The Pitfalls Found In Biblical Commentaries, Lexicons & Dictionaries, by Clifton Emahiser
While some of these Biblical helps are better than others, even the best have some serious errors! For instance some Bible cross-references can lead one astray, so let’s consider some of the better center-references found in a few Bibles:
If you have a King James Version Bible with the proper center reference, you can very readily prove Two Seedline teaching with it, for it will take you from one supporting verse of Scripture to another almost endlessly on the subject. (Not that the King James Version is an especially advisable Bible to use for study, as it is alleged to contain approximately 27,000 translation mistakes.)
The King James Version center reference system I am referring to was produced by the opinions of many contributing scholars and theologians. Most of the older Bibles have this proper center reference system. I have a King James Version published by The World Publishing Company during the mid 50’s which has the proper center reference system. I checked a World Bible recently at a Christian bookstore, and it had been corrupted from the former one I have. I also have a large Southwestern Bible which has the desirable center reference system. I understand some of the Bibles printed by Dove Inc., Nashville, TN, have this preferred center reference also. Twenty years ago, one could purchase a King James Version Zondervan Classic Reference Bible with this more satisfactory center-reference system.
While the Zondervan Classic Reference Bible has this better than usual center-reference system, their later King James Version Study Bible seems to have the same center-references, but is quite difficult to use, and much of their commentary is misleading, especially [at] Genesis 3:15 where they state in part: “The antagonism between people and snakes is used to symbolize the outcome of the titanic struggle between God and evil …” However, most translations render the snake word as “serpent”, as we see in the Enhanced Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary:
“5175 שחנ [nachash /naw-khawsh´]; 31 occurrences; Authorized Version translates as ‘serpent’ 31 times. 1 serpent, snake. 1a serpent. 1b image (of serpent). 1c fleeing serpent (mythological).”
Or in the Enhanced Strong’s Greek Dictionary:
“1404 δράκων [drakon /drak·own/] noun masculine. Probably from an alternate form of derkomai (to look); 13 occurrences; Authorized Version translates as “dragon” 13 times. 1 a dragon, a great serpent, a name for Satan.” In fact, the word “snake” is not found in the King James Version!
From the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament by Gerhard Kittel & Gerhard Friedrich under the word “dragon” at Rev. 12:7:
“Δράκων, which the ancients derived from δέρκομαι,1 means ‘serpent,’ 2 especially ‘dragon’ 3 or ‘sea-monster.’ 4 In Rev. it is a distinctive term for Satan (12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4; 16:13; 20:2).
“Of all beasts, the serpent was regarded as demonic in antiquity, thereby revealing the duality of the ancient conception of demons. It plays a great part in Persian, Babylonian and Assyrian, Egyptian and Greek mythology, and in essence this role is always the same; it is a power of chaos which opposes God either in the beginning or at the end of things, or both. Thus in Parseeism there is the serpent Azi-Dahaka (both at the beginning and at the end), in Babylonia Tiâmat and Labbu with many similar figures, in Egypt Apophis, the main symbol of the Typhon with many others like the crocodile, in Greece the Python which Apollos defeats, the serpent which Kadmos slays and many mixed figures like Typhoeus/Typhon. There seems to have been a similar general estimation of the red colour ascribed to the serpent in Rev. 12:3. On Greek soil the significance of the fight against the serpent as the original battle of deity against the power of chaos is greatly obscured by the lowering of the stories to the level of sagas. On the other hand, the other aspect of the serpent as a demonic beast emerges more strongly in Babylon and Egypt, namely, that it is a sacred animal. This dual capacity reveals the dual nature of ancient demonology generally.”
The King James Study Bible, published by Thomas Nelson does, though, make a better than average observation on Genesis 3:15, which supports Two Seedline doctrine thusly (and it will be edited out of necessity):
“3:15. This verse has long been recognized as the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. Thus, it also contains the first glimpse of the gospel (protoevangelium). It reveals three essential truths: (1) that Satan is the enemy of the human [sic White Adamic] race, explaining why God put enmity [related to the word enemy] between thee [Satan] and the woman; (2) that He would place a spiritual [sic racial] barrier between thy seed (Satan’s people) and her seed (God’s people); and (3) that the representative seed of the woman[‘s collective seed] (i.e., a human being: Christ) would deliver the deathblow to Satan, but in so doing would be bruised Himself. It [or ‘He,’] shall bruise [literally, ‘crush’] thy head, but thou shalt bruise his heel refers to Christ’s bruising on the cross, which led [sic will lead] to the eventual crushing of Satan and his kingdom.”
[Note: the very statement: “… thy seed (Satan’s people) and her seed (God’s people) …” warrants my editing of “collective seed”! C.A.E.]
While The King James Study Bible, marketed by Thomas Nelson Publishers did better than average on Genesis 3:15, they really botched up, and went far astray on Revelation 12:7-9, stating:
“12:7-9. The vision of war in heaven anticipates Satan’s exclusion from ‘heaven’ and his restriction to the earth during the last half of the Tribulation. Michael the archangel is the leader of God’s holy angels (cf. Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9). Satan is the chief of the fallen angels. At the middle of the Tribulation period, God will empower Michael and his forces to cast Satan and his forces out of access to heaven, so that Satan must thereafter confine his activities to the earthly sphere. He is given four designations: (1) dragon pictures his monstrous character as the enemy of God; (2) serpent connects him with the clever deception of Eve in Genesis 3; (3) Devil means ‘slanderer’ (cf. v. 10); (4) Satan means ‘Adversary’ (cf. 1 Pet. 5:8). He also deceiveth the whole [Adamic] world (cf. 20:8).” [brackets mine]
Inasmuch as the Thomas Nelson King James Study Bible later also mentions the “antichrist” in connection with this passage, we must establish just who such an antichrist is, or even who they are! 1st John 2:22 explains it quite well: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Yahshua is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” Also, 1st John 2:18 clears up the “how many” and “when” thusly: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is [already] the last time.” [brackets mine]
The King James Study Bible, sold by Thomas Nelson Publishers, thus wrenched this passage into an unrecognizable, grievous falsehood. How could Satan still be in heaven when Jude 9 states?: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, Yahweh rebuke thee. Sure, Moses antedates Christ’s Second Advent [and His First Advent as well]! Besides, the “Satan” of Rev. 12:9 was Herod the Great, and his Edomite family. (cf. v. 4) Additionally, the “serpent” that deceived Eve at Gen. 3:1-6 antedates by far Rev. 12:7-9!
As we proceed, we will find there are two different entities who have been, rightfully or wrongly, identified as “antichrist”. We will find these two entities were/are (1) the Edomite Herod the Great and all of his co-religionist countrymen down to the present day, and (2) the office of the Pope of the Catholic Church. I am now prepared to discuss one of the greatest religious frauds ever perpetrated in all of the history of churchianity!
From the History Of The Church by Philip Shaff … under the heading “Notes: … The Number 666.” We are informed:
“Paul designates the Antichrist as, ‘the man of sin,’ the son of perdition who opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God” (2 Thess. 2:3, 4). But he seems to look upon the Roman empire as a restraining power which, for a time at least, prevented the full outbreak of the ‘mystery of lawlessness,’ then already at work (2:6-8). He thus wrote a year or two before the accession of Nero, and sixteen years or more before the composition of the Apocalypse.”
From LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, Prophetic Interpretations, Vol. 2, Review & Herald, Washington, D.C., 1948, excerpted pp. 464-532:
“Jesuits Introduce Futurist Counter-Interpretation
“… For some time following the launching of the Reformation, Roman Catholic leadership carefully avoided exposition of the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse. They seemed unable to parry the force of the incriminating Protestant applications of the prophecies concerning Antichrist, which were undermining the very foundations of the Catholic position. Upon the first outbreak of Luther’s anti-papal protest two Catholic doctors, Prierias and Eck, in the true spirit of the Fifth Lateran Council (1512-1517), had boldly reasserted the Lateran theory and declared the papal dominion to be Daniel’s fifth monarchy, or reign of the saints, and identified the existing Roman church with the New Jerusalem.
“But the reformers, with declarations by pen and voice, forcefully stated that the Papacy was the specified Antichrist of prophecy. The symbols of Daniel, Paul, and John were applied with tremendous effect. Hundreds of books and tracts impressed their contention upon the consciousness of Europe. Indeed it gained so great a hold upon the minds of men that Rome, in alarm, saw that she must successfully counteract this identification of Antichrist with the Papacy, or lose the battle. The Jesuits were summoned to aid in the extremity, and cleverly provided the very method needed both for defense and for attack.
“From the ranks of the Jesuits two stalwarts arose, determined to lift the stigma from the Papacy by locating Antichrist at some point where he could not be applied to the Roman church. It was clearly a crisis of major proportions.
“Two Conflicting Alternatives Brought Forth
“Rome’s answer to the Protestant Reformation was twofold, though actually conflicting and contradictory. Through the Jesuits Ribera, of Salamanca, Spain, and Bellarmine, of Rome, the Papacy put forth her futurist interpretation. Almost simultaneously Alcazar, Spanish Jesuit of Seville, advanced the conflicting preterist interpretation. These were designed to meet and overwhelm the Historical interpretation of the Protestants. Though mutually exclusive, either Jesuit alternative suited the great objective equally well, as both thrust aside the application of the prophecies from the existing Church of Rome. The one (preterism) accomplished it by making prophecy stop altogether short of papal Rome’s career. The other (futurism) achieved it by making it overleap the immense era of papal dominance, crowding Antichrist into a small fragment of time in the still distant future, just before the great consummation. It is consequently often called the gap theory ….
“Roman Catholics as well as Protestants agree as to the origin of these interpretations. The Roman Catholic writer G.S. Hitchcock says:
“‘The Futurist School, founded by the Jesuit Ribera in 1591, looks for Antichrist, Babylon, and a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, at the end of the Christian dispensation.
“‘The Preterism School, founded by the Jesuit Alcasar in 1614, explains the Revelation by the Fall of Jerusalem, or by the fall of Pagan Rome in 410 A.D.’ (G.S. Hitchcock, The Beasts and the Little Horn, p. 7.)
“Similarly, Dean Henry Alford (Protestant), in the ‘Prolegomena’ to his Greek Testament, declares:
“‘The founder of this system [Futurist] in modern times … appears to have been the Jesuit Ribera, about A.D. 1580.’ (Henry Alford, The New Testament for English Readers, vol. 2, part 2, p. 351.
“‘The Preterism view found no favour, and was hardly so much as thought of in the times of primitive Christianity … The view is said to have been first promulgated in anything like completeness by the Jesuit Alcasar … in 1614.” (Ibid, pp. 348, 349).
“Francisco Ribera (1537-1591).
“Since its inception his basic thesis has been virtually unchanged. He assigned the first few chapters of the Apocalypse to ancient Rome, in John’s own time; the rest he restricted to a literal three and a half year’s reign of an infidel Antichrist, who would bitterly oppose and blaspheme the saints just before the Second Advent. He taught that antichrist would be a single individual, who would rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, abolish Christian religion, deny Christ, be received by the Jews, pretend to be God, and conquer the world – all in this brief space of three and one half years!
“Futurism first entered Protestantism in nineteenth-century England by two apparently widely separated developments. The first was the appearance of a Romanizing tendency in the Church of England. Briefly, the development was as follows:
“Dr. Samuel R. Maitland (1792-1866), curate of Christ Church at Gloucester and later librarian to the archbishop of Canterbury, was the first notable Protestant scholar to accept the Riberan interpretation of Antichrist. Maitland held the Reformation in open contempt and freely admitted that his view of prophecy coincided with Roman Catholic interpretation. His views were first published in 1826 and received widespread study and interest. James H. Todd (1805-1869), professor of Hebrew at the University of Dublin, studied and accepted Maitland’s futuristic views. He strongly attacked the Reformers’ historical system of prophetic interpretation. Todd’s views were published and widely circulated among the theologians of his time.
“John Henry Newman (1801-1890), famous high church Anglican who converted to Rome and became a cardinal, was one of the leading spirits in the Oxford, or Tractarian, movement. Five years before he joined the Roman State-Church, Newman advocated Todd’s futurism in a tract called The Protestant Idea of Antichrist. Newman wrote:
“‘We have pleasure in believing that in matters of Doctrine we entirely agree with Dr. Todd … The prophecies concerning Antichrist are as yet unfulfilled, and that the predicted enemy of the Church is yet to come.’
“Through the publication and dissemination of thou sands of tracts, the Oxford Movement leavened English Protestantism with the idea that the Reformers’ understanding of Antichrist was untrustworthy. It effectively diverted attention from Rome to some unknown person to come in the future.
“About the same time as the development of the Oxford Movement, there was another development in England which played a decisive role in bringing futurism within the Protestant movement. There was a growing disenchantment with the deadness of the established churches, a reaction against the spiritualizing tendency of post-millennialism (with its tendency toward modernism and preterism), and a revival of hope in the soon coming of Christ and the last things. Two religious leaders played an important role in these developments: Edward Irving (1792-1834), born in Scotland and a brilliant Presbyterian preacher, became a noted expositor in the British Advent Awakening. At first a historicist in his approach to the prophecies, Irving came to adopt futuristic views. He despaired of the church being able to complete her Gospel commission by the ordinary means of evangelism and began to believe and preach about the miraculous return of the gifts and power of the early church.
“In 1831 the ‘gift of tongues’ and other ‘prophetic utterances’ made their appearance among his followers, first in Scotland among some women and then in London. Irving never detected the imposture and gave credence to these new revelations. [An imposture is an instance of pretending to be someone else in order to deceive others. - WRF] Under the influence of these revelations of ‘the Holy Ghost’ ‘by other tongues,’ a new aspect was added to the expectation of a future Antichrist – the rapture of the church before the advents of Antichrist and Christ. The origin of this theory has embarrassed some of its advocates, and the defenders of this novel theory have tried to deny its historical beginning. But the discovery in a rare book by Dr. Robert Norton entitled The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets: In the Catholic Apostolic Church, published in 1861, establishes the origin of this innovative doctrine beyond all question. Norton was a participant in the Irvingite movement.
“The idea of a two-stage coming of Christ first came to a Scottish lass, Miss Margaret MacDonald of Port Glasgow, Scotland, while she was in a ‘prophetic’ trance. Norton actually preserved Miss MacDonald’s pretribulation vision and ‘prophetic’ utterance in his book. He wrote:
“‘Marvelous light was shed upon Scripture, and especially on the doctrine of the second Advent, by the revived spirit of prophecy. In the following account by Miss M. M. –, of an evening during which the power of the Holy Ghost rested upon her for several successive hours, in mingled prophecy and vision, we have an instance; for here we first see the distinction between that final stage of the Lord’s coming, when every eye shall see Him, and His prior appearing in glory to them that look for Him.’
“A little later the idea of the secret pretribulation rapture was adopted and polished by the Plymouth Brethren in their founding Powercourt Conferences of the 1830’s. S.P. Tregelles, who participated in the Powercourt Conferences, admitted that the Brethren obtained the idea of the rapture from the Irvingite movement. He wrote:
“‘I am not aware that there was any definite teaching that there should be a Secret Rapture of the Church at a secret coming until this was given forth as an ‘utterance’ in Mr. Irving’s church from what was then received as being the voice of the Spirit. But whether anyone ever asserted such a thing or not, it was from that supposed revelation that the modern doctrine and the modern phraseology respecting it arose.’ (The Hope of Christ’s Coming, 35; cited by George L. Murray, Millennial Studies – A Search for Truth [Baker Book House, 1960], 138).
“John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), one of the prominent founders of the movement often known as Plymouth Brethren, was not only an ardent futurist, but he added another new dimension to the futuristic scheme – dispensationalism. Oswald T. Allis wrote in his book, Prophecy and the Church:
“‘The Dispensational teaching of today, as represented, for example, by the Scofield Reference Bible, can be traced back directly to the Brethren Movement which arose in England and Ireland about the year 1830. Its adherents are often known as Plymouth Brethren, because Plymouth was the strongest of the early centers of Brethrenism. It is also called Darbyism, after John Nelson Darby (1800-82), its most conspicuous representative. The primary features of this movement were two in number. The one related to the Church. It was the result of the profound dissatisfaction felt at that time by many earnest Christians with the worldliness and temporal security of the Church of England and of many of the dissenting communions in the British Isles. The other had to do with prophecy; it represented a very marked emphasis on the coming of the Lord as a present hope and immediate expectation. These two doctrines were closely connected’….”
There is much more that could be discussed concerning the subjects of Futurism and Preterism. However, one should be starting to grasp the danger these satanic heresies propagate, and are now widespread amid about 99.9% of Judeo-churchianity today! Do not take my word for all of this, but prove it for your self! We can now comprehend why we must be guarded in using Biblical Commentaries, Lexicons & Dictionaries, as they can seriously damage or destroy one’s intellectual ability!