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Lightning Round Questions

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
May 12, 2023 9:00 am

Lightning Round Questions

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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May 12, 2023 9:00 am

In this show Dr. Shah answers your user submitted questions!

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30 Days to a New Beginning:


Hello, everyone. Today is Friday, May the 12th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abaddon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at That's exactly right. You guys can help us keep this conversation going by supporting the show, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from. Before we do anything else, let's read the verse of the day. It started right.

That's right. Start off with the word of God. The word of the Lord.

Well, here it comes. It's coming from 2 Peter 3.9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some count slackness, but is long suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. A lot of times we try to balance this idea of the love of God with the wrath of God, the justice of God, and we kind of hold those things in tension. But when you understand that God has a desire that all people should come to faith, God has a desire that all people should come to repentance, it explains those passages where it says the sin of the Amorites was not yet complete or God delayed in his judgment for hundreds of years because he's giving people ample opportunities to respond to the gospel. And if you're out there today and you have not yet responded to the gospel—maybe you've stumbled upon Clearview today, or maybe you've been listening because maybe there's some humor, you like the stories, or you're learning a little bit—the gospel is that Christ died for our sins. Christ died in our place, and through his death we have forgiveness of our sins.

And through his life we have the promise of eternal life with him in heaven one day. And if you have not responded to that gospel, if you have not accepted that gift of forgiveness, then your delay is infringing upon the graciousness of God. That's right, and we tend to trivialize what God wants and make arguments about it that don't mean anything. Well, God is chiefly concerned with his glory first and foremost. No, no, no, God is chiefly concerned with reconciliation, with creation. Listen, we can argue about that stuff all day long, and those conversations have a place, but we can all agree that God wants people to get saved. If you're not saved, what we can agree on is that God wants you to be saved. That's why it says, you know, he's long-suffering, he's patient, his goal, his desire is for you to come to know him. And that's part of what this show is all about. I would say that's really the heart behind why we do what we're doing.

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. It's been an interesting day, an interesting morning. I did this thing this morning where I woke up and I had a— Yeah, that sounds really cool.

Awesome. I can't help but notice— What are you doing? Out of nowhere.

I just thought that was a cool story, but I just couldn't help but notice you got something on your head. What is happening right now? The headphones? Yeah.

What is the problem? I got some new headphones. Yeah, you got some headphones on. Yeah? They look good. I like the blue. Thank you. Yeah.

Yeah, the blue is why I like them. I saw them. No, no, no. Here's the thing. What the heck are you doing?

You know what normally, like— Are you rolling right now, Nick? Yeah, he is, so that's fine. The engineer is the one that wears the headphones.

David. See, that's me. I'm the engineer. So I would ask you to take those off if you don't mind. No, I'm not taking them off because I like to be able to hear myself. I usually don't wear headphones.

That's cool, but here's the thing. I'm looking at you now and they're not even on right. Yeah, they are.

No, no. I can hear fine. You can hear fine, but the left ear is not in the right place and the right ear is not in the right place.

I just think that— So the thing is— Okay, he is right. They're on backwards, but it feels more comfortable. I'll switch them around. I don't want people in the— While you're switching them around, just take them off.

Why? Because I don't want people in the radio— Nobody on the radio is going to know. Nobody would have known. People listening aren't going to know that he has headphones. They would not have known that I was wearing headphones.

I don't want people on Facebook to know or to see and get confused and think. They're not going to get confused. Why would they get confused?

You're sitting at a soundboard and I'm not. This is bizarre behavior. No, it's not bizarre. It's just, I think that we don't want to cause confusion, right? Confusion with who?

The only thing confusing is this conversation. It's just because, like, with the headphones on— I had a whole run sheet prepared. With the headphones on, I look like— Like an engineer? Like the engineer. Sure. So people think I'm the engineer.

They don't need to be convinced of that. You are the engineer. I already do so little back here, just pressing buttons and running faders, that I need to be important. You're not important. You are important, but not because of the headphones.

Not because of the headphones. I'll tell you what. Will it make you feel better if I take them off?

Yes. I'm going to take them off. I have some—I mean, for everybody listening at home, I have some cool, like— Go ahead and take them off. —blue headphones.

Can I explain? Uh-uh. Okay. I'm going to take them off. I'm going to take them off. Now, hold on. I took them off.

I'm no longer— Should I get in on this? Yes. I do kind of like them. Don't you feel cool? Yeah. You feel cool? And you can hear yourself. I didn't even notice that. Can you hear yourself in your headphones? Yeah.

Yeah, I took mine off. He's getting upset. What is happening? He's literally walking out. What is going on? Literally, he's walking out. What is happening? I don't know what to say. He's gone.

This is crazy. He's gone. I was going to talk about a cool dream I had, but I'm not going to anymore.

I'm so sorry. Do you want to just transition us back into the ad? We are excited about today. Today is lightning round questions with your friend of mine, Dr. Questions.

I mean Dr. Shaw. We're going to grab him in just a minute, but if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at We'll be right back. Hey there, listeners. I'm Jon Galantis.

And I'm Ellie Galantis. And we just want to take a quick second and talk to you about Dr. Shaw's and Nicole's book, 30 Days to a New Beginning, daily devotions to help you move forward. This is actually the second book in the 30 Days series. And the whole point of this devotional is to help us get unstuck from the ruts of life. And when it comes to running the race of life, it matters how you start, but a bad start doesn't ultimately determine how you finish the race. You can have a good finish even with a bad start. And that's where this book comes in. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck.

Instead of going out and buying some gadget or some planner, like I know I've done several times. I know that's right. 30 Days encourages you to find your fresh start in God's word. Life doesn't have a reset button, but our God is a God who does new things.

His mercies are new every day, which means every day is a new chance for you to start over. You can grab 30 Days to a New Beginning on We're going to leave a link in the description box below. And if you already have the book, let us know what you think about it.

That's right. Send us a text 252-582-5028. Share what God has done in your life through this devotional. Hey, maybe we'll even read your story on the air. Ellie, you ready to get back to the show?

Let's do it. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text 252-582-5028.

That's right. And if you're joining us for the first time on this fine Friday afternoon, I want to let you know who's talking to you. Dr. Abbadon Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, and full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. You can find all of his work on his website.

That's And it is Friday, Lightning Round Questions Day, which means Dr. Questions in the house. Dr.

Questions is in the house. You look good. You look like an egghead. I know.

No, I'm joking. I appreciate you graciously letting me wear the purple tie. For the next time, I'm going to get a hat that's got the question marks on it so we can all dress up nice for Lightning Round Questions today. We said we were bringing Dr. Questions into the house, and that's what we did. We have delivered unto you Dr. Questions.

Now, we need sidekick names. But you got Dr. Questions. Dr. Questions and... Riddler.

No, Riddler is a Marvel name, so we can't go with that. Dr. Questions.

Not Marvel. Enigma Boy. Enigma Boy and Inquiry Lad. That's very good. Dr.

Questions, Enigma Boy, and Inquiry Lad. Did you just think of that? Yeah. Very nice. Very nice. I love it.

Copyright it. Don't none of y'all take that. That's awesome. What do we give those two guys? Let's see. Those are the goons. They're the question marks. Yeah, they're the actual question marks themselves. They hand us our little question mark, like ninja stars. They throw them out like fast Lightning Round Questions, which we're about to hit today. These are your user-submitted questions that you have been texting into, that number 2525825028. So important that you send those in, because that's the fuel that we use for Lightning Round Questions. People are very interested in your work as a text critic.

Yeah. We've had a couple episodes where we talk about textual criticism and your PhD and the work that you're doing, and that seemed to ignite a curiosity in people. Well, I think there's a hunger for the text, and I think that's the thing that you hit on a lot, is that, listen, we can sit here and talk all day about our opinions, but I'm interested and my work is focused on the text, and I think people gravitate towards that because there's an air of authority to it.

And I think people are drawn to that because that's one of the things that you hit on so hard is the text. We're not sitting here giving our opinions. We're not telling you what we think the text says. We're looking at the text itself, and I think people are very drawn to the authority that comes from your views on the text because the text is authoritative.

Absolutely. I mean, we believe the Bible, Old and New Testament, is the word of God. The Bible talks about all scriptures given by inspiration of God. It means theopneustas, God breathed, and it's profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instructions and righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So, you know, that word is important. I mean, even in a religion like Islam, right, in the Quran, Christians and even Jewish people are referred to as the people of the book. Why people of the book? Because that was common knowledge. It was common knowledge that the authority that these people have is not based on their ability to do meditation or, you know, come up with long philosophical statements and monologues or diatribes or whatever. It was not based on the architecture they built, like massive temples.

Of course, they had temples and things like that. It was built on these words, on these documents. In the Old Testament, they were coming off of words on a parchment or words on papyri. And then later on with the New Testament, papyri, parchment, all these words were the key. So, you know, if we go back to the heart of our faith, it's the words. It's the thoughts that were put into, that were given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through human personalities.

And so, it's the Word of God given in the language of man. Amen. I love that. You want to start?

Yep, I would love to. All right. So, the first lightning round question today comes from Nancy L. And Nancy wants to know, why do you lean towards the New King James Version?

That's a great question. I lean towards the New King James and not because of any special love for the King James. Don't get me wrong. King James translation was amazing, wonderful. For its time, they did a great job.

I mean, such a good job that even endures to this day. Like, you know, even people like Shakespeare or Lancelot Andrews, these were giants when it came to literature and translation and, you know, ancient languages. Amazing individuals. I read books on this.

And if I had thought about it, I would have brought them in here. Like God's Secretaries. Great book. There's another book by Alastair McGrath on the King James Bible or the tradition.

Things like that. Great, great books. And it tells you that the King James translation is wonderful and all that. But my liking for New King James or leaning towards New King James has nothing to do with that. It has more to do with the text behind it, which is the Byzantine text. You know, it's still a lot of things to understand why Byzantine is better or all of that. But I just want to clarify, this is not like, oh, it's the majority text, so we go with the majority. Not necessarily. A lot of scholars have done work on this through the years.

You know, main ones to be those like Dr Maurice Robinson, my mentor. And based on his arguments, his discussion of the Byzantine text, it's quite convincing why it is superior. The Byzantine text form is how we say it. But maybe one day we can have a whole episode dedicated to the Byzantine text form. Well, so the Byzantine text, it's funny you said that because we do have a question.

I'm kind of skipping ahead a little bit. A question came in from Linda B., who I know has written into the show before. She says, sometimes in your episodes, you mentioned text types. And I think I'm understanding you right here, but the Byzantine form is a text type.

And so her question is basically in layman's terms, what are text types? Well, my wife told me, keep lightning round, lightning round. So that's hard to do. Difficult to dive into a topic that deep.

Well, somewhere about 1645, I was born a man by the name of John Mill. Did I go that deep into it? Maybe not. Maybe not. But anyways, he was the first one to, after 30 some years of collating Greek manuscripts that were available at the time, he came up with the text.

Okay. He came up with not the text, but as more the variants. So his claim was there were like 30,000 some variants, right? In the Greek New Testament manuscripts. And then following him, there were others who came along and studied this and had their ideas.

You know, what do you do with all these variants? Until in I want to say 1687. So maybe about the same time that Mill was still living. A man by the name of Johann Bengel.

Okay. He was a student in theology at Tübingen, a kind of a pietistic type guy. And he began to study these manuscripts and he recognized that the witnesses of the text should not be counted, but weighed. And so he classified all these manuscripts into companies and families and tribes and nations based on the variant readings.

So he grouped them. Wow. That's how text types come. So it's just text types or a collection of variants that have similarities based on geography or where they were found. Not geography. No. That was originally thought, but since then we have realized Byzantine doesn't mean necessarily only from Asia Minor or Greece or, you know, that part of the world because some Byzantine manuscripts were found down South.

Okay. Western manuscripts typically was considered that Western, they have to be out towards Rome. Not necessarily. Or Alexandrian manuscripts. Oh, they have to be from Northern Egypt, Alexandria. Not necessarily. There was some of those Alexandrian readings were found elsewhere.

So at one time it was sort of the idea originated, you know, regarding where these readings came from, Asiatic or Constantinople and other places, Africa. But since then that's not the case. But the concept still remains that these manuscripts can be grouped. No longer geographically. Right. Right. But they can be grouped. So based on variants. So my summary, my understanding of it is out of those three big ones, Alexandrian, Byzantine, Western. There's also another one called Caesarean.

Okay. Caesarean as well. Nowadays, a lot of scholars, text critics say, ah, it's not a text type.

But I still think there is a valid point. I think those older text critics, when they collated manuscripts and they looked at them and studied them, there is a place for a Caesarean text type. But out of those four, through your studies and through Dr. Robinson's studies, you found that the Byzantine, is it that it makes the most sense? Is it that the variants are lesser or is it just that you feel like they're closer to the original text?

Closer to the original text. So because of that, you use a Bible like the New King James that's based on... Right. KJV and NKJV are basically the only ones based on the Byzantine text. Okay.

Now there are some other translations kind of done here and there. But how much can we rely on them? I don't know. Gotcha.

Okay. They're not very trustworthy. Best translations are those that are made by a committee instead of one person. So there are people here and there who've taken, you know, sort of taken the NKJV translation, but made their own at the same time.

They say, okay, this is mine now. Well, we have to trust you and just you for a massive body of literature. True. That seems like it can get a little dicey. Yeah, it does. One person.

It does. Our next question comes from Harold B. Harold says, I've been following Dr. Maurice Robinson's work for many years. How did the two of you meet? Oh, that's easy. My first day of class.

Okay. This was the day after the orientation. I was coming back from the registrar's office because I had, you know, I had a job and the job was laying down cat fives. This is when the cat five world had just come on the scene in 1996 and all across RDU and even the triad, which is, you know, Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point area.

They were putting down the cat fives, converting over. And so I had a job there and I had to work. So I need, I couldn't like just go to class, go to work, go to class, go to work.

I can't do that. I got to have a chunk, like all morning work and then go to class in the afternoon or preferably go to class in the morning and then go to work about 11 o'clock and work until six, seven, eight o'clock in the evening, you know, whatever, you know, I may be in Rocky Mount. I may be in the Roxboro or I may be in Greensboro or somewhere. So anyways, I was making my way back from the registrar's office because I went to see if I can get Dr. Robinson's class because it was in the morning and they said, no, it's full. And as I'm walking from the registrar's office, I run into him. What was he teaching? Of course he did New Testament Greek and asked the class I wanted to take in the morning. And I said, he said, Hey, so everything go well?

Cause I met him the day before at student orientation. I said, yeah, but they didn't give me your class because it's full. Oh, you want to take my class?

I said, honestly, it was better from my work schedule, but yeah, I would love to take your class. He said, well, come with me. So we went to the registrar's office and he told them, open the class for this young man and I will take one extra one.

And they did. And I ended up taking him. And very soon there's a book coming out in which I have edited along with another co-editor. And Dr. Robinson has a chapter in that book. That's awesome. That's amazing. Wow. From a Greek professor to PhD mentor to longtime friend, co-author.

That's a very lucrative question. Very cool. Mark W. I want to start learning Greek, but I'm afraid I'm too old to go back to school. Any recommendations for adults who want to learn Greek? Well, I do understand where he's coming from because it is tough.

Okay. So much better if you start learning Greek young. Unfortunately, our educational system is so messed up because at one time, classical literature or classical languages like Greek and Latin were a natural part of our elementary school education. I mean, you would start learning Greek and Latin, but in the past, I would say 150 years, that's all been changed.

In the late 1800s on, I mean, everything got revamped and classical literature sort of went out the window and all in the favor of, well, when are you going to read the classics? I mean, you need a guy to work on your toilet, not learn classics. That's such a poor argument. To me, I get what they're saying, but I find that condescending and ultimately detrimental to people's future. Why could I not work on a toilet and plumbing and know the classics?

Right. To me, that's condescending. You don't think a plumber can learn classical literature? May as well not even teach him to read. Why would I learn the ABCs? Just fix my toilet.

Just have diagrams so he can just look at the diagram and fix the toilet. I don't even know English. I don't even know any language.

Just give me a picture. And I think that has hurt our country or our way of life far more than anything else other than biblical values going away. So if that was done right today, a lot more people would be learning Greek and Latin. You say, well, what does it make a difference? Of course it makes a difference, not only in the educational standard, but also in how you study the Bible. Because I'm sure this gentleman wants to learn Greek so he can study the Bible.

So it is difficult. But I think if you begin somewhere, start with introductory level Greek. Start with an interlinear, where you have Hebrew or Greek letters on top. If you're learning Greek, then Greek.

And then English translation on the bottom. And start learning and start reading them. And just stay with it.

And maybe at a good college, like I teach at Carolina University, I teach Greek. It's tough. I'll admit that. It's tough.

Seven weeks is tough. But you know more than you went in. Yeah. And I would say, Mark, I would say if you're really interested in doing it, I mean, Dr. Shah teaches online.

I do. You could always enroll, even if it's just one for one class. There's plenty of people who take your class and they just take that class to learn Greek.

It's exposure. I mean, if you think you're going to master Greek in one year, please tell me your secret. But I haven't, right? I've been doing this for 27, 28 years and I'm still learning. So I'll be honest with you. It takes a long time to really master.

Like you can just pick up Greek and read and say, that's what Jesus meant, you know, and argue your case. Can't do that. It takes years.

But it's exposure. Learn. And you begin to think differently and outside the box and, you know, learn to exegete the Bible better.

Very true. Terry M, is there any specific Bible passage you'd like to do research on? I'm doing one right now. Okay. Now this is one, still in the works, where I'm looking at Ephesians chapter five, verse 30.

There's a variant there. And it's regarding, you know, Christ's body, the church being flesh and bones. And I'm comparing that in light of Luke 24, 39 and the Septuagint. So it's a paper I'm hoping to present soon.

Hopefully the paper will be accepted. So praying it will be, but in the Alexandrian text, the text behind the NIV text behind the ESV, CSB, NASB, all of those other than KJV and NKJV, the Alexandrian text has the shorter reading without flesh and bones. Doesn't have flesh and bones in there.

All right. But the Byzantine text has flesh and bones. What is the, can you say the passage one more time?

Yeah, sure. It's Ephesians chapter five and verse 30. So if we can find that Ephesians chapter five and verse 30, it says, for we are members of his body.

That's it in an IV. That's the Alexandrian text. NKJV has, for we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. Right. There's a problem there, right? Only one could be right.

So the question is why does the NIV not have of his flesh and of his bones? So my paper addresses that. Okay.

Wow. And you know, it has been dealt with on what's known as the evangelical texture criticism blog. Peter Gurry, good friend, brought up that issue and he supports a longer reading from the Byzantine text, or at least he, I think he leans towards that. But I want to explore that subject and also explore how those words, flesh and bones were paired together in the Septuagint many times, sometimes bone and flesh. And then show that, you know, that the longer reading is more than likely original. Especially since it does not perfectly match the Genesis 2.24 reference found in Ephesians 5.31.

Cause oftentimes people say, well, Genesis 2.24 says this and hence the NKJV may have expanded that or whatever, but I don't think that's what is really happening there. So if you do this paper, how long do you think you'll be on Ephesians 5.30? Like just in a time, just in a time, since you think it'll be a couple of years just devoting to that, or once the paper's done, you move on to another passage or move on to something else. I'm going to write this paper, hopefully it'll get accepted. And then read the paper and then get it published in the journal and then move on to something else. I mean, this is a real issue, right? Once you agree, if it's a word of God, don't you want the right word of God?

That's right. Okay. We need to understand what the words actually are.

What words are there? But at the same time, let me also clarify, no critical doctrine is like hanging in the balance because of that verse. Because I can walk away with both of them. We are members of his body, that's it. Or we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. Because there are plenty other places where Jesus's flesh and bones are mentioned. You know, Luke 24, 39 being one of them. So nothing is lost, but if it's the word of God, I want every single jot and tittle to be right.

That's what textual critics do. Absolutely. Man, I'd love to devote some more time.

As you're researching that, I'd love to devote some episodes to Ephesians chapter five. Amen. That's very cool. Yeah. I mean, the paper's coming out, so.

That's right. Might as well talk about it. Stay tuned. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, you want to hear some of your questions answered on the show, make sure you send those in to 252-5825028.

Or you can always visit us on and you can partner with us financially on that same website. Every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the gospel of Jesus. Amen. I want to end on one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis.

A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest. I like that. I found that this morning. Fitting that old C.S. Lewis would say that. Very fitting. Chronicles of Narnia, indeed. Love that. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-12 10:09:26 / 2023-05-12 10:21:57 / 13

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