[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Does Anybody Agree with this Quotation? VII

by Rose~

"If we continue to study every aspect of the Bible, we will discover that the Bible is its own dictionary. If we wish to know the meaning of a word in the Bible, we do not go to a dictionary of Greek or Hebrew (the original languages of the Bible). To do so would be useless. The meanings of words have changed during last two thousand years to such a degree that it would be a wonder if any of the words used in the Bible had the same meaning today."
-Harold Camping
First Principles of Bible Study, page 29

This explains Harold Camping's creative hermenuetics.
This approach is not held by all those of Covenant Theology, is it?


  • I am not sure that is necessarilly a Covenant theology view.

    Gail Riplinger (not Covenant theology!) also argued that the King James Bible contains its own dictionary in a very interesting book entitled 'The Language of the King James Bible'. To my knowledge, Harold Camping does not share Riplinger's KJV-Onlyism.

    This quote is to brief for me to be sure whether or not I agree with it. I do not really know what Camping is trying to say.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 7:14:00 AM  

  • Well, H. Camping is a covenant theologian, most definately. That is why I ask the question that I do.

    One of my favorite peculiarities about him is that he likes to talk about the "deeper, hidden meaning" of Biblical texts and then he spins all sorts of incredible ideas about what any given text could be saying.

    Do you really think that you may agree with the idea that it would be useless to know about the original languages of the Bible? tsk tsk

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:01:00 AM  

  • He definitely went too far in denying the use of Greek and Hebrew lexicons and dictionaries. Words have meanings and those meanings are not simply subject to cultural change but must be understood in the context of the author, in this case God Himself.

    However, it is true that scripture does interpret scripture. We would be the wiser to let the Word of God reveal the Word of God to us instead of leaning upon the various biased commentaries of ages gone by.

    However, as Bobby likes to point out...it is wise to consider the historical practice and experience of the Church so that we avoid repeating similar mistakes and teachings.

    God bless,

    By Blogger Jim, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:05:00 AM  

  • Thanks, Jim.
    I agree, it is good to let Scripture interpret Scripture. I do agree with that part of the quote, if isolated ... I especially think it is important to allow many easy texts to explain the difficult ones. I just think brother Camping goes too far as well, especially being acquainted with his radio broadcasts and these creative interpretations that he comes up with.

    You make some good points about what BG says.

    I changed my comments at the bottom of the post to be more reasonable. ;~)

    Are either of you familiar with Harold?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:15:00 AM  

  • Both Dispensational and Covenant theologians have brought out hidden typological meanings in the text.

    For instance, the idea that Joseph is a type of Christ. Nowhere in teh Bible does it say that Joseph represents Christ, and yet many commentators (rightly in my view) are able to see this type.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:15:00 AM  

  • It seems like he is advocating a very radical position that very few Evangelicals could accept.

    That is that the meaning of the words of the Biblical text are fluid in their meaning.

    Stanley Grenz argued something along those lines. Millard Erickson thinks that outs him beyond the pale of Evangelicalism.

    But then I have not read the rest of what Camping says here, so I cannot be sure what he really means.

    I do not know the context of this quote.

    I am aware of Camping he had a very prominent radio ministry. C. Gordon Olson used to be an Bible answerman on the same station and got forced out because he kept refuting Camping's heavy Calvinism.

    I visited Camping's website a few times. Phil Johnson says some sarcastic things about Harold Camping. I do not knwo whether they are accurate.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:23:00 AM  

  • Matthew, are you familiar with Harold Camping? He goes way beyond typology. I agree, Joseph is a type of Christ. What Harold does is in a totally different ballpark.

    Fine, then, I will not blame it on his covenant theology. You are in the mood to take me to task today? ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:25:00 AM  

  • Oh, I see you answered my question by posting a comment at the same time.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:26:00 AM  

  • No, Rose~!

    I would never be eager to take you to task!

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:32:00 AM  

  • H. Camping is considered a heritic in most Reformed circles, including the Reformed Covenant Theology circles.

    Perhaps by the strict definition of heritic, that is too strong. But he is considered to have large systemic errors.

    By Blogger Earl, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:28:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    I tend to agree with his statement, given as such.

    When we consult the standard Greek lexicon, BAGD, they get their results from word studies (examining the word's usage from the context) of the Bible, the Septuagint (the Greek OT), and from the contemorary literature of the time.

    We would not go to a 2006 Hebrew dictionary to look up OT words nor would we go to a 2006 Greek dictionary to look up NT words.

    And even the lexicons of Greek and Hebrew based upon word studies in the texts can have some problems with the authors of them importing in their theology.

    Word studies is the only way to go!


    (I hope I read the quote correctly, I seem to have read it very fast!)

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:57:00 PM  

  • I just wanted to include that I am not so pious as to not use the lexicons.

    I like my pre-Danker revision BAGD.

    I also like my Wesley Perschbacher

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 5:57:00 PM  

  • Harold Camping is an idiot. I refused to listen to his radio stations when I lived within his broadcast area. He is a heretic. He is a false prophet. And 12 years later we're still waiting for the end of the world he promised us in 1994!

    And what difference does it make whether Greek and Hebrew have evolved over the last 2,000 years? Does this self-anointed yo yo think that scholars were too stupid to know this fact?

    Granted, the definition of words is guided by context first and foremost. But language dictionaries are very helpful in understanding the various fields of meaning.

    Sorry for the harsh tone, but guys like this make my skin crawl.

    By Anonymous Bud, at Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:29:00 PM  

  • Earl,
    I did not know this. That makes sense, though. I had forgotten about his wild end of the world predictions. That would be enough to get anyone slapped with an unfavorable label by most of Christendom. You can't deny that he is a covenant theologian though. :~) Then again, that doesn't make CT bad anymore than an errant dispensationalist spoils dispensationalism.

    I am surprised that you would agree with the quote. That is interesting about these "Do you agree with that quotation" series. It is a way to get more aquainted with the subtle differences between us. I am not sure Mr. Camping is taking your same approach. I don't think he would use the BAGD ... or any Lexicon. He never refers to these things when talking on the radio. He weaves theories and ideas based upon other knee-jerk interpretations of other texts. This makes for creative commentaries! ... nothing like Zane Hodges. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, September 21, 2006 6:47:00 AM  

  • Bud,
    I can tell from your comment that you are a little more familiar with Harold! I have listened to him a bit here and there. I like a lot of the music on the station that he owns. Every now and then, I will hear him talk. Wow.
    I think you understand the quote more in the light that I read it.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Thursday, September 21, 2006 6:50:00 AM  

  • Wow guys I don't know if we should be calling him Idiot or Moros as Jesus commanded us not to do so. He may be out of line but evidently Antonio agrees with some of his theory.


    Poor old guy you keep getting shot at bless your heart. This one was a low blow.

    Should I start into Pete Ruckman's views that mirror Campings in regard to the text...him being a dispensationalist and say this mirrors you guys.

    This particular post was a bit hypocritical and Matthew? I respect your dignity here. I will be honest that this type of thing has always irritated me and I have been guilty of it and so I repent of it. I get irritated with myself sometimes. I wouldn't be surprised if one of you called me an Idiot.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Saturday, September 23, 2006 4:39:00 PM  

  • Camping doesn't believe the church exists today, that it has apostasized, and that we should abandon any institutionalized "denomination".

    I agree with Bud's sentiment, Camping isn't a respectable fellow.

    I'm sure how one can do a word study of a greek or hebrew word in the bible apart from using lexicons and such.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Saturday, September 23, 2006 10:05:00 PM  

  • Brian,
    What are you talking about?
    "Earl, you keep getting shot at?"
    I was not shooting at Earl!
    If you are referring to my question at the end of the post, it was actually a slow pitch for any covenantalist to squarely hit. I know that not all those of Covenant Theology are like Camping!! That was sort of a joke, but I can see by you saying this short post is "hypocritical" that perhaps I am being taken the wrong way. I wouldn't want that, so thanks for the alerting me to the possible problem with this kind of posting.

    BTW, I did not use the word "moron" or "idiot".

    I would not call you a moron or an idiot, Brian. Let's keep it friendly, K? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, September 24, 2006 5:00:00 AM  

  • Bobby,
    Good to see you brother!
    I'm sure how one can do a word study of a greek or hebrew word in the bible apart from using lexicons and such.
    You see, that was the obvious problem with the quote that jumped out at me. Thanks for seeing it.
    It was good to read your comment. Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, September 24, 2006 5:02:00 AM  

  • Earl,
    I am truly sorry if I offended you in any way. I didn't mean to. I really meant the question and comments in a tongue-in-cheek way. I hope you knew that.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Sunday, September 24, 2006 5:06:00 AM  

  • Interesting quote, Rose.

    To me this kind of attitiude, represented by the Camping quote, drives me crazy. People treat a word that usually means so and so in the NT as if it always has to mean that same thing. Totally lame. That's Bible Code Stuff. It IMO gives up on the historical-grammatical method. And it's why for most Christians, salvation always means salvation from eternal condemnation instead of a deliverence from some sort of spiritual or here and now threat.


    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Sunday, September 24, 2006 10:28:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Earl, at Monday, September 25, 2006 6:24:00 PM  

  • (first try had typos)
    Rose, rest assured you have not offended me.

    Brian, I appreciate your concern in this matter. I can’t thank you enough for admonishing me on my horrible treatment of Antonio on his blog. But as far as Rose in her treatment of me, you need not worry. Rose will kid around with me, as I do with her, referring to “those Independent Baptists", or "Dispensationalists". Rose has always taken it as playful fun (and I've teased John too). So it is with her teasing of me and Calvinism. Sometimes my skin will get a little thin in ways it shouldn’t. Perhaps you sensed that in me and if that is the case, then I ask for forgiveness of all involved. Rose earlier asked privately about these issues, and I told her that there was no offense.

    One thing to realize is that this blog has the exploration of non-Calvinism. I am a guest in this blog. Often we forget that we are guests in the blogs we visit (and I include me in the we). Just as if I invite myself to a home where family matters are discussed, or even to a church which has a different view of things, I need to recognize that a free and open discussion of family matters needs to go on, even if they are things I disagree with, even if they don’t get the view stated exactly the way I would. I am the guest here. I will abide by the rules of being a good guest of politeness and respect and allow for a wide latitude of discussion (because I am the guest where free discussion needs to occur). Sometimes I forget these rules, as I did with Antonio, and then I need to ask forgiveness.

    Again, Rose is doing a marvelous job! Take away the teasing and the site would not be half as much fun. Thanks, Rose, for the great job you're doing here.

    By Blogger Earl, at Monday, September 25, 2006 8:06:00 PM  

  • ...also, I enjoy reading and interacting with Matthew and Antonio, and H.K Flynn. Each bring a different flavor to this blog.

    By Blogger Earl, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:01:00 AM  

  • Earl,
    I am so glad that you understand me! Teasing is a major part of my life. :~)

    You bring up a good point about the different people around. We all are different and have different styles of communicating. I really like your style, Earl and appreciate your participating in these discussions.

    Also - thank you for pointing out the "guest" factor. I don't know that I had ever formed those thoughts like you stated them about being a guest on others' blogs. I had a sense that I wanted to be careful and not arrogant, but not as a hard and fast rule. Now that you have said it the way you have, I think it will be a harder, faster rule for me. Thanks for your blogfriendship, brother!

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:30:00 AM  

  • It is true about the guest thing.

    It really bothers me when people are not polite to me on my blogs.

    I do not mind people diagreeing with me, but I get bothered when people jump to criticise what I write.

    I really put a high premium on manners.

    If people are really dislike the things I write, I am not sure they really need to tell me that. But I am happy if people want to politely express disagreement with my views.

    Every Blessing in Christ


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:37:00 AM  

  • Thanks Earl :) Me too :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 9:52:00 AM  

  • Thanks Earl, and I can sense your sentiment for Rose, but I still disagree with you. I appreciate Rose to and do agree that she teases and can be playful...but that is not what I am talking about here, you may not understand as well. God is a wonderful Father to us and very patient to us all. I certainley am not above any critique and welcome it. Rebuke can be helpful to me.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 4:13:00 PM  

  • Brian, I think I did misunderstand. My intention was not a rebuke, but re-reading my comment, I could see how that could be interpreted as such.

    Also, reflecting on my words about being a guest drips with hypocrisy, given my practice.

    By Blogger Earl, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:49:00 PM  

  • Oh hey brother I can drip with hypocrisy as well. I knew what you meant. It is good that you are defensive of Rose. You are a good friend to her, please don't feel that you need to apologize in any way. I dont think you were being hypocritical just defensive of a dear friend.

    May God bless all of you,


    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, September 28, 2006 6:10:00 PM  

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