"AS I SEE IT"
Volume 16, Number 4, April 2013
“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.]
Christian Faith the Great Guardian of Human Freedom
"FAITH, faith and the American individual. Yes, it is on these two
pillars that our future rests. It was
Thomas Edison who said, 'Be courageous; be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith. Go forward.'
Seventy-five years ago this very week, Thomas Edison--a humble, typical
sort of American--put this credo into action and gave a new light to the world. It is faith that has made our nation--has
made it, and kept it free. Atheism substitutes men for the supreme creator and this leads
inevitably to domination and dictatorship [note--the dictators Mussolini and Hitler had died
less than a decade earlier, and Stalin had died the previous year. Mao had come to power in
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)
34th President of the
(#305. “Remarks Recorded for Program Marking the
75th Anniversary of the Incandescent Lamp. October 24, 1954.” The Public Papers of the Presidents of the
[a big thank you to Jim Regions for drawing my attention to this quote and providing the documentation--Editor]
A Biblical Perspective on Environmentalism: Part IV
Man’s Rule over the Beasts of the Earth,
the Birds of the Air and the Fish of the Sea
In the scale of relative value, a man--a human being--is of considerably more worth than any of the animals. Jesus said, “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a copper coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. . . . So, don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows,” (Matthew 10:29, 31; see also Luke 12:6-7). The ubiquitous and commonplace sparrows are of only minuscule economic and other value individually, very much less than a man (and, incidentally, have no “rights” per se). And yet they are not altogether “worthless.” As God’s direct creation, they, like man, have inherent worth and purpose in their existence. So there is this “tension” in man’s relationship with the animals--at one and the same time, they are worth less than he, yet they are not completely worthless.
This principle of valuing human life over
animal life is found in the Law given at Sinai: “If an ox gores a man or a
woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned,” (Exodus 21:28a). An animal--a creature
subservient to man by God’s design and appointment (Genesis 1:26-28)--that
harms its superior in God’s order of subordination, is to be exterminated (see
also Genesis 9:4). This same
principle may have been involved in the judgment meted out on the literal snake
On the basis of this principle, we conclude that a human life is always of greater value than an animal’s life. If we must choose between rescuing a child or rescuing an animal (a hypothetical dilemma rarely faced in real life), even if it is part of a seriously “endangered” species--whether whale, owl, rhino, or turtle--the human always gets first place. If the choice should be between starvation and eating a bald eagle’s egg, of right, the egg should be eaten (whether it is legal to do so or not is another matter; man-made laws are often flawed).
On the other hand, the mere wanton
slaughter of animals for “sport” or torturing them on purpose to inflict pain
on them violates Christ’s declaration that even the sparrows have worth in the
over-all scheme of things. Decades ago,
one of my college roommates told of going out in the woods of his native
Tennessee and killing more than 20 squirrels in an afternoon, not for food, or
because they had become over-populated and pestilent, but simply because he
could. The 19th century
slaughter on the Great Plains of the vast bison herds by train-riding tourists
shooting from the trains in many cases--not for meat or hides, but merely
killing for the sake of killing--is simply wrong (and extremely wasteful). And the once-famous practice of “going on
And of course, we could mention other cases of needlessly inflicting harm on animals--dog and cock fighting, bull fighting, and more.
Adam named all the kinds of animals he
When did the employment of animals for
human use--our “rule over the beasts of the earth, the birds of the air and the
fish of the sea”-- begin? It actually
By Genesis 4, mankind is already engaging in animal husbandry. We find Abel tending sheep. Although no permission had yet been given by God to man to eat animals at this stage (that would come after the Flood, Genesis 9:3-4), it is a faulty deduction to conclude that killing of animals was not permitted or practiced either. After all, Abel brought one of the animals from his flock in sacrifice to God (Genesis 4:4)--and God accepted it. Noah also offered animal sacrifice to God, and God accepted that as well (Genesis 8:20-22). Furthermore, as there was an obvious and continuing need for clothing for the expanding human populace, the precedent set by God of using animal hides for human clothing may have been continued. It is not possible to say if or when the making of cloth from wool before the flood began; the use of plants for clothing had initially proven “inadequate” (Genesis 3:7)!
And though mankind was not permitted to eat meat until after the Flood, this does not exclude the use of animal milk as food, either as liquid or processed into cheese and other products. The ante-diluvian society that developed musical instruments and metallurgy (Genesis 4:21, 22), could easily have developed both textile manufacture and dairying. The text is silent and so being dogmatic is not warranted, though the possibility of dairy herds and flocks before the Flood must be allowed. It also appears that the original natural docility of animals in the presence of man continued until after the Flood, when “the fear of man” became a part of the instincts animals (Genesis 9:2).
Man, as the Divinely-designated steward of the creation, served as the means of protecting and preserving representatives of all species of air-breathing terrestrial animals from the consequences of the Flood, and ensuring their continuing existence (Genesis 6:17-21) in the post-Flood world. In short, Noah’s obedience to God’s command prevented their wholesale extinction.
For whatever reason (perhaps human
nutritional needs), after the Flood, God changed the basic relationship of man
and the animals. God now made the
animals naturally fearful of people (for their
sakes; otherwise we would have already hunted most species to extinction), and
man was now permitted to eat their flesh (but not their blood). No distinctions were then made as to which
animals were “fair game” and which were not; the
“kosher” regulations in the Law of Moses are part of the distinctive
legislation given to
Of course, eating meat, though expressly allowed, was not required (unless, under the Law, consuming part of the annual Passover lamb be deemed compulsory); vegetarianism and veganism are personal options for all (Romans 14:1-4). Jesus, like the patriarchs, was a meat-eater (Like 22:15). I, too, opt to be partly carnivorous. “Let each be persuaded in his own mind.”
There are two means of obtaining animal flesh for human consumption--hunting / fishing, and domestication. Hunting, an essential widespread practice in the first years of European settlement in the New World, and the universal practice of the native American populace, has been given a bad rap in contemporary American society, in part fueled by such emotionally inflammatory propagandistic fare as the Disney movie Bambi in which the helpless fawn is orphaned by a hunter’s bullet (see similarly the book The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings). In reality, modern hunting laws commonly prevent taking game during the rearing season before the offspring are capable of surviving on their own, so the story has an essentially faulty premise. Not only so, but in fact, hunting has become essential in our day to maintain the over-all health of several species.
In truth, because the original
top-of-the-food-chain carnivorous predators--bears, pumas, wolves and
such--have been eliminated or greatly reduced in numbers over the range of deer
in America, without the regular harvesting of surplus numbers of deer, they
would soon over-populate, degrade their habitat, become mal-nourished,
diseased, and subject to widespread death.
And then there is the consideration of deer-vehicle collisions on the
roadways. My state,
Other, non-game pestilent animals also merit individual extermination for humans’ sake. It is common practice in rural areas to shoot any skunks seen in daylight hours since this aberrant behavior is often a sign of rabies (skunks are otherwise almost entirely nocturnal). I have trapped or shot other animals that threaten my food supply (garden) or property: melon stealing-possums, cabbage-eating rabbits, corn-stripping raccoons (rather, I tried to eliminate the raccoons, which are also a common rabies carrier), and more. While I take no joy in killing such animals, neither do I lose sleep over it. Controlling large warm-blooded furry or feathered pests is essentially no different than controlling smaller man-afflicting pests--grasshoppers, corn earworms, grubs, aphids, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, fire ants, flies, gnats, and on and on.
It is evident from Genesis 4 that animal husbandry--domestication of livestock--is actually an older practice than hunting (contrary to the standard picture of primitive man as first a hunter-gatherer, who only later developed farming and domestication. Genesis shows that the reverse was actually the case). Man has domesticated numerous animals--larger animals such as horses, cattle, donkeys, pigs, sheep, goats, even elephants and camels, and more (James 3:7)--as both beasts of burden and sources of concentrated animal protein (milk, meat) as well as leather and wool. Smaller animals--chiefly fowl, but also rabbits, dogs (domesticated wolves) and cats--have been domesticated as sources of food, for pest control (cats and dogs which eat rodents, birds which eat insect pests, etc.) and even for companionship. Man and the animals in such cases have a symbiotic relationship. These animals, which would either perish or suffer greatly in the wild, are fed, protected and cared for by man, and in turn provide man with valuable, even essential products and services.
Many--I suspect most, by a large margin--of those who own animals treat them with kindness and care. Naturally, those who derive their livelihood from animal husbandry--cattlemen, horse breeders, hog farmers, dog breeders, shepherds and the like--have a vested interest in the well-being of their animals, as their neglect or abuse will adversely affect them financially. The Bible encourages conscientious animal husbandry: “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds,” (Proverbs 27:23), and strongly enjoins humane treatment of animals: “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,” (Proverbs 12:10a).
Man has not always acted wisely in his
stewardship of the animal kingdom. On
the one hand, he has hunted some (relatively few) animals to extinction (we
will address this emotion-laden subject later).
On the other hand, he has introduced animals (and plants) into new
places where they did had not historically existed or been part of the
ecosystem. Sometimes this has worked out
just fine--the domestic cattle that escaped from early Spanish exploring
parties in the American Southwest quickly increased to number in the millions,
and became another component integrated into the grazing economy of the
southern Great Plains, which included bison, elk, antelope and deer. Likewise, the ring-necked pheasant that was
Some of man’s efforts at introducing
non-native species have proven decidedly negative. Starlings, with their oil-on-water iridescent
foliage, were imported to Central Park in
Some well-meaning individual(s) introduced
European carp (and in another case, Asian carp) into American rivers and
lakes. The aggressive, fish-egg-eating
carp have suppressed the numbers of other, much more desirable species. Into the
And it is not just here in
[Next issue: “The Extinction of Animal Species”]
The Canon of Scripture:
Some Recommended Resources
In your opinion what are the best 2 or 3 books on the background / history of the canonization of the Bible?
Of course, not knowing how much background knowledge you have in Biblical studies, church history and Bible languages, it is more difficult to make specific recommendations. In those that follow, I focus on readily available and generally reliable resources.
First, I would recommend A General Introduction to the Bible by Norman Geisler and William Nix (Moody Press, revised edition, 1986). They have a lengthy section on the canon in general and the OT and NT canons in particular, along with treatments of the apocryphal books (pp. 221-317). They recommend other works in their discussion.
On the OT in particular, the book that stands head and shoulders above all others is The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church by Roger Beckwith (Eerdmans, 1985). It gets my highest praise; among other things, he completely discredits the notion that the Septuagint’s canon originally included the apocrypha.
For the NT canon, Everett Harrison in his Introduction to the New Testament (Eerdmans 1971), pp. 97-133 has a discussion of the canon (not entirely satisfactory, to my mind, but adequate), with a selected bibliography. Then there is B. F. Westcott's highly praised A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (Macmillan, 1889, 6th ed.), which I regret to say I have consulted only sparingly.
I have read through F. F. Bruce's The Canon of Scripture (IVP, 1988) which though it brings together a great deal of information, nevertheless makes no apparent original contribution, and frankly is repeatedly marred by higher critical assumptions and an at times heterodox perspective.
Naturally, consultation of the articles on the "canon" in several Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias will yield additional information, perspectives, and bibliography. These should include some older works (and I like to consult several 19th and early 20th century works, since the scholars who produced them were regularly better-versed in early church history as well as classical Greek and Latin studies than those of later times, and often more orthodox in theology as well)--
--Smith's Dictionary of the Bible in 4 vols., not the nearly worthless one-volume edition;
--M'Clintock-Strong Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature;
--The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge;
--the original International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) edited by James Orr;
Among newer works to consult are--
--The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible edited by M. Tenney;
--the revised International Standard Bible Encyclopedia edited by Geoffrey Bromiley;
--The New Unger's Bible Dictionary; edited by R. K. Harrison;
--the New Bible Dictionary edited by J. D. Douglas.
This list could be extended considerably, but I suspect that little additional information can be found beyond these. By design I have left off the list several reference works that take a purely “naturalistic” (that is, anti-supernaturalistic) view of the Bible and the canon.
The OT introductions of K. F. Keil, Gleason Archer, and R. K. Harrison all have treatments of the OT canon.
Volume 1 of the Expositor's Bible Commentary has articles on both the OT and NT canons, the former markedly better than the latter.
But all in all, I would start with Geisler and Nix, then Everett Harrison on the NT and Beckwith on the OT, and go from there.
The Forger Simonides and the Sinaiticus Manuscript
Sir, I recently saw a documentary which is the sequel (part 2 of 3) of a fairly high-budget set of clearly King James Onlyist films. They are created by Chris Pinto and the second is called Tares Among the Wheat. This video focuses mostly on the controversy surrounding Codex Sinaiticus and a character called Constantine Simonides. I had no idea regarding the background of this controversy and that this man, who was a famous paleographer in his time, claimed to have made it himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgpa76F2flk (start watching from 45 minutes onwards to avoid a lot of waffle and ridiculous attempts to link Higher Criticism and Textual Criticism as the same thing).
Despite the fact that often Sinaiticus is falsely said to have been found in a waste basket, the claims and quotes from the newspapers of that time etc. seem to construct a robust case for Simonides' claims. I cannot find much information about this on the internet and, knowing the popularity of Pinto's films, I feel that someone learned from the opposite camp needs to take a stand against these claims.
Are you aware of this argument? What are your thoughts? Would you consider writing a piece in response?
Sincere Christian regards,
On reading your letter, I immediately recalled something deep in the recesses of my mind about this, and in short order found in my library a brief summary of the matter involving Constantine Simonides and the Sinaiticus manuscript.
Sir Frederick Kenyon (1863-1952) was likely
the leading expert on the text of the New Testament in the first half
of the 20th century. In his book Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts
year 1856 an ingenious Greek, named Constantine Simonides,
had been creating a considerable sensation by producing quantities of Greek
manuscripts professing to be of fabulous antiquity--such as a Homer in almost
prehistoric style of writing, a lost Egyptian historian, a copy of St.
Matthew's Gospel on papyrus, written fifteen years after the Ascension (!), and
other portions of the New Testament dating from the first century. These
productions enjoyed a short period of notoriety, and were then exposed as
forgeries. Among the scholars concerned in the exposure was [
F. H. A. Scrivener, in his A Plain
Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament (
That KJV-Only advocates would be driven to bolster their views by appealing to the claims of a known and long-discredited forger is strong commentary on the desperate straits they find themselves in in trying to support their views with actual facts.
A History of
the German Language by John T. Waterman.
No doubt, some are asking themselves--“Why in the world would he review this book here in a Bible-oriented monthly cyber-magazine?” I assure you, it is not merely because I may be somewhat eccentric (in fact, maybe I am perfectly normal and the readership is out of kilter; did you ever consider that? Hmmmm?!). In truth, it is actually entirely explicable.
For those who regularly communicate formally with others--as a teacher and lecturer, a preacher, or a writer (and I do all these things)--the key to effective communication (besides actually having something to say that is worthwhile to hear or read) is the proper use of words individually and in combination, what we call “language.” And one great aid to the proper use of language is some understanding of the history and background of the words in a language individually and of the language in general.
Modern English is a hybrid tongue that developed from the mixture of, on the one hand, Anglo-Saxon (a Germanic language akin to Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic and German), which was brought to Great Britain in the 5th century A.D. by the Jute, Angle and Saxon invaders, and 11th century Norman French on the other, which was brought to Britain in the Norman Conquest of 1066 A. D. There is also a heavy admixture of Latin and Greek terms in English, along with borrowings from a hundred other languages. So, because at base English is a Germanic language akin to German, a knowledge of the history of the Germanic group of languages in general and of German in particular cannot but cast some light on English grammar, vocabulary and such.
Further, some very significant events in Christian history involve Germanic languages--the 4th century Gothic Bible version, and the 16th century “German Reformation,” especially including Martin Luther’s German Bible translation (NT 1522; Bible 1534; second edition, 1545). Luther’s translation directly influenced the English translations of Tyndale, Coverdale, and others later, as well as translations into many other European languages (Low German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, etc.). I expected to find something here of note on these subjects here and was not disappointed. Zum Beispiel (German for “for example”), the author makes this statement about Luther’s version:
The Lutherbibel still
stands as the most magnificent literary monument in the German language. . . .
His was not the first German Bible; there had been fourteen such translations
into High German, four into Low German. The first of these--that of Johann Mentel
in 1461 (written in das Gemeine Deutsch [“the common German”])--had gone
through seventeen editions. But
it was Luther’s translation that was destined to become the German Bible. As
evidence of its unprecedented popularity, it is estimated that the printing
house of Hans Lufft in
Beyond such general considerations, I have
for some while been looking for something
that discusses Latin words borrowed into German (of which there are literally
thousands, though the Germans are loathe today to borrow foreign words, preferring instead to translate them; even so
common and nearly universal a word as “television” is translated as Fernsehen, rather than borrowed). When I saw that this book does discuss the
matter, I immediately bought it (at the lofty price of $1.00!). In fact, I learned that there were two major
periods of common borrowing of Latin words into German--beginning in the 8th
century and thereafter, as a consequence of missionary and monastic
activity. The monks were the chief
scribes of the day, and among the limited number of literate people in medieval
The second period of extensive borrowing of Latin words into German was from about 1450 to 1600, the period of the Renaissance and Reformation, when thousands of Latin words in the fields of law, medicine, theology and philosophy were “naturalized” into German. Another Latin feature that entered German about this time was the practice of placing the verb last in the clause, one of the “strange” features of German in comparison to English (“I’m waiting for the verb,” as Samuel Clemens famously quipped about his delay in leaving a German theater after the performance ended).
A “nativist” movement arose in the 17th
and 18th centuries (and revived in the 19th and 20th),
which sought to “purge” the written language and common speech of foreign
words, returning to the use of older German words, or creating new ones. Yet at the same time, the German royal court
employed as its primary language French (or sometimes Spanish or
Italian!). One fact that the author
scarcely notices is that during the colonial period, the German language was
far less successful than most of the other major Western and Central European
languages in being transplanted to colonies, falling far behind English, Dutch,
French, Spanish, Portuguese or even Italian.
And even in places, such as
Some detailed account is given of literary
Not surprisingly, there is a German equivalent of the famous Oxford English Dictionary, titled Deutsches Worterbuch, which was begun by the famous Grimm brothers (of fairy tale, but more so linguistic fame), with publication of the 33 volumes extending (with some interruption for a couple of world wars, and no doubt lesser skirmishes) from 1854 to 1960.
To be sure, a considerable portion of this volume is taken up with such linguistic tedium as vowel and consonant shifts, isoglosses, dialects, diphthongs, sibilants, voiced and unvoiced stops and all that (all of utmost importance to technical linguistics), but amidst this there is still a goodly amount that is of interest. Then there is the 30+ pages of classified, selected(!) bibliography which includes about 700 items--books, articles, essays--mostly in German. Yeah--something of a specialized intended audience, I think, but even so, inter alia, I discovered there is a dictionary of the vocabulary of Luther’s Bible translation. Since the great majority of my “German” reading is from Luther’s version, I might just look into securing a copy).
(Another, more recent book that also treats
of the history of the development of the Germanic family of languages is Old English and Its Closest Relatives: A
Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages by Orrin W. Robinson.