Monday, February 27, 2006

The Earth is Round

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth…”

(emphasis added)
ISAIAH 40:22 (KJV)

“He hath compassed the waters with bounds,
until the day and the night come to an end.”

(emphasis added)
JOB 26:10 (KJV)

Isaiah says that the earth is a circle. From space, the earth always appears to be a circle since it is round.

Job says God has compassed, or drawn a circle on, the waters with a boundary of light and dark. This boundary is where evening and morning occur. The boundary is also a circle.

Isaiah is believed to have been written in about 700 B.C., Job, 1500 B.C. Modern science wasn’t certain the earth was round, until Magellan sailed around the world in the 1500’s. The time difference between Magellan and Isaiah was over 2,000 years. The difference between Job and Magellan was about 3,000 years. It seems Job and Isaiah had a pretty good head start on science. Announcing with certainty that the earth was round, when human science wouldn’t be sure for thousands of years.

Food for thought: Genesis 2:7 (KJV) “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground…”

In November of 1982, Readers Digest published an article entitled, How Life on Earth Began. In the article they stated that according NASA’s Ames Research Center, all of the ingredients needed to make a human being can be found in clay...

they also said the biblical account wasn’t “far off the mark”.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Science of the Bible

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained” PSALM 8:3

The bible is God’s word. Therefore, we should expect the bible to be right every time it mentions a scientific subject. It is!

The science of man is always in a state of flux. Everything changes as we gain more information. But, the bible doesn’t change, and yet it is continually right.

When it touches on biology. It is right. When it touches on geology. It is right. When it touches on anthropology. It is right. So when it touches on astronomy, is it right? You bet!

In my next posts, I will look at what the bible has to say about astronomy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Word Study: Hades

Bible Study: Versions (part 3)

LUKE 16:23 (NKJV) “And being in torments in Hades…” (Emphasis added)

LUKE 16:23 (KJV) “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…” (Emphasis added)

Hades n. Class. Myth. 1. a. the underworld inhabited by departed souls b. the god ruling the underworld; Pluto 2. (In the RV of the New Testament) the abode or state of the dead.
--Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (1996)

-- Not Listed

Webster’s New World Dictionary (1990) -- Definition 1.

HELL n. 1. the place or state of punishment for the wicked after death.

hell n. 1. (often H-) Theol. the state or place of place and final separation from God and so of eternal misery and suffering arrived at by those who die unrepentant in grave sin.
--Webster’s New World Dictionary (1990)

Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (1996)--Same as NOAH WEBSTER 1828

Note: Hades is a transliteration of a Greek word, not an actual English word, explaining why the 1828 Dictionary does not have an entry. It has been adopted into our language.

This study was a real challenge. It was very hard to find a resource that wasn’t opinionated and didn’t present opinion as fact. Actually, I never did find an un-opinionated resource.

The only thing that was agreed upon in most of the books and bibles I looked at was that we really aren’t sure what Hades is.

The vast majority of those books and bibles put forth one of these two opinions:
I. Hades is hell
Hades is not hell
If Hades is hell, then why don’t we just call it that?
And if Hades isn’t hell, then what is it?

First I turned to the Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible. It said… very little. The entry was short and confusing, but appeared to support opinion II. Their explanation of Hades was (or seemed to be), that it is an abode of the dead for unbelievers till they are judged and sent to the ultimate hell (Gehenna).

Because of this confusion I searched for, and found a Greek/English dictionary at my local library. The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament was, for the most part, a good Greek/English dictionary. But once again when I looked up the word Hades, there was more opinion than fact. This dictionary held to view II. It said Hades is an intermediate place between death and ultimate hell (Gehenna).

While I was at a friend’s house, telling them about my word study, they pulled out their Vine’s Dictionary. It was much older than mine. I looked up Hades in it and I was very surprised. Their Vine’s Dictionary entry was over twice as long and much clearer. It still had plenty of opinion, but the opinion was of the I. view. It stated that Hades was just as good (or in this case, as bad) as hell (Gehenna), which is the final, eternal, lake of fire meant for the devil, the fallen angels and unbelievers.

And now… my opinion. I believe that Hades is hell (or as good… er, as bad as). The bible seems to indicate in REV. 20:12-15, that Hades and hell are not the exact same (the biggest difference I see is that Hades-hell does not hold the devil or his fallen angels)

At any rate, LUKE 16:23 appears to denote that there are torments in Hades. That makes it a fairly unpleasant place to be, in my opinion. Many of the books that hold to view II., say that the Hades spoken of by Jesus here is “obviously figurative”. I have trouble with an author who says something is obvious when it doesn’t seem to be. The greatest evidence they give is that this is a parable, but Jesus told many parables that weren’t entirely figurative. If anyone should know that the Hades-hell has torments, Jesus should.

Another note about the Word Study Dictionary’s explanation, it sounds a lot like the New Age Religion’s view of Hades, which is that Hades is a place of purification between death and paradise.

Finally, in the least, Hades is a confusing term. The Encyclopedia Britannica (1955) list Hades as only the Greek mythological place of the dead, no mention of hell or the bible. Most dictionaries’ mention hell, but don’t specify that it is punishment. I already stated what the New Ager’s believe. In fact, the Assyrian Hades is an abode of blessedness with silver skies, called Happy Fields.

More (unrelated) verses to consider:
1. MATTHEW 20:20 (KJV) “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him (Jesus)…”
Many other version say “kneeling down” or “kneeling before” instead of “worshipping him, kneeling isn’t worship

2. 1 COR. 1:21 (KJV) “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

Other versions read “foolishness of the message preached” in the place of “foolishness of preaching”. The message is foolishness, only to those who perish (1 Cor. 1:18)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Word Study: Slave

Bible Study: Versions (part 2)

I will begin with a difference in the KJV compared to other versions. I know that comparing isn’t the best way to show error, but this essay is on comprehension and not errors (though this essay does raise the question of a possible contradiction in those bibles that have the word change).

ROMANS 6:22 “But now having been set free from sin, and become slaves to God…” (NKJV*) (Emphasis added)

ROMANS 6:22” But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God…” (KJV) (Emphasis added)

* I must identify this version because of the copyright. The KJV is the only version that isn’t copyrighted.

SLAVE, n. 1. A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no will of his own, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another.

SERVANT, n. 7. One who yields obedience to another.

Webster’s New World Dictionary (1990) & Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language (1996)—same as the NOAH WEBSTER 1828 DICTIONARY

The KJV is the only version, that I have seen, that uses the word servant in this verse, and all other similar verses in the New Testament. I have been told this difference is irrelevant.

I decided to do a word study. I searched several dictionaries (including a copy of an 1828 dictionary); all made distinct differences between servant and slave. The difference is the will. A servant is willing, while a slave is not.

Being mindful that the bible was originally written in Greek, I turned to the Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible. It stated that each time the bible uses the word servant, that word is translated from one of the five Greek words (doulos, diakonos, pais, oiketes or douloo). All of the Greek words, except one (oiketes), literally translate into the word slave, but in the way the writers of The Bible (such as Paul etc.) used those words, they imply willing “subjection without bondage”.

If we are slaves then, in the true sense of the word, we can hate God and still be saved. Jesus’ own words tell us to love God in MATT. 22:37.

Finally, in light of some verses, such as JOHN 8:36 and GAL. 5:13 (see below), it appears that saying we are slaves creates a contradiction. Jesus says we are free, let’s not call ourselves slaves.

JOHN 8:36 (Jesus speaking) “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (Emphasis added)
GALATIANS 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Emphasis added)

Additional (Unrelated) Verses to Consider:
1. GENESIS 22:8 (KJV) “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb…”

Some other versions read “…provide for himself…” or “…God himself will provide…” These changes distort the prophesy that God would become the lamb. The fulfillment of this prophesy is found in JOHN 1:29

2. ISAIAH 14:12, 15 (KJV) “12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer…/15 Yet thou (Lucifer) shalt be brought down to hell…”

Some other versions say “Morning star”, “Day star”, or “Star of the morning” instead of “Lucifer” in v.12. The title “Morning star” is reserved for Jesus in REV. 22:16. The Hebrew word for “star” (kokab) is not found in this verse. This is also the only time the word “Lucifer” is found in the bible.

In v.15 the KJV sends Lucifer to hell, many other versions send him to the mysterious “Sheol” or the “grave”. We all go to the grave.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bible Study: Bible Versions

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” II TIMOTHY 2:15

This past Sunday, my pastor preached a very good sermon on studying the bible. For the past few weeks I have been doing just that. Not studying my bible only, but every version in my house (including the…KJV, NKJV, NIV, NRSV, and the NCV).

This is an ongoing assessment. I believe that God’s Bible translated into the English language (as with any language) would be without error or contradictions, and have the best language usage for study. At this point I’ve been studying the King James Version for about a month. The NKJV is the version my family is using, and has used for many years.