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Roselove

Early church eternal security

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I have a question about eternal security and the early church. 
I have been wondering about this for quite some time, but i just can't find a straight- forward answer. 
I've read many websites, forums, old texts, greek terminology in the Bible, etc. and i just can't find anything that is pro-eternal security, from anywhere in the earliest church age. What my pastor and one of the teachers at my church told me, was that the reason it looked like people didn't believe in eternal security in the early church, was because it didn't fit the Catholic doctrine, which was who was domineering at the time. But, via my research, i have seen that there appears to be no evidence, that anyone taught eternal security before the Catholic church, either. 
Why is this? Can you please help me understand? I just find it hard to believe in it because of this and the fact that in the original greek verb tenses of a lot of the verses used to justify eternal security, actually appear not to. With all of this in mind, plus the verses that seem to say you can indeed, forfeit your salvation, i am just having a hard time understanding this. 
I know also, that it didn't seem to be a thing until the reformation movement with calvinists and stuff. So I'm pretty sure the doctrine was based on the belief of predestination. 
I would really appreciate your feedback. 
Thanks! 

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Does it matter what the early churches taught?

It is true that much of what is recorded in "church history" is recorded by the opponents of Biblical Christianity (usually Catholic), and as a result what we often see is an enemy's opinion od what they believed. A perfect example would be the very name "Anabaptist", which means "re-baptiser". They most likely did not like the name initially because they were not "re-baptising" catholics because catholic baptism is not baptism at all.

 

A question for you about etetnal security: What does the Bible refer to "salvation life" as?

Eternal life, or evetlasting life.

Doesn't that alone indicate something?

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Posted (edited)

Hello Roselove,

Allow me to try to help.  First of all the Catholic Church did not come into existence until the time of Constantine up until that time the churches and believers were under persecution for about 250 years.  So Catholicism was not a consideration to the first century churches.  Secondly Because there was no uniformity of scriptures in the first century there was no comparative studies done that we are aware of.  The New Testament clearly states that there was problems with Gnosticism and the doctrine of duality also sponsored by Gnosticism.  Eternal life was taken at face value, remember Jesus resurrected what better testimony of eternal life? Through the intervening years many doctrines came under fire in various sections of Christendom but unless they were associated with libraries or universities of education there were very few written records.  Eternal security is very clear when you read the bible it is called eternal life and while one might believe such passages as Hebrews 6:1-6 teach the loss of salvation a hermeneutical deconstruction of the passage will show just the opposite. 

Believers from an Armenian background often push the ability to walk away from salvation but let me ask you a simples question.  You have a building with 10,000 windows in it and each time you break a window you have committed a sin.  How many windows would you have to break to lose your salvation?  one, 50, 1000 you tell me.  You see Jesus died for all sin not just some sin.

Hope this helps.  

Edited by Orval

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Roselove said:

I'm really not trying to say that their word was more important, but more what I'm saying is that, I don't understand why there would be no writings that i can find anywhere at all, talking about being eternally secure. I just find that a bit, odd. 

When it comes to this matter, the only writings i can find are saying you can fall from grace. Also, when i was talking about the verb tenses, i also had in mind the verses about being eternally secure, i have read that the greek verb tense used for example John 3:16, apparently indicates you must continue to believe, because the verbage of the "beleives" is in a continual verb sense. 

http://eternalsecurity.us/tense_readings_of_the_greek_new testament_.htm 

Above is a website going into detail, about it. It really got me thinking. Please let me know what you think. 

 

Brother Roselove,

First allow me to commend you on your diligence to research eternal security.  Let me also express to you that I have no Greek or Hebrew language skills other than what I have picked up through forty plus years of ministry.  I try to practice proper hermeneutics and study the history and culture of a given passage.  My degree is in practical theology as such when I read the article you linked I noticed a few things.

The first thing I noticed is that the writer of the article very subtly placed the emphasis of eternal life on the one who has continuing faith.  That is what the faith healers in Charismatic tent revivals do when someone they supposedly healed ends up not being healed a few days later, they say well their faith was not strong, it’s their fault they did not stay healed.  I would remind each of us that our salvation is based on the finished work of Christ and not on our ability to sustain our faith.  Salvation is both immediate and ongoing we are saved, we are continually being saved and we will ultimately be saved.  But all of salvation is based on the work of Christ and not on the works of men.  For you are saved by grace through faith, it is a gift of God not works lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9) Romans 2:4 tells us that every man has been given a measure of faith, and though faith can grow it cannot disappear to the point we have no faith.  Consider all that we do during a given day that requires faith.  My goodness, we set on chairs, turn on lights, step on brakes, etc. simple things that we do that require the use of our gift of faith.

The second thing I noticed is that the writer seems to have an agenda in mind in his writing.  He is obviously writing in support of losing one’s salvation which is fine but there are over one hundred scriptures that indicate that salvation is eternal and he only refutes about ten and then does not exegete any of those ten within the context they are written.  As the writer pointed out there are tenses which indicate both present tense and future.  It is also my suspicion that he is also referencing the Alexandrian manuscripts which I understand to be faulty but which I would have no idea perhaps others can verify my suspicions.

Once again, my brother let me point out some logic concerning losing one’s eternal standing with God.  How does one put on the helmut of salvation in Galatians 6 if one cannot be sure he is saved?  Where did you lose that helmut, I supposed to go fight Satan today but I can’t I am not sure I am saved.  How do you take the sword of the Spirit if you cannot trust God to save you, if the possibility is there that I am not saved the possibility must also be there that the God of promise lied to you and you really don’t have eternal life?  If I cannot believe God is truthful then my bible has lied to me for Titus 1:2 states “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

When a person puts their faith in Christ and His finished work on Calvary that person is regenerated both now and forever.  As a matter of fact, several verses in scripture refer to the person being sealed i.e. being protected from God’s judgment until that person reaches their eternal destination.  If it were up to men to earn their salvation, then yes one could probably lose or walk away from their salvation.

But, praise the Lord salvation is not up to you or I we place our faith in Christ, and by his grace not our work we are sealed until the day of redemption.

I trust others more knowledgeable than I can help directly with the tenses.

Your friend in Christ

Orval

Edited by Orval
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The Early Church got derailed quickly. It didn't take long for them to get caught up into all kinds of heresies. And once the last Apostle died it was a field day for heretics.

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Forget, for a moment, what the early church did, or didn't, teach and just come back to the Bible.

In 1st john 2 v 19 we read that people who fell away (as opposed to temporary backsliding) were never truly saved in the first place.

Perhaps the warnings in the Bible, about the possibility of falling away, are given to ensure that we examine ourselves to see that we are truly saved, and not just going through the motions. 

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I don't discount church history, but neither do I rely on it. In fact, false teaching had already crept into the early church while the bible was still being written! Paul had to address this in his writings.

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Posted (edited)

One thing I do avoid is referring to the Greek and Hebrew.  I have heard many people say, "A little Greek is a dangerous thing."  I am confident that the translators of the King James Bible had a far greater understanding of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic (and many other languages) than anyone alive today.  I don't think that looking up a bit of Greek or even studying it for a few years of college, prepares one for attempting to dissect the scriptures.  I do not believe the KJV to be inspired as the original texts were, but I do believe that God worked directly with the men who created the KJV.  I trust God's guidance through those men enough to not need to refer to the original languages.

Edited by Brother Stafford

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51 minutes ago, Brother Stafford said:

One thing I do avoid is referring to the Greek and Hebrew.  I have heard many people say, "A little Greek is a dangerous thing."  I am confident that the translators of the King James Bible had a far greater understanding of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic than anyone alive today.  I don't think that looking up a bit of Greek or even studying it for a few years of college, prepares one for attempting to dissect the scriptures.  I do not believe the KJV to be inspired as the original texts were, but I do believe that God worked directly with the men who created the KJV.  I trust God's guidance through those men enough to not need to refer to the original languages.

You have made a very good point. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people explain away the plain meaning of the Bible by referring to "the original Greek"; an example of this is where some people explain away the plain meaning of the word "all" in 1st Timothy 2 v 4 or "every" in Hebrews 2 v 9.

Also, some of the translators of the KJV were such experts in the original languages that they were fluent even as children (yes, children).  Their knowledge was remarkable, not to mention their absolute confidence in the Bible as God's infallible word.  Many of the modern "translators" do not even believe in the infallibility of the Bible.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not going to wade through everything above. But the early church was taught eternal security by the Apostles. I'm not concerned with what the Church of Rome may say or do, so I won't comment on them.

Remember the Apostles were instructed by Christ to "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"  Matthew 28:20. Jesus taught his disciples eternal security which they took and gave to the early churches. John 10:28 "they shall never perish". John 3:16 "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". So what did Paul teach? Romans 6:23 "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Galatians 6:8 "but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Then check the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians 15:14-23.

I needed to add something I left off before. They did of course LIVE eternal security...see Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Edited by 1Timothy115
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2 hours ago, Roselove said:

http://eternalsecurity.us/tense_readings_of_the_greek_new testament_.htm 

can anyone tell me if you think this guy is using Alexandrian or Textus Receptus manuscripts? One of the other commenters and I were wondering about that.

Definitely Alexandrian, as the verses he quotes are clearly not KJV, which is really the only Textus Receptus Bible out there today. Not sure what version it is but it's a mess.

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8 minutes ago, Roselove said:

Do you feel it was a common belief, back then? 

Yes I do.

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Posted (edited)

I get it. I know what the eternal means, what was confusing to me, though, was for instance, like in John 3:16, they were saying that in the Greek for believeth, was implying a continuance of beleiving, which they were trying to say meant that if you stopped believing, you would not inherit wternal life, after death. 

That's a legitimate understanding of that verse.

I'm much more open-minded to osas, now. I have been given information that makes sense to me. I was just needing some mentoring, on this matter. That's why i find it quite saddening, that people were accusing me of not believing the Bible,

Welcome to O.B....

Not toeing the company line will often automatically get you branded a Christ-hater, sinner, non-believer, and heretic in the minds of some.

Don't let that discourage you...

Continue in the Word, listen to the arguments presented, and most importantly read the Scripture with prayer. 

i felt like they were saying I was trying to be a heretic or something.

That's because some posters were sayinig that.  

Welcome to Christianity where no one is perfect and some are odious, contentious, proud and unrelentingly intransigent. 

I was just trying to get help.

There are knowledgeable and good posters here who can help you and present reasoned arguments......

Scott Markle is definitely one of them.

He's wise, and knowledgeable.

He'll land on the OSAS side of the argument.  Good.  I'm not sure I'd agree with him..............................but, he's definitely worth hearing and considering.  He can patiently and lovingly expound what he knows of Scripture and present an argument well thought-out and reasoned.

Some are just going to call you a "heretic" because you don't agree on every minor point of Doctrine, or even preference. 

Welcome to the Family.  

Ignore those who are unhelpful and learn from those who are.

Edited by Heir of Salvation

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26 minutes ago, Roselove said:

I think Heir of Salvation made some interesting points. I would be interested in seeing what someone thinks about what he was saying. It made sense, to me. 

 

 

On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 11:45 AM, Roselove said:

I get it. I know what the eternal means, what was confusing to me, though, was for instance, like in John 3:16, they were saying that in the Greek for believeth, was implying a continuance of beleiving, which they were trying to say meant that if you stopped believing, you would not inherit wternal life, after death. 

I'm much more open-minded to osas, now. I have been given information that makes sense to me. I was just needing some mentoring, on this matter. That's why i find it quite saddening, that people were accusing me of not believing the Bible, i felt like they were saying I was trying to be a heretic or something. I was just trying to get help.

Roselove, I know it may be after the fact but, you did look at Strongs Concordance as a source for defining the "believeth" in John 3:16? I don't know Greek so I have to use my Strong's. Just didn't want to leave a stone unturned.

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23 hours ago, Heir of Salvation said:

I am not yet convinced that those who can walk away are those who were never truly believers....

 

But please consider the following:

Eph.1:13] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph.4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

There are numerous other passages like this. It is regeneration (born again) of the Spirit that indwells and that seals us until Heaven my friend.

Backsliding is impossible for born again believers and this is why the word backsliding in any form does not appear in the NT. In the OT, backsliding never meant sins of the flesh and mind. Backsliding in the OT always meant turning of the heart from God to some other false god. It was the definition of adultery, a turning of the heart.

NT Chrisitans can certainly fall back into sin but they never forget they are saved and who God is. Here is a contrast in experience that I have seen over many years:

I know men and women and whole families that fall back into sin and out of church. Some many years but it simply destroys the life they had here on earth and they are miserable. Those either come back to the Lord at some point because they cannot stand the chastisement or they die from it.

I have known others who do the same thing but don't come back to the Lord and when I do hear of them they were doing fine.

According to:

Heb.12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth:

Heb.12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Who do you think between the two types truly believed?

Just food for thought

 

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10 minutes ago, DaveW said:

Does it matter what the early churches taught?

It is true that much of what is recorded in "church history" is recorded by the opponents of Biblical Christianity (usually Catholic), and as a result what we often see is an enemy's opinion od what they believed. A perfect example would be the very name "Anabaptist", which means "re-baptiser". They most likely did not like the name initially because they were not "re-baptising" catholics because catholic baptism is not baptism at all.

 

A question for you about etetnal security: What does the Bible refer to "salvation life" as?

Eternal life, or evetlasting life.

Doesn't that alone indicate something?

I'm really not trying to say that their word was more important, but more what I'm saying is that, I don't understand why there would be no writings that i can find anywhere at all, talking about being eternally secure. I just find that a bit, odd. 

When it comes to this matter, the only writings i can find are saying you can fall from grace. Also, when i was talking about the verb tenses, i also had in mind the verses about being eternally secure, i have read that the greek verb tense used for example John 3:16, apparently indicates you must continue to believe, because the verbage of the "beleives" is in a continual verb sense. 

http://eternalsecurity.us/tense_readings_of_the_greek_new testament_.htm 

Above is a website going into detail, about it. It really got me thinking. Please let me know what you think. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Orval said:

Hello Roselove,

Allow me to try to help.  First of all the Catholic Church did not come into existence until the time of Constantine up until that time the churches and believers were under persecution for about 250 years.  So Catholicism was not a consideration to the first century churches.  Secondly Because there was no uniformity of scriptures in the first century there was no comparative studies done that we are aware of.  The New Testament clearly states that there was problems with Gnosticism and the doctrine of duality also sponsored by Gnosticism.  Eternal life was taken at face value, remember Jesus resurrected what better testimony of eternal life? Through the intervening years many doctrines came under fire in various sections of Christendom but unless they were associated with libraries or universities of education there were very few written records.  Eternal security is very clear when you read the bible it is called eternal life and while one might believe such passages as Hebrews 6:1-6 teach the loss of salvation a hermeneutical deconstruction of the passage will show just the opposite. 

Believers from an Armenian background often push the ability to walk away from salvation but let me ask you a simples question.  You have a building with 10,000 windows in it and each time you break a window you have committed a sin.  How many windows would you have to break to lose your salvation?  one, 50, 1000 you tell me.  You see Jesus died for all sin not just some sin.

Hope this helps.  

That is very interesting information! 

One thing ive thought of, though, is maybe its not necessarily how much you sin, but getting to the point where you have no more guilt and are no longer led by God, you have just waxed cold. 

Also, i was concerned about verb tenses, regarding the verses used to say eternal security is correct. I gave one of the websites i found about it, to the other commenter, i will give it to you as well, please let me know what you think 

http://eternalsecurity.us/tense_readings_of_the_greek_new testament_.htm

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46 minutes ago, Orval said:

Brother Roselove,

First allow me to commend you on your diligence to research eternal security.  Let me also express to you that I have no Greek or Hebrew language skills other than what I have picked up through forty plus years of ministry.  I try to practice proper hermeneutics and study the history and culture of a given passage.  My degree is in practical theology as such when I read the article you linked I noticed a few things.

The first thing I noticed is that the writer of the article very subtly placed the emphasis of eternal life on the one who has continuing faith.  That is what the faith healers in Charismatic tent revivals do when someone they supposedly healed ends up not being healed a few days later, they say well their faith was not strong, it’s their fault they did not stay healed.  I would remind each of us that our salvation is based on the finished work of Christ and not on our ability to sustain our faith.  Salvation is both immediate and ongoing we are saved, we are continually being saved and we will ultimately be saved.  But all of salvation is based on the work of Christ and not on the works of men.  For you are saved by grace through faith, it is a gift of God not works lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9) Romans 2:4 tells us that every man has been given a measure of faith, and though faith can grow it cannot disappear to the point we have no faith.  Consider all that we do during a given day that requires faith.  My goodness, we set on chairs, turn on lights, step on brakes, etc. simple things that we do that require the use of our gift of faith.

The second thing I noticed is that the writer seems to have an agenda in mind in his writing.  He is obviously writing in support of losing one’s salvation which is fine but there are over one hundred scriptures that indicate that salvation is eternal and he only refutes about ten and then does not exegete any of those ten within the context they are written.  As the writer pointed out there are tenses which indicate both present tense and future.  It is also my suspicion that he is also referencing the Alexandrian manuscripts which I understand to be faulty but which I would have no idea perhaps others can verify my suspicions.

Once again, my brother let me point out some logic concerning losing one’s eternal standing with God.  How does one put on the helmut of salvation in Galatians 6 if one cannot be sure he is saved?  Where did you lose that helmut, I supposed to go fight Satan today but I can’t I am not sure I am saved.  How do you take the sword of the Spirit if you cannot trust God to save you, if the possibility is there that I am not saved the possibility must also be there that the God of promise lied to you and you really don’t have eternal life?  If I cannot believe God is truthful then my bible has lied to me for Titus 1:2 states “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

When a person puts their faith in Christ and His finished work on Calvary that person is regenerated both now and forever.  As a matter of fact, several verses in scripture refer to the person being sealed i.e. being protected from God’s judgment until that person reaches their eternal destination.  If it were up to men to earn their salvation, then yes one could probably lose or walk away from their salvation.

But, praise the Lord salvation is not up to you or I we place our faith in Christ, and by his grace not our work we are sealed until the day of redemption.

I trust others more knowledgeable than I can help directly with the tenses.

Your friend in Christ

Orval

Thank you, for this! I will be mulling this over! I'm wondering the same thing now, about the Alexandrian manuscripts, i think I've heard the Textus Receptus is the most accurate, like you said, I'm not sure which he was using. Hopefully someone will know! 

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17 hours ago, 1Timothy115 said:

I'm not going to wade through everything above. But the early church was taught eternal security by the Apostles. I'm not concerned with what the Church of Rome may say or do, so I won't comment on them.

Remember the Apostles were instructed by Christ to "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"  Matthew 28:20. Jesus taught his disciples eternal security which they took and gave to the early churches. John 10:28 "they shall never perish". John 3:16 "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". So what did Paul teach? Romans 6:23 "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Galatians 6:8 "but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Then check the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians 15:14-23.

I needed to add something I left off before. They did of course LIVE eternal security...see Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Thank you for your comment, i appreciate it!

I do have a question, though. Just to clarify what do you mean about the martyrs living eternal security? I was just a little confused. 

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18 hours ago, 1Timothy115 said:

I'm not going to wade through everything above. But the early church was taught eternal security by the Apostles. I'm not concerned with what the Church of Rome may say or do, so I won't comment on them.

Remember the Apostles were instructed by Christ to "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"  Matthew 28:20. Jesus taught his disciples eternal security which they took and gave to the early churches. John 10:28 "they shall never perish". John 3:16 "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". So what did Paul teach? Romans 6:23 "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Galatians 6:8 "but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Then check the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians 15:14-23.

I needed to add something I left off before. They did of course LIVE eternal security...see Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

 

37 minutes ago, Roselove said:

Thank you for your comment, i appreciate it!

I do have a question, though. Just to clarify what do you mean about the martyrs living eternal security? I was just a little confused. 

See Acts 7:51-60 and pay special attention to verse 59. This is a martyr living eternal security and even unto death. If you've read Foxe's Book of Martyrs then you will see that men and women lived their eternal security right up to the axe falling on their neck or the Roman Church pulling them apart on the rack. They died praising Jesus Christ for the hope of life eternal. By the way if you happen to be a member of the Roman Church, do yourself a favor, ignore what they say and get a Foxe's Book of Martyrs and read it along side a KJV with private prayer. I did say if you're a member, if not I still suggest the reading.

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4 hours ago, 1Timothy115 said:

 

See Acts 7:51-60 and pay special attention to verse 59. This is a martyr living eternal security and even unto death. If you've read Foxe's Book of Martyrs then you will see that men and women lived their eternal security right up to the axe falling on their neck or the Roman Church pulling them apart on the rack. They died praising Jesus Christ for the hope of life eternal. By the way if you happen to be a member of the Roman Church, do yourself a favor, ignore what they say and get a Foxe's Book of Martyrs and read it along side a KJV with private prayer. I did say if you're a member, if not I still suggest the reading.

Okay, I think I understand now. Thank you! 

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6 hours ago, 1Timothy115 said:

...do yourself a favor, ignore what they say and get a Foxe's Book of Martyrs and read it along side a KJV with private prayer.

I have several excerpt books of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, but no complete copy exists in stores.  There is only one company who reproduces it in its entirety.  I plan on purchasing a copy and making a case for it later this summer.  You can find it here: 1684 Foxe’s Book of Martyrs Facsimile Reproduction

 

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On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 2:02 PM, The real Bob Hutton said:

You have made a very good point. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people explain away the plain meaning of the Bible by referring to "the original Greek"; an example of this is where some people explain away the plain meaning of the word "all" in 1st Timothy 2 v 4 or "every" in Hebrews 2 v 9.

Also, some of the translators of the KJV were such experts in the original languages that they were fluent even as children (yes, children).  Their knowledge was remarkable, not to mention their absolute confidence in the Bible as God's infallible word.  Many of the modern "translators" do not even believe in the infallibility of the Bible.

for those interested in this train of thought I suggest the book "God's Secretaries" written by a secular writer.

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Something simple to think about....  If something is known to be true and it is accepted fact then it usually doesn't get written about (and thus there is no "controversy" untill later when some apostate starts pushing false doctrine.   So silence on ANY subject MAY simply mean that it was generally accepted as truth.

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37 minutes ago, 1611mac said:

Something simple to think about....  If something is known to be true and it is accepted fact then it usually doesn't get written about (and thus there is no "controversy" untill later when some apostate starts pushing false doctrine.   So silence on ANY subject MAY simply mean that it was generally accepted as truth.

I read this...thought about it...read it again...contemplated it...read it again...and mulled it over...and I believe this is a valid point. 

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    • By 2T3:16
      Some of these people really know my bible. They are giving me a run for my money on facebook:
      We are discussing:
      original sin
      meaning of repentance
      living a sinless life
      (and eternal security)
       
      I am also running into those that argue there is more than one gospel
       
      These people certainly help keep me humble.
       
      Anybody know good solid resources?
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