Billingsly/Benton Debate on The Gospels

Dan Billingsly's First Affirmative

 
 
 Proposition: 
 The Scriptures teach that the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- before 
 the cross, belong to the Old and not the New Testament.
 
 Affirm:  Dan Billingsly
 Deny: Terry Benton
 
 Being in the affirmative of this study, I ask brother Benton to follow and answer my arguments by 
 number. If he will number his arguments, I will answer by number. This will make it much 
 simpler and easier for all to follow and understand. 
 
 THREE QUESTIONS WHICH BILLINGSLY AND BENTON MUST ANSWER:
 
 1. Where do the Scriptures teach that the Old Testament age, revelation and authority of the Old 
 Testament law of Moses (old Mosaical covenant) end?
 
 BILLINGSLY: The Scriptures teach that all Old Testament Jews in the last generation of Israel 
 became "dead to the law by the body of Christ" on the cross (Rom. 7:4).  In his death, Christ 
 "nailed" the Old Testament law of Moses to the cross (Col. 2:14). Christ was the "end" of the law 
 of Moses by his death on the cross (Rom. 10:4). By his death, Christ "took away" the Old 
 Covenant" with Israel that he might establish the New Covenant with the New testament church in 
 Acts 2 (Heb. 10:9-10).
 
 BENTON:
 
 2.  Where do the Scriptures teach that the New Testament age, revelation and authority of the New 
 Covenant of Christ begin?
 
 BILLINGSLY:  The Scriptures teach that the New Testament age, revelation and authority of the 
 New Covenant began in Acts 2. In Acts 2, not in MMLJBC, the Holy Spirit guided the apostles' 
 into "all" New Testament "truth" as prophesied and revealed by Christ (Jn. 16:13-14).  In Acts 2, 
 not MMLJBC, for the first time in history, Peter preached the "keys of the new covenant 
 kingdom" -- the New Testament gospel "plan of salvation."  In Acts 2, not MMLJBC, for the first 
 time in history, alien sinners obeyed the New Testament gospel, became New Testament 
 Christians as they were "added" to the New Testament kingdom. In Acts 2, not MMLJBC, for the 
 first time in history the New Testament church was "established" on earth. In Acts 2, not 
 MMLJBC, for the first time in history the New Covenant church was established in the New 
 Testament faith of "the apostles' doctrine." 
 
 BENTON:
 
 2. Are all men today in this New Testament age, alien sinners and New Testament Christians 
 alike, accountable to "all" New Testament teaching?
 
 BILLINGSLY: No.
 BENTON: 
 (For more information on the covenants, please visit my website at www.fbsbdb.com)
 
 ARGUMENT 1. Understanding the Bible does not depend on which translation one uses or if one 
 understands the original languages of the Hebrew Old Testament or Greek New Testament. It does 
 not depend on one's level of education or how long they have been reading or studying the Bible 
 and attending church services.
 
 More than any other factor, it depends on understanding the Old Testament age and doctrine of 
 Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- before the cross (MMLJBC), Christ's teaching of the old 
 covenant law of Moses and his relationship to and practice of the Old Testament religion of Israel 
 in MMLJBC
 
 Understanding the Bible depends on whether or not one understands the scriptural difference 
 between the Old and New Testaments and when and where the Scriptures -- not the Roman 
 Catholic church -- teach that the Old Testament age really "ends" and the New Testament age and 
 revelation of new covenant doctrine really "begins."
 
 ARGUMENT 2. Roman Catholic "Heresy" Of 1486 AD: Unfortunately, (and a fact that many 
 among churches of Christ do not know), in 1486 AD and the beginning of the Protestant 
 Reformation in Europe, when the Roman Catholic church attempted to maintain and defend "papal 
 (Pope) authority" as the Protestants were clamoring for "Bible authority," Roman Catholic 
 translators, publishers and printers of the Bible -- on the basis of earlier apostate lists and canons 
 of Scripture compiled during the infamous "dark ages" -- arbitrarily inserted an unauthorized New 
 Testament "title page" between the book of Malachi and Matthew to divide between the Old and 
 New Testaments.
 
 Of course, this Roman Catholic "heresy" of 1486 denies and contradicts what the Scriptures teach 
 on where the Old Testament "ended" and the New Testament "began," and subsequently has 
 misled millions of people who seek to know God's will for this New Testament age.
 
 Without question, this erroneous Roman Catholic "title page" is the most misunderstood "page" in 
 the Bible. It has become the fundamental "cause" of most of the misunderstanding of the Bible and 
 religious division among those who would "follow" Christ. Its sectarian spirit has created untold 
 false doctrine about Christ and his new covenant church. It has certainly misled and confused 
 brother Benton. Just watch his arguments.
 
 Has this false "title page" also misled you in your efforts to understand the Bible and do God's will 
 in this New Testament age? You may be completely unaware of how this fallacious Roman 
 Catholic "title page" has affected your efforts to understand the Old and New Testaments.
 
 (Questions? email to gospelpreacher2@msn.com)
 
 ARGUMENT 3. Biblical Manuscript Authorities Confirm The Roman Catholic Origin And 
 Erroneous Placement Of The New Testament "Title Page." The following quotations from biblical 
 manuscript authorities on the text and canon of the Bible show clearly that the New Testament 
 "title page"  -- the page that divides the books of Malachi and Matthew -- was first arbitrarily 
 placed in the Bible by Roman Catholic translators and publishers, and was first printed by Pruss of 
 Strasbourg in 1486 AD. THIS IS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC HERESY THAT BROTHER 
 BENTON SUPPORTS, PROMOSTES AND ENCOURAGES YOU TO BELIEVE AND TRUST 
 AS AN INSPIRED DOCTRINE FROM HEAVEN. That means that from the time of the 1st 
 century apostles to 1486, there was no inspired division authorized or made between the books of 
 Malachi and Matthew. If we are going to "rightly divide" between the Old and New Testaments by 
 the teaching of Christ in MMLJBC and the New Testament apostles in Acts 2 through Revelation 
 22, then these four books must be placed, as Christ, the Holy Spirit and the apostles did in the Old 
 Testament, and not in the New Testament as done by the Roman Catholic church, the Protestant 
 denominational world and promoted and preached by brother Terry Benton and others.
 
 HARDING GRADUATE SCHOOL OF RELIGION, 1000 Cherry Road, Memphis, TN 38117
 "Dear brother Billingsly, The sort of information I understood you to be looking for is likely to be 
 found in the set: T.H. Darlow and H.F. Moule, HISTORICAL CATALOGUE OF PRINTED 
 EDITIONS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE. It appears that the Gutenburg Bible (1455 AD) did not have 
 a 'title page.' Our copies of the Sinaiticus (4th century manuscript) and Alexandrius (5th century 
 manuscript) do not have a New Testament 'title page.'"  Jack P. Lewis, Professor of Bible
 
 BIBLIOTECA APOSTOLICA VATICANA, Vatican, Rome, Italy
 "Dear Mr. Billingsly, With regard to when the title-page was inserted between 2 Maccabees and 
 the beginning of the Gospel according to Matthew, I call your attention to p. 421, of THE 
 CAMRIDGE HISTORY OF THE BIBLE, Vol. 3.  It states: 'In 1486 Pruss of Strassburg printed 
 the first Bible with a title-page.'" REV. William J. Sheehan, C.S.B.
 
 BRITISH MUSEUM/LIBRARY DEPARTMENT OF MANUSCRIPTS
 Great Russell St., London WClB3DG, England
 "Dear Sir, The oldest manuscripts of the Greek Bible were not produced with such a title-page at 
 the beginning of St. Matthew's Gospel as we find in our modern printed editions." Dr. Scot 
 McKendrick, Curator Of Classical, Byzantine and Biblical Manuscripts 
 
 AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY, 1865 Broadway, NY, NY 10023-7505
 "Dear Mr. Billingsly, The first printed edition of the Bible was a copy of the Latin Vulgate printed 
 about 1455 by Johan Gutenberg....The first known example of a title-page is the 1486 edition of 
 the Bible in Latin  published by Pruss of Strassburg, which carried the words 'Textus Biblie.'" 
 Erroll F. Rhodes, Assistant Director, Bible Study Helps
 
 OKLAHOMA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, 2501 Memorial Rd., Box 11000, Oklahoma City, OK
 75136-1100
 "Dear Brother Billingsly, The first "Title Page" to the Bible was added in 1486 to a Latin Bible 
 published by  Pruss of Strassburg...The authority for its insertion was that of the printer...Second, 
 there were no title sheets  in the oldest and best manuscripts...The first known examples of an 
 entire Bible in book form come from  around AD 350 (and these included the Apocrypha in the 
 Old Testament like first and second Maccabees,  Tobit, Judith, and additional books in the New 
 Testament like the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of  Hermas, and the Teaching of the Twelve 
 Apostles)."Curt Niccum, Professor of the College of Biblical Studies
 
 We can see from the above statements that the apostate  Roman Catholic church of the "dark, 
 darker and darkest ages" took great steps to confuse and denigrate the written word of God in both 
 the Old and New Testaments. The present erroneous New Testament "title page" was just one of 
 the many doctrinal heresies of the Roman Catholic church in denying the truth of  the Bible. 
 
 Is this Roman Catholic heresy what brother Benton believes and teaches? Yes!
 
 3. The Scriptures teach that the Bible consists of a series of different covenants from Genesis 
 through Revelation, and to understand which books, chapters and verse make up these different 
 covenants is to understand the beginnings and endings of the covenants of the  Bible.  
 
 The Scriptures teach that each different covenant consists of a specific but varying number of 
 books, chapters and verses.  The old Patriarchal age and covenants began in Genesis 1 and ended 
 in Exodus 19. The old Mosaical covenant began in Exodus 20, continued through 1500 years of 
 the Mosaical age, and ended with the  life and death of Christ in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 
 and John 19.
 
 The Scriptures teach that the six chapters of Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, 21 and Acts 
 1 all describe the events in the work of Christ after his resurrection and during the fifty days  
 between the end of the Old Testament at the cross of Christ and the beginning of the New 
 Testament in Acts 2
 
 The Scriptures teach that the New Testament of Christ is revealed in Christ's own  new covenant 
 words to the Holy  Spirit and apostles  in Acts 2 through Revelation 22. 
  
 All books, chapters and verses are "rightly divided" (2 Tim. 2:15) into their proper old and new 
 covenants when we follow the teaching of the Scriptures  -- not when one follows the false 1486 
 AD Roman Catholic division of the Old and New Testaments  between Malachi and Matthew as 
 seen in our modern Bibles.
 
 The Scriptures teach that the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- before the cross - 
 describe and detail the teaching and end of the Old Testament age and authority of the law of 
 Moses,  not the beginning of the New Testament age, revelation and authority of the New 
 Covenant of Christ.  
 
 While Christ, as the last Old Testament prophet sent to Israel,  spoke numerous Old Testament 
 "prophecies" about the then-soon-to-come New Covenant age and kingdom in MMLJBC (i.e., 
 Matt. 16:18; Jn. 3:3-7), he did not teach  or reveal specific  New Testament doctrine  during the 
 Old Testament age of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- before the cross. Neither Christ, the Holy 
 Spirit or the apostles ever teach that Christ's Old Testament "prophecies" in MMLJBC were then -
 - are were to become -- New Testament doctrine. 
 
 No Old Testament "prophecy" of any Old Testament "prophet" has  ever  become New Testament 
 doctrine. The "fulfillment" of Old Testament "prophecy" in the revelation of the New Testament is 
 New Covenant doctrine.
 
 4. The Bible must be interpreted by whole or complete covenants -- not by individual "verses" or 
 "topics."  Because the Bible consists of a series of covenants that God has made with various 
 individuals, families, nations and the New Testament church, and because each book, chapter, and 
 verse belongs to one specific covenant and covenant age, to scripturally understand and interpret 
 the Bible, all books, chapters and verses must be "rightly divided" into their proper Old and New 
 Covenants,  then each whole covenant must be interpreted by what it teaches, (not by what another 
 covenant teaches), and that teaching applied only to the people who were in or part of that  
 specific covenant. 
 
 A. The different covenants of the Patriarchal age (Genesis 1 through Exodus 19) must be 
 interpreted  by the teaching of those specific Patriarchal covenants and applied only to the 
 Patriarchal people within those covenants in that Patriarchal age. 
 
 B. The  one Mosaical covenant that God made with the house of  Israel during  the Mosaical age  
 (Exodus 20  through Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 and John 19) must be interpreted by the 
 teaching within that Mosaical covenant and applied only to the Jews of Israel with whom God 
 made that Mosaical covenant. 
 
 C. The six chapters of  Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, 21 and Acts 1 describe the fifty 
 day  period of time between the Old and New Testaments. This was a period when no covenant for 
 justification  and/or salvation from sin existed between God and man.
 
 D. The New Covenant that Christ has made with the New Testament church (Acts 2 through  
 Revelation 22). This New Covenant must be interpreted by the teaching within this same New 
 Covenant, and the teaching applied only to those whom it addresses.  The New Covenant "plan of 
 salvation" is addressed to  alien sinners and  applies only to alien sinners (Acts 2). Christ's New 
 Covenant law for the church is addressed to only the church, it does not apply to alien sinners 
 outside the church. New Covenant law for the church applies only to New Covenant Christians, 
 those within the New Covenant church. 
 
 Brother Benton is going to ask you to believe that New Testament doctrine for Christians also 
 applies to alien sinners before they become Christians.  Does Christ require alien sinners to live 
 the Christian life before they become Christians? Benton: Yes! Billingsly: No!
 
 6. There are  four simple rules for interpreting any book, chapter or verse in the Bible
 
 A. Which covenant was in force at the time,  with whom did God or Christ make the covenant 
 described in the book, chapter or verse, and to whom does this covenant teaching apply?
 B. Who is speaking?
 C. What is spoken?
 D. To whom were they speaking?
 
 7. The Bible cannot be scripturally interpreted by individual "verses" or "topics." The most 
 common mistake made in interpreting the Bible  is the attempt to make one verse, for example 
 John 3:16,  represent the whole new  covenant  message of Christ about salvation. The truth is that  
 John 3:16 is a verse from the Old Testament law of Moses describing how God "gave" his Son to 
 "save" the old covenant "world" of Israel (Matt. 1:21; 2:6; 15:24; Jn. 12:19).  John 3:16 does not 
 even belong to the New Testament -- much less contain God's message of salvation for this New 
 Covenant age. To be scripturally interpreted, John 3:16 must be interpreted in harmony with all 
 other teachings of the book of John, the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke -- before the cross , as 
 well as  all other books, chapters and verses that constitute the Old Testament law of Moses. 
 
 8. Another common mistake  made in interpreting the Bible is to combine all Scripture of  the 
 Bible  on one "topic" and then teach that it is God's will for men today.  For example,  Old 
 Testament Scripture and  teaching on temple "worship" ( is not God's will for the New Testament 
 church and her "worship" -- therefore it  cannot be applied to the church.  Only New Testament 
 teaching on "worship" in Acts 2 through Revelation 22   is a part of the new covenant, and only 
 new covenant  teaching on "worship" can be applied to the New Covenant church. Old Testament 
 teaching on "worship"  (or any other subject) does not, under any  circumstances,  apply to the 
 New Testament church.
 
 These first eight arguments on the proposition: The Scriptures teach that the four books of 
 Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- before the cross -- belong to the Old and not the New 
 Testament,  are scripturally and historically true. 
 
 They prove the proposition -- but our ensuing arguments are going to thoroughly dismantle and 
 destroy brother Benton's position. These eight arguments cannot be scripturally attacked or  
 defeated by brother Benton. 
 
 He cannot successfully argue that Christ, the Holy Spirit and the apostles placed MMLJBC in the 
 New Testament, for all of their teaching denies such a heresy.  More than 100 times in MMLJBC 
 Jesus declares that he is teaching the Old Testament law and prophets. For example, at the close of 
 the so-called "sermon on the mount" (Matt. 7:12);  when the young Jew asked Christ what he 
 should do to have eternal life (Matt. 19:16-20);  and when Christ was asked about the "greatest 
 commandment" (Matt. 22:34-40). 
 
 Not once in MMLJBC does Jesus ever state that he is teaching New Testament doctrine. 
 
 Why then do so many like terry Benton believe that the New Testament age begins and the 
 revelation of New Testament doctrine begins in  Matthew 1? Because they have rejected the New 
 Testament truth of Christ and have  believed the false doctrine set forth in the 1486 AD Roman 
 Catholic "heresy." 
 
 When anyone rejects Christ's  truth of the New Testament in Acts 2 through Revelation 22 and 
 believes the devil's lie that Christ's old covenant teaching of the law of Moses in MMLJBC is New 
 Testament doctrine, they stand condemned.  "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in 
 them that perish; because the received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for 
 this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might 
 be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thess. 10-12). 
 
 Our 2nd affirmative will show, by the Scriptures, that every word of MMLJBC relates to the Old 
 Testament, the old covenant law of Moses,  the old covenant nation of Israel and the last old 
 covenant prophet -- Jesus Christ the  Messiah, that old covenant Savior that God sent only to old 
 covenant Israel (Matt. 15:24; Lk. 19:10).
 
 Let us wait patiently for brother Benton's 1st negative.