Archive for March 2010

The Writing of Paul the Apostle (Evidence from His Epistles) – The Process of God’s Completed Word, Part 3

March 7, 2010

I Corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

The “third day” that is “according to the Scriptures” is only found in Matthew and Luke, not in the Hebrew Scriptures. This passage shows us that the “Gospels” were already in place and in use by the Corinthians saints!

Colossians 3:16

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom … (Colossians 3:16).

The Colossian saints had the Word of God – and it was not just the “Gospels” that they had (c.f. II Corinthians 5:16). They had the Word of Christ revealed through Paul. They had Paul’s epistles!

Paul speaking to Timothy about his own writings calls them “wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Timothy 6:3).

Paul already had written from six to nine epistles by this time (depending on which timetable one uses).

Titus 1:9

Holding fast the Faithful Word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (Titus 1:9).

Titus and the Cretian elders had the Word to which they could hold fast. It was in their possession!

II Timothy 4:2

Preach the Word (II Timothy 4:2).

Timothy had the Word of God in his possession too; and he was to “preach” it! Paul did not say “prophesy;” he said “preach the Word” – “herald the word” – “proclaim the Word.” Timothy did not need to generate, or produce the Word of God; he had it in his ownership – from Paul’s pen – and this instruction was Paul’s final letter: the Word of God was now finished and complete.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2004, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

The Writing of Paul the Apostle (Evidence from the Book of Acts) – The Process of God’s Completed Word, Part 2

March 7, 2010

Having considered Israel’s writings in the “New Testament,” we will now look at the testimony regarding Paul’s writings.

Acts 13:49

And the Word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.

Here we see, under the ministry of Paul, the word “published” being used again. However, this is another Greek word!

Now before we go to the definition of this particular Greek word, let us look at the interesting definition of our English word by Noah Webster (American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828). He shows the root of the word “publish” to be “public (i.e., open to all), and then he defines it as, “to discover or make known to mankind or to a people in general what before was private or unknown.”

Does this not describe the distinct “mystery” ministry of Paul the Apostle?

If that was not enough, let’s look at Strong’s Greek Lexicon definition of diaphero (#1308): “to differ.” This same word is translated in the King James Version in I Corinthians 15:41 as “differ,” in Philippians 1:10 as “excellent,” in Matthew 6:26 as “better than,” in Mark 10:31 as “are of more value,” in Romans 2:18 “things that are more excellent.”

Paul’s ministry and message were different and superior to all other messages previously revealed in the Scriptures. This is what is called progressive revelation.

Acts 17:2-3, 11

… Paul … reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that “Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” … These [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Notice carefully that the Bereans already had the “Gospel” records of Christ’s life to compare with the Old Testament prophecies contained in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Acts 19:20

So mightily grew the Word of God and prevailed (Acts 19:20).

Now we see that the Word of God grew again (auxano, Strong’s Greek Lexicon #837 – “to grow, i.e., enlarge”), and this time it grew mightily! It grew mightily because Paul has picked up the pen and has begun to write; now a different and excellent Word of God is going out! The capstone of divine revelation is being hoisted to the top!

Acts 20:32

… I commend you to God, and to the Word of His Grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (Acts 20:32).

Paul left the Ephesian elders with God’s Scriptures! Not just Circumcision Scripture, but with “the Word of His Grace” – advanced Pauline writings!

Tomorrow we will take a look at this process directly from Paul’s epistles.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2004, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

The Circumcision Portion of the Greek Scriptures – The Process of God’s Completed Word, Part 1

March 7, 2010

Whereof I [Paul] am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill [complete] the Word of God (Colossians 1:25).

We can go to the Bible and look for the information regarding the delivery of the completed Word of God, now that we know it exists. The reason that this normally is not done is because of the blinding power of tradition. Tradition tells us that the Bible was not complete until the fourth century. Tradition tells us that Paul was not the last Bible author. For example, it has John, the Apostle, writing Scripture some thirty years after Paul – thus undermining the ministry of Paul and his authority to complete the Scriptures. This in turn opens “God’s Word” to false additions from all fronts.

Tradition has a way of numbing one to the truth. Men no longer hold on to every “word” of God. Tradition demands that the emphasis of the “words be “downplayed.” Thus the emphasis of Bible doctrine is “downplayed,” if not altogether destroyed!

Yet we can actually see the assembly of God’s completed Word through the very testimony of the Scriptures themselves. We will begin with those portions of the Greek Scriptures that belong to Israel – the Circumcision writings.

Acts 6:2, 4, 7

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, “It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables … But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word” … And the Word of God increased …

The Apostles did not want to “leave the Word of God.” They wanted to give themselves to “the ministry of the Word.” Something very significant is going on here. Israel’s Apostles are busy writing their “Gospels” and “Circumcsion Epistles.” We know this because the result was that “the Word of God increased.” What does this word translated “increase” mean? The Greek word auxano is defined by James Strong as “to grow, i.e., enlarge.” The Word of God is enlarging because books are being added to it!

Acts 10:36-37

The word which God sent unto the Children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:) That word, I say, you know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached.

Here we see that Cornelius knew the Word of God spoken by Jesus Christ to Israel. How did he know this? Because it had been “published”!

Now this word translated “published” is an interesting one indeed. This is not the same word used throughout the “Gospels” which means to “pass the word along.” This word is Strong’s Greek Lexicon #1096 meaning “to generate; to come into being.”

The Word of God was being generated (given life – God-breathed – i.e., inspiration). It is coming into being! The Greek word for “published” is translated in Acts 15:25, in a most enlightening way, as “being assembled.”

These saints are busy assembling the Circumcision Scriptures of the “New Testament.”

Acts 12:24

But the Word of God grew and multiplied.

Here we are told that the Word of God grew. The Greek word is auxano, the same as we saw in Acts 6, meaning “to grow, i.e., enlarge.”

Not only did it grow, it also multiplied. The Scriptures are being added to (“grew”) AND copies are being made (“multiplication”)!

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2004, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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