The Reliability of the New Testament Text (Dr. James White)

Is the New Testament reliable? What about all the different manuscripts with variants that we get our translations from? Dr. James White addresses the question, “Can we trust the New Testament documents?” in this event sponsored by Trinity Law School.

God Bless

BrianMason

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What Are The “Spiritual Gifts” and Do We Still Have Them?

Spiritual Gifts are the gifts given to a member of the Body of Christ and would include the gifts of; teaching, leadership, prophecy, healing and preaching as well as a few more. The Apostle Paul said told us that we must exercise that gift that you have been given. 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11;

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

You may not know what your “gift” is and it may take a lot of living and life experiences to determine your gift. There are two perspectives with the belief or non-belief of having these said gifts;

The Argument AGAINST Spiritual Gifts:

We don’t need the gifts anymore as the main point of having gifts was that they were instrumental building blocks in the construction of the body of Christ.

The argument SUPPORTING the continuation of the Spiritual Gifts:
We still require the gifts of administration, teaching and leadership to maintain the body of Christ for its perpetuation.

Tongue Speaking:

This seems to be the gift that is most controversial not only with the unbeliever but also the believer. Speaking in tongues is also known as “speaking an unknown language” and is only found in the New Testament. Some of the controversy is sparked as some believe you are required to speak in tongues as a sign of Salvation, this is not true. It is not true as gifts are “spread out” among believers and no one gift is any more important than another. Read 1 Corinthians 12: 27-31

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

I believe that we still have the gifts. Whatever gift you believe you have, and it is likely the thing you do best, exercise that gift and pray for guidance to exercise that gift to Glorify God! As all we do is from Him and for Him!

God Bless

Brian Mason

The Patristic Era…

This is a common question…”What is the Patristic era?”

It comes from the Greek term “pater”… (Fathers), which pertains to AD 100-750, after the writings of the New Testament. That “era” began after the death of the Apostles of Christ. The middle ages fell after that.
There are a few authors of writings that were during that time period such as; Augustine, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Tertullian.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Context Please! What did Jesus mean by “Carrying a Sword”?

Matthew 10: 32-36 (HCSB) reads;

32 “Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven. 34 Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

A “sword”! Wait a minute…didn’t Jesus come as a peacemaker? In fact in the book of Luke it reads;

Luke 22: 36-38 (HCSB)

36 Then He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money-bag should take it, and also a traveling bag. And whoever doesn’t have a sword should sell his robe and buy one. 37 For I tell you, what is written must be fulfilled in Me: And He was counted among the outlaws. Yes, what is written about Me is coming to its fulfillment.” 38 “Lord,” they said, “look, here are two swords.”“Enough of that!” He told them.

So here is the context for the two scriptures above;

In Matthew 10: 32-36 Jesus was indicating to the disciples that division would come, and even with family members. This division would come as a result in the belief in Jesus and His Word.

In Luke 22: 36-38 Jesus is not contradicting his stance on non-retaliation as his words in Luke 6:29 (HCSB), when Jesus rebuked Peter for his use of the sword reads;

29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either.

Jesus was sending His disciples on their way, and knew that with the message they were going to preach they would need to have a way of self-defense. The “two swords” was nothing out of the ordinary culturally speaking; the “two swords” had many other uses besides self-defense and the size of them was more like large knives.
Biblical scholars agree mostly that when Jesus said “Enough of that!” Jesus was exclaiming a rebuke of the disciples for taking His words literally.

We must always look at the context of scripture before making a judgment on it. What Jesus was teaching his disciples was revolutionary and it was not going to be accepted with open arms. Remember the Gospel was what put Jesus on the cross! The majority of the Apostles met horrific deaths and tortures at the hands of the Romans.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Mary, Mother of Many Children

The Roman Catholic Faith has been teaching and denies the Biblical fact that Mary had children after the birth of Jesus Christ. Why is this? There is much evidence of Jesus having half Brothers and Sisters in the Bible. Let’s look at some scriptural evidence:

Matthew 13:55-56 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”

Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.”

The Catholic church teaches that in these passages Mary is the mother of Jesus, but Jesus brothers and sisters are children of another woman also named Mary. The children are plainly the offspring of the “Mary” of this passage! But hold on! The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church has come to the conclusion is must be a different Mary! Isn’t that amazing?

Matthew 1: 23-25 says that Mary was kept a virgin until AFTER Jesus was born!

23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Please note the word “until” she gave birth….

A common defense of the word “Brother(s)” by the Roman Catholic Church is to that the word refers to a cousin, relative or someone else. This is NOT TRUE as nowhere in the New Testament is the word “Brother” used for anyone else but an actual Brother (Sibling).

The reason that the Church holds onto the idea of Mary remaining a virgin after the Birth of Jesus is very clear. The Pope teaches that Mary is the Mediatrix between Man and God. By her remaining a Virgin she is interpreted as being pure and Goddess-like.

What is very sad about this to see Catholic church go to amazing lengths to maintain Mary’s virginity, by which it is actually suggests she is breaking the biblical law to be married and fill the earth.

God Bless!

Brian Mason