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  1. Michael,

    I liked the pitchers reaction as well. He hugged the ump and forgave him. Great story!

    The rest I think I will leave alone 🙂


  2. Michael says:


    That whole incident was one big biblical picture of grace and truth…odd that we have to go to professional sports for such an example. 😉

  3. That guy over there says:

    did i brian or michael post this?

    and yes, God will send the delusion, the same way he hardened Pharaoh’s heart… after he had hardened his. God answers prayer 😉

  4. Michael says:

    Then are the ODM’s going to take God to task? 🙂

  5. that guy over there says:

    don’t put it past ’em Michael 🙂

  6. Scott says:

    I hope the Comish overturns that call and gives the pitcher the perfect game he’s deserving of.

    Is there a relevant spiritual analogy to replay and reversal of a bad call in baseball and Ted Haggard? 🙂

  7. Em says:

    “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
    in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”
    maybe, He gives them what they’ve been asking for, the spirit of delusion that His grace has held at bay up to that point 😕
    do I part company with Calvin at this point? cuz I think He’s answering their request – they chose whom they wished to (not) serve anyway…

  8. Em says:

    FWIW i was married to a Joyce and, no, it doesn’t go over well in the corporate world where it’s all about CYA and got yer back … but a real man is a beautiful thing 😀

  9. Em says:

    gotta another question 🙄 why does Haggard wear his shirts with too long sleeves? for that matter why do some ladies like their sweater sleeves so long that the sleeves cover their hands? cute?

    sleeves on the ground, sleeves on the ground!? lookin like a fool with your sleeves on the ground… my age is showing today

    still praying, tho

  10. DavidH says:

    The baseball story was great. A true example of how we are supposed to deal with mistakes. Joyce’s apology was very honorable. Galaragga’s reaction to the apology was exactly how we should react. Both men were genuinely humble.

    I’m not going to touch the Haggard deal with a 10 foot pole.

  11. Michael says:

    The other side of this rant (that Holly had to endure last night) is that most of the men of God I know work in obscurity and anonymity and daily overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil to faithfully serve God.

    There’s something sick in our society concerning who and what we value.

  12. Kevin H says:

    From what I’ve seen, Armando Galaragga has appeared to be pretty gracious, too. As unfortunate as the situation was, the reaction of both of these men has been exemplary.

    Speaking of perfect games, I also can’t let the opportunity pass to prop up Roy Halladay, especially since I’m a Phillies fan (you listening Mr. Met, I mean Phil). As much as I love Halladay’s baseball ability, I also love his humility and stand-up character.

  13. Another Voice says:

    One aspect to the integrity issue of the umpire. What umpire in that situation would not in his mind think “if I have to make a close call I’m going “out”” – it would be expected and nobody would complain. Ever see how often a no-hitter ends on a called 3rd strike out of the zone? Ump can’t wait to ring him up.

    This guy obviously wanted to get the call right – and thought he had in ruling safe.

    If he had not been such a stand-up guy, one might accuse him of a bias the other way (like thinking this pitcher is not worthy of a perfect game in the record books). Obviously that is not the case either – so he basically did his best to make the correct call without the bias of the situation. Integrity.

  14. Another Voice says:

    As to Haggard. I hate to spoil the moment of hs coming in here a couple months back and taking the heat with a lot of dignity – but I am reminded it was in direct connection to the selling of his wife’s book. He urged on multiple occasions “Read her book, she tells it so much better than I” – I kept silent then.

    If he shows up again for a day in these threads, then I recant in sackcloth and ashes. But something tells me that he doesn’t need the PP crew anymore. After all, any of us can buy a book online, but unless one of you lives in or around CS, you aren’t really a prospect.

  15. ( | o )====::: says:

    “That whole incident was one big biblical picture of grace and truth…odd that we have to go to professional sports for such an example.”

    …heck Michael (BTW, hi), the examples are all around in God’s creation, but we have been told way too many times that the only and highest source of beauty and truth is solely contained in our portable library when the portable library points us back toward creation. We live in a dynamic 3D existence and we rob ourselves when we forsake observation. More often than not we humans are pretty good at expressing The One Who’s image we’re made in. We learn, progress, improve, tell stories of inspiration to our peers and younger generation to make the world a better place. I’m glad to have any affirmation of God’s goodness, grace and character WHEREVER we can get it. 😉

    Ted Haggard and his new gig is not a surprise. The evangelical culture holds “the ministry” (being a pastor teacher) as the highest calling and for anyone who believes that idea the thought of doing anything else is doing & being “less than”.

    I’m going to put faith in the reality that we live in a hyper present media driven culture and that guy and his family & staff will be the closest watched and most highly scrutinized bunch of ministry folk in Colorado ever. Every sneeze will be reported, analyzed and parodies by Jon Stewart. The incoming church shoppers will be on the watch, and rightfully so. If McDonald’s were to have a bad batch of burgers and have to close down and reinvent as “McWon’t-Do-It-Again’s” you gotta know the first generation of consumers will rightfully be on their guard. And then there’s Dread, who will be a continued encouragement to TH and his wife. I think this will go far better than anyone is willing to envision, and I’d bet a bottle of Kahlua on it. 🙂

    That passage, 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12, is interesting. “God sends the delusion.”
    Moriel and Alnor will have an interesting take on your pointing this out. I’m a preterist (a heretic to M&A) so their comments will never address my viewpoint without derision. Maybe someone here who is a preterist can address the passage in light of the preterist view. Read in the light of history while trying to be literal, since there is no physical temple anymore, there will have to be one reinstated for this to unfold. I’ve heard plenty of urban myths within the evangelical subculture about reinstatement of animal sacrifices but I know of no extant Jews who would ever return to that. It would be a complete reversal of over 2000 years of their understanding of what it means to be a Jew.

    Perhaps we need to reread it in the light of the temple being Jesus’ body just as the gospel writer said, and maybe Paul’s idea here has to be somehow referenced to that? It’s a tough passage because the temple was desecrated and Jesus didn’t come back physically to decimate His enemies. We can spin it all we want and say “the Lord’s mercy is in play while His wrath is in delay” (probably so, may that be the case), but it’s a passage full of contradictions just taken in light of the gospels and if i had never read it I would still be about being Jesus’ disciple, just not concerned about this thing that Paul was concerned about.

    For me, I’ll keep the passage marked “a mystery i can’t reconcile”.

  16. Michael says:

    Hi, Grendal,

    That was more thought provoking than my article!

    Good work. 🙂

  17. Kevin H said.

    “I’m a Phillies fan”

    My response?

    Heretic 🙂 🙂


  18. Another Voice says:

    Read in the light of history while trying to be literal, since there is no physical temple anymore, there will have to be one reinstated for this to unfold. I’ve heard plenty of urban myths within the evangelical subculture about reinstatement of animal sacrifices but I know of no extant Jews who would ever return to that.
    Here is some more info on that urban myth. I’m sure though the Jews have nothing to do with this and in actuality this whole thing is funded by Lindsey, Missler and the staff at Dallas Theological Seminary.


  19. Em says:

    I’m willing to give the Haggards the benefit of the doubt – i like to think that they think that they are rising above their challenges to meet the call of God – i also think self-deception is a universal plague that dogs us all… so grateful that i fight my battles with my human viewpoint in obscurity … except when i pontificate here 😀 … but it’s still in anonymity, i think…

    whoever takes the time to read the above is thinking “she’s always obscure” and i forgive you 😉

  20. Kevin H says:

    Yeah, well most JW’s would probably think of Christians as heretics, too. And we all know who holds to the real Truth. 😉

    You’ll have to forgive my gloating a little. I first started following sports as a kid in the summer of 1983, right after the Sixers won the NBA championship. I was aware they had won, but didn’t really experience it at all. So for the first 25 years of my sporting life, there were no championships for me even though Philadelphia has teams in all four of the major sports (that’s 100 seasons without one championship). Finally this current Phillies team came along a couple years ago. So I think I’ve built up right to brag a little bit.

  21. ( | o )====::: says:

    Hmm, so it’s not an urban myth. Thanks.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a lot of pre-trib evangelicals are supportive of this group, especially if they believe that a temple must be rebuilt. That’s never going to fly because of a few billion Muslims having claim to the real estate. Heck, there’s even going to be a mosque at Ground Zero.

    Did a quick search of the site. So, other than being an historical figure who they can reference that he was doing his thing in their temple back when it existed, Jesus/Yeshua is not part of their present or future scenario, right? Does this small group have influence in Orthodox, Reform or Liberal Judaism? Are they significant to anyone other than christian historicists?

  22. ( | o )====::: says:

    Thanks Michael.
    I need my Starbucks, sorry, I read your kind post but I’m slow on the social skills today 🙁

  23. Another Voice says:

    That’s never going to fly because of a few billion Muslims having claim to the real estate. Heck, there’s even going to be a mosque at Ground Zero.
    Do you think Satan is incapable of getting the unbelievers of the world united for a few years?

  24. Mark says:

    Isn’t everyone entitled to an adventure? This is just Ted’s excellent adventure!


  25. Luth says:

    Hi Grendal,

    There’s a lot of truth in what you said.

    There’s one point you made that I would like to expand on.

    ‘Ted Haggard and his new gig is not a surprise. The evangelical culture holds “the ministry” (being a pastor teacher) as the highest calling and for anyone who believes that idea the thought of doing anything else is doing & being “less than”.’

    No, it’s more complicated than that, Mainline churches also consider the ‘ministry’ a high calling — but not any better than any other one — just different. And you’re right, the ‘pastor-teacher’ thing is a low church Prot thing, for sure.

    Evangelical culture since Billy Graham has become personality oriented (even before that, you had Moody, McPherson, Billy Sunday, etc.) It’s small wonder that the faithful pastors that Michael cites might feel ‘slighted’ by the attention given to Ted Haggard. Which is understandable but also unfortunate. There are 6,000 Lutheran pastors in my Synod. Do they want to have this type of exposure? I highly doubt it (most of them are pretty shy and self effacing, like in Garrison Keillor’s stories, but that’s another topic).

    I wish the dynamics were different for these pastors.. Live by the media and pop culture,, die by the media and pop culture, I guess. Evangelical culture baptizes secular culture and whatever’s currently popular, and judges itself by the same values — the gap used to be years. With the Internet, etc., it’s now a matter of days or maybe weeks.

    My take is that when you abandon traditional church culture, this is what results. The hole has to be filled by something — and it sure has. Most evangelicals today are not a whit different from the old-style liberal Christians who also aped pop culture’s values and desire for relevance.

  26. Another Voice says:

    The first of these FAQs is of interest.


    When I was in Israel at the Wall, there was a HUGE yellow banner, spanning multiple residences, facing the temple mount. I asked what it said (I did not know the Hebrew at that time) and our guide simply said ‘Messiah is coming soon’

    From what I have heard over the last many years in multiple settings and conversations between Jew and Gentile alike, those Jews, like the ones who wrote such a sign, believe the Messiah will show himself to them by being the one to get the temple rebuilt.

  27. Believe says:

    Grendal…my current (local) pastor is a Preterist…and makes a pretty good argument for his position…

    However, I listen to Walid Shoebat’s End of Days interpretations…and filter them through what I’ve learned (and am learning) about the “state of things” in our world (our Vapor)…and his conclusions are plausible…and probable.

    Is there a semi-Preterist position? Meaning, could it be that part of what Jesus said was for the current generation…and was fulfilled in 70 A.D….while the other part of his prophecy was End of Days and to come after 70 A.D.?

  28. ( | o )====::: says:

    “Do you think Satan is incapable of getting the unbelievers of the world united for a few years?”


  29. Another Voice says:

    could it be that part of what Jesus said was for the current generation…and was fulfilled in 70 A.D….while the other part of his prophecy was End of Days and to come after 70 A.D.?
    Believe, most dispensationalists see Jesus words in that light. I certainly do, as does Ryrie and others. It is not partial-preterism to do so.

    There is a difference between Jesus’ prophetic words at the end of the Gospels and interpreting Revelation as past-history.

  30. Michael says:

    Karen Stewart has gone to Jesus.

  31. Another Voice says:

    the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
    Read this Scripture again then……

    I wouldn’t underestimate Satan when he is doing what the Lord is ordering.

  32. Another Voice says:

    Given Michael’s post on Karen’s passing – I retire from this conversation.

    Only to add in departing that I do not overemphasize eschatology or current events. It is a mistake to do so in my opinion.

    The Karen Stewarts of the Church (and their families) should be the emphasis of the pastoral ministry.

  33. Babylon's Dread says:

    Good article including a good warning to Ted.

    I may point it out to him… to think about.

    And I hope the Commissioner reverses that call BUT… I want to see a super slow motion on Galaragga’s catch… I thought he bobbled the ball. Even from behind I noticed it and told my wife. The ball did not seem secure in the glove. Now the umpire did not seem to notice that because he simply admitted missing the call.

    However…if the guy was safe on a Galaragga error ..the no-hitter is in tact.

    As for preterism.. I am a partial preterist and think that the Thess passage may be fulfilled already… but it is a hard one… and YES the devil can get the world united against Christians for a short period… the hatred of all things Christian is growing.

  34. Isaiah56:1 says:

    May God shower grace upon Jeff and their kids. May Karen find a loving welcome with her Friend and Savior.

    I grieve with the Stewart family over their loss.

  35. Michael says:

    “The Karen Stewarts of the Church (and their families) should be the emphasis of the pastoral ministry.”

    Amen…a hundred times… amen.

  36. Michael says:

    Thank you for hearing me, BD.

    Peace to you.

  37. ( | o )====::: says:

    Yes, there is a semi-preterest position, though I don’t hold to it.

    What you said!
    This is why I have an affinity for the mainline facets of the church, the ones who have a longer history than beginning the 1800’s.

    How do you feel about these temple rebuilders?

  38. ( | o )====::: says:

    Oh my. To Karen’s family, so sad at her passing.
    Yes, this day is far more important than any silly discussions about end times stuff.
    May God’s presence and the love and touch of family be your comfort.

  39. Shaun Sells says:

    Michaell –

    “Am I reading this right? It says the delusion of apostasy comes from God…”

    That is the very thing that is tweaking my mind this today. I am studying Revelation 6 and noticed a few things – first that Jesus is unleashing the destruction of the scrolls, and second that at the end it is described in verse 16-17 as the wrath of the Lamb and him who sits on the throne. I preferred it when I looked at it all as the work of the antichrist. Unfortunately, studying God’s Word for myself has brought me to a truth that listening to teachers and commentaries rarely does.

    What really got me searching was the constant description of the rider on the white horse as the antichrist by Bible teachers with no Biblical proof, only insinuation. As best I can tell these riders are angels or spirits sent out into the earth by God (as in Zechariah 1:8, and 6:5). It is, however, comforting and important to remember that this is all God’s plan to redeem and restore His creation. Comforting to know, but painful to watch and live through.

  40. Michael says:


    I do think that those seals are the wrath of anti-Christ and the announcement in vs. 16-17 is of the coming wrath of God.

    That perfectly parallels Matt 24 with the same sequence of events with the Rapture after the seals.

    You probably don’t want to do this right before the SPC… 🙂

  41. Shaun Sells says:

    Michael – my understanding from my greek NT (and the resident greek scholar I call my associate pastor) is that the action of wrath is past tense (aorist indicative active). So, the wrath described in Rev. 6:16-17 is the past tense wrath of the Lamb and God. No visible way around it.

    I have been working on the Mark 13 and Matthew 24 sequence all afternoon. Definitely fun.

  42. Michael says:


    Just for kicks…check this out.

    In any case it really encourages me that you’re digging in and examining your tradition.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I just have trouble with the idea of God going back to living in a building built my man. seems a bit limiting. So, people will no longer be the temple of God?

  44. Pineapple Head says:

    Joyce was awesome! Sounds like Selig is not going to overturn. When I heard the news I was pretty torqued. Reminded me a lot of how we do church. We hang on to the “traditions” and “sanctity” of the game even when clearly wrong. No wonder I haven’t been much of a baseball fan for the past 15 years or so.

    Same thing in churches. The way it’s always been done reigns supreme. even though the evidence screams that change is actually part of healthy church development.

  45. Shaun Sells says:

    Thanks for the link Michael, I did check it out. I have not read the book by DA Carson, but my Zodhiates greek NT tells me the indicative mood is the only mood that can regularly distinguish time. The link you gave does not indicate which mood, only that aorist is not past tense – that is true, but an over simplification that doesn’t include mood.

  46. Shaun Sells says:

    Here is a separate but similar question Michael –

    Does the antichrist have the power to create earthquakes, black out the sun and moon, drop stars from the sky, split open the sky, and move mountains and islands?

    I actually don’t have the answer to that question, looking to see if someone can clear that up Biblically.

  47. Michael says:

    15.81 ἔρχομαιb; ἔλευσις, εως f: to move toward or up to the reference point of the viewpoint character or event—‘to come, coming.’
    ἔρχομαιb: σὺ εἶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἢ ἕτερον προσδοκῶμεν; ‘are you the one who was going to come, or should we expect another?’ Mt 11:3; μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ‘don’t think I came to bring peace on the earth’ Mt 10:34.
    ἔλευσις: ἀπέκτειναν τοὺς προκαταγγείλαντας περὶ τῆς ἐλεύσεως τοῦ δικαίου ‘they killed those who long ago announced the coming of the righteous one’ Ac 7:52.

    15.82 θα (an Aramaic word): to move to or toward a reference point of the viewpoint character or event—‘to come.’ μαρανα θα ‘(our) Lord, come’ 1 Cor 16:22.

    15.83 ἐπέρχομαιa; ἐπιπορεύομαι; ἐπιβαίνωa: to move to or on to, generally with the implication of having arrived—‘to come to, to arrive.’
    Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.). New York: United Bible societies.

  48. Michael says:

    Great question… I have to pick up Trey and I’ll try to give a reasonable answer afterward.

  49. Em says:

    the driving reason for a temple (physical) by today’s ultra-orthodox Jew is the need to reconnect with God by the required sacrifice – the high priest must once again do the yearly intercession in the Holy of holies… now why a tabernacle won’t suffice i don’t know…
    will it happen? dunno – but there is a segment of ‘jews’ for whom it is a desperate, driving desire…
    just driving by here… it’s all a ponder for me… just a ponder…

    all ism aside it looks like BP is well on the way to turning 1/3 of the ocean into plasma of some kind tho 😉

  50. Another Voice says:

    Shaun, May I suggest you owe it to yourself to secure Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. If you don’t know even first year Greek, it will be over your head, but if you have some idea of the basics, this is a must-have. Far, FAR better than anything by Zodhiates

    May I also ask what is it you see as significant with the aorist tense in that verse?

  51. Another Voice says:

    May I also add another non-Greek related point, and that is the caution of forming too much theology from the quotes of unsaved people. No different than using Job’s friends, Pilate or others in Scripture who are quoted accurately but do not necessarily reflect orthodox doctrine.

  52. Em says:

    my first reaction was to think that Selig was a jerk (i date from the time that the game was a big deal in this country – part of my childhood memories were Saturdays’ games on car radios as my mother’s younger brothers worked on their jalopies – WW2 and nobody had access to new cars – it was a good, laid back sound even to a kid) …
    but ya know (as S.P. says), sportsmanship used to be an admirable thing, too – if the call went against and you accepted it as an honest call, you weren’t called a ‘sucker’ in the old days
    used to play some tennis and you called your opponent’s balls and it was expected you’d be honest – and in a tournament? well, perhaps the show is better these days… it’s a boring game to watch IMO

  53. Babylon's Dread says:

    Kudos to the White House… they got it right… http://huff.to/bKrURz Huffpost –

  54. Em says:

    if this place is the Christian version of the old ‘Cheers,’ i’m that letter carrier that sat down there at the end of bar by Norm 😆
    boring afternoon around here and this is the only blog that i have the patience for & vice versa – i’ll go do something else now

  55. Linnea says:

    delusion [dɪˈluːʒən]
    1. (Psychiatry) a mistaken or misleading opinion, idea, belief, etc. “he has delusions of grandeur”
    2. (Psychiatry) Psychiatry a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason See also illusion, hallucination
    3. (Psychiatry) the act of deluding or state of being deluded
    delusional adj
    delusive adj
    delusively adv
    delusiveness n
    delusory [dɪˈluːsərɪ] adj

    Em already said it, but it bears repeating….they believe the delusion God sent because they had already believed it.

    In essence, is this not like God hardening Pharaoh’s heart? Pharaoh had already hardened his heart and God confirmed it.

  56. Hi Shawn,

    Just a few comments on Revelation 6. A little bit about myself so you know that I am not blowing smoke. I have an M.A. in Biblical Languages with Greek as my emphasis. I have studied Greek at Harvard Divinity. And I am staring a Ph.D program in a couple of months in Greek linguistics. In short, I am a Greek linguistic geek 🙂

    It is common to hear that the “aorist” tense-form is the past tense in time. This is not the case. Indeed traditional Greek grammars taught that tense-forms grammaticalized temporal reference. But most current Greek linguistics do not teach this, especially those who subscribe to verbal aspect theory.

    I’d like to point you to D.A. Carson’s book _Exegetical Fallacies_ in his section on dispelling the mistaken ideas of the aorist. There are other works out there, but that is a good entry point. The primer _The Basics of Verbal Aspect_ is a good read as well.

    Tense-forms do not determine “time.” It is even debated that the Greek future tense does not ndicate time (but that is another day).

    The aorist tense in Revelation 6:16-17 must be seen in its context. Context determines time, not tense-form. In the following article I wrote, see point eight for my explanation of why God’s wrath is not in the past, but actually indicates impending action.


    My forthcoming book on the Day of the Lord devotes an entire chapter on Revelation 6. If you follow the prewrath blog it will be announced later this year.


  57. Michael says:


    Thank you!

    If you have a minute could you point me to the best defense for a future for Israel?

  58. Another Voice says:

    Hi Alan,

    I thought this was likely an ingressive aorist too. I read Carson’s book a few years back and I had to repent on some things as I was guilty in some cases in the past. (I try to be more careful these days). That is a great recommendation.

    Where are you doing your PhD?

    Also, would you agree with my suggestion on Wallace. Do you have a preference for that level of a grammar. (I consult Robertson’s Grammar too – but it is a slog)

    Well said above. It does seem verbal aspect theory is where the current study of the language centers, doesn’t it?

    God Bless you.

  59. Hi Michael,

    If you want in my opinion some of the best exegesis for the future of Israel, get your hands on _The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism_ by Roberty Saucy, especially chapters 8–12. Saucy’s argumentation is bar none.

    Also I recommend _Dispensationalism: Israel and the Church: The Search for Definition_ eds Blaising and Bock, especially chapter 6 on Romans 11.

  60. Michael says:


    Thank you, I’ll order it tonight.

    Excellent job with the website…thank you for the resource.

  61. Another Voice says:

    Oh oh Michael. Looks like you may have to read some Dallas guys again! What was that you wrote awhile back about chewing broken glass??

  62. Babylon's Dread says:

    If the case for a future for Israel is really built on Romans 11, I will never be convinced… that passage simply does not have future Israel in view…. not in any way. But let’s avoid that digression here. We have been all over that

  63. Michael says:


    LOL! 🙂

  64. Another Voice says:

    Michael, comfort yourself that Saucy only studied there, and taught at Biola.

    Plus, Blaising and Bock are sort of the black sheep to the old-guard traditional dispensationalists..

    You’ll be OK…:).

  65. Robin says:

    The reason I don’t give a flip about Haggard, is that I don’t I see as him as a fallen leader.

    He’s been been telling tall tales for years. Read his early stories about witches in COS. Good grief. Wild imaginations.

    He’s not a fallen leader. He’s a story teller.


  66. Shaun Sells says:

    Alan, Michael, and AV –

    I understand your arguments, but in the end it is he said, she said. The grammatical notations in my greek NT tell me it is past tense, the translators of my NASB tell me it is past tense, the Greek guru in my office (sorry, he is a Dallas Seminary grad) tells me it is past tense. On the other hand you guys tell me it is not past tense. From my perspective the tie goes to my tradition. I realize that is going to be childish and offensive to some, but there is know way I can determine which way is right since I don’t have the greek background necessary to argue with any of you, only to parrot what my texts and teachers say.

    Alan, you make a very compelling argument in the link you attached (particularly your 1st, 6th, and the other examples from Revelation) – I will continue to consider it and compare it to other sources.

    Most likely for this Sunday I will ere on the side of silence, and not mention the time nature of verse 16-17 unless it is to say there is still some debate.

  67. Shaun Sells says:

    A side bar to this concerning the Joel 2:31 verse.

    It has always been difficult for me to put the Old Testament prophets into the end times scenarios. I am reminded of this with the Joel quote because Joel 2:28-32, is quoted by Peter in Acts, but doesn’t really fit in an end times scenario as he quoted it.

    The problem is that prophecy has layers – immediate context, NT context, end times context, and personal application. Many times I feel as if people are guessing or assuming or misapplying the prophets to make a point. As a result I tend to shy away from them as predictive, but that isn’t really fair either.

  68. ShowMeWhere? says:

    About Jim Joyce,

    You know, I understand that we all ought to admit our mistakes and sins readily, and that he did this. But, I have to tell you that there is no excuse for what he did. He had been watching a guy through a perfect game, and on the last play of the game when he was in the perfect position to call what should have been an obvious routine call, he instead calls the guy safe?!

    Umpires often interject themselves into the game, and it is just not right. They are many times jealous and bitter about players who have the tools they only dream about. Umpires change a strike zone many times in the clutch part of a game to make the challenge of the win greater. They will sometimes give one player a different strike zone than others because they like or don’t like the player. I have heard umpires tell players that they made the zone tougher on the player to make them a better player?! Umpires also out of pride refuse to have overturned one of their bad calls. One pro umpire once when a player slid into 2nd base raised his hand like the guy was out and yelled, “Safe.” When the player contested the fact that the umpire was now making him be out yet he had called him safe, the umpire said that he wouldn’t change his call because 30,000 people just saw him signal an out. He didn’t want to lose face.

    Jim Joyce knew that after he made that bad call that it could cost him lots of bucks, and perhaps even his job or opportunities to call the playoffs. He knew that he would become a major victim of public scrutiny. It was only then that he suddenly became humbled, only after he had considered the consequences of his flagrant pig-headedness. I wish I could just rejoice that he humbled himself and apologized and go on, but I’m just not impressed knowing what he knew he gained to lose if he did not do this. Ok, and to be honest I have to admit there are times I see myself having a twisted and bitter attitude, but people and their attitudes skewer me sometimes.

  69. ShowMeWhere? says:

    Honestly, if I were Bud Selig, I would tell Joyce, “We forgive you, and you’re fired!”

  70. Shaun Sells says:

    20 pitchers in history have thrown a perfect game – it is rare and to be celebrated. Contrast that to umpires who are roasted if every call is not perfect. Seems hypocritical to me. But, then again I used to ref soccer so I have a soft spot for officials in any sport.

  71. Another Voice says:

    Shaun, just speaking for myself brother, I am not saying the aorist in the indicative mood does NOT give a “past tense” in terms of time as a general rule. You are right that the only mood that does express time in any fashion is the indicative. However, as Alan points out, the study of ancient languages is always evolving (especially one as important as Koine Greek) and the time dimension to even the indicative mood is being lessened within the recent scholarship. There is just more and more material to study in Koine. Obviously, not simply Scripture – but scores of “junk” examples. Even a shopping list, a love letter, a receipt, all can shed light on the language – and now we have excellent computer tools to do research with. Some material becomes outdated. For example, if one only used a Thayers Lexicon today, one would be making a huge mistake. It once was a great tool, based on what was known – but its day has passed as a number one study aid (IMO). (It still has some value of course)

    Again, let me speak for myself only. I took 1 1/2 years of Greek within a Calvary Chapel system and learned some grammar basics and some vocabulary. Several years later, I took three years of Greek at the Seminary level and was writing lengthy exegetical papers and diagramming large sections of the New Testament. I was also repenting a lot over some of the stuff I taught based only on those first 1.5 years.

    I view Greek like a gun. A little Greek is better than no Greek (like owning a gun is better than not owning one, assuming a battle is taking place). But only a little Greek is dangerous – much like that gun if one has had little to no training in how to use it properly.

    Again, I hope you hear me from my personal POV. I’m NOT coming at this as prideful or anything (certainly Alan wasn’t either IMO). I have prayed about getting my Ph.D as well (which is why I asked Alan), but presently I am having a hard time justifying it in light of my pastoral duties. Maybe some day. The more I know Greek, the more I know I have to learn, if that makes sense.

    I guess you just have to know the pain of the experience of teaching something wrongly from Greek to God’s people. I wish I had erred on the side of silence back then, but I had my 1.5 years of simple basics with no clue of the complexity and exceptions to the rules and I thought I knew something. For what it is worth – one of the few guys in the movement that is truly a Greek expert told me that only a handful of guys in the movement use Greek properly. This was the hangup I found at Seminary as well, as to the reputation of our movement. Around the PP we talk about the accountability issues, but in a lot of pastoral and educational settings the criticism is on poor teaching – not just differences of opinion on theology about gifts or whatever, but flat out butchering of the text when delving into the original languages by a lot of guys.

    I will repeat the recommendation for Carson’s exegetical fallacies. Your assistant who helps you in Greek should own one at the least.

    God bless you brother.

  72. Luth says:

    ‘only a handful of guys in the movement use Greek properly.’

    Wow. That’s quite an admission. Kind of makes me think the average churchgoer would do better at a church where the pastor REALLY knows Greek.

    Isn’t that an argument for pastors receiving full-on seminary training? I mean, hey, sincerity is great, but it’s not a substitute for study and mastery.

  73. Em says:

    Alan K’s post #57 blessed me, too, thank you so much
    his words on the aorist tense in the Greek language was what i had been taught years ago – i envy a bit those who’ve been allowed by God to do what this man is doing… but i don’t even have an in-depth knowledge of the English language 😉

  74. Xenia says:

    Yes, I recommend that you all attend churches where the people speak Greek.


  75. Another Voice says:

    Kind of makes me think the average churchgoer would do better at a church where the pastor REALLY knows Greek.
    Luth, better is a relative word. The average churchgoer is well suited just with the English, if the average pastor will know his limitations and stick to the English. In my preaching, I almost never actually share stuff from the Greek – but it is what I don’t share, thanks to the Greek, that is important too.

    I do not think heavy theology can be taught and discussed apart from the originals – and since Calvarys teach the whole Bible, they tend to teach a lot of theology.

    However, I think it is a sin when a pastor refers to the originals and is simply repeating someone else AND yet does not tell the congregation (thus making it look like he is more an expert than he is). THAT goes on a lot.

    You also wrote ” hey, sincerity is great, but it’s not a substitute for study and mastery.”
    Couldn’t agree more. Chuck Smith went to Bible College. I know it is neat to hear how the Lord used a bunch of hippies to lead thousands to Christ and grow large churches – but I notice that over the years a lot of those hippies went back to school and got some formal training. This is to their credit and yet in the Distinctives this is described as a ‘work of the flesh’ having begun in the Spirit.

    That sort of pride in ignorance in handling God’s Word is appalling to me, (and as I write this is a key reason why I choose to stay annonymous here)

  76. Em says:

    SMW’s #69 – i kinda sorta have to agree… i thot the pitcher was the real hero and example of grace in action (don’t know if he went home and broke some stuff, tho 😀 )

  77. Em says:

    AV,”Luth, better is a relative word. The average churchgoer is well suited just with the English, if the average pastor will know his limitations and stick to the English. In my preaching, I almost never actually share stuff from the Greek – but it is what I don’t share, thanks to the Greek, that is important too.”

    Amen and FWIW, your honest comments here always bless me

  78. Another Voice says:

    EM – the guys who translated our English Bibles from the originals are more scholarly than I will ever be. They’ve probably forgotten more Greek (and Hebrew) than I know.

    Whenever this discussion comes up, it is so important to be reminded that we have EXCELLENT English Bibles and nothing to fear in sticking with them.

  79. Shaun,

    You said:

    “The grammatical notations in my greek NT tell me it is past tense, the translators of my NASB tell me it is past tense, the Greek guru in my office (sorry, he is a Dallas Seminary grad) tells me it is past tense.”

    A few comments: (1) Notations and translations such as the NASB are interpretive. But I actually like the consistent renderings of all the major translations, which is “has come.” Notice it is not rendered as “it came” or “already came.” In other words, the ungodly fleeing to the caves are recognizing that the wrath of God “has come” in the sense of starting—which is why they are then fleeing to the caves to escape God’s impending wrath. Now in the Prewrath schema these cosmic disturbances of the 6th seal announce the Day of the Lord, but the announcement itself is frightening for them for they understand what is signifies. Luke 21 is consistent where unbelievers are fainting and in terror, and believers are told to lift up their heads for their redemption draws near.

    (2) You cited a Dallas grad. But here is the most scholarly Dallas Greek guru: Daniel Wallace. He states in his grammar that to assume that the aorist tense indicates past time is in error. He writes regarding one of the examples called the Ingressive Aorist on page 558:

    “The aorist tense may be used to stress the beginning of an action or the entrance into a state….The ingresive aorist is quite common.”

    Doing Greek verbal analysis is much more a task of analysis of _context_, instead of merely looking at a tense-form.

    I hope that helps. Glad you were able to read that one article.

    Take care.

  80. Shaun Sells says:

    AV – thanks for the input. As I said, I try to ere on the side of caution whenever possible as a preacher.

    A personal note – my greek knowledge is just past zero – I know how to use the tools, but can’t read or write it. That is why when a language question comes up as I am studying (which is pretty rare, as AV said our English Bibles are great) I do the work with the tools I have, but then present my findings to others to see if I am on the right track.

  81. Another Voice says:

    FWIW – I think I could make a strong argument that, given how good our English translations happen to be, the pastor is best served spending serious time with the historical and cultural backgrounds of the text – as opposed to wrestling with the original language in hopes of insight. Obviously, both are preferred, but if the necessary language background is not there, we all can read good historical and cultural commentary and there is a wealth of such info out there.

    I am far more likely to share with the congregation from the historical and cultural perspective as this is often fundamental in really understanding the text.

    Of course, this is the goal of true exegesis – the author’s intended meaning. While I don’t call study that does not include the originals true exegesis, nevertheless, exegesis is far more than just looking at the originals.

  82. Luth says:


    I appreciate your honesty. I’m not trying to pile on here. I appreciate CCs and their emphasis on God’s Word. I just hope their pastors don’t wing it when they don’t know the text thoroughly. That’s really bad, IMHO.

    In the Lutheran world, pastors are taught to preach from a pericope, a ‘thought block.’ I like it a lot better because there’s a focus, not just one verse strung along, then the next, then the next. Maybe it’s just me. Whatever.

    ‘However, I think it is a sin when a pastor refers to the originals and is simply repeating someone else AND yet does not tell the congregation (thus making it look like he is more an expert than he is). THAT goes on a lot.’

    A lot of low-church Protestants are very suspicious of ‘tradition’ — the ‘traditions of men.’ If I had a dollar for every time that’s been cited here, I’d be rich! But the fact is, low church Prots. have their own unbiblical and extra-biblical traditions (think of tradition as passing on the baton from one person to another, as in a relay race) that are more stifling than the liturgy of any high church. For example, I always noticed a lot of ‘group think’ when our CC would get together with other CCs. The same phrases and POV from the pastors, , the same ways of looking at things.

  83. Shaun Sells says:

    Thanks Alan –

    Again to show my ignorance, I don’t know how ingressive aorist applies to the passage at hand. My text says the passage is aorist indicative active. The notes claim that the indicative mood adds the time element, and is the only mood that can regularly distinguish time. But as AV points out, apparently that is no longer the case.

    It pretty much makes one want to give up, if all the “scholars” disagree or change their mind over time. It makes me less likely to invest in study of the original language. It is nearly impossible to hit a moving target

    Very frustrating.

    In the end I feel as if I have wasted hours of study and discussion. And yet, Sunday is coming. 800 people will show up and want to know what can be discerned from the 6 seals in Revelation 6. All I can tell them is – nobody can agree on that, you are wasting your time trying to figure it out – just go love your neighbor until some scholar tells you that love doesn’t really mean love, and the Bible doesn’t really mean what it says in English.

    But maybe Luth is right – people like me are just too ignorant to be pastors or understand the scriptures. If only the pope would tell me what too believe.

    I hate this… all because I agreed with Michael that apostasy comes from God.

  84. jlo says:

    shaun, will be praying for you.

  85. Shaun Sells says:

    By the way, my NT commentary from Simon Kistemaker claims it is past tense as well. Just one more source to throw away? MacArthur says the same – trash can?

  86. Shaun Sells says:

    Thanks jlo – perhaps I should log off for a while and do some praying myself.

  87. Another Voice says:

    My brother Shaun,

    I know you know that wrestling with God’s Word is NEVER a waste of time. Don’t let the enemy get you down.

    For every New Testament book I teach, I purchase all of the exegetical conservative commentaries in print, published in the last 50 years or so – a handful of them. One quickly sees that these men do not agree on every point, proving the statement that “exegesis is both an ART as well as a science”

    These scholars though will point out where their brethren disagree, and interact with the disagreements. That is helpful to me. I can walk softly there, and come to my own conclusions. When you have agreement among such men you can feel pretty good about what you are saying too (assuming you had already come to that conclusion as well. Of course, if I have an idea that is not supported by any of these guys, I will shelve it quickly).

    The aorist tense is a simple parsing identification. It is a 1st-year Greek observation, and in and of itself, somewhat useless (but not totally). In speaking of the usage of the aorist there is the constative, ingressive, gnomic, epistolary etc.

    I stumbled across this link that gives the idea – and looks like a summary from Wallace’s grammar.


  88. Em says:

    Shaun, hours of study and discussion wasted? honest study and searching wasted? you’re building your frame of reference and you’re doing it with reverence and fear of the Lord. You haven’t wasted one single minute !!! and you’ll go before your congregation with knowledge, humility and love for God’s Truth and they’ll be blessed – God keep and give increase

  89. Shaun,

    What I would encourage you to do is when you read MacArthur and others who say that it is a “past time” see if they give you contextual reasons for their claims. If it is any encouragement, you do not have to know a single word in Greek to understand that the context indicates that the wrath of God is impending or starting—-they contextual clues are there. So the issue is is not Greek but context, which again should be an encouragement to those who do not know Greek.

  90. Another Voice says:

    I purchase all of the exegetical conservative commentaries in print, published in the last 50 years or so – a handful of them
    For any reading – these are the commentaries interacting with the Greek. MacArthur, Wiersbe and whoever else may have helpful commentaries, but they are NOT exegetical commentaries. That is why I can say there are only a handful of them.

    In case of confusion on that point….

  91. Erunner says:

    Em, Your # 89 is spot on!!

  92. Michael says:

    Shaun…keep your chin up, my friend…this kind of work is never wasted.
    This whole interaction has really encouraged me…

  93. Erunner says:

    Alan, Shaun is one out from a perfect game! Don’t be that guy! 🙂

  94. One other further comment on Greek.

    Most often than not a knowledge of Greek helps to determine what a text does not say, than what it does say. In other words, most of the time it gives you boundaries instead of a bull’s eye.

    And this is the case with Revelation 6:16-17. The aorist tense is the undefined tense. Of all the tenses this is the one that is the _least_ specific! So it can be said to have the “largest boundary.” In essence, the author uses the aorist tense to move the narrative along without saying what kind of action and time the verb contains. So when we see an aorist tense-form, that should tell us we have much contextual work to do if we are to discern the kind of action and the temporal reference.

    Hope that helps.

  95. Another Voice says:

    Most often than not a knowledge of Greek helps to determine what a text does not say, than what it does say. In other words, most of the time it gives you boundaries instead of a bull’s eye.
    This is what I meant in my 9:03 to Luth when I wrote ” In my preaching, I almost never actually share stuff from the Greek – but it is what I don’t share, thanks to the Greek, that is important too.”

    Alan expressed it better than me.

    Alan, do you mind me asking where you are doing your Ph.D and if you have an idea for a dissertation yet?

  96. Shaun Sells says:

    Ultimately this is a pride issue for me. I don’t like to be on shaky ground in my Bible interpretation, and when I am I start to freak – which you all witnessed today. Thanks for the encouragement. A time of prayer and some sweet n sour chicken with fried rice have calmed me for the time being.

    Be blessed.

  97. Just to clarify: When I say the “kind of action” of the verb, I am not referring to the verb’s lexical meaning. “Kind of action” in Greek linguistics refers to how the action unfolds, i.e., inceptive, durative, ingressive, continuous, habitual, culminative, etc.

    I did not want anyone to be confused on the difference between “kind of action” of a verb and the lexical meaning of the verb.


    Lexical meaning of eating: Put food in the mouth and chew it and swallow it
    Kind of action: Is the person starting to eat? is the eating continuous, or just finishing?

  98. AV,

    Lord willing, I will be doing my studies at McMaster Divinity in Ontario. As far as dissertation, some area in Greek linguistics. I have thought about Gospel studies and doing it on the Olivet Discourse, but I am leaning toward Greek research.

  99. Shaun Sells says:

    AV –

    just for fun, this was from the link you posted above:

    “In the indicative, the aorist usually indicates past time with reference to the time of speaking (thus, “absolute time”)”

  100. The aorist is found in the past tense _context_ 85% of the time in the NT. But here is the problem (as even Carson points out in his fallacy book): because the interpreter sees the aorist tense-form in 85% of instances in past tense context, they begin to assume that the past tense is inherent in the aorist tense-form itself.

    This is why you here so frequently that “the aorist is the past tense.” So it would be a mistake to say that the aorist tense “indicates past time” because context is the determiner of temporal reference.

    It would be like me saying whenever it rains there are clouds, therefore when you see clouds it will rain. The analogy is not perfect, but I think you get my point.


  101. Believe says:

    ….and some wonder why the “more I know…the more I know nothing”…and that we “see through a glass darkly”…

    …Sola Jesus.

  102. Another Voice says:

    Thanks Alan. I wish you all the best in your studies.

    Great answer in your 11:16 am.

    I believe Wallace also notes (though I don’t have my copy at hand) that often the “choice” of tense (like aorist) is thrust upon the author, and thus not really a choice at all. So when one assumes that the aorist (or whatever tense) was chosen by the author to indicate something time related, that often is an erroneous assumption. Thus, one can’t really draw a heavy conclusion from such a case. (That sounds muddled but without my grammar to reference I am having a hard time expressing this)

    Of course, in the passage at hand – accepting this as an ingressive aorist really simplifies the issue. The link (Shaun and others) will help in explaining what such an ingressive aorist means.

    And again, let me highly suggest the purchase of Wallace’s grammar ‘Beyond the Basics’ to anyone even remotely interested in this subject.

  103. ( | o )====::: says:

    If someone could sum it up for a simple artist & musician, aorist tense factored in, all the stuff happened or it didn’t. So, aorist guys and gals, I get a sense that tense pushes meanings to not mean what they are printed as in our bibles? How should the passage Michael brought us read “in light of the aorist tense”? Also, why do we insist on not publishing the words in that tense if it is more faithful to the intent of the writer?

    “…explain this to me like I’m a four-year-old, okay?”

  104. Believe says:

    Grendal…here’s the explanation:


    We see through a glass darkly…and we cannot fully understand Logos…The Word…with our limited logos…man’s reason.

    One can parse Greek all they want (no disrespect intended to the Greek Scholars among us…and not saying we shouldn’t try if that is what God has for us…)…but at some point…we must “believe like a child”…


    But, we’re human and we’re driven to “try” and understand and make “sense” of everything…which is a part of the deal, I guess…

  105. Em says:

    Babylon is fallen … those words seem to create quite a snag without someone explaining “is” …. (oh my, was Clinton on to something? was he talking over my head?)

  106. Em says:

    FWIW i don’t think ‘aorist’ can be defined without qualifiers … we need teachers and we need scholars that we can trust to teach our teachers …

    the four year old can’t go much further than “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” can he/she?

  107. Another Voice says:


    As a musician, and I assume a guitarist, could you take any song I gave you, that was written for another instrument – say a Middle Ages church organ – and replicate that song so it sounds the SAME (except in guitar now of course).

    Or would something get lost in the translation?

    That is the challenge. You wrote “I get a sense that tense pushes meanings to not mean what they are printed as in our bibles?” – That is not really accurate. In fact, Alan’s 9:31 above shows just what an excellent translation we have, and gives a couple other English translations that express “past” tense but would be unfitting to the text.

    We have all sorts of helper words in English that do not apply in Greek – especially with verbs. In English I write “She has been cutting herself” – that is five words. Greek would say this with ONE word.

    The bottom line is that tense in English means something different than tense in Koine Greek. They are different languages. Just like Greek has 3 genders of nouns (and adjectives, participles, pronouns) but gender is not an issue in English.

  108. Bob says:

    WOW! All this Greek detail is amazing!

    Did you ever wonder how people would parse your writings 2000 years from now, especially if they are a Greek interpretation of a Hebrew or Aramaic original?

    The only problem I have with the detail is maybe the forest is lost amongst the trees. Of course like the forest single trees do have interesting stories to tell about their place in the forest.

    What I find interesting is how much of biblical interpretation somehow becomes allegorical rather than historical or recognized for the setting in which the original was written.


  109. Bob says:

    So AV would you say bible instruction should be left up to the experts, ones who have mastered their Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic first?

    I guess I am a bit overwhelmed by the difficult picture you paint of bible study.

  110. Another Voice says:

    On the gender thing, we have in English the occasional use of a feminine gender when used of boats and countries. We often use the pronoun “she” instead of “it”

    However, if I write “a large boat or pretty country” I do not change the way I write “Large or Pretty” just because I am dealing with a feminine. Of course, in Greek I must change my adjectives, relative pronouns and the like to match the gender of the noun I am referencing.

  111. Another Voice says:

    My 9:03 and 9:28 deal with your question Bob about “the experts” – To repeat, we can have great confidence in our English translations.

  112. Shaun Sells says:

    Here is a question that maddens me when I think of original languages. I get emails from several hundred people a week, and I am usually appalled at how poor their grammar is.

    Isn’t it dangerous to use snippets of a shopping list, a love letter, a receipt, in greek to try to backwards assemble the language? What if the original text (not speaking of scripture) is not displaying proper greek grammar, but instead poor grammar – doesn’t that mess up the whole deal?

    Anyway – just a not so deep thought for the day.

  113. Believe says:

    Shaun…quit digging…been down that path myself…just believe on Child-Like Faith…

    The thought you expressed is actually VERY deep. If you explore “how” the Bible and Canon etc. came to “be”…and the “votes”…etc…and then ask questions like you just asked…

    Doesn’t mean the Logos isn’t true…just means Bibliolatry and being more concerned with jot and tittle rather than the “weightier” matters may be applicable… I am being drawn to Matthew 23 lately…

    Em, “the four year old can’t go much further than “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” can he/she?”

    Yes…and I’m beginning to wonder if that’s the point of all of “this”…

  114. Another Voice says:

    Alan might have a different (and better) answer Shaun, but here are my thoughts.

    First, we have no choice but to “backwards assemble” the language, right? Since that is the case, the more data the better. Koine Greek is the ‘common’ Greek, spoken and written by the average person, so the average writings of an average life can still have great importance.

    There is a term “hapax legomenon” which is when a word only appears once in a corpus (like the Bible). How would translators know how to translate any word that only appeared once in the BIble apart from outside sources? There are MANY such words in the New Testament. Moulton & Milligan wrote a work that is geared to the Strongs numbers where the Greek words in our BIble are then given significant papyri research from non-Biblical sources. You look up the Strong’s number and significant papyri evidence is described for that word. I always consult this when I run into a hapax or other words with very minimal Biblical usage.

    And it is in definitions that the value of these common household documents laregely resides. I think you might be exagerating the problem a little to sort of imply they rewrite the grammars just because they found some new trash in a dig in Ephesus. Plus, some non-Biblical writings are official government documents and the like, some are the writings of philosophers and historians, and thus given a higher priority in the science that is language reconstruction. That grammar is likely quite good.

    And I think a fairly safe bottom line is that just as you, an educated person, can recognize poor grammar in an email – so the Koine scholars can recognize poor grammar in the new discoveries that are found over the years.

  115. Believe says:

    …was being slightly sarcastic regarding “quit digging”…

    It’s good to dig…just make sure in your “digging”…you don’t bury yourself in “skepticism” 🙂

  116. ( | o )====::: says:

    “As a musician, and I assume a guitarist, could you take any song I gave you, that was written for another instrument – say a Middle Ages church organ – and replicate that song so it sounds the SAME (except in guitar now of course).”

    The answer is, “It depends”. I have a guitar synth and can sound exactly like a middle ages church organ. I can approach the written score note for note and record it in layers to exactly nail the required notes to make up for the fact that the voicing on a standard tuned guitar does not lend itself to the execution of a score written for a keyboard instrument with manuals and multiple keyboards and a pedalboard.

    But the point is what was the intent of the composer and what did the composer expect the hearer to experience when the piece was written?

    That is why knowing that Jesus was speaking to Jews, as a Jew is crucially important. And, that is where trying to mix the viewpoint of a transitional churchman like Paul and the intent of his writing to the Thessalonians has to be factored. Who was Paul speaking to? Paul was living before the destruction of the temple. He was writing to a mixed group of Jews and Gentiles, Jews who were Hellenist, Gentiles who found Jesus to be a blessed relief from the multitude of gods they had previously served.

    Getting back to your music analogy, I see Paul as ad libbing the score, yet desiring to stay faithful to the heavenly vision and teaching he received along the way. Could Paul have been introducing some ad libbing? 😉

  117. Another Voice says:

    I tried with the music analogy. but it is far less than ideal.

    As you said, the key is what the composer intended. As noted above, the historical and cultural background is as crucial as the Greek. Exegesis involves it all…getting the author’s original intent.

    And note – the talk about the aorist is related to Revelation and not Paul’s letter to Thessalonians

  118. Bob says:

    ( | o )====:::

    Good point about Jesus’ words and teachings.

    Now Paul, if you read closely, was a Pharisee discipled by a very prominent teacher of the period. If one reads closely he, Paul, teaches common Pharisaical doctrine and lifestyle to these gentiles.

    Just think of the enormous task he had bringing the Jewish Messiah to a bunch of Romans, Greeks and others. However, he did seem to ignore the Samaritans.

    I with you ( | o )====::: Jesus said Himself, “if My words abide in you…” How can we know His words unless one reads the red letter sections and studies what a 2nd Temple period rabbi was like.

  119. Bob says:


    “the Greek. Exegesis involves it all…getting the author’s original intent.”

    What if some of the NT was not originally written in Greek and what we read are Greek interpretations of Hebrew text. Yes I believe much of what Paul wrote was originally written in Greek, but the Gospels have evidence they may have been written originally in Hebrew or at least partially in Hebrew.

    So you are interpreting and interpretation if that is the case.

    And how about those possible scribal additions or commentaries in the Gospels. Much debate here also?

  120. Another Voice says:

    Bob, now you are talking about the field (science) of textual criticism, which is certainly an important consideration. For the record, I do not think any of the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic – including Matthew.

    Textual criticism applies to all ancient writings, but is far more important to the study of the Bible of course.

  121. Bob says:

    I used to agree with you about the issue of original languages until I saw convincing evidence otherwise. It didn’t change my Greek study at all. What it did was bring better understanding of difficult passages when they were returned to a Hebrew text and understanding.

    Keep up your work but don’t miss possible other scholarly ideas. Remember like the musician we tend to see things from our own world view.

    Just a thought and thanks for your words.

  122. Another Voice says:

    Bob, believe me I am open to good scholarship – always.

    I think your point about a “Hebrew understanding” is spot on and crucial. I think we can keep that in mind when wrestling with the text, without assuming that the God-breathed original from the pen of the Gospel writer was done in Hebrew. Put another way, you have a Jewish Gospel writer, thinking Jewish and basically doing the translation in his own mind as he writes in Greek.

    If manuscript evidence surfaced to change this view, then I am open to be swayed. But that is where the evidence would need to come for me, at this stage in my walk/study – from the manuscripts

    God Bless you.

  123. “I believe much of what Paul wrote was originally written in Greek, but the Gospels have evidence they may have been written originally in Hebrew or at least partially in Hebrew.”

    Bob, I am a student of New Testament Textual criticism; in fact, I took credited course work from Harvard Divinity in specifically NT textual criticism from the esteemed TC scholar Epp. It is not my primary area of research but I have studied some on the issue on the language of the originals. We have no objective evidence that the originals as we know it were in any other language other than Greek. However, that is not to say that some of their _sources_ , particularly in Matthew and possibly parts of Acts, was not in Aramaic. But it is the final edition (autograph) and not any written material sources that we consider to be inspired.

    Often groups of Hebraic Christianity will try to make hay out of this issue for one reason or the other.

    That’s all I want to say.


  124. One other comment:

    Bob you said:

    “What it did was bring better understanding of difficult passages when they were returned to a Hebrew text and understanding.”

    I disagree if I understand you correctly. It is dangerous to start back-translating the Greek into Aramaic or Hebrew, especially if you do not know for certain that a source underlies it. And it assumes that the source is inspired and the Greek is not!

    Certainly recognizing Hebrew semeticisms in the Greek NT is important. But they are there because of the LXX influence not because there was some Hebraic original.

    In short, it is not proper to exegete a mythical biblical text that we do not possess. Did God intend for us to re-create texts to interpret? Or does he intend for us to interpret those texts he preserved?


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