Here is an interesting post from Larry Hurtado (N.T. Scholar and Historian) which I thought might interest some of you.
Looking at the first book of the Christian bible, we read Genesis chapter one. In a previous post, we discussed differing views on the first two verses of Genesis. Now we will take a look at the entire chapter. The chapter details the creation account. As we previously discussed, God was in the beginning, before the heavens and the Earth existed.
The first day of creation God created the light by speaking it into existence. Light is a form of energy, just as heat or sound is. It is interesting to note that energy broke forth on nothingness, putting into motion the creation of matter, something scientists have yet to accomplish.
The second day deals with the waters on the Earth and above them. The word expanse is the Hebrew word raqiya. It is defined as the area which holds the clouds, planets and stars in Kohlenberger / Mounce Hebrew Dictionary. Here, God separated the waters in order to establish conditions for sustaining His follow on creations in the days to come. The waters in the sky blocked harmful radiation, yet allowed enough light through to allow plants through photosynthesis to convert the Sun’s energy to food.
The third day saw the creation of the plants and the trees.
The fourth day God placed Stars is the heavens, in order to give brightness to the day, and a smaller brightness in the night. In Genesis 1:14, we read of this account, God set them in the heaven for “signs and seasons”. This is different than the days and years. They were specifically set apart in the phrase to tell us that God not only set the Sun and stars for us to tell the passing of time, but also to let us know of miraculous events that would unfold. The Star of Bethlehem is one such telling of miraculous events.
The fifth day brought us the creation of things which swarm. insects, birds, and fish were created on this day.
The sixth day is the creation of mankind. It deserves some special note here, because there are some who teach that during the relating of this we read some of the first account of the trinity. So, without further ado, here is Genesis 1:26-28.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.””
(Genesis 1:26–28 ESV)
The first thing to look at is the simple context. Although verse 26 uses us and our in the verse, we have to look at the surrounding verses to infer context. Prior to this verse, we read of God as a singular deity creating through His spoken word. Right after verse 26, we see again, a singular in his, he created, etc… If we examine the Hebrew grammar, we see it come together very clearly. We have a plural form of God, Elohim, coupled with singular verbs. In Hebrew, if the noun is coupled with a singular verb, the noun is always treated as a singular entity. In this case, the word Elohim is being used as a literary plural of majesty, giving emphasis to God’s glory. I delve into this more in Oneness in Genesis, posts one and two on this topic.
Genesis 1:29-31 closes out the chapter in which God blesses His creation and gives the plants as our food, both for mankind as well as for animals. We, the human race, were given preeminence in this order, and were allowed to rule over, or have dominion over all other animals.
Genesis is the book of beginnings, and will be the beginning of our Bible Study for 2013. Genesis is a Greek word, meaning beginnings. According to the introductory notes to the New King James Version, the Old Testament, of which the book of Genesis is the first, we read:
Through subsequent editions, the ben Asher text became in the twelfth century the only recognized form of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Daniel Bomberg printed the first Rabbinic Bible in 1516–17; that work was followed in 1524–25 by a second edition prepared by Jacob ben Chayyim and also published by Bomberg. The text of ben Chayyim was adopted in most subsequent Hebrew Bibles, including those used by the King James translators. The ben Chayyim text was also used for the first two editions of Rudolph Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica of 1906 and 1912. In 1937 Paul Kahle published a third edition of Biblia Hebraica. This edition was based on the oldest dated manuscript of the ben Asher text, the Leningrad Manuscript B19a (a.d. 1008), which Kahle regarded as superior to that used by ben Chayyim.1
So, the King James Version uses the text of Jacob ben Chayyim as its source Hebrew text to translate the book of Genesis into English. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Jacob ben Chayyim or Hayyim was a “Masorite and printer; born about 1470 at Tunis [and] died before 1538. He left his native country in consequence of the persecutions that broke out there at the beginning of the sixteenth century. After residing at Rome and Florence he settled at Venice, where he was engaged as corrector of the Hebrew press of Daniel Bomberg. Late in life he embraced Christianity. Jacob’s name is known chiefly in connection with his edition of the Rabbinical Bible (1524-25), which he supplied with Masoretic notes and an introduction which treats of the Masorah, of ‘ḳere’ and ‘ketib,’ and of the discrepancies between the Talmudists and the Masorah. The value of his activity as a Masorite was recognized even by Elijah Levita, who, however, often finds fault with his selections (second introduction to “Massoret ha-Massoret,” ed. Ginsburg).”2 The book opens with the following verses:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen 1:1–2 KJV)
The Hebrew word for beginnings is reʾshiyth and means in the first place. What this implies is that God, the creator of the universe as we currently know it, existed before the beginning. This is where we find ourselves. In the beginning, God was there, while we were not. There are some who feel there was a gap of unknown time between the verses of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. See my gap theory article for more information, or alternatively look at this article on gap theory from Answers in Genesis that has a lot more information about this theory.
Regardless if one believes this theory or not, we can learn some things straight from the Word. First, as has already been stated, God existed before the beginning of time. Second, we see that this God created the heaven and the earth. The word for create used here is bara. Bara means to create, cut down, select, or feed. Knowing the context of this sentence, we can see that create fits the best here. The word heaven is a plural word in Hebrew, and is the word shamayim. It refers to not only the celestial bodies and “outer space”, but also refers to the sky with the clouds and air.
Some have tried to change the form of hayah (was) from its meaning of to be into an alternative form become. This is mostly to support the gap theory, because if it were translated as become then the second verse of Genesis would be rendered “And the earth became without form… Which would support the theory that hundreds or perhaps millions of years existed, with another mankind, existed before and were destroyed in some fashion. Unfortunately for them, the form of the nouns do not support this rendering, and was, is in fact, the most suitable form of the translation for hayah we could have here.
1. NKJV Notes, Old Testament Introduction. Nelson Publishers. 1982 Nashville, TN. Accordance Bible Software Text version 1.3
2. Jewish Encyclopedia, JACOB BEN ḤAYYIM BEN ISAAC IBN ADONIJAH Jewish Encyclopedia.com. Accessed on 15 FEB 13.
I am very near the final process of updating my blog with a new look, feel, and functionality. I am interested in your comments before I finalize anything. Please help me improve this site by giving me your opinion in the comments section below. Please comment on the good, the bad, and the ugly. All opinions are welcome, even if you don’t agree with my theology.
My point is to make this site a useful resource for Apostolic Pentecostals, but to do so, I need to know what you find of value.
Again, please help me by taking a few minutes of your time to respond with comments on:
- Article content
- Article length (too long/short)
- Article frequency (too long between posts or too frequent)
- Anything else you’d like to comment on
Thank you so much in helping me improve this web site!
I’m “retweeting” this because I think it is an awesome service, although technically it is not a “retweet” as I received it in my RSS reader, but its still good stuff!
From Bible.org’s research labs comes a new SMS service which allows you to send a text to a phone number and a computer will reply with that verse. Should be a good thing in a pinch for verse look-up! The version is the NET bible, but still would be useful none-the-less.
If you have a mobile phone with SMS (text messaging) capabilities you can now receive a small portion of the NET Bible one text message at a time. Simply text a verse reference to 1-409-316-3824(1-409-31N-ETBI). It will promptly reply via text message the Bible verse(s) you requested. So tell your friends! Tell the world.
So, feel free to text away! Just realize that this is an SMS text, and if you pay per text its not going to be free for you. For those with an unlimited texting plan (anyone with teenagers), it shouldn’t cost you a dime as bible.org provides the service for free.
Bible.org and Bible.org Labs logo are trademarks of bible.org
No, this is not a post about the conference held every year. It is a post about these verses of scripture:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.” (2 Tim 3:1–9 KJV)
All we need to do is look around us to see that we are in the days talked about by Paul.
The book of Colossians, originally a letter to the church in Colossae, is a great book to study when examining the doctrine of the oneness of God. This is a part of a continuing series, which can be found here on the oneness page.
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” (Col 1:19 KJV) In this verse, Paul, a well educated Jewish teacher or rabbi, stated the message found in John chapter 1 succinctly. The entire divinity of God was found in Jesus Christ. He is both 100% man at the same time as being 100% God. There is no division in the spirit of God, or substance who makes up Jehovah. The LORD (YHWH) is not three emanations of a single spirit. He is one and he dwelled fully and inseparably in the human body of Jesus Christ.
“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” (Col 1:22 KJV) It was because the holy, pure and righteous God came and manifested himself in the body of Jesus that we have complete remission of our sins. When we identify with him, as found in 1 Corinthians 15, we take on the blood and are covered by it, and the protection it afforded on the passover.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Col 2:8–12 KJV) This parallels the account written to the Corinthians by Paul. Again, Paul is declaring that we are buried with Jesus in baptism, and we rise from our old dead self through the blood shed by the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. Jesus is the express image of God, and is in the form of God. God manifested Himself in flesh so as to be the sacrificial lamb of the world. This plan or idea was in the beginning when God devised the plan to redeem a fallen mankind.
“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” (Col 3:9–11 KJV) The Apostle reiterates the need for putting away our old lifestyle and habit. We are new creatures in Christ, or we should have a new mind and attitude toward life and how to live it when we meet God manifest in the flesh, face-to-face. We will not be perfect in this world, but we now have a faithful pattern to emulate. When we are knocked down, we must get up again!
- There are over 6 billion bibles printed today.
- There are 788,258 words in the Bible. As a side note, my Accordance bible software lists 790,868 words in the KJV.
- There are 31,102 verses (31,218 in Accordance) in the Bible.
- There are 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament). An easy way to remember this statistic is to count the number of letters in old and testament as well as in new and testament. Old equals 3, testament equals 9 and if you join those side by side you get 39 which is the number of books in the Old Testament. If you do the same with New Testament, you get the same 3 and 9, but this time multiply the two numbers for a sum of 27, which is the number of New Testament books.
- The shortest chapter is Psalms 117 and the longest is Psalms 119.
- The total chapters are 1,189.
Desiderius Erasmus produced one of the first Greek New Testaments in the modern era (1516) and titled it Novum Instrumentum omen, diligent ab Erasmo Roterodamo recognitum & emendatum… With a clever play on words, Erasmus decided to name his Greek New Testament the New Instrument, citing that a written testament is called an instrument. His view was not popular, and was later changed back to New Testament.1 He was a very controversial Dutch scholar, and priest during his day. He decided to use slightly differing words in his translation from the Greek into Latin, the common spoke tongue of the day. For instance, St. John’s gospel begins ‘In principio erat verbum…‘ in the Vulgate, but Erasmus chose to use ‘In principio erat sermo…‘ in his translation. Both mean word, and are translated from the Greek logos, but verbum is a grammatical entity while sermo is that entity being spoken.2 While this might seem trivial to us now, it held major theological connotations to theological concepts in Erasmus’s day.
Martin Luther, a German priest, first broke completely with the Catholic church in 1520. Having used Erasmus’s Novum Instrumentum, he determined to teach his doctrine of justification by faith alone. In 1521 he was excommunicated and went into hiding in Wartburg Castle near Eisenach in Thuringia. There he was said to have translated the New Testament into modern German.3
The first “Authorized or King James” version of the bible was printed by Christopher Barker who had an exclusive patent to print it given by Queen Elizabeth. This first edition was printed in 1611. In 1623 monopolies were abolished in England, which eventually opened up the printing of the KJV to others, most notably Oxford and Cambridge. Cambridge took advantage of this first in 1628 printing its first New Testament. The first Oxford Bible was printed in Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford in 1675.4
Robert (Stevens) Stefanus and Theodore Beza separately revised Erasmus’s original Greek text and Beza published his edition in 1565. A later edition of Beza’s work, the 1598 edition as well as the 1550 and 1551 editions of Stephanus’s were used by the editors of the 1611 Authorized or King James Version. Later, in 1624, the Elzevir brothers published their revision of the Greek text at Leyden and in his preface to the 1637 edition said “Textum ergo babes, nunc ab omnibus receptum…” meaning the text received by all denominations, branches, peoples, languages, etc… thus the received text or Textus Receptus was coined.5
Thus a brief introduction to the birth of the King James Version of the Bible. This version has been the most popular and most widely read and memorized version of the Holy Scriptures, and is the version I will be quoting from during the remainder of the Bible study.
Our method of interpreting the Bible is defined by Bernard, in Understanding God’s Word: An Apostolic Aproach to Interpretting The Bible, and as such, is quoted here: “… to identify and examine their presuppositions and to approach the Bible with an attitude of learning.”6 This is the way I will be approaching our Bible study. In scholarly circles, this method is known as the hermeneutical spiral. It boils down to this: 1. Start with an assumption. 2. Read the text. 3. Adjust our assumptions. 4. Re-read the text. 5. Adjust our assumptions. We continue like this until it is no longer possible to adjust our assumptions (theology) without going outside of the spiraling inward towards the truth that we’ve already done. In this manner, we zero-in on the true meaning of the Scriptures.
Our next lesson will begin with an overview of the Old Testament, and then we will eventually get into each book of the Bible as we study the Scriptures.
1. De Hamel, Christopher. Bibles of the Protestant Reformation. The Book. A History of the Bible. Chapter 9, p 225. Phaidon Press Limited, 2001.
2. De Hamel, Christopher. Bibles of the Protestant Reformation. The Book. A History of the Bible. Chapter 9, p 226. Phaidon Press Limited, 2001.
3. De Hamel, Christopher. Bibles of the Protestant Reformation. The Book. A History of the Bible. Chapter 9, p 228. Phaidon Press Limited, 2001.
4. De Hamel, Christopher. The English and American Bible Industry. The Book. A History of the Bible. Chapter 10, p 248. Phaidon Press Limited, 2001.
5. Trinitarian Bible Society. Preface. H KAINH ΔIAΘHKH. 7.5M/06/05 The Bath Press, Bath. Tyndale House, Dorset Road, London, England.
6. Bernard, David. Principles of interpretation 1. Understanding God’s Word: An Apostolic Approach to Interpretting the Bible. Chapter 2, p 38. Word Aflame Press, 2005.
Hello everyone! There was a significant increase in traffic to the blog in 2012. My stats for the year were:
- 35K+ Unique Visitors to the site.
- 111K+ Visits in all (not from bots).
- 410K+ Pages viewed.
This represented a 51% increase over 2011, and I expected as much, considering I went from being at sea all the time, and not able to post much in 2011, to being home most of the time and able to post on a more frequent basis. I hope to do even better in 2013, including the introduction of my new online Bible study series for 2013. I should be able to start this series by next Friday, so please stay tuned!
Thank you for reading my blog! Also, look for format changes to be coming within the next 3-4 months here at Pentecostal Blogger. As a web designer by hobby, I just can’t help myself! I like to tweak and improve this blog as time goes on.
Pentecostal Blogger has been online since 2008, and hopefully will be for the long haul, until Jesus returns or I pass on to my reward! This has been and continues to be a wonderful ministry for me. The most surprising item while reviewing my stats was the number of visits from the Far East.
Having been spiritually “born” in Okinawa Japan, I am glad to see that I attract visitors from the Pacific rim countries.
God bless and I hope all of my readers have a very blessed 2013!
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Psa 122:1 KJV)
Church attendance is a must for the Spirit filled Christian. The Christian who seeks to develop a healthy and mature relationship in Christ will seek to attend every service possible in order to edify and nurture not only themselves, but to help others to grow, and to be examples and witnesses to their own families.
Church attendance out of a sense of duty is dead spiritually speaking. Church attendance should be a joyous occassion in which the mature saint will look forward to every time the sanctuary doors are open.
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb 10:23–25 KJV)
We, as Christians, should seek to build and edify the church. One of the most effective ways is through encouragement by example. We are all called to be a Saint. In our calling, we should profess God in our mouth and in our action. A person who has trouble attending church usually derives no joy from it, but merely attends out of his or her sense of duty. This kind of attendance only leads to feelings of resentment.