Friday, July 12, 2019

Adult Sabbath School: "The Problem is YOU never understood the Bible or Jesus"

My View is the Correct View
It's just that simple. 

Anonymous said...

"The problem that I see with so many who were once part of the WCG experience is that yes, you all "soaked in it" but you didn't really understand it (The bible, not WCG doctrines)."

"The problem that I see with many who were once part the WCG experience is that yes, you all "soaked" in it but didn't really understand it the way I understand it, the Bible, not WCG doctrines"

I never met anyone in Christianity, whether Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Evangelical or Two Seed in the Spirit, who thought they understood the Bible and Jesus in any other way than the correct way. No one ever said, "Yes, I know I believe the wrong way from what the Bible teaches and I attend the false church, but hey...."

There are hundreds of denominations and thousands of splits and splinters exactly because the Bible lends itself to confusion of belief and every imaginable opinion and view of it and "the meaning" of everything God, Jesus, Life, Death and the hearafter.  All are the true church and all see the Bible correctly or they'd not attend the church of their choice.

That should be obvious

The Apostle Paul made it very clear that HIS view of the Gospel was the correct one. Those that troubled him and the Galatians were none other than the Jerusalem Apostles were the ones who took exception to Paul's view of Jesus, which came before any Gospel was ever written, no matter how cloaked in the NT the "there are some who" were.  

Galatians 1:6-15 6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted,(From me) let them be under God's curse! 10Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. ( Evidently yes. This from the man who said or forgot he said, or failed to mention he said because he was being a Galatian to the Galatians. I Corinthians 9 19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

How could you ever really know what a man given to this approach believed?

Whether on the Damascus Road, In vision carried up to the Third Heaven or taught by Jesus personally in Arabia, Paul's knowing was mystical

Galatians 1: 11I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb (like only Jeremiah and Jesus)and called me by his grace, was pleased.... Paul makes it clear that he cared little for any Gospel input from those held in high esteem and he learned NOTHING from them. (The Jerusalem Apostles) The Paul of Galatians evidently had not heart that Luke portrayed the Paul of Acts as very cooperative of them in Acts 15. Luke's job in Acts was to bridge the gap between the later written Gospels placed before Paul and Paul's calling. The Book of Acts is all about Paul with the Jerusalem Apostles only playing bit parts. Acts was meant to make Paul seem more cooperative and a team player than he actually was as evidenced by Galatians. As for those who were held in high esteemwhatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they (Peter, James or John)  added nothing to my message. On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b] For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as pillars,,,, (Or as the KJV says, "who seemed to be pillars")

All this to note that telling others that their problem is that they never really understood the Bible, God, Jesus or "the Gospel" really mean the way THEY understand it.  

Personally, I understand the Bible very well from my own perspectives, study and experience. It can be no other way. Not for me and not for you. 

. At the risk of igniting  a response to one being a "mere Bible reader", not seeing the ever present tensions in the NT between the Jewish Christian Jerusalem Apostles and Paul at least understand  they did not teach the same things, they did not believe the same things, they did not promote each other as "all one body we" and that they reflect the same conflict today in the churches over whose view is the right view as if one could ever come to the truth of that anyway, is a mistake that clouds a more realistic view of scripture 

When we say someone never understood the Bible or Jesus, we really mean "As I do and correctly" It is a myoptic and inaccurate view of the supposed pristine truth of one's beliefs. 

PS  Apologies ahead of time for various text sizes. I could not homogenize it.


Anonymous said...

Dennis, thanks for the shout out for my post at 4:34am:


But unless I missed it you neglected to add where I qualified my comment that you quoted above. I said later:

"Yeah, yeah, I know, understanding is subjective. Whatever."

So basically everything you said above was futile since I obviously agree with you. Understanding is subjective. That doesn't diminish my point though.

Anonymous said...

WAY too much ink is spilled on this old book of uncertain reliability, filled with fables and tall tales, designed to brainwash the masses, while those who wrote it did so just to control others.

Go ye and learn about the Talmud and see that even Jews don't follow the OT.

But if I wanted to learn about the bible I would not get my information from a life-long subversive like Dennis. I learned a lot more about it from secular books that put it in a historical context. You won't get the truth from any Jewish or Christian "scholar". But you can learn a lot from the enemies of the Jews and from former Jews.

Anonymous said...

you really have way too much spare time on ur hands, dude...

Anonymous said...

John Stuart Mill:

"He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form."

And this is why Herbie and the ACOGs and so few persons on this site are worth listening to.

Don't mistake me as someone who cares! said...

"And this is why Herbie and the ACOGs and so few persons on this site are worth listening to."

Yet here you are!

Anonymous said...

I am shocked at how little disregard people have here over destroying the faith of people who might innocently come here.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
you really have way too much spare time on ur hands, dude...

Explain to me why, when everyone else posts, they have the time and it's ok. When , to you, I post, I have too much time on my hands. I'd find that to be true only when one either does not take the time themselves to actually read the post or simply disagrees and wants to send the message it's a waste of time to you personally. To which I say, I see you are here reading the site so do you have way too much spare time on your hands dude?

One does not need too much spare time to post. Just a bit of time.

jim said...

Anon 11:55,
Too many times people will say,"then your faith wasn't real." But, we know of many that lost their faith in the Lord or moved from Him in our own lives or from the pages of the Bible.

There is no doubt that a steady diet of the negativity necessary to expose the falseness of Armstrongism can affect one's faith. We all had some faith in WCG and that faith is something that is a benefit to rid ourselves of, but not at the expense of your Christian faith. Thankfully they are not the same thing. Your faith in the saving nature of Christ's sacrifice will result in greater faith. I wish people could simply read an article or two about Armstongism and recognize its falseness and simply embrace our Lord and Christ's sacrifice that renews us each day. But, that is not the reality.

Maybe simply reading the works of good and righteous Christian authors who write about cults or control groups and other topics that the WCG taught as the "truth" is the best way to go. Christian writers with a strong faith are wonderful: Charles Stanley and John Piper are two I believe provide good practical insight and faith.

Anonymous said...

Yet here you are!

It's an addiction, and I keep coming back to see which cult leader is on his death-bed.

Anonymous said...

Dennis could destroy Pack, but then he wouldn't have as much to write about.

Don't mistake me for someone who cares! said...

11:55, you are shocked? When the title of the blog says:

"It's the gritty and dirty behind the scenes look at Armstrongism as you have never seen it before!"

How does anyone come here "innocently"!

Don't mistake me for someone who cares!

SHT said...

"I am shocked at how little disregard people have here over destroying the faith of people who might innocently come here."

If someone's faith is destroyed by a blog post, their faith wasn't that strong to begin with. Everyone has an opinion here, and a different view. Faith should not be destroyed by a viewpoint on a blog if one's faith is deep and strong. Dennis has the right to post his viewpoints as I do mine, and we both have our critics. It doesn't matter what side of the spectrum of belief or unbelief you are on, someone's always going to disagree, and someone's inevitably going to agree. The challenge for those who make the choice to read a post is accepting another person's viewpoint as honest and forthright even if it doesn't agree with how you feel about it, and how they handle it. That's the part that reveals the maturity and intent of the reader.

Anonymous said...

I hate to destroy people's faith, but I've come to see that false hope is very destructive. It has not worked so it's time to try the brutal truth.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate what Dennis posts. I also appreciate what notohwa, sht, Byker bob and several others post. But I want to comment on Dennis. I come from preaching over 25 years of WCG doctrine. I studied my bible, I had notebooks full of sermon notes. I had stacks of reprint articles. I had stacks of Plain Truths and Good News magazines. I had 4 years of AC notes. HWA taught some of my classes. Rod Meredith taught me harmony of the gospels. Not once did I ever hear any of my teachers at AC discuss an opposing view of any doctrine. I mean to discuss even the possibility of any other explanation. Not once was I ever taught that the gospels were written years after the times of the apostles. Not once did Rod ever mention that no one knows who wrote the gospels. I have not seen one prophecy fulfilled. I mean a specific date being given in the future and then it coming to pass. We can say events are speeding up, meaning the end is near, what ever that means. 10 nations are going to unite in Europe. I have heard that since the 60’s when I first started attending the Radio Church of God.
To be cont.

Anonymous said...

I was angry the the changes that took place in the early 90’s. How dare the Tkach’s change the truth HWA taught us. How dare the truth be watered down. I wrote out my resignation later and walked into Joe Tkach’s office and handed it to him. He said to me, “you can’t resign, you’re a minister i said back to him, yes I can. I was not disrespectful but at the same time I was firm. I had every intention of joining a group that was following and keeping the “truth”. I started to read the scriptures on fruits of the Holy Spirit. I read about esteeming others better than self. I saw several several ministers scrambling to get positions. I went to lunch with Rod Meredith and Debar Apartian. I asked Rod about the government in Global. He told me personally that the government was set up so that no one man could make all the decisions. He told me that he had to abide by the decisions made by the council. That lasted until he disagreed with the council, then he started Living COG. So I started with a clean slate, I got rid of my marked, underlined, and colored bible. I dumped my stacks of church literature. I started reading all the verses not just select verses of the bible. Slowly I came to realize what I had been taught was what Herbert believed. Herbert said he didn’t get his understanding from man but rather it was revealed to him directly from God. I compared some of his booklets to what others had written. Some of his writing was almost word for word to what had been written.

Dennis has written many posts about the authenticity of certain parts of the Bible. Dennis has been honest with his history in the WCG. He has been honest with where he was and where he is today with his religious views. I have talked with Dennis, and I told him I dont agree with everything he writes. He said fine, no problem. I do agree that Dennis has pointed out scriptures that don’t agree with each other. I don’t find that what Dennis writes bothers e at all. I find his writings interesting and thought provoking. Learning is a life long process. I view people a lot different today than I did while in WCG.

So thank you Dennis, keep posting!

DennisCDiehl said...

Jim, as you no doubt now know, RCM did not teach the Gospels history because he actually did not know it. His Harmony was anything but if one knew the right questions to ask, which would have caused chaos and a lecture on respect for authority. RCM had no clue the Gospels were not written by the men whose names were later affixed to anonymous gospels. He would not have understood or agreed that the Gospels were not eyewitness accounts of anything and that there really are only two original Gospels of the four. Mark came first and John was a horse of a different color and not considered "synoptic". Matthew and Luke copy huge portions of Mark, which of course, eyewitnesses would not do. They agree neither on the birth circumstances of Jesus if mentioned at all nor the death and resurrection accounts.

It would never have crossed the mind of any WCG teacher or minister I knew that Paul lived, wrote and died long before any Gospel was written, though the concocted order of the NT gives a certain impression it was meant to give. Jesus lived, Acts is the story of the Church (Paul really) and then Paul came along. Not the order of actual events. Put it in the correct sequence and one can see the, may I say "evolution" of scripture and the Cosmic Jesus of Paul into the earthly Jesus of the Gospels, which was the story the early church needed to base beliefs in Jesus on. Mithraism should have conquered Christianity easily, but their fatal mistake was not to turn Mithras into an earthbound human and then a god. And so accordingly, Mithraism vaporized from the scene and the literalist Jesus really was on earth Christians won.

Few even not that even in the NT, one great controversy was that "Jesus is not come in the flesh" A purely Pauline view. How could they not know Jesus lived just a few short years earlier? Because some did not believe the Gospel tales that came later is why.

I John 4:2
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

Again, why would they say that if it was so obvious he did?

I had no teacher who remotely knew any of this. Don't even ask about the Epistles of Paul

Anonymous said...

Who Wrote the Gospel of Matthew

"Among the Fathers of the Church and other writers, St Irenaeus, Origen, St John Chrysostom, St Jerome and St Augustine all say that Matthew wrote the Gospel."

Who should we believe, Origen, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Augustine and Jerome or Bart Ehrman, his colleagues, and Dennis?

Just as everything else that Dennis writes is based upon guesswork, so too are his musings on the gospels.

I acknowledge that faith in the bible is based upon guesswork, can Dennis acknowledge that things millions of years ago, billions of years ago, and even just 2000 years ago, can not be known with anything but guesswork?

Anonymous said...

Dennis, you do realize that the reason that Bart Ehrman and other "scholars" question the authorship of the gospels is merely because of their interpretation of one verse in Acts?

Act 4:13 - Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

With that one verse they conclude that the Apostles were illiterate and unable to write. That's all the "proof" that they have.

I wrote to Bart once and told him what would he call someone with only a High School education who challenged him and "wiped the floor" with him? Of course he'd call that person ignorant. That's exactly what the "rulers, elders and scribes" were saying. Compared to their "education" the Apostles were ignorant and unlearned, but that doesn't mean they were ignorant or not educated just because they might not have been educated in the tradition that the scribes were.

It's ignorant assumptions like that which have made me question Bart Ehrman's sincerity.

Don't mistake me for someone who cares! said...

First and Second John are talking about more than just Jesus coming in a physical body. John is saying that anyone denying that Jesus came in a fleshly body with the same sinful weaknesses (yet without sinning) that we have that they are a deceiver and an antichrist.

The Greek word is transliterated sarx and it means to have the same passions and human nature.

There are many churches today who say it was impossible for Christ to sin, just like WCG did in 1992. The claim is that Jesus came in perfect flesh. That's what SDA teach too.

So, it's not as obvious as you think!

Don't mistake me for someone who cares!

DennisCDiehl said...

nonymous said...
Dennis, you do realize that the reason that Bart Ehrman and other "scholars" question the authorship of the gospels is merely because of their interpretation of one verse in Acts?

That is patently untrue. There are far more reasons than that and frankly I have never heard that was a reason.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:45 PM, Adam was created in perfect flesh, just as Jesus came in perfect flesh.

God can create perfect flesh. He cannot, however, create perfect character; that's an attribute that each created individual must build.

Adam had no pre-existence. From the moment of his creation, he began to build his character, and he did so quite imperfectly. Jesus pre-existed as the Logos, with perfect character.

This means that Jesus had a human nature capable of sin, just like Adam. However, Jesus exercised his perfect character, and thus refrained from sin. Anyone who understood Jesus' character could know that he WOULD not sin. However, because of his human nature, he COULD sin, even though he DID NOT SIN. Simple as that!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:36 PM wrote:

the reason that Bart Ehrman and other "scholars" question the authorship of the gospels is merely because of their interpretation of one verse in Acts... It's ignorant assumptions like that which have made me question Bart Ehrman's sincerity.

Is 3:36 PM insincere in incorrectly reporting the reasons why scholars question the gospels' authorship, or is he ignorant? Ehrman's conclusions may well be incorrect, but they are far broader and deeper than 3:36 PM says.

Near_Earth_Object said...

Diehl churns out a lot of this and I seldom comment on it. It all fits the same "model of criticism," if we want to elevate it with that terminology. I will say a few things this time around.

I don't think anyone will lose faith over this highly idiosyncratic and distorted presentation. Something as easily understood as Paul's blending in with different cultures in order to preach the gospel is contrived to be a reason to reject Christianity and the Bible. I would not buy that argument and I think only the gullible would. The argument is a classical Diehlism.

A comment on the fuzzy art of hermeneutics: It is true that people interpret the Bible differently. Dennis has given us his interpretation among the thousands of such. There is a set of core beliefs that Protestant Churches believe. But other parts of the Christian Movement may depart from this. Dissension in Christian ranks cannot be denied. People also disagree over Homer's Iliad and Shakespeare. The question then becomes does soteriology accommodate this diversity in hermeneutics. I believe it does up to a point. Where the line is drawn precisely, only god can judge.

PS. I saw some blatant anti-Semitism here. I thought that stuff was filtered out.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, if you've never heard that as a reason then I question your "understanding" on anything. Ehrman has made that claim many times on his blog and in his books which you claim to have read.


As I said, who are we to believe, Bart, Dennis, or men who wrote less than 200 years after the fact?

Anonymous said...

4:11 Oh brother, so you're telling me that when Adam sinned his flesh changed. That is dumb. I never said that Adam wasn't perfect when he was created but his flesh was the same the day that he was created as it was the day after he sinned. Maybe if you'd study the Greek word sarx you'd quit shooting from the hip.

That idea is as stupid as the teaching that because of Adam's sin all babies are born sinners. That's not what Rom. 5 says, it doesn't say that sin passed to all men it says death passed to all men.

Jesus had the exact same kind of flesh that you and I have but he overcame the natural urges of the flesh.

That's exactly what John is saying, that anyone who denies that Jesus had the exact same kind of flesh that we have are deceivers and antichrist! The only difference is that he never sinned.

Anonymous said...

4:16pm since you're presenting yourself as the "expert" please give us the reasons why "scholars" disagree with the early church Fathers that Matthew wrote the gospel according to Matthew!

Anonymous said...

Also, anyone wanting to argue that Acts 4:13 isn't all the proof that they have should remember we don't have any of the original writings. All other speculations by "scholars" are based upon their studying copies of copies of copies.

Eusebius wrote that Papias said that Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew and said that Bartholomew left a Hebrew version of Matthew in India. But we're expected to believe what "scholars" claim 2000 years after the fact.

Just reaffirming the fact that all supposed knowledge is just guesswork. Who are we going to have faith in, Bart, Dennis, or writings that have been handed down for centuries?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:37 PM revealed a reading comprehension problem when, in reacting to Anon 4:11 PM, he wrote:

Oh brother, so you're telling me that when Adam sinned his flesh changed.

The post says no such thing, and there is no reason to infer it from the post. Adam's flesh was the same from birth to death. So was Jesus's flesh. The only potentially significant difference between the two is that Jesus had a pre-existence as the Logos, which meant that he had a pre-existing character, unlike Adam whose character-building began at his creation.

With that in mind, perhaps 4:37 can re-read 4:11's post and react more intelligently.

TLA said...

Interesting arguments over who wrote the Gospels and the accuracy of what was recorded.
Not like today where we have a record of everything, and yet there is so much disagreement, inaccuracy, blatant lies, and distorting and twisting of the facts.
Lets face it, we selectively observe the laws of the Bible.
Laws of slavery - I hope noone is in favor of following them.
Having multiple wives - try this and you will be thrown in jail.
Stoning for certain sins.
Beaten with 40 stripes - not practiced in the western world.

Laws we do keep (some of us at least) - safety practices, sanitation (without the paddles), treating people decently, not stealing, not murdering, etc.

Anonymous said...

"All this to note that telling others that their problem is that they never really understood the Bible, God, Jesus or "the Gospel" really mean the way THEY understand it.

"Personally, I understand the Bible very well from my own perspectives, study and experience. It can be no other way. Not for me and not for you. "

and "not for you," none of you. "It can be no other way..."
Sounds like a persuasive (or maybe attack?) Spokesman's Club speech, but I'm not persuaded.

Having a bit of trouble with the grammar, and the "perspective(s)" which are always changing.

Still, a very interesting observation and appreciated!

Anonymous said...

blogs like this are a good example of why Jesus said not to cast pearls before swine....they don't understand the value of them and will trample them, and you, into the ground.

you spot the frauds like Flurry & Pack and some others, but then you lump everyone in with them, because you don't have eyes to see or ears to hear.

don't worry, your day is coming...I hope you haven't so hardened your hearts that you miss your opportunity.

Anonymous said...

4:37 said: “That idea is as stupid as the teaching that because of Adam's sin all babies are born sinners. That's not what Rom. 5 says, it doesn't say that sin passed to all men it says death passed to all men.”

Correct me if I’m wrong (and I probably am) but David declares he (and by extension all of us too) was “shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” in Psalm 51:5. So doesn’t this infer that since Adam’s sinful nature is transferred to each of us at conception we are all “natural born sinners?”

Anonymous said...

you spot the frauds like Flurry & Pack and some others, but then you lump everyone in with them, because you don't have eyes to see or ears to hear.

...written by a guy who lumps plenty of other preachers in together. We correctly lump Kubik and Weston and Franks in with Flurry and Pack, and it bothers you. You, meanwhile, lump Billy Graham and Francis of Assisi in with the Borgia Popes and Creflo Dollar.

Read HWA's 1934 Plain Truth issues, and tell me that God had anything to do with his teachings, I dare you. A poison fake tree cannot bear healthy genuine fruit, so by proving HWA false we can rightly prove many other successors false.

Near_Earth_Object said...

This may be ground breaking. The assertion has been that nobody has ever responded to Dennis Diehl with logic, only with personal attacks. This makes it sound like Dennis has the high ground in the debate and nobody can really respond to him with logic so they attack him personally.

Dennis wrote: "There are hundreds of denominations and thousands of splits and splinters exactly because the Bible lends itself to confusion of belief and every imaginable opinion and view of it and "the meaning" of everything God, Jesus, Life, Death and the hearafter."

Proposition 1

IF there is a god, all Christians will believe the same thing. (Derived from Dennis' statement above)

Proposition 2

All Christians do not believe the same thing.


Then there is no god. (Modus tollens or denying the consequent.)

The logical structure of this syllogism is fine. It is a standard modus tollens. But Propositions 1 and 2 are truth functional. The problem is, we do not know the truth of Proposition 1 and for a valid modus tollens it must be true.

I would assert that Proposition 1 is not true. Dennis would have to present his reasoning and research as to why it is true. While this little analysis does not prove Dennis is incorrect in logical form, it does clarify that the validity of his argument is based on an assumption that he never gave any evidence for. That is, he assumes Proposition 1 to be true. Proposition 1 is, then, just something that Dennis believes.

I don't want to be pompous about this but the contention is that Dennis has never been approached with logic, only emotion. I have done this kind of thing before. It has never garnered a reaction. I doubt it will evoke anything this time.

Yes and No to HWA said...

In regard to “The assertion has been that nobody has ever responded to Dennis Diehl with logic, only with personal attacks.”

While I don’t usually reply to Dennis, I did earlier this year when Dennis asked the question below, and my reply, which I believe, and I could be wrong, he was questioning if YHVH could do so.

“Can YHVH defeat Chariots of Iron or Not?”

Yes he can - 900 hundred - probably 90 (hyperbole factor of ten) - in one conflict.

Jdg 4:13 And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.

Jdg 4:15 And the LORD discomfited [hamam - “routed”] Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
Jdg 4:16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.

Jdg 5:19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.

Ex 14:24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled [hamam - “routed”] the host of the Egyptians,
Ex 14:25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

“river of Koshon” above and below.

Songs of Deborah and Moses

Jdg 5:20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
Jdg 5:21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.

Ex 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
Ex 15:4 Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

“The Lord’s control of the forces of nature showed his superiority over Baal, the Canaanite storm god. Sisera would not have tried to depend on chariots during the rainy season; so this storm probably struck some time after the spring rains that normally end in May. In Palestine rain is almost unheard of from June through September... the swelling river turned the ground to mud that clogged the wheels” (Herbert Wolf, Judges, EBC, Vol.3, p.406).

“... there came down from heaven a great storm, with a vast quantity of rain and hail, and the wind blew the rain in the face of the Canaanites, and so darkened their eyes, that their arrows and slings were of no advantage to them, nor would the coldness of the air permit to make use of their swords” (Josephus, Antiquites, Book 5, 205).

“20-22 ... these three verses elaborated on the matter-of-fact statement of 4:15 that Yahweh “threw Sisera and all his chariotry all his troops into disarray” before Barak. The means, as these verses disclose, was by suddenly turning the Kishron into a raging torrent that swept them all away. In verse 20 Yahweh (given 4:15 there is no need to mention him explicitly) deploys the stars against Sisera. The Canaanites thought of the stars as heavenly powers that controlled the weather... Here they are pictured as a heavenly army which fights against Sisera by a flash flood, presumably by means of a huge downpour in the mountain catchment area of the Kishon. As the water rushes down from the hills through the mountain passes, it is concentrated into a powerful torrent that catches Sisera’s men by surprise and instantly nullifies their technical advantage by rendering their impressive chariots useless.

Yes and No to HWA said...

Part 2:

It is equivalent of the avalanche of water that did the same thing to Pharaoh’s horses and riders in the Red Sea. There is no need to assume that a miraculous kind of selectivity was involved (the water “picking out” only Sisera’s men and harmlessly bypassing Barak’s). Since Yahweh “went out before” Barak (4:14), the water had probably already done its work before Barak and his men reached the valley floor; all they had to do was complete the rout...” (Barry G. Webb, The Book of Judges, NICOT, pp.214-15).

Anonymous said...

if i werent correct in my assessment, you would have ignored me...

Anonymous said...

get a spend way too much time on this...

Yes and No to HWA said...

Part 1

A Layman’s Guide to Gospel Basics

A statement of beliefs would usually begin with a statement, at least, on God and Jesus Christ.

A layman's guide begins with some points on the Bible as Ancient Eastern Literature and hence the difficulties that it poses for understanding not what it says, per se, but what it means. Some of this has been posted before but it has been ‘fleshed’ out to make it more relevant.

Ac 8:12 ... the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ...

It is suggested that it is under-appreciating the Bible as ANE literature is why the COG’s get so much wrong in their exegesis, especially two big understandings - the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the Sign of Jonah.

Some of those points on ANE literature follow:

Bible as ANE literature

“One of the greatest obstacles we face in trying to interpret the Bible is that we are inclined to think in our own cultural and linguistic categories. This is no surprise since our categories are often all that we have, but it is a problem because our own categories often do not suffice and sometimes mislead” (John H. Walton, Genesis, NIVAC, pp.67-68).

Ex 40:26 Moses placed the gold altar in the Tent of Meeting in front of the curtain
Heb 9:3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,
Heb 9:4 which had the golden altar of incense... (NIV)

“The logic of the book [of Hebrews] is based on ancient rhetorical patterns and pre-modern exegetical principles that makes the reader's task exceptionally difficult” (Richard Nelson, Raising Up a Faithful Priest - Community and Priesthood in Biblical Theology, p.141).

Nu 28:2 Command the children of Israel ... My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices ... shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.
Nu 28:3 And thou shalt say unto them ... two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.
Ps 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

“It is characteristic of Hebrew literary style to state a preference of one thing over another in terms that sound like an absolute dichotomy to our Western ears (see G. B. Caird, The Language and Imagery of the Bible [Philadelphia: Westminster: 1980], pp.110-7)” (Craig C. Broyles, Psalms, Robert L. Hubbard Jr. & Robert K. Johnston, OT Editors, New International Biblical Commentary (NIBC), (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1999), p.192).

Eze 43:10 Thou son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
Eze 43:11 And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.

“The prophetic charge consists of a series of clauses whose sense is not always clear and whose arrangement is certainly not logical by Western standards” (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-48, NICOT, p.587).

Second Temple Scriptural Exegesis in the Time of Jesus Christ

Ps 22:1a My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Ps 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

“What first-century Bible prophecy conference would have been clearly predicting the birth of Messiah from a virgin on the basis of Isaiah 7:14? Or his crucifixion on the basis of Psalm 22. Or his physical resurrection on the basis of Psalm 16? These texts were clearly viewed by the New Testament as messianic prophecies that were literally fulfilled, yet they were only seen to be such with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight after their fulfillment in Christ, not before” (Iain M. Duguid, Ezekiel, NIVAC, p.29).

Yes and No to HWA said...

Part 2

Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants...

“... if God wished to reveal something of the significance of the Old Testament through His inspired apostles, would He do so through “scientific” methods that were to take twenty centuries to develop and would therefore have been totally incomprehensible to first-century readers? Might He not rather use those very associations and interpretative clues, [Second Temple exegetical procedures (e.g., pesher, midrash, or allegory)], that would awaken the intended human response? Just as the use of imperfect human languages like Hebrew and Greek can prove an adequate channel for conveying divine truth unmixed with error, so does prescientific apostolic exegesis serve to communicate, infallibly, the teaching of the Old Testament...” (Moises Silva, “The New Testament Use, p.164, quoted by Jonathan Lunde, An Introduction to Central Questions in the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, p.34).

Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him,
and called my son out of Egypt.

Mt 2:15 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.
“In Hosea, the context is Israel’ rescue from Egypt by way of the Exodus. The intent is to show how God loved Israel even as his own child. The style is synonymous, poetic parallelism whereby “my son” is linked with the nation of Israel. The wording is metaphorical: Israel is unquestionably personified as a “child” in the verse... Christ, is not referred to by the “plain” meaning of this Scripture.

“If we did not have Matthew 2:15 in our Bibles, we would not likely to be inclined to identify this verse from Hosea as a prophecy of Jesus of Nazareth. But Matthew had something we do not have. He had authoritative inspiration from the same Spirit who inspired Hosea to compose Hosea 11:1. The same Spirit moved him to decide that the words Hosea used could be reused with a different context, intent, and style, and in connection with other wordings about the Messiah. The Holy Spirit had, as it were, “planted” those choice words in the book of Hosea to be ready for reuse in connection with the events in Jesus’ life. Matthew does not apply those words to Jesus on the basis of a typical exegetical-hermeneutical principle or process. Rather, he takes those words out of their original context and give then a whole new meaning. He has the authority to do this. We can only read and appreciate...” (Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart, How to read the Bible for all its worth, p.185).


Jos 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

Jos 13:1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.

“Hyperbole is a form of figurative language. It exaggerates in order to produce an effect or to make a point. Let me (Tremper) give an example from everyday conversation. When my wife picks up my luggage and says, “It weights a ton” (yes, I tend to pack heavy - it’s the books), we both know it does not literally weigh a ton, but she has made her point. She is not lying or misleading me, but I might think she is if I believe she is being literal. Indeed, I would show myself quite obtuse if I responded, “it does not. It weighs seventy pounds, well under a ton!” ” (Tremper Longman III & John H. Walton, The Lost World of the Flood, pp.37).

Yes and No to HWA said...

Part 3

“... the Bible is not hesitant to describe historical events hyperbolically to produce an effect in the reader in order to make a theological point... There are historical events behind these hyperbolic statements, but it is hard if not impossible to reconstruct these events in detail because the biblical authors are not so interested in the event itself as their significance for God’s relationship with his people” (ibid, pp.30, 31).


“... the conversation that takes place in the Bible is assuredly situated in the ancient world. So the more we learn about the ancient world, the more faithful our interpretation will be.

“In one sense, every successful act of communication is accomplished by various degrees of accommodation on the part of the communicator, but only for the sake of the audience they have mind. Accommodation must bridge the gap when communicator and audience do not share the same language, the same command of language, the same culture, or the same experiences, but we do not expect a communicator to accommodate an audience they do not know or anticipate. High context communication takes place between insiders in situations in which the communicator and audience share much in common. In such situations, less accommodation is necessary for effective communication to take place, and therefore much might be left unsaid that an outsider might need in order to fully understand the communication.

“This is illustrated in the traffic reports that we hear in Chicago, where the references to times of travel and location problems assume the listener has an intimate understanding of the highways. Traffic reports that offer times of travel from various identified points and stretches where one may encounter congestion are very meaningful to me (John) as a regular commuter. I know exactly what to expect by a report that is will take thirty-eight minutes to drive from “the Cave” to “the Junction” and that is congested from “the slip to the Nagle curve.” When out-of-town guests visit, however, this information confuses them. They do not know what the Slip of the Cave are (nor could they find them on a map); they don’t know how far these places are from one another, and they don’t know that on a good day one can go from the Cave to the Junction is about eight minutes.

“By contrast, in low context communication, high levels of accommodation are necessary as an insider attempts communication with an outsider. A low context traffic report would have to explain to out-of-town listeners or inexperienced commuters just where the different locations are and what normal times look like from one location to another. These would be much longer reports. If the traffic reporter made the report understandable to the out-of-town visitor, it would be too tiring to be any use to the regular commuter.

“We propose that in the Bible, a human communicator is engaged in expressing an accommodating message to a high context (i.e., ancient Israelite) audience. So, for example, a prophet and his audience share a history, culture, a language, and experiences of their contemporaneous lives. God has employed this communication as his revelation of his plan and purposes. When we read the Bible, we enter the context of that communication as low context outsiders who need to use all of our inferential tools to discern the nature of the communication that takes lace in that ancient setting, as well as discern from that the revelation God has offered through that communication. We have to use research to fill in all the information that would not have been said by the prophet in his context communication to his audience. This is how we, as modern readers, must interact with an ancient text...

“At times our distance from the ancient communicator might mean that we misunderstand the communication because of elements foreign to us or because we do not share ways of thinking with the communicator...” (ibid., pp.3-6).

Anonymous said...

So copy and paste a bunch of crap because you cannot answer him. Typical. Boring!

Yes and No to HWA said...

Thanks 5:11 for your comment.

It is always good to get feedback.

Oscar Wilde — 'There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.'

Anonymous said...

So copy and paste a bunch of crap because you cannot answer him. Typical. Boring!

Please don't blame the previous poster for your own limitations. I'll try to summarize and critique.

People like the previous poster try to reconcile two points of view that actually don't reconcile very well. On the one hand, they say that the Bible is book for all people for all time. On the other hand, they say that it was written in a way that made it easy for ancient Middle Eastern goat-herders to understand, but hard for modern Westerners to understand.

One big flaw in the poster's argument is that one hand he says that the writers of Scripture had to write in a way that their contemporaries understood clearly, yet on the other hand he admits that much of Scripture (e.g. the "virgin birth" prophecy) would not be understood until many centuries later. An omnipotent God surely could have made His scribes write clearly both for their generation and for ours.

Ironically, your butt-hurt at the long communications theory copypasta proves one aspect of the poster's point, in a way that does the Bible no favors. He asserts that if God had inspired a message that would be understandable to goat-herders and to moderns, "it would be too tiring to be any use." Yet there are many parts of the Bible that are plenty long and tiring. God could certainly do better than the author of the above-quoted tedious apologia.

Anonymous said...

5:50pm you're the one who needs to re-read the post because you don't seem to see where they're (or perhaps you wrote 4:11 and don't see what you're saying) saying that Adam was created with perfect flesh and then sinned thus becoming imperfect somehow.

I'm the one who's been saying that Adam had the same flesh from creation til death, his flesh didn't change when he sinned.

My original post was showing how SDA and many protestants believe that Adam went from having perfect flesh to imperfect flesh. That is not biblical.

4:11 was attempting to argue with that statement. Obviously he/she hasn't a clue and just wants to argue.

My point was that anyone claiming that Jesus didn't have the exact same weak, carnal, flesh that we have, but without sin is a deceiver and antichrist.

Anonymous said...

7:23am wrote: "So doesn’t this infer that since Adam’s sinful nature is transferred to each of us at conception we are all “natural born sinners?”

You wrote that as if it's fact that "Adam's sinful nature is transferred to each of us"

Do you not think it possible that David was merely talking about the sinful world that at birth he was forced in to?

If you think a newborn baby is a natural born sinner then you'd have to believe that Jesus was born in a different kind of flesh, this meaning that you're a deceiver and antichrist according to John.

Sorry but the baby isn't a sinner until he/she sins.

Miller Jones said...

Anonymous said...

Here Lonnie, thought I'd make it easier for others to get to your blog.

Miller Jones blog