By Spencer D Gear
‘So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation– 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good’ (1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV).
On June 2, 2006, I had the honour, sad though it was, to conduct the funeral service of my father-in-law, who had died at age 95. Dad had lived with Desley and me for the last 12 years of his life. During our conversations over the years he had made it clear that he wanted me to conduct the funeral if I were alive, and that he must not be buried from the evangelical church in which he was raised. He attended that church, only because of his wife’s commitment, until 1992.
But he was adamant. Do not bury me from that church. I want nothing to do with that church, even at my death.
Why? His mother died when he was 8 years old from the influenza that swept the world in 1919. His father remarried and his step mother would go to this evangelical church and praise the Lord with hallelujahs and other spiritual gestures. But during the week she would treat the five step-children like second-class citizens. She was catty towards them and when her own two children were born, these 5 step-children got used clothes while her two children got the new clothes.
This was an example that turned Dad right off the Christian faith because of the stark difference between what a Christian woman said she believed and showed in church, but the radical difference in the household. This was gross hypocrisy and Dad lived with that nasty memory for 87 years. He never wanted to have anything to do with the God of his catty, hypocritical step-mother.
You and I know that Dad will stand before God at judgment, on God’s terms. His step-mother will not be an excuse, but this matter of the Christian life and the gap between what we say we believe and how we live, is how the apostle Peter begins the second chapter of I Peter.
Today we look at the first three verses of 1 Peter 2 that read:
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (NIV)
Let’s do a brief review:
From I Peter 1:13 to 2:3, it deals with what it means for Christians to be holy. What does holiness mean?
- 1:13-16 Be holy
- 1:17-21 Live in reverent fear (of God)
- 1: 22-25 Love one another
We need to be reminded of the context of 2:1. It begins with “Therefore.” What’s it there for? It is based on what has preceded this verse.
v. 23: ‘Since you have been born again’;
v. 25: ‘The word of the Lord stands forever. And this is the good news that was preached to you’.
Therefore, what are we do as people who are genuinely Christian and who stand on the eternal Word of God?
In the first 3 verses of I Peter 2 we have the fourth teaching on what it means to live a holy life to grow spiritually. To grow spiritually, you must
Get rid of certain things;
You must crave certain things; and
You must have tasted.
B. Firstly, if you are to grow spiritually, you must get rid of certain things in your life (v. 1)
What are they?
1. You must get rid of
Paul uses the word, “all”, three times in this list. If we are to be growing Christians, there must be zero malice in our lives; zero deceit; zero hypocrisies, zero envies and zero slanders. All of these apply to our relationships with other people. This is where people will notice the most important change that comes into your life when you become a genuine Christian.
But it’s a challenge when:
People hurt us – malice grows easily.
When we don’t want people to know certain things about us – deceit comes along.
Are our lives totally, 100% consistent? Mine isn’t, even though with Jesus’ help I try my best.
As for envy, ever thought about that new dress, car, house, etc?
When we don’t like the personality of someone, it’s easy to slander.
Peter says that we must get rid of these:
a. All malice
This is a tough one, especially when there are those who have hurt us – hurt us deeply.
This is totally comprehensive – all malice must be gone if we are to be truly Christian in our living. If we express malice in our relationships with others our love for others disappears.
This Greek word that is translated “malice” means more than what we understand in English. “Malice [in English] is a desire to inflict pain, harm, or injury on [other human beings].” Most often we do this with our words but it can lead to physical injury of other people in our anger.
But this word does not mean viciousness (although there should be no viciousness in the language and deeds of a believer), the word (kakia) is “a special form of vice. . . the evil habit of the mind.” This is the kind of evil thinking that leads to all kinds of evil actions. It means “baseness, meanness, all good-for-nothingness, disgracefulness.” ‘Baseness’ is not a word we use much these days, but it means, ‘morally low, … dishonorable; mean-spirited; selfish; cowardly’.
This malice towards others relates to the second half of the 10 commandments (Ex. 20:12-17):
- “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” If you have dishonoured your parents, it must be gone if you are really a Christian. This becomes especially touchy if a Christian’s father has physically the mother; if the mother has committed adultery; if father or mother has sexually abused another; if one parent has become homosexual, etc. The Scriptures require you as a Christian to get rid of any dishonour towards your father or mother. You must not endorse any such behaviour. You must oppose such evil actions, but they are still your parents. Honour your father and your mother does NOT mean you endorse their behaviour. Get rid of all dishonour of mother and father.
Let’s pick up on a couple of the other 10 commandments.
“You shall not steal.” What do you do with the boss’s time? Are you an honest worker? Do you give an honest week’s work for your pay, or do you steal your boss’s time. It’s so easy to take little things from your place of work. That’s stealing.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.” Gossiping about another is too often the way of life. Sometimes that’s false testimony. That kind of baseness must be gone from the believer.
“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”
Let’s put this in 21st century language: “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife or husband, or any of your neighbour’s circumstances, including the cars your neighbours drive, the house they own, the TV, computer, goods of any sort that they own.” If we covet human or physical things, we are not growing up in the faith. They will hinder growth. The only thing we should want to covet is a better relationship with Jesus which will mean better relationships with other human beings.
The next few things that Peter mentions that we must get rid of are examples of kakia (baseness) that I have just mentioned
Also, get rid of
b. All deceit
Get rid of your crafty ways, your cunning, any thinking and actions that are meant to deceive another. That was part of your old lifestyle and it can continue on. The original meaning of this word, ‘deceit’, was “a bait for fish.” Get rid of all intents that you have “to deceive and to mislead others to their own hurt and to our own supposed advantage.”
If you want to see BIG TIME deceivers in action, watch a Rugby League match. They are called ‘dummy passes’. They are made to look like a pass, a bait for a tackle, but they dummy and don’t throw. It has been described as ‘where the ball carrier moves as if to pass the ball to a team-mate, but then continues to run with the ball himself; the objective is to trick defenders into marking the would-be pass receiver, creating a gap for the ball carrier to run into’.
In 34 years of counselling, the last 17 years full-time in secular agencies, I encountered more than my share of Christian parents, youth and children who were deceivers in how they relate to one another. Nothing undermines marriage and family as much as parents and children who are not up front and honest in the family. Deceivers in a family devastate family unity. Parents and couples? It is critical that you identify and call to accountability those who are deceivers.
How have you been deceiving your parents? How have you been deceiving your spouse? The Scriptures are adamant: Stop it immediately. Confess to God and to that other person. Yes, confess to the other. Find someone to whom you can be accountable.
Another form of baseness that must be gone from the Christian’s life is:
I’ve already mentioned this in my own extended family, of how a step-mother’s hypocrisy left a permanent mark for 87 years on her step-son, my father-in-law. We as the people of God need to talk about how our hypocritical living affects us personally, the family, relationships in the church, and relationships with others. Talking about it is not enough.
It must be gone in all relationships. There must be no difference between what we say we believe and the way we live. If Jesus doesn’t make a difference in relationships, I have to question the person’s salvation.
I only wish my father-in-law’s step-mother had been challenged on this hypocrisy by Christian people, including the pastor.
There’s more bad behaviour that must be gone when we become Christian.
This is prolific in our materialistic Western society. We envy the things of others; the jobs they have, cars they drive, the clothes they wear. When we see the supposed good fortune of others; we envy what they have. Remember this is in the plural in 1 Peter 2. Get rid of all envies in your life. Now …
We know what this means. Or do we? Get rid of “all speaking against others that runs them down.” Remember what Jesus said in Matt. 5:22? “I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ [an Aramaic term of contempt] is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell [Gehenna].” ‘Raca’ and ‘fool’ are words of slander.
Slander has no place in the Christian life.
Imagine what would happen if Christians were known for no baseness, no deceit, no hypocrisies, no envies and no slanders? Do you think that a few people would we attracted to our Jesus because of the change in US?
Firstly, if you want to grow spiritually, you must get rid of those things. Secondly,
C. If you are to grow spiritually, you must crave something (v. 2).
We not only have to get rid of some things, we need to deal with some growth issues.
1. You start doing certain things (vv. 2-3):
a. Live like newborn spiritual babies.
This is a parallel verse to:
1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1:23, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”
Please note what I Peter 2:2 does not say. It does not say, “I’m speaking to brand-new Christians; this is teaching for babes in Christ.”
Remember to whom Peter is writing! In 1:1, “To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout” Asia Minor (which is Turkey today) – he mentions the regions by name. This is not teaching just for new Christians, but for all believers: Live “like newborn [spiritual] babies.” Peter is not contrasting solid spiritual food for grown Christians with spiritual milk for new Christians.
Peter wants all believers, whether new or old in the faith to crave to be nourished by ‘pure spiritual milk’ (ESV). His point in using this kind of language, “like newborn babies” is this: “A baby longs for nothing but his or her mother’s milk and will take nothing else, so every Christian should take no spiritual nourishment save the Word. The imagery is beautiful and expressive. Look at a baby at his or her mother’s breast. In this way you should [always] drink the milk of the Word.”
Let’s pause for a moment to note how easy it is for us to have access to spiritual milk and meat today. We have ready access to the Scriptures in our own language and we can read them (well, those of us who are literate). It was not like that in the first century. The entire NT had not yet been written. The OT was not freely available. Many of us fail to realise that it took Guttenberg’s remarkable printing press to make the Bible available to so many.
In the first century, how would most people get this spiritual milk? Would it be through oral tradition and teachers of the Word or by some other means. Alan Millard has researched this area and he wrote an article published in 2003 for The Biblical Archaeology Society titled, ‘Literacy in the Time of Jesus: Could His Words Have Been Recorded in His Lifetime?’ Concerning the time of Jesus, his research concluded that ‘not everyone could read and write. And some who could read were not necessarily able to write. But archaeological discoveries and other lines of evidence now show that writing and reading were widely practiced in the Palestine of Jesus’ day. And if that is true, there is no reason to doubt that there were some eyewitness records of what Jesus said and did’ (end quote).
However, the amount of literacy (ability to read) is estimated as low as 3%. One piece of research by Bart Ehrman stated:
In Roman Palestine the situation was even bleaker. The most thorough examination of literacy in Palestine is by a professor of Jewish studies at the University of London, Catherine Hezser, who shows that in the days of Jesus probably only 3 percent of Jews in Palestine were literate. Once again, these would be the people who could read and maybe write their names and copy words. Far fewer could compose sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and books. And once again, these would have been the urban elites.
All of this is to demonstrate that for first century Christians who didn’t have ready access to Scripture and many couldn’t read, it was difficult to gain access to ‘spiritual milk’ but Peter still exhorted them to do so.
In Matt 18:1, it states that the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Peter understood the meaning of Jesus’ reply in Matt. 18:2-3, “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Peter carried this further to apply it to all Christians: Live like newborn spiritual babies.
What does that mean?
b. “Crave pure spiritual milk” (v. 2)
clipartlord (public domain)
If you don’t have this desire, your salvation must be questioned. What is pure spiritual milk? How do I crave it? The word “spiritual” (NIV) is based on the Greek, logos, the Word. It’s an adjective, the logikos. The KJV helps us with a translation that is closer to the original understanding: Crave or long for “the sincere milk of the Word.” The NASB, “the pure milk of the word.”
We don’t have an exact equivalent in English for the logikos that that KJV and NASB translate as “the word.” This word is used only twice in the NT, the other place being Rom. 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” KJV: “reasonable service.”
Here in I Peter 2:2 we should think of this word in association with the milk. It seems that 2:2 is reflecting back with us what is in I Peter 1:23, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” So, if you are to grow in your faith, you must crave the Word of God. Remember how this Word is described in 1:23: “the living and enduring word of God.”
Peter is saying that all Christians must live like new spiritual babies, with a craving for “the milk of the Word” (KJV). But also remember something that is taught in 1 Cor 3:2 that we need to move from ‘milk’ to ‘solid food’ when we are ‘ready for it’. And Heb 5:12-13 teaches that the ‘basic principles of the oracles of God’ are ‘milk and not solid food’. We do need to move from milk to meat of the Word.
Notice what Peter calls this “milk of the Word”? “Pure” or “unadulterated” milk that belongs to God’s word. It is not like any other spiritual food. Richard Lenski’s commentary states, “It is without the least guile to mislead or to deceive. All other (human) word (teaching, doctrine, spoken or written) is not ‘guileless.’ This divine Word . . . is perfectly safe for babes to take although they, being just born, have no ability to be careful as to what they drink.”
We are to crave this Word of God if we want to grow up in the faith. Lenski again: You are to “long for this milk and no other…. To cease longing for the divine milk is the most serious sign of spiritual decline, which soon ends in spiritual death.”
I’m reminded of Ps. 119:20, “My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.”
There’s a problem in doing this for some in our world. I was reading The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, April 2006, and I read this:
Whom do you think might have made this statement? I quote: “We and other reverend fathers of the spirituality have determined the said and untrue translations to be burned with further sharp correction and punishment against the keepers and readers of the same.”
Those were the words of the King of England’s “declaration regarding those associated with the first English New Testament to be printed. It was translated by a brilliant Christian and fugitive—William Tyndale.”
I also read this: “Vietnamese Pastor Than Van Truong won 44 new believers to Christ while imprisoned for his zealous Christian witness [in Vietnam]. After his release, following a [Voice of the Martyrs’] postcard campaign, we asked him what his greatest need was and he said. . . We need more Bibles!“
“The Christians in China no longer refer to him by name. He has become simply, “the one who got his fingernails taken.” . . . When the Chinese police and Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers “raided the home of this dear Christian brother,… they found ample contraband: Bibles, Christian literature, He Lived Among Us Gospel storybooks, Christian video discs and other material.” The police interrogated: “Where did these things come from? Who are you working with? Who provides financial help?” He remained silent. For refusing to give them the information, “they placed his hands on the table and held them down. One by one his fingernails were pulled out—all 10 of them.”
All Christians around the world are commanded to crave the milk of the Word. For some, that will place them in jail, losing fingernails; for others they lose their lives.
Yet we in the West have such easy access to the Word of God but we often treat it so casually. God commands: Crave the sincere milk of the Word.
Why do you need to crave the milk of the Word?
c. “So that you may grow up in your salvation” (v. 2)
Surely that’s stated as clearly as it can be. If you are to grow spiritually and mature in your salvation, you must crave, long for, the Word – and spend time with God in His Word.
Please understand that to “grow up in your salvation” does mean you cease to be new-born babies and grow up into adults. But Peter speaks of childhood and growing into adulthood as God’s ideal for our growth. We are to be like babies, always longing for God’s milk in the Word so that we grow in salvation. That is our destiny, the design of our faith.
Back in I Peter 1:9, Peter wrote, “For you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Let’s draw out some
d. Practical applications
How many times this last week have you craved for the milk of the Word of God and spent time in God’s Word? You will tell us your view of being obedient to God by being obedient to what God is teaching from this passage: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk [long for the pure milk of the word] that you may grow up in your salvation.”
If you are not craving the Word and spending time in it, you will NOT grow in your salvation. We can give all kinds of excuses for not spending time in Scripture, but in this day of laptops, mobile phones, tablets and Ipads, there really is little excuse for not being able to read the Bible, even when on public transport.
Do you have a method of reading through the Word of God? You need exposure to both OT and NT. It’s the total Bible and you will not grow up without an understanding of both OT and NT.
For me, it takes 2 years to read through the Bible, reading 2-3 chapters a day. There are 1175 chapters in 66 books in the Bible. You can get through the entire Bible in a year if you read 3.2 chapters a day.
· Why is it important to get the Word of God into your soul? So that “you may grow up in your salvation.”
If you spend time with mainly ungodly people and feeding your mind with TV programmes, secular sites on the Internet, you’ll be programmed by that non-Christian and ungodly thinking. If you program your mind with the Simpsons, Home & Away, and Harry Potter, you’ll not grow in your faith. You’ll have a stunted Christian life. I’m convinced that Bible reading, Bible study, and prayerfully meditating on the Word, should be helping us to know God’s view of all things that are happening in our world:
What’s God’s view on marriage, homosexual marriage, defacto relationships, rebellious children, and unfaithfulness in sexual relationships?
How does God view war, abortion, euthanasia and suicide?
What about submitting to government – local, state and federal? What does God say? Right now the federal government is calling for submissions on euthanasia. We urgently need to send a submission, even if only a few lines. I can provide you with details.
You will never get God’s understanding of all of life without a good understanding of God’s Word. To grow, crave and spend time in the Word.
One of the most damaging things that is happening in our churches is that preachers no longer want to systematically preach through the Bible. I believe we need to do that to be obedient to what Paul said to Timothy in 2 Tim. 4:2: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” I hear many preachers who preach about the Word but few who actually preach what the actual Word says. We get lots of preachers’ opinions that don’t seem to be directly related to the Word. I’m not talking about hints about how to apply the Word of God. “Preach the Word” is what Paul told the young pastor, Timothy.
I find that in my work discipline of counselling, Christians are being programmed by worldly thinking. Read some of the Christian counselling books on integrations, that believe in integrating (read: amalgamating) the world’s view with God’s view. You get what Martin & Deidre Bobgan call, “psychobabble.” It is not God’s word. When these folks sit down with people to offer Christian counselling, there is no guarantee they’ll get counselling that is biblical. There is every likelihood that they’ll get secular ways of thinking with a few Bible verses thrown in.
If you are to grow in your salvation, you need to crave for the milk of the Word. Thirdly,
D. If you are to grow spiritually, you must have “tasted” (v. 3)
You will never ever be motivated to grow in your salvation and to get to the point of craving the Word of God, if you have not tasted that the Lord is good. Peter is asking his readers to recall their Christian experience with the Lord.
Perhaps Peter is reminding us of the Psalmist in 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (NIV) What is true of God is true of Jesus.
Please note what this does NOT say. It does not encourage us to “taste” or experience God. We are to taste “that the Lord is good.” The Lord is good in making salvation available to us, but he is especially good in making the precious milk of the Word available so that we may grow in our salvation. You will especially taste the Lord’s goodness when you read the word.
If you want a correct picture of what’s happening in our world and want to know for sure where it is heading, crave the pure milk of the Word and grow in your salvation.
Is this world going to go on forever? What’s the end of the world going to be like? Why is there so much evil in the world? When I watch the evening TV news, I have to ask: Where does all of this violence and sadness come from? Where will the Christian and non-believer be one minute after death? You won’t find ultimate answers to any of these questions other than from the Bible – the Word of God.
Why do some treat the Bible as though it is just another book? Why don’t we spend more time with God in reading the Bible? Because we are disobedient Christians. The consequence is that we will not grow if we do not do this.
Have you tasted that the Lord is good? Do you know the Lord’s goodness?
Since the pure milk of the Word is the place where you will be helped to grow up in your salvation, it should not be surprising that some liberal church leaders and the secular world attack the Bible.
These are just a few samples of how church leaders attack the Bible, as I conclude:
1. Church leaders
The infamous, John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopalian bishop of Newark, New Jersey: “The biblical texts themselves” have “proved to be quite untrustworthy.”
Episcopal minister, Marcus Borg: “The gospels are neither divine documents nor straightforward historical records” but they “represent the developing traditions of the early Christian movement. . . . Nor are they eyewitness accounts written by people who had accompanied Jesus.”
John K. Williams is a retired Uniting Church minister and he preached this at St. Michael’s Church, Collins St., Melbourne, January 18 2004: ‘An evangelist who preaches the “old time religion” is asking hearers to stake the living of their lives upon beliefs for which there is no evidence whatsoever and that fly against humankind’s painfully acquired knowledge of the world and of themselves. That is not simply, as we today are taught to say, a “big ask” but an outrageous ask 
Every one of those points can be soundly refuted by examining the Scriptures and by the research of biblical scholars. But have a guess who the mass media will seek at Easter and Christmas times? It won’t be you, me or scholars who support the Bible. But they seek out these radicals from within the church who reject what the Bible says.
This is what God says in his Word:
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good”.
Will you believe God and act on His Word and so grow in your faith? That’s the challenge I bring to you today.
Are you getting rid of all baseness, all deceits, all hypocrisies, all envies, all slanders in your Christian life?
Are you craving the pure milk of the word as newborn babies?
Do you urgently want to grow in your faith?
Do you know the Lord? Have you tasted the goodness of the Lord?
Burton Mack: “The Bible’s mystique is oddly misnamed by calling it the ‘Word of God.'”
John Dominic Crossan, a Roman Catholic: “Jesus’ burial by his friends was totally fictional and unhistorical. He was buried, if buried at all, by his enemies, and the necessarily shallow grave would have been easy prey for scavenging animals.”
Crossan is a member of a group of radical biblical scholars known as the Jesus Seminar. The Jesus Seminar concludes that “eighty-two percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him, according to the Jesus Seminar.”
 The original said, “Our fellow man.”
 Simon J. Kistemaker 1987, New Testament Commentary: Peter and Jude, Evangelical Press, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, p. 31.
 Richard C. Trench 1953, Synonyms of the New Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 38.
 R. C. H. Lenski 1966, Commentary on the New Testament: The Interpretation of the Epistles of St. Peter; St. John, and St. Jude, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MASS, p. 77.
 Dictionary.com, ‘baseness’, available at: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/baseness?s=t (Accessed 15 August 2014).
 Lenski, p. 77.
 ‘Glossary of rugby league terms’, Wikipedia, 29 May 2014, available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_rugby_league_terms#dummy_pass (Accessed 15 August 2014).
 Lenski, p. 77.
 Lenski used the word, “Babe,” and I have used baby for all “babe” uses in this passage.
 Lenski used “ever.”
 Lenski, p. 78.
 Alan Millard 2003. Literacy in the Time of Jesus. Could His Words Have Been Recorded in His Lifetime? (online). Biblical Archaeology Society, Jul/Aug 2003, available at: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/1573658/posts (Accessed 15 August 2014).
 Ehrman, Bart D. (2012-03-20). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (Kindle Locations 702-712). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition (cited at: http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.com/2012/04/02/bart-ehrman-on-literacy-in-the-first-century/, accessed 15 August 2014).
 Lenski, p. 80.
 Ibid., p. 78.
 Brian Edwards 1976, God’s Outlaw: the Story of William Tyndale and the English Bible, Darlington, England: Evangelical press, p. 93, cited in The Voice of the Martyrs, April 2006, p. 9.
 Voice of the Martyrs, April 2006, p. 9.
 Todd Nettleton, “The One Who Got His Fingernails Taken,” ibid., p. 10.
 Spong, J. S. 1994, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? A Bishop’s Search for the Origins of Christianity, HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, p. 235.
 Borg, M. J. 1994, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and
the Heart of Contemporary Faith, HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, p. 9.
 Williams, J. K. 2004, ‘It’s not good enough for us’, The Age (Melbourne, Australia), [Online], January 1. Available at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/01/18/1074360629928.html [Accessed 10 June 2006]. This is an edited extract that he preached on January 18, 2004.
 Mack, B. L. 1995, Who Wrote the New Testament? HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, p. 15.
 Crossan, J. D. 1994, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, HarperSanFrancisco, San
Francisco, p. 160.
 Funk, R. W., Hoover, R. W. & The Jesus Seminar 1993, The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. Macmillan Publishing Company (A Polebridge Press Book), New York, p. 5.
Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 14 October 2015.