Archive | January, 2007

Reprobation in Jude?

Jude 4 in the KJV reads, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” According to this translation of οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα, Jude 4 seems to support some form of the doctrine of reprobation. Most Reformed theologians of the past and many of the present have made used it in support of the doctrine (e.g., Calvin; Brakel, 1:120; C. Hodge, 2:346; A. Hodge, 222; Dabney, 273; Shedd, 336; Grudem, 685).

Back in the early days of seminary during the discussion on election and reprobation, my Systematic Theology professor was quick to tell us that the word translated “before of old ordained” (προγεγραμμένοι) simply meant “written before,” and that the KJV had mistranslated it. He pointed out that the etymology of the word indicates that that’s all it means: προγράφω is the combination of the prefix προ-, meaning before, and the verb γράφω, meaning to write. Of course, etymology is not a reliable foundation for exegesis, but even the three other NT occurrences of the word don’t support the notion of predestination. Rather, they seem to convey the simple idea of writing before (Rom 15:4; Eph 3:3) or symbolically of portraying (Gal 3:1)—before here being used in a spatial rather than a temporal sense. Even BDAG doesn’t suggest foreordaining as a possible meaning for προγράφω. So the evidence wasn’t looking good for Jude 4 as a reference to reprobation.

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New Testament Transcripts Website

I just came across this really cool website that allows you to read and compare many of the extant manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. Someone has obviously spent a lot of time building this (understatement!). Check out the guide for more information on how to use it, and then try it out yourself.

New Testament Transcripts Prototype

Praying Like Nehemiah?

A recurring theme stood out to me while reading through Nehemiah this time. Nehemiah continually asked God to remember (and respond accordingly to) the good deeds that he did.

Neh 5:19 Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.

Neh 13:14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

Neh 13:22 Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

Neh 13:31 Remember me, O my God, for good.

I don’t pray this way—probably because of an overreaction to the notion that we can merit God’s favor. But Nehemiah doesn’t seem to have merit in view, for he requests God’s gracious response to his faithfulness to God rather than demanding his due payment. Nehemiah saw God’s response to his obedience as rooted in His חֶסֶד. Yet I still feel uncomfortable trying to pray like Nehemiah, even though I can justify such praying theologically. Hebrews 6:10 comes to mind, “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.” Yet praying for God to look at my works and reward me for them still strikes me (at least part of me) as self serving. Reading Nehemiah’s prayers created a feeling of discomfort similar to when I first read Piper’s Desiring God. Wrong teaching about what it means to be selfish is so deeply ingrained in me that it’s difficult to overcome.

FREE Ebooks!

I just downloaded and installed 87 free ebooks. Bible Explorer is on track to pass e-Sword in the amount of free content available. They are releasing 20 new titles every month.

Here are some of the books they are currently offering:

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PastorResources Blog

Looks like I’m going to be blogging now at work, in addition to my current responsibilities. The purpose of the blog is to keep pastors informed with the latest Christian news, events, resources, etc. If you’re looking for another blog to add to your blog roll, check it out. Expect to see a handful of posts each day (at least Monday through Thursday).

The Spirit Communicating: Logos Syntax Search

My Bible reading plan had me in Acts 13 the other day (I’m following Carson’s slight variation of the M’Cheyne plan). Verse 2 reads, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” Curious about the nature of the Spirit’s speaking, I wanted to explore the other passages where the Holy Spirit communicates something. It would have been difficult to get a complete list of relevant passages were it not for Logos’s OpenText syntax database.

Here’s the search I constructed:

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$1 Guitar CD!

WaitingIn preparation for the upcoming release of his second CD, fingerstyle guitarist Dave Wike, a coworker and friend of mine, is offering his first CD, “Waiting,” for a phenomenal price of just $1 (free shipping in the US). You can choose between the physical CD or downloading the MP3 files. Check out these four, two-minute samples to see if you like it. I enjoy listening to it as background music while I read or study. The play count in my iTunes is in triple digits! Read the reviews at CD Baby to see what others think. If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, email me at You can pay with PayPal or a personal check. Contact me for more details.

Update: I don’t have any more of these available. Visit for details on how to contact Dave directly or order his CDs.

See also: Dave Wike’s New CD: “Still Waters”