Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Monday, November 27, 2023

Audio: The Translators to the Reader.Part 6: The Translation of the Old Testament out of Hebrew into Greek


In section 6 of the KJV Preface, a robust Protestant view of Greek translations of the OT, including the LXX, is set forward. It provides much needed clarification for our day.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Audio: The Translators to the Reader.Part 4: The praise of the Holy Scriptures



Note: Great insights in this section into Protestant Bibliology.

Audio: The Translators to the Reader.Part 2: The highest personages have been calumniated



Note: Parts One and Three are posted here. I forgot to post this episode to the blog when it was first recorded.

The Vision (11.24.23): But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD


Image: Noah icon, sixteenth century, Mt. Athos, Greece.

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 6:1-8.

Genesis 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

In light of the fact that “the wickedness of man was great” (Genesis 6:5), the LORD made a solemn declaration of his intent utterly to destroy “man whom I have created” (v. 7a). Note that this destruction would entail “both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air” (v. 7b). All creation must pay the price for man’s sin! Again, we hear that God “repented” (cf. v. 6), meaning that he was grieved, disturbed at the mess fallen humanity had made of the world he once looked upon and declared to be very good (Genesis 1:31).

Imagine if you took the time to build something or prepare something of great value. And then one rogue actor came in and, in a few moments, destroyed all that you had so carefully made. It is so much easier to destroy than it is to create and build!

What a terrible state things were in! God would have been completely justified to do just as he here declared.

The breaking light comes, however, in v. 8: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” This is one of the great “adversative conjunctions” statements in the Bible. Think of 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Or, of Ephesians 2:4, “But God, who is rich in mercy….”

Notice it says that Noah found grace. It does not say that Noah earned grace, or that he deserved grace, or that he won grace, or that he merited grace. No, he found it, which means he was given it by God. God’s response to man’s sin was grace!

God’s promise of the gospel in Genesis 3:15 would not fail.

We are reminded here of how God works. When he came to us and looked upon us and saw our sinful state, he might well have snuffed us out, as he might have the whole world in the days of Noah. And yet he gave grace.

The story is told of a mother of many children who had one of them sneak off and get into an oil barrel. When she found the wayward child, after much searching, he was covered head to toe in black goo. She exclaimed, “Lord, it’d just about be easier to have another one than it would be to clean you up!”

The Lord did not give us over to what we deserved. He saved us, and he is cleaning us up. We found grace in his eyes through Christ.

All praise, glory, and honor be to him.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Friday, November 17, 2023

The Vision (11.17.23): And Enoch walked with God


Image: Elijah and Enoch, 17th century icon, Historic Museum, Sanok, Poland

Note: Devotion is taken from last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 5.

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).

Genesis 5 presents us with “the book of the generations of Adam” through the line of Seth (v. 1).

One name that stands out is Enoch the seventh in this line (cf. Jude 1:14-15). The name Enoch means “dedication” or “consecration.” This was also the name of Cain’s son, after whom he named the city he had built (4:17).

The distinctive thing about Enoch is first noted in v. 22: “And Enoch walked with God.” He did not just live, but he walked with God. He had not only natural life, but also spiritual life.

The language of walking with God is figurative for one who shares in an intimate communion with God. Enoch was a peculiarly godly man, a spiritual giant among the men of his times.

Matthew Henry explains that “to walk with God” means, “to set Him before us, and to act as if we were always under His eye… It is to make God’s word our rule and His glory our end in all our actions. It is to make it our constant care and endeavor in everything to please God, and in nothing to offend him.”

Matthew Poole said of Enoch: "He lived as one whose eye was continually upon God; whose care and constant course and business it was to please God, and to imitate him, and to maintain acquaintance and communion with him; as one devoted to God's service and wholly governed by his will. He walked not with men of that wicked age, or as they walked, but being a prophet and preacher…. with great zeal and courage he protected and preached against their evil practices, and boldly owned God and his ways in the midst of them.”

The description of every other man in the line of Adam ends with the statement, “and he died,” but it does not say this of Enoch. Instead, we read in v. 24: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”

The meaning of what happened to Enoch is explained in Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

Enoch was, thus, one of the two men who are mentioned in the OT who did not taste death but were taken by God before experiencing its pain and terror. The other was the prophet Elijah (see 2 Kings 11:11-12). The theologians call this experience an apotheosis.

This account gives hope to all of us, who, like Enoch, have remaining corruptions within us, that we may still seek holiness of life and communion with God as did righteous Enoch.

As Paul exhorted believers in Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”

So, let us join ourselves to Christ and walk in him.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Audio: The Translators to the Reader.Part 1: The best things have been calumniated


My audio series reading through the preface to the AV (1611) continues.


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Audio: The Epistle Dedicatory to the King James Version


I have started a new audio series that I will be posting to sermonaudio of reading through the prefatory material to the KJV. Here is "The Epistle Dedicatory." Next, I hope to read through the fifteen sections in the preface, "The Translators to the Reader."


Friday, November 10, 2023

The Vision (11.10.23): The Line of Cain or the Line of Seth?


Image: Lamech, Mosaic, 12th-13th century, Monreale, Sicily.

Note: Devotional based on last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 4:16-26.

And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch (Genesis 4:17).

And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call on the name of the LORD (Genesis 4:26).

In Genesis 4, two distinct lines are traced. One is the line of Cain (vv. 16-24), who was “of that wicked one” (1 John 3:12), and the other is the line of Seth (vv. 25-26).

We are left to ponder: Are we part of the line of Cain or the line of Seth? Do we take the broad way to destruction or the narrow way to life (Matthew 7:13-14)?

Will we build our city (our empire), as did Cain (v. 17) trying to make a name or leave a legacy for ourselves?

Will we lead a life with only secular strivings, as did those in Cain’s line, even if we do become skilled at amassing cattle, making music, or becoming a skilled artisan (vv. 19-22), but doing it all apart from any relationship with Christ?

Will we only be able to give our children a material inheritance when we leave this earth, or will we leave them something more?

Will we cast aside the original good design of God, as Cain’s descendent Lamech did when he took two wives (v. 19; contra Genesis 2:24)?

Will we live to have men fear us, as did Lamech (v. 24), vowing to pay back any slight with seventy-seven times the force, breathing out threats, and boasting, living by the creed, “Mess with the best and get burned like the rest”?

Or will we go the way of Seth and be weak and humble before the LORD, asking him to remember that we are but dust.

Will we call upon the name of the LORD (v. 26), seeing the worship of God as the true end of man, and will we pass this truth on to our children and grandchildren?

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Friday, November 03, 2023

The Vision (11.3.23): What hast thou done?


Note: Devotional based on last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 4:1-15.

And [the LORD] said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground (Genesis 4:10).

We see the same pattern here as in Genesis 3. Just as God came and walked in the cool of the day and found out Adam’s sin, so he comes and finds out Cain’s sin.

We can run from God, but we cannot hide. As Moses said to the Israelites in Numbers 32:23, “and be sure your sin will find you out.”

To Adam God said, “Where art thou?” (3:9). To Cain he says, “Where is Abel thy brother?” (4:9).

If Genesis 3 shows the breaking of the first table of the law (man’s duty to God), Genesis 4 shows the breaking of the second table of the law (man’s duty to his fellow man). We are all, in truth, guilty of trespassing both!

Cain famously replies, trying to hide his sin, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (v. 9b). John Currid writes:

This is a figure of speech used here to emphasize a sense of indignant refusal. What a bold, defiant, and rebellious response! Instead of fearing God, Cain questions him. The irony is that the true answer is positive: one is indeed to keep one’s brother (Genesis, Vol. 1, 147).

This same commentator notes that seven times in this passage, Abel is referred to as “brother” (vv. 2, 8, 9, 10, 11), but the term is never used of Cain (147).

The LORD then confronts Cain with another question in v. 10a: “What hast thou done?” This is similar to God’s question of Eve in Genesis 3:13, “What is it thou hast done?” Is God ignorant of what has happened? Of course not. He does not ask to furnish his own knowledge but to prick the conscience of the transgressor.

 This is the question of a righteous God to sinful man, “What hast thou done?” He continues to ask this question of each of us, pushing us to the end of ourselves so that we might find refuge in Christ alone.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle