Friday, December 31, 2021

The Vision (12.31.21): John's Question to Jesus: Are you the Christ?


Image: Some CRBC youth singing about Christ at Epworth Outreach, Louisa, Virginia (12.22.21)

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? (Matthew 11:2-3).

Given that John had previously declared Jesus to the Lamb of God and the Son of God (cf. John 1:29, 34, 26), why is he now sending this question to Jesus by his disciples?

Two responses have been given:

First, some have suggested that the question reflects weaknesses and doubts in John himself.

John the Baptist was a great man, but he was still only a mere man. The old adage goes, “The best of men are men at best.”

It raises the question of whether his being cast into prison had been dispiriting to him. Maybe he had sunk into despair and gloom. He was perhaps doubting his past experiences, the ministry he had performed, the truths revealed to him.

Consider the later experience of Peter who would adamantly promise never to forsake Christ, but then, when the rubber met the road, he denied three times that he ever knew him (cf. Matthew 26:69-75).

The difficulties of our circumstances can indeed wear us down spiritually. Spurgeon observed: “Dark thoughts may come to the bravest when pent up in a narrow cell” (Matt, 131).

Second, others have suggested that John’s question was not for himself, but for the benefit of his disciples.

According to this view, John wanted Christ himself to affirm his identity as Messiah directly to his disciples. We know from the record of the NT that many followers of John would eventually become followers of the Lord Jesus, but this would require teaching and instruction. The proto-apostle Andrew had been a disciple of John (John 1:37, 40). Other followers of John who eventually turned to Jesus include Apollos (cf. Acts 18:24-28) and the twelve disciples of Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7).

Can you imagine how encouraging this passage recorded by Matthew was to those who had been disciples of John but then became disciples of the Lord Jesus?

Christ provided a definitive answer to John’s question: “Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see” (Matthew 11:4). He opened blinded eyes, made the lame walk, cleansed lepers, opened deaf ears, raised the dead, and preached good news to the poor (v. 5). He is the Messiah, anticipated by the prophets. “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (v. 6).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Friday, December 24, 2021

The Vision (12.24.21): Receiving Christ


Image: Scene from CRBC caroling at Epworth apartments, Louisa (12.22.21)

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 10:40-42.

He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me (Matthew 10:40).

The conclusion to Christ’s commissioning of the twelve apostles in Matthew 10:40-42 really has but one central point with three thrusts: (1) To receive the faithful messengers of Christ is to receive Christ himself (v. 40a); (2) To receive Christ is to receive the God who sent him (v. 40b); and (3) The one who does this will be greatly rewarded (vv. 41-42).

It begins in v. 40a: “He that receiveth you receiveth me….”

Christ had already prophesied to his apostles of the mixed reception that awaited them. First, there will be the “worthy” ones who will welcome the apostles and extend hospitality to them (see vv. 11-13a). Second, however, there will be those who will not receive them (see vv. 13b-15). He sends them as sheep in the midst of wolves (v. 16).

A truly astounding point is being made here. To receive a faithful message about Christ presented by faithful messengers of Christ is to receive Christ himself.

What did Christ commission the apostles to do? To proclaim, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (v. 7; cf. Matthew 4:17). This was a declaration that the rule and reign of God was present, manifest, in the person and work of the man Jesus of Nazareth.

The person who receives this message through the apostles is receiving the Lord Jesus himself. Consider the apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

This is but the first link in a chain. The next link comes in v. 40b: “and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

The one who sent Christ into the world is the God of the Bible. This requires the doctrine of the Trinity fully to understand. It is God the Father who sent God the Son to accomplish the redemption of sinful men (cf. John 3:16-17; 10:36; 17:18; 20:21).

The apostle Paul thus declared in Galatians 4, “4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

This is a great “Christmas” passage. Paul is teaching the incarnation of Christ. At just the right time, in the fullness of time, God the Father sent forth God the Son, to be “made of a woman.” Paul knew the virginal conception and virgin birth of Christ. To be made under the law. To live in perfect obedience to the law for our salvation.

So, the links on the chain in Matthew 10:40 are these: (1) If you receive the apostles, you receive the Lord Jesus Christ (the eternal Son of God, made flesh), and (2) if you receive the Lord Jesus Christ, you are receiving God the Father, the one true God of Scripture.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Friday, December 17, 2021

Not peace, but a sword


Image: Remnants of an AD fifth century Roman iron sword, found in a soldier's grave in Greece. 

Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 10:32-39.

Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34).

Knowing Christ can cause all kinds of problems in your life. Knowing Christ can really tear to pieces what had been a tranquil and peaceful life. Before coming to Christ you didn’t worry about your sin. You didn’t worry about how you lived. You didn’t worry about how you treated others. You didn’t worry about pleasing God. Then you meet Christ, and he begins to change everything.

When we were in London at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, I sat in a doctrine class taught by assistant Pastor Ibrahim. After the class he was telling me how he had come from Mali, in Africa. He said, As a Muslim, I used to burn the Word of God. Then, he continued, the Word of God burned a hole in my heart. He was converted and called to the ministry, and it disrupted and threatened his whole life, so that eventually he had to leave behind his homeland.

Maybe your experience will not be that dramatic, but every true Christian worth his salt will experience times when the sword falls upon his life, because of his knowing Christ.

Christ calls special attention to the tensions that can arise in one’s family (vv. 35). If you become a believer and your family members are unbelievers, they may oppose you. Earlier Christ had prophesied that the apostles would suffer persecution even to death from their family members (see v. 21).

Christ caps off the teaching in v. 36. Noting that for the cause of Christ the very ones who should bring us the most comfort and security, our own household, may well become our foes and our enemies, opposing us in our obedience to Christ.

Spurgeon commented on this passage: “The coming of Christ into a house is often the cause of variance.... The more loving the Christian is, the more he may be opposed: love creates a tender zeal for the salvation of friends, and that very zeal frequently calls forth resentment.” He added, “Even if our house becomes a den of lions to us, we must stand up for the Lord."

In salvation, Christ does indeed bring us “peace with God” (Romans 5:1). In the midst of our day-to-day lives, he also grants us “peace that passeth understanding” (Philippians 4:7). And yet he also brings a sword.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Scenes from CBRC's 2021 Leaf Raking Day

Last Saturday (12.11.21) was an overcast late fall day in Central Virginia, but that didn't stop a determined group of CRBC-ers from our annual Leaf Raking Day to spruce up our Bell's Grove meeting house (inside and out). Here are some pics:


Thursday, December 16, 2021

WM 218: Doxology or Devil? A Case for the Longer Ending of the Lord's Prayer

Thanks to Brett Mahlen and Christian McShaffrey for joining me on this episode to discuss their recent article, "Doxology or Devil? A Case for the Longer Ending of the Lord's Prayer," Puritan Reformed Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2 (2021): 21-31. You can find a link to the article here.


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Peter Van Kleeck, Jr.'s book "A Philosophical Grounding for a Standard Sacred Text" is now available

Peter Van Kleeck, Jr.'s version of his dissertation, A Philosophical Grounding for a Standard Sacred Text: Leveraging Reformed Epistemology in the Quest for a Standard English Version of the Bible is now available in print formYou can order it online here.

I interviewed Dr. Van Keeck on this work in WM 213.

The print version of the book has an excerpt from a "blurb" I wrote for it on the back cover. Here is the full endorsement:

“It’s the economy, stupid!” was a slogan coined by political strategist James Carville during the 1992 US Presidential election. His point was that if his party hoped to win in November, they had to maintain a laser-like focus on the economy. When it comes to winning evangelical, conservative, and Reformed Christians back to the traditional Protestant text of Scripture (the Received or Confessional Text), I contend we must take up the motto, “It’s epistemology, stupid!”  The Bible is indeed the epistemic foundation of the Christian faith. How can we affirm that Scripture is our preeminent source of authority, if we are not sure of what the text of the Bible is? In this book A Philosophical Grounding in Favor of a Standard Sacred Text, based on his doctoral dissertation at Liberty University, Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Jr. applies the “Reformed Epistemology” of leading Christian philosophers like Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff to Christian Scripture, winsomely making the case that it is not irrational for ordinary believers to embrace a “standard sacred text” as the authority for faith and practice. I warmly commend this opening volume on Scripture and the philosophy of knowledge in what is projected to be a three-volume series, and I look forward to forthcoming companion volumes which will approach the doctrine of Scripture, respectively, from an exegetical and then a theological perspective. Epistemology is, indeed, the right starting point.

-Jeffrey T. Riddle, Pastor, Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Louisa, Virginia

Tolle Lege!


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Audio for "War Against An Authentic Biblical Text" Lectures posted

I have posted the audio from the three lectures on "The War Against An Authentic Biblical Text" series to


Dr. Masters' Conference Introduction & Owen Book Comments


Here's an audio clip (sound quality not great) from the recent Day of Special Studies at Metropolitan Tabernacle (11/27/21) in which Dr. Peter Masters introduced the conference.

I especially appreciated his approving comments of my book John Owen on Scripture: Authority, Inspiration, Preservation. This book offers a simplification and abridgement of two key essays by Owen on Bibliology. The Met Tab Bookstore sold out its 60 copies of the Owen book at the conference, probably on the strength of Pastor Masters' commendation.

There is also now a Spanish edition of the book, translated by Ernesto Rodriguez, a member of CRBC. It can be found online here.


Saturday, December 11, 2021

WM 217: Rejoinder to Hixson on the TR and "Getting the Data Right"


Notes for WM 217:

I’m just getting back in the groove after a recent trip to London where I was honored to speak in the “Day of Special Studies” for the School of Theology at the Metropolitan Tabernacle Church, where on Saturday, November 27, 2021 I gave three lectures on the theme “The War Against An Authentic Biblical Text,” which are now posted to my WM channel (find links here).

While still in England, I was made aware of a blog post that appeared on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog on December 1, 2021, which offered a critique of a statement, taken out of context, from a recent podcast interview I had done with Dwayne Green.

In this episode I want to offer a rejoinder to this blog post and what I believe are its misrepresentations regarding my point on the unity of the readings found in the classic printed Protestant editions of the TR.


Here is a bit of the background: I did an interview via Zoom with Dwayne Green, a Pentecostal Pastor from Canada, back on November 11, 2021. I think we spoke for nearly two hours.

He then took the video material, edited it (according to the sometimes jumpy and humorous style he uses in his blogcast), and he released the interview in three segments over several days.

The third of those videos was posted on November 29, 2021 and was titled “Which TR does the Traditional Text Use?”

Just two days after the release of that third video (December 1, 2021), Elijah Hixson, associate pastor of the Fireside Fellowship Church in Kingston, TN, posted a “longish post” (as he put it) on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog, responding to a statement, taken out of context, which I had made in that video with respect to the so-called “Which TR?” objection.

His post was titled, “On the Comma Johanneum, ‘Which TR?’ and working from inadequate data.”

Some general things I found interesting about Hixson’s post:

There were a couple of rather interesting things overall about Pastor Hixson’s post.

First, Pastor Hixson begins by telling his readers that he did this post “only because I care about data and getting it right.” He provides a link to the podcast interview, but he only cites one statement from me in the written article (and even that was not cited as a direct quotation), out of context, and, oddly enough, never bothers directly to mention my name or to offer any analysis for the background for the conversation.

This reminds me of the way a certain Popular Internet Apologist (PIA) used to respond to my material on his podcast. Yes, I get the irony of the fact that I did not mention the PIA’s name in the previous sentence.

Wouldn’t it make sense for someone who wants to “get the data right” to be clear about whose work he’s critiquing?

Pastor Hixson also makes an odd reference later to another anonymous “TR Advocate” whom he accuses of committing a supposed logical fallacy (the “True Scotsman”) argument. This may also be a reference to yours truly, but I’m not sure, because Pastor Hixson provides no name, reference, or context for this charge.

My sense is that by this comment Pastor Hixson may be attempting to respond preemptively to the objection he knows I will raise against his misrepresentation of my quoted statement. Namely, he knows that that my statement was with respect to all the classic, mature, Protestant printed editions, that they contain Matthew 6:13b, Mark 16:9-20, John 7:53—8:11, Acts 8:37, and 1 John 5:7b-8a—but more on this later.

Second, those in the TR community are well familiar with Pastor Hixson and his frequent offers of online “help,” because he only cares “about the data and getting it right.”  I remember a conversation I had with one TR advocate a few years ago who noted that Pastor Hixson seems to be a ubiquitous presence on all social media sites dedicated to textual criticism and he’s often quick to offer his brand  of neutral “corrections” to anyone promoting the traditional text. Yes, he is quite a disinterested and objective observer of these things.

Third, it is interesting that Pastor Hixson is apparently now listening to video and audio podcasts (given that he linked the video interview with Dwayne Green and made this “longish post” on my comments, taken out of context, from it). This is interesting, because in past online interactions with Pastor Hixson, when I suggested he listen to my WM podcast to understand statements I had made in context, he responded that he always preferred written content and never listened to podcasts or watched online videos, because he found these hard to engage his restless and active mind. I guess his opinion and practices on podcasts and videos has changed.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of his objections, and you can judge for yourself whether he “got the data right.”

What was my contested statement?

So, what was the one statement from the roughly two hours of conversation that I had with Dwayne Green to which Pastor Hixson takes exception in his article. It was this one, which I will try to cite verbatim from the recording:

“All of those printed editions of the TR included Mark 16:9-20; all of them included John 7:53—8:11; all of them included the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:13b); all of them included the Ethiopian eunuch’s confession in Acts 8:37; all of them included the Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7-8), so the differences between them are relatively minor….”

What was Hixson’s assessment?

Pastor Hixson declares, “that statement simply is not true.”

He then proceeded to cite several early printed editions of the Greek NT that do not include the doxology of Matthew 6:13b (the Complutensian Polyglot), the Ethiopian eunuch’s confession (the Complutensian Polyglot), or the CJ (Erasmus’ first two editions [1516, 1519], the Aldine [1518], Gerbellius’ edition [1521], Köpfel’s edition [1524], and Colinaeus’ edition [1534]).

He also makes a reference to the fact that the CJ did not appear in the first edition of Luther’s German NT, since he followed the second edition of Erasmus (1519), and to the fact that the CJ appears in “brackets in smaller type” in an English translation, the Matthew’s Bible (1537).

The flaw in Hixson’s critique:

The basic flaw in Pastor Hixson’s critique of my statement is his assumption of what I meant by “the printed editions of the TR.”

Granted, I should also have been clearer and will try to do so in the future to avoid any confusion.

By “printed editions of the TR” I was not referring to all early printed editions of the Greek NT, but specifically to the classic, mature, Protestant printed editions of the TR, which served as the basis for the Protestant vernacular translations of the Reformation and Post-Reformation (Protestant Orthodox) eras.

Another anonymous charge Pastor Hixson levels in his article is: “Instead of dealing with that question [the ‘Which TR’ objection], some TR defenders seem to brush it off as irrelevant.”

I’m not sure if he counts me among this anonymous group of “some TR defenders.”

I did post a blog article on the topic back in 2019 in response to a “Which TR?” critique offered by Dirk Jongkind, and I have continued to expand on and clarify that response in various contexts.

My friend Vince Krivda has also written an extended article on the topic, titled, “Which TR?! A Response to Mark Ward’s Critique of Confessional Bibliology.” I’m sure Pastor Hixson would want to “get the data right” by acknowledging these responses.

In my aforementioned blogpost, I have tried to offer a confessional response to the “Which TR?” objection and to clarify what I mean when I appeal to the printed editions of the TR. Here’s an excerpt from the post as it currently stands:

First, it is important to point out that there is no single “perfect” printed edition of the TR. This does not mean, however, that the various printed editions of the TR taken collectively fail to provide for us a reasonable and reliable witness to the received text.

At the Text and Canon Conference Jonathan Arnold made mention of the TBS’s helpful “Statement of Doctrine of Holy Scripture” which, for the NT, refers to the received text as “a group of printed texts” adding that “the scope of the Society’s Constitution does not extend to considering the minor variations between the printed editions of the Textus Receptus.”

Second, we should not let the fact that such minor variations exist among the various printed editions of the TR overshadow the fact that those editions are overwhelmingly uniform and, particularly so, with regard to those places where there are major differences with the modern critical text. All the classic Protestant printed editions of the TR, for example, include the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:13b), the traditional ending of Mark, “the only begotten Son” at John 1:18, the PA, Acts 8:37, “God was manifest in the flesh” at 1 Timothy 3:16, the CJ, etc.

As for the remaining minor variations, each of these, should be evaluated on a case by case basis. If this is done, I believe that most of them will be easily resolved, while only a few will call for more careful deliberation.

I later added:

The editions which should be primarily consulted are the classic Protestant ones of Stephanus and Beza, based on Erasmus' foundational work. The Elzevir editions should also be consulted, but with the understanding that they appeared after most of the translations of the TR had first been made into the modern languages of Europe.

Given this context, it should be clear that when I made reference to “all the printed editions of the TR” including the various passages mentioned, I was not speaking about every early printed editions of the Greek NT, but the classic, mature, Protestant printed editions of the TR, as epitomized in those of Stephanus, Beza, and, later, the Elzevirs.

Let me briefly review the six early printed editions of the Greek NT, which Pastor Hixson cites:

First: The Complutensian Polyglot was a RC edition of the Greek NT, produced in Spain under the authority of Cardinal Ximenes. It is hardly surprising then that, following the Latin Vulgate, it did not include Matthew 6:13b.

Second: The Aldine edition was also produced in a RC context in Venice in 1518. Luther did not appear before the Diet of Worms until 1521. It is not a Protestant printed edition of the TR. In addition, its NT followed the first edition of Erasmus, so it is not an independent witness for the omission of the CJ.

Third: Pastor Hixson also cites the omission of the CJ from the first two editions of Erasmus (1516, 1519). Erasmus’ Greek NT was indeed foundational for the TR, but it was not a Protestant printed edition either. We should also note that the CJ was included in Erasmus’ third, fourth, and fifth editions (1522, 1527, 1536). The standard for Erasmus’s printed Greek NT should not be the first two which he later corrected, but the final, corrected, and complete editions, as affirmed by the Protestant orthodox.

Given his stated emphatic desire, to “get the data right,” surely Pastor Hixson would not suggest that I did not know that the Erasmus’ first and second printed editions of the Greek NT omitted the CJ. After all, I published a scholarly article in 2017 in the PRJ titled “Erasmus Anecdotes” which discussed extensively the “rash wager” legend related to the CJ’s inclusion in the third edition of his Greek NT.

Fourth: As I understand it, Gerbellius was a humanist and not a full-throated Protestant. My guess is that his edition (1521) was based on the earlier editions of Erasmus, so it is not an independent example of the omission of the CJ.

Fifth: Köpfel’s edition (1524) would have appeared in the early stages of the Reformation, so it was not a mature Protestant edition. I also assume that like the Gerbellius edition it was likely based on one or both of the first two editions of Erasmus.

I might add here that Pastor Hixson mentions Luther’s omission of the CJ in first edition of his German NT, but he concedes that it was later added to the German Bible, as indeed this reflected the Protestant consensus.

Sixth: The Colinaeus edition (1534) also could not possibly be classified as a mature Protestant edition of the TR. This is another case where I am sure that Pastor Hixon in his zeal to “get the data right” would not want to overlook the fact that I published a 2017 academic article, also in the PRJ, titled “John Calvin and Text Criticism” in which I noted Calvin’s distinct transition from using the Greek text of Colinaeus in his commentaries and the writings of his early ministry to making use of the printed TR of Stephanus in this mature ministry. In my article, I lean heavily on the research of renowned Calvin scholar T. H. L. Parker, who notes that Colinaeus’ NT was astonishingly “modern” (see p. 135 in my article) and suggests Calvin made the transition under the influence of Stephanus. Perhaps Pastor Hixson would accuse Parker of committing the “True Scotsman” fallacy by concluding that Colinaeus’ Greek NT was not a “true” Protestant TR!


In conclusion, the fatal flaw in Pastor Hixson’s critique of my statement, taken out of context from a podcast conversation, was his failure to draw a distinction between the early printed editions of the Greek NT and the classic, mature Protestant editions of the TR. My statement referred to the latter and not the former.

Pastor Hixson gives great weight in his argument to a 1999 QR article by G. W. and D. E. Anderson, which also appears on the TBS website, and which offers a broad survey of the printed editions of the Greek NT and does indeed describe them in the broadest sense as “editions of the Textus Receptus.” Pastor Hixson does not, however, give proper attention to the focus given by the Andersons at the conclusion of this article to the later mature editions of the TR, produced by Stephanus and Beza, and especially to Scrivener’s edition (1894), still kept in print by the TBS, as a standard representation of the TR. Clearly, the authors of the article give greater weight to the later Protestant editions of the TR, as opposed to earlier printed editions of the Greek NT, which served as forerunners to it.

The Anderson article, in fact, makes the point that the term “Textus Receptus” was not coined until the second edition of the Elzevirs in 1633.

It would be a gross misrepresentation of the Anderson article to suggest that either the Andersons or the TBS would endorse as legitimate any printed edition of the Greek NT that omitted Matthew 6:13b, Mark 16:9-20, John 7:53—8:11, Acts 8:37, or 1 John 5:7-8.

In the end, it is interesting to consider that even without making a distinction between the earlier printed editions of the Greek NT and the later classic Protestant editions of the TR, Hixson could find so few differences among them. Even among the earliest printed editions of the Greek NT, he could cite none that excluded the traditional ending of Mark or the PA, only one that omitted the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ethiopian Eunuch’s confession (the Complutensian), and only a handful that omitted the most controversial CJ (and all those are most likely based on the first two editions of Erasmus, later corrected by Erasmus himself).

Pastor Hixson’s study, oddly enough, actually demonstrates how relatively uniform the printed editions of the Greek NT (whether early printed editions or the mature Protestant TR editions) were until the nineteenth century.

Pastor Hixson essentially concedes as much toward the end of his post when he states, “At the end of the day, one could argue that there was eventually a consensus and that these examples don’t actually matter.”

What he claims to take issue with is the assertion “that TRs all agree in these ‘major’ passages, and they only disagree in ‘minor’ places.

He pronounces, “That claim is demonstrably untrue—there’s just no way around it.

Again, the problem is with Pastor Hixson’s misrepresentation of what I meant by “printed editions of the TR.” I did not mean the Complutensian, the first two editions of Erasmus, and Colinaeus. I meant the mature Protestant editions of the TR produced by the Protestant orthodox, like Stephanus and Beza. In fact, they do share a consensus on the text. They do agree in the major passages, and generally only have minor differences. This claim is not untrue, and there is just no way around it.

Let me deal finally with what I found to perhaps the most interesting statement from Pastor Hixson at the end of the post. He states, “If somebody wants to use a particular edition because textual criticism is hard and they have a hard time evaluating modern text-critical claims but they trust they will be safe if they use an edition that God has used for a few hundred years, I have absolutely no problem with that.”

Pastor Hixson is essentially saying that if you hold to the TR (“a particular edition”), you do so for three reasons:

First, “because textual criticism is hard.” In other words, you hold to the TR, because you’re lazy.

Second, because “they have a hard time evaluating modern text-critical claims.” In other words, you hold to the TR because you’re dim-witted.

Third, because “they trust they will be safe if they use an edition that God has used for a few hundred years.” In other words, if you hold to the TR, it is because you are insecure. Notice also that the traditional text, according to Pastor Hixson, has only been used by God “for a few hundred years.” So, God apparently used another text (or texts) before the TR, he used the TR for a couple hundred years, and now he’s moved on to yet another text. If you think that God will preserve the Word and keep it pure in all ages, it’s because you suffer from emotional insecurity.

And the last part: If you are clinging to the wrong Bible, Pastor Hixon has “absolutely no problem with that.” His only concern is that you “get the data right.”

So, to sum up, if you hold to the TR, you’re lazy, dim-witted, and insecure. But if you don’t want to open your eyes, Pastor Hixson is fine with you living in the dark.

Thank goodness we have people like Pastor Hixon defending the modern text against those uncharitable and unenlightened “TR-Onlyists.”

I think everyone listening will join with me in thanking Pastor Hixson for condescending to share his insights with us, to help us “get the data right.”


Friday, December 10, 2021

The Vision (12.10.21): Fear them not


Image: American sparrow in winter (courtesy of Google images)

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 10:26-31.

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31).

In Matthew 10:26-31, Christ tells his disciples three times some variation on “fear them not” (cf. vv. 26, 28, 31). This was his historical word to the apostles, but what is his word to us? We are not to be filled with fear as we live out our faith and obedience to Christ.

We are not to fear men who might slander us (v. 26):

If we suffer insult and defamation for the cause of Christ, we are exhorted not be filled with bitterness and resentment. We are servants who are not above our Master. We can endure all insults with patience, knowing that one day justice will be done. One day what has been hidden will be made plain. If not in this age, then in the age to come.

We can, therefore, be content. We do not have the take things in our own hands. We don’t have to set all things right. That’s not our job, but his. Consider Paul’s words in Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

We are not to fear them which kill the body (v. 28):

Christ's words emboldened not only the original apostles but a whole line of men who came after them, from Stephen (Acts 7) and Antipas the “faithful martyr” of Pergamos (Revelation 2:13), to the Marian martyrs of England, to a host of modern pastors, missionaries, and evangelists who have gladly laid down their lives for Christ.

We can say with Paul that for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). In other words, there are worse things that can happen than physical death. Worse is spiritual death, dying apart from faith in Christ.

Finally, we are not to fear, because just as Christ cared for the apostles, so he cares for and governs us (v. 31).

If the Lord so cares for the sparrows, so that not a one of them falls to the ground apart from his will and knowledge, will he not also extend such care to us, who are made in his image? Every hair on our head is known by him (v. 30).

It is often the parents who know the bodies of their children best. They saw them come into life. They bathed them and fed them and cleaned them. They know every bend, every birthmark. Not only does a parent know her child’s body, but she also knows the personality, spirit, and temperament.

If a human parent knows such things about a child, how much more does our loving heavenly Father know and care for us. Therefore, we need not fear anything.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Thursday, December 09, 2021

2022 Kept Pure in All Ages Conference: July 22-23


I'm looking forward to the next Kept Pure in All Ages Conference in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, scheduled for Friday-Saturday, July 22-23, 2022.


Saturday, December 04, 2021

Day of Special Studies at Metropolitan Tabernacle: The War Against An Authentic Biblical Text


I have posted the three lectures I did at Metropolitan Tabernacle, London last Saturday (11.27.21) to the Word Magazine channel.

You can also view the lectures on the Met Tab's School of Theology 2021 web site here.