The Immigrant Problem and Debate in America--What side should I choose?

As I was reading the Word of God this morning from Deuteronomy I was once again confronted (yesterday, I was confronted from Malachi—see my podcast below) from the Bible concerning the immigration debate we are having in America.  What side would the Bible have me to choose? Laying aside political parties and pragmatic issues for a moment, I want to ask—what does the Bible say to Christians today concerning the 11 million immigrants in America today?

In Deuteronomy 10 Moses is preaching to Israel. In his sermon text Moses reminds Israel that the LORD God of Israel executes justice for the orphan, widow and loves the resident foreigner, giving him food and clothing (v. 18). Then Moses commands every Israelite to love the resident foreigner because there was a day, in the not so distant past, when the Jew he was speaking to or his parents were resident foreigners in Egypt. A resident foreigner is an immigrant. The Jews migrated to Egypt because of a famine.

Now we can have the conversation concerning the reality that Israel did not enter Egypt illegally but instead received Pharaoh’s blessing to enter the land. However, the point of the text is not legal or illegal immigrant. The point of the text (Deut. 10:18) is God loves and cares for immigrants like he loves and cares for widows and orphans and so should I!

Consider the "One Another's" in the New Testament

There are over 50 specific references to doing something with 'one another' in the New Testament and nearly all of them relate to the church. (1 Corinthians 7:5 instructs husbands and wives not deprive one another of marital intimacy.) As you look at each one of these imperatives consider how obvious it is that Christ and His Apostles intended for Christians to be in a church, an assembly of believers, where each of these "one another's" can be lived out.

• Love one another (John 13:34, 15:12, 17, Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9)
• Outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:16)
• Do not pass judgment on one another (Rom. 14:13)
• Live in harmony with one another (Rom. 15:5)
• Welcome one another (Rom. 15:7)
• Instruct one another (Rom. 15:14)
• Greet one another (Rom. 16:6, 1 Cor. 16:20, 2 Cor. 13:12, 1 Pet. 5:14)
• Wait for one another (1 Corinthians 11:33)
• Care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25)
• Comfort one another (2 Corinthians 13:11)
• Agree with one another (2 Cor. 13:11)
• Serve one another (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10)
• Bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2)
• Be kind one to another (Eph. 4:32)
• Forgive one another (Eph. 4:32)
• Sing to one another (Eph. 5:19)
• Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21)
• Be honest with one another (Colossians 3:9)
• Admonish one another (Col. 3:16)
• Abound in love for one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
• Encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11, Heb. 10:25)
• Build one another up (1 Thess. 5:11)
• Do good to one another (1 Thess. 5:15)
• Increase in love one for another (2 Thessalonians 1:13)
• Exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13)
• Provoke one another to good works (Heb. 10:24)
• Do not speak evil against one another (James 4:11)
• Do not grumble against one another (Jam. 5:9)
• Confess sins one to another (Jam. 5:16)
• Pray for one another (Jam. 5:16)
• Love one another earnestly (1 Peter 1:22)
• Keep loving one another (1 Pet. 4:8)
• Show hospitality one to another (1 Pet. 4:9)
• Be humble one to another (1 Pet. 5:5)
• Love one another (1 John 3:11, 23, 4:7, 11; 2 John 5)

Christ Our Passover

1 Corinthians 5:7
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

The Passover is a Jewish holiday beginning on the 14th of Nisan [March/April], commemorating the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, and memorializing the day the death Angel passed over (Exodus 12:23) every house that had blood from the paschal lamb applied to the doorposts and lintels [above the doorway] of the home (see Exodus 12).

How is Christ our Passover? How is the Jewish Passover a foreshadowing of Christ and the Lord’s Supper? The chart below seeks to compare and contrast the Passover (or paschal lamb) and the Lamb of God (Christ, our Passover) and the Passover (the meal established by Moses) and the Lord’s Supper (ordained by Christ).

To see the chart click the link below.

2014 Nov Election List

US Senate
Thom Tillis

US Congress        2nd District             4th District             7th District*
                    Renee Ellmers         Paul Wright       David Rouzer

State Senate – 19th District (21st Dist, unopposed)
Wesley Meredith

(State House – 42nd & 43rd unopposed)

State House – 44th District
Richard Button

State House – 45th District
John Szoka (unopposed)

Cumberland County Sheriff
Charlie Baxley

County Commissioner At-Large
Michael Boose
Juanita Gonzalez

Cumberland County School Board At-Large
David Booth Greg West
Donna Vaughn

North Carolina Supreme Court (4 seats) 
Chief Justice --  Mark Martin
Robert “Bob” Hunter
Eric Levinson
Mike Robinson

North Carolina Court of Appeals (4 separate seats)
Paul Holcombe
Bill Southern
Donna Stroud (unopposed)
John Tyson (third on the list of 19 names)

District Court Judge 
Clark Reaves

Other District Court Judges 
Rita Cox    David Hasty
Duane Gilliam    Robert Stiehl

Lucifer or Day Star: Which is the right translation in Isaiah 14:12?

Understanding how the AV1611 was translated is incredibly important when determining whether modern versions are perversions of the Word of God or noble attempts to translate the Greek and Hebrew into modern English. Translating from one language to another is very difficult and at times nearly impossible. Perhaps you have seen what I am talking about. Have you ever heard someone speaking in Spanish and then interject in the middle of a sentence an English word? In these cases, the person speaking Spanish has run into a word that doesn’t have a Spanish equivalent, or at a minimum, they don’t know what the Spanish equivalent should be. Such a case occurs in Isaiah 14:12 in the KJV. In this verse, we find the word Lucifer. Did you know that the English word Lucifer is found only one time in the entire Bible? This is a bit odd because the Bible is full of references to the devil and Satan, so why isn’t Lucifer found more often? Were it not for our extra-biblical understanding of Lucifer being another name for Satan, we wouldn’t have any clue what this noun means from the word Lucifer alone.  The English transliteration of the Hebrew word translated Lucifer in this verse is heylel (Strong’s # H1966), and it is used only one time in the entire Hebrew Bible.

Modern translations like the ESV and NASB translate heylel as ‘Day Star’ and ‘O star of the morning.’ This obviously begs the question: which is right? Should we understand verse 12 to contain a direct reference to Satan or was the Hebrew writer referring to the ‘Day Star’ to which we may infer an indirect reference to Satan?

Since the Hebrew text provides little help in the absence of multiple uses of the word, our next place to look is the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT), followed by the Vulgate (Jerome’s translation of the Bible into Latin).  In the Septuagint, the Greek word for heylel in Isaiah 14:12 (translated eosphorus, ‘dawn (light)-bearer’) is not used anywhere in the NT, thus providing us no help in determining the meaning of the word within the text. Next, we look to the Latin Vulgate in our search for where the word Lucifer originated from in Isaiah 14:12, and here is where we find the answer to the question. The text below is the Jerome’s Latin translation of the Isaiah 14:12.

quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes

Do you see it? The English word Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12 is simply a transliteration of the Latin word lucifer. Evidently the translators did not know what to do with this unique Hebrew word found only one time in the Bible, so they took the expedient path and followed the Latin.  The KJV translators were not the first to do this, as the Geneva Bible also reads the same way. Evidently they too struggled with how to translate heylel.  So what does lucifer mean in the Latin? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary lucifer is a reference the morning star, ‘from lucifer light-bearing, from luc-, lux light + -fer –ferous.’  With this new information, we need to ask the question: was Jerome using the word lucifer as a direct reference to Satan or a ‘day or morning star’? The answer to this question is found by searching for any other uses of the word lucifer in the Vulgate.

Jerome used the word lucifer three times--in Job 11:17, Isaiah 14:12, and 2 Peter 1:19.  Job 11:17 reads ‘And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning [lucifer].’  Obviously, there isn’t a reference to Satan in this verse. Now, let’s look at 2 Peter 1:19. Peter writes: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star [lucifer in the Latin] arise in your hearts.”  Obviously, when Jerome selected the Latin word lucifer, he had no idea it would later (around the 12th century) become an English name for the devil. For Jerome, the Latin word lucifer connoted a particular reference to a morning or day star and nothing more. Therefore, it could be used to describe a day star falling from heaven in Isaiah 14:12 or the day star arising in hearts in 2 Peter 1:19. At the time, lucifer was a fine translation—since his reader didn’t come to the Latin text with the presupposition that lucifer is another name for Satan.  Today, modern translations are accused of linking Christ to Satan in Isaiah 14:12 by translating heylel as ‘Day Star’ instead of ‘Lucifer.’  So, before we throw all modern translators under the bus, let’s compare the two verses in the ESV to see if we think the reader would get confused and establish a connection between the two verses that should not be made. First Isaiah 14:12 followed by 2 Peter 1:19.

How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!

And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 

I think we can objectively say that it is very doubtful that a reader would make any connection between the ‘Day Star, son of Dawn!’ to the ‘morning star’ who rises in the hearts of a believer. What do you think?

Moreover, what is even more interesting is to examine an actual 1611 Authorized Version and discover that the KJV translators were well aware that the ESV rendering ‘O Day Star’ was another viable option in translating heylel.  The marginal note found for Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12 looks like this: ‘O day-starre.’

Imagine what would have happened if the KJV translators went with ‘O day-starre’ in the text and put ‘Lucifer’ in the marginal note.  Would the KJV translators have been accused of perverting the deity of Christ and creating confusion in the word of God? Why is it when the ESV chooses ‘O Day Star’ it isn’t acceptable, but when the KJV translators put ‘O Day starre’ in the marginal notes it is acceptable? That my friend, seems like a double standard to me.  Perhaps the ESV isn’t a perversion of the Word of God after all.

Till the Land and Read a Proverb

The Proverbs are packed full of wisdom and every Christian should strive to read a chapter a day. Today, chapter 28 contains this nugget of truth. Proverbs 28:19 reads, “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty” (ESV). The King James speaks specifically to the tilling of the land which to most in America is virtually meaningless. What does it mean to work or till the land? In the past anyone with a piece of land understood that the land had the potential to feed a family if it was worked. The ground could be tilled—that is broken up into soft dirt for seeds and plants. Potatoes, tomatoes and corn could be planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. Then with the right storage techniques the garden could provide food for the winter.  Whoever works his land will have plenty of food. Today we don’t think of working the land to avoid starvation but in the past people understood if they didn’t work they didn’t eat. Today big government provides in such a way that the proverb from Solomon doesn’t have the weight it had in the past—that’s unfortunate. There is great God-glorifying satisfaction enjoyed by those who work with their hands—even if it something as simple as a small garden in the back yard. Christians should be the hardest workers on the planet.  Have you ever planted a rose bush or a tomato plant? It really isn’t hard. Dig a hole, loosen the soil around the place where you will plant, remove the plant from the container, add fertilizer around the plant and intermix it with the dirt you removed, add that dirt back into the hole, slightly pack the dirt down around the plant, water thoroughly and keep it watered for a few weeks. Then watch it grow with the satisfaction that roses will be enjoyed by all for years because you worked the land instead of following some other worthless pursuit. Or even better yet—the tomato you are eating was grown by yourself. Try working the land—it is not as hard as you think.

What About the Unicorns in the KJV?

Sunday night we talked about the inclusion of ‘unicorns’ in the KJV Bible. 

(Here is the link to the sermon referenced above.

The following is the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition for a ‘unicorn’:  “A mythical animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse, the hind legs of a stag, the tail of a lion, and a single horn in the middle of the forehead.” Since we know our Bible doesn’t reference mythical creatures, we may rightly ask—why did the KJV translators chose the word ‘unicorn’? We can’t say for sure why unicorn was selected because of the absence of a marginal note in these passages or a 1611 dictionary to reference. But we can surmise.  We know the Vulgate (the Latin Bible) that the translators certainly consulted employs the word ‘unicornes’ (having one horn, from uni- + cornu horn) in some of these OT passages (such as Isaiah 34:7), where a horned beast is referenced. Therefore, it seems very reasonable to assume that since the translators did not know exactly what kind of horned beast the Hebrew word rĕ'em (H7214) is making reference to, they simply maintained the one horn idea and transliterated the Latin word unicornis into the English unicorn.  If the reader thinks of this horned beast as being perhaps a wild ox, then they have a correct understanding of the text. If the reader pictures a mythical horse with a horn protruding from its forehead, then they are allowing the modern understanding of a unicorn to influence their understanding. Since most contemporary readers think of a unicorn as such, most modern translations have avoided using the word unicorn in these texts because the goal is always to provide an accurate understanding of the truth.