Zealotry 2

Zealotry is the Christian theory, never expressed consciously, that if we are more zealous than the Bible we are immune from criticism. After all, we’ve done at the least what the Bible says and more! Zealotry leads to a life that goes beyond the Bible and in so going there is convinced that such a life can’t be wrong. Not so. Why? Zealotry is motivated by the fear of freedom rather than the courage of faith and love.
Zealotry, again, is motivated by a fear of freedom. A fear of freedom for ourselves – so we tie ourselves into knots and rules and boundaries and regulations — so we can contain what we fear about ourselves. Instead of living in freedom, in trust, and in God’s grace for power, we hang around the fences we have constructed to prevent ourselves from breaking laws.
A fear of freedom for others – lest they begin to do things we are uncomfortable with, lest they begin to explore things we’d prefer they not do, lest they take chances and make mistakes. Again, we do this to protect ourselves and to control others — in so doing, we fail to encourage others to grow in faith. If I fail to teach my children how to ride a bike because I fear they wander into a dangerous street, I fail to teach them the joy of the ride — and I fail to give them the learning that comes with that freedom. (Now, I’m not talking about encouraging kids to ride on highways.)
A fear of freedom for our group: our church, our small group, our whatever gathering. If we give everyone freedom to live in the Spirit, not everyone will be on the same page, and we’ll differ, and that will mean conflict and tension. Zippering everything up like this prevents the freedom of the Spirit, and it keeps others from developing gifts and from experimenting — but it keeps things the same. Which is why we have lots of churches that have been the same forever and ever.
A fear of what freedom in the Spirit just might create. In other words, the operative word inside the fear of freedom is control. Control of self and control of others. If we construct zealous rules, fences around the Torah to prevent anyone from getting remotely close to breaking some law, then we can control what others will do.
The reason we go beyond the Bible is because the biblical summons is ambiguous, or not as concrete as we might like. (I’ll give examples as this series develops.)
Jesus, however, says “no” to the fear of freedom and summons us to follow him in his radical life of loving God and loving others. Where will we end up?, we might ask Jesus. His answer: We’ll just have to see, won’t we.
Paul, however, says “no” to the fear of freedom and summons us to to live in the freedom of the Spirit — and when we live by the Spirit we need not have Torah for there is nothing the Torah can say to the Spirit. If we don’t need Torah, we don’t need fences. We need the Spirit. Read Galatians 5 sometime. The Spirit created the Torah and the Torah is designed to witness (in a preliminary fashion) to what life in the Spirit is like. Live in the Spirit, Paul tells his congregations. What does that mean, they ask back. His answer: We’ll have to see, won’t we.
This kind of life is threateningly free.
Zealotry, however, is afraid of freedom. Freedom opens the windows, tosses up the doors, and lets the winds blow in and the people go outside.
Zealotry, at its bottom layer, is the unwillingness (1) to trust God to work in others, (2) to trust others to listen to God, and (3) to trust ourselves to do what God wants. The ambiguity created by freedom is fearful to many, so they make fences and laws — and in so doing, they create a bounded society of zealots who convince themselves that, even though the Bible does not say something, what they are saying is really what the Bible wanted after all.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://mwerntz.excogito.org myles

    great words. i was just talking with a friend about the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamazov who makes the same point–that maybe we shouldn’t be given freedom at all because we ultimately abuse it. I said in essence what you said, that I think we’re afraid of our freedom, because we don’t know what it’s ultimately for. in other news, I just started editing for Baylor Press. Carey Newman says hi.

  • http://jesustheradicalpastor.blogspot.com John Frye

    Scot,
    These are profound expressions of what zealous (going beyond the Bible) people do intuitively in the name of right living. My hope is that you’ll expand these into a book. The implications need to be worked out in open-hearted, conversational community. At the core is a deep distrust that not only is the Scripture sufficient, but neither is the Spirit. Those who live and walk in the Spirit need no Torah for the Spirit will lead into truth, rightness, freedom. Again, a pastorally profound series.

  • David

    “If we give everyone freedom to live in the Spirit, not everyone will be on the same page, and we’ll differ, and that will mean conflict and tension.” Great. It is much easier from a leadership point of view………or rather management point of view to have conformity. There was a saying…….you lead people and you manage things. At the core……..I agree it is about control and it is easier to manage when you control and use compliance as the litmus test of others spirituality. So what happens is that you end up with a church of zealots who are trying to do the right thing and conform but in the end they are burned out because they have not fufilled thier own spiritual destiny…..they have not followed Jesus….. they have followed man.

  • http://www.napervillecovenant.com kent

    Are fear and arrogance contradictory? It seems that arrogance is a paft of zealotry. Can arrogance be fueled by fear?

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Kent,
    Not sure about this one. Perhaps pride stimulates the desire to set up rules outside the Bible because one thinks one has the capacity to act for God. Not sure.
    Arrogance as pride might stimulate fear in order to protect itself.

  • http://philosophicalpastor.wordpress.com Susan

    I, too, zoomed in on the quote that David just referenced above. The unwillingness to let things get “messy” and to have some conflict is one of the biggest hinderances to authentic Church growth anywhere, allowing in its place quite a lot of uniform, chain-store and bix-box style establishments. Woe to the one who dare use her/his gifts and upsets the “look and feel” !

  • http://krusekronicle.typepad.com Michael Kruse

    Great posts. I have always liked G. K. Chesterton’s idea of “making room for good things to run wild.”
    I agree in spirit with your assessment yet coming from a sociological perspective, I know that you can not have a “group” without boundaries. A collection of people without boundaries is just that; a collection of people, not a group. The Church is missional and therefore is a group, and that necessitates boundaries. I think I read you to say that there are indeed boundaries in scripture for the people of God. It is defining those issues at the margins of what scripture says that gets tricky.
    I had a friend who said liberals destroy scripture be taking away from it and conservatives destroy scripture by adding to it. Oh for the wisdom to understand when we are doing either.

  • http://philosophicalpastor.wordpress.com Susan

    Michael,
    As a sociologist, you would know the difference between bounded-set and centered-set group dynamics. I might be wrong but I think this is in play here in this discussion.
    -Susan

  • http://prolegomena.ca Kenny

    Scot, so what might be a good response to zealotry regarding the Bible? If zealotry goes beyond it, don’t we all; indeed, is it not impossible not to? And if that’s true, how do we then situate the Bible and its message(s) into our lives, our faith journey? Are there critieria for ajudicating how the Bible fits into the web of our beleifs?

  • http://aimeemilburn.typepad.com/ Aimee Milburn

    RE Susan’s comment on bounded-set/centered set, which I wasn’t familiar with, I looked on the web and found an excerpt on the subject from Church Without Walls, by Jim Peterson.
    Link is, for anyone else who might want to know:
    http://nextreformation.com/wp-admin/general/ch-walls.htm#sets

  • David

    One of the pivitol moments in warfare was when you no longer had to line up your people in “boxes” and march them to the front. A significant amount of time and effort was utilized in “controlling” your soldiers and they lived in fear. In some cases they did not believe in what they were doing and were more concerned about the ramifications for not following orders. A lot of a soldiers life was spent learning how to march and left oblique and to the rear and all that stuff so that in conflict the commander knew how to disperse his troops to bring about victory. The key in transformation came when the soldiers believed in what they were doing and did it. They no longer needed to be controlled and they were better able to capitolize on the battlefield with emergent opportunities. By focusing on thier values and attitudes commanders did not have to worry about behavior and if you dont have the right values and attitudes then commanders have to focus all their energies on behavior and it is not cost effective. By focusing on behavior and boundaries……we are doing the same thing that Jesus discouraged…….Jesus was focused on the heart. Values driven leadership where the leader tries to focus on values instead of distinct behavior is more challenging. Behaviour is going to be different depending on the situation. You also cant lead someone to a place where you are not at. This is a link to values centered leadership that I found with a google search. Maybe some ideas to incorporate into a framework of figuring out how to be more effective. The dialogue between Susan and Mike stimulated some thoughts. Great commanders know that their troops are not going to take off and run and dont therefore have to control them, great commanders trust their troops and the values that they are fighting for.
    http://www.secretan.com/keynotes_vcl.php

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Kenny,
    Coming next week.

  • http://petrosbaptistchurch.blogspot.com Jim

    What, then, do you make of the report concerning Jesus: “zeal for your house has consumed me”.
    (And I apologize if I missed in in your discussion).

  • http://www.communityofjesus.blogspot.com/ Ted Gossard

    Outstanding post Scot, and something in a measure, I think we all struggle with, at least many of us- even us who aspire and seek to walk this pathway. But something we need to get over and keep growing in.
    And “Amen” to John’s words!

  • http://aimeemilburn.typepad.com/ Aimee Milburn

    Someone above asked about arrogance/pride as the source of zealotry; Scot said pride might stimulate fear. I think they’re closely related. Pride is the original sin; Adam and Eve sinned by eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, because the serpent told them they could be “like God.” That’s pride; it previously had caused Satan’s fall.
    But underneath the inducement to pride was an inducement to fear, to insecurity: Did God really say that? Satan insinuated that God is a liar, causing insecurity in Adam and Eve, resulting in an assertion of self-control by eating the fruit. And pride was born in humanity. So, pride is based on insecurity. I think psychology would bear this out.
    One of my favorite writers on the spiritual life is a Dominican who lived in the 20th century, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange. One of his works is “The Three Ages of the Interior Life: Prelude to Eternal Life.” There he includes a chapter on zeal, in which he distinguishes between Godly zeal, which is gentle, patient, meek, has been purified and refined of self-will and pride, puts the good of the other soul first, and relies first of all on prayer; and bitter zeal, which is polluted, even unconsciously, by pride and self-seeking, and results in the bitterly zealous person becoming “uselessly irritated against evil, pouring itself out in vain indignation and sermonizing indiscriminately,” in the long run doing more harm that good to the very souls it is trying to seek.
    He also has a separate chapter on pride, also very good.
    I like the centered-set idea, centered on Christ, but also moving outward to the world. There need to be boundaries, definitions, but I also think they need to be open and flowing, not hardened. Some areas will always be gray, not black and white.
    RE “zeal for your house has consumed me:” Jesus was sinless, so did not sin in his zeal. We ordinary humans, however, have to be careful because we do sin, more easily, I think, than we really want to believe.

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Jim,
    Thanks for this, and a good question. “Zeal” here is protection of God’s glory by banishing from the Temple those practices that had been added to the Temple.
    I guess what you are after might be that there is good zeal and bad zeal.
    Aimee,
    I think the original sin was the failure to trust God’s word, which brings us back to the post of today: that zealotry is the fear of freedom and the failure to trust God’s good Word.

  • http://www.napervillecovenant.com kent

    If I remember correctly, which is by no means a safe bet, the reason the Pharisees added all those rules was to create a hedge around the law so that Israel would never again lose their land because of their unfaithfulness. They never wanted 587 BC to happen again. This born of fear. Fear of the people, fear of God, and even fear of themselves, but it is these same rules that they followed that fueled their arrogance. I see the same thing in those who are legalistic. Not only are they afraid of what we might do, but it is ther adherance to the rules that makes them better in their own sight. I see the same thing in me.

  • MikeS

    Scot,
    Like I said on the previous post on this topic–great stuff! I just finished a 5 month series teaching the book of Galatians on Sunday night in our congregation. I was struck by the clarion calls to freedom in Christ all the way through the letter (culminating in ch. 5). More than once I was challenged by the church leaders because of the loss of control that such living would create. It was as if the Word and the Spirit were not sufficient and needed our help to control the sheep in the Lord’s hand. Yet at the same time they all wanted the grace to allow them to do what they felt the Spirit was leading them to do. It’s the old have the cake or eat it problem.
    Where is my copy of Steve Taylor’s “I Want To Be A Clone” when I need it?
    In all humility though, I must confess that it is easy for me to force the issue of freedom on those who cannot handle it. I must be (we must be) sensitive to those who have not received the same freedom I (we) have received. While not allowing the Bible to be pushed back behind the fence of the previous post string.
    Now at the same time, it would be wrong to take these posts and ideas as open doors to licentious, antinomian living. We are called to live in community with each other, just not a clonely community.

  • http://krusekronicle.typepad.com Michael Kruse

    Thanks for the link to Jim Peterson, Aimee
    Concerning Centered/Bounded sets, Peterson wrote:
    “It is not that bounded sets are always bad and centered sets are always good. Boundaries do exist. Salvation is a bounded set. One is either in Christ, or not in Christ. Discipleship is a centered set. To be a disciple is to be constantly moving toward the center, which is Christ.”
    I fully agree with this. Because the church has become obsessed with bounded sets does not mean boundaries are intrinsically bad. Choosing between bounded sets and centered sets is like asking “Which is more important to living? Inhaling or exhaling?”
    Some of the best organizational management stuff written in years is John Carver’s “Boards that Make a Difference” and “Reinventing Your Board.” Business enterprises have it relatively easy. Their centered set is gathered around the profit line. Other entities have to come to agreement about what the centered set is and what it looks like when you are living according to it. Carver talks about “policy governance” which has two pieces.
    First, you have to define your centered set: vision, mission, values and outcomes.
    Second, you do what seems counterintuitive to most of us. Once the vision, mission, values and outcomes are in place we tend to create a laundry list of things we prescribe to be done that will accomplish the centered set values. Instead, policy governance becomes proscriptive. It says to those in the organization, “Here are the vision, mission, values and outcomes. Go make them a reality in the best way you see fit providing you do not cross these boundaries (violate policies.)” (Polices might include not violating governmental regulations or not hiring people to work with children without doing background checks.)
    The board then does two things: First, they hold the leaders accountable to the realization of the vision, not a list of prescribed tasks. Second, they get out of the way and let things run wild unless there is a dispute, at which point they step in and play referee by clarifying policy. Their focus is totally on the realization the centered set accomplished by gifted empowered people turned loose to use their gifts to the fullest of their ability.
    The fact is that every group, without exception, operates with boundaries. Period! The only difference is the degree to which we are going to surface them and consciously choose them. The leader’s task is to equip people, to get into action, and let them run wild, only intervening when boundaries are in question. People knowing and acknowledging those boundaries before going into action also creates smoother action and less “infractions.” Boundaries are a necessary good but they can be made into idols just like anything else good God has given us.
    That is my take.

  • http://petrosbaptistchurch.blogspot.com Jim

    Thanks Scot- so what’s your answer? Is there a good zeal and a bad zeal? And if so, how are we to distinguish the two? Isn’t one man’s patriot another man’s terrorist? One man’s zealot another man’s extremist?
    Best
    Jim

  • http://www.communityofjesus.blogspot.com/ Ted Gossard

    This post and series reminds me of the wise words I heard from Dr. Carl Hoch: something like this (paraphrase):
    “We must not stop at acknowledging our freedom to enjoy God’s good gifts in moderation, then drawing back (as need be), when we know our exercise of this freedom will cause someone to stumble.
    But we need to help the weaker sister or brother in faith become stronger in their faith. So that they can exercise their own freedom. Or accept those fully, who do.”

  • http://www.gordonhackman.blogspot.com Gordon Hackman

    Amen Ted! I agree with that quote one-hundred percent. I’ve seen before where the claim for concern with not causing another to stumble becomes a way for some people to exercise power over others and the means of perpetuating extra-biblical rules. It is a self-sustaining loop. I always thought the the same thing the quote says: Why are we not teaching these people the truth so that these things will no onger be a source of stumbling, instead of enabling their weakness and mistaken beliefs?
    Peace,
    Gordon

  • http://aimeemilburn.typepad.com/ Aimee Milburn

    Some forms of stumbling, or temptation, however, never go away, and we need to be mindful of that. I’m thinking of a friend of mine who is a recovering alcoholic, and whose conversion to and faith in Christ has helped her recover. For her, the temptation to drink never goes away. She lives with it daily. So the rest of us, out of respect for her, never drink in her presence, though some of us, myself included, enjoy a drink now and then.

  • BeckyR

    Maybe it’s included in the last paragraph, but seems it’s lack of trust that God can get through to us to know what he wants us to do, and for us to do it. Lack of trust in God. I know my limits, I can’t trust myself, so I look to God to be big enough to get some portion of what I am to do, his will, across to me.

  • RJS

    I agree with much of this post -
    But I think that often times what we might class as Zealotry is in fact completely sincere. A belief not that this is what the Bible really meant, but a belief that this is in fact what the Bible really says if read properly.
    Thus it is not Zealotry according the proposed definition. (“Zealotry is the Christian theory, never expressed consciously, that if we are more zealous than the Bible we are immune from criticism.”)
    So is it Zealotry if merely misguided or mistaken?

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Good question,RJS. What I’m talking about is the conscious decision to explicate, in concrete examples, something the Bible does not explicitly say.
    The Bible says “do not get drunk.” Zealotry explicates that as “do not drink any alcohol, buy any, buy from a store that sells any, or associate with anyone who does any of the above, or things close to them.”
    So, it is not about mistaken or misguided, but conscious acts and decisions.

  • http://www.gordonhackman.blogspot.com Gordon Hackman

    Aimee,
    To clarify, I’m in total agreement with you that we should be sensitive to people like your friend who have serious and genuine struggles. There is a big difference between someone who has genuine struggles and someone who wants the rest of us to live a certain way based on their non-biblical rules. Sensitivity to the one is biblically mandated behavior, just as resistance to the other is also biblical.
    Peace,
    Gordon

  • http://more2ndthoughts.blogspot.com/ danB

    Hey Scot, I’ll be speaking from Matthew 15 this Sunday in the context of Herod’s BD party juxtaposed on Jesus feeding first the 5000 and then the 4000. Between these two events interspersed with much healing, teaching, belated personal prayer retreat, walking on water, Jesus is confronted by a group of Pharisees and scribes on the issue of his disciples eating without washing their hands.
    I’m thinking this may be an example of your conception of “zealotry” as the pharisees not only insist on the extra Biblical traditions of washings but also have developed traditions that actually excuse them form Biblical obligations (honoring parents and things devoted to God).
    In the midst of compassion oozing out of the Lord and lessons on faith and love here comes the stark contrast of what you are perhaps speaking to here- zealotry.
    Do you see an example in Mat. 15 of what you are getting at here

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Absolutely, Dan, it is clearly “fencing” around Torah to eat in purity or eat pure foods.

  • http://more2ndthoughts.blogspot.com/ danB

    I spent 8 years in an ‘aberant christian cult’… talk about ‘fencing’!!!!! :-0
    If you don’t mind i will be quoting some of what you have posted on zealotry on Sunday… with the appropriate citation info of course!

  • http://more2ndthoughts.blogspot.com/ danB

    “aberrant” … i hate it when i forget to do the spell check thing

  • http://jimmartin.typepad.com Jim Martin

    Scot,
    Just a couple of observations. (I haven’t read through the comments today and someone may have mentioned these). In many quarters, zealotry is clothed in “niceness.” Consequently, many in churches will refer to the zealots as “really nice people with good hearts.” It is interesting how that statement often can create such a reluctance to speak honestly and with candor about the real issues of zealotry.
    Second, zealotry is often promoted and advanced through a kind of passivity. Instead of someone being up front and explaining what views are held and why, people are let to figure it out on their own. It is just “understood.”

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Jim,
    Good comments. You point to a kind of passive, but palpable, zealotry subculture and set of mores. Really what goes on. Thanks for the idea.

  • MikeS

    Scot,
    Further reflections on this topic hit me this evening as I was spending time with several people in my congregation who are often marginalized for various issues (including a nose piercing of all things!); all of whom are wonderful, genuine and delightful people to be around.
    The question hit me, is zealotry a function (outgrowth, unspiritual fruit, etc.) of a lack of involvement in other people’s lives? At least at close range where real life is lived?
    I’ve noticed its easy to get zealous over different issues on the internet or in denominational conferences about issues that go beyond Scripture because it seems it’s all done in third person. Even internet interactions seem third person because most of us are just dealing with text and the occasional photo. If we don’t know them in person its easy to flame them. But unless we get together and associate with different types of people, we’ll never get past the zealotry issues in our lives.
    So my question might come down to this: is zealotry a sign of a lack of love as well as an isolated walled-off lifestyle, whether as a group or as an individual? And does this apply across the spectrum of life’s activities theological, political, social, etc?

  • http://englishbibles.blogspot.com Wayne Leman

    Scot, you ended your comment to RJS with:
    “So, it is not about mistaken or misguided, but conscious acts and decisions.”
    Could you elaborate? Are you suggesting that zealots consciously realize that they are adding to the Bible?
    If so, my own experiences at trying to be zealous and my observations of other zealots seem to me to indicate that zealots often sincerely are trying to please God and sincerely believe that they are truly biblical, not extrabiblical in teaching or actions. They (we) are often not aware that we are adding anything to the Bible. Sometimes it only comes through interaction with others who may be outside our particular circle of zealots that we might first begin to question what we teach. And even then, it is often much easier to believe that we really are the ones who are teaching the Bible right, both in what it means and what it says. We zealots have blinders, but usually don’t know it. It takes, well, a kind of salvation / new birth to begin to see that misplaced zealotry isn’t really what God desires.

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Mike,
    Very insightful. I do believe personalizing changes our attitudes at times. I’ve seen implacable (writing) enemies become friends, and then modify their views of one another, after establishing a relationship. I’ve seen it the other way — probably done it and experienced it.
    Some see this as subjective; others see the subjective and interpersonal as what it is all about (I’m thinking here a bit of Buber’s I and Thou).
    Yes, in part, zealotry sometimes stems from lack of relationship, leading a person to objectifying a human being.

  • http://www.JesusCreed.org Scot McKnight

    Wayne,
    I find this: zealotry involves the conviction that someone is doing God’s will, as expressed in Scripture, but zealots are aware that their applications/extensions are beyond the Bible but the only and the best way to live the Bible. Sure, they may think what they believe is how the biblical saints lived the same life. But, there is a “beyond” that is clear to anyone with a mind to look.
    I agree with you that interaction can lead us to see our zealotry.

  • http://www.rmcrob.com/?p=3061 Anonymous

    The Upward Way Press » Blog Archive » Over and Above

    [...] In the second post, Scot shows that, at the root, zealotry is fear of freedom. Zealotry, again, is motivated by a fear of freedom. A fear of freedom for ourselves – so we tie ourselves into knots and rules and boundaries and regulations — so we can contain what we fear about ourselves. Instead of living in freedom, in trust, and in God’s grace for power, we hang around the fences we have constructed to prevent ourselves from breaking laws. A fear of freedom for others – lest they begin to do things we are uncomfortable with, lest they begin to explore things we’d prefer they not do, lest they take chances and make mistakes. Again, we do this to protect ourselves and to control others — in so doing, we fail to encourage others to grow in faith. If I fail to teach my children how to ride a bike because I fear they wander into a dangerous street, I fail to teach them the joy of the ride — and I fail to give them the learning that comes with that freedom. [...]

  • http://adventuresinmercy.wordpress.com/2006/07/08/zealot-evangelicalism/ Anonymous

    adventures in mercy » Blog Archive » Zealot Evangelicalism

    [...] Part Two Zealotry [...]

  • http://englishbibles.blogspot.com Wayne Leman

    Thanks for your clarification, Scot:
    “I find this: zealotry involves the conviction that someone is doing God’s will, as expressed in Scripture, but zealots are aware that their applications/extensions are beyond the Bible but the only and the best way to live the Bible.”
    I really don’t want to belabor the point, but I simply have not known anyone who goes beyond the Bible with their zeal for God and is aware that they are going beyond the Bible. I’m approaching 60. I’ve been in fundamentalist, evangelical, and often legalistic church and theological circles much of my life. I really appreciate your series on zealotry because, as a Bible translator, I think I’ve seen such zealotry during several cycles (since the 1950′s) of attacks on various Bible versions. But in all cases those attacking believed sincerely that they were doing God’s will and they did not believe they were going beyond the Bible.
    Even today, the teetotalers (one of your examples of zealotry) in my church background sincerely believe that they are teaching biblical truth. In fact, they reinterpret Greek oinos to mean grape jam or something like that. If I were to try to correct their understanding of the Greek word, they would consider that *I* am the one who is not being biblical.
    So, I very much appreciate this series, but I admit to being confused about what zealoty really is, if it truly is about things which the zealots know is going beyond the Bible. Perhaps what I have thought is “zealoty” with re: to Bible versions or teetotaling is actually legalism, but at least with regard to Bible versions it doesn’t seem to be. It seems to be a sincere desire to protect God’s Word, to please God, to be biblically pure, *not* to go beyond the Bible. In fact, they accuse some other Bible versions precisely of going beyond the Bible.
    Is your definition of zealotry which involves the zealots being aware that they are going beyond the Bible a definition which is in widespread usage?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X