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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dave Bauscher Hero or Heretic

Recently, I ran across a website created by Rev. Dave Bauscher. The link was via an article or thinly veiled advertisement—it’s hard to tell which sometimes—on World Net Daily. Bauscher claims on http://aramaicnt.com/ that much of the New Testament was first written in Aramaic and then translated into Greek. He argues that this is especially true of the Gospels since it is unlikely that fishermen would know the intricacies of Greek when it would be a second language to them.

Some of his claims seem to be plausible; however, if true, they would throw out the conventional wisdom of most of Christendom.  Throughout Church history, Greek has always been understood to be the original language of all the New Testament. This belief can be traced to the second century and Greek manuscripts go back further than that. Bauscher believes his ideas so much that he has created an Aramaic/English translation of the New Testament and portions of the Old. 

Whether Bauscher is correct in his ideas concerning Aramaic, it is his theology that causes me to raise the red flag. On the website—which lacks a Home button—there is a tab titled Research. Two articles gave me pause “Beginning and The End” and “Trinity in the Tanak”.

In “Trinity in the Tanek”, Bauscher describes an incident when God appeared to Abraham in Genesis chapter 18. In discussing this “Theophany” in the Old Testament, Bauscher seems to depart from Orthodox Christianity.

Notice first the address of Abraham starts with The Name, “Jehovah”. Abraham recognizes that Jehovah has come to him in flesh and utters The Most Holy Name. Three plural words designate Jehovah in verse 2: “Three”, “Men” & “Them”. Abraham also uses two second person singular pronouns, which I have rendered in Elizabethan English: “thy”, found twice in verse three. The verb, … ‘avar’- “pass away” is singular. These three singular predicates of Jehovah declare the unity and uniqueness of Jehovah as One indivisible Godhead which acts and lives as One, nor is there another Elohim, our Creator and Salvation. Verse three reveals Jehovah as Three Men in One Godhead.
Page 7 (emphasis in original)

The phrase “Three Men in One Godhead” sounded familiar to me. My first thought was “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.” Doctrines and Covenants 130:22.

Bauscher seems to have left the Christian reservation and is heading toward Mormonism or something embracing three gods.

Later in the article Bauscher writes:

The scripture is plain here and speaks for itself. God is Three Persons united in Name, nature, purpose, mind, word and action. Each of The Three Persons bears the same Name and is Divine and equally worthy of worship. It is clear that the Massoretes changed YHWH to Adonai four times in chapter 18 and once in chapter 19:18 & in over 100 other places, in an attempt to eradicate scriptural testimony to The Trinity in the Christian era. At least their commitment to preserving the integrity of scripture compelled them to keep records of every change they made to the text, in the margins of certain Hebrew Bible manuscripts.

He leaves me wondering, what is his view of the Trinity and God being Three Persons?

In his article, “Beginning and The End”, he again departs from classic Christianity. In one stroke of the pen, he overturns all the big theological ideas of the New Testament including Justification, Sanctification, and the purpose of the Crucifixion. Is he back to three gods, Modalism or something else?

It is as if all of God, eternity, heaven, earth, time and space were focused at once in one focal point on the Christ of the cross, where all fullness dwelt- and died! Every death deserves to be mourned, even the death of a sparrow; here is the death of all things living, yea, the death of the full Godhead and all Heaven-angels and saints, cherubim, seraphim, archangel and holy innocents. Here was the end of all things with the death of Him Who is the End of all things; the Life and Light of the world was going out, and of necessity, with Him Who was their LIFE and Heart, The Spirit of Holiness and The Father of our Lord also died!

Surely the scripture says Christ died. Surely it says He is God; therefore He Who is God died. “I and My Father are One”, said He. If the Son died, then The Oneness was destroyed (“Jehovah thy God, Jehovah is One” Deut. 6:4). Then was the Godhead ended in Christ’s death.

Another way of verifying this most radical truth is from the vantage of the love of God. According to Jesus, there is no greater love than this: That a man lay down His life for his friend.

If God The Father never gave His life, then every man who has done so has greater love than God The Father!

Can this doctrine of God standing and requiring the death of His only Son stand? I say, “Never!” John 3:16 gives one side of the picture of God’s love; 1 John 3:16 gives the other: “In this we see the love of God: He laid down His Life for us…”

You see, God went with Jesus. He said, “I am never alone; My Father is in Me, and I in Him.” We know God never left His Son. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto His Majesty.” And what is His majesty, if not this Love of God that surpasses knowledge? If He has all power, knowledge, dominion and Worship and has not love, He is nothing! (See 1 Cor. 13)

Our Lord cried out on the cross:”My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me”? Where was His Father? Where was the answer? What did the Father say?

There was no answer. How could a loving Father not answer His beloved Son? It cannot be so. “Forsaken me”- How could a loving Father Who is by nature and from eternity One and inseparable from His eternal Only Begotten and beloved Son, how could He forsake Him? It were impossible for Him to do so, by nature and by love. So what could possibly wrench such a cry from the lips of Him Who spoke Life and Light, Joy, Hope, Love and Glory into the cosmos? He Whose mighty word created and upholds all worlds- He roared from Jerusalem to the ends of time and space and into the infinite reaches of The eternal Heaven of heavens; it shook the pillars of existence; whatever existed heard that cry from Him Who said ,”If these should hold their peace, the very rocks would cry out.”

All who heard, if any could hear that and live, must have wondered as do I: How can this One pray so with such despair and not receive answer? Why and how could God forsake Him, of all persons? He could not. There is only one conclusion to draw. Draw it!

God was dead! The Son also was not. The Spirit had breathed His last breath. The prophecies of the end had all come upon us. Isaiah and Amos had written of this dark consummation and despair that would crawl over the whole world like black death; the earth would quake to its foundations; the sun would darken at noon; all joy would die; Jehovah would roar out of Jerusalem; the earth and Heaven would dissolve and fall apart.

All Death deserves mourning, yet is it nothing to you that pass by? Our God, The Triune Glory and Desire of all nations is dead! Bow down and mourn and weep, for the Light of all is gone out!
Pages 2 & 3 (emphasis added)

Walter Martin wrote, “The Doctrine of the Trinity teaches that within the unity of the one Godhead there are three separate persons who are coequal in power, nature, and eternity.”  Instead Bauscher seems to have a confused version of Modalism in mind.

Modalism, also called Sabellianism, is the unorthodox belief that God is one person who has revealed himself in three forms or modes in contrast to the Trinitarian doctrine where God is one being eternally existing in three persons. According to Modalism, during the incarnation, Jesus was simply God acting in one mode or role, and the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was God acting in a different mode. Thus, God does not exist as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time. Rather, He is one person and has merely manifested himself in these three modes at various times. Modalism thus denies the basic distinctiveness and coexistence of the three persons of the Trinity.
http://www.theopedia.com/Modalism

In Christian theology, Jesus was the God/Man and died in our place to satisfy the justice of God the Father. Bauscher has created some heretical alternate reality where this transaction never took place.

Below is an example of the Trinity in the Scriptures. Note that each Person of the Godhead is acting in the Resurrection of Christ. Also, nowhere is there any indication that God the Father or God the Holy Spirit died on the cross with Jesus. The writer of Hebrews clearly did not believe this when he described Jesus and both Sacrifice and High Priest. Paul called Jesus the propitiation for our sins. This is never stated of either the Father or Spirit.

The Resurrection of Christ. A final instance of Trinitarian emphasis is that of the resurrection of our Lord. In John 2 Christ declared to the Jews, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (v. 19). John hastens to tell us that Jesus was speaking of the resurrection of His earthly body (v. 21). Other Scriptures, however, state that Christ was raised by the agency of the Holy Spirit (e.g., Rom. 8:11). And Peter explicitly states that the Father raised the Son (Acts 3:26). So, again, God’s Word affirms the triune nature of God. We may not fully understand the great truth of the Trinity. However, we can see the rays of light which emanate from God’s Word and which teach us that, in a mysterious sense beyond the comprehension of man’s finite mind, God is one in nature but three in person.
Walter Martin http://www.waltermartin.com/articles.html#doctrine

Finally, Bauscher is described on his website as a retired minister but never gives us his denominational affiliation or any resume of theological instruction. In short, he does not admit that he is accountable to anyone for his statements or beliefs. Some threads on Google show that he is a former Baptist that struck out on his own.

My conclusion is that Dave Bauscher has left Christianity to pursue some theological tangents that lead away from the Cross of Christ. He has embraced another Jesus and another Gospel. Let the buyer of his Bible translation beware.

Posted by william on 07/10 at 03:12 PM
Christianity & ReligionPermalink
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