From the Differentiator magazine:
Vol. 21 New Series August, 1959 No. 4

"Honesty is the best policy," but unfortunately, there are very few who believe in the best policy.
What would you say was the proportion of really honest people in your own village, town, or country? I do not mean those who are only sometimes honest, or who can be diplomatically honest on occasion, to suit their own ends, but people who make a real effort to be thoroughly honest always. While no human being is always honest, yet there are some who make an earnest effort to be so.

It is not very difficult to identify the truly honest person. He or she will soon manifest the quality. Along with honesty there must go other fine qualities, such as conscience, sympathy, humility, and consideration for others.

How many of your friends and acquaintances keep their promises, and can be relied upon to do so? How many people do you know who are invariably punctual? How often have you made a solemn promise and later changed your mind? Would it not be wiser to refrain from making promises, than to break a promise? Those who are too glib at making promises usually forget them too easily.

There are many "part time" honest people. At work, under supervision, they require to be honest, but alas, away from watching eyes, pride often makes them think they can get away with it and commit theft or shirk work.

Pride lies at the root of most crimes and offences. But the really honest person is always humble, not proud.

Sometimes it is even the editors who are not quite honest. I have been amused at the number of them who say they "lack space" to deal with a certain matter. But almost every time, if one turns over some pages, a blank space is found which could easily have accommodated the statement required.

Then there is the friend who sends you a letter, written or rather scribbled "in haste." He says he will "write later," but I have found this usually means "do not expect another letter." One feels rather humiliated to get a letter written "in haste," unless there is real proof of that haste having been necessary.

What about the person who writes a letter you can hardly decipher? Of course, he or she can read it, but does not recognize that perhaps you can make little or nothing of it. I would not think such a person is very honest. If he were honest, he would acquire a typewriter, and cease tormenting and distracting the reader.

One very extraordinary feature in dishonesty is that the guilty person generally fails to observe that if he only confessed openly, he would rise in the opinion of those who know him. But generally he keeps silent, thinking that he can hide his dishonesty. Why should it be so difficult for such a person to make a clean breast of things? Especially if he is aware that he must give an account of himself to God?, Hiding an act of dishonesty does not make one honest, or give him any satisfaction. This is notably the case with those who write about theological matters, or who make translations of the Scriptures. Revelation 22:18-19 is a very solemn warning to such.
Here is something which Alfred T. Schofield wrote over sixty years ago:

"Routine is living by habit. We sow acts and we reap habits;we sow habits and we reap character; we sow character, andwe reap destiny. Habit has well been called the railroad ofcharacter. Habit is physical memory. Memory is physicalhabit. Character is organized habit." But there are many who have not taken the trouble to organize their habits in the right direction. It is not enough for us to say we are "saved." That does not by itself make a man or a woman honest, although many people seem to imply that it does. God cannot be cheated. We cannot honestly worship God in Christ if we condone something dishonest which we have done. Men and women who commit crimes or sins always suffer mental stress or agony, and lose the peace they might have kept. Why then should Christian people lower their character and bring sorrow and pain into their lives because they are afraid to come clean? Paul suffered great agony when he persecuted God's people. Nature told him he was doing wrong. But after he met the Christ he was not one bit afraid to come clean and admit his wrongs openly. Without doing that, he could never have accomplished what he did on behalf of the glorious Gospel. It was because he was so straightforward, so honest, so candid, that he achieved such success among the Gentiles. Most human beings honour a man who is thoroughly honest, and any remarkable act of sheer honesty always affects others and earns praise.

Do not imagine that you can escape the Judgment Seat of the Christ (2. Cor. 5:10; Romans 14:10). The fact that this is not mentioned in the "Prison Epistles" does not imply that you will not stand there. Even Paul, a most sensitive and honest man, brings himself into this scene. In both verses the word all is emphatic, so that no saint will escape this requital for good and bad actions. But do not overlook that this rectification and requital will only work out a most beneficent result. We shall require to admit our shortcomings, and that will be as great a blessing as admitting here and now in the present life any dishonesty.

It may seem strange that in the Old Testament of the James Bible the words honest, honesty and honestly are not found. Instead, however, the word righteous is often found, and it includes the idea of honesty. In the A.V. New Testament we find the words honest, honesty and honestly, ten times in all. But not in one of these ten cases does the Greek word signify those meanings. The reason is, partly, that round about the time of Wiclif and later, honesty meant honour or respectability. In the fourteenth century in England ladies adorned themselves "honesteliche" (honestly) to "befool the men." One who was "honestly arrayed" was respectably dressed. A common greeting in Northern England was "Honest man!" which meant "Honourable man."

Wiclif and Purvey at Rom. 13:13 and 1. Thess. 4:12 read onestli, which was retained in the King James Version, as honestly. The Concordant Version reads "respectably," and the R.S.V. reads "becomingly" and "respect." But it is strange that the R.S.V. at Luke 8:15 reads "honest" like the King James, where the Greek word is kalos, meaning "excellent," as it should also be in the King James at Romans 12:17; 2. Cor. 8:21; 13:7; 1. Peter 2:12.

In the Concordance of the Concordant Version the word "honor" is to be found, but there is no sign of "honesty."

We must not assume that we ourselves are the honest ones. The worst liars think they are perfectly honest.

It ought to be easier to admit error than to accept praise or glory. We are not true to ourselves when we are not honest.

If we confessed our faults and sins openly to others, we would become more and more honest. But we hear very little of people of this nature.

Very often religious writers publish books so as to raise their reputation and make themselves famous. Such people cannot tolerate being nonentities. It is human glory that they are after. They are not honest toward God.

It seems there must be sects among God's people. But it is very dishonest for any sect to claim superiority to another, as every sect doubtless thinks its views are correct, or as nearly correct as possible. In the day of reckoning God will certainly give no priority to any human sect. I once knew of a man who shouted concerning the people he was associated with, "We are NOT a Sect!" Oh no; of course he and his fellows were above that. And yet I proved that some of his associates had produced translations of the Scriptures which contained a great many sheer blunders.
I would not call sects wrong bodies, as it is only human and natural that they should be. There exists no way to avoid them. But sectarianism is decidedly wrong. Every sect has many wrong beliefs, and ought to admit the fact honestly, as no individual possesses all the Truth.

When one both fears and loves God, it is so easy to be honest; but the dishonest person cannot fear or love God.

Alexander Thomson

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Listing of Articles

Who is our God? Chapter 1
Who is our God? Chapter 2
Who is our God? Chapter 3
Who is our God? Chapter 4
Who is our God? Chapter 5
Who is our God? Chapter 6
Who is our God? Chapter 7
Who is our God? Chapter 8
Who is our God? Chapter 9
Who is our God? Chapter 10
Who is our God? Chapter 11
Who is our God? Chapter 12
Who is our God? Chapter 13
Who is our God? Chapter 14
Who is our God? Chapter 15
Who is our God? Chapter 16
Who is our God? Chapter 17
A Female Deity?
Acts 7:15 & 16
All Things
Amos 3:6
An Answer to the Challenge of Hell
Angels & Men One Species?
An Interesting New Version
Are You an Ambassador?
Are You a Pillar?
Are You a Witness for Jehovah?
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 1
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 2
Are You an Israelite? Chapters 3 & 4
A Special Resurrection?
Baptized for the Dead?
"Beloved" or "Loveable"?
Brotherly Love
Book Review
Colossians 1:23
Common or Unclean?
Common Sense
Did Paul Visit Spain?
Did the Lord give up His Flesh?
"Divine" Fire?
Doctoring the Holy Scriptures
Does God know Everything?
Does God will Everything?
Does your Spiritual Life seem Unreal?
Did God hate Esau?
Earth our Future Home?
Emphasis in the Scriptures
English more Archaic than Ancient Hebrew?
Ephesians 1:23
Erroneous Translations
Gleanings from A.T.
Heaven our Homeland
How is Christ God's "Word"?
How many were Crucified?
In the Christ All Shall Be Made Alive
Is Dust the Serpent's Food?
Is the Devil Impersonal?
Isaiah 26:14,19
James 4:5
Jehovah's Theocratic Organization
Jesus the Saviour
John 19:29
The Kingdom of the Hebrews
Leave it with God
Men or Mortals?
Misplaced Ingenuity
New Light on the Second Death
None Other Things
Objective Value of Prayer
Other or Different
Our Advocate
Paul's Chain
Paul the Sensitive
Paul versus James
Prevailing Prayer
Problems of Translation: I Cor. 7:21
Problems of Translation: II Cor. 3:18
Psalm 66:18
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Rogues and Rascals
Rom 9 & 10: Human Freedom & Human Choice
Romans 9:14-24
Romans 9:30 to 10:21
II Corinthians 5:16
II Peter 3:10
Seven Wicked Spirits
Shall We See God?
Sir, We would see Jesus
Should we fear God?
The Bloody Husband
The Cherubim of Glory
The Corinthian Error
The Cunning Manager
The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah
The Designation of Jesus as "God"
The Disruption Fallacy
The Disruption Fallacy #2
The Eighth of Proverbs
The Eleven "Generations" of Genesis
The Elohim
The Ends of the Eons
The Eternal Saviour-Judge
The Eternity of Hell Torments
The First Christian Convention
The Four Gospels
The Gentiles in Ephesians
The Greek Definite Article
The Hardening of Pharoah's Heart
The Hebrew Conception of Time
The Hebrews Epistle
The Hebrew Terms Rendered 'For Ever'
The Hope of Israel
The Life of Prayer
The Lord Jesus Revealing the Heart of God
The Lord's Relatives
The Lordly Supper
The Meaning of Ta Panta
The Ministry of Women Parts 1 & 2
The Ministry of Women Parts 3 & 4
The "Penalty of Sin"
The Poor in Spirit
The Primeval Laws
The Primeval Laws #2
The Problem of Evil
The Quality of Divine Love
The Rich Man and Lazarus
The Serpent of Genesis 3
The Soul and the Spirit
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 1 & 2
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 3 & 4
The Translation of Acts 28:25
The Trial of the Lord
The Truth of the Bible
The Two Seeds
The Works of Henry Clay Mabie, D.D.
"Three Days and Three Nights"
Translator's Incentive
Truthfulness and Mercy
Try the Spirits
Unto Eternity and Further
We have all been Wrong
What did Peter do?
What does Olethros mean?
What Happened to Jephthah's Daughter?
What is Destruction?
What is the Flesh?
What is the Sin unto Death?
Whence "Eternity"?
Who are the Saints?
Who is Jehovah?
Who Shall Deliver Me?
Why Pray?
Why the "Lake" of Fire?
Will God Punish?
Will the Lord Come for Us?
Will the Man of Lawlessness be Killed?


The Differentiator Revisited 2009