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 Vol. 7, No. 1 

January 2005

Since You Asked

~ Page 12 ~

Image Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

The Interpretation of Tongues

By Louis Rushmore

Image Ignoring just for a moment your view that the speaking of tongues has ceased, I need to know something more about the interpretation of tongues, namely - Was it OK for the speaker of tongues to interpret the tongues himself / herself? The Bible says so; but I am unable to see what the purpose of speaking in tongues would have been at all if the speaker was also the one to interpret. Why then not speak the interpretation straight out, without the tongues?

The reason that "speaking in tongues" was employed in the first place (first in the New Testament in Acts 2) was to communicate effectively with audiences whose languages differed from the native language of the speakers (Acts 2:6-11). While all those in Acts 2 may have known a common language besides the languages native to the parts of the world in which they were living respectively, the relatively uneducated apostles of Christ speaking in those respective native languages caught the attention of the masses and validated that it was God's Word that was preached that fateful day. However, when an individual, miraculously assisted preacher stood before an audience in which more than one language was represented in that audience, it was necessary for the Gospel to be preached in one of those languages and then re-preached or interpreted in the additional language also represented in the audience. Someone besides the preacher if someone were available who knew both languages could do the interpreting for a second language present while the preacher preached, paused, preached, etc. If, though, only the preacher present knew both of the languages represented in his audience, he would have to preach in the one language and re-preach or interpret the Gospel message for the additional language present; that is how one might find himself in biblical times preaching and interpreting the same Gospel message.

The same circumstance without miraculous assistance continues today, especially respecting foreign evangelism. A preacher friend of mine goes to India for several weeks annually and preaches the Gospel widely there. Since he is unfamiliar with the various languages spoken in India, he uses an interpreter to translate his preaching for the native people. On one occasion, my preacher friend noticed that it was taking a lot longer for his interpreter to translate the Gospel message as he paused his preaching. Therefore, he sought assurances that his interpreter was just interpreting and not adding to what he was preaching, and he wanted to know why it was taking so long to interpret. It happened in that there were two different languages represented in that particular audience. The interpreter had to interpret the message twice every time the preacher paused to permit the interpreter to translate. So, counting the English language in which the preacher was speaking, three languages were present and spoken or interpreted on that occasion.Image

Author of the Book of Hebrews?

By Louis Rushmore

Who do you think wrote Hebrews? Why do you think so?

It is not important to ascertain with certainty the authorship of a Bible book that has satisfactorily passed all the internal examinations by which it evidences itself to be of divine origin. Further, it may not be possible to ascertain with certainty, at least to everyone's satisfaction, who wrote some Bible books, including the Book of Hebrews. "Who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews still remains the greatest single problem for the student of this book" (Wycliffe).

Adam Clarke lists several affirmations of as well as objections to the Pauline authorship of Hebrews from antiquity onward. The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary records a plausible reason for which the author's name is absent from Hebrews, which lack of attribution gives rise to questions as to who wrote the volume. "Clement also says that Paul, as the Hebrews were prejudiced against him, prudently omitted his name in the beginning..."

Barnes' Notes offers several extra-biblical reasons that the apostle Paul should be viewed as the author of the Book of Hebrews.

Clement of Alexandria says, that Paul wrote to the Hebrews, and that this was the opinion of Pantaenus, who was at the head of the celebrated Christian school at Alexandria, and who flourished about 180 AD. ...It was inserted in the translation into the Syriac, made very early in the second century, and in the Old Italic version, and was hence believed to be of apostolic origin, and is by the inscription ascribed to Paul. ...This Epistle was received as the production of Paul by the Eastern churches. Justin Martyr, who was born at Samaria, quotes it, about the year 140 AD. ...As another proof that it is the writing of Paul, we may appeal to the internal evidence...

Barnes' also contains references to internal evidences that support a Pauline authorship of the Book of Hebrews. Clarke's and Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's enumeration of internal evidences for Paul writing Hebrews are extensive. Wycliffe, though, lists several internal evidences opposed to Pauline authorship of Hebrews.

In conclusion, though no one can say with certainty that the apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews, it nevertheless seems that the consensus is that Paul is its human penman. Marshalling more resources, which could be done without end, nevertheless would end with the same conflicting testimonies.

But it is generally assigned to the apostle Paul; and some later copies and translations have put Paul's name in the title. In the primitive times it was generally ascribed to him, and the style and scope of it very well agree with his spirit, who was a person of a clear head and a warm heart, whose main end and endeavour it was to exalt Christ. (Matthew Henry's)

Works Cited

Adam Clarke's Commentary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1996.

Barnes' Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. New modern ed. CD-ROM. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1991.

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary. CD-ROM. Chicago: Moody, 1962.

Image Image Does the Lord's Supper
 Take Away Sin?

By Louis Rushmore

I have a question about the Blood that was shed for the JEWS every so often for them by the Levites was it not for the past sins of the Jew that was offering the sacrifice. (individual). Today at the Lords Supper is it not scriptural to say that in partaking of this fruit of the vine, you should realize what you are about to do and partake worthy. Knowing full well this deices HIS DEATH BURIAL AND RESURRECTING. Depicting our sins are forgiven for us as sinners. But does it not go deeper than that for us as CHRISTIANS, we sin every day and need forgiving of those sins, and so the LORDS SUPPER IS A PERSONAL WAY TO SAY LORD FORGIVE ME OF MY PAST WEEK OF MY UNFORGIVEN SINS IN MY LIFE. Otherwise how do we get the DEMONINATIONAL WORLD to look at us for it on the first Day as a COMMAND.

First, the apostle Paul corrected abuses of the Lord's Supper in the Corinthian congregation (1 Corinthians 11:20-29). The apostle warned these first century brethren lest they "eateth and drinketh unworthily" (verses 27, 29). The word "worthily" is an adverb describing the manner in which the Corinthians were incorrectly observing the Lord's Supper; adverbs usually modify and describe verbs as here. The word "worthy," which does not appear in this context, is an adjective. Brethren are mistaken when they partake or refrain from partaking the Lord's Supper based on whether they esteem themselves "worthy"; we are never "worthy"! However, we can observe the Lord's Supper worthily or unworthily, respecting the manner in which we observe the Lord's Supper. The apostle Paul addressed the manner in which Christians at Corinth observed the Lord's Supper and not the esteem they may have had toward themselves while partaking the Lord's Supper.

Second, the Lord's Supper is a memorial feast that causes Christians who partake of it to remember the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:19-20; see also 1 Corinthians 11:24-25). The Lord's Supper is never described in Scripture as a mechanism through which one's continual observance a Christian's sins are taken away. Actually, the blood of Jesus Christ removed the sins of those who had lived faithfully under Patriarchy and Judaism as well as the sins of those who live faithfully under Christianity (Hebrews 9:12-15). The Lord's Supper is a memorial to that fact.

Third, the sins of Christians are removed through renewed application of the blood of Jesus Christ to the souls of erring Christians:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:7-10)

To accomplish this, the apostle Peter instructed Simon, the erring Samaritan Christian, to repent and pray (Acts 8:22).

Respecting the weekly frequency that the Lord's Supper is to be observed, apostolic example (Paul) in Troas, recorded through inspiration (Luke) appears in Acts 20:7. We are to understand the Christian obligation for weekly observance of the Lord's Supper as we are to understand that the contribution is a weekly worship event as well (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) and that, formerly under Judaism, keeping every Sabbath Day holy was obligatory, too (Exodus 20:8).Image

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