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What Sources Should We Respect?

Over the years other non-Biblical teachings have polluted God's word. Someone asked in a web discussion how many years were between Abraham and King David. The first person that got to respond noted that there were 14 generations from Abraham to David. If a generation is 35 to 40 years, this would be about 576 years. I responded that there was 1,156 years from the birth of Abraham to the beginning of King David's reign. The first person came back and apologized for their mistake and quoted Matthew Henry saying there was 865 years between the promise when Abraham was 75 until David. This was an error of 215-216 years. Henry is reported to have followed James Ussher who made a similar mistake. Ussher made a blunder when he quoted Exodus 12:40-41. Exodus 12:40-41 says, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt." Ussher has the 430 years starting at the promise to Abraham. This is clearly incorrect. Look in verse 40 where it uses the phrase "the children of Israel". Abraham was not a child of Israel, he was the grand father Israel. Isaac was not a child of Israel, he was the father of Israel. Jacob was not a child of Israel, his name was later changed and he became Israel. Why did these people make mistakes? They were relying on something other than the Bible or they failed to go through it fully. We should study the Bible to understand the world instead of studying the world to understand the Bible. Today, Christians are failing to rely fully on God and are using other sources which are hurting them. Who should we trust and to what extent? How do we know what is right? Should we follow people blindly? Does the Bible tell us enough to live our lives? What can we learn from God's holy word?

What Is Preached Is Not Always Perfect

Many church members displace their responsibility to study God's word onto their preacher. They will not examine the Bible themselves. They believe everything preached from the pulpit and are even offended if someone challenges what is said. The scriptures do not to matter them. Acts 17:10-11 records, "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." We need to do the same not to challenge the pastor but to support God's word. In the day of Moses, Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire before the LORD and died as a result (Leviticus 10:1-2). During the period of Judges, Eli's sons were corrupt priests (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25). In Josiah's reign the priests had not kept up the temple and failed to pay attention to God's word (2 Kings 22). While Jeremiah served as a prophet the priests opposed him and Jeremiah ended up in jail (Jeremiah 29:26-32, 32:2). Jesus dealt with scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees that "shut up the kingdom of heaven against men" and taught without true authority that can only come from the word of God. 2 Peter 1:20 teaches us, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." Jeremiah 31:33 prophecies, "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." God's word is understandable to all, not just an inner circle of ordained priests.

Who Should We Respect as a Religious Authority?

In Jesus's day the Pharisees were the religious authorities. They were viewed as experts. In Matthew 23:15 Jesus said, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." They really weren't who people thought they were. Galatians 2:7-8 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) Peter made mistakes. He denied Jesus 3 times before Jesus was crucified. Afterwards, in Galatians 2:11 it says, "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." Preachers are not perfect neither our they mediators. There is only one mediator, Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" They can help us understand God but we can go directly to God through Jesus in prayer and we can read the Bible for ourselves.

A scholar had a radio broadcast where he discussed Ecclesiastes. God was the author but Solomon had it written down. Modern scholars question whether it was Solomon based on literary techniques and culture. Sunday School lesson material reflected this critique. I wrote the Southern Baptist Convention Life and Works editor. The response was one that used the world instead of scripture. Should we respect such an argument? No, we should not. Anyone who questions Solomon's as the writer of Ecclesiastes is just not paying attention to God's word. That radio preacher was way off.

A Southern Baptist Convention "scholar", Dr. Page H. Kelly, wrote an article addressing the question of when the Exodus occurred. He recognized 1 Kings 6:1 but then ignored it. 1 Kings 6:1 "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD." Dr Kelly then went on to rely upon secular sources to question whether or not this verse should be used.

In a similar vain, 1 Kings 2 tells us about King Ahaziah.

2 And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.
15 And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.
16 And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.
17 So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

King Ahaziah thought more of a false God in another land than he thought of God's word. When we respect the sources, we will be like King Ahaziah and fail to bear fruit.

Historical Sources May Be Wrong

Should we believe everything we are taught by the historians? Take a look a history. Much of the evidence is not valid.


Herodotus was prone to exaggeration. His account of the Babylonian walls cannot be verified. It does not make sense that the manpower or materials were available to create such a wall as was said to exist around the perimeter of the city of Babylon. The city was said to be 14 miles square with a wall 50 royal cubits wide by 200 royal cubits high (app. 88' x 350'). A royal cubit was 3 inches longer than a standard cubit. It does not appear that ancient Babylon would have walls of this size. The remains of a wall this size or its foundations are not present today. Many scholars believe Herodotus to have exaggerated. Herodotus was known as a heavy imbiber. In addition, Herodotus procured his dates from creative sources. He did not know the details of Cyrus's death so he visited a necromancer to read the entrails of a chicken. It is no wonder that his account varies from that of Xenophon and Ctesias.


Manetho is said to be basis for history of antiquity before Christ. His histories are inaccurate. Egyptian chronologies extend far beyond the Great Flood and show the lies portrayed by the Egyptian historians and rulers. Egyptian records in their nature cannot be trusted. First of all, they support, teach and embrace the false religion of Egypt. It is their nature to lie. Records were destroyed from time to time for selfish purposes. Queen Hatshepsut was taken from the Canon of the Kings because she was a woman. How does that affect chronology? King Tut decided to worship a new god Amen, not the old god, Aton. He was born Tut-anhk-Aton meaning "his life is pleasing to Aton." He changed his name to Tut-anhk-Amen meaning "his life is pleasing to Amen" and upon doing so had the scribes chisel Aten off the monuments and put Amen in its place. When king Tut died, the names were changed back. This clearly shows the corruption of records for selfish and impure motives. Similar events happened with Assyrian kings. There were several Tiglath-Pilesers and Shalmanessers. They were also "chiselers." For example, Tiglath-Pilesser III has been found written over Shalmanesser IV. They shortened or lengthened the regnal durations that were engraved in stone to suit their own desires. If Tiglath-Pilesser did not like the previous Shalmanesser, he would have his workers shorten his recorded life span. The record corruption would also be reversed after the death of the corrupting king.


Josephus's motive for writing appeared to be to show the Greeks that the Romans were an unworthy unestablished nation and to make the Hebrew nation look as old as possible. Josephus was wrong about chronological events and cannot be trusted for history. He directly contradicts the Bible. For example in Josephus says that the construction of the temple began 592 years after the Exodus. This contradicts the Bible which, in 1 Kings 6:1, says it was 480 years. This is not the only place where Josephus strays from the Bible. Josephus even contradicts himself. There are many different places where Josephus's books disagree with each other. For example, in Josephus' book The Antiquities of the Jews Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, was said to have reigned 21 years. In Josephus' book Against Apion, Nabopolassar reigned 29 years. In situations like these, the police ask the question "Are you sure you don't want to change your story?" Although Josephus just cannot seem to get it right, some scholars prefer Josephus over the Bible. For more see the page on Josephus.

The Government Is not Always Right

Should we respect the government and to what level? Romans 13:1 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." 1 Peter 2:13-15 commands us, Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:" We are to submit ourselves to the laws and governing authorities today, but what if they are wrong. Are governments are wrong on occasion? What did the apostles do? Acts 5:29 tell us, "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."

The Media Is not Reliable

Do you believe everything you read? You shouldn't. What about everything on the radio, TV or internet? It may be convenient but is it right? Several years ago I searched for sermons on YouTube and found 268,000. Now the amount is not shown but it should be anticipated there are more. The new and popular preaching will float to the top but does that makes it correct? I recently heard a preacher talk about a sermon from YouTube but he was short on scripture. Why? If it does not agree with the Bible then it isn't worth our time.

How Do We Know What Is Right?

Put God First

Exodus 20
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Study God's Word

There is no higher source than God or His holy word. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 follows, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

Deuteronomy 6
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Hebrews 10:12 says, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Malachi 2:7 tells us, "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts." We should all be experts in the Bible.

Jesus often referred to God's word. Sometimes he used the phrase "it is written". Jesus relied upon the authority of the Bible. We should, too.

Trust in Prayer

When Jesus faced the biggest challenge, His crucifixion, what did He do? He prayed in Gethsemane. Matthew 26:42 asys, "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

When People Are Wrong

We Must Respect Our Elders

1 Timothy 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; Even when our elders are wrong we need to treat with care and love. Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

We Must Still Respect Our Government

There is a right way and a wrong way to respect the government. Even when they were wrong the Apostle Paul addressed the governors with respect. The Bible also says in Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

We Are Personally Responsible

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

We need to search the scriptures daily.

The Real Source

The Bible is the real authority. Compare what you are taught to what the holy scriptures truly say.

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