Friday, July 17, 2009

Maybe I'm Back

Because of several months of a well paying full-time time consuming & very temporary position, I am now able to return to blogging. I regret that I have not been able to keep up with my readership, but I plan to make up with it. I hope to post at least once a month.

I've been busy. I did intend to be back, but it may take a while.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Revelation 22:19 again

A certain anonymous troll has attempted to remind me of what I already know, that there are several versions of the 1599 Geneva Study Bible. always those nasty charges of intellectual dishonesty. Yet I put up with him. I also advise this worthy that I am expecting an appology for such abuse and gratuitous insults, and not to expect any further attention until he does. In fact, he should consider himself banned.

I chose to quote the most error-ridden version, the StudyLight Version in its most flagrant editing of Scripture, the replacement of Revelation 22:19 with a footnote.
[ ]

Here’s the Crosswalk Version , which does the same thing:[ ]:

18 (9) For I protest unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book;
(9) The obtestation of John (which is the third part of the confirmation, as noted in verse six) joined with a curse of execration, to preserve the truth of this book entire and uncorrupted, in two verses.

I read the footnote to Revelation 22:18, unlike my troll. The phrase that says “to preserve the truth of this book entire and uncorrupted in two verses” states clearly that verses 18 & 19 were combined. We know better. Case Closed!

Let us look at the History of this 1599 Geneva Study Bible, the first version ever in the English Language. It was supplanted by the King James Version. Now, according to the advertisements, the Original 1599 Geneva Study Bible is back, restored, etc. after being restored. Think a minute. King James was considered morally bankrupt for his time, being considered partial to male courtiers and apparently having no use for the courtizans. Yet how could his preferred Bible prevail in the long run as it actually did? The answer is that the 1599 Geneva Study Bible had some obvious faults to it to make it fall into disuse. As this “Bible” has resurfaced, its faults are being rediscovered. The fact that I am being reminded by the trolls that there are so many different versions of the 1599 Geneva Study Bible tells me that the Calvinists had to do a lot of damage control in their time, editing their “Bible” each time they got caught en flagrant. Erasmus was caught once with his First Edition Bible being loaded with mistakes due to the need to beat the publication deadline; however, Erasmus cleaned up his act. Erasmus’s errors are historically treated as the errors in good faith that they were. However, the 1599 Geneva Study Bible never seems to get it right. Always and ever another edit or another version. This version of the Bible has exhausted its Good Will as a result.

Frankly, I don't think we should waste any more time on such a joke of a Bible as the 1599 geneva Study Bible. Time would be better spent on translating a Bible with a reputation, such as the Old Slavonic Bible of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, into English.


Onesimus relates another of those Edited 1599 Geneva Study Bibles in , giving the history of this alleged bible. It appears that this particular Bible has been out of print for over 400 years. I wonder why? [smirk]. A quick look at shows that the same editing took place.

Calvinist Appologists suggets, rather belatedly, that the 1599 Geneva Study Bible merely quotes the Scripture that was commented upon in the regular Geneva Bible. To me, this is an admission that certain other Scripture has been DIMINISHED, as footnote 9 above shows WILLFULL INTENT to cover up Revelation 22:19, the very thing that Revelation 22:19 warned against. Revelation 22:18-19 is not a couplet but two separate and very related verses that occur next to each other. Indeed, WILLFULL INTENT occurs in the 1560 Edition of the Geneva Study Bible:

18 (9) For I protest unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book;

(9) The obtestation of John (which is the third part of the confirmation, as
noted in verse six) joined with a curse of execration, to preserve the truth of
this book entire and uncorrupted, in two verses.

19 And if any man shall diminish of the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy City, and from those things which are written in this book.

In the 1560, verse 19 is indeed present, but so is footnote #9. which ignores verse 18 [Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. -The Wizard of Oz movie]. Clearly, the early Calvinists, going back to John Calvin himself who died in 1564 and was alive at the time of footnote #9, had been planning to marginalize Revelation 22:19 for quite some time.

The problem is that there are so many versions of the Geneva Bibles, and I keep running into other sleightly different versions of them each time I google. The only explanation that I have for a version of the Bible to have so many different subversions, yet dissapear for 100 years is that what most likely happened in the 16th and 17th Centuries is that every time a non-Calvinist Theologian would catch one of these Calvinist edits, that a new version of the Geneva Study Bible would come out to "correct" the error. Eventually, as the Calvinists ran out of credibility, they changed their tactics and abandonned the enterprise. The Calvinists should have left this "bible" in the obscurity in which it rightfully languished instead of reawakening this Frankenstein Monster.

In view of this FRAUD, the use of the Geneva Bible on this blog shall be restricted to quoting its errors, and not in any authoritative sense, just as the lies of the Devil have been quoted in Scripture. The official Bible for this blog is the EOB, though he Jerusalem Bible, the Septuagint, and the Amplified Bible are acceptable.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Blogger Omnesius writes me, correctly calling attention to the fact that I do not use the same language and definitions as Arminians and Calvinists do. If you refer to Euclid's Five Postulates, you will realize that you define Geometry with the Postulates you use. If you change Postulates like Lobachevsky, Riemann, or Bolyai did, you get a different Geometry. That was essentially what happened with the 1054 breaks between the Catholics and the Orthodox where there was a disagreement about Pope versus Patriarch; and again with Calvinists versust the Catholics; and yet again with the Calvinists and the Armenians. I am reverting back to the Oldest Postulates.

Omnesius is correct that I do not accept the definition of Total Depravity in the Protestant sense of the word. Total Depravity is a State of Disgrace that must be conscientiously strived for if it is to be achieved. When people say that they have achieved it, backing their words with deeds, I'll take their word for it. Even if I could see into their hearts, I should avert my gaze to avoid compounding my own corruption with theirs. I am willing to accept Original Sin as defined by Exodus 20:5, though a Doctrine of Man's Corruption be sufficient. I am not willing to accept the Calvinist-Arminean Definition of Total Depravity, as our Bibles read differently on that point. Total Depravity can be attained, though to do so, by definition, is Morally Repugnant. As proof that it has been attained, I am willing to accept the words of The Marequis du Sade and Aliester Crowley that they have atained it, but I shant belabor the point by actually investigating their claims. Further, even the common man is capable of aspiring to Acts of Total Depravity, such as the Desecration of the Remains of St. Irenaeus, or rubberstamping the Political Executions of Prince Maurice via the Council of Dordt.

As proof in the Real World that Total Depravity is a state of Disgrace that must be conscientoiusly strived for to attain, I refer you to Heinz Hohne's Order of the Death's Head, where it relates that Concentration Camp Workers were hard to recruit because their natural moral fiber prevented them from performing their "duties". Other "failures" in the Realm of Evil include Father Adolf Martin Bormann, the son of Martin Bormann, who had much Sin to Inherit but instead became a Priest.

Yes, this is an admission that I do not use the same Bible. The Eastern Orthodox Bible, which I use as my standard, differs from the 1599 Geneva Study Bible in that verses were removed and replaced with footnotes in the Calvinist Bible. That was the point of the EDITED, NOT TRANSLATED series. I am asserting, however, that I'm not the one who changed the rules; John Calvin was. I am reverting to an older set of rules that existed before Calvin "reformed" them.

I have hinted at some of the false premises of Calvinism in the past. It mindlessly throws overboard "Tradition" in the Roman Catholic sense of the word, making "Scripture " a Closed System, and in so doing, induced paradoxes and contradictions. The Armenians were the first to spot these problems and started to revert back towards Orthodoxy, John Wesley being the prime example. Unfortunately, Armineans are still encumbered with the Jargon of Calvinist Cant. Meanwhile, the Calvinists themselves are excluding more and more Scripture, replacing more and more verses with footnotes, in a process that will ultimately do away with the Bible itself. In the wake of such building of sand castles in the sky are meaningless acane terms such as supralapsarianism, eisegius, reprobation, and monergism.

I am free to disagree and discard with spurious premises, which entails that I do not accept some of the definitions of Calvinism and Arminianism, ie., Calvinist Cant. I also point out that, following the Council of Chalcedon of 431 AD which repealed the Robber Synod of Ephesus II, I reject the Council of Dordt for roughly the same reason. If anything, I find Dordt an even more eggregious a Robber Synod than Ephsus II. Although The Classical Armenian does not go as far as I in condemning Dordt, Billy Birch has shown his lack of fondness for it. Then, of course, there is the self-contradictory Article XXXI of the Westminster Confession, which had the apparent intent of abrogating any and all previous Church Councils and using "poisoning the well" tactics with respect to the previous precedents of the Church Councils. This blog is about Biblical Integrity, and I reject premises and definitions that lead to the rejection of th Bible and drifting to Nihilistic "Don't Know & Don't Care" Agnosticism.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Junk that goes into Easter Baskets

Like eunuchs criticizing the Institution of Holy Matrimony, the Secular Humanists. without fail (with the possible exception of this year), make complaints about the contents of Easter Baskets. Always, they complain that Crosses, Bibles, Icons, or other items of religious significance shouldn’t be there. This is an extremely crass critique that even some Reformed Protestants would indulge in, as they would doubtless protest some of the original contents of a traditional Easter Basket as including “sin” items, in particular wine. Browsing some of the Easter Baskets for sale over the internet, I note that there are places that get a couple of the contents correct, but very accidentally. I did notice a Wine Basket and a basket with Smoked Ham, but indulgence in candy, especially chocolate, is the order of the day. Always and ever Easter Bunnies, with an occasional Easter Chick, as symbols, but never something of true religious significance, like a lamb. Horseradish is an essential component of an Easter Basket, and any Easter Basket that DOES NOT include an item with Horseradish in it is not a REAL Easter Basket, and this definitely excludes 99% of all crassly commercialized Easter Baskets.

The custom began in the Middle East, Armenia, and India to celebrate the coming of spring. This pagan celebration roughly coincided with Easter, which falls anywhere between March 22 and May 29, depending upon moon cycles and religious traditions. As it was depaganized by Eastern Orthodox Religious Tradition, “Pascha “, the Greek transliteration of “Passover” for the Hebrew word “pesach” replaced “Eostre”, a celebration of a Teutonic pagan goddess. In Western Christianity, the name evolved to “Easter”. Regrettably, “Pascha” evolved to have lewd connotation in some Teutonic cultures. Eastern Christianity more aggressively pursued the policy of making the items of an Easter Basket have more Religious Significance that Western Christianity, indeed, the Pennsylvania Dutch were the ones most responsible for the Easter Rabbit. In the West, crass commercial crept in to replace the pagan junk with secular junk. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholics do deserve some credit for their attempts to make the Easter Basket a reasonably religious item, at least significantly more credit than the Protestants. The Reformers, in their early days in America, sought to eliminate the religious Holy Days of Easter and Christmas; however, when Reformed parishoners visited Catholics and Anglicans out of curiosity during the Holy Days (Let's go see what the Catholics are doing. By the way, let's go try one of their fish dishes for lunch.), Reformed leaders realized their mistake and changed policy.

It is my contention that the Easter Basket IS a Christian religious symbol, despite its pagan origins, and has been for the last thousand years. As such, the rules governing its contents should be dictated by Christianity and the Christian community. Those who have done the most to make this Tradition viable should have the most say over it. Those Secular Humanists who aren’t interested in the Holy day (Holiday) to begin with should STAY disinterested. Note that I do not have any complaint about a non-Orthodox who intends to use the Easter Basket for its intended purpose, even if they celebrate Easter on the wrong day (April 12 instead of April 19). For my part, I have no problem with celebrating such an important day twice. A good writeup, by Dr. Phyllis Meshel Onest, can be found at: Each item in an Easter Basket, from has a meaning significant to the Faith, which I shall cover next:

Butter – Preferably from a Lamb & Flag mold. This is the Lamb of God symbol, the butter representing the Good Will of Christ.

Easter Bread – representing the Bread of Life. Invariably a sweet bread with fruit and spice. There are several variants based upon country of origin. The most used are Greek, Italian, and Russian recipes. I usually use a Finnish recipe. Often decorated with a Cross or the letters XV (XHRISTOS VOSKRESE, meaning “Christ has Risen”).

Beets with Horseradish – Beets represent the Blood of Christ. Horseradish, a bitter herb, represents Christ’s bitter innocent suffering and death. I like to use a recipe with wasabi powder, beets, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. In the absence of horseradish, hot sauce can do as the bitter herb.

Red Hard Boiled Eggs – represents the Resurrection.

Sausage – symbolizes God’s favor.

Ham (or lamb or veal) – symbolizes abundance.

Smoked Bacon – symbolizes the overabundance of God’s Mercy and Generosity.

Cheese – symbolizes the moderation that Christians should have in all things. This is really a special cheesecake, of which there are many good recipes. Sts. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church of New Hampshire has some notable recipes:

Salt – reminds Christians that they are the Salt of the World.

Wine(optional)- Gifts come from God.

Soap(optional)- To symbolize washing away sins.

Candle- Christ is the Light of the World.

Linen Cover – in many traditional patterns, often family heirlooms. My own pattern is the Big Dipper pointing to the North Star in the form of a Cross on a Midnight Blue field. This symbolizes both Alaska, where Orthodox Missionaries first came to America, and the fact that the Orthodox Easter Service usually starts at 11:30 PM and lasts till 3 AM. As Mariners have used the North Star to guide them, Christ is the Star that Guides us.

I recognize that I sprinkled some extra Hot Sauce on my words for this editorial. I do get grouchy about the secular spoiling of an otherwise good Holy Day. I also get grouchy at Christmas for the same reason. St. Nicholas has written me a letter about it. (OK, I forged it, but it would still be his thoughts if he did send me a letter, which I will probably show this Christmas.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

On the Necessity of the Apocrypha

I have discussed before the hypocricy of those who use the slogan "Let Scripture Decide", yet use Bibles like the 1599 Geneva Study Bible that edits out vital Scipture like Deuteronomy 30:19, I Timothy 2:4, and Revelation 22:19. Elsewhere, we have discussed self-referentiality, paradoxes, and closed systems. I have ceaselessly stressed that there are certain premises that must be maintained in order to maintain the Integrity of the Scriptures. I hope to tie a few things together with this post.

Maccabees is a book frequently discarded by the Protestants in part becauxe it is one of the main supports for the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory. I am willing to concede that Purgatory is an inconsistency of the book of the Maccabees, thus excluding it from Scripture proper.

Nevertheless, as a Historical Book, Maccabees does things that no other book can do. It explains why King Herod was King at the Birth of Christ. If we look at he very short book of Haggai, we see some stage setting taking place. As Judah was being restored by the Persians,
Zerubbabel, the uncrowed King of David's line Zerubbabel, and Joshua, the heir of the High Priesthood, were returned. When Chapter 2:22 of Haggai said "The Lord announced that He[Zerubbabel] was going to overthrow the rulers of the nations of the earth", the Persian Monarchy was displeased, and Zerrubbabel was never crowned. The High Priestly line of Joshua continued in, and the political authority of the Davidian Kingship, such as it was, devolved to them.

Persia fell to Alexander the Great, who willed his empite to "The Strong". His Generals interpred this to mean that they were his heirs and divided his Empire. Enter Antiochus Epiphanes IV, a descendant of one of the Generals. To consolidate power, Antiochus, whose name means "The Illustrious Manefest God", decided to show everybody just who was boss. Antiochus Almighty decreed to the Jews that they must propitiate him with a sacrifice of a sow in the Holy of Holies. The Maccabee family responded by waging a protracted war. The Maccabees were able to acquire the High Priesthood, and hence acquired the authority of the Davidian line via regency. As the Maccabee family died out, they intermarried with the Herods. The Herods, in fact, was Regents, not Kings, during the time of Christ. The Books of the Maccabees is the all-important historic link from Haggai to Christ, and is a book that cannot be discarded.

Having shown the necessity of the Books of the Maccabees, I will mention that there are other examples where Apocrapha are necessary to flesh out Scripture; however, I will restrict myself to Maccabees for the sake of brevity.

I will move on to the work of the Council of Carthage. They sorted candidtate books of Scriptures into their different piles because of their different uses. Obviously, the Histories of Suetonius, and Tacitus are not Scripture because they were Romans, not Jews, and Jewish Historian Josephus was not a Christain. However, there is need to keep some historic record of an independant source verifying Chirst's existence, so Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius were kept, though not necessarily in Scripture. Training Manuals such as the Didache and the Shepherd of Hermas, as well as some Patristic Writings from St. Irenaeus, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Athanasius explained the message of Chist well, so these books were kept, but not in Scripture. The Gnostic Gospels, such as the Gospels of Judas Iscariot, Phillip, and Thomas, were tossed. The work of the Council of Carthage was to elevate from the various writings of Tradition those writings that would become Scripture. They did not toss anything but the Gnostic Gospels. Thoses other books were kept around for reference and authentication. They did not want Scripture to be a Closed Self-Contadictory System of Paradoxes, as has beeen warned of by implication from Kurt Godel.

This brings me to what happens when you make the error of having a Closed System of Scriptures and use the motto "Let Scripture Decide.". To make the Scripture conform to your "doctrine", you will have to "deemphasize" some Scripture to the point of eliminating it, as has been shown in the Edited-Not Translated posts which discusses the fact that certain Scripture was deleted from the 1599 Geneva Study Bible, and not why. On the surface, de Beza and Whittington had to maintain their preconcieved doctrines, regardless of cost; however, because of their methodology of Sola Scriptura, it was inevitable that they would have to eliminate some Scripture. It gets worse than that. Eventually, you will get to the point where you will have to discarded the totally of Scripture if you are academically honest and adhere to premises of Sola Scriptura, Calvinism, and get overzealous about debunking the Apocrypha. Even Francois Turretin foresaw this. Clearly, Calvinism is not Full Gospel Doctrine.

I close with comments on Chapter 12 0f the Didache:

12:1 But let every one who comes in the name of the Lord be received; 12:2 And then when you have tested him you shall know him, for you shall have understanding on the right hand and on the left. 12:3 If the visitor is a traveler, assist him, so far as you are able; 12:4 But he shall not stay with you more than two or three days, if it be necessary. 12:5 But if being a craftsman, he wishes to settle up with you, let him work for and eat his bread. 12:6 But if he has no craft, according to your wisdom provide how he shall live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness.12:7 If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ. [Or, "he is a Christ-peddler."] 12:8 Beware of such men.

This Chapter is a very necessary one for the evaluation of Pastors. I have had problems with "Pastors" who preached so-called Social Gospels and Prosperity Theologies. If actively used, this Chapter would act as a check upon the excesses of Liberal Theology. Yet the very "Conservative" Protestants who preach Sola Scriptura are the very ones who enable the Liberal Protestants to turn the Church into a Social Club for the Rich by ignoring the Didache's Advice.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Turretin REALLY Meant

Ancient Christain Defender relates an exchange that a certain proponent of François Turretin had with a certain poster named Perry. Apparently, the Calvinist position was revealed to be too similar to Tritheism for the Turretin proponent's liking. I examined the Turretin proponent's blog, as well as some of the writings of François Turretin and found out some amazing facts! Apparantly Fabulous François agrees with me more than with his proponent! I'd venture say that François's proponent hasn't read François's prose all that much. Though I admit that Turretin is outside my own Religious Tradition, he seemed to be striving to discover mine, and is possibly a secret adherant. Because John Calvin and Company made examples of dissenters like Michael Servetus and Jacques Gruet, Turretin had to mute his dissent; nevertheless, Turretin's dissent is there, ironically parallelling the issues I have raised in this blog. He left plenty of writings behind to undermine Calvin, Calvinism, and the Calvinists. My suspicions are that his choices were limited as to who he could be for, and chose Calvinism out of convenience rather than conviction. This is not to condemn him, but to rather point out that there were few palatable moral choices open to him consistant with staying alive. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he had access to Eastern Orthodox literature like John Wesley did, and had the TOTAL FREEDOM to express himself. Here are a few quotes taken from A Puritan's Mind to whet your appetite:
On the Edited - Not Translated Issue:
XXIII. The prophets made no mistakes when they wrote inspired by God and as prophets, not even in matters of little significance, because if they did, faith in the whole of Scripture would be turned into doubt.
IV. It is not a question of errors in spelling and punctuation, or of variant readings, which everyone admits are not infrequent, nor whether the copies that we have agree so completely with the original autographs that they do not differ in the least. But the question is whether our manuscripts so differ from the originals that the true meaning has been corrupted, and the original texts can no longer be regarded as the rule of faith and practice.
Although one could argue that he might have excused William Whittington and Theodore de Beza's editing of the Scripture, notably in Deuteronomy 30, 1 Timothy 2:4, and Revelation 22:19 with:
X. It is not to be thought that these marks appear in equal force in all the books of Scripture. Just as one star differs from another in brilliance, so in this heaven of Scripture some books send forth more glorious and plentiful rays, others fewer and more meager ones, depending on whether they are more or less necessary for the church, and contain teachings of greater or less importance. This brilliance shines forth much more in the Gospels and the Epistles of Paul than in the Books of Ruth and Esther, but it is nonetheless certain that those evidences of truth and majesty,

On the Integrity of the Scriptures:
VII. Unless unimpaired integrity is attributed to Scripture, it cannot be regarded as the sole rule of faith and practice, and a wide door is opened to atheists, libertines, enthusiasts, and others of that sort of profane people to undermine its authority and overthrow the foundation of salvation.
I add that our Exponent of Turretin frequently says, hypocrically I might add, "Let Scripture Decide". The Edited-Not Translated posts have proved that the "unbiased referee" that this Worthy refers to, The 1599 Geneva Study Bible, has been discredited. You may come onto this blog and quote Scripture as much as you want, but to keep a level playing field in light of past cheating, I shall insist upon the use of the EOB Bible as the Official Bible for purposes of discussion on this blog, which will be the Coin of this Realm. If you have Confederate Money, you can spend that in Dixieland, but not here.
Afirming the Council of Carthage 397:
VIII. There are four main arguments for the integrity of Scripture, and the purity of the sources. (1) Above all, the providence of God, who, since he wished to provide for our faith, could be expected to keep the Scripture pure and uncontaminated, both by inspiring the sacred authors who wrote it, and by protecting it from the efforts of enemies who left nothing untried to destroy it, that our faith might always have a firm point on which to rest. (2) The religion of the Jews, who were always careful guardians of the accuracy of the sacred codices, even to the point of superstition. (3) The diligence of the Masoretes, who, by their marks, placed, as it were, a fence around the Law. (4) The number and completeness of copies, with the result that even if one codex could have been corrupted, all could not be.
He supports but does not overtly advocate Apostolic Succession with:
VI. Three [needs] in particular support the necessity of Scripture: (1) the preservation of the word; (2) its defense; (3) its proclamation. It was necessary for the written word to be given to the church to be the fixed and changeless rule of faith of the true religion, which could thus more readily be preserved pure and whole in spite of the weakness of memory, the perversity of humanity, and the shortness of life; more surely defended against the frauds and corruptions of Satan, and more readily proclaimed and transmitted not only to people who were scattered and separated from one another, but to future generations as well.
XIV. The witness of the prophets and apostles is superior to all objection, and cannot be questioned by reason. For, if it were uncertain and fallible, this would be either because they were deceived or because they wished to deceive others, but neither can be said.
Apparantly criticizing Article XXXI of the Westminster Confession:
V. It is not a question of whether the sacred writers simply as human beings and in private matters would err. We readily concede this.
XXIV. The apostles were infallible in faith, not in morals, and the Spirit was their guide in all truth so that they never erred, but not in all godly living (pietas) so that they never sinned, because they were like us in all things.
Following Article XXXI's Argument against Church Councils, Turretine would go further to demonstrate, in Reducto ad Adsurdum fashion that since each Prophet himself was a sinful man, his Scripture is invalid.
At to Proof by Contradiction and the use of Paradoxes, the methods of analysis used by this blog:
XIII. Although faith rests on the authority of testimony, and not on scientific demonstration, it does not follow that it cannot be supported by intellectual arguments at times, especially when faith is first formed, because faith, before it believes, should (debere) . . . have the clearly perceived divine quality of the witness whom it should believe, [known] from sure marks found in [the witness]; otherwise it cannot believe him. For where such grounds for believing anyone are lacking, the testimony of such a witness is not worthy of belief.
Amazingly, he even concedes that because of Total Depravity, no one would be competant to print a Bible, a point made in my very first post:
X. Although we attribute absolute integrity to Scripture, we do not hold that the copyists and printers have been inspired, but only that the providence of God has so watched over the copyists that, although many errors could have entered, they did not, or at least they did not enter the codices in such a manner that they cannot easily be corrected by comparison with other copies (ex collatione aliorum) or with [other parts of] Scripture itself.
This post is getting a bit long and TEDIOUS. From the Calvinist perspective, François Turrentin has given away the store!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Revelation 22:19 Revisited - A Walktrough of One of Many Proofs against Predestination

Just as the Pythagorean Theorem has had at least a thousand alternative proofs to it since Pythagorus, so also have there been MANY VALID DISPROOFS of Predestination that even predate Calvin, going back to St. Irenaeus who wrote Polemics against Calvin's Predecessors and proponents of Predestination, the Gnostics. I add my disproof to the alredy long list of disproofs, though there are other implicit disproofs in my original Edited-Not Translated post [i.e. That Contrary Evidence would be Edited Out of the Bible of Volition]. Here's the scripture in question, from page 567 of the EOB:

19 If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.

Let us suppose Predestination. If anyone would be Predestined, it would be William Whittington, John Calvin's Brother-in-Law that published the Geneva Bible. Let us further suppose that William Whittington expunged Revelation 22:19 from his Bible (as was shown in the original Edited-Not Translated post). This causes a Parodox in that William Whittington is both Predestined (SAVED) and Condemned for Violating Revelation 22:19 (LOST). Therefore William Whittington was both SAVED and LOST.

Of course, the only resolution for this Paradox is to put William Whittington in Purgatory. Since Orthodox and Protestants don't believe in Purgatory, Reduction to an Absurdity has been reached. [This is the Deductive Logic of the Mathematician and of Sherlock Holmes, where slowly, the possiblities considered and enumerated. As the possibilities are eliminated, that which remains must be the Truth. This is the opposite form of Inductive Logic of Hermeneutics, which I have been accused of ignoring.]

As per the comment that I have heard from Calvinists that "No One Predestined would ever remove this Verse from Scripture", I call their attention to William Whittington. Of course, since William Whittington was Totally Depraved like the rest of Humanity (ie., unable to advance the cause of his own Salvation in any way), his efforts in Bible Translation were DOOMED at the onset. Of course, how could he possibly be Illumined {Thanks, Matt!} if he expunged Revelation 22:19 from the Bible?

Another similar interesting Parodox is that of the Bodily Resurrection as it applies to Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the Planet Pluto, where his remains are being sent for his Eternal Rest. This reminds me of "When I soar to Worlds Unknown" in Rock of Ages. . . .

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Responding to Eastern Orthodoxy being Misrepresented & a Personal Attack against Carthage 397

I was considering posting on the consequences of ignoring Revelation 22:19 when I ran into something that REALLY OFFENDED me in another blog. I am SO OFFENDED that if that person ever posts here, I won't accept any of his posts unless or until he posts an appology and corrects his errors. This guy's bucking for an Anathema! His EXCREMENT is so bad that it shook my Cuss-O-Meter! [Fortunately, my Cuss-O-Meter still remains frozen at Absolute Zero.] I won't disgrace him any further than he has disgraced himself already by calling him out directly (though his initials are CMP), but I will quote him exactly:

3. Paleo-Orthodoxy. This is the belief that the Christian faith can be found in the early church—namely in the consensual beliefs of the early church. This is a form of “consensual orthodoxy” (consensus fidelium).
. . .

Primary Adherents:
Eastern Orthodoxy, some Evangelicals, and many Emerging Christians (not Emergent as I have defined it in my writings)


  • Looks to the historic body of Christ for orthodoxy.
  • Understands that God’s providential concern for the Church would have established the most important truths early.

I'll accept this provisionally.


  • Can elevate the authority of the early church above that of Scripture.

Before the Council of Carthage 0f 397 AD, there was no Bible, only scattered fragments of Scripture. These fragments had to be cobbled together into a Cannon. This short-sighted comment ignores the very legitimacy of the Church Council that selected which books went into the New Testament. Denying this Authority only LEGITIMIZES the Gnostic Gospels!

  • Hard to find justifiable reasons to believe that theology cannot develop or mature beyond the first five centuries.

This is the part that makes me sizzle!!! He's obviously never heard of St. Photius or St. Herman of Alaska, or in recent times, Francis Schaeffer, Jack Sparks, or Robert Royster. Timothy Ware's whole 330 page book - The Orthodox Church - is about how Orthodox Theology developed and matured to the current day. Only 30 pages of this 330 page book were devoted to the Church before the Fifth Century. Our "illustrious" scholar might also want to read These Truths We Hold from St. Tikhon's Seminary Press.

He compounds the INSULT with:

Eastern Church: Here, I primarily mean the Eastern Orthodox church. Notice that they are also orthodox. The further developments represented by the “TH” show the progress and maturing of certain doctrines (e.g. person of Christ and the Trinity). The lower case show an undeveloped doctrine (e.g. salvation) and the italics show a distorted understanding (e.g. atonement).

He's obviously never heard of the Nicene Creed. One look at Anthony Coniaris'es Orthodoxy: A Creed for Today, should put that Obvious Falsehood to rest. There is no better place to learn about the Trinity than through the Nicene Creed.

He doesn't stop there. In a section entitled Words That Don't Prove Your Point, he states:

  • If this isn't true, then there is no basis to believe the Bible. If there's no basis to believe the Bible then we might as well be atheists.

This argument also shows up a different way. For example: God can't do that--if He did it would make him the author of Evil and I can't believe in that sort of God. Okay, that's a fine opinion but it doesn't disprove or prove any argument. The latter is a matter of wishing something was true and the former is a matter of setting up a very steep slope with your doctrine at the very tippity top. In both cases it doesn't make your position right or wrong: it's just a non-decider.

Just what was the Council of Carthage of 397 actually doing? Were they wishing that certain Books that they accepted into the Cannon were True, or were they Holier than the Gnostics? In either case, our Esteemed Scholar has just managed to Invalidate the Bible!

My problem with his "Theology" is that with this attack on the Council of Carthage, the Bible actually does go out the Window! Perhaps he's upset that his favorite gospel, The Gospel according to Judas Iscariot, was excluded? It's clear that I'm not going to blog with his group, as his so-called Cannons of Conduct, which excludes honest discussion of the issues I pose, are hypocritically biased towards Calvinism under color of Objectivity.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Edited-Not Translated, Part 3

Let us start out with the observation that the Bible is a balanced document. If there are two opposite ways of going wrong, the Bible will give the appropriate warning. The Bible would warn of opposite evils such as dehydration versus drowning in prorper context, should such context occur. A prime example of the Bible's balance is Ephesians 6. In verses 1-3, it says in the NAB:

1 Children, obey your parents (in the Lord), for this is right.
2)"Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise,
3)"that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth."

which sounds like an admonition to children. Because the Bible is balanced, it is always a good idea to read the next verse:

4) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

which applies to parents. The same pattern repeats itself with Employees and Employers (actually the words "Slave" and "Master" are used) for verses 5-9. With this thought of Balance in mind, let us proceed to Deuteronomy 30:15-20, which is an example of Bible Balance, which unfortunately, the EDITED 1599 Geneva Study Bible sleights. To show that verses 15, 17, 18, and 20 have been omited, edited out, or replaced with footnotes, I will actually show from verse 14 to the copyright notice at the bottom of the page, including the blank space where verse 20 would have appeared. We note that the "fingerprints" of Theodore de Beza on this document:

Observing footnotes k & l, we note that verse 15 is absent; observing footnotes m & n, we note that verses 17 & 18 are gone; and finally, observing footnote o and the copyright information, we note that verse 30 is missing. We note the gloss of footnote o is an attempt to override the meaning of verse 30. Footnote o says "That is, love and obey God; which is not in man's power, but only God's Spirit works it in his elect.", even though verse 19 says "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore {reference to footnote}o choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live".

When I compare Scripture with Scripture in the Old Testament, there is one Cardinal Rule I follow, which does not apply to the New Testament. I consult the Septuagint Version. The Septuagint is the product of 72 Jewish Scholars whose work was to compile the Torah. The Septuagint is the Definitive Source Bible of the Old Testament. Though occasionally there is some occasional haggling about the rarely dissenting Samaritan Septuagint, the Septuagint invariablty settles the issue. All other Old Testament Versions derrive from the Septuagint, and therefore there is no need to quote them. The Septuagint says:

15 Behold, I have set before thee this day life and death, good and evil.

16 If thou wilt hearken to the commands of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to love the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his ordinances, and his judgments; then ye shall live, and shall be many in number, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all the land into which thou goest to inherit it.

17 But if thy heart change, and thou wilt not hearken, and thou shalt go astray and worship other gods, and serve them,

18 I declare to you this day, that ye shall utterly perish, and ye shall by no means live long upon the land, into which ye go over Jordan to inherit it.

19 I call both heaven and earth to witness this day against you, I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: choose thou life, that thou and thy seed may live;

20 to love the Lord thy God, to hearken to his voice, and cleave to him; for this is thy life, and the length of thy days, that thou shouldest dwell upon the land, which the Lord sware to thy fathers, Abraam, and Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them.

Clearly, verse 15 was edited out because God was using this language to frame a choice. Footnotes k & l are irrelevant to the issue. Verse 17, which says "If thy heart change", presupposes Free Will. Verse 18 tells of the consequences of making the wrong choice, again presuming the Children of Israel had a choice. Footnotes m & n obscure verses 17 & 18 by taking their place. Verse 20 clarifies verse 19 to mean that you should choose life so that your seed may live (from verse 19, but continuing into verse 20) to love the Lord Thy God, . . . etc. Footnote o is the most eggregious, as it is an actual attempt to override Scripture with a footnote:

(o) That is, love and obey God; which is not in man's power, but only God's Spirit works it in his elect.

De Beza had to get in that superfluous and gratuitous reference to "his elect" into his footnote.

In my earlier years, Deuteronomy 30 was a beakon to me, stating that my choices mattered and that my existence was not necessarly predetermined. Looking back, I felt that the "religious" leaders with whom I grew up under were unimportant little men who overemphasized their importance, that God was in their pocket, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. Deuteronomy 30 showed me that God was NOT in their pocket, and that my choices really mattered to God, though I a tool in God's hands be. Having actually met a Bishop, a truly Important Christain Leader and not a Self-Important one, I can say that I notice the difference. By Their Works You shall Know Them.

I wish to convey special thanks to Pizza Man for inspiring this post.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How many points of TULIP do I agree with?

The 5 points of the Calvinist Agenda are as follows:

1) Total Depravity - this Doctrine was refuted by Doctrinal Pardoxes, and in part Chapter XXXI of the Westminster Confession: A Trojan Horse. However, Total Depravity does exist, as is demonstrated in By Their Works You Shall Know Them and The Significance of the Desecration of the Tomb of St. Irenaeus by the Huguenauts.

2)Unconditional Election - this was refuted by Edited-Not Translated and Edited-Not Translated- Part 2 .

3)Limited Attonement - also refuted by Edited-Not Translated and Edited-Not Translated- Part 2.

4)Irresistable Grace- also refuted by Edited-Not Translated and Edited-Not Translated- Part 2. If you ask me, there are three abominable examples of Grace being resisted in Calvinist History: By Their Works You Shall Know Them, The Significance of the Desecration of the Tomb of St. Irenaeus, and Dordt and Ephesus II: A Tale of Two Robber Synods. Shame! Shame! Shame!

5)Perseverance of the Saints (aka Predestination) - this was refuted by Edited-Not Translated, Edited-Not Translated-Part 2 and in part Doctrnal Lineages and The Significance of the Desecration of the Tomb of St. Irenaeus.

It looks like I don't agree with a Single Point of the Calvinist Agenda! I have even challenged the legitimacy of Calvinism witn Doctrinal Lineages, Dordt and Ephesus: A Tale of two Robber Synods, and Chapter XXXI of the Westminster Confession: A Trojan Horse. That makes me a ZERO POINT CALVINIST !!!

Yet, I feel that the number ZERO is to large a number to count the number of points I agree with on Calvinism. For example, I believe, unlike the Calvinists, in the Necessity of Apostolic Succession. I feel that Calvinism is Agenda-Based, not Bible-Based, Theology; this being the point of the two Edited-Not Translated posts, many more of which I expect will follow.

However, it does sound strange to call myself a "Negative One" or "Negative Two" Point Calvinist. At least ZERO is a Round Number. I'll settle for ZERO POINT CALVINIST for now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Significance of the Desecration of the Tomb of St. Irenaeus by the Huguenauts

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, whom we have previously discussed, was a Greek (or Asian) and knew St. Polycarp. As a Priest in Lyons, he succceded the martyred Saint Pothinus as Bishop of Lyons. He was consulted by other Churchmen of his era about the refutation of the competing cults, such as the Gnostics and the Arians. His book, Against Heresies, was the result which was a taxonomy of the Gnostic Cults at the time. Though Against Heresies was a very necessary but tedious book, his work ultimately led to the Council of Carthage of 397, which selected the Books of the New Testament and discarded, once and for all, the Gnostic Gospels from the Scripture. An ardent proponent of Free Will, it is no accident that his remains were desecrated and totally destroyed by the Huguenot Calvinists in 1562 (two years before John Calvin's death in 1564, which makes Calvin at least an accomplice to this crime!), making the motive retaliation. Related to this Vandalism, I note in passing this fiery quote from A Church in Fort Colins in Colorado:

Dear Calvinist, do you think Romans 9 and other passages support predestination? The Gnostics did the same! This means that if your view of election and God's sovereignty is correct, then you have to be willing to admit that the early Christians -- those who gave you the Bible -- were all wrong about a major theological doctrine, and the Gnostics -- whom John rebukes as antichrists (2 John 1:7) -- were correct! Are you willing to admit this?

The "Theology" behind this Iconoclasm as summarized in The Epitome of the Definition of the Iconoclastic Conciliabulum held in 754 [which] declared:
Supported by the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers, we declare unanimously, in the name of the Holy Trinity, that there shall be rejected and removed and cursed one of the Christian Church every likeness which is made out of any material and colour whatever by the evil art of painters.... If anyone ventures to represent the divine image (χαρακτήρ, charaktēr) of the Word after the Incarnation with material colours, let him be anathema! .... If anyone shall endeavour to represent the forms of the Saints in lifeless pictures with material colours which are of no value (for this notion is vain and introduced by the devil), and does not rather represent their virtues as living images in himself, let him be anathema!

Iconoclasts, for Students of Byzantinology, were those who destroyed Icons for both Political (an appeal to the Freeholders of Asia Minor to join the Byzantine Army by catering to their religious inclinations) and Religious (retaliation from residual Manichaeans, Gnostics, Arians, and Monophysites left ofer from previous religious controversies) reasons. The Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787 in Nicea settled the issue once and for all, though some critics such as John Calvin did not accept it, as Calvin certainly condemned Icons. Naturally, this stand aligns John Calvin with the Iconoclasts, and along with them, the Manicheans and Gnostics.

On a personal note, I have purchased Archbishop Robert Dmitri Royster's Commentary on Epistle to the Romans. A quick perusal of this work tells me that this is going to be very deep reading, and I shall make reports on each chapter as I read it (That should take a year!). Second, as I scanned the critical passages in Romans 9, I noticed that St, Irenaeus was heavily quoted, along with St. John Chrysostom and Origen. Archbishop Dmitri, though a fair man, apparantly has no sympathy for the Calvinist interpretation of Romans. I've waited a lifetime for a work such as this, and I hope that I can finish it within my lifetime. I feel that I have had to prepare for this book for a lifetime.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Edited-Not Translated - Part 2

The verse in question for today for which I shall compare Scripture withScriputre is I Timothy 2:3&4. From Part One of Edited, Not Translated, we have established a formulaic format. First, the jpg of the 1599 Geneva Study Bible, showing the footnote that replaces the verse deletion:

Now for the other versions. First, the Protestant Versions:

New International Version (NIV)

3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

21st Century King James Version

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Darby Translation

3 for this is good and acceptable before our Saviour God, 4 who desires that all men should be saved and come to [the] knowledge of [the] truth.

Wycliffe New Testament (WYC)

3 For this thing is good and accepted before God, our Saviour,
4 that will that all men be made safe, and that they come to the knowing of truth. [that will all men to be made safe, and to come to the knowing of truth.]

Next, the Roman Catholics:

The New Jerusalem Bible

3 To do this is right, and acceptable to God our Saviour: 4 he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth.

And finally, the Orthodox EOB, page 444 :

There was no good way to clip just verse 3 & 4 out, so verses 1 & 2 are included for good measure.

In another blog, the issue was raised that God's Foreknowlege would predetermine the outcome of a Man's Eternal Destiny, and that there was nothing a Man gould do once God had foreseen it. The argument goes that Man cannot go against God's Wishes, as expressed by God's Foreknowlege. Yet, 1 Timothy 2:4 expresses what God's Wishes actually are, which must be dealt with as an accomplished fact. While God's Sovriegnty entails the ability to enforce his Wishes, it also entails the ability to not enforce them, letting the chips fall where they will. Paradoxically, Man's Free Will must be maintained, not in spite of God's Sovriegnty but because of it!

AN example of Foreknowledge not being Sovriegnty can be seen in the example of George Wahington. George Washington, probably the one of the best Weather Forecasters of his age because of what his Military Training entailed, knew what the Weather would be like when he crossed the Delaware on Christmas of 1776 en route to the surprise attack that became the Battle of Trenton. He did not control the Weather, but he had Foreknowlege of it and took advantage of it. He won the battle because of it. However, George Washington did not PREDESTINE anything! Foreknowlege did not make George Washinton God or embue him with any Sovriegnty or anything else, but it only contributed to his victory which could have been spoiled had the Hessians somehow knew to be on their toes for Washington's attack.

1 Timothy 2:4 is an important verse that express God's Will, settling once and for all the supposed Predestination-Foreknowlege Paradox. Like Revelation 22:19, this deletion is too significant an omission in the 1599 Geneva Study Bible because of Doctrinnal Consequences. This is tantamont to overturning established evidence, EDITING, NOT TRANSLATING the Bible.

I wish to convey my special thanks to Billy Birch whose critical inspiration for this post made this post possible.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Reason for the Season - As Told By The Icons

From the Nicene Creed:

. . . And in one Lord Jesus Christ,the only begotten Son of God,begotten of his Father before all worlds,God of God, Light of Light,very God of very God,begotten, not made,being of one substance with the Father;by whom all things were made;

who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven,and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,and was made man;

and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;he suffered and was buried;

and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven,and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;and he shall come again, with glory,to judge both the quick and the dead;

whose kingdom shall have no end.

Monday, December 22, 2008

St. Luke the Iconographer vs. the JWs

Everyone, at one time or another has had a visit form Jehovah's Witnesses. They are infamous for their hardheaded argumentative tactics. If I am in a hurry, I shoo them off. If I have the time and am in the mood, I take the initiative and make a pre-emptive strike. I call it the St. Luke argument. I have ran off JWs with this one. They leave skid marks!

According to Jehovah Witness Theology, from their own website: ". . . warnings regarding the use of idols are common in the Christian Greek Scriptures, also called the New Testament." . . . "pagan worship of pictures was replaced by the veneration of pictures of Jesus, Mary, angels, and “saints.” These pictures that started to be used in the churches gradually found their way into the homes of millions of people, being venerated there as well." Clearly, Jehovah's Witnesses equate icons to idolatry. Enter St. Luke, the Iconographer. As you an see from his icon, St. Luke has been caught red-handed in the act of making icons! There is no denying it! St. Luke must be roasting in Hades for his terrible sin! According to Jehovah's Witness Theology, St. Luke has been caught in the act of Gross Idolarty! St. Luke is even worse than Judas Iscariot! Oh, the Shame of it all! How can a Jehovah's Witness, in good conscience, allow the Gospel of that Wicked Idoater become part of the New Testament! . . . and yet, the Gospel of St. Luke is still part of the Jehovah Witness Bible.

Do not attempt to repel Catholics or even Methodists with this argument, especially if you have a respectable collection of Icons. Their typical response would doubtless be "Iconography is not Idolatry, or even a sin in my Religion. St. Luke's Gospel STAYS in MY BIBLE. If you have any Icons you want rid of, just give them to me." Seriously, I've had fun watching the JWs scatter with this. I found the Icon Test a good one for separating Wheat from Chaff.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

By Their Works You Shall Know Them

While it is impossible for a man to look into another man's heart, Matt. 7:16 in the EOB, page 49 states "You will recognize them by their fruits. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?". This verse was important to me in the evaluation of Theologians. If a man's hands had blood on them, his value as a Man of God is diminished. Saint Paul, the murderer of St. Stephen and many other early Christains is the only exception. While there can be no dobut as to the state of St. Paul's heart before his miraculous conversion, once he repented, he became legitimate Man of God.

However, this is not the case of a "Man of God" who slays because of his intent to enforce of his beliefs. Indeed, this is the heart of Paul before his conversion, an unrepentant unregenerate man who held religious office. As I look at John Calvin, I see Paul before his conversion. John Calvin was responsible for the deaths of Michael Servetus and Jacques Gruet. Servetus was a heretic, but at least a peaceful heretic who posed no threat to Calvin, yet Calvin betrayed him to Catholic magistrates in Vienna. In Calvin's "defense", he "begged" that Servetus merely be beheaded, but this intercession provided cause to burn Servetus. Gruet was a political opponent who left a critical letter for Calvin, whom Calvin had racked and/or beheaded, and/or burned, depending upon which scribe you read. Several accounts have John Calvin as the Theocratic Dictator of Geneva Switzerland.

Calvin stands uniquely alone from most Reformation Church Leaders - Luther, More, Erasmus, Zwingli - in that he was responsible for the executions of his opponents. He differs from St. Paul in that St. Paul repented of his murders, wheras Calvin committed his as a result of his "faith". As such, he should be treated with the most scepticism.

This post ends a weeklong series on Calvinism. I am on Christmas Break. I will be searching for new topics, but I shall keep the same methodology. I will be posting less as I am becoming more occupied. I greet two of my friends whom I shall refer to as Wilhelm of California and Wilhelm of North Carolina. You are requested not to reveal your identities, but you know who you are. You are both welcomed here. To both Wilhelms, I bid you Courage, and ask you to drop by once a week.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Doctrinal Lineages

Desiridus Erasmus, in his landmark treatise "The Freedom of the Will", mentions Mani as one of the few "Christain" adherants to Predestination. Indeed St. Augustine, a minor saint, uses the Free Will Argument against his former co-religionists, the Manichaeans. The fact of the matter is that Predestination was a favorite doctrine of the competitors to Orthodox Christianity, such as the Gnostics. Gnosticism has ties to the Manichaens, Buddhism, and to the Occult. Indeed, it is the theme of the Gnostic Gospel of Judas, and the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. A much better exposition of this, in much greater detail can be found in Maged Mikhail's Survey of Gnostic beliefs. Historically, the Bogomils evolved from the Manicheans and were active from the 900s to the 1800s, when they converted to Catholicism. Bogomil missionaries to France started the Cathars, also known as the Albigeneses in the Eleventh Century. The Albigenese Crusade of 1208 effectively destroyed them, even though they linger today. The Albigeneses were considered precursors to Reformed Thought. It is my personal opinion that Calvin followed them TOO closely.

The point is that Predestination is an old belief with origins outside of Christianity. Gnostics have made their attempts to intrude their scripture into Christain Scripture. In my younger days, this gave me intuitive support when I was surrounded by Calvinists. The knowlege to refute Calvinism, and especially Predestination was scant except for Eastern Orthodox Theology, which was exceptionally difficult to find during that era. My spiritual gut feeling sustained me until recent times, when the proofs of my beliefs became readily available. Calvinism, in its various forms, were simply not enough to sustain me spiritually. The closest I came within the realm of Protestantism was with the Hussites, who turned out to be a Church that started out as an Orthodox Church.

The Didache gives a reason why the Kosher Dietary Laws forbid the eating of Deep Sea Fish. Aside from the health reasons such as the worms that devoured Herod from eating raw fish, this dietary law derrived as a lessonthat it was best to select friends from reputable places. As the Deep Sea represents an unknown place, friends from unknown places often turn out to be unsavory. I extend the arguments to Doctrines. My antennae went up decades ago when I became aware of Predestination's lineage. There was nothing to allay my suspicions. The proof of my suspicions was extremely slow in coming, and only now with the internet have I had access to the evidence.

I had many a hint from the Bible about problems with Predestination, especially from Deuteronomy 30:19 and Revelation 22:19, but some of the Bibles I read backpeddled those verses. While these were only hints, I discovered the complex reason behind the backpeddling. When I finally set about the task of comparing Scripture with Scripture, I discovered that Desiridus Erasmus wrote his early translation of the Bible, the Textus Receptus, from a Byzantine manuscript. This Bible went through four editions. Unfortunately, the First Edition was rushed, causing irreparable harm to Erasmus'es reputation as a translator, even though he corrected his errors in later editions. The Textus Receptus eventually evolved into the Tyndale Version. I learned later that some the Bibles from whence I studied were influenced by Calvin's Geneva Bible, famous for its footnotes which were the cause of the previously mentioned backpeddling. As I looked into the matter, I came to the conclusion that the footnotes were often attempts modify the meaning of Scripture rather than interpret it. This led ultimately to my previous post "Edited, Not Translated".

It came as no surprise to learn that when the King James Version came out to compete against the Geneva Bible, that the footnotes annoyed the Court of King James, and that this had something to do with the King James Bible's ascendency over the Geneva Bible in the English Speaking World. We are now entering a new era with the scheduled publication of the first Eastern Orthodox Bible ever in the English Language, the EOB Version.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kurt Gödel and Paradoxes

Albert Einstein with Kurt Gödel
Mathematician Kurt Gödel is famous for his investigations into paradoxes, and was also a noted philosopher. His methodology of producing paradoxes are a keystone to this blog. Gödel was so caught up in paradoxes that he almost blew his US Citizenship over his finding that the US Constitution had an inconsistency. He was fortunate that his friends Albert Einstein and Oskar Morgenstern, who invited themselves as witnesses and handlers, were able to defuse the situation, with the judicious steering of Justice Phillip Foreman.

According to the wiki: he proved for any computable axiomatic system that is powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers (e.g. the Peano axioms or ZFC), that:

  1. If the
system is consistent, it cannot be complete. (This is generally known as the incompleteness theorem.)
  • The consistency of the axioms cannot be proved within the system.

  • Gödel is also known for his Ontological Proof of the Existence of God. His methodology is also responsible for the disproof of God's Existence that "God cannot create a rock too large for him to lift." Here, mostly for decoration but partly for the curious, is Gödel's Proof of the Existence of God:

    Paradoxes derive from self-referentiality. A statement that refers to itself creates paradoxes abot itself. For example, "This statement is False." is neither a True or a False statement, especially because it is self-contradictory. Likewise, "This statement is True" is both True and False.

    Theologically speaking, it can be argued that God is the most self-referential object in the Universe, making Him the most paradoxical object in the Universe. How many times have you read in the Bible that God is beyond Human Understanding? This certainly hints at Gödel's Proof.

    This brings me to this blog's purpose. The question I continually ask is "What must be True for Biblical Integrity." I take a doctrine, say Predestination, and compare it to my Question of Biblical Integrity, amd if I get a Paradox, I question that Paradox. This reasoning is of necessity, Deductive Reasoning, It generally has to be devoid of Hermeneutics because Hermeneutics is based upon Inductive Reasoning, and Hermeneutic methods introduce extraneous paradoxes by introducing unnecessary self-referentially to the Scriptures.

    Here's where Faith comes in. I am counting upon the Scriptures to be consistant. However, because "The consistency of the axioms cannot be proven within the system", I have to discard Sola Scriptura. That Proof From Without comes that collection of writings called Tradition (i.e., commentaries by early Saints and Scholars, Church Councils, Histories, and early Training Manuals). From the Orthodox Point of View, the Scriptures were a special part of Tradition that was elevated by Church Council to be the Bible. This means that if there are inconsistancies, they will occur within Tradition. [OK, this paragraph may still have a few inconsistencies. I'll probably have to spend a lifetime to get it right only to discover that this is an impossibility, but at least I have written a rough draft of what I meant to say. Gödel must be having lots of fun in Heaven watching me struggle with this.]

    Dordt and Ephsus II: A Tale of Two Robber Synods

    My discussion of Chapter XXXI of the Westminster Confession begs the question of contrast between legitimate Church Councils such as Nicea 325 and Ephesus 431, and illegitmate Church Councils, also known as Robber Synods, such as Ephesus 449 and Dordt 1618. Nicea and Ephesus 431 were convened to settle issues as to what the correct Christain beliefs were, wheras Ephesus 449 and Dordt 1618 were to convened to overturn established doctrine and to conduct stealth trials of the foremost adherants of the established doctrines.

    Following the mechanics of an illegitimate council, accounts of Ephesus 449 reads like a blow by blow description of a riot, and is incredibly difficult to follow. The OrthodoxWiki simplifies it :

    "The Robber Council of Ephesus was convoked by Emperor Theodosius II on August 8, 449 for the purpose of adjudicating the findings of the council of November 448 chaired by Flavian of Constantinople that had deposed and excommunicated the Archimandrite Eutyches for refusing to admit the two natures of Christ."


    "The council was dominated by Theodosius, Dioscorus, and monophysitic supporters."

    Histoians Brian Tierney and Sidney Painter, in their book Western Europe in the Middle Ages, 300-1475 state on page 38 that: ". . . it was thinly attended and packed with Alexandrians", in other words, a Kangaroo Court. Suffice it to say that credentialed delegates that could have attended either didn't attend or were ran away. Ephesus 449's only redeeming feature was that it was convened by an Emperor. It was deemed sufficiently authoritative as to require its overruling by Charcedon 451.

    Let's compare to Dordt. Attendance was limited to Germans, Dutch, Swiss, and English, making it at best a Local Council. The French boycotted it, already clouding its legitimacy. No Papal Legate attended; Ephesus II at least had the decency to run off some of their Papal Legates. No Greeks or Italians were invited. The credentialing of the delegates was a farce, as the Remonstrants arrived fully exepecting to be delegates, but were instead arrested upon arrival:

    The Arminians did not arrive at Dort until early December 1618. When they did arrive, their appearance turned into a farce. They were treated from the outset as the accused; a position which they rejected. (on pages 16 & 17).

    . . . another Kangaroo Court. Let us also not forget the dirty power-mad machinatons of Prince Maurice, who engineered this Robber Synod:
    The designs which Prince Maurice had long cherished against the ancient liberties and internal jurisdiction of the states, (each of which possessed by the act of union the complete management of its own affairs,) were then in a course of execution. By the forcible and illegal removal of the old burgomasters and governors, and the appointment of new ones; by the preponderance which these newly elected individuals gave to their own party in their election of persons to fill the higher offices of state in the various towns which had been ill-affected toward Calvinism and arbitrary power; and by the untrue and scandalous reports which were invented and industriously propagated respecting the alleged secret intentions of Barnevelt and the Arminians to deliver up their country to the Spaniards; the prince was enabled to succeed in his ambitious enterprises.

    My position is that Local Synods may govern, but they may not overrule a General Church Council like Nicea, which actually did settle matters of Faith. Of the Church Councils surveyed, the least legitimate was Dordt, even less Legitimate that the Robber Synod of Ephesus, 449. Dordt was boycotted and ill-credentialed. Both Synods were packed for Kangaroo Court-style action. Ephesus II at least had some general representation and some Papal Legates. Of course, Ephesus II also had to be repealed with Chalcedon 451. Clearly, Dordt 1618 is even less binding than a Robber Synod.

    Am I an Armenian?

    I've been dialogueing with the Classical Armeian lately. He suggested that I visit the blog of the Society of Evangelical Armenians. Since I am an Apostolic, there may be a problem with the "Evangelical" part. Arminians, especially Wesley, have borrowed from the Orthodox. So today, I'm taking a break to take the Survey: "Are You an Arminian and Don't Even Know It?". Here are my results:

    1. Do you believe that Jesus died for every human being? Yes

    2. Do you believe that a person can resist the convicting power of God’s grace? Yes

    3. Do you believe that humans are so depraved that they can do nothing to earn salvation and that they cannot choose to believe in Jesus without the intervention of God’s grace?

    To me, this is an irrelevant hypothetical question because God’s Grace is Universal

    4. Do you believe in election?

    If you mean that Faith self-elects, Yes.

    5. Do you believe in predestination? #¥ØƏΏЩצ*!!! NO!!!

    6. Do you believe in eternal security? No

    7. Do you believe in the penal satisfaction view of the atonement? Yes

    8. Do you believe that God exhaustively knows the future? Yes

    9. Do you believe in the sovereignty of God?

    Yes, but God isn't required to exercise it. He can allow choice.

    10. Do you believe that you are born again when you put your faith in Jesus?

    The correct term is “Begat from above”. Otherwise, Yes.

    The Results are in, I am . . .
    An Orthodox!!!!

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Carthage 397 versus Later Day Revelation

    In 1 Corinthians 13: 8-10 "Love never fails. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know [only] in part, and we prophesy [only] in part; but when what is complete comes, then what is incomplete will be done away with." which I quote from the EOB on page 384, it is generally agreed that certain miracles will cease "when what is complete comes". Other translations read "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." [21st Century King James Version] and "But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded)." [Amplified Bible] . The "That which is perfect" clause is what is of interest here. What the Perfect thing is has been debated but I, as are many others, am of the opinion that it is the Bible itself.

    Some scholars date the close of the Apostolic Age at 90 AD, with the death of St. John in order to acknowlege that his book completed the Cannon. Others date the end of the Apostlic Age at the birth of Origen in 185 AD to acknowledge the Hexapala. The latest possible date is 397 AD, the date of the Council of Carthage which selected the Cannon. For the sake of arguement, the other two dates are perfectly acceptable to me for the sake of the Closing of the Cannon. Though I actually prefer 90 AD, the most liberal 397 AD gets the job done for purposes of this post.

    The point is that the Bible was definitively completed by 397 AD, and the Council of Carthage of 397 AD made it official. Any candidate scripture after this date is automatically disqualified, due to lack of timeliness. The Qur'an is dated at 633 AD, and is the first to fail this test. The Book of Mormon, published in 1830, also fails this test. In fact, if I equate the date of the Council of Carthage as the cutoff date for the date of writing all legitimate scripture, I abrogate Latter Day Revelation. As far as the period of time between 90-397 AD, I am willing to deem anything written during this period a candidate scripture, but I note that anything that did not pass inspection by the Council is not scripture.