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Thread: Harper Collins Study Bible, ONLY A BOOK?

  1. #1

    Default Harper Collins Study Bible, ONLY A BOOK?

    Hey all,

    I purchased the Harper Collins Study Bible today and although I appreciate the notes, I have a concern that some of you may or may not share. I was looking at the New Oxford Annotated Study Bible 3rd edition at the store and realized just how anti- Inspired some versions are becoming today.I understand that some works are scholarly in nature, but they are still dealing with the scriptures. I am becoming concerned that the bibles that are becoming used and taught from mostly at the seminary level are the ones that deny the possibility of the miraculous, the prophetic, etc... The homosexuality issue is another can of worms in itself, namely the New Oxford 3rd edition changing from the 2nd on their stance. Also the 3rd edition has john 14:6 simply saying jesus is the gateway, where as the 2nd has him being the ONLY WAY TO GOD. The 3rd has Phil 2:6 displaying jesus as a "heavenly being" where as the 2nd has him being Divine (God). How do you all feel about these changes occuring, and more importantly, being evangelical, and those of you who don't believe in JEPD, and the Q-gospel, do you have a problem reading versions like Harper and Oxford? Thanks for your time, I would appreciate all opinions.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default For the pastor & teacher...

    Hi Alan,

    I heartily share your concern. When I was in community college, I took a class on "The Bible and Literature." Now I grew up in a Christian home with a very good education in the Bible, but it seemed that the Bible that my professor was teaching about was a different Bible. I did not buy the assigned Harper Collins Study Bible, as I already had my own copy of a Bible (good old NIVSB)--for personal study (this was long before I knew anything about BibleWorks!) Anyway, I remember smelling something fishy as we read through Northrop Frye's The Great Code (a decent book for tracing thematic threads in Scripture, but with a non-Evangelical, pro-JEDP view of things)! I was fuming as the professor explained to my classmates how Moses didn't really write things and that the Gospels were mere metaphors of changed lives, etc. I was almost turned off completely to biblical scholarship or any other kind of academic thinking about Scripture at that point.

    Thankfully, both in Bible college and in seminary I have never been required to purchase one of these study Bibles. On the other hand, my professors have been quick to encourage us to engage the theories and think through them critically so that we can defend the faith! So, while I'd never recommend a parishoner to purchase such a Bible, I would encourage pastors and Sunday School teachers to do so! (At least if you can get them cheap!) I think that it is valuable to read the notes to know what the folks in the pews may be reading. It's also valuable to see where we may need to engage in some good sound scholarly and prayerful wrestling with difficult issues in the text.

    Well, I've rambled enough...
    Last edited by jdarlack; 04-18-2005 at 12:04 AM.
    Jim Darlack - Associate Director of Goddard Library /
    Reference Librarian at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Gloucester Assembly of God | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    The 'Unofficial' BibleWorks Blog | Old in the New | Facebook | LibraryThing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    I think the Bible is justified in predicting that here at the end time, there is great apostasy going on in the so-called churches and their subordinate organizations (seminaries, etc). The fruit of which are Bible translations that are more interested in pleasing the readers than in presenting the word of God. The great criminal is generally identified as "higher criticism" but in reality it is unregenerate human nature in the church. Too many leaders don't fully believe in the Bible and don't treat it as the word of God. While anyone that has taken to translate the Bible from the original languages is quick to discern that no English Bible is true to the languages for a variety of reasons, but these discrepancies are increasing in newer Bible versions for no good reason other than wanting to please the masses by providing a Bible that appeals to everyone. The biggest culprits are the Study Bibles that purport to tell you everything the Bible states and undermine the function of the Holy Spirit as the interpreter. My favorites will continue to be Young's Literal Translation and the King James. I believe both versions have been translated by people more faithful to the original language than many of the newer versions have done.

  4. #4


    Thank you both for your replies. I feel better knowing that I am not alone in this feeling. It is difficult being a seminarian at a place like Fuller, which I have learned invalueable amount of information, knowledge, and have grown in many ways, however it is appearing to be more and more liberal and inclusive which isn't always a good thing. I feel that although I am not a scholar by any means and don't know all of the ins and outs of the JEDP theory nor that of the Q-Gospel 2 source theory, I do realize that both of these theories are just that; theories. I read the book, WHO WROTE THE BIBLE and realized that all of the authors conclusions weren't built on anything that we could actually read. So too with the Q-gosepl. I just don't like how the bible is becoming more of a text book day by day in the Seminaries and the Church. Thanks for taking your time to bare with me.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Not being a seminary trained theologian, I have to admit I don't even know what JEDP and Q Gospel 2 source are, and I'm probably the better for it! If we would just trust in the Bible instead of trying to disect and dicotomize it we would be better off. We can guess at times and know at others who wrote certain books and can see that there have been updates made after the original writers were gone, but are we doing such to differentiate between what is inspired and what is not. Paul stated that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" and Peter tells us that the Bible was written by "Holy men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit". God's message to us is, take the information and run with it, proclaim it on the hilltops; not nitpick it and put it under a microscope looking for supposed flaws. Did the Bible make you a better person in God's grace? Did reading "Moby Dick" do the same for you? Then treat the Bible as the word of God and tell others of the change it made in you, of the Savior you found.

    One final note: Beware of what else you may be learning, it can be easy to spot the large errors while all the little ones slide by. Again, the Bible states that at the end the wickedness inside the church will grow by leaps and bounds. Even those that profess to reverence the Bible can be found undermining it by small degrees. may the Lord be with you in your studies!


  6. #6

    Question Getting worse at the end?

    Bill, in your posts you have said twice that the bible states that the church will be more and more filled with error at the end [or words to that effect: hope I'm reporting you correctly]

    Where does the bible say this, please?

    David McKay

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Act 20:29-30)

    But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2Pe 2:1-2)

    Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (apostacia) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (2Th 2:3)

    Is Paul referring to the church or the world? The world has been fallen, he is referring to the church! Falls in the Bible generally don't just happen, they are slow processes of denial and apostacy.

    This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2Ti 3:1-5)

    Likewise here, it is easy to assume Paul is speaking of the world, but the end brings it together, the world does not have a form of godliness, but those who make such a profession are in the church.

    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (1Ti 4:1-3)

    Now here Paul is more specific about referring to the church.

    And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Mat 24:4-5)

    And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mat 24:11-13)

    Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Mat 24:23-24)

    Again, we need to ask ourselves, is Jesus referring to the outside world or inside the church? Kind of hard to deceive the very elect from the outside, but easier to do it from within when you think their on your side.

    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. (Jud 1:4)

    If they entered the "body" thousands of years ago, how much has been corrupted by now? How many "Christian" rites are perverted and not according to the Bible? Speaking of which, if the Bible is how we tell the true from the false, then don't you think the main thrust would be to pervert the Bible? Change it's meanings, change it's words, cause distrust in it's teachings, ridicule it's science. Bring in evolution, higher criticism, meaningless dissection of the authorship of the Bible, etc.

    Need more texts?
    Last edited by BroBill; 04-20-2005 at 01:31 PM.

  8. #8

    Smile Church getting worse?

    Hi Bill.

    Each verse you have cited seems to refer to the period in which it was written, or shortly after, or to the whole Christian era. Sometimes the verses show specifically, as in the words to Timothy by Paul, that they refer to Timothy's own time We see this when Paul concludes with "from such turn away."

    All of these verses you cited show that corruption entered the church at the very beginning of the last days, which so far have been going for almost 2000 years.

    We also read about the advance of the kingdom during this period in such passages as Daniel 2 and 1 Corinthians 15.

    I was querying whether you had verses that specifically refer to the present time. A lot of people throughout the church's history have thought that the passages which speak of "the last days" refer specifically to their own time.

    Many have been positive that they were living in the immediate period before Christ would return. So far they've all been wrong.

    But in 1 John, we read that his readers were not just in the last days but in "the last hour." So referring to the present time as the last days [as compared with the rest of the Christian era] is misleading, I think.

    David McKay

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Yes, we obviously do not share the same interpretation of Scripture. But I do think it is of bad taste to consider my view "misleading" (synonomous with "deceitful") as my view is acceptable within Christianity. It is called the "historical" view. That is, that prophetic interpretation takes place throughout history, as compared to the preterist view (all or most prophecy is fulfilled in the past) and futurist view (all or most prophecy will be fulfilled immediately before the second coming). This, of course, applies to apocalyptic literature.

    Now, I gave you Scripture, but you give me back only presumptive arguments. All throughout the OT and NT are found similar phrases: "in that day", "at that time", "the day" all referring to the Second Coming/Day of Judgment. Christ used phrases similar to Pauls in the context of the Second Coming (Matt 24:19-22; 29, 36-38, 50; 7:22) and so many more it is beyond scope to list them all here. I would suggest that you do a word study on "day" and see what you come up with on your own.

    Yes, it is true that Paul's main thrust may have been people of his own time, (I do not believe this to be so) however it should also be remembered that since Eve first begat Cain there has been a desire in the heart of man to look for the coming of the "seed" to redeem man. Although Christ has come and paid the price for that sin, there is still the looking forward to of the final redemption when the earth will be cleansed of that sin. Therefore, when you read Scripture you see that in every generation of believers there has been that question, "Will I be alive when Jesus comes (again)?" Without this, man would fall into a state described by Christ in the parable of the wicked servant (Matt 24:43-51) and some already have.

    If I knew Christ wasn't coming back until 2050, then I have plenty of time to decide for or against Him. But if He could come tomorrow, then today is the day to decide. No generation has had more than a lifetime to decide and be ready for Christ! Thus Paul's statements are JUST as applicable in our time as his, and moreso now because he probably never dreamed that it would last this long.

    Also, are you saying that the world and the church are getting better? That view has generally been unfounded in the world since previous to WW1. That man was ushering in a utopia on earth prepatory to the Second Coming. When in earth's history has the church had to deal with such issues as homosexuality in the pastorship let alone churches springing up endorcing such a relationship as being in accordance, or at least condoned, by the plain word of Scripture? I didn't realize Australia was so isolated!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Common error

    > If I knew Christ wasn't coming back until 2050,
    > then I have plenty of time to decide for or against
    > Him.

    This is a common error. While you might know that
    Christ isn't coming back until 2050, you yourself
    might drip dead from an aneurysm before you finish
    reading this post. The urgency of decision is always
    immanent regardless of the timing of the parousia.

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