A.T... Bible Baptism Vs. Baptist Baptism


Bible Baptism Vs. Baptist Baptism

Baptists generally believe and teach that water baptism is not necessary for the remission of sins. This statement is qualified because this writer knows of a Baptist preacher who believes that it is necessary. But generally speaking, we do not misrepresent Baptist doctrine when we say it teaches that baptism “...represents in an outward symbol the inward work of the Spirit, and shows how ‘according to his mercy, he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,’ a work already performed on the heart of the candidate by an application of the cleansing blood of Christ” (Hisox, The Baptist Church Directory, 1911, page 32). In other words, “Baptists believe that no one is a scriptural subject for baptism till he is already saved [italics mine—AT]” (J.G. Bow, What Baptist Believe and Why They Believe It, Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, pages 36-37).
As we have seen, Baptists are quite open about what they believe concerning baptism, and although it is not difficult to understand what they believe, it is hard to understand why they believe it. Clearly, they ignore, or do not understand, many Bible passages relative to baptism (e.g., Acts 2:38 & 22:16; Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:26-27; and 1 Peter 3:21). A simple reading of these passages enables one to understand why they have consistently tried to either ignore, explain away, or change the scriptures to fit their doctrine. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate a very serious mistake some of our Baptist friends have made in their attempt to change the word of God so as to conform to their teaching on the subject of baptism.
Obviously, Acts 2:38 is a passage that has “stuck in the craw” of many Baptist debaters. But now some of them are claiming that the passage is “really theirs after all.” These allege the Greek preposition eis, which is translated “for” in the King James Version should actually be translated “because of.” They claim the passage should read, “...Repent, and be baptized...because of the remission of sins....” In other words, they think this passage teaches that one ought to repent and be baptized because one has already received the remission of sins when he believed. They attempt to bolster this rendering by pointing out that the English preposition “for” sometimes means “because of.” Although this is true, it really has nothing to do with the Greek preposition eis, which no reputable Greek scholar has ever thought should be translated “because of.”
Those who try to twist the scriptures to justify their wrong position on baptism are defeated by the very book they seek to pervert. In Acts 2:38, we find not just the preposition eis, but the entire prepositional phrase eis aphesin harmartion, which is rendered “for the remission of sins” by the translators. Fortunately, and to the downfall of those who would assert their particular doctrine above that which is written, the Holy Spirit has unquestionably fixed the use of eis aphesin harmartion by allowing it to be used in a passage in which its use cannot be doubted. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus made the statement, “For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins [emphasis mine—AT].” This is the same prepositional phrase that is used in Acts 2:38. Therefore, those who support the “because of” argument in Acts 2:38 would, in order to be consistent, have to make Matthew 26:28 to be saying that Jesus shed His blood “because of” the remission of sins, which would, in essence, have the Lord saying His blood would be shed for something already accomplished. Who can believe it? Was the Lord’s blood shed “for,” “unto,” or “for the purpose of” the remission of sins; or was it shed because the remission of sins had already occurred? If it was shed “for,” “unto,” or “for the purpose of” the remission of sins, as Matthew 26:28 clearly teaches, then what justification do our Baptist friends have for translating the same prepositional phrase as “because of” in Acts 2:38? The only reason I can think of is the justification of their erroneous doctrine.
Does the Bible contradict itself? Certainly not! Although Baptists seem to think that Acts 2:38 and Matthew 26:28 are contradictory if allowed to stand as they appear in the Bible, the truth of the matter is that Baptism is “for,” “unto,” or “for the purpose of” the same thing Jesus’ blood was shed “for.” Just as the Bible teaches that there can be no remission of sins without Christ’s blood, for Christ’s blood was shed for the remission of sins, it just as clearly teaches that there can be no remission of sins without baptism. This relationship between Christ’s blood and baptism is explained by the apostle Paul in Romans chapter 6. He said that as many as had been baptized into Christ had been baptized “into His death”. Of course, the Messiah shed His blood in His death (viz., on the cross), and we, by faith, are baptized “into His death” (Romans 6:3) Could it be any more simple? Could we not all see this if we really wanted to?
In conclusion, the Holy Spirit bears witness that Christ shed His blood for the remission of sins. He also bears witness that water baptism is for the remission of sins. Consequently, it does not surprise us to hear the Bible say, “There are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one [emphasis mine-AT]” (1 John 5:8).

A.T.... Angels


Angels are spiritual beings created by God (Psalms 148:1,5), who are on a higher order than man (Hebrews 2:7), and neither reproduce nor die (Luke 20:35,36). They are mentioned some 273 times in the Scriptures and often functioned as agents of destruction or blessing (Genesis 19:13,16). As such, they were involved in God's providential care for His people (II Kings 18-19). It is our firm conviction that they still function in this capacity even today.
Modern-day Sadducees
Unfortunately, too many of us have become modern-day Sadducees, in that we do not believe in angels (cf. Acts 23:8). Many have assumed that because miracles have ceased, angels are no longer in business today. This would seem to be an obvious contradiction of Hebrews 1:13,14, which says angels are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.”
Although we are not living in the miraculous age, this must not be taken to mean that God is not still exercising control over His creation. In Matthew 5:45, the Bible teaches the general providence of God, and in Matthew 6:33, the child of God is taught to trust in God's specific providence toward His children. In Romans 8:28-31, we are taught that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Does this not suggest God's providential care?
We Do Not Live In A Totally Chance Universe
Both Hebrews 1:3 and Colossians 1:17 make it perfectly clear that God's creation has not been left to mere chance. God is still in control. God still rules in the kingdoms of men and this is verified by such passages as Romans 13, Acts 17:26, and Daniel 4:17, 32. To believe, as some do, that God has taken on a “hands-off” position with reference to the affairs of mankind is not only a contra-diction of Scripture, but is  tantamount to dethroning Jesus Christ, who now reigns as King of kings (Revelation 1:5; Ephesians 1:20,21).
It is, indeed, comforting to know that angels are sent forth by God to minister unto us for “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Our prayers to God are not exercises in futility, but are, in fact, requests based on a faith that God can and will help us, and that angels are His agents in these matters.
Lord, Open Our Eyes
Paul prayed that Christians would have the eyes of their understanding enlightened so that they could see “the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe” (Ephesians 1:19). If we will, by faith, open our eyes, we can see that “they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (II Kings 6:16).
We have not undertaken to explain how angels minister to the saints, only that they, in fact, do.

M.C.... "THE BOOK OF JOB" Concluding Thoughts

                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

                          Concluding Thoughts

In preparing this material and teaching the book of Job, I have found
it to be one of the more challenging books of the Bible.  Its challenge
was related to several things:

   * Knowing God would later rebuke Job and his friends for things they
     said, it was difficult to discern when to take what they said as 
     "gospel", and what would incur God's wrath.

   * Some of the illustrations or points being made were difficult to 
     follow.  This may be due to cultural differences, or perhaps the 
     Hebrew proved to be a challenge for the translators in conveying
     the thoughts of the speakers.  Or maybe it was just my own 

   * Elihu remains somewhat of an enigma to me.  The Lord neither 
     condemns nor approves what Elihu had to say.  There are times it
     seems he is saying the same thing as Job's three friends, that Job
     is suffering due to his sin; e.g., when he says that Job "adds
     rebellion to his sin" (34:37).  I do see a major distinction
     between Elihu and the others, in that Elihu focuses on Job's
     suffering as a disciplinary expression of God's grace, as opposed
     to simply a punitive manifestation of God's wrath.  I also see how
     Elihu's admonition for Job to "stand still and consider the
     wondrous works of God" (37:14) prepares Job for what is to 
     follow when the Lord finally speaks.  Perhaps it best to say that
     Elihu serves as a transition between Job's friends and the Lord 
     himself, presenting thoughts that will make it easier for Job to
     consider what the Lord Himself will actually say.

Despite its challenges, I find the book of Job fascinating and filled
with much good for the Christian.  Studying the book of Job, we can
learn of God's power, wisdom, and sovereignty in the world; we can see
how men of God grappled with the question of God's justice; and we can 
observe that God does take notice of the righteous.

The book also provides an answer to the challenge made by Satan.  There
are people who will serve God even in adversity, for God is worthy of
our praise apart from the blessings He provides.  May we be such
people!  That doesn't mean we won't have questions for which answers
can't be found in this life.  But with the book of Job we can learn how
the righteous should suffer, how careful we should be in comforting the
suffering, and to accept the fact that we can never fully comprehend 
God's working in our lives and in the world.  From this book of Job, we
should see the need to have the faith beautifully expressed by the 
prophet Habakkuk:

   Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines;
   Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no
   food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there 
   be no herd in the stalls;

   Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my 
   salvation.  The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet
   like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.

                                  (Hab 3:17-19)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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M.C.... "THE BOOK OF JOB" Epilogue - Job Is Blessed (42:7-17)

                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

                  Epilogue - Job Is Blessed (42:7-17)


1) To review the conclusion of this book, and how Job is blessed in his
   latter days

2) To see what is said about Job's three friends, and how they were

3) To note how the author of the book speaks of "the adversity that the
   LORD had brought upon" Job, even though Satan was the immediate
   cause of Job's suffering


With Job admitting he had spoken of things he did not understand and
having repented, the Lord now addresses Eliphaz as the representative
of Job's three friends.   They angered the Lord by saying things that
were not right about God.  They are therefore instructed to offer seven
bulls and seven rams, with Job praying in their behalf (42:7-9).

When Job has prayed for his friends, the Lord begins to restore his
losses.  Job is comforted by his family and friends for the adversity
the Lord has brought upon him.  The Lord then blesses Job by giving him
twice the number of livestock he had in the beginning.  He is also
blessed with seven sons and three daughters, the latter being named and
described as the most beautiful in the land, even receiving an 
inheritance along with their brothers.  The book of Job closes with a 
mention of how Job lived another 140 years, seeing his descendants to 
the fourth generation before finally dying (42:10-17).



      1. God's wrath was aroused against them for their "folly" (cf. 
      2. They had not spoken what is right about God, unlike Job
      3. In what way, for hadn't Job accused God of injustice?
         a. Perhaps in regards to the debate over the cause of 
            1) They had argued that suffering is always sent by God in
               response to sin
            2) Job had denied that; in this he was right and they were
         b. Or in that Job had repented, whereas the three friends had
            not yet done so

      1. God instructs them to offer seven bulls and seven rams, and
         have Job pray for them
      2. This they did, for the Lord had accepted Job


   A. RESTORED BY GOD (42:10)
      1. Upon praying for his friends, the Lord restores what he lost
      2. The Lord restored twice as much as he had lost

      1. His brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances come to eat 
         with him and comfort him
         a. Note that it says "for all the adversity the LORD had 
            brought upon him"
         b. While Satan was the instigator of Job's suffering, the LORD
            bore ultimate responsibility by allowing Satan to test Job
      2. They each bring a piece of silver and ring of gold

   C. BLESSED BY GOD (42:12-17)
      1. Job's latter days blessed more than his beginning
      2. His livestock is doubled (14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 
         yoke of oxen, 1,000 female donkeys)
      3. He is blessed with 7 sons and 3 beautiful daughters, the 
         latter to whom he provided an inheritance along with their 
      4. He lived 140 years, saw descendants to the fourth generation,
         and died full of days


1) What did the Lord say to Eliphaz concerning his words and those of
   his friends? (42:7)
   - "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends"
   - "You have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has"

2) As suggested in the above outline, in what ways might Job spoken 
   right about God?
   - Perhaps in regards to whether suffering is always the consequence
     of sin
   - Or in that Job had repented, whereas the three friends had not yet
     done so

3) What were Eliphaz and his two friends instructed to do? (42:8)
   - To offer seven bulls and seven rams, having Job to pray for them

4) What did the Lord do when Job prayed for his friends? (42:10)
   - He restored Job's losses, giving him twice as much as what he had

5) Who came to comfort Job?  Why? (42:11)
   - His brothers, sisters, and acquaintances
   - For all the adversity the Lord had brought upon him

6) How did the Lord bless the latter days of Job? (42:12-13)
   - More so than his beginning
   - Doubling the number of sheep, camels, oxen and female donkeys
   - Giving him seven sons and three daughters

7) What were the names of his three daughters? (42:14)
   - Jemimah, Keziah, Keren-Happuch

8) What is said regarding the daughters of Job? (42:15)
   - In all the land there were no women as beautiful as Job's 
   - Job gave them an inheritance along with their brothers

9) How long did Job live after his suffering? (42:16)
   - One hundred and forty years

10) What was he blessed to see? (42:16)
   - His children and grandchildren for four generations

11) What are the last words of the book? (42:17)
   - So Job died, old and full of days

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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M.C...."THE BOOK OF JOB" God Speaks To Job (38:1-42:6)

                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

                     God Speaks To Job (38:1-42:6)


1) To examine God's response to Job

2) To consider the charges God makes against Job, and Job's repentance


At last, Job is finally given his desire to have an audience with God.
It is not what he expected.  Speaking from a whirlwind, the Lord
charges Job with darkening counsel by words without knowledge.  A
challenge is then made for Job to answer questions posed to him.  A
series of questions follow in rapid succession regarding the creation
and nature that certainly contrast God's great power and wisdom with
Job's limited ability and understanding.  God ends His first discourse
then with a repeated challenge for the one (i.e., Job) who contends
with the Almighty and who rebukes God to answer these questions.
Overwhelmed, Job admits his unworthiness and inability to answer.  He
admits he has spoken before, but will do so no more (38:1-40:5).

The Lord is not through with Job, however.  A second discourse begins
with another challenge for Job to answer God's questions.  Job is asked
whether he truly thinks he can annul God's judgment, or condemn Him so
that he can be justified (cf. Elihu's charges, 32:2; 33:8-13).  If Job
can thunder with a voice like God's, adorn himself with majesty,
splendor, glory and beauty, bring the proud down low, then God would
confess that Job could save himself.  To once more illustrate the power
and wisdom of God, Job is asked to consider two great creatures, the
behemoth and Leviathan.  If man is fearful before them, how then could
one stand against God (40:6-41:34)?

Job's final response is to humbly acknowledge God's ability to do
everything, and that no purpose of His can be withheld from Him.  He
also confesses that he has spoken of things he did not understand, and
beyond his ability to comprehend.  Having now heard and seen God, Job
abhors himself and repents (42:1-6).



      1. The Lord answers Job (38:1)
         a. Job finally gets his audience with God
         b. The Lord speaks to Job out of the whirlwind
      2. The Lord's rebuke and challenge (38:2-3)
         a. Rebuking Job for darkening counsel by words without 
         b. Challenging Job to answer the questions God will ask of him

   B. QUESTIONS POSED TO JOB (38:4-39:30)
      1. Questions concerning the Creation (38:4-15)
         a. Related to the earth
         b. Related to the sea
         c. Related to the morning and dawn
      2. Questions concerning inanimate nature (38:16-38)
         a. Regarding the depths and expanses of the earth, and the 
            gates of death
         b. Regarding the way of light, and the place of darkness
         c. Regarding the weather, and the scattering of light and wind
         d. Regarding the stars with their constellations
         e. Regarding the floods
      3. Questions concerning animate nature (38:39-39:30)
         a. Respecting the nourishment for lions and ravens
         b. Respecting the procreation of mountain goats and deer
         c. Respecting the freedom of the wild donkey
         d. Respecting the strength of the wild ox
         d. Respecting the stupidity of the ostrich
         e. Respecting the horse in battle
         f. Respecting the flight of the hawk, and the nesting of the

      1. The Lord challenges Job (40:1-2)
         a. Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?
         b. Let the one who rebukes God answer the questions posed thus
      2. Job's response (40:3-5)
         a. He considers himself vile
         b. Unable to answer, he will speak no more


      1. As the Lord continues to answer Job out of the whirlwind
      2. Job challenged to answer the questions God will ask him

      1. Concerning his effort to justify himself while condemning God
         a. Will Job annul God's judgment?
         b. Will he condemn God that he may be justified?
         c. Does Job have the power of God?
         d. Let Job adorn himself with majesty and glory, humble the 
            proud, and God will confess that Job can save himself
      2. Concerning the behemoth (40:15-24)
         a. Perhaps a hippopotamus, or some other animal now extinct
         b. A creature of great strength, one of God's best creations,
            and only God who made him can draw near with His sword
      3. Concerning Leviathan (41:1-34)
         a. Perhaps a crocodile, or other creature known for its 
            fierceness and strength
         b. If one dare not to stir up Leviathan, then who can stand
            against God?

      1. Job responds to God (42:1-3)
         a. He acknowledges the power of God, Whose purpose cannot be
         b. He admits that he had spoken of things he did not know and
      2. Job humbles himself before God in repentance (42:4-6)
         a. In response to God's challenge to answer His questions, Job
            can only acknowledge that he has now seen God
         b. From what he has now seen and heard, he realizes his error
            and repents


1) How does the Lord speak to Job? (38:1)
   - Out of the whirlwind

2) What is the Lord's first question directed toward Job? (38:2)
   - "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"

3) What challenge does God place before Job? (38:3)
   - "I will question you, and you shall answer Me."

4) List the different things about which God asked Job in the first 
   discourse (38:8-39:30)
   - The creation of the earth and sea
   - The morning dawn
   - The springs of the sea, the gates of death
   - The way of light, and place of darkness
   - The weather, and the scattering of light and wind
   - The stars and their constellations
   - The floods
   - The nourishment for lions and ravens
   - The procreation of mountain goats and dear
   - The freedom of the wild donkey, the strength of the wild ox
   - The stupidity of the ostrich, the horse in battle
   - The flight of the hawk, and nesting of the eagle

5) As God ends His first discourse, what does He say to Job? (40:1-2)
   - "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?"
   - "He who rebukes God, let him answer it."

6) What is Job's response to these questions and God's challenge?
   - He acknowledges his unworthiness, and inability to answer
   - He has spoken before, but will proceed no further

7) As God continues with His second discourse, what challenge does He 
   repeat to Job? (40:6-7)
   - "I will question you, and you shall answer Me."

8) What four questions does He then ask of Job? (40:8-9)
   - "Would you indeed annul My judgment?"
   - "Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?" (cf. 32:2)
   - "Have you an arm like God?"
   - "Can you thunder with a voice like His?"

9) What does God challenge Job to do, in order to prove he could save
   himself? (40:10-14)
   - Adorn himself with majesty, splendor, glory and beauty
   - Humble those who are proud

10) What is the first of two great creatures described to illustrate 
    God's power? (40:15-24)
   - The behemoth, which some think may be the hippopotamus

11) What statement concerning this creature emphasizes God's power and
    strength? (40:19)
   - He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring
     near His sword

12) What is the second creature described to illustrate God's strength?
   - Leviathan, which some think may be the crocodile

13) What key point does God make with Leviathan? (41:10)
   - The animal is so fierce, none would dare stir him up; who then is
     able to stand against God?

14) Having heard God, what does Job now admit? (42:1-3)
   - That God can do everything, and no purpose of His can be withheld
     from Him
   - That he (Job) has uttered things he did not understand, concerning
     things too wonderful for him to know

15) Now that Job has had his audience with God, how does he react?
   - With contrition and repentance

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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M.C... "THE BOOK OF JOB" Young Elihu Speaks (32-37)

                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

                       Young Elihu Speaks (32-37)


1) To examine Elihu's perspective in the debate regarding Job's

2) To notice how Elihu appears to prepare Job for what the Lord will
   have to say


We are now introduced to a new voice in this discussion.  Having
remained silent up to this point because of his youth, Elihu now
speaks.  Angry with Job justifying himself rather than God, and by the
inability of Job's friends to provide an answer, Elihu feels compelled
to speak (32:1-33:7).  He takes issue with Job's claim of innocence
while charging God with counting him as His enemy.  He proposes that
God often uses various means to keep man from death ("the Pit"),
including chastening with pain.  Therefore Job should be looking at
suffering as a disciplinary measure from a loving God, not as a
punitive measure from one's enemy (33:8-33).

The bulk of Elihu's speech then focuses on the justice of God, which
Elihu feels Job has maligned.  Elihu charges Job with adding to his sin
by multiplying words against God without knowledge (34:1-35:16).  He
concludes his speech with an effort to speak on God's behalf and by
ascribing righteousness to the Almighty.  This he does by reviewing
God's justice and majesty.  The former as seen in His dealings with
man, the latter as seen in His dealings in nature.  With an admonition
for Job to stand still and consider the wondrous works of God, Elihu
seems to be preparing Job for what is about to follow (36:1-37:24).



   A. FOR HE IS ANGRY (32:1-5)
      1. When Job's three friends are silent, Elihu's wrath is aroused
         a. They ceased answering Job because he still considered
            himself righteous
         b. Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram
            (cf. Gen 22:20-21), is now ready to speak
      2. He is angry at both Job and his three friends (32:2b-5)
         a. At Job, because he justified himself rather than God
         b. At his friends, because they provided no real answer and
            yet condemned Job
         c. He had waited to speak because of his youth, but the
            silence from the three men made him angry

      1. He held off speaking earlier, because of his youth (32:6-7)
         a. The age difference had made him afraid to speak
         b. He believed that age should speak, for it should teach
      2. But aged men are not always wise (32:8-9)
         a. The breath of the Almighty (i.e., the Spirit) also gives
            man understanding
         b. Age alone does not guarantee wisdom and understanding of
      3. Therefore he will declare his own opinion (32:10-14)
         a. For he has carefully listened to their reasoning
         b. Yet they have not convinced Job or answered his words

   C. FOR HE IS COMPELLED (32:15-22)
      1. By their silence (32:15-17)
         a. They are dismayed, and words escape them
         b. He has waited because they did not speak
         c. Therefore he will have his say
      2. By the spirit within him (32:18-20)
         a. His belly is like wine ready to burst the wineskins
         b. He must speak to find relief
      3. By his desire to be impartial (32:21-22)
         a. His prayer is to show partiality to no one
         b. He does not know how to flatter, for fear that his Maker
            would take him away

      1. He speaks pure knowledge from an upright heart (33:1-3)
         a. He pleads with Job to listen to what he says
         b. His words are sincere, and his knowledge is pure
      2. He can be as Job's spokesman before God (33:4-7; cf. 13:20-22)
         a. He was created by the Spirit of God, let Job see if he can
            answer him
         b. Job does not need to fear him, for he too has been formed
            out of clay


   A. GOD IS GRACIOUS (33:8-33)
      1. Job, you are wrong in charging God as your enemy (33:8-13)
         a. Elihu has heard Job profess his innocence while counting
            God as his enemy
         b. This is not right, for God is greater than man and not
            accountable to man
      2. God uses various ways to speak to man (33:14-28)
         a. Even though man may not heed what God is saying
         b. Such as dreams or visions, to turn man back
         c. Such as chastening him with pain
         d. Such as special messengers
            1) Sent to deliver him from the Pit
            2) Sent to restore him back to God
      3. God's purpose is disciplinary, not simply punitive (33:29-33)
         a. Done to direct man away from the Pit
         b. Done to enlighten man with the light of life
         c. Therefore Job should listen to one as Elihu to teach him

   B. GOD IS JUST (34:1-35:16)
      1. Elihu proclaims God's justice (34:1-37)
         a. He calls upon Job and his friends to listen to him
         b. He rebukes Job
            1) For charging God of taking away his justice
            2) For saying that it does not profit man to delight in God
         c. He proclaims that God is righteous and just in His dealings
            with man
            1) Far be it from God to do wickedness or pervert justice
            2) In His power God shows no partiality, but repays man
               according to his works
         d. He charges Job with sinning by how he spoken against God
      2. Elihu condemns Job's reasoning (35:1-16)
         a. He reproves Job for thinking righteousness does not profit
         b. He claims that God is too great to be manipulated by man's
            little deeds
         c. He contends that God may not respond to cries for help
            because of man's pride
         d. He counsels Job to be patient and wait for God's justice,
            for Job has been speaking prematurely and foolishly

   C. GOD IS GREAT (36:1-37:24)
      1. Elihu proclaims God's goodness (36:1-23)
         a. Asking Job to bear with him as he ascribes righteousness to
         b. Claiming that God may use affliction to draw the righteous
            to Himself
         c. Job needs to take heed, for he has begun to act like the
      2. Elihu proclaims God's majesty (36:24-37:24)
         a. God's greatness is beyond comprehension, as seen in the
            rain cycle
         b. God's greatness is seen in the thunder, snow, and rain
         c. In view of such greatness, what can man teach God?


1) Why had Job's three friends stop speaking? (32:1)
   - Because Job was righteous in his own eyes

2) Who now begins to speak? (32:2)
   - Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram

3) Why was Elihu angry with Job? (32:2)
   - Because Job justified himself rather than God

4) Why was Elihu angry with Job's three friends? (32:3)
   - Because they had provided no real solution, yet condemned Job

5) Why had Elihu held off speaking until now? (32:4)
   - Because he was much younger

6) According to the outline above, what four reasons are given for why
   Elihu now speaks?
   - He is angry (32:1-5)
   - Wisdom is not limited to the aged (32:6-14)
   - He is compelled (32:15-22)
   - He believes he can help Job (33:1-7)

7) With what statements of Job does Elihu take issue? (33:8-12)
   - "I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me."
   - "Yet He (God) finds occasion against me, He counts me as His

8) What examples does Elihu provide of God's effort to save man from
   death? (33:14-30)
   - Dreams or visions in the night
   - Chastening with pain
   - Sending messengers

9) How then does Elihu view the reason for Job's suffering?
   - As disciplinary, from a gracious God; not punitive, as from an

10) What two statements of Job does Elihu respond to next? (34:5-9)
   - "I am righteous, but God has taken away my justice."
   - "It profits a man nothing that he should delight in God."

11) What is Elihu's response? (34:10,12)
   - "Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to
     commit iniquity."
   - "Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert

12) What does Elihu then go on to describe? (34:16-30)
   - The impartial justice of God

13) Of what sin does Elihu charge Job? (34:37)
   - Rebellion; multiplying his words against God

14) How does Elihu answer Job's complaint that it profits a man nothing
    to delight in God? (35:4-7)
   - God is not manipulated by man's actions

15) What reason does Elihu give for why God might not answer the cries
    of men? (35:12)
   - Because of their pride

16) Maintaining that God is just, what does Elihu counsel Job? (35:14)
   - To wait for Him

17) What does Elihu feel that Job has done? (35:16)
   - Opened his mouth in vain, multiplying words without knowledge

18) At this point, what does Elihu presume to do? (36:2-3)
   - To speak on God's behalf, and to ascribe righteousness to his

19) What does he first proclaim concerning God? (36:5-23)
   - God's goodness and justice, as shown toward the righteous and

20) What does he then proclaim concerning God? (36:24-37:24)
   - God's majesty and greatness, as seen in His dealings with nature

21) What does Elihu counsel Job to therefore do? (37:14)
   - Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God

22) What are Elihu's closing words? (37:23-24)
   - As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power,
     in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress
   - Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise
     of heart

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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M.C... "THE BOOK OF JOB" The Great Debate: Third Cycle Of Speeches (22-31)

                           "THE BOOK OF JOB"

           The Great Debate: Third Cycle Of Speeches (22-31)


1) To examine the conclusion of the "great debate", and the feeble
   efforts of Job's friends to convince him that he is deserving of his
   great suffering

2) To observe how Job maintains his claim to innocence while stating
   his complaint that God is not hearing him


Eliphaz once again takes the initiative, rebuking Job for his claims of
innocence.  Accusing Job of great wickedness, for the first time he
specifies sins of which he believes Job must be guilty to have suffered
so greatly.  Charging Job of cherishing wicked ways and trusting that
God doesn't see it, Eliphaz ends with another appeal for Job to return
to God that he might enjoy renewed prosperity (22:1-30).  Job's
response is to once again express his longing to find God so he can
present his side.  While maintaining his claims of integrity and how he
has treasured God's words, he admits he is awed by God's dealings.  He
wonders why the wicked often sin with impunity, but then says what he
thinks should and will eventually happen to them.  He concludes his
response to Eliphaz with a challenge to show him where he has spoken
falsely (23:1-24:25).

Bildad's third speech is short, adding little.  Speaking briefly of
God's greatness, he posits how anyone can be righteous before God
(25:1-6).  Job replies with questions which imply that he considers
Bildad's counsel to have been of no help.  Perhaps to illustrate how
they have not been much help, Job demonstrates his own ability to
describe God's greatness (26:1-14).

Zophar remains silent in this third cycle of speeches, so Job continues
with his discourse.  Though he feels that God has taken away his
justice and made his soul bitter, he refuses to accept his friends'
counsel and maintains his innocence.  He accuses them of nonsense and
describes what God will do with the wicked (27:1-23).  Job then says
where true wisdom is to be found, that it comes from God Who has
revealed it to man (28:1-28).  As his words draw near to their end, Job
recounts how it was in the past when he blessed by God and respected by
men (29:1-25).  In contrast, the present finds him being mocked by
others, suffering in pain, with God not answering his plea to be heard
(30:1-31).  He concludes by listing various sins, which if he had
committed them, he agrees he would have been guilty of punishment.  In
this way he again maintains his claim to innocence and not deserving
his great suffering (31:1-40).  For Job and his three friends, this
ends the "Great Debate".



      1. He rebukes Job again for his claims of innocence (22:1-3)
         a. He affirms that God is self-sufficient, needing nothing
            from man
         b. Therefore Job's claim to be blameless is no way enhances
            his standing before God
      2. He accuses Job of great wickedness (22:4-11)
         a. God is not punishing Job because he fears God
         b. It is because of Job's great iniquity, of which Eliphaz
            gives examples
         c. For such reasons Eliphaz says Job is being punished
      3. He charges Job of cherishing wicked ways, trusting that God
         doesn't see it (22:12-20)
         a. How can Job say that God does not see what he is doing?
         b. Will Job continue to keep to the ways of wicked men?
         c. Yet the righteous rejoice when the wicked are cut down
      4. He exhorts Job to return to God and enjoy renewed prosperity
         a. Acquaint yourself with God, receive instruction from Him,
            you will be at peace
         b. Return to Him, and He will bless you, be your delight,
            answer your prayers
         c. Job's plans would then be successful, and able to save
            others (cf. 42:7-10)

   B. JOB'S REPLY (23:1-24:25)
      1. He reasserts his longing to find God and present his case
         a. Heavy with bitter complaint and groaning, he wished he
            could find God
         b. He desired to speak his case before God, confident that he
            could reason with Him
         c. But God is nowhere to be found
      2. Maintaining his claims of integrity, he is awed by God's
         dealings (23:10-17)
         a. He has not turned aside from God's way
         b. He has treasured the words of God
         c. But the manner of God's dealings with him have terrified
      3. He wonders why the wicked often sin with impunity (24:1-17)
         a. The wicked often oppress the poor and helpless, forcing
            them to live off the land
         b. God does not seem to answer the cry of the oppressed, and
            punish the wicked
         c. There are those who use the darkness to carry out their
      4. What Job thinks should happen to the wicked, and will
         eventually happen (24:18-24)
         a. They should be punished and remembered no more
         b. He expresses confidence that God will eventually take the
            wicked away
      -- Job concludes with a challenge to show were he has spoken
         falsely (24:25)


      1. He proclaims the greatness of God (25:1-3)
         a. Dominion and fear belong to Him, He makes peace in His high
         b. His armies are innumerable
      2. Can anyone be righteous before God? (25:4-6)
         a. No one can be pure in God's sight
         b. If the moon and stars pale in God's sight, how much more
            man, who is no more than a maggot or worm in comparison to

   B. JOB'S REPLY (26:1-31:40)
      1. He declares that Bildad's counsel has been worthless (26:1-4)
         a. Bildad (and the others) have not helped him
         b. Have they been speaking to someone with no wisdom?
      2. He demonstrates his own ability to describe the greatness of
         God (26:5-14)
         a. By depicting God's greatness over the dead, and over the
         b. Such greatness is but the "mere edges" of God's ways
         c. No one can understand the true greatness of His power
      3. As he continues his discourse, he maintains his integrity
         a. Though God has taken away his justice, and made his soul
         b. He will not speak wickedly, but he still claims innocence
         c. He knows that there is no hope for the wicked or hypocrite
      4. He will teach his friends what God will do to the wicked
         a. As a rebuke to his friends for what they have said to him
         b. The families of the wicked will suffer the consequences
         c. The wealth of the wicked will be consumed by others
         d. God will eventually remove the wicked from his place
      5. He gives a discourse on the true source of wisdom (28:1-28)
         a. Precious minerals may found through diligent mining
         b. But true wisdom and understanding comes only from God, who
            has declared it unto man
      6. As he continues his discourse, he recalls the good days of his
         past (29:1-25)
         a. When God watched over him, and blessed him
         b. When he had the respect of others, and administered justice
            for the poor, the fatherless, the widow, the blind and lame
         c. When he looked to the future with hope
         d. When others kept silence to hear his counsel, and he was
            like a king
      7. He then reflects upon his present condition (30:1-31)
         a. He is now mocked by the sons of those he once disdained
         b. His is now their "taunt-song", their byword, as they abuse
         c. He bemoans his agony and the treatment he feels the Lord
            has given him
         d. Would God not remember how he wept for others in trouble?
         e. But all he sees is evil and days of affliction
      8. One last time, Job maintains his integrity (31:1-40)
         a. He has made a covenant with his eyes, not to look upon a
            young woman
            1) For he knows the ultimate end of the wicked
            2) For God does see and knows all that he does
         b. He is willing to accept just punishment, if he has ever...
            1) Been deceitful
            2) Committed adultery
            3) Mistreated his servants
            4) Neglected the poor, widows, and fatherless
            5) Put his trust in gold, or worshipped the heavenly bodies
            6) Rejoiced over the demise of his enemies, or cursed them
            7) Not cared for the stranger
            8) Tried to hide his iniquity
         c. He makes his final cry
            1) That God would answer him and tell him what he has done
            2) Willing to accept punishment if he has misappropriated
               his land or stolen it from others


1) Of what wickedness does Eliphaz accuse Job? (22:6-9)
   - Taking pledges from his brother for no reason
   - Stripping the naked of their clothing
   - Not giving the weary water to drink; withholding bread from the
   - Sending the widows away empty; crushing the strength of the

2) What does Eliphaz accuse Job of saying? (22:13-14)
   - What does God know?
   - Thick clouds cover Him so that He cannot see

3) What does Eliphaz ask Job? (22:15)
   - Will you keep to the old way which wicked men have trod?

4) What does Eliphaz counsel Job to do? (22:21-22)
   - Acquaint himself with God, receive instruction from His mouth

5) What does Eliphaz promise Job if he will repent? (22:23)
   - He will be built up, and iniquity will be far removed from him

6) What does Job ask for as he begins his response to Eliphaz? (23:3)
   - To find God that he might present his case to Him

7) What is Job's response to Eliphaz' charge of wickedness? (23:11-12)
   - I have kept His way and not turned aside, I have not departed from
     His commandments

8) And yet what does Job feel God has done to him? (23:16)
   - Made his heart weak, and terrified him

9) In Bildad's final speech, how does he respond to Job's claim of
   innocence? (25:4-6)
   - How can a man be righteous before God, who is no more than a worm
     in comparison?

10) In replying to Bildad, what does Job ask him? (26:3)
   - How have you counseled one who has no wisdom?

11) As Job continues his discourse, what does he steadfastly maintain?
   - His integrity, righteousness, and clear conscience

12) What does he then describe to his three friends? (27:13-23)
   - The true portion of a wicked man with God

13) As his discourse describes the difficulty of finding wisdom, to
    what does Job attribute its true source? (28:20-28)
   - It comes from God, who has revealed it to man

14) As he described the days gone by when he was respected by all, what
    things had he done? (29:12-17)
   - Delivered the poor and fatherless; caused the widow's heart to
     sing for joy
   - Put on righteousness and justice like a robe and turban
   - Provided eyes to the blind and feet to the lame
   - Was a father to poor and searched out their case
   - Broke the fangs of the wicked and plucked the victim from his

15) In the present, though, who mocks him? (30:1)
   - Young men whose fathers Job had disdained to put even with the
     dogs of his flock

16) As he draws near to the end of his discourse, what does Job cry out
    to God? (30:20-21)
   - I cry out to You, but You do not answer
   - You have become cruel to me; You oppose me with the strength of
     Your Hand

17) In summarizing his plight, what sort of things does he say?
   - I looked for good, evil came to me; I waited for light, then came
   - My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest; days of affliction
     confront me
   - I go about mourning, I cry for help
   - My skin grows black and falls from me; my bones burn with fever

18) What kind of covenant had Job made with his eyes?  Why? (31:1-4)
   - Not to look upon a young woman
   - Does God not see his ways and count all his steps?

19) List the things that Job says would make him deserving of God's
    punishment (31:1-40)
   - Walking with falsehood, or hastening to deceit
   - Heart enticed by a woman, or lurking at his neighbor's door
   - Despising the cause of his servants when they complained against
   - Keeping the poor from their desire
   - Causing the eyes of the widow to fail
   - Eating morsels so that the fatherless could not eat of it
   - Seeing anyone perish for lack of clothing, or the poor without
   - Failing to help the fatherless when it was in his power
   - Making gold his hope and confidence; rejoicing over his great
   - Worshipping the sun or moon
   - Rejoicing at the destruction of him who hated him
   - Not providing food and opening his doors to the traveler
   - Trying to hide his transgressions
   - Eating off the land without compensation, causing its owners to
     lose their lives

20) What is Job's final request as he ends his words? (31:35)
   - That he had someone to hear him
   - That the Almighty would answer him
   - That his Prosecutor had written a book

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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Homer Sometimes Nodded, but the Bible Writers Never Did! by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


Homer Sometimes Nodded, but the Bible Writers Never Did!

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Horace (65-8 B.C.), a Latin lyric poet, wrote: “Sometimes even the noble Homer nods” (Ars Poetica, 1.359). Homer was the blind Greek poet of the eighth century B.C., so well known for his works, the Iliad and the Odyssey. What Horace suggested was this: As accomplished as Homer was, he sometimes erred with reference to the facts of the incidents he mentioned.
More than a quarter of a century ago, the late B.C. Goodpasture, respected editor of the Gospel Advocate for some thirty-eight years, published an article in that journal titled “Homer Sometimes Nods” (1970). The thrust of this fascinating essay was to show that human authors, regardless of their genius and skill, are fallible. Thus, in spite of their consummate care, they will “nod” or “slip” on occasion. By way of contrast, the writers of the biblical record never “nodded.” Even though many of them were not professional scholars (cf. Acts 4:13), nonetheless they wrote with astounding precision. The only reasonable conclusion the honest student may draw is this:their work was overseen by the Spirit of God. [I acknowledge my indebtedness to the revered Goodpasture for the idea embodied in this article, and for a few of the examples that illustrate the concept developed.]


A poet once quipped: “To err is human....” How very true. Humans err. God does not. And that is why the careful student can discern clearly the difference between a document that is a mere human composition, and one which was penned under the guidance of the infallible Creator of the Universe.
Herodotus was a Greek historian of the fifth century B.C. Cicero called him “the father of history.” He wrote nine books dealing with the Greek and Persian wars, together with a history of the customs and geography of those empires. In one of his writings, Herodotus claimed that the reason the oxen in Sythia grew no horns was because it was too cold there (4.29). Apparently, he never had heard of reindeer!
Aristotle, the famous Greek scholar of the fourth century B.C., was renowned for his knowledge. Yet he made some colossal speculative blunders. In his work titled Parts of Animals,he argued that within the human body, man’s soul is “lodged in some substance of a fiery character.” He contended that the brain “is a compound of earth and water.” He further suggested that sleep is caused by the blood flowing into the brain, thus making it heavy. This, he declared, “is the reason why drowsy persons hang the head” (Book II, Chapter 3).
Marcus Porcius Cato was a Roman statesman who died about the mid-second century B.C. His famous work, De agri cultura (“On Farming”), has survived. In one passage (71) he gave a remedy for treating an ailing ox. It consisted of forcing down the ox a raw hen egg, swallowed whole, followed the next day by a concoction of leek and wine. However, this treatment—in order to be efficacious—absolutely had to be administered from a wooden vessel while both the ox and the administrator were standing (cited by Sarton, 1959, p. 408). It is obvious that the method of administration would have nothing to do with the curative value of Cato’s concoction. Yet such is the nature of human superstition.
Flavius Josephus was a Jewish writer who authored several works regarding the Hebrew nation, its fortunes, and its fate. Though considered a respectable historian for his day, he frequently slipped. For instance he declared that during the siege of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), a heifer, being led to be sacrificed in the temple, gave birth to a lamb (Wars, 6.3). Josephus also spoke of a certain place in Egypt where fierce serpents “ascend out of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air” (Antiquities, 2.10.2).
Samuel Johnson was the author of the first bona fide English dictionary. He also produced aGrammar of the English Tongue. In that work, the celebrated writer stated that the letter “H seldom, perhaps never, begins any but the first syllable” of a word. Regrettably he had not noticed that “h” commenced the second syllable in “perhaps.” His humiliation must have been keen.
The famous poet, Lord Byron, wrote a magnificent composition that he titled, “The Destruction of Sennacherib.” In beautiful rhyme this literary masterpiece dramatically told of the devastating deaths of the 185,000 Assyrian soldiers who once threatened Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah. The poet slipped, though, because the rebel monarch Sennacherib was not destroyed when Jehovah’s messenger smote that vast heathen camp. The king was several miles away at Lachish when the destruction occurred. He eventually returned to his home in the east and was slain by his own sons—in fulfillment, incidentally, of sacred prophecy (2 Kings 19:7; 36-37).
Adam Clarke was probably the most famous scholar produced by the Methodist Church. He spent forty years writing his famous Commentary on the Holy Bible. As meticulous as he was, Clarke occasionally erred. For example, in commenting on Genesis 1:16, he suggested that the Moon has streams and vegetation, and is inhabited by intelligent beings. Our modern space explorations have proved that speculation quite erroneous. Clarke also stated that Jewish historian Josephus never mentioned the Syrian soldier, Naaman. He was wrong, though, because Josephus asserted that the warrior who mortally wounded Ahab, by shooting an arrow randomly into the air, was Naaman (Antiquities, 8.15.5).
Alexander Cruden produced a widely used concordance of the English Bible, a task for which he was well qualified by virtue of many years of scripture study (even though, at times, he suffered from emotional illness). Yet in his volume, Explanations of Scripture Terms, concerning the whale Cruden wrote: “The [whale is the] greatest of the fishes that we know of ” (1840, p. 366). He erred. Actually, the whale is a mammal, and not a fish at all.
The religion of Islam claims that the Qur’an is inspired of God. Clearly, however, it is not, for it is flawed by many examples of “nodding.” For instance, the Qur’an suggests that the human fetus results from “sperm” [no mention of an egg] that changes into “a clot of congealed blood,” which then becomes bones, later to be covered with flesh (sura 23:14). This hardly is an accurate description of fetal development.
The Book of Mormon is revered by millions of “Latter-Day Saints.” It purports to be an infallible revelation from God given to Joseph Smith Jr. by an angel of the Lord. Whoever composed the narrative, however, “nodded” more than once (one almost is tempted to say he lapsed into a coma!). For instance, in Alma 7:10 it is said that Jesus Christ was born in Jerusalem. But, as every school child knows, the Lord was born in that “little town of Bethlehem” (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1). The Spirit of God makes no such blunders. Again, according to the Book of Mormon, a man by the name of Nephi was using a “compass” to find his direction in the sixth century B.C. (1 Nephi 16:10; 2 Nephi 5:12). It is well known, of course, that the mariner’s compass was not in use until at least a thousand years after the birth of Christ. This is a critical anachronism in Mormonism’s “sacred” book. Joseph Smith Jr. also taught that there were people living on the Moon—six feet tall, dressed like Quakers, and with a life span of 1,000 years (Huntington, 1892, 3:263). Brigham Young, Smith’s successor, when asked about this matter, concurred, suggesting that such beings lived on the Sun as well (Young, 13:271).
Mary Baker Eddy founded the “Christian Science” movement. She produced a book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which she claimed was co-authored by God. But Mrs. Eddy more than nodded when, in that volume, she wrote: “Man is not matter—made up of brains, blood, bones, and other material elements.... Man is spiritual and perfect; and because of this, he must be so understood in Christian Science.... Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death” (1934, p. 475). In spite of her denial of human mortality, she died December 3, 1910.
I cannot conclude this section without acknowledging my own fallibility. When I penned my little book, Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology (1982), I stated that “Henry Winckler” of the German Orient Society discovered the ancient Hittite capital of Boghazkoy. That was a “slip.” It was “Hugo Winckler,” not “Henry.” Henry Winkler was the “Fonz” of the old “Happy Days” television show! This merely demonstrated what many had suspected already—I am not inspired of God!


By way of glaring contrast, the holy writers of the biblical records never “nodded.” Their works are characterized by a razor-sharp accuracy that defies explanation, save on the ground that they were controlled by the Spirit of God. Consider the following factors.
(1) The first two chapters of the Bible contain the divine record of the commencement of the Universe, including the Earth and its inhabitants. Though it was penned thirty-five centuries ago, there is not a syllable in this account that is at variance with any demonstrable fact of science. Any book on astronomy or Earth science, penned fifty years ago, already is obsolete. And yet Genesis, simple and sublime, is factually flawless. The Mosaic narrative asserts that the Universe had a “beginning” (1:1), which is perfectly consistent with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Contrast this with the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation tablets, which asserts the eternality of matter (see Pfeiffer, 1966, p. 226). The Genesis record affirms that creation activity was concluded by the end of the sixth day (2:1-3). Science says, as per the First Law of Thermodynamics, that nothing is being created today. No less than ten times Genesis 1 affirms that biological organisms replicate “after [their] kind.” In passing, we must note that modern pseudoscience (i.e., the theory of evolution) is dependent upon the notion that in the past organisms have reproduced after their non-kind! The biblical account, however, is perfectly in harmony with the known laws of genetics.
(2) The medical knowledge revealed in the Bible record truly is astounding. It is well known, for instance, that in the antique world, medicine was based upon myth and superstition. This was true both in Babylon and in Egypt. For example the Papyrus Ebers (from the sixteenth centuryB.C.), edited by Georg M. Ebers in 1874, offered some very strange remedies for various illnesses. Here is a prescription for folks who are losing their hair: “When it falls out, one remedy is to apply a mixture of six fats, namely those of the horse, the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the cat, the snake, and the ibex. To strengthen it, anoint with the tooth of a donkey crushed in honey” (as quoted in McMillen, 1963, p. 11). Even the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, one of the more sophisticated examples of Egyptian medical “science,” contains a spell for “transforming an old man into a youth of twenty.”
In spite of the fact that Moses was reared in an Egyptian environment, and “was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22), not one time did the great law-giver incorporate any of this magical mumbo-jumbo into the Scriptures. On the contrary, Moses was far ahead of his time in terms of medicine and sanitation. A careful study of Leviticus 13, with reference to certain skin diseases, reveals some rather modern techniques, e.g., diagnosis of certain symptoms, treatment to lessen spread (e.g., disinfection), and quarantine. No other law code in the whole of ancient history came anywhere near rivaling these health regulations. Consider, for instance, the fact that the “leper” was required to “cover his upper lip” (Leviticus 13:45). Dr. J.S. Morton has noted: “Since the leprosy bacilli are transmitted from nasal drippings and saliva, this practice of having lepers cover their upper lips was a good hygienic policy” (1978, p. 255). Concerning Moses’ procedures for quarantining, Dr. William Vis has written:
To show how far Moses was ahead of modern society we need only to remind ourselves that the word quarantine originated in the fourteenth century when the Italian ports of Venice and Genoa first refused admission to immigrants who might be harboring plague and required them to stay on board for forty days, hence the word quarantine. Even in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries leprosy spread over southern Europe until the principles of Moses were re-enacted successfully (1950, p. 244).
(3) When the Encyclopaedia Britannica first was published, it had so many mistakes relative to American geography and topography that the publishers of the New American Cyclopedia issued a special pamphlet correcting the numerous blunders of its British rival. J.W. McGarvey once noted that when Tacitus wrote his celebrated work, Germany, which dealt with the geography, manners, customs, and tribes of Germany, it contained so many errors that many were inclined to doubt that this well-known Roman historian could have produced such a flawed volume (1956, 3:26-27). The Encyclopaedia Britannica stated concerning Tacitus’ work that “the geography is its weak point” (1958, 21:736).
The biblical writings contain literally hundreds of references to geography and topography relating to those lands that the prophets and apostles traversed. For example, we are quite casual in our topographical allusions. One is said to travel from Atlanta up to Chicago, whereas Chicago is almost 500 feet lower than Atlanta. Usually we speak of going “up” north and “down” south. With the biblical writers, elevation references always are precise. One travels from Jerusalem (in the south) “down” to Antioch, some 150 miles to the north (Acts 15:1-2). Not once is there a geographical or topographical blunder in the sacred volume, in spite of the fact that the ancients did not possess the sophisticated instruments that we have today.
Here is another amazing fact. In the book of Acts, the historian Luke mentions thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities, and nine of the Mediterranean islands (Metzger, 1965, p. 171). There is not the slightest mistake in any of his references. Luke has been criticized over the centuries to be sure; his influence has increased, however, while his critics’ credibility has decreased!


Over a span of many centuries, hostile critics of the Bible have charged the sacred writers with “nodding.” Time after time, however, when the true facts have come to light, the Scriptures have been vindicated. Reflect upon a few examples of such.
The Genesis record declares that while he was in Egypt, Pharaoh presented Abraham with some camels (Genesis 12:16). Liberal writers disputed this. T.K. Cheyne wrote: “The assertion that the ancient Egyptians knew of the camel is unfounded” (1899, 1:634). Professor Kenneth Kitchen has shown, however, that “the extant evidence clearly indicates that the domestic camel was known [in Egypt] by 3,000 B.C.”—long before Abraham’s time (1980, 1:228).
On several occasions in the book of Genesis it is recorded that Abraham and Isaac had associations with the Philistines (cf. Genesis 21; 26). Liberal scholars consider these references to be anachronistic (details from a later age inappropriately inserted into the patriarchal account). H.T. Frank characterized the allusions as “an historical inaccuracy” (1964, p. 323). It has been shown, however, that “Philistine” was a rather generic term and that there is no valid reason to doubt that these groups were in Canaan before the arrival of the main body in the early twelfth century B.C. (Unger, 1954, p. 91; Archer, 1964, p. 266; Harrison, 1963, p. 32). Harrison noted that the archaeological evidence “suggests that it is a mistake to regard the mention of the Philistines in the patriarchal narratives as an anachronism” (1983, p. 362).
Elsewhere, I have catalogued no less than twenty major “slips” with which the biblical writers have been charged (Jackson, 1982). Each has evaporated with the passing of time and the exhumation of evidence.
Yes, even the noble Homer may nod; those guided by the Spirit of God, however, never did. You can trust the Bible!


Archer, Gleason (1964), A Survey of Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Cheyne, T.K. (1899), Encyclopedia Biblica (London: A. & C. Black).
Cruden, Alexander (1840), Cruden’s Explanations of Scripture Terms (London: Religious Tract Society).
Eddy, Mary Baker (1934), Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Boston, MA: The First Church of Christ, Scientist).
Encyclopaedia Britannica, (1958), “Tacitus,” (London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.).
Frank, H.T. (1964), An Archaeological Companion to the Bible (London: SCM Press).
Goodpasture, B.C. (1970), “Homer Sometimes Nods,” Gospel Advocate, 112[21]:322,325.
Harrison, R.K. (1963), The Archaeology of the Old Testament (New York: Harper & Row).
Harrison, R.K. (1983), The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, ed. Edward Blaiklock and R.K. Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Huntington, Oliver B. (1892), “Inhabitants of the Moon,” Young Woman’s Journal.
Jackson, Wayne (1982), Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Kitchen, K.A. (1980), The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, ed. J.D. Douglas (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale).
McGarvey, J.W. (1956 reprint), Evidences of Christianity (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
McMillen, S.I. (1963), None of These Diseases (Westwood, NJ: Revell).
Metzger, Bruce M. (1965), The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content (Nashville, TN: Abingdon).
Morton, J.S. (1978), Science in the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Pfeiffer, Charles (1966), The Biblical World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Sarton, George (1959), A History of Science (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
Unger, Merrill (1954), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Vis, William R. (1950), “Medical Science and the Bible,” Modern Science and the Christian Faith(Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen).
Young, Brigham (1854-75), Journal of Discourses (Liverpool, England: F.D. Richards).

Galaxy's Distance Doesn't Tell Age by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Galaxy's Distance Doesn't Tell Age

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Maggie Fox recently reported that scientists believe they have discovered the “oldest” galaxy ever seen. This galaxy is supposed to be 13.2 billion years old, “only” 480 million years younger than the entire Universe (Fox, 2011). How do scientists arrive at such a great age? They base their calculations on the Big Bang theory and equate distance with age. What the scientists have actually found is what they believe to be the most distant galaxy ever seen. By equating distance with age, they conclude that the most distant galaxy must be the oldest.
If the Big Bang theory is incorrect, however, the assumption that distance equals age is false. It has been repeatedly shown that Big Bang theory cannot possibly be scientifically, mathematically, or historically true (see Thompson, Harrub, and May, 2003). Not only that, it is also true that the dating methods used to arrive at the billions-of-years scenario are faulty (DeYoung, 2005). Thus we can know that a galaxy’s distance does not indicate its age in billions of years. What we “know” (I put the word “know” in quotation marks because science often even gets the distances wrong) is approximately how far the galaxy is. The incorrect interpretation shackled to that knowledge is the idea that distance equals age.
We regularly see this tactic used in the biological sciences. Often a biologist will measure the amount of similarity between two organisms’ molecular structures. The biologist will assumeDarwinian evolution to be true and report how closely the organisms are related. Yet similarity only equals relationship if evolution is true (which it is not). The irony of the situation is that these similarity studies are often used as evidence of evolution. This becomes the epitome of circular reasoning: proving evolution by proving how closely organisms are related, and basing that “relationship” on similarities that only “prove” evolution if you assume it in the first place.
As a critically thinking society, we should demand from the scientific community that they keep their incorrect assumptions and faulty interpretations to themselves, and simply report the “facts.” We are reminded of the admonition to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Distance does not equal age, similarity does not equal relationship, and the Big Bang theory and evolution do not equal good science.


DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Fox, Maggie (2011), “Telescope Spots Oldest Galaxy Ever Seen,” Reuters, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110127/sc_nm/us_space_galaxy/print.
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub and Branyon May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique,” Reason & Revelationhttp://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2635.

Do the "Household Baptisms" Justify Infant Baptism? by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


Do the "Household Baptisms" Justify Infant Baptism?
by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

On occasion, advocates of infant baptism appeal to Acts 10, Acts 16, and 1 Corinthians 1 for proof that infant baptism is scriptural. Acts 10:24-48 relates the account of Cornelius and his “relatives and close friends” hearing the Gospel and being baptized. Acts 16 includes the accounts of two sets of baptisms: (1) the baptism of the members of Lydia’s family (verse 15); and (2) the baptism of the Philippian jailer and “all his family” (verse 33). Paul revealed that he baptized members of the household of Stephanas (1 Corinthians 1:16). These are the so-called “household baptisms” (see Coffman, 1977, p. 320; Mare, 1984, pp. 192-193). Proponents of infant baptism assume that there were children in Cornelius’ house, Lydia’s family, the jailer’s house, and Stephanas’ house, and that the infants were baptized. Since there is no mention of infants in any of these passages, those who use these passages to justify infant baptism base their claims upon two assumptions: (1) infants were present in the households; and (2) the contexts of Acts 10 and 16 allow for the baptism of infants as part of “household baptisms.”
In each example of “household baptism,” the people who were baptized were ones who had been taught what they needed to do in order to receive salvation (Acts 10:34-43; 16:14, 32; 1 Corinthians 1:16-18; 16:15-16). They were the people who could hear and understand the Word of God (Acts 10:44), believe (10:31-33), and devote themselves to the ministry of the saints (1 Corinthians 16:15). The absence of the noun “belief,” and the verb “believe,” in some of the conversion accounts, does not necessarily imply that the ones who were baptized did not, or could not, believe. Also, the context of the household conversions does not demand that any infants were baptized. Yet, some insist that infants must have been present in the “households,” and that the infants must have been baptized.
Lydia did not live in Philippi (she was from Thyatira, on the other side of the Aegean Sea). Since she was traveling, she probably did not bring her children with her, if she had any. Because oikosseems to denote “property” in this instance, it was probably Lydia’s servants who were baptized (Lydia certainly was wealthy enough to have servants; see Jackson, 2000, pp. 201-02; Lenski, 1944, p. 660). Notice also that, in the case of Lydia’s conversion, the evangelists spoke to a group of women who had “come together,” indicating that the members of Lydia’s household could have been found within that group of women (the very group who was praying and who heard Paul’s message; see Coffman, 1977, p. 313; Lenski, 1944, p. 659).
Some allege that Lydia’s family members were baptized, not because they believed, but only because they were in Lydia’s family, while Lydia herself did believe (e.g., Barnes, 1972, p. 241). This allegation rests on the fact that Acts 16:14-15 denotes Lydia’s belief, but does not specifically reveal that her family believed. The Bible clearly teaches, however, that belief must precede baptism (see Mark 16:16; Acts 8:37; Romans 10:10-11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Ephesians 1:21), and that a sinner cannot be forgiven of sin based on the faith of another (Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 2:7; 4:5; 1 John 3:23).
Furthermore, Acts 16:34 (part of the account of a “household baptism”) reports that the Philippian jailer’s family, at the time of the “household baptism,” was made up entirely of “believers” (excluding infants), and the accounts of both Cornelius’ and the jailer’s conversions specifically indicate that candidates for baptism were those who had “heard the word” (Acts 10:44,47). When inspired writers wrote about “hearing” the Word of God, “hearing” often denoted not only the recognition of audible sounds, of which infants are capable, but also understanding the message, of which infants are incapable (see Deuteronomy 5:1; Romans 10:17; Job 13:17; Luke 14:35). The contexts of Acts 10 and Acts 16 imply that meaning of the verb “hear” (akouo).
Some base their claim that infants of the jailer’s household were baptized, upon the assumption that there would not have been enough water in a jail to immerse adults. Thus, they say, sprinkling was the mode of baptism, which would have been appropriate for infant baptism. However, Acts 16 suggests that Paul and Silas were not in the jail at the time of the major part of the teaching and the baptism, because they had been “brought out”—likely out of the prison itself—and taken to a place where the prisoners’ stripes could be washed. It was at this place that the baptisms took place, so it is an imposition on the text to imply that Paul and Silas did not have access to enough water for immersion.
There are other examples of household conversions, whose contexts attest to the fact that, when “households” of people were baptized, infants were not baptized. When the inspired writers mentioned the so-called “household baptisms,” they said that all believers in the households were baptized. To assert otherwise is to put an unnecessary strain on the text, and to teach that which contradicts unambiguous, definitive Bible teaching (see Mark 16:16; Acts 8:37-38; Romans 10:10-11).


Barnes, Albert (1972 reprint), Notes on the New Testament: Acts (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Coffman, James Burton (1977), Commentary on Acts (Abilene, TX: ACU Press).
Jackson, Wayne (2000), The Acts of the Apostles: From Jerusalem to Rome (Stockton, CA: Courier Publications).
Lenski, Robert C.H. (1944), The Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
Mare, W. Harold (1984), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 Corinthians, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).