Mobile Command Unit

Ok, I broke down and ordered one of those fancy Reformation Study Bibles.

I have the old “Reformation Study Bible,” you know, the edition just after they changed the name from the New Geneva Study Bible? It was a solid Bible and I used it often so when I noticed the crimson hardcover was on sale I picked one up…which is difficult to do considering the weight of the volume! It’s not that heavy, I was joking, it weights in at about 4 lbs.

This edition offers a very clean page style, the font is easy to read and the paper is bright white and thicker when compared to some of my other study bibles. (The ESV Study Bible which is WAY too thin if you ask me). The notes have been updated and revised as you probably already know. The confessions in the back are useful and the sidebar theological notes are extremely valuable, which is why I call it a Mobile Command Unit. I like to bring my Bible along with me to the coffee shop and read it during lunch. Sometimes the Bible I’m reading will solicit a comment or two. The sidebar notes are useful in these situations because it allows you to on the same page when discussing a theological subject when blind sided with random conversation.

It has everything you need to do battle!

reformation study bible crimson

8/10

I gave The Reformation Study Bible an 8 out of 10. It lost a point due to the single column paragraph setup. When reading, studying or even arguing over something from scripture, I’ve found it helps to have a versified two column Bible. Maybe that’s just me. This Bible lost another point due to the limit in translations (ESV/NKJV). It would be nice to have this study Bible with a modern Geneva translation or the King James. I’m thankful for The Reformation Heritage Study Bible which does come in my preferred translations and I would recommend that edition in a hearbeat.

That’s all for now folks.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Calvin’s Institutes

Christianbook.com has the single volume edition of Calvin’s Institutes on sale for $15.99. Years ago I purchased the two volume set by McNeill and Battles and read it through a few times. More recently a good friend sent me the sinlge volume, unabridged, 1845 Beveridge calvintranslation (with the older styled cover) and I do prefer it over the two volume set. A few quotes from Amazon will help explain why one might prefer Bereridge over other editions.

Reformed Christian scholar and theological philosopher Paul Helm:

“Incidentally, if you have the need of a translation of the Institutes, then the reissue of the Beveridge translation (newly published by Hendrickson) may be just the thing. It has new indexes, and has been ‘gently edited’, which means, I hope, only the removal of typos and other detritus. (I have not yet had the chance to check). Beveridge is superior to Battles in sticking closer to the original Latin, and having less intrusive editorial paraphernalia.”

Richard A. Muller, on the two translations (from the preface of The Unaccommodated Calvin):

“I have also consulted the older translations of the Institutes, namely those of Norton, Allen and Beveridge, in view of both the accuracy of those translation and the relationship in which they stand to the older or ‘precritical’ text tradition of Calvin’s original. Both in its apparatus and in its editorial approach to the text, the McNeill-Battles translation suffers from the mentality of the text-critic who hides the original ambience of the text even as he attempts to reveal all its secrets to the modern reader.”

from J.I. Packer in the foreword to A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes:

“No English translation fully matches Calvin’s Latin; that of the Elizabethan, Thomas Norton, perhaps gets closest; Beveridge gives us Calvin’s feistiness but not always his precision; Battles gives us the precision but not always the punchiness, and fleetness of foot; Allen is smooth and clear, but low-key.”

David Calhoun:

“Let me just say a few words about English translations. The first was Thomas Norton back in the sixteenth century. Calvin was very fortunate with his first English translator. Norton did an exceptionally good job. Very soon after the completion of the Institutes in 1559, which was written in Latin, it was translated by Calvin into French and then quite soon into English. John Allen was the second translator. John Allen and Henry Beveridge were both nineteenth-century translators. The Beveridge translation is still in print. It was until fairly recently anyway. Those are not bad but not very good either. Ford Lewis Battles’ 1960 translation is the one that we are using. Even though it has been criticized some, it is by far the most superior translation that we have at present.”

Joshua Butcher’s Amazon review:

The recent reissue of Beveridge’s 19th century translation of Calvin’s Institutes is a very nice complement to the more comprehensive scholarly edition by McNeil (translated by Battles). If you are trying to decide between the Battles and the Beveridge translation here are a few things to consider.

1. The Battles has extensive editing, which includes a thorough cross-referencing of the pertinent quotations that Calvin refers to, as well as the pertinent Biblical texts and intertextual references. McNeil is a quality editor, but as with any editing, the view of the editor is never without a measure of bias. If you are looking to get a fresh interpretation of Calvin, you try reading the Beveridge first, or skip over the footnotes in the Battles.

2. The Beveridge provides alternative readings based upon the French edition of the Institutes. I’ve found this aspect to be quite interesting. Calvin’s style in French tends to be a bit more expansive and colorful than his Latin.

3. The Beveridge has the benefit of being a one-volume hardback, as opposed to the two-volume hardback of the Battles. The one-volume has a bit more heft to carry around, but you always have the complete work with you if you are out and about.

4. The subject headings are different in the two editions. The Beveridge provides a full sentence overview outline at the beginning of each chapter division, whereas the Battles provides subheadings for each minor section. There are pros and cons to each approach, of course.

Whatever edition you decide to get, you will not be disappointed. Calvin’s Institutes is a masterpiece of Western literature, and one of the most important works of the Christian Church of all time.

This edition has some nice features as well:

– An eight-page, four-color insert on coated stock, including a frontispiece featuring the title page of the original publication and a timeline of the Reformation and of John Calvin’s life

– Two ribbon markers

– Gold foil and embossing

– Linen end sheets

Even if you disagree with Calvin…you should read him. His influence on the church cannot be ignored.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

The Day of the Lord?

When does the “Day of the Lord” take place? What say ye?

dayofthelord

Revelation 6:9-17

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Sin

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors”  A.W. Pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Redemption all is ours!

“If sinless innocence be theirs, Redemption all is ours.”

“O the riches of the love of God!

The redemption of the soul by the blood of the God-man-mediator is all ours; and the angels cannot even sip it. It is out of the reach of their pure lips and holy hearts; but the Lord, in the riches of his grace, bestows that especial favour, with all the blessings connected with it, upon the objects of his precious choice, of his love, his own love.

Have you, my friends, been brought, as poor sinners, poor broken down sinners, to gadsbybelieve in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Have we been brought to cast our cares upon Christ, to feel a little measure of his love and blood?

O how amazing, then, how wonderfully amazing the feeling, when sometimes we have been drawn up by the power of God the Spirit to behold the glory of the workings of a faith entering into the bosom and the love of the God-man, and saying, “My Lord and my God!”

How amazing!

Reason is confounded; even Unbelief is obliged to skulk away for a moment; but it is such a devil it will soon come again; but it is obliged for a moment to skulk away, while the soul has solemn, sweet, and blessed intercourse with God in Christ Jesus.

To speak of a millionth part of the blessings that God’s people have secured to them, which are causes for thankfulness, we never can. Just let us drop a hint or two, if we can, upon the suggestion, and then leave it.”

William Gadsby

Request for prayer

TBS posted the following prayer request October 19th. Please offer prayer for the Trinitarian Bible Society who remains a consistent witness to the word of God. For many of us Reformed folks who hold to the old Reformed confessions, the Protestant Bible, especially the Authorized Version holds a special place in our churches.

As the Westminster and Second London Baptist Confessions so clearly state,

“immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them.” (article 1:8)

TBS

At the time of writing the Lord has not yet seen fit in His infinite wisdom to send a tenant for the Society’s investment property, John Wycliffe House, after nearly a year of advertising. This matter is becoming an increasing concern because the Society is around £210,000 per annum worse off without a tenant, meaning the Society’s General Fund budget will be significantly impacted in 2019.  We seek your prayers that a suitable tenant may be provided, but if it is not His will to do so that the General Committee and Senior Management would be given much wisdom to know what to do.

In addition, the Society in the UK is facing another significant financial challenge: whereas historically legacy income has averaged around £400,000 per annum, there has been an almost complete absence of legacy income in 2018. Normally this income would have been carried forward and used to support the 2019 budget. This, combined with the matter of John Wycliffe House, has left us with severe challenges in reaching a sustainable budget for 2019. We seek your urgent prayers that the Lord would appear for us financially once again, and also that He would grant much wisdom to the Society’s Trustees and Senior Management.

‘Twixt Jesus

One of my favourite hymns from Gadsby’s, #405.

‘Twixt Jesus and the Chosen Race
Subsists a bond of sov’reign grace,
That hell, with its infernal train,
Shall ne’er dissolve, or rend in twain.

This sacred bond shall never break,
Though earth should to her center shake;
Rest, doubting saint, assured of this,
For God has pledged His holiness.

He swore but once the deed was done;
‘Twas settled by the great Three One;
Christ was appointed to redeem
All that the Father loved in Him.

Hail, sacred union, firm and strong
How great thy grace, how sweet the song,
That rebel worms should ever be
One with incarnate Deity!

One in the tomb, one when He rose,
One when he triumphed o’er His foes
One when in heav’n He took His seat,
While seraphs sung at hell’s defeat.

Blessed by the wisdom and the grace,
Th’ eternal love and faithfulness,
That’s in the gospel scheme revealed,
And is by God the Spirit sealed.

By John Kent, 1887.

 

Wandering Thoughts

How the mind causes our thoughts to wander:mind

The arrogance of the mind alienates us from the life of God, and from communion with him. When a present and appropriate petition or instruction is conveyed through the ear into the understanding, it shamelessly plays therewith, and takes occasion to run out on some contiguous notion; and from that to another and at length rests and dwells on some strange and unusual point, till the gates of good Spirit, and the present matter has ended. And thus by a default in the understanding, we seek not God, Psalm 53.2[i], nor find him as we might; and that excellent faculty, which would penetrate into the divine mysteries, and should guide the will and heart unto God, by the deceptiveness of its unmortified vanity, mislead us from the chief good, and entangles us in distractions. We read of a “defilement of body and spirit,” 2 Corinthians 7.1[ii], whereof surely this is a part, and must be cleansed in them that will “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” – Rev. Richard Steele (I’ve updated the language. Any words in italics have been altered.)

divider

[i] “God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.”

[ii] “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. “

God creates “ca·lam·i·ty?”

ca·lam·i·ty

noun
noun: calamity; plural noun: calamities
an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.

I know modern translations prefer to translate the Hebrew word “ra” as calamity…what do you say?

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Word Study Dictionary READS:

ra‛, ָרָעה

rā‛āh: An adjective meaning bad, evil. The basic meaning of this word displays ten or more various shades of the meaning of evil according to its contextual usage. It means bad in a moral and ethical sense and is used to describe, along with good, the entire spectrum of good and evil; hence, it depicts evil in an absolute, negative sense, as when it describes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:9; Gen 3:5, Gen 3:22). It was necessary for a wise king to be able to discern the evil or the good in the actions of his people (Ecc 12:14); men and women are characterized as evil (1Sa 30:22; Est_7:6; Jer 2:33). The human heart is evil all day long (Gen 6:5) from childhood (Gen 8:21); yet the people of God are to purge evil from among them (Deu 17:7). The Lord is the final arbiter of whether something was good or evil; if something was evil in the eyes of the Lord, there is no further court of appeals (Deu 9:18; 1Ki 14:22). The day of the Lord’s judgment is called an evil day, a day of reckoning and condemnation (Amo 6:3). Jacob would have undergone grave evil (i.e., pain, misery, and ultimate disaster) if he had lost Benjamin (Gen 44:34). The word can refer to circumstances as evil, as when the Israelite foremen were placed in a grave situation (Exo 5:19; 2Ki 14:10).

The word takes on the aspect of something disagreeable, unwholesome, or harmful. Jacob evaluated his life as evil and destructive (Gen_47:9; Num_20:5); and the Israelites considered the wilderness as a threatening, terrifying place. The Canaanite women were evil in the eyes of Isaac (i.e., displeasing [Gen 28:8]). The rabble’s cry within Israel for meat was displeasing in the eyes of Moses (Num 11:10). This word describes the vicious animal that killed Joseph, so Jacob thought (Gen 37:33). The despondent countenances of persons can be described by this word; the baker’s and the butler’s faces were downcast because of their dreams (Gen 40:7). It can also describe one who is heavy in heart (Pro 25:20).

In a literal sense, the word depicts something that is of poor quality or even ugly in appearance. The weak, lean cows of Pharaoh’s dream were decrepit, ugly-looking (Gen 41:3, Gen 41:20, Gen 41:27); poisonous drinking water was described as bad (2Ki 2:19; 2Ki_4:41). From these observations, it is clear that the word can be used to attribute a negative aspect to nearly anything.

Used as a noun, the word indicates realities that are inherently evil, wicked, or bad; the psalmist feared no evil (Psa 23:4). The noun also depicts people of wickedness, that is, wicked people. Aaron characterized the people of Israel as inherently wicked in order to clear himself (Exo 32:22). Calamities, failures, and miseries are all connotations of this word when it is used as a noun. (end quote)

Scriptural Quotations to Consider:

hippo

Isaiah 45:7

KJV- I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

ESV- I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.

Lamentations 3:37-38

KJV- Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

ESV- Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?

A Quotation from Gordon H. Clark:

The Scofield Bible is a good example of how Arminians try to escape from the plain meaning of the verse. Scofield says, “ra, translated ‘sorrow,’ ‘wretchedness,’ ‘adversity,’ ‘afflictions,’ ‘calamities,’ but never translated SIN. God created evil only in the sense that he made sorrow, wretchedness, etc., to be the sure fruits of sin.”

SCOFIELDNow the most remarkable point about Scofield’s note is that he told the truth when he said, “RA . . . [is] never translated sin.” How could he have made such a statement, knowing it was true? The only answer is that he must have examined every instance of RA in the Hebrew text and then he must have determined that in no case did the King James translate it sin. And this is absolutely true. But if he compared every instance of RA with its translation in every case, he could not have failed to note that RA in Genesis 6:5 and in a number of other places is translated WICKEDNESS. In fact RA is translated wickedness some fifty times. Scofield could not have failed to notice this; so he says with just truth, RA is never translated sin. Since Scofield favors the word EVIL, a partial list of verses in which this translation occurs will be given; and second there will be a partial list where WICKED or WICKEDNESS is used.

Going through the Bible, Scofield must have read as far as Genesis 2:9, 17; 3:5, 22; 6:5; 8:21; 44:4; 48:16; 50:15, 17, 20. “The knowledge of good and EVIL” is simply a knowledge of sorrow or calamity; it is primarily a knowledge of disobedience and sin. Similarly, Genesis 3:5, 22 refers as much to sin as to its punishment. In fact Genesis 3:22 hardly refers to punishment at all. True, Adam was banished from the garden; but the word EVIL in the verse refers to his disobedience and sin.

Whatever lame excuse can be given for excluding sin and retaining only punishment in the previous four verses, Genesis 6:5 is clearly and indisputably a reference to sin. God did not see “adversity” or “afflictions”; he saw sinful thoughts. RA, in this verse at any rate, means sin. The same is true of Genesis 8:21. In fact sin and its punishment are separated here. God will not again curse or smite, as he had just done, for man’s heart is evil. The flood was a punishment, but the evil was the sinful heart of man.

Toward the end of Genesis RA refers to an alleged theft, many sins from which the Angel had redeemed Jacob, and three times the brothers’ sin against Joseph. In 50:17 again the sin is easily distinguishable from the feared punishment.

Is it necessary to plod through all the Old Testament to show that RA often means sin as distinct from its punishment? It should not be necessary; but to show the pervasiveness of the doctrine and the perverseness of Arminianism, something from II Chronicles will be listed: 22:4; 29:6; 36:5, 9, 12. Ahab did EVIL in the sight of the Lord. Our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord. Manasseh did evil in the sight of the Lord. He wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord. Jehoiakim did evil in the sight of the Lord. . . .

ra strongs

Evil, RA, is not once TRANSLATED sin. Very strange, but true.

Then there is Isaiah 56:2; 57:1; 59:7, 15; 65:12; 66:4. All instances of RA, or EVIL.

Now, if Scofield knew that RA was never translated SIN, he must have known that it was often translated WICKEDNESS. WICKEDNESS or WICKED, as the translation of RA occurs in Genesis 6:5; 13:13; 38:7; 39:9. Also in Deuteronomy 13:11 and 17:2. Also in I Samuel 30:22 and II Samuel 3:39. I Kings 2:44; Nehemiah 9:35; Esther 7:6, 9, 25. And Proverbs 21:12; 26:23, 26. Nor are these the only instances.

Scofield told the literal truth when he said it is never translated SIN. But nothing could be more false than his statement, “ God created evil ONLY in the sense that he made sorrow, wretchedness, etc., to be the sure fruits of sin.”

The scriptural meaning of the word RA, has now been abundantly made clear. But there is another point too. If RA means simply external calamities, then the word PEACE, which God also creates, can mean only military peace. The phrases are parallel. But this interpretation reduces the verse, or THIS PART OF THE VERSE, to triviality. Even verse one can hardly be restricted to purely political matters. Verse three speaks of treasures of darkness, hidden riches, and the knowledge of God. Jacob my servant and Israel my elect are not phrases to be restricted to politics and economics. Verse 6 speaks of the extension of the knowledge of God throughout the world. Then comes “I make peace and create evil.” Merely military peace? Not peace with God? The next verse speaks of righteousness dropping down from heaven, not like dew, but like pouring rain. Bring forth salvation, let righteousness spring up together. I the Lord have created it.

O, Arminian, Arminian, thou that distortest the prophets and misinterpretest them that are sent unto thee; how often have I told your children the plain truth . . . and ye would not let them understand!

There is still more in this chapter from Isaiah. Once again we find the potter and the clay. It indicates that God is not responsible to man. Woe to the man who complains that God has made him or anyone else a vessel of dishonor. The clay has no ‘rights’ against the potter. Nor does it have any free will to decide what sort of a bowl or jug it shall be.

Gordon H. Clark, Predestination, Presbyterian & Reformed, 1987, pp. 185-188