Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Refuting Shepherd's Chapel - Katabole

About a year ago I posted a couple of videos on YouTube. In those videos I tried to refute and show some of the errors of Shepherd's Chapel teachings. I also had a post on this blog because Shepherd's Chapel students where accusing me of lying. In the videos and blog posts I very briefly tried to list and refute some of the false teachings of Arnold Murray. I feel that to properly refute the claims more needs to be said. So, Lord willing, I will post a few tidbits here and there in the next few weeks refuting some of Arnold Murray's teaching.

One of the big oversights I can point out is how Shepherd's Chapel followers misuse the Greek word katabolē (Strongs #G2602). Using hyper-dispensationalist E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible, Arnold Murray weaves a false system of belief that there was an "earth age" before the one we live in now and in that age Satan rebelled and caused God to destroy it in what they call the "katabole" or the "destruction of the world that was".

In the New Testament, Arnold Murray claims that when the word katabolē is used in the Greek it is actually a mis-translation in the KJV and should be translated as "destroyed" or "overthrow". For example in Ephesians 1:4 when you see the word foundation (which in the Greek is the word katabolē) used in "before the foundation of the world" it should be translated as "before the overthrow (or destruction) of the world". Thus, in their mind, validating their aberrant doctrine.

In the New Testament the word katabolē is used 11 times. 10 of those times it is translated in the KJV as foundation. The other one is the most interesting to our discussion and it appears in Hebrews 11:11.
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews 11:11 KJV)
The word conceive in this verse is the same Greek word katabolē that Shepherd's Chapel claims should be translated "overthrow" or "destroyed". This verse shows that the proper understanding of katabole does not follow Shepherd's Chapel view but instead is consistent with the traditional renderings.

In the other uses of katabolē in the New Testament it is translated as foundation and is always in connection with the world. In Hebrews 11:11 when the word is used in connection with the birth of a child it carries the meaning of conceive. When used in the connection with the world it carries the meaning of founding or creating (conceiving the world). It does NOT carry the meaning of destruction, overthrow, destroyed, or ruin in any circumstance. The use of "laying down" or "throwing down" is only correct in the connotation of laying a foundation or creating not in the sense of destroying or judgment.

In fact the proper Greek words used for "destruction" is apōleia (#G684) and the Greek for "overthrow" is either katastrophē (#G2692) or anatrepō (#G396). In Luke 6:49 we have the Greek word rhēgma (#G4485) used for "ruin". If Paul wanted to stress some sort of judgment, satanic overthrow, or ruined state he would have used one of those Greek terms.

A simple survey of how the word katabolē is used in the New Testament gives us a very clear understanding of its meaning.

All verses that use the Greek word katabolē in the New Testament:
Mat 13:35, Mat 25:34, Luk 11:50, Jhn 17:24, Eph 1:4, Heb 4:3, Heb 9:26, Heb 11:11, 1Pe 1:20, Rev 13:8, Rev 17:8 
Here are some notes concerning the supposed "gap theory" of Genesis 1:1-2:

Shepherd's Chapel students often argue that the word translated as “was” in the KJV and most English Translations of Genesis 1:2 should actually be translated “became” as in “the Earth became formless and void.” This, to them, proves the supposed katabole.

This theory of creation is commonly called the gap theory and it suffers from a number of hermeneutical problems:

Time cannot be inserted between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 because verse 2 does not follow verse 1 in time. Verse 2 uses a Hebrew grammatical device that is called a waw-disjunctive. This is where a sentence begins with the Hebrew word for and (waw) followed by a noun such as the earth (erets). A waw-disjunctive indicates that the sentence is describing the previous one and does not follow in time. In other words, verse 2 is describing the conditions of the earth when it was first created. Hebrew grammar simply will not allow for the insertion of vast periods of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 in which a supposed satanic fall took place.

Exodus 20:11 clearly teaches that everything was created in the span of six literal days. This passage clearly refutes any possibility of vast periods of time between any of the days of creation.

This theory suffer from the problem of death and suffering long before Adam’s sin. Romans 5:12 states that death came by Adam’s sin. God himself said on the sixth day that creation was very good (Gen. 1:31), how could it be very good if there was sin and death before the fall of Adam?

*updated 5-21-2013

Soli Deo Gloria! 


  1. EHHHH wrong! The origin definition of Katabole is Kataballo which, means to throw down (another word for overthrow).


    Original: καταβάλλω

    Transliteration: kataballō

    Phonetic: kat-ab-al'-lo

    Thayer Definition:

    to cast down
    to throw to the ground, prostate
    to put in a lower place
    to lay (down) a foundation
    Origin: from G2596 and G906

    TDNT entry: None

    Part(s) of speech: Verb

    Strong's Definition: From G2596 and G906; to throw down: - cast down, lay

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    2. Hello, You are simply ignoring the context and semantic domain of the Greek. It can can mean to 'throw down' or 'lay down' as in laying or putting down a foundation. It is never used in the Greek for judgment or destruction. You cannot ignore context like that. You still cannot explain your usage of Katabole in Hebrews 11:11 where it is used for conception. That is the same way it is intended to be used in Ephesians and other places where it means the conception or, like the KJV and most translations, foundation of the world. It is quite simple to see in the text that it is talking about creation not destruction in those verses.

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