ALLEGED CONTRADICTIONS OF THE BIBLE #9
2. Duty of Man—To Himself
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.
Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
Slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Paul, says Alford, "speaks of anger which is an infirmity, but by being cherished may become a sin."
Bishop Butler:55 "The first text is by no means to be understood as an encouragement to indulge ourselves in anger; the sense being certainly this, 'Though ye be angry, sin not'; yet here is evidently a distinction made between anger and sin—between the natural passion and sinful anger."
The last clause hits the point precisely. There is a normal indignation, which is evoked by exhibitions of meanness, treachery, and injustice, and which may, within certain limits, be indulged without sin. This emotion is to be distinguished from those furious and unreasonable ebullitions of wrath which characterize a passionate man.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be
meat for you.
There is nothing unclean of itself.
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
1 Corinthians 10:25
Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof. . . . They are unclean unto you.
The first three passages refer to men not under the Mosaic law. Deuteronomy 14 was addressed to the Israelites whom God, for wise reasons, wished to keep a distinct race.
VERY BAD ANSWER: THE TRUTH OF CLEAN AND UNCLEAN FOODS IS ALL EXPOUNDED ON THIS WEBSITE UNDER "HEALTH" SECTION. THE ABOVE VERSES ALL EXPLAINED - Keith Hunt
55 Sermon viii.
Dr. Davidson:56 "It is apparent that the effect of these enactments respecting different beasts as proper for food or otherwise must have been to keep the Hebrews apart from other nations; that, as a distinct people, they might be preserved from idolatry. If certain articles of food common among other races were interdicted, the effect would be to break up social intercourse between them; by which means the Jews would not be in so much danger of learning their barbarous customs, and falling into their superstitions. Thus the separation of meats into clean and unclean was most salutary to a monotheistic people, set apart as the chosen depositaries of the knowledge of God, and exposed on every side to polytheistic tribes."57
A BAD ANSWER IN THE OVERALL. REALLY SHOWS HOW DUMB SOME THEOLOGIANS ARE WHEN IT COMES TO THE DIETRY LAWS OF GOD. ALL EXPLAINED IN DETAIL UNDER MY "HEALTH" SECTION - Keith Hunt
Certain animals forbidden.
And every creeping thing that flieth
is unclean unto you: they shall not be
These may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth. . . . But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
Leviticus 11:21, 23
Keil: "The edible kinds of locusts are passed over, in Deuteronomy 14, because it was not the intention of Moses to repeat every particular of the earlier laws in these addresses." In the rapid outline given in Deuteronomy it was not practicable to notice unimportant exceptions.
I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10
That which I speak, I speak it not after
the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in
this confidence of boasting. Seeing
that many glory after the flesh, I will
2 Corinthians 11:17-18
In nothing am I behind the very chief-est apostles, though I be nothing.
2 Corinthians 12:11
Let another man praise thee, and not
thine own mouth.
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1 Corinthians 1:29
56Introd. to Old Testament, i. 258.
57Difference of national customs furnishes the solution of several alleged "discrepancies."
For example, the wearing of long hair by men is allowed in Numbers 6:5, and repudiated in 1 Corinthians 11:14. But, then, the first passage refers to Jews, the second is addressed to Greeks at Corinth. Among the former, the wearing of long hair was counted honor able, even ornamental, rather than otherwise; among the latter, it indicated effeminacy and the indulgence of unnatural vices. See Stuart, Hist, of Canon of Old Testament, p. 375
(Revised edition, p. 351).
NUMBERS 6:5 IS FOR THOSE UNDER A NAZARITE VOW FOR A PERIOD OF TIME, AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A PERMANENT LIFE STYLE. 1 COR.11:14 CONCERNS A WAY OF PHYSICALLY LIVING ON A PERMANENT BASIS. THE IDEA ABOVE #57 IS THEOLOGICALLY INEPT - Keith Hunt
The limiting clauses, "not I, but the grace of God," "though I be nothing," and the like, show that it was not self-conceit which impelled Paul to "boast" or "glory."
Andrew Fuller,58 comparing the texts from Proverbs and Corinthians, says: "The motive in the one case is the desire of applause; in the other, justice to an injured character and to the gospel which suffered in his reproaches." His apparent boasting was in self-vindication.
"No flesh should glory"—none should find in the gospel occasion for pride and self-exaltation. Paul did not "glory" thus carnally.
For I suppose I was not a whit behind
the very chiefest apostles.
2 Corinthians 11:5
For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles.
Humblest of apostles.
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1 Corinthians 15:9
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.
These passages present the apostle in two distinct aspects.
In respect to his talents, his education, and his missionary zeal and labors he was unmistakably primus inter pares, first among his equals of the apostolic rank. But he, unlike the other apostles, had been, before his conversion, a fierce and bloody enemy of Christianity, who "beyond measure persecuted the church of God and wasted it."59 In his deep sorrow, shame, and humiliation at the remembrance of his former deeds of cruelty, he expresses himself in the language of the second series of texts. The two series contemplate the apostle in entirely different relations.
Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
It is not good to eat much honey: so
for men to search their own glory is not
58Works, i. 676.
59Compare Galatians 1:13; Acts 9:1.
The quotation from Exodus is the statement of a simple historical fact. It says nothing of Moses' greatness in respect to personal qualifications, but simply asserts—what is beyond the shadow of doubt—that his miracles had produced a great effect, and had made a deep impression upon the Egyptians. And this statement is introduced not to glorify Moses, but to account in part for the ready compliance of the Egyptians in bestowing upon the Israelites the "jewels" and "raiment" which the latter demanded.
The text from Numbers has by some critics been deemed an interpolation. Others give a different translation of the Hebrew term rendered "meek." Luther says, "harassed or annoyed"; Dr. A. Clarke, "depressed"; Palfrey, "miserable"; Dean Stanley, "enduring, afflicted, heedless of self"; Smith's Bible Dictionary, "disinterested."
There is, however, no need of recourse to these definitions. Moses, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, was writing history "objectively." Hence he speaks of himself as freely as he would of any other person. It is also to be observed that he records his own faults and sins 60 with the same fidelity and impartiality. It is remarked by Calmet: "As he praises himself here without pride, so he will blame himself elsewhere with humility." The objectionable words were inserted to explain why it was that Moses took no steps in the case to vindicate himself, and why, consequently, the Lord so promptly intervened.
Covet earnestly the best gifts.
1 Corinthians 12:31
Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:39
Thou shalt not covet. . . any thing that
is thy neighbour's.
"Covet," in the first two texts, implies an earnest desire for that which is legitimately within our reach; in the last, it denotes an unlawful craving for that which properly belongs to another.
So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Corinthians 9:24
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
60See Exodus 4:24; Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 1:37.
The latter text teaches that the providing of salvation was God's act, and not attributable to mans "willing" nor "running"—the act of sovereign grace, and not of the creature. The former teaches that the securing of this salvation to the individual depends upon his own exertion. God's mercy in furnishing redemption and mans effort in availing himself of that redemption are the cardinal ideas presented in the two texts.
But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
1 Corinthians 8:8
What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
1 Corinthians 10:19
To be avoided.
The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
1 Corinthians 10:20-21
In the first series, Paul concedes that meat is not affected by being offered in sacrifice to idols, and that the eating of it is in itself, a matter of indifference. But he argues, in the eighth chapter,61 that Christians should refrain from this food, because their participation would be misconstrued by other persons and, in the tenth chapter,62 because the participant shares, to some extent, in the sin of idolatry.
Andrew Fuller:63 Your course is inexpedient, because it leads others into actual idolatry; it is also positively sinful, because it involves a participation in idol worship, on the general principle that he who voluntarily associates with others in any act is a partaker of that act.
I EXPLAIN IT ALL FULLER IN THOSE BOOKS UNDER "THE NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE STORY" ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
A time to every purpose under the heaven. ... A time to laugh.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry.
I said of laughter, It is mad: and of
mirth, What doeth it?
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
61See verses 9-13.
62Verses 20, 21.
63Works, i. 683-684.
I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
The first texts speak approvingly of a cheerful spirit or a seasonable and rational merriment; the second condemn senseless and riotous hilarity. Hengstenberg: "Mirth considered as the highest good, as the end of life, and the too great eagerness displayed in its pursuit." Not laughter in the abstract, but laughter under certain circumstances, is condemned.
Man's own way
Must not be followed.
Remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes.
May be followed,
Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth;
and let thy heart cheer thee in the days
of thy youth, and walk in the ways of
thine heart, and in the sight of thine
Menasseh ben Israel, Aben Ezra, and Rashi take the second text as ironical: "Well, go your own way, but remember," etc. Ginsburg, Hengstenberg, and Zockler deem it an injunction to enjoy cheerfully the blessings of life, and, at the same time, to bear in mind man's accountability to the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they
shall be comforted.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I
The "mourning" is that attendant upon true penitence; the "rejoicing" results from the assurance of salvation. The sorrow precedes, the joy follows, pardon.
In a preceding part of this work 64 we have discussed at some length, and at one view, the alleged discrepancies which would properly come under this head.
See pp. 144-146.
For God is my King of old, working
salvation in the midst of the earth.
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of bis good pleasure.
The last verse at the right represents God as the prime mover in the work of salvation. Alford: "We owe both the will to do good and the power to his indwelling Spirit." As has been previously said, the divine and human agencies cooperate to a certain extent.65
And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink.
And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man.
Wine that maketh glad the heart of man.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
1 Timothy 5:23
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
Nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:10
For an extended discussion of this point the reader is referred to the literature of the subject. It should, however, be said that the general tenor of the Bible is clearly and decidedly against intemperance.
Noahs intoxication 66—a sad blot upon a character otherwise without reproach—is related merely as a matter of history, and without comment.
THIS SUBJECT IS COVERED IN-DEPTH BY MYSELF ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt
65Compare pp. 166-167 of present work.
As to the miracle at Cana,67 there is nothing in the act of our Savior, nor in the circumstances of the case, which goes to sanction drunkenness.
Certain authors maintain, with some plausibility, that in all cases where strong drinks are coupled with terms of commendation, the original word properly means either unfermented wine or the fruit; and that the notices of fermented wine are restricted to passages of a condemnatory character. This position, if tenable, is one of great importance. For the discussion of this point, we have already referred to the literature of the subject.68
THIS IDEA IS A COP-OUT FOR THOSE WHO ARE SO STRONGLY AGAINST ANY USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, AND SO THEIR ATTITUDE IS AS ABOVE. ALL OF THAT IDEA AND TEACHING I DEBUNK ON THIS WEBSITE IN DETAIL - Keith Hunt
In the quotation from Deuteronomy the words rendered "wine" and "strong drink" may not imply here fermented or intoxicating liquors. Even if such be their meaning, the passage does not sanction the use of these drinks to the extent of ebriety.
SO "STRONG DRINK" IS THEN COCA-COLA OR 7-UP OR MAYBE ROOT-BEAR? RIDICULOUS IDEAS. THE JEWS HAVE IN ALL THEIR HISTORY NEVER THOUGHT OR TAUGHT THAT THE BIBLE CONDEMNS TO DRINK ANY ALCOHOL. THEY HAVE ALWAYS USED AND DRANK FERMENTED WINE - Keith Hunt
Judges 9:13 appears in the sacred record, as a mere fable, with which the uninspired speaker embellished his harangue.
The text in Psalms speaks of "wine" which "maketh glad" the heart of man, and of "bread" which "strengtheneth" it. These two terms apparently stand, by metonymy, for food and drink. Hengstenberg: "What appeases hunger and thirst." It is not an intoxicating drink which is contemplated here.
AND IT ALSO COULD BE JUST AS IT IS: ALCOHOL DOES IN MODERATION MAKE THE HEART GLAD; AND GOOD WHOLE ORGANIC FLOUR OF DIFFERENT KINDS TO MAKE BREAD, DOES GIVE US STRENGTH TO THE HEART - Keith Hunt
The passage in Proverbs 31 points to a medicinal use of the articles in question. In verses 4 and 5 of the same chapter the use of "wine" and "strong drink" is forbidden, for a specified reason, to "kings" and "princes." It is then added: "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish [Zockler: who is on the point of perishing, who is just expiring], and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts." The language indicates persons in a state of great depression and exhaustion.
AND SO ALCOHOL IT MUST BE; PESPSI-COLA OR DR.PEPPER WOULD HARDLY HELP THE HEAVY HEART. WHEN THE PRIEST WAS TO PERFORM HIS DUTY HE WAS TO REFRAIN FROM WINE - ALCOHOL; SO IN FULFILLING THE OFFICE OF LEADERS LIKE IN OLD DAYS, THE KING, AND PRINCES, TODAY OUR PRESIDENTS AND PRIME-MINISTERS AND OTHER OFFICIALS IN HIGH PLACES, WHEN HAVING TO MAKE SERIOUS DECISIONS, SHOULD REFRAIN FROM ALCOHOL - Keith Hunt
That Paul's direction to Timothy also contemplates a strictly medical use of wine is beyond a shadow of doubt. The conclusion is that the sacred writers are* not apologists for drunkenness, and neither directly nor indirectly countenance it.
INDEED, WHAT GOOD WOULD SOFT-DRINKS OR EVEN GRAPE JUICE [SOME WOULD PROBABLY ARGUE FOR THIS] DO FOR A LONG TERM STOMACH PROBLEM - Keith Hunt
My brethren, count it all joy when ye
fall into divers temptations.
Lead us not into temptation.
67 John 2:1-11.
68 Compare Smith's Bib. Diet., "Wine"; also, Lees and Burns' "Temperance Bible Commentary" (American edition, New York, 1870). A writer in Fairbairn's Imperial Bible Diet, says, that [Hebrew given] properly means vintage fruit, a solid, instead of a liquid; that [Hebrew given] means syrup from
various fruits not intoxicating when new. Fuerst takes [Hebrew] with [Hebrew] Jeremiah 40:10, as denoting bunches of grapes. Cassell's Bible Diet, says that with the exception of [Hebrew] and perhaps of [Hebrew], the other original terms are not used in connection with drunkenness. But see [Hebrew]
in Hosea 4:11, above.
The word rendered "temptations," says Alford, means "not only what we properly call temptations, but any kind of distresses which happen to us, from without or from within, which in God's purpose serve as trials of us." Matthew inculcates "a humble self-distrust and shrinking from such trials in the prospect"; James teaches that when they do providentially overtake us, we are to rejoice that even these things shall work together for our good.
"LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION" IS COVERED FULLY IN MY STUDIES ON PRAYER ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt
Not to be retained.
If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.
As many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet.
They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil.
1 Timothy 6:9-10
May be retained.
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches. . . . That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.
1 Timothy 6:17-18
The young ruler's was an exceptional case. His "great possessions" were his idol; love of money was his great sin. Jesus shaped the injunction to meet this special case; aiming, as always, at the besetting sin of the individual. The only legitimate inference is that every sin, even the most cherished, must be given up, if we would be disciples of Christ.
Of the example in Acts, Alford says that it was a voluntary one, was enforced nowhere by any rule, and that it prevailed only at Jerusalem. Hackett: "The community of goods, as it existed in the church at Jerusalem, was purely a voluntary thing, and not required by the apostles."
Not those who "are rich," but those who "will 69 be rich," those who make riches the great object of life, are admonished by the apostle in 1 Timothy 6. The excessive love, rather than the mere possession, of wealth, is the object of reprimand. The Bible forbids neither the acquisition nor the possession of wealth, provided we hold it as God's stewards, and use it for his glory.
69 Alford brings out the force of the original word, thus: "They who wish to berich."
For in much wisdom is much grief: and
he that increaseth knowledge increas-
As it happeneth to the fool, so it hap-
peneth even to me; and why was I then
For what hath the wise more than the
This wisdom descendeth not from
above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Of great value.
Wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom,
and the man that getteth understanding....
She is more precious than rubies:
and all the things thou canst desire are
not to be compared unto her.
The wisdom that is from above is first
pure, then peaceable, . . . full of mercy
and good fruits.
The term "wisdom" is applied, in the scriptures, to at least three things: 1. Worldly craft, cunning, or policy; 2. Mere human knowledge or learning; 3. Enlightened piety. The first is always disapproved; the second, having in itself no moral quality, is not condemned save when it usurps the place of the third kind, or enlightened piety. The latter is invariably commended. In the case before us ethical wisdom is contrasted with carnal wisdom.
CERTAINLY KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF THIS WORLD BRINGS ALSO GRIEF. IF YOU KNOW ABOUT THE THINGS THAT SADLY GO ON IN THE WORLD, THAT BRINGS SORROW AND PAIN AND SUFFERING, YOU ARE PARTAKERS OF THE SADNESS. THOSE WHO WORK DIRECTLY IN JOBS TO DO WITH ACCIDENTS, STARVATION, PLAGUES, SEE AND KNOW MORE SORROW THAN THOSE OF US WHO SEE NONE OR VERY VERY LITTLE OF THESE SORROWS OF THE WORLD.
AND THERE IS A WORLDLY WISDOM THAT LEADS TO PRIDE, AND DECEPTION FROM THE TRUTHS OF GOD.
WISDOM THAT IS FROM GOD IS TRULY LIKE PEARS OF GREAT PRICE, AND MORE PRECIOUS THAN RUBIES, AND ALL THE GOLD IN THE WORLD; IT DOES INDEED GIVE PEACE, MERCY, GOOD FRUITS, AND INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD - Keith Hunt