Sunday, September 11, 2016

The King James Only Movement

by Tony Thomas

You may have heard about the King James Only Movement.

 Many of its proponents believe that the King James Version is the only preserved Word of God and all other versions have been influenced by Alexandrian gnostics who tried to remove doctrines like the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, and hell from the text.

There are numerous videos on You Tube from KJVO proponents. Most notable are the ones from Chick Publications and produced by David W. Daniels, a seminarian with an MDiv from Fuller.

I have watched many of these and they are full of circular arguments. They assume that the KJV is God's only preserved Word but give no proof. 

They say that words have been added/removed/changed, but only compared to the KJV, not to any underlying Greek/Hebrew text. Erasamus collated a dozen or less Greek manuscripts to produce the TR (and he translated the end of Revelation into Greek from Latin). What about the other 5,000+? Most of these disagree with the Textus Receptus (the underlying text of the KJV) in some form or another.

The KJV was not some unique translation. It is largely based on the Tyndale translation, the Great Bible and the Geneva Bible. The Geneva Bible was the favorite of the Puritans/Pilgrims, not the KJV. King James dictated that it be translated to conform to the doctrines of the Anglican church and to remove the Puritan influences.

And finally, none of the KJVO folks I have seen use the supposedly "pure" 1611 text. They use one of the revisions by Blayney, Oxford or Cambridge. It is fine to love and enjoy the KJV version. But maligning Christians that choose to use other versions or the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts is absolutely insane and demonstrates that many in the KJVO movement are in a cult.

There is no legitimate scholarship in the movement and it is purely based on faith and not evidence. No evidence of some Alexandrian conspiracy to mangle God's Words. If the Alexandrians that produced some of the older manuscripts were truly Gnostics and wanted to eliminate doctrines like the Deity of Christ from the Bible, they did a poor job!

Again, the KJVO movement is a cult. It worships and idolizes a single translation: the KJV. While the KJV was a great translation for its time (and is a literary masterpiece), it is no longer a great translation given the changes in the English language since the 17th century and the tremendous advances in the study of ancient manuscripts, many of which were found after 1611.

For an excellent critique of the KJVO movement, read "The King James Only Controversy" by James White.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Read and Study the Bible!

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."  (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)

So many people want to argue about what the Bible says, but how many people actually read it and study it?  

The Bible is a rich book.  It was written over a period of 1600 years by 40 human authors and it contains one central message: The only way to salvation is through the Messiah, the anointed One  -- Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Instead of reading it and studying it for themselves, so many people are content to have it interpreted by others.   They receive its message through the filter of their denomination and their culture.  Some receive a severely distorted message through a religious cult.  Others even receive the warped interpretations of opponents of the Christian faith.

The Bible was not written to be filtered.  While we can learn from what others have discovered by reading it and studying it, that is no replacement for reading it and studying it ourselves.

Read the Bible.  Study the Bible.  Let its words cleanse your soul.  

Then, you can proclaim these words of the Psalmist:

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  (Psalm 119:105 ESV)



Thursday, June 30, 2016

Planting Seeds


“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.” (1 Corinthians 3:5-9 ESV)


I have always believed in planting seeds. Giving away Bibles and great Christian books. Engaging people with truth.

A few years ago, out of the blue, I got a call from an acquaintance that I had not heard from in over 30 years. She called to thank me for giving her a Bible . It turns out she accepted Christ, married a Christian man and had two wonderful Christian children.

We never know the eternal significance of the seeds we plant.

Be faithful and plant seeds. Someone else will water them. And God will make them grow.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mortality

As I begin my seventh decade on planet Earth, I am increasingly reminded of my own mortality. Every day, I watch the news and scan the Internet only to discover that another famous person has been translated from time to eternity. Even more surprisingly I often find that a friend, relative or acquaintance is no longer with us.

Of course, this gives me ample reason to pause, reflect and assess my own life. What have I done? What am I doing? Where am I going? 

All very important--even vital--questions. 

Several years ago, I found myself in the hospital with a severe and life-threatening leg infection. Harmful bacteria and invaded my bloodstream. That required the use of some industrial-strength antibiotics and a 10 day stay at the hospital. Ten days alone --flat on your back and looking up--gives you a lot of time to think and reflect.

Back to the questions. Allow me to answer them.

What have I done?: Not enough I'm afraid. As I look back, I see many wasted years in the rearview mirror. Thankfully, it is not what I have done that matters. It is what has been done for me. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and imparted his righteousness to me. He died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead for my justification. He has given me eternal life because I placed my trust in Him.

Next question: What am I doing?: I'm spending as much time as I can telling others about the grace of God and the love of Christ.

Last question: Where am I going?: My next stop will be heaven. Not because I deserve it. I don't. Quite the contrary. Only God's limitless grace has made this possible. Only the blood of Jesus could cleanse my sins.

Now, Some questions for you: What have you done? What are you doing? Where are you going? 

"What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." (James 4:14b ESV)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Diversions

There are many things that take our eyes off of Jesus. Money.  Politics. Sports. Music. Media. Technology. Or so many other things. Instead of thinking about the eternal, we focus on the temporal. Instead of looking all around us and seeing people who will spend eternity in either heaven or hell, we look inwardly and are consumed with ourselves.  What pleases us.  The next thing we can buy.  What we think will make us happy.  It is ample evidence of being driven by the flesh.  Our fallen nature.  What is the solution?:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."  (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Remember Jesus



by Tony Thomas

The Christmas holiday is well known as a time for both crass commercialism and unbridled materialism, especially in prosperous countries like the USA. I cringe when I see reports of "Black Friday" brawls in stores and malls over big screen TVs and other material objects that are only temporal and quickly become obsolete.

At the same time, so many are quick to forget the real meaning of the season -- the reason why we are celebrating and exchanging gifts:

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." (Luke 2:8-20 ESV)

God, in the form of a man, came to earth to live a righteous life and bear all of our sins on the Roman cross so that we may have eternal life if we trust in Him. So, let us forget about all of the excesses of what traditional Christmas has become and remember the true meaning of what we celebrate every December 25th -- the gift that God have us: Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21 ESV)


Photo by Mioni - Creative Commons License

Monday, October 5, 2015

Why I Wrote "Real Christianity"
























by Tony Thomas

My new book, “Real Christianity: Keeping the Faith in a Post-Christian World” was released yesterday on Amazon and Smashwords.

I wrote it in response to the hyper-skepticism and new atheism movements that have attempted to undermine belief the Holy Bible and faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian worldview is being actively and aggressively challenged by men like Bart Ehrman, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others.

The Bible instructs us to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). My goal in writing this book is to provide valuable information and Scriptures that will help every Christian defend their faith.

" Real Christianity" covers these topics: The Real Bible, The Real God, The Real Jesus, The Real Holy Spirit, The Real Resurrection and The Real Gospel.

I pray that you will buy it, read it and share it with your friends and family.

Soli Deo Gloria and Shalom!

Tony


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Here is an excerpt from the book:

"A movement called 'new atheism' sprang up after the 9/11 attacks on America as a knee-jerk reaction against all forms of religious fundamentalism. In its cross-hairs are the three monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Its message is nothing new. It is just a stale stew of Darwinism, intellectualism, secular humanism and scientism served up to appeal to post-modern minds. The so called 'four horsemen of the new atheism', Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Dennis Dennet, and the late Christopher Hitchens, have set out to destroy belief in God by waging an attack on scientific and moral grounds. 


"Richard Dawkins, the author of 'The God Delusion', said in his TED Talk: 'In my view, not only is science corrosive to religion, religion is corrosive to science. It teaches people to be satisfied with trivial, supernatural non-explanations and blinds them to the wonderful real explanations that we 22 blinds them to the wonderful real explanations that we have within our grasp. It teaches them to accept authority, revelation and faith instead of always insisting on evidence.'

"Real Christianity does not depend on blind faith. Christians should examine all of the evidence available to support their faith. And while the new atheists are quick to critique the Christian worldview, they offer nothing to replace it with other than an arrogant and elitist intellectualism. Christopher Hitchens was infamous for railing against the violence in the Bible, the wars fought in the name of religion and other perceived moral injustices. The question is: How could Hitchens make assertions of impropriety and immorality without being made in the image of a moral Creator? Where did his morality come from? 

"All of new atheists support the theory of macro-evolution and dismiss the possibility that the universe could have a Creator. As they cannot go back in time and see the actual formation of universe and its galaxies, stars, planets and life forms on this planet, they are merely trading a belief in theistic creation for the religion of Godless evolution which has a deficient cosmology."

From "Real Christianity: Keeping the Faith in a Post-Christian World" by Tony Thomas.  A Zoeproject Book.  Copyright 2015 - Tony Thomas - All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission.
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