Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 30, 1949

False Arguments And Scripture Perversions

R. L: Whiteside, Denton, Texas

I believe it was Josh Billings who said, "I'd rather not know so much as to know so many things that ain't so." This should be especially true when it comes to dealing with the Bible:

Years ago a brother said to me, "You know the Bible says, 'When you are in Rome, do as Rome does.' " I did not know that. An old sister became very much disgusted at what she thought was inexcusable ignorance on my part. We were having a very mild winter: Said she, "Well, you know the Bible says, 'The time will come when you won't know summer from winter except by the budding of the tree:' " I said, "No, I did not know the Bible said that." "You didn't?" "No, I didn't know that was in the Bible." "La, I've read that a thousand times; and you, a preacher, and never did read it." I let it go at that, for there was no use in arguing against what she had read a thousand times. But she thought she had met up with one preacher that was inexcusably ignorant of the Bible.

Some times preachers, some of them rather prominent, are distressingly ignorant of some Bible history. I can see how a person may draw wrong conclusions as to what some verses teach, or even not understand the significance of certain historic events, but to be ignorant of what is said in a plain narrative seems to me to be inexcusable. But it is much worse when a man encloses in quotation marks statements of his own fabrication, as if he were making an exact quotation from the Bible: I have had a time or two an opponent frame a statement of his own and enclose it in quotation marks, and say I said it: That is not common honesty, and I did not like it.

Samples From Gospel Advocate

Here are same samples from the writings of a staff writer of the Gospel Advocate:

1. "When Jesus said, 'You need this bread of life,' they said, 'We know about that: Our fathers had this bread of heaven in the wilderness.' Jesus said, 'I am not talking about the manna which Moses gave to the people in the wilderness, but I am talking about myself as the divine Son of God come down to earth.' " But neither the people nor Jesus said what the staff writer says they said. Read John 6:26-35. Besides, Jesus said the very opposite of what the writer says as to the one who gave the manna: "It was not Moses that gave you the bread from heaven."

2. In Exodus 16, not in Numbers 35, as the staff writer says, we have recorded the murmuring of the children of Israel because of their lack of food. Concerning this the staff writer says, "While these people were murmuring and complaining Moses cried to the Lord, and the Lord said, 'I will give you bread from heaven.' The Israelites said, 'We are sinning, but the reason we are sinning is because we do not have the proper food. If we had the proper food, then we would behave ourselves:' " The record does not say that Moses cried to the Lord at that time; neither is there anything in the record that resembles in the remotest degree what the staff writer quotes the people as saying. And he is supposed to be telling what is in the Bible!

3. "In Joshua 6 God told the Israelites, 'I will give you the city of Jericho'; and then he said, 'I will tell you what to do in order that you may obtain the city: You must march around the walls once a day for seven days, blow a great blast upon the trumpet and have all the people give a great shout, and the walls will fall down:' " The foregoing quotation is Brother DeHoff's record of what God said. Here is God's record: "And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. And ye shall compass the city, all the men of war, going about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets: And it shall be, that, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up every man straight before him." (Joshua 6:2-5) Do you notice any difference in the two statements? If not, read again: "Once every day for seven days" does not sound like once a day for six days and seven times the seventh day: What the staff writer says does not sound like the writings of one who is careful of the way he deals with God's word. Yes, gifts are conditional, and so is correct writing.

Items 1, 2, and 3 refer to an article in the Gospel Advocate of April 14, page 227: It would be well to read that article.

Additional Examples

Years ago I read a tract written by a Methodist circuit rider. After trying to prove that Jesus was sprinkled, he said Jesus went up into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, that he ate nothing during forty days and nights, and then went on up to Jerusalem, and became hungry along the way, and turned aside to see if there were any figs on a tree, etc. Now, do not be as ignorant as that Methodist preacher, and say you do not see anything wrong with his statement.

Several years ago I heard a prominent gospel preacher discussing the sin of David with Bathsheba, and his having her husband, Uriah, put in a position in battle where he would surely be killed, and then the prophet Nathan's visit to David, and his telling David about a rich man who had company. Instead of killing an animal of his own to feed his company the rich man sent and took from a poor man the only ewe lamb he had with which to feed his company. Then said the preacher, "When Nathan got through reciting that little parable, on the principle that guilty conscience needs no accuser, David spoke right out, and said, "I am the man; I am the fellow you are talking about.' " Now read about Nathan's visit to David: (2 Samuel 12:1-10): What do you think? Any comment by me is useless, if you read the passage:

In the Gospel Advocate of April 7, in discussing the Sunday School lesson for April 17, Brother Alonzo Williams says, "While on a secret mission for his king, David became hungry: He entered the house of God, and, in the absence of any common bread, ate shewbread... " David was "on a secret mission" all right, but it was his own secret mission to save himself from the wrath of his king, as anyone knows who has a smattering of the history of David, or even any knowledge of chapters 19, 20, 21, of I Samuel. And if you will read chapter 22 you will see that Saul had 85 priests killed because the high priest, believing David was telling him the truth, fed David and gave him the sword of Goliath. Yes, David was on a secret mission, but it was to keep from being killed by his king. The priest Ahimelech unjustly lost his life for believing David's fabrication; let us hope that Brother Williams will not suffer a like fate for the same reason! But men who do not handle aright the word of God should fear lest a worse thing come upon them.