I’m sorry, but I refuse to pay $1.25 for five lousy minutes on a local call, and then $0.15 per minute thereafter. But that is what the hotel across from Central Park wanted (I guess since it is right next to the Trump International Tower that explains it), so I didn’t even try. And with preaching duties on the Lord’s Day, this is the first chance I’ve had to get back on line. I’m ready to go home. This living out of a suitcase has grown very, very old.

The celebration of the commissioning of the King James Bible in 1604, co-sponsored by the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship, the American Bible Society, and the Society of Biblical Literature, took place June 25-26 at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan. Some of the most memorable presentations (at least to me) included John Kohlenberger’s discussion of the textual sources of the KJV; Dr. Lynne Long’s “Translating the Bible into English: 7th to 17th Centuries” (she read a section of Caedmon’s poetry in Anglo-Saxon, which, combined with her natural British accent, was most interesting); Dr. Barclay Newman’s “On the Light Side: The Preface and Notes to the Original KJV”; and Dr. Kenneth Curtis’ fine presentation on “The Hampton Court: Mandates and Context.” It was an honor to be asked to speak along with such notables, and I hope my discussion of the KJV Only tradition in the United States was useful to those in attendance. Papers will be published at a later date, and I will try to remember to note when that material might be published.

This Lord’s Day took me to the New Hyde Park Baptist Church, Pastor Gary Scott. I spoke on Acts 13:42-48 in the morning service (and was privileged to witness three testimonies of faith in baptism), and in the evening I gave my presentation on Mormonism via PowerPoint. The LDS Church opened its new Manhattan Temple recently, so there is more interest in Mormonism than there has been in the New York area in the past. In preparation for the morning service I noted once again the parallel between 13:46 and 13:48; the Jews “repudiated” the word of God (avpwqei/sqe, to push aside, ignore, refuse to listen to) and, by so doing, judged themselves unworthy of eternal life (a conclusion they would have rejected, of course, but this is Paul’s divine interpretation of their actions). In contrast, the Gentiles rejoiced at the word of the Lord. But the second half of the contrast is very interesting, for though our English translations tend to place the verb at the end of the clause, in Greek the verb comes first (“they believed”) and the controversial descriptive phrase comes after. Who believed? Those who had been appointed to eternal life. The number of attempts to get around the meaning of the phrase is large, but the meaning is clear: while both groups had heard the same message in the same context in the same language based upon the same Scriptural texts, it was not that one group was “better” or “more spiritual” so that they believed: no, those who believed did so because they had been (graciously) appointed to eternal life (just as Lydia later in the narrative).

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