Refuting James White on Acts 19:2 - "Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed?" and Ephesians 1:13 - "In whom AFTER THAT ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit."
Refuting James White on Acts 19:2 - "Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed?" and Ephesians 1:13 - "In whom AFTER THAT ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit."
Acts 19:2 "He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost."
Ephesians 1:13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER THAT ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise."
The purpose of this study is to refute the allegations made by people like James White and others who tell us the King James Bible is not the inerrant, complete and 100% true words of God. Mr. James White is a prime example of those who CLAIM to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, yet have no inerrant Bible to recommend to anyone.
In his book, The King James Only Controversy, Mr. White makes some amazing statements, while at the same time alleging the King James Bible to be in error in numerous places.
In Chapter Nine, titled Problems in the KJV, on pages 223-224, Mr. White assures us about his book that "this work is not anti-KJV. I have no desire to "bash" the AV...Over and over again I have explained to individuals that I am not against the KJV, only to find them accusing me of dishonesty in return...Still it is vital to emphasize that demonstrating errors in the KJV in no way demonstrates errors in the "Bible"...Passing over the plain errors in the AV would allow their assertions to go unquestioned and unrefuted. When they claim the KJV is inspired and inerrant, the demonstration of errors in that translation effectively (for anyone willing to follow the truth to its logical conclusions) ends the debate."
I would first like to ask Mr. White that if he is not publishing his work to "bash the AV", then why did he write his 271 page book claiming "errors in the KJV" on almost every page? If there are errors in the King James Bible, then what is Mr. White referring to when he says he is not demonstrating errors in "the Bible"?
Apparently Mr. White does not consider the KJB to be "the Bible". The simple fact is, Mr. James White does not believe "the Bible" exists that does not contain errors. He even corrects his own NASB. The only "inerrant Bible" James believes in is the imaginary and mystical bible he keeps making up as he goes along, and his "bible" differs from everybody else's.
On page 238 Mr. White says: "I fully believe the Word of God IS INERRANT."
The truth is Mr. White does not believe there is such a thing as the inerrant words of God in any Bible or any single text in any language anywhere on this earth. His real position is that ONLY the non-existent and never seen by him "originals WERE inspired and inerrant", but James has no such thing NOW, and he knows it.
For James White to SAY he believes in something HE KNOWS does not exist, and cannot show to anyone alive today, is not (in his own words) "to follow the truth to its logical conclusions".
Not one time in his entire book does Mr. White ever tell the reader where they can find for themselves a copy of "the inerrant word of God" he says he fully believes in.
Throughout his book Mr. White criticizes the King James Bible and recommends instead three different modern bible translations he calls "reliable versions" - the NKJV, NASB and the NIV. Yet these three "reliable versions", especially the NKJV when compared to the NIV, NASB, differ from each other in literally thousands of words, and hundreds of verses with different meanings in them.
I have since heard that Mr. White has come out with his "revised" edition and that he now excludes the NKJV from his list of "reliable versions".
He now includes the ESV, which is even worse than the NIV and NASB. All of these are the new Vatican Versions, but the ESV omits even more whole verses from the New Testament than do the NIV, NASB and it rejects numerous Hebrew readings and it adds literally hundreds of words to the Hebrew Old Testament that not even the NASB, NIV do.
See the documented proof of this in my article The Ever Changing ESVs 2001, 2007, 2011 and 2016 = just another Vatican Version
The NKJV is generally based (though not always) on the Traditional Greek Text that underlies the King James Bible, but the NASB, NIV, ESV omit some 3000 words and many whole verses in just the New Testament that are found in his recommended NKJV.
In addition to this, the ESV, NASB and NIV frequently reject the Hebrew texts (but not always in the same places) and follow instead the Syriac, LXX, Vulgate, or else flat out "make up" different readings. I can prove every one of these allegations. Yet Mr. White calls these three multiple-choice, contradictory and conflicting bibles "reliable translations". Never once does he refer to anything on paper and ink bound between two covers as "the inerrant word of God".
Before proceeding to examine the two examples of Acts 19:2 and Ephesians 1:13, let me mention something more about James White.
I know what his beliefs are concerning the "inerrant Word of God". I have read his book several times. I have discussed the Bible version issue with him both on the radio and the internet. I have written several articles refuting his numerous claims of errors in the King James Bible.
You can see several of these articles, and some of our conversations on the internet at these links:
James White - the Protestant Pope of the New Vatican Versions
James White’s Shell Game
Acts 19:2 "Have you received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed?"
On page 230 of his book, The KJV Only Controversy, Mr. White lists both the KJB and the NASB readings of this verse. The NASB says: "Did you receive the Holy Spirit WHEN you believed?" Then Mr. White says: "The King James Version has Paul asking the disciples in Ephesus if they received the Holy Ghost SINCE they believed, that is, subsequent to the act of believing.
All modern translations, however, translate the passage "WHEN you believed." The difference is not a slight one. Entire theologies of a second reception of the Holy Spirit have been based upon this one rendering by the KJV. The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is materially impacted by how one translates this passage."
Among the Modern bible versions that agree with the NASB reading are the NKJV, NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman Standard, the Jehovah Witness New World Translation and the Catholic versions like the Douay, St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible.
Mr. White then continues: "The rendering of the KJV is only marginally possible. It involves a translation that is awkward, uncommon, and inconsistent with all of Paul's teaching on the subject. This author has been extremely frustrated in attempting to get KJV Only advocates to seriously interact with passages such as this one...The few who have attempted a response have utterly ignored the actual grammar and have, instead, relied upon a rather convoluted interpretation of the passage as their means of getting around a basic problem in translation on the part of the KJV translators." [End of James White's criticism]
One of the things that is of interest in Mr. White's comments on the grammar of the King James reading is that here he says it is "only marginally possible", but later, on page 239 he goes into more detail. There he explains in a much fairer manner that the aorist participle ("since ye believed" or "when you believed") CAN BE TRANSLATED in two ways. "It can refer to an action that is simultaneous with the action of the main verb, (NASB, NKJV, NIV) OR it can refer to an action that takes place PRIOR TO the action of the main verb." (KJB and others)
What Mr. White apparently fails to notice is the CONTEXT of Acts 19:2. In Acts 18:24 through Acts 19:7 we are told about a certain Jew named Apollos who came to Ephesus "who taught diligently the things of the Lord, KNOWING ONLY THE BAPTISM OF JOHN."
Paul then later came to that same city of Ephesus, and found certain disciples. After asking them if they had received the Holy Ghost AFTER they believed, they told him that they hadn't even heard of the Holy Ghost. He then asks them: "Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism."
"Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And WHEN Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
The clear facts of the CONTEXT show us that these disciples were indeed believers in the message that John the Baptist had preached. They believed that the Messiah was yet to come, but were unaware of the fact that He had already come, died and rose again. They already were believers, but they had not yet received the Holy Ghost because they had not yet heard the whole gospel.
Adam Clarke comments: "It is likely that these were Asiatic Jews, who had heard the preaching of John, and received his baptism, believing in the COMING Christ, whom John had proclaimed; but it appears that till this time they had got no farther instruction in the Christian religion. Paul, perceiving this, asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost SINCE (caps are mine) they believed? For it was the common privilege of the disciples of Christ to receive, not only the ordinary graces, but also the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit; and thus the disciples of Christ differed from those of John, and of all others. John baptized with water; Jesus baptized with the Holy Ghost."
Barne's Notes on the New Testament says: "And finding certain disciples. Certain persons who had been baptized into John's baptism, and who had embraced John's doctrine, that the Messiah was soon to appear, Acts 19:3,4. It is very clear that they had not yet heard that he had come, or that the Holy Ghost was given. They were evidently in the same situation as Apollos.
Verse 2. Have ye received the Holy Ghost Since ye believed? Since you embraced the doctrine of John, that the Messiah was soon to come. We have not so much as heard, etc. This seems to be a very remarkable and strange answer. Yet we are to remember,
(1.) that these were mere disciples of John's doctrine, and that his preaching related particularly to the Messiah, and not to the Holy Ghost.
(2.) It does not even appear that they had heard that the Messiah had come, or had heard of Jesus of Nazareth, Acts 19:4,5.
(3.) It is not remarkable, therefore, that they had no clear conceptions of the character and operations of the Holy Ghost."
Matthew Henry comments: "They were much of the standing that Apollos was of when he came to Ephesus (for he knew only the baptism of John, Acts 18:25) "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? Have you had that seal of the truth of Christ's doctrine in yourselves?"
The People's New Testament commentary notes: "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? This question is asked in order to lead their way to a knowledge of their imperfect obedience.... they had heard nothing of the scenes of Pentecost and the descent of the Spirit. It must not be forgotten that they lived nearly a thousand miles from Jerusalem, in an age when each part of the world knew little of what transpired elsewhere. Unto what then were ye baptized? The fact that these disciples "know nothing of the Holy Spirit being given," showed that there was something wrong about their baptism. Unto John's baptism. Why, then, were these disciples re-baptized? The only explanation is that their baptism took place after John's baptism had been superseded by that of Christ, or after the Savior had been crucified. John verily baptized. His baptism was (1) of Repentance; (2) of Faith in a coming Savior. Christian baptism is (1) of Repentance; (2) of Faith in a Savior that has come, died, risen, and been exalted to the heavens."
Acts 19:2 "Have you received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed?"
Agreeing with the King James Bible reading of "Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed?" are the following Bible translations: Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535 - ", the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible (John Rogers) 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the Beza New Testament 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, John Wesley's 1755 translation of the N.T., the Worsley Version 1770, the Clarke N.T. 1795, the Newcomb N.T. 1796, Webster's 1833, the Pickering N.T. 1840, the Longman Version 1841, the Hussey N.T. 1845, the Hewett N.T. 1850, the Murdock Translation 1851, The Commonly Received Version 1851, the Boothroyd Bible 1853, The Revised N.T. 1862, the Anderson N.T. 1865, the Dillard N.T. 1885, the Clarke N.T. 1913, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "Have you received the Holy Spirit SINCE you were converted?", J.P. Green's Modern KJV 1998.
Other English Bible translations that have it just as the King James Bible does - "Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed?" are The Word of Yah 1993, God's First Truth 1999, The Tomson New Testament 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, Bond Slave Version 2009, The New Testament 2009 by Jonathan Mitchell, Jubilee Bible 2010, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "Have ye received the Ruach HaKodesh SINCE ye believed?", Conservative Bible 2011 - “Have you received the Holy Spirit SINCE you believed?”, the Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 - "Have you received the Holy Spirit SINCE you believed?” and The New Matthew Bible 2016.
Even the NIV and TNIV footnote that this phrase can be translated as "AFTER (or since) you believed."
The Geneva Bible of 1599 says: "And saide vnto them, Haue ye receiued the holy Ghost SINCE ye beleeued? And they saide vnto him, Wee haue not so much as heard whether there be an holy Ghost."
Young's 'literal' - "he said unto them, `The Holy Spirit did ye receive -- having believed?' and they said unto him, `But we did not even hear whether there is any Holy Spirit."
The 21st Century KJV 1994 version can be seen to carry the same meaning with: "Have ye received the Holy Ghost, having believed?"
The Douay-Rheims bible 1582 -"And he said to them: Have you received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed? But they said to him: We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Ghost."
In his criticism of the King James readings of both Acts 19:2 and Ephesians 1:13, in which being sealed with the Holy Ghost occurs AFTER we believe the gospel, James White assures us that the KJB reading "is inconsistent". OK, then let's look at what the New Testament actually teaches regarding this doctrine.
In the book of Acts we have several accounts of different groups of people hearing and believing the gospel. The very first and obvious group is that of the disciples and apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They all obviously had already believed the gospel of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but had not yet received the Holy Ghost. This is clear from numerous passages.
Acts 1:5 "For John truly baptized with water; by ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." It wasn't until Pentecost that the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost.
In Acts 8:5-17 we are presented with a group of Samaritans who hear the gospel preached by Philip and they believe. Then the apostles at Jerusalem hear that the Samaritans had received the word of God, and they send Peter and John "who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost; for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Clearly, these Christians had heard and believed the gospel BEFORE they had received the Holy Ghost.
What about the apostle Paul? In Acts 9 we have his conversion reported. The ascended Lord knocks him off his high horse, appears to him in a vision, and tells him that He is Jesus whom Paul is persecuting. Paul obviously at this point believes in Jesus. Yet in Acts 9:17 brother Ananias is sent by the Lord to go to Paul, and tells him: "Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost." Paul believed in Christ before he was filled with the Holy Ghost.
Some would then argue, and not without some reason, that the first group were Jews and the second group were Samaritans. OK, but how about the pattern for the Gentiles? This we see in Acts chapter 10. Here we see a man named Cornelius "that feared God with all his house...and prayed to God alway." An angel of God appears to him and tells him to send for Peter. Peter then comes to the household of Cornelius and begins to preach the gospel, and while he is preaching the Holy Ghost "fell on all them which heard the word." Later on, at the council in Jerusalem, Peter tells the other apostles: "Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bear them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us."
The pattern here for the Gentiles is: 1. heard the gospel. 2. believed. 3. were given the Holy Ghost. This is not a "Charismatic second blessing" type of thing I'm talking about at all. You only receive the Holy Ghost one time. God's work of conversion is hard to divide up into sections, but the Biblical pattern seems to be that one hears the gospel when God opens the heart, they believe the gospel, and then God seals them with the holy Spirit of promise as an earnest of our inheritance. Every person who now hears the gospel and believes in Christ as his Saviour, is then subsequently sealed by God with the holy Spirit.
The second verse Mr. White and others criticize is Ephesians 1:13. The context is that both Jews and Gentiles are now on equal footing in the gospel of the grace of God. The apostle writes to the Gentile believers telling them: "In whom ye also trusted, AFTER THAT ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER THAT ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
It is interesting that Mr. White criticizes the King James Bible for translating this as "AFTER that ye believed", but yet his own NASB, NKJV and many other versions likewise have "AFTER you heard" in the same verse and "AFTER I heard of your faith...I cease not to give thanks" in verse 15. Yet both these examples are all the same type of Greek construction. All three verbs are aorist participles.
Mr. White prefers the NASB, NIV and NKJV here, yet even these versions can be read to give the same meaning as that found in the King James Bible. The NKJV says: "In Him you also trusted, AFTER you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, HAVING BELIEVED, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise...Therefore I also, AFTER I HEARD of your faith...do not cease to give thanks for you."
"Having believed, you were sealed" can also carry the same meaning as that found in the KJB.
When we look at Mr. White's NASB we see a similar thing. There we read: "In Him, you also, AFTER listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation - HAVING ALSO BELIEVED, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise...For this reason I too, HAVING HEARD of the faith...do not cease giving thanks for you."
Notice that in verse 15 both the NASB and the NKJV say "after I heard of your faith, I do not cease to give thanks for you." Paul FIRST heard of their faith, and THEN he prayed for them. Do you see it? In the same way, we can read both the NASB and NKJV as saying "having believed, you were sealed" and it means the same thing as the KJB which Mr. White criticizes.
James White used to work for the NASB. Yet if he had bothered to examine his own NASB more carefully, he should have noticed how the NASB reads in Acts 11:17. There Peter is rehearsing how God dealt with the Gentiles in Acts 10, and here Peter says: "If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also AFTER BELIEVING IN the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?" This is his own NASB! It teaches that AFTER the Gentiles had believed in Christ, then God gave them the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13 - "In whom also AFTER THAT ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit"
Not only does the King James Bible translate Ephesians 1:13 as "In whom also AFTER THAT ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit" but so also do the following Bible versions: Tyndale 1525, Bishops' Bible 1568 - ", the Geneva Bible 1599, the Beza New Testament 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Hussey N.T. 1845, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, the Clarke N.T. 1795, Webster's 1833, the Pickering N.T. 1840, the Calvin Bible 1855, the Anderson N.T. 1865, the Dillard N.T. 1885, the Clarke N.T. 1913The Word of Yah 1993, the 21st Century KJV 1994, The Revised Webster Bible 1995, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version - "In him, you also, after you heard and believed the Word of truth, which is the Gospel of your salvation, were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the Promise."
Other Bibles that read like the KJB are the Urim-Thummin Version of 2001 - " the Good News of your salvation: in which also AFTER YOU BELIEVED, you were sealed with that Sacred Spirit of promise.", The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005 - "who sealed you with the promised Holy Spirit AFTER you believed", Bond Slave Version 2009, the Jubilee Bible 2010, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010 - "in whom also AFTER that you believed, you were sealed with that Ruach haKodesh of promise", The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, Far Above All Translation 2011 - “in whom also AFTER YOU BELIEVED, you were sealed by the holy spirit of promise”, and The Holy Bible, Modern English Version 2014 - " In Him you also, after hearing the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and AFTER believing in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit"
The New Life Version 1969, which by the way is a Westcott-Hort text, says: "The truth is the Good News. When you heard the truth, you put your trust in Christ. THEN God marked you by giving you His Holy Spirit as a promise."
In closing, I would like to show what various Bible commentators have to say regarding Ephesians 1:13. I am not necessarily endorsing all views expressed here, but it is interesting to see how one scholar will completely deny what another affirms.
By the way, John Gill, John Trapp, Charles Hodge and John Calvin all held to the same theology of salvation as does Mr. White. They were confirmed Calvinists. And I tossed in some Arminian theologians in this list as well.
John Gill comments on this passage: "in whom also after that ye believed; which may refer either to the Gospel of salvation, in which they believed upon hearing it; or rather to Christ, the Saviour revealed, in whom they believed to the saving of their souls: and this shows, that the sealing work of the Spirit AFTER mentioned, and with which this stands in connection, IS A DISTINCT THING FROM FAITH, or indeed any other work of the Spirit; as illumination, regeneration, sanctification… IT IS WHAT FOLLOWS BELIEVING, and is a work that passes upon the soul AFTER IT; and so is something over and above, and more than faith, at least than first believing: and from hence it also appears, that there may be true faith, WHERE THIS IS NOT AS YET; and that none but believers in Christ enjoy the following privilege: Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise."
John Wesley likewise comments: "In whom ye - Gentiles. Likewise believed, after ye had heard the gospel - Which God made the means of your salvation; in whom AFTER YE HAD BELIEVED - Probably some time after their first believing. Ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise - Holy both in his nature and in his operations, and promised to all the children of God. The sealing seems to imply, 1. A full impression of the image of God on their souls. 2. A full assurance of receiving all the promises, whether relating to time or eternity."
Adam Clarke says: "after that ye had believed, viz. that he was the only Saviour, and that through his blood redemption might be obtained, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise; that is, The Holy Spirit, which is promised to them who believe on Christ Jesus, was given to you, and thus you were ascertained to be the children of God, for God has no child who is not a partaker of the Holy Ghost, and he who has this Spirit has God's seal that he belongs to the heavenly family. It was customary among all nations, when a person purchased goods of any kind, to mark with his seal that which he had bought, in order that he might know it, and be able to claim it if mixed with the goods of others; to this custom the apostle may here allude but it was also customary to set a seal upon what was dedicated to God, or what was to be offered to him in sacrifice." Here Adam Clarke alludes to the seal being given AFTER something had been bought.
Coffman commentaries on the whole Bible says: "In whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation - in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
In whom, having believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit ... (English Revised Version).
In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit ... (KJV).
This very interesting discrepancy between the English Revised Version (1881) and the KJV reveals the error in the English Revised Version (1881). It is not a mere case of choice of words. The two versions teach different things, and there is no way both of them can be correct. The KJV rendition shows that the sealing of the Holy Spirit of promise took place in those "in Christ" at some point in time "after" they had become believers in Christ; but the English Revised Version muddles the meaning, leaving the possible interpretation that the "sealing" took place coincidentally and at the same time of their believing."
The People's New Testament Commentary says: "In whom ye also trusted. The "we" of verse 12 refers to Jewish believers; the "ye," to Gentile believers, like most of the Ephesians, who also trusted, after that they heard, etc. They not only hoped, but believed. That is, they became believers, by trusting obedience; then they were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. AFTER THEY WERE CONVERTED, THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS BESTOWED UPON THEM. It was a "promise" (Acts 1:4). The seal was attached to a letter or legal document to authenticate it to the world. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of adoption, was God's authentication to the world that the converts to Christ were accepted as his children."
John Trapp’s Commentary (English Puritan) - “After that ye believed - They, 1. Heard. 2. Believed. 3. Were sealed, i.e. full assured. Assurance is God’s seal; faith is our seal God honours our sealing to his truth by his sealing by his Spirit. We yield first the consent and assent of faith, and then God puts his seal to the contract. There must be the bargain before the earnest.”
B.W. Johnson’s Commentary - “They not only hoped, but believed. That is, they became believers, by trusting obedience; THEN they were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. AFTER they were converted, the Holy Spirit was bestowed upon them.”
John Wesley’s Commentary - “In whom ye - Gentiles. Likewise believed, after ye had heard the gospel - Which God made the means of your salvation; in whom AFTER ye had believed - Probably some time AFTER their first believing. Ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise - Holy both in his nature and in his operations, and promised to all the children of God.”
Hodge’s Commentary on Ephesians - “In whom also, AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed. This is more than a translation, it is an exposition of the original, ἐν ᾧ καὶ πιστεύσαντες ἐσφραγίσθητε. There are three interpretations of this clause possible, of which our translators have chosen the best. The relative ( ἐν ᾧ) may be referred to the word gospel. ‘In which having believed;' or it may be referred to Christ and connected with the following participle, ‘In whom having believed;' or it may be taken as in our version, by itself, ‘In whom. i.e, united to whom, AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed.' THIS IS TO BE PREFERRED not only because the other construction is unusual (i.e. it is rare that πιστεύειν is followed by ἐν), but because the words, in whom, occur so frequently in the context in the same sense with that here given to them. In Christ, the Gentile Christians had obtained an inheritance, and in him also, THEY WERE SEALED - AFTER HAVING BELIEVED. WHATEVER IS MEANT BY SEALING, IT IS SOMETHING WHICH FOLLOWS FAITH.”
And lastly John Calvin comments: "In whom also, after that ye believed. But is it not the faith itself which is here said to be sealed by the Holy Spirit? If so, FAITH GOES BEFORE THE SEALING. I answer, there are two operations of the Spirit in faith, corresponding to the two parts of which faith consists, as it enlightens, and as it establishes the mind. The commencement of faith is knowledge: the completion of it is a firm and steady conviction, which admits of no opposing doubt. Both, I have said, are the work of the Spirit. No wonder, then, if Paul should declare that the Ephesians, who received by faith the truth of the gospel, were confirmed in that faith by the seal of the Holy Spirit."
Unlike Mr. James White, I and many thousands of other Bible believers can without hesitation or ambiguity tell anyone EXACTLY where they can find a copy of the complete, inerrant and 100% true words of God today - the Authorized King James Holy Bible.
Accepted in the Beloved,
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