Thursday, September 24, 2015

A eulogy for my grandma Billie

"My grandmother was the matriarch of a big family. I think as we all grieve, we grieve as a family. But yet as the news hit me, I realized MY grandma left. My grandma Billie was a woman of greatness. She stood head and shoulders above everyone around her. She did this by standing head and shoulders below everyone around her. Whenever I came in the room she would light up and call my name. She was always interested in seeing me. I didn't get to see her as often as the others, as we grew up in Louisville. I once heard a gospel song about a woman who gave her testimony and how at her lowest point she declared "But I had a prayin' grand mother!!" That's what I had. Grandma made a point that I needed to go to church and that she was praying for me to find one. In a few months my best friend had me going to his church. Looking back I am amazed at the power of the seeds she planted in my life. As a youngster, I was a great fan of science and consequently believed in evolution. She rebuked me saying "Well, I am not related to no monkey!" here I am 25 years later teaching people that true science agrees with the Bible. I remember her teaching me that in heaven there is a judgement of rewards separate from our judgement on the great white throne. Despite undergraduate and graduate level education against this, I know grandma got it right again. I remember we were at a vacation bible school and she was teaching us. We saw a giant horsefly, grandma told us that it was the devil trying to distract us from the lesson. Interestingly enough "Beelzebub" literally translates as "lord of the flies". If grandma Billie were here she would sternly reminds us that her remains will be literally resurrected. I can tell you that her faith is my faith. The other day my father told me that his theory is that people believe what they want to believe. After studying science and philosophy and theology for over 15 years I think that sounds about right. I want to believe in Jesus. I want to believe in the Lord who changed my life and the life of my family. Now I am completely convinced and will debate any PH.D on this planet for the truth. But as I get older I am finding more value in our want for the truth, than the fact of the truth. Do we want to serve our Lord? Do we want to trust our Lord? Do we seek the Holy Spirit? Do we want to humble ourselves? The answers are simple and not complicated. But simple things can be tough. My grandmother was a tough woman. It was the love and humility given to her from her Lord that made her so. I just pray that we will seek the Lord as well. Since she is gone there is an awful lot of work to be done. I thank My Lord Jesus Christ for using my grandma."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A new look at an Old Word: Chapter 2 The dark history of egypt

When we look upon the LXX, we have to ask "Is this culture a godly culture that the Lord  would deem fit to preserve His words, more so than the Israeli Hebrews?"         Genesis 10:   And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan."                                                          
10:13-1413 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 14 and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim."
       Egypt or Mizraim was born from the line of Ham. Ham was the troublemaking Son of Noah. Some of those descendants such as Canaan, Babylon and Egypt would that way for centuries.
Genesis 12:1010 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
     Abraham only went there because of the force of a famine.

Genesis 21:And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.    21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation"Genesis 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
   Ishmael who would be father of the Arabic peoples, was half-Egyptian and took an Egyptian wife.

Gen 25:12-18 "12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 13 and these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14 and Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15  Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16 these are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.
When Abraham disobeyed God and took God's promises into his own hands, he slept with an Egyptian woman, Hagar.  Ishmael would go on to be the father of the Arabic people who historically hated and competed with the Jews.

Genesis 26:1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

The Hebrews are told to stay away from Egypt. Israel's blessing would have dependence on staying away from Egypt. This is crucial stating that anytime the Hebrews went to stay in Egypt, they were breaking covenant and would be cursed.

Genesis 37: 25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

     The sons of Jacob intended to kill their brother Joseph, but t heyknew it was not proper to  murder him.  Low and behold, none other than Ishmael's descendants come and the Hebrews
sell him into slavery.  Do they take him to their  home in Arabia? No, they take him to Egypt.

Genesis 46:And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

   Obviously having to move away from their promised Home into this pagan land was a curse for their dastardly deed to Joseph.  However, God will help the Israelites to thrive and multiply there through this process.

Genesis 47:29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt:
Israel hoped for restoration from God.  Therefore, he hoped that he would get to be buried first foremost not in Egypt but in his homeland.

Exodus 20:I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage

                   The essential nature of Egypt is the place of bondage or slaverv.

The curses of Egvpt is well attested by scripture.
Ezekiel 29:13 Yet thus saith the Lord God; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: 14 and I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. 15 It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. 16 And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord God.

Ezekiel 32:Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him,
Thou art like a young lion of the nations,
and thou art as a whale in the seas:
and thou camest forth with thy rivers,
and troubledst the waters with thy feet,
and fouledst their rivers.
Thus saith the Lord God;
I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people;
and they shall bring thee up in my net.
Then will I leave thee upon the land,
I will cast thee forth upon the open field,
and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee,
and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with thee.
And I will lay thy flesh upon the mountains,
and fill the valleys with thy height.
I will also water with thy blood
the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains;
and the rivers shall be full of thee.

Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord,that take counsel, but not of me;and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit,that they may add sin to sin:
that walk to go down into Egypt,
and have not asked at my mouth;
to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh,
and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame,
and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
For his princes were at Zoan,
and his ambassadors came to Hanes.
They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them,
nor be an help nor profit,
but a shame, and also a reproach.
The burden of the beasts of the south:
into the land of trouble and anguish,
from whence come the young and old lion,
the viper and fiery flying serpent,
they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses,
and their treasures upon the bunches of camels,
to a people that shall not profit them.
For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose:
therefore have I cried concerning this,
Their strength is to sit still.
Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
that this is a rebellious people, lying children,
children that will not hear the law of the Lord:
10 which say to the seers, See not;
and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things,
speak unto us smooth things,
prophesy deceits:
11 get you out of the way,
turn aside out of the path,
cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel,
Because ye despise this word,
and trust in oppression and perverseness,
and stay thereon:
13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall,
swelling out in a high wall,
whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces;
he shall not spare:
so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it
a sherd to take fire from the hearth,
or to take water withal out of the pit.
15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel;
In returning and rest shall ye be saved;
in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:
and ye would not.
16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses;
therefore shall ye flee:
and, We will ride upon the swift;
therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
     The Lord remembered the iniquities of unrelenting Egyptian society. And so it is obvious that his response was to curse them.

''In later times Egypt was conquered by the Persians (B.C. 525), and by the Greeks under Alexander the Great (B.C. 332), after whom the Ptolemies ruled the country for three centuries. Subsequent(v it was for a time a province of the Roman Empire: and at last, in A.D. 1517, it fell into the hands of the Turks, of whose empire it still forms nominally a part." Easton's Bible Dictionary

Egypt never recovered as a people, even to this day.

For Israel, Egypt is traditionally a curse, they should not have been there in the first place.  It has always been a tragic thing when the Jews stayed in Egypt.

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him,

and called my son out of Egypt.
As they called them, so they went from them:
they sacrificed unto Baalim,
and burned incense to graven images.
I taught Ephraim also to go,
taking them by their arms;
but they knew not that I healed them.
I drew them with cords of a man,
with bands of love:
and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws,
and I laid meat unto them.
He shall not return into the land of Egypt,
but the Assyrian shall be his king,
because they refused to return.
And the sword shall abide on his cities,
and shall consume his branches, and devour them,
because of their own counsels.
And my people are bent to backsliding from me:
though they called them to the most High,
none at all would exalt him.
 Because God Loved Israel, he wanted them out of Egypt. Egypt was a land filled with demonic idolatry.  The only reason the Hebrew people ever were there in the first place was due to sin.  Yet God pulled Israel out.  Now at this point Israel ran back to Egypt since it was in sin.  Yet God would not allow this and had them under Assyrian dominion since they had not obeyed.
"The Jew in Egypt followed a very different development from the Bab. Jew, and this Egypt type largely influenced Christianity.   In the colony at Syene a woman named "Trust Yaveh" had no objection to swearing by the Egyptian  goddess Seti when making an Egyptian contract: and in Jer 44:15-19, the Jews boasted of their Heathen  Worship in Egypt.  Oniah had no scruple in establishing  a temple and sacrifices apart from Jerus, without any  of the particularism of the Maccabean zealots.   Philo at Alexandria labored all his life for the union of Jewish thought  with Greek philosophy.'' The  International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Vol. II (Egypt:22 The Egyptian  Jew)
   We can obviously see from this historic testimony (as usual non-KJVO) that the Alexandrian Jews were not Faithful to the Old Covenant, so why should we count them as such, faithful in the reproduction of it?
Matthew 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
      It should be noted that the only thing that Jesus had to do with Egypt was being called out of it.  This prophecy is not simply a quote from Hosea but an allusion to Israel. Like Israel the only reason Jesus stayed there was the threat of death, (at the hands of Herod). Unlike Israel, Jesus was called out of Egypt and had no problem leaving. He overcame the bondage that many Jews never got over. He also was never enslaved by their idolatry
Isaiah 19:18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. 19 In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord.20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.21 And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. 22 And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land
    This I believe has not happened and will not happen most likely until the Second Coming. If this prophecy has happened then the following must historically have happened...
1.  Five cities in the land of Egypt must be speaking Hebrew
2.  One of these cities is named the city of destruction (in some language possibly Hebrew)
3.   A monument must stand in Egypt dedicated to Jehovah     
4.  Sacrifices are to be made lor Jehovah as well as a vow maden Jehovah's name
5.   Assyria, Egypt and Israel have to have a peaceful alliance and a highway
6.   There must be salvation brought to Egypt by the Messiah (most likely personally)
7.   This salvation seems to have political implications
Now I  know that some would point to Onias temple as fulfillment of this. Yet this was a period where extra temples were not regulated by God. If He were to pour out the Judgements he did at Bethel, why would he have allowed this in Egypt? Jesus didn't show any acceptance of the idea but instead looked to the future. Now like all peoples, Egypt will have a remnant. and I look forward as their country, (like the rest of the earth) will be restored and as they (like we all) will accept Jesus as Lord. Although I don't want to chase this rabbit outside of Bible version debate territory.
The Egyptian Christian Church has a clouded history
"However historically substantial  these Coptic traditions of Mark's ministry in Alexandria, one thing seems very substantial indeed; the next sixty to one hundred years of Christian History in the empire's second city are a blank.  Eusebius, who composed the first comprehensive history of the church in the early fourth century, list the names of the Bishops who succeeded  Mark-Anianus, Abilus, Cerdon, and so forth_but it is not until the tenth Bishop, Julian, that he supplies more than a bare name, and by then, more than a hundred years have passed.
'If Christianity was taken to Egypt by the middle first century,' Writes C. Wilfred Griggs in his authoritative  Early Egyptian Christianity, 'an inexplicable silence in Christian sources concerning leaders of the movement and development of the church over the next 125 to 150 years is probably unique in the history of Christianity ..." pg. 201   
"so  what happened? Were the Christians and Gnostics in keen dispute during these missing years?  There is no evidence of it. One theory is that the Story  of Mark 's Evangelism in alexandria is a myth. and that Christianity came to the city later from an unknown source." Pg. 202   The Christians: Their
First Two Thousand Years second volume    

   In conclusion, ancient Egypt was a cursed nation and would be the least likely place and people to preserve the Holy Words of God since they were intense idolaters. The Christians of this period were also idolatrous and believe mostly in Gnosticism. Why would we trust the unfaithful with the divine Word of God?        

The Septuagint 72 contenders against the Levite scribes

   The first issues the date of the Septuagint. Popular scholarship teaches us that the LXX was written at about 300 B.C. Therefore I assumed this to be true.  Some would say it has to be true since it has
been taught at so many schools.  You read any high school textbook on biology  during the last century, you will see many hoaxes such as Piltdown Man and Ernst Haekyl 's  drawings of embryos; even though both were debunked decades earlier.. So obviously it is possible for popular scholarship to be off.  Here are some contradictions to holding the Septuagint to be pre-Christian and superior to the Masoretic test.   If you accept the historicity of the LXX then you must accept all it's accounts as factual.  Many such as Philo have claimed that there were 72 translators from the 12 tribes of Israel who separated themselves, and over 7 days were inspired and all had produced identical copies of the LXX.  If you are to believe Philo and Augustine that these were in fact historical accounts as to when they were written, then it would be obvious that we should accept the account that apparently these 72 were inspired.  The problem being that the alexandrine advocates like to interpret naturalistically and in principle disbelieve in this type of legend.  After all they constantly  like to build up straw-man arguments labeling all KJV advocates as followers of Peter Ruckman.  There are some theological problems to this interpretation as well.  Why would God inspire scribes for an area under a curse? (psalms 106:22, Jeremiah 44:26, Ezekiel 29:13-15, Revelation 11:18).  Why would God want all 12 tribes translate the text into Greek when the preservation of the text was the sole responsibility of the tribe of Levi? (Malachi 2:7-8, Deuteronomy 31:24-25).

Even the LXX bears witness tot he fact that Greek Translations are not proper for preservation. In the forward to Ecclesiasticus/Sirach "for the Hebrew words have not the same force in them when translated into another tongue. And not only these, but the law also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language."
        Faith in the LXX being produced before the Christian era is based mainly on "The letter to Aristeas". However this document has been historically proved fallacious for the following reasons.  The  date of the letter is usually dated in the second century B.C. (The International Bible Standard  Encyclopedia suggested a date around 100-80 B.C. pg.2724) which is a out  150 years after the LXX was supposed to be translated. This letter is also historically inaccurate in that it names Demetrius of Phalerum (345-283B.C.) as a member of the court and keeper of Ptolemy Philadelphus' library (285-247 B.C.) since Demetrius spent the last part of his life in the court of Ptolemy Soter not Philadelphus. In fact, Demetrius was banished by Philadelphus!  The final historical blunder of this document is that "It happens to be the anniversary of our naval victory over Antigonus." This could either be referring to defeat at the battle of cos (260 B. C.) or an actual victory in 245B.C. Either which way both of these events took place decades
after  Demetrius death. Modern scholars tend to recognize the inaccuracy of this letter. 
"The Septuagint  was the earliest Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. According to The letter of Aristeas, it was translated by seventy-two translators in Alexandria  under Pharoah Ptolemy 11 (285-247 B.C.). The letter of Aristeas, however, appears to have
been written to promote the accuracy and authority; of the Septuagint (often abbreviated  LXX) Actually the Greek  Translations came into being over a period of time."    Holman Bible handbook pg.526


While there is no doubt that LXX had sold itself well to medieval Christendom. It was never
endorse by Palestinian Israel.   ''This  version was never officially read by the Jews in Palestine who spoke in Aramaic and read in Hebrew.  Instead the Jewish authorities condemned the work and declared a period of mourning because of the defects in the version."  Preface to The Holy  Bible from  Ancie11t Manuscripts IPeshitta} George M. Lamsa
       I don't have a problem with the passages of the Old Testament being translated into Greek or any other language. Yet is there any evidence that an entire body of material such as the LXX legitimately existed at that time?  Why have a body of work with a false canon in the wrong language be considered superior at preserving the text more accurately than the Hebrew and claim to be the text of Jesus and the apostles?
Question: If Jesus read from LXX and not the Hebrew Bible, why did he refer to the Hebrew Bible
arrangement?  Jots and tittles are not part of the Greek language but the Hebrew.   Divisions like the Law, Prophets and Psalms are not found in LXX. Jesus refers to the blood of the prophet alluding to martyrs at the beginning and end of the Hebrew Canon. However the last prophet to die, Zecharias  was Martyred in 2 Chronicles which, though last in the Hebrew, is not the last book in the LXX.

Yet even Alexandrian advocates have to admit that these texts are not quoted specifically.

                 "What we commonly referred to as the LXX ' version is the more stereotyped form which they assumed as result of the work of ...scholars (notably Origen). Therefore, when we say that NT writers quote from LXX, this does nor imply that we can check their quotations by reference to a comemporary LXX norm (except, to  some degree, for quotations from the Pentateuch)."

    If we have no manuscripts of the Septuagint prior to Codex Vaticanus and the Alexandrian Text,

and the NT quotes that arc supposed to be Septuagint arc simply different, then why should we identify the Septuagint at all?
  The main resource on this issue from my point of view is "The Septuagint a Critical Analysis" by Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones.

   "Answcrs in Genesis" spent time on it's website dealing with the amount of factual differences in the genealogies of these OT manuscripts.  We must remember that AIG  is not trying to advocate  KJVO.  Their purpose for these articles was simply to portray and defend a consistent biblical history and chronology. The article is         
"Some remarks to a Biblical Chronology" here is a chart//

NAMEAge at begettingRemaining years of life
LXXMasoretic TextSamaritan PentateuchLXXMasoretic TextSamaritan Pentateuch
Adam 230 130 130 700 800 800
Seth 205 105 105 707 807 807
Enosh 190 90 90 715 815 815
Cainan 170 70 70 740 840 840
Mahalaleel 165 65 65 730 830 830
Jared 162 162 62 800 800 785
Enoch 165 65 65 200 300 300
Methuselah 167 187 67 802 782 653
Lamech 188 182 53 565 595 600
Noah 500 500 500 450 450 450
Shem 100 100 100 500 500 500
Arphaxad 135 35 135 430 403 303
Cainan 130 330
Shelah 130 30 130 330 403 303
Eber 134 34 134 370 430 270
Peleg 130 30 130 209 209 109
Reu 132 32 132 207 207 107
Serug 130 30 130 200 200 100
Nahor 79 29 79 129 119 69
Terah 70 70 70 135 135 75


Pete Williams has been a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, England, where he has received an M.A. (Cantab.) in Classics and Hebrew, and an M.Phil. In Hebrew Studies, and has a Ph.D. on the Syriac (Peshitta) translation of the Old Testament. At time of writing, he was carrying out post-doctoral research on weapons in Ancient Hebrew at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge..(author of AIG article, not the chapter)

Greek of lxx inferior to the Hebrew OT
Son of Sirach 1:c "I entreat you therefore to come with benevolence, and to read with attention, and to pardon us for those things wherein we may seem, while we follow the image of wisdom, to come short in the composition of words; for the Hebrew words have not the same force in them when translated into another tongue. And not only these, but the law also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language."

gap (proven by apocrypha in 1Maccabees)
There had been a ceasing of the prophets
“There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people” 1 Macc. 9:27
There currently was no prophet
“They stored the stones in a suitable place on the temple hill, until a prophet should come and decided what to do with them” 1 Macc. 4:46
They were waiting for a prophet
“The Jewish people and their priest have, therefore, made the following decisions. Simon shall be their permanent leader and high priest until a true prophet of God arises.” 1 Macc. 14:41