Textual Criticism

  • Hermeneutics,  Old Testament,  Textual Criticism

    Bible Codes and Secret Messages in Scripture?

    I will periodically interact with groups that believe in bible codes and secret messages in Scripture, or be asked about them at church. Looking for a secret message in the Bible is seductive and has a long history with many Christian and Jewish advocates. Is there any evidence that the Bible contains a secret message or a hidden code? One individual who would answer in the affirmative was Chuck Missler (1934–2018). Missler was a very intelligent man who had a background in information sciences (computers, cryptography, etc.). In some of his written works and lectures on bible codes he taught there is a secret message in Scripture. Chuck Missler provides…

  • Scripture,  Textual Criticism

    Charles Spurgeon and Textual Criticism

    Normally when Charles Spurgeon is spoken of he is hailed as the Prince of Preachers. He is especially appreciated with regard to his public preaching skill. Undoubtedly, Spurgeon was a very skilled preacher who loved the Lord and proclaimed Scripture boldly. Much of Spurgeon’s life serves as a tremendous example that Christians (generally) and preachers (specifically) ought to follow. One often-neglected aspect of Spurgeon’s preaching capability was his attention to the original language as far as ascertaining to the original text. In other words, Spurgeon regularly practiced textual criticism. Spurgeon was very concerned with making sure he was preaching what was truly God’s Word. Read More

  • New Testament,  Textual Criticism

    Why James Translates Jacob in the New Testament

    In James 1:1 we read, “James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.” James is the English word for Ἰάκωβος in the Greek. However, Ἰάκωβος is simply a Greek form for the name of Jacob in the OT (יַעֲקֹב). Why do we use the name James for the name Jacob in the New Testament? Why James Rather than Jacob? One theory is that during that translation of the King James Bible, the king forced the translators to substitute the king’s name for Jacob in the New Testament because he wanted his name in the Bible. This view is…

  • Old Testament,  Textual Criticism

    How Tall was the Giant Goliath?

    David killing Goliath with a sling is one of the most beloved and well-known Bible stories. In fact, sports announcers will still sometimes use the phrase, “It is a David versus Goliath story” to describe an underdog taking down the favorite. Those who grew up in church quickly became familiar with the story of the little boy David killing the mighty Philistine giant, Goliath. However, some of the details of the David vs. Goliath story need fleshing out. For one thing, it is likely that although he fought for the Philistines, Goliath likely was a descendant of Anak. Another issue is whether Goliath would qualify as a giant or not.…

  • New Testament,  Scripture,  Textual Criticism

    Does it Burn, or is it Exposed? (2 Peter 3:10)

    Does it burn, or is it exposed in 2 Peter 3:10? Depending on which Bible translation you are reading, you could come away with a different perception. Note, for example, the way various translations treat 2 Peter 3:10. What is going on here? This is an issue of what is called textual criticism. Although criticism sounds bad, in this context it simply means textual evaluation. In other words, textual criticism is the means by which we evaluate which words are original, and which words are scribal additions (either intentional or unintentional). Read More

  • Apologetics,  Scripture,  Textual Criticism

    New Evidence for the Validity of the Text in Our Bibles

    Two days ago, the New York Times published an article entitled, “Modern Technology Unlocks Secrets of a Damaged Biblical Scroll.” The sum of the story is as follows. Archaeologists found a badly damaged ancient scroll in En-Gedi around the Dead Sea in the 1970s. Until recently have been unable to read it due to its fragile condition. However, there is now a computer technology (spearheaded by the University of Kentucky) which allows this scroll (and others like it) to be read. This particular scroll has now been analyzed and contains the first two chapters of Leviticus. What is most amazing about the find, however, is that the experts who examined…

  • Hermeneutics,  Textual Criticism

    The Use of Amos 9 in Acts 15 in JODT

    I recently became aware that The Journal of Dispensational Theology published one of my articles in October. The bibliography information is as follows: Peter J Goeman, “The Role of the LXX in James’ Use of Amos 9:11-12 in Acts 15:15-18” Journal of Dispensational Theology (Summer/Fall 2014): 107-25. Although the article itself requires a certain proficiency in Greek and Hebrew, I will try to summarize the main point of the article here. First, notice the comparison between Amos 9 and Acts 15: Amos 9:11-12 (MT) Amos 9:11-12 (LXX) Acts 15:16-18 In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins…