Monthly Archives: February 2009

King Solomon’s Gold Collection Roughly Estimated in Volume

By Eusebio Tanicala

The Philippine Bible Society wants to make the present generation feel the weight and volumes that are used in olden times by employing currently understood measures. There are several places in the Bible where wealth is expressed in “talents.” However, many Bible students think that “talent” is ability. But “talent” is a weight measure. And there is the “long” or “royal” talent which was about double the “short” or “ordinary” talent.

In the later Philippine dialect translations, the Philippine Bible Society instructed tribal linguists to use the metric weight measure. Instead of “talent” the weight measure of “ton” is used.

In this article, the writer endeavors to roughly calculate the gold and silver collections of King Solomon by using the record of the Iloco Bible where “ton” is employed. A metric ton is 1000 kilograms (kilos). A kilogram is 2.20 ounces (oz.)

If some are interested to make monetary computations, the price of gold in the world market in the third week of February 2009 was more than $1000 per ounce. This report was made by Reuters correspondents from New York and London which appeared in the Business Section of The Philippine Star (Feb. 22): “Gold rose above $1000 an ounce on Friday for the first time since March last year as nervous investors piled into the yellow metal to preserve wealth amid a tumbling stock market.”

Now let’s notice passages where Solomon’s gold and silver are mentioned. “The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones.” (see 2 Chron. 1:16 & 1 Kings 10:27) Indeed, Solomon’s time was the golden era of Israel. I may have missed other verses where gold and silver are recorded that were owned by Solomon. But the following will suffice to demonstrate the great collection of the Rich Man.

a) 1 Chron. 22:14- Gold stockpiled by David was 4,000 tons = 4,000,000 kilos = 8,800,000 ounces.
b) 1 Chron.22:14 -King David’s silver was 40,000 tons = 40,000,000 kilos = 88,000,000 ounces.
c) 1 Chron.29:4 -Finest gold from David was 115 tons = 115,000 kilos = 583,000 ounces.
d) 1 Chron. 29:4 -Pure silver from King David was 265 tons = 265,000 kilos = 418,000 ounces.
e) 1 Chron.29:7-Gold from officials was 190 tons or 190,000 kilos or 418 ounces.
f) 1 Chron.29:7- Silver from officers was 380 tons or 380,000 kilos or 836,000 ounces.
g) 1 Kings 10:22- Gold and silver every three year voyage of commercial ships. Solomon ruled forty years so that allows about 12 voyages. If the gold-silver volume is approximately that of 1 Kings 9:28 of 16 tons x 12 = 192 tons or 192,000 kilos or 422,400 ounces.
h) 1 Kings 9:11, 14- Gold was 5 tons or 5,000 kilos = 11,000 ounces.
i) 1 Kings 9:28- Gold was 16 tons or 16,000 kilos=35,200 ounces.
j) 1 Kings 10:10- Gold was 5 tones or 5,000 kilos or 11,000 ounces.
k) 1 Kings 10:14- Gold was 25 tons yearly for 40 years = 1000 tons = 1,000,000 kilos or 220,000,000 ounces.
l) 1 Kings 10:15- Granting that 25 tons of gold come from other sources annually x 40 year reign = 1000 tons = 1,000,000 kilos or 20,000,000 ounces.
m) 1 Kings 10:22- Granting that we have 16 tons as in 1 Kings 9:28 from this source, this is 16,000 kilos or 35,200 ounces.

The above is the best estimate I could make from my reading of the accounts in the historical books. I hope that this will make you feel how wealthy Solomon was, however, the verdict on this Rich Man is found in 1 Kings 11:9, “So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who appeared to him twice.” #

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Eugene Awingan, Sr. buried Friday morning

According to text reports, the remains of brother Eugene Awingan, Sr. will leave his residence at 9:30 in the morning of Friday after the necrological service has been done.  A good number of preachers and church leaders have visited the remains during the one week vigil at Beverly Hills Subdivison in Cauayan City, Isabela.

Potia, Ifugao chapel rebuilt

Several church leaders in Isabela and Ifugao joined hands this month of February in rebuilding the chapel at Potia, Alfonso Lista, Ifugao. Brethren Rudy Mercado, Mario and Edward Tangunan, among others, labored several days to make the hall a respectable place to study the Bible and hold congregational worship. While the group labored at day time at the building, they also preached the gospel at night time. On February 24th four young men were fully taught and dramatized the gospel of Christ in water baptism at a nearby river.

Eastern Pangasinan churches fellowship

Congregations in the eastern portion of Pangasinan will hold their quarterly fellowship and joint worship on the 29th of March, according to a report received from Jun Libag. This affair will be held in Sobol, Asingan, Pangasinan.

The Law of Specifity and The Law of Exclusion among Churches of Christ

By Eusebio Tanicala

The Law of Specifity supports the rule of “Go Back to the Bible” and the Restoration Movement’s slogan, “Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent.” The “Law of Specifity” means that what is specified is what the Lawgiver wants to be followed. To subtract from it, or to add to it or to substitute it with another item insults the Lawgiver especially if the Lawgiver is the Creator God, the all-wise God, the all-knowing God, the all-powerful God, the God who is the Judge of the Universe.

Related to this law is The Law of Exclusion which means that what is specified necessarily excludes any other item in the same category. When the Philippine constitution specifies that a President, a Vice President and 24 senators are the national government officials to be elected, the specific law necessarily excludes electing a King or electing a Queen.

The Law of Specifity and the Law of Exclusion are based on the axiom of logic which states: Expresso unius excluso alterius. Roughly translated it reads, “That which is expressed excludes any alteration.”

Among mainstream Churches of Christ, building Noah’s ark is a good example in biblical interpretation. We submit that the gopher wood material is specific and to substitute it with another kind of wood would have been unacceptable. The boat’s measurement was specified. To change the dimension would have been unacceptable. The Book of Leviticus specifies several kinds of sacrifices and offerings. Altering the specified kind of animals and altering the prescribed offering procedures would have been unacceptable. Do you think any Hebrew or priest had the audacity to change what Yahweh prescribed? Did not the prophet Malachi condemn the priests who did not follow the prescriptions about the tithes? An expressed prohibitory statement is not needed to define limitations.

Among Churches of Christ, the specified basis for divorce is fornication in Matthew 19:3-12. There’s general agreement that what is specified remains the exclusive basis for scriptural divorce. An expressed prohibitory statement saying, “Snoring during sleep shall not be a basis for divorce” is not needed.

Among Churches of Christ, the specified elements of the Lord’s Supper are bread and fruit of the vine. We oppose the Roman Catholic Church’s decision of withholding the cup from the people because such doctrine destroys the authority of Christ. All serious Bible students oppose the introduction of fried chicken, lechon, pizza, bibingka, pineapple juice in the Lord’s Supper because we all believe that what is specified would exclude other items in the same category.

Among Churches of Christ, we believe that Ephesians 5:18-19 “singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” Colossians 3:16 “singing with grace in your heart to the Lord;” Hebrew 2:12 “in the midst of the congregation will I praise your name;” and James 5:13 “Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise” (ASV quotations) specify the instrument in making the music of Christian worship: the heart or the spiritual person. Adding the mechanical instrument of music we abhor because we believe in the validity of The Law of Specifity and The Law of Exclusion.

When we in the Churches of Christ interpret the woman’s veil or else her head be shorn in 1 Cor. 11:4-6, we should be consistent in the application of The Law of Specifity and The Law of Exclusion. During the time of the Apostle Paul, the two areas or two activities that were specified when a woman should wear veil are “praying” or “prophesying.” But among Churches of Christ there are five identified worship activities: Praying, Singing, Listening to the Exhortation (Sermon-Bible Exposition), Participating in the Lord’s Supper, Collecting contribution from the members.

To be consistent in applying the two laws cited above, we should agree that there were only two areas when a woman in Paul’s time was to wear veil: when praying or prophesying. Not in other activities.

Also to be consistent in applying the two laws cited above, we should recognize that the specific voice of the two verbs “praying” or “prophesying” is in the active voice. Meaning, a woman had to actually do the act of “praying” or “prophesying” to feel obligated to wear the veil.

To require a woman to veil herself while she listens to the lesson presented by a male teacher during the Bible Study hour or during the sermon which is delivered by a male preacher is to violate the two Laws cited above. To require a woman to veil herself in other areas of church worship would be violative of 1 Cor. 4:6 warning in “not to go beyond what is written” or Revelations’ warning not to add to nor subtract from what is written.

The appeal here is to observe the two Laws cited above or else there would be no limitations in religious activities. Also observe consistency in the application of hermeneutical dogmas so that what is applicable in one area should also be applicable in other areas given the same situation.

(In another article we shall explain that the acts of “praying” or prophesying” among women have expired with the cessation of the miraculous and direct operation of the Holy Spirit in distribution spiritual gifts)

Some Questions on I Corinthians 11:1-16 about Veiling

During my trip to the Cagayan Valley in the first week of February this year, I was asked some questions about the woman’s veil or the woman’s head being shorn. I would like to share with you my reflections on 1 Cor. 11:1-16. Perhaps presenting the issues in question form would be helpful.

Questions #1: How many interpretations have Bible students arrived at about the woman’s veil or woman’s head being shorn?

Answer: There are several major conclusions arrived at which are the following: (a) All females attending church services should be veiled or else her head is shorn from the moment they step into the assembly hall until the end of the worship service including the Bible Study hour applicable from the first century up to the end of the world as a sign of subordination of females to male headship; (b) Veiling or head being shorn was a cultural tradition in the first century in the Bible lands to show female subordination to male headship when a woman goes out of the house including attendance in church services but it is not applicable in the Philippines; (c) The long hair in verse 15 is the veil in verses 5-6; and (d) There are two acts or periods specified in the text when a female who is Holy Spirit inspired which are “praying” or “prophesying” which acts were public and leadership roles in the first century during which a woman should wear a veil or else her head be shorn, however, Holy Spirit direct inspiration ceased by the end of the first century, therefore no female in the 21st century leads in “praying” or “prophesying” among Churches of Christ hence there is no basis for requiring a symbol of female subordination today.

Question #2: In your opinion, which among the four points of view is most consistent or correct?

Answer: I believe that position #4 above is most consistent or correct.

Question #3: Were there women who “prayed” or “prophesied” during the time of the Apostle Paul in the first century of the Christian era?

Answer: Yes, there were or else the Apostle would have not given the instruction. Prophesying by women was foretold in Joel 2:28-31; its fulfillment is recognized in Acts 2:16-21; and actually done according to Acts 21:8-9.

Question #4: Was the act of “praying” or “prophesying” in the contemplation of 1 Cor. 11:5-6 a public and leadership role for women?

Answer: Yes, both actions were leadership roles whether done by male or female. Leadership role is inherent in the term “prophesying.” A prophet, when inspired by God or by the Holy Spirit would stand up in public and proclaimed or expounded God’s message. It follows that in the context of 1 Cor. 11, “praying” is also a leadership role or a public act or church assembly act.

Question #5: What is the significance of the active voice of the verbs “praying” or “prophesying”?

Answer: The active voice of the verbs “praying” or “prophesying” is very significant as much as the passive voice of the verb “”be baptized” in Acts 2:38 and 22:16. The active voice demands that the subject person actually does the act of the verb. The verbs actually done by the woman subject is “praying” or “prophesying.” A woman should actually do the act when she is required to put on the veil or else be shorn. If she does not do either act, she is not required to put on the veil or is not told to be shorn.

The passive voice of the verb in Acts 2:38 and 22:16 demands that the subject person should have somebody to baptize him. The subject person does a disobedient act if he himself baptizes himself. Likewise, a woman does a disobedient act if she wears the veil when she is not praying or prophesying.

Question #6: Veiling advocates believe that Christian women should be veiled or else her head be shorn throughout the period of the assembly including the Bible Study hour, is this correct?

Answer: The passage is very clear that there are only two acts or periods when veiling or head be shorn is required: (a) when a woman actually “prays,” or (b) when a woman actually “prophesies.”

Question #7: What is wrong if a woman veils even when she’s not “praying” or “prophesying”?

Answer: Veiling or having the head shorn when not in the act of “praying” or “prophesying” is wrong because the specified acts when the veil is required are listed: praying or prophesying. To wear the veil or have the head shorn during other acts that are not specified would be going beyond what is written as read in 1 Cor. 4:6 and it is an addition according to Rev. 22:18-20. We apply the Law of Specificity or Law of Exclusivity when we analyze Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 about the instrument used. Heart is specified instrument so it excludes mechanical instruments. We should apply these hermeneutical axioms in 1 Cor. 11:5-6 to be consistent.

Question #8: Do women members do the act of “praying” or “prophesying” as contemplated in 1 Cor. 11:5-6 when they are silent and seated during the Bible Study hour which is facilitated by a male teacher?

Answer: No, they are not praying or prophesying during the Bible Study hour so they should not wear the veil nor have their heads shorn. Their being seated and listening shows their subordination to male headship. Double subordination is not contemplated in the text.

Question #9: Do Churches of Christ women in the 21st century do the act of “praying” or “prophesying” when they are silent and seated during the sermon which is delivered by a male preacher?

Answer: No, they are not “praying” or “prophesying” as contemplated in 1 Cor. 11:5-6 during the sermon delivery period because they are seated and they intently listen. During the sermon period, women are not commanded to wear veil or their head shorn. Being seated and listening intently are actions of women that show their subordination so there’s no need for the symbol of subordination.

Question #10: How do we know that there is no more direct Holy Spirit inspiration among Churches of Christ women in the 21st century?

Answer: Prophesying was one of the miraculous and spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit in the first century. See Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Also the lexicons of Liddell and Scott, Arndt and Gingrich, and Louw-Nida. It is the general belief of Churches of Christ that the miraculous spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased by the year 100 A.D. This view is based on 1 Cor. 13:8-11. No new message, no new instruction, is given to female members today. No Holy Spirit inspired prayer or empowerment is given today among women. When the NT or the gospel was fully revealed and generally understood by the first century churches, the miraculous HS operation ceased.

Question #11: The woman’s veil or having the head shorn is required “because of the angels” says v. 10, is the presence of angels sufficient ground to require a woman to wear her veil today?

Answer: Sound biblical hermeneutics tells us that verse 10 should not be taken apart from the context of verses 1-16. The main lesson in this section is the recognition of a hierarchy of authority which is God down to Christ down to the male and down to the female. We in the Churches of Christ recognize this hierarchy of authority by invoking 1 Cor. 14:33-35 and 1 Tim. 2:8-11. A woman who did the leadership role of standing up to pronounce a new message of God or expounded God’s message or instruction before the congregation in the first century when she was moved by the Holy Spirit invaded the male domain of authority. While she invaded the authority domain, she was made herself equal to male leaders, but even if she was occupied the teaching authority of man during the prophesying period, she could declare subordination to man’s authority by putting on her veil or else be shorn. But since no woman in the Churches of Christ stands up today to prophesy or lead prayers, she does not need to show a symbol of subordination. Her silence while she’s seated and allowing male leaders to teach and lead prayers and lead songs are in themselves declarations of subordination. When a woman openly declares her subordination by her silence and being seated, there is no need to make a double declaration of subordination by wearing the veil which is a symbol of subordination.

Matthew 18:10 tells us of angels who continuously keep an eye on believers; Hebrews 1:14 tells of angels who minister to those who are interested in salvation. I’d venture to say that angels are interested in our salvation and would become unhappy when we disobey. A woman who was moved by the Holy Spirit in the first century ventured into the male authority domain so she was required to wear the veil to declare her recognition of male leadership. Failure to declare her recognition of male leadership by putting on her veil while she stood up before the congregation to expound a new message or instruction while inspired by the Holy Spirit would be a form of disobedience and would have made the angels unhappy. Angels who went beyond the boundary set by God were rebellious and were sentence with a heavy penalty. A woman who does not recognize the headship of male leaders would commit the same rebellion as the angels in Jude 6 who didn’t keep the God-defined sphere. Or we could venture to the idea that angels would report such disobedience to the Supreme God.

Question 12: Is it correct to say that the covering in v. 15 is the same as the veil in vs. 5-6?

Answer: This view seems very unnatural in a literary point of view. The apostle argues strongly for an artificial covering for women from verse 4 down to 14. To cancel the argument for an artificial covering in verse 15 is simply against literary logic and common sense. Culturally, this point of view is also incorrect because historians and Bible scholars testify that Greek women during the apostolic period put on the material covering when they went out to the market or to the public assembly including religious activities. Textually, the two should be different because the veil in verse 5-7 is from the Greek katakalupto and katakaluptomai while the word “covering” in verse 15 is from the Greek word peribolaiou.

Question 13: What is the significance of mentioning the long hair in v. 15 as a covering in relation to the Material veil in verses 4-7?

Answer: I think that the apostle, in citing the long hair as being naturally and culturally beautiful for women, wanted to heighten his strong argument for the artificial veil as a symbol of a woman’s subordination of male headship. That if the long hair of a woman is naturally and culturally beautiful, it would also be beautiful and pleasing in the sight of God and in the eyes of the angels if a woman put on the symbol of subordination while she is the process of intruding inside the authority domain of the male leaders in the acts of praying or prophesying. The woman’s intrusion into the male authority domain while praying or prophesying as empowered by the Holy Spirit would not be an illegal or rebellious act if she declared her subordination by wearing an artificial veil or else have her hair be shorn. (Eusebio Tanicala)

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES USE WRONG ARGUMENTS

The people of the Watchtower Society of New York want to insist that the scriptural name for servants of God is “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” This claim is false when the following reasons are carefully evaluated:

  1. A great majority of Bible scholars and theology professors as well as Bible translators now agree that the best translation of the tetragrammaton YHWH is Yahweh and NOT Jehovah. Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ magazine “Watchtower” recognizes and accepts that Yahweh is the nearest if not the exact rendition of the tetragrammaton and NOT Jehovah.
  2. For more than 50 years, the first name used by these Watchtower friends was “International Bible Students” but in a convention during the second decade of the 20th century (1900s) the new name they wanted to wear became “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” The change of name reveals that the Watchtower prophet was not Holy Spirit-inspired in choosing the right name in the period of 1844 to 1846 in America.
  3. When the Septuagint (Greek translation from the Hebrew text) was made in Egypt some 350 years before the birth of Christ, the tetragrammaton YHWH was translated KURIOS in the Greek Bible. It was not rendered Jehovah.
  4. When our Lord Jesus Christ quoted from the Septuagint Bible while He was on earth, He it appears that He used the Greek word KURIOS and not Jehovah.
  5. When the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament writers like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude all of them used the Greek word KURIOS in translating or referring to the tetragrammaton YHWH. Not Jehovah.
  6. The Greek word KURIOS and its derivatives are translated in many English Versions as LORD (capital letters). Other versions now use Yahweh as in the latest Iloco and Tagalog editions put out by the Philippine Bible Society. The Jehovah rendition has been discarded because it is now recognized as a mistranslation or mis-vowelled.

I hope that this article could be of help. – Eusebio Tanicala