Thursday, October 8, 2009

"The Godhead's Gone" - is That Bad?

On of the sinister signs of the Serpent's subtlety (sorry, it must be catching) that Gail Riplinger 'exposes' in her books is the fact that modern Bible versions have removed the word 'Godhead' from the Bible (Chapter 28 of NABV is titled "The Godhead's Gone". On P. 379 of NABV she gives a chart showing this. She states that the word "Godhead" means "Father, Son and Holy Ghost." Haowever, Gail Riplinger’s idea that 'Godhead' as used in the AV means 'Trinity' is an error, making a common term into a technical one, or in other words importing a systematic theological use of a term into a Biblical one. Let me explain my point further.

First of all, the term ‘godhead’, as used in the 17th century simply meant 'deity', as a perusal of Puritan literature will reveal. Thus in his Commentary on John,[1] first published in 1657, George Hutcheson writes that John's statement in John 1.3 that all things were made by Christ is "a proof of Christ's godhead" (P. 11). I might multiply quotations ad nauseum from Hutcheson, but it would serve no useful purpose. Matthew Poole wrote in 1685 on the same text that “The Divine nature and eternal existence of the Lord Christ is evident from his efficiency in the creation of the world.”[2] Also note that this is a comment on the same passage as the earlier quote from Hutcheson, incidentally showing that the old term ‘Godhead’ is a (now obsolete in this sense) synonym for ‘Divine nature’. Commenting on Colossians 2.9,[3] Poole uses ‘Godhead’ and ‘Divine nature’ interchangeably.

‘Godhead’ is in fact derived from the same root as the German ‘Gottheit’, Deity, that which makes God God, the essence of God. The Puritans – and the AV translators – use the word accordingly.

Second, Riplinger's argument is contrary to the Biblical usage of the term in the AV. In Romans 1.20 we read that creation reveals God’s “eternal power and Godhead.” Does creation reveal the Trinity so that it is “clearly seen’? Incidentally the Greek here is ‘Theiotes’, while in Colossians 2.9 it is ‘Theotes’. Both are translated ‘Godhead’ in the AV. This may seem slight, but remember that at the Council of Nicea the difference between heresy and orthodoxy was this same letter, iota. This letter can make a great deal of difference in Greek. The fact Riplinger does not think so only exposes the fact that she does not know Greek. The word in Romans could be hyper-literally translated ‘Godlikeness’ (German, ‘Gottlichkeit’). All of which is just to confuse you, of course.[4]

Colossians 2.9 is the passage that is most important in the discussion. There we read of Jesus Christ that "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Now, if we understand 'Godhead', when used in the AV as a technical term for the Trinity, it follows that the whole Trinity became incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth. The 'oneness' sects use this as a 'proof' for their false doctrine by importing the idea of the Trinity into the term 'Godhead', when a comparison with 17th century usage reveals that 'godhead' had not at that point the technical meaning Riplinger assigns to it. Thus switching to a word like "Deity" robs the Oneness teachers of a text they could otherwise pervert.

Nor is the term 'Divine nature' solely the property of the New Age Movement. The terms are common English ones. Just as Riplinger erroneously asserts that the term 'The Christ' is New Age (despite the AV itself stating that 'Jesus is the Christ', and never using the term 'the Christ' except in a positive way), so she has erroneously supposed 'Godhead' to refer to the Trinity, and 'Divine Nature' to be the sole property of the New Age. Now, I know the date of the origin of the New Age Movement is a bone of contention, but everyone agrees it is within the last 150 years, more or less. So you cannot accuse the Puritan Matthew Poole of New Age tendencies when he wrote in 1685 on John 1.3 that “The Divine nature and eternal existence of the Lord Christ is evident from his efficiency in the creation of the world” (Commentary on the Bible [Reprinted Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 1975], Vol. 3 P. 278).


Friendly Footnotes:
[1] Modern edition London, Banner of Truth, 1972. And no, I didn't go hunting through Puritan literature for the word, I have better things to do with my time, I just happened to be using Hutcheson when I noticed his use of "Godhead" and thought 'well, isn't that interesting'.
[2] Matthew Poole: Commentary on the Bible (Reprinted Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 1975), Vol. 3 P. 278
[3] Vol. 3 P. 716
[4] From Eadie: A Commentary on the Greek Text of Paul’s Letter to the Colossians (Reprint, Vestavia Hills, AL, Solid Ground, 2005) P. 141. The etymology of "Godhead" is quite interesting if you're into that sort of thing.

19 comments:

The Puritan said...

Um, so what is your opinion of Sinaitius/Vatincanus? Do you ever get around to sharing your opinion on Riplinger's thesis, that the modern versions are translated from corrupt manuscripts? You write so many words, avoiding what is, I'm sorry to say, indefensible. I'm sorry to say it because you seem so intent on protecting all the corruption of God's word since the 19th century.

The Puritan said...

Sinaiticus/Vaticanus.

Or, Satanicus and Vaticanus (notice you don't have to change the spelling of the latter to caricature it).

Ransom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ransom said...

I'd say that Riplinger's "thesis," whatever it may be, is by now so thoroughly undermined by the fact that it sits on a foundation of proven falsehoods, that consequently she is now only believed by the gullible, the uninformed, and the dishonest.

I'll let the Puritan (or the Pure Satan, if poking fun of names substitutes for real arguments these days) decide for himself which camp to identify with most closely.

Highland Host said...

My dear 'Puritan'. Just because I don't ride your hobby-horse doesn't mean I'm going to do it because you want me to. You want to write against Vaticanus, go ahead, I'm not stopping you. You have a blog, use it.

I see you cannot answer a single one of my points. Ponder that carefully. You have not even attempted to show I'm wrong, just said "hey, look over here!"

What I am intent on doing, chum, is exposing the truth about bad arguments, and that an authoress who is widely touted as an expert in various things is in fact a liar and incompetent to write the books she does. She has made false accusations that people are connected to the New Age Movement because they use vocabulary that was used by Christians centuries before the New Age Movement, and has accused B.F. Westcott of being an occultist based on a mis-identification of him and another totally different man. I'm sorry you think that all this is wrong.

So tell me, why is it right that Gail Riplinger lied?

The Puritan said...

>the gullible, the uninformed, and the dishonest.

What atheists (and practical atheists) routinely call Christians.

The Puritan said...

We're talking about something here: it's called the Word of God.

It's important.

The Word of God.

Riplinger's critics want to talk about *anything other than* the Word of God. Because when we talk about the Word of God you find yourself in an indefensible position, with your cartoonishly (Satanically) perverse and corrupt manuscripts and the corrupt versions based on them.

So be it.

You convict yourselves with every attack you make on Christians who hold to the received Word of God.

Highland Host said...

My dear chum, you're getting repetitive. You don't want to talk about the fact that Gail Riplinger's a bare-faced liar. Fine. Free internet. But in my book the trustworthiness of an author is important.

Let me say this. I use the New King James in preaching. I dislike the NIV, and I find that the Westcott and Hort Greek text is guilty of placing far too much importance on two manuscripts. But unlike Gail Riplinger (and apparently yourself), I do not necessarily equate 'wrong' and 'mistaken' with evil.

On the other hand, I am of the opinion that the Truth of God does not need the lies of man (or woman) for its defence, and I consider Gail Riplinger to be not a defender, but an underminer, of the Bible. Why? Because by her use of blatant lies and false accusations (you have the evidence), she gives the impression that the 'Textus Receptus' is indefensible by honest means. This, sir, is why I address her, and not real scholarship.

And once again I note you have missed the main point - that Gail Riplinger is a liar.

The Puritan said...

You defend apostates. You have zero charity to a Christian woman who defends what the 'church' today refuses to defend: the received Word of God. You give yourself away. You are, quite frankly, disgusting. May you rest in hell for eternity. I've had enough of your stench. Good riddance to you, filthy heretic.

ps- If I knew more about you I wouldn't be surprised to find out you are living sexually with a man. Or some other sin you want to keep in darkness. You love darkness, that is evident. You love darkness and you hate the Word of God. Good riddance to you, filth. Good riddance.

These words are written by a Christian. A real Christian. Not a liberal. Not some 'scholar' who prates on about their intellectual vanity. A Christian. Take it to heart, devil-worshiper. Take it to heart. When a Christian writes such words to you it is not good. Your defenders will step in here to slap you on your back and tell you all is well. All is not well. You love darkness and hate the Word of God. You defend apostates, and hate Christians and defenders of God's received Word. You are a filthy, false teacher and you have the stench of hellfire on you. This Christian tried to pull you from the fire. At this point the filth of your very garments is defiling me. You're on your own, where you want to be. Good riddance.

Highland Host said...

My dear so-called 'Puritan'. You are a true disciple of Gail Riplinger, aren't you? When you get annoyed at someone, you start throwing around vile innuendo. Can you tell me which Bible verse or passage is your basis for such behaviour?

The Bible says 'love your enemies'. Gail Riplinger has falsely claimed that the new versions tell us to call them bastards, but it seems you'd rather like the Bible to say that.

Apparently you believe that if a person disagrees with you on the matter of modern Bible versions, it must because they are a terrible sinner, and that if a person is an 'apostate' it is fine to accuse them of all sorts of sin and false teaching of which they ar innocent. This bears not a little relation to the behaviour of the Inquisition, not to the behaviour of a real Christian. That the ends justify the means is an evil lie - yet only such an assumption can justify your comments.

I had charity enough to read Gail Riplinger's books, to carefully examine her citations, and to consider what she said. Far more charity than she displayed towards Brooke Foss Westcott, or to Edwin Palmer.

You call a man a "devil-worshipper" for using another translation of the Bible, and for defending Brooke Foss Westcott against false accusations. Had you shown that my evidence of Gail Riplinger's duplicity was false, that would have been another matter. Had you shown that Westcott was a Semi-Arian, an Adoptionist and a Spiritualist, then I would have been more than willing to consider the evidence. But instead you resort to childish name-calling. I am sorry, this simply destroys what little credibility you had left.

I don't keep comments open for abuse, but for genuine debate. I'm afraid you've gone far beyond that, haven't you now?

While I am a sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ alone, I thank God that He has kept me from many sins, including the one that you accuse me of. But while you are attacking me, rest assured that I am praying for you, and for Gail Riplinger. I have to say, I fear for your salvation now.

Highland Host said...

To other readers.

I apologise for leaving the Pseudopuritan's last comment up, but I feel I owe it to you all to do so. It becomes apparent to me now why such a man should have said he admires Gail Riplinger's spirit - because he is of the same spirit. He could have politely left off, he could have left a dignified warning, instead he has to make an accusation that is probably actionable in a court of law - defamation of character is a crime, and were I guilty of the vile sin he refers to, I would be incompetent to do the work I am presently engaged in.

The man is a member of no local Church, and therefore under the oversight of no elders. Which is a shame, because if he was a member of my Church and had written thus against a man, in defence of ME, I would be bringing the whole matter before the elders and deacons for discipline.

This, readers, is the spirit of King James Onlyism, the spirit of sect and schism, and the best illustration I could have wished for of why I have written against Gail Riplinger.

Hiraeth said...

Once upon a time, there was such a thing as courtesy and the rules of debate. But, of course, this does not apply in the playground. It all reminds me of my time in teaching, and, for that matter, as a schoolboy, when the final retort to anyone who was found particularly irritating was 'you're gay'. It's disgusting and a bore. And I do not expect that sort of thing from a brother in Christ. In fact, I don't expect to see a Christian making that sort of accusation at all.

Waitaminute! said...

Aleph and B disagree with each other in 3,046 places in the gospels alone and are considered "mutilated" by the top scholars(Riplinger,Sightler,Moorman, Burgon, Hills, Grady, Gipp, Waite, Hoskier). They have been tampered with by no less than 9 correctors. They include Satanic books such as the Shepherd of Hermes (Satan) and the Epistle of Barnabas.
The much earlier Papyrus fragments of Scripture from the localities of Alexandria and Oxyrhyncus, Egypt in spite of Gnostic influence show that KJV type readings were evident in the earliest writings (Moorman, Pickering, Kils. Zuntz, Colwell and Metzger) The papyri also showed that Gnostics were corrupting the Scriptures early on.
It does not matter anyway to a simple believer like myself. I can not believe that God kept everyone in the dark for 1600 years then raised up two mystics to restore His Word. Sorry, that is insanity.

Waitaminute! said...

Sorry Mr Host,
I forgot to ask you which corrupt lexicon or dictionary or word study do you get your definitions from?
In her new book Hazardous Materials, Gail explodes the Nicolaitan prctice of using a corrupt lexicon or other Greek or Hebrew "authority" to correct the Scriptures.

Waitaminute! said...

He said she said. Who cares what the "scholars" said. What does the Scripture say?

Hiraeth said...

Just a couple of observations, Waitaminute (is that Native American?) 1. The Shepherd of Hermas is an early Christian allegory, not a 'Satanic book'. It's just not scripture. A lot of Bibles had it in, but it was excluded as uninspired. That is Hermas, not Hermes. It's no more Satanic than C. S. Lewis.

2. The vast (and I mean vast) majority of Bible 'contradictions' are, 'as any fule no', meaningless and cannot even be rendered into English (word order, etc).

The fact of the matter is that Westcott and Hort were trying to do their best to get back to the original text of the Bible. Not in itself a bad thing. They leaned far too much on a couple of old texts, which was a mistake. That is the limit of my knowledge. As far as I know, they were no more wicked than, say, Erasmus or Tyndale in what they did. In my book, if a person is wrong, that does not make them, ipso facto, wicked.

Ransom said...

ps- If I knew more about you I wouldn't be surprised to find out you are living sexually with a man.

LOL . . . typical psycho-fundamentalist. When all else fails, accuse your enemy (not opponent, as the so-called "Puritan" apparently believes himself and Gail Riplinger to be the last persons on earth not in the service of Satan) of being a homosexual.

Only problem is, the "Puritan" never tried plain reason or rationality to begin with.

Highland Host said...

My dear 'Waitaminute'. Again and again you people mistake me for what I am not. I am not arguing against the TR at all! I am, however, arguing that Mrs. Riplinger is not a reliable source, and that her books are so riddled with error that they ought not to be used. I have documented a worrying consistency in the abuse of quotations, and the use of bad arguments. And Dean Burgon and Sam Gipp ought never to be mentioned in the same sentence, apart from this one.

Highland Host said...

Oh, and describing Gail Riplinger, who does not even know New Testament Greek, as a 'top scholar' is silly. Her degrees are as relevant as mine to the topic of New Testament study (which is not at all). Her published works are full of fallacies and errors, not to mention doctored quotations and totally irrelevant passages (for example the Knights Templar section in HazMat is utterly pointless).

As for the differences between Aleph and B, the statement is fairly meaningless without a comparison. So can you tell me how many differences there are between the various manuscripts that form the basis of the TR? I ask because I wish to know. But do you see that, unless the TR is based on a number of manuscripts that have MANY FEWER differences between them, the statement about Aleph and B is not in fact meaningful?