Question:

I am surprised of your criticism about the folded napkin of Jesus. I read through the article several times and I do not see any contradiction with the resurrection of Jesus when one highlighted the significance of the folded napkin. Any exegesis being done on any events or occurrences recorded in the Bible should be viewed as an attempt to enrich our knowledge and is most welcome. The attempt did not detract people from believing that Jesus really had resurrected and I do agree with you that the folded napkin meant that Jesus was really resurrected but Jesus would not have folded it neatly if it did not any have theological meaning.

I am not surprised of the Jew's traditions and even in modern days, when you attend an official dinner function, there are certain table manners that you have to observe. Hence, if the Jews had such a tradition, why not we make use of it to understand the Bible better.

This is my personal view.


Answer:

The simple problem with the email that it makes a point, not on what the Scriptures says, but upon an imagined tradition that did not exist in Jesus' day. Yes, today we have a tradition of using table napkins, but that doesn't mean all people in all ages had the same traditions. The error is called an anachronism -- assigning a modern practice to an ancient time. So why should I praise a note that makes a point based on a lie?

Nor does something that was not practice at in Jesus' day make the point present in the passage clearer. As I pointed out, it distracts from the real point of the folded napkin by assigning a meaning that wasn't given or intended. My duty as a preacher is to make the truth of God's Word clear. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11). Therefore, I must stick with the text not some imaginative point by an uninspired man.

Thanks for your clarification on the Folded Napkin of Jesus. By the way, what is your opinion on the phrase which had been widely accepted as a truth: "Once Saved Always Saved." I was disturbed by this phrase by the fact that there is a word apostasy in the Bible (Hebrews 6).

As you noted, the concept, along with the other four points of John Calvin's teachings are wrong. See: "Once Saved, Always Saved."