The Incorruptible Word Of God?
Sep 14, 2003 05:23 PDT
THE INCORRUPTIBLE WORD OF GOD?
By Herb Evans
Being born again, not of (EK) corruptible seed, but of (EK) incorruptible
(seed), by (DIA) the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. -- 1
Bob Ross, in his obsession to combat King James Onlys, has written an
article denouncing the Jack Hyles’ distortion and perversion of 1 Peter
1:23. He has also written yours truly a note to straighten out my error in
this matter. The error or distortion that Bob Ross seeks to combat is the
view that the incorruptible seed of 1 Peter 1:23 is the "word of God."
Bob characterizes such interpretation as a "hobby of King James
Exclusivism" (King James Onlys). So, we will not address that aspect of the
issue in this article. We will approach the verse according to Ross'
contention - from the stand point of the time Peter penned it.
If it were not for the diametrically opposed views of Ross and his KJO
opponents, this would merely be a difference of opinion of interpretation
(as with the difference of opinion regarding the "water" of John 3:5,
whether the "water" means the natural birth, the word of God, or the Holy
Spirit - Ross' view). However, since King James exclusivism is on the other
side of Bob, it becomes a heretical distortion or perversion. The thrust of
Ross' argument is as follows:
ROSS’ GREEK ARGUMENT
Bob Ross seeks to point out that the Greek preposition EK (of) and EX (of)
only indicates the source of something, and the Greek preposition DIA (by)
is indicative of means or instrumentality; they are never
interchangeable. Ross quotes all the proof texts (Jn. 1:12; 3:6; 1 John
2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1,4,18) that refer to being born of God. He relegates
other references to the word of God, which do involve the new birth (James
1:18; 1 Cor. 4:15; 2 Thess. 2:13; Jn. 15:3; 17:17; 1 Peter 1:23), often
translated "by, with, or through" (DIA) the word of God as the agency or
instrumentality of the new birth and not its source. So, in Ross’
estimation, the incorruptible seed of 1 Peter 1:23 cannot mean the word of
God, for it says DIA (by) the word of God and not EK (of) the word of God.
Simply put, Ross' syllogism (deductive scheme in formal argument) compares
with the following: 1. A cow is an animal; 2. A dog is an animal; 3.
Therefore a dog is a cow. Most of Ross' premises are plausible as are the
points of our suggested syllogism. His conclusions are faulty, which are
based only on his self serving Greek grammatical rule alone, with no
consideration to context nor other relevant scripture as we are prepared to
prove. We insist that a complete rationale’ should be attached to a
protagonist’s list of facts and not merely a group of disjointed facts and
TWO SOURCES - GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE WORD OF GOD
So then FAITH cometh by (EX - Source) HEARING, and hearing by (DIA) the
word of God. -- Rom. 10:17
Except a man be born of (EX) water and of the Spirit . . . That which is
born of (EK) the flesh . . . that which is born of (EK) the Spirit . . .
so is every one that is born of (EK) the Spirit. -- John 3:5,6,8
Now, how is it that hearing can be the “SOURCE” but not the word of God
that they hear? Is our friend cutting the Greek too thin? Can anyone deny
that hearing the word of God as a "source" of his faith, for faith cometh
"by"(EX) hearing and hearing "by" (DIA) the word of God? In John 3, we
discover that the "source" of some aspect of a man's birth is "water." Now,
all you folks, who believe that the "born OF (EK) water" refers to the word
of God are guilty of "perversion" and "distortion," according to
Ross. Obviously, here, the water would be the source (EK). Folks, who
believe that the "water" is a physical birth will escape Bob's wrath, since
the source of physical birth is the water here (again EK), if you want to
put God out of the picture as the source of physical birth. You folks, who
believe as does Ross that the "born of (EK) water" means “born of the Holy
Spirit” are really orthodox in Ross’ eyes. Ross believes that the "and
(EIS)" is an exegetic or explanatory "and” or "even," in other words "born
of water even of (EK) the Spirit."
. . .he who was of (EK) the bondwoman was born after (KATA) the flesh; but
he of (EK) the freewoman was (born) BY (DIA) promise . . . he that was
born after (KATA) the flesh persecuted him that was born after (KATA) the
Spirit, even so it is now. -- Gal. 4:23,29
Ross insinuates that we must merely value the passages, which contain the
phrase, "born of God" for our argument. Still, there are many other
passages, which show other sources of both natural and spiritual births.
Men are born of flesh, of the womb, of fornication (EK - John 3:5; Matt
19:12; John 8:41). Men are born of water (EX - John 3:5). The saints are
born of God (EK - John 1:12). The saints are born of "him" -- the
Word/Jesus (EK - 1 John 2:28,29). The saints are born of the Spirit (EK -
John 3:6,8). So, if the “SOURCES” of birth are God, flesh, water, Jesus the
Word, and the Holy Spirit, who says the written or spoken word cannot be a
source of the new birth as well? Ross? Simply, because he decides to make
up a rule, based upon some self serving Greek theological formula or
rule? Ross affirms God as the only source of his new birth but disclaims
the word of God as a "source" of his new birth, thus denying the word of
God as a "source" of his salvation.
Curiously, the book of Galatians does not lock step with Ross' formula.
Perhaps, Bob Ross can reconcile the following prepositional comparison of
Gal. 4:23, 29 with his theory and formula. (Note: "even so it is now.").
Since Ross has made up his Greek grammatical rule, perhaps, we should
introduce ours, Evans’ rule of Prepositional transposition. Sound nice?
he who was of (EK) the bondswoman, was born after (KATA) the flesh
he of (EK) the freewoman, was (born) BY (DIA) promise — Gal 4:23
he that was born after (KATA) the flesh
him that was born after (KATA) the Spirit — Gal 4:29
Here, we have the bondswoman as the source of Ishmael and the free woman as
the source of Isaac, according to Bob Ross’ Greek formula. Then, the
bondswoman is equated with the flesh and the freewoman is equated with
promise. Then the bondswoman is equated again with the flesh but the free
woman and promise and the Spirit are made one in the same. In the
bondswoman’s case, the prepositions EK and KATA are transposed. In the case
of the free woman, the prepositions EK, DIA, and KATA are transposed with
the freewoman as the source according to Bob, and the Spirit as the agency
or instrumentality. We are beginning to think that Bob Ross is operating on
coincidences rather than valid linguistics.
THE SEED, THE SOURCE OF LIFE
If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also
shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. -- 1 John 2:24
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in
him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. -- 1 John 3:9
The seed is the word of God . . . But that on the good ground are they,
which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and
bring forth fruit with patience.
-- Luke 8:11,15
The problem for Ross, of course, is that the term "seed" is applied to more
than one subject in the Bible. In one place, Christ is the Seed (Gal 3:16);
in another, the saints are the seed (Matt 13:38), and in another, the word
of God is the seed (as Ross admits). Still, something that the early
Christians "heard from the beginning" remained in them, according to 1
John 2:24. It is not difficult to relate this to John's next relative
statement (1 John 3:9), "his seed remaineth in him." This line of thought
further amplifies, when we discover that the seed, the word sown in their
hearts, had to be kept. Now, we are aware that the new nature is being
discussed here (and in 1 John 5:18) in some way. The new nature is the
"whosoever," but what or who is the seed? Now, one might say the Holy
Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is never referred to as a seed. And according
to Bob Ross' rule, if it is never mentioned any where else, you can't use
it in the verse under dispute. So, what is a plant’s source. Yes, you have
it, a seed! What beside the Holy Spirit is the source of salvation? You
have it again, the word of God!
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity,
but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in
Christ. -- 2 Cor. 2:17
The word "incorruptible" is not much help to Bob Ross, for the word is
applied to many things in the Bible. The incorruptible crown (1 Cor.
9:25), body (1 Cor. 15:52-54), inheritance (1 Pet 1:4), treasure in heaven
(Matt. 6:20), fruit (Matt. 7:18), flesh of Christ (Acts 2:27,31), God (Rom.
1:23), blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:18), and the hidden man of the heart (1
Pet. 3:4). The word of God is incorruptible; it is settled in heaven. That
does not mean that Bible Correctors cannot attempt to corrupt it or produce
corruptions. Still, though men create adulterated versions and copies and
although Jehudi's penknife or fire destroys the word of God (Jer, 36:25),
there will always be a Baruch to recreate it (Jer. 36:32). The scripture
cannot be broken (John 10:35)! Heaven and earth may pass away but His words
will not (Matt. 24:35). His word will not depart from the mouth of thy seed
or thy seed's seed forever (Isa. 59:21).
NOW, FOR THE DISPUTED PASSAGE
Being born again, not of (EK) corruptible seed, but of (EK - understood)
incorruptible (seed), by (DIA) the word of God, which liveth and abideth
for ever. For all flesh (corruptible seed) is as grass, and all the glory
of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof
falleth away: But the word of the Lord (incorruptible seed) endureth for
ever. -- 1 Pet. 1:23-25
Bob Ross, unwittingly, provides the solution to his own contrived dilemma.
We do not even need the Greek or another cross reference or anything we
have already said. All we have to do is examine the context for the answer.
Bob informs us (after stating his view) that the incorruptible seed is in
"contrast to the 'corruptible seed' which is the 'flesh' (3:24[sic]
actually 1:24).” Well, what have we here? If the "flesh," which "withereth"
and "falleth away," constitutes the "corruptible seed (according to Ross),"
then the incorruptible contrast has to be the word of the Lord which
endureth for ever in verse 25. By (DIA) the word of God is not even needed
to resolve the issue. Still, the word of God is both the source and the
instrumentality for a new birth. Faith cometh by (EX - source) hearing and
hearing by the word of God.