Why should a Christian read a significant portion of the apocryphal literature?
Because falsehood and deception breeds on ignorance. The Truth does not fear the unknown, or anything at all; rather, it exposes darkness for what it is. Do not found your faith on ignorance. Have you found God’s Word to be true in view of every other option?
When every other alternative is surveyed and found out, it is seen that there are no competitors to God’s Word, no part of God’s Word has been lost, and necessarily, no other book will ever be added to the Canon of the inspired Word of God.
Here is a large collection of resources on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphia, demonstrating that the apocryphal books are not the Word of God, with an Introduction.
On the Apocrypha & Pseudepigrapha
And yet, nonetheless, many reformed theologians from the Reformation and puritan eras thought that the Apocrypha had some value both historically speaking and for religious edification (just as other religious books may have today).
Here is the start of a collection of commentaries on the Apocrypha, including from historic, reformed theologians (mainly in Latin):
Commentaries on the Apocrypha
It is a joy at Thanksgiving to be around friends and family, giving thanks unto the Lord for his goodness to us.
As God wants us to be “continuing instant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12), may we long continue being stirred up giving Him the affections of our heart in converse with Him.
Unto that end, we have collected many resources on prayer which we hope will kindle much love and devotion to Him who ought to always have the first place in our hearts.
For pastors, we hope these resources will be of great assistance to you in leading your people to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”. (Eph. 6:18)
Who was the most in preaching on prayer? From what has been handed down to us, and from what we have seen, Charles Spurgeon comes in first, Thomas Boston second, and Jonathan Edwards follows.
The Jesuit Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was the most important apologist in all of Church history for the Romanist Church. Responses to his works numbered into the several hundreds.
As Bellarmine’s volumes of disputations covered most doctrines of the Christian faith in an orderly way, so full responses to them are virtually protestant systematic theologies.
This collection of over 155 works against Bellarmine serves as a full refutation of all the twisted doctrines of Romanism, the Antichrist. Here you will find immensely helpful reformed treatises on the whole gamut of theology in both English and Latin.
Works Against the Roman Apologist Robert Bellarmine
For the first time, here is over a hundred pages translated into English from Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism in Latin, for free and online.
Rutherford’s Examination was the closest thing he wrote to systematic theology. As Arminians erred on nearly every point of theology, refuting their rising, popular system gave Rutherford the opportunity to survey nearly the whole gamut of theology. Rutherford addresses topics here nowhere addressed in his books written in English.
The level of depth, detail and Scriptural, theological accuracy in this work far surpasses nearly anything available in English today. Learn theology from the greatest Scottish theologian in Church history.
Rutherford, Samuel – Rutherford’s Examination of Arminianism: the Tables of Contents with Excerpts from Every Chapter trans. Charles Johnson & Travis Fentiman 1668 / 2019 135 pp.
We have recently beefed up our webpage on the Covenant of Grace. Here you will find 30+ puritan treatises on the subject. We will add more in the future.
There is much blessing to be found in this rich literature on God’s Covenant for those who have a tender spirit before their God and treasure his promises:
The Covenant of Grace
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them his covenant.”
While historic Reformed Christianity has tenaciously held to Justification by faith alone, its consistent answer to the above question regarding the whole of our salvation has been: Yes. The concept is inherent in numerous parts of the Westminster standards.
The new webpage below contains many resources on this subject (the most that is anywhere available, it is believed) that will be helpful to further understanding the Bible’s teaching that good works are necessary to salvation.
The Introduction on the webpage is rather full and walks through the numerous Biblical and historical issues surrounding the question and introduces one to the many distinctions that Reformed Orthodoxy from the 1600’s made about it. The Introduction also distinguishes how the Biblical and orthodox teaching differs from modern heresies such as the Federal Vision, Norman Sherphardism and the New Perspective on Paul.
Numerous quotes have been translated for the first time from Latin from numerous of the older reformed theologians. You will likely learn a lot. May it be a blessing to you, and may we be zealous for good works (Titus 2:14).
The Necessity of Good Works
The 1500’s Spanish reformer, Juan Perez, wrote a lengthy tract seeking to confirm and comfort protestants in the heart-breaking circumstances of living under the fear of the Spanish Inquisition.
This work has been newly translated into English by Charles F. Johnson and will be especially encouraging to anyone going through difficult times. May this old book bring us hope for this life and the next.
“For there is no Jesus Christ without a cross,
nor a true and blessed cross without Jesus Christ.”
Perez, Juan – The Epistle of Consolation to Those Imprisoned by the Inquisition 1560 130 pp. Translated from Spanish by Charles Johnson, with a biographical preface about Perez.
Perez (c.1500-1567) was a Spanish reformer who spent time in Geneva and also translated the New Testament and Psalms into Spanish.
Many of the early puritans refused to wear wedding rings as Romanism in their day had caused wedding rings to bear a commonly superstitious meaning. To wear them was to affirm that meaning, and was hence scandalous. Some persons today teach that it is wrong to wear wedding rings.
However, as wedding rings in many cultures do not bear that superstitious meaning today, nor is it even known that they ever did bear that meaning, to prohibit wedding rings on this account is to revive the knowledge of idolatry, which is contrary to the purpose of Scriptural teaching.
Learn more about this subject and what Scripture and the Westminster documents have to say about it, here:
On what day of the week was Christ crucified?
The answer greatly affects how one understands the events of Christ’s whole Last Week (which events form a significant share of the Gospels).
The options are Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Wednesday is a bit fringe, but surprisingly popular. The Thursday view has risen greatly in popularity in the last several decades amongst evangelical scholars.
This webpage provides in-depth resources defending the majority view of Church History, that Christ ate the Passover on Thursday, the 14th of Nisan, and was crucified on Friday the 15th of Nisan.
Christ was Crucified on Friday, the 15th of Nisan
Here are the most significant whole Old Testament commentaries from Church history in Latin. The works are subdivided into Early Church, Medieval Church, Reformed, Lutheran, etc.:
Whole Old Testament Commentaries
And, as a bonus, here is a brief section on Prolegomena from one of the reformed orthodox writers, Lucas Trelcatius, Jr., which is otherwise unavailable on the net:
Trelcatius, Jr., Lucas – ‘Of the Principles of Sacred Divinity’ 1610 5 pp from A Brief Institution of the Common Places of Sacred Divinity, pp. 1-11.
Trelcatius, Jr. (1573-1607) was a professor of theology at the University of Leiden, Netherlands and one of the key participants in a number of debates with Jacob Arminius.
Here is every major whole Bible commentary in Latin through Church history (which has survived and is on the net): 38 total. The titles have been translated into English.
If you have not begun learning Latin yet, start, and in 3 years you will be able to dip into some of the greatest treasure Christ has gifted the Church.
Whole Bible Commentaries in Latin
What is theology? Can we meaningfully speak of God? What method ought one to go about in learning or setting forth all of theology? How do faith and reason relate?
These are the sorts of questions that Prolegomena (before-speaking) asks and answers. On every front modern theology (and much of evangelical Christian theology) is answering these questions wrong.
Go back to the old paths. You will find them on this webpage of reformed resources from Church history on prolegomena.
For those that have an interest in Latin, some of the most extensive, reformed, treatments of prolegomena are in Latin from the 1600’s. The links will take you straight to the section in the work.
May you be built up in the true faith of our Lord, and may He get the glory.
Prolegomena to Theology
William Attersoll (d. 1640) was an English puritan who wrote a massive commentary on the Book of Numbers.
William Attersoll on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel
Is it morally lawful to make love to one’s wife while she is menstruating? The Bible says quite a bit about the topic, and as it is a practical question, it is worth considering.
The answer of reformed history has been mixed. If an answer will be found, it will be by searching the Scriptures. We give both sides of the argument in a newly written article on the topic.
The article fully examines the relevant Scriptures and delves into the details of Natural Law. The article concludes that the Scriptural prohibitions to this act were ceremonial in nature (not moral), and that Natural Law does not absolutely prohibit making love during menstruation.
Whatever your thoughts are on the subject, you will likely learn a thing or two (or much more) from the article. It is at the bottom of our page on eating and drinking blood (as the two issues are related):
On Eating & Drinking Blood, & Marital Relations During Menstruation
According to Scripture, may Christians eat or drink blood and animals that died by strangling?
The nearly universal answer of the Reformed Church from the era of the Reformation and puritans was ‘Yes’. Find out the plethora of Biblical reasons why.
This question delves deep into the related issues of natural and ceremonial law, Church power and ordinances, and conscience. You will learn a lot from the Introduction and the mass of historic reformed resources on the subject.
On Eating and Drinking Blood
A major share of the Reformation and puritan era held to post-millennialism, that only after the majority of the nations convert to Christianity (in the Millennium, Ps. 22:26-31; Isa. 2:2-5; Rev. 20:4; etc.) will Christ come again.
It is sometimes posed as an objection to this that Christ may come back at any time; therefore post-millennialism is not true. Yet most of Church history has recognized from Scripture that there are prophecies which must occur before Christ comes again; hence Christ cannot come at any time.
This article demonstrates from the Scriptures that the Lord’s standing at the door and coming quickly is consistent with a robust postmillennialism.
Fentiman, Travis – Postmillennialism and the Imminent Return of Christ 2018 22 pp.
As Scripture teaches that the Sabbath was enjoined upon all people at Creation (Gen. 2:2-4), as the moral, Fourth Commandment commands it (Ex. 20:8-11) and as the New Testament upholds keeping the weekly Sabbath on the first day of the week (Jn. 20:19; Acts 20:7-11; 1 Cor. 16:2; Heb. 4:9; etc.), so the question of when the Sabbath begins should be of concern to every person.
In the most comprehensive treatment to-date on the subject, Rev. Fentiman in this academic article demonstrates from Scripture that the Sabbath has always been from dawn-to-dawn since Creation throughout the Bible, without exception.
Fentiman, Travis – The Biblical Sabbath is from Dawn to Dawn 2018 97 pp.
To give a brief summary of the Biblical evidence:
The word ‘morning’ in the Creation account in Gen. 1 is more accurately translated as ‘dawn’, the phrase signifying that each day of Creation ended with dawn, with the next day beginning therefrom. The Old Testament speaks of days starting from the morning or dawn in over 30 verses. The Israelites kept the Sabbath morning to morning in Ex. 16 and the rest of Old Testament history is consistent with this reckoning.
The New Testament throughout its pages likewise reckons days to start in the morning. The Temple in the New Testament counted the hours of the day from 6 A.M. The disciples’ buying of spices in the evening after the death of Jesus is shown to be inconsistent with an evening-to-evening reckoning of the Sabbath. The Resurrection accounts of Christ rising from the dead at dawn assume continuity with the Old Testament reckoning. Christ celebrates the Lord’s Day in Jn. 20:19 with the disciples in the evening of the 1st day of the week, which the apostles continued to practice in Acts 20:7-11.
The corruption of the Sabbath by Jewish traditionalism in keeping the Sabbath from evening to evening likely started in the inter-Testamental era and was preserved in their Talmuds. A very full survey of the inter-Testamental and extra-Biblical literature is surveyed on the issue, as well as reformed history.
Assure your mind and heart on this Scriptural subject and make the Sabbath a delight! (Isa. 58:13-14)
“Quench not the Spirit.”
1 Thess. 5:19
Jeremiah Dyke (d. 1620), an English puritan, preached one of the best and most convicting, sobering and experimental sermons this webmaster has ever come across. The message is vital and deeply applicable to every person.
Take the time to genuinely try your heart upon this rock of Scripture, be humbled and follow the motions of the Holy Spirit to cling to your Savior.
Dyke, Jeremiah – ‘Of Quenching and Not Quenching of the Spirit’ d. 1620 60 pp. a sermon on 1 Thess. 5:19