MASTER'S SEMINARY JOURNAL

Volume 19, Number 1 (Spring 2008)

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  • by William D. Barrick

    Students of the Bible often make mistakes that can be avoided if they are aware of errors that others have committed. One of the errors is the “Evidential Fallacy” which fails to approach the text with the presumption that it is accurate. Another mistake is the “Superior Knowledge Fallacy” which occurs when one, in approaching difficult texts, practices textual emendation to accommodate the critic’s ignorance. A third mistake is the “Word Study Fallacy” which uses imaginative extrapolations to find unjustified meanings in individual words. The “Fallacy of Reading Between the Lines” reads into the Scriptures what one thinks the text implies. Another mistake occurs in improper explanations of the two tenses of Hebrew verbs, the perfect (or qatal) and the imperfect (or yiqtol). Occasionally in the NT, the “Fallacy of Ignoring Particles” causes an interpreter to miss emphasis that is conveyed by Greek particles. Sometimes a translation leaves out words found in the original language causing the “Fallacy of Reduction.” Correct interpretation results from close attention to details of the text in avoiding the mistakes mentioned above, as well as others.




  • by Robert L. Thomas

    Recent opinions that Israel’s covenants and promises are missing in Rev 20:1-10 have rested on poor hermeneutical foundations. Three major OT covenants with Israel are prominent throughout the Apocalypse and therefore are foundational to what John writes in chapter 20. God promised Abraham a people who are quite visible in Revelation 7, 12, and 14, and in 2:9 and 3:9, where physical descendants of Abraham are in view. The geographial territory promised to Abraham comes into view in 11:1-13 as well as in 16:16 and 20:9. Close attention is given to the Davidic Covenant in 1:5 and 22:16 and many places between, such as 3:7, 5:5, and 11:15. The New Covenant comes into focus whenever the Lamb and His blood are mentioned in the book, and particularly in 21:3 which speaks of a new relationship with God. Obvious references to God’s covenants with Israel are often ignored because of deviations from sound principles of interpretation by those who practice what has been called eclectic hermeneutics. According to Revelation, God will in the future be faithful in fulfilling His promises to Israel.




  • by Michael J. Vlach

    The early church’s hope for the future of Israel has often been overlooked. In writings of the Patristic Era, the fathers often connected the salvation of Israel with the comings of Antichrist and Elijah and the personal coming of Jesus Christ at some time in the future. To note their emphasis on the future of the nation is not to deny several other emphases of the early writers. Their view of Israel is best defined primarily as punitive supersessionism, because they viewed Israel as being judged by God for their rejection of Christ at His first coming. For them the two destructions of Jerusalem proved this. They felt that the church had replaced Israel as the people of God, at least for the present, and had taken over Israel’s Scriptures, Israel’s Covenants, and Israel’s promises. Yet the message is loud and clear that the ancient church believed in the future salvation of Israel, some voices even predicting that the nation would return and possess the land that God had promised to Abraham. The early church as a whole, then, adhered to a moderate form of supersessionism, meaning that they concurred with the Bible’s teaching that Israel had been rejected, but went beyond that to dwell on the great hope lying ahead for that people.




  • by Jon Rehurek

    Many evangelicals and KJV-only advocates assert that the Bible provides explicit evidence for a doctrine of miraculous preservation. In their assertions, they apply the doctrine to a particular version of the Bible, most often the King James Version (KJV) of 1611. Yet an examination of exegetical evidence from commonly cited biblical texts supports only a general promise of preserving the truth of God’s message to mankind, not a particular version of the Bible. Many verses—including some related to immutability, infallibility, and preservation—have been incorrectly interpreted and applied to preservation. The preservation of God’s revelation is the lesson in many of the passages, but no explicit indication applies them directly to written Scripture or to how and when a promise of general preservation would be fulfilled. Since historical evidence demonstrates that scribal errors exist in every extant manuscript, the conclusion to be drawn is that the Bible has been providentially preserved by means of secondary causation through the plethora of available manuscripts and not through miraculous preservation of particular manuscripts and versions. God Himself is faithful and true and His Word reflects His character; His decrees are absolutely immutable and infallible. Although the Scriptures themselves strongly assert that truths contained in it are firmly established and will endure forever, the case for providential preservation must rest upon theological grounds through the historical ( i.e., canonicity) and manuscript evidence (i.e., textual criticism) rather than upon exegetical grounds.




  • by Brian Nicks

    At a time when his denomination and seminary were turning away from conservative, orthodox views of the Bible, Robert Dick Wilson felt called to challenge respected scholars in their Higher Criticism of Scripture. As a child and young man, he showed remarkable academic abilities, particularly in learning new languages. He attended Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, and while a student there, he learned and taught a number of languages. He demonstrated effectiveness as a preacher and evangelist, but chose to become a teacher because of his linguistic abilities. After studying Semitic languages in Europe for a time, he returned to join the faculty at Western Theological Seminary. In 1900, he left Western to become a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, a role that he held until 1929 when he left to help in founding Westminster Theological Seminary. He authored a number of articles and books related to the twenty-six languages and dialects he had learned. His writings were particularly noted for their effectiveness in answering higher critical attacks on the authenticity of the OT, particularly the Book of Daniel. He died on October 11, 1930.



  • Book Reviews for 19:1   (107-146)





Volume 19, Number 2 (Fall 2008)

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An Issue Devoted to Exposing the Truth about Homosexuality


  • by John F. MacArthur

    Through following a distorted meaning of “love,” some in the present day have condoned homosexual practice, without realizing that biblical love excludes homosexuality because of its sinfulness. Christians can best share the gospel with homosexuals by calling their lifestyle what the Bible calls it—sin. Genesis 1–2, Matthew 19, and Ephesians 5 describe clearly the way that God has instituted marriage as a monogamous, heterosexual relationship. Genesis 19, Jude 7, and 2 Peter 2 illustrate how the Fall almost immediately eroded the purity of human sexuality, including a devastation of the divine institution of marriage. Leviticus 18 and 20 and Romans 1 lay out very plainly God’s instructions about how repulsive homosexuality is in God’s sight. Yet Isaiah 56 and 1 Corinthians 6 make plain God’s plan for homosexuals to find freedom and forgiveness through a life-changing faith in Jesus Christ. The door is wide open for homosexuals and lesbians to accept God’s invitation.




  • by Michael A. Grisanti

    Three questions need to be answered regarding cultural and medical myths about homosexuality: (1) Is there a “gay gene”? In giving a positive answer, some sources cite two categories, nature and nurture. Behavioral genetics have sought and allegedly found a source for homosexuality, but many scientists have strong questions about behavioral genetics. Various studies have failed to prove conclusively that a “gay gene” exists. (2) Is it possible for a person to change sexual orientation from being homosexual to heterosexual? The current consensus in the mental health profession is that attempts to convert a homosexual to a heterosexual are too likely to be harmful. A possibility of change has been demonstrated, but worldwide consensus continues to view such a change as impossible because of biological and psychiatric factors. Studies by Spitzer and Jones/Yarhouse have identified examples of change without harm to individuals involved. (3) How have homosexual activists impacted modern cultures throughout the world? Various pieces of legislation, both national and international, have put at risk anyone who dares to oppose homosexuality. Even some ecclesiastical leaders have softened their tone in speaking against this sexual deviation.




  • by Irv A. Busenitz

    A clear pattern of attack on the biblical definition of marriage has emerged alongside the recent widespread propagation of a homosexual agenda. The ultimate goal of the widely publicized deviant lifestyle is to destroy marriage, reverse sodomy laws, and force acceptance of different rules on society as a whole. The movement comes in conjunction with an attempt to eliminate male-and-female gender distinctions and a reinterpretation of biblical texts that support those distinctions. In particular, the biblical command to love one another suffers from distortion as proponents of homosexuality plead for tolerance toward their deviations. Their proposals are a far cry from the biblical perspective on marriage as expressed in the Genesis account of creation. That account outlines five purposes of God in His creative work: reproduction, the union of one woman and one man, woman functioning as a complement to man, picturing the relationship between Christ and His church, and a fulfilling of distinctive roles by husband and by wife. A same-sex union cannot possibly fulfill any of such perspectives. In addition, the Mosaic Law clearly forbids homosexuality as does Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Scripture never approves of any sexual relationship except the marital, monogamous, one-woman, one-man union.




  • by Rick L. Holland

    The difficulties encountered in parenting, including that caused by children’s depravity, are best resolved through implementing biblical principles. In a society that is permissive and even positive toward the homosexual lifestyle, Christian parents should adopt eleven biblical goals in rearing their children. (1) They should do everything to reflect God and His glory. (2) They should help their children understand the gospel so that they receive salvation. (3) They should protect their children from physical and spiritual harm. (4) They should instruct their children in the truths of Scripture. (5) They should interpret Scripture so as to give their children a Christian worldview. (6) They should prepare their children for the responsibilities of adulthood. (7) They should prevent their children from falling to temptation by teaching them the consequences of sin. (8) They should correct any tendencies their children display toward sinful activities. (9) They should provide for the physical and spiritual needs of their children. (10) They should provide positive behavioral examples for their children to follow. (11) They should establish clear lines of communication with their children. These goals will help them deal with the same morally degenerate world as existed during NT times.




  • by Alex D. Montoya

    A tidal wave of immorality has inundated the United States and the rest of the world, demanding that the church respond to homosexuality in four ways. First, it must expose the sinfulness of homosexuality as depicted in the NT. Second, it must clarify that the grace of God and forgiveness extends to homosexuals also. The NT also makes this clear. Third, the church must expel practicing homosexuals from its fellowship. For them to remain a part of the church activities is a blemish that cannot be tolerated because it would indicate moral compromise, a lack of courage in confronting sin, and a failure to exercise the biblical prerogative of excommunication. Fourth, the church must resist the assault of homosexuality on society as a whole. The purposeful effort to sell the homosexual lifestyle is organized and dangerous and needs a concerted resistance to halt that movement.








  • Book Reviews for 19:2   (255-296)