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George P. Koshy View Drop Down
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  Quote George P. Koshy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2006 at 12:53am

Dear members and Readers,

The following is what transpired between Moses LemuelRaj and myself on this heresy or God's blood being shed.  Moses LemuelRaj used Acts 20:28 at that time.  I post this for your perusal and understanding, because Moses LemuelRaj quoted Acts 20:28 again on this thread.  Please review and study in the light of the Word of God:

Acts 20:28 – “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own.”

Background: Regarding the Lord’s Supper one wrote, “The bread and wine on the table itself is a reminder of God’s death and suffering.”  When it was pointed out that “God’s death” is a heresy and it has old as well as new roots among Christians, another person pointed out the existence of Acts 20:28.  I wish to study this verse in brief in this posting.

 

Words of Interest:

ARIAN HERESY -- It is also known as Arianism, the doctrine of an Alexandrian of the fourth century, named Arius.  He taught that Jesus was not the same substance as God, but He was only the best of the created beings.

 

MONOPHYSITE – A combined word from ‘monos’ (= “single”) and ‘physis’ (= nature).  A person who is an adherent of the doctrine that in the person of Christ there was but a single.  Most of them believe that nature was the divine nature. There are Monophysites who believe that the nature in Christ is a composite nature of both human and divine.  This is the belief held by Coptics and some other eastern churches.  MONOPHYSITISM (n); MONOPHYSITIC (adj.).

 

ORTHODOXY – Conforming to the true, right, proper, correct, or conventional doctrine, especially of religion.

 

Introduction:  To a believer who is saved by the grace of God, the person of Christ is of such importance that they are intolerant of any suggestion to discredit, if not compromise, His deity or divinity.  God is the only one whose name is to be revered (Heb. 12:28; Deut. 28:58; Ps. 111:9; Mal. 1:14)  This is a truth that is given in both OT and NT.  Therefore, those who are in the assemblies refuse to prefix their name by annexing the term “Reverend” to it.  By annexing that tem, one exalts himself/herself to be equal with God to be revered, or feared.

 

Acts 20:28 – It is true that this verse is a difficult one to understand, due to the common conception of special appointment of pastors, teachers, etc. by the people.  They overlook that the appointment has to come from a higher source, and it is the Holy Spirit, and not by laying one hand on the person while raising the other hand and praying.  This is not our point of concern.  The later half of the verse is our concern.

 

Let me quote the second half, “the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own.”  In Greek, “thn ekklhsian tou qeou, hn periepoihsato dia tou aimatos tou idiou.  In considering various manuscripts, there are those that read, “thn ekklhsian tou qeou,” “the assembly of God;” while others that read, “thn ekklhsian tou kuriou,” “the assembly of the Lord.”  In the ancient MSS a( (The Hebrew alphabet ‘Aleph’)), B, Am we read “qeou (THEOU = God) while in A, C, D, E, and other MSS we read “kuriou (KURIOU = Lord).  The question is which is correct?  On this, the most knowledgeable are equally divided.  Those who favor the use of “kuriou” (Lord) in the original argue that the change to “qeou” (God) was made in the interest of orthodoxy.  Those who favor “qeou” (God) in the original argue that the supporters of Arius, who denied the deity of Christ, made changes in the original to “kuriou” (Lord).  If it was “qeou” (God), then it will stand as a bulwark against Arian heresy.  Since both of these do not provide a sure conclusion, we should turn to other methods of textual criticism.  The study of terms used by Paul is one of these tools.  Acts 20:28 is part of Paul’s speech to the overseers of the Assembly at Ephesus.  At no other place in the NT we read such an expression as, “The assembly of the Lord” (thn ekklhsia tou kuriou), from Paul.  On the other hand, at many places Paul writes about ekklhsia tou qeou (assembly of God).  As in a position of peculiar solemnity or consummation of a climax, Paul used this phrase in places such as: 1 Corinthians 10:32; 15:9; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 3:5, 15.  In the face of such evidences, men such as: H. Alford, J.N. Darby, W.T. Grant, H. Olshausen, A.C. Kendrick,…were “fully satisfied” that the original phrase was “thn ekklhsian tou qeou,” “The assembly of God.”  The change to “kuriou” from “qeou” (i.e. from ‘God’ to ‘Lord’) will stand to help the Arain heresy that denied the deity of Christ.  It appears that both the words “qeou and kuriou (‘God’ and ‘Lord’) will be acceptable to all Monophysites.  To a careful student of the word of God, “kuriou” (‘Lord’) should not be acceptable.

 

The next difficulty in Acts 20:28 is the phrase, “dia tou aimatos tou idiou,” “with the blood of his own.”  This expression is in the MSS a, A, B, C, D, E, 13, and 31.  In T.R it is “dia tou idiou aimatos” which is “with his own blood “ as we read in KJV.  The question is, does this refer to ‘the blood of God?’  Athanasius in his refutation of Arian and other heresies of his day wrote to Apollinarious condemning all such languages as ‘the blood of God,’ as doctrinally false and void of truth.  Arians used this expression because they denied the deity of Christ and was their main argument pointing to the fallacy of the insinuation of God being dead.   They claimed that the scripture does not teach the deity of Lord Jesus Christ.  Remember, the Arians preferred the reading of the previous phrase as “The assembly of the Lord,” and not “The assembly of God.”  The argument of the Arians was that if the expression, “the assembly of God,” makes the following phrase to mean the assembly was “purchased with the blood of God.”  The boldness of Arians was manifested in changing the word of God by changing “qeou to “kuriou” in the pretext of explaining what followed as, “hn periepoihsato dia tou aimatos tou idiou,” “purchased with the blood of his own.”  To a careful reader, who is perplexed with the explanations of a theological dodderer, it becomes clear that this has arisen from not paying sufficient attention to the phrase “tou idiou” (‘his own’), in its common sense meaning.  When we read the phrase, “dia tou aimatos tou idiou,” “with the blood of his own,” we are not taking the expression ‘his own’ (idiou) as an adjective agreeing with the ‘blood’ (aimatos).  The meaning of ‘idios’ is that which belongs to any one.  Therefore, it could belong to any one in the family, or the people of his house.  The phrase, “hn periepoihsato dia tou aimatos tou idiou,” “purchased with the blood of his own,” indicates the purchase was completed with the blood of someone who belongs to the person; as a son of a father.  Thus, ‘his own’ refers to the one who entrusted the ministry to Paul (Acts 20:24), our Lord Jesus Christ.  We read about the power of “the blood of the Lamb, and “the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,” at other places also, but never about “the blood of God.”  Therefore “dia tou aimatos tou idiou” is the correct reading.

 

In KJV we read the other form of the phrase, “with his own blood” (“dia tou idiou aimatos”), where the ‘blood’ belongs to the one who purchased.  This is an error of great magnitude.  Only by using the textual criticism using the manuscripts that came into light after the KJV was translated, this error was discovered.  When the translation of KJV was done the other MSS were not available and we should not blame the translators for this error.  The person who pointed out Acts 20:28 as a possible justification to say “God’s death and suffering,” also stated that the translations of KJV and JND’s New Translation are similar.  They are not; they are actually worlds apart in their meanings, especially in Acts 20:28.

 

Acts 20:28 was pointed out as a justification of saying, ““The bread and wine on the table itself is a reminder of God’s death and suffering.” It is not justified according to the scriptures.  God did not die.  God did not suffer.  Under any circumstances, we should not make such statements.  Such statements are heresies that deny the deity of Christ, if not Monophysitic.

 

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This is Moses LemuelRaj's reply:     Since : 29 Aug 2005 10:38:54

Dear GPK:

Thanks for your study and posts. I agree with you that "God's death" is an unscriptural term. Whether is amounts to heresy? Yes it does, and I will never utter such words, nor should any believers do so. I do not think Acts 20:28 supports it.

You see, many men slipped on words, though unintentionally. But we ought to guard our words and line them up according to the Scriptures. For example, Charles Wesley. He wrote, "Amazing love how can it be, that Thou my GOD shouldst DIE FOR ME."

I have a question here for you. You wrote, "To a careful student of the word of God, “kuriou” (‘Lord’) should NOT BE ACCEPTABLE" (caps mine).

So you believe it should be "the church of GOD" in the text. I also belive it so. Now if you go by the JND text, God purchased the church with the blood of HIS OWN - His OWN being the Lord Jesus Christ. But the problem here is, how can we defend the diety of Christ against the Arians? because JND text DOES NOT apply the word GOD to the Lord Jesus Christ? God (the Father) purchased the church with the blood of His own (Son) - I think this is what you mean. So can you explain me how does your prefering the word GOD over the word LORD help us to counter the Arians?

Regards,  Moses

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My reply to Moses lemuelRaj:

Dear Lemuelraj,

Thank you for your posting of 29 august 2005.  First, let me say that JND applied the word ‘GOD’ to the Lord Jesus Christ is not exactly correct.  It is the God breathed word of God that said it.  JND was an instrument that translated it from Greek to English.  Second, you asked, “But the problem here is, how can we defend the deity of Christ against the Arians?”  This argument is of false premise.  We are not asked to do so.  We are asked to defend our faith, the gospel we preach, etc.  We are never asked to defend God or His word.  He is powerful to do that.  He is God.

Having said that, let us look into the significance of this verse that was made complicated by insertions by Arians, in the past.  In its purity, it helps us to defend our faith against Monophysitists.  It also tells us about the eternal counsel of God as the explanation that demanded the Son to be lifted up to die so that the elect can be purchased with the blood of His dear Son.  I thought that I explained this in the original postings, on 29 august 2005.

Let me point out another example of Monophysitism that appeared on this forum.  The same person who wrote about "God's death and suffering," also wrote, "The meaning of My God, my God, why has you forsaken me is (Jesus said God my father, you gave up me to suffer.  Why did you do that?  I am your only son.  I know it is not my will.  It is your will.  I AM OBEYING YOU for the salvation of sinners.)" (Under 'FIBA and IBF' on 24 August 2005 @ 21:44:57, by sunilajoseph@aol.com)

Shalom malekim!!!

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On 31 August 2005 @ 09:41:52 Moses Lemuelraj challenged GPK on ‘Textual criticism’:   This is my reply:

Dear Lemuelraj,

When you first proposed Acts 20:28, in another thread, as a possible verse to justify “God’s death and suffering,” I thought it was done in sincerity.  After reading your postings on this thread, I wonder about your original intent.  Now that you have challenged me, let me say this:  I do not accept any challenge that is placed before me for personal reason of self-gratification.  I will defend my faith, because that is required of me by the Scripture.  ‘Textual Criticism’ is one of the legal tools available, especially when confronted by people like KJVOs or ‘TR only.’

You asked, “Can you prove in a court of law that your stand of picking preferred texts (a.k.a Textual Criticism) does not tantamount to having preferred ideas?”  This question shows the lack of understanding of what is meant by ‘Textual Criticism.’  ‘Textual Criticism’ eliminates any preconceived notions on the part of the investigator(s).  If a verse appears in two different ways (it could be more than two) in manuscripts (i.e. in Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, or Chaldeans).  Then, the investigator(s) starts with al least two hypotheses, based on the differences.  At the end of the investigation, they reject one of the hypotheses in favor of the other.  It is like the modern hypothesis testing using “H0” and “H1.”  The decision is not by the rule of majority, but by the internal evidences.  By this method an external difference is rectified by the use of internal evidences.

As you favor Westcott & Hort, it is an indication that you conclude that “external” evidences alone determine the authenticity of a translation.  (This itself is a contradiction to your KJVO stand.)  They generally prefer the Alexandrian Family of MSS.  If that is true, then you reject the ‘Balanced Eclectic Approach’ that uses both the “internal” and “external” evidences.  ‘Textual Criticism’ helps to understand the “internal” evidences.  “Textual Criticism” will stand under the scrutiny of laws that governs literary criticism of any language.  Those who are engaged in literary work, especially translators, have accepted it.  It is used in the courts of law in many countries to establish the authenticity of a manuscript, not limited to that of the Bible.  Also, those who are engaged in literary criticism demands that no literary work should be criticized using a translation, because it contains the translator’s ideas and not the original work.  By using a translation, the examination is on the work of the translator(s) and not on the original work.  Your statement, “See brother, let us stick to our sides, I will go with the AV, and you take your pick.  Let us not harp on this topic,” shows that you want to use the ‘Textual Criticism’ on a translation.  If you do, then all you will get is the authenticity of the translators and not of the verse in the manuscripts.  Since, there were many translators in providing KJV, there will be differences within the KJV text.  It is natural.  Those who prefer “Formal Correspondence” method of translation will find it acceptable and will not find fault with it.  Therefore, I will be glad to use ‘Textual Criticism’ in the original, as applicable in the future and not to establish personal preferences or to satisfy self-gratification.  With regret, I decline to accept your challenge, thou it may displease some.

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On 31 August 2005 @ 18:32:47 ‘sunilajoseph@aol.com’ wrote:  This is my reply:

Dear ‘sunilajoseph@aol.com,’

Moses Lemuelraj has addressed the inaccuracies of when The Son of God was called “Christ.”

In Matthew 1:21 we read that Mary was asked to call her son, “Jesus.”  Indicating that the name was given to Him before His birth.  He can be literally called “Jesus” by men only at or after His birth.

If you read the Gospels, there are many passages that mention Jesus as “Lord.”  Certain of them are claims of our Lord, while others are by men as well as by demons.  In Matthew 3:7, Christ told Satan that He is his “Lord.”  In the light of the overwhelming evidence, why do you make such statements, “After resurrection he is called Lord.”

You also wrote, “Trinity is Son of God, father God and Holy Spirit.”  This indicates that you believe in three gods: namely, “Son of God,” “father God,” and “Holy Spirit.”  When we say ‘Trinity,’ it is “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” as in Matthew 28:19.  It is not, let me emphasize the fact that IT IS NOT, ‘the father God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit (God),’ which indicates three gods.  We should not change the revelation of God by the Lord Jesus Christ.

You also wrote, “Acts 20:28 says God’s (his own) blood, His church meaning Christ’s blood,…”  Acts 20:28 does not teach this heresy.  Where does one read in the Bible, “His church meaning Christ’s blood?”  When you say, “Jesus is God” and His blood is God’s blood, which is exactly the argument of Arius the Alexandrian, in the fourth century.  That heretical teaching was and is followed by Arians after him.  The more you insist; you are identifying with that heresy.



Edited by George P. Koshy
Shalom malekim!!!
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  Quote Catburglur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2006 at 2:47am
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  Quote John Miller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2006 at 4:30am
Dear Brethren,

The question at the heart of this discussion is the accuracy of the Darby Translation of Acts 20:28, versus the Authorised Version and others. When I was only a boy my father pointed out the difference to me, and explained its significance. I have always accepted that, and Mr Darby's note on the verse explains it. I would be glad to quote this if any should so desire.

Brother Moses' comments in his post of 1st March were legitimate, and my answer is that in my mind I carried the Darby translation of the verse as my reference.

I have a friend who is a Greek scholar of some eminence and before writing further on this matter would like to consult him. Brother George's analysis of the verse is entirely in agreement with my understanding of it, but the scripture says, "Let every matter be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses."

Your brother in Christ,

John

P.S. I have e-mailed my friend, who is, incidentally, an evangelist of some note, preaching mainly in countries formerly behind the "iron curtain". I await his reply. J.M.

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  Quote George P. Koshy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2006 at 4:53am

'catbuglur,'

Your question was already answered in a 'private message,' and you replied to me using another private message.  There is no furhther explanation.  This forum is to discus spiritual matters and not political or otherwise.

For your information, there are no 'angel-cat.'

Shalom malekim!!!
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  Quote John Miller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2006 at 9:21pm
Dear Brethren,

I have received a reply from my friend and brother in Christ and would like to share it with you. His name is Hamish McCrae [No need to wonder what his nationality is!]. I will reprint his e-mail in full in order to give its full meaning.

"Darby's translation is an exact rendering of the actual Greek words and is generally agreed by conservative biblical scholars to refer to the blood of Christ.

There is, of course, a very real sense in which the Father was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor.5:19) and I am always careful to avoid human logic to make simple divisions between the Persons of the Trinity. John 14:8-11 makes makes very clear that the Persons of the Godhead were always present, one in the other, in a way in which our time-bound logic cannot begin to unravel. Although the blood that "acquired" (literal translation) the church was that of the man Christ Jesus, we must never lose sight of the fact that God was always in that man and that man was always in God.
The Epistle to the Hebrews makes clear that the blood of Christ was the real blood of God's everlasting covenant which made a final Atonement for our sins and gave meaning to all the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament, so in this way, all of God was identified with the blood that was shed on Calvary.
Nevertheless, despite the eternal mystery of God our Redeemer, believers must come to the Father in the name of the Son withe aid of the Holy Spirit: God made it simple like this in order that people of limited powers might come to Him, the Eternal and infinitely Wise One, by faith.
When I think of all the great scriptures that make these truths clear, I feel that the only proper response is, like Thomas, to fall at the Lord's feet and worship Him."

I feel that the foregoing confirms and amplifies Brother George's summation of the matter, and like the writer surely our response must be to pour out our hearts and souls in worship and thanksgiving to the Redeemer whose blood was shed at the Cross, and to the Godhead revealed in Him.

Your brother in christ,

John
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  Quote George P. Koshy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2006 at 11:54pm

Dear brother John Miller,

Thank you for your addition to what I posted earlier.  I usually base my expositions on scriptures with the help of men such as: JN Darby, MacIntosh, WE Vine, Alford, Olshausen, FW Grant, J. Calvin, and a few others.  You might have realized this by this time, because I have mentioned these names in other postings.

Shalom malekim!!!
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  Quote sunilajoseph Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2006 at 12:44am

Gpk,

I didn't say " His church meaning Christ’s blood?” 

Acts 20 :2828Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.[a] Be shepherds of the church of God,[b] which he bought with his own blood.

Your quote:You also wrote, “Acts 20:28 says God’s (his own) blood, His church meaning Christ’s blood,…”  .

Gpk, you didn't complete what i wrote. You are taking part of the writing. I didn't say His church meaning Christ blood. I said by Christ's blood He purchased His church (ie. born again people-- ie His bride).

I am just clearing the misunderstanding.

 



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  Quote George P. Koshy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 March 2006 at 12:58am

'sunilajoseph,'

I was surprised to read your posting of 15 Mar 2006 denying what you wrote on 31 Aug 2006, as I quoted.  Allow me to quote the whole paragraph from your posting of 31 Aug 2005 18:32:47.  It reads, Acts 20:28 says God's (hisown) blood, His church meaning Christ's blood, Christ's bridegroom etc. Jesus is God. He is the only one born and lived on earth (history proves) died in front of all nation, buried and risen and resurrected. Those people who lived in that century witnessed it. No other man did it. He is the only one, who is God, whom can do it.” (The bold letters are to emphasise the denial of 'sunilajoseph")

Tell me what are you trying to clear when you wrote on 15 Mar 2005, “I didn't say ‘His church meaning Christ’s blood?’”   I quoted what you wrote.  If you have any doubt, please read your posting of 31 Aug 2005 under the thread – **”Acts 20:28 – Do this Support The Teaching, “God’s Death and Suffering?””**  You will see this in the Non-moderated Forum.  In that thread you also wrote on 2 Sep 2005 07:26:47, “I said Hisown blood meaning Christ's blood, His church meaning Christ's bridegroom.”  On the same day you also wrote, “His church meaning Christ's bride.”  Now you are denying what you wrote.

 

Let me tell you that there is no misunderstanding, when I quoted what you wrote.

 

The first part of your posting of 31 Aug 2005 also contained other things that are contrary to the scriptures. 

 



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  Quote sunilajoseph Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 March 2006 at 3:29am

Gpk,

Your right. That is a typo.

That should read  "Acts 20:28 says God's (hisown) blood and His church meaning Christ's blood and Christ's bride RESPECTIVELY.I am sorry for the error in writting. I am not a good writer. 

Any way in my second writting in the same thread I cleared the doubt by saying I said "Hisown blood meaning Christ's blood" and "His church meaning Christ's bride.”  You know that I corrected on the same thread. Then why are you picking up now saying that I said something wrong.What is that? What are you prooving? Are you making yourself a fool. We all know what is right after reading the whole thread. Only you are picking little bit from here and there. 

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