1. The Bible 18
Chapter One The Bible Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. —Rev 3:20 The notion that man has free will is a basic premise of Judaism. The Old Testament is liberally sprinkled with terms that connote volition and choice; an examination of all of them would lead one to conclude that free will is emblazoned across every page of the Old Testament. Let us examine the recurrence of terms that can be translated as “free will” and “choose.” James Strong’s Concordance indicates that the English word “freewill” occurs 17 times in the King James Version of the OT.1 Of these occurrences, the original Hebrew ned-aw-baw’ is used 15x; ned-ab’ (Aramaic), 2x. Strong advises that ned-aw-baw’ (which comes from naw-dab’) is defined thus: “…prop. (abstr.) spontaneity, or (adj.) spontaneous; also (concr.) a sponta- neous or (by infer., in plur.) abundant gift.”2 When we count the number of times that ned-aw-baw’ occurs in the OT, we find that it appears 35x. Strong advises that the KJV translates it as “freewill offering (15x), offerings (9x), free offering (2x), freely (2x), willing offering (1x), voluntary offering (1x), plentiful (1x), voluntarily (1x), voluntary (1x), willing (1x), willingly (1x).”3 Strong points out that “This offering is always given willingly, bountifully, liberally, or as a prince would offer. It refers not to the nature of the offering or...
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