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By Herb Evans

The Incorruptible Word Of God?

Being born again, not of (EK) corruptible seed, but of (EK) incorruptible (seed), by (DIA) the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. --  1 Pet.1:23

Bob Ross, in his obsession to combat King James Onlys, has written an article denouncing the distortion and perversion of 1 Peter 1:23 by Jack Hyles. He has also written yours truly a note to straighten out my error in this matter. The error or distortion that Bob Ross seeks to combat is the view that the incorruptible seed of 1 Peter 1:23 is the "word of God."

Bob Ross characterizes such interpretation as a "hobby of King James Exclusivism" (King James Onlys). So, we will not address that aspect of the issue in this article. We will approach the verse, according to Ross' contention - from the stand point of the word of God at the time Peter penned it.

If it were not for the diametrically opposed views of Ross and his KJO opponents, this would merely be a difference of opinion of interpretation (as with the difference of opinion regarding  the "water" of John 3:5, whether the "water" means the natural birth, the word of God, or the Holy Spirit - Ross' view). But since King James exclusivism is on the other side of Bob, it becomes a heretical distortion or perversion. The thrust of Ross' argument is as follows:

1. The Greek preposition EK and EX (of) are indicative of source and the Greek preposition DIA (by) is indicative of means or instrumentality; they are never interchangeable.

2. All passages, which Ross quotes (Jn. 1:12; 3:6; 1 John 2:29;3:9; 4:7; 5:1,4,18 refer to being born of God, so the incorruptible seed of 1 Peter 1:23 cannot mean the word of God.

3. References to the word of God, which do involve the new birth (James 1:18; 1 Cor. 4:15; 2 Thess. 2:13; Jn. 15:3; 17:17; 1 Peter 1:23), always use "by, with, or through" (DIA) the word of God and not "of" (EK) the word of God.

4. Therefore, the incorruptible seed is not the word of God! It is the incorruptible God! Simply put, Ross' syllogism (deductive scheme in formal argument) compares with the following:

1. A cow is an animal 2. A dog is an animal 3. Therefore a dog is a cow.

Most of Ross' premises are plausible as with our sample syllogism. It is his conclusions that are faulty, as we are prepared to demonstrate. First, consider the phrase:

Born of

Except a man be born of (EX) water and of the Spirit. . .That which is born of (EK) the flesh. . . that which is born of (EK) the Spirit. . .so is every one that is born of (EK) the Spirit. -- John 3:5,6,8

. . . he who was of (EK) the bondwoman was born after (KATA) the flesh; but he of (EK) the free woman was (born) BY (DIA) promise. . . he that was born after (KATA) the flesh persecuted him that was born after (KATA) the Spirit, even so it is now. -- Gal. 4:23,29

For whatsoever is born of (EK) God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. -- 1 John 5:4

Ross insinuates that we must merely address the passages, which contain the phrase, "born of God." Still, there are many other passages, which demonstrate other sources of both natural and spiritual births. Men are born of flesh, of the womb, of fornication (EK - John 3:5; Matt 19:12; John 8:41). Men are born of water (EX - John 3:5). The saints are born of God (EK - John 1:12).The saints are born of "him," the Word/Jesus (EK - 1 John 2:28,29). Our faith is even said to be "born of God" (EK -1 John 5:4). The saints are born of the Spirit (EK - John 3:6,8). So, who says the word cannot be a source of the new birth as well? Ross? Simply, because he decides to make up a rule, based upon some self serving theological formula and Greek rule?

Ross affirms God as the only source of his new birth. He disclaims the word of God as a "source" of his new birth, thus denying the word of God as a "source" of his salvation. Will he deny the word of God as a "source" of his faith or as a "source" of his hearing, for faith cometh "by" (EX) hearing and hearing "by" (DIA) the word of God.

In John 3, we discover that the "source" of some aspect of a man's birth is "water." Now, all you folks, who believe that the"water" refers to the word of God, are guilty of "perversion" and"distortion," according to Ross. Folks, who believe that the"water" is a physical birth escape Bob's wrath.

You folks, who believe as Ross that the "water" is the Holy Spirit are really orthodox. (Ross believes that the "and" is an exegetic or explanatory "and," i.e., "even," in other words "born of water even of the Spirit.") This would go against the grain of those, who believe that we are born of Jesus Christ, the Seed. Still, the Holy Spirit is never referred to as the seed.

Curiously, the book of Galatians does not lock step with Ross' formula. Perhaps, Bob Ross can reconcile the following prepositional comparison of Gal. 4:23, 29 with his theory and formula. (Note: "even so it is now.")

of (EK) the bonds woman, born after (KATA) the flesh

of (EK) the free woman, born BY (DIA) promise

born after (KATA) the flesh

born after (KATA) the Spirit

The Seed, The Source of Life

If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. -- 1 John 2:24

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. -- 1 John 3:9

The seed is the word of God . . . But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. - Luke 8:11,15

The problem, of course, is that the term "seed" is applied to more than one subject in the Bible. In one place Christ is the Seed (Gal 3:16); in another, the saints are the seed (Matt 13:38), and in another, the word of God is the seed (as Ross admits). Still, something that the early Christians "heard from the beginning" remained in them, according to 1 John 2:24. It is not difficult to relate that to John's next relative statement (1 John 3:9), "his seed remaineth in him." This line of thought amplifies, when we discover that the seed, the word sown in their hearts, had to be kept. Now, we are aware that the new nature is being discussed here (and in 1 John 5:18) in some way. Yet, the new nature is the "whosoever," but what or who is the seed? Now, one could say the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is never referred to as a seed. And according to Bob Ross' rule, if it is never mentioned any where else, you can't use it in the verse under dispute.


For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.    -- 2 Cor. 2:1

The word "incorruptible" is not much help to Bob Ross, for the word is applied to many things in the Bible. The incorruptible crown  (1 Cor 9:25),  body (1 Cor 15:52-54), inheritance (1 Pet 1:4), treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20), fruit (Matt. 7:18), flesh of Christ (Acts 2:27,31), God (Rom 1:23), blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18), and the hidden man of the heart (1 Pet. 3:4).

The word of God is incorruptible; it is settled in heaven. That  does not mean that Bible correctors cannot attempt to corrupt it or produce corruptions. But though men create adulterated versions and copies and though Jehudi's penknife or fire destroys the word of God (Jer, 36:25), there will always be a Baruch to recreate it (Jer. 36:32). The scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)! Heaven and earth may pass away but His words will not(Matt. 24:35). His word will not depart from the mouth of thy seed or thy seed's seed forever (Isa. 59:21).

The Simple Solution

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible (seed), by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh (corruptible seed) is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord (incorruptible seed) endureth for ever.     -- 1 Pet. 1:23-25

Bob Ross, unwittingly, provides the solution to his own contrived dilemma. We do not even need one cross reference or anything, which we have already said. All we have to do is examine the context for the answer. Bob informs us (after stating his view) that the incorruptible seed is in "contrast to the 'corruptible seed' which is the 'flesh' (3:24), sic" (actually 1:24). Well, what have we here? If the "flesh," which "withereth" and "falleth away,"constitutes the "corruptible seed (according to Ross)," then the incorruptible contrast has to be the word of the Lord which endureth for ever in verse 25.

Not to worry, Jack! You were right  . . .  this time.


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