.
Jdg 16:12 So Delilah took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. The ambush was waiting in the inner chamber. He broke them off his arms like a thread.
Jdg 16:13 Delilah said to Samson, Until now, you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me with what you might be bound. He said to her, If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web.
Jdg 16:14 She fastened it with the pin, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. He awakened out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam, and the web.
Jdg 16:15 She said to him, How can you say, I love you, when your heart is not with me? you have mocked me these three times, and have not told me in which your great strength lies.
Jdg 16:16 It happened, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was troubled to death.
Jdg 16:17 He told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come on my head; for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I will become weak, and be like any other man."
Jdg 16:18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hand.
Jdg 16:19 She made him sleep on her knees; and she called for a man, and shaved off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
Jdg 16:20 She said, The Philistines are on you, Samson. He awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he didn't know that Yahweh had departed from him.
Jdg 16:21 The Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he ground at the mill in the prison.
Jdg 16:22 However the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaved.
Jdg 16:23 The lords of the Philistines gathered them together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said, Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
Jdg 16:24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, Our god has delivered into our hand our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, who has slain many of us.
Jdg 16:25 It happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. They called for Samson out of the prison; and he made sport before them. They set him between the pillars:
Jdg 16:26 and Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, Allow me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house rests, that I may lean on them.
Jdg 16:27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were on the roof about three thousand men and women, who saw while Samson made sport.
Jdg 16:28 Samson called to Yahweh, and said, Lord Yahweh, remember me, Please, and strengthen me, Please, only this once, God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Jdg 16:29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and leaned on them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30 Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. He bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people who were therein. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he killed in his life.
Jdg 16:31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He judged Israel twenty years.


May 28, 29
John 7

Joh 7:1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn't walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
Joh 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand.
Joh 7:3 His brothers therefore said to him, "Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do.
Joh 7:4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world."
Joh 7:5 For even his brothers didn't believe in him.
Joh 7:6 Jesus therefore said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.
Joh 7:7 The world can't hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil.
Joh 7:8 You go up to the feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled."
Joh 7:9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee.
Joh 7:10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret.
Joh 7:11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, "Where is he?"
Joh 7:12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others said, "Not so, but he leads the multitude astray."
Joh 7:13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.
Joh 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
Joh 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How does this man know letters, having never been educated?"
Joh 7:16 Jesus therefore answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.
Joh 7:17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.
Joh 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
Joh 7:19 Didn't Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?"
Joh 7:20 The multitude answered, "You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?"
Joh 7:21 Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel because of it.
Joh 7:22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy.
Joh 7:23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath?
Joh 7:24 Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
Joh 7:25 Therefore some of them of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this he whom they seek to kill?
Joh 7:26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ?
Joh 7:27 However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from."
Joh 7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you don't know.
Joh 7:29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
Joh 7:30 They sought therefore to take him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
Joh 7:31 But of the multitude, many believed in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, he won't do more signs than those which this man has done, will he?"
Joh 7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.
Joh 7:33 Then Jesus said, "I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me.
Joh 7:34 You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come."
Joh 7:35 The Jews therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?
Joh 7:36 What is this word that he said, 'You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come'? "
Joh 7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!
Joh 7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water."
Joh 7:39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn't yet glorified.
Joh 7:40 Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet."
Joh 7:41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "What, does the Christ come out of Galilee?
Joh 7:42 Hasn't the Scripture said that the Christ comes of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
Joh 7:43 So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.
Joh 7:44 Some of them would have arrested him, but no one laid hands on him.
Joh 7:45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why didn't you bring him?"
Joh 7:46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!"
Joh 7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered them, "You aren't also led astray, are you?
Joh 7:48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?
Joh 7:49 But this multitude that doesn't know the law is accursed."
Joh 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being one of them) said to them,
Joh 7:51 "Does our law judge a man, unless it first hears from him personally and knows what he does?"
Joh 7:52 They answered him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search, and see that no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."
Joh 7:53 Everyone went to his own house,




"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Not Ashamed Of The Gospel (1:14-17) by Mark Copeland

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                  Not Ashamed Of The Gospel (1:14-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. As Paul began his grand epistle to the Romans, he wrote of his desire to see them...
   a. His diligent prayers toward that end - Ro 1:9-10
   b. His desire to encourage them through mutual edification - Ro 1:11-12
   c. His plans to come, that he might have some fruit among them - Ro 1:13

2. His desire to see them was related to the gospel...
   a. Which he served as an apostle of Christ - Ro 1:1
   b. The good news concerning Jesus - Ro 1:3
   c. Of which he was not ashamed - Ro 1:16

3. Are we ever ashamed of the gospel of Christ...?
   a. Embarrassed to tell others about Jesus?
   b. Could this be a reason why many are not active in personal evangelism?

[Perhaps by examining how and why Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, we
might be more diligent in our efforts to share the good news of Jesus Christ...]

I. PAUL WAS NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL

   A. HOW HE WAS NOT ASHAMED...
      1. He felt obligated to preach the gospel to everyone
         a. To Greeks and barbarians (non-Greeks), to wise and unwise - Ro 1:14
         b. His obligation due partly to favor God had shown him 
              - 1Co 15:9-10; 1Ti 1:12-14
      2. He was ready to preach the gospel in Rome
         a. Whatever opportunity was given him, he would take it! - Ro1:15
         b. Even though his preference was to preach where Jesus had not
            been proclaimed before - Ro 15:20
      -- Paul showed that he was not ashamed by his willingness and
         preparedness to preach the gospel anytime and anywhere!

   B. WHY HE WAS NOT ASHAMED...
      1. It is the power of God to salvation
         a. For everyone who believes, both Jew and Greek (Gentiles)- Ro 1:16
         b. For it tells of Christ, the power of God and wisdom of God- 1Co 1:23-24
      2. It reveals the righteousness of God in salvation
         a. How the just shall live by faith - Ro 1:17
         b. How God is both just and the justifier of those who believe
            in Jesus - Ro 3:21-26
      -- Because of its power and message, Paul was not ashamed to
         preach the gospel to anyone willing to listen!

[From Paul, then, we should note several reasons why...]

II. WE SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL

   A. THE GOSPEL REMAINS THE SAME...
      1. It is still God's power to save
         a. The power to produce faith in the hearts of those who hear
            it - Ro 10:17
         b. The power to produce fruit in those who hear and know the
            truth - Col 1:5-6
      2. It still reveals God's righteousness in salvation
         a. How Jesus died for our sins - 1Co 15:1-4
         b. How we can receive remission of our sins in Jesus through
            faith, repentance, and baptism - Ac 2:36-38; 22:16
      -- The passing of time has not weakened the power and message of
         the gospel of Christ!

   B. THE NEED REMAINS THE SAME...
      1. Souls are in need of salvation
         a. All have sinned - Ro 3:23
         b. The wages of sin is death - Ro 6:23
      2. Both wise and foolish, both near and afar
         a. Jesus is still the only way to the Father - Jn 14:6
         b. His gospel still needs to be preached to every creature - Mk 16:15-16
      -- The passing of time has not lessened the need and scope of the
         gospel of Christ!

[From the example of Paul, we can know the proper attitude and conduct of..]

III. THOSE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL

   A. WILL FEEL A SENSE OF OBLIGATION...
      1. To God who saved them
         a. Are we not thankful for what God has done for us?
         b. Will this not affect how we live our lives? - cf. Ga 2:20
      2. To those who are lost
         a. Are we not concerned about their eternal destiny should they
            die in their sins?
         b. Will this not move us to do something? - cf. 2Co 5:11
      -- Those not ashamed of the gospel will feel an obligation similar
         to Paul's - Ro 1:14

   B. WILL MAKE THEMSELVES READY...
      1. To share the gospel as they have opportunity
         a. If uncertain what to say, they will learn it (even relearn
            it) - cf. 1Pe 3:15; He 5:12
         b. They will not rest until they have found some method, aids,
            or tools, whereby they can communicate the gospel to others
         c. Then they will be looking for "open doors" to teach others- cf. 1Co 3:5
      2. To spread the gospel as they have opportunity
         a. They may not be in a position to go, but they can still send
            - cf. Ro 10:14-15; 3Jn 5-8
         b. They may not be in a position to teach, but they can still
            invite - e.g., Ac 10:24,33
         c. Then they will be looking for "open doors" to send - e.g., Php 4:15-16
      -- Those not ashamed of the gospel will make themselves ready like
         Paul - Ro 1:15

CONCLUSION

1. Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ?  You may be, if you are not...
   a. Doing anything to share the gospel yourself
   b. Involved in helping others to spread the gospel

2. You have no reason to be ashamed, it is still the same gospel!
   a. With power to save the souls of men
   b. Revealing the wonderful righteousness of God to save men

May we never be ashamed of the gospel, or of Jesus Himself...

   "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and
   sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when
   He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." (Mk 8:38)

   "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but
   let him glorify God in this matter." (1Pe 4:16)
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Believing What Jesus Believed by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1223

Believing What Jesus Believed

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

It has become increasingly popular to accept certain parts of the Bible and to reject other parts. Such amazing events as the miracle of Creation, Jonah’s being swallowed by a sea creature, and the Flood of Noah often are brushed aside as mere myth, while more “credible” things such as the teachings of Jesus are accepted as fact. Although this line of reasoning might have some initial appeal to our “enlightened” society that rejects biblical miracles off hand, it contains a major flaw. When the teachings of Jesus are analyzed, it can be shown that Jesus Himself believed and taught the Old Testament stories that some label as myth.
For instance, the story of Jonah has come under attack due to its extraordinary details. According to the Old Testament Scriptures, God’s prophet Jonah disobeyed the Lord and was swallowed by a great sea creature. For three days, he dwelt as a damp denizen of that creature’s belly, until finally he was vomited onto the land and given another chance to obey God. To certain scholars, the story of Jonah finds a place in the Scriptures, not as a factual narrative of a specific historical account, but as a myth or allegory. What did Jesus believe about the story of Jonah? His sentiments in this regard were emphatically stated.
Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here (Matthew 12:38-41).
Quite clearly, Jesus accepted the story of Jonah as an accurate description of a real, historical event. He included not only the fact that Jonah spent three days in the belly of the fish, but also affirmed that the city of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. If the story of Jonah were simply an allegory or myth, Jesus’ entire point about being in the belly of the Earth for as long as Jonah was in the belly of the fish would be weakened to the point of ridiculousness. For, if Jonah wasn’t ever really in the belly of the fish, then what would that say about the Son of Man actually being in the belly of the Earth?
Another story endorsed by Christ is the formation of man and woman at the beginning of Creation. Some scholars, in an attempt to find a compromise between the Bible and organic evolution, have postulated that the Creation account of Genesis need not be taken literally, and that room can be found in Genesis to accommodate the idea that humans evolved gradually in Earth’s recent past. What did Jesus say about this idea?
During His earthly sojourn, Christ spoke explicitly regarding Creation. In Mark 10:6, for example, He declared: “But from the beginning of the creation, male and female made he them.” Note these three paramount truths: (1) The first couple was “made”; they were not biological accidents. Interestingly, the verb “made” in the Greek is in the aorist tense, implying point action, rather than progressive development (which would be characteristic of evolutionary activity). W.E. Vine made this very observation with reference to the composition of the human body in his comments on 1 Corinthians 12:18 (1951, p. 173). (2) The original pair was fashioned “male and female”; they were not initially an asexual “blob” that eventually experienced sexual diversion. (3) Adam and Eve existed “from the beginning of the creation.” The Greek word for “beginning” is arché, and is used of “absolute, denoting the beginning of the world and of its history, the beginning of creation.” The Greek word for “creation” is ktiseos, and denotes the “sum-total of what God has created” (Cremer, 1962, pp. 113,114,381, emp. in orig.). Christ certainly did not subscribe to the notion that the Earth is millions or billions of years older than humanity.
Accepting the testimony of Jesus Christ further demands that the global Flood of Noah be taken as a literal, historic event. The Lord Himself addressed the topic of the great Flood in Luke 17:26-30 (cf. Matthew 24:39) when He drew the following parallel:
And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise even as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: after the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed (emp. added).
The Lord depicted an impending doom that was to befall the Jews of His day who would not heed the Word of God. For the purpose of this article, however, note the context in which Jesus discussed the Flood destruction of Genesis 6-8. He placed the Flood alongside the destruction of Sodom, and He also placed it alongside the destruction of the ungodly at His Second Coming. John Whitcomb correctly noted that the word “all” must refer to the totality of people on the entire Earth in Noah’s day, and in Sodom during Lot’s time. Jesus’ argument would be weakened considerably if some of the people on the Earth, besides Noah’s family, escaped the Flood, or if certain Sodomites survived the fiery destruction sent from Heaven (1973, pp. 21-22). It is evident from the text that Jesus affirmed that the same number of ungodly sinners who escaped the Flood will be the same number of disobedient people who escape destruction at His Second Coming—none. From His remarks, one can clearly see that Jesus accepted the Genesis account of a global flood as a historical fact.
The sayings of Jesus contain numerous references to some of the Old Testament’s most extraordinary events. A person cannot consistently maintain a belief in Jesus and His teachings, while denying the details of the accounts that He endorsed as factual. The testimony of Jesus and the factual accuracy of the stories He commended stand together.

REFERENCES

Cremer, H. (1962), Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (London: T & T Clark).
Vine, W.E. (1951), First Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Whitcomb, John C. (1973), The World That Perished (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Why is Good Good? by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3601

Why is Good Good?

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

In the Nuremburg Trials, the U.S. Chief Prosecutor of Nazi war criminals appealed to a law higher than “the provincial and transient” to ground his prosecution (The Trial of..., 1946, 19:383, July 26). Those of us at Apologetics Press have cited this case as an example of the need for human acknowledgment of universal morality in order to make objective judgments (e.g., Miller, 2008). And, if we appeal to a universal moral law, then this law must have as its source the universal Law Giver, the Creator (see Jackson, 1995). This is a brief way of stating the moral argument for the existence of God.
One objection to this moral argument has been summarized and adapted from a 2,400-year-old debate concerning the following question: “Why is good good?” In questioning the foolish young man Euthyphro, Plato’s Socrates tries to determine the definition of “pious” or “impious” (Plato, 1997, p. 4). Socrates offers two possibilities, but rejects them both: “Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods?” (p. 9). The dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro is extensive, but the general results are these: (1) Euthyphro cannot define “pious” as “that which is loved by the Greek gods,” for the gods are said to disagree with one another on occasion—a thing cannot be both pious and impious (see p. 4). And, (2) after numerous attempts, Euthyphro cannot say what quality the pious things have, if “pious” means something other than “loved by the gods” (pp. 11ff.).
The Euthyphro dialogue has been adapted by later philosophers in the debate concerning the very existence of God, and this adaptation has been codified in philosophical literature as the “Euthyphro Dilemma” (e.g., Benn, 1998, pp. 47ff.). For example:
There is the further question, which has often been debated, but was raised originally by Plato, in his dialogue, Euthyphro. Should we follow God’s laws just because they are His or rather, because His laws are good? If the latter, then we have to decide what is good in order to know that God is good. If the former, then one has to decide whether or not to believe in God precisely on the basis of whether we can accept those laws. Either way, we have to decide for ourselves what laws of morality we are willing to accept (Solomon, 2008, p. 460).
Perhaps a clearer way of phrasing the dilemma is this: Is good good because it is good, or because God says it is good? If good is good independent of God (and He merely identifies it), then God does not hold the high position which theists have ascribed to Him. On the other hand, if good is good because God says it is, then there is the possibility that God has commanded something that is actually wrong (we are being deceived) and He is merely arbitrary in His ethical requirements: He could just as easily say that lying is good as He could say it is bad. The dilemma is meant to show that objective morality does not exist, because morality is actually grounded exclusively in each moral agent’s subjectivity (and in whatever consensus develops between agents). Any explanation of morality that involves a divine standard is either contradictory or explains itself in terms of itself (i.e., it is circular). This position corresponds with an atheistic position, as it does away with the need for a divine Law Giver.
What response to the Euthyphro dilemma is available for the Christian apologist to use? Consider the following three principles:
1. There Is A Universal Moral Law. In his book, Mere Christianity (2001, pp. 1-8), C.S. Lewis argues for the existence of a universal moral law (and a corresponding Law Giver) in the following way (summarized by Geisler, 1999):
1. There must be a universal moral law, or else: (a) Moral disagreements would make no sense, as we all assume they do. (b) All moral criticisms would be meaningless (e.g., “The Nazis were wrong.”). (c) It is unnecessary to keep promises or treaties, as we all assume that it is. (d) We would not make excuses for breaking the moral law, as we all do. 2. But a universal moral law requires a universal Moral Law Giver, since the Source of it: (a) Gives moral commands (as lawgivers do). (b) Is interested in our behavior (as moral persons are). 3. Further, this universal Moral Law Giver must be absolutely good: (a) Otherwise all moral effort would be futile in the long run, since we could be sacrificing our lives for what is not ultimately right. (b) The source of all good must be absolutely good, since the standard of all good must be completely good. 4. Therefore, there must be an absolutely good Moral Law Giver (p. 500, parenthetical items in orig.).
The conclusion that a universal moral system exists causes us to cast suspicion upon any dilemma that purports to disprove the very possibility of such a system. The Euthyphro dilemma falls into this category. Furthermore, the Euthyphro dilemma proves inapplicable when applied to the God of the Bible.
2. The Euthyphro dilemma is a false one. For the purposes of answering current critics of Christianity, the Christian apologist need not evaluate the dilemma in terms of the Greek gods, but in terms of the one, true God (i.e., the God of the Bible). The Bible teaches that God certainly is good (e.g., Genesis 1:13; 59:20; Deuteronomy 6:24; Psalm 89:14; etc.). God’s essence is to exist as He is (Exodus 3:14). God cannot exist apart from all of His attributes, including goodness. If He existed and lacked any of His attributes, then He would not be the God to Whom we refer when we speak of the biblical God. Therefore, God is good, but not in virtue of a standard of goodness that exists separate from Him. As further evidence for this, consider that there are possible acts which God refuses to do because such acts do not accord with His moral nature. For example, God cannot lie (see Miller, 2009; Colley, 2004).
Because God is infinite, goodness is measured in relation to Him. Jesus illustrated this in His parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15). In the story, only the landowner (representing God) was in a position to determine what was “good” (20:15). Humans, as created beings, are not in a position to argue with God concerning His rightness or wrongness (see Job 29-31; 38-40). The Euthyphro dilemma presumes that we do exactly that, despite the fact that we are incapable of it (Jeremiah 10:23).
Therefore, there is no dilemma as alleged by some who appeal to Plato’s Euthyphro (see Warren and Flew, 1977, pp. 26-28,32). Yet, some maintain that God’s moral principles are unreasonable or that He is contradictory (see Butt, 2009b), and we must therefore reject the biblical God in favor of atheism or another notion of divinity. We now turn to this allegation.
3. While God’s moral principles do not owe their existence to human rationality, they nonetheless appeal to human rationality. Indeed, if it could be shown that God’s rules run counter to human rationality, then it would appear that His principles are deficient to ground human morality, and that we were not made in His image. However, there is not a single biblical principle of morality that can be, when interpreted properly, shown to be in conflict with the best interests of humanity.
The creationist model would anticipate such a perfect correlation between human needs and the provisions of biblical morality, inasmuch as God was motivated by His own character to create the human race in a way that is “very good” (Genesis 1:31), and placed requirements upon humanity that are suitable for the fulfillment of human needs. To demonstrate the truthfulness of this statement would require further studies (e.g. Butt, 2009a; Colley, 2010a; Colley, 2010b). Consider the words of the psalmist:
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward (19:7-11; cf. 1 Timothy 1:8).
The suitability of God’s laws to man’s needs diffuses the motivation for the Euthyprho dilemma, as the facts about God diffuse the logic of the dilemma.
Therefore, our answer to the Euthyphro dilemma is as follows: Good is defined by God’s goodness, which is inseparable from His nature. His standard of goodness applies to all mankind by virtue of creation.

REFERENCES

Benn, Piers (1998), Ethics (Montreal, Quebec: McGill-Queen’s Press).
Butt, Kyle (2009a), “Biblical Ideas Concerning Killing and Murder are Not Contradictory,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240253.
Butt, Kyle (2009b), “Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240272.
Colley, Caleb (2004), “God Cannot Lie,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2561.
Colley, Caleb (2010a), “In Defense of the Golden Rule,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240331.
Colley, Caleb (2010b), “Defending the Biblical Position Against Lying,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240320.
Geisler, Norman L. (1999), Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Jackson, Wayne (1995), “The Case for the Existence of God [Part III],” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=12&article=362.
Lewis, C. S. (2001), Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins), revised edition.
Miller, Dave (2008), “A Higher Law,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240092.
Miller, Dave (2009), “Things God Cannot Do,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2292.
Plato (1997), Euthyphro, trans. G.M.A. Grube, in Complete Works, ed. John M. Cooper (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett).
Solomon, Robert C. (2008), Introducing Philosophy (New York: Oxford University), ninth edition.
The Trial of German Major War Criminals (1946), 187th Day: Friday, 26th July, 1946, (Vol. 19, Part 1 of 12), (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office), [On-line], URL: http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-19/tgmwc-19-187-01.shtml.
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate On the Existence of God (Moore, OK: National Christian Press).

Questioning Quotation Marks by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2550

Questioning Quotation Marks

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Quotation marks in written texts are often very beneficial to the reader. They help the reader know exactly when a person is speaking. They also help the reader understand exactly what the person has said. Did the husband merely say that he appreciated his wife, or did he tell his wife: “I love you more than life itself”? Did Patrick Henry merely ask for freedom, or did he cry, “Give me liberty or give me death”? Did Abraham Lincoln state, “About 90 years ago, our pappies started a country,” or did he actually say, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation”? Quotation marks help the reader to know the difference between an actual quote and a paraphrase of what was said.
Whereas writers in modern times are accustomed to using quotation marks for direct quotes, students of the Bible must remember, “ancient writers did not use the same literary devices employed today. Quotation marks, colons, ellipsis marks, brackets, etc., were unknown to them” (Jackson, 1988, emp. added). It is very important for Bible students to keep in mind that the inspired writers of Scripture and the amanuenses who copied their works, did not use quotation marks to identify what various individuals said. As with all writers of antiquity, quotation marks were foreign to the Bible writers. The thousands of quotation marks in many modern translations were added by translators in hopes of helping the Bible student have an easier time understanding the text. Unfortunately, quotation marks can be a hindrance if the Bible student does not first understand that the inspired writers often did not intend for their statements to be precise quotations, but rather summaries of inspired truths.
Sometimes it is quite obvious that quotation marks are out of place. For example, the inspired writer of 1 Kings 14 recorded how God informed the prophet Ahijah that King Jeroboam’s wife was coming to pay him a visit. The penmen then wrote: “Thus and thus you shall say to her” (14:5). In several versions that utilize quotation marks (e.g., NKJV, NASB, RSV, etc.) you may be left with the impression that what God told Ahijah was literally, “thus and thus….” In actuality, “thus and thus” was merely the inspired writer’s way of saying that God spoke some things to Ahijah—the things that Ahijah then specifically relayed to Jeroboam’s wife in verses 6-16. God did not literally reveal “thus and thus” to Ahijah. He revealed to him some very specific words that the phrase “thus and thus” summarizes.
The same terminology was used in 2 Kings when, after an Israelite servant informed Naaman’s wife that Elisha could heal Naaman of his leprosy, Naaman told the King of Syria, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel” (2 Kings 5:4, emp. added). Naaman obviously did not approach the King of Syria and literally say, “thus and thus.” Rather than repeat what the girl said to Naaman’s wife, the inspired penman of 2 Kings summarized Naaman’s statement to the king with the words “thus and thus.” Yet, because these words appear within quotations marks in certain modern translations, some might misinterpret the encounter. These two examples from 1 and 2 Kings are elementary, but they clearly demonstrate how Bible students in the 21st century must be careful when interpreting “quotations” from 1,900+ years ago.

QUOTATIONS OF JESUS

Numerous times in the gospel accounts, the Bible writers recorded statements made by Jesus while He was on Earth. Although Bible writers frequently recorded the same statements, they are not exactly (word-for-word) alike. For example, whereas Matthew recorded that Jesus told Satan, “It is written again (palin gegrapti), ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’” (4:7), Luke wrote: “It has been said (eiratai), ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’” (4:12). Although this difference is considered minor, and is referring to the same thing (the Old Testament), Matthew and Luke still recorded Jesus’ statement using different words. Why? Why did Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John not always record the words of Jesus exactly alike?
First, it is possible that some differences throughout the gospel accounts are due to Jesus having made both statements. It is unwise to think that every similar statement recorded by the gospel writers must refer to the exact same moment. In the example of Jesus responding to Satan’s temptation, it may be that Jesus repeated the same thought on the same occasion using different words. After telling Satan, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God,” Jesus could have re-emphasized the point (especially if Satan repeated the temptation) by saying, “It is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Thus, Jesus could have made both statements.
A second reason why differences exist among the gospel writers’ quotations of Jesus is because the writers’ purpose was to record precisely what the Holy Spirit deemed necessary (cf. John 16:13), but not necessarily exactly what Jesus said. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21), one writer may paraphrase a person’s (e.g., Jesus’) words, while another writer may quote the exact words. Similar to how two different but honest, intelligent newspaper reporters can give accurate accounts of the same event, all the while using different terminology, styles, etc., God’s inspired penmen could give accurate accounts of what Jesus communicated to mankind, especially considering “they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21, emp. added).

CONCLUSION

Throughout the Bible, one can find accurate statements that Jesus and others made, but not necessarily the exact quotations (despite the fact that modern translators and publishers often offset the sayings of Jesus and others with quotation marks). Keep in mind, however, that inspired summaries of what someone said do not take away from the accuracy of the God-given Scriptures, nor a person’s ability to apply those Scriptures to one’s life.

REFERENCE

Jackson, Wayne (1988), “Principles of Bible Prophecy,” Reason & Revelation, 8[7]:27-30, July.

Was Jesus Married?—Again by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=5070

Was Jesus Married?—Again

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

I teach senior Bible at a Christian high school in northwest Alabama. Recently while teaching, I looked down and saw that one of the students was wearing a pair of Chuck Taylor Allstar shoes made by Converse. I found this interesting, because when I was 12, those same shoes were all the rage. It just so happens, as I understand it, styles often have about a 20-year cycle, so that what was in style 20 years ago is back in. Turns out, false theories about Jesus and other Bible characters seem to have a similar cycle. Let me explain.
On November 12, 2014 the Associated Press published an article titled “Married Jesus? New Book Adds Fuel to Conspiracies” (2014). This article discussed a new book written by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson titled The Lost Gospel. Supposedly, they have “unearthed” new evidence that would show Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and possibly had children. The problem with this bold “new” claim is two-fold. First, it is historically wrong. Second, it is not in any way “new.”
The documents of the New Testament are the most historically accurate, most widely attested books from the first century. They give no hint that Jesus was married. In fact, even the document that was written much later than the New Testament books that Jacobovici is using to build his case, according to him, has to be “decoded” in order for a person to find the “secret” message that Jesus was married. But the text, according to Bible professor Greg Carey, contains a story that “was already well known to Bible scholars and ‘doesn’t require any decoding’” (“Married Jesus?...,” 2014). It is interesting that Dan Brown floated this “married Jesus” idea in his book The Da Vinci Code back in 2003, which contained similar fallacious allegations (Lyons, 2007).
Turns out, Jacobovici is rather well-known for his outlandish claims about Jesus. The Associated Press author noted that he has “a record of headline-grabbing but contested claims” (“Married Jesus?....,” 2014). The phrase “contested claims” is a rather subtle way of saying that his wild claims cannot stand up to any type of critical, historical analysis. One of these claims was Jacobovici’s declaration that he had found the family tomb of Jesus. Needless to say, neither the evidence, nor biblical, historical scholarship backed up this claim. [For a thorough refutation of the alleged tomb of Jesus, see Bryant, 2007.]
Two years ago, Apologetics Press’ Executive Director wrote an article answering the idea of Jesus being married (Miller, 2012). Seven years ago, Eric Lyons dealt with Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. Now, in 2014, we have seen the “cycle” of rumor come back around to surface the idea of Jesus being married. How many times must a false idea be proven to be false before it finally dies out? Who knows, but as long as it keeps popping up, like one of those crazy-eyed, plastic moles in the game of Whack-a-Mole, the mallet of truth will just have to keep beating it back down.

References

Bryant, Dewayne, (2007), “Discovering the Truth about ‘The Lost Tomb of Jesus,’” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=10&article=2130.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “The Real Mary Magdalene,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=10&article=1803.
“Married Jesus? New Book Adds Fuel to Conspiracies” (2014), Associated Press, http://www.newspressnow.com/news/science/article_2f2b3bec-3ab5-5e80-b5cc-866d5a5c11c4.html.
Miller, Dave (2012), “Was Jesus Married?”, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=4519&topic=71.

More Conflicting Evidence from Evolutionary Dating Techniques by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4136

More Conflicting Evidence from Evolutionary Dating Techniques

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

The discovery of carbonaceous materials in extremely old rocks (as dated by evolutionary methods) has been used as evidence that Earth’s “early” atmosphere contained organic materials (i.e., microbes) billions of years ago. However, recent research using cutting edge technology casts significant doubt on that interpretation and adds further weight to the danger inherent in the assumptions that characterize evolutionary dating techniques.
Rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt in Quebec, Canada are considered among the Earth’s oldest (Gronstal, 2011), and yet they contain carbon-based materials which are a result of the decay of living organisms. Recently, researchers from Carnegie Institution of Washington, Boston College, and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. discovered that the carbon-based materials in those rocks are actually younger than the rocks in which they reside, according to evolutionary dating techniques (Papineau, et al., 2011). The researchers concluded that carbon must have seeped into the rocks later in history, instead of already being in the rocks when they first formed.
This research has significant implications. First, while the creation model predicts the rapid formation of many rocks through cataclysmic events (e.g., Creation and the Flood), some of which will, and some of which will not, have carboniferous materials present at their formation, the evolutionary model predicts long periods of time with slow, gradual change leading to the formation of rocks. Thus, if there ever were a period of millions or billions of years with only microbial life in the atmosphere, there should be an immense amount of such evidence in the fossil record. Evolutionists believed they had found such evidence with these rocks in Canada. However, this latest research nullifies that theory, and adds further weight to the fact that Earth’s atmospheric conditions have never been conducive to the spontaneous formation of life or its evolution.
Second, macroevolution is false, and the Earth is relatively young. However, evolutionists believe that long ages of time would allow for the gradual evolution of simple organisms into complex organisms, and evolutionary theory is based on that assertion. This research indicates, based on the evolutionists’ own model and erroneous dating techniques, that there is much less time available for the evolution of life from single-celled entities into complex life as we know it today; since life allegedly was not already in existence at the time of the formation of these rocks.
Finally, this research indicates that once again, uniformitarianism, a central tenet of evolutionary dating techniques, is unreliable and even unscientific—it simply does not follow from the empirical evidence. One of the foundational assumptions of uniformitarian geology and dating rocks is that the parent and daughter isotopes in a rock have not been altered by anything except radioactive decay. The fluidic transport of daughter elements into an existing rock would violate that assumption and cause significant error in the dating of that rock. The potential of daughter elements being carried into rocks by fluid transport over time is high, and that potential gets higher the older a rock is. If such fluidic transport happens regularly in the geologic column—and we have every reason to believe it does—evolutionary dating techniques will regularly yield ages of rocks that are inaccurate by millions and billions of years.
Of course, another interpretation of the evidence—one which evolutionary scientists would summarily dismiss without investigation—is that evolutionary dating techniques are inaccurate and regularly contradict one another. It is possible that the formation of the rocks and the carbon materials within them happened at the same time in a cataclysmic event that caused accelerated decay rates and the rapid formation of those rocks and their subsequent appearance of age. Evolutionary dating techniques simply cannot account for such a scenario because of the unobservable assumptions inherent in those techniques. Regardless, once again, it is the Creation model that is in keeping with the scientific evidence and needs no adjustment to be in line with empirical science. The evolutionary model simply does not pass the test. [NOTE: For an in depth study of evolutionary dating techniques and their erroneous assumptions, see DeYoung, 2005.]

REFERENCES

DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands…Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Gronstal, Aaron (2011), “New Evidence Challenges Oldest Signs of Life,” NASA: Astrobiology, May 25, http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/articles/new-evidence-challenges-oldest-signs-of-life/.
Papineau, D., et al. (2011), “Young Poorly Crystalline Graphite in the > 3.8-Gyr-Old Nuvvuagittuq Banded Iron Formation,” Nature Geoscience, 4:376-379.