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Vol. 5, No. 12
Dec., 1996


The Curses of Modern Society

by Glenn Conjurske

God himself has subjected his creation to a curse. This curse consists of toil and hardship, pain and suffering, disease and death. Yet this curse, though difficult and unpleasant in the extreme, is an actual benefit to mankind, for its tendency is to exercise man's conscience, and to cause him always to feel his weakness and dependence. Affliction is good for man, to turn him from sin, and to keep him from it. Peter says, “He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,” and the curse which God has inflicted upon his own creation consists of suffering in the flesh. The Psalmist says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept thy word,” and therefore, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:67 & 71).

The curse, then, which God has inflicted upon the earth is one which appears to be evil, and yet works good. The devil, just contrariwise, has inflicted his curses also, but they are those which appear to be good, and yet work evil. Into this category will naturally fall all of those things which work to undo the curse which God has inflicted----all of those things which ease man's burdens, mitigate his toils, and remove his sufferings. Among these are included much of modern invention and technology, machinery and mass production, and scientific and medical advances. Not that we could regard all such things as unmixed evils. To some extent at least it is certainly a good thing to ease man's burdens. The Lord did so when he walked this earth, and set us an example that we should do likewise. Moreover, the day is coming in the which God himself shall remove the curse from the earth, and it will certainly be a good thing when the groaning and travailing of the creation, and man also, shall cease. Yet observe, God will not do this until the day in which he establishes a righteous government on the earth, under the iron rod of Christ. The wholesale removal of man's toils and burdens in his present state is much more productive of evil than of good, and cannot be otherwise. It was the wisdom of God which inflicted the curse so soon as man became a sinner, and man does not know better than God.

But all of this easing of man's burdens has only an indirect tendency to evil. There are yet greater curses than these in modern society----modern inventions and attainments whose tendency is primarily and directly to evil. It may be that none of them are evil in themselves, nor yet that they must necessarily be productive of evil, but that as a simple matter of fact they are productive of evil. They augment and multiply man's temptation to evil, and his capacity for evil. This has all no doubt been engineered by the devil himself, who is the ruler and god of this world.

Though I have somewhat hesitated as to which of these curses I should place at the top of the list, I have at length determined upon the camera. This may not appear to be a curse at all, simply considered, but the things of the world do not exist as unrelated atoms, but as integrated components of a system of which the devil is the head, and I suppose that, all things considered, the camera contributes more to the forces of sin than any other invention. Its greatest evil is its contribution to the production of pornography, a flood of which now inundates the world, none of which could exist without the camera. I am aware that pornography is not so prevalent and all-pervasive as some other curses I shall mention, but it does more damage. It is more ensnaring, more defiling, more enslaving, and more damning than other evils. It is of course defiling and damning also to the producers of it, as well as to those who are used in its production. The love of money is the root of those evils, but they would not exist without the camera.

And while I am speaking of the camera, I must also list as some of the greatest curses of modern society both the movies and the television. The theater has existed for centuries, and has always been a force for evil, but it was not so readily available as the movies and television have made it. Now all of the filth, the smut, the sensuality and innuendo, the wrath and violence----or the unmixed worldliness of the so-called good movies----in short, all of the sin which has always been the staple of the theater is available to everyone, at all times, in living colors, set to enchanting music, at the touch of a button. But I beg leave to point out that it is the camera which is at the bottom of all of this. None of this could exist without the camera.

Now in the light of all of this, it is hard to suppose that the devil had nothing to do with the invention and development of the camera. The kingdom of God had no need whatsoever of the instrument, and if the camera had never been invented the cause of Christ would not have suffered in the least. I beg my readers to note that the Bible characterizes “all that is in the world” as “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life” (I John 2:16), and it is perhaps safe to say that no other thing in existence has so bound these three together, as a threefold cord which cannot be broken, as the camera has done. The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye are two things, but in pornography they are one, each strengthening the other. The same is true of the movies and television.

But there is yet more. The lust of the eye and the pride of life are two things, but in the department store catalog they become one. “Love not the world,” the Bible says, “neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (I John 2:15). Yet nothing in existence has so contributed to glorify the things that are in the world, as the camera has done. Though smut and sensuality did not exist, the camera would yet be a great curse for its constant contribution to the glorification of simple worldliness. Advertising was revolutionized by the camera, and today “the things that are in the world” are blazoned before the eyes of everyone everywhere, in papers and magazines, signs on the highway, and even in telephone books.

But I proceed to the next great curse of modern society, which is the radio. The damage which the radio does to the souls of men is incalculable. The kind of damage which it does may not always be so deep and damning as that which is done by the camera, for the radio does not feed the eye, but the radio is more pervasive in society than anything which the camera can provide. Men cannot always watch something, but they can listen at almost all times, and many there are who never get away from the radio, except when they turn to the television. The radio wakes them up in the morning, and they listen to it the whole day long, whether eating, working, driving, playing, or what have you. They are addicted to its sound, and can hardly live without it. I was working on a temporary job at a factory some fifteen or twenty years ago. When I started work in the morning, the foreman conducted me to a machine where two girls were working, and a radio blaring. I settled in for what I expected to be an evil day, but in a few minutes the foreman came to take one of the girls to a different machine, as I was there to replace her for the day. She took the radio with her, and the other girl began immediately to moan, wondering how she could make it through the day without the radio. I told her I had been wondering how I could make it through the day with the radio. A little later in the morning I began to talk to her about her soul, and told her I was a Christian. Her immediate response was, “So that's why you didn't want the radio. You know it's no good.” Yes, and she obviously knew it was no good also, but was addicted to it anyway.

I should mention, by the way, that I have always refused to take any long-term job where there was a radio. I have sometimes worked for a day, or a few hours, with one, but I will not stay on such a job. The job which I mentioned above was temporary, and I had no obligation to go back for a second day. Twenty-five years ago I had a good job in a hospital laundry. The supervisor brought in a radio. I immediately told him I would not work with it. Either I must go, or the radio. He threw plenty of sarcasm in my teeth----told me we were running a laundry, not a Sunday school----but he took out the radio.

The radio is defiling. Its music is corrupt, and addictive also. Addiction, I should say, is not necessarily a physical thing. Addiction is in the soul, though the body may be addicted to some things also. Herein lies the strength of sin. Infants are not born addicted to sin. Little children are not addicted to swearing, or gambling, or pornography, or drink. These things have no hold upon a man until he strengthens his own lusts by indulgence in them. Indulgence brings addiction. The strength of sin does not lie merely in the corruption of our nature, real as that is, but in habit. And the constant indulgence in the radio, day in and day out, strengthens its hold upon a man until his soul is addicted to it. Its influence is of course evil. It is filled with moral corruption. This is too obvious to need any proof. It is in and of the world, wholly worldly, even apart from any apparent moral corruption.

But there is another evil in the radio, perhaps as damaging as the actual defilement which it communicates. It effectually stands in the way of any spiritual good. It keeps men from thinking. It controls their minds----keeps their minds constantly engaged with the corrupt, the frivolous, and the worldly. Thoughts of God and eternity never enter their minds, while the radio bears its all-pervasive sway. The scripture says, “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.” (Matt. 13:19). The devil has always done so, and I suppose that he has numerous means by which to accomplish it, but I frankly suppose that since the invention of the radio he might as well have gone on vacation. Not that we suppose the devil has gone on vacation. He has perfected his machinery, but he is still in control of it. Today a man may hear the word of the gospel, and understand it too, and be impressed by it and moved by it, but how long will this last? Only until he turns on the radio, which will quickly obliterate those serious thoughts, catch away the word of God out of his heart, and blot out the very remembrance of it.

It would be well if this evil were confined to the world, but no, it pervades the church also. The radio plays the whole day long in many Christian homes. It may be Christian radio, but what of that? Its preaching is shallow and worldly enough, while much of the programming consists of music----and very shallow and worldly music too----and its effect can only be to dissipate, I will not say all serious thought, but certainly all deep thought. Now permit me to speak very frankly. I read but little of the literature of the modern church. I have no taste or time for it. I say, “The old is better.” But when I do read modern Christian literature, I am constantly impressed with its shallowness. Most of it consists of nothing deeper than worn-out clichés. And when I read the doctrinal argumentation of modern publications, I find it often so childish----so mindless----that I am perfectly amazed that adults could write such stuff, to say nothing of doctors of divinity. Now there must be a reason for the extreme shallowness of the modern church, and I cannot help but suppose that one of the primary reasons, at any rate, is the radio. None but the most shallow sort of thinking is possible while the radio plays. Christian radio may actually stimulate some serious thoughts, about “God is so wonderful” or some such things, but those thoughts, however pious, will necessarily be of the most shallow sort, and any connected reasoning or deep meditation will be out of the question. The case would be bad enough if it were only for the time which Christian radio steals from serious thought, but I fear it is much worse. I fear that this constant stimulation of the mind from without robs men also of the habit of thought, and eventually of the ability for it. I repeat, there must be some explanation for the extreme shallowness of the modern church, and I suppose the radio is one of the greatest factors. Nor is anything changed if Christians substitute the tape recorder for the radio, so that they can control what they listen to. If it is music they listen to, its certain effect will be to dissipate meditation and depth of thought.

Some, of course, will vigorously contend for preaching the gospel by the radio, and I would not deny that some good has been done in that way. Nevertheless, the good done can never begin to offset the harm done by the same means, even in the church, to say nothing of the world. The “great commission” enjoins us, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Any use of the radio in evangelism must conspicuously fail in much of this. Radio preachers cannot baptize their converts, nor gather them together in churches, nor exercise any proper pastoral authority over them. While the radio, therefore, has doubtless brought truth and light to some souls, it has at the same time obscured the truth and dimmed the light of the church. Nothing has contributed to corrupt the music of the church as Christian radio has done. Though we can grant that Christian radio has done good, that good will never offset the evil which it has done. The radio is one of the greatest curses of modern society, both in the church and the world.

To speak more particularly of the world, which is the proper subject of this article, it is a solemn and unchanging fact that “Evil communications corrupt good manners,” and nothing on the globe has augmented evil communications as the radio has done. Evil need not now pass from mouth to mouth through a long chain of individuals. It is spread broadcast over the whole world, so that a few seconds are now sufficient to accomplish the corruption which must have taken months or years before the advent of the radio. The modern means of rapid travel were curse enough in this direction, but nothing to compare to the radio.

And while I speak of evil communications, it is proper to state that in this regard the television is of the same character as the radio. The damage which it does is indeed deeper than that of the radio, for to the corruption of the ear it adds that of the eye, but the television is necessarily more limited in its use. Men cannot watch television while they drive a car or work at their jobs, but the radio goes everywhere.

Nor can I exclude the printing press, though it is not so unmixed a curse as the radio or the television, nor is it strictly modern as they are. Though I freely grant that the printing press has been a very great blessing to the church----and it would ill become me to deny it while I live in a house bursting at the seams with books----yet the printing press has surely been the agent of an incalculable amount of evil, and certainly of much more evil than good. Neither pornography, nor the modern profusion of smutty literature and worthless fiction, nor department store catalogs, nor the profusion of worthless books and magazines under which the modern church is buried, could exist without the printing press. And of course the modern automated presses are a thousand times the greater curse than those of the old style, by which a man turned a screw to print one sheet at a time. The printing press has contributed a large share to the evil communications with which the devil has cursed the modern world. It is a simple fact that the kingdom of God and the gospel of Christ prospered well enough in apostolic times, without a printing press----and prospered a good deal better than they do today. And I must point out that one of the lesser effects of all of these modern curses lies in the fact that the profusion of books, of music, and of material goods, which modern technology has made possible, has very much decreased man's capacity to appreciate them----and “unthankful” is one of the characteristics of the last times. And still another evil lies very close to this one. The profusion of books, recorded sermons, and especially Christian radio, has very effectually destroyed the hunger of the church. When every child of God is literally satiated with “Christian ministry”----unsound and shallow though most of it be----there is no hunger left for a solid ministry which would restore health to the church. When John the Baptist stood up as a voice crying in the wilderness, his solitary voice arrested the nation. If “a man sent from God” stands forth today, his voice is but one among the ten thousand of those who have run without being sent, and the people have no interest even to give him a hearing. They have been preached to death----yea, entertained to death----by Christian radio, and a regular avalanche of “ministry” of all sorts, so that they have no hunger left, any more than the boy who has been eating candy all day has any interest to come to the dinner table. It may be that the cream of the ministry will rise to the top, but those who are swimming in a sea of diluted milk know not where the top is, and have no hunger to look for it. This is all part of the curse with which modern means of communication have plagued the church.

But to continue. Since evil communications corrupt good manners, and since the communications of the world can hardly be anything but evil, everything which modern attainments and inventions have done to increase communications has worked also to increase evil. One little recognized curse which operates in this way is urbanization. There can be no doubt that the devil has engineered this. It is the direct reverse of the rural life which will exist under the reign of Christ, when every man will eat of his own vine, and sit under his own fig tree. Cities have always been the strongholds of sin. There is an obvious reason for this. The close proximity of all the people to each other multiplies communication, and the multiplied communication of sinful men can only multiply sin. Cities have long existed, but the urbanization which exists today is a modern thing. It is the result of modern invention and mass production. The farms are more and more abandoned, and the cities more and more crowded. The love of money is the root of this evil also. City life is not only physically unhealthy, but morally so also. An old proverb rightly affirms, “God made the country, and man made the town,” but it would be nothing too strong to assert that God made the country and the devil made the town. Alas, all the sin of the cities is now broadcast over the whole countryside by means of the radio and the television, so that the difference between the cities and the country is not near so great as it once was. The fact yet remains, however, that the cities are the strongholds of sin.

Another of the great curses of modern society is mass production. We might know that this is a curse from the very fact that it is so glorified by the world. It was glorified in the school room when I was a boy, as one of man's greatest attainments. But what has mass production done for man? We have remarked already that it has taken men away from the country and brought them to the cities. Beyond that, it has taken the fathers out of their homes, and sent them to the factories. It is scarcely possible for a man to work any more at his own craft, producing his own goods for the market. He cannot compete with the mass production of the factories.

It would be hard to speak of the curses of modern society without inclucing electricity. I am very well aware that electrical power has been a great help to the human race. It has doubtless done more than anything else to ease man's burdens, and this is not all evil, but it is certainly not all good. We must consider the overall result, the net gain or loss. In the first place it must be understood that it is electricity alone which has made possible every form of those mass communications which have so corrupted the race. Without electricity, there would be no radio or television. But I turn to something which may appear more innocent. Electrical power is the foundation of a thousand modern appliances which do man's work for him. It also empowers the machines which make those appliances, and which produce also a thousand forms of luxurious goods. Electrical power and mass production have flooded the world with a profusion of luxuries, putting them within the easy reach of everyone. Electrical power and mass production have thus combined to very much reduce man's labor, while they have very much increased his goods. Can this be anything but a curse? It is the very state of things which God describes when he speaks of “the iniquity of Sodom”: “pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her.” (Ezek. 16:49). Electricity and mass production have given all of this to modern society, and abundance of luxuries besides. This is surely a curse. Christ came to preach the gospel to the poor, and it is poverty which naturally turns men to the Lord. “Not many rich” are called, nor ever will be. But electricity and mass production have made everybody rich. We all live in a profusion of luxury which kings never dreamed of before the advent of electricity and mass production. We may not have the gold and silver which they possessed, but we have a profusion of luxuries and conveniences which they could never have imagined. Yet the Bible still says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him.” Understand, I would be the first to contend that “the things that are in the world” are not merely material things, nor even primarily so, but rather principles, programs, associations, and so forth. Yet material things are surely included, and the profusion of them which electricity and mass production have put into the hands of everyone has proved one of the most effectual bars to the success of the gospel. America was once known as the land of revivals, but no revival has swept over her since 1857. Why not? The devil knows his business, and I suppose he knew well enough that the most effectual way to put a stop to those revivals which made such inroads upon his kingdom was to flood America with riches and luxuries. Men feel little need of God when they live in a profusion of wealth and luxury. Yet some foolish Christians regard all of this as the work of God.

Oh, if the saints of God could only see the world as it is, as a vast system which controls the human race, all of it engineered by the devil, with every part intertwined with the rest, every one of them contributing its own part to the general evil, all of them pulling together in the same direction, which is always away from God. The radio, the television, the camera, rapid travel, electrical power, mass production, the printing press, all of these work together to increase and cement the power of Satan over the human race. All of them work together to eliminate the very classes to which Christ was sent----the poor, the sick, bruised, and the broken-hearted. Human need turns men to God, and the direct tendency of all of the curses of the modern world is to eliminate human need, and where it cannot do that, to entertain men away from any thought of it. A century and a half ago most any preacher could ride into a town, announce a gospel meeting on the court house steps, and the whole population would turn out to hear him. Today he would be preaching not only in the open air, but to the open air. The whole population is surfeited with wealth and luxury and entertainment and pleasure, and is hungry for nothing. This is all the devil's doing. All of the curses of modern society conspire together to impede the success of the gospel. Never before in history has the church of God faced such overwhelming difficulties in turning men from darkness to light.

Yet one fact abides above all of the power and success of the devil. The Bible yet says, “Greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world.” God is yet able to do his work in the souls of men, in spite of all the power of the devil, and all the curses of modern society. But God works through men. He works through the church, which in our day is so conformed to the world as to be, in general, an actual detriment to the cause of Christ. And as in another day, so in our own, it would seem the Lord must say, “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezek. 22:30). And the man that might have sufficed for that day, may not suffice for this. We live in perilous times, serious times, when it behooves the church of God as never before to cease from its games and entertainments, and to learn simple self-denial and devotedness to the cause of Christ, if peradventure the Lord will once again make bare his arm to bring salvation, in spite of all the impediments to it with which the devil has cursed modern society.


Ï Book Review Ï

by Glenn Conjurske


Archaic Words and the Authorized Version, by Laurence M. Vance

Vance Publications, P.O. Box 11781, Pensacola, Fla. 32524

576 pp., paperback, $18.95.

The largest portion of this book (388 pp.) consists of an alphabetical listing of archaic words in the King James Version, with information on their meaning and etymology, and what they are altered to in the modern versions. Of course it would require a great deal of imagination to find 388 pages worth of actual archaic words in the King James Version, and the list includes a great host of words which are not archaic at all, such as “bettered, celestial, enterprise, evermore, hence, prating, sever, wrought,” etc., etc. But the imagination which listed such words as archaic was not the author's, but that of the translators of the new Bible versions. The author explicitly claims to include in his list not such words as are actually archaic, but such as are commonly so regarded by the objectors to the old Bible, and therefore excluded from the new Bibles. I think he has mistaken the case, however, concerning a good many of these words, such as “debase, deck, heresy, offend, omnipotent,” which were no doubt excluded from the modern versions for other reasons than that they were deemed archaic. No doubt the main reason for the exclusion of many of them is the inveterate determination of the new versions to be different from the old one. (The book points out a number of places in which the new versions remove a word from one text, and introduce it in another.)

I observe also that despite the largeness of this list, some words which actually are archaic are omitted, such as “worth” in the expression “Woe worth the day.” He properly lists “doctors” as an archaic word for “teachers,” but omits “masters,” which means the same thing. “Faint” is also omitted, though its usage in the old version is certainly archaic. The profession of the preface, therefore, that “This book provides an explicit and comprehensive examination of every word in the Authorized Version of the Bible that has been deemed archaic,” is certainly saying too much.

Not only so, but the treatment of the various words is not always “comprehensive.” It is often disappointing or unsatisfactory, and sometimes unreliable. A great deal too much space is devoted to etymology, which is usually irrevelant, and serves only to clutter the pages with useless information, in place of the pertinent information which should have been given.

I observe under the word “virtue” that though he quotes the only verse in which the word is used in a sense actually archaic----Luke 8:46, “I perceive that virtue is gone out of me”----he fails to inform us that “virtue” means “power” in that verse. He does include “the power inherent in a supernatural being” in a list of seven things which the word “can mean,” but gives us no hint that that is its meaning in Luke 8:46. Not only so, but “the power inherent in a supernatural being” is too narrow as a definition, for the word was often used of any power, including any ability or capacity. The Wycliffe Bible has in I Cor. 4:19, “Y schal knowe not êe word of hem êat ben blowun wiê pride, but the vertu,” where “virtue” is simply “power” in a general sense. And Wycliffe, speaking of man's five senses----“five wits” he calls them----repeatedly refers to them as “virtues.” He says, “çese wittis ben clepid si3te and heering, smelling and taist, wiê groping; ...êes fyve wittis comen of a vertue wiêinne in êe heed, and 3if a man bi sleep be lettid in êis vertue, ouêer bi fumes, or drunkenes, or oêer cause, êes fyve wittis ben stoppid and wanten her worching.” That is, “These wits [or senses] are called sight and hearing, smelling and taste, with feeling; ...these five wits come of a power within in the head, and if a man by sleep be hindered in this power, or by fumes, or drunkenness, or other cause, these five wits are stopped and want their working.”

Again, of the healing of the deaf and dumb man, “Crist toke him aside fro êe comune peple, and putte his fyngris in his eeris, and wiê his spitting touchide his tonge, and 3af him êanne vertue to heeren and to speke” ----that is, “gave him then virtue to hear and to speak,” “virtue” plainly meaning ability or capacity.

The Wycliffe Bible, describing the distribution of the talents in Matt. 25:15, says, “to eche after his owne vertu”----that is, “to each after his own virtue,” meaning his own ability, as our version has it. And I cannot forbear remarking that even in this sense the word “virtue” is not quite archaic, for we still use it in precisely this meaning in the common phrase “in virtue of,” or “by virtue of.” This phrase means “by the power or efficacy of,” by the power, ability, or capacity resident in anything.

Under “bethink” I find the same sort of unsatisfactory information. In giving the etymology he prints the Old English “beêencan” as “bepencan.” He also makes the following remarkable statement: “Although bethink is not common anymore, the similar form methinks is very much in use today.” But any association between “bethink” and “methinks” is purely imaginary, based only on appearance, not derivation or meaning. We might as well illustrate “bookworm” with “hookworm.” And in telling us what the word “can mean” he omits one of the most important senses, “to regret or repent.” The more's the pity, as in the verse which he quotes under “bethink”----(II Chron. 6:37)----“to repent” is evidently the meaning intended by the translators. So it was understood in all the early English versions. Thus:

Coverdale, 1535----“yf they turne within their hertes.”

Great Bible, 1539----“yf they repent in their hert.”

Geneva Bible, 1560----“If they turne againe to their heart,” with the marginal note “Or, repent” on “turne againe.”

Bishops' Bible, 1568----“If they repent in their heart.”

Under the word “situate” he quotes I Sam. 14:5, “The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash,” where “situate” is used as an adjective. To prove that the word is still in use, he quotes a modern sentence which uses it as a verb. This is entirely irrelevant, and can only mislead. We do not now use “situate” as an adjective. The really pertinent information in the case he fails to give us, namely, that English past participles, or participial adjectives, such as “consecrated” and “situated,” were formerly spelled (and pronounced) without the final “d.” “Consecrate ground” is equal to “consecrated ground.” We still retain some of these forms today, as in the adjectives “degenerate” (which is equal to “degenerated”), “separate,” and “insubordinate.” In all such cases the final syllable is pronounced as the final syllable in the adjectives “degenerate” and “separate,” and not with a long “a” as in the verbs of the same spelling.

Another example of this archaic form of the past participle, which occurs in early English Bibles, is “excommunicate,” which is equal to “excommunicated.” Thus Tyndale's first New Testament reads at John 9:34, “yff eny man did confesse that he was Christ/ he shulde be excommunicat out of the Sinagoge,” and this (spelled “excommunicate” in later versions) was retained as far as the Bishops' Bible. “Situate,” then, in the verse mentioned, is simply the old form of “situated.” It is pronounced as the adjectives “moderate” and “separate,” and not with the last syllable long and accented as in the verbs of the same spellings. The same form, with the same sense, continued in use long after the production of the 1611 Bible. Thus on page 370 of Coke and Moore's Life of John Wesley, published in 1792, “The house, then used for preaching, was situate in Marlborough-street”----that is, situated in Marlborough-street.

The few examples which I have treated serve to illustrate how far much of the information given in the book is either deficient, defective, mistaken, or misleading.

But to speak of the strength of the book: I have long observed that many of those words regarded as archaic by the new Bible versions are still used in secular newspapers or on the radio, but since I so seldom read anything in a newspaper, and hear so little of the radio, it would have been out of the question for me to attempt anything like a demonstration of this. But Mr. Vance's book does just that, and this by a great host of actual references to contemporary secular publications. I hope Mr. Vance found these references by means of a computer, for I surely hope he has had better things to do than to read all of the secular publications to which he refers. But be that as it may, their testimony is a rather remarkable one, such as we might hope would moderate some of the modern cries of “archaic!” against the old version. This might be expecting too much, as the advocates of the new versions are often as immune to the force of facts as are the King-James-Only people, only it is a different kind of facts which they set aside. The preface (pg. viii) informs us that the “thesis” of the work “is that the Authorized Version is no more archaic than daily newspapers, current magazines, and modern Bible versions.” This is a great overstatement. Nevertheless, the author does provide evidence enough that the old version is not too archaic to be understood, even by the present generation.

The author takes every occasion to point out the inconsistency or the foolishness of the modern versions, and many of his observations are true enough.

But let my readers observe, I here review the book, not the author. I know nothing about the author beyond what I find in this book.

To speak of the book itself, it comes in a poor paperback binding, such as will certainly not bear much use. This is to be deplored in a book which is avowedly intended for reference. But paperback books, with bindings glued instead of stitched, are one of the evils of our times----another of the innumerable evils of which the love of money is “the root.” I will not much censure Mr. Vance for this, as authors who are obliged to publish their own books are often forced to do it in such form as they can afford, rather than such as they would choose. I know this by experience. But the large publishers, who have plenty of money, and therefore no excuse, have set a very evil example in this, publishing even such reference books as lexicons and concordances in such cheap bindings----an example which has opened the way for others to do the same.

The “footnotes” (as the author calls them) are very difficult to use, not appearing at the “foot” of the page, but occupying 120 pages at the end of the book, where they are listed by chapters. To find a note, we must first go to the beginning of the chapter (or the beginning of the book) to find out what chapter we are in, then go to the end of the book and page through till we find that chapter's notes. When we have accomplished this, we have likely forgotten which note we were looking for. To have indicated the chapter numbers at the tops of the pages, in both the body of the book and the notes at the end, would have saved the readers a world of trouble. The top of every left-hand page gives us the title of the book, which we knew already. Why not use the space for something useful?

Blank Verse

by the editors of

The Sword and the Trowel


Olde Paths and Ancient Landmarks

Poetry----and my remarks are intended to apply solely to English poetry----if well written, may be not only very beautiful, but very useful, and very powerful. It may be a great power for good, as it has sometimes been a great power for evil. There is something----perhaps a number of things----in poetry which give it a power which no prose writing ever possesses. It conveys its message to the heart, and fixes it in the mind, as no prose can do. Witness the following, from Reginald Heber:

What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile?
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone.

What prose could equal this? Or this, from Charles Wesley?:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and natures night;
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

The addition of pleasing and fitting music may no doubt add much to the charm and power of English verse, but if the poetry is good enough in itself, the music may actually detract from its power. This is certainly the case with both of the verses just quoted. It is difficult to read either of these without weeping, though I have often sung them both with dry eyes.

It belongs to the wisdom of the wise to both recognize and utilize the power of verse. There is a degree of abandonment possible in good poetry, as there is also in good preaching, which would appear only as affectation in ordinary prose, or in ordinary speech. Such abandonment gives power to our words, and this is part of the power of verse.

But unless I am greatly deceived, English poetry is something which possesses rhyme, rhythm, and meter. Six and a half centuries ago Richard Rolle was writing such as this (modernized in the right-hand column):

Ihesu my joy and my louynge,
Ihesu my comforthe clere,
Ihesu my godde, Ihesu my king,
Ihesu with-owttene pere.
Jesus my joy and my loving,
Jesus my comfort clear,
Jesus my God, Jesus my king,
Jesus without [a] peer.

Though it is scarcely possible to make good modern English poetry of this, because of differences in pronunciation and accentuation, any reader may plainly see that it has meter, rhythm, and rhyme. This is English poetry, and has been for many centuries.

That there has always been plenty of poor poetry is hardly to be doubted, and I could quote some as old as Richard Rolle which contains rhyme enough, but is destitute of rhythm, and doubly destitute of depth, really not worth the paper it was written on, though its author no doubt thought it was clever. But men of sense and taste may easily distinguish poor poetry from the better sort. Good English poetry is that which possesses true rhythm and meter, and true rhyme----besides solid sense, and depth of thought and feeling. But certain men----and many of them able men, who perhaps could have written good poetry had they attempted it----have pawned off upon the English people, as though it were poetry, a great quantity of stuff which possesses no rhyme at all, and much of it no rhythm or meter either. I frankly suppose that a good deal of this (I will not say all) has been inspired by nothing other than a spirit of liberalism, which supposes that the marks of genius lie in a departure from the old paths. But whatever has inspired the stuff, its effect has certainly been to very much debase and destroy the poetic art. Under the (false) impression that pure rhyme and true meter are not essential to poetry, half the race has turned poet, and true poetry seems to have taken its flight from the earth, perhaps to dwell with the angels, who may yet know its worth.

In my reading the other day I ran across the following “lines from Coleridge”:

“O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee till thou, still present to the bodily sense, didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer I worshipped the Invisible alone.”

But the reader may perhaps perceive that I have altered the piece. No, I have not altered a single syllable from the source from which I have quoted it, nor a single letter, nor a single mark of punctuation, but I have declined to print the piece in “lines,” as though it were poetry----for poetry it certainly is not. I defy any of my readers to put the piece back into shape, in its original “lines”----though a child could do this with ease if it were poetry. As it stands, it is well nigh impossible, and a true poet would likely be the farthest off in his attempt to restore it. Though anybody might guess at it, I dare say no one will be able so much as to affirm with certainty how many “lines” the original form contained. The piece may not be half bad as prose, but it is not poetry.

Ah, well, perhaps Coleridge was a genius. Perhaps so was Milton. But whatever they were, they did a great disservice to poetry. Inspired by the example of such genius, a great host of folks who could not write poetry to save their lives have set their hands to do so anyway, and have thus turned out a great quantity of blank verse, most of it more blank than verse.

C. H. Spurgeon held views similar to my own on this subject, and I reprint on the next page the following article upon this theme from his masterly pen, as it appears on page 351 of The Sword and the Trowel for 1884:

Observe, Spurgeon objects mainly to the poor imitations of the great masters of blank verse, while he apparently failed to consider----or did not live long enough to see----the great damage that blank verse as such would do to the art of poetry as such. The damage has now been done----for I was taught in grade school that rhyme was unnecessary to poetic verse----and we now live in a day when any piece of common prose can pass for poetry. Of course, when this meterless stuff is sung, we must have meterless music also----and have it we do, even in the church. Our lot is cast, therefore, in a generation in which every dabbler in thought or emotion may put together his rhymeless and rhythmless “lines,” set them to a string of notes, and call the result a hymn----or (pardon me) a “spiritual song”----and receive applause enough for it too. This is really too bad. The church of God has never possessed an overabundance of good hymns. J. C. Ryle affirmed in a better day than our own, “But really good hymns are exceedingly rare. There are only a few men in any age who can write them. You may name hundreds of first-rate preachers for one first-rate writer of hymns. Hundreds of so-called hymns fill up our collections of congregational psalmody, which are not really hymns at all. They are very sound, very scriptural, very proper, very correct, very tolerably rhymed; but they are not real, live, genuine hymns. There is no life about them. At best they are tame, pointless, weak, and milk-and-watery. In many cases, if written out straight, without respect of lines, they would make excellent prose. But poetry they are not. It may be a startling assertion to some ears to say that there are not more than two hundred first-rate hymns in the English language; but startling as it may sound, I believe it is true.” Alas, the good man could not say even this for the hymnology of our own day. Sensible and spiritual men will always welcome additions to the number of good hymns, but it is hard to hope for much in a day when taste and theology are sunk so low, and in a generation which cannot tell prose from poetry.


More on * v

by Glenn Conjurske

In the February issue for the present year I sought to “dispel the myth” that j v denotes only divine love. This I did by referring to its usage in the Septuagint. I have since run across a statement which disallows such an appeal to the LXX. Swete, in affirming the change of meaning in some words from the LXX to the New Testament, uses j v as an example, and says, “* v in the LXX. rarely rises above the lower sense of the sexual passions, or at best the affection of human friendship; ... But in the N.T., where the word is more frequent, it is used only of the love of God for men, or of men for God or Christ, or for the children of God as such.”[

This argument is unsound. It may be true that the word is used only of “divine love” in the New Testament, but that fact is irrelevant to Swete's argument. The reason that its usage is thus confined in the New Testament is hardly because the meaning of the word is thus confined, but rather because the subject matter of the New Testament is thus confined. We have no accounts in the New Testament of Samson and Delilah, nor of Jacob and Rachel, nor even of David and Jonathan. If the subject matter of the New Testament called for a word denoting the love of friends or lovers, and employed a word other than j v for it, we could then give some credit to Swete's argument. But in fact j v is the only noun for “love” in the New Testament, while the subject matter treated therein offers no occasion to use it in any sense but that for which Swete contends.

If we turn, however, to the verb of the same stem, namely j v , we shall find it used often enough of human love, and even of love for things evil or inanimate. A few examples will suffice to prove this:

Matt. 6:24----“either he will hate the one, and love the other.”

Luke 6:32----“sinners also love those that love them.”

Luke 7:5----“he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.”

John 3:19----“men loved darkness rather than light.”

John 12:43----“they loved the praise of men.”

Eph. 5:28----“He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

II Tim. 4:10----“having loved this present world.”

I Pet. 3:10----“he that will love life.”

II Pet. 2:15----“who loved the wages of unrighteousness.”

There can really be no doubt that, if the New Testament had occasion to use a noun for human or marital love, that noun would be j v .


Taking the Heart out of the Bible

by Glenn Conjurske

For somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter of a century I have been accused of “subjectivism” in my criticism of the “New” Bibles, and my defense of the old. To that charge I plead guilty. Not that I am purely subjective----not that there is no solid objective foundation beneath my position----but subjective I surely am, and subjective I intend to remain. When the heart is involved in a matter, we must be subjective, and I make no apology for the fact that I love the old Bible. But love can be objective also. “Love is blind,” but “God is love,” and God is not blind. A man may be very keenly conscious of the faults of his children, and yet love them all the same. For my part, I believe I can see the faults of the old Bible as well as any of its modern detractors do, and yet I love it still. 'Tis true that “love covers a multitude of sins,” but it is equally true that “faults are thick where love is thin,” and when I see modern pedants and petty grammarians turning almost everything in the old Bible into a fault, I can only conclude that their love for the old Book must be very thin. And if their love for the old Book is very thin, this tells me something about the nature of their Christianity. I was once there too. I spurned and despised the old Book also----when I was heady, highminded, enamored with modern scholarship, ignorant of the issues, and destitute of wisdom. My Christianity was more head than heart, but when I began to learn a little of the religion of the heart, I became painfully aware of how little there was even of head in my former state. And as I entered more deeply into the solid substance of the religion of the heart, that heady intellectualism, with which I had been so enamored before, lost its charms----became, indeed, positively distasteful. But the old Bible regained its charms, for the old English Bible is the book above all books for the heart. The “New” versions are the product of a heady and unspiritual intellectualism, and certainly not of old-fashioned heart-religion. As a consequence, they speak to the head, where the old version speaks to the heart.

But some will claim that the “New” versions speak to the heart also.

I will not deny it, while I yet contend that they do not speak to the heart in the same degree or manner as the old one. The modern Bibles are the product of modern Christianity----the product therefore of an unspiritual intellectualism----and whatever is missing in modern Christianity is missing in the modern Bibles also. Now one of the greatest deficiencies of modern Christianity lies in the realm of the heart. The things of the heart have given way before those of the head. Emotion is feared and shunned. Men would not weep if they could----nor could if they would. A cold correctness has replaced that gushing warmth of heart which belongs by nature to real Christianity. The modern revisers of the Bible of course would not purposely eject the matters of the heart from the book, but they knew not how to help it. They had too little feel for the matter. They could not tell what to prune for the head's sake, and what to spare for the heart's sake, ----seem, indeed, to have been largely unaware that it mattered to spare anything for the heart's sake----and they pruned all alike. The NKJV is less guilty of this than the others, but none of them are innocent.

But I must proceed to something specific and objective. There are two manners in which the heart has been taken out of the modern Bibles. The first is by removing many of the old heart associations of the saints of God, and the second by abandoning the strong and vigorous language of the old version, which naturally appeals to the heart.

Now as to the first, we must affirm that words are not purely indifferent. They are not purely neutral, and they do not stand entirely alone. Words have associations----mental, moral, personal, nostalgic, spiritual, sacred. And will we nill we, the words of the old Bible have associations. They have heart associations. They are associated with all that is most precious to the saints of God, and to cast away those heart associations, because, perforce, we have found a word which we fancy to be more accurate, entails more loss than gain, and displays besides a lamentable insensitivity to the matters of the heart, which is one of the most patent characteristics of modern intellectualism, and of the modern Bibles. If John Jones has always tenderly addressed his lover as “Foo-foo,” she will likely feel the loss when he drops it for “darling,” though he might contend that “darling” is more refined, more accurate, and more of who knows what. But this modern intellectualism can think of nothing but accuracy, and it seems never to have imagined that there might be any heart associations in the old Bible----or that men have any hearts at all.

I grew up near the top of a large hill known as “the hogsback.” Our lot was just below the summit. The top of the hill was unoccupied, and covered with woods. I used to wander there and pick trilliums or mayflowers, or stand on the edge of the hill above the road and look out over the countryside. Just on the summit there stood a large hemlock, and anyone driving up the road, ascending the hill, could always see the top third or quarter of that old hemlock, towering above the rest of the trees.

But I grew up and left my boyhood home. I went to Bible school in Michigan, then to preach in Colorado. I lived in various places, and for years did not see my boyhood home. At length, however, I returned there for a visit. As I drove through town and across the bridge, and began to approach the hogsback, one thought was uppermost in my mind----to see again the old hemlock. But as I began to drive up the hill, I began to feel confused----disappointed----robbed. The old hemlock was----------------GONE!! The top of the hogsback was levelled. A building was there.

Now I can guess that none of my readers have felt, in the reading of these paragraphs, what I have felt in the writing of them. They shed none of the tears in the reading of these things, which I shed in the writing of them. None of the sobs which convulsed my frame convulsed theirs. The hogsback was nothing to them. The old hemlock was nothing to them.

Yet it is with just these emotions that a spiritual saint must read the “New” Bible versions. He finds many of the old heart associations gone, hewed down without a pang of regret, to make way for progress. Well, my readers must pardon me, but I can only suppose concerning the translators of these “New” versions, that the old landmarks of English Christianity were nothing to them. The warm heart associations of the old saints of

God were nothing to them. They had a cold, intellectual thing called (or miscalled) “scholarship,” and hearts were of no account where heads knew something----or thought they did. Young intellectuals may read these “New” versions, and be delighted with the progress. Old saints read them, and can only feel grieved and violated.

Now in all of this it is the unspirituality of the “New” translators which comes out. They know some things, we may grant, but they are lamentably destitute of spiritual sense and spiritual feeling. They march through the old Bible like an army in combat boots, with no sense----judging solely from their performances----that they are treading on holy ground, but on they go, like heartless soldiers, hacking and hewing and treading down old widows' flower gardens, with no sense that they are violating anything sacred. They must have a Bible for the unspiritual, for the intellectual, for the lazy, for the lukewarm, for the ungodly, and it nothing concerns them to spare that which is dear to the spiritual. In all of this we see the unspirituality of modern Evangelicalism.

Do they have no sense that the hearts of the saints of God are intimately bound up with every turn of expression in the old Bible? Do they not know that their continual discarding of its innocent little quaintnesses----do they not perceive that their continual upsetting of its familiar cadences----can they not guess that their constant replacing of one word with another (when the two words mean precisely the same thing), are just so many depredations upon the hearts of the saints of God? “Linked with all our holiest, happiest memories, and bound up with all our purest aspirations: part and parcel of whatever there is of good about us: fraught with men's hopes of a blessed Eternity and many a bright vision of the never-ending Life;----the Authorized Version, wherever it was possible, should have been jealously retained.” So wrote J. W. Burgon, when observing the insensitivity of the old revisers, who, like the “New” ones, subjected every matter of the heart to a frigid----and often imagined----accuracy.

But I must pause to give an example, lest my readers suppose all of this to be empty assertion. When the “New” Bibles came on the scene, they came, we would like to hope, to a people familiar with the word of God. All such people know very well the meaning of the word “closet”----a word which is full of fragrance to spiritual souls. It is full of heart associations, which are spiritual----holy----sacred. But “thy closet” is no more the place of prayer in the “New” versions, for that priceless “accuracy” which produced them must thrust its cold and careless hand into every warm association of the heart, and undo it. Not that the modern brand of accuracy can tell us what “thy closet” ought to be----only it is sure it should not be “thy closet” (for that is the rendering of the old version). According to the NIV and the NKJV, it is now “your room,” which to every ordinary person will mean “your bedroom.” According to the Berkeley Version and the NASV it is now “your inner room,” which may mean most anything, and to many will likely mean but little, as they are not conscious that they have any “inner room.” According to the Christian Bible it is now “your storeroom,” which means the same thing as is ordinarily understood by “your closet,” but which has none of its sacred associations. For in spite of the “New” versions, all of the holy associations of the heart remain with the terminology of the old one. The saints of God----who know the word of God----whose element is fellowship with the people of God----who love the precious heritage left to us by men of God----these all know very well what “thy closet” is. These all know what it means to “go from the closet to the pulpit”----while they know also that the “closet” may be the woods or the riverbank. But all of these sacred associations of the heart are thrown to the winds by the “New” versions, for the sake of an accuracy which is usually no more accurate than that of the old one. This demonstrates plainly enough how little those sacred associations meant to the producers of the “New” versions. It was not spirituality which wrought after this fashion, and the result produced has failed conspicuously to find acceptance with spirituality or with wisdom. The young people, the Campus Crusaders, the Neo-Evangelicals, the intellectuals, these have taken up the “New” versions before the ink was dry, while the old saints have, generally, stood aloof.

But this is no concern to the makers of the “New” versions, for the fact is, the solid, old-fashioned, spiritual saints of God were not the “target readers” of the “New” versions. They were not translated for the old saints who loved the old book. That were entirely a work of supererogation----indeed, an inexcusable impertinence. The old saints did not want a “New” Bible. These “New” Bibles were neither produced by nor for such saints of God. They were produced for the shallow and unspiritual generation which makes up modern Evangelicalism. They were produced for the modern preachers who know more of the batting averages of the major league ball players than they do of the cadences of the old Bible. They were produced for the modern generation of Christians, who are more familiar with the personalities of Hollywood than they are with Job or Jeremiah. They were produced for the young people who are too lazy to use a dictionary. Such Christians, of course, may take these “New” Bibles in hand, and feel no disappointment at all----no loss at all----no wrenching of the feelings of their hearts at all. They had no such feelings to wrench. They likely little knew the old book, and at any rate they little loved it.

Ah! but the “New” versions are more accurate----if we may believe their defenders. I would not pretend to deny it, at least in some few particulars, but then I am so far out of step with the times as to prefer the warm heart associations of the old version, to the cold accuracy of the “New” ones. Worse yet, I am so unscholarly as to doubt that the “New” translators are competent to show us what accuracy is. If it was accuracy which dictated that the NASV should alter “the invisible things of him” to “His invisible attributes” in Romans 1:20, then I am very ignorant, and unable to perceive the value of accuracy. If it was accuracy which compelled the NKJV to thrust out “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own” from John 8:44, and replace it with “When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources”----then “accuracy” is a commodity which we may well live without. Of such accuracy both sense and feeling compel me to say, as

F. H. A. Scrivener said of Hort's textual theory, “that the system which entails such consequences is hopelessly self-condemned.” Translators who are capable of such a stroke as “his own resources” do but demonstrate how absolutely unqualified they are for their task. They amputate the patient's nose to cure his cold----and we are not so sure he had any cold to cure. Did they draw “resources” out of a hat, or mix up their manuscript with their order to Focus on the Family? If they were determined to add something, why did they not say “manuscript,” or “kitchen”? Yet there was no occasion to add anything. We suppose it was wisdom in the old version which let “his own” stand alone in the English, as it does in the Greek. But if they felt compelled to fill out the elipsis, “resources” was as inapt and unfitting a word as they could well have found.

But why do I devote so much attention to these Bible versions? Why do I spend so much emotion on the subject? I wish all of my readers to understand that the things of which I have written in this article are no peripheral issues, but belong to the very heart of the testimony which God has committed to me. This paper is not entitled Olde Paths and Ancient Landmarks for nothing. We are here precisely to call men back to the old paths, “where is the good way.” We know right well what sort of task this is. We know right well how certain our endeavors are to be misunderstood. We know right well what an all-but-impossible task it is to penetrate the smug certainty of the modern generation that the modern departures from the old ways consist of progress. But progress it is not. It is no progress to replace the heart with the head. It is no progress to replace vigorous literary English with the weak and tasteless stuff of the conversational sort, under the plea of intelligibility. It is no progress to take the heart out of the Bible, under the plea of accuracy. It is not that we could never endure any revision of the old version, but we cannot bear the sort of revisions which we have seen. If the old version needs revision, surely the Evangelicals of the present generation are not the ones to revise it. We have seen enough to know what they can do. For my part, I can never call a truce with that modern intellectual sophistication which takes the heart out of Christianity, or out of any part of it, upon any plea whatsoever, but shall stand against it while life shall last. If I do this in too vigorous a manner, it is hard to help it. My heart is involved.

But let one thing be well understood. I am well aware that there are many true-hearted saints of God who use the “New” Bible versions. I do not write to reproach them, but to teach them better, and most surely to make them feel the things which I say. I write to enlighten them as to the true issues involved in the question. The people of God have been plied with many plausible arguments to move them from the old version to the “New” ones, and some of those arguments have moved some good people. The disadvantages of using archaic language has probably moved more than any other argument. The supposed inaccuracy of the old version has moved many, who lack the learning or the means to judge the question. I know good people who have left the old version for a “New” one, but I believe they have been misled. I believe that in making the switch they have lost a good deal more than they have gained. I do not write to reproach or reprove them for their choice, but to make them feel their loss.


Ï Stray Notes on the English Bible Ï

by the Editor


“The Lie” Again

I must beg my readers to pardon me that, in writing my note on “the lie” for the October issue, I overlooked some of the most telling evidence. The very same Greek words which the New King James Version translates “the lie” in Rom. 1:25 and II Thes. 2:11 appear also in John 8:44 and Eph. 4:25. In John 8:44 we read, in the New King James Version, “When he speaks a lie.” It is a task for the defenders of “the lie” in the other texts to explain why the NKJV did not alter this one to “When he speaks the lie.” This would have suited exactly the doctrinal explanations which are usually given of “the lie,” and consistency would seem to demand it, but evidently these new translators lack the courage of their convictions. Alas, I suspect the real difficulty is that they lack the convictions of their courage. Their courage in departing from the old paths and the ancient landmarks is bold enough, but their inconsistencies indicate that there is little enough of conviction in it.

Once more, in Eph. 4:25 the New King James Versions reads, “putting away lying.” Why not “putting away the lie”? The retaining of the old renderings by the “New” translators in these two texts is indication enough that there was no reason to depart from them in the other two, themselves being the judges. Here they evidently yielded to common sense, whereas there they were carried away by a modern evangelical notion, which has no soundness in it.

The New American Standard Version retains “a lie” in John 8:44, but clutters its margin with the statement that it is literally “the lie.” Why does their margin not inform us at verse 34 of the same chapter----“Every one who commits sin”----that it is literally “the sin”? That information would have been every bit as relevant and enlightening as “the lie” in the margin of verse 44.

In Eph. 4:25 they alter “lying” to “falsehood”----a legitimate translation----but do not trouble themselves to tell us that it is literally “the lie,” though the information is surely as relevant here as in the other three texts. Ah, consistency, thou art a jewel!


Corrections on the Doxology in the Lord's Prayer

Pages 65 & 66 of our March issue contain a couple of mistakes concerning Codex . I there stated that Edward Miller added this evidence to the Fouth Edition of Scrivener's Introduction. This was an unwarranted assumption on my part, and a wrong one. When I wrote the article, I had only the Second and Fourth Editions. Miller speaks of the “additional evidence” without specifying what it is, assuming that we have the Third Edition in our hands, which I had not. I have since obtained the Third Edition, the last which Scrivener edited himself, and can therefore now say that his Third Edition contains the information on Codex , though not the other evidence which I named as being added by Miller.

I also referred to Codex as belonging to the fifth century. I should have said “fifth or sixth.” Scrivener himself refers it to the sixth century on pages 569 & 571, but says on pg. 157, “it probably dates from the sixth century, if not a little sooner.” Miller, on pg. 325 (Second Volume) of the Fourth Edition, says “fifth or sixth.”


The Antichrist: Hussein or Hitler?

by Glenn Conjurske

Robert Van Kampen, the new prewrath rapturist, teaches dogmatically that Hitler will be the antichrist, while Bob Ross seems to hint that it may be Saddam Hussein. I do not pretend to know who the antichrist is, but I believe there is one statement of Scripture which both theories have overlooked, which effectually disallows both Hussein and Hitler.

Of Hussein I shall say but little. The notion that Hitler is the antichrist is based upon a long string of fallacies. Van Kampen begins by turning Daniel's four empires into eight.[ The first two of them nothing concern us, as they existed before Babylon, with which Daniel's vision begins. The fourth, the Roman Empire, he turns into two, the sixth and eighth on his scheme, whereas this is but one in Daniel's vision. By turning Daniel's one into two, he gains a place for another, which he puts between his sixth and eighth----that is, in the midst of Daniel's fourth. The empire which he thus thrusts in is Nazi Germany. All of this is based upon turning the eight kings of Rev. 17:10 & 11 into eight kingdoms, a thing which Van Kampen assumes without proof, and insinuates upon his readers without a word, as though this were the received interpretation.

This is Van Kampen's usual manner, and this he does with numerous points throughout his book. In this manner he begins the “Diaspora” with the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. (The “Diaspora,” I should say, is intellectual jargon for “the dispersion.” I prefer to write in English.) Yet we all know that the dispersion has been a fact since the captivity of Israel, and was a fact during the ministry of Christ. James wrote to the twelve tribes “scattered abroad.” But Van Kampen must have an empire which persecutes the Jews outside of their land, and therefore between 70 A.D. and 1948----and therefore the dispersion must begin in A.D. 70. But the plain fact is, there was no less dispersion after 1948 than before that date----for though Israel became a sovereign state in 1948, her land was given her half a century before that----and there was no more dispersion during Hitler's Third Reich than there was during the ministry of Christ. At both times Israel was dispersed, with a small remnant in the land under a foreign yoke.

But to return to the antichrist, there is one text which disallows both Hitler and Hussein. The true Christ said in John 5:43, “I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” “Ye” here is of course the Jews. Now what is the likelihood that the Jews will receive either Hussein or Hitler? The likelihood is, none at all.

Van Kampen is doubtless conscious of this difficulty, but seeks to get around it by affirming that Hitler will take the reigns of the world incognito. Thus, when the Jews receive him, they will not know that it is Hitler. In order to maintain this view, he adopts a new sense of II Thes. 2:8, “and then shall that Wicked one be revealed.” He continually speaks of this as the revelation of the identity of the man who is already reigning as the antichrist. This novelty he insinuates upon his readers without a word of proof, or even of introduction, just as though it were the common interpretation----just as though no other interpretation were possible, or had ever been thought of. But the revelation of the man of sin----so we have always thought----consists of the revelation of some particular man as the antichrist, not of the revelation of the identity of a man who is already known as the antichrist. But John 5:43 totally disallows Van Kampen's novel view of II Thes. 2:8. The Lord tells us explicitly that the antichrist “shall come in his own name.” This absolutely disallows any possibility that he shall reign incognito for three and a half years. He comes in his own name. But Van Kampen overlooked this text. He never mentions John 5:43 in his entire book, consisting of more than 500 pages.

Another less direct argument also stands against Van Kampen's new view. “Here,” the Bible says, “is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.” (Rev. 13:18). And, as the previous verse tells us, this is “the number of his name.” But Van Kampen's scheme deprives men of the possibility of this “wisdom.” They must receive the man in the dark, not knowing his name until long after they have received him.


Index to Volume 5, 1996

Articles by the Editor
* v 279

Antichrist: Hussein or Hitler? 286

Aorist Tense 170, 226

Baptists on Doctor's Degrees 6, 168

Blank Verse 276

Bible Basis of Courtship & Marriage 246

Book Reviews

Archaic Words & Authorized Version,

by Laurence M. Vance 272

Life at Threescore & Ten, Barnes 43

The Two Wesleys, by Spurgeon 16

Rapture Booklets, Bray, Marotta 114

Burgon on I John 5:7 37

Burgon on the King James Version 100

Calvinistic Bigotry Not Dead 68

Codex Teplensis 132, 240

Controversy 145

Corrections on I John 5:7 26

Curses of Modern Society 265

Doxology in the Lord's Prayer 64, 286

Editor's Apology to W. Van Kleek 42


Feminism & Femininity 169

Hewers of Wood & Drawers of Water 117

How to Build a Good Library 28

Hyperspirituality 121

Hyperspirituality &

the Nature of Scripture 155

If 81

If Jack Could Speak French 5

Judgement Seat of Christ 222

Judging by One Issue 204

Last Great Awakening 71
Luther's Plea Disregarded 167

Mystery of Iniquity 217

Prayer of Faith 73

Price of Wisdom 49

Quiet Preaching 9

Second Best Bible Version 54

Sermons & Abstracts of Sermons

Parental Softness 87

Even a Child 209

Evil Communications 181

Marks of Pride 241

Suffering in the Flesh

& Ceasing from Sin 189

Speaking Evil of Dignities 97

Stone Which the Builders Rejected 1

Stray Notes on the English Bible

A Bushel 140

Accepted with Him 166

Eve's Apple 23

Lovest Thou Me? 45, 120, 279

No Other Gods Before Me 67

The Lie 228, 285

The Root of All Evil 255

They Who Separate Themselves 95

Strength of Sin 162

Taking the Heart out of the Bible 280

The Lord's Prayer 59

The Two Resurrections 261

Tithing 104

Traditionalism, Conservatism,

& Liberalism 193

Traditions of the Elders 237
Articles by Others, Extracts, and Miscellaneous

Baptist Revival on a Dance Floor 21

Character of King James 11

Kentucky Revival, Letters 111, 231

Luther on Evangelical Ecumenicalism 96

Methodist Revival on a Dance Floor 25

Quaker's Dream

& Methodist's Sermon 144
Spurgeon & Wm. Taylor 208

Spurgeon on the Pulpit Tone 66

The Road Leads Home (Hymn) 254

Thinking and Theology 240

W. B. Riley on Political Involvement 260

Warfield on Burgon 213

Editorial Policies

OP&AL is a testimony, not a forum. Old articles are printed without alteration (except for correction of misprints) unless stated otherwise, and are inserted if the editor judges them profitable for instruction or historical information, without endorsing everything in them. The editor's own views are to be taken from his own writings.