Reading Ignatius of Antioch : The God Who Suffers

The Bible is our sole rule of faith and authority. Outside of the Biblical canon however there are early writings termed "apostolic fathers" (e.g. Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, etc.) which are a generation or more removed from the Apostles. Their importance lies in the fact that they are an early witness of distinctly Christian or Biblical concepts. These writings, much like the Didache, were written to local individuals or congregations. This does not make what they say true or false but it does help us to determine what people may or may not have believed during those times.

This knowledge does not prove their belief to be universal either but shows that in general it was acceptable to the writer and his particular audience. This is important to note when reading all early writers. John B. Peterson notes that these writings "are generally epistolary in form, after the fashion of the canonical Epistles, and were written, for the greater part, not for the purpose of instructing Christians at large, but for the guidance of individuals or local churches in some passing need."(1)

It is difficult to determine though if these "apostolic fathers" had genuine heritage or background with their Jewish forefathers that penned our present canon. In The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity Richard Longnecker notes, “The so-called Apostolic Fathers, the Apologists . . . and others who wrote from within Gentile Christianity; and none, with the possible exceptions of Clement of Rome and the author of the Shepherd of Hermas, can be claimed to have had any type of background in Judaism personally.”(2) 
In reading these writings we must proceed with caution. The writings of these early writers, including Ignatius do not have the textual support or integrity of our New Testament. Many of them such as Ignatius also known as Theophorus have been interpolated and given spurious letters. J.B. O'Connor suggests, "The time of its origin can be only vaguely determined as being between that of the collection known to Eusebius and the long recension. Besides the seven genuine letters of Ignatius in their original form, it also contains the six spurious ones, with the exception of that to the Philippians."(3)

While Ignatius may not have claimed any title such as Trinitarian, Unitarian or Oneness his Christology reads much closer to a Oneness Christology. Reading Ignatius certainly does not sound like popular Trinitarianism although they do make their case from his writings. Virginia Corwin, in St. Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch, notes that "if one term must be chosen to indicate the tendency of his thought, Ignatius must be said to be monarchian, though he is very close to the point later declared to be orthodox."(4) Corwin is speaking generally of Modalistic Monarchians. While we do not know all of their beliefs what we can find of them is from the pen of  their Trinitarian adversaries (Tertullian, Hippolytus). We can also conclude that they did not believe in more than one person who could be divine or called God. Despite this Trinitarians will appeal to the following excerpt from Ignatius' second letter to the Ephesians to support their view:
"And ye are prepared for the building of God the Father, and ye are raised up on high by the instrument of Jesus Christ, which is the cross; and ye are drawn by the rope, which is the Holy Spirit; and your pulley is your faith, and your love is the way which leadeth up on high to God."(5)
In the previous chapter Ignatius is telling the Ephesians that they are a well known church but the things they have done in the flesh, while they are spiritual, they are done in Jesus Christ. In the following chapter he encourages them to pray for all men since there is hope for repentance. They are to be counted worthy of God and their works were to instruct others. Be meek and gentle. Pray for your adversary and be armed against error with faith. To be imitators of the Lord.

It seems obvious that Ignatius is not trying to impress upon us that God consists of three divine persons. If so, why doesn't he say so? Mainly, because that is not his point here nor was it remotely present in his thinking. Ignatius uses language to speak of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit but he does not do so in the same way that Trinitarians need to support the Trinity. The Trinity asserts that there is one God which consists of three separate, divine persons. Each having their own will, mind or consciousness.

Ignatius is using obvious word play. Ignatius tells the Ephesians that they are prepared for the building of God the Father. Then raised high by the instrument or cross of Christ. They are raised to this height by a rope which Ignatius uses to refer to the Holy Spirit. The pulley used to hoist them to this salvation is "your faith" and "your love" is the way which leads on high to God. Ignatius is speaking of redemption and salvation for believers. The overall work of salvation in our lives. This word-play, these rich word pictures lead us to "on high to God." At any rate, if this text is a testimony of the Trinity it suggests one where Jesus and the Holy Spirit are subordinate to God the Father. Although indirectly, the threefold plan of redemption may be put into proper analogy here (cf. Matt. 18:19).

In his letter to Polycarp Ignatius speaks in the clearest terms what is also believed by Oneness Pentecostals to this day. He points out we should not allow those who teach "strange doctrines" do so without our also standing for truth as "a great athlete". He says we shall bear things for the sake of God and to discern the times in which we live. Notice the following encouragement as He speaks of God who is "invisible" yet "became visible" who is "impassible" and "for our sakes suffered". 
"Be discerning of the times. Look for Him that is above the times, Him who has no times, Him who is invisible, Him who for our sakes became visible, Him who is impalpable, Him who is impassible, Him who for our sakes suffered, Him who endured everything in every form for our sakes."(6)
Reading Ignatius however does have its upside. It is not worthless by any stretch. If what has been said of Ignatius is true then he was also willing to die for his beliefs in Rome. The Greek term theos or God is found to be used repeatedly of Jesus. In his letter to the Ephesians he speaks of "being the followers of God" and that the Ephesians were to stir themselves up "by the blood of God..." In his letter to the Romans he says something similar. Notice these two excerpts below from the short renderings:
"I have become acquainted with your name, much-beloved in God, which ye have acquired by the habit of righteousness, according to the faith and love in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Being the followers of God, and stirring up yourselves by the blood of God, ye have perfectly accomplished the work which was beseeming to you."(7) 
"I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life."(8)
When we speak of Jesus then we rightly say that God suffered, bled and died. God purchased the church with his own blood. In Acts 20:28 we read “the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.” (NKJV) As David S. Norris has pointed out, "The textual history of the Greek manuscripts that lie behind this seems to indicate that the Greek text changed theos to kurios because it became offensive as church history evolved that God could shed His own blood. Because the textual evidence on the verse is mixed, some versions read “the church of the Lord. . . .”(9) This rendering was present in the 1901 ASV.
Elsewhere in his letter to the Ephesians Ignatius speaks about God being Jesus Christ and in same sentence being conceived in the womb of Mary, of the seed of David, and by the Holy Ghost. Notice the short rendering:
“Where is the wise man? where the disputer?” Where is the boasting of those who are styled prudent? For our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Ghost. He was born and baptized, that by His passion He might purify the water."(10)
For Ignatius it seems God was active in time and space and was not aloof to the extent that He could not enter into His own creation. Although there is debate on the interpretation of the following excerpt the shorter rendering is apparent. In his letter to the Romans Ignatius seems to suggest that Jesus Christ is the "mouth...by which the Father has truly spoken." Notice the short rendering followed by the long:
"I no longer wish to live after the manner of men, and my desire shall be fulfilled if ye consent. Be ye willing, then, that ye also may have your desires fulfilled. I entreat you in this brief letter; do ye give credit to me. Jesus Christ will reveal these things to you, [so that ye shall know] that I speak truly. He is the mouth altogether free from falsehood, by which the Father has truly spoken. Pray ye for me, that I may attain [the object of my desire]. I have not written to you according to the flesh, but according to the will of God. If I shall suffer, ye have wished [well] to me; but if I am rejected, ye have hated me."
"I no longer wish to live after the manner of men, and my desire shall be fulfilled if ye consent. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet no longer I, since Christ liveth in me.” I entreat you in this brief letter: do not refuse me; believe me that I love Jesus, who was delivered [to death] for my sake. “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits towards me?” Now God, even the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, shall reveal these things to you, [so that ye shall know] that I speak truly. And do ye pray along with me, that I may attain my aim in the Holy Spirit. I have not written to you according to the flesh, but according to the will of God. If I shall suffer, ye have loved me; but if I am rejected, ye have hated me."(11)
The editors of this translation note that the "He" in the phrase "He is the mouth" may refer to Ignatius. They suggest, "Some refer this to Ignatius himself."(12) This is disputed as the editors suggest by the use of "some". The nearest antecedent to "He" however is "Jesus Christ". Understanding Ignatius in the shorter rendering is in harmony with his writings elsewhere. The shorter rendering is probably preferred or more credible but these translators also offer two strikingly different renderings. The latter of which subtly attempts to weaken the true deity of Jesus and the thought of a suffering God.

Ignatius does not say Jesus is the Father in an equivocal sense. Neither do most Oneness Pentecostals. However Ignatius does not distinguish between Jesus and the Father as would later apologists. Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19) but that does not mean they fail to recognize certain distinctions (1 Tim. 2:5, 3:16). God the Father is God existing as God. Jesus is the same undivided God existing as a man and mediator. A true Incarnation. Every characteristic of the Father is also a characteristic of Jesus as the Son of man. There are no distinctions between the Father and Jesus except those produced by His humanity.

Unfortunately, the writing's of Ignatius have been used to support many views (e.g. Antiochenes, Alexandrians, Monophysites, and Chalcedon). We should not read writings such as the "apostolic fathers" as though they are inspired Scripture but we should respect and attempt to understand what they are saying. Even when we agree or disagree we must allow for and strive to hear the voice of the author.


1) Peterson, John Bertram. "The Apostolic Fathers." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 31 Jul. 2011 .

2) Longnecker, Richard N. The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity. Studies in Biblical Theology 17. Naperville IL: Alec R. Allenson, 1970. pg. 16

3) O'Connor, John Bonaventure. "St. Ignatius of Antioch." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 31 Jul. 2011 .

4) Corwin, Virginia. St. Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960.

5) Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 (101). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

6) ibid. pg. 99

7) ibid. pg. 49

8) ibid. pg. 76

9) Norris, David S. (2009-09-30). I AM: A Oneness Pentecostal Theology (Kindle Locations 7769-7772). Word Aflame Press. Kindle Edition.

10) Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 (57). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

11) ibid. pg. 77

12) ibid. pg. 


Dr. James R. White Please Read This

You mentioned me in your podcast yesterday. I think you hit your high point in this podcast when you were pointing out "baby Greek"; the "oil of the language" and acquiring an understanding of the Greek "article" which you so humbly admit "almost nobody has." We have you to light the way. Thankfully your brief slip into solipsism was disquieted by those "infinitives."

Michael Burgos is the "fellow" who posted links in your chat channel possibly including a debate between him and I and some from Roger Perkins and previous debaters. After listening to your podcast I wanted to point out several things. Most of them will have to wait till another day. After getting a message from a Trinitarian apologist today asking me about the identity of the person who you failed to name in the latter portion of your show I decided to post something to my blog. Two things:

I apologize for mispronouncing logos. I make no claim to being an authority in the Greek language. I doubt the Apostle John sounded much like a Texan. For that matter, nor did he sound like a Trinitarian from Arizona. Insert smiles.

I am not a student of Roger Perkins. He is my friend and brother in Christ. Unfortunately he and I have only met a handful of times. Most of those times were to moderate two debates. The other was when we attended and spoke at the same conference. To this day I haven't had the privilege of sitting in any classroom he has ever taught nor heard one of his sermons. We live states apart and usually meet at debates (e.g. Glen Burt, Bruce Reeves). Perkins and I were into apologetics long before we ever met one another. It was our mutual pursuit of apologetics that caused our paths to cross. I can say that we are good friends and I highly respect him as messenger of the Gospel. Other than that I am a student of Scripture.

I have been listening to your debates and shows since the late 90's. I look forward to hearing your podcasts in the future as well.

In His Name,

JN Anderson


KJV and Modern Translations by J.R. Ensey (part two)

7) What about I Timothy 3:16? Were the NIV translators attacking the deity of Christ by saying “He appeared in a body” rather than “God was manifest in the flesh...”?

Hard choices had to be made by the translators here, regardless of the version. Some early manuscripts have “God” and some do not. As the context shows, the use of “He” does not change the meaning of the passage at all. Paul is speaking implicitly of God (v. 15). One translation (ANT) renders it, “He (God) was....” Regardless of the translators’ choice, the clear projection here is that God, as and through Christ, was involved in the after-mentioned events. Actually, some see evidence that theos was a later introduction into the text in place of the relative pronoun “Who.”

8) Does the NIV “attack” the Virgin Birth in Luke 2:33 by calling Joseph Jesus’ father?

This has been a popular claim made by the KJV onlys. The modern Greek texts have “the father and mother of him.” That was not a doctrinal statement. Joseph was His step-father. In Christ’s growing up years Joseph fulfilled the role of father. Mary herself called Joseph the father of Jesus in verse 48 in the KJV! But the doctrine of Jesus’ paternity was already firmly and clearly established in the first chapter (v. 35) where the NIV calls Christ “the holy one” instead of a “holy thing” (KJV). This verse (2:33) was merely saying that those who served as His earthly parents marvelled and were amazed at Him (another proof that they knew they were not the full parents of this Son).

9) Acts 2:30 and I John 4:3 in the NIV are said by some to promote the “divine flesh” doctrine by not employing the word “flesh.” Is this true?

There is insufficient evidence for the phrase “according to the flesh” (I John 4:3) is why some versions chose to exclude it. Some Greek texts read simply “acknowledge Jesus Christ,” and others “acknowledge that Jesus has come in flesh,” or “Jesus the Lord has come in the flesh,” and the TR’s “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” A literal translation from the Greek would read something like this: “And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus is of God is the spirit of the antichrist.” If having that phrase is so important, just back up just one verse in the NIV to verse 2: “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” Voila! The phrase, “has come in the flesh” is there in the Greek. Wouldn’t someone who was trying to dismantle the doctrine of Christ’s humanity remove it from both places which appear back to back in the same context? It is a principle of textual criticism that where there are a number of different readings, almost invariably the shorter rendering is the best (most likely closer to the original) since it probably gave rise to all the other variants of that verse in the numerous manuscripts. There are now more than 5,000 manuscripts from which textual critics may work. That is thousands more than the KJV translators had to work with, most of them far older than any available in 1611.

In the Acts passage, there is no indication in the NU Greek of “according to the flesh.” Some use “a descendent of his...one of David’s own descendents... etc.” A descendent is a child of the named forefather, in this case, David. Jesus is called “David’s son” in the KJV. Should a point be made about that? Does that detract from His deity? Is that an attack by the KJV on the divinity of Christ? I think not. And, by the way, didn’t the chief promoter of the divine flesh doctrine use the KJV to support his doctrine?

10) Should the NIV have removed the phrase “take up the cross” (KJV) from Mark 10:21?

This is a point that Gail Riplinger tries to make in her book New Age Bible Versions, which in my opinion—and that of many others—is literally filled with sloppy scholarship. Does this verse truly reflect some bias of the NIV translators against taking up the cross? Absolutely not. They have it two chapters earlier for all to see—Mark 8:34! The NIV and other modern versions all have the cross-bearing statement in Matthew 16:24 and Luke 9:23 as well. So where is the conspiracy? Again, the reason that “take up the cross” is not in Mark 10:21 is that it lacks sufficient manuscript support. Think about it: If “take up the cross” appears only three times in the text instead of four, does that suggest that cross-bearing is not a legitimate theme of Christianity? Or does that indicate that it has been “removed” in some kind of clandestine effort to discredit cross-bearing? It makes no difference that modern translators chose to omit it from this verse; it is there in three other places.

11) In Luke 10:1 some Greek manuscripts read “70” and others read “72.” The KJV translators chose to render it as 70 while others selected 72. Which is the most credible?

Have you or I personally examined all the available Greek manuscripts and considered the “weight” of each one carefully? If not, we are going to have to trust someone who has. It is interesting to note that Wycliffe (1380) had 72, as did Cranmer in his 1539 edition, and the Rheims translation in 1582. When the KJV appeared in 1611 with 70, I suspect some of the KJV critics (and they were plenteous) were quick to point it out.

In The Text of the New Testament, Bruce Metzger, one of the leading textual critics of the twentieth century, lists the Greek manuscripts which have 70 and those which have 72. He then explains:

"The external evidence is almost evenly divided; the chief representatives of the Alexandrian and the Western groups, with most of the Old Latin and the Sinaitic Syriac, support the numeral seventy-two. On the other hand, other Alexandrian evidence of relatively great weight join in support of the numeral seventy.
The factors bearing upon the evaluation of internal evidence, whether involving transcriptional or intrinsic probabilities, are singularly elusive. It is likely that in most of the early manuscripts (as in p45 and p75) the numeral was written with letters of the alphabet. It was easy, therefore, for either number to be accidentally altered to the other. If the variation was made deliberately, one can imagine that an Alexandrian scribe with a mathematical penchant altered seventy to seventy-two for the sake of what he may have regarded as scholarly symmetry. On the other hand, if the alteration was made unwittingly, it is perhaps more likely that the precise number should be transformed into the round number seventy than that the ‘solemn’ number seventy should be transformed into seventy-two.
Those who transmitted the account prior to its inclusion in Luke 10 may have wished to convey a symbolic meaning in the number of the disciples, and it is easy to find parallels in Jewish antiquities for either seventy or seventy-two. Seventy elders were appointed by Moses to assist him (Num. 11:16-17,24,25). There were seventy sons of Jerubbaal (Judges 9:2), seventy sons of Ahab (2 Kings 10:1), and seventy priests of Bel (Bel and Dragon, vs. 10).
On the other hand, according to the Letter of Aristeas (Para. 46-50) seventy-two elders (six from each of the twelve tribes) were chosen in order to prepare a Greek translation of the Torah (the Septuagint), and in 3 Enoch the number of princes of kingdoms on high is seventy-two, corresponding to the seventy-two languages of the world (17:8; et al.).
It is, however, exceedingly difficult to ascertain what symbolism is intended in Luke’s account. On the one hand, if the mission of this group of disciples is to be understood as a mission to Israel, the number may have been chosen as a multiple of the twelve tribes of Israel. On the other hand, since several New Testament writers presuppose a parallel between Jesus and Moses, it may be that this group of Jesus’ disciples is intended to correspond to the seventy elders who assisted Moses. So evenly balanced are these two possibilities that it is hazardous to dogmatize as to which is more probable.
A total appraisal of both external and internal evidence bearing on these variant readings must remain indecisive. Though the reading ‘seventy-two’ is supported by a combination of early witnesses that normally carries a high degree of conviction of originality, yet the diversity of witnesses which read ‘seventy’ is so weighty and internal considerations are so evenly balanced that the textual critic must simply acknowledge his inability to decide with assurance between the two. If one is editing the Greek text of Luke perhaps the least unsatisfactory resolution of the dilemma is to have recourse to brackets (which are always a tacit confession of the editor’s uncertainty) and to print “seventy [-two].

So that is why you have some translations which say “70” and others that say “72.” You make the choice.

12) Some critics of modern translations complain that they remove Lucifer from Isaiah 14:12 and makes it appear that we are waiting for Satan to arise in our hearts when compared to II Peter 1:19, and that Jesus is Satan in Revelation 22:16. That sounds serious. Can you unravel that?

The name “Lucifer” means “shining one.” The KJV translates it “son of the morning.” Others translate it as “morning star.” KJV uses “day star” in II Peter 1:19. Others use “morning star.” It does not appear that Revelation 22:16 in the NIV is saying that “Satan is Jesus” because of these renderings. Someone is applying a “spin” here to try to make a case. Permit me to quote from James White (The King James Only Controversy) on this point:

“The term ‘Lucifer,’ which came into the biblical tradition through the translation of Jerome’s [Latin] Vulgate, has become so entrenched (even though it does not come from the original authors of Scripture) that if one dares to translate the Hebrew by another term, such as ‘star of the morning’or ‘morning star’ (both of which are perfectly acceptable translations of the Hebrew word), one will be accused of ‘removing Lucifer’ from the Bible! Such a ‘change’ surely ‘preaches’ well, and this example is often used as the ‘capper’ to prove the true intention of the ‘devilish modern versions.’

“Yet, a person who stops for a moment of calm reflection might ask, ‘Why should I believe Jerome was inspired to insert this term at this point? Do I have a good reason for believing this?’ Given that Jerome’s translation is certainly not inerrant itself, one would do well to take a second look and discover that the very translations being accused of ‘hiding Lucifer’s name’refer to Satan, the accuser, the ‘old serpent,’ the devil, each and every time the terms appear in Scripture. Again, the inconsistency of the argument is striking.

“‘But,’ someone is sure to retort, ‘isn’t Jesus the ‘morning star’ at Revelation 22:16?’ Yes, He certainly is. ‘So doesn’t translating Isaiah 14:12 with ‘morning star’ identify Jesus with Lucifer? Aren’t the modern translations trying to connect Jesus with the devil?” Only if one does not read things in context very well. The person under discussion in Isaiah 14 is obviously not the Lord Jesus Christ, and how anyone could possibly confuse the person who is obviously under the wrath of God in that passage (note verse 15) with the Lord Jesus is hard to imagine. Further, aren’t the terms being used in Isaiah 14 sarcastic in nature? Didn’t this person claim lofty titles that were proven to be misapplied? Doesn’t the Scripture speak of his ‘pomp’ (v. 11) and his inward boasting (v. 13)? Should we not recognize that the terms that are applied to him in verse 12 are meant to be taunts rather than actual descriptions of his person? And doesn’t this differ dramatically from the personal description that Jesus applies to Himself in Revelation 22? All of these considerations make it obvious that there is no logical reason to take offense at the proper translation of Isaiah 14:12 in the NIV or NASB.”

13) Why does the NIV have an “eagle” flying across the sky rather than an “angel” (KJV) in Revelation 8:13?

The Majority Text has “eagle” here. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown point out that “angel” is supported by none of the oldest manuscripts and gives reasons why it doesn’t fit here. Wycliffe (1380) had “eagle,” as did the Rheims (1582) version. Tyndale used “angell” (sic), so Cranmer, the Geneva and the KJV picked it up.

Confusion only reigns when we don’t do our own research and become too eager to take the biased concepts of some author who is reading the Word with a definite agenda that probably involves selling his conspiratorial books. And who is the prime source of the confusion—the KJV translators who had only a relative few manuscripts to consult, or the later critics who have had much more information to work with?

14) Since the NIV does not include the word “holy” in passages like II Peter 1:21 and Matthew 25:31, as does the KJV, does that indicate that the NIV is attacking the message of holiness?

The same argument surfaces here—the KJV translators used a limited and late group of manuscripts. The word “holy” is not uniform in the Greek where the KJV shows it to be. The KJV translators chose to add it (like they did “usurp” in I Timothy 2:12) or put it there in place of other possibilities like “consecrated,” or “worthy.” It does not make the passage wrong in these cases, but adding words when they are not there can get to be a problem just as deleting them can be. This “Word Left Out” game the KJV onlys play can be played by either side. Below are some NIV renderings where the word “holy” has been “omitted” in the KJV:

Eph. 5:3 - “These are improper for God’s holy people.” (left out of KJV)
Eph. 5:26 - “To make her holy” (not in KJV)
Col. 1:2 - “To the faithful and holy brothers at Colosse.” (excised from KJV)
I Thes. 4:4 - “One should learn to control his own body in a way that isholy.” (not in KJV)
II Thes. 1:10 - “His holy people” (omitted in the KJV)
II Tim. 2:21 - “If a man cleanses himself...made holy” (not in KJV)
Heb. 2:11 - “The One who makes men holy” (omitted from KJV)
Heb. 3:1 - “Holy brothers” (omitted from KJV)
Heb. 10:10 - “We have been made holy” (not in KJV)
Heb. 13:12 - “To make the people holy through his own blood” (not there)
Jude 14 - “Thousands of his holy ones” (taken out of the KJV)

So now should we say without explanation that the KJV “attacks holiness” because it lacks these particular renderings? Of course not. It would not be fair. Nor is it a credible argument against the NIV’s omissions. We have to remember there is a flip side to these Riplinger/Ruckman/Ray/Fuller word games.

And as far as holiness in the NIV is concerned, I (and others) have found that it is stronger on the holiness lifestyle than the KJV. Examples abound. There is no compromise on holiness there that I have found. I have never heard anyone say, “Oh boy, the NIV lets us off the hook! It is not as rigid on holiness as the KJV.” Never. There is certainly no blatant “attack” on holiness. Continual usage of the word “removed” conjures up the image of a bunch of theological thugs sitting around a table somewhere with a penknife, grinning as they slash at the Bible. That is not a fair representation of the real truth. I can point out some things I would have liked the NIV to have said differently, but that is also the case with the KJV or any other version. I am not taking up for anyone—the NIV translators can fork their own broncs.

On the issue of morals, some suggest that the NIV is soft on homosexuality since at one time, early in the translation process, a woman who turned out to be a lesbian was hired as an English stylist. She eventually was “outed” and was no longer employed by the NIV committee. Her name appears on no NIV Bible and she had no significant impact on the actual translation. However, those owning a KJV Bible have the name of a homosexual imprinted on the cover of their Bible—King James! And he did have a significant role to play in the development of the version that bears his name. I doubt, however, that neither King James nor the modern lesbian had any impact on the way the translators dealt with passages concerning homosexuality. Those who suspect that either version is soft on homosexuality need to put the passages side by side, comparing them for clarity and accuracy. Both strictly and fervently condemn the practice as moral sin.

15) Why does the NIV omit the phrase “through his blood” in Colossians 1:14? Are they trying to do away with the blood of Christ?

By now the reader should be able to answer some of these queries without help. Here the argument is the same. The phrase simply lacks manuscript evidence, appearing in only a few late manuscripts. But there is no conspiracy to remove the blood from the redemption process. The NIV plainly says “through his blood, shed on the cross” just six verses later (Colossians 1:20). You might also check out Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 2:13, and Hebrews 13:20 in the NIV. Those passages plainly teach redemption “through the blood.” So, could not the KJV translators have added the phrase not only because they discovered it in a few late manuscripts, but because it fit so well and they wanted to express their commitment to the redemptive blood of Christ? Adding to the Word is just as improper as taking from it, even if what is added is absolute truth.

16) Does the NIV promote the New Age by its renderings in Ephesians 4:24, Revelation 21:24, and John 4:24?

What a stretch to make these verses represent New Age thought! Ephesians 4:24 has “self” instead of “man,” and I personally don’t prefer that rendering, but in a real sense, isn’t the “new man” (anthropos) a “new self”? When the NIV says “like God” rather than “after God” (KJV), or “in the likeness of God” (NASB), there doesn’t seem to be violence done to the scripture at all. I like the rendering “a Spirit” in John 4:24 (KJV) because it sounds like we would say it. However, the question is created because of the definite article (pneuma o Theos) and the absence of a predicate. The article precedes “Theos.” (Note the asterisk and the reference in the NIV.) There must be some reason that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Greek scholars working on translations agree that “God is Spirit” is the correct rendering of that verse. While that fact in itself does not make it right, does the fact that a relative handful of men in 1611 deciding on “God is a Spirit” make that rendering absolutely right and beyond question?

The Pulpit Commentary says this in its exposition section: “The article indicates the subject, and the predicate is here generic, and not an indefinite; therefore we do not render it, “God is a Spirit.” The most comprehensive and far-reaching metaphor or method by which Jesus endeavoured to portray the fundamental essence of the Divine Being is “Spirit,” not body.”

So there probably are good reasons the later versions say, “God is Spirit.” But somehow I seriously doubt if any of them were purposely created to play into the hands of the New Age advocates. If anyone wanted to use the Bible for support of some New Age concept, it seems that the KJV renderings of “God is light” and “God is love” passages might be more attractive places to look. However, have you personally ever heard of anyone trying to promote the New Age with any of those verses? If I was a New Age advocate I would probably turn to the “unicorn” and “satyr” (KJV only renderings that conjure up mythological creatures) passages to point out mythology in the Bible. It is incredible that Riplinger even brings up the New Age subject since the KJV would probably be more suspect than other versions. Superstition in the Middle Ages was rampant and may have spilled over into the work of the translators. Virtually anything that can be claimed about the NIV can be claimed about the KJV.

We may not like the way the Bible presents some of its truths, but we must recognize the authority of the original Scriptures. There are many renderings in the KJV that are awkward and confusing, even bearing on fundamental doctrine. The Trinitarians love some of the KJV renderings. For example, Titus 2:13 in the KJV reads, “the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,” making it sound as though there are at least two divine persons. But God (Theos) here is articular, and Christ (Christou) is anarthrous. Both nouns are in the same case, and according to the Granville Sharpe rule should therefore read “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” A similar wording appears in II Thessalonians 1:12. And what of I John 5:7,8? It is a clear interpolation that lends great encouragement to the Trinitarians. Paul’s clear statements on the Godhead were obviously confusing to the KJV trinitarian translators. Was that why they wrote it like they did? There is insufficient evidence to make such a statement.

A common challenge by the KJV onlys is to hand someone a NIV Bible and tell them to find certain verses and read them (e.g., Matthew 17:21; 18:11; 23:14, etc.). You guessed it. The verses they want you to look up in the NIV are some of those that are footnoted in later versions or do not appear for want of manuscript evidence. But note, for instance, Matthew 18:11 is not there in the NIV, but it is there at Luke 19:10. Compare Matthew 17:21 with Mark 9:29 (“and fasting” lacks strong manuscript evidence; however, there are plenty of fasting scriptures in the NIV and other versions). Compare Matthew 23:14 with Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47. Compare Mark 11:26 with Matthew 6:15. And so on. Check out the reasons for those “omissions.” Also, that same “exercise” could be played like this: Hand someone a KJV and ask them to try to find “Jesus” in Acts 16:7; 24:24 or Romans 8:34, or find the “cross” in Colossians 2:15, or find “salvation” in I Peter 2:2 (clearly in the Greek but omitted completely in the KJV). There is little profit in these word games, however.

Speaking of a want of manuscript evidence, over 160 years ago Alexander Campbell counted at least 357 interpolations in the KJV New Testament. Later textual critics could likely list more than that.

Critics of modern versions often quote Revelation 22:18,19, especially the part about the curse upon those who “take away from the words of this book....” It also says (in the KJV), “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” (Italics mine) Inserting potentially misleading interpolations into the Scriptures carries a heavy curse just as for the man who “takes away.” We have to be careful either way. [End]


1. A more exhaustive list of modern versions are evaluated and compared in The Book We Call the Bible. See addendum below.


Have you ever read the original KJV Preface? The men who produced that translation did not claim divine inspiration, as well they shouldn’t. They made a number of frank and candid confessions. It is interesting to see how they went about their translating. A full rendering of the preface appears in some Bibles, but it can be read and printed from several Internet websites. It would be worth any person’s time to read it.

If you would like more information on this topic, it can be found in the book, The Book We Call the Bible, available from advanceministries.org.

KJV and Modern Translations by J.R. Ensey (part one)


From time to time ministers are confronted with questions about Bible versions. Do the modern translations represent a conspiracy to dilute the Scriptures? Should the King James Version (hereinafter, KJV) of the English Bible be considered “the” Bible? Do particular renderings in modern versions that differ somewhat from the KJV indicate that words and phrases are being “removed” from the Bible? These are serious questions to many who are deeply committed to the purity of the Word of God, and I include myself in that number. No one desires to hold the Bible in higher esteem than I. I embrace its precepts, trust its principles, and I glean hope from its prophecies. It is inspired by God. It is forever settled in heaven and is unchanging.

The curiosity of many who wonder about the discrepancies between the KJV and the newer translations remains unsatisfied. Should the modern translations be trusted? How do we account for the different renderings?

From that launching point, let’s see if we can address the above concerns in the format of questions and answers.

1) Most of us in the United States and the English-speaking world are accustomed to the KJV. Shouldn’t it alone be considered “the” Bible and others containing different wording be set aside as illegitimate and polluted?

To denigrate modern versions and promote the traditionally popular KJV is fairly safe because not many people, preachers included, have taken the time to do serious research in this area. So the idea of any differences or variant readings is easy to be viewed as an attempt by liberal translators and unbelievers to discredit the Bible and thereby dilute Christian doctrine. While we can’t get into another person’s head totally to know his every motive, there just doesn’t seem to be enough evidence for that to be the case with the major versions. Different renderings do not necessarily make a new version less credible. The KJV itself was suspect and ill thought of when it first appeared. It took a couple of generations, along with political and cultural events, to displace the Geneva Bible and come into widespread prominence. Any new version can be made to appear suspect when we come from the position that the KJV is “the” Bible, as though the Apostles handed it to the elders of the various churches and said, “Here is the Word of God.” Of course that did not happen. Only the original autographs constitute “the” Bible. The KJV is just another in a string of English versions that appeared over several hundred years. If it is “the” Bible—the only credible Bible [version]—then that makes all those that appeared before it illegitimate since all of them have slightly different wording in places.

This position prompts these questions: Were Bible readers prior to the KJV reading something other than the Word of God? Are those translations done in languages other than English, and incorporating different ways of saying the same thing, not the Word of God?

This paper is not meant to downgrade the KJV. I take it to church every week (sometimes along with others in a parallel edition). It was what I used when I was weighing the Pentecostal message before I came to God. It has its strengths and weaknesses. We have to acknowledge that it is a Bible version also—one in a string of English versions from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

2) But what about the verses that appear in the KJV that are absent from the others, e.g., the New International Version? (Since the NIV is the most popular modern translation, we will use it to represent the others.1)

When we approach the subject of the Bible from the standpoint that there is only one legitimate version, it is then easy to say when a variant reading is noted, “They have excised entire verses...they have left out seventeen verses in the New Testament alone.” To many, that means that someone is “changing the Bible.” The observation begs the question: Excised from what? Obviously what is meant is the KJV, but is the KJV “the” Bible that John and Paul and Peter wrote? The English language wasn’t around then. “The” Bible consists of the original Hebrew and Greek autographs. We don’t have those. We only have copies of copies, many of which have variant readings. Because the copies don’t all agree for one reason or another, the discipline of textual criticism was developed. That enables scholars to gather all of the fragments, codexes, uncials, miniscules, papyri, lectionaries, references in extant writings by church fathers, etc., and compare them, setting standards for credibility where there are differences in the readings. So the verses were excised from what? The KJV? A particular manuscript copy? The Textus Receptus? The Majority Text? Those are the questions to be answered when the inference is made that someone or some group just unilaterally “excised” certain verses and printed new Bibles to accommodate their doctrines. That is what some will think when it is said, “They excised....” Whoever “they” are, they are automatically demonized. All of that sounds very conspiratorial to the average reader.

Certain writers such as J. J. Ray, Peter Ruckman, David Otis Fuller, and Gail Riplinger have made notable reputations for themselves by writing tracts and booklets about this issue, often employing shoddy scholarship that feeds on fear and ignorance. Because few would take the time or go to the bother to mount a challenge, many doubts and misconceptions were put into the minds of their readers. Also, biblical criticism is a fairly new and daunting realm of thought and study for most of us. We had always considered the KJV too absolutely sacred and beyond question. Case closed. However, there is too much material accessible to too many people for us to ignore the realities involved in this issue. The fact is, there are legitimate reasons that some wording in the modern translations is not the same as that in the KJV. Hopefully, this discussion will illuminate some of those reasons.

3) Does the NIV say that there are certain passages contained in the KJV whose credibility is suspect and that the reader should be informed?

This question focuses on particular passages that are footnoted in the NIV. In the footnotes, the readers are informed along this line: “The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not contain this phrase (or word or verse).” Probably the most significant examples are John 5:7b,8a, John 7:53-8:11, Mark 16:9-20, and Matthew 12:47. The NIV will usually print the verse or word in question in the text, merely footnoting that information. In these cases, the KJV translators chose to include the passage without notes as to its historicity regardless of its textual credibility. The NIV translators decided to footnote and inform their readers of the background of the texts.

4) Some claim that the NIV “demotes Jesus in numerous places,” because the name of Jesus is omitted in the text of the NIV. Is this true? Could this indicate a conspiracy on the part of the NIV translators?

It is true that the name of Jesus appears in the KJV in places that it does not in the NIV. We should keep in mind that a translation is made from the Greek text. If the Greek text has “Jesus,” the rendering should have Jesus. There are places where the KJV took the liberty to add the name when the manuscript evidence did not support it. So the argument is easily turned around: What about the places where the NIV has “Jesus” but it is “omitted” from the KJV when the Greek text has it (e.g.: Acts 16:7; Romans 8:34)? Were the KJV translators conspiring to demote Jesus by omitting His name in these verses? I think not. The argument is ludicrous on both sides.

Another perceived example of the supposed demotion of Jesus is Matthew 8:2, 9:18, and 20:20 where “worshipped” appears in the KJV and “a man...knelt before him” appears in the NIV. The Greek word translated “worshipped” in Matthew 8:2 is proskuneo, which literally means “to kiss towards.” Would that have been a better English translation? Obviously not. “Knelt before him” is what the man evidently did, and what we would normally do if we were to worship someone in person. To use another word or phrase which describes what the man actually did is not doing violence to the passage; it actually clarifies the incident.

Yet another word change is viewed as demoting Jesus. In Acts 3:13,26 the NIV translates the term pais or paida, which can can denote either “child” or “attendant,” as God’s “servant” rather than “son” as in the KJV. Note that the Greek term is not huios (son). In the Septuagint (a pre-Christian Greek translation of the OT Scriptures), Jesus is referred to in Isaiah 42:1 as the “Servant of Jehovah” (pais Kurios). He is presented in the “passion chapters of Isaiah” as the Suffering Servant, doing the bidding of Jehovah for the redemption of mankind. The NIV rendering is correct and thus justifiable, and is used almost exclusively in all modern versions. Critically, it fits better than the alternative “child,” although technically correct, and certainly better than “Son” since huios is not used.

5) Does the NIV attack the Virgin Birth and the Incarnation of Christ in Matthew 1:25 by omitting the word “firstborn”?

The term “firstborn” is lacking in manuscript support. It appeared in at least some of the Greek texts used by the KJV translators. They chose to use it. Others do not. Most use “her first son” or “a son” (NIV). It is difficult to see how this rendering “attacks” the Virgin Birth. I know of no one who holds the view that it suggests otherwise. The entire story in the NIV substantiates the Virgin Birth (see Luke 1:27; Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14). Why select this particular rendering and try to force it to represent the record of the whole version? Nor does the verse seem to “attack” the incarnation of Christ. Does anyone actually know of a scholar who denies the Incarnation of Christ based on this verse? The only ones I know of that even refer to the idea are the conspiracy buffs like J. J. Ray, Peter Ruckman and Gail Riplinger.

Modern versions are often attacked because a 1901 version appeared with “young woman” in Isaiah 7:14 rather than “virgin.” Although the 1901 RSV is the the only major version that used that term, it soured many on all modern versions. Conspiracy theorists jumped on it as a clear sign of creeping compromise, although the version’s NT references had “virgin.” Permit a little background. During the latter part of the first century and into the second century, the Jews attacked the Septuagint (LXX) because it was widely used by Christians. One point of disagreement between the two camps was the text of Isaiah 7:14. The Hebrew Masoretic text has the word almah, translatable as “young woman,” while the Christians insisted on the LXX Greek parthenos, which literally and specifically means “virgin,” and translated it as such. The Jews claimed that the Christians changed the word in the LXX. Therefore, they disdained the LXX from the outset because they asserted that it had been corrupted by the Christians. The RSV translators in 1901 unwisely chose to use Masoretic Hebrew almah, or “young woman,” rather than the LXX Greek parthenos. While “young woman” could certainly mean a virgin, as clearly indicated in the NT verses, those who wish to assail all modern versions have for a century used it as a major reason to dismiss them. That all other major versions contain “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14 seems not to matter.

6) Did the NIV change Micah 5:2 to read “from ancient times” rather than “from everlasting”? Does this prove an effort to limit the deity of Christ?

The NIV does indeed render Micah 5:2 as “from ancient times.” The KJV translators preferred “from everlasting.” Perhaps they felt that would somehow strengthen the image of the Godhead. But KJV owners of Bibles with marginal notes are able to glance at their margins and see the explanation that the Hebrew actually reads “from days of eternity.”

Quotes of Note:

‎"The church and university can kiss and make up. Not Naturalism and Theism...Genesis 1 cannot be made to teach evolution--period. We may argue how long the creative days actually were, but the language of the Bible will not allow evolution to be causal for the world in which we now live." ~David S. Norris, Big Ideas.

In the First Century a basic faith was established. lt was not to be changed but rather sought after (Jude 3). ~Thomas Weisser

The idea of a situation in which faith is possible is only a way of stating the facts of a case in which the following two propositions hold good and are equally true: only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes. ~Dieterich Bonhoeffer

I sought for the greatness of America in her harbors and rivers and fertile fields, and her mines and commerce. It was not there. Not until I went into the churches and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the greatness of her power. America is great because she is good; and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. ~Alexis de Tocqueville

‎"we still have to come to terms with the origin of the laws of nature. And the only viable explanation here is the divine Mind." There Is A God, pg. 121 Antony Flew (former Atheist now Theist)

In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians. ~Karl Barth

The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God. ~C.S. Lewis

Faith is not something that goes against the evidence, it goes beyond it. The evidence is saying to us, 'There is another country. There is something beyond mere reason'. ~Alister McGrath

Where God is at the center of things, worship inevitably follows. Where there is no spirit of worship, there God has been dethroned and displaced. ~Sinclair B. Ferguson.

The Bible, "tells how for the world's redemption God entered into history, the eternal came into time, the kingdom of heaven invaded the realm of earth, in the great events of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The first recorded words of our Lord's public preaching...'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near; repent and believe the good news." ~F.F. Bruce

In America, from the beginning, economic liberty, political justice, and shared friendship with God have been understood as compatible, even essentially linked, human goods. ~Alan Keyes


Oneness and Trinity Debate

Simply the Truth with Doug Harris and John Tancock Discussing Trinity with Marvin Sanguinetti from New Life Apostolic Ministries.


Gino Jennings Gets It Wrong About Jesus Name Baptism

In this sad video Gino Jennings claims that such Oneness organizations as the PAW or UPCI and anyone who baptizes without saying the words "Lord" and "Christ" are not baptizing correctly and should be re-baptized. Jennings is clearly playing the martyr here but the point should be addressed. I understand the point and reverence the name of Jesus. While performing baptisms I have usually baptized a person using the titles "Lord" or "Christ" but always using the name of  Jesus. 

Jennings makes a point about commitment to the Scriptures and not tradition. I could not agree more. As far as commitment to the authority of Scripture let's observe its own testimony about the matter:

In Acts 2:38, onomati Iesou Christou or name of Jesus Christ.
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ESV
In Acts 10:48, onomati Ieusou Christou or name of Jesus Christ.
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. ESV
In Acts 19:5, onoma tou kyriou Iesou or name of the Lord Jesus.
On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. ESV
In Acts 22:16, epikalesamenos autou to onoma or calling on his name.
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ ESV
In 1 Cor. 6:11, onomati tou kyriou Iesou Christou or name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ESV
 In Acts 22:16 the personal pronoun "his" refers to Jesus. Saul, later Paul, was on his way to Damascus had been blinded and heard the voice of the Lord (22:6 ff.). Luke records the story of Ananias, a devout man, who prayed for Saul and he received his sight (22:13). Ananias then tells Saul that he was to see the "Righteous One" and to "hear" His voice (22:14). In fact, according to Ananias Saul would "be his witness" (22:15). Whose witness? The Righteous One. The one who in Acts 1:8 told his disciples that they "will be my witnesses...to the ends of the earth." (NRSV) The one for whom Saul would also be a witness was Jesus. Our same Lord who spoke to him on the road to Damascus.

"Lord" and "Christ" are not names. That is why Matthew 28:19 has "eis to onoma" or "in the name". There "onoma" or "name" is a singular noun. At this "name" "every knee" will bend. Gino Jennings point is moot. Jesus is the name above all names. The name "Jesus" is also represented in all of the preceding verses while "Lord" or "Christ" are alternating. It is the name, after all, that's important. Sorry, haysoos (Jesus) but you are not Jesus. For any of you who think the name "Jesus" is just another name think again. In modern English we we call Him Jesus. Jesus/Iesous (Grk)/Yeshua (Heb) is a covenant name that includes God's name (YAH) and what He has done (shua/yasha). Yahweh has become our salvation.


Roger Perkins and James White Debate

The Proposition : "Did the Son exist, as a self-conscious divine person, distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit, prior to His incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth?"

Roger Perkins (Oneness) and James White (Trinitarian)

Location: Brisbane, Australia

Date: October 21, 2011


William Richards : Oneness Jesus Name Baptist by Thomas Weisser

Thomas Weisser has written several books on the Apostolic faith and history. He is a historian and theologian of water baptism in the name of Jesus and the Oneness of God. Weisser has also spoken at Harvard's Symposium on Oneness Pentecostalism that took place in 1984. This book William Richards : Oneness Jesus Name Baptist includes a biographical sketch of William Richards (1749-1818). Richards was an early General Baptist minister. This book discusses Richards views on liberty, baptism and the Godhead. In the preface Weisser notes that "most of this book consists of reprints of portions of the book; Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Rev. William Richards first published in 1819 by John Evans." Richards even addresses the oft used Trinitarian sweeping generalization about early Unitarians. 

The Trinity has not been accepted nor understood by many sects of Christianity. Thomas Finger noted that even "...for many Anabaptist and other Christians, the Trinity is an abstract conundrum."  (1) The General Baptist probably started by John Smyth in Amsterdam around 1608/09 held to a modified form of the Godhead that appears before the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. General Baptist may also reject Calvinism and accept Arminianism. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes, "After many General Baptist Churches had moved towards Unitarianism, a New Connexion was formed in 1770 under the influence of the Evangelical revival. This group united with the Particular Baptists in 1891."(2) G.T. Kurian also notes that the General Baptist's theology "is based on the Standard Confession of 1660 and the Orthodox Creed of 1678."(3)

In chapter two Weisser gives us a view of Richard's beliefs on liberty. It turns out that Richards believed that people of various faiths could live in harmony while practicing their own beliefs. A novelty perhaps in our own times. Richards clearly states "To have among its inhabitants so many different religious societies or sects, can be no real reproach...wherever real liberty exists, a diversity of religious opinions and denominations must be expected." (pg. 30, 31). This was probably a revolutionary idea given the life situation or historical context of Richards. 

In chapter three Richards views on water baptism is discussed. In a writing published in 1806 he writes that immersion was essential "to the due administration of Baptism...the Greek words expressive of this ordinance, signify immersion as plainly and necessarily...it must be the real and proper signification of the words expressive of Baptism... "(pg. 50, 51) Interestingly enough he also records "The people called the Quakers, and many of those who have gone under the name of Socinians, have long objected, that Water Baptism was a mere temporary rite...this notion is said to be now very rapidly gaining ground..."(pg. 53) He also references Mark 16:16 as referring to water baptism (pg. 55)

The Christo-centric nature of water baptism should be a given but is sadly often ignored by current and previous Trinitarian theologians. Richards however is obviously a firm witness and believer in water baptism, by immersion, in the name of Jesus. In fact, he goes on to reference water baptism in the name of Jesus directly. He notes,
"Water-baptism is in the commission evidently connected with the preaching, the belief, and the profession of the Gospel...all who embrace or believe that Gospel...and on that confession or profession to be baptized in, or into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; thereby signifying that he is their chosen Master, Lord, and Savior..."(pg. 59) 
Some, concerning the views of Richards on the Godhead, have likened them to Isaac Watts or Samuel Palmer. Even the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church thinks that most General Baptists were Unitarian. While many of them may have been Unitarian or Socinian in their theology this fact can also be used as a term mistakenly applied to those who reject the Trinity. This is often the case for Oneness Pentecostals who believe that God is one in both being and in person. They do not reject the deity of Christ rather they exalt Him to His supreme position as God all in all. They affirm the supreme deity of Jesus Christ. In the case of Richards he was NOT Unitarian or Socinian. In fact, he appeals to Colossians 2:9 to support his case as do many Oneness Pentecostals. In a letter dated Dec. 7, 1804 Richards notes that 

"I have scarce ever been asked if there were any truth in these reports...(that of Socinianism especially) were true."(pg. 73) In the same letter he goes on to write, "...I did not use to be an Athanasian, or even a Waterlandian. Such views of THE DEITY always appeared to me too tritheistical!...I never could say or think with the Socinians, that JESUS CHRIST is no more than a man like ourselves. I believe, indeed, that he is a man, but I also believe that he is Emmanuel, god with us...in HIM God hath pitched his tent or tabernacle among us...HE is the form of God...an object of divine worship...honor the Son as we honor the Father...all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily." Richards also writes that he does not divide "THE DEITY or land in Tritheism, as I cannot but think the Athansian or Waterlandian scheme does." (pg. 73, 74)

Click here to visit ThomasWeisser.com and order William Richards : Oneness Jesus Name Baptism. You can also email Thomas Weisser at thomasweisser@yahoo.com.


1) Finger, Thomas. A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology : Biblical, historical, constructive. 2004 (421). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

2) Kurian, G. T. (2001). Nelson's new Christian dictionary : The authoritative resource on the Christian world. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Pubs.

3) Cross, F. L., & Livingstone, E. A. (2005). The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed. rev.) (663). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Street Preachers vs followers of Jose Louis de Jesus Miranda

These followers of Jose Miranda are highly deceived. They believe he is God on earth. He is the second coming of Jesus. Watch these street preachers show how this bankrupt theology falls apart.

Young Earth vs Old Earth Debate (Ross, Kaiser vs Ham, Lisle)

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)