One of the Nation’s most popular magazines recently produced eight pages of comment on the Bible, with opinions of quite a variety of learned men, with quite a few of them revealing how unlearned they are on the Sacred Writings of Jew and Christian. It occurs to us that it will profit our readers if we analyze these various expressions.
Even among those who claim to be true believers there is a wide variety of thought – based in large part upon faulty translations, which go completely unnoticed by those who would offer comment. As an example, we shall consider first the translation most commonly used in Christendom, known as the King James version, which was translated about 1610 A. D. at the instigation of King James of England. His motives were undoubtedly of the highest – he wished his subjects to have something in English that all the people could read. And, while the translation itself is grievously faulty, the work is in fine literary style, having been produced by some of the best minds then residing in England. However, when any one refers to the King James version as “The Bible,” we should ever be mindful that it is not the Bible at all: it is a translation of the Bible; and that translation must necessarily carry with it whatever limitations were inherent in the men who did the work.
Some of the would-be full believers often delight themselves with the expression: I believe the Bible from “kiver to kiver”; and they have the King James version in mind when they say that. Seemingly they ignore completely more than 20,000 mistakes that are contained in that book; and none of those mistakes are inspired. Thus they are not the good “Word of God” (Heb. 6:5) at all. Therefore, if they believe the book as it appears in the King James version, they are not believing the Bible; they are believing the fallacy of man.
In the opening statements of the article they discuss the advent of Jesus with the misleading observation: “God become man.” And they are justified in that conclusion if they rely upon the King James version of the Apostle John’s opening statement in his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” Consider now an exact translation of that text: “In a beginning was the Logos (Greek for Word), and the Logos was with the God, and the Logos was a God. This was in a beginning with the God.” This latter reveals an entirely different meaning than does the erroneous King James translation.
Then the article proceeds: “Faced with mounting scientific evidence for evolution, many biblical critics long ago moved away from belief in the six days’ of creation in Genesis.” The ‘science’ that attempts to substantiate Evolution is described by St. Paul as “oppositions of science falsely so called.” (1 Tim. 6:20) Many of our leading scientists are now emphatic in their denial of the evolution theory; and one radio commentator has told us that one of the Universities in the United States is offering a course that exposes the error of evolution. It is not our purpose to give details against evolution, other than to say that the science of Mathematics proves evolution to be an impossible piece of nonsense. We offer this conclusion only as it pertains to man; we would agree fully that the first life on this earth appeared in the water, that a certain specialized evolution is admitted in the Genesis account itself when it states, “Let the earth bring forth grass.” (Gen. 1:11)
Also, the Genesis account offers direct contradiction to the belief that the six creative days are twenty-four-hour days. In Gen. 1:16-19 we are told that the sun and the moon did not appear at all until the fourth day. Consequently, the three preceding days were not regulated by the sun and the moon at all; and they must be construed as periods of time. Even with the present favorable conditions for producing grass, it is not possible to bring forth one blade of it in twenty-four hours. And this divergence would be even more pronounced if we consider bushes, flowers, and trees.
Then the article carries on: “Nor was Jonah actually swallowed by a ‘great fish.’” In Matt. 12:40 Jesus said, “As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The word whale in this text is from the Greek ketos, and actually means a “great sea monster.” It is a matter of record that such monsters have been found during this century; and, if we wish to attack the truth of what Jesus said, we must logically denounce Him as an unreliable and untrustworthy teacher in all His other sayings. If the Bible is wrong on any one point, it cannot be “the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
Some of these people are also rejecting the belief that Christ was born of a virgin; yet they are now forced to admit that “in 100 licensed sites in Israel archaeological digging continues to turn up new evidence that the Bible is often surprisingly accurate in historical particulars, more so than earlier generations of scholars ever suspected. By establishing physical settings of Scriptural accounts and certain details of corroboration (finding horned altars like those mentioned in 1 Kings 1:50, for example) recent archaeology has enhanced the credibility of the Bible.”
As stated above, many of the Bible’s most ardent believers and supporters exhibit much unreasonable confusion by accepting wrong translations; but their confusion becomes even more apparent when they attempt to take figurative statements and give them a literal interpretation. One outstanding example of such folly in the distant past one which all now recognize to have been errant nonsense – was the belief that the earth was flat. This conclusion was based upon the statement in Isa. 11:12: “The Lord shall gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” How could the earth have four corners if it were not flat, they argued.
One outstanding antagonist of this foolish belief was Galileo, who lived from 1564 to 1642. His controversy with the Roman Catholic Church became so heated, and aroused so much public fanaticism that Galileo was eventually tried for heresy and was sentenced to be hanged, and one writer records it something like this: As they were placing the noose around Galileo’s neck a friend said to him: Galileo, all you need to do is say the earth is flat, and you can go on living. Whereupon, Galileo said, Yes, the world is flat, and the hanging was abandoned. The Church itself is now so humiliated by that episode that they prefer not to mention it at all; and, if they do, they say it was all the result of the stupidity of the churchmen of that time.
But other “dark sayings” of the Bible are not so easily settled. Science has indeed proven that the earth is substantially round, but it has been unable to unravel the many parables spoken by Jesus; and there is sound reason for this. In Mark 4:11, 12 He said to the Disciples: “To them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand.” We would stress here that in a parable the thing said is never the thing meant. This is apparent enough to the general public in such parables as The Wheat and The Tares (Matt. 13:3-8); and in The Sheep and The Goats (Matt. 25:31-46). And, while it is universally conceded that Jesus did not mean literal Sheep and Goats, they still insist that the “everlasting fire” of v. 41 must be taken literally. Many who accept this position claim to be the Bible’s best friends, when in fact they are among its worst enemies, because science itself can pretty well explain away the “everlasting fire,” claiming it is an unsupported myth – which indeed is true if a literal application is made of the text.
In v. 46 it is stated: “These (the goats) shall go away into everlasting punishment.” In one of the more exact translations it is given this way: “These shall go forth to the aionian (age-lasting) cutting-off,” and the footnote has the following to say about it: “That is, in the fire mentioned in verse 41. The Common Version, and many modern ones, render ‘kolasin aionioon,’ everlasting punishment, conveying the idea, as generally interpreted, of ‘basinos,’ torment. Kolassin in its various forms only occurs in three other places in the New Testament – Acts 4:21; 2 Pet. 2:9; 1 John 4:18. It is derived from ‘kolazoo,’ which signifies, (1) ‘to cut off,’ as lopping off branches of a tree, to prune. (2) ‘To restrain, to repress.’ The Greeks write – ‘The charioteer (kalazei) restrains his fiery steeds.’ (3) To chastise, to punish. To cut off an individual from life, or society, or even to restrain, is esteemed as ‘punishment’; hence has arisen this third metaphorical use of the word. The primary signification has been adopted, because it agrees better with the second member of the sentence, thus preserving the force and beauty of the antithesis. The righteous go to life, the wicked to the cutting off from life, or death.” (See 2 Thes. 1:9) The foregoing is in exact keeping with Rom. 6:23: “The wages of sin is death (a severance of life); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Further from the article under review: “How do you preserve faith in the Bible in a world that seems increasingly faithless? For Protestants it is an especially poignant question. Besides the Scriptures, the Roman Catholics have the authority of tradition (it requires a good imagination to accept tradition as authority. “Ye make the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” – Matt. 15:6—JJH), the Jews the guidance of the Talmud. But Protestantism bases its faith on the Bible alone. Its truth is essential; if the Bible falls, faith topples.”
Yes, the Bible is essential to a true faith; but let us be sure we are taking the Bible, and not the fallacious versions of erring men. All of this is in true keeping with the query of Jesus: “When the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith in the earth?” (Luke 18:8) The writer says further: “An occasionally fallible Bible, therefore is a Bible that paradoxically seems more authentic.” When they say, “It seems more authentic,” they are coming a little closer to the truth!
In a later issue of this same magazine there is this statement: “All religions are equally valid; the choice among them is not a matter of conviction about truth but only of personal preference or life-style.” According to their position, believe anything you want to believe; it really doesn’t make any difference. This is quite a sharp difference from what St. Paul teaches in Eph. 4:5: “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
More now from the article of the first magazine: “In the 17th century the Dutch Philosopher Baruch (“Benedict”) Spinoza, an excommunicated Jew, used a method that would be widely emulated by rationalist critics during the Enlightenment: he treated the Bible as a human rather than a divine work and thus subject to investigation of its books according to date, authorship, composition and setting.” Here we are forcefully reminded of St. Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 3:19: “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” A few points of proof: The Law given through Moses is eminently superior to anything that existed in the heathen world at that time. Also, some of the prophecies in the Bible were indisputably written hundreds of years before their fulfillment, which would be impossible if they were strictly of human origin. The 53rd Chapter of Isaiah is a prime example.
Jesus Himself had prophesied: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come.” The Bible has now been translated into 1,526 languages – despite the determined efforts of men and devils to destroy it – and it is presently being bought by or sent to more people than ever before. In the U.S., seven noteworthy new versions have come out since 1966; and all have sold well. One of the largest publishing houses reports that sales of all editions in 1974 are five times as great as they were four years ago. This is in keeping with a recent Gallup Poll: “A far smaller proportion of Americans today than in 1957 believe religion can answer all or most of the problems of the day, with the change in attitudes most pronounced among young persons and Catholics..... Bible reading shows no evidence of decreasing.”
Some vehement critics of the Bible’s inspiration contend that history does not give sufficient evidence for conclusive opinion in the case. “We cannot write a biography of Jesus,” they say; “there are too few facts in the New Testament. All we can say about Jesus is what Christians believed.” Let us now quote from Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Section 3, Paragraph 3: “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
Flavius Josephus was born in 37 or 38 A.D., died in 100 A.D. Thus he was contemporary with all the Apostles – probably knew some of them very well. He writes of himself in this manner: “The family from which I am derived is not an ignoble one, but hath descended all along from the priests.... I am not only sprung from a sacerdotal family in general, but from the first of the twenty-four courses... of the chief family of the first course; nay, further, by my mother I am of the royal blood..... When I was a child, and about fourteen years of age, I was commended by all for the love I had to learning, on account of which the high priests and principal men of the city came then frequently together, in order to know my opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law; and when I was about sixteen years old, I had a mind to make trial of the several sects that were among us... the Pharisees..... the Saducees.. the Essenes... When I was twenty-six years of age I took a voyage to Rome.”
Commenting upon this intellectual Jew, Bishop Porteus says this: “This history is spoken of in the highest terms by men of the greatest learning and the soundest judgment, from its first publication to the present time.
“The fidelity, the veracity, and the probity of Josephus, are universally allowed; and Scaliger in particular declares that, not only in the affairs of the Jews, but even of foreign nations, he deserves more credit than all the Greek and Roman writers put together. Certain at least it is; that he had the most essential qualification for a historian – a perfect and accurate knowledge of all the transactions which he relates; and had no prejudices to mislead him in the representation of them; and that, above all, he meant no favor to the Christian cause. For even allowing the so much controverted passage, in which he is supposed to bear testimony to Christ, to be genuine, it does not appear that he ever became a convert to His religion, but continued probably a zealous Jew to the end of his life.”
While the foregoing from, and about, Josephus would not furnish sufficient information to write a biography of Jesus, it would seem it should be sufficient to place Him definitely on earth at the time claimed in the New Testament. Furthermore, the Book of Acts is more or less a historical recitation of events after Jesus’ resurrection to the end of the Jewish nation in 70 A.D. And, while the Book of Acts has been accused of historical errors for certain details, it has since been proved by archaeologists and historians to be correct.
It is now generally admitted, too, that believers and non-believers alike have today a purer, more accurate text, for example, closer to the original than scholars or laymen have enjoyed since antiquity. We have a more accurate understanding of its meaning, made possible by the abundance of excellent translations. We have given a few of such instances foregoing. The article under review ends with this commendable statement: “Both in the Jewish and Christian Bibles it is irreducible, some time, some where, God intervened in history to help man. Whether it was at the time of the Exodus, the giving of the Law, the Incarnation or the Resurrection, or any of those many smaller interventions that are still so cherished, ordinary human history was interrupted, and has never since been the same.”
In keeping with the confusion in some of the foregoing, we would mention a prominent evangelist who offered the statement that “we were created spiritual beings.” Nowhere does the Bible even hint at such a condition. While it is true that phrenologists are in agreement that man is inherently a religious creature, that his religious qualities are found in the highest part of his mind, this in no way warrants the conclusion that he is spiritual. Digressing just a little here, we would say that the religious qualities have been badly warped by the centuries of sin in man’s background. Thus, with some of them the top of the head is too high for normal thinking. These are caricatured as the “egg heads” – something just tells such people that man is spiritual. At the other extreme we find the flat heads – caricatured as the “roof tops” – and something tells them that man is only animal. Sound thinking finds a balance between these two extremes.
As stated, nowhere does the Bible teach that man is spirit; and, when such people as the evangelist mentioned above offer such teaching, declaring that they believe the Bible, it produces the logical conclusion in thinking people that the Bible is not reliable. Thus, some of its would-be friends are in truth some of its worst enemies unwittingly so, of course. There are many Scriptures that directly contradict that man is a spirit, but we quote just one by Solomon, wisest of men: “That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast.... all go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward (there do you find such an unreasonable teaching?), and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” (Ecc. 3:19-21)
There now exists one outstanding difference between man and beast: Man is promised a resurrection from the dead. “God hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained (Jesus); whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31) The fact that God raised Jesus from the dead offers assurance that “all men” shall also be raised from the dead; but, until that time arrives, the dead “sleep in the dust of the earth” (Dan. 12:2) – just as do the beasts. But until that time of resurrection: “The dead know not anything.” (Ecc. 9:5)
Anent the skepticism that is now so prevalent regarding the Bible’s authenticity, we quote the following from one of the more prominent columnists: “If there should be, on Christmas night, a second coming, would there not soon be a second crucifixion? And this time, not by the Romans or the Jews, but by those who proudly call themselves Christians?
“I WONDER! I wonder how we today would regard and treat this man with His strange and frightening and ‘impractical’ doctrines of human behavior and relationships. Would we believe and follow any more than the masses of people in His day believed and followed?
“Would not the militarists among us assail Him as a cowardly pacifist because He urges us not to resist evil? Would not the nationalists among us attack Him as a dangerous internationalist because He tells us we are all of one flesh? Would not the wealthy among us castigate Him as a trouble making radical because He bars the rich from entering the kingdom of heaven?
“Would not the liberals among us dismiss Him as a dreamy vagabond because He advises us to take no thought for the morrow, to lay up no treasures upon earth?
“Would not the ecclesiastics among us denounce Him as a ranting heretic because He cuts through the cords of ritual and commands us only to love God and our neighbors?
“Would not the sentimentalists among us deride Him as a cynic because He warns us that the way to salvation is narrow and difficult? Would not the Puritans among us despise and reject Him because He eats and drinks with publicans and sinners, preferring the company of winebibbers and harlots to that of ‘respectable’ church members?
“Would not the sensual among us scorn Him because He fasts for forty days in the desert, neglecting the needs of the body? Would not the proud and important among us laugh at Him when He instructs the twelve disciples that he who would be ‘first’ should be the one to take the role of the least and serve all?
“Would not the worldly-wise and educated among us be aghast to hear that we cannot be saved except as we become as children, and that a little child shall lead us? Would not each of us in his own way find some part of this man’s saying and doing to be so threatening to our ways of life, so much at odds with our rooted beliefs, that we could not tolerate Him for long? I wonder!”
Several of the above questions carry an inference that is definitely wrong, but that is due to the poor interpretation that the writer makes, rather than any fault with the Bible itself.
THE BIBLE’S INSPIRATION
Many of the Bible’s critics regard it as a superior book – if not all, at least certain parts. Gibbon, himself an unbeliever, declares the book of Job to be the finest piece of literature in existence. And all men agree that the Golden Rule – “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matt. 7:12) – spoken by Jesus, is a lofty altruistic ideal, the best that has ever been spoken by men; but they counter with the observation that so very few even try to keep it, that it is pretty well lost in everyday life.
Also, we gladly admit that some of the Bible critics are people of considerable intellect and learning; and many of these agree that there is a natural revelation which reveals man’s undone condition, the sinfulness and depravity of the human race. The Bible also very pointedly declares the same thoughts; it also praises the order, beauty, harmony, utility and sublimity in the various features of the heavens and of the earth.
As stated previously, the critics come to conclusions about the Bible which are totally wrong, erroneous, because some of the Bible’s friends attribute to it many things which are not taught there. One of the most deadly of these errors is that man is a dual being – that is, that he has a body and a soul which are separated at death, the body returning to the earth whence it came, with the soul floating off into space as a spirit. But the scientific fraternity has been unable to produce one scintilla of evidence to substantiate this belief; in fact, science is forced to contradict it – as the Bible also does. The Bible stresses a resurrection of the dead. This word resurrection is from the Greek anastasis, which means a raising up to life again. But if man does not die at death, what need have we for a resurrection? And St. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
Whence comes this misleading belief? It is to be found in Gen. 3:4: “The serpent (Satan) said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die”; and this original falsehood has become solidly implanted in all the religions of the heathen and Christian world. Concerning the devil, Jesus said this: “He was a murderer from the beginning (in the Garden of Eden)... he is a liar, and the father of it.” “Because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not (the truth being that the dead are dead, that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, that through Him “All that are in their graves shall hear His voice; and shall come forth.”—John 5:28,29).”
The Bible in its Old Testament, as it was increasingly given, has been accepted by the Jewish people generally for more than 3,500 years as a Divine revelation and cherished as such – just as the New Testament has been equally regarded by the Christian world for almost 1,900 years. And it is in order here to state that the minds that have accepted the Bible as a Divine revelation have been decidedly superior to the minds of the people that have rejected it. We would mention the Apostle Paul (died 67 A.D.); Augustine (430), regarded by eminent scholars as the greatest intellect of the entire human race; Thomas Aquinas (the poor little “rich man” – who disposed of his great wealth, and ministered to the poor because he thought the Bible so required him to do); Martin Luther; Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the law of gravity; Alfred the Great, King of England; and John Wesley, probably the greatest evangelist that ever lived.
AN IDEAL PLAN OF SALVATION
The Bible reveals the only “ideal plan of salvation” for all mankind. This great Plan of Salvation revealed therein commends itself most strongly as of Divine origin, and not the design of man. It is the embodiment of God’s four great attributes: Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power. No one else could come up with anything so sublime. “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and “He is faithful that promised.” (Heb. 10:23) “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) This does not mean that all men will be saved eternally, as some believe. Some believe that not only all men will be saved, but that even the Devil also will be saved; but those of us who have the “spirit of truth” also know the “spirit of error” (1 John 4:6): we know that the Devil, as well as all evil doers who do not turn from their “path of error” will be destroyed. “That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” (Heb. 2:14) All those who will not obey when they “come to a knowledge of the Truth” will be “destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:24)
So when God tells us He will have “all men to be saved,” we need to “rightly divide the word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) in order to understand that from which “all men” will be saved. All men will be saved from the curse that came upon all through the disobedience of Father Adam; and He will save all men from ignorance of the Divine Plan. “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Cor. 4:4) during this Faith Age – but during the next Age, the World to come – when “thy judgments (correct instructions – the knowledge of the Truth) are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isa. 26:9)
There are many who do not know there are Two Distinct Salvations – one for the elect during this Faith Age, and one for the non-elect (all others – the Restitutionists) during the next Age, the World to come. God’s Plan is in evidence in the various Dispensations and Ages. In the first world (Kosmos), from the fall to the flood, the intention evidently was not to “save all men.” Had God attempted to save all men, He would have done so, because God never fails of any of His purposes. (Isa. 55:10, 11) There are two worlds thus far, but there are three Ages in this second world: (1) the Patriarchial Age, (2) the Jewish Age, and (3) the Gospel Age – the Age in which we are now. God’s purposes in all of these Ages have been elective, but in each Age along different lines from those of the others. Instead of dealing on covenant basis with all men during these Ages, He selected out of the world certain ones with whom He has so dealt. This selection or election was not done arbitrarily, as Calvinism teaches, for God never acts arbitrarily, but always in harmony with His character – the blending of Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power. Broadly speaking, the human family consists of two classes: those who trust Him (by faith), even when they cannot trace Him, and those who will not trust Him out of sight – that is, a faith class and an unbelief class. This faith class can stand the trialsome training necessary to qualify them for their work of uplifting the non-elect in the third world – “the world to come.” (Eph. 1:21) The non-elect who lack sufficient faith to be put on trial under present unfavorable conditions, will then have their trial in the Third World under most advantageous conditions. There are some of the non-elect who have faith in God, but not sufficient faith to do the Lord’s will during the time when sin and evil are in the ascendancy. We all know such noble worldlings, and we know that God is not unmindful of their good qualities. “The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.” (Psa. 33:13,14, 18) So He has “appointed a Day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31) We believe we are nearer that Day than when we first believed – so we continue to pray: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
The third world will be the order of affairs that God will establish after the destruction of the present order of affairs in this second world. Thus there will be in the World to come new heavens (new ecclesiastical ruling powers) and a new earth (new social order) in which righteousness will be established. (2 Pet. 3:7, 13) Thus the completed Plan of Salvation for all men – the elect and the non-elect will result to God’s glory, and the blessing of eternal life for all mankind who love righteousness. They will have full opportunity – an “accurate knowledge of the truth,” and the ability to walk in the paths of righteousness, if they so desire.
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8) This “plan” is so ideal and sublime that it is beyond the realm of human imagination. Some say it is too good to be true; we say, It is too good NOT to be true! Thus it is conceived as a Divine inspiration.
Sincerely your brother,
John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
LETTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace in His Name!
I am sorry to learn of the illness and death in your family. I pray the Lord will be with you and yours at this time....
A year has passed since I wrote you requesting the volumes of The Divine Plan of the Ages.... Our study started about four months ago. The delay was due to a Bible study already in progress, involving the other members of our study group. Our study has not been without controversy – which was expected, of course. I am not sure what the feature holds for our group, but I rejoice in the years of blessing I have received in the Truth. If it be God’s will, it is my hope that through humble prayer our study will help open the eyes of understanding of those who are blinded by nominal church errors – and that we might be one in earnestly contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints.
My thoughts will be with you during our Memorial, and my prayers continue to be with you in your good work. Sincerely your brother ------- (CALIFORNIA)
PS - Enclosed is a small contribution to the Lord’s work.
Dearly beloved Brother Hoefle: Grace and peace!
It has been so long since writing you that I am really ashamed to write now. Your last two papers are really good! I have just reread them. I can’t read as much as I once did, but do read in the old Towers and, of course, the Manna, poem and hymns.
They moved me back to the cottage – same bedroom I had left five months ago. I thank the dear Lord over and over, for He is so good to me!
With much love, Sister ------- (KANSAS)