"AS I SEE IT"
Volume 15, Number 2, February 2012
“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.
For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;
Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.
I will show partiality to no one. Nor will I flatter any man.”
“That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.”
Shakespeare’s King Lear
Act I, scene iv, ll. 32-34
[“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.
AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com. You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address. Back issues sent on request. All back issues may be accessed at http://www.KJVOnly.org
All articles are by the editor (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted but may be reproduced for distribution, provided the following conditions are met: 1. articles must be reproduced in unedited, unabridged form; 2. the writer must be properly credited; and, 3. such reproduction must be for free distribution only. Permission to distribute in any other form must be secured in writing beforehand. Permission for reproduction in Christian print periodicals will generally be given upon request.]
The Fate of “All Nations that Forget God”
“It was [Jeremiah’s] hard lot to proclaim
the certainty of national disgrace and ruin to a people so hardened in sin that
mercy itself called for their chastisement.
When a nation is corrupt to the
core, and is daily sinking lower in the lees of a sensuous immorality, nothing
can save it but the sharpest remedies; sometimes even no remedy can save it,
and then it must cease to exist. So
even Christianity could not save the
R. Payne Smith (1819-1895)
Jeremiah in The Bible Commentary, ed. by F. C. Cook
Baker 1981 reprint of Charles Scribner’s Sons edition, 1871-1881.
Vol. V, p. 319. Bold-face added.
[R. Payne Smith was one of the leading Anglican Biblical scholars of the 19th century, was perhaps the pre-eminent Syriac scholar of all time, and served, inter alia, on the English Revised Version Old Testament revision committee. His largely neglected and unknown commentary on Jeremiah from which we quoted above is excellent and deserves to be much better known and used. A brief but informative biographical sketch may be found at “Payne Smith, Robert” in The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, edited by Samuel Macauley Jackson, vol. 8, p. 423. (Baker 1964 reprint)--Editor]
A further quote from Robert Payne Smith’s Jeremiah--
“We can imagine no lot more dreary to a man
of intense patriotism like Jeremiah than to see the ruin of his country
steadily approaching, to mark each step of its advance, to have to point out
its causes, and to know the sole remedy, but also to know that none would heed
his words. . . . This was Jeremiah’s calling, not to be a poet or an orator,
but to persuade men by the force of his moral character, and conquer by
suffering. . . . Slowly the sad drama advances towards the sole possible
conclusion. Year after year the prophet
[Though perpetually pronouncing certain
doom on his own people, Jeremiah the prophet took no joy in his declarations of
judgment to come, but rather wept over their impending suffering, and grieved
over their unyielding spiritual blindness.
How unlike the words and
perspective of another Jeremiah,
namely the “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright of Chicago, and long-time “pastor” to
current U. S. President Barak Hussein Obama.
Reverend Wright infamously spoke with undisguised delight at the
destruction of the twin towers of the
A Bit of Chaos about Kosmos in the New Testament
A reader writes:
“Dear Mr. Kutilek,
When I was taught Koine Greek decades ago, I was taught there were four words that could be translated “world.” There was kosmos that I understood was somewhat synonymous with "planet." There was oikoumene that I understood was "the inhabited world," i.e. all the people in the world. There was ge that I understood was "earth" or "dirt." And there was a fourth that I cannot even remember. [That fourth word is aion, meaning “era, age”--Editor]
But I looked up John 3:16 and found that God so loved "the kosmos" I expected to find oikoumene. Can you explain this for me?
Calling for help! Thank you,
Faithful reader of your As I See It.”
Dear R. S.--
Of course, the first thing to do when puzzled about a word in the NT is to see how the word is used, by checking a concordance. For those who read English only, there is The Word Study Concordance, by George Wigram and Ralph Winter , which is a revision and up-dating of a mid-19th century work. In this edition, the words of the Greek NT are given in Greek alphabetic order, but are keyed to the numerical system in Strong’s Concordance of the English Bible, so anyone who can read English and count can find the word he is looking for. For most words, every NT occurrence is given, along with the context, in English translation, so the user can immediately see how the word is translated in its immediate context.
(For those who can consult the Greek directly, there is A Concordance to the Greek New Testament, edited by Moulton, Geden, and Moulton [5th edition, 1978]. It likewise gives every reference for most NT words, along with the surrounding context, but entirely in Greek. This is what I use in such investigations, because I can see immediately important grammatical information relevant to a word’s usage and meaning which are not evident in English translation alone.)
After forming your own preliminary opinion on the meaning of a word on the basis of how the word is translated in the English versions in it various contexts, the next thing to do is to check the standard reference works on the meaning of Greek words, viz., Greek dictionaries and lexicons to see what they have to say on the subject. Among those I recommend you have in your library are Henry J. Thayer’s A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (though it is somewhat dated , I still often find its scheme of word usage classification the best); then G. Abbott-Smith’s A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (which is more up-to-date than Thayer [3rd ed., 1937], and gives a great deal of information in a very compact form--I usually check it first); and finally, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker [second edition, 1979] which is the most up-to-date, but is in some places tainted by unfounded speculation and neo-orthodoxy. The entries in each of these commonly trace the development of the use of a word from its earliest appearance in Greek through the NT era. There are, besides these, a number of other similar works, but these are sufficient for most purposes.
As we has said often before, while such dictionaries and lexicons do not determine and dictate what Biblical words mean (and hence, are not infallible), nevertheless, they are the collective opinion of experts in the Greek language, and are the experts’ systematic classification of a word’s meaning as used by writers of the Greek language.
Now, regarding the specific word you inquired about: kosmos, which appears some 187 times in the Greek NT, is an ancient word (from at least the time of Homer--9/8th century B. C.) that has a very wide range of meanings (from Homer to the NT), as a quick check of Thayer's lexicon shows. He lists these meanings (citing relevant passages outside and inside the NT):
1. an apt or harmonious arrangement; order [the opposite of "chaos"--ed.]
2. an ornament, decoration
3. the world / universe
4. the circle of the earth, the earth
5. the inhabitants of the world
6. the ungodly multitude
7. worldly affairs; the aggregate of earthly things
8. any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
Obviously, in John 3:16, the only one of these uses that fits is definition number five. The classification scheme in Abbott-Smith is quite similar (no doubt under Thayer’s influence, in part), while that in Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich-Danker is similar but somewhat modified. I recommend that you examine these for yourself. It is noteworthy that John uses the word kosmos over 100 times in his five books--more than half of the NT total--and in a variety of meanings.
Of the other NT words that are sometimes translated “world,” oikoumene (found 16 times in the NT) is used primarily of the physical earth (as a check of Thayer and Abbott-Smith confirms), and occasionally, by extension, of the inhabitants of the earth. John never uses this word in his Gospel or letters, and but three times in Revelation (3:10; 12:9; 16:14).
Ge, very frequently met with in the NT (252 occurrences; very often used by John, especially in Revelation), is used of the earth or physical world (often in contrast to heaven); land (as opposed to the sea); the ground, soil; or a particular land, country or region (see the lexicons).
The fourth word is aion which, with some 128 NT appearances, means “a period of time, age or era”; it is very frequently used in an idiomatic phrase to mean “forever” (John almost always uses it this way). Abbott-Smith has an interesting and in this context relevant brief note at the end of the entry on aion: “SYN. [=synonyms] : kosmos, the ordered universe, the scheme of material things; oikoumene, the inhabited earth; in contrast with both of which aion is the world under aspects of time.”
I trust this answers your immediate question, and directs your attention to valuable study tools that will enable you to independently search out answers on your own when such questions arise in the future.
The Truth about the Waldensian Bible and the Old Latin Version
[Reprinted from Baptist Biblical Heritage 2:2, Summer, 1991; revised June, 2002; revised once again January 2012. We recently received a letter inquiring about whether or not the Old Latin versions were strong supporters of the textus receptus at an early date, as some claim. Since we had already addressed the matter decades ago, we decided to re-issue our study here]
We demonstrated in earlier issues of Baptist
Biblical Heritage that the current "King James only" error had
its origin in the mind of Seventh‑day Adventist missionary, professor,
and college president Benjamin G. Wilkinson (1872‑1968) [For a more extended
study of the origin and history of KJVOism, see my chapter, “The Background and
Origin of the Version Debate,” chapter 1, pp. 27-56, in One Bible Only?, edited by Roy E. Beacham and Kevin T. Bauder.
When treating the medieval Waldensians and their vernacular translation of the Bible, Wilkinson was driven by a desire to demonstrate their "orthodoxy" (according to his Adventist standard) in all particulars. In an attempt at their own brand of apostolic succession or Landmarkism, the Adventists have claimed the Waldensians as their spiritual ancestors, imputing to them such Adventist views as adherence to the standard of the law for righteousness, seventh day Sabbath, and other matters (see Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy , Pacific Press, 1971 edition, pp. 58‑72).
Since Wilkinson viewed the so‑called
received Greek text as the only pure text, he tried to impute to the
Waldensians the use of this same Greek text.
"It was the Vulgate,
(There is a monstrous anachronism here and throughout Wilkinson which we will note in passing. The term "received text" is properly used of the printed Greek texts issued by Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, the Elzevirs, et al. between 1516 and 1641; this precise form of text did not exist before Erasmus, and therefore could not have been the New Testament of the apostles and Waldensians, though it was of the Reformers. The correct term or terms for the text Wilkinson wrote about is Byzantine, Syrian (in Hort’s terminology), traditional, or majority text, which text differs from the received text in over 1,800 places, many involving whole verses or clauses. It would be most helpful if authors would simply use correct terminology in discussing these matters. Unfortunately, Wilkinson and Fuller rarely did).
Wilkinson claimed also that the Received
Text had authority enough to become, either in itself or by its translation,
"the Bible of . . . the Waldensian Church of northern
Wilkinson summarily said, "Some authorities speak of the Waldenses as having as their Bible, the Vulgate. We regret to dispute these claims," (OABV, p.28; WB, p.201). And well should Wilkinson have regrets, for his disputation is utterly groundless!
In the above‑quoted claims, Wilkinson was guilty of two errors: first, identifying the Old Latin Itala version as Byzantine in text (anachronistically called the received text); and, second, affirming that the Waldensian Bible was based on the Itala and not on the Vulgate. We shall demonstrate that both these claims are false.
First, by no stretch of the imagination could the Old Latin version or versions, in its various Italic, African, or European forms, be honestly identified as Byzantine in text. In a very extensive and detailed chapter, "The Latin Versions," in his surpassingly excellent volume, The Early Versions (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), Bruce M. Metzger wrote: "The textual affinities of the Old Latin versions are unmistakably with the Western type of text. Not infrequently noteworthy Old Latin readings agree with the Greek text of codex Bezae and the Old Syriac. On the whole the African form of the Old Latin presents the larger divergences from the generally received text, and the European the smaller," (p.325).
To illustrate the often wide departure of the Old Latin from the received text. I submit the following examples:
‑Matthew 1:7,8--5 of 8 Old Latin manuscripts (OL mss.) read "Asaph" instead of the received text's "Asa."
‑Matthew 1:10--5 of 8 OL mss. read "Amos" for "Amon."
‑Matthew 1:18--all 10 OL mss. lack "Jesus."
‑Matthew 6:13--7 of 11 OL mss. lack the doxology, and only 1 of the remaining 4 reads precisely as the received text.
‑Matthew 6:15--8 of 11 OL mss. lack "their trespasses."
‑Matthew 23:19--9 of 11 OL mss. lack "fools and."
‑Mark 1:2--all 9 OL mss. read "Isaiah the prophet," instead of "the prophets."
‑Luke 2:14--all 12 OL mss. read "of good pleasure," with the Vulgate and the Vaticanus Greek manuscript (along with other support), against the received text.
‑Luke 24:3--7 of 11 OL mss. lack "of the Lord Jesus."
‑Luke 24:6--7 of 11 OL mss. lack "he is not here but was raised."
‑Luke 24:9--8 of 11 OL mss. lack "from the tomb."
‑Luke 24:36--all 10 OL mss. either add "it is I; do not be afraid" to the phrase "and he said to them, peace be unto you," (3 of 10), or else they lack the entire clause (the other 7).
‑Luke 24:52--6 of 9 OL mss. lack "him."
‑John 5:32--5 of 8 OL mss. read "you" instead of "I."
‑Romans 6:11--9 of 10 OL mss. lack "our Lord."
‑Romans 8:1--all 10 OL mss. lack "but after the spirit;" in addition, 2 of these mss. also lack the clause "who walk not after the flesh."
‑I Corinthians 6:20--none of the 11 OL mss. have the Byzantine addition, "and in your spirit, which are God's."
‑I Corinthians 7:5--all 10 OL mss. lack "fasting and."
-I Timothy 3:16--all 10 OL mss. have a relative pronoun, quod ["that which"] instead of the Byzantine reading "God."
‑Hebrews 10:38--7 of 8 OL mss. add "my."
‑James 2:20--8 of 9 OL mss. read "idle" instead of "dead."
‑James 4:4--all 9 OL mss. lack "adulterers and."
‑James 5:20--all 8 OL mss. add "his" to "soul."
‑I Peter 3:15--all 7 OL mss. read "Christ" instead of "God."
‑I John 3:1--all 7 OL mss. add "and we are," as do the Vulgate, Vaticanus, and many other authorities.
‑I John 3:5--all 7 OL mss. lack "our."
These 26 examples (gleaned practically at random from the apparatus of The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition, 1975, published by the United Bible Societies), represent only a small fraction of the Old Latin departures from the received text (as well as from the Byzantine text). Very many more could be listed, but surely these are enough to refute the false claim that the Old Latin in any of its forms is Byzantine in text type. I recently read through the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) in an edition of Nestle’s Greek New Testament, giving close attention to the variant readings of the Old Latin manuscripts, and report that in these Gospels alone, the OL departures from the textus receptus must number in the hundreds, and would estimate for the whole New Testament that there must be at least a thousand disparities between the OL and the textus receptus.
And in this context, it is worth noting how some writers include the Old Latin versions in their list of "good guy" translations (meaning those agreeing with the received text), even though they depart frequently and substantially from that Greek text. J. J. Ray in ignorance does this on p.109 of God Wrote Only One Bible (1970 edition), as does Peter S. Ruckman on p. VI in the back of The Bible Babel (1964). It comes as no surprise to discover that both also include Wycliffe's version‑‑which was translated directly from the Latin Vulgate‑‑among the dependable versions, though they unhesitatingly reject the Vulgate itself as corrupt!
It also needs to be pointed out that the first full paragraph on p.188 of Which Bible? (5th edition), which softens the claims of a Byzantine text for the Old Latin, is the work of Fuller, not Wilkinson. In that paragraph, Fuller engaged in another of his "back and fill" operations to rescue Wilkinson from the twilight zone of gross error he frequently ventured into, and Fuller did not entirely succeed. Fuller did correctly note that the Old Latin evidence is not always favorable to the received text (an impression the reader would never have gotten from Wilkinson), but was in error when he declared that much of the Old Latin is favorable to the received text, and that the received text has a place in the Old Latin evidence. No Old Latin manuscript could be described as typically Byzantine by any reasonable use of the term.
As for the claim that the Waldensians used the Old Latin as the base for their vernacular translation, numerous historians clearly contradict Wilkinson's dubious assertion. I will quote these historians in approximately chronological order.
After quoting Robert Robertson's remark about Peter Waldo's having "procured a translation of the four gospels from Latin into French" (Ecclesiastical Researches, 1792, pp.462‑3), William Jones added: "The Latin Vulgate Bible was the only edition of the Scriptures at that time in Europe; but that language was inaccessible to all, except one in an hundred of its inhabitants. Happily for Waldo, his situation in life enabled him to surmount that obstacle . . . .[H]e either himself translated, or procured some one else to translate the four Gospels into French," (History of the Christian Church , vol. II, pp.7, 9, 10; 5th edition, 1826).
Noted church historian Augustus Neander wrote regarding Waldo: "[H]e gave to two ecclesiastics, one Stephen de Ansa, a man of some learning, the other Bernard Ydros, who was a practiced writer, a certain sum of money, on condition they would prepare for him a translation of the gospels and other portions of the Bible into the Romance language, which one was to dictate, the other write down," (General History of the Christian Religion and Church , vol. IV, pp. 606‑7, 2nd ed., 1853).
The Waldensians having procured this translation, "sent delegates from their body to pope Alexander the Third, transmitting to him a copy of their Romance version of the Bible, and soliciting his approbation as well of that as of their spiritual society," (Ibid., p.608). It is highly unlikely that the Waldensians would have submitted such a version to the pope for approval if it were not Vulgate‑based.
Baptist historian Thomas Armitage records: "He [Waldo] employed Stephen of Ansa and Bernard Ydross to translate the Gospels from the Latin Vulgate of Jerome into the Romance dialect for the common people," (History of the Baptists , p.295).
J.J. Herzog, in his extensive article, "Waldenses," reports: "A very natural desire to know what the lectiones, the recitals from the Vulgate, really contained, led him [Waldo] to procure a translation of them into the vernacular tongue, the Roumant, a Provencal dialect; and as he felt the great use of a guide in studying the Bible, the translation of the Bible, or of parts of it, was followed by translations of extracts from the Fathers," (A Religious Encyclopedia, edited by Philip Schaff, vol. IV, p.2471, 3rd edition, 1891).
While not as detailed or full in their comments regarding the Roumant or Waldensian translation of the Bible as we would like, all these authorities (and an extensive search has failed to turn up any that contradict these findings) unite in their testimony that the translation made at the behest of Peter Waldo and used by the Waldensians was directly made from the Latin Vulgate translation of Jerome. One additional writer, fortunately, does give a fuller accounting of the subject, as we now will see.
Mr. J. A. Wylie, in his book, History
of the Waldenses (1870, 4th ed.), reported, "The 'Lingua
Romana,' or Roumant tongue, was the common language of the south of
Here, then, is the conclusion of the acknowledged expert in the field: the Waldensian Bible was made from the Vulgate. An examination of Gilly's work directly provides a little more detail to the picture. Gilly plainly states about the translators of the Roumant version that, "They used the Vulgate of Jerome for their text" (p. xcix), while at the same time he points out that that Vulgate text was of an occasionally mixed character. At certain points, the Roumant version will agree now with one, now with another of the Old Latin manuscripts. Gilly notes seven such agreements in John with OL ms. "a," six with "b," five with "f," and three with "d" (p. c). Consulting Gilly's notes on pp. 93‑114 reveals that these Old Latin manuscript agreements with the Roumant against the Vulgate are nearly always exceedingly minute‑‑a matter of punctuation, the spelling of a proper name, occasionally the deletion of a clause (e.g., "who is over all," John 3:31; "for Jews have no dealings with Samaritans," John 4:9). In many of these cases, there are OL mss. on both sides of the reading, and in apparently none of the cases does the OL reading agree with the received Greek text against the Vulgate, while in several cases, the OL reading corresponds with the Vaticanus Greek manuscript, the chief witness in the Gospels to the Alexandrian text. The late F. F. Bruce briefly alluded to these occasional Old Latin readings in the Waldensian Bible, and characterized these readings as Western (not Byzantine; see The Books and the Parchments, pp. 217, 218, 3rd edition, 1963).
It is not in the least surprising to discover that medieval Vulgate manuscripts used by the Waldensians would display a mixed text with infrequent readings of minor import corresponding to some Old Latin manuscripts. Indeed, a chief characteristic of medieval Vulgate manuscripts is the incredible amount of mixture in the texts. However, the presence of a few Old Latin readings (and of a non‑Byzantine sort) in the Waldensian Bible in no way makes theirs an Old Latin Bible, any more than the presence of a few Byzantine readings in the Sinaiticus makes it a typically Byzantine manuscript, or the presence of some 60 Latin Vulgate readings in the King James Version New Testament makes it a non‑Byzantine‑based translation. The Waldensian Bible was in all essential points a translation of the Latin Vulgate of Jerome, as was the later English translation of John Wycliffe. Wilkinson's wishing otherwise does not make it so.
Let us hear then the conclusion of the matter: once again Wilkinson has been exposed as exceedingly unreliable and inaccurate in his writing on the text/translation issue. He is completely wrong in his claim that the Old Latin version is a Latin translation corresponding closely to the received Greek text. And he is greatly mistaken in his bold but unfounded assertion that the Bible of the medieval Waldensians was made from the Old Latin, rather than the Latin Vulgate. It must also once again be pointed out that J. J. Ray and David Otis Fuller adopted without foundation the false views of Wilkinson, and, what is worse, helped spread Wilkinson's misinformation through their republication of his work.
“All that Glisters is not Gold”
Several readers (actually, just two) wrote to ask if we had not in fact mis-quoted the proverb above in our review of a book in the January 2012 issue of As I See It. To quote one of them:
Are you sure
that proverb is not "All is not gold that glitters"?
We wrote and assured our correspondent that Ole Bill Shakespeare quotes it just as we did: "All that GLISTERS is not gold--often have you heard that told," (Merchant of Venice, act II, scene VII, ll. 66-7), and in fact, we have taken to quoting it as he did, ever since we first ran across the proverb in his plays decades ago.
The truth is, this is a very ancient proverb indeed, long pre-dating Shakespeare, and occurring is a considerable variety of forms, in numerous languages. Burton Stevenson in his unsurpassed, The Home Book of Proverbs, Maxims and Familiar Phrases (Macmillan, 1948; see our extensive article “A Guide to Books of Quotations,” AISI 3:6), pp. 990-1, begins with the earliest known occurrence, in Latin, in the writings of a 12th century French monk named Alain of Lille, and traces the aphorism through various authors in a half dozen languages, at least, including Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare (of course), and David Garrick (18th century London stage actor and friend of Samuel Johnson who is credited as the first to quote the proverb as "glitters" , the “modern” form of the quotation), with additional more recent examples and variations of the proverb, including O. Henry and Ogden Nash, and one as late as 1944--just four years before his book was published. The history of the use and development of this proverb is really a fascinating study, and we direct the interested reader to Stevenson’s treatment.
A Bunch of Everlastings, or
Texts that Made History by F. W. Boreham.
This present volume is perhaps the most famous of F. W. Boreham’s (1871-1959) many published books (we previously reviewed his Arrows of Desire, in AISI 13:6; and his autobiography, My Pilgrimage, AISI 13:10; and reprinted his biographical sketch of John Eliot, missionary to the Algonquian Indians of colonial New England in AISI 13:7). In it Boreham discusses notable names--twenty three in all--in Christian history (some more notable, others very much less “notable” at least in the present age) and particular Biblical texts that had a dramatic and transforming effect on their lives, sometimes in conversion, sometimes in directing them toward their life’s work as servants of Christ. By design, the content is devotional much more than biographical, and is frankly very often short on basic facts, context, and background of those discussed; for those persons I already knew well--such as Luther, Bunyan, Livingstone, Spurgeon, Carey and Andrew Fuller, this was not a problem for me--I already knew how the incident or text in question fit into the larger context of the person’s life. But for those persons little known or entirely unfamiliar to me--and this came to about half of the men discussed, the setting of the incident, that is, the necessary background and historic context was entirely inadequate. I will say that my interest in learning more about several individuals was sparked.
Unlike the two previously read and reviewed Boreham books, I found no “notable quotes” worth reproducing here, and on the whole thought this volume much less satisfactory than they. Perhaps it is due to the fact that this volume began life as a series of sermons, while those were from the beginning written essays. Though somewhat disappointed, I suspect I shall give Boreham another go by and by.