Archive | September, 2006

Gal 6:16—Some Additional Thoughts

If you read my previous post about the function of καί and its implications for the various interpretations of τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ θεοῦ, you may have been left with some lingering questions—as was I. In addition, I was missing one vital piece of information that makes view #1 slightly more plausible. Since I don’t think I expressed the issues quite cogently enough the first time, I’m going to take another shot at it.

The two questions that I was left asking myself were:

  1. If the interpretation which understands καί to mean and is so clearly wrong, why do the majority of English translations translate it that way?
  2. Is the English word and capable of being used to join two items when the former encompasses the latter? For example, is and being used properly in this statement: I love food and pizza? Or does and—to be used properly—have to join two distinct items?

Allow me to (1) recap, (2) revisit the view that understands καί to mean and, and then (3) answer the two questions posed above.

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Gal 6:16, the Israel of God, and the Use of καί

This passage has been the subject of no small controversy in recent centuries. I don’t intend to solve it all with a brief blog post. But I would like to make a few comments on the use of καί and its implications for the possible interpretations. A friend asked me a question about it, so I figured I’d take the opportunity to put some theology on a blog that is supposed to be about theology!

There are three functions of καί that are possible candidates for this text. They follow in order of grammatical likelihood (i.e., not giving considering to contextual or theological factors).

The most basic meaning of καί is and—a coordinating conjunction that joins two or more distinct items. While this is the most likely meaning from a grammatical perspective, contextually, this is absolutely impossible. Paul pronounces peace and mercy on those who walk in accordance with his rule (κανών)—that Gentiles are equal to and on the same plain as Jews and that the former need not submit to circumcision, et al. in order to be right with God and be part of God’s covenant people. Verse 15 is a summary statement for the argument of the book. Ιt is absolutely inconceivable that Paul would be pronouncing a blessing on two distinct groups of people: those who obey his instructions and the Jews (who don’t obey them—the necessary implication if καί means and). Oddly enough, Paul Benware defends the meaning of and here in a very befuddled argument (see Understanding End Times Prophecy, 87-89). O. Palmer Robertson obliterates this view in his The Israel of God, 40ff.

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Copernic Desktop Search 2.0

The newest version of the Copernic Desktop Search is now available. If you don’t use a desktop search program, you’re missing out a real timesaver. If you use Google’s desktop search, you’re still missing out. (BTW, I love most of Google’s software, but their desktop search has some weaknesses that make it an inferior product–detailed quote searching being one of them.) Copernic’s desktop search is the best available–at least for the PC. Fast, intuitive, and incredibly accurate. There are plenty of new features in version 2 that make it even better. One I especially like is the ability to narrow down a search if it’s bringing up too many results. Narrow it by a word in the title, or the file type, size, date or folder. Check it out; you’ll be glad you did.

Well, I finally decided to check out this LibraryThing that I’ve been hearing so much about, and I must say that I’m sold. In fact, after about 15 minutes of playing around with it, I paid the $25 for a lifetime membership. The options are: (1) 200 books for free, (2) unlimited books for $10/year, or (3) unlimited books for life for a one time $25 charge. That decision was a no brainer.

So what does it do? Well, you’ll need to try it out for yourself to really get the feel for it. In short, it allows you online access to a database of your library. But wait, there’s more: you also get access to the library of everone else who has a public listing. In addition, you have access to other users’ comments and reviews of books in your library. You can also discuss books you share with other users and even get connected with someone who may want to swap books with you. I could go on, but you need to check it out for yourself to see how cool it is.

You can view my list of books here. How did I get all those in there, you might be wondering? Well, the books you see there come from four different sources. (This doesn’t include most of the books in my print library.)

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Sobering Confessions from Pastors

Check out these sobering confessions from pastors. Some will make you sad. Others will encourage you. Some may convict you. All of them will sober you to the reality of sin and point you to your need for grace.

Expositor’s Bible Commentary

CBD is running a great price on the old EBC. The whole set is only $119.99. That’s $10 per volume. Since it doesn’t look like it’s going to be available any time soon in Libronix (thanks Zondervan!), I may have to pick it up. Unfortunately, I just bought volume 10 for my dissertation. I guess that’s what is for.

Use this coupon code (226575) to save an additional $5.

Academic Discount Offer for Bob Jones University

Logos Bible Software is offering there academic discount pricing on their major collection (e.g., Gold, Silver, Scholar’s) to students, faculty, and staff of Bob Jones University from October 16-30. To place an order, go here or call Academic Sales at 1-800-878-4191. Logos discounts their collections 40% for students and 50% for faculty and staff.

I’d strongly encourage you to do buy Scholar’s Gold. To say that it’s worth every penny is a massive understatement! If you already have Gold (or even if you don’t), pass this on to your friends so they can take advantage of this great offer.

Annotated Bibliography of Commentaries

A friend of mine, Samuel Bray, started an annotated bibliography of commentaries at the Wikia Scratchpad. If you’ve come across a good commentary recently, head on over and give a brief evaluation.

PrimoPDF 3.0

Every theologian has the need to make PDFs, but not every theologian has the money for Adobe’s Acrobat Professional, now in version 8. By far the best free PDF maker out there is PrimoPDF. No strings attached. No annoying labels added to your documents. Full functionality. Lots of great features. Version 3 was just released. If you don’t have it, I’d strongly encourage you to get it. You’ll be glad you did.

However, once MS Office 2007 is released, it’ll finally have the ability to save documents as PDFs. Until then, PrimoPDF is the way to go.

Update: I’ve been disappointed with the Office PDF feature. It does have the advantage of maintaining all link functionality and preserving your document map for easier navigation, but the quality of the type is poor and the size of the file is unusually large. If you need links and/or document maps for navigation, the Office PDF feature is probably what you want. If you don’t, I’d recommend continuing to use PrimoPDF as it will give you a smaller and sharper looking document.

R. C. Sproul’s Books

Here’s a helpful list of all of R. C. Sproul’s books in chronological order. He’s written over 60. If you haven’t read anything by Sproul, let me recommend Faith Alone and Willing to Believe as two from which I profited greatly.