Psalm 19: Can I Buy Your Bible?

Psalm 19: Can I Buy Your Bible?

Just how many Bibles have been printed since Gutenberg invented the printing press? The number is staggering. Over 5,000,000,000 Bibles have been printed. To appreciate this number, consider that the world’s population is fast approaching   7,800,000,000. So, could I buy your Bible?

Psalm 19 buy

Would you sell your Bible?

The stipulation in the purchase would be that you would never again have a Bible—it would in no way ever influence your life again. Let me ask you ask again, how much would you sell your Bible for?

You know the beginning of Psalm 19 states that the heavens declare the glory of God, but it does not stop there. The second half of the psalm shows how, that without a Bible, there is no way anyone would ever know His will for us.

The Bible is described as being perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, desired, more valuable than the finest gold, sweeter than honey, warning about evil, giving great reward, keeping us from error, understanding error, cleansing us from secret sin and keeping us from presumptuous sin. Before answering my question, read the second half of this psalm to see what you would be losing if you sold me your Bible.

This description of the Bible found in the last half of the psalm does not end with those attributes listed above. It also converts our souls, brings great wisdom, causes our hearts to rejoice, enlightens our eyes in a world of darkness, teaches us about truth and righteousness, keeps sin from having dominion over us, allows us to stand innocent before God—the list seems endless. So, let me ask again, can I buy your Bible?

What would your world be like without your Bible? Change the positive attributes into negative ones. It would imperfect, no conversion, no surety, no wisdom, no knowledge of right, no joy, no enlightenment, no association with eternal truth, no understanding of righteousness, no eternal gold, no fine gold, no sweetness, no reward, no knowledge of error, dominated by sin, standing before God with all our guilt.  Are you sure you will sell me your Bible?

David was a man after God’s own heart. He only had access to nine books of the Bible, yet look at how he treasured it. Imagine how he would treasure it if he had the sixty-six books of the Bible you have!

One final thought. What if there were no Bible in your language? What if you were illiterate and could not read the one you have? Think of what you would never have in your life? Yet, in reality, what is the difference in not having a Bible and never reading the one you have? You can know that God exists by looking at His glorious heaven and earth, but real understanding will never come until you read the Bible you have!

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The Bible Affirms What You Need

The Bible Affirms What You Need

While the Bible clearly affirms that it will completely supply us in every aspect of our work for the Lord (2 Tim. 3:16-17), some do not believe it. While the Bible clearly affirms that it contains everything which pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), some do not believe it. Consider the following.

Several years ago in a Bible study with the Jehovah’s Witnesses I asked them, “If I only had a Bible, what would be the odds of me ever becoming a Jehovah’s Witness?” Their answer, “I do not think it would ever happen—the odds would be one in a million.” Think about the implication of this.

There was no religious group called Jehovah’s Witnesses before 1931! The movement was founded by Charles Russell beginning in about 1880. The very name of the movement and many of the doctrines taught by that religion—the sinfulness of blood transfusion, the teaching that only 144,000 will go to heaven, internal structure of the movement centered around the Watchtower in Brooklyn, etc.—did not exist until Charles Russell spread that teaching. If I only had a Bible, there is no way to express the likelihood of one becoming a Witness. It simply would never happen. It takes more than a Bible to be a Witness.

Now apply that to all the religious movements in the denominational maze of our world. If I only had a Bible, would I wear any denominational name? They are unknown in the Bible as names for God’s people. If I only had a Bible, would I be a Mormon? A Seventh-Day Adventist? A Catholic? A Protestant? A Fundamentalist? Add any name of all the other denominations and ask the question, “If I only had a Bible, what would be the odds of me being a ______?”

It simply could not happen. These names are not found in the Bible, and if I limit myself to using the Bible as the only source revealing God’s way, I would never wear these names.

Now expand this concept and apply it to the church organizations and church hierarchies of our day. Apply it to the very acts of worship. Apply it to the diversity of teaching about morality, homosexuality, marriage and divorce. If you only had a Bible, what would you be religiously? What name would you wear? When and how would you worship? What would be the standard of morality you would embrace?

One more thought. When the church began and the Bible was written, what did the church look like? Remember they only had a Bible, and they became the church Jesus established. The only way denominations can exist is for them to teach more or teach less than the Bible teaches. So, follow only the Bible religiously. That is all you need to find God.

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Still Have Doubts about God?

Still Have Doubts about God?

I get it–you have doubts. Given that you are constantly bombarded with an evolutionary worldview I can certainly understand why.

yucca moth

Evolution cannot explain God’s pollinator.

But there are so many excellent proofs out there that evolution cannot explain.

Consider the idea of symbiosis for just a moment.

Symbiosis is the close interaction between two organisms that is typically advantageous for both. One of the most amazing examples of symbiosis is the relationship between the yucca plant and the yucca moth. Each is dependent on the other for its survival. The yucca plant is physically incapable of pollinating itself to grow more seeds and perpetuate. The yucca moth (Pronuba) pollinates the yucca plant while laying its eggs inside the plant. This is a three-step process.

First the moth lands on the stamens (the male part of a flower, which produces pollen) of one of the yucca’s flowers. It then makes a sticky ball of pollen that it carries underneath its neck by a special appendage unique to this moth species.

Second, the moth flies to another yucca flower, lands on the pistil (the female part, which grows the fruit and seed) and inserts one of its eggs inside the base of the pistil, the flower’s ovary.

Third, the moth climbs the pistil and carefully places pollen from its ball inside the stigma’s tube at its top, thus pollinating this part of the flower. The moth repeats the first and second steps of the process for one flower until each ovule has one moth egg in it and each stigma has had pollen put into it. After hatching, the moth larvae feed on the seeds of the yucca.

Remarkably, the moth carefully calibrates the number of its larvae growing inside each flower so the larvae will not consume all the seeds of the yucca-because if they ate all the seeds the yucca plants would stop reproducing, thus eventually dooming the yucca moths as well! By pollinating the plant, the moth develops food (yucca seeds) for its larvae while ensuring the plant can continue its own kind as well.

But that’s not all.

The life cycle of the yucca moth is timed so the adult moths emerge in early summer-exactly when the yucca plants are in flower. How could such a process as the yucca moth-plant symbiotic relationship have developed by gradual steps in an evolutionary process that proceeds by blind chance?

What conceivable sequence of minor changes over thousands or millions of years could have possibly produced a perfect, mutually beneficial arrangement between plant and animal species?

Darwinism offers no answers. It is obvious that this remarkable relationship appeared abruptly or it never could have developed at all.

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¿RECIBIERON LOS APÓSTOLES EL ESPÍRITU EN JUAN 20?

¿RECIBIERON LOS APÓSTOLES EL ESPÍRITU EN JUAN 20?

La respuesta más corta es no. He escuchado todo tipo de explicaciones a este pasaje y no me sorprende que haya división aún dentro de nosotros en algo que en mi opinión parece ser muy claro. Para este capítulo tomaré una ruta exegética para llegar al fondo no sin antes exponer algunos comentarios que sientan un precedente para la confusión. Por favor proceda con cautela a la hora de leer estos comentarios, ya que no representan la postura de quien escribe, pero son traídos a colación, como cualquier estudio serio comparativo lo haría.

Juan 20:22

Mattew Henry (Calvinista)

Recibió el Espíritu Santo, demostrando así que su vida espiritual, así como toda su capacidad para el trabajo, se derivarían de él y dependían de él. Cada palabra de Cristo que se recibe en el corazón por la fe viene acompañada de este soplo divino; y sin esto no hay luz ni vida. Nada se ve, se sabe, se discierne o se siente de Dios, sino a través de esto. Después de esto, Cristo ordenó a los apóstoles que declararan el único método por el cual el pecado sería perdonado. Este poder no existía en absoluto en los apóstoles como un poder para juzgar, sino sólo como un poder para declarar el carácter de aquellos a quienes Dios aceptaría o rechazaría en el día del juicio. Han establecido claramente las marcas por las cuales un hijo de Dios puede ser discernido y distinguido de un falso maestro; y de acuerdo con lo que han declarado, cada caso se decidirá en el día del juicio.[1]

John Wesley  (Fundador Metodista)

Él sopló sobre ellos: vida nueva y vigor, y dice: al recibir este aliento de mi boca, recibid el Espíritu de mi plenitud: el Espíritu Santo influye en vosotros de una manera peculiar, para prepararos para vuestra gran embajada. . Esta fue una prenda de pentecostés.[2]

Tomás de Aquino (Católico)

Debemos entender que los que primero recibieron el Espíritu Santo, por su inocencia de vida en sí mismos, y predicando a unos pocos más, lo recibieron abiertamente después de la resurrección, para que no sólo beneficiaran a unos pocos, sino a muchos. Los discípulos que fueron llamados a tales obras de humildad, ¡a qué altura de gloria fueron conducidos! He aquí, no sólo tienen la salvación para sí mismos, sino que son admitidos a los poderes del tribunal supremo; de modo que, en lugar de Dios, retienen los pecados de algunos hombres y remiten a otros. Su lugar en la Iglesia lo ocupan ahora los obispos; quienes reciben la autoridad para atar, cuando son admitidos en el carnero; de gobernantes[3]

Albert Barnes (Calvinista)

Su respiración sobre ellos era una cierta señal o promesa de que serían dotados de las influencias del Espíritu Santo. Compárese con Hechos 1: 4; Juan 2: 0.[4]

Breve Observación:

Note como estos comentaristas no coinciden casi en nada. Algunos se acercan más a lo que el texto está declarando y otros sencillamente se van por otra parte. Es de notar como entre los dos calvinistas mencionados ellos no coinciden entre sí a pesar de provenir de la misma fuente (Juan Calvino). Eso hacen las denominaciones; dividir. También es notable como Tomás de Aquino representa a la corriente católica hasta el día de hoy, ya que confesar sus pecados a un miembro del clero es indispensable para obtener perdón. La penitencia que es impuesta por el oficial del clero como medio de perdón obedece (según ellos) a este pasaje en Juan 20 que le concede potestad al sacerdote para perdonar pecados. Esto es una muy mala interpretación del texto.  

Exégesis del Juan 20:22

καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἐνεφύσησεν καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς∑ Λάβετε πνεῦμα ἅγιον∑ (El Nuevo Testamento griego: Edición SBL)

Y habiendo dicho esto, sopló, y les dijo: Recibid el Espíritu Santo(Reina Valera 1960).

La palabra clave para analizar aquí es: “recibid” (Λάβετε) pues es ese el verbo que nos ayudará a responder algunas preguntas más frecuentes. Exegéticamente esta palabra es un verbo, aoristo, activo, imperativo, segunda persona, plural.

El aoristo está ahí para hacernos ver que la acción del verbo quedó completada en el pasado sin ninguna consecuencia para el futuro. El modo imperativo se emplea básicamente de dos maneras; para expresar mandato o en el caso de peticiones u oraciones[5]. Estoy convencido que el tipo de modo es la pieza maestra de este rompecabezas. Si la palabra hubiese estado en modo indicativo, entonces no habría ninguna duda de que los apóstoles recibieron el Espíritu Santo ahí mismo cuando les dijo esto, pero no lo está, el modo es el imperativo.

En una traducción literal del texto diría algo parecido a: Y habiendo dicho esto, sopló, y les dijo: Recibid (una sola vez en el futuro cercano, y con firmeza como el de una orden) el Espíritu Santo”.

El derramamiento del Espíritu Santo una sola vez, sucedió el día de pentecostés en cumplimiento a un sin número de profecías incluyendo la de Joel 2 y que de otra forma dos recepciones del Espíritu sobre ellos, dejaría a las profecías sin sentido. A continuación algunas consideraciones dignas de analizar:

1.     Si el Espíritu Santo fue recibido aquí por los apóstoles, ¿porqué Jesús les prometió tiempo después que lo recibirán con poder (Hechos 1:8)? ¿Acaso no lo habían recibido?

2.     Si el Espíritu Santo es recibido aquí, entonces Jesús se contradijo porque dijo en Juan 16:7 que era necesario que él se fuera para que el Espíritu viniera, pero ¡parece que ya no! Amigo mío, no es posible.

3.     Esta promesa está limitada a los apóstoles solamente para equiparlos mediante la revelación que recibirán del evangelio. Si esta promesa de recepción del Espíritu Santo fuera para todos los cristianos entonces, no hay ninguna necesidad de tener una revelación escrita.

4.     Si la promesa de recibir el Espíritu Santo que aparece aquí fuera para todos los cristianos, entonces cualquiera de nosotros podría escribir un nuevo testamento. Si no es así ¿explique porqué no?

5.     Todas las profecías con respecto a la Iglesia apuntaban a Pentecostés, también los dichos de Jesús apuntaban a ese evento, la misma simbología antiguo-testamentaria de esta fiesta sentaba el precedente de la nueva obra de Dios el Padre que tendría lugar ese día. Anteriormente he afirmado que la recepción del Espíritu por parte de los apóstoles en Juan 20:22 sería traer al suelo, la simbología de pentecostés, y además hacer que todas las profecías apuntan a un día completamente distinto, o lo que es peor aún, tres derramamientos del Espíritu (Juan 20:22, Pentecostés y el evento con Cornelio).

6.     Tenga presente que en cada recepción o manifestación del Espíritu Santo, algo milagroso o sobrenatural sucedía. En pentecostés y con Cornelio por ejemplo la manifestación del Espíritu hizo que personas hablaran en otros idiomas que no habían estudiado antes (lenguas), con los Samaritanos, Felipe hacía grandes milagros en Hechos 8…aquí, sencillamente los apóstoles se fueron a pescar ¿Le parece esto congruente?

7.     ¿Cómo le hizo Tomás llamado Dídimo para predicar el evangelio y hacer señales sin tener el Espíritu Santo? Sin lugar a duda Tomás era contado entre los 11 mencionados en Hechos 1:26 y hacía milagros y señales (Hch.2:43). Pero en Juan 20:22 él no estaba, así lo declara el v.24, y pues no recibió ese soplo. Que alguien nos explique ¿cómo hacía milagros sin haber recibido el Espíritu Santo?

El haber soplado sobre ellos ciertamente me recuerda al evento en Génesis 2:7 cuando Dios “sopló aliento de vida” para que el hombre fuera un ser viviente. Jesús aquí sopla y les afirma en forma de mandato que recibieron el Espíritu Santo. Es como si los estuviera preparando para lo que pronto sucedería con ellos en Pentecostés.


Refencias 

[1] Henry, Matthew. “Concise Commentary on John 20”. “Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mhn/john-20.html. 1706.

 

[2] Wesley, John. “Commentary on John 20”. “John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/wen/john-20.html. 1765.

 

[3] Aquinas, Thomas. “Commentary on John 20”. “Golden Chain Commentary on the Gospel”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcc/john-20.html.

 

[4] Barnes, Albert. “Commentary on John 20”. “Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/john-20.html. 1870

 

[5]  Notas tomadas en la clase de Griego 1. Brown Trail School of Preaching 2013 (Bedford Texas) Instructor, Willie A. Alvarenga.

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God Has Purposes for the Creation

God Has Purposes for the Creation

One of the greatest battles being fought today in the hearts and minds of humanity is the battle of who determines purposes. According to the philosophy of existentialism that dominates today’s cultural thought, no purposes are inherent in any existing thing, and all purposes are generated by human beings. The implication of this philosophy is that there are no wrong choices, and a person can be whatever he or she desires to be. If a healthy adult male of forty-five years wants to identify as a sickly seven-year-old girl, this philosophy supports this bizarre and abnormal behavior because one is culturally permitted to establish whatever purposes one desires for one’s life. Many more examples could be given.

purpose text

Man does not define his own purpose

In contrast to this cultural philosophy, there is the teaching of the Bible that God has purposes and He has placed those purposes into His creation. As we read through Genesis chapter one, it is clear that God intended His creation to act according to His purposes. In other words, it is not humanity that defines purposes, but God. As we read through the Bible, we are introduced to many of these purposes. For example, in Genesis 1:29, God says to Adam and Eve, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” The general purpose of plants is for food/nutrition. The Bible teaches that there is a purpose for the creation, a purpose for humanity, a purpose for marriage, a purpose for men, a purpose for women, etc. To best live life, we must known God’s purposes and act according to them.

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