Biblical Inerrancy?

What does the bible have to say about its own accuracy? For centuries the word “inerrant” has been used to describe scripture, usually meaning the entire canon of new and old testaments. To the western mind the term inerrant can have a range of meanings. It seems to me high time we stop making up our own definitions and start looking at how scripture interprets itself.

Paul wrote of the whole Old Testament (as we know it today): “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (1 Tim 3:16-17, ESV) Paul often quoted from the Old Testament, using it as an authoritative source for teaching and evangelism. We can see from his remarks to Timothy that he had the highest regard for the canon of Old Testament scripture. The most remarkable part of Paul’s comment here is that he credits God as the originator of the content of scripture. Certainly human hands put ink to scroll, so to speak, but those hands moved under the inspiration and influence of God. This passage is certainly the most often quoted in support of the dogma of inerrancy, but there are many more passages to consider.

Knowing scripture is inspired by God is one thing, but knowing it is true is another. Balaam prophesied: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind.” (Nu 23:19a, ESV) God’s character is such that He will not lie. Since scripture is breathed out by God (even though written down through the hands of human beings), it stands to reason that scripture will not lie. It also stands to reason prophecy given by God will come to pass since God does not change His mind. Context is critical and the prophet speaking here is not someone we would normally heed, so we need to consider more examples.

Moses is credited with authorship of the first five books of the bible, also called Torah or the Pentateuch. In Dt 18 Moses speaks on the subject of prophecy and whether to listen to a prophet: “Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the LORD?’ — whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.” (Dt 18:21-22, NET) A prophet of God will be identified by the fulfillment of the prophecy. The acid test of whether to trust the prophecies of scripture is whether those prophecies are fulfilled. If you read the account of Balaam in Nu 22-24, the prophecies he gives from God are fulfilled, thus his words regarding God’s character (Nu 23:19) are to be considered trustworthy.

And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true…” (2 Sam 7:28a, ESV) David validates that words given by God are true. David also writes: “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true;” (2 Sam 22:31 and Ps 18:30 ESV). Once again scripture declares its source to be truthful.

Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (1 Pe 1:20-21, NET) Here Peter essentially confirms what Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy. In this case Peter is specifically speaking of prophecy found in scripture which is why this passage is used less often to support the doctrine of inerrancy. It is worth taking a moment to clarify the meaning of the term “prophecy.” Most people would define the term prophecy as a forecast of future events. While this is frequently how prophecy is applied, it is a poor definition. Prophecy (of God) is any message given by God, for God’s purpose and glory, usually given to God’s people and fulfilled in God’s timing. By this broad definition the whole Old Testament (this is what Peter was talking about here) can be categorized as prophecy. If you want to be more specific, every part of the Old Testament that quotes God (e.g. God says…) or is a revelation from God is prophecy. As such, most if not all of the Old Testament is to be considered divinely inspired. The words which were written were given to the prophets through the work of the Holy Spirit.

After the resurrection Jesus spoke to his disciples: Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” (Lk 24:44, NET) Jesus was very clear here. The “law of Moses” is the Torah (first five books of the bible). The “prophets and psalms” refer to the rest of the biblical canon. It should be noted here that by the time of Jesus, all of the books we currently have in our Old Testament were already collected into a complete set. This set was made up of the three parts: law, psalms and prophets. Psalms included various writings such as Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Chronicles, Job, and a few others. Prophets included all of the books we consider prophets today plus books we would probably call histories, such as Samuel, Kings, Judges, Joshua, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The point here is that Jesus ranked all sections of the Old Testament equally in terms of prophetic value. Jesus declared himself to be the source of ultimate prophetic fulfillment.

When Jesus uttered his final words, “It is finished,” (Jn 19:30) he was not saying all prophecies were finally and fully fulfilled. Instead, he was saying his work on earth was complete and the final act of atonement for sin for was finished. Jesus himself gave several prophecies about events which would take place long after his own death and resurrection. This passage gives us proper perspective for understanding Lk 24:44. The Old Testament contained hundreds of specific prophecies concerning the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Those prophecies were fulfilled with startling accuracy. This does not mean the Old Testament does not contain other prophecies about events yet to unfold. What this does mean, however, is that those as yet unfulfilled prophecies can be trusted because other prophecies given by those prophets concerning the advent of Jesus were fulfilled accurately.

Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.” (Rev 21:5b, NET) The rules for prophecy did not change after Jesus rose. These words of reassurance given to John near the end of Revelation confirm the reliability of God’s revelation to John.

James also writes regarding God’s unwavering character: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (Jas 1:17, ESV) One of God’s attributes is immutability. In other words, God’s character never changes. He does not lie and He does not change His mind (Nu 23:19). His words are true (Ps 18:30) and we can expect Him to do what He says He will do (1 Th 5:24). God gave us the scriptures (2 Tim 3:16) through the Holy Spirit, not through human invention (1 Pe 1:20).

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55:9, ESV) “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Pr 14:12, ESV) We can seek external support to validate or verify scripture (New or Old Testament), however scripture is a weightier authority than any idea, philosophy, or conclusion reached through natural human understanding alone.

There is a common logic problem Christians often fall into today. Many Christians seek to use natural evidence to validate faith. This is a dangerous practice for various reasons. First, the evidence we work with can be interpreted in other ways. For example, an archeological excavation may reveal a particular artifact. One expert may claim it proves a particular passage of scripture is true while another expert may claim it proves the scripture false. Perhaps the most hotly debated area of such debate relates to creation and the flood. The same hard data exists, yet some claim the evidence proves the earth is very old while others claim the evidence proves the earth is very young. In this age where scholarly support has shifted heavily in favor of an old earth, those who prefer to accept the plain reading of Genesis often fail when relying on interpretation of nature to prove their position. This failure is because authority is too often given to human interpretation of natural evidence alone, apart from the divine authority of scripture. This same fallacy occurs on other fronts as well, such as debates over morality on issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and ethics.

If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, you need to know and remember that the person you trust with your eternal soul claims to be the Creator (Jn 1:1) and the ultimate source of truth (Jn 14:6). This Jesus Christ is one with the Father (Jn 10:1) as well as the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26). Through God’s divine spirit came scripture. If you believe in Jesus and trust him with your soul, you can and should trust his revelation of himself to us through scripture. If you trust in scripture, no matter how you came to trust scripture, then scripture is a reliable authority. Your authority as a Christian witness is related directly to the authority on which you stand. Do you stand on the authority of Jesus Christ and his revealed word, the bible, or do you stand on the authority of natural facts and data that are subject to human interpretation?

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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30 Responses to Biblical Inerrancy?

  1. Todd Beal says:

    Lance, this is the most hard hitting, relentless, exhaustingly logical and reasoned presentation of targeted scriptural truth I have ever read. Wow!!

    I got fired up just reading this. Keep it up!!

    I would like to respond to each separate component within this post, but goodness, it would take volumes of space. That was truth as only truth can speak. God is with you, Lance. Protect that spiritual direction at all cost.

    Thank you, my brother.

    Todd

  2. Lance Ponder says:

    Thanks. Once in a while I get a good one. ~_* Seriously, tho, between the subjects at your site and a debate raging over on another site about the reliability of scripture I really had to write this. Glad you liked it. 😀

  3. 66books365 says:

    “If you believe in Jesus and trust him with your soul, you can and should trust his revelation of himself to us through scripture. If you trust in scripture, no matter how you came to trust scripture, then scripture is a reliable authority.”

    Amen.

    Yes, you are fired up. =)

    This certainly is a hot topic. Believers themselves are so divided on it. Thanks for breaking it down.

    • Lance Ponder says:

      It *shouldn’t* be a divisive issue at all. But, you’re right, it is. Those who don’t believe choose instead to believe whatever they want to believe, thinking they are free of consequence. That’s understandable. But when someone makes the claim of faith in Jesus Christ and assumes the label “Christian,” what is that based on? Christians are still human, though. As broken, corrupt, and sinful people – albeit forgiven – Christians still have within them the corrupt natural person who seeks to justify themselves. It is far easier to justify yourself if you can set aside objective truth in the form of scriptural revelation in favor of your own set of rules. The best among us would make God in our image and interpret God’s revealed word as we see fit when we become uncomfortable with its relentless truth.

      Thanks so much for chiming in. I do appreciate your contribution!

  4. Jerry Hill says:

    Very well written and encouraging post, Lance. Interesting isn’t it that so many of us earnest men of God sometimes hold differing interpretations and understandings of the inerrant scriptures? Would you agree that The Word of God comes to us in various ways, including but not limited to the sacred writings? Certainly we can agree on this:
    2 Timothy 2:15 (Amplified Bible) “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” Your work always inspires me toward this end; and I appreciate it.

    • Lance Ponder says:

      //Interesting isn’t it that so many of us earnest men of God sometimes hold differing interpretations and understandings of the inerrant scriptures?//

      Yes it is. I hear all the time people refer to the “living word” with their tongues while pointing to the bible with their index finger. The bible is not living. It is a created thing. The bible is no more alive than the paper or ink its made of. It isn’t the printed word which lives, but the divine logos revealed by the print and quickened by the Spirit in the heart of the reader. God said he would replace our hearts of stone with a heart of flesh and would write His laws on our heart. This means converting us from our worldly nature in bondage to death to new life, made alive by the working of the Holy Spirit, giving us the gift of a new nature. The character of God does not change, but He changes us from corrupt to incorruptible. The bible is static, but its author is alive! The Word John speaks of is the living word, not the written word. One is the living Creator, the other is a revelation (a creation) of the unchanging nature of the Creator. Just as the nature of God is unchanging, so scripture is itself unchanging.

      //Would you agree that The Word of God comes to us in various ways, including but not limited to the sacred writings?//

      Definitely. God reveals Himself through scripture, but also through witness and testimony of the faith filled, through the indwelling supernatural Holy Spirit, through Spirit led preaching and teaching, dreams and visions, and whatever other revelation our Creator deems right to give us.

      Thanks so much. I love hearing your thoughts.

  5. Michael Knudsen says:

    Lance, this is a beautiful exposition of the topic. I just barely finished a comment on Todd’s blog that seems to contradict this somewhat, in that I said we need to be careful about accepting an entire selection of books called “Bible” with all of its versions and translations, just because a post-apostolic “council” said these books were legitimate and those were not. But you make a strong case for legitimacy by association, and I see your point. If I accept Peter, I need to accept Paul, because they were members of the same apostolic quorum and accepted one another. If I accept the Gospels I must accept Moses, who was directly quoted and legitimized by the Savior’s own comments.

    But what of the possibility of newly discovered scrolls and texts? If something new popped up today, who would be responsible for determining its legitimacy and putting it between those two covers? Is the canon closed?

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Is the canon closed?

      That is an interesting and legitimate question. What I wonder is why you’re asking. If you seek to legitimize what Joseph Smith pulled out of a sack, I would say yes, the canon is closed. There are legitimate tests to determine if text is to be accepted as divine canon or not. The greatest test, as Todd mentioned, is conformance with divine character and historically verifiable facts. For example, apocrypha books like Judith or Tobit contain clear references which are obviously and intentionally false. I say intentionally because the authors did not want their stories to be mistaken for historical fact. For example, one of those books (I forget now which) refers to Nebuchadnezzar as king of Assyria. Anyone living in post-exile Judea would have known better, so it was an obvious flaw introduced to purposely let us know it is no more than a moral story – not genuine history. There’s other books to consider for examples also, like the Gospel of Thomas or the Lost Gospel of Mark, to name just a couple. These writings pretend to date themselves to the first century, but there’s a complete lack of evidence for their existence that early. They also contain heretical statements that fall outside the character of God as revealed in those writings that do conform to standards. For example, if we had no extant copies of the New Testament prior to 1000 AD, we could reconstruct every word of it from quotations by writings left from early church fathers such as Eusubius, Polycarp, Origen, and others who sat at the feet of the apostles and heard from their lips what was written in the books we know today as the New Testament. The Gospel Thomas, Lost Mark, Clement, and several other “New Testament Apocrypha” writings simply fail. The documents produced by Joseph Smith certainly do not meet similar tests, either in content or early quotation.

      • Michael Knudsen says:

        Thanks Lance, I can follow what you’re saying there and the logic makes sense. I’ll agree to disagree with you on Joseph Smith, but I was interested in what other Christians thought about the sufficiency of the current Bible.

        • Lance Ponder says:

          No worries. It isn’t the beliefs we hold aside from the canon which matter, or even the beliefs in the canon itself when you get down to it. It is belief in the person, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior, this alone which matters.

        • Lance Ponder says:

          And I’d like to add that I don’t pretend to speak for anyone else. Also, I want to reinforce my prior comment by saying I do not for a moment doubt the sincerity or the saving power of your faith or anyone else who accepts the writings of Joseph Smith. I am not their judge and I don’t appreciate those who make efforts to be their judges. I absolutely do not share faith in many doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I do not pretend to be their judges either.

          • Michael Knudsen says:

            Thanks Lance. I’m accustomed to being in the distinct minority with my “peculiar” beliefs. One of
            our Articles of Faith states, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the
            dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how,
            where, or what they may.” There is enough persecution in the history of Christianity
            without us heaping it upon one another. I appreciate your attitude toward the beliefs of others.

          • Lance Ponder says:

            I understand, Michael. I was once affiliated with the JW’s. They hold some beliefs I now find complete heresy. I won’t talk to one about religion if I can help it. That said, I don’t think they’re all going to hell because they’ve got some screwy ideas. Frankly I don’t know a lot about LDS apart from having extra books, prohibition against caffeine, no prohibition against extra wives, and owning most of Utah. Oh, and the young ones evangelize in white shirts and black ties. That’s all pretty stereotypical, but its the extent of my knowledge.

            I have some ideas that other Protestants and most Catholics would think were a bit nuts. Aside from my position on Creation, and actually tied in with it, I believe the Sabbath is still the Sabbath – Fri dusk to Sat dusk. I believe the God of the NT is the same as the God of the OT. I do not believe in dispensationalism. My views on eschatology do not line up with any of the four major groups. I am an eager evangelist, but I do not believe in the sinner’s prayer or four steps or 12 steps or any other formula. Salvation is not a program and it is not a decision and it doesn’t fix your checkbook. Salvation is a person – Jesus Christ. So you see, who am I to cast stones?

          • Michael Knudsen says:

            –“Frankly I don’t know a lot about LDS apart from having extra books, prohibition against caffeine, no prohibition against extra wives, and owning most of Utah. Oh, and the young ones evangelize in white shirts and black ties.”–

            I wonder if we won’t all meet up in heaven someday in the Lord’s presence and feel a little ashamed
            at the little things that might have kept us from working as well as we could together to build the
            Kingdom. Oh sure, we can’t all be right and someone’s got to be wrong, but I figure that’s got to be
            among the things worked out in the “thousand years of peace” after the Lord’s coming.

            To set the record straight on the stereotypes (which are common and understandable):
            Extra books: The Book of Mormon (record of several groups of immigrants to the Americas in
            ancient times, including a visit by Christ to his “other sheep” after his resurrection). The Doctrine
            Covenants (revelations to Joseph Smith and some of his successors), and Pearl of Great Price
            (Translations of ancient records including the Book of Moses and Book of Abraham).
            Prohibition against caffeine: Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, called the “Word of Wisdom”
            is revelation warning against alcohol, tobacco, and “hot drinks”, which the Lord declares “not good
            for man.” Received in 1833, this revelation is considered rather visionary, considering
            such things were generally thought to be healthy at the time.
            “Extra Wives”: Plural marriage was practiced by early Church members, as it was among prophets
            of the OT. Thought to be part of the “restoration of all things”, it was abandoned when intense
            persecution and changes in U.S. law made it illegal. Those engaging in this practice since 1890 are
            considered outside the Church and have been excommunicated. Various apostate and splinter
            groups still practice it.
            Owning most of Utah: Well, I think the BLM is probably the biggest land owner in the state, but the
            Church does own substantial property. The population of the state is less than 40% active LDS
            (there are more Mormons in California than in Utah and more Mormons outside the U.S. than within
            its borders).
            White shirts and ties: Currently more than 50,000 Elders and Sisters serving worldwide. I myself
            donned the black nametage in Northern Brazil 1985-87. Best two years of my life.

        • Lance Ponder says:

          Thanks for the info. It seems then the stereotypes I’ve seen have a basis in reality. 😉

          I need not accept everything you do (and vice-versa) to accept you. Let us discuss and debate and learn as best we can together. I am fine with agreeing to disagree on things and would much rather be clear than be in agreement. Taking a different position all too often results in harmful division and rancor, but it need not be that way and it grieves me when it is. You are always welcome to state your position and clarify as needed. I will do likewise. I look forward to learning more from you. Thanks for participating and keep up the critical thinking.

      • When Paul quotes the Old Testament, he wrote in Greek using the same words as the Septuagint even in areas where later translations from Hebrew have offered different renderings. The Septuagint (not the Hebrew Bible) was the OT for the Greek-speaking early church and apparently Paul, which is different than what Protestants use today. Wouldn’t Paul’s statement apply to Judith and Tobit just as much as any other book? He didn’t offer a list of books or make any explicit exceptions when he seems to endorse the Septuagint in Timothy. The church fathers you listed who helped carve out which NT books were canonical seemed to take for granted the inclusion of the apocryphal OT books and quoted from them without making a special designation. It seems that any Biblical argument for inerrancy (which is circular reasoning, of course) backfires on anyone who has later gone back and removed books after proving them to be untrue by human understanding.

        • Lance Ponder says:

          Tony, you’re absolutely right about most of what you said. The LXX is what Paul and the other NT writers had to work with when quoting the OT. That accounts for some substantial variations between the quotes and the original Hebrew source.

          The thing about the apocrypha is that it wasn’t accepted as OT canon even in the time of Jesus, even though it was included with the LXX. The NT does not contain any references to any of the apocrypha, although Jesus (or the other NT canon books) either quotes or alludes to every other book in the OT. The apocrypha has always been separate from canon, even within the LXX of Jesus’ time. We also have the Apostolic tradition on this, for what that’s worth. Jerome translated it and included much of it in the Vulgate. By bringing it into Latin and keeping it integrated, despite considerable debate at the time, it remained solidly a part of the bible up to the reformation. I think Tyndale included it in his English translation, and even the original KJV of 1611 included it, though it was segregated. It was in the latter part of the 19th century that printers of the KJV started dropping the apocrypha completely out of bibles. Although included with scripture in the Vulgate and LXX, it was never held up as having equal authority to canon except by a few. Several books (not sure if its all) of the apocrypha are included in “Catholic” bibles today. Even so most Catholic scholars and those otherwise educated on the matter know and do not consider the apocrypha equal to the rest of scripture.

          As for me, I’ve made a point to read all of it. There are some very good stories and no substantially bad theology that I could find in any of it. It is in the area of prophecy that I would be most careful. For example, some of the writings, like parts of Esdras, is very apocalyptic. Some of it jives with John’s Revelation and other OT prophecies, and some of it seems to conflict or it otherwise different. And finally, as for me, I don’t feel it is required and if anything the errors which are known and substantive are enough for me to say it was wise to withdraw them from general printings of the bible.

  6. Todd Beal says:

    Read the Bible from cover to cover, and then do it again. Now ask yourself, “Do these scrolls fit seamlessly hand in hand with everything I just read?”

  7. Todd Beal says:

    Lance,

    Would you please elaborate on your statement, “I do not believe in the sinner’s prayer”.

    • Lance Ponder says:

      I wondered if that would raise an eyebrow. Let me very clear here. You cannot obtain salvation through an incantation.

      It isn’t the saying of a prescribed set of words which saves, no matter how pious or correct those words may be. We are saved for works, not by works (Eph 2:8-10). The sinners prayer is high piety. It is a works-based salvation at its most insidious. This is not to say that those who believe with their heart and are regenerated by the blood of Christ cannot say this prayer. I’m saying it isn’t the speaking of the words which saves. It is the blood of Jesus that saves.

      To the one saved, does it matter if the evangelist is right with God? No. Can the one who is being saved become good enough to be right with God in order to get saved? No. So who is sovereign in salvation? God alone. Must we confess to be saved? Jesus declared that if we deny him he will deny us. This is the bases of Paul’s statement that we must confess with our mouths – not to become saved, but as the fruit of salvation. A good tree can only bear good fruit and a bad tree only bad. God is Creator and is sovereign even in the bearing of Kingdom fruit.

      I would love to elaborate more, but I think you get the idea of where I’m coming from. If not, I’ll be happy to provide more detail.

      • Todd Beal says:

        Lance,

        About half way through reading your reply, I immediately scrolled up to hit the highest rating I could find: nope, rating system disabled (oh well).

        | We are saved for works, not by works (Eph 2:8-10). |
        Great statement – well phrased to perfection!  I love that statement.  I now have a new way of explaining that concept to others and myself.
        | This is the bases of Paul’s statement that we must confess with our mouths – not to become saved, but as the fruit of salvation. |

        I now fully grasp this meaning.  Wow, only truth relaxes me.  I always know when truth is present because peace always resolves the at-odds tension.

        | God is Creator and is sovereign even in the bearing of Kingdom fruit. |

        What does this phrase mean; “even in the bearing of Kingdom fruit”?

        Regarding your reply to my ‘sinner’s prayer’ question, I could not agree more.  I have lamented over the church’s cavalier approach to salvation: as if words alone (apart from a repentant heart) can save us.

        • Lance Ponder says:

          Regarding the “kingdom fruit” statement you asked about. What I meant is that fruit of the Spirit is just that. It isn’t fruit of the man, whether regenerate or not. It is fruit of the Spirit. When the man is regenerate and the Spirit is indwelling, the man bears the fruit in the sense that the indwelling Spirit works through him (or her). So often we are chastened in scripture neither to run ahead or to stay behind when God moves and directs (through the Spirit). When we, even we who are born again and washed by the blood, act out of our own will apart from God the fruit we bear is of our corruption and not of the Spirit. God may use it and often does, but at a price.

          • Todd Beal says:

            That makes sense. The first thing that comes to mind is the cherubim in Ezekiel moving in one accord with the spirit of God, Ezekiel 1:20-21 (ESV) [20] “Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. [21] When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”

            Your explanation of walking in step with the Holy Spirit gives me a new understanding of this scripture passage.

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Thank you, Todd. Since inspiring this conversion I decided to adjust it a bit and use it as the next post. 😀

  8. Lance Ponder says:

    Todd, I love Ezekiel. I haven’t posted on this site yet about my vision and I removed it from my old site, but I had a vision that ties into Ez 37 and the dry bones passage. Today my wife saw a license plate EZK2419. Check out Ez 24:19, then read the entire context. It blew me away. My wife is coming off some MAOI (or whatever it is) meds and having problems. God is calling us to trust in Him rather than the world, including the Pharm world.

    • Todd Beal says:

      I’m sorry Lance, I’m not making the connection(?)  However, I was stunned when I first read where God took Ezekiel’s wife as a symbolic prophecy for Israel’s punishment.  This is one of my favorite books in the Bible (now that I have my ESV).

      Regarding your wife, stopping an MAOI cold-turkey (or even too rapidly) can be life-threatening.  I highly recommend not ceasing the medication unless under a doctor-supervised plan.  That medication alters vital brain chemistry, and if the cessation is too rapid, the hormone system cannot compensate fast enough to counteract the sudden change.

      • Lance Ponder says:

        No worries about the Ezekiel thing. She was asking the same question as what Ezekiel was asking in that verse. The point of the passage was the need to obey and quit whining. There’s a lot more going on obviously with the meds and she’s not on a real high dose anyway, so she’s doing pretty well. The thing is it is starting to do liver damage. And we’re flat broke.

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