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For many people Christmas is the most important social event of the year. They spend lots of time, energy and money on their preparations for the festive season. At no other time of the year are there so many parties, dinners and social events. Family visits are arranged and the children look forward to it with great anticipation. Christmas images abound: snowy, Victorian scenes, camels crossing deserts and the inevitable Father Christmas. With its colour, warmth and cheer Christmas is, for many, the high point of the festive calendar.
The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is an evangelical, Calvinistic denomination, reformed in doctrine, worship and practice. It was formed in 1893 and is a mainline descendant of the historic Church of Scotland of the Reformation.
The disciples were sad; Jesus recognised that sorrow had filled their hearts. “Nevertheless”, He told them, “I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away” (Jn 16:7). There was a necessity about His departure; it would be profitable for them. He was going to die for them, to suffer the punishment of their sins, so that He might bring them to everlasting glory.
But the Saviour had a particular point to make in relation to their sadness. “It is expedient for you that I go away,” He explained to them, “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” This was the One He had already spoken of as another Comforter: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever” (Jn 14:16). And Jesus explained that this other Comforter was “the Spirit of truth”, the Holy Spirit. But if the Holy Spirit was to come as “another Comforter”, then Jesus must have been referring to Himself as the first Comforter.
The Authorised Version (AV) is often promoted and defended on the grounds of its accuracy and of the Greek text (the Received Text) underlying its New Testament translation. The Received Text is the ‘Church text’ of the Reformation, adopted by the Reformers and the Churches, whereas most or all modern versions use Greek texts which, it is not unfair to say, have been cobbled together by unbelieving scholars and are heavily dependent on a few grossly erroneous early manuscripts which these scholars insist on referring to as ‘the best’. This in itself should make English-speaking Christians wary of abandoning the AV in favour of modern versions (was Satan inactive in the preparation of these new Greek texts?), but there are a host of other reasons as well.