Where were the words of God?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, May 11, 2008.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Notice 2 Chronicles 35:20-22 (KJV) --
    After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.
    But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? [I come] not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from [meddling with] God, who [is] with me, that he destroy thee not.
    Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
    This passage is teaching that Necho spoke God's words to Josiah, although the Pharoah did NOT speak directly to the King of Judah. This raises some interesting questions: did God speak to Necho in his native Egyptian language? did Necho know Hebrew? did Necho write the message for the ambassadors? did his ambassadors have to translate the message from Egyptian into Hebrew? or perhaps did Josiah know Egyptian? did the ambassadors get to speak directly to King Josiah or did they have to relate the message through a royal envoy? how did the writer of Chronicles come by this information? if the entire transmission of the words from God's mouth were in an Egyptian dialect, did the chronicler translate them into Hebrew? Any attempts to answer these would be mere speculation.

    There is no question that Josiah received revelation from God but chose to ignore it, which cost him his life. So, either Josiah repeated Necho's word verbatim to some one before he died (unlikely), or there were other witnesses to the giving of the message by the ambassadors (vey likely).

    We also know from historical evidence that this event took place approximately 609 B.C., but that the writings we call the books of 'Chronicles' were written much later, probably after 450 B.C. (possibly by Ezra after the return from capitivity). So, from 70 to 140 years (more or less) where were these particular words that came from the mouth of God? Were they recorded in some royal archive? Was it passed along by oral tradition? In any case, several generations (depending upon how one reckons a 'generation') of God's people did NOT have ready access to these words of God. Jesus said (Matthew 4:4) --
    ... It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
    Eventually, Necho's message from God was preserved for us in the Hebrew scriptures, but how then were people 'living' during the interim when they did NOT have access to "every word" that God spoke?
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, May 11, 2008
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  2. franklinmonroe

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    It has been asserted on the BB, in books, and websites that it would not 'make sense' for God to preserve His words and then for those words not be accessible to His people. Some have argued that God would not leave any generation of His people without the benefit of His complete written revelation. Yet, the situation of His words having been given but then being unavailable for some period of time is well documented in the preserved Scriptures themselves. Notice Genesis 20:3-10 (KJV) --
    But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she [is] a man's wife.
    But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
    Said he not unto me, She [is] my sister? and she, even she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
    And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
    Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.
    ¶ Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.
    Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
    And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
    This passage is the witness that God spoke His words to Abimelech. Some other interesting questions arise: did God speak to Abimelech king of Gerar in his native Philistine tongue? did Abimelech know Hebrew? did the king's servants record what he told them about his dream? did Abimelech ever write about his dream later? how did the writer of Genesis obtain this information? did the Genesis writer translate Abimelech's account from a Canaanite language into Hebrew?

    The Scriptures do not tell us that Abimelech told Abraham anything about the dream. What is clear is that Abimelech acted properly upon the revelation given to him by God (and restored Sarah to Abraham); in return, Abimelech received a blessing.

    We do know in historical terms that Abraham and this Abimelech lived in approximately 2000-1700 B.C., but the Hebrew literature which we call the book of 'Genesis' was not written until much later (traditionally by Moses who lived about 1250 B.C.). So, for 450 to 750 years (more or less) where were these particular words of God? Surely, many of God's people lived and died without ever having ready access to these words of God.

    These examples make the assertion that the words of God must be accessible for all generations as a necessary and essential function of the doctrine of the Preservation of the Scriptures demonstratively false.
     
  3. franklinmonroe

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    Here is a New Testament example of the words of God having been given to mankind, but NOT made accessible to many of God's people for some period of time afterward. The first words recorded in the NT explicitly spoken by God the Father (Matthew 3:16-17, KJV) --
    And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
    And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    Obviously, these are spoken words from God the Father. History places the beginning of Jesus ministry at about 30 A.D., but the book we call 'Matthew' and the other Gospels were not composed until between 45 and 70 A.D. John the Baptist had been beheaded and Jesus had ascended into Heaven less than 4 years after this event. It goes unstated in Scripture that any other person that may have been present actually heard these Divine words (see Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:22, and John 1:32-34). So, for 11+ years where were these particular words of God? Certainly, some early believers were told about these words from Heaven, but they probably could not read about them. Perhaps, some new Christians never knew of these words of God while living in the 1st century.
     
    #3 franklinmonroe, May 15, 2008
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  4. Salamander

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    Not as far as heaven is concerned.

    God excercises His Divine "right" to be silent where man is concerned and for any length of time. He is God.
     
  5. robycop3

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    And God also exercises His Divine right to present His words & messages to us in any form HE chooses, whether WE like those forms or not.
     
  6. Trotter

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    Everyone who has lived down through the ages have not been as privileged as we are. They did not have a complete bible, available in different formats. The Jews of the Old Testament days had Moses' law, and whatever other scrolls were available or memorized.

    The periods cited in the first two posts did not have access to God's words. The Chronicles are thought to have been compiled from earlier writings. Many of these writings are mentioned by name, but no longer exist.

    What does it matter whether Abimelech was spoken to in his native tongue or not? Whether God used Abimelech's language, caused Abimelech to understand Hebrew, or just spoke to his mind, the point is that God spoke and Abimelech listened. The scriptures were preserved, however. Most likely they were kept orally, but they were there.

    The third example is very simple. The writers of the gospels carried them in their hearts and memories until they were written down. No big mystery.

    God uses various means to carry His word. Not all of them fit into our neat little perception of how we think He "ought" to do it.
     
  7. Mexdeaf

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    WHAM!

    (sound of NAIL OF TRUTH getting hit solidly on HEAD OF REASON with HAMMER OF CLARITY.)

    :thumbs:
     
  8. franklinmonroe

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    If you read my posts carefully you will realize that I am NOT asserting that the words of God were ever 'lost', just that they were not readily accessible to general population during certain periods of time.

    Nonetheless, your above comment is just doesn't correspond with the facts. First, Mark and Luke were not apostles and there is no indication in Scripture that they were ever eyewitnesses to any events of Christ's ministry on Earth. It is nearly universally accepted that Mark actually relates the recollections of Peter. Second, there is no evidence that any apostles were present at Christ's baptism. Jesus was baptised BEFORE He chose His disciples. There seems to be no prior familiarity between Jesus and Matthew at the time the tax collector is called to follow the Master (see Matthew 9:9); there seems to be no previous meeting between Jesus and the fishermen (the brothers Peter & Andrew, and two sons of Zebedee) before they were called to follow the Messiah.

    I am perfectly OK with the Holy Spirit giving the exact words to the writers, even when the writer wasn't present for the event.
     
    #8 franklinmonroe, May 16, 2008
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  9. Maestroh

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    Dear Franklin

    What you are talking about here is one of the 'non sequitor' corollaries that follows the KJVO argument for preservation called 'public accessibility.' The notion is a slippery slope fallacy:

    a) God inspired His Word (true enough)
    b) Inspiration is useless without preservation (not only is this not necessarily true, it is vague. What is meant by preservation? A verbatim copy of the original?)
    c) Preservation is useless without access by all believers (but this is demonstrably not true on numerous counts)


    The fact remains that somehow - and I still don't know how - the KJVO advocate says, "Preservation leads us to the KJV." That, of course, is little more than self-delusion.

    Why the KJV? Why not the Latin Vulgate or LXX, both of which are not only older than the KJV but MUCH older?

    The unspoken presupposition of public accessibility demonstrates a different point than most KJVOs wish to acknowledge. Then again, the belief system makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in the first place, so I guess it is to be expected.
     
  10. Trotter

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    Mark received his "words" from Peter. Luke compiled his "words" from a lot of people. As for the baptism of Jesus, the disciples did have access to John the Baptist, and I don't think John was the bashful type.

    Of course these "words" were not readily accessible to the general public. How could they ahve been until they were written down?

    The same applies to Moses. Moses was not there for the creation of the world, or the Garden of Eden, or Abraham, or Joseph... but he had the oral traditions that were passed down, and God giving the inspiration. In actuality, very little of the bible was written by eye witnesses.

    I really do not see what you are trying to get across.
     
  11. HankD

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    There are some “givens” concerning accessibility, transmission, etc which affect man’s accountability that God is aware of don’t you think?

    Romans 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    Trust Him; He will do the right thing…

    Genesis 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?


    HankD
     
  12. franklinmonroe

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    Exactly! Some words of God were received prior to the written record of those words of God. I gave three examples from Scripture of this order.

    However, some other words of God became manifest for the first time at the Holy Spirit's direction to write them. There are also examples in Scripture, and in history, of the written words of God not being readily accessible for spans of time.
     
  13. franklinmonroe

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    Yes, I concur. I was merely demonstrating a problem that is presented if Matthew 4:4 is interpreted hyper-literally.
     
  14. PrimePower7

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    Of course you don't see it!

    Come on, Trotter. You see it just fine. You just don't see the importance of it because you didn't start the thread.:thumbs:
     
  15. robycop3

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    Some of God's messages which He chose to become available to all, were meant for just one person(in the case in this thread, for Josiah), and so weren't widely distributed at the tme God first gave them. After all, it was Josiah who would make the decision to lead his army against Necho's.
     

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