The Rapture Doctrine

The Rapture Doctrine [3]

Do We “Knock Knoch”? Or, Do We Seek the Approbation of Men?

Copyright © BRI 1985

A.E. Knoch was a scholar and a gentleman who gave the best years of his life to devoting himself to a new translation of the Holy Scriptures, which he called the Concordant Literal New Testament.

What is the major idea lying behind the Concordant version?

According to their own Introduction to this unique effort, it was Knoch’s purpose to “make a translation that agreed as closely as possible to the origin-al language of the Scriptures….[recognising]…. the importance of the vocabulary of Scripture keeping distinct the well-chosen words used by God in His revelation of truth…the Concordant Literal New Testament by being ‘harmonious’ with the Original, keeps to a minimum the confusion resulting from translating different Greek words with the same English word.”

They also claim that “the late A.E. Knoch was painfully aware of his shortcomings” and therefore “sought to emphasise the necessity of shielding him-self against his personal views, his inherited tendencies and traditional errors.”

The BRI owes a great debt to the Concordant organisation. This lecturer freely admits that he has made great use of Knoch’s research and his parti-cular version of the “NT” Scriptures. Still, it must be admitted that Mr Knoch did permit his views on the secret rapture doctrine to infiltrate and influ-ence his astonishingly tireless efforts in producing this work, and a work admittedly of some magnitude.

For, among other errors, we find a specialised bias in his preference toward capitalisation of certain letters which do not appear in the Greek Original (please compare Jude 9 with 1 Thessalonians 4.16).

According to John’s Revelation 20.1-5 the text states clearly that Christians shall not ascend into the air to meet Mashiach at His coming until the time of the first resurrection. In the Greek this is painfully and patently apparent. “First” is translated from the Greek protos meaning “first” as an ordinal number (as in sequence second, third, fourth etc). In this text it cannot mean former, yet Knoch so translates it to force into the passage a meaning that John never intended. Along with capitalisation, Knoch did this to justify a weak argument to uphold his belief in a secret two-stage Advent of “Jesus” for His saints prior to the Great Tribulation.

These are only two examples of problems which show up in the Concordant version.

BRI makes use of A.E. Knoch’s work in our own research efforts, along with many other versions and translations and scholarly input from a wide spectrum of biblical theology. But we in no way enter the domain of ego worship — our own or the ego of any other human being.

There are people on our mailing list who were once avid Seventh Day Adventists, devotees of Mrs Egg White (Ellen Gould White). They are now dedicated followers of Dr Des Ford. There are also folk who were once dangerously flirtatious followers of H.W. Armstrong — Armstrongites. They have become, sadly, staunch Martinites (dedicated followers of Professor E.L. Martin, a one-time lecturer of the sectarian and heretical Armstrongite
Ambassador College, and now a prolific scholar in his own right). They have replaced one authority figure for another. They feel secure in such a comfort zone.

Some of these folk have tended to look ONLY to the BRI/IMCF as the absolute fulcrum of truth for our time — a highly dangerous attitude. After all, ALL truth is God’s Truth no matter where it may be found!

To this list we must unfortunately add, without any critical assessment, some disciples of Mr Knoch, whom I have previously referred to in other places in BRI/IMCF literature as a “Californian German rationalist” and by the use of such a phrase, or similar, I have admittedly offended quite a number of people. And why were they offended?

Because they have learned to put their trust in mere man. Because they are idolatrous individuals, and proof of that statement is in their reaction to my “knocking Knoch.” But, he did live in California. He was a German. Further, he most certainly was a rationalist.

And I stated what I stated to make a point about idolatry!

I don’t care where its found, idolatry is an evil, a curse. Those who so indulge are bound to remain in ignorance whether they are Armstrongites,
Martinites, Knochians, or BRI-ites!

The Biblical Research Institute of The International Messianic Community of Faith (IMCF) is growing daily in Grace and in knowledge. Where we have taught error in the past we have publicly admitted it (in no way have we sought to sweep our mistakes under the carpet). And this we shall continue to do while I draw breath, and the BRI/IMCF remains under my own control. And at least for the foreseeable future, it thus so remains.

Do we “knock Knoch”?

Only for a valid reason, and were Mr A.E. Knoch alive today we at BRI/IMCF would like to believe that (differences over the Rapture aside) he would yet applaud us.