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May 9, 1998

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5-point Calvinists? from: "Rapturing the Wicked?"

Q.
I was curious what exactly you meant by "5-point Calvinist" Regardless how you feel about the doctrines of uncontional election, original sin, a limited atonement, irresitable grace and preservation of the saints I think it is important to note that this soteriology has no impact on ones eschatology.

Yes, many in the reformed camp believe in what has come to be known as "Calvinsism" however, there are many in the Evangelical community who feel the same way.

I think a better distinction would be "those that hold to covenant theology" rather than "5-point Calvinist." (condensed)

A.
Perhaps.

And yes, I did think for a bit about my choice of words on that one. Hoping some friends of mine wouldn't be offended, thinking I was talking about them...since we were discussing this a few months ago.

While there are the "conservative" type "5-pointers" as you mention elsewhere...you would possibily be amazed at notes I've gotten from scoffers of eschatological matters, who also flaunt the fact that they are "5-pointers." In "their minds" the two seem to go hand in hand. And they seem to be trying to add credibility to their eschatological views by including the fact that they are 5-pointers. As though, being a "5-point Calvinist" is some sort of "status" of theological correctness.

Just another thought...not necessarily related to your concerns, but since you expand a bit on the Calvinist theme...While I happen to have some very dear friends who are 5-pointers, and when they were explaining it to me, I have a bit of a problem with the "irresistable grace" aspect...one tendency I notice with many of these who hold to these "positions." They tend to hold to the "position" and view Scripture "from the perspective of" that "position." Rather than starting with Scripture and a blank slate, and seeking what God's "thus says the Lord" might be. Coming to God's Word from a particular "school of thought" or perspective of some supposed "great man of God." When Jesus very clearly stated that it is the Holy Spirit Who teaches us.(Jn16:13) And we don't need some "man's perspective" because we have an "anointing."(1Jn2:27)

Thanks for your well-thought-out note.

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KJV and Easter

Q.
In Acts 12:4 the KJV uses the word Easter, all other version uses the word passover, which do you believe is correct?

this is not a debate but just wondering. thanks again.

A.
Ah yes...I was wondering if anybody would ask about this.

When I looked this up with Online Bible, the Greek word in STrongs is given as: 3957 pascha {pas'-khah} ....that's "Passover" And my Heb/Grk/Eng interlinear (based on KJV's Masoretic/TR) agrees.

'Just another example of how the KJV is not as "perfect" as the militants would have us believe, eh... And having said this, don't misunderstand me to be condoning the perVersions which, in this case, happened to use the correct word in that spot.


KJV and "easter" again

There were a couple of people who sent me an 'explanation' of Acts 12:4 in response to the (above) Q/A. One was a paste of writings of David W. Cloud. The other sounded like an echo of similar material. Rather than paste it all here (it gets rather wordy) let me briefly summarize, and then paste my response.

The argument is that vs.3 says Peter was put in prison "during the -Days- of Unleavened bread." And reminds the reader that the "day" Passover was the start of a 7-day period called "Unleavened Bread." But that Passover, itself, is just ONE (1) day. So if they were -into- the "day[s]" of unleavened bread, that the "day" of passover was (already) past. So, when KJV renders vs.4 that Herod wanted to bring Peter out "after easter" he was really referring to the pagan holiday celebrating "Ishtar" which would have been in keeping with Roman tradition ...thus, the KJV translators did the "right thing" by continuing the same word that translations previous to the KJV had used (Tyndale, etc.)

That's it, in a nutshell...

Addendum: (6/1/06)
Yes, the Tyndale says "ester"; but the Wycliffe (which many KJ-onlyists claim was the KJ's heritage) says "pask"; thus, not all translations "previous to the KJV" used easter, as claimed. That argument is a false claim to support the pagan error. The KJV was a product of Romish heritage (the Church of England). By comparison, the 'protestant' Bible of the day, the Geneva, says "passover". It was not Herod who was observing easter in that instance, but the KJV translators (of the spirit of Babylon/Rome) that were promoting it, in place of God's Passover!

Now...my answer:

Well, the thoughts about Herod and "Easter" are certainly interesting ones. Only problem is...it's the same word "Pascha" that's used...whether the KJV renders the word as Passover (Heb11:28, 1Co5:7), or "Easter" in that one (lone) place (Ac12:4). If it was the pagan holiday, why would Luke not have used a different word? ...such as "Roman Festival of Ishtar" etc.etc.

Let's consider this from another angle. Looking at Luke 2:41,43 (same author, Luke) they went at the "Feast of the Passover" ... "when they had finished the day[S] (plural). While technically "Passover" is "one day" it is intricately a part of "Unleavened Bread." Some would have spoken of the whole time as the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" which included Passover. Others would have referred to the whole time as "Passover" which included "Unleavened Bread." It's still the same celebration. And both had its origins in Israel's deliverance out of Egypt. Oh...and then, let's not forget that the "waving" of the firstfruits (1Cor15:20) is right in the middle of that, too, (on Resurrection Sunday -Lev23:11) which 50 days later culminates in Pentecost. So, he could have just as easily mentioned it as "Firstfruits." One big festival time...three elements.

In modern times I don't hear Jews speak of Unleavened Bread or Firstfruits. It is always "pesach." And also, calendars tend to label the days as "Passover." For instance, my calendar right above this desk here labels this year's April 11 as "First Day of Passover." Even though, technically, you and I know that Passover is only "one day." But I think it is clear that many people think of that whole week as "Passover Week." ...even though, most technically speaking, it is actually "Unleavened Bread."

Since Luke used the word "Pascha" ...I have no problem at all with the fact that it should be rendered "Passover" in that verse. Since he also did the same kind of thing in Luke 2:41,43. And he actually gives us a "key" to this understanding in Lk22:1, "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. I think that's quite clear.

And Luke was "set[ing] in order a narrative" in Lk1:1 and in Acts 1:1 he is continuing from the "former account." For such a careful historical narrative, even humanly logically speaking, it seems inconceivable that such a scholar would have used the "wrong word" in Acts 12:4. If he had meant the feast of Tammuz/Ishtar...he would have said so.

But Cloud's arguments are quite well done for a person who would defend KJV as being "perfect" and of same status of "inspiration" as the "original words" to Paul, Peter, Moses, Isaiah, etc. I suppose that would explain why the KJV translators felt the freedom to draw from history and tradition, rather than Luke's actual word? I don't suppose the KJV translators were "Jews"? (Rom3:2)


ADDENDUM: (6/1/06)

READER COMMENT:
"...why would Herod possibly be waiting for a Jewish festival when he was clearly a pagan worshiper? ...if Herod was waiting for Passover to end he would be waiting for another year before he killed Peter?"

VW ANSWER:
Herod was not waiting for the pagan holiday to be over.... but think about it. He had killed Jacob, and in so doing had "pleased the Jews". (Ac12:3) He was engaging in a political agenda. And in this objective of pleasing (pacifying?) the Jews, he proceeds to take Peter, also. Remember: in those days things were quite volatile between Rome and the Jews....so Rome's methods involved both overwhelming force, and at other times deeds of mollification. To the Roman (Pilate's) mind, Jesus' crucifixion was, in many ways, a mollification to the Jews when they were beginning to riot, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend" (Jn19:12)

During Passover/Unleavened bread, what did Jews do? Nothing. It was a sabbath of rest. They were to do "no labor of work" (Lev23:7-8) So, if all the Jews were holed up in their homes, what good would it do to bring Peter out and make a spectacle of killing him? With the Jews in their homes, or doing other things in worship, there would be nobody to make a spectacle -to-. Herod needed to wait till the "days of Passover" (unleavend bread) were over, when the Jews were again out-and-about, and then do this thing FOR THEM....to kill Peter. Yes?

READER COMMENTS:
To be honest, I didn't know what to say and have since looked into it. The only things I can find are on KJV only websites and they seem to say that Passover was not meant and easter (being a pagan festival) would have been better translated as ishtar,

VW ANSWER:
This is the thing many KJ-onlyists try to do....translate 'backwards'... -from- the KJV -to- the Greek....since to many of their minds, the KJV is "perfect"....so they often try to 'fix' the Greek, from which the KJV came. But the KJV is a translation -of/from- the Greek.

Luke wrote "Pascha" ....not "Ishtar". And Luke was no dummy! To allege that Luke "really meant" -easter-, is to question Luke's veracity; and thus, in actuality, the whole rest of the book of "Acts" is put in question. And if Acts is in question, then, too, is the Gospel of Luke...because he wrote them both. And if it is the case that Luke wrote the book of Hebrews (some speculate this, and I wonder about it, too), just think about all the doctrine that is suddenly up-for-grabs!

For all the instances of "pascha" in the NT, the KJV renders them all as "passover", except Ac12:4. If the Greek "pascha" is "passover" in all those other references, then it is also "passover" in Ac12:4. Period.

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KJV & "baptize" - KJ's persecution of baptists
(excerpted from a recent mailing for informational purposes)

An added bit of trivia about James and a couple of the KJV translation scholars, provided in a mailing recently by David Cloud (who is staunchly KJ-only); although the mailing itself was primarily on the topic of how protestants of the Reformation (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc) historically persecuted Christians of the anabaptist/baptist persuasion -for- being 'dippers': among other things, James and these KJV translators persecuted baptists for believing in dipping/immersion. (Persecution for dipping/immersing in those years was often of the martyrdom variety) Cloud didn't make any observation about his own KJ-only-ness, and the persecution the KJ authors perpetrated upon Christians.

But for our own consideration here: the English word "baptize" is a transliteration of the Greek...because James and company were militantly anti-dipping. But the Greek word means, literally, to dip/immerse. Thus... so much for the KJ's 'faithfulness' to God's Word in any of those spots, eh. Making the translation 'fit' the prevailing church (of England) doctrines of the day. Hmmm....sounds like some of today's perversions, doesn't it! If there is a difference between our belief, and what God's Word says...modify what we translate and print, to 'conform' to -our- preferences. At least, today they don't (yet) martyr us who wish to stick with what God's Word -says-...although, the persecution takes the form of words, doesn't it. (Mt5:11)

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