"AS I SEE IT"
Volume 3, Number 8, August 2000
["As I See It" is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God. The editor's perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.
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LABOURERS FOR THE HARVEST FIELD
"But what kind of men does the Master mean to use? This is indicated in the text [Matthew 9:38]. First, they must be labourers. The man who does not make hard work of his ministry will find it very hard work to answer for his idleness at the last great day. A gentleman who wants an easy life should never think of occupying the Christian pulpit, he is out of place there, and when he gets there the only advice I can give him is to get out of it as soon as possible; and if he will not leave the position voluntarily, I call to mind the language of Jehu concerning Jezebel, 'Fling her down,' and think the advice applicable to a lazy minister.
An idler has no right to the pulpit. He is an instrument of Satan in damning the souls of men. The ministry demands brain labour; the preacher must throw his thought into his teaching, and read and study to keep his mind in good trim. He must not weary the people by telling them the truth in a stale, unprofitable manner, with nothing fresh from his soul to give force to it. Above all, he must put heart work into his preaching. He must feel what he preaches; it must never be with him an easy thing to deliver a sermon, he must feel as if he could preach his very life away ere the sermon is done. There must be soul work in it, the entire man must be stirred by the effort, the whole nature that God has endowed him with must be concentrated with all its vigour upon the work in hand.
Such men we want. To stand and drone out a sermon in a kind of articulate snoring to a people who are somewhere between awake and asleep must be a wretched work. I wonder what kind of excuse will be given by some men at last for having habitually done this. To promulgate a dry creed, and go over certain doctrines, and sciences, never to upbraid them for their sins, never to tell them of their danger, never to invite them to a Saviour with tears and entreaties! What a powerless work is this! What will become of such preachers? God have mercy upon them! We want labourers, not loiterers. We need men on fire, and I beseech you ask God to send them. The harvest never can be reaped by men who will not labour; they must off with their coats and go at it in their shirt-sleeves; I mean they must doff their dignities and get to Christ's work as if they meant it, like real harvest men. They must sweat at their work, for nothing in the harvest field can be done without the sweat of the face, nor in the pulpit without the sweat of the soul."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit
vol. 19, 1873, pp. 462-463.
A RECENT EXPERIENCE IN STUDYING LATIN
Back in high school--when it was almost still a living language--I signed up for two consecutive years of Latin, not because it was required, but because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I was not a diligent student, loving Latin as much as a dog love's his chain (to borrow a phrase from a Romanian schoolboy I know). I did, in spite of myself, learn a little that I retain to this day.
However, it has been a long-standing wish of mine to improve my knowledge of Latin, and for a variety of reasons, as I will shortly relate. Well, numerous attempts at "launching out into the deep" over the past nearly three decades have all sputtered to a halt before making much real progress (though I did pick up a smattering here and there). The obstacles were many--lack of a suitable textbook, no study partner for mutual encouragement, lack of time or motivation, and, not least, lack of discipline. By a series of events, these obstacles of late gave way or were surmounted. As a homicide detective would say, means, motive and opportunity all came together.
First, my younger daughter Sarah took three years of Latin in high school and learned much thereby. It was a bit embarrassing for one of my children to have a better knowledge of a language than I have, especially in light of the fact that I have spent most of the past 30 years in language study of one kind or another. Hence, one source of motivation.
Then, about three years ago, I found a suitable textbook: Church Latin for Beginners by J. E. Lowe, a $2.95, 177-page, used book with a publication date of 1933. Previously acquired grammars in my library were all for classical Latin, and prepared the reader for Caesar's Gallic Wars and Cicero, and other similar writers, whose books did not hold intense interest for me (to say the least). But this one prepared the reader for reading Jerome's Latin Vulgate, and the Roman Catholic Latin liturgy, the former of which especially did very much interest me. From the first day (the first 30 pages or so were largely a review for me), I was reading Jerome's very important and influential translation. The "immediate gratification" of being able to use the knowledge acquired daily spurred me on.
Third, I found that my study of Romanian over the past 9 years was exceptionally helpful in broadening the foundation for Latin. Romanian preserves many of the primitive features of ancient Latin grammar that have disappeared in the other major romance languages--French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian. And of course, I long since recognized that many of the words I had learned in Romanian had counterparts in Latin, making the task easier. One hand washes the other.
And, finally, once I set myself to the task, I found a strong motivation to carry the task through to completion. The fifty individual lessons in the chosen grammar ran through page 85--a goal attainable with just a month or so of sustained effort, not the discouraging 225 pages of my "best" classical Latin grammar, which called for a sustained daily discipline of several months, at least. And with the frequent interruptions caused by my foreign travel, I rarely can sustain devotion to a single mental task for that long. With the shorter grammar, I found that with an hour or so of study each day, I could cover one or two lessons a day (occasionally more), and in just over a month, I got through the book. By the middle of the second week, I found that I could often make good sense out of a printed Latin New Testament, and not long after, most narrative portions of the Latin New Testament were intelligible (I began reading through John, John's Epistles and then Revelation in Latin, in parallel with the Greek text).
And just here was my chief motivation in improving my Latin: I wished to gain greater facility in reading, comprehending, and evaluating the Latin versions--both the Old Latin and Jerome's Latin Vulgate--noting their variant readings, their understanding of the Greek, and the marks of their influence, especially of the Vulgate, on English Bible translations from the Anglo-Saxon and Wycliffe to the KJV and even to the present day (and it has been substantial).
As a sidelight, just as my Romanian studies assisted my learning of Latin, so my Latin studies have furthered by knowledge of Romanian. And since the grammar I used was a Roman Catholic textbook from the pre-Vatican II days, I was able to see exactly how the Catholic Church sought to indoctrinate the students under their care in the worship (yes, WORSHIP) of Mary, along with the false doctrines of prayers to the saints, abject submission to the priests, the superstition of transubstantiation, and other departures from the plain teaching of the New Testament. So, my efforts were rewarded in several ways.
And just yesterday as I write, I was reading a biography of Edward Gibbon, and found that I could completely understand a footnote written in 18th century scholars' Latin. Since many scholarly works before the 18th century (to say nothing of early ecclesiastical literature) were written in Latin, a great number of these that formerly were entirely closed to me will now be at least to some degree accessible. I have, for example, wanted for several years to work through in Latin the 20-plus pages which constitute the complete preserved writings of (St.) Patrick of Ireland, and which reportedly show not the least hint of Romanism. Now that study is within my reach.
And the imposing task of learning classical Latin has been reduced to chiefly learning new vocabulary and grammatical constructions (since the memorizing of paradigms of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and pronouns is behind me). I hope to plunge shortly into that classical volume and work through it in a month or so, again primarily to facilitate reading the Latin Bible versions and theological works in Latin, rather than classical literature.
"Cunning in Greek, Latin, and other languages."
Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, I.ii.81
"Away with him! Away with him! He speaks Latin."
Shakespeare, Henry VI, part 2, IV.vii.63
"At the expense of many tears and some blood I purchased the knowledge of the Latin syntax."
Edward Gibbon in Gibbon by J. C. Morison, p. 2
In 16th century Europe, "Theologians, statesmen, lawyers, physicians, men of letters spoke and used Latin as their common tongue. Erasmus, in his letters, and in his conversation on all serious subjects, used nothing else."
J. A. Froude, Life and Letters of Erasmus, p. 38
" [Heinrich] Heine [German poet, 1797-1856] wrote of his Latin, "Often have I prayed that I might be enabled to remember the irregular verbs," and felt sure the Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been first compelled to master their grammar."
Andrew F. West, Value of the Classics
Princeton University Press, 1917
"Introduction," p. 9
QUOTATIONS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The New Testament is to the Old Testament what the blossom is to the bud; its dependence on and connection to those Hebrew Scriptures is evident on every page. In the New Testament there are many hundreds of allusions to and direct quotations from the Old Testament, and identifying, locating, and understanding in context those references is essential if the New Testament is to be fully comprehended.
Locating those places where the NT quotes the OT is usually not difficult: when you read, "As it is written," or some similar formula, it is a good indication that the OT is being quoted. Many printed Bibles include cross references that will identify for the reader the OT location the writer had in mind (see, e.g., Matthew 1:23--the margin will give the OT passage as Isaiah 7:14). Some translations and editions will also set the quotation off or put it in different type so that it will be immediately noticed.
Working from the OT end of things is a little more difficult. How is one to identify passages, say, in Deuteronomy, that are quoted in the NT? Again, there are marginal cross references, but these are often lost in a sea of such cross references, and it would be surpassingly time-consuming to check every single marginal reference to locate quoted verses. Thankfully, we can report that some Bible editions give special indication in the OT of texts cited in the NT. An edition of the NIV I own adds a star to such references.
But what if you want to do more than simply locate individual references? Say you want to see how many times and by whom Leviticus 19:18 is quoted in the NT (and it is the single most often quoted OT verse), or wish to see a complete list of all OT quotations in Romans or John. Well, you could compile your own list--not an unproductive expenditure of time, but there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Such lists have been compiled and are readily accessible, if you know where to look.
First, the Westcott-Hort Greek text in its various editions apparently always (or nearly so) had as an appendix a complete list of OT quotations or clear allusions, presented in the order they appear in the NT. The more recent Greek New Testament of the United Bible Societies, edited by Kurt Aland, et al., in its various editions gives such lists. The second edition has a list of NT quotes and allusions from the OT in the OT order; the third edition restricts its list to direct quotations only, but gives references first in OT and then in NT order; the fourth edition also gives this double list of direct quotations, and adds a very extensive index of allusions and verbal parallels. The most recent editions of Nestle's Greek NT contain a list of OT quotes and allusions, in OT order. No doubt there are other published works that list all such quotations and allusions, but these have come to my attention and are readily accessible in my library, so I need look no further.
But what if one wishes to study such quotations more extensively, especially the "problem" quotations, where the quotation is not exact, or follows the Greek Septuagint translation rather than the Masoretic Hebrew, or seems to be used in a sense other than its original OT meaning? What then?
Well, there are of course commentaries on the books of the NT, and some information can often be found in the more technical of these on such matters, but again, digging out the information would require a sizable library, with rather indifferent results in many cases.
There have been at least two works (and I am aware of a third I have not yet examined) devoted entirely to the matter of OT quotations in the NT, with complete lists of references assembled and discussed. The first and older of these is by Thomas Hartwell Horne in his famous An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures (8th edition, 1839; reprint Baker, 1970). Volume II, part I, chapter IV, "On the quotations from the Old Testament in the New," pp. 281-348. Horne gives the verses in NT order, quoting the Masoretic Hebrew, the Septuagint Greek, and the NT Greek (each with a literal English translation), with such explanatory footnotes as are deemed necessary. This is followed by lists of quotes that agree precisely with the Hebrew, closely with the Hebrew, generally with the Hebrew, etc., quotations agreeing precisely with the Septuagint Greek, closely with the Septuagint, etc. plus much else, including detailed analyses of the problematic passages. This treatment answers virtually all the questions a reader is likely to have about such matters.
A more recent treatment was published by Moody Press in 1983: Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament: A Complete Survey, by Gleason L. Archer and G. C. Chirichigno. After giving lists of references in both OT and NT order, all verses quoted are presented in OT order, giving the Masoretic Hebrew, the Septuagint Greek, and the New Testament Greek (all without any English translation), followed by a technical discussion of the quotation. Need I say that both Horne and Archer/Chirichigno are technical treatments? But in just such a case a technical treatment is precisely what is called.
STUDIES IN MARK'S GOSPEL by A. T. Robertson (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1978). Revised and edited by Heber F. Peacock. 134 pp., paperback.
The collected chapters in this brief book where originally published as separate articles in some seven different Christian periodicals in 1918. This is not a commentary on Mark, but a collection of studies of various aspects of Marks Gospels ("the Making of John Mark," "the Date of Mark's Gospel," and "Mark's Gospel and the Synoptic Problem," are the names of the first three of the eleven chapters; the rest are of a similar nature). Robertson (1863-1937), the great Baptist Greek scholar, combines the results of vast scholarship and learning with a warm heart and absolute loyalty to Bible doctrine. This book, like all the rest but the most technical of his writings, is eminently readable, even by the non-specialist.
While 9 or 10 of Robertson's 44 books are still in print, most of his shorter writings have been only infrequently reprinted, and, to my knowledge, not at all since the 1970s (see my review of Everett Gill's biography of Robertson in AISI 2:7, July, 1999 for a survey of Robertson's literary remains). Baker reprinted unaltered a dozen of Robertson's shorter books in the mid-70s, and Broadman reprinted, in edited form, some 6 or so volumes. Because of their value, they should always be bought (and read) whenever found used.
Quotes from STUDIES IN MARK'S GOSPEL--
"It is possible that this sharp rebuff by Paul [Acts 15:38] did much to awaken Mark to a proper realization of his responsibility." (p. 7)
"The story of Jesus still fascinates the minds of men in spite of all efforts to relegate it to the limbo of myth or legend. Strauss and Renan failed to remove the Gospels from the sphere of serious historical documents. Drew and Smith likewise failed completely to destroy the historical character of Jesus. The tragic events of the twentieth century have shaken the world out of whatever indifference to Christ had come." (p. 17)
"The Gospels surpass all other books because the words of Jesus are the most original and vital of all time and because his life is the highest conception of God that the world knows. The Gospels in utter childlike simplicity succeed in taking Jesus as he is and letting us see him." (p. 38)
"The first and foremost miraculous element in the Gospel of Mark is Jesus himself." (p. 46)
"But we maintain that the credibility of the miracles of Jesus does not depend upon our being able to square them with the current philosophy of nature which we may hold, a constantly changing theory," (p. 51)
"Jesus is called teacher in the Gospels more frequently than preacher. He came to be known as the Teacher (the Master). Both head and heart entered into his work. Mere instruction without warmth and passion will not win a hearing. Mere passion without teaching will not stick, and the passion will be torn to tatters. Both light and heat are demanded in the modern teacher-preacher." (pp. 80-1)
"There is little room today for the mere dogmatist, but there is still less in modern preaching for the spineless doubter who has no convictions and no power with God or men. . . ." (p. 81)
"The peril of the crowd is felt by every popular preacher. . . . [M]any a preacher who has caught the ear of the crowd has lost the true perspective and has lived with the crowd too much. He has not followed the example of Jesus in going to the desert places, the secret places with God and nature, for spiritual renewal. Nature is good for the recuperation of the preacher's energy and for wholesome outlook upon the realities of life. It is poor economy for the busy preacher to neglect his books, his closet, his recreation. The crowds may upset his nerves, sap his energy, and rob him of his power. Then the crowds will leave him alone and for good." (p. 83)
"If a preacher can win and hold the children, he need not bother about the older people. They will at least be sure to understand his sermons if the children do so. Most of them will love the preacher because he has won their children. . . .Children were never in the way of Jesus." (p. 86)
"Now, the ambition to be great is not in itself evil any more than is the longing to be good. It all depends on one's notion of greatness. If it is simply self-aggrandizement, then it is vanity. It is self-advancement at the expense of others, it is evil. Jesus gave the disciples a new ideal of greatness, that of humility and service." (p. 87)
"Broadus used to say that sympathy was the chief element in effective preaching. But no preacher is really efficient until his heart is touched with sorrows. Then he will know how to be a sympathetic and tender shepherd to the lambs that are lost in the storm, and he will go after them and bring them back. It was the cry of the lost sheep that broke the heart of Christ. They are still crying on the mountains for you and me." (p. 88)
"If Jesus found it so difficult to win attention, to hold it, to plant the seed of truth where it would find responsive soil, we need not wonder at our frequent failures in teaching and preaching." (p. 100)
"We are not told [Mark 1:15] what the word 'kingdom' means in the mouth of Jesus, but the event shows that Jesus conceived it to be a spiritual reign in men's hearts, not the political rule looked for by the Pharisees. The duty of repentance was urged, a turning of the heart and life to God." (p. 110)
DRAMA IN THE REAL LIVES OF MISSIONARIES II by Clifford E. Clark. Milford, Ohio: John the Baptist Printing Ministry, n.d. [1999?]. 163 pp., paperback. $10.00
Clifford Clark, long the pastor of Tulsa Baptist Temple and now a much in-demand missions conference speaker, may be accurately styled as the "patriarch" of Faith Promise missions giving among independent Baptists, since it was he who first introduced the concept to many in independent Baptist ranks. In a sense, I am a "missions grandson" of his, since it was he who first introduced Faith Promise missions to the pastor, Doyle Hopper of Wichita, under whose ministry I was called to preach, and where I first learned of Faith Promise.
In this his second volume of missionary life sketches, Clark relates the lives and labors of ten different missionaries, noting how God saved them, directed their steps and led them into the work of missions. Most of those discussed are "foreign" missionaries--serving outside the U.S. in Asia, Africa, the Middle East or Latin America, though two are "home" missionaries, one planting churches in the intermountain region of the U.S., while another is an inner-city pastor in Philadelphia. And one of those spotlighted is a Philippino doctor-turned pastor.
These accounts were of particular interest to me since I personally have met more than half of those discussed, and know two of them quite well. It is always an encouragement to read how God is working in and through the lives of "ordinary" Christians who have surrendered themselves to the service of Christ.
Bro. Clark's address is: Clifford E. Clark, 8007 So. 75th E. Ave., Tulsa, Oklahoma 74145. He can also be contacted by phone at (918) 461-8864