Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Partners in Ministry
02/17/2011 - James WhiteAfter the Sunday evening service at Trinity Road Chapel in London someone asked to take a picture of Pastor Doug McMasters and myself. Doug is a big boy...he makes me look pretty small. Doug and I have developed a lot of memories over the past fifteen or so years. We once did a 105 mile ride together out on the Sun Valley Parkway in Phoenix. Sadly, we tried it too early in the fall, and it got hot. Those last few miles were tough! And one year in El Tour de Tucson he zipped away from me early on in the race. But about ten miles from the finish I caught up with him, pulled into the drafting position and said as I was passing him, "Get on the bus!" He did, and we finished together. Never dreamed back then, of course, that someday we would be hustling through Gatwick airport in London just barely making a flight to Dublin, or sitting in the reading room at Trinity College examining Codex Montfortianus, or standing in Leicester Square witnessing to folks (or wandering around downtown London looking for anywhere to sit down and eat our fish and chips and mushy pes---yes, they spelled it without the 'a'). But, that's one advantage of growing old. You get to create collections of great memories with great friends and brothers in Christ.
Speaking of great friends and brothers in Christ, I got to spend at least one evening with Roger Brazier and his family while I was in London (they picked me up at Heathrow when I flew in from Glasgow). Roger was the man who first invited me to London back in 2005, so all you folks who have benefitted from the ministry over there over the past six years, Roger is to be thanked (or blamed, depending on which side of the aisle you are on). So we get together at Heathrow and the first thing I notice is that we have both gotten new glasses. Now, remember, within five minutes of meeting for the first time at Heathrow in 2005 we were chatting like long-lost brothers who had twenty years to catch up on. There are just some brothers that you "fit" with like you've known each other your entire lives, and that's Roger and I. So what do I immediately notice but that we have both purchased, without any communication or cooperation, almost identical glasses! OK, that's just too weird.
Finally, I am tremendously proud to announce that Jim Handyside almost gave me my "genuine Scots card" while I was in Glasgow. I can almost taste it. I did point out to him that there aren't that many Scottish Reformed Baptist pastors left in Scotland, so, can he really afford to get rid of me? I think that was a solid argument. But, to assist in my continued attempts to gain his acceptance of my true Scottish nature, I remind all of my readers of pastor Handyside's speaking schedule here in the US starting next week:
February 23- Highlands Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Sebring, FL 863-385-3787
March 5-6 First Baptist Church Markham Woods Lake Mary, FL 407-333-2085
March 8th Grace Chapel 352-476-8078 Sanford
March 11-17 Faith Baptist Tabernacle: Williston, FL 352-528-2216 Contact: 352-208-1007
March 17-22 St. Mary, GA 912-882-5704
March 22-28 Griffen, GA 770-631-3660
March 28-April 5 Bethel Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA 678-880-1123
Now, if folks came up to Jim and said, "Your fellow Scotsman, James White, told us about your being here," well, that sure would help a lot. But there is one thing that is sure...absolutely sure, to help me in my quest for final acceptance into the "truly Scottish Reformed Baptists" club (of which Jim is the President). And that is to go for the gold:
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er, with patriarchal grace,
The big ha'bible, ance his father's pride:
His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion with judicious care;
And "Let us worship God!" he says with solemn air.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise,
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim;
Perhaps Dundee's wild-warbling measures rise;
Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name;
Or noble Elgin beets the heaven-ward flame;
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:
Compar'd with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickl'd ears no heart-felt raptures raise;
Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abram was the friend of God on high;
Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
How He, who bore in Heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay His head:
How His first followers and servants sped;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
How he, who lone in Patmos banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand,
And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounc'd by Heaven's command.
Then, kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing,"
That thus they all shall meet in future days,
There, ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear;
While circling Time moves round in an eternal sphere
Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method, and of art;
When men display to congregations wide
Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the heart!
The Power, incens'd, the pageant will desert,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
But haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well-pleas'd, the language of the soul;
And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.
(From "The Cotter's Saturday Night" by the "Bard of Scotland," Robert Burns
A Quick Report from Wind-blown Dublin, Ireland
02/04/2011 - James WhiteI haven't seen wind like this in a long time, I really haven't. This morning during breakfast I heard predicted gusts of 110km/hr, and I believe it! But, despite the somewhat inclement weather (at least it is not overly cold), I had a wonderful day today. But first...
The morning after I arrived in London I made the trek down to the Premier Radio studios in London to once again join Justin Brierley for the Unbelievable Radio Program. We had a discussion of the King James Bible with Kyle Paisley, a minister and son of Ian Paisley. You can listen to the dialogue when it airs on February 12th (and is posted on Justin's podcast page). I always enjoy visiting with Justin, and hope the programs we do are helpful to a large audience.
That evening I was once again on the "Live at Nine" program on Revelation TV, this time to debate Pastor Jack Moorman on the King James Only position. We had a live studio audience. (Please see my personal note at the end of this blog entry about the comment made by the moderator at the beginning of the program). Someone recorded it off the web, and has already posted it on YouTube, though the video is at a very low frame rate and is a little difficult to watch. In any case, here's the program:
Yesterday one of my hosts, Joe Reilly (you have heard him call in a number of times on the Dividing Line) took pastor Doug McMasters and I to the Trinity College here in Dublin. We were joined there by Chris Caughey, a brother I met over twenty years ago, who is now doing doctoral studies in history at Trinity College. We went to the library where we visited "the Long Room" which is, well, as you can see, just amazing. It really does look like this. Rows and rows, stacks and stacks, of books, most of which are quite old. The smell was amazing. I suppose if you are not a lover of old books, that is hardly of interest to you, but if you do, you know how awesome such a place can be. Makes me ponder what the library at Alexandria looked like (and smelled like!). But we could not stay long in the Long Room, as we had an appointment in the reading room. Chris Caughey had helped me prepare a manuscript request, and we needed to make our appointment with Codex Montfortianus!
Now while you can only see my arm (Pastor McMasters is a big man!), this is Doug, Joe, and myself, examining Codex Montfortianus, the text theorized by some to be the one used to force Erasmus to insert the Comma Johanneum into the third edition of his Greek text (assuring it a place in what is today called the Textus Receptus, and hence in the King James Bible). We took the time to examine the relevant text, as well as to check its reading at other places such as Luke 2:22 and Revelation 16:5. Remember that these hand-written manuscripts take a while to examine. Not only were they produced prior to the versification of the Bible, but the scribe of this particular text seemed to be in quite a hurry, and was not easy to read. I hope to make some more comments on the text in the future, hopefully putting up a YouTube video on the entire issue of 1 John 5:7. We also took the opportunity while there to examine the Book of Kells on display there at the library. It was a wonderful opportunity, for which I am very thankful.
This morning I fulfilled a hope that had been born last year when Doug McMasters and I first began considering coming up here to Dublin to visit the Chester Beatty Library, home of P45, P46, P47, and a small fragment of P66. We were joined once again by Joe and Chris. Unfortunately, the Museum's manuscript reading room was closed (we are working on obtaining some high quality digital images of particular texts), but the display area is very impressive, and we spent a long period straining our eyes to examine the manuscripts that are available. So as to preserve them, the light is very low. This makes attempting to read 1800 year old uncial hand writing next to impossible, but we tried very, very hard. Since I have the Accordance Bible App on my iPod Touch, I have the papyri transcriptions available to me all the time. So, once we could identify some key terms or phrases, I could search and find them, and then we would have a transcript to follow in reading the texts. We read from P47 in Revelation chapter 9, for example.
Then we went to P46 and identified each of the pages on display. The last one we examined was from Philippians. I excitedly consulted my Accordance listing to see if possibly I might see any of the Carmen Christi (Philippians 2:5-11) in one of the earliest papyri sources for the book. Unfortunately, the text on display ended at Philippians 1:29! Which meant that the Carmen Christi began on the back of the page on display! But I did not mind not seeing it, as I knew I was looking at the very page that contains that glorious and sacred text. The page we saw is to the right.
It was probably a bit humorous for some of the visitors to see us kneeling on the ground before these pages. No, we were not worshipping them. The light reflected off of them from above, so the best vantage point for viewing the writing was at an angle from below. So the conversation would be like this:
James: "OK, the nomina sacra there on line three....is that hoti following? Can anyone make that out?"
Doug: "Could that be eis to?"
Chris: "That's definitely wn before it...is there an wn in that text?"
James: "Ah, found it!"
And so on. What a great time we had. Well, until we ran into the small fragment of P66 on display. I don't think my eyes will ever recover from the straining I did to decipher that tiny little fragment. I vow I shall not be defeated by this little thing, but I have not finished my work on it. Hopefully I will have time to blog something about that once I get home from this trip. We also saw the earliest papyri fragment of the Gospel of Mark as well. ...
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