Paul Mitchell’s Book of Religious Quotations,
2002 edition

Letter B

To search inside this page use your "Find" function to go directly to it.











FOY E WALLACE JR: "A man said to me, "Brother, I can't take the doctrine you preach, that one must be baptized to be saved, because it damns my father and mother, who were not baptized."

Well, let us see. Do you think one must believe in Jesus Christ to be saved? "Oh, yes," he answers. Very well, I will just change my subject from baptism to faith. A Jew comes around and says, "Mr. preacher, I can't accept the doctrine you preach, that faith in Jesus is necessary to salvation, because my father and mother died without believing in Christ."

The Jew thinks as much of his father as you do of yours. By the same argument with which you would eliminate baptism because, per chance, it damns some of your ancestors, he also eliminates faith in Christ.

Then I preach that the knowledge of God is necessary to salvation, a Chinese comes around and says, "I can't take the doctrine you preach, because it damns my poor father and mother, who died without the knowledge of God." And there, you see, the whole plan of salvation is nullified by contingencies.

Friends, I suggest that we leave the matter of clemency to the Judge (a judge only has the power of clemency) and let us observe the law. I have no authority to preach clemency; I must preach what God commands men to do to be saved, and I know what the law says!" ---Foy E Wallace Jr

EDITOR’S NOTE: While it is true the Church Fathers believed in many corrupt doctrines, one thing is forensically true concerning baptism: There are NO records demonstrating that ANYONE  believed it wasn't necessary for salvation. Today’s "baptism-not-required" doctrine DID NOT EXIST in the first centuries!

"When our Lord sent us to the ignorant nations to baptize them for the forgiveness of sins, he commanded us to teach them first." (Homilies 17.7, cf 9.23; Recognitions 2.33; 4.32; From the Ebionite "Gospel of the Twelve," ascribed to Clement; cited by Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 244)

75 AD The Letter of Barnabas: "Regarding [baptism], we have the evidence of Scripture that Israel would refuse to accept the washing which confers the remission of sins and would set up a substitution of their own instead [Jer. 22:13; Is. 16:1Letter of Barnabas 11:1)

80 AD HERMAS: "'I have heard, sir,' said I, 'from some teacher, that there is no other repentance except that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained the remission of our former sins.' He said to me, 'You have heard rightly, for so it is'" (The Shepherd 4:3:1)

THE DIDACHE: "Now concerning baptism, baptize in this way: after you have said all these things, baptize in running water, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. If you have no running water close by, however, dip in other water. If you cannot do it in cold water, do it in warm water. If you have neither close by, pour water on the head three times..." (cited by Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 199)

JUSTIN MARTYR: "Then we lead them to a place where there is water. They are born again. the name of our healer and Savior Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit, they now take a bath in the water. Christ said, 'Unless you are born again you will not be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven.'" (Justin Martyr, First Apology 61; cited by Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 244)

JUSTIN MARTYR: "We have become believers, then, through the bath which brings repentance and knowledge of God, which was given, according to Isaiah's word, to heal the sins of the peoples of God. We tell you that this bath foretold by him is the one which alone has the power to purify people, provided they repent. This is the water of life." (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 14.1, cited by Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 246)

PORPHYRY (pagan philosopher): "All they have to do is believe and be baptized." (Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 11)

CLEMENT: "If we do not keep our baptism pure and undefiled, how can we be confident of entering the kingdom of God?" (Second Letter of Clement 6.9, cited by (Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 49)

CYPRIAN: "With the help of the life-giving water of baptism the filth of former years was washed away. The light from above streamed into my reconciled and purified heart, after I had breather in the heavenly Spirit. Through the second birth I was transformed, made into a new man." ("To Donatus 4", cited by Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 50)

JUSTIN MARTYR: "After he has been immersed, we lead the one who has become a believer and united with us..." (1st Apology, 65-67, ca. 138 AD; cited by Eberhard Arnold, "The Early Christians," Plough Publishing, 1997, pg 248)

110 AD Ignatius of Antioch: "Let none of you turn deserter. Let your baptism be your armor; your faith, your helmet; your love, your spear; your patient endurance, your panoply." (Letter to Polycarp 6)

110-165 AD JUSTIN MARTYR: "As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, 'Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers' wombs, is manifest to all... And for this we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe." (Justin Martyr, "First Apology," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pg. 183)

110-165 AD JUSTIN MARTYR: The "Constitutions of the Holy Apostles" also refer to John 3:5. There, the one who refuses to be baptized is to be condemned as an unbeliever, partially on the basis of what Jesus told Nicodemus…. "He that, out of contempt, will not be baptized, shall be condemned as an unbeliever, and shall be reproached as ungrateful and foolish. For the Lord says: 'Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit, he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven.' And again: 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be damned.'" (Justin Martyr "Constitutions of the Holy Apostles," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 7, pg. 456-457.)

110-165AD JUSTIN MARTYR: "there is no other way [to obtain God's promises] than this-to become acquainted with Christ, to be washed in the fountain spoken of by Isaiah for the remission of sins, and for the remainder, to live sinless lives." (Justin Martyr, Trypho chap. 44)

110-165AD JUSTIN MARTYR: "Those who are convinced that what we teach is true and who desire to live accordingly are instructed to fast and to pray to God for the remission of all their past sins. We also pray and fast with them. Then we bring them to a place where there is water, and they are regenerated in the same manner in which we ourselves were regenerated. They then receive the washing with water in the name of God (the Father and Lord of the universe) and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. For Christ said, 'Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven"' [John 3:5]. (Justin First Apology chant 61)

115-188 THEOPHILUS "On the fifth day the living creatures which proceed from the waters were produced, through which also is revealed the manifold wisdom of God in these things; for who could count their multitude and various kinds? Moreover, the things proceeding from the waters were blessed by God, that this also might be a sign of men's being destined to receive repentance and remission of sins, through the water and laver of regeneration, as many as come to the truth, and are born again, and receive blessing from God." (Theophilus, "To Autolycus,", Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pg. 101)

120-205 AD IRENAEUS "As we are lepers in sin, we are made clean from our old transgressions by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord. We are thus spiritually regenerated as newborn infants, even as the Lord has declared: 'Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'" Irenaeus, "Fragments From Lost Writings", no. 34, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pg. 574)

120-205 AD IRENAEUS "This class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God, and thus to a renunciation of the whole faith." (Against Heresies, bk. 1, chap. 21, sec. 1, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pg. 345.)

140-230 AD TERTULLIAN "After the world had been hereupon set in order through its elements, when inhabitants were given it, 'the waters' were the first to receive the precept 'to bring forth living creatures.' Water was the first to produce that which had life, that it might be no wonder in baptism if waters know how to give life." (Tertullian, "On Baptism," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, page 670)

140-230 AD TERTULLIAN: "Baptism itself is a corporal act by which we are plunged into the water, while its effect is spiritual, in that we are freed from our sins" (Baptism 7:2).

150-200 AD CLEMENT: "Being baptized, we are illuminated; illuminated, we become sons; being made sons, we are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal... This work is variously called grace, and illumination, and perfection, and washing. Washing, by which we cleanse away our sins; grace, by which the penalties accruing to transgressions are remitted; and illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is, by which we see God clearly." (Clement of Alexandria, "The Instructor," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pg. 215)

150-200 AD CLEMENT: "But when the time began to draw near that what was wanting in the Mosaic institutions should be supplied, as we have said, and that the Prophet should appear, of whom he had foretold that He should warn them by the mercy of God to cease from sacrificing; lest haply they might suppose that on the cessation of sacrifice there was no remission of sins for them He instituted baptism by water amongst them, in which they might be absolved from all their sins on the invocation of His name." (Clement, "Recognitions of Clement," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, pg. 88)

150-200 AD CLEMENT: "Now God has ordered every one who worships Him to be sealed by baptism; but if you refuse, and obey your own will rather than God's, you are doubtless contrary and hostile to His will. But you will perhaps say, 'What does the baptism of water contribute towards the worship of God?' In the first place, because that which hath pleased God is fulfilled. In the second place, because, when you are regenerated and born again of water and of God, the frailty of your former birth, which you have through men, is cut off, and so at length you shall be able to attain salvation; but otherwise it is impossible. For thus hath the true prophet testified to us with an oath: 'Verily I say to you, That unless a man is born again of water, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Therefore make haste; for there is in these waters a certain power of mercy which was borne upon them at the beginning, and acknowledges those who are baptized under the name of the threefold sacrament, and rescues them from future punishments, presenting as a gift to God the souls that are consecrated by baptism. Betake yourselves therefore to these waters, for they alone can quench the violence of the future fire; and he who delays to approach to them, it is evident that the idol of unbelief remains in him, and by it he is prevented from hastening to the waters which confer salvation." (Clement, "Recognitions of Clement," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, pg. 155)

150-200 AD Clement: "This work is variously called grace, and illumination, and perfection, and washing. Washing, by which we cleanse away our sins. Grace, by which the penalties of our sins are canceled. And illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is, by which we see God clearly." (Clement Instructor bk. 1, chap. 6)

150-200 AD CLEMENT: "We are washed from all our sins, and are no longer entangled in evil. This is the one grace of illumination, that our characters are not the same as before our washing... In the same way, therefore, we also, repenting of our sins, renouncing our iniquities, purified by baptism, speed back to the eternal light, children to the Father." (Clement of Alexandria, "The Instructor," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pg. 216-217.)

150-200 AD CLEMENT: "When he had given them these and such like precepts, he made proclamation to the people, saying: 'Since I have resolved to stay three months with you, if any one desires it, let him be baptized; that, stripped of his former evils, he may for the future, in consequence of his own conduct, become heir of heavenly blessings, as a reward for his good actions." (Clement, "Recognitions of Clement," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, pg. 132)

181 AD THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH: "Moreover, those things which were created from the waters were blessed by God, so that this might also be a sign that men would at a future time receive repentance and remission of sins through water and the bath of regeneration all who proceed to the truth and are born again and receive a blessing from God" (To Autolycus 12:16).

190 AD IRENAEUS: "`And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: `Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'" (Fragment 34).

200 AD CYPRIAN: "But what a thing it is, to assert and contend that they who are not born in the Church can be the sons of God! For the blessed apostle sets forth and proves that baptism is that wherein the old man dies and the new man is born, saying, 'He saved us by the washing of regeneration.' But if regeneration is in the washing, that is, in baptism, how can heresy, which is not the spouse of Christ, generate sons to God by Christ?" (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 388)

200 AD CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE: "While I was lying in darkness . . . I thought it indeed difficult and hard to believe . . . that divine mercy was promised for my salvation, so that anyone might be born again and quickened unto a new life by the laver of the saving water, he might put off what he had been before, and, although the structure of the body remained, he might change himself in soul and mind. . . . But afterwards, when the stain of my past life had been washed away by means of the water of rebirth, a light from above poured itself upon my chastened and now pure heart; afterwards, through the Spirit which is breathed from heaven, a second birth made of me a new man" (To Donatus 3)

200 AD HERMAS: "And I said, 'I heard, sir, some teachers maintain that there is no other repentance than that which takes place, when we descended into the water and received remission of our former sin.' He said to me, 'That was sound doctrine which you heard; for that is really the case.'" (Hermas, "The Shepherd," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pg. 22)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: "Aurelius of Utica said: Since the apostle says that we are not to communicate with other people's sins, what else does he do but communicate with other people's sins, who holds communion with heretics without the Church's baptism? And therefore I judge that heretics must be baptized, that they may receive forgiveness of their sins; and thus communion may be had with them." ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 569.)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: "Caecilius of Bilta said: I know only one baptism in the Church, and none out of the Church. This one will be here, where there is the true hope and the certain faith. For thus it is written: 'One faith, one hope, one baptism;' not among heretics, where there is no hope, and the faith is false, where all things are carried on by lying." (The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian, September, 258 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 565)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: "Marcellus of Zama said: Since sins are not remitted saved in the baptism of the Church, he who does not baptize a heretic holds communion with a sinner." ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian,", Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 570)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: "Nicomedes of Segermae said: My opinion is this, that heretics coming to the Church should be baptized, for the reason that among sinners without they can obtain no remission of sins. ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 567)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: "Novatus of Thamugada said: Although we know that all the Scriptures give witness concerning the saving baptism, still we ought to declare our faith, that heretics and schismatics who come to the Church, and appear to have been falsely baptized, ought to be baptized in the everlasting fountain; and therefore, according to the testimony of the Scriptures, and according to the decree of our colleagues, men of most holy memory, that all schismatics and heretics who are converted to the Church must be baptized; and moreover, that those who appeared to have been ordained must be received among lay people. (The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian, September, 258 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 565)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: "Victor of Gor said: Since sins are not remitted save in the baptism of the Church, he who admits a heretic to communion without baptism does two things against reason: he does not cleanse the heretics, and he befouls the Christians." ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 568)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: "Victoricus of Thabraca said: If heretics are allowed to baptize and to give remission of sins, wherefore do we brand them with infamy and call them heretics?" ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 568)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: Dativus of Badis said: We, as far as in us lies, do not hold communion with heretics, unless they have been baptized in the Church, and have received remission of their sins." ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 567)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: Felix of Bagai said: As, when the blind leads the blind, they fall together into the ditch; so, when the heretic baptizes a heretic, they fall together into death. And therefore a heretic must be baptized and made alive, lest we who are alive should hold communion with the dead. ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 567)

200-258 AD CARTHAGE: Nemesianus of Thubunae said: That the baptism which heretics and schismatics bestow is not the true one, is everywhere declared in the Holy Scriptures, since their very leading men are false Christs and false prophets, as the Lord says by Solomon: 'He who trusteth in that which is false. he feedeth the winds...' And in the Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ spoke with His divine voice, saying, 'Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.' This is the Spirit which from the beginning was borne over the waters; for neither can the Spirit operate without the water, nor the water without the Spirit." ("The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 566.)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN "But as often as water is named alone in the Holy Scriptures, baptism is referred to, as we see intimated in Isaiah: 'Remember not,' says he, 'the former things, and consider not the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, which shall now spring forth; and ye shall know it. I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the dry place, to give drink to my elected people, my people whom I have purchased, that they might show forth my praise.' There God foretold by the prophet, that among the nations, in places which previously had been dry, rivers should afterwards flow plenteously, and should provide water for the elected people of God, that is, for those who were made sons of God by the generation of baptism.... Christ... cries and says, 'If any man thirst, let him come and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' And that it might be more evident that the Lord is speaking there, not of the cup, but of baptism, the Scripture adds, saying, 'But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive.' For by baptism the Holy Spirit is received... As also, in another place, the Lord speaks to the Samaritan woman, saying, 'Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall not thirst for ever.' By which is also signified the very baptism of saving water, which indeed is once received, and is not again repeated.." (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 360)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "But if the baptism of heretics can have the regeneration of the second birth, those who are baptized among them must be counted not heretics, but children of God. For the second birth, which occurs in baptism, begets sons of God." (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 393)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "But what a thing it is, to assert and contend that they who are not born in the Church can be the sons of God! For the blessed apostle sets forth and proves that baptism is that wherein the old man dies and the new man is born, saying, 'He saved us by the washing of regeneration.' But if regeneration is in the washing, that is, in baptism, how can heresy, which is not the spouse of Christ, generate sons to God by Christ? For it is the Church alone which, conjoined and united with Christ, spiritually bears sons; as the same apostle again says, 'Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify it, cleansing it with the washing of water.' If, then, she is the beloved and spouse who alone is sanctified by Christ, and alone is cleansed by His washing, it is manifest that heresy, which is not the spouse of Christ, nor can be cleansed nor sanctified by His washing, cannot bear sons to God." (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 388)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "For he who has been sanctified, his sins being put away in baptism, and has been spiritually re-formed into a new man, has become fitted for receiving the Holy Spirit; since the apostle says, 'As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.' (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 387-388)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "Moreover, Peter himself... has commanded and warned us that we cannot be saved, except by the one only baptism of one Church. 'In the ark,' says he, 'of Noah, few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water, as also baptism shall in like manner save you.' In how short and spiritual a summary has he set forth the sacrament of unity! For as, in that baptism of the world in which its ancient iniquity was purged away, he who was not in the ark of Noah could not be saved by water, so neither can he appear to be saved by baptism who has not been baptized in the Church which is established in the unity of the Lord according to the sacrament of the one ark. (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 389)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "Peter... said, 'In the ark of Noah, few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water; the like figure whereunto even baptism shall save you;' proving and attesting that the one ark of Noah was a type of the one Church. If, then, in that baptism of the world thus expiated and purified, he who was not in the ark of Noah could be saved by water, he who is not in the Church to which alone baptism is granted, can also now be quickened [made alive] by baptism. Moreover, too, the Apostle Paul, more openly and clearly still manifesting this same thing, writes to the Ephesians, and says, 'Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water.'" (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 398)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "Since, therefore, from the preaching and testimony of Christ Himself, the Father who sent must be first known, then afterwards Christ, who was sent, and there cannot be a hope of salvation except by knowing the two together; how, when God the Father is not known, nay, is even blasphemed, can they who among the heretics are said to be baptized in the name of Christ, be judged to have obtained the remission of sins?" (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 383.)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "What then, say they, will become of those who, coming from the heretics, have been received without the baptism of the Church?... But they... should be baptized with the baptism of the Church, that they may obtain remission of sins, lest by the presumption of others they remain in their old error, and die without the completion of grace." (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 395)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "Wherefore baptism cannot be common to us and to heretics, to whom neither God the Father, nor Christ the Son, nor the Holy Ghost, nor the faith, nor the Church itself, is common. And therefore it behooves those to be baptized who come from heresy to the Church, that so they who are prepared, in the lawful, and true, and only baptism of the holy Church, by divine regeneration, for the kingdom of God, may be born of both sacraments, because it is written, 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'" (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 384)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN: "Widely different is the faith with Marcion, and, moreover, with the other heretics; nay, with them there is nothing but perfidy, and blasphemy, and contention, which is hostile to holiness and truth. How then can one who is baptized among them seem to have obtained remission of sins, and the grace of the divine mercy, by his faith, when he has not the truth of the faith itself? For if, as some suppose, one could receive anything abroad out of the Church according to his faith, certainly he has received what he believed; but if he believes what is false, he could not receive what is true; but rather he has received things adulterous and profane, according to what he believed. This matter of profane and adulterous baptism Jeremiah the prophet plainly rebukes, saying, 'Why do they who afflict me prevail? My wound is hard; whence shall I be healed ? While it has indeed become unto me as deceitful water which has no faithfulness.' The Holy Spirit makes mention by the prophet of deceitful water which has no faithfulness. What is this deceitful and faithless water? Certainly that which falsely assumes the resemblance of baptism, and frustrates the grace of faith by a shadowy pretense. But if, according to a perverted faith, one could be baptized without, and obtain remission of sins, according to the same faith he could also attain the Holy Spirit; and there is no need that hands should be laid on him when he comes, that he might obtain the Holy Ghost, and be sealed. Either he could obtain both privileges without by his faith, or he who has been without has received neither. But it is manifest where and by whom remission of sins can be given; to wit, that which is given in baptism." (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 381)

200-258 AD CYPRIAN, said of his own baptism, "Considering my character at the time, I used to regard it as a difficult matter that a man should be able to be born again.... Or that a man who had been revived to a new life in the bath of saving water could be able to put off what he had formerly been-that he could be changed in heart and soul, while retaining his physical body.... For as I myself was held in bonds by the innumerable errors of my previous life, from which I did not believe that I could by possibility be delivered, so I was disposed to acquiesce in my clinging vices, and because I despaired of better things, I used to indulge my sins as if they were actually a part of me, inherent in me. But later, by the help of the water of new birth, the stain of former years was washed away, and a light from above-serene and pure was infused into my reconciled heart. Then through the Spirit breathed from heaven, a second birth restored me to a new man." (Cyprian To Donatus sec. 3, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 276)

203 AD TERTULLIAN: "Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away the sins of our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life. . . . [But] a viper of the [Gnostic] Cainite heresy, lately conversant in this quarter, has carried away a great number with her most venomous doctrine, making it her first aim to destroy baptism--which is quite in accordance with nature, for vipers and asps . . . themselves generally do live in arid and waterless places. But we, little fishes after the example of our [Great] Fish, Jesus Christ, are born in water, nor have we safety in any other way than by permanently abiding in water. So that most monstrous creature, who had no right to teach even sound doctrine, knew full well how to kill the little fishes--by taking them away from the water!" (Baptism 1).

203 AD TERTULLIAN: "No one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, `Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life'" (Baptism 12:1).


70 AD The Didache: "After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water, and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days" (Didache 7:1).

170 AD Tatian the Syrian: "Then said Jesus unto them, I have been given all authority in heaven and earth; and as my Father has sent me, so I also send you. Go now into all the world, and preach my gospel in all the creation; and teach all the peoples, and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and teach them to keep all whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you all the days, unto the end of the world" (The Diatesseron 55).

211 AD TERTULLIAN: "When we are about to enter the water--no, just a little before--in the church and under the hand of the bishop, we solemnly profess that we renounce the devil and his pomps and his angels. Thereupon we are immersed three times" (The Crown 3:2).

211 AD TERTULLIAN: "After His resurrection He promises in a pledge to His disciples that He will send them the promise of His Father; and lastly, He commands them to baptize into the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, not into a unipersonal God. And indeed it is not once only, but three times, that we are immersed into the Three Persons, at each several mention of Their names" (Against Praxeas 26).

215 AD HIPPOLYTUS: "When the one being baptized goes down into the water, the one baptizing him shall put his hand on him and speak thus: `Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?' And he that is being baptized shall say: `I believe.' Then, having his hand imposed upon the head of the one to be baptized, he shall baptize him once. Then he shall say: `Do you believe in Christ Jesus . . . ?' And when he says: `I believe,' he is baptized again. Again shall he say: `Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and the holy Church and the resurrection of the flesh?' The one being baptized then says: `I believe.' And so he is baptized a third time" (The Apostolic Tradition 21).




October 20, 2000 Six in Ten Americans Read Bible at Least Occasionally

Percentage of frequent readers has decreased over last decade by Alec Gallup and Wendy W. Simmons GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ - According to a recent Gallup poll, about six in ten Americans (59%) say they read the Bible at least on occasion, with the most likely readers being women, nonwhites, older people, Republicans, and political conservatives. Readership of the Bible has declined from the 1980s overall, from 73% to 59% today. And the percentage of frequent readers, that is, those who read the Bible at least once a week, has decreased slightly over the last decade, from 40% in 1990 to 37% today. About one American in seven reports an involvement that goes beyond reading the Bible. Fourteen percent currently belong to a Bible study group. In terms of frequency of readership, 16% of Americans say that they read the Bible every day, 21% say they read it weekly, 12% say they read the Bible monthly, 10% say less than monthly and 41% say that they rarely or never read the Bible.

Relevance of the Bible

Sixty-five percent of Americans agree that the Bible "answers all or most of the basic questions of life." Almost half of people who believe this about the Bible read it at least weekly. Interestingly, 28% of those who agree with this say they rarely or never read the Bible. Those with more education are less likely to think that the Bible is a comprehensive guide to life than are the less educated. Forty-six percent of those with a postgraduate degree say the Bible answers basic life questions, compared to 72% of those with a high school education or less.

Many Americans report that they would like to learn more about the Bible. Thirty-five percent say they are "very interested" in deepening their understanding of the Bible and 40% say they are "somewhat interested." Twenty-four percent of respondents report no interest in learning more about the Bible. Those who report the highest levels of interest in the Bible include women and people from the southern part of the United States.

Bible Study Groups

Although about six in ten Americans report reading the Bible at least on occasion, most of these people are exploring the text without the help of a Bible study group of any kind. Only 14% of Americans report that they are currently in such a group. Women are slightly more likely than men to be in a study group (18% vs. 10%).

What Is Distinctive About Bible Readers?

Bible readership varies significantly by a number of important subgroups. For example:

Women are much more likely than men to read the Bible at least weekly. About 43% of women say that they read the Bible either weekly or daily, compared to 29% of men.

Marital status has little relationship with readership of the Bible. Thirty-eight percent of people who are currently married read the Bible at least once a week, compared to 35% of those who are not married.

White Americans are less likely to read the Bible than are nonwhite Americans. Forty-two percent of whites say they rarely or never read the Bible, compared to 32% of nonwhites.

Older people are more likely to read the Bible than are younger people. Fifty percent of those over the age of 65 read the Bible at least weekly, compared to 27% of people between the ages of 18 and 29. Thirty-six percent of people in their 30s and 40s read the Bible that frequently.

Political attitudes also appear to shape Bible-reading tendencies. Forty-seven percent of Republicans say they read the Bible at least weekly, compared to 32% of Democrats. Conservatives are more likely than moderates and liberals to read the Bible frequently.

Bible Readership

How often do you read the Bible - daily or more often, monthly, less than monthly, or rarely or never?

% Saying "Daily or Weekly"


± 3% Margin of Error

October 6-9, 2000

Sample Size=1,052

Favorite Books of the Bible

When Americans are asked to name their favorite books of the Bible, eight books are mentioned by 2% or more of those interviewed, split equally between Old and New Testament books. Psalms is the most popular, named by 13%, followed by Genesis (9%), Matthew (7%), John (6%), Revelation (6%), Proverbs (3%), Job (2%), and Luke (2%). The book of Mark is the only one of the four Gospels in the New Testament not mentioned by 2% or more of Americans.

Survey Methods

The results reported here are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,024 adults, 18 years and older, conducted October 6-9, 2000. For results based on the whole sample, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For Gallup's complete trends on religion in America, see


The Bible

You have opened the research archive about the Bible. The statistics and analysis in this archive come from national surveys conducted by Barna Research.


60% of all adults agree that "the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings (43% agree strongly, 17% agree somewhat) (2000)

Blacks are more likely than are whites to believe the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings (64% to 41% respectively). (2000)

13% of born again Christians disagree that "the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings." (2000)

Almost half of the population (45%) believes that the Bible is absolutely accurate and everything in it can be taken literally. (1994)

While millions believe the Bible is accurate in its recording of information, a substantial number of adults do not believe that all of the information is relevant for today. One out of every five adults (18%) contend that one of the renowned portions of the Bible - the Ten Commandments - is not relevant for people living today. (1992)

Most people take the Bible at face value when it comes to the descriptions of the miracles that took place. Three out of four adults (73%) believe that all of the miracles described in the Bible actually took place. (1994)

Almost half of adults (44%) contend that it doesn't matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons.


There is much misunderstanding about the history of the Bible. For instance four out of every ten adults (38%) believe that the entire Bible was written several decades after Jesus' death and resurrection. While this appears to be true for the New Testament, the entire Old Testament was written hundreds of years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. (1994)

Almost two out of three adults (62%) know that the Book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament. One out of ten people (11%) believe it is in the New Testament. One out of four (27%) don't know. (1994)

12% of adults believe that the name of Noah's wife was Joan of Arc. (The Bible does not provide her name.) (1997)

One out of six people (16%) believe that one of the books in the New Testament is the Book of Thomas, written by the apostle Thomas. Another one-third of the population are not sure whether or not there is such a book in the New testament of the Bible. (1994)

Half of all adults (49%) believe that the Bible teaches that money is the root of all evil. One-third (37%) disagree with this contention. The actual teaching indicates that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. (1994)

A majority of adults (56%) are convinced the Bible proclaims that the single, most important task in life is taking care of one's family. (1997)

Three-quarters of Americans (75%) believe that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves. (2000)Ownership

Among households which own a Bible, the typical count is three Bibles per household. (1993)

Almost every household in America (92%) owns at least one copy of the Christian Bible. This includes most homes in which the adults are not practicing Christians as well as the homes of hundreds of thousands of atheists. (1993)


Bible Reading During A Typical Week By Year 1988- 36%; 1991- 45%; 1992- 47%; 1993- 34%; 1994- 37%; 1995- 31% ; 1997-36%; 1999- 34%; 2000- 40%

Bible reading during a typical week drops as age drops: 54% of Seniors; 50% of Builders; 40% of Boomers; and 32% of Busters read the Bible in a typical week. (2000)

An estimated 75 million adults (42%) said that reading the Bible is very important to them. (1997)

The King James Version is more likely to be the Bible read during the week than is the NIV by a 5:1 ratio. (1997)

Among Bible readers, the average amount of time spent reading the Bible during an entire week is 52 minutes. (1997)

Slightly more than half of the Protestant adults who read from the Bible during the week read along with other members of their household (57%). Catholics were less likely to read the Bible together (35% of those who had read the Bible in a given week had also read it at least once with other household members). Overall, 24% of all Protestants had a family Bible reading time, compared to just 7% among Catholics. (1994)


NOTHING NEW: "[Roman physician and Christian critic Galen, c. 129-199 AD] compared medical doctors who practiced without scientific training to Moses, who promulgated laws and wrote his books without proofs, simply saying, 'God commanded, God spoke!' In his treatise de usu partium Galen criticized the Mosaic cosmogony and rejected its reliance on divine miracle." (Stephen Benko, "Pagan Rome and the Early Christians," BT Batsford Ltd, London, 1984, p 142-3) (The point being Galen and Rome are gone, Christianity remains, and many things the Bible said are confirmed by science).


"Imagine the conclusion the minimalists [those who treat the Bible as an ideological document with little trustworthy historical data] would reach about an Egyptian presence in Jerusalem in the Late Bronze Age based on these [Egyptian 18th Dynasty] lists of conquered cities [which don't mention Jerusalem] and on the scant evidence of any settlement here in the Late Bronze Age. Here, too, however, the situation was drastically altered by a chance find.

In 1887 Egyptian peasants digging in a mound called Tell el-Amarna, about 190 miles south of Cairo, uncovered an archive of cuneiform tablets now known as the Amarna letters. They consist largely of correspondence between two 14th-century B.C. Egyptian pharaohs (Amenophis III and Amenophis IV, also called Akhenaten) and petty local rulers in Canaan. Among these rulers was one Abdi-Hepa, described as king of Jerusalem. Included in the archive were six letters of Abdi-Hepa.

Without these letters, we would have no evidence of an Egyptian presence in this part of Canaan.

. . .If there is a lesson to be learned from all this, it is how dangerous it is to draw conclusions from the paucity of evidence about ancient Jerusalem."

(Gabriel Barkay, "What's an Egyptian Temple Doing in Jerusalem?", Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2000, pg 48-56)


THE GOSPEL AND. . . "Former presiding Lutheran Bishop David Preus will visit Tacoma next weekend to speak out against a Lutheran agreement with the Epis-copal Church.

Preus contends that the accord, titled "Called to Common Mission," goes against Lutheran tradition by requiring acceptance of the "historic episcopate."

The historic episcopate refers to the belief that bishops are ordained into an unbroken line of religious leadership going back to Jesus' apostles. The Lutheran-Episcopal agreement would require all new clergy to be ordained by a bishop, and each new bishop to be ordained or installed by three bishops from the historic episcopate.

The Episcopal Church historically has accepted this understanding of ordination. Lutherans have not, believing instead "that IT IS ENOUGH TO AGREE ON THE GOSPEL and administer the sacraments," Preus said. "NOW, WE'RE BEING REQUIRED TO INCLUDE THE HISTORIC EPISCOPATE AS A NECESSARY ITEM." [emphasis added] ("Opponent of Lutheran-Episcopal Pact to Speak," The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 5-13-2000, p.B6)

The Ratification of The Book of Common Prayer (1789) -- (recertified and in force for Episcopalians in the 1977 edition)

"By the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, this Sixteenth Day of October, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-Nine.

This Convention having, in their present session, set forth "A Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church," do hereby establish the said Book: And they declare it to be the Liturgy of this Church: And REQUIRE [emphasis added] that it be received as such by all the members of the same: And this Book shall be in use from and after the First Day of October, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety."

Preface [to the Book of Common Prayer]: ". . .And now, this important work being brought to a conclusion, it is hoped the whole will be received and examined by every TRUE [emphasis added] member of our Church. . ." --Philadelphia, October, 1789 (The Book of Common Prayer, 1977, Kingsport Press, Kingsport TN, pg 8-10,)


"Arabs, Jews are close genetically"

The Associated Press, Morning News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, 5-10-2000

JERUSALEM - "Tradition says the biblical patriarch Abraham fathered both the Jewish and Arab nations.

Now, new DNA-based research reveals a genetic link between Jews and Palestinians, suggesting the two peoples, locked in a bitter struggle for more than a century, indeed share a common ancestry dating back 4,000 years.

The study, published Tuesday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., says the Y chromosome found in Jewish men may go back to a common pool of Middle Eastern ancestors. . .

. . .The genetic link between Jews and Arabs suggested by the study is reflected in the biblical account in Genesis of how Abraham fathered two sons: Ishmael by his wife's maid Hagar. and then, when Sarah was able to conceive, Isaac."

HOPKINS, another textual scholar: "The subject of various readings was at one time so presented as to alarm and disquiet those not acquainted with the facts. When a person hears it stated that, in the collation of the manuscripts for Greisbach's edition of the New Testament, as many as one hundred and fifty thousand various readings were discovered, he is ready to suppose that everything must be in a state of uncertainty. A statement of the facts relieves every difficulty. The truth is, that not one in a thousand makes any perceptible, or at least important, variation in the meaning; that they consist almost entirely of the small and obvious mistakes of transcribers, such as the omission or transposition of letters, errors in grammar, in the use of one word for another of similar meaning, and in changing the position of words in a sentence." (Hopkins, Evidences of Christianity, p. 289, quoted from Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, p. 49.)

BENTLEY, an English critic: "Make your thirty thousand (variations) as many more, if numbers of copies can ever reach that sum; all the better to a knowing and serious reader, who is thereby more richly furnished to select what he sees genuine. But even put them into the hands of knave or a fool, and yet with the most sinister and absurd choice, he shall not extinguish the light of any one chapter, nor disguise Christianity but that every feature of it will be the same." (Bentley, cited by Haley, Alleged Discrepancies, p. 48.)

HALEY: "Nor does the Bible suffer by comparison with books of later date. For the text of Shakespeare, which has been in existence less than two hundred and fifty years, is far more uncertain and corrupt than that of the New Testament, now over eighteen centuries old, during nearly fifteen of which it existed only in manuscript. The industry of collators and commentators indeed has collected a formidable array of `various readings' in the Greek text of the scriptures, but the number of those which have any good claim to be received, and which also seriously affect the sense, is so small that they may almost be counted upon the fingers. With perhaps a dozen or twenty exceptions, the text of every verse in the New Testament may be said to be so far settled by the general consent of scholars, that any dispute as to its meaning must related to the interpretation of the words than to any doubts respecting the words themselves. But in every one of Shakespeare's thirty-seven plays, there are probably a hundred readings still in dispute, a large proportion of which materially affect the meaning of the passages in which they occur." (Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, pp. 47-48.)

"Moreover, I may be allowed to say that the more thoroughly I have investigated the subject the more clearly have I seen the flimsy and disingenuous character of the objections alleged by infidels. And, whether or not my labors shall result in inducing a similar belief in the minds of my readers, I cannot but avow, as the issue of my investigations, the profound conviction that every difficulty and discrepancy in the scriptures is, and will yet be seen to be, capable of a fair and reasonable solution." (Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, p. x.)


" can be maintained that those who had a passionate interest in the story of Christ, even if their interest in events was parabolical and didactic rather than historical, would not be led by that very fact to pervert and utterly destroy the historical kernel of their material." (Nicholas Sherwin-White, "Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament," p.191, cited in "Jesus: the Evidence," p.49, Ian Wilson, Harper & Row, 1988)

CS LEWIS: "I have been reading poems, romances, vision literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that none of them is like this. Of this text there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage - though it may no doubt contain errors - pretty close to the facts...Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative. If it is untrue, it must be narrative of that kind. The reader who doesn't see this simply has not learned to read. (C.S. Lewis, cited in "Jesus: the Evidence," p.49, Ian Wilson, Harper & Row, 1988)

JOHN ANKERBERG: "Few scholars question the general reliability of ancient classical literature on the basis of the manuscripts we possess. Yet this collection is vastly inferior to that of the NT. For example, of 16 well-known classical authors (e.g., Plutarch, Tacitus, Sentonius, Polybius, Thucydides, Xenophon, etc), the total number of extant copies is typically less than ten and the earliest copies date from 750 to 1600 years after the original manuscript was first penned. We need only compare such slim evidence to the mass of biblical documentation involving over 24,000 manuscript portions, manuscripts, and versions, the earliest fragment and complete copies dating between only 50 and 300 years after originally written. ...Indeed, this kind of evidence supplied by the NT (both amount and quality) is the dream of the historian." (John Ankerberg, "The Reliability of the Bible," Harvest House Publ, Eugene, OR 97402, p14)


ATHENAGORAS, C. 177, Christian apologist. Wrote "A Plea Regarding Christians."

CELSUS. An early anti-Christian writer, he wrote "True Word around 177-180. Origen responded to him in "Against Celsus" some 70 years later, and this is our only source of True Word today.

CLEMENT of Rome. Bishop of Rome, about 94 AD.

DARWIN, Charles (1809-82). Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury on Feb. 12, 1809. Darwin's father was a successful and wealthy physician.

At the age of 16, Darwin began to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Here too he found the courses dull, and watching operations made him ill. In 1828 he transferred to Cambridge, intending to become a clergyman. Instead, he devoted most of his time to studying plants and animals and later to geology. He received his bachelor's degree in 1831.

Then came the event that shaped his life--an appointment as unpaid naturalist on the exploring ship Beagle. It left England on Dec. 27, 1831, to make astronomical observations, chart the southern coasts of South America, and sail around the world. The voyage, with many side trips on land, lasted until October 1836. During those five years Darwin examined geologic formations, collected fossils, and studied plants and animals. He also began to doubt that the many species of living things had come into being at one moment. In 1837, soon after returning to England, he began to collect information on the subject now called evolution (See Evolution).

Darwin went on to write his famous book 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection', which appeared in 1859.

After completing the 'Origin of Species', 'The Descent of Man', published in 1871, elaborated the theory of sexual selection and applied Lamarck's unsound theory of use and disuse (See Lamarck).

Darwin, who was a semi-invalid for much of his life, became very weak in 1881 and complained that he no longer could work. He died on April 19, 1882, and was buried among England's greatest men in Westminster Abbey.

Darwin himself never claimed to provide proof of evolution or of the origin of species. His claim was that if evolution had occurred, a number of otherwise mysterious facts about plants and animals could be easily explained. (From Compton's Encyclopedia)

THE DIDACHE: (Lord's Teaching by the Twelve Apostles to the Heathen) found in 1883 in Constantinople, the earliest version evidently origninated in Syra or Palestine before 100 AD. Clement of Alexandria counted the Didache among the NT writings.

EUSEBIUS (260-340. Wrote "Ecclesiastical History"

GALEN. A Roman physician who was critical of Christianity, but objectively. Born c 129, in Pergamum, Asia Minor. He was the ancient scientist, involved in live animal vivisections and as a gladiator physician able to observe human responses. Thus he had no respect for religions that were based on faith alone, because in his opinion faith was a poor substitute for experienced truth.

HIPPOLYTUS. 3rd century, "Apostolic Tradition"

HUXLEY, Thomas Henry (1825-95). The foremost British champion of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was the teacher and biologist Thomas Henry Huxley. He popularized the findings of science by lecturing and writing in language that all could understand. Today his essays and speeches are still read for their clarity. Among Huxley's best-known writings are 'Evidences as to Man's Place in Nature' (1863); 'An Introduction to the Classification of Animals' (1869); 'Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews' (1870); and 'Scientific Memoirs' (5 vols., 1898-1903). (From Compton's Encyclopedia)

IRENAEUS, born between 115-140 AD in Asia Minor. Stuend of Polycarp, elder in Gaul, overseer in Lyons.

IGNATIUS, Bishop of Antioch in Syria. Martyred in Rome

JOHNSON, Phillip E. is a graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago. He was a law clerk for Chief Justice Earl Warren and has taught law for over twenty years at the University of California at Berkeley. Author of Darwin On Trial.

JUSTIN MARTYR. An early Christian apologist converted after his disillusionment with various philosophical schools. He taught Christianity as a philosophical science and opened his own school in Rome, which led to his martyrdom.

LUCIAN of Samosota Ca 115-200 AD. A 2nd century pagan poet and cynic, he was an enemy of the Christians. Author of "On the Death of Peregrinus" and "Alexander the False Prophet."

MINUCIUS FELIX was a lawyer who had taken part in legal persecutions against Christians before becoming one himself. (C. 200 AD)

ORIGEN (c.185-253) castrated himself tho later said this was an immature act.

PAPIAS was overseer or bishop of the Hierapolis (Phrygia) about 140 AD. He composed his five books of "Sayings of the Lord Explained" about 142 AD, reminiscences based on oral information.

PEREGRINUS PROTEUS: 110-165 AD, Born in Parium in Mysia. Accused of committing adultery as a teenager and homosexual encounters with boys, rumored he strangled his father for the inheritance. He migrated to Palestine, and became a Christian. Someone denounced him as Christian and he gained fame for being a prisoner for Christ. He donated his Parium land to the church and left. Something unknown happened that he was excommunicated. He became a Cynic and aggravated the public, became well known, and finally threw himself into a suicidal funeral pyre he prepared, after announcing four years prior he would do so. Lucian wrote "On the Death of Peregrinus," a satire.

RUSSELL, Bertrand (1872-1970). During his almost 98 years Bertrand Russell was a scholar in almost every field: philosophy, logic, mathematics, science, sociology, education, history, religion, and politics. He was a pacifist, an advocate of social justice, and a proponent of nuclear disarmament. Yet it was for literature that he won the Nobel prize in 1950. He was the author of several dozen books, many of them written for a general audience.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell was born on May 18, 1872, at Trelleck in Monmouthshire, England. Russell received a teaching appointment at Trinity College in 1910 but lost it in 1916 because of his pacifism. He was also jailed for six months in 1918. While in prison he wrote 'Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy' (1919). Russell visited the Soviet Union in 1920 and afterward wrote a highly critical book, 'The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism' (1920). During the next 12 years he published a number of other popular books, including 'What I Believe' (1925), 'Why I Am Not a Christian' (1927), and 'Marriage and Morals' (1929). His philosophical speculations on the nature of knowledge were published as 'Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits' (1948).

After World War II Russell turned his attention to international politics. He encouraged civil disobedience and sit-ins to protest nuclear weapons. In the 1960s he protested American involvement in Vietnam. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation was established by him in 1963. The last three years of his life were devoted to writing his autobiography. He died in Merioneth, Wales, on Feb. 2, 1970. (From Compton's Encyclopedia)

RUSSELL, Charles Taze (1852-1916). The International Bible Students' Association, which is now known as Jehovah's Witnesses, was founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1872. The publishing arm of the association, named the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, was established by him in 1884.

Russell was born on Feb. 16, 1852, in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was brought up in the Congregational church, but as he grew older he began to reject its teachings. After studying the Bible, he published in 1872 'The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return' in which he announced a secret second coming of Christ in 1874. He predicted that 40 years after this, worldwide chaos would begin, after which Christ's reign on Earth would start. In 1879 Russell founded a Bible journal, later called The Watchtower. His most influential book was 'Food for Thinking Christians' (1881), warning believers against social and political involvement. It was later incorporated in his six-volume 'Millennial Dawn' (1886-1904). He traveled around the world preaching his message. It was on one such trip that he died in Pampa, Tex., on Oct. 31, 1916. (From Compton's Encyclopedia)

SARTRE, Jean-Paul (1905-80). One of the leading exponents of existentialism [a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts] in the 20th century, Jean-Paul Sartre was also well known as a writer. He expressed his dedication to his philosophy both in what he wrote and in the way he lived his life.

Jean-Paul Sartre was born on June 21, 1905, in Paris, France. In 1919 he graduated from the Ecole Normale Superieure, where he met his lifelong companion, the writer Simone de Beauvoir. Between 1931

and 1945 he taught at several secondary schools in France. During the 1930s he began to develop his

existentialist philosophy, which stressed personal freedom and stated that the individual exists only in relation to other people. In 1938 he published his first major work, the novel 'Nausea', in which he set these ideas in writing.

After the war [WWII] Sartre became a celebrity. In 1952 Sartre allied himself with the French Communist party, though he never actually became a member.

Sartre remained politically active throughout his life. He supported the student uprisings of May 1968, and he protested the United States involvement in Vietnam in the 1960s. In 1964 Sartre published his autobiography, entitled 'Words'. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel prize for literature, but he declined the prize. (From Compton's Encyclopedia)

SPENCER, Herbert (1820-1903). It was the English philosopher Herbert Spencer, not Charles Darwin, who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest." Although Spencer's development of a theory of evolution preceded publication of Darwin's 'Origin of Species', Spencer is today regarded as one of the leading social Darwinists of the 19th century. The theory, based on Darwin's conclusions, suggests that people and societies are subject to the same laws of natural selection as plants and animals are in nature.

Spencer is remembered today as author of 'Social Statics' (1851), in which he argued that it is the business of government to uphold and defend natural rights. Beyond this, government should not interfere with the economic functioning of society at all. He saw his main task as developing a philosophy that would link the principles of many areas of knowledge into a grand scientific synthesis to replace the theological systems of the Middle Ages. His work 'The Synthetic Philosophy' was published in several volumes from 1862 to 1896.

Spencer was born in Derby, England, on April 27, 1820, where his father was a schoolmaster. Spencer was one of the most opinionated and argumentative English thinkers of his time. He was a friend of such other writers as George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Thomas Henry Huxley, John Stuart Mill, and Beatrice Webb. Webb recorded Spencer's last years in her work, 'My Apprenticeship' (1926). Spencer died in Brighton on Dec. 8, 1903. (From Compton's Encyclopedia)

TATIAN. A pupil of Justin Martyr, became a Christian extremist, and around 172 AD moved from Rome to the East to found the "Encratites" or "Abstinents." This sect embraced strict rules of self-discipline, rejected the use of meat and wine, and condemned marriage as adultery. He was regarded as a heretic by the mainstream church.

TERTULLIAN 160-220 son of an army officer, was a lawyer. Became a Christian as late as 195 AD, died about 220 AD. Set rigorous standards for Christians as to acceptable occupations. Held to scripture as authority, denounced the tendency to analyze the gospel by philosophical methods and tenents (contrary to Origen and others).


"In 1 Cor 6:15-20 Paul discusses a relationship with a prostitute, and condemns it not on the basis of the production of a child or the contracting of a sexually transmitted disease, but rather on the basis of what it does to a person's relationship to God. Having children should not be an accident, but a decision made separate and apart from one's sexual involvement with another. To confuse the sexual relationship with the conscious deliberate planned attempt to have a baby is to not understand God's intent and the real meaning of sexual relations.

If having a child is a conscious decision of two adults who are willing to love, nurture and care for the child throughout its life then the method of the baby's conception is not an issue. As the father of three adopted children I have never focused on the physical processes that culminated in my children being conceived, but the fact that I have a relationship with them because I chose to have them as my children and do all I could to raise them to be productive human beings. All Biblical passages approach child raising in this way, and no Biblical example or teaching addresses the question of how the child was conceived...

...If God is the one that places the soul in the human thus making the person human, then it is God that does the placing at the time and method of His choice. God has not indicated any situation in which He will not place a soul. A person conceived by artificial insemination or in vitro methods would not be left out of this process. God is not limited to physical process of any kind. Even the conception of Jesus Christ was accomplished by a method that did not involve normal biological conception. No matter how a person is conceived or developed, they are a spiritual being." (John Clayton, "Are Cloned Humans Spiritual?", in "Does God Exist?," Vol 26, #2, March/April 1999, 718 E. Donmoyer, S Bend, IN 46614-1999)


AHITHOPHEL: Bitterness destroyed Ahithophel, David’s counsellor. The Bible says of this man: "The advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom." 2 Sam 16:23

Yet Ahithophel joined Absolem’s insurrection against God’s anointed, David. Why did Ahithophel hate David so much? Because he was the grandfather of Bathsheba (2 Sam 23:34-35, 2 Sam 11:3).

David murdered Ahithophel’s grandson-in-law, Uriah. David made his granddaughter an adulteress. David spawned a bastard grandchild to Ahithophel; his grandchild would be cut off from the assembly of the Lord (Deu. 23:12). David disgraced the family name of Ahithophel (which we of this century cannot fathom the depth of this humiliation). God did not allow his grandchild to live because of David. And burden upon burden, God did not allow Ahithophel to wreak revenge upon David through lawful means, but allowed David to live (2 Sam 12). Incredibly, God expected Ahithophel to accept this and forgive David.

It seems incredible and unfair, but God expects us to perform in our hearts, banish bitterness no matter how terrible the crime against us. Ahithophel well knew the Law on this subject, for the Law said:

"You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD." (Lev 19:18)

Bitterness destroyed this great man. His knowledge will not save him in the Day of Judgment. He was, unfairly so it would see to us, given a seemingly impossible task: to forgive someone who had so terribly sinned against him. –Paul Mitchell

PEARL HARBOR: Dick Fisk stood on the bridge of the USS West Virginia and watched the white line streaking for his ship, venomously angry at the wreckage and death brought about by the Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. In one of the strange encounters of history, Fisk would have to face another battle to forgive these enemies, or lose his own life hating them. Fisk was a Marine, and went on to fight at Iwo Jima, engraining more hatred of his enemy. But consider his post-war situation and decision:

"When the war ended, Dick Fiske was consumed by hate. "And I'm ashamed of it," he says. "I hated so much that it gave me bleeding ulcers. I was in Tripler hospital for about three months, and they cut out part of my stomach, and I have about six wires still inside. They thought I was gone.

"When I woke up. Dr. Levine came in, and he's smoking a big cigar, and he says, 'Sarge, what in the hell is eating you?' I says, I don't know, but I think a truck ran over me.' I was sore. And he looked at me, and he says- pointing to my gut- I can cure that, but'- and he points to my head-'I can't cure that.'

"I says, 'What do you mean?' He says,I went through your record.' He says, 'Good God, Sarge, who do you hate?'

"And then I realized, 'Oh, my God. I know now.' I had put it in the back of my head.... I hated all that killing, and I hated the Japanese, and ... and then he says, 'You got to get rid of that, Sarge, or you're not going to make it.' And we talked for about an hour, and when he left, I was bawling like a baby, but it felt like I had a 500-pound weight taken off my shoulders and I could breathe." --Nat'l Geographic, 6-2001, Pg 98-99

(In 1983 Dick Fiske began to volunteer at the Pearl Harbor USS Arizona memorial to help introduce the film that precedes the boat trip to the memorial. Fiske went on to create the Pearl Harbors Veterans Association, made up of both Americans and Japanese Pearl Harbor veterans, and received hate mail from some US survivors for it. He has traveled to Japan and has become friends with one of the very men who torpedoed his ship and killed his friends!)