Spencer D Gear PhD
I write articles for and engage with those who make Comments to the articles in On Line Opinion. It is here that I meet those with, (1) A low or skewed view of biblical authority, and (2) A twisted understanding of biblical content concerning demon possession.
I’ll deal with two of them:
A. “Alleged biblical text”
Firstly, this poster is a constant biblical antagonist and often he gets his facts badly skewed as seen here with his statement: “In the days when alleged Biblical text was written, some 350 years after the event? Many books were left out at the behest of Constantine and or, his hand-picked minions!”
This was a response to my article: Have politics changed ScoMo’s Christianity?
Notice what Alan did! He didn’t write of biblical texts with questionable dates but they were “alleged Biblical texts.”
Then he asked a question but it reads more like a narrative, “They were written 350 years after the event.” Not one example was given to prove what he wrote. Not even one book of the Bible was given as a source for his outrageous claim. Was he talking about the writing of Joshua, Isaiah, Luke or Titus?
If Joshua was the author [internal evidence suggests so], then the date of writing the book is a fairly simple matter: it must have been written before his death and after the last event narrated in the book. Joshua was 110 years old when he died (24:29) [Madvig 1992:243].
This is nowhere near the 350 years the adversary Alan B suggests. Alan B is outrageous in his lack of biblical knowledge:
Love never ever demands obedience or blind unquestioned faith! But only asks you follow example. Never ever demands you ignore your God-given, natural instincts!
The God who is love (1 John 4:8 ERV) commanded (demanded) the ethical standards of the Ten Commandments for God’s OT people. Even for the NT, God’s commandments included, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:33-35 NIV; John 15:12, 17) and “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44 NIV). Both of these examples are in the imperative mood (commands) for the verbs, “love.”
So the God who is love commands His New Covenant people to love not only other Christians but also enemies and those who persecute them.
For the NT, God also provides blessings for those who keep the Beatitudes (Matt 5-7):
(Image courtesy Crosspoint Community Church)
Nadvig suggests some other issues with dating.
Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, the only text available to the Jews was the Masoretic Text (MT). At Qumran, two Isaiah MSS were discovered: IQIsaa and IQIsab. These two MSS thus were older than the MT by 1,000 years, thus dating them to before Christ. This is an important issue since the standard text of the OT is dated by the Talmud to about A.D. 100.
The Qumran texts “show a large measure of agreement with the MT, revealing extreme care with which the text of the book must have been copied by the scribes over the centuries but there are occasional interesting agreements with the LXX. The majority of variations from the MT are, however, in spelling, which make no real difference to the text” (Grogan 1986:22).
Let’s now examine a couple NT books for a timeline of authorship.
Don Stewart’s assessment was:
If Acts were written about A.D. 62, then this helps us date the four gospels. The Book of Acts is the second half of a treatise written by Luke to a man named Theophilus. Since we know that the Gospel of Luke was written before the Book of Acts, we can then date the Gospel of Luke sometime around A.D. 60 or before (Stewart 2021).
The Epistle to Titus was written in approximately AD 66. Paul’s many journeys are well documented and show that he wrote to Titus from Nicopolis in Epirus. In some Bibles a subscription to the epistle may show that Paul wrote from Nicopolis in Macedonia. However, there is no such place known and subscriptions have no authority as they are not authentic (Got Questions Ministries, Summary of the Book of Titus).
So a survey of four books, two from the OT and two from the NT, reveals Alan B is right off base with his claim the books were written 350 years after the actions described. Thus, it makes him an ignoramus concerning biblical scholarship.
This is a comment regarding my article, Intolerant intolerance. LEGO’s view was:
God told his followers to kill witches, but witches do not exist. The whole idea is potty and it had extremely tragic consequences for the numerous innocent victims of this stupid thinking. Ozspen seems to imply that witches do exist, so I will leave that to the judgement of our readers to judge Ozspen’s mental state.
Notice what LEGO does:
- He doesn’t reference his “no witches” source in Scripture. I’ll do that for him. “In 2 Chronicles 33:6, King Manasseh is condemned for his many evil practices, including sorcery: “And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger” (Got Questions Ministries, What does the Bible say about sorcery?)
This is under the Old Covenant where God wanted to keep His people holy.
So LEGO believes “witches do not exist.” That is nothing more than his opinion or assertion. He should go to Peru and meet with some witches to decide if they exist or not. Missionaries in this country regularly encounter the reality of witchcraft.
Then he engaged in his use of logical fallacies:
- “The whole idea is potty” and
- “it had extremely tragic consequences for
- “the numerous innocent victims of this stupid thinking.”
Instead of “stupid thinking,” I’m creating examples of reality in the Western world as well as Peru. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the movement:
Wicca is a predominantly Western movement whose followers practice witchcraft and nature worship and who see it as a religion based on pre-Christian traditions of northern and western Europe. Adherents of Wicca worship the Goddess, honour nature, practice ceremonial magic, invoke the aid of deities, and celebrate Halloween, the summer solstice, and the vernal equinox (Contemporary witchcraft).
It is LEGO who is acting the potty and engaged in the “stupid thinking” that witchcraft does not exist.
Walter Martin told of an example that happened with him in Southern California, recorded by the Berean Bible Church. It was published after his death:
He discussed a call he received stating:
“We have been praying for this girl for four hours; we’re simply exhausted. Please tell us what to do.”
“What has happened so far?” Martin asked.
“Well, she is possessed by multiple devils.” “Did you get a count?”
They said “Yes. We asked them in Jesus Christ name how many they were and they told us 56.”
Martin said, “Well, that’s a good beginning. Did you get their names?”
“Every one of them named themselves (screeching) whenever we commanded them in the name of Christ.”
“Good. Have you been exorcising them one at a time?”
“Yes, and quite a few of them are gone.”
“What is the girl’s background?”
“She is involved in Satanism. We found the Satanic Bible in her bureau drawer; she has been on drugs for some time. “We also found some symbols of satanic worship.”
The story continues on about how they continued removing the demons one at a time, having the most struggle with the final one, but ultimately removing it, releasing the girl from the bondage of drugs, and how she dedicated her life to Christ and ministry. Martin concludes the story by stating:
These things happen. They are real. Denying them does not make them go away, and the skepticism of modern society has no power to dismiss them; it simply amuses them. Viruses are invisible to the naked eye, but we know they exist because we developed the equipment that enabled us to see them. We may not be able to place a demon under a microscope, but God gave us the means to see them:
1. Demons speak in multiple voices and in multiple languages unknown to the person they possess.
2. Demons exhibit superhuman strength.
3. Demons have access to private information that a possessed person could never know.
4. Demons respond to and obey authority in the name of Jesus Christ.
This experiment has been repeated countless times and it has been proved, beyond doubt, that evil, sentient beings called demons do exits. (Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Occult, 2008 Thomas nelson edition, Pgs 423-425).
Demons are quite literally Satan’s children; fallen angels or spirits who followed Lucifer in his rebellion against the throne of God. They worship the devil, not God.
Demons most definitely were active in Southern California. LEGO doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Grogan, Geoffrey W, “Isaiah,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelein (gen. ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986.
Madvig, Donald H. “Joshua,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelein (gen. ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.
Stewart, Don. “When Were the Four Gospels Written?” Blue Letter Bible, accessed 4 October 2021, https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/stewart_don/faq/historical-accuracy-of-the-bible/question10-when-were-the-gospels-written.cfm, 2021.
 Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 6 November 2019 9:50:01 AM, https://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=20592.
 Ibid., Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 6 November 2019 2:57:05 PM.
 Posted by LEGO, Thursday, 28 February 2019 11:28:40 AM, https://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=20172&page=8.
Copyright © 2021 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 05 October 2021.