The New Testament and Pacifism

The New Testament is not about war and taking human life. Our discussions can never misconstrue it otherwise. Christ came with a message of peace and life. To suppose he was a complete pacifist though would be a stretch. To suppose Christians are to be pacifists also is equally a stretch. Christ knew that his mission in life involved his very own death (John 2:19). To speak of God as love is true. To say that God is only love however is false.  There are alot of true things that can be said by pacifists and non-pacifists however they must not be understood in a vacuum. 

Pacifism is a dream. It is ideal and may prescribe the way things ought to be. However, we do not live in a dream world or one of make believe. During WWII a Protestant scholar and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer resisted the onslaught of the Third Reich. He was a brilliant and peaceful man who opposed National Socialism. His opposition however soon grew to the place where Bonhoeffer was part of a conspiracy to kill another human being—Adolf Hitler. In his book Ethics Bonhoeffer noted the tension of guilt and freedom, 

“the structure of responsible action includes both readiness to accept guilt and freedom.” (Ethics, pg. 210)

This is more true in the case of Peter Waldo. During the 12th Century the Waldenses were a pre-Reformation group, led by Waldo, that stressed a return to the Bible. They also rejected war and the taking of human life as did Bonhoeffer. After the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) the Inquisition was revived to stamp out heresy. Waldo and his group were condemned as heretics and eventually forced to defend themselves. Pacifism might be the right thing to do but it is quite apparent that it is not the only thing to do. The Scriptures never state that all killing his prohibited and yet this presupposition is completely assumed by pacifists. 

In Philippians 1 Paul tells us "that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard..." (1:12-13, ESV) Three chapters later in 4:22 Paul sends greetings to the saints in the household of Caesar. The imprisonment of Paul had resulted in the salvation of some within the palace guard in Caesar’s household. No doubt many early Christians served in some military capacity.

The New Testament nor the church has a political agenda. The ministry of the church is spiritual and is to support the protection of human rights, human dignity and the human family. In order to preserve rights, dignity and family one may have to act with force in order to maintain them. It is complete negligence to assume otherwise. As Bonhoeffer noted, we must accept freedom but it can also come with the responsibility of guilt. 

In Romans 13 "every person" is to be subject to governing authorities. Such authorities have been given by God. (13:1) Paul also says, "rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad." (13:3, ESV) He goes on to conclude "if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain." (13:4, ESV)  The term "sword" is a direct reference to lethal force. This "sword" does not only symbolize authority. In fact the word for sword here is macharia. In the Septuagint, this same word is used for a lethal weapon (Gen 34:26; Judges 3:16).

The Sermon on the Mount emphasizes that we are the "salt" of the earth and if it loses its savor it becomes worthless (Matthew 5:13). In 1 Peter it is recorded, "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good." (1 Peter 2:13-14, ESV)

In my opinion, the New Testament does not advocate a Christian theocracy. It is written more to believers and not a nation which we see in the Old Testament (e.g. Israel). As a result there is less emphasis on warfare in the New Testament. As we have already noticed that does not also mean there is nothing said about war. Notice John the Baptist in Luke 3:

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:10-14, ESV)

John had been preaching his message. Preparing the way "of the Lord" (3:5). He then admonishes the crowd to "bear fruits in keeping with repentance." (3:8). Then groups from within the crowd begin to ask John question. A tax collector is instructed to "collect no more than you are authorized to do." This would probably offend many tax collectors of that day who pillaged the local population. Then "Soldiers" asked him "what shall we do?" John reveals the further corruption being used by money and tells them to not extort money and to be content with their wages. He never tells them to leave the Roman army or to be a conscientious objector.

Four chapters later Luke records Jesus praising a Roman centurion for having "such faith" that he had not found "even in Israel..." (Luke 7:9). In Acts 10 Luke also records Apostle Peter and Cornelius, another solider. Cornelius responds positively to the message of Peter and is saved. Peter never informs Cornelius that he must abandon his career in the Roman army.


Medical Aspects of the Crucifixion by R. P. Kloepper II, M.D.

The Romans copied the art of crucifixion from Carthage. The cross was not as we usually see depicted in drawings and paintings. It was composed of two separate pieces. The stipes, the vertical portion, was permanently affixed in the ground and was used many times. It was about six feet in height which allowed the wild animals to devour the corpses of the crucified men. The horizontal portion, named patibulum, was the beam the condemned man carried. There were two common types of crosses. There was the kind which we usually envision (+) and another where the patibulum could fit into a mortis atop the stipes to form a cross in the shape of the Greek capital letter Tau (T).

This form of Capital punishment was meant to deter crime. A sign was carried before the condemned man and placed on his cross. Jesus' inscription, written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, read, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." After Jesus' appearances before Pilate and Herod, He and two other prisoners were readied for the journey to Golgotha. In deference to Jewish custom, Jesus was allowed to be clothed. The patibulum was of rough cypress wood, approximately six feet in length, and weighed twenty five to thirty pounds. The method of carrying it was fairly constant.

Jesus' hands were bound, the patibulum placed on His right shoulder, and the bound hands draped over the anterior portion of the beam with the shoulder serving as the fulcrum. The centurion was worried about Jesus' obviously weakened condition. Christ stumbled several times. As He fell forward, the end of the patibulum struck the ground first, then His knees and elbows. Blood flowed. The rough cypress wood tore at His face. The piece of wood balanced momentarily and then fell across His back reopening the wounds of His scourging. The centurion was displeased. This was to be an orderly Roman execution. The condemned men should be dead by the sabbath. However, He should die on the cross, not on the way to His crucifixion. A North African, Simon of Cyrene, was commanded to carry the cross of Jesus. The pathetic parade moved forward. It was six hundred and fifty yards from Antonio, Pilate's residence, to Golgotha.

The society of charitable women were present when they arrived at the hill. These women assisted poor families in Jerusalem during death,gave gifts at weddings, etc. They offered those about to be executed a drink of wine mixed with myrrh or incense. Some question the analgesic properties of the mixture; however, this was its intended use, to dull the pain. Christ would not drink. He desired to feel the fullness of His suffering, He flinched when His robe was removed for the blood from His beating had caused it to be "scabbed" to his back. The feeling was that of ripping a dressing from a tender wound.

Dr. Pierre Barbet studied crucifixion and did a lot of experimental work with amputated arms and bodies of deceased. As a result of his research, He clearly demonstrated that nails in the palms of the hands will not support the weight of a man when he is suspended. There is adequate anatomical explanation for this since there are no strong horizontal structures in the hands. This of course, would be unsatisfactory for crucifixion. Yet, He was consistently able to drive large nails between the carpal bones of the wrist with radiographic proof of no resulting fractures. There is a natural passageway there between the bones. (See Psalms 34:20, John 19:31-36.) This location is considered to be a part of the hand and for it to be used brought no contradiction of scripture. This placements of nails will adequately suspend a man's weight. So, it was probably this spot that was used by the Roman executioner.

It was about 9:00 a.m. when Simon placed the patibulum on the ground. Jesus was thrown down on top of it striking His head and driving the thorns still deeper. The Roman executioner wore a leather apron which carried five inch spikes. He was adept at his work and soon Jesus was nailed to the patibulum. The wooden  beam with the full weight of Christ's body suspended from the nails was lifted by the soldiers and dropped into place in the mortis atop the standing vertical portion of the cross. His knees were flexed and His right foot placed over His left. A spike was driven into the soft tissues between the metatarsal bones of His feet.

He was now suspended on the cross. His arms formed a "V" as His body sagged, and His entire body weight was supported by the nails. He soon became aware of excruciating pain in His arms. The median nerve, which supplies motor function to the flexor muscles of the hand, was stretched tautly over the nails in His wrists. It was partially severed. Each time he moved it was like a bow being dragged across the string of a violin pouring forth a strong chord of agonizing pain.

Think about it, raw nerve against rough steel! Tetanic spasms developed in the muscles of His hands and marched up His arms to the pectoralis muscles of His chest. These muscles of the anterior chest wall are accessory muscles of respiration. They assist forceful inspiration by elevating the rib cage. When these muscles contracted in spasm, it was impossible to exhale. Only small volumes of air could be inhaled. There was inadequate oxygenation, and the carbon dioxide level in the blood increased fairly rapidly. To relieve the muscle spasm and the panicky feeling of shortness of breath, Jesus pushed Himself up the cross and transferred His weight to the nail in His feet. The spasm disappeared, and He was able to breathe more easily.

However, After a short while, leg muscle spasms and the unbearable pain of supporting His full weight on the nail in His feet forced Him to slide back down the cross and once again suspend himself from the nails in His hands. The rough cypress wood clawed at the open wounds on His back as He moved up and down the cross. In the darkness, the insects buzzed around His matted beard and settled on His blood smeared face. They laid their eggs in puss filled wounds. He was helpless to ward them off. Yes, there was nothing pretty about Calvary. The agonizing cycle was repeated again and again as the soldiers beneath Him gambled for His robe. Finally, about 3:00 p.m. He commended His spirit. The earth trembled, and the veil in the temple was rent in twain.

Some crucified men lived as long as two days. Since it was meant to deter crime, the spectacle was no longer useful when the crowds dispersed after several hours. The usual method of death after crucifixion was asphyxiation. When the condemned man no longer had the strength to raise himself on the cross, he soon died from inadequate respiration produced by the chest muscle spasms. The Romans broke the femurs, the large thigh bones, to hasten death. With the broken legs, a man could no longer raise himself on the cross. He soon asphyxiated.

Jesus lived only six hours on the cross. Why? John gave us a clue when he recorded that after the Roman soldier pierced Jesus' side to insure death, blood and water came forth. The cross was six feet in height, A raised spear would enter the chest cavity; only blood from the heart should exit the wound. What was the water? The pericardium is a membrane that surrounds the heart. It is known that fluid can collect in the space between the heart and the pericardium after a non-penetrating blow to the chest (postcardiac-injury syndrome). If this effusion is large enough, cardiac tamponade can occur. This means the heart is constricted and is no longer an effective pumper of blood.

Congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema develop. One's breathing becomes labored as the lungs fill with fluid. Jesus' breathing difficulty described previously was compounded by this condition. This helps to explain His short time on the cross. The pain associated with traumatic pericarditis is torturous. After His death, we have another insight into a segment of His suffering. His heart was broken for me.

That is how Jesus purchased our salvation.

A huge chasm existed at Calvary between the benevolence of God and the gratitude of mankind. God had no guarantee there would be any human response to this supreme act, The Roman centurion may grasp a small segment of the magnitude of the situation and exclaim, "Truly this was the Son of God." Joseph of Arimathea may feel a twinge of guilt and beg for the body of Christ, but what would be the reaction of the human race? God could only hope that in the future someone would catch a glimpse of the unprecedented love exhibited at Calvary and return that love with the devotion of his life. I hope this article helps to bridge the gulf between God's benevolence and each reader's gratitude. I trust it produces a large increase in gratefulness for what was accomplished on a hill called Golgotha.

"When I survey the Wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but lost And pour contempt on all my pride,

"Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my  all."

R. P. Kloepper II, M.D. 

The above material appeared in an April, 1975 issue of The Conqueror.

Links of Interest

  1. New book co-authored by David Bernard and Robin Johnston: On Being Pentecostal. It is thought to be a good introduction to what Pentecostals believe.
  2. Roger Olson new book: Against Calvinsim. Click here to read more.
  3. The Israel Museum welcomes you to the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project, allowing users to examine and explore these most ancient manuscripts from Second Temple times at a level of detail never before possible. Developed in partnership with Google, the new website gives users access to searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history.
  4. A team of archaeologists is examining thousands of stone structures found between Syria and Saudi Arabia. Known as "wheels" the purpose and meaning of them is a mystery. Click here to read more.
  5. The FBI has publicly declared that its counterterrorism training seminars linking “mainstream” Muslims to terrorists was a “one time only” affair that began and ended in April 2011. But two months later, the Bureau employee who delivered those controversial briefings gave a similar lecture to a gathering of dozens of law enforcement officials at an FBI-sponsored public-private partnership in New York City. And during that June presentation, the FBI’s William Gawthrop told his audience that the fight against al-Qaida is a “waste,” compared to the threat presented by the ideology of Islam itself. Video here.


Islam Is Not A Religion Of Peace

Angry Calvinist?

Interesting article from the Society of Evangelical Arminians:
There seems to be lots of talk about angry Calvinists going on, with Calvinist leaders recognizing that there seems to be a problem with anger/rudeness/harshness/incivility etc. particularly among Calvinists. Here are 2 posts on this:

Ed Setzer interviews Calvinist Joe Thorn about the issue: "Joe Thorn and Angry (Fake) Calvinists"

Justin Taylor, "The Problem of 'Angry Calvinists' "

If we grant that there is a special problem among Calvinists in this area (surely the problem is not limited to Calvinists, but some Calvinist leaders seem to be observing that there is a special problem among their own), the following comments are in order:  
 Click here to read full article.


Book of Enoch Part Two

Fragment found among Dead Sea Scrolls

Why Enoch?

Why would Jude reference such events or even reference such a figure? The answer could be long and varied since Enoch’s writings contain apocalyptic thought. I think it is worth pointing out at this point that what Jude actually quotes is indeed Scriptural. Jude quoting something that the Book of Enoch also records might be an incidental consequence of re-quoting an original quotation.

Since the Enoch writings were popular and considered inspired by some early on it seems Jude would be aware of them. If Jude directly cites from the Book of Enoch then he could be using the event to turn it against them. Something similar is seen In Numbers 21:27-30 when “ballad singers” (ESV) or “those who speak in proverbs” (NET) began citing “a brief poem to remember the event, like an Egyptian victory song. It may have originated as an Amorite war taunt song; it was sung to commemorate this victory.”(10) See also Ezekiel 18:25, 29 and 33:17.

Jude does not appear to address the events of Enoch as Scripture. He does not give wholesale approval of Enoch writings. This should help us orient our own view as well. Jude obviously believes that Enoch was a historic figure and that the events he quotes are considered true also. It does not necessarily follow from even those premises that he also considered the writings of Enoch as divinely inspired. As noted earlier what Jude quotes is Scriptural. Not only is Jude citing an event found in Enoch but is also providing indirect quotation from whatever Old Testament passage Enoch might have also cited. G.L. Green in the Baker Exegetical New Testament Commentary sheds light on this:
“In each case, the incident recorded is tied intimately with some set canonical text. The angelic fall (v6) became a very common interpretation of Gen 6:1-4, and the dispute over the body of Moses (v9) was an interpretive tradition that developed due to the rather obscure reference to Moses’s death in Deut 34:5-6, which concludes ‘but no one knows his burial place to this day’ (NRSV). Jude’s reference is to the Assumption (Testament) of Moses, but it also evokes the words of Zech 3:1-2. The quotation of 1 En. 1:9 in vv14-15 draws on Deut 33:2, which was considered prophetic of the day of the Lord: ‘The Lord came from Sinai…with him were myriads of holy ones; at his right, a host of his own” (NRSV). Jude makes judicious and limited use of references to apocryphal literature and evokes only sources that tie into the canonical text and interpretive traditions surrounding it. Jude’s use of apocryphal texts is closer to canonical bedrock than is sometimes acknowledged.”(11)
Stanley Horton has noted, “there appears to be a similarity to the Book of Enoch 1:9, and even this is not difficult to attribute to a common oral tradition available both to the writer of the Book of Enoch and to Jude.”(12) Marvin Vincent and A.T. Robertson affirms this possibility as well. Vincent notes, “It is quoted from the apocryphal book of Enoch, directly, or from a tradition based upon it.”(13) Robert D. Culver has suggested the Enoch writings were “evidently current literature in the first century BC and not only contributed to unhealthy interest in unseen spirits but also contributed to fantastic elaboration of their activities among our Lord's immediate ancestors...” He also suggests that it is an “unhealthy preoccupation with an occult doctrine of angels is not reflected in the New Testament, but rather corrected — as is fantastic interpretation of prophecy by Jewish non-biblical apocalypse.”(14)

Adam Clarke considered these writings to be forgeries.(15) R. H. Charles noted that these writings come from many writers and almost as many periods. Charles also concludes, “It touches upon every subject that could have arisen in the ancient schools of the prophets, but naturally it deals with these subjects in an advanced stage of development. Nearly every religious idea appears in a variety of forms, and, if these are studied in relation to their contexts and dates, we cannot fail to observe that in the age to which the Enoch literature belongs there is movement everywhere, and nowhere dogmatic fixity and finality.(16)

Importance and Value:

We should always bear in mind that the Book of Enoch may not even be directly referred to in the New Testament. Jude may have only cited a similar event recorded in the Book of Enoch. Jesus nor any other New Testament writer ever quoted the Apocryphal nor Pseudepigraphal works as Scripture even though it was likely that they were aware of them. Jesus specifically quoted books from each parts of the Old Testament and considered them as Scripture (see Luke 24:27). In John 10:35 he also states, “the scripture cannot be broken” (NET).

Walter Martin made a salient point in this regard. Referring to Jesus he noted, “Those who would own Him as their Master cannot in good conscience hold a view of Scripture inferior to His.”(17) The Apostle Paul well schooled in Jewish piety explicitly states that “First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:2 NET) Gleason Archer suggests that a standardization of certain texts (Majority Text) of the Old Testament took place around 100 B.C.(18) Some have suggested this took place as the council of Jamnia in AD 90. In either case, the Jewish scholars then did not accept the Apocrypha or Pseudepigraphal books as part of their Jewish canon. Although Jews may use or reference the Enoch writings not very many would place it on the level as the Torah.(19)

The importance or value of Enoch writings are limited and useful for apocalyptic thought. They should not be regarded as divinely inspired though. At least in the sense that they are equally as authoritative as those found in our Biblical canon.


10) Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition. “Proverbs of antiquity could include pithy sayings or longer songs, riddles, or poems composed to catch the significance or the irony of an event. This is a brief poem to remember the event, like an Egyptian victory song. It may have originated as an Amorite war taunt song; it was sung to commemorate this victory. It was cited later by Jeremiah (48:45–46). The composer invites his victorious people to rebuild the conquered city as a new capital for Sihon. He then turns to address the other cities which his God(s) has/have given to him. See P. D. Hanson, “The Song of Heshbon and David’s Nir,” HTR 61 (1968): 301.”

11) Green, G.L. (2008) Jude & 2 Peter - Baker Exegetical Commentary. (32) Grand Rapids, Mi. Baker Academic.

12) Horton, Stanley H. (1993) Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective © 1993 by Gospel Publishing House. All rights reserved.

13) Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word studies in the New Testament (Jud 14). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.’

14) Culver, Robert D. (2005) Systematic Theology © 2005 by Robert Duncan Culver. All rights reserved.

15) Clarke, Adam. Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.

16) R.H. Charles. (2004) Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. (Enoch 6:1–2). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

17) Martin, Walter (1962) Essential Christianity. Copyright © 1962, 1975, 1980 by the estate of Walter R. Martin.

18) Archer, G. L. (1998). A survey of Old Testament introduction (3rd. ed.].) (47). Chicago: Moody Press. “this hardly agrees with the evidence of texts like the Hebrew University Isaiah Scroll, which corresponds almost letter for letter with the MT and yet dates from about 50 B.C. A more likely supposition is that the standardization of the consonantal text of the Old Testament took place around 100 B.C.”

19) Stone, Michael. Jewish Virtual Library. “A substantial number of works transmit proverbial teaching about religious and practical issues.” http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/apocrypha.html

Book of Enoch Part One

Fragment found among Dead Sea Scrolls


In the book of Genesis it is said that a man named Enoch lived 365 years. He walked with God and was no more for God took him (See Gen. 5:21-24). Since that time there has consequently been significant Jewish literature attributed to this figure. The writings are considered by some to be important and yet others even have and do consider them divinely inspired. The Book of Enoch is actually a compilation of five books that are apocalyptic in nature.

Four of the five have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. These writings are very important to the Second Temple period. The original language of most of this work was likely Aramaic. The original is lost but portions of a Greek translations were found in Egypt as well as quotations from early Church Fathers. Gleason Archer noted however that “no one could seriously contend that the straightlaced Qumran sectarians considered all these apocryphal and pseudepigraphical works canonical simply because they possessed copies of them.”(1)


The Book of Enoch is considered a pseudoepigraphal work by many Christian scholars. Michael Stone from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem notes that “The oldest known Jewish work not included in the Bible is the Book of Enoch.”(2) As Stone implies it was not included in either the Hebrew or most Christian biblical canons. It may have been a sacred text for some but they might not be considered Christians. These writings have value but only in a limited sense in the view of this writer. It seems the book fell out of favor from the third century onward and was even banned by some theologians such as Hilary, Jerome, and Augustine. An Ethiopic version was found in recent times and it was written partly in Aramaic and partly in Hebrew. Aramaic was probably the conversational language of our Lord also.

The higher theology of Judaism in the two centuries before Christ could not be written without the writings of Enoch. Sadly there is little to no unity of time, authorship, or teaching. Norman Geisler and W.E. Nix suggest, “they do represent the religious lore of the Hebrews in the intertestamental period...Although they claim to have been written by biblical authors, they actually express religious fancy and magic from the period between about 200 B.C. and A.D. 200.”(3) G.H. Charles who has done recent work on the subject concluded that portions of these writings seem to have belonged originally to the Book of Noah.(4)

Charles also noted that the authors were probably Chasids or their successors the Pharisees. The work has an advanced angel and demonology. During the first century and the close of the second century this book was probably regarded in certain circles as inspired. Jude cites this book as well as the Epistle of Barnabas, Athenagoras. In the third century Clement, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Zosimus and Syncellus quote Enoch as well. Tertullian seems to suggest its inspiration and even suggests that the Jews may have rejected it because it taught the coming of the Lord. For Tertullian this was supposedly corroborated by Jude usage. Origen even noted its similarities and referenced it on occasion.

The Bible and The Book of Enoch:

The Book of Enoch is a voluminous work that describes many events. Some New Testament passages seem to refer to events that are described in the writings of Enoch. For example, 2 Peter 2:4 records that God did not spare the angels who sinned but cast them down and have reserved them for judgment. Jude 6 is a popular passage that references angels who did not keep their proper domain. Jude 14 references Enoch and the coming of the Lord with ten thousand of his saints. Below are the cited references:
2 Peter 2:4, For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; ESV
Jude 6, And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—ESV
Jude 14, It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, ESV
More similarities could be produced but such things are not truly unique since the New Testament writers also cited from heathen poets like Aratus (Acts 17:28), Menander (1 Cor. 15:33); and Epimenies (Titus 1:2). Truth is truth no matter the who or the where. Truth was even uttered by a heathen prophet in Numbers 24:17 and even an ass says something right just two chapters prior (See Numbers 22:28). In the Jude references it seems he records a similar event as Enoch. As we shall see the event is more important than the actual writings of Enoch.

If Jude does literally reference a citation from the Book of Enoch then it would probably be to serve some point or denote an emphasis. Most believers would not consider it unusual for a pastor or minister to quote from a non-inspired book at some point during a sermon or lesson. This can be done to make a point even without the speaker addressing the inspiration of that particular book.

G.H. Schodde took a positive view of these writings. He notes, “The Fathers all, with possibly the one dissenting voice of Tertullian, deny the canonicity of this book, and properly regard it as apocryphal...” In reference to Jerome he also records, “some going even so far as to deny the canonicity of Jude because he had dared to quote an apocryphal work.”(5) Tertullian and Schodde may have been too generous in their claims. Many Protestant and Evangelical scholars have pointed this out. Jude could have been merely using a valid oral tradition and not necessarily the Book of Enoch. Here are some of the events Enoch records:
Enoch 1:9, And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of ‹His› holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy ‹all› the ungodly:
Enoch 6:1-2, And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2 And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’
Enoch 7:1-6, And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. 2 And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: 3 Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. 4 And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. 5 And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. 6 Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
The Jewish Encyclopedia suggest that, “a cycle of Jewish legends about Enoch was derived, which, together with apocalyptic speculations naturally ascribed to such a man, credited with superhuman knowledge, found their literary expression in the Books of Enoch.”(6) The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that Jude “explicitly” quotes from Enoch.(7) These writings include references to similar Biblical concepts and doctrines as well that are debated to this day (e.g. son of man, messiah, Kingdom, angels and demons). In the Semeia Journal Carl Holladay notes that “the Son of Man in the Similitudes of Enoch, are not pre-Christian.”(8) J.W. Drane in reference to Enoch and Esdras notes:
“There is no certainty that either of these books was actually written by the time of Jesus, and they are only known through relatively late texts that might in any case have been subject to later emendation and corruption. It is certainly not possible to use them with any confidence to show, for example, that the term ‘Son of man’ could have been a widely recognized title of any sort in the time of Jesus.”(9)


1) Archer, G. L. (1998). A survey of Old Testament introduction (3rd. ed.].) (82). Chicago: Moody Press.

2) Stone, Michael. Jewish Virtual Library http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/apocrypha.html

3) Geisler, N. L., & Nix, W. E. (1996). A general introduction to the Bible (Rev. and expanded.) (262). Chicago: Moody Press.

4) Charles, R.H. Editor. (2004) Vol. 2: Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. (163). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

5) Schodde, George H. The Book of Enoch: Translated from the Ethiopic With Introduction and Notes. Andover: Warren F. Draper 1882 http://www.cimmay.us/pdf/schodde.pdf

6) Jewish Encyclopedia: Read more: http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=384&letter=E&search=Enoch#ixzz1YtCy1hxq

7) "The Book of Henoch (Ethiopic)." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 23 Sept. 2011<http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01602a.htm>.

8) Holladay, Carl H. Robert Jewett, E. Society of Biblical Literature. (1984). Vol. 30: Semeia. (78). Decatur, GA: Society of Biblical Literature.

9) Drane, J. W. (2000). Introducing the New Testament (Completely rev. and updated.) (74). Oxford: Lion Publishing plc.


John MacArthur Confused About Oneness Theology

Listen to John MacArthur mistakenly assume Oneness Pentecostals believe in sequential modalism. This is a problem with Trinitarians. In a recent book by Crossway Publishers on The Deity of Christ Alan W. Gomes does the same thing. I encourage my Trinitarian friends to try and understand Oneness Pentecostals better. You can only do this by understanding their unrelenting affirmation of One God and of Jesus Christ who is the supreme manifestation of the person of that One God in flesh. Before time ever began and after it ends He exists as Creator and Supreme LORD (Hebrews 13:8).

Thanks to The Prophecy Channel for this YouTube video.

Angel of the LORD by John Miller

Below is an excerpt from Is God A Trinity? by Princeton theologian John Miller who was born in Princeton, N.J., April 6, 1819. Miller was the son of the Rev. Samuel and Sarah (Sergeant) Miller. He was graduated at the College of New Jersey, A.B., 1836, A.M., 1839, and at the Princeton Theological seminary in 1842. He was a military veteran and pastor for a few Presbyterian congregations from 1842-1871. Most anyone who denied the Trinity in his times was treated harshly and liberally labelled Unitarians (e.g. William Richards). Because of his views Miller was dismissed from the Presbytery of Baltimore. He went on to start churches in Plainsboro, Princeton and New Brunswick. He died in Princeton, N.J., April 14, 1895. I may not agree with every word he writes or doctrine he believed but in the spirit of my series I've been doing on the Angel of the LORD I thought I would share.

§ 12. The Angel of Jehovah.
We think that the angel of Jehovah was a common angel, sent on the errands of the Most High. We believe so for one very strong reason, that the Apostle Paul, speaking of the incarnation of Christ, speaks in this wise, " He does not sure enough take on angels, but he does take on the seed of Abraham" (Heb. ii: 16). That scatters difficulty at a breath. He seemed to be actually an angel. That was his appearance. He seemed to be actually a man. But he makes a vast discrimination. He did not sure enough take on an angel; or, to make it more true to the history, any of them (plural), for he appeared in many,—but he did take on the seed of Abraham. And we are to understand that he employed angels, and that they personated him often; but that he became incarnate in the Son; and that he had, therefore, that sure-enough union, which a peculiar Greek word (depou) denies in the other case.

If anyone asks, Is that your only passage? I say, No. Look at the last chapter of Revelation. The angel, there, rejects the worship of the Apostle (v. 9), and, yet, the next moment personates the Redeemer. " See thou do it not," he says in the ninth verse, and in the twelfth, " Behold I come quickly." This is the manner of angels. They did so at Sodom (Gen. xviii: 2, 13). They did so with Hagar(Gen. xvi: 7, 13), and Lot (Gen. xix: 1,21); and one did so under the oak at Ophrah (Jud. vi: II, 16,20). Our persuasion is, that the " man " who was singled out as Jehovah, was a common angel. And if anyone asks, How dare he personate God, I answer, How dare the prophets? (Œhler, Theol.O. T., § 60); or, as a most satisfying instance, how dare Moses? for most undoubtedly he says, " I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain" (Deut. xi: 14); and most undoubtedly he declares, " I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full" (v 15).

The fact is, it makes the slenderest sort of difference whether it was an angel or not. If it was an angel, God appeared in him, and spoke by him, and wrought miracles by his mouth; and, moreover, gave him a human form, and wrought that miracle in the very act of sending him. If it was not an angel, still it was a human form; and it seems to make not the smallest difference. If it were the Son of God, it would not be his body; nobody pretends that. And if it were a body, God, personally in it, and representing himself by it, would be so like stretching out his arm (Deut. v: 15), as to preclude every possibility of Trinitarian demonstration.

So the matter stands, therefore. We believe that they were angels: but it is unimportant. We believe that they were angels, because the Apostle speaks so, and a distinction is drawn between the ministry of angels and the ministry of Christ (Acts vii: 53; Gal. iii: 19). We believe that they were angels, because Moses deprecated such a convoy, and pled so hard for the presence of God (Ex. xxxiii: 2, 12-15); which surely would be nothing higher than the presence of Christ. We believe that they were angels, out of deference to the straight-forwardness of speech. But grant that they were anything you please. They cannot be built into a hypostatic argumentation; for the rhetoric must remain indifferent. To send an angel, or to send an apparition, or to send a dream, or to send the Second Person in the Trinity, would be all covered under the very same miracle, and there could be no possible distinction that could breed a reasoning.

Miller, John IS GOD A TRINITY? Oak Grove. Kindle Edition.


ChurchMentor.net by Dr. Fred Childs

Dr. Fred Childs and wife Monica have three adult children and six grandchildren. Dr. Childs holds "multiple Associate degrees in Drafting and Design. He has a B.A. in Christian Education; a Masters in Business Administration; and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Administration. He is a recognized authority on the topics of leadership, teamwork, and continuous improvement.

He has over 12 years experience in Design Engineering and 9 years in Global manufacturing. He has traveled extensively and consulted with hundreds of businesses and churches internationally. He is also a seasoned ordained minister with over 30 years experience.

Much of his time was spent in bi-vocational roles. He has been a senior pastor for 18 years. He has also served as Administrator and Executive Pastor of several of the largest churches in North America. He is a highly respected conference and keynote speaker, holds numerous awards and certificates, and is a behind the scenes player in multiple success stories. He was the co-author of a book on Administrative Continuous Improvement developed for Ford Motor Company and its Tier 1 supplier companies.

Dr. Fred currently is a managing partner in Gifting with Purpose. He is also the Chairman of Mission India, a thriving missions work consisting of a large compound and facilities, a Bible school, a school for almost 900 students, and over 80 churches at this time. Dr. Fred and Monica Childs presently pastor Gracepoint in Granite City, Illinois."

 Published books include: Leadership Essentials, Vol. 1 Leadership Essential, Vol. 2 The Upside Down Church (A leadership novel) Beyond Imagination, and Are You Ready for Your Healing?

Dr. Childs has a great website called ChurchMentor.net. The website also says,"ChurchMentor is a non-profit corporation focused on mentoring 21st century leaders. These are challenging and yet incredible times in which we live. Never in history has the need been greater for Christian leaders to rise up, positively impact, and thrive in the world around them. We are confident in God's proven ability to lift up men and women to meet the leadership challenges we face as He has throughout every era and culture. We strive to equip and enable our membership partners to fulfill their leadership role as God has called them to do. We will help you fast track your development as a leader, by sharing resources it took us decades to actualize. Our mission can be summed up quite simply: We are all about developing exceptional Christian leaders at every level or position in their secular and spiritual lives."

 Click here to sign up for Iron2Iron. This is a monthly email newsletter that focuses on effective leadership, team dynamics, church growth, church planting, evangelism and much more. Sign up for your free subscription today.  Premium Members have total site access for less than the cost of a cup of coffee or bottled water every day. Many site improvements and services are planned. Long-term mentoring for only $29 per month.


How Great Thou Art by Daniel L. Segraves (Organ Solo)

Free Bible Research Tools

Here's a link to the International Critical Commentary series. It contains commentary on most books of the Bible (Old and New Testament) They are .pdf and .txt files that can easily be downloaded and perused from your computer.


Here's online access to a digital Nestle-Aland prototype at the University of Munster, shared by the Institute for NT Textual Research. Here's a link that can help guide you around the site: http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/guide.html Three different Greek lexicons are linked to the text as well. It also shows which manuscripts have or do not have certain readings as well as comments on transmission of those texts.


Here's another link to great audio lectures. They were delivered at a Conference held at Charlotte Chapel Church Edinburgh on the Reliability of Scripture. Peter Williams, Dirk Jongkind and Simon Gathercole guest lecturers.
You can always peruse Evidential Faiths' resource list at the following link as well. It includes various Bible translations in audio and online format as well as commentaries, dictionaries and encyclopedias. There are also free online Oneness materials and links to free Bible software by E-Sword and Unbound Bible.


Adversus Trinitas

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