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A Little Ocean Ambiance
THEY KNOW HIS VOICE"
Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
"He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own
sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own
sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his
voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for
they know not the voice of strangers." (John 9: 2-5)
Recently a brother in Christ sent an e-mail communication to certain
pastors in Michigan that ended up mentioning my name. In the closing
paragraphs he said that I am sending out information "to warn people"
about the seminary he oversees. I have called this pastor, and assured
him over the phone that I am not involved in a campaign to harm him or
his ministry. A few times since the views of his seminary were made more
public through a speech given by a professor at a preachers' meeting, I
have used that speech to explain why I do not recommend the school.
occasions have been private and very few, and certainly justifiable. The
most important thing about a theological seminary is its theology. If
differ with its theology, you cannot recommend a seminary to others. I
certainly hope that everybody knows I have no animosity toward this man.
Please pray for me! I don't want to "strive" (II Timothy 2:24-25).
One of the differences over which men are squabbling today is the issue
of the Bible's text. Of course, I hold to a view of Biblical
that directs me to the traditional form of the text and to translations
based on it. Other fundamentalists adhere to a view that accepts the
theory of modern textual criticism and prompts them to endorse newer
versions like the NASB and the NIV. One thing perhaps that good men who
differ on this issue might acknowledge together is that leading
fundamentalists of the past have displayed deference or preference for
traditional readings, even when Westcott and Hort reject them!
See what Scofield says about two famous disputed passages:
"The passage from verse 9 to the end is not found in the two
ancient manuscripts, the Sinaitic and Vatican, and others have it with
partial omissions and variations. But it is quoted by Irenaeus and
Hippolytus in the second or third century" (speaking of Mark 16:9-20).
"John 7:53 - 8:11 is not found in some of the most ancient
Augustine declares that it was stricken from many copies of the sacred
story because of the prudish fear that it might teach immorality! But
immediate context (vs. 12-46) . . . seems clearly to have its occasion
the conviction wrought in the hearts of the Pharisees as recorded in
verse 9; as, also, it explains the peculiar virulence of the Pharisees'
words (v. 41)."
Of course, C.I. Scofield accepted the theory of modern textual
but in these important instances he argued strongly against the
conclusions it required. He refused to believe that the long-accepted
text of these two Gospels could be so seriously flawed.
See what H.A. Ironside said about Mark 16:9-20:
"I do not dwell on the critical question as to the authenticity
otherwise of the last part of this chapter, verse 9 to 20. It is not
found in two of the most ancient manuscripts, but it bears the stamp of
inspiration, and the book of Acts and the history of Missions attest its
credibility, so that I see no reason to assume that it is other than a
part of that God-breathed Scripture which is for our instruction and
This kind of attachment to the traditional text was common among the
leading fundamentalist teachers of the past. See what M.R. DeHaan wrote
"I believe personally that there has been no better translation
than the King James Version. I would advise you to stick by it . . . The
omission of Acts 8:37 from the Revised Standard Version is only one
example of the many violations which this translation does to the Word
God. Personally, I have no use whatsoever for these new editions which
tell us that certain portions are not in the original manuscripts. It is
much safer to stay by the King James Version . . ."
John R. Rice, who is often quoted today in support of the critical Greek
text, preached many times on the phrase "prayer and fasting" omitted by
the critics in Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29. Monroe Parker preached on
Mark 16:15, and openly expressed his disagreement with modern critics
over it. In his great book What the Bible Teaches the scholarly R.A.
Torrey quoted the traditional reading of John 1:18 ("the only begotten
Son") in opposition to the altered reading of the critics, even though
endorsed their work in theory! Long-accepted readings were reverenced
generally retained by old-time fundamentalists, regardless of their
position on textual criticism.
Even today, most spokesmen for the Lord among the fundamentalists are
reluctant to reject scripture passages that the critics want to omit. In
application, modern text theories have not had prominence among
evangelistic fundamentalists over the years. Perhaps they knew the
Shepherd's voice and heard it in places where the new theories denied
Interestingly, if the principles upon which passages such as the end of
Mark and the woman taken in adultery are rejected are indeed flawed in
these cases, then the whole theory upon which the revised text is based
is wrong. If our spiritual forefathers had been more consistent in this
matter, more of them would have questioned Westcott and Hort! No matter
how he comes to view the opposing theories of textual criticism, the
fundamentalist will be in good company if he defers to the traditional
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church|
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data
Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)
- Articles published in the;
- Sword of the Lord
- Baptist Preacher,
- Christian View of the News,
- Pulpit Helps,
- Maranatha Watchman
- Church Bus News,
- and other national periodicals.
His Majesty's Service
In His Service,
Teaching the Word
To Glorify Our Lord
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