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  • Richard Mansel 11:53 am on 2017-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , religious freedom,   

    Supreme Court Justice Warns About Spiritual Dangers 

    Often when we speak of spiritual threats, we’re mocked or ignored as alarmists. Yet, when someone of great importance and special insight speaks, we should certainly listen and heed their warnings. (More …)

     
  • Richard Mansel 3:49 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Threats to The Great Commission 

    As time and technology progress, we need to abandon our naivete and realize the threats before us. Complaining about the rise of persecutions is normal, but not very productive.

    In these times, courage is required to confront Satan and his forces. Yet, it’s worthless unless it’s combined with faith (Hebrews 11:6), perseverance (Romans 5:3) and the spiritual armament constructed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17). In addition, we must be wise, cautious and perceptive. (More …)

     
    • Ron Mansel 4:02 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, good article. Ron

      • Richard Mansel 4:09 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much!

    • Karen 6:08 pm on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent article! Things do seem to be in a “no turning back” mode right now. I pray for wisdom.

  • Richard Mansel 5:04 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply
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    Motivations for Hating God 

    In the excellent book, “Why? Explaining the Holocaust,” Peter Hayes examines the motivations behind the German brutality directed against innocent Jews.

    How could they have been so barbarous? Were they just soulless monsters?

    After a lengthy discussion of the history of antisemitism among the German people, Hayes considers other motivations. (More …)

     
    • Karen 5:33 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, this is an excellent article. I will use it in my conversations with people who just do not get it. Some people brush over this horrible time in history like it was not that big of a deal. I think our minds just want to blot it out as one would blot out viewing a horrific crime scene or accident. It is mind-boggling to me how the world witnessed this and allowed it to continue. The thing that people don’t understand is that Jesus was Jewish. His only difference was He was the Messiah, the son of God. If we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus then the Jews are like first cousins to us. Some people bent on hate just can’t understand that.

      • Richard Mansel 7:45 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Karen for your kind words and thoughts.

  • Richard Mansel 12:37 pm on 2015-04-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: inspiring, , , motivational   

    What is the Value of Knowledge? 

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    • James 1:57 am on 2015-04-24 Permalink | Reply

      Do you know someone who knows more Bible than any living human, but who gains nothing from it?

      Satan!

  • Richard Mansel 9:55 am on 2015-01-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , conservative, , liberals,   

    Articles on Liberalism 

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    On my website, I have posted the first in a series of articles entitled, “The Implications of Liberalism.” Based on research I did several years ago, I examine the subject of liberalism and its ideas and presuppositions. I will not be naming brethren or congregations. My purposes are larger than personal attacks.

    Liberalism is real despite the sloppy ways that the word is used today. The concept has a lengthy history and those who follow its tenets have fairly common beliefs and plans. The more we understand Satan’s attacks the better off we will be as we teach and preach (1 Peter 5:8).

    “Despite the traditional use of Christian phraseology modern liberalism not only is a different religion from Christianity but belongs in a totally different class of religions.” [J. Gresham Machen].

    I hope you will share your thoughts. People often have emotional responses to the word ‘liberal” and instead of reasoning through the ideas, they just start yelling. Satan is succeeding at destroying the Lord’s Church and the dangers are too serious for us to put feelings over truth.

    We must ALWAYS “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) because hateful words, even if truth is taught, turn people away from God. God gave us brains, language and reasoning skills and we must use them to reach lost or confused souls.

     
  • Richard Mansel 12:31 pm on 2014-10-28 Permalink | Reply
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    Thoughts on a Curious Passage 

    There is a very curious passage in two of the Gospels. It’s hard to initially see any point in them. Yet all of Scripture has a place and a purpose, so we have to study and find it.

    When faced with a tough passage, you study what others have said and you are somewhat relieved when none of them know either. There are verses that are just perplexing. But we persevere, nonetheless. (More …)

     
    • dhparker 12:55 pm on 2014-10-28 Permalink | Reply

      I guess I never really studied other people’s opinions of this, but always applied the old saying, “nature abhors a vacuum”. When God washes me as I obey the gospel, my “house” is, at that moment, clean and in order and ready for God’s presence. If I don’t get busy making sure it’s furnished with things that will keep Him there–righteousness and love and good works, study of the word and prayer–then there would be nothing to prevent the evil coming back and filling up the empty place with even more evil.

    • James 12:59 pm on 2014-10-28 Permalink | Reply

      Minus the miraculous aspect of demon possession that Jesus uses in his example to the people of his day, I think the message is that if you try to clean things up, get the evil out of yourself or even your society, and are even seemingly successful; it is temporary success if the evil is not replaced with godliness, or filled with God’s spirit. Israel repented at the preaching of John, but then the majority did not accept Christ.

  • Richard Mansel 7:00 am on 2014-03-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Why did Jesus have the Apostles Bring Two Swords? 

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    by Richard Mansel

    Shortly before Jesus was arrested, Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him that very day (Luke 22:31-34). That led to the following exchange:

    “And He said to them, ‘When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?’ So they said, ‘Nothing.’ Then He said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors. For the things concerning Me have an end.’ So they said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ And He said to them, “It is enough.” (Luke 22:35-38).

    What does this mean? We must be careful and keep it within the context of Luke’s account. Some indisputable facts are in order.

    • They were sent out in the limited commission and told not to take any possessions (Matthew 10:5-10).
    • In terms of the apostles, Judas had the money box (John 13:29).
    • Judas stole money from the money box (John 12:6).
    • Judas took money to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).
    • The Roman soldiers came with swords, clubs and violence (Luke 22:52-53).
    • Peter took up a sword to defend Jesus (John 18:10).
    • Peter cut off Malchus’ ear, and Jesus healed him (Luke 22:51).

    When swords were used in His defense, what did Jesus say?

    “But Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus? ‘” (Matthew 26:52-54).

    Later, Jesus told Pilate:

    “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).

    Concerning Luke 22:36-38, Brother McGarvey writes,

    “In this passage our Lord draws a contrast between the favor with which his messengers had been received on their former mission and the trials and persecutions which awaited them in their future course. If they had prepared then to be received with joy, they were to prepare now to be opposed with bitterness; for the utter rejection of the Master would be followed by the violent persecution of the servants. The apostles took the words of Jesus literally, and showed two swords, and the Lord, for their future enlightenment, said, ‘It is enough,’ thus intimating that he did not mean a literal arming with carnal weapons, for had he done so, two swords would not have sufficed for twelve men” [J.W. McGarvey].

    Brother Coffman adds these thoughts on Matthew 26:52.

    “This place should not be taken as a rejection of the sword’s true place in society, but rather as a recognition on the part of Christ that an ordinary citizen should not resist lawful arrest by constituted authority. Christ did not command Peter to throw his sword away, but to put it in “its place.” In a word, that is Christ’s teaching on the entire subject. Paul described him that beareth the sword as a “minister of God unto thee for good” (Rom_13:4). In this scene there were two swords, that of the civil authority and that of Peter. Christ recognized both the legitimate authority of the first and the potential need and place for the second.”

    Jesus was going to submit to His arrest and crucifixion to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus allowed them to bring swords but knew they were unnecessary. It’s clear that Christ’s kingdom is spiritual (Ephesians 6:10-12).

    Scripture clearly allows the use of the sword by the proper authorities (Romans 13:4). We also know that God’s people used swords in war for thousands of years.

    In Luke 22:36-38, Jesus is contrasting the peaceful success of the limited commission with the impending violence of the persecutions to come. When Jesus denounced the steel sword, it was a powerful moment showing that His mission was greater than they realized.

    Following Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion and resurrection, He appeared to them and opened the Scriptures  (Luke 24:44-49). Soon thereafter, Jesus ascended to the Father (Acts 1:9-11), and these apostles are changed men. Peter no longer carries a physical sword, but is fearless with the gospel (Acts 4:1-22). His faith is now more mature.

    When the same Apostles carried out the Great Commission, they did so with the sword of the Word (Ephesians 6:17) rather than the sword of steel.

    We would do well to remember that as we face physical persecutions in the future. God can accomplish all things and heaven is worth the sacrifice if we lose our lives in service to the Lord (Revelation 21:1-4). Taking up physical swords for the faith would be a renunciation of all that Jesus taught.

     
    • James 9:40 am on 2014-03-12 Permalink | Reply

      Good article, but it begs for one additional question to be answered. If Jesus did not want His followers to fight physically to defend His Kingdom, the most important kingdom in the world, then how does He feel about us fighting to defend lesser earthly kingdoms?

    • Larry Pasley 10:21 am on 2014-03-12 Permalink | Reply

      There is also the fact that it was done to fulfill the prophecy that he would be numbered among the transgressors. It was not lawful for the average Jew to carry a sword.

      • James 10:07 pm on 2014-03-12 Permalink | Reply

        Was Jesus encouraging disobedience to civil authority then?

      • Eugene Adkins 5:31 pm on 2014-03-13 Permalink | Reply

        Larry, I believe that the fulfillment of the particular aspect that you mention was fulfilled by Jesus’ crucifixion upon the cross with the thieves/robbers, as is mentioned in Mark’s gospel, and not because the disciples personally carried swords (Mark 15:27-28).

        • Larry Pasley 11:47 am on 2014-03-14 Permalink | Reply

          In the context it seems to me that it has to do with the swords. No mention of the crucifixion in the context. I agree he was with the transgressors on the cross but that’s not in this context.

        • Larry Pasley 12:02 pm on 2014-03-14 Permalink | Reply

          The purpose of the swords was not to use them as Jesus told Peter to put away his sword when he attempted to use it and made the statement “all who use the sword will perish with the sword.” His kingdom was not of this world so his servant did not fight or use swords. John 18:36

      • Eugene Adkins 4:58 pm on 2014-03-14 Permalink | Reply

        I do not believe there is any scriptural context for the connection that you’re trying to make. The “transgressors” were not the apostles, they were the thieves/robbers that Jesus was crucified with. Mark 15:27-28 explicitly says this, thus making it the only context that the scripture deals with: “With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.”” (NKJV – emphasis mine)

        The scripture that was fulfilled comes from Isaiah 53 which points to the sacrifice of Jesus and thus ultimately his crucifixion, and not the scene in Gethsemane: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand…Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:10,12 – NKJV)

        In Gethsemane they treated Jesus as a robber/transgressor (Matthew 26:55-56), but it was not at that time that Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors” as Mark 15:27-28 points out.

  • Richard Mansel 11:27 am on 2013-07-18 Permalink | Reply
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    Views on Inspiration 

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    In R.C. Sproul’s book, Can I Trust the Bible? he discusses the issue of inspiration and whether it was dictation or whether each writer was allowed to express their own personality/writing style.

    He summarizes with this:

    “We do not know the process by which inspiration was given. But because of inspiration, no matter how God brought it about, every word of Scripture carries the weight of God’s authority.”

    1. Do you agree with him?

    2. Can we truly know how it was done?

    3. What are your views on this issue?

     
    • preachercarter 11:57 am on 2013-07-18 Permalink | Reply

      I certainly agree with the idea that no matter the way God chose to inspire the same weight should be applied. Having said that I firmly believe that God used the personality of the authors rather than dictating word for word.

    • Joseph Richardson 12:20 pm on 2013-07-18 Permalink | Reply

      It’s clear that every writer of Scripture had his own personality and style.

    • Ron Thomas 3:33 pm on 2013-07-18 Permalink | Reply

      Agreeing with both above, I would add this – the Scriptures are inspired, but not every word is of the same weight. Compare John 8:58 with 11:47.

    • Scott Shifferd Jr. 5:48 am on 2013-07-19 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot agree that we do not know the process. We know that God revealed the message to the Apostles and prophets, which Truth is to be understood when we read (Eph. 3:3-5). We observe that each man expressed the influence of Christ’s Truth and the Christian spirit in their own words (1 Thess. 1:1-4). This is much like David and the OT prophets. We know that in writing in their own words after receiving revelation that they were further guided by the Spirit without error (1 Pet. 1:12, 2 Pet. 1:21, 1 Thess. 2:13). According to 1 Corinthians 2, every word revealed to the Apostles to every word communicated is from the Holy Spirit even the personal ones (2:13). There is no revelation of scripture that is from one’s own interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20). The scriptures are thus inerrant in this process because otherwise the Gospel would be perverted (Gal. 1:6-9, 2 John 9).

    • Eugene Adkins 6:22 am on 2013-07-19 Permalink | Reply

      I was going to refer to several of the verses that Scott referred to. Let’s see if I can word my response a little differently 🙂

      It’s clear that the writers/speakers didn’t always clearly understand everything they were teaching (1 Peter 1:9-12, Daniel 7:15, Acts 2:39 – think the attitude still shown toward gentiles with the Acts reference).

      But there was something about the process that seems to be recognizable to those who were miraculously prophesying for God (1 Corinthians 14:32,37; 2 Peter 2:10, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Chronicles 24:20, Ezekiel 11:5).

      Since God used people with emotions and various experiences in life these things definitely led to their personality being involved in the process. Just think about all of the experiences of David’s life that became types and shadows of Jesus’ experiences recorded in the Psalms. The same could be said about Moses and others who penned many of God’s books for His people.

      Great questions.

  • Richard Mansel 8:44 pm on 2013-06-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Great Quote about Progressives and Grace 

    “Progressives Christians love to talk about grace except when they have to extend it to someone who has offended their political reality.” [Maria Dixon].

    Sadly, that is true. People on both ends of the political spectrum have their politics tied too closely to their Christianity. BTW, this quote comes from a thoughtful essay by a Southern Black woman on the Paula Deen situation.

     
  • Richard Mansel 6:59 pm on 2013-06-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , surveillance   

    Americans are under Surveillance 

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    America is buzzing over all the announcement that our government is spying on all of us under the guise of fighting terrorism. But that is little consolation to millions of Americans who have always feared this moment.

    Anyone who has read George Orwell’s terrifying novel, “1984” has expected this to happen. However, that doesn’t make it any less chilling.

    The main focus of this post is simple. For now, they are mining our data to look for terrorists. How long before this is used against Christians?

    The government is already engaged as a propaganda machine for the promotion of homosexuality. Activists want to silence everyone who speaks against homosexuality and, if possible, send them to jail.

    How long before the government realizes that the full-scale surveillance of Americans allows them to make that happen?

    We live in frightening times. For decades, we have been asking when persecution will come to our shores. Well, that is no longer an academic question.

     

     
  • Richard Mansel 7:00 pm on 2013-06-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , greece, ,   

    Biblical History and Archaeology 

    archaeology11

    There are some sites that I want to let you know about. Since I have an interest in ancient history, I find these sites exciting. I just need to find the time to read these articles.

    The sites are:

    Bible History Daily

    Biblical Archaeology

    Ancient History Encyclopedia

    The more we learn about the ancient world, the better we will understand the world of the Bible. Here are some articles to be found at these sites:

    (More …)

     
    • Gene 10:30 am on 2013-06-05 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the links! I just finished taking my HS class in Bible study through some archaeological evidences for scripture. These links will be a great tool next time around!

  • Richard Mansel 11:26 am on 2013-06-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , itching ears, itching eyes, ,   

    Digital Technologies and Itching Eyes 

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    The Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and we must respect it with great reverence. Paul says that we should “not even think beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). When we stand to preach and teach, we must never step outside of God’s Word (1 Peter 4:11).

    “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).

    We should not be afraid of the faces of the doubters and haters (Jeremiah 1:8). We should be fearless as we spread His Word because nothing can stop Christ’s mission (Matthew 16:18).

    However, Paul followed up his admonition to “Preach the Word” with the following sobering reminder:

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires,because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

    People find preachers who will tell them what they want to hear rather than how they can submit before God in humility. Thanks to the influx of versions of the Bible, people can do the same thing with Scripture. They can find whatever translation that suits them best. Activist groups even make their own Bibles to prove their ideas.

    A recent article said:

    In future people will be able to create their own version of the Bible as multiple interpretations appear online, allowing a different view of the sacred text, according to the country’s leading Biblical scholar.

    David Parker, Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham, said different translations and readings of the Bible, from the 4th Century until now are already available online.

    He predicted people will download the versions they like best, perhaps even mixing and matching different readings of the Gospels to suit their tastes and even making annotations.

    “In the world we are entering, the concept of the Bible will be completely different,” he said. “It has become like an individual copy you have, you can annotate it and change it within the bounds of technological abilities.”

    What will be the implications, both positive and negative, of these technologies?

    They can be useful as they allow us to have more information in our hands. And when people have the Word of God, they are blessed. Yet, we cannot forget the warnings of Paul. Anything that can be used for good, will also be used for evil (Ephesians 6:12).

    People with itching ears can also have itching eyes, seeking out “versions” that absolve them of sins. Only the blood of Christ can wash away sins (1 John 1:7), and compromise is not the way of God (John 8:44).

    What are your thoughts?

     
  • Richard Mansel 7:33 pm on 2013-05-16 Permalink | Reply
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    Six Things Young Preachers Need to Know 

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    When young men go into the ministry, they are ambitious and hopeful. They dream of saving countless souls and inspiring brethren immediately to become passionate and obedient.

    However, reality soon sets in, and they learn that working with humans is more complicated than they realized. These aspiring preachers learn some harsh lessons in the meantime and struggle until they gain some experience.

    When we embark into a new career, we need copious amounts of guidance, patience and grace until we know what we are doing. With that in mind, here are six lessons that young preachers may not be told in school or when they are in training.

    (More …)

     
    • Ron Thomas 7:49 pm on 2013-05-16 Permalink | Reply

      I am assuming, Richard, you have in mind “lessons learned and that should be known as a form of guidance” during hard times, and not really anything else concerning the work?

    • Ron Thomas 7:56 pm on 2013-05-16 Permalink | Reply

      With that in mind, I will offer a couple of thoughts. First, don’t contribute to the solution unless invited. Second, you don’t always know what needs to be done. When that is understood, then one is able to move slower and easier. These are two things I have learned through the years – among others.

    • Rick 8:01 pm on 2013-05-16 Permalink | Reply

      Great, practical article. I heard, just last week, one brother discouraging his son from attending a brotherhood “preaching school.” Said that the brethren from years gone by didn’t need it, and they don’t need it now (I did kindly point out the untruthfulness of that argument, btw). As a graduate of one of them, If preaching schools were good for only one thing (and they ubiquitously have positives and negatives), the experience and influence of seasoned preachers would be it. Congregations and preachers (especially young ones) have expectations, and it takes a while to figure out what those are, and if each party will be willing and/or able to meet them. It takes a tremendous amount of patience, forgiveness and humility to endure the relationship, which I view to be as near to marriage as any other relationship. Again, good thoughts, Richard; and Ron Thomas, nice meeting you a week ago 🙂

  • Richard Mansel 8:54 pm on 2013-05-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fibro, ,   

    Fibromyalgia Awareness: Pray for a Cure 

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  • Richard Mansel 10:18 pm on 2013-05-08 Permalink | Reply
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    Custom or Law? 

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    One of our men was teaching Acts 15 on Wednesday night. I noticed something that I wanted to share with you, to get your feedback.

    “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, NKJV).

    “But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, ESV).

    “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, KJV).

    “And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, ASV).

    “While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers[a]: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1, NLT).

    The word for “custom” in Acts 15:1 means “habit or law.”  

    Circumcision was more than custom under the Old Covenant (Genesis 17:7-14; Leviticus 12:3; Joshua 5:2-8; Romans 4:11). And we know that law is much stronger than custom.

    To us, custom means something that became common over time like Sunday night worship or a family having pizza on Friday night. Law, however, is something commanded by God. In Acts 15:1, the Judaizing teachers were false teachers but they believed that circumcision was still law.

    • Why do you think custom is used in this context?
    • Do you see a difference between “law” and “custom.”
    • If the word means “habit” or “law,” what clue would translators use to make the determination?

     

     

     

     
    • Ron Thomas 3:33 am on 2013-05-09 Permalink | Reply

      I think you are correct with the word “custom,” but I have always understood it in relation to “law” in this context. Thus, I see “custom” as a “practice” (habit), even though it was part of the LM.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:12 am on 2013-05-09 Permalink | Reply

      The English word “custom” is probably used in the context because of its relation to governing actions (think of a government’s customs department). Some supporting definitions according to Webster’s is: “Law, such usage as by common consent and long-established, uniform practice has taken on the force of law” and “a social convention carried on by tradition and enforced by social disapproval of any violation” and “a usual practice or habitual way of behaving; habit“.

      In the context of Luke 1:9 (Zacharias and the “custom” of the priest’s office) and Luke 4:16 (Jesus’ custom of going to synagogue on the Sabbath) the word custom is in direct connection to the guidance of God’s Law. It was their personal custom (because we know others ignored it) and it was due to the rules and directions that they found in the Law.

      In connection to Luke 15 I’d say it has to do with the distinction that’s meant to be made for the readers. In other words, we have to remember why the Judaizers were teaching what they were teaching (the Law of Moses’ expectations), but at the same time the readers must remember the relationship between the Law of Moses and the Law of faith in Jesus.

      I guess like always it goes back to context, context, context and having a good grounding in the meaning of a word and not just what we’re used to thinking it means. Hope that helps.

    • Scott Wiley 7:47 am on 2013-05-09 Permalink | Reply

      OK, not thought on this before, but here’s a strange thought that jumps into my head, so it 90% likely to be a dead end… but just maaayyyyyybbeeeee….. Young’s and Darby’s translations both have the term ‘custom’ and both from the mid-late 1800’s. Barnes and Gill, both old timey commentaries, speak of ‘custom’. So the term ‘custom’ is not a recent translational choice. Looked up ‘custom’ in my 1828 Webster’s (available via E-Sword) and among the meanings of ‘custom’ is the idea of ‘duties imposed by law’ – more in the idea of taxes and tariffs though – but maybe when the term ‘custom’ was chosen by the 1800’s translators it carried in their minds more the weight of law than just habit, and moves into the ‘mores’ or, ‘expression of law’ kinda thing. When the ‘custom’ is associated with Moses, a Jew would likely see little difference between saying the ‘law of Moses’, the ‘manner of Moses’ or the ‘custom of Moses’. To many Jews of the time they might be likely to view the differences in the words (as many folk today say)… “Oh, that’s just semantics…. “Moses” would grant a virtual legal status to anything the Jews of Jesus time would associate it with.

      Now, here’s where my mind takes an odd turn… Even before the ascension, Jesus took the apostles through a 40 day seminar on the kingdom and had opened their minds to the scriptures… They’d know more after the Outpouring of the HS at Pentecost, but they were no longer as ignorant as they had been about the Kingdom. With the outpouring and their now miraculous ability to tap into the words of Christ via the Comforter, they gotta understand pretty well the Old Cov is gone and done. They wouldn’t have kept this a secret, too much of the doctrine of Christ depends on a change of covenant (Priest and King at the same time, and etc). The men of Acts 15 don’t seem to be ignorant, and they’d have likely had to work through some of the things that would have to change covenant-wise for Christianity to be valid.

      Soooo….. is it possible, that on some level they knew the Covenant of Moses was no longer in effect, but viewed the customs – duties imposed & carrying the weight of Moses’ name – into the semi-legal area of ‘mores’? Backed by a lifetime of practice, and nearly 2 millienia of enforcement, their heart / gut reactions have not caught up to their head knowledge, and to them, though no longer covenant law, it’d be ‘virtual law’ because it came from Moses.

      OK, wild conjecture and speculation on my part, so take it with a pound of salt. Likely after I let it percolate over night, I’ll see the flaws in it myself. But perhaps this will be helpful, much as Edison’s first few thousand tries at finding a proper filament for the light bulb were helpful. 😎

      Yours in the Great Hope
      Scott P. Wiley

    • Don Ruhl 10:03 am on 2013-05-09 Permalink | Reply

      A law becomes a custom by long term use. Circumcision was of the Law of Moses, and that became the custom of the Jews.

    • John Henson 11:04 am on 2013-05-09 Permalink | Reply

      According to Robertson, “The associative instrumental case (tōi ethei) is customary.” Of course, he’s not infallible.

    • Don Ruhl 5:01 pm on 2013-05-09 Permalink | Reply

      Also, notice that Luke 2.27 speaks of “the custom of the Law.” All the major translations have this wording, including NKJV, KJV, ASV, NIV, NASB, and the ESV.

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