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Posts tagged ‘Christians’

Gates to different belief systems in this world

A housewife with four grown children and grandchildren looks at her blog at the many different systems of belief. She also knows that

Everybody knows  that there are people  in this world  whose word  simply cannot be trusted.     They might have attained the status  of top leadership  in the country,  they might be very wealthy,  they might be considered very intellectual,  they might be spiritual leaders — whatever the case may be,  it is noted,  often by their deeds,  that their word should not be trusted. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

Everyday we are confronted with a lot of words, news-gatherings etc.. these days it is even fashion to have several people trying to manipulate others and spreading false accusations or what a certain American person would call real news whilst naming the other and real facts ‘fake news’.

Some people use their words  to gain political power over others;  some use words to illegally gain wealth;  some use words  to intimidate others  with their supposed  “knowledge”;  and there are false spiritual leaders,  who desire to rule  over others spiritually  with their words. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

These days many people, certainly here in West Europe and in the Middle East can feel the damage which is caused by those who trap in the mousetrap of some of those false teachers who do more damage to the faith they are so called defending, than doing good to it are creating reasons for non-believers to come to believe in Allah/God or to get them converted to real Islam.

With the Internet,  TV,  radio,  books,  newspapers,  etc.,  each belief system  is trying to spread what they claim  is the absolute truth.     What in the world  should we believe  — if anything? {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

asks the American mother, adding

Most belief systems can almost be seen as  “agreeing”  quite a bit  on what is  “good”  behavior.     So, does it matter which one we  “prefer”?     Many will say it does not matter  what you believe,  just so long  as you are sincere  and  “try”  to be good. {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

English: Two symbols among more than 40 that a...

Two symbols among more than 40 that are authorized for use in National Cemeteries on headstones and markers, symboling religious or belief systems of the deceased. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Christians will say that all people are saved now and that we do not have to do any works any more (And looking at some of this mother her writings we get the impression she thinks too.). They are either mislead by their leaders or just are not very well accustomed with the Words of the Bible (The Words of God). Those not knowing their Holy Scriptures, be it the Hebrew Bible, the Messianic Scriptures or Greek Bible or the Quran are an easy pray for false teachers and for faith groups which prefer their own dogmatic teachings instead of keeping to the Set-apart or Holy Scriptures.

The mother who wants her web site to just glorify God and the salvation He offers to all of us, does not want to debate anyone’s doctrinal beliefs or holding discussions on various subjects. Her web site just wants to give some quiet time to consider various verses in God’s word.

Writing

There are so many different belief systems in this world. It should be obvious that it matters which is the right way to go. Out of all beliefs, only the Bible has shown itself to be true through all the fulfilled prophecies written there. {The Narrow Gate}

she must come to recognise that we can not avoid talking about the doctrinal issues because

even within those claiming to accept the Bible’s teachings, not all will reach their goal of heaven. How can that be? {The Narrow Gate}

She too must know that not all those denominations are teaching “teachings from God Almighty” and has to see that even in Christian denominations there are those who totally ignore that history proves they are presenting not only teachings from sinful men but that many of them even do not live according to what they preach.

Many people are afraid of their neighbours and afraid of the traditions of the world. They want to “fit in with the rest of the crowd”.

They’re afraid of what their neighbours, family, and friends might say about them. And, you know what? Everybody’s afraid. We all want to “fit in”. {Far Away Hearts}

It is fine to see that the mother has seen what happened in history and that

Going back to Jesus’ statement in Matthew 15:7-9,  we need to realize that the church from 1500 years, or more, ago,  accepted these traditions of men, only because they wanted more heathens to join the church.    The church leaders were so intent upon adding numbers to their church enrollment,  that they condoned heathen influences,  in order to draw heathens into the church.

Those ungodly decisions have influenced us to this day.    So,  we don’t have to feel alone in our dilemma of dealing with the fears and superstitions we influence our children with.    This sort of stuff has been going on since the beginning of time.

That is why Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12,

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,  but against the rulers,  against the powers,  against the world forces of this darkness,  against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore,  take up the full armor of God,  that you may be able to resist the evil day,  and having done everything,  to stand firm.” {Far Away Hearts}

Looking at the world today, not much has changed between people. They still have many arguments with each other. They still fight against each other. But concerning faith and doing the works of faith we do see that these days there is less and less interest in the Divine Creator.

It is a pity the mother herself is taken into the trap of those who did agree with the Roman emperor to make Jeshua into the equal or similar person as Zeus, changing his name to Issou (Iessous/Ishi/Jesus) or ‘Hail Zeus” and making him into a three-godhead. She thinks Jesus to be God, though she says herself:

That very narrow gate”  “that leads  to life”  is a simple faith  in Jesus only  as our Lord and Savior.     We can’t add anything to that  —  or take anything away  from that. {The Narrow Gate}

We only can hope she shall come to see that she, like you and us shall have to come to believe in Jeshua, Jesus Christ, to be the only begotten son of God, the son of man, who is the sent one from God who got authorised to handle and to speak in the name of God and who was taken in the heavens to be seated next to God and not to replace God, and to be a mediator between God and man.

That belief in Christ is an essential part of salvation, too many forget. Lots of Christians do not come to see how important that is. Lots of Christians also do not recognise the grand effort Jesus had to do to bring salvation to mankind. They ignore that Jesus did not do his will but the Will of God. (Namely when Jesus is God, like they say, Jesus would always have done his own will.) They also seem to forget that Jesus gave his life and really died. Man can do God nothing and God can not die, but Jesus really did.

It is by ignoring the biblical facts that people exclude themselves from those who Jesus meant to be followers of him and to be the real lovers of God and not of the world.

Strangely enough the mother herself acknowledges

Jesus is pointedly showing us  that it is only faith  in Him  “that leads  to life”.     If we add  or subtract  from that simple truth,  we are widening  the “gate”  —  leading ourselves  and others  “to destruction”.      When describing the “narrow”“small” gate,   Jesus realized  that there would only be “few  who find it”.

We can only hope many more shall find the right road. it is even the task of believers in Christ to show others the Way (which is Jesus) to God. It are those believers in Christ and believers in God who have to show that

God’s word is the only “belief system” (if you will)  {The Sum Of Thy Word Is Truth}

English: Example of appendix from New World Tr...

English: Example of appendix from New World Translation of The Holy Scriptures, study edition, Danish Dansk: Eksempel på tillæg i Ny-Verden Oversættelsen af De Hellige Skrifter, studieudgaven, dansk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is in the Word of God, the infallible Word provided by the Most High, namely the Bible (i.e. Old and New Testament) that we should go searching for the Truth, in the knowledge that That Word of God – The bible is the only Source of the Full Truth.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Religious Theology – The wide gate!

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

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Further reading

  1. Origin of Edom, Babylon, and Rome, or Christianity
  2. Jews, God and History by Max I Dimont
  3. History of the Christian Church: Schaff, Philip, 1819-1893
  4. The changing global religious landscape
  5. Cult Mentality
  6. How someone just accepted how completely unfathomable the Trinity is, by faith. Reflection: The Trinity
  7. Faith Groups Urge Congress To Protect The Integrity Of Houses Of Worship By Maintaining Johnson Amendment
  8. Trump Signs Executive Order Easening Tax Burden On Religious Groups
  9. Bold Justice promotes civil citations
  10. Sacred Arts Tour in Coral Springs
  11. God vs Science
  12. Quick Ordination to Perform a Wedding or Two
  13. Will you see the glory of God?
  14. Strange Teachings
  15. Jesus’ Teachings were for Now
  16. My Own “Perfect” Path
  17. Dear God

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Not withholding the Good News

When on holiday probably you may meet different people on places where you have not been before and where you shall not come again soon. It are places where probably nobody knows you. When you are there it is with your attitude, your example, the way you treat others around you, how you act and speak that you shall give an impression of what and who you are.

Geographic features of Southern European countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea

When being a Christian it is very important that you give others the right impression. The last few weeks from the South of Europe we got a lot of images in the new of protestors against the many tourists who behave badly. Over the years we also have seen pictures of visitors to those places in the South of Europe behaving badly, which makes us understand why so many of the locals are fed up with those impolite visitors, drunkard and order disruptors. A big problem with the consumerism and growing tourist industry is that at many places some hotel-owners think they have to provide enough entertainment for their customers and provide all day long noise which may disturb the local inhabitants.

'National embarrassment': Ding Jinhao, from Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu Province, wrote: 'Ding Jinhao was here' over hieroglyphics on the wall of an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor

‘National embarrassment’: Ding Jinhao, from Nanjing in east China’s Jiangsu Province, wrote: ‘Ding Jinhao was here’ over hieroglyphics on the wall of an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor

At the coasts of Europe we do find many places where there is a lot of noise going on until late at night, with all sorts of events which disturb not only locals but also several other people who came to have some rest.
Many tourist places also have problems with vandalism and litter from tourists. This not only a problem for Europe, as we can see how many cultural and important historic sites are damaged by visitors.

Banners reading ‘No tourism apartments’ hang from balconies in Barcelona.

Banners reading ‘No tourism apartments’ hang from balconies in Barcelona. Photograph: Albert Gea / Reuters/Reuters

As Christians we should show our respect to the inhabitants of the places we are going to visit and should treat those places with respect, having eye for nature and keeping those places clean and not making unnecessary noise.

But at those places where we come it would not be bad to be a witness of our faith and to show others how when we all would come under Christ could be living in a peaceful world full of respect for all around us.

In the Holy scriptures we are counselled fair dealing with our fellow-men. When we are able to travel we should be pleased that we can belong to those who can afford it. In the Book of Proverbs we can find the precept that expresses the great Scriptural thought that the so-called possession of wealth is but a stewardship; that the true owners of what we call our own are those to whom, with it, we may do good. Not to relieve them is a breach of trust.

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27 NIV)

Summer Visitors by Maurice Prendergast (1897)

Summer Visitors by Maurice Prendergast (1897) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At our holiday resort we should show the right attitude and may not withhold good from those to whom it is due. When it is in the power of your hand to do good, to help others, to give some extra, you should do it. But this is not only for material wealth. You also can contribute with spiritual help. You can use the occasion to talk about your believes and to show your faith to others. At those resorts, hotels, campings or places where you stay to relax you make take advantage of your free time to share your faith with others. Sharing is part of showing your love for others. Sharing the Good News of the coming Kingdom is a necessity. We do have to warn people of the coming dangers. We should make them aware of the coming Great War, a horrible situation wherefore we should prepare us, making sure that we shall be spiritually strong enough to stand the many temptations, dangers and horrors. “A warned man is worth two” you should think and out of love you should warn.

You should remember the sayings from the Bible, the Law of God. You should remember what you have heard in your ecclesia (or church) and faith community. You also should practise what you remember and let all obedience be from the heart.

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.” (Proverbs 4:5 NIV)

“Let thy heart keep my commandments.”

“Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.” (Deuteronomy 4:23 NIV)

When we are there at those places of holiday making we should not forget God but be with Him and trust Him. All actions we undertake should be in praise of the Most Highest. And how can we not do it with spreading also His Words? There, for sure, there shall be moments to chat and to have little conversations also about what you believe, where you stand for, and how you have put your hope on the son of God and are looking forewards to his return.

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Preceding articles

Summer time to spend some more time at the growing process of your faith

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?

Glory of God appearing in our character

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Additional reading

  1. Loving and having respect for the woman
  2. Respect for all
  3. Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?
  4. 7 Ways To Become A Better Christian
  5. Crisis man needed in this world
  6. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  7. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  8. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  9. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  10. High time to go out telling the world about Jesus
  11. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  12. Preaching by example
  13. A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways
  14. Proclaiming: a task given to Christians
  15. Go! Proclaim! Testify!
  16. Go and make disciples of people of all the nations
  17. Scriptures and Thoughts about: Proclaim
  18. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough
  19. To proclaim the day of vengeance
  20. Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel
  21. Witnessing because we love

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'F**k tourism': Vandals deface Paris' Sacré Coeur basilica

People walk past grafittis reading “Come on stand up great star hunters” written on the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in the Montmartre area in Paris on March 19, 2014. (AFP Photo / Martin Bureau) / AFP

Further reading

  1. Fire in Greek refugee camp was intentional and will happen again: Eyewitnesses (Middle East Eye)
  2. The Tinderbox That Is The Balkans
  3. 7 cringe-worthy cases of tourists defacing natural and cultural landmarks around the world
  4. ‘Ding Jihao was here’: Chinese tourist, 15, defaces 3,500-year-old Egyptian temple and his family issue national apology
  5. Vandal tourist seen destroying pieces of Great Wall of China by kicking it Kung-Fu style
  6. China instructs its citizens on how to behave abroad
  7. Ancient Egypt Temple Vandalized by Chinese Tourist Graffiti
  8. Barcelona anti-tourism activists vandalise bikes and bus
  9. Damaging selfie: Student breaks 19th century statue in Milan while taking pic of himself
  10. Gov’t slammed over reaction to Irianna verdict, Athens vandalism by protestors
  11. “Go away!”, frustrated Venice locals tell tourists
  12. ‘F**k tourism’: Vandals deface Paris’ Sacré Coeur basilica
  13. Vandalism and tourism settings: An integrative review
  14. Rome, Italy
  15. 5 Things to do in Rome | Fariha Ansari Javed
  16. When in Rome don’t sit, dip, eat, drink in fountains
  17. A weekend in Venice
  18. Abruzzo. The Italian region ready to be revealed
  19. Discover Malta
  20. Malta & Gozo
  21. Portugal
  22. How to mimic George Clooney’s motorcycle adventure through Spain
  23. Visiting Lisbon last year
  24. E28 Tram Lisbon: tourist jam
  25. Meteora, Greece
  26. Athens, Greece
  27. A few hours to spare in… Athens
  28. France and its Fantastic Summer Festivals!
  29. A tourist in the U.K.
  30. What is Respect Nowadays? (1 min read)
  31. Do to others…
  32. Agape

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Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

|| Luke 12:22-31

MT6:24 “No one can slave for two masters,[1] for either he will hate one and love the other[2] or embrace[3] one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Riches![4] MT6:25 For this I tell you: Do not be overly concerned[5] about your soul[6] as to what you might eat or what you might drink,[7] nor about your body as to clothing.[8] MT6:26 Look well to the birds[9] in the sky, they do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns.[10] Your heavenly Father feeds them.[11] Are you that much different?[12] MT6:27 But, who among you can add one minute to your life-span[13] by being overly concerned? MT6:28 And, why are you overly concerned about clothing? Learn something from how the flowers of the field[14] grow. They do not labor or spin.[15] MT6:29 But, I tell you: Solomon in all his glory[16] was not clothed as one of these. MT6:30 But, if The God clothes the fields of grass,[17] here today and tomorrow tossed in the oven, how much more you,[18] ones of little faith? MT6:31 So, do not be overly concerned,[19] saying, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’[20] MT6:32 For all these the Non-Jews overly seek.[21] Your heavenly Father knows you need all these.[22] MT6:33 But, you, seek first His Kingdom and righteousness[23] and all these will be added to you. MT6:34 So, do not be overly concerned about tomorrow.[24] For tomorrow will have its own concerns. The hardships of each day are enough![25]

[1] Two masters: Or, masters. 2 Timothy 2:4 expresses a similar idea by Paul.

[2] He will hate one and love the other: Various renderings are: TCNT: attach himself; BECK: be loyal to the one. Hate here means to love less of two, much as a man with two maidens to please. Woe to him if the other finds out. The disciple who slaves for Mammon, or sticks to riches by his conversation and agenda, though unknown to himself, despises his true Lord.

[3] Embrace: Or, “stick”. On the word “stick” see Deuteronomy 30:20 where it equals love and obedience. Rather than try to balance the two, God and Riches, the Friend of the Nazarene is better off sinning on the side of God and poverty than on the side of Riches and self. Better to die penniless with God as your Business Partner than end life wealthy with a lost soul as your only investment (Luke 12:20).

[4] God and Riches: It is not, “God or Riches,” but, “God and Riches.” The Nazarene says it cannot be done, though untold numbers of Christians have attempted it miserably (1 Timothy 6:7-10, 17-19). Various renderings are: KNX: you must serve God or money; you cannot serve both. This is an impossibility illustrated by the mental image of a poor servant running back and forth between the two demands of two different lords. He is obediently with the one when the other requires his service. Riches can easily become a taskmaster greater than God. Riches can become God itself.

In the modern Western capitalist world there are millions of Christians trying to do the very thing the Nazarene said cannot be done: serve God and Riches. There are those Prosperity Preachers who speak in the voice of Revelation 3:17 and who insist riches are proof of God’s blessing. They particularly encourage tithing and giving one’s money to them in promise of God’s blessing. The Nazarene Saint has only to look at the life-style of the Master and those early disciples to see what Jesus meant.

[5] Overly concerned: Various renderings are: KJ: take no thought for your life; WMS: stop worrying about your life; NEB: put away anxious thoughts. Stop! This is a negative command of the Nazarene, and based on John 15:14 and John 14:15, a failure to obey this directive proves one does not love him, nor is a friend of the Lord. To persist in anxiety and worry is a desertion of Christ. For those hapless and bedarkened souls who suffer physical and chemical ailments are captive to frightening insecurities and paranoia. Note Paul’s “secret” at Philippians 4:6, 12.

The affects of worry, anxiety, and being overly concerned about material matters, can have a strong influence on neighbor love, for one may be so occupied with these secular things as to ignore one’s neighbor.

[6] Soul: The Greek is PSYCHE and many translate this “life.” It is interesting that it is the “soul” linked to the functions of eating and drinking and then the “body” (SOMA) with clothing. In Hebrew and Greek the “soul” is the living, breathing creature itself and at death becomes “a dead soul.” (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6, 11: dead soul) To Paul the “soul” is the animal, physical, earthly, dusty, corruptible, mortal (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). See lexicons and dictionaries on “soul.”

[7] Drink: Usually this does not mean water but wine or milk as both were staples.

[8] Clothing: In the world of the Nazarene the majority of people possessed a single set of clothes meant to last a life-time. Note Matthew 5:40; 9:16, 20, 21; 11:8; 24:18; Luke 22:36; John 19:25. The “naked” state mentioned in Matthew 25:36 can infer improperly clothed for the conditions.

[9] Birds: In Luke 12:23, 24 these “birds” are “ravens,” the bird which Noah released first (Genesis 8:7), and which fed Elijah (1 Kings 17:4, 6). The raven is considered the smartest of birds, mate for life, and is the most wide-ranging of all birds. It is found on Mount Everest, in the worst of deserts, and the Arctic. Job 38:41 is a foreview of the Nazarene’s words,

‘Who provides the ravens food when its young cry to God for help?’

[10] They do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns: According to the Nazarene birds do not toil, but they survive. Jesus is encouraging the simple life in which toil is non-existent. For three and a half years Jesus did not toil, nor did his disciples until that day they lost faith and returned to their fishing businesses (John 21:1-19).

[11] Father feeds them: The Nazarene credits God for feeding the birds even as Job 38:41 states. If the Nazarene has this kind of conviction, how can one of his disciples not trust God to care.

[12] Different: Many translate DIAPHERETE as “worth” and this may be well, but one can see the English corruption “different” in the word. Regarding “worth” each person has a value or worth and in the Nazarene’s absurdum the disciples can see their true value in the eyes of the Creator of sparrows which sell for little in the market (Matthew 10:29).

[13] Add one minute to your life-span: Various renderings: GDSP: which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life span; TCNT: prolong his life a single moment; PHI: make himself an inch taller. Note Psalm 39:4, 5: life; Psalm 90:10: seventy or eighty years. Unknown then, but presumed by human reasoning, and now confirmed by medical studies, anxiety does not prolong life, but shortens it, in a painfully slow and a daily agonizing death.

[14] Flowers of the field: Some identify the flower with the lily. Compare Matthew 11:28 and Proverbs 23:4: toil. These beauties of the field neither toil nor sow and are an example for the Nazarene disciple (Matthew 6:26).

[15] They do not labor or spin: The bird does not gather or store, and the flower does not labor or spin, and the Nazarene infers this is an example for his disciples. The storage and labor here are of a material kind. No one could argue that the Nazarene or Paul did not labor and toil, but this they did in the Master’s harvest. Compare Paul’s arguments in 1 Corinthians 9:3-18.

[16] Solomon in all his glory: Note Solomon’s wealth at 1 Kings 10:5 and read of his endeavors in Ecclesiastes ch 2, where he admits the futility or vanity of what appears to be security in material things. Note his conclusions at Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. The Queen of Sheba, so overcome at Solomon’s wealth, may have been unimpressed by the humble lifestyle of the Nazarene.

[17] The God clothes the fields of grass: The Nazarene credits God for the carpets of flowers.

[18] How much more you: See Luke 12:28. The standard clothing of the poor in the days of the Nazarene was three layers of covering, the outer of such a nature to serve also as a night blanket, or a tent in foul weather. This served a lifetime and was so well made and needful as to be a guarantee against a debt (Matthew 5:40). Such a pledge had to be returned before night. It is doubtful Jesus had a wardrobe that allowed a daily, weekly, or even monthly change of apparel. Note Matthew 11:8 where soft or fine garments are found in king’s castles and splendid, luxurious dress in royal houses (Luke 7:25). These fine clothes may be beautiful and carry a delicate feel to the skin, but useless for the night bivouac of a wandering troop of itinerant teachers spending the occasional evening under the stars with God as their blanket, their only entertainment the nocturnal crickets, frogs and owls. Who among those genuine disciples of the Nazarene would not give everything they possess to spend one such night under the open celestial darkness with Jesus. Then to listen to his restful breathing in that Innocent’s sleep, only to wonder of such divine dreams?

In the Western world much time is spent in shopping at luxurious malls, which would rival the pyramids in their architecture, and absorb untold hours of dressing and undressing, only to have clothes hang limp in the darkness of a closet.

[19] Not be overly concerned: See Luke 12:29: worry. Various renderings: PHI: do not worry. ‘Stop worrying!’ is a Nazarene command (John 14:15). To worry or be unduly anxious is a desertion of Christ. Better to die of starvation or thirst or nakedness than to give in to anxiety over transient things.

Note the austere sincerity of Peter’s haste to build a mountain bivouac from available boughs, for those august personages of Moses and Elijah, so they had some shelter from the lofty mountain’s night – a heart so sweet and swift in its goodness. Such an enthusiastic suggestion is unthinkable in the modern Western world where one would rather worry about the credit limit on a gold bankcard and where the nearest luxury hotel was, let alone have the knowledge to build such a temporary shelter (Matthew 17:1, 4).

[20] ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’: These questions seem out of place to a Western reader where these are the least of one’s problems. In Third World Countries these are still timely questions of daily concern. In the West most are struggling with various weight programs, drink too much, and have closets filled with unused clothing. A woman dressing for the evening may go through a dozen changes before the mirror, try on several pairs of heels, select from drawers of jewelry and choose from dozens of perfumes.

However, the spirit of the Nazarene’s teachings ought to ring in the ears of the Saint living near the top of the social and economic pyramid: seek a life of simplicity with a generous eye toward the less fortunate. It is Paul who instructs the missionary Timothy to “give orders to the rich.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) Who dare do that today? What Christian pastor has the courage to even read these words without rationalizing to his affluent congregation?

[21] Non-Jews overly seek: And the Nazarene would have to admit, and perhaps he avoids saying so, many Jews of his world sought the same. Various renderings: BECK: the people of the world run after all these things. These words were not lost on the Nazarene’s beloved when John writes

‘Do not love the world and its things… for all worldly things (fleshly desire, greedy eyes, and self-assuming materialism) are not of the Father.’ (1 John 2:15, 16)

Here “things” are merely food, drink and clothing and this is ludicrous in a modern Western society where payments for debts on autos, mobile phones, TV cable-hookups, electricity for refrigerators, and other modern conveniences make economic slaves of men, their wives and families. Jesus’ sermon would be meaningless to a modern audience in America or Europe accept for those unfortunate living on the street and who have fallen outside the sumptuous table of capitalist and social democratic orders.

[22] Father knows you need all these: The comforting thought that God knows our needs saturates the Psalms. If there is one group of peoples the Almighty pays close attention to, it is the poor (1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 4:12). The word “poor” occurs 117, times with Psalms having the most occurrences (23 times). A comparison of a concordance on the words poor, poverty, affliction, or oppressed, will reveal God’s loving care for such multitudes.

[23] Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness: First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom). Various renderings are: PHI: set your heart on his kingdom; RIEU: pursue the kingdom; BECK: first be eager to have God as your King; GDSP: but you must make his kingdom and uprightness your greatest care. When the Nazarene here uses the word “kingdom” he first means that opportunity to gain entrance into the kingdom or realm of the Son which is the Church, the Nazarene Community of Christian Saints with its heavenly call (Matthew 13:41; Colossians 1:12; Hebrews 3:1). This “righteousness” is not that of the Law but those commandments of the Lord (John 14:15; 1John 3:23).

[24] Do not be overly concerned about tomorrow: Apparently he does not mean ‘give no thought of the morrow’ for the Nazarene himself prepares for the future day on occasion. The Greek MERIMNESETE may be rendered anxious or worry. It is often used in the context of “concern” and thus the use of “overly concerned.” Some reasonable concern is necessary as shown in Jesus’ instructions regarding the colt and the upper room. Compare Job 14:1 and Exodus 16:4, 19: depression. Various renderings are: MOF: so never be troubled; KNX: do not fret.

Note a practical commentary on this verse at Philippians 4:11-13. It takes a certain natural or developed bent of mind to trust in God to such an extent and the majority of Christians who ever lived were not of this caliber. Paul, after the Nazarene’s model, was such a person who took the Lord’s word at face value and lived his life accordingly. An unnamed scribe, overcome by the crowds, and the healing works of this wandering Rabbi, offered, ‘I will follow you anywhere.’ Jesus’ simple reply pointed the difficult way,

‘Foxes have dens, birds have roosts, but I have nowhere to sleep. Come, follow me!’ (Matthew 8:18-22)

Words and promises are big but deeds and examples are few. Today millions are spent on treatment for anxiety and depression. It is obvious the more things one has to care for or worry about, the more anxiety occupies and distracts, leading to those modern ills. In the end, even the most security conscious have no control over his finances, his life, his inheritance. For an example, a commentary on this verse, there is none better than Luke 12:13-34.

‘Tomorrow will have its own concerns.’ You can rely on this as much as death and taxes! One day at a time, as the AA phrase goes, is right out of the Nazarene’s teachings. Most anxieties are not worth the time and energy wasted on them, for those real fears do not materialize in most cases; and in those justified cases, the majority of time there is little that can be done about them. Each day’s badness, evil, or anxieties is sufficient, so why fret about those which have not yet appeared? Why add to it all by anxiety and those attitudes and actions which it creates?

[25] Hardships of each day are enough: There are those “hardships” which are beyond our control, like an earthquake, or the outbreak of war, or a wave of persecution, or sudden illness. There are those hardships which we bring upon ourselves by bad decisions, laziness, stupidity, or poor preparation.

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Man enticed to long for more

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Additional reading

  1. 19° century Londoners, religion and heretical opinions
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  4. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  5. When discouraged facing opposition
  6. Fearing the right person
  7. Dealing with worries in our lives
  8. Give your worries to God
  9. Look for today
  10. Rejoicing in the day
  11. God Feeds The Birds
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity

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Further reading

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2016
  2. Sermon on Matthew 6.24-34 (Audio)
  3. Two Masters
  4. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: God or Mammon
  5. Seek First The Kingdom Of GOD: Two Masters – What is Mammon?
  6. FAact Food #673 The English word ‘mammon’ is a direct rip-off from Latin’s ‘mammona’ meaning ‘wealth’. In the New Testament of the Bible, the term ‘mammon’ is associated with greedy pursuit of profit through …
  7. Seek First The Kingdom Of God: Two Masters – You Can Serve Only One
  8. The Idols of the Nations
  9. Mammon: Word of the day for September 13, 2016
  10. Do You Know The Word Mammon?
  11. “Mammon : The desire for wealth personified as an evil spirit or a malign influence. Often mammon:…”
  12. Mammon
  13. Mammon 2
  14. Mammon 3
  15. Mammon, Mountains and Donations
  16. God or mammon?
  17. God and Mammon (Revisited)
  18. God or Money
  19. 24 October: Mammon, money, need and greed
  20. Duchies of Hell: Mammon
  21. Mighty Mammon vs. Almighty God
  22. Christians Side With Mammon. Mammon Sided with Barabbas
  23. The Betrayal of Jesus: Then and Now
  24. Should Christians Buy Stocks?
  25. Immanuel Kant Interlude – Compulsory Idleness
  26. Daily Mass: Whom do you serve, God or mammon? Catholic Inspiration
  27. 12 April, Relics X: Blood Money
  28. James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 4:1-17
  29. Help Us Dear Lord Not To Call You A Liar – Part 3
  30. Money and Happiness
  31. The greatest world religion? – materialism!
  32. The Almighty Dollar
  33. Do You Love Money?
  34. Need
  35. God Almighty, or the god of money?
  36. God wants us to be free from bondage to greed
  37. You Cannot Serve Both God & Riches
  38. Christianity held hostage
  39. Propensity for Prosperity
  40. Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz?
  41. Christianity Targeted by Corrupt Government
  42. Worship only God
  43. Prosperity Preachers
  44. The False Doctrine of Prosperity Preachers
  45. I Wrestled With A Preacher In My Dreams

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The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Soon after the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) had started his public life and had chosen some disciples, he found them following him and receiving more followers who wanted to hear him talking about many things which concerned them or which where about the general customs and religious life of the people.

Jesus went all over Galilee and used open as well as covered spaces, like synagogues but also planes and mountain slopes. Jesus knew his divine task, having placed in a special way on this earth to show people the Way to God. Jesus knew very well Who that One True God is all people should come to know.  He very well knew his own place, being lower than angels and being a son of God, the Most High without Jesus could do nothing.

He must have been special. Though the religious leaders despised him but the people wondered who this man could be and where curious for what they could hear from others about miracles he could perform.

Sites of Christianity in the Galillee - Ruins of the ancient Great Synagogue at Capernaum (or Kfar Nahum) on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, Northern Israel.jpg

Capernaum synagogue

Jesus went from one place to an other telling about his heavenly Father, the Only One True God of Israel. He taught people the truth of God and God’s kingdom was his theme. He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Those actions he did, got many curious about this personage and word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25)

Mount of Beatitudes, seen from Capernaum

When he was in the region of Capernaum again there were a lot of people who had come to see him and who where eager to hear what he had to tell.  Jesus saw all those crowds, coming from different places, following him and went up the mountain or hill (the Greek word can mean either) the Mount of Beatitudes.

Some commentators see here an intended contrast to Sinai, where the Law was given. However, there are no grounds, implicit or explicit, for identifying the mountain as a “New Sinai.” {Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 103). New York: United Bible Societies.}

From Matthew’s choice of verbs we can imagine that the situation was all about a moment of teaching, Jesus tutoring. It does not matter so much if Matthew and Luke wrote about the same or of a different occasion where Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven, its subjects and their life.

There have been and are today scholars who regard the sermons recorded in Mt and Lk as collections of sayings spoken on different occasions, and maintain that they do not represent any connected discourse ever delivered by Jesus. In their view the Sermon is either a free compilation by the evangelists or a product of apostolic teaching and oral tradition.
The prevailing opinion among NT scholars is, however, that the gospel accounts represent a genuine historical discourse. The Sermon as recorded in Mt bears such marks of inner unity of theme and exposition as to give the appearance of genuineness. That Jesus should deliver a discourse of this kind accords with all the circumstances and with the purpose of His ministry. Besides, we know that in His teaching He was accustomed to speak to the multitudes at length, and we should expect Him to give early in His ministry some formal exposition of the kingdom, the burden of His first preaching. That such a summary of one of His most important discourses should have been preserved is altogether probable. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

In any case even when it is a summary it is a teaching every Christian should seriously take at heart. Jesus was not afraid to talk at length, but this discourse could easily be delivered in a few minutes.

There is evidence that the account in Mt 5–7 contains some sayings not included in the original discourse. This view is confirmed by the fact that a number of the sayings are given in Luke’s Gospel in settings that appear more original. It is easy to believe that related sayings spoken on other occasions may have become associated with the Sermon in apostolic teaching and thus handed down with it, but if the discourse were well known in a specific form, such as that recorded in Mt, it is hardly conceivable that Luke or anyone else would break it up and distribute the fragments or associate them with other incidents, as some of the sayings recorded in both Gospels are found associated in Lk. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Because there is written that the disciples came to sit by Jesus many think Jesus was mainly addressing them. Even when this is the apparent meaning of the account of both evangelists, the separation from the multitudes and the direction of Jesus his words to the disciples seem clear, and the distinction appears intentional on the part of the writer. However, it must be observed that in the closing comments on the Sermon the presence of the multitudes is implied. In Luke’s account the distinction is less marked; being the night of prayer in the mountain, the choice of the twelve apostles, the descent with them into the presence of the multitude of his disciples and a great number of people from Judaea, Jerus and the coast country, the healing of great numbers, and, finally, the address. While the continued presence of the multitudes is implied, the plain meaning of the words,

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,”

is that his address was intended especially for the latter.

This view is borne out by the address itself as recorded in both accounts. Observe the use of the second person in the reference to suffering, poverty and persecution for the sake of the Son of Man. Further the sayings concerning the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” could hardly have been addressed to any but His disciples. The term disciple, however, was doubtless employed in the broader sense by both evangelists. This is clearly the case in Matthew’s account, according to which the Twelve had not yet been appointed. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Today we should look at those texts also as a lesson to all those who want to call themselves “Christian” which means “to be a follower of Christ“. Christians too should be disciples of Christ Jesus and should follow the words of the Nazarene master teacher. Not especially being a digest of Christ his teaching the account in Matthew 5 delivers a short of the attitudes a Christian should take.

Today because so many people calling themselves Christian, but more following human doctrines instead of keeping to the Biblical doctrines, may find Jesus’ words very hard to understand and even harder to follow in our modern culture which preaches that happiness or luck comes from material wealth, absence of sorrow, and which teaches revenge or retaliation and exorbitant punishments far in excess of the wrong suffered. Lots of people do find it right to punish wrongdoers and even would not mind if their life was taken away, though on other occasions they are totally against women taking contraceptives considering this murder or killing an unborn life.

The writer who records the most challenging command Jesus ever gave his followers:

“Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

looks at the teaching of Jesus on our behaviour and living and presents an ethic code for his disciples and a measure for the behaviour of all believers.

Each time Jesus opens with the word, which is recorded in Greek as “makarioi”, “blessed” or “happy”, which occurs nine times in verses 3–12. Many also call it “beatitudes”. Each beatitude having three parts: an ascription of blessing (happiness), a specific virtue to be cultivated (the practice of each produces a positive result), and a promise relating to the kingdom (reward or special comfort as a reason for the promised happiness).

In the sermon we find that the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, those who receive insults, are falsely accused and are persecuted on account of the Messiah may count on it that they are all blessed.

Certainly in Christendom we can find many true believers in Christ, those who accept Jesus for whom he really is, a man of flesh and blood who put his will aside to do the Will of the One God Who sent him to this world. Very often those real Christians are spit at and very often it are the trinitarian Christians who take on a very un-christian attitude to those believers. Those name Christians who prefer to keep to human doctrines and want to keep to the pagan rites and festivals, are often the worst in their attitude to the real or non-trinitarian Christians. Look around you and hear how your surroundings react to such Christians as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians or others who spread the Good News by giving pamphlets and by talking to people on the streets or by going from door to door. Often those who laugh at such Christians are not the gentle, and often they have more interest in the looks of people and the material wealth of themselves and others, instead of looking for the spiritual wealth.

In the world we can see many who sincerely love God and want to prefer to worship Him alone, who are therefore being harassed or molested. Be them Jews, Christians or Muslims, those who not like to take part in the pagan rituals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, are often looked at with a bad eye, or even spit on. They are laughed at, being considered compliant meek, soft ones and not by the time. To be meek does not mean to be weak. Jesus with his words concerning the meek ones looks at “meekness” meaning gentle restraint. it  Holds in a person can be showing gentlenessmildness, forbearance, submissiveness, humility or humbleness, modesty, submission and trying to bring peacefulness, sometimes even with acquiescence. We should remember that there it is about those who dare to take on an attitude which does not insist on one’s own rights but is giving itself for others, always ready to waive its privileges in the interests of others. “The meek” person is willing to wait for God’s timing being sure that God’s promises will become a reality and that God shall provide better times for all those who live according to God His commandments. That is our sacred hope we may find in Christ his offering, opening the gates to the Kingdom of God.

As Christian we should be taking every effort to follow Christ, to become in unity with him and his teaching, doing our utmost best to obey our heavenly Father. Living according to God’s commandments we can live with the promise to be able to live in the kingdom here on earth (“inherit the earth”). Though we should be well aware that this is not promised to the pushy, proud, ambitious, and domineering and to scourge those who do not believe in God or those who prefer to live differently than us.

Those who are humble and willing to undergo all the suffering in name of Christ or those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, may look forward for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They or we may rejoice, and be glad, for our reward in heaven shall be great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before us. (Matthew 5:3-12)

Jesus Christ in Capernaum

Jesus Christ in Capernaum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus knew or knows we are not perfect, but that does not mean we should be happy with who we are at a certain moment. Every day we should work at ourselves and strive to become better. It is quite ready to love those who love us, but what about loving those who hate us? Concerning doing good, many unbelievers are doing good, so what would be the difference between a non-believer and a Christian? How many name Christian today we do hear speaking low about other coloured people or about people of an other religion? How many so called Christians do not despise other Christians and other believers or atheists and want them away from their community or surroundings. Lots of name Christians do not welcome others.

So many people consider them higher than others or more special. Often they consider themselves perfect or faultless and are not interested in changing their own world view, their mindset, their inclination or habit, their ethos and their assumptions. Lots of them even do not want to challenge themselves in any way and do not want to see that nobody is foolproof. Today we do find lots of so called Christians who are against the refugees and who wrong or oppress strangers, though they should know that is against the Will of God (Exodus 22:20-21). They are not interested in the war victims, the orphans and widow, though a lover of God should stand up for them and defend them (Isaiah 1:16-17). Several people who call themselves Christian should better ask themselves what this really should mean and should check if they can come under that denominator.

Christianity is all a matter of “love“.

Jesus asks his followers to consider the aspects of real love and of the will to work at the inner self, the way how to react to others and daring to put your own will aside to be there for others. Looking at the habits that have entered our life, Jesus requires to examine ourself and to become aware of our attitude we should take on in life.

God requires of us to worship Him as the Only One True God of gods and to keep His commandments, doing justice and to offer loving kindness or mercy to others, walk humbly with God. Jesus requires of us also to honour his heavenly Father and to worship Him alone. He also requires us to become like him and to hunger and thirst for righteousness, work for peace, and stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted; to be merciful and comfort mourners; to be humble in spirit, meek, and pure in heart.

So let us listen very carefully to the Bible text in “Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries” and work at ourselves to become more like Christ fulfilling the Wish of God.

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

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Additional reading

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  2. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  3. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  4. A season of gifts
  5. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  6. Are you being swept along by the world
  7. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  8. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  9. the Bible – God’s guide for life #8 Looking to Jesus #1 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
  10. The meek one riding on an ass
  11. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith

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Further reading

  1. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
  2. Sermon from Matthew 5
  3. What Love Says and Does
  4. Loved Are We
  5. Beatitudes
  6. Beatitudes / Blessed are: (Matthew 5:3-12)
  7. Blessed Are… – Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12
  8. What Does God Require? A Christian Manifesto (Matt 5:1-12, Micah 6:1-8)
  9. What does the Lord require…?
  10. Blessed are the merciful: 4 Epiphany A
  11. Children’s Sermon: Matthew 5:4 (Beatitudes)
  12. Sermon for January 29, 2017
  13. Sermon for 29 January 2017 on Matthew 5:1-12
  14. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/15/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Being Salt and Light”
  15. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/22/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Jesus and The Law”
  16. NBFMC Sermon Review (2/05/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Lust and Relationships”
  17. 4th Sunday, Year A | Being peacemakers in a divided society
  18. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 29th, 2017)
  19. 4th Sunday After Epiphany, January 29, 2017
  20. 5th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A 2017
  21. Sermon on the Mount: Part 1
  22. Sermon on the Mount Part 1: Beatitudes
  23. Sermon on the Mount: Part 2
  24. 2017.01.15 Sermon On The Mount Part 1
  25. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 1
  26. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 2
  27. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 3
  28. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Light
  29. True Worship: Justice, Kindness, Walk Humbly
  30. Sunday Devotional: Who are our ‘neighbors’ and our ‘enemies’? How are we to ‘love’ them?
  31. Blocking your own witness
  32. How to deal with others
  33. What Jesus Says When You’ve Been Burned
  34. “I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder.” ~~Jesus
  35. Reconciling Jesus
  36. Be Perfect
  37. Radical Love in the Face of Injustice
  38. “Make something happen!”: The restless spirit
  39. Giving and Getting It All
  40. Day 33 -This Little Light of Mine
  41. Be Nice to Me
  42. A Godly Response To Ungodliness
  43. Our Relationship to the World
  44. The Love Question
  45. Love?
  46. A Life Well-Lived
  47. “No & Yes”
  48. Truth, love, and justice
  49. Salt and Light: Matthew 5
  50. We’re Salt & Light: But are we?
  51. Anger and murder
  52. “An ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” ~~Jesus
  53. Blessed are the Refugees
  54. What Does the Lord Require? :: Prayers of the People
  55. The Joy of Mercy
  56. “You are God’s field, God’s building”
  57. Evangelize: Downtown Boise With Love
  58. …I’m gonna let it shine
  59. A toddler’s tale
  60. The Beatitudes are Like Yogurt
  61. Why does Jesus say “the poor in spirit” are blessed?
  62. An Accurate Measurement for Your Life
  63. Authentic Christianity

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From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah

Whatever language is your native tongue or first language, God has taken care every person wherever in the world shall be able to read His Word and shall be able to come to understanding.

We also know the importance of the preaching of that Word of God. Coming closer to the end-times the Word of God shall be preached all over the world. To do that, God uses lots of people. They may come from all sorts of walks of life and from all sorts of denominations. One main same crunch and likeness point is that they are real lovers of God who want to show the world Who God is and which way we have to go to reach the goal God has set in front of mankind.

It are those lovers of God, who are willing to study God His Word and prefer God His Word above the words of mere human beings, that want to show the world how Jesus is the Way to God and not to himself, like some trinitarian Christians may think. Jesus knew very clear Who God was and that he is lower than this Mighty God Who knows everything, whilst Jesus had to learn everything and did not know a lot of things, even had no knowledge of very important things at the end of his life and after he was resurrected from the dead.

All over the world you may find sincere Bible Students of different denominations, but all with the same goal, to worship One and Only One True God, the God of Israel.

pt: Trabalho de evangelização típico das Teste...

Evangelisation by going from door to door by the Jehovah’s Witnessess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People may know the Jehovah Witnesses very well and may not see that there are also many other lovers of God who preach for that same Jehovah, because He is the Elohim Hashem Adonai Whose Name is Holy and should be praised. Many others than the Witnesses of Jehovah witness for Jehovah. The Jehovah’s Witnesses also should know they are not the only ones preaching in the name of God.

Christians should also know that it are not only Christians who worship God, because that is too often a wrong thought of many Christians. In the world there are many religions where people try to build up a relationship with God. They all may have their own peculiarities, but they are looking for the same Spirit, the Eternal Divine Creator. Some of them still may not know His real Name, and use titles which also belong to Him. Others may use a name or title not familiar in an other culture or language.

What is important that wherever people are in the world, whatever language they speak, is that they come to know the Most High Divine Creator.

2016 has been a very particular difficult hoar year where several groups did everything to blacken religion and in extremis those religions where there are people who try to worship only One True God in the best way they can think of. In Europe, Asia and America Jews were bullied and felt threatened. Muslims did not have it easy either by some so called Islamic groups blackening their religion and having so many people getting afraid of everything that smells of the Islam world.

The fear ISIS brought over Europe was so much damaging to the Muslim community that it got envisioned as something from the devil by many Christians and atheists. Many citizens could not at all bring up any respect for the way how those people wanted to commit themselves to their faith.

The Muslim faith came to be in such a bad light that everything close to a Mohammedan has gotten a bad smell. For that reason it is not bad Christians better to revise their view and should have a closer look to the real sincere Muhammadan or real Muslim.

Lots of people did everything to get religious people to become divided. Lots of so called Christians started to oppose Muslims, calling them names and even attacking them. The other way round certain Islamic countries took adversary to Christians who also used God’s title Allah.

It is nice that we may find you here as one of our readers. Perhaps you also know other sites of International Bible Students or do you also visit other sites of Bible Scholars, like Bijbelvorsers. In March we also presented already some new websites for 2016 which make an effort to bring people to God. As such for English readers there is the site and blog Relating to God.

We also do find it important that we as children of God come to know other creatures of God and come to understand the way of thinking of such other human beings.

For this reason we would like to present to you two new websites which also try to bring people to the One and Only One True God.

The first one, which started at the end of November, may be from an awkward person asking lots of questions. As Lastige Vragensteller or Troublesome Inquirer, he poses many questions but dares also to look at the many answers Muslim and Christian writers may offer to humanity and compares it by what he can read in what those religions say what their Holy Writings are. As such you shall be able to compare Quran verses with Bible verses and perhaps find some light shed on what Muslims might believe right or wrong and on what Christians might believe right or wrong according to their own writings.

That inquirer is not afraid to question both religions and to notice how in Islam Faith as well as Christian Faith there are groups which do not adhere the teachings of who they say they are following. For him it is clear that there are false teachers as well in the Muslim as in the Christian world and that we should be very careful before we judge one or the other group, knowing that there is such thing as not true Islam and not true Catholicism or not true ‘Christianism’ in Christendom opposed to Christianity which always should be pure, with people following the teachings of Jesus.

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The other new website which stared only a few days later, in December, also wants to tackle the differences in Christendom and/or Christianity with the thought of the Jewish rabbi Jeshua, who is by English speaking people mostly called Jesus. Immanuel Verbondskind looks at that Christ from the Christians and concludes that there are many Christians who have taken Jesus as their god, though that master teacher never claimed to be God, and as every Jew only worshipped One Singular and not a Tri-une god.

Comparing the writings on which Jesus based his teachings, namely the Tanakh, with the Torah, the Writings and the Prophets, Immanuel Verbondskind also looks at the second group of Writings (the Kethuvim Beth or Messianic writings) and notices how many Christians have gone far away from what is really written in the original texts, often also having wrong ideas because they do not understand the Jewish way of thinking.

For this writer and his blog it is of utmost importance to return to the original texts and to keep to the infallible Word of God, which is handed over to mankind by the pen of several by God chosen men, scribes and prophets. for that reason he also first looks at how we do have to come to read those precious Scriptures which god gave to mankind to come to know Him.

immanuel-theme-affinity-orig-2016-how-to-read-the-bible

Both blogs focus on God’s Word and say that Voice of God should be the Guidance in our life and not the dogmatic teachings of people.

As a young wanderer Immanuel Verbondskind shall look at the way of speaking of the different religious entities, which both claim to worship One God. He shall look at the religious penmen or theologians and shall uncover their teachings which are not in line with the Biblical teachings. Though for him is it clear that Christians concerning God should be in line with Jews, but Christ Jesus can never be the God of the Jews, like it also never was the God of Abraham nor the God of Jesus himself.

So many Christians have lost the track and have come to believe more the false teachings of a three-headed god, because they did not listen to God, not to God His sent one, the son of man and son of God, rabbi Jeshua or  Jesus Christ and do not come to see the Plan of the Master Maker God.

Reading the Holy Scriptures is essential to come to the Truth. At this website we do expect to have several quotes from the Holy Scriptures to be presented and to be looked at, when speaking about certain Jewish traditions and Christian traditions which have nothing to do with God יהוה (YHWH = Yod Heh Vav Heh = Jehovah) His Word but where imposed to man by ‘theologians‘ or rebbe.

immanuel-theme-able-20161226-1630-8

We do hope you may find interesting articles at those two sites which each looks from a different angle at Christianity.

Enjoy reading and get inspired to take up your bible and to compare what is said with what is written in the Bible.

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Preceding

Many churches

Good or bad preacher

Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God

Our openness to being approachable

You Are The Truth

Helping websites to prepare for the last days

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Additional reading

    1. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
    2. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
    3. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
    4. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
    5. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
    6. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
    7. Maybe it is About Me
    8. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
    9. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
    10. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
    11. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
    12. Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds.
    13. Looking for a biblically sound church
    14. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
    15. Bible in the first place #1/3
    16. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
    17. Three new sites to discover the real Jesus
    18. A Place for Questions
    19. New websites for 2016 to take in mind and to visit
    20. The Evidence, You Decide website

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Further reading

  1. Denominations
  2. Examining Christianity’s Roots & Denominations
  3. Denominations & A map of the most common Christian denominations by county
  4. Denominaitons & Largest 25 Denominations/Communions from the 2012 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.
  5. Is Roman Catholicism Just Another Denomination?
  6. One Voice
  7. The Bigger Picture
  8. The urge to merge: A few notes about Presbyterian agencies
  9. Growing God’s Church: How People Are Actually Coming to Faith Today
  10. Token Minorities in Reformed Churches
  11. The Church Should Maintain Theological Distinctions
  12. Loyalty Today
  13. Dedicated to God, Not a Denomination
  14. Diversity, Unity, Liberty…Love
  15. Why Prayer Meetings Fail
  16. Aren’t They all Churches of Christ?
  17. Don’t Ever Call Me a Baptist
  18. Who is a Heretic?
  19. Christianity & individualistic communities; the perfect exclusivity storm
  20. Your church isn’t THE church: tribal denominationalism
  21. Is Our Jesus Unnecessary? The Long Erosion of the PC(USA)
  22. Her God, His God, Your God, My God
  23. Christian traditions: Where do we fall short? II – One Body
  24. The Not So Assemblies
  25. An Agnostic Christian Socialist’s Confession of Faith
  26. Church of Christ: Part 1
  27. Church of Christ: Part 3 – What’s Going to Happen?
  28. Why Should Churches Connect?
  29. A Church of their Word

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations

In the previous chapters you could see that 2011 marking the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible was taken as a good opportunity by some editors to lance several various versions of Bible translations. 2014/15 bringing more news-reports of Muslim-extremist attacks and more missionary work in Islamic countries made some translators and publishers also chose for the Arabic title for God in their editions, though several christians where not pleased with such insertion.

Though several preaching groups found it time to reach out to non-religious people and to those who felt attracted by the Islam. Also coming to preach to Muslims, several preachers like us, think it better also to use names and terms common to those to whom we preach.

Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Mission Frontiers have translated the New Testament in a way they claim Muslims can understand.

Many Christians are calling it a perversion.

While this effort first came to light a few years ago, it has again come into the news with tracts starting to appear that are “Muslim friendly”.

Some examples:

  • Wycliffe/SIL produced Stories of the Prophets, a work that uses “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”
  • Frontiers (a Swiss-based publishing company) worked with a SIL consultant to produce True Meaning of the Gospel, an Arabic book that removes “Son” in reference to Jesus.
  • Frontiers also produced a Turkish translation of Matthew, distributed by SIL that uses “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.”
  • SIL consulted on the Bengali Injil Sharif, advising that “Son” be translated as “God’s Uniquely Intimate Beloved Chosen One.”

Frontiers and SIL have also produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ, an Arabic translation that removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.”

Stories of the Prophets

An independent panel, organized by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), wrote in one of its suggestions that it recognized

“that there is significant potential for misunderstanding of the words for ‘father‘ and ‘son‘ when applied to God, and that in languages shaped by Islamic cultures, the potential is especially acute and the misunderstandings likely to prove especially harmful to the reader’s comprehension of the gospel.” {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

The panel recommended that translators consider the addition of qualifying words and/or phrases (explanatory adjectives, relative clauses, prepositional phrases, or similar modifiers) to the directly-translated words for “father” and “son,” in order to avoid misunderstanding.

“For example, as the biblical context allows, the word for ‘father‘ might be rendered with the equivalent of ‘heavenlyFather‘ when referring to God, and the word for ‘son‘ might be rendered with the equivalent of ‘divine Son,’ ‘eternal Son,’ or ‘heavenly Son’ when referring to Jesus,” {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

the panel suggested.

The panel also recommended that translators use paratextual material

“to clarify and avoid misunderstanding in these cases.”

Wycliffe Bible Translators came under heavy criticism more than a year ago when Biblical Missiology created an online petition alleging that the translation group had eliminated familial terms describing God and Jesus in certain Arabic and Bengali translations of the Bible so as not to offend Muslim readers.

Biblical Missiology wrote

“Muslim friendly” Bible translations, technically termed “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), are well-meaning attempts to produce the Bible in a way that is easily accepted and understood by Muslims. These translations use Islamic terminology, graphic elements and fonts, and Qur’anic phrases to make the book look, feel, and read like an Islamic book. Some MITs use the same distinctive frame around the text and numbered rosettes between the verses that Qur’an editions do, and some even replace literal translations of “Father” and “Son” with alternative terms like “guardian” and “prince”. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

"Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations, technically termed “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), are by many considered to be counterproductive and deceiving

“Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations, technically termed “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), are by many considered to be counterproductive and deceiving

Muslim Idiom Translation (MIT) refers to an increasingly common “approach” to so-called Scripture translation for Muslim audiences. Its usage among professing evangelicals involved in missions to Muslims continues to increase in spite of the fact that some of its most distinguishing features are at odds with historic, biblical orthodoxy. Although MIT has been around for close to three decades, there is great need for a critical look at this phenomenon.

For the missionary organisation MITs by appearing at first glance to be Muslim books, because they use cover artwork that is similar to Qur’anic art, introductions and headers that include Qur’anic phrases, with the use of distinctly Qur’anic names for prophets and other biblical characters, and Islamic theological phrases, are for them deceiving books. They write

While these traits might be intended to help Muslims accept and understand the Bible better, what they actually do is make Muslims think they are reading a Muslim book. But if they initially accept this book on the basis of it being Islamic, they do so under false premises. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

For them this is not consistent with 2 Corinthians 4:2

“But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

and react

Deception is not only wrong, but also counterproductive, because when it is discovered, it makes Muslims more resistant to the gospel. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

We must be aware that perhaps only uneducated and unknowledgeable Muslims would be ultimately fooled into thinking that an MIT is actually a Muslim book. Educated and well-informed Muslims would recognise that those Bible translations and Christian works which use the names of the Holy Scriptures characters with the names Muslims are used to, shall be able to recognise the similarities of those different holy Scriptures. We do not think they will

be rightly enraged at such a deceptive tactic, and would surely raise awareness about it to their fellow Muslims. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

Not all MITs remove or replace “Father” and “Son” with alternate terms, though some do, instead of giving a clear explanation for that son-ship and comparing it to the same situation many Muslims consider themselves sons and daughters of Abraham and therefore calling him their patriarch.

Pierre Rashad Houssney, MENA Regional Director for Horizons International, a Lebanese-American who grew up in the context of cross-cultural ministry among Muslims and international students, does find it wrong that Bibles are created with Arabic names and does find those new bible translations

imitating the books of other religious traditions,

and even worse, finds them

compromising on such a central theological issue as the Father and Son. {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

English: The word Allah, in Arabic. alif hamza...

English: The word Allah, in Arabic. alif hamzat waṣl (همزة وصل) lām lām shadda (شدة‎) alif khanjariyya (ألف خنجرية‎‎) hā (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In several of those MITs instead of “Lord” or “God” is printed “Allah” (God in Arabic and in many other languages).  Though Allah is in our country commonly used for indicating the Most High God, by several native English speaking Christians it is a form they only know for the Islam, not knowing that in many Catholic and some protestant bible-translations this is also a common used title instead of placing ‘Lord‘, especially in Arabic language bibles commonly Allah is being used.

Some English people may think those translations with he word Allah are modifying the Word of God for their political agenda, but they are just using a general title we and many others are used to in our daily language.

According to Now the End Begins:

First, Wycliffe and SIL have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.” Second, Frontiers and SIL have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.” {New Bible Translation Eliminates “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Messiah” Because It Insults Muslims}

Stories of the ProphetsThose Christian missionaries, Bible translators and leaders who are very worried and are trying to stop the publications of this Modified Bibles should know better. It surprises us that bible translators would be against the word “Allah” because they should know what it means, and that it is just the Arabic form of ‘God’ and is a better word than ‘Lord’.

As such when there is written about the Name of God in the New Testament, they should know it can as well be translated as Matthew 28:19 reading:

“Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit”

instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” {New Bible Translation Eliminates “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Messiah” Because It Insults Muslims}

for where we can find written

Matthew 28:19 The Scriptures 1998+  (19)  “Therefore, go and make taught ones of all the nations, immersing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit,

In this place they point out there naturally can be discussion about placing ‘Allah’, but at all other places where other replace the Name of God with “Lord” or with the title ‘God’ those people have no reason at all to complain, because “Allah” or “God” is always better and staying much more clear than the bad replacement of God’s Name by the title ‘Lord’, by which many readers can not see about whom is been spoken, about God or about God His son Jesus.

With using the word Allah everybody can see clear about whom is been spoken and Muslims have less reason to be offended and can show to those Christians who take Jesus as their god what the bible really says and show Who God really is. This way more Christians can come to believe in the same God Jews, real Christians and Muslims believe, namely the God of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples, the God of Israel, Allah/God the Adonai Elohim Whose Holy and divine Name is Jehovah.

Brian David rightly reacts to the readers of End Time Prophecy:

I don’t see the problem most Christians don’t read the Bible anyway and those few who do, have no idea what it is saying because they do not understand the language. If you do not look up every word, first in the Strong’s, then 1828 Webster’s and some law dictionary’s; you will have no clue as to what is being said within the scriptures.

For example, the word God in the Hebrew and Greek; mean judge, magistrate or ruler, these are the people that most Christians worship and fear.

God
H430
אֱלֹהִים
‘ĕlôhı̂ym
el-o-heem’
Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.
2601 times

G2316
θεός
theos
theh’-os
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very: – X exceeding, God, god [-ly, -ward].
1343 times

Now here is where it gets good.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling awayG646 first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

G646
ἀποστασία
apostasia
ap-os-tas-ee’-ah
Feminine of the same as G647; defection from truth (properly the state), (apostasy): – falling away, forsake.

G647
ἀποστάσιον
apostasion
ap-os-tas’-ee-on
Neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of G868; properly something separative, that is, (specifically) divorce: – (writing of) divorcement.

Defection
DEFECTION, noun
1. Want or failure of duty; particularly, a falling away; apostasy; the act of abandoning a person or cause to which one is bound by allegiance or duty, or to which one has attached himself. Our defection from God is proof of our depravity. The cause of the king was rendered desperate by the defection of the nobles.
2. Revolt; used of nations or states.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 we see that the son of perdition will not be revealed until there is a falling away first which literally means a divorce from the state by abandoning our person which is a mask or a legal fiction that is an organization (Corporation). The act of abandoning a person or a legal fiction that is used by the state through surnames. Every had your person summoned to court like a demon.

Person
PERSON, noun per’sn. [Latin persona; said to be compounded of per, through or by, and sonus, sound; a Latin word signifying primarily a mask used by actors on the state.]

Surname
SUR’NAME, noun [Latin super and nomen.]
1. An additional name; a name or appellation added to the baptismal or christian name, and which becomes a family name. Surnames, with us, originally designated occupation, estate, place of residence, or some particular thing or event that related to the person. Thus William Rufus or red; Edmund Ironsides; Robert Smith, or the smith; William Turner.

The bilingual Hebrew–English edition of the Ne...

The bilingual Hebrew–English edition of the New JPS translation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because of many Christians not knowing the difference between a god, god, God or The God, often they consider when the Bible says “god” they take it to be about the Divine Creator God, though in their ordinary daily language when they speak about sport-figures or film-actors and television vedettes they also use the word ‘god’, though hopefully they would not consider those gods they are talking about to be The God. The same as they say “oh god” we do hope they do not use that expression with the idea of using The God His Name, because than they would defile God’s Name many times.

But they should know that ‘god’ is not a name but a title, the same as ‘allah’ is a title and being a word that is used in many languages to speak about a higher placed person or a god whilst ‘Allah’ is also used to denote the Most High God, Jehovah/Yehowah/Yahuwah/Jahuwah/Yahweh.

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  1. Stories of the Prophets pdf version
  2. Wycliffe Global alliance
  3. Another Gospel
  4. What is wrong with Biblical Missiology’s Critique of the Insider Movement?
  5. Wycliffe Bible Translators Accept Panel Report Over Controversial Muslim Context Translation

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #6 Revisions of revisions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #8 Selective Bibles and selective people

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #9 Restored names and Sacred Name Bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #10 Journaling Bibles and illustrative women

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Additional reading

  1. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  2. The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods
  3. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  4. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  5. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  6. Names, Titles, and Characters of Jesus Christ
  7. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  8. A learning process for each of us
  9. Word of God presented to people in more than 3200 languages

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Further reading

  1. Book Review | Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation
  2. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  3. New Bible Translation Eliminates “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Messiah” Because It Insults Muslims
  4. Ryrie’s Bibles and Manuscripts Auctioned off
  5. Troubled places
  6. Partnership possibilities to #endbiblepoverty @pciassembly @wycliffeuk
  7. A Useless Commentary
  8. Celebrating Completed Scriptures
  9. Bible in more languages than Hamlet and Harry Potter put together
  10. Internal Evidence
  11. 4 October ― 8 Mashíyyat
  12. Holy Scriptures
  13. The Baptist Confession of Faith: Of the Holy Scriptures
  14. The Baptist Catechism: What is the Word of God?
  15. The Baptist Catechism: 3° commandement:The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.
  16. How did Jesus hand on the Faith?
  17. Catholic view of Muslims
  18. Name
  19. Sabbath Word: Porverbs 3
  20. Who is Elohim? Part 2.
  21. The Lord’s name is Holy !
  22. Lessons From The Name Of God In The Book Of Esther 
  23. Son of God
  24. You Won’t Find It Here
  25. Conviction or Opinion?
  26. On Bearing the Name of Christ in Vain
  27. Known By Name
  28. What’s In a Name?
  29. The Mystery of Praising The Name
  30. The Heart of God

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Not having enough background of the Jewish Koine Greek, or Jewish Hellenistic Greek, the variety of Koine Greek (hē koinē dialektos ‘the common language’) or “common Attic”  found in a number of Alexandrian dialect texts of Hellenistic Judaism, most notably the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible which at the time of the King James Bible‘s first edition was not yet available, as well as Greek Jewish texts from Palestine. This made that lots of words for previous Bible translations and the Authorised Version, where not yet understood properly and of some words they thought it were persons (names) instead of things (nouns) and situations.

Hellenistic Judaism: historical sites

Important historical sites of Hellenistic and medieval Judaism. – Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Words and word elements were adopted and adapted into Latin over c.1,500 years, and passed through Latin into many European and other languages, being used in the main for scholarly and technical purposes. The flow into English was at first very limited and largely religious, such as Old English cirice and its descendant church (from kūriakón dôma the Lord’s house).

Katharina-von-Bora-05.jpg

Katharina von Bora (1499–1552) one of the most important participants of the Reformation because of her role in helping to define Protestant family life and setting the tone for clergy marriages.

At the beginning this knowledge of languages was a man’s job, but from the 19th century women began to have their say as well. Lots of Christians have the wrong idea that women in the ancient times had nothing to say. Many also think that in Christianity women played no role at all. they should know that the Set Apart or Holy Scriptures  acknowledges and celebrates the priceless value of a virtuous woman (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7).

Whilst by the Jews there where not so many women teachers or rabbi’s, from the beginning the master teacher Jeshua had a big heart for them and had many women around him, following him everywhere they could and talking about his actions. The Bible teaches women are not only equals with men (Galatians 3:28), but are also set apart for special honour (1 Peter 3:7). Jeshua also knew how in the past the the priceless value of a virtuous woman was celebrated and insisted those around him to respect the woman also. (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7).  Not only did the master teacher encourage their discipleship by portraying it as something more needful than domestic service and always treated women with the utmost dignity — even women who might otherwise be regarded as outcasts (Matthew 9:20-22; Luke 7:37-50; John 4:7-27).

“1  After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” (Luke 8:1-3 NIV)

“38  As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”” (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)

Clearly the listening to Jesus’ teaching was for the rabbi important, because he would not be long with them. for him it was also important that they would know what they had to talk about when he would be gone, because they had to go out into the world and witness about what he had done, and for telling others about the coming Kingdom of God. All those who wanted to be called a disciple or follower of Christ had to witness for him.

“You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.” (Acts 22:15 NIV)

Already from the start women where there with Jesus.  Christ’s first recorded, explicit disclosure of His own identity as the true Messiah was made to a Samaritan woman (John 4:25-26). When he was gone there were also women present in the room when the Spirit came over the apostles.  From then onwards they too were not afraid any more to come out with their beliefs. Soon they too took also their role in the preaching and some of them even became renowned.

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.” (Acts 9:36 NIV)

Often it were women who opened up their house for followers of Christ coming together and to lead the meetings.

“When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.” (Acts 12:12 NIV)

Also when things where not so clear for some they dared to call them with them and explain it so they could better understand the truth. Also women who talked about Jesus but did not know everything well, were helped by the apostles so that they could do a better job.

“13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.” (Acts 16:13-15 NIV)

Throughout history there have always been faithful women spreading the Word of God.

It might well be that the energetic monk and young theologian Martin Luther, who felt himself to be “a sinner with an unquiet conscience,” was stimulated by the former Benedictine and Cistercian nun Katharina von Bora, who had fled her convent with several other nuns or ‘vestal virgins’, to Wittenberg, and who became, at the age of 26,  his  wife in 1525 (him being 41) and became known as “die Lutherin”.  She became the “boss of Zulsdorf,” after the name of the farm they owned, and the “morning star of Wittenberg” for her habit of rising at 4 a.m. to take care of her various responsibilities, administering and managing the vast holdings of the monastery, breeding and selling cattle, and running a brewery in order to provide for their family and the steady stream of students who boarded with them and visitors seeking audiences with her husband. It can well be that her being at the site of the prosecuted Luther, made him to continue his translation work of the Bible and not giving up his ideas.

In the two following centuries it were women who often took care that the children got to hear the Word of God at home, whilst they were able to hide this sacred book for the persecutors. Those who fled from the European continent to look for a New World also carried with them the Holy Bible in their language or in Latin.

In the 17th century religious groups found their way to the New World and at certain places founded their own colonies so that they could perfectly practice their own faith. Religious liberty for others — a concept Americans would later take for granted — was not part of the Puritans‘ plan. Instead, founding Governor John Winthrop envisioned a model “Citty [sic] upon a hill,” an example of Christian unity and order. Not incidentally, women were expected to play a submissive and supporting role in this society.

Anne Hutchinson, née Anne Marbury

At the Massachusetts Bay Colony a skilled midwife and herbal healer with her own interpretation of Puritan doctrine, challenged the leaders of this “wilderness theocracy,” as Barbara Ritter Dailey describes it.
Anne Hutchinson  [Anne Marbury Hutchinson (1591-1643)] eldest daughter of a strong-willed Anglican priest who had been imprisoned and removed from office because of his demand for a better-educated clergy, had probably inherited the strong will of her father, taking with her a legacy of biblical scholarship and religious independence.

When the Anglican Church silenced one of her favourite teachers, John Cotton, one of England’s outstanding Puritan ministers, one of New England’s first generation, leader in civil and religious affairs, and a persuasive writer on the theory and practice of Congregationalism, left for the colony of Massachusetts in America, Hutchinson became extremely distraught. She finally persuaded her husband to leave for America, so that she could follow her religious mentor.

William Hutchinson was granted a desirable house lot in Boston, and both husband and wife quickly became church members.
When she was criticized for failing to attend weekly prayer meetings in the homes of parishioners, she responded by holding meetings in her own home. She began by reiterating and explaining the sermons of John Cotton but later added some of her own interpretations, a practice that was to be her undoing. As her meetings became more popular, Hutchinson drew some of Boston’s most influential citizens to her home. Many of these were town merchants and artisans who had been severely criticized for profiteering in prices and wages; they saw in Hutchinson’s stress on grace a greater freedom regarding morality and therefore more certainty of their own salvation. But others came in search of a more meaningful and personal relationship with their God. As she attracted followers and defenders, the orthodox Puritans organized to oppose her doctrines and her advocates.

Cotton was chiefly responsible for the exile of Anne Hutchinson, because of her antinomian doctrines, and for the expulsion of Roger Williams.They continued to preach and used their own words. Quoting from the Bible in a non literal way became common practice and would be later taken up in presenting fragments or stories from the Bible. This free telling of Bible stories was also taken up in other languages and was breeding ground for children’s Bibles and freely quoted or paraphrased Bible translations.

The Ritual Dance of the Shakers, Shaker Historical Society

The priests and male clerics mostly kept the bible in their hand and sometimes read some phrases out of it. They still were in the majority, though some ladies walked to the forefront and got followers. It had not all to be literate women who took charge.
An unlettered daughter of a blacksmith who was probably named Lees joined at the age of 22 joined the faith group Shaking Quakers, or Shakers, because of the shaking and dancing that characterized their worship (It originally derived from a small branch of English Quakers founded by Jane and James Wardley in 1747). Ann Lee married in 1762, a union that tradition holds was unhappy and may have influenced her later doctrinal insistence on celibacy. She became the group their accepted leader and was known as Ann the Word or Mother Ann. Although illiterate, she claimed the gift of tongues and the ability to discern spirits and work miracles. She was also convinced of the holiness of celibacy, an idea stemming from her own experience of losing four children at or soon after their birth. In 1774 she led a band of eight to America, where, two years later, at Watervliet, N.Y., the first Shaker settlement in America was founded. The Shaker communities flourished in the mid-19th century and contributed a distinctive style of architecture, furniture, and handicraft to American culture. The communities declined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The two American converts who followed Mother Ann as Lead Elder — Joseph Meacham (1787–1796) and Lucy Wright (1796–1821) — developed an institutional structure for less antagonistic relations with society.

At that time, a woman’s leadership of a religious group was considered to be a ‘sect leader’ and as a radical departure from Protestant Christianity. Living apart from her husband Elizur Goodrich, she like him committed herself fully to Shakerism and within a decade rose to leadership within the Shakers movement, with the power and authority which women were not allowed in other religions.

Wright was fully aware of our task of witnessing and sent missionaries to preach across New England and upstate New York as well as into the western wilderness, where those preachers recruited proselytes and established new Shaker villages in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
Under Wright’s administration, Shakers standardized and increased book and tract publishing for the widely-scattered religious society. Their first statement of beliefs was Testimony of Christ’s Second Appearing in 1810, followed by a hymnal which served much the same purpose in 1813. This way the bible-fragments were brought to the general public in ordinary simple words.

In the early nineteenth century the movement expanded into Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. By the mid-1820s about 4,000 believers lived in sixteen communal villages, usually with residential “Great Houses” surrounded by meetinghouses, barns, mills, workshops, and smaller residences for children and probationary members. A hierarchy of elders and eldresses who had completely abandoned the sinful world were in charge.

Charles g finney.jpg

Charles Grandison Finney (1792–1875) American Presbyterian minister and leader in the Second Great Awakening in the United States.

In the New World several Female Missionary Societies saw the light and invited men as well as women to proclaim the Word of God.  The Female Missionary Society of the Western District hired in this way Charles Grandison Finney who came to promote social reforms, such as abolition of slavery and equal education for women and African Americans. From 1835 he taught at Oberlin College of Ohio, which accepted all genders and races, opening the way for more women able to read the Bible.

The Christians who believed only in One God and wanted others also to know the biblical truth, saw with dismay how Finney used scare tactics to gain converts.

Across the board, many thought that his habitual use of the words you and hell “let down the dignity of the pulpit.” {Charles Finney Father of American revivalism}

During the 16th and 17th century Anabaptists were heavily prosecuted in Europe because of their view of Jesus his position and man’s position in this world. By the many searchers for the truth lots of them found they could not take on the human doctrines like the Trinity and found that people had to be fully aware of what believing meant and when to commit themselves to the Only One God. From the Low countries many went to America. On the boat-trip they had a very good opportunity to speak about the biblical truth to others form different denominations. also the English doctor John Thomas who as ship’s surgeon on the Marquis of Wellesley, took the occasion to share his ideas with many people on board. When this boat docked in New York, Thomas travelled on to Cincinnati, Ohio where he became convinced by the Restoration Movement (also known as the or the Stone-Campbell Movement) of the need for baptism and joined them in October 1832. Looking for the “church within” we can imagine that people tried also to express themselves freely to show others how they understood the Word of God.

The Restoration Movement developed from several independent strands of religious revival that idealized apostolic Christianity. They were united in the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. After his bad experience fearing for his life when the boat had nearly sunk, Thomas took his vow to God seriously and went going from one place to another, preaching the Word of God. Many of his followers came to “the Brotherhood”, and started to have meetings in their houses or barns to study the Word of God. For them it was clear that human doctrines and church creeds divide and that real Christians should be under Christ. for them God’s Word was clearly given to all people and the Bible was not to be the matter only for clergy. For them all Christians should take the Bible as their guide and leader and should suppress all divisive doctrines and practices.

One of Thomas his disciples would find enough people interested to print pamphlets and tracts. He also started as a Christian restorationist minister and became better known as Pastor Russell, being the instigator of Russellism or founder of the Russellites, opposite the Thomasites or followers of Dr. Thomas who founded the Christadelphians, Brothers in Christ who took studying the bible as one of their priorities (hence the other name Bible Students).

Dr Thomas also wrote for and was editor of the Apostolic Advocate which first appeared in May 1834, whilst Charles Taze Russell started only in July 1879 with publishing his monthly religious journal, Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1881 he co-founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society with William Henry Conley as president, providing the establishment of an international Bible Student movement. In 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. From then onwards those Bible Students tried to bring Bible fragments in the common language of the day. For them women had also their say and were worthy co-operators to produce articles and to bring bible texts in contemporary American English.

It was his successor as society president, Joseph Rutherford who brought a wide division in the Bible student movement and created the Jehovah’s Witnesses who would work at translating the Word of God, doing a marvellous job, presenting bibles in many languages all over the world, so that nobody would have an excuse he or she could not find a Bible in a language he or she understands.

10MaryPatterson1862.jpeg

Mary Jane Patterson (1840–1894)

In 1862 Mary Jane Patterson became the first African-American woman to receive a B.A degree in the New World. She received a recommendation for an “appointment from the American missionary Association as a … teacher among freedmen.” In 1865 Patterson became an assistant to Fanny Jackson Coppin at the Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania). In 1869 to 1871 Patterson taught in Washington, D. C., at the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth known today as Dunbar High School (Washington, D.C.). She served as the school’s first Black principal, from 1871 to 1872. She was reappointed from 1873 to 1884. During her administration, the school grew from less than 50 to 172 students, the name “Preparatory High School” was dropped, high school commencements were initiated, and a teacher-training department was added to the school. Patterson’s commitment to thoroughness as well as her “forceful” and “vivacious” personality helped her establish the school’s strong intellectual standards.
We can imagine by those standards being a Christian life style and good moral where essence.

Already around the turn of the 18th to 19th century women had started wanting to have a stronger voice in the education of children. Also parents started looking more at how to bring up children together in a community. They had seen the public school system starting to develop going away from certain ways of life preferred by them. The spiritual aspect was important and could not be forgotten. Discontented with the new public school system more alternative education developed in part as a reaction to perceived limitations and failings of traditional education. In many of such schools at that time the Bible and Christian life formed an important element of educational basic training. A broad range of educational approaches emerged, including alternative schools, self learning, homeschooling and unschooling.

Benjamin Wilson (1817–1900)

In 1840 the English family Wilson though originally Baptists, joined the growing Campbellite movement and moved to the New World four years later. In Geneva, Illinois the family began to distance themselves from the Campbellites. In 1846 Benjamin Wilson wrote his first letter to the other ex-Campbellite John Thomas, as recorded in the latter’s magazine The Herald of the Future Age, agreeing with the Thomas’ views on the immortal soul – the initial cause of his break with Campbell. There is considerable correspondence in Thomas’ magazines from various members of the Wilson family over the next several years.

Just as John Thomas had been re-baptised in 1847, Benjamin Wilson was rebaptised in 1851, marking off a new start from the Campbellites.

The first page of the Complutensian Polyglot

From 1855 to 1869 Benjamin Wilson published a monthly religious magazine, the Gospel Banner, which merged with John Thomas’s magazine, Herald of the Coming Kingdom.

In 1857 the autodidact Biblical scholar Benjamin Wilson presented a first section of a side-by-side two-language New Testament version like the New Testament in Greek and Latin, had been completed in 1514 with the Complutensian printed by Axnaldus Guilielmus de Brocario at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes at the university at Alcalá de Henares (Complutum) and the Antwerp Polyglot, printed by Christopher Plantin (1569-1572, in eight volumes folio). Polyglot means, literally poly or multi tongue or multi lingual, “through tongue” or “many / several languages” and is understood to signify “interlinear.”

In England there had also been a polyglot translation by Brian Walton who was aided by able scholars and used much new manuscript material (London, 1657). It included the Ethiopic Psalter, Canticle of Canticles, and New Testament, the Arabic New Testament, and the Gospels in Persian. His prolegomena and collections of various readings mark an important advance in biblical criticism.

It was in connection with this polyglot that Edmund Castell produced his famous Heptaglott Lexicon (two volumes folio, London, 1669), a monument of industry and erudition even when allowance is made for the fact that for the Arabic he had the great manuscript lexicon compiled and left to the University of Cambridge by William Bedwell. {Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia}

The Emphatic Diaglott.jpgThe Bible was also published in several languages by Elias Hutter (Nuremberg, 1599-1602), and by Christianus Reineccius (Leipsic, 1713-51). Ten years before the “Polyglot Bible in eight languages” (2 vols., London, 2nd ed. 1874) the Christadelphians produced the complete two-language Emphatic Diaglott translation, of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson. For the Greek text he based it on the various Readings of the Vatican Manuscript, No. 1209; the text used by the German rationalist Protestant theologian Johann Jakob Griesbach, who was the earliest biblical critic to subject the Gospels to systematic literary analysis. In this translation the name of God is also restored, so that readers could clearly see about whom was spoke and who said something, the lord Jeshua (Jesus Christ) or the Lord of lords”Jehovah“.

In this Interlineary literal Word for Word English translation ‘Signs of Emphasis’ were given; whilst under each Greek word the English equivalent is printed. In the slim right-hand column of each page is presented a modern English translation as made by Benjamin Wilson. Also a copious selection of ‘References’; many appropriate, illustrative, and exegetical ‘Foot-notes’; and a valuable ‘Alphabetical Appendix’ are given. This combination of important items could not be found in any other book at that time.

Such literal translations made many bible Students to see much things more clearly. Also Charles T. Russell, learned that the inspired Greek Scriptures speak of the second “presence” of Christ, for the Diaglott translated the Greek word “parousía” correctly as “presence,” and not as “coming” like the King James Version Bible. Accordingly when C. T. Russell began publishing his new Bible magazine in July of 1879, he called it Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

The Christadelphians allowed also the Millenial Dawn Bible Students (later the Watchtower Society) to distribute Wilson’s work widely around the world from 1902. Also the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith and the Church of the Blessed Hope which he founded are still part of the Christadelphian movement which still print this Bible translation.

Bible students form the Zion’s Watchtower suggested that,

Every student of God’s plan, as presented in the Tower, ought to have the aid which the Diaglott affords.

As such this translation became a useful attribute for the later standard Bible of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The New World Translation.

In 2004, the Abrahamic Faith Beacon Publishing Society brought home The Emphatic Diaglott and re-published a new version of it, working in partnership with The Christadelphian Advancement Trust.

In the homeschooling opposite to traditional Christian schools it were mostly women who took up the job as teacher. Having only bibles in Old English they wanted books in a more contemporary language and put pressure on the existing clergy. From the congregations also came a louder cry to provide them with modern language bibles.

King James Version of the Bible

King James Version of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Answering that cry from the housewives and teachers in 1870 an invitation was extended to American religious leaders for scholars to work on the revision of the Authorized Version/King James Bible of 1611. In 1871, thirty scholars were chosen by Philip Schaff. The denominations represented on the American committee were the Baptist, Congregationalist, Dutch Reformed, Friends, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal, and Unitarian.

In England also there was a request to have a revision and by the Convocation of Canterbury in 1870 two companies were formed, one each for the Old and New Testaments to revise the King James Version. Parallel companies in the United States received the work of the English scholars to return their comments. For those at work it was made clear only a revision and not a new translation was contemplated.

The New Testament was published in England on May 17, 1881, and three days later in the United States, after 11 years of labour. Over 30,000 changes were made, of which more than 5,000 represent differences in the Greek text from that used as the basis of the King James Version. Most of the others were made in the interests of consistency or modernization.

In the traditional churches there was not much interest in the Old Testament, this not fitting in with the accent of their teaching on Jesus, instead of God.

On certain points the English and Americans did not agree. At that time the Americans still gave in to the British revisers and published preferred readings and renderings in an appendix to the Revised Version. In 1900 the American edition of the New Testament, which incorporated the American scholars’ preferences into the body of the text, was produced. A year later the Old Testament was added, but not the Apocrypha. The alterations covered a large number of obsolete words and expressions and replaced Anglicisms by the diction then in vogue in the United States.

As shown above women and the general American public made use to talk about the Bible and to use it at home. The publishers could not ignore their wishes and provided them with some official version which could offer an alternative for the partly published Bible books and for the unofficial translations into modern speech made from 1885 which had gained popularity. Their appeal reinforced by the discovery that the Greek of the New Testament used the common non-literary variety of the language spoken throughout the Roman Empire when Christianity was in its formative stage.

The notion that a nonliterary modern rendering of the New Testament best expressed the form and spirit of the original was hard to refute. This, plus a new maturity of classical, Hebraic, and theological scholarship in the United States, led to a desire to produce a native American version of the English Bible. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Next: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

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Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  3. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  4. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  5. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Celebrating the Bible in English
  8. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  9. What English Bible do you use?
  10. The Most Reliable English Bible
  11. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  12. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  13. New American Bible Revised Edition
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  16. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. iPod & Android Bibles
  21. Missed opportunity for North Korea
  22. What are Brothers in Christ
  23. Wanting to know more about basic teachings of Christadelphianism
  24. Around C.T.Russell

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Further reading

  1. Jennifer Strauss, ‘The Anabaptist Cages, Münster’
  2. The Bible: Kept Pure in All Ages
  3. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  4. AV1611: England’s Greatest Achievement
  5. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  6. Ye King Iames Bible
  7. King James Version
  8. Thees, Thous, and Wot Nots
  9. The King James Bible
  10. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  11. King James Only? (Ethernal Christ)
  12. KJV Only? (Lynn Thaler)
  13. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  14. King James XV
  15. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  16. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  17. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  18. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  19. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  20. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  21. The Attack on the Bible
  22. John 3:16 isn’t the gospel that saves men’s souls today
  23. New Age Deism
  24. New Age Deism: Part Two
  25. Inside Orthodox Judaism: A Critical Perspective On Its Theology
  26. Mailbox Monday August 29: on Katharina von Bora
  27. 11th April 1612. Dangerous Heresy.
  28. Book Review: The Reformers and Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin
  29. women.born.before | 05 feb 1760
  30. Settler Colonialism and the Freedom of Religion
  31. Searching for Religious Freedom
  32. Freedom From and For Religion
  33. This Week in History – Kicked to the Curb by a Pilgrim
  34. King Survey: Women and Other Puritans
  35. The Puritans: Church and State
  36. Midweek Blog: Anne Hutchinson, the “Unnatural Woman”
  37. Paddling the Hutch: Ned P. Rauch takes the plunge
  38. Great Information Wrapped Inside This Human Struggle
  39. The Puritan identification with the Bible
  40. Despite Roger Williams’ Efforts, Providence Burns in 1676
  41. Williams
  42. Roger Williams in Art
  43. Mass Moments: Roger Williams Banished
  44. Research Reading IV
  45. Research Reading V
  46. History Weekend: The Shakers, pt. 1
  47. Quakers
  48. Commonwealth – Part Two
  49. A Catalogue of Severall Sects & Opinions
  50. History of the Anabaptist Head Covering
  51. Faith in the Head Covering
  52. Persecuted in Revolutionary Baltimore: The Sufferings of Quakers
  53. Half an hour in James Watt’s Workshop
  54. The Advices & Queries project
  55. The Violent Seduction of Thomas Paine by Rocket Kirchner
  56. The Last Runaway Review
  57. Stantons in America
  58. Eber Sherman, ,7th Great-Grandfather
  59. Birmingham Quakers and the Spanish Civil War
  60. Hidden Nearby: Charles Grandison Finney’s Birthplace
  61. Free Charles Finney Book!
  62. The reward of fervent prayer, Charle G. Finney
  63. Midweek Blog: Charles Finney, Staring at You Until You Join His Revival
  64. “Could God Forgive A Man Like That?”
  65. Joseph Logan land, 127 acres, Ninety Six District, South Carolina, 1785
  66. Alexander Campbell & the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  67. Restoration
  68. The Restoration Movement, Acapella & the Trinity
  69. The Future of the Restoration Movement, Part 2
  70. Charles Taze Russell – “Don’t read your Bible”
  71. Apocalyptic Forecasts
  72. Women’s History: Mary Jane Patterson
  73. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  74. What is Wrong with Evangelicals in America?
  75. For Us or Against Us: The Politics of the Christian Right & the Shutdown
  76. Icon: Tacy Cooper
  77. The Secret of Powerful Revivals Are the Intercessors Praying Behind the Scenes
  78. Les origines de nos traditions dans l’Eglise : Partie 1
  79. Edifying Christian Biographies That Will Bless Every True Christian!
  80. A Visit to Pembroke College
  81. Hospitality
  82. ‘Tis a Gift
  83. A weekend away
  84. Simple gifts
  85. Becoming Visible: Quaker Outreach at Colleges
  86. Turbulent Londoners: Ada Salter, 1866-1942
  87. A Spicy Letter to Preachers
  88. On Church Leadership (an email exchange with Sándor Abonyi of Hungary) – Pt.1: “The First Button”
  89. My way is the best
  90. ELCA Repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery, Next Up: Mennonite Church USA
  91. A glimpse of Missouri’s Amish
  92. Freedom of religion
  93. Book Review – Recovering the Margins of American Religious History: The Legacy of David Edwin Harrell, Jr. (Waldrop and Billingsley, eds.)
  94. Book Review: The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey’s Personal Journey of Faith (David Edwin Harrell, Jr.)
  95. Churches of Christ – The Road Ahead
  96. Some Notes on Bible Translations

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