Saturday, February 28, 2015

Why Do The Scholars Miss It?

     There are people who  have  immense  knowledge  of Hebrew, Aramaic, and
Greek, the languages in  which  Yahweh gave mankind the sacred writings. They
know the  meanings  of words, are  skilled  in  grammar, and are able to translate
from  those  languages  into  English. But  their practice often  contradicts  their
knowledge. Why? I would  suggest  the  following  insights as to why this is the

     First, in  the  words  of  Paul, "Knowledge  puffs  up." (1 Cor. 8:1) Pride and
arrogance are beasts that  fight against humility within the heart. When a person
thinks they have  reached  the  pinnacle of learning, they are not likely to admit
they  are  wrong, even  when  the  evidence  is  decidedly against them! Only a
person who is genuinely humble in spirit will unreservedly say and believe, "I
am wrong." "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes
wisdom." (Prov. 11:2, NIV-2011)

     Second, in the words of Jesus, "You have let go of the command of God and
are holding on to human traditions." (Mk. 7:8) This is true of many scholars of
the biblical languages. They know what the text teaches but they are held by the
eagle like talons of human tradition. Human tradition is a formidable force, and
its grip is difficult to break, even when holding to it clearly violates the word of
the living God. Many scholars prefer tradition over apostolic precedent!

     Third, writing  about  the  Jewish  rulers, John the apostle said, "For  they
loved the praise  of  the people  more  than  the  praise  of God." (Jno. 12:43) 
This  is  also  true of some Bible scholars. They are aware of  what  scripture
teaches, but  to  stand  on  the  sacred word would put them  at odds with their
constituents, and  they choose to be accepted by people in darkness than by the
God of light.

     It  is  important  to remember  the  three  previous  points  as to why many
scholars  miss  it;  pride,  human  tradition,  and  acceptance  by  constituents.
Scholarship is excellent if the scholar never forgets the source and purpose of
their  knowledge. Scholarship  for  the  mere  sake  of  scholarship  is  like a
hammer in the hands of a wild man; but scholarship that crowns the head of a
wise man is like a hammer in the hands of a well-trained carpenter.

     These  things  assist  us  in  understanding  why  biblical  lexicographers,
grammarians,  and  linguists  admit  the Greek verb psallo in Ephesians 5:19
does not mean to play on mechanical instruments in New Testament worship,
yet  they  continue  worshiping  with  mechanical instruments. This gives us
insight   as  to  why  lexicographers  correctly  define  baptizo  as  immerse,
submerge, or dip, but they remain affiliated with denominations that practice
sprinkling and pouring as religious acts. It sheds light on why grammarians
acknowledge the phrase "eis aphesin ton hamartion humon" in Acts 2:38
means "into" or "unto"  the  forgiveness  of  your  sins,  but  they continue
denying that immersion is necessary for the forgiveness of past sins. One
Greek grammarian, A.T. Robertson, was so vehemently opposed to the facts
that he wrote, "One will decide the use (of eis in Acts 2:38, RD) according as
he believes baptism is essential to the remission of sins or not. My view is
decidedly against the idea that Peter, Paul, or any one in the New Testament
taught baptism as essential to the remission of sins or the means of securing
such remission." (Word Pictures In The New Testament, volume 3, pages
35,36) If he had read the words of Peter (1 Peter 3:21), and Paul (Romans
6:3-4) he would have known that both Peter and Paul taught and believed
immersion  is  essential  to  salvation  from  sin! Peter  and  Paul  have  left
professor Robertson lying on the "mounds."

     Our  faith  must  rest  in  God  and  we  must  be  diligent  students and
humble practitioners of his word. In this way, even when scholars miss it,
with God's help, we can get it.

                                                                                                       R. Daly
Copyright 2015



No comments:

Post a Comment