“Old Greek (LXX) Onlyists” verses “Hebrew Onlyists”

When it comes to using the Old Greek (LXX) or the Hebrew Old Testament many people reading through all the evidence decide that perhaps Christians should all use the Old Greek (LXX) rather than the Hebrew. To those “Old Greek (LXX) Onlyists” I suggest you think about these verses…

New Testament quotation… … depends Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) … … to show that God had  prophesied… …but the Greek Septuagint (LXX) reads…
“Out of Egypt I have called My Son.”

(Matthew 2:15 MEV)

“…out of Egypt I called My son.”

(Hosea 11:1 MEV)

…that the Messiah would like Israel come up out of Egypt. “…out of Egypt have I called his children.”

(Hosea 11:1 LXX2012)

“…and again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”

(John 19:37 MEV)

“…they look to Me, whom they have pierced through.”

(Zechariah 12:10 MEV)

…that the Messiah would be pierced upon a Cross. “…they shall look upon me, because they have mocked me,”

(Zechariah 12:10 LXX2012)

“…the saying that is written shall come to pass: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

(1 Corinthians 15:54 MEV)

He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;”

(Isaiah 25:8 MEV)

…that the Messiah would have victory over death. Death has prevailed and swallowed men up; but again the Lord God has taken away every tear from every face.”

(Isaiah 25:8 LXX2012)

Here is My Servant, whom I have chosen, My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased;

I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will render judgment to the Gentiles.”

(Matthew 12:18-21 MEV)

Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one, in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth justice to the nations.”

(Isaiah 42:1-4 MEV)

…that the Messiah would be the Servant of the Lord to restore the Gentiles. Jacob is my servant, I will help him: Israel is my chosen, my soul has accepted him; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.”

(Isaiah 42:1-4 LXX2012)

Whilst I believe that God has revealed himself through the Hebrew text I am aware that the NT authors did quote the LXX as evidenced in these verses…

New Testament quotation… … depends on the Greek Septuagint (LXX) … … to show that God had  prophesied… …but the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) reads…
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifices and offerings You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure.”

(Hebrews 10:5-6 MEV)

“Sacrifice and offering you would not; but a body have you prepared me: whole burnt offering and sacrifice for sin you did not require.”

(Psalm 39:6 LXX2012)

The Incarnation “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; You have opened up my ears to listen. Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

(Psalm 40:6 MEV)

A virgin shall be with child, and will bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is interpreted, “God with us.”

(Matthew 1:23 MEV)

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Emmanuel.”

(Isaiah 7:14 LXX2012)

The Virgin Birth “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: a young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name God with us.”

(Isaiah 7:14 MEV incorporating the footnotes)

 “And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

(Hebrews 1:6 MEV)

“Rejoice, you heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice you Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.”

(Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX2012)

The Deity of Christ “Rejoice, O you nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants and will render vengeance on His adversaries and will be merciful to His land and people.” (Deuteronomy 32:43 MEV. The Hebrew MT has no mention of angels worshipping the Messiah.)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;” (Luke 4:18 MEV) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent me to preach glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind;

(Isaiah 61:1 LXX2012)

Jesus Healing the Blind “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”

(Isaiah 61:1 MEV. The Hebrew MT has no mention of the Messiah restoring the sight of the blind)

See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Feel Me and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

(Luke 24:39 MEV and many others)

“For many dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked doers has beset me round: they pierced my hands and my feet.”

(Psalm 22:16 LXX2012)

The Messiah’s death by Crucifixion “For dogs have encompassed me;  the assembly of the wicked has enclosed me; like a lion they pin my hands and my feet;”

(Psalm 22:16 MEV)

“…and in His name will the Gentiles trust.”

(Matthew 12:21 MEV)

“…and in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”

(Isaiah 42:4 LXX2012)

Gentiles trusting in the Messiah “…and the coastlands shall wait for his law.”

(Isaiah 42:4 MEV)

Christians need to be aware both of the Old Greek (LXX) and the Hebrew Old Testament.

Why we should care about the Hebrew Masoretic Text

In my previous post “Why we should care about the Greek Old Testament” I wanted to share with my readers why Christians should care about the Old Greek (LXX) translation, especially because Jesus and the Apostles are quoted in the New Testament as using it on occasion.

In this blog post however I want to show “Why we should care about the Hebrew Masoretic Text” specifically focusing on Messianic Prophesies that are quoted in the New Testament but represent the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) rather than the Old Greek (LXX).

In the following passages Matthew, John and Paul quote the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) as opposed to the Old Greek (LXX). They might not have had a Hebrew text in front of them, they might have used a revised Greek text to bring the text into closer agreement with the proto-Masoretic Text. Some scholars call this revised Greek text the “Proto-Theodotion” Greek version.

New Testament quotation… … depends Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) … … to show that God had  prophesied… …but the Greek Septuagint (LXX) reads…
“Out of Egypt I have called My Son.”

(Matthew 2:15 MEV)

“…out of Egypt I called My son.”

(Hosea 11:1 MEV)

…that the Messiah would like Israel come up out of Egypt. “…out of Egypt have I called his children.”

(Hosea 11:1 LXX2012)

“…and again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”

(John 19:37 MEV)

“…they look to Me, whom they have pierced through.”

(Zechariah 12:10 MEV)

…that the Messiah would be pierced upon a Cross. “…they shall look upon me, because they have mocked me,”

(Zechariah 12:10 LXX2012)

“…the saying that is written shall come to pass: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

(1 Corinthians 15:54 MEV)

He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;”

(Isaiah 25:8 MEV)

…that the Messiah would have victory over death. Death has prevailed and swallowed men up; but again the Lord God has taken away every tear from every face.”

(Isaiah 25:8 LXX2012)

Here is My Servant, whom I have chosen, My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased;

I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will render judgment to the Gentiles.”

(Matthew 12:18-21 MEV)

Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one, in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth justice to the nations.”

(Isaiah 42:1-4 MEV)

…that the Messiah would be the Servant of the Lord to restore the Gentiles. Jacob is my servant, I will help him: Israel is my chosen, my soul has accepted him; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.”

(Isaiah 42:1-4 LXX2012)

We can see from the above chart that the Apostles did not only use the Old Greek (LXX). Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 15:54 would make no sense from the Old Greek (LXX) as it says the exact opposite.

It should also be noted that Jesus’ words from the cross are also taken from the proto-Masoretic text. He says:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

(Mark 15:34 MEV)

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

(Psalm 22:1 MEV)

“O God, my God, attend to me: why have you forsaken me?”

(Psalm 22:1 LXX2012)

The words “attend to me” are in the Old Greek (LXX) but not in Mark or the Hebrew Psalm.

I would also recommend Dr. Peter Williams excellent talk “Why I Don’t Believe In The Septuagint”

Daily Prayer

I have been updating my Daily Prayer from my previous website and included a few lines about our identity in Christ and Kingdom Living.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.[i]

For the LORD is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.[ii] Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you– majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?[iii] For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many gods and many lords—  yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.[iv]

The Son, Jesus Christ the righteous, is life for he is the light of humanity.[v] The light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.[vi] By dying he destroyed death[vii] and led captivity captive.[viii] For he has ascended and is seated at the right hand of the Father where he prays and intercedes for us.[ix]

From your sapphire throne,[x] have mercy upon your human assembly of Holy Ones, from your sapphire throne, forgive us our sins.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole hearts; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we earnestly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.[xi]

From Zion, the garden and Mountain of God,[xii] the mountain of your assembly, hear our cry.

Let us not be like the nations that stirred you to jealousy with their strange gods; for with their abominations they have provoked you to anger.[xiii] They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever![xiv]

For you LORD have taken your place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods you have held judgment. For you said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” In the Resurrection O LORD, you have judged the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations![xv]

The LORD rebuke you Watchers who lead the nations into sin.
The LORD rebuke you Watchers who lead the nations into sin.
The LORD rebuke you Watchers who lead the nations into sin.[xvi]

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.[xvii]

For your Spirit O LORD joins with our spirit to affirm that we are your children. And since we are your children, we are your heirs. Remind us that together with Christ we are heirs of your glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.[xviii] We are reminded that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.[xix] We know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.[xx] For what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed to us later.[xxi] We wait with eager hope for the day when you will give us our full rights as your adopted children, including the new bodies you have promised us.[xxii] We know that you make us more and more like Christ as we are changed into his glorious image.[xxiii]

Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside your throne.[xxiv]

For I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver me from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover me with his feathers. Under his wings will I take refuge. His faithfulness is my shield and my rampart. I shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day; nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday. For he will put his angels in charge of me, to guard me in all my ways.[xxv]

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.[xxvi] For Christ has disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.[xxvii]

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.[xxviii]

Make us O Holy Trinity to be your Image Bearers, members of your family within the Divine Council. May we like those unseen Image Bearers advance your Kingdom releasing those who are in bondage and held captive to the hostile powers. May we be willing to take up our crosses to advance your Kingdom to the glory of your name.

Today we pledge our ultimate allegiance to the Kingdom of God. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.[xxix]

Endnotes
[i] Matthew 28:19
[ii] Deuteronomy 10:17
[iii] Exodus 15:11
[iv] 1 Corinthians 8:5-6
[v] John 1:4
[vi] John 1:5
[vii] Memorial Acclamation, Roman Missal; 1 Corinthians 15:26
[viii] Ephesians 4:8
[ix] Romans 8:34
[x] Ezekiel 10:1
[xi] Penitential Order I, Book of Common Prayer
[xii] Ezekiel 28:14
[xiii] Deuteronomy 32:21
[xiv] Romans 1:25
[xv] Psalm 82
[xvi] Jude 1:9
[xvii] The Apostles Creed, Lutheran Service Book, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).
[xviii] Romans 8:16-17
[xix] Psalm 34:19
[xx] Romans 5:3-4
[xxi] Romans 8:18
[xxii] Romans 8:23
[xxiii] 2 Corinthians 3:18
[xxiv] Hebrews 12:2
[xxv] Psalm 91
[xxvi] Ephesians 6:12
[xxvii] Colossians 2:15
[xxix] Matthew 6:9-13
[xxxii] Joshua 24:15

Why we should care about the Greek Old Testament.

The Septuagint (LXX) is a collection of various Old Testament texts translated into Greek from the Hebrew and Aramaic. The texts were translated between 300-100 BC. Of the 300 Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, many of them agree with the Old Greek translation (referred to as the LXX along with revised Greek translations) compared with the modern Hebrew Masoretic text. Paul especially quotes the Septuagint a lot and it was officially adopted as the Old Testament of the Christian Church (due in part to the Gentile nature of the Church, many could not read Hebrew).

As such early Christian Bibles (Codices Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus) included the LXX and some revised Greek versions along with the New Testament. Until Jerome Christians had translated the Old Testament from the Old Greek (LXX) into other languages (this was because most Christians couldn’t read Hebrew). The oldest Latin Bible (the Vetus Latina) was translated from the Old Greek (LXX) not the Hebrew text.

Early Christian writers like Irenaeus and Tertullian believed that God had inspired the translation itself. The switch from Hebrew to Greek they said had brought clarity.

With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the last century we have discovered that the Old Greek (LXX) was translated from different (perhaps older) Hebrew texts (that in places agree with the Dead Sea Scrolls) compared with the modern Hebrew Masoretic Text passed down to us from Judaism.

In order to show some comparisons between the various texts I will use the Modern English Version (MEV) because it has been translated from the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the Masoretic Text (the one used for the King James Bible). Most other English Old Testaments add in bits from the Old Greek (LXX) and are more eclectic texts getting their text from various sources.

The Apostle Paul when wanting to tell the Romans that Christ was the cornerstone of faith in whom they should believe he quotes…
New Testament Greek OT Hebrew OT
“For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be ashamed.

(Romans 10:11 MEV)

“Therefore thus says the Lord, even the Lord, Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious stone, for its foundations; and he that believes on him shall by no means be ashamed.”

(Isaiah 28:16 LXX2012)

“Therefore, thus says the Lord God: See, I lay in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, firmly placed; he who believes shall not act hastily.

(Isaiah 28:16 MEV)

Jesus when wanting the children to be brought to him says…
New Testament Greek OT Hebrew OT
“Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of children and infants You have perfected praise’?”

(Matthew 21:16 MEV)

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have you perfected praise,”

(Psalm 8:2 LXX2012)

“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength

(Psalm 8:2 MEV)

Jesus and Paul are both quoted as using the Old Greek (LXX) readings rather than the modern Hebrew Masoretic Text. The differences between the Greek and Hebrew Old Testaments become a bit more alarming when you start to look at prophecies about Jesus Christ. Here are some examples…

New Testament quotation… … depends on the Greek Septuagint (LXX) … … to show that God had  prophesied… …but the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) reads…
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifices and offerings You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure.”

(Hebrews 10:5-6 MEV)

“Sacrifice and offering you would not; but a body have you prepared me: whole burnt offering and sacrifice for sin you did not require.”

(Psalm 39:6 LXX2012)

The Incarnation “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; You have opened up my ears to listen. Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.

(Psalm 40:6 MEV)

A virgin shall be with child, and will bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is interpreted, “God with us.”

(Matthew 1:23 MEV)

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Emmanuel.”

(Isaiah 7:14 LXX2012)

The Virgin Birth “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: a young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name God with us.”

(Isaiah 7:14 MEV incorporating the footnotes)

 “And again, when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

(Hebrews 1:6 MEV)

“Rejoice, you heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice you Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.”

(Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX2012)

The Deity of Christ “Rejoice, O you nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants and will render vengeance on His adversaries and will be merciful to His land and people.” (Deuteronomy 32:43 MEV. The Hebrew MT has no mention of angels worshipping the Messiah.)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;” (Luke 4:18 MEV) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent me to preach glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind;

(Isaiah 61:1 LXX2012)

Jesus Healing the Blind “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”

(Isaiah 61:1 MEV. The Hebrew MT has no mention of the Messiah restoring the sight of the blind)

See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Feel Me and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

(Luke 24:39 MEV and many others)

“For many dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked doers has beset me round: they pierced my hands and my feet.”

(Psalm 22:16 LXX2012)

The Messiah’s death by Crucifixion “For dogs have encompassed me;  the assembly of the wicked has enclosed me; like a lion they pin my hands and my feet;”

(Psalm 22:16 MEV)

“…and in His name will the Gentiles trust.”

(Matthew 12:21 MEV)

“…and in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”

(Isaiah 42:4 LXX2012)

Gentiles trusting in the Messiah “…and the coastlands shall wait for his law.”

(Isaiah 42:4 MEV)

It is obvious from the quotes above that Jesus and the Apostles quoted on occasion from the Old Greek (LXX) translation rather than the Hebrew Masoretic Text.

The church father Jerome was perhaps the first Christian to really question the Old Greek (LXX). When he translated the Bible into Latin he chose to translate from the Hebrew manuscripts of the Rabbis rather than the Old Greek (LXX) texts. This brought upon him severe criticism from other Christians like Augustine. Some Christians believed you could not trust the Hebrew manuscripts of the Pharisees as they might have edited them to remove prophesies about Christ. When Jerome’s translation from the Hebrew was read in the churches of North Africa there were riots as it differed from the Old Latin Bible (the Vetus Latina) which had been translated from the Old Greek (LXX).

Thanks to Jerome Western Christians to this day continue to use the Hebrew text rather than the Greek Old Testament.

Useful links:

https://blog.oup.com/2013/07/septuagint-christianity-bible-dead-sea-scrolls/

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2012/02/17/The-Role-of-the-Septuagint-in-the-Transmission-of-the-Scriptures.aspx#Article

My top books of 2018…

My top books of 2018…I am including only books I have finished not books I am currently part way through…
Non-Fiction:
1. “When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint And The Making Of The Christian Bible” by Timothy Law.
2. “Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible” by Brandon J. O’Brien and E. Richards.
3. “I’ll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair” by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck.
4. “Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches About the Unseen World–and Why It Matters” by Michael Heiser.
5. “The Abolition of Man” by C.S. Lewis.
6. “The Everlasting Man” by G. K. Chesterton.
7. “Talking Points: Transgender” by Vaughan Roberts.
8. “Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom” by Frank Viola.
9. “Playing with Holy Fire: A Wake-Up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church” by Michael Brown.
10. “Driven by Eternity: Make Your Life Count Today & Forever” by John Bevere.
Fiction:
1. “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan.
2. “The Sword Bearer” by John White.
3. “Dune” by Frank Herbert.
4. “Dune Messiah” by Frank Herbert.
5. “The Horse and His Boy” by C. S. Lewis.

Various quotes from church history

“And so we, having been called through His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works which we wrought in holiness of heart, but through faith, whereby the Almighty God justified all men that have been from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – Clement of Rome (c. 96 AD)

“But permit the prophets to offer thanksgiving as much as they desire.” – The Didache (c. 100 AD)

“O the exceeding great kindness and love of God, He hated us not, neither rejected us, nor bore us malice, but was long-suffering and patient, and in pity for us took upon Himself our sins, and Himself parted with His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy for the lawless, the guileless for the evil, the just for the unjust, the incorruptible for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal. For what else but His righteousness would have covered our sins? In whom was it possible for us lawless and ungodly men to have been justified, save only in the Son of God? O the sweet exchange, O the inscrutable creation, O the unexpected benefits; that the iniquity of many should be concealed in One Righteous Man, and the righteousness of One should justify many that are iniquitous!” – Letter of Mathetes to Diognetus (c. 130 AD)

“For the prophetical gifts remain with us, even to the present time…Now, it is possible to see among us women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God.” – Justin Martyr (c. 155 AD)

“In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the Church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms spiritual, they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit, and not because their flesh has been stripped off and taken away, and because they have become purely spiritual.” – Irenaeus (c.180 AD)

“Now all these signs (of spiritual gifts) are forthcoming from my side without any difficulty, and they agree, too, with the rules, and the dispensations, and the instructions of the Creator; therefore without doubt the Christ, and the Spirit, and the apostle, belong severally to my God.” – Tertullian (c.208 AD)

“The Holy and Inspired Scriptures are sufficient of themselves for the preaching of the Truth.” – Athanasius (c. 296–373 AD)

“I believe that in the end the truth will conquer.” – John Wycliffe (c. 1320 – 1384 AD)

“Outward baptism avails nothing so long as we are not inwardly renewed, regenerated, and baptized of God, with the heavenly fire and the Holy Ghost.” – Menno Simons (1496 –1561 AD)

“Christ bids us to recognise prophets not by miraculous signs but by their fruits.” – Pilgram Marpeck (d. 1556 AD)

My articles published by Premier Christianity

I have had a number of articles published by Premier Christianity. They are available online here:
3 ways Christians living on Mars could view themselves in God’s story
My attempt to answer the question of how Christians living on the planet Mars could see themselves as part of God’s story.
Holy Fire: The biggest miracle you’ve (probably) never heard of
My investigation into the Holy Fire miracle that happens every year on Holy Saturday in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

My friend Tim Bechervaise has also written a lot for Premier Christianity. His articles are available online here:
We’ve learned to be realistic about England’s chances. It’s a good attitude for us to adopt
Why we should welcome Benny Hinn’s stunning admission about the Prosperity Gospel
This church is praising God for its ‘miracle carrots’. But a BBC documentary is casting doubt on the claim
A £10,000 Advent calendar? The meaning of Christmas has been well and truly forgotten
What can we learn from this record breaking, nugget winning US teenager?
This BBC documentary on a Franciscan friary will change the way you shop
Dude Perfect – the YouTube trick-shot stars who love Jesus even more than bottle flipping
Reviewed: The new Christian documentary everyone’s talking about
What Pixar’s Inside Out teaches us about lament
Elon Musk: what the tech genius is teaching the church