"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" The Hidden Wisdom Of God (2:6-16) by Mark Copeland


                   The Hidden Wisdom Of God (2:6-16)


1. In 1Co 1:18-31, Paul wrote of the folly of trusting in human wisdom...
   a. For God chose to make foolish the wisdom of the wise
   b. And He chose to save man through a message that appears foolish to

2. In 1Co 2:1-5, Paul thus explains the nature of his preaching when he
   came to Corinth...
   a. Appealing not through excellence of speech or of wisdom
   b. Proclaiming only Jesus Christ and Him crucified
   c. That their faith not be in human wisdom, but in the power of God

3. Yet that does not mean he did not have wisdom to offer; indeed, he
   offered them...
   a. A mature wisdom - 1Co 2:6
   b. A hidden wisdom - 1Co 2:7

[The nature of this wisdom, and how it can be known, is revealed in our
text (1Co 2:6-16).  Note first of all, that "The Hidden Wisdom Of God"


      1. A wisdom not known by the rulers of this age (world, KJV)
         - 1Co 2:6
      2. As evidenced by their crucifixion of the Christ - 1Co 2:8
      -- Further illustrating why we can not place all our trust in
         human wisdom

      1. As God ordained before the ages (i.e., before the world began)
         - 1Co 2:7
      2. Which He did "for our glory" (intending to glorify those who
         accept Him) - cf. 2Th 1:10
      3. Pertaining to things man cannot perceive on his own - 1Co 2:9
         a. Either through sight or sound
         b. Or through one's own inspiration
      -- Man left to his own devices cannot know all that God wants us
         to know!

[Thus Paul contends that there is a mature wisdom from God that has been
hidden from mankind.  Yet in four distinct steps "The Hidden Wisdom Of
God" has now been...]


      1. Things not seen, heard, nor entered into the heart of man
         - 1Co 2:9
      2. Things prepared for those who love Him - ibid.
      -- The first step:  God prepared things we could not discern on
         our own

      1. Through His Spirit, to the apostles and prophets - 1Co 2:10
         a. As Jesus promised His apostles - Jn 16:12-14
         b. As Paul professed in his epistle - Ep 3:1-5
      2. Through His Spirit, who searches the deep things of God 
         - 1Co 2:10
         a. Who alone knows the things of God - 1Co 2:11
         b. Just as no man knows what is in the heart of another - ibid.
      -- The second step:  God revealed through His Spirit what He wants
         us to know

      1. The Spirit of God - 1Co 2:12
         a. Not the spirit of the world
         b. But the Spirit who is from God
      2. Knowledge of things freely given by God - ibid.
         a. Which had been kept hidden from man for ages
         b. Which was now made known to the apostles and prophets of
      -- The third step:  the apostles received God's wisdom through the
         Holy Spirit

      1. Not in words which man's wisdom teaches - 1Co 2:13
      2. But in words which the Holy Spirit teaches - ibid.
         a. "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (NKJV)
         b. "combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words" (NASB)
         c. "combining spiritual things with spiritual words" (ASV)
         d. "interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual"(ESV)
      3. And wrote them that others might also know - cf. Ep 3:3-4
      -- The fourth step:  the apostles' writings make known God's
         revealed wisdom

[So "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" has been revealed through God's servants
(cf. Ro 16:25-26).  Yet it is a wisdom most appreciated by those who are
"mature" (cf. 1Co 2:6).  I.e., it is...]


      1. The "natural" man is one:
         a. "governed and influenced by the natural instincts; the
            animal passions and desires, in opposition to those who are
            influenced by the Spirit of God" - Barnes
         b. Who depends only on his own senses and own reasoning
      2. The "natural" man in such a state:
         a. Does not receive the things of the Spirit, for they seem
            foolish to him - 1Co 2:14a
         b. Cannot know them, because such must be spiritually discerned
            - 1Co 2:14b
      -- This helps explain why many people think the Bible is foolish

      1. The "spiritual" man is one:
         a. "who is enlightened by the Holy Spirit in contradistinction
            from him who is under the influence of the senses only"
            - Barnes
         b. Who is open to the teaching of the Spirit revealed through
            the apostles - cf. Ep 3:3-4
      2. The "spiritual" man in such a state:
         a. Is able to make judgment (discernment), for he has had his
            senses exercised concerning what is good and evil - 1Co 2:
            15a; cf. He 5:12-15
         b. Is rightly judged by no one (other than the Lord Himself)
            - 1Co 2:15b; cf. 1Co 4:3-4
      -- Through the inspired Word, the Spirit leads one to true
         spiritual enlightenment


1. We have seen that "The Hidden Wisdom Of God"...
   a. Was unknown to men of this world
   b. Was revealed through men led by the Spirit of God
   c. Is comprehended by those willing to heed what the Spirit has
      revealed through such men

2. To a limited extent, "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" has been made known
   to all...
   a. Through the gospel and preaching of Jesus Christ - Ro 16:25-26
   b. Which Jesus wanted everyone to hear - cf. Mk 16:15-16

3. We should not assume because we are Christians that we fully
   comprehend such wisdom...
   a. There was more for which the Corinthians were not quite ready
      - cf. 1Co 3:1-3
   b. There was more for which the Hebrews were not quite ready 
       - cf. He 5:11-14

4. To truly benefit from all "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" has to offer...
   a. We must stop being carnal, "natural" men, influenced more by our
      humanly senses
   b. We must grow in grace and knowledge by feeding on the Word - cf.
      1Pe 2:1-2; Jm 1:21

Only then, by the grace of God, will we be capable of...

   "...attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding,
   to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of
   Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
   knowledge." - Col 2:2-3

Do you desire the "treasures of wisdom and knowledge" found only in
Christ?  Then heed not the voices and wisdom of the world, but the
voices and wisdom of the apostles of our Lord and Savior...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Babylon the Great Has Fallen by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Babylon the Great Has Fallen

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Babylon was one of the richest cities in the world during the years 740 B.C. to 680 B.C.During these “glory days,” the city prospered like it had the Midas touch; everything it touched seemed to turn to gold. It was located between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers—a strip of land so agriculturally productive that today it is known as the “fertile crescent.”
But its agriculture and well-watered plains were not the reason it was famous. Babylon gained its reputation because of its high, massive walls and its strong defensive battlements. In fact, ancient writers described walls that were 14 miles long on all four sides of the city and that reached heights of over 300 feet—taller than most building today. Not only were the walls long and high, but in some places they also were 75-feet thick. But the wall was not the only form of defense. The Euphrates River surrounded the city, making a perfect moat that ranged anywhere from 65 to 250 feet across. This wall/moat combination appeared to make the city unconquerable.
Yet in spite of the strong military and defensive strength of the city, God’s prophets foretold its destruction. In Jeremiah 50:9, the prophet declared that God would “raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country.” This prediction probably seemed unfounded at the time it was made, because none of the countries in the north came close to having enough strength to defeat Babylon. But years after the prophecy, Cyrus, king of the Medo-Persian Empire, mounted a huge force of many different nations and marched southward against Babylon.
The details of the fulfillment are amazing. Jeremiah recorded that God had declared: “I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry” (51:36). Again the prophet foretold: “A drought is against her waters, and they will be dried up. For it is a land of carved images” (50:38). Also, the prophet promised that the Lord had spoken: “I will prepare their feasts; I will make them drunk, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake” (51:39).
Now listen to the story as history unfolds. The Euphrates River ran underneath the great walls of Babylon. After a siege of two full years, Cyrus was able to divert the river to make it flow into a huge marsh on the western side of the city. By doing this, he “dried up the rivers” of Babylon and provided an easy way for his soldiers to enter under the city walls where the water used to flow. But the Babylonians inside the city had no idea what was taking place. They could have defended the city, but instead they were feasting and getting drunk. Cyrus ordered his men to act like drunken revilers, and by the time the Babylonians knew what had hit them, the city was filled with enemy troops and who ultimately conquered it.
Even though the above circumstances would be enough to prove the accuracy of the prophecy of Jeremiah (and thus the Bible), the prophet’s predictions do not stop there. Chapters 50-51 of Jeremiah’s book are filled with more futuristic condemnations of Babylon, all of which were fulfilled in the smallest detail. Truly, the words spoken by the prophet did come to pass.
Time after time, the Bible has been “dead on” when it has predicted the future. Secular records document the facts about Babylon. So what does this prove? It proves one simple thing—that God Himself inspired the words written between the covers of the Bible. And because that is the case, every human being should welcome the Bible “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Are Diamonds “Life’s Best Friend”? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Are Diamonds “Life’s Best Friend”?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The theory of organic evolution is fraught with irreconcilable errors. One of the foremost is the fact that evolution demands that living organisms arose from non-living, inorganic chemicals. As all origin-of-life researchers are well aware, this idea flies in the face of the Law of Biogenesis, the most experimentally substantiated biological law in the history of science. Be that as it may, evolutionists continue their futile efforts to explain how life could have arisen from primitive, non-living substances.
According to three German scientists from the University of Ulm, diamonds most likely helped get life off the ground. In an article reporting on the work, Robert Britt stated:
Diamonds are crystallized forms of carbon that predate the oldest known life on the planet. In lab experiments aimed to confirm work done more than three decades ago, researchers found that when treated with hydrogen, natural diamonds formed crystalline layers of water on the surface. Water is essential for life as we know it. Also, the tests found electrical conductivity that could have been key to forcing chemical reactions needed to generate the first birth (2008).
Those who read Britt’s article are struck by the numerous qualifying statements such as “diamonds may have been,” “the resulting reaction may have been,” and “the new research does not conclusively determine how life began” (emp. added). Such qualifying statements are certainly needed in light of the “evidence” that is presented. Supposedly diamonds would have made a good platform for life because they can form layers of water and can possess electrical conductivity. Yet, in labs all across the globe for the past 50 years, scientists have been able to work with an endless supply of water and electricity and still have not produced life from non-life—as if water and conductivity are equivalent to life production.
Furthermore, diamonds supposedly “predate the oldest known life forms” on Earth. The ancient age of diamonds, however, has fallen upon very hard times. In 2005, Donald DeYoung published results from a team research project referred to as RATE. The name RATE is an acronym for Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. This team of scientists studied 12 diamond samples, each about 50 milligrams in weight. If diamonds are as old as suggested, they certainly would not contain any traces of Carbon-14, since C-14 should have escaped from the samples billions of years ago. After closely analyzing the samples, however, Carbon-14 was present in every one. DeYoung wrote: “The presence of C-14 in ‘very old’ fossils, rocks, coal, and diamond samples is clearly a major conflict with the long-age time scale” (2005, p. 56, emp. added).
Britt appropriately included in his brief article the fact that some scientists postulate the idea of panspermia, in which aliens allegedly seeded planet Earth with life. In truth, there is as much evidence for little green men dropping off packets of bacteria as there is that life spontaneously generated on the surface of a diamond. All such concepts are devoid of experimental verification. The presence of life on this Earth is not a scientific mystery that remains to be solved. It is a historic occurrence that most elementary school children can explain: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1), including all kinds of living organisms.


Britt, Robert Roy (2008), “Diamonds May Have Jumpstarted Life on Earth,” LiveScience.com, [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080726/sc_livescience/ diamondsmayhavejumpstartedlifeonearth.
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).

The "Not" in the Devil's Tale by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The "Not" in the Devil's Tale

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Someone coined the title of this article many years ago. They were referring, of course, to the incident recorded in Genesis chapter three where Satan coaxed Eve into eating the forbidden fruit by assuring her that if she were to do so, she would become like God (3:5). Though God had previously informed her through her husband that “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (2:17), Satan boldly disputed such a directive by inserting the word “not” in the very same statement: “You will not surely die” (3:4, emp. added). He took precisely the same sentence that God Himself had uttered, and simply inserted the three-letter word “not.”
Contemplate the gall of Satan. Ponder the absolute audacity of the devil in his willingness to pervert the Word of God by the simple insertion of such a small, seemingly insignificant word. Yet that simple three-letter insertion into the sentence articulated by God completely reversed the truth of the matter. It made it appear as if the truth was the exact opposite of what God had actually said. It countermanded God’s Word on the matter and set in its place a falsehood that was in diametric opposition to God’s will.
Besides the devil, who would dare to do such a dastardly deed? Surely not those who claim to be Christians! Surely not preachers and teachers of the Bible! Surely, only those who deny the Bible, who reject it as uninspired and a mere concoction of humans, would so tamper with God’s Word as to negate a positive, unambiguous declaration of Scripture. Yet God did warn that even from among Christians would arise those who would distort, deny, and push aside His instructions. Jesus Himself warned: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Peter agreed: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…” (2 Peter 2:1). John added his voice of caution: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Paul claimed that even from among church officials, some would rise up and speak misleading things (Acts 20:30).
In view of these forthright words of warning and anticipation, one cannot help but be utterly amazed, even shocked, that so many who claim to be Christian have rejected the God-ordained role of water baptism in His redemptive scheme. The “faith only” perspective that was expounded during the Protestant Reformation, and has since permeated Christendom, displaced water baptism from its divinely assigned position. Rather than being the line of demarcation between the sinner and the saint, as the New Testament everywhere affirms, baptism has been relegated to an after-the-fact symbol—a post-conversion “outward expression” of the forgiveness previously achieved at the point of faith.
Though many New Testament verses expound the proper role of water immersion as intended by God, thereby weaving a consistent and harmonious picture throughout inspired Writ (e.g., Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38,41; 8:12,13,16,36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:5; 5:26; Colossians 2:12; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 10:22), one is sufficient to demonstrate the absurd lengths to which so many theologians have gone to discount the biblical treatment of baptism: 1 Peter 3:21. In this verse, Peter announced very simply: “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us” (KJV, emp. added). The ASV words it: “which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism.” The NKJV has it: “There is also now an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism.” The NASB words it: “And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you.”
What have the majority of commentators, theologians, and church authorities done with this verse? They have danced, twisted, and turned in every direction to evade the unambiguous import of the verse. Since they previously embraced a false theory of salvation—i.e., salvation by “faith alone” without any further acts of obedience on the part of the believer—they have had to engage in hermeneutical gymnastics and exegetical hocus-pocus to avoid the force of these verses that pinpoint the place of water baptism. In short, they have been pressured into doing precisely what Satan did in his discourse with Eve. They have had to take a very straightforward, unmistakable statement by the apostle Peter and insert the same three-letter word that Satan himself inserted: “not.” “Baptism doth also now not save us;” “There is also now an antitype which now does not save us, namely baptism;” “And corresponding to that, baptism now does not save you.” The gall and unmitigated audacity that accompanies such tampering with Scripture will surely be shown in eternity to be no different from the ploy of Satan himself.

Did Jesus Dodge His Enemies' Challenge Regarding His Deity? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Did Jesus Dodge His Enemies' Challenge Regarding His Deity?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

During the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, the Jews surrounded Jesus and challenged Him to come right out and state whether He is the Messiah/Christ (John 10). Of course, both His previous verbal affirmations as well as His demonstrations of miraculous power had already established the factuality of the point. “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (John 10:25; cf. 5:36; “work” is a synonym for the key word of the book, “sign”). Jesus insisted that His miraculous acts verified and authenticated His messianic identity. Their failure to accept the solid evidence of that fact was due to their deliberate unbelief—their unmitigated refusal to accept the truth due to ulterior motives and alternate interests.
So Jesus pressed the point again very forthrightly by stating emphatically, “I and My Father are one.” Observe that Jesus was never evasive. He never showed fear or hesitation in the face of threats or danger. Instead, He gave them yet another explicit declaration of His divine identity, thereby rekindling their desire to execute Him for blasphemy (as per Leviticus 24:14-16; cf. 1 Kings 21:10). But Jesus short-circuited their intention to stone Him by posing a penetrating question: “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” Since the Son and the Father are one, and the miraculous actions that Jesus performed were every bit as much from the Father as the Son who performed them, which sign evoked this violent intention to execute Him? Of course, Jesus knew that they did not desire to execute Him for His miraculous signs. But by calling attention to His ability to perform miracles, He was again “gigging” them with their failure to accept the evidence of His divine identity. Dismissing the obvious conclusion that would be drawn by any unbiased, honest person, they insisted that He was deserving of execution for the very fact that He claimed to be God: “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:33, emp. added).
Such occasions illustrate vividly that Jesus unhesitatingly claimed to be God in the flesh. If not, here was the perfect time for Him to correct the Jews’ misconception by declaring to them that they had misunderstood Him. He could have explained that He was not, in any way, claiming to be God. On the contrary, consistent with His entire time on Earth, He proceeded to prove the point to them.
As was so often the case with His handling of His contemporaries, He drew their attention back to the Bible, back to the Word of God (which He, Himself, authored, cf. John 12:48; Miller, 2007; Miller, 2009). The Word of God is the only authority for deciding what to believe and how to act (Colossians 3:17). Jesus reminded them of Psalm 82:6—
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:34-37).
Why did Jesus allude to Psalm 82? Some suggest that His point was that since God could refer to mere humans as “gods,” Jesus’ accusers had no grounds to condemn Him for applying such language to Himself. But this line of reasoning would make it appear as if Jesus was being evasive to avoid being stoned, and that He likened His claim to godhood with other mere humans. A more convincing, alternative interpretation is apparent.
The context of Psalm 82 is a scathing indictment of the unjust judges who had been assigned the responsibility of executing God’s justice among the people (cf. Deuteronomy 1:16; 19:17-18; 2 Chronicles 19:6). Such a magistrate was “God’s minister” (diakonos—Romans 13:4) who acted in the place of God, wielding His authority, and who was responsible for mediating God’s help and justice (cf. Exodus 7:1). God had “given them a position that was analogous to His in that He had made them administrators of justice, His justice” (Leupold, 1969, p. 595). In this sense, they were “gods” (elohim)—acting as God to men (Barclay, 1956, 2:89). Hebrew parallelism clarifies this sense: “I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High’” (Psalm 82:6, emp. added). They did not share divinity with God—but merely delegated jurisdiction. They still were mere humans—although invested with divine authority, and permitted to act in God’s behalf.
This point is apparent throughout the Pentateuch, where the term translated “judges” or “ruler” is sometimes elohim (e.g., Exodus 21:6; 22:9,28). Moses is one example. Moses was not a “god.” Yet God told Moses that when he went to Egypt to orchestrate the release of the Israelites, he would be “God” to his brother Aaron and to Pharaoh (Exodus 4:16; 7:1). He meant that Moses would supply both his brother and Pharaoh with the words that came from God. Though admittedly a rather rare use of elohim, nevertheless “it shows that the word translated ‘god’ in that place might be applied to man” (Barnes, 1949, p. 294, italics in orig.). Clarke summarized this point: “Ye are my representatives, and are clothed with my power and authority to dispense judgment and justice, therefore all of them are said to be children of the Most High” (n.d., 3:479, italics in orig.). But because they had shirked their awesome responsibility to represent God’s will fairly and accurately, and because they had betrayed the sacred trust bestowed upon them by God Himself, He decreed that they would die (vs. 7). Obviously, they were not “gods,” since God could and would execute them!
A somewhat analogous mode of expression is seen in Nathan’s denunciation of David: “You have killed Uriah the Hittite” (2 Samuel 12:9)—though it was an enemy archer who had done so (2 Samuel 11:24; 12:9). No one would accuse the archer of being David, or David of being the archer. Paul said Jesus preached to the Gentiles (Ephesians 2:17)—though Jesus did so through human agency (Acts 10). Peter said Jesus preached to spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:19), when, in fact, He did so through Noah (Genesis 6; 2 Peter 2:5). Noah was not Jesus and Jesus was not Noah. If Paul and Noah could be described as functioning in the capacity of Jesus, judges in Israel could be described as functioning as God.


Jesus marshaled this Old Testament psalm (referring to it as “law” to accentuate its legal authority) to thwart His opponents’ attack, while simultaneously reaffirming His deity (which is the central feature of the book of John—20:30-31). He made shrewd use of syllogistic argumentation by reasoning a minori ad majus (see Lenski, 1943, pp. 765-770; cf. Fishbane, 1985, p. 420). “Jesus is here arguing like a rabbi from a lesser position to a greater position, a ‘how much more’ argument very popular among the rabbis” (Pack, 1975, 1:178). In fact, “it is an argument which to a Jewish Rabbi would have been entirely convincing. It was just the kind of argument, an argument founded on a word of scripture, which the Rabbis loved to use and found most unanswerable” (Barclay, 1956, 2:90).
Using argumentum ad hominem (Robertson, 1916, p. 89), Jesus identified the unjust judges of Israel as persons “to whom the word of God came” (John 10:35). That is, they had been “appointed judges by Divine commission” (Butler, 1961, p. 127)—by “the command of God; his commission to them to do justice” (Barnes, 1949, p. 294, italics in orig.; cf. Jeremiah 1:2; Ezekiel 1:3; Luke 3:2). McGarvey summarized the ensuing argument of Jesus: “If it was not blasphemy to call those gods who so remotely represented the Deity, how much less did Christ blaspheme in taking unto himself a title to which he had a better right than they, even in the subordinate sense of being a mere messenger” (n.d., p. 487). Charles Erdman observed:
By his defense Jesus does not renounce his claim to deity; but he argues that if the judges, who represented Jehovah in their appointed office, could be called “gods,” in the Hebrew scriptures, it could not be blasphemy for him, who was the final and complete revelation of God, to call himself “the Son of God” (1922, pp. 95-96, emp. added).
Morris agrees: “If in any sense the Psalm may apply this term to men, then much more may it be applied to Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world” (1971, pp. 527-528, emp. added). Indeed, “if the divine name had been applied by God to mere men, there could be neither blasphemy nor folly in its application to the incarnate Son of God himself” (Alexander, 1873, p. 351, emp. added).
This verse brings into stark contrast the deity—the Godhood—of Christ (and His Father Who “sanctified and sent” Him—vs. 36) with the absence of deity for all others. Jesus verified this very conclusion by directing the attention of His accusers to the “works” that He performed (vss. 37-38). These “works” (i.e., miraculous signs) proved the divine identity of Jesus to the exclusion of all other alleged deities. Archer concluded: “By no means, then, does our Lord imply here that we are sons of God just as He is—except for a lower level of holiness and virtue. No misunderstanding could be more wrongheaded than that” (1982, p. 374).
So Jesus was not attempting to dodge His critics or deny their charge. The entire context has Jesus asserting His deity, and He immediately reaffirms it by referring to Himself as the One “whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world” (vs. 36). Jesus spotlighted yet another manifestation of the Jews’ hypocrisy, bias, and ulterior agenda—their failure to recognize and accept the Messiah. Even if they were sincere, they were wrong in their thinking; but in truth they were doubly wrong in that they were not even sincere—a fact that Jesus repeatedly spotlighted (cf. Matthew 12:7; 15:3-6).


The central doctrine of the New Testament is the deity of Christ. Indeed, with very little exaggeration, one could say that the doctrine appears on nearly every page. This foundational, life-saving doctrine is denied by the majority of the world’s population (e.g., one billion Hindus, one billion skeptics, one billion Muslims, etc.). Since sufficient evidence exists to know that the Bible is of divine origin (e.g., Butt, 2007; “The Inspiration…,” 2001; et al.), one can also know with certainty that Jesus Christ
being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:6-11, emp. added).
 Having completed His task to atone for humanity, He has returned to heaven and is seated at the Father’s “right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21; cf. Hebrews 8:1). No other avenue exists by which human beings can be acceptable to deity (Acts 4:12). Indeed, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). May all people humbly bow before Him.


Alexander, Joseph A. (1873), The Psalms Translated and Explained (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1975 reprint).
Archer, Gleason L. (1982), An Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids: Zondervan).
Barclay, William (1956), The Gospel of John (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press), second edition.
Barnes, Albert (1949), Notes on the New Testament: Luke and John (Grand Rapids: Baker).
Butler, Paul (1961), The Gospel of John (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Clarke, Adam (no date), Clarke’s Commentary: Genesis-Deuteronomy (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury).
Erdman, Charles (1922), The Gospel of John (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster).
Fishbane, Michael (1985), Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
“The Inspiration of the Bible” (2001), Apologetics Press Introductory Christian Evidences Correspondence Course Lesson 8, http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/courses_pdf/hsc0108.pdf.
Lenski, R.C.H. (1943), The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg).
Leupold, H.C. (1969), Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker).
McGarvey, J.W. (no date), The Fourfold Gospel (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
Miller, Dave (2007), “Jesus’ Hermeneutical Principles,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2307&topic=75.
Miller, Dave (2009), “Christianity is Rational,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=684.
Morris, Leon (1971), The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans).
Pack, Frank (1975), The Gospel According to John (Austin, TX: Sweet).
Robertson, A.T. (1916), The Divinity of Christ (New York: Fleming H. Revell).

“Abiogenesis is Irrelevant to Evolution” by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


“Abiogenesis is Irrelevant to Evolution”

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

The Law of Biogenesis tells us that in nature, life comes only from life of its kind (Miller, 2012). Therefore, abiogenesis (i.e., life arising from non-living materials) is impossible, according to the scientific evidence. How then can atheistic theories like Darwinian evolution be considered acceptable? There is a growing trend among evolutionists today to attempt to sidestep the problem of abiogenesis by contending that evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, but rather is a theory which starts with life already in existence and explains the origin of all species from that original life form. However, this approach is merely wishful thinking—an effort to avoid the logical import of the Law of Biogenesis.
Historically, evolutionists have recognized that abiogenesis is a fundamental assumption inherent in evolutionary theory, and intuitively must be so. In 1960, British evolutionary physiologist, G.A. Kerkut, listed abiogenesis as the first assumption in a list of non-provable assumptions upon which evolution is founded. “The first assumption is that non-living things gave rise to living material, i.e., spontaneous generation occurred” (Kerkut, 1960, p. 6). Evolutionary theory is an attempt to explain the origin of species through natural means—without supernatural Creation. Logically, unless you concede the existence of God and subscribe to theistic evolution in order to explain the origin of life (a position that has been shown to be unsustainable, cf. Thompson, 2000), abiogenesis must have originally occurred in order to commence the process of Darwinian evolution. Abiogenesis is required by evolution as the starting point.
Further, atheistic evolutionary geologist, Robert Hazen, who received his doctoral degree from Harvard, admitted that he assumes abiogenesis occurred. In his lecture series, Origins of Life, he says, “In this lecture series I make a basic assumption that life emerged by some kind of natural process. I propose that life arose by a sequence of events that are completely consistent with natural laws of chemistry and physics” (2005, emp. added). Again, evolution is an attempt to explain life through natural means, and abiogenesis must go hand-in-hand with such a theory. Hazen further stated that in his assumption of abiogenesis, he is “like most other scientists” (2005). It makes perfect sense for atheistic evolutionists to admit their belief in abiogenesis. Without abiogenesis in place, there is no starting point for atheistic evolution to occur. However, many evolutionists do not want to admit such a belief too loudly, since such a belief has absolutely no scientific evidence to support it. It is a blind faith—a religious dogma.
It is also true that atheists themselves use the term “evolution” as a generalized catchall word encompassing all materialistic origin models, including those dealing with the origin of the cosmos, not just the origin of species. A simple Google search of the keywords, “cosmic evolution,” illustrates that contention. Consider, for example, the title of Harvard University astrophysicist Eric Chaisson’s Web site: “Cosmic Evolution: From Big Bang to Humankind” (2012). Consider also the comments of NASA chief historian, Steven Dick: “Cosmic evolution begins…with the formation of stars and planetary systems, proceeds…to primitive and complex life, and culminates with intelligence, technology and astronomers…contemplating the universe…. This story of the life of the universe, and our place in it, is known as cosmic evolution” (2005). If atheism were true, in this mythical story of how the Universe evolved from nothing to everything, abiogenesis must have occurred somewhere along the way. Thus, abiogenesis is a fundamental, implied phenomenon of evolutionary theory. Creationists are merely using atheistic evolutionists’ terms in the same way they use them.
The truth is, one cannot logically commence a study of Life Science or Biology—studies which are intimately linked with the theory of evolution by the bulk of the scientific community today—without first studying the origin of that life which allegedly evolved from a single-celled organism into the various forms of life on Earth today. Biology and Life Science textbooks today, with almost unanimity, include a discussion of biogenesis, abiogenesis (ironically, discussing the work of Pasteur, Spallanzani, and Redi, who disproved the theory of abiogenesis), and extensive discussions of evolutionary theory. The evolutionists themselves inevitably couple Biology and Life Science with evolution, as though they are one and the same. But a study of life—biology—must have a starting point. So, evolutionists themselves link the problem of abiogenesis to evolution. If the evolutionary community wishes to separate the study of biology from evolution—a position I would strongly recommend—then the evolutionist might be able to put his head in the sand and ignore the abiogenesis problem, but not while the evolutionist couples evolution so intimately with biology.
The reality is that abiogenesis stands alongside evolutionary theory as a fundamental plank of atheism and will remain there. The two are intimately linked and stand or fall together. It is time for the naturalist to forthrightly admit that his religious belief in evolution is based on a blind acceptance of an unscientific pheonomenon.


Chaisson, Eric (2012), “Cosmic Evolution: From Big Bang to Humankind,” Harvard College Observatory, https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~ejchaisson/cosmic_evolution/docs/splash.html.
Dick, Steven J. (2005), “Why We Explore: Our Place in the Universe,” NASA, http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/Why_We_13.html
Hazen, Robert (2005), Origins of Life, audio-taped lecture (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company).
Kerkut, George A. (1960), The Implications of Evolution (London: Pergamon).
Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Thompson, Bert (2000), Creation Compromises (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Abortion and Exodus 21 by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Abortion and Exodus 21

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As traditional values (i.e., biblical values) continue to be systematically extracted from American culture, moral and spiritual confusion have been the inevitable result. While the Bible does not speak directly to the practice of abortion, it does provide enough relevant material to enable us to know God’s will on the matter. One insightful passage from the Old Testament is Exodus 21:22-25, which describes what action is to be taken in a case of accidental, or at least coincidental, injury to a pregnant woman:
If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no lasting harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any lasting harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (NKJV).
Several features of this passage require clarification. First, the NKJV and NIV rendering of the underlying Hebrew as “she gives birth prematurely,” and the KJV and ASV rendering “so that her fruit depart (from her)” are accurate reflections of the original. “Fruit” in the KJV is the noun form of a verb that means “to bring forth (children)” (Schreiner, 1990, 6:76; Harris, et al., 1980, 1:378-379). Thus the noun form (yeled), used 89 times in the Old Testament, refers to that which is brought forth, i.e., children, and is generally so translated (Gesenius, 1847, p. 349; Wigram, 1890, 530-531; cf. VanGemeren, 1997, 2:457). For example, it is used to refer to Ishmael (Genesis 21:8), Moses (Exodus 2:3), Obed, the child of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:16), and even to the Christ child (Isaiah 9:6). It is used in the same context earlier in the chapter to refer to the children born to a Hebrew servant whose wife was provided by his master (Exodus 21:4). There is nothing in the word itself that indicates the physical condition of the child/children, whether dead or alive (cf. 2 Samuel 12:14-23).
Second, the term translated “prematurely” or “depart” (yatsa) is a Hebrew verb that has the broad meaning of “to go out, to go forth” (Gesenius, p. 359). It is used in the Old Testament to refer to everything from soldiers going forth to war (1 Samuel 8:20), or the sun going forth in its rising (Genesis 19:23), to a flower blossoming (Job 14:2) or the birth of a child (Job 1:21). The Hebrew is as generic as the English words “to go out or forth.” As with yeled, there is nothing in the word itself that would imply the physical status of the child—whether unharmed, injured, or dead (cf. Numbers 12:12; Deuteronomy 28:57). For example, referring to the births of Esau and Jacob, the text reads: “And the first came out red…Afterward his brother came out” (Genesis 25:25-26, emp. added). Only by contextual details may one determine the condition of the child.
Consequently, in Exodus 21:22, those translations that render the Hebrew as “miscarriage” (e.g., NASB, RSV, NEB) have taken a linguistically unwarranted and indefensible liberty with the text. Hebrew lexicographers Brown, Driver, and Briggs were accurate in their handling of the underlying Hebrew when they listed Exodus 21:22 as an instance of “untimely birth” (1906, p. 423).
In contrast, the Hebrew had other words more suited to pinpointing a miscarriage or stillbirth. For example, suffering Job moaned: “Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, like infants who never saw light?” (Job 3:16, emp. added). The psalmist pronounces imprecation against unrighteous judges: “Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes, like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun” (Psalm 58:8, emp. added). The word used in these verses (nephel), occurring only three times in the Old Testament (cf. Ecclesiastes 6:3-5), is defined by Gesenius as “a premature birth, which falls from the womb, an abortion” (p. 558; cf. Brown, et al., p. 658). In all three contexts, a miscarriage or stillbirth is clearly under consideration.
Still another Hebrew term would have been more suitable to identify deceased offspring. When Jacob protested his father-in-law’s unkindness, he exclaimed, “These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young” (Genesis 31:38, emp. added; cf. Job 21:10). Hosea called upon God to punish the nation: “Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts!” (Hosea 9:14, emp. added). In fact, just two chapters after the text in question, God announced to the Israelites details regarding the conquest of the Canaan and the blessings that they would enjoy: “No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days” (Exodus 23:26, emp. added). The underlying Hebrew verb in these verses (shachol) means “to cause abortion (in women, flocks, etc.)” or “to make abortion, i.e., to suffer it” (Gesenius, p. 822; cf. Brown, et al., p. 1013). Despite these more precise terms to pinpoint miscarriage or stillbirth, Moses did not use them in Exodus 21:22.
Third, consider the next phrase in the verse in question: “yet no lasting harm follows” (NKJV), “but there is no serious injury” (NIV), “and yet no harm follow” (ASV). These English renderings capture the Hebrew accurately. Absolutely no grammatical indication exists in the text by which one could assume the recipient of the injury to be either the mother or the child to the exclusion of the other. As Fishbane observed: “it is syntactically and grammatically unclear whether the object of the ‘calamity’ is the foetus or the pregnant mother” (1985, p. 93). In order to allow Scripture to stand on its own and speak for itself, one must conclude that to understand “injury” to refer exclusively to the mother is to narrow the meaning without textual justification.
Hence, one is forced to conclude that the absence of specificity was deliberate on the part of the inspired writer and that he intended for the reader to conclude that the prescription applied to both mother and child. The wording is, therefore, the most appropriate and economical if the writer intended to convey all possible scenarios without having to go into tedious elaboration—which would have included at least the following eight combinations: (1) non-lethal injury to the child but no injury to the mother; (2) non-lethal injury to the mother but no injury to the child; (3) non-lethal injury to both; (4) death to the child but no injury to the mother; (5) death to the child with non-lethal injury to the mother; (6) death to the mother with no injury to the child; (7) death to the mother with non-lethal injury to the child; and (8) death to both mother and child. Old Testament scholar Gleason Archer Jr. summarized the point of the passage:
What is required is that if there should be an injury either to the mother or to her children, the injury shall be avenged by a like injury to the assailant. If it involves the life (ne-pes’) of the premature baby, then the assailant shall pay for it with his life. There is no second-class status attached to the fetus under this rule (1982, p. 248, emp. added).
Numerous commentators agree with this assessment of the text. Responding to the poor translation of the Hebrew in the Septuagint, and the corresponding misconception of the Alexandrian Jew, Philo, Keil and Delitzsch correctly countered: “But the arbitrary character of this explanation is apparent at once; for yeled only denotes a child, as a fully developed human being, and not the fruit of the womb before it has assumed a human form” (1976, pp. 134-135). They also insisted that the structure of the Hebrew phraseology “apparently renders it impracticable to refer the words to injury done to the woman alone” (p. 135). Walter Kaiser noted: “For the accidental assault, the offender must still pay some compensation, even though both mother and child survived…. Should the pregnant woman or her child die, the principle of talio is invoked, demanding ‘life for life’ ” (1990, 2:434, emp. added). In view of this understanding of the text, under Mosaic Law “the unborn child would be considered viable in utero and entitled to legal protection and benefits” (Fishbane, p. 93).
In his Treatise on the Soul (ch. 37), Tertullian (who died c. A.D. 220) alluded to this passage in Exodus 21: “The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed [i.e., at conception—DM]. The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion, inasmuch as there exists already the rudiment of a human being, which has imputed to it even now the condition of life and death” (1973, 3:217-218).
So Exodus 21 envisioned a situation in which two brawling men accidentally injure a pregnant bystander. The injury causes the woman to go into early labor, resulting in a premature birth of her child. If neither the woman nor the child is harmed, then the Law of Moses levied a fine against the one who caused the premature birth. But if injury or even death resulted from the brawl, then the law imposed a parallel punishment: if the premature baby died, the one who caused the premature birth was to be executed—life for life. To cause a pre-born infant’s death was homicide under the Old Testament—homicide punishable by death.
Notice that this Mosaic regulation had to do with injury inflicted indirectly and accidentally: “The phrasing of the case suggests that we are dealing with an instance of unintentional battery involving culpability” (Fishbane, 1985, p. 92). Abortion, on the other hand, is a deliberatepurposeful, intentional termination of a child’s life. If God dealt severely with the accidentaldeath of a pre-born infant, how do you suppose He feels about the deliberate murder of the unborn by an abortion doctor in collusion with the mother? The Bible states explicitly how He feels: “[D]o not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7). As a matter of fact, one of the things that God hates is “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17; cf. 2 Kings 8:12; 15:16; Hosea 13:16; Amos 1:13). Abortion is a serious matter with God. We absolutely must base our views on God’s will—not the will of men. The very heart and soul of this great nation is being ripped out by unethical actions like abortion. We must return to the Bible as our standard of behavior—before it is everlastingly too late.


Archer, Gleason L. Jr. (1982), An Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Brown, Francis, S.R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs (1906), The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2000 reprint).
Fishbane, Michael (1985), Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (New York: Oxford University Press).
Gesenius, William (1847), Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1979 reprint).
Harris, R. Laird, Gleason Archer Jr., and Bruce Waltke, eds. (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Kaiser, Walter (1990), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Exodus, ed. Frank Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch (1976 reprint), Commentary on the Old Testament: The Pentateuch (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Schreiner, J. (1990), “yalad,” Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Tertullian (1973 reprint), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
VanGemeren, Willem, ed. (1997), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Wigram, George W. (1890), The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1980 reprint).