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Scriptural Criticism


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Sermon; Feb 18, 2017
Is God's Inspiration of the Bible Imperfect?

Martin Collins, reflecting on anti-biblical "scholarship" emanating from pseudo-experts, assures us that, when properly evaluated, there are no discrepancies in scripture; God is not the author of confusion, but of peace and order. God purposely refrained from unfolding His Holy Word as a factual historical report in order that we may learn to place "precept with precept," discovering something new every time we read the Bible. The Atheist may feel a certain degree of smugness in denying the Bible. Those of us called of God learn to progress from milk to solid food, stimulating our curiosity in progressive stages, as God brings us to new levels of understanding. God does not enlighten us until we are mature enough to absorb and use knowledge. God may use paradoxes and apparent contradictions to put balance into our behavior, for example, understanding the contexts in which riches or poverty can be either a blessing or a curse. God's Word forces us to value the Spirit above the Letter, walking as a living epistle, rejecting the counterfeit main-stream Christianity's notion that grace gives license to disobey the Law, as we come to recognize that the doers of the law will be justified. Faith without works is dead, but living faith is demonstrated by godly works. The testimony of the Bible and that of the physical universe are not discordant, but harmonious, demonstrating that God is the designer and sustainer of all life. Those who have given their lives to discredit the Bible must shamefully eat their own words in the fullness of time. Bible difficulties are designed to stimulate our minds and make us curious, to lead us to value Spirit over letter and to sharpen our abilities solve paradox and so-called contradiction. God's inspiration of His Word is perfect.

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Bible Study; November 2016
Does the Bible Contain Discrepancies?

Christians believe that the Bible is the written Word of God, and therefore, it is inspired and essentially free from error (any errors being the result of human misunderstanding and misinterpretation). Asking if the Bible can in any way contain contradictions, Martin Collins answers that, while difficulties do exist, they can be explained with thoughtful analysis.

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Sermonette; Aug 6, 2016
The Gospel of Jesus' Wife

Mike Ford, focusing on a colossal blunder made by Harvard Theology Professor, Karen King, who was scammed by a crafty German forger and pornographer, Walter Fritz, debunks the salacious, sensational account that Jesus Christ had married Mary Magdalene and had children with her. Would-be scholars continually attempt to discredit the possibility of Jesus Christ's divinity, making Him just as carnal as any of us. These bogus scholars attempt to build a case on discredited, non-canonical texts which had been discarded by serious scholars, including the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary, all so-called gnostic gospels appearing on the scene 200 years after the true gospels were established. In actuality, none of these bogus scriptures offered substantiation that Jesus was married either. In all the key events in scripture, including Jesus final instructions to John as He died on the cross, no mention is made of wife or offspring. Even though eight separate articles have made a compelling case for the spuriousness of the "Gospel of Jesus Wife" papyrus fragment, the Dean of the Harvard Divinity School, with egg on her face, continues to give this bogus manuscript a place of honor, giving a forgery more prominence than God's truth.

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Sermon; Mar 19, 2016
Proofs of Christ's Resurrection

Richard Ritenbaugh, asserting that there is far more corroboration of evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ and his life experiences than that regarding Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar, lampoons the smug, self-important 'scholars' who craft contorted, mind-bending, absurd theories of supposedly more believable explanations for the "impossible" resurrection of Christ. Tacitus and the Talmud, both highly respected non-Biblical sources, corroborate the veracity of the events of the Crucifixion. Nevertheless, crackpot theories abound, attempting to explain away this event, including: (1) the women, confused about direction, went to the wrong tomb, (2) the disciples stole the body and then claimed He was resurrected, (3) the disciples colluded on a bogus deception, (4) someone else died on the cross in His place, and (5) the whole event of the crucifixion, as well as the multiple occasions in which He talked to people, was a powerful mass hallucination, (6) Jesus was not really dead but preserved Himself with a drug-induced coma, allowing Him to later escape from the tomb. Pilate, the Centurion, and Joseph of Arimathea all corroborated the stark reality of Christ's death. The precautions Pilate took to seal the tomb refutes any notion of the disciples stealing the body. The vast number of eye witnesses precludes any notion of a hoax or collusion on the part of fanatic followers. The once timid followers of Christ were emboldened by His resurrection, and were now willing to put their lives on the line. Twenty-seven separate documents—the books of the New Testament—provide evidence of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, providing far more evidence than the minimum required in a court of law. All of this testimony gives us confidence and hope of a resurrection for us as well.

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Sermon; Sep 6, 2014
Our Trusted Source of Truth (Part Two)

Richard Ritenbaugh focuses on the double standards of the proponents of the Documentary Hypothesis, at once insisting that we treat the Bible like every other literary document while insisting the New Testament jump through extra hoops. Looking at the extant number of the ancient texts available to corroborate the authenticity of the Scriptures, more ancient manuscripts of the New Testament have been found than for any other classic text. If every New Testament were destroyed tomorrow, the text could be reconstructed by going to the writings of the church fathers. There are also more corroborating manuscripts of the New Testament in languages other than Greek. The veracity of the Scriptures is something we can take to the bank, in essence our only protection against the torrent of deception we face today, giving us the strength to endure and overcome. God's Word points out profound and necessary truths, prompting us to change our thinking and behavior. As we change, God instills His character in us, allowing us to begin living as He does. As we read God's Word, we must remember that assent is not acceptance. We must accept what God says, obeying and yielding to Him unconditionally, even though human nature stiffens in rebellion at the prospect. We must develop a proper sense of proportion in our relationship to God. We must mortify sin and give ourselves as a living sacrifice. We then must have no doubt that God is capable of giving us whatever we need to finish our course, transforming us into His image.

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CGG Weekly; Mar 23, 2012
Rehearsing God's Plan

Richard T. Ritenbaugh:  This weekend marks the beginning of a new sacred year; in fact, this Sabbath is the first day of the year on the Hebrew calendar. God tells Moses in Exodus 12:2, "This month shall ...

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CGG Weekly; Mar 13, 2009
The Necessity of Biblical Infallibility

The authority of the Bible has been under constant assault from biblical "scholars" and theologians. ...

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CGG Weekly; Mar 26, 2004
Groping for Jesus

Richard T. Ritenbaugh:  Jesus has sure been in the public eye lately. ...

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Sermon; Feb 28, 2004
Does Doctrine Really Matter? (Part 2)

Focusing upon II Corinthians 13:5, John Ritenbaugh cautions us of the futility of assenting to a code of standards we do not intend to apply. Belief without conduct equals a dead faith leading to death. Works give evidence that we really do believe and have the Holy Spirit in us. What we believe (correctly or incorrectly) will inevitably produce works. According to a survey conducted by Barna, a large segment of professing Christians have rejected major tenets of the Bible (in effect, calling Jesus Christ a liar) fashioning their own subjective, private religions, giving themselves license to sin in selected areas and fostering a tolerance for hideous societal perversions. Rejecting a biblical world-view, unfaithful modern Israel has degenerated into a habitation of demons. As God's called out ones, we are admonished not to conform or follow suit, but to yield to God's purification.

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Sermon; Nov 23, 2002
The Perfect Wife

Richard Ritenbaugh, in reflecting upon biblically ordained marriage roles, realizes they are at odds or in conflict with cultural expectations, especially the influences of radical feminism and postmodernism, which viciously militate against the truths of the Bible. This message focuses upon the characteristics and attributes of the perfect wife, designed to be a comparable aide, companion, or helper, to complete a "one-flesh" unit. If either the husband or wife steps outside their prescribed, ordained roles, automatic friction and strife will occur. Biblical instructions concerning marriage roles'submitting and loving (not always the easiest to fulfill)'are intended to bring us back to the perfect state that existed before sin entered the picture. Fulfilling our roles reverses the curse placed upon our parents Adam and Eve. Marriage could be likened to a school enabling us to learn God-plane behavior.

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CGG Weekly; Nov 15, 2002
Pharaoh's Magicians Return

David C. Grabbe:  This past week, an article appeared in the London Daily Telegraph about a television production that the British Broadcasting Corporation will be airing next month. ...

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Article; January 1996
Genesis 1: Fact or Fiction?

Many pooh-pooh the idea that Genesis 1 represents a literal account of Creation, and they rally scientific support for their claims. Earl Henn, a chemist, shows how accurate the biblical account really is.

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Sermon/Bible Study; Jan 9, 1990
Abraham (Part 1)

John Ritenbaugh takes issue with certain misguided biblical scholars who claim Abraham was a primitive, backward donkey caravaneer or perhaps a mythical or composite figure. Abraham came from a highly advanced civilization located in Mesopotamia, highly advanced in science, knowing calculus and chemistry, having indoor running water under pressure. Abraham, a direct descendant of Eber, Shem, and Noah, was drafted by God to leave his land at 75 years of age, vested with the patriarchal responsibility to teach and command his family the wisdom of God, providing a genealogical line from which Christ emerges.



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