Tag Archives: English


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person


The English language has some wonderfully anthropomorphic collective nouns for the various groups of animals. We are all familiar with a Herd of cattle; a Flock of chickens; a School of fish, and a Gaggle of geese. However, less widely known is a Pride of lions; a Murder of crows (as well as their cousins the rooks and ravens); an Exaltation of doves, and, presumably because they look so wise, a Parliament of owls. Now consider a group of Baboons. They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive, and least intelligent of all primates. And what is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons? Believe it or not ……. a Congress! Is it not weird how their descriptions parallel? I guess that pretty much explains a lot of the things that come out of Washington! It seems more prominent today than it did years ago.


Well, as the clock struck the midnight hour, officially ending the day, it was much as other days except a few times in recent years those days were supposed to be the end of the world, the return of Jesus, etc. Of course those things did not occur, nor were there many who thought they would, but in retrospect I just need to say: so much for the fruitcakes that know more than Jesus knows (according to them). The world has not ended…..the age is not over…..the rapture has not occurred. Did I think it would? Certainly not on the day designated. Has this sort of thing happened before? Yep! Will it happen again? Yep! Why anyone would pay any attention to it at all underscores biblical ignorance. Well, at least the fruitcakes are proving themselves to be false prophets according to Deut. 18:18-22. Maybe that alone is a good thing.


An intellectual scholar was once described in homespun wisdom as being “educated beyond his intelligence.” Of course, there is humor in the description, but beyond that, it seems there is also some sobering truth. It occasionally appears that the more a few folks are educated, the more they appear to be ignorant of what is truly important in life.
On the other hand, those hearing the words of the truly wise man, Solomon, will have their feet firmly established in true wisdom. He said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7. Doubtless, the wise man had encountered a few fools in his day, but it is also obvious that he had listened well to his father, King David, who described those who deny their maker in favor of preposterous theories in these words, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…” Psalm 14:1. The practicality of truth over theory shines so brightly that those who turn from it really do give cause to wonder if they have not been educated beyond their intelligence!

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William Andrew Dillard

There is great power in language conjunctives to transmit proper, cohesive thought. It is true in daily language usage, but greater in theology. Think!
To help assure continuity of thought, such conjunctives as “furthermore, and, additionally,” signifies continuing thought with previous statements. Words such as “therefore, subsequently, but, however, conversely” signal a change in thought pattern to a different or opposite effect.
Obviously, the use or misuse of these powerful unions of thought convey strong implications in both spoken and written form. Unfortunately, the translators of the English Bible choose to use what they thought was a neutral conjunctive “and” almost exclusively. But, it is not neutral. “And” being used to imply both continuous and diverse thoughts may confuse the reader, especially the unstudied one.
Genesis 1:1-2 is a case in point. Verse One denotes the Almighty, Triune, Creator creating (cutting out, forming, shaping in perfection ) both the heavens and the earth.
Verse two states, “And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” There is no mention of the heavens being in such chaotic state. Focus is shifted from the universal cosmos to the planet earth. The shift does not convey a continuation of the actions of verse one, but a different effect altogether. What a difference would be made if readers were reading “but” or however” that is contextually warranted instead of “and.” The context warranting such understanding does not reference the heavens being in such a chaotic state, but both were created instantly by the power of the Word of the Almighty. Yet it is the earth only that is portrayed as a chaotic mess of which God is not the author. It is simple: The perfect God never does an imperfect thing!
The prophet Isaiah underscored this fact. He wrote in 45:18 that the Creator did not create either the heavens or the earth in vain “tohu” the same Hebrew word used to describe the chaotic condition of the earth in Genesis 1:2. The method of creation is simply the Word of His mouth, and a sudden reality, as denoted in Isa. 48:3. In the ancient Hebrew language, there is a distinct difference between a consecutive conjunction and a simple conversive conjunction. Consecutive conjunctions are employed in all the verses of Genesis 1:3-31, but in Genesis 1:2 it is a simple conversive conjunction that is not to be understood as consecutive to verse one action.
While this theological explanation may not be fully appreciated by the average person, it is a vital part of the overall understanding that is to be derived from the pages of Holy Writ both here and in other places as well. In English, context demands the proper use of conjunctives.

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Parson to Person

By: William Andrew Dillard

When I entered Missionary Baptist Seminary in the late 1950s, Dr. L. D. Foreman, President of the school, taught the course: Bible in Eight Ages. It was a real eye-opener, and most helpful to students to grasp the overall outline of the Bible presentation of times and events. Foreman had a lot of select stories designed to inspire students to dedication, and to achieving their highest potential in the ministry. This is one of them.
Once there was a man who loved to farm. He was really good at raising abundant crops of various vegetables that could bless multitudes of folk in faraway places. But, his interest ended at hands-on farming. Of course, he had an unsteady two-wheel cart on which he would load as many vegetable as it would hold and painfully take them to town to sell to eager customers. But, because of his inability to transport his goods effectively, most of the vegetables lay on the ground and soon rotted. However, that did not bother the farmer. He could hardly wait to till the soil again and raise still more luscious vegetables.
Now what the farmer needed was a spur to the railroad and some refrigerated cars to transport his vegetables far and wide. But, that never was an interest to him. He just wanted to till the soil and raise more vegetables.
The moral of the story is this: as you gain information and the ability to study with specific objectives in mind, you will rejoice in what you continue to learn and produce from the Word. Do not be content with that alone. What you also need is an appropriate vehicle to deliver what you learn to others who eagerly wait for the benefit of your study. English is that vehicle. Learn vocabulary! Learn grammar! Learn to spell! Learn to speak effectively to college educated folk as well those who lack education. Otherwise your ministry will be greatly limited for lack of effective transport.
Dr. Foreman was right, of course, but his fable applies across the board to all of God’s people, not just to ministers. We should study to show ourselves approved unto God as a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. We should also diligently study to have the ability to convey these great truths in an acceptable manner to others about us.

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282 – Oct. 09 – This Day in Baptist History Past 



Rev. Isaac McCoy

The “Real McCoys”

October 09, 1825 – Rev. Isaac McCoy, one of the “Real McCoy’s” preached the first sermon in English ever delivered in the Chicago area. Christiana Polk, the wife of Isaac, was the daughter of Captain E. Polk, a soldier and pioneer. Prior to Christiana’s birth, her mother and three siblings had been captured by the Ottawa Indians and held prisoners for several years before being found and freed by the valiant husband and father.

Following her marriage on Oct. 06, 1803 to Mr. Isaac McCoy, the Lord would lead this precious couple to pioneer missionary work among Indians of that tribe. The Isaac’s had 13 children, and they were all raised primarily on the move on the frontier. The children knew the privations of early missionary living but apparently accepted the necessary sacrifices. This is evidenced by the fact that the two oldest sons, after having graduated from Columbian College in Washington, D.C., and the Kentucky Medical College, both died in severe weather in missionary work.

Isaac was ordained on Oct. 13, 1810, by his father, Rev. Wm. McCoy. Isaac’s older brother, James McCoy, was an ordained pastor as was his younger brother Rice McCoy. The younger brother is “supposed to have been the first white child born in the North West Territory. Isaac McCoy authored a 600 page book on theHistory of Baptist Indian Missions without a “study” or secretarial help in the midst of continual travel. His life and labors were truly the connecting link between barbarism and civilization in this region of the country and over a large portion of the West. For nearly 30 years he was truly the apostle to the Indians.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 418-20.

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HEBREW – Cleave


Today we meditate on a word of deep significance. The English cleave appears twenty-six times in the OT, all but six of which are translated from dāḇaq (H1692), meaning “to cling to, join with, stay with.” It’s used, for example, in Job_19:20 for bone cleaving to skin, in Job_41:1; Job_41:15-17 of the great sea creature Leviathan, whose scales are tightly fastened together, in Job_38:38 for clods of earth being stuck together, and in Num_36:7 for someone holding on to an inheritance. So hard did Eleazar’s hand cleave to his sword as he fought the Philistines (2Sa_23:10), we could say poetically that the sword became a part of his arm.
More significant, however, is the figurative use of dāḇaq in picturing relationships, especially of their closeness and loyalty. The first appearance of dāḇaq, in fact, pictures the devotion and intimacy of marriage, where “a man [leaves] his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen_2:24). David’s men cleaved unto him in loyalty when Sheba rebelled against the king (2Sa_20:2).
Most important, however, are the pictures we see of the loyalty and devotion of God’s people to Him. We read several times of God commanding His people to cleave unto Him (Deu_10:20; Deu_11:22; Deu_13:4; Jos_22:5; Jos_23:8), for such cleaving demonstrates true love for Him (Deu_30:20).
A particularly striking example of such faithfulness appears in Psa_119:31, where the psalmist says to God, “I have stuck unto thy testimonies.” “Stuck” is dāḇaq. In Psa_119:25, David says, “My soul cleaveth unto the dust,” that is, despair was sticking to him as though it were glued. Now, however, it is he who is glued, glued to God’s Word (testimonies, February 17). “While the dust of despair is glued to me,” David says in effect, “I am ever glued to God’s standards.” A woodworker uses glue to join boards together, and so strong is that bond that the board will break in another spot before it will break on that joint. That is how we are to be glued to the Word of God.
Scriptures for Study: What were God’s people told not to cleave to in Jos_23:12? Read the verses in Deuteronomy and Joshua noted above and meditate on your closeness to God.


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The first modern Baptist historian
1683 – Thomas Crosby, the first Baptist historian after the Protestant Reformation was born on this day.  The terrible pain and suffering of the 16th century martyrs had just begun to fade from the new generations memories.  The conventicles in England were past and the Baptists and other non-conformist churches were now worshipping in the open without fear.  This was the atmosphere in which Thomas was converted to Christ and baptized into the Goat Street Baptist Church, where the pastor was his brother-in-law Benjamin Stinton, the son-in-law of Benjamin Keach, pastor of Horsleydown Baptist Church, London.  (See entry for March 1).  Stinton had compiled historical materials and planned to write a Baptist history of England, but he died before it was possible.  The papers came into Crosby’s possession and adding still more of his own, he consumed much information on this general subject, but not being a historian he didn’t feel that he was adequate to the task of writing a history.  In that Daniel Neal, a Puritan was writing a History of the Puritans at that time, he agreed to reserve a section for the Baptists,  but when it was finished, it only included a scare five pages of Neal’s third volume.  Crosby, zealous for the Baptist cause decided to write his own history and became one of the greatest of our Baptist historians.  His four volume work, The History of the English Baptists from the Reformation to the Beginning of the Reign of King George I that appeared from 1738 – 1740 is the first attempt at a complete history of the English Baptists.  Truly blessed is anyone who has these volumes in their library.  And what a great reward, no doubt awaits this ready writer whose heart burned to keep alive this history of a great and worthy people for posterity.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 115.
The post 80 – March – 21 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

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Hebrew Language – Lord




The Hebrew ’Aḏōnāy (H136) rendered Lord (initial cap and lowercase in contrast to initial cap and small caps for Yāhweh, ) in most English translations, appears well over 400 times. While the singular ’aḏōn is used also of men—Sarah referred to Abraham as “lord” (Gen_18:12) and his servants called him “master” (Gen_24:9-10), Ruth addressed Boaz as “lord” (Rth_2:13), as did Hannah address Eli (1Sa_1:15), and so forth—the “plural of majesty,” ’Aḏōnāy, is used only of God and speaks of His dominion, possession, and sovereignty.


It is extremely significant that the direct NT Greek equivalent is kurios (G2962), which is frequently applied to the Lord Jesus. Again, while “lord” is sometimes used as simply a title of honor, such as rabbi, teacher, master (Mat_10:24; cf. Luk_16:3), or even a husband (1Pe_3:6), when used of Jesus in a confessionalway, it without question refers to His divinity. The simple, but deeply profound, confession Kurios Iēsous (Lord Jesus) is rooted in the pre-Pauline Greek Christian community and is probably the oldest of all Christian creeds. Jesus is Lord!


Another startling fact is that in hundreds of instances, Lord (’Adōnāy) is actually coupled with either God (’Elōhiym; Psa_38:15; Psa_86:12; Dan_9:3; Dan_9:9; Dan_9:15) or “GOD” (Yehōwāh, instead of uppercase LORD; e.g., Gen_15:2; Gen_15:8; Psa_71:5; and more than 200 times in Ezekiel). This dramatically combines the various aspects of each divine name to paint a more graphic picture of who God is.


While a controversial issue, I would humbly submit that ’Adōnāy (and kurios by extension) being coupled with other names also further underscores the importance of emphasizing the principle of Lordship. In a day when the Lordship of Christ means very little in the thinking of many Christians, we must emphasize it all the more. The popular notion of “accepting Jesus as Savior but not as Lord until a later date” is foreign to the NT. Neither is it a historical position in the church; it is, in fact, a thoroughly modern invention, spawned by the relativism, pragmatism, and tolerance of our age. There is simply no salvation apart from Jesus as Lord (Rom_10:9-10). It is a staggering contradiction to say a person can believe in Jesus as Savior but reject Him as Lord simply because a change of life automatically results in a change of Lordship (2Co_5:17).


Scriptures for Study: Read Mar_8:34-38; Mar_12:28-34, and Luk_14:25-35, meditating on their deep significance.




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173 — June 22 – This Day in Baptist History Past


She Kindled the Fires to Burn the Anabaptists


Hendrick Terwoort was not an English subject but a Fleming by birth and of a fine mind. Persecuted in his own land for his love for Christ, he fled and asked protection of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, the head of the English Church. Terwoort ultimately discovered that he had misplaced his confidence, for Elizabeth had him roasted alive at Smithfield, June 22, 1575.  While in prison, Terwoort wrote a confession of faith that rejected infant baptism and held that a Christian should not make an oath or bear arms, that Anabaptists “believe and confess that magistrates are set and ordained of God, to punish the evil and protect the good,” that they pray for them and are subject to them in every good work, and that they revere the “gracious queen” as a sovereign. He sent a copy to Elizabeth, but her heart was set against him. At the age of twenty-five, Terwoort was put to death because he would not make his conscience Elizabeth’s footstool.


Terwoort was not a singular case. Bishop Jewel complained of a “large and unauspicious crop of Anabaptists” in Elizabeth’s reign. She not only ordered them out of her kingdom, but in good earnest, kindled the fires to burn them.   Baptists were hated by the bishops, who falsely accused them of having no reverence for authority, seeking to overthrow government, being full of pride and contempt, being entirely interested in being schismatic, and desiring to be free from all laws. They were considered great hypocrites, feigning holiness of life.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 255-256.



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149 — May 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


A Ferocious Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, a Fearless Woman, and a Fainting Wife


Baptists from the Pee Dee region of northeastern South Carolina arrived at Cole’s Creek near Natchez in the Mississippi territory beginning in 1780, almost forty years before Mississippi became the twentieth state in the United States of America on December 10, 1817.  These Baptists had served the American colonies in their opposition to the British in the Revolutionary War.  Simultaneous with the Baptists’ arrival to Mississippi in 1780, the English were losing their control of the area to the Spanish.


Among the Baptists who left South Carolina were Richard Curtis, Sr., his step-son John Jones and his wife Anna, his sons Benjamin Curtis and family, Richard Curtis, Jr. (born in Virginia on May 28, 1756), and family.


Enforcing Roman Catholicism on the newly acquired area, the Spanish did not recognize non-Catholic forms of religion.  Problems started for the Baptists when Richard Curtis, Jr., a licensed Baptist minister, began to attract attention with his preaching ability.  By 1790, various people in the area had asked Richard Curtis, Jr., to preach for them.  Later, Curtis officiated at the baptisms of a prominent man William Hamberlin and Stephen De Alvo, a Catholic-born Spaniard, who had married an American woman, and Curtis led worship in private homes.  In 1791, the Baptists established a small church at Cole’s Creek approximately eighteen miles north of Natchez near the corner of contemporary Stampley Road and 4 Forks Road.


The Spanish governor, Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, wrote a letter to Curtis in 1795 ordering him to stop preaching contrary to the laws of the Spanish province, and went so far as to have Curtis arrested April 6, 1795.  Gayoso threatened Curtis, Hamberlin, and De Alvo with the penalty of working the silver mines of Mexico, especially if Curtis failed to stop preaching contrary to the provincial law.


Richard Curtis Jr., Bill Hamberlin, and Steve De Alvo fled the Natchez Country. Cloe Holt, Volunteered to fearlessly take supplies to the men in concealment. When the territory passed under the control of Georgia and was recognized as United States property, Curtis and his companions returned with joyful hearts. Curtis’s wife, not knowing of his return, fainted when she saw him standing in the pulpit to Preach.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/Cummins pp. 218 -219



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“I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance equal in power and glory. That the scriptures of the old and new testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. That God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, so as thereby he is not the author or approver of sin. That he creates all things and preserves and governs all creatures and all their actions, in a manner perfectly consistent with the freedom of will in moral agents, and the usefulness of means. That he made man at first perfectly holy, that the first man sinned, and as he was the public head of his posterity, they all became sinners in consequence of his first transgression, are wholly indisposed to that which is good and inclined to evil, and on account of sin are liable to all the miseries of this life, to death, and to the pains of hell forever.” – Roger Sherman, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution.

How many have noticed the wordsmiths that signed our Declaration of Independence and other documents. The above quote illustrates the education of that day and the art of writing. Notice how Roger Sherman used the word “means” and placed it and properly used it. There are few of us today that would use this word in this manner. I like the term “wholly indisposed”. How about the terminology, “on account.” The intelligence and learning of these men often surprise me. Consider, they were readers because there was no television in those days.

I look back at the days of my grandfather on my mom’s side of the family. In winter, when darkness comes early and the chores have been completed, there were choices to be made as to the entertainment of the evening. Checkers and dominoes were common games to be played. Reading was an activity that many would engage in. The country farms offered the Sears Roebuck catalogue and the Bible. Many learned their English from exquisite Old English of the King James Bible.

Roger Sherman shows evidence of having drank deeply from the draughts of doctrine that God has revealed in His Word. He has laid out in one short, complete, lucid paragraph a compendium of God’s Word.

This is marvelous indeed.

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