The MacArthur Study Bible
(copyright 1997, Word Publishing)
It Will Lead You Away From God (the Truth)
Those who read and follow the notes contained in The MacArthur Study Bible will be led to the same place MacArthur is going, that is, the blackness of darkness (2 Peter 2:17), where all unbelievers go, the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). Because, although it is in great deceit, MacArthur encourages people away from a true trust in the Word of God, and if a person's trust is not truly in God's Word, they will go to hell (Revelation 21:8). For it is written,
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4)
It is the Word of God that saves, as James says,
receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
When a false teacher can deceitfully encourage people's trust away from God's Word, he leads them away from the very truth that would save them. This is what MacArthur does.
We have not extensively read through all of MacArthur's notes to find all of the false doctrine contained therein. But, what we have found has been enough to prove further MacArthur's Satanic connection. That which is documented below are examples. We have not included every error we found.
To begin with, MacArthur is rightfully held responsible for all the notes in his study Bible. In the section entitled "Personal Notes" MacArthur writes,
". . . I personally bear full responsibility for all the notes in The MacArthur Study Bible . . ."
" . . . I worked and re-worked the study notes into their final form."
Therefore, according to MacArthur, he is not only to be held accountable for all the notes in this Bible, but he admits to having carefully and thoughtfully established them all.
Furthermore, MacArthur himself admits that false teaching consists of any teaching that does not line up with God's Word. In his note on Hebrews 13:9 he writes,
13:9 various and strange doctrines. These would include any teaching contrary to God's Word. The NT contains countless warnings against false teaching and false teachers (cf. Acts 20:29,30; Rom. 16:17; 2 Cor. 10:4,5; Gal. 1:6-9; Eph. 4:14; 2 Tim. 3:16).
So, MacArthur admits to the warning Scripture gives against "any teaching contrary to God's Word" and the false teachers who espouse such teaching.
Moreover, MacArthur further acknowledges that false teachers appear as "Christian pastors."
The false teachers parade themselves as Christian pastors, teachers, and evangelists (cf. Jude 4). [p. 1954, footnote to 2 Peter 2:1]
Finally, MacArthur recognizes the dreadful wickedness of those who teach contrary to God's Word. In his note on 2 Peter 2:1 MacArthur writes,
The greatest sin of Christ-rejecters and the most damning work of Satan is misrepresentation of the truth and its consequent deception. Nothing is more wicked than for someone to claim to speak for God to the salvation of souls when in reality he speaks for Satan to the damnation of souls (cf. Deut. 13:1-18; 18:20; Jer. 23; Ezk. 13; Matt. 7:15; 23:1-36; 24:4,5; Rom. 16:17; 2 Cor. 11:13, 14; Gal. 3:1,2; 2 Tim. 4:3,4).
This Satanic work is exactly what MacArthur himself does. He parades himself as a Christian pastor, but in reality, he is a false teacher.
On the front and back inside dust jacket of The MacArthur Study Bible it is written,
So while some popular study Bibles present multiple viewpoints, MacArthur's notes always point you towards a single destination: God's unchanging truth. [bold added]
The above statement is a lie. Several times over, MacArthur's notes go directly against God's unchanging truth, add to His unchanging truth (Proverbs 30:5-6), or twist (2 Peter 3:16) His unchanging truth.
I. Antichrist Teaching
Besides the extensive false teaching displayed in this Bible (see below), MacArthur unwittingly calls himself an antichrist in his own Bible. In his footnote on 1 John 2:22-23 MacArthur writes,
2:22,23 denies the Father and the Son. A second characteristic of antichrists is that they deny the faith (i.e. sound doctrine). Anyone denying the true nature of Christ as presented in the Scripture is an antichrist (cf. 4:2; 2 Thess. 2:11).
In this very same Bible, MacArthur denies "the true nature of Christ" and denies both the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22-23). In his note for Psalm 2:7 MacArthur writes,
You are My Son. This recalls 2 Sam. 7:8-16 as the basis for the Davidic king. It is also the only OT reference to the Father/Son relationship in the Trinity, a relationship planned in eternity past and realized in the incarnation, thus a major part of the NT. (p. 744, see also p. 1691 & 1897)
When MacArthur says Psalm 2:7 is the "only OT reference to the Father/Son relationship" he lies and does not speak the truth (e.g. Proverbs 30:4). When MacArthur says that "the Father/Son relationship" was "planned in eternity" he denies both the Father and the Son who have always been the Father and the Son (Proverbs 30:4; John 17:5), and he denies "the true nature of Christ;" that is, that Christ's very nature has always been the Son of God. This is who He is and has always been (Hebrews 13:8). This relationship was not "planned in eternity." It is basic to who the real God is!
Since the printing of his study Bible, MacArthur has changed his view on the nature of Christ (see Reexamining the Eternal Sonship of Christ, hard copy available), but he claims that his former teaching was "by no means rank heresy." His own Bible condemns him. His teaching was not only rank heresy, but was antichrist, by his own inadvertent admission.
II. The Limited Atonement Lie
1 John 2:1-2 says,
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
MacArthur writes concerning 1 John 2:2,
for the whole world. This is a generic term, referring not to every single individual, but to mankind in general. Christ actually paid the penalty only for those who would repent and believe. A number of Scriptures indicate that Christ died for the world (John 1:29; 3:16; 6:51; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9). Most of the world will be eternally condemned to hell to pay for their own sins, so they could not have been paid for by Christ. The passages which speak of Christ's dying for the whole world must be understood to refer to mankind in general (as in Titus 2:11). "World" indicates the sphere, the beings toward whom God seeks reconciliation and has provided propitiation. God has mitigated His wrath on sinners temporarily, by letting them live and enjoy earthly life (see note on 1 Tim. 4:10). In that sense, Christ has provided a brief, temporal propitiation for the whole world. But He actually satisfied fully the wrath of God eternally only for the elect who believe. Christ's death in itself had unlimited and infinite value because He is Holy God. Thus His sacrifice was sufficient to pay the penalty for all the sins of all whom God brings to faith. But the actual satisfaction and atonement was made only for those who believe (cf. John 10:11, 15; 17:9, 20; Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:32, 37; Eph. 5:25). [p. 1965, bold added]
None of the verses MacArthur gives at the end of this quote say what he says ("only for those who believe"). They speak about those for whom Christ died, but they say nothing about Him dying "only for those who believe."
The propitiation of Christ, the death of Christ, is stated in 1 John 2:2 to be not only for us, believers (e.g. 1 John 1:7; 5:13), but also for the whole world, unbelievers (e.g. 1 John 3:1, 13; 4:5; 5:19). MacArthur speaks against this and says the "atonement was made only for those who believe."
1 John uses the term "whole world" one other time, and in this instance it is clear it means literally the whole world of the ungodly in contrast to believers, just as it is used in 1 John 2:2.
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19)
"We know that we are of God" equals believers, "and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" equals unbelievers.
MacArthur's limited atonement lie can also be seen in this same MacArthur Study Bible on page 1576 for John 1:29, on page 1741 for 1 Corinthians 8:11, on page 1772 for 2 Corinthians 5:19, on page 1863 for 1 Timothy 2:6, on page 1899 for Hebrews 2:9, and on page 1955 for 2 Peter 2:1.
III. Directly Against The Word
Several times in this study Bible MacArthur is found speaking directly against the written revelation of God. For example, in the footnote for Deuteronomy 21:15-17 MacArthur writes,
21:15-17 has two wives. In the original, the words are rendered "has had two wives," referring to events that have already taken place, evidently intimating that one wife is dead and another has taken her place. Moses, then, is not legislating on a polygamous case where a man has two wives at the same time, but on that of a man who has married twice in succession. [bold added]
The text says nothing of any death of a spouse, but MacArthur adds this to the text (Proverbs 30:6). Read the text for yourself. Also, MacArthur lies about "the original." There is no tense distinction in the Hebrew language ("the original") between "has" and "has had," nor is there anything in the context that would justify such a translation. MacArthur speaks not the truth.
The verb representing the "has" or "has had" that MacArthur is referring to is simply an imperfect third feminine plural verb for "to be" (tihyeyna), and there is no tense distinction in this verb (between "has" or "has had"), nor does the context justify any such distinction. MacArthur either just made this up, or he is promoting someone else's lie. Either way, it is not true.
In this passage Moses is legislating on a polygamous case where a man has two wives, one is loved, the other is unloved. MacArthur adds a death to the text, lies about the original, and denies the very words of Scripture. [For more on polygamy, see our report.]
5:13-15 Commander. The Lord Jesus Christ (6:2; cf. 5:15 with Ex. 3:2, 5) in a pre-incarnate appearance (Christophany). He came as the Angel (Messenger) of the Lord, as if He were a man (cf. the one of 3 │angels,▓ Gen. 18).
The text does not say that He came "as if He were a man," but rather, "a Man stood opposite him" (Joshua 5:13). The Lord was (and is) a Man, even back then (Exodus 15:3; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; 13:7; John 6:62; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Hebrews 13:8).
Psalm 14:1 - What Is A Fool?
14:1 The fool. In the Bible, this designation carries moral rather than intellectual meaning (Isaiah 32:6).
This is a lie. God calls men fools for a reason! In Scripture, "fool" has both a moral and intellectual meaning. In fact, the very passage that MacArthur is commenting on reveals this. For when ungodly men say in their hearts, "There is no God" (Psalm 14:1-3), they reveal that they are both morally and intellectually bankrupt (Psalm 19:1-6). It is no wonder Ecclesiastes 9:3 says,
Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
For a few other verses denoting both moral and intellectual foolishness, please note the following:
A man devoid of understanding [i.e. a fool] shakes hands in a pledge, and becomes surety for his friend. (Proverbs 17:18)
A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart. (Proverbs 18:2)
Wisdom is too lofty for a fool; he does not open his mouth in the gate. (Proverbs 24:7)
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered. (Proverbs 28:26)
A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back. (Proverbs 29:11; see also Proverbs 24:30-34; Psalm 92:5-7)
Ecclesiastes 2:14 - So, What Is A Fool?
MacArthur's footnote for Ecclesiastes 2:14 is similar.
2:14 fool walks in darkness. The fool is not one who is mentally deficient, but is morally bankrupt. It is not that he cannot learn wisdom, but that he won't.
The truth is, it is all of the above. The fool is mentally deficient, cannot learn wisdom, and won't. As Proverbs says,
Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it? (Proverbs 17:16)
Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him. (Proverbs 27:22)
The only hope for a fool is the salvation of God (Proverbs 8:5), as Jesus said regarding salvation, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27). So it is with the fool. He cannot learn wisdom and will not learn wisdom, until God does a miracle and makes him no longer a fool (Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-7).
Furthermore, it is a lie to say that a "fool is not one who is mentally deficient." It is true that someone can be a fool, and yet be able to acquire and retain a great deal of information (Isaiah 44:25). Someone may very well be an "Einstein," but if they deny God (Psalm 14:1-3), they are nonetheless seriously mentally deficient. The one who is without God (i.e. a fool, Psalm 14:1-3) has a debased mind (Romans 1:28) and a darkened understanding (Ephesians 4:18). He might acquire facts, perhaps, but he is nonetheless devoid of understanding and stupid (Proverbs 30:2-4), as he denies the most basic fact of reality that makes any other fact a fact; and that is God, who upholds "all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3) and "by whom are all things" (Hebrews 2:10). As the Lord testifies in Psalm 94:8-11,
Understand, you senseless among the people; and you fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct, He who teaches man knowledge? The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.
This futility includes the thoughts of the worldly "wise." As Paul wrote, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile" (1 Corinthians 3:20). "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians 3:19). Why? Because no matter how great the knowledge, if you take God out of the picture, you're a fool who cannot even see that He who planted the ear, can hear; and He who formed the eye, can see. This makes for a serious case of mental deficiency!
MacArthur's footnote says,
19:9 fear. This is not technically a word for the Word, but it does reflect the reality that Scripture is the manual for worship of God.
MacArthur denies the very truth Psalm 19:9 reveals. Sandwiched in the context of words that describe the Word of God, i.e. law of the Lord, testimony of the Lord, statues of the Lord, commandments of the Lord, and judgments of the Lord, we have the fear of the Lord. Psalm 19:9 reveals the truth that MacArthur attempts to dissuade his readers from seeing; that is, that the fear of the Lord is indeed a term used for the Word of God. Proverbs 15:33 also substantiates this truth.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility. (Proverbs 15:33)
The fear of the Lord equals (is) the instruction of wisdom. The instruction of wisdom equals the word of God (Job 22:22; 36:10; Psalm 50:17; Proverbs 1:2-3; 4:10-13; 6:23; 8:33-36; 10:17; 19:27; Jeremiah 17:21-23; 32:33; 35:13; Zephaniah 3:7; 2 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, the fear of the Lord equals (is) the word of God (Psalm 19:9).
MacArthur's footnote reads,
63:17 made us stray . . . hardened our heart. The sense is that God allowed them to stray and be burdened in their hearts.
MacArthur lies and speaks directly against the prophet's words. Isaiah does not say, "Why have you allowed us to stray and be burdened in our hearts." Isaiah says,
O Lord, why have You made us stray from Your ways, and hardened our heart from Your fear? (Isaiah 63:17)
Isaiah does not ask if He has made them stray, but why He made them stray and hardened their heart. This is an awesome verse, and MacArthur perverts it to his own destruction (2 Peter 3:16).
Ezekiel 18:24 says,
But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
18:24 a righteous man turns. The next scenario is a righteous man turning to a life of sin. His former, apparent righteousness was not genuine (cf. 1 John 2:19), and God did not remember it as a valid expression of faith.
MacArthur makes God out to be a liar. God says, "when a righteous man . . .," not a fake righteous man.
Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: "The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins." When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wicked, "You shall surely die," if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 33:12-16)
MacArthur's footnote for these verses reads,
33:12-20 See notes on 18:19-29. One of the basic principles of God's dealing with His people is presented here: judgment is according to personal faith and conduct. The discussion is not about eternal salvation and eternal death, but physical death in judgment for sin which, for believers, could not result in eternal death. The righteous behavior in v. 15 could only characterize a true believer, who was faithful from the heart. There is no distinction made as to the matter of who is a true believer in God. There is only a discussion of the issue of behavior as a factor in physical death. For those who were apostate idolaters, physical death would lead to eternal death. For believers who were lovers of the true God, their sin would lead only to physical punishment (cf. 1 Cor. 11:28-31; 1 John 5:16,17). "Righteous" and "wicked" are terms describing behavior, not one's position before God. [bold added]
MacArthur's last sentence is a damning lie. It turns the grace of God into lewdness and basically says the opposite of 1 Corinthians 6:9; that is, that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. MacArthur says these "righteous" who turn from righteousness will still have eternal life. This is a lie, because the text says "none of his righteous works shall be remembered." (Ezekiel 33:13). On the day of judgment, men are going to be judged according to their works (Matthew 12:36-37; 25:31-46; Romans 2:6-10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 6:7-8). If none of his righteous works are remembered, all he has left to be judged on is his iniquity. Likewise, for the wicked who turn from their wickedness it says, "None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him." Therefore, all that is left for him on the day of judgment is his good deeds (John 5:28-29). "Righteous" and "wicked" are indeed terms that describe one's position before God (e.g. Psalm 37:37-40).
On page 1252 under "Interpretive Challenges" MacArthur writes,
Second, what are the moral implications of God's command for Hosea to marry a prostitute? It appears best to see Gomer as chaste at the time of marriage to Hosea, only later having become an immoral woman. The words "take yourself a wife of harlotry" are to be understood proleptically, i.e., looking to the future. An immoral woman could not serve as a picture of Israel coming out of Egypt (2:19; 9:10), who then later wandered away from God (11:1). Chapter 3 describes Hosea taking back his wife, who had been rejected because of adultery, a rejection that was unjustifiable if Hosea had married a prostitute with full knowledge of her character.
Here again, MacArthur encourages people away from taking their Bibles and simply believing what it says. God said to Hosea,
Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord. (Hosea 1:2)
If you believe the Word, it is clear God told Hosea to "Go, take . . . a wife of harlotry."
Matthew 6:15 - Forgiveness
Jesus gives a very serious warning in Matthew 6:15. The kind of warning that will make an eternal difference, heaven or hell, for those who take heed and those who do not. MacArthur, in his wickedness (2 Peter 2:1; Titus 1:16), completely denies Christ's words. MacArthur writes,
6:15 neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. This is not to suggest that God will withdraw justification from those who have already received the free pardon He extends to all believers. [p. 1403]
This is a damning lie. When Jesus said, "if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:15), He meant it! If the Father does not forgive your sins, you will be among those to whom people "shall go forth and look." As Isaiah 66:24 says,
And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
This is the inheritance of those whose sins have not been forgiven by the Father ("who have transgressed against Me"). Yet, despite Jesus' serious warning, MacArthur piles on the deceit and says,
Forgiveness in that sense - a permanent and complete acquittal from the guilt and ultimate penalty of sin - belongs to all who are in Christ (cf. John 5:24; Rom. 8:1; Eph. 1:7). Yet, Scripture also teaches that God chastens His children who disobey (Heb. 12:5-7). Believers are to confess their sins in order to obtain a day-to-day cleansing (1 John 1:9). This sort of forgiveness is a simple washing from the worldly defilements of sin; not a repeat of the wholesale cleansing from sin's corruption that comes with justification. It is like a washing of the feet rather than a bath (cf. John 13:10). Forgiveness in this latter sense is what God threatens to withhold from Christians who refuse to forgive others (cf. 18:23-35). [p. 1403, bold added]
In the above quote, MacArthur continues to deny the words of Christ. MacArthur cites 1 John 1:9, but this is for those who walk in the light (1 John 1:7). If someone refuses to forgive others, they are walking in darkness, and they reveal they do not know God, even though they may claim otherwise (1 John 1:6; 2:4). Moreover, MacArthur claims that a "wholesale cleansing from sin's corruption that comes with justification" is not taken away. The very passage he cites (Matthew 18:23-35) reveals that it is.
Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him." (Matthew 18:21-34)
Here we have a man who was forgiven, but because he did not forgive others, his forgiveness is taken away. MacArthur writes concerning this passage,
torturers. Not executioners. This pictures severe discipline, not final condemnation. [p. 1427]
Here again, MacArthur denies the words of Christ. Christ's whole point is that of final condemnation. The master calls the servant a wicked servant ("You wicked servant!" Matthew 18:32). The wicked go to hell (Psalm 11:6; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Peter 4:17-18; Revelation 20:11-15). Moreover, the master delivered "him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him." This is a picture of hell, not only in the torment (e.g. Revelation 14:11; 20:10), but in the fact that the man is in no position to ever pay anything back. He's being tortured!
MacArthur works more deceit and writes,
all that was due him. The original debt was unpayable and the man still without resources. So it seems unlikely that the slave was saddled once again with the same debt he had already been forgiven. Rather, what he now owed his master would be exacted in chastening by his master until he was willing to forgive others. [ibid.]
MacArthur continues to speak against Christ. The original debt is the only debt and obligation that is in view. Furthermore, MacArthur adds his own idea and speaks of "until he was willing to forgive others." This is nowhere in the text. MacArthur makes this up and denies Christ who says, "until he should pay all that was due to him." The fearful fact is, he will never be able to pay. In other words, he will be tortured forever! So Christ says,
So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses. (Matthew 18:35)
Another example where MacArthur speaks against God's Word can be found in his footnote for John 14:28. John 14:28 says,
You have heard Me say to you, "I am going away and coming back to you." If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, "I am going to the Father," for My Father is greater than I.
14:28 greater than I. He was not admitting inferiority to the Father (after claiming equality repeatedly, see note on vv. 7-11), but was saying that if the disciples loved Him, they would not be reluctant to let Him go to the Father . . . [bold added]
When Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I" He meant what He said. He was indeed "admitting inferiority to the Father." MacArthur confuses this with Christ's equality, but both are true, just as Christ can be God and with God at the same time (John 1:1). Here again, MacArthur encourages people away from "His unchanging truth" unto MacArthur's worthless rhetoric.
In his footnote on John 15:2 MacArthur writes,
15:2 He takes away. The picture is the vinedresser (i.e., the Father) getting rid of dead wood so that the living, fruit bearing branches may be sharply distinguished. The is a picture of apostate Christians who never genuinely believed and will be taken away in judgment (v.6; Matt. 7:16; Eph. 2:10); the transforming life of Christ has never pulsated within them (8:31, 32; cf. Matt. 13:18-23; 24:12; Heb. 3:14-19; 6:4-8; 10:27-31; 1 John 2:19; 2 John 9). [bold added]
MacArthur lies again. In John 15:1-6 Jesus was speaking of people who are "in Him" (i.e. in Christ). Paul said,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
In his footnote for 2 Corinthians 5:17 MacArthur acknowledges the significance of the words "in Christ" noting,
5:17 in Christ. These two words comprise a brief but most profound statement of the inexhaustible significance of the believer's redemption, . . .
MacArthur acknowledges the "profound statement" of "in Christ" in 2 Corinthians 5:17, but not in John 15. The truth is, if someone is "in Christ" they have believed and "the transforming life of Christ" has "pulsated within them" (2 Corinthians 5:17). MacArthur denies this, and he denies Jesus' words in John 15:1-6 when Christ says, "Every branch in Me." Jesus' warning applies to those who are "in Him," not those who simply claim to be. Here again, MacArthur diverts people away from the hard core truth of the Word of God.
A very strange example of speaking directly against the written Word can be found in the footnote for Acts 22:2. MacArthur writes,
22:2 Hebrew language. Aramaic, the language commonly spoken in Palestine (cf. 2 Kin. 18:26; Is 36:11).
Acts 22:2 says,
And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent.
The very verses MacArthur cites (2 Kings 18:26 & Isaiah 36:11) show that Hebrew is not the same as Aramaic. They are two different languages. Yet, MacArthur denies the plain text of Scripture. When the text says, "Hebrew language," MacArthur says, "Aramaic."
On page 1711 MacArthur writes,
prepared for destruction. By their own rejection of Him. God does not make men sinful, but He leaves them in the sin they have chosen (see note on v. 18).
Romans 9:22 is speaking of vessels of wrath that where created by God (Romans 9:21; Proverbs 16:4; Psalm 92:5-7) "prepared for destruction." Who "prepared" them for destruction? God (Romans 9:21)! MacArthur speaks directly against the truth of Romans 9:22 and diverts people away from the true gospel of God (Romans 1:16-11:36).
2 Corinthians 5:11 - The Fear Of The Lord
On page 1771 MacArthur writes,
5:11 the terror of the Lord. This is more clearly rendered, "the fear of the Lord." It is not referring to being afraid, but to Paul's worshipful reverence for God as his essential motivation . . .
Here again, MacArthur denies the plain text. What Paul calls "terror" (or "fear") MacArthur calls "not referring to being afraid." In other words, MacArthur is giving the message, "Don't believe God's Word, believe me," like the serpent of old who said, "You shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:4).
2 Corinthians 12:2
On page 1783 MacArthur denies the words of Paul who said,
Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. (2 Corinthians 12:5)
MacArthur comments on the man to whom Paul referred saying,
12:2 a man in Christ. Though Paul's reluctance to boast caused him to refer to himself in the third person, the context makes it obvious that he was speaking about himself; relating the experience of another man would hardly have enhanced Paul's apostolic credentials.
MacArthur makes Paul out to be a liar, because Paul plainly said, "Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast." Paul was speaking of another man, not himself.
1 Thessalonians 5:2
On page 1849 MacArthur comments on 1 Thessalonians 5:2 saying,
a thief in the night. This phrase is never used to refer to the rapture of the church.
Here is another lie and another statement that goes directly against the text. The very passage MacArthur comments on is the very passage that speaks of the "rapture" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). MacArthur states that there is a "change of topics" from chapter 4 to chapter 5 (see his footnote for 5:1), but this also is a lie. In 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and following Paul addresses the reality of the "rapture", and then in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 and following he addresses the timing of this event. MacArthur separates the Day of the Lord from being "caught up together" (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and dissuades people away from the truth.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
On page 1850 MacArthur comments,
whole spirit, soul, and body. This comprehensive reference makes the term "completely" more emphatic. By using spirit and soul, Paul was not indicating that the immaterial part of man could be divided into two substances (cf. Heb. 4:12). The two words are used interchangeably throughout Scripture (cf. Heb. 6:19; 10:39; 1 Pet. 2:11; 2 Pet. 2:8). There can be no division of these realities, but rather they are used as other texts use multiple terms for emphasis (cf. Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). Nor was Paul a believer in a 3-part human composition (cf. Rom. 8:10; 1 Cor. 3:11; 5:3-5; 7:34; 2 Cor. 7:1; Gal. 6:18; Col. 2:5; 2 Tim. 4:22), but rather two parts; material and immaterial. [bold added]
MacArthur speaks the exact opposite of the words of God. The very reference MacArthur gives, Hebrews 4:12, reveals a division of the soul and spirit is possible.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
The Word of God reveals both a soul and a spirit in man, being two of the three parts of man (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Here again, MacArthur encourages people away from "His unchanging truth."
Hebrews 7:3 - Melchizedek
7:3 The Levitical priesthood was hereditary, but Melchizedek's was not. His parentage and origin are unknown because they were irrelevant to his priesthood. Contrary to some interpretations, Melchizedek did have a father and a mother. The ancient Syriac Peshitta gives a more accurate translation for what was intended by the Gr. phrase: "whose father and mother are not written in genealogies." No record existed of Melchizedek's birth or death. [bold added]
MacArthur lies against the Words of God. Please note Hebrews 7:3. Speaking of Melchizedek, God says that he was,
without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
MacArthur says Melchizedek had a father and a mother. God says he did not ("without father, without mother"). MacArthur intimates that he had a birth and a death. God says that he has "neither beginning of days nor end of life," and "that he lives." (Hebrews 7:8). MacArthur says that "His parentage and origin are unknown." God says these are known; that is, there is no parentage and his origin is from eternity past ("neither beginning of days").
In this footnote MacArthur continues with,
like. Lit. "made to be like"; this word is used nowhere else in the NT. The implication is that the resemblance to Christ rests upon the way Melchizedek's history is reported in the OT, not upon Melchizedek himself. [underlining added]
MacArthur lies here again. The very next verse says, "Now consider how great this man was, . . . ." The "resemblance" is about Melchizedek himself. Instead of taking the Bible for exactly what it says, MacArthur diverts people away from such child like faith (Matthew 18:3).
1 Peter 2:8
they also were appointed. These were not appointed by God to disobedience and unbelief. Rather, these were appointed to doom because of their disobedience and unbelief.
MacArthur speaks directly against God's Word (Jesus, John 14:6; Hebrews 4:12). Note 1 Peter 2:8.
and "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
Nowhere in the context is "doom" discussed, but rather, disobedience. It is disobedience to which they were appointed. No doubt, they were appointed to doom as well (Psalm 92:5-7; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:22), but MacArthur again dissuades from "His unchanging truth" and denies the words of the Creator.
2 Peter 3:9
MacArthur's footnote says,
Those who do perish and go to hell, go because they are depraved and worthy only of hell and have rejected the only remedy, Jesus Christ, not because they were created for hell and predetermined to go there.
MacArthur speaks directly against Psalm 92:5-7; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:6-22; and Romans 11:36. Both are true. People perish because they are worthy of hell, and because God has made them vessels of wrath (Proverbs 16:4) "prepared for destruction" (Romans 9:22).
IV. Adds To The Word
Proverbs 30:5-6 says,
Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
MacArthur breaches this command several times over and is found to be a liar before the Word of God. For example, MacArthur's footnote for Genesis 16:3 reads,
Abram, ignoring divine reaction and assurance in response to his earlier attempt to appoint an heir (cf. 15:2-5), sinfully yielded to Sarai's insistence, and Ishmael was born (v.15).
First, MacArthur slanders (2 Timothy 3:3) Abram by saying he ignored divine reaction, when Scripture says no such thing. Second, MacArthur wrongly claims Abram attempted to appoint an heir in Genesis 15:2-5. Abram did no such thing. In Genesis 15:2-5 Abram bemoans that Eliezer is his heir. Third, MacArthur slanders Abram by saying he "sinfully yielded" to Sarai's request, when Scripture never identifies such an act as sinful. And finally, MacArthur adds to the word of God by calling Sarai's request an "insistence" which it was not. It was a simple request (Genesis 16:2). MacArthur is all twisted up on this verse (2 Peter 3:16).
Another example can be found in Deuteronomy 23:18 where Scripture says,
You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the Lord your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy indicates a dog was something that may be bought or sold ("the price of a dog"). Yet, MacArthur is blind to this simple truth and perverts this passage saying,
23:17,18 Prostitution as a form of worship was forbidden. "Dog" was a reference to male prostitutes (cf. Rev. 22:15).
Neither Revelation 22:15 nor any other Scripture bears witness that the term dog was a reference to a male prostitute. The term dog is indeed used in Scripture for wicked people (e.g. 2 Samuel 9:8; 16:9; Psalm 22:16; Proverbs 26:11; Isaiah 56:10-11; Matthew 7:6; 15:26-27; Mark 7:27-28; Philippians 3:2; Revelation 22:15), but it is never used specifically for male prostitutes, not even in the verse MacArthur cites to support his claim (Revelation 22:15).
Judges 11:31 - Slander
On page 352 MacArthur slanders Jephthah by saying,
11:31 I will offer it. Some interpreters reason that Jephthah offered his daughter as a living sacrifice in perpetual virginity. With this idea, v. 31 is made to mean "shall surely be the Lord's" or "I will offer it up as a burnt offering." The view sees only perpetual virginity in vv. 37-40, and rejects his offering a human sacrifice as being against God's revealed will (Deut. 12:31). On the other hand, since he was 1) beyond the Jordan, 2) far from the tabernacle, 3) a hypocrite in religious devotion, 4) familiar with human sacrifice among other nations, 5) influenced by such superstition, and 6) wanting victory badly, he likely meant a burnt offering. [bold added]
MacArthur slanders Jephthah and adds to the Word of God by saying Jephthah was "a hypocrite in religious devotion." Hebrews 11:32 proclaims Jephthah to be a man of faith, not a hypocrite. Moreover, MacArthur depicts that Jephthah was planning on sacrificing his daughter when he made his vow. On the contrary, the text reveals just the opposite. Judges 11:34-35 manifest that Jephthah was not expecting his daughter to be "whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me" (Judges 11:31). When Jephthah came to his house and saw his daughter coming out to meet him, he tore his clothes and was brought "very low" (Judges 11:35).
2 Kings 5:16 - MacArthur's "Insight"
MacArthur conjures up his own "truth" and writes,
5:16 he refused. To show that he was not driven by the mercenary motives of pagan priests and prophets, Elisha, though accepting gifts on other occasions (cf. 4:42), declined them here so the Syrians would see the honor of God only.
Scripture never says any such thing, yet MacArthur adds to God's Word and gives his opinion as if it were fact. Moreover, the one reference that he gives where Elisha accepted gifts (2 Kings 4:42) is where Elisha accepted gifts for the people that they might eat (2 Kings 4:42-44).
2 Kings 5:17
Similarly, MacArthur writes for the next verse,
5:17 two mule-loads of earth. In the ancient Near East it was thought that a god could be worshipped only on the soil of the nation to which he was bound. Therefore, Naaman wanted a load of Israelite soil on which to make burnt offerings and sacrifices to the Lord when he returned to Damascus.
God never says exactly why Naaman took these two mule-loads of earth, but, not content with that, MacArthur adds his opinion and adds to the Word of God (Proverbs 4:20-27; 30:6).
2 Kings 5:27
5:27 leprosy . . . shall cling to you. Gehazi's greed had cast a shadow over the integrity of Elisha's prophetic office.
The Scripture nowhere says that "Gehazi's greed had cast a shadow over the integrity of Elisha's prophetic office." MacArthur just makes this up (or borrowed it from another) and adds to the Word of God (Proverbs 30:6).
2 Kings 17:7-23
17:7-23 In these verses, the writer departs from quoting his written sources and gives his own explanation for the captivity of Israel.
Written sources? What written sources? The text says nothing about quoting any written sources. Nonetheless, even though it is not contained in Scripture, MacArthur adds this idea anyway.
2 Kings 23:25 - Slander
23:25 no king like him. Of all the kings in David's line, including David himself, no king more closely approximated the royal ideal of Deut. 17:14-20 than Josiah (cf. Matt. 22:37). Yet, even Josiah fell short of complete obedience because he had multiple wives (cf. vv. 31, 36; see note on Gen. 2:24).
MacArthur lies and slanders Josiah when he says "Josiah fell short . . . because he had multiple wives." There are only two wives recorded (2 Kings 23:31, 36), and this is not multiple wives. Solomon had multiple wives (2 Kings 11:1-11), but not Josiah. King David had far more wives than Josiah (e.g. 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 12:11; 15:16; 16:21-22; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9) and the Lord never condemned him or accused him of having multiple wives. Actually, the Lord said that David "had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite" (1 Kings 15:5), and one of the things the Lord commanded David was not to multiply wives to himself (Deuteronomy 17:17). David had at least 8 wives and ten concubines (2 Samuel 3:14; 15:16; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9). The Lord did not consider such a number of wives and concubines a breach of His commandment found in Deuteronomy 17:17.
7:5b,6 I found a register. Nehemiah discovered a register of the people made by Ezra in Babylon before the first group returned, a listing of people who had come with Zerubbabel. [bold added]
MacArthur adds to Nehemiah saying that he found a register "made by Ezra." Nehemiah does not say this, and the list Nehemiah found does not match the list in Ezra (Ezra 2). Despite these facts, MacArthur adds to the Word and says the list was "made by Ezra," even though he knows the list in Ezra does not match the list in Nehemiah (see his footnote for Ezra 2:64, 65, p. 643).
On page 699 MacArthur writes in the context of Job cursing the day of his birth,
He felt it would have been better to have never lived than to suffer like that; better to have never had wealth than to lose it; better to have never had children than to have them killed. [bold added]
Job says nothing in his curse, or the rest of the book, about "better to have never had wealth" or "better to have never had children." In fact, Job had lost all his wealth and children in one day and this was his response:
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
It was not until Job was severely tormented in his flesh (Job 2:1-13), then he cursed the day of his birth and wished he had never been born. Certainly, Job was sorrowful for the loss of his children and all the turmoil God had brought upon him (Job 29:2-6), but MacArthur adds words to the words of Job and makes him out to have a perspective that Scripture never attributes to him.
Proverbs 26:17 - Wild Dogs
26:17 meddles . . . dog by the ears. The dog was not domesticated in Palestine and thus to grab any dog was dangerous.
MacArthur's statement is a another lie. Scripture bears witness to the fact that dogs were domesticated. In Job 30:1 Job says,
But now they mock at me, men younger than I, whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.
Moreover, 1 Kings 22:38 appears to picture domesticated dogs, and Matthew 15:27; Mark 7:28; and Luke 16:21 all depict domesticated dogs in "Palestine".
3:21 the spirit. Man's breath or physical life appears on the surface to be little different than that of an animal. In reality, man's soul differs in that God has made him eternal (cf. v. 11).
MacArthur adds to the word of God by saying man differs from animals "in that God has made him [i.e. man] eternal." Scripture never teaches this. The verse MacArthur gives (v. 11) says nothing about an animal's eternality or lack thereof. Who says animals are not eternal also? MacArthur does, but he is a deceiver. We know they have a soul like man does. Genesis 1:20, 21, 24; & 2:7 use the same Hebrew phrase, Nephesh hayyah, which is literally "living soul" for both man and animals, and we know they also have a spirit (Ecclesiastes 3:21). Are they also eternally existing creatures? God knows.
12:12 books. Books written on any other subject than God's revealed wisdom will only proliferate the uselessness of man's thinking.
Ecclesiastes is not talking just about books "on any other subject," nor is it talking about "the uselessness of man's thinking." MacArthur adds these ideas and pushes the truth of the matter away. The truth is,
And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
There is no end to the making of many books. We see this in our day, particularly in the "Christian" arena. And, much study is wearisome to the flesh. Those who study much will experience this.
2 Corinthians 6:1
6:1 to receive the grace of God in vain. Most of the Corinthians were saved but hindered by legalistic teaching regarding sanctification (see notes on 11:3; Gal. 6:1). Some were not truly saved but deceived by a gospel of works (cf. 13:5; Gal.5:4), which was being taught by the false teachers. [bold added]
Neither first nor second Corinthians addresses a "legalistic teaching regarding sanctification" or a "gospel of works." The references MacArthur gives (11:3 & 13:5) say no such thing, and the verses in Galatians (Gal. 6:1 & 5:4) were to the churches in Galatia (Galatians 1:2). This is a strange misuse of Scripture, because MacArthur should know, his map in the back of the Bible reveals, that Corinth was not in Galatia.
On page 1839 MacArthur comments on Colossians 3:22-4:1 which gives instructions to slaves and masters. Instead of simply taking God's Word as it is, MacArthur adds,
Paul upholds the duties of slave and master, of which the modern parallel is the duties of employee and employer.
This is a lie. The modern parallel to this passage is a slave and master relation, not an employee and employer relationship. MacArthur writes as if Paul was ignorant of such "modern" inventions. There were employee and employer relationships back then (e.g. Leviticus 19:13; 25:6; 2 Chronicles 24:12; Job 7:1-2; 14:6; Matthew 20:1-15). This is nothing new. If Paul wanted to address the employee/employer relationship he could have done so. But, to pervert this passage and make it out to be parallel to employee/employer relationships is not only adding to the Word, but it creates deception and faulty counsel. For example, an employee is not obligated to "obey in all things" (Colossians 3:22) their employer. If an employee does not want to do something, the employee has the freedom to quit the job. A slave has no such freedom.
2 Peter 2:3
2:3 By covetousness. That is, uncontrolled greed.
MacArthur adds his own idea to the text by calling the false teacher's covetousness, "uncontrolled greed." 2 Peter 2:14 says that false teachers have "a heart trained in covetous practices." Their greed could be quite controlled and crafty, as MacArthur's is. You'll pay good money for his study Bible, especially the leather cover edition.
6 angels . . . did not keep. This apostasy of fallen angels is described in Gen.6:1-3 as possessing men who then cohabited with women. See note on 2 Pet. 2:4.
In his footnote for 2 Peter 2:4 he writes,
the angels who sinned. These angels, according to Jude 6, "did not keep their proper domain," i.e. they entered men who promiscuously cohabited with women.
Neither Genesis 6:1-3, 2 Peter 2:4, nor Jude 6 speak of any angels "possessing men." This is MacArthur's addition to the Word (Proverbs 30:6). Moreover, there would be no need for them to enter men, because angels themselves are identified as men (Genesis 18:1-2; 19:1; Daniel 8:15-16; 9:20-21; 10:5-6; Luke 1:19, 26).
9:4 men who do not have the seal of God. Everyone on earth except the two groups mentioned in chap. 7 - the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and their converts (see note on 7:3).
Revelation 7 gives only one group that receives the seal of God, and that is the Jewish group, the 144,000 (Revelation 7:4). The second group in Revelation 7 is not included in the number that is sealed. With MacArthur's addition (Proverbs 30:6), he blackens out the awesome truth of Revelation 9. The only ones exempt from being tormented by the dreadful locust are the 144,000. The rest of mankind, which would include believers, are subject to this awful curse of the wrath of God. [For other examples of the wrath of God being upon a believer, read Psalm 88; 90:7-12; 102:8-10; Lamentations 3:1-31.]
V. Twists The Word (2 Peter 3:16)
For just a few examples of MacArthur's twisting techniques (besides those already mention above), please note the following:
Luke 22:44 says,
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
22:44 like great drops of blood. This suggests a dangerous condition known as hematidrosis, the effusion of blood in one╣s perspiration. It can be caused by extreme anguish or physical strain. Subcutaneous capillaries dilate and burst, mingling blood with sweat.
MacArthur missed one very important word in the text, "like." Luke 22:44 does not say, "His sweat became great drops of blood," or "was mixed with blood." It says, "His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
1:10 his humiliation. Refers to the rich believer's being brought low by trials. Such experiences help him rejoice and realize that genuine happiness and contentment depend on the true riches of God's grace, not earthly wealth. [bold added]
MacArthur's first sentence is a lie. The lowly brother (James 1:9) would have trials just as, if not more than, the rich man. The humiliation James 1:10 is talking about is not about trials, but rather the reality of the rich man and his riches. They are "as a flower of the field." So, "he will pass away" (James 1:10).
For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. (James 1:11)
Riches are not forever (Proverbs 27:24), and this is the "humiliation" of the rich man.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (1 Timothy 6:7)
wanders from the truth. Apostatizes from the faith they once professed (cf. Heb. 5:12-6:9; 10:29; 1 John 2:19). Such people are in grave danger (v. 20), and the church must call them back to the true faith.
MacArthur cites Hebrews 5:12-6:9 and 10:29 which both refer to a person for whom there is no hope. Hebrews 6 says it is impossible to renew them to repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6). Hebrews 10:26-29 says "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." James 5:19-20 addresses someone who is able to be turned back and saved. It does not describe apostasy, like what is found in Hebrews 5:12-6:9 and 10:29, but rather someone who "wanders from the truth. "
On page 1693 MacArthur displays his perverted view of God in his footnote on Romans 1:18.
God reveals His wrath in two ways: 1) indirectly, through the natural consequences of violating His universal moral law, 2) directly through His personal intervention . . .
This statement reveals MacArthur does not know the God of the Bible, because, "of Him and through Him and to Him are all things" (Romans 11:36). Everything, whether it is His wrath or His lovingkindness (e.g. Psalm 107:1-43), it all is "directly through His personal intervention" (e.g. Psalm 104:1-32). For He upholds "all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3), and He is the one "by whom are all things" (Hebrews 2:10; see also Deuteronomy 32:39; 2 Samuel 2:6-7; Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:37-38; Amos 3:6; Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 20:24). "For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
Finally, on page 1957 in his footnote for 2 Peter 2:17 MacArthur does a good job describing himself.
A well without water would be a major disappointment in a hot and dry land. Likewise, false teachers have a pretense of spiritual water to quench the thirsty soul, but they actually have nothing to give.
The masses are fooled by this false teacher, John MacArthur, but the reality is, he has "nothing to give" (1 Timothy 6:3-5). He is a "well without water" (2 Peter 2:17).
SOURCE (Note: I do not agree with the author's views on salvation, but his work exposing MacArthur is excellent and as such I've posted it here for reference).
Christ is God!
Ye Must Be Born Again!
Christ in the Old Testament
Chronology of Christ in the Old Testament